The Madeleine Brand Show for September 20, 2011

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The big grocers just avoided a strike with their workers by reaching a deal. Sixty-two thousand workers from Vons, Ralphs and Albertsons threatened walking off the job for better health benefits while the grocers countered by threatening to close dozens of stores. We'll hear the details of the deal later today when they get released. This morning we ask: How effective are strikes?

UCLA releases economic forcast

The UCLA Anderson School of Business released a new study saying there is no double dip recession ahead because we haven't recovered yet from the 2008 recession yet.
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Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Kay Ryan just got some good news--about half a million dollars worth of good news. The former U.S. Poet Laureate was among the names announced today by the MacArthur Foundation to receive its 2011 Fellowship.
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The United States' military ends a 19 year policy of discrimination against gays, lesbians and bisexuals. The policy aimed to sidestep questions of sexual orientation through silencing enlistees. Homosexuals were allowed to serve on the condition that they did not talk about their orientation. Superiors were not allowed to discriminate against closeted personnel. Still, this policy resulted in more than 14,000 service members being discharged as well as countless others serving in fear of being found out. The policy officially ends today; Open homosexuals will no longer be discharged from service. We talk to Army Major Casey Moes for a first hand account of what living under the policy was like.
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New Music Tuesday: Grouplove and Kitty, Daisy & Lewis

In this installment of New Music Tuesday, Drew Tewskbury looks at a trio of young British siblings with a vintage sound. The group, Kitty, Daisy & Lewis is out with a new album called Smoking in Heaven. Plus, LA-based Grouplove is a band with a big indie-anthem sound. Their latest is Never Trust a Happy Song. Click through for full-length tracks.
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The economics behind medical debt

Just about everyone struggles with debt, and for millions of Americans that struggle comes from a trip to the hospital. You might want to blame the hospitals for making their patients trade one ailment for another but it's not what you think. Hospitals are required to collect payment by law. Hospitals have resorted to selling a patient's debt to collection agencies in order to get paid. Kelley Weiss from the California Report takes a look at the industry behind medical debt. This was produced in collaboration with the California HealthCare Foundation Center for Health Reporting.
Don't Ask, Don't Tell is over, but a new study from UCLA suggests that such policies may actually hurt workplace performance. Researchers at the school's Anderson School of Management had test subjects perform a variety of tasks with either an openly gay or ambiguously gay partner. They found that when subjects worked with someone they knew was openly gay, they performed better on the tasks. For more we spoke with lead researcher Margaret Shih.
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