February 18, 2020
How are women changing the modern workforce? According to photographer and author Chris Crisman, their roles — and the jobs they hold — continue to expand and shift. These changes haven’t come without challenges; women have had to push for space in male-dominated industries and to overcome misconceptions based on gender, class and race. Kerri Miller talks with Crisman about his book of portraits and essays, “Women’s Work: Stories From Pioneering Women Shaping Our Workforce;” his inspiration to portray this facet of today’s workforce and society, and where future generations can find inspiration. Guest: Chris Crisman is a photographer and author.
February 17, 2020
On March 16, 2017, author P. Carl sent a photo of himself to his wife in a text with this message: “I’m me now.” It was the point, he writes in his memoir “Becoming a Man: The Story of a Transition,” that he felt visible for the first time after living more than 50 years as a girl and queer woman. Carl’s transition to a man happened during a period of change for America: the months following the announcement of the Trump administration’s travel ban and before #MeToo dominated our social media sites and conversations. It also took place during a time when there’s both advancement and a lack of understanding about transgender people and their bodies. He joins host Kerri Miller for a candid conversation about his journey and about gender, masculinity and inequality in the United States. P. Carl is the author of “Becoming a Man: The Story of a Transition” and distinguished artist in residence at Emerson College in Boston, Mass.
February 16, 2020
Over 71,000 people across the globe have been infected with COVID-19, the new, deadly strain of coronavirus. As that number grows, so has fear, confusion and misinformation about the novel respiratory virus. Monday morning at 9 on MPR News with Kerri Miller, two physicians helped sort through what is known about the virus and what scientists have yet to learn. Related 4 myths about coronavirus and how to spot them Guests: Dr. Erica Shenoy is an infectious disease specialist at Massachusetts General Hospital and assistant professor at Harvard Medical School. Dr. William Schaffner is a professor in the division of infectious disease and preventative medicine at Vanderbilt University. To listen to the full conversation you can use the audio player above. Subscribe to the MPR News with Kerri Miller podcast on: Apple Podcasts , Google Podcasts , Spotify or RSS
February 14, 2020
NPR’s Steve Inskeep read diaries, letters and maps while researching his biography on John and Jessie Fremont, one of America’s original power couples. His new book is called “Imperfect Union: How Jessie and John Fremont Mapped the West, Invented Celebrity, and Helped Cause the Civil War.” Though it's set in the 1800s, their story is surprisingly relevant today. Inskeep joined MPR host Kerri Miller for a conversation about politics and public radio Friday.
February 13, 2020
In the Upper Midwest, farming maintains a wholesome glow. Red barns, picket fences and photos of kittens weaving among jugs of frothy milk loom large in our collective psyche. But reality is more stark. Farm bankruptcies are up. Thousands of farms have simply closed. Farm debt is at an all-time high. Add in a trade war, severe weather and tanking crop prices, and it’s not hard to understand why health workers are worried about a spike in suicide and depression. At the same time, new farmers – usually young and passionate about regenerative practices and helping others – are entering the field. Thursday, for our Flyover 2020, we talk about the changing farming identity, and what it means to be a farmer today. Guests: Jenni Patnode, whose blog post “The Last Milking” went viral after the sale of her and her husband’s fourth-generation Wisconsin dairy farm Hannah Breckbill, co-owner of the Humble Hands Harvest farm outside Decorah, Iowa
February 12, 2020
New Hampshire residents have had their say, and we’ll take a crack at understanding what it all means. Meanwhile, candidates are already looking beyond New Hampshire to the future of their campaigns and how they’ll connect with voters in Nevada, South Carolina and beyond. Kerri Miller talks with two political analysts about the New Hampshire results, the role of independent voters and the path forward for Democratic candidates. Guests: Emily Baer is an assistant professor of political science at the University of New Hampshire. She joins us from Durham, New Hampshire. Reed Galen is an independent political consultant and an adviser for The Lincoln Project. To listen to the full conversation you can use the audio player above. Subscribe to the MPR News with Kerri Miller podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify or RSS.
February 10, 2020
For some, higher education is a time of learning and growth. But it’s also a time of stress as students manage assignments, extracurriculars and their lives and relationships outside the classroom. Mental health is also part of the picture; about 1 in 5 Americans age 18 or older are dealing with a mental health condition, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. MPR News host Kerri Miller led a wide-ranging conversation Feb. 5 at St. Catherine University with college students and a panel of mental health and higher education experts. This was in partnership with Call to Mind, MPR’s initiative to foster new conversations about mental health. Guests: Taiyon Coleman is an assistant professor of English at St. Catherine University. Matt Hanson is a licensed psychologist and assistant director of the Mental Health Clinic at Boynton Health at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities. Brandon Jones is a psychotherapist, professor and behavioral health consultant. He serves as the integrated services manager at NorthPoint Health and Wellness Center in north Minneapolis and is an adjunct faculty member at Century College, Metropolitan State University and Inver Hills Community College.
February 10, 2020
Even with scientific evidence closing the case on climate change, a divide on the issue continues along political lines. But that divide grows smaller in younger segments of the population. Research indicates that the gap on this issue between millennial Republicans and Democrats has diminished and that there’s less political polarization on the topic. Meanwhile, discussion about climate change — and in some cases, the absence of such a discussion — is an issue on voters’ minds as the 2020 election approaches. MPR News host Kerri Miller talks with a researcher and a conservative political executive about climate change communication in our communities and on both sides of the political aisle. Guests: Danielle Butcher is chief operating officer of the American Conservation Coalition. Matthew Ballew is a postdoctoral associate at the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication, where he specializes in social psychology and survey research.
February 6, 2020
Americans love their pets. In 2018, we spent more than $72 billion feeding them, grooming them, training them, medicating them, and – much to the pets’ regret – clothing them. Dog owners, in particular, are quick to say dogs are special – not only because they are smart and social creatures, but because dogs love us back. But do they really? Or are they just happy to see us because we hold the keys to the food? One animal behaviorist says he’s done the research, and he’s convinced that dogs do form emotional attachments with their owners. Friday on MPR News with Kerri Miller, we’ll talk to him about his work, his proof and – of course – his dog. Guest: Clive Wynne, animal behaviorist, founding director of the Canine Science Collaboratory at Arizona State University and author of the new book “Dog is Love” Kerri Miller also asked listeners to share photos of their dogs on Twitter, and started with a photo of her dog, Dara. Kerri Miller's tweet And here’s what listeners shared. Kristin's tweet anais ninja tweet Abby Faulkner tweet Kate Reschenberg tweet Danielle Korver's tweet Ben Wilson's tweet Courtney CK tweet Jack Donovan tweet heidi a tweet cheryl robertson's tweet Melissa Marts' tweet Daniel Kilibarda's tweet Al Willig's tweet Liz tweet Bethany Gladhill's tweet Michael Erb tweet M_Shizzy tweet
February 5, 2020
The Upper Midwest is patriotic. But how that word is defined varies, depending on where you are standing and to whom you are talking. Thursday on Flyover 2020, we delve into the concept of patriotism and the role that the urban/rural divide plays in how the value is expressed – and how people vote. Guests: Francesco Duina, sociology professor at Bates College in Maine and author of the book “Broke and Patriotic: Why Poor Americans Love Their Country” Arlie Hochschild, sociology professor emeritus at University of California Berkeley and author of the book “Strangers in their Own Land”
February 5, 2020
You probably know someone living with Alzheimer’s or dementia. More than 5.8 million Americans have the disease, and 1 out of every 3 seniors has Alzheimer’s or dementia at death. Researchers are fast developing ways to diagnose the illness years before symptoms start: blood tests, retinal scans, brain scans. But if a reliable test was put on the market, would you take it? How much information about your medical future would you want, especially when it comes to a disease that currently has no cure? Wednesday on MPR News with Kerri Miller, we spoke with an Alzheimer’s researcher and a psychologist specializing in dementia issues about the moral dilemmas raised by medical developments. Guests: Dr. Peter Rabins, professor emeritus of psychiatry and medicine at John Hopkins University School of Medicine, author of the best-selling “The 36-Hour Day” and the upcoming “Is It Alzheimer’s?” Shana Stites, clinical psychologist and researcher with the Penn Project on Precision Medicine for the Brain
February 4, 2020
Party officials in Iowa are sorting out the technology problems and reporting “inconsistencies” that delayed the release of Monday’s results of the Iowa caucuses. Meanwhile, the field of Democratic candidates are on the move toward New Hampshire with Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg claiming victory based on preliminary estimates. Kerri Miller talks with an Iowa political scientist about the state’s reaction to the challenges and how presidential candidates are proceeding as they move on to New Hampshire. Guest: Tim Hagle, political science professor at the University of Iowa and author of “Riding the Caucus Rollercoaster” To listen to the full conversation you can use the audio player above. Subscribe to the MPR News with Kerri Miller podcast on: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts , Spotify or RSS.
February 3, 2020
With Iowa in the rearview mirror and New Hampshire next on the horizon, the presidential primary season is officially up and running. Meanwhile, voters in Nevada and South Carolina are gearing up for their time in the primary season spotlight. Host Kerri Miller talks with political scientists from those states to understand what voters are looking for and what candidates need to do to garner support. Guests: Todd Shaw, professor of political science and African American studies at the University of South Carolina. David Damore, professor of political science at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and senior analyst at Latino Decisions.
February 3, 2020
While candidates for the Democratic nomination for president have long been on the campaign trail, this week’s caucuses in Iowa mark the start of presidential primary season. Polling reveals support for Sen. Bernie Sanders, but other candidates seeing support include former Vice President Joe Biden and former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg. Join host Kerri Miller for a conversation with an Iowan political scientist exploring how the caucuses work and what new rules this year mean for the process. They’ll also discuss the state of the race for president and what to watch for as other states hold their primary nominating events. Guest: Tim Hagle, political science professor at the University of Iowa and author of “Riding the Caucus Rollercoaster.” To listen to the full conversation you can use the audio player above. Subscribe to the MPR News with Kerri Miller podcast on: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts , Spotify or RSS.
