Here And There with Dave Marash

In 2016, evidence now shows, Russia-tied hackers tried to break into 21 state voting systems.  They succeeded in getting inside voter rolls in Illinois, but, this time, the evidence shows, they did no damage.  2018 is another national election year and reporter Christina Cassidy of the Associated Press, work on securing the voting process still has a long way to go.  One example, the Department of Homeland Security wants 150 security liaisons in place, 3 in each of the 50 states.  So far, they have only gotten security clearance for 20.  

Direct download: HT041918CassidyPOD.mp3
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Who’s that playing the cruel slave owner Simon Legree…could that be Mickey Mouse?  Negotiations over wages and benefits for Disney cast-members only got nastier when Disney made a promised $1000 a worker tax-reform bonus contingent on workers signing a contract they had overwhelmingly rejected.  Reporter Michael Sainato has been covering the story, and he reminds us, Disney is the company forced to pay back  money it had withheld from workers for their uniforms.  Under that pllicy Disney was paying workers well under the Federal minimum wage, even as their profits soared.

Direct download: HT041818SainatoPOD.mp3
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When right-wing Iowa Republican Congressman Steve King attacked Parkland, Florida high school massacre survivor Emma Gonzales for not speaking Spanish, he triggered memories in AP reporter Russell Contreras, who says language bullying to speak, or not to speak Spanish is all too common in America today.  King says the Castro regime’s monopoly on guns is a warning for America, as if the American government were as oppressive as the Cuban.  Hey Congressman, that American govt is who pays your salary.  Why do you take it, of you think it’s so totalitarian in nature?

Direct download: HT041718ContrerasPOD.mp3
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Do cell phones increase your risk of cancer.  The latest research from the National Toxicology Program of the National Institutes of Health is less than conclusive, but investigative reporter Mark Hertsgaard of The Nation says, newly released details are more ominous than earlier releases had indicated.  For some cancers, there was what is called “some evidence” of possible linkage, while for at least one cancer..Schwannoma, the evidence in rats was “clear.” 

Direct download: HT041618HertsgaardPOD.mp3
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By almost every measure, public schools in Canada have a much better record for educating their immigrant students than schools in the United States. What are the reasons why, and how do the Canadians do it?  Kavitha Cardoza of Education Week magazine and the PBS NewsHour says there are several reasons -- all of which could be teaching points for America’s education leaders.  Canada is more selective in which immigrants are accepted, and more supportive of teachers and students in the classroom. And, crucially, the atmosphere for immigrants in Canada is much welcoming than in the USA. 

Direct download: HT041218CardozaPOD.mp3
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In 2015 when mistakes made by contractors for the Federal Environmental Protection Administration unleashed a spew of stored wastewater from the Gold King Mine in Southern Colorado, it created an agricultural disaster for Navajo famers along the banks of the San Juan River, it got the world’s attention.  Not only was the Animas River turned a lurid yellow color, the spill sent a lot of toxic materials downstream. Jonathan P Thompson, author of the new book RIVER OF LOST SOULS says the trouble started more than a century ago, and the danger of other environmental catastrophes is both real and widespread.  

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Italy held national elections last month, and the top-polling party, the anti-political 5 Star Movement won 32% of the votes, a very shaky start on a governing coalition.  Worse, almost all the other parties who got significant numbers of votes say they cannot and will not work with the others.  One voting trend stood out, Italians rejected virtually every party or politician who had a recognizable brand name.  Where does Italy go from there?  Christopher Livesay of PBS NewsHour sorts it out for us from Rome. 

Direct download: HT040918LivesayPOD.mp3
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Bill Press has spent much of his life immersed in politics, starting watching his grandfather work for votes as Mayor of Delaware City, DE…then moving from retail politics to wholesale, as Chair of the Democratic Party of California.  Now he’s in his 3rd decade as a political analyst and commentator, looking at a new corporate-scale political environment.  What does he see for the upcoming campaigns of 2018 and 202?  His new autobiography BILL PRESS FROM THE LEFT covers all of that and more

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One controversial element of the Obama Administration’s nuclear weapons agreement with Iran was the return to Iran of more than a billion dollars in funds that had once been part of the deposed Shah’s weapons-purchase account.  Richard J. Burton was the attorney who helped negotiate the agreement to give the Iranians back their frozen funds.

2 questions still being asked…why was the payment to Iran made in cash? And why wasn’t some of it held back to be used to repay claims by Americans who were victims of Iranian-backed terrorism?

Direct download: HT0404BurtonPOD.mp3
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Xi Jinping has succeeded in positioning himself to be China’s President-for-life and ideological as well as political leader.  A key part of his ideology of total government control is his crackdown on public education.  Peter Herford the former CBS News executive who helped set up the ground-breaking school of Journalism at Shantou University in southeastern China on what Xi’s intervention means.  The new crackdown not only bowdlerizes th content of classes, it restricts all students to one curriculum, eliminating their right to choose their courses. 

Direct download: HT040318HerfordPOD.mp3
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