AirTalk for April 8, 2011

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The government is just hours away from grinding to a halt and there’s still no budget deal in sight. What’s happening in Washington right now? Are democrats and republicans hunkering down and hammering out a deal or are both sides pulling back and hoping the other gets blamed when the government has to shut it’s doors and turn out the lights? And how did we get this close to a shutdown when everyone insists it’s something they don’t want? We’ll take the pulse of Washington to get a sense of how close we are to a deal or shutdown and find out just what the real sticking points are.
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On the surface, the budget battle in D.C. is about spending cuts. But the single remaining sticking point, which might ultimately lead to a government shutdown at midnight tonight, is the policy on funding for Planned Parenthood. The total federal budget is $3,820,000,000,000. The funding for Planned Parenthood amounts to a mere $75 million. In other words, Dems and Republicans are arguing about a fraction of one percent of the overall budget. The funds in question can not, by law, be used for abortions, but many people say abortion is the real issue here. This leads us to wonder if it’s ever possible to have a reasonable discussion about abortion, or if this is one issue people simply can’t agree to disagree about. Why is the GOP targeting Planned Parenthood? Have the culture wars eclipsed the budget debate? Are Americans as divided on the issue of abortion as the activists and politicos would have us believe?
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Studies indicate that one in five teens between the age of 13 and 19 have texted, emailed or posted digital nude pics of themselves. One could argue this is just natural, sexual exploration 2.0. But “sexting” could lead to federal child pornography charges and sex offender registration for the nation’s youth. It can also be devastating to the teens involved, when nude photos go viral. States have been struggling with how to deal with sexting between minors. Now, California has proposed a bill that would allow courts to order teens to pay a fine up to $1,000 and undergo counseling, with the costs to be borne by the minor’s parents. AB 321 passed a unanimous, bipartisan vote in the Assembly Public Safety Committee on Tuesday. Is this a positive, lenient approach to dealing with the problem of sexting? Or an intrusion on First Amendment rights that could sweep more children into the court system?
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KPCC film critics Wade Major and Tim Cogshell join Larry to review the week’s new film releases including Arthur, Your Highness, Hanna, Soul Surfer, Circo and more. Plus, we’ll find out about the big hits at the Bermuda International Film Festival, which just wrapped. TGI-FilmWeek!
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The influence of Arthur Penn

Director Arthur Penn is perhaps best known for Bonnie and Clyde and Alice’s Restaurant – a pair films that deftly tapped into the zeitgeist of late 60s counterculture. But Penn’s career spanned Broadway, Hollywood and the Golden Age of television - influencing pop culture in ways still felt today. After becoming interested in cinema while serving in the army during World War II, Penn returned to New York and built a reputation as a stage and television director. Penn’s stage version of Helen Keller’s life, The Miracle Worker won four Tony Awards before he adapted it as a feature film - which then went on to win a pair of Academy Awards for its leads, Anne Bancroft and Patty Duke. His other films include the Left Handed Gun with Paul Newman, Little Big Man with Dustin Hoffman and Night Moves. Author Nat Segaloff’s new book, Arthur Penn: American Director tells the story of Penn’s unique and influential life in reverential detail. Which of Arthur Penn’s films resonates most in modern cinema?
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