Republican Crack Up. A Republican Majority struggles to nominate a successor to Speaker Boehner. Moderate leadership is losing its grip because 40 ‘insurgent’ ‘freedom caucus’ Republicans refused to support top candidate Kevin McCarthy. Amid controversy over McCarthy’s Benghazi Hearing comments, and allegations of an affair, the collapse of order in the election of a new speaker, the candidacy of Donald Trump and the terrible performance of moderate candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, Jeb Bush, one must wonder whether the moderate leadership is finally losing its grip. They have no one to blame but themselves. The moderate leadership of the Republican Party seems more and more out of touch with an increasingly frustrated and angry base. ‘Going along to get along’ seems to be the wrong course of action. What does the base want? Can the Freedom Caucus lead the house? Those are turning out to be much more complex questions. In a free wheeling stream-of-consciousness podcast, we discuss the underpinnings of Republican rank and file political philosophy and find … none. Senator Ted Cruz recently suggested what is needed to change America is a ‘grassroots’ movement, only without organization, there is no movement. Without philosophical underpinnings, there is no organization. Republicans, tea partiers and others on the right might suggest a ‘freedom caucus speaker’ might lead them out of the wilderness. Lead them where? To What? How? Uh….yeah. Thus, the best opportunity to elect a Republican President in years begins to fade, with a moderate leadership that can’t even run an election for speaker of a house it controls, and a rank and file that wouldn’t recognize, or vote for Ronald Reagan today. With this kind of comedy in progress, Democrats never had it so good. Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul and Pride of Homes.
Live From The Kitchen. The last few days in podcasting have been busy. Back in the bunker, and pleasantly exhausted from the weekend at Agorafest 2015, time for a podcast live from the kitchen. After a great dinner, sipping back coffee going over the day’s and the week’s news in the wake of a weekend discussing political and social concepts. It seems the news is more and more a rehash rather than focused on what really matters. It was said this weekend that the GOP has probably created more anarchists than anything else. That might be amended to suggest both mainline political parties are creating frustrated and angry people, and apparently not listening to them. It isn’t that congress can’t get anything done, it’s what congress, and the president actually does that’s creating the frustration, anger, discord and angst. We’re back to calling anyone who can’t be categorized a ‘populist’, including Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump the UK’s labor leader Jeremy Corbin and oddly enough, Pope Francis. The populist movement in the United States was primarily a movement that served the interests of midwestern farmers against the Republican and Democrat parties, and bears little resemblance to rhetoricians, marxists, and socialists. Yet the media continues to throw out the term, as though people actually understand what it means. As the Republican Speaker of the House resigns amid the ‘planned parenthood shut down fight’, people naively wonder whether the next speaker will be more ‘conservative’. Emphatically yes, they are all conservative in the sense that they serve the interests of big government against all the people. That makes them conservative statists (in my view conservative socialists) regardless of whether they have a D or an R after their name. This is the problem in American politics, not whether the Federal Government funds Planned Parenthood. Shut it down! Yes! Shut it down. Pull the fuel lines and plugs and batteries and let it rot in the wheat field! Don’t waste your breath on distractions, shut the government down because it is out of control, and all our so called representatives are part of the problem, they are certainly not the solution. We need new ideas, new concepts and these are not the people who will find them, develop them, and support them. Two stories to watch right now. One is economic, and the other is Russia in Syria. As debt levels increase to dangerous levels, the world’s central banks don’t know what to do. The danger of a meltdown is increasing. Putin has Obama checkmated in Syria. First the administration denied the Russians were going into Syria, then they minimized it. Now they’re actually negotiating with Putin. Russia is now fighting against ISIS, allied with Assad and Iran and Iraq. Where’s the US? Testing the idea of ‘non-interventionist’ foreign policy while Putin practices Realpolitik and Realist Foreign Policy brilliantly. Clearly it is necessary to point out yet again that we have exceeded all the political, social and economic constructs of the last thirty years and something new is coming. Are we ready for it? Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul and X Government Trucks.
Updates! The Correspondent’s dinner is a colossal waste of time, and discussions now center on how to fix it. How do you fix it when the news reporters who should be in Baltimore covering riots are ‘the story’ at a glitzy, hollywood style celebrity roast, including the President. How is the public to expect objectivity in its nightly news given that kind of display. NBC Nightly News, as predicted, has reportedly asked Brian Williams to find the door as more evidence of his ’embellishments’ emerge. Williams has done irreparable harm to NBC News. The Comcast-Time Warner deal is kaput. It can only be hoped complaints about customer service at both companies contributed to it. It’s starting to become apparent that the balance of power, when it comes to energy, is shifting in favor of the United States. Fracking made it possible, and today’s technology made fracking so efficient oil companies can scale them up or down at much cheaper costs, and exploration is cheaper as well. With the US the second or first largest oil producer, and controlling as much as ten percent of the world’s oil production, substantive changes in middle east policy are now possible. The new reality also extends to how we deal with countries like Venezuela and Russia, not just the Middle East. Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison wants to end so called subsidies to the ‘evil’ oil companies. What are subsidies, what tax breaks and loopholes specifically apply here and who really benefits? Meanwhile real subsidies for wind power, ethanol, electric cars, light rail and rail roads that deliver the oil – rather than the Keystone Pipeline – continue. Who benefits? The top selling car at GM is not a gas-electric, or even the fully electric Volt. It’s the Suburban, Yukon and Escalade as people trade in their electric cars for SUV’s, now that gas is cheaper. The war on the car, the individual and independent-government-free living continues. Latest in the struggle is the Southwest Light Rail project now expected to cost Minnesota Taxpayers 2 billion dollars, which shocked and appalled Governor Dayton. The solution? Kill the project. The aging hippie governor and his 60 year old pals at the Hennepin County Council, City Councils and a duchy known as ‘The Met Council’ have a vision. That vision is our return to the early 20th century city utopia, where cars were scarce and trains carried people from residential areas of big cities downtown. Forget that those cities, at that time, were hardly utopias. The last, best hope of these statists is the Millennial generation, which they expect will move into downtown, thus populating the expensive (1500 to 3000 a month) high rise apartments, and drinking in the bohemian bars and coffee shops, and in general contributing to something called ‘the creative class’. Truth is, Millennials are moving to the suburbs and the exurbs because housing is cheaper, and there are yards for their new families. Babies and toddlers don’t prefer sitting in outdoor coffee cafes, riding around on bikes and getting tattoos. Is the statist dream of returning to the early 20th century city doomed? Sponsored by X Government Cars.