Transcript

372:

The Inauguration Show
Transcript

Originally aired 01.16.2009

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Full audio: http://tal.fm/372

Prologue.

Ira Glass

This was not the most important speech Barack Obama gave in November. It didn't get much press coverage. In fact, it wasn't even important enough for Barack Obama to show up in person to deliver. He pre-taped a video. But for the people who saw this speech, it was a big, big deal. This was at the opening session of an international conference on global warming that had been convened in Los Angeles by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. Mary Nichols is in charge of creating California's climate change policies and is close to some people in the Obama camp. So she was one of the few people attending who knew that the video was on the program. Barack Obama had just been elected two weeks before.

Mary Nichols

A lot of us were still kind of absorbing the reality that we actually were going to have a new president. And I really wasn't expecting much more than a welcome, and congratulations, and I'm so glad you're doing this, kind of message. I really wasn't expecting anything of substance. So we're in this gigantic ballroom. And there's hundreds of people from all over the world.

Anthony Eggert

--from, I believe, over 50 states, provinces, and countries.

Ira Glass

This is Anthony Eggert, a senior policy adviser for the California Air Resources Board.

Anthony Eggert

Governor Schwarzenegger basically introduced the conference, welcomed the delegates--

Arnold Schwarzenegger

--want to welcome you all to the Governor's Global Climate Summit. This is a historic--

Anthony Eggert

--and then said we have a welcome message from our president-elect.

Arnold Schwarzenegger

--introduce a video from our President-elect Barack Obama, just to show to you--

Mary Nichols

And then the video comes up. There's Barack Obama just facing the camera and starting to talk.

Lucia Green

When I heard him come on it was really shocking.

Ira Glass

Lucia Green-Weiskel works promoting low-carbon policies in China. And she attended the conference with the Chinese delegation.

Lucia Green

Because I had been listening really carefully throughout the entire campaign about his position on climate change and frankly hadn't heard a whole lot of very specific commitments.

Anthony Eggert

Yeah. It was a bit frustrating.

Lucia Green

And he didn't spend a lot of time on it, from my perspective. And I wanted him to say, this is the most important thing. And he didn't say that. But then all of a sudden, he seemed to be saying that.

Barack Obama

Few challenges facing America, and the world, are more urgent than combating climate change. The science is beyond dispute and the facts are clear.

Ira Glass

Did you have any reaction when he said, "the science is beyond dispute?"

Lucia Green

I thought some people in the Bush White House might be like, hey, wait a minute. That's not what we were saying.

Ira Glass

In fact, everything about the way the speech was heard had to do with the last eight years and President Bush. President Bush, of course, did not acknowledge that human beings had anything to do with global warming until 2005, his second term. And even then, he didn't do much to fix the problem. In fact, his administration tried to block others from taking action. When California policymakers like Mary Nichols created regulations to curb greenhouse gases in their own state, the Bush administration went out of its way to strike down those state laws. And all of this informed how everybody in this room heard this speech.

Mary Nichols

I think there was a huge amount of pent-up frustration and anger. And now it was actually OK to say, it really is over.

Barack Obama

And once I take office, you can be sure that the United States will once again engage vigorously and help lead the world toward a new era of global cooperation on climate change. Now's the time to confront this challenge once and for all.

Ira Glass

Part of what's striking about this video is he is very emphatic. He says, now is the time to confront this. He says, delay is no longer an option. Denial is no longer an option. When he was saying those things, what did you feel?

Mary Nichols

Well, it was amazement. Because I never thought that I would hear someone who was the elected president of the United States saying those words.

Lucia Green

It was pretty emotional and pretty stunning in a lot of ways. And especially in the context of being among this Chinese delegation, I felt, wow, we elected this guy. And I'm proud.

Anthony Eggert

If I remember correctly, I may have actually done a fist pump.

Ira Glass

You did a fist pump to a video, a pre-taped video?

Anthony Eggert

I have to admit that I did, yes. Again, this was really a watershed moment in my career.

Lucia Green

As a professional, I had never felt that way. Because I've only been working as an environmentalist under Bush.

Mary Nichols

There were people crying. I had tears in my eyes, too. I can't deny it.

Ira Glass

Really? I have to say, you're a former federal official. I mean, you're a hard-boiled government--

Mary Nichols

I am. Yeah, well, I don't know how hard-boiled. But it's true. We don't do a lot of crying in public. But this was a very emotional moment. There's no question about it. It was just a ray of hope.

Lucia Green

We clapped. And they you have to stop really fast. Because it's a video. And he keeps talking. And then, you also want to hear what he's going to say. So it was kind of awkward applause-- very enthusiastic, but then very short.

Ira Glass

Barack Obama even laid out, in more detail than they'd ever heard, specific targets for reducing greenhouse gases.

Anthony Eggert

And he concluded with just kind of a simple thanks.

Barack Obama

Thank you.

Anthony Eggert

And there was a pause. And then everybody just stood up and gave this standing ovation which again, is also, I guess, intriguing. Because this is a video address.

Ira Glass

Right. He's on videotape. He doesn't know that you're standing up and clapping.

Anthony Eggert

Exactly, exactly. But I think it was just everybody was just so enthusiastic they couldn't help themselves.

Lucia Green

All of a sudden, the world seemed like a place where countries could come together and be productive again.

Mary Nichols

In general, people who are drawn to working in the environment are not usually optimistic. They're used to thinking about all the bad things that are going to happen, and fighting for every bit of ground. So this is one of those rare opportunities. To hear somebody who has the youth and the eloquence of Obama taking on this issue so clearly and strongly was just overwhelming.

Ira Glass

There are lots of people waiting for very specific things from Barack Obama. And since November, I think a lot of them have had moments like this one, where they realize, oh my God, this new guy really is president. And things might change. And of course, there are other people who do not welcome that change at all. And so today, the weekend before Barack Obama's inauguration as president, we have collected voices from all over the country, people talking about what's going to happen next with this new president who has raised so many hopes. Where are we heading together, you and me and everybody else in our country, after this January 20?

Well, from WBEZ Chicago, it's This American Life, distributed by Public Radio International. I'm Ira Glass. We have many, many people speaking about this today. The show is jam packed. Stay with us.

Act One. All Your Base Are Belong To Him.

