February 29th: What's On Today's Leap Day Show : Blog Of The Nation In the first hour of Talk of the Nation, the political junkie recaps the week in politics, and author Sandra Tsing Loh talks about caring for her aging father. In the second hour, the U.S. and Afghanistan, and the link between politics and gas prices.
NPR logo February 29th: What's On Today's Leap Day Show

February 29th: What's On Today's Leap Day Show

A young hand touches and holds an old wrinkled hand. In the first hour, author Sandra Tsing Loh talks about the challenges of caring for her aging father. Tyler Olson/Tyler Olson / SimpleFoto hide caption

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Tyler Olson/Tyler Olson / SimpleFoto

The Political Junkie
After more than a dozen GOP primary debates, former Arkansas governor and Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee proposes his own "presidential forum" this weekend on Fox News. Previous debates gave a temporary boost to Newt Gingrich, played a factor in Rick Perry's decision to drop out and alternately helped and hindered front runners Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum in recent weeks. Political Junkie Ken Rudin and guest host John Donvan look back at the game-changing moments in the debate season with Alan Schroeder. He's the author of "Presidential Debates: 40 Years of High-Risk TV." Ken and John will also recap the week in politics, from the GOP primaries in Michigan and Arizona to Olympia Snowe's retirement announcement, to the president's fiery speech to the UAW.

'I Want My Father To Die'
Sandra Tsing Loh loves her 91-year-old father. Like many children now caring for their aging parents, though, their relationship, is complicated. As he lost his independence and repeatedly chased away in-home nurses, she made sure he was cared for. In an article in The Atlantic, she confesses to a moment of frustration in which she surprised herself by nearly screaming, "I want my father to die!" "With his horrid, selfish, grotesque behavior, he's chewed through every shred of my sentimental affection for him," she wrote. Guest host John Donvan speaks with Loh about the conflicting emotions many caregivers feel toward their aging parents.

What's Been Lost In Afghanistan
Tensions continue to run high in Afghanistan after the U.S. military accidentally burned copies of the Quran last week. In apparent retaliation, two American military officers were allegedly shot in the head by an Afghan official in the Interior Ministry and violent protests left more than two dozen people dead. The Pentagon insists the U.S. military is committed to its mission in the country, but the violent response from Afghans raises questions about the U.S. strategy to closely advise and train Afghan forces before the scheduled withdrawal of NATO troops. Guest host John Donvan talks with retired army officer John Nagl and with Rajiv Chandrasekaran of The Washington Post about what was lost in the recent incidents, and how NATO forces and Afghans can reestablish trust on the ground.

Politics And Gas Prices
Industry analysts say oil prices rose ten dollars a gallon in February, driving up gas prices at the pump. It's a trend that many believe will continue into March. The price of gas has long been a political issue, with Democrats and Republicans blaming one another for high gas prices or boasting about how their party helped lower costs. In a recent piece, Washington Post columnist Charles Lane writes that all that political finger-pointing is just "blather" and that gas prices are largely determined by crude oil prices globally, which have steadily been on the rise for the last decade. Guest host John Donvan speaks with Charles Lane about the link, or lack thereof, between politics and gas prices and the real reasons why people are paying more at the pump.