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 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 534-Bob Davis Podcast Radio Show-38

Podcast 534-Bob Davis Podcast Radio Show-38. Posting this week’s radio show, with new content, from Rapid City, South Dakota. The radio show produced in Wall, South Dakota just outside the famous Wall Drug…which is actually pretty cool. In Podcast 534-Bob Davis Podcast Radio Show-38, a number of topics covered during this week’s podcast with new content added. For one thing, the rumors that somehow the republicans will ‘Dump Trump’ persist. It’s more than pure comedy when people who supported the Republican establishment’s embrace of Trump with full throated enthusiasm are scrambling to distance themselves from the Republican Candidate after his comments regarding the parents of a muslim American Serviceman who was killed in action. Add to that the fact that more and more people are suddenly interested in the political process, and are sending me emails and asking me, “Who should I vote for?”, or “What’s going on”? I share my answer with listeners in this podcast, although some of you won’t like the response. Once again, we have an over stimulated population well informed on the political gossip, but poorly informed on issues; the issues that we’re actually picking a president to deal with. This doesn’t even include congressional elections. With republicans defending some pretty competitive senate races, the potential for Donald Trump’s candidacy to cause a loss of control of the Senate for the GOP, could be devastating. Remember, Trump was ‘the one who can win’, and ‘the one who can take the fight to Hillary’. Has anyone thought about the prospect of Donald Trump as president with a democrat senate? The man who has pledged to ‘spend more that Hillary’ on government stimulus? This prospect, or even worse, the specter of Trump losing the presidency and republican control of the senate has apparently just dawned on the very establishment leaders that so lovingly embraced the New York Developer as their presidential nominee just a few short weeks ago. Only time will tell what the outcome of this election will be, but it could be death knell of the republican party. The republican establishment has already killed the so called conservative movement. In the final segment of this week’s show we come to local elections. Specifically, a local election in the northern suburbs of Minneapolis and Saint Paul, challenging the current speaker of the Minnesota House of Representatives, Kurt Daudt. An Elk River man is alleging that a local tea party chapter and its associated political action groups has violated Minnesota State Election Law. (Editor’s Note: I am working to validate the allegations made by Matt Stevens of Elk River. In this effort I have already uncovered some discrepancies in the citations of evidence, and some questions as to whether Stevens fully understands how the Tea Party Alliance and its associated PACS are constituted. This is material when considering whether they have violated state campaign laws. Moreover, Stevens has refused any further comment or interviews ‘until the primary’, adding fuel to the suggestion by some that this was nothing more than a dirty trick to derail the campaign against the Speaker. Those involved in the Tea Party and its PACS refuse to comment until after the primary. By law, the State of Minnesota can’t even reveal whether a complaint has actually been filed.) From here it’s on to Sturgis for the big motorcycle rally, and my favorite town in South Dakota; Deadwood. Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul.

Podcast 532

What I think of Election 2016. Getting emails and calls from people political analysts would consider ‘low information voters’ asking what I think and who they should vote for. So in this podcast I am going to tell you. First thing? When you consider the low quality of all reporting on election 2016 everyone is pretty much a low information voter. In 2016 the country is facing decisions on major issues in economics, immigration, trade, foreign policy, military, diplomacy, social issues and more. Almost no one fully understands the contours of these issues well enough to discuss them. Instead what we have are tribes of people who are very emotional about these issues. They know the latest meme. They know all about the latest scandal and the latest ‘story’ evolving concerning who said what about who, and the reaction to it, but when they’re asked to discuss any of the key issues of our time with clarity and depth, as they say in the windy city; “fergitaboutit”. Who do I think should be president in 2017? None of them. Repeat. None of them. If you include the so called independent candidates and the mainline party candidates they’re nothing but placeholders. Someone needs to lay out what the potential outcome of this election will be, regardless of who wins the office. I start – repeat start – to do that in this podcast. I realized about twenty minutes in, this is going to take more than one ‘talk’ podcast (with no editing) to lay out all the possibilities and outcomes. Bottom line? None of the potential outcomes bode well for the future of the United States. We’ve had a series of placeholder presidents, and it looks like we’re about to have another. Meanwhile, the country is getting closer and closer to what I call a ‘clarifying’ event that will wake people up from their media induced hypnosis, and reinvigorate the political process. Maybe. Maybe not. Meanwhile, if you expect to get information from television and radio, and from the standard websites these days, I feel sorry for you. If you guess you’ll find “the truth” on You Tube’s conspiracy channels, and the Drudge Report, guess again. In What I Think of Election 2016 you’ll get my read at the present time, which sets up future podcasts specifically on the issues in the hope of giving listeners to the Bob Davis Podcasts a little more substance and depth than you’ll find anywhere else. Meanwhile, it’s on to the motorcycle rally at Sturgis from here. Sponsored by Hydrus Performance and Brush Studio in the West End, Saint Louis Park.

