FROM Ron Haskins
Universal Pre-School Education: Poverty and Politics A few states subsidize pre-school for all their four-year olds, with the red state of Oklahoma leading the way. In last year's State of the Union address, the President called for early education to be made universal. The idea went nowhere in Congress. This year, he repeated the request , arguing that 30 states have raised pre-K funding on their own because, as he put it, "we can't wait." Polls show 60% of Republican voters in favor nationwide, along with 84% of Democrats. But the federal cost would be $75 billion. Will Congress give it a chance? Faced with long odds, the President says he'll build his own coalition of business leaders and others. Meantime, we talk with a parent in Oklahoma and others about the benefits of early education, including the impact on poverty.
Romney Claims Obama Gutting Welfare to Work Rules When Bill Clinton signed welfare reform, Democrats and Republicans agreed it would “end Welfare as we know it” by requiring recipients of benefits to seek work. Now Mitt Romney claims that President Obama has gone back on that promise. Last month, the Obama Administration opened the door for states to ask for more flexibility in running the federally funded welfare to work program. The Obama Administration now accuses Romney of hypocrisy, saying that, when he was Governor of Massachusetts, he asked for an option similar to what he now calls “gutting” welfare reform.
The Growing Problem of Hunger in a Struggling Economy The Great Recession has increased the number of Americans who depend on food stamps and food banks to get enough to eat. What kind of food do they get? Do food stamps carry a stigma and create dependency at the same time? Do private charities allow government to avoid dealing directly with the causes of poverty?
Free speech and the ideological fight for college campuses Conservatives claim that American colleges and universities are bastions of liberal orthodoxy, shielding students from alternative ways of thinking. What better place for a protest than UC Berkeley? What better agent of controversy than Ann Coulter?
Trump, the GOP and the rule of law Conservatives — and some Republicans — are criticizing the President for "the mess he made" in firing FBI Director James Comey. We hear about a potential successor, the possibility of "obstruction of justice" and the constitutional separation of powers.
Future of the Palestinians as Trump welcomes Abbas President Trump says there's "no reason there can't be peace" between Israel and the Palestinians… but the first step will have to be unity between the West Bank and Gaza. Are the Palestinian Authority and Hamas any closer to speaking with one voice?
Should we 'hack the climate' to fight global warming? The Paris Agreements won't be enough to reverse global warming, whether President Trump pulls the US out or not. Is it time to try altering the atmosphere by what's called "geoengineering?" We hear about unintended consequences, international relations… and ethics.