News & Features

Clinton vs. Trump: Thoughts on the Presidential Race

Bob Neuman

It is becoming clear as the election nears that the Clinton base is relatively narrow and getting narrower. The stubborn “Berniecrats” and distrustful independents are a problem with a neat solution in doubt as the election nears. Yet another problem is the early assumption of solid support from non-white Americans has shown to be weaker than expected. The vaunted Clinton ground game may have been limited in key markets by the distraction caused by a much stronger primary campaign that drained assets meant to be used in the massive run-up to the November election.

Treating the Cause (not the Symptom) of Mental Illness

Anna Challet

While policymakers and government officials acknowledge the importance of mental health – the Surgeon General has named it one of his top six priorities – less attention has been paid to the root causes of poor mental health and to creating safe, supportive, and well-resourced neighborhoods and communities for people to live in. Mental health problems often start with difficulties in childhood, and if the work of youth service providers shows anything, it’s that addressing this will require expanding the current notion of what young people need in order to have good mental health. 

How African-Americans Are Left Out of the Marijuana Boom

Allison Keyes

Earlier this month, the Natalie M. LaPrade Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission awarded stage-one license preapprovals to 15 growers and 15 processors. None of the companies on tap for what are likely to be lucrative growing licenses is led by African Americans. “I think small guys were definitely not welcome to this game,” says Zulu, who says his primary reason for selling marijuana is to help senior citizens like his mother and others find relief from the pain of arthritis, eczema and other ailments. 

African-American Voters Have Plenty to Lose With Donald Trump

Jesse L. Jackson, Sr.

Trump’s personal history of racial bigotry includes a federal housing discrimination lawsuit; an ad calling for the death penalty of innocent young black males in the Central Park Five rape case; an attempt to discredit Obama’s presidency with the “birther” issue; innuendo suggesting Obama became editor of Harvard’s Law Review because of his race; a campaign demanding Obama’s educational transcripts, implying his admission to colleges rested on something other than intellectual merit; complaints that a judge was unable to treat him fairly in court because of his Hispanic heritage; and promoting false and stereotypical information about the black community.

The Plight of Whistleblowers: Reaping Rewards or Getting Benched

Angelo Franco

The largest payout ever given to an informant, the $104 million awarded to Birkenfeld were part of the IRS’s whistleblower program, which rewards informants up to 30 percent of collected funds and fines from pursued claims. Around the time of the award, the IRS was seeking to shrink potential whistleblowers’ payout, which drew fierce criticism from a number of lawmakers. The IRS program, which was revamped in 2006 to offer higher rewards and incentives, was created to encourage informants to come forward with allegations of potential wrongdoings in an effort to help the agency recover an estimated $100 billion a year of underpaid taxes. 

Eye on Virginia: Restoring Ex-Felons’ Voting Rights

Gary Gately

After four months of political and legal wrangling, McAuliffe, a Democrat, announced he had signed individual orders allowing 13,000 ex-felons who had registered to vote after the governor’s April order, including Banks, to re-register. Now Banks is eager to vote in the November election. “I mean, I want to rejoin society and be a productive person in society,” he said. “I learned my lesson from my incarceration. If you’re willing to come back to society, be productive and do what you’re supposed to do in life, they should welcome you back with open arms.”

What Good Political Leadership Looks Like

Jim Jaffe

On the one hand we’re told that politicians cautiously hold a finger to the wind before acting and lack the courage to get ahead of their constituents. On the other, when politicians step forward—as Obama did on the TPP or ACA or David Cameron did on EU affiliation or Angela Merkel on immigration—their positions are deemed proof of the growing gulf between the governing elite and the masses who would be impacted.

Should Seniors Face Tighter Gun Controls?

Dana DiFilippo

Older Americans have the highest gun ownership rates in the United States, with firearms in 40 percent of households headed by someone age 50 to 64 or age 65 and older, according to the Pew Research Center. And a disproportionate number of older Americans apply to carry concealed weapons, according to a 2012 study in the American Journal of Public Health. The reasons for such trends vary: older Americans tend to have more disposable income with which to buy guns; they’ve had a longer time to amass an arsenal; and many invest in arms as a way to counter the physical vulnerabilities that can come with aging. 

Is It Time for Queen Elizabeth to Resign?

John Lloyd

But the saner sources, or at least those who claim to be in the know, say she will never resign. The BBC, cautious to the point of timidity in its comments on the queen (it fired its director of BBC1, Peter Fincham, in 2007 for making the mildest of jokes about her) has ventured that she won't resign while she lives. It reminded us that her message to the Commonwealth on her 21st birthday contained the phrase, "I declare before you all that my whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service."

 

‘Pokemon Go’ Craze Will Soon Hit India

Nishant Arora

The Pokemon Go is available for download on Google Playstore and Apple's App Store in the U.S., Japan, Australia, the Philippines, New Zealand, Germany, Britain, Europe and Canada and is coming soon to India, Singapore, Taiwan and Indonesia. The mobile game, developed by U.S. software company Niantic and part-owned by Japanese videogame giant Nintendo, has topped over 15 million downloads and its servers are crashing worldwide owing to heavy traffic.

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