AirTalk for August 30, 2010

Mercer 9974

Where in the world is Jerry Brown?

California gubernatorial candidates Jerry Brown and Meg Whitman are running neck and neck in this year’s election season. By the numbers Whitman should be far ahead, but Brown had held the line in the face of torrential spending by the Whitman campaign, which has already spent $104 million of her own money in the last year. Brown hasn’t been terribly visible as of yet and Democrats are growing impatient for him to give them a reason to vote for him. Now that we’re closing in on Labor Day and the traditional start of the election season, has Jerry Brown been employing the rope-a-dope strategy to stretch his campaign coffers, or is he relying on his California political legacy to put him back in the governor’s mansion for a 2nd term? What is his strategy and will it work?
Mercer 9951
The state Assembly has already approved a ban on single-use plastic bags, and the Senate is due to vote on a similar measure Monday or Tuesday. Governor Schwarzenegger supports the ban, but the American Chemistry Council has mounted a media campaign to defeat it. The bill the Senate will vote on, AB 1998, would levy a five-cent surcharge per paper bag, and allows plastic bag recycling to continue in supermarkets. Should we ditch the plastic?
Mercer 9975
James DePreist, who led the Oregon Symphony for more than 20 years, has been named artistic advisor for the Pasadena Symphony’s upcoming season and will conduct the orchestra in its first two concerts at its new home, the Ambassador Auditorium. Next summer, award-winning composer Marvin Hamlisch will serve as conductor of the Pasadena Pops. DePriest and Hamlisch arrive at an economically challenging time for the Symphony and Pops, following the tumultuous merger of the once-separate organizations which resulted in the ousting of administrators and the departure of the group's two conductors. How will the Symphony and Pops deal with their fund-raising challenges? And what are their new artistic directions?
Mercer 9949

Baseball divorce—batter up!

Frank and Jamie McCourt are getting divorced. Normally, that wouldn’t seem too relevant to sports fans. Yet, while most divorcing couples fight over who owns the car, the house, or the oak dining room table, the McCourts are fighting for ownership of the Los Angeles Dodgers. When the battle’s over, will enough cash remain to sign the best players? And will Mommy and Daddy get joint custody? The drama begins—with the baseball season hanging in the balance—at the courthouse.
Mercer 9950

In Praise of Adoption

There are 1.5 million adopted children in the United States and 58 percent of Americans know someone who has been adopted, has adopted a child, or has relinquished a child for adoption. Scott Simon, host of NPR’s “Weekend Edition” joins Larry Mantle to tell the story of how he and his wife Caroline found true love with two tiny strangers from China. Adopting daughters from China led Scott to decry the country’s one-child policy as a human rights crime against women. How are inter-racial and international adoptions transforming American families and why are these types of adoption, which account for less than 10 percent of adoptions, getting so much attention in the press?
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