KCRW's Press Play with Madeleine Brand

KCRW's Press Play with Madeleine Brand

United States

Madeleine Brand examines the latest ideas and trends that are shaping our world and shaping Los Angeles. Madeleine talks with news makers, big thinkers, and everyday people as we map out our modern world. Monday through Friday, noon-1pm.


Who will lead California's Democratic Party?  

It’s been a hectic week in politics. There’s been talk of impeachment, Watergate, and Mike Pence’s political action committee. Also, the California Democratic Party is having its convention in Sacramento this weekend, where they’ll talk strategy and pick a new leader.

Will an independent counsel be enough?  

Former FBI director Robert Mueller was appointed as special counsel to oversee the Justice Department’s investigation into Russian meddling. Democrats and Republicans were happy about the appointment, but President Trump called it the “single greatest witch hunt” of a president in American history. Congress could form an independent commission, but Republicans oppose the move.

How will 'Comey memo' affect GOP's future?  

The latest piece of bad news for President Trump is the reported existence of a memo that fired FBI Director James Comey wrote. The memo describes President Trump asking Comey to drop the FBI investigation into former NSA advisor Mike Flynn.

What's at stake for US-international relations after intel leak to Russia?  

News broke Monday that President Trump divulged classified information to Russian officials. Israel was reportedly the source of this information. We assess the fallout.

Trump's travel ban goes to 9th Circuit Court  

On Monday, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in Seattle heard arguments on President Trump’s revised travel ban. Tuesday, Angelenos will vote in a local election for seats on the city council and school board, and on a measure on police discipline..

Political hopeful Joe Bray-Ali explains his controversial comments  

LA City Council District 1 candidate Joe Bray-Ali hopes to unseat Gil Cedillo, but offensive comments he made online have given some of his supporters pause. He defends himself, explains why he failed to pay $48,000 in taxes, and suggests what he’ll do if he loses Tuesday’s election.

Comey firing: What we know now, where the FBI goes from here  

President Donald Trump is now contradicting his own letter to James Comey, and saying that he would have fired Comey regardless of the recommendation from his deputy attorney general. Also, how has all this news been affecting agents within the FBI?

James Comey is fired: Reaction from Senator Kamala Harris, Rep. Adam Schiff  

Does the firing of FBI Director James Comey signal a constitutional crisis? Will there be a special prosecutor named? How will the FBI investigation proceed? We hear from California Senator Kamala Harris, California Congressman and ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee Adam Schiff, and others.

Why was FBI Director James Comey fired?  

Was James Comey fired as head of the FBI because he mishandled the Clinton emails, or because he was investigating the Trump campaign’s Russia ties? We also hear from Gil Cedillo, who’s facing a runoff election against Joe Bray-Ali for City Council District 1.

How President Trump is changing immigration  

A federal appeals court heard arguments on President Trump’s travel ban Monday. There’s currently an injunction preventing that ban from going into effect, but the administration is finding ways to work around it. A bipartisan group of senators wants to know why. Also, arrests of undocumented immigrants are up 30 percent since President Trump took office, but not in LA.

What the GOP health care bill means for California  

All 14 California House Republicans voted for the GOP health care bill Thursday. Among them were San Diego County’s Darrell Issa and the Central Valley’s Jeff Denham. Democrats and some pundits say they could be vulnerable in the next election.

What's in the approved Republican health care bill?  

House Speaker Paul Ryan and Republican party leadership corralled just enough votes to pass the health care bill -- 217 to 213. All the House Democrats and 20 Republicans voted against the bill. Some of California’s Republican delegation had been undecided until today, but in the end, all of them voted “yes.” The bill allows states to scrap many of the protections provided under Obamacare.

Melvoin v. Zimmer: A debate over the future of LAUSD  

A school board race in West LA has become a stand-in for the charter versus traditional school debate. More than $5 million has been poured into the contest, which is on track to be the most expensive school board race in the nation. Most of it is outside money. Some of it comes from big-name donors like Eli Broad. The two candidates join Press Play for a debate.

Gay conversion therapy persists in California, despite SCOTUS ban  

The Supreme Court upheld a California law banning gay conversion therapy. So why is it still happening in the state? Also, German Chancellor Angela Merkel met with Russian President Vladimir Putin. She brought up the detention of gay men in Chechnya, where more than 100 men have been rounded up and tortured.

What do anti-Trump protests accomplish?  

It’s May Day and pro-labor protests have been planned around the country. Since Donald Trump became president, there have been many demonstrations. Do they lead to change?

What Trump's first 100 days does to the planet  

President Trump has struggled to deliver on campaign promises like health care and immigration, but he’s delivered promises to roll back environmental protections. He’s installed climate deniers at the head of major agencies, and approved huge oil pipelines.

Michael Flynn ensnared in foreign payments scandal  

Congressman Elijah Cummings has released documents showing that President Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn was warned not to accept foreign government payments in 2014. Flynn still took a $45,000 speaking fee in 2015 from the Kremlin-backed news network RT.

Scathing audit finds UC President's office hid $175 million  

A state audit says the Office of the President at the University of California has kept secret more than $175 million. The report says salaries are a lot a higher in that office than in comparable offices. The audit comes just months after the UC system won approval for its first tuition hike in six years.

Lead poisoning hits LA County  

It’s been three years since the lead crisis in Flint, Michigan began. Flint residents are still drinking bottled water. In LA County, there are areas with even higher rates of lead contamination, and in places you wouldn’t expect, like wealthy San Marino.

What's at stake if Hollywood writers strike?  

Writers in Hollywood just finished voting yay or nay to go on strike. The vote is expected to be in favor, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll walk off the job. We get the details and look at the effects of the last strike.

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