Playing The Something Is Going To Happen Game-Podcast 644

You can already feel it. The long fourth of July weekend approaching. We’re starting to slow down. So, for the ride to the lake. During periods of rain. It’s fun to think about what might happen. In Playing The Something Is Going To Happen Game-Podcast 644.

Podcasts Have To Go Deeper

I podcast a lot about media’s role in our society. For a deeper look at angst listen to Podcast 643. We’re awash in media informing us of the latest developments. ‘Breaking News’ is the norm these days. Podcasters have to go deeper. We’ll do that in Playing The Something Is Going To Happen Game-Podcast 644.

The Next Black Swan Event Is…

Truth is, I do feel a growing sense that ‘something is going to happen’. A true ‘Black Swan’ event is something unpredictable. An event that changes the course of history. Black Swan events like the stock market crash of 1929 or the September 11th Terror Attacks were not predicted, although some might have had some forewarning. Some predicted the financial crisis of 2008, but on the whole, it was a surprise.

A Personal Story Of A Shocking and Unexpected Event

A recent example of an unpredictable event in my own life illustrates the kinds of changes we go through when things change, unexpectedly and unpredictably. Moreover in my experience a sense expectation can mean something good is about to happen too. Especially important and relevant is an expectation of a major event that changes history. This kind of expectation is a sense of foreboding.

Not The Latest Dispatch From Washington

In a broader sense our social angst is driven by constant coverage of breaking news and new opinions on every little thing that happens in a place called Washington DC. Playing the ‘Something Is Going To Happen’ game is not anticipating news out of Washington.

Making History

A true Black Swan event is something out of the so called left field. An event in the financial world. Something breaking loose from the sense of normalcy in the rest of the world. An unexpected and totally new development from the world of invention. An event that changes history.

We Don’t Change on A Dime…Or Do We?

We think of eras as decades. The 1950’s, the 1960’s, and so on. We think of changes taking place when governments transfer power. So, the Obama era gives way to the Trump era. Except that is not the way it works, Steve Jobs said what we think of as the 1960’s actually happened in the 1970’s. Events actually determine when we move from one era to the next.

To sum up, a new president took office in January. After a lot of chatter and fireworks, nothing substantial has really happened. The test of the new president hasn’t really emerged yet. Fertile ground for our imaginations to break free from the daily news feeds and imagine what could happen. Enjoy the July 4th holiday! (Editor’s Note: In This Podcast I refer to Nouriel Roubini as the person who coined the term ‘black swan’. It was in fact  Nassim Nicholas Taleb.)

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Playing The Something Is Going To Happen Game-Podcast 644

 

 

Dad Dog And Son Road Trip Meet Up-Podcast 635

Father and Son have taken many trips together over the years. We’ve crisscrossed the nation. Taken the train to ski out west. Gone to China and hit the highways out east. Father is storm chasing in North Eastern Oklahoma. Son is heading North East from California to New York, hauling an oversized U-Haul trailer with a little jeep. There’s a dog in the story too. In Dad Dog And Son Road Trip Meet Up-Podcast 635.

Two Different Road Trips Meet Up In Kansas

Used to ‘red balling’ it from the campaign trail, it’s a hop, skip and a jump from Miami, Oklahoma to Wichita Kansas. Taking a run across highway 133 all the way to 35 North, onto the Kansas left exit rest stops. I spent the night at Belle Plaine service plaza. Later in the day we figured out my son was emerging onto 35 from Kansas 400, about twenty miles north.

Meeting Up Ain’t So Easy

No problem! Back on the highway. Hauling ass for the next service area, north of Wichita. Towanda! This is where we met up in Dad Dog And Son Road Trip Meet Up-Podcast 635. Obviously when father and son get together there will be a podcast involved. And a dog. And some fast food.

Relaxed and Calm On The Road

Don’t worry I’m not missing any storms. Blue skies and sunshine out here in Kansas. Not a cloud in the sky. Being On The Road for any length of time changes my energy. I am much more relaxed and calm. More at home out here on the highways and interstates than when at home. A little bit of an energy mis-match between Andrew Davis and his father Bob Davis.

Lots of Content in This Podcast

Yes, he wants to talk about politics. We cover traveling with a dog that weighs about as much as me, and a giant U-Haul full of other people’s stuff. China’s history also comes up. The desire people seem to have these days to tear it all down. Andrew has concerns about losing our stability. That’s all it takes for dad to engage. And we’re off!

