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FROM THIS EPISODE

Barack Obama began a tough selling job today with an urgent warning about years of recession if Congress fails to enact his massive stimulus program. On this rebroadcast of today's To the Point, is it big enough? What would failure mean for America's standard of living? On Which Way, L.A.?, the state water board is accused of issuing a "license to kill" plants and animals in lakes, rivers and Santa Monica Bay; and Governor Schwarzenegger may be the loneliest politician in Sacramento.


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Producers:
Christian Bordal
Katie Cooper
Gary Scott

Reporter's Notebook Budget Brinkmanship and Gubernatorial Leadership

In November, Mac Taylor, California's bipartisan Legislative Analyst, called the state's financial situation "dire, bleak and awful."  Today, with the Democrats, the Republicans and Governor Schwarzenegger pointing fingers at one another, he warned that it could become a "colossal" disaster.

Guests:
Barbara O'Connor, Cal State Sacramento's Institute for the Study of Politics and Media
Dan Schnur, USC Unruh Institute of Politics (@danschnur)

Main Topic A Political Salesman Lays It on the Line 25 MIN, 7 SEC

President-elect Obama said today that America's economic crisis is "no accident of history."  He decried "an era of irresponsibility" from Wall Street to Washington.   But he said the seeds of the problem provide hope for overcoming what he called a "devastating loss of trust and confidence…"

Guests:
Sudeep Reddy, Wall Street Journal (@Reddy)
Peter Morici, University of Maryland (@pmorici1)
David Smick, global financial market strategist
Heidi Shierholz, Economist, Economic Policy Institute (@EconomicPolicy)

Main Topic Toxic Conditions in Southern California Wastewater

In the past eight years, millions of gallons of toxic sewage and industrial waste have been dumped into lakes, rivers and the ocean in the Los Angeles region. Hundreds of times, the toxicity has exceeded legal standards, but only 80 notices of violation have been issued and just eleven led to penalties of any kind. That's according to the environmental group Heal the Bay, which accuses the State Water Resources Control Board of issuing a "license to kill." The Legislative Analyst says California is headed toward a "colossal" financial disaster.  We hear more about the toxic conditions and what can be done to reverse them from Heal the Bay as well as state and local water control boards.

Guests:
Mark Gold, UCLA's Institute of the Environment and Sustainability
Jonathan Bishop, Chief Deputy Director, State Water Resources Control Board
Fran Diamond, Chairperson, Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board

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