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 608-Political Talk Gets Harder Every Day For Me

Can We Have The Room?

Time to clear the air. It’s getting harder to talk politics every day. On the heels of a presidential address to a joint session of congress things seemed to calm down. Then President Trump tweeted from his rooms at Mar A Lago. Trump alleges President Obama spied on him at Trump Tower. Suddenly it’s the end of the world. We’ll talk about it in Podcast 608-Political Talk Gets Harder Every Day For Me

During the election Republicans told everyone they would repeal Obama Care. Now suddenly ‘conservatives’ like Charles Krauthammer are telling people attempts by some republicans to repeal an entitlement are bad because “you can’t repeal an entitlement“. Isn’t that why people voted for republicans? In Podcast 608-Political Talk Gets Harder Every Day For Me.

Parallel Universe

We live side by side. Speak the same language. Shop the same stores. However, we live in different countries. Use completely different information sources. Believe completely different histories. Listen. Read. Watch only things we agree with. Tumult. Confusion. Frustration. We’re told what will happen not given news. News is a recitation of facts about things which have happened. Not a recitation of predictions about what’s going to happen.

Proof In The Pudding

People getting their jobs back at the factory? Economic growth at 4 percent? Respect for the United States across the world? Draining the Swamp? Making America Great. Again? Time will tell. In Podcast 608-Political Talk Gets Harder Every Day For Me.

Digging In

Wanna talk politics? Dig in. Help your audience dig in. Pick your poison. Dictator. Fascist. Racist. Or, Great Man. Elected by a landslide. Keeper of a mandate. A revolution. That’s not politics. Not discussion of policy with an open mind. This is riding on a train. North. South. East. West. Pick a track.

Cowards

I don’t like any of them. They’re all cowards. Doesn’t matter if there’s an R or a D in front of their name. Say one thing. Do another. Demand the media defend them. Demand the people defend them. Pass more laws impossible to understand or debate. Engage in one intrigue after another. Another investigation. Trial. Debate. Protest. Outrage. Rinse and repeat. In Podcast 608-Political Talk Gets Harder Every Day For Me.

Advancing The Story

Hard out here for a Podcaster. Best thing. One on one talks. Challenge. Try to make sense out of it all. Grow our thinking. Enjoyed our one on one. Ok you guys. You can have the room back.

Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul.

Podcast 506

Future Shock. As the 24 hour news media and talk radio fixate on gorillas and high school election antics, its hard to get a conversation going about the future. Is the future potential leaders want the future we should have? Is it the future we want? There are developments almost everyday now with autonomous cars, robotics, materials, aviation, and communications; the building blocks of a future wave that will leave nothing untouched and unchanged. A series of stories from today’s headlines shedding a light on one potential future and a question; Planners and government officials are  diverting resources to bring about a vision of the city of tomorrow, which is really the city of the early 1900’s. Is this what you want? Will the driverless car, autonomous software and machines, robotics, and other developments make trains, buses and the standard bureaucracy heavy city, state and federal government ‘obsolete’? If so, why is so much time, effort and authority expended to see that we plan for and create a urban spaces, and that suburban villages and towns conform to a vision of a city that probably never existed and never will. Driverless cars will render the amount of space needed for freeways and parking ramps obsolete. Remote technology, robotics and other technologies may mean that people will not have to travel to large office complexes for their work, with increasing freelance employment. What are our so called leaders talking about? Minimum wages, government controlled health insurance and trains. Trains. Why are we planning for 1940’s Chicago when reality could be closer to Jefferson’s vision than Robert Moses? The old world is being torn down and a new one is being built that will be very different from what we know. Do our leaders understand this? Future Shock. Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul and X Government Cars.

Podcast 425 – New Thinking Part 1

New Thinking Part 1. These days, politics is one emotional appeal after another. The media refers to politicians like Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders as ‘populists’ but in fact they are demagogues; Using emotional appeals and often stimulating people’s long held prejudices and biases to gain support for their campaigns. In 2016 we’re going to see the ‘new rules’ of politics come into play with a vengeance. Most of the action will take place on the so called ‘small screen’ which means your television and especially your smart phones, social media, news websites where viewers watch a video, or part of a video and move on. A strange and symbiotic relationship between media, polling and politics have turned American politics into a freak show. Outrageous characters and weekly ripples in story lines mean more eyeballs. Media moguls and the candidates are laughing all the way to the bank, to the Capitol and the White House. Meanwhile increasingly angry voters become frustrated, losing faith in the outcome of elections, voting and the government itself. Moreover, the worst invective is often heard at meetings where the same politicians and charlatans troop through and tell people what they want to hear. It’s time for a reboot of American Political Thinking. It doesn’t start with politicians or personalities. It starts with individuals, communities, and values. It means researching and thinking about the concerns of your community, developing ideas about issues, talking about those issues, and creating effective political organization around those ideas, not the rhetoric of some pol who will forget about you and your concerns the minute he is elected. A new America is being created.  A new way of thinking is being created, whether you want it or not. If we don’t change the way we think about politics, taking it back to the blocks and rebuilding it, we’re doomed to being controlled by personalities — demagogues — more interested in power than the people. I’m starting a new series of podcasts, which will bear the ‘New Thinking’ title. I’ll do them when the spirit moves me, or I encounter a person or situation I think will help build a new way to think, talk and DO politics in this country, because what we have right now, isn’t cutting it. Sponsored by Baklund R&D, Pride of Homes and Luke Team Real Estate. 

Podcast 393

Live From EAA. Road trip to Osh Kosh, for the Experimental Aircraft Association Air Show and Convention. Sunday night is set up night, providing an opportunity to review recent trips to Waukesha and Davenport to cover political events, and to talk a little about the difference between political events and shows like this one. Maybe it’s as simple as the differences between tribes; People who are in the political tribe after certain characteristics, and people in the aviation tribe have certain different characteristics. What started as an experimental and individual builder get together has turned into a technology, history, and aviation show with exhibitors big and small. In some ways it compares favorably to the big state fairs across the country this summer. Somehow talking about politics doesn’t feel as good as talking about planes, and technology, here in Eastern Wisconsin, at the peak of summer. Still, some points need to be made before we head off into the wild blue yonder. Again the point is made that television news in particular magnifies and amplifies events that used to be state by state almost private affairs; self selected delegates and caucus attendees ‘interviewing’ potential candidates, and figuring out who they might support when a state’s primary election or caucus is held. Now these affairs are conflated with news events on a national or international scale. Are they news? Is it news when Donald Trump says something silly in a meeting of a few hundred (at most), a third of which are national media? Is it news if Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley are forced off a stage somewhere at a meeting of rag tag leftists? Maybe its statewide news, maybe its political news, but ‘go-to-live-coverage’ and ‘breaking news’. Not yet. The ideas that will drive 2016’s presidential election are still forming, so commenting on them, trying to define them, is almost pointless when you can hear the corn growing if you stand real still in a field in Wisconsin, or Iowa. Whether or not any of the score of declared candidates can rise to the level of being able to connect with people who aren’t political groupies remains to be seen. Meanwhile, there is a B-52 and a Ford Trimotor warming up on the runway, and that seems more interesting. Sponsored by X Government Cars

Podcast 385

The Pope and The Media Circus. After a long trip home from the East Coast in the Mobile Podcast Command Unit, it’s time for a full stereo podcast from just outside the Broadcast Bunker, on the flat, by a real fire, back in Minnesota. Sometimes getting you ready for the coming week is a tall order, especially when it comes to the ‘borg’; the modern media machine. Will the new technology revolution – and it is coming – disrupt institutions that have existed for generations? Government, and religion, all seem to have become cloying media whores, looking to make one more lurid statement so they can get another story written for the Daily Beast, or get on CNN, or get some kind coverage for something…anything to stay relevant. Here comes the Pope all tarted up, to condemn capitalism and the ‘filth’ in the world. Of course the reaction is already classified as right wing or left wing, in tweets, on FaceBook and any number of shout-fests, roundtable gabs, and table pounding orations. If there is one takeaway from the recent trip through the American Southeastern Coast, including Washington DC, and from a trip earlier this spring to the West Coast, its seems like the people in this country are living their lives in spite of the constant chatter. Is it possible that our government and other institutions are becoming irrelevant, thus their leaders struggle more and more to be heard, by making one lurid statement after another? The media, and the politician, even when he is a ‘man of the cloth’ have become all one thing, feeding on each other, feathering their own nests and advancing no one else’s fortune but their own. All of them busting into our living rooms, cars and onto our phones with their incessant nonsense. Most of the time we spend our time just trying to get out of the way, hoping whatever international initiative, legislation or some nonsense laden bill sponsored by a publicity hungry politician doesn’t ruin our business, our town, our life or the lives of someone we love. Sometimes you find yourself wishing they would just shut up. You know, maybe we need a new holiday in America. How about Dead Air Day. All the stations go dark, all the politicians shut up, and all the media whores take a day off, including and especially the Pope. Oh wait! That would mean passing another law. Never mind! On the longest day of the year, and the shortest night. Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing of Saint Paul

