Refusing To Take A Side Alienates Political Partisans-Podcast 623

A friend asked me the other day if I was trying to alienate my audience. The reason for the question? I refused to take sides during election 2016 and will not do the bidding of politicians, in Refusing To Take A Side Alienates Political Partisans-Podcast 623.

On The Road

Last year The Bob Davis Podcasts went on the road to cover the primary campaigns. I traveled thousands of miles back and forth across the United States. When you roll on the backroads you see a lot and you learn a lot. Once you do that, you never view politics in the same way.

Manipulation

We’re being manipulated. Constantly. Republican and Democrat. Did a podcast about that. Detailed how we get our news from social media. Explained how to tell if a story lives up to journalistic standards. Asserted the idea that bad information leads to bad decisions. Apparently asserting ideas like this can put people on the defensive.

If You Want To Know The Truth

To know the truth, don’t take a side. It seems like everyone in media these days is taking a side. Defending a position. Making an argument. Demanding they be followed. Most information defends a point of view. This is the essence of our national manipulation. People say, “I don’t have time to sort it all out”. That is why I am doing these podcasts.

Shooting The Messenger

There are many assertions in modern news coverage these days. Most of these assertions are little more than opinion. This doesn’t mean the facts might one day support one view or another. Sadly the first reaction is defensive when facts don’t support conspiracy theory, commentary, personality endorsements, wishful thinking or the need to feel secure about a decision.

My Style of Communication

I am passionate. Direct. Intense. When I direct that passion and intensity toward something important to a specific listener it can be disconcerting. The value is it is researched, honest and authentic. Not filled with small talk and an effort to ingratiate myself with people so I can finesse a politicians message. This style of communication has certainly caused me trouble, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

History and Peeking Ahead

In Refusing To Take A Side Alienates Political Partisans-Podcast 623, I take a look at talk radio and media history, and discuss aging and changing perceptions, personal growth. Also take a look ahead to plans for covering the next election cycles. Hopefully I’ll continue to ruffle some feathers and get some discussion and thinking going.

Refusing To Take A Side Alienates Political Partisans-Podcast 623

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Podcast 597-Pure Insanity

Trump Sets The Pace

In Podcast 597-Pure Insanity. Controversial executive orders. Cabinet confirmations. A Supreme Court nomination. The robust legislative agenda. Trump’s White House is setting the pace. Media and the partisan left is struggling to keep up. Any action taken by a republican is met with derision and a firestorm of social media reaction. Just mentioning a Trump initiative, executive order or tweet means an  argument. Scenarios of the death and destruction caused by all things Trump have reached hysterical levels.

Hysteria and Pure Insanity

Now it’s democrats talking about secession, impeachment and Coup d’etat. What is a coup? Why would the president plan a Coup against himself? There is no evidence of a Coup being planned against the United States government. Clearly those writing such things do not understand what a Coup really is. Dusting off an old French word to make the Trump administration seem darker and less legitimate is the goal. Defining the term and explaining why suggesting a Coup is an insult to your intelligence, is part of Podcast 597-Pure Insanity.

Cal-Exit

Talk of California seceding from the United States generated a lot of coverage. Remember when  right wingers talked up secession at the beginning of the Obama Presidency? Now it’s left wingers. Would California secede? Aside from the obvious question of legality, without California’s votes and money the chances of a democrat being elected President of the United States would be very low. So…

…Forget secession.

Trump will be impeached. Uh. No. Not unless democrats gain a majority in both houses of congress in 2018. Is it necessary to remind everyone Impeachment would result in the Presidency of Mike Pence? With no shortage of hate for the Vice President on social media and at protests, one wonders whether the overwrought and bereft left consider impeachment would leave them with an even more conservative president. Unfortunately it’s necessary to point this out in Podcast 597-Pure Insanity.

Why? Because They Can

Some have forgotten history and context and how the Representative Republic of the United States works. Some think cabinet positions are elected. Others don’t understand that while legislative minorities have rights, majorities do entitle control of committees, rules and certain appointments as well as the legislative agenda. Not only do republicans have legislative majorities the party controls the executive branch, many state legislatures and governor’s offices. While opposition and protest are the right of Americans maybe the opposition should be asking how did a supposedly dying GOP managed to garner these majorities? Is it possible some voters agree with them?

There are people in the United States happy with actions taken by the new president. They like his executive actions and his picks for the cabinet and his pick for the Supreme Court. They might even cheer when they hear Trump’s nominee for Education Secretary suggest government schools really aren’t doing a very good job and that competition in the form of vouchers and charter schools is a good thing. They are perfectly satisfied with the idea of cutting regulation and taxes. Despite the caterwauling on the left this is hardly a national crisis or the first glimmerings of American fascism.

Social Media Cesspool

In Podcast 597-Pure Insanity, nowhere is the left’s increasingly impotent rage more apparent than on social media. Memes, videos, live sessions, tweets, angry rants, de-friending and blocking. The Social Media Cesspool, with its misspelled signs confusion about history and how our government works has become a place where people post to live and live to post. A place where anger and extremism are encouraged. People wonder whether it will change. Will it? Why would it?

One thing social media is good for is cat and dog pictures and videos, performances of song and dance and all things pure and real. Maybe it’s time for everyone to take a step back, a break from the day to day news and social media and consider what is most important in life. Did you ever think you’d see the day when you would hope to see pictures of people’s dogs or see a performance of a song?

That day has come.

Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating Of Saint Paul, X Government Cars and Hydrus Performance.

 

Podcast 595-Money

Money and Controlling the Media Battle Space

Money. Money. Money! Everything the new President says and does is controversial. The latest eruption concerns Trump’s executive order regarding immigrants from several war-torn countries in the middle east region. A handful of court rulings challenging the order are centered on whether due process can be denied people allowed into the United States legally. The court rulings do not suggest the President cannot use executive orders to control departments in the executive branch but whether if the executive orders deny legal rights without due process.

This is just another in a series of actions and comments by President Trump and his administration that have received wide comment and coverage in the media. While protesters protest and media outlets gas-bag about the latest affront to society, Trump and his people throw another rock into the lake creating new ripples that have to be protested against and reacted to by the already too reactive media. This is a tactic or strategy known as an OODA Loop. Trump is forcing the media and his opponents to react to him. When they react his team observes their reaction, decides on a new initiative and then acts, restarting the loop. In this way the administration controls the media battle space.

About the Money

In Podcast 595-Money: When it comes to Money, once the initial spate of executive orders and stunts at press conferences passes, Congress and the President will get down to work on legislative initiatives to address the moribund economy of the United States. Podcast 595-Money wonders whether what has been talked about by this president on the campaign trail and in the media will indeed, make America Great Again.

No Growth

The United States has grown less than 3 percent a year roughly for the last eight years. Those old enough to remember the early 80’s know that the experience of robust economic growth in that era was real. People didn’t worry so much about getting jobs. As inflation came under control and interest rates came down and as unemployment started to come down, optimism took hold. We have not had that kind of feeling in the United States for a long time.

The question is whether the things Trump wants to do will actually produce economic growth. Middle Class taxes are already historically low. Cutting corporate taxes may result in higher profits which is good for Wall Street but may not translate to jobs. Some parts of clearing out the thicket of Federal Regulations can be done by executive order but most of it will require congressional action. Will a Trillion Dollar Stimulus package to build roads and bridges spur economic growth?

A Republican Stimulus?

President Obama’s Trillion Dollar stimulus was supposed to stimulate economic growth and didn’t. Part of the problem with big federal stimulus efforts is the money has to be block granted to states and the spending becomes political. Another issue is the fact that most people in the United States are employed in services rather than construction trade. Aside from the fact that government spending doesn’t ‘create’ jobs, putting people to work in a small swath of the population usually doesn’t result in a high multiple. This is why the Obama Stimulus produced dubious results.

