The story of the government cracking down on smokestack emissions at a city factory...even though the residents LIKE the emissions. We hear from Jorge Just, who explains the one, magical, special secret about Chicago no one outside Chicago ever believes is true, from Brian Urbaszewski, Director of Environmental Health Programs for the American Lung Association in Chicago; and from Julie Armitage, Manager of Compliance and Enforcement for the Bureau of Air at the Illinois State EPA.
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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.
Ira talks to reporters John Diedrich and Raquel Rutlidge, from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. They got a call from a landlord who said agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives had trashed his place.
After John and Raquel published their story, the U.S. Congress got involved.
If you haven't spent much time in the southwest, you may not know about this, but there are these border patrol checkpoints that are just in the middle of interstate highways and other roads... not at the border. They're as far as a hundred miles away.
In Iraq, everyone from the militant group known as ISIS to the government security forces and shiite militias have been putting on such a deliberate show. Each faction has its own videos, parades, flags, propaganda and counter-propaganda.
Sarah Carr is a reporter and blogger in Cairo, Egypt. Her blog inanities.org is regularly cited as one of Egypt's best blogs and English language news sources coming out of Egypt.
Reporter Sean Cole tells the history of getting warning labels onto acetaminophen bottles. In 1977 an FDA advisory panel recommended a warning about liver damage.
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.
At Guantanamo Bay, hearings resumed for Abd al Rahim al Nashiri, who is accused of organizing the attack on the USS Cole, in 2000. This week was the first time reporters had been back to Guantanamo since President Obama gave a speech in which he said he’d renew efforts to close the prison.
In the summer of 2006, an FBI official visited a mosque in Orange County, California. His intention was to reassure the community that they weren’t being spied on.
The story of Craig Monteilh continues: What happens when you turn someone in to the FBI who, it turns out, is working for the FBI? Trevor Aaronson, whom Sam Black interviewed for this story, has a book coming out called The Terror Factory.
There are about seventy thousand Americans living in mainland China today, according to the Chinese and US governments. A lot of the Americans in China only stay for a few years, but then there are others — American ex-pats who’ve lived in China for a decade or more with no foreseeable plans to come home.
Host Ira Glass plays tape from a political rally in support of a Chicago politician named Derrick Smith, who had just been arrested for accepting a bribe. His supporters likely believed that Smith had erred...but they also believed that the other candidate was even worse.
Producer Alex Blumberg tells the story of Jeff Smith, a former Missouri State Senator who spent last year in federal prison. The story of how Jeff ended up there includes large sins, but begins with a relatively small one.
Host Ira Glass plays a voicemail containing something very common but veryrare to hear: an elected official directly asking a lobbyist for money.
Planet Money's Alex Blumberg and NPR Congressional correspondent Andrea Seabrook take a tour through the world of money and politics, discovering just how much time members of Congress spend raising money and which committee assignments yield the biggest campaign donations. They also try to figure out what all this money is actually buying.For an interactive map of Washington DC fundraiser locations, charts of the best and worst types of fundraisers, and other online extras, visit Planet Money's website.
In the town of Nowthen, MN, residents held meetings to debate whether a police force is worth the cost. And in Springfield, IL, the state police motorcycle division has been cut, leading to an increase in highway fatalities.
New Jersey governor Chris Christie has led some of the most sweeping budget cuts in the country. Producer Sarah Koenig reports from Trenton, where one third of the police force has been laid off, leading to dramatically increased crime.
Perhaps the biggest proponent of smaller government in the United States is lobbyist and activist Grover Norquist, head of Americans for Tax Reform. He envisions a government reduced in size by half, and has compelled scores of conservative politicians take pledges to never raise taxes.
After the recession hit, Colorado Springs was in rough shape. City services were being cut left and right.
After a 2010 plane crash killed dozens of Polish dignitaries, including the president, some thought that the country would cross the political rift and come together to mourn. Reporter Amy Drozdowska-McGuire tells what happened instead.
Producer Ben Calhoun heads to his home state of Wisconsin, a place currently turned against itself in the form of Senate recall elections. Ben found that the old way of doing politics in Wisconsin has been flipped completely upside down.
For a look at the nuts and bolts of government job creation, This American Life Senior Producer Julie Snyder and Planet Money correspondent Adam Davidson attend a meeting of the International Economic Developers Council in San Diego.