Trump’s Comey Con 2017-Podcast 629

President Trump fires FBI director Comey. The advocacy media goes crazy. Everything Trump does is wrong. Whatever Trump does is right. Everyone wants to hear what they want to hear. Republicans are good/bad. Democrats are bad/good. My team is better than your team. This is not an informed populace. This is the Roman Chariot races. In Trump’s Comey Con 2017-Podcast 629.

Media At Its Best

A blizzard of reaction, meetings in the bushes, comments at press conferences, tweets and opinions about what happened makes it impossible to advance the story. The President can fire the FBI director if he wants. No it isn’t unprecedented. Yes it is unusual. Bill Clinton was the last president to do it. Yes a President should have the people he wants in his administration.

That’s My Story and I’m sticking To It. Or not.

Believe what you want. Trump wanted to fire Comey from the get go. Or, Trump decided quickly he’d had it with Comey’s showboating and decided to fire him. Or, Trump fired Comey because the FBI director wanted more money for continuing the FBI probe of the allegations Russia tampered with the 2016 election. Pick and choose your truth.

Good Luck

If your two sources of information are the local talk radio station and a cable show in the evening you won’t know much. If you read all the columns and commentary from pundits trying to persuade people the red team is right, or the blue team is right you’ll be more confused. The commentary masquerading as news goes many layers deep. Actual reporting is scarce. Facts are dear.

What Do You Actually Know

Partisan reaction obscures a very important question. What is the truth regarding allegations of attempts by the Russians to influence the US Election? Is it true Trump campaign officials colluded with the Russians in an alleged effort to influence the US Election? Did the Russians work on behalf of the Trump campaign? Was then candidate Donald Trump aware? Did Trump collude with the Russians?

Firing the FBI director has done nothing but open a festering wound. Do you know whether there was collusion between the Russians and the Trump campaign? Your congressmen and senators do not know either. We will eventually have to have a special prosecutor to settle the question. As this process works itself out, you and I will know even less.

Who’s Minding The Store?

Meanwhile not much is getting done, despite the first 100 days ballyhoo. The so called ‘ObamaCare repeal’ bill languishes in the Senate. Courts have tied up the most significant of the Trump executive orders, while others merely direct studies to take place or involve the normal process of running the executive branch. Congress passed and the president signed a budget that looks like a holdover from the Obama administration. This is draining the swamp? This is a new day?

Advice From Talk Show Hosts

Right wing talk show hosts are suddenly talking about how Trump can’t be Trump, or why we need a constitutional convention that mysteriously would only include ‘conservatives’. And yet, Trump appears to be doing quite well at being himself in spite of all the advice from those knowledgeable talk show hosts. Just look at his tweets.

Well. At least we’re not talking about a crisis in the middle east or North Korea.

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Trump’s Comey Con 2017-Podcast 629

 

 

 

Ready For Another War in North Korea? Podcast 626

North Korea continues to test missiles and make threats. The United States sends ships and rattles the saber. Time to talk about North Korea and War on the Korean peninsula in Ready For Another War in North Korea? Podcast 626.

Korean History

Korea has a rich history. Japan ruled Korea from 1910 to the end of World War II. In 1945 Koreans hoped for self determination. Didn’t work out that way. Russia and China supported the North. The United States supported the South. The peninsula was divided at the 38th parallel.

Costs Of The Korean War

In June of 1950, supported by Soviet weapons, Kim Il Sung invaded South Korea. Three years of war cost the United States 33,000 military deaths. Estimates of civilian and military deaths in the North and South during the war, range between 1.2 million to 2.5 million.

North and South Are Still At War

July 1953. Panmunjom. A cease fire agreement ended the fighting but not the war. 25 million residents of Seoul, South Korea live today under the threat of mass artillery attack from the North.

The North Is A Nuclear Power

North Korea has had a nuclear research effort since 1956. Since the 1980’s efforts to prevent proliferation of nuclear weapons have included posturing, threats, aid, agreements, negotiation. All failed. North Korea today is a nuclear power. It is researching development of ballistic missiles. Currently they have only about a 1500 kilometer range.

