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The contractor took down half of the Mulholland Bridge after just 36 hours — 17 hours ahead of schedule — and picked up a bonus of $300,000. Did they plan it that way?  Was the fix in or did they just get lucky? We ask the highway chief for Metro. Will drivers change their habits permanently? Why do we have to wait until next year to do it again? Also, State Treasurer Bill Lockyer says California’s in trouble if Washington can't pay its bills.  On our rebroadcast of To the Point, politics and the debt ceiling.  

Banner image: The Interstate 405 opens at the Mulholland Bridge ahead of schedule following a 10-mile shutdown of the freeway for bridge work on July 17, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Making News Libraries Extend Hours Thanks to Measure L 5 MIN, 48 SEC

All 73 libraries in the City of Los Angeles were open today for the first time on a Monday since August of last year. At that point budget cuts put services at their lowest level in 140 years. Today's re-opening was the result of Measure L, which passed in March with more than 60 percent of the vote. Martín Gómez is the Los Angeles City Librarian.

Martin Gomez, Los Angeles Public Library

Main Topic 'Carmageddon' Didn't Happen, Should We Do This More Often? 17 MIN, 27 SEC

Maybe drivers in the capital of the car culture really do hate traffic after all. Threatened with "Carmageddon" this weekend, massive numbers stayed off the road. While they were gone, half the Mullholland Drive bridge was taken down--17 hours ahead of schedule--by a contractor who knew what it was doing.  After all, Kiewit built the bridge in the first place.

Douglas Failing, Metro
John Blank, Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp
Robert Gotlieb, Occidental College

Reinventing Los Angeles

Robert Gottlieb

Reporter's Notebook California Has Much at Stake in Debt Limit Debate 3 MIN, 55 SEC

In the second half of our program, we'll hear about the political maneuvering in Washington over raising the debt ceiling. First of all, what happens to California if Washington can't pay its bills? Bill Lockyer is a veteran of 38 years in elected office -- in the legislature, as State Attorney General and now as State Treasurer.

Bill Lockyer, California State Treasurer

Main Topic Debt Ceiling Negotiations and the Fear of Default 26 MIN, 32 SEC

Debt Ceiling Negotiations and the Fear of DefaultWith Democrats angry at him for offering spending cuts and Republicans adamant about higher taxes, President Obama is trying to look like the only adult in Washington. Three different options have been proposed for breaking the political deadlock over the debt ceiling. Republicans call theirs' "Cut, Cap and Balance." The President wants a "Grand Bargain." The Democratic and Republican Senate leaders have a compromise that would let the President increase the ceiling even while Congress says, "No." On Friday, that compromise seemed the most likely but today, ABC News reported that the "Grand Bargain" might be back on the table. We look at the politics behind increasing the debt ceiling to avoid another recession.



Play Budget Hero, produced by American Public Media

Amy Walter, Cook Political Report (@amyewalter)
Frank Newport, Gallup Poll (@gallup)
Mark Zandi, Moody's Analytics (@dismalscientist)
Ryan Ellis, Americans for Tax Reform
David Corn, Mother Jones magazine (@DavidCornDC)

Financial Shock

Mark(Author) Zandi

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