Franken Resigns-GOP Celebrates-Sexual Politics Rules-Podcast 683

Minnesota Senator Al Franken announced his impending resignation on December 7th, 2017. A can of worms popped open for both political parties as Minnesota and National Republicans and Democrats try to figure out the aftermath. We’ll talk about it in Franken Resigns-GOP Celebrates-Sexual Politics Rules-Podcast 683.

Welcome To The Age Of American Ignorance

These days people wonder what has happened to American politics. To answer that question, one need only to turn to social media. What passes for political discourse these days is nothing more than ignorant shouting, name calling and demanding that they all get what they want right now.

Garbage In Garbage Out

Especially relevant is what happens when a real crisis develops. A Tax Reform package. The aftermath of the resignation of a senator. Moreover what passes for ‘news’ on biased platforms is garbage. We’ll try to balance that in Franken Resigns-GOP Celebrates-Sexual Politics Rules-Podcast 683.

Minnesota As Political Ground Zero In 2018

Minnesotans can look forward to an especially hot political season, starting in January 2018. There will certainly be two senate seats up for grabs in 2018 and one in 2020. With a close race for republicans in Alabama the senate and future of the country hangs in the balance. Why is Franken delaying his departure? Who will his replacement be?

Thermidor II

Finally, a cautionary note. In conclusion a podcaster wonders whether the politics of personal destruction has become a little like the aftermath of the French Revolution. A mob sending shocked victims to the gallows. In this case, the gallows of public opinion. While not defending whatever the accused have been accused of, it is true that they have not been able to face their accusers in a court where they have a chance to present a defense and question the character of their accused, the way their character has been questioned.

This does not end well. Just sayin’

(Editor’s Note: Some people have wondered how the governor would ‘appoint himself’ to be the next senator from Minnesota. The governor resigns and the Lieutenant Governor then appoints the former governor to the senate. In 1976 Minnesota governor Wendell Anderson resigned to be appointed to the senate by Lieutenant Governor Rudy Perpich. The DFL suffered a stinging defeat at the next election. This defeat was ever after called ‘The Minnesota Massacre‘.)

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Franken Resigns-GOP Celebrates-Sexual Politics Rules-Podcast 683

When Tax Reform Isn’t-What Congress Giveth It Taketh Away-Podcast 676

They call it Tax Reform. A Jobs Bill. That’s what it must be, right? Journalists and commentators are playing the same old game. Argue a proposed piece of legislation on its merits. Time to reset the boundaries in When Tax Reform Isn’t-What Congress Giveth It Taketh Away-Podcast 676.

Freedom Of Choice

While listeners to The Bob Davis Podcasts always have the freedom to choose what they think is right, I want to introduce the concept of marginal improvement. Legislators on both sides of the political spectrum talk big about ‘reform’. Usually though they make what really are marginal changes. This is especially relevant when we’re talking about the tax code.

The Real Football Game Is Congress

Team Red moves the ball back to the Blue thirty yard line. It’s hailed as a great victory. Team Blue moves the ball back to the Red twenty yard line a few years later. These are what both sides call marginal improvements. Meanwhile, as economist Milton Friedman famously suggested, they keep getting elected by making the tax code more complicated.

Budget Neutrality Isn’t A Thing

Enter a legislative concept called Budget Neutrality. The idea every expenditure must be ‘paid for’ with tax increases, or budget cuts. You think Tax Reform means lower taxes. What they’re really doing is taking away tax deductions and loop holes, and increasing our overall tax. The sad part is, it’s not their money, it’s our money. In When Tax Reform Isn’t-What Congress Giveth It Taketh Away-Podcast 676.

What Is Real Reform?

If you want real reform. The end to this kind of corruption? Then the power of the federal government to tax our incomes and our property must be permanently eliminated. Should corporations be taxed at all? Do you have property rights if you pay property taxes? How does government pay for the wonderful things both sides wants it to provide? We talk about it in When Tax Reform Isn’t-What Congress Giveth It Taketh Away-Podcast 676.

