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DecodeDC

DecodeDC

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A reliable, honest and entertaining podcast about Washington D.C’s people, culture and politics.

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225: Where's the line between religious freedom and civil rights?

27:17 | Dec 28th, 2017

The clash of two American values -- religious freedom and freedom from discrimination –- didn’t seem so huge when a broad coalition of religious and civil rights representatives got together in a room in 1993. While starting from different ends of th...Show More

224: The 2017 Lie of the Year

26:08 | Dec 21st, 2017

Our friends at PolitiFact have sorted through a year of lies, fibs, exaggerations, fabrications and outright falsehoods to find the worst of the worst. PolitiFact’s Editor Angie Drobnic Holan joins us to reveal the 2017 lie of the year.

223: This is what happens when Congress polices itself

29:51 | Dec 14th, 2017

Congress is considering changes to the way it handles sexual harassment complaints after its current rules have been called onerous by critics. We take stock of what might change with Patrick Terpstra of the Scripps Washington Bureau, and we speak wi...Show More

222: The Changing Race of Immigration in America

34:29 | Dec 7th, 2017

America has long sold itself as "the nation of immigrants." But when you look at our history -- even the halcyon Ellis Island days -- that branding has always come with an asterisk. Give us your tired, your poor, your huddled masses... especially if ...Show More

221: What happens when the DOJ defies the courts?

22:54 | Nov 30th, 2017

Judges in a legal stand-off. A power struggle between two branches of the federal government has left potentially thousands of undocumented immigrants stuck in detention centers with no idea how long they'll be there.  Are some immigration judges def...Show More

Revisiting how tax reform really works

19:59 | Nov 21st, 2017

With Republicans pushing ahead on their plan to overhaul taxes for the first time in 30 years, we revisit an episode of DeocdeDC that explained how that reform 30 years ago actually came together. Jimmy speaks with two major players in that effort - ...Show More

220: A Republican has some advice for the GOP

20:36 | Nov 16th, 2017

Phyllis Henderson is a state representative in South Carolina, and she is worn out by the state of political discourse. We spoke with her right after the 2016 election, and she had some reservations. Now we check back in with her to see how she think...Show More

219: Fact checking the link between mental illness and mass shootings

23:20 | Nov 9th, 2017

Last Sunday, a gunman walked into a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas and opened fire on the congregation -- killing more than two dozen people. The next day, President Donald Trump told reporters the mass shooting wasn't a "guns situation," and in...Show More

218: Don’t touch my tax loophole!

29:42 | Nov 2nd, 2017

It seems like for every winner in tax reform, there’s a loser. As the House beings its push for huge changes to how American people and companies pay their taxes, we explain the basics and dig into the intended and unintended consequences of it all. ...Show More

217: When politicians scream "bailout," what do they really mean?

25:07 | Oct 30th, 2017

From the beginning of American politics, politicians have been using the term "bailout" as a political cudgel. In this week's podcast, Jimmy speaks with two experts who explain the what, when, why, where, and how of government bailouts.

216: A coal community divided

28:33 | Oct 19th, 2017

Residents of coal country are getting sick, but not everyone is convinced of the cause.  Our Newsy colleague Zach Toombs explains what the science says and what the government is — or is not — doing about it.

215: No one knows how big the opioid epidemic really is

20:32 | Oct 12th, 2017

Local law enforcement and national politicians are struggling to deal with the opioid epidemic gripping American communities, in large part because no one can figure out just how big the problem is. We speak with Angela Hill, who led a Scripps News i...Show More

214: Why can’t Congress get anything done on guns?

30:15 | Oct 5th, 2017

Americans are once again mourning after another mass shooting. We explain why elected leaders fail — despite broad public support — to pass measures like additional background checks on firearm purchases. We speak with filmmaker Michael Kirk, who mad...Show More

213: Got milk subsidies?

25:41 | Sep 28th, 2017

What does the government have to do with the price of milk? Turns out – everything. For decades, government subsidies have tried to balance supply and demand for a commodity that is produced every day, at least twice day, everywhere – and has only ho...Show More

212: What if the government gave everyone free money?

24:39 | Sep 21st, 2017

A universal basic income isn't a new idea, but it's getting traction in politics today. It's a different type of safety net: free cash from the government, with absolutely no strings attached. It's never been tried in the US in a pure form, but we ha...Show More

211: The problem with FEMA's flood maps

30:19 | Sep 14th, 2017

The Federal Emergency Management Agency maps flood plains across the country. The maps are intended to show which areas are likely to flood so that local governments can better plan for disasters. They also determine who must buy flood insurance, and...Show More

Bonus: Jeff Sessions spins the facts on DACA

14:54 | Sep 8th, 2017

Attorney General Jeff Sessions made some questionable statements to justify ending, DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program that shielded 800,000 people who were brought to the US illegally as children. In this bonus episode, we fact...Show More

210: Why Washington isn’t ready for the next hurricane

29:34 | Sep 7th, 2017

Hurricane Harvey caused billions of dollars of damage, and Hurricane Irma will likely cost even more. But how will the federal government pay for all of it, and is it possible that Washington had a hand in making the destruction worse? This week we t...Show More

209: The Texas town with no drinking water

22:06 | Aug 31st, 2017

Contaminated drinking water is coming into the homes of tens of millions of Americans, especially in smaller, lower income communities, from aging, under-funded water treatment plant and distribution systems, poorly maintained private wells, and grou...Show More

208: The military's toxic water problem

28:08 | Aug 24th, 2017

The military spent decades contaminating the drinking and ground water at bases across the country and has spent billions to contain the mess.But the veterans and families who lived on those bases are still struggling with the long legacy of that tox...Show More

207: The most important Senate job you’ve never heard of

28:42 | Aug 17th, 2017

You may think the Senators have all the say -- but there's one person in the Senate who may have even more power. Senate Parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDounough complicated the repeal-and-replace plan that Senate Republicans were pursuing when she said...Show More

206: How protest movements can actually change peoples' lives

25:48 | Aug 10th, 2017

Researchers Leah Wright Rigueur and Megan Ming Francis talk about where the social movements that have been so important to our politics in the last decade are going from here.

Episode 204: Should Historians be Pundits?

28:49 | Jul 27th, 2017

Harvard Kennedy School professor Moshik Temkin says historians must do a better job in comparing our present to our past, and he argues why in a recent New York Times piece titled “Historians Shouldn’t Be Pundits.” He talks with Jimmy — a history lov...Show More

203: What you should know about Trump's voter fraud commission

30:42 | Jul 19th, 2017

President Trump believes he would have won the popular vote -- if it weren't for the 3 million people that voted illegally. Even though there's no evidence to support his claim, he put together a commission to look into the issue, and their first mee...Show More

202: How the GOP wants to change Medicaid

28:02 | Jul 13th, 2017

Senate Republicans unveiled a health care plan that includes deep cuts in Medicaid. We explain what those changes are and how they will be felt by many of the 70 million Americans who rely on Medicaid for their healthcare.

201: DC History 101 - Swamps and scandals, then and now

28:04 | Jul 6th, 2017

So you may have heard DC referred to as a swamp in the past few months. The thing is, that's not just a political slogan - it used to be an actual swamp. Historian JD Dickey is here to tell us about the secret history of Washington, D.C., and how tho...Show More

200: Thousands of women are running for office. Guess why!

30:04 | Jun 29th, 2017

There are a lot of Dicks in office. But after the 2016 election, we're seeing thousands of women sign up to run for office - more than ever before. Clare Bresnahan runs a non-profit called She Should Run that helps women prepare for the unique challe...Show More

199: What you should know about the 5+ Trump-Russia investigations

34:22 | Jun 22nd, 2017

There are so many investigators looking into Russian involvement in the 2016 campaign and the Trump Administration that it’s hard to keep track. That’s where friend of the show Victoria Bassetti of the Brennan Center comes in. She’s put together a gu...Show More

198: Your tweets can and will be used against you

25:37 | Jun 15th, 2017

President Trump says he uses Twitter so he can get an "honest and unfiltered message out”to the American people. But investigators and even foreign governments are poring over his Tweets. Politico’s Darren Samuelsohn explains why.

197: The secret Senate filibuster you've never heard of

30:50 | Jun 8th, 2017

For years, individual Senators have enjoyed wide sway in blocking judicial nominees who come from their home states. But that may soon change, as Republicans in the Senate try to transform the judiciary under President Trump. Ed O’Keefe of the Washin...Show More

196: Constitutional crisis? Take a deep breath.

25:48 | Jun 1st, 2017

Law professor Keith Whittington says the term “constitutional crisis” gets thrown around way too much. He’s studied the topic, and he tells Jimmy we’re nowhere near one right now.

195: Three moments that shaped how presidents and Congress wage war

31:37 | May 25th, 2017

Before David Barron was a federal judge, he was a lawyer helping President Obama wage war. He sheds light on the uneasy relationship between Presidents and Congress when it comes to military might, and reflects on his own role in a controversial dron...Show More

194: Drain the swamp! Is that even possible?

