Podcast 579-Internet Censorship. The news media has a new story-line. Fake News Elected Donald Trump. We have to do something about fake news. It amounts to is censorship of the Internet. A violation of the right to free speech guaranteed by the US Constitution’s first amendment at least in spirt. What IS Fake News? I think of Fake News as False Narratives. Story lines seeded by politicians and corporate PR people. Narratives that are picked up and reported on by journalists who take down quotes for their stories rather than investigate and report. These story lines are picked up by more journalists who quote talking heads. Commentators commentate, more quotes and more stories until the narrative outlives its usefulness and then the whole thing starts over. Examples include explanations of why Trump won the election including, ‘Women voted for Trump instead of Hillary’. Another was the reporting on ‘What the Polls showed’ which usually meant Clinton was supposed to win. Facts in both cases debunked these claims. The definition of ‘Fake News’ we’re actually dealing with now are false stories presented as fact. You see them on You Tube, FaceBook and Twitter. But they are picked up by websites like Breitbart or Huffington Post if they fit a narrative. Since ‘fake news’ elected ‘a person like Trump’, Clinton backers are demanding social media and search engine companies like FaceBook and Google ‘do something about fake news’. In Podcast 579-Internet Censorship, we spend a little time explaining the American Political system, specifically the Electoral College. This explains how Donald Trump was able to eke out an electoral victory in key states, as well as a solid victory among the voters of Ohio, which gave him a victory in the presidential contest, regardless of popular vote totals, fair and square. There is virtually no evidence fake news had anything to do with these tight victories. If Clinton’s voters had actually voted in those states we’d be talking about a Clinton transition and Trump would be on a beach in the Caribbean somewhere. Despite the fact that Clinton has been a proponent of doing away with the electoral college for years, suddenly the hoary old institution is her best friend. We don’t know if anyone voted for Trump based on the Pizza Gate story, we can’t and we won’t. That doesn’t stop the left from putting immense pressure on FaceBook, the supposed culprit here in publishing so called fake news. What does Mark Zuckerberg the head of FaceBook do? He caves. A second story making the rounds in the alt-right community with headlines like, “We told you so” says they’re already censoring the Internet. Finally there have long been discussions in the national security and foreign policy community regarding censoring Islamic Jihad sites that radicalize followers. All three of these stories are being conflated right now online as though some imminent threat to free speech exists. Is there? Or are these companies simply formalizing procedures to suppress violent or illegal content that has been part of their service agreements? As a content creator the idea of ‘warning labels’ is chilling. The idea of some kind of algorithm to be defeated is chilling. That said, wouldn’t such procedures invite work arounds? Wouldn’t censorship invite efforts to defeat algorithms? Personally I don’t concern myself with speech control in countries that don’t have guarantees of free speech. I do care about attempts to limit speech in the United States where free speech is THE cornerstone of a successful representative republic and is constitutionally guaranteed in the first amendment. You can’t stop things you don’t agree with. As a content provider, this concerns me. Sponsored by X Government Cars and by Hydrus Performance.
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 570-Election 2016 Results. Comprehensive analysis and minute by minute vote totals for Election 2016. How do podcasters cover presidential elections in real time without being live on the air, and without streaming? Podcast 570-Election 2016 Results shows you how. Follow along as I experience the election in real time on November 8th, 2016. The world seems surprised at news that Donald J. Trump has won the presidential election in The United States. Podcast 570 and Podcast 569 are meant to be listened to as companion podcasts. Since I did not endorse either candidate, I was able to provide objective analysis and experience the race objectively. Podcast 569 broke down the final poll data for the state by state races, avoiding any analysis of the national presidential preference polls. This minimized the surprise for anyone subscribing to the Bob Davis Podcasts, because you already knew no one could comfortably call this race. That did not stop the charlatans in talk radio, cable news and on line from attaching probabilities, or calling the race for one or the other. Not only was this race surprising overall, it was surprising on the state by state level. For the most part though, the state by state polls were either close to the totals in some cases, or within the margin of error. The US election is a state by state election, with the electoral college actually choosing the president on or about the 15th of December. In this hour plus long podcast I’m joined by friends, and family on the phone as well as a late night visit from local Minnesota Politico and web developer Mitch Rossow. At the close of this podcast we’re still waiting for Michigan and Minnesota returns to come in. I’ll have to update those on the next podcast. With Republicans retaining the Senate and the House majorities, and now winning the Presidency, now it is a question of the way forward. We’ll be talking about these issues and more on future podcasts. Pundits like to say the country is divided. What they might say is we can now agree on one thing. The worst election in recent memory is now, mercifully, over. And, tomorrow is another day, after all. Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating and X Government Cars.
