A solitary Occupy Wall Street protestor holds a sign outside a nearly empty Zuccotti Park, Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2011, in New York.
Less than a year away from the 2012 Presidential election and already the Republican field has faced off for at least ten debates since May. That intense schedule has helped boost the campaigns of more polished candidates while sinking the public perception of those who stumble. Political Junkie Ken Rudin and host Neal Conan talk with John Harwood, who moderated last week's CNBC debate, and with Alan Schroeder, author of Presidential Debates: 50 Years of High-Risk TV, about the politics of debate, and how the debates have changed the campaign for president. Neal and Ken also round up the week in politics.
The National Book Award: 'Lord of Misrule'
The American literary establishment gathers in New York tonight for the Academy Awards of the literary world — the National Book Awards. Winners are announced each year in several categories, and the honor frequently catapults relatively unknown authors into the public eye. Jaimy Gordon, author of the 2010 winner for fiction, Lord of Misrule, knows that story well. An agent once told Gordon, who's written several relatively obscure books since the 1970s, that she was, at heart, a "small-press author." Host Neal Conan talks with Gordon about what it means to win the National Book award and how it has changed her career as a writer.
'The High-Beta Rich'
"The rich are not only getting richer, they are becoming more dangerous," Robert Frank writes in his new book The High-Beta Rich: How the Manic Wealthy Will Take Us to the Next Boom, Bubble and Bust. The top one percent, he says, set off on spending binges and have become "the most unstable force in the economy." In a previous book, he took us inside the communities he calls "Richistan" — a land of private jets, yachts and million dollar watches — and reminded us how different we are from the super-rich. Now, Frank joins host Neal Conan to talk about how the volatility of the super-rich affects the rest of us.
The End Of Occupy Wall Street?
Yesterday, Occupy Wall Street protesters were evicted from Zuccotti Park in Manhattan. A judge in New York ruled that demonstrators can return to the privately-owned park to protest, but without tents and sleeping bags. The decision leaves the Occupy Wall Street protesters without a central rallying point. Similar evacuations were carried out in cities across the country, including Portland and Oakland. Many analysts argue this is a turning point for the movement. Some say it marks the end Occupy Wall Street, while others believe it's a crucial opportunity for protesters to regroup and emerge stronger. Host Neal Conan reads from a selection of diverse op-eds and takes your calls on what this means for the nationwide Occupy movement.