Here And There with Dave Marash (general)

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s hopes for a new law legalizing recreational use of cannabis failed again in the 60-day session of the State Legislature.  But passage was so close, the Governor has declared a “do over,” a Special Session. Andy Lyman of NM Political Report on why what some thought was a slam dunk got ree-jected, and why it might get ree-vived.

Direct download: HereAndThere_032921_Lyman.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

The movie Hotel Rwanda made a hero of Paul Rusesabagina, and there were plenty of witnesses who confirmed its story.  So why is Rusesabagina on trial as an accused murderer and terrorist in Rwanda? And why does he say the real criminal is Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame? Joshua Hammer covered the Rwanda genocide in 1994 and briefly stayed in Rusesabagina’s hotel.  He’s also been covering the trial. 

Direct download: HereAndThere_032521_Hammer.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

Alderman Ben Lewis was an up and comer in Chicago politics.  The first Black Democratic Committeeman — the real office of power — ever on the city’s West Side. More than 50 years after the fact, the murder that ended his career is still unsolved.  Investigative reporter Mick Dumke of ProPublica Illinois says that in itself should tell you something not so good about Windy City law enforcement… and politics.

Direct download: HereAndThere_032321_Dumke.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

Tomorrow in Israel it will be Election Day, but if it feel like Groundhog Day to Israeli voters, it’s because this is the 4th time they’ve gone to the polls in less than 2 years.  Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is in perhaps his toughest fight yet to hold onto power.  Covid-19’s presence and Donald Trump’s absence may work against him. But the profusion of his rivals may help. AP’s Jerusalem Bureau Chief Josef Federman has the story

Direct download: HereAndThere_032221_Federman.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

It’s probably fair to say, all parties want to find a way for a nuclear weapons control agreement with Iran to succeed.  But, typically, neither the US nor Iran wants to seem too anxious for diplomacy to work.  Joseph Cirincione of the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft on how to get talks on a new JCOA started and how to bring them to a successful conclusion. This diplomatic dance needs both music and choreography.

Direct download: HereAndThere_031821_Cirincione.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

When it comes to domestic politics, President Joe Biden has surprised some people by becoming an agent of progressive change.  When it comes to foreign policy, especially policies affecting the Middle East, Dalia Dassa Kaye of the Wilson Center and the RAND Corporation says, necessary changes have been noticeably absent. The murderous Saudi Crown Prince has gone unpunished, and nuclear weapons negotiations with Iran haven’t gotten re-started. 

Direct download: HereAndThere_031621_Kaye.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

It’s being called a “storm of the Century,” but actually the Big Freeze that hit Texas the day before Valentine’s Day was just a bit bigger than two winter storms that hit Texas in the last decade.  So why were power providers so unprepared, leaving the Lone Star State all alone in the cold and dark? A blame game currently underway – it started with Gov. Greg Abbott falsely blaming “green energy” -- , may not be the answer. Jeremy Schwartz of The Texas Tribune and Pro Publica tackles the story.

Direct download: HereAndThere_031521_Schwartz.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

There have been a lot of books about the war in Iraq and its aftermath, but few of them are told from the Iraqi point of view. Margaret Coker’s new book, The Spymaster of Baghdad tells the story of a hero of the Iraqi intelligence service and how he built his very effective anti-ISIS unit, the Falcons. Hard on the publication of the book, the hero Abu Ali al-Basri was suddenly demoted. His great success against Sunni terrorist targets like the Islamic State may have been used against him by his new boss, and former intelligence service rival Prime Minister Mohammed al-Kadhimi.

Direct download: HereAndThere_031121_Coker.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

How did a career con-man, serial misogynist, and fake business success get to be President of the United States?  And why are Donald Trump’s totally refuted lies still poisoning politics?  One answer is the new era of online manipulation that sold racism and greed to America and the disaster of Brexit to the dis-uniting Kingdom? Who’s benefiting from this info-scam and how are they making it work for them? Katie Joseff of the University of Texas has been tracking this.  

Direct download: HereAndThere_030921_Joseff.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

Dark money refers to political contributions given anonymously, usually through non-profit political committees.  Gray money is money whose anonymous source is kept doubly secret through the use of pass-through structures that keep voters from seeing the connections between the protected giver and his or her beneficiary politician. Bryan Metzger of NM in Depth has been digging into hidden private contributions affecting NM political issues. 

Direct download: HereAndThere_030821_Metzger.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

Transparency is one of the essential elements of democracy.  Governments most open to examination and most willing to let investigative results reach their citizens offer the highest levels of political freedom.  So why has the United States fallen to 25th place on Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index? TI’s Scott Greytak explains the pandemic has put all nations to the transparency test, and the misdirected money in America’s Covid-19 recovery program shows how we’re failing. 

