US Law is Crushing Puerto Rico

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


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Trade, Peace, and YouTube

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”.

Will mentioned Phantom Power, a Scottish new media group that makes documentary films about Scottish politics, and their short film Altered State can be watched here, as well as the fact that Murray Foote, the man behind The Vow, a promise to Scotland discussed in the film, has now become a supporter of Scottish Independence.

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


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Action! Amanda Werner on Nielsen Protest

25 June 2018 – We are back from hiatus with Amanda Werner (@wamandajd), leader of the action at the Mexican restaurant in DC which sent DHS Secretary Kirsjen Nielsen scuttling for cover like a cockroach when the lights get flipped on. Amanda tells us how, with a little help from a friend, she was able to pull together such an effective protest in a matter of minutes. We also talk about actions in general, immigration and the upcoming election.

Since my day job is still pretty overwhelming (with good things but nevertheless…) we will be taking the holiday next week and will return to our normal schedule in two weeks.

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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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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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Jim Harper – SOS Candidate; Elections & Census

9 April 2018 – Democrats are finally learning that Secretaries of State are more critical than even governors in state elections so we are lucky to have elections expert and Indiana State Democratic SOS candidate, Jim Harper for the interview. Jim is a strong candidate for Indiana and the videos on his FB page reinforce why he is a great choice both for progressive and moderate Democrats.

Will is talking about elections and the fall-out in Catalonia. The Germans are standing-up for the Catalans and the UK may be as well. We’ll see. Meanwhile, Russia continues to play in that sandbox exclusively to incite chaos.

I give some background on the decennial Census to set it in some context for the current national conversation around the re-inclusion of the citizenship question. Just as an FYI – there is an even bigger problem with the 2020 Census…funding. No kidding. The GOP is using funding to impair the Census and suppress votes. There simply is no line they will not cross.

At the top of the show I discuss the Netroots Radio plan of action in case Robert Mueller is fired. Additionally, I recommend that everyone sign-up with MoveOn.org to register for notification of a local action in your area. Until next week, carrots! – Arliss

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Donor’s Relief Bill, Sexual Harassment & Fire Department Health Insurance

4 December 2017 – Though Will is still on vacation, I am joined by two of our associates. Basically, we came at the subject of framing from many different directions throughout the show.  I start with a fairly deep dive into dynamic scoring. I know––you can’t wait, right?!? While scoring methodology is one of those suuuuuppppper dry subjects, dynamic scoring in important because of the framing space it supposedly grants to Republicans and because this frame is so good at getting us to take our eyes off the carrot. Paying attention to what actually matters in this reality means that we MUST STOP talking about deficits and stay focused on our values, on the real economy and on the welfare and happiness of our people – and by that I mean #AllOfUs.

Hopping Mad Associate, Alexis Dent, is up next. For those of you who are regular listeners, you will notice that Joel has changed his name to Alexis and he begins his block by briefly telling us about that before talking about the current conversation which is everywhere these days, sexual harassment. Alexis is not sharing or commenting upon the latest stories or scandals, rather he is talking about what he believes to be a shift in some of the long-standing victim-blaming agendas and his concern about the inevitable backlash. He also takes a few minutes to address the fact that not all victims are women and while this is a time for women to have their say, all of those who have been the victims of predators are to be believed, supported and empowered.

HM Associate David Paquette is back with us again to keep diving into health insurance related issues. This time he uses an excellent framing, likening health insurance to the fire department. I did not know anything about the insurance industry efficiency scoring of fire departments but Dave explains it well and appropriately. He moves from there to a discussion of the use of emergency rooms as primary insurance of last resort and how The Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA) came into being. Another fascinating story I did not know. Dave ties all of this back to the Donor’s Relief Bill, currently known as the Republican Tax Plan, in a very timely way.

In Extra Mad I close out the show with a terrific article, from SplinterNews.com, by Raúl Carrillo (@RaulACarrillo), of New Economy Project, and Jesse Myerson, of Hoosier Action, The Dangerous Myth of ‘Taxpayer Money’. This is an outstanding article about framing and how we talk about public money from the point of view of two experienced and accomplished activists. I recommend that you read it and share it WIDE.

Will is back next week! Carrots! – Arliss

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Rural Spaces

13 November 2017 – We accidentally ended up with a theme this week – rural spaces. During our interview block we were fortunate enough to have Lane Siekman (@LaneSiekman), Congressional candidate in IN-6, and Dearborn County, Indiana Democratic Party Chairman, Tricia Gaustad (@GaustadTricia). Lane gave us an articulate and well thought out rundown of his priorities including progressive favorite, Medicare for All. Tricia talked about why the 2018 cycle is not at all the same as the 2016 cycle even in her deep red county. She is listening to local Dems and has built a strategy to truly fight the good fight.

