FROM Barney Keller
Time's Running Out before a Fiscal Crisis Kicks In Yesterday, after fiscal-cliff negotiations broke down, President Obama admonished , "(T)hat we lurch from crisis to crisis every six months, or every nine months…that's not how you run a great country…. It is very hard for them [Republicans] to say yes to me. At some point, they've got to take me out of it – think about their voters, and think about what's best for the country." In the midst of negotiations with the President, House Speaker John Boehner proposed what he calls "Plan B." But it's sure to be dead on arrival when it reaches the Senate. We hear how compromise on the "fiscal cliff" is dominated by philosophical differences, political mistrust — and personal antipathy.
Is Washington Full of 'Grownups'… or Not? In the aftermath of last week's atrocity in Connecticut, some serious pundits said Washington politicians might respond by acting like "grownups." The implication was that House Republicans and the White House would compromise to avoid the consequences of the so-called "fiscal cliff." That hasn't happened yet. Congress is ready to vote on a plan with no chance of Senate concurrence in hopes of shifting the blame for gridlock to the Democrats. The President, strengthened by re-election, is unlikely to back down. We look at what's at stake for taxpayers, homeowners, the elderly and the poor.
Is the threat from Russia missing from the Russia meddling probe? There's much being made about the Trump administration's possible ties with Russia. But the bottom line is Russia's effort to influence American democracy. Do the President and his aides care enough to take action before voters go back to the polls?
Replacing Obamacare: Now you see it… now you don’t As the Senate deliberates replacing Obmacare, health coverage for millions of people is at stake. There've been no public hearings, and a draft measure won't be made public. Is the House version so unpopular that that Senate is hiding a version that looks much the same?
What is Trump's plan for Middle East peace? On his first foreign tour, President Trump has promised "peace" between Israel and the Palestinians. Are there any details for re-starting talks that have been stalled for the past three years?
The longest US war: Will Trump send more troops to Afghanistan? The Trump White House is divided over the Pentagon's request for more troops in Afghanistan—where the US has been fighting for the past 16 years. Is there a formula -- either for "victory" or a political settlement? Is there an end in sight for America's longest war?