2018 Toss Up Elections-Final Thoughts-Podcast 758

The 2018 Midterm election season has been most noteworthy for its twists and turns. Now as we head into the final month of the campaigns, find out what to look for on election day in 2018 Toss Up Elections-Final Thoughts-Podcast 758.

Media Cherry Picks Stats

Then there’s the media’s habit of cherry picking statistics. They call it ‘political coverage’. Statistics prove the story line. Damn lies convince us none of this has ever happened before.

Predictions of Doom

The president’s approval rating has never been worse. Voters have never been more fired up. If things continue the way they are now, terrible outcomes are inevitable. The president’s political party always loses seats in a midterm. Are these predictions of doom true? Learn more in 2018 Toss Up Elections-Final Thoughts-Podcast 758.

Polls Don’t Lie. The Media Lies

Finally, in my experience making predictions about statewide and house elections based on national polls and baselines is problematic although some research suggests they may be reliable predictors in midterm elections. There just isn’t enough information to say one way or another what will happen. That’s why we wait and see what the vote actually turns out to be.

Labels and Beliefs

Meanwhile these days we’re awash in labels and broadly held beliefs in pure nonsense. So and so is a “transformational figure”. A “disaster” has changed voting in a district or state forever.

Be The Change

I believe it’s time to change how we cover politics and I am putting my podcasts where my mouth is in this series on the midterm election toss ups. A close look at the data. A fair shake for the candidates. Letting the listeners and subscribers decide for themselves. Putting all the data in the podcasts so you can compare on election night. That’s what it’s all about for The Bob Davis Podcasts for Election 2018 coverage.

In conclusion, through all of it, I have to say I have no idea what will happen on November 6th, 2018, and neither does anyone else.

That’s up to you.

Sponsored by Johantgen Jewelers and Reliafund Payment Processing

2018 Toss Up Elections-Final Thoughts-Podcast 758

 

 

 

 

Trump Foreign Trade Fight-Free Trade-Protection-Bob Davis Podcast 737

President Trump slapped tax increases on goods imported to the US from Europe, China, Mexico and Canada. Our trading partners retaliated with their own tariffs. Now what? Find out in Trump Foreign Trade Fight-Free Trade-Protection-Bob Davis Podcast 737.

What Is A Tariff Anyway?

Finally someone has defined what a tariff is. Moreover you might be surprised to learn the history of trade legislation in the United States goes back to 1789.

These days we are awash in charges and counter charges in the media. Trade Wars and Rumors of Trade Wars. This kind of coverage doesn’t serve anyone.

1945 Looms Large In Trade Discussions

Most noteworthy is the impact of World War 2 and the advent of nuclear weapons in 1945. Since then, trade deals have been  considered central to keeping the peace and stabilizing the world.

Trade Has Been A Political Football since Hamilton

Trade has been regional and national issue in the United States in every political era. None other than Alexander Hamilton was an advocate of high taxes on imports going back to 1789.

Trump A Throw Back To The 1840’s?

Moreover tariffs were an issue in local and national politics in the US until the introduction of the Income Tax in 1913. Is President Trump a throw back to the 1840’s? Find out in Trump Foreign Trade Fight-Free Trade-Protection-Bob Davis Podcast 737.

NAFTA China Mercantilism Free Trade

We hear so much in the news about trade but few of us understand it. China. NAFTA. Mercantilism. Trade Protection. Free Trade. As citizens we need to make informed decisions about what is best for each of us individually and the country. With all the noise about trade it’s almost impossible for people to do that.

Especially Relevant Today As It Was Back In The Day

In conclusion with yet another new trade bill in the offing the question of whether the US should protect its markets or open them is as relevant today as it was in 1789.

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

Trump Foreign Trade Fight-Free Trade-Protection-Bob Davis Podcast 737

Has United States Been Socialist For A Long Time? Podcast 625

We hear a lot of words used to describe various political factions in the US. Most will say the US economic system is capitalist but is this just an illusion? Are we socialist? Have we been socialist for a long time? It seems to me, we have. In Has United States Been Socialist For A Long Time? Podcast 625.

