AirTalk for September 20, 2011

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Yesterday President Barack Obama laid out his plan to curb the nation’s deficits and get the country back on a more fiscally responsible track. He proposed tax reforms - repeatedly stating that wealthier American must pay their fair share. But he also proposed large cuts to Medicare and Medicaid. Under the president’s plan elderly homebound patients would pay co-pays for their in-home services and Medicare recipients would pay higher premiums and deductibles. Drug companies, states and some hospitals would all see their payments slashed in an effort to trim about $320 billion dollars from the system over the next 10 years. Republicans aren’t really slamming the Medicare/Medicaid part of the plan, instead focusing on the president’s tax increases for the wealthy. Meanwhile, democrats have lauded the tax reforms while decrying the entitlement cuts as a serious threat to society. As the proposed changes to Medicare and Medicaid come into focus, how exactly will the cuts affect the poor and the elderly? Some of the dollars that will be saved by spending cuts will be redirected as increased payments to doctors. Will that incentivize doctors to treat indigent patients? Who are the winners and loser under the presidents’ plan and how will the politics of this play out.
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Michael Moore gets personal with a new memoir

Writer and documentarian Michael Moore has always told stories from his point of view, but in his newest book he puts politics aside (sort of) and gets personal. In “Here Comes Trouble” Moore presents a series of autobiographical moments that shaped his life and informed his world view. He writes about being elected to the school board in Michigan at 18, the youngest person ever to hold elected office, and about leaving home to join the seminary at 14 in an attempt to become the world’s first “superhero priest.” He also describes his least favorite run-ins with conservative members of the media, and shares a heart wrenching story about a close friend’s botched abortion in 1971. We’ll find out why Moore felt like this was the right time for a memoir and what this book means to him. We’ll also get an update on what’s next for Michael Moore. Is there a new muck-raking doc in the works?
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Pretty pays but does ugly deserve protected status?

The better looking you are the more likely it is that you’ll move up at your job, the more money you’ll make and the more attractive and wealthy your spouse will be. A new book by economist Daniel Hamermesh makes the case that how a person looks greatly impacts every aspect of their lives and being beautiful gives people a leg up on the competition in everything from jobs to getting good terms on a loan application.
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The Hollywood sign a tourist-free zone?

While City Councilman Tom LaBonge hopes to keep the famous Hollywood sign welcome to curious outsiders, some reluctant residents fear the tourists who come to view it cause safety issues and want them directed elsewhere. LaBonge and fellow councilman Eric Garcetti are hosting a community meeting today to discuss it all.
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Now in its 43rd year, the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra begins its 2011-2012 season with customary flair and innovation. Two adventurous West Coast premieres are on the program, to be conducted by Music Director Jeffrey Kahane: Osvaldo Golijov’s richly orchestrated Siderious, based on the writings of Galileo after he observed the moon through a telescope for the first time, and Ritornello, by LACO’s composer-in-residence Derek Bermel. The latter piece, heavily inspired by prog-rock band King Crimson, pairs electric guitar with orchestra, and features virtuoso electric guitar player Wiek Hijmans as guest soloist. In addition, Kahane performs one of Beethoven’s solo piano concertos and conducts Mozart’s Overture to The Magic Flute, a piece that marked his first season with the orchestra fifteen years ago. Kahane, who has just extended his contract with the orchestra for two more years, is world-renowned for his versatility and mastery of a diverse repertoire that ranges from Bach and Mozart to Gershwin, Golijov and John Adams. He joins Larry to discuss the other exciting programs ahead this season for LACO, as well as his plans for the next two seasons.
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