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FROM THIS EPISODE

All over the country, Republicans in state capitols are passing laws to limit what they call rampant voter fraud. Democrats say the GOP has declared war on the rights of voters who want to re-elect Barack Obama. We hear about a dispute that's fundamental to American democracy. Also, the President sends his jobs bill to Congress, and SpongeBob Square Pants and the pre-school brain.

Banner image: A voter fraud sign is seen at Lupica Towers November 4, 2008 in Cleveland, Ohio. Voting was underway in the US presidential elections with Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) leading in the race against the Republican presidential nominee Senator John McCain (R-AZ). Photo: J.D. Pooley/Getty Images

Producers:
Katie Cooper
Christian Bordal
Caitlin Shamberg

Making News President Obama Sending His Jobs Bill to Congress 7 MIN, 26 SEC

On Thursday, President Obama told the joint session of Congress to "pass this bill" no less than 15 times. Today, in the White House Rose Garden, he held a copy of the jobs plan he's sending to Congress and delivered the same message. Peter Nicholas is White House reporter for the Los Angeles Times.

 


Guests:
Peter Nicholas, Los Angeles Times

Main Topic Voter ID and the 'Battle Before the Battle' 37 MIN, 4 SEC

Republicans insist that voter fraud is so common it could change the results of elections or at least diminish confidence in the integrity of the process. But Democrats say the GOP is pushing voter-identification laws to keep students, the elderly and especially African Americans away from the polls. In 2008, those voters were crucial to electing Barack Obama. Last year (except for the elderly) they stayed home, and Republicans won big. We hear what's happening in state capitols all over the country. Do both parties try to use election laws to their own advantage?

Guests:
Ari Berman, The Nation magazine (@AriBerman)
Kris Kobach, Kansas Secretary of State (@kansassos)
Rick Hasen, University of California, Irvine (@rickhasen)
Patrick Marley, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Herding Donkeys

Ari Berman

Reporter's Notebook Is 'Sponge Bob Square Pants' Bad for Little Kids? 6 MIN, 1 SEC

SpongeBob Square Pants is an animated sponge that lives under the sea. It's fast-paced, "fantastical" and hugely popular with kids, aged two to 11. What's the immediate impact on attention span, memory, problem solving and other skills associated with success in school? Angeline Lillard is one of two psychologists at the University of Virginia who wanted to find out.

Guests:
Angeline Lillard, University of Virginia

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