Friday, August 19, 2011

Patt Morrison for Monday, August 22, 2011


Monday, August 22, 2011

1-3 p.m.






1:06 – 1:39





1:41:30 – 1:58:30

The balanced budget amendment: what could be wrong about requiring a balanced federal budget?

On the surface it seems so logical that it’s not even worthy of a debate:  of course the federal government should be constitutionally required to balance its budget each year.  As with most things in Washington, it’s not always that easy.  The balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution has been discussed for decades but in this age of austerity and serious discussion about cutting and eventually eliminating annual budget deficits, the amendment looks more attractive than ever.  Republicans realize this and plan on making the balanced budget amendment a key part of their policy push when Congress reconvenes in September.  The idea behind the amendment is simple:  require that Congress and the president pass a budget that does not spend more than it takes in, hence keeping it balanced.  The process is far from simple, requiring a two-thirds majority in both chambers of Congress as well as the approval of three-quarters of the states for the amendment to be placed onto the Constitution.  The details and impacts of a balanced budget amendment become even more complex:  the Republican version of the amendment contains a provision that requires a super-majority in Congress to raise taxes; Democrats argue that the amendment would so badly hamstring actions of the government that it could affect the country’s ability to fight a war, respond to natural disasters or implement drastic measures in the face of a deep economic crisis.  We talk to the architect of the amendment in the House of Representatives and ask what could be wrong about requiring a balanced budget.



Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Virginia’s 6th District; member of the House Judiciary Committee; author of H.J. Res 1, a three-part balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution





2:06 – 2:19

7 economic statements: fact or fiction—what’s your opinion?

Comment with your opinion on any or all of the following seven economic statements:

1. Taxes have been going up and are high compared to other countries.

2. The stimulus was a failure.

3. The stimulus should have been bigger.

4. The stimulus will have no lasting legacy.
5. The stimulus was all projects.
6. The stimulus has been full of fraud, waste and abuse.
7. Infrastructure is the answer for unemployment.


ProPublica’s Michael Grabell joins us to separate myth from truth. Will you agree with him?



Michael Grabell, reporter covering the stimulus for ProPublica




2:21:30 – 2:39

A secret history of guns

“A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” That constitutional phrase has fueled one of the biggest controversies in modern America. The complexities of the contemporary gun control debate are well known, but the historical origins are less so. The Founding Fathers denied gun ownership to freedmen, slaves and those unwilling to swear loyalty to the Revolution; the post-Civil War South prohibited all blacks from wielding guns with its racist “Black Codes;” and in 1967, California passed the Mulford Act restricting gun ownership after the Black Panthers’ harshly-criticized armed protest at the state Capitol. Before 1977, the National Rifle Association even supported federal gun regulations, most notably after Harvey Lee Oswald fatally shot Kennedy with a gun purchased by mail-order through the organization’s American Rifleman magazine. Does the nation’s history of gun control show its frequent use as a tool of oppression? And how have more extreme attitudes about gun rights gained prominence since the 70s?



Adam Winkler, constitutional law professor at UCLA; author of Gunfight: The Battle Over the Right to Bear Arms in America; he writes for The Huffington Post & Daily Beast


  • Supreme Court’s 2008 ruling in District of Columbia v. Heller held that the Constitution gives an individual the right to possess a gun, lower courts have consistently referred to Justice Antonin Scalia’s exemptions of this right when it comes to the mentally-ill, felons, and firearms’ possession in “sensitive places” like schools and government buildings.




2:41:30 – 2:58:30

Is there a market for healthy fast food? New chain looks to end greasy stereotype

Everyone says they want to eat healthier but when it comes down to it the temptations of cheap, fast, and let’s face it, delicious foods usually prove too great to resist.  After all, one of the guilty pleasures of eating fast food is knowing that what tastes so good is really so bad for you.  So the marketing idea behind the start-up restaurant chain “LYFE Kitchen,” with its first store opening in Palo Alto this summer, might seem like a bit of a stretch:  fast food that tastes great and is good for you.  LYFE will offer fast food with no genetically modified ingredients, no additives, nothing processed and everything under 600 calories.  There will be no butter, cream, high fructose corn syrup or fried foods and very little salt.  If you’re looking for a side of fries with your grass-fed, organic, lean beef (or veggie) hamburger you’ve come to the wrong place; instead you’ll have the options of oven-baked sweet potato fries, roasted beets, roasted Brussels sprouts, roasted potatoes, seasonal fresh fruit or an ancient grains bowl.  To boost its fast food credentials, the LYFE restaurants will come complete with drive-through windows.  While the new LYFE Kitchen is on one extreme end of the spectrum, the old fashion, gleefully unhealthy fast food chains are taking note of the new health craze.  Last week Burger King announced that it was ditching its “King character” themed marketing and producing new commercials that focused on fresh, healthy ingredients.  Is there really a market for healthy fast food? 



Mike Donahue, chief communication officer & spokesperson for LYFE Kitchen



Nancy Luna, author of “The Fast Food Maven” blog at the and a staff writer at the Orange County Register




Jonathan Serviss
Senior Producer, Patt Morrison
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