Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Patt Morrison - schedule for Thurs 4/29/2010


Thursday, April 29, 2010

1-3 p.m.





1:00 – 1:20

Extreme finance makeover: Let the regulation overhaul begin!

After three days of obstruction on financial regulatory overhaul legislation, Republicans have cleared the way for debate in the Senate on a bill that promises to change the way that Wall Street does business, although the effectiveness of this bill is still very much in question.  Even as Republicans cleared the way for formal debate, they still assailed the bill, largely written by Sen. Chris Dodd, as a means for guaranteed tax-payer funded bailouts of large financial institutions when they get into trouble.  Sen. Richard Shelby characterized the Democrats’ bill as a “massive new bureaucracy [that] would have unchecked authority to regulate whatever it wants, whenever it wants, however it wants.”  On the political left critics are angry that the bill has become so watered down, and there are still many doubts about how this fundamentally changes the culture of the finance industry.  We get a progress report from the Senate.



Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Oregon; member of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing & Urban Affairs and the Senate Budget Committee


  • Merkley is the author of an amendment to the Dodd finance reform bill called the “PROP Trading Act” that would ban proprietary trading and strengthen the current language on prop trading in the Dodd bill.



Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Alabama; Ranking member, Senate Committee on Banking, Housing & Urban Affairs



1:20 – 2:00

Is there a ceiling on a premium? Are Anthem Blue Cross rate hikes imminent?

Anthem Blue Cross, California’s largest for-profit health insurer, announced several months ago that they were raising rates on individual insurance plans in the state by as much as 39%.  Policyholders went berserk and the ripple effect of outrage was felt from here to Washington.  Some even credit the public outcry with reinvigorating the stalled debate on health care reform.  The consternation proved too much and the insurer agreed to postpone the hikes until May 1, pending an independent investigation into whether the rate increases are warranted. It’s April 29……..will Blue Cross customers be paying a substantially bigger bill?



Senator Diane Feinstein, (D-CA)

•She has introduced the “Health Insurance Rate Authority Act of 2010”, which would give the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services more power to review and approve premium rate increases.



Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky (IL-09),

•She has introduced a companion bill in the House to Senator Feinstein’s “Health Insurance Rate Authority Act of 2010”, which would give the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services more power to review and approve premium rate increases.


Robert Zirkelbach, press secretary for America’s Health Insurance Plans




Kathleen Sebelius, U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services

Representative, Blue Cross

Representative, California Department of Insurance


2:00– 2:30

Stuff: Compulsive Hoarding and the Meaning of Things

A decade ago, when they began their study on hoarding, Randy Frost and Gail Steketee expected to find only a few sufferers. Instead, they ended up treating hundreds of patients. In their book “Stuff: Compulsive Hoarding and the Meaning of Things”, they explore the compulsion through a series of case studies. With vivid portraits that show us the traits by which you can identify a hoarder, Frost and Steketee explain the causes and outline the often-ineffective cures for the disorder. For the 6 million sufferers, their relatives and friends, and all the rest of us that have complicated relationships with our things, “Stuff” answers the question of what happens when what we own starts to own us.



Randy Frost, author of “Stuff”


2:30 – 2:40

KPCC Broadcasting Live from the Remote Area Medical clinic at the Sports Center  



Alex Cohen, KPCC’s host of All Things Considered, broadcasting live from the Remote Area Medical clinic at the Los Angeles Sports Arena



2:40 – 3:00

When an oil man finds the wind: T. Boone Pickens on his adventure in alternative energy

In 2008, T. Boone Pickens, the man who made billions of dollars as an old-fashioned oil tycoon, famously called for the need to finally break the American addiction to oil.  He did so by advocating for vast government and private sector investment in alternative energy sources, from solar to wind, and also put his money where his mouth is with the development of a huge wind farm in Texas and the founding of Clean Energy, a company that advances the use of natural gas for mass transportation.  After spending $60 million of his own money to promote the “Pickens Plan” for energy independence and several million more on the purchase of property and wind turbines, T. Boone has very mixed results to show for his efforts—his massive wind farm in Texas is dead and he’s shifted much of his energy to natural gas.  T. Boone is sticking to his guns, though, claiming that in 10 years, the U.S. will not be importing oil from the Middle East.  Is the Pickens Plan still a realistic goal?



T. Boone Pickens, entrepreneur and philanthropist; founder of BP Capital


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