Memorial Day Weekend 2015. A midnight walk in the park, as we head into Memorial Day Weekend, 2015. As the country slows its roll for the big three-day weekend, it feels like the pace of the news is also slowing down. In the Upper Midwest, the big thing is opening the cabin, getting the RV ready to roll, and heading up to the lake. This is a weekend for putting in the dock, and establishing a ‘beach head’ for the summer. Some will be heading to state parks, others will be working, or hanging around the house. With a sense that people are slowing down for the weekend, the flow of news events also seems to be a bit stale. More stories about ‘candidates’ for presidential office, over a year away. More stories about things happening thousands of miles from the Upper Midwest. More blather about ‘Obama’, or ‘Clinton’, or ‘Jeb Bush’. In this podcast some observations from a day spent driving around the metro in gridlock traffic in search of parts – or a truck wash – for Mobile Podcast Command, visiting the ambulance supply warehouse, RV centers, and friends at various businesses around town. This driving around town thing is exhausting! After reading a thatch of news stories, taking a nap and dinner, time for coffee and a midnight walk through a deserted suburban town. Stories about summer’s and memorial day weekend’s past … the cold ones, and the hot ones. It is better to put the dock in when it is warm and sunny than it is to put it in when there is still ice floating on the lake. This year, the Upper Midwest has been lucky so far. It’s been a warm spring, and the forecast for the weekend is pretty good. Is it a good thing that there’s so much focus on Iowa for both political parties, this early? Events in other parts of the world continue, but things still don’t seem to have reached a point that requires decisions, or provokes new actions to debate. As summer comes on, it still feels like resolution on so many different news fronts will take a little longer. Maybe its a good time to pick out that summer novel. Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul.
Why Do I Do What I Do? A question from a drunk friend proves surprisingly difficult to answer. Why do I do podcasts? The pat answer isn’t good enough. Part of the reason is to prove podcasting is a viable medium for listeners and advertisers. In fact, far superior to radio in many ways. Another reason I podcast is because I do not want to contribute to the scream and outrage orgy that has become talk radio in this country, and what now passes for broadcast and cable ‘news’. Still, it’s a hard question to answer when there are so many ways to answer it. I am sure I’ll be talking about this in future podcasts. In fact, as I write this, and in retrospect I think I should have talked longer about this question, “Why do you do what you do?”. Have you ever thought about that? Why do you do what you do? Whatever it is. When you actually consider a question like that, its kind of a hard question to answer. Yes, there are updates for the beginning of the week (in podcast time). 3 more candidates will join the three hundred and fifty nine other people in the race for the Republican Presidential Nomination. GOP strategists claim all of these candidates show the Republicans have more diversity. On the other hand, if the Republicans have twenty candidates on stage in early debates, again, the chances the party is going to look ridiculous are good, or maybe it will make Jeb Bush look presidential. This week Carly Fiorina, Mike Huckabee and Doctor Ben Carson. Will it be a repeat of 2008 and 2012? Only time will tell. Meanwhile, former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley may – may – throw his hat into the ring on the Democrat side, saying we haven’t had a plan for our cities since, uh Jimmy Carter. It was revealed this week the Clinton Global Initiative took money from the US Taxpayer, and other governments. Talk about crony capitalism! Finally, driverless car tech is here, and here ahead of the law (shock!), and all sorts of scientific news, reversing aging, editing DNA, Robots for small business and more. Happy Monday from the Deck, in the velvet full moon lit night. It’s officially Tiki Torch Weather. Sponsored by X Government Cars!
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 Consciousness. Live from the Kitchen! After a string of podcasts discussing intense topics, from economics through to participation in politics translating to political power, it’s time for a podcast consciousness podcast. How I do what I do, and how it drives me crazy sometimes. Well, maybe all the time. In searching for podcast topics, I spent some time tonight cleaning out my ‘stacks’ of news stories on foreign affairs, business, politics, local and all kinds of other topics, and found a lot of stories that never made it to ‘air’. Part of the reason for that is the effort to winnow all this day to day news writing down to some key points people can use to understand what I think is going on in the world, but the podcaster can miss the opportunity to just talk about stories that are interesting (to him). Maybe it’s winter. Maybe its cabin fever. Something’s going on below the surface though … perhaps a quest for adventure … maybe a road trip coming up … There is a restlessness rising up from the depths right now. Good time to talk about it. Plus the latest economic fairytales from the financial media, and what to look for down the road on that front. Sponsored by Baklund R &D.
