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 344

Foreign Policy In New Mexico. The negotiations with Iran are back at the top of the news. Taking a break from the road in The Mobile Podcast Command Unit 8, drinking coffee from the Flying J in Walter White’s Hometown. A quiet conversation about The President’s policy and negotiations with Iran, and what this president might leave the next. As the Iranians get just about everything they wanted, the Saudis, Jordanians, and Egypt talk about forming a joint command to address the Islamic State Threat. Again we find ourselves asking what the US Foreign Policy should be. Do any of the candidates on either side of the political spectrum have any ideas? Its seems as though they don’t. Meanwhile, while the media talks about domestic issues as the primary concerns of 2016, it’s very possible foreign issues could be the main focus, especially if things blow up before this President leaves office in January of 2017. And oh, a couple of side comments about road food, truck stops and travel. (Editor’s Note: This is the kind of stuff I sometimes like to talk about as soon as I wake up in the morning. I’m sitting in the RV Section at the Flying J in ABQ, drinking coffee and getting ready to roll on through New Mexico, onto Phoenix.Definitely having a blast!) And by the way, it’s spelled Albuquerque. And I did not see Walter White, Jessie Pinkman, or even Saul. Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul

Podcast 332 – Congressman Tom Emmer

Congressman Tom Emmer. Tom Emmer joins the Bob Davis Podcast to talk about his recent vote for the DHS funding bill, which has generated so much controversy with some constituents in Minnesota’s 6th District. Tom talks about the original budget bill known as ‘CROMNIBUS’, and the bill defunding DHS the House was asked to vote on recently. Also discussed is the need for an overall strategy to address presidential executive orders and memoranda, by President Obama. Problem is, since it is President Obama issuing the orders, he picks the time and ‘place’ of battle, forcing Congress to react, rather than act. Emmer also talks about the controversy on his vote for the Speaker, and disagreements with some leaders and members of the North Metro Tea Party recently. It was recently suggested that Minnesota’s 6th District is one of the most republican in the United States (Editor’s note: I made the suggestion.) In reality, while Minnesota’s 6th district is one of the most republican in Minnesota, with a +6 generic republican vote, there are districts in some states in the range of +20 for the generic republican vote. So no, Minnesota’s 6th district is not ‘like Texas’. Emmer says he understands people are angry and frustrated. Those who are angry and frustrated don’t want to talk about the complexities surrounding votes like the recent DHS vote, they’re just angry. The Congressman suggests conservatives need to lead with logic and not emotion on these issues, and the right needs a strategy for the next 18 or so months, and 2016. He says it will be different when the Senate has a 60+ majority of republicans, a wider republican majority in the House and a republican President. Tom says he has been talking with constituents pretty much non-stop since the vote. This podcast did not represent an opportunity to argue with Congressman Emmer, but an opportunity for him to respond, and to give listeners an idea what it might be like to have a conversation with the Congressman on the phone. Emmer and Davis also talk about the Authorization for Military Action the President is asking for, and whether he thinks arming the Ukraine is a good idea, given the fact that a group of Republicans and Democrats in the House and Senate are asking the President to do so. Also discussed is trade policy, and the recent ‘Snowmageddon’ that has hit the Capitol. Sponsored by Baklund R&D

Podcast 323

Obama Checks Out. After the President’s White House summit on ‘extremist violence’, a firestorm of controversy erupted when he refused to characterize the ‘extremists’ – the subject of the summit – in language that would actually describe them. Our current problem is, after all, referred to as THE ISLAMIC STATE! The President reminds us lowly peasants we are not to refer to the Islamic State as Islamic Terrorists, or even ‘Islamic’. This is apparently so that the President will still be invited to cocktail parties with the nuanced and beautiful. Obama also took care this week to describe the ‘root’ of the problem in the Middle East as a ‘lack of jobs and democracy’. This is a statement which is patently false, since almost all top Islamists hail from upper middle class families, and are well educated. Critics say the President is never going to be able to defeat the Islamist Threat if he can’t name it. The bottom line? Whether President Obama knows it or not, he has telegraphed to the American people and the world he has checked out. Its clear he just wants to make it to January 2017 with his ‘legacy’ intact. For this, we are grateful. We do not want this president conducting a major war, as long as we can get through the next 22 months or so without being blown to smithereens, burned in a cage or beheaded by ‘extremely violent people’. If you’re upset about the possible threat, channel the angst into the 2016 presidential race, because the next guy in is going to have a lot of work to do. It will fall on the next President and Congress to figure out how to clean up this mess, because the current President isn’t going to do a damn thing about ISIS, Putin, or anything else. Do we really want him to? It seems all the world’s leaders are at a loss to figure out what to do about anything. The EU is on the verge of a financial crisis and is probably in a recession, while its leaders burn the midnight oil feverishly negotiating cease fires that are apparently meaningless to people like Putin. As fighting between Ukrainian government troops and ‘separatists’ in eastern Ukraine intensified, ending in a rout for the Ukrainian troops, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said of the short lived cease fire negotiated just last weekend in Minsk, “It’s not Munich’. Is there anyone in charge these days? Or are they all waiting for their people to tell them what to do? Do they know what to do? (Wait! Don’t answer that.) The real question is what the US role in the world should be, and how this country should handle itself. This is a question that is clearly being left up to the people. Some final updates and conclusions on the foreign policy front to end the week. Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing

 

 

Podcast 315

The Gathering Storm. Updating the big stories, starting with foreign affairs. While people in the Upper Midwest and Boston are slipping and sliding through their commute, so apparently is the foreign policy of the Obama Administration. A president who said in September ‘there will be no boots on the ground’ when he announced a bombing campaign that would ‘degrade and destroy’ the Islamic State, now wants a new authorization from congress to use force in western Iraq. Is this an admission that the policy of airstrikes has not been successful? While the White House version of the force authorization only calls for special forces, and troops for specific purposes and not a general invasion, wait’ll we see what Congress ends up adding. In the Eastern Ukraine, a president who claimed economic sanctions would eventually force the Russians to end their misadventure there, now is reportedly considering arming Ukrainians. Putin has played the economic sanctions, which have hurt the Russian people, to gain public support for his effort in the Donetsk region. Moreover, whether right or wrong, Russians regard Ukraine as Russia. Kiev was the origin of Russia going back to the 10th century. When Ted Cruz, John McCain and Robert Menendez agree, its very possible so called ‘lethal aid’ will be shipped to Ukraine. Is this wise? What was the start of the current stand off. When did the US lose its way in Europe? Now what? Seems like the President may just decide to pull back and run out the clock, leaving all of this to the next President. Meanwhile, the Europeans are in conference with Ukrainian leadership, and Russian diplomats and they don’t want any arms shipments messing up their deal with Putin, in which Putin pretty much gets what he wants; The federalization of Eastern Ukraine, giving him the ability to destabilize a Ukrainian rump state whenever he chooses. Let’s not forget the province in question also has some pretty valuable natural resources and a land bridge to Crimea. Is this a good recipe for world economic growth? What if foreign policy turns out to be the big issue of 2016? Do you know what the Republican and Democrat foreign policy will be? It’s really important people start talking to each other about their values, working to knit those values together into some kind of political idea that can then be worked into concepts that are more than just rhetorical flourish. Don’t expect others to do your work for you. And if people do vote for someone with simply emotionally appealing ideas; they will get the so called leader they deserve. Sponsored by X Government Cars

Podcast 311

Brian Williams and Truth. An Update Podcast that takes a foreign policy turn. As NBC News Anchor Brian Williams tries to maintain some credibility in the wake of his admission that he ‘conflated’ a helicopter he was in with another that received RPG and small arms ground fire in Iraq in 2003, veterans and viewers are furious with Williams. In a week in which a man was burned alive in a cage, and buried, Americans are concerned with the antics of a perfumed television presenter. Why do we expect integrity from television news? Much less journalism. For years, the line between entertainment and journalism has been blurring. Perhaps now people see it for what it really is. Meanwhile back on the ranch in the middle east, suicide bombings, and decapitations of hostages and prisoners aren’t apparently enough, so IS decided to put a captured Jordanian pilot in a cage, soak him in gasoline, burn him, then bury the cage with a bulldozer. Incredibly enough this provoked a theological discussion of whether such burnings are justified under Islamic Law. It was decided such barbarity is not acceptable, but the fact that it was even submitted as a theological question is instructive. What is to be done about the Islamic State? The Kurds will only go so far in defending Kurdish Iraq. The Jordanians are understandably angry, but are already asking for bullets, fuel, guns and American Forward Air Controllers in order to attack IS. Is America ready to send troops? The President has correctly described the IS as a death cult, with an Army. It seems, though, as if the United States is underestimating the Islamic State, which some say has a much deeper and stronger appeal to a base of young people world wide, and in the region. Eliminating it may take more than airstrikes and advisors. Now the question is what is he going to do about it? And in the Ukraine – a far more serious matter to the security of Western Europe – Russia is being presented with a peace offer this weekend, which may actually give Putin everything he wants. The end of sanctions in return for allowing Eastern Ukraine provinces self determination, and self government within Ukraine. This allows Russia to reactivate the separatists at any time as well as denying Kiev vital natural resources from these regions. It’s a win for Putin because it allows him to destabilize Kiev at will. Finally, what are the foreign policy ideas of the potential candidates for president in 2016? What are your concerns? Sponsored by X Government Cars and by Depotstar

