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Prologue

Host Ira Glass with Dave Weigel, political reporter for Slate.com, about manufactured outrage in American politics, and how it's an effective way to bring in cash and mobilize your followers, as Christine O'Donnell and former Florida GOP Chairman Jim Greer have demonstrated.

Prologue

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.

Prologue

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.

Act Two: Mr. Hitt Goes To Washington.

Jack Hitt has spent the last two years watching the Obama administration lose the news cycle and war of soundbites to Republicans day after day. Watching the Democrats run away from issues like health care reform and middle class tax cuts, Hitt wonders if there is some secret long-term master plan the Democrats are deploying, or if they're just incompetent.