Podcast 531-Bob Davis Podcasts Radio Show-37

Podcast 531-Bob Davis Podcasts Radio Show-37. In the final podcast from the EAA Airventure Show in Osh Kosh, we’re live during the reenactment of the attack on Pearl Harbor; a fitting backdrop after the tumult of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. While the democrats were meeting in the city of brotherly love the air show was in full tilt and so much fun! From camping on the tarmac next to your plane, to the possibilities and difficulties designing, building and marketing the flying car there’s a lot to talk about in this celebration of everything aviation. As we get ready to pack up Mobile Podcast Command comes the realization that the common theme running through all the podcasts from the air show this week has been the passion and fun associated with flying; or the Freedom to Fly. Optimism permeates this gathering. It’s present in almost everyone here, including the people that don’t fly, who come to watch the air shows and admire the planes (like me!). Optimism and passion are two emotions not present in the national political discourse; a fact revealed with one look at social media, cable television news or a moment spent with talk radio. The Freedom to Fly means the freedom and willingness to dream, to connect with your life’s passion. Again, something many people in this country seem to have forgotten. Not here at EAA though. There’s more than enough passion and dreams to go around from the air shows, to the war birds, to the museum, to the experimental and home built planes, and workshops. Optimism and passion are present in the conversations, and especially in the young people. With so many airline pilots retiring and general aviation growing into the future, great opportunities await those who learn to fly. I can’t help but believe part of the economic issues facing our country is a mismatch in skills between what we need, and what our schools are producing. Flying is but one example. So, amid the noise and grandeur of the pearl harbor attack reenactment, jet fighters streaking overhead while I record additional content for this podcast, and my observations about this unique summer experience, this is a little bit of a different Podcast 531-Bob Davis Podcasts Radio Show-37 this week. Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul and Karow Contracting, your Storm Damage Specialists.

Podcast 529

First Night at EAA. Sunday nights are load in nights for exhibitors, fly-ins, and media at the EAA AirVenture Air Show at Osh Kosh, Wisconsin. I always celebrate with a regular podcast, live from just under the control tower as we start a new week, on the First Night at EAA. It’s late. Everyone is asleep, but I am getting in the last few thoughts on the coming show, and new developments in the political world this weekend. Having just come from the RNC at Cleveland and witnessing the divisions in the Republican party firsthand, it’s a little weird to see the same kinds of fissures developing with the democrats at Philadelphia with the specter of the democrat establishment killing the grassroots too. Throughout this hot and stormy Sunday I’ve been thinking about a recent email exchange with a Trump supporter that says so much about American politics today. A gentleman who normally sends me great jokes via email suddenly swerved into politics exhorting me and a few score others on his email list to ‘vote Trump’. Why? Because Trump is going to get rid of NAFTA and the TPP and bring all the jobs back to the United States. I decided to press him to find out exactly why he thinks what he thinks and why he would take the unusual step of pushing his friends to vote Trump. It took several emails to learn he just ‘feels’ Trump is the best guy, Trump is like Lincoln, Trump knows what to do and he’ll do it, and don’t make me explain this stuff, google it. Then he asks me what I think of the questions I asked him! That serves as a debate in the land of Trump. A place where everyone gets what he wants, when he wants it, because Trump said so. A place where one bright morning a box will arrive from China and everyone will open it up and find a note that reads, “Sorry about taking your job at the bucket factory way back in 1997 but we needed it. Here it is back, slightly used but we hope you’ll forgive us”. There it is people. Donald J. Trump is going to get Uncle Joe his job back at Bethlehem Steel so he and Martha can buy back the 1993 Buick Regal, which the GM plant in Flint will be making again thanks to old ‘I’ll make the trains run on time’ Trump. I realized, while ordering coffee at the concessions stand next to the beautiful B-25 out here on the airfield, that there are a lot of 50+ children out there. Thinking is just too hard. Researching facts takes too much time. Actually learning the contours of an issue is a job no one wants. Lots of final thoughts — for the time being — on the convention, the resignation of Debbie Wasserman Schultz as the DNC chair, and the impending Trump presidency. Or not. Thank God I can talk about airplanes for the next few days! Sponsored by Hydrus Performance.

