The Madeleine Brand Show for June 27, 2011

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The U.S. Supreme Court handed down a 7-2 decision striking down a California ban on selling violent video games to minors. They said the states could not restrict the sale of games because they fall under protected free speech under the First Amendment. Writing for the majority, Justice Antonin Scalia said, California is "unprecedented and mistaken. This country has no tradition of specially restricting children’s access to depictions of violence." Dahlia Lithwick, legal editor at, joins us to discuss the ruling.
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Does guilt make you a better parent?

Worry and guilt may seem like a one-way trip to therapy for your child, but Teresa Strasser says her guilt about being a working mother motivates her to be a better parent. Strasser is the author of "Exploiting My Baby: Because It's Exploiting Me" and she joined Madeleine to confess her parental guilt.
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Dodgers owner Frank McCourt files for bankruptcy

Dodger owner Frank McCourt filed for bankruptcy this morning, as he is unable to cover the payroll that comes at the weeks end. The filing may keep the Dodgers from being taken over by Bud Selig, the commissioner of Major league baseball, who can seize the team if McCourt fails to pay the bills. Madeleine is joined by reporter Molly Knight, who covers the Dodgers for ESPN Magazine.
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LulzSec disbands - will others take their place?

Just last week, hacker group LulzSec was threatening to go after high profile government and business targets. Now they've announced they're through. The merry hackers announced they've disbanded over the weekend. Are the authorities getting close to catching them? Could they just not handle the heat? Before they left however, they set forth what is called the "AntiSec" movement, encouraging fellow hackers to release private information to the masses. Can the movement survive without LulzSec? Xeni Jardin, editor at joins Madeleine to discuss.

State cuts funds to program that helps teen parents

This week, California will see the end of a statewide welfare program designed to help teen parents. Counties are scrambling to get ready, especially in the Central Valley, where teen pregnancy rates are much higher than the statewide average. Sasha Khoka from The California Report explains.
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LAUSD limits the weight of homework on grades

As of July 1, the Los Angeles Unified School District will change its homework policy so that it can make up only 10 percent of student grades. The district says that students should be assessed by what they learn as measured by testing, not whether they have finished all of their homework. The district made the move, in part, because many students in the district don't have a lot of supervision at home and should not be penalized for that. But will the new policy encourage students to slack off? Madeleine talks to Duke University professor of education, Harris Cooper.
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Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann made it official today: she's throwing her hat into the ring for the 2012 GOP Presidential nomination. She's a Tea Party favorite, but how well will Bachmann play with other conservatives? We turn to Mike Mulcahy, political editor for Minnesota Public Radio. He's been following Bachmann's career since her time in the Minnesota state legislature, where she served until her election to Congress in 2006.
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