Talk of the Nation

Neil Conan

Each day, Talk of the Nation combines the award-winning resources of NPR News with the vital participation of listeners. The result is a spirited and productive exchange of knowledge and insight that delves deeply into the news and ideas of the day.

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Politics
2:05 pm
Wed May 1, 2013

The Race For South Carolina's Congressional Seat

Transcript

JOHN DONVAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm John Donvan in Washington. Mass momentum for Markey, Sanford's ears and what they can't always hear, and Obama's sequester quest for an understanding with the GOP. It is Wednesday and time for a...

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Trapped in a Taylor Swift album...

DONVAN: Edition of the political junkie.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDINGS)

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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NPR Story
2:20 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

'Sign Painters': A Close-Up Focus On An Endangered Art

Marquee painted by Norma Jeanne Maloney on "Honky-tonk Row" in Nashville, Tenn.
Faythe Levine and Sam Macon Princeton Architectural Press

Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 5:31 pm

Before the age of computers and vinyl printers, sign painters worked by hand to illustrate storefronts, billboards and banners. Local craftsmen often developed a signature style that could distinguish a neighborhood, or even a city.

But technology made creating signs less expensive — and less expressive. Sign Painters, a new book and documentary written and directed by Faythe Levine and Sam Macon, focuses on dozens of artists who are keeping the art alive.

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NPR Story
1:37 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

The NBA Has An Openly Gay Player: What Changes?

Originally published on Tue May 7, 2013 1:40 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan. With just a few words, NBA journeyman Jason Collins made sports history. "I'm a 34-year-old NBA center. I'm black, and I'm gay." With that announcement in the May 6th edition of Sports Illustrated, Collins became the first man still active in a major team sport to come out.

Most reaction has been positive. Earlier today, President Obama actually returned to the microphones at the end of that news conference to say a few words.

(SOUNDBITE OF NEWS CONFERENCE)

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NPR Story
1:37 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

An Intimate Portrait Of The Tsarnaev Family

Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 2:58 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. As the investigation continues into the Boston Marathon bombings, countless questions remain about the two prime suspects, Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. This past Sunday, the Washington Post ran a long profile that offers a complicated portrait of the family.

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NPR Story
1:37 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

To Avoid Or To Embrace: How Actors Navigate Stereotypes

Retta as office manager Donna Meagle on NBC's Parks and Recreation.
Colleen Hayes/NBC

Originally published on Wed May 1, 2013 2:26 pm

On NBC's Parks and Recreation, former stand-up comedian Retta plays office manager Donna Meagle. Donna is mostly in the background of the show, but is known for obsessing over her Mercedes SUV and for creating the Parks and Rec Treat Yo Self holiday.

Retta says this character is quite different from the roles she was offered in the beginning of her acting career.

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The Opinion Page
2:16 pm
Mon April 29, 2013

Op-Ed: Did Boston Law Enforcement Drop The Ball?

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

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

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Middle East
2:13 pm
Mon April 29, 2013

Diplomacy, Sanctions And A Nearing Red Line With Iran

Originally published on Fri May 3, 2013 2:30 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. While Syria is the crisis of the moment in the Middle East, Iran looms as an even more difficult challenge in the months ahead. And these two issues are not unconnected. Iran remains the most important ally of President Assad in Damascus, and the survival of his regime is critical to Iran's larger struggle with its Arab rivals.

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Health Care
2:04 pm
Mon April 29, 2013

Looking Ahead: The Future Of Health Care Policy

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. The country is about to undergo the largest transition of national health policy ever. The Affordable Care Act, the signature legislative achievement of President Obama's first time, continues to phase in. Some of the more popular measures are already in effect. Parents can keep children on their own plans until they turn 26. Women have greater access to birth control.

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Music
2:04 pm
Mon April 29, 2013

Life After Sweet Honey, A Founding Member Moves On

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

For 40 years now, Sweet Honey in the Rock has created music deep in the tradition of the African-American community. When the women joined us in our studios in 2005, they outlined the group's message: Keep moving forward, and make a way for those who are coming behind you.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "I REMEMBER, I BELIEVE")

SWEET HONEY IN THE ROCK: (Singing) I don't know how my mother walked her trouble down. I don't know how my father stood his ground. I don't know how my people survived slavery. I do remember. That's why I believe.

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NPR Story
10:21 am
Fri April 26, 2013

Great Salt Lake Is No 'Dead Sea'

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. We're broadcasting today from the Grand Theatre at Salt Lake Community College. And, of course, just up the road from Salt Lake City is the city's namesake, the Great Salt Lake. Parts of it are 10 times saltier than the ocean. But this is no Dead Sea. It's teeming with microbes which can turn the water bubblegum pink.

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