29:03 | May 18th, 2017

So how is Donald Trump is doing on his six promises to clean up corruption and limit special interests in Washington? And — maybe more importantly — what would happen if you really did pull the plug on the swamp of Washington? Our guests for this epi...Show More

193: Politicians playing politics with our bridges and roads

26:34 | May 11th, 2017

America’s crumbling and obsolete infrastructure is a $2 trillion problem. Everyone agrees it needs a fix. So why can’t politicians make it happen? It’s a failure of leadership, says Harvard’s Rosabeth Moss Kanter. She explains why, and we visit the B...Show More

192: Why are we so polarized & can Trump fix it?

25:52 | May 4th, 2017

If you feel like we're getting more polarized every day, you're right. According to a report by the Cook Political Report, the political divide in America is growing--and as Amy Walter tells us, Trump might be just the type of guy who can change that...Show More

191: The four myths of Trump's wall

26:29 | Apr 27th, 2017

Is the U.S. border with the Mexico really an open border? Is all the talk of building a wall for real, or is it just a metaphorical wall? And who’s really crossing illegally? We separate fact from fiction with the help of Maria Hinojosa of Latino USA...Show More

190: Russia is using you to destroy democracy

29:17 | Apr 20th, 2017

Russians are using your own media echo chamber to undermine your confidence in democracy. So says Clint Watts, a former FBI agent who recently testified before Congress. We speak with him about why Russia is doing this, and why they’ve been more succ...Show More

189: What's the difference between Trump and Obama's immigration rules?

26:50 | Apr 13th, 2017

Since the election of Donald Trump, immigrants and their lawyers have been preparing for the worst. In part 2 of our series on the role some local police play in the enforcement of federal immigration laws, we spend time with the immigrant community ...Show More

188: Joking while Muslim in Trump's America

30:02 | Apr 6th, 2017

Negin Farsad is fighting stereotypes one joke at a time. A self-described social justice comedian, Farsad jokes about Islamophobia, race and bigotry - trying to make people laugh and talk about identity. “People can conceptually hate another group o...Show More

187: Whose job is it to enforce immigration law?

24:02 | Mar 30th, 2017

In the first of two episodes, we visit Frederick County Maryland where local law officers are working hand-in-hand with federal immigration officers to detain and deport undocumented immigrants in the community. Now President Trump wants to give them...Show More

186: The skinny on Trump's skinny budget

30:05 | Mar 23rd, 2017

The President came out with his version of the budget - which he called a "skinny budget". While lots of people freaking out, we ask: what is a skinny budget, and does it really matter?

185: A warning against hyperpartisanship from 1796

34:29 | Mar 16th, 2017

The warnings George Washington made in his farewell address — about hyperpartisanship, excessive debt, and foreign wars — have incredible resonance today, says John Avlon, the author of “Washington’s Farewell.” He speaks with Jimmy about what we can ...Show More

184: Obamacare Trumpcare Healthcare 101

33:45 | Mar 10th, 2017

What’s the individual mandate? Who’s in a high-risk pool? How do tax credits work in health care? With the debate over the future of health care in America raging, we go back to basics and explain some important concepts with the help of Sarah Kliff ...Show More

183: Trump is at odds with the courts. Has a president ever defied them?

28:05 | Mar 2nd, 2017

President Donald Trump recently gave the federal courts the proverbial middle finger, lashing out on Twitter at a “so-called judge” who had ruled against him and promising “see you in court” after losing an appeal. Has this happened before or is this...Show More

182: I'm a reformed lobbyist. Ask me anything

29:02 | Feb 23rd, 2017

You asked and we answered. This week: what’s the difference between lobbying and bribery, a real example of a lobbyist buying their agenda into law (or failing to), and the best reform for the lobbying industry. Plus, Jimmy’s former salary.

181: How cops can legally take your car, home, or cash

37:23 | Feb 16th, 2017

When Tien Nguyen stopped at a rest area in Kansas, he didn't expect to have his car searched by the highway patrol - and when they took $40,000 he had in cash and sent him on his way, he was furious. But he was astounded when he learned that it was a...Show More

180: What the hell is a trade war?

35:05 | Feb 9th, 2017

Everything you’ve always wanted to know about trade, trade deficits, tariffs, trade wars, courtesy of Felix Salmon of Slate Money. Plus, Felix explains which is better — a strong dollar or a weak one.

179: A user's guide to 'alternative facts,' aka lies

28:55 | Feb 1st, 2017

Imagine being lied to, repeatedly, for days on end, and what that does to your brain. Well, you may not have to imagine it—it seems like more and more “alternative facts” are coming out of Washington every day. In this episode, author Maria Konnikova...Show More

178: Hey Tea Party, meet your lefty cousins

31:24 | Jan 26th, 2017

After this election, some on the left are feeling pretty powerless - but Angel Padilla isn't. He got together with 30 other former congressional staffers to put together a concrete guide on how to resist President Trump's policies, and they borrowed ...Show More

Bonus: When Trump said, 'America first,' what did you hear?

07:34 | Jan 20th, 2017

In his inaugural address, President Donald J. Trump said America will be first. But what did people actually hear when he said that? DecodeDC was at the National Mall to ask inaugural attendees.

177: What really happens at the inaugural

32:47 | Jan 18th, 2017

The Constitution requires only one thing for a person to become President of the United States--reciting an oath. But the inauguration has become a sort of spectacle that requires months and months of detailed planning. On the latest episode we go be...Show More

176: What should Trump do to resolve his conflicts of interest?

27:57 | Jan 11th, 2017

Every day, there are more and more questions about conflicts of interest and president-elect Donald Trump--questions about how Trump will handle his businesses interests, the role of his family and the investments of his Cabinet nominees. To sort out...Show More

175: It's almost moving day at the White House

27:59 | Jan 5th, 2017

January 20th is Inauguration Day. It’s also moving day at the White House. Jimmy talks with Anita McBride, who was part of three presidential transitions, and with presidential historian Jeffrey Engel about when transitions don't go so smoothly.

174: That moment when Americans choose ignorance over money

19:08 | Dec 29th, 2016

When it comes to American politics, many people will choose to give up money, rather than listen to the other side. That's the result of a new study by Canadian professor Jeremy Frimer, at the University of Winnipeg. On the latest DecodeDC podcast, J...Show More

173: You have no idea how much food you're wasting

25:42 | Dec 22nd, 2016

As you sit down for giant family meals this holiday season, here's something to keep in mind--every year about 40% of America's food goes uneaten. On the latest DecodeDC podcast, Jimmy chats with Dana Gunders, a leading expert on food waste, about wh...Show More

172: PolitiFact's Lie of the Year is a lie that keeps on giving

28:29 | Dec 14th, 2016

When it came time for PolitiFact to chose the “Lie of the Year,” for this bonkers year, editors had plenty to work with. On the latest podcast, Jimmy chats with PolitiFact‘s Angie Drobnic Holan about 2016's biggest political whopper, and what it was ...Show More

171: Trump's job promise — 24,999,900 to go

35:37 | Dec 8th, 2016

President-elect Trump is trying to make good on a big campaign promise--bring back manufacturing jobs to the U.S. The Carrier deal announced last week seems like a good start. But a jobs program that boils down to a POTUS making deals with companies ...Show More

170: Can Trump live up to populist voters' expectations?

28:56 | Dec 1st, 2016

Donald Trump’s attacks on elites and us-versus-them rhetoric are classic populist themes. But what happens when populists actually take office, and suddenly joins the ruling class? John Judis, author of "The Populist Explosion,” helps us define popul...Show More

Revisiting Big Sugar's Secret Playbook

24:37 | Nov 22nd, 2016

Heading into Turkey Day, we at DecodeDC are thankful for you, our listeners, so we're going to spare your ears this week from another episode about electoral politics. Instead we're rebroadcasting one of our favorite shows about a different political...Show More

169: What can President Trump do Day 1?

36:10 | Nov 17th, 2016

When Donald Trump is sworn in as President of the United States on January 20, 2017, the clock starts ticking on his political agenda. Trump's goals for his first 100 days in office include repealing and replacing Obamacare, deporting criminal undocu...Show More

168: Trump is President-elect. Now what?

