The Strange Case of Susan Rice and Other Mysteries-Podcast 619

Different Mysteries Left and Right

Susan Rice is the leaker. A political Flack. Running an operation to discredit the new president before he took office. Rice is at least guilty of a felony. At least that’s the story the right wing commentators are telling. In The Strange Case of Susan Rice and Other Mysteries-Podcast 619.

On the left it’s a different story. National security became a top concern after someone hacked the DNC computers. The Russians did it. The Russians did it because Trump did some kind of back room deal.

Opinion Is Not News

In America’s increasingly partisan media most people only want their beliefs confirmed. There’s no chance a political point of view different from my own can be right. Is there? A sea of information. Where opinion masquerades as fact and personalities beat the drums. We’re supposed to dance to their rhythm.

We Know Nothing…yet

Real Facts? In The Strange Case of Susan Rice and Other Mysteries-Podcast 619 we’ll see there are few facts. Russians hacking the DNC? Not so fast. Trump making deals behind the scenes with Putin? Obama ordering illegal surveillance of a president elect? Maybe. Maybe not.

Tin Foil Hats Anyone?

Evidence supporting claims of the right and left in this case is thin. All of it has the classic elements of conspiracy theory. So we’ll take a moment in The Strange Case of Susan Rice and Other Mysteries-Podcast 619 to detail the known facts. You can draw your own conclusions. Mystery lovers beware though. We’re along way from wrapping this one up in the final chapter.

Basic Framework

Is Susan Rice a political operative? What is the legal framework regarding National Security Agency intercepts. Why did the Trump administration leak NSA documents to a congressmen? What provoked the president to tweet he was ‘wiretapped’ in the first place? Is there a difference between a wiretap and an NSA intercept? Who gets to see intercepts? What are the significant legal justifications for executive orders in 2011 and 2017 allowing sharing in the first place. Lots of questions.

Where There’s Smoke

One thing is true. The dust kicked up by the Susan Rice story obscures real developments. North Korean Missiles. Syrian chemical weapons. Congressional action on the ACA, Tax Reform and Immigration. We’ll talk about it in The Strange Case of Susan Rice and Other Mysteries-Podcast 619.

Sponsored by Brush Studio and X Government Cars.

Podcast 521

Stormy Weather. In a surprise only to ‘conservatives’ who listen only to ‘conservative’ talk show hosts, watch ‘conservative’ TV shows and go to conservative websites, the FBI decided not to recommend criminal prosecution of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton over her use of a personal email server while she was in the Obama Administration. Why? The short answer is, intent is a key consideration in cases like these. The long answer is, Mrs. Clinton played her ‘Benghazi Card’ better known as ‘If I go down, you go down’ and she got action from the administration. At least that’s one possible explanation. In the past few days President Obama suddenly closed ranks with the Clintons (despite all the rumors of the rancor between the Obamas and the Clintons). Attorney General Loretta Lynch had a now famous ‘tarmac meeting’ with former president Bill Clinton and President Obama allowed Hillary Clinton to ride Air Force One with him to a campaign event, where they walked, hand in hand, down the steps. “If I go down, YOU go down”. Now it’s a matter of politics. He said, she said. He said she’s a crook. She said he’s an anti semite. Congress releases a damning report on the administration’s conduct regarding ‘Benghazi’…Democrats say it is a partisan document. Republicans say it’s the ‘truth’ about Mrs Clinton and her boss, President Obama. “If I go down, YOU go down.” More fodder for the campaign trail. They were asleep and the switch, says one side. They’re partisan dividers, says the other side. Meanwhile the world’s leading economies are drowning in a sea of paper money and deficit spending, and economies are faltering. Do you really think this election is going to fix anything? We live in interesting times, with the great potential of a new technical industrial revolution and all that portends, and a personal challenge to change the way we think and how we work, and what we demand of our political institutions. Too bad our sclerotic politics delivers a statist who wants to spend and tax more, and a statist who wants to wall the country off from the rest of the world. We could have this technology revolution now, or we can languish for another thirty years while these idiots we call presidential candidates stumble around in economic darkness. Yeah sure, go ahead and talk until you’re blue in the face about Hillary’s email server, or about the Star of David on Trump’s twitter account, while the printing presses debase the currency, governments spend themselves into the poor house, the media puts on cartoons and calls them news, and we hurtle toward our destiny, whatever that may be. The US is now a country that’s happy about revised economic growth from .5 percent to 1.1 percent, with 95 million people out of the work force, a media that writes gossip and calls it news, and a population that believes Russian Propaganda and You Tube conspiracy theories because…what’s the difference? The Earth is hollow, you know and there’s a whole civilization down there, right? And you wonder about moral hazard? Sponsored by Karow Contracting and Brush Studio in the West End, Saint Louis Park. (Editor’s Note: In this podcast I refer to former CIA Director David Petraeus’ offenses regarding passing classified information with intent, and engaging in a coverup after as occurring while Petraeus was on active military duty. I wondered whether he would be under the Military Code of Justice in this case. This is incorrect. Petraeus was director of the CIA when the offenses occurred and not on active duty. For comparison to the Clinton question, one should refer to the FBI director’s congressional testimony regarding the differences between the Clinton question and the Petraeus case.)