Socialism Is Everywhere

Just because a country’s economic system is socialist, does not mean it’s a tyranny. Denmark and Canada aren’t dictatorships. Singapore is a Socialist Market Economy. Places where ‘the people’ own or control the means of production. Most socialist countries these days enjoy democratic political systems.

Government and Non Profits Dominate State Economies

Americans think of themselves as capitalists. The thing is, the top three employers in my state are public institutions. Americans depend on social security, medicare, or medicaid ‘entitlements’. Home buyers get tax subsidies. We enjoy many tax deferred investment options. Farmers get subsidies. Public workers get pensions. All kinds of grants for education exist. Then there are the business subsidies and government contracts. Some popular business personalities receive billions in subsidies from the government. We’ll talk about it in Has United States Been Socialist For A Long Time? Podcast 625.

Both Parties Support Socialism

Democrats complain about light rail projects running through their backyards, but support government programs because ‘It’s the right thing to do’. Republicans complain about big government unless it’s the military, support for their businesses, home mortgage tax credit, social security and 401K programs.

The Right Thing To Do

It’s true that many of these programs date back to the depression in the 1930’s. Also true that creation of these programs came with the best intentions. Whether we like it or not, government is deeply involved in our lives. Of course, what the government giveth, the government takeaway. We’ll talk about it in Has United States Been Socialist For A Long Time? Podcast 625.

Classic Liberalism Is Forgotten

Republicans and Democrats argue the same side of the coin. Both are collectivists. Neither adhere to Classic Liberalism, a philosophy of limited government with the sole purpose of securing a maximum amount of individual liberty, property rights and free markets. While no political scientist would argue the US is Socialist maybe we should consider the possibility we are and have been for some time.

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

Has United States Been Socialist For A Long Time? Podcast 625

 

 

 

 

 

 

Podcast 535

Sturgis 2016 & The Black Hills. A trip to Sturgis 2016 turns into a tour of the Black Hills. Lots of riders come up here for the motorcycle rally but they head out on day trips to the many historic and interesting places in the Black Hills. Deadwood, and of course Mount Rushmore to name two. Lots of history in the Black Hills, especially in Deadwood. In Sturgis 2016 & The Black Hills I stop in Deadwood and have a great conversation about the history of the town, the history of the West and what it meant then and today, with a local historian in character as ‘Colorado Charlie Utter’. Then it’s onto Mount Rushmore and Keystone, South Dakota. A listener to the Bob Davis Podcasts emailed recently to suggest that some of the political podcasts contained some ‘repetitive thoughts’, as she put it. It seems like, when you talk about politics these days in any form, you come to an impasse and it’s almost always about the voters, or the political parties, or the candidates or the media and the fact that almost everyone is disappointed in the choices they have. The great thing about coming to Sturgis, and by extension these other cool places in the Black Hills, is that you forget about politics. It took awhile to come up with a theme for Sturgis 2016 & The Black Hills, Podcast 535 but it finally came to me. With all the talk about the founding fathers and the US Constitution, maybe it’s time for a new myth, a new ‘theme’ from American History. The fact is, the story told by the dime western novels, Hollywood and later TV pales in contrast to the real history of the west. The Hollywood version of the west made it seem like it all happened in Zane Grey’s Arizona, or the Sierra Nevada’s or California. Part of Western History did take place in those places in the late 1800’s and even early 1900’s. Many characters and themes later portrayed in Hollywood Westerns and popular TV shows happened a lot sooner – in the 1870’s – in places like Deadwood. Independence, self reliance, working harder and smarter and the opportunity to reinvent yourself, and to jettison your past are all themes that echo throughout the region’s history and across the area from Deadwood and Rapid City, to Mount Rushmore. As Colorado Charlie suggests maybe that inclusive, opportunistic theme is what’s missing a lot of times in the rest of America. Sponsored by X Government Cars and Brush Studio in The West End.

Podcast 449

It’s Just The Presidency. Live from Minneapolis and Saint Paul International Airport, Lindberg Terminal, since this is where almost everyone will be at some point during the Holiday season. As family and friends get together for Christmas and The New Year’s, conversations about the Presidential Race and politics will inevitably come up. Some will be new discussions, others will be continuations of discussions began during Thanksgiving. As we walk and talk through the airport, we discuss the idea that there has been a predominant and early focus on the personalities for the presidential race, and with early primaries coming up starting February 1st, and running through next summer, that focus will only increase. With all this presidential coverage it seems like we have completely forgotten 435 house members will be chosen, a third of the US Senate and a host of local, state representatives will be elected, as well as governors in some states. How many of us will be talking about elections for congress, state houses, and governor’s this year, rather than the latest gaffe by some over-televised and exhausted candidate, somewhere in Iowa, or New Hampshire or South Carolina? We’re supposed to have a balanced government in the United States, with sovereignty resting with the people, but it seems more and more as though we rely on one person as the Imperial President to administer the largest and most expensive federal government in the world, with now huge responsibilities. What is the history of ‘mixed’ or ‘balanced’ government. How can a system of checks and balances work if all we talk about are the personalities running for just one part of our balanced government; the executive? What did the founders think of the presidency? Why are there a whole list of enumerated powers in the US Constitution for Congress, the states and a Bill of Rights for the people, and few for the President? What happened in our history to make our presidency so powerful, and is this a good thing? How do we undo it? This is the conversation and the question families and friends should be having this year, heading into 2016’s election. However, people just seem to want a personality to ‘fix’ things, they don’t want to be bothered with details. Maybe this is why the founders also checked the people with an electoral college and Senate appointed by state legislatures and governors. If we’re not going to do our duty as citizens, maybe we need to go back to the old ways. Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul and X Government Trucks. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, from the Bob Davis Podcasts. 

Podcast 402

America 2015 Pre Fascism? These days American politics seems to be nothing more than snark, shouts and screams, politicians doing and saying whatever they can to get as much media time as possible, served by a willing media looking for a three ring circus to increase ratings, clicks, favorites and views. Rather than working in politics, people seem to want to be their own movement (of one), or hang out only with those they agree with. Mostly no one does anything. These days a political argument is calling someone a name, or a personal attack. No one wants to hear the details. Frustration, fear and anger rule the day, and rhetoric is king. Need to solve a complex problem? Demand a solution, usually involving more government regulation, all tied up with a red white and blue ribbon with ‘Make America Great’, or ‘Hope and Change’ written on it. All of this is a movement waiting for a leader. A leader that promises to win the argument, fix the problems, make the bad things go away, and make everyone feel better again. The word fascism is so loaded, just saying it in a crowded room in relation to American politics provokes all sorts of angry responses. People almost always think of Germany in the 1930’s and 40’s. We’re taught fascism comes from the right, but the truth is that in Italy, and Germany it was a center right, or center left movement, to the right of socialism, marxism and anarchism but to the left of the established ‘conservative’ governments. When government becomes so powerful it is responsible for everything, it can’t do anything right. Sound familiar? Is America in a Pre Fascist political state? Are the conditions necessary for fascism on the horizon? If so, who or what is responsible and what can be done about it? Do we blame the elite? The government itself? Or people who have grown too dependent on a powerful state, and now they just want it to work. It’s time to talk about politics differently and name the real danger. Sponsored by X Government Cars.

