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.
To understand how Cicero reacted when Hispanics started flooding into town, you have to understand how it dealt with conflict in the past. For a period the town was run by Al Capone, and the mob was connected to Town Hall for most of the twentieth century.
Despite the town's resistance, Hispanics now make up three quarters of the population. And yet the incumbent Town President, Betty Loren-Maltese, seems likely to win the next election.
Two stories about daily life in Cicero. First the tale of Dave Boyle, who stumbled into Cicero politics accidentally in the 1980s, suffered the bruises, and left town.
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.
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.
When it comes to political fighting, there's no more intimate a space than a marriage, where you have to get along. Where you have to figure out how to move on and get over disagreement.
We return to the Supreme Court case of Bush vs. Gore to try to better understand why the majority ruled the way it did...and whether the decision was in fact as outrageous as many critics said it was.
A chat with Reverend Richard Harris, an African-American minister in Florida who's trying not to be angry about the election...because it's against his religion.
Host Ira Glass talks with Bennett Miller and Matt Futterman about a campaign for student government that changed the way student elections were done in Mamaroneck High School back in 1985. Futterman, in the waning days of his campaign, tried a radical tactic: A TV ad.
Host Ira Glass goes to jail in Bristol County, Massachussetts, where there's a large Portuguese community, and where even a law-and-order sheriff named Tom Hodgson opposes this particular immigration law. He also talks with inmate Jorge Aruda, who's being deported for a crime he already served his sentence for.