FROM Mark Vitner
President Obama Addresses Shutdown After a week of failing to call Congressional leaders, President Obama did contact the four leaders of both parties in the Senate and Congress last night. But this morning, he showed no sign of giving in. So, in Washington, the political stalemate goes on while, around the country, so-called "nonessential" government services are out of business. We hear what the President and Congressional leaders are saying and look at the shutdown's initial impact. Despite Republican efforts, the Affordable Care Act began enrollment today with health insurance exchanges opening up around the country.
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?
"Tough on crime" rhetoric sees a revival at Sessions' DOJ The pendulum swings between treatment-focused approaches to drug abuse and tough law enforcement. Now, after years of Obama-era "reforms," President Trump’s Attorney General, Jeff Sessions wants local police freed from federal restrictions to fight another "war on drugs."
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.