Don't Miss: Elmo and Earmarks Muppets and earmarks on today's All Things Considered...
NPR logo Don't Miss: Elmo and Earmarks

Don't Miss: Elmo and Earmarks

Sesame Street's Elmo and his dad tape a segment for "Talk, Listen, Connect," an outreach program for military families created by Sesame Workshop. Richard Termine/Sesame Workshop hide caption

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Richard Termine/Sesame Workshop

Sesame Street's Elmo and his dad tape a segment for "Talk, Listen, Connect," an outreach program for military families created by Sesame Workshop.

Richard Termine/Sesame Workshop

This wasn't today's lead on All Things Considered, but I couldn't resist Robert Smith's piece about Sesame Street's new video for children of active service members. Elmo's father deploys and the red, furry little Muppet has to deal with it. There's even an R-rated outtake of Elmo's mom and dad kissing.

Also on this afternoon's show, an interview with a writer who is known for turning out long, lucid takes on Israel, Iraq and Russia but who also has produced great profiles on the likes of Mike Tyson and Al Gore. Listen to Robert Siegel's interview with New Yorker Editor David Remnick.

And Robert talks to Oklahoma Republican Sen. Tom Coburn, who's been waging a lonely and mostly unsuccessful effort in the Senate to get rid of earmarks -- those special pork-barrel provisions that lawmakers slip into bills in the dead of night. A couple of weeks ago, I was covering a town meeting in Keene, N.H., with Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain, another anti-earmark crusader. He said his favorite earmark was $3 million to study the DNA of bears in Montana. He said he didn't know if it was a paternity issue or a criminal issue...