Gun Violence on Christmas, Judicial Vacancies for Trump, Drought in California and a Town Without Water

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Crime scene tape blocks of the area of an apartment complex where authorities say two police officers were shot, leading to a neighborhood search for the suspected gunman, Friday, Dec. 12, 2014, in GA
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Coming up on today's show:

  • Former Presidential candidate Ralph Nader reflects on the health of the Democratic party in 2016, which lost more than 1,000 positions under Obama, and the future of the movement Bernie Sanders started.
  • 61 were people shot in Chicago over the holiday weekend, 11 fatally, rounding out a particularly violent year for the city whose murder rate is at its highest point since the 1990s. The surge in violence is a reminder of the failures of the city to address gun violence despite a national spotlight on the issue. Gary Slutkin, founder of Cure Violence, an anti-gun violence initiative that has seen periodic funding cuts, shares his perspective.
  • When Donald Trump takes office, he will be handed close to 100 judicial vacancies, nearly double what President Obama had when entering office. An array of openings throughout the federal and district courts will allow Trump to have a lasting impact on the composition of the courts. Russell Wheelervisiting fellow at the Brookings Institution's Governance Studies Program and an expert in the federal judicial selection process, says this could drastically change the judiciary.
  • California is in its sixth year of drought and last year's El Nino rainy season did little to help, especially in Southern California, which is far below normal precipitation totals. The drought could also play a role in a possible fight between regulation-favoring state officials like Governor Jerry Brown and President-elect Donald Trump. Jean Moran, professor in Earth and Environmental Sciences at Cal State University East Bay, explains.
  • Although California is in a drought, the Texas town of Sandbranch has not had potable water for 30 years. Residents used wells, but in the 1980s that water got contaminated. Meanwhile, Dallas is one of the wealthiest cities in the country, causing residents to wonder why the county can't help pay for running water in the town. Reverend Eugene Keahey is a pastor of Mount Zion Baptist Church who visited the town and decided to stay put.