February 2, 2020
The U.S. Senate voted against calling witnesses on Friday in the impeachment trial of President Trump. That set into motion final arguments in the trial and an all-but-guaranteed acquittal later this week. Monday, on MPR News with Kerri Miller, we look at how this impeachment compares to others and consider the lasting effects for the future. Guests: Andra Gillespie is an associate professor of political science at Emory University. Jeffrey Engel is the director of the Center for Presidential History at Southern Methodist University in Dallas and the co-author of the book “Impeachment: An American History.” To listen to the full conversation you can use the audio player above. Subscribe to the MPR News with Kerri Miller podcast on: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts , Spotify or RSS
January 30, 2020
Loneliness and the negative health effects associated with it have seen an increased focus from public health officials and governments in recent years. It’s frequently raised as a challenge for older adults, people in households with lower incomes and residents in rural areas. However, nothing is immune from the threat of loneliness, with young people and workplaces also feeling its reach. While efforts have increased over time to address loneliness in our communities and in national policy, public health experts on the international level are calling for a unified approach to addressing the problem on an international scale. Guest host Chris Farrell talks with a gerontologist and a psychologist about the effects of loneliness on our health and what action looks like in addressing this public health threat.
January 30, 2020
Singer-songwriter Allison Moorer was just 14 when her father killed her mother and then turned his gun on himself. Allison and her older sister, Shelby, were orphaned in an instant. They had witnessed – and sometimes been the victims of – years of abuse at the hands of their father. But they were left with more questions than answers, a gaping soul wound that didn’t stop bleeding, even though they rarely talked about it publicly. That changed last year, when Moorer published a memoir and companion album, both called “Blood.” Thursday, we’ll play a recorded conversation between Moorer and Kerri Miller. It is heartbreaking, thoughtful and lyrical – a story of pain and love and acceptance. Moorer says writing the book helped her see the childhood trauma for what it really was and begin to set it down. “I just want to see the gifts in it all,” she told Miller, “which is realizing that I can heal from my own trauma.” Guest: Allison Moorer, singer/songwriter and author of the new memoir “Blood”
January 28, 2020
A new strain of the coronavirus is spreading exponentially. As of Wednesday, there are more than 6,000 confirmed cases worldwide, and more than 100 people have died. The outbreak of the respiratory illness began in the Chinese city of Wuhan but has since traveled as far as the United States, where at least five cases have been confirmed. The World Health Organization has resisted calls to declare the outbreak a global health emergency, saying it’s too soon. But that could change, as the known infections grow. The latest thread raises familiar questions about America’s readiness to handle a global pandemic. Wednesday, two guests joined MPR guest host Chris Farrell to discuss the virus and the state of emergency preparedness in the United States. Guests: Michael Osterholm is regents professor and director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota’s School of Public Health. Dr. Abigail Carlson is an assistant professor at Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis.
January 28, 2020
When the John Newbery Medal was handed out Monday, for the first time ever, the prestigious children’s literature award went to a graphic novel, Jerry Craft’s “New Kid.” Just more proof that the popularity of comic books and graphic novels is one of the biggest success stories in publishing right now. In 2018, sales topped $1 billion. Long dominated by male readers and superheroes, the genre is expanding to focus more on women and girls, people of color, the LGBTQ experience and even nonfiction. Guest host Chris Farrell discusses the rise of graphic novels with two Minneapolis comic artists. Is this the origin story of a formidable new breed of books? Guests: Rob Kirby is a cartoonist and author of the comic strip “Curbside” and several graphic novels, including his work-in-progress memoir, “Marry Me A Little.” Barbara Schulz runs the Comic Art degree program, which she helped establish, at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design.
January 27, 2020
As the elder population grows — and wants to stay at home rather than turn to a nursing home or hospital — the need for home health aides does, too. Employment in this field is expected to increase more than 30 percent over the next decade, much faster than the overall average. With fast growth, however, come growing pains. Low wages, insufficient benefits and a lack of quality training pose challenges for these workers as the industry expands and provides care for aging America. Guest host Chris Farrell talks with an analyst and the co-founder of a home-care cooperative to understand the growth of this field and what’s needed to improve job quality. Guests: Kippi Waters, co-founder of Peninsula Homecare Cooperative in Washington. Stephen Campbell, data and policy analyst at PHI, a national nonprofit.
January 24, 2020
This week, President Trump denounced “climate alarmists” during the global economic forum at Davos, Switzerland. But a new study shows Americans increasingly disagree with his assessment. Almost 6 in 10 Americans are either "alarmed" or "concerned" by global warming, an all-time high. It follows the news that 2019 was the hottest year yet for the world’s oceans, part of a long-term trend. That benchmark is particularly alarming to oceanographers, because the majority of the excess heat caused by greenhouse gases is absorbed by the ocean. Friday on a special edition of Climate Cast, MPR chief meteorologist Paul Huttner spoke with two climate scientists about how a rapidly warming ocean affects even those of us in landlocked Minnesota. Guests: John Abraham is a professor of thermal sciences at the University of St. Thomas School of Engineering. Kim Cobb is a climate scientist and a professor in the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology. To listen to the full conversation you can use the audio player above. Subscribe to the MPR News with Kerri Miller podcast on: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts , Spotify or RSS
January 23, 2020
When Maya Angelou stepped to the podium on a cold January day in 1993, she became the first African-American and the first woman to offer an inaugural poem. And what a poem it was. “On the Pulse of Morning” garnered immediate praise for its sweeping portrait of American history and wisdom. Elizabeth Alexander remembers that moment – and contrasts it with her own time on the same stage – on MPR News with Kerri Miller, in the first installment of an occasional series, “They Believed.” At this pivotal moment in U.S. history, we want to look back at the words of America’s firebrands, visionaries and truth-tellers. What do they reveal about who we were then – and who we are now? Guest: Elizabeth Alexander is a poet and scholar. She currently leads The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
January 22, 2020
Nearly half of the college students in a 2018 study said they weren’t sure how to tell the difference between real and fake news on social media platforms. Beyond that, more than 30 percent of respondents say that the possibility of misinformation decreases their trust in all media. We spoke with a researcher and a news literacy specialist about the information challenges young people — and others — face. We also explored the future of information and news literacy and the education tools you can employ in your day-to-day life. Guests: Barbara Fister is scholar-in-residence at Project Information Literacy, a nonprofit research institute that conducts scholarly studies about students and how they find, evaluate and select information. She is also a professor emerita at Gustavus Adolphus College. Suzannah Gonzales is a former journalist and the associate director of education for the News Literacy Project. NLP is a national education nonprofit offering nonpartisan programs that teach students how to know what to believe in the digital age.
January 21, 2020
It seems like every day, another report with scary consequences makes headlines. "2019 capped world’s hottest decade in recorded history." "Australia fires will be 'normal' in warmer world." "Oceans are warming at the same rate as if five Hiroshima bombs were dropped in every second." Climate change is a big, important topic - and chances are good, the kids in your life are asking questions. But when the topic paralyzes even many adults, how do we talk to kids in a way that is real, but not terrifying? On this episode of MPR News with Kerri Miller, guest host and MPR reporter Catharine Richert spoke with two experts about how to talk with the kids in your life about a warming planet in a way that's empowering, not overwhelming.
January 17, 2020
Tracy K. Smith is aware of the stereotypes about poetry. You’re probably aware of them too — that poems are precious, sometimes pretentious and removed from the grit of our daily lives. But the 2017 U.S. poet laureate also knows that poems can be an escape, a mirror or a vehicle for understanding some of the most complicated parts of our shared humanity.Speaking on stage at the Fitzgerald Theater, Smith put it this way: “A poem isn’t merely a perfect, decorative object. It’s something you can call upon in case of an emergency. It’s something that speaks to the real, the painful, the beautiful and the deliriously joyful. Poems have language for that and I think they give us a better vocabulary for talking about our lives.”
January 16, 2020
The Upper Midwest is one of the most unpredictable places in politics right now. Voters in more than 50 counties in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois and Michigan flipped from President Obama in 2012 to President Trump in 2016. And so-called identity politics played a role in that, for better or worse. Today on Flyover 2020, we talk about how both political parties try to activate specific segments of voters – and whether that practice is leaving us even more fractured. We also talk with a conservative pastor from a small town in Iowa who defies some of those labels. Guests: Khalilah Brown-Dean, political science professor at Quinnipiac University and the author of the new book “Identity Politics in the United States” Rev. John Lee, Bethel Christian Reformed Church, Sioux Center, Iowa
January 14, 2020
In November, the filmmaker Martin Scorsese wrote an op-ed in the New York Times in which he argued that superhero movies are often too predictable and too conventional for an art form that should be surprising and challenging. Scorsese wrote: “...What’s not (in these movies) is revelation, mystery or genuine emotional danger. Nothing is at risk. The pictures are made to satisfy a specific set of demands and they are designed as variations on a finite number of themes.” Despite Scorsese’s op-ed, the torrent of superhero films shows no sign of slowing down. “Wonder Woman 1984,” “Black Widow” and “The New Mutants” are just some of the superhero flicks slated to come out this year. There’s little incentive for studios to curb production when films like “Avengers: Endgame” gross more than $2.7 billion worldwide.But are these movies sucking up all of the oxygen — or funding — from other genres of film?Two film buffs joined MPR News host Kerri Miller for a conversation about the place of superhero flicks in the pantheon of movies. Guests:Lily Percy Ruiz executive producer for On Being Studios and host of its podcast, This Movie Changed MeKen Turan, film critic for the Los Angeles Times
January 10, 2020
And then there were six. It will be the smallest stage of candidates yet at Tuesday’s Democratic debate – the seventh overall, and the last to happen before the all-important Iowa caucuses. But are the debates making a difference? Are the candidates talking about what matters to you and your life experience? Monday on MPR News with Kerri Miller, we talked about it with two political scientists. Guests: Philip Chen, assistant professor of political science at Beloit College in Wisconsin Todd Shaw, professor of political science and African American studies at the University of South Carolina To listen to the full conversation you can use the audio player above. Subscribe to the MPR News with Kerri Miller podcast on: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts , Spotify or RSS
January 10, 2020
Are you dreading having “the talk” with your teenage son? Peggy Orenstein expected that conversations with young men about sex and masculinity might take some prodding, but she found that young men were eager to discuss the most intimate parts of their lives. She wrote, “They confided their insecurities, pressures and pains; their anxieties about sexual performance; their desire to connect and their fears about doing so.” Orenstein was no stranger to the subject. She wrote about “Girls & Sex” in 2016.She joined MPR News host Kerri Miller for a conversation about her new book, “Boys & Sex: Young Men on Hookups, Love, Porn, Consent, and Navigating the New Masculinity.”
