New York Times foreign correspondent Dexter Filkins reports that the Taliban are waging an increasingly aggressive campaign in Afghanistan — a fact evidenced by a 40 percent increase in Afghan civilian deaths in 2008. Filkins joined The New York Times in 2000. He covered the war in Afghanistan from 2001 to 2002 and reported on the Iraq war from 2003 to 2006. He recently returned to the Middle East to cover Afghanistan again. Filkins details his experiences in Afghanistan and Iraq in his book The Forever War.
Analysis of last night’s address by President Obama to the joint session of Congress about the economy. Our guests are DAVID DRUCKER, Staff Writer for Roll Call, The Newspaper for Capitol Hill and ANNE VORCE, Policy Director of New America Foundation’s Fiscal Policy Program and Director of the Fiscal Road Map Project for the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. Listen to the mp3
The popular social networking site Facebook celebrated its fifth anniversary earlier this month. We talk about how online sites like Facebook and MySpace have evolved over the years and now is attracting an older generation of users. Our guests are Time Magazine Nerd World columnist LEV GROSSMAN and MARY MADDEN of the Pew Internet and American Life Project. Listen to the mp3
THIS AMERICAN LIFE
205: Plan B
There’s the thing you plan to do, and then there’s the thing you end up doing. Most of us start off our lives with some Plan A which we abandon … switching to a Plan B, which becomes our life. Host Ira Glass summarizes the results of an informal poll of about a hundred people, about whether they were living their Plan A or Plan B … and recounts a moment from a short story by author Ron Carlson, called “Plan B for the Middle Class,” from his book by the same name. …Writer and contributor John Hodgman first encountered Cuervo Man on a press junket to Cuervo Nation, a small island owned by Jose Cuervo Tequila. Cuervo Man was wearing nothing but a Speedo, wraparound shades, and a red cape. Occasionally he’d stick a toilet plunger on his bald head. John was fascinated and eventually got to know Cuervo Man, whose real name was Ryan. Though the Cuervo act was Ryan’s Plan B, it had a special power that John couldn’t help but envy. John Hodgman has a new book out, titled More Information Than You Require. MORE
THE WORLD CAFE
Often compared to The Flaming Lips and Pavement for its complex indie-pop sound, The Spinto Band draws from the music of Burt Bacharach, The Beatles, The Beach Boys and many other acts with Bs in their names. Independent in sound as well as production, the 12-year-old Delaware-based outfit didn’t sign to a label until the release of its eighth album, 2005’s Nice and Nicely Done. Moonwink followed last year, advancing the group’s sound without losing The Spinto Band’s infectious indie-pop charm. In this session with host David Dye, the band members discuss their extensive time on the road with Arctic Monkeys and The Kooks.
THE SPINTO BAND: Oh Mandy