Here And There with Dave Marash (general)

The coronavirus pandemic has infected America’s electoral processes.  The need to socially distance is leading a lot of people to plan to mail in their ballots rather than go to the polls to vote.  The first run-through of primary votes showed some hits and a lot of misses/ Matt Vasilogambros of Stateline.org on how states are planning to do better in November, even as President Trump tries to undermine mail-in voting, if not the credibility whole election itself.  A sore loser gets a head start on being sore? but will his discontents prove contagious? 

Direct download: HereAndThere_081120_Vasilogambros.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

 The real estate called Gallup, NM is located along the border of the Navajo reservation.  The huge outbreak of Covid-19 on “the rez” showed residents of Gallup how closely tied they are to the Native Americans, and how precarious their own public health situation is. Weston Phippen of Searchlight NM has the story.

Direct download: HereAndThere_081020_Phippen.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

Hop-scotching the world in search of a Nobel Peace prize-winning diplomatic triumph, President Donald Trump has tried muscle and sanctions in Iran and sweet talk and promises with North Korea.  No luck.  So about peace between Serbia and Kosovo.  Former UN diplomat and scholar Ed Joseph says the grand plan for a White House summit blew up when the Kosovar President was indicted as a war criminal.  Most Kosovars were glad to see the summit disappear, though many dispute President Hashim Thaci’s indictment.

Direct download: HereAndThere_080520_Joseph.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

A North Dakota construction magnate, backed by a far-right Steve Bannon-linked foundation, built 3 miles of border wall along the Rio Grande in Texas at no expense to the government.  Then he cashed in his $50 million investment in a $1.7 billion wall building contract.  But his “free gift” wall – even before it was flooded by Hurricane Hanna -- seems to be slipping into the river. Jeremy Schwartz of the Texas Tribune and ProPublica broke the story.  

Direct download: HereAndThere_080420_Schwartz.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

They’re called P-foss, spelled in capital letters PFAS.  They’re a family of chemicals used to seal off surfaces. Teflon and Scotchgard are 2 brand name products – among many -- made with PFAS.  It’s found in the blood of 99% of Americans.  It’s not good for us, and the official Defense Department list of New Mexico places with PFAS to worry about has quietly grown from 2 to 6.  Laura Paskus of NM Public TV and the Santa Fe Reporter, broke the story.  

Direct download: HereAndThere_080320_Paskus.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

The Covid-19 pandemic has stopped the clock for most of the world’s commercial and social life, but agriculture doesn’t go by the clock.  It goes by the calendar, which hasn’t stopped for the pandemic.  What that’s meant for Doug Fine – author the new book American Hemp Farmer – and for his multiply-useful agricultural product and its once-fast-growing markets is today’s story.

Direct download: HereAndThere_072920_Fine.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

Typical of our times, the issue of policing in the wake of the George Floyd death in Minneapolis has been dominated by the extreme options of de-funding or reinforced funding.  But Matt Vasilogambros of Stateline.org says there’s another option, turning over some present police tasks to community service workers.  It’s worked for 31 years in Eugene, Oregon, and it’s about to be tried in Denver, San Francisco and right here in Albuquerque. 

Direct download: HereAndThere_072820_Vasilogambros.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

 Is America prepared to deal with 2 health crises simultaneously?  Well, Chris McGreal of the Guardian US says we better be, because the Covid-19 outbreak has rekindled our national problem with opioid addiction and overdose, especially in the worst-hit opioid state West Virginia.  As devastating as the coronavirus outbreak has been, McGreal shows, the scale of the opioid problem is about as big and deadly. 

Direct download: HereAndThere_072720_McGreal.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

Just 2 to 3 years ago, America’s boom towns were the ones that hosted colleges and universities.  The coronavirus pandemic has changed all of that, emptying academic institutions and devastating college-town economies.  Making the situation even worse is the fact that 2020 is a Census year.  John Austin of the University of Michigan and the Michigan Economic Center explains the story.

Direct download: HereAndThere_072220_Austin.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

NM has 2 big holes in the ground that create jobs and make lots of money…and only one of them, the WIPP site is filled with nuclear waste.  The deal that created the WIPP site limited the kinds of radioactive waste WIPP can take, how much and for how long.  Now, the Trump Administration wants to change all that. Some are calling that idea – a classic bait and switch. Aria Alamalhodaei of the NM Political Report has the story.

Direct download: HereAndThere_072120_Alamalhodaei.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

 If the base starts to crumble, the whole building is in trouble, which is a fair summation of the present situation in the campaign to re-elect President Trump.  Polls show big defections of 2016 Trump voters who are under 30 and over 65… and a weakening of support among non-college educated women under 40.  William Galston of the Brookings Institution has been analyzing the data.  

Direct download: HereAndThere_072020_Galston.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

 Last week, millions of students in China took the annual academic test called the gaokao.  How they did can literally shape the whole rest of their lives.  And the test and the educational system it sums up may have shaped the near-perfect compliance of Chinese citizens with lockdown and mask-up orders from the State during the Covid-19 outbreak. Paul Willis is the author of the new book Being Modern in China.

Direct download: HereAndThere_071520_Willis.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

Most of America’s soybean farmers have been using a herbicide called Dicamba, made to protect specific genetically-modified seeds.  But Dicamba is volatile and drifts across fencelines, killing neighboring soybean crops not seeded for Dicamba. And now, evidence suggests, the Dicamba is also killing many trees across the Midwest, from the Dakotas to Arkansas. Johnathan Hettinger of the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting has the story.