January 9, 2020
It’s a surprise to many: Rural America is more politically diverse, more educated and more economically optimistic than stereotypes lead us to believe. Maybe most encouraging to the Upper Midwest: Many small towns are reversing the so-called brain drain and showing a brain gain. Young people who left their hometowns to go to college are increasingly likely to move back in their 30s and 40s, bringing with them college degrees, new businesses and families. On this episode, we look at the changing demographics and misunderstood labels of rural America. It’s the next installment in our Flyover 2020 series, which examines the issues that matter to the Upper Midwest and the 50 or so flipped counties in our region. Guest: Ben Winchester, University of Minnesota researcher documenting the rural brain gain
January 8, 2020
The evangelical magazine Christianity Today ignited a firestorm in December when it published an editorial calling for President Trump’s removal from office. Thousands of Christians quickly dismissed the magazine as leftist and irrelevant – including President Trump. Thousands of others applauded the editorial and expressed relief that someone was finally saying in a public forum what many have felt for years. Today on MPR News with Kerri Miller, we had a discussion about this deep divide in white evangelical Christianity. When it comes to the president, can you separate policy from character? Guests: Daniel Harrell, incoming editor-in-chief of Christianity Today Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America
January 7, 2020
Courtesy of publisher 'The Plotters' by Un-su Kim 2019 is over, but that doesn’t mean you have to miss some of the best books published last year. Three bibliophiles share their favorite overlooked titles.Kerri Miller, MPR News host “The Border” and all of the other books in “The Power of the Dog” series by Don Winslow “Cantoras” by Carolina De Robertis “The British Are Coming” by Rick Atkinson Tracy Mumford, producer for APM podcasts “The Plotters” by Un-Su Kim “The Shadow King” by Maaza Mengiste “The Collected Schizophrenias” by Esme Weijun Wang Matt Keliher, manager and book buyer at Subtext Books “How to do Nothing” by Jenny Odell “Ducks, Newburyport” by Lucy Ellmann “When Death Takes Something From You Give It Back” by Naja Marie Aidt To hear more about each of these titles, use the audio player above.Subscribe to the MPR News with Kerri Miller podcast on: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts , Spotify or RSS.
January 7, 2020
The ripple effects of a warming climate touch almost every aspect of living – including what we eat and how we get it. Tech startups are working on high-tech ways of growing vegetables and fruits, farming fish and even growing meat in a lab with cells taken from living animals. Are you willing to replace your beef with the Impossible Burger to help a planet in crisis? Tuesday on MPR News with Kerri Miller, she talked to journalist and author Amanda Little about her new book "The Fate Of Food: What We'll Eat In A Bigger, Hotter, Smarter World." Guest: Amanda Little is an environmental journalist and author of “The Fate of Food: What We’ll Eat in a Bigger, Hotter, Smarter World” To listen to the full conversation you can use the audio player above. Subscribe to the MPR News with Kerri Miller podcast on: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts , Spotify or RSS
January 6, 2020
A drone strike that killed a high-ranking Iranian official is reviving long-standing questions about U.S. involvement in the Middle East. With a presidential election fast approaching, how are voters looking at foreign conflicts? Two experts joined MPR News with Kerri Miller for a conversation about American attitudes on U.S. foreign policy, and the potential aftershocks from the assassination of Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani. Guests: Brian Katulis, senior fellow on the national security team at the Center for American Progress Barbara Slavin, director of the Future of Iran Initiative at the Atlantic Council To listen to the full conversation you can use the audio player above. Subscribe to the MPR News with Kerri Miller podcast on: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts , Spotify or RSS
January 3, 2020
If your vocabulary is giving you an existential crisis, fear not. Linguist Anatoly Liberman has a few ideas for sprucing up your vocabulary in the new year and leaving’s 2019 word of the year behind. He joined MPR News host Kerri Miller to talk about the short shelf life of trendy words and the ever-evolving English language. To listen to the full conversation you can use the audio player above. Subscribe to the MPR News with Kerri Miller podcast on: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts , Spotify or RSS
January 3, 2020
Iran is promising to exact revenge on the United States after President Trump ordered a drone strike in Iraq, killing one of Iran’s top military officials. Mike Esper, the defense secretary, called the attack a defensive measure. The drone strike comes after 11 attacks carried out by Iranian forces over the past two months. Ken Pollack is a former CIA analyst and resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. In an op-ed from May of last year, Pollack wrote: “The best reason not to go to war with Iran is that we will almost certainly win. But in winning, we could easily cause the collapse of the Iranian regime, which would create the same kind of chaos and internal conflict in Iran that our failure to prepare for a full-scale reconstruction of Iraq caused there.”MPR News host Kerri Miller spoke with Pollack about the current situation in Iran and the potential ripple effects of increasing tensions between the two countries.To listen to the full conversation you can use the audio player above. Subscribe to the MPR News with Kerri Miller podcast on: Apple Podcasts , Google Podcasts , Spotify or RSS
January 2, 2020
When it comes to flipped counties, the Upper Midwest is ground zero. More than 50 counties in Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan and Illinois that voted for Barack Obama in 2012 voted for Donald Trump in 2016. And many of them flipped big — in some cases, by more than 30 points. So this year, we are reviving Flyover to examine how our life experiences, beliefs about issues and compatibility with candidates shape the perception of Upper Midwestern voters as we move toward the 2020 election. Our first topic: polarization anxiety. It’s a term created by anthropologist Jose Santos to describe what he sees in the classroom: students unable to discuss topics because of the polarized climate we live in. That inhibits conversation and learning. Guest: Jose Santos, anthropologist and professor at Metro State University To listen to the full conversation you can use the audio player above. Subscribe to the MPR News with Kerri Miller podcast on: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts , Spotify or RSS. Show page Flyover Season 2, Episode 6 Voices from the Bayou
December 31, 2019
The sandwich generation is growing. As the baby boomers age, their children are often caught in the middle — caring for their parents even as they care for their children. Studies estimate caregivers provide about 20 hours of unpaid care per week, and almost 25 percent are millennials.It's a lot of pressure — both emotionally and financially. Tuesday, guest host Chris Farrell spoke with two experts about how members of the sandwich generation can care for themselves even as they care for their loved ones. Guests:Ken Druck, author of the new book “Raising an Aging Parent: Guidelines for Families in the Second Half of Life”Teresa Ghilarducci, labor economist and author of the book “Rescuing Retirement”
December 30, 2019
Photo courtesy of the University of St. Thomas Julie Sullivan is the current president of the University of St. Thomas. She joined MPR News guest host Chris Farrell for a conversation about the two-year degree program at the Dougherty Family College. Time to take out your No. 2 pencils. When it comes to postsecondary education: a. Graduates are paid more than their peers who have only a high school degree. b. Graduates have lower rates of unemployment than less educated workers. c. Both of the above. Students borrow more to pay for college because: a. College costs have risen faster than the consumer price index. b. Family incomes have stagnated and undergraduates increasingly come from low-income families. c. Both of the above. If you answered "c" to both questions, your score is 100 percent. Many of America’s colleges and universities — especially private liberal arts colleges — are under increasing financial pressure. An intriguing experiment to confront the new demographics of higher education is underway at the University of St. Thomas and its Dougherty Family College. The school offers a two-year degree program to low-income students, who on average pay about $2,800 per year after financial aid; some students pay as little as $1,000 per year. That cost covers two meals a day, a MetroTransit pass, free textbooks and access to a wide network of support. The first class graduated in the spring of 2019. University of St. Thomas President Julie Sullivan joined MPR News guest host Chris Farrell for a conversation about how the Dougherty Family College is faring and what the staff has learned since opening the schoolTo listen to the full conversation you can use the audio player above. Subscribe to the MPR News with Kerri Miller podcast on: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts , Spotify or RSS.
December 26, 2019
Only about 20 percent of Americans kept their New Year’s resolutions last year, and 63 percent said they didn’t even try to make a resolution in the first place, according to a YouGov poll. What separates those who stick to their goals and those who falter? Author Gretchen Rubin has a few ideas. While she’s best known for “The Happiness Project,” she has also written extensively about building habits in her books “The Four Tendencies” and “Better Than Before.” Thursday on MPR News, Rubin joined guest host Chris Farrell for a conversation about best practices for making habits stick. Know yourself There isn’t one set of strategies that will work for every type of personality. Take some time to think about what motivates you and what you value most. In her book “Better Than Before,” Rubin writes: “There’s no magic formula — not for ourselves, and not for the people around us. We won’t make ourselves more creative and productive by copying other people’s habits, even the habits of geniuses; we must know our own nature, and what habits serve us best.” Try pairing something you dread doing with something you love If the highlight of the week is when your favorite podcast releases a new episode, and you’d rather let your laundry topple over than fold clothes, try pairing the two activities together. Your excitement about the new episode will help distract you from the monotony of sorting clothes. Block out time in your schedule If it’s in the schedule, it’s one less decision you have to make that day because you’ve already set aside the time. Let’s face it, you’re unlikely to exercise by accident or to suddenly have the urge to start back in on a project you’ve been putting off. However, if you’ve already built that time into your day, you’re more likely to follow through. Begin Rubin advises against the temptation to start tomorrow. “It’s fine to start small. We always suspect something will be easier to start tomorrow, next week, next month or in the new year … b...
