Levy Trump and Cecil. No, it’s not a law firm. No it’s not a children’s book. How today’s news cycle obsessions can become tomorrow’s forgotten story. What is worth your time? From MH-370 to Ebola today’s lead story is tomorrow’s forgotten junk, to be thrown out with the pizza box from last week, and the recycling. Today’s obsessions include a lion who has attained personhood by virtue of a name and a graphic demise at the hands of a opportunistic hunter, who happens to be a dentist from the suburbs of Minneapolis-Saint Paul, and a political candidate who is the leading republican, according to the polls. You’re not allowed to criticize Trump, or you’ll be blocked or shouted down. Fortunately for those who support the New York real estate and casino developer, former TV reality show host and purveyor of Miss America and Miss Universe beauty pageants, there is no criticism of the candidate himself. Oddly enough, people who claim the polls are rigged, also claim the polls show Trump to be the best chance for Republicans to win the 2016 presidential race. Yes, people are making wild claims about Trump’s potential for success. If republicans and the country wants him, fine. But let’s take a look at polling, political polling and the foibles of making predictions about a presidential race which is yet to gel. Not only are there fifty state primary elections or caucuses to get through, there are actually fifty state elections that make up the Presidential election itself. What about Trump as a third party candidate? Minnesota’s Jessie Ventura is offered up as an example. How does one state’s gubernatorial race in the 90’s predict a win for ‘The Donald’ in a three way presidential race? Does it? What about Ross Perot’s experience in the 1990’s. The media spurs uniformed speculation driven by polls that cannot and do not predict Trump’s, or anyone else’s performance in an election more than a year from now. It’s time for a frank discussion about political polling and its limitations, aside from allowing Cable TV news the opportunity to show graphics and charts and make baseless announcements about front-runners and ‘winners’. As far as Republicans are concerned, no matter who is nominated it’s going to be very tough to build a winning election organization with people who are frustrated, angry and scared of the future, and who have not demonstrated an ability to organize, work with each other, or get out the vote in the recent past. Republicans seem to be looking for a personality to lead them out of the wilderness, rather than take it upon themselves to start solving problems and present a viable agenda. Not a good omen for the 2016 cycle. Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul.
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.
UK Election Crushes Pundits. Most important story going into the new week is the British Election, and the chief casualties appear to be political pundits. The ‘experts’ predicted a victory for the left, and in fact the left in British Politics was handed its hat and shown the door. Political scientists and pollsters are becoming too famous, and becoming part of the story, rather than doing their job. Its one of the reasons we love it so much when they’re wrong. Next, the same bunch in the US will be telling us what’s going to happen in 2016, based on the experience of the British election. What they won’t tell you is how the two systems are different, and why. That’s where this podcast comes in. Dissimilarities aside, UK conservatives will move quickly to cut government costs and size and adjust the UK’s relationship in the EU. The most significant thing to come out of the British election is the fact that people told pollsters one thing, and voted an entirely different way. It’s become socially unacceptable to disagree with an overbearing and arrogant left, so people just keep their opinions to themselves and take their revenge at the polls. Could that happen in the US? As people bear up under a no growth economy, disorder at the breaking points, and constant denial from the left that their policies just aren’t working, the pundits ignore the fact that there is political rage just below the surface. Woe to the politician that ignores this, or doesn’t understand it. Will the polls pick it up? Not if the pollsters and political scientists keep thinking about politics in the old right/left paradigm. Things are changing. Fast. Meanwhile, candidates in the US keep doing the same things and expecting different results. At a cattle call for republicans in the Carolinas, Jeb Bush talks about Christianity (just to make you think he’s a conservative) and Scott Walker wants to send troops to Iraq to fight ISIS. A recent podcast included a discussion of the nature of work in Los Angeles, with freelancers working on projects ad hoc, as the model for work in the future for all of us. Some subscribers didn’t like it, suggesting ‘Hollywood’ is responsible for the decline of social morals in this country. In this podcast, a new article suggests an Uber style company that connects professionals and semi professionals with small businesses and individuals is already taking off, and will change the nature of work in this country. Finally, for people interested in political organization, or just being good neighbors and citizens, there are a plethora of local issues, from Common Core, the Tyranny of the Met Council, and out-of-control spending by city councils. While these are local Minnesota issues, every town in every state and territory of the United States has similar issues. They allow people to work together to solve problems without having R’s or D’s carved into their foreheads. When people work together and solve problems together, they’re more likely to listen to each other, as opposed to sitting in their chair watching Fox News or MSNBC and railing against those (fill in the blank). Sponsored by X Government Cars. (Image from telegraph.co.uk)