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October 26th Show

by Gwen Outen
Oct 26, 2010

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Gwen Outen

Political Code Words
In the final weeks of the mid-term campaign, many candidates are trading sharper and more heated jabs. If you listen to some of the political ads out there, you hear that a lot of the candidates running for office this year are "extreme," "elite" or "Washington insiders." Campaigns use these code words to paint a candidate as out of touch with voters. But what do they really mean and are they effective? Jennifer Ludden talks with Daily Beast contributor Lee Siegel and Mary Kate Cary, a contributing editor to U.S. News and World Report and former White House speech writer, about how to decode this year's political attacks.

Should The Government Ban All Cell Phones In Cars?
Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood said earlier this month that drivers cannot safely talk on cell phones, even using hands-free devices. The transportation department plans further research and Secretary LaHood may push for a wider national ban on all cellphone use while driving. Only congress can institute that kind of ban. But, since the interview, Secretary LaHood has taken criticism — from op-ed writers to bloggers — today, he takes your calls on why he believes any cell phone use while driving is dangerous.

Aging in Prison
Nationwide crackdowns on crime and mandatory sentencing laws have resulted in prison rolls that are swelling and growing older, sparking a debate about how to treat elderly inmates. As the prison population ages, inmates often require special medical attention which drives up the cost of incarceration. And many argue that inmates in their 70's or 80's pose little threat to society. In this hour, NPR's Police and Prisons correspondent Laura Sullivan discusses the options available to prison systems in dealing with thousands of inmates growing old behind bars. Jonathan Turley, who directs the Project on Older Prisons also joins guest host Jennifer Ludden.

Mini Political Junkie
Guest host Jennifer Ludden and Political Junkie Ken Rudin continue the countdown to the 2010 midterm election.  Our special mini-edition of the Political Junkie continues, this time, with a look at a hot House race.  We'll check in with the candidates in Colorado's 4th District, incumbent Congresswoman Betsy Markey, and her Republican challenger Cory Gardner.

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