House Speaker Paul Ryan announced today that he plans to leave Congress at the end of this year. Ryan’s decision opens a leadership vacuum as Republicans head into the midterm elections. One of the top contenders for Ryan’s seat is Kevin McCarthy, a Republican from Bakersfield.
FROM THIS EPISODE
In California, a new bill would allow the state to set prices for healthcare, including doctor’s appointments, surgery and hospital stays. Those prices would be based off Medicare rates and would be determined by an independent commission. Democratic Assemblyman Ash Kalra from San Jose introduced the bill Monday. We hear the pros and cons.
LA City and County officials are encouraging homeowners to build tiny houses in their backyards and rent them to a homeless person. The county will give people a $75,000 loan to do that. Then after 10 years, the loan is forgiven, and the homeowner has presumably increased the value of their property with that extra unit. Something similar has already happened in Seattle, where a charity-based program housed its first homeless person in someone’s backyard in October. We speak with one of the owners of that backyard.
The construction of Bobby's home in Kim Sherman
and Dan Tenenbaum's Seattle backyard.
Bobby with Kim Sherman and Dan Tenenbaum.
Bobby in front of his new house.
Bobby hugging Kim Sherman.
Kim Sherman, housing a now formerly homeless man in a new house in their backyard
The new Netflix series “Wild, Wild Country” follows Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, a guru who had a following in the small Indian city of Puna. He wore long robes and talked about the power of meditation. But unlike traditional gurus, he loved money, sex and cars. In 1981 he and his followers migrated to a tiny town in Oregon, and started to build a new city called Rajneeshpuram. Residents of the neighboring town were not pleased. Panic spread about the so-called terrorist sex cult. The story got crazier from there, involving poison, voter fraud and sex parties.
A scene from "Wild Wild Country." Credit: Netflix.
Mitzi Shore, owner of the Comedy Store, passed away at age 87. The Comedy Store was a proving ground for a long list of big-time comics: Robin Williams, Richard Pryor, Garry Shandling, Jerry Seinfeld, Billy Crystal, Jim Carrey, Chris Rock and more. Comedian Tom Dreesen also performed at the Comedy Store and shares his memories of Shore.
Tom Dreesen during his first appearance on The Tonight Show
in the 1970s. Photo courtesy of Dreesen.
Tom Dreesen, actor and comedian
More From Press Play with Madeleine Brand
Will the government meet the deadline to reunify families separated at the border? Next week is the deadline to reunite the thousands of kids separated from their parents at the border. The Department of Homeland Security said yesterday that they’re working to meet the deadline, but will not “cut corners.” We get an update on where these families are now.
How will Disney-Fox deal affect what you see in theaters and on TV? For $71 billion, Disney gets Fox’s TV and film studios, 60 percent of Hulu, the FX and National Geographic cable channels, and some properties in India and Latin America. The combined Disney and Fox movie studios have earned nearly 50 percent of the North American box office this year.
President Trump dials back his rhetoric on Russia President Trump today says he misspoke at yesterday’s disastrous news conference with Vladimir Putin. He explained that he said “would” instead of “wouldn’t.” Why wouldn’t it be Russia who meddled in the election? That explanation stretches credulity, but it may be enough to satisfy Republicans who’ve been critical. We talk with Democratic Congressman Adam Schiff about what Congress needs to do next.
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