Direct download: HereAndThere_030421_Greytak.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

The essence of investigative journalism is to right personal wrongs and call out institutional failures. It’s a hard job to pull off, made even harder when the wrongs and failures have happened to you. Kenneth R. Rosen’s new book Troubled tackles abuses visited on him and dozens of other sources by institutions marketing the formula of “tough love” to straighten out troubled teens. From “adventures” in the wilderness to lockdowns in what are in everything but name, juvenile prisons.

Direct download: HereAndThere_030221_Rosen.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

One of the first acts of the Biden Administration was the revival of an Obama-era policy abandoned by former President Donald Trump – no more contracts for private companies managing Federal prisons. Katherine Hawkins of the Project on Government Oversight says the new-old policy will take years to have an effect.  And what about ICE detention centers heavily criticized for their treatment of wannabe immigrants? Hawkins reports they are not covered and will remain largely privately-run.

Direct download: HereAndThere_030121_Hawkins.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

It is America’s blessing and its curse – we haven’t known real war on our soil since 1865. Rajan Menon, professor of international relations at the City College of New York says the resulting ignorance of war’s horrors that makes it easy for US Presidents to conduct them beyond our borders.  When the US military gave up drafting soldiers, it made war-making even easier by limiting the bloody burden to mostly people from communities of poverty and color.

Direct download: HereAndThere_022521_Menon.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

If you think Donald Trump is an idiot, Vladimir Putin probably agrees with you, only he, like several former top US intelligence officials would call him “a useful idiot.”  Useful for the Russians that is. Craig Unger’s new book American Kompromat, traces Trump’s ties to KGB influence back more than 40 years to his first marriage and then, a strange purchase for his then-newest hotel. He needed 1000 TV sets…so why buy 200 from a dealer who supplied consumer goods to Russian diplomats and spies? 

Direct download: HereAndThere_022321_Unger.mp3
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Remember Clinton campaign boss James Carville’s famous exclamation – “it’s the economy, stupid.” Well, when it comes to brain damage from playing football, the analogous revelation would be – “it’s the practices that can make you stupid,” especially those first practices before the game-playing season even begins. Ken Belson of the NY Times on making that medical observation into a player-protective imperative for colleges and high schools.  The pros and their player unions have already taken action. 

Direct download: HereAndThere_022221_Belson.mp3
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The first priority of the new Biden Administration has been to change American policies to combat the coronavirus pandemic.  A second priority has been to shift America’s foreign policies, most dramatically in the Middle East.  Re-negotiating nuclear weapons restraints on Iran, disconnecting from Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen are just 2 examples.  Elizabeth Hagedorn of Al-Monitor is covering those stories and how President Biden is redefining US policies in Syria, Iraq, Turkey and Israel.

Direct download: HereAndThere_021821_Hagedorn.mp3
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One of the glories of American democracy is the variety of voices one can choose from for information about current events. Even as ownership of radio and television and online sources consolidated into an oligarchy of hyper-rich corporate entities, there were all those newspapers, locally-owned, and locally-run and independent of one another.  That’s changing. And here’s the really bad news … the new owners are hedge funds with no background in journalism, interested primarily in growing their own profits. Rick Edmonds of the Poynter Institute tells that story.

Direct download: HereAndThere_021621_Edmonds.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

Defying logic and honesty, Republicans in statehouses around the country are proposing fixes for the American electoral system which is not broken.  Matt Vasilogambros of Stateline.org on how many GOP legislators are embarked of a voter suppression campaign aimed at many of the folks in actually voted them into office last November. One idea on the docket in several legislatures would require photo ID to apply for and use mail-in ballots.  Huh?  How’s that supposed to work? 

Direct download: HereAndThere_021521_Vasilogambros.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

The dissident politician Aleksey Navalny had become such an aggravation to Russian President Vladimir Putin that evidence suggests he had his security services try to kill him.  But Navalny not only survived his poisoning, but he escaped Russia, only to return as an even more popular symbol of political discontent with the Putin regime. Protests against Navalny’s re-imprisonment are the largest Russian political demonstrations in decades. Andrew Kramer, Moscow correspondent for the New York Times has the story.

Direct download: HereAndThere_021121_Kramer.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

 Ethanol was offered as one of the world’s first “green” products, a gasoline additive meant to make the environment cleaner and climate change slower.  In the small town of Mead, Nebraska, investigative reporter Carey Gillam found for The Guardian, waste products from the ethanol manufacturing process were making the town smell bad and feel even worse.  But the worst news is how little laws and regulations and people to enforce them have done to remedy the stinky and potentially dangerous situation. 