34:34 | Nov 10th, 2016

Donald J. Trump will be the 45th President of the United States. Let that sink in for a minute. On the latest episode of DecodeDC, we're checking back in with some of our favorite experts who've helped us 'decode' American politics to ask the questio...Show More

Bonus: Here's what it's like to lose your right to vote

32:34 | Nov 7th, 2016

While millions of Americans cast their votes on Election Day, one segment of the population will be left out. More than 6 million people have lost their voting rights because they committed a felony, and millions more can’t vote from prison. In fact,...Show More

167: Meet the disgusted voter

23:09 | Nov 3rd, 2016

It's crunch time. Doomsday--er, Election Day--is almost here, so we're checking back in with our undecided voters. For the past few weeks DecodeDC reporter Miranda Green has been profiling four voters on the fence. She fills Jimmy in on their feeling...Show More

166: How the GOP lost the black vote

36:32 | Oct 27th, 2016

Donald Trump is on pace to lose the African American vote, and lose it bigly. So it’s useful to remember a time when black Americans were reliable Republicans. We talk with Leah Wright Rigueur, author of “The Loneliness of the Black Republican,” abou...Show More

165: How to actually commit voter fraud

33:02 | Oct 20th, 2016

If you’re worried about voter fraud, there’s a good chance you’re worried about the wrong thing. We speak with Victoria Bassetti of the Brennan Center about the myth of widespread voter fraud, and a vulnerability that election officials do acknowledg...Show More

164: Trump Foundation 101 -- Funny Money

32:44 | Oct 13th, 2016

Donald Trump hasn’t given any money to the foundation that bears his name since 2008, and that’s just the beginning of the oddities surrounding Trump’s charitable giving. Washington Post reporter David Fahrenthold has been digging into it, and you mi...Show More

163: OMG we found actual undecided voters

33:06 | Oct 6th, 2016

How can a voter possibly be undecided? In an episode co-reported with Buzzfeed’s Meg Cramer of the No One Knows Anything podcast, we look at why so many voters are undecided this presidential election and what it’s like to be one of them. Jimmy also ...Show More

162: Politicians really suck at immigration

34:01 | Sep 29th, 2016

How do you run a business when Congress keeps getting in the way? That’s what farmers in Washington State are grappling with as Congress keeps punting on immigration reform. They are faced with a big labor shortage. That means crops—and profits—are l...Show More

161: Hillbilly Elegy explained — The forgotten Americans

30:31 | Sep 22nd, 2016

In his new book “Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis”, author J.D. Vance recounts his experience of growing up poor in the white working class communities of Appalachia. It’s not just a personal story but an examination of the...Show More

160: Trump and Clinton charities and the NY AG

26:56 | Sep 15th, 2016

A recent Scripps investigation found that the New York Attorney General has the power to force the Clinton Foundation and the Clinton Health Access Initiative to publicly disclose the names of foreign governments and the millions they donate each yea...Show More

159: The buying and selling of America's experts

25:21 | Sep 8th, 2016

Corporate America has found a new way to exert its influence: think tanks, the non-profits dedicated to independent, scholarly research. That’s according to a recent investigation by the New England Center for Investigative Reporting and The New York...Show More

158: The biases that keep Native Americans from the polls

31:35 | Sep 1st, 2016

When the two U.S. Senate candidates went to bed on election night 2002 in South Dakota, it looked like the Republican would be the winner. But then late results came in from two Native American reservations, and Democrat Tim Johnson won re-election. ...Show More

157: A dash of salt with your politics

28:08 | Aug 25th, 2016

Salt is a magical substance. An essential nutrient, it was once even used as currency. So what’s behind the push to get food makers to reduce sodium — one of salt’s components — in Americans’ diets? In partnership with the Gastropod podcast, we look ...Show More

156: The battle for Native American voting rights

34:02 | Aug 18th, 2016

When San Juan County, Utah made the move to all mail-in voting in 2014, it seemed like a great idea. The county is almost 8,000 square miles with about 15,000 residents and voting by mail meant you no longer had to travel to a polling place. But for...Show More

155: Trump's money fantasy

31:02 | Aug 11th, 2016

How does Donald Trump figure his net worth? It depends on his mood. So says Pulitzer Prize winning investigative journalist, David Cay Johnston. In his new book, "The Making of Donald Trump," Johnston combs through his findings after 28 years of repo...Show More

154: The scary link between slavery and the Second Amendment

26:11 | Aug 4th, 2016

You may think the founders gave us the right to bear arms as a way to defend against government tyranny. But in this episode, Carl Bogus, a professor at Roger Williams University School of Law, tells Jimmy that that's not entirely true.

153: Why small-dollar donors won't save politics

21:31 | Jul 28th, 2016

Throughout his campaign for the Democratic nomination, the "small donor revolution" became a rallying cry for Bernie Sanders and his supporters. While counteracting big money with the little guy sounds like an appealing idea, it ain't that easy. And ...Show More

152: Meet the magician behind the Democratic convention

17:22 | Jul 27th, 2016

So what's it like to run an event with tens of thousands of people for four straight days? That's what host Jimmy Williams asks Matt Butler, the number two guy in charge of this year's Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. We take you behin...Show More

151: Convention Parties 101: An insider's perspective

24:13 | Jul 22nd, 2016

If you've been tuning into the political conventions, you've been watching a staged performance. But behind the scenes there's a different show going on, one that you can only access through money or power. On this episode, host Jimmy Williams explai...Show More

150: Inside Trump's Brain Trust

14:39 | Jul 21st, 2016

Now that Donald Trump has the nomination, what's the game plan to win the general election? That's the question DecodeDC host Jimmy Williams poses to Kellyanne Conway, a top advisor to the GOP nominee. We bring you this podcast from Cleveland, Ohio a...Show More

149: Why Trump Won

24:03 | Jul 19th, 2016

The day no one thought would actually happen has arrived. As the Republican National Convention kicks off this week, Donald J. Trump, real estate magnate-turned-reality TV-star-turned-birther-turned-presidential candidate will formally accept the Gr...Show More

148: Kids are terrified of Donald Trump

30:59 | Jul 14th, 2016

Kindergartners having nightmares of Donald Trump. Second graders wondering if their families will be deported. Muslim students being called terrorists. This is the trickle down effect of the 2016 presidential campaign in schools, and it’s happening a...Show More

147: Learning To Love The F Word: Federalism

22:56 | Jul 7th, 2016

This ain't your daddy's federalism. Heather Gerkin of Yale Law School tries to convince Jimmy that even though federalism (or states' rights) was used in the past to keep segregation in place, today it can be used to knock down discriminatory laws.

146: Closet Partisans and the Myth of the Independent Voter

22:56 | Jun 30th, 2016

People really don't like Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. But will that matter come election time? Probably not. Are voters ditching the parties in droves to declare themselves independents? Not really. Take everything you think you know about this ...Show More

145: Political consultants win even when they lose

31:55 | Jun 23rd, 2016

Every campaign season has its winners and its losers - but there are some people who win no matter what happens. Political consultants are considered a necessity in today's elections, and about half of all money spent in campaigns is going through co...Show More

144: #LoveWins

35:23 | Jun 15th, 2016

Nearly a year after the Supreme Court made marriage equality the law of the land, the main plaintiff in the case, Jim Obergefell, has released a new book called ‘Love Wins.’ On the latest DecodeDC podcast, host Jimmy Williams talks with Obergefell a...Show More

143: Make conventions great again

27:13 | Jun 7th, 2016

Bernie Sanders isn't giving up. The Vermont senator is vying for a contested convention in Philadelphia this July, even as Hillary Clinton has reportedly reached the golden number of delegates to win the Democratic nomination. As is par for the cours...Show More

142: Pissed off millennials are taking on the Democrats

31:55 | Jun 2nd, 2016

Can you feel the Bern yet? With the California primary less than a week away, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders continues to battle erstwhile frontrunner Hillary Clinton despite a clear deficit in delegates. The longtime independent has staked his campa...Show More

141: The alter egos of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton

36:38 | May 26th, 2016

One grew up the daughter of a Navy petty officer in 1950s suburban Chicago, the other spent formative years in Indonesia before being raised by his grandparents in Hawaii. Their experiences couldn’t have been more different but over the last eight ye...Show More

140: What's behind the split in the Democratic Party?