December 24, 2019
David Fajgenbaum was in medical school when the symptoms of a mysterious disease started to ravage his body. “I felt doomed,” he writes in his new book. “I knew I was dying. I just knew.” He endured years of hospitalizations and experimental treatments — even coming close to death five times — before his own training and perseverance led him to a drug that saved his life, even though it wasn't FDA-approved as a treatment for his disease. Tuesday on MPR News, Fajgenbaum talked with Kerri Miller about his memoir, "Chasing My Cure" — and his hope that his journey will highlight the need to leverage already approved drugs for a variety of illnesses.
December 23, 2019
Courtesy of publisher 'Here We Are' by Aarti Shahani Aarti Shahani's family came to Queens from India in the 1980s. Originally undocumented, they thought the arrival of their green cards would grant them stability. And it did, for a while. But then a series of unforeseen circumstances shipwrecked their American dream. Shahani's book is the story of a family fighting to stay together, and it offers a startling portrait of what it means to be an immigrant in America today. Monday, guest host Chris Farrell spoke with Shahani about her memoir, her family, and the complications immigrants face in America. Guest: Aarti Shahani, NPR contributor and author of “Here We Are: American Dreams, American Nightmares”
December 19, 2019
Courtesy of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt The jacket cover of author Tim O’Brien's latest effort “Dad’s Maybe Book.” Award-winning novelist Tim O'Brien came to fatherhood later in life and decided when his boys were young to start writing to them. He wrote to his sons as if they were adults - sharing bits of advice, lessons he learned in wartime and what it means to be a man in a culture of toxic masculinity. The finished result is "Dad's Maybe Book," a funny, tender and endearing volume of wisdom about the challenges and rewards of being a father to boys. O'Brien, a Minnesota native, appeared on stage at the Parkway in October for a sold-out evening of Talking Volumes. On the next MPR News with Kerri Miller, we’ll air a portion of that conversation – including why O’Brien think it’s vital that boys are told they can say “I don’t know” and why he doesn’t think audiobooks can replace physical books.
December 17, 2019
On this week’s Thread, Kerri Miller recommends three books that would make great gifts for the dog lover in your life. 1) “Dog is Love: Why and How Your Dog Loves You" by Clive D.L. Wynne Wynne is the founder of a canine science lab at Arizona State University, and his book is a marvelous mix of scientific research about dog evolution and behavior and anecdotes and observations about dogs like Chaser and Missy and his own dog Xephos. "We matter to dogs," Wynne writes, "on a deeper level than most scientists and experts are comfortable admitting." 2) “Our Dogs, Ourselves: The Story of a Singular Bond” by Alexandra Horowitz Like Wynne, Horowitz studies dogs. In her case, she runs the dog cognition lab at Barnard College. And her new book is as charming and readable as “Dog is Love.” It investigates how dog behavior reflects who we are and how our relationships with our dogs changes both of us. “Once a dog has your heart, you’re stuck,” she writes. “There is no undoing it.” 3) “Because of Winn-Dixie” by Kate DiCamillo No list of books for dog lovers would be complete without the addition of a modern classic that kids of all ages love. The Newberry Award-winning book by Minnesota author DiCamillo’s is a treasure. Watch the movie if you must. But read the book first. In fact, make it an annual tradition.
December 17, 2019
A poll by NPR, PBS NewsHour and Marist released on Monday finds that — after three weeks of public hearings — Americans’ views of impeachment are virtually unchanged. "It's like the hearings have never happened," said Lee Miringoff, director of the Marist Institute for Public Opinion. "The arguments have only served to reinforce existing views, and everyone is rooting for their side." Tuesday on MPR News with Kerri Miller, we talked about it. How are you taking in the impeachment hearings, and does the political rancor harm the legitimacy of the proceedings? Guests: Marc J. Hetherington, political science professor at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill Alice Ollstein, reporter at Politico
December 16, 2019
Racism is a belief and practice that discriminates against people of a different race. Capitalism is an economic system that operates to make profit. How are they tied together? In his new book, “How to Be an Antiracist,” author and historian Ibram X. Kendi looks at the unique relationship between racism and capitalism, which he writes, “will ultimately die together.” On Monday’s MPR News with Kerri Miller, Kendi talked about his belief that it’s not enough to be against racism – that purposeful antiracism is needed. Aspen Ideas Festival 'How to be an Antiracist' Guest : Ibram X. Kendi, author of “How to Be an Antiracist” To listen to the full conversation you can use the audio player above. Subscribe to the MPR News with Kerri Miller podcast on: Apple Podcasts , Google Podcasts , Spotify or RSS
December 11, 2019
We’re expanding The Five – our semi-weekly list of things you should read, watch, listen to, experience and do. This week, our recommendations come from two podcast hosts in Minneapolis. 1. What’s Good, Man? A podcast about how toxic masculinity informs our culture and the men within it — hosted and produced by this week’s The Five guests, Kyle “Guante” Tran Myhre and Tony the Scribe. “In a time when we’re talking a lot about the effects of toxic masculinity — we realized the conversation seldom goes beyond a surface level,” said Tony. “We wanted a chance to dig in and discuss how our relationship with our own masculinity affects the world around us.” Part confessional, part irreverent humor, they hope it’s a space for honest, critical conversations about what manhood is and what it could be. 2. “Know My Name” by Chanel Miller Written by Chanel Miller, formerly the “Emily Doe” in the Brock Turner sexual assault case, this memoir is an indictment of how our culture treats survivors. But Kyle said it’s not just important — it’s beautiful and well written. “As hard as it is to read sometimes, it’s hopeful. It’s mobilizing. It’s a call to action.” 3. “Watchmen” on HBO Originally a comic book series published in the 1980s, it’s now an acclaimed television show on HBO — and Tony says you mustn’t miss it. It takes place in an alternate reality version of 1985 where superheroes exist but are being killed off. “It’s like Pixar’s ‘The Incredibles’ — only it’s nothing like Pixar’s ‘The Incredibles,’” he laughed. The comic book series played on the insecurities America was feeling around the Cold War. The TV series does the same with race and white supremacy. 4. A gourmet grilled cheese restaurant, All Square in Minneapolis The menu is enough to pull you in: an asiago, parmesan, sharp cheddar, and cracked pepper cheese grilled cheese, or maybe a jalapeno popper grilled cheese with candied bacon. But the real reason to visit this restaurant in southeast Minneapolis is its mis...
December 10, 2019
Last fall, children’s author Shannon Hale published an op-ed in The Washington Post that triggered an uproar. After detailing story after story about what she hears on book tour, she concluded two things: that our culture assumes boys aren’t going to read a book that stars a girl. And that men’s stories are somehow universal, while women’s stories are only for girls. But, she contends, it’s mostly the adults who feel that way. I’ve now asked thousands of kids the same question: “What kind of books do you like?” They answer: fantasy, funny, comics, mystery, nonfiction, etc. No kid has ever said, “I like books about boys.” Yet booksellers tell me that parents shop for their sons as if books have gender: “I need a boy book. He won’t read anything about a girl.” What are we teaching boys when we discourage them from reading books about girls? And how can we do better? Guests: Shannon Hale, author of many books, including “The Princess in Black” series for young readers Kelly Jensen, an editor at Book Riot and an author of several YA books, including "Here We Are: Feminism For The Real World"
December 10, 2019
Another round of impeachment hearings took place in Washington on Monday. And Tuesday morning, House Democrats outlined the formal articles for impeachment. The wall-to-wall coverage has become a mainstay in the media, but has it cleared the public’s questions around the impeachment process? Tuesday morning on MPR News with Kerri Miller, two experts joined the show to take your questions on the impeachment hearings and process. Guests: Nick Akerman is a former federal prosecutor and member of the Watergate prosecution team. He is currently a partner at Dorsey and Whitney. Jeffrey Engel is director of the Center for Presidential history at Southern Methodist University in Dallas and co-author of the book “Impeachment: An American History.” To listen to the full conversation you can use the audio player above. Subscribe to the MPR News with Kerri Miller podcast on: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts , Spotify or RSS
December 4, 2019
The number of caregivers in America is swelling. More than 40 million Americans currently care for an elderly or disabled loved one. As the baby boomers retire, that number will only grow. By all accounts, it’s a tough — if rewarding — job. Most family caregivers juggle paid work with their caregiving. Many of them are part of the so-called sandwich generation — caring for aging parents and young adult children. And the financial, health and social implications are dire. According to a study out of Stanford University, 40 percent of Alzheimer’s caregivers die from stress-related disorders before their loved one dies. That’s why it’s important that the caregivers also learn to care for themselves. Thursday, Kerri Miller got practical suggestions from two experts who’ve been in the caregiving trenches and are now passionate about equipping others. Guests: Donna Thomson, activist, caregiver and author of “The Unexpected Journey of Caring: The Transformation from Loved One to Caregiver.” Kathy Good, director of the Family Caregivers Center of Mercy in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
December 2, 2019
Peter Asher has his own, storied credentials: He’s a Grammy Award-winning producer for artists like James Taylor and Linda Ronstadt, half of the singing duo of Peter and Gordon. But it was his weekly SiriusXM radio show about the Beatles that inspired him to write a book about the Fab Four. Until then, he had resisted calls for a Beatles-related tome. "It seems like everyone Beatles-related has written a book," he said. But fans loved his show, where he shared Beatles stories and memories. Tuesday, Asher joined Kerri Miller to talk about the aspect of the Beatles that seems to pique everyone's interest: What made their music so great? As the Beatles influenced a generation, who influenced them? And who might be the Beatles of today? To listen to the full conversation you can use the audio player above. Subscribe to the MPR News with Kerri Miller podcast on: Apple Podcasts , Google Podcasts , Spotify or RSS
November 29, 2019
Earlier this year Pope Francis told his communications office not to muddy its messages with excessive adjectives. The pope emphasized the strength of nouns and told them he was “allergic” to adjectives.But is there still space for some flourishes here and there? Linguist Anatoly Liberman joined MPR host Kerri Miller to discuss overused adjectives.To listen to the full conversation you can use the audio player above. Subscribe to the MPR News with Kerri Miller podcast on: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts , Spotify or RSS
November 27, 2019
Today’s workforce spans five generations — from the Silent or Greatest Generation, in their 70s and 80s, to Gen Z, just entering their 20s — for the first time in history. And the way each generation views basic workplace values differs greatly. Some believe that millennials and their younger cohorts will force a better work-life balance, since they expect and demand more flexibility. But boomers feel disrespected, and say the younger generation doesn’t value hard work – or their experience. Wednesday, Kerri Miller spoke with two experts about the generational divide — and they took your questions about how millennials and boomers can work together, for the benefit of all. Guests: Karla Miller is the work advice columnist at The Washington Post. Phyllis Moen is a chair and professor of sociology at the University of Minnesota. She studies occupational careers, gender, families and well-being. Her new book on work, “Overload,” comes out in March.
