Thursday, February 9, 2012

Patt Morrison for Thursday, February 9, 2012


Thursday, February 9, 2012

1-3 p.m.






1:06 – 1:39: OPEN



1:41:30 – 1:58:30
Is a shorter NBA season a better NBA season?

The last time the National Basketball Association faced a lockout the resulting shortened 50-game ’98-’99 season led to a ratings slump that took the league years to bounce back from. Basketball experts were expecting a similar situation when this year’s season finally began on Christmas Day after another protracted labor dispute. But instead, the popularity of professional basketball is up significantly in the current compressed 66-game season, which is already nearly halfway to the playoffs. Hoops pundits have noted that stats are down - with loose cannon commentator Charles Barkley going so far as to say that the league should apologize for lackluster action on the court. But the ratings don’t lie; pro basketball viewership is up between 12 and 66 percent depending on the network. It seems that more games plus a shorter season equals happy fans and increased revenues in 2012. But it’s not all highlights on the hardwood – another result is a grueling schedule that finds elite athletes pushing their bodies harder… and a season that may favor younger teams with ample numbers of youthful players while teams built on older and more experienced players are facing injuries and losses. Certainly, the prospects for L.A.’s other white-hot basketball team, The Clippers, are looking uncertain after their veteran guard Chauncey Billups went down with a season-ending torn Achilles tendon on Monday night. Is a shorter but more physically taxing NBA season worth the bump in ratings? How can athletes compete at this strenuous level? Which team will best manage the onslaught and bring home a championship in June?

Guest: TBA


2:06 – 2:30

‘We the (won’t) People’: Study says the U.S. Constitution losing appeal worldwide

“We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty.” So begins the preamble to the United States Constitution, adopted in 1787, as the bedrock of American democracy and the oldest written national constitution still in use in the world. However, according to a new study, “The Declining Influence of the United States Constitution,” to be published in the New York University Law Review this June, the U.S. Constitution’s appeal as a model for constitutional drafters among the world’s democracies is dramatically declining. Co-authors David S. Law and Mila Versteeg, both law professors, analyzed 729 constitutions adopted by 188 countries from 1946 to 2006, considering more than 230 variables. They found that other countries, especially in the past decade, have become unlikely to model their own constitutions, including human rights provisions, on the U.S. Constitution, opposed to in the ‘60s and ‘70s. The study says the U.S. Constitution is becoming distant from the global mainstream in terms of not protecting entitlement to food, education and health care. According to the study, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms has been gaining more influence in constitution-making worldwide. Do you think the U.S. Constitution is out of step as a model for other constitutions? What does this study imply, or not, about broader political perceptions of the U.S.?



David S. Law, professor of law and political science at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, and co-author of the study “The Declining Influence of the United States Constitution,” published in the New York University Law Review this June


Eugene Volokh (VAH-luhk), professor and constitutional law expert at the UCLA School of Law



2:30 – 2:58:30
Wireless service providers lose $$$ on iPhones, is it time ditch the contracts?
Apple’s iPhone is the most profitable handheld device on the market, right? Wrong, at least for mobile service providers. The iPhone is unquestionably profitable for Apple, but the top three wireless carriers, Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint, are all taking notable earnings hits because of high subsidy fees they pay Apple to carry the white-hot device. For instance, Sprint, the latest service provider to offer the iPhone, sells the device to customers for $99 or $199, but it pays Apple up to $600 per unit. All smartphones are subsidized, but the iPhone fee is the highest in the industry. Is it time to untangle phones from service contracts? It would give consumers the freedom to roam without being locked into a two-year contact and the wireless service providers the opportunity to charge market value for the phones they sell. Are you ready to buy your next iPhone without a pesky contract, but at a higher price?



David Lazarus, business columnists at the Los Angeles Times



Representative from CTIA-The Wireless Association®






Lauren Osen

Southern California Public Radio - 89.3 KPCC

626-583-5173 / 626-483-5278 @Patt_Morrison


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