Donald Trump’s Fantastic Incredible Awesome Rhetorical Presidency-Podcast 620

Foreign Policy Based On Cable News and Twitter

Wars. Rumors of wars. In Donald Trump’s Fantastic Incredible Awesome Rhetorical Presidency-Podcast 620 Trump breaks another promise. Remember 2013? That’s when Trump said Obama should forget about Syria. Save his powder for something more important. In the debates, then candidate Trump said the same thing. Leave Syria alone. We’ll get nothing out of attacking Assad.

Trump Fine With Assad Until…

At the end of March Senators McCain and Graham were pleading to attack Assad. However as late as last week Nikki Haley was telling her UN Counterparts and the world Assad could stay. Then came the chemical attack on Syrian civilians. Children. Pictures on cable news. President Trump saw the pictures and got mad.

Cable News Made President Mad

As Trump and his team met with the Chinese at his resort in Florida, he ordered a counterstrike. 59 missiles. 70 million dollars. The runway where the planes took off is still intact. Syrian military aviation continues to fly sorties from that runway. On a dime this president has changed US foreign policy. Changed one of the cornerstones of his campaign. Another major promise broken.

North Korea Too

Over the weekend the USS Carl Vinson Strike Force was detailed to the Western Pacific. Off the Korean Peninsula. Suddenly Donald Trump has become George W. Bush. If you voted for Trump is this what you voted for? We’re a long way from building the wall and getting China to send all those jobs back now, Toto.

Alt Right Deeply Misinformed

Then there are the rumors. The bad reporting. The discourse on social media. One hundred fifty thousand US troops to Syria? Says so right here. China deploying another one hundred fifty thousand of their troops to the Yalu river, China’s border with North Korea. Russia and Iran say they’ll respond if there are any more US attacks. Word is the Russian Navy is very busy in Europe. More activity than the cold war.

How About Those Twins?

Voters who didn’t want to talk about foreign policy because it was too complicated might want to bone up. TV producers and Radio Program directors and talk show hosts may want to drop the banter about sports and the weather. Republicans should take a look at the bargain they made with this president and ask themselves just what they bought and must now defend.

Trust Me. It’s Gonna Be Great

Welcome to Donald Trump’s Fantastic Incredible Awesome Rhetorical Presidency-Podcast 620. Tax Reform, a trillion dollar stimulus program and another run at repealing ObamaCare loom. The US is twenty trillion dollars in debt. On top of that, perhaps a war in Syria he campaigned against and a crisis in North Korea. Don’t worry though. The president will tweet about it. Foreign Affairs crisis? Bah. More tweets. In Donald Trump’s Fantastic Incredible Awesome Rhetorical Presidency-Podcast 620.

(Editor’s Note: Late Tuesday the President told the New York Post, “We are not going into Syria”, and blamed the confusion on his ‘aides’. Which would be his ambassador to the UN among other fairly senior administration personnel. Oddly enough regime change remains a new goal. He also said, “We’re sending an armada” to North Korea. Rhetorical Presidency indeed.)

Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul.

 

Podcast 593-Surreal Weekend

Surreal Weekend

The Inaugural Ceremony in the United States is supposed to symbolize the peaceful transfer of political power. Podcast 593-Surreal Weekend reviews my reactions to the weekend of January 20th, 2016 from the Inauguration speech of the new President Trump, to the protests on Sunday and a bizarre first-time appearance of the President’s new press secretary. Yes. It was a surreal weekend.

After the new President’s speech, the arguments started almost immediately over how many people watched and attended. Sunday’s protests can only be described as the ‘anti-inaugural’. From talking vagina signs to the thugs smashing windows in Washington to Madonna fantasizing about ‘blowing up the White House‘, this was a was a Surreal Weekend.

FaceBook and Twitter were ghettos of dueling memes and videos posted by furious adherents to one side or another. An old woman berated a fellow passenger on a plane for being a Trump supporter, ending with her being escorted off the plane by police to the cheers of passengers.

