Dr. Moira Gunn interviews Dr. Daniel Wilson, expert in robotics and data mining. He mixes the popular zeitgeist of robots with the amazing new capabilities they are capable of. It's all there in his tongue-in-cheek book, "How To Survive a Robot Uprising."
As the 2008 campaign season ends, independent producer Katie Ball discusses how intolerance still exists, even with the election of an African-American President. She discusses a lemonade stand in Florida where the homeowners covered up their John McCain signs to avoid offending anyone. Her commentary reflects on political prejudices within a battleground state and within her own heart.
How are young adults dealing with the issues of elections and government? Are they more or less likely to vote? As a part of the first post-September 11th generation, their opinions and actions are thought-provoking. Amina Al-Sadi, a college freshman, is featured in an excerpt from a public radio special produced by and for teenagers.
"Electoral Dysfunction 2008" is a sample of some of the political comedy that is taking on the presidential campaigned. The sketch show is performed by Kansas Public Radio's Right Between the Ears comedy troupe. This is an excerpt from the full show which is an hour of high energy take-offs and put-ons, spiced with off-the-wall sound effects and music.
How has the "fundamental right" to vote evolved since the colonial period? In this excerpt from the historical public radio show, BackStory, the hosts review how elections were handled as the country was formed and how voting fraud has always been a major problem. They interview Mark Summers, Professor of History at the University of Kentucky about how things have changed in the last two hundred years.
People along the U.S.-Mexico border are hoping to have their voices heard in the coming election. Marco Grajeda, news director of NPR's KRWG, describes the impact tighter border security and toughened immigration efforts are having on border communities and how the next President will have to deal with the issue of illegal immigration.
A naturalized citizen talks about the importance of a president showing strength and power and a producer reviews the differences between the current election and the 1968 campaign. Nick van der Kolk reviews what people are discussing when it comes to a president being strong, and Barbara Bernstein talks about how people alienated by the Nixon/McGovern campaign feel about the Obama/McCain campaign.
What do people think about the candidate promises about the Iraq war? How is Barack Obama's candidacy likely to change the idea of cultural diversity? Shia Levitt interviews an Iraq veteran and an academic on the importance of what the candidates are saying about the war. Then Dmae Roberts discusses Obama's March 2008 "race" speech and how it might add to the complex topic of race and identity.
Will Barack Obama's health care proposals be accepted by Washington? How is the weak economy affecting a young adult? Snigdha Prakash and Todd Melby present stories related to important issues hotly debated by both candidates. Prakash interviews an insurance lobbyist about health care and Melby profiles a teenager from Indiana about what she has to do to get by.
Does Barack Obama have a "Jewish problem"? Will John McCain's proposed energy policy include green technologies? Two independent producers present profiles of candidate issues. Rebecca Sheir talks with Jewish voters in Brookline, Massachusetts to find out whether they are worried about the candidate and Sandra Sleight-Brennan tries to put McCain's energy proposals into perspective.
Republican delegates discuss the impact of Hurricane Gustav on the convention, protesters are interviewed about their treatment, and excerpts of Sarah Palin's acceptance speech are featured in these three segments that illustrate the recent St. Paul Republican National Convention.
Hillary Clinton moves to have Barack Obama nominated by acclamation, Jimmy Carter talks about whether he has been ignored by the current party leadership, and some of the protesters on the streets of Denver are profiled in these three vignettes from the Denver Democratic Convention.
In this Voice of America report, producer Heidi Chang interviews family and friends who knew Barack Obama when he was growing up in the Aloha State. They share their insight about the presidential candidate and how Hawaii helped shape his character and some of his values.
Many Chicagoans know Barack Obama's neighborhood of Hyde Park as a special niche in the city, its history, and its politics. In this report, Ben Calhoun of WBEZ, takes a look at one of the first and most basic decisions Obama made to get his start: to move there. In some ways, Hyde Park helped make Barack Obama.
Both Presidential candidates are working to court the Latino vote, but so far neither party has had any real success. Diego Graglia is documenting the lives of Latinos during this presidential election year as he travels from New York City to Mexico City. In this report, he talked to Teresita Jacinto, a spokeswoman for Mexicanos Sin Fronteras-Mexicans Without Borders. They discuss the Prince William County, Virginia crackdown on undocumented immigrants.