Direct download: HereAndThere_020921_Gillam.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

When editor-publisher Steve Kettmann produced his quick-turnaround volume Now What? Essays on Life After Trump, he and our guest, contributor Michael Powell of the New York Times knew the transition to a Biden Administration might be bumpy…but who knew how difficult the months between November and January 20 would be.  Now What? indeed. 

Direct download: HereAndThere_020821_Powell.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

So much of the American Southwest depends on the waters of the Colorado River Basin.  For 100 years calculations apportioning those waters to the 7 states covered by the Colorado Basin Compact have been based on a gross overestimation.  Now climate change is reducing the flow still further even as Ben Ryder Howe reported in the NY Times, big-money bidders are trying to buy up water rights.  Who will win a fight between rural farmers and suburban developers? 

Direct download: HereAndThere_020421_Howe.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

The Trump-fired assault on the US Capitol January 6 – was it a fiasco or a triumph for the far-right?  And what remedies would one of America’s pioneer scholars of terrorism suggest to combat the rise of racist, nativist, armed groups.  Brian Michael Jenkins of the RAND Corporation on how America fought foreign enemies like Al Qaeda and the Islamic State.  Are there lessons applicable to domestic terrorism? And how the fight redefine our concepts of privacy and freedom of speech?

Direct download: HereAndThere_020221_Jenkins.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

Even as figures tracking the toll from Covid-19 grow in size and accuracy, they reveal striking racial and social disparities.  Nina Martin led a Pro Publica team to examine, death by death, who was falling victim to the pandemic. They found dramatic excesses in death of young African-American men. 

Direct download: HereAndThere_020121_Martin.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

In Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, American military forces are on the move – out of those countries – leaving  lot of unfinished business behind. Probably the country worst-hit by the Trump Administration’s hasty retreats is Afghanistan, from which the Washington Post correspondent Pamela Constable has just returned. In the capitol city, Kabul, there are fears of a return to tyrannical, intolerant governance by the Taliban and anger at what is seen as the betrayal by their nation’s American allies.

Direct download: HereAndThere_012821_Constable.mp3
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The mob that sacked the US Capitol on January 6 represented a broad slice of America.  But Carl Segerstrom of High Country News says a lot of the impetus for the assault on the Federal Government coms from rural West and a movement called The Sagebrush Rebellion. Now many of its leaders may be called to account. But will prosecuting the ringleaders of the mob attack bring their movement under control…or just fan the flames of a rural, White Supremist opposition. 

Direct download: HereAndThere_012621_Segerstrom.mp3
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The point’s been made many times: we all live in one world, one political, one economic, one human, one natural world, and anything that affects a part of the world, eventually affects much if not all of it. Right now, the world is at a turning point for climate and energy, and New Mexico, a leading oil and gas and potentially a leading wind and solar power state is right at the crossroads.  Jerry Redfern has reported on environmental issue around the world, and now his home state—The Land of Enchantment. 

Direct download: HereAndThere_012521_Redfern.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

It took more than 60 years for the heroism of Chaplain Fr. Emil Kapaun to be recognized with a Congressional Medal of Honor.  People who shared the hardships of a North Korean prison camp are among those now campaigning for Fr. Kapaun’s canonization.  NY Times reporter Joe Drape’s excellent new book is The Saint Makers. Reporting and writing it changed Drape’s life, which is a key part of the story, fulfilling Fr. Kapaun’s goal of “sincere prayer.” 

Direct download: HereAndThere_012121_Drape.mp3
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Brian Levin has worked as a criminologist and civil rights attorney.  Now he’s a Professor at California State University at San Bernardino specializing in analysis of hate crime, terrorism and the law. We talk about the backstory behind the mob attack on Congress and strategies for future civility.  Where the rioters come from and how they can be brought back to “normal.” 

Direct download: HereAndThere_011921_Levin.mp3
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Frank Huyler has for 25 years worked in emergency medicine at the University of New Mexico Medical Center, and his new book, White Hot Light is a gripping and poetic account of the realities of that difficult service.  We talk about how the ER and the rest of the hospital have been changed by the Covid-19 pandemic and how medical customs have changed over the decades since his first, acclaimed book The Blood of Strangers

Direct download: HereAndThere_011821_Huyler.mp3
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When it comes to American’s foreign relations there is much that president Donald Trump has torn down that President Joe Biden wants to rebuild.  High on that agenda is the agreement restraining Iran from developing nuclear weapons.  Trump pulled America out of the deal, and now Iran is escalating both the amount and quality of the nuclear materials in its stockpile. Emile Nakhleh is a former CIA analyst and Director of the Global and National Security Policy Institute at the University of New Mexico.  