Ira Glass

Act One, All Your Base are Belong to Him. So there are hundreds of thousands of Americans who aren't just getting a new president on Tuesday. People who work for the federal government, people in the military, are also getting a new boss. The newspaper Military Times did a survey of about 2,000 active-duty servicemen and women, which asked about the coming change. A third of the respondents said that they were optimistic about Barack Obama as Commander in Chief. Another third were uncertain. About 25% were pessimistic. Presented with the statement, as president, Barack Obama will have my best interests at heart, 36% agreed with the statement. 43% disagreed. President Bush, by the way, does modestly better than Barack Obama on that one. 49% agree that he is their best interests at heart, versus Obama's 36%. Reporter Peter Biello dropped in on the Pro Cuts Barber Shop in Jacksonville, North Carolina, just across the highway from the Marine Corps' Camp Lejeune. Peter talked to some of the Marines who were getting their hair trimmed.

Corey Williamson

At first, I was a little concerned. I'm very conservative in nature. My father's very conservative, as I am, but my sisters and my mothers are all about the change. So they're pretty up for it. So for a while there, it was pretty rough. Election night wasn't a good night in the family. There were a lot of arguments and stuff like that. But it was more on my part. I was upset about them voting for him. But I'm reading his book, and I'm kind of getting a better grasp of what he's really about. And it's a lot more promising than the media made it out to be. So--

Courtney Godsoe

Most Marines are against him, just because of the whole Don't Ask, Don't Tell thing that's coming out. But it's his choice so I'll go with it. He's my boss, well, soon to be my boss. But I really hope he does well for us.

David Weiss

I've been to Iraq three times and Afghanistan once. I was in Afghanistan in 2002. And I was in Iraq in 2003, 2005 and 2007. And through the deployments, I've seen tons of changes, as far as our equipment. 2003, when we were over there, we had no armored vehicles. That's for the initial assault all the way up to Baghdad, no armor on anything. And 2005, we started to get armor kits put onto our existing vehicles. And when we were over there in 2007, now the vehicles are coming up armored. So they're not as cumbersome-- trying to put 5,000 pounds of armor on a vehicle that's not meant to take it. And there have been advances. I think that those will continue to happen. And I don't think that he really has-- if he cuts defense budgeting, I think that money will still flow towards those avenues. Politicians can say a lot of different things. And it just-- they don't really have as much control as they think they do.

Ira Glass

That was Corporal David Weiss, and before him, Corporal Courtney Godsoe, and Corey Williamson, who is a Lance Corporal, all of them in the Marine Corps. We also visited with some military people who have direct contact with policymakers and hope to be dealing with the new White House. Nancy Updike went to the office of a veterans organization called IAVA, the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. It was started by a small group of Iraq war vets back in 2004, partly to lobby for body armor and other safety equipment for deploying service members. Now they take on a range of veterans issues, and they've been fiercely opposed to some of the Bush administration's policies, though the organization is nonpartisan and it's politically diverse, with a core of active and former military service members. Here's Nancy.

Nancy Updike

Everyone inside this tiny office is under 35, for instance, Todd Bowers, the Director of Government Affairs, who's 29.

Todd Bowers

I have a lot of friends that are Republicans. Myself, I'm a Republican.

Nancy Updike

Eight years ago, Todd volunteered for the McCain campaign. He's a staff sergeant with the Marine Corps Reserves. He'll be heading to Afghanistan in March. He described the extensive conversations he had with his dad--

Todd Bowers

Both my father and I tend to lean to the right.

Nancy Updike

--all through the election, right up to election night.

Todd Bowers

He would say, who is this Obama guy? Like, I don't understand how this is even a competition. What's going on here? And I remember speaking to him on election night, after Obama was elected. And I called my dad, and I said, hey man, what's going on? And he said, well, I got to tell you the people have spoken. And my dad is the most right wing guy that's out there. I mean, he's got assault rifles, lifetime NRA membership. My dad hasn't been won over by any means. I'm not going to say that. But he is definitely stepping back and just going to watch now. He's not going to yell and scream.

Nancy Updike

That sounds like that's a different stance for your dad, that if it had been somebody else, he wouldn't have even given a chance to sit back and watch.

Todd Bowers

No, he definitely would be clobbering it and saying, everything's going to fall apart. It's done. Like, I can't believe this guy got elected. He's going to screw it all up. He's not doing that.

Nancy Updike

Todd is willing to go even further than his dad. He's hopeful about the incoming administration, to his own surprise. But after two tours in Iraq, and almost two years lobbying for veterans issues, he's also got a list of things he wants to see get done fast. Number one--

Todd Bowers

Mental health injuries. If I get shot in the field, which I have been, you put a bandage on it. And you heal from your injuries. Mental health is the same thing.

Nancy Updike

Todd's challenge to the Obama administration is for them to set up mandatory, face-to-face, mental health counseling for all military service members before and after deployment, by the time he gets back from his deployment in December. And mental health in the military is not just some abstract policy issue in this office. Patrick Campbell sits behind Todd, a few feet away.

Patrick Campbell

When I came home from Iraq, I didn't know I had a problem. And it was only after I lost a couple friends and a couple other, better friends said to me, if you don't get counseling, I'm never going to talk to you again. And since I've come home, two of my fellow service members have committed suicide.

Nancy Updike

Patrick is a 31-year-old combat medic with the DC National Guard, also the chief legislative counsel for IAVA. He did a yearlong stint in Iraq. He's actually been tapped to be on sick call during the inauguration for the national guardsmen who will be working security. After the inauguration, he has a big decision to make.

Patrick Campbell

I actually have to decide if I'm going to reenlist. And if I do reenlist, I have to go back to Iraq in March.

Nancy Updike

When are you going to decide?

Todd Bowers

I'm going to wait a couple days. I've been doing a lot of praying about it, talking to family, and just waiting for the path to become clear.

Nancy Updike

Before Patrick's possible next deployment in March, President-elect Obama will face his first major test with IAVA and other veterans organizations. He will submit a budget. Tom Tarantino is a policy associate at IAVA and a former army captain who served for 10 years, and got through college on an ROTC scholarship. Tom gets his health care through the Veterans Administration, like a lot of his friends.

Tom Tarantino

I have several friends who have traumatic brain injuries. And the VA is going to be dealing with a very large population of men and women who were injured very early on in their life, and are going to need not just adequate care, but they're going to need to have excellent care for maybe the next 50 or 60 years.

