Here And There with Dave Marash

After initially shrugging off the Sarin gas attack on Syrian civilians, almost certainly by forces of President Bashar al-Assad, with the comment, “I’m not the world’s policeman, US President Donald Trump retaliated with 59 Cruise missiles against a Syrian Air Force Base.  Left unanswered, the all-too-familiar question --“And then what?  Journalist and author Charles Glass, one of the world’s real experts on Syria, and a frequent and recent visitor there helps us sort out some possible answers, as repercussions echo from Damascus to Washington to Moscow. 

Direct download: HT041717GlassPOD.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm MDT

At the University of New Mexico, several of the key trends are turning downward.  Financial support from the dead-broke State are down, and so are enrollments.  Acting UNM President Chaouki Abdallah says many parts of his system are “broken” and in need of fixing.  One example – the University’s heavy dependence on part-time teachers known as adjuncts. Thy can fill many holes, Dr Abdallah says, but there are important roles on campus they cannot play.

Direct download: HT041317AbdallahPOD.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm MDT

A President’s public decisions and his private fortune are supposed to be kept strictly separated.  But several credentialed ethicists say even President Trump’s inadequate promises are already bing abandoned.  There are decisions with ethical implications being made every day at the Trump White House.  Investigative reporter Justin Elliott on why so many of them are so controversial.  Is the President “draining the swamp,” of swamping the Washington drain with too many wrong choices? 

Direct download: HT041117ElliotPOD.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm MDT

The battle for Mosul, Iraq.  Correspondent Tony Cheng is just back from the front lines of the months-long allied campaign to expel the Islamic State, ISIS, from its most important city. American air power has been crucial in this fight, but has also been the cause of many civilian casualties, which are starting to run into the thousands.  And Tony also explains why reporters covering today’s wars always try to keep their feet and their vehicles on pavement.  

Direct download: HT041017ChengPOD.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm MDT

First there was BREXIT, then the election of Donald Trump, and pundits were saying, the world is going hard right.  Then the Dutch hyper-nationalist identity politician Geert Wilders was upset, going down in flames in national elections. Now votes are coming up in Germany and France with mainstream parties and politicians under sharp pressure.  James Kirchick of Foreign Policy looks at those elections, and the role being played in them by millions of dollars in imported right-wing American money. 

Direct download: HT040617KirchickPOD.mp3
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When a fired public employee becomes a whistleblower, reporters can check out the he said-they said charges by checking the public record.  But what happens when an arm of a public university says it is a separate non-profit and everything it does can be kept off the books? Daniel Libit of nmfishbowl.com says, that’s when you have to sue them.  He’s asked the University of New Mexico Foundation about selling naming rights for the school’s iconic basketball arena, and gotten no answers…yet. 

Direct download: HT040517LibitPOD.mp3
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The best wall between you and financial predators, says Jordan Goodman, America’s Money Answers Man, is the CFPB, the Consumers Financial Protection Bureau.  In less than 6 years it has saved consumers $11 Billion.  President Trump and Republicans in Congress want to tear it down.  Who stopped the Wells Fargo Bank scams? Who’s busted mortgage flim-flams at Citimortgage and Nationstar Financial?  And who stopped crooks preying on 9/11 first-responders and brain-damaged NFL veterans? The CPFB.  Close it down? 

Direct download: HTGoodman040417POD.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm MDT

What happens to immigrant children detained at the US-Mexico border?  Their first stop is a large warehouse, subdivided by chain link fences into separate areas for boys and girls, men and women.  Dr. Fernando Stein, President, American Academy of Pediatrics says the lights are on 24/7 and kids are absolutely silent.  They’re likely to be there for days, and their next stop, while better, still feels like a jail, where their average stay is more than a month. Dr. Stein says simply, this is unhealthy. 

Direct download: HT040317SteinPod.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm MDT

President Donald Trump has called several of the most important components of the news media “enemies of the people.”  It’s an ugly charge with an ugly history.  Alan Miller, Founder and CEO of the News Literacy Project on what the charge means and how journalists and news consumers should respond to its challenge.   And then there’s the label “fake news.”  What is fake news, and has President Trump applied the label appropriately.  Does he really just mean, real news, I don’t like? 

Direct download: HT033017PodcastMiller.mp3
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The 2017 session of the New Mexico Legislature ended with on vital piece of unfinished business.  The Legislature passed a budget, but Gov. Susana Martinez has promised to veto it and call for the law-makers to return to Santa Fe for a special Session.  Which is not to say that a lot did not get done in the 60 day session.  Matthew Reichbach of the New Mexico Political Report sorts things out. There were important reforms on the use of solitary confinement, and a big step forward towards a State Code of Ethics, but there was also a series of Martinez vetoes likely to be challenged in court.

Direct download: HT032817ReichbachPOD.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm MDT