If your goal is get a clear understanding of how the world works, I'd recommend you transition away from current events news and into reading history. Current events gives equal time, sometimes greater time, to people that are incredibly stupid and will be thoroughly discredited in a short time. If you were about the War on Drugs in the 1980s, you were getting some now-discredited nonsense. You would've been much better informed and able to predict outcomes by reading up on Prohibition in the USA or what happens during any era with a ban on a desired product.
History repeats itself - bans and prohibitions pretty much always go the same way. Black markets emerge to deliver the goods if they're desired, this increases the price of the good and makes it lucrative. But disagreements in this lucrative trade can't be arbitrated in court because the trade is illegal. Thus, disputes are settled by violence. The need for enforcers, arms, and protection outside of the law is conducive to gradually centralizing gangs, cartels, mafia, and other organized crime. This is pretty much always the way with prohibitions on desired goods throughout history - and you could easily predict that if you study history, but it's far too easy to get distracted by charismatic talking points in a debate over current events.
If you want to learn about the American financial crisis, you'd do well to learn about banking crises throughout history. If you want to learn about public education, you could do worse than starting to learn about the Prussian education system.
I've found much more insight in looking back at largely resolved things than trying to sort through the mess of what's going on. Then when I find myself out at dinner and it comes up, I can say something like, "Well, at XYZ time in Japan they did ZYX, and the result was ABC. Do you think that will happen with this policy in America?" Thus, you're useful to the discussion because instead of rehashing one of the two mainstream viewpoints you can get on the news, you introduce new facts, and you'll inevitably hear about the mainstream viewpoints during conversation, debate, and discussion anyways. History isn't as sexy or charged as mainstream news, but you wind up becoming much better informed in the end, and you'll most likely still pick up the main viewpoints of events as they unfold.