Will started the show talking about the ways in which some conservatives are trying to twist the current conversation about powerful people sexually abusing others into a diatribe which reinforces feelings about LGBTQ people. They do this, of course, at the expense of women but that is their normal operating procedure so we should not be surprised. In his block Will gets serious about rural spaces and why the Democratic party simply must find a way both to honor our base and to reach back into rural areas for those who have priorities which are not all about racism. He reminds us that rural areas vary in demographics from state to state and that those variations represent opportunities.

I begin the show with a couple of brief observations about the elections this past week. In my block I explain carried interest, why it is part of the GOP tax plan debate and the fact that the issue with carried interest is not about how much the wealthiest Americans pay in taxes, it is about increasing inequity and inequality. …Oh, and eliminating the carried interest loophole represents yet another promise which Trump has broken. I spend most of my block talking about new research, summarized in an article in the Harvard Business Review, which evidences a strong correlation between opposition to federal spending and racial resentment. We keep thinking that it is possible to wrap our minds around all the ways in which racism is systemic in our society and, as this research shows, we are nowhere close to understanding.

On that cheerful note…the interview I was expecting to have this week really is happening next week. It will be very different from our normal fare but I think it is going to be wonderful. Stay tuned! Carrots! – Arliss

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The Caribbean; Energy; Profit & Hate

18 September 2017 – Every time Denise Oliver-Velez is on our show I learn so much! This week we asked Denise to join us to cover what is happening in the Caribbean following Hurricane Irma. I particularly loved the posts Denise put up at Daily Kos on Puerto Rico and the history of the word “hurricane” as well as her thoughts on the subject. We spend most of our time on Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands, the places where Irma really did first make landfall in the US. (If you thought that was Florida you weren’t alone.)

In our Lying Liar Lie of the Week segment Will talks about an attack against a trans woman during a protest at Speaker’s Corner in the UK. Fortunately, it was caught on video and Will walks us through it as well as posting the video and some stills here.

In Lying Liar I talk for just a minute about Equifax who is making the obviously false statement that “they are doing everything they can.” This is clearly not the case and I’m quite sure we will be talking about them in the near future.

In Will’s big block he talked about climate change, weather, alternate energy and politics.  It’s appalling to think that the states which most need to confront new kinds of energy generation are fighting it the hardest.

In my block I get into the profits being made by Facebook, Google and tech in general, to promulgate hate. The blood money tech companies are taking as they act as conduits for hate groups (and terrorism) is much more costly to society than it is profitable in annual reports. We simply must find an effective way to address this.

And one more thing…

In a special election, scheduled for 26 September, Florida State Senate candidate Annette Taddeo is facing an extreme get-out-the-vote (GOTV) challenge. She is running in District 40, which is Miami-Dade, and many of her prospective constituents are among those who had to evacuate. Flippable.org has identified this race as one which can be won but needs immediate help. Anything you can do would be appreciated. Carrots! – Arliss

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A note on Lying Liar, the video we have is pretty shaky, and while it’s clear what happens in said video, it’s a chaotic scene. So to make things easier for our listeners, I’ve got stills from the video to walk folks through what happened, followed by the video in full.

Look for the red bus, as the scene we’re paying attention to starts just below it. A woman in a blue jacket and purple hat approaches a group of chanting protesters. She gets into an animated conversation with them and then pushes into the crowd, raising her camera above their heads. The crowd pushes back and blocks her camera with signs. Look for the bright spot to the right of the images below:

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A pushing match breaks out, and we lose sight of the altercation, catching glimpses through the crowd as the Camera pans away. But when the camera re-focuses on the scuffle, the woman who started the altercation has grabbed one of the Trans protesters by the throat. You can see her just to the right of center, our view over the shoulders of two onlookers:

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We lose sight of her again, but the camera returns to her, and she’s still got her hands on the protester she’s chosen to attack:

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And at this stage, when she’s grabbed a protester by the throat, dragged them halfway across a footpath, and enthusiastically participating in a fight she started, another protester punches her to get her to release the person she’s grabbed:

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Despite pretty clear evidence to the contrary, showing her starting this altercation and then enthusiastically engaging in the resulting fight, she is claiming martyrdom and… in a rather weird twist, saying she wants to spank people.

Which is just gross.

Will

The full video is below: