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Joe Paterno leaving Beaver Stadium after his weekly news briefing in October, 2010. (AP)

January 23rd: What's On Today's Show

Jan 23, 2012

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Sarah Handel

State Of The Union Preview

When President Barack Obama delivers his State of the Union speech in the House chambers on Tuesday night, he will speak to a country deeply divided by political rivalries and still struggling with an uncertain economy. His third State of the Union address comes as he begins his re-election campaign, and the president is expected to focus on jobs and the government's role in boosting the economy and reducing economic inequality. Polls continue to show that most voters hold a negative view of the president's handling of the economy, and he's expected to portray Republicans in congress as standing in the way of his populist proposals. Host Neal Conan talks to NPR's senior Washington editor Ron Elving and two former speech writers about what President Obama should say in what may be one of the most important addresses of his term.

Op-Ed: Canadians And The Keystone XL Pipeline

Last week, President Obama rejected a controversial proposal to build the Keystone XL pipeline from oil sands in Canada to refineries in Texas. The decision — and the debate that preceded it — pitted environmentalists against union labor and many pro-business Republicans in the United States, with many people arguing about the potential environmental hazards and possible economic benefits of building the pipeline. It also generated intense debate in Canada. In an op-ed in the Regina Leader-Post, columnist Murray Mandryk writes that Canadians need to move beyond talking points to more "thoughtful dialogue on better addressing oil policy issues." Host Neal Conan speaks with Mandryk about how Canadians are responding to the Obama administration's pipeline decision and how he thinks the public debate on this topic needs to change.

Sharing Your Passwords

Sharing website passwords has become an increasingly common practice, especially in romantic relationships. In a recent piece in Gizmodo, staff writer Sam Biddle called password sharing "a lynchpin of intimacy in the 21st century." He draws a distinction, though, between sharing a password to watch movies on Netflix, and giving someone access to every bit of personal information in your Facebook or email account. While some may view it as a symbol of love and trust, sharing passwords carries any number of risks, especially if a relationship sours. Host Neal Conan talks with Biddle about the social risks of password sharing and with privacy law professor Woodrow Hartzog about the legal repercussions when password sharing goes awry.

Remembering Joe Paterno

Former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno built his legacy over nearly five decades as head coach. The Hall of Famer won more games than anyone in major college football. He developed a plan to graduate more players while maintaining success on the field. His legacy with the Nittany Lions was deeply tarnished, however, when Paterno was fired after allegations of sex abuse against a former assistant coach rocked the campus and raised questions about whether Paterno should have done more to intervene. Writers and fans continue to debate Paterno's legacy. Some argue he should not be defined by the scandal. Others insist he should not be seen as a victim or a martyr. Host Neal Conan rounds-up a selection of opinion pieces, and asks listeners to weigh in on how we should remember the life and legacy of Joe Paterno.

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