Kirk sleepwalks through an open window and into a completely different life. He explains how he starts compiling a list of Iraqis who’d worked with the U.S. government after the invasion, whose lives were now in danger because of that.
Producer Sarah Koenig talks with historian Nancy Tomes about a presidential scandal known as The Petticoat Affair. It involved Andrew Jackson and the honor of a woman who he didn't sleep with.
A young idealist named Octavio Sanchez is chief of staff to the president of Honduras. He gets an idea: What if you could cure all your country's ills by just ... starting over? In one little spot, you could create a whole new, perfect city.
It's been a tumultuous week of protests and demonstrations in Egypt. NancyUpdike talks to two Egyptian men whose ideologies are completely opposite,except one thing unites them: Their anger at the United States.
Ira Glass rides around with a man in the man's hometown...a man who doesn't want us to say his name on the radio. Why? Because he's secretly a Democrat, in a small town dominated by Republicans.
We surveyed hundreds of people around the country, from every part of the political spectrum, about the ways in which politics are interfering with their friendships and families. Producer Lisa Pollak reports.
A portrait of what it looks like when politics gets polarized, and how hard it is for people in the middle to hang on. Producer Sarah Koenig explains what happened when a wave of Republican politicians swept to power with a three-to-one majority in 2010.
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.
Everything about political fundraising is changing right now, because of the2010 Supreme Court decision in Citizens United vs. Federal ElectionCommission.
Ten years ago, Congress voted to reform campaign finance, after Senators John McCain and Russ Feingold took up the cause. Here they reunite on the radio, to reminisce and lament how that reform failed.
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.
Last Summer, Alabama passed HB56, the most sweeping immigration bill in the country. It's an example of a strategy called "attrition through enforcement" or, more colloquially, "self-deportation"--making life so hard on undocumented immigrants that they choose to leave the country.
Host Ira Glass speaks with Columbia University professor Peter Coleman, who shares some surprising details about the battle surrounding the abortion debate in Boston during the 1990s. We learn what secret meetings between the warring groups could accomplish, and what they couldn't.
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.
Marian Fontana, whose husband was a firefighter who died on 9/11, originally appeared on our show in 2005. Ira talks with Marian today, about what has changed for her over the last 10 years.
"Thug" is a very imprecise word. And as producer Nancy Updike explains, the subjectivity of its meaning has been particularly apparent during the recent revolution in Egypt.
Host Ira Glass tells the stories of two professors, each making a calculation that no one had made before. One gets acclaim.
Producer Sarah Koenig continues the story Terry Engelder and Dan Volz, their rival calculations about natural gas in Pennsylvania, and how each was treated by his university. She explains how Pennsylvania's universities, politicans and industry have united to develop natural gas.
Sarah takes us to Mt. Pleasant, PA, where a gas exploration company called Range Resources has leased 95% of the township's land.
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.
In this act: judge wannabes working with the old boys network.