Tuesday, February 28, 2012
CALL-IN @ 866-893-5722, 866-893-KPCC; OR JOIN THE CONVERSATION ONLINE ON THE PATT MORRISON BLOG AT KPCC-DOT-ORG
1:06 - 1:30
1:30 - 1:39
Romney and Santorum battle for a crucial contest in Michigan
Today (TUESDAY), voters in Arizona and Michigan go to the polls to pick their favorite candidate in the ongoing Republican primary season. The two frontrunners, Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney, are essentially neck-and-neck on the day of the latest primary elections, but voters in Michigan will be making a crucial decision that may set the stage for next week's Super Tuesday contests. Romney was raised in Michigan - where his father was a three term governor - and his campaign has faced a surge from Santorum over the last several weeks. The latest polls for the two leading presidential hopefuls are split with each candidate holding between roughly 35 and 38 percent, with both Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul polling behind - each hovering just below ten percent. Losing his home state to the former Senator from Pennsylvania could be a decisive blow to Romney's campaign. And even if he does win, the margin of victory could be an important indicator of Romney's viability. Republican sentiment for the former governor of Massachusetts has been tepid at times and the polls have seen the rise and eventual fall of several challengers as conservatives try and decide which candidate best represents the soul of the Republican Party. Is Santorum too conservative to face President Obama in a general election? Is Romney not conservative enough? How can the candidate that wins Michigan carry their momentum into Super Tuesday?
Lisa Lerer, political reporter for Bloomberg
1:41:30 - 1:58:30
How corrupt is Los Angeles?
Is Los Angeles one of the most corrupt regions in the country? When you think of corruption in politics, Chicago might come to mind, and according to a new study from the University of Illinois that ranked the Windy City as most corrupt, that stereotype may be true. More surprising, perhaps, was the "most corrupt" study's second runner-up is Los Angeles. The study looked at federal convictions of politicians for extortion, bribery, conflicts of interest and election crimes involving elected officials, government workers and private citizens. Researcher and Professor Dick Simpson and his colleagues note that L.A.'s high ranking has a lot to do with the wide swath of population incorporated into the assessment - the study included not just L.A. County, but also Riverside, Orange, Ventura, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo and San Bernardino Counties. So, with 1,275 federal convictions since 1976, Patt reviews corruption in the City of Angels. How surprised are you, if at all, to hear that Los Angeles is ranked the second most corrupt region in the U.S.? What can be done to hamper corruption among government officials?
Bill Boyarsky, author and journalist; former senior consultant at the Center for Governmental Studies in LA and a lecturer at USC
2:06 - 2:39
Tween girls ask Youtube viewers "Am I pretty?"
Everybody likes a compliment. But in one of the most disturbing internet trends yet, young girls, 11 to 13, are asking for compliments - or slams - via YouTube. The homemade clips show girls staring into the camera, asking "Am I pretty...or ugly?" Not surprisingly, strangers are all too willing to weigh in. Responses range from reassuring, feel-good messages like, "you're beautiful just the way you are," to creepier comments like "smoking hot!," "u r a whore" or "call me, cutie, here's my cell phone #." Teenagers have always been self-conscious, but the ease of broadcasting your flaws and insecurities across the internet has taken things to a whole new level. While most of the videos are merely heartbreaking, some cross the line to provocative and possibly dangerous. Parents who've learned of their children posting these videos express surprise, shock and horror - but should they be taking responsibility? Youtube has age limits for posting, but who's minding the store? What do these videos tell us about teen self-esteem and body image? Has self-absorption gone too far?
2:41:30 - 2:58:30
Could dwindling resources instigate a socioeconomic war across America?
What will happen when America's already limited resources are depleted to extremely scarce levels? Will everyday social services such as police protection and social security completely breakdown? Author Thomas Byrne Edsall investigates the answers to these questions in his book "The Age of Austerity: How Scarcity Will Remake American Politics." Edsall cites grinding disputes between Republicans and Democrats about major issues such as long-term deficit reduction, cuts in defense spending, and Medicare/Medicaid funding as indicators that dog-eat-dog politics will inevitably intensify and potentially cripple our society. The political journalist asserts that unless radical changes are made to the American socioeconomic infrastructure, the U.S. is headed toward a downward spiral of stagnation and utter dysfunction. Are Americans prepared to effectively slow down or compromise their consumption of resources? How closely should our government monitor and control the use of resources in the U.S.? Are Americans too divided when it comes to determining how to best spend resources as a nation?
Thomas B. Edsall, author, "The Age of Austerity: How Scarcity Will Remake American Politics;" holds the Pulitzer Moore Chair at the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism; weekly online political columnist for the "New York Times;"covered national politics for "The Washington Post" for 25 years, from 1981 to 2006.