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Coming Back on 10 April!
29 March 2017 – (This is an update from Arliss.) In February my scheduled surgery was canceled when I was already in the surgical suite because at the last minute a conflict was found in critical data. Periodically through the rest of the month I went through exhausting and miserable testing which severely limited me. I actually had the surgery on 2 March. I’ve learned something important since then. Even when everything goes much better than anticipated and recovery is going perfectly, “major surgery” is still major. My surgeon laughed when I said I hoped to go back to work after four weeks. Tomorrow is four weeks and despite the fact that I am genuinely doing well, the surgeon was right. I can currently make it through an hour or two of serious work and then I’m all done. As a side note, I have caught up on the last three seasons of The Big Bang Theory. Since I stopped watching television nearly three years ago this counts as fun for me. I’m going to try to watch something more compelling next. We’ll see how that goes.
I am currently planning to be able to do a new show for 10 April. I appreciate all the good wishes and the kindness extended by listeners especially the fabulous bunny socks sent by Rebecca Romans. The really good news is that this surgery repairs a long-term, life-threatening condition which is now resolved. In the past couple of years I have been hospitalized and/or extremely ill over and over and over. That caused me to miss shows many times. From here forward I should be good to go. Both Will and I still travel for work and take holidays with our families but that’s fairly normal and we can plan in advance.
Again, thank you for your kindness and patience. Carrots! – Arliss
No Show This Week
12 December 2016 – Listeners, one of Arliss’ rabbits has taken ill. Living in a very tiny town in Indiana, there aren’t really vets set up to treat rabbits, so she is in a hotel room in Ohio, where she’s found a vet capable of treating her friends. We hope to be back next week with a new episode. There’s a lot happening right now.
Illness Strikes Again Just Before Thanksgiving Break
21 November 2016 – Arliss’ illness has struck again, landing her in the hospital again. By Sunday, she was resting somewhat comfortably at home. As this is a recurring illness, she’ll be seeing a specialist again this week. This is a medical problem which is being handled, it will just take some time. We will have a few more cancellations for medical reasons in the future before all is said and done, but I’ll let her update you on the specifics there. I spoke with her on Sunday, and while she’s not doing back flips or anything, she’s still herself.
There is something I was going to discuss this week on-air, and I think it still needs to be said. On this show, we endorsed Kieth Ellison for DNC Chair. We think he’s the best person for the job, and the ideal person to bring the Democratic Party together right now.
He is now facing the same smear campaign today which he faced when he ran for office in 2006. All of it circles around his religion. Ellison is a Muslim. As a result, all sorts of nonsense has been thrown his way. He’s been accused of having ties to the Nation of Islam, and Louis Farrakhan. He is being accused of being a dangerous radical, as well.
This is all complete nonsense. As I’ve said before, I’ve met Kieth Ellison on a number of occasions. He’s one of the best democrats we have. The fact that they are using his religion to attack him is par for the course in 2016. They did the same thing when he was running for office a decade ago. Then, they threw a fit over whether he’d be required to take his oath of office on the bible, even though, as a Muslim, there’s another holy scripture more appropriate for him to use.
If we’re taking oaths seriously, shouldn’t a religious person lay their hand on a religious text that actually matters to them? Shouldn’t they use something they actually believe in? To that end, Kieth Ellison took his oath of office on not just any Quran, but on Thomas Jefferson’s personal copy of the Quran.
American Muslims are Americans. Period.
Fingers and paws crossed, and we’ll see you folks in two weeks.
Hopping Mad will return next week. For now, an interview with Alexis Goldstein on Banking Reform
5 September 2016 – Unfortunately, we just weren’t able to get an episode up for everyone this week. With Arliss’ illness, and some craziness at work for both of us, things just didn’t come together.
We will absolutely be back next week with a full episode. This week, we reprise the interview with Alexis Goldstein, who does a deep dive into economic policy. Here’s what Arliss wrote about that last time:
Our guest, Alexis Goldstein updates us on where we are today with the implementation process. Alexis is a Senior Policy Analyst at Americans for Financial Reform and has been in the thick of the Dodd-Frank battle from back in her days with Occupy the SEC when she co-authored a 325-page Comment letter to the Securities and Exchange Commission urging them to write rules for a strong version of the Volker Rule. Seriously, that’s my kind of banking wonk. During our conversation Alexis referred to a link at Bloomberg and that is here for your easy reference.