Another problem is Trump’s Trade Protectionist sentiments. While the trade unions love the idea generally the United States has been a free trade nation. Trade agreements are negotiated because most of our trading partners are trade protectionists. The agreements generally break down borders to our trade. The fact certain kinds of manufacturing is cheaper in Latin America and Asia has actually benefited Americans in the form of cheaper goods. Putting up barriers to manufacturing overseas also means goods in the US will become more expensive.

Most of the jobs lost in the last decade or so have been lost due to information technology, robotics and automation. New manufacturing plants are much more automated these days which means they will not produce the manufacturing jobs expected. When one considers completely automated warehouses like Amazon’s and robotic manufacturing like Elon Musk’s showplace plant, don’t expect ‘bringing manufacturing back to the United States’ means jobs at the factory for Uncle Mike.

If you believe the economy is the sum total of individual’s transactions then an economy can be considered a force of nature. This is the first time in recent memory a ‘conservative’ president has endorsed trade protection and big government spending. Two of the biggest problems economically in the United States are the ongoing budget deficits and the total public debt. One wonders how the cornerstones of the Trump economic policy will produce enough growth to reduce the deficits and public debt.

Finally in Podcast 595-Money, the proof will be in the pudding. With all the other controversies swirling around this president after just two weeks if his policies fail to produce the promised economic growth republicans will have real problems in the 2018 and perhaps the 2020 cycles, especially for the politicians that endorsed Trump. Be careful what you pray for.

Sponsored by X Government Cars and Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul.

 

Podcast 593-Surreal Weekend

Surreal Weekend

The Inaugural Ceremony in the United States is supposed to symbolize the peaceful transfer of political power. Podcast 593-Surreal Weekend reviews my reactions to the weekend of January 20th, 2016 from the Inauguration speech of the new President Trump, to the protests on Sunday and a bizarre first-time appearance of the President’s new press secretary. Yes. It was a surreal weekend.

After the new President’s speech, the arguments started almost immediately over how many people watched and attended. Sunday’s protests can only be described as the ‘anti-inaugural’. From talking vagina signs to the thugs smashing windows in Washington to Madonna fantasizing about ‘blowing up the White House‘, this was a was a Surreal Weekend.

FaceBook and Twitter were ghettos of dueling memes and videos posted by furious adherents to one side or another. An old woman berated a fellow passenger on a plane for being a Trump supporter, ending with her being escorted off the plane by police to the cheers of passengers.

If you did not support either mainline candidate you’re in a difficult position. The media believes its job is to react to whatever stimuli is thrown out by Trump’s team. When so called journalists aren’t taking the bait on Trump’s line they’re busy predicting the future. We’re swimming in a sea of partisanship. Pundits discuss the ‘significance’ of protests in urban centers that would have supported any candidate put up by democrats in 2016. News anchors debate something called ‘alternative facts’.

Did you think the tactic of distracting the media with one stunt after another would be over after the election? Think again. Apparently the media will take the bait every time. Hook, line and sinker. Pundits and talking heads will ‘explain’ whatever stunt was employed or argue the reaction to the stunt. ‘Guests’ will appear on every show arguing the merits of the silly outcome of the latest stunt. Popular songs will be written. Memes will be distributed on social media. Videos will be made. People will scream and yell at each other.

What if you support no one. If you don’t believe any of then are going to remove the boot heel on our necks, then what? Substance? Really? Compare the substance and specificity as well as philosophy of the first Reagan inaugural to the vacuum of Trump’s. Examine the difference between the language and intent of the so called protests this weekend to the language of Martin Luther King’s rally in Washington. America’s discourse today is a sad echo of the past. Yes. It was a surreal weekend.

Something Wicked This Way Comes

We don’t think anymore we attack. Attack the messenger. Or attack the source. Attacking the person is always good too. The method is attack and attack and then move on to the next target. This week’s talking head video says what needs to be said. Tomorrow it’s another meme or video. Ignorant of the facts? Unable to put a sentence together? No problem. Just post this meme or video and boom! It’s bad and its going to get worse.

