Monday, January 3, 2011

Patt Morrison for Tuesday, January 4, 2011


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

1-3 p.m.





1:06 – 1:39




1:41 – 1:58:30

Congress to Obama: you can’t regulate carbon emissions. Obama to Congress: watch me

In the first two years of his term President Obama fought a number of pitched battles with Congress, from healthcare reform to financial regulation reform.  He won more than he lost, but one issue on which he lost spectacularly and has all but given up hope of victory was his quest to regulate the emissions of greenhouse gasses through a cap-and-trade system.  Republicans were unified in their opposition to what they called a job-killing cap-and-trade program and even many Democrats were skeptical; a bill never even came up for a vote.  So now the president has seemingly decided to keep on fighting but on a new battle field, as the Obama Environmental Protection Agency on January 2nd officially declared greenhouse gasses “subject to regulation” under the Clean Air Act.  Without comprehensive climate legislation from Congress the EPA is going it alone, which among other things means that new power plants and refineries will be forced to install technologies to curb their carbon emissions.  The strategy is sure to result in lengthy court battles—can President Obama get away with it?







2:06 – 2:30

Big Brother is watching you….but at least he’s offering an auto insurance discount

Most people are concerned about a loss of privacy for obvious reasons:  the vulnerability to identity theft, stalkers and intrusive government watchdogs.  But what if you were offered an incentive to sacrifice a little of that privacy—what if your auto insurance company said they would give you a discount on your premium, upwards of 30%, if you allowed them to put a wireless tracking device in your car?  Allstate insurance has launched a voluntary program that will ask its customers to do just that, tracking the behavior of drivers in exchange for an immediate 10% discount and further price breaks based on your driving habits.  DriveWise, which is what Allstate is calling its program, promises to only track factors used to calculate a driving score, including mileage, hard or extreme braking and speed.  While the program isn’t available in California yet, it could be soon and other insurance companies are following suit.  So would you let Big Brother be a backseat driver if you saved some money out of the deal?



Bill Melander, spokesperson, Allstate Corporation



  • He is the senior manager for corporate relations on the West Coast.
  • The Drive Wise program is not available in California yet.  There are a few more regulatory hurtles to jump through before they can offer the program to California drivers. 


David Lazarus, columnists at the Los Angeles Times



Frederick Lane, author of American Privacy: The 400-Year History of Our Most Contested Right





2:30 – 2:58:30

Are you making your technology work for you?

Stop using Internet Explorer—it’s bloated and slow; get a Smartphone—it’s worth the money to make your life easier; and get your music and photos OFF that laptop and into a cloud near you!  Those are just some words or wisdom from tech gurus looking out for advising consumers on how to better use technology to your advantage in the New Year.  Some of that advice is free, for example, try switching to an internet browser like GoogleChrome or Mozilla Firefox to save time and allow you to carry your bookmarked sites with you anywhere you go. Or get a discount on your cable, phone or internet service—simply by asking for one.  Following other advice might set you back a few bucks but may be worth it in the long run to maximize what you’ve already paid for—invest in a DVD that correctly calibrates your HDTV, buy extra charging cables to promote gadget longevity or back-up your data with an online back-up service subscription. 




David Pogue, tech columnist, The New York Times



Sam Grobart, columnist, The New York Times





Jonathan Serviss

Producer, Patt Morrison Program

Southern California Public Radio

NPR Affiliate for Los Angeles

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