What’s on MPR News – 5/20/19

Monday May 20, 2019
(Subject to change as events dictate. This page is updated throughout the day.)

9 a.m. – MPR News with Kerri Miller
Seventy-nine million Americans are struggling to pay off their medical bills. Access to quality, cost-friendly health care is largely to blame. Another factor is the lack of transparency about the cost of hospital services and Medicare coverage.

Guests: Katherine Hempstead, Senior Policy Advisor for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation; Dr. Ryan Neuhofel, a Family Physician and Owner of NeuCare

10 a.m.- 1A with Joshua Johnson
Sen. Tom Cotton is a critic of the Iranian regime and the nuclear deal the Trump administration withdrew from last year. He’s a Republican hawk and believes a war against Iran is winnable.

Guest: Sen. Tom Cotton

11 a.m. – MPR News with Angela Davis
Planting season has finally arrived in Minnesota. And now that many yards have had a good weekend soaking, we’re opening up the phones for garden questions. Does your yard have some bald patches? Is your soil too sandy? Is it a bad idea to move that raspberry bush?

Guests: Julie Weisenhorn, horticulture educator and associate professor at the University of Minnesota Extension Service; Catherine Grant, horticulturalist and greenhouse manager in the Department of Biology at the University of St. Thomas.

12 p.m. – MPR News Presents
For American Public Media’s Call to Mind initiative: A Marketplace special: “Brains and Losses. The bottom line on aging and financial vulnerability.” Marketplace Morning Report host David Brancaccio explores the evidence for what doctors are calling “Age-Related Financial Vulnerability,” with stories of elderly fraud victims and their families from across the U.S., supported by a wide range of nationally-recognized experts.

1 p.m. – The Takeaway
Laura Dern on women in Hollywood and her new movie, Trial by Fire. With more middle-aged women on screen and behind the camera, Dern says this is just the start.

2 p.m. – BBC NewsHour
Google bars the world’s second biggest smartphone maker, Huawei, from some updates to the Android operating system, dealing a blow to the Chinese company; a special report from the Palestinian territories in a week of coverage from Israel and the West Bank; a comedian famous for playing the role of Ukraine’s president in a TV series, has been sworn in as head of state.

3 p.m. – All Things Considered
The Minnesota Legislature’s last-minute (of course) push; Microsoft leads on artificial intelligence ethics; immigrants and the rural west; Chicago’s new mayor; the ripple effect of flooded farms.

6:00 p.m. – Marketplace
The green argument for nuclear power. Forty years ago, Pennsylvania’s Three Mile Island Nuclear Plant was the site of America’s worst commercial nuclear accident. Now, as the plant nears complete closure, environmental advocates are arguing to keep it open.

6:30 p.m. – The Daily
From the day Roe v. Wade was decided, some have seen the constitutional right to an abortion as an inferred right rather than a guaranteed one. That distinction has become a threat to the ruling’s survival.

7 p.m. – The World
An interview with the Taliban on the prospects of a peace settlement in Afghanistan’s 18-year-old war, which is also America’s longest war. The World’s Shirin Jafaari interviewed Sohail Shaheen, a spokesman who’s been with the Taliban from its early days, about the peace talks that have been ongoing between the Taliban, the Afghan government and the US.

Also today, we continue our journey to Antarctica, and today The World Carolyn Beeler takes us deep below the icy surface of the water to examine the underside of the Thwaites Glacier. It’s the first time a submersible has given scientists a look at how warmer ocean temperatures are eroding the glacier, and contributing to the rise of sea levels globally.

Plus, what do US veterans think of the president’s idea to pardon service members convicted of war crimes? We reached out to vets who served in Afghanistan and Iraq, where some of the crimes or alleged crimes involved were committed, to hear what philosophical and practical issues could arise from the plan.

And, The World’s Monica Campbell reports from Las Cruces, New Mexico, where the increase in migrants crossing the border is also increasing the need for health care – especially since four children have died since December while in Border Patrol custody.

8 p.m. – Fresh Air
Host Terry Gross talks with cult director John Waters, who has given himself a new name: Filth Elder. His new book, Mr. Know It All, includes stories of a life in “radical showbiz”. At age 73 he is a keen observer of American culture, and still has a morbid sense of humor.

  • MrE85

    “He’s a Republican hawk and believes a war against Iran is winnable”

    Sergeant, get Senator Cotton a rifle and a helmet. He’s going to when a war for us, all by himself.

    • Indeed. There is so much packed into the whole concept of war with Iran. We have been burned time and again by hawks like Cotton, who always underestimate the time and resources needed to prosecute these wars. How many of our recent wars of choice have resulted in the outcomes forecast by starry-eye neocons? And how many of our military actions have had unintended consequences? Jack Ma, the founder of the Chinese company Alibaba, spoke at Davos in 2017 and really laid it on the line when he stated that the US has wasted over $14 trillion in fighting wars over the past 30 years instead of investing in infrastructure at home. Further, since Trump is so inept and widely disliked, he would not be able to unite the nation in support of a war.

