FROM Anna Greenberg
Healthcare: Policy and Partisan Politics Some 40 Democrats and Republicans joined the televised healthcare summit today, with President Obama asking not where they differed but where they agreed. The President began today’s summit claiming that politics has trumped common sense. The Republicans responded that restructuring 17% of the economy is too ambitious for a single 2400-page bill. Will a rare chance for voters to see elected officials tackle the details of substantive issues make any difference on Capitol Hill or in this year’s elections?
Will 'Values Voters' Turn to the Economy? To upset Barack Obama next Tuesday, John McCain is counting on a conservative base in small towns, energized by running-mate Sarah Palin . It's the so-called "values vote," focused on social issues -- abortion, gay marriage and gun rights -- as well as cutting the size of government. Four years ago, Thomas Frank published What's the Matter with Kansas? , raising a question about the so-called "values voters" who were crucial to the election and re-election of George W. Bush. This year, big parts of America's "Heartland" have become battlegrounds between McCain and Obama. Is that a temporary phenomenon or will there be lasting political consequences? Is the economy trumping the culture wars? Has the population changed in the past eight years?
Iraq and the War on Terror: Politics and Reality This year's elections are crucial to President Bush, and he wants fellow Republicans to focus on the war in Iraq as part of the war on terror. He says Democrats who want a timetable for pulling out of Iraq are wrong not to recognize the connection. But a poll released today by CBS and the New York Times says 51% of Americans don't see the connection, either. Democrats hope that means national security will be their issue for the first time in decades. We look at the political consequences of the President's determination to "stay the course" in Iraq. We'll also look at the reality on the ground. Will the current strategy accomplish the mission? Is the war in Iraq making it harder to fight the war on terror?
"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."
Why Don't Facts Matter? "Fake News" may have a long history, but social media and 21st Century politics have brought it front and center. One reason for its appeal and its power is the tendency of so many people to cling to their beliefs — even when confronted with contradictory evidence. Today, another look at the Emotional States of America.
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.