Blog Of The Nation
11:44 am
Mon March 26, 2012

March 26th: What's On Today's Show

Originally published on Mon March 26, 2012 10:39 am

What Are Nuclear Weapons For?
President Barack Obama said today that the U.S. nuclear arsenal is bigger than it needs to be. Speaking in South Korea, he said the U.S. can further reduce its nuclear arsenal while maintaining its security and a strong deterrent. Under the latest START treaty, the U.S. agreed to reduce its arsenal to about 1,500 nuclear weapons, and 5,000 warheads. Some argue that's still far too many, while others insist a credible nuclear deterrent requires a sizeable stockpile of weapons. Host Neal Conan speaks with Joe Cirincione, president of the anti-nuclear weapon group the Ploughshares Fund, and with Henry Sokolski, a former deputy for nonproliferation at the Department of Defense and currently director of the Nonproliferation Policy Education Center.

Op-Ed: Why I Wrote 'Stand Your Ground' Law
Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law faces increased scrutiny after the death of Trayvon Martin, the unarmed teen who was shot by a self-appointed neighborhood watch captain. One of the sponsors of the legislation, Republican State Representative Dennis Baxley, argued in a recent op-ed for Fox News that based on the limited information he's seen in media reports, "this law does not seem to be applicable to the tragedy that happened in Sanford.... There is nothing in the castle doctrine as found in Florida statutes that authenticates or provides for the opportunity to pursue and confront individuals." Representative Baxley joins host Neal Conan on the Opinion Page to talk about why he wrote the law and why he believes it does not appear to apply in the case of Trayvon Martin.

Difficult Decisions At End Of Life
While nearly everyone hopes to die peacefully at home, surrounded by people they love, it usually doesn't turn out that way. Thirty percent of Americans die in nursing homes, more than half in hospitals, and nearly half of those spend their last days in intensive care units. In a new book, Dr. Ira Byock argues that the way most Americans die is a national disgrace, an ethical, moral and economic crisis about to get a great deal worse as the baby boomers age. He adds that a difficult but fixable set of issues has been made worse by political polarization, by advocates of physician assisted suicide who accuse doctors of forcing patients to suffer, and by vehement elements of the pro-life movement, who accuse them of promoting a culture of death. Dr. Ira Byock joins host Neal Conan to talk about his new book, The Best Care Possible.

What to Watch For In Health Care Case
The Supreme Court today hears arguments on whether or not the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is constitutional. Over the next three days, the Court will pepper lawyers on both sides with question about the validity of certain provisions of the law, including the individual mandate, which requires most uninsured Americans to purchase health insurance or pay a penalty. The arguments have inspired hundreds of supporters and protesters to gather in front of the Supreme Court in what many legal analysts consider to be the most important case before the Court in decades. Host Neal Conan speaks with Supreme Court correspondent David Savage about what's happening at the High Court as arguments begin and what to expect in the coming days.

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