April 20th Show : Blog Of The Nation In the first hour of Talk of the Nation, the political junkie, and tracking a drug submarine. In the second hour, the murky legality of online gambling, and the one year anniversary of the BP oil spill.
NPR logo April 20th Show

April 20th Show

Gulf coast residents walk to a claims fair at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum in Biloxi, Miss., in July 2010. Most attendees came to learn how to file a claim for compensation with BP or to apply for clean up work with the company. Rogelio V. Solis/AP Photo hide caption

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Rogelio V. Solis/AP Photo

The Political Junkie
If the 2012 elections are anything like the 2010 cycle, Republicans will embrace the wing of their party focused on fiscal issues. But Ralph Reed, founder of the Faith and Freedom Coalition, is working to elevate social issues as well. The former head of the Christian Coalition will join Neal Conan and political junkie Ken Rudin to discuss the fledgling GOP primary field for president. Neal and Ken will also recap the week in politics, from the budget deal that averted a government shutdown, to new names in the Nevada Senate race.

Drug Submarine
For years, authorities tracked and often intercepted rudimentary submarines that tugged drugs up the Pacific Coast. There were rumors of something more sophisticated — a full-size drug super sub — but no one ever saw one. Until now. Host Neal Conan speaks with writer Jim Popkin about his investigative report on the Loch Ness monster of the drug trade.

Online Gambling
The Justice Department indicted the founders of the three largest online poker sites last week on charges of fraud and money laundering, taking over their accounts and shutting down the sites. Still, players have access to dozens of other sites to play the game online. And meanwhile, D.C. officials are moving forward with plans to set up online gambling hot spots in venues around the District. Host Neal Conan talks with Vin Narayanan, managing editor of Casino City and Melinda Sarafa, a New York criminal defense attorney, about the world of online gambling and its murky legality.

BP Oil Spill Anniversary
Today marks one year since BP's oil rig Deepwater Horizon exploded off the coast of Louisiana. It was the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history, with more than 200 million gallons of oil leaking into the waters of the Gulf of Mexico. A year later the Gulf Coast economy is still reeling from the disaster. Business, from fishing to tourism, has taken a hit and thousands of Gulf Coast residents are still out of work. In an effort to help those affected by the disaster, BP set up a $20 billion account, known as the Deepwater Horizon Disaster Victim Fund. The chair of that account is the former director of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund, Kenneth Feinberg. Host Neal Conan sits down with Mr. Feinberg to discuss the effectiveness of the fund and the recovery one year later.