Already Socialists

So called conservatives like to argue the merits of capitalism versus socialism. It seems like I’d be on pretty safe ground if I suggested the United States has been collectivist for decades. Our economic system is not so much capitalist as it is a controlled market economy. Our elected Kings and their privy courts control our behavior and our futures with regulation and a tax code so complex, were it to be proposed as a single law in its present form, it would cause a revolution.

(Editor’s Note: While the first actual income tax in the United States was levied during the Civil War, it was later repealed as ‘unconstitutional’. Several attempts were made to establish an income tax through the late 1800’s which were unsuccessful, until the 16th amendment, ratified in 1913.)

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When Tax Reform Isn’t-What Congress Giveth It Taketh Away-Podcast 676

Misinformation Disinformation Red Alert-How To Cope-Podcast 669

Walk and Talk Podcast focusing on all the bad coverage of recent events. Late night. Moonlight. The smell of fall in the air. Perfect setting to try and sort all this out. In Misinformation Disinformation Red Alert-How To Cope-Podcast 669.

Lies and Fairy Tales

The theme of these podcasts has always been the fact that most of what passes as ‘news’ is opinion. These days though, the fairy tale nature of news coverage has reached a new level of mendacity. This time it’s digital media.

Digital Media Is A Sea Of Disinformation

That’s right. Anyone you talk to can give you a dissertation on the failure of the so called mainstream media to ‘do their job’. Almost no one talks about the failures of digital media. Especially You Tube ‘correspondents’. We’ll talk about it in Misinformation Disinformation Red Alert-How To Cope-Podcast 669.

New Sources Require New Diligence

I watch a lot of You Tube stuff these days. Apparently so do many Americans. You Tube is the source of a great deal of what the American Public thinks it ‘knows’. While entertaining, You Tubers pump out a steady stream of false flag attack stories, end of the world proofs, predictions about the future, and ‘inside’ stories that can never be fact checked.

Aliens and False Flags

We’re walking around with a lot of nonsense in our heads when any new thing happens. Las Vegas? North Korea? Some kind of legislative initiative? We think we live in a society with a free exchange of information, but what do we really know about these things? In Misinformation Disinformation Red Alert-How To Cope-Podcast 669.

It’s A Ken Burns World

The world does not sluice down into a documentary series with music and pictures. Historians spend years studying events. New information changes conclusions. Building a framework to understand it all requires reading real books about real history. A framework also comes with experience and life.

And every now and then, maybe a quiet walk on a tree lined, leaf covered path on a beautiful fall night.

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Misinformation Disinformation Red Alert-How To Cope-Podcast 669

Weekend Radio Pre Show Rehearsal Show Prep-Podcast 667

When you get the last minute call to ‘fill in’ on the local radio station you have to prepare. As a podcaster it might be fun to try out some content for the radio in the podcast format. Late at night before the show I sat down to record Weekend Radio Pre Show Rehearsal Show Prep-Podcast 667.

Where Do I Find The Radio Show?

If you want to hear the actual show this podcast spawned, you can find it here. It turned out to be significantly different from the rehearsal. Radio and podcasting are two different mediums. Podcasting itself is growing quickly. A good portion of what passes for radio listening might actually be people listening to their favorite radio show podcasts.

Where Partisanship Comes From

These days we’re crushed by an avalanche of advocacy media. Much of the content we see, read and hear is created by advocacy think tanks and is designed to persuade not inform. We’ll talk about it Weekend Radio Pre Show Rehearsal Show Prep-Podcast 667.

Reacting Rather Than Thinking

My new thing is, with so much sharing and posting of advocacy pieces on social media we tend to spend a lot of time reacting rather than thinking. No wonder the country continues to grow more partisan every day. We hear so much we have to react to these days, there’s no time to think about what we need.

Presidential Tweets Distract

We miss major stories because we focus too much on things like presidential tweets. One of the big ones this week was the Federal Reserve’s decision to withdraw stimulus. With Puerto Rico controversy taking center stage next week, what else will we miss? In Weekend Radio Pre Show Rehearsal Show Prep-Podcast 667.

