When Barack Obama chose Rick Warren of Saddleback Church to give a prayer at his inauguration, gay and lesbian groups cried foul, because of Warren's past remarks about homosexuality and gay marriage. But Rick Warren's constituents—Christian conservatives—also got angry.
Host Ira Glass goes to a McCain rally in Lehigh, PA, outside of Allentown. Obama has double-digit leads over McCain in almost every poll.
Looked at one way, the current flailing economy is a victim of invention—Wall Street invention. Investors and banks and brokers created all sorts of stuff the world would've been better off without.
Host Ira Glass talks with Yale law professor Jack Balkin about what he calls the Bush Administration's "lawyering style," a tendency to fight as hard as it can, on all fronts, to get what it wants. Ira also plays tape from a news conference with New York Senator Charles Schumer, in which he takes the Justice Department to task for refusing to pay death benefits to the families of two auxiliary policemen who were killed in the line of duty, even though federal law grants those benefits.
Ira Glass tells the story of a little-known treaty dispute with far-reaching ramifications for our understanding of executive power. The dispute is between the President and one of his appointees...to the International Boundary Commission with Canada.
Ira Glass interviews Charlie Savage, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter for the Boston Globe, who's written a book called Takeover: The Return of the Imperial Presidency and the Subversion of American Democracy about the ways the Bush Administration claims executive powers that other presidents haven't claimed. Charlie talks with Ira about the current candidates for President and their views on the scope of executive power.
Ira talks about a specter who haunts the floor of the United States Senate and won't go away, who keeps showing up on TV and making speeches. That ghostly figure? John Kerry.
Two stories about people who suddenly realize they're the only ones around who value the separation of church and state. Paul Williams, a city councilman in Janesville, Wisconsin, wants to make sure a Salvation Army built with public money doesn't proselytize.
We hear a quick rundown of all the ways that Christian conservatives are making headway in advancing their values as public policy, why they think total separation of church and state is not what the founding fathers intended. And why they're wrong.
Host Ira Glass asks how it's possible that some people still don't know what they think of President Bush just a few days before election day.
Ira spends hours talking to James Hackett, known to his friends, and by the end of the story, to Ira, as Gig. He's a doctor in Cincinnati and a lifelong Republican.
In this election year, one question is rarely asked in a very direct way: Is the Bush Administration competent at conducting the war on terror? Every few weeks it seems like there's more news about how badly it's going: Senior Administration officials like Colin Powell now admit the insurgency in Iraq is growing; terror suspects like Yasir Hamdi (who supposedly were so dangerous that having a lawyer talk to them about their case would compromise national security) are released without trial because the evidence against them is so flimsy; there was the Abu Ghraib prison scandal; and just this week, the former head of the U.S. operation in Iraq, Paul Bremer, declared the problem from the start was that there were not enough troops there. Host Ira Glass discusses whether the Bush Administration is simply not very skilled at fighting terror with Richard Perle and James Fallows.
Writer Thomas Frank went on the radio show On Point to talk about his book What's the Matter With Kansas? The book is about how people in his home state keep voting for Republicans even though Republican policies aren't helping them economically. But the people who called in to the radio show didn't exactly see it his way.
Patrick Howell, a gay Republican from Orlando, goes on what might seem like an ill-fated hearts-and-minds mission at the Republican Convention.
One of the most civil conversations you'll ever hear between GOP members on opposite sides of the party's culture war. Log Cabin Republican Patrick Howell from Act One sits down to talk with Christian Republican Steven King from Act Two, to hash out their differences.
The FCC says it just wants a little civility on the nation's airwaves. And by tightening the rules on what swear words are allowed, government officials say they're protecting kids.
The President of the Maryland State Senate, Mike Miller, a veteran political operator, talks about the off-the-cuff remark in 1989 that many people say changed his life forever.
Host Ira Glass plays parts of a speech by George Ryan, former Governor of Illinois. When he was a state senator in 1977, Ryan was part of a successful coalition that voted to reinstate the death penalty in Illinois.
Host Ira Glass tells the enemy camp story the way we like it to be told.
Ira visits the border where Israel meets the West Bank and finds it's more like Scottsdale, Arizona, than he ever expected. We also hear from Tel Aviv advertising writer Erez Hadary, who created a bumper sticker that expresses Israeli confusion right now; from Rula Hamadani, a Palestinian who's feeling just as confused; and from journalist and historian Tom Segev (author of 1949: The First Israelis, Elvis in Jerusalem, and other books) about some very odd Israeli poll numbers.
Ira Glass travels through Israel with Adam Davidson, who speaks Hebrew and has countless Israeli cousins and other family members. They find that the entire country has moved to the right in reaction to Palestinian violence—so far right that at a cafe of leftists, they're no longer arguing about peace, but about whether the Palestinians are simply born animals or if they're taught to be animals.
Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr. already had one other man in his life who shared his name—his world famous father, the Jesse Jackson. But then right before his most recent primary race, an aide told him that he now had another Jesse Jackson to contend with.
Host Ira Glass explains that if we're going to war—as the President keeps promising—it's hard to understand what's in store for us. Today's show is an attempt to figure that out.
Ira talks with Chicago Public Radio reporter Shirley Jahad about white Chicagoans and Arab-American Chicagoans facing off, each side waving American flags and shouting "U.S.A."...and how each means very different things when they do it.