Stay tuned, folks. We’ll be back soon.
Common Core Reprise and Update
29 August 2016 – Will is out of town on business this week and I have finally managed to struggle back up onto my paws after six days in the hospital and way too many more in recovery at home. Under normal conditions Will and I would have tried to prepare a show in advance but it was impossible to predict that I would be hospitalized and he would have a concussion at the same time almost immediately followed by an emergency business trip. Obviously, fate is snickering at us.
Hopping Mad is a show which requires considerable preparation and, because Will and I both have “day” jobs, we fit all that in around already full days. His travel this week and my short days (work, nap, work, nap, work, nap….) made thorough preparation impossible. I have to say that when I am too exhausted to read about financial news or economics, I am one seriously pissed off rabbit. After all, who doesn’t love reading about economics at 3AM!
Will and I solemnly promise a terrific new show next week. So much has happened and we have a LOT to say about it. Seriously, last week Donald Trump had former UKIP leader Nigel Farage at one of his rally extravaganzas!!! There was Farage, “Hello Mississippi….” I think we can all safely anticipate a rant from Will on that subject.
This week we are going back to our 7th show, from last November, when Will first started talking to us about South Sudan and the Spratly Islands and I was on the so-called “budget deal” and the difference between fiscal and monetary spending. The interview was with a California educator who was intimately involved in developing Common Core standards and she is absolutely fascinating on the subject. We hope you enjoy this and we will be back with you next week. Carrots to you and yours! – Arliss
No Episode This Week, Health Update
22 August 2016 – Alriss and I have had bad luck this past week. She ended up hospitalized with Diverticulitis, and I ended up concussed after rolling my ankle and face planting into the ground. I’m still limping around, and she’s resting at home, but we hope to be back to full strength soon.
I recorded a brief update about what’s going on to let folks know that we’re both alive, and that Hopping Mad will be returning soon.
Reprise: Alexis Goldstein & Dodd-Frank
6 June 2016 – Will and I were unable to record a new episode this week so we are reprising our episode from March which featured Alexis Goldstein of Americans for Financial Reform. Alexis gave us a truly exceptional interview on Dodd-Frank and given that our interview last week was on the foreclosure crisis, with David Dayen, we thought touching back to our conversation with Alexis made sense.
You can go here for our original episode notes.
We will be back next week with an all new Hopping Mad. – Arliss
MIA or Behind the Lettuce Leaf
7 February 2016 – We have not been producing shows steadily lately and I thought I should let you know why. Basically, it’s my fault. As I have mentioned several times on the show, I own a manufacturing company. Between Thanksgiving and Christmas we work flat out and beyond the holiday crunch it is also the end of the year and I have a number of responsibilities in terms of closing our our fiscal year. That being said, by the time my husband and I crawl our way to Christmas Eve, we are beyond exhausted. This year I had the clever idea of planning a vacation, which spanned from just before Christmas to after New Years, to an island with minimal internet. [When I say “minimal” I mean I have to buy lunch in a small restaurant and use the only decent internet on the island to get anything at all. They have incredible fish tacos but don’t look kindly on me taking up a table for an extended period of time. Also, of course, I can’t record a show there.] Further complicating matters, cell coverage essentially involves wearing a tin foil hat and praying to the Gods of cell towers. For me one of the very best things about this island is that it’s hard to reach me when I’m there. Obviously, for the show, this was not quite so advantageous.
Further complicating all that is that fact that my company attends a huge trade show every January. I go and shake hands with hundreds of people from, literally, all over the planet. They, in turn, have also been doing the same. Basically, between working hard at very high energy levels throughout the show and the inevitable virus’ which get passed around, I get sick. Every. Single. Year. Honestly, it gets old. This year I got something which completely destroyed my voice. I’ve had it for more than two weeks now. Last week I had no voice at all and, as you can hear on the 8 February podcast, this week my voice is still marginal. Fortunately, Will was able to get the awesome Landon Shroder to step in at the last minute and help him out last week so that there would be a show. Obviously, we need to get better at having contingency plans.
So now you know. – Carrots to you and yours! Arliss
21 September 2015 – I wanted to take just a moment to tell you about the music we are using as part of Hopping Mad. Music is a large part of both of our lives and we wanted to reflect that in the show. In fact, just last night Will sent me a link for Mongolian rap. I know what just flashed through your mind…Will is crazy. Okay, that’s true but the link he sent took me to an incredible video. How DO Mongolian throat singers do that? Really, if you aren’t already a fan of Mongolian rap then you simply must listen to this. After you come back I’ll tell you about the music we are using in the show.
