FROM Dante Chinni
Does the Government Shutdown Matter Outside the Beltway? The government shutdown is having ripple effects beyond the furloughing of hundreds of thousands of federal workers. The CDC has delayed this year’s flu program; food-safety operations have been curtailed; so have some Head Start programs . Direct benefits to veterans and the disabled could be disrupted. If the debt ceiling’s not lifted, the world’s most powerful nation won’t pay its bills. But, despite the endless debate in Washington, that’s not what most people are talking about in New York City. In New York City and rural Kentucky, it’s hard to find people directly feeling the loss of government services. Elsewhere, it’s a different story.
Do America's Movers and Shakers Live in a (Beltway) Bubble? Washington, DC has now replaced California's Silicon Valley as the wealthiest metropolitan area in the United States. Is that putting policymakers, politicians and journalistic pundits out of touch with the problems of ordinary Americans? Is that why they've been so slow to address the housing crisis and unemployment?
Do America's Movers and Shakers Live in a Bubble? Metropolitan Washington, DC now boasts the highest median income in the United States, taking the place of Silicon Valley, the center of high-tech prosperity. In the nation's capital -- packed with lawyers, lobbyists and contractors -- unemployment and home foreclosures are low; housing prices are high. What does that mean for the politicians and journalists who try to assess the rest of the country and help ordinary Americans cope with a faltering economy? Will it really help to cut government jobs, or will that devastate the hinterlands, leaving Washington itself unscathed?
A Look at our Patchwork Nation It's often said that America is a divided country, but it's not just a matter of rich and poor or of Red and Blue. A new book argues that the "real" America is a lot more complex, and it identifies no less that 12 types of communities that experience the world and the economy in different ways. It's called Our Patchwork Nation : the Surprising Truth about the "Real" America. Its co-author, Dante Chinni, is director of the Patchwork Nation project, a collaboration of the Christian Science Monitor and PBS NewsHour, funded by the Knight Foundation.
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?
What is Trump's plan for Middle East peace? On his first foreign tour, President Trump has promised "peace" between Israel and the Palestinians. Are there any details for re-starting talks that have been stalled for the past three years?
Replacing Obamacare: Now you see it… now you don’t As the Senate deliberates replacing Obmacare, health coverage for millions of people is at stake. There've been no public hearings, and a draft measure won't be made public. Is the House version so unpopular that that Senate is hiding a version that looks much the same?
The Trump agenda: where's the beef? President Trump says big things are happening. After celebrating a House bill on health care, he doesn’t yet have Senate agreement. With James Comey’s public testimony scheduled tomorrow, the President today tweeted his selection of a new FBI Director. Is the Chief Executive all style and no substance? Later, terror attacks in Iran and conflicting claims about who’s behind them.