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.
Podcast 569-Final State by State Round Up. Where the state polls stand for presidential candidates right before election day 2016. This podcast does not endorse a candidate. I will not make you feel good or bad about your vote, or non vote. I will not attach ‘indexes’ and ‘percentage probabilities’ to potential wins or losses for the candidates. In Podcast 569-Final State by State Round Up, how candidates fare in each of the states according to existing polls. Partisan and advocacy journalists don’t provide insight on survey research. I do. What you’re getting from the cable news channels and advocacy news ‘websites’ are charlatans pushing their point of view. Fact is, no one knows how the election will play out in any of the so called battleground states. That’s because despite all the best effort, even the best political researchers are challenged to determine who is actually going to show up to vote especially when the polls show a close vote, within the margins of error. Elections are made on who votes. Not the number of signs. Not the number of people who show up at rallies. Not who ran the best TV spots. It’s all about getting the vote out. Once the vote is in, it’s all about counting. Is the election rigged? In a sense, yes. The United States is a representative republic which elects its executive not by the popular vote but through an institution known as the Electoral College. Some states’ electoral slates are proportionally chosen. Some states select electoral slates by party. The electors themselves have already been chosen. They will actually select the President of the United States on December 15th, 2016. In some states the popular vote determines how the electors are ‘supposed’ to vote. In some states it depends on which party’s candidate wins the overall vote. No so called ‘rogue elector‘ has ever been prosecuted for voting outside the state statute guidelines. In the event of an electoral tie, the election will be decided by the US House of Representatives. One thing is true, the republicans are the ones talking about ‘rigged’ elections right now, but if Donald Trump wins the presidency they’ll stop talking about that immediately and the democrats will start talking about things being ‘rigged’. The only thing coverage of these kinds of conspiracies do is reduce the faith Americans and the rest of the world has in the electoral process. In reality, ‘rigging’ a national election is a difficult task, despite what movies and conspiracy theorists say. If you are concerned about your candidate winning the election, the best thing you can do is turn off the TV and get out and help them win by driving people to the polls or making last minute calls, poll watching, or if you’re qualified, volunteering as an election judge. Thankfully we’ll be looking at election night results in the next podcast. Sponsored by Hydrus Performance and Brush Studio, in the West End, Saint Louis Park.
Podcast 541. Electoral College Yoga. Get ready to twist your brain into pretzel like shapes as I talk about the electoral college, polls, and what the benchmarks for Election 2016 are so far. I’ll do another benchmark in about a month and one just before the election in late October, or early November. There are a lot of caveats on polling data. While most media people and their viewers seem to want to talk about national presidential preference polls, the proof of the pudding is in the state by state polls. The United States does not elect its presidents with a national vote. In fact, a presidential election is fifty state elections. Voters are selecting a slate of electors, chosen and voting generally according to state law and state party rules. So when you hear one candidate is ‘ahead’ over another in a national poll it really doesn’t mean anything. In 2008 and again in 2012 Republicans in particular were so hopeful based on national preference polls that if you said McCain or Mitt Romney wasn’t going to win, you were ‘raining on the parade’. But, if you looked closely at state polls in those election cycles, the outcome was not a surprise. State polls have their own problems; Smaller sample size, different polling methodologies, and in some states they are no polls until just before the election. While its not advisable to compare different polls of different sources and methodologies, we do it all the time. We’re looking for trends primarily. Currently while Donald J. Trump leads Hillary Clinton in a national presidential preference poll, the state polls tell a completely different story. It’s not a good story for republicans. The case isn’t closed. Trump still has time, but time is fleeting. I don’t support any candidate. I’m not working for any candidate. I’m not going to tell you how to vote. I’m also not going to spin the polling data to make you think something can happen, or is going to happen. If you want the straight talk on what’s going on, the Bob Davis Podcasts is the place to check back for these benchmark state-by-state analyses as we progress to Election Day 2016. Sponsored by Karow Contracting and Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul.
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.
Fight For Your Caucus. Web Designer, Senate District Chair and CD5 Secretary Mitch Rossow joins the podcast to talk about the latest misguided initiative by mainstream republicans in Minnesota. State Representative Steve Garofalo and others want to get rid of the caucuses in Minnesota. Oddly enough, before Super Tuesday, the reason for getting rid of the caucus system was low participation. On Super Tuesday Minnesota experienced a record turnout for its caucuses. So now, apparently, there are too many people caucusing. Isn’t that what we want? Seems like the truth is those in power don’t like the caucus system because it allows for the grass roots to develop new leaders. Critics say the caucuses are too ‘inside’, but aren’t the critics the real insiders? It would be so much easier if the goons in Saint Paul picked party leaders and candidates rather than the citizens. The caucus is one of the few opportunities average citizens have to participate in and influence the political process. Democrats in the state are concerned about this initiative, since the late Senator Paul Wellstone developed the movement that ultimately put him in office through this channel. Mitch Rossow has developed a precinct organization training program, and a training program for caucus conveners. Precinct organizing is the next step after caucuses and its the quickest way for citizens to take back their local representation and eventually state legislature and statewide offices. The enemy of the Republican is the Republican. While Democrats in the state post training videos well before caucuses, and have programs to bring volunteers in to help their caucus attendees understand the process, republicans never got around to doing much of anything to help local precincts with their caucuses. Now they want to do away with it entirely. Moral of the story; the MNGOP talks a lot about democracy and inclusiveness, but doesn’t walk the talk. One wonders what it is that they actually do; Not much of anything. Most of the time the state party is whining and asking the local political units for help. On the DFL side, it’s the reverse. Maybe there a lesson there for the entrenched perfumed princes, hidden behind a security wall at their office in Cedar Riverside. What a joke. With so many new participants this year, maybe a new crop of leaders is being harvested. It can’t happen soon enough. Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating and X Government Cars.
