Political Polarization. This Podcast is live from the backyard, on a warm summer night. This is made possible by the magic of on demand audio. How did politics get so personal? How did Political Polarization become something written and talked about all the time. These days it seems like the media tries to divide Americans by slicing and dicing poll data. What’s the real divider in America today? The Government. What’s the solution? Maybe getting the government out of the people’s lives. Is the solution a third political party? Former Minnesota Governor Jessie Ventura is saddened by the news that the Independence Party has lost major party status in his home state. What about Ventura’s one term as Minnesota’s Governor? How did that work out? Meanwhile, how does one explain the fact that ‘divided’ Americans keep putting up moderate candidates like Mitt Romney, Chris Christie, Jeb Bush, Hillary Clinton and Jim Webb? If American Politics is so polarized, why do moderate candidates consistently end up as favorites? Mitt Romney continues toying with a presidential run, trash talking Clinton and Obama, but offering no solutions or plans of his own. (Editor’s Note: And you wonder why I say Republican arguments so far are nothing by rhetoric.) Is it possible we Americans run a little deeper on the issues than polling data can show? Is it possible people are divided on different issues, yet not necessarily ‘polarized’ when it comes to the leaders they choose? Has the growth of government in our personal lives made everything political? Is it possible the divisions, and frustration and anger might be mitigated if Washington and Saint Paul would just get out of the way? Sponsored by Depotstar.
Comcast Customer Service Sucks. Close out the week with a podcast down in the bunker by the wood stove. A consumer advocate blogger breaks another national story about how bad Comcast’s customer service is. When a woman tried to cancel her cable service, the company allegedly refused to allow to her do so, and sent a late bill notice in which the customer’s name was changed from ‘Ricardo Brown’ to ‘A**hole Brown’. The story was picked up by CNNMoney and the rest of the mainstream media, and now Comcast has once again apologized. “It might take more than a few years for us to get our customer service straightened out” says a company spokesperson, or something like that. How are business models that seemed so great five, ten or twenty years ago looking more and more tarnished? What is the future of television, and cable delivered television. If Comcast is any example of how the industry operates, hopefully there is no future. Former Reagan OMB director David Stockman is on the warpath again, this time saying the Federal Reserve’s Quantitative Easing program is exclusively responsible for making people in the top 5 percent income bracket in the US richer. How is this era different from other ‘income inequality’ periods in US History. Does the Cocaine boom in Miami in the early 80’s prove, when business generates money (as opposed to central banks) everyone benefits? Meanwhile, the fastest growing business in the United States isn’t an industrial company or even technology, it’s legal Marijuana sales. Legal weed sales grew 74 percent in one year. Breaking news! The Obama Administration is telling banks to keep quiet about regulations targeted against gun owners and gun stores. More breaking news! More Americans are putting their cash in the mattress. Does that surprise you? And, the Minneapolis Tribune finds yet another negative story about North Dakota. Sponsored by Depotstar.
Snow Storms and Drones. Midweek update on the top stories, starting with the New York Blizzard of the century that fizzled. Now the Governor of New York, Governor of New Jersey and Mayor of New York City look like Chicken Little. A National Weather Service Meteorologist has apologized – profusely – for going so far as to suggest the city be evacuated. This is the same meteorologist who perfectly predicted Hurricane Sandy. Maybe he got lucky, or Pride Goeth Before The Fall. The Justice Department has investigated the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri last summer, and has decided – drum roll please – not to press charged against Police Officer Darren Wilson. Will there be apologies from the ‘Hands Up Don’t Shoot’ crowd for lying? Don’t count on it. Remember the fanfare that greeted the release of Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl last summer? Almost immediately his brothers in arms said he was a deserter. Now Bergdahl will have to go through a Court Martial to determine whether its true. Bergdahl stands to lose rank and at least three hundred thousand dollars in back pay and benefits. Finally a man described as a drunk ‘federal employee’ lost control of a drone Monday night while he was flying it ‘at an apartment building a few blocks from the White House’. He went to bed, woke up the next morning, heard it had crashed onto the lawn of the White House, and called the Secret Service himself to tell them that, yeah he was the guy. The employee works for the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, which provides the NSA and the Department Of Defense with … you know, stuff. This shows what off the shelf disruptive technology can do to centrally controlled structures, like give the secret service another black eye. Just what they need. The President was traveling Monday, and wasn’t at the White House, although his kids were. Sponsored by Depotstar.