NPR logo Weekly Dose of Political Junkie

Weekly Dose of Political Junkie

Every Wednesday, NPR's political editor Ken Rudin joins us to talk about the presidential campaign, and other political news. And this week is spicy, spicy! Veteran Republican Senator Ted Stevens has been indicted on seven felony counts. New polls show John McCain leading among likely voters, and Barack Obama didn't quite get that "bump" from his overseas trip the Democrats had hoped for. Michigan voters go to the polls next week for a primary election for a highly contested, and controversial, congressional seat. And buzz continues to build over Obama and McCain's Veep choices. And if that isn't enough — wait, there's more! — Libertarian presidential candidate Bob Barr will join us to take your questions about his race for the White House. If you've got questions for our Junkie, leave them here.



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Is the answer Ronald Reagan, for keynote speaker who became nominee?

Sent by Veronica Holmes | 2:16 PM | 7-30-2008

... Ken, the company named in the indictment is VECO (VEE KO). The company was and oilfield service company. It was purchased by CH2M-HILL last year after Bill Allen was sentenced to prison

Sent by R.L.Williams | 2:18 PM | 7-30-2008

At the end of the day, most Americans would rather risk disappointment than abandon inspiration and excitement. That is why Obama is probably going to win, since McCain is showing himself incapable of being inspiring in any way.

Sent by CHRIS K | 2:19 PM | 7-30-2008

Please, someone question Congressman Barr about the stark contradiction between his avid support for the 'Defense of Marriage Act" in which the government (whether federal or state) determines whether individuals can marry or not and his avowed libertarian philosophy of 'the government should stay out of an individual's private life'.

Sent by Robert Abernethy | 2:29 PM | 7-30-2008

It is the DEMOCRATIC PARTY...not the Democrat Party, please don't let this propaganda weapon the the right go unchallenged! Bahr only makes himself look makes himself look caddy. How about refering to Bahr as the Libertine party?

Sent by kent Strock | 2:31 PM | 7-30-2008

I deeply wish NPR air talent would acknowledge and correct the use of the term "Democrat Party". It's just happened again - twice - in the interview on TOTN with Bob Barr. Here's the history:

Wikipedia of course is not 100% accurate, but the links at the end show that this is a deliberate tweak at the opposition. Code, if you will.

All groups and people must be given the dignity to be addressed as they prefer. "African-Americans", "transgender", "Democratic Party". That, along with pure journalistic accuracy, requires some effort on the part of NPR staff to halt the intended slur in its tracks.

Sent by A regular listener | 2:51 PM | 7-30-2008

Listened to the Bob Barr interview and got the idea that people just don't get the concept of having a limited national government. I've been a Libertarian almost since the inception of the party, the first time I read the platform I knew that was the party for me. Stop thinking about each and every niche you're worried about, see the big picture. Keep your own money instead of sending it to Washington. Have the federal government provide what it's supposed to under the Constitution and not every other of the millions of things it's morphed into providing. Change isn't going to happen over night, it took a long time to get into this mess, and it'll take, step by step, a long time to get out of it. But if we start now, some day it may be better. If you really want change, voting for either of the main candidates is USELESS, there will be shifts, not real, meaningful, change.

Sent by John George | 2:56 PM | 7-30-2008

Thank you Obama. Thank you McCain.
I'm ready, willing, and able to start spreading the word about the Green Party! We're gonna make HUGE inroads this year. All because the Democrats shunned women over 40, and McCain cant remember where he is half the time!

Sent by Ric | 6:58 PM | 7-30-2008

Was Mr. Barr formerly a member of the Republic party? I was very disappointed that TONT allowed Mr. Barr to continue to insult members of the Democratic party by calling it the "Democrat" party. This is a slur that started during President Bush's election. It's demeaning and reflects poorly on Mr. Barr's character. The fact that NPR's ombudsman was in the studio at the time and did not interupt was further troubling.

I have been a member of the Libertarian party for a while. Mr. Barr seems to misunderstand what our party stands for. It is NOT another wing of the "religious right". Rather, personal life issues such as Gay Marriage, abortion, etc. are off the table in terms of government (local or national) involvement. Personal freedom means exactly that. I am dissapointed that Mr. Barr was choosen as the person to represent this Party.

Sent by Beth | 12:21 AM | 7-31-2008

It was my perception during the primary that (for whatever reason) I didn't need to even see a bumber sticker or pin on a reporter's lapel - I could hear it and read it in the voice and actions of many of the journalists and it is my opinion that they did in HIllary Clinton (for the mostpart) and elevated Obama with "their" enthusiasm. And further, I felt Ken Rudin was a good example of this situation. It was SO OBVIOUS that not only did he prefer and want Obama to get elected - he was oppressive in his comments, jokes and reporting often as it related to HIllary Clinton.

I LOVE your ombudsman! She has very clear ethics! What a sweet voice!

Sent by Madison | 12:54 AM | 7-31-2008

I absolutely find Lynn Neary stunning as host of Talk of the Nation. I have turned on the radio every night with expectation knowing she is on and for some reason the topics seem fascinating! She is extraordinary! Is this permanent?

Sent by j. Madison Rink | 1:05 AM | 7-31-2008

In response to the story that Journalists at the UNITY Conference were being biased towards Obama by clapping to much. Well I would like to share some specific contradictions in Lisa Shepherd's opinions.

- Newspapers endorse Presidential candidates
- Journalists write editorials
- Newspapers and TV News outlets all adopt as part of their identity certain biases

White House Correspondents Dinner - Journalists being hosted by the PRESIDENT...wonder why no hard hitting press conferences. "Hey Bush, the economy sucks". Who is your treasury secretary and give me three reasons why he/she hasn't been fired?"

On the Bob Barr interview, I think the Libertarian view is interesting. Strong smaller Gov't has veto power, like a veto on the UN Security Council.

Forgive me for getting off message.

My only issue with the Barr interview was I think the phone callers were plants. Based on their tone and quality of questions and the supporting comments reminded me of an intern who work for the morning talk show and is forced to call in with a Fozzy Bear voice.

Sent by Bifocal Visionary | 1:21 AM | 7-31-2008

I'm all for giving the Libertarian candidate a voice, but why didn't the hosts question some of Mr. Barr's more ingenuous answers or question his use of "Democrat Party" by asking if he also talks about the "Republic Party" and the "Libertine Party". His answer on regulation and his mention of regulation causing the morgage crisis was ludicrous and should have been challenged. The biggest joke about Mr. Barr is that he apparently had no problem taking public funds to pay his salary and perks when he was in Congress. He now obviously believes that the federal government should be cut. How about starting with your congressional pension and medical benefits, Mr. Barr? It certainly goes along with your desire to cut Medicare and Medicaid.

Sent by JKB | 9:37 AM | 7-31-2008