25:55 | May 19th, 2016

Dick Durbin is a four-term senator and the Democratic whip, whose job is to keep the party together. So what does he make of the fact that the GOP has its presidential nominee while the Democrats are still fractured? ”It’s a split that can help us,” ...Show More

139: Big Sugar's Secret Playbook

24:51 | May 12th, 2016

Quick, what do these things have in common: Cocoa Pebbles and Winston cigarettes? One answer might be that Fred Flintstone is their biggest fan. Another might be that they’re highly addictive. And that’s not the only thing they share. When former den...Show More

138: The Trump Effect

29:26 | May 5th, 2016

And then there was one. Following the Indiana primary earlier this week, Ted Cruz made the inevitable but shocking decision to suspended his presidential campaign. Less than 24-hours later, John Kasich followed suit. That makes real estate developer ...Show More

Bonus: Conversation with Norman Mineta

42:21 | Apr 29th, 2016

In 1942, Norman Mineta and his family were forced from their home in San Jose, California and into an internment camp in Wyoming. The Minetas were among tens of thousands of Japanese-Americans subjected to internment in the aftermath of Pearl Harbor ...Show More

137: The Supreme Court's Loaded Gun

27:36 | Apr 28th, 2016

More than 70 years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down a decision often regarded as one of the worst in its long history. In Korematsu v. United States, the court validated putting American citizens in internment camps during wartime, based on th...Show More

136: Martina Navratilova stick to tennis? "No chance"

27:56 | Apr 21st, 2016

She’s made millions of dollars, achieved world-wide fame and yet, former world number one tennis pro Martina Navratilova likes to spend her days tweeting about...politics. The tennis legend is a self-identified liberal, and two major events affected ...Show More

135: No taxation without....special interests

23:24 | Apr 14th, 2016

When Ronald Reagan signed the 1986 Tax Reform Act into law, the Republican president hoped that the law would simplify the tax code and close loopholes. Reforming the tax code had been Reagan’s number one domestic priority during his campaign and it...Show More

134: Running as a Woman

20:06 | Apr 7th, 2016

When Hillary Clinton first ran for president in 2008, forecasters and prognosticators quickly seized on what they perceived as a concerted effort to project an image of strength, in part by de-emphasizing her gender. But eight years later, her 2016 c...Show More

133: The FEC is a watchdog that doesn't bite

23:07 | Mar 31st, 2016

The 2016 presidential election is on track to becoming the most expensive campaign in U.S. history. But the the Federal Election Commission, charged with regulating how that campaign money is raised and spent, may be the least understood and most ine...Show More

132: Who's caring for the vets?

41:34 | Mar 24th, 2016

On the latest DecodeDC podcast, host Jimmy Williams sits down with Scripps Investigative Reporter Mark Greenblatt about his 6-month-long investigation into problems at the Cincinnati VA. Greenblatt teamed up with WCPO reporter Dan Monk, who together ...Show More

131: Is the Supreme Court too supreme?

25:01 | Mar 17th, 2016

The status of the Supreme Court in American government has ebbed and flowed since the Constitution was ratified. But starting in the 1950s, the Court has had a long and unchallenged reign of extraordinary power and authority as the final guardian of ...Show More

130: The long view with Madeleine Albright

27:24 | Mar 10th, 2016

Madeleine Albright describes herself as a late bloomer but boy, has she made something of that late push. After starting her political career as a Senate staffer at the age of 39, Albright went on to the National Security Council, before serving as U...Show More

129: Superdelegates, WTF

20:05 | Mar 3rd, 2016

Superdelegates. Maybe you’ve heard something about them, but might not know how they came to be, how they work, who they are and why they matter. But if you want to make sense of the delegate math in this year’s Democratic contest, you need to unders...Show More

128: South Carolina's unholy alliance

27:54 | Feb 25th, 2016

Long ago in South Carolina, an unholy alliance was made to keep the races separate. In the second episode of our two-part series on the politics of race in the Palmetto State, we introduce you to two of the people who keep that pact going. And they h...Show More

Revisiting: The Price of Privacy

26:50 | Feb 23rd, 2016

Right now, a battle is being waged between Apple and the government over encryption. A federal court has ordered the tech giant to unlock an iPhone used by one of the attackers in the San Bernardino shooting that left 14 people dead. Apple is fightin...Show More

127: The black and white state of South Carolina

29:17 | Feb 18th, 2016

From 2010-2014, more than 200,000 people moved to South Carolina. The South is the fastest growing region of the county but unlike its neighbors, the Palmetto state seems to be stuck in time. South Carolina’s schools rank 43rd in the nation. The medi...Show More

126: How Anne Boleyn gave us our right to privacy

23:50 | Feb 11th, 2016

Today Americans view privacy as a fundamental civil liberty, a right that puts a boundary on what the government can do. Our ‘right to privacy’ has become part of the essential contract Americans make with their government, a system that protects ind...Show More

125: Political Dynasties

19:30 | Feb 4th, 2016

Adams, Bush, Clinton, Kennedy. Somehow the same family names keep popping up in American politics. And that raises the question: Why, in a proudly democratic country, do we wind up with something that doesn’t feel very democratic? This week on the po...Show More

124: Broad Politics

25:32 | Jan 28th, 2016

Beyoncé had it right. Who runs the world? Girls. Just ask Jay Newtown-Small, a Time magazine correspondent and author of the new book, “Broad Influence: How Women Are Changing the Way America Works.” This week on the podcast, Newton-Small speaks wit...Show More

123: The new kid on the block

30:50 | Jan 21st, 2016

From the outside looking in, Brian Sims seems to have it all. He’s young, energetic, well liked, and his political career’s on the rise. After becoming one of the first openly gay college football players in NCAA history, Sims went on to law school a...Show More

Bonus: TrailMix 2016 Ep 1 - Feeling the Bern, Bill Clinton & women, endorsements and Nickelback

26:39 | Jan 15th, 2016

We thought you might enjoy a look at Scripps News' newest podcast, TrailMix 2016 - a weekly conversation about the state of the campaign. This week’s topics include: Is it time to take Bernie Sanders seriously? What about Bill Clinton and women? Do e...Show More

122: When words speak louder than actions

23:14 | Jan 14th, 2016

Jeremy Frimer, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Winnipeg, teamed up with some other researchers in Canada and Germany and tried to answer this question: Why do the American people seem to hate Congress so much? And what they ...Show More

121: The Sorry State of the State of the Union

22:34 | Jan 7th, 2016

From members of Congress jockeying for the best tv spot, to constant interruptions of applause, the State of the Union address has become a primetime spectacle. On our latest podcast, former Capitol Hill staffer and current lobbyist Steve Moffitt off...Show More

Meet Jimmy Williams: DecodeDC's New Host

28:34 | Jan 5th, 2016

Jimmy Williams is a veteran of Washington, D.C.'s political scene, engaging in nearly every facet of American politics, as a congressional staffer then lobbyist and now, as DecodeDC's new host. Podcasting is new to Jimmy, so he sought ought the advic...Show More

120: Our 2015 favorite episodes and the tape you didn't get to hear

27:30 | Dec 29th, 2015

It's been a big year in politics - and an even bigger one is on its way. Before we dive into the coming year of campaigns, candidates, and conventions, host Jimmy Williams sits down with DecodeDC's producers and editors to talk about some of our best...Show More

119: The Lie of the Year

32:35 | Dec 23rd, 2015

Tis the season of year-end lists – and so we offer our second annual Lie of the Year podcast thanks to our friends from PolitiFact, the fact-checking Website. PolitiFact Editor Angie Drobnic-Holan talks us through this year’s top 10.

118: Does conservative media have too much power?

23:00 | Dec 17th, 2015

Conservative media has gone through surprising changes in recent years, not that many people outside that orbit have noticed. There is a world of talk radio, podcasts and websites far bigger, a new breed like the commentator Steve Deace, who are more...Show More

117: #tbt to when Congress actually worked

24:58 | Dec 10th, 2015

In today’s political atmosphere of partisan bickering and congressional dysfunction, there’s something reassuring about reflecting on a time when things actually worked on Capitol Hill. On the latest DecodeDC podcast, we’re traveling back to the 1940...Show More

116: A Bad Case of Electoralitis

22:05 | Dec 3rd, 2015

This week on DecodeDC, Dick Meyer and Dr. Anthony King discuss American elections and how they're viewed abroad. King is a British professor of comparative government and the author of "Running Scared: Why America’s Politicians Campaign Too Much and ...Show More

Rerun: The military has its fingers in your food

17:02 | Nov 24th, 2015

As you sit around the dining room table this week with family and friends, giving thanks and enjoying roasted turkey, creamy mashed potatoes and warm stuffing, here’s something to keep in mind: Some of that food you’re chowing down might have origina...Show More

115: The Price of Privacy

26:10 | Nov 19th, 2015

In the wake of the terrorist attacks in Paris, the battle between privacy versus public safety has become ever more relevant. Law enforcement agencies maintain that the same encryption you use on your cell phone to keep your private information safe ...Show More

114: Budget Battle B.S.

25:50 | Nov 12th, 2015

At this point, the Washington federal budget cycle is pretty well established. A stalemated federal government leads to the predictable standoff. Cue the shutdown clocks on cable news, ignore the threats lobbed between members of Congress and await ...Show More

113: Is the Electoral College broken?

