Here And There with Dave Marash
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Television executives say they carefully target their audiences, on broadcast, cable or – on demand – on the internet.  But analyst Jenny Schuetz of the Brookings Institution says their calibrations seem way out of date, still over-emphasizing the East and West Coast and giving short shrift to the South and Midwest.  Voters see this and don’t like it.  A lot of the areas that gave Donald Trump his surprise victory in 2016 are places the TV networks have turned their backs on, a breach niche programs like Duck Dynasty address and widen.

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Thomas TJ Brennan told the story of his long and painful recovery from traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress injury inflicted during his service on the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan in a fine memoir, SHOOTING GHOSTS, done with photo-journalist Finbarr O’Reilly.  Something that helped was cannabis.  Why he asks, it is still illegal for the VA to offer it as treatment?  It’s just one sign of how behind the times the Veterans Administration system is in using new therapies for one of the most common serious injuries suffered by American in combat. 

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The auto industry prides itself on its innovations.  But new ideas that help sell cars get very different treatment from new ideas that could save lives. Joan Claybrook, President Emeritus of Public Citizen and one of America’s pioneer advocates for auto safety on the battle to get better brakes into cars and trucks.  The costs in prices for advanced braking systems seem small compared to the savings in human lives, and insurance companies note, in customer’s insurance premiums. 

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They say you can know a lot about a person by listing his enemies.  It’s telling, too, when the enemies list is endless.  But even for the prolific antagonist Donald Trump, there are priorities.  Globally, North Korea and Iran vie for the top spot, whilemano a mano, his irresistible opposite is Jeff Sessions, and when domestic politics gets beyond the White House, the enemy is the state of California.  Long-time Sacramento journalist Peter Schrag wrote in The Nation magazine about the California resistance to President Trump…

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The pollster, columnist and marketing strategist John Zogby was one of the first to see the mass murder at the high school in Parkland, Florida as a “tipping point” in America’s debate over gun control.  The children, he predicted, the students will lead a national movement towards more regulation of firearms. What were the first signs that led him to that conclusion?  And does he think the killings at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High will play a role in the 2018 elections?  And what about the backlash of smears and conspiracies rampant on the internet?  Will the trolls drown out the students?

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For 30 years the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board has been the American public’s only “open window” to safety issues in the national nuclear weapons industry.  Last year Republican members of the Board tried to close the window and failing that, shut down the safety board entirely.  Nope.  Investigative reporter PatrickMalone of the Center for Public Integrity says the DNFSB survived in the Trump Administration’s 2019 Budget, and he’ll show why that’s a very good thing.  

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Venezuela used to be among Latin America’s most prosperous, functional and democratic countries.  Today it is none of those things,  Joshua Goodman of the Associated Press reports from Caracas, the Venezuelan capitol city now among the most violent, dangerous and crime-ridden places on earth.  Nicolas Maduro is bent on making himself President-for-life.  Can anyone stop him?

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In its first 4 years of existence, the Consumers’ Financial Protection Bureau returned close to $12 Billion taken from consumers by unscrupulous payday lenders, banks and other financial institutions.  Until the Trump Administration stopped all payouts last November.  Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative report Jesse Eisinger of Pro Publica on the battle to protect you from financial predators, and the Republican politician whose former seat in Congress was partially paid for by campaign contributions from payday lenders.  No wonder he seems to want to protect the predators. 

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Why would two sets of pre-schoolers be playing separately in a single schoolyard divided by a chain link fence?  Lauren Villagran of Searchlight NM says it’s New Mexico state public education department policies that segregate the Head Start kids from the state-funded pre-schoolers, keeping the poorest children in a world of their own.  Does this make sense to you?  There’s more agreement in the Legislature that more money needs to go for early-childhood education than there about where the money should come from. 

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Attorney General Jeff Sessions has announced a new task force to control the output of manufacturers and distributors of opioid drugs.  A worthy idea says Polk Award-winning reporter Lenny Bernstein of the Washington Post, and a welcome shift from the passivity of the Obama administration. But the change maybe a little late, since the opioid market is shifting away from Vicodin and Oxy-contin to the more dangerous and harder to detect Fentanils.  Meanwhile the national death toll from opioid overdoses continues to climb. 

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 Most people from the Iraqi city of Mosul are glad they were liberated from the Islamic State, but sad about the cost, in human lives, and in the utter destruction of most of the Western half of the city. And now it’s clear the US and the rest of the world are stepping away from financing rebuilding.  Morally wrong, some senior diplomats who have worked there, tell AP Correspondent Lori Hinnant, they think so, but worse, they think this could create a new generation of terrorists.  T

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The worst parts of the country to suffer a serious accident are in rural America.  People die of trauma 3 times as often as in the cities or suburbs.  One huge reason?  Fewer hospitals.  And they’re getting fewer all the time.  Rural hospitals face a double whammy…it’s harder to recruit doctors to sparsely settled place and the patient population is unpredictable and low. Staci Matlock, editor of the Taos News, with some sure signs of stress in her local hospital and how her taxpaying readers may be asked to help out. 

