Media Lies-Travel Truths-Small Town America-Bob Davis Podcast 789

To hear Der Spiegel tell it, Fergus Falls, Minnesota is a very special place these days. The town on Minnesota’s prairie is in a deep forest. A city manager carries a gun. The local high school sports iron doors and metal detectors. Moreover the mouth breathing savages that inhabit this place all voted for Trump. Learn more in Media Lies-Travel Truths-Small Town America-Bob Davis Podcast 789.

All Lies

The most noteworthy thing about this story is the fact that it is a complete fabrication. To Der Spiegel’s credit, the magazine is sending a reporter to Fergus Falls.

This time to apologize.

Dark and Dangerous Rural America

Sadly often media lies tell us more truth about biases than their coverage. Especially relevant are the new storylines about the mysterious and the mystical “rural America”. Land of republicans and Trump supporters. Dark and Dangerous. Well spring of public radio’s murder mystery podcasts. Source of the angry and red faced nationalist republican.

Small Town America

Truth is rural America is just as difficult to report on and explain as any urban center. We’ll talk about it in Media Lies-Travel Truths-Small Town America-Bob Davis Podcast 789.

Travel Is The Antidote

More importantly, travel is the antidote for the half truths and fairy tales of the media. I have traveled back and forth across this country, east to west, west to east and north to south many times. There are places I have missed but in thousands of miles of travel over the past few years, I have learned a great deal.

The New Nomads

Moreover many people have taken to converted school buses, RV’s and even Ambulances in search of their own version of America. Here’s to them.

Have A Cup Of Joe

In small towns across the US dedicated to ranching, farming, and mining people aren’t just going to walk up to you and tell you their life stories. Simple observation won’t tell you their stories either. Travel takes you through but you have to stop. Have a cup of Joe and talk to people. Get to know them over time.

Sometimes Working Together…Sometimes Not…Just Like The Big Cities

Finally what I’ve found in these places are all kinds of people living and working together. In some places things are better than in others. Reasons for decline or improvement are often elusive, even to the locals. Whether it’s a mining town or a farm town.

Politics Doesn’t Make The Man or The Town

In conclusion, I am sick to death of reporters telling us politics determines whether we are red or blue. These things don’t take the measure of the people who live in a town, large or small.

Coast To Coast and Back Again

Join me for Media Lies-Travel Truths-Small Town America-Bob Davis Podcast 789. Hear the sounds of some of the places I have visited over the last few years, from a hound dog in Mendocino, California to the total eclipse in Makanda Illinois, and finally overlooking the Pacific Ocean on the coast highway.

I’ve got a few stories of my own to tell.

Sponsored by Reliafund Payment Processors, John D. Scott Personal Injury Lawyer and Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul

Media Lies-Travel Truths-Small Town America-Bob Davis Podcast 789

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 481

Ted Cruz Denies Affairs. The tabloid that has a history of breaking lurid stories about the affairs of politicians and public personalities is on the hot seat with a new story about Senator Ted Cruz. The National Enquirer story alleges the presidential hopeful has had extra marital affairs with five women. Though the women’s faces were obscured in the tabloid story, two of the women have been allegedly identified as staffers for Donald Trump, Carly Fiorina and at various times Senator Cruz. Moreover there’s also evidence of a Cruz associated PAC which donated a half a million dollars to the Fiorina campaign. If that donation was ‘hush money’ as has been alleged, a far more serious allegation could be leveled against Cruz since the candidates aren’t supposed to have anything to do with PACs. Ted Cruz Denies Affairs. Senator Cruz says the story is a lie, says it was shopped to other outlets, all orchestrated by Donald Trump, since he is ‘friends’ with the publisher of the National Enquirer (based in West Palm Beach, by the way, where Trump has a residence and resort.) Trump says he had nothing to do with the story. Truth is, this ‘story’ has been floating around political and reporters circles for months, and has been talked about on twitter under #thething for at least weeks. Is it true? No one knows. Was it Trump? No one knows. It could have been Trump, but recent developments suggest former elements of the Rubio campaign shopped the story. Could have been Republican establishment types terrified of a Trump nomination, as well as a Cruz nomination, looking to clip both candidates before three critical primaries in the coming weeks in Wisconsin, New York and Pennsylvania. It could have been the Cruz campaign looking to get out in front of a potential scandal and turn it back on their number one rival, the Trump campaign. No one knows, and no one will know until the story is disproven, retracted, or the women in question come forward. At least one of them, Amanda Carpenter, passionately and vehemently denies it. Don’t put it past the establishment to do something like this. Politics gets ugly, and there are so many more months of campaigning to go. Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing of Saint Paul, Pride of Homes and Hydrus.