Direct download: HereAndThere_071420_Hettinger.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

New Mexico’s Otero County Corrections Facility has a Federal wing and a state wing.  As Covid-19 was penetrating the Federal side, the state was moving prisoner into and out of the state prison.  In-coming, sex offenders…shipped out for safer keeping, non-sex-offender prisoners, including some “bad” former police officers. Now, close to 90% of the sex-offenders at the Otero prison have tested positive for the virus.  Investigative reporter Jeff Proctor broke the story and explains what it shows.

Direct download: HereAndThere_071320_Proctor.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

The 1860s may well have been the bloodiest decade in New Mexico history.  First there was Jefferson Davis’ pet project, a Confederate invasion of the territory… and then, after the rebels had been defeated, the Union Army turned on Native Americans with resultas as cruel as they were ineffectual. Megan Kate Nelson, author of The Three-Cornered War: The Union, The Confederacy and Native People in the Fight for the West tells the story in depth on HERE & THERE.

Direct download: HereAndThere_070820_Nelson.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

Two names have been dominating recent headlines from the American justice system… Chief Justice John Roberts of the Supreme Court and Attorney General William Barr, President Trump’s own supreme garden slug.  Roberts’ decisions have been varied and interesting.  The Slug’s bumbling moves have been, as usual, appalling. Justice Correspondent Elie Mystal has been covering both for The Nation.  

Direct download: HereAndThere_070720_Mystal.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

 Institutionalized neglect and avoidable amputations are ruining the lives of many people – most of them poor and African-American -- in rural Mississippi.  Investigative reporter Lizzie Presser of Pro Publica found one local doctor trying to improve diabetes care and save lots of legs, feet, and toes.  He knew there was a problem when he saw too many shacks with home-built ramps and rails and someone trapped in a wheelchair sitting nearby.

Direct download: HereAndThere_070620_Presser.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

Former Trump National Security Adviser John Bolton fought a House subpoena to give testimony for President Trump’s impeachment.  The stories he didn’t tell he did sell -- for a $2 million book advance.  Bolton’s book was published despite a White House suit to stop it.  So what?  National Security correspondent Shane Harris of the Washington Post on what parts of Bolton’s accusations matter and why… and how one of them may explain why Trump or Attorney General Barr fired the US Atty for the Southern District of NY. 

Direct download: HereAndThere_070120_Harris.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

One reason America’s suddenly looking at zero-sum choices between defunding and reinforcing police department budgets has been a long-term legislative failure to mandate reforms.  And one reason for that, the NY Times’ Farah Stockman reports, is strong resistance from powerful police unions. Now, there is a new Republican proposal before the US Senate, while the Democratic majority in the House is going in a different direction. Which could mean, once again, the result is reform goes nowhere.

Direct download: HereAndThere_063020_Stockman.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

The Trump White House keeps pressing for a faster pullout of American forces from Afghanistan. Even though a UN investigation and America’s top military commander in the region say, the Taliban is failing to meet the basics of its withdrawal deal with the US. Afghan journalist Ilias Alami on a still-paralyzed Kabul government trying to manage the American President’s itch for a quick exit and an ongoing Covid-19 explosion at the same time.  This is not a pretty picture.

Direct download: HereAndThere_062920_Alami.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

The old 3 card-monte dealer was been at it again.  While President Trump has been calling your attention to Antifa, and branding them as a leading opponent of his domestic policies on race and gender, he’s also, more quietly, been busy trying to roll back every protection he can reach that covers the environment.  Air, water, wetlands, coal, oil methane…poison the former, shield the latter.  NM environmental reporter Laura Paskus has been tracking the President’s all-but-hidden anti-Green campaign. 

Direct download: HereAndThere_062420_Paskus.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

Antifa, Antifa… President Trump and Attorney General Barr insist it’s a terrorist group behind the violence during demonstrations against the police killing of the African-American George Floyd in Minneapolis.  But experts say, Antifa’s an ideology, not a group and the FBI says it’s found no evidence tying Antifa, in thought or deed, to the violence.  Ken Klippenstein of The Nation broke the story of the FBI’s rejection of the President. 

Direct download: HereAndThere_062320_Klippenstein.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

 If the Navajo Nation, 350,000 people strong, were counted as a separate state, only a few could come close to it in the intensity of its outbreak of Covid-19.  Caseloads and death counts are slowing, and Searchlight NM journalist Sunnie Clahchischiligi says, a lot of that is due to how hard and well the Navajo have fought back against the coronavirus.  

Direct download: HereAndThere_062220_Clahchischiligi.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

The coronavirus/Covid-19 pandemic has set off an economic crisis in America, and the US Congress has responded.  Too bad so much if their response has focused on getting great gobs of ash or credit to rich companies of people who really don’t need the help…and scanting smaller businesses – like,z to take just one example – rural hospitals --and poor people who do.  Jesse Drucker, investigative reporter for the NY Times has been on top of the story.

Direct download: HereAndThere_061720_Drucker.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

In the 2018 elections, the state of New Mexico was among the bluest, electing Democrats for all statewide offices on the ballot.  Now, it’s 2020, and in the recent state primary, another wave hit the Democrats, as senior members of the state legislature, conservatives on state spending and on access to abortion, lost their seats. Trip Jennings of NM in Depth has the story.