Trump’s New Direction

President Trump has appears to have taken a more realist approach to foreign policy. What does this new direction mean for the US and the world? Will there be a positive effect to pushing the North Koreans beyond their resources? What are the scenarios for a potential regime change? Does the administration have a plan?

Americans In The Dark. Again

If the US becomes involved in a military conflict on the Korean peninsula what will the costs be? What happens if the current regime is removed? In the rush to report on ships and planes, military capabilities, and the latest back and forth, once again we’re not being given key information by the media. In Ready For Another War in North Korea? Podcast 626.

Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul and X Government Cars

Ready For Another War in North Korea? Podcast 626

 

Getting Your News Groove Back-Podcast 621

Social Media Rules

More of us get our news from social media these days. Problem is most of the ‘news’ on social media doesn’t adhere to standards. Might feel better informed, but it’s hard to tell the difference between writing to a standard and propaganda. In Getting Your News Groove Back-Podcast 621.

Internet Never Lies

People are in the habit of posting, sharing, liking and commenting on stories that support their point of view. People apparently believe anything published on the Internet that looks credible and comes from a site they visit often. We are floating on a sea of bad information.

Garbage In Garbage Out

News stories not written to standard assert things that turn out to be false. What’s worse, this kind of information poisons the discourse. Thoughts, insights and ideas based on bad information form into concrete assumptions and conclusions. Those conclusions drive people’s ideas about the world.

Propaganda and Manipulation

In Getting Your News Groove Back-Podcast 621 I’ll provide some examples of story-lines that have not been proven. Most of the time these stories reinforce the right versus left thinking that ruins friendships and family ties. It’s what makes social media so angry and vitriolic.

There are standards. When you know the standards you can determine whether a writer lives up to those standards. Without standards we’re susceptible to a steady stream of propaganda and manipulation. It’s up to us to learn the standards and choose what we post, share, like and comment on accordingly.

Context and Perspective

A steady diet of Social Media, 24 Hour Cable News and Talk Radio is like junk food for the mind. This ruins a person’s ability to discern whether assertions are true or just opinion. When all we do is read stuff online, watch You Tube videos and listen to cable news and talk radio we lose the context of major stories. We don’t get the details to be able to master the issues. Getting Your News Groove Back-Podcast 621  explains how to do that.

Getting Your News Groove Back-Podcast 621

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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 442

God Isn’t Fixing This. In the wake of the San Bernardino shootings we’re left as confused as ever, and the media treats every single shooting as a one-off single story, rather than a series of shootings in an ongoing struggle. It makes talking about it difficult, yet this is what people are asking about, as 24 hour coverage drives home the media favorite story-line of the moment. Everyone followed the President as he climbed aboard the ‘workplace violence and guns kill people’ train, but surprise! That train derailed just outside the station when facts surfaced suggesting something more sinister and dangerous. We’re still being told, “avoid the rush to judgement”, and “it may still be a workplace violence issue”. Trouble is, like the Fort Hood shootings a few years ago, evidence shows the San Bernardino attack was premeditated, with detailed preparations including, legally obtained weapons, even with California’s ‘assault weapons ban’, stockpiles of ammunition, pipe bombs, communication with people on terror watch lists, destruction and cauterization of communication and social media links before the act with similarities to attacks in Paris and Boston. While the ‘thoughts and prayers of the nation’ are with the victims, guess what? God Helps Those Who Help Themselves. There is a war being waged for our minds and the minds of our attackers. It is waged though propaganda and media. The weak succumb to its charms, and the fears it generates. Only the strong will protect, persevere and prevail. Are you strong enough? Are we strong enough? Clearly our leaders aren’t that strong, because if they aren’t mealy mouthing thoughts and prayers, they’re trying to pass gun control legislation or spend more money on mental health research. What’s that you say? Strategy? Foreign Policy? Addressing the problem? Expecting real leadership is apparently too much to ask of the denizens of Washington. We depend too much on our leaders to show us how to be strong, but it seems as though we’re going to have to show them how to be strong, because apparently they can’t do it. These kinds of terror attacks are a cancer that is spreading, and it will get worse. Its causes took decades to develop. It can’t be solved with a campaign slogan or some rant on a talk show. Sponsored by Pride of Home and Luke Team Real Estate and Hydrus Performance

