The Scramble: Joe Arpaio; Houston Preparedness; Melting Alaskan Permafrost

Aug 28, 2017

President Trump pardoned former Maricopa County sheriff Joe Arpaio Friday. Arpaio was not going to jail for his documented brutality against immigrants, failure to investigate complaints of sexual assault, or his  arrest of journalists critical of his policies. He was going to jail for repeated contempt of a judicial order to stop illegally detaining immigrants. Arpaio and our president seem to both hold contempt for the laws they were elected to uphold. 

Also this hour: Houston has seen more episodes of torrential rainfall in recent years, including more "once-in-a-lifetime" events of greater intensity. Scientists say climate change and unchecked development are contributing factors. Local officials disagree that climate and development play a role and have blocked changes to mitigate the flooding. An investigative report by Reveal and ProPublica shows Houston isn't prepared for  the likes of Harvey. 

Lastly, the melting of Alaska's permafrost could release a storehouse of ancient carbon into the atmosphere if we can't reverse our warming temperatures.


  • Daniel Magos - Lives in Phoenix and was a plaintiff in the American Civil Liberties Union's class-action lawsuit against former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio
  • Mark Joseph Stern - Covers law and LGBTQ issues for Slate
  • Al Shaw  News applications developer and reporter for ProPublica. He co-investigated Houston's hurricane preparedness with Neena Satija, investigative reporter and radio producer for the Texas Tribune and Reveal, a public radio program from the Center for Investigative Reporting. 
  • Dr. Max Holmes - Deputy Director, Senior Scientist, Woods Hole Research Center

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Colin McEnroe and Chion Wolf contributed to this show.