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Photo: An aerial shows damage caused by wildfires in Santa Rosa, California, October 11, 2017. (DroneBase/Reuters)

George W. calls out bigotry and bullying in American politics 6 MIN, 31 SEC

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.

Guests:
Edward-Isaac Dovere, Politico (@IsaacDovere)

First the inferno, Now the clean-up. What then? 33 MIN, 19 SEC

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? 

Guests:
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)

More:
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

Tending Fire

Stephen Pyne

Divesting in university research gutting the US economy 9 MIN, 51 SEC


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.

Guests:
Jon Marcus, Hechinger Report (@JonMarcusBoston)

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