The Political Junkie
President Obama today released a long-form version of his birth certificate and said that should be the end of the matter, "We do not have time for this kind of silliness." In Nevada, senator John Ensign is resigning in the midst of a senate ethics investigation. The Republican's departure sets off a string of moves in the Silver State that complicate the race for congressional seats heading into the 2012 election. Las Vegas Sun columnist Jon Ralston joins host Neal Conan and guest political junkie Mara Liasson to talk about what it means for the makeup of the next Congress.
U.S. Envoy To Sudan
On July 9th, South Sudan will become the world's newest independent nation. As part of a peace deal to end the two decade civil war, residents of southern Sudan voted in a January referendum to secede from the northern half of the county. Many questions remain about the partition process, and fighting has already broken out over a disputed border region. U.S. Special Envoy to Sudan Princeton Lymon joins host Neal Conan to talk about the U.S role in setting up the new country, the ongoing conflict near the border and the situation in Darfur.
Relying on Uncle Sam
Americans relied more on government assistance in 2010 than at any time in U.S. history. More than 18 percent of the nation's total personal income came from entitlement programs such as Social Security and Medicare, and other programs including food stamps and unemployment benefits, according to an analysis by USA Today. Wages made up only 51 percent of income, the lowest share since government tracking began in 1929. Host Neal Conan talks with USA Today reporter Dennis Cauchon about what's driving these numbers and America's growing reliance on government support two years into economic recovery.
Rapper Ice T
Before Ice-T helped launch gangsta rap and made it big as an actor, he hustled on the streets of Los Angeles and pulled off elaborate jewelry heists. He performed "Cop Killer" with his rock band, Body Count, and in 1991 got his big break in Hollywood playing a cop in New Jack City. He's still carrying a badge — on TV — for "Law & Order: SVU." In a new book, he shares details of his past, including losing both parents as a child, his time hustling, gang-banging, and pimping on the streets of South Central Los Angeles and what he calls his redemption. Neal Conan talks with Ice-T about his new book, ICE: A Memoir of Gangster Life and Redemption: from South Central to Hollywood. Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.