Minnesota Road Trip-Progressives-History-Politics-Duluth 2018-Podcast 727

These days one of the things you learn on a road trip is how big the United States is. Then, how big individual states are. Finally the traveler discovers how each state is different. In Minnesota Road Trip-Progressives-History-Politics-Duluth 2018-Podcast 727.

Get Off The Interstate

Most noteworthy is what happens when you get off the Interstate and onto the back roads. That’s when you really see how it is.

Covering Politics In 2018

2018 is an election year. I said I would cover the Minnesota political scene this year. The first stop is the Minnesota State Republican Convention. Duluth. On the shores of Lake Superior.

Minnesota History

Furthermore some of the state’s old hands don’t know Minnesota’s unique social and political history. We’ll discover it together in Minnesota Road Trip-Progressives-History-Politics-Duluth 2018-Podcast 727.

Town Hall Is In Our Blood

Sure, we know our pioneer history. Especially relevant is the unique history of political grass roots and town hall style representation.

Minnesota’s first settlers were New Englanders and New Yorkers. They brought town halls with them. Later immigrants from Scandinavia, Germany and Ireland formed the bedrock of so called ‘progressive‘ politics in the state. Therefore, those ideas are still with us.

Yes Republicans Were Progressives and Populists Too

In addition while some people assume progressive politics these days is only the political left, republicans too have a long history of progressivism. Find out in Minnesota Road Trip-Progressives-History-Politics-Duluth 2018-Podcast 727.

Tim Pawlenty Tries To Derail Caucus Process

Will the grassroots system survive in Minnesota? Former republican Governor Tim Pawlenty isn’t attending because he’ll be clinking crystal with rich guys at the Minneapolis Club. Pawlenty’s operatives will push the convention to refuse to endorse a candidate for governor. This is the main issue in Duluth this weekend.

Do We Really Want To Dump The Town Hall?

Moreover populists and progressives go back to the roots of Minnesota Republicans and democrats. Probably a big part of that process has been town hall style politics in the caucus system. Most of all do we really want to get rid of it?

Surprises In This Podcast

In conclusion as I researched this podcast I learned a few surprising facts. I think you will too.

(EDITOR’S NOTE: Two things. First, it’s not 35W heading to Duluth, it’s just 35 North. Being a Twin Citiean, I have to get on 35W before 35 North. Second, for some reason I thought the State DFL convention – the democrats – was being held in Rochester, Minnesota the week after the Republican Convention in Duluth. Once again those sneaky democrats have managed to slip out of my grasp. It’s in the 40’s in Duluth and the 80’s in Rochester. Given the quality of the speeches in Duluth this weekend, I wish I had gone to Rochester!)

Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul

Minnesota Road Trip-Progressives-History-Politics-Duluth 2018-Podcast 727

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Podcast 489

New York Primary Results. The results of the New York Presidential Primary are in. Now sit back and watch the story lines change. Surprise! After a day of voter confusion and typical New York statements from election officials about investigations, the New York Primary Results are in. Donald Trump won roughly 60 percent of the Republican votes, and Hillary Clinton managed about 57 percent of the Democratic votes in a slightly closer race. The most interesting outcome of this presidential preference poll is which republican candidate came in second. While Trump celebrates a win large enough for him to control a lion’s share of the delegates from the Empire State, Ohio Governor John Kasich ran a good second, and Texas Senator Ted Cruz came in a distant third, which should be enough to change the media story lines from ‘Ted Cruz is posing a strong challenge to Trump’, to whether or not John Kasich could be the nominee for the republicans in a contested republican convention this summer. The next primaries favor Trump and especially Kasich. Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island will hold primaries on April 26th. While most analysts expect Trump to win most of the delegates, many will be keeping a close eye on Kasich. Is the republican establishment working for Trump opponents in states that favor them? Recent polls from Wisconsin suggest that might be true. More establishment figures as well as candidates seem to be pointing toward a contested convention. With the establishment concerned about the so called ‘down-ticket’; the US Senate and House, chances are Trump and Cruz — who don’t poll well against Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders in a head to head match ups — may not be able to get the nomination if they can’t get the required 1237 majority of delegates on the first ballot. This is the main thing to pay attention to in the next few weeks. Ignore the pundits and the exit poll nonsense and focus on the next spate of primaries. Finally, the New York Times reports voters ‘disillusioned’ by primary races that depend on delegate elections, not the popular vote. Are they being sidelined or were voters always sidelined in these state primaries and caucuses? Sponsored by Brush Studio and X Government Cars.

Podcast 466

South Carolina BBQ and Kasich. In Greenville, South Carolina on the night of the Republican Debate at Clemson. Hear what a Governor John Kasich event at Mutt’s BBQ in Mauldin, South Carolina sounds like. Hear John Kasiche’s stump speech. Which is why this podcast is entitled, South Carolina BBQ and Kasich. In the wake of Justice Scalia’s death, constitutionalists republicans forget the constitution and bemoan the possibility that sitting President Obama may appoint a liberal justice, swaying the court to the left. Some suggest the President avoid an appointment ‘in an election year’ (which the constitution makes no provisions for), or that the Senate refuse to hold hearings or confirm this president’s appointment, waiting for the ‘new’ president, which they assume will be republican, a distinct contravention of the Senate’s duties outlined in the constitution. Meanwhile, it may be painful to quote Hillary Clinton but ‘elections have consequences’. Had republicans been able to elect Mitt Romney, a republican would be filling the vacancy created by the untimely death of the Justice. Perhaps this is a good lesson to remember for the GOP heading into 2016, as ‘establishment’ republicans throw a tantrum because showmen like Trump and Cruz are crushing establishment candidates like Bush, Rubio, and Katich, at least according to polls. We’ll see what happens when South Carolina Republicans vote on February 20th. Meanwhile, the media does its best to sell all of America on the idea that South Carolina and South Carolinians are ‘quirky’, ‘conservative’, ‘moderate’, ‘different’ or fill in the blank with your own superlative. Myths that continue to dominate the political narrative, all the way through the debates. This is a ‘gut punch’ kind of state, they say. So, the candidates did their best to gut punch each other at the debates. After this weekend’s debate performance, one wonders when state party leaders across this country will take a look at a primary system that puts candidates in a cage, and forces them to answer questions from TV Stars. First, it elevates the media to a position it doesn’t deserve. Second, it seems to force the candidates to not just act craven, and rude, but to be so. This is the process that brings the cream to the top in US politics? I don’t think so. The cool thing about this event was the music. All the campaigns use music to stage their events, but whoever did this one, did a great job. This podcast includes a lot of the music they chose to stage the event. Sponsored by Brush Studio and X Government Cars

