December 21st: What's On Today's Show : Blog Of The Nation In the first hour of Talk of the Nation, the political junkie and the Keystone XL pipeline, and job hunting during the holidays. In the second hour, the culture of band hazing, and Turkey's position in the Middle East.
NPR logo December 21st: What's On Today's Show

December 21st: What's On Today's Show

The sandhills near Mills in north central Nebraska, through which Transcanada's Keystone XL pipeline has been slated to be built. The pipeline is planned to carry crude oil from tar sands in Alberta to the Gulf Coast. Nati Harnik/AP hide caption

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Nati Harnik/AP

The Political Junkie
Just before they left town, members of the House rejected a bipartisan Senate plan to continue both a payroll tax cut and extended unemployment insurance. If they don't return to Washington and pass the Senate bill — or if the two houses don't agree on and pass a different plan — Americans will see a tax increase in just ten days. The Senate loaded the bill with sweeteners to attract conservatives in the House, including a provision forcing President Barack Obama to decide on a controversial oil pipeline within 60 days. Guest political junkie Ron Elving and host Neal Conan will speak with National Journal's Coral Davenport about the politics of the Keystone XL pipeline. They'll also recap the week in politics, from a drop in Newt Gingrich's lead to football analyst Craig James' announcement he's running for Senate.

Holiday Job Hunting
The holiday season is when many of us take well-deserved breaks from everything. But for employers, especially big companies, there's no break in trying to fill open positions. So, job seekers must forge on. Host Neal Conan talks to Wall Street Journal reporter Lauren Weber about strategies for holiday job hunting.

The Culture Of Band Hazing
26 year-old Robert Champion Jr.'s death made headlines, and the hazing incident that caused his death continues to reverberate — not just at Florida A&M, but at schools across the country. Immediately following Champion's death, Florida A&M's band director was dismissed from the university, students were expelled from the school, and Florida Gov. Rick Scott has pressed the school to suspend the president. But before Champion died, hazing was a culture that plagued many school bands around the nation. Host Neal Conan talks with Marcus Chanay, vice president of student life at Jackson State University; and University of Wisconsin's marching band liaison, Donna Freitag, about the culture of band hazing and how to stop it.

Turkey And The Middle East
In just this week, Syrian sources have reported that more than 100 defecting soldiers, civilians and anti-government activists have been killed near the Turkish border. Thursday, observers from the Arab League are due in Syria and are expected to call for an end to the crackdown. Host Neal Conan speaks with Ibrahim Kalin, the chief advisor to the Turkish Prime Minister about Turkey's position in the Middle East.