Nancy Updike

Tom wants to see Obama continue full funding for the VA. It's been fully funded for the last two years, but those are the only two years the VA has been fully funded in its entire history. But besides what the Obama administration does, Tom will be paying close attention to how they work with veterans organizations. He said he's already seeing changes from the way things worked with the Bush administration.

Tom Tarantino

For the last four years, it's been a fight to get anything on their agenda, on the table, get them to support anything. I can't think of one VSO-- or, I'm sorry Veteran Service Organization-- that regularly worked with the White House on any issues.

Nancy Updike

Really?

Tom Tarantino

Yeah. I know that the White House had called the VFW a couple times, because they were opposed to the GI bill, and tried to get the VFW to back their position. But no. I think that's one of the things that we're all-- and I think, and I would say it's a pretty safe assumption that the veteran community, the VSO community, as a whole-- we're not going to fight with the administration for the next four years. Right away, the transition team reached out to the Veteran Service Organizations, and asked, hey, who are the 35 people you guys would like to see appointed to the VA? Which, of course, we almost did a collective spit-take when we got that phone call. Like, really? God. Which is a complete 180 from the way things have been working. This administration is looking very engaged. They're hungry. They're hungry to do things, and actually get down to work, which actually far exceeded, I think, at least my expectations.

Nancy Updike

No one is going to use cautious optimism as their campaign slogan. It lacks the inspirational grandeur of hope. It's not a crowd pleaser. But when the crowd goes home, and everyone's back to their day-to-day work and worries, cautious optimism is where people settle down and wait to see what happens.

Ira Glass

Nancy Updike, from Washington DC.

Act Two. Playground Politics

Ira Glass

Act Two, Playground Politics. About a week after the election, the kids who show up after school for homework help and writing projects at the literacy group, 826 Valencia in San Francisco, were so hyped up, still, about the elections, that one of the adults who works there suggested that maybe they should all write letters to the new president, with their questions and their advice and their thoughts, and they would publish it in a little homemade book. Well, this idea took off. And sister groups in six other cities did the same, resulting in a brand new book called Thanks and Have Fun Running the Country. We asked some of the kids to read their letters now.

Alexis Feliciano

Dear Barack Obama, one thing you could fix is the economy. Something happened to me. I went out to lunch at Starbucks and I wanted to buy a cup of whipped cream. And normally, it's $0.43, but now, it's $0.74. The price raised $0.31 for no reason. So you should probably try to change things like that from happening. You should keep an eye out for things like that. I wish you good luck. PS, I love whipped cream. Love, Alexis Feliciano, age nine, Brooklyn.

Chatham Singh

My name's Chatham Singh. I'm nine years old. I live in Los Angeles. I want to say to President Obama that could you help my family to get house-cleaning jobs? If I were president, I would help all nations, even Hawaii. President Obama, I think you could help the world.

Bushra Habbas

Hi. My name is Bushra Habbas-Nimer. And I'm eight years old. And I live in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Dear Obama, you are going to be a great president. My whole religion voted for you. I wanted to tell you that I am Arabic, and I heard that you were halfway Arabic. I think that you deserve to be the president because you are going to do smart and good stuff. From Bushra.

Chandler Brown

Dear President Obama, here is a list of the first 10 things you should do as president. One, fly to the White House in a helicopter. Two, walk in. Three, wipe feet. Four, walk to the Oval Office. Five, sit down in a chair. Six, put hand-sanitizer on hands. Seven, enjoy moment. Eight, get up. Nine, get in car. 10, go to the dog pound. Please enjoy your experience as president. Sincerely, Chandler Brown, age 12, Chicago.

Ira Glass

Thanks to the 826 literacy groups in Brooklyn, Los Angeles, Chicago, Ann Arbor, San Francisco, and Seattle. The book, again, is Thanks and Have Fun Running the Country. You can find it at the website of McSweeney's Magazine, mcsweeneys.net. We have more of the kids reading their letters at our website, thisamericanlife.org.

Act Three. Lions And Lambs.

Ira Glass

Act Three, Lions and Lambs. When Barack Obama chose Rick Warren of Saddleback Church to give a prayer at his inauguration, gay and lesbian groups, of course, cried foul because of Warren's past remarks about homosexuality and gay marriage. But Rick Warren's constituents also got angry. Pro-life groups, like Human Life International and Operation Rescue, condemned the move. When David Brody of the Christian Broadcasting Network asked for comments, he was flooded with angry emails about Warren from Christian conservatives. Here's a call to conservative talk show host Mike Gallagher.

Mike Gallagher

George, you're on the Mike Gallagher Show. Hi.

George

Thanks for having me on.

Mike Gallagher

You bet.

George

Number one, I don't expect much out of Obama. I mean, the guy's calculating. But I've got to tell you something. And I'm going to use a harsh word against Pastor Warren. I'm going to call him a hypocrite. Because I'm a conservative Christian, and for a man who stands upon a pulpit in front of many people, and sells all these books based on his core values, I just believe he's compromising them for the wrong reasons.

Mike Gallagher

Yep. I'm with you. I mean, personally, I wouldn't compromise in any way on the issue of life. I wouldn't give a speech at Planned Parenthood.

Ira Glass

Back in August, Barack Obama chose as a different pastor, Dr. Joel Hunter, to give the benediction at the Democratic National Convention, and it caused a similar storm among evangelicals. Hunter is the Senior Pastor at the 12,000-member Northland Church in Florida. He's author of the book A New Kind of Conservative. And just to get this out of the way, on the hot-button issues, he is pro-life, and against gay marriage. And he said, watching the reaction to Rick Warren the last few weeks, he's definitely had a sense of deja vu.

Joel Hunter

Well, they were calling me a traitor. They were saying, that you are being duped, you are being used. Somehow, you are so naive, you're giving strength to those who want to end babies' lives. And this is the most radically-left presidential candidate we've ever had, and so on and so forth.

Ira Glass

And so did you end up losing parishioners over this?

Joel Hunter

Absolutely. But we also ended up gaining parishioners.

Ira Glass

And did you find yourself engaged in pretty heated conversations with people you're very close to?

Joel Hunter

Absolutely, absolutely. And that's the toughest part of it. Because people that I've known for years, literally just got up and walked out of the church. I have friends that I was shocked when they left. They listened to all of this stuff about Obama. And so I think many people are still frightened or very skeptical about President-elect Obama. But it was more, you're getting out of the category here. Christians are Republicans. And you're weakening our chances of winning an election.