Podcast 569-Final State by State Round Up. Where the state polls stand for presidential candidates right before election day 2016. This podcast does not endorse a candidate. I will not make you feel good or bad about your vote, or non vote. I will not attach ‘indexes’ and ‘percentage probabilities’ to potential wins or losses for the candidates. In Podcast 569-Final State by State Round Up, how candidates fare in each of the states according to existing polls. Partisan and advocacy journalists don’t provide insight on survey research. I do. What you’re getting from the cable news channels and advocacy news ‘websites’ are charlatans pushing their point of view. Fact is, no one knows how the election will play out in any of the so called battleground states. That’s because despite all the best effort, even the best political researchers are challenged to determine who is actually going to show up to vote especially when the polls show a close vote, within the margins of error. Elections are made on who votes. Not the number of signs. Not the number of people who show up at rallies. Not who ran the best TV spots. It’s all about getting the vote out. Once the vote is in, it’s all about counting. Is the election rigged? In a sense, yes. The United States is a representative republic which elects its executive not by the popular vote but through an institution known as the Electoral College. Some states’ electoral slates are proportionally chosen. Some states select electoral slates by party. The electors themselves have already been chosen. They will actually select the President of the United States on December 15th, 2016. In some states the popular vote determines how the electors are ‘supposed’ to vote. In some states it depends on which party’s candidate wins the overall vote. No so called ‘rogue elector‘ has ever been prosecuted for voting outside the state statute guidelines. In the event of an electoral tie, the election will be decided by the US House of Representatives. One thing is true, the republicans are the ones talking about ‘rigged’ elections right now, but if Donald Trump wins the presidency they’ll stop talking about that immediately and the democrats will start talking about things being ‘rigged’. The only thing coverage of these kinds of conspiracies do is reduce the faith Americans and the rest of the world has in the electoral process. In reality, ‘rigging’ a national election is a difficult task, despite what movies and conspiracy theorists say. If you are concerned about your candidate winning the election, the best thing you can do is turn off the TV and get out and help them win by driving people to the polls or making last minute calls, poll watching, or if you’re qualified, volunteering as an election judge. Thankfully we’ll be looking at election night results in the next podcast. Sponsored by Hydrus Performance and Brush Studio, in the West End, Saint Louis Park.
Podcast 560-Bob Davis Podcasts Radio Show-48. Live from Garberville, California which I keep referring to as Gerberville in the radio show, so my apologies to the people of Garberville. Coming down out of the mountains in heavy, driving rain for three days will turn your brain to mush. Podcast 560-Bob Davis Podcasts Radio Show-48 is live with brand new content for podcast subscribers. When traveling you have to make adjustments as long trips begin to take on a life of their own. There’s a life lesson there. Maybe there’s a political lesson too. 2016’s presidential campaign has taken on a surreal life of its own. We will be left to pick up the pieces. GOP leadership could have allowed a floor fight in Cleveland which might have yielded better national candidates, but the establishment instead chose power over principle. Has the Republican Party lost its moorings? Is it breaking up on the rocks? You’re supposed to be loyal and vote for Trump so Hillary Clinton doesn’t appoint liberal supreme court justices. Really? Reagan appointed Justice Kennedy and George W. Bush appointed Chief Justice Roberts. Roberts opened the constitutional gate for ObamaCare. Should Trump win the presidency, with the possibility of a democrat senate, nominating judges who pass the ‘conservative litmus test’ will be increasingly difficult. I think the right has lost its reason and its ability to make the powerful economic arguments that used to make it attractive to the middle class. With a morally bankrupt leadership that can’t decide whether to endorse, withdraw endorsement, endorse again or just tell people to vote for Trump ‘because, you know…’ that is pretty much all she wrote for the Grand Old Party. The question is whether the republican rank and file, drunk on rhetorical arguments for every issue, will be able to do the hard work necessary to build a new party. Meanwhile, the GOP is losing women, and struggles to attract younger or minority voters. This show only scratches the surface of how sad it is to watch an old friend die of a terminal disease. Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul.[powepress]
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.
Hillary’s 911. Finally the mainstream media is picking apart the vagaries of the Clinton response to her health scare in New York on September 11th, 2016. After months of harping on the republicans with Trump this and Trump that, suddenly the former Secretary of State is the lead story, and it is not flattering. After Democratic Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton had to leave a 9/11 memorial event, and collapsed on the street before she got into a van, every news source, advocacy media, You Tube Video, Podcaster, and blogger including yours truly, is speculating on what her problem might be. The answer? No one knows. No one knows no matter what they tell you. No one will know whether Hillary Clinton becomes President, or loses the race to Donald Trump. In the short term the video from this weekend is damaging enough that one would expect future polls – state by state polls – might dip in favor of Donald Trump. On the other hand, don’t count your chickens Trump supporters. First, there’s always the sympathy vote, and second democrats might conclude that Clinton would make a better president on her worst day than Trump on his best. In a race characterized by high negatives, the two worst presidential candidates in a long time continue a comedy of errors, lurching from one rhetorical flourish to another, up to and including Clinton’s latest health scare. Either way, voters will have to make a choice in November to vote for one of the mainline candidates – unless she drops out and don’t count on that – or one of the so called independent candidates. Meanwhile speculation continues with social media denizens and yes, conspiracy theorists armchair and otherwise, telling you she’s an alien, suffering from Parkinson’s Disease, a cancer victim, a stroke victim, a victim of brain damage and anything else that can be ‘proven’ by slow motion video, short cuts of her responses to question, speeches on the campaign trail and whatever people can get their hands on. None of it proves anything other than, we don’t know. We won’t know in the near future and we may never know. We’re still going to have to vote. As predicted the democrats have trotted out pictures of FDR in a wheel chair, campaign staff are crying ‘mea culpa’ in response to questions about who knew what and why the media wasn’t told about ‘pneumonia’ and on and on. Yep. Hillary’s 911. All Hillary All The Time. One more necessary breaking news political podcast in this worst-election-in-memory-and-maybe-in-all-history podcast. Sponsored by Brush Studio at the West End and Ryan Plumbing and Heating 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.
