FROM Jonathan Last
Fiscal Cliff Forever; Saucy Scalia; and Double Pope Sequester madness begins today, the Supreme Court takes on the Voting Rights Act and gay marriage, a tough-sentence for Bradley Manning, and coming soon: a new Pope.
Should Americans Be Having More Babies? In the late 1960's, Paul Ehrlich warned that a Population Bomb was creating so many people they wouldn't be able to feed themselves within 20 years. The new book, What to Expect When No One's Expecting , is claiming the opposite: the root of America's problems is that the birthrate's declining. That means too few workers to care for the elderly, innovate and keep the economy growing. Is raising children just too expensive? Are liberated women working instead of staying home? What about abortion and contraception? Debate about population raises a host of hot-button issues, including immigration reform. If we're not producing enough people, why not import them?
Taking Stock of the First Debate In last night's debate , Mitt Romney was an aggressive challenger, not afraid to accuse a sitting President of not telling the truth. The consensus is that an aggressive Romney won the debate against Barack Obama , a President who was defensive and lacking in energy. We sample early reaction and ask how it might influence the remaining month of a close and hard-fought campaign.
Will Last Night's Debate Change the Momentum? In Colorado this morning, President Obama gave an energetic stump speech, but even Democrats agree he was uninspired in last night's debate compared to Mitt Romney . Republicans are cheering Romney's aggressive performance, and both sides are wondering why the President failed to seize several obvious opportunities. Was he out of practice? Was it part of his campaign strategy? Will a different Obama turn up the next time around? In the meantime, can Romney use positive news coverage to establish a lead among potential American voters?
Can Barack Obama Top Bill Clinton? For almost an hour, former President Bill Clinton had the delegates on their feet last night, mixing details about policy with warnings about a potential Republican victory. It was vintage Clinton — blistering Mitt Romney 's Republicans at the same time he was advocating cooperation. Even when he got wonkish, it was clear that both the audience and Clinton were having fun. Reporters, commentators and delegates all agree that he'll be a tough act to follow. We hear excerpts, informed analysis and predictions of what to expect tonight when the nominee for re-election finally takes the stage. We also ask delegates from several states to describe the convention experience. To the Point is broadcasting live from the Democratic convention all week. You can find extended interviews, pictures and more at KCRW.org/election2012 .
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 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?
Venezuela spirals into economic and political chaos Venezuela, a country whose potential for prosperity is unmatched, finds itself on the verge of civil war. What sustains the repressive government? With time running out, guest host León Krauze looks at what the international community can do to pull the country from the edge of collapse.
Will the Senate write a healthcare bill in secret? While Democrats and Republicans argue White House relations with Russia, another question is being decided behind closed doors: who gets help buying health insurance and who doesn't? We hear how the pros and cons are being shrouded in secrecy.