November 25, 2019
Two-thirds of self-reported Christians say they’ve struggled or are currently struggling with doubt. So why do some modern evangelicals speak about God with such certainty? And what can we all learn – religious or not – from the practice of staying curious? Those are questions pastor and author Stephanie Williams O’Brien wrestled with herself. She chronicled the role doubt played in making her own faith vibrant in her new book, “Stay Curious.” “Most of us are going through the motions … either believing we’ve found all the relevant answers to life’s questions or believing none can be found,” she said. “We shy away from our deepest questions about God because we fear the uncertainty on the other side. But when we make certainty and correct belief the end goal of our faith, we miss out.” Tuesday, O’Brien joined Kerri Miller in the studio to talk about how curiosity resurrected her faith to be something that’s more questioning than certainty – and she has tips for how we can let doubt animate our journeys, no matter where we are on life’s path. Guest: Stephanie Williams O’Brien, pastor at Mill City Church in Minneapolis and author of the new book “Stay Curious: How Questions and Doubt Can Save Your Faith.” To listen to the full conversation you can use the audio player above. Subscribe to the MPR News with Kerri Miller podcast on: Apple Podcasts , Google Podcasts , Spotify or RSS
November 25, 2019
If you have only experienced Lindy West’s writing online, you might think of her as an angry, contemptuous person. But as Kerri Miller and a Talking Volumes audience found out recently, she displays a surprising sense of optimism. “I think it’s really important to demonstrate that you can do both,” West explained during the event at the Fitzgerald Theater in St. Paul. “You can hold some really hard boundaries in terms of politics and in terms of your ethics and what you believe … And you can also be a really open, friendly, warm person who wants to connect with people.” West’s columns are like lightning rods for online trolls, and her topics run the gamut from fat shaming to free speech. Her new book of essays, “The Witches Are Coming,” includes her trademark sharp social commentary and biting sense of humor. In her conversation with Miller, West explained how the progress that was made by the #MeToo movement informed the book.“There’s a deliberate effort to try to force that toothpaste back in the tube, and it’s what I’m referencing in the title here,” West said. “The idea that you know, MeToo for instance, was a witch hunt and somehow baseless and is somehow going to, you know, spread out of control, and destroy the lives of innocent men. It’s not even destroying the lives of guilty men!” West said that focus is all wrong.“Over the last few years, there’s been so much worry about getting in trouble, like ‘Oh, am I going to say the wrong thing?’ How about you’re worried about doing the wrong thing?” she said. “There’s something really shallow and disingenuous about the way we have talked about these issues for a while.” To listen to the full conversation you can use the audio player above.Subscribe to the MPR News with Kerri Miller podcast on: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts , Spotify or RSS
November 15, 2019
The United States spends more on medical care than any other country in the developed world —about 18 percent of our gross domestic product, almost twice the average of other wealthy countries. Maybe that’s why nearly 7 out of every 10 Americans say cutting health care costs should be a top priority of Congress. But how to cut those costs and make health care available to everyone is a thorny question. Monday, Kerri Miller dug into the concept of universal, or single-payer, health care. Is it really the best solution to fix a health care system that’s badly in need of repair? What would it cost? How would we pay for it? How would it affect quality? And maybe most important to the consumer – how would it affect the bottom line? Two experts joined Miller to sort out the single-payer proposals. Guests: Adam Gaffney, a critical care physician in Cambridge, Mass., and president of Physicians for a National Health Program Bradley Herring, professor of health economics at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Use the audio player above to hear their conversation. Subscribe to the MPR News with Kerri Miller podcast on: Apple Podcasts , Google Podcasts , Spotify or RSS
November 14, 2019
Courtesy of Michael Lionstar Author Karen Armstrong spoke with MPR’s Kerri Miller about her new book “The Lost Art of Scripture: Rescuing the Sacred Texts” at Talking Volumes. Karen Armstrong entered a convent when she was 17. On stage at the Fitzgerald Theater, she said she treated getting into heaven like getting into Oxford. “My early experience of religion — both before I became a nun and during it — was all about me,” said Armstrong. Courtesy of Alfred A. Knopf Karen Armstrong's new book “The Lost Art of Scripture: Rescuing the Sacred Texts.” “[It was] about my feelings about the Lord, my meditations and my progress, and was I going to be a good nun or was I going to get into heaven? Lots of times I doubted that.”Armstrong and her peers were told not to focus on the outside world, but to look inward instead. She laughed while remembering one notable exception, during the Cuban Missile Crisis. They were warned about the threat of war, but were never told that the threat was over. “For three weeks, we were sort of scanning the horizon for mushroom clouds until eventually one of us had the courage to say, ‘What happened about Cuba?’” She left the convent decades ago, but has spent several years closely examining religion. In her new book she writes: “In our increasingly secular world, holy texts are seen at best as irrelevant and at worst as an excuse to incite violence, hatred and division. So what value, if any, can scripture hold for us today?”She spoke with MPR’s Kerri Miller about her new book “The Lost Art of Scripture: Rescuing the Sacred Texts.”Use the audio player above to hear their conversation. Subscribe to the MPR News with Kerri Miller podcast on: Apple Podcasts , Google Podcasts , Spotify or RSS
November 11, 2019
During the Cold War, the book “Dr. Zhivago” by Boris Pasternak was banned by the Russians and coveted by the CIA. In her debut novel, "The Secrets We Kept," author Lara Prescott expands on the story of “Dr. Zhivago” and highlights the overlooked women who helped get Pasternak’s story out. Prescott joined Kerri Miller on Tuesday for a conversation about her book and how what we read changes us. To listen to the full conversation you can use the audio player above. Subscribe to the MPR News with Kerri Miller podcast on: Apple Podcasts , Google Podcasts , Spotify or RSS
November 11, 2019
Democratic Rep. Angie Craig took office in January of this year, after narrowly defeating Republican incumbent Rep. Jason Lewis in the 2018 elections. Her win flipped Minnesota’s 2nd District, which had been represented by Republicans since 2001. So, it’s no surprise that the Republican National Committee began targeting the freshman congresswoman last month, spending $330,000 on television ads to say she “votes with the radicals” and “wastes taxpayer money” by supporting the impeachment inquiry into President Trump. Craig says it’s true that she voted in favor of the impeachment investigation. But she insists that’s just a small portion of what she’s doing in Washington — and what her constituents are concerned about. During her regular town halls, Craig says she hears more about health care, gun control and how the trade war is affecting farmers. Monday on MPR News, Rep. Craig joined Kerri Miller to talk about what she’s learned during her first year. To listen to the full conversation you can use the audio player above. Subscribe to the MPR News with Kerri Miller podcast on: Apple Podcasts , Google Podcasts , Spotify or RSS
November 11, 2019
When the Military Lending Act was passed in 2006, it was a big victory. Payday lenders had been cropping up around military bases, and a number of service members found themselves trapped in a cycle of debt, paying off loans with exorbitant annual rates sometimes around 300 percent. The law capped interest rates at 36 percent annual interest on loans for active duty service members, but it did not include protections for veterans, surviving spouses or Gold Star families. Today, there is a bipartisan push to extend those protections to all Americans. Paul Kantwill is a veteran and law professor at Loyola University in Chicago. He joined MPR host Kerri Miller for a conversation about the origin of the law and the push to broaden it. To listen to the full conversation you can use the audio player above. Subscribe to the MPR News with Kerri Miller podcast on: Apple Podcasts , Google Podcasts , Spotify or RSS.