Direct download: HereAndThere_011421_Nakhleh.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:23pm MST

Among the arts, few have been so dominated by men and a mannish culture than jazz.  But that hasn’t stopped 3-time Grammy Award-winning drummer Terri Lyne Carrington.  2 things have helped her, some generous male musician-supporters like the great trumpeter Clark Terry and family values, including the pre-emptive advantage of having parents and grandparents who were well-known and respected in the Boston jazz community. A successful jazz career and how Terri Lyne Carrington built it…

Direct download: HereAndThere_011221_Carrington.mp3
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When American diplomats in Cuba started reporting strange noises and subsequent health effects, two questions immediately arose – what’s going on who’s responsible.  Then the same pattern repeated in the American consulate in Guangzhou in southern China. Ana Swanson of the New York Times says we may be getting closer to answers to both questions.  The chief suspect is Russia, an idea the Trump Administration has conspicuously rejected. 

Direct download: HereAndThere_011121_Swanson.mp3
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After six years of monitoring and mentoring by the US Department of Justice to cure a sick culture of too aggressive and too frequent uses of force, the Albuquerque Police Department remains unreformed.  Federal Monitor James Ginger says 6 years have left the APD and the Federal monitors “in more trouble here right now today than I’ve ever seen.” Elise Kaplan has been covering the story for the Albuquerque Journal. What to do? There are a lot of proposals, some of which seem to hinder other solutions.

Direct download: HereAndThere_010621_Kaplan.mp3
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Society as a whole is having a hard enough time adjusting to the new reality – women are entitled to all the legal protections and civil and social courtesies extended to men.  Recognizing and acting on this concept has been even harder for military organizations like the US Marines to deal with. Thomas Brennan of The War Horse tells us the sad story of one female Marine that illustrates the problem.  The mostly-male Marine brass say they’re on the case, but progress remains slow and unsteady. 

Direct download: HereAndThere_010521_Brennan.mp3
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 It’s being called the greatest feat of espionage in the still-short and still-developing history of cyber warfare – the penetration by hackers of at least 40 government agencies and think tanks and non-government organizations and as many as 18,000 corporate digital networks. Eric Tucker has been covering the story for the Associated Press and fills us in on what the hack has revealed. One longtime CIA expert says it signals “an age of perpetual cyberconflict.”  That’s going to be expensive. 

Direct download: HereAndThere_010421_Tucker.mp3
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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
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

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

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

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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Dineh Benally let everyone in the Navajo Nation know he was growing industrial hemp and maybe wink-wink, some pot, on his farm near Shiprock. But when his farming spread from 30 to over 400 acres and fences went up that hid what was going on, things took a darker turn. Ed Williams broke the story in Searchlight NM … and then watched it grow.

Direct download: HereAndThere_113020_Williams.mp3
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 I call ‘em para-militias,  because no Constitutional Scholar would call them “well-regulated.”  They’ve been bringing guns to anti-mask rallies and State Capitols, but fortunately they and their guns heeded President Trump’s advice to “Stand Down” on Election Day  But for how long will they “Stand By?” Frank Smyth, author of The NRA: An Un-Authorized History on the militias and their roots in the NRA, especially the alarmist myth, from any regulation of guns will go straight to the Holocaust, Joseph Stalin and Pol Pot.

Direct download: HereAndThere_112520_Smyth.mp3
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Uber, Lyft, DoorDash, Instacart … the oligarchs of the gig economy bet $200 million selling Californians on Prop 22, keeping their employees from getting the benefits most employees get.  Call ‘em contract workers and tell ‘em to take less for the work.  Californians bought the deal and Uber and Lyft stock went up by $20 billion. Greg Bensinger of the New York Times Editorial Board on how voters awarded other people’s labor negotiation to management. 

Direct download: HereAndThere_112420_Bensinger.mp3
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He tried to warn us.  He tried to warn his fellow-pollsters. John Zogby said the Biden-Trump vote would be a lot closer than  people predicted.  What made him so sure and what did his professional colleagues and competitors miss?  Did their collations tilt too much towards Democrats? Did voters lie to the poll-takers? And what about the demise of the telephone land line? The Presidential election what happened beyond the numbers?  

Direct download: HereAndThere_112320_Zogby.mp3
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They once was lost, but then they were found.  Several ceremonial shields, sacred to the Native Americans of Acoma Pueblo were stolen in the 1970s, but a few years ago, one of them re-appeared, up for sale at a Paris gallery.  Elena Saavedra Buckley of High Country News tells us how the shield and its people were reunited.  It wasn’t quick nor was it easy, but eventually the shield made it back to Acoma’s Enchanted Mesa.

