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Prologue

Host Ira Glass talks with Ben Calhoun about how Democrats are furiously trying to retake New York’s 19th congressional district. The sitting Republican is considered very vulnerable, and has been the subject of weekly protests that even have a house band.

Act One

When Jeff Beals learned who was going to run in the Democratic primary for NY-19, he was disappointed. Beals, a progressive, thought the Democrats jumping in were conventional candidates, ones who embodied what he thinks is a failed strategy for his party: raising lots of money from big donors and lobbyists, and buying TV ads.

Act Two

Beals is running against six other candidates, many of whom say they, too, are progressive. Beals disagrees.

Round One: The Brawl on the Mall

Reporter Steve Kolowich goes to the University of Nebraska where one new recruit to Turning Point goes out on campus to sign people up for her club. And that one act immediately devolves into a political battle of epic proportions.

Round Two: The Fiasca in Nebraska

The brawl on the mall of the University of Nebraska turns into a fiasco at the state capitol, as legislators try to step in and dictate what should happen at the university. (16 1/2 minutes)

Act Two: Flakes Second At Bat — Now With the President

Senator Jeff Flake goes to the White House and discovers a president who seems to be very open to doing whatever immigration deal the senate brings him. He spends an optimistic 24 hours writing a bill with his bipartisan partners.

Prologue

Ira wonders aloud, when it comes to DACA, with broad support from most Americans, including the majority of Trump voters, leaders of both parties and the president himself: Why is a permanent solution so hard? Why are politics so hard? (2 minutes)

Act One: Send in the Gowns

Marshall Project reporter Julia Preston and producer Jonathan Menjivar visit an immigration court in Laredo, Texas to find out how one of Trump’s mandates—to quickly expel immigrants from the US—is going.This story was produced in collaboration with The Marshall Project where Julia is a contributing writer. Julia’s print version of the story, “Lost in Court,” is on the The Marshall Project website.

Act Two: Fighting Amongst Demselves

Ben Calhoun spent months following some key leaders in the Democratic Party, to find out the party’s best strategy for the future. He got some answers.

Act Two: Flake News

Producer Zoe Chace has been following Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake for the last few months, reporting on the run-up to his re-election bid in 2018.