Podcast 571-Bob Davis Podcasts Radio Show 52. Final Thoughts On Election 2016. The biggest loser in election 2016 is The Media. Specifically, pundits, prognosticators and predictors of the future. The Media did it to us through the masochistic 2 year presidential election cycle. Before President-Elect Trump has had a chance to get a good night’s sleep after a grueling election, we’re already being told what kind of president he’ll be. He is either the second coming of Reagan or the Anti-Christ. Four new mini podcasts for your weekend and some reminders about why I did not endorse, promote, defend, or attack candidates and positions. In 2016 the Media failed to cover any of the issues in favor of lurid, shock oriented gossip. So a new administration takes office while a poorly informed public nurses preconceived notions about what is ‘going to happen’. First thing to tackle? “The Polls Were Wrong”. What is wrong is the media’s reliance on national presidential preference polls, drawing incorrect conclusions and making predictions based on those conclusions. If you were surprised at the outcome of election 2016 it’s because of what you were watching and listening to. The Bob Davis Podcasts steadfastly maintained the polls were too close to call in key states. Given how close the race was in Ohio, and Pennsyvania, Florida, North Carolina and Wisconsin, Trump won because voters for Obama in 2008 and 2012 did not show up for Clinton. Trump was able to get enough people to vote for him to overwhelm Clinton where it counted. Elections are not won with polls. Elections are not won with predictions. Election outcomes are determined by the people who vote. Second thing to tackle? “Donald Trump Is Anti Establishment. The Establishment was Beaten”. Really? Who’s in charge of the Republican Party, the US Congress and the Senate? Who are the people running Trump’s transition team and where do they come from? In 2016 both mainline political parties rejected the grassroots in their parties in favor of candidates they thought could win. Finally, travel is the best way to temper judgements about what is going on in this country and what will happen as a result. The United States is still vibrant. From Silicon Valley to the Chesapeake Bay, from North Dakota to the Texas Gulf Coast. In my travels in 2016 I met people going to work, running their businesses, taking care of their kids and living their lives. Guess what? They weren’t hanging on every word spoken by Wolf Blitzer or Laura Ingram. While there are places worse for wear or facing tough challenges, on balance this country is not falling apart, despite what the charlatans say. The country now needs to think about the challenges and opportunity ahead. We need to take full advantage of the technology revolution on our doorstep. In Podcast 571-Bob Davis Podcasts Radio Show 52, I’ll run it all down for you. Sponsored by Brush Studio and Hydrus.
Podcast 559-Why I Travel. Travel is good for so many things. Join me for a ride on the Washington State Ferry on the way to Port Townsend, Washington, on a clear, bright, sunny day in the Pacific Northwest. You’re inside the ride from boarding Mobile Podcast Command Unit 8, a conversation with one of the ferry workers, and a quick walk up to the main deck for a cup of coffee and a walk around the outer decks as the ferry leaves the dock. This is a big deal for a midwesterner. In Minnesota we do not have the working ports, the huge ferries and the breathtaking scenery of the Pacific Northwest. Minnesotans will of course say, “Oh but it’s pretty good here in Minnesota” and it is, but the Pacific Northwest is pretty much peerless on this front. Pines, islands, temperate climate, mountains, and the Pacific, beaches. Still every place has something it can call its own that is pretty incredible. I’ve talked to a lot of people on this trip and they ask about Mobile Podcast Command, or they ask about snow in Minnesota. So there’s that. Podcast 559-Why I Travel takes a look at why travel is so therapeutic for the soul. It softens hard opinions. It opens your mind. It allows you to appreciate the small things people do for each other, and it allows you to appreciate the jewels every state has. Believe it or not, every state of our country is a little different from the other. Regions are even more different, and since this trip is a Great Northwest and Great Western trip, you’re going to be hearing a lot about some of the issues regarding development and the environment. These two issues are paramount in the west, and the northwest. Some of this was covered in Podcast 558-Pipeline Protest, and I am sure there is more to come along these lines. After the Ferry Ride, another Ferry Ride and a quick hit in Seattle, then south to the Oregon Beaches, as a big Pacific Fall Storm bears down on the region. One thing is for sure and it is driven home when I head out aboard Mobile Podcast Command. The country is not falling apart. Some people might be hurting and we could use more economic growth, but for the most part the highways are smooth (remember I am driving on two lane state roads most of the way, and they are fine, even in North Dakota where the oil trucks are beating them to death.) and small towns look prosperous. Sponsored by X Government Cars.
