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FROM THIS EPISODE

The man most likely to replace Eric Cantor as House Majority Leader is a Republican from Bakersfield who was one of the inspirations for Kevin Spacey’s scheming politician on House of Cards. Also, a California state court this week delivered a blow to teacher tenure. Does it really stand in the way of identifying and removing bad teachers from classrooms? In our weekly film roundup, this week’s big releases are all sequels. Next, a new proposal from LA Mayor Eric Garcetti and one city councilman could make it easier for convicted felons to find work after prison. And finally, releasing a new, genetically modified mosquito designed to combat Dengue fever comes with some interesting ethical questions.

Banner Image: Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif.; Credit: Talk Radio News Service

Producers:
Andrew Walsh
Christian Bordal
Matt Holzman
Jolie Myers
Anna Scott

Being Kevin McCarthy 7 MIN, 35 SEC

The man most likely to replace Eric Cantor as House Majority Leader is California Rep. Kevin McCarthy. He’s also one of the inspirations for Kevin Spacey’s scheming politician Francis Underwood on House of Cards. We get a look at the life and work of the congressman from Bakersfield, and how he managed to go from obscure lightweight to rising political star in just one year.

Guests:
Ryan Grim, Huffington Post (@ryangrim)

Researching Teacher Tenure 8 MIN, 31 SEC

The national debate about how to improve public education has grown more contentious than ever. One hot button question: Is teacher tenure standing in the way of identifying and removing bad teachers from classrooms? That argument got a boost earlier this week in the case Vergara v California. A Los Angeles judge struck down a handful of laws governing teacher tenure and seniority rights. We hear from one of the expert witnesses in the case about the impacts of tenure on teacher quality and retention.

Guests:
Jesse Rothstein, University of California, Berkeley

Film! 11 MIN, 1 SEC

In our weekly film roundup, it’s time to talk about sequels. The biggest releases this week are all “part deuxs.” Why can’t we get enough of our favorite franchises?

Guests:
Sharon Knolle, Moviefone (@sknolle)
James Rocchi, The Lunch (@jamesrochhi)

Finding Work After Prison 13 MIN, 18 SEC

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and City Council Member Curren Price are asking employers in LA to “ban the box.” They want to eliminate the part of job applications that asks prospective employees if they’ve ever been convicted of a felony. Instead, they’re suggesting background checks be conducted after applicants are found to be qualified.

Guests:
Michael Stoll, Chair of the Department of Public Policy, UCLA
Teresa Patterson, Ex-convict and Los Angeles resident

Engineering Mosquitoes to Fight Disease 7 MIN, 39 SEC

Brazil is flooded with soccer teams and fans during the 2014 World Cup, but there’s another new visitor likely to go unnoticed to most football revelers: a genetically engineered mosquito. Scientists hope the bug will help curb the spread of the Dengue fever, a virus that has seen a five-fold incident increase over the last decade in the Americas. But what are the ethical dilemmas involved in releasing a new, engineered bug into a population?

Guests:
George Dimopolous, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

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