FROM Henry Aaron
Is Washington Full of 'Grownups'… or Not? In the aftermath of last week's atrocity in Connecticut, some serious pundits said Washington politicians might respond by acting like "grownups." The implication was that House Republicans and the White House would compromise to avoid the consequences of the so-called "fiscal cliff." That hasn't happened yet. Congress is ready to vote on a plan with no chance of Senate concurrence in hopes of shifting the blame for gridlock to the Democrats. The President, strengthened by re-election, is unlikely to back down. We look at what's at stake for taxpayers, homeowners, the elderly and the poor.
Congress Lurches toward Healthcare Reform As Congress grapples with five different proposals for healthcare reform, the nonpartisan Commonwealth Fund reports that Americans are dying too soon . Despite spending vastly more than other industrialized countries, the United States is near the bottom and falling further behind when it comes to so-called "preventable deaths" from diabetes, epilepsy, stroke, influenza, ulcers and pneumonia.
Congress Lurches toward Healthcare Reform President Obama says healthcare reform is "closer than ever," conceding what everybody knows, that there's still "a long way to go." There remain five different versions of the biggest government undertaking in 44 years, three in the House and two in the Senate. Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi must reconcile their respective committee reports to produce massive bills, hundreds of pages long, for debate and amendment. What's common to all five proposals and what are the major differences? What about coverage, cost, affordability and the "public option?"
Venezuela spirals into economic and political chaos Venezuela, a country whose potential for prosperity is unmatched, finds itself on the verge of civil war. What sustains the repressive government? With time running out, guest host León Krauze looks at what the international community can do to pull the country from the edge of collapse.
Is the threat from Russia missing from the Russia meddling probe? There's much being made about the Trump administration's possible ties with Russia. But the bottom line is Russia's effort to influence American democracy. Do the President and his aides care enough to take action before voters go back to the polls?