Podcast 292

Free Speech. The founding principles of the US Government guarantee freedom of expression, without qualification. Americans have gone to war to protect their rights, and to fight for the same kinds of rights for the people of other countries. It might be said, at the very least Liberty is the main tenant of Western Society. Why then do we tolerate ‘leaders’ who insist on qualifying these unalienable rights? The White House has qualified its assertions of freedom of expression and this was a week in which President Obama was shamed for not showing unity with our French allies in their time of need. But, Pope Francis didn’t attend the massive march in Paris either. While both President Obama and The Pope initially condemned the Paris attack on Charlie Hebdo, they seem to be back pedaling their remarks. The Pope, in his shiny big airplane, on the way to wave his scepter at the dancing peasants in the Philippines, says Freedom of Expression has limits, echoing similar statements from the White House. The Pope says killing in the name of God is an ‘aberration’; a factually incorrect statement since the Church has advocated and killed quite a few people in the name of God over the years. In the next breath the Roman Prelate asserts there are limits to free speech. Um, no your communist Holiness, actually, there aren’t. And to the qualifiers; Please stop comparing Charlie Hebdo’s cartoons to yelling fire in a crowded theater. The idea of free expression was made for just this kind of thing. If our leaders won’t stand up for core western values without qualification, what is the point of western civilization? If protecting unalienable rights is in fact virtue in its purest form, and the reason for the existence of our government, and our leaders won’t protect our rights, or are afraid to stand up for them when we are threatened, where is virtue? What, then, is the purpose of government? Let’s put it this way; The Pope is certainly no Winston Churchill. If he isn’t confusing economic philosophy, jumping on board with Global Warming Believers (a religion in itself), now he’s exhorting supposedly free people to act as though they are actually not free at all. Is the Pope morally bankrupt? Sponsored by X Government Cars. (Editor’s Note: I may have referred to Pope John Paul II, in this podcast as Pope John Paul the 23rd, which of course is a mistake. I hate when I make mistakes!)

Podcast 288 – Sunny Lohmann

Sunny Lohmann. Political Humorist Sunny Lohmann from Sunny TV is back in the saddle after welcoming her daughter into the world and moving to … California. Yes. California where the American flag flies and it is warm all the time. Or so Sunny says. Sunny talks about how Cali is different from Minnesota, and not just when it comes to the weather. While Minnesotans operate on shame, California has something called ‘humble bragging’. Californians brag about how much time and money they donate to causes, while Minnesotans are reluctant to show their wealth (if they have any). Should you give homeless people money? (Editor’s Note: And yes, a new story about Burlap Man … a homeless man in Chicago.) What has Sunny been doing since last winter? How does raising a child effect video production? This was a week in which terrible news broke concerning the massacre terror attack at the French Satire Magazine, Charlie Hebdo, which comes up in this podcast, especially Hollywood’s reaction. Sunny is very interested in Hollywood’s Golden Globes Awards show, and Bob and Sunny have favorite TV shows and movies up for awards. Sunny and Bob Davis also get serious talking about terror, Sunny’s discussion of Islam on Sunny TV and the reaction to it, and her plans for Sunny TV going forward. Sunny talks about her baby’s colic and co-sleeping. What are Sunny’s top stories of 2014, moving into the New Year. What about The President’s planned ‘security conference’ in reaction to the Paris attacks? Sunny has a solution to Obama Care, discusses gas prices (and new gas taxes) in Minnesota and California. Will low gas prices last? Should the President take credit for them? And what about shows nominated for Golden Globes, as Hollywood breathes a sigh of relief on the heels of the Sony Hack and Charlie Hebdo. Does Hollywood have any guts? What would happen if Putin invaded the United States? Finally, who are the best candidates for President in 2016, and Sunny’s reaction to the effort to unseat Speaker of The House John Boehner. What movies has Sunny seen (She’s a new mom, so not many), some of the new stars and new shows, why Bob is glad Sons of Anarchy is off the air (Is a bad TV show a crime against society?) and is Game of Thrones real? Catch up with Sunny and Bob to start your week. Sponsored by X Government Cars and Depot Star

