FROM Danielle Kurtzleben
Can voters believe that all their votes will be counted? Donald Trump is already raising questions about the outcome of the November election, telling supporters, "I'm afraid the election is going to be rigged. I have to be honest." While experts discount Trump's claims about "voter fraud," they concede that electronic voting is vulnerable to hacking. One advisor predicts a political "bloodbath" if Trump should lose, while the Clinton campaign calls him "a reflexive conspiracy theorist." Will the dispute lead voters to lose faith in the integrity of the electoral system? Is that the real threat to democracy in America?
Free Trade: Obama's Legacy and Your Pocketbook The Trans-Pacific Partnership would be the biggest trade deal in American history. It started 13 years ago, with Chile, New Zealand and Singapore, and now involves the US, Japan and ten other countries, comprising 40% of the world's economy. It's being negotiated in secret, but enough is known to call it "insanely complex," so Congress will be asked to vote up or down instead of trying to amend it. It would bolster the President's "pivot to Asia," but many Republicans like it anyway. Liberal Democrats see a Wall Street giveaway and more lost jobs. We hear assessments of the potential impact on the US, the Pacific Rim and you.
US Economy Added 295,000 Jobs in February The latest Labor Department report shows nonfarm employers added 295,000 jobs last month, while unemployment fell from 5.7 to 5.5 percent. Wall Street's looking for an increase in interest rates sometime this summer. But, not all the data are encouraging about the economy. That's according to Danielle Kurtzleben , economics and business correspondent for Vox.com.
When Childcare Costs as Much as College In the last twenty years the cost of childcare has outstripped every other item in the family budget. Meanwhile the quality of care is lower than any other developed nation in the world. According to the latest Pew Research Center study , a growing number of parents are opting out of the workforce as a result -- and despite the Lean-In and feminist revolutions -- the parent dropping out of the workforce is still, usually, a mom. Is the exploding expense of childcare setting back the clock on the women's movement? Should the government subsidize childcare as aggressively as higher education? Should the United States have federally mandated paid parental leave and more subsidies for childcare?
Trump's travel ban and the long-term agenda The Trump Administration's revised travel ban may be good news for some visa holders and others, but it's still being challenged as unconstitutional. Some reporters call it the beginning of a long-term effort to change the demographic make-up of the United States.
The airline electronics ban and what it means President Trump's Department of Homeland Security has banned all electronic devices larger than cell phones on some foreign airlines flying direct to the US. It's causing confusion as well as inconvenience. Is the motive really just increased security?
The 'deconstruction' of the administrative state President Trump has failed to fill high-level positions in important agencies — and some people he has named want to phase out the agencies they're supposed to lead. We look at the possible consequences for delivering services and providing security — and at top aide Steve Bannon's plans for "deconstructing the administrative state."
Getting answers on phone taps, Russia and leaking The Directors of the FBI and the NSA testified on Capitol Hill today there's no evidence for President Trump's claim he was wire-tapped by former President Obama. We'll hear about that and the investigation into Russian tampering with last year's presidential campaign.