Podcast 558-Pipeline Protest. Back road tripping across the Northwestern United States. First stop is The Dakota Access Pipeline protest at Standing Rock. A few miles north of Cannonball, North Dakota, about thirty miles south of Bismarck, North Dakota. DAPL – as it is known – is an explosive issue for the Standing Rock Tribe of Native Americans in this region, but pipelines have huge implications for the rest of the United States. As some celebrate the newfound energy independence US Oil Exploration brings, it also brings problems. The biggest is the issue of how to transport the oil out of the state of North Dakota which cannot refine the crude pulled out of the Bakken Reserve. For now, oil is transported on trucks and trains, which may be more unsafe when it comes to accidents and spills than pipelines. At issue is whether the pipeline will rupture, sooner or later, and contaminate ground water. The people at the Standing Rock Protest say yes. The oil companies say no. It’s very hard to get a clear idea of who’s right and wrong. Myron Dewey joins Podcast 558-Pipeline Protest from the protest, which he does not call a protest (as you’ll hear), and for balance an oil company employee and lifetime North Dakotan Eric Nelson joins the podcast not as a spokesperson for the company he works for, but as a concerned citizen. Also check out Standing Rock Fact Checker, and this from Inforum, on Doug Burgham, one of the Republican Gubernatorial candidates in North Dakota. The Standing Rock pipeline protest (sorry Myron but that’s what everyone’s calling it) has certainly focused worldwide attention on the issue. I’m going to take you inside the protest, which is in itself educational. Whenever I cover public events, I am rolling the minute I get there. This time I caught some interesting and educational audio. (Editor’s Note: You might have to strain a little to hear some of what went down, so use headphones. I will be worth it.) Like many local issues, it is filled with emotion and an ocean of ‘facts’ designed to persuade the listener to come to the ‘right’ conclusion. What do you think? Sponsored by Brush Studio in the West End, Saint Louis Park.
Podcast 554-Latest Election State By State Polls. For you political junkies, which includes me, it’s been a month since the last analysis of political polls state by state, and I promised another one at the end of September, 2016. If you want to compare the two state by state poll podcasts to really get a sense of movement check out Podcast 541. I do not intend to analyze the debate. I will not tell you who won the debate. I will not tell you whether people pay attention to the debates. None of the current state by state polls were taken after the debates so they do not reflect the effects on either candidate of the debates. With this in mind, over 80 million people watched the September 26th debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. The next state-by-state poll roundup podcast at the end of October will show what effect – if any – the debates may or may not have had. The biggest change between this podcast and the podcast in late August is that there are now more ‘toss up’ states — that is states with poll averages for president within the margin of error. In Podcast 554-State By State Polls, I am drawing on data from Real Clear Politics. Follow the link directly to an interactive electoral map of the United States and follow along, or may your own map. The tightening could be knock on effects from Clinton’s bad week of September 11th, or it could just be due to more polls closer to the election, when respondents start paying attention and are more likely to give responses. You’ll have to listen for my conclusions about whether more toss up states mean anything, but for the most part, both candidates are within the margins in 2012 and 2008 in the states they lead, or are trading leads. The big questions remain Florida, Ohio, Pennsyvania, Virginia, and to a lesser extent North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Wisconsin, Michigan, and western states like Colorado, Arizona and Nevada. This is a state by state electoral election, so the national polls don’t matter, and the snap polls on who won the debate don’t matter. All that matters is the candidate’s performance, and get out the vote efforts for them in key electoral states. Listen and learn the state by state strongholds, battlegrounds, advantages and disadvantages, roughly a month out. We’ll come back at the end of October and again just before the election in early November, and see how the campaigning, media, and news events have changed the political landscape. Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing of Saint Paul.
Podcast 541. Electoral College Yoga. Get ready to twist your brain into pretzel like shapes as I talk about the electoral college, polls, and what the benchmarks for Election 2016 are so far. I’ll do another benchmark in about a month and one just before the election in late October, or early November. There are a lot of caveats on polling data. While most media people and their viewers seem to want to talk about national presidential preference polls, the proof of the pudding is in the state by state polls. The United States does not elect its presidents with a national vote. In fact, a presidential election is fifty state elections. Voters are selecting a slate of electors, chosen and voting generally according to state law and state party rules. So when you hear one candidate is ‘ahead’ over another in a national poll it really doesn’t mean anything. In 2008 and again in 2012 Republicans in particular were so hopeful based on national preference polls that if you said McCain or Mitt Romney wasn’t going to win, you were ‘raining on the parade’. But, if you looked closely at state polls in those election cycles, the outcome was not a surprise. State polls have their own problems; Smaller sample size, different polling methodologies, and in some states they are no polls until just before the election. While its not advisable to compare different polls of different sources and methodologies, we do it all the time. We’re looking for trends primarily. Currently while Donald J. Trump leads Hillary Clinton in a national presidential preference poll, the state polls tell a completely different story. It’s not a good story for republicans. The case isn’t closed. Trump still has time, but time is fleeting. I don’t support any candidate. I’m not working for any candidate. I’m not going to tell you how to vote. I’m also not going to spin the polling data to make you think something can happen, or is going to happen. If you want the straight talk on what’s going on, the Bob Davis Podcasts is the place to check back for these benchmark state-by-state analyses as we progress to Election Day 2016. Sponsored by Karow Contracting and Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul.
