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 570-Election 2016 Results

Podcast 570-Election 2016 Results. Comprehensive analysis and minute by minute vote totals for Election 2016. How do podcasters cover presidential elections in real time without being live on the air, and without streaming? Podcast 570-Election 2016 Results shows you how. Follow along as I experience the election in real time on November 8th, 2016. The world seems surprised at news that Donald J. Trump has won the presidential election in The United States. Podcast 570 and Podcast 569 are meant to be listened to as companion podcasts. Since I did not endorse either candidate, I was able to provide objective analysis and experience the race objectively. Podcast 569 broke down the final poll data for the state by state races, avoiding any analysis of the national presidential preference polls. This minimized the surprise for anyone subscribing to the Bob Davis Podcasts, because you already knew no one could comfortably call this race. That did not stop the charlatans in talk radio, cable news and on line from attaching probabilities, or calling the race for one or the other. Not only was this race surprising overall, it was surprising on the state by state level. For the most part though, the state by state polls were either close to the totals in some cases, or within the margin of error. The US election is a state by state election, with the electoral college actually choosing the president on or about the 15th of December. In this hour plus long podcast I’m joined by friends, and family on the phone as well as a late night visit from local Minnesota Politico and web developer Mitch Rossow. At the close of this podcast we’re still waiting for Michigan and Minnesota returns to come in. I’ll have to update those on the next podcast. With Republicans retaining the Senate and the House majorities, and now winning the Presidency, now it is a question of the way forward. We’ll be talking about these issues and more on future podcasts. Pundits like to say the country is divided. What they might say is we can now agree on one thing. The worst election in recent memory is now, mercifully, over. And, tomorrow is another day, after all. Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating and X Government Cars.

Podcast 567-Western Legends

Podcast 567-Western Legends. The first thing one learns on a big road trip of the Western US is that it is vast. That sky. Those mountains. The desert. The border. In the Southwest these features take on mythical proportions. It’s fertile ground for two of the greatest legends of the west. One of them dates by to 1881. The other is new by historical standards, dating back only to 1947. Each legend features a town. A town seemingly in ‘the middle of nowhere’. Tombstone Arizona developed quickly as a silver mining and ranching center. Tombstone quickly attracted gamblers and fast women interested in separating cowpokes and miners from their hard earned money. It also attracted a legendary western lawman from Dodge City, Wyatt Earp and his two brothers. It didn’t take long for trouble to find the ‘retired’ Earp. The gunfight at the OK corral is the kind of legend that spawns myth, and Hollywood loves legends that spawn myth. What really happened on October 26th, 1881 in Tombstone will be debated for many years to come. In modern day Tombstone the gunfight replayed everyday in a life-imitating-art-WestWorld kind of way. A new legend has captured the attention of the world in a completely different kind of way. In another desert near another lonely town something happened in June and July of 1947 that has never been completely resolved. The incident at Roswell is truly a modern legend. Podcast 567-Western Legends  takes you inside homespun museums and reenactments in two different towns in two unique places in the American Southwest. These are not National Parks. In their own way, the people of Roswell, New Mexico and the people of Tombstone, Arizona are paying tribute and still trying to make some sense of the events that made their towns famous across the world and influenced the thinking of generations of Americans. Sponsored by X Government Cars.

Podcast 565-Lost Desert Civilization?

Podcast 565-Lost Desert Civilization? Adventure and Travel in Arizona at Casa Grande On The Road in at the Casa Grande ruins in the Sonoran Desert, in Southeastern Arizona. From the first century AD, to the mid 1400’s a people flourished in the Sonoran Desert. In Podcast 565-Lost Desert Civilization? I toured Casa Grande. Descendants of the Huhugham (translated incorrectly as the Hohokam because Huhugham is pronounced Ho Ho KAHM) are represented in many of the Native American tribes of this region. They were hunter gatherers who mastered irrigation from the Salt and Gila rivers. Their villages extended all along those river valleys and into this desert. You often hear from Europeans that there are no ruins in America as old as those in Europe. Of course the ruins in Greece and Italy and across Europe are amazing. America, though, does have ruins dating to a different culture and different people, much older than the United States itself. Some academics believe there were hundreds of thousands of people in this desert. They lived in villages stretching from what is now Southeastern Arizona to California, down into what is today Mexico. These villages flourished for many centuries before the 1400’s producing sophisticated art and trading as far west as today’s California and as far south as today’s Mexico. Think mastering irrigation is no major feat? Today, when you drive through this part of Arizona, all kinds of crops are cultivated year round because of irrigation. What makes the story of the Hohokam so interesting is their dispersal, which archeologists believe began sometime around 1450. What caused these people to break up and leave the area? Was it an overly rainy season? Wars? Disease and perhaps famine as the result of an oscillating climate? What makes Casa Grande so important and unique? Or, did they become victims of their own success, with too many people to support for even their advanced agriculture of the time? It makes me wonder what people will say about us someday. We think we are different but how many know that once there was a people who probably believed they were pretty advanced, and in the course of half a century or so, it all came crashing down. While we argue about something as petty as who said what about whom in these final days before election 2016, the message of Casa Grande might be one we should hear. Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and X Governmentcars.com.

Podcast 524

Podcast 524. Unbound. As we prepare for the first big trip of the summer in Mobile Podcast Command, some thoughts on the eve of departure. In an old-school-walk-and-talk Podcast 524. Unbound. Suddenly a new word enters the political lexicon on the right. “Unbound”. The word has implications in life as well. For this trip the destination is Cleveland, for the Republican National Convention, which starts on July 18th, or thereabouts. With no media credentials, I won’t be getting through a steel wall erected around the venue, or through the phalanx of security creating a virtual green zone which insulates convention goers from the rest of the great unwashed. But, I think the real story – at least the real human interest story – will be in the streets at Cleveland. Family members, friends and neighbors are all telling me, “There will be riots”. Maybe. Maybe not. The best news? A little detour on the way to Cleveland. We’ll head up 35, through Duluth, cut across Northern Wisconsin to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, then head down the ‘east coast’ of The Great Lakes State, down through Hitsville U.S.A, Motor City, better known as Detroit, onto Cleveland. A summer tour of the industrial heartland of the United States going back more than a hundred years. After some discussion of automotive preparations for Mobile Podcast Command, as we green light this latest adventure, the RNC is on the verge of attempting to nominate some other candidate than the one millions of voters in state primaries and caucuses voted for. The word is ‘unbound’. It’s the name of a movement within the Republican party to ‘go rogue’ at the convention to stop Trump. My sources tell me they have the votes to block a first ballot nomination. Will the party allow Rule 16 to sunset? It’s still a very good possibility the establishment is waiting in the wings for an insurgent group to upset the apple cart, so they can present a so called ‘unity’ ticket. Wonder what the Trump supporters in the street will say to that? Sponsored by X Government Cars and Brush Studio.

Podcast 522-BobDavis Podcasts Radio Show 34

Podcast 522-BobDavis Podcasts Radio Show 34. A tumultuous week ends in chaos and violence . Two officer involved shootings, and a sniper attack on police in Dallas, Texas which killed and wounded several officers. Further threats against police. People saying absurd and terrible things with no basis in fact, and that’s just the elected officials. News anchors, talk radio hosts, people on social media hurling accusations, name calling, explanations of what happened (especially by those who were not there), and terrible information on all these stories. A woman live streams an extraordinary event and the first reaction by FaceBook and some citizens is that people should not have the ability to live stream or post videos that might be considered ‘offensive’ or ‘controversial’? The original plan for the radio show this week was to condense Podcast 521 into three more palatable segments:  A segment focused on the decision by the FBI not to recommend indictment in the Hillary Clinton email scandal, which seems to have surprised only so called conservatives. One focused on how ill served we are by the media in general and a segment focused on a story no one is reporting; the financial situation internationally and the potential for a major breakdown due to the bad decisions that have been made by leaders on the economy. After delaying production of Podcast 522-BobDavis Podcasts Radio Show 34 to wait for more details on the big stories to break, I decided to change the opening segment and continue with the plan. Oddly enough, it all seemed to fit together. There are many problems in our society, but one of the big ones is how our media is not up to the task of dealing with the kinds of stories we’re seeing this week. Rather than investigate and report news, it advocates. Rather than investigate and advance the story so we’re better informed, it leaves that to cheeky types who yell at each other around a so-called roundtable, or interviews bystanders and calls it coverage. The population as a whole does not have the patience to learn the contours of an issue, is keen to argue and defend a position without any real knowledge on these stories, and social media seems to magnify the worst traits of the human character. Previous podcasts have discussed the possibility of unpredictable events to change our lives irrevocably. After what happened this week, I feel even more strongly that the black swan is just below the horizon. Sponsored by X Government Cars and Hydrus.

Podcast 468

South Carolina’s Vote. The big first in the south primary is over, and the undisputed winner is New York’s Donald J. Trump. What must have made Trump’s night, Governor Jeb Bush suspended his presidential campaign. More ‘suspensions’ are sure to follow as actual votes, upend story lines, predictions and prognostications. Meanwhile Hillary Clinton defeated Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders in the Nevada Caucuses. Will it make any difference for the Vermont Senator’s chances to defeat the former Secretary of State this week in the Democrat South Carolina primary? Probably not. Caucuses are completely different animals from primaries, where people actually vote. Let’s not forget on the GOP side, Ted Cruz won the Iowa Caucus, but lost to Trump in New Hampshire and South Carolina. As the news rolled over the wires, I took a little bit of time outside a hotel where a huge celebration was taking place, to make some observations about the race, the presidential primary systems, and the difference between traditions, law, and a written constitution. Are you ready to have traditions — not the constitution — fundamentally change the way the United States chooses its president? Between the tradition of state by state primaries, a grueling campaign effort that wastes money and winnows candidacies and efforts to slave the Electoral College not to state legislatures but to the popular vote — and by ‘constitutionalist republicans’ no less — how we elect a president is changing, and judging from this primary cycle’s wacky, craven, foolish, disgusting and sad efforts by politicians described by the same kinds of words, not for the better. IS the cream rising to the top? Good question. Also in this podcast, the first excerpt of the Bob Davis Podcast Radio show, heard on GCN Live. Expect an announcement regarding this new show around the beginning of March. We’re in Key West Florida for this podcast, getting some maintenance on Mobile Podcast Command and preparing for the next leg of this massive road trip, which takes us back up Florida’s Gulf Coast, the Red Neck Riveria to New Orleans, Texas, back up 35 to Minneapolis-Saint Paul. Sponsored by X Government Cars and Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul.