FROM Emily Wagster Pettus
A Stunner in Mississippi Just under 7000 votes edged six-term Republican Senator Thad Cochran over the line to victory in his closely watched race yesterday in Mississippi against a more conservative challenger, Chris McDaniel. Tea Party groups had targeted the veteran lawmaker as early as last year, hoping to take down a GOP fixture. House Majority leader Eric Cantor's shocking loss in Virginia two weeks ago added to the movement’s momentum. Money and resources poured into McDaniel’s campaign, which is partly why Cochran’s win comes as a shock to most politicos.
Will the Recession Push State Governments to Shut Down? The recession is wreaking havoc with state governments all over the country by vastly reducing the revenues they depend on from taxes on property, sales and income. Last night, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Connecticut , North Carolina , Ohio and California failed to pass balanced budgets by the start of the fiscal year.
Will the Recession Force State Government Shutdowns? States all over the country are losing revenue. Last night, North Carolina and five other states failed to resolve disputes over taxes and spending in time for the start of the new fiscal year. Without balanced budgets, Pennsylvania and Illinois face partial shutdowns; Connecticut and Ohio are barely limping along. California has run out of money, and the biggest state in the union plans to pay its bills with IOU’s starting tomorrow. Last night in Sacramento, Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger made a $24 billion shortfall $3 billion worse by blocking a stop-gap agreement with Democrats. What are the consequences for education, medical care and public health? Or is it a blessing in disguise if it forces fiscal responsibility on state capitols?
The Trump agenda: where's the beef? President Trump says big things are happening. After celebrating a House bill on health care, he doesn’t yet have Senate agreement. With James Comey’s public testimony scheduled tomorrow, the President today tweeted his selection of a new FBI Director. Is the Chief Executive all style and no substance? Later, terror attacks in Iran and conflicting claims about who’s behind them.
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?
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.
Venezuela spirals into economic and political chaos Venezuela, a country whose potential for prosperity is unmatched, finds itself on the verge of civil war. What sustains the repressive government? With time running out, guest host León Krauze looks at what the international community can do to pull the country from the edge of collapse.