Talk of the Nation on KUER 1

Mon - Thu, Noon - 2pm
Neal Conan, Monday - Thursday. Ira Flatow, Friday
Mike Anderson

When Americans want to be a part of the national conversation, they turn to Talk of the Nation, NPR's midday news-talk show. Journalist Neal Conan leads a productive exchange of ideas and opinions on the issues that dominate the news landscape. From politics and public service to education, religion, music and healthcare, Talk of the Nation offers call-in listeners the opportunity to join enlightening discussions with decision-makers, authors, academicians, and artists from around the world.

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Podcasts

  • Monday, June 10, 2013 11:00am
    The man who leaked details of two secret U.S. surveillance programs told The Guardian that he hopes to trigger a national debate about the NSA programs that gathered phone and Internet records. NPR's Neal Conan reads from a range of reaction to the leaks and the motives of the leaker.
  • Monday, June 3, 2013 11:00am
    Midnight dinner service will be canceled at Camp Leatherneck in Afghanistan in June. Officials say it's part of the drawdown process, and though it might not sound like a big deal, former U.S. Army paratrooper David Brown says Marines at Camp Leatherneck stand to lose more than just food.
  • Monday, May 20, 2013 11:00am
    Prominent women such as Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg and Yahoo's Marissa Mayer are proving that women are finding their place at the table. But in an op-ed for The New York Times, former programmer Ellen Ullman argues that women in the field today face "a new, more virile and virulent sexism."
  • Monday, May 6, 2013 11:00am
    Job seekers often rely on friends, family members and other connections to land jobs. Nancy DiTomaso, professor at Rutgers Business School, explains her research that shows that such seemingly harmless favoritism in networking is driving black unemployment in the U.S.
  • Monday, April 29, 2013 11:00am
    The Boston Police Department and cooperating law enforcement entities were praised for working together to track down suspects in the marathon bombings. Boston Globe columnist Joan Vennochi asks whether police could have done more in the months, weeks, and even hours before the explosions.

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NPR Story
12:12 pm
Wed June 6, 2012

Buckley Skewers Washington In 'They Eat Puppies'

Originally published on Thu June 7, 2012 12:38 pm

In Christopher Buckley's latest political satire, They Eat Puppies, Don't They? a lobbyist teams up with a conservative policy wonk to spread a rumor that China is plotting to assassinate the Dalai Lama. Together, they create a huge disinformation campaign that nearly sparks World War III.

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Politics
12:12 pm
Wed June 6, 2012

Grenell On Foreign Policy And Being Gay In The GOP

Originally published on Wed June 6, 2012 12:31 pm

Richard Grenell recently explained that Mitt Romney chose him to serve as his foreign policy adviser based on his record and abilities. The Romney campaign, he says, also knew he was openly gay. Grenell explains why he resigned, and where Romney and President Obama differ on foreign policy.

Asia
12:46 pm
Tue June 5, 2012

Ties Strengthening Between Vietnam And The U.S.

Originally published on Tue June 5, 2012 2:05 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

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Around the Nation
12:43 pm
Tue June 5, 2012

A Plan To Reform Immigration Policy, DIY-Style

Originally published on Tue June 5, 2012 2:05 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

Immigration remains an intense political issue in this country and a point of contention between Mexico and the United States. In an op-ed published on Saturday in The New York Times, Jorge Castaneda, Mexico's former foreign minister, and Douglas S. Massey, founder and co-director of the Mexican Migration Project, argue that in the shadow of that gargantuan debate, time and commonsense decisions by Mexican migrants have brought us nearly everything immigration reform was supposed to achieve.

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Around the Nation
12:41 pm
Tue June 5, 2012

Giant Tankers Battle Wildfires From The Sky

Originally published on Tue June 5, 2012 2:05 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. We're still weeks away from the hottest and driest part of the year, and fire season is already well underway: Colorado, Nevada, Utah, California, Arizona, New Mexico. In a few minutes, we'll talk with a meteorologist who tries to forecast fire conditions, and we'll focus on the pilots who swoop through smoke and turbulence to drop retardant on wildfires. Two of them died in the crash of an elderly plane in Utah on Sunday.

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NPR Story
12:28 pm
Tue June 5, 2012

The Day Buddy Guy 'Left Home,' Bound For The Blues

"I didn't learn nothing from a book," Buddy Guy tells NPR's Neal Conan. "I learned by ... being quiet, keep your ears open and listen."
Paul Natkin

Originally published on Wed June 6, 2012 8:21 am

Guitar legend Buddy Guy has been called the bridge between the blues and rock 'n' roll, as well as one of the most influential blues musicians in the world. Guitar icons like Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughan and countless others use words like "legend," "master" and "greatest of all time" to describe him.

In his new memoir, When I Left Home, Guy describes what he calls his second birthday: the day he left his home of Louisiana for Chicago, the blues capital of the world.