Direct download: HereAndThere_061620_Jennings.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

The coronavirus was late to arrive in Bolivia, which gave anthropologist Hillard Kaplan time to implement a self-protection program for the 16,000 members of the Tsimane indigenous group.  So far, although the outbreak is raging in the nearest town to Tsimane country, their self-imposed quarantine seems to be working. 

Direct download: HereAndThere_061520.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

When last we looked at the Presidential campaign, Joe Biden was videocasting from his basement and President Trump was holding daily Covid-19 briefings on national TV.  Trump’s performances, critics said, made Biden’s relative silence golden.  But now everything has changed.  Political pollster and analyst John Zogby re-focuses the picture.

Direct download: HereAndThere_061020_Zogby.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

 Patrick Cockburn has been called “the world’s greatest foreign correspondent,” and that’s no stretch, especially when it comes to reporting on the Middle East, his beat for decades.  His new book is War in the Age of Trump, -- the destruction of ISIS, the abandonment of the Kurds and the assassination of an Iranian General…what do they add up to?  And how has Trump policy deepened our involvement in the Sunni-Shi’ite split. 

Direct download: HereAndThere_060920_Cockburn.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

The day-by-day of the global price of oil looks a prize fight starring Sylvester Stallone’s Rocky Balboa… it’s hit! It’s cut, it’s staggered, it’s down!  But not out, NO!  Oil, like Rocky, is getting back on its feet.  $40 a barrel oil, -- break-even or better for some American producers -- is in sight. But will it last? And what does this mean for state revenues for gas and oil dependent New Mexico?  Oil economist Janie Chermak of UNM sorts it out in depth.

Direct download: HereAndThere_060820_Chermak.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

We are now in fire season in New Mexico, and in this year of the Covid-19 pandemic, everything about fighting wildfires has become more difficult and more dangerous.  Reporter Elizabeth Miller of NM in Depth on how officials are changing the way forest fires will be fought, and how the firefighters will live through the season of ever-new threats. One new policy – a moratorium on controlled burns to get rid of undergrowth in the forests – may protect neighboring communities from smoke, but could amp up the danger for fire-fighters.

Direct download: HereAndThere_060320_Miller.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

 Rarely has the world experienced a bigger game-changer than the mobile phone. This device is the fastest-selling technological advance in world history, changing the way human beings communicate and do a lot of their daily business.  All of which makes especially pertinent the question asked by Queens College scholar Richard Maxwell in his new book How Green Is Your Smartphone?  Are cellphones safe to use?  And are they safe to throw away when you buy a new one?

Direct download: HereAndThere_060220_Maxwell.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

One of the real revelations of the coronavirus pandemic is how many nursing homes neglect the health and safety of their elderly residents. Ed Williams of Searchlight NM has reported on how this scandal has hit the Land of Enchantment, and how a no-bid, single-source state contract may have made the problem worse.

Direct download: HereAndThere_060120_Williams.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

Here in the United States, a disproportionate number of women – whether they were last hired or not – have been the first fired from jobs undermined by the Covid-19 pandemic.  In the developing world, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East where the pandemic has come late and hit hard, the impact of the crisis has been even harder on women.  Jacqueline Paul is the Senior Gender Advisor for the World Food Program, helping women feed their families.  They do 70% of the work of feeding.

Direct download: HereAndThere_052720_Paul.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

Everything about the Covid-19 pandemic seems unfair.  Why should the health of men be more endangered by the disease than women’s health?  And why does the pandemic seem to target the poor and the non-White?  And why and how do the social and economic aspects of the global outbreak work so selectively against women.  Economist Matthias Doepke of Northwestern University was one of the first scholars to ask those questions, about women’s extra burdens at home and from job losses in the workplace.

Direct download: HereAndThere_052620_Doepke.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

In the olden days, before the coronavirus pandemic, most talk about national security focused on military and intelligence matters.  Now, hopefully, we know better: The key to national security, both in the military and psychological sense is national health. Joseph Cirincione of the Ploughshares Fund, one of Washington’s clearest strategic analysts considers the many ways in which the pandemic has changed security thinking.

Direct download: HereAndThere_052520_Cirincione.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

The Camp Fire that burned 90% of the town of Paradise, CA was just the latest – and the worst – of a series of wildfires started by equipment from Pacific Gas and Electric (PGE’s) power grid. No one thinks it will stay the worst, as future fires are stoked by climate change.  Dani Anguiano of The Guardian co-wrote the new book Fire in Paradise. The town and the working-class people who lived there were part of her growing up. 

Direct download: HereAndThere_052020_Anguiano.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

Damaso Reyes is a world-class photo-journalist who also teaches media literacy.  He moved to Spain in the midst of a massive Covid-19 lockdown and has watched the country move towards re-opening.  He says Spanish Prime Minister Sanchez’s media messaging has been clear, including his admissions of early mistakes that slowed the national response and took a deadly toll on medical personnel. 

Direct download: HereAndThere_051920_Reyes.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

Can investigative reporters move Governors?  After Jeff Proctor started writing about the lack of Covid-19 testing in New Mexico’s prisons and jails, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham – aided by an infusion of Federal funding – has put testing of inmates and corrections personnel into high gear. Tests that could be counted on your fingers has quickly moved to the thousands.

Direct download: HereAndThere_051820_Proctor.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

Has the novel coronavirus pandemic produced any winners?  Political scientist Cas Mudde columnist/ contributor for The Guardian says when it comes to authoritarian politicians like Viktor Orban in Hungary and Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Turkey, the answers seems, for now at least, to be yes.  And in the US, has the plague made Donald Trump stronger or do benefits only come to competent autocrats, and does that exclude trump and Bojo of Britain?