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Almost 7 years in, and the war in Syria is as destructive as ever to civilian life, even though the array of destroyers doing the shooting and changes keeps changing.  Saudi Arabia has cashed out and its former clients may now be working for Turkey whose Army has invaded a Syrian area called Afrin. Not too close to American troops. Charles Glass knows Syria as well as any Western reporter, and he’s still a frequent visitor. 

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For years, enough roads led to the border village of Santa Teresa, NM for people to think they might eventually turn a profit there.  Along came NAFTA and Jerry Pacheco started dreaming about a town straddling the border, living the dream of social harmony and profitable trade.  Sarah Tory of High Country News says Pacheco’s not the only one banking on Santa Teresa’s future.  Of course, if President Trump kills NAFTA and builds his border barrier, Santa Teresa will go back to being a hole in the wall. 

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Angela Merkel has said it: her 4th term as Germany’s Chancellor will be her last and she intends to serve the full 4 years.  But 6 months after she won election, she still needs to form a government.  That depends on half a million members of her partners in a “Grand Coalition,” The Social Democratic Party. Will they approve another 4 years playing second fiddle? If they don’t, Merkel says she’ll call a new election in which the far right anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany Party is expected to grow in votes and power. Madeleine Schwartz of the NY Review of Books is living in Berlin. 

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Is there still a “Western World?”  And if there is, who is its leader?  Not the usual suspect.  President Donald Trump has few followers beyond our borders, and with Angela Merkel struggling to form, much less lead, a government in Germany, and Teresa May struggling to stay in office in the UK, a name you hear a lot is French President Emmanuel Macron.  Why?  What’s he done and where is he leading France and Europe?  AP’s Paris Bureau Chief Angela Charlton covers the story,

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The humanitarian disaster in Syria is as bad as ever, with hundreds of thousands of internally displaced Arab families caught up in conventional warfare between the Turkish Army and Kurdish militias.  Roy Gutman covered the flight to refuge in Afrin and updates us the refuge has become a deadly trap. And what’s the US military up to, building a client army of 30,000 and several thousand Americans on the ground in support? Finishing off, “annihilating” the ISIS threat is just Job 1 of several.  The story, in depth on HERE & THERE -- coming up next

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Homelessness is, by definition, a housing problem, but America’s Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Dr Ben Carson says it’s not his problem, “not a Federal problem, but everybody’s problem.”  Which usually means, it’s nobody’s problem, except the millions of people in America who go homeless every night.  Alastair Gee runs The Guardians’ investigative project on homelessness, Outside in America.  He reports a lot of cities are solving their homelessness problem by handing out one-way bus tickets out of town.  Some solution!

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Warren Buffett, Jeff Bezos, and Jamie Dimon are all self-made American billionaires.  They’ve succeeded by creating new solutions to investing, retail marketing and banking, now they’re joining together to tackle one of the country’s most perplexing problems: healthcare.  Elizabeth Rosenthal, the author of An American Sickness, a best-selling examination of the infrastructure of American medical care looks at the key questions, some possible answers, and the impact these 3 men might have on all American healthcare. 

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The US Constitution guarantees that everyone facing criminal charges, even if they can’t afford one, is entitled to legal counsel.  The State of New Mexico effectively says, “Can’t afford it.”  Maggie Shepard of the Albuquerque Journal on the state’s over-burdened Office of the Public Defender.  One critic says the effect is, more innocent people in jail and longer sentences for the innocent and guilty alike.  

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Who’s working in America’s radio and television news rooms?  On TV, it sometimes looks like women and minorities are better represented, but are the people you see still tokens of hidden exclusion revealed in the number of women and minorities off camera.  And what about the executive suites…is promotion to top management equally open to all?  And does the invisibility of radio move it towards inclusion or exclusion of women and minorities?  Bob Papper has for years conducted the Hofstra University – Radio TV Digital News Association survey of the industry in America.  

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According to recent surveys, just over 10% of America’s working adults – people with jobs – are going hungry.  Here in NM, the rate is the highest in America.  15.3% of the working men and women in New Mexico regularly fail to feed themselves or their families.  And yet, President Trump wants to make it harder to get food stamps, and America exports well over $100 billion worth of food products every year.  Joel Berg, once a top manager in the Department of Agriculture, now leads Hunger-Free America…a brand name and a far off aspiration.

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The bottom is dropping out of America.  A Nobel Prize economist says deep poverty in the USA is as bad as the worst in Bangladesh or Burkina Faso.  And it’s spreading:  One sure sign: hunger.  As usual, California shows the way to the future.  Charlotte Simmonds of the Guardian’s Outside in America team on how a new generation of hungry and homeless people have swamped Silicon Valley.

Prominent among the new needy, families, young singles, and people with full-time jobs.

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If President Trump’s aim at Davos was to put America First, he did it, in his own mind and in his own speech.  But most observers rated the American third, at best, in impact, well behind France’s Macron and China’s money.  What got people’s attention were Macron’s brainpower and China’s huge expansion of tis global loans for infrastructure and influence program.  We talk with financial strategist Nomi Prins, author of the just-published book Collusion about the show at Davos and the real world economy beyond it. 

