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President Obama on Terrorism, and Privatizing California Prisons

We interrupted this program to bring you President Obama's address about the preliminary findings about what happened on December 25 when a man packing explosives in his pants, a man who paid cash for his one-way ticket and checked no luggage, a man whose father had gone to the U.S. Embassy in Nigeria with his worries about his son's religious radicalism got on a plane and tried to blow it up.

Thankfully, he failed. But so did intelligence processes, which failed to connect the considerable number of dots showing this man to be a danger. The president is ordering changes both iin airport screening and within the intelligence systems -- at least 17 agencies have some hand in all of this, and that is the problem; one of my guests pointed out that knowledge is power, and sharing knowledge means giving up power, which is the first no-no commandment in Washington, D.C.

We heard from you about your responses to the Ppresident's remarks, and please do keep 'em oming on the Patt Morrison page at

Our conversation about Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's plan to save big bucks by privatizing California's prisons was cut short by the President's appearance, but it became pretty clear that the proposal is a pie-in-the-sky notion that saves at best 10% of costs, mostly by private prison operators contracting to take care of the most tractable, least troublesome prisoners, and leaving the high-security, the sick and the risky prisoners in the hands of the state. Don't look for this idea to go very far in the state Legislature; it didn't the last time the governor proposed it, either.

Governor Schwarzenegger presents his budget on Friday and we'll go over it with a green eyeshade. We'll also find out whether the prospect of anothe NFL team in LA is any likelier. Interested franchises may include the Buffalo Bills and Jacksonville Jaguars. What I want to know is, does the team name have to be alliterative? The Los Angeles ... please, no, not even in jest -- Losers?