Direct download: HereAndThere_051320_Mudde.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

A new Bay of Pigs in Venezuela?  Despite misleading headline, Joshua Goodman Latin America Correspondent for the Associated Press, the reporter who broke the story, says it’s more like The 3 Little Pigs lost in a political jungle.  How 3 former Green Berets created a propaganda victory for the dictator Nicolas Maduro, and why the Bay of Pigs label is likely so inappropriate, unless you think knowledge of a crime makes you responsible for it.

Direct download: HereAndThere_051220_Goodman.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

With all our eyes turned inward, on the watch for the coronavirus, who’s minding the world?  Former CIA senior analyst Emile Nakhleh, Director of the Global and National Security Institute at the University of New Mexico, says when it comes to US interests in the Middle East and Africa, the Trump Administration often seems to have closed it eyes. Perhaps, he says, that’s because traditions of foreign policy and intelligence processes have been put to sleep.

Direct download: HereAndThere_051120_Nakhleh.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

So now we know, the Supreme Court of Wisconsin killed people by getting them infected with the coronavirus while voting in person.  The robed Republicans overruled the Democratic governor’s attempts to the state’s Primary turn to mail-in ballots.  In New Mexico, the Supreme Court has gone in a slightly different direction as University of New Mexico political science professor and election expert Lonna Atkeson explains. The NM primary is set for June.

Direct download: HereAndThere_050620_Atkeson.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

With traditional campaigning dead in its tracks and President Trump bullying daily from his coronavirus pulpit, what’s a Democratic Presidential candidate like Joe Biden to do, other than begin his search for the best candidate for Vice President.  I ask The Nation’s national correspondent John Nichols if – other than the Veep hunt -- Biden’s best strategy is to do as little as possible while the President erodes his own reputation.

Direct download: HereAndThere_050520_Nichols.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

Even a global crisis like the coronavirus pandemic doesn’t stop the world from spinning and its bad actors from acting bad.  Take Chinese President Xi Jinping, for example, While you’ve been watching the viral menace, he’s been crushing democracy and dissent in Hong Kong, arresting civic leaders and changing basic laws to cement Beijing’s control.  NY Times commentator Joseph Yi-Zheng Lian has the latest on the story.

Direct download: HereAndThere_050420_Lian.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

Horse-racing kills horses. But in Europe horse-racing kills far fewer animals than in the United States. Horse deaths at Santa Anita Raceway, and persistent doping scandals have the whole horseracing industry in trouble. Tarpley Hitt of The Daily Beast on why racing horses, people and money are all disappearing from the Sport of Kings. 

Direct download: HereAndThere_042930_Hitt.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

Here in NM, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s quick and aggressive response to the coronavirus is widely credited with saving lives --  in most of the state.  But in Zia and San Felipe Pueblos and especially in the Navajo Nation, Covid-19 is on a tear.  Jourdan Bennett-Begaye is Washington editor for the online news service Indian Country Today and a proud Dine herself.  The area in which she grew up has, over the past 2 weeks become an epic coronavirus hotspot.

Direct download: HereAndThere_042820_Jourdan_Bennett-Begay.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

The Czech Republic responded quickly and decisively to the coronavirus pandemic, enforcing social distancing and masking, doing infection testing early and widely.  By all reports, people complied with the government’s directions and it worked.  Last week, the Czechs carefully began loosening restraints, part of a plan of every-two-weeks chances to loosen more or – if the infection rate comes back – to tighten things down.  David Weiss, the Chair of the Journalism Department at the University of New Mexico has lived through the whole process in Prague.

Direct download: HereAndThere_042720_Weiss.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

Through 3 Israeli National Elections opposition leader Benny Gantz had 2 bedrock principles: no governing partnerships with people under criminal indictment and – therefore – no coalition with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Then he made a unity government deal with Bibi, who after it was announced, walked away from it, leaving Gantz exposed and his Blue and White Party broken in two.  Associated Press Jerusalem Bureau Chief Josef Federman on the likelihood of a 4th election sometime this summer.

Direct download: HereAndThere_042220_Federman.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

Part of China’s success in suppressing its Coronavirus/Covid 19 outbreak was due to decisive government action, but as important was the high level of public compliance with government restrictions.

Martha Franks, who teaches the humanities at St John’s College in Santa Fe spent 2 years teaching with her husband Grant at an elite Beijing high school.

The only compliance she demanded was – students, think for yourselves. Shock therapy! Her book is called Books without Borders: Homer, Aeschylus, Galileo, Melville and Madison Go to China.

Direct download: HereAndThere_042120_Franks.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

Here’s one measure of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on Mexico: in mid-March in the pueblo of San Gregorio Atlapulco the weeklong festival for St Gregory was celebrated as normal.  3 weeks later, the Holy Week fiestas were canceled and the churches were closed. Photographer and journalist Joseph Sorrentino, living a pueblo going from denial to fear, it’s strengths, community, family and small-scale agriculture may be its greatest vulnerabilities. 

Direct download: HereAndThere_042020_Sorrentino.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:21pm MDT

One war may have stopped, or at least paused because of the coronavirus pandemic…in Yemen.  But not in Syria, where Pulitzer Prize-winning foreign correspondent Roy Gutman says, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi tried to bribe Syrian President Assad to break a cease-fire with Turkey.  The bribery failed, but the cease-fire may not be faring any better.