Ira Glass

What about this idea? It seems like their premise is that it's damaging for you to even talk to anybody on the other side. What do you think of that?

Joel Hunter

Well, I think that it's very harmful to our country. It's very harmful to the faith that we say we believe in. Because that kind of very narrow, very negative, very combative approach, first of all, does not give a good image to the one we represent. That was not Jesus-style. Secondly, if you're ever to make progress as a country, or even as a faith, the very ones you want to talk to are the ones who don't agree with you.

Ira Glass

Well, it seems like a lot of the difference in the way people see this depends on whether or not they see President-elect Obama reaching out as a cynical act or as a sincere act. And I take it that you obviously see it as a sincere act, of reaching out.

Joel Hunter

I do. Just from my time with him, this is who he is. I'm sure there's a political awareness, because he's very politically savvy. But I think this is how he sees the world. And this is how some of the rest of us see the world also.

Ira Glass

Yeah, let's talk more about that. Presumably, where you're heading with this is that there would be areas of common ground. Now, I know that one area that Barack Obama has pointed out as an area of possible common ground is he says look, there are two sides here that disagree about abortion rights, but probably agree that it's a good thing to reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies that lead to abortions. And so can we work together on that? Do you think that that's something where evangelicals would be open to working together?

Joel Hunter

Very much so. Very much so. There are a number of solutions to this, all the way from sex education-- including abstinence-- to contraception to supporting adoption. So absolutely. Let's work the full spectrum.

Ira Glass

Now, when you talk to friends, and read around what other people are saying, what's your sense of things? President-elect Obama reached out to you, and is reaching out to Rick Warren, as a way to reach out to evangelicals partly, and say, come on, let's have this conversation, let's see what we can work together on. Is that working? To what degree is he winning some people over?

Joel Hunter

It is working. It is working slowly. This is going to be a long-term thing. You've got to realize that there are organizations that profit from polarization. That's where they get their audience. That's where they get their money. That's where they get their popularity. And they're not just religious organizations. You can take talk radio or television shows that are made to incite battle, combat.

Ira Glass

But in a way, this gets to the heart of what Barack Obama was campaigning on. He was saying, well, let's do a new kind of politics. And in a way, you're saying the same kind of thing.

Joel Hunter

Exactly. Exactly.

Ira Glass

Can I ask you, Barack Obama announced this week that he's also, in addition to Rick Warren, he's chosen an openly-gay Episcopal bishop to also give a prayer at the inauguration. What's your take on that?

Joel Hunter

This isn't a religious service. And so I would be surprised if he didn't include a very broad spectrum of religious leaders.

Ira Glass

And it sounds like you see that as a positive thing too.

Joel Hunter

Well, yeah. It's in the nature of the occasion itself. This is about our country. This isn't about who's right theologically. This is about our country and including all the citizens of our country.

Ira Glass

So the picture I get from you is that I sort of picture you, and a couple people, and right now, Rick Warren, are all in the same position, dragging evangelical friends and neighbors towards the middle, and President-elect Obama dragging non-evangelicals towards the middle, all of them very reluctant, on both sides.

Joel Hunter

Well, let me phrase it a little bit differently. I'm going to give you a different picture. There's an old saying that you could always tell the scout on a wagon train because he was the one with all the arrows in him. And I hope I'm not going out of bounds there, being politically incorrect. But anytime you try to go to new ground, anytime you try to go to territory that you've not been in before, you're going to have resistance. But there's a whole line of people behind you that are kind of hoping you make it. And I think that's what we're seeing right now. There are people who are just waiting to get permission to think that way, to get permission to love that way, to get permission to walk out their faith that way. And I think that's what our hope is, this growing constituency of people who want to be cooperative.

Ira Glass

Dr. Joel Hunter. His book, again, is A New Kind of Conservative.

Act Four. Punching the Clock in the Enthusiasm Factory.

Ira Glass

Act Four, Punching the Clock in the Enthusiasm Factory. Well, over two years ago, long before the country chose Barack Obama, a company called Tigereye Design in Greenville, Ohio chose the man. The owners liked Obama as a candidate. And they approached him, and they asked if they could make buttons and posters and yard signs-- all that kind of stuff-- for the campaign, and for the campaign's online store, which opened for business the day Obama announced his candidacy.

Well, that turned out to be a very smart business move. If Barack Obama could do for the economy what he did for Tigereye, we would all be very, very lucky in these coming years. The company has been around for decades making promotional materials, mostly for Democratic candidates and for unions. But this turned out to be way bigger than anything they had ever gotten involved in. With the inauguration a week away, they are still cranking out merch. Lisa Pollak dropped by to watch them do it.

Lisa Pollak

This is the sound of hope. Or at least, the sound of hope being printed out on paper, cut into little circles, and stamped onto metal disks with pins on the back.

Lisa Pollak

These buttons that you're making looks like a presidential seal?

Lisa Bergman

Yeah. These are some of our new ones. And it says, I was there, 56th Presidential Inauguration, January 20. These are all going to Washington.

Lisa Pollak

This is Lisa Bergman. She's one of about a half dozen women cranking out buttons this afternoon. They're in a room that looks more like a crowded basement workshop than a high-volume assembly line for presidential swag. The process of making the buttons is surprisingly low-tech. The workers load the button parts into the machine-- printed fronts, metal backs, clear, plastic coating-- and then they hit a foot pedal. The machine stamps the parts together, and flips the finished buttons into a box. It all happens fast, hundreds of times an hour. The only thing that changes from day to day is the button's message. And lately, even that only changes so much.

Lisa Bergman

Truckers for Obama, Mohawks for Obama, cat lovers for Obama, bird watchers--

Lisa Pollak

In the last two years, Lisa and her co-workers have made more than 10 million Obama buttons. They've supplied the campaign's online store and they company's own website.

Lisa Bergman

--surfers for Obama, oil tycoons for Obama.

Lisa Pollak

Now, wait. Did you sell any of those?

Lisa Bergman

Oil tycoons? Not many, no. We really didn't. Motorcycles for Obama, scooters--

Lisa Pollak

When I ask people here to share their views on Barack Obama, the candidate, I heard everything from passionate support to complete indifference. Several people told me they supported Obama, and that that was a plus on the job. But they also said they'd have no problem making buttons for McCain.

Lisa Bergman

--snake lovers for Obama, totally sweet clowns for Obama, there's cheerleaders for Obama, skaters for Obama, muscle--

Justin Hemminger

Nobody's ever been this excited about a presidential candidate ever.

