Sushi-Shutdown-Emergency-Bully-Pulpit-Bob Davis Podcast 794

These days we content creators have to post advisories and disclaimers. This podcast is not a list of reasons to ‘build the wall’. It does not include 5 reasons to impeach Trump. Learn more in Sushi-Shutdown-Emergency-Bully-Pulpit-Bob Davis Podcast 794.

Trump Blew It In 2018

Especially relevant is the fact that less than a month ago the so called conservative base was furious at the president and the republican party for taking a ‘shellacking’ in the midterm elections.

It Is Trump’s Fault

Furthermore I did several podcasts on the midterms explaining polling showed the GOP did not have to lose congress.

Raise The Stakes To Win

Therefore it is most noteworthy that the president opened the new year by raising the stakes. First a government shut down. Then threats to declare an national emergency.

What’s the issue?

A campaign promise by Donald Trump to solve what he has described as a crisis on the border.

Consequently, the solution he hit upon? ‘Build A Wall‘.

First of all. the president failed to get a republican congress to fund a wall. Now he has redoubled his efforts to get a democrat house to fund the wall, which they say they won’t. Enter the shut down. Enter the specter of a ‘National Emergency‘.

Outrage Controversy and Emotional Outpouring

If outrage and controversy over the shut down wasn’t enough, Trump is raising the stakes with threats to declare a national emergency. Under an emergency the military can build what is now described as a steel barrier by the president. Or at least he thinks so. Is he right? Find out in Sushi-Shutdown-Emergency-Bully-Pulpit-Bob Davis Podcast 794.

The Sushi Shutdown

After a late evening sushi happy hour, I came to my studio to tell the truth about this whole episode. It’s not about the shut down or even a national emergency. Trump is doing what Roy Cohn taught him to do many years ago. Make threats. Throw tantrums. Demand. Raise the stakes until the other guy gives you what he wants. Above all force the opposition to talk about what you want to talk about. Control the media battle space. Use the ‘bully pulpit‘.

Throwing Blood In The Water To Shore Up The Base

In conclusion, Trump does this again and again. And everyone takes the bait, hook line and sinker.

Every time.

Sponsored by Reliafund Payment Processors and WhiteTail Builders

Sushi-Shutdown-Emergency-Bully-Pulpit-Bob Davis Podcast 794

America’s Royalty-Bush-McCain Funerals-Bob Davis Podcast 784

Watching coverage of George HW Bush’s funeral I wondered when we turned our presidents into emperors. Learn more in America’s Royalty-Bush-McCain Funerals-Bob Davis Podcast 784.

Royal Weddings and State Funerals

Moreover I think state funerals in this country are going overboard. The State Funeral has become our answer to British Royal weddings and coronations.

No Pomp and No Titles of Nobility

Most noteworthy our constitution forbids granting of titles of nobility. Furthermore Alexander Hamilton called this the cornerstone of the Republic.

Why No Royalty In The US?

The real founders of this country did something that had never been done before. Our constitution guarantees the sovereignty of the people.

We The People Are The Nobility. Not The Politicians!

Moreover We the people ARE sovereign. Americans don’t need royalty.

In contrast, leave it to the media and the politicians to create a backdrop to make them seem like royalty.

Mediocre Politicians Should Not Be Hailed As National Heroes

These days a mediocre politician who dies can’t just be a guy who lived a full life and served his country. The loss is a national tragedy. The deceased was a “contemporary founding father“, or a “Hero”.  Hence, Bush and McCain funerals carry all the trappings of American Imperial Nobility.

Settling Scores At Funerals Is Bad Form

Even more offensive to me is the penchant some of these people have to settle political scores.

We are submitted to an endless stream of mind numbing stories about politicians who won’t talk to other politicians. Or reports on what clothing was worn and how it was received and so on.

The Media loves these royal funerals. Funerals mean big ratings.

Consequently politicians love funerals. Above all, they love the chance to be seen being seen. I’ve never met a politician who will miss a funeral.

A Macchiavellian World Without Principle

Truth is we’re lauding men and women who came up in a system which demands loyalty. The rules in politics are, never refuse a favor. Dance with the one who brung ye. Be a good boy. Good boys get rewarded. Long political careers sand away the rough edges and principles.

