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Need to Know, April 1, 2011: Going to war without Congress, cities struggling with budget cuts

In January, Camden, N.J., one of the most impoverished cities in the country, lost half its police force in budget cuts. In a time when massive local and state budget deficits are threatening cities’ ability to provide basic services for their residents, how can struggling cities survive the financial crisis? This week, we visit Camden to explore possible solutions.

Also: Correspondent Maria Hinojosa continues our coverage of war veterans with traumatic brain injury and the families who have made tremendous sacrifices to care for them. And Jon Wertheim of Sports Illustrated magazine talks about his book “Scorecasting” and how behavioral economics plays out in professional sports. He recently offered a few tips on how to use economics to win at March Madness pools.

And: Jon Meacham speaks with Jeff Greenfield, journalist and author of “Then Everything Changed: Stunning Alternate Histories of American Politics” to speculate about how the trajectory of American politics could have changed drastically with just a few alterations in historical events.

Watch the individual segments:

Caring for wounded veterans with traumatic brain injury

Although Obama signed a law last year providing services to those caring for veterans with traumatic brain injury, most are still waiting for results. Maria Hinojosa investigates.

An inside look at struggling Camden

One of the poorest, most violent cities in our nation recently lost half its police force. We visit Camden, N. J., to see the challenges on the ground and explore possible solutions for the city.

The hidden influences of human behavior in sports

How does behavior, such as that of referees, play out in sports? Jon Wertheim, co-author of “Scorecasting,” explains. An out-of-control toy train also makes an appearance.

What if…? Alternate histories of America

Jon Meacham speaks with veteran journalist and author Jeff Greenfield about his new book “Then Everything Changed: Stunning Alternate Histories of American Politics: JFK, RFK, Carter, Ford, Reagan.”

Jon Meacham: Libya war didn’t follow the law

President Obama has placed himself above democracy in launching a military campaign in Libya without congressional approval, says Jon Meacham.

Watch more full episodes of Need to Know.

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    A symphony orchestra thrives in Congo, and we investigate faltering safety in work sites that police themselves. Also: South Sudan's historic election and Jami Floyd on the Dominique Strauss-Kahn case. Maria Hinojosa guest hosts.
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    How will Greece's debt crisis affect the U.S. and the rest of the world? Also: California's radical new approach to statewide redistricting, and journalists Brian Stelter and David Carr discuss "Page One: Inside the New York Times."
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    We explore the inner workings of a military organization's $17 billion effort to combat IEDs, and Jami Floyd discusses the ramifications of the Supreme Court's decision on the Wal-Mart case. Also: The science of what makes a good marriage.


  • don

    not a good place to move to with no body to stop crime

  • SaiFixIt

    I greatly appreciated Jon’s perspective. We are a nation of laws and the president, no matter what party, needs to obey the law. When he does not, we are only one step away from a dictator and all of our liberties are in jeopardy. This administration has routinely ignored the law (immigration, off shore drilling, health care reform) so it is not a big step to outright violating it.

  • Marketing sur internet

    Remember in 2008 when Paulson drew took the beast by the horns and only declared “In the event Congress refuses to vote in favor of this bale out, the market will explode?” Basically, that became an insurance for the economy to tumble when Congress refused to play along. The POTUS gave a shot to a similar strategy a few days ago with an apparent threat of a Sunday deadline but the oposition didn’t think much and rejected his bluff. It probably wont be the same if this last time limit gets broken.

  • Marketing sur internet

    Do you recall in three years ago when Paulson drew drew the line and stopped talking then said “In the event Congress refuses to pass this bailout, the financial sector will explode?” Basically, that ensured the market to tumble when Congress refused to play along. The POTUS attempted a similar strategy lately with an apparent panick of a Sunday deadline but the Republicans boldly rejected his bluff. Well this time might not be any good if this final deadline passes.