Lisa Pollak

I'm in the printing room now with Justin Hemminger, the company's head of online retail and a guy who measures excitement partly through button sales.

Justin Hemminger

We actually used the popularity of Obama merchandise to move a lot of the other stuff that we had from previous presidential elections that was in our warehouse. We had thousands of buttons from John Kerry, Al Gore, Clinton '96. We put one Obama button in a bag of 50 buttons with all the others on there, and people would buy them. We didn't actually start doing that until after the election. Because we didn't think anybody was going to be buying any of that stuff.

Lisa Pollak

Any of that stuff meaning the Kerry and Gore and--

Justin Hemminger

Anything, actually, at all, after the election. We were pretty much sure that the bottom was going to drop out on November 5. And as it turns out, that was, like, the biggest day we had all year.

Lisa Pollak

Barack Obama's popularity translated into sales in all sorts of ways that caught Tigereye by surprise. When the campaign started, the company had 30 employees. But last fall, at the peak of business, it hired close to 500, many of them temps. And they were running three shifts a day. They moved to a bigger building, built a few additions, and had to get a second warehouse for packing and shipping. But after the post-election boom, orders slowed down. The new hires were mostly let go. They're down to a staff of 50 now. And even with the inauguration a week away, the office is a lot quieter than it used to be. And with the economy the way is, it could be scary to know that your livelihood is, in some ways, tied to a nation's faith in a candidate.

Sandy Dehart

I'm kind of scared of the day that I'd come and might not see his face being printed on a shirt. I mean, that might be selfish, but it is job security. And I know there's a lot of people out there who don't have a job right now.

Lisa Pollak

This is Sandy Dehart. She's worked at the company five years.

Lisa Pollak

Do you wear the stuff?

Sandy Dehart

No. I work here.

Lisa Pollak

What does that mean?

Sandy Dehart

That means my paycheck pays my bills. I can't buy Barack Obama shirts.

Justin Hemminger

We're not banking on this being an income source for too much longer.

Lisa Pollak

Again, Justin Hemminger.

Justin Hemminger

You have to expect at some point the honeymoon's going to be over. There's definitely that element like, you got elected. You told me a lot of things that you were going to do. And now it's time to work.

Lisa Pollak

Yeah, what's the button for that?

Justin Hemminger

Yeah, exactly. It's like buying a t-shirt for a band. You buy the t-shirt of the tour that they're on. And it's the one that you want to see, because you're excited to see them. You don't buy the t-shirt of them making the record.

Lisa Pollak

Justin says the company's in a transition, trying to branch out beyond political work, and expand their pool of clients. They've ridden the wave of hope, just like Barack Obama. And now, just like Obama, they have to figure out what to do next.

Ira Glass

Lisa Pollak is one of the producers of our show. She has sworn holy vengeance on all computers, and hers, in particular. Tigereye's website is democraticstuff.com. Coming up, a man who's been working on the Obama campaign the last, oh, 76 years. That is in a minute from Chicago Public Radio and Public Radio International when our program continues.

Act Five. On the Court With the Clock Running Down.

Ira Glass

Well, it's This American Life. I'm Ira Glass. And today on our program, with just a few days before the inauguration of Barack Obama as president, we wanted to get a sense of how people are feeling around the country, about Obama and his coming presidency. And we have arrived at Act Five of our show. Act Five, On the Court with the Clock Running Down.

Well, Barack Obama's transition team made it clear this week that the incoming president plans to order the closing of Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp on his first full day in office. It's also likely, they say, that he will immediately suspend the military commissions held there. These are the special courts that the military has set up in Guantanamo that have been widely criticized as being unfair to the detainees. Sarah Koenig talked to one of the lawyers currently defending a Guantanamo detainee about all this, what's going on in Guantanamo, and what should happen next.

Sarah Koenig

One of the first things that Bill Keebler learned when he was sent to Guantanamo as a military lawyer was that whatever he was doing there, it couldn't accurately be called practicing law.

Bill Keebler

Because as a lawyer, you're used to practicing law. I mean, when you make an argument, or you make a motion, you think that you're going to get a fair hearing from a judge, that the judge is going to rule based on the law and the facts. And when you realize that you are perceived as-- and the right word is, a prop in a show, or a theater performance it is frustrating.

Sarah Koenig

Keebler doesn't relish saying things like this. He's a military man, a Navy officer, Lieutenant Commander William Keebler, not one of those lefty ACLU lawyers who's gone down to Cuba pro bono. Keebler describes himself as a conservative. He voted for President Bush twice. And when he volunteered to work as a defense attorney in the military commissions, he thought they were legitimate. But on his very first visit to Guantanamo, he began to realize how hopelessly stacked the system was against the detainees. His first client was a Saudi guy named Ghassan Abdullah al-Sharbi. al-Sharbi didn't want to be represented by Keebler, or any other lawyer, as a protest against the proceedings. He wanted to represent himself. In a regular courtroom, he'd have the right to do that. And it was Keebler's ethical duty as a lawyer to help al-Sharbi get that from the judge.

Bill Keebler

In a regular court, or a real court, when a detainee represents himself, the judge has to go through what's called a Faretta inquiry. He basically asks the accused, or the defendant, a series of questions that are designed to ensure that he understands that he is giving up his right to counsel knowingly and voluntarily, and he understands what he's doing. And he answered all the questions perfectly. He was a fluent English speaker, very well educated, smart guy, and said all the right things. And the judge basically excused us, and said, go back and talk to Commander Keebler-- or then, Lieutenant Keebler. Make sure you know what you're doing, and come back in here. And we'll finish. And we did that. We went back in, and the judge basically said, well, you know, I find this, I find that. Ah, but I find that the rules don't let you represent yourself. So your request is denied.

Sarah Koenig

In other words, in the military commissions, unlike in real courts, there was a rule saying defendants could never represent themselves.

Bill Keebler

You know, the judge went through this pretend Faretta inquiry, this complete hoax that was designed to make the thing look legitimate. It was a sham. It was a show. And when realize that--

Sarah Koenig

But who was the show for? Were there people in the courtroom observing who wouldn't have known the difference? I mean, was there press there?

Bill Keebler

Yeah. The media was there. And the press was there.

Sarah Koenig

Oh, the press is there. I see. I see.