20:56 | Nov 5th, 2015

The Electoral College - it's something we have to deal with during every presidential election. But should we? This week on the podcast, we look at how and why the Electoral College system came to be. We also talk with Dr. John Koza, chairman of the ...Show More

Bonus: DecodeDeceased on Capitol Hill

09:55 | Oct 30th, 2015

Capitol Hill can be horrifying… On this bonus episode of DecodeDC, we focus on the spookier aspects of Capitol Hill during a ghost tour with ScaryDC. Long-dead Supreme Court Justice Samuel Chase comes back to walk us through the stories of haunted ar...Show More

112: GOP Family Feud

19:11 | Oct 29th, 2015

Things are pretty weird in the House of Representatives right now. Paul Ryan was just chosen to be the next speaker of the House, a position he never wanted, after a fractured Republican Party united behind him. Republicans have the largest majority...Show More

111: Conversation in the digital age...nvm, tl;dr

18:15 | Oct 22nd, 2015

It’s a bizarre question at first: Is our capacity for meaningful, soul-nourishing conversation something that can go away? Sherry Turkle, professor of psychology at MIT, and author of “Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in the Digital Age”, ...Show More

110: What we talk about when we talk about poverty

20:41 | Oct 15th, 2015

If it seems impossible to talk about poverty in the U.S. without talking about race and culture, that's thanks in large part to one man: Daniel Patrick Moynihan. In 1965, Moynihan wrote a government memo that changed the way we think about poverty. I...Show More

109: The military has its fingers in your food

18:24 | Oct 8th, 2015

Nestled in the woods just outside of Boston sits the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Systems Center. The base does research on the necessities soldiers need on the frontline, such as clothing, shoes, body armor and food. Part of Natick’s mandate is to get t...Show More

108: It's Citizens United, Stupid

24:13 | Oct 1st, 2015

DecodeDC reporter Miranda Green and producer Eric Krupke recently took a trip to the frontlines of the 2016 battlefield -- a rally for Sanders in North Carolina and one for Trump in Texas. And what they learned was surprising. While visibly differen...Show More

107: The Pope's Political Reach

26:35 | Sep 23rd, 2015

Less than 24 hours after touching down on U.S. soil for the very first time, Pope Francis made quite clear his stance on issues such as immigration and climate change. Confronting major global disputes with forceful words is nothing new for Pope Fran...Show More

Bonus: Housing discrimination - one man's story

10:42 | Sep 22nd, 2015

Antoine Lynch is having a hard time finding an affordable place to live. That is, until the DC government provided him with a housing voucher that guaranteed partial payment of his monthly rent. But, when he called around to housing complexes where h...Show More

106: Separate and Unequal

26:29 | Sep 17th, 2015

We think our cities look a certain way because of people’s choices and preferences, but it turns out, the government has had a huge hand in keeping neighborhoods separate and unequal. This week on DecodeDC, we tackle the question that’s been vexing t...Show More

105: Terrified of terrorism

22:19 | Sep 10th, 2015

This week’s podcast challenges a political sacred cow. In fact, it might be the mother of all sacred cows. It is the belief that foreign terrorism is one of the most serious threats to the safety of Americans and the security of what since 9/11 we ha...Show More

104: Revisiting A Brief History of Humankind

34:02 | Sep 2nd, 2015

Every once in a while, we like to rerun one of our most popular podcasts, and this is one of those occasions. Enjoy listening--or relistening--to our conversation with Yuval Noah Harari about his book "Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind".

103: When weed is your only hope

18:42 | Aug 27th, 2015

Renee Petro was desperate to help her son, Brandon, who sometimes would experience as many as 100 seizures a day. She tried medications, she looked into surgery...and then she discovered cannabis. On this episode of the DecodeDC podcast, guest host M...Show More

102: A Glimpse into Gitmo

26:15 | Aug 20th, 2015

On this week’s podcast, we sit down with reporter Carol Rosenberg, who’s outlasted soldiers, interrogators, and lawyers at Guantanamo Bay. For more than 13 years, she has become the keeper of record for what remains a controversial response to the te...Show More

101: David Simon

18:21 | Aug 13th, 2015

The creator of The Wire and Treme has a new miniseries debuting this Sunday. We talk with David Simon about 'Show Me A Hero,' Simons's first project that he says is explicitly about race, class and how decades of government policy have created 'two A...Show More

100: America's Prison Problem

23:48 | Aug 6th, 2015

With more than two million people behind bars, a 500 percent increase since the mid 1970s, politicians on both sides of the aisle have come to agree that America has a prison problem. On this week’s DecodeDC podcast—our 100th episode—guest host Emily...Show More

Bonus: I didn't come here to make friends

10:58 | Aug 4th, 2015

The similarities of reality TV and politics – especially with The Donald on the debate stage – are the topic of this bonus episode of the DecodeDC podcast. Host Miranda Green talks with Robert Galinsky, president and coach at the Reality TV School of...Show More

99: Why would Iran give up on its nuclear program?

22:41 | Jul 30th, 2015

On this week’s DecodeDC podcast, guest host Todd Zwillich talks with Rupal Mehta, an assistant professor at the University of Nebraska, about why countries that start down the path of developing nuclear weapons decide to stop.

98: Spirited History

19:26 | Jul 23rd, 2015

Forget the debate over Alexander Hamilton’s spot on the ten-dollar bill. The founding father’s image may be better suited on a bottle of bourbon. On the latest DecodeDC podcast, guest host Todd Zwillich sits down with Reid Mitenbuler, author of Bourb...Show More

97: Tell me a (political) story

17:58 | Jul 16th, 2015

Political campaigns are about a lot of things: message, money, organization and of course, more money. But campaigns are also about storytelling. Stories help candidates connect with voters, putting a human face on dry policy debates. Some politician...Show More

96: Revisiting Populism's Popularity

17:12 | Jul 9th, 2015

The number keeps growing but at the moment there are 22 noble or nutty (you pick) souls running for president – and the election is still 16 months away. One of them, Bernie Sanders, says he is a socialist, whatever that means in 2015 America. Sander...Show More

95: SCOTUS: The People's Court?

24:31 | Jul 1st, 2015

The Supreme Court’s term has ended with two supreme-sized rulings, one affirming a right to same-sex marriage, the other upholding the Affordable Care Act. Overall, the conventional rap on the term has been that it was a decidedly liberal year for th...Show More

94: The $140 Billion Investment No One Is Tracking

24:46 | Jun 25th, 2015

Every year, we spend $140 billion on grants and loans for college students. How's that investment doing? Well, we really don't know, and to find out, it turns out we'd have to break the law.

93: LBJ and the racial divide, 50 years later

19:52 | Jun 18th, 2015

It isn’t often that the president of the United States opens up about America’s history of racism or about how African Americans have suffered because of it - or about how white America must accept responsibility for these wrongs. But that is exactly...Show More

92: Laughing Matters

19:46 | Jun 11th, 2015

Host: Dick Meyer I’ve gotten interested in humorlessness. I’ve come to believe that politics has become less funny, more humorless. I think this is certainly true of professional politicians and their henchmen and henchwomen. I think it is true of pu...Show More

91: Congress and...the mafia?

22:25 | Jun 5th, 2015

It’s no secret that members of Congress spend much of their time raising money. But here’s something you probably didn’t know: A huge chunk of the money they haul in is not spent on their campaigns. It’s funneled directly to the political parties in ...Show More

90: Narwhal vs. Orca

16:07 | May 27th, 2015

Once upon a time in the fairytale land of politics, there was an epic clash of magical beasts. On one side, the sea-unicorn called the narwhal. With a wave of his single tusk, he could muster thousands of volunteers, knock on millions of doors and di...Show More

89: Revisiting 'Under the Radar'

26:37 | May 22nd, 2015

There’s been a major development in the wake of a Scripps News Investigation featured in a DecodeDC podcast last December. Congress has now passed legislation that requires the Department of Defense to register sex offenders directly with an FBI data...Show More

88: The Great Migration

22:37 | May 14th, 2015

In Baltimore it was Freddie Gray. In Ferguson it was Michael Brown. on Staten Island it was Eric Garner. And in many other places, poor black men and boys have died in confrontations with police. On this week’s DecodeDC podcast, we talk with author, ...Show More

87: The New Wild

24:10 | May 8th, 2015

For the past 20 years, Dr. M Sanjayan has devoted his life to environmental policy and the protection of wildlife. After decades in the environmental movement, Sanjayan has come to realize that you can’t separate humans from the natural environment a...Show More

86: A Brief History of Humankind

35:21 | Apr 30th, 2015

“Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind” by Yuval Noah Harari is a book that has more ideas per rectangular page than anything I have read in years. I was lucky enough to have a long conversation with Harari for this week’s podcast. Harari is a histor...Show More

Bonus: Marriage Goes to Court

20:35 | Apr 29th, 2015

No matter where you stand on the issue of same-sex marriage, Tuesday's historic oral arguments at the Supreme Court represented the next step in what will be an unprecedented moment to define - or redefine - the institution of marriage. On a special ...Show More

85: The Changing Face of Marriage

32:54 | Apr 23rd, 2015

A little thing called marriage is about to have a big day in court. On Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments on state bans against same-sex marriage. This is such a huge case that DecodeDC recently teamed up with the Scripps television ...Show More

84: Nerd Prom

23:10 | Apr 16th, 2015

When someone asks what the most important event in Washington is every year, you’d hope that the answer would involve a key piece of civic action or an instance of Americans making their voices heard. In reality, D.C’s biggest event is an altogether ...Show More

83: Terms of Surrender in the Culture War

19:02 | Apr 9th, 2015

Unless you’ve been trapped in a monastery over the past month, you’ve witnessed the fire and brimstone storms over so-called religious freedom laws in Indiana and Arkansas. Coverage of the push for these religious freedom laws tends to focus on how t...Show More

82: Lessons from LBJ and the Great Society

28:29 | Apr 2nd, 2015

The Voting Rights Act. The Civil Rights Act. Medicare. Vietnam. The 1960s were a transformational time for America and at the center of much of it was Lyndon B. Johnson. This year marks the 50th anniversary for landmark legislation that would not h...Show More

81: The ultimate insider's tour of the U.S. Senate

24:28 | Mar 26th, 2015

For spring break, we are going to take you on the ultimate insider’s tour of the Senate side of the U.S. Capitol. Your guide: Senate historian Donald Ritchie, who will retire in May after nearly 40 years in the Senate Historical Office. The office se...Show More

80: U.S., Russia and Ukraine: A web of complexity

23:31 | Mar 19th, 2015

It isn’t every day that Democrats and Republicans are on the same side of anything, so it may come as a surprise that the nation of Ukraine has not only brought them together, but brought them together in opposition to the White House. Lawmakers on b...Show More

79: The six words behind the case against Obamacare

25:30 | Mar 12th, 2015

“What did they know and when did they know it?” It’s Washington’s favorite question for scandal, for mystery or subterfuge. Senator Howard Baker coined “what did they know and when did they know it” back in the Watergate hearings. It’s what lawmakers...Show More

78: Generation Me

16:57 | Mar 5th, 2015

Political scientists and lawyers have had their chance to diagnose the causes of the obvious ills in the American body politic, and to write some prescriptions. It’s high time to give some other faculties a chance. In this week’s podcast, we talk to...Show More

77: Inside House of Cards 5

28:37 | Feb 27th, 2015

We are only hours away from the release of season three of House of Cards, the dark, cynical world of Washington politics as ruled by Francis Underwood. It’s a world that series showrunner Beau Willimon is well familiar with. As a playwright, he tack...Show More

76: Inside House of Cards 4

17:21 | Feb 25th, 2015

Francis Underwood has finally made it to the White House. The character, played by Kevin Spacey, spent the first two seasons of “House of Cards” scheming, murdering and blackmailing his way from Congress to the vice presidency to the Oval Office. T...Show More

75: Inside House of Cards 3

21:14 | Feb 24th, 2015

It’s “House of Cards” week on DecodeDC. We are helping get YOU ready for the release of Season 3 of the Netflix series with a five-podcast special series, “Inside House of Cards.” Today’s installment – the third – is all about the business, or maybe ...Show More

74: Inside House of Cards 2

25:15 | Feb 23rd, 2015

In the second installment of our DecodeDC special series, “Inside House of Cards,” we go into the world of journalism and politics. Our guide, Matt Bai, spent years as a Washington political reporter for The New York Times Magazine and is now a polit...Show More

73: Inside House of Cards 1

33:26 | Feb 19th, 2015

February has been a brutal month for most of us – snow and cold and ice and kids home from school and trips cancelled. Perhaps the only thing that redeems this month is the release of season three of “House of Cards” on Feb. 27. Perhaps it is our fas...Show More

72: The politics of love

24:46 | Feb 12th, 2015

Picture this: Girl agrees to go on date with boy. Girl and boy are having a great time together. But girl has a really bad feeling about boy. Girl thinks boy is a Republican. Date comes to a screeching halt. No, this is not some weird political roman...Show More

71: Is it enough to make community college free?

24:10 | Feb 5th, 2015

Ever since President Obama unveiled his proposal to make two years of community college free for every American, it seems like all we’ve heard about is the money. How much would it cost? (Answer: about $6 billion.) How much would it bring in, once th...Show More

70: Can we stop Boko Haram?

18:33 | Jan 29th, 2015

Crowds in the street chanting, “Bring back our girls!” Images of distraught parents and an outraged community. That’s how most Americans first learned about the terrorist group Boko Haram, which kidnapped more than 250 school girls from a state run s...Show More

69: Obama's Legacy on Race

14:18 | Jan 22nd, 2015

So, here’s a question. When is it too early to assess a president’s legacy? How about two years before his term ends? Not for David Haskell, an editor at New York magazine, who polled 53 historians and asked them how they thought we’d remember Presid...Show More

68: Is Obama Great? Wait and See

20:21 | Jan 15th, 2015

For the Obama administration, it’s the beginning of the end: the fourth quarter of his presidency. That means political junkies have moved on to 2016, while historians, scholars and, undoubtedly, the president himself have turned their attention to O...Show More

Bonus: Violence and Muslims

22:18 | Jan 9th, 2015

We’ve all been watching events unfold in Paris with sinking horror. Another terrorist attack, turning police, civilians, writers and satirists into blood and meat. Another man-hunt broadcast on TV; mugshots of terrorists with Muslim names. And now th...Show More

67: The Bootstraps Myth

22:40 | Jan 8th, 2015

Picture this: two candidates take the stage for a debate. One steps to the podium and begins with a few biographical facts. He was born to a factory worker and a stay-at-home mom, and he went to public school. Before says a word about policy, the sec...Show More

Episode 66: Who told the biggest political whopper in 2014?

19:08 | Dec 24th, 2014

‘Tis the season for the year-end list. And we thought it fitting that our contribution to this mainstay of holiday journalism be the best political lies of 2014 - from tiny truth-stretching fibs to all out, no-shame whoppers. To help us in our task, ...Show More

Episode 65: Race, police and chokeholds

19:00 | Dec 18th, 2014

It was the early morning hours of Oct. 6, 1976. Adolph Lyons, a 24-year-old African-American, was driving through Los Angeles with a broken taillight. Two LAPD officers in a squad car pulled Lyons over, and approached with their pistols drawn. Lyons ...Show More

Episode 64: Should local prosecutors prosecute local cops?

20:28 | Dec 12th, 2014

There are hard, deep-seeded questions in the public’s outcry following two police killings – that of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and Eric Garner in New York City. Race, poverty, police training, and the use of deadly force are only a few of ...Show More

Episode 63: Under the Radar

23:12 | Dec 5th, 2014

Like any parent might, one Wisconsin mom wanted to make sure her adult daughter’s new boyfriend was a decent guy. So she went online and and searched for his name, Matthew Carr. What she found was nothing -- which, in retrospect, is incredibly shocki...Show More

Episode 62: Politics around the Turkey

18:25 | Nov 25th, 2014

Does the thought of Thanksgiving make your palms sweat? Does your stomach hurt, BEFORE the meal? Maybe holiday fun translates to holiday dysfunction when it comes to your family gathering? We hear you. So just in time for your yearly gathering of t...Show More

Politics around the Turkey Giblet - 4

01:10 | Nov 23rd, 2014

If you’re anxious about the dinner topics during the holiday season, Decode has your back. We hope to help you navigate your way through the Turkey dinner with our political guide to surviving Thanksgiving. So, for your listening pleasure we are rele...Show More

Politics around the Turkey Giblet - 3

01:00 | Nov 23rd, 2014

If you’re anxious about the dinner topics during the holiday season, Decode has your back. We hope to help you navigate your way through the Turkey dinner with our political guide to surviving Thanksgiving. So, for your listening pleasure we are rele...Show More

Politics around the Turkey Giblet - 2

01:05 | Nov 23rd, 2014

If you’re anxious about the dinner topics during the holiday season, Decode has your back. We hope to help you navigate your way through the Turkey dinner with our political guide to surviving Thanksgiving. So, for your listening pleasure we are rele...Show More

Politics around the Turkey Giblet-1

01:05 | Nov 23rd, 2014

If you’re anxious about the dinner topics during the holiday season, Decode has your back. We hope to help you navigate your way through the Turkey dinner with our political guide to surviving Thanksgiving. So, for your listening pleasure we are rele...Show More

Episode 61: Exit Interview with Rep. Bill Owens

20:11 | Nov 19th, 2014

Some politicians slide into Congress after a boring, predictable, easy win as the predestined candidate. Others practically stumble — like Congressman Bill Owens, who was the last man standing in the dust of a political nuclear war back in 2009. In t...Show More

Episode 60: Polarized America: How'd we get here?