      • jon

        //he would not be able to unite the nation in support of a war.

        Afghanistan is the only war I can recall that had anything close to a united nation supporting it… and that was only because it was sold as a way to get to those responsible for 9/11.

        I don’t remember much about desert storm… I do have some of the desert storm trading cards at home (which war trading cards seems completely weird to me now, but I have them, so they’ll remain a relic of a time that was weird.) And I don’t think that there was as much opposition to that as some others mentioned above…

        but unity behind US military action has never been a prerequisite.

      • Sonny T

        Trump struck a very dovish stance in his interview yesterday with Fox host Steve Hinton. He criticized the military for pushing occupations. Any credit for this?

        • Then there’s his Twitter account:

          “If Iran wants to fight, that will be the official end of Iran. Never threaten the United States again,”

          Any credit for this?

          • jon

            Trump loves to take both sides and hope for praise from both sides.

          • Yep. The guy is schizophrenic. He’ll change his mind from one minute to the next depending on how he thinks he wants to be seen. A VERY dangerous trait to have in diplomacy.

          • jon


            Say whatever it takes to get the crowd on your side.

            Honestly I think in front of the right crowd Trump might be turned into a more progressive Bernie Sanders.

          • Rob


          • Sonny T

            We’re talking about two things. First, Trump has consistently criticized U.S. meddling, which I find admirable. The second, one you newly introduced, is Trump responding to provocation, which I have no opinion on.

          • First, Trump has consistently criticized foreign meddling

            Except when it benefits him (see Russia).

          • Sonny T

            What in the world are you referring to? Collusion has been debunked, in case you missed it.

          • Rob

            But encouraging the Russsians to help was not debunked, in case you missed it.

          • You missed it, actually.

            The Mueller report did not issue a finding on collusion. It issued a finding on conspiracy, as defined by federal law.

            “In evaluating whether evidence about collective action of multiple individuals constituted a crime, we applied the framework of conspiracy law, not the concept of “collusion.” In so doing, the Office recognized that the word “collud[e]” was used in communications with the Acting Attorney General confirming certain aspects of the investigation’s scope and that the term has frequently been invoked in public reporting about the investigation. But collusion is not a specific offense or theory of liability found in the United States Code, nor is it a term of art in federal criminal law. For those reasons, the Office’s focus in analyzing questions of joint criminal liability was on conspiracy as defined in federal law.”

            Also, folks, I’m closing comments here because life is too short .

        • Rob

          Umm …no. Who hired John Bolton?

      • Further, since Trump is so inept and widely disliked, he would not be able to unite the nation in support of a war.

        It would take something akin to a Pearl Harbor or 9/11 to unite the country into going to war.

        I’m waiting for the next “Reichstag fire” to gin up support for the President seeing that we are into his re-election cycle.

        • Sonny T

          Yep, he’s Hitler.

          • Please show me where I said that.

            I’ll wait.

          • Sonny T

            What?? You were not comparing Trump to Hitler? What did I miss?

            Don’t be afraid to own it. Calling Trump a Nazi may be wacko conspiracy stuff, but perfectly acceptable among today’s progressives.

  • Jack

    //The green argument for nuclear power.//

    How far we have come and maybe forgotten a few things along the way….

    • Rob

      Last time I looked, there was nothing green about nuclear power.

      • Jack

        My thoughts exactly.

        We need more renewable energy – solar, wind, geothermal. Hydro has more unintended consequences than those options.

        • jon

          US large scale hydro is pretty much tapped already….

          Though there are some interesting proposals to convert existing hydro into pumped storage…

          Basically moving water from the bottom of a dam back to the reservoir when solar or wind are producing excessive power, then when more power is needed on the grid running the regular turbines again…

      • Sonny T

        No matter what we do it is unsustainable. Human society is pegged to consumption and growth. Finally you can grow no further. This is simple math.

        We all need to live in yurts and eat vegetables.

    • jon

      Was just reading through this:

      I wouldn’t support a premature shutdown of nuclear plants, but they were built with a 30 year lifespan in mind, and 3 mile islands remaining reactor is pushing 45 years old…

    • wjc

      Any energy source that produces waste that remains dangerous for periods of time measured in tens of thousands of years cannot be green. I mean, c’mon!

  • Forty years ago, Pennsylvania’s Three Mile Island Nuclear Plant was the site of America’s worst commercial nuclear accident.

    20 years prior to Three-Mile Island there’s the one very few people know about:


    Some experts believe the 1959 partial meltdown at SSFL could be the worst nuclear disaster in U.S. history, surpassing the radiation released during the Three Mile Island accident.

    The CA wildfires last year burned this area…