FROM Mark Pisano
Voters Put Essential Services on the Chopping Block In the aftermath of last week's election , education is on the chopping block, non-violent prisoners will be getting out early and California may be the only state in a first-world country with no subsistence benefits for children. Governor Schwarzenegger and other elected officials say they're responding to "the voice of the people." But is the people's "voice" really so clear?
Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles Go for Cleaner Air Together, the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles handle more cargo than any other harbor in the US and provide more well-paying jobs by far than Hollywood. But they're also among the worst polluters, spewing volumes of dangerous emissions and particulates, which experts say are causing hundreds of early deaths each year. When Antonio Villaraigosa became mayor, he vowed to slash the emissions using new technologies, while still allowing the ports to expand. Last week Port Commissioners adopted a $2 billion action plan for "green growth." Ships will burn cleaner fuel and shut down their engines at the wharfs. Sooty container handling equipment will be replaced with trucks and cranes that use natural gas or other fuels. Heavy diesel trucks may be replaced altogether with mag-lev container movers. Do the technologies exist for this industrial transformation? Who will pay for it? Will it really help those already hurt by the pollution? Jim Sterngold guest hosts.
The Voters have Spoken: Now, Who Gets the Money? California voters passed $43 billion worth of new bonds to relieve overcrowded highways and schools, repair levees and provide affordable housing. That's almost half the state's annual budget. Now, 58 counties and hundreds of cities all want their piece of the action. The Business, Transportation and Housing Agency will play a big role in who gets how much. Is there a formula based on need? What about politics?
Human Rights in the era of Donald Trump President Trump’s UN Ambassador, Nikki Haley, said today the US might pull out of the United Nations’ Human Rights Council. Serious violators of human rights are members of the Council itself–and a US resignation could make things worse. Later on today’s show, now that he’s into his second term, comedian turned US Senator Al Franken is telling jokes again.
Who's to blame for the opioid crisis? Some of the lawyers who took on Big Tobacco are now going after Big Pharma. It’s all about the deadly epidemic of opioid use. Are the drug companies to blame? What about the users? Later, on today’s Talking Point: making sense of Britain’s upset election.
Venezuela spirals into economic and political chaos Venezuela, a country whose potential for prosperity is unmatched, finds itself on the verge of civil war. What sustains the repressive government? With time running out, guest host León Krauze looks at what the international community can do to pull the country from the edge of collapse.
Trump's 'America First' goes missing abroad In the Middle East, President Trump is changing some policies of the Obama Administration—and reversing his own campaign attacks on Islam as a religion that "hates us." We hear about his visit to Saudi Arabia and what's at stake for the rest of his foreign excursion.