"Hopping Mad with Will McLeod and Arliss Bunny" provides thumping good commentary from the Left on politics, economics and carrots. We are on Netroots Radio on Monday at 8AM and available via podcast on our site, on Stitcher and (soon) on iTunes.
16 May 2019 – I promised you that in our next show I would get into the myths about Federal debt. This is that show. In addition, Will talks about why we should be going into space – for real. Some of the ideas sound crazy but I think there is enormous value in doing the work that takes us down those paths, regardless. There is so much possibility, why would we not get serious? At the top of the show we touch on the new agreement, between the UK and the Republic of Ireland, to establish a common travel area. Granted, this is a weak tea solution but it’s not nothing.
In case you want a quick list of the eight myths about Federal debt which I cover, here goes:
Carrying debt is bad for the Federal government
And the corollary, Federal surplus is good (this article provides perspective)
The Federal government uses our taxes to “pay for” government spending
There is a fiscal cliff
Passing Federal debt on to future generations is bad
The Federal government issues Treasury bonds (debt) to fund spending
Federal debt “crowds out” investors (Stephanie Kelton crushes Paul Krugman on this subject here.)
8 April 2018 – We have hopped and moved the show we planned to have this week back to next week in order to have the ACA expert, Charles Gaba (ACASignups.net, @Charles_Gaba)on to update everyone on the latest chaos surrounding the ACA.
Because of the recent ruling by a Federal judge in the Northern District of Texas, the ACA is back on uncertain ground. No one is surprised. Trump is swerving all over the place first into the total, immediate destruction of the ACA and then veering back to say that his incredible new plan will come out right after he is re-elected. Even McConnell isn’t humoring Trump this time, which should be your first clue. But don’t worry, “preexisting conditions will be covered.” Of course, insurance companies will be able to charge whatever they feel like in order to issue the coverage but Trump is positive that will work for everyone. Well, at least all the billionaires. The rest of us can just use the hospital emergency room, right?
In the last block of the show, Will and I chat about Nancy Pelosi, 2020 candidates, leadership from Gen X and Millennials and the books, Ruth Bader Ginsburg: a Life and the essential new book, Broad Band. It’s all connected…kind of. Cheers! – Arliss
2 April 2018 – Since I, admittedly, went on and on about debt politics in this episode, I will keep my description very short. Will updates you on the latest on Brexit crazy. May has completely lost control of Parliament and Macron will not continue to be impatient with British incompetence. I talk little bit about the mechanism of federal debt and a lot about the politics of federal debt. The concept of federal debt has been weaponized for a reason.
I said on the show that next week I would talk about some of the myths that surround federal debt and I will do that but the next show may end-up being an interview with Charles Gaba, @brainwarp, because Trump is seriously planning to destroy healthcare and even the GOP is furious. Cheers! – Arliss
12 March 2019 – We are back and we have a lot to say. I begin by explaining why I disappeared into my rabbit hole for so long and I talk a bit about how my process for healing and, hopefully, staying that way. Will then talks about how we have reimagined the show and made it more sustainable. We both summarize a laundry list of the things we will be talking about in upcoming shows.
Then we are off to the races. I talk about the fact that MMT is absolutely storming the field and mainstream economists are seriously annoyed. In my section I mentioned the piece by Stephanie Kelton wherein she responds to (and crushes) Paul Krugman. I also talk about Randall Wray’s response to economists who think MMT is just a recycling of (fill in the blank.) Will tries to explain the unexplainable – the current state of Brexit.This is a rapidly moving target so we will both likely be back to update you again in the very near future. It will be fascinating to see how the May government proceeds domestically after the resounding defeat earlier today and as well as how they deal with “Bwussels” (Brussels).
We had a lot of fun with this show and we hope you do too. Many Carrots! – Arliss
In my section we discuss an accidental Brexit, which combined with some logistical issues getting everything running again and an illness on my part, led to an accidental Extra Mad. Brexit moved so fast that I had to add an update to this episode itself. – Will
30 August 2018 – Because of the holiday we did not have a show planned for Monday but then I noticed a tweet from ACA expert, Charles Gaba (@Charles_Gaba). The ACA is at serious risk again, this time in the courts in what Charles refers to as the Texas Fold ’em Case (Texas v Azar). Normally, this would not be a case which posed any threat but the Trump administration has opted not to defend the ACA (you can insert “not to defend the rule of law,” same difference) so with very little warning a collection of Attorneys General from various blue states are suddenly arguing the side of HHS Secretary Azar. Either way, this thing gets appealed and it is almost surely bound for the Supreme Court…with whatever new justice is seated.
Not to beat a dead horse, but this is another one of those elections have consequences moments and yet another time when the lives of many will be put at risk (and many lost) which would not be happening if Trump had not won the election. Both sides are not the same. As I said on the last show, this coming midterm IS the fight of our lives and we can not afford to lose.
