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?
The flight bumping heard around 'round the world Recent video of a passenger forcibly removed from a United Airlines plane is a worst-case example of what's happened since consolidation into just four US-based carriers. Management seems to be tone-deaf to a decline in service — and even abuse — of passengers.
The US gets deeper into Middle East wars. What's the endgame? President Trump welcomed Egypt's President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi to the White House today… just one of the changes in America's approach to the Middle East since Barack Obama left office. We hear about that and the escalation of warfare as well as civilian casualties.
White House flip flops: NATO, Syria and China In less than 100 days, President Trump has contradicted himself on a host of foreign policy issues — Syria, NATO, China and Vladimir Putin’s Russia. Is it a strength — or a weakness — for the United States when the world of power politics never knows what to expect?