Blunt Youth Radio Project is a weekly, youth produced public affairs radio show on WMPG in Portland, Maine, featuring teen broadcasters. William Nelligan, a host and producer for the project, has been a political junkie since he was a preteen. He talks about how the television series, The West Wing, led to his interest in politics and current events.
As new political terms seem to appear constantly, it is no surprise that linguists are examining these words. A Way with Words is a lively hour-long public radio show about language, on the air since 1998. In this excerpt, the hosts, author Martha Barnette and dictionary editor Grant Barrett discuss some of these new additions to our political vocabulary.
In the 2008 Presidential election, race has become a major issue in many of the battleground primary states. West Virginia stands out as an example of how difficult it is likely to be for Obama's campaign to deal with this problem in the general election. Scott Finn of West Virginia Public Broadcasting filed this report soon after the May state primary, where poll results showed how race and religion affected the election.
As another election approaches, a politicized debate is raging about voter fraud and voter suppression, in which neither side can agree on the nature of the problem. Susan Q. Stranahan reports that the real question remains unanswered: Are the systemic problems of the last two presidential elections likely to recur when the presumptive nominees, Republican John McCain and Democrat Barack Obama, square off in November?
When it comes to presidential elections, all politics is dirty. In this third report from the Center for Public Integrity's The Buying of the President series, Stephanie Mencimer, a reporter for Mother Jones, examines dirty tricks in politics, including recent rumors that Barack Obama is a practicing Muslim. Who are the opposition researchers or tricksters who dig up this dirt? Her investigation attempts to answer these questions and more.
While the female vote has always been important in modern elections, the 2008 Presidential candidates have found women to be an electoral hot commodity. Given that polls find many to be both independent and undecided, both sides must find ways to sway them. Charles Lane, PRX Election Curator, presents some speech examples from John McCain and Barack Obama, as well as Susan Kottler's review of the 2008 Presidential Bake-Off Cookies.
In this second installment covering the Center for Public Integrity's report on campaign spending, Sara Fritz, a veteran journalist who helped pioneer the campaign finance beat, discusses Section 527 groups and other independent organizations, who spend millions of dollars on advertisements and other election activities.
On the last day of the Presidential primaries, John McCain spoke to a group of supporters in New Orleans. The speech was widely criticized in the media as illustrating how unfamiliar McCain seemed to be with delivering prepared remarks, even after being a Representative and Senator for 26 years. Charles Lane, '08 Conversations Host and PRX.org Curator, presents a fascinating comparison between McCain's awkward comments and Barack Obama's more natural manner of speaking.
Today, running for the nation's highest office has become so costly that by the time the November election rolls around total presidential campaign spending will, in all likelihood, easily exceed $1 billion for the first time in history. Jules Witcover is featured in this first part of a series from the Center for Public Integrity. He answers questions for anyone who's wondered why politicians are allowed to raise and spend money without revealing where their funds are coming from or where they are going.
Months went by after John Edwards dropped his bid for president. Clinton wooed, Obama wooed. And still the populist kept quiet. For all the anticipation, when Edwards finally endorsed Obama last week in Michigan, he omitted the key phrase: "I endorse". Only later does Edwards state matter-of-factly that Obama will be the next president. In the end, the Obama campaign never issued a press release using the words endorse nor have all of Edwards' super delegates moved towards Obama.
The loneliest Republican has to be Ron Paul. He has at least a million adoring fans, out fund-raised both McCain and Romney and holds Ronald Reagan up like a chalice. Yet he still can't get any love from the Republican party. In April, his supporters came out in droves to the Nevada state caucus. Brian Bahouth of Nevada Public Radio recorded the event, along with an interview the the Congressman.
Stephen Friedman and Gene Sperling, former policy advisors to the Clinton and Bush administrations, discuss some of the challenges that the next president will face in the coming years. Central to this panel discussion is the role that globalization will play in formulating policies to ensure that the United States remains competitive with the world. Some of these changes will require deft political skill and the mobilization of popular support behind sensitive issues.
Traditional political campaigns can be seen as "Broadcast Politics" - run as a top-down hierarchy with tight control and simple sound-bite sized messages. But is this the only model that could work? In the 2004 U.S. presidential race Howard Dean became perhaps the first candidate to leverage the networking power of the internet in a national campaign. Jon Lebkowsky and Zack Rosen discuss the result of involving people at the grassroots level by providing an internet platform for campaign collaboration.