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Sacramento Limbo -- How Low Can They Go?

How much more can the governor and the legislature lop out of the budget, and where? Both the governor, in his speech to the Legislature, and Speaker Karen Bass, talking to me today, said they get buttonholed by people begging them to save their state funding. One 24-year-old woman, who’s had AIDS since she was six, testified that the proposed cuts coming down the pike mean she won’t get her meds — and she’ll die. A man testified that he wouldn’t receive dialysis any more, and he too would die. Republican state Sen. George Runner, for his part, told me that Californians will not tolerate a wave of early parolees across the state. Not only are there no good choices any more — looks like there are just about no choices, period.

More cheerily, we spent a good part of the second hour with three big-name producers: Bruce Cohen, Marshall Herskovitz and Gale Anne Hurd. As the weekend’s big sold-out conference on producing approaches, we got a free in-studio seminar on what producers do and what the the job, and Hollywood, will look like in the the face of the Internet, a dwindling market — or so some think — for smart, character-driven drama, and an overweening appetite for films that get created entirely to give someone an excuse to use special effects. One caller wanted to know why movies are so darned long — Gale Anne Hurd’s answer was that not many movies have long running times: they may just feel like it if you’re sitting in the audience.

Tomorrow, the prospects for President Obama’s trip to Egypt, from the viewpoint of a former Egyptian ambassador to the U.S.

— Patt Morrison

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