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An Unusual Alliance

NPR's Pam Fessler in front of her grandmother's birthplace in Tullamore, Ireland. i

NPR's Pam Fessler in front of her grandmother's birthplace (now an Italian restaurant!) in downtown Tullamore, Ireland. Matt Koll hide caption

toggle caption Matt Koll
NPR's Pam Fessler in front of her grandmother's birthplace in Tullamore, Ireland.

NPR's Pam Fessler in front of her grandmother's birthplace (now an Italian restaurant!) in downtown Tullamore, Ireland.

Matt Koll

You should check out Joseph Shapiro's piece today on Morning Edition about an unusual alliance between disability rights activists and a top Bush administration official. I like the story because it goes back to a raucous demonstration outside the White House four years ago and then tells us what's happened as a result today. Journalists don't do enough of that. We usually cover an event and move on. The other thing I like is that Joe personalizes the story. It's really about how two very different people can work together in Washington to get something done — in this case, helping disabled people move out of nursing homes. There are more stories like this in the nation's capital than you might think, but they don't often get told.

And I just can't resist noting a Morning Edition interview with genealogist Megan Smolenyak. She helped correct a misunderstanding about the first immigrant to land on Ellis Island, an Irish woman named Annie Moore who arrived in 1892. I was especially interested in the story because I just came back from Ireland, where I was able to find the house (now an Italian restaurant!) where my grandmother — Lizzie Bolger — was born and raised, before she arrived at Ellis Island in 1904. I think of her often during the current immigration debate.

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