18 July 2016 – Will and I drove out of St. Louis yesterday full to the tippy top with almost too much information. We were extremely lucky to be able to capture some interview time with Tom Jensen the Director of the highly respected Democratic pollster Public Policy Polling (PPP). I know why PPPhas managed to maintain its edge as a scientific pollster with just a dash of the ludicrous, Tom is a funny guy and he laughs a lot. That bodes well for anyone who operates all day, every day in the political sphere. Tom takes us behind the scenes and talks with us about the basics of polling and about what PPP learns even from the funny questions they ask. [Hint: keep an eye out on an upcoming PPP poll for an answer to the question I find to be the most critical for this and every year.]
Will and I begin the show still bathing in the glow of Netroots Nation 2016 (NN16) and then I spend a little time on 10 Things I Learned. Will shares his comments and notes from one of the sessions he attended, How to Have a Conversation About Race Without Everyone Running Out of the Room then I do the same for How the Next President Can Bust Up Big Corporations.
St. Louis was glorious and Raven Brooks’ last Netroots Nation a true success. Thank you to all who worked with such dedication from the day NN15 ended to bring NN16 off. We can’t wait to see y’all in Atlanta next August. Carrots! – Arliss
16 July 2016 – We are here in St. Louis at Netroots Nation and, as usual, it’s remarkable. On Friday we sat down for a truly wonderful interview with Lady Ashley Gregory, of QT POC STL, and Capella Marissa Huniwalt of the Metro Trans Umbrella Group. Together these two organizations work symbiotically to empower the queer and trans community of St. Louis. The Metro Trans Umbrella Group delivers against their CAVE (Community, Advocacy, Visibility, Education) Priorities in genuinely impressive ways including providing nationally certified trainings to hospitals, universities and community organizations on providing trans related services and on interacting with trans individuals. They have recently also built and opened the first Trans Memorial Garden in the nation. I especially love the quote they have on a sign there, “They thought they could bury us. They did not know we were seeds.”
Speaking of seeds, QT POC STL grew out of the swirl of emotions following the murder of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO. The QT POC community needed a place to talk and to organize. From that beginning an organization has grown. As Lady Ashley says during the interview (paraphrased here), “When they go to write history books in the future, Ferguson will figure prominently.” There is no question of this and QT POC STL is just one of the examples of how the nation has been forever changed by the activism which was trigged initially by the murders of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown.
This episode of Hopping Mad is exclusively dedicated to the articulate, informative, exceptional interview and we thank our guests. – Carrots! Arliss
11 July 2016 – We could not begin without acknowledging that yet again our nation has suffered terrible losses: Alton Sterling, Philander Castile, Michael Krol, Michael Smith, Lorne Ahrens, Brent Thompson and Patrick Zamarripa. Will sums up our feelings by reading parts of Hillary Clinton’s speech in Philadelphia which, we feel, speaks for us.
It’s hard to believe there was anything else important in a week like this past one but there was and I get to two of the big pieces of financial news. The US Federal Reserve released the stress test results of both the quantitative (DFAST) and qualitative (CCAR) testing of the thirty-three largest US banks. Stress testing is one of the big gains which emerged from the Dodd-Frank Act. In order to pass banks must prove that they can withstand specific “severely adverse scenarios.” The scenarios are both different and more difficult each year. This year all the banks tested passed DFAST and all except the US subsidiaries of Deutsche Bank and Santander passed the CCAR. I know you don’t think this really applies to you but that brings me to my second segment for the show….
The UK really is in a crisis, both political and economic. In the midst of all the chaos the one steady, calm voice of national leadership has come from Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England(BoE). In a critical speech on 30 June (PDF here), Carney delineated what the BoE has done, is doing and will do as the economic disaster of Brexit trundles forward. Alone among major UK governmental departments or associated institutions the BoE had a Brexit contingency plan and they have put it into action. Carney steadied markets and calmed the City with his cogent, realistic assessment and announcement of actions which the BoE is taking. Carney also reminded everyone that the most recent round of UK bank stress testing did include a Brexit scenario and that UK banks have been found to be capable of withstanding losses more than twice those they sustained during the global financial crisis. In addition, Carney noted that the BoE will be making sure that banks are making loans both to business and to individuals and he let banks know that the BoE will not be taking its eye off the regulatory ball either, ring-fencing will progress. In this period of complete UK political breakdown, Carney looks like the only adult in the room and proves it by managing to walk and chew gum at the same time–times ten. Oh – and central banks can make all the difference in a crisis.
Will got into the one other big piece of news from this past week, the matter of Hillary Clinton’s e-mails. He made a point of fact-checking and adding to the information that is out there and he clarifies the difference between Clinton and those who have willfully and knowingly divulged classified information. There is a reason no prosecutor in the country would bring the case, Hillary’s mistakes do not meet either the letter or intent of the law. We will all, regardless, spend another two years listening to the GOP yammering on about it but it’s good to get the facts straight at the top.
