Two Steps Forward, One Step Back: The State of Preschool in the U.S. | US News


“Most developed nations now offer universal preschool – even China has committed to pre-K for every 4-year-old by 2020,” Steven Barnett, the institute’s senior co-director, said on a press call Tuesday.

“Meanwhile, the United States has made little progress. This is no way to compete globally now or in the future. Our first step back to leadership is quality preschool.”

The report, “The State of Preschool 2017,” takes into account enrollment, funding, teacher qualifications and other indicators of program quality.

Source: Two Steps Forward, One Step Back: The State of Preschool in the U.S. | Education News | US News

U.S. Is Still Segregated Even After Fair Housing Act | The Report | US News


Before signing the Fair Housing Act of 1968 into law, Johnson called it “among the proudest [moments] of my presidency.” Because of it, he predicted, “Negro families [will] no longer suffer the humiliation of being turned away because of their race.”

Then, reality set in: Uneven enforcement, deep-seated, cultural bias and the bill’s own flaws allowed bigoted mortgage bankers and unscrupulous landlords to preserve – and profit from – the status quo.

Source: U.S. Is Still Segregated Even After Fair Housing Act | The Report | US News

Staff changes upend White House cyber team | TheHill


President Trump’s cybersecurity coordinator, Rob Joyce, revealed this week that he would vacate his post and return to the National Security Agency (NSA), ending a 14-month stint at the White House.

News of his planned departure came less than a week after the resignation of homeland security adviser Tom Bossert. The two men had become the face of the White House’s cybersecurity efforts, providing a line of communication between lawmakers and private industry to the West Wing.

Source: Staff changes upend White House cyber team | TheHill

GOP in retreat on ObamaCare | TheHill


Republicans are retreating from calls to repeal ObamaCare ahead of this year’s midterm elections.

Less than a year after the GOP gave up on its legislative effort to repeal the law, Democrats are going on offense on this issue, attacking Republicans for their votes as they hope to retake the House majority.

Source: GOP in retreat on ObamaCare | TheHill

America’s nuclear headache: old plutonium with nowhere to go


The United States has a vast amount of deadly plutonium, which terrorists would love to get their hands on. Under another agreement, Washington and Moscow each are required to render unusable for weapons 34 metric tons of plutonium. The purpose is twofold: keep the material out of the hands of bad guys, and eliminate the possibility of the two countries themselves using it again for weapons.

An Energy Department website says the two countries combined have 68 metric tons designated for destruction – enough to make 17,000 nuclear weapons. But the United States has no permanent plan for what to do with its share.

Plutonium must be made permanently inaccessible because it has a radioactive half-life of 24,000 years.

Source: America’s nuclear headache: old plutonium with nowhere to go

Some Republicans in Congress Are Worried About Asteroids Crashing Into Earth—but Not About Climate Change | Pacific Standard


Why would lawmakers, who seem prepared to think about long-term dangers to Americans, nevertheless deny that climate change is an important risk?

We cannot speak for the congressmen, but we quizzed everyone we talked to for this story. They came up with some interesting possibilities to explain a worldview that cares about asteroids, but is unconcerned about climate.

Eric Wolff, an Earth scientist at the University of Cambridge, notes that asteroids could come for anyone—regardless of socioeconomic status. With climate change, however, the wealthy—particularly those living in developed nations—have far more resources to move or adapt to a warmed world. D.C. politicians might not be inclined to worry too much about it.

Source: Some Republicans in Congress Are Worried About Asteroids Crashing Into Earth—but Not About Climate Change – Pacific Standard

Senate panel moving ahead with Mueller bill despite McConnell opposition | TheHill


Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) said his committee will take up legislation to protect special counsel Robert Mueller despite opposition from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).

“They got together, so I feel an obligation to keep my word and move forward,” Grassley said when asked if he would still give the special counsel legislation a vote.

Source: Senate panel moving ahead with Mueller bill despite McConnell opposition | TheHill

More than 40 Dem House challengers outraising GOP incumbents | TheHill


More than 40 House Democratic candidates outraised Republican incumbents in the first fundraising quarter of 2018, another booming fundraising period for the left.

By comparison, Republican challengers outraised Democratic incumbents in just two seats, according to the Cook Political Report.

Source: More than 40 Dem House challengers outraising GOP incumbents | TheHill

Six Takeaways From Trump’s Threats Against Rod Rosenstein | Lawfare


If the president fires Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, no one can plead a similar lack of notice. The warnings have been ample. On Tuesday, CNN that the president was considering firing Rosenstein with renewed “urgency following the raid of the office of the President’s personal lawyer.”

The Washington Post reported Wednesday evening that ousted White House adviser Steve Bannon is pushing the idea of firing Rosenstein as a way to “cripple the federal probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election” led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

According to the Post, Trump “yelled about Rosenstein and Attorney General Jeff Sessions for several hours Monday and has continued to complain about them since.”

CNN reported Thursday that the White House has begun prepping anti-Rosenstein talking points.

Source: Six Takeaways From Trump’s Threats Against Rod Rosenstein – Lawfare

IRS systems crash on tax day | FCW


The IRS electronic filing system crashed in the early-morning hours of tax filing deadline day, the acting head of the tax agency announced in a congressional hearing. The crash affected the transmission of tax payments from paid providers and tax software companies like H&R Block and Turbo Tax.

“On my way over here this morning, I was told that a number of IRS systems are unavailable at the moment” said acting IRS Commissioner David Kautter at an April 17 hearing of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

Source: IRS systems crash on tax day — FCW