Trump-Russia-Comments-Media Firestorm-Bob Davis Podcast 739

President Trump’s comments with Russian President Putin in Helsinki this week kicked off a media firestorm. With stories like this it’s hard to tell which end is up, these days. We’ll talk about it in Trump-Russia-Comments-Media Firestorm-Bob Davis Podcast 739.

A Disaster For The White House

Everything was going “so well” until the President went to Helsinki, Finland to talk to Russian President Putin.

Most noteworthy were comments from Trump that contradicted US intelligence assessments saying Russia interfered in the 2016 election.

Treason?

Were Trump’s comments a mistake or intentional?

Do they constitute ‘treason’? Really?

When You Have To Say Something…

As a podcaster I do not envy people who have to be on the air everyday and react to these kinds of breaking stories. When a president as unpredictable as this one makes news with every tweet and comment what does one say?

When Press Conferences Go Bad

It’s especially relevant to note the Trump-Putin summit did not result in any signed agreements. There was a cordial discussion. It was the joint press conference that kicked off a media rampage of truly biblical proportion in the US. It certainly didn’t help that Trump was unprepared, and proud of it.

We’ll break it down in Trump-Russia-Comments-Media Firestorm-Bob Davis Podcast 739.

Telling Us What To Think

Moreover critics and supporters are busy telling all of us what to think and what will happen next. Either Trump’s a genius or a fool. He’s getting a second term or will be impeached. Academics write several hundred words supporting the so called ‘resistance’ or articulating the president’s policy for him.

Everyone On TV or Radio Is An Expert

Everything Trump does has ‘never been done before’. Former government officials are trotted out to tell us how this is the worst thing that has ever happened. Smarty Pants Professors tell us what Abe Lincoln or Woodrow Wilson would have done.

Now What?

In conclusion, are people really going to take to the streets because Trump upset the Mueller applecart in Helsinki? Is Trump in the process of destroying the Republican party? Are democrats doing the same thing on the left, by attacking everything the president does? Let’s talk about it.

(Editor’s Note: At the beginning of this podcast I say, “until Trump went to Russia”. Of course this is a joke. The president went to Helsinki, Finland for his bilateral meeting with Russian President Putin.)

Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul and Reliafund Payment Processors

Trump-Russia-Comments-Media Firestorm-Bob Davis Podcast 739


 

 

Will 1968 Unrest Shockwaves Echo In 2018-Podcast 670

Every now and then it’s necessary to break it down. Why does a long time political observer and analyst find it more difficult to talk about politics these days? In Will 1968 Unrest Shockwaves Echo In 2018-Podcast 670.

Rhetorical Partisans

Some say the US hasn’t been this politically divided since 1968. At least in 1968 we were fighting about specific issues. It seems to me we’re fighting over a person in the present time frame.

Demanding Loyalty

Attack Trump. Defend Trump. At any cost. Ideas and principles aren’t important. Commentators are running for office, under the employ of some partisan organization, or supporting a person or point of view. Will 1968 Unrest Shockwaves Echo In 2018-Podcast 670.

Garbage In Garbage Out

Social media, the Internet and so called news sites spew a constant stream of invective, misinformation and outright lies. They are so busy predicting the future they put Tarot Card Readers and Astrologists to shame.

Read It and Weep

Denying our freedom to choose what we think about an issue based on facts, in the quest to demand loyalty is the height of folly. In Will 1968 Unrest Shockwaves Echo In 2018-Podcast 670. We end up shouting at each other; partisan mobs, not an informed electorate.

Sponsored by Reliafund and Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul

Will 1968 Unrest Shockwaves Echo In 2018-Podcast 670

 

Podcast 608-Political Talk Gets Harder Every Day For Me

Can We Have The Room?