Bill Keebler

Sure, and they're reporting on this stuff. And from the perspective of the outside observer, it looks like something is happening that's not really happening. And that's--

Sarah Koenig

And so were you sitting there thinking, what is the judge doing? I mean--

Bill Keebler

I thought we were about to win the issue.

Sarah Koenig

Oh, you believed it too?

Bill Keebler

Yeah. I mean, I was shocked. Oh, I was snowed.

Sarah Koenig

Oh, really.

Bill Keebler

And I was. I mean, I was snowed. And that really was, I think, the moment that just did it for me. That whole self-representation issue, or a question of forced representation, was a metaphor for the unfairness and really the hollowness of this process. That it so lacked legitimacy, that we had to basically force people to participate in it so that it would appear legitimate to the outside world.

Sarah Koenig

A year and a half ago, Keebler got his second assignment, to defend Omar Khadr, a Canadian citizen. You might have heard about Khadr's case. It's gotten a lot of press. He was accused, among other things, of murdering an American soldier, a medic, by throwing a grenade during a firefight in Afghanistan. He was just 15 years old, and badly wounded, when he was captured.

But unlike other kids at Guantanamo, Khadr was never given special treatment, as required both by international law and Guantanamo's own rules. Instead, Keebler says, he was tortured. He was at Bagram and Guantanamo during what Keebler calls the heyday of detainee abuse in both places. Keebler thinks the government saw Omar Khadr as a potentially great source of intelligence. Khadr's father was an enthusiastic supporter of the Taliban and Al Qaeda, and they all lived in the same compound as the Bin Ladens for a while. So Khadr's American captors treated him like an adult, and that was one problem.

The other, says Keebler, is that he believes that almost every aspect of the government's story about Khadr's supposed crimes is not true. So in a proceeding in December, Keebler wanted to introduce photos, photos that show Khadr buried in rubble from a fallen roof at the same time the government says the grenade was thrown, which he says proves Khadr couldn't have killed that medic.

Bill Keebler

I wanted to use the photographs legitimately, in connection with an argument, for why we needed a particular witness to be produced in Guantanamo Bay at trial. And I was going to use the photographs with the military judge to illustrate what this witness would say, how the photographs would fit into his testimony. I got up to make that argument, and the judge said, I don't need to see the photographs.

And then we proceeded to get into this debate, or this colloquy, about my need to use the photographs and his desire not to let me show the photographs, and his making arguments to the effect of, well, we don't know that the photographs are going to come into evidence yet. Well, that's the argument-- that's why you don't show things to a jury. But there's no jury sitting there. The only thing that's there is, there are reporters behind the bar who might see this information, and might realize this kid's been illegitimately held for the last five years. And so it's this use of quasi-legal arguments and quasi-legal rationales to basically facilitate a cover-up.

And eventually, at some point, I said, Judge, can I at least look at them on my screen? Because the way the courtroom down there works, you've got screens at the podium, and screens at the individual counsel tables, and for the judge. And then when it's published, it goes up on a big screen that everybody can see. And I said, well, can I at least show it on my screen so that I can make my argument and kind of walk through the photos verbally? And he said, sure, and then realized that the photos had come up on the prosecutor's screens, and that the reporters were peering over the bar to see if they could see the photos, and quickly said, no, no, I'll just give you witness. I'll just grant the motion so you don't have to show these photographs.

And that prosecutors were literally stumbling all over themselves like Keystone Cops to shut off the monitor so that the press couldn't see. And the court personnel were getting up and fumbling all over themselves to unplug the monitor so the photographs didn't come up. I mean if it wasn't so consequential, it would have been farcical.

Sarah Koenig

For months, Keebler says, the Bush administration had been pushing these cases forward, hoping to make it impossible for the next administration to stop them. Khadr's trial is supposed to begin just six days after Obama is sworn in. And there are pretrial hearings scheduled for the days just before and after Inauguration Day. Keebler flew down to Guantanamo the morning after I spoke to him to begin preparing for his trial, even though he anticipates the new president will pull the plug on the military commissions before it can start. He's betting Barack Obama doesn't want to preside over the world's first war crimes trial of a child soldier. Still, if the Bush administration wants to keep the show going for another few days, Keebler will keep doing his job as a prop.

Bill Keebler

We do have to continue to go through the motions. I mean, it's unfortunate. You would hope that the outgoing administration could sort of see the handwriting on the wall and say, there's no reason to spend time and money and move dozens of people to Guantanamo and disrupt lives for the purpose of having a trial that's never going to happen. But the policymakers on that side of things have not done a very good job over the last eight years. So I don't know that they would suddenly start making intelligent decisions in the final week.

Sarah Koenig

Keebler says there a lot more people in uniform than we might think who want Guantanamo and the military commissions to end, who want to get out of the business of holding and prosecuting these people, who want things to go back to normal. And it's not just defense attorneys. A handful of military prosecutors assigned to cases in Guantanamo have resigned in protest. One of them, Morris Davis, was the chief prosecutor there, and has now agreed to help in the case of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the so-called 9/11 mastermind. Morris said he'd testify for the defense. And just this week, Susan Crawford, a retired judge in charge of referring cases for prosecution at Guantanamo, became the first senior Bush administration official to say publicly that detainees were tortured there. It feels like the whole thing's unraveling. If Keebler could offer President Obama one piece of advice, it would be this.

Bill Keebler

Make a clean break as quickly as possible. There's nothing extreme or controversial about saying that we as Americans are going to provide fair trials for people in our custody accused of crimes.

Sarah Koenig

Barack Obama recently floated the idea that it could take a year to close Guantanamo, which annoyed a lot of human rights' advocates, including lawyers with the Center for Constitutional Rights, who wrote a recent report laying out how you could do it in three months. And even if the new president does close Guantanamo, we still don't know what he'll do about the CIA black sites, about secret prisons, about the prison at Bagram Air Force Base. There's more to Guantanamo than just Guantanamo.

Ira Glass

Sarah Koenig is one of the producers of our show. Seven years after the creation of Guantanamo, there are still 248 prisoners there.

Act Six. Vox Obamali.

Ira Glass

Act Six, Vox Obamali. Last week at the shoeshine stand outside of Sandy's Bar in New Orleans, some guys were talking about what an Obama presidency is going to be like. And they got onto the subject of that dog that he's going to adopt for his daughters.

New Orleans Man

Mister Arthur, what's the dog's name?

Mister Arthur

I don't know.

