On the Radar: Budget showdown, Trump, Bonds trial, Libya, Japan
Federal employees demonstrate against a possible government shutdown outside a federal building Thursday in Chicago.
April 8th, 2011
09:15 AM ET

On the Radar: Budget showdown, Trump, Bonds trial, Libya, Japan

Looming government shutdown - Congressional leaders of both parties are searching for common ground on a federal budget, working against a deadline of midnight ET Friday. House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, and their aides spent another long night negotiating, including a meeting with President Barack Obama at the White House. If an agreement is not reached in time, many federal government facilities - including national parks - and some services will shut down until funding can be re-established.

Trump - Recent "birther" convert and potential presidential candidate Donald Trump is set to meet Friday with an Arizona state lawmaker who is sponsoring a bill to require any presidential candidate to prove he or she was born in the United States. Trump, a real-estate mogul and reality TV star, told NBC that he has dispatched a team of investigators to Hawaii to establish whether Obama was born there. CNN has debunked allegations surrounding the president's birthplace.

Libya - NATO conceded Friday it may have accidentally fired on Libyan rebel forces Thursday but refused to apologize. Former U.S. Rep. Curt Weldon is still in Libya, trying to arrange an audience with leader Moammar Gadhafi to discuss actions Gadhafi could take - primarily, giving up power - to end the conflict. Forces on the ground continue to fight for control of the strategically vital cities of Ajdabiya, al-Brega and Ras Lanuf.

Japan - Engineers are back at work at the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant after evacuating the area Thursday because of a magnitude 7.1 aftershock. Three deaths and 140 injuries were blamed on the latest quake. Japan's government has lifted restrictions on vegetables from some parts of the country's north after inspections found radiation levels consistently below legal limits.

Barry Bonds - Jury deliberations continue Friday in the federal perjury trial of former baseball star Barry Bonds. The major-league home run record holder is charged with lying under oath when he testified before a grand jury in 2003 that was investigating alleged sports doping.

Ivory Coast - Defeated Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo was still hunkered down in the basement of his residence in Abidjan as soldiers loyal to him held off forces backing election winner Alassane Ouattara. "President Gbagbo needs to step aside," U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Thursday in Washington. "He has to cede power. This is his last chance. He has to mind the safety and prosperity of his people."

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Filed under: Budget • Ivory Coast • Japan • Libya • NATO • On the Radar
soundoff (55 Responses)
  1. Mark Natale

    Congressional Leaders, Senators, Ladies and Gentlemen,
    Letter of Concern:
    My name is Captain Mark D. Natale; I am a Paratrooper and communications officer for a USASOC (US Army Special Operations Command) unit stationed at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. I write this letter of concern today, not as an Army officer, but as a concerned citizen. The current Budget crisis that is unfolding in Washington has far reaching and dire implications to our men and women in uniform.

    I have had many Soldiers ask me “How will I support my family sir?”, “I can’t believe that I’m being asked to deploy to a combat zone with no guarantee of getting paid” and in every case, I have no good answer to give them. I write today to ask the members of Congress, the Senate, and the President to pass any measure, bill, or piece of legislation that will ensure that the men and women in uniform will not have a loss or delay in pay. In the military we have something called “second and third order effects”, which means that a loss/delay of pay to the members of the military will result in many people not being able to pay their bills, buy food and fuel, possibly miss mortgage payments, loss of child care and result in poor credit reporting, NSF bank fees and a possible loss of financial security over the long-term.

    Funding the military in this case is not about bombs and bullets, rather it is all about the people…the families behind the service members that have been asked to sacrifice so much already. It is irresponsible for us to add this burden and stress to the only segment of Americans that serve their Country in “Enemy Territory”. I am frankly surprised and disappointed that the 1% of the population that wears the uniform has to fight for financial security in our own nation.

    My concern is not about my bank account, it is about the 18yr old Soldier in Iraq and Afghanistan who is ready to go on a deadly mission in the enemy’s home turf and they hear that their wife cannot buy groceries, or that the rent check bounced. When I have Soldiers that qualify for WIC and other government programs it shows me that service members are paid too little to begin with, and taking away their only source of income is inconceivable.

    The impending government shutdown will destroy the confidence of our troops in our national leaders and will break many families. I cannot illustrate every possible outcome in this letter, but I can say with certainty that not taking care of our military members will be the biggest, single detriment to our National security and prosperity in recent history. Remember, that this shutdown doesn’t effect a nameless, faceless organization…it effects me, my wife, Sonia and my children Sophia and Gabriel…..and thousands more like us.


    CPT Mark D. Natale

    April 8, 2011 at 10:51 am | Report abuse |
    • Nonesense

      I work in a bank and will bring this up to my president, to not charge overdraft fees if one of our military members needs to use their overdraft courtesy due to not being paid because of the shutdown. We need to support our troops as much as possible, it is just irrational to punish our military members that gives them the freedom to have their congressional meetings in peace.

