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 607-Twila Brase-CCHF-ObamaCare Repeal-Real ID

Top issues in the coming weeks. Real ID. Repealing ObamaCare. President of the Citizens Council for Health Freedom Twila Brase joins The Bob Davis Podcast Radio Show 68 this week in Podcast 607-Twila Brase-CCHF-ObamaCare Repeal-Real ID. Your issue is health care and privacy? Twila Brase is a nationally recognized expert on these issues.

Real ID

Minnesota Republicans have once again proved themselves to be slaves of the Chamber of Commerce or ‘The Chambers Of Italian Fascism‘. Republican legislators are pushing Real ID. Real ID is a national ID Card. “You won’t be able to get on an airplane without one”. “You won’t be able to visit your sons and daughters on military bases without one”. “48 states have already approved Real ID”. Not True. Twila lays out the real deal in Podcast 607-Twila Brase-CCHF-ObamaCare Repeal-Real ID.

ObamaCare Repeal. Maybe.

Since 2010 repealing the ACA has been the centerpiece of the GOP campaigns. Republicans control Congress and the Executive Branch. Suddenly they’re singing a new song. Repeal. Maybe. Repair. Reform. Twila lays out the complex effects of ObamaCare. She’ll tell you why tax credits and maintaining medicaid benefits won’t fix it. The culprits are Managed Care and government regulation.

Breaking Their Promise

Promises on the campaign trail. Demands to repeal ObamaCare. Now its more complicated than they thought. Now Republicans have a secret plan to ‘fix’ it. Broken promises can be a tough sell come election day. Longer it takes. Closer we get to election 2018. The more wobbly they get. President Trump included.

Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul, X Government Cars and Hydrus Performance.

 

Podcast 601-Nobody Knows Anything!

Talking Politics Is Work

It is difficult to contemplate or talk about politics. In Podcast 601-Nobody Knows Anything! a phrase attributed to screenwriter William Goldman is applied to American politics. The guy who wrote Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and All The President’s Men once said “Nobody Knows Anything”. Goldman was referring to Hollywood know-it-alls. In those days as today producers, professors and other so called experts wanted to make people think they knew the ‘formula’ for success in the movie business. The truth is making movies is almost always a gamble because no one knows what’s going to sell before the fact. Nobody Knows Anything.

Nobody Knows Anything And Our Politics

What goes for movies goes for American politics these days. Everyone has a voice. An audience. A constituency. Everyone wants to tell you what is happening. What to do about it and what will happen next. Everyone knows. Except no one really knows anything. From the highest of the high to the lowliest position on a small town board of education. Everyone has a voice they can’t wait to use but what they have to say is empty. In Podcast 601-Nobody Knows Anything!

Tell Your Audience What They Want To Hear

Social media. Local radio. The Internet. Protect your audience. Tell it what it wants to hear. Get accolades, speaking fees, book sales, click throughs and even election certificates. Commentariat. Bloggers and podcasters. Comedians. Subpar politicians and local political operators. All ply their political but noncontroversial wares to people only too willing to applaud when they hear what they want to hear.

It’s All About Power

For those in what is called the Deep Government where policies are implemented everything is theater. Everything is Pay Back. Get Back. It’s all about power and games. Using your constituency to get what you want. In office. Out of office. All part of the game in the puzzle palace we call government  in Washington DC or your state capitol.

The Fairness Doctrine

30 years ago a regulation called ‘The Fairness Doctrine‘ was rescinded by the FCC. The Fairness Doctrine simply required broadcast licensees to both present controversial issues and to do so in a manner that was, in the FCC’s view honest, equitable and balanced. 30 years ago there was no social media. There was no political talk.

Political talk was something you heard on Sunday mornings or read on the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal or the New York Times. The news was something you heard at the top of the hour. With a technology and media revolution, political talk today isn’t just a virus. Political talk has become a cancer.

Political Saturation

Every political development is dissected, repurposed, rewritten, opinionated, worked over, subjected to satire and analysis. Today’s demons and today’s heroes. They’re only too happy to tell you what will happen tomorrow. The louder the cacophony grows the less we know. The solution isn’t some kind of new Fairness Doctrine. Maybe the cure is more of the disease. We’ll talk about it in Podcast 601-Nobody Knows Anything!

Nobody Knows Anything

The big talk radio guy speaking at your local political dinner doesn’t know anything. The guy who has the You Tube Channel or the Podcast? Nope. The local radio station talk show? Talk radio now depends on people calling in who don’t know anything to add to the conversation by two guys who don’t know anything either. Clearly the White House doesn’t know. The Pentagon doesn’t know. The people at your state capitol don’t know. The people behind the desk on the 24 hour news channel don’t know either.

