What We’re Following
One issue keeps popping up as 2020 candidates head to the campaign trail: free college. From Bernie Sanders to Elizabeth Warren to Cory Booker to Julián Castro, a phalanx of Democrats running for president have made clear their appetite for ameliorating the college-affordability crisis. It’s a big shift from past years, when the idea was less mainstream and politicians proffered more piecemeal proposals. Yet candidates have wildly different views on what “free college” actually means. Some are angling for “tuition-free” programs, where the government pays for tuition but not other expenses such as books, while others are clamoring for “debt-free” plans that account for all those extra costs.
One small step for man, one big plan for the Trump administration: Since the last lunar mission in 1972, president after president has promised to put an American astronaut back on the moon. With the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing on the horizon, the Trump administration is in a frenzy to actually achieve that elusive goal. NASA has said that it wants to put a human back on the moon by 2028, and this time around it’s asking for aerospace companies to submit designs for spacecraft that can achieve that. The companies angling for the prize—which include Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and Northrop Grumman—have a gargantuan challenge ahead of them: NASA has half the spending power that it did in the 1960s. Trump’s urgency is in part a ploy to bolster his postpresidential legacy, but there’s still a big hiccup ahead of him: If he loses in 2020, the man-on-the-moon plan could go with him.