Is This What We Want?

Finally these days people complain a lot about politicians. The people say their representatives don’t listen and aren’t true to their word.

Here we have President Bush who famously pledged “Read My Lips, No New Taxes”, then raised taxes.

Then we have John McCain, who torpedoed the repeal of the Affordable Care Act. Remember, the republican majority, and the president ran on repeal legislation. This is heroism?

In conclusion I think we should remember, no matter how high the media holds them up, even presidents are chosen by the people. We delegate our sovereign authority to them. It’s not the other way around.

They are not Caesars.

Sponsored by Reliafund Payment Processors and Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul

America’s Royalty-Bush-McCain Funerals-Bob Davis Podcast 784

 

World Survives Eclipse-Western Wisconsin Road Trip-Podcast 742

Sometimes an eclipse is just an eclipse. Friday’s ‘Blood Moon Lunar Eclipse‘ did not destroy the world as predicted. These days someone needs to keep track of the soothsayers! We’ll talk about it in World Survives Eclipse-Western Wisconsin Road Trip-Podcast 742.

Best Economic Growth Ever!

Friday also marked the release of first quarter Gross Domestic Product numbers. To hear the president tell it, 4.1 percent economic growth is historic. Hear my take on the first blush of reporting on the good economic news in World Survives Eclipse-Western Wisconsin Road Trip-Podcast 742.

Does It Matter?

On a desolate lake road in Western Wisconsin at midnight, in the full moonlight, one wonders whether any of that matters anyway! What’s more the silence here in the middle of nowhere is incredible.

No Rules No Prep

I took a short road trip to what we like to call “God’s Country” to talk about organic farming. I’ll take that up in the next podcast. Every now and then I have to do walk and talk podcasts. No rules. No Prep. I call these ‘consolidation podcasts’.

A Midnight Walk Is Good For Making Sense Of It All

Because things seem to happen so frequently, following the news can be a head spinner. I do these walk and talk podcasts, usually at midnight, to try to make sense of it all.

News Flash! World Doesn’t End!

Furthermore last week the boomers were predicting the end of the world after the big eclipse. On top of that we are whipsawed by reactive coverage of the news. Getting subscribers and listeners to the Bob Davis Podcasts on track at the beginning of the week is one of my missions.

Good News Is Good News

Most noteworthy for this podcast is the release of the new economic data. 4.1 percent GDP growth in a single quarter is not unprecedented or even historic. It is good news. The key here is what caused the growth? Moreover is the growth sustainable?

Finding Truth At Midnight

In conclusion this week you may hear a lot of chatter about the economic numbers. Due to partisanship equal amount of chatter passing for ‘analysis’ will be negative and positive. Above all listeners wonder what to look for to find information without partisanship.

Sometimes you find a little bit of truth on a quiet country road in the mist and moonlight!

Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul

World Survives Eclipse-Western Wisconsin Road Trip-Podcast 742

 

When Tax Reform Isn’t-What Congress Giveth It Taketh Away-Podcast 676

They call it Tax Reform. A Jobs Bill. That’s what it must be, right? Journalists and commentators are playing the same old game. Argue a proposed piece of legislation on its merits. Time to reset the boundaries in When Tax Reform Isn’t-What Congress Giveth It Taketh Away-Podcast 676.

Freedom Of Choice

While listeners to The Bob Davis Podcasts always have the freedom to choose what they think is right, I want to introduce the concept of marginal improvement. Legislators on both sides of the political spectrum talk big about ‘reform’. Usually though they make what really are marginal changes. This is especially relevant when we’re talking about the tax code.

The Real Football Game Is Congress

Team Red moves the ball back to the Blue thirty yard line. It’s hailed as a great victory. Team Blue moves the ball back to the Red twenty yard line a few years later. These are what both sides call marginal improvements. Meanwhile, as economist Milton Friedman famously suggested, they keep getting elected by making the tax code more complicated.

Budget Neutrality Isn’t A Thing

Enter a legislative concept called Budget Neutrality. The idea every expenditure must be ‘paid for’ with tax increases, or budget cuts. You think Tax Reform means lower taxes. What they’re really doing is taking away tax deductions and loop holes, and increasing our overall tax. The sad part is, it’s not their money, it’s our money. In When Tax Reform Isn’t-What Congress Giveth It Taketh Away-Podcast 676.

