The US and Britain are first in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and last among developed nations in taking care of their children. Is there a connection? We talk about imperialism, the welfare state, history and contemporary realities. Plus, House Democrat Howard Berman on his plan to bring the troops home from Iraq and, on Reporter's Notebook, genetic research shows that the ancestors of presidential candidates owned slaves. The candidates are John McCain, John Edwards--and Barack Obama.
FROM THIS EPISODE
Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other House leaders have a new strategy to unite their party around a new law that could bring US troops home by the end of this year. It's the brainchild of Los Angeles Democrat Howard Berman, an original war supporter, who says it would hold President Bush accountable for his recent increase of troops.
The US and Britain are the countries most deeply committed to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. A report from the United Nations United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund says they’re also last among developed nations in the quality of life for children. The Netherlands is Number One. UNICEF researchers looked at infant mortality, low birth weight, teen-age pregnancy, and child poverty. Is there a trade-off between military actions overseas and the needs of people at home? Are the US and Britain aggressive cultures that care more about power than social welfare? Do countries like the Netherlands get a free ride because of protection by the Anglo-American alliance?
Maria Margaronis, London Correspondent for The Nation
Andrew Roberts, British historian and commentator
Jared Bernstein, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (@econjared)
Charles Kupchan, Council on Foreign Relations / Georgetown University (@CFR_org)
Today's Baltimore Sun reports that ancestors of John McCain and John Edwards owned slaves—as did the family of Barack Obama. That's according to genealogical research and census records. Obama's father was from Kenya, his mother from Kansas. Two ancestors on his mother's side owned two slaves apiece more than 150 years ago. Obama's spokesman told the Sun his ancestors are "representative of America." Syndicated columnist Clarence Page, author of Showing My Color: Impolite Essays on Race and Identity, has more on the legacy of slavery and the presidential campaign.
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Touching down in fly-over country Dodge City, Kansas and Erie, Pennsylvania may have something in common. That’s just one surprise in “Our Towns,” a new book by James and Deborah Fallows. The veteran Atlantic magazine correspondent and his scholarly wife spent two weeks in each of 25 different cities. Their search for America’s character provides anecdotes, comparisons and distinctions after a journey of 100,000 miles.
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