FROM John Cranford
Chaos Continues on Capitol Hill The lame-duck session of Congress is hard to keep track of. Today's sure thing is old news by tomorrow, and nobody knows how long it's going to go on. The tax bill and the omnibus spending package were dealt with last night, but what about " Don't Ask, Don't Tell ," the DREAM Act and the START Treaty ? Is Barack Obama "triangulating" with Democrats and Republicans, just like Bill Clinton? Is he abandoning principles or finally getting real? What are the prospects for next year when Republicans will take over the House? Will it be time to get down to business or the start of the next campaign?
Can Obama Trim the Fat off the Federal Budget? At his press conference today, Barack Obama again vowed to go over the federal budget line by line looking for wasteful spending. The President-elect reiterated his promise as part of his efforts to revive the economy. It's the kind of promise politicians seem to make over and over, without ever making substantial change. Will he really be able to tackle programs protected by special interests? What’s ahead for Obama's team? John Cranford, national editor of Congressional Quarterly, has been writing about the federal budget for 20 years.
Trump's ethical conflicts pile up as transparency diminishes President Trump's refusal to reveal his income tax returns is just one example of a lack of transparency that could be hiding conflicts of interest. Other conflicts are already obvious from his appointments. And he's being sued for using his job to increase his profits.
Truth and Lies in Trumpland Donald Trump is using mis-information like no President has before him. It's an unprecedented challenge to the news media, and a potential threat to democracy. We hear how the "leader of all the people" is dividing Americans and confusing the rest of the world.
In Janesville, WI, Middle America meets the new American dream Janesville, Wisconsin is the hometown of Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan. But he couldn't prevent the closing of the General Motors factory after 100 years. We hear what's happened to what once was a model of American middle-class unity.