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.
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?
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.