The Political Junkie
Minnesota's state government shut down late last week when Republican leaders in the legislature and Democratic Governor Mark Dayton failed to reach a budget compromise. Thousands of state workers are temporarily out of a job and there's no end to the impasse in sight. Things were different in Ohio — a state with a closely-watched capitol building — where the governor and legislature actually agree. There Republican Governor John Kasich closed a massive deficit last week — mostly by cutting spending and not raising taxes. Host Neal Conan and political junkie Ken Rudin talk about the case in both states with Minnesota Public Radio's Mike Mulcahy and Karen Kasler of Ohio Public Radio. Ken and Neal will also recap the week in politics, from Rep. Thad McCotter's presidential ambitions, to Mitt Romney's cash haul.
Casey Anthony Verdict
Casey Anthony, the 25-year-old mother who was arrested on first degree murder charges in 2008, could be free by the weekend. Following years of investigation and weeks of testimony, a jury found Anthony not guilty of murder and guilty on four counts of lying to sheriff's deputies yesterday, after just 11 hours of deliberation. The trial was a national sensation on cable news and became a tourist attraction in Orlando, where people camped outside the courtroom for seats. Host Neal Conan talks with Linda Holmes, writer and editor for NPR's pop culture and entertainment blog Monkey See, reads from a selection of editorials and op-eds, and talks with callers about the takeaway from the Casey Anthony case.
Young Adult Literature
What book lurks in your teen's backpack? Chances are it's chock full of horror, violence, suicide, incest and the occasional apocalypse. Young adult literature has always waded into the shallows of bleakness. But the latest YA books dive even deeper into the darkness. Critic Meghan Cox Gurdon laments the trend toward death and destruction — and has been met by a wave of passionate readers who claim that the books allow teens a safe place to talk and think about tough topics, and in some cases save lives. Neal Conan talks with Gurdon and popular YA writer Lauryn Myracle about teen fiction: how dark is too dark?
Chef Jose Andres
Chef Jose Andres has been wildly successful as the unofficial ambassador for Spanish food in America. Nine restaurants, a PBS series and this year, Andres won the James Beard Foundation's Outstanding Chef Award, the highest honor a chef in America can achieve. Host Neal Conan talks with Andres about his latest project: America Eats Tavern in Washington, DC. The menu is an exploration of the history of American cuisine inspired by an exhibit at the National Archives, What's Cooking, Uncle Sam? The Government's Effect on the American Diet.