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.
White House budget proposal slashes and burns President Trump's first budget request is considered dead on arrival in Congress — a familiar development in Capitol Hill. We hear what it reveals about the priorities of the new administration. What's likely to die… and what might survive?
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?
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.