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.
Republicans Need To Grow Up. As Ted Cruz ‘steals’ Colorado’s delegates to the RNC, Trump supporters throw a fit. If the Republicans lose the 2016 presidential election it won’t be the so called establishment’s fault. If the Republicans lose the 2016 presidential election it won’t even be the candidate’s fault. If the Republicans lose the 2016 presidential election, and its Senate majority it will be the Republican Rank and File voter’s fault. If this week’s tantrums are any example, Republicans Need To Grow Up. And soon. These podcasts have stated again and again that people voting in so called presidential primaries are not selecting a candidate. Candidate selection is done at the convention, by convention delegates. As Donald Trump and his supporters rage about the system being rigged its time for some truth telling. Yes, children, the system is rigged. If you want to change it you are going to have to take over the system. Unfortunately the GOP rank and file is filled with people who have a shocking lack of depth on issues, a breathtaking ignorance on context and the emotional maturity of an eighth grader (and that’s being kind), and no stomach for the hard work political change requires. Voting in elections is not enough. Change requires people be wiling to serve, not stand up at meetings and talk about ‘messaging’. The Republican party is populated with a majority of people who think an argument is an insult, a meme, a video someone else posted five years ago, a discussion on FaceBook that lasts all of two exchanges, the last one something along the lines of, “You love Obama”, or “You’re voting for Hillary, aren’t you?”. These people — and there are a lot of them — do not have the emotional maturity or political knowledge to win a presidential election. Period. They aren’t able to argue, or reason. They aren’t ‘conservatives’, they can’t even define what a ‘conservative’ is. Republicans are Tories, concerned about the future but still loyal to the crown. In this podcast someone actually defines the political spectrum in terms that make sense, and explains why republicans and democrats don’t seem to have a problem with government solutions and socialism. If you really want to change things, its going to take more than being angry. Sponsored by Hydrus and Brush Studio in the West End, Saint Louis Park, Mn.
Super Tuesday. Final thoughts from Norman, Oklahoma as this Road Trip draws to a close, On the eve of Super Tuesday, 2016. A dozen or so states and territories have primaries or caucuses scheduled for democrat and republican parties. The media has covered — and will continue to cover — this primary season like a general election and now we have arrived at the second big day after Iowa’s Caucuses a month or so ago … Super Tuesday. For people wondering who to vote for. For people who think this is the actual election. For people who believe the charlatans on talk radio, and the talking heads on TV, and the blow hards at the local political meetings telling you what you should do; Some points to ground you. This is not a general election. These candidates are running to amass delegates to the party convention. Delegates who probably won’t even vote to nominate the candidate they may or may not be pledged to when the final vote for the nomination comes at the end of the mainline party conventions this summer. Candidates are coming to your state and your town to talk to the movers and shakers in the parties, and they’re making deals behind the scenes while the media covers the little shows they put on for the public called ‘retail political’ events. They’re all the same. Meanwhile our news media focuses on personalities, innuendo, open fights, name calling and other antics. Why? It’s the fire on the prairie, the war in the mountains. It’s what produces clicks and views and it’s what keeps the perfumed princes of media in their chairs, and in five thousand dollar suits and one thousand dollar shoes. The country needs new thinking, new ideas and new action to bring in the new economy that is out there, coming into the world, whether the czars in Washington and New York and Hollywood, and Silicon Valley want it. We need a government that protects our constitutional rights and secures our defense, and does little else. We need policies that free the individual, provide economic opportunity for everyone, and gets out of our way. Is this represented in the political mess that is the ‘primary election cycle 2016’? Sponsored by Pride of Homes and X Government Cars.
