David Hoffman, former Chicago Inspector General & Asst. US Atty

As a born and raised Chicagoan, I don’t know if any headlines this summer are bothering me more than the ones marking a terrible rise in shootings and killings in one of America’s great cities. Chicago’s murder rate is suddenly up some 37 percent over last year, with 240 deaths already as of mid-June. And this while other large cities, including Los Angeles, have seen their rates hold steady or drop. Why is this happening? Can it be brought under control? Few people know Chicago better — or have spent more time fighting crime and wrong-doing there — than David Hoffman. He recently stepped down as Chicago’s Inspector General to run for US Senate to fill Barack Obama’s old seat. Before that, he served for 7 years as Asst. US Attorney in Chicago, and spent the last three of those years running the office’s Gang Unit along with an anti-gun violence effort called Project Safe Neighborhoods. He’s with us now. (Originally broadcast 6-30-12 on The John Batchelor Show)


Dov Seidman, founder LRN

How would you like to have no boss? Instead of having a direct manager choose your priorities, how would you like to have your company’s mission as your daily guidance and — working with your colleagues — go from there? I know this sounds like a tricky infomercial — but it’s not. It’s a core business philosophy of a person Time Magazine called one of “the innovators and problem-solvers that are inspiring change in America.” It’s also how that person, Dov Seidman, runs his global company, LRN, which works with leading companies to meet their legal obligations and inspire principled performance in their operations. He is the author the transformational book “How” — it was a statement, not a question, and it’s no exaggeration to say that Dov Seidman is one of the most interesting social, philosophical and practical thinkers of our time… and he joins us now. Dov, thanks for the time. (Originally broadcast 6-30-12 on The John Batchelor Show)

Judge Michael Mukasey, former US Atty General

On the 40th anniversary of Watergate, the topic of national security leaks has again come front and center. In recent weeks, we’ve seen public disclosures on how the secret Predator drone program works; how an undercover agent infiltrated al Qaeda and disrupted an airline bomb plot; and how the US and Israel allegedly implemented the computer virus Stuxnet into Iran uranium enrichment equipment, disrupting the program. These leaks — and others — have raised serious national security concerns and calls for high level investigations. President Obama has denied charges that his administration had purposefully leaked classified national security information and Attorney General Eric Holder has asked two US attorneys to investigate. But many don’t believe this goes enough. Judge Michael Mukasey is the former US Attorney General under President Bush and former US District Judge. And he has been outspoken and clear: The leaks are a serious problem and should be investigated by Congress. Judge Mukasey joins us now — Judge, thank you for your time. (Originally broadcast 6-30-12 on The John Batchelor Show)

Cynthia McFadden, ABC News Nightline

We all lost someone incredibly close to us this week. Nora Ephron, writer, director, filmmaker, author, journalist and so much more, died Tuesday at 71. At least one of her productions is surely in your top 10 list: When Harry Met Sally; Julie & Julia; You’ve Got Mail; Sleepless in Seattle. The list goes on. And so did her lines. Yes, she wrote the famous reaction line to Meg Ryan’s famous scene in Katz’s Deli — “I’ll have what she’s having.” She began her career as a mail girl at Newsweek, but her talent took her to the top. Helping us remember Nora Ephron, one of her real friends, a friend for 25 years, Cynthia McFadden, ABC News Nightline anchor. Cynthia, thank you for taking the time to talk to us about your friend. (Originally broadcast 6-30-12 on The John Batchelor Show)

Walt Bogdanich, New York Times

Of the many sports that have seen allegations and evidence of performance-enhancing drugs — baseball, football, cycling — that list has a new, four-legged companion: Horse-racing. For the last several months, a disturbing and devastating series in the NY Times has shown how horses are overmedicated – with drugs like corticosteroids, anti-inflammatories that can have dangerous consequences – and poor or limited oversight have put the horses in danger and the sport under suspicion.  In fact, just this month, Members of two Congressional committees investigating the drugging of racehorses sent letters to racing regulators in 39 states for information on how trainers with multiple drug violations are disciplined and how often certain performance-enhancing treatments are used. Walt Bogdanich is one of America’s great investigative journalists. He has won four Polk Awards and an incredible three Pulitzer Prizes. And with this current investigation, he will likely be considered for a fourth. Walt, thanks for joining me. (Originally broadcast 6-30-12 on The John Batchelor Show)