Podcast 527

RNC Dies At Cleveland? Day One of the Republican National Convention. While the mainstream media covers the convention from inside, The Bob Davis Podcasts is on the streets outside Quicken Arena. Some insiders would agree with the headline; RNC Dies At Cleveland. Some are actually saying that a rules fight that resulted in a few walkouts signals the end of the grassroots movement in republican politics, and certainly the end of something once known as a ‘principled’ conservative. While pundits point to a platform they say is the most conservative in history they ignore rule changes that give the RNC complete control over future conventions. The takeaway? No more Ron Paul insurgencies and no more Ted Cruz and evangelist grassroots movements. While the chance always existed for the Republican Establishment to join forces with the grassroots movements to ‘Dump Trump’, instead the establishment joined forces with the Trump campaign. In the end, the grassroots are out. Permanently. As some republicans – including various state party officials – cracked under the pressure of hard ball politics, it’s the same old story with republicans. Why rock the boat? Why make a spectacle of yourself and your state for the media? While there’s talk of a walkout, with each passing moment, the majority of the GOP, passive to the core, will go along to get along. Some see this outcome as necessary to unify the party for victory. Others see it as the death of the grassroots movement in republican politics, and the republican party. Outside the exclusion zone around the convention venue, delegates and politicos taking a break mixed with Cleveland’s downtown workers, and street people milling around bars and restaurants. It was a street fair featuring network TV studios and bloviating rather than kielbasa. Hit the streets with the Bob Davis Podcasts, starting with a woman who lives on the streets giving her analysis of the political situation, moving onto a protest, plus Blaze Correspondent Mike Opelka and more. Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating and Hydrus Performance.

Podcast 525-BobDavisPodcastsRadioShow-35

Podcast 525-BobDavisPodcastsRadioShow-35. A power packed weekend radio show with brand new original content created for The Bob Davis Podcasts Radio Show. Preparing to head out aboard Mobile Podcast Command Unit 8, fully packed and loaded with sound equipment, Komodo Dragon Coffee, Beef Jerky and Macadamia Nuts. I will also try out some freeze dried dinners and breakfasts from REI. The Bob Davis Podcasts are headed first through northern Minnesota and Wisconsin to the Mackinac Bridge to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Then we’re touring down the ‘east coast’ of the Great Lakes State, to Detroit. Then onto Cleveland where I’ll be in the streets for the open of the Republican National Convention next week. There’s a lot of political news with rumors the #nevertrump crowd, which has morphed into #unbound, will try to block Trump’s nomination. What will Trump supporters in Cleveland do if a so called ‘unity’ ticket emerges that doesn’t include Donald J Trump? This week’s podcasts featured a ride through a standard American Parade in a small Minnesota town (that’s not so small) and an interview with 2nd District endorsed republican candidate Jason Lewis. Lewis is battling three other republican contenders for the official nomination in the 2nd district’s August 9th primary. Meanwhile, democrats salivate at the possibility they’ll pick up the seat retiring congressman John Kline has held for nearly two decades. This podcast includes a truncated version of the ride through the parade and a slightly edited version of Jason’s interview. After Cleveland I’m heading back through western Ohio and Indiana, north through Chicago to the air show at Osh Kosh, Wisconsin. With new shocks and tie rods, new tires, a full tank of diesel and a clean windshield, Mobile Podcast Command takes to the highway. Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul and Hydrus Performance.

