FROM Dante Chinni
Does the Government Shutdown Matter Outside the Beltway? The government shutdown is having ripple effects beyond the furloughing of hundreds of thousands of federal workers. The CDC has delayed this year’s flu program; food-safety operations have been curtailed; so have some Head Start programs . Direct benefits to veterans and the disabled could be disrupted. If the debt ceiling’s not lifted, the world’s most powerful nation won’t pay its bills. But, despite the endless debate in Washington, that’s not what most people are talking about in New York City. In New York City and rural Kentucky, it’s hard to find people directly feeling the loss of government services. Elsewhere, it’s a different story.
Do America's Movers and Shakers Live in a (Beltway) Bubble? Washington, DC has now replaced California's Silicon Valley as the wealthiest metropolitan area in the United States. Is that putting policymakers, politicians and journalistic pundits out of touch with the problems of ordinary Americans? Is that why they've been so slow to address the housing crisis and unemployment?
Do America's Movers and Shakers Live in a Bubble? Metropolitan Washington, DC now boasts the highest median income in the United States, taking the place of Silicon Valley, the center of high-tech prosperity. In the nation's capital -- packed with lawyers, lobbyists and contractors -- unemployment and home foreclosures are low; housing prices are high. What does that mean for the politicians and journalists who try to assess the rest of the country and help ordinary Americans cope with a faltering economy? Will it really help to cut government jobs, or will that devastate the hinterlands, leaving Washington itself unscathed?
A Look at our Patchwork Nation It's often said that America is a divided country, but it's not just a matter of rich and poor or of Red and Blue. A new book argues that the "real" America is a lot more complex, and it identifies no less that 12 types of communities that experience the world and the economy in different ways. It's called Our Patchwork Nation : the Surprising Truth about the "Real" America. Its co-author, Dante Chinni, is director of the Patchwork Nation project, a collaboration of the Christian Science Monitor and PBS NewsHour, funded by the Knight Foundation.
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.
Terrorism and tweets, hate speech and murder Just days before an election, Britain is coping with a rash of deadly terrorism, and Prime Minister Theresa May is on the defensive. And again today, President Trump has tweeted criticism of the Mayor of London. Later, a double murder in Portland, Oregon has revealed the ugly past of a supposedly “progressive” city. One immediate question: is “hate speech” protected by the First Amendment?
Janesville and the American Dream Janesville, Wisconsin is the hometown of Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan. But he couldn’t prevent the closing of the General Motors factory after 100 years. On this Memorial Day rebroadcast of To the Point, we hear what’s happened to what once was a model of American middle-class unity.
The longest US war: Will Trump send more troops to Afghanistan? The Trump White House is divided over the Pentagon's request for more troops in Afghanistan—where the US has been fighting for the past 16 years. Is there a formula -- either for "victory" or a political settlement? Is there an end in sight for America's longest war?