Podcast 331

DHS Funding and Netanyahu. Minnesota’s 6th District Congressman Tom Emmer voted for the ‘clean’ DHS funding bill, as congress capitulates to the President. Emmer says he is disappointed in his colleagues who fought to refuse funding the President’s effort to ‘amnestitize’ illegal aliens through executive memoranda. Emmer says the courts will handle it. The question really is where supporters in the 6th district – one of America’s most conservative – will come down on the issue. Congress seems to be loathe to actually have a fight with the President, in order to put some limits on what he thinks he can do with executive action. The fact is, capitulating to President Obama will only further embolden him to issue yet more executive orders, and cause further disputes Congressional Republicans can run away from. According to the White House, Obama is considering executive action on corporate taxation, and second amendment issues as his staff works day in and day out to find ways for him to run the country more like a Boris Yeltsin or Vladimir Putin, than a constitutional US Chief Executive. For those who suggest Republicans need to ‘keep their powder dry’, or pick the big issue they can win to fight on … If not now, when? Be prepared; the new argument is you’re a ‘child’ if you advocate cutting the Government Gordian Knot. What we need, they’ll say, is trustworthy conservatives to make it run, right. Which is exactly what Obama said in 2008. The fact is, ‘radical’ ideas of lesser government aren’t childish, they date back to the birth of the republic. Moreover, there are structured proposals to audit the Fed, as well as eliminating agencies that are inefficient, or don’t work. They’re hardly rash, or childish. The idea that ‘conservatives’ need to nominate ‘responsible’ candidates ‘who can win’ is back. Times have changed, though, and the last thing this country and the Republicans need is another retread from the 1980’s, or timid go-along-get-along ‘problem solvers’ who believe NASA and the Interstate Highway system represent our future. As the so called radicals get organized, and raise money and votes, the message from Minnesota’s 6th voters, may soon be akin to Wyatt Earp’s … “Commence to fighting or get out of the way!” Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu addressed a joint session of Congress, upsetting White House aides who tweeted insults, and apparently nearly bringing minority leader Pelosi to tears. Contrary to critics, Netanyahu’s speech does provide alternatives to the agreement now being negotiated with Iran which the Israeli leader says constitutes an existential threat to Israel, and the US. Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul. 

Podcast 300

Republicans and Rhetoric. Wasn’t able to tape tonight’s appearance at the SD-61 Chili Dinner and Contest. Thanks to everyone who showed. Podcast 300, aside from being a milestone for The Bob Davis Podcasts, gives the listener an idea of what was discussed. One usually comes away from these kinds of events feeling a little uneasy, especially when hard political issues are discussed. I usually write these podcast notes in the third person, but not this time. I am either seeing things others don’t see in the political process — out in front of the vanguard so to speak — or the things I am seeing and feeling are internal issues and aren’t really there. At this weekend’s big confab in Iowa, the good news is that Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker was able to connect in a personal and substantive appeal to the conservatives gathered in the Hawkeye state for Congressman King’s event. The bad news is that Donald Trump and Sarah Palin made purely rhetorical appeals, which I think damage the so called conservative ‘brand’. Now, since it was a Republican get together I don’t expect good coverage from most of the media, but some of the things said were just not helpful. Aside from involvement in local politics, if so called conservatives are going to be able to argue their points, they are going to have more than just rhetorical arguments. If all Republicans are going to do is bray in an attempt to persuade, or shock, without eliciting any information, it is going to be a very long election cycle from next fall, to November of 2016. It is possible to persuade and inform. The problem is what do Republicans want to do? What do they stand for? What’s their plan for the long term? As people shift from outrage and frustration to addressing a kind of inner challenge, do any candidates in any political party understand that challenge? Mostly what I hear is a lot of empty talk about values and outrage and demands. Is that connecting with people? We talked about some of this at the SD61 event, and I review that conversation in this podcast. Sponsored by Depotstar