FROM Jason DeParle
Student Aid and College Failure As the gap grows between the rich and the poor in America's evolving economy, financial aid for college is supposed to be a great equalizer, but it's not working out that way. While 70 percent of wealthiest students graduate, just 26 percent of the poorest make it, even with $226 billion in aid for the academically qualified. Dropouts are left with tens of thousands of dollars in student-loan debt, but without diplomas to get good jobs to help pay it off. Is it time to reform student aid so it helps improve future prospects instead of making them worse?
Unemployed Get Tangled in a Frayed Safety Net President Bill Clinton signed a law he promised would "change welfare as we know it," partly with new emphasis on putting people to work. The idea was that, in times of crisis, states would still get families back on the rolls. But it's not working out that way. "Despite soaring unemployment and the worst economic crisis in decades, 18 states cut their welfare rolls last year." That was a lead sentence this week in the New York Times. Jason DeParle wrote the story .
Immigration: The Issue That Isn't There John McCain is at odds with the Republican Party base, while Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are courting Hispanic votes. So debate about illegal immigration has quieted down, at least for the moment. There are 12 million undocumented workers in the United States and 200 million people are on the move worldwide, mostly from poor countries to richer ones. We get some global perspective on an issue the next President of the United States will have to deal with. Cheap labor and remittances are among the benefits. Broken families, lower wages and cultural change are some of the downsides. Borders are open to money. What if they were open to people?
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.
Ex-FBI Director Comey tells his side of the story Today, former FBI Director James Comey came close to calling the President who fired him a liar. The White House denied the claim and called it insulting, but Republican Senators did not challenge Comey’s truthfulness. Many questions remain: did the President try to obstruct a federal investigation? Later, we’ll go behind the “velvet rope” for a look at 5-Star health care for the richest Americans.
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?
Human Rights in the era of Donald Trump President Trump’s UN Ambassador, Nikki Haley, said today the US might pull out of the United Nations’ Human Rights Council. Serious violators of human rights are members of the Council itself–and a US resignation could make things worse. Later on today’s show, now that he’s into his second term, comedian turned US Senator Al Franken is telling jokes again.