Podcast 507

End Of Primary Season. As June begins, the presidential preference primary season for 2016 draws to a close. What are the takeaways from the End Of Primary Season? Maybe some surprises. These days it can be difficult to do political media, since media types are expected to turn their microphones on and flap their lips, endorsing candidates and causes, and joining the partisanship parade on talk radio, cable television, and in the Op-Ed world. Even some reporters can barely conceal their biases. With no one to observe and present facts to the voters to help with decision making, people have either lost their ability to discern fact from conjecture and bloviating (a sort of alchemy in itself) or they just don’t care anymore. Maybe people have already made up their minds to be disappointed with the choices delegates eventually will make at the mainline conventions this summer, or to be excited. Lots of ‘analysts’ trying to explain the ‘Trump phenomenon’. Some of these explanations have become both absurd and comedic, if not outright ridiculous. A ‘resurgence’ of interest in Hitler in Europe (thinly based on sales of books and some ‘polls’ there) suggests the reason Trump is gaining so much support. This serves as underpinning for the ongoing anti-trump tripe that he is a fascist, or his supporters are fascists. Everyone forgets fascism itself was a center left movement in Italy and Germany as a third way between socialism and communism, and that the conditions that predicate fascism as a political movement require the failure of socialism, which looks like Venezuela, not the United States in 2016. Then of course there is the ongoing figurative suicide of talk radio, bloggers and television personalities. In the End Of Primary Season Glenn Beck is pulled off the air as one of his guests suggests armed revolution is the only path left for #nevertrumpers. The Red State Blog has become The Black and Blue Blog as Eric Erickson continues to trip on his shoestrings as he falls down the back steps. And Sean Hannity makes a fool of himself telling the world he is voting for Trump and can say that because he runs an ‘opinion’ show. MSNBC gets attention advertising that with Hugh Hewitt they might get tagged for being to right wing. Then there’s William Kristol – the establishment moderate – laying the groundwork for a challenge to Trump at the Cleveland Convention, up to and including the suggestion of David French as a potential third party presidential candidate. It’s only the beginning; next comes the remonstrations of Trump’s inability to win an electoral victory, which remains to be seen, and of course the suggestions the New York developer is tied into the Mafia. Moderates are trying to secure a disaffected evangelist/moderate/establishment GOP coalition to derail the Trump Train which is described as ‘inevitable’. Meanwhile in the democratic party the fight is only just beginning. Bernie Sanders won’t quit – one wonders why Ted Cruz did, watching the Vermont Senator wreak havoc with the Clinton campaign and the democratic establishment. By the way, there is a third party candidate and his name is Gary Johnson. Think he’ll be in the debates between the mainline party candidates? Despite all of this there is a nagging feeling our politicians are headed in exactly the wrong direction, regardless of party. Sponsored by Hydrus Performance and by Brush Studio in the West End.(Editor’s Note: This podcast suggests Speaker Paul Ryan remains on the sidelines, in terms of endorsing Donald Trump as the republican candidate. This was true at the time this podcast was posted, early in the morning on June 2nd. Ryan endorsed Trump and the story broke later the same day, June 2nd, 2016.)

Podcast 505 – The Bob Davis Podcasts Radio Show-28

The Bob Davis Podcasts Radio Show-28. All eyes shift to the Democrats and California for once, as Bernie Sanders challenges Hillary Clinton in the Golden State. If Sanders wins Cali, there’s going to be some soul searching among democrat super-delegates. It might mean the ambitious former Secretary of State will face a challenge from yet another progressive who is doing a better job exciting the Democrat base. The last progressive who excited the Democratic base? Barack Obama. Democrats, do you think Bernie Sanders the logical successor to President Obama? I think many would answer yes. Meanwhile on the Republican side there’s suddenly a lot of talk about ‘Unity’. Unity behind what? What does Donald Trump stand for? What does the Republican Party stand for? Sadly, it seems like Republicans want to ‘unify’ for no other reason than winning. While winning in itself certainly has its benefits, if that’s the only goal what happened to all that talk about ‘principled conservatives’? What pools of Republican votes are left? What’s left of the old so called Reagan Coalition? Is the conservative movement, and by default Republican party dead if Trump wins the nomination, or especially if he wins the nomination? And of course it’s Memorial Day weekend. Some people think of it is as a ‘holiday’, which it isn’t. It also isn’t a day to celebrate those serving or ‘veterans’. It’s a day specifically set aside since 1868 to honor those who gave their lives in service to the United States of America in war. We do not say, ‘Happy Memorial Day’, as there will be many silently thinking about those who will not be enjoying this summer weather in the upper midwest. In Podcast 505, The Bob Davis Podcasts Radio Show-28, we condense all the podcasts from the week, and add some original content in each of the four segments. Live from the basement studio at The Bob Davis Podcasts Broadcast Bunker, while we do laundry. Sponsored by Hydrus Performance.