Dry Cycle. The update turns into a discussion of the fallibility of media, even your favorite cable news channel. This weekend, Fox News had to correct itself and apologize profusely for reporting there are ‘no go’ zones in Europe, where non muslims fear to tread, and the police won’t enter. Everyone was talking about it all weekend after Fox anchors and guests apparently got it wrong. These are neighborhoods in England and suburbs in France that are about as forbidding as LA’s Compton, or Chicago’s South Side. While Europe has been more lenient allowing Sharia Law, it does not mean muslim ‘enclaves’ have sprouted, even though allowing a separate law for Muslims in a modern, western democracy is not a good idea. That said, the President and the Pope continue to support limits on free speech. President Obama even went so far as to say he doesn’t consider terrorism a existential threat, which it most certainly is, then said Europe has to do a better job ‘integrating’ its Muslims. Maybe he fell for the No Go story too. This provokes a whole conversation about how to wean yourself from cable news and talk radio, develop multiple sources of information, deal in facts, avoid the emotion spewing out of talk radio and fox news, and use your tools to find and develop deeper knowledge on key subjects. The need to fill the airwaves, pushes under financed and poorly managed outlets to spew out incorrect information, relying on ping ponging viewers back and forth between the latest outrage and the latest breaking news. The good news? That kind of media’s glory days are behind it, as it gives way to on demand audio (podcasts), You Tube, NetFlix and future on demand video services. A recent survey reports that most millennials don’t ever watch broadcast television, seldom watch cable news channels, and download virtually all their entertainment and information. In an on demand world, the daily outrage may not work as well, as people seek out information, rather than people screaming at each other. The latest example? NASA says 2014 was the hottest year on record? Do you know by how much? Do you know what the margin of error is in that estimate? The answer might surprise you. Finally, Arizona and other states are passing laws which require high school seniors to pass citizenship exams in order to graduate. Good idea? Sponsored by Baklund R&D.
Cooking and Talking. Updating you on some key stories for midweek, while cooking dinner. Pan fried steak, broccoli and salad. One of the things cable news and talk radio does is talk about things over and over again, in an effort to gin up emotional response and viewership. They seem to get ‘stuck’ on stories and can’t move on until the next ‘big’ story. In our ongoing discussion about media and its pitfalls, one of the things podcasting allows is for more varied content. We don’t have to keep talking about the same subjects, because podcasts about those subjects are up to be listened to whenever subscribers desire. So podcasters can add to stories when its appropriate and begin talking about new stories that will be top topics in a few days or weeks. In this podcast, updates to the bias story on Rolling Stone magazine’s coverage of the ‘rape’ story at UVA, and how narrative journalism ill serves the people. The next big narrative story? The Senate Intelligence Committee’s release of the report on the CIA’s interrogation methods. At first blush it looks pretty bad, and it is reported may even spur terror attacks across the world, and on US citizens. On second thought, it looks like the last shot by democrats at the Bush Administration’s policies. And whether deserved or not, former CIA directors and employees are pretty upset at what they see as a biased report. Dad always said, “There are two sides to every story”. As people react to the emotional and lurid nature of yet another ‘narrative’ story, will the ‘rest of the story’ get covered with equal intensity? On the terror front; word is ISIL has yellow cake which it procured from a University in Mosul Iraq, and used to make at least one radioactive explosive device which has been spirited into Europe. Let’s wait and see how this one develops. On the political front: With all the talk about the Republican Brand being ‘dead’ it turns out the GOP is in the best position it has been in since the 1920′s, especially in individual states. 2014 turned out to be a great year for Republicans, but Minnesota republicans missed out. Why? Is it time for a change of state party leadership as in a house cleaning? Finally, the pundits saying lower gas prices act as a ‘tax cut’, a position which should be questioned. It has been reported this week that lower fuel prices also mean lower commodity prices, since farm cost inputs will be cheaper. But, lower oil prices also means big oil companies may reduce their capital investments, which hurts manufacturing and employment. Are oil price reductions due to the price war, or to more supply and less demand because of economic slow downs in China, Europe and Latin America. Will the effect be positive? Not so fast, say some. Sponsored by X Government Cars, and by Depotstar.
Fox News Crushes. As we head into Thanksgiving, people taking various parts of the week off, heading out on the road to where ever they’re going, easing into the week. The big story to watch in the next few days is Ferguson, Missouri. Deliberations of the Grand Jury there on whether or not there is enough evidence to charge the policeman who shot and killed Michael Brown during and after an altercation with Brown. The Grand Jury could report out at any time until January 7th, when its term comes to an end, and a new jury is empaneled. Media critics have suddenly discovered that Fox News is beating the daylights out of its cable competitors CNN and MSNBC, and on election night 2014, all three of the major networks as well. What will happen to CNN and MSNBC? What is the future for the broadcast news networks and stations? While Fox News will probably reign for some time, even Cable Television is starting to show its age. How will new digital sources of information and new ways for people to get their news effect the 2016 election. As we witness a revolution in Media, will we witness a revolution in politics? Whenever there is a major national or international story such as President Obama’s executive order on Immigration recently, The Bob Davis Podcasts gets a spate of emails from listeners, with examples of emails they want to send to Speaker Of The House John Boehner telling him what to do, and what they don’t like. Is it better to send emails and call your congressman’s office? Or to start working in local politics to influence your local governments, state government and state wide races, with an eye toward developing an organization that delivers votes and money, and therefore influence? There are many Republicans who might be candidates for President in 2016. The worst thing that could happen is another season of debates between 16 candidates. Forget writing letters to the Speaker and start organizing in your neighborhood. While there are divisions in the Republican party (watch as the media develops that story line), there are also divisions among Democrats. Republicans continue to need a cogent plan for improving the US Economy, showing they’re capable of running the White House (not too hard, given the current occupant) and a plan to improve the international relations of the US. On the Bill Cosby front, come the obligatory commentaries about how Hollywood, Politics and Sports do not give our children any role models anymore. Its time people started acting as role models for their own children, and especially teach them its ok to have heroes and role models, but famous people are humans too and they make mistakes, sometimes terrible mistakes. Planning on doing some drinking this Thanksgiving? Did you know doctors may consider you an excessive drinker? Find out why and how. Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul.
Eyes On The Prize. Organize! Getting you ready for the week ahead, looking deeper than lazy TV hosts and producers, and talk radio. How much more can be said about Jonathon Gruber, the ‘architect’ of Obama Care, and his comments concerning the stupidity of the American voter? We’ve all seen the video. If not, you can watch this CNN package and all the videos fit to distribute, here. While people decry the mainstream media’s vacuous content, they sure do seem to talk about what the media wants everyone to talk about. Seems like Gruber was worth every penny, for supporters of Obama Care. If Republicans want change, they have to start ‘”no excuse” organizing at the precinct level. Another big surprise, apparently, is the fact that President Obama is not ‘cooperating’ with the ‘mandate’ congressional republicans ‘have been given by the voters’. The President has two more years to serve, and if politically active people in Minnesota want to influence politics after January of 2017, they’d better start working on the 2016 election now. Working on getting votes and money out of precincts. Democrats are doubling down on progressive ideas and populist tactics and if 2014 proved anything, it proved getting Republicans out to vote in larger numbers than Democrats, wins elections for Republicans. Now, the exception to that rule is Minnesota, where consultants, state party officials and other ‘Rasputins’ behind the scenes, do not want so called movement candidates. If Minnesota Republicans want victory, they will have to snatch it for themselves. Keep your eyes on the prize. Organize. The Bob Davis Podcasts continues to be ahead of the news headlines these days. Podcast 252 concentrated on the specter of Deflation, predictive of the G-20 conference this weekend where members pledged to dump another 2 Trillion dollars of cotton candy on the problem economies of the world, which now includes most of Europe (and thus the EU), Russia, China, Brazil and you never know, maybe even the US. With the price of oil and other key commodities dropping, watch Russia, not Ferguson, Missouri. A confrontation is brewing between Russia — now friends with China — the US and NATO over the Ukraine. Do we trust the President to be able to handle such a crisis? The Bob Davis Podcasts was the first to suggest boycotting Black Friday — not because we hate retail but because we think the National Retailers have pressed Black Friday numbers as an economic bellwether for too long. Now suddenly come the stories saying the best deals aren’t on Black Friday … they’re right now! And as Farmers are stuck with grain in elevators, electric companies can’t get coal, and Minneapolis-Saint Paul’s much vaunted Toy Train ‘The Northstar’ is sidelined, statists like Jessie Ventura and Tim Pawlenty can blame Grandpa Warren Buffett’s railroad, hauling ever cheapening oil rather than the farmer’s grain, or the power company’s coal. Building the Keystone XL pipeline would ease some of the pressure on Farmers, as well as lower costs for oil producers, but don’t count on it. Will there be enough votes to override a Presidential Veto of a Pipeline bill? And, ice on the Superior this week does not necessarily mean a cold winter, but with temperatures in the single digits in the Upper Midwest, our bodies are struggling to adjust. Sponsored by Baklund R & D.
