The Uncertain Hour

A Government and Organizations podcast featuring Krissy Clark
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Many people in Wise County agree that they can’t jail their way out of a drug epidemic, but there’s a lot less agreement on what to do instead. And we find out what happened to Joey Ballard. 
It’s not easy being an undercover cop in a county of just 40,000 people. But drugs were making it hard for Bucky Culbertson to run his business, so he made it his business to get rid of drugs.
It’s the deadliest drug epidemic our country has ever faced. We go to ground zero, where “nothing changes except for the drug.”
The drug bust and the trial were a “farce,” but the full force of the law still came down on Keith Jackson — and thousands of people like him. That didn’t end the crack epidemic, so what did?
One day, early in the semester, Keith Jackson didn’t show up to class. He’d been arrested for selling crack, but for his classmates, that wasn’t the surprising part.
It was the perfect political prop: drugs seized by government agents right across the street from the White House, just in time for a big presidential address. The reality was more complicated.
Thirty years ago, President George H.W. Bush held up a baggie of crack on live TV, and said it had been seized right in front of the White House. The Uncertain Hour’s third season looks at how the policies launched that day continue to reverberate …
In light of all the recent news about opioids, we're sharing this episode from last year, all about how the opioid epidemic started and how regulators allowed Purdue Pharma to label OxyContin as low-risk in the first place.
In light of the recent Supreme Court ruling on crisis pregnancy centers, we wanted to re-share this episode. Federal TANF dollars (also known as federal welfare dollars) goes to funding some crisis pregnancy centers, thanks to the way the 1996 Wel…
President Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress rolled back a gun regulation last year that would have restricted some people with mental disabilities from buying guns. Now, this story isn’t about gun control, but the law they used to erase that…
There are lots of different ways to commit a crime. Some of them are obscure — it’s a crime to sell Swiss cheese without holes, for example. Some deal with serious safety and environmental issues — it’s a crime for a refinery to release more than a…
The U.S. Constitution doesn't mention corporations once. But if you want to talk about federal regulations, you have to talk about private enterprise, too. They're yin and yang, intertwined over centuries, locked in an eternal struggle. This week, …
We’re working on the next batch of episodes for season two, but this week we're taking a quick break over the holidays to bring you a sort of reporter’s notebook, a glimpse behind the scenes.First we’re going to answer some of your questions about …
When OxyContin went to market in 1996, sales reps from Purdue Pharma hit one point particularly hard: Compared to other prescription opioids, this new painkiller was believed to be less likely to be addictive or abused.But recently unsealed documen…
For the past two episodes, we've been telling you the birth story of a single regulation, one of the most misunderstood, and yet pivotal, regulations in American history: The number of peanuts that should be in peanut butter. Today, that story come…
It's 1959 and Ruth Desmond, the gurney-climbing, cook-from-scratch co-founder of the Federation of Homemakers was prowling the halls of the FDA, about to earn her "peanut butter grandma" namesake. She stumbled upon this unassuming, but ultimately h…
Reining in federal regulation has been on lawmakers minds for decades. President Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress are just the latest to promise economic growth through deregulation. But how did we become a regulatory state in the first pla…
Donald Trump, the business man president, isn't the first politician to rail on government regulations. In 1979 Jimmy Carter, the Democrat peanut farmer president, told a crowd: "It should not have taken 12 years and a hearing record of over 100,00…
Join us this season as we go down the strange rabbit holes of history to find the origins of one of the most important but least understood battles in our economy today.  We'll bring you tales of peanut butter, "unelected bureaucrats," the federal …
Loyal listeners of The Uncertain Hour podcast may have had motivational work songs stuck in their heads (our apologies!).As you know, this season we dug deep into the story of what the heck welfare is today. Episode one featured music produced by a…
What's the best path out of poverty--work or education?Twenty years ago, welfare reformers came to this fork in the road and had to ask the question: Is it better to encourage welfare recipients to get a job, any job? Or is it better to support the…
When Brandi David discovered she was pregnant, she knew she wanted an abortion. Brandi was a graduate student at the time and didn't feel ready to be a mother. She wasn't sure where to go for help. But then she remembered a billboard at a busy inte…
What do college scholarships, marriage counseling classes and crisis pregnancy centers have in common? In some states, they're funded by federal welfare dollars.We are continuing our cross-country tour where we drop in on states to investigate how …
What do you think of when you think of welfare? Probably something along the lines of help or money given to families living in poverty.  Or, work requirements to receive assistance.But actually, in 2014 only 23 out of every 100 poor families recei…
Perhaps more than any other group, women on welfare have been stigmatized. In this episode, we introduce you to two women who've relied on welfare through the years: Ruby Duncan, an 83-year-old welfare rights activist in Las Vegas, and Josephine Mo…
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Podcast Details
Started
Mar 7th, 2016
Latest Episode
Apr 18th, 2019
Release Period
Weekly
No. of Episodes
27
Avg. Episode Length
36 minutes

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