Here And There with Dave Marash

Very few ICE raids in California’s Central Valley where Ag industry campaign contributions seem to have produced an unofficial sanctuary for migrant field workers.  The same logic seems to have stayed ICE’s hand in the dairy state of Wisconsin, where investigative reporter Maria Perez of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel found not just protected workers, but protected abusive employers.  Mexican vet school grads hired for their skills, but used and paid as unskilled labor.

Direct download: HereAndThere_021920_Perez.mp3
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Who are the people who make up President Donald Trump’s political base and what unites them?  In her new book, Shadow Network: Media, Money and the Secret Hub of the Radical Right, Anne Nelson says the unifier is a network of far-right funders, conservative Republican campaign operatives and hundreds of Christian broadcasters on radio, TV and the internet.  They, more than Russian interference drove Trump to victory in 2016.  Can they do it again in November?  

Direct download: HereAndThere_021820_Nelson.mp3
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What are the people of the world thinking?  About their own security?  About their own happiness?  No one devotes more resources to answering questions like that than Gallup, Inc, literally the name for polling since the company was founded by George Gallup in 1935.  Julie Ray is Managing Editor for World News at Gallup and can explain where the most insecure people on earth live and why – when it comes to happiness – the US is only #19 in the world

Direct download: HereAndThere_021720_Ray.mp3
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A liberal lawyer-journalist’s take on the so-called trial in the US Senate of impeached President Donald Trump.  Elie Mystal, Justice Correspondent for The Nation explained Mitch McConnell’s rules that allowed evidence to be suppressed and turned the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court into a proverbial potted plant.  But, Mystal says, Yogi Berra had it right – “it ain’t over, ‘til it’s over,” and he says, for the criminal and Constitutional charges against Donald Trump, it’s never going to be over.  

Direct download: HereAndThere_021220_Mystal.mp3
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Once upon a time the 3 different hospitals,-- government, private and non-profit were different systems serving different clienteles.  Now they’re similar systems competing from the same customers, so why does one group of competitors get a public subsidy? Ted Alcorn of NM in Depth looked at the state’s non-profit hospitals and asked do taxpayers get a fair deal in extra services for the tax benefits given?  Experts told him NM’s numbers didn’t look good.

Direct download: HereAndThere_021120_Alcorn.mp3
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Ever since 2011, when the United States, France and the UK led an international effort to save Libya from the dictator Muammar Qaddafi, things have gone from bad to worse.  Award-winning Libyan journalist Mustafa Fetouri sorts out the foreign backers of the 2 sides in Libya’s civil war and what they’re doing to the country and why.  A recent escalation in Turkish-supplied mercenaries and weapons is tied to disputed oil and gas rights hundreds of miles off-shore in the Eastern Mediterranean.  

Direct download: HereAndThere_021020_Fetouri.mp3
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Water, water everywhere, but not as much as you’d like to think.  That, in a nutshell is the story of the Colorado River Basin, the key water source for economic and population expansion in the American West.  For almost a century, development plans for the Colorado Basin were based on what scientists regularly said was bad data, that overestimated how much water the basin had.  John Fleck, co-author of the new book Science Be Dammed on the trouble ignoring science can cause. 

Direct download: HereAndThere_020520_Fleck.mp3
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For many of the poor mothers from the Marshall Islands, it seemed like a good deal for their child, if a painful loss for them: coming to America to give birth and then giving up the baby for adoption by a more prosperous American family.  But there are laws against this kind of human trafficking, and a once prominent local politician from Phoenix is accused of breaking them. His network is a great embarrassment to the Mormon Church.

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 Legally, Constitutionally, and historically, the impeachment and trial of President Donald Trump is a very big deal.  But politically, has the whole impeachment process moved the dial on the 2020 election?  And in which direction? For or against the beleaguered President? And are the real losers here American civility and rule of law?  Pollster and marketing strategist John Zogby has been considering these questions and how the answers have been affected by the tribalization of our country.  

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The numbers say the crisis of would-be immigrants at America’s southern border is easing.  Far fewer people are trying to cross, legally and illegally, than 6 months ago.  But tens of thousands of migrants are still there, in American detention facilities, and stoppered in shelters, camps and open fields on the Mexican side of the border.  Jens Erik Gould of the Santa Fe New Mexican on the Border Patrol officers dealing with a crisis that may no longer be growing, but isn’t going away either.  

Direct download: HereAndThere_013020_Gould.mp3
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Candidate Donald Trump predicted that he could get away with murder and not lose any votes.  And President Trump says he and America have gotten away with the assassination of Iranian General Qassem Suleimani, and that the threat of further Iranian revenge is over. Karen J. Greenberg, Director of the Center on National Security at Fordham University Law School wonders if that’s true.  And I wonder how the globally-watched video of the aftermath of the killing is playing across the Islamic world.

Direct download: HereAndThere_012820_Greenberg.mp3
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 The global frontline in the battle for individual freedom against totalitarian state control is Hong Kong. Resistance in behalf of local democracy and autonomy for Hong Kong within the Chinese nation state continues to stalemate the demands of Chinese leader Xi Jinping.  Weekend rallies still bring defiance of the Beijing dictates and a million people to the streetrs.  Journalist Benjamin David Haas has been covering the ongoing crisis for The nation…he updates the story.

