17 October 2016 – I have been talking on the show about JD Alt’s book, The Millennials’ Money, since it was still a series of posts on the modern monetary theory (MMT) blog, New Economic Perspectives. This book is that good and it’s that important. JD not only covers the basics of MMT effectively and in an especially accessible manner, he goes much further and explains why it has particular applicability to millennials and how it can be the tool they need to make the changes in the world they have been calling for so articulately. JD’s ideas for using MMT to solve some of the biggest challenges facing society genuinely made me think deeply. And guess what, there’s an app for that (or there could be.) JD is an architect by trade so his drawings, showing how MMT works, are unmatched and are core to the success of his first MMT book, the best-seller, Diagrams & Dollars. The inclusion of his diagrams in The Millennials’ Money makes the book even more useful. Perhaps the most important thing JD brings to the MMT discussion is some truly original and interesting thinking on how we re-frame the debate to make the obvious nature of MMT as apparent to everyone else as it is to us right now. The Millennial’s Money is available from Dog Ear Publishing and on Amazon.
This week Will starts our talking about the cluster bombing of Syrian civilians by the Russians. Cluster bombs are fragmentation weapons which deploy many smaller bombs and are anti-personnel ordinance on a major scale. Will then goes on to talk about so-called “New Mysogyny” and the Altright. Apparently, there are various pods of men who are so under-developed emotionally that they think women rule the world and are running a massive conspiracy to keep men down all the while being considerably less intelligent than are men. (Because that makes sense. LOL!) But these guys in the Manosphere are so far gone that they are working to repeal the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote, and are blaming their involuntary celibacy (which they refer to as “incel”) on everything except their own repulsiveness. Will recommends David Futrelle’s website We Hunted the Mammoth for insight and appropriate mocking of these tiny, tiny “men.”
I start out with something you knew had to be coming, a run-down of the “achievements” of Indiana Governor and GOP Vice Presidential Candidate, Mike Pence. Suffice to say here that Pence is dangerous but unlikely to be a threat to anyone in the future as he rides off into the sunset of what will be his non-starter of a 2020 Presidential campaign. I then finish-up detailing the lies Trump told about the economy during the first debate. This does not really matter since the Trump campaign is toast but these old tropes are regularly trotted out by the GOP so it is worth putting a stake through their heart.
Remember that voting is open in many states. Be sure to vote and to get all your (sane) friends and family to the polls to do the same. A big win for Democrats will help us crush the “the vote is rigged” meme beneath our foot, grind it under our heel and then scrape it off on the nearest patch of grass. This election is the most important in decades. Never doubt it. Carrots! – Arliss
3 October 2016 – We are fortunate again to have back on the show progressive political pundit Jesse LaGreca (@JesseLaGreca) to talk about the efforts by Democrats to flip the Senate. Something we were once so sure of has become seriously imperiled and Jesse takes us through the top targeted Red to Blue Senate races step by step. It matters that we are about to put a Democrat in the White House but without the Senate President Clinton will not be able to accomplish many of our goals, including appointing decent human beings to the Supreme Court. We can not roll-back Citizens United or restore the weakened Voting Rights Act or wisely protect the environment or be sure that women are free to make their own decisions without securing the Supreme Court. This is a more than critical election. We cannot allow GOP money to shut out our voices again.
Will gets into detail with the horror that is the AltRight and the ties of the Trump campaign to openly racist groups. He discussed the ideological backing of the fascist branch of the alt right, rooted in conspiracy theories, and shows how the Trump campaign and the alt right is moving from covert, dog-whistle racism, to overt antisemitism,including this death threat sent to Jewish Politico journalist Julia Ioffe, which is fairly representative of the way Trump’s supporters have been attacking Jewish journalists. Next week, He’ll talk about the misogynistic “Manosphere” component of the Alt-Right.
I dive into dissecting the morass of lies Trump told about economic issues during the first debate. In fact, there are so many that I will be back next week with even more. (How sad is that?) This week I get into the fact that China is NOT manipulating their currency, factories in Mexico are NOT more sophisticated than those in the US and Mexico is NOT the “8th wonder of the world” as claimed by Trump. Then I go after his lies related to jobs and Ford Motor Company. Ford is NOT putting workers in Michigan out of work in order to move manufacturing to Mexico and the US is NOT shedding manufacturing jobs. In fact, the Obama Administration (or Obama/Clinton Administration, as Trump puts it) has added 800,000 new manufacturing jobs in the last five years.