November 6, 2019
If aliens arrived on Earth, would we welcome them with open arms, or would their arrival herald our ruin? Are we fully equipped to deal with asteroids and the mass spreading of disease? How about super volcanoes? These are some of the questions troubling author Bryan Walsh in his new book, “End Times: A Brief Guide to the End of the World.” Walsh, a former foreign correspondent for Time Magazine and current editor of Medium’s science publication OneZero, says taking a look at these overwhelming threats is scary. But he also believes our ability to anticipate and prepare for them shows the resiliency of humanity. He joined MPR News host Kerri Miller for a conversation some of the probable events that could signal the end of humankind. Guest: Bryan Walsh, author of “End Times: A Brief Guide to the End of the World”To listen to the full conversation you can use the audio player above. Subscribe to the MPR News with Kerri Miller podcast on: Apple Podcasts , Google Podcasts , Spotify or RSS
November 5, 2019
Driving to see grandparents? Flying to warmer locales? Taking advantage of school breaks to do some sightseeing? The busiest travel days of the year are fast approaching. It’s no wonder transportation has replaced power as the top source of carbon emissions in the U.S. So what is a green-minded traveler supposed to do? The number of airline passengers has more than doubled since 2003, empowering an industry that is growing exponentially and has no concrete plans to decarbonize. Is taking a cruise more environmentally responsible? Should we invest more infrastructure dollars to high-speed trains? Do carbon offsets matter? And what about the 1.1 million Americans a day who fly for business? On Wednesday’s MPR News with Kerri Miller, we took a hard, and sometimes queasy, look at the intersection between travel and climate change. What is our moral responsibility to a planet in crisis? Are we loving it to death? Guests: John Nolt, philosophy professor emeritus at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville with a special interest in environmental ethics and logic. Bruce Lieberman is a science and environment reporter, who has written for Yale Climate Connections, Scientific American, and Scripps, among others.
November 5, 2019
The stock market is one helpful measure for understanding the health of the economy, but it doesn’t always paint the full picture. Sandra Block is a senior editor for Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. She joined MPR’s Kerri Miller for a conversation about the signs of a healthy economy and how consumers can bolster their finances when the markets are sluggish.To listen to the full conversation you can use the audio player above.Subscribe to the MPR News with Kerri Miller podcast on: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify or RSS
November 4, 2019
Epicureanism has gotten a bad rap. That’s the argument philosophy professor Catherine Wilson puts forth in her new book, “How to be an Epicurean.” Far from being a hedonistic pursuit of pleasure, Wilson argues that true epicureanism is an inherently optimistic and positive outlook on life that encourages individuals to live well and justly. Does the modern world need more epicureans? Wilson joined Kerri Miller on Tuesday for a conversation about what an ancient philosophy can teach us about living well today. Guest: Catherine Wilson, philosophy professor and author of “How to be an Epicurean.”
November 1, 2019
The 2020 race might come down to baby boomer versus baby boomer – again. Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders will campaign in Minneapolis this weekend, alongside Rep. Ilhan Omar. Despite a heart attack early in October, Sanders is riding a wave of support – especially among the youngest voters. A poll released last Tuesday showed 45 percent of the 18-29 age group back Sanders, making him the most popular candidate by far with Gen Z. Former Vice President Joe Biden, Sanders and Sen. Elizabeth Warren are the top three Democratic candidates, and each of these candidates, and the president, fall squarely within the baby-boom generation. Monday on MPR News with Kerri Miller, we tackle the question: If the Boomers created many of the problems America faces – and many social scientists argue they did – is a baby boomer president of either party really the one to address it? Millennials and Gen Z are the ones who will have to live with, and pay the bill, for policies being made today. Can the same generation that created massive structural problems in wages, housing, climate and infrastructure muster the will to fix it? Monday, two economists joined Kerri to talk about the generational divide. The baby boomers leave a crisis in their wake. Will it be their legacy? Guests: Dean Baker, chief economist at the Center for Economic and Policy Research Joseph C. Sternberg, writer for the Wall Street Journal editorial board and author of "The Theft of a Decade: How the Baby Boomers Stole the Millennials Economic Future" To listen to the full conversation you can use the audio player above. Subscribe to the MPR News with Kerri Miller podcast on: Apple Podcasts , Google Podcasts , Spotify or RSS
October 29, 2019
National Geographic photographer Cory Richards is one of the greatest living climbers in the world, he’s survived an avalanche and has climbed Mount Everest three times. On one of these expeditions, Richards documented his journey on Snapchat, on another he made it to the top with no oxygen support. Life wasn’t always this simple for Richards. He was a high school dropout, who, to this day, struggles with mental health issues. It was his love of photography and lust for adventure, which led him on a journey to the top of Mount Everest and, ultimately, a better understanding of himself. MPR News’ Kerri Miller spoke with National Geographic photojournalist Cory Richards about his expedition of Mount Everest, his thirst for adventure and mental health. Editor’s note (Oct. 31, 2019): This conversation was put on hold in order to cover the U.S. House formal impeachment inquiry vote. This conversation was aired on Monday, December 2nd. Subscribe to the MPR News with Kerri Miller podcast on: Apple Podcasts , Google Podcasts , Spotify , or RSS This reporting is part of Call To Mind, MPR | APM’s initiative to foster new conversations about mental health.
October 29, 2019
Americans are angry. An NBC/Wall Street Journal poll released in August found 70 percent say they’re angry at the political establishment. And the rage is not contained to Washington, D.C. From our social media feeds and television screens to rush-hour traffic and Thanksgiving dinner, outrage is everywhere. But why? What good is all this anger? What does it do to our bodies — and our culture? On Wednesday’s MPR News with Kerri Miller, we looked at the science and psychology of outrage. What role does a primal emotion have in a modern age? Guests: Jillian Jordan is a post-doctorate fellow studying psychology and morality at the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University. Joshua Grubbs is a professor of psychology at Bowling Green State University.
October 28, 2019
Are colleges and universities an effective springboard for social mobility?That question is at the heart of Paul Tough’s new book “The Years That Matter Most: How College Makes or Breaks Us.” The journalist and author spent six years traveling across the country studying colleges and universities, looking at their admissions process, graduation rates and support systems for students. He found several factors that make navigating the college system hard for working-class and low income families. Tough wrote, “If you come from money, it’s much easier to gain admission to highly selective colleges. At many Ivy League universities about three-quarters of the students come from families in the top income quintile — and only 2 or 3 percent come from families in the bottom income quintile.” After the college admissions scandal that was exposed earlier this year, with a string of wealthy parents facing charges of cheating the system, there has been a lot of focus on selective institutions. Tough notes several factors that exacerbate the disparities: high emphasis on SAT scores, legacy admissions, scholarships for prep-school athletes as well as the attention paid to children of donors. But he also notes that years of budget cuts at public universities and community colleges have had a direct impact on the success of low-income students. He spoke with MPR News host Kerri Miller about his book and ideas for making colleges more equitable. Use the audio player above to hear their discussion. Subscribe to the MPR News with Kerri Miller podcast on: Apple Podcasts , Google Podcasts , Spotify or RSS
October 28, 2019
Janis Joplin is an icon — and rightly so. A female who commanded the stage with her confidence, sexuality and growl, at a time when rock was still an all-boys club, she broke rules and set a new course, for music and the women who would follow in her tracks. Joplin’s life came to an abrupt end in 1970 when she overdosed on heroin at the age of 27. But her story still resonates — maybe even more so today, says author Holly George-Warren. A woman who pushed the boundaries of gender and sexuality long before it was acceptable, Joplin was both a rebel and a perfectionist. “[Joplin] never compromised her vision,” writes George-Warren. “Just four days before her death on October 4, 1970, she told journalist Howard Smith, ‘You are only as much as you settle for.’” Listen in as MPR News host Kerri Miller and author George-Warren discuss the influence — and listen to the music — of Janis Joplin. Correction (Oct. 29, 2019): The story has been updated to correct the date of Joplin’s death. Guest: Holly George-Warren is a two-time Grammy nominee and the author of sixteen books. Her latest is the biography “Janis: Her Life and Music.” Use the audio player above to hear their discussion. Subscribe to the MPR News with Kerri Miller podcast on: Apple Podcasts , Google Podcasts , Spotify or RSS
October 24, 2019
When Saeed Jones sat down to write his memoir, he had one central question: What are the costs of being made to feel that you cannot be your whole self?In “How We Fight for Our Lives,” Jones describes his experience living with that question as a gay, black kid growing up in suburban Texas. As part of the Talking Volumes series, Jones joined MPR’s Brandt Williams at the Parkway Theater. They discussed Jones’ complicated relationships with his mother and grandmother, who struggled to accept his sexuality. “My mother and I had a vibrant, warm relationship,” he said. “We made each other laugh. We talked about politics. We said ‘I love you.’ Though she practiced nature and Buddhism and was pretty liberal leaning and progressive in a lot of ways…[with] homosexuality [and] queerness, the education just wasn’t there …. so it was a silence for us.” Jones acknowledged the pain of shutting off part of himself for their benefit, but he also understands that some of his mother’s and grandmother’s struggle to accept this part of his identity came from a place of concern. He put it this way to Williams: “I think the parts of the book that really break my heart are where you see how loved ones can mangle one another, doing something they believe is preparing the other person for the world.”But whether or not he was gay was never a question for Jones.“One thing you don’t see me struggling with is like, ‘Am I gay?’ [or] ‘Am I attracted to boys?’ I’ve always known Marlon Brando was fine. That’s just factual.” Use the audio player above to hear their discussion. Subscribe to the MPR News with Kerri Miller podcast on: Apple Podcasts , Google Podcasts , Spotify or RSS
October 23, 2019
In her new book, “Breathe: A Letter to my Black Sons,” author Imani Perry writes of the challenges and joys of being a black mother to two teenage boys, Issa and Freeman. Perry writes in the opening pages, “No matter how many say so, my sons, you are not a problem…Mothering you is not a problem. It is a gift. A vast one.” Throughout the letter she raises issues of police brutality and the danger of calling the police with black sons in the house. She spoke about the necessity of teaching her sons how to navigate a world of whiteness and the legacy of the black man with Kerri Miller on Wednesday morning. Guest: Imani Perry is a professor of African American studies at Princeton and the author of many books. Her new book is "Breathe: A Letter to My Sons" To listen to the full conversation you can use the audio player above. Subscribe to the MPR News with Kerri Miller podcast on: Apple Podcasts , Google Podcasts , Spotify or RSS
October 23, 2019
When Greta Thunberg didn’t fly but sailed to the United States in August to attend the U.N. Climate Action Summit, she epitomized flygskam – or the flying shame movement. It asks travelers to forgo or significantly cut their flying in order to reduce their carbon footprint. But is slashing your winter getaway the best way to fight climate change? Wednesday, MPR News host Kerri Miller spoke with Dan Rutherford from the International Council on Clean Transportation about the environmental expense of air travel. Guest: Dan Rutherford, program director at the International Council on Clean Transportation. To listen to the full conversation you can use the audio player above. Subscribe to the MPR News with Kerri Miller podcast on: Apple Podcasts , Google Podcasts , Spotify or RSS
October 22, 2019
Doug Baker is serious about corporations fighting climate change. The Ecolab CEO told MPR News host Kerri Miller on Tuesday that he believes companies should take concrete action. For his part, he plans to present the Business Ambition for 1.5C initiative to his board this December. The campaign was launched by the United Nations to get big companies involved in the climate change fight and limit the global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius. “I think there’s appropriate pressure right now to sign up for the 1.5 C effort, which really is saying, you’re going to find a way to reduce your carbon footprint by 50 percent by 2030 — that’s 11 years — and 100 percent by 2050,” he said. Ecolab, based in St. Paul, employs 49,000 associates and prides itself on being a global leader in water, hygiene and energy technologies. Eighty-seven other major companies joined on the initiative at the UN Climate Action Summit in September. Baker, whose been the CEO of Ecolab for nearly 15 years, spoke with Miller about the positive impact large companies could have on climate change. “We also know there’s a lot of CO2 … and what we aren’t completely clear on is how that’s going to manifest itself. But if you look at all of the models, a number of them are pretty dire,” he said. “When you have an unknown bad, bad outcome, you’ve got to take it seriously and assume the worst.” Baker said that although the outcomes may not be predictable, it's better to make an effort than doing nothing at all. “Just because I can’t tell the board exactly how we’re going to get a 50 percent reduction in 11 years doesn’t mean we shouldn’t set sail on this course,” he said, “I think not signing up is worse than signing up and missing. We will be net better off, even if we miss.” He said he plans on encouraging other companies that work with Ecolab to join as well. He also said initiatives like a carbon tax, a fee on the carbon content of fossil fuels, could help reduce emissions. “A carbon tax would...
