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FROM THIS EPISODE

We start with a look at the powerful storm headed for Southern California. Could it make a dent in the drought, and can we expect wetter weather in the years and even decades to come? Then, a behind-the-scenes look at the wheeling and dealing over a drought relief bill. Next, a sobering new report on sexual assault in the military adds momentum to an effort to take such cases out of the chain of command. Then we take a look at the small, elite group of lawyers behind a disproportionate number of U.S. Supreme Court cases. Are the justices practicing favoritism? And finally, the rise and fall of Abercrombie & Fitch C.E.O. Mike Jeffries and how he compares to other eccentric and controversial American clothing makers.

Producers:
Andrew Walsh
Christian Bordal
Matt Holzman
Jolie Myers
Anna Scott

Predicting Precipitation in California 10 MIN, 18 SEC

A powerful storm that’s headed our way is already flooding parts of the Bay Area: Power is out in parts of San Francisco and hundreds of flights are cancelled. Will it make a dent in the drought? And what kind of rainfall can we expect in the years and decades to come? A new study from UCLA looks at those questions..

Guests:
Alex Hall, UCLA's Institute of the Environment and Sustainability

More:
Climate change won't dry up Southern California, study finds

The Fight Over California Drought Legislation 7 MIN, 2 SEC

The House of Representatives passed a drought relief bill earlier this week that would pave the way for water from Northern California to be diverted to Southern California and the Central Valley during winter storms. We look at the behind-the-scenes wheeling and dealing over the bill, the fight heating up between agribusiness and environmentalists, and why the measure is likely to stall in the midst of it all.

Guests:
Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times (@hiltzikm)

More:
House approves California drought bill that faces Obama veto

Sexual Assault in the Military 9 MIN, 24 SEC

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is promising new legislation that would take the prosecution of military sexual assaults out of the chain of command. Her efforts are gaining momentum in light of a new Pentagon report on military sexual assault. The Pentagon found that there were nearly 6,000 sexual assaults this year, or 16 a day. It also found that a majority of victims experienced some form of retaliation. So what happens next?

Guests:
Helen Benedict, Professor of journalism at Columbia University and author of “Sand Queen” and “Virgin or Vamp: How the Press Covers Sex Crimes.”

More:
"Sand Queen" by Helen Benedict

The Lonely Soldier

Helen Benedict

The Supreme Elite 13 MIN, 59 SEC

The Supreme Court seems to have added a new criterion when deciding whether to take a case. It’s not just the merits of the case itself, but the lawyer who’s bringing it. According to a new investigation by Reuters, a small group of elite lawyers who represent big business interests is much more likely than other attorneys to have their cases heard by the Supreme Court.

Guests:
Joan Biskupic, Reuters (@JoanBiskupic)

More:
At America’s court of last resort, a handful of lawyers now dominates the docket

Abercrombie and the Strange World of Clothing CEOs 7 MIN, 5 SEC

Mike Jeffries, the controversial C.E.O. of Abercrombie & Fitch, has stepped down. During the recession, Jeffries was unable to adapt to the rise of fast fashion houses like H&M and Forever21, leaving shareholders unhappy. We look at Jeffries’ sordid reputation and how he fits in with a line of outlandish leaders of American clothing companies.

Guests:
Benoit Denizet-Lewis, Writer for the New York Times Magazine. (@benoitdlewis)

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