ACA Endangered Again – Seriously.

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

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Truth vs Zombie Lies About Social Security

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

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MIA in US Media (Almost)

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 Iran for 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

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How to Talk About Suicide: Dan Reidenberg

14 May 2018 – This past week, with the suicide of Frightened Rabbit frontman, Scott Hutchison, media and, well, all of us, once again came up against how best to talk about suicide and best practices for media. Dr. Dan Reidenberg, Executive Director of Suicide Awareness Voices of Education (SAVE), joined us for the interview. In particular he spoke about the fact that everybody has a role in suicide prevention and that including stories of hope, of those who have survived, is important. Dan also mentioned a number of websites and I am including links for you:  SAVE.org; Live Through This; Blogging on Suicide; and To Prevent the Attempt (for media organizations).

At the top of the show Will lets the Finance Minister, Bruno Le Maire’s, French flag fly with Le Maire’s threat to push the EU to use blocking regulations in response to Trump reinstating US sanctions against Iran in breach of the Iranian nuclear treaty. I’m excited that heterodox economists are finally being accorded a modicum of respect and space in the overall discussion around the “science” of economics.

In his block Will gets into the fracas the International Association of Athletic Federations is in over their new regulations on natural testosterone levels. Their reasoning is based on secret, unethical, and dubious research carried out by the communist German Democratic Republic which suggested that testosterone levels affect the performance of female athletes. This research can’t be repeated because dosing children with testosterone without their knowledge or consent is deeply unethical. Despite broad opposition from scientists of various disciplines, the IAAF is pushing forward with the regulations, mostly because they’re angry that Caster Semenya keeps winning races.

In my block I’m still on framing modern monetary theory (this is part 4) because how we talk about things, how we frame them, makes all the difference and since MMT redefines the art of the possible and we are still at the beginning of surfacing MMT, this is the time to set those frames well. Also, I learned a new word from Will:  sado-monetarism!

As we mentioned at the beginning of the show, we will be off next week because my day job is invading my life. Until next time, many carrots to you and yours! – Arliss

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Revised! Nathan Tankus: Defending Job Guarantee

Update: The original episode released this morning did not contain the extended interview. We’ve corrected that this evening.

7 May 2018 – Job Guarantee remains the talk of the Twitter town (nest?) as well as some mainstream media. Critics have been vocal and a core of MMT thought leaders have been guiding the response to the push-back. Nathan Tankus (@nathantankus), who is a research scholar at the Modern Money Network and a terrific follow on Twitter, is among those leaders and joins us for the interview.

Will focuses in on the court case between the British and Scottish Parliaments and why that is another example of the losses incurred by the structures of norms which underlie both the US and UK systems of governments. I am on to the third part in my series on framing MMT. In this show I cover better and more accurate framing for neoliberal deficit, surplus and balanced budget memes. I think I have just one more week on framing before I hop onto another topic. Many Carrots to All – Arliss

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Steven Attewell: the history of Job Guarantee

30 April 2018 – As I was flying through my Twitter stream this week, dipping in here and there to read all the many job guarantee (JG) tweets, I came across a thread, by Dr. Steven Attewell (@stevenattewell), that served to put JG into a historical context and provide background as to why past efforts had failed. What could be more timely! Steven joins us for a deep-dive interview into the history of past JG-type efforts and exposes the fact that we liberals played a substantial role in the collapse of the plans and programs. Now that was something I had never heard…had you? Steven has a book coming out, People Must Live By Work, and I can’t wait to read it.

Will put all his focus into talking about the Windrush generation and he both explains what the Windrush scandal is and why it is so undeniably inhumane and despicable. His block begins with the audio of the words of Member of Parliament David Lammy calling out the opposition.

At the top of the show I note that Mick Mulvaney is not only an ass but one who we now have grounds to send to jail for his admitted pay-to-play activities while still in Congress. I also address the need for Amazon to be a quality community partner and carry its own weight as it seeks a location for its new corporate headquarters, HQ2. In my block I continue my series on framing MMT, why it’s hard and why it’s important.

Plus – this is episode 100!! We’ve made it to three digits. I’m breaking out the carrot cake. Thank you for joining in on this venture! Many carrots to you and yours. – Arliss

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Dems Dangerous Debt Dance with Bluegal

16 April 2018 – There comes a time in every federal budget cycle when I have to find a way to talk about debt and, specifically, the Dems dangerous debt dance. This time I decided to switch things up and invited Frances Langum (Bluegal), from my favorite podcast, The Professional Left, to interview me and to provide push-back. Fran is someone for whom I have enormous respect but, like 99% of the Dems out there, she comes at economics from a purely Keynesian perspective…and that’s what I wanted. You are going to love the conversation and, I hope you find it an interesting way to get the MMT message out.

At the top of the show I refresh the information about the Rapid Response events taking place when (if) Trump does any of the following:  fires Robert Mueller, fires Rob Rosenstein, pardons any key witnesses. Please go to Nobody Is Above the Law to register for the event closest to you. Our democracy cannot be allowed to go down without a fight. Also, on the day you can tune in to Netroots Radio for a live stream as events unfold.

During the rest of the show Will covers an item you may have missed on your news feed, the angry Scottish badger, as well as some of the larger issues surrounding the US/UK/French strike on Syria. I get into Mick Mulvaney’s appearance on Capitol Hill to give his bi-annual report from the CFPB. Both Joan McCarter, of Daily Kos, and David Dayen, for The Nation, covered this particularly well.

Be vigilant folks, things are getting real. – Arliss

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Trade & Tariffs (Rebroadcast)

4 April 2018 – Due to the holiday weekend we do not have a new show this week. This is a rebroadcast of a special mid-week combined Hopping Mad and Irreverent Testimony entirely focused on trade. Travis Rosen and Rachel Hutcheson of Irreverent Testimony joined Will and I to talk about the domestic and international implications of the Trump Trade Tariffs and the basics of what international trade really means. This is a deep dive into what we should all really be messaging about trade and “why trade deficit” matters not at all.

Will and I have already recorded the interview for next week, with an election law expert, and we have a lot stored-up to add to the fire. Carrots! – Arliss


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Marlon Bundo & Space

26 March 2018 – In these days of increasing uncertainty, self-care gets to be more important. Toward that end, Will and I did a lightweight show this week. We dramatize the pearly gates meeting between Saint Peter and Pete Peterson. Will leads us in a discussion about the resources available in space and how important taking the next steps are in so many scientific fields. As is incumbent upon me, I close out the show with the definitive drill-down into the Marlon Bundo controversy (here is a link to my favorite snarkie review of Marlon’s book) and remind everyone that bunnies aren’t gift items, they are pets requiring a long-term, high-level commitment. Until next week, many carrots! – Arliss

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Sooooo – this is interesting…

19 March 2018 – There have been a lot of things which Will and I have been wanting to talk about and we get into it. Ask yourself the following questions:  Is Vanessa Trump’s filing for divorce really about divorce?; Is there a link between brain damage and religious fundamentalism?; Can Trump be so anxious to suppress the vote that even GOP Secretaries of State are willing to stand up?Can we encourage the Federal Reserve Bank of New York to be more diverse in thought, experience and identity?; How many ways is Andrew McCabe going to find to get even with the tweeting yam?; and, most importantly, Is the special relationship between the UK and the US forever damaged? We hit all of this in a wide-ranging show. We don’t do this kind of thing often so, enjoy!

Promised links:

Report by Popular Democracy and Fed Up:  Working People Still Need a Voice at the Fed:  2018 Diversity Analysis of Federal Reserve Bank Directors

Call the Fed Action Link for Fed Up Federal Reserve Diversity Campaign. Fed Up is asking for a public town hall to be held on the subject of the selection of the new NY Fed President. It’s a pretty reasonable ask. Also, remember to mention Sarah Bloom Raskin as a potential NY Fed President who you think would have your back.

Rational Security podcast, 15 March 2018, Rex, Eat the Salad Edition

With that I sign-off for the week. Many Carrots! – Arliss

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