This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan, in Washington. In Iowa, all the GOP presidential candidates continue to profess their faith in speeches and in broadcast ads, perhaps none more than Texas Governor Rick Perry.
And now, the Opinion Page. It's the start of a new year. Already, millions of us have posted new calendars on the wall or installed new ones on our computers. But Steven Hanke and Richard Henry, two Johns Hopkins University professors, propose a more radical step: the Hanke-Henry permanent calendar, which they say will solve the yearly hassle of reworking our schedules and even help businesses put fiscal calendars in sync. But that raises a question: Is the current calendar a problem for you?
Many people are looking for a fresh start after a year filled with challenges. Best-selling author Bruce Feiler remade his life after a devastating cancer diagnosis in 2008. He talks with host Michel Martin about his advice for overcoming adversity and getting the right start for 2012.
Steve Jobs and Amy Winehouse were among the stars who died in 2011, but what about the first African-American milk delivery man in Gary, Ind., or the first black meter reader for Baltimore Gas and Electric? Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Isabel Wilkerson says these stories show how far the U.S. has come. She recently wrote about this in The New York Times Magazine, and speaks with host Michel Martin.