Photo: An aerial shows damage caused by wildfires in Santa Rosa, California, October 11, 2017. (DroneBase/Reuters)
FROM THIS EPISODE
Former President George W. Bush has hardly been heard from for 10 years. But today in New York, he delivered a scathing speech about the current state of American politics. "Bigotry seems emboldened. Our politics seems more vulnerable to conspiracy theories and outright fabrication" We have seen the return of isolationist sentiments – forgetting that American security is directly threatened by the chaos and despair of distant places."
In Politico today, Edward-Isaac Dovere calls that "an unmistakable denunciation of Trumpism" without mentioning the president by name.
The blazes in Northern California are being called "firestorms," "hurricanes" and "blizzards of flame." They've been compared to a "blowtorch." In a state where wildfires are hardly uncommon, experts say civilian casualties and property loss are "historic" — like "nothing [they've] ever seen." The death toll is at least 42; some 3000 homes were destroyed; 213,000 acres have been turned into charred wastelands. Survivors are warned that debris is too toxic to allow digging for beloved possessions; smoke and ashes are causing health problems for miles around. What caused the fires? Why did they spread? Can the next ones be prevented?
Nick Rahaim, Press Democrat (@nrahaim)
Karen Relucio, Napa County Division of Public Health
Stephen Pyne, Arizona State University
Scott Stephens, University of California, Berkeley (@ESPM_Berkeley)
Press Democrat editorial on lessons from Northern California's fires
Press Democrat: EPA to oversee toxics cleanup after fires in Sonoma and Napa Counties
Stephens: spending more on fire suppression won't reduce losses
The William Albert Noyes Laboratory of Chemistry
University of Chicago at Urbana-Champaign
Photo by Beyond My Ken
Since the Great Recession and the start of the Obama Administration, the federal government has been cutting back on basic research grants to public universities. In the Midwest, that's bad for the economy. Internationally, it's a decline of American leadership, especially compared to China. That's according to Jon Marcus, higher-education editor at the Hechinger Report. He's written about it recently in the Atlantic.
More From To the Point
Imprisoning our mentally ill? American jails and prisons have become hospitals for the mentally ill. A murderer doing 20 years at New York’s Sing Sing prison works with schizophrenics serving 24 months for misdemeanors. He tells Warren that sick people should be treated outside. The Sheriff in Chicago says it’s not just inhumane but a waste of taxpayers’ money. How did we get here? What can be done?
Did Trump get conned by Kim? Six months after threatening nuclear warfare, “little rocket man” and the “dotard” were talking peace in Singapore. Beyond the hype, did President Trump and Kim Jong Un really mean it? A seasoned diplomat, a UN nuclear weapons inspector and veteran journalists provide contrasting assessments.
Post primary wrap, what’s the takeaway? California’s billed as the heart of “resistance” to President Trump. But in this month’s Golden State primary, young and Latino voters stayed home. That’s produced a clash of voices between Progressive Democrats and Clinton-era Centrists. What will that mean come November with control of the Congress at stake?
The politics of prison reform Prison reform is moving in Red States, Blue States and (maybe) on Capitol Hill. But America still incarcerates more people than any other country-- including China. Meantime, the Trump White House is divided. Jared Kushner is pushing sentence reform, while Attorney General Jeff Sessions wants to stay “tough on crime.” What are the prospects for much needed change?
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