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.

Sponsored by Brush Studio and X Government Cars.

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?

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

 

Podcast 574-Bob Davis Podcasts Radio Show-53

Podcast 574-Bob Davis Podcasts Radio Show-53. What local TV stations are calling a blizzard has turned out to be some wind and snow flurries in Minneapolis and Saint Paul, setting the tone for this week’s radio show. Not content with predicting the weather incorrectly, the media has now taken to telling people the Electoral College is going to vote for someone other than the president elect. If that isn’t shocking enough, look how quickly the media has shifted from getting the outcome of the election wrong, to telling everyone just what kind of administration the president-elect will have. It isn’t shocking to conclude most of the pundits and prognosticators will probably be wrong in these new assumptions as well. Suddenly the so called ‘experts’ have rediscovered the Electoral College in the United States. Since we don’t report on news, or report on issues anymore the Electoral College has now become the dark and sinister force that is about to put the ‘wrong’ person in the White House. To define wrong, just insert any derogatory term you can think of. Don’t worry about proving any of them. In this show I am not going to define the Electoral College. If you don’t know what it is or how it is supposed to work, I’m not going to do your homework for you. Look it up yourself. Read the constitution and draw your own conclusions. In Podcast 574-Bob Davis Podcasts Radio Show-53, I will tell you why it is very unlikely the Electoral College is going to pull some kind of sophomoric temper tantrum or switch, or under vote to throw the election to a republican congress. This is par for the course in America, where any kind of media just continues to fail to do it’s job or do any kind of job. A media that got the election wrong because many on air felt the need to endorse a candidate early on in the primary races and their judgement was flawed from that moment. A media that got the election wrong because people on the air and in management made conclusions about polls that they could not make. All of them ignored the state by state situation and the closeness of the races in key states. Now suddenly they’re authorities on the constitution and the electoral college and they’re going to tell us what will happen next. Change is in the air in the United States. Change is apparent throughout the political spectrum. What it all means remains to be seen. Political junkies trapped in the roach motel of political coverage just can’t get let go of it. Maybe the people thinking about turkey and college football this weekend have the best approach. Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing of Saint Paul and Hydrus.

Podcast 512

Orlando Terror Attack. Another terror attack on US soil. This one, the largest death toll in a mass shooting in ‘US History’, gets the attacker’s name in lights, until the next attack that ‘breaks the record’. We now call it the Orlando Terror Attack. Or just ‘Orlando’, for short. I ask myself, how should podcasters cover this? Radio and TV stations called their A-Teams in on Sunday morning to do round robin coverage, spitting out facts and interviewing the usual experts and political prognosticators, all in hushed tones. On the cable news networks, and broadcast networks, it was all presented over video loops of SWAT Teams walking around with nothing to do, cop cars with their lights flashing, the anguish of victims and witnesses, and ambulances hauling away the dead, the dying and the critically wounded. From a podcast perspective, we don’t need to do this. Yet this is one of those topics that is unavoidable. A big story. Then the recriminations and lamentations. The demands for change and action throughout the political spectrum. Of course this attack – because the target was a gay nightclub – has something for everyone to be outraged about. Isn’t that the essence of terror as a weapons system; To divide and conquer? To bust open the old wounds and scar tissue, to make sure we never unite against a common threat? To provokeTexas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick to say “men reap what they sow”, or politicians on the other end of the spectrum to demand that ‘sensible’ gun control legislation be passed. (Editor’s note: It seems to me this kind of thing would make people want to own guns in order to protect themselves, since clearly the government with all its power isn’t protecting us.) What would you have them do? Everyone has their list of solutions from bomb them back to the stone age – didn’t we already do that? – to seal the borders and only let ‘ethnic Americans’ in. How do we do that? The problem is, in the clear light of day, these ‘solutions’ are really just expressions of anger and don’t stand up under scrutiny. What will be done? Nothing. Nothing will be done. Why? Because no one knows what to do. The United States will hold an election in November, so any and all decisive action against this kind of attack will be delayed until a new president and congress can come to grips with it. That, of course, will take more time as policy solutions are developed, and sold to the American public. It isn’t as simple as ‘this one will invade and this one won’t’ either. Do you want to support Saudi Arabia and attack Iran? Do you want to support Iran against Saudi Arabia? the Saudis support ISIS and Iran supports the Shiites. How does that work? What about Russia? What about China? What about NATO member Turkey? How will they react? You might be surprised to find a President Clinton invading some foreign country in force, just as much as you might find a President Trump doing the same thing — assuming either one of them actually gets the nomination of their party. So, it’s a very complicated problem, a long term problem, with no real solution in sight. No, nothing will be done. There will be more attacks, and they will get more ferocious until the United States or the enemy — whatever you want to call it — miscalculates and goes too far. Then there will be a typically American overreaction. We’d all better hope it works, whatever it is, whenever it is. That is the takeaway from the Orlando Terror Attack. Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul and by X Government Cars.

Podcast 439

World War III. Thanksgiving 2016 is here, and with it a raft of insane stories pulled from the week’s news, all designed to get your crazy uncle Joe absolutely apoplectic at the Thanksgiving Day table. Turkish F-16’s shoot down a Russian Su-24 Bomber and Syrian ‘rebels’ shoot down a rescue chopper with US provided TOW Missiles. Pass the dressing please. As ‘World War III’ trends on twitter, relax and set the table. According to the President, ISIS is ‘contained’ but we’re being warned to watch out for attacks this Thanksgiving on US and Europe and US citizens all over the world. Donald Trump has so frightened the so called ‘establishment wing’ of the Republican Party, they’ve started a ‘guerilla’ advertising campaign against him funded by … wait for it and drum roll please … supporters of Jeb Bush. Will anyone pay any attention to the republicans when they don’t have ‘The Donald’ to kick around anymore? Rimshot! Meanwhile there’s no shortage of nonsense on the democrat side of the fence either, with Hillary Clinton promising tax credits for people taking care of their parents, and Bernie Sanders suggesting, you know, more free stuff, by rounding up all the rich people and taking their money on Monday … when all that is spent by Wednesday, we’ll have to come up with another scapegoat. Are you going to eat those yams? Woodrow Wilson was a racist but since we can’t actually call a progressive a racist, leave Woodrow alone. And Andrew Jackson too. But Trump? It’s alright to call him repugnant and a racist, because he’s a republican, right? More mashed potatoes please. Numbers on the economy have been revised, and its going great, except for the oil glut, the 25 percent increase in your health insurance premiums and a big build up of inventories. Retail numbers are down because no one goes to the mall anymore. Really? To fix it, we need more focused and efficient government spending, cause we haven’t done that, right? How do I get out of here? Sponsored by X Government Trucks and Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul

Podcast 422

Waking Up. A fall night podcast live from the deck, with wind blowing in the trees, leaves falling, planes landing and weird noises. You hear a lot of talk these days about ‘waking up’. What does it mean? There’s an awful lot about ‘waking up’ on the Internet if you bother to do a search, from Anthony De Mello and other Theologians, to spiritualists, evangelists and regular everyday people. What do they mean by ‘waking up’? Does waking up mean moving from one dream to another? What does it mean to you? With bouncing ball ‘Schadenfreude’ news coverage the rule these days, binge viewing TV Shows (Editor’s Note: I am guilty of this one, and my list of favorite shows is in this podcast.), alcohol, weed, drugs the doctor prescribes and all kinds of other drugs from being too busy, to not being busy enough who is to say what waking up really is? Does it start with observing without action? Being actively silent? Living in the Now? Being religious? What does Yoga teach a podcaster about self awareness? Bottom line, some of us are very stubborn, but waking up is fun, even if its with just one eye open. Sponsored by X Government Trucks and Pride Of Homes

Podcast 371

The Islamic State. Now What? Just recently the perfumed princes in Washington were thrilled about a Delta Force Operation that killed one of the Islamic State’s top leaders and included the arrest of his wife. It was the kind of adventure story the American Media loves, and they gleefully turned the raid into a cartoon complete with reports of casualty free hand-to-hand combat and lurid reports of the freeing of a slave held by the couple. It was a good story and served as a narrative the White House used to prove the President’s strategy was indeed ‘degrading’ the ISIS military capabilities. I decided to wait to talk about this story, because I knew another shoe would drop. Sure enough, within a few days we were greeted with grim reports of the rout of the Iraqi Army defending Ramadi, in the Anbar province, less than 70 miles from Baghdad. Even worse, as the Iraqis ran, they left lots of shiny new military equipment from the United States, which will now be employed against Iraqis and ultimately Americans. Within a few days it has become clear President Obama’s strategy isn’t working. Now what? The problem is, this country’s media, its politicians, and its leaders have no idea what to do about this problem. We need to have a conversation that starts with what the Foreign Policy of the United States is, and what it should be, rather than fifty reporters chasing a 68 year old woman around Iowa, while she has breakfast with ten or eleven people at a time, or demanding a former governor and head of a super pac tell the country what he would have done in 2003. Don’t hold your breath. Given the fast food nature of America’s media and political environment, I am surprised anyone even knows where Anbar province is, unless they had the honor of serving there. Yet the question remains. Do you want to invade Iraq again to stop ISIS? Should we stop ISIS, since they’re fighting Iran? What are we doing, when our allies don’t understand or trust our President, and 38 people are running for President? Are we in favor of early interventions in problem areas? Does it work? A new world is being birthed, and whole sections of the planet are slipping back in time, rather than progressing. When economies in the West, and in Asia start growing in earnest again we’re going to move very quickly forward. Some places are going to be left behind. When that happens, we’re going to see some bad things happening. Are we prepared? Are you prepared? Do you know what to advocate? Do you have an opinion about what’s best for the United States? Is there a politician that can articulate and execute that idea, after 2017. Because chances are, the next black swan event that changes the world will either be economic, or foreign related, or both. As ISIS beheads, burns, cages, kills children and adds to the chaos that is the Middle East these days, the US political clown show, including the one in the White House, doesn’t give me much faith. What about you? Sponsored by X Government Cars. (Photo from the New York Post) 

Podcast 349

Blood Moon. Live from Los Angeles, California, from Mobile Podcast Command Unit 8, on the eve of a lunar eclipse some say has prophetic implications, updating the top stories for the weekend. Have the ‘prophetic’ implications of the blood moon lunar eclipse been debunked? And why do they call it a ‘blood moon’, anyway? The top international story is the ‘deal’ with Iran, which really is no deal at all. Really, it is a framework for negotiations which will resume in 3 months. Meanwhile the President himself said this week Iran is 2 months from the bomb. Does that mean they will produce a nuclear weapon one month before the negotiations begin? In truth this is a big gamble on the part of a president who badly needs an agreement with Iran to cement some kind of foreign policy legacy. Is this a good agreement? And in Indiana, hysteria reigns supreme as the left goes crazy over a law similar to scores of other laws passed in states all over the country and backed by democrats including Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, as Senator. Finally, the is the economy getting better? It depends on what outlet you get your economic news from, on any given day. Unemployment numbers are either bad, or good. People are soon to spend the ‘tax cut’ they have received from lower energy prices, or not. Characterizing the US economy as in a ‘boom’ is a stretch when the 4th quarter’s growth was revised down to 2.2 percent and at least one Fed regional office is projecting zero percent growth for the 1st quarter of 2015. What key points to look for in all these stories, and more. Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul

Podcast 227

Eclipse Radio. The three main takeaways from the news so far this week, hours before the Full Moon Lunar Eclipse on October 8th, 2014. The Blood Moon. Speaking of…While the pencil necked bureaucrats at the CDC say, “Nothing to see here folks!”, other medical scientists and researchers are not so quick to be cowed. Experts are worried – that is the word they use – the Ebola virus may spread more easily than the government assumes. The word is, there isn’t enough data to conclusively rule out the possibility the virus is only transmitted through contact with secreted substances from an infected person. There is also not enough data to conclusively determine how fast the virus can mutate, or whether the mutations would result in a less dangerous, or much more dangerous virus. People should also take note of the Enterovirus D-68 ‘Paralysis’ story, because the reporting on this one is terrible. We would like to know where these people are from, whether they have been vaccinated for Polio, and if they have come to this country recently. Meanwhile coverage of the the vacuous shout-fest between Ben Affleck and Bill Maher has apparently occupied the attention of every major commentator, despite the fact that a US Ally and NATO member Turkey, has abandoned The Kurdish people. As a result a massacre – at the very least – is in the wind as ISIS is about to take, or has taken the Kurdish town of Kobani, full of refugees from the Syrian Conflict. Oh by the way, those air-strikes? Didn’t work. On the election 2014 front, suddenly the political ‘Money Ballers’ are hedging their bets. The American people are really mad, though. Don’t know if we’ll vote, or who we’ll vote for, but the media knows for sure we’re mad. Finally some thoughts about the eclipse, superstition, how to deal with the Orwellian media reality in America today, and the coming of a new era. (Editors Note: It can’t get here fast enough for me!) Sponsored by Sedation and Implant Dentistry of Saint Paul and by Depot Star

Podcast 202

The Islamic State. What to do about it? Is it an existential threat to the United States? Is it the role of the US Government to avenge the horrible death of US Journalist James Foley? The bottom line? Emotional reactions to lurid coverage of a murder does not a foreign policy make. If you want to influence International Relations as practiced by the Executive and Legislative branches of the US Government, you also have to understand the disciplines behind the policy. The State Department, Pentagon, White House, Congress, the Clandestine Services and Non State Actors all speak a language different from ‘civilians’ being manipulated by the media. Where DOES foreign policy come from? What are the disciplines and philosophy behind the concepts driving executive, intelligence, military and legislative positions and, more importantly, actions. How will the death of James Foley be handled. Will airstrikes alone eliminate the ISIS threat? What about intervening in Syria? Is it The President’s fault? Which president? Media coverage of this story is terrible. Viewers and listeners aren’t getting any background in foreign policy development, and we’re hearing the same tired arguments from deliberations over the Iraq war in 2002 and 2003 all over again. Here’s some background and some facts about the situation. Sponsored by Autonomouscad.com.