We will be back on 10 September with a regular show. Until then, many carrots! – Arliss
27 August 2018 – This week we have Nancy Altman, the President of Social Security Works and the Chair of the Strengthen Social Security Coalition. We are dedicating this entire episode to Nancy’s new book, The Truth About Social Security: the Founder’s Words Refute Revisionist History, Zombie Lies and Common Misunderstandings. Guess what…Social Security is NOT going bankrupt. Social Security is neither an entitlement nor welfare. Instead, Social Security is an insurance program which will be there to pay its beneficiaries indefinitely into the future. Monied interests have been deeply invested in lying about Social Security all the way back to the 1930’s. We fight the zombie lies by learning the truth and sharing it. Just think of how much fun you can have with your crazy uncle MAGA at Thanksgiving! Oh, you won’t convince him but you will send his blood pressure through the roof!
We are off next week for the Labor Day holiday and back the week after. Cheers! – Arliss
20 August 2018 – Will is off today due to a family emergency and our expected interview has been rescheduled so it’s just me and I thought I would try to get a jump start on our coming Puerto Rico interview show. In trying to understand what is going on with the economy and, therefore, the post-Maria recovery in Puerto Rico, I kept tripping over one thing again and again, a group of SCOTUS rulings collectively called the Insular Cases. I decided to get into it and, as it turns out, there’s a reason almost everything in PR funnels back to this one point. These Insular Cases are, in no small part, why PR is struggling so much today. Along the way I discovered a couple of interesting stories and one of them was wonderful. I’ll give you a little on Isabel Gonzáles now and hope to track someone down who can tell us more about her life. Isabel was the Rosa Parks of her time and she contributed greatly to the granting of full US citizenship to all Puerto Ricans. Obviously, it should be the right of PR to decide on becoming a state or becoming fully sovereign but in the meantime, the people should have all the benefits afforded all US citizens, which is still not the case. Anyway, that’s all for another day. Many Carrots! – Arliss
13 August 2018 – We were lucky enough to have Steve Grumbine, of Real Progressives, for the entire show. We talked briefly about the recent OH-12 special election and his take on how the Greens impacted the election. We then spent the rest of the show talking about spreading the word about modern monetary theory and messaging.
Next week we have terrific interviews with experts on Puerto Rico and the following week we have Nancy Altman of Social Security Works on her new book, The Truth About Social Security. Stay tuned, August is going to be a great month on Hopping Mad! Many Carrots – Arliss
7/30/2018 – Media often speaks of trade as if it is partitioned off from the rest of US interests including many major areas like national security, human rights and climate. Of course, these things (and many, many more) are all deeply intertwined. Sadly, that is a level of complexity which is well beyond the capacity of Trump. In this show Arliss talks not about the specific daily news around trade but about the legal underpinnings and, in particular, how the work of the Trump administration to break down the rule of law is threatening to US national security.
Will’s deep dive this week is on how large media organizations, in this case the BBC, are abusing fair use to get small media sites pulled down from YouTube. This is made more insidious by the fact that the appeal process on YouTube is handled by AI and not actual humans so organizations like Wings Over Scotland simply go “poof”.
At the top of the show Arliss comments on the Democrats new slogan: For the People. She also gives a very brief update on recovery from the 2017 California fires in light of the new and massive blazes burning. Will brings some good news about community response to a hate crime in Toledo. Here is the link to the Toledo Blade article. Many Carrots! – Arliss
23 June 2018 – We are back (and trying to stay that way.) This is a grab bag show covering a number of international issues which are getting only cursory coverage by US media (for obvious reasons.) Will has news about currency plans for Scotland which, for MMT folk, is especially frustrating. On another front, remember all those times, pre-Brexit vote, when we said that the problem was going to be the Irish border. Well, the problem is the Irish border and it is both threatening to bring down the May government and cause the UK to “crash” out of the EU instead of Brexit in an orderly manner. Tune in to find out about the “Irish Backstop.”
In Extra Mad, Michele LeSure, our show editor, joins us to raise an important jobs issue which is just starting to break in Gainesville but could well spread to universities across the nation. Then we go back overseas to the Israeli Nation-State law and finally, to Iranfor the changes which are happening as a result of Trump pulling the US out of the Iranian Nuclear Agreement. So, obviously, it’s a light show this week. 😉
Along those lines, things have not been light for me this summer and that is why the show has been off-air so much. My actual job had a number of really wonderful things happen but all of them have involved a huge and unexpected time commitment accompanied by a larger than ordinary amount of stress. But that’s not all, the announcement that Justice Kennedy was retiring really flipped a switch for me. I just had to stop on-boarding news, Twitter, podcasts…all of it. Kennedy was just, somehow, one hop too far. I have had to take a break. I’m getting back to the real world slowly, starting by concentrating overseas. I’ll get back stateside soon and, hopefully, will be refreshed and ready to plow forward to the election. Many carrots! – Arliss