Jason Lewis. National Talk Radio Star Jason Lewis joins the Bob Davis Podcasts. My talk radio colleague and I talk about the recent 2014 midterm election results; What does the election mean for Republicans and Democrats, and what to expect. Jason has an unrivaled perspective on local Minnesota politics, so his insight on the election results in Minnesota is invaluable. How was the Minnesota Republican Party able to elect 11 state representatives, to win back the state-house, but fail to win a single state wide office? Is it the candidates, the voters, or something else less visible from the outside? What mistakes did the state party make in selecting candidates for statewide races, and running those campaigns. How are Minnesota politics different from neighboring rival Wisconsin, where Governor Scott Walker won by 6 points, and maintained Republican control of the state Assembly in Madison? How significant was money from liberal PACs in Minnesota and what about Illinois, Maryland and Massachusetts, where republicans won in democrat dominated states? Minnesota party leaders and national media believe voters are sending a message they want politicians in Saint Paul and Washington DC ‘to work together’, does Jason Lewis agree? What should the strategy of Republicans in the Minnesota House and the US Congress be after they’re sworn in? Did Americans vote for the party of Graham, King and McConnell, or Cruz, Paul and McCarthy? What’s the response to the President’s post election press conference today? Meanwhile, what mischief will the lame duck congress get up to, between now and January of 2015. Jason also has some great stories from his KSTP days, what he refers to as the ‘halcyon days’ of talk radio in the 90′s and early 2000′s; A time when creativity and local talk radio flourished across America. With talk migrating to weaker AM signals, and sports replacing more and more talk stations, what is the future of broadcast talk radio? With the advent of the ‘digital dashboard’ and the capability for individual broadcasters to stream and podcast, broadcast radio is two steps behind newspapers on the disruption highway. As radio fades, Jason’s main focus these days, aside from Golf, is Galt.IO, which is fully explained for those who do not know what it is. Galt.IO will provide an online capability for the politically disenfranchised to crowdsource fundraising for candidates and causes, allowing individuals to amplify their causes, without having to go to the wealthy to fundraise, and will empower conservative causes in their effort to compete with left wing fundraising institutions like Alliance for A Better Minnesota, and “RINO” republican organizations; something that has never before been possible on this level. Stay tuned in this podcast for a never-before-heard announcement regarding Galt.IO. Sponsored by Xgovernment Cars, and by Depotstar.
Media Fatigue. A voice mail from a friend sets a podcast about media in motion. ‘The Media’ occupies a big space in our society these days. Especially television. Especially the cable news networks. With people of a certain political persuasion, especially Fox News. At a recent political meeting, people were asked to raise their hands to answer three questions; How many attended a recent Basic Political Unit meeting (about ten), how many are precinct captains (about three), how many watch Fox News (everyone). Yes people are tired, frustrated, burned out, angry and confused, but they keep watching, and watching, and watching! Media is taking time away from citizen action to actually change things. What IS ‘The Media’? What effect does it have on society and individuals? Modern media has taken the space occupied by the fireside, by ceremony, by the shaman and priest. We think we are modern, but human nature hasn’t changed much. For all the things media does (entertain and inform), its primary purpose is to persuade. Print, radio, television and digital have different origins and textures, and are used for different reasons. Americans think they’re being informed but they’re being bombarded with emotional appeals, especially during elections. Reason and intellect are not in the media’s lexicon. We are ill served by poor reporting, story lines to keep people viewing and listening, and of course bias. There is nowhere to escape this constant stream of emotional persuasion, as long as you keep watching, hoping it will change. Are there times when television reaches high points? Absolutely. Does it happen very often. No. People have to learn to develop a strategy for what they watch, how they watch, and what they use the media for. (Editor’s Note: I counted 16 different things we can do and I list them in this podcast). People are constantly saying, ‘The mainstream media is biased, it has to change’. Why wait for the leopard to change its spots? Learn to use tools to watch, listen and read what you want, when you want it, how you want it. As things stand right now, media is making us more ignorant everyday. Expecting to BE informed from the mainstream cable news, talk radio and broadcast television, is a lost cause. Sponsored by Baklund R&D.