Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Patt Morrison for Thursday, September 1, 2011


Thursday, September 1, 2011

1-3 p.m.






1:06 – 1:39





1:41:30 – 1:58:30

Life in 9/12 America: has our public health system learned anything since 9/11, are we ready for a biological attack?



Jeanne Ringel, director of the Public Health Systems & Preparedness Initiative and a senior economist at RAND Health




2:06 – 2:30

Will 10,000 felons arriving in L.A. increase crime—or will rehabilitation decrease crime?

Come October 1, the 10,000 non-serious, non-violent, non-sex offender felons that will be transferred from state prison to Los Angeles County will begin to arrive. In response to the influx, Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley said Tuesday, “Public safety will be seriously jeopardized. We’re not kidding. There will be tens of thousands of people let out all over California, who would otherwise be incarcerated…. There will be a… dramatically spiking crime rate.” He made the comment at a meeting of the Board of L.A. County Supervisors, where the board postponed a vote on a plan to manage the felons. Sheriff Lee Baca, who oversees the county jails, says that with about 4,500 beds to spare, his jails likely won’t have room for the 7,000 to 9,000 inmates that are expected to arrive in the first year. For this reason, non-serious, non-violent, non-sex offender convicts, referred to as N3s, may be released early (already occurring in county jails) and new N3s will receive shorter sentences—a problem, Cooley says, because state prison time has served as deterrent.


In contrast, Donald Blevins, the L.A. County Chief Probation Officer, thinks he can lower crime by having the inmates supervised locally rather than by state parole officers. Blevins, who says, “It’s the combination of mental illness and addiction that leads mentally ill people to go to jail,” plans to move towards a rehabilitation approach with the convicts. Previously, parolees who fail drug tests over and over may have gone to prison; now, they could be sent to mental illness and drug rehab programs that Blevins is developing—an approach Cooley says is unrealistic. LAPD is bracing itself for this influx of felons and says it will electronically monitor parolees through ankle braces. Baca promises to provide every new inmate with an educational plan, in an effort to reduce recidivism. County supervisors have said they don’t have the projected $300 million this “inmate dumping” the state has put on them. Will crime increase when these felons arrive in L.A.? Or will rehabilitation and education work to decrease crime and recidivism? And how will Los Angeles pay to rehabilitate, educate, and incarcerate 10,000 more felons?



Steve Cooley, Los Angeles County District Attorney


Backup: 213-974-3528 Sandi


Donald Blevins, Chief Probation Officer, Los Angeles County Probation Department

CALL HIM: 562-940-2502

Backup: 562 315 3388 Carrie cell; 562-940-2501 Patty landline


Lee Baca, Los Angeles County Sheriff


Backup: 323-573-2387 Steve cell



Dr. Marvin Southard, Los Angeles County Mental Health Department Director




2:30 – 2:39





2:39 – 2:58:30

Is Marriage for White People?: How the African American Marriage Decline Affects Everyone

Should African American women marry more men who are not African American? In his book, Is Marriage for White People?, Ralph Banks says yes. Banks explains that in the past fifty years, African Americans have come to have the lowest marriage rates in the nation. One reason is that each year, for every two black women to graduate from college, only one black man graduates. This shortage of successful black men leads black women to marry less-educated and lower-earning men. And with successful black men in high demand, Banks argues, these men are less faithful. If, however, black women marry outside of their race, this could change—marriage rates would improve. Banks joins Patt to lay out his argument and hear your response.



Ralph Richard Banks, author of Is Marriage for White People?




Kathleen Miles

Patt Morrison Program - Winner of the 2007, 2009 & 2010 RTNA Golden Mike for best Radio News & Public Affairs program and The Nation's 2010 Most Valuable Radio Voice
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Subject: Patt Morrison for Wednesday, August 31, 2011



Wednesday, August 31, 2011

1-3 p.m.