Podcast 286

Speaker Boehner. US Speaker of The House Boehner has survived a challenge from so called ‘insurgent conservatives’ to replace him. According to some reports this was the strongest effort to replace a sitting speaker since the 1860’s. As many as 24 Republican members voted against the Speaker. ‘Insurgents’ are unhappy with the Speaker because they do not feel he fights for principles. Freedom Works had urged its followers to write, call and email their Congressmen to vote against Boehner. Once again so called Conservative Insurgents across the country are learning an important lesson about politics. That would be money talks, you know what walks. Whatever you want to call them; Tea Party, Liberty, Insurgent … until this group commands a political machine that actually holds real political power, these kinds of demonstrations (or stunts as some call them) will continue to be just that. When you have the power, you win the vote. Nice try though. There is a lot of snark on this story, which ignores the fact that the insurgent movement — people who actually think our legislators should govern from principle rather than expedience — is growing in strength, contrary to reports of its demise. Meanwhile, what is the agenda for so called ‘moderate’ Republicans in Congress? Make changes on the margins? ‘Restore’ faith in the IRS? Vote tax breaks to teenagers? Really? There are rumors the Keystone Pipeline will come up for a vote soon. As usual all the ‘journalism’ concentrates on the GOP majority in the Senate as being ‘filibuster proof’. This isn’t the question. The question is whether the House and Senate can muster the two-thirds majority needed to override an almost certain Presidential Veto, unless moderates cram all sorts of goodies into the bill. If you want to use email, your phone or write a letter to someone in the government, you might try send a letter to the FCC to demand it does NOT reclassify the Internet as a Utility. The last thing the world needs is regulation and taxation on the Internet. How expensive will Obama Care be in 2015? Aside from some who are now earning more than they did when they qualified for ACA subsidies in 2014, having to pay those subsidies back (yes, it’s true), copays and insurance fees are increasing so much and so quickly the Harvard Professors who supported and demanded the ACA pass, are now protesting those same copay and insurance increases! For Thee, not me, these perfumed princes and princesses are saying. That’s why we trust their positions on other political issues so much. Meanwhile, as the US makes nice with Communists in Cuba, they’re cracking down on dissidents sending thousands to jail. Same thing is happening in China and North Korea. One thing about Maoists, they don’t like dissent. And what happens when a Chicagoan rides his bike to the Police Station to report a theft? Sponsored by Baklund R & D

