Here And There with Dave Marash

I’m an old guy.  I love my Medicare.  But for my oral health, I’m on my own.  Why is that? and how does it explain the inequality of America’s dental care?  Mary Otto, the author of an excellent new book called Teeth, knows the answers and the history behind them.  The economics of taking care of what’s in your mouth…the differences between medical care and dental care in America…they may not put a smile on your face. 

Direct download: HT070317OttoPOD.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

All those recent articles on President Trump’s options in the face of North Korea’s test flight of a missile capable of hitting Alaska, were anticipated and excelled in Mark Bowden’s Atlantic Magazine analysis.  Bottom line: none of the options is good.  The biggest reason, the 25 million people living in the Seoul metropolitan area are unprotected hostages to Kim Jung Il’s nuclear threats.

Direct download: HTBowden071717pod.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

Some call Donald Trump, the first Facebook President, the first Tweeter-in-chief.  Twitter may be where Trump sounds off, but deep data soundings purchased from Facebook, may have been what got him the White House platform from which he Tweets.  Nina Burleigh of Newsweek on her recent cover story on big data and high-stakes politics in the US and the UK where the same data miners and propaganda marketers, financed by the same ultra-conservative American billionaire also did BREXIT. 

Direct download: HT071317pod.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

In 2013, to the staff of safety engineers at Los Alamos Labs’ Plutonium Unit, safety had become a dangerously low priority, that 12 out of 14 of them quit, and the Unit, PF-4 had to shut down.  4 years later it still is. Investigative reporter Patrick Malone of the Center for Public Integrity just published a 5 part series on safety issues at the National Labs.  A tale of 2 photo opportunities: 1 almost caused a catastrophe, the other covered up the consequences.

Direct download: ht071117MalonePOD.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

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 MST

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 MST

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
Category:general -- posted at: 8:16pm MST

Direct download: HT070317JohnsonPOD.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

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
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

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 MST