President Obama's plan isn't a certain deathblow for the West's oldest facilities. That's partly because a number of those units are already slated for closure.
The public is being kept in the dark about which states have applied for the lucrative grants, and what their actual track records are when it comes to preventing fraud and misuse.
David Bromwich teaches English at Yale University. A TomDispatch regular, he is the author most recently of Moral Imagination and The Intellectual Life of Edmund Burke: From the Sublime and Beautiful to American Independence.