FROM Nick Berardino
Official Favoritism in Orange County? Employees of Orange County told the Board of Supervisors last night they felt "betrayed" after an auditor's revelations that top county executives got unjustified raises of up to 33 percent in less than six months, at the same time hundreds of lower-level workers were being laid off and furloughed. The Orange County Register has reported the auditor's findings, the names of the beneficiaries and recommendations that could save the County $150 million. Last night was the Board's first hearing into the matter. Note: We asked County CEO Tom Mauk and two supervisors to appear on tonight's program. All of them refused.
Union Battle Comes to Costa Mesa City Hall Forget the South Coast Plaza and the Orange County Performing Arts Center. Local Republicans think Costa Mesa might be starting a political movement that spreads statewide. Many California cities are struggling with the rising cost of public pensions. Now conservative council members want to cut the workforce in half and outsource many jobs to private contractors. Republican leaders have visions of a mini-Wisconsin.
Trump's 'America First' goes missing abroad In the Middle East, President Trump is changing some policies of the Obama Administration—and reversing his own campaign attacks on Islam as a religion that "hates us." We hear about his visit to Saudi Arabia and what's at stake for the rest of his foreign excursion.
Replacing Obamacare: Now you see it… now you don’t As the Senate deliberates replacing Obmacare, health coverage for millions of people is at stake. There've been no public hearings, and a draft measure won't be made public. Is the House version so unpopular that that Senate is hiding a version that looks much the same?
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.
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.