Refusing To Take A Side Alienates Political Partisans-Podcast 623

A friend asked me the other day if I was trying to alienate my audience. The reason for the question? I refused to take sides during election 2016 and will not do the bidding of politicians, in Refusing To Take A Side Alienates Political Partisans-Podcast 623.

On The Road

Last year The Bob Davis Podcasts went on the road to cover the primary campaigns. I traveled thousands of miles back and forth across the United States. When you roll on the backroads you see a lot and you learn a lot. Once you do that, you never view politics in the same way.

Manipulation

We’re being manipulated. Constantly. Republican and Democrat. Did a podcast about that. Detailed how we get our news from social media. Explained how to tell if a story lives up to journalistic standards. Asserted the idea that bad information leads to bad decisions. Apparently asserting ideas like this can put people on the defensive.

If You Want To Know The Truth

To know the truth, don’t take a side. It seems like everyone in media these days is taking a side. Defending a position. Making an argument. Demanding they be followed. Most information defends a point of view. This is the essence of our national manipulation. People say, “I don’t have time to sort it all out”. That is why I am doing these podcasts.

Shooting The Messenger

There are many assertions in modern news coverage these days. Most of these assertions are little more than opinion. This doesn’t mean the facts might one day support one view or another. Sadly the first reaction is defensive when facts don’t support conspiracy theory, commentary, personality endorsements, wishful thinking or the need to feel secure about a decision.

My Style of Communication

I am passionate. Direct. Intense. When I direct that passion and intensity toward something important to a specific listener it can be disconcerting. The value is it is researched, honest and authentic. Not filled with small talk and an effort to ingratiate myself with people so I can finesse a politicians message. This style of communication has certainly caused me trouble, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

History and Peeking Ahead

In Refusing To Take A Side Alienates Political Partisans-Podcast 623, I take a look at talk radio and media history, and discuss aging and changing perceptions, personal growth. Also take a look ahead to plans for covering the next election cycles. Hopefully I’ll continue to ruffle some feathers and get some discussion and thinking going.

Refusing To Take A Side Alienates Political Partisans-Podcast 623

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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.

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Podcast 612-Behind My Decision Canceling Radio Show

Behind My Decision Canceling The Bob Davis Podcasts Radio Show

Big day at The Bob Davis Podcasts. Decided to stop doing my syndicated radio show; The Bob Davis Podcasts Radio Show. Podcasts only from here on. Pure Play Podcasting. Find out why in Podcast 612-Behind My Decision Canceling Radio Show.

Mission Creep

The Bob Davis Podcast Radio Show has been on the air for seventy weeks. I started podcasting in 2009. After so many years I thought bringing content from my podcasts back to radio would be a good idea. Eventually I started posting the radio show as a podcast both to monetize it and because I wanted people to hear the show in the digital quality the Internet enables. In the end though, the show was beginning to take over the podcasts.

Podcasting vs. Radio

Pulling back the curtain for podcast subscribers starts with thanks, first of all, to Lee Michaels at Salem Broadcasting in Minneapolis and Saint Paul for believing in and airing the show. In the end, though, I came to realize radio and podcasting are two different mediums. For me the radio format has become too restrictive. I do not like what I sound like when talking about politics in the radio format. Plus podcasters can talk about other things that aren’t political. Like a trip to a motorcycle rally, an air show, or storm chasing.

Digital Marketing

Podcasters think having a radio show is a big deal. People think radio is a big deal. I don’t think it is anymore. Truth is digital marketing works better to build an audience for a podcast than radio. Podcasts have younger audiences more willing to take a chance on unique content. In Pure Play Podcasting we do not have to talk about issues the same old way. Hear about it in Podcast 612-Behind My Decision Canceling Radio Show.

Political Climate

Another factor is the political climate and mainstream media’s role in it. These days something true on Monday is proven false by Friday. Every media personality seems to be fighting to convince the audience of a certain point of view. Choosing a side and promoting that side has become the norm in modern ‘talk’. I don’t want to do that. I’ll tell you why in Podcast 612-Behind My Decision Canceling Radio Show.

French Revolution

Podcasters who only do podcasting may be the antidote for a discourse in this country that has come to resemble the French Revolution, as far as I am concerned. Thank you to those who helped me with the radio show. Thanks to the few that listened to The Bob Davis Podcasts Radio Show on the radio. Welcome to The Bob Davis Podcasts!

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Podcast 606-“My Personal State Of The Union Message”

Media Event

US Presidents must report to Congress “from time to time” as required by the US Constitution. President Washington delivered the first state of the union message in person. Most presidents literally mailed it in after Washington. In Podcast 606-“My Personal State Of The Union Message”.

Shifting Focus Podcast 606-“My Personal State Of The Union Message”

Think Oscars. White House Correspondents dinner. Events made for the media. Perfect time for me to share in Podcast 606-My State Of The Union Message. A year of travel resulted in an increasing interest in the business of my business. In Podcast 606-“My Personal State Of The Union Message” I talk about how my focus has shifted.

Purpose

Experts tell entrepreneurs to focus. Have a clear idea of what you want to accomplish. They don’t say how much you’ll learn about yourself. How much you’ll change along the way. Starting a business is a process of self discovery. Working for ‘the man’ can cause needless worry about what happens if you make a mistake.

Good News

Every day is a new challenge. When you’re the boss all the good and bad things accrue directly to you. I am much more interested now in building a dynamic and creative business to provide resources for me to do the things I am passionate about doing. A business that serves clients and the audience. My business allows me to change and be more creative.

Breaking Free

Untethering has become my new passion. Selling everything. Getting rid of the house and car. Hitting the road. Staying on the road. Business consultants who travel all the time are doing it. Vagabonds have been doing it for years. The objective is to cover news stories as they happen and find interesting people and places to visit and talk about.

Live Your Passion

The State of The Union Message is an opportunity to talk politics. It’s also an opportunity to examine our own lives over the past year or so. Are we living our passion? Doing what we love? Sharing the passion with business associates, family and friends?

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Podcast 593-Surreal Weekend

Surreal Weekend

The Inaugural Ceremony in the United States is supposed to symbolize the peaceful transfer of political power. Podcast 593-Surreal Weekend reviews my reactions to the weekend of January 20th, 2016 from the Inauguration speech of the new President Trump, to the protests on Sunday and a bizarre first-time appearance of the President’s new press secretary. Yes. It was a surreal weekend.

After the new President’s speech, the arguments started almost immediately over how many people watched and attended. Sunday’s protests can only be described as the ‘anti-inaugural’. From talking vagina signs to the thugs smashing windows in Washington to Madonna fantasizing about ‘blowing up the White House‘, this was a was a Surreal Weekend.

FaceBook and Twitter were ghettos of dueling memes and videos posted by furious adherents to one side or another. An old woman berated a fellow passenger on a plane for being a Trump supporter, ending with her being escorted off the plane by police to the cheers of passengers.

If you did not support either mainline candidate you’re in a difficult position. The media believes its job is to react to whatever stimuli is thrown out by Trump’s team. When so called journalists aren’t taking the bait on Trump’s line they’re busy predicting the future. We’re swimming in a sea of partisanship. Pundits discuss the ‘significance’ of protests in urban centers that would have supported any candidate put up by democrats in 2016. News anchors debate something called ‘alternative facts’.

Did you think the tactic of distracting the media with one stunt after another would be over after the election? Think again. Apparently the media will take the bait every time. Hook, line and sinker. Pundits and talking heads will ‘explain’ whatever stunt was employed or argue the reaction to the stunt. ‘Guests’ will appear on every show arguing the merits of the silly outcome of the latest stunt. Popular songs will be written. Memes will be distributed on social media. Videos will be made. People will scream and yell at each other.

What if you support no one. If you don’t believe any of then are going to remove the boot heel on our necks, then what? Substance? Really? Compare the substance and specificity as well as philosophy of the first Reagan inaugural to the vacuum of Trump’s. Examine the difference between the language and intent of the so called protests this weekend to the language of Martin Luther King’s rally in Washington. America’s discourse today is a sad echo of the past. Yes. It was a surreal weekend.

Something Wicked This Way Comes

We don’t think anymore we attack. Attack the messenger. Or attack the source. Attacking the person is always good too. The method is attack and attack and then move on to the next target. This week’s talking head video says what needs to be said. Tomorrow it’s another meme or video. Ignorant of the facts? Unable to put a sentence together? No problem. Just post this meme or video and boom! It’s bad and its going to get worse.