Podcast 253

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

Podcast 215

Back In The Studio. After almost ten days on the road, back in the home studio for this podcast. And what a news weekend it was. The US sends ‘troops’ to Africa to provide logistics support and training in the effort to combat the spread of Ebola. Meanwhile, a movie executive says ‘apocalyptic tentpole movies’ are boring audiences. When you consider people getting their heads chopped off, and a raging epidemic of the world’s most deadly disease, maybe some people actually think we are living in a future-post-apocalyptic-dystopia. What does the media report, and what are the real facts on-the-ground in any of the situations we’re watching in the world today. We have no way of knowing. Do our subconscious minds know the difference between the news, and Game Of Thrones, Walking Dead, or any other end-of-the-world themed venue? More and more the commentariat really is an echo chamber, where pundits and presenters are talking to each other. This was one of the primary reasons for the ‘News Cleanse’, and the ‘Road Trip’. It doesn’t appear that these events – as horrible as they are – have negatively effected the people in the many states I drove through last week. I hate to say it, but life looks like it is pretty good for some pretty normal looking people, despite The Pope saying we’re in a sort of ‘low-grade’ world war three. Are we? What do really know about anything going on these days. The pollsters told us Scotland would break off from the UK. Scotland voted No. Do we make our own luck, or live in fear? Also some quick views on what passes for local TV Broadcast news, how the most quiet Atlantic Hurricane season since the early 90’s has effected cable television news, and the latest scare in the virus world (besides Ebola) EV-D68, now ‘flooding’, ‘mobbing’ and ‘crowding’ ER’s in New York State, where there have been dozens, dozens mind you, of this respiratory virus which is also known as a bad summer cold. It never ends. But…that’s what makes my job fun. Sponsored by Baklund R&D

Podcast 205

Another beheading? Our midweek is jarred with another heinous murder of a US Journalist by The Islamic State; A video which is reported to show the beheading of Steven Sotloff surfaced Tuesday. At the same time, ‘vacationing’ Russian troops appear to be making headway against Ukrainian defenders in Eastern Ukraine as Russia continues its invasion of Ukraine. What’s to be done? Warnings, more economic sanctions, presidential trips, conferences, discussions and the ‘creation’ of a ‘rotating’ NATO ‘Quick Reaction Force’ of 4400 European ‘Special Forces’ troops. Putin has more than 20,000 troops on the Ukraine’s Eastern Border with Russia. Watching Obama’s press conference last Thursday shows clearly how analytical this President is, and how that can get the United States into a lot of trouble. On another note, Reporters and analysts have suddenly discovered that polling data does not indicate the ‘Wave Election’ for Republicans which the same analysts and reporters confidently predicted a few months ago. Suddenly, as The Bob Davis Podcasts predicted last winter, the story line has become, “What’s wrong with the Republicans?”. Well, for starters, where’s the ‘get out the vote’ organization that all wave elections are built on? Where are the street troops to take senior citizens to the polls? Where are the door knockers, lit droppers, phone bank callers, absentee ballot hander outers and easily used vote tally software? Not to mention election judges, precinct captains and well, you know, organization. Republicans were convinced of an easy victory in 2012, and shocked when it didn’t happen. Is this old song playing again? As the saying goes, “You make your own luck.” Republicans are almost giddy over polls that show Minnesota Republican Senate Candidate Mike McFadden at between 41 and 45 percent, and Senator Al Franken at 51 to 57 percent. This predicts a victory for Republicans? Not so fast. Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating

Podcast 204

Is Life A Holo Deck? A new experiment being conducted by Fermilab may prove the theory space and time are in fact 2 dimensional. Might this suggest reality is a computer? With a finite memory? What if we really are on a Holo Deck? The first reaction to a statement like that is to say, “Everything is already decided!” I take the other tack. What if we can influence our reality locally, and in the rest of the world by our actions. Developments in the Ukraine, Iraq, recession in Europe, Japan and below par growth in the US, it does feel like the world is hurtling toward a negative outcome, at least in the short term. Yet, as with a hundred years ago, we are on the edge of a brand new age predicated on the technology we have watched evolve over the last fifty years. Are we going to be able to make this transition? As the election in the US looms, how much of our path is determined by decisions already made, how much impact do we have on the future? Is it a World War I scenario? Is it an Interwar Scenario? Find out how a story about the fabric of reality, a visit by the Jehovah’s Witnesses, gel into some ideas about people getting involved and influencing these outcomes. Manifesting doesn’t necessarily mean thinking about it, and then it happens. Sometimes you have to do a little work. If life is a computer, we ought to be able to hack it. Sponsored by X Government Cars.