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.
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Kavanaugh Supreme Court Nomination Meets #MeToo Senate confirmation looked like a done deal, but gender politics are disrupting the process. Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s unblemished record is up against a woman’s lifetime of trauma--depending on who you believe. What are the options for Senate Republicans less than two months before this year’s elections?
White House ‘Norms:’ Past and Present President Trump has famously violated traditional rules of presidential behavior. Now Barack Obama has broken the studied silence maintained by former presidents. He’s even attacked Trump by name. Warren explores the historical context and future implications with Tim Naftali, who once ran the Richard Nixon Library and Museum.
Climate Change and Big Money for New Technology California leads the nation in reducing greenhouse emissions, but Governor Jerry Brown concedes that’s just the beginning. Will his global conference on climate change make any difference? Not without trillions of dollars, which will have to come from private investors. We’ll hear about some exotic technologies attracting that kind of money.
The Supreme Court and the End of Judicial Restraint Senate confirmation for SCOTUS nominees has become a political circus. That’s because unelected judges have seized legislative powers--when Congress fails to take action. Ruth Bader Ginsburg says Roe v. Wade is bad constitutional law, even though she agrees with the outcome. Should abortion have been left to the voters? Will Brett Kavanaugh make a difference?
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