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FROM THIS EPISODE

It's 50 years to the day since John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas. We hear about his accomplishments, his failures and why he's popularly regarded as one of America's best presidents. Also, what will the Senate's nuclear winter bring? On today's Talking Point, the FCC may allow passengers to use cell phones on airplanes. What would that mean for what airlines call "the in-flight experience?"

Banner image: President Kennedy addresses the AMVETS convention in New York City by telephone. White House, Oval Office, August 23, 1962. Photo: Abbie Rowe/John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum

Producers:
Anna Scott
Katie Cooper
Jenny Hamel

Main Topic Fifty Years Later: The Legacy of JFK 34 MIN, 32 SEC

Much of America will stop for a moment today to observe the 50th anniversary of John F. Kennedy's assassination. Tens of thousands turned out for a moment of silence in Dallas, and the media hype is unavoidable. The President was gunned down in Dealey Plaza in the midst of the Cold War, at the beginning of the civil rights revolution. His presidency of less than three years had its ups and downs, but polls consistently show most Americans call it one of the greatest. Historians aren't so sure. So why is JFK so highly regarded? Why haven't negative revelations tarnished his image? We separate the man from the myth and look at how the memories of presidents are shaped by symbolism as well as historical facts.

Guests:
David Greenberg, Rutgers University
Taylor Branch, Pulitzer Prize-winning author and historian (@taylorbranch)
Tim Naftali, New America Foundation (@TimNaftali)
David Maraniss, Washington Post (@davidmaraniss)

Today's Talking Point FCC Considering Cell Phone Use in the Air 8 MIN, 47 SEC

The new head of the Federal Communications Commission says it may be time to lift the ban on cell phones in passenger airplanes. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler says it's time for a second look at a rule he calls "outdated and restrictive" now that "modern technologies can deliver mobile services in the air safely and reliably." Ben Mutzabaugh, travel reporter for USA Today, says the proposal is getting mixed reviews.

Guests:
Ben Mutzabaugh, USA Today (@TodayInTheSky)

Making News What Will the Senate's Nuclear Winter Bring? 8 MIN, 20 SEC

Now that Democrats in the Senate have changed the rules for confirmation, President Obama has submitted a long list of nominees for vacant jobs in the administration and on federal courts all over the country. Ron Brownstein is political director of the National Journal Group and author of The Second Civil War: How Extreme Partisanship Has Paralyzed Washington and Polarized America.

Guests:
Ron Brownstein, National Journal (@RonBrownstein)

The Second Civil War

Ronald Brownstein

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