Direct download: HereAndThere_111820_Buckley.mp3
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So far, the Trump White House has commissioned $10 Billion worth of contracts to build walls along our southern border with Mexico.  $9 Billion of the contracts have gone to just 4 politically-connected construction companies.  A good deal for them, but Jeremy Schwartz, investigative reporter for the Texas Tribune and Pro Publica says, not such a bargain for taxpayers.  Every time the President declares an emergency, environmental standards go away and wall-building costs go up.

Direct download: HereAndThere_111720_Schwartz.mp3
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At the Pentagon, it is clear, lame-duck President Donald Trump is in full Apprentice “You’re fired” mode, having removed Defense Secretary Mark Esper and several top national security specialists. Could the same fate await FBI Director Christopher Wray.  CNN analyst Josh Campbell, author the book Crossfire Hurricane: Inside Donald Trump's War on the FBI says he hopes notMorale at the top Federal law enforcement agency, Campbell says, is already near rock-bottom. 

Direct download: HereAndThere_111620_Campbell.mp3
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The sub-Saharan country of Mali is in trouble.  Once home to one of the history of Africa’s greatest empires, Today Mali is beset by Islamist terrorists, long-standing tribal conflicts, and a corrupt government recently overthrown in a military coup. Amb. Vicki Huddleston served in Mali more than a decade ago, but she still personally knows many of today’s significant players.  She’ll suggest why Mali matters and what the US can do to help it.

Direct download: HereAndThere_111120_Huddleston.mp3
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A man convicted of a street killing in Brooklyn protests his innocence…and after 20 years is finally granted a re-hearing of his case.  Then the Judge starts to show symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease Joe Sexton of Pro Publica with a tragic human story that shows a serious systemic flaw in our criminal justice system. Who’s to say, and how to prove a sitting judge is cognitively impaired…and then ..what can be done about it?

Direct download: HereAndThere_111020_Sexton.mp3
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Along with the intended benefits of oil and gas harvested by ordinary drilling and even more so by fracking, there are even larger amounts of what are called waters of production.  They are toxic, and often they spill into New Mexico fields, gullies and ground water.  Kendra Chamberlain of the NM Political Report on the latest efforts by the State and the industry to deal with poisoned waters from the oil and gas industry. 

Direct download: HereAndThere_110920_chamberlain.mp3
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Remember the ‘Seeds from China scare?”  Thousands of packets of unidentified seedling objects sent from China to homes across America.  Don’t plant them! Was the government’s advice – widely ignored by hundreds of home gardeners.  So far, so what?  Nothing bad has happened from the seeds, planted for dumped. But what if this was just a test? Jason Koebler, of VICE Media’s Motherboard has the story.

Direct download: HereAndThere_110420_Koebler.mp3
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Pope Francis made news when a documentary showed him endorsing legal civil unions for same-sex couples.  But the statement had been censored and buried by the Vatican for a year.  John Thavis, author of The Vatican Diaries was a working journalist covering the Vatican for decades.  He’ll explain the meaning of the Pope’s statement and its delayed release. 

Direct download: HereAndThere_110320_Thavis.mp3
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Caitlin Dickerson is fast becoming a reporting star at the New York Times.  3 of her recent reports have covered the unnecessary, uninformed surgeries performed on detained women at an ICE detention center, condition for refugees waiting in Mexico for their asylum cases to be heard…and the more than 500 migrant children still separated from their parents.  

Direct download: HereAndThere_110220_Dickerson.mp3
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 Most of the national polls show Democrat Joe Biden running well ahead of President Donald Trump, but, as we learned election day after election day, the national vote may not matter, if state votes turn the electoral college against the people’s choice.  Pollster John Zogby warns Biden fans, the national vote may be closer than they think and several key swing states are still up for grabs. As are more than enough Senate races to cloud the outcome. 

Direct download: HereAndThere_102820_Zogby.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

President Trump commissioned a series of investigations or re-investigations of his political rivals, clearly hoping they would produce an October surprise to boost his chances of re-election.  National Security correspondent Shane Harris of the Washington Post says the surprise is – no surprises, all the investigations turned up nothing.  One more crack at the Clintons…nothing there … a fresh look at a standard practice – “unmasking” – nope.  No crimes, no violations and for a desperate President, no help. 

Direct download: HereAndThere_102720_Harris.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

Even before members of the Kentucky Grand Jury were allowed to speak out, it was clear that Attorney General Daniel Cameron had been trying to steer the jurors away from indicting the officers who killed Breonna Taylor in a botched Louisville police raid. Radley Balko of the Washington Post says this sad story is not unique to or for the city.  An academic study found 3 years ago, several of the flaws in the raid are standard operating procedure for the Louisville PD.  