1:06 – 1:18





1:23 – 1:39

The curious case of a tax increase that the GOP actually likes

For a party that has more-or-less staked its future and political reputation on a strident, universal opposition to tax increases it’s curious to note that the Republican-controlled House of Representatives might be on the verge of allowing one tax to increase.  The Social Security payroll tax was cut, from 6.2 percent down to 4.2, as part of President Obama’s stimulus law but that tax cut is due to run out at the end of this year.  The payroll taxes apply only to the first $106,800 of a worker’s wages, so the biggest benefit anyone can gain from the tax cut is roughly $2,100.  Since the great majority of Americans make less than $100,000 a year they pay more in this Social Security tax than they do in income taxes—in other words, the Social Security payroll tax cut helps the roughly 46 percent of all Americans who make so little money that they pay no federal income tax.  The tax cut needs Congressional approval to be extended past January 1, and while President Obama supports extending the cut it turns out that House Republicans are hesitant.  Rep. Jeb Hensarling, a Republican leader in the House and one of the twelve members on the budget-cutting Supercommittee has said about the payroll tax “not all tax relief is created equal for the purposes of helping to get the economy moving again.”  Republicans also worry that the payroll tax cut will cost the government about $120 billion a year in lost revenues, which strangely has never been a concern for them as they’ve championed income tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans.  Is there a justifiable reason to let a tax cut lapse for a segment of the population that pays little to no taxes or should a party’s anti-tax platform apply to every potential tax increase, no matter who it benefits?


James Fallows, national correspondent, The Atlantic Monthly and author of “The GOP Position on Taxes Gets Worse”


TBD Representative of the National Taxpayers Union





1:41:30 – 1:58:30

Life in 9/12 America: 10 years after 9/11 is airport security anything more than Kabuki?

In the immediate aftermath of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 it was hard to believe that 19 hijackers, armed with just box cutters, could overtake four airplanes at the same time.  But the plan of attack was so simple, and aimed at such a glaring vulnerability in the country’s national security chain that it worked brilliantly with ultimately tragic consequences.  The resulting rush to beef up airport security since 9/11 has left us with a brand new agency, the Transportation Security Administration, and several new search techniques and search technologies that have all come with very high costs.  It could be argued, and our guest from RAND does so, that it was actually a relatively inexpensive measure that has been chiefly responsible for the failure to repeat the catastrophic attacks of 9/11 using commercial airliners.  Tougher visa rules, especially from countries of origin that have histories of terrorist involvement (Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, etc.), have created a barrier for would-be attackers traveling to the U.S.  The enhanced pat-downs, the full body x-ray machines and even taking your shoes off in the security line may all play lesser roles in keeping airplanes safe than the simple increased vigilance of passengers since 9/11, who now realize that they are also responsible for their own safety.  It’s also worth pointing out that while airports have taken a universal approach to screening—everyone gets patted down, even grandmothers and infants—other vulnerable points of entry, such as harbors, employ only selective screening.  Have we truly learned our lesson about travel security since 9/11 and is there a better way to make airports safe?



Jack Riley, vice president & director of the RAND National Security Research Division

via ISDN




2:06 – 2:19

Does the emergency 911 system need help? 

For minutes, even hours, after the earthquake hit on the East Coast, residents in need of emergency assistance weren’t able to get through to 911 on their cells phones. That got the attention of the FCC. Officials at the agency say it’s a “serious concern” and will investigate what can be done to prevent it from happening again. The president of the CTIA, The Wireless Association, blamed the surge in calls for the problem. But isn’t a dramatic increase in calls to 911 to be expected after any emergency and shouldn’t the system be able to handle it?  What did perform well were social media outlets like Twitter and Facebook—40,000 Tweets in the first few minutes after the earthquake and 3 million mentions of “earthquake” on Facebook.  Is the current 911 system keeping up with technological advancements? These are questions being asked in emergency response circles and many, including the FCC, are pushing for the Next Generation 911 system. The new system will have the capacity and flexibility to include social media. So in the future it may be more effective to text for help than to call (at least from your cell phone).



James a Barnett Jr., retired rear admiral and chief of the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau at the FCC





2:21:30 – 2:58:30





Patt: We’re finished here, but the conversation continues on the Patt Morrison page at KPCC-dot-org and you can follow us on Twitter. You’re listening to 89.3 KPCC – Southern California Public Radio.







Jonathan Serviss
Senior Producer, Patt Morrison
Southern California Public Radio
NPR Affiliate for Los Angeles
89.3 KPCC-FM | 89.1 KUOR-FM | 90.3 KPCV-FM
626.583.5171, office
415.497.2131, mobile /


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