Post Paris Reset. In an odd way there isn’t much to add to the observations in Podcast 437. Almost everything predicted regarding coverage of and reaction to the Paris Attacks has come true. In the aftermath of ‘Paris’, an hour or two spent with cable news yields little new information, but provokes an emotional response with viewers. This emotional response is intensified hour after hour as the same footage is replayed, the crawl at the bottom of the screen details the statements of politicians, while ‘experts’ argue on screen. Conversely, in ten minutes spent on line, one gets an idea of the contours of new developments with the story. Yet, people sit staring at Cable TV News for hours expecting some new development, getting more and more frustrated and angry, or afraid and concerned. This doesn’t advance the story, and doesn’t make it any easier to understand what has happened and what can be done about it. The media is complicit in creating an all-or-nothing, right-left, up or down orientation to every story, especially big stories that get covered and discussed hour after hour. The results are predictable; Politicians are already urging we send hundreds of thousands of troops into Iraq, or to ‘declare war on ISIS’. The only reasonable conclusion that has been drawn is that the Syrian refugee program in the US should be suspended until Congress can determine whether the vetting process is effective or not and even that has become a contentious issue to be argued ad infinitum. Meanwhile we’re no closer to developing a foreign policy that addresses Russia, the Rise of China and Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and terrorism. Politically, we don’t seem to have any idea where we want to be as a country in fifteen or twenty years. Given this philosophical vacuum, the same voices that got us into Iraq twice in the last 20 years are already advocating a continuation of the same failed policies, with predictably negative results. Is this what you want? Best be sure, because you’re about to vote for it. Again. Sponsored by Hydrus, Pride of Homes and Luke Team Real Estate.
Coffee by The Fire. It’s finally starting to feel like October in the upper midwest with temperatures dropping, leaves falling and scudding grey clouds. The days are shorter, the nights longer, and that means its time for a podcast, with coffee, by the fire in the Broadcast Bunker. In podcast time, this is being posted on a Friday. The last week or so has been a rush of technical issues, crazy political stories, parties, lunches, client calls, late night discussions about everything under the sun, and reading a lot of news. Sometimes it’s good to just sit down in front of the microphone and do a podcast. All the ‘podcast manuals’ say you’re supposed to ‘know what you’re going to talk about’. Years of experience in talk radio taught me that sometimes the best thing to do is walk into the studio with no notes, no paper, and nothing in mind. In this podcast I talk a little about my current love-hate relationship with politics and media, media coverage of politics, review the technology issues I have been having lately, present a on-the-spot theory about social disruptions caused by operating system updates pushed out to your computer (Editor’s note: Say no, unless you know all the implications of updating your computer’s operating system.) Anyone ever say to you, “People are acting weird today”? Maybe its because there’s a rolling effect from all the updates blowing out people’s phone apps, peripherals and generally messing with us. What will happen when someday driverless cars, autonomous machines, androids, robot manufacturing and remote controlled bulldozers update and just stop? Hiring people to monitor all that stuff and keep systems operating might – gasp – actually create jobs! Finally, a discussion of the joys of being in business for yourself and how weird it is for a ‘creative’ type to be enthralled with the business side of his business. Welcoming Hydrus as a sponsor to the Bob Davis Podcasts and sponsored by X Government Trucks.
Jason Lewis Interview Part 1. The Bob Davis Podcasts Mobile Command Unit 8 travelled to Lakeville, Minnesota for a live podcast with Second District Republican Congressional Candidate Jason Lewis, and State Senator Dave Thompson. A few of Jason’s early supporters piled into the Mobile Unit for this podcast at the Main Street Cafe in Lakeville, on Halloween 2015. In part 1, we cover Jason’s position on whether to honor the republican endorsement, the political makeup of the 2nd district, funding education, the role of the federal government, transportation, and immigration, to name just a few of the issues. Senator Dave Thompson adds his own thoughts on the US Constitution, state issues like funding the Vikings stadium, education, transportation. Both Jason and Dave talk about spending and taxation, the economy and the future. Lewis is running against at least three other republican candidates for the 2nd District GOP endorsement, to determine which republican defends the 2nd district’s seat against democrat challengers in 2016. Part of the conversation about opponents involves raising money; Where does a candidate get it, and how beholden he or she is to contributors. As a former radio talk show host, Jason Lewis is quick witted and is known for in depth answers to questions, which is unusual in politics these days. Lewis says he has no illusions about his experience in radio, and the name recognition that comes with it, and tells the Bob Davis Podcasts he intends to campaign hard for delegates and votes. Get in on the ground floor of a congressional campaign, live from the Mobile Podcast Command Unit, with the diesel running. Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul.