Next week we are hopping down the bunny trail and our show will consist of interviews we have done while at Netroots Nation in St. Louis. If you are there, please come on by and visit with us. We will be on radio row (on and off) in the vendor hall. We’re bringing treats! – Carrots! Arliss
11 April 2016 – Every time I hear DeRay McKesson speak or read an article he has written I am again convinced that we need someone like this running every major city in America. Our interview with the Baltimore Mayoral candidate, civil rights activist and educator reveals him to be a holistic thinker, a realist and a revolutionary all at the same time. If you don’t already, you must follow him on Twitter at @deray. Will has referred to DeRay’s platform on past shows and, if you have not already done so, go and read a plan for an American city that is grounded in what works and the mechanisms for scaling already tested, functional programs.
At the top of the show I talk about the realities of presidential campaign financing which Bernie consistently avoids. I have to admit, I see him differently after his utter failure at the interview in New York and his, frankly, unforgivable (from my perspective) remark about Hillary. I don’t know if he realizes how very differently women heard him. For me, Bernie has crossed a rubicon and we are never, ever, ever getting back together.
I suspect you are thinking I will talk about the Panama Papers and I do…in a way. I spend my time (and Will’s) talking about the mechanisms of tax havens, why they are usually bad but not always and some of the unexpected questions about privacy.
I talk a lot this week but, fear not, I am about to be away for two weeks and Will will be running the show. I know you will all have a spectacular time. I’ll be back in May for our interview with…wait for it…the Chief Economist of the AFL-CIO, William Sprigs! Later in the month we have the editor of the “Intelligence Report” from the Southern Poverty Law Center, Mark Potok. All of that and root vegetables too. – Carrots! Arliss
11 January 2016 – Ever since the Black Lives Matter hashtag rose to prominence I have found myself on a steep learning curve. Our guest for this show is Dr. Lawrence Brown an Assistant Professor at Baltimore’s Morgan State University School of Community Health and Policy. Dr. Brown is a rising national voice spreading the word that Jim Crow never died and the kind of hyper-segregation seen in Black communities, like that in Baltimore, has shocking and far reaching public health and societal consequences far more pervasive than are initially apparent. Dr. Brown clearly conveys the implications of policies, both historical and current, which have been imposed on Black communities.
In doing my pre-show research I read many of Dr. Brown’s articles but the one that really knocked me back is one I recommend that you read as well. Down to the Wire: Displacement and Disinvestment in Baltimore City encapsulates many of Dr. Brown’s points and should be required reading for everyone seeking greater understanding of the underlying causes behind the current racial crisis. Really. Read it. This is what you will be talking about for a long time after you make the investment.
We open the show with Will talking about polls in the Democratic race and I try to put the precipitous drop in the Chinese stock market (and ours) into perspective. Then Will goes on to talk about policing as it relates to terrorism and I get deeper into the way money flows through the US economy.
It’s good to be back! Carrots! – Arliss
On another note, three polls were published AFTER we recorded this, putting Bernie neck-and-neck with Hillary in Iowa. So my analysis in the first five needs amendment. All polls in Iowa now put Clinton and Sanders within the margin of error of each other, so it’s anyone’s guess. It just goes to show you how fast things can change. I’m excited to see what happens next, and I’m looking forward to the general election. – Will
7 December 2015 – We are back with an all new show including a first-rate interview with Police Chief David Hewitt. For eleven years Chief Hewitt has been running a small town, Midwest department which is known for its considered approach to law enforcement. His thinking on social justice, the militarization of policing, use of force and the pressures being placed on law enforcement to fill gaps which are not being met at the source are all well worth hearing. Listen to him saying “You can’t arrest your way to” a solution. If he could tell all departments across the nation one thing he said, “You can’t take that bullet back.” Every department is not Chicago or Ferguson. It’s important to hear from a Chief who thinks deeply about the challenges and solutions in modern policing.
Will reassures us that Turkey and Russia are very unlikely to go to war no matter what all the various talking heads are saying. These are nations which do not now and have not ever had an alignment of purpose but it is not in their interest to battle one another at this time. In his longer segment Will tries to make climate change more real to us all be describing what is happening in Florida already.
I continue on the subject of taxes. Though I usually pull from many sources while I cover a topic, this time I lifted virtually my entire presentation from one given by Dr. Stephanie Kelton (now the Chief Economist for the Minority, Senate Budget Committee). If you have time you can view her entire presentation here. I promise that it is an hour well spent. At the beginning of the show I briefly update the decision by the International Monetary Fund to include the Chinese renminbi as part of the Special Drawing Rights (SDR) currency basket. Since that will be entirely unintelligible to most people (and with good reason) I refer you back to a segment I did on The After Show on 6 August 2015. (My segment begins about half way through the show.) There I explain SDR, the basket and China’s desire for inclusion.
To all those who have been communicating with us via a variety of channels, we LOVE hearing from you. You push us and for that we are grateful. An extra big helping of thanks goes out to Peter who always listens so closely and asks wonderful questions. It will take me a few weeks to get through them all but I’m on it!
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.