AirTalk for May 13, 2011

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California GOP leaders came out with a detailed budget yesterday, outlining their plan to dig the state out of its deep fiscal hole. Among the recommendations are enacting over $3 billion dollars in cuts proposed in Governor Brown’s budget, as well as big cuts to Medi-Cal and prisoner health programs. State republicans will also trim the state’s workforce and operating budget. The republicans rejected the idea that there’s no way to save school and law enforcement budgets without raising taxes. They’ve allocated billions to both. As promised there are no proposed tax increases which they claim they can balance the budget without. However, their numbers do depend on fairly high revenue projections, prompting democrats to wonder if they’re depending on a little pixie-dust to make major budget shortfalls disappear. Is the GOP budget feasible? Or, as State Treasurer Bill Lockyear says, will the state republicans need to hire Tinkerbell to make it work? Meanwhile a week of action from California teachers is ending today with big protests here in Los Angeles and at the capitol. We’ll find out what they have to say on the both the Republican and Democrat budget proposals. And given the state’s budget realities, what, if anything, can realistically be done to adequately fund our schools?
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Alcoholics Anonymous: what's in a name?

Certainly one of the main tenets of A.A. is its first-name-only policy. When it was created in small-town Ohio in the 1930s, alcoholism was a shame-filled label. Problem drinkers, it was reasoned, were more likely to seek help if they could do so discreetly. Now some influential A.A. members -- among the "quitterati" -- are coming out and pushing for openness. They argue that while anonymity protects, it also hides – creating prejudice and confusion. So is the privacy harmful or essential? Should A.A. remove anonymity from its set of traditions? Do you think alcoholism still carries a stigma? How could such a change impact members and people looking for help?
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FilmWeek: KPCC film critics Peter Rainer and Lael Loewenstein join Larry to review the week’s new film releases including Bridesmaids, The Big Bang, Everything Must Go, Hesher, Hey, Boo: Harper Lee and To Kill a Mockingbird and more. TGI-FilmWeek!
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James Gandolfini is best known for playing the likeable, sociopathic mob boss Tony Soprano for six seasons on HBO. But the actor has starred in numerous films in a wide variety of roles including Get Shorty, In the Loop, All the King’s Men and the just aired HBO movie Cinema Verite about the reality TV pioneers the Loud Family of San Diego. Now, Gandolfini is on stage at the Ahmanson in the Tony Award winning play God of Carnage written by French playwright Yasmina Reza and translated by Christopher Hampton. The funny, dark play stars Marcia Gay Harden, Hope Davis, Jeff Daniels and James Gandolfini. All four were in the New York production on Broadway, which was a huge success. The production is about two upscale Brooklyn couples who've met to talk through a physical encounter between their kids. The initially civilized conversation takes a hilarious and revealing turn. The usually media-shy Gandolfini joins Larry in-studio to talk about God of Carnage and the double-edged sword of playing an iconic character like Tony Soprano.
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