The Madeleine Brand Show for December 22, 2011

Mercer 19705

Anti-tax advocate Grover Norquist on Congressional gridlock

Nine days from now payroll taxes will go up and unemployment benefits will end if Congress doesn't act. So far, an agreement seems unlikely. House Speaker John Boehner is refusing to back down on his rejection of the Senate bill despite mounting criticism from members of his own party. Some argue that if the payroll tax credit isn't extended it is effectively the same as raising taxes on Americans, something most GOP politicians have pledged never to do. Grover Norquist was one of the driving forces behind the anti-tax pledge and he joins us live.

Holiday theatre with a UK twist - Panto comes to LA

How many theatre productions have you attended that actively encouraged cheering, booing and heckling? Probably none. But that's exactly what people are expected to do at a pantomime. 'Panto' is a British Christmas tradition for children that features men dressed as women, lots of singing and dancing and even the odd horse. Yes, really. Intrigued? The curious and the brave can now experience 'panto' in Los Angeles, but there are rules. KPCC's Joanne Griffith has the scoop with 'Panto 101.'
Job Fair

Out of work, worrying about the end of unemployment checks

During the first week of January, 646,700 people will lose federal unemployment if Congress doesn't act on an extension. Bonnie Ornitz lost her IT job at IBM in June and her unemployment is set to run out the first week in January. She has a house she's worried about losing in Granada Hills, Calif. and she's worried she may have to move out of state to find a job. Bonnie explains what life has been like joining the 13 million American who are unemployed.
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo - World Premiere

The big business behind The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo film franchise

You'd have to be frozen under a Swedish snow bank to have missed all the promotion for the new "Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" movie. There are ads on TV, banners on websites and even cross promotions with stores like H&M. Sony Pictures, which is distributing the movie, is betting a lot on this film's success.
Report Reveals Motor Vehicle Gadgets Cause Accidents

Cell phones in cars and online poker in Nevada: tech news with John Moe

John Moe, host of the Marketplace Tech Report joins us every Thursday. This week he'll talk about Nevada officials voting on whether or not to allow betting for online poker. If the state's gambling regulators decide to legalize it, Nevada will become first state to grant Internet poker licenses. He'll also discuss the recent announcement from Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood that his department doesn't support a ban of all phone use in cars. Good news for distracted drivers, bad news for anyone near those distracted drivers.

Fans flock to Morrissey Karaoke in Boyle Heights

It's been over 20 years since the influential indie band, the Smiths, broke up. But this British quartet still has a thriving fan base. In fact their lead singer, known simply as Morrissey, has a cult like following in Los Angeles among many young Latinos. Now, the Boyle Heights bar East Side Luv has devised a way for those fans to not only love Morrissey, but to be Morrissey… sort of. It's called MorrisseyOke; karaoke to songs by Morrissey and the Smiths.
Los Angeles Clippers v Los Angeles Lakers

Sklar sports: NBA back for Christmas, Bonds gets 30 days, Hawks in toll booths

The Sklar brothers are down a twin this week, so Jason Sklar goes solo to break down the week in sports. He'll talk about the return of the NBA, the Atlanta Hawks’ PR stunt that involved big men in toll booths, Forbes’ list of the top-10 most hated NBA players as ranked by fans, and Barry Bonds’ conviction. After eight years of investigation for alleged steriod use, Bonds' gets 30 days of house arrest.
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