Here And There with Dave Marash

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

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.  

Direct download: HT031218MalonePOD.mp3
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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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Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

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. 

Direct download: HT030618VillagranPOD.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:20pm MDT

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. 

Direct download: HT022718MatlockPOD.mp3
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