Patt Morrison for September 20, 2010

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Even if you believe the conclusion by the Business Cycle Dating Committee of the National Bureau of Economic Research, the official arbiter of the beginnings and endings of recessions, that our current recession ended in June of 2009, it would make this downturn the longest since World War II. But clearly it’s hard to accept that the recession ended a year ago, with unemployment in Los Angeles County sticking at 13%, with home foreclosures continuing at a heightened pace and with more Americans losing their healthcare coverage. While the NBER declared that the recession has been over for more than a year they were still pessimistic, concluding that economic conditions since June of ’09 have not been favorable and that the economy had not returned to operating at “a normal capacity.” Does a declaration of the end of a recession, that the majority of Americans would say is still going strong, amount to anything more than a cruel irony, or is this a greater indication of a continuing disconnect between the stewards of the economy and average people who are still suffering?
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While Tea Partiers are darlings of the political press in the last few months, racking up several impressive wins in Senate, House & gubernatorial primary elections, just two years ago it was liberal progressives that were on the march. Emboldened by the end of George W. Bush’s term and the historic opportunity put a left-leaning, African American president in the White House, progressives turned out in droves and produced a solid Democratic majority in Congress. What a difference two years makes: with 2008 a distant memory, the Tea Party is now the movement of the moment, taking their small government, socially conservative ideals into the mainstream and crowding out disheartened progressives in the process. While 2010 looks like it belongs to the Tea Party there is sure to be an epic clash between these two movements in 2012. We get a glimpse of what sets progressives apart from Tea Partiers, and what policy battles they will fight from now until the next presidential election.
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How do you get a loan modification? What does that really mean, anyway? ProPublica posed the question to 718 homeowners and came up with simple tips, including: don't do it alone - seek help from organizations, stay organized, and finally, don't give up! So you've heard other homeowners' tips for staying afloat in the loan modification world... what are yours? Patt and an expert from Housing and Economic Rights Advocates are ready to take your 411 call.
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Neil Sedaka: the man, the voice and a children’s CD

Where would pop music and rock n’ roll be without Neil Sedaka? Well, it would mean many musicians would never have reached the Top 40 without the lyrics he penned. At the ripe age of 16, Sedaka published his first song and both Sedaka and close friend Howard Greenfield eventually became the go-to songwriters of the 50s and 60s. While his most famous songs have topped the charts, the changing environment of music and record labels in the 80s welcomed Sedaka with unopened arms. But in the past 10 years, Sedaka has seen much success and recently published a children’s CD and book Waking Up Is Hard to Do, based off his famous song Breaking Up Is Hard To Do. Patt talks with the singer-songwriter about his illustrious musical career and what’s ahead for pop music.
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