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It may be the most successful American revolution since 1776, the bottom-to-top renovation of tomato business.  The point: to get tomato pickers closer to a living wage and more humane working conditions.  The farm fields, in Florida and up the east coast as far as Virginia that produce close to half of all the tomatoes eaten in the United States meet that standard.  Look for the Fair Food label.  Susan Marquis, Dean of the Graduate School at the RAND Corporation and the author of I AM NOT A TRACTOR, on the tomato revolution and how it was accomplished.

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Here’s a measure of how the Government of Puerto Rico values the lives of its citizens.  When Gov. Ricardo Rosello first told the visiting President Trump the Hurricane Maria death toll of was just 16, literally everyone knew that was wrong.  Today the official number is still under 70.  But Julio Ricardo Varela of Futuro Media and Latino USA showed the real number is closer to 1000.  When it comes to government estimates of the value of property damage done by the storm, they seem almost as high as their death count is low. 

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Good news for the oil, gas and coal industries, but the Trump tariffs announced on solar energy materials seem pretty bad for everyone else…unless the foreign-owned companies getting protection expand operations in the US, and more important, innovate here, so that the US isn’t just a backwater in the energy streams of the 21st century.  Keith Johnson of Foreign Policy on this and other big doings in global energy markets.  Are today’s higher oil prices a peak, just a dot on an upward slope, or the new normal?  

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THERE:  There it was on the internet.  Amazon was even offering it for sale.  A tee-shirt inscribed “Rope. Tree. Journalist.  Some assembly required.”  What a cute idea…let’s lynch reporters, columnists or editors we disagree with!  Dan Shelley, the Executive Director of the Radio Television Digital News Association wasn’t amused.  So he went right to the sources, including Amazon and asked, is this an idea you endorse?  The shirts were pulled from the digital shelves, but Dan warns, right-wing agitation against a free press isn’t over.

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The Donald Trump-GOP Congress tax bill is now law…and it is clear it’s a bonanza for America’s largest corporations and richest people.  But what about the rest of us?  Jordan Goodman, America’s Money Answers Man, has the answers on new taxes…who will benefit from the new law?  How soon will the benefits begin and how long will they last?  And who are the – Donald Trump’s favorite word – “losers” in the new tax configuration, and what are the consequences for them and for the nation as a whole? 

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In Vietnamese, the phrase, “may you live in interesting times,” is considered a curse.  Women in Pakistan, and much of the Islamic world know why.  The times they are living through are more than just interesting.  Rafia Zakaria has written two recent books, The Upstairs Wife and Veil that reveal the changes in national politics and religious practices that challenge women from Karachi to Timbuktoo.  Their status as citizens, as wives, as women is changing…but what will come next is still a mystery. 

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Glenn Simpson was an ace investigative reporter for the Wall Street Journal, until he took his skills private and formed the research firm Fusion GPS.  Simpson calls what his company does – things like compiling the so-called dossier of alleged connections between associates of Donald Trump and associates of Vladimir Putin – “journalism for rent.”  It’s a label investigative reporter Jack Gillum of the Washington Post finds troubling.  Fusion GPS uses the means of journalism, but often to ends that look like journalism minus a lot of professional standards. 

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Anne Frank kept a secret diary while hiding out from the Nazi occupation of Amsterdam.  She was betrayed, captured and killed by the Nazis but her diary became world famous.  During the Islamic State occupation of Mosul, a young girl Anne Frank’s age also kept a secret diary, but published it on Facebook.  Reporter Bram Janssen of the Associated Press found “Ferah” and tell us her story which ends with her and her family surviving occupation and outlasting the jihadi terrorists.

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For many years at the Rocky Mountain News, M. E. Sprengelmeyer had what a lot of people consider a dream job, ace reporter for a major regional newspaper.  M. E. covered war in Iraq and Afghanistan and politics in Washington and on the campaign trail.  Then the Rocky closed and M E found HIS dream job.  For 8 years he ran the small town weekly, The Guadalupe County Communicator in Santa Rosa, NM.  He shares that experience with us, what he learned about reporting and small town life and why he’s decided to quit ‘em both.

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The city of Fresno, California and the surrounding jurisdictions of California’s Central Valley register among the highest rates in the state of both teenage pregnancy and sexually-transmitted disease.  Fresno Bee reporter Mackenzie Mays did a series of reports showing that the public schools, which could be part of a solution, actually may be worsening the crises.  For example, the Fresno School Board President publically proclaims his kids have always opted out of any kind of public school sex education…not that a lot is offered to kids who desperately need it. 

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In Afghanistan, the more new developments are reported, the more the problems remain the same.  Award-winning photo-journalist Finbarr O’Reilly, the co-author of the great dual memoir with Thomas Brennan, Shooting Ghosts, about returning from the Afghan war to the normality of peace, is just back from a visit to Afghanistan.  This time he swapped his cameras for an iPhone and his Kevlar armor for civilian clothing. Both changes made a difference  Finbarr’s insights are worth your attention..

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Net neutrality, it once ruled the American internet, but now it’s gone.  So what?  Ali Velshi, the Chief Business Correspondent for NBC News offers some looks ahead to a near-certainty of higher consumer costs and the frightening possibility of reduced services and censored content.

