The Madeleine Brand Show for December 1, 2010

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Unemployment benefits will expire for some two million Americans this month if Congress fails to act. Some economists warn that could seriously dampen hopes for an economic turn-around, while big business is arguing that "uncertainty" is the reason they're not hiring or investing in new projects. How uncertain are businesses? Or are small businesses simply concerned about a lack of demand? LA Times columnist Michael Hiltzik questions the uncertainty argument in his column running in today's paper.
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Could new food safety legislation save your life?

The Senate did get something done yesterday... it passed a landmark food safety bill. Described as one of the biggest overhauls of food safety laws since the 1930's, the bill gives the FDA power to recall contaminated food. Eric Schlosser, author of "Fast Food Nation" and co-producer of "Food Inc.", joins us to discuss the new legislation.
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FX's show Terriers has received rave reviews from television critics but viewers are not tuning in. Tonight is the season finale and may well be the series finale as well. The show stars Donal Logue and Michael Raymond James. They call themselves private detectives and work in Ocean Beach. Executive Producer Shawn Ryan, who created the hit cop show, The Shield, tells us why he's drawn to morally ambiguous characters.
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LA police union wants the city to stop hiring cops

In a surprising move, the union that represent Los Angeles police officers want the city to stop hiring officers. Instead of adding jobs, Police Protective League President Paul Weber wants overtime pay restored. LAPD Chief Charlie Beck and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa don't agree. KPCC's own Frank Stoltze joins us with the story.
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Big business in WikiLeaks crosshairs

Big business, you're next. That's the message coming from Wikileaks founder Julian Assange. Assange relayed that message in an interview he gave to Forbes magazine in mid November. He told Forbes he is planning to release tens of thousands of documents from a major American bank in the coming weeks. Andy Greenberg conducted the interview with Assange and he's here now.
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Spider-Man gets tangled. A play based on the popular comic is on track to be the most expensive musical of all time. Why are they covering theater? Because the play was a technical nightmare. Mishaps and an hour long intermission resulted in an audience jeer that the Lion King director's production was not ready for showtime. Speaking of booing, Lebron's reception in Cleveland may be less than warm. And researchers figure out what the most boring day of the century was. Today certainly isn't the most boring day ever, because Brendan Francis Newnam and Ricco Gagliano from the Dinner Party Download join Madeleine for our weekly look at what's going on in the zeitgeist.
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