FROM Micah Sifry
Can Obama Woo Back the Grassroots? The big story of the 2008 presidential campaign was the massive, grassroots army of some 13 million volunteers that Barack Obama recruited with the promise of change. The big question of 2009 was how those political soldiers could help accomplish the goals they fought for. Now, more and more of those supporters say they're being left out of the action by a White House that's all too comfortable with Wall Street and Washington's ways. Did Obama raise unrealistic expectations? Has he missed the opportunity to build a movement, or is governing just different from running a campaign? We hear from grassroots supporters, both current and former.
Will YouTube and Web 2.0 Change American Politics? CNN hyped last night's Democratic presidential debate at The Citadel in South Carolina as "revolutionary" because real people got to ask questions on video. Some students of politics and the media said the event would do for interactive Web 2.0 what the Kennedy-Nixon debates did for TV. Others called it just a tiny step forward, because CNN got to decide which questions the candidates had to respond to. Some 3000 thousand people submitted amateur videos that tackled everything from serious policy questions to sophomoric humor, including a question on global warming that came from an animated snowman. Did the format make for entertaining TV? Were the candidates more authentic? Did it finally come down to politics as usual?
Will the Senate write a healthcare bill in secret? While Democrats and Republicans argue White House relations with Russia, another question is being decided behind closed doors: who gets help buying health insurance and who doesn't? We hear how the pros and cons are being shrouded in secrecy.
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?
Replacing Obamacare: Now you see it… now you don’t As the Senate deliberates replacing Obmacare, health coverage for millions of people is at stake. There've been no public hearings, and a draft measure won't be made public. Is the House version so unpopular that that Senate is hiding a version that looks much the same?