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Lunchtime listen: the audacity of government

I love love love [w:This_American_Life]. It’s at the top of my podcast list (along with [w:Studio_360] and [w:Radio_Lab]). The 3.28.08 episode, “The audacity of government” is particularly interesting from a govt information viewpoint. Ira Glass once again takes the strange but true anomaly, tells it in the first-person humanly and humanely to show the absurdity of, in this case, bureaucracy and governments. You can download it to your favorite audio player or listen online.

Act One. The Prez vs. The Commish.
Ira Glass tells the story of a little-known treaty dispute with far-reaching ramifications for our understanding of executive power. The dispute is between the President and one of his appointees…to the International Boundary Commission with Canada.

Act Two. This American Wife.
This American Life contributor Jack Hitt uncovers a strange practice within the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service. If a foreign national marries a U.S. citizen and schedules an interview for a green card, but the U.S. citizen dies before the interview takes place, the foreign national is scheduled for deportation with no appeal—even if the couple has children who are U.S. citizens.

Act Three. 44.
Ira Glass interviews Charlie Savage, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter for the Boston Globe, who’s written a book called Takeover: The Return of the Imperial Presidency and the Subversion of American Democracy about the ways the Bush Administration claims executive powers that other presidents haven’t claimed.

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