Podcast 461

All About Iowa. Do you want the Iowa Caucuses to determine which presidential candidates are ‘viable’? In a state of slightly more than three million people, party leaders expect one hundred fifty thousand to show up to caucus, slightly more than in the 2012 cycle. Over the last year Iowans have been sliced and diced by pollsters, pundits, political psychologists, and sociologists. Anyone who attends political events – and there have been hundreds of them since last year – will see famous candidates, film stars, and national TV stars. It’s a spectacle, a circus, and a show being put on for one state. As the hours are counting down to the caucus Monday, February 1st, the Bob Davis Podcasts attends a Marco Rubio rally. One side of the room is reserved for the stage, the other for media. In between, are the Iowans, ready to comment when reporters approach them. Of course reporters will approach, like fish feeding at the water’s surface. ‘Who will you caucus for?’, ‘What do you think of Donald Trump?’. The answers to these and many other scintillating questions will be filed, dissected, and added to the national story line. All About Iowa. Fasten your seat belts. A rural backwater, albiet a very nice one with very nice people, is about to decide which candidates are the most viable. At least that’s how they see this process. After Monday’s caucus, the story lines will change, predictions will be adjusted, and some campaigns will never recover. Is this how we want to elect a president? While there is much to celebrate in the American political system, as I attend events and cover the caucus and the events leading up to it, what comes through louder and clearer is the dark and potentially dangerous relationship between big government, big media, politicians, pollsters and the population of a single state that has insinuated itself into the political process in an unprecedented way. All about Iowa? Indeed. Sponsored by X Government Cars and Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul.

PODCAST 423

Republican Crack Up. A Republican Majority struggles to nominate a successor to Speaker Boehner. Moderate leadership is losing its grip because 40 ‘insurgent’ ‘freedom caucus’ Republicans refused to support top candidate Kevin McCarthy. Amid controversy over McCarthy’s Benghazi Hearing comments, and allegations of an affair, the collapse of order in the election of a new speaker, the candidacy of Donald Trump and the terrible performance of moderate candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, Jeb Bush, one must wonder whether the moderate leadership is finally losing its grip. They have no one to blame but themselves. The moderate leadership of the Republican Party seems more and more out of touch with an increasingly frustrated and angry base. ‘Going along to get along’ seems to be the wrong course of action. What does the base want? Can the Freedom Caucus lead the house? Those are turning out to be much more complex questions. In a free wheeling stream-of-consciousness podcast, we discuss the underpinnings of Republican rank and file political philosophy and find … none. Senator Ted Cruz recently suggested what is needed to change America is a ‘grassroots’ movement, only without organization, there is no movement. Without philosophical underpinnings, there is no organization. Republicans, tea partiers and others on the right might suggest a ‘freedom caucus speaker’ might lead them out of the wilderness. Lead them where? To What? How? Uh….yeah. Thus, the best opportunity to elect a Republican President in years begins to fade, with a moderate leadership that can’t even run an election for speaker of a house it controls, and a rank and file that wouldn’t recognize, or vote for Ronald Reagan today. With this kind of comedy in progress, Democrats never had it so good. Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul and Pride of Homes.

Podcast 258

Fox News Crushes. As we head into Thanksgiving, people taking various parts of the week off, heading out on the road to where ever they’re going, easing into the week. The big story to watch in the next few days is Ferguson, Missouri. Deliberations of the Grand Jury there on whether or not there is enough evidence to charge the policeman who shot and killed Michael Brown during and after an altercation with Brown. The Grand Jury could report out at any time until January 7th, when its term comes to an end, and a new jury is empaneled. Media critics have suddenly discovered that Fox News is beating the daylights out of its cable competitors CNN and MSNBC, and on election night 2014, all three of the major networks as well. What will happen to CNN and MSNBC? What is the future for the broadcast news networks and stations? While Fox News will probably reign for some time, even Cable Television is starting to show its age. How will new digital sources of information and new ways for people to get their news effect the 2016 election. As we witness a revolution in Media, will we witness a revolution in politics? Whenever there is a major national or international story such as President Obama’s executive order on Immigration recently, The Bob Davis Podcasts gets a spate of emails from listeners, with examples of emails they want to send to Speaker Of The House John Boehner telling him what to do, and what they don’t like. Is it better to send emails and call your congressman’s office? Or to start working in local politics to influence your local governments, state government and state wide races, with an eye toward developing an organization that delivers votes and money, and therefore influence? There are many Republicans who might be candidates for President in 2016. The worst thing that could happen is another season of debates between 16 candidates. Forget writing letters to the Speaker and start organizing in your neighborhood. While there are divisions in the Republican party (watch as the media develops that story line), there are also divisions among Democrats. Republicans continue to need a cogent plan for improving the US Economy, showing they’re capable of running the White House (not too hard, given the current occupant) and a plan to improve the international relations of the US. On the Bill Cosby front, come the obligatory commentaries about how Hollywood, Politics and Sports do not give our children any role models anymore. Its time people started acting as role models for their own children, and especially teach them its ok to have heroes and role models, but famous people are humans too and they make mistakes, sometimes terrible mistakes. Planning on doing some drinking this Thanksgiving? Did you know doctors may consider you an excessive drinker? Find out why and how. Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul

Podcast 247

Republicans Win! Election 2014 coverage. The final installment from Election Control deep inside the Broadcast Bunker. A minute by minute account of the election results on November 4th 2014. Starting out the podcast skeptical of big Republican wins and finally witnessing an historic ‘wave’ election. The GOP won 8-9 seats in the US Senate taking control of the upper house, more than 12 seats in the House, and 31 gubernatorial contests; The Governor’s races alone are headlines. Wisconsin’s Governor Walker won a tough race leading a number of significant Republican holds, with Governor’s mansion pick ups in 3 traditionally Democrat states; Illinois, Maryland and Massachusetts. In Minnesota the news isn’t so good. While the Republicans won back control of the State House of Representatives, they lost big statewide races including Governor and the US Senate. Stewart Mills, the Republican favored to win in the 8th District lost his bid to unseat Congressman Nolan. (Editor’s Note: The big issue for me was whether predictions of Republicans winning 6 or more seats in the US Senate would come true. I did not feel the polls warranted that prediction, as close races in Kansas, North Carolina and Colorado could have gone either way, but in fact, the polls were pretty close this time. I said a Republican wave was certainly possible. I would rather be surprised, than be disappointed, so I was a little surprised, and you can hear it happen as the podcast progresses through the evening. All predictions, correct and incorrect aside, this is why we have elections; so we can see what happens.) With historic wins by the Republicans in the midyear, the question now is whether President Obama will seek to conciliate and compromise with the new congress, with a much stronger Republican majority than the 113th Congress. What tack will the Republican Senate take with the President on Immigration, Obamacare, Judges, Foreign Policy as well as House investigations on a variety of subjects? Will a Republican Senate seek compromise with the President. If it does, will this endanger a Republican victory in 2016? How will democrats across the country react to this huge victory by Republicans? Is the victory based on low turnout by Democrats, or high turnout by Republicans? Were these votes a repudiation of President Obama, or based on local issues? To be fair, Republican wins are so broad based — Governor’s, House and Senate — its hard not to see it as a statement of disapproval of the President’s policies and leadership by voters. Will President Obama dig in his heels and fight a move to the center? Only time will tell. Sponsored by Baklund R&D

Podcast 233

Ebola. “Ebola”, a word that may soon become synonymous with “Government Failure”. Does the US Government’s response to two Dallas health care workers contracting the Ebola virus make you feel more, or less confident in government. Breaking news these days provokes questions on what heavily funded government agencies are doing with our tax dollars … because they sure don’t seem to be protecting us from Ebola. Turns out the second Dallas health care worker to be infected, Amber Vinson, told the CDC she had a slight fever before boarding a flight from Cleveland to Dallas, and the CDC said, ‘Yeah, go ahead’. Turns out the CDC procedures for containing the disease at Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas were not only inadequate, according to Doctors Without Borders — the organization most experienced at containing the Ebola Virus — the CDC’s guidelines for containing Ebola are flat out wrong. What is CDC director Friedman’s response? In 20/20 hindsight, we could have done better. Huh? Meanwhile, President Obama’s Ebola conference went well into the evening, and something tells us they weren’t talking about the Phoenix Suns or the Lakers basketball teams. The president wants Governors to know they can call out the national guard, and that the federal government wants to help them. Is it Halloween yet? Because that is a pretty scary thought! Is this making you feel better about the government’s response to Ebola? By the way, suddenly, President Obama thinks appointing an Ebola Czar might be a good idea, and he isn’t philosophically ‘opposed’ to a travel ban, he was just advised not to order one. Wait, is that a bus coming? Because it sure looks like someone will be thrown under it soon. First name that pops up? CDC director Tom Freidmen. Meanwhile people from Ebola stricken countries in West Africa have just been told the President is considering a travel ban. Think they’ll jump on planes to get in before that ban goes into effect? Let’s get real; The President could order a travel ban instantly, with no warning, and he only needs his phone, not even the pen. Kenya and Nigeria, instituted travel bans weeks ago and credit those bans with saving their countries from infection, but somehow its not a good idea for the US. Meanwhile the CDC gets 7 Billion dollars a year from American taxpayers and at least 200 million from private donors in the Atlanta area. The agency spends millions trying to get states to pass mandatory motorcycle helmet laws, monitoring video game and TV ‘violence’, creating so called ‘injury centers’ that regulate – wait for it – playground equipment, lobbying for gun control efforts, and pushing ‘social norming’ in government schools. But, apparently not fighting Ebola or Enterovirus D68. Houston, we have a problem. Our government doesn’t work very well and its costing Americans an arm and a leg. What do we need to do to fix this mess and get the government out of people’s personal lives, and back to doing what it is constitutionally mandated to do. Sponsored by Sedation and Implant Dentistry of Saint Paul