New Orleans Man

No, they don't have a dog yet. The dog hasn't made it to the show yet.

Mister Arthur

He got it.

New Orleans Man

But he ought to let the public name the dog. He ought to let the country name the dog. Let everybody put it, go online--

Mister Arthur

But you know, the dog is not that important.

New Orleans Man

Well, it's important for the children.

Mister Arthur

The businesses, though, are important.

New Orleans Man

Where are we going with this country?

Mister Arthur

Yeah, what's going on with the country? The most powerful place--

New Orleans Man

Is that pothole going to be at--

Mister Arthur

--in the world?

New Orleans Man

--Ursuline and Robinson for the next 20 years? Is that pothole still going to be at Ursuline and Robinson for the next 20 years, or what?

Mister Arthur

Well, that's not his job, though.

New Orleans Man

Well, it trickles down from him.

Mister Arthur

That's the people who's in charge here.

New Orleans Man

All that comes from him, and it trickles down.

Mister Arthur

That's from the mayor, up there at City Hall.

New Orleans Man

Listen at me. That comes from the president. It trickles down to the mayor. They give them that money to take care of their cities and their states, right?

Ira Glass

It's not clear exactly what people are expecting from an Obama presidency. We know from polling data that about 2/3 of all Americans say they think he's going to do a good job. 2/3 also agree that he's very likely, or at least fairly likely, to bring real change in direction to the country. 77% say they like him. All those numbers from an NBC News, Wall Street Journal poll, by the way. But to get a better sense of what people are thinking, we asked reporters all over the country to go out with microphones and talk to people. From the dozens of hours they recorded, here's some of the voices.

Woman 1

I thought this day would never come.

Man 1

I didn't think he had a shot in Hell.

Woman 2

No, I never expected to see a black man be elected president.

Man 2

I didn't think the country was ready for a black man.

Tommy Anderson

I live in Whitesburg, Kentucky. And my name is Tommy Anderson, and I'm 18 years old.

Mia Frederick

And what's your political affiliation, Tommy?

Tommy Anderson

I'm registered Democrat.

Mia Frederick

Very good.

Tommy Anderson

But you know what some people say about that? I got this friend who said that he voted Democrat but he registered Republican. And he said somehow that gives the Democrats the advantage. Kevin Howard said that. He said he just want to make the Republicans look bad, that a registered Republican voted for a Democrat. I voted for Barack Obama. I think there are people in the world that, in general, sort of are untrusting of politicians. God, it's just so hard to say some things. I mean, especially when it's someone who is black. Because there are not a lot of black people around here. And in this county, I don't know of any politician that's black. You go to the courthouse in Whitesburg and every seat is filled with a white person. I honestly think people just aren't used to that.

Ice Life

My name is Ice Life.

Glynn Washington

How old are you, Ice?

Ice Life

26. I just turned 26.

Glynn Washington

And what do you do for a living?

Ice Life

I'm an educator and an artist. I own an educational firm, here in Oakland. I think what Obama achieved is exciting. He's been elected the first black president of the United States. I think he's also become the president of the worst thing that ever happened to black people. So he'll become leader of 2 million black men in the penitentiary. He'll become leader of police brutality.

Reporter 2

Did you vote for him?

Ice Life

Yes.

Reporter 2

Do you feel happy about that vote?

Ice Life

I voted for Obama because I feel like I'd be hating on him if I didn't. It's the same reason I buy DVDs from a cat at the gas station. But I didn't vote thinking I'm going to change the world with this vote. Is a black man whose father was from Africa that had a baby with a white woman from here, going to an Ivy League college, and then becoming president of the United States the same as Marcus Garvey organizing 6 million Africans around the world? Is it equivalent to Martin Luther King at 25 years old leading bus boycotts? Is it the same? And they keep playing this like that. It's not the same thing. It is not. And really what I feel bad about, man, is all the black folks who I think are going to be disappointed as time goes on. They'll be like, what's going to happen with this thing and what is he able to do?

Jordan

My name is Jordan. I'm 17 years old. I think him being president, it makes me feel like I could do whatever. I could accomplish any goal that I set my mind to. I don't have to be like the way other people see us, as a girl in a video, or on a corner, or something.

Reporter 1

Is he a little bit of a superhero? Or is he a man in your minds?

Jordan's Friend

He's a superhero man. He's a superhuman, like Chris Brown. He's a superhuman.

Stetson Kennedy

I'm Stetson Kennedy. And I'm in Jacksonville, Florida, where I was born in 1916.

Ira Glass

And you were a journalist. I think you're probably best known for going undercover with the Ku Klux Klan.

Stetson Kennedy

Yes, I did that, and perhaps a score of other homegrown terrorist groups.

Ira Glass

Stetson Kennedy was speaking at civil rights rallies and writing letters and signing petitions and going to civil rights meetings starting in the '30s and '40s, when Jacksonville was pretty backwards. He told me that during the 1930s, he worked on the WPA's Federal Writers Project in Jacksonville, with the writer Zora Neale Hurston.

Stetson Kennedy

And one of the things she said was that it was Jacksonville that taught me I was just a little colored girl. Jacksonville was a popular meeting ground for the Ku Klux Klan, for example. Whenever the US Supreme Court would occasionally had down a ruling in support of civil rights, our Jacksonville city fathers would basically convene an executive session to overrule the Supreme Court, just as a spite measure, I suppose you'd call it. So it was very much that kind of town.

Ira Glass

And so what was it like when Barack Obama came to Jacksonville to campaign?

Stetson Kennedy

Yes, well, it was unbelievable. I'm still having difficulty believing it, you know? Something like 20,000 people filled the park where he made his address, Memorial Park. There were another 8,000 shuttled off to a nearby park, and stood in the mud. And the very idea that there was that many people anywhere, on the entire peninsula, supportive of the idea of not only an African American in the White House, but all the progressive policies, the democratic things he stood for, I couldn't believe my eyes and ears.

Ira Glass

What do you make of that?

Stetson Kennedy

Well, I'm glad I lived so long. It was a far cry. The Obama gathering was a good antidote for all the Klan meetings which have taken place locally. And I said to myself that I started working on the Obama campaign about 1932, and worked on it ever since.

Man 3

I thought of my grandfather a lot. About how he never thought he'd see a black man get this close, you know?

Man 4

I think it was a beautiful thing. I'm happy I saw it in my lifetime.