October 21, 2019
Is there a book that helped turn you into an adventurous reader? I hosted my first-ever Adventurous Reading Retreat earlier this month. We nestled into a lakeside lodge and we read, and grazed, and sipped and talked our way through the weekend. But in between all of that grazing and sipping, there was some homework. Each guest brought a poem and a book to read under the trees. On one of our early morning walks, I asked all the guests to reflect on the books that turned them into devoted and adventurous readers. A book that kept coming up was Pamela Paul and Maria Russo’s “How to Raise a Reader.” It sparked a conversation about discovering the power and freedom, as kids, to try on different identities and to slip into new worlds. The conversation would have delighted Paul, who is not only an author but books editor for the New York Times. I wish she’d been eavesdropping on us!
October 18, 2019
The idea that everyday people can hold the powerful to account is woven into the very fabric of American democracy. Congress passed its first whistleblower protection law in 1778, after members of Commodore Esek Hopkins’ crew alleged the first commander in chief of the U.S. Navy was torturing British prisoners of war and using the conflict for his own personal gain as a slave runner. But while the practice of whistleblowing was established as a matter of public benefit, it can also be a lonely business. Many whistleblowers say their lives were profoundly changed the moment they decided to report on corruption. MPR News host Kerri Miller examined America's conflicted history with whistleblowing — and how our past affects how we view the whistleblowers at the heart of President Trump's impeachment inquiry today. Guests: Allison Stanger, professor of international politics and economics at Middlebury College and author of the new book, “Whistleblowers: Honesty in America from Washington to Trump” Liz Hempowicz, director of public policy at the Project on Government Oversight
October 17, 2019
Questions about nepotism and partisan patronage are in play as House committees continue their impeachment inquiry into President Trump. Congress launched that inquiry following a whistleblower complaint about Trump’s request that Ukraine investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden. Trump and his defenders have contended that Hunter Biden’s high-paying board position in Ukraine was improper. Others have argued, however, that both of Trump’s sons have also benefited financially from their father’s career. Guest host Tiffany Hanssen spoke with Ciara Torres-Spillescy, professor of law at Stetson University and author of the book "Political Brands," about nepotism law.
October 16, 2019
On the presidential campaign trail, Sen. Elizabeth Warren often tells about the time she was fired from a teaching job once it was revealed she was pregnant. It sounds like an artifact from a less-enlightened era. But when her claims were challenged last week by a conservative media outlet, she took to Twitter to point out that pregnancy discrimination is still a real threat. She urged other women to share their stories. And respond they did — thousands of women shared their accounts of being fired or forced out once they got pregnant. Some even said they were passed over for job opportunities or promotions because their supervisors were worried they might become pregnant. It’s technically against the law. Congress passed the Pregnancy Discrimination Act in 1978. But as Warren writes, “We know it still happens in subtle and not-so-subtle ways.” On Thursday morning, we explored what the law says. Guest host Tiffany Hanssen was joined by two experts in pregnancy discrimination to talk about the legalities involved versus the lived experience for many pregnant women in America. Guests: Joan Williams, is a distinguished professor of law, a Hastings Foundation Chair and the founding director of the Center for WorkLife Law Katherine Goldstein, an award-winning journalist who is an expert on working mothers and the creator/host of The Double Shift podcast
October 16, 2019
Author Alice Hoffman kicked off the 2019 Talking Volumes season with an emotional and revealing conversation about her new novel, “The World That We Knew.” The book draws on her interests in wartime history, magic and the stories that her grandmother told her when she was a child. She joined Kerri Miller in late September at the Fitzgerald Theater for an honest, warm and sometimes surprising discussion about writing, family ties and how love makes even the hardest things survivable. Guest: Alice Hoffman, New York Times best-selling author. Her latest novel is “The World That We Knew.” To listen to the full conversation you can use the audio player above. Subscribe to the MPR News with Kerri Miller podcast on: Apple Podcasts , Google Podcasts , Spotify or RSS
October 14, 2019
It will be a crowded stage Tuesday night. The 12 leading Democratic presidential candidates will face off for the first time since the impeachment inquiry began. Former Vice President Joe Biden recently joined the other contenders in calling for the impeachment of President Trump. But that might not be enough for Biden to hold onto his lead. A Real Clear Politics synthesis of polls shows Biden and Sen. Elizabeth Warren at a virtual tie. What should you expect out of the next Democratic debate, and which issues aren’t getting the attention they deserve? Tuesday morning, Kerri Miller spoke with two political scientists about how the public is viewing the crowded field. Guests: Stella Rouse, professor in the Department of Government and Politics at the University of Maryland and author of the book “Politics and Millennials.” Todd Shaw, professor of political science and African-American studies at the University of South Carolina.
October 14, 2019
Stephanie Curtis, Cube Critic and program director for MPR News, regularly drops by with ideas about what to watch, read, listen to or otherwise experience. This week’s recommendations: 1) ‘99 Glimpses of Princess Margaret’ by Craig Brown is gossipy, insightful, and very, very funny. It will make you glad that you are not a princess and glad that you never had to experience a withering putdown from the younger sister of the woman who still sits on the British throne. 99 Glimpses of Princess Margaret by Craig Brown 2) Certain places in the world are warming faster than others. And the consequences -- whether benefits or drawbacks -- of climate change vary. But who ever imagined that recently defrosted mammoth carcasses would be a problem and a small windfall? Read: Radical warming in Siberia leaves millions on unstable ground 3) Happy 10th anniversary to the Balloon Boy scandal. Ten years ago this month, the country was captivated by a bizarre spectacle in Fort Collins, Colo., that was colloquially dubbed the Balloon Boy Hoax. Although Richard Heene, the so-called Balloon Boy’s father, pleaded guilty to charges related to the prank, it was never fully clear whether it was the scam that police made it out to be. For the first time, the true story has been revealed: The Ballon Boy Hoax Solved 4) The podcast Switched on Pop "reveals the secret formulas that make pop songs so infectious." Here is a classic episode: All About Those Baseline Assumptions About Feminism in Pop 5) “This Too Shall Pass” by Darrin Bradbury...he's a little Freedy Johnston, a little Todd Snider: This Too Shall Pass by Darrin Bradbury To listen to the full conversation you can use the audio player above. Subscribe to the MPR News with Kerri Miller podcast on: Apple Podcasts , Google Podcasts , Spotify or RSS
October 11, 2019
Minnesota is drawing national attention ahead of the 2020 election. The president and some of the Democratic contenders vying for the executive office have visited the state in recent months. There’s a lot of focus on whether the state’s electoral votes will go to a Republican president for the first time since 1972, but the presidency isn’t the only race where Minnesotan’s ballots could have national consequences. Who Minnesotans elect to the Senate has the potential to flip control of that chamber of Congress. Sen. Tina Smith’s seat is among one of 15 races that the Washington Post considers competitive. The Democratic senator is fighting to keep her seat in a state that President Trump came within 1.5 percentage points of winning in 2016. On Monday, MPR News host Kerri Miller spoke with the senator about health care, impeachment and her legislative priorities.
October 8, 2019
The Supreme Court's 2019 term opens this week. It will be the first full term for the new five-justice conservative majority. Does that mean the court has become political?
October 8, 2019
The Supreme Court’s 2019 term opened this week. It will be the first full term for the new five-justice conservative majority. Does that mean the court has become political? Chief Justice John Roberts says no. But with the court’s docket loaded with contentious cases on LGBT rights, abortion, religious freedom and immigration, that assertion will be put to the test. Kerri Miller spoke with Lawrence Baum, author of “The Company They Keep: How Partisan Divisions Came to the Supreme Court” and professor emeritus at Ohio State University.
