FROM Guy Chazan
The Oil Spill, the President and Public Perception President Obama walked the beaches of Louisiana's coastline today, picking up occasional tar balls as spectators held up signs saying "Help us Obama." The visit followed yesterday's promise to make sure "everybody in the Gulf understands" that the oil spill is his number one priority. As BP struggles to plug the Deepwater well, can he fight off the accusation that the growing disaster is "Obama's Katrina?" Was BP deceptive about the magnitude of the spill? Did Obama inherit a culture of lax regulation? What more can he do to illustrate that he's firmly in charge? We hear from supporters and critics in the US and Britain and update progress on "Top Kill."
Why Don't Facts Matter? "Fake News" may have a long history, but social media and 21st Century politics have brought it front and center. One reason for its appeal and its power is the tendency of so many people to cling to their beliefs — even when confronted with contradictory evidence. Today, another look at the Emotional States of America.
Is Venezuela becoming a dictatorship? Venezuela may have the world's largest oil reserves, but it's a nation in trouble… economically and politically. Is a populist promise to rescue democracy turning out to be a prelude to dictatorship?
The flight bumping heard around 'round the world Recent video of a passenger forcibly removed from a United Airlines plane is a worst-case example of what's happened since consolidation into just four US-based carriers. Management seems to be tone-deaf to a decline in service — and even abuse — of passengers.