And where is there a population even more vulnerable to the coronavirus than Yemen’s? In Syria, of course

Direct download: HereAndThere_041420_Gutman.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

In retrospect, the global pandemic of Covid-19, the respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus, or a pandemic of some coronavirus seemed beyond predictable.  And in fact, Ken Klippenstein, Washington correspondent for The Nation, says detailed plans for combating a global pandemic were made years, even decades ago by the Pentagon and the Department of Homeland Security. But no one in the Trump White House seems to have known or cared. 

Direct download: HereAndThere_041320_Klippenstein.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

Why are guns and ammo considered “essential” elements of retail trade during the coronavirus pandemic?  It’s a complex question, but to people who hate the idea, and to people who love it, the answer to the question is: the political power of the National Rifle Association, the NRA. Investigative reporter Frank Smyth has written an excellent new book The NRA: An Unauthorized History.  Want to know why there is no “authorized” history and what the NRA is hiding about itself?

Direct download: HereAndThere_040820_Smyth.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

One thing we know about the coronavirus epidemic in  America: it’s going to get worse before it gets better.  And then what?  What do we know about the down-slope, about managing public health, reducing social distance and reviving the economy after Covid 19 has passed its peak?  Epidemiologist Justin Lessler of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health on the search for answers to those questions, and maybe, how soon we’ll near to shift gears from lockdown to recovery. 

Direct download: HereAndThere_040720_Lessler.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

The first of 2 programs on the coronavirus: the view from the eye of the storm, New York City as caseloads spike and healthcare systems show signs of strain. Shane Harris of the Washington Post had to report the inside view from the outside … journalism in the pandemic era, where it’s all hands on deck to cover Covid-19…but covering the virus gave Shane a fresh angle on a big story from his regular intelligence and national security beat. Who knew what when about this new disease?

Direct download: HereAndThere_040620_Harris.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

Here’s a scenario: a Congressional candidate has an affair with her campaign manager.  She divorces her husband.  He divorces his wife.  They marry.  But all the while, she’s been paying his company for his political services.  Legal?  Probably.  Ethical?  Well that’s the question before the House Ethics Committee. What about the Congressional candidate who paid herself a salary for running?  Same 2 questions -- Legal? Ethical? Investigative reporter Robert Faturechi of Pro Publica says the record suggests you not expect a clear answer.

Direct download: HereAndThere_040120_Faturechi.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

How to assess the future, especially the tricky futures of science and technology has long been the job of Daniel Gerstein, who has tried to assess coming threats and opportunities for both the Defense Department and the Department of Homeland Security.  Gerstein spells out his operating principles and how he makes them work in his new book The Story of Technology: How We Got Here and What the Future Holds. Among other revelations – what’s different and what’s the same about science and technology?

Direct download: HereAndThere_033120_Gerstein.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

Another Federal Government program built to fail: The Veterans Administration has long had a whistleblower abuse problem.  Criticisms from the inside have always been most unwelcome.  So the VA set up an Office of Accountability and Whistleblower Protection.  But Daniel Van Schooten of the Project on Government Oversight (aka POGO) says the office doesn’t protect whistleblowers; it often re-abuses them, and accountability rarely reaches outside the agency.

Direct download: HereAndThere_033020_Van_Schooten.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:11pm MDT

What was it like to be a slave?  It was a question that went unasked for more than 70 years, until, in 1937, the Federal Government commissioned investigators with notebooks and cameras to seek out people who had been born into slavery.  Richard Cahan co-edited the new book River of Blood: American Slavery from the People Who Lived It which culls some of the best photos and most poignant stores of Americans who once were slaves.  Another example of how much can learn from once-hidden history.

Direct download: HereAndThere_032520_Cahan.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

American history includes some awful massacres, the kind of events people want to forget.  But should history forget ‘em, too?  Russell Contreras, Albuquerque-based reporter for the Associated Press (AP,) specializes in uncovering hidden history, like the story of the first and only massacre recognized in an official US Historical site.  A town next door to the massacre site might like to forget it’s named for the perpetrator of the war crime.  The story of the Sand Creek Massacre.

Direct download: HereAndThere_032420_Contreras.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

Living under lockdown, in Italy, the country with the currently most-deadly outbreak of the Novel Coronavirus pandemic.  How are people coping and how did the Italian outbreak get so bad? Why is the Italian death rate 3 times higher than almost everywhere else? Rome-based Foreign Correspondent Christopher Livesay has been living through and reporting on the COVID-19 outbreak in Italy, where the economy was close to recession even before the new flu hit.

Direct download: HereAndThere_032320_Livesay.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

Whatever the crucial details are laying out the Taliban’s promises to keep the peace in Afghanistan and the United States’ expectations and plans for enforcement, the Taliban know them, but neither the Afghan Government nor the American people do.  What is the White House hiding and why? Long-time Washington Post Kabul Bureau Chief Pamela Constable has recently returned to the epicenter of anxiety.

Direct download: ConstablePOD0318.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

Matthew Hoh was a decorated Marine infantry officer in Iraq and Afghanistan, turned civilian aid manager for the State Department in the latter war zone.  Now, he works full time for peace as a Senior Fellow at the Center for International Policy in Washington.  He’s spent a lot of time recently conversing on-line with students and analysts in Iran in the backwash of the US assassination of Gen. Qassem Suleimani.  He says a lot of young Iranians are not ready to write off future relations with the USA.  