Podcast 472

Texas. That’s all you need to say. Texas. We start on the Texas Gulf Coast at Galveston and work our way up to Beaumont, Houston, on through central Texas with an eye toward La Grange, Austin, Waco and finally to Dallas. If you woke up in one of these places, even any of the smaller towns along the way, you would know, you could only be in Texas. Along the way, lots of stories from this Road Trip so far, including the drive up the Gulf Coast through Mississippi and Alabama, and Louisiana, ending in New Orleans on Saturday night, where Mobile Podcast Command was forced to break the law, in service of a cup of chicory coffee and a pastry from Cafe Dumonde. Sadly, New Orleans seems like it is still struggling to overcome the effects of Katrina, which is probably why there are suddenly so many parking restrictions, and the parking authorities so vigilant. So out of character for this ‘anything goes’ town. In Mississippi, you pass the beautiful home of the president of the confederacy Jefferson Davis, and one can only wonder what it must have been like to leave this gorgeous home on the beach, move to a place like Richmond, to ‘run the confederacy’; a really bad decision in the long run. Did he ever make it back? Then the gulf coast, with its brand new ‘towns on stilts’…literally the houses, the stores, the cafes are all built on pylons, to withstand floods and perhaps the intense winds of hurricanes, which come every year. The Bolivar Peninsula, and Galveston where I finally found the deserted coast line I have been looking for. Finally central Texas including Houston and finally Dallas. Both of these cities are juggernauts on their own. When you combine Houston and Dallas with San Antonio, Austin and the western Texas cities, you begin to understand why this state is so important, and why it is unlike any other. Sponsored by Hydrus and Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul

Podcast 440

New Radio Show. In a freewheeling discussion on Saturday night about talk radio, media and creativity, the new Bob Davis Podcasts Radio Show on the Genesis Communications Network is announced. The Bob Davis Podcasts are content rich, so taking some of that content and reproducing it into a one hour weekly show available on the Westwood Satellite for radio stations, is a new idea. From here we talk about the current state of talk radio and media, as well as what’s planned for next year at The Bob Davis Podcasts. Some of the people who listen to these podcasts are interested in ‘behind the scenes’ stuff in radio. While there isn’t going to be any dirt thrown in this podcast, there is discussion about the fact that broadcast media, as well as some of the older style cable news channels really aren’t serving viewers and listeners anymore. It seems more and more as though the job of talkers is to get people angry and upset, or to gin up longer listening spans by talking about nothing, using emotional content in the worst sort of way. One of the things podcasters learn right away is, there is a lot more content in a half-hour podcast than you’ll ever hear in an hour on the radio or on cable TV News, and certainly in an hour of television news. What’s also surprising is the realization that being in business for yourself, and building the business, is sometimes more fun and engaging that actually doing the podcasts. Podcasting itself – while not brand new – is brand new to most people, especially for those long time talk radio listeners who find themselves with nothing to listen to. A new medium means new opportunities for business, which can be very exciting. The New Bob Davis Podcast Radio Show will feature content from the podcasts, which should become very dense after February 1st, as we begin official coverage of election 2016, by covering the Iowa Caucuses and then a grand trip through Mid South Super Tuesday States, to South Carolina (third in the nation primary state), Georgia, Florida, Louisiana, Texas and north back to the Twin Cities. Of course, the podcasts will continue right here at thebobdavispodcasts.com. Watch this space for links and specifics regarding the new Bob Davis Podcasts Radio Show. Sponsored by Pride of Homes and Luke Team Real Estate, Hydrus, and Baklund R&D

