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Weekend America on News & Politics


  • Conversations with America: Lindsey O'Connor

    Lindsey O'Connor

    You'll head into a voting booth soon, if you haven't already voted from home, and declare who you think would lead the country most effectively. You'll take a leap of faith, you might say. This fall, we've been asking people to bring us their take on what's important to them as they prepare to cast their vote. We're calling it Conversations with America. Our essay today comes from Colorado author Lindsey O'Connor.

  • This Weekend in 1968: Political Ads

    Robert Kennedy reaches to the crowd in 1968

    Lately if you walk anywhere near a TV, you'll see lots of campaign ads. Everyone's vowing to make things better around here. A lot of what you're hearing this time around in 2008 might seem really novel. But this weekend on our series about 1968, we'll hear how much of what is old becomes new again. Here's a review of more than 80 political ads over the past 40 years. Judge for yourself what's changed and what hasn't.

  • Inside the Mind of a Torturer

    Sergeant Gray

    The U.S. military now admits to hundreds of reported cases of detainee abuse in Iraq and Afghanistan. Torture violates international law, and the long-term effects on its victims are well-documented. But what about those doing the torture? A new documentary from American RadioWorks examines the psychological burden on soldiers who commit these cruel acts. "What Killed Sergeant Gray?" looks into the death of one U.S. Army tanker stationed in Iraq in 2003-2004. His story illuminates the heavy burden soldiers can carry after participating in detainee abuse.

  • Forgotten Letters

    Fifth Grade Teacher Kathy Burns Rosen in 1970

    This weekend, the 1970 fifth grade class at Sunset Elementary School in Bellevue, Wash., will be having a reunion. What's brought them back together after 38 years is an old class assignment. Teacher Kathy Burns Rosen assigned her students to write a letter describing what they thought would be the most important thing to happen in the 70s or 80s. They self-addressed the envelopes.

  • My Campaign

    Charlie Schroeder senior year

    At the beginning of the presidential campaign season, both McCain and Obama vowed that neither man was going to run a negative campaign. But as Election Day approaches, both campaigns have taken a more combative turn. At last week's debate, the candidates explained that the negative ads were the result of a "tough" campaign. Weekend America's Charlie Schroeder understands a tough campaign. It takes him right back to high school.

  • Curse of the Super-Villain


    Never has the world been so primed for takeover, what with the global economy teetering and all. But do any of our super-villains really want to inherit such a mess? We speak with Dr. Cruelty, one of the leading super-villains in the world about his situation. Certainly he wants to take over the world--what bad guy wouldn't?--but is this really a mess he wants to oversee?

  • America's Infrastructure: The Alaskan Way Viaduct

    Seattle's Alaskan Way Viaduct

    In the coming months, we'll be looking at the state of America's infrastructure. Many listeners drew our attention to the Alaskan Way Viaduct in Seattle. The viaduct is a traffic artery a couple of miles long, and its dual levels were built 55 years ago. This weekend, it's closed and under inspection. We check in with the Washington State Department of Transportation.

  • Debate Sparring, Gas Prices, and Chihuahua Fever

    Rusco and Angel of "Beverly Hills Chihuahua"

    Our panel of non-experts weigh in on this week's news events in a parlor game to gauge what kind of week America had. Joining us on this week's panel are: Kerry Howley, contributing editor to Reason Magazine; Ken Silverstein, Washington Editor for Harper's Magazine and author of "Turkmeniscam"; and Luke Burbank, Seattle host of the radio show "Too Beautiful To Live."

  • Ohio Undecideds

    An Ohio voter during early voting in Toledo, Ohio.

    Two weeks from Tuesday voters go to the polls. Election Day. We never thought we'd get there when this campaign started way back in, like, 1840. Obama and McCain are hitting the battleground states hard. Over the last few elections, Ohio seems to be perpetually held up as one of the most important and swingiest of swing states. Mhari Saito from WCPN in Cleveland has been talking with voters around the state for months now.

  • Ignorant Voters

    An absentee voter ballot

    You might be busy this weekend getting ready for election day. Poring over voter guides, fact-checking candidate claims, getting informed. If you're doing any of those things, however, you are different than most Americans. Here are some scary statistics: Only two out of five Americans can name the three branches of the federal government. Only one in seven can find Iraq on a map. A majority don't know the name of their Congressional representative.

  • Conversations with America: Heather Ryan

    Heather Ryan and her daughter

    It's a crazy time for an election. Politicians are facing their worst nightmare: Responding to dire news right before angry voters go to the polls. And voters will most likely be angry about the economy. For a few weeks now, we've been bringing you essays from folks around the country about what they think should be on voters' minds this election. Our next piece comes from writer Heather Ryan of Eugene, Ore.

  • Campaign Addiction

    Tracking the Campaign

    The presidential campaign has been hard to avoid lately as we really get into crunch time. But following it can take many forms. Some Americans keep a casual eye on it. For others, it's different - the race is an obsession. But you've got to know where to draw the line. When does an interest in current events become dangerous to your health and happiness - an addiction?

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