After weeks of grim predictions of hard times to come, President Obama tried to lift the mood of the nation last night. On our rebroadcast of today's To the Point, we hear what he said, how he said it, and how Governor Bobby Jindal responded for the Republicans. Also, the city of San Francisco may soon be without a newspaper, California may need a new constitution and the City of LA is about to hold an election. Does anyone care?
FROM THIS EPISODE
In the past month, President Obama has been criticized for presenting too grim a picture of America's current challenges. In his first address to a joint session of Congress last night, Obama did predict hard times, but in contrast to recent speeches, he insisted that recovery is a certainty. He explained why he wants to give banks more taxpayer money and outlined ambitious plans for healthcare, alternative energy and education. Did the President strike the right note of optimism in perilous times? What did Governor Bobby Jindal say on behalf of the Republicans?
Robert Schlesinger, Deputy Editor at US News and World Report
Matthew Continetti, Washington Free Beacon
Katrina vanden Heuvel, The Nation (@KatrinaNation)
Diane Lim Rogers, Chief Economist, Concord Coalition
William Randolph Hearst began his newspaper empire in 1887 with the San Francisco Examiner. In the year 2000, the Hearst Corporation got rid of the Examiner and took over the San Francisco Chronicle. The Examiner folded and now Hearst is cutting the Chronicle staff to the bone. Ken Doctor worked for the late Knight-Ridder papers for 20 years. He's now an analyst for Outsell and Content Bridges, where he studies the transformation from print to digital publication.
In next week's Los Angeles City election, Mayor Villaraigosa has several opponents, but none with enough resources to make it a race. He refuses to make it a contest by participating in a debate. Without a contest at the top of the ballot, there's not much interest in the election, though there are contests for two other citywide offices. We hear about the race to replace Laura Chick, who is termed out as City Controller. City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo is also termed out, and there's a spirited race to replace him as well.
California's last constitutional convention was held in 1878. This year's budget brinksmanship, which is not over yet, was the last straw for political reformers who say it's time for a major, basic change. Yesterday in Sacramento, a business group called the Bay Area Council gathered concerned citizens to discuss the issue. They included William Bagley, who was a UC Regent for 14 years and before that Republican Assemblyman from Marin and Sonoma Counties from 1961 until 1974.
William Bagley, former California State Assemblyman
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Which Way, LA? The Question that Won't Go Away 23 years ago, the fires of the Rodney King riots were burning and the sirens wailing when KCRW first asked, WWLA? We've been through fires, floods, earthquakes and massive social, cultural and economic change. While this is the last program titled WWLA? the question still needs to be asked. We talk with a group of important and thoughtful people about what LA has become and about the challenges to be faced in the future…as we continue.
Then and Now: Is LA Still the Car Capital of the World? Urban planners got some bad news today. Ridership on public transit in Southern California is on the decline, despite the billions being spent in recent years to build light rail and subway lines. Why aren't more drivers leaving their cars at home, as traffic gets more congested than ever? Meantime, there's a shortage of money to repair aging roads, bridges and other parts of the infrastructure. We look at the impact on the state's economy.
Does California Have a Double Standard for the Public's Protection? Porter Ranch and Vernon are mirror images of each other. In one, schools have been closed and thousands of residents are being moved away by the polluter—just months after a natural gas leak was discovered. In the other, residents complained for years about health risks to school children from exposure to lead and arsenic from a battery recycling plant— until the federal government finally stepped in.
Is 'Warfare' a Thing of the Past at the LAPD? Video of police misconduct wasn’t as common 25 years ago as it is today. The spectacle of LAPD officers beating Rodney King was a wake-up call, but didn’t persuade a jury in Simi Valley. When the cops received not-guilty verdicts, the city exploded. We hear from veteran officers who say they’ve changed. What about their tactics? Have they gained the trust of marginalized communities and people of color?
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