At the top of the show Will tells us that Jeremy Corbyn still can’t lead his Labour Party out of a paper bag, much less to Downing Street. I get into it over Trump’s lie about the condition of the US nuclear arsenal.
If you haven’t seen them yet, Team Arliss, on Instagram at ImHoppingMad, has their own take on the recent Presidential debate. Carrots! – Arliss
2 May 2016 – Even more than in the past there is this nexus between the progressive movement and the labor movement in the US. This week we were joined for the interview by the Chief Economist of the AFL-CIO, the deeply knowledgable Dr. William Spriggs. Dr. Spriggs kindly gave us an unusually long and detailed interview and we highly recommend visiting some of the pages, to which I refer during our talk. They are on the excellent website of the AFL-CIO here, here, here and here.
At the top of the show Will fills us in on what is going on with the protestors who have just taken the Iraqi Parliament. Later in the show he gives us the promised update on the Scottish elections which will take place on 5 May.
I start out on the newly released anti-austerity budget which has just been announced by the Trudeau government in Canada. I come back a bit later to give a lot of detail about the very aggressive Vision 2030 economic plan aimed at weaning Saudi Arabia off of its dependence on oil. Headed by favorite son Deputy Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman (MbS as he is called in Saudi), the plan is interesting and hopeful but will have to overcome significant resistance from Wahhabi fundamentalists in order to succeed. We’ll see….
I also learned that Netroots Radio has moved all of the old shows to which we had links from this site. Of course, all those links are now dead. I’ll have to figure out where they went and fix that. On a more cheerful note, the archive section for Hopping Mad has been updated and an index has been added making it easier to find specific subject – Carrots! Arliss
12 October 2015 – It’s true, over the past eight years the Supreme Court has been steadily chipping away at citizen access to Federal courts for civil actions. Not only is the bar to individual access almost impossible to surmount, climbing the mountain of barriers put before those attempting to gain certification for a class action is very nearly impossible. Corporations are people and welcomed into the courts but actual people…not so much.
Armando, who is a lawyer, frequent contributor to Daily Kos Radio Kagro in the Morning with David Waldman and a Daily Kos front pager, joined us to walk us through the foundation of citizen access (which was the Sherman Act) the later clarification to access (Conley v Gibson) and then the Roberts’ Court efforts to tear access down through Ashcroft v Iqbal, Bell Atlantic v Twombly, Wal-mart v Dukes and AT&T v Concepcion. I’ll be honest with you, until I hopped on a Twitter link which took me to an article in The Nation, I had absolutely no idea things had become this serious. Essentially, Federal courts are filled to overflowing with criminal cases (many of which should not be there at all) and instead of working to reform the criminal case-load, SCOTUS went after the rest of us and slammed the door of the third branch of government right in our face. The version of “Hopping Mad” which aired, on Netroots Radio, on 12 October, contains the first half of our interview with Armando. The podcast version (player below) has the full length interview so it is, of course, “Extra Mad!”
This week Will gets into it on the need for progressives to stay connected to the real world and to create a workable progressive political strategy. He utilizes the current struggle of Jeremy Corbyn and the candidacy of Bernie Sanders as examples. Arliss goes off on de-industrialization and the successful campaign by neoliberal economists to keep us from caring too much.
As a final note, we managed to get through the recording of this episode all in one day. We were very excited. I don’t know what Will did with the rest of his weekend but I spent mine gardening, hiking and standing at the paint counter at Home Depot – because my life is precisely that exciting.
So here it is, the forth episode of “Hopping Mad”…
21 September 2015 – We survived the launch! It would have been better had it not taken us about eight hours to record the show only to later discover that we still had a strange audio problem in a couple of places but all-in-all we are still in one piece and we are downright hoppy with the result. It’s hard to be anything but thrilled with the end product because we had such a wonderful time talking with SUNY professor and Daily Kos feature writer, Denise Oliver-Velez. I think it’s obvious that Dee is basically a progressive rock star. She answered questions about hope, Puerto Rico, the Latino get-out-the-vote effort and education. I especially loved the conversation about the fact that the Moral Mondays platform and the Black Lives Matter platforms are putting forward issues that are not “new” contrary to the commentary by mainstream media. Dee, with her wealth of perspective on progressive movements closed out by commenting on the difference between getting out the word in the 1970s versus the social media of today but she was sure to say, “The revolution will be slogged, not blogged.” We make change by talking with one another directly.
Will and I began the show talking a little bit about how we got started in the space that ultimately lead to “Hopping Mad.” We then went on to talk about the need for a new New Deal via job guarantee programs.