FROM E.J. Montini
Welcome to 'Sequestration' The leaders of both parties in both Houses of Congress met for less than an hour at the White House this morning, but there was no deal to prevent $85 billion in arbitrary, federal budget cuts go into effect today. As both parties and scores of Washington veterans have been saying for months, "Sequestration" was supposedly designed so it would never happen. President Obama says there was no way he could force Congress to negotiate. Republicans, of course, blame the President . We hear about the gradual impact of sequestration across the country. Is the US in a new period of austerity?
Guns and Politics in Arizona President Obama will be in Tucson tomorrow at a memorial for the six people who died in Saturday's shooting , including federal judge John Roll. Today, the relatives and friends of many other victims made public statements.
Guns and Politics in Arizona Arizonans are divided about the direction of their state. Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and the late federal Judge John Roll were both gun owners who opposed gun control . Giffords, who seems to have been the shooter's main target, warned during last year's campaign that "the rhetoric is incredibly heated," but she felt safe enough last Saturday to hold one of her "Congress on Your Corner" events in a Safeway parking lot. Are they now victims of Arizona laws allowing concealed weapons to be carried without permits, even in bars? Will Saturday's shooting lead to legislative change or will it be seen as evidence of why citizens need to be armed in case they need to defend themselves? Do permissive gun laws and Arizona's now infamous atmosphere of anger, especially about immigration , make for a dangerous combination?
Future of the Palestinians as Trump welcomes Abbas President Trump says there's "no reason there can't be peace" between Israel and the Palestinians… but the first step will have to be unity between the West Bank and Gaza. Are the Palestinian Authority and Hamas any closer to speaking with one voice?
Concern deepens amid Trump's controversies President Trump delivered today's commencement speech to the Coast Guard Academy in Connecticut. As he praised the accomplishments of the graduates, he listed some of his own… and made reference to reports that he leaked intelligence to the Russians and tried to shut down an FBI Investigation into his associates.
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?
Trump fires FBI Director James Comey Vice President Mike Pence took the Administration's lead today in explaining why the President fired the Head of the FBI, saying, "The president made the right decision at the right time." Trump's action is being compared to the so-called "Saturday Night Massacre" that led to President Richard Nixon's resignation in 1973.