Woman 3

I don't think my grandparents would quite believe it. Like the walk on the moon, they'd say, I don't think so. That really didn't happen.

Katie Howard

I feel that we, as always, no matter who it is, need to make sure that we are praying for whoever it is that's going in to be the leader of our country. I am Katie Dullar Howard, and 41 and holding, for right now.

Mia Frederick

And where are you from, Katie?

Katie Howard

Kingdom Come Creek, Kentucky. So I feel concerned yet optimistic. And there have been a lot of things out there floating in this world. And so I pray that I find out that those were lies and that Obama shows me something that I can be very happy and respect him with. If he tried to change this country into a country founded on Muslim issues, I fear that. And I won't deny it.

Mike Comstock

I'm Mike Comstock. And I'm 48 years old. I was originally born in Seattle, came out here after a couple years at the University of Washington, decided to go to Montana State University. I'm a software engineer at a local firm. I don't belong to any party, but I tend to strongly believe in less government, so I suppose I'd say I tend to lean conservative.

Man, we're in for a tough next three or four years. Even now, we see the Israelis invading Gaza, and Barack hasn't said anything in a week. And people are worried, like, this is making you look bad. You don't even have an opinion on the subject. And already, there's investigations. What, Bill Richardson stepped down yesterday. There's still the Rezko thing. There's already scandals. And the guy hasn't even been sworn into office.

So to me, these are big red flags. I'm going, oh my gosh, this is scary. Now, to the average person, they're going, oh, but look, here's pictures of him on the beach in Hawaii. And he's so inspirational. And the press just loves him. He must be a great guy. Could be. But we'll see how long that love affair really lasts.

Man 5

Well, it wasn't my choice to have it go like it did.

Woman 4

And I keep hearing different, different, different. But the cabinet he's putting together doesn't look very different to me. It looks very old school.

Woman 5

When, in political discourse, have we assumed that someone who emerged from Chicago politics was a great guy?

Woman 6

I don't see him pulling troops. As far as I'm concerned, they could come home tomorrow. I don't have big hopes. And I don't have any fears, because I think it's going to be exactly what it's always been.

Adam Marsh

I'm Adam Marsh. I'm with a company called Empire Capital Partners.

Thomas Graff

My name is Thomas Graff. I'm a vice president at Northmark Capital.

Adam Marsh

I would consider myself to be a left-leaning Republican.

Reporter 2

And what about you, Tom?

Thomas Graff

I'm a Republican. I think the Wall Street people behind the scenes are scared to death. I think that as the government continues to take over the economy, there's a wholesale takeover of the private sector, a plan that Obama has-- we're going to have a --

Adam Marsh

I'll tell you.

Thomas Graff

--government owning a substantial portion of major industries? Is that what's going to come as an outcome of this?

Adam Marsh

What's going to happen in its place, is it's going to go back to more of the way, I would imagine, the World War II generation lived-- living within your means, being able to put 30, 40% down on a house, buying a home only when you can afford a home.

Thomas Graff

That's in and of itself a scary thought. Because that whole generation was one week away from being out on the street. There was no safety net. There was no savings. Are we going back to that?

Adam Marsh

Well, but is it a safe method also where middle America's been living on their credit cards, and their home equity? And so I think that everybody will be re-conditioned from the highest earners to the lowest earners in terms of being able to live within your means. Look, I've got a--

Thomas Graff

That's a scary thought that the government is going to try to condition us. That in and of itself is socialistic Orwellian type of speak that's scaring me now.

Reporter 2

But he's--

Thomas Graff

I'm scared that they're going to condition me to want to drive a hybrid, that they're going to condition me to use organic toilet paper.

Adam Marsh

Next year, they're going to make you hand out eco-friendly candy, too, on trick or treat. Of course, I know you wouldn't normally give candy out to kids, but--

Reporter 2

With all due respect, Adam is saying, basically, if I recall correctly, he said, people should live within their means and not spend money they don't have, I believe is what he was saying. And you're taking issue with that.

Thomas Graff

Yeah, I don't think there's anything wrong with using credit. There's no fun in living within your means.

Adam Marsh

Look, we're going into, I believe-- and again, it's just one person's view-- I believe we're in unchartered territory. We're in a pretty dark, in a pretty bad place. And how could you not root for somebody, Democratic, Republican, how could you root against a president?

Jack Halsted

My name's Jack Halsted. I'm a 64-year-old, well, I guess I could say, retired. I have a very small social security allotment that I'm trying to learn to live on. I voted for Obama. And I've been learning how to belch the president-elect's name. Now, there are two ways I can do it. I can either say Barack with one belch and Obama with another. Or if I really dig deep, I can say both words--

Reporter 3

I want to go for both words. The whole word.

Jack Halsted

All right. [BREATHING] I'm close. Don't distract me with your laughter. [INHALES] Barack Obama.

Man 6

Maybe we could get him in for three terms.

Woman 7

He did it, he did it, he did it. I was just so proud of him.

Woman 8

How do I feel about him? I love him. I just love him. I really, really, really love him.

Ira Glass

The interviews for our Vox Obamali were conducted by Davy Rothbart in Central Michigan, Barrett Golding of Hearing Voices in Helena, Montana, Mia Frederick in WMMT in Eastern Kentucky, Glynn Washington of snapjudgmentradio.org in Oakland, California, Katie Reckdahl and Eve Abrams in New Orleans, Michael Olson in Austin, Texas, and Bryan Parras with Nuestra Palabra in Houston.

Credits.

Ira Glass

Well, our inaugural show was produced by Alex Bloomberg and me, with Jane Feltes, Sarah Koenig, Lisa Pollak, Robyn Semien, Alissa Shipp, and Nancy Updike. Our senior producer is Julie Snyder. Production help from Andy Dixon and P.J. Vogt. Today is our very last show with our very capable intern P.J. Vogt, who we are very sorry to see go. P.J., we all wish you the best. Seth Lind is our production manager. Music help from Jessica Hopper.

[ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS]

Our website, www.thisamericanlife.org. This American Life is distributed by Public Radio International. WBEZ management oversight for our program by our boss, Mr. Torey Malatia, who told me that he heard that Barack Obama is going to quadruple the size of public radio. And he has a good source for that. Torey has a totally good source.

Tommy Anderson

Kevin Howard said that.

Ira Glass

I'm Ira Glass, back next week with more stories of This American Life.

Announcer

PRI, Public Radio International.