FROM Jane Bullock
Is America Ready for the Next Disaster? Around the county, disaster planners at the state level are roasting the Department of Homeland Security . Since Katrina, they say, Washington has been trying to minimize its own exposure and blame the states for not being prepared. Despite past promises, they say, the states have not been allowed to help draw up what’s called the National Response Framework .
Is America Ready for the Next Disaster? At a hearing last week in Washington, the president of the National Association of State Emergency Planners , told Congress that, when it comes to disaster planning, he has "never experienced a more polarized environment between the states and the federal government." Oklahoma's Albert Ashwood said the legacy of Katrina for Washington is to minimize federal exposure while blaming states for not being prepared. As an example, he cited the National Response Plan , now revised as the National Response Framework--a formerly secret document leaked to Congressional Quarterly . State leaders say it's not a plan, and they don't understand it. A high-level veteran of FEMA during the Clinton years says federal agencies no longer know what they're supposed to do either. What are the implications for homeland security?
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?
Replacing Obamacare: Now you see it… now you don’t As the Senate deliberates replacing Obmacare, health coverage for millions of people is at stake. There've been no public hearings, and a draft measure won't be made public. Is the House version so unpopular that that Senate is hiding a version that looks much the same?
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.