Here And There with Dave Marash

 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
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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
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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
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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 MDT

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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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