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State of Affairs: 'Packing' the Court, How Little Tokyo is Surviving the Pandemic, Meme Creators Are Loving NFTs

Published April 16, 2021 at 2:58 PM PDT
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California State Capitol in Sacramento
Lori Galarreta/KPCC
California State Capitol in Sacramento

State of Affairs - Debate Over 'Packing' the Court

You might think shifting the ideological balance of the US Supreme Court from conservative to liberal as soon as possible might be very appealing to Democratic leaders. And t is, to a few of them, but not all, and not to the most important one, the only one that could make it happen. Plus, if a recall election happens in California, the frontrunners to challenge Gavin Newson may NOT be the candidates with the most political clout, but the candidates with the most social media influence. 


  • Jack Pitney, Roy P. Crocker Professor of American Politics at Claremont McKenna College
  • Christina Bellantoni, Journalism professor and Media Center director at USC Annenberg

Little Tokyo Business Survives Pandemic, But at Great Personal Cost

The pandemic has been a roller coaster ride for restaurants -- like the long-standing Suehiro Cafe in Little Tokyo, which serves Japanese comfort food. KPCC's Josie Huang checked in a year after she first talked to the owner. The business has lasted through the pandemic when some 20 others in Little Tokyo didn't make it. But it's come at great personal cost.

VA Vaccinations Going Well 

The COVID-19 vaccination campaign at the Department of Veterans Affairs is going well. The VA has vaccinated a higher percentage of its patients, compared with civilian vaccination efforts. For the American Homefront Project, a collaboration of public radio stations, including KPCC, Jay Price has the story. 

Meme Makers Are Making Big Bucks on NFTs  (Yeah, We Don't Get it Either) 

By now, you may have come across the three letters N-F-T, which stands for non-fungible tokens. NFT’s have appeared in the art world… Hollywood… and now, they've made their way to meme-creators.


  • Paige Skinner, freelance journalist whose recent piece for L-A Mag is entitled, “Meme Makers Are Getting in on the NFT Game and Making Big Bucks”

Behind the Scenes on the Making of 'Mank'

Citizen Kane is considered one of, if not, the greatest film ever made. It was nominated for 9 Academy Awards and won for best screenplay. Now, the film about THAT film - and the guy who wrote it - has been nominated for TEN Oscars.  "Mank"  is about Herman Mankiewitz, the screenwriter who - if Orson Welles had his way - might NOT have ended up with the writing credit. The Netflix film tells the story of what inspired the Citizen Kane screenplay and how a wise-cracking, jaded writer, played by Gary Oldman, used his masterpiece to take a shot at the media moguls who shaped the political narratives at the time. It's also a peek back in time to California and Los Angeles of the 1930s and 40s in painstakingly perfect detail.


  • Mank production designer Donald Graham Burt
  • Director David Fincher 
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