In 2007, when President George W. Bush's White House representative Dana Perino was asked a question about one of the biggest foreign policy crises in American history, she drew a blank. "I was panicked a bit because I really don't know about ... the Cuban missile crisis," she later told NPR. "It had to do with Cuba and missiles, I'm pretty sure."
Is America still a land of promise? The biblical metaphor was used in 1785 by George Washington, who described the new United States as a "second land of promise." More than a century later, the progressive journalist Herbert Croly wrote: "From the beginning the Land of Democracy has been figured as the Land of Promise."
In next month's three presidential debates, President Obama and Mitt Romney will be asked a wide range of questions crucial to the future of America. But if history is any guide, they are unlikely to answer many of them. Even worse, most of us won't even notice.
September 30, 2012|
By Todd Rogers and Michael I. Norton
To some, the Chicago teachers' strike that ended Tuesday proves what they've been saying all along: That the teachers and their unions, when you get right down to it, care more about protecting bad teachers, seniority and pay than they do about what is good for kids.
AUSTIN, Texas - A friend is barely able to pay for a child's education. Another nearly loses her business. Yet another nearly loses his home. And for those who lose good jobs, like a woman in New York, "It's overwhelming."
"I'm so glad you talked about maternity leave," an obviously pregnant young woman said to me as I was walking out the door after giving a speech to a group of federal employees, about my book, "The New Feminist Agenda."
Unless you've been living under a rock, you know that the American economy is slowly and sluggishly recovering from one of the worst recessions in its history. Many sectors of the economy have been hit very hard by the downturn.
September 02, 2012|
By Adia Harvey Wingfield
Americans are having something of an anger management moment. Tweeters hated on NBC's coverage of the Olympics, campaign crowds heckle both presidential candidates, and viewers lost interest in the last season of "American Idol" because the judges were too nice.
Without a personal identification card issued by some level of government, you are a second-class citizen. You cannot board an airplane, ride an Amtrak train, buy a six-pack of beer or a pack of cigarettes, open a checking account, enter many public and some private office buildings or even attend an NAACP convention without proving that you are who you say you are. You cannot even qualify for means-tested public support programs such as Medicaid without valid identification.
August 19, 2012|
By Stephan and Abigail Thernstrom
The U.S. Postal Service is in trouble, and there's no telling whether it will survive. It's been battered by the Internet and a dragging economy, besieged by commercial competitors and stymied in its efforts to trim a costly web of post offices and delivery routes. On Aug. 1, it defaulted on a $5.5 billion payment to the U.S. Treasury for future retiree health benefits.
Even as the country struggles with slow growth and high unemployment, America remains resilient, capable of tackling great challenges including the looming year-end "fiscal cliff" and the vast national debt.