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January 25th show

by Gwen Outen
Jan 25, 2011

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Gwen Outen

Congress' Renewed Constitutionalism
When the House of Representatives convened this month, Congressmen took turns reading the Constitution aloud. Republicans also organized a Congressional Constitution Caucus. And a new rule requires any bill submitted in the House to cite the part of the Constitution that authorizes it. Neal Conan talks to NPR senior Washington editor Ron Elving about how this tight focus on our founding document affects the political climate and the practical reality of passing laws. And constitutional experts Ed Whelan and Akhil Reed Amar discuss the constitutional questions raised by some of the divisive issues in Congress.

State of the Union Address Preview
President Obama heads to Capitol Hill tonight to deliver his State of the Union address. It's his first since Republicans won control of the House of Representatives. And with new calls for civility, many lawmakers arranged to sit with dates from across the aisle. Neal Conan talks with Paul Glastris, editor-in- chief of The Washington Monthly and former Clinton White House speech writer, and Peter Robinson, research fellow at The Hoover Institution and former Reagan White House speech writer, about what they believe President Obama should say tonight.

How to Write a (Good) Sentence
It's one of the most basic units of communication: the sentence. In both content and construction the sentence is the way we convey thought and meaning. Stanley Fish, professor and writer, considers himself a sentence connoisseur — and he's written a primer on how to understand and then, create your own world class sentences. Host Neal Conan talks with author Stanley Fish about his new book, How To Write A Sentence.

Al-Jazeera Leaks
The leaked documents Al-Jazeera TV released late Sunday appear to show that Palestinian leaders were willing to make broad concessions in negotiations with Israel. If authentic, the papers reveal that Palestinians were willing to surrender parts of East Jerusalem settled by Israeli Jews. A second round of documents is expected to be released today. Host Neal Conan talks with Robert Malley, director of the International Crisis Group, about what these documents contain and what their release might mean for the future of the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

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