Direct download: HT031620HohPOD.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

From the brink of war with Iran to a simulation of a peace deal for the Palestinians and Israeli, the Trump Administration has certainly had an active 2020 in the Middle East.  Long-time CIA Mideast analyst Emile Nakhleh, now the Director of the Global and National Security Policy Institute at the University of New Mexico says the danger hasn’t ended with Iran and the peace process is unlikely to start quickly in Palestine.

Direct download: HT031620NakhlehPOD.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

So it’s come down to this, the Democratic Party’s nominee to run against President Donald Trump will either be Bernie Sanders or Joe Biden, a man with one big, revolutionary idea – Medicare for All versus the man who believes in small steps along the conventional liberal path.  Conventional wisdom is the small idea guy the Big Idea of 2020 is beating President Donald Trump. John Nichols has been following the campaign for The Nation. 

Direct download: HT031020NicholsPOD.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

If the American image of prosperity is “a chicken in every pot,” in China it’s pork on every plate and that spells trouble for the greenery of the Amazon Basin.  Melissa Chan went to Brazil for The Atlantic to report on the connection.  What is it?  Here’s a hint, what does every good pig want to feed on? Soybeans.  And guess where more and more soybeans are being grown, and changing everything from the local economy to the global environment.

Direct download: HereAndThere_030920_Chan.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

R D Rosen has had a successful career as a mystery novelist.  His series – I’m a big fan – centers on a retired major league baseball player, Harvey Blissberg.  His new book, Tough Luck,  is non-fiction, the biography of NFL quarterback Sid Luckman centers on a solved, if under-reported murder, committed by the athlete’s father.  Part of Rosen’s research involved telling Sid’s son what his Grandfather had done and how his father – and collaborative sportswriters -- had kept it a secret.  

Direct download: HereAndThere_030420_Rosen.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

Today is Super Tuesday, the biggest single day on the Presidential Primary calendar.  The high stakes were apparent in the almost-hysterical intensity of last week”s Democratic debate, where all the other candidates said – what’s wrong with Bernie Sanders is, “he can’t beat Trump.”  Pollster and market strategist John Zogby has been analyzing the race.  He pre-called the results in Iowa by focusing on the Democratic Socialist’s appeal to young voters.  It’s a start, among an age group mostly un-attunded to Trump.  But is it a enough to win the White House? 

Direct download: HereAndThere_030320_Zogby.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

 For the first time, the world had a day with more new cases of Coronavirus COVID-19 outside China than in its country of origin.  While the World Health Organization ponders if this makes it a medical pandemic, Keith Johnson of Foreign Policy says, we are already dealing with an economic pandemic with global implications.  And he says, it is hitting many countries like Japan, Italy and Iran where the national economy was already in trouble.

Direct download: HereAndThere_030220_Johnson.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

The President Tweets and the Secretary of State holds news conferences.  This is what passes for American foreign policy these days.  But back when the State department did diplomacy, there were heroes on the front lines. The Ambassadors is the title and subject of Paul Richter’s new book. In case you hadn’t noticed, the work Richter describes is something the Trump Administration has chosen not to do.  As some of the Ambassadors quoted in the book can tell you, disinvesting in diplomacy has `a high cost. 

Direct download: HereAndThere_022620_Richter.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

In every important way, US Immigration Courts are different from all other Courts under federal, state or local jurisdiction.  And in many important ways they are worse than any other American court.  Amy Taxin was part of an Associated Press team that spent two weeks at Immigration Courts in 11 cities and found a growing backlog already near one million cases.  Judges say they’re asked to do too much, too fast to do justice in too many cases.  And then there are the children, before the judge or just in the courtrooms, or in the hallways.  Too many children. The system is still unprepared for them.  

Direct download: HereAndThere_022520_Taxin.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

What we know depends on what we’re taught, and what you’re taught about America in our public schools varies from state to state.  Dana Goldstein led a New York Times team that examined social studies textbooks made for among other states, Texas and California.  History tailor-made for Mars and Venus.  The added information in California is less significant than what’s taken out for Texas, There, students my never know what they weren’t told about African-American achievements, for example.  

Direct download: HereAndThere_022420_Goldstein.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

Very few ICE raids in California’s Central Valley where Ag industry campaign contributions seem to have produced an unofficial sanctuary for migrant field workers.  The same logic seems to have stayed ICE’s hand in the dairy state of Wisconsin, where investigative reporter Maria Perez of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel found not just protected workers, but protected abusive employers.  Mexican vet school grads hired for their skills, but used and paid as unskilled labor.

Direct download: HereAndThere_021920_Perez.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

Who are the people who make up President Donald Trump’s political base and what unites them?  In her new book, Shadow Network: Media, Money and the Secret Hub of the Radical Right, Anne Nelson says the unifier is a network of far-right funders, conservative Republican campaign operatives and hundreds of Christian broadcasters on radio, TV and the internet.  They, more than Russian interference drove Trump to victory in 2016.  Can they do it again in November?  

Direct download: HereAndThere_021820_Nelson.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

What are the people of the world thinking?  About their own security?  About their own happiness?  No one devotes more resources to answering questions like that than Gallup, Inc, literally the name for polling since the company was founded by George Gallup in 1935.  Julie Ray is Managing Editor for World News at Gallup and can explain where the most insecure people on earth live and why – when it comes to happiness – the US is only #19 in the world

Direct download: HereAndThere_021720_Ray.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

A liberal lawyer-journalist’s take on the so-called trial in the US Senate of impeached President Donald Trump.  Elie Mystal, Justice Correspondent for The Nation explained Mitch McConnell’s rules that allowed evidence to be suppressed and turned the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court into a proverbial potted plant.  But, Mystal says, Yogi Berra had it right – “it ain’t over, ‘til it’s over,” and he says, for the criminal and Constitutional charges against Donald Trump, it’s never going to be over.  