The big change in the Trump FCC rules is far less regulation for the oligarchies that dominate both internet service provision and content creation.  As the old blues goes…you don’t miss your neutrality till it’s gone. 

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For almost 40 years Ali Abdullah Saleh more or less ran Yemen.  “Dancing on the heads of snakes,” he called it.  Then he got tossed out during the Arab Spring of 2011.  But he never stopped angling for power…first joining the Houthi revolution and then trying to sell it out to the Saudis. Then the Houthis killed him and now everything in perpetually chaotic Yemen is more chaotic than ever.  Maggie Michael of the Associated Press has been covering the story.  

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Foes in ’76, Friends in ’85.”  That’s what the posters said, advertising the 1885 tour of Buffalo Bill Cody”s Wild West Show with Guest Star Sitting Bull.  What brought the great former buffalo and Indian hunter and the greatest of the Chiefs of the Great Plains Indians together?  And how did the combination work out, and how did autographed pictures and souvenirs figure in?  Deanne Stillman, author of the new book Blood Brothers: The Strange Friendship of Buffalo Bill and Sitting Bull tells the story.

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First the President packed the Supreme Court.  Then they lifted term-limits and Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez decided to run for re-election.  Midway through the vote count, the Electoral Commission announced opposition candidate Salvador Nasralla was going to win handily.  That’s when the funny business began…and a crisis ensued.  Christopher Sherman has been covering the Honduras story for the Associated Press.  He tells us about it, in depth on HERE & THERE -- coming up next.

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In 1965, President Lyndon Johnson drove 2 huge pieces of legislation through congress and changed for all time, voting rights and immigration laws in America.  Combine the effects of the 2 laws and you get a political sea-change in America, and now, 52 years later, political analyst Steve Phillips, the author of the book Brown Is the New White, argues, new American demographics make possible a New American Majority made up of people of color and White progressives.  Can this new majority derail Donald Trump?

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Most people think of Equifax as a credit rating company, but actually it’s real source of income is data collected about you and then sold to their real customers.  Many worry that Equifax and its 2 competitors, Experian and Trans Union know and collect too much.  And that was before Equifax was hacked and data about 153 million people were stolen.  Sina Beaghley, cyber-security analyst from the RAND Corporation discusses the implications of Equifax’s cover-up of its being hacked, and charges that it brought the hack on itself by poor security procedures. 

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First the Department of Justice closes down the privately-run Cibola County NM Correctional Facility after 3 inmates die, possibly from poor medical care.  Then The Department of Homeland security reopens it as a detention center for ICE.  Sarah Macaraeg of Reveal and NM In Depth on what happened in between…one secret negotiation, one no-bid contract, and little State or public scrutiny.  Is the prison’s real function to keep would-be asylum-seekers away from legal help?  

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A self-described Mafia leg-breaker, maybe killer, turned effective prosecution witness, goes into the witness protection program and comes out a better class of criminal, a master con man.  The program protects him -- but what about the people he cheats out of millions of dollars?  No, the program doesn’t protect them, us. Investigative reporter Robert Anglen of the AZ Republic broke the story which started when a national chain of more than a dozen bar&grill restaurants began, one by one to go belly up.

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At the recent 19th Congress of the Chinese Communist Party, Party Leader and Chinese President Xi Jinping asserted himself, purging ex-bosses here, installing new bosses there, hinting that his next term might not be – as customary – his last and outlining a cult of Thoughts of Chairman Xi.  Timothy Heath of the RAND Corporation on President Xi’s reform of China’s military, his problems with an economy overburdened with debt, and his Chinese Dream of expanded political, economic and military power.

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America’s West Coast states -- Washington, Oregon and California can’t cope with the surge in homeless people.  AP’s Gillian Flaccus says at least 165,000 are presently homeless in the 3 states. 105,000 of them are counted as “unsheltered,” meaning they sleep on the streets, or in parks, or abandoned buildings, train or bus stations.  Who are the New Homeless? More and more they are families, young people under 24, without children, and people who work at regular jobs, but can’t afford a home. 

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New Mexico bet big on a dream.  Building Spaceport America, the country’s first airport for civilian space travelers was the easy part.  And it’s done and most say, well done.  But the space travel airline at the heart of the plan, Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic hasn’t had a take-off.  So, the hard parts of the dream, making Spaceport self-sustaining, making it a hub for new services, bringing new jobs to southern New Mexico -- Reporter Heath Haussamen of NMPolitics.net says the fairest grade on that is an incomplete.

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Few countries on earth have had some a terrible record for killing and violently abusing its citizens as Guatemala. The rule of law there is so shaky an international tribunal under the UN has been called in to prosecute national-scale criminals.  Film-maker Pamela Yates has helped uncover the crimes, even helped convict the former President Gen. Efrain Rios Montt.  Her documentaries When the Mountains Treble and Granito: How to Nail a Dictator have won many awards and her new film 500 Years opens this week.