There’s a lot of content on a lot of different topics in Weekend Radio Pre Show Rehearsal Show Prep-Podcast 667. It turned out to be a great way to rehearse for the radio show Saturday afternoon.

Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating in Saint Paul

Weekend Radio Pre Show Rehearsal Show Prep-Podcast 667

Storm Clouds Gather Over The Bull Market-Podcast 665

We don’t see the storm building over the markets. Distractions. Shiny things that draw the eye and ear. A war of words between a North Korean dictator and the president. Kneeling football players and the Tweeter In Chief. Meanwhile, the long expansion in the markets may be about to end. A heads up for you on how and why in Storm Clouds Gather Over The Bull Market-Podcast 665.

Watch The Shiny Thing

We don’t look beyond the distractions in the media to see what they conceal. No amount of pointing and saying ‘look’ is going to change it. We have not had a serious market or financial crisis since 2008. Our economy has been on life support ever since. Now the DNR order has been signed. Find out why in Storm Clouds Gather Over The Bull Market-Podcast 665.

Market Shocks Have Political Consequences

Remember 2008? The market crashed. The banking system was going to seize up, they said. A republican administration suddenly bailed out the banks, insurance companies and big car companies. The shock changed politics. A new administration came in, in 2009. New banking regulations, more government spending and a very large stimulus package was passed by congress.

Hey! What Happened To The Punch Bowl?

The Federal Reserve, bank of last resort, began a program called Quantitative Easing in 2009. Over the next eight years the FED added trillions of dollars to its balance sheet as it ‘injected’ money into the US economy. QE one, two three and four indirectly supported the stock market through the purchase of hundreds of billions of dollars worth of securities. What happens when they take that away?

Pay Attention

So this is a simple heads up that it might be time to start paying attention. While we’re talking about things that don’t matter they are doing things that do. That storm roiling to the west, might be rolling in anytime. In Storm Clouds Gather Over The Bull Market-Podcast 665.

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Storm Clouds Gather Over The Bull Market-Podcast 665

 

 

 

Harvey Irma North Korea-DACA-Back In A News Rich Environment-Podcast 661

Back to the grindstone in Harvey Irma North Korea-DACA-Back In A News Rich Environment-Podcast 661. As Texas struggles with the aftermath of one major storm, another is on the way. North Korea’s Hydrogen Bomb and a full congressional schedule means we’re suddenly we’re back in a news rich environment.

President Trump Is Santa Claus

Especially relevant is the question of whether the US Federal Government is actually Santa Claus. Make your list, check it twice. While Republicans talk about individual responsibility when it comes to disaster, concerns about debt and overspending go out the window. Another hurricane, another opportunity for presidents to wear the jacket and the hat and show up to help. It’s all about public relations. We’ll talk about it in Harvey Irma North Korea-DACA-Back In A News Rich Environment-Podcast 661.

Hug Some Babies Phase Out DACA

President Trump made the obligatory trip to the hurricane zone over the weekend, then signed an order to phase out DACA at the beginning of the week. A campaign promise fulfilled, or kicking a problem to congress? Is it wrong to suggest a complete immigration reform package passed before phasing out the program with an executive order might be a better path?

It’s a Business, right?

We expect presidents to rule through fiat. “Run It Like A Business!” Problem is Santa Claus can’t do much with executive orders. Real reform requires congressional action. Getting that done requires real political acumen of the president. Businesses can’t print money to pay off their debt. In Harvey Irma North Korea-DACA-Back In A News Rich Environment-Podcast 661.

Tax Reform Means Raising Taxes

Tax Reform now looms as the next legislative failure for a GOP majority. ‘Cutting Taxes’ might mean raising taxes in places people who voted Republican might not expect. Requiring ‘revenue neutral‘ proposals means ‘tax cuts’ rather than spending cuts. With debt over 100 percent of the GDP maybe Santa Claus should stay home. Not a chance. Find out why I say this in Harvey Irma North Korea-DACA-Back In A News Rich Environment-Podcast 661.

Bombs Away

Then there’s North Korea. They’ve got a bomb and a missile. Trump has a saber to rattle. Maybe it will work. Then again maybe the Doom Merchants on You Tube are right about September 23rd, 2017.

