Death Of The Political Junkie Rest in Peace-Podcast 645

Are you a political junkie? Wake up in the middle of the night to check headlines? Scan social media in the bathroom? Watch the 24 hour cable news channels? Listen to talk radio on the weekend? Inbox full of political emails? We’ll talk about it in Death Of The Political Junkie Rest in Peace-Podcast 645.

Relevance

TV Stars and channels just want to keep their brands and their personalities foremost in your mind. Same with politicians. This is what people in the media call ‘Being Relevant’.

Inside Baseball

The problem is, the twenty four hour political chatter is less relevant every day. Those addicted to what we call politics these days are driving a conversation about tweets, traded insults, and stunts by people who seem more and more unhinged as each minute passes. In Death Of The Political Junkie Rest in Peace-Podcast 645.

Lies Conceal Truth

Politics and those who cover it are talking about each other more than they actually report on the news. The result? The actual political community continues to do whatever it wants, whenever it wants.

Mika Joe and Donald

Even though we have all kinds of ‘news’ coverage, it seems like the function of our government is a mystery to most people. Relating new things to the audience becomes more and more difficult in a sea of nonsense. Television presenters who poke at public figures getting a taste of their own medicine is news? Featured in Death Of The Political Junkie Rest in Peace-Podcast 645.

Meanwhile We’re Bankrupt

Puerto Rico is bankrupt. Illinois, California and New York are next. Debt is at record levels. Both political parties promise more and more. Someone, somewhere, someday will have to pay for it.

People vote for personalities. When their ‘guy’ takes office, it is expected he or she will do what ‘the voters’ want. That is not what happens. Why? Political Junkies these days know it all. They can tell you why Trump is a sociopath or why Loretta Lynch should be in federal prison but they can’t tell you what a republican stands for or what a democrat is. Maybe it’s time to watch less and do more.

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

Death Of The Political Junkie Rest in Peace-Podcast 645


 

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

 

 

East Tennessee Reflections On Radio’s Fade-Podcast 637

One of the greatest benefits to a road trip is seeing old friends. If you spend any time working in radio, you will have a lot of friends all over the country. Even better when they live in East Tennessee. Good thing about friends you went to high school with? They really know you. In East Tennessee Reflections On Radio’s Fade-Podcast 637.

Two Different Paths Same Industry

John Holland and I took different paths in the radio business. When we get together, we compare notes. Naturally radio is going to come up in any conversation. Join us in East Tennessee Reflections On Radio’s Fade-Podcast 637.

Local Radio

Holland appears to be obsessed with the potential of local radio. Specifically a radio station in Taos, New Mexico. I just don’t want to do another political podcast. So, a hot mess of random topics is on the menu in East Tennessee Reflections On Radio’s Fade-Podcast 637.

Taos New Mexico’s Number One

In fact, my friend talked so much about this radio station in Taos, New Mexico I had a vivid dream about working for that perfect radio station somewhere, only to realize it doesn’t exist, and especially not these days. John says it does. In Taos. New Mexico.

Radio’s Fade And The Rise of Digital Media

Radio is fading as a medium and as a business these days. It seems like the part of the reason is a decrease in local radio’s ability to remain relevant to local communities. At least that’s John’s position. I believe much of the fading relevance is due to the fact that people have a vast array of choice on the Internet. Podcasts. Music services. Social Media. E-Books. You name it.

Work Until You’re Dead

The older you get, the more you hear contemporaries talk about retirement. Nether one of us can understand why. My feeling is one should work until they drop. It keeps you engaged and relevant. Finally, what’s so great about Tennessee.

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East Tennessee Reflections On Radio’s Fade-Podcast 637

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

 

 

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.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Road Trip Summer Travel Adventure In US-Podcast 624

Summer is coming. Peak Road Trip season in the United States. In Road Trip Summer Travel Adventure In US-Podcast 624 we consider some road trip ideas, past and future.

Do You Travel Well?

Travel requires a bit of zen. A ‘let it come’ attitude. Excitable, exacting and difficult people don’t always travel well. There will be delays, bad food, wrong turns and unmet objectives. Those moments are usually when the magic happens. If you can let it happen. You want an objective, but you don’t want to over plan.

Weekend Road Trip or Mega Road Trip?

My preference is for the mega trip. Across the northern United States, down the Pacific Coast Highway to Los Angeles. Down through the mid south all the way around Florida, along the gulf coast, back up through Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, and Iowa to Minnesota. On those long trips you feel like you’re sailing. You forget what ‘home’ is, and let go.

So Much To See

Truth is, there are so many places to see within a day’s reach. All too often those of us who prefer the mega road trip forget the gems just around the corner. State Parks, small towns, little bits of forgotten history.

In The Blood

Most people I know who love long road trips have it in their blood. They remember warming up the wagon in the cold light of dawn in Illinois, or Massachusetts for the big escape to warmer Floria around Christmas time. Rock City, brand new freeways, Stuckey‘s, Travel-all and Howard Johnson’s.

What Is It About Road Trips?

You don’t need much money. Camping or staying in cheap motels. Alone or with friends or family. You see. Pass through. Learn. Butte, Montana. Duluth, Minnesota. Lincoln City, Oregon. Bizbee, Arizona. Mountains. Beaches. Deserted highways in the middle of the night. Everyone who travels comes back with great stories and memories. There’s no right or wrong. No arguing about whether Rapid City is better than Great Falls.

Enjoy

In Road Trip Summer Travel Adventure In US-Podcast 624, just some thought starters for your next trip. Whether you’re pulling a vintage trailer, driving a brand new SUV, rolling in style in some kind of massive motor home or sporting the ten year old Subaru, there’s nothing like the call of the open road.

Sponsored by X Government Cars

Road Trip Summer Travel Adventure In US-Podcast 624

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.

Sponsored by X Government Cars [powepress]

 

 

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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Podcast 611-Define Political Progress

When it comes to politics these days noise is the norm. The latest outrage drowns out talk about political progress. Voters in 2016 made their choices for a reason. Not too early to ask whether the politicians are making progress toward addressing those reasons. We talk about it in Podcast 611-Define Political Progress.

ObamaCare Repeal

Number one issue on the campaign trail. Bogged down in congress already. Republicans wanted a full repeal of the ACA. New GOP plan isn’t a full repeal. President Trump has already endorsed it. What happened to promises of a full repeal?

Economy

Somewhere around 96 million people are out of the workforce. Need to create 375,000 new jobs a month for several months to get those people back in the work force. For years we were less than impressed with a quarter of a million jobs each month. Economic growth has been promised. In Podcast 611-Define Political Progress.

Cutting Federal Budget

Smaller government? Proposed budget cuts are accompanied with proposals to shift money to defense. Does this reduce the size of government? A hiring freeze can be considered progress. Corporate tax reductions can be progress. However making up corporate tax reductions with higher taxes somewhere else doesn’t cut the budget.

Foreign Policy and Military Spending

Resurgent Russia. Rising China. Political changes in Turkey. Expanding NATO. Cyber Threats. US troops in Iraq and Syria. ISIS. Terror. Climate Change. How will reducing foreign aid and increasing military spending address these concerns? What should the foreign policy of the US be? It’s all in Podcast 611-Define Political Progress.

Too Early?

First benchmark on progress made by a majority republican government in the United States. Did you vote for republicans? Are they doing what you wanted them to do?

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