How Much More Do You Want To Hear?

Today's dilemma: how much MORE should we talk about the economy at a time like this? If you figure the mission of the program is to go beyond the headlines, what's the justification for following a story that is dominating the headlines? We decided that our regular contributor on matters of the economy and personal finance, Alvin Hall, makes things so easy to understand that it was worth it to get his take on the big economic story of the week: the World Bank report that warns of a world-wide economic slowdown. You can look at the whole report here if you like. We paired Alvin with Washington Post reporter Steve Mufson who follows the World Bank.

And, we also wanted to follow the story of Lisa Pagan. She is the Army reservist who brought her kids with her when she was ordered to return to active duty after four years. Her commitment was almost up, but not quite. She said she had no way to take care of her kids, and her husband's job was not offering him any flexibility. We were able to pull together a group of Navy moms to give their take on managing active duty and family. Eye opening ... I think you'll agree.

And if you're an E. Lynn Harris fan, why, a treat is in store. His new novel, which is out now, dips into the world of high profile athletes on the down low. Harris is a very prominent, visible, black, gay man. And he has done in 11 novels as much as anyone to explain and explore what the "down low" is. One thing it is NOT is an exclusively black phenomenon. (Remember Congressman Bob Bauman, a conservative white lawmaker from Maryland who was married with four kids and had a secret life as a gay man? He later came out of the closet and left Congress.) But Harris explores what he believes are the special challenges and pressures of living that life as a black man in his many novels. If you are not familiar with his work — and they are not everyone's cup of tea — it is still interesting to hear how he navigates issues of race, class, orientation and identity in his work.

Cheers.

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