If you did not support either mainline candidate you’re in a difficult position. The media believes its job is to react to whatever stimuli is thrown out by Trump’s team. When so called journalists aren’t taking the bait on Trump’s line they’re busy predicting the future. We’re swimming in a sea of partisanship. Pundits discuss the ‘significance’ of protests in urban centers that would have supported any candidate put up by democrats in 2016. News anchors debate something called ‘alternative facts’.

Did you think the tactic of distracting the media with one stunt after another would be over after the election? Think again. Apparently the media will take the bait every time. Hook, line and sinker. Pundits and talking heads will ‘explain’ whatever stunt was employed or argue the reaction to the stunt. ‘Guests’ will appear on every show arguing the merits of the silly outcome of the latest stunt. Popular songs will be written. Memes will be distributed on social media. Videos will be made. People will scream and yell at each other.

What if you support no one. If you don’t believe any of then are going to remove the boot heel on our necks, then what? Substance? Really? Compare the substance and specificity as well as philosophy of the first Reagan inaugural to the vacuum of Trump’s. Examine the difference between the language and intent of the so called protests this weekend to the language of Martin Luther King’s rally in Washington. America’s discourse today is a sad echo of the past. Yes. It was a surreal weekend.

Something Wicked This Way Comes

We don’t think anymore we attack. Attack the messenger. Or attack the source. Attacking the person is always good too. The method is attack and attack and then move on to the next target. This week’s talking head video says what needs to be said. Tomorrow it’s another meme or video. Ignorant of the facts? Unable to put a sentence together? No problem. Just post this meme or video and boom! It’s bad and its going to get worse.

We should certainly give the new president and his team the benefit of the doubt but I do not intend to defend him. He is capable of defending himself. When the new administration does something I think is right, I’ll say so. However, I do think people who supported President Trump all through the campaign have a responsibility to defend him. Trump supporters will have to develop the arguments to defend him and they’ll have to organize against what is already formidable opposition. If you’re a Trump supporter and you’re not our organizing your neighborhoods, good luck in the next election cycles.

I get this feeling there is something evil out there. Something Wicked This Way Comes. Maybe it’s the result of a surreal weekend, but something doesn’t feel right. I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop. I’m not talking about the man in the oval office. I’m not talking about the left’s protests. It is a feeling that I can’t shake.

We’ll see.

(Editor’s Note: Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton collapsed during the State of the State message at the Minnesota State Capitol Monday, adding to the surreal quality of the current time frame. While I find little to agree with the Governor on politically, I have interviewed him and he is a gracious and nice man. The latest reports in the current time frame are that the Governor is doing well.)

Sponsored by Brush Studio in the West End.

 

 

Podcast 504

Choices. A companion to the ‘slipping into summer’ podcast for the political junkies. Choices. The Choices we make, politically, As the primary season draws to a close, Memorial Day Weekend is a good place to take stock of what has happened in this tumultuous and unpredictable 2016 Presidential Preference Primary and Caucus season. In Podcast 503 there was some discussion of an uneasy feeling seeing FB posts from politicos about the weekend’s conventions and promotions of party unity. This gets explored a lot more deeply in Podcast 504; Choices. Republican presidential preference primary and caucus voters have settled on Donald J. Trump as their choice for nominee of the republican party. While it remains to be seen whether Trump actually gets to the RNC with enough delegates to clinch the nomination, or whether some other fate befalls the New York Developer and Realty Television Star, it’s significant that republican and so called ‘conservative’ voters have settled on three major pools of thought. The ‘Trumpist’ pool which seems to be about winning the argument, the evangelist and self-described ‘constitutionalist’ pool represented by the Cruz supporters and the establishment pool, which is about the status quo. There’s one other pool, but it’s really a puddle; The Libertarian pool which is the only group that actually wants to reduce the size, scope and power of government. On the democrat side, is an establishment political operator who can only be described as a Statist (with a capital S) and a self described Democratic Socialist, really a socialist and also a STATIST. So, voters have settled on a political insider who is also a statist, a socialist and a populist statist, with second choices that include politicians who claim to be ‘conservative’ but are also going to make sure ‘The Government’ operates more efficiently. Sigh. What are the takeaways? These are the people the voters – who have been exhorted to get involved – have chosen. Of these three or four, one will be President of The United States. In November the voters will choose a president, a congress and a third of the US Senate, as well as a slew of statewide and state legislative and local officers across the country. What will it mean? What will happen? The media keeps trying to tell us, but we cannot know the future. We’re just going to have to wait and see. Takeaways for political junkies on Memorial Day Weekend. Sponsored by Brush Studio, in the West End, Saint Louis Park.

