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?
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?
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.