FROM Andy Roth
Will Washington Flirt with Disaster or Punt until Next Year? The lame duck Congress has until next week to prevent a government shutdown. At the moment, that sounds unlikely. But tea-partiers outraged about the President's immigration action could upset the best laid plans of Republican leaders. Meantime, the President's threatened veto of a tax break extension has Democrats who still run the Senate at odds with the White House. That could delay next year's taxpayer refunds. We look at the options, including short-term fixes for long-term problems.
Brinksmanship and the Blame Game Before anyone knew for sure there would be a government shutdown at midnight tonight, Democrats and Republicans were blaming each other. At least in public, there was more talk about political fallout than there was about making a deal, with polls showing Republicans faring the worst. Meantime, the crisis atmosphere has given ideological groups and potential candidates a great chance to raise money from ardent supporters. With a few hours remaining, we look at the options for a possible settlement and at the likely consequences of halting many federal services.
Stalemate over the Debt Ceiling Continues Last week, President Obama and Speaker John Boehner agreed that the debt-limit deadline had created an opportunity for something "big:" tax loophole-closings and spending cuts, including adjustments to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. But yesterday, Boehner backed off and called for a smaller package or even a stopgap. This morning, the President called any extension " unacceptable ." As Washington's debt-limit brinkmanship continues with inconclusive meetings and political positioning, will Washington let the money run out? Will Medicare and Social Security be part of a final deal?
Stalemate over the Debt Ceiling Continues " If not now… when? " President Obama asked today as leaders of both parties in Congress prepared for yet another White House negotiating session. He challenged both parties to compromise, so that raising the debt ceiling can become an opportunity for spending cuts and closing tax loopholes long term, insisting that a short-term deal would be unacceptable. What happened to the so-called "big deal" he and Speaker John Boehner talked about just last week? With both parties divided, are next year's elections making it harder to avoid the first default in American history?
Why Don't Facts Matter? "Fake News" may have a long history, but social media and 21st Century politics have brought it front and center. One reason for its appeal and its power is the tendency of so many people to cling to their beliefs — even when confronted with contradictory evidence. Today, another look at the Emotional States of America.
The flight bumping heard around 'round the world Recent video of a passenger forcibly removed from a United Airlines plane is a worst-case example of what's happened since consolidation into just four US-based carriers. Management seems to be tone-deaf to a decline in service — and even abuse — of passengers.
Nuclear crisis on the Korean Peninsula slowly coming to a head North Korea did not conduct a nuclear test this weekend, but it did show apparent progress in developing a missile that that could strike the United States. The Trump Administration says it has lost its "strategic patience." We hear what that might -- or might not -- mean for North Korea, China and the prospects for diplomacy.