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95% of Americans polled said they wanted the right to sue in court, banks and financial institutions they believed had cheated them. 89% said they wanted the right to file class-action lawsuits.  Well, too bad for them, as the Trump Administration and Republicans in Congress have just overturned a rule that enabled both such legal actions and restricted the banks’ right to compulsory arbitration. Ira Rheingold, executive director the National Association of Consumer Advocates on what this means for you and your banker. 

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For years, geologists suspected there were faults beneath the surface of the land of southeastern Colorado and across the state lin in Northeast New Mexico.  Then fracking came to the area, as natural gas was extracted and waste waters were stored deep underground.  Following that, starting in 2001 the Raton Basin was hit by a series of small earthquakes.  Geophysicist Jenny Nakai of the University of Colorado, Boulder connects the dots and explains the mechanics of the connection between deep storage of waste water and earthquakes expected to grow in number and amplitude.

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Just as it appeared that the American Midwest, the Rust Belt, was going to go belly up, just as a whole generation of White 20 and 30-somethings were leaving the region, an influx of immigrants saved the day.  John Austin one of the Midwest’s top economic development experts at the University of Michigan tells the story of how newcomers from South and Southeast Asia, the Mideast, Africa and Latin America are re-populating and re-making the small cities and towns of mid-America. 

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A pair of identical 17 year old twins flee the gang-culture of El Salvador and are arrested after crossing the American border.  What happens next?  They’re reunited with an older brother in California and then, their real struggles begin.  Getting Green Cards; getting an education; finding jobs to pay off the family debt their flight to El Norte incurred.  Lauren Markham wrote the exceptional book THE FAR AWAY BROTHERS about their story. 

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 Two major attempts at secession - Kurds from Iraq, Catalans from Spain - have gone awry, and the fallout will be a long time fully assessing.  But Brookings Institution analyst James Kirchick, the author the book, THE END OF EUROPE looks at both and that other separation anxiety-raiser BREXIT.  One big difference between the Kurdish and Catalan movements…the first has overwhelming majority support, the second, maybe not so much.

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The quarterhorse racetrack Ruidoso Downs is one of New Mexico’s cultural capitols, but investigative reporter Joe Tone’s new book Bones reveals how the track and the sport were corrupted by dirty money from Mexico’s most violent drug cartel, the Zetas.  It’s a family saga of cross-border crime and punishment…and of a young FBI-man’s first big case… with only one missing ingredient: real justice for the man most heavily charged and sentenced. 

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Kurdish fighters have played key roles in expelling the Islamic State from Mosul and Raqqa in Iraq and Syria.  Massoud Barzani, the leader of the Kurdish Regional Government in Iraq thought independence should be his people’s reward.  But he overbid his hand. Now Barzani has resigned, and his people are menaced by Iraqi and Iranian armed forces. Kenneth Rosen of the NY Times watched this tragedy unfold.  Did the Trump White House take its eye off the ball with disastrous results for American influence in the region?  

Direct download: HT1116RosenPODCAST.mp3
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Under pressure from lawsuits and the NM Legislature, the Archdiocese of Santa Fe has released a list of 74 priests “credibly accused” of sexual abuse of children.  But Ellen Berkovitch, the leader of KSFR’s Investigative Unit and its series Dark Canyon says that list, long as it is, may not be complete, and neither are the reforms Archbishop John Wester says he’s put in place.  The founder of the Servants of the Paraclete wanted his program to help alcoholic priests.  Treating Pedophiles, he said, was asking too much.

Direct download: HT111517BerkovitchPOD.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

Almost all the experts agree, there is no viable military solution to America’s nuclear crisis with North Korea.  But Joseph Cirincione, the President of the Ploughshares Fund and author of Nuclear Nightmares: Securing the World Before It Is Too Late, worries the exception may be President Donald Trump.  He told Sean Hannity the US had a 97% chance of intercepting any North Korean ICBMs.  Cirinione says flatly, that’s wrong, dangerously wrong.  

Direct download: HT111417CirincionePOD.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

One day, President Donald Trump says the US is ready to destroy North Korea; the next, he says, we’re ready to negotiate.  One week, China is a currency manipulator, the next, trade imbalances are all America’s fault.  Norman Ornstein the respected political analyst from the American Enterprise Institute and co-author of the new book, One National After Trump tracks the zigs and zags looking for a way to make them add up to anything more than White House confusion. 

Direct download: HT111317OrnsteinPOD.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

Can’t anyone get along?  Some Catalonians want out of Spain, while some in Lombardy and Veneto want to re-negotiate their deal with Italy.  Some Flemings want to bolt Belgium, some Corsicans seek an exit from France…and then there’s BREXIT.  Amb. Charles Ries of the RAND Corporation on what’s driving these divisions and where BREXIT may be headed.  If you guessed nowhere, that BREXIT might never happen, Amb. Ries isn’t ruling it out, because so many aspects make no economic sense. 