Podcast 339

Bored With The News? I rarely write these ‘liner notes’ in the first person, but this is one of those times. In the midst of a ‘soul killing’ April snow storm, we’re back by the fire in the Broadcast Bunker. Certainly not as soul killing as the constant snow on the east coast. The Upper Midwest has escaped some of the more distasteful elements of the winter of 2014-15, but now that it’s spring we thought were through it and that’s when April surprises. I was all ready to do news updates for this week, but it’s the same old crap. Talked to a lot of friends and family this weekend who are also just tired of the same goop pumping out of the TV and talk radio over and over. So, I decided to expand on the theme in podcast 338. Actually, this subject picked me, this time. Its seems as though people keep having the same conversations in various groups about the same things over and over, or the same complaints and conversations with each other, that don’t seem to go anywhere. If we are at the end of era, and approaching some catalyst event — and I am increasingly convinced we are — the things people are talking about, and concerned about, may change completely. It may happen before the big election in 2016, or not. How do other pivotal eras compare. My own fascination with the Interwar Period 1919 through 1939 figures prominently in this podcast. Did the people who lived during another era of tumultuous change and development know they were hurtling at top speed into World War 2? What kind of world are we building today? What are we unaware of, as we hurtle at top speed toward … something. I think it’s time to devote a little more time to this discussion. It seems to me the news, politicians and the things they say and do; it all seems well, stale. This only reinforces the idea that some catalyst will move us forward into a new time, with new concerns, and new things to think and talk about, new things to be passionate about. We don’t know what that event may be, but many people I have talked to recently feel very strongly we’re getting close to it. When uncertainty seems to be the order of the day, its hard to take action, or to hold on to old ideas and associations, since you don’t know what is around the next corner. Sure, its always that way, but this time feels different. Sponsored by Xgovernment Cars

Podcast 296

MYSOTU. What started as a courtesy to Congress by President Washington has morphed into an irritating media spectacle, bordering on – no wait, it has become – obscene. It is time for every American to use whatever media you can, to deliver your own State of The Union Message. Line some chairs up, invite friends over, have the postal worker down the block join you, so you can use him as an example during your speech, make sure everyone wears a suit, add klieg lights and cameras for effect. If you have a teleprompter or two laying around, throw them in as well. (Editor’s Note: I invited congress to join me, but they had other things to do, so my State of The Union Address is delivered from the Broadcast Bunker.) The media machine cannot be without a story, and beheadings are getting old, so the new story line is the President is pugnaciously at least, thumbing his nose at Congress. Somehow this is viewed as new behavior, though he has been doing it all along. The results? President Obama lost the House and then the Senate is a series of historically bad election cycles for The President’s party, yet analysts think somehow, now that Republicans are in charge in Congress, he’ll get different results. Moreover, the President’s restless flying around the country and making speeches, offering candy and popcorn to the masses is now considered something called Populism. If you are a media commentator and you say the word ‘Populist’ and another word like, ‘Electorate’ in the same sentence, people think you’re smart. Populism? What’s that. Nothing, really. Nothing that can be defined as a real political philosophy or ‘policy’ per se. Using the standard definitions, your dog could be a ‘Populist’, and probably a pretty good one. The ‘Populist’ President wants to raise taxes on the rich, give it back to the middle class, if the middle class sops perform tricks and jump through rings of fire to get tax ‘credits’. Thanks! Meanwhile, he wants to increase spending by something like 7 percent, to add to an already massive public debt, the largest ever accrued in one administration in history. But hey, we got a baseball cap and a beer can insulator, right? Republicans? They’re going to fix it all so it works, don’t you know that? What it comes down to is Statist, versus Non Statist, and there are an awful lot of Statists in Washington right now. The good news? The Bob Davis Podcasts SOTU is mercifully short. The post SOTU party awaits. Sponsored by X Government Cars

Podcast 199

News Cleanse Day Five. First Day of The Minnesota State Fair. Observations on the final day of the ‘News Cleanse’. Memories of the Minnesota State Fair. Broadcasting live, handing out bags, how the fair has changed over the years. Has an agricultural fair become a food fair, despite being the biggest attraction in the State of Minnesota the whole year? How Podcast 19 (The Lost State Fair Podcast) came about. What is it like to work out at the fair for ten hours a day, ten days straight? This is the last podcast of impressions from the News Cleanse. Back to the news for the next podcast. History is made slowly; we become aware of it only after many years of change. What kinds of changes are happening now, we’re unaware of? An age of disruption (as overused as that term is) is just beginning. All Americans are on this journey together, and all Americans will experience ‘history’ when the journey ends. The media ill serves us in this quest. What are the problems? How do we learn what works to solve those problems? How do we re-learn the citizenship process to help ourselves? Because no one is coming to help…and our ‘leaders’ aren’t creative enough, to solve them. Either informed, responsible citizens will decide the future, through the political process, or the mob will. Which do you prefer? Sponsored by X Government Cars.