End Of Primary Season. As June begins, the presidential preference primary season for 2016 draws to a close. What are the takeaways from the End Of Primary Season? Maybe some surprises. These days it can be difficult to do political media, since media types are expected to turn their microphones on and flap their lips, endorsing candidates and causes, and joining the partisanship parade on talk radio, cable television, and in the Op-Ed world. Even some reporters can barely conceal their biases. With no one to observe and present facts to the voters to help with decision making, people have either lost their ability to discern fact from conjecture and bloviating (a sort of alchemy in itself) or they just don’t care anymore. Maybe people have already made up their minds to be disappointed with the choices delegates eventually will make at the mainline conventions this summer, or to be excited. Lots of ‘analysts’ trying to explain the ‘Trump phenomenon’. Some of these explanations have become both absurd and comedic, if not outright ridiculous. A ‘resurgence’ of interest in Hitler in Europe (thinly based on sales of books and some ‘polls’ there) suggests the reason Trump is gaining so much support. This serves as underpinning for the ongoing anti-trump tripe that he is a fascist, or his supporters are fascists. Everyone forgets fascism itself was a center left movement in Italy and Germany as a third way between socialism and communism, and that the conditions that predicate fascism as a political movement require the failure of socialism, which looks like Venezuela, not the United States in 2016. Then of course there is the ongoing figurative suicide of talk radio, bloggers and television personalities. In the End Of Primary Season Glenn Beck is pulled off the air as one of his guests suggests armed revolution is the only path left for #nevertrumpers. The Red State Blog has become The Black and Blue Blog as Eric Erickson continues to trip on his shoestrings as he falls down the back steps. And Sean Hannity makes a fool of himself telling the world he is voting for Trump and can say that because he runs an ‘opinion’ show. MSNBC gets attention advertising that with Hugh Hewitt they might get tagged for being to right wing. Then there’s William Kristol – the establishment moderate – laying the groundwork for a challenge to Trump at the Cleveland Convention, up to and including the suggestion of David French as a potential third party presidential candidate. It’s only the beginning; next comes the remonstrations of Trump’s inability to win an electoral victory, which remains to be seen, and of course the suggestions the New York developer is tied into the Mafia. Moderates are trying to secure a disaffected evangelist/moderate/establishment GOP coalition to derail the Trump Train which is described as ‘inevitable’. Meanwhile in the democratic party the fight is only just beginning. Bernie Sanders won’t quit – one wonders why Ted Cruz did, watching the Vermont Senator wreak havoc with the Clinton campaign and the democratic establishment. By the way, there is a third party candidate and his name is Gary Johnson. Think he’ll be in the debates between the mainline party candidates? Despite all of this there is a nagging feeling our politicians are headed in exactly the wrong direction, regardless of party. Sponsored by Hydrus Performance and by Brush Studio in the West End.(Editor’s Note: This podcast suggests Speaker Paul Ryan remains on the sidelines, in terms of endorsing Donald Trump as the republican candidate. This was true at the time this podcast was posted, early in the morning on June 2nd. Ryan endorsed Trump and the story broke later the same day, June 2nd, 2016.)
In Digital Media It’s All News. A tour through YouTube videos that predict the end of the world, a collision with a massive planet on a 3200 year elliptical orbit through our solar system, a massive conspiracy that includes mind controlling top entertainers like Beyonce, Lady Gaga, Coldplay and Kei$ha, FEMA camps and Walmart, and much much more. More of us get our news from videos on FaceBook, Twitter and YouTube on their smart phones everyday. As our devices get more and more powerful and sophisticated, digital media grows in reach and importance. Conspiracy theory videos some might think are ridiculous get millions of views. As we act more and more like tribes, we derive our information from sources our tribe approves of, sharing facts with only those in our ‘newsfeed’, or our list of friends, our tribes. In Digital Media It’s All News. With so many people watching it all, can our subconscious minds tell the difference between media designed to manipulate and media designed to give us facts? Do we have the discernment necessary to understand facts and context? What is the difference between the ‘real’ news and a conspiracy video on YouTube. Sometimes the videos on YouTube are done just as well. What is the difference between CNN and Fox and RT? Or InfoWars? Or a blogger you like. What prevents the kind of political action that solves problems. What happens when you go against your tribe? Are fear and ignorance driving the country, politically. You can’t stop it. No law passed will turn it off. We’re going to have to go through it, and somehow maybe learn the art of discernment. Meanwhile, gotta get back to the video about this planet coming it on the outer edge of our solar system. It’s gonna wreck everything. Sponsored by Hydrus Performance and Brush Studio in the West End, Saint Louis Park, Minnesota.