Direct download: HT1109RiesPOD.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

New Mexico, the Land of Enchantment…and the Land of Pay-to-Play.  Political corruption in the era of Democratic Governor Bill Richardson has been under investigation and litigation for years, but now, investigative reporter David Sirota of International Business Times connects some dots, he says, tie $1.2 million in contributions to Republican Governor Susana Martinez’s political campaigns to more than $14 million worth of money management contracts with the State

Direct download: HT110717SirotaPOD.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

At a time when President Donald Trump is doing his best to dismantle Federal Government regulation of big banks, brokers and businesses, author CareyGillam’s new book WHITEWASH details how one mega-corporation Monsanto has overwhelmed pre-Trump regulators to keep it’s herbicide Roundup, and the GMO seeds protected against it on top of the agriculture world.  Does Roundup’s main ingredient cause cancer?  One top UN agency says it probably does. 

Direct download: HT110617GillamPOD.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

They call North Korea, the Hermit Kingdom, because it has, for the whole 70 year Kim family dynasty, kept to itself and kept visitors out.  Recently, though, in the midst of its nuclear weapons squabble with the US, some American journalists were invited in.  Carol Giacomo of the NY Times was one.  She’ll tell us about her trip, and why the current war of words between President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un, the man Trump calls Little Rocket Man, scares the heck out of her. 

Direct download: HT110217GiacomoPOD.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

 Ever since the 1952 armistice which ended the Korean War without a peace treaty, relations between North Korea and the United States have oscillated between complicated diplomatic negotiations and frightening  crises and threats.  Bruce Bennett of the RAND Corporation has been involved in negotiations with Pyongyang in the past, and is just returned from Seoul.  Japan’s leaders say they’ve never felt more threatened by North Korea than now…what’s the anxiety level in South Korea? 

Direct download: HT110117Bennettpod.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

Everywhere you look in New Mexico water rights and water usage are turbulent issues.  Members are quitting the Interstate Stream Commission over a political push for the expensive and dysfunctional plans for the Gila River…while local residents are angry over proposals to take water out of aquifers under the Augustin Plains and the East Mountains to sell it to customers hundreds of miles away..  Laura Paskus of the NM Political Report brings us up to date.  

Direct download: HT103117PaskusPOD.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

600,000 Rohingya Muslims have been forced to flee Myanmar in the just past 2 months.  Award-winning photojournalist Paula Bronstein has covered the exodus, and temporary resettlement of the refugees in camps in Bangladesh.  Myanmar’s political leader, the tarnished Nobel peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi says they can come home, but the government won’t extend citizenship and is taking all their lands. 

Direct download: HT102017BronsteinPOD.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

Newsman Tony Cheng of CGTN, the Chinese English-language TV newschannel has just watched American-supported fighters, led by units of the Kurdish YPG, expel the Islamic State from its Syrian capital Raqqa.  He also covered the re-taking of the Iraqi city of Mosul from ISIS.  Again Kurds helped win the battle there.  But now Iraqi government forces, and Iran-trained militia units are expelling Kurds from the oil-0rich areas around Kirkuk.  Will the US defend its once-valued Kurdish allies?  

Direct download: HT102617pod.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

For 3 years, AP Investigative Reporter Martha Mendoza and her Pulitzer Prize-winning team have been revealing the slave labor that infects the global seafood industry.  In her latest scoop, she and her colleagues have documented workers from North Korea who process salmon filets that wind up for sale in American Wal-Marts.  The North Koreans work in terrible conditions in northeast China, under constant surveillance, and 70% of their sub-market pay goes straight to the government in Pyongyang. 

Direct download: HT102317MendozaPOD.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

Both in terms of lives lost and property damaged, the wine country wildfires in northern California have been the worst in state history.  Edward Struzik, an award-winning Canadian writer and photographer, and the author of the new book FIRESTORM says our future will be full of record-setting wildfires.  Climate change, hotter, drier weather, and increasing human penetrations of forested areas are, he says, only 2 of the reasons why. 

Direct download: HT102317StruzikPOD.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

Glen Canyon was once one of the most beautiful places in the American Southwest.  And it contained petroglyphs, pottery and other remains of a vanished Native American community.  Now it’s all underwater, just an arm of the huge Lake Powell reservoir.  Krista Langlois of High Country News on a movement to disable the Glen Canyon Dam, and drain Glen Canyon. 

Direct download: ht101917LangoisPOD.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

It’s called pay-to-play,,,you wanna do legitimate business with the State, you gotta pay for the privilege.  This corruption was rampant in NM 9 years ago…the echoes continue today.  Reporter Tripp Stelnicki of the Santa Fe New Mexican brings us up to date on the latest charges.

Direct download: HT101817StelnickiPOD.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

Your money or your life, that theatrical old bandit’s choice is real for the Navajo Nation, which has to choose between saving jobs and a big investment in coal, and endangering the long-term health of their members in the 4 Corners area of the Reservation.  AP Correspondent Susan Montoya Bryan on the potentially devastating cost of clearing NM’s skies.

Direct download: HT101717_MontoyaBryan.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

Two big differences between the Trinity atomic bomb test in NM and the later series of tests in Nevada.  The Nevada tests were public displays, the Trinity test was a secret, and while downwind people made sick by the Nevada tests have gotten federal money, the Trinity downwinders haven’t.  Santa Fe investigative reporter Dennis Carroll updates the story.