Podcast 450

Beware The Soothsayers. So much of our media these days is caught up in predicting the future. Weather, economics, sports and especially politics, isn’t so much about fact as it is about predictions based on opinion and poorly supported ‘fatcs’. Without a real basis in science or proven facts, we’re constantly told what the ‘future will bring’. It’s a wonder news anchors and ‘commentators’ don’t wear brightly colored head dresses and look into a crystal ball. One of the reasons we are ill served by a modern media possessed of the greatest technology for informing known to man, is its executives exhort their on screen ‘actors’ and so called ‘journalists’ to use opinion and hearsay to ‘predict’ what ‘will’ happen, rather than just report the facts around an event, or ‘the news’. For instance, lower prices for gasoline was going to ‘act like a tax cut’ and we would have economic growth. The Christmas retail shopping season might be a little down, but it would still be good. Donald Trump would be a flash in the pan, and would ‘collapse’ as soon as voters ‘came to their senses’. This is the time of year astrologers make their predictions for 2016, which are about as accurate as the wild ‘predictions’ made by the cable news services, round table discussions, commentary pieces distributed on line, and most of the rest of the media conglomeration complex, especially talk radio and the cable news channels. What do you think would happen if they stopped making predictions? There’d be a lot of dead air. In fact most of what is being broadcast and written these days is little more than fortune telling, and not very good fortune telling at that. In a late night podcast by the fire, as we labor under a winter storm watch in the upper midwest (at least a foot of snow ‘predicted’ with the ‘storm’ starting Monday night), time to air some concerns about what we are being told, and talk about the antidote to it. Sponsored by Hydrus Performance, and by the Mobile Podcast Command Unit of The Bob Davis Podcasts. 

Podcast 446

Media Manipulation. Checking out the news cycle before and after the debates, and in the last few weeks it sure feels like we’re being manipulated. You can’t say anything about anyone these days without a stream of tweets and posts about what’s politically correct, or charges that ‘you’re in the tank’ for this or that candidate. New story lines about Donald Trump are actually laughable. After his comments on the San Bernardino Terror Attack (not the San Bernardino shooting, as Hillary Clinton likes to characterize a terror attack) Trump was a racist, a fascist and a demagogue. Now that a new poll has been released showing Trump breaking through forty percent, with his closest challengers as much as twenty points behind, the story line is its the fading middle class, or dumb white high school only ‘blue collar’ workers who support him. Or, that Ted Cruz is suddenly ‘the nominee’ because he beat Trump by one point in a poll in Iowa. Because people in Iowa don’t know that they’re being surveyed, interviewed and chronicled to death as they ‘pick the next president’. Meanwhile not a vote has been cast. Kudos to the Cruz campaign for working hard in Iowa but let’s not forget Iowa (which is somewhere down there between New York and Los Angeles, for those of you in the media) Republicans voted for Mike Huckabee in 2008 and Rick Santorum in 2012 and gave Michele Bachmann a big boost in the Straw Poll in 2012. Were any of those people the Republican nominee, or even president? At the same time, almost no ink has been devoted to Hillary Clinton’s compulsive lying or Bernie Sanders’ fairy tales about how to fix the economy, or solve all of America’s social problems with another government program. While the pundits and commentariat blabs on and on trying to predict the future, manufacturing is in a recession, government and corporate debt are at record levels, companies are merging to pump up their fourth quarter earnings, Chinese officials admit making up economic numbers, commodities are depressed  and the Fed is about to raise interest rates. Iran has pulled its troops out of Syria because they’re getting their ass kicked by ISIS, which by the way is expanding into Afghanistan where they will get an assist, no doubt, from the guy we had locked up in Gitmo, but let go to get a deserter back. Don’t worry about that right now though, Anderson Cooper is on talking about Carly Fiorina’s dress, Donald’s smack down of Jeb! and the Cruz Rubio rivalry. Hey did the Wild win? Maybe we’re better off with astrologers. As long as its Vedic astrology, right? Sponsored by Pride of Homes and Luke Team Real Estate and Hydrus Performance