Son and Father Enjoy A Deep Connection

Discussions between us have always been this way, since he was a little kid. My favorite moment is when I ask him, “So you’ve traveled from California to Kansas and all you noticed is there are more trees?!”. We also talk about rural America’s trials and tribulations, how geographically large the United States actually is, and a lot more.

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Dad Dog And Son Road Trip Meet Up-Podcast 635

Market Goes Down Blame The Media-Podcast 631

Sudden scandal engulfs Washington. A one day market drop is blamed on media ‘persecution’ of the president. Is this possible? Can the media cause a drop in the markets? In Market Goes Down Blame The Media-Podcast 631.

Russia Was A Dead Issue. Then Trump fired Comey

Not too long ago we were talking about ACA repeal, Tax Reform and Foreign Policy. The only people talking about Russians and Trump were the former Democratic Presidential Candidate and the new chair of the Democratic National Committee. Then, Trump fired the FBI director. That put Russia and Putin back on the front burner.

Trump’s Twitter Feed and Political Mistakes

Now, we’re talking about the latest White House debacle. Not congressional progress on key economic issues. Seemingly, without warning, the market is down! It has to be the media’s fault! Right? We’ll talk about it in Market Goes Down Blame The Media-Podcast 631.

Why Invest?

Investors put their money in markets in the hopes of taking advantage of future growth. With the election of a business man as president, some investors were willing to bet on the future. Health Insurance and Tax Reform. A stronger US Foreign Policy. Less regulation. Progress on the kinds of economic legislation that seeds growth. Or at least that’s the story.

Things Aren’t Getting Better

Truth is, the US economy has been holding in place for nearly ten years. While the markets have been fueled by central banks buying securities and low interest rates, main street has been struggling. The business man president who was supposed to fix main street has done nothing but make speeches, sign executive orders and complain about the media coverage he’s getting. Meanwhile, 1st quarter US Growth was a mind-blowing .7 percent.

The US President Is Not A King

Fact is, the US Presidency is not a dictatorship. US presidents are answerable to congress, the courts and the law, not to mention state and local governments. The presidency itself is mainly a political office. To be effective and memorable, a president’s agenda has to be backed up with legislation. That means the president has to work with congress to get it done.

Rhetoric Doesn’t Work

President Trump has a lot of ideas. He talks about them all the time. Talk is cheap. There’s no action on Tax Reform, ACA Repeal, the Budget, Regulation Reform and trade. Why? Not because of the media. We have a president who likes to talk. He doesn’t like to lead congress to take action. In Market Goes Down Blame The Media-Podcast 631.

Republicans Don’t Want To Talk About Politics Anymore

In January most republicans were on top of all the latest developments in Washington and their new president. They were especially prickly about criticism of Trump. Suddenly they have other things to do. Don’t want to talk about politics. Given the obvious missteps by the president it’s easy to forgive the desire to blame the media for all that is wrong. This time though, the blame lies directly at the president’s door.

Money Talks…Bullshit Walks

Traders want action. Not talk. Investors don’t make decisions on today’s news stories or rhetoric from the president. They’re looking out into the future and investing in future growth. The top political leader in the United States is President Trump. He sits astride a republican White House, Senate and House. Yet, he hasn’t been able to get anything done. Maybe that’s why the markets are down.

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Market Goes Down Blame The Media-Podcast 631

 

 

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

 

 

 

When A Repeal Is Not A Repeal-Podcast 627

One issue above all others has been the driving force in Republican politics for the last seven years. Repeal ObamaCare. None of the candidates said anything about repeal and replace. When A Repeal Is Not A Repeal-Podcast 627 takes a raw view of the latest health care fiasco of the US Congress.

Promise Broken Again

President Trump and Republicans call The American Health Care Act of 2017 a victory.  HR 1628 keeps much of ObamaCare intact. There are still two hurdles. The bill has to pass the senate. The president has to sign it into law. Call it what you will but it is not a repeal of the ACA. This is what republican voters wanted. In When A Repeal Is Not A Repeal-Podcast 627.

Republican Entitlement

Many in politics and the media will argue what the American Health Care Act does and doesn’t do. One thing is for sure. If it passes the senate and is signed into law, the American Health Care Act anchors a new entitlement passed by congress in 2010 and makes republicans, not democrats responsible for it. In When A Repeal Is Not A Repeal-Podcast 627.

