FROM Aaron Glantz
GI Bill Treasure Chest When the GI Bill was reauthorized in 2008, the idea was to ensure a middle-class lifestyle for troops coming home from Iraq and Afghanistan. But unlike the veterans of WWII, who spent their GI Bill money on universities like Harvard, Yale and UC Berkeley, the new wave of veterans are largely attending for-profit colleges. And according to a new investigation by the Center for Investigative Reporting, the University of Phoenix is raking in money from the GI Bill, but not leaving vets with much of an education.
Whistleblowers and Cover-ups at the VA The Veterans Administration runs America's largest healthcare system, with hospitals and clinics serving eight million people. Under the rules, veterans are supposed to get an appointment 14 to 30 days after calling for one. For years there have been reports that it takes much longer. Now there are claims that records have been falsified to hide that the VA has been paying bonuses to officials who've hidden evidence of how long it takes to get healthcare. In Phoenix, a whistleblowing doctor says 40 veterans died while waiting up to a year for appointments. Tomorrow, a Senate committee will be looking into claims of a widespread conspiracy, despite continued reports and the VA's official denials. Are secret waiting lists part of a cover-up? Would top brass resignations help fix Americans largest healthcare system?
The War in Iraq and the Role of Southern California The war in Iraq is a local story in Southern California. Octavio Sanchez was a Marine staff sergeant deployed to Iraq from Camp Pendleton. In July of 2005, while on patrol in Ramadi, his vehicle struck a roadside bomb. Two comrades died in the incident, but Sanchez survived to undergo 40 surgeries at Veterans' facilities and at UCLA. He's the married father of four, who lives in Fontana. Southern California is home not to just to veterans — wounded and otherwise, but to people left behind by the war. Military widow Nicole Hart, who met her late husband when they were 12 years old, has gone back to school where she's studying to be a photographer.
Mixed Messages from US diplomats on the new hard line on Syria Since President Trump's surprise retaliation against Syria's use of chemical weapons, Bashar al-Assad has used the same airport to launch conventional attacks on his own people. It's not clear what the US, its allies — or Vladimir Putin's Russia -- plan to do now.
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?
In Janesville, WI, Middle America meets the new American dream Janesville, Wisconsin is the hometown of Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan. But he couldn't prevent the closing of the General Motors factory after 100 years. We hear what's happened to what once was a model of American middle-class unity.