Inside An Iowa Caucus. Live from Tennessee, we take a final look at the Iowa Caucuses, by taking subscribers inside a rural Iowa precinct caucus. Thirteen US States and 2 US territories use the caucus system. People who live in states with primary elections – where people cast a single vote on a ballot of some kind on primary election day – may hear the word ‘caucus’ but have never been inside one and don’t really understand the process. As democrats argue about how Hillary Clinton eked out a victory in the Iowa caucus, and Donald Trump making noises about Ted Cruz’ efforts to win, just how a caucus is conducted is news. In this podcast we take you inside an Iowa Caucus; The Rules, The Speeches, The Vote Counting and The Results. If you’re lucky enough to live in a state with caucuses, when you participate you’re taking part in one of the oldest democratic processes in the world. Classic representative government in Athens, Rome, and the Venetian Republic among others, allowed a sort of people’s congress. All citizens in good standing could participate in choosing candidate for leadership positions. We still do it to this day with caucuses. It’s fascinating to participate, or listen to everyday citizens conducting an orderly meeting in which leaders are nominated, voted upon, and citizens from that precinct are chosen to represent their neighbors at the next level meeting. While these podcasts have questioned Iowa’s permanent position as the first in the nation vote in presidential cycles, the commitment of its citizens to the process should be celebrated. Having escaped the snows of Des Moines and decamped to Chattanooga Tennessee, I am joined in this podcast by an old friend, who also provides some insight as to how one of the key states in the so called ‘Southeastern Conference’ may vote on Super Tuesday. From here, its on to South Carolina, where all the campaigns are headed after New Hampshire. This concludes the Iowa Caucus portion of 2016 coverage for the Bob Davis Podcasts. A few days of barbecue, shooting and some southern hospitality and we’re back on the road again. (Big thanks to John Berg of Jefferson, Iowa for inviting the Bob Davis Podcasts into his precinct caucus!) Sponsored by Brush Studio and Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul.
China Syndrome. As the China Market Meltdown story goes mainstream, it’s pundit tug-o-war between ‘China Doom’ proponents and ‘Nothing To See Here Folks’ adherents. Fun for the media, not so fun if you’re trying to figure out where this might go … could go wrong. Hopefully this podcast will be of some help. We start from the proposition that no one really knows what’s going on in China. It’s possible even the highest people in the Chinese Communist Government don’t really know what’s going on in China. Despite what is being said, there will be winners and losers if China actually does melt down, and surprises along the way. Does an economic collapse in China mean an end to the People’s Republic of China? What might that look like if it does happen? Or, will this problem simply be one of those momentary pauses, fodder for a couple of days relief from political nonsense in the US, before we get back to arguing about Donald Trump’s latest missive, Jeb Bush’s black hand, or Hillary Clinton’s email. It certainly feels like we’re nearing one of those strange historic pivot points, but whether the market meltdown in China, and the angst in markets across the world from Europe and Asia to the United States are in fact, that black swan pivot point. Could be. Hard to tell. Pivot points and Black Swan events don’t fit perfectly into decades, and are hard to predict. Its fun to hear people saying, “I’ve been predicting this for years” after something happens that looks like it could be a black swan event. In fact, historic pivot points have to be something more than just a Black Swan, but something that happens, that afterward people can clearly point to that event as the beginning of ‘when things changed’. One thing is for sure; Hold onto your hats (if you wear one), there is a strong feeling out there that what passes for current events today, may be about to change … for good. Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul.