Podcast 433

Voting Surprises. Elections held on November 3rd, 2015 show the potential for voters to surprise and even shock media, pundits and commentators. Is a Tea-Party Republican victory in the Kentucky Governor’s race a harbinger of surprises to come once people start actually voting in the primaries and caucuses starting February 1st, 2016? Voters in Ohio rejected legalizing Marijuana, Democrats in Virginia lost their bid to gain control of the State Senate, and LGBT rights legislation failed in Houston, Texas. Is this a conservative voting trend? The next actual election is November 21st in Louisiana, where polls say a Democrat is favored to win the bid to replace Republican Governor Bobby Jindal. Is the chattering class underestimating the possibility that conservative voters could show up in large numbers, shifting the country to the right. Same question applies to the grip of establishment republicans on power in the GOP. It is dangerous to believe polls, especially this early in the process. When it comes to real political science, the proof is in the pudding. If there is a trend of angry voters on the right turning out, the punditry is going to be caught flat footed, but the establishment republicans will be shocked. One gets the impression, reporters and commentators covering these elections hear so many stump speeches and have so much red meat thrown at them they get jaded when it comes to the degree of frustration of ordinary voters. The turmoil on the right is a storm brewed up by svengali strategists at the RNC who expected to crown Jeb Bush the nominee. Now Trump, Carson and Cruz threaten the whole house of cards, demanding their own rules for debates or upsetting the carefully constructed plan. Outliers Trump and Sanders on the left are shaking up the status quo and challenging the idea that suzerains in Washington get to decide who the nominee will be on either side. In the real news, things don’t seem to be going so well and the commentariat continues to write tripe. The GDP only ‘grew’ 1.5 percent, but don’t worry growth is expected when consumers, ‘spending the savings from lower gas prices like a tax cut’ finally kicks in. A new study done by Democrat Operatives that says Mergers and Acquisitions are causing ‘inequality’. Is this true? Meanwhile Congressional Republicans lift the debt ceiling and federal spending jumped by 338 billion dollars. Maybe they should be talking about cutting spending rather than cutting taxes? Sponsored by Pride of Homes and Luke Team Real Estate and Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul

Podcast 255

Immigration Reform. (Midweek update, a little late due to a long podcast with Andrew Richter and Jason Bradley. The point of podcast 254 is that you can stop unelected regional boards from encroaching on your town. While critics of organization say you have to have candidates who inspire people to get involved first, where will the candidates come from? Local politics is one of those areas were individuals can have a huge impact. Thanks again to Community Solutions MN for joining the Bob Davis Podcasts.) President Obama prepares to issue executive orders granting amnesty to some three million illegal immigrants across the US, igniting a political fire storm. The President wants Republicans to pass the Senate Immigration ‘Reform’ bill, which has been languishing since last year, Republicans don’t want to pass it. So, the President will issue orders that accomplishes the same thing. Sort of. The idea of using executive orders to ‘legislate’ from the White House is controversial; one of the oldest constitutional arguments in the Republic. Courts have supported Presidents who use executive orders in an ’emergency’, but that doesn’t make them any less controversial and politically provocative. George W. Bush got into hot water with detentions , surveillance and ‘Gitmo’. Obama questioned how far he could go on immigration as late as last year, suggesting to supporters in the Latino Community that he could only use executive power related to existing legislation. Now he appears to have changed his mind. Since the President and now minority Democrat leadership in the House and Senate are moving to the left, expect more executive orders designed to ignite debate and draw attention to their issues, and their agenda in preparation for 2016. Don’t expect President Obama’s actions to be designed to help Hillary Clinton. Rather, it might be suggested the President, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi are moving to the left, to lay the groundwork for an Elizabeth Warren presidential run. Deflation is now the number one financial news story after being featured on the Bob Davis Podcasts last month and earlier in November, 2014. With Japan in recession, Europe on the brink and China in trouble, central bank stimulation and big government public works projects are not working. The solution? More central bank intervention and public works projects! Really? Meanwhile, depending on what fourth quarter US economic numbers show, get ready for sandbagging. Already defenders of more public works projects and cotton candy from the central banks are pointing to ‘cold weather’ as the reason for potentially (hasn’t happened yet, but just in case) negative economic numbers. We have had earthquakes, hurricanes, hot summers and cold winters during economic boom times as well, but suddenly ‘the cold’ (which has lasted two weeks) is causing an economic slow down? Keep in mind as late as a week ago the media was telling us the reduction in oil and eventually gas prices would act as a boon to the US economy. What happened to that line of reasoning? “Cheaper gas acts like a tax cut” they say. Really? Bottom line is, Keynesian economic policies don’t work. One thing cheaper gas means, according to Bloomberg.com, is people will be flooding onto the nation’s highways for the Thanksgiving Holiday. A whopping .1 percent increase as compared to air travel this year. The Bob Davis Podcasts will be out on the road to report on this story. If you plan on driving to this year’s Thanksgiving feast at the relatives, Podcast 255 has some suggestions on how to avoid the traffic. Sponsored by Baklund R&D.