      April 8, 2011 at 11:45 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Philip

    @Dim Mak....prior to 1994, only crooked ranchers used dangerous drugs to make their cattle fatter because it was an illegal practice. Then, in 1994, Congress made it legal for meat and dairy ranchers to use growth hormones and steroids. If you buy your meat and dairy at Wal-Mart, it has been processed with growth enhancers because Wal-Mart only buys cheap meat so they can save themselves dollars...and save you a few pennies. As far as I know, Safeway refuses to buy meat and dairy tainted with these dangerous drugs. And most all Montana ranchers refuse to use them.

    April 8, 2011 at 10:58 am | Report abuse |
  3. Joey

    Ask anybody at your gym who appears to be taking steroids whether he uses them or not.
    His answer will include the word "never."
    I know. I've asked.

    April 8, 2011 at 11:11 am | Report abuse |
  4. chrissy

    good morning phillip! finally caught up with u @ last. and i cant believe trump is gonna start out his campaigne going after a dead horse, i mean dayum how many times we gotta hear this crap about where obama was born? aint nothing more important to do??

    April 8, 2011 at 11:14 am | Report abuse |
  5. Dim Mak

    @Phillip: You're a liar or misinformed. I worked at Sam's club and clearly marked on all their meats was a federal regulation code and an advisory stating that the product was processed under federal regulatory standards, and therefore free of steroids or hormones. I would challenge you to walk into any major chain and actually READ the labels instead of going to some .org website that has skulls and flames on its banner. You really have a few people on here thinking you are a plethora of information. There are additives like Sodium Nitrate that still are legal even though they have been proven to cause cancer. Any cured meat or hot dog will contain this and contributes to child Leukemia. Every chain sells cured meats though and people would never demand taking such delicious food off the shelves. In essence your supporting sleazy lawyer tactics to avoid making Barry Bonds responsible for his actions. Essentially if the bad guy is someone you disagree with then throw the book at him/her, but if it's someone you feel is a gnat then it's ok to break the law. Everyone knows politicians break the law, but as long as it's not them then it's no big deal right?

    April 8, 2011 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
  6. jj

    where is obombas frickin birth certificate??? i have mine you have yours we all have one except for him. seems to be simple matter that could be resolved with a flick of the wrist

    April 8, 2011 at 11:21 am | Report abuse |
  7. Dim Mak

    @Phillip: I worked at Sam's club before and all their meats have printed on the label the federal regulation that forbids hormones and steroids. Walmart owns Sam's club. Regardless you or I could never get away with lying to the feds, so Barry shouldn't be able to either.

    April 8, 2011 at 11:22 am | Report abuse |
  8. chrissy

    and it absolutely stuns me that our soldiers have to worry about feeding their families while they are in the most dangerous situations of any americans! all i have 2 say is shame on all u politicians and time to fire all of u and start over.

    April 8, 2011 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
  9. ThomasD

    Good letter, Mark. What a shame on our nations leaders that they would fail to insure our militarys livelyhood.

    April 8, 2011 at 11:32 am | Report abuse |
  10. Dim Mak

    @chrissy: My great grandpa was a gruff and tough old man and he always said that if you wanted action from politicians then you kill half to get the other's attentions. If not to that extreme then something similar needs to be done. This is getting ridiculous. Our social programs do nothing to require people to get off social programs and you've got people cradle to the grave on welfare. Other than elderly or handicapped nobody should get a free ride on the backs of the workers. Military personnel should come near the top of people we should look after.

    April 8, 2011 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
  11. Philip

    Hi chrissy! Good to see you again and I enjoyed your posts today. You too ThomasD. @Dim Mak...since 1994, it has been legal to process red meat using drugs. If you want to believe that even though it's legal none of our huge corpprate ranches use these drugs...well you go right on believing.

    April 8, 2011 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
  12. Wayne

    Well we are down to the final hours, and our congressman and leaders can not figure out how to work togather. So I have one message to our leaders in Washington. The American public is sick and tired of its leaders not doing their jobs, so I guess that means those leaders will be out of a job, and removed from their seats in congress when it comes time to re-elect them next term.

    April 8, 2011 at 11:56 am | Report abuse |
  13. Dim Mak

    @Phillip: Ok town crier and you keep on believing those you disagree with are the only ones who deserve to be held accountable while blasting politicians for doing the same thing. I'm sorry, but I worked in the meat dept and had to look at the labels everyday. The health dept would cite you if you used improper utensils even if they were sterile. The Mom and Pop restaurants I worked at took safety and sanitation far less serious when compared with corporate restaurants. I have no reason to suspect that such minor infractions were caught and such large infractions that you state get a free pass. You know it's 2011 right? It's not 1994 anymore and the law is still in place otherwise why would that particular law be printed on the label? I've got actual recent real world experience, so yes I will keep living my life. If it's so bad then why don't you join a political group and work to change the evils in society? Does that require too much effort?

    April 8, 2011 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Dim Mak

    @Wayne: Sooooo... Replace bum A with bum B then? That just happened supposedly. Didn't work

    April 8, 2011 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Dim Mak

    @Phillip: Just looked it up about the red meat and you are correct about certain steroids being used to increase milk production and speed muscle growth. So I owe you an apology there, but chicken is banned from steroids and hormones and even certain types from beef. Either way Barry Bonds lied instead of just admitting it, so how does that change anything? Wrong is wrong no matter who does it.

    April 8, 2011 at 12:13 pm | Report abuse |
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