13:51 | Nov 14th, 2014

There was a time when Americans weren’t so intensely divided as we are today. In fact, says journalist and writer Bill Bishop, from World War II to the mid 1970s, Americans’ attitudes about culture, family and politics grew more alike. Then things st...Show More

Episode 59: GOP wins BIG...but there's more to the story

18:59 | Nov 6th, 2014

There’s really only one story to tell about the 2014 midterm elections, right? Only one story, that is, if you rely on the constant stream of chatter from 24-7 cable TV, election-obsessed political rags, and the twitterverse for your news. The story?...Show More

Episode 58: Future of Voting

24:47 | Oct 31st, 2014

Next Tuesday Americans across the country will participate in one of the most basic civic duties: voting. For many, that means taking time off work, driving to a designated polling place and casting their ballot through standalone voting machines. Bu...Show More

Episode 57: The Dark Money Blitzkrieg

20:34 | Oct 24th, 2014

Tis the season for elaborate costumes, anonymous boogiemen and masked pranksters. That's right, it’s election season. Across the country, races for the House, Senate, governors and state legislators are being haunted by nasty attack ads. In this week...Show More

Episode 56: The legacy of AIDS shapes government's response to Ebola

20:13 | Oct 17th, 2014

Ebola has killed nearly 5,000 people and put America and the world on high alert. In contrast, the world’s worst pandemic, AIDS, hit the U.S. three decades ago and was largely ignored. Because of that, hundreds and then thousands fell sick and died o...Show More

Episode 55: Tackling unwanted pregnancies: a conversation with Isabel Sawhill

19:53 | Oct 10th, 2014

A staggering number of young women are having babies today who say they didn’t mean to get pregnant. New statistics from the Brookings Institution show that, among American women under age 30, more than 70% of pregnancies are unintended. In her new b...Show More

Episode 54: Disaster Prone: What you get may depend more on where you live than what you lost

13:05 | Oct 3rd, 2014

This week on the DecodeDC podcast we’re talking to Scripps national investigative reporter Lee Bowman about his story on the disaster behind federal disaster aid. When your house or town gets destroyed by a hurricane or a tornado, you may expect the ...Show More

Episode 53: Exit Interview: Rep. Henry Waxman reflects on 40 years in Congress

21:30 | Sep 25th, 2014

On April 14, 1994, the top executives of America’s seven largest tobacco companies filed into the hearing room before the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health and the Environment. Before speaking, the CEOs took an oath to tell the truth, ...Show More

Episode 52: The Vicar of Baghdad

18:12 | Sep 19th, 2014

He is called the Vicar of Baghdad, though his life couldn’t be more different from the average English vicar. The Reverend Canon Andrew White leads St. George’s Church, the last Anglican church in Iraq. He also runs a clinic that sees thousands of pa...Show More

Episode 51: Does the United States have a responsibility to act against ISIS?

25:01 | Sep 12th, 2014

On this week's DecodeDC podcast, host Andrea Seabrook talks to three experts about a deceptively simple question: What responsibility does the U.S. have, if any, to respond to ISIS? Many Americans have been surprised in recent weeks by the brutal tak...Show More

Episode 50: The Political Ad That Changed Everything

24:52 | Sep 5th, 2014

It aired only once. A one-minute spot during “The NBC Monday Night Movie.” But it changed every political ad that came after -- as well as the entire field of advertising. The Daisy ad aired during the height of Lyndon B. Johnson’s re-election campai...Show More

Episode 49: Why more Americans are carrying guns in more places than ever before

19:32 | Aug 28th, 2014

Americans can carry more guns in more places than ever before. Across the country, grassroots movements in states and on college campuses are demanding that gun regulations be relaxed -- and lawmakers are meeting those demands. This is one, major tre...Show More

Episode 48: The Changing Front Lines in the Battle Over Guns

21:50 | Aug 22nd, 2014

It has been twenty years since Congress passed federal gun control legislation. That’s two decades in which America has seen some of the most horrific massacres in our nation’s history. But despite DC's gridlock on the issue, America’s debate over g...Show More

Episode 47: Meet the Marketer of Ideas, Arthur Brooks

14:58 | Aug 14th, 2014

This week’s podcast is a conversation with Arthur Brooks, who runs the American Enterprise Institute, a big conservative think tank in Washington and our chief Washington correspondent Dick meyer. It didn’t turn out to be the podcast we expected. Bro...Show More

Episode 46: A "Border Crisis" Far from the Border

17:35 | Aug 8th, 2014

Tens of thousands of children have crossed into the United States this year, fleeing desperate conditions in Central America. The news media have dubbed it a “border crisis,” though none of these kids stays at the border for very long. And in Washing...Show More

Episode 45: How one bill passed in the aftermath of 9/11 is still shaping U.S. modern warfare

17:20 | Aug 1st, 2014

It was three days after the attacks —September 14th, 2001 -- that Congress gathered in Washington to respond to the vicious blow America had sustained. Every member of the House and Senate, save one, voted to give President George W. Bush the authori...Show More

Episode 44: Exit Interview: Rep. Rush Holt

24:01 | Jul 24th, 2014

Members of Congress are notorious for being tight-lipped about the details of the legislative process -- especially when they’re talking to journalists. Luckily there are exceptions to the informational lock-down reporters face: members of Congress w...Show More

Episode 43: Executive Orders

20:12 | Jul 18th, 2014

House Speaker John Boehner, the country’s most powerful Republican, says he’s going to sue President Barack Obama on behalf of the Congress for alleged misuse of executive orders. Is Boehner's threat more of the same partisan Washington theater or a ...Show More

Episode 42: Exit Interview: Rep. Jim Moran

24:21 | Jul 10th, 2014

Members of Congress are notorious for being tight-lipped about the details of the legislative process -- especially when they’re talking to journalists. In part this is because of the intense polarization of our day. It's also because lawmakers are ...Show More

Episode 41: Critical Infrastructure and The Next War

21:33 | Jul 3rd, 2014

Episode 41: Critical Infrastructure and The Next War by The Scripps Washington Bureau

Episode 40: The Government Has Your Number

21:07 | Jun 26th, 2014

When hackers broke into the computers of top American discount chain Target Corp, it made international headlines. Cyber-criminals sucked up tens of millions of credit card numbers, email and home addresses, phone numbers and more, selling them on th...Show More

Episode 39: Populisms New Popularity on the Right and Left

23:31 | Jun 19th, 2014

The words “populist” and” populism” have been ubiquitous on cable news talk shows and in the political press for the past couple of months. This makes us at DecodeDC cranky. The words, it seems to us, are being used in silly, nonsensical ways, sull...Show More

Episode 38: Why hardball tactics have led to the most polarized Congress ever

24:34 | Jun 12th, 2014

Pop Quiz: Which was the most polarized time in American history? The Civil War? Prohibition? The Civil Rights Movement? Nope, no, and nyet. Well, if you gauge by the House and Senate, that is. Political Science professor Sean Theriault tells us that,...Show More

Episode 37: Cracking open the government: On the front lines of making Washington transparent

20:40 | Jun 5th, 2014

There’s a quiet movement afoot in Washington; one you won’t hear about on cable news or flashy political blogs. It is the 21st century iteration of a classic American ideal: radical transparency in government. The modern pursuers of this goal include...Show More

Episode 36: Can Spelling Bee kids spell better than members of Congress? A-B-S-O-L-U-T-E-L-Y

22:15 | May 28th, 2014

"Can you spell logorrhea?" That's what DecodeDC asked Members of Congress and their constituents -- specifically those whiz-kid spellers who are in the nation's capital for the annual Scripps National Spelling Bee. Turns out, the answer is N-O; just ...Show More

Episode 35: Bright, Young Conservatives; But Who to Look Up To?

23:46 | May 22nd, 2014

DecodeDC podcast episode #35: Bright, Young Conservatives; But Who to Look Up To?

Episode 34: What can Mars teach us about politics on Earth?

18:11 | May 15th, 2014

The future of Congress has been on our minds. Recently, we considered how advances in technology and data analysis can and will change the way legislators do their work. There are places that are pushing the envelope in this arena. In Brazil official...Show More

Episode 33: Future Congress

22:52 | May 8th, 2014

We have always been innovators. It is in our nature as Americans. Heck, democracy itself was born here, as part of what the 19th century French philosopher Alexis de Tocqueville called the Great American Experiment. But with the average age in Congre...Show More

Repost Episode 1: House of (Mis) Representatives

13:45 | May 1st, 2014

This is it, folks — DecodeDC is relaunching next week! Keep an eye out for our new logo, and enjoy multimedia content on our daily blog, which will be posted on all Scripps websites. Thanks for sticking with us as we’ve been preparing for the all new...Show More

Repost Episode 10: A Kind of Republican

26:45 | Apr 25th, 2014

As we prepare for the relaunch of DecodeDC, we are continuing to repost some of our past episodes. This week we re-present our conversation with former congressmen Jim Kolbe, a Republican from Arizona who served in the House for decades. Similar to m...Show More

Repost Episode 16: Belly of the Beast

21:22 | Apr 17th, 2014

Last week we re-posted an episode featuring former Congressman Lee Hamilton reading his essay on how politics has changed. As promised, we’re now reposting our follow-up conversation with Hamilton from July of 2013 about the biggest problem he sees i...Show More

Repost Episode 15: What's Wrong?

