Forthcoming on The Bob Edwards Show

The Bob Edwards Show, January 30 - February 3, 2012

Monday, January 30, 2012Jonathan Gruber served as a health care reform advisor to Mitt Romney when he was governor of Massachusetts and to President Obama as he worked to pass the national Affordable Care Act.  The legislation has confused many people and it’s an issue that is sure to be at the center of the presidential campaign.  To help sort through the misconceptions and confusion, Gruber has distilled the very complicated bill into a very simple format: Health Care Reform: the comic book.  Then, as fuel costs eat into household budgets, a national obesity epidemic continues.  All the while, a simple but profound solution to both these problems rolls by us every day. James Rubin is co-author of The Urban Cyclist’s Survival Guide, a primer for cyclists of all levels who wish to trade traffic and road rage for constant motion and easy exercise.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012:  Daisy Bates: First Lady of Little Rock documents the life of forgotten civil rights activist Daisy Bates.  Filmmaker Sharon La Cruise spent seven years researching and interviewing people about this remarkable woman.  La Cruise’s documentary premieres on the PBS series Independent Lens on Thursday, February 2nd in conjunction with Black History Month.  Then, the new Muppet movie is a box office smash, reconfirming that Jim Henson knew what he was doing when he created the beloved characters. Tale of Sand is a Jim Henson-written screenplay that was released as a graphic novel. Stephen Christy is the editor of the project and he joins Bob to talk Henson’s surprising and unexpected work.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012:  Lori Andrews became a consumer activist when she was seven and her Ken doll went bald. She wrote a letter to Mattel and got results. Now Andrews’ attention is focused on online privacy. Her new book is titled I Know Who You Are and I Saw What You Did: Social Networks and the Death of Privacy. Then, What does a novelist do when his books won’t sell and he’s got writer’s block? Play online poker, of course! Ted Keller’s Pocket Kings is about a novelist with writer’s block who finds a new  - and very lucrative -  stream of income in a virtual world that appears to give him everything he lacks in the real one.

Thursday, February 2, 2012:   Dutch foreign correspondent Linda Polman has spent the last 20 years reporting from West and East Africa, Afghanistan, and Haiti.  Her experiences covering humanitarian disasters have led her to be critical of aid agencies and non-governmental organizations, and she has spelled out her criticisms in books like War Games: The Story of War and Aid in Modern Times and The Crisis Caravan: What’s Wrong with Humanitarian Aid.  Bob speaks to her about what she calls the “humanitarian aid industry.” Then, Michel Gabaudan is the president of Refugees International, and a former member of the United Nations High Commission on Refugees. His organization conducts field missions around the world to gather information about the basic needs of displaced people.

Friday, February 3, 2012:  Doyle McManus, Washington columnist for the Los Angeles Times joins Bob to discuss the latest political news.  Next, until the early 20th century, borrowing money for personal use was done at the fringes of the economy because under the usury laws of the time it was not profitable. But by the 1920s, personal debt began to be a mainstream part of American life. Now we are a nation deep in debt. The average American has $15,000 in credit card debt —- and then there are mortgages, car notes and student loans. In Borrow: The American Way of Debt, economist Louis Hyman explains how personal credit created the middle class and almost bankrupted the nation. Then, in this week’s installment of our ongoing series This I Believe, we hear the essay of Opal Ruth Prater.  When a marriage ends early because of an unexpected death, the surviving partner is often devastated. Prater’s husband died 15 years ago, and she’s never stopped loving him. Prater says her husband’s death affected their family greatly, but his life impacted it more. She finds his spirit both in her memories and in the eyes of their four children.