SNP Councilor Math Campbell-Sturgess

27 June 2016 – Well, THAT happened. Brexit basically ate the news cycle of much of the world this past week. Who knew so many people could find legitimate use for the word “gobsmacked.” We were lucky to be guided through the chaos by Scottish National Party Councilor Math Campbell-Sturgess. Will has been wanting to have the Inverclyde Council representative on for a quite a while and this seemed like the moment. In fact, the timing was so good that Will trimmed down his block and I ditched mine completely because there was just too much ground to cover. I am especially interested by the way austerity is playing in elections and politics around the world. It’s insidious. We also talked about the upcoming Scottish referendum on leaving the UK, the terrific leadership of Nichola Sturgeon, the mess that is trying to pass as the Labour Party, the horror that is the Conservative party, commonalities between current UK and US politics, land reform and the general future of Scotland. Also, I think Angela Merkel joined Nichola Sturgeon on a very short list of people who managed to look like world leaders this week.

I began the show with a short tribute to Amjad Sabri, the sublimely talented Sufi Qawwalis singer and musician who was killed on Thursday in Karachi, Pakistan. He was a man who had devoted his life to a message of peace and love. His loss is unspeakably great. In tribute to Amjad, all of our interstitial music this week is his.

Will took a few minutes to hit the highlights of the ruling by the Hague on the case being brought by the Philippines against China over the Spratly Islands. The Philippines won. Enforcement is another matter entirely. *sigh*

It was a big week and I don’t think anyone knows what comes next. Hang on to your ears!  Carrots! – Arliss

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Award-Winning Author Matt Rees

4 April 2016 – Most of us have a short list of “desert island” authors and I have to admit that award-winning author Matt Rees has been on my list since I stumbled across his novel, The Collaborator of Bethlehem, early in 2007. Reading Matt’s work over the years has changed my perspective and every time I re-read one of his books I find that once again I am seeing part of the world in a new way. In the interview today we spend most of our time on Matt’s newest book, The Ambassador, which he wrote with co-author Yehuda Avner. You will likely recognize Mr. Avner’s name as he was the well-known Israeli diplomat and advisor to Prime Ministers who passed away just this past year. In the interview Matt talks to us about both the process and the fabric of his thoughts on writing. Matt was born in Wales, grew up in London, went to university in the States and then worked as a journalist, briefly covering Wall Street but then for nearly fifteen years in Jerusalem much of that as the Time Magazine Jerusalem Bureau Chief. Matt, his wife, the writer and author Devorah Blachor, and their children now live in Luxembourg. The Blachor-Rees family are pro-rabbit. Matt joined us over Skype but under a blanket (to cut down on the echo) for a truly lovely and fascinating interview.

Will brings the horror this week talking about the only recently recognized scorched-earth massacre which took place on 30 January in the village of Dalori, Nigeria. This is Boko Haram/Islamic State at its worst and the West completely overlooked it for more than a month.

I begin the show with a few comments on the book I read this week, Dan Ephron’s, Killing a King:  The Assassination of Yitzhak Rabin and the Remaking of Israel. Later in the show, and following weeks of other topics, I finally return home to talk about Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) and the Bloomberg article, Ignored for Years, a Radical Economic Theory is Gaining Converts.

For your entertainment, Will sent me this link  and I thought I would share it with you because it’s just that good. Enjoy! – Carrots! Arliss


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2016 Politics with Jesse LaGreca

8 February 2016 – I love political detail. The nitty gritty, pixel level parts that combine to render something one can only see fully by stepping back. Jesse LaGreca (@JesseLaGreca on Twitter and MinistryOfTruth on Daily Kos) gave us some excellent, granular information on the seats most likely to help Democrats to flip the Senate. He also got into gerrymandering, the GOP Presidential nominees and why running away from Obama and the word “liberal” doesn’t fly with the Democratic Party base.

Will reminded us that Trayvon Martin would have turned 21 this week. Will also gave a nod to the Sanders campaign for policing their Reddit and banning attacks on Hillary. Will then goes on to compare the Scottish YES campaign to the current Sanders campaign. (“You say you want a revolution….”)

I start out the show with an update on the rapid changes coming for the Iranian economy and the real challenges faced by Iranian banks. Later in the show I try to answer listener Peter’s questions about how to talk about deficits and taxes.

We love hearing from you here and via Twitter @IMHoppingMad. You can always catch our podcasts on Stitcher and iTunes or download there here.  – Carrots! Arliss

[Note:  if you are interested in the behind the lettuce leaf scoop about why we have not been on the air consistently since mid-December, check out the previous blog post. We should be much more steady for the foreseeable future.]

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Interviewee Joe Firestone Gets Us “Extra Mad!”

5 October 2015 – We realized something this week. While we must maintain a tight 58 minute schedule for the version of our show which airs on Netroots Radio (at 8AM Eastern on Mondays) we have no such limitation for the version which posts here. Joe Firestone, who joined us to talk about his new book, “Who Needs Balanced Trade? Who Needs a Balanced Budget?” was so fascinating that we simply had lots more to ask…so we did. The version of the show here on the site adds an additional 25 minutes of the interview with Joe and you must listen because Joe really had time to dive down and give us some detailed answers to our questions. While we could have called the extended version either, “Extended” or “Directors Cut” we took the path less travelled and went with, “Extra Mad!” because why not have a little fun with it, right?

The show starts off with a few minutes on the crazy things happening in Indiana Congressional District 6 / Indiana House District 68. Basically, Jud McMillan needs to keep his pants on and stay off his cell phone. In the A Block Will goes into the background of the modern Catalan independence movement, something which will be more present in the news in the relatively near future. I get my paws dirty digging into the scandals at the Vatican Bank and the impressive work Pope Frances has done to get that long-corrupt institution forcibly dragged out from the shadows and into the light. Then we get to the exciting part, the interview with Joe Firestone.

Book Cover, "Who Needs Balanced Trade? Who Needs a Balanced Budget?"

I make a real effort to read everything Joe Firestone writes and that takes some doing because he is such a prodigious writer and touches upon so many topics. Still, Joe doesn’t fool around. If he has taken the time to write on it, it’s important. Joe, like me, is generally focused on the applications of modern monetary theory to the real world and recently he has been doing truly deep and detailed dives on pending trade treaties which are currently in negotiation. His newest book, published on 28 September, is his latest on the subject and is absolutely excellent. Even Will, who unlike me doesn’t usually spend all his spare moments reading about economics, could not get his nose out of Joe’s book once he started reading. He kept saying to me, “Wow! This is really good!” And so was our interview with Joe. We think you will love it too which is why you are getting “Hopping Mad” with a side of “Extra Mad!” this week. Carrots! – Arliss