March 2nd Show : Blog Of The Nation In the first hour of Talk of the Nation, the political junkie and a conversation about possible presidential candidate Newt Gingrich, and military funerals. In the second hour, how the end begins, and reinventing yourself.
NPR logo March 2nd Show

March 2nd Show

Official U.S. Army photograph of the second atomic bombing of Nagasaki, Japan in August of 1945. In his new book, How The End Begins: The Road To A Nuclear World War III, author Ron Rosenbaum warns that the world is dangerously close to another nuclear conflict. U.S. Army Photograph/Library of Congress hide caption

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U.S. Army Photograph/Library of Congress

The Political Junkie
The Republican presidential field is starting to take shape, with an announcement from former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich expected soon. Reports indicate Gingrich might announce his intentions as early as Thursday. This Political Junkie we begin a series of segments looking at hopeful presidential candidates. Host Neal Conan and NPR political editor Ken Rudin handicap Gingrich's strengths and weaknesses with his former senior consultant Joe Gaylord. Gaylord is largely credited with orchestrating the Republican takeover of the House in 1994 and has been the former Speaker's right hand man for years. Ken and Neal will also recap the week in politics: From Tim Pawlenty's red meat speech to the Tea Party in Phoenix to the House and Senate agreeing on a two week extension of the budget.

Military Funerals
In an 8-1 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that protesters evoking "even hurtful speech" at military funerals are protected by First Amendment rights. The decision stems from a case in Kansas where fundamentalists of the Westboro Baptist Church staged an anti-gay protest outside a Marine's funeral.

How The End Begins
In recent years, the menace of nuclear war has been replaced by fears of terror and economic collapse. In his new book, How The End Begins, author Ron Rosenbaum says that the rise of new nuclear powers and changing global dynamics have the world closer to nuclear war than it's ever been. He talks with host Neal Conan what's at stake.

Reinventing Self
Keith Miller's future seemed set. He was a star fullback at the University of Colorado, played professional football for the European and Arena Football Leagues, and had a shot playing for the NFL. But Miller decided to follow another voice — his own — and that led him straight to opera. The bass-baritone has nearly 200 performances under his belt with the Metropolitan Opera, and last week he made his debut in The Washington National Opera's production of Madama Butterfly. Keith Miller joins Neal Conan to talk about trading football for Figaro.