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Is California at risk of losing its stimulus money? Are parole violators being released early to cut costs? Also, is the "LA Noir" of crime fiction and Hollywood movies rooted in history? On our rebroadcast of today's To the Point, the President's $800 billion stimulus package hasn't been fully rolled out yet, but the US economy is already almost seven million jobs in the hole. Who's able to find work and who's not?  Is more stimulus money needed?

Main Topic With Unemployment at 9.5 Percent, Is the Stimulus Working? 25 MIN, 59 SEC

President Obama's $800 billion stimulus package is under fire because it has failed to meet expectations.  National unemployment has risen to 9.5 percent, higher than the 8 percent peak predicted by the Obama administration when it was selling the package to Congress.

Lori Montgomery, Washington Post (@loriamontgomery)
Linda Hahn, Executive Director, Metropolitan Career Center
Heidi Shierholz, Economist, Economic Policy Institute (@EconomicPolicy)
Maya MacGuineas, Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget (@MayaMacGuineas)

Making News Governor's Budget Plan Threatens Stimulus Funds 12 MIN, 7 SEC

Robert Reich, former President Clinton's Secretary of Labor, says "states are actively erasing half of the federal stimulus" by reducing services. Governor Schwarzenegger's plan to fix the budget may put $10 billion at risk. That's according to Matthew Yi, who reports from Sacramento for the San Francisco Chronicle.

Matthew Yi, Capitol Bureau Reporter, San Francisco Chronicle

Main Topic State Money Troubles Lead to Release of Prisoners 12 MIN, 7 SEC

In California, criminals who violate the conditions of parole are often sent back to prison to serve the rest of their sentences. But now some are getting a second early release.  Today's Los Angeles Times reports that 89 parole violators have been let out of state prisons in the last two months, because county sheriffs are refusing to hold more serious criminals until there's room for them in state prisons.  We hear more about the situation from LA County Sheriff Lee Baca and Seth Unger, spokesman for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

Lee Baca, Sheriff of Los Angeles County
Seth Unger, Spokesman, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation

Reporter's Notebook White and Clark, the Light and Dark Behind LA Noir 9 MIN, 1 SEC

bright_guilty_place.jpg"LA Noir" is a Hollywood movie genre that goes back to Double Indemnity and includes Chinatown and LA Confidential.  It's all about "a city of big dreams and cruelly inevitable disappointments."  Those are the words of Richard Rayner, who says "noir" has roots not just in the novels of Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett, but also in the history of Los Angeles in the 1920's and early ‘30's.  His latest book is A Bright and Guilty Place: Murder, Corruption and LA's Scandalous Coming of Age.

Richard Rayner, author, 'A Bright and Guilty Place'

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