FROM Thomas Langston
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."
Will the march for science politicize objective research? Protesters are gathering all over the country for tomorrow's Earth Day March for Science. Since President Trump has proposed massive cuts in basic scientific research, will the movement be perceived as partisan politics — whether scientists themselves like it or not?
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?
"Tough on crime" rhetoric sees a revival at Sessions' DOJ The pendulum swings between treatment-focused approaches to drug abuse and tough law enforcement. Now, after years of Obama-era "reforms," President Trump’s Attorney General, Jeff Sessions wants local police freed from federal restrictions to fight another "war on drugs."
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.