Roberta Shaffer, US Library of Congress

If you haven’t filled out your summer reading list yet, you may want to grab a pen and paper right now. And if you have, get ready to cross some of your current choices off the list. The US Library of Congress — our oldest federal cultural institution and the largest library in the world — has compiled its list of “Books that Shaped America.” In fact, this is more than a list — it’s a full Exhibition that opened just this week, and as we head into the 4th of July, it’s a perfect subject for the time. Here to tell us about it: Roberta Shaffer the Library of Congress’ Associate Librarian for Library Services. Roberta, thanks for joining us. (Originally broadcast 6-30-12 on The John Batchelor Show)

Sebastian Junger, author and founder of RISC

Sebastian Junger knows chance. As author of the book-then-movie “The Perfect Storm”, Junger first became widely known for his terrifically reported and heartbreaking tale of New England fisherman who got lost at sea — A once in a generation storm. Junger also knows danger. He and his colleague Tim Hetherington produced the award-winning and Oscar-nominated documentary “Restrepro,” which reported on the perils of US soldiers based in Afghanistan’s Korengal Valley. Sadly, he also knows loss. Hetherington was killed last year while reporting on the conflict in Libya. Now Junger, one of our times greatest storytellers of drama and danger, is trying to make sure the next wave of journalists know how to protect themselves — from chance, danger and loss. He has started RISC — Reporters Instructed in Saving Colleagues and he joins us now. (Originally broadcast 6-30-12 on The John Batchelor Show)

Jeffrey Rosen, George Washington University and The New Republic

One of the most-watched Supreme Court decisions in years came down on Thursday. As you certainly know, the Court decided 5-4 to uphold President Obama’s central piece of legislation — the Affordable Health Care Act. For policy and political watchers, it was a huge day, setting the stage for the 2012 Presidential campaign. But for Supreme Court watchers, it may have been even more monumental. Chief Justice John Roberts, appointed by a Republican President, provided the deciding vote, siding with the four Liberal Justices. Was it a shocking turn? Or was this the ultimate show of judicial restraint, in keeping with Justice Roberts conservative roots. One well-known Supreme Court watcher is Jeffrey Rosen, Law Professor at George Washington University and the legal affairs editor of The New Republic. His most recent book is “The Supreme Court: The Personalities and Rivalries that Defined America”, and he’s with us now to help make sense of it all. Professor Rosen, thanks for joining. (Originally broadcast 6-30-12 on The John Batchelor Show)

Diane Brady, Sr. Editor Bloomberg Businessweek

It’s certainly not often that a company’s naming a new boardmember becomes news that goes viral on the Internet. But Faceboook is not just any company. And Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg is not just any new boardmember. She’s the FIRST female boardmember at the company that carries a bit of a boys club reputation. She also gains this title in the middle of another discussion that grabbed attention this week — one that Sandberg herself has helped champion: The question of whether professional women can have rewarding work-life balance. It’s been called “Having it all.” I don’t know if Businessweek Bloomberg Senior Editor Diane Brady has it all… but she surely has most of it. And she always has all the answers. She joins us now. (Originally broadcast 6-30-12 on The John Batchelor Show)

Thanassis Cambanis, The Century Foundation

Just a over a year since the famed Arab Spring blossomed in the Middle East — and notably in Cairo’s Tahrir Square — Egypt today swore in Mohamed Morsi as the country’s first democratically-elected and civilian leader. It’s an event that would have been hard to imagine only 18 months ago. Does today mark a hopeful, first step towards true democracy, not only in Egypt, but in the region — or, is the electing of the Muslim Brotherhood’s candidate the first step towards Islamist law in this important country. And all of this, of course, in the shadow of continuing killings in Syria and the potential for all-out war with Turkey. How to make sense of the latest in the Middle East? Joining me to help, Thanassis Cambanis, fellow at The Century Foundation and Ideas columnist at the Boston Globe. (Originally broadcast 6-30-12 on The John Batchelor Show)

Chris Dufresne, LA Times Sports Columnist

Both off and on the field, college sports has again hit the front pages. This time it’s football. The week began with the fast and clear guilty verdict in the case of Jerry Sandusky, the former Penn St, coach charged with sexually abusing several boys over some 10 or more years. It called into question the integrity of — allegedly — one of America’s great programs. Then on Tuesday, another decision, this one will affect play on the field. For the first time, after seemingly annual controversies over who’s No. 1, the college presidents voted to institute a playoff system in 2014. Will this end the controversy? After Sandusky, will anyone care? College football, a multi-billion dollar business is at a crossroads. To help us with directions, we’re joined by Chris Dufresne, Los Angeles Times columnist. (Originally broadcast 6-30-12 on The John Batchelor Show)