Podcast 398 – Sturgis Part 1

Political Escape To Surgis. The first installment of the Sturgis 2015 Road Trip begins. After a 500 mile road trip from Minneapolis-Saint Paul to Rapid City, South Dakota we arrive at the Harley Davidson Dealer in Rapid City. First order of business? Let’s get the political stuff out of the way because in Part 2, we head into Sturgis itself in Mobile Podcast Command Unit 8. Podcast 398 is posted on the day of the first ‘debate’ of the 2016 political cycle. Well, maybe we should call it a cage match, rather than a debate. Not a single vote has been cast, yet the rocket scientists at Fox News have decided to pick the ‘top ten’ candidates based on the political polls. (Editor’s Note: I gave listeners a good primer on the negatives and positives of political polls in Podcast 397.) This is fine and well if your guy is in the top ten, but what if the first guy in the bottom seven or eight got Trumped by Trump, based on a poll? And how do you become number one in a poll? Say a bunch of stuff that gets a lot of news coverage. The decision to cover the Sturgis 2015 event versus the Republican ‘debate’ is detailed in this podcast. Without saying the debate is a disaster for the Republicans (it could be), it feels way to early for such a spectacle. It is dangerous for the Republican party and the American people when a television network decides who the top candidates are, before a vote has been cast. A minimum of a million people are due in Sturgis at some point during this week, in actual physical form. Not on line. Not watching it on Fox News, CNN or MSNBC. People in this country are doing what they do, while a tiny portion of the public is sitting in front of their TV’s hanging on every word. Somehow that feels very close to pathetic when the weather is amazing, and the open road beckons. So Sturgis it is. In this first road trip podcast in the Mobile Podcast Command Unit, recorded about 1 AM, a little slash and burn, some stories, and some comments about the ‘big debate’. Sponsored by X Government Cars. (Editor’s Note: In this podcast I refer to the Sturgis event as the 75th anniversary of Harley Davidson, which is obviously and painfully incorrect. I meant the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally event is 75 years old.)

Podcast 387

Noise and Unconscious Thought. What do you think about when you don’t know you’re thinking? Everyone has an unconscious stream of thought. It’s never ending. Most of the time we don’t even realize our brains are running, our minds are talking to us. Truth is, that unconscious stream of thoughts is often the well spring of good ideas and insight. It can be a gold mine of creativity, or a window into a person’s deepest motivations. Yet, everywhere we go these days is a video monitor, music playing, or a TV hooked up to one of the twenty four hour news channels. With all that ‘content’ being delivered everywhere, we don’t get a chance to experience silence long enough to actually experience our thoughts moment to moment. One could ask, ‘Do you ever listen to your thoughts’? Thing is, its near impossible for people to hear themselves think, because whether you’re putting gas in your car, going into a coffee store or restaurant, sitting at a bar, even doing your laundry at a laundromat, ‘content’ is always there. What they don’t tell you is, all that content is designed to use your emotion to persuade, or to hook into emotions to cause you to listen longer, watch longer and remember. With celebrities, politicians, even terrorists playing into the media for attention and persuasion, our thought streams are manipulated, and we don’t even know it. So for this Independence Day weekend in the United States, hopefully people can get a little slice of silence long enough to hear themselves think. What will you think about? 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 384

