California’s legislative leaders are trying to revive a $35 billion public works plan for the construction and improvement of schools, levees, housing and roads. The new proposal is more modest than the $68 billion plan proposed by the Governor in January and smaller than the $49 billion plan that fell apart in March amid disagreements over how much dept the State could assume. Larry Mantle talks about the new development with Los Angeles Times Deputy Sacramento Bureau Chief Dan Morain and Cal State University Political Science Professor Rafe Sonenshein.
The Senate Education Committee passed a bill Wednesday that would require textbooks and other social science materials to discuss the contributions that gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people have made to the state and nation's history. Larry talks with the bill’s author, State Senator Sheila Kuehl, about the legislation that also prohibits textbooks from criticizing people because of their sexual orientation.
A new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association concluded that middle-aged residents of England are in much better health than their counterparts in the United States. The study surveyed large groups of white Americans and English ages 55 to 64. The prevalence of diabetes was found to be twice as high in Americans. Heart disease was found at a 50% higher rate. Researchers also looked at blood pressure, stroke, cancer and lung disease – all of these diseases were found to be less prevalent in English participants. In addition, the health of Americans with the highest income and education levels had disease rates similar to those with the lowest income and education levels in England. The results surprised researchers, especially because healthcare expenditures are much higher in the United States than in England. According the World Health Organization, the U.S. population is less healthy than many other industrialized nations, ranking behind about two dozen other countries. Larry Mantle talks with study co-author Jim Smith of the RAND Corporation.
In his new book Robert Blair Kaiser focuses on six cardinals, including Joseph Ratzinger, whose views reflect the spectrum of opinion in the church today. Larry talks with Kaiser about why he feels the current pope’s ascendance was assured, what it portends for the future, and the current crisis in the Catholic Church.