We should certainly give the new president and his team the benefit of the doubt but I do not intend to defend him. He is capable of defending himself. When the new administration does something I think is right, I’ll say so. However, I do think people who supported President Trump all through the campaign have a responsibility to defend him. Trump supporters will have to develop the arguments to defend him and they’ll have to organize against what is already formidable opposition. If you’re a Trump supporter and you’re not our organizing your neighborhoods, good luck in the next election cycles.

I get this feeling there is something evil out there. Something Wicked This Way Comes. Maybe it’s the result of a surreal weekend, but something doesn’t feel right. I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop. I’m not talking about the man in the oval office. I’m not talking about the left’s protests. It is a feeling that I can’t shake.

We’ll see.

(Editor’s Note: Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton collapsed during the State of the State message at the Minnesota State Capitol Monday, adding to the surreal quality of the current time frame. While I find little to agree with the Governor on politically, I have interviewed him and he is a gracious and nice man. The latest reports in the current time frame are that the Governor is doing well.)

Sponsored by Brush Studio in the West End.

 

 

Podcast 589-Celebrity Worship

Podcast 589-Celebrity Worship-When The Famous Become Gods

Fame. Notoriety. Our fascination with famous people. Our fascination with those who are famous. One of the things I like to do in podcasting is to focus on the first thoughts I have at the beginning of the day. You might think podcasting in this manner is easy. Unfortunately sometimes these first thoughts turn out to be a lot deeper and complex than first imagined.

Two thoughts ignited Podcast 589-Celebrity Worship. First, the concept of fame itself. Where did it come from? When did it start in the United States? What makes someone famous these days? How is that different from what made someone famous three hundred years ago? Second, we form a bond with famous actors and musicians because of a movie or a song we connected with at a certain time in our life. The performer is forever part of our life because of a performance.

The kick off for these first thoughts is the HBO documentary ‘Bright Lights’ detailing the relationship Carrie Fisher had with her mother Debbie Reynolds. Both of these women are recently deceased. Carrie Fisher from a heart attack and her mother from a stroke shortly thereafter. Some of the content in the documentary has to do with Postcards From The Edge, first a book and then a movie about the relationship between Carrie and her mother, in which Meryl Streep played the role of Carrie Fisher.

All of this connected for me because Streep’s recent comments about the President-Elect at the Golden Globe Awards. The Golden Globes usually has lower viewership than the Academy Awards and would be forgotten save for unsavory comments from Streep this year. While any citizen has the right to say what they want about political events, stars seem to think they can use their fame to tell the rest of us what we should feel, how we should vote and how to live our lives

Back in the day, people became famous for doing something. They discovered a continent, or won a big naval battle, a war, or saved western civilization. One became famous for building a bridge, mass producing an automobile or opening the east to western trade. Great artists and performers became famous for work that changed the world. Today it seems like people become famous for being famous.

The roots of this kind of fame, or notoriety go back a long time. Dime store novels, traveling road shows, Vaudeville, Tin Pan Alley, and the movies. It wasn’t long before you could become famous for just playing someone who had actually accomplished something. Actors who played western heroes, Pharaohs, and Great Leaders became associated with the accomplishments of someone else.

2016 was the first time I’ve seen the media tally the deaths of ‘Celebrities’ as they might natural disasters. We ‘mourned’ the loss of people we did not know as though they were part of the family, and seemed to forget the thousands who have been killed in America’s violent big cities, or in war zones across the world.

Prince, David Bowie, Carrie and Debbie Fisher and many others. Oh! What a loss!

Some people who are famous for a role they played in a movie forty years ago have insights into how fleeting fame is. Carrie Fisher reluctantly came to terms with her connection to the character she played in the original Star Wars, comparing it to her mother’s performance in ‘The Unsinkable Molly Brown’.