Final Thoughts From The Road. With a tragedy in South Carolina, and more nonsense coming out of Washington DC, the chattering class will be busy chattering this weekend. They’ll be telling us the country is falling apart, sowing the seeds of discontent, depression, confusion, envy, and anxiety. The thing is, if you travel the country state by state, you don’t see discontent, depression, confusion, envy and anxiety. You see people coping; in fact thriving. In the middle one of the most dense population centers in the world — the US eastern seaboard — you’ll find Maryland’s Eastern Shore, a rural paradise. Then there’s Ocean City Maryland, which actually is hot and sweaty, but everyone seems to be having a good time. Fifty states, with fifty different histories, cultures, many of them thriving. Yes, thriving. How can this be? The America you see and hear about on Fox News and MSNBC, or you hear about on scratchy dying AM Talk Radio stations is burning; falling apart, splitting at the seams. The pounders and the screamers polarize us into right and left, and tell us our country is a place where people hate each other, members of different ‘castes’ seethe, where the rich get super rich and everyone else gets nothing. The only thing is, that’s not what is going on in the real America. If you travel it, you’ll see what I mean. Are there injustices? Is there crime? Poverty? Yes. But, somehow in this place, painted as the seventh level of Dante’s Inferno, people raise families, go to work, do what they can for each other, start businesses and vacation together. I saw people of all colors, cultures and languages working together, eating together, living together. Meanwhile, the truck stops are chock full of trucks, RV’s and travelers twenty four hours a day. The restaurants are busy, as are the Targets and Home Depots and Food Lions, even small town grocery stores. It used to be said that the media in America is a mirror, to show society what it is. Well, I am here to tell you, Houston we have a problem. The media isn’t showing us what we are, or what is going on, because the images just don’t match. The Media and the politicians in Washington are lying to us, and using the outrage machine to their political advantage. I’ve seen about three quarters of this country in the last 4 months, at the most basic level; Interstates, two lanes, and dirt roads. I’ve driven through the big towns, and the small towns, meeting and talking to regular people. I just don’t see the strife and struggle we’re being told ‘we’ are experiencing. There are challenges in every time. Our challenge is turning off these idiots on television, and in Washington DC. America not only has a future, it has a great future and it’s time we had leadership that recognizes and encourages our innovation and energy, rather than scares, and divides us, lies to us and tells us what we have to do. Let’s start making it happen, regardless of what the chattering chatterers have to say this weekend. Sponsored by X Government Cars

Podcast 367

UK Election Crushes Pundits. Most important story going into the new week is the British Election, and the chief casualties appear to be political pundits. The ‘experts’ predicted a victory for the left, and in fact the left in British Politics was handed its hat and shown the door. Political scientists and pollsters are becoming too famous, and becoming part of the story, rather than doing their job. Its one of the reasons we love it so much when they’re wrong. Next, the same bunch in the US will be telling us what’s going to happen in 2016, based on the experience of the British election. What they won’t tell you is how the two systems are different, and why. That’s where this podcast comes in. Dissimilarities aside, UK conservatives will move quickly to cut government costs and size and adjust the UK’s relationship in the EU. The most significant thing to come out of the British election is the fact that people told pollsters one thing, and voted an entirely different way. It’s become socially unacceptable to disagree with an overbearing and arrogant left, so people just keep their opinions to themselves and take their revenge at the polls. Could that happen in the US? As people bear up under a no growth economy, disorder at the breaking points, and constant denial from the left that their policies just aren’t working, the pundits ignore the fact that there is political rage just below the surface. Woe to the politician that ignores this, or doesn’t understand it. Will the polls pick it up? Not if the pollsters and political scientists keep thinking about politics in the old right/left paradigm. Things are changing. Fast. Meanwhile, candidates in the US keep doing the same things and expecting different results. At a cattle call for republicans in the Carolinas, Jeb Bush talks about Christianity (just to make you think he’s a conservative) and Scott Walker wants to send troops to Iraq to fight ISIS. A recent podcast included a discussion of the nature of work in Los Angeles, with freelancers working on projects ad hoc, as the model for work in the future for all of us. Some subscribers didn’t like it, suggesting ‘Hollywood’ is responsible for the decline of social morals in this country. In this podcast, a new article suggests an Uber style company that connects professionals and semi professionals with small businesses and individuals is already taking off, and will change the nature of work in this country. Finally, for people interested in political organization, or just being good neighbors and citizens, there are a plethora of local issues, from Common Core, the Tyranny of the Met Council, and out-of-control spending by city councils. While these are local Minnesota issues, every town  in every state and territory of the United States has similar issues. They allow people to work together to solve problems without having R’s or D’s carved into their foreheads. When people work together and solve problems together, they’re more likely to listen to each other, as opposed to sitting in their chair watching Fox News or MSNBC and railing against those (fill in the blank). Sponsored by X Government Cars. (Image from telegraph.co.uk