Direct download: HT101617pod.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm MST

For 141 years, the Buenos Aires Herald was the one English-language newspaper in Argentina.  It closed this summer, better loved than read, in the words of its last editor.  But Joe Goldman who covers Latin America for ABC News, the Herald proved to be well-remembered for its heroism in reporting government crimes during Argentina’s infamous “dirty war” of the 1970s.  Some of its reports on civilians “disappeared” shamed the government into letting them reappear alive. 

Direct download: HT101217GoldmanPOD.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

Just as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been accumulating more and more political power, the Turkish one percent has been accumulating more and more wealth.  One occasion for displaying both Presidential power and private wealth is a wedding.  Scholar-journalist Pinar Tremblay of Al-Monitor on wedding bells, and wedding videos and even new religious wedding jobs in Turkey.  Polls suggest young voters, coming of age for the 2019 national elections are not amused. 

Direct download: HT101017TremblayPOD.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

Way out in the wilds of southwestern New Mexico, a paramilitary religious cult set up shop in desert country 60 miles from the nearest town.  The Aggressive Christianity Missions Training Corps was in flight from court judgments in California stemming from charges of psychological intimidation and child abuse.  Albuquerque-based AP correspondent Russell Contreras reports, new charges now accuse cult leaders of repeating past crimes, including in this case the alleged rape of a disabled immigrant girl. 

Direct download: HT100917ContrerasPOD.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

It’s the Donald Trump era and hatred is washing over America.  Where do groups like the Charlottesville Neo-Nazis and their Antifa antagonists come from, and where are they, and we, headed?  Brian Levin of California State University, San Bernardino studies the movements and tracks their activities.  He’ll share some in-depth thoughts on why an Antifa cell that’s been active in Portland, OR for 12 years has suddenly gotten much more violent.

Direct download: HT100517LevinPOD.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

The medical miracle of gene therapy promises to save the lives of many people suffering from rare cancers.  But Gina Kolata of the NY Tines says the asking price for these literally one-of-a-kind medications may be more than patients or our national healthcare system can afford.  $475,000 for a one-dose cure for one type of childhood leukemia?  $900,000 to prevent blindness?  Drug companies say the prices are both fair and necessary.  Not everyone agrees. 

Direct download: HT100417KolataPOD.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

The United States and Mexico are on the brink of a major agreement on the sharing of water from the Colorado River Basin.  UNM water expert John Fleck calls the agreement a win-win and another great step forward in the rational allocation of the American Southwest’s most necessary resource.  In the face of a 17 year drought, dented only a bit by a wetter 2017, more people in the southwest, city-dwellers and farmers, have learned to use less water.  

Direct download: HT100317FleckPOD.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

De-confliction…keeping Russian and American forces from fighting each other, even as their proxy warriors battle on in Syria has been working pretty well.  But as endgame in the war against the Islamic State gets nearer, James Sladden of the RAND Corporations says, de-confliction is getting harder to sustain.  The Euphrates River, once a dividing line, has been crossed by Russian allies, and US allies are both complaining and fighting back.

Direct download: HT100217SladdenPOD.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

Before he left to become White House Chief of Staff, Gen. John Kelly assembled a team at the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Service that is very smart, very experienced, and very dedicated to the principle that "illegal" immigrants are bad people.  Marcelo Rochbrun of Pro Publica on an ICE operation in high gear, arresting and deporting.  

Direct download: HT092817RochabrunPOD.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

Was there a secret deal between the largest California Agri-business growers and the Trump Administration?  Big campaign contributions producing few ICE raids in the Central Valley?  The raiders have stayed away, but fear still paralyzed workers and kept them out of the fields.  Investigative journalist Lauren Markham on why food prices may be going up. 

Direct download: HT092617MarkhamPOD.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

Dr. William Perry is about to celebrate his 90th birthday and continues to pursue one of his life’s central goal, containing the threat of nuclear weapons.  He says today’s nuclear threat is frightening. North Korea is a big worry, but so is the state of once-cooperative relations between the US and Russia.

Direct download: HT092517PerryPOD.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

A US Marine is wounded and a Reuters photographer captures what happened.  Years later, both are still alive, both are back home, and both are struggling to transition to something different from combat.  Thomas Brennan, the former platoon sergeant and Finbarr O’Reilly have written a fine book SHOOTING GHOSTS about how their friendship helped change their lives.  We talk about 2 questions never asked on the battlefield: “Why are we here?” and “Whose lives are we making better?” 

Direct download: HT092117BrennanPOD.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

It will soon be 5 years since French troops landed in Mali, to help the pathetic government there defeat Islamist terrorists who had seized the northern third of the country.  The Islamists have been pushed back, but ethnic tensions continue, and does fighting between northern Malian Tuaregs and Central and Southern Malians. The Malian government is still pathetic and if anything, less popular, and the French are still on duty. And the UN peacekeeping force that supplements has the highest death rate of any UN forces presently serving. Michael Shurkin of the RAND Corporation has an in depth look at trouble in Mali

Direct download: HT092017ShurkinPOD.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

The last time the US Border Patrol went on a hiring spree, standards were lowered, training was cut short, Spanish skills were neglected, and the results were a catastrophe.  People were hired despite past criminal records, or worse, present connections to Mexican drug cartels.  Abuse of immigrants went epidemic.  Now, Ron Nixon of the NY Times reports, the Border Patrol hiring campaign has a new focus, radically reformed training and a heavy emphasis on language skills…preaches one instructor, you can’t just shoot people. 