Podcast 246

Final Polls Before Election. Election 2014 Coverage. As this podcast is posted, it is the early hours of Election Day 2014 in the United States. One third of the US Senate, all of the House of Representatives, scores of Governors and State Representatives and Senators across the country, are waiting to see what an unpredictable electorate will decide. These races are very important to the lives of the people in these individual states, and to the people of the country as a whole. Politics is not Sports, but it is being covered as though it is. Politicians are presented as players. Speech writers, campaign managers, party officials and insiders as coaches, former politicians and pundits become willing participants in what is being described as the ‘pageant’ of American politics. Viewers and listeners become invested in which ‘team’ wins or loses, and so emotionally identify with a ‘side’, as though that reflects the true nature of politics. The relationship between voters and their representatives is complex and runs deep. Since cable television news channels decided to give up reporting the news, and copied talk radio’s format, television now pushes people to the right or left paradigm in order to keep them watching. Although political polling was a factor in election coverage before 2010, controversy over Obama Care spurred the Tea Party Movement, and carried Republicans to a majority in the House of Representatives. In 2012 the polls indicated a slight advantage for Republican candidate Mitt Romney, and the Republican establishment felt it was entitled to the presidency. Only a few people said the polls were too close (Editor’s Note: I was one of them), but they were ignored in the headlong confirmation between Republicans that they would ‘win’. Moral of the story? Polls can be wrong. Really wrong. And here we are again, in November of 2014, with the election ‘moneyballers’ applying sports statistical analysis to something as widely variable and unreliable as political polling, and not just political polling but, polling in individual states. Added to this, media executives, producers, program directors and editors pushing their writers, broadcasters and guests to conclude, predict and provoke the audience, just as long as they watch another twenty four hours. And then there is the relentless onrush of negative mailers, attack ads, flaps and gaffes that go viral through social media and become ‘news stories. In this podcast, we’ll run down the polls one more time and make no predictions. At the end of this special edition election update from The Bob Davis Podcasts you’ll know how the polls stand in the so called ‘battleground’ states, and you’ll be able to come to your own conclusions about whether the predictions are outlandish or not. Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul, and by Depotstar

Podcast 243

Halloween 1. The first of two podcasts for Halloween, 2014. Some developing stories catching Bob Davis’ interest as the media zeroes in on Election 2014 coverage. Now we’re scolding people for the Halloween costumes they’re wearing. Admittedly, most of today’s adults have never grown up and thus feel compelled to wear costumes for any and all occasions, whenever there is an opportunity. Yet now, the scolds are telling people Ebola Hazmat suits are ‘in bad taste’, those dressing up as ISIS terrorists ‘could be shot by police if ISIS terrorists were to dress up as ISIS terrorists’ (Editor’s Note: That one is really a stretch, but I did not make it up.) and Halloween displays with ‘severed heads’ are also in bad taste. Not to mention the criticism of young women’s increasingly sexy costumes as inappropriate, which if you are a single male is decidedly NOT inappropriate, but anyway. Hey people! It’s Halloween. It’s an offensive ‘holiday’ anyway. Can we give it a rest for 24 hours, and let people have some fun before they die of Ebola, or in a terror attack …or not? Meanwhile in the real world, the Centers For Disease Control has subtly let America know that Ebola can be transmitted through ‘water droplets’, which means yes, sneezing and coughing by an infected person could potentially infect someone else, and there would be no touching or ‘direct contact with bodily fluids’. Maybe this is why the US Military is quarantining personnel coming back from Ebola stricken areas in West Africa, for 21 days, no exceptions. A doctor in the Minneapolis and Saint Paul area writes in the Minneapolis Tribune this week, that in his experience symptoms are often difficult for doctors to connect with diseases, and people can be symptomatic before they have fevers, and not know it. Tom Combs also says there isn’t enough data yet to conclusively say that a quarantine isn’t just safe, and smart policy. He also says, people need to understand Quarantine is not punishment, nor incarceration. Quarantine is a way contain a disease and prevent its spread. Meanwhile, states are getting out in front of our intellectual-and-reluctant-to-act President. Louisiana sent letters to attendees to a topical disease forum in New Orleans, disinviting those who had been in West Africa in the last week, citing the need to protect the citizens of Louisiana. Hey! Some good economic news came out just in time for the election! How about that? 3.5 percent GDP growth in the 3rd Quarter. Most of it in the Government and Energy Sector. Oddly enough, Goldman now says that the US has dethroned OPEC and is now the New Oil Order. Falling prices for Gas is good, but this is not so good for investors in oil stocks, or countries that rely on oil revenues. (Editors Note: Take that suckers!) By the way … where’s your old crazy ‘peak oil’ uncle these days? The richest man in the world, Carlos Slim says 60 is the new 40, you shouldn’t retire and that soon people will work only 3 days a week. Machines work work 24/7, we’ll work 11 hour shifts and have more time for retraining and leisure. Finally, when was the last time you took a vacation? Why 5 weeks of vacation may soon become mandatory, and common. Sponsored by Depotstar