Fisher considered herself the ‘caretaker’ of the Princess Leia character, and felt she was irrevocably connected to her. A fact fans sometimes did not seem to understand. Or did they? We wonder what fame and fortune is like because we think of people who are famous and rich at the height of their powers. What is it like when people who live every day of their lives in scrutiny begin to age and decline?

We all love our movies and TV shows. We love our favorite music and performers. Human beings need entertainment. We all love a good story, told well. Great artists don’t do what they do because they want to change the world. They do what they do because doing it is what makes them happy. Sometimes the result of their work is world-changing. I don’t think they know this when they are creating these world changing works. Sometimes too, a movie is just a movie, or a song is a one-hit wonder, or a show only airs for two or three seasons. We want to know the people who write and perform these works, and some of us put them up on a pedestal.

Do we mistakenly worship these people and their works and believe they have some insight or power to be able to tell us how to live our lives or what kind of political system we have? What happens when the works of Hollywood form a bond with the works of fame-seeking politicians in our capitols? Are the performers worthy of our worship? What happens when powerful media mechanisms make politicians famous for being famous?

Sponsored by Ryan Plumbings and Heating of Saint Paul.

 

 

Podcast 588-Russians Coming!

 

CIA Report on Russian Hacking

On this week’s Bob Davis Podcast Radio Show, we’re back in a news rich environment. The release of the CIA Report on ‘Russian Hacking‘ adds to the latest tempest in a teapot. A skeptical President Elect Trump got a briefing from top intelligence officials in the Obama Administration last week. What does ‘Russia Hacks The US Election’ mean to you? Does it mean the Russians managed to get control of voting machines and change votes in key states. Decidedly no.

In Podcast 588-Russians Coming! The story goes, the Russians, under order from President Putin, hacked into the DNC through John Podesta’s email, gaining access to the server for months. The Obama administration also has been told by its US intelligence employees that the Russians were responsible for the release of sensitive material from the DNC severs to Wikileaks. Oh, and the Russia Today network put a new TV show on critical of Hillary Clinton. The Russians also apparently employed a number of Internet trolls in service to Donald Trump. Or something like that.

The subliminal message here is Americans have lost control of their political process and therefore should have no faith in its outcome, which oddly seems like the original goal of Russia’s alleged interference. Proving the Russians hacked into the DNC is hard enough to prove. Proving it had any effect on the election is quite another. One should never say never and skepticism should be the first approach for people who want to believe the Russian Hack story and those who do not. Still, there are reasons why this is one story that may never be proven. Find out why in Podcast 588-Russians Coming!

While Trump supporters remain skeptical, Clinton supporters have latched onto the Russian Hack story as the new grand conspiracy theory in all that ails America. However, if you’re looking for a smoking gun you may be waiting a long time. Like the famous WMD in Iraq story, when a president asks the intelligence community to ‘prove’ something, a ‘report’ will be issued. Reports issued because a president wants one, usually include a ‘preponderance‘ of evidence.

Remember how the CIA managed to convinced Congress and most of the people in the country going to war against Iraq was necessary? While the left attacked Bush and the CIA for its ‘preponderance of evidence of WMD’s in Iraq’ finding, suddenly they’re ready to believe the ‘Russia Hack’ story. Even though we all know how the WMD story turned out for George W. Bush, the left wonders how else Hillary Clinton’s loss could be explained. It had to be the Russians.

2016’s presidential race heralded a tectonic shift in politics in the United States and perhaps the world. How politics is conducted. How it is reported on. How races are measured and predicted. Considering this shift, is it impossible to suggest people in the great lakes region in 2016 reached the point where they were just fed up with politics as usual? Maybe the cozy relationship between big government types, Hollywood and Wall Street just got to be too much for the little guy? Bernie Sanders thinks so. Senator Sanders has called Clinton out for choosing to hang with Gentry-Liberals rather than campaigning in Wisconsin and Michigan in the final stretch when it might have made a difference.

Foreign involvement in the US political process is nothing new. During the effort to ratify the US Constitution, in an effort to support arguments for an indirect election of the President through the Electoral College, The Federalist talked about foreign involvement in US Presidential elections. Historian Barbara Tuchman wrote a book about British subterfuge to get the US into World War I. The Soviets attempted to influence US politics through the creation and promotion of the American Communist Party from the 1920’s on. During those early decades of the twentieth century, some American intellectuals thought the Soviets had solved the problems of industrialization. Some Americans were happy to move to the glorious Soviet Union.

Will the new president plan a reorganization of the United States’ far flung fleet of intelligence agencies? The OSS was originally tasked with the collection and interpretation of strategic information. After the National Security Act of 1947, the newly formed CIA took up the job with some additional responsibilities. Federal agencies tend to grow and morph from their original mandate as time goes on. The United States now has scores of intelligence agencies. Are we sure our Congress and President knows what these agencies actually do? Are we sure that our government can actually supervise intelligence services that have a long history of making serious mistakes?

What is this story obscuring right now? As we argue about the ‘preponderance of evidence’ linking a spear phishing scheme to the DNC servers, a scheme that succeeded because DNC officials who should have known better did not follow security procedures, politicians in Washington, our State Capitols and City Councils are stealing us blind.

Sponsored by X Government Cars.[powepress]

 

Podcast 586-Midtown Global Market

 

Giving 2017 context

Live from the Midtown Global Exchange in Minneapolis. (Editor’s Note: Unfortunately throughout this live podcast I refer to the Midtown Global Market as ‘International Market Square‘, which is somewhere else in the Twin Cities.)

In 2006 the Midtown Global Market opened to much fanfare after 192 Million dollars was spent to redevelop the old Sears Building on Lake Street in Minneapolis. Tens of millions of dollars in grants, aid and bonding helped pay for the project which was sold as the key to redeveloping a decaying neighborhood.

Just inside the entrance are several large photos of the neighborhood back in the 1920’s before the Sears Building was constructed, with no subsidies, at a cost of five million dollars. Looking at those old pictures, knowing the neighborhood, I think of change, and context.

Like any New Year, we’re always optimistic about the future. We need 2017 context. How was your year? How do you compare it to other years? Did you have a good 2016? Will next year be better? Life doesn’t follow neatly defined month and year delineations. Life cycles operate on other timelines.

We make decisions individually and collectively. Those decisions provoke change and reaction. It takes awhile for results to appear. Just like this place. The marketplace has struggled since it opened in 2006 and continues to require subsidies to survive. The neighborhood has struggled despite redevelopment at enormous cost to the taxpayers. Is it better?

We live in a time of intense chronicling. Like a teenager’s journal every slight, every insult and every joy is recorded and exaggerated. A person looks back on their journals twenty or thirty years after and does not remember every detail. On the other hand, the Internet records every insult and slight and magnifies reaction. In this environment perspective and context, so important in human decision making, is distorted as well.

As I begin 2017 I find myself unhappy with what I see on social media, in broadcast and so called traditional media. Now a primary source of ‘news’, social media sets the tone for all other media. These sources are mostly devoid of perspective and context. In this podcast some 2017 Context.

We’re told celebrities are dying like flies and this is terrible. Is a celebrity more important than anyone else? How many people die every year famous or not? What is the context? How many babies are born every year? The famous do not retain their earthly status when they crossover. We all know this. So, why all the hand wringing about celebrity deaths?

In Podcast 586-Midtown Global Market, some thought starters for your 2017, live from the Midtown Global Market. Why is history so important? Where does change come from. How is our time different from other eras? Why do things we don’t want to change, often change? How do we manage change? What do we need to know to manage change?

So many people post and tweet these days because they want to be thought of as beautiful, a hero or a friend. Many go on social media so they can stand on top of a hill and be recognized for the contributions they feel they’ve made. Why? Aren’t we special just because we’re alive and in the world right now?

2016’s events effected many of us deeply. Government’s power is pernicious and often malicious; Starting a war. Pouring tens of millions of dollars into dubious development project. To the degree people people engage in gossip and back fence judgement via social media, they have less influence over those they have selected to ‘run things’. Here’s to providing context and perspective in 2017. Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul.

Podcast 585-Goodbye 2016

Bob Davis Podcasts Radio Show Number 59.

In Podcast 585-Goodbye 2016 Guest Andrew Davis and I have a father and son discussion of some of the big takeaways from 2016 and a look ahead to 2017. This isn’t one of those big stories of the year countdowns that populate the media at the end of every year. Just some thoughts about the year from both of us. What we have seen and what we thought was significant.

Of course in the United States, the big story of the year was Election 2016. Father and son talk about the winners and losers this year and how to stay informed going into 2017. The biggest loser of 2016 was traditional broadcast and cable television news and what is generally referred to as the mainstream media. This year though, you could add broadcast talk radio to the list. The biggest offense for these outlets was the penchant for predicting the future, picking a winner and endorsing a candidate.

From the media perspective the biggest winner was social media and You Tube. According to a recent study by Pew, more people got their news from social media and You Tube than ever before. This is a tectonic shift away from broadcast radio news and news delivered over traditional sources like broadcast television and cable television. This shift has provoked efforts to control what news and links people see and hear on social media sources.

In Podcast 585-Goodbye 2016, the biggest surprise in 2016, for traditional media and politics in 2016 was Trump’s Electoral Victory. For political elites inside the beltway and those who believed what old line traditional media told them, the emergence of Donald J. Trump in the primaries, his nomination as the Republican presidential candidate and his electoral victory was a shock. The biggest factor in politics in 2016 were the misconceptions fostered by terrible reporting and analysis.

Late in the election season the Clinton campaign and the White House introduced the idea that the Russians somehow ‘hacked’ the US election. While a convenient explanation for bereft democrats, even at this late date proof of a Russian Interference is lacking. Moreover, proof the alleged Russian intervention resulted in actually effecting the outcome of the election is even more elusive. Father and son disagree on this topic. This disagreement that carried over from the radio show to intense discussions with friends well into the evening.

With change back on the front burner in 2017 our discussion turns to how to get good information. There will be a need to evaluate the performance of the Trump administration and arguments against its initiatives. With so called fake news, opinion journalism rather than good investigative journalism, having good sources is more important that ever.

Once you have goos sources, you also need context. Good sources include source materials such as reports, think tank studies, documents, and live video. Context comes from reading history, source documents, non fiction books on various topics and your interests. Both of us caution against pop culture books which are nothing more than the same type of rehashing and alarmist coverage you see in social media, cable news and talk radio. They are designed to persuade, rather than inform. Certainly one can say think tanks have biases, which are usually fairly obvious, but reliance on source material from different parts of the spectrum and academic interests gives you the background and context to understand the biases without being manipulated.

Finally, the big issues in 2017 to watch will be the Trump Team’s transition, foreign policy issues including the South China Sea, ISIS, Europe, Russia and China, foreign trade, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Israel’s role in US foreign policy, United States Economic policy. Politically what the 115th congress does and how it does what it does will be significant stories in 2017. Supporters of the new President will be hard pressed almost from day one to defend his actions, and the opposition is treading through brand new territory. Both sides will need objective facts.

Finally, we have a little fun with the millennial obsession with smart phones and the hand wringing over ‘so many’ celebrity deaths in 2016 and thank the sponsored, supporters and listeners to the Bob Davis Podcasts throughout 2016. Happy New Year. See you in 2017.

 

Podcast 577-Bob Davis Podcasts Radio Show-55

Podcast 577-Bob Davis Podcasts Radio Show-55. As the Trump Transition rolls on, it’s The Messiah Syndrome, Partisans Painting Themselves Into a Corner and False Narratives. Eight years ago people in this country thought Barack Obama would fix everything. Obama was a God. The new Messiah is Donald J. Trump. He is going to fix everything. He has been ‘chosen by God’. Trump ‘will be defended by God’. We ‘have to pray for him’. It’s always good to celebrate a victory, but the US Presidency is a political office. All the things that are supposed to get fixed become a question of what is possible with Congress, the Courts, the executive departments and the states playing a role. When it comes to political nuts and bolts Trump supporters and most republicans can’t be bothered. From day one Messiah Trump will be embroiled a political struggle. The clock is already ticking on the next congressional cycle in 2018. Gubernatorial campaigns are already underway in many states. Cabinet Secretaries and bureaucrats don’t come from central casting. Many of the people who end up filling those positions will not necessarily be ‘Trumpers’. Many of them are Washington Insiders. Then there are the many new voices on the so called right that have emerged in the last few years. Many of them wholeheartedly endorsed Trump and they will now have to defend him. Have they painted themselves into a corner? False Narratives are also spreading like a bad virus. How and Why Trump won the election. What the electoral college is supposed to do. Russia hacked voting machines. Whatever the ‘theory’, the idea is to keep us watching and distracted. The Facts of Life present a major challenge to the future of this country. US Debt levels are over 100 percent of the total economic output of the country. Federal spending continues to skyrocket. Entitlements like Obamacare, Social Security and Medicare will swamp the federal budget in the next decades and we have plans to spend trillions on roads and bridges? We’re also facing significant foreign policy and economic challenges in the next few years. Podcast 577-Bob Davis Podcasts Radio Show-55 takes a look at what we have to do to meet these challenges in the next few years. Shouting at people in an airplane aisle, memes and tweets will not work. Sponsored by Hydrus Performance, Ryan Plumbing and X Government Cars.

Podcast 573-Fake News

Podcast 573-Fake News. Suddenly everyone is upset about ‘Fake News’. In Podcast 573-Fake News, Fake news and propaganda sites are the latest demon to have spawned the election of Donald J. Trump as President of the United States. Well. President-elect. After years of the right blaming ‘the media’ for everything wrong in society, the poles have shifted. Now democrats are blaming their beloved media for electing the antichrist. If it weren’t for all those propaganda sites from Eastern Europe and Russia spewing anti Clinton poison our country would not now be plunged into a cesspool of populism, racism, woman-hating, republicanism. Sigh. Fake News? It’s all fake. It’s all fantasy and it has been for some time. Broadcasters in radio and television, cable news channels and big money backed ‘news’ websites are obsessed with social media and user driven sites like You Tube. Every waking hour for a broadcast executive is spent quaking in fear over the question of relevance. Content is driven by FaceBook and You Tube, Twitter and SnapChat. Historic election? Not bloody likely. No one knows yet because we still have to sift through the voting data. Women putting Trump in office? Isn’t your vote supposed to be anonymous? How do they know? A review of the outcome in a few of the battleground states reveals the one fact we know. In key states the republican vote turn out was better than the democrat vote turn out. If democrats had voted to the margins for Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012, Hillary Clinton would be the president-elect right now and we’d be listening to the right whine about the media and demand something be done. What is News? Far from a recitation of the events of the day or new information on a particular subject, ‘News’ has become a roundtable discussion with people who don’t have a clue what’s going on because they sit in air conditioned studios in New York, or a gossip fest between washed up TV stars and entertainment figures, or shouting back and forth at each other through cameras on both coasts. News? People don’t want news. They want to be reassured. They’re pretty. They’re strong. Their guy is gonna win. All is well with the world. News? Here’s something you already know, packaged differently and stated firmly. Passing a law to regulate news outlets? Check the first Amendment. No. What’s the antidote. Turn. It. Off. Read. Be a good citizen, Become the warrior you are. Protect your own media battle space: Your mind. Refuse to accept the storyline they want to upload to your hard drive and create your own story line. There’s a reason for the Trump victory in this election, and it’s not fake news websites. It’s a simple fact that more people voted for Trump in key states than Clinton. They had their reasons. Personally, I am sick and tired of being told what to do, and what to think by thieves in Washington DC who will increase their power and the size of the government whether there is an R or a D in front of their name. Sponsored by X Government Cars.