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FROM THIS EPISODE

California's High-Speed Rail Authority plans to start building its first leg in the Central Valley next year, with the ultimate goal of a train from San Diego to San Francisco. But it may be the victim of deficit fever in Washington, DC. Is that a blow to the state's transportation needs or a blessing in disguise for California taxpayers? Also, sea lions and dolphins are getting sick from a deadly poison. We go to LA County's only hospital for sick marine animals. On our rebroadcast of To the Point, birthers and the anatomy of a false accusation.

Producers:
Sonya Geis
Gary Scott
Karen Radziner

Main Topic Obama, the 'Birthers' and the Anatomy of a False Accusation 26 MIN, 6 SEC

Barack Obama, the Birthers and the Long Shadow of ConspiracyBarack Obama's birth certificate says he was born in Hawaii on August 4, 1961. Local newspapers carried announcements at the time. Recent investigations by mainstream media have confirmed that he meets the Constitutional requirement that the president must be a "natural born citizen." Today, CNN aired the conclusion of Dr. Chlyome Fukino, a Republican and former Director of Hawaii's Department of Public Health, who described the so-called "long form" birth certificate stored in a vault in Honolulu. Such "birther" claims may appeal to the right-wing base of the Republican Party, but the repetition of a demonstrable untruth could do more harm to Republicans than Democrats.

Guests:
Ben Smith, Politico.com
Gary Langer, ABC News (@LangerResearch)
Mark Fenster, University of Florida
Wayne Bennett, TheFieldNegro.com (@fieldnegro)
David Winston, Winston Group (@dhwinston)

Conspiracy Theories

Mark Fenster

Making News City of Bell Finds a Pot of Money 6 MIN, 13 SEC

Grand jury transcripts unearthed by the Los Angeles Times may be good news for the City of Bell, which can use it.  Some $4.5 million was secretly set aside for pensions by two former officials: the disgraced city administrator Robert Rizzo and his Deputy Angela Spaccia.  Ali Saleh is the new Mayor of Bell.

Guests:
Ali Saleh, City of Bell

Main Topic High-Speed Rail in Trouble 13 MIN, 52 SEC

California voters approved a $9.95 billion bond issue for high-speed rail from San Diego to San Francisco, and construction on the first leg is scheduled to begin next year. The assumption has been that the federal government would put up much of the money, which would be matched with state funds. But the recent compromise on the federal budget rescinded $400 million for high-speed rail this year and eliminated it altogether for next year.

Guests:
James E. Moore, University of Southern California
Curt Pringle, California High Speed Rail Authority

Reporter's Notebook Toxic Algae Kills Local Sea Lions and Dolphins 7 MIN, 27 SEC

There's been a small-scale epidemic of dolphins and sea lions dead or dying on Southern California beaches of late, but they're just the on-shore evidence of a deadly poison that's come up the food chain. The Marine Mammal Care Center at Fort MacArthur in San Pedro is LA County's only hospital for sick, injured and orphaned marine animals. KCRW's Katie Cooper visited recently. 

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Guests:
David Bard, Marine Mammal Care Center
David Caron, University of Southern California

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