Direct download: HereAndThere_102620_Balko.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

Hunger has always been a persistent problem in the impoverished State of New Mexico, but as with so many things, hunger has been made worse by the Covid-19 pandemic, especially hunger among NM’s children.  Elizabeth Miller of NM in Depth has been reporting on the hunger problem and how public school systems and volunteer organizations have been trying to solve it.  She says, raising past limits on who can get free food, how much and where and how they can get it may point towards future directions for America’s social safety net. 

Direct download: HereAndThere_102120_Miller.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

 The civil war in Libya has become a proxy war, dominated by weapons and support from outside the country.  Award-winning Libyan journalist Mustafa Fetouri of Middle East Monitor wonder how adding a third governing force to the 2 already stalemated will make things any better. He explains why Russia, Turkey, Egypt, the UAE and Qatar have all become active kibitzers in this murderous conflict.

Direct download: HereAndThere_102020_Fetouri.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

Many have judged the schools supervised by the Bureau of Indian Education to be the worst in America.  Alden Woods has reported for the Arizona Republic and Pro Publica that coping with the coronavirus pandemic has made the worst schools even worse and the BIE is to blame.  Native kids with no classrooms, no computers and damn little homework or teaching to make up for these failures add up, says one expert, to “a terrible tragedy.” 

Direct download: HereAndThere_101920_Woods.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

Back in March and April, Italy was both the first- and worst-hit country in Europe by the novel coronavirus pandemic.  Prime Minister Conti admitted, he’d been too slow off the mark, and that government mistakes had cost lives. But, then he implemented a tough lockdown.  It worked from May until halfway through the vacation and tourism month of August.  CBS News Rome Correspondent Christopher Livesay on how Italians are dealing with a second wave. One answer – much better than the Spanish, French, Dutch and British.

Direct download: HereAndThere_101420_Livesay.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

President Trump has simultaneously talked down the power of Covid-19 while trying to push up the release date for a vaccine against the coronavirus. This dissonance has turned many Americans against taking a vaccine once one is developed. Peter Pitts of the Center for Medicine in the Public Interest says for a vaccine to sharply reduce infections of Covid-19, 60% or more of Americans must take it. Anything less, he says, could mean big trouble.

Direct download: HereAndThere_101320_Pitts.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

So far, Federal judges have stopped the Trump Administration’s attempts to act against the apps TikTok and WeChat, which the President calls “national security threats” from China. Joseph Yi Zheng LIan, Asia analyst for the NY Times, says – in these cases – the President is right.  Lian says the fact that the more you use the apps, the more you could be revealing about yourself to Chinese intelligence.  Think Cambridge Analytica with Chinese characteristics.  

Direct download: HereAndThere_101220_Lian.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

What do we know about the coronavirus pandemic, and what don’t we know about how it spread across the United States?  And why do we lack so much important information?  Justin Lessler of Johns Hopkins University is on the cutting edge of epidemiology and has been followed Covid-19 since the first reports our of China.  And what do we now know about them? 

Computer models say the last 3 months of 2020 may be the worst yet for the Covid-19 outbreak in America.  Lessler puts the prediction in perspective. 

Direct download: HereAndThere_100720_Lessler.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

Journalists who read the whistleblower complaint about how detainees were being treated at a privately-run ICE prison in rural Georgia saw their headline on page one – negligent care produced dozens of infections of Covid -19.  But Jerry Lambe of lawandcrime.com read past page 18 and found a bombshell accusation – unnecessary hysterectomies performed on detainees without their informed consent.  Subsequent investigations suggest, hysterectomies are part of a wider pattern of medical abuse of ICE detainees at the Irwin County Detention Center.  

Direct download: HereAndThere_100620_Lambe.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

If Donald Trump had his way, you would never hear his name and Covid-19 in the same sentence.  The fact that people are talking about his undisclosed foreign debts, his long-hidden underpaid taxes, and his,  er, un-Presidential debate performance may be seen at the White House as preferable distractions.  Prize-winning investigative reporter David Cay Johnston helps us do the impossible – get to the bottom of Donald Trump and his disruptive re-election campaign.