Saturation Point

Open your mouth about a political issue on social media and you’re branded. We’re saturated with political talk and political partisanship. Our differences are encouraged by know it alls commanding increasingly misinformed tribes fed a steady diet of what they want to hear. A few sell ‘expertise’ on the US Constitution. Some are self appointed media experts. Many are the founders of popup political movements. Many more are simply political operators selling their wares to the highest bidder, behind the scenes. These are the new carpet baggers.

Hungry For Leadership

Those sold to us as heroes turn out to be pygmies and charlatans. We read their books. We cheer and believe in them. When they are destroyed we move on. In Podcast 601-Nobody Knows Anything I share with you my utter disgust with the political process in this country. You can forget the labels. They all suck. Republicans. Democrats. Socialists. Populists. Libertarians. It’s all noise. Memes. Rants. Photos. Guest Appearances. Stand Ups in front of the capitol. Everyone wants to be the next Juke Box Hero.

Republicans who claimed to be for freedom and less government continue to expand the scope and cost of government. Democrats who claimed to be for the little guy are increasingly associated with the rich and powerful. Both sides want to increase the surveillance state and curtail your freedoms. Are we reaching a tipping point?

In Podcast 601-Nobody Knows Anything!.

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

 

 

 

Podcast 582-Bob Davis Podcasts Radio Show-57

Podcast 582-Bob Davis Podcasts Radio Show-57. Hillary Clinton’s Tribe Throws a Temper Tantrum. The Electoral College will soon gather in respective state capitols for the purpose of choosing the the next president of the United States. In a last ditch attempt to influence the outcome of this final hurdle for Republican President-elect Trump, democrat supporters are hurling unsubstantiated charges regarding Russia, Wikileaks, Fake News and Hacks. I separate and break down very different story lines behind it all in Podcast 582-Bob Davis Podcasts Radio Show-57.

New protests say the Electoral College should be abolished because it isn’t ‘democratic’, all while they try to influence electors to vote for Clinton rather than Trump. ‘The Electoral College’ is our last line of defense, they shout. Perhaps the most absurd assertion of all; ‘This is how Hitler came to power’. I also break this down in Podcast 582-Bob Davis Podcasts Radio Show-57. The Electoral College for all its faults is in fact a democratic process. Getting rid of the Electoral College as an institution would be a very complex process involving amending the US Constitution.

The so called ‘Russian Hack’ is actually a constellation of assertions and claims, circumstantial at best, from shadowy sources in the US Intelligence Community. Suddenly very entertaining ‘Fake News’ stories on the Internet require complex rules and warning labels from social media in what amounts to a George Soros funded violation of our First Amendment rights under the US Constitution. If you can’t make baseless assertions about child sex rings at Pizza Restaurants in Washington, you can’t make baseless assertions about Russians ‘hacking’ the US Election to put Trump in the White House.

What about the Hitler comparisons? How did the Nazis come to power in Germany in the 1920’s? How did Hitler come to power in the early 1930’s? How are these factors different from the Representative Republic known as The United States of America? Attempts to intimidate and influence Electors to comparisons of Trump to Hitler and Republicans to Nazis, fevered assertions about the wily Russians as Hillary Clinton’s Tribe Throws A Temper Tantrum.

We’re living through an age of disruption as technology destroys centralized processes, including a massive, sclerotic Federal Government. Forget Republican and Democratic. There are really two poles now. Tyranny and Liberty. Which do you choose? Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul, X Government Cars and Hydrus Performance.

(Editor’s Note: Since this show was produced and posted, the Washington Post is reporting Director of National Intelligence Clapper, and FBI Director Comey have ‘signed on’ to the assessment of the CIA regarding Russian “intervention in the US Election for the purpose of influencing its outcome”. This assessment remains classified and is therefore not public and one should read the statements of Clapper and Comey on this matter for more details.)