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You probably know how many billions Congress budgeted for the US military are being diverted to build President Donald Trump’s wall on America’s Mexican border, but have you heard about the TDY roundups of forest rangers from the US National Parks for border duty? Karen Chavez of USA Today and the Asheville Citizen Times broke the story.  They’re missed in the Great Smokes, and in El Paso, for many, by the time they learn the job and the place, they’re gone.

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 Abortion is legal in the state of New Mexico, but try finding someone to perform one if you don’t live anywhere near the I-25 corridor from Las Cruces to Santa Fe? In the mountains, in the grasslands, from 4 corners to the Bootheel, New Mexico is a reproductive health care desert for women Laws about equality don’t talk about access. Susan Dunlap has been reporting the story for the NM Political Report.

Direct download: HereAndThere_012120_Dunlap.mp3
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As democratic politics has veered right practically the whole world over since the terrorist attack of 9/11/2001, no one has watched the process more closely than Cas Mudde, the University of Georgia professor and author of The Far Right Today. How yesterday’s lunatic fringe has taken over old brand names like today’s Republican Party. The takeover, by the way, was perfectly democratic.  Even if the winners disdain some key practices of almost 350 years of American democracy.

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There’s no business like the news business, because the news changes every day.  But the news business is changing and after almost 40 years as a working reporter based in Santa Fe, NM, for the Albuquerque Journal and The (Santa Fe) New Mexican, Steve Terrell has some thoughts and some stories.  Terrell remembers covering traveling folk singers – and learning not to try to drink with them -- and powerful politicians of NM State Government – to whom the folk singer rule also applied.  

Direct download: HereAndThere_011620_Terrell.mp3
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A policy of cruelty to children as deterrence against would-be crossers of our Southern border might seem bad enough,  But add in stupidity and this is what you get: a lack of medical care for migrants in American detention killing small numbers of children with infectious influenza, which, in turn, threatens large numbers of children and adults in nearby communities with communicable disease.  John Hudak and Christine Stenglein wrote about this for the Brookings Institution.

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Good news for the military-industrial complex: The Trump Administration made Defense Department misspending easier to get away with by ending Pentagon Accountability. Bad news for the American public: Jason Paladino of the Project on Government Oversight reports Defense Secretary Jim Mattis went farther, making not just spending, but all the key data on what American troops are doing abroad secret.  Almost all the metrics to evaluate the military mission in Afghanistan are now hidden. From us.

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One thing good television news has given us: a more nuanced view of “mobs in the street.”  Some so-called mobs are really just hired thugs en masse, others are politically inflamed people out of control. But many street demonstrations are gatherings of honest citizens expressing dissent or a specific grievance.  The year 2019 has seen a shocking number of those kinds of street demonstrations in Latin America.  Columbia University analyst Christopher Sabatini takes us around a troubled continent to see what’ explains the “mobs.”

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New York Times sports columnist Michael Powell has written a new book about basketball on the Navajo Reservation, where everything starts from a fan base as rabid, intense and critical about the basketball their high schoolers are playing, as the Italian opera mob is about performances at La Scala.  Talk about pressure on players and coaches!  And that’s without factoring in totems and hexes, family turbulence, and the disadvantages of being a kid from the canyons compare to a kid from the town of Chinle.

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The INF Treaty limiting intermediate range nuclear weapons is dead.  Killed by the Trump Administration after the Obama team failed to stop Russia from building a new, treaty-violating missile,  Already, the arms race is already heating up.  Will Russia, the US and now China all play nuclear “Match Me?”  Arms control expert Joseph Cirincione of The Ploughshares Fund what was lost with INF, the threats to 2 more important security agreements involving the US and Russia, and where the arms race is headed. 

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George Orwell was a pen name – taken to spare his family the shame of public notice of the low life parts of England and France he lived in to write about, before he warned the world against totalitarianism in Animal Farm and 1984. Russell Davidson of the University of New Mexico collected a treasure trove of Orwell books and memorabilia and gave it to the school.

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The US military is being hit with a rising tide of suicides, especially among young veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.  One veteran of both, analyst Matthew Hoh of the Center for International Policy, says official statistics show -- the risk of suicide rises with exposure to combat, and even more for those who have killed.  What this points to, Hoh says, is suicide from what he calls “moral injury,” the sense that your wartime experience led you to betray your personal standards of morality or conduct.

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The title of Bruce Riedel’s new book, Beirut 1958: How America’s wars in the Middle East Began doesn’t “tell it all,” but Riedel’s story of how US Marines were sent to Lebanon by President Dwight Eisenhower and what they did when they got there tells a lot even 61 years later. Just one Marine died, but his mission was entirely avoidable.  He was killed by a sniper, and by Secretary of State John Foster Dulles’ Cold War paranoia.

Direct download: HereAndThere_120219_Riedel.mp3
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The Santa Fe-based medical rescue organization, Global Outreach Doctors, has a new mission in eastern Congo.  GoDocs’ founder and leader Dr. Andrew Lustig says his assessment team found a region with great medical needs, especially for the mental and physical health of women in a largely-ungoverned, perpetual conflict zone.  They also found a great local ally in the Nobel Prize nominated physician Dennis Mukwege. 