The Napa Valley. As our time in California comes to a close, the Napa Valley is a perfect place to say goodbye. Whether it is Napa, Sonoma, Calistoga, finally ending up in Nevada City the Golden State is a seductive place. The so called ‘warm and dry end’ of the Napa Valley was the destination for the parties of pioneers, of which the infamous Donner Party was part of. This valley is where many of them settled, and prospered after that fateful winter of 1866. Calistoga was also the adopted home of Robert Louis Stevenson, a fact they would much rather talk about than the fate of the Donner Party. Some highlights of the Donner Party story, and an interview with Al Derrick, who minds the Sharpsteen Museum in Calistoga. What does this tragic story in the history of settling California tell us about decision making and democracy? This is the only subtly political moment in this podcast. In the end, its seems tawdry to taint a Road Trip podcast with the grease of political pontification. (Editor’s Note: It must be pointed out, however, that the Hillary Clinton ‘inevitable’ presidential campaign has apparently borrowed the idea of hitting the road, going to real places and talking to real people, but not in a repurposed ambulance! Whether she is actually in the creeper van which headed for Iowa or not is another question.) Wine country is an impressive, pastoral location. It wasn’t always wine country tho. At one time this valley also produced Walnuts, prunes and other agricultural products on smaller farms. Today, vineyards are everywhere — and they are perfect. Finally, a surprise in the mountains as we come upon a Bikram Yoga studio in the middle of nowhere! Sponsored by Baklund R&D.
Obama Checks Out. After the President’s White House summit on ‘extremist violence’, a firestorm of controversy erupted when he refused to characterize the ‘extremists’ – the subject of the summit – in language that would actually describe them. Our current problem is, after all, referred to as THE ISLAMIC STATE! The President reminds us lowly peasants we are not to refer to the Islamic State as Islamic Terrorists, or even ‘Islamic’. This is apparently so that the President will still be invited to cocktail parties with the nuanced and beautiful. Obama also took care this week to describe the ‘root’ of the problem in the Middle East as a ‘lack of jobs and democracy’. This is a statement which is patently false, since almost all top Islamists hail from upper middle class families, and are well educated. Critics say the President is never going to be able to defeat the Islamist Threat if he can’t name it. The bottom line? Whether President Obama knows it or not, he has telegraphed to the American people and the world he has checked out. Its clear he just wants to make it to January 2017 with his ‘legacy’ intact. For this, we are grateful. We do not want this president conducting a major war, as long as we can get through the next 22 months or so without being blown to smithereens, burned in a cage or beheaded by ‘extremely violent people’. If you’re upset about the possible threat, channel the angst into the 2016 presidential race, because the next guy in is going to have a lot of work to do. It will fall on the next President and Congress to figure out how to clean up this mess, because the current President isn’t going to do a damn thing about ISIS, Putin, or anything else. Do we really want him to? It seems all the world’s leaders are at a loss to figure out what to do about anything. The EU is on the verge of a financial crisis and is probably in a recession, while its leaders burn the midnight oil feverishly negotiating cease fires that are apparently meaningless to people like Putin. As fighting between Ukrainian government troops and ‘separatists’ in eastern Ukraine intensified, ending in a rout for the Ukrainian troops, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said of the short lived cease fire negotiated just last weekend in Minsk, “It’s not Munich’. Is there anyone in charge these days? Or are they all waiting for their people to tell them what to do? Do they know what to do? (Wait! Don’t answer that.) The real question is what the US role in the world should be, and how this country should handle itself. This is a question that is clearly being left up to the people. Some final updates and conclusions on the foreign policy front to end the week. Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing.
Terror Attack In France. In the aftermath of the attack on the offices of French satire magazine, Charlie Hebdo, standout questions. France bans semi automatic rifles, what they call ‘weapons of war’, but somehow the attackers used AK-47’s. How is that possible? Second, is Sharia law at the center of this attack? Acceptance of Sharia Law started in Europe at the end of World War II, and has reportedly progressed to the point where now there are ‘sharia enclaves’ where it can be said that the ‘secular’ law of the country in question isn’t recognized. The US does not recognize Sharia law, but some places have begun to recognize certain elements of Sharia law. Minneapolis, Minnesota for instance, allows Sharia compliant banking. Does the US face ‘creeping’ Sharia law acceptance? Writing just after the attacks in France, a Muslim Cleric claimed dishonoring ‘The Prophet Muhammed’ which carries capital punishment administered by an ‘Islamic State’. Was the attack a sentence allowed through Sharia law, carried out by the Islamic State? If so, what do we intend to do about it? Third, The President’s response to the attack was muted, and President Obama refused to attend a unity march in Paris in the present time frame. His refusal is the biggest story in the third week of January 2015. What’s more, the US sent the Ambassador to France, not the Secretary of State, Vice President, or Attorney General, in lieu of the President. Events may have taken place so quickly the President’s usual, plodding method of decision making was overtaken. This is a pattern with President Obama. Prepare for the explanations, apologies, articles about competence, and eventual subject changing executive orders, or fights with congress until things stabilize. At the root of the problem is a chief executive who cannot or will not, act decisively to do the right thing … which in this case is to support an ally who is suffering in spirit, word and deed. Given the economic situation in Europe, Asia, diplomatic tensions with Russia, an ongoing war in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan one must question whether The President’s policies are making things worse … dangerously worse. Is America ready for random, single or multiple shooter events on our soil? Are American citizens prepared, aware and able to defend themselves in our public places. And, for the future, what is the policy mix that solves this problem? Can ‘The Clash of Civilizations’ be avoided? Because if it can’t … it will be the clash of the century. Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul, and by Depotstar.