Podcast 267

Cooking and Talking. Updating you on some key stories for midweek, while cooking dinner. Pan fried steak, broccoli and salad. One of the things cable news and talk radio does is talk about things over and over again, in an effort to gin up emotional response and viewership. They seem to get ‘stuck’ on stories and can’t move on until the next ‘big’ story. In our ongoing discussion about media and its pitfalls, one of the things podcasting allows is for more varied content. We don’t have to keep talking about the same subjects, because podcasts about those subjects are up to be listened to whenever subscribers desire. So podcasters can add to stories when its appropriate and begin talking about new stories that will be top topics in a few days or weeks. In this podcast, updates to the bias story on Rolling Stone magazine’s coverage of the ‘rape’ story at UVA, and how narrative journalism ill serves the people. The next big narrative story? The Senate Intelligence Committee’s release of the report on the CIA’s interrogation methods. At first blush it looks pretty bad, and it is reported may even spur terror attacks across the world, and on US citizens. On second thought, it looks like the last shot by democrats at the Bush Administration’s policies. And whether deserved or not, former CIA directors and employees are pretty upset at what they see as a biased report. Dad always said, “There are two sides to every story”. As people react to the emotional and lurid nature of yet another ‘narrative’ story, will the ‘rest of the story’ get covered with equal intensity? On the terror front; word is ISIL has yellow cake which it procured from a University in Mosul Iraq, and used to make at least one radioactive explosive device which has been spirited into Europe. Let’s wait and see how this one develops. On the political front: With all the talk about the Republican Brand being ‘dead’ it turns out the GOP is in the best position it has been in since the 1920’s, especially in individual states. 2014 turned out to be a great year for Republicans, but Minnesota republicans missed out. Why? Is it time for a change of state party leadership as in a house cleaning? Finally, the pundits saying lower gas prices act as a ‘tax cut’, a position which should be questioned. It has been reported this week that lower fuel prices also mean lower commodity prices, since farm cost inputs will be cheaper. But, lower oil prices also means big oil companies may reduce their capital investments, which hurts manufacturing and employment. Are oil price reductions due to the price war, or to more supply and less demand because of economic slow downs in China, Europe and Latin America. Will the effect be positive? Not so fast, say some. Sponsored by X Government Cars, and by Depotstar.

Podcast 256

Obama’s Executive Orders. As we head into the weekend, we’re in the middle of a political firestorm. The President has issued orders granting a 3 year amnesty to a selected group of illegal immigrants. To begin with, the major broadcast networks refused to give the President air time, which infuriated the White House. Staffers complained the networks had given President George W. Bush airtime to announce the National Guard was being sent to the southern border to assist in security, in 2008. The networks retorted that Bush’s announcement was a bipartisan enforcement of existing immigration law. Kind of a slap in the face to the current administration, and from the major mainstream media broadcast networks no less. However, don’t think the networks are finally coming to their senses. Maybe it’s just that the President doesn’t command the kind of audiences he used to, given a popularity rating hovering around 40 percent. The biggest problem with the President’s executive order? Not long ago, he himself said he didn’t have the authority to make law. Whether or not the President’s orders are legal will have to be determined going forward with lawsuits and legislation. Largely though, it will be a matter of public opinion, due to the fact that courts are loathe to intervene in disputes between branches of the federal government. In the end this will be worked out through the ballot box, and citizens will have to decide whether they think the President overstepped authority. It is certainly true Congress chose not to act on immigration, which is itself acting. It is also true that courts have suggested the president’s authority to act through executive orders has limits. One of the key questions is whether he has usurped the congressional constitutional responsibility to legislate and whether he has refused to enforce the law in this case, which could end up creating a constitutional crisis. This whole controversy drives home the fact that elections – especially Presidential elections – have long term consequences. The reaction to this action churlish action by President Obama should be to organize neighborhoods and precincts, so that attempts to use the office to build support for progressive policy and politicians in the future, won’t work. One of the craziest suggestions this week was that the US should repeal the 22nd amendment, which term limits the US presidency. The argument suggests that if Obama had to run for a third term, he wouldn’t be as likely to issue these kinds of orders. Meanwhile, for the time being the White House has succeeded in taking control of the news cycle. The good news is we can depend on this White House acting true to form, which suggests they’ll encounter a real crisis, which the President will screw up and then we’ll all be talking about that! One person who is thrilled with the executive order … Jonathon Gruber, the ‘brilliant’ MIT ‘economist’ who thinks the voters are stupid, and he is thrilled because for the time being, no one will be talking about his latest video. Sponsored by X Government Cars