Direct download: HereAndThere_112619_Lustig.mp3
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 Haiti, a country in perpetual crisis, may have hit bottom.  Months of street-snarling, economy paralyzing demonstrations have endangered the Presidency of Jovenal Moises, in part because the President who chose Moises to succeed him, Michel Martelly is accused of helping loot the national government of more than $2 billion.  Longtime Haiti expert Amy Wilentz  sorts things out, as Haitians try to find a path to better governance and a better future. 

Direct download: HereAndThere_112519_Wilentz.mp3
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The scandal of sexually abusive priests has shaken the Roman Catholic Church in America and shown how Church leaders often chose to cover-up the crimes rather than discipline the priests.  Investigative reporter Claudia Lauer of the Associated press (AP) reports, in the wake of the scandal, hundreds of abusers have been disciplined --forced out of the Church. But she says, the de-frocked priests have been left to their own sometimes criminal devices.  

Direct download: HereAndThere_111919_Lauer.mp3
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The ostensible reason for creating “opportunity zones” is to entice fresh investments in fresh projects to upgrade poor neighborhoods and the lives of people who live there.  But investigative reporter Justin Elliott of Pro Publica has found valuable Federal subsidies went to old investments in old projects and benefited billionaire pals of Donald Trump.  Crony capitalism at work.  As the Big Tweeter might say – scandal! Bad!! 

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Want to test the character of your community?  Consider its relationship to food…where do they get it, what do they do with it, and who gets enough to eat?  Mark Winne checked out 7 American communities in his new book Food Town USA and found good local things to eat from Alaska to Maine and Idaho to Florida.  But he also found food insecurity, and dramatic food inequality, food-rich towns with food deserts next door.

Direct download: HereAndThere_111219_Winne.mp3
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First the Private Military Security Contractor industry was a small club, but it’s getting bigger, and now the US which has been the #1 provider of these private security services, has growing competition from Russia and China.  But David Isenberg, author of Shadow Force and a top analyst of the mercenary market says the industry is not just globalizing, it’s decentralizing.  Could mean trouble ahead.  Consider the case of Malhama Tactical...specialists in training jihadi terrorists.  

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Some nights it’s cheaper and easier to get the very same Holiday Inn room in midtown Manhattan as in Carlsbad, NM.  One impact of the oil and gas boom in SE NM.  Reporter Jens Erik Gould has been writing about how a rush of people and money to the Delaware Basin has affected life in towns like Carlsbad, Artesia and Hobbs.  One piece of advice, if you were thinking of driving around Lea and Eddy Counties? Don’t.  Energy industry trucks have the roadways clogged and broken.

Direct download: HereAndThere_110519_Gould.mp3
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For the 7 years I’ve been in New Mexico, the guiding principle on diverting the Gila River was “use it or lose it.” Use the water in NM before it gets to AZ, use “free” Federal money whenever you can get it.  Environment reporter Laura Paskus on how using the Gila River has become a lose-lose proposition, with incredibly shrinking plans having less and less chance of ever happening. With $14 million already spent. 

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As the impeachment campaign lifts the rock hiding President Trump’s pressure campaign to force Ukraine to help him smear Joe Biden, many new characters are crawling into view.  Who are these ex-Soviet “businessmen” and whom do they really represent? Historian Alexander Motyl of Rutgers University – Newark on the players and the games being played in Ukraine.  Trump and Giuliani say they were trying to root out Ukrainian corruption…so why have they been consorting with some who are rooted in the corruption?

Direct download: HereAndThere_102919_Motyl.mp3
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 No big changes after the fourth Democratic Presidential debate…the strong stayed strong, especially front-runner Joe Biden who kept his edge in all polls ahead of Elizabeth Warren and Bernie sanders, and the weak got weaker with the voters, if not, the pundits report, among so called “Democratic leaders.”  John Nichols of The Nation has been covering the campaign.  He like me is still waiting for substantial questions and answers on climate change and America’s failing infrastructure.  

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For decades, Hollywood came to New Mexico.  To film.  The Land of Enchantment was largely the backdrop of movies.  Because it’s beautiful.  And not so far from L.A.  And inexpensive.  Now, Albuquerque is becoming a production center…Netflix and NBC Universal have signed 10-year deals with the city.  Is this good news? Journalist and author Meredith Jordan says – definitely, yes.  Although she’s seen the entertainment economy boom in Georgia and then go bust.

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The Uber ride-share service has two big problems:  one it’s treating its drivers – not as employees – but as poorly-paid contractors …and still it’s losing lots of money. Says Edward Ongweso Jr of VICE News’ Motherboard, recent legislation in California, saying Uber, Lyft and Door Dash drivers are employees, could be the death of the ride-share industry.

Direct download: HereAndThere_102219_Ongweso.mp3
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Public Housing is a national shame.  And one of the most shameful cities is Baltimore, MD.  Wretched housing projects, poorly maintained can trap residents in dangerous conditions.  Investigative reporter Molly Parker of Pro Publica and The Southern Illinoisan has been closing the public housing debacle from Baltimore to Hartford to Cairo, Illinois.

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Real American courts are ruled, under the Constitutional separation of powers, by the Judicial branch.  On the other hand the quasi-judicial hearings for migrants in ICE custody and their Immigration Judges are ruled by the Executive Branch, giving extraordinary powers to the Attorney general and the President.  They produce a lot of deportations, but justice?  Maybe not.  Madeleine Schwartz reported on cases heard in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas for the NY Review of Books.