Time to clear the air. It’s getting harder to talk politics every day. On the heels of a presidential address to a joint session of congress things seemed to calm down. Then President Trump tweeted from his rooms at Mar A Lago. Trump alleges President Obama spied on him at Trump Tower. Suddenly it’s the end of the world. We’ll talk about it in Podcast 608-Political Talk Gets Harder Every Day For Me

During the election Republicans told everyone they would repeal Obama Care. Now suddenly ‘conservatives’ like Charles Krauthammer are telling people attempts by some republicans to repeal an entitlement are bad because “you can’t repeal an entitlement“. Isn’t that why people voted for republicans? In Podcast 608-Political Talk Gets Harder Every Day For Me.

Parallel Universe

We live side by side. Speak the same language. Shop the same stores. However, we live in different countries. Use completely different information sources. Believe completely different histories. Listen. Read. Watch only things we agree with. Tumult. Confusion. Frustration. We’re told what will happen not given news. News is a recitation of facts about things which have happened. Not a recitation of predictions about what’s going to happen.

Proof In The Pudding

People getting their jobs back at the factory? Economic growth at 4 percent? Respect for the United States across the world? Draining the Swamp? Making America Great. Again? Time will tell. In Podcast 608-Political Talk Gets Harder Every Day For Me.

Digging In

Wanna talk politics? Dig in. Help your audience dig in. Pick your poison. Dictator. Fascist. Racist. Or, Great Man. Elected by a landslide. Keeper of a mandate. A revolution. That’s not politics. Not discussion of policy with an open mind. This is riding on a train. North. South. East. West. Pick a track.

Cowards

I don’t like any of them. They’re all cowards. Doesn’t matter if there’s an R or a D in front of their name. Say one thing. Do another. Demand the media defend them. Demand the people defend them. Pass more laws impossible to understand or debate. Engage in one intrigue after another. Another investigation. Trial. Debate. Protest. Outrage. Rinse and repeat. In Podcast 608-Political Talk Gets Harder Every Day For Me.

Advancing The Story

Hard out here for a Podcaster. Best thing. One on one talks. Challenge. Try to make sense out of it all. Grow our thinking. Enjoyed our one on one. Ok you guys. You can have the room back.

Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul.

Podcast 595-Money

Money and Controlling the Media Battle Space

Money. Money. Money! Everything the new President says and does is controversial. The latest eruption concerns Trump’s executive order regarding immigrants from several war-torn countries in the middle east region. A handful of court rulings challenging the order are centered on whether due process can be denied people allowed into the United States legally. The court rulings do not suggest the President cannot use executive orders to control departments in the executive branch but whether if the executive orders deny legal rights without due process.

This is just another in a series of actions and comments by President Trump and his administration that have received wide comment and coverage in the media. While protesters protest and media outlets gas-bag about the latest affront to society, Trump and his people throw another rock into the lake creating new ripples that have to be protested against and reacted to by the already too reactive media. This is a tactic or strategy known as an OODA Loop. Trump is forcing the media and his opponents to react to him. When they react his team observes their reaction, decides on a new initiative and then acts, restarting the loop. In this way the administration controls the media battle space.

About the Money

In Podcast 595-Money: When it comes to Money, once the initial spate of executive orders and stunts at press conferences passes, Congress and the President will get down to work on legislative initiatives to address the moribund economy of the United States. Podcast 595-Money wonders whether what has been talked about by this president on the campaign trail and in the media will indeed, make America Great Again.

No Growth

The United States has grown less than 3 percent a year roughly for the last eight years. Those old enough to remember the early 80’s know that the experience of robust economic growth in that era was real. People didn’t worry so much about getting jobs. As inflation came under control and interest rates came down and as unemployment started to come down, optimism took hold. We have not had that kind of feeling in the United States for a long time.

The question is whether the things Trump wants to do will actually produce economic growth. Middle Class taxes are already historically low. Cutting corporate taxes may result in higher profits which is good for Wall Street but may not translate to jobs. Some parts of clearing out the thicket of Federal Regulations can be done by executive order but most of it will require congressional action. Will a Trillion Dollar Stimulus package to build roads and bridges spur economic growth?