Those Who Endorsed Republicans Own It

Pundits and personalities cry, “If this is what happens why vote republican?”. Rather than endorsing and supporting republicans perhaps these personalities and other politicians should have been asking this question. A question that should have been on the lips of every republican for several cycles.

An economic Question

Commitments to Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Medicare Drug Benefits and now Health Insurance will eventually swamp the United States Budget. The government cannot grant its citizens anything. Whatever is ‘given’ must be paid for through taxation eventually. The biggest issue in governments whether they are local, state or federal is spending. Talk about it in When A Repeal Is Not A Repeal-Podcast 627.

Debt

The United States Federal Debt is more than 100 percent of its yearly GDP. The republican congress just passed another trillion dollar budget. State, federal and local governments employ over fifty percent of us. Public institutions have become major stakeholders in every political decision made.

Why Don’t They Ever Fix Anything

When government is so involved our personal lives, it’s personal. Every decision is politicized. Frustration and anger are the order of the day. Politicians solve problems by creating problems. We have an archaic and sclerotic government bureaucracy. Because the republicans failed to keep their promise to repeal the health insurance entitlement, the ‘health care debate’ will rage for the foreseeable future. In When A Repeal Is Not A Repeal-Podcast 627.

New Thinking

With government largesse comes oppression. Surveillance, policing and prisons. War. It’s time people consider a new political movement in this country to permanently remove the power of government over our lives.

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When A Repeal Is Not A Repeal-Podcast 627

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.

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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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The Strange Case of Susan Rice and Other Mysteries-Podcast 619

Different Mysteries Left and Right

Susan Rice is the leaker. A political Flack. Running an operation to discredit the new president before he took office. Rice is at least guilty of a felony. At least that’s the story the right wing commentators are telling. In The Strange Case of Susan Rice and Other Mysteries-Podcast 619.

On the left it’s a different story. National security became a top concern after someone hacked the DNC computers. The Russians did it. The Russians did it because Trump did some kind of back room deal.

Opinion Is Not News

In America’s increasingly partisan media most people only want their beliefs confirmed. There’s no chance a political point of view different from my own can be right. Is there? A sea of information. Where opinion masquerades as fact and personalities beat the drums. We’re supposed to dance to their rhythm.

We Know Nothing…yet

Real Facts? In The Strange Case of Susan Rice and Other Mysteries-Podcast 619 we’ll see there are few facts. Russians hacking the DNC? Not so fast. Trump making deals behind the scenes with Putin? Obama ordering illegal surveillance of a president elect? Maybe. Maybe not.

Tin Foil Hats Anyone?

Evidence supporting claims of the right and left in this case is thin. All of it has the classic elements of conspiracy theory. So we’ll take a moment in The Strange Case of Susan Rice and Other Mysteries-Podcast 619 to detail the known facts. You can draw your own conclusions. Mystery lovers beware though. We’re along way from wrapping this one up in the final chapter.

Basic Framework

Is Susan Rice a political operative? What is the legal framework regarding National Security Agency intercepts. Why did the Trump administration leak NSA documents to a congressmen? What provoked the president to tweet he was ‘wiretapped’ in the first place? Is there a difference between a wiretap and an NSA intercept? Who gets to see intercepts? What are the significant legal justifications for executive orders in 2011 and 2017 allowing sharing in the first place. Lots of questions.

Where There’s Smoke

One thing is true. The dust kicked up by the Susan Rice story obscures real developments. North Korean Missiles. Syrian chemical weapons. Congressional action on the ACA, Tax Reform and Immigration. We’ll talk about it in The Strange Case of Susan Rice and Other Mysteries-Podcast 619.

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Draining The Swamp Harder Than Originally Thought-Podcast 617

When You’re Up To Your Ass In Alligators It’s Hard To Remember Your Original Objective Was To Drain The Swamp. The president has turned Freedom Caucus supporters into enemies. Republicans learn governing without principle is tough. In Draining The Swamp Harder Than Originally Thought-Podcast 617.

Republican Division Caused By The Left?

If you want to know the truth, so the saying goes, don’t have an opinion. Some republicans believe their division is caused by the political left.  What’s dividing republicans is a lack of adherence to principle.

Drinking From A Poisoned Well

One of the lines from the “Rime Of The Ancient Mariner” is, “Water Water, everywhere, nor any drop to drink”. The republican ship sits in a becalmed salt water sea, unable to drink, dying of thirst. Surrounded by a sea of information. Dying from a lack of wisdom. Talk about it in Draining The Swamp Harder Than Originally Thought-Podcast 617.