Direct download: HereAndThere_101719_Schwartz.mp3
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 The Islamic State (also known as ISIS) has been expelled from all its capital cities and its fighters have been scattered across Syria and Iraq.  But Colin P. Clarke of the RAND Corporation explains in his new book After the Caliphate, this does not mean the jihadist idea is defeated nor its threats removed.  IS fighters are still active in Syria and IS terrorists strike almost every week somewhere in Iraq, and then there’s Libya, Nigeria, Indonesia and the Philippines.  The Islamic State is alive at least in aspiration, in all those places and more.

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The agents and executives of the Federal Bureau of Investigation have long had their enemies, but former agent and senior aide to former FBI Director James Comey Josh Campbell says, those enemies have never before included the President of the United States.  He chronicles the battle between Trump and his allies and the FBI in a new book, Crossfire Hurricane.  The damage to both institutions, the FBI and the White House, he says, has been considerable.

Direct download: HereAndThere_101419_Campbell.mp3
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 So many of the people appointed to important Federal positions by President Donald Trump seem to have been picked to destroy the institutions they are to run.  Or in the case of the Federal Elections Commission, Trump’s not filling seats has left the FEC paralyzed, even as our elections are under more threats than ever before. 

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The number of racehorses dying from injuries suffered on the track at Santa Anita in southern California continues to grow.  And so does the toll nationally. A dozen or more racehorses die every week on American race tracks, an existential threat facing the “Sport of Kings,” even before Joe Drape of the NY Times broke the biggest racetrack scandal of the year.

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Among the things President Donald Trump held against his National Security Advisor John Bolton – before he fired him – was getting the White House too ineffectually involved in Venezuela.  In recent days, the US upped its financial support for opposition leader Juan Guido.  Does this make a difference to Venezuela’s dictator-President Nicolas Maduro?  And what’s happened to the millions of Venezuelan refugees?

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If Italian politics isn’t your bowl of pasta, I pity you on both counts.  Here’s a recap: the governing coalition of the anarchists and the immigrant-haters fell apart and has been replaced by an alliance of the anarchists and their former arch-enemies, the bureaucratic Democrats.  The Prime Minister stays the same, and he seems to be making some big changes of course.  3 months ago Giuseppi Conte was just the face-man of the Prime Minister, now he’s the boss. 

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Many recent developments in litigation to hold the pharmaceutical industry responsible for American’s opioid drug addiction epidemic. A powerful judgment in Oklahoma against drug-industry giant Johnson & Johnson, a near-settlement and declaration of bankruptcy from OxyContin-maker Purdue Pharma, which shows deep divisions among the plaintiffs in the biggest federal suit. Settlement deadline for all defendants is October 21. Chris McGreal of The Guardian US, author of American Overdose has been covering the story.

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Doing good is hard to do.  For example, carbon offsets are meant to save forests, protect the planet and discourage pollution.  Nice idea, but does it really work?  Investigative reporter Lisa Song of Pro Publica says study after study shows that the swaps rarely deliver. All it takes is a bad storm or a worse President to do in the best-paid plan.  Examples: wildfires and Jair Bolosnaro in Brazil.  But in California carbon offsets are getting a big green light. 

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The public address announcement at Heathrow Airport in London summoned investigative reporter Dave Lindorff… report to your boarding gate for a security check.  Somehow, Lindorff was on the FBI’s Terrorist Watchlist.  Could it have been that his stories on the futility of Pentagon audits could have made someone angry?  Angry enough to call him a terrorist?  How might he clear his name? Lindorff investigated his own story and tells it, in depth on HERE & THERE

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In Hong Kong, a standoff continues.  Xi Jinping and his Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam carry on a measured war of attrition, jailing a few, beating up a few more rebels each week, while making faux-concessions on -- for example, the extradition bill that "lit the fuse" for rebellion.  Xi hopes, as in 2014, China can outlast the opposition.  So far, that hasn't worked.  The popular resistance is wide and deep.  Joseph Lian, a veteran Hong Kong journalist and frequent contributor to the NY Times has the latest on the story.

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When it comes to our global crisis of climate change, these are the watchwords of Greta Thunberg, the 16 year old leader of a worldwide youth campaign for immediate action: "I want you to act as if the house was on fire — because it is". Artemisio Romero y Carver is a leader of YUCCA, Youth United for Climate Crisis Action, who will bring Thunberg’s message to Santa Fe tomorrow.  The NM Legislature has taken steps, but he says, they’re far short of enough. 

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What is Vladimir Putin’s Russia all about, and how did it get there.  Dmitri Trenin, head of the Carnegie Endowment’s Moscow Center has a new short history, simply titled Russia, which succinctly tells that story…of a history filled with revolutions…of old regimes torn apart and very different new ones built on their bones.  What changed?  And what about Russia always seems to stay the same? 

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Before Israel was officially a state, it was a nation under threat from its Arab neighbors.  Matti Friedman’s new book, Spies of No Country tells the story of 4 future Israelis, Arabic-speakers who grew up in Arab environments as spies behind enemy lines in Lebanon.  Their story points to the future intelligence service Mossad and the future of Israel in which Mizrahis, Jews from the East play crucial roles.  Life, love and a mission to blow up a yacht built for Adolf Hitler.  The story, in depth on HERE & THERE

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Bullies do it when called out – “He started it!” Aggressive haters always claim the hatred started with their enemies.  So, Donald Trump’s first and everlasting claim: “Islam hates us!”  So many ways that this idea is not true, and profoundly damaging as it gets rooted in America.  How Islamophobia was cultivated here and the consequences are subjects covered in Lawrence Pintak’s new book America & Islam: Soundbites, Suicide Bombs and the Road to Donald Trump.