A Republican Stimulus?

President Obama’s Trillion Dollar stimulus was supposed to stimulate economic growth and didn’t. Part of the problem with big federal stimulus efforts is the money has to be block granted to states and the spending becomes political. Another issue is the fact that most people in the United States are employed in services rather than construction trade. Aside from the fact that government spending doesn’t ‘create’ jobs, putting people to work in a small swath of the population usually doesn’t result in a high multiple. This is why the Obama Stimulus produced dubious results.

Another problem is Trump’s Trade Protectionist sentiments. While the trade unions love the idea generally the United States has been a free trade nation. Trade agreements are negotiated because most of our trading partners are trade protectionists. The agreements generally break down borders to our trade. The fact certain kinds of manufacturing is cheaper in Latin America and Asia has actually benefited Americans in the form of cheaper goods. Putting up barriers to manufacturing overseas also means goods in the US will become more expensive.

Most of the jobs lost in the last decade or so have been lost due to information technology, robotics and automation. New manufacturing plants are much more automated these days which means they will not produce the manufacturing jobs expected. When one considers completely automated warehouses like Amazon’s and robotic manufacturing like Elon Musk’s showplace plant, don’t expect ‘bringing manufacturing back to the United States’ means jobs at the factory for Uncle Mike.

If you believe the economy is the sum total of individual’s transactions then an economy can be considered a force of nature. This is the first time in recent memory a ‘conservative’ president has endorsed trade protection and big government spending. Two of the biggest problems economically in the United States are the ongoing budget deficits and the total public debt. One wonders how the cornerstones of the Trump economic policy will produce enough growth to reduce the deficits and public debt.

Finally in Podcast 595-Money, the proof will be in the pudding. With all the other controversies swirling around this president after just two weeks if his policies fail to produce the promised economic growth republicans will have real problems in the 2018 and perhaps the 2020 cycles, especially for the politicians that endorsed Trump. Be careful what you pray for.

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

 

Podcast 593-Surreal Weekend

Surreal Weekend

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

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

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

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

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

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

Something Wicked This Way Comes

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

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

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

We’ll see.

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

Sponsored by Brush Studio in the West End.

 

 

Podcast 536

Podcast 536-Midnight Thoughts. Back in the studio after a long road trip. The excitement of travel gives way to scanning the news and wondering what to talk about in this podcast. Hence, Podcast 536-Midnight Thoughts. Midnight Random thoughts perhaps? But. No. Specific observations about the role of podcasting and transcending the nonsense in day to day politics. In fact the more I talk about politics the more I feel physically revolted by it and physically almost unable to talk about it. Why? Because what is going on distracts and obscures. Our politics in the United States no longer enlightens and illuminates. Our politics is no longer a soaring bird, but a slithering ‘thing’ down in the mud and dirt and grime. It’s depressing, boring, frightening and at the same time ridiculous. While I have not lost my passion and interest in what is going on politically, I find more people inexplicably joining tribes committed to convincing those in the opposing tribes with one ridiculous argument after another, spitting out what has been drummed into them hour after hour from social media, 24 hour cable TV news, talk radio and so on. Not wanting to harp on those same themes, all I can say is it is truly Orwellian; like there really is a little man behind a curtain pulling on levers. For me, the antidote to all this is travel; actually witnessing events. When you see it go down ‘for real’, you realize many things you see and hear are designed for video. The protests at the conventions? If you were there you had to go find them because you could hardly tell they were happening. The guy climbing Trump Tower in New York? If you were on Wall Street, or on the subway, or in the Bronx you didn’t even know it was happening. Did it? Did it mean anything? What’s important? I think it’s a the conversation podcasters have with their listener/subscribers one on one, based on the inner thoughts we share. It’s one of the things podcasting can do that radio doesn’t do anymore. Maybe the best thing we can do is provide a venue that helps you have that conversation. The news these days seems more like greek theater and less like, well news. Reporting on events, gathering facts and making observations based on those facts. You all know this, because I talk about it too much. I realized while traveling and while thinking about this podcast tonight that so much of what is happening in 2016, I’ve already done detailed podcasts about. For example, podcasts about the death of the conservative ‘movement’  over the years, and we’re just starting to see people write and talk about it. So, use the search window to listen to those podcasts. Meanwhile, the travel podcasts, the podcasts reporting on breaking local news, the podcasts about deeply felt emotions are the ones that resonate with me and hopefully with you. Finally, all this feels like its leading up to something; some big thing that is epoch changing, and you know, historically pivotal. Something we’ll talk about for decades after. As the rain comes down, it’s fun to be back in the studio and talk it out. Sponsored by Karow Contracting and Hydrus.