Details Details

North Korea? Budgets? Policy? Subsides? Federal Agencies and what they do? Foreign Relations? Whatever. Drain the swamp and call me when it’s over.

Goals and Principles

What is the goal of the modern republican party? Populism? I’ll tell you why the media’s term for republicans these says is more poison. What are the principles of the GOP these days? Why did you vote? Was there a reason behind why you got involved in politics in the first place?

House Divided

A political party that follows too many threads and calls them ‘principles’ is a party that can easily be divided. Churchill saved the west with one idea in mind. Never Give Up.

Controlling Means of Production

It seems like America is living in a socialist construct. Republicans and Democrats have consistently voted for community control through direct ownership or regulation of the means of production. Yes, Republicans and Democrats have built and empowered the surveillance state, conducted the wars, added regulations, let out the contracts.

Dependency

These days, dependence on the state isn’t just for the urban poor. Corporations and individuals are widely dependent on the government for all kinds of payments, contracts, subsidies and opportunities.

Freedom Isn’t Free

Freedom is a radical idea. We have less and less of it these days. If you want a party that promotes freedom more is required of you than repeating slogans and wearing hats. Freedom asks more than supporting a personality. Join me in Draining The Swamp Harder Than Originally Thought-Podcast 617.

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Podcast 614-Trump and Republican Colossal Fail On ACA Repeal

In Podcast 614-Trump and Republican Colossal Fail On ACA Repeal, everything comes to an end. True in life. True in politics. Voters sent Republicans and Donald Trump to Washington in 2016. One of if not the most important issues was repealing Obama Care. On Friday, March 24th 2016 the president and the republican party made a colossal mistake and broke a major campaign promise to voters.

A Waterloo. A Donnybrook

An ill-conceived ‘repeal and replace’ bill never made it to the floor of the House for a vote. First the President blamed this donnybrook on the republican Freedom Caucus. Ultimately Trump blamed democrats. Blame anyone or anything. Never yourself. Now the president says he will court democrats. My reaction in Podcast 614-Trump and Republican Colossal Fail On ACA Repeal.

They’re not listening

The republican rank and file suddenly wonders what happened. Fed a steady stream of fairy tales from the right wing media they thought President Trump had one of the most effective and productive first 100 days in history. What happened? A new president who claimed the government should be run like a business was taught a very important lesson. The United States Federal government is most decidedly not a business. Find out why in Podcast 614-Trump and Republican Colossal Fail On ACA Repeal.

Rich Moderate Businessmen Rule

Members of Congress and the Senate have their own ideas about things. Members of Congress and the Senate do not work for the President. The president does not tell members what to do. Rather than lobby effectively, president bluster spent the days leading up to the vote blowing the horn of a semi tractor and bellowing to the press he was a team player. Except when he isn’t.

Is The GOP dying?

This podcaster made three predictions before the election. First, that New York Developer Donald Trump could win the presidency. Second, that an Obama Care repeal would not pass. Third, Trump would destroy the republican party. Two of those predictions have now come true. The third depends on what republican voters do now.

They’re Not Listening

Why don’t they do what we tell them, they cry. The fact is republican congressmen and senators cannot rely on any kind of support structure from the rank and file or grassroots republican rank and file. They don’t do what ‘you’ tell them to do because ‘you’ don’t do anything. A party founded on principle today has no principle and no rudder. What controls the republican party? Rich businessmen who support moderate religious republicans.

Suddenly Trump’s a Democrat?

Whether you’re talking about the US Congress or the ‘republican’ Minnesota legislature, you vote one way, and you get something completely different. Now you have a ‘republican-populist’ president ready to make common cause with the progressive democratic party because he’s miffed at the Freedom Caucus? Principle. There’s that nasty little word again. Let’s talk about it in Podcast 614-Trump and Republican Colossal Fail On ACA Repeal.

It’s A New Day When YOU Say

Find out what you need to do to actually make these politicians do what you want. It’s not pretty. It’s not fun saying it. The failure to repeal the ACA is a political mistake of titanic proportions. It will go down in history along side ‘Read My Lips’ and the Isolationist republicans before World War II. All things must pass. Maybe its time for a new day to dawn.

Time to look to ourselves rather than personalities. In Podcast 614-Trump and Republican Colossal Fail On ACA Repeal.

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