May 16th Show : Blog Of The Nation In the first hour of Talk of Nation, debt ceiling explainer, and the opinion page looks at Haiti's inauguration. In the second hour, recovering for brain injury, and horse trainer Graham Motion.
NPR logo May 16th Show

May 16th Show

Profile view of man and his brain. In our second hour, guests explain the rehabilitation process and the road to recovery from brain injury. Mads Abildgaard/ hide caption

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Mads Abildgaard/

The U.S. Hits The Debt Ceiling: What Now?
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner sent a letter to Congressional leaders this morning: The federal government has reached the debt ceiling. Congress has until the first week of August to vote to increase the limit — which it's done ten times in the last decade — or Geithner warns the government would default on its loans. Congress has been voting on whether to increase the amount of money the government can borrow since 1917, and it's always provided lawmakers in the opposition an opportunity for leverage. In fact, when President Barack Obama was a senator, he voted against increasing the limit in 2006. NPR senior Washington editor Ron Elving joins host Neal Conan for a conversation about the debt ceiling, what would happen if it's not raise and the politics of the current debate.

The Opinion Page
On Saturday, Michel Martelly was sworn in as Haiti's new president in the first peaceful transition of power in the country's history. Known to Haitians as "Sweet Micky," the pop-star-turned-politican promises, among many things, to rebuild its earthquake-devastated capital, build a modern army, and provide universal education for children. In an op-ed for The Haitian Times, Garry Pierre-Pierre argues that his election marks "another disaster" for Haiti. Neal Conan talks with Pierre-Pierre on this week's Opinion Page.

Recovering From Brain Injury
Just four months after being shot in the head, congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) traveled to Cape Canaveral, Fla. to watch her husband blast-off with the space shuttle Endeavour this morning. Her trip from a Houston rehabilitation hospital marks an important milestone in a recovery that doctors have called "remarkable." For patients recovering from traumatic brain injury, setting and working toward goals are an important part of the rehabilitation process. Host Neal Conan talks with Dr. Gerard Francisco, the lead physician overseeing Gifford's care at TIRR Memorial Hermann Hospital, one of the country's top rehabilitation and research institutes, and with Sarina Piergrossi, an occupational therapist at the Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation about the road to recovery from brain injury.

Kentucky Derby Winning Jockey Graham Motion
Just off of his upset win at the Kentucky Derby with "Animal Kingdom", horse trainer Graham Motion doesn't have time to let the victory marinate. The Preakness Stakes are this weekend in Motion's home state of Maryland. Motion had a string of bad luck leading up to the Kentucky Derby, but now Animal Kingdom and his trainer go into the Preakness with the advantage. Host Neal Conan speaks with horse trainer Grahama Motion about his work, his style of training and his view of the winner's circle.