Build The Pipeline! As another oil train owned by Warren Buffett derails and sends flames into the air, Minneapolis and Saint Paul media can’t bring itself to mention this would not be necessary if President Obama had followed bipartisan legislation, and built the Keystone XL Pipeline. The Star Tribune licks its chops whenever there is a chance to print a story which shows North Dakota in a negative light, and nothing says passive-aggressive like a burning oil train. Just another reason why Minnesotans are so ill served by this parochial and paranoid newspaper’s editorial staff. Wasn’t a new owner supposed to fix that? Along the same lines we are told a ‘new study’ shows traffic congestion in the Twin Cities is getting worse! The cities now ranks 35th in traffic congestion nationwide. Forget there are 50 states, and that Minneapolis and Saint Paul is generally considered the 15th or 16th largest market, looks like it is punching below its weight, traffic congestion wise. Oh yeah, the studies were done by MNDOT, and by the Met Council, two agencies with a big stake in whether the draconian increase in the state gas tax passes. Meanwhile, MNDOT seems to be causing most of the congestion by insisting on doing things like changing signs on the Mendota bridge in the middle of rush hour, which recently caused a massive traffic jam, or taking out the bridge over highway 100 on Minnetonka, turning traffic in the west metro into a parking lot. What causes congestion? Incompetence and idiocy in our much vaunted state government agencies, and the politicians responsible for them. God Help Us! The worst days? Tuesday morning and Thursday afternoon, as state workers put in their usual 3 day work weeks and head to the lake. Meanwhile the LRT boosters are at it again. Forget about the fact that the Southwest Light Rail Project engineering work was bungled, that it is hundreds of millions over budget, we need it because suddenly the jobs are in Eden Prairie and people from downtown have to get there to work. The nature of work is changing. After a Bob Davis podcast about freelance work in LA, the New York Times published a piece on whether freelance work LA style is going to be the future model for how work gets done. Emphatically yes! Meanwhile, at nearly 2 decades into the 21st century, these fools in government keep insisting on rebuilding the early 20th century city. Is America moving left? Polls say it is. But, what influences polls? Events. And events can change politics. Still, we don’t hear Republicans saying much these days about what they would actually do, to get people to vote for them. One thing they could do is something about a government that no longer protects our rights but tramples them. Over a thousand IRS employees were apparently promoted for cheating on their taxes. The Federal government says New York City has to take the lighted signs down from Times Square (New York says No Friggin Way!). And ‘Draw Muhammed’ event creator Pamela Gellar hasn’t heard from homeland security despite the fact that her life has been threatened by ISIS. Did we forget the DEA agent orgies paid for by the drug cartels, and the fact that the agents who admitted attending can’t be fired because of government regulations? Sponsored by Baklund R&D. (Photo from BNSF.com)
Right To Work. As Wisconsin’s Assembly considers Right To Work legislation amid controversy, Minnesota conservatives wonder what’s wrong with Republicans in the Land of Ten Thousand Lakes. The Washington Post this week ran a piece decrying the decay of the organizational power of unions in the Badger state since ACT10 was passed in 2011. The reader is left with the idea this isn’t such a bad thing for local and state budgets, or the employees of counties, towns and the state either. Was this the intent? 24 states have passed right to work legislation, and Wisconsin’s Governor Scott Walker made history with legislation limiting the power of government unions. A brief history of collective bargaining for government workers suggests why the democrats and the left are terrified by Walker. At least two of the landmark government acts establishing unions in the public sector were executive orders. Given President Obama’s precedent setting use of executive orders and executive memoranda, think what a President Walker might do with the existing executive orders dating back to Nixon, regarding Federal workers and collective bargaining arrangements. Wisconsin is the home of AFSCME, and was the first state to pass a law allowing its public workers to unionize. How things have changed. The reality is collective bargaining in state and local governments created a gordian knot that must be cut, if authorities want to be able to get control of their budgets. The state cannot offshore its work, or move to a right to work state in the south, to cut costs. As the media tries to cover right to work laws negatively it is inadvertently showing how governors in democrat and republican states are able to cut that knot and get control of their budgets. Now, Minnesotans want to know why what’s happening in Wisconsin isn’t happening in Minnesota. Minnesota Republicans seem content to play small ball; Speaker of the House Kurt Daudt is thrilled to act a peacemaker between warring democrat Governor Dayton and Senate Majority leader Bakk, and in the Senate, minority leader Nienow is thrilled to announce more spending for education than the Governor wants, which is saying something. Small Ball, indeed. Some might characterize it as small balls in fact. What should be advocated? What’s working in other states? Why are Minnesota’s Republicans unable to take a lesson from Wisconsin’s Republicans, who are having a better time of it. Sponsored by X Government Cars.