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Harvey Irma North Korea-DACA-Back In A News Rich Environment-Podcast 661

Minnesota 2nd District Congressman Jason Lewis-Podcast 647

Minnesota 2nd District Congressman Jason Lewis joins Bob Davis during the Pan-O-Prog (Panorama Of Progress) parade in Lakeville Minnesota.

High Stakes

Coming back from the recess, republican majorities in the House and Senate have a lot on their plate. Stakes are high. The Senate has to take up the question of ObamaCare. The House prepares to move onto Tax Reform and a big bombshell when it comes to the budget. For the first time in a long time the house will tackle so called mandatory spending.

No Town Hall Meetings So Far

There’s pressure on Freshman Congressman Lewis because he’s been meeting with constituents and detectors one on one rather than hold so called Town Hall meetings. Lewis addresses this criticism during Minnesota 2nd District Congressman Jason Lewis-Podcast 647. Still, Lewis points to legislative progress in key areas of this podcast and says he still supports the president’s agenda, with qualifications.

Not A Debate

Subscribers sometimes wonder why I do not debate sitting legislators and executives when I interview them. Every now and then our conversations get heated, but I don’t feel it is the role of the podcaster or interviewer to ‘debate’. We ask the questions, you draw your own conclusions.

Fasten Your Seat Belts For This Parade

Minnesota 2nd District Congressman Jason Lewis-Podcast 647 is a slice of life, interviewing the congressman on a gorgeous summer evening in Mobile Podcast Command as we roll through the parade. We talk about his concerns and challenges as a first term congressman. Two talk radio guys can cover a lot of ground, so fasten your seat belts for this parade.

Devil’s In The Details

New Congressmen are inundated with detail when it comes to legislation pending, and bills they’ve voted on. Especially interesting and relevant to me is the higher level of detail in Congressman Lewis’ answers versus Jason Lewis the candidate.

2018 Depends On This Congress Acting

One point the congressman makes is very important. He feels strongly for republicans, of which he is one, that this congress has to act. Lewis is looking to actions candidates in the 2018 cycle can point to as essential to a successful ‘re-elect’. We’ll see. Thanks again to the congressman and the people of Lakeville, Minnesota

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Minnesota 2nd District Congressman Jason Lewis-Podcast 647

 

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

 

 

Trump’s Comey Con 2017-Podcast 629

President Trump fires FBI director Comey. The advocacy media goes crazy. Everything Trump does is wrong. Whatever Trump does is right. Everyone wants to hear what they want to hear. Republicans are good/bad. Democrats are bad/good. My team is better than your team. This is not an informed populace. This is the Roman Chariot races. In Trump’s Comey Con 2017-Podcast 629.

Media At Its Best

A blizzard of reaction, meetings in the bushes, comments at press conferences, tweets and opinions about what happened makes it impossible to advance the story. The President can fire the FBI director if he wants. No it isn’t unprecedented. Yes it is unusual. Bill Clinton was the last president to do it. Yes a President should have the people he wants in his administration.

That’s My Story and I’m sticking To It. Or not.

Believe what you want. Trump wanted to fire Comey from the get go. Or, Trump decided quickly he’d had it with Comey’s showboating and decided to fire him. Or, Trump fired Comey because the FBI director wanted more money for continuing the FBI probe of the allegations Russia tampered with the 2016 election. Pick and choose your truth.

Good Luck

If your two sources of information are the local talk radio station and a cable show in the evening you won’t know much. If you read all the columns and commentary from pundits trying to persuade people the red team is right, or the blue team is right you’ll be more confused. The commentary masquerading as news goes many layers deep. Actual reporting is scarce. Facts are dear.

What Do You Actually Know

Partisan reaction obscures a very important question. What is the truth regarding allegations of attempts by the Russians to influence the US Election? Is it true Trump campaign officials colluded with the Russians in an alleged effort to influence the US Election? Did the Russians work on behalf of the Trump campaign? Was then candidate Donald Trump aware? Did Trump collude with the Russians?

