Here And There with Dave Marash (general)

If our National Parks are looking a little run down, it’s because there is an $11 billion backlog of undone maintenance on everything from roads and guard-rails to rest rooms. Elizabeth Miller of the Santa Fe Reporter, Backpacker and The Guardian USA on the Trump Administration’s plan to pay for repairs with money raised by leasing out more public lands, including National park lands for energy development.  Could National Parks maintenance be paid for out of general tax revenues?  Of course, but that’s not the White House’s choice.

Direct download: HT0607MillerPOD.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

The pension fund for Colorado’s state employees is running short of money.  2 reasons are consistent underfunding by the legislature and below average returns on pension fund investments.  But investigative reporter David Sirota tells us, “reforming” the fund involves penalizing retirees and protecting lawmakers and money managers.  Pensioners will see cost of living adjustments cut and contributions raised, while money managers get to keep their veil of secrecy from public evaluation of their work. 

Direct download: HT0604SirotaPOD.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

Donald Trump keeps saying he wants to be Vladimir Putin’s friend, but Trump’s renunciation of the nuclear arms agreement with Iran won’t help the relationship, and neither will Israeli attacks on Iranian forces fighting on Russia’s side in Syria.  Scholar-analyst Stephen F. Cohen of NYU and Princeton and The Nation on why the US and Russia aren’t getting along.  Cohen says one reason is the US News Media and its addiction to stories that put Putin in a bad light. 

Direct download: HT051718CohenPOD.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

The Conservative Republicans of the Nixon era, who created the OSHA system were sure to include stakeholder participation through advisory boards. Now the radical-conservatives of the Trump era have knocked them out, and may some workplace health and safety protections as well.  Has development of a sensor to warn construction workers of approaching  danger been halted, or ended?  Rebecca Moss of the New Mexican and ProPublica tells the story.

Direct download: ht051618mossPOD.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

 According to Attorney General Jeff Sessions the threat to our southern border is so great that families who used to be simply deported will now be prosecuted with adults and their children forcibly separated for months at a time, and President Trump has sent the National Guard to the border.  But what are they actually doing there?  Can you say, motor pool? Desert Sage columnist Algernon D’Ammassa of the Deming Headlight with the view from the US-Mexico border.

Direct download: Dammassa0515pod.mp3
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President Donald Trump withdraws from the multi-national nuclear weapons agreement with Iran, rejecting pleas from our closest allies and sending Kim Jong Un to Beijing for Chinese advice on the implications for his own negotiations with the US leader.  Joseph Cirincione of the Ploughshares Fund on nuclear brinksmanship and diplomacy. Trump’s aggressive policies, he says, could push Israel and Iran into war and make a deal with North Korea even more unlikely. 

Direct download: Cirincione0514pod.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

CNS, a corporate combination led by Bechtel National promised it could save the Department of Energy more than 3 billion bucks, running 2 shops in its nuclear weapons program.  They haven’t come close.  So why, investigative reporter Patrick Malone of the Center for Public Integrity asks, does the Government keep giving them big profit bonuses?

CNS’ plan was simple, fire workers and cut benefits to those who aren’t let go.

Guess what.  They did both, but the costs of nuclear weapons keep going up.

Direct download: HT0510MalonePOD.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

As the 2018 election cycle unfolds, keep you eyes out for avowed racists, nativists and neo-Nazis.  Donna Minkowitz of The Nation Magazine reports there are likely to be a dozen or more such people on the ballot, and one narrowly missed by the Republican Gubernatorial candidate in VA last year.  Here’s running for the Senate this year. Will public acceptance of institutional haters be a big part of President Donald Trump’s political legacy?

Direct download: HT050818MinkowitzPOD.mp3
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Avoidable deaths have occurred, unnecessary pain and injury, too, because of inadequate medical staffing at jails run by the Bureau of Indian Affairs.  Mary Hudetz of the Associated Press and NM In Depth says the warnings have been piling up for years.  The BIA budget for medical care for all Native Americans provides less than a quarter of the money the Federal Buro of Prisons offers its inmates.  No wonder most American Indian death rates are far worse than for “average Americans.” 

Direct download: HT0507HudetzPOD.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

In 2009, the Albuquerque Police Department made up a label, "The Memphis Mob" to describe a group of African-American men they'd arrested.  It produced headlines and a claim by then-Mayor Martin Chavez that this was "one of the biggest gang busts in Albuquerque history."  Then the label disappeared for 7 years, until, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER JEFF PROCTOR OF NM IN DEPTH says it was used by an APD detective to aim a Federal ATF operation planned for the city.  The result?  27% of the arrests made by the ATF were of African-Americans in a city whose population is just 3% African-American. 

Direct download: HT0503proctorPOD.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT