FROM Clea Benson
Report Says Countrywide Loans Used to Win Favor Countrywide Financial, which helped create the sub-prime mortgage crisis, discounted hundreds of loans to members of Congress and officials of Fannie Mae, protecting its business and fending off regulation. That's the result of three years of investigation by a House committee chaired by Republican Darrell Issa of California. Clea Benson reports for Bloomberg News .
Update on the GOP Presidential Race: Politics Never Stops Two years of tax returns show that Mitt Romney paid about 14 percent last year on $21 million in income. This year's it will be 15 percent on another $20 million, about half the rate paid by Newt Gingrich and President Obama on much smaller earnings. At the same time, Romney's popularity's on the decline. Newt Gingrich claims his consulting contract with Freddie Mac did not make him a lobbyist, but polls show increasing doubts about him, too. We preview the last week of the Florida primary campaign.
Feds Bar Free Contraception for Undocumented Immigrants The Bush Administration wants California to make sure that poor women are legal residents or citizens before they get free help with birth control. That policy could cost the federal government more money than ever. We hear more from Clea Benson of the Sacramento Bee and Mary Jane Wagle of Planned Parenthood in Los Angeles .
Governor's Health Plan Gets First Formal Scrutiny In Sacramento today, the Senate Health Committee took the first legislative look at the Governor's healthcare reform plan . The Committee is chaired by Santa Monica Democrat Sheila Kuehl , who favors a very different approach . Clea Benson was there for the Sacramento Bee .
Schwarzenegger Calls for Health Coverage for All There are 36 million people in California--6.5 million of whom don't have health insurance. Governor Schwarzenegger would require everyone to buy health insurance and prohibit insurance plans from turning anyone down. The Governor's plan , which would provide a national model for healthcare reform, is getting more support from Democrats than from Republicans in his own party. Clea Benson, who reports from the State Capitol for the Sacramento Bee , reports on the details and the prospects.
State Assembly Approves Universal Healthcare The state Assembly has passed a bill creating a new state agency to replace the insurance industry and provide healthcare for all Californians. The Senate is expected to go along. But universal healthcare won't be a fact of life in this state any time soon. Governor Schwarzenegger doesn't like it and he's not expected to sign the bill. Clea Benson covers the Capitol for the Sacramento Bee .
Trump plays scolder-in-chief with NATO allies At the opening of NATO’s dramatic new headquarters in Brussels today, President Trump acknowledged that Article 5 — promising that “an attack on one nation is an attack on all” -- has only been invoked one time: in the aftermath of September 11. But the President failed to provide what 27 other Alliance members have been waiting for: a re-commitment by America’s new leader to Article 5. Instead, they got a scolding.
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?
White House budget proposal slashes and burns President Trump's first budget request is considered dead on arrival in Congress — a familiar development in Capitol Hill. We hear what it reveals about the priorities of the new administration. What's likely to die… and what might survive?