Thursday, May 17, 2012

Patt Morrison for Friday, May 18, 2012


Friday, May 18, 2012

1-3 p.m.






1:06 – 1: 30 - OPEN




1: 30 – 1:58:30

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid fights to bust filibusters

It’s not often that you hear high-profile politicians openly admit they were wrong, but that is exactly what Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) did last week on the Senate floor as he apologized to senators Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) for squelching their 2010 quest to reform the Senate’s longstanding filibuster rule. “They were right,” confessed Reid, “and the rest of us were wrong.” The majority leader now demands reformation of the filibuster. “If there were anything that ever needed changing in this body, it’s the filibuster rule, because it’s been abused, abused and abused,” said Reid on the Senate floor. Reid’s push for filibuster reform comes after Republicans refused to take up and pass a noncontroversial bill aimed at reauthorizing the Export-Import bank. Changing the rule would normally require an unlikely two-thirds vote of the senate, but Reid has said he plans on altering the rule in January when a new Congress convenes and only a simple majority is required. Both Republicans and Democrats have used the filibuster rule to their advantage, but have they truly “abused” it? Is Congress far too gridlocked? Is it really time to reform the rule?



Ken Rudin, political editor, NPR


Erwin Chemerinsky, founding dean of University of California, Irvine’s law school; he specializes in constitutional law, federal practice, as well as civil rights and civil liberties




2:06 – 2: 30

Raising children with your smartphone

Children know when they don’t have their parent’s undivided attention. And research shows they act out more when they don’t get it, which increasingly concerns child behaviorists as they observe the first generation of children raised alongside their parents’ smart phones. It’s common to see children trying to get their parent’s attention while they’re glued to a BlackBerry and just as common to see parents use the phone as a babysitter to distract their children. Some researchers think this is a big shift in the way parents relate to their children and are already seeing what they think is a direct result in relationship issues and attention-deficit problems. Others researchers, however, disagree and see new technology as just another distraction in a long history of distracted parenting. Do you set guidelines with your children? Could you unplug from your digital life?




Sherry Turkle, Abby Rockefeller Mauzé Professor of the Social Studies of Science and Technology in the Program in Science, Technology, and Society at MIT; founder and current director of the MIT Initiative on Technology and Self




2:30 – 2:39
Don’ look up! But be sure to check out this evening’s solar eclipse

The western United States is primed for a fairly rare celestial event this evening – the first annular eclipse since 1994. Around sunset, the Moon will pass between the Earth and the Sun, partially obscuring the sun from our view. If you feel like traveling to Redding, California, Reno, Nevada or Albuquerque, New Mexico, you’ll be in for a rare event indeed; lucky skywatchers in those areas will see a ring of fire in the sky as the Moon blocks the middle portion of the Sun. This striking visage will take place courtesy of the Moon at apogee (the farthest point from Earth in its orbit) where it will be too small to completely block out the sun. Staring directly at the sun can be extremely damaging to your eyes, so be sure to use any number of clever tricks astronomers suggest  - shadow boxes, makeup mirrors and binoculars on the ground - to observe the eclipse. Do you keep up with celestial events? Are you hosting an eclipse party?

Phil Plait, astronomer and blogger for Discover magazine; author of Death from the Skies!: These Are the Ways the World Will End…





2:41:30 – 2:58:30

Will America’s military dogs get a promotion?
Dogs have been stalwart human companions for thousands of years - they share our joys, sorrows, homes and lives, and increasingly, they’ve been following us into battle as well. The story of Cairo, the Belgian Malinois who joined the U.S. Navy SEAL Team Six raid in Abbottabad, Pakistan that led to the killing of Osama bin Laden in May, 2011 is now world famous. But Cairo is just one of the roughly 2,700 military dogs deployed around the globe – 600 of which serve in combat zones. America’s military dogs sniff out bombs, rappel from helicopters and provide much-needed companionship for soldiers in harsh circumstances… and the story of these valiant dogs is also the story of their handlers, who pair with a specific dog for their tandem tour of duty. Former USA Today journalist Maria Goodavage was already the author of three previous dog-oriented books when she decided that the story of these four-legged warriors needed to be told. The result of her boots and paws-on-the-ground research is “Soldier Dogs: The Untold Story of America’s Canine Heroes.” There is a different kind of battle going on in congress over the classification of America’s soldier dogs… as lawmakers debate to decide whether or not to promote these dogs’ classification from “equipment” to "Canine Members of the Armed Forces." Should our military dogs receive benefits for their service? How do dogs help human soldiers cope with the stress of war?

Maria Goodavage (good-AH-vuj), news editor and writer for and author of Soldier Dogs: The Untold Story of America’s Canine Heroes” (Dutton 2012)







Producer - Patt Morrison
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