Here And There with Dave Marash

State-sponsored domestic terrorism, that’s what Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has unleashed to keep his hold on power.  One of his “colectivos” – armed gangs, who have long  threatened or beaten up Maduro ‘s opponents, stormed the National Parliament Building and savagely attacked opposition legislators, while government security forces stood by.  AP Andean Bureau Chief Joshua Goodman has been in Caracas as the Venezuelan political crisis has spun closer to the brink. 

Direct download: HT071017GoodmanPOD.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

I asked America’s Money Answers Man, Jordan Goodman, to take a look at an op-ed written by NM Congressman Steve Pearce.  It defends what’s called The Financial Choice Act, passed by the Republican majority in the House and presently bogged down in the Senate.  Goodman, one of America’s top financial journalists says Pearce has some legitimate points, but overall the bill mostly benefits the already rich and powerful.  For one thing it protects predatory pay day lenders and guts the Consumer Financial Protection Board, which has taken back from financial cheaters some $12 billion in 6 years.

Direct download: HT070617GoodmanPOD.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

When various branches of the Mexican government bought $80 million worth of spyware from an Israeli manufacturer, The NSO Group, they all had to promise to use it only against terrorists, drug cartels and big time criminals.  Instead, Nicole Perlroth of the NY Times has revealed in a series of front page articles, the Pegasus bug has been used against human rights crusaders, anti-corruption activists and some top Mexican journalists.  Pegasus has never been used to catch the murderers of 117 Mexican journalists since the year 2000. 

Direct download: HT070517PerlrothPOD.mp3
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Direct download: HT070317JohnsonPOD.mp3
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One complication of the war to oust the Islamic State from Iraq has been the behavior of often-Iranian-trained Shi’ite militias.  They’ve frequently been accused of abusing, torturing, even killing innocent Sunni civilians.  That’s why they’ve all been told to steer clear of the Battle for Mosul and concentrate on IS units in the hinterlands outside the city.  Kenneth R. Rosen of the NY Times spent time recently with one Shi’ite militia group in the desert, near the Syrian border.  Their denials of bad behavior, Rosen says, didn’t account for a hidden prison camp, where Human Rights Watch says, those very abuses have been committed.

Direct download: HT062917RosenPOD.mp3
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In the Middle East, the United States says it has only one mission – to defeat Islamic State terrorism.  But most of our allies in the region, who did almost all of the actual fighting, have several different agendas.  Pulitzer Prize winning foreign correspondent Roy Gutman, who has recently visited the conflict zone in Syria, reports this often involves small-scale but bitterly fought wars between our allies.  As both American-supported and Russian-supported forces get closer to the Islamic State’s Syrian capital of Raqqa the danger of clashes involving both Russians and Americans is growing.

Direct download: HT062717GutmanPOD.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

A recent series of terrorist attacks in London and Manchester in the United Kingdom, like attacks in the United States in the past several years, appear to be the work of “lone wolves,” operating independently of any Islamic State or Al Qaeda management or networking.  They are what RAND Corporation Terrorism analyst Brian Michael Jenkins calls “pure terrorism.”  He says they are a product of the shrinking territory and bankroll at Islamic State command headquarters and they present new problems for security forces meant to defeat them.

Direct download: HT062617JenkinsPOD.mp3
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After the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, America’s Veterans Administration Hospitals are facing more cases of Post-traumatic-Stress-Injury than ever before…and their standard treatments, anti-depression drugs and traditional psycho-therapy are failing many vets.  Matthew Farwell went through Hell in Afghanistan and then underwent both those treatments, to limited effect.  Then he got what some call, The God Shot, and felt a lot better quickly and still does a couple of years later. 

Direct download: HT061217FarwellPOD.mp3
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The Trump Administration approach to methane, the climate-heating greenhouse gas is relight the flares and celebrate their brightness.  Of course, you and the planet might choke on the fumes.  Environmental reporter Laura Paskus on a double-barreled blow to regulation designed to make the Koch brothers, among others, very happy.  Then there’s the Gila River diversion project, the best thing to be said of it is … it probably won’t happen, but meanwhile NM Gov. Martinez is spilling millions of dollars on it.

Direct download: HT062117PaskusPOD.mp3
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The battle for the city of Mosul, the biggest by far in Northern Iraq continues, with the forces of the Islamic State more and more encircled and diminished.  But Tony Cheng, who has been covering this battlefront since March for CGTN, the Chinese English-language news channel, says that claims that ISIS is on the ropes, and that the endgame has begun may be a bit pre-mature.  Tony reports the fighting, often house by house and block by block in the Old City of West Mosul remains fierce, and far from completely locked into the Old City, he says, ISIS forces continue to cause alarm in the hinterlands south and west of the city. 

Direct download: HT062017ChengPOD.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT