FROM Robert Cruickshank
Jerry Brown: The Budget and Education Public schools, colleges and universities are already reeling after years of multi-billion dollar reductions. But the over-all budget gap will soon be $28 billion. At Jerry Brown's budget forum yesterday at UCLA, the Governor-elect discussed the dilemma with David Sanchez, President of the California Teachers' Association. The CTA President lamented that after all the budget cuts to K-12, "no more meat on this bone to carve, all that is left is amputation." Brown agreed that one wants to close schools, but reminded that no one wants to raise taxes either, and said it falls to him to bring people together to ensure the future of California.
Budget Deficit Grows To $16 Billion One place where news staffs have been reduced is the State Capitol, where the Governor and the Legislature face a deficit of another kind. The Legislative Analyst, Elizabeth Hill who gets paid for impartial analysis, says the gap between spending and revenue is 1.5 billion more than Governor Schwarzenegger thinks it is; closer to 16 billion than 14. But this weekend, the Governor approved cuts and spending shifts supposedly worth 7 billion.
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?
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.
Ex-FBI Director Comey tells his side of the story Today, former FBI Director James Comey came close to calling the President who fired him a liar. The White House denied the claim and called it insulting, but Republican Senators did not challenge Comey’s truthfulness. Many questions remain: did the President try to obstruct a federal investigation? Later, we’ll go behind the “velvet rope” for a look at 5-Star health care for the richest Americans.