Sam Sanders

Sam has worked at Vermont Public Radio since October 1978 in various capacities â

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The types of conversations I saw online about Harriet Tubman, Prince and Beyonce over this past week have yet to be duplicated in our nation's discussion of politics. I think that's a bad thing. And I will tell you why.

But first, let's try to put the week in some sort of perspective.

It is possible that the week was the Internet's Blackest Week. Ever.

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And here with me in the studio is Rachel Martin, who you're used to hearing on Sunday mornings.

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Hi there.

SHAPIRO: So happy to have you here on Super Tuesday.

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I'm David Greene in Des Moines, Iowa, at Smokey Row, a coffeehouse in Des Moines.

Renee, you should really see this. It is - I mean it is hundreds of people, I think, just packed in here.

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Since 1972, Iowa has held the first presidential nominating contests in the country. Over the years, the Iowa caucuses have grown in size, scope and importance, sometimes launching underdogs to the presidency or upsetting established political juggernauts.

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Presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont took a walking tour Tuesday of Sandtown, the Baltimore neighborhood rocked by riots after the death of Freddie Gray while in police custody earlier this year. But perhaps the most newsworthy comments came from Sanders and his press secretary, Symone Sanders (no relation), after the tour was complete.

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Socialism can mean different things to different people, and as NPR's Sam Sanders reports, that perception depends a lot on your age.

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And a mega-church near Dallas invited every presidential candidate, Democrat and Republican, to a forum on faith and politics yesterday. Six showed up. NPR's Sam Sanders was there too and has this report.

A few hours before the start of this week's Democratic presidential debate in Las Vegas, the tweets started to pour in.

They all had the same, strange hashtag: #FeelTheChafe, a reference to the #FeelTheBern Bernie Sanders supporters were using to rally around their candidate. But it had a snarky twist for Lincoln Chafee, the former Rhode Island governor and senator, who's been, so far, a much less popular presidential candidate.

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A lot of politicians are being asked what to do about gun violence after a gunman killed nine people in Oregon last week. And the answers from the large field of Republican candidates for president are varied. NPR's Sam Sanders reports.

You might have seen the article by now: " 'No Way To Prevent This,' Says Only Nation Where This Regularly Happens." The Onion, a satirical news site that runs fake news stories, has published a story with that headline three times over the last year and a half: this week after a shooter killed nine people at an Oregon community college; in June of this year after a violent rampage in a black Charleston church that also killed nine people; and last May, after a shooting at the University of California Santa Barbara that killed seven.

Twitter seems simple — just type in 140 characters and hit enter, right? But Twitter can be tough. Building an audience. Keeping that audience. Finding a voice. Cutting through all the chatter. It's a lot, especially if you're a busy elected official.

Well, elected officials, fear not! Twitter itself is here to help. NPR recently discovered that the social media giant has a very special handbook just for people running for elected office. And it's 136 pages long.

There's getting a little choked up. There's shedding a few tears. There's full-on crying. And then, there's John Boehner, American politics' crier-in-chief.

This week, (soon to be former) Speaker of the House Boehner's tear ducts stole the show yet again, definitely upstaging the Pope's little black Fiat and newly-named baby panda Bei Bei to become our #MemeOfTheWeek.

So, what happened?

We knew going into this week that any meme we picked would be associated with this Wednesday's GOP debates at the Reagan Library. And because the Internet is consistently awesome, we weren't disappointed. This week, the meme we loved most was Vine-ification of this week's debates.

How'd We Pick This One?

Here's a riddle: Two senators and two governors walk into a presidential library. Where are they seated once they arrive?

Answer: The kids' table. Well, the kids' table DEBATE. That's what a lot of people have taken to calling the second-tier Republican presidential debates, those held for GOP contenders who haven't cracked the Top 10 in polls.

In his appearance on the first Late Show to feature new host Stephen Colbert on Wednesday night, Jeb Bush seemingly had an opportunity to finally generate some much-needed energy. But for the most part, he did not.

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For some time now, Donald Trump has been attacking Jeb Bush, mostly in media appearances or on Twitter. But, over the last few weeks, Trump has been using Instagram in his fight.

Trump has been posting campaign-style short videos to his Instagram feed, attacking Bush's record of support for the Iraq War and even posting a video of Jeb's mother, Barbara, urging him not to run for president.

In a unanimous decision, the National Labor Relations Board has rejected Northwestern University football players' petition to form a union by declining to assert jurisdiction in the case.

The decision effectively overturns a 2014 ruling by an NLRB regional director that found the athletes meet the broad definitions of employees under federal law and thereby could form what would have been the nation's first student-athlete union.

Jimmy Carter revealed Wednesday that he has cancer. Carter, 90 released a short statement with the news:

"Recent liver surgery revealed that I have cancer that now is in other parts of my body. I will be rearranging my schedule as necessary so I can undergo treatment by physicians at Emory Healthcare. A more complete public statement will be made when facts are known, possibly next week."

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