It’s Just The Presidency. Live from Minneapolis and Saint Paul International Airport, Lindberg Terminal, since this is where almost everyone will be at some point during the Holiday season. As family and friends get together for Christmas and The New Year’s, conversations about the Presidential Race and politics will inevitably come up. Some will be new discussions, others will be continuations of discussions began during Thanksgiving. As we walk and talk through the airport, we discuss the idea that there has been a predominant and early focus on the personalities for the presidential race, and with early primaries coming up starting February 1st, and running through next summer, that focus will only increase. With all this presidential coverage it seems like we have completely forgotten 435 house members will be chosen, a third of the US Senate and a host of local, state representatives will be elected, as well as governors in some states. How many of us will be talking about elections for congress, state houses, and governor’s this year, rather than the latest gaffe by some over-televised and exhausted candidate, somewhere in Iowa, or New Hampshire or South Carolina? We’re supposed to have a balanced government in the United States, with sovereignty resting with the people, but it seems more and more as though we rely on one person as the Imperial President to administer the largest and most expensive federal government in the world, with now huge responsibilities. What is the history of ‘mixed’ or ‘balanced’ government. How can a system of checks and balances work if all we talk about are the personalities running for just one part of our balanced government; the executive? What did the founders think of the presidency? Why are there a whole list of enumerated powers in the US Constitution for Congress, the states and a Bill of Rights for the people, and few for the President? What happened in our history to make our presidency so powerful, and is this a good thing? How do we undo it? This is the conversation and the question families and friends should be having this year, heading into 2016’s election. However, people just seem to want a personality to ‘fix’ things, they don’t want to be bothered with details. Maybe this is why the founders also checked the people with an electoral college and Senate appointed by state legislatures and governors. If we’re not going to do our duty as citizens, maybe we need to go back to the old ways. Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul and X Government Trucks. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, from the Bob Davis Podcasts.
Media Manipulation. Checking out the news cycle before and after the debates, and in the last few weeks it sure feels like we’re being manipulated. You can’t say anything about anyone these days without a stream of tweets and posts about what’s politically correct, or charges that ‘you’re in the tank’ for this or that candidate. New story lines about Donald Trump are actually laughable. After his comments on the San Bernardino Terror Attack (not the San Bernardino shooting, as Hillary Clinton likes to characterize a terror attack) Trump was a racist, a fascist and a demagogue. Now that a new poll has been released showing Trump breaking through forty percent, with his closest challengers as much as twenty points behind, the story line is its the fading middle class, or dumb white high school only ‘blue collar’ workers who support him. Or, that Ted Cruz is suddenly ‘the nominee’ because he beat Trump by one point in a poll in Iowa. Because people in Iowa don’t know that they’re being surveyed, interviewed and chronicled to death as they ‘pick the next president’. Meanwhile not a vote has been cast. Kudos to the Cruz campaign for working hard in Iowa but let’s not forget Iowa (which is somewhere down there between New York and Los Angeles, for those of you in the media) Republicans voted for Mike Huckabee in 2008 and Rick Santorum in 2012 and gave Michele Bachmann a big boost in the Straw Poll in 2012. Were any of those people the Republican nominee, or even president? At the same time, almost no ink has been devoted to Hillary Clinton’s compulsive lying or Bernie Sanders’ fairy tales about how to fix the economy, or solve all of America’s social problems with another government program. While the pundits and commentariat blabs on and on trying to predict the future, manufacturing is in a recession, government and corporate debt are at record levels, companies are merging to pump up their fourth quarter earnings, Chinese officials admit making up economic numbers, commodities are depressed and the Fed is about to raise interest rates. Iran has pulled its troops out of Syria because they’re getting their ass kicked by ISIS, which by the way is expanding into Afghanistan where they will get an assist, no doubt, from the guy we had locked up in Gitmo, but let go to get a deserter back. Don’t worry about that right now though, Anderson Cooper is on talking about Carly Fiorina’s dress, Donald’s smack down of Jeb! and the Cruz Rubio rivalry. Hey did the Wild win? Maybe we’re better off with astrologers. As long as its Vedic astrology, right? Sponsored by Pride of Homes and Luke Team Real Estate and Hydrus Performance.
Do Something! Sick of Obama? Do something about it. Lots of emails from Bob Davis Podcast Subscribers asking for podcasts answering the President’s address to the nation last night. How about doubling the voter turn out in your neighborhood by organizing your precinct? You can bitch and moan about Obama this, and Obama that, or you can do something about it. In this podcast Political Activist Mitch Rossow introduces his new precinct organizing training program. This is a longer than normal podcast that tells you how to organize your neighborhood to win. We’re not talking about events. We’re not talking about lit drops. We’re not talking about messaging or attending your local Basic Political Unit Meeting. From the caucuses up, every citizen (in Minnesota at least) has an almost open road to become a precinct activist and having a direct impact on the 2016 election cycle. So, people have two choices. They can sit on Facebook and shake their heads, tweet a snarky analysis of the President’s speech, listen to another lecture about Jesus and The American Republic at a Tea Party meeting, or you can actually stand up and do something real. Mitch is ready to do Precinct Organizing Training Workshops. He can show you how to double the republican turn out in your precinct in one hour, and give you the tools to do it. Yelling and screaming, posting on social media, tweeting, being frustrated and angry isn’t going to win the election. Only organizing will. Let’s get to work. Sponsored by X Government Trucks and Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul.
Voting Surprises. Elections held on November 3rd, 2015 show the potential for voters to surprise and even shock media, pundits and commentators. Is a Tea-Party Republican victory in the Kentucky Governor’s race a harbinger of surprises to come once people start actually voting in the primaries and caucuses starting February 1st, 2016? Voters in Ohio rejected legalizing Marijuana, Democrats in Virginia lost their bid to gain control of the State Senate, and LGBT rights legislation failed in Houston, Texas. Is this a conservative voting trend? The next actual election is November 21st in Louisiana, where polls say a Democrat is favored to win the bid to replace Republican Governor Bobby Jindal. Is the chattering class underestimating the possibility that conservative voters could show up in large numbers, shifting the country to the right. Same question applies to the grip of establishment republicans on power in the GOP. It is dangerous to believe polls, especially this early in the process. When it comes to real political science, the proof is in the pudding. If there is a trend of angry voters on the right turning out, the punditry is going to be caught flat footed, but the establishment republicans will be shocked. One gets the impression, reporters and commentators covering these elections hear so many stump speeches and have so much red meat thrown at them they get jaded when it comes to the degree of frustration of ordinary voters. The turmoil on the right is a storm brewed up by svengali strategists at the RNC who expected to crown Jeb Bush the nominee. Now Trump, Carson and Cruz threaten the whole house of cards, demanding their own rules for debates or upsetting the carefully constructed plan. Outliers Trump and Sanders on the left are shaking up the status quo and challenging the idea that suzerains in Washington get to decide who the nominee will be on either side. In the real news, things don’t seem to be going so well and the commentariat continues to write tripe. The GDP only ‘grew’ 1.5 percent, but don’t worry growth is expected when consumers, ‘spending the savings from lower gas prices like a tax cut’ finally kicks in. A new study done by Democrat Operatives that says Mergers and Acquisitions are causing ‘inequality’. Is this true? Meanwhile Congressional Republicans lift the debt ceiling and federal spending jumped by 338 billion dollars. Maybe they should be talking about cutting spending rather than cutting taxes? Sponsored by Pride of Homes and Luke Team Real Estate and Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul.
Jason Lewis Part 2. (Editor’s Note: Jason and I did this podcast in August, 2015 long before he announced his candidacy for Congress in Minnesota’s 2nd District. Lately my entries describing what is in this podcast have generated controversy for Jason Lewis, because people apparently think these notes are a ‘transcript’ of the podcast. They are not. These notes constitute a blog entry, which explain what is in the podcast. If you want to hear what was said, you’ll have to listen to the podcast. In any case, it is fair to clarify that Jason Lewis said he accepted President Obama’s Iran deal with caveats. Before you criticize, and condemn, it’s only fair that you hear the man out. February 11th, 2016 from Sumter, South Carolina, on the campaign trail.) The second half of Jason Lewis and Bob Davis on the Bob Davis Podcast. This podcast starts with an extensive discussion of President Obama’s Iran Deal, which Jason supports. This leads into a wider conversation about the US Defense and Diplomatic structure with the rest of the countries in the world, and further discussion of Jason’s larger point that the US can’t have big government abroad and small (or limited) government at home. Once we dispatch the Iran and foreign policy questions, the talk turns to politics in the United States, and the media’s role in it. Is the influence of talk show hosts like Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck on American politics and its conduct of foreign policy. Other points to ponder include Woodrow Wilson and World War I, conspiracy theories about how the British provoked Wilson and his advisors into World War I, and the knock on problems which later contributed to the causes of World War II, in Jason’s opinion. Considering these foreign policy problems, what’s the political diagnoses by Jason, (who also claims to be a pariah in Republican circles here in Minnesota because of his ‘pacifist’ stance on foreign policy issues). Does the country need a personality who can pull people together, or can people generate a political movement on their own? In Jason’s opinion, Republicans continue to try to appeal to the small base that listens to talk radio, expecting bigger results. He also talks about his ‘semi retirement’, ‘going Galt’, and Minnesota’s economic situation, Governor Dayton, former Governor Jessie Ventura and the Minnesota legislature. We close with a short talk about our talk radio days and the future of media, in particular digital media versus broadcast media, and on demand audio like The Bob Davis Podcasts, and The Jason Lewis Show podcasts available here. Don’t forget Jason’s New Audio Book Power Divided is Power Checked available here. This is the kind of content sorely missing from talk radio these days. (Editor’s Note: It’s a great pleasure to work again — even on a podcast — with someone who knows how to deliver great talk content, and is smart, prepared, and witty!). Sponsored by X Government Cars.
Dandelion Fire. Usually I don’t write podcast liner notes in the first person, but this podcast starts with a bit of my frustration with politics at this time. The actual presidential election is in 2016, but the way candidates and potential candidates are being covered, you would think it was next week. Can you imagine how sick and tired we will all be of this, in November of 2016? What’s the reason for all this coverage? A score or more of ‘candidates’ on the republican side. Most of which haven’t a prayer, but that doesn’t stop them. These Republican candidates are kind of like Ray Donovan’s father, Mickey. At the beginning they’re kind of fun, and very quickly you just wish they would leave. The first republican ‘presidential’ debates are scheduled for this August. THIS August. Meanwhile, while it can be said democrats have an uphill struggle for the presidency in 2016, losing an incumbent president, and the 2014 off year elections, there’s really only one democrat anyone in this country sees on a day to day basis. Analysts have seemingly missed the tremendous value Hillary Clinton will gain from her face, voice, words, and activities being covered 24/7, and talked about by republicans bent on her destruction. No wonder she has the highest name recognition of any candidate. What is the republican strategy with all this? Who knows. I don’t think they know. With Rick Santorum, Bobby Jindahl, John Kasick and Lindsay Graham about to add their names to the list, the republican presidential field is starting to look as big as congress itself! The new US Attorney General says Soccer in the US is corrupt. Meanwhile, in Minneapolis a rich businessman is trying to get taxpayers to foot the bill for a soccer stadium. Why is it you never hear inequality discussed when it comes to sports stadia? The Pedal Pub Stupidity continues in Minneapolis, with those arrested after they showed their ‘hate’ for pedal pubs by attacking one carrying a raft of off duty Burnsville Police Officers, using high velocity squirt guns and water balloons. Now comes the charges of abuse and – shock – profanity! And the blame of social media, from the University of Minnesota. Who’s to blame? The knuckleheads that thought attacking pedal pubs was a good idea. Those arrested were all adults in their twenties, thirties and forties. Some will be charged with felonies. Hopefully they will have a chance to mature in the work house. The Tribune screams, ‘Bridge Collapse’. A rail road bridge, that was on fire, in Northern Minnesota, had to be destroyed. Wait for the recriminations about ‘infrastructure’. Just remember, the Keystone Pipeline would have taken the pressure off rail to haul oil from North Dakota and Canada. Finally, a discovery about those white, snowflake like dandelion seed pods floating through the air. Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul.
