Exposed after the patents expired
Charter schools, test scores, evaluating teachers | Do politicians know anything at all about schools and education? Anything?|
Diane Ravitch poses a dozen piercing questions on education and school policy. Some of them turn conventional thinking on its ear, and each could be a starting point for reporting on elections, from the presidency on down to local school boards.
| Why did the medical establishment allow Pharma's 12-year bone scam?
Creating a phony need, getting treatment of it Medicare-reimbursable – and greatly increasing the danger of esophageal cancer and other serious health problems.
Racial disparities | A good reason to do away with mandatory minimums?|
New research shows that racial disparities in federal sentencing can be traced back to the higher likelihood that prosecutors will charge blacks with offenses that carry mandatory minimum sentences. And one of the researchers -- a law professor at the University of Michigan -- writes that it may be easier to change the law than to change prosecutors.
| What's wrong with attacking Iran? Better to ask: What's right?
A former CIA station chief sees no threat to the U.S. from Iran, but a huge threat from attacking Iran.
| Are the candidates repelling Republican voters?
GOP voter turnout in Iowa and New Hampshire has been lackluster. Reporters should pay attention to how many Republicans (not including crossover independents) vote in the upcoming primaries, and not just to the order of finish. Is the pattern continuing?
| Why pay attention to Iowa at all? Iowans don't.
With the entire country watching (or at least the entire news media), fewer than 20 percent of Iowa Republicans showed up to vote on Jan. 3. With such a scant turnout, why should anyone pay attention to the results? And, asks Gilbert Cranberg, shouldn’t party leaders consider dropping Iowa from the lead-off spot?
| Why does no one question the government blackbird massacres for industry?
The USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service kills millions of animals a year, often in grisly ways. And it does it to help private industry.
How many U.S. soldiers were wounded in Iraq? We have no idea
| How many U.S. soldiers were wounded in Iraq? We have no idea
The true number of military personnel injured in Iraq is in the hundreds of thousands -- maybe even more than half a million -- if you just go a bit beyond the Pentagon's narrowly-tailored definition of 'wounded in action'. So why isn't anyone keeping track?
| What’s the real plan behind the Keystone XL pipeline?
Why build a 1,700-mile pipeline when close-by destinations are at hand? Aside from posing serious environmental danger, might there be a negative economic impact? And what are the politics – why are the Republicans suddenly pushing the pipeline so hard?
The Murdoch/Ailes effect
| Why not make a Fox question standard in all news polls?
A new NY Times/CBS News poll finds Fox viewers in Iowa are nearly twice as opposed to Mitt Romney as are non-Fox viewers. It would be nice to know just how much of that difference is the result of biased coverage on an impressionable audience. Polls like this could help tell us, and also might expose, as Barry Sussman points out, the extent to which Fox coverage is tearing down President Obama’s approval ratings week after week.