We should certainly give the new president and his team the benefit of the doubt but I do not intend to defend him. He is capable of defending himself. When the new administration does something I think is right, I’ll say so. However, I do think people who supported President Trump all through the campaign have a responsibility to defend him. Trump supporters will have to develop the arguments to defend him and they’ll have to organize against what is already formidable opposition. If you’re a Trump supporter and you’re not our organizing your neighborhoods, good luck in the next election cycles.

I get this feeling there is something evil out there. Something Wicked This Way Comes. Maybe it’s the result of a surreal weekend, but something doesn’t feel right. I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop. I’m not talking about the man in the oval office. I’m not talking about the left’s protests. It is a feeling that I can’t shake.

We’ll see.

(Editor’s Note: Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton collapsed during the State of the State message at the Minnesota State Capitol Monday, adding to the surreal quality of the current time frame. While I find little to agree with the Governor on politically, I have interviewed him and he is a gracious and nice man. The latest reports in the current time frame are that the Governor is doing well.)

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Podcast 590-Ending Met Council Tyranny

Bob Davis Podcast Radio Show #61-Jeff Johnson

Across the country regional councils controlled by unelected appointees are amassing great power over elected town councils, county councils and in some cases state legislatures. The biggest and most expensive of all is the Metropolitan Council, which exerts funding and legal control across the Minneapolis and Saint Paul Metro, up to and including its own taxing authority. In some cases saying no to the Met Council results in a loss of funding, public relations attacks on the offending elected official and his or her town, or lawsuits because, “You can’t say no to the Met Council”.

In Podcast 590-Ending Met Council Tyranny, Bob Davis Podcast Radio Show #61-JeffJohnson, a Hennepin County Commissioner gives a history of the Met Council, a description of just how large the council’s budget is, how many employees it has, the extent of its vast influence in planning and development in the Minneapolis and Saint Paul area. If your town wants state and federal funding for various projects, the Met Council is the conduit for that funding.

At issue is the Met Council’s peculiar view of just what development is supposed to look like, which is decidedly not funding for highways and bridges. The Metropolitan Council’s view of the future is fewer roads, more bike trails and more sidewalks. We’re supposed to ride our bikes to work when it is 5 below zero, or sit in traffic jams of biblical proportions or ride light rail transit being forced through at a cost of billions.

This podcast is a companion to Podcast 501-Mark Korin, which details the trails and tribulation of a small town Minnesota Mayor against the Mighty Metropolitan Council. As Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson explains, the Metropolitan Council’s tyrannical control over towns, cities, counties and even the legislature is becoming a bi-partisan issue. With the advent of the Minneapolis South West Light Rail project and its threat to the peace and quiet of Minneapolis’ Chain of Lakes Parks, local residents are furious at the unelected council’s heavy handed approach.

An agency that began in 1967 as a way to mange water and sewer connections between local towns and cities, and to manage bus lines, has grown into an agency employing thousands and costing taxpayers billions, with its own police force, and the power to tell local administrators and elected officials to pound sand.

Johnson and Bob Davis discuss at least two ways to eliminate the Metropolitan Council’s authority or all together. Johnson proposes eliminating the council and replacing it with a board of elected officials from the area, with a more circumscribed and specific authority.

Bob Davis suggests at the very least, the Met Council’s budget could be deeply cut starting with council members who make over six figures a year, its police force absorbed by county and city law enforcement, and the creation of a separate transit authority. Finally, statutes which coerce local towns and cities to comply with the Met Council’s plans for dense growth, low income housing, bike paths and light rail transit, must be repealed.

Finally, are there enough votes in the legislature to accomplish Ending Met Council Tyranny? Johnson seems to think there is a chance, since many legislators hail from rural, suburban and exurban districts, with residents who have to pay for the Met Council’s grandiose plans, but receive none of the benefits. Moreover, legislators from urban districts in Minneapolis are getting an earful from wealthy Minneapolis liberals incensed at the way they’ve been treated by the Met Council over the Southwest Light Rail Project.

Sponsored by Brush Studio and Hydrus Performance.

 

 

Podcast 584-Bob Davis Podcasts Radio Show-58

Podcast 584-Bob Davis Podcasts Radio Show-58. With the Electoral Vote, Donald J. Trump is the official President Elect of the United States. He’ll be sworn in as the 45th President on Friday, January 20th, 2017. As terrible coverage of the election, post election and the events leading up to the inauguration continues, time to shift the conversation toward the challenges ahead. Podcast 584-Bob Davis Podcasts Radio Show-58 my coverage of these challenges.