What Is Real Reform?

If you want real reform. The end to this kind of corruption? Then the power of the federal government to tax our incomes and our property must be permanently eliminated. Should corporations be taxed at all? Do you have property rights if you pay property taxes? How does government pay for the wonderful things both sides wants it to provide? We talk about it in When Tax Reform Isn’t-What Congress Giveth It Taketh Away-Podcast 676.

Already Socialists

So called conservatives like to argue the merits of capitalism versus socialism. It seems like I’d be on pretty safe ground if I suggested the United States has been collectivist for decades. Our economic system is not so much capitalist as it is a controlled market economy. Our elected Kings and their privy courts control our behavior and our futures with regulation and a tax code so complex, were it to be proposed as a single law in its present form, it would cause a revolution.

(Editor’s Note: While the first actual income tax in the United States was levied during the Civil War, it was later repealed as ‘unconstitutional’. Several attempts were made to establish an income tax through the late 1800’s which were unsuccessful, until the 16th amendment, ratified in 1913.)

Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul and Reliafund

When Tax Reform Isn’t-What Congress Giveth It Taketh Away-Podcast 676

Podcast 521

Stormy Weather. In a surprise only to ‘conservatives’ who listen only to ‘conservative’ talk show hosts, watch ‘conservative’ TV shows and go to conservative websites, the FBI decided not to recommend criminal prosecution of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton over her use of a personal email server while she was in the Obama Administration. Why? The short answer is, intent is a key consideration in cases like these. The long answer is, Mrs. Clinton played her ‘Benghazi Card’ better known as ‘If I go down, you go down’ and she got action from the administration. At least that’s one possible explanation. In the past few days President Obama suddenly closed ranks with the Clintons (despite all the rumors of the rancor between the Obamas and the Clintons). Attorney General Loretta Lynch had a now famous ‘tarmac meeting’ with former president Bill Clinton and President Obama allowed Hillary Clinton to ride Air Force One with him to a campaign event, where they walked, hand in hand, down the steps. “If I go down, YOU go down”. Now it’s a matter of politics. He said, she said. He said she’s a crook. She said he’s an anti semite. Congress releases a damning report on the administration’s conduct regarding ‘Benghazi’…Democrats say it is a partisan document. Republicans say it’s the ‘truth’ about Mrs Clinton and her boss, President Obama. “If I go down, YOU go down.” More fodder for the campaign trail. They were asleep and the switch, says one side. They’re partisan dividers, says the other side. Meanwhile the world’s leading economies are drowning in a sea of paper money and deficit spending, and economies are faltering. Do you really think this election is going to fix anything? We live in interesting times, with the great potential of a new technical industrial revolution and all that portends, and a personal challenge to change the way we think and how we work, and what we demand of our political institutions. Too bad our sclerotic politics delivers a statist who wants to spend and tax more, and a statist who wants to wall the country off from the rest of the world. We could have this technology revolution now, or we can languish for another thirty years while these idiots we call presidential candidates stumble around in economic darkness. Yeah sure, go ahead and talk until you’re blue in the face about Hillary’s email server, or about the Star of David on Trump’s twitter account, while the printing presses debase the currency, governments spend themselves into the poor house, the media puts on cartoons and calls them news, and we hurtle toward our destiny, whatever that may be. The US is now a country that’s happy about revised economic growth from .5 percent to 1.1 percent, with 95 million people out of the work force, a media that writes gossip and calls it news, and a population that believes Russian Propaganda and You Tube conspiracy theories because…what’s the difference? The Earth is hollow, you know and there’s a whole civilization down there, right? And you wonder about moral hazard? Sponsored by Karow Contracting and Brush Studio in the West End, Saint Louis Park. (Editor’s Note: In this podcast I refer to former CIA Director David Petraeus’ offenses regarding passing classified information with intent, and engaging in a coverup after as occurring while Petraeus was on active military duty. I wondered whether he would be under the Military Code of Justice in this case. This is incorrect. Petraeus was director of the CIA when the offenses occurred and not on active duty. For comparison to the Clinton question, one should refer to the FBI director’s congressional testimony regarding the differences between the Clinton question and the Petraeus case.)

