August 8th: What's On Today's Show

Markets around the world are jittery  today after the ratings agency S&P downgraded the United States'  credit rating on Friday. We'll discuss what the downgrade means, and what may  lie ahead for the U.S. economy.

hide captionMarkets around the world are jittery today after the ratings agency S&P downgraded the United States' credit rating on Friday. We'll discuss what the downgrade means, and what may lie ahead for the U.S. economy.

Jin Lee/AP Photo

Economy
Gold prices are up, while oil prices and interest rates are down. And, of course, so are global stock markets. In this full hour of special coverage, host Neal Conan speaks with New York Times business reporter Louise Story about what exactly is happening with the economy. Will the United States fall back into recession? She'll answer questions from callers about what they don't understand. Christina Romer, President Barack Obama's first Chair of the Council of Economic Advisors, will join the conversation, as will Hoover Institution economist Russell Roberts.

School Discipline
A new report shows that nearly 60 percent of students in Texas were suspended or expelled between 7th and 12th grade, many of them multiple times. That can lead students to stay back a grade, drop out of school or get in trouble with the law. So, is it time to reassess how schools deal with bad behavior? Host Neal Conan speaks with a co-author of the report, Michael Thompson, director of the Council of State Government's Justice Center, as well as Plano, Texas, superintendent Douglas Otto and Matt Cregor from the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund.

Opinion Page
President Barack Obama makes a statement today, addressing the nation for the first time since U.S. credit was downgraded. In a piece in The New York Times, Drew Westen argues that in tumultuous times, the American people look to leaders to tell stories that "orient us to what is, what could be, and what should be." He says that the stories the President has shared with the public during his term have consistently delivered a "message of bipartisanship over the message of confrontation." Host Neal Conan talks to Westen, a professor of psychology at Emory University, about his piece, What Happened to Obama.

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