FROM Brian Joseph
Politicians Waiting to Cash in on Special Interest Pledges With hundreds of bills to be voted on, the last week of the legislative session means chaos in Sacramento, and with hundreds of lobbyists on the scene, it's also the best time for legislators to raise money. To reveal any possible connection between votes cast and money raised, contributions are supposed to be reported in 24 hours. But the reports today on what could be a new scheme to avoid public scrutiny.
Capitol Chaos A lot of Democrats who had reservations held their noses today as the State Senate passed Mayor Villaraigosa's proposal for partial takeover of LA schools . Next up is the Assembly, which is likely to go along, too. But that's just part of the madness that reigns in the last week of this legislative session with 500 bills to be acted on--some of them really important--between now and adjournment on Thursday. We'll look at how chaos becomes business as usual at the send of a legislative session and how bills passed by several committees are completely transformed and still get votes from legislators who've never read them.
Who's to blame for the opioid crisis? Some of the lawyers who took on Big Tobacco are now going after Big Pharma. It’s all about the deadly epidemic of opioid use. Are the drug companies to blame? What about the users? Later, on today’s Talking Point: making sense of Britain’s upset election.
Trump's 'America First' goes missing abroad In the Middle East, President Trump is changing some policies of the Obama Administration—and reversing his own campaign attacks on Islam as a religion that "hates us." We hear about his visit to Saudi Arabia and what's at stake for the rest of his foreign excursion.
Venezuela spirals into economic and political chaos Venezuela, a country whose potential for prosperity is unmatched, finds itself on the verge of civil war. What sustains the repressive government? With time running out, guest host León Krauze looks at what the international community can do to pull the country from the edge of collapse.