Patt Morrison for September 23, 2010

Mercer 10586
It’s a tactic with a proven track record—back in 1994 soon-to-be Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich fashioned a "Contract with America" that promised to push a conservative agenda if Republicans were elected back into the majority in Congress. It worked and gave the GOP control over Congress for the next 12 years, until a wave of anger against then President George W. Bush helped to oust Republicans in 2006. Four years later the GOP clearly senses blood in the water on the verge of midterm elections that could result in a route of staggering Democrats, and to help push the final sales pitch Republicans have once again presented a set of policy promises to American voters. This time around the "Pledge to America" pledges to, among other things, roll back federal spending to 2008 levels, replace President Obama’s health care reform bill with their own scaled down version, give small businesses a big tax deduction and direct more funding toward a missile defense system. Will the articulation of a conservative agenda for America be enough to push Republicans back over the top in Congress?
Mercer 10578
Whats you’re favorite chocolate desert? I love that restauraunt! If the previous statements didn’t anger you, than maybe a Typo Correction Kit is your ticket to proper grammer… uh, grammar. We see them everyday: misspelled words, unnecessary apostrophes, and verb confusion. While some typos may be small (Congradulations!), there are some that are just plain sad, such as the typo by a NASA programmer that resulted in the Mariner 1 plunging into the ocean, rather than traveling to Venus. Most people aren’t fazed by these errors, but to Jeff Deck and Benjamin Herson, these common typos are cause for great concern, prompting them to set out on a mission to find and correct these errors. The Great Typo Hunt chronicles their encounters with over four hundred errors and their attempts to right some two hundred wrongs, a quest that, in one instance, got them in trouble with the law. Why do we make these mistakes? Poor education, language barriers, or just plain old carelessness? And really, do we care enough to watch what we write? (FYI: all typos are intentional. Really.) *Jeff Deck and Benjamin D. Herson will be reading and signing their book tomorrow night at Vroman’s Bookstore at 7 p.m.
Mercer 10585
The venerable U.S. Postal Service has been under siege the last few years, reporting billions in losses while unable to make operational and financial decisions without congressional approval. With a customer base increasingly relying on the Internet to do business, e-mail replacing written correspondence, increased retiree benefit obligations, and the inability to make necessary changes in its operations, the USPS is trying to change the rules. Legislation being introduced today by Senator Tom Carper, a Democrat from Delaware, could soon end Saturday mail deliveries, close thousands of post offices, and open new ones in grocery stores. Over-payments to a federal employee retirement fund would also be recovered and used to provide health benefits for retired postal workers. And, if the bill passes, it would allow the shipment of beer and wine for the first time since before prohibition. So could you do without your Saturday mail, or are those few pieces only flyers and ads, that you toss in the bin without a thought?
Mercer 10584
A wide range of polls are turning up some interesting findings about the sexes in this election season, mainly that men are fighting-mad about the economy, while women are depressed and unenthusiastic. Pollsters are already projecting that that burning ball of fire in men’s guts will drive them to the polls come November, while women’s sense of hopelessness over current politics will keep them at home. Considering the age-old trope that men generally tend to vote Republican while their female counterparts favor Democrats, what could these numbers be foreshadowing for an election season already chalked up to be a referendum on incumbents? And will the men, a majority of who voted Democrat in 2008—the first time that’s happened since 1992, have a change of heart?
Mercer 10577
On September 29th KPCC will host the second and, ostensibly, final debate between Senate candidates Barbara Boxer and Carly Fiorina, hosted by Patt and La Opinión’s Gabriel Lerner. Since we can’t have a live audience in front of the candidates we want to hear from you now about what questions you would put to the Democrat Boxer and the Republican Fiorina. Immigration is a hot issue, but would you rather hear about a path to citizenship or border security? Which foreign affairs issue is the most pressing: managing the war in Afghanistan or containing a potentially nuclear Iran? Now is your chance to plant a few questions in the ears of our debaters and if you really blow us away your question could end up being presented to Boxer and/or Fiorina. It’s your turn to play moderator, give it your best shot!
Find an archived Episode: