Nancy Reagan died Sunday at the age of 94. We look at her life in California, where her husband, Ronald Reagan, began his political career. Then, elsewhere in Golden State politics, what was behind the recent ouster of the head of the South Coast Air Quality Management District? And “House of Cards” is back.
FROM THIS EPISODE
Nancy Reagan died Sunday at the age of 94. We remember her and look at her ties to California, where her husband, Ronald Reagan, began his political career. For most of her life, she saw to her husband’s political career. In her autobiography she wrote, “For eight years I was sleeping with the president, and if that doesn’t give you special access, I don’t know what does.” Ronald Reagan began his career here in California. He was governor in the late 1960s and early ‘70s. What was Nancy’s role in his political rise?
Lou Cannon, Editorial Advisor, State Net Capitol Journal
On Friday, the Republican-controlled board of the South Coast Air Quality Management District fired its longtime executive director, Barry Wallerstein. He was seen as too tough on industry. The South Coast AQMD is responsible for setting air pollution policy across much of southern California, affecting nearly half of the state’s population. The board had been controlled by Democrats for many years, but that changed in November. Friday’s decision to dismiss Barry Wallerstein was a straight party-line vote, 7-6.
If the incessant television coverage of the presidential campaign hasn’t sated the political junkies out there, Kevin Spacey has come to the rescue. “House of Cards” is back and the binge-watching has begun. We talk about that and more in our regular Monday TV roundup this week.
The idea that self-awareness is a virtue is challenged in the new novel “Private Citizens,” in which the four main characters take self-awareness to new heights. The book tells the story of four unhappy millennials who have graduated from Stanford and are living in the Bay Area in the mid aughts. They have to navigate a world tech bros, activists, hipsters, venture capitalists, and weirdos while trying to find out who they really are.
Tony Tulathimutte, Author
What’s a ten letter word for an accusation one writer might level against another? You guessed it: plagiarism.
There’s a plagiarism scandal blowing up the intense crossword puzzle world right now. Timothy Parker edits the USA Today crossword puzzle and the syndicated Universal Crossword, and curious crossword enthusiasts recently discovered some unsettling similarities between Parker-edited puzzles and puzzles that have appeared in the New York Times and other papers. What gives?
More From Press Play with Madeleine Brand
Why 'Alias Grace' is relevant in Weinstein era The new Netflix series “Alias Grace,” based on a book by Margaret Atwood, tells the true story of a Victorian-era servant who was convicted of killing her employer and his housekeeper when she was 16. The show is more of a window into the ways women have been oppressed and have had to navigate a male-dominated world.
Could China be the first country to find aliens? China has built the world’s largest radio dish to search for extraterrestrial life. This comes at a time when an earth-sized planet has been discovered about 11 light years away. Will China discover extraterrestrials before the rest of us?
There Goes the Neighborhood LIVE: Solutions In this podcast bonus, four guests discuss solutions to high housing costs and gentrification in Los Angeles. Recorded live at the Central Library on Nov. 15 and moderated by "Press Play" host Madeleine Brand, this event was a companion to the KCRW-WNYC podcast series "There Goes the Neighborhood."
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