Direct download: HereAndThere_100520_Johnston.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

Among all the fractions of these United States, the Native American tribes, especially the tribes and pueblos of New Mexico have been especially hard hit by Covid-19.  One area of loss is economic and that’s the American Indian casinos.  Closing them down shrank tribal revenues and idled thousands of workers.  Now, slowly they are re-opening and the tribes ae hoping, without kicking off a second wave of coronavirus infections. Katherine Lewin of the Santa Fe Reporter has the story

Direct download: HereAndThere_093020_Lewin.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

Remember the caravans, the mass movements of thousands of desperate poor people from Honduras and Guatemala who walked the length of Mexico to the American border?  Guest Nick Quested was with Sebastian Junger the producer-director of a new documentary, Blood on the Walls that shows how the caravans succeeded and how they failed the people who took part.  

Direct download: HereAndThere_092920_Quested.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

David Weiss, the chair of the Journalism Department at the University of New Mexico, was teaching a sabbatical year at the fabled Charles University in Prague when the coronavirus pandemic hit the Czech Republic.  He hunkered down through the flow and ebb of the outbreak there and then came home to ABQ and worse Covid-19 trouble than he’d seen abroad. From a hoped for American future to a past hometown different from the one he’d always known.

Direct download: HereAndThere_092320_Weiss-2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

When Michael Caputo, the man Donald Trump put in charge of corrupting scientific information about Covis-19 flipped out on Facebook, he spewed a conspiracy theory about Biden backers staging a coup after an election loss to Trump.  Sasha Abramsky wrote in the Nation, a similar scenario, with the roles reversed, haunts the American left.  The fear there is that Biden wins and Trump refuses to accept the results and the result is violence. 

Direct download: HereAndThere_092220_Abramsky.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

Direct download: HereAndThere_092320_Weiss.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:52pm MST

With so much of the West Coast beset by wildfires, New Mexico has only been burdened with the smoke.  But both are tokens of what climate change is doing to the Land of Enchantment and the West.  Laura Paskus of NM Public Television has written a new book: At the Precipice: New Mexico’s Changing Climate.  Losses in water from snowpack, rivers and streams a below ground aquifers are just the symptoms of the problem here. 

Direct download: HereAndThere_092120_Paskus.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

For the Native Americans living in tiny settlements scattered across the vast reaches of the Navajo Nation, getting an education isn’t easy, but it is an opportunity guaranteed to them by American laws and treaties.  Alden Woods of the Arizona Republic and Pro Publica notes, providing that schooling isn’t easy for the Bureau of Indian Education.  But that’s no excuse for BIE’s many failings, which include often-poor academic standards and an addiction to extreme un-transparency.

Direct download: HereAndThere_091620_Woods.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

Hagia Sophia, the 6th century architectural masterpiece at the heart of Istanbul, Turkey was built as a Roman Catholic cathedral.  It has, over 1500 years, been devoted to the Eastern Orthodox Church, Islam and the Turkish secular state.  Now, it’s been reclaimed for Islam and the political interests of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and the re-opening of the mosque has been celebrated by selected Muslims and selected political supporters. Pinar Tremblay of Al-Monitor has the story.

Direct download: HereAndThere_091520_Tremblay.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:09am MST

So much depends on getting a correct count of residents of America for the 2020 census, so why is the Trump Administration trying so hard to mess with and shorten the process of counting?  Julia Sclafani of Searchlight NM went to a small southern New Mexico town to show what’s at stake.  There is money, of course, Federal aid is often shaped by the Census count, and there is dignity, too.  The census underscores that everyone living in America matters. 

Direct download: HereAndThere_091420_Sclafani.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

There was shock in New Mexico that a clash over a statue and over two different views of history could end in a shooting.  The shooter was defending a statue of Juan de Onate, an historic hero to many New Mexico Hispanics.  His victim supported protests by the Native American community who remember Onate as a mass murderer. Stan Alcorn reported the story for Reveal and NM in Depth and discovered a neo-Nazi at its heart.

Direct download: HereAndThere_090920_Alcorn.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

 CBS News correspondent Christopher Livesay and his video team were rushed to Belarus in mid-August to report on the rebellion against the apparently fixed re-election of long-time dictator Aleksander Lukashenko.  Then, his cameraman and producer were both detained and deported. But he snuck by, and covered the story.  How he did it and what he found in a country trying, in a civil way to overthrow a most un-civil government. 

Direct download: HereAndThere_090820_Livesay.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

Spain followed Italy as the European country worst hit by the coronavirus pandemic.  And, like Italy, months of tight lockdown restrictions seemed to have Covid-19 on the ropes, and the country re-opened.  Too soon and too fast is today’s hindsight.  Journalist and documentarian Diane Sylvester has watched as Spain re-claimed the unwanted title – worst Covid-hit country in Europe. Schools are still set to open in the teeth of a rampant resurgence of disease.