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Because they are appointed for life, a generation of Federal Judges is longer than the average – say, 25 years.  So that our generation, today’s Federal Court Judges include a few elders from the Clinton era, a short-changed minority of Obama selections and a majority of George W Bush and Donald Trump appointees. As promised, Trump’s judges are different.  Elie Mystal of The Nation and Above the Law on how this affects your life. 

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One of the fastest growing things in the world is the pile of traceable evidence every crime leaves behind.  As Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia learned in the days and weeks after the murder of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Which led to a whole new pile of evidence of other crimes committed by a government-sponsored Saudi Murder and Kidnap Inc.  Ayman Mohyeldin broke the story in Vanity Fair and on MSNBC, where he reports and anchors. 

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The rush to qualify for the upcoming third round of the Democratic Presidential debates raises a lot of questions. How much should be enough to qualify.  How many are too many when it comes to candidates taking part in a single debate.  10?  We’ve done 10?  11? 12?  Or does that mandate a pair of 6’s?  And how could a co-called national poll of 298 people carry so much weight? John Nichols of The Nation helps sort out the story.

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It was, said an administration insider, John Bolton’s and Mike Pompeo’s “nightmare” – that Ayatollah Khamenei invites Donald Trump to talk, and the President agrees.  At the G-7 meetings, French President Emanuel Macron re-staged that nightmare as a dream almost come true.  Iran expert Karim Sadjadpour of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace on how close to a US-Iran summit is “almost.”   

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The United States is in deep negotiations with the Taliban over an orderly and peaceful withdrawal of American and other international military forces from Afghanistan. In Washington, in addition to escape, the Taliban negotiation offers a chance to pave the way to an end to civil war.  In Kabul, it’s seen as a sellout of America’s friends, and the once-shared ambition of a democratic, modern Afghanistan.

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Farmington, NM is a small town at the hub of the Four Corners area, a region made up of bits from NM, AZ, CO and UT, a region built on coal.  Of course, that means several kinds of trouble, and Kendra Chamberlain of the NM Political Report says, a plan to convert a huge coal-fired power plant, use it to make a different product and save jobs and the community built around them, may not be a real solution. But who should decide?…right now it’s up financial markets, can investors be found in a fossil energy project? 

Direct download: HereAndThere_082719_Chamberlain.mp3
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Syria has long been a chessboard on which outsiders have inflicted or abetted widespread human suffering.   In Idlib province in northwest Syria, Russia is redefining its partnership with Turkey, to hand over more territory to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Journalist, author Charles Glass, says another Syrian partnership is being re-defined -- between Turkey and the United States, the Kurdish-majority areas of the northeastern quarter of the country. 

Direct download: HereAndThere_082619_Glass.mp3
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 The biggest civil trial in US history, the most expensive settlement yet, and tons of new documents, all of them about sharing out the blame for America’s opioid drug crisis.  George Polk Award – winner Lenny Bernstein of the Washington Post on how pharmaceutical manufacturers, mega-distributors and reckless retailers put millions of addictive narcotics up for sale. His reporting showed how, for years, Federal officials stymied DEA efforts to crack down on the opioid epidemic, but now several judgment days are nigh. 

Direct download: HereAndThere_082219_Bernstein.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

A wet, cold and extended winter and spring 2019 brought relief from drought to the state of NM, but John Fleck, the veteran journalist, scholar and author of the classic, Water is for Fighting Over and Other Myths About Water in the West says that relief is only short-term.  It only made up for the deficit of the drought year that preceded it, not the several additional dry years that came before.  But Fleck adds, the people of the American Southwest are learning how to deal with this.

Direct download: HT081219fleckPOD.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

China’s economy seems to be weakening under pressure from President Trump’s trade war, but China’s military, the People’s Liberation Army, the PLA is only growing stronger.  Senior analyst Derek Grossman of the RAND Corporation says the PLA’s biggest growth areas are in power projection, the Air Force and Navy.  But will it be used domestically, to quell the ongoing rebellion in Hong Kong?  

Direct download: HereAndThere_081919_Grossman.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

Iraq, so the universally-proclaimed story goes – has transitioned from wartime to the post-war.  Unfortunately, some of the most important fighters on the Iraqi side of the war to oust the Islamic State – the PMFs Popular Mobilization Forces – have neither disbanded nor disarmed and reporter Isadora Gotts of Al Monitor says the influence of these often-Iran-dominated militias is affecting almost everything across Iraq.  This is most obvious as the heavily-destroyed city of Mosul tries to return to normal civilian life.  

Direct download: HereAndThere_081519_Gotts.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

Sexual trafficking of children is one of the fastest-growing crimes in America, and was even before President Trump’s policy of separating immigrant families at our southern border created a cohort of perfect victims and released them to the traffickers.  Rikha Sharma Rani of The Fuller Project has covered this story for the NY Times and Montgomery AL Advertiser.  She tells us about innovative programs to help the exploited children in Miami, Dade County, Florida, one of America’s hardest-hit cities when it comes to sexual trafficking of children. 

Direct download: HereAndThere_081319_RS_Rani.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

The mass murder of 22 innocent shoppers at Cielo Vista Mall in El Paso, TX, is an awful event in itself.  But it’s also part of a long and awful history of violent attacks by White Men on Mexicans and Mexican-Americans in Texas. Russell Contreras of the Associated Press has traced that history and the new movement to expose and push back against it.  He’s also traced another historic pattern, racist incitement from the White House.

Direct download: HT081219contrerasPOD.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

Donald Trump says he’s going to be the first President to eradicate human trafficking.  His daughter Ivanka calls him the Abraham Lincoln of sexual slavery.  But Jenna Krajeski of The Fuller Project and The New Yorker says so far, Trump’s principal achievements are a White House conference and the declaration of January as an anti-trafficking month.  Behind the rhetoric, Krajeski reports, is a record of making the position of most trafficked women worse.  

Direct download: HT0808pod.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

Trump’s formula for immigration disaster is simple: first make applying for asylum the legal way very slow to impossible. Then when the number of people crossing the border illegally becomes unmanageable, dump the migrants on the nearest border cities and town. Algernon D’Ammassa of the Las Cruces Sun-News on how that small city and the even smaller town of Deming, NM dealt with thousands of impoverished, frightened, transient visitors.

Direct download: HereAndThere_080619_DAmmassa.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

President Trump nominates Texas Congressman John Ratcliffe to be the next director of national intelligence, a controversial
choice Shane Harris of the Washington Post and I are discussing when the President Tweets, he’s pulling the nomination. Which, as you can guess, still leaves us plenty to talk about. Like, resigned DNI Dan Coats’ acting successor.

There is a process, spelled out in law, that Deputy Director Sue Gordon should get the interim job and Congress clearly wants that to happen. But will it? President Trump seems NOT to be headed in that direction.

Direct download: HereAndThere_080519_Harris.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

Every link in America’s border control system is being stretched to the snapping pint by the influx of migrants from Central America.  Part of this is a plan by the Trump Administration to discourage migrants from coming here, but part is just a mess of overwhelmed officers, overcrowded detention facilities and a court system Trump wants cut out of the picture.  AP journalist Cedar Attanasio broke several big stories, including the terrible conditions for migrants held in one facility in Clint, Texas.

Direct download: HereAndThere_080119_Attanasio.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

Binyamin Netanyahu is now the longest-serving Prime Minister in Israeli history, approaching 4900 says in office.  But will he make it to 5000? The Associated Press Bureau Chief in Jerusalem, Josef Federman says for that feat, Bibi will have to stay in power till December, and the chances are little better than 50-50 he’ll assure that in September’s second national election of 2019.  The need for a do-over vote is also unique in Israel’s history. 

Direct download: HereAndThere_073019_Federman.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

Bernie’s “single payer,” Beto’s “buy-in,” Medicare for All, or is it Medicaid for All…so many plans for healthcare reform.  And then there’s ACA, the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare…how much of it survives and what’s its record been in New Mexico and the United States?  Colin Baillio of Health Action New Mexico sorts out the candidates and their schemes and the realities of medical insurance coverage in America, just in time for tomorrow and Wednesday’s ’s Democratic debates.

Direct download: HereAndThere_072919_Baillio.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

Two things we know about the opioid drug fentanyl: it’s very dangerous, even a small dose can kill you, and it’s very addictive.  The drug manufacturer Insys knew both of these facts, but it pushed its version of fentanyl, an under-the-tongue tablet supposedly meant for only end-stage cancer patients on physicians and patients to put it into wider use.  The results were often tragic and the company’s now out of business. 

Direct download: HereAndThere_072519_Boyd.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

When Vladimir Putin took power, Russian life was unpredictable, and Russian power and influence were at historic lows.  How to make Russia great again?  Putin’s formula was simple – a strong government, and a powerful military to command respect at home and abroad, and national unity. Shaun Walker of the Guardian, whose new book, The Long Hangover shows how Putin used nostalgic memories of World War 2 to bring Russians together.  Never mentioning Stalinist purges or mass deportations was part of his propaganda plan. 

Direct download: HereAndThere_072319_Walker.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

When a small town loses its only hospital, the impact goes way beyond people’s physical health.  The economy and the society are under threat.  Sarah Jane Tribble of Kaiser Heath News on what shut Mercy Hospital in Fort Scott, Kansas, and what happened next.  Do small towns need real hospitals, and if not, what do they need to protect the public health?

Direct download: HereAndThere_072219_Tribble.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

Almost all the journalistic focus has been on America’s southern border with Mexico, destination end of the migrant trail.  Anita Pouchard Serra led a team for the New York Times to trace the trail to one its most prolific points of origin – a town in El Salvador called Intipuca.  Migrancy has made some winners and losers there, and that’s only one way in which links between the US and Intipuca have divided that town.  

Direct download: HereAndThere_071819_Serra.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

What does it mean when one of the NY Times’ top political reporters calls a crowded field of Democratic aspirants to the Presidency, a “clown car?”  Are too damn many Democrats dawdling too long on the campaign trail, or is it just the journalists who are growing impatient?  Pollster/strategist and political analyst John Zogby takes a look at the 2020 Presidential campaign at its earliest stages.  One candidate has dropped out, is a bigger cull coming soon?

Direct download: HereAndThere_071619_Zogby.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

 It’s undignified birth on Twitter, and it’s hurry-up delivery in the Korean Demilitarized Zone may have made the meeting between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un seem less important than it was.  Bruce Bennett, a top Korea analyst for the RAND Corporation says the PR pageant actually made some important points.  President Trump’s presentation of “friendship” seems to have convinced Kim to take diplomacy out of the deep-freeze and into action.  And then?  

Direct download: HereAndThere_071519_Bennett.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

Just 2 days after baseball’s annual All-Star Game, a look back at an amazing, if tragic year in the life of an all-time all-star -- Lou Gehrig.  Dan Joseph, author of the new book, The Last Ride of the Iron Horse, on how, in 1938, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis , ALS, was already starting to destroy Gehrig’s body, but the great Yankee first baseman played through it, helping the Yankees win their third straight World Series.  His career never make it through another baseball season.

Direct download: HereAndThere_071119_Joseph.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

NM Gov. Susana Martinez’ Department of Human Services cried fraud and effectively fired all the private agencies serving the state’s addicted and mentally ill.  But there was no fraud, and the substitute agencies imported from AZ failed or quit.  The old agencies, Ben Altenberg, Director of the new PBS documentary The Shake Up, are out of business, and their most vulnerable clients bereft, adrift, and in some cases probably preventably, dead. 

Direct download: HereAndThere_070919_Altenberg.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

 The United States insists it is negotiating a peace agreement for Afghanistan, but the current agenda doesn’t extend beyond a timetable for a pullout of international forces. Sophia Jones, Global Editor for The Fuller Project, has been reporting from Afghanistan for years, and says a quick US exit could be a disaster for Afghanistan’s women.  The lives of women in Kabul and other cities freed from Taliban rule in 2001 have improved greatly over 18 years.  But all that, they fear, could be swept away. 

Direct download: HereAndThere_070819_Sophia_Jones.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

The health protections children get from vaccinations have been taken for granted.  Or they were, until the worst outbreak of measles in almost 30 years hit the United States this year.  And most of the victims are children whose parents opted them out of vaccination.  John R Roby of the Santa Fe Reporter on how easy it is in NM for more than 4500 school kids to get a vaccination exemption. 

Direct download: HereAndThere_070319_Roby.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

Tripoli, the capitol city of Libya, was once one of the most modern cities in North Africa.  These days it a ruinous battleground as 2 governments fight for control of the country. The UN backed government runs Tripoli and little else.  The rebels led by Field Marshall Khalifa Haftar have backers in Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.  Adding to the pain and confusion, at one time or another, President Trump has backed both sides.

Direct download: HereAndThere_070219_Fetouri.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

 What are called rare earths aren’t rare and they aren’t earths, They are 17 minerals with strange sounding names like gadolinium and promethium.  Why care about ‘m?  Rare earths are essential ingredients in all sorts of civilian products from cell phone and ear buds to electric cars. Keith Johnson of Foreign Policy says rare earths are even more important for military technologies, and 80% of our imported rare earths come from China.  This might make winning the trade war a lot harder. 

Direct download: HereAndThere_070119_Keith_Johnson.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

What would President Donald Trump’s “big beautiful wall” do to the beauty of the Rio Grande and its Valley?  And what would the wall do to the lives of the people, animals, even insects who live very interdependently there?  A new documentary, The River and the Wall, directed by Ben Masters, maker of the excellent Unbranded shows you the answers.  Hillary Pierce produced the film and made the trek downriver by bicycle, mustang and canoe, from El Paso to the Gulf of Mexico. 

Direct download: HereAndThere_062719_Pierce.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

An Associated Press investigation shows how members of the same Sackler families showing remorse for overselling opioids in America as they face settlements or judgments in court, are making millions doing very similar things, pushing opioid pain-relief drugs in Italy and around the world.  AP’s Claire Galofaro broke the story of a campaign of false reassurances about opioid addiction by a very-well-paid celebrity physician based on very limited or spurious science.

Direct download: HereAndThere_062519_Garofalo.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

When payback gets stupid. China is angry about US attempts to extradite a Chinese businesswoman from Canada and lashes out at Hong Kong, demanding extradition rights it’s never had, including taking local off to mainland China for “justice.”  The result – millions of protesters in the streets. Some local experts call the extradition proposal “the last straw,” another calls the protest, “the last stand” for traditional Hong Kong political freedom.

Direct download: HereAndThere_062419_Lian.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

The good news about Mad Cow Disease is that an easy reform, eliminating cow brains and spinal materials from cattle feed, has protected both cattle and people.  So far Chronic Wasting Disease, a similar medical issue is only a growing problem for deer and elk; there have been no known transmissions to humans. But saving the animals from this plague is going to be much harder than snuffing out Mad Cow Disease. 

Direct download: HereAndThere_062019_Bichell.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

50 years later, the video replay of Ron Swoboda’s miraculous catch in the 1969 World Series is one of the most watched presentations of one of the best-remembered moments in baseball history.  It’s the starting point for Swoboda’s new book Here’s the Catch: A Memoir of the Miracle Mets and More. Baseball legend Branch Rickey famously said, “Luck is the residue of design.”  He didn’t name the designer.  Swoboda knows he’s a lucky guy.  This is the most transparent, truthful, happy autobiography I’ve ever read.