Podcast 372

Memorial Day Weekend 2015. A midnight walk in the park, as we head into Memorial Day Weekend, 2015. As the country slows its roll for the big three-day weekend, it feels like the pace of the news is also slowing down. In the Upper Midwest, the big thing is opening the cabin, getting the RV ready to roll, and heading up to the lake. This is a weekend for putting in the dock, and establishing a ‘beach head’ for the summer. Some will be heading to state parks, others will be working, or hanging around the house. With a sense that people are slowing down for the weekend, the flow of news events also seems to be a bit stale. More stories about ‘candidates’ for presidential office, over a year away. More stories about things happening thousands of miles from the Upper Midwest. More blather about ‘Obama’, or ‘Clinton’, or ‘Jeb Bush’. In this podcast some observations from a day spent driving around the metro in gridlock traffic in search of parts – or a truck wash – for Mobile Podcast Command, visiting the ambulance supply warehouse, RV centers, and friends at various businesses around town. This driving around town thing is exhausting! After reading a thatch of news stories, taking a nap and dinner, time for coffee and a midnight walk through a deserted suburban town. Stories about summer’s and memorial day weekend’s past … the cold ones, and the hot ones. It is better to put the dock in when it is warm and sunny than it is to put it in when there is still ice floating on the lake. This year, the Upper Midwest has been lucky so far. It’s been a warm spring, and the forecast for the weekend is pretty good. Is it a good thing that there’s so much focus on Iowa for both political parties, this early? Events in other parts of the world continue, but things still don’t seem to have reached a point that requires decisions, or provokes new actions to debate. As summer comes on, it still feels like resolution on so many different news fronts will take a little longer. Maybe its a good time to pick out that summer novel. Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul

Podcast 370

Final Mad Men. On the night of the final episode of the AMC hit show Mad Men a review of the top stories for the week of May 18th. The economic news these days isn’t good, but you don’t hear too much talk about it because the magpies in the mainstream media are too busy grousing about funding for their precious personal train service in the North Eastern Corridor known as Amtrak, a service the rest of America does not ride very much but has to pay for anyway, or the 45 idiots running for President and what a few Iowans think of them. Meanwhile, the US economy just put in the worst numbers since 2008. Don’t worry, the sunny analysts say, it’s the result of the West Coast Port Strike resolution. Or, the weather. Or … something. There’s always an excuse. Meanwhile economists and analysts are telling us, no-growth is probably the new normal. Really? The future belongs to those who build it, and people who actually build things don’t pay any attention to those who measure, analyze and report what ‘will be’. Its time we had a conversation about what’s really wrong; pursuit of Keynesian economics — or whatever you call whatever it is the policy makers are doing — and its powerfully destructive effect on the world economy. Whether you’re talking about China, Europe, Latin America or Japan, things ain’t to rosy, even though they keep saying, “Don’t worry it’ll get better next month”. Manufacturing is way down. Why? Because of a slow down in the energy industry, after all the so called ‘experts’ said lower gas prices acted as a tax cut on the economy … since all they ever think about is stimulating the consumer. Meanwhile, consumers aren’t seeing any wage growth and are exhausted because the economy is not growing. Who’s fault is it? Who’s in charge? Too much spending, too much taxation and regulation, and not enough leaving people alone to solve their problems. It’s time we cut the government back to what is required to protect our rights, and nothing more. Cut spending, cut taxes and cut regulations, and watch the economy grow. And, people are already working in ways we couldn’t have imagined twenty years ago. There’s a new kind of worker, who employs services like AirBNB and work hubs to cut the strings completely, and wander the world, working when and where they choose. You might be surprised at how easy it is … right now. Finally, are a few hundred Iowa Republicans (Editor’s note: I mean political groupies) the reason people are already sick of a presidential campaign that hasn’t even started yet? Is it time to politely tell Iowa to stick a sock in it? Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul

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 267

Cooking and Talking. Updating you on some key stories for midweek, while cooking dinner. Pan fried steak, broccoli and salad. One of the things cable news and talk radio does is talk about things over and over again, in an effort to gin up emotional response and viewership. They seem to get ‘stuck’ on stories and can’t move on until the next ‘big’ story. In our ongoing discussion about media and its pitfalls, one of the things podcasting allows is for more varied content. We don’t have to keep talking about the same subjects, because podcasts about those subjects are up to be listened to whenever subscribers desire. So podcasters can add to stories when its appropriate and begin talking about new stories that will be top topics in a few days or weeks. In this podcast, updates to the bias story on Rolling Stone magazine’s coverage of the ‘rape’ story at UVA, and how narrative journalism ill serves the people. The next big narrative story? The Senate Intelligence Committee’s release of the report on the CIA’s interrogation methods. At first blush it looks pretty bad, and it is reported may even spur terror attacks across the world, and on US citizens. On second thought, it looks like the last shot by democrats at the Bush Administration’s policies. And whether deserved or not, former CIA directors and employees are pretty upset at what they see as a biased report. Dad always said, “There are two sides to every story”. As people react to the emotional and lurid nature of yet another ‘narrative’ story, will the ‘rest of the story’ get covered with equal intensity? On the terror front; word is ISIL has yellow cake which it procured from a University in Mosul Iraq, and used to make at least one radioactive explosive device which has been spirited into Europe. Let’s wait and see how this one develops. On the political front: With all the talk about the Republican Brand being ‘dead’ it turns out the GOP is in the best position it has been in since the 1920’s, especially in individual states. 2014 turned out to be a great year for Republicans, but Minnesota republicans missed out. Why? Is it time for a change of state party leadership as in a house cleaning? Finally, the pundits saying lower gas prices act as a ‘tax cut’, a position which should be questioned. It has been reported this week that lower fuel prices also mean lower commodity prices, since farm cost inputs will be cheaper. But, lower oil prices also means big oil companies may reduce their capital investments, which hurts manufacturing and employment. Are oil price reductions due to the price war, or to more supply and less demand because of economic slow downs in China, Europe and Latin America. Will the effect be positive? Not so fast, say some. Sponsored by X Government Cars, and by Depotstar.

Podcast 256

Obama’s Executive Orders. As we head into the weekend, we’re in the middle of a political firestorm. The President has issued orders granting a 3 year amnesty to a selected group of illegal immigrants. To begin with, the major broadcast networks refused to give the President air time, which infuriated the White House. Staffers complained the networks had given President George W. Bush airtime to announce the National Guard was being sent to the southern border to assist in security, in 2008. The networks retorted that Bush’s announcement was a bipartisan enforcement of existing immigration law. Kind of a slap in the face to the current administration, and from the major mainstream media broadcast networks no less. However, don’t think the networks are finally coming to their senses. Maybe it’s just that the President doesn’t command the kind of audiences he used to, given a popularity rating hovering around 40 percent. The biggest problem with the President’s executive order? Not long ago, he himself said he didn’t have the authority to make law. Whether or not the President’s orders are legal will have to be determined going forward with lawsuits and legislation. Largely though, it will be a matter of public opinion, due to the fact that courts are loathe to intervene in disputes between branches of the federal government. In the end this will be worked out through the ballot box, and citizens will have to decide whether they think the President overstepped authority. It is certainly true Congress chose not to act on immigration, which is itself acting. It is also true that courts have suggested the president’s authority to act through executive orders has limits. One of the key questions is whether he has usurped the congressional constitutional responsibility to legislate and whether he has refused to enforce the law in this case, which could end up creating a constitutional crisis. This whole controversy drives home the fact that elections – especially Presidential elections – have long term consequences. The reaction to this action churlish action by President Obama should be to organize neighborhoods and precincts, so that attempts to use the office to build support for progressive policy and politicians in the future, won’t work. One of the craziest suggestions this week was that the US should repeal the 22nd amendment, which term limits the US presidency. The argument suggests that if Obama had to run for a third term, he wouldn’t be as likely to issue these kinds of orders. Meanwhile, for the time being the White House has succeeded in taking control of the news cycle. The good news is we can depend on this White House acting true to form, which suggests they’ll encounter a real crisis, which the President will screw up and then we’ll all be talking about that! One person who is thrilled with the executive order … Jonathon Gruber, the ‘brilliant’ MIT ‘economist’ who thinks the voters are stupid, and he is thrilled because for the time being, no one will be talking about his latest video. Sponsored by X Government Cars