Direct download: HereAndThere_090720_Sylvester.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

Almost every society claims to honor and protect its elders.  The global pandemic of Covid-19 has put that claim to the test and shown it to be false, in developed countries with national systems of nursing homes and elder care and in traditional societies like the Navajo Nation, neglect and despair are the old folks’ unwanted portion.  Sunnie R. Clahchischiligi of Searchlight NM sought out elders living alone and left behind.

Direct download: HereAndThere_090220_Clahchishiligi.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

The recent agreement between the United Arab Emirates and Israel is a game-changer in many ways… bringing Israel and a leading Arab state closer together while driving supporters and scorners of an eventual Palestinian state farther apart. AP’s Jerusalem Bureau Chief Josef Federman on what comes next.  Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu has suspended his controversial plan to annex the West Bank. Is that the end of it? 

Direct download: HereAndThere_090120_Federman.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

 Lebanon was already in political and economic crises before a massive explosion blew up the port of Beirut and killed an estimated 200 people, injured 6000, and damaged the homes of 300,000.  Jeffrey Feltman of the Brookings Institution was American Ambassador to Lebanon from 2004 to 2008.  He ponders how best to re-weave a national basket case, with a dysfunctional government and a dis-connected population.  

Direct download: HereAndThere083120Feltman.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

When Alfred Sloan and Charles Kettering, the geniuses of General Motors joined DuPont in the leaded gasoline business, they had loads of evidence leaded gas could kill.  The tobacco industry executives who worked to make cigarettes more addictive knew about the connections to lung cancer.  So, how could they do it? Barbara Freese tackles the question in her book Industrial-Strength Denial. How could anyone defend slavery or toxic mortgage packages?

Direct download: HereAndThere_082620_Freese.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

One of the worst things that can happen to you is to have your country caught up in a proxy war – a war created, stoked and sustained by outside governments, strictly in their own interests.  More and more they are being fought by private military contractors from outside the country. Researcher and writer David Isenberg on who’s killing whom in Libya and in whose national interests. Old story – fight to control oil in Libya; new story fight over natural gas rights somewhere else.

Direct download: HereAndThere_082520_Isenberg.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

A toxic culture of sexual harassment and impropriety at McDonald’s, from the CEO to the aisle between the counter and the griddles and deep-fryers, offensive sexual aggression is reported and tolerated up the management fast-food chain. When the CEO admitted to an affair with a subordinate he got a golden handshake worth $37 million.  Now there’s evidence he had 3 more in-house affairs and Mcdonald’s wants its money back. Bryce Covert reported the story for The Nation. 

Direct download: HereAndThere_082420_Covert.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

 The word for Wisconsin Senator Joe McCarthy was “Demagogue: which happens to be the title of Larry Tye’s excellent new biography.  The context in which Tye sees the anti-Communist crusader and bully is clear in the book’s sub-title: The Life and Long Shadow of Senator Joe McCarthy.  That 75 year old shadow, Tye says, is on today’s White House. 

The key moment of McCarthy’s demise wasn’t when he was challenged by lawyer Joseph Welch, but when the audience at the Army-McCarthy hearings cheered Welch on.  

Direct download: HereAndThere_081920_Tye.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

Even accurate numbers can only tell the outlines of a story, but when it comes to facts and figures about healthcare workers in America sickened or killed by Covid-19, the numbers are inconsistent and often incomplete.  Investigative reporter Nina Martin of Pro Publica dug deeper to see the truth behind the statistical confusion and found other amateur detectives on the same quest. The casualty count is more reliable for nursing home residents and staff, but only because Congress passed a law demanding an accurate record. 

Direct download: HereAndThere_081820_Martin.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

By its government’s official count, Mexico is one of the world’s worst-hit hot spots of Covid-19, 6th in the number of positive tests for the novel coronavirus, 3rd – behind just the much larger Brazil and the United States – in Covid-19 deaths.  But journalist Joseph Sorrentino living in the Mexican pueblo of San Gregorio Atlapulco, says the reality is much worse. According to Mexico’s best collated statistics on deaths among healthcare workers, Mexico is, by quantum leaps, the worst in the world. 

Direct download: HereAndThere_081720_Sorrentino.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

 In the context of a coming Presidential election, the selection of a Vice presidential nominee is only rarely crucial… but The Nation’s national politics correspondent John Nichols says 2020 could be an exception.  Whoever runs with Joe Biden could signal the direction of the Democratic Party for Decades…just as FDR did when he picked Harry Truman in 1944.  How that happened, and how it changed American history is the subject of Nichols’ new book The Fight for the Soul of the Democratic Party.

Direct download: HereAndThere_081220_Nichols.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

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 MST

 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 MST

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 MST

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 MST

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 MST

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 MST

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 MST