AirTalk for March 8, 2010

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Best and worst of Oscar night 2010

James Cameron may be sitting on a pile of gold, but the shiny statuettes eluded him. Oscar year 2010 celebrated not Avatar, but a small war film, The Hurt Locker, which took home the Academy Awards for Best Picture and Best Director, making Kathryn Bigelow the first woman to ever win in that category. Meanwhile in the acting categories, Jeff Bridges (finally) nabbed one of the golden boys, Sandra Bullock was a first time winner, too, and Christoph Waltz and Mo’Nique won for their supporting performances. Who were the best and worst dressed—and behaved? Is the expanded Best Picture field here to stay? Larry Mantle hosts the Oscars morning-after show.
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In 2006, California passed the nation's most comprehensive climate legislation with Assembly Bill 32, which required cutting greenhouse gas emissions 25 percent by 2020. The bill included a provision allowing for its suspension if the state faced economic hardship. Now some lawmakers say that the time has come, arguing that AB 32 stands in the way of economic recovery. The Republican-sponsored proposal, formerly called the California Jobs Initiative, is gathering signatures to make the November ballot. If passed, it would delay implementation of AB 32 until the state's unemployment rate, now at 12.5 percent, drops to 4.8 percent or 5.5 percent for one year. Would lifting emissions caps allow for job creation?
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Miltary grapples with "don't ask, don't tell"

It was a big part of President Obama’s campaign; he vowed again in his first State of the Union to end “don’t ask, don’t tell,” the popular term for the military’s current ban against gays serving openly in the military. Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has announced his tacit support for ending the ban. But other high ranking military officers, including four other members of the Joint Chiefs, remain opposed. Secretary Gates has ordered a comprehensive study of the policy, although the ultimate decision comes down to Congress. What’s the best way forward for a military already strained by two wars? And would a lift of the ban really damage unit cohesion and recruitment efforts, as supporters of the ban fear?
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Frozen in time

Forget those social studies textbooks filled with dry descriptions of tools and soil samples—author Brian Fagan’s chronicle Cro Magnon reveals the urgency and danger of early human society. Could battling traffic on the 405 and hunting wooly mammoths be any more different—or alike? What do ice age people and modern humans have in common? Is there anything special about homo sapiens society? What about our ability to think and feel? Larry Mantle journeys to the ice age with Brian Fagan.
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