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From Our Listeners
12:01 pm
Tue June 5, 2012

Letters: Technology For Amputees And RVing

Originally published on Tue June 5, 2012 2:05 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

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Politics
2:24 pm
Mon June 4, 2012

Wisconsin Recall: What's At Stake For Unions?

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

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Economy
12:38 pm
Mon June 4, 2012

Making Summer Jobs Work For Teens

Originally published on Mon June 4, 2012 1:20 pm

A report by Northeastern University's Center for Labor Market Studies finds that less than 30 percent of U.S. teens had jobs in the summers of 2010 and 2011. Though the employment outlook is bleak, there are some strategies for navigating the summer job market.

Middle East
12:34 pm
Mon June 4, 2012

President Obama's Unpalatable Options In Syria

Originally published on Mon June 4, 2012 2:01 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. The massacre in Hula late last month may have marked a turning point in Syria, but there appears to be no clear idea of what to do after Syria's ambassadors have been ordered home to Damascus.

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Opinion
12:22 pm
Mon June 4, 2012

Lessons Learned From The John Edwards Trial

Originally published on Mon June 4, 2012 2:04 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

After nine days of deliberations, a jury in North Carolina found John Edwards not guilty on one count of campaign finance fraud, and a federal judge declared a mistrial after they failed to reach a verdict on five more. Afterwards, the former presidential candidate said he'd committed no crimes but admitted to what he called awful wrongs for which he could only blame himself. Observers think it's highly unlikely the Justice Department will seek a retrial.

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Science
11:29 am
Fri June 1, 2012

Lightning Bug Of A Different Color

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

And now for our Video Pick of the Week. Flora's still here and positioned perfectly to take us on a safari.

FLORA LICHTMAN, BYLINE: We're still on safari.

FLATOW: We're still on safari.

LICHTMAN: The safari continues, this time to slightly larger organisms. See if you can see with your naked eye, and maybe in your own backyard. These guys are glow-in-the-dark - I have you already, don't I?

FLATOW: Yeah.

LICHTMAN: Millipedes - which, I didn't know - let me - can I tell you the story of how this came about?

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Science
11:26 am
Fri June 1, 2012

The Many Lifestyles Of Muck-Dwelling Microbes

Scientists at the University of Leeds are exploring ways to use magnetic bacteria to build biocomputers of the future. Meanwhile, another group of researchers, reporting in Science, write that they have unearthed deep-sea microbe that live off nutrients from the dinosaur age.

Science
11:22 am
Fri June 1, 2012

Why Ignorance Trumps Knowledge In Scientific Pursuit

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

People looking at the scientific world from the outside often see it as one dominated by facts, where scientists use a stepwise, systematic process that begins - you know, you learned all this stuff in grade school, a hypothesis, the collection of data, of observations, blah, blah, blah, you go through all these steps.

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NPR Story
10:39 am
Fri June 1, 2012

Can Technology Deliver Better Health Care?

Originally published on Fri June 1, 2012 11:35 am

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. If you have trouble sleeping, your doctor might send you to a sleep lab and spend $3,000 a night to chart your sleep cycle, or you could do the same thing at home with a commercially available headband, which wirelessly transmits your sleep data to your smartphone for under 100 bucks.

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NPR Story
10:39 am
Fri June 1, 2012

Remembering A Son In 'Immortal Bird'

Originally published on Fri June 1, 2012 11:42 am

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. For the rest of the hour, a look at an extraordinary life and a heartbreaking loss. In his new memoir "Immortal Bird," Doron Weber takes us to the inner circle of his family, where we meet his son Damon, a smart, likeable, aspiring actor born with a congenital heart defect. At 16, Damon undergoes a heart transplant, and his short life ends not long after in the ICU of a hospital that, according to Doron, seemed to botch his care in multiple and unimaginable ways.

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NPR Story
10:39 am
Fri June 1, 2012

Paralyzed Rats Walk, Even Sprint After Rehab

Originally published on Fri June 1, 2012 11:18 am

Reporting in Science, researchers write that a combination of therapies, willpower and chocolate helped rats with severe spinal cord injuries learn to walk and even run again. Neurobiologist Moses Chao, not affiliated with the study, discusses the rehab method and whether it could work in humans.

Music Interviews
12:40 pm
Thu May 31, 2012

Chely Wright: From Nashville Star To Outcast Activist

Chely Wright performs at the "Reading, Writing, Rhythm" show in Nashville, Tenn.
Tanya Braganti

Originally published on Fri June 1, 2012 9:54 am

As a child growing up in a small town in Kansas, Chely Wright would say a daily prayer: "Dear God, please don't let me be gay."

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On Disabilities
12:00 pm
Thu May 31, 2012

As Prosthetics Improve, Amputees Face New Choices

Originally published on Thu May 31, 2012 12:49 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Dedicated runner and family doctor Tom White coped for years with the consequences of a traffic accident, but over time, his left leg gave him more and more trouble and pain, to the point where he decided to have it amputated.

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Asia
12:00 pm
Thu May 31, 2012

Pakistan: 'Terror State' Or American Ally?