Direct download: HereAndThere_021220_Mystal.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

Once upon a time the 3 different hospitals,-- government, private and non-profit were different systems serving different clienteles.  Now they’re similar systems competing from the same customers, so why does one group of competitors get a public subsidy? Ted Alcorn of NM in Depth looked at the state’s non-profit hospitals and asked do taxpayers get a fair deal in extra services for the tax benefits given?  Experts told him NM’s numbers didn’t look good.

Direct download: HereAndThere_021120_Alcorn.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

Ever since 2011, when the United States, France and the UK led an international effort to save Libya from the dictator Muammar Qaddafi, things have gone from bad to worse.  Award-winning Libyan journalist Mustafa Fetouri sorts out the foreign backers of the 2 sides in Libya’s civil war and what they’re doing to the country and why.  A recent escalation in Turkish-supplied mercenaries and weapons is tied to disputed oil and gas rights hundreds of miles off-shore in the Eastern Mediterranean.  

Direct download: HereAndThere_021020_Fetouri.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

Water, water everywhere, but not as much as you’d like to think.  That, in a nutshell is the story of the Colorado River Basin, the key water source for economic and population expansion in the American West.  For almost a century, development plans for the Colorado Basin were based on what scientists regularly said was bad data, that overestimated how much water the basin had.  John Fleck, co-author of the new book Science Be Dammed on the trouble ignoring science can cause. 

Direct download: HereAndThere_020520_Fleck.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

For many of the poor mothers from the Marshall Islands, it seemed like a good deal for their child, if a painful loss for them: coming to America to give birth and then giving up the baby for adoption by a more prosperous American family.  But there are laws against this kind of human trafficking, and a once prominent local politician from Phoenix is accused of breaking them. His network is a great embarrassment to the Mormon Church.

Direct download: HereAndThere_020420_Anglen.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

 Legally, Constitutionally, and historically, the impeachment and trial of President Donald Trump is a very big deal.  But politically, has the whole impeachment process moved the dial on the 2020 election?  And in which direction? For or against the beleaguered President? And are the real losers here American civility and rule of law?  Pollster and marketing strategist John Zogby has been considering these questions and how the answers have been affected by the tribalization of our country.  

Direct download: HereAndThere_020320_Zogby.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

The numbers say the crisis of would-be immigrants at America’s southern border is easing.  Far fewer people are trying to cross, legally and illegally, than 6 months ago.  But tens of thousands of migrants are still there, in American detention facilities, and stoppered in shelters, camps and open fields on the Mexican side of the border.  Jens Erik Gould of the Santa Fe New Mexican on the Border Patrol officers dealing with a crisis that may no longer be growing, but isn’t going away either.  

Direct download: HereAndThere_013020_Gould.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

Candidate Donald Trump predicted that he could get away with murder and not lose any votes.  And President Trump says he and America have gotten away with the assassination of Iranian General Qassem Suleimani, and that the threat of further Iranian revenge is over. Karen J. Greenberg, Director of the Center on National Security at Fordham University Law School wonders if that’s true.  And I wonder how the globally-watched video of the aftermath of the killing is playing across the Islamic world.

Direct download: HereAndThere_012820_Greenberg.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

 The global frontline in the battle for individual freedom against totalitarian state control is Hong Kong. Resistance in behalf of local democracy and autonomy for Hong Kong within the Chinese nation state continues to stalemate the demands of Chinese leader Xi Jinping.  Weekend rallies still bring defiance of the Beijing dictates and a million people to the streetrs.  Journalist Benjamin David Haas has been covering the ongoing crisis for The nation…he updates the story.

Direct download: HereAndThere_012720_Haas.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

You probably know how many billions Congress budgeted for the US military are being diverted to build President Donald Trump’s wall on America’s Mexican border, but have you heard about the TDY roundups of forest rangers from the US National Parks for border duty? Karen Chavez of USA Today and the Asheville Citizen Times broke the story.  They’re missed in the Great Smokes, and in El Paso, for many, by the time they learn the job and the place, they’re gone.

Direct download: HereAndThere_012320_Chavez.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

 Abortion is legal in the state of New Mexico, but try finding someone to perform one if you don’t live anywhere near the I-25 corridor from Las Cruces to Santa Fe? In the mountains, in the grasslands, from 4 corners to the Bootheel, New Mexico is a reproductive health care desert for women Laws about equality don’t talk about access. Susan Dunlap has been reporting the story for the NM Political Report.

Direct download: HereAndThere_012120_Dunlap.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

As democratic politics has veered right practically the whole world over since the terrorist attack of 9/11/2001, no one has watched the process more closely than Cas Mudde, the University of Georgia professor and author of The Far Right Today. How yesterday’s lunatic fringe has taken over old brand names like today’s Republican Party. The takeover, by the way, was perfectly democratic.  Even if the winners disdain some key practices of almost 350 years of American democracy.

Direct download: HT012020MuddePOD.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

There’s no business like the news business, because the news changes every day.  But the news business is changing and after almost 40 years as a working reporter based in Santa Fe, NM, for the Albuquerque Journal and The (Santa Fe) New Mexican, Steve Terrell has some thoughts and some stories.  Terrell remembers covering traveling folk singers – and learning not to try to drink with them -- and powerful politicians of NM State Government – to whom the folk singer rule also applied.  

