February 23rd Show : Blog Of The Nation In the first hour of Talk of the Nation, the political junkie and a review of Oscar nominated documentaries. In our second hour, Libya's hold on Tripoli, and Motown's influence on America.
NPR logo February 23rd Show

February 23rd Show

Smokey Robinson, left, is joined by friend and fellow entertainer Berry Gordy at the Greek Theater in 1981. AP Photo hide caption

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The Political Junkie
Democratic lawmakers in Indiana have followed their colleagues in Wisconsin and fled to Illinois. They're boycotting votes that would strip union workers of some collective bargaining rights — votes that their Republican governors say would help eliminate budget deficits. Stand-offs over budget cuts are playing out across the country. On this week's Political Junkie, host Neal Conan and political editor Ken Rudin discuss the politics of the budget, and recap the week in politics, from Rahm Emanuel's victory in Chicago to Sen. John Thune's (R-SD) announcement not to run for president.

Review Of Oscar-Nominated Documentaries
For the past week, Talk of the Nation has heard from the filmmakers behind this year's Oscar-nominated feature documentaries. Today, NPR's arts critic Bob Mondello explains how the nominated films get chosen in the first place. Though Restrepo, Inside Job, Wasteland, Exit Through the Gift Shop, and Gaslandall made the list of documentary hopefuls, some early favorites, like Davis Guggenheim's Waiting for Superman, were left off of that list. Host Neal Conan talks with Mondello about what Academy members look for in the nominees for best documentary feature.

Libya's Hold On Tripoli
Libya's government reportedly continued a violent crackdown on protesters in the capital today. Anti-government forces claim to control much of the eastern portion of the country, as a number of police and army troops joined the opposition. In Washington, there are growing calls for a stronger U.S. response against Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi. Host Neal Conan gets an update on the latest from Libya and the options available to the United States.

The White House Pays Tribute to Motown
Fifty years ago, when black musicians had a difficult time breaking into a music business that was divided by race — Motown changed everything. Catchy dance tunes blending R&B, gospel, swing and pop from Berry Gordy's Detroit-based record company caught on nationwide. In celebration of Black History Month, The White House pays tribute this week to Motown's influence on American culture and performers like The Supremes, The Temptations, and Smokey Robinson. Neal Conan talks with Bob Santelli of the Grammy Museum and Martha Reeves of Martha and the Vandellas about the event and Motown's influence on American music and culture.