FROM Bob Huff
Jerry Brown Delivers His State of the State Tonight, Governor Brown made the first State of the State speech since he was elected last year, his eighth in all, he reminded the legislature, if you count his first two terms. He lost no time in demanding that, when his proposed budget has been enacted, voters will get the chance to decide if taxes that are about to expire be extended to save public services. Cities and counties have been up in arms over Brown's proposal to shut down redevelopment agencies and use the money for other purposes. In contrast to former Governor Schwarzenegger, Brown read from notes and ad libbed after applause lines. Before tonight's speech was written, Brown told reporters it wouldn't all be bad news, and tonight he talked about the state's vast resources.
State Moves Closer to Insolvency The budget drama continues in Sacramento, where the Governor and the Legislature are under pressure to close a $24 billion budget gap with no time to spare. But the partisan gap between Democrats and Republicans appears to be growing. A conference committee composed of six Democrats and four Republicans has rejected the Governor's proposals to eliminate welfare, healthcare for children and money for state parks.
Mixed Messages from US diplomats on the new hard line on Syria Since President Trump's surprise retaliation against Syria's use of chemical weapons, Bashar al-Assad has used the same airport to launch conventional attacks on his own people. It's not clear what the US, its allies — or Vladimir Putin's Russia -- plan to do now.
The US gets deeper into Middle East wars. What's the endgame? President Trump welcomed Egypt's President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi to the White House today… just one of the changes in America's approach to the Middle East since Barack Obama left office. We hear about that and the escalation of warfare as well as civilian casualties.
After Syria strike a new Trump doctrine emerges The President who promised an end to entanglements in the Middle East and snuggled up to Vladimir Putin has now outraged Russia with surprise missile attacks on Syria. That's raised questions about who's running the White House? We hear a variety of answers.
White House flip flops: NATO, Syria and China In less than 100 days, President Trump has contradicted himself on a host of foreign policy issues — Syria, NATO, China and Vladimir Putin’s Russia. Is it a strength — or a weakness — for the United States when the world of power politics never knows what to expect?