Last summer I predicted the final outcome of the 2016 election would center on the Great Lakes region of the United States. Ohio, Pennsyvania, Wisconsin, Michigan. The former industrial heartland has been plagued by bad economic and policy initiatives, excessive taxation, corruption and incompetent local governments. It’s not surprising people in these regions would have reached a point where they have had enough.

The new narrative is Donald Trump heralds a new kind of politics in America. Depending on the source, either a darker, jingoistic throwback to the 1950’s, a new kind of Populist-Conservative politics, or a new Centrism. Every politician wants to be thought of as a rail splitter, born in a log cabin. Both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump come from upper middle class backgrounds. Park Ridge, Illinois and the Jamaica neighborhood of Queens, in New York City are hardly breeding grounds for American Populists.

While the tone of the executive branch might change under Trump the fact is moderate, establishment Republicans and moderate Democrats are still in control of the United States Government. How do we expect this group of out-of-touch politicians to address the challenges we face?

Since 2008 the US has had stimulus, banking legislation, the adoption of The Affordable Health Care Act and a change in Foreign Policy. The result is nominal economic growth, with 63 percent of the eligible workforce sidelined. A foreign policy that was supposed to herald a new era of peace and cooperation, didn’t. Despite major changes in technology, trade and comparative advantage the new story line is Manufacturing’s Greatest Days lie ahead. Is this true? Another initiative of the new administration is to force spending of a trillion dollars on ‘infrastructure’. Will this work? Is this a conservative economic policy approach? With only 8 percent of the work force is employed in manufacturing and construction and most of the rest of us are employed in value added services, one wonders.

Whatever the new president wants to do, it will be processed through the US Congress, State Legislatures and the Courts. With plenty of Democrats in congress and state legislatures ready to put up a good fight, we’ll see how much the GOP and Trump can get done. We’ll also see if the policy they end up with will work to address major challenges of the future.

Massive changes are taking place in our society and the world as the Fourth Industrial Revolution takes hold. While it’s good for Trump supporters and Republicans to celebrate, and for Democrats to prepare their opposition, the question is whether any of the leaders in Washington really understand what is needed for the people of the United States to grow our economy, move forward and prevail in the new world. Sponsored by Brush Studio and X Government Cars.

Podcast 571-Bob Davis Podcasts Radio Show 52

Podcast 571-Bob Davis Podcasts Radio Show 52. Final Thoughts On Election 2016. The biggest loser in election 2016 is The Media. Specifically, pundits, prognosticators and predictors of the future. The Media did it to us through the masochistic 2 year presidential election cycle. Before President-Elect Trump has had a chance to get a good night’s sleep after a grueling election, we’re already being told what kind of president he’ll be. He is either the second coming of Reagan or the Anti-Christ. Four new mini podcasts for your weekend and some reminders about why I did not endorse, promote, defend, or attack candidates and positions. In 2016 the Media failed to cover any of the issues in favor of lurid, shock oriented gossip. So a new administration takes office while a poorly informed public nurses preconceived notions about what is ‘going to happen’. First thing to tackle? “The Polls Were Wrong”. What is wrong is the media’s reliance on national presidential preference polls, drawing incorrect conclusions and making predictions based on those conclusions. If you were surprised at the outcome of election 2016 it’s because of what you were watching and listening to. The Bob Davis Podcasts steadfastly maintained the polls were too close to call in key states. Given how close the race was in Ohio, and Pennsyvania, Florida, North Carolina and Wisconsin, Trump won because voters for Obama in 2008 and 2012 did not show up for Clinton. Trump was able to get enough people to vote for him to overwhelm Clinton where it counted. Elections are not won with polls. Elections are not won with predictions. Election outcomes are determined by the people who vote. Second thing to tackle? “Donald Trump Is Anti Establishment. The Establishment was Beaten”. Really? Who’s in charge of the Republican Party, the US Congress and the Senate? Who are the people running Trump’s transition team and where do they come from? In 2016 both mainline political parties rejected the grassroots in their parties in favor of candidates they thought could win. Finally, travel is the best way to temper judgements about what is going on in this country and what will happen as a result. The United States is still vibrant. From Silicon Valley to the Chesapeake Bay, from North Dakota to the Texas Gulf Coast. In my travels in 2016 I met people going to work, running their businesses, taking care of their kids and living their lives. Guess what? They weren’t hanging on every word spoken by Wolf Blitzer or Laura Ingram. While there are places worse for wear or facing tough challenges, on balance this country is not falling apart, despite what the charlatans say. The country now needs to think about the challenges and opportunity ahead. We need to take full advantage of the technology revolution on our doorstep. In Podcast 571-Bob Davis Podcasts Radio Show 52, I’ll run it all down for you. Sponsored by Brush Studio and Hydrus.

Podcast 569-Final State by State Round Up

Podcast 569-Final State by State Round Up. Where the state polls stand for presidential candidates right before election day 2016. This podcast does not endorse a candidate. I will not make you feel good or bad about your vote, or non vote. I will not attach ‘indexes’ and ‘percentage probabilities’ to potential wins or losses for the candidates. In Podcast 569-Final State by State Round Up, how candidates fare in each of the states according to existing polls. Partisan and advocacy journalists don’t provide insight on survey research. I do. What you’re getting from the cable news channels and advocacy news ‘websites’ are charlatans pushing their point of view. Fact is, no one knows how the election will play out in any of the so called battleground states. That’s because despite all the best effort, even the best political researchers are challenged to determine who is actually going to show up to vote especially when the polls show a close vote, within the margins of error. Elections are made on who votes. Not the number of signs. Not the number of people who show up at rallies. Not who ran the best TV spots. It’s all about getting the vote out. Once the vote is in, it’s all about counting. Is the election rigged? In a sense, yes. The United States is a representative republic which elects its executive not by the popular vote but through an institution known as the Electoral College. Some states’ electoral slates are proportionally chosen. Some states select electoral slates by party. The electors themselves have already been chosen. They will actually select the President of the United States on December 15th, 2016. In some states the popular vote determines how the electors are ‘supposed’ to vote. In some states it depends on which party’s candidate wins the overall vote. No so called ‘rogue elector‘ has ever been prosecuted for voting outside the state statute guidelines. In the event of an electoral tie, the election will be decided by the US House of Representatives. One thing is true, the republicans are the ones talking about ‘rigged’ elections right now, but if Donald Trump wins the presidency they’ll stop talking about that immediately and the democrats will start talking about things being ‘rigged’. The only thing coverage of these kinds of conspiracies do is reduce the faith Americans and the rest of the world has in the electoral process. In reality, ‘rigging’ a national election is a difficult task, despite what movies and conspiracy theorists say. If you are concerned about your candidate winning the election, the best thing you can do is turn off the TV and get out and help them win by driving people to the polls or making last minute calls, poll watching, or if you’re qualified, volunteering as an election judge. Thankfully we’ll be looking at election night results in the next podcast. Sponsored by Hydrus Performance and Brush Studio, in the West End, Saint Louis Park.

Podcast 564-Trying Not To Talk Politics

Podcast 564-Trying Not To Talk Politics. Live from the Desert in Scottsdale, Arizona in Podcast 564-Trying Not To Talk Politics. After two intense political podcasts, time for an easy talker to start your week out. The real challenge of what I call an ‘easy talker’ is not to talk about the easy stuff, which or me is usually political. This time though, I got into some great content about travel. I feel a motivation to travel and have an increasing desire to cut the tether completely and roll. For good. What would I need to make that happen? About midway through the trip across the Great Northwest, now into the Great Southwest, a sense of well being and relaxation has set in. It’s great to visit friends and family all over the country living their lives, caught up with various pursuit. No matter what you see in the media about the tone of the country life goes on. There’s something reassuring about that reality. Coming through Eastern Los Angeles, into the California desert was a great contrast to a week of rain and wind on the coast. Joshua Tree National Forest is highly recommended. The desert itself is hypnotizing and I have the feeling the most dramatic part of the trip is ahead as we head east on two lane roads through Arizona to New Mexico and then Texas. From the plains of North Dakota to the mountains of Montana, Utah and Washington State, on over to the pacific coastal highways, down through the redwoods to LA, and now headed east in the desert I want to live in so many places! I have always loved road trips and you would think I would get them out of my system, but after a few days in Arizona, I feel like I am starting out the trip all over again. The longer the trip, the better as far as I am concerned. Sponsored by Brush Studio in the West End, Saint Louis Park, Minnesota.