Republican Crack Up. A Republican Majority struggles to nominate a successor to Speaker Boehner. Moderate leadership is losing its grip because 40 ‘insurgent’ ‘freedom caucus’ Republicans refused to support top candidate Kevin McCarthy. Amid controversy over McCarthy’s Benghazi Hearing comments, and allegations of an affair, the collapse of order in the election of a new speaker, the candidacy of Donald Trump and the terrible performance of moderate candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, Jeb Bush, one must wonder whether the moderate leadership is finally losing its grip. They have no one to blame but themselves. The moderate leadership of the Republican Party seems more and more out of touch with an increasingly frustrated and angry base. ‘Going along to get along’ seems to be the wrong course of action. What does the base want? Can the Freedom Caucus lead the house? Those are turning out to be much more complex questions. In a free wheeling stream-of-consciousness podcast, we discuss the underpinnings of Republican rank and file political philosophy and find … none. Senator Ted Cruz recently suggested what is needed to change America is a ‘grassroots’ movement, only without organization, there is no movement. Without philosophical underpinnings, there is no organization. Republicans, tea partiers and others on the right might suggest a ‘freedom caucus speaker’ might lead them out of the wilderness. Lead them where? To What? How? Uh….yeah. Thus, the best opportunity to elect a Republican President in years begins to fade, with a moderate leadership that can’t even run an election for speaker of a house it controls, and a rank and file that wouldn’t recognize, or vote for Ronald Reagan today. With this kind of comedy in progress, Democrats never had it so good. Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul and Pride of Homes.
Bob Davis Unplugged. I’ve always admired talk show hosts who can do a good show without notes, preparation or a plan. Certainly walk and talk podcasts fit that bill, but it helps to walk while you talk. In studio is a different story. There have been some interesting developments in the news this week. Commentators are back to following the proverbial bouncing ball and missing some points that I think need to be made. Regarding the Oregon shooting; When I asked people what was going on in the news they said, “There’s the Trump thing, the Pope thing and oh yeah, another mass shooting.” Of course the President didn’t skip a second rushing out to demand Americans surrender their guns. Why do we have a second amendment? Is there a final check on the dangerous power of government? While we don’t generally think of a government that seems to exist to extract money from our paychecks and mail checks to others, including billionaires like Warren Buffett, there’s immense power in spying and militarized police departments. Then there’s the Communist Pope. The left loves Francis, or at least they did until it was reported that the Pope – who would rather talk about the scourge of Capitalism rather than the scourge of pedophilia in the Catholic Church – met with Kim Davis, the Kentucky County Clerk who refused to marry gay couples. Suddenly the ‘amazing’ Pope Francis was tarred and feathered on social media, to the extent that the Vatican this week back pedaled ‘explaining’ the Pope’s meeting with Davis. Then there are the economic pundits and employment numbers. Almost all of them predicted a ‘great’ employment report this week, especially since low gas prices ‘act like a tax cut by stimulating the economy’, until they don’t. Now, if you have been listening to the Bob Davis Podcasts you have been warned about this shibboleth long ago. Lower gas prices don’t ‘act like a tax cut’. Our economy would have to create over 375,000 jobs a month for a long time in order to bring the millions of people who are out of the work force back in. Sadly 375,000 is a number this country’s economy has not been able to attain since the recession back in 2008, despite all the efforts to ‘stimulate’ and ‘prime the pump’ from a trillion dollar stimulus to ‘cars for clunkers’ and every other cockamamie scheme cooked up by President Obama. Moreover, none of the presidential candidates, on both sides of the political spectrum seem to have a clue about how to grow the US Economy other than more stimulus, or tax cuts but no spending cuts. Have we — as in everyone in the world — forgotten how to be capitalists? Could we feed ourselves without a job or government handout if we had to? Maybe this could be one of the positive effects of a future ‘gig economy’ … with everyone freelancing, we might actually learn to create, not take. Sponsored by Pride of Homes and X Government Trucks.
Falling Off The Wagon. Today, for some reason, I felt the impending approach of fall and thought, “I should end the unofficial, half assed ‘News Cleanse’ and start printing up stories and reading them”. Boy, was that a mistake. It does feel like climbing back into the bottle, or falling off the wagon, going back to the crack, or going back to the woman you love, who happens to be a disaster … for you. Oh I had the best of intentions. I was, in fact, very excited about the prospect of reading a hundred or so pages of news stories and bringing to you the most significant of all the stories, just like old times. When I got through the screening process, there was nothing left to talk about because I had thrown out all the stories I’d read, even the ones I saved because I thought, “This might make a good bit of content for the podcast.” Nope. Why? After a summer of peripheral examination of the news, with an emphasis on actually covering real events rather than reading rehashed versions of someone else’s story and then talking about that … after a summer of glorious discussions about the unconscious mind, or trips to Sturgis and across the country for this or that reason … I discovered today that nothing really has changed since the first day of summer dawned. Oh yes there have been developments, but what serves as ‘journalism’ in this country is basically crap. We’re not getting the information we need to make informed decisions about the 18 or 19 clowns running for higher office. Want more bad news? We aren’t even talking about candidates for Congress, Senate, and state races. So in this podcast, I took a little time to vent my frustrations with what is turning into darkest days of ‘journalism’ in our country. Maybe you share them, maybe you don’t. Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul and welcome to the newest sponsor of the Bob Davis Podcasts, the Husband and Wife team of Eric and Erum Lucero at PrideOfHomes.com and Luke Team Real Estate in the North Metro Corridor.
Jason Lewis Part 2. The second half of Jason Lewis and Bob Davis on the Bob Davis Podcast. This podcast starts with an extensive discussion of President Obama’s Iran Deal, which Jason supports. This leads into a wider conversation about the US Defense and Diplomatic structure with the rest of the countries in the world, and further discussion of Jason’s larger point that the US can’t have big government abroad and small (or limited) government at home. Once we dispatch the Iran and foreign policy questions, the talk turns to politics in the United States, and the media’s role in it. Is the influence of talk show hosts like Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck on American politics and its conduct of foreign policy. Other points to ponder include Woodrow Wilson and World War I, conspiracy theories about how the British provoked Wilson and his advisors into World War I, and the knock on problems which later contributed to the causes of World War II, in Jason’s opinion. Considering these foreign policy problems, what’s the political diagnoses by Jason, (who also claims to be a pariah in Republican circles here in Minnesota because of his ‘pacifist’ stance on foreign policy issues). Does the country need a personality who can pull people together, or can people generate a political movement on their own? In Jason’s opinion, Republicans continue to try to appeal to the small base that listens to talk radio, expecting bigger results. He also talks about his ‘semi retirement’, ‘going Galt’, and Minnesota’s economic situation, Governor Dayton, former Governor Jessie Ventura and the Minnesota legislature. We close with a short talk about our talk radio days and the future of media, in particular digital media versus broadcast media, and on demand audio like The Bob Davis Podcasts, and The Jason Lewis Show podcasts available here. Don’t forget Jason’s New Audio Book Power Divided is Power Checked available here. This is the kind of content sorely missing from talk radio these days. (Editor’s Note: It’s a great pleasure to work again — even on a podcast — with someone who knows how to deliver great talk content, and is smart, prepared, and witty!). Sponsored by X Government Cars.
Simple Solutions. On the campaign trail, it all sounds so easy. ‘Take the fight to ISIS’, ‘Take from the rich, give to the poor’, ‘Make America Great Again’, ‘Fix the economy!’, and so on. Lots of barnstormers mostly rolling through Iowa hayfields, standing at picnics, throwing out bromides and quick fixes for whatever ails the nation. With so many politicians, suddenly all our problems seem, well solvable. We want our foreign policy ‘problems’ and economic problems solved as quickly as we reorder a latte, or another salad with the right dressing. When things don’t work smoothly, we throw a tantrum and demand fixes right now. In political theater we want sound bite solutions and we want problems solved preferably before the end of the show. There isn’t anything a podium pounding politician or talk show host can’t solve, dammit! Just send in the special forces, give everyone a tax cut, shut down the border, open up the economy, light up the Russians and the Chinese and well, make American Great Again. Right? The latest ‘truth tellers’ don’t really propose any solutions, they propose more rhetoric. Who’s to blame? We are. We don’t want to know how complex our problems might be. We don’t want to know how difficult they are to solve, when it comes to corralling 435 Congressmen, 100 Senators, countless cabinet secretaries, experts, lawyers, Supreme Court Justices, and the media. We just want someone to tell us what we want to hear. Send in a few hundred ‘special forces guys’ to take care of ISIS, or a B-1 Bomber. Fix the economy. Cure the moral character. And shut those liberals up while you’re at it. What this country needs is a businessman! What this country needs is a General! What this country needs is (fill in the blank). What this country needs is a grown up electorate. Given a steady diet of onion rings, Fox News (or CNN), or the Daily Beast and Buzz Feed, what are the chances that will happen? Sponsored by X Government Cars.
