Patt Morrison for March 4, 2010

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Education Secretary Arne Duncan announced today that he has not selected California as a finalist for $700 million—its proposed share in the first round of $4.35 billion in Race to the Top funds for public schools. That’s disappointing news, especially after state lawmakers amended and wrote laws—including linking teachers’ performance to their students’ test scores—to qualify for the money. Then again, it’s not surprising, considering less than half of school districts and teachers unions agreed to sign an agreement requiring them to abide by the reforms. Why wasn’t California selected and what hope is there now for reforming the Golden State’s not-so-golden apple? Patt gets some answers from some of Race to the Top’s biggest proponents and opponents in the state legislature.
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John Gardner looks like a mean guy, and his past only adds to his menacing reputation. Convicted of molesting a 13-year-old girl in 2000, Gardner served five years of a six-year sentence and was on GPS-monitored parole for three more years until 2008. After that point the sexual predator in him seems to have been let loose, as he now stands accused of the rape and murder of 17-year-old Chelsea King, another sexual assault of a 22-year-old woman and he is suspected of numerous other unsolved rapes and disappearances of young women. Could the sex offender monitoring process have worked any better to keep Gardener in line? Is a sex offender like Gardner even capable of being rehabilitated? We ask if there are any lessons to be learned from the tragic death of Chelsea King.
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Annette Bening in “The Female of the Species”

Patt talks with actress Annette Bening about her role in the farcical play “The Female of the Species,” currently running at the Geffen Playhouse.
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The LA Times conducted an investigation of the Los Angeles County Probation Department and discovered that roughly 170 employees have engaged in misconduct ranging from sexual abuse to excessive force. Yet despite their inappropriate action, the employees remain gainfully employed and have suffered no disciplinary action. Department officials confirm the abuses but claim they simply do not have the resources to take punitive action. The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors has ordered an independent investigation due to what one board member calls, “a failure to implement discipline across the board”.
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The end game finally appears to be here… or is it? In the on-going tug of war over health care reform, the President has given in on a few points demanded by the Republicans, and with his fellow Democrats, is ready to push reform through Congress using the parliamentary process of reconciliation, under which legislation takes only 51 votes to pass. So what kind of health care reform are we left with, assuming that the process of “reconciliation” works in Congress, and how poisoned will the political well be after the hostilities? Yesterday, we heard from the GOP; today we hear from the other side of the aisle.
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Broker, Trader, Lawyer, Spy

The firm Business Intelligence Advisors (BIA) is hiring active CIA employees to place as “deception detectors” in the private sector for places like Goldman Sachs, and SAC Capital Advisors. Are these moonlighting operatives sharing their top-secret CIA training in interrogation techniques, polygraph analysis, interviewing and more with the corporate world? Does this create a conflict of interest? Is anyone watching the ones trained to watch us? Patt talks with Eamon Javers author of, “Broker, Trader, Lawyer, Spy” about CIA agents peddling their skills for salary.
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