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FROM THIS EPISODE

The Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles, major engines of Southern California's economy, have been hit by a strike this week. When a small number of well-paid clerical workers set up picket lines, thousands of longshoremen refused to cross. We get a progress report. Also, the LA Auto Show opens to the public tomorrow, demonstrating that cars are better than ever. The head of GM North America says, "Every car will have good quality," not just his. Will economic recovery and advanced technology attract a new generation that's losing interest in cars? On our rebroadcast of today's To the Point, the President does lunch with Mitt Romney, but partisanship never dies.

Main Topic The Fiscal Cliff, Susan Rice and Political Gamesmanship 24 MIN, 30 SEC

Image-for-WWLA.jpgAs promised, President Obama had lunch with Mitt Romney today — no press coverage, no details of their discussion. But just weeks after the election, partisanship is still the word in Washington. After days of optimism about avoiding the fiscal cliffs, hard lines are now being drawn. The President and House Speaker John Boehner spoke by telephone last night, and it appears the President is still insisting that priority number one is the bill to maintain tax breaks for the Middle Class while raising rates on the wealthy. At a news conference this morning, Boehner threw cold water on the President's much advertised return to the campaign trail to win public support.

Guests:
David Sanger, New York Times (@SangerNYT)
David Corn, Mother Jones magazine (@DavidCornDC)
Joshua Trevino, Texas Public Policy Foundation (@jstrevino)
Daniel Gross, Daily Beast (@grossdm)
Matt Viser, Boston Globe (@mviser)

Showdown

David Corn

Making News Clerks Strike at the LA Ports 10 MIN, 17 SEC

Clerical workers at the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles are few in number, but this week they've demonstrated the power to shut down two mighty engines of Southern California. We get an update from Brian Sumers, who covers the ports for the Daily Breeze, and Kristen Monaco, Professor of Economics at California State University Long Beach, who specializes in transportation and labor issues.

Guests:
Brian Sumers, Aviation Week (@BrianSumers)
Kristen Monaco, California State University Long Beach (@csulb)

Main Topic The Los Angeles Auto Show 15 MIN, 39 SEC

The first auto show of the season is held in the car capital of the world. The Los Angeles Auto Show opens to the public tomorrow. KCRW's Saul Gonzalez went to the press preview yesterday. (He spoke with Ed Loh, Editor of Motor Trend magazine, Gene Jennings, President of Automobile magazine, and Freeman Thomas, Design Director for the Ford Motor Company.)

You can see pictures of some of these new high-tech cars on our blog: KCRW.com/WhichWayLAblog.

Guests:
Saul Gonzalez, KCRW producer (@SaulKCRW)
Karl Brauer, TotalCarScore.com (@karlbrauer)

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