Podcast 524. Unbound. As we prepare for the first big trip of the summer in Mobile Podcast Command, some thoughts on the eve of departure. In an old-school-walk-and-talk Podcast 524. Unbound. Suddenly a new word enters the political lexicon on the right. “Unbound”. The word has implications in life as well. For this trip the destination is Cleveland, for the Republican National Convention, which starts on July 18th, or thereabouts. With no media credentials, I won’t be getting through a steel wall erected around the venue, or through the phalanx of security creating a virtual green zone which insulates convention goers from the rest of the great unwashed. But, I think the real story – at least the real human interest story – will be in the streets at Cleveland. Family members, friends and neighbors are all telling me, “There will be riots”. Maybe. Maybe not. The best news? A little detour on the way to Cleveland. We’ll head up 35, through Duluth, cut across Northern Wisconsin to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, then head down the ‘east coast’ of The Great Lakes State, down through Hitsville U.S.A, Motor City, better known as Detroit, onto Cleveland. A summer tour of the industrial heartland of the United States going back more than a hundred years. After some discussion of automotive preparations for Mobile Podcast Command, as we green light this latest adventure, the RNC is on the verge of attempting to nominate some other candidate than the one millions of voters in state primaries and caucuses voted for. The word is ‘unbound’. It’s the name of a movement within the Republican party to ‘go rogue’ at the convention to stop Trump. My sources tell me they have the votes to block a first ballot nomination. Will the party allow Rule 16 to sunset? It’s still a very good possibility the establishment is waiting in the wings for an insurgent group to upset the apple cart, so they can present a so called ‘unity’ ticket. Wonder what the Trump supporters in the street will say to that? Sponsored by X Government Cars and Brush Studio.
Skyfall. Last week’s vote by Britain to exit the European Zone provoked some of the most hysterical media coverage of an international news story I’ve seen in a long time. To begin with, there was little detailed coverage before the vote. Things we would need to know after the vote, like whether it was binding, how long it would take to negotiate an exit, what trade agreements might be effected, the defense agreements Britain has with other nations, the economic condition of the EU, Britain’s economic contribution to the EU in general, the percentage of the UK’s GDP accounted for in European Trade and so on. Then there is the issue of the world media being ‘on board’ with the remain vote, or at the very least reporting the story line that ‘leave’ would not pass. Consequently, no one was more surprised by a leave vote victory than the perfumed princes sitting in their air conditioned studios. If Skyfall was the fictional last resort of the embattled James Bond in the movie of the same name, watching anchors and pundits tear their hair out, one would think England is heading to Skyfall as we speak! Perhaps the EU’s unelected ‘leaders’ should be the ones heading to Skyfall. ‘Markets Crash’, the media moaned. From a distance, one might be forgiven for believing ‘The End Of The World’ is indeed near. Better head to Skyfall as a last resort! All is lost. The Leave Victory has jostled the carefully constructed ‘citizen of the world’ senses of a younger generation that apparently does not know the world existed before the EU. Well, the truth is the markets will regain their composure. In fact the British Pound recovered to pre-vote levels the Friday after the vote. It’s a tough thing to hear, but the EU has had problems for some time now, specifically the EURO, as southern Europe’s spendthrift policies have led them to demand relief from Northern Europe. Add to that trouble with the ECB, unpopular regulation and a failure to do anything about the Syrian refugee problem, and one wonders whether the EU hadn’t better clean up its act. Maybe Merry Old England delivered a slap in the face to the velvet suited technocrats, so they would go about getting their proverbial act together. Yes, there are real concerns going forward; What trade deals have to be renegotiated? While defense pacts like NATO really aren’t subject to EU control, there are concerns about defense issues and what about the idea of a strong European Community to foster cooperation and peace, to serve as a counterweight to an expansionist Russia, as well as China. There’s a lot to be worked out, but it isn’t the end of the world. The fact is, we are entering a new time, a new day, with new ideas and concerns. People may not have the language to describe their discontent and even disgust with over controlling governments, the edicts of unelected technocrats who spite ‘the great unwashed’, at their peril. When the winds of change blow, electorates have a funny habit of unpredictably lowering the boom on the haughty and confident. A new day indeed. Sponsored by Karow Contracting and Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul.