Kelly McEvers with the story of Zora, a self-made superhero. From the time she was five, Zora had recurring dreams in which she was a 6'5" warrior queen who could fly and shoot lightning from her hands.
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Host Ira Glass talks with contributor Adam Davidson about how Adam's teenage diaries are filled with his dream of someday becoming the prime minister of a country where he does not even reside.
Writer David Brock gives us the inside story of how we got to this point of bitterness. It is not a pretty story.
A judge in a suburban New Jersey courtroom wants the people who come before him to see the rules as fair. Including our reporter, David Kestenbaum.
Former Bush Administration official David Frum explains a very surprising fact about Bush's economic failure, as it relates to health care. Frum is a regular contributor to the radio show Marketplace.
Host Ira Glass talks about the way most political apologies go, and chats with a man named Derek Jones about similar sorts of apologies among preteen girls and King David, in the Old Testament.
In the war on terror, the government is rounding up foreigners, checking their immigration status, and then, sometimes, deporting them. It won't give out their names.
Though the name of the Federal Reserve includes the word "federal," it's not actually part of the government. It's an independent institution tasked with something very simple, but very huge: Creating money out of thin air.
News kept coming all week about the National Security Agency collecting data on the phone numbers we dial. Government officials are saying there’s nothing to be alarmed about.
Jonathan Chait of The New Republic and David Horowitz of Slate magazine each tell the story of the Florida recount. There is astonishingly little overlap in their accounts.
Alex Blumberg and NPR correspondent (and "Planet Money" reporter) Dave Kestenbaum examine what went wrong with the credit ratings agencies. When all these financial instruments that brought down our economy—the mortgage backed securities, the derivatives—were originally issued, the rating agencies (Standard and Poors, Moody's and Fitch) gave many of these things their top rating of triple-A.
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.
Unlike Reykjavik, some cities don't coddle citizens in their idiosyncratic beliefs about nature. We hear New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani react (with vehemence) to a man who believes New Yorkers should have the right to keep ferrets in their homes.
The story of how an understanding of Bible prophecy by the FBI could have prevented the tragedy at Waco at the Branch Davidians compound.
A campaign diary from writer Michael Lewis from four years ago, about a politician you've heard a lot about: John McCain...and the story of a moment when the opposite of normal politics became normal politics.
A small-town mayor tries to keep a developer from building in his town...and it results in the kind of snowballing fiasco by the end of which the town literally doesn't exist anymore. Alix Spiegel tells that story, which she produced with funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
In the 1970s and 1980s, a wave of non-white migration into Cicero begins, this one primarily Mexican-American. The head of the political machine is named Betty Loren-Maltese, whose husband, now deceased, was convicted for mob-related activity.
We got a new President, but after the recount mess in Florida in the fall of 2001 and the Supreme Court decision that ended the election, some people were having a hard time moving on. Why? Why couldn't they just let it go? Host Ira Glass talks with people at the inauguration.
Host Ira Glass talks with Jack E. Robinson, Republican candidate for Senate in Massachusetts.
The newspaper Military Times did a survey of 2000 active duty servicemen and women, asking them about the new president. Presented with the statement, "As president, Barack Obama will have my best interests at heart," 36 percent agreed...43 percent disagreed.
South Carolina native Jack Hitt discusses the Confederate Flag's prominent place over the statehouse.
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.
For over two decades, there's been a secret court in the United States called the FISA court (short for Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act). Its job is to authorize wiretaps on possible foreign spies and foreign agents.
Richard Ravitch has helped fix three governmental crises, including when New York City nearly went bankrupt in 1975. What's changed, to make it so much harder for him to solve the state's current financial crisis? Host Ira Glass reports.