UK Election Crushes Pundits. Most important story going into the new week is the British Election, and the chief casualties appear to be political pundits. The ‘experts’ predicted a victory for the left, and in fact the left in British Politics was handed its hat and shown the door. Political scientists and pollsters are becoming too famous, and becoming part of the story, rather than doing their job. Its one of the reasons we love it so much when they’re wrong. Next, the same bunch in the US will be telling us what’s going to happen in 2016, based on the experience of the British election. What they won’t tell you is how the two systems are different, and why. That’s where this podcast comes in. Dissimilarities aside, UK conservatives will move quickly to cut government costs and size and adjust the UK’s relationship in the EU. The most significant thing to come out of the British election is the fact that people told pollsters one thing, and voted an entirely different way. It’s become socially unacceptable to disagree with an overbearing and arrogant left, so people just keep their opinions to themselves and take their revenge at the polls. Could that happen in the US? As people bear up under a no growth economy, disorder at the breaking points, and constant denial from the left that their policies just aren’t working, the pundits ignore the fact that there is political rage just below the surface. Woe to the politician that ignores this, or doesn’t understand it. Will the polls pick it up? Not if the pollsters and political scientists keep thinking about politics in the old right/left paradigm. Things are changing. Fast. Meanwhile, candidates in the US keep doing the same things and expecting different results. At a cattle call for republicans in the Carolinas, Jeb Bush talks about Christianity (just to make you think he’s a conservative) and Scott Walker wants to send troops to Iraq to fight ISIS. A recent podcast included a discussion of the nature of work in Los Angeles, with freelancers working on projects ad hoc, as the model for work in the future for all of us. Some subscribers didn’t like it, suggesting ‘Hollywood’ is responsible for the decline of social morals in this country. In this podcast, a new article suggests an Uber style company that connects professionals and semi professionals with small businesses and individuals is already taking off, and will change the nature of work in this country. Finally, for people interested in political organization, or just being good neighbors and citizens, there are a plethora of local issues, from Common Core, the Tyranny of the Met Council, and out-of-control spending by city councils. While these are local Minnesota issues, every town in every state and territory of the United States has similar issues. They allow people to work together to solve problems without having R’s or D’s carved into their foreheads. When people work together and solve problems together, they’re more likely to listen to each other, as opposed to sitting in their chair watching Fox News or MSNBC and railing against those (fill in the blank). Sponsored by X Government Cars. (Image from telegraph.co.uk)
Wyoming Breakout. Back home from Road Trip II, 2015. The story of the ‘breakout from Wyoming’, going up and down a big mountain in the middle of the spring snow storm, and outrunning the weather heading east. The objective? Don’t stop until warmer weather and or sunshine, whichever occurs first. In this case, it happened to be Sidney, Nebraska. Then, a day’s drive in the pouring rain through the Cornhusker State, onto Iowa for the final leg home from Des Moines to the Twin Cities. The Mobile Podcast Command Unit 8 performed brilliantly under varying conditions. Email from a listener introduced to us through a knock on the window of Unit 8 at midnight, behind a Casino. Plus some thoughts about the 2016 political cycle in the superb setting of the famous Nepenthe, located in the mountains of Big Sur, California, as we wait for a table, through the magic of audio podcasts. One of the things that kept coming up throughout the trip is this question of whether anyone who isn’t a political operative, or junkie, is paying attention to the cattle call of republican candidates, and the farce of democrat presidential candidates in the current time frame. Farmers let their fields lay fallow, so the soil isn’t fatigued. Creatives know sometimes you need to take a break in order to avoid burn out, writer’s block, and to get to the good stuff, creatively speaking. The media knows nothing of this, and continues to sift, and report and sift, and grind until there’s nothing left. What’s important right now isn’t personalities, the outrage of the day, or some expose. People need time to take a break from all the politics so they can actually do some internal thinking about the things that matter most to them. What are the overarching themes? Has any party developed an overall narrative that motivates real people to work and vote for the candidates? Does the candidate him or herself even matter? We’re not hearing those themes. We’re hearing what this one said about that one and how this one is getting more contributions, and the other one looks good or bad. The most divisive institution in American politics is not Congress, it’s the media. Can people tune it out? Sitting in the beautiful sunshine of Big Sur, staring out at the Pacific makes one think it is possible. Sponsored by Baklund R&D. (Image from California Travels)