October 7, 2019
A recent poll of partisans found that around 80 percent of Democrats support impeachment, compared to about 12 percent of Republicans. Among independents, support for impeachment runs close to 40 percent. Samara Klar is a political scientist at the University of Arizona and author of the book "Independent Politics." She joins MPR News with Kerri Miller on Monday for a conversation about independents' influence on public opinion.
October 7, 2019
A recent poll of partisans found that around 80 percent of Democrats support impeachment, compared to about 12 percent of Republicans. Among independents, support for impeachment runs close to 40 percent.Samara Klar is a political scientist at the University of Arizona and author of the book “Independent Politics.” She joined MPR News with Kerri Miller on Monday for a conversation about independents’ influence on public opinion.To listen to the full conversation you can use the audio player above. Subscribe to the MPR News with Kerri Miller podcast on: Apple Podcasts , Google Podcasts , Spotify or RSS
October 3, 2019
MPR News host Kerri Miller is still savoring the pleasure of the new "Downton Abbey" movie. This week on The Thread, she brings us two novels with a great "Upstairs, Downstairs" vibe.
October 2, 2019
The intelligence community is supposed to be apolitical. How do its members maintain their distance in a hyper-partisan moment?
October 1, 2019
A whistleblower’s complaint has put the intelligence community in an uncomfortable position — the spotlight. Revelations from the whistleblower led House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to launch a formal impeachment inquiry into President Trump. According to the New York Times, the complaint was written by a CIA officer who had worked at the White House. It revealed that President Trump asked the Ukrainian president to investigate a political rival and that potentially damaging information had been stored in a separate system. Trump has said that he doesn’t know the identity of the whistleblower, but he has referred to him or her as partisan. Testifying before the House Intelligence Committee last week, the acting director of national intelligence, Joseph Maguire, said the whistleblower “did the right thing” by filing the report. Throughout the hearing, Maguire made sure to distance himself from the political tension in the room. He stated, “I am not partisan, and I am not political. I believe in a life of public service, and I am honored to be a public servant.” How can the intelligence community maintain a political firewall in a process that is dominated by partisan forces? Wednesday at 9 a.m., two intelligence experts joined MPR News host Kerri Miller for a conversation about how the intelligence community views the impeachment inquiry. Guests: John Radsan is a professor at Mitchell Hamline School of Law and former assistant general counsel at CIA. Katrina Mulligan is the managing director of the National Security and International Policy team at the Center for American Progress. To listen to the full conversation you can use the audio player above. Subscribe to the MPR News with Kerri Miller podcast on: Apple Podcasts , Google Podcasts , Spotify or RSS
October 1, 2019
The Declaration of Independence made equality an American ideal, but it took a Civil War and three constitutional amendments to establish it as law. MPR News host Kerri Miller speaks with author Eric Foner about his new book, "The Second Founding: How the Civil War and Reconstruction Remade the Constitution."
October 1, 2019
Last week, Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi announced that House of Representatives will launch an official impeachment inquiry of President Trump, which will operate with six committees. MPR News host Kerri speaks with former Watergate prosecutor Jill Wine-Banks about the impeachment inquiry of President Trump.
September 30, 2019
As the impeachment inquiry moves forward, two experts answer your questions about how the process works.
September 30, 2019
Last Tuesday marked a significant shift in American politics. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced the launch of a formal impeachment inquiry after months of pressure from some of her Democratic colleagues. The decision came in the wake of revelations that President Trump withheld military aid before calling the president of Ukraine and asking him to investigate former vice president Joe Biden and his son. The whistleblower complaint also alleges that records of the call were moved to a separate, more tightly secured system. MPR News host Kerri Miller spoke with Ned Foley, professor of law and director of the election law program at Ohio State law school, and Marjorie Hershey, professor of political science at Indiana University, about how the impeachment inquiry process works. To listen to the full conversation you can use the audio player above. Subscribe to the MPR News with Kerri Miller podcast on: Apple Podcasts , Google Podcasts , Spotify or RSS
September 30, 2019
Brad Barket | Getty Images Gloria Steinem attends the 2009 John Jay Justice Awards at John Jay College on April 14, 2009 in New York City. Gloria Steinem is an activist, journalist, and women's rights leader. The regional premiere of the play about her, called "Gloria, A Life," opened this past weekend at the History Theatre in downtown St. Paul. Gloria Steinem wrote a memoir and titled it "My Life on the Road." She talked about her book, and her life, with Kerri Miller as part of the "Talking Volumes" series in the fall of 2016. They were on stage at a sold-out Fitzgerald Theater. About the strength of the feminist movement, Steinem said “consciousness came from truth-telling.” While some young women say they are not feminists, Steinem said many young women don’t know what feminism means. “And some do know, and don’t agree.” Considering the era in which we now live, Gloria Steinem said it is important to “take seriously the feelings of displacement and insecurity” many people feel. The regional premiere of “Gloria, A Life” by Tony Award-winning playwright Emily Mann, is on stage at the History Theatre in downtown St. Paul Sept. 28-Oct. 20, 2019. Learn more The History Theatre
September 25, 2019
Last week, President Trump named Robert C. O'Brien as his new national security adviser. O'Brien is the fourth national security adviser under Trump. MPR News host Kerri Miller examines what to expect from O'Brien and the Trump administration on foreign policy.
September 24, 2019
Last week, President Trump named Robert C. O'Brien as his new national security adviser. He replaces John Bolton, who was fired by the president two weeks ago. Prior to his appointment, O’Brien was an envoy for hostage affairs. Now the fourth national security adviser during the Trump administration, he will be play a key role in carrying out the president’s foreign-policy agenda. With drama escalating between Iran and Saudi Arabia, China’s growing global power, and denuclearization negotiations with North Korea, what can we expect from O’Brien and the Trump administration? MPR News Kerri Miller spoke with Steven Cook, senior fellow for Middle East and Africa studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, and Ellen Laipson, who directs the Master's in International Security program at George Mason University. To listen to the full conversation you can use the audio player above. Subscribe to the MPR News with Kerri Miller podcast on: Apple Podcasts , Google Podcasts , Spotify or RSS
September 24, 2019
We attempt to untangle the threads in the whistleblower case, which is growing more urgent - and more complicated - with every revelation.
September 24, 2019
It’s a tale worthy of a soap opera. On Sept. 13, we learned a whistleblower inside the U.S. intelligence community had submitted a complaint, flagging a phone call between President Trump and a foreign leader as troubling. The Intelligence Community Inspector General had looked into the complaint and agreed that it was credible and urgent. But Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire kept it from Congress, leading House Intelligence Committee chair Adam Schiff to issue a subpoena. It gets more complicated. Further developments involve former Vice President Joe Biden’s son and his dealings in Ukraine during the Obama era, scheduled aid payments to Ukraine being suspended - and, of course, the president’s response to all this. Tuesday morning, Kerri Miller and BuzzFeed News editor Hayes Brown attempted to untangle the threads. Guest: Hayes Brown is a world news editor and reporter for BuzzFeed News. To listen to the full conversation you can use the audio player above. Subscribe to the MPR News with Kerri Miller podcast on: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts , Spotify or RSS
September 23, 2019
Propaganda might sound like a throwback idea, more relevant to the last century than today. But given our political landscape and the turbulent world of social media, it's never been more important to recognize.
September 20, 2019
Propaganda has a long history, going back to P.T. Barnum and crowd psychologist Gustave Le Bon. But it can be tricky to recognize – especially today, when social media has given everyone a megaphone. Certainly, President Trump uses Twitter as a way to speak directly to the people – without gatekeepers or a public relations team keeping watch. White supremacy groups are also taking advantage of the new world and getting increasingly bold. The Anti-Defamation League says recruiting propaganda from racist groups increased 182 percent in 2018. Monday, Kerri Miller spoke with two experts – one who studies propaganda and how it’s used, and another who says the best way to fight white supremist propaganda is to face it head-on. Guests: Tim Wise, essayist about race and educator and the host of the podcast “Speak Out with Tim Wise” Cory Wimberly, professor of philosophy at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley with a particular interest in propaganda To listen to the full conversation you can use the audio player above. Subscribe to the MPR News with Kerri Miller podcast on: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts , Spotify or RSS
September 19, 2019
Each week, senior producer Stephanie Curtis offers five suggestions to read, watch, listen to or experience. 1. "Writing to Persuade," a book by former New York Times op-ed editor Trish Hall that came out this summer, is about more than syntax. While she has advice about style -- don't choose "utilize" when a simple "use" will do -- it’s really about how to get your point across and communicate with people who don't agree with you. It would be invaluable for anyone hoping to survive this election. 2. After reading George Packer's long, convoluted, personal essay "When the Culture War Comes for the Kids" about how he and his wife decided to leave the public school system, I returned to Nikole Hannah-Jones' thoughtful article about her own journey. Also, check out the Two Tour Pledge if you are facing a similar debate in your home. 3. "Unbelievable," a new police procedural on Netflix, is based on a true story that I first read about in Pro Publica and the Marshall Project. Here’s how it starts: "An 18-year-old said she was attacked at knifepoint. Then she said she made it up. That’s where our story begins." The series, starring Toni Collette and Merritt Wever, begins in the same spot. It's a disturbing and powerful story about how rape is investigated. You see inept police work and the skilled, nuanced work needed for a rape investigation. BONUS: Kerri says you must check out the two-part series from The Daily, in which the New York Times reporters who broke the Harvey Weinstein story discuss new findings that raise questions about the legacy of two feminist icons – Gloria Allred and her daughter, Lisa Bloom. 4. Dear Joan and Jericha is an adults-only podcast in which comedians Julia Davis and Vicki Pepperdine play advice columnists with terrible, terrible advice. Don’t listen to it with kids around, but do listen -- and prepare to laugh. 5. I love some moody music, and Angel Olsen, a singer-songwriter from Asheville, fits the bill. She feeds my love of bands like...
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