Firing the FBI director has done nothing but open a festering wound. Do you know whether there was collusion between the Russians and the Trump campaign? Your congressmen and senators do not know either. We will eventually have to have a special prosecutor to settle the question. As this process works itself out, you and I will know even less.

Who’s Minding The Store?

Meanwhile not much is getting done, despite the first 100 days ballyhoo. The so called ‘ObamaCare repeal’ bill languishes in the Senate. Courts have tied up the most significant of the Trump executive orders, while others merely direct studies to take place or involve the normal process of running the executive branch. Congress passed and the president signed a budget that looks like a holdover from the Obama administration. This is draining the swamp? This is a new day?

Advice From Talk Show Hosts

Right wing talk show hosts are suddenly talking about how Trump can’t be Trump, or why we need a constitutional convention that mysteriously would only include ‘conservatives’. And yet, Trump appears to be doing quite well at being himself in spite of all the advice from those knowledgeable talk show hosts. Just look at his tweets.

Well. At least we’re not talking about a crisis in the middle east or North Korea.

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Trump’s Comey Con 2017-Podcast 629

 

 

 

Donald Trump’s Fantastic Incredible Awesome Rhetorical Presidency-Podcast 620

Foreign Policy Based On Cable News and Twitter

Wars. Rumors of wars. In Donald Trump’s Fantastic Incredible Awesome Rhetorical Presidency-Podcast 620 Trump breaks another promise. Remember 2013? That’s when Trump said Obama should forget about Syria. Save his powder for something more important. In the debates, then candidate Trump said the same thing. Leave Syria alone. We’ll get nothing out of attacking Assad.

Trump Fine With Assad Until…

At the end of March Senators McCain and Graham were pleading to attack Assad. However as late as last week Nikki Haley was telling her UN Counterparts and the world Assad could stay. Then came the chemical attack on Syrian civilians. Children. Pictures on cable news. President Trump saw the pictures and got mad.

Cable News Made President Mad

As Trump and his team met with the Chinese at his resort in Florida, he ordered a counterstrike. 59 missiles. 70 million dollars. The runway where the planes took off is still intact. Syrian military aviation continues to fly sorties from that runway. On a dime this president has changed US foreign policy. Changed one of the cornerstones of his campaign. Another major promise broken.

North Korea Too

Over the weekend the USS Carl Vinson Strike Force was detailed to the Western Pacific. Off the Korean Peninsula. Suddenly Donald Trump has become George W. Bush. If you voted for Trump is this what you voted for? We’re a long way from building the wall and getting China to send all those jobs back now, Toto.

Alt Right Deeply Misinformed

Then there are the rumors. The bad reporting. The discourse on social media. One hundred fifty thousand US troops to Syria? Says so right here. China deploying another one hundred fifty thousand of their troops to the Yalu river, China’s border with North Korea. Russia and Iran say they’ll respond if there are any more US attacks. Word is the Russian Navy is very busy in Europe. More activity than the cold war.

How About Those Twins?

Voters who didn’t want to talk about foreign policy because it was too complicated might want to bone up. TV producers and Radio Program directors and talk show hosts may want to drop the banter about sports and the weather. Republicans should take a look at the bargain they made with this president and ask themselves just what they bought and must now defend.

Trust Me. It’s Gonna Be Great

Welcome to Donald Trump’s Fantastic Incredible Awesome Rhetorical Presidency-Podcast 620. Tax Reform, a trillion dollar stimulus program and another run at repealing ObamaCare loom. The US is twenty trillion dollars in debt. On top of that, perhaps a war in Syria he campaigned against and a crisis in North Korea. Don’t worry though. The president will tweet about it. Foreign Affairs crisis? Bah. More tweets. In Donald Trump’s Fantastic Incredible Awesome Rhetorical Presidency-Podcast 620.

(Editor’s Note: Late Tuesday the President told the New York Post, “We are not going into Syria”, and blamed the confusion on his ‘aides’. Which would be his ambassador to the UN among other fairly senior administration personnel. Oddly enough regime change remains a new goal. He also said, “We’re sending an armada” to North Korea. Rhetorical Presidency indeed.)

Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul.