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FROM THIS EPISODE

Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders are outraged along with their supporters about Republican and Democratic Party rules for the presidential nominating process, but it was never intended to be an exercise in direct democracy.

Later on the program, NPR's role in a Supreme Court nomination battle that changed America.  

Photo: Gage Skidmore

Producers:
Jenny Hamel
Paul von Zielbauer
Evan George

Jobless Claims Match Lowest Figure in 43 Years 6 MIN, 30 SEC

This year's election may or may not turn on the state of economy, but polls almost always show it's the voters' number one issue. Today there was unexpected news that the number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits dropped last week to the lowest point since 1973. Jared Bernstein is senior fellow at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. He's a former advisor to Vice President Biden.

Guests:
Jared Bernstein, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (@econjared)

The Reconnection Agenda

Jared Bernstein

It's Not Democracy, It's the Rules 32 MIN, 21 SEC

Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders are outraged that the presidential nominating process turns out not to be an exercise in direct democracy, and many voters agree. But it's not and it never has been. Most of the time that doesn't matter because there's a clear front-runner before the nominating convention begins. But when there's a real contest, each campaign has to master complex rules that are different in all 50 states and for each political party. Is there any chance that widespread anger and frustration might lead to change before this year's conventions?

Guests:
Philip Bump, Washington Post (@pbump)
Tom Beaumont, Associated Press (@TomBeaumont)
Matt Karp, Princeton University / Jacobin magazine (@karpmj)
David Hopkins, Boston College (@DaveAHopkins)

More:
Bump on why Sanders isn't winning the Democratic primary
Beaumont on Cruz outmaneuvering Trump in GOP delegate fight
Karp on one way Sanders could win the delegate battle

Presidential Elections

Dave Hopkins and three others

The NPR Story behind HBO's 'Confirmation' 11 MIN, 12 SEC

With an opening Saturday, the HBO film Confirmation is about the Senate hearings that ultimately put Clarence Thomas on the US Supreme Court in 1991. One witness was Anita Hill, a young lawyer who claimed that Thomas sexually harassed her when she worked for him at two federal agencies.

The Judiciary Committee was on the way to confirming Thomas until NPR's Supreme Court reporter, Nina Totenberg, noticed identical envelopes on each Senator's desk, and made a connection with Chairman Joe Biden's comment that evidence should not include what he called "rank gossip." She had heard rumors about Thomas…and she took it from there.

Guests:
Nina Totenberg, NPR (@NinaTotenberg)

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