The Power Of Negative Thinking. See? Made you look. What’s needed is more positive thinking. Still, negative thinking is everywhere. We’ve talked about the power of turning off all the media long enough to hear internal thoughts. Now its time to talk about how many of those internal thoughts can be negative. Negative thoughts are like a cancer, that invades everything and makes it hard to act positively for yourself. Political people especially need to remember the need to be for something, as opposed to against seemingly everything. In this podcast, some experiences directly related to business, and the changes a radio guy goes through to become a podcaster and independent businessman. It’s not all wine and roses, but in the end, being able to be independent, to navigate deep and shallow water as you wish, is very fulfilling. Fact is, no one ever said it would be easy. One of the things you learn in business for yourself is, it’s always something. Negative thoughts include self doubt, worry, and fear of failure and especially success. So many conversations this fourth of July weekend, and almost none of them were about politics and what’s on the 24 hour news channel. Many of them were about other, deeper subjects; Proof that normal, everyday, regular people are thinking about complex and deep subjects, and doing amazing things. You just don’t see them on Fox and CNN, or hear them on talk radio, because they’re too busy talking about Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, and in talk radio’s case, running away from the issues. Find out how a simple piece of advice from a friend ended up as Podcast 388. Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing of Saint Paul.
Conservative Movement RIP. The last podcast in June before a short Hiatus, also announces News Cleanse 2015. The time is ripe. While travel broadens the horizons and raises the energy of the traveler, it seems staying glued to the television 24/7, hyper vigilance with news websites, social media and those email newsletters in everyone’s in boxes is making people more ignorant, as opposed to more informed. At the end of a week that saw two rulings by the Supreme Court go against the right, it’s clear the ‘last resort’ of the courts is not a solution for a ‘movement’ that is increasingly dependent on those same courts, Fox News and Talk Radio because it is too unorganized and ignorant of tactical politics to influence congress. A court that overreached in 2000, has been very sensitive to public opinion ever since and is loathe to do anything that might upset certain groups which are well organized and ready to march. Meanwhile, on the right, there is always another outrage playing on the twenty four hour cable channels and talk radio. You can be sure at the end of the day the right will do nothing…nothing about any of it. Given this reality, these court decisions are a surprise? Even with an open political system in Minnesota, Congressman Eric Paulsen recently suggested the biggest problem with the right is lack of engagement. That is, people to carry the water. What happens? The same people who have stood up to help year after year are the people representatives see, not to mention the lobbyists, operatives and big money donors. The so called grassroots movements that were ignited with the passing of the ACA have failed to mature, failed to organize, and are fading. Meanwhile millennials are entering the adult world and the political process and they have very different ideas than grandma and grandpa. It seems almost academic to ask whether the conservative movement that started with Murry Rothbard and Barry Goldwater, might have peaked with Reagan; The truth? Its bleached bones are visible in the desert, like the opening shot of a Breaking Bad episode. “Conservatives” these days can’t decide what they are and what they believe, much less build an organization and thus a real movement around some over arching theme, because there isn’t one. What’s left is a republican party that gets 38 to 44 percent of the vote in any given year, versus a democrat party that gets 38 to 44 percent of the vote in any given year, slightly different totals and majorities because of gerrymandering congressional districts, and a big fight held in the media — a circus, really — day after day. No wonder there are twenty or more running for president on the republican side. This doesn’t preclude a republican president, but it does mean a continuing drift toward a country where control of all social and economic interaction is in the hands of the state, whether the head of that state is republican or democrat. And that is exactly what we don’t need. It’s a tough message for people on the right to hear, but it’s the cold, hard truth. Sponsored by Baklund R&D.