The Madeleine Brand Show for January 6, 2012

A jobs sign hangs above the entrance to
200,000 new jobs were created in December, according to the Labor Department. That means the national unemployment rate ticked down to 8 and 1/2 percent. Good news, but it still leaves more than 13 million Americans unemployed. Heidi Moore, New York bureau chief for Marketplace, has poured through the labor statistics and joins the show with details.
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Educators react to Governor Brown's new budget plan

If Governor Jerry Brown gets his way, education spending in the state will increase by about 5 billion dollars next year. Brown wants a temporary bump in the state sales tax, and an increase in income taxes for high income earners to help cover the cost. If voters don't approve those increases, schools will face cuts that exceed five billion dollars next year. LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy joins us to talk about how educators are reacting to the Governors proposed plan.
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10 years later - A look at No Child Left Behind

Sunday marks the anniversary of one of the biggest school reforms of recent years. Ten years ago this weekend President George Bush signed the No Child Left Behind Act into law. It delivered big changes to public school testing and standards. But it has polarized educators and activists across the country. President Obama is urging Congress to reauthorize it with few significant changes. KPCC's Adolfo Guzman-Lopez reports.
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Gabrielle Giffords, one year later

A year ago this weekend, U.S. Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was meeting with constituents at a Safeway in Tucson when suddenly, her world changed. A gunman opened fire. When the shooting stopped, six people were dead and 13 others were wounded. Giffords was one of the injured with a bullet wound to the head. Since then, she has been recovering her strength at a rehabilitation center in Houston. Arizona state representative Steve Farley joins us to talk about the past year for Giffords and Arizona.
Police Investigate After Human Remains Are Found At Sandringham Estate

Mystery corpse found at royal estate

In a plot twist worthy of Masterpiece Theatre, a royal dog walker discovered a body on the grounds of the Queen's estate at Sandringham, England, where the royal family spent the Christmas holidays. Joining us to fill us in on the details is ABC's Nick Watt, who has been following the story for "Good Morning America."
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The transatlantic appeal of the U.K.'s "Downton Abbey"

The season two premiere of Downton Abbey airs in the U.S. this weekend. The British costumed drama swept the Emmys last year and captured the imagination of the American public. The show tells the story of the Earl of Grantham and his family's scores of maidservants, butlers and valets. Sort of an Edwardian version of Dynasty... in tweed. Viv Groskop is the Downton Abbey correspondent for the Guardian newspaper. She joins us with some details about season two.
Suspect Arrested In Slew Of Los Angeles Arson Fires

How does a dollar a year salary work?

When the alleged Hollywood arsonist was arrested this past Monday, the man responsible was reserve Sheriff’s deputy Shervin Lalezary. A Beverly Hills based lawyer by day who—for all his hard work for LA County, makes just one dollar a year in compensation.  That got KPCC’s Kevin Ferguson wondering: how does that work?
Meghan McCarty brings us her roundup of weekend activities: First Fridays return to the Natural History Museum with Skeptic Magazine founder Michael Shermer and the East LA group Mariachi El Bronx. Plus the Japanese American National Museum holds the Oshogatsu new year festival and the Cinefamily screens the cult film, Battle Royale.

The Dinner Party: Bronies, Globetrotters and fat cars

The hosts of The Dinner Party, Brendan Francis Newnam and Rico Gagliano, join us for their weekly booster shot of cultural news. This week in history, the team that always loses to the Harlem Globetrotters actually won. Plus the unlikely fanboys of the My Little Pony TV show: Bronies. And despite advances in fuel efficiency, oil use hasn't gone down significantly because cars are actually getting heavier.
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