Direct download: HereAndThere_011620_Terrell.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

A policy of cruelty to children as deterrence against would-be crossers of our Southern border might seem bad enough,  But add in stupidity and this is what you get: a lack of medical care for migrants in American detention killing small numbers of children with infectious influenza, which, in turn, threatens large numbers of children and adults in nearby communities with communicable disease.  John Hudak and Christine Stenglein wrote about this for the Brookings Institution.

Direct download: HereAndThere_011420_Hudak_Stenglein.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

Good news for the military-industrial complex: The Trump Administration made Defense Department misspending easier to get away with by ending Pentagon Accountability. Bad news for the American public: Jason Paladino of the Project on Government Oversight reports Defense Secretary Jim Mattis went farther, making not just spending, but all the key data on what American troops are doing abroad secret.  Almost all the metrics to evaluate the military mission in Afghanistan are now hidden. From us.

Direct download: HereAndThere_011320_Paladino.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

One thing good television news has given us: a more nuanced view of “mobs in the street.”  Some so-called mobs are really just hired thugs en masse, others are politically inflamed people out of control. But many street demonstrations are gatherings of honest citizens expressing dissent or a specific grievance.  The year 2019 has seen a shocking number of those kinds of street demonstrations in Latin America.  Columbia University analyst Christopher Sabatini takes us around a troubled continent to see what’ explains the “mobs.”

Direct download: HereAndThere_121219_Sabatini.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

New York Times sports columnist Michael Powell has written a new book about basketball on the Navajo Reservation, where everything starts from a fan base as rabid, intense and critical about the basketball their high schoolers are playing, as the Italian opera mob is about performances at La Scala.  Talk about pressure on players and coaches!  And that’s without factoring in totems and hexes, family turbulence, and the disadvantages of being a kid from the canyons compare to a kid from the town of Chinle.

Direct download: HereAndThere_121019_Powell.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

The INF Treaty limiting intermediate range nuclear weapons is dead.  Killed by the Trump Administration after the Obama team failed to stop Russia from building a new, treaty-violating missile,  Already, the arms race is already heating up.  Will Russia, the US and now China all play nuclear “Match Me?”  Arms control expert Joseph Cirincione of The Ploughshares Fund what was lost with INF, the threats to 2 more important security agreements involving the US and Russia, and where the arms race is headed. 

Direct download: HereAndThere_120919_Cirincione.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

George Orwell was a pen name – taken to spare his family the shame of public notice of the low life parts of England and France he lived in to write about, before he warned the world against totalitarianism in Animal Farm and 1984. Russell Davidson of the University of New Mexico collected a treasure trove of Orwell books and memorabilia and gave it to the school.

Direct download: HereAndThere_120519_Davidson.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

The US military is being hit with a rising tide of suicides, especially among young veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.  One veteran of both, analyst Matthew Hoh of the Center for International Policy, says official statistics show -- the risk of suicide rises with exposure to combat, and even more for those who have killed.  What this points to, Hoh says, is suicide from what he calls “moral injury,” the sense that your wartime experience led you to betray your personal standards of morality or conduct.

Direct download: HereAndThere_120319_Hoh.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

The title of Bruce Riedel’s new book, Beirut 1958: How America’s wars in the Middle East Began doesn’t “tell it all,” but Riedel’s story of how US Marines were sent to Lebanon by President Dwight Eisenhower and what they did when they got there tells a lot even 61 years later. Just one Marine died, but his mission was entirely avoidable.  He was killed by a sniper, and by Secretary of State John Foster Dulles’ Cold War paranoia.

Direct download: HereAndThere_120219_Riedel.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

The Santa Fe-based medical rescue organization, Global Outreach Doctors, has a new mission in eastern Congo.  GoDocs’ founder and leader Dr. Andrew Lustig says his assessment team found a region with great medical needs, especially for the mental and physical health of women in a largely-ungoverned, perpetual conflict zone.  They also found a great local ally in the Nobel Prize nominated physician Dennis Mukwege. 

Direct download: HereAndThere_112619_Lustig.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

 Haiti, a country in perpetual crisis, may have hit bottom.  Months of street-snarling, economy paralyzing demonstrations have endangered the Presidency of Jovenal Moises, in part because the President who chose Moises to succeed him, Michel Martelly is accused of helping loot the national government of more than $2 billion.  Longtime Haiti expert Amy Wilentz  sorts things out, as Haitians try to find a path to better governance and a better future. 

Direct download: HereAndThere_112519_Wilentz.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

The scandal of sexually abusive priests has shaken the Roman Catholic Church in America and shown how Church leaders often chose to cover-up the crimes rather than discipline the priests.  Investigative reporter Claudia Lauer of the Associated press (AP) reports, in the wake of the scandal, hundreds of abusers have been disciplined --forced out of the Church. But she says, the de-frocked priests have been left to their own sometimes criminal devices.  

Direct download: HereAndThere_111919_Lauer.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT

The ostensible reason for creating “opportunity zones” is to entice fresh investments in fresh projects to upgrade poor neighborhoods and the lives of people who live there.  But investigative reporter Justin Elliott of Pro Publica has found valuable Federal subsidies went to old investments in old projects and benefited billionaire pals of Donald Trump.  Crony capitalism at work.  As the Big Tweeter might say – scandal! Bad!! 

Direct download: HereAndThere_111819_Elliott.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MDT