Podcast 284

Polar Vortex 2015. Perhaps we should start off by saying, “Previously on Polar Vortex”. It happens just about every year around this time in the Upper Midwest. It gets real cold. We call it winter. A few weeks of below zero temperatures with little relief. It’s been colder. Where are the cavalcade of ‘economists’ (astrologists) predicting the inevitably dour economic effects of the ‘polar vortex’? Surprise! Now that a Republican majority is about to take office ‘economic experts’ are optimistic! Touting 5 percent GDP growth, lackluster employment statistics and a host of other debatable ‘facts’, some formerly doom and gloom analysts are finding  rose colored glasses not used since the Bush administration. As a new Congress is about to be sworn in, scolds to tell Republicans, “It’s time to govern”! Isn’t ‘governing’ something both parties and all branches of government engage in? Not just a majority and not just one branch of the government? Freedom Works has declared Speaker Boehner ‘must go’, and thus the factional battles in the new Congress begin. Freedom Works instructs you to write, call or email your congressman and demand the speaker be retired! (Editor’s Note: A waste of time, since interns answer the phones, review emails and open letters, even writing replies. If you want to get your congressman to pay attention to you, you have to control votes or money, and preferably both. If you want to write, call or email, go right ahead, but don’t fool yourself. Until you’re organized, you’re nothing to them.) Next we have the ‘Restore America’ crowd. ‘Restore’ in this case means turning back the hands of time to 1950, everywhere in America. Uh…no thanks, there were no smart phones. Want to bet this will be Jeb Bush’s campaign slogan in 2016? What America needs isn’t ‘restoration’, but new ideas that meet the challenges of new technology and a world that doesn’t look anything like 1950. Now there is one place in the world where it is, in fact, still 1950. North Korea. Here’s a question; What if the Sony Hack wasn’t the work of North Korea’s ‘army’ of hackers? The FBI’s contention – and the President’s – is under fire from tech security companies. If it wasn’t the North Koreans and the President ordered a retaliation, this could be the first major Obama Screw Up of 2015. Stay tuned. Back home in the land of ten thousand lakes, and taxes, Minnesotans should prepare themselves for a gas tax increase. Democratic Governor Dayton has decided that while cheap gas acts ‘like a tax cut’, it just isn’t expensive enough for the dancing peasants, so we need an increase in the gas tax. Or something like that. Minnesotans need new trains, and bike trails and bridges are falling down, right? Not really, but it works every time. Meanwhile, Kurt Daudt, Republican Speaker of The House says there will be “give and take” this session. Sigh. And a final parting shot at ‘morning people’ and their arrogance. Nocturnal People Rule! Sponsored by X Government Cars, and Depotstar.  

Podcast 281

Live From The Living Room. There’s no plastic wrap on the furniture, but The Bob Davis Podcasts is live from the living room, updating you on the last few stories of 2014. No, there are no countdown lists, best of’s, worst of’s, rankings or other nonsense to tell you how ‘special’ 2014 was, in its final hours, as we head to the New Year’s this week. Remember all those sale price deals from Black Friday? With the Christmas season over, the returns begin. Retailers now take your return, put it in a box, and send it to an online liquidator, which sells it for pennies on the dollar. While retailers moan and groan about Internet sales, they continue to follow business and customer service models that seem like they’re from the 1980’s, let alone 21st century. Making customers traipse across town to find items they need now, offering discounts only after you send in the rebate, not having items in stock, and of course, not seeming to care when customers find the sweater they paid 150 dollars for on some online liquidator for 20 dollars. Did you watch Sony’s The Interview on You Tube? If you did, or tried to, you discovered the hoops you have to jump through to see it. Now iTunes will feature the ‘controversial’ and critically panned comedy about the assassination on North Korea’s ‘Leader’, Kim Jong Un, and you can rent it for 5.99. Wonder if Sony’s intention all along was to bypass the theaters to be able to release first run films to VOD? Jeb Bush as ‘surged’ to the ‘top’ of all potential Republicans candidates for the GOP presidential nomination in 2016, and here come the articles extolling his so called conservative virtues. Do we really have to ask whether Bush is conservative? Are Republicans going to fall for this trick again? (Editor’s Note: Probably? Yes.) What’s needed is a radical reduction in the scope, size, cost and power of all government. The new technologies want Low Entropy systems, and Government is one of the highest entropy systems known to man. Jeb Bush will not ‘make government work’ any more than Barack Obama did. And speaking of the President; Despite the departing Congress’ effort to remove funding for Obama’s immigration ‘executive memorandum’ on immigration, the White House is spending at least 50 million dollar to hire a thousand federal employees and set them up in a building near Washington to process all the illegals effected by the order. Yep. Don’t use existing bureaus because that might actually make sense. But don’t worry, Bush III will fix that. Finally, MSNBC acknowledged it has a terrible year (because it blows), and the network will begin offering digitally delivered programming, mostly sports. Bob Davis has already predicted the network will go all sports soon. Not only is the retail model ‘so 1999’, so is the model for talk radio, and cable television news services. Sponsored by Depotstar