Originally published on Thu May 31, 2012 12:54 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan.

Relations continue to deteriorate between the United States and Pakistan, a country some described as a nominal ally. A Senate panel voted last week to reduce aid to Islamabad after a doctor who helped the CIA find Osama bin Laden was sentenced to 33 years in prison. And Pakistan continues to refuse to reopen U.S. supply lines into Afghanistan that it cut in response to American air strikes that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers last year.

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Law
12:00 pm
Thu May 31, 2012

The Health Care Law And The Roberts Court

Originally published on Thu May 31, 2012 12:17 pm

The Supreme Court is expected to rule on the controversial health care law in June. Many legal analysts expect the Justices to strike down parts of the law in a split, 5-4 decision, prompting a debate among legal scholars about what the decision will reveal about the politics of the High Court.

Remembrances
12:25 pm
Wed May 30, 2012

Remembering Doc Watson With 'Tennessee Stud'

Legendary folk singer and guitarist Doc Watson died on Tuesday, at the age of 89. Long considered one of America's greatest musicians, Watson was blind from the age of one, and taught himself to play music. NPR's Neal Conan remembers the life and career of Doc Watson with a song: "Tennessee Stud."

Your Health
12:24 pm
Wed May 30, 2012

With Prostate Cancer, Is It Better Not To Know?

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. For years, many doctors questioned the value of the PSA screening test for prostate cancer. Yes, it can catch dangerous cancers and save lives, but last week a federal task force recommended against routine PSA tests.

The panel concluded that too often the blood test leads to unnecessary procedures that can leave patients impotent, incontinent or both. Essentially, the panel concludes, that men are better off not knowing. Some experts cheered, others were outraged.

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Politics
12:10 pm
Wed May 30, 2012

Texas Vote Boosts Romney Amid 'Birther' Revival

Originally published on Wed May 30, 2012 12:24 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Romney rings up the magic number, Barrett and Walker wind up in Wisconsin, and on CNN, the Donald brings up the birther business again. It's Wednesday and time for a...

DONALD TRUMP: Ridiculous...

CONAN: ...edition of the Political Junkie.

PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN: There you go again.

VICE PRESIDENT WALTER MONDALE: When I hear your new ideas, I'm reminded of that ad: Where's the beef?

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Politics
11:58 am
Wed May 30, 2012

Former 'Car Czar' Takes On Auto Bailout And Bain

Originally published on Wed May 30, 2012 12:24 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan.

Steven Rattner now finds himself in the middle of two debates that will be key parts of this presidential campaign. President Obama's former car czar dismissed Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's claims about the auto bailout as complete fantasy. But Rattner is also among the Democrats who criticized the president's attacks against Romney and private equity as unfair.

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Around the Nation
11:58 am
Wed May 30, 2012

'My RV': On The Road In A Rolling Home

RVing off Highway 31, Oregon's Outback National Scenic Byway.
Andy Isaacson

Originally published on Thu May 31, 2012 10:36 am

Freelance writer and photographer Andy Isaacson rented a 19-foot motor home in the summer of 2011. He enlisted two friends, and together they spent eight days traveling from California to Oregon and back.

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NPR Story
12:39 pm
Tue May 29, 2012

'How Soldiers Die': A History Of Combat Deaths

A U.S. Army honor guard stands at attention during a ceremony to mark Memorial Day, this week at Arlington National Cemetery.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 30, 2012 11:29 am

In The Last Full Measure: How Soldiers Die In Battle, Michael Stephenson describes how soldiers fight and die, how those who have lived deal with the experience of combat, and what it reveals about warfare and human nature.

He acknowledges it's a sensitive subject, but he argues it's an important one. Understanding how soldiers die, Stephenson tells NPR's Neal Conan, "is central to an understanding of what combat is. And I think we have to engage with it."

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Middle East
12:06 pm
Tue May 29, 2012

Few Good Options Remain To End Syrian Attacks

Originally published on Tue May 29, 2012 2:23 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

Countries around the world expelled Syrian diplomats today, explaining that the representatives of a country that slaughters its own people are not welcome. United Nations observers confirmed the massacre of over 100 men, women and children, many of them children, in the village of Houla last Friday. U.N. special envoy Kofi Annan met with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus today to demand that his government abide by a cease-fire agreement that now lies in bloody taters.

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Middle East
12:06 pm
Tue May 29, 2012

Journalist Interviews, Films 'Al Qaeda In Yemen'

Originally published on Tue May 29, 2012 2:23 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

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From Our Listeners
12:06 pm
Tue May 29, 2012

Letters: Organ Donations And Changing Hospitals

Originally published on Tue May 29, 2012 2:23 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

It's Tuesday and time to read from your comments. Cathy May(ph) in Bigelow, Arkansas heard our conversation about possible compensation for organ donors and wrote: I'm donating a kidney to a friend this coming August. While I don't care to be paid for donating, I would love to be reimbursed from my loss of salary while recovering from the process. It's a great honor to help another person, but it comes at a cost for me.

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