Podcast 527

RNC Dies At Cleveland? Day One of the Republican National Convention. While the mainstream media covers the convention from inside, The Bob Davis Podcasts is on the streets outside Quicken Arena. Some insiders would agree with the headline; RNC Dies At Cleveland. Some are actually saying that a rules fight that resulted in a few walkouts signals the end of the grassroots movement in republican politics, and certainly the end of something once known as a ‘principled’ conservative. While pundits point to a platform they say is the most conservative in history they ignore rule changes that give the RNC complete control over future conventions. The takeaway? No more Ron Paul insurgencies and no more Ted Cruz and evangelist grassroots movements. While the chance always existed for the Republican Establishment to join forces with the grassroots movements to ‘Dump Trump’, instead the establishment joined forces with the Trump campaign. In the end, the grassroots are out. Permanently. As some republicans – including various state party officials – cracked under the pressure of hard ball politics, it’s the same old story with republicans. Why rock the boat? Why make a spectacle of yourself and your state for the media? While there’s talk of a walkout, with each passing moment, the majority of the GOP, passive to the core, will go along to get along. Some see this outcome as necessary to unify the party for victory. Others see it as the death of the grassroots movement in republican politics, and the republican party. Outside the exclusion zone around the convention venue, delegates and politicos taking a break mixed with Cleveland’s downtown workers, and street people milling around bars and restaurants. It was a street fair featuring network TV studios and bloviating rather than kielbasa. Hit the streets with the Bob Davis Podcasts, starting with a woman who lives on the streets giving her analysis of the political situation, moving onto a protest, plus Blaze Correspondent Mike Opelka and more. Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating and Hydrus Performance.

New Thinking Part II – Podcast 453

New Thinking Part II. Tyranny of The State? Browsing through today’s headlines yields a mix of factional outrage and emotion. Whether it’s the President issuing executive orders to ‘end’ mass shootings, or activist ranchers from Nevada showing up in Oregon to occupy a federal wildlife facility, or the UK parliament debating whether to ‘keep Donald Trump out’, it seems like the political world has gone crazy. With more and more people doing anything and everything to get on TV, or get clicks, eyeballs, ears, or supporters to show up at controlled events, one wonders whether the proverbial mob, feared most by the founders, has finally reared its ugly head. The second installment of the Bob Davis Podcast series ‘New Thinking’ looks at the desire factions seem to have to coerce ‘someone’ to ‘do something’ and the hypocrisy implicit in those demands. More ‘action’ these days is being taken by courts, unelected councils and boards controlling huge sums of money, their own police forces, are issuing edicts local towns and villages have to comply with. Local princes hold councils, in secret and behind closed doors to pound elected officials into submission. Protests are mounted by factional fronts with hashtag names and shadowy backing, all with the goal of dominating local or national television coverage. Presidential candidates vow to reverse executive orders of previous presidents, make promises that can’t and won’t be kept, and set unrealistic goals. Aren’t the people in this country supposed to be in charge? Isn’t the government supposed to protect our rights? How do we get things back on track when people operate on loose facts, when debate is a contest for the most slicing snarky comment, and name calling is the order of the day? Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul and X Government Trucks.