Direct download: HT091917pod.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

Even a Federal Judge seems to see evidence of racial profiling and racial bias in at least one of the 28 arrests of African-Americans in a 2016 series of drug and gun crime raids by the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) in Albuquerque.  Jeff Proctor of NM in Depth and the Santa Fe Reporter, who first broke the story, notes, African Americans represent 3% of the ABQ population, 27% of those the ATF arrested and 60% of the confidential informants ATF used to drive the crime campaign. 

Direct download: HT091817ProctorPOD.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

People who depend on Medicare of Medicaid have only 2 choices for nursing homes or rehabilitation centers in Santa Fe, NM. Thomas Cole, Investigative Reporter for the Santa Fe New Mexican found that one is consistently rated below average, the other is way below that.  The State and Federal governments are supposed to monitor quality of care, but results indicate they are failing to do so because bad ratings can persist for years without correction. 

Direct download: HT0911ColePOD.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:09am MST

The US Supreme Court has ruled people who commit crimes as juveniles should not be sentenced to death or life without patrol. But what about people convicted and sentenced years before the High Court's decision?  Should they be eligible for release on parole?  Sharon Cohen led a national investigative team for the Associated Press (AP) and found the answer to that question can vary widely, and cruelly from state to state.  So far, at least, very few of these one-time juvenile criminals has been paroled.

Direct download: HT091217CohenPOD.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

Shoes keep dropping, without stopping, in Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller's investigation of possible collusion between Donald Trump's Presidential campaign and Vladimir Putin's Kremlin.  Now, Mueller is examining a first draft of President Trump's order to fire then FBI chief James Comey...is it evidence of anything?  And do meetings and other communications equal collusion?  Was the future President’s team just being played? The Wall Street Journal's National Security Correspondent Shane Harris brings us up to date. 

Direct download: HT091117HarrisPOD.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

Shoes keep dropping, without stopping, in Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller's investigation of possible collusion between Donald Trump's Presidential campaign and Vladimir Putin's Kremlin.  Now, Mueller is examining a first draft of President Trump's order to fire then FBI chief James Comey...is it evidence of anything?  And do meetings and other communications equal collusion?  Was the future President’s team just being played? The Wall Street Journal's National Security Correspondent Shane Harris brings us up to date. 

Direct download: HT091117HarrisPOD.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

Today on HERE & THERE: we cross the porous, colonially-designed border from Afghanistan to Pakistan to talk with the Washington Post's longtime bureau chief for Pakistan and Afghanistan Pamela Constable.  President Trump has threatened punishment because he says Pakistan lacks the will to seal the border and suppress its own terrorist groups.  But others wonder if there's an actual way for the Islamabad government to accomplish these tasks.  The fear in Pakistan is that the Trump Administration will double-down of the Obama Administrations escalated use of drone attacks against suspected terrorists inside Pakistan. 

Direct download: HT090717ConstablePOD.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

Will Everett, who first came to Afghanistan as a back-packing tourist and returned again and again over a decade or more, as a journalist and as a manager of USAID projects, will look at the likely impact of the Trump war effort on the Afghan civilians. Their present unhappiness, he says, is easily seen in the flows of refugees fleeing the country.  Only Syria has more citizens in global flight. Trump’s “No more nation-building,” is bad news to them. 

Direct download: HT090617EverettPOD.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

Some reality-testing of President Donald Trump’s recently announced plans for Afghanistan and Pakistan. Military analyst Matthew Hoh, who served with the Marines in Iraq and worked for the State Department in both Iraq and Afghanistan, says, too often America's diplomatic and military efforts in Afghanistan, like the Obama-era "surge,"  were ill-conceived and worse-executed.   He predicts, the projected Trump escalation will only produce more disappointment, death and destruction and not, as the President claims, "victory." 

Direct download: HT090517HohPOD.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

For Labor Day, a holiday treat, a conversation about baseball the author of Mickey and Willie, The Last coach and Clearing the Bases and other best-sellers about sports, Allen Barra, -- We talk about the disappearance of African-Americans as players and as fans of what we used to call "the national pastime."  What’s caused the Black retreat from baseball, and what is being done or can be done about it by Major League Baseball? 

Direct download: HT090417BarraPOD.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

AP's Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter MItch Weiss revealed in March how Federal, State and local law enforcement had ignored years of reports of physical, psychological, and economic abuse of converts to the Word of Faith Fellowship in Spindale, North Carolina.  Among the charges, worshippers are overworked, underpaid and kept virtual prisoners.  Now, Mitch has a follow-up report, showing that the religious cult has been bringing young Brazilians to their compound and treating them even worse.  Now, the Feds, state and local officials are definitely on the case. 

Direct download: HT_083117_Weiss_POD.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST