Here And There with Dave Marash

The President Tweets and the Secretary of State holds news conferences.  This is what passes for American foreign policy these days.  But back when the State department did diplomacy, there were heroes on the front lines. The Ambassadors is the title and subject of Paul Richter’s new book. In case you hadn’t noticed, the work Richter describes is something the Trump Administration has chosen not to do.  As some of the Ambassadors quoted in the book can tell you, disinvesting in diplomacy has `a high cost. 

Direct download: HereAndThere_022620_Richter.mp3
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In every important way, US Immigration Courts are different from all other Courts under federal, state or local jurisdiction.  And in many important ways they are worse than any other American court.  Amy Taxin was part of an Associated Press team that spent two weeks at Immigration Courts in 11 cities and found a growing backlog already near one million cases.  Judges say they’re asked to do too much, too fast to do justice in too many cases.  And then there are the children, before the judge or just in the courtrooms, or in the hallways.  Too many children. The system is still unprepared for them.  

Direct download: HereAndThere_022520_Taxin.mp3
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What we know depends on what we’re taught, and what you’re taught about America in our public schools varies from state to state.  Dana Goldstein led a New York Times team that examined social studies textbooks made for among other states, Texas and California.  History tailor-made for Mars and Venus.  The added information in California is less significant than what’s taken out for Texas, There, students my never know what they weren’t told about African-American achievements, for example.  

Direct download: HereAndThere_022420_Goldstein.mp3
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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.

Direct download: HereAndThere_020420_Anglen.mp3
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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.  

Direct download: HereAndThere_020320_Zogby.mp3
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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.

Direct download: HereAndThere_012720_Haas.mp3
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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.

Direct download: HereAndThere_012320_Chavez.mp3
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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.

Direct download: HT012020MuddePOD.mp3
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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.

Direct download: HereAndThere_011420_Hudak_Stenglein.mp3
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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.

Direct download: HereAndThere_011320_Paladino.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

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