PODCAST 460

Travel Madness. When is a presidential campaign like traveling? When things don’t go as planned. Which is pretty much what travel is. Live coverage of the ‘Primary’ season in Election 2016 starts with a late trip to Iowa, arriving in Des Moines at midnight, on the eve of the presidential debate that was supposed to happen, except for Donald J. Trump throwing a wrench into the plans. At the same time, this wayfaring podcaster struggles to pull all the nifty new elements added to podcast command together. At the time I did this podcast — 1 in the morning — I had just learned by unlimited data plan did not allow for a hot spot, a system I plan to use to upload podcasts from wherever, whenever. Having purchased a brand new iPhone 6, and as excited as a kid playing with a new video game, I was very disappointed to say the least. Not being one of those people who throw company names around, and complain, I decided to wait until morning and call my friend at the store, which at the time of this writing I have done. Some adjustments later, and guess what? Houston, we have remote upload capability! The election, and all those working to bring this debate to Iowans tonight seems to be going through the same kind of process. You can plan forever, but when things start going wrong you have to just work through the problems. A theme in these podcasts is the fact that the media has gone off the rails covering this election. It seems like the Media has become the story, which may be one of the reasons Trump is pulling the plug. Or at least he says he is pulling the plug. Fox News said this morning they expect only about 1-2 million viewers for the debates here tonight if Trump doesn’t show up, and that’s what’s important right? Not the voters of Iowa, who tend to throw the established ‘prognosticators’ for a loop in every cycle, right? Not the issues, which is what the vaunted Fourth Estate is supposed to be reporting on, right? So, word to the wise. Plan, but prepare to change and adapt. Sponsored by Hydrus Performance, Pride of Homes and Luke Team Real Estate

Podcast 357

Wyoming Breakout. Back home from Road Trip II, 2015. The story of the ‘breakout from Wyoming’, going up and down a big mountain in the middle of the spring snow storm, and outrunning the weather heading east. The objective? Don’t stop until warmer weather and or sunshine, whichever occurs first. In this case, it happened to be Sidney, Nebraska. Then, a day’s drive in the pouring rain through the Cornhusker State, onto Iowa for the final leg home from Des Moines to the Twin Cities. The Mobile Podcast Command Unit 8 performed brilliantly under varying conditions. Email from a listener introduced to us through a knock on the window of Unit 8 at midnight, behind a Casino. Plus some thoughts about the 2016 political cycle in the superb setting of the famous Nepenthe, located in the mountains of Big Sur, California, as we wait for a table, through the magic of audio podcasts. One of the things that kept coming up throughout the trip is this question of whether anyone who isn’t a political operative, or junkie, is paying attention to the cattle call of republican candidates, and the farce of democrat presidential candidates in the current time frame. Farmers let their fields lay fallow, so the soil isn’t fatigued. Creatives know sometimes you need to take a break in order to avoid burn out, writer’s block, and to get to the good stuff, creatively speaking. The media knows nothing of this, and continues to sift, and report and sift, and grind until there’s nothing left. What’s important right now isn’t personalities, the outrage of the day, or some expose. People need time to take a break from all the politics so they can actually do some internal thinking about the things that matter most to them. What are the overarching themes? Has any party developed an overall narrative that motivates real people to work and vote for the candidates? Does the candidate him or herself even matter? We’re not hearing those themes. We’re hearing what this one said about that one and how this one is getting more contributions, and the other one looks good or bad. The most divisive institution in American politics is not Congress, it’s the media. Can people tune it out? Sitting in the beautiful sunshine of Big Sur, staring out at the Pacific makes one think it is possible. Sponsored by Baklund R&D. (Image from California Travels) 

Podcast 250

Election Aftermath. How did the mainstream media do in covering election 2014? What are the primary issues for voters. What happens now? It was announced recently that the Weather Channel Morning Show beat Cable News Networks CNN and MSNBC, hands down, during an election year. Fox News regularly ‘crushes’ rival CNN, and the lesser MSNBC. Broadcast networks covered the midyear elections in 2014, in an effort to compete with cable news services. Based on the reviews from viewers and ‘observers’ of the business and coverage on election night, none of them did a very good job. There was more coverage than ever, but the networks now place political operatives and ‘ideologues’ next to journalists, blurring the lines between opinion and fact. Add to this the increasing need for news networks to employ whatever means necessary to ‘predict’ the outcome of political races. Statistics and polls are never accurate; The only question is whether sample sizes and calculations are reliable. Ideologues may try, but they cannot ‘predict’ the future with a percentage, like a weatherman predicting the chance of rain at 12 noon. The media now blames the polls. One political science professor wants an ‘investigation’ of the ‘the polls’. The polls showed tight races, and while there were a few surprises, results were generally within the margin of error, which for some polls was a perfectly respectable plus or minus 4 points. You could certainly predict the Republican Party would have an historic election, but you couldn’t make that prediction based on polling data. Now, we’re told the polls were biased in favor of Republicans. In 2012, it was the other way around. The problem isn’t the polls, it’s the media’s incessant and unreasonable need to predict, cajole, call races and set the tone. People are getting sick of it, especially when social media, and the Internet provide real time election results without commentary. Who needs CNN, MSNBC and Fox News, and talk radio — all of which will take half an hour to tell you what you can determine in 5 minutes looking at a website that runs all the results as the polls close? What happened in 2014? What emerges from exit polls is a blurry black and white; You can sense shades but not color. You can see form, but you can’t make out anything specific. People are concerned about the Economy, the roll out of ACA and leadership questions concerning the handling of ISIS and Syria, and lastly, Ebola. Is it partisan to suggest the Democratic agenda and campaign tactics focused on issues at the bottom of the list for most voters? Minnesotans wonder why the Minnesota GOP and virtually all the statewide candidates lost a once in a lifetime opportunity to turn out the votes and unseat a democrat governor, and Senator Al Franken, while neighboring Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker seemed to be able to turn out his supporters to win. Is the President still relevant? Will the Republicans come up with an agenda that shows what they’re for, rather than what they’re against? All this in Podcast 250, while shoveling snow! (Editors Note: And maybe a train too!) Sponsored by Baklund R&D