12:02 | Apr 11th, 2014

It’s a question that never seems to go away or have a clear-cut answer: What’s wrong with Washington? For an answer – or some answers – we’re turning to former Rep. Lee Hamilton this week. We’re reposting a June 2013 podcast with Hamilton, who, with ...Show More

Episode 32: Inside the Investigation

20:33 | Apr 4th, 2014

Sometimes the journey is as interesting as the destination. That’s what our colleague at Scripps News, investigative reporter Mark Greenblatt, discovered as he pursued what he thought was a straightforward news story. Greenblatt got a tip: NASA was s...Show More

Repost Episode 23: Morality 2.0

26:34 | Mar 28th, 2014

The Obama administration called for an end Thursday to the National Security Agency's bulk collection of data about phone calls made within the United States. The proposal, which would have to be approved by Congress, stems from the uproar following ...Show More

Repost Episode 18: The Paperwork Reduction Act

15:30 | Mar 21st, 2014

It’s that time of year again, where flowers are budding, the grass is growing greener, people are shedding their winter layers, and taxes are due—sorry for the reminder. Have you ever wondered why there’s so much burdensome paperwork associated with ...Show More

Episode 31: Fear and loathing in gay Washington

17:35 | Mar 14th, 2014

He was an influential figure in one of the biggest social changes the country has seen in decades --x the growing acceptance of gay Americans. But, you've probably never heard of him. So we've gone back to the DecodeDC archives to bring you this enco...Show More

Episode 30: Follow the money to understand Washington

19:51 | Mar 7th, 2014

Just a few years ago, it was a big deal when the president unveiled his spending proposal, but “budget day” this week was kind of a snore. That may be because President Barack Obama’s $3.9 trillion proposal for fiscal year 2015, which begins Oct. 1, ...Show More

Episode 29: Actress Kathleen Turner says not all politicians are stars

14:12 | Feb 27th, 2014

Some politicians have it, and some don't. That's what award-winning actress Kathleen Turner says it comes down to: There are politicians with an effective stage presence, and there are those without one. Coaching might help some of them, she says. Ot...Show More

Episode 28: And the winner is...

18:36 | Feb 21st, 2014

Politicians have been performing since history has been recorded – and some performances have stood the test of time for their eloquence, their intelligence and their ability to comfort a nation. And others, well, not so much. We have nominated eight...Show More

Episode 27: The Untold Story of the Stimulus

23:51 | Feb 14th, 2014

Five years ago. It was the early days of the Obama presidency. And it was a panicky moment in what came to be called the Great Recession. Congress already had bailed out Wall Street’s most troubled companies with a program called TARP – the Troubled ...Show More

Episode 26: Polling 2016

14:56 | Feb 7th, 2014

Something happened. We lost two years. It’s already 2016, and the presidential election is here – as in right now. That must be the case. There’s a new poll out almost every day. One poll after another declares Hillary Clinton is in the lead for the ...Show More

Episode 25: The Greatest Show on Earth

14:46 | Jan 31st, 2014

If you’ve ever watched or heard a State of the Union address, you might think the event starts like this: “Mr. Speaker! The President of the United States!” But, as is true with so many things in Washington, there’s more to the story. A lot more. Th...Show More

Episode 24: The Real Fight Over Unemployment Benefits

17:34 | Jan 14th, 2014

If you've been tuning into the nightly news, you've heard the wrangling over unemployment benefits. It's not really about whether to extend them. It's about how to do it.

23: Morality 2.0

26:50 | Nov 1st, 2013

Which is worse: breaking the law to leak classified secrets? Or keeping quiet about what could be a violation of Americans' constitutional rights? Andrea Seabrook talks to an expert who believes that these modern times call for a Morality 2.0.

22: Open and Shut Congress

17:30 | Oct 19th, 2013

The government shutdown may be over, but has anything really changed? Andrea talks to Patti Daniels of Vermont Public Radio about the problems that caused the shutdown and which still plague Washington. Special thanks to Vermont Public Radio (www.vp...Show More

21: Justice in Shut Down

19:11 | Oct 4th, 2013

Budget battles. Sequestration. And now, shut down. The political mess in Washington has consequences far from Capitol Hill. Andrea talks to a Chief Federal Judge, Loretta A. Preska, about our system of Justice, teetering on the brink of dysfunction. ...Show More

20: In Other News

46:06 | Sep 20th, 2013

When the news becomes obsessed with a new story every week, do you ever wonder what's being pushed OUT of the headlines? Andrea Seabrook talks to a media critic and a historian about how news outlets choose the most important story, and why they ofte...Show More

19: Syria's Considerations

26:48 | Sep 9th, 2013

War-drums and peace-cries can drown out more considered implications of US intervention in Syria. We talk about the haunting ghosts of recent wars, plus get a much longer view -- one that advocates the return of mandatory service.

18: The Paperwork Reduction Act

16:33 | Aug 29th, 2013

Andrea talks to tech CEO and former Presidential Innovation Fellow Clay Johnson about the Paperwork Reduction Act, OIRA, and unintended consequences.

17: Wonderland

24:54 | Aug 8th, 2013

In an excerpt from DecodeDC's first live episode, Andrea interviews reporter Todd Zwillich on the pressures of covering Congress and doing it well.

16: Belly Of The Beast

22:13 | Jul 18th, 2013

Andrea talks more intimately with longtime Congressman and current statesman, Lee Hamilton, about the biggest problem he sees in today's politics: money.

15: What's Wrong

14:43 | Jun 26th, 2013

Andrea Seabrook introduces America's best pUNdit -- a man you'll rarely hear from on the daily news, but who knows more than almost anyone about what's wrong with Washington.

14: A Red Scare

21:27 | Jun 7th, 2013

Rich Tafel was deeply involved in one of the most sweeping changes of recent decades -- the social acceptance of Gay Americans. What's more, he's a Republican.

13: Documenting Immigrants

31:04 | May 24th, 2013

DecodeDC collects the stories of those most often left out of the immigration debate: actual immigrants.

12: Canta Y No Llores

19:36 | May 10th, 2013

In the first of a two-part series on immigration, DecodeDC looks at how humor can get closer to a problem than political talking points ever could. Special thanks this week to Radio Ambulante, a Spanish-language radio program telling uniquely Latin A...Show More

11: Paint By Numbers

20:05 | Mar 28th, 2013

Let's start from the beginning. To understand what underlies every argument in Washington these days, you have to know the basics of the federal budget. Problem is, most of us don't.

10: A Kind of Republican

26:58 | Mar 14th, 2013

Jim Kolbe, a Republican member of the House of Representatives from 1985-2003, is a political outlier. He is pro-choice, he supports same-sex marriage, and he's against any kind of institutional discrimination. Even more interesting? You probably hav...Show More

9: Irrational Numbers

23:39 | Mar 1st, 2013

The Budget, sequestration, and how it all began.

DDC8: There's a Plan for That

18:13 | Feb 15th, 2013

Big and long-term plans SOUND great in politics, but do they really work?

DDC7: Cerfing the Net

24:34 | Feb 1st, 2013

Andrea speaks with Internet Evangelist Vint Cerf about the Net's origins and future.

DDC6: The Future Was Now

26:04 | Jan 18th, 2013

In January, 2012, America's digerati pulled off the broadest, most powerful political protest ever orchestrated on the Internet. One year later we ask, what happened? And what next?

DDC5: The Unshow

15:25 | Jan 3rd, 2013

What We're NOT Covering and Why. DecodeDC explores the interplay of politics and the media, and how press coverage can feed into the negative, partisan bickering in Washington. Case in point: The Fiscal Cliff.

DDC4: The DecodeDC Voter Guide

21:01 | Nov 5th, 2012

DDC4: The DecodeDC Voter Guide by The Scripps Washington Bureau

Seabrook SoundCloud Outro

02:15 | Oct 26th, 2012

A final thought about my fellowship with SoundCloud -- plus big hugs and kisses to my fellow fellows!

The Political Stage

14:03 | Oct 14th, 2012

Sarah Palin's turkey-slaughter and Kenny G is mistaken for Bill Clinton. Andrea Seabrook and Roman Mars explain the 7-1/2 secrets of political staging. This is a joint episode between DecodeDC and 99% Invisible. Double the fun!

Mind Control

16:50 | Sep 28th, 2012

Ever wonder about the neuroscience behind party politics?

House of (mis)Representatives

14:28 | Sep 14th, 2012

Ever have that sinking feeling that your voice isn’t heard in Washington? It could be because it isn’t.

DecodeDC e1 INTRO

01:04 | Aug 10th, 2012

Intro to DecodeDC Episode1 -- The House of (mis)Representatives.

DecodeDC: Andrea Seabrook Introduction

01:45 | Jul 19th, 2012

Washington is broken. You are not. DecodeDC is for smart, engaged, and busy people like you. Through the podcast and blog, DecodeDC will decipher Washington's Byzantine language and procedure, sweeping away what doesn't matter so you can focus on wha...Show More