Podcast 579-Internet Censorship

Podcast 579-Internet Censorship. The news media has a new story-line. Fake News Elected Donald Trump. We have to do something about fake news. It amounts to is censorship of the Internet. A violation of the right to free speech guaranteed by the US Constitution’s first amendment at least in spirt. What IS Fake News? I think of Fake News as False Narratives. Story lines seeded by politicians and corporate PR people. Narratives that are picked up and reported on by journalists who take down quotes for their stories rather than investigate and report. These story lines are picked up by more journalists who quote talking heads. Commentators commentate, more quotes and more stories until the narrative outlives its usefulness and then the whole thing starts over. Examples include explanations of why Trump won the election including, ‘Women voted for Trump instead of Hillary’. Another was the reporting on ‘What the Polls showed’ which usually meant Clinton was supposed to win. Facts in both cases debunked these claims. The definition of ‘Fake News’ we’re actually dealing with now are false stories presented as fact. You see them on You Tube, FaceBook and Twitter. But they are picked up by websites like Breitbart or Huffington Post if they fit a narrative. Since ‘fake news’ elected ‘a person like Trump’, Clinton backers are demanding social media and search engine companies like FaceBook and Google ‘do something about fake news’. In Podcast 579-Internet Censorship, we spend a little time explaining the American Political system, specifically the Electoral College. This explains how Donald Trump was able to eke out an electoral victory in key states, as well as a solid victory among the voters of Ohio, which gave him a victory in the presidential contest, regardless of popular vote totals, fair and square. There is virtually no evidence fake news had anything to do with these tight victories. If Clinton’s voters had actually voted in those states we’d be talking about a Clinton transition and Trump would be on a beach in the Caribbean somewhere. Despite the fact that Clinton has been a proponent of doing away with the electoral college for years, suddenly the hoary old institution is her best friend. We don’t know if anyone voted for Trump based on the Pizza Gate story, we can’t and we won’t. That doesn’t stop the left from putting immense pressure on FaceBook, the supposed culprit here in publishing so called fake news. What does Mark Zuckerberg the head of FaceBook do? He caves. A second story making the rounds in the alt-right community with headlines like, “We told you so” says they’re already censoring the Internet. Finally there have long been discussions in the national security and foreign policy community regarding censoring Islamic Jihad sites that radicalize followers. All three of these stories are being conflated right now online as though some imminent threat to free speech exists. Is there? Or are these companies simply formalizing procedures to suppress violent or illegal content that has been part of their service agreements? As a content creator the idea of ‘warning labels’ is chilling. The idea of some kind of algorithm to be defeated is chilling. That said, wouldn’t such procedures invite work arounds? Wouldn’t censorship invite efforts to defeat algorithms? Personally I don’t concern myself with speech control in countries that don’t have guarantees of free speech. I do care about attempts to limit speech in the United States where free speech is THE cornerstone of a successful representative republic and is constitutionally guaranteed in the first amendment. You can’t stop things you don’t agree with. As a content provider, this concerns me. Sponsored by X Government Cars and by Hydrus Performance.

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 555-The Bob Davis Radio Show-46

Podcast 555-The Bob Davis Radio Show-46. An all new podcast doubling as the radio show for this week. There’s two considerations here. First, if you’re a subscriber to The Bob Davis Podcasts, repeating content in the radio show is, well, repetitive. Second, the podcasts this week, whether Podcast 554 (State by State poll run down) or Podcast 553 (Interview with AgoraFest‘s Nik Ludwig), the content doesn’t lend itself well to be excerpted. So, for Podcast 555-The Bob Davis Radio Show-46, I did a completely new segment updating the polling data for just the so called ‘Toss-Up’ States in Election 2016 with special attention paid to the Senate races in key states. I also added a segment with a little bit more of a primer about polls, and how they are used or misused in media coverage. These two benchmarks; Podcast 554 and Podcast 555-The Bob Davis Radio Show-46 are great to listen to because then when you hear or see new information on state by state polling, you’ll understand which states are important and how the polling in that state may have changed. You’ll also understand trending polls from different pollsters isn’t necessarily providing an accurate picture of what’s going to happen when people actually vote. I use the electoral map from Real Clear Politics and you can follow along if you want. Others are available. Almost all of them are interactive. Finally, some words about Individual Sovereignty. There’s a lot of back-and-forth in this election cycle and a lot of coverage of the back-and-forth; What this one said about that one, whether this is going to effect his or her poll numbers. There’s a lot of content from shills defending one candidate or attacking another. There’s been very little actual discussion about what freedom is or how these new representatives, senators and presidents are going to insure we get to keep it. We can get distracted by the shiny things in the woods, or we can stay focused on claiming our personal sovereignty. How we personally define freedom in the coming months and years is going to become very important. The current two-party system is coming to an end. That is; The Republican and Democratic parties have lost touch with the people. Something new is coming and we need to make sure whatever that is protects and defends our individual freedom. Sponsored by X Government Cars.

Podcast 553-AgoraFest’s Nik Ludwig

Podcast 553-AgoraFest’s Nik Ludwig. ‘Agorism’ or being an ‘Agorist’ has been defined a few different ways. Samuel Edward Konkin III says Agorism is simply “thought and action consistent with freedom’. Konkin also says Agorism is an “ideology…but it is also a scientific and definitely materialist way of thinking”, as opposed to say, a religious system of thought. AgoraFest celebrates Market Anarchy. It is not for the faint of heart, but if you have a weekend and you enjoy camping, listening to music, eating, consuming your choice of beverage be it coffee or beer, and endless substantive conversation, then you’ll enjoy AgoraFest. At last year’s AgoraFest – my first – I sat down with founder Nik Ludwig for a free wheeling conversation about the event and Agorist ‘way of thinking’. This year I continue the tradition. For last year’s conversation, check out  Podcast 416. This year we delve a little deeper into the concept of what real liberty is, with little reverence to the things mainstream ‘liberty’ advocates hold dear, like the US Constitution, American Exceptionalism, and a system of government sometimes reverently referred to as a ‘Representative Republic’. Joined by a phalanx of ‘AgoraFesters’, Nik shreds virtually all the preconceived notions of what most people on the right, even and especially the far right, think they are fighting for, and yes, even the Libertarians take their share of criticism. This is why AgoraFest isn’t for the faint of heart. Agorists don’t shred these notions because they’re advocating for their point of view. In fact, they’re more likely to disagree with you just because you agree with them (my kind of people, by the way). The whole point is open minds, the joy of discussions about any topic under the sun as long as it isn’t what they call ‘political violence’; the same old crap you hear on CNN and Fox News about the two party’s mainline candidates this year. You’re likely to sit down to breakfast and before you’ve had your coffee someone will ask you whether you think it is possible for a person to legally sell themselves into slavery, and in the next breath start talking about longevity drugs or fusion reaction. I can tell you one thing; Not one person brought up the Vikings, the Republican Party, whether they’d pulled the dock in yet for winter, or when the deer hunting trip is scheduled for this fall. Everyone was full on engaged in substance; even the question of whether Angelina Jolie was more beautiful than Jennifer Anniston, because value is subjective. So next year I’d love to see you at AgoraFest. Thanks to Nick and Steve and everyone else for making it a great weekend. Sponsored by Hydrus Performance.

Podcast 541

Podcast 541. Electoral College Yoga. Get ready to twist your brain into pretzel like shapes as I talk about the electoral college, polls, and what the benchmarks for Election 2016 are so far. I’ll do another benchmark in about a month and one just before the election in late October, or early November. There are a lot of caveats on polling data. While most media people and their viewers seem to want to talk about national presidential preference polls, the proof of the pudding is in the state by state polls. The United States does not elect its presidents with a national vote. In fact, a presidential election is fifty state elections. Voters are selecting a slate of electors, chosen and voting generally according to state law and state party rules. So when you hear one candidate is ‘ahead’ over another in a national poll it really doesn’t mean anything. In 2008 and again in 2012 Republicans in particular were so hopeful based on national preference polls that if you said McCain or Mitt Romney wasn’t going to win, you were ‘raining on the parade’. But, if you looked closely at state polls in those election cycles, the outcome was not a surprise. State polls have their own problems; Smaller sample size, different polling methodologies, and in some states they are no polls until just before the election. While its not advisable to compare different polls of different sources and methodologies, we do it all the time. We’re looking for trends primarily. Currently while Donald J. Trump leads Hillary Clinton in a national presidential preference poll, the state polls tell a completely different story. It’s not a good story for republicans. The case isn’t closed. Trump still has time, but time is fleeting. I don’t support any candidate. I’m not working for any candidate. I’m not going to tell you how to vote. I’m also not going to spin the polling data to make you think something can happen, or is going to happen. If you want the straight talk on what’s going on, the Bob Davis Podcasts is the place to check back for these benchmark state-by-state analyses as we progress to Election Day 2016. Sponsored by Karow Contracting and Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul.

Podcast 540-The Bob Davis Podcasts Radio Show-40

Podcast 540-The Bob Davis Podcasts Radio Show-40. This week’s radio show addresses some questions about my assertions this election season is a bust. If I’ve learned one thing in years of talk radio, it’s that people want radio hosts and politicians to tell them what they want to hear. That all is well. That the new president inaugurated in January of 2017 will be the one they voted for, and that everything is going to get ‘fixed’ the way they want it. That’s not going to happen. Someone needs to say it, and often. In an election season characterized by the ‘lesser of two evils’ argument, if that is an argument, what if the lesser of two evils is a mistake. What if either choice takes us down a road we may not be able to come back from? That is why we all need to start thinking about building new political movements. The American political system is not working. I am not talking about the Republic, or the constitution. I’m talking about primary elections, controlled by the parties and mandated by state law. I’m talking about the way we choose our leaders. Changing that and putting pressure on political leaders is going to take organization and movements. No, making a few calls and knocking on doors, and going to meetings on Tuesday night once a month isn’t an organization. Why do we need to do this? In Podcast 540-The Bob Davis Podcasts Radio Show-40 I review again my fascination with western history, this week specifically my trip out to western Minnesota, and the deprivations of the settlers from the struggle with the American Indian to infestations of locusts of biblical proportions. Those people embraced the latest technology to handle a far greater challenge than anything we face. Our fear of new technology and obsession with recreating the 1950’s in this country, prevent us from ushering in a new age of opportunity and growth.  Finally, a review of some of the rants this week about the election and the candidates. Sponsored by X Government Cars and Hydrus Performance.