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FROM THIS EPISODE

Gasoline rose by 60 cents last week in some places — by 40 cents this weekend alone — setting records all over California. The gasoline industry blames refinery problems, but others accuse them of shipping supplies overseas to keep them tight on the West Coast. Senator Dianne Feinstein wants an investigation. Is this what she calls the "malicious and manipulative trading activity" she's seen in the past? Also, remembering a unique player in California's political history: former Lieutenant Governor Mervyn Dymally.  On our rebroadcast of today's To the Point, does President Obama like his job?

Banner image: Traffic moves past a gas station in San Diego, California October 8, 2012. Photo by Mike Blake/Reuters

Producers:
Christian Bordal
Frances Anderton
Katie Cooper

Main Topic Gas Prices Spike 16 MIN, 58 SEC

The West Coast, including California, is not connected to gasoline pipelines in the rest of the country.  It has to be supplied by its own, separate system.  With fewer refineries than there used to be, it's become vulnerable to problems it could have weathered before. But nobody's ever seen anything like the skyrocketing price increases of the past few days.

Guests:
Trilby Lundberg, Lundberg Survey
Charles Langley, Utility Consumers' Action Network (@CharlesLangley)
Jay McKeeman, California Independent Oil Marketers Association

Reporter's Notebook Meryvn Dymally, Trailblazing Black Politician, Dies at 86 8 MIN, 47 SEC

Mervyn Dymally was born in Trinidad in the West Indies, and went on to come one of California's most enduring politicians.  In 1962, he became the first foreign-born black person elected to the State Assembly. He served in the State Senate and became Lieutenant Governor, the first black to serve in a statewide elected office. From there, he went on to Congress, and then — at age 76 — went back to the Assembly again, finally losing a State Senate election at the age of 82.  Dymally died yesterday at the age of 86.

Guests:
Raphael Sonenshein, California State University, Los Angeles (@SonensheinPBI)
Earl Ofari Hutchinson, journalist and civil rights activist (@earlhutchinson)

Politics in Black and White

Raphael J. Sonenshein

Main Topic Presidential Debates and Running the Country 25 MIN, 15 SEC

Image-for-WWLA.jpgToday's New York Times reports that during preparations for last week's debate, advisers saw two presidents: One that was "listless and passive," the other "energetic and aggressive." Even the President himself conceded at a star-filled fundraiser last night in Los Angeles that the wrong one showed up in Denver. Obama's weak debate performance has raised questions about how much he really enjoys his job. He despises the sound bites and talking points the news media demand. How does he feel about coping with a hostile Congress?  What about former Governor Mitt Romney's record with Democrats in Massachusetts?

Guests:
Matt Bai, New York Times (@mattbai)
Jonathan Alter, MSNBC (@jonathanalter)
Norman Ornstein, American Enterprise Institute (@AEI)

The Promise

Jonathan Alter

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