FROM Craig Merrilees
Port Slowdown: Worrisome News for the Economy Since July, unionized dockworkers and shipping companies had been negotiating a new contract behind closed doors -- until a recent exchange of angry public accusations. Retailers, agricultural interests and others have warned President Obama about a slowdown at West Coast ports that could escalate into a strike or lockout, with tens of billions in economic losses. The Pacific Maritime Association says the International Longshore and Warehouse Union has orchestrated a slowdown at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. Today, there’s an added problem of a strike against two of the 1000 trucking firms that serve the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles. Thanks to Sasa Woodruff for production assistance.
Seventh Day of Strike at the Ports of LA and Long Beach Several hundred clerical workers at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach – without a contract for two-and-a-half years – began a strike last week. Other longshoremen honored the picket lines, and on the front page of today’s LA Times, you can see the result – a large photo of idle cranes and very large ships at anchor beyond them. The mayor says get this settled. And a question about that billion dollar number – from the man who says – that’s my estimate, and I don’t like it anymore.
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.
The Trump agenda: where's the beef? President Trump says big things are happening. After celebrating a House bill on health care, he doesn’t yet have Senate agreement. With James Comey’s public testimony scheduled tomorrow, the President today tweeted his selection of a new FBI Director. Is the Chief Executive all style and no substance? Later, terror attacks in Iran and conflicting claims about who’s behind them.
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?
Ex-FBI Director Comey tells his side of the story Today, former FBI Director James Comey came close to calling the President who fired him a liar. The White House denied the claim and called it insulting, but Republican Senators did not challenge Comey’s truthfulness. Many questions remain: did the President try to obstruct a federal investigation? Later, we’ll go behind the “velvet rope” for a look at 5-Star health care for the richest Americans.