Here And There with Dave Marash

When President Franklin Roosevelt created his New Deal coalition to dig America out of the Great Depression in the 1930s, he united union workers and small businesspeople and farmers. Stacy Mitchell said in The Nation, Joe Biden needs to cure rural and small town America of its fear of progressive policies if he’s to save America from the ruin of the 21st century post-pandemic economic crisis. 

Direct download: HereAndThere_123020_Mitchell.mp3
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For Attorney General William Barr it seemed a perfect bookend to his Federal career and a resuscitation of a reputation his service to Donald Trump has tarnished.  Barr oversaw the first indictments for terrorism in the downing of Pan Am 103. 32 year after the bombing he announces a third indictment, but award-winning Libyan journalist Mustafa Fetouri has his doubts.  For one thing, the new suspect was on the CIA’s watchlist months before the Pan Am terrorism…but his name never appeared in the trial of the first two suspects, only one of whom was convicted. 

Direct download: HereAndThere_122920_Fetouri.mp3
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 The biggest drug bust in US-Mexico history blows up: the accused the former Mexican Defense Minister is released and charges are dropped, even though no US prosecutor has said he doesn’t believe Gen. Salvador Cienfuegos helped a drug cartel get drugs to the United States.  Mary Beth Sheridan has reported the story deeply in an investigative series for the Washington Post, called Losing Control…she’s talking about the Government of Mexico. 

Direct download: HereAndThere_122820_Sheridan.mp3
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Continuing our pre-holiday week survey of 2020 books we liked, Evan Osnos of the New Yorker has written a primer on the President-elect called Joe Biden: The Life, the Run, and What Matters Now. It helped in writing the book that Osnos had already interviewed Biden many times over the years. What’s changed, or has Biden remained pretty much the same?

Direct download: HereAndThere_122120_Osnos.mp3
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If sometimes, it’s hard to see the forest for the trees, it’s a lot harder to see when some trees in a forest start to migrate somewhere else.  Zach St. George’s recent book we liked: The Journeys of Trees: A Story About Forests, People and the Future looks at how climate change is affecting our forests and what mother nature and a lot of interested humans are doing to save them. Some are planting seeds in new areas, others are introducing “counterpests” in old forest zones.

Direct download: HereAndThere_120920_StGeorge.mp3
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We want our college football and basketball, just as we all want essential services like groceries and hospitals to stay open through the Covid-19 pandemic.  But Craig Garthwaite of the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University says all those demands put unfair burdens on unpaid athletes and poorly-paid workers of color to serve a richer, Whiter clientele.  For college athletes, at least, Garthwaite says, change does seem to be on the way.  

Direct download: HereAndThere_120820_Garthwaite.mp3
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When a small town hospital shuts its doors, a lot of things change, from the healthcare options of local residents to the economy and real estate values in the town. Sarah Jane Tribble of Kaiser Health News on the many changes wrought in Ft Scott, KS, by the closing of Mercy Hospital.  Not all of them were for the worse. But, It’s a troubling trend across much of rural America and the Covid19 pandemic has made everything about it more dangerous. 

Direct download: HereAndThere_120720_Tribble.mp3
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Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. You’ve seen the moive and remember the close-ups.  But how did the real Butch Cassidy fit into the reality of the American West at the end of the 19th Century? Charles Leerhsen’s book Butch Cassidy: the True Story of an American Outlaw answers the question. Which means not just who was Butch and what was it like out west in 1890, but what was the law and what did it mean to be outside it? As we head to gifting season, this is the first of a series of 2020 books we like. 

Direct download: HereAndThere_120220_Leehrsen.mp3
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In the Presidential Election of 2016, or so the story goes, psy-war encouragement to potential Trump voters, delivered through social media, influenced, if it didn’t tip, the results. Jeremy Merrill of Pro Publica kept close watch on Facebook to figure out – as precisely as possible – who was being targeted with what disinformation in the year before Election Day 2020. 

Direct download: HereAndThere_120120_Merrill.mp3
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