Podcast 436

Death and Tyranny. How’s that for click bait? Another protest, more glimpses of the French Revolution as an assistant professor throws ‘the media’ out of a protest on public property at a University in Missouri. Meanwhile a new study says white americans 30 to 64 are dying from alcoholism, drug addiction and suicide at alarmingly higher rates than in the past. Frustration. Anger. Despair. Name calling. Blaming. The first few years of the 21st century seem to be calling out for a new defense of ‘Freedom’. What is Freedom? Are we free? Are we free when we can’t express feelings without checking first to see if they will ‘offend’ some group with ‘special’ protections? Are we free when we have to make sure what we express is in line with paradigms determined by social acceptance? Not according to most definitions. So, are we free? What holds the United States together? A common enemy? An idea? A leader? A culture? A religion? A government? How can we hold together as a country if we aren’t allowed to express ourselves, to be ourselves? Over 60 percent of working age people are out of the work force. People are getting tired of being nudged, pushed, shoved, forced, shamed and cudgeled into behaviors the government wants, or behaviors deemed ‘acceptable’ by unelected culture czars, crowned by their exposure in media. We don’t trust our government. We don’t trust our leaders. We don’t trust the media. We don’t trust each other. If studies that show people descending into alcoholism and drugs and depression are true, one could conclude, we don’t trust ourselves either. When you travel the country, it doesn’t look like its falling apart, but any examination of the day’s news suggests something different. Political candidates slinging mud, name calling, finger pointing and the ever present blaming and subsequent atonement. Our entertainment is blood and gore, and sex. In short, our entertainment is coarse to say the least. What future is our art seeing? What kind of frontier are we pioneering today? Where is our toughness and virtue, and grit? Sponsored by X Government Trucks and Hydrus

Podcast 361

Baltimore. Riots in Baltimore overtake the national consciousness. Despite not wanting to talk about a story with facts that may change minute by minute, sometimes the ‘elephant in the room’ is the best conversation. What are the facts about the 25 year old Baltimore citizen who died in police custody? Did outrage cause the riot or was it outside agitators. While many blame Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, was she cautious because she did not want to make the same mistake the mayor and police chief of Ferguson, Missouri made when they deployed ‘militarized’ police? Meanwhile, the President can’t resist ‘weighing in’, suggesting that the whole nation has to do some soul searching. Maybe President Obama is the one who should do some soul searching. With so much government to be upset about in this country, disrespect for government and law is becoming a feature of life today. In some places, under extreme circumstances, it reaches a breaking point. Besides, there is little President Obama can do about Baltimore, even though he is just an hour away. It’s a city, and state problem. As nearly two thousand national guard deploy to the city streets (and not for the first time in history, either) calm appears to have been restored, for now. Will free college, minimum wage laws and more programs solve this problem? How much is race a problem in a city with a majority black population, mayor, police commissioner, and police force? And specifically, how much is race a factor in the death of Freddie Gray, the young man who died? Or, is it a problem of criminals pushing for and maybe winning a double standard for law enforcement. These questions remain to be answered. One thing is clear; As Baltimore burned, the President and the Washington Press corps, sipped champagne and fiddled at the Correspondent’s dinner, where both politico and news reporter feed each other’s ego. Politicians are out of touch, either running for high office to enrich themselves, and the media doesn’t report fact as much as it pursues the lurid, and tragic. The wake of the weak politician and selfish media is despair, frustration and anger. The dark side of America is the only America it sees. Who’s fault is it? Think about it. We’re at a low point in politics and leadership in this country. It seems more and more that we are on the verge of a seminal and unpleasant event, after which nothing is ever the same. And our leaders don’t seem to be interested in doing anything about it. Sponsored by Baklund R&D. (Editor’s Note: In this podcast I refer to Jon Baklund’s Webinar and have the date wrong. It is June 2nd, 2015).