Podcast 241

One Week To Go. Election 2014 Update. On Wednesday morning November 5th, 2014, we will know most of the outcomes for US House of Representatives, and Gubernatorial races. We may not know the full result of the vote for US Senate. Close elections in runoff states mean that we may not know which party will control the US Senate until late on January 6th. Which races are close, which can be called now? In this podcast we’ll go through the close races, the races that will determine whether Republicans take control of the Senate, or Democrats retain a majority. There is, however, one key point about the ongoing Ebola debacle that needs to be addressed. The President spoke recently, attempting to pooh pooh the idea of establishing quarantines for returning ‘health workers’. The idea is, putting ‘health workers’ who are trying to help stop Ebola in Africa, will cause them to think twice before ‘volunteering’. Problem is, President Obama lifted his language directly from a New England Journal of Medicine article, written by Doctors. What’s going on here? First, ‘Health Workers’, are in fact Doctors and Nurses, who want special treatment. While we celebrate their interest in helping in Africa, we also celebrate our own Military Personnel who serve, and are being quarantined (including their officers, all the way to General) upon their return to base in Italy. Why do Doctors and Nurses expect to be treated as special citizens, when one of their own recently returned from West Africa to New York, with Ebola, to take a ride in an Uber Car, go Bowling, and ride the subway? Moreover, doctors and the President say science says a person with Ebola who is asymptomatic is not contagious, but in fact science is inconclusive on this subject. As far as election 2014 is concerned, baseless speculative reporting continues. Suddenly West Virginia is ‘going republican’, why? Maybe it has something to with Obama saying he wanted to put ‘coal out of business’? Oh no, it couldn’t be that, it must be that Hillbillies are racists and hate women. (Editor’s note: This is why I hate the ‘media’). Bloomberg’s Jonathon Bernstein says the media’s problem is there aren’t very many good reporters in states with close races, and he might be right. We know very little about key US House races. Minority leader Nancy Pelosi is reportedly bracing for deep losses for her party. As to the polls, CNN says ‘voters are angry’ (really?). Another poll says Latinos are ‘surprisingly’ OK with a Republican led Senate. Conventional wisdom is the enemy of objective analysis. Hispanic’s political views are becoming increasingly difficult to predict as this is not a monolithic group the media can latch onto, but they try. They sure do try. The polls show tough, close races in Colorado, Iowa, North Carolina, Georgia, Kansas, Alaska, New Hampshire, Kentucky, Louisiana, with some movement in Arkansas. Still, small sample sizes, and electronic interviewing make these polls highly questionable. Run offs in North Carolina, Georgia and Louisiana (where there are multiple candidates) if the winner does not achieve at least 50 percent of the vote, mean there could be US Senate races in 3 states, we will not know the outcome of until after the runoffs. No one can say what will happen…the polls are just too close. Republicans could have a phenomenal night, a good night, or be disappointed, yet still win seats in the House and Senate. Democrats could retain control of the Senate, but lose seats in the house, or suffer heavy losses. It comes down to getting the vote out on election day (even with early voting). Sponsored by XGovernmentcars