Direct download: HereAndThere_061819_Swoboda.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

Once people ate to survive, then they learned to eat to enjoy.  Now, too many of us eat to eat, to consume, which leads to 3 terrible things: gluttony, radical inequality, and the depletion of Planet Earth. Kevin D. Walker, author of The Grand Food Bargain on how things came to the pint that people choose their foods more for convenience and price than quality. The more you choose the first two, Walker warns, the worse your health.

Direct download: HereAndThere_061719_Walker.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:42pm MST

In 1935, when it was knowingly inflicting the neurological damage of leaded gasoline on an unsuspecting world, Du Pont took as its slogan” “Better living through chemistry.”  Du Pont understood this is just what people want to believe.  Take the idea of better policing through technology.  People want to believe this, too, but Matt Stroud in his new book Thin Blue Lie says gizmos from Tasers to Vipers to the latest predictive databases and facial recognition software don’t make police better servants of the people. 

Direct download: HereAndThere_061319_Stroud.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

We all have nightmares, but the nightmare arson that destroyed a main building and historical archive at the Highlander School in Tennessee is real and recurring.  Historian Robin D G Kelley on why he and so many other African American or Progressive people take the latest repetition of heinous crime against this unique institution so personally. What Los Alamos Labs was to the atomic bomb, the Highlander School has been for workplace democracy, civil rights and gender equality in America.

Direct download: HereAndThere_061119_Robin_Kelley.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

The last time America was the home team in a war was 1865, and the war was the Civil War, probably the 4 worst years in American history.  Waging American war as the visiting team creates many deep frustrations. One of them is how ignorant most of the folks back home are about the reality soldiers face. Elliot Ackerman new book Places and Names wages war on that ignorance with a truth-telling memoir that ranges from Iraq to Afghanistan to Syria.

Direct download: HereAndThere_061019_Ackerman.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

8 times in American history, a President has died in office and been replaced by his Vice President.  Most of the time, not only the Veep, but the Constitutional system seemed unprepared for the change. What should be the powers of the substitute President, and should be assume the title, or keep a word like “acting” in front of it?  And what would happen if the Vice President also passed away while in office? Jared Cohen has written a new book, Accidental Presidents: Eight Men Who Changed America on the subject.  

Direct download: HereAndThere_052319_Jared_Cohen.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

The Department of Homeland Security tasked a team from the RAND Corporation to find out much money people-smuggling cartels were making from the Central American migrant crisis.  Blas Nunez-Neto says what they found out was, there are no people-smuggling cartels, just a lot of small-time exploiters.  But the drug-smuggling cartels are taking their share of the profits.  The surprise?  How small a share that is.

Direct download: HereAndThere_052119_Nunez-Neto.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

Sometimes it takes just a single grain of sand to disrupt a fine-tuned machine.  In New Mexico, a dispute over $39 million created a huge bellyache for the state’s $1.4 Billion deal with Facebook.  The state’s Public Regulation Commission rejected a utility company plan to charge consumers for a power grid extension that could benefit Facebook.  PNM insists retail customers will get their investment back and more as Pacebook pays for power over the years.

Direct download: HereAndThere_052019_Terrell.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

The latest wrinkle in the humanitarian crisis on America’s Southern Border -- the Border Patrol and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement service (ICE), dumping asylum seekers detained on the American side of the frontier, in nearby cities and towns, to fend for themselves.  One city targeted for dumping is Las Cruces, NM where reporter Algernon D’Ammassa of the Las Cruces Sun has been covering the story of how the city is coping and the help it’s getting from Albuquerque and Santa Fe. 

Direct download: HereAndThere_051619_DAmmassa.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

It has long been known that the many blows to the head that are part and parcel of playing professional football can lead to concussions and more serious, more permanent brain damage.  But, Michael Powell, sports columnist for the New York Times notes, the NFL is presented as entertainment and players are well paid for the risks they take, but he asks, what about the students playing college football? 

Direct download: HereAndThere_051419_Powell.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

The ongoing war in Yemen is one of the worst events in the world, and few journalists have reported on it as deeply and well as Jane Ferguson, a Beirut-based free-lance whose video reports from the front lines of military confrontation and civilian starvation have been seen on PBS’ NewsHour.  She sums up the story in Yemen as “man-made famine. For which there seems to be no end in sight.”  How she got to the frontlines in Houthi-held northern Yemen is a story in itself.

Direct download: HereAndThere_051319_Ferguson.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:29pm MST

The Global High Wealth team was a special unit of the IRS, the Internal Revenue Service, created to unmask the real incomes of some of America’s Greediest, hidden behind forests of legal paper and piles of accountants’ numbers, in an effort to cheap out on their taxes.  Jesse Eisinger, Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter at ProPublica tells why the team failed to reach its goals.  One reason: the Obama Administration robbed the IRS budget of money to pay for investigators.

Direct download: HereAndThere_050919_Eisinger.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

As is usually the case in Israel, recent national elections left no political party with a majority.  But voters did create conditions in which incumbent Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will likely again lead a coalition government.  What then? And what if Netanyahu is indicted on several different criminal charges involving quid pro quo favors for corruption?  Josef Federman, AP’s Bureau Chief in Jerusalem has some provisional answers to those hard questions.

Direct download: HereAndThere_050719_Federman.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

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