Our intro music is a small snip from the lead-in to the great James Taylor’s song, Stand And Fight. It’s a deep cut from Taylor’s 1981 album, Dad Loves His Work. This is a song every progressive around the world should, at the very least, hear and I recommend you purchase it so you can listen to it whenever you need to remind yourself why the hell you are doing all this (fill in the blank) anyway. Here’s a link to the complete song on iTunes: Stand and Fight.
Liz Carroll isn’t just any traditional Irish fiddler. First of all, she was raised in the American Midwest. Still, Liz made her mark in traditional Irish music early when she won the All-Ireland* senior category competition in fiddle (a very competitive category) at the age of eighteen. She was also honored with a National Heritage Fellowship Award in 1994 and became the first Irish-American traditional Irish musician nominated for a Grammy (2010) for her album with John Doyle. We feature music from two of Liz’ albums, Lake Effect (2002) and On the OffBeat (2013). From the former we are using The Rock Reel/Morning Dew/Reeling on the Box and from the latter we are using Liam Child’s/Balkin’ Balkan/The E-B-E Reel. Even from the very short selections we are using on Hopping Mad it is clear that Liz is an extraordinary musician and composer. She is also just a generous and lovely person. We thank her for allowing us to use her work and encourage you to download more of her music. Trust us when we say, it doesn’t get better than Liz.
[*Note: the “All-Irelands” are the major international competition for Irish music…obviously.]
Our outro music is by one of my very favorite singer-songwriters, John Gorka. Here’s a tip as to how old I am – the first several John Gorka albums I purchased were on vinyl. Then I bought them again on cassette. Then I bought them again on CD. Then I downloaded them from iTunes. Oh – and I have seen him in concert more than a dozen times. If you could see the iTunes section of my computer you would know that I listen to a LOT of music. So much so that my iTunes music library has to live on its own terra-drive and at any given time I limit myself to a mere 2000ish songs downloaded onto my phone. Even amidst all of that, I listen to John very frequently. His songs Lightning’s Blues and Flying Red Horse feel like old friends. Still, those songs were from early in John’s career and he just continues to get better. The song we are using as an outro is Ignorance and Privilege. It is from John’s 2009 album So Dark You See which, I have to tell you, doesn’t have a weak song on it anywhere. The message of Ignorance and Privilege is both powerful and timely. Please support music, support John and support us by purchasing some of John’s music. It will make your day. – Carrots! Arliss
Getting Ready for Our Debut
19 September 2015 – Nothing worth doing just pops into being with a big bang. Well, the entire universe did but other than that nothing else is just suddenly there, fully formed and ready to go. Hopping Mad with Will McLeod and Arliss Bunny certainly has been and will be in the process of evolving. As I write there is still much to be done and over the next few weeks, as we gain our footing, all manner of things will experience either evolutionary or revolutionary change. Still, we have been on this path for some time so it is probably worth looking at where we are coming from and where we intend to go.
Will and I do not live in the same city. We don’t even live in the same state. We have never met person-to-rabbit. We met on-line as guests on the Netroots Radio program, The After Show. Both Will and I had been on as regular guests for some time already. He generally focused on politics on Monday and I talked about monetary policy and financial news on Thursday. Justice, the host, decided we might be good together, bouncing off of each other (we Rabbit Americans have serious bouncing chops), so we became co-guests on Fridays. We had a great time and as this past year went on we became progressively more comfortable working together. I don’t recall now whose idea it was but all of the sudden I was sitting at my desk trying to think of an appropriate name for a show that Will and I would co-host. We intend to cover not just politics and economics but all of the issues which are priorities to progressives not just in the United States but around the world.
One cannot help but to note the election of Jeremy Corbyn, to lead the Labour Party in the UK, and the strength of the Bernie Sanders campaign here in the US, the battle being waged by the left in Greece against the deadly bullies of the Troika, the growth of the left in Spain, Portugal and even revived whispers in Ireland. It’s a tide. It’s rising. There will be ebb and flow, there always is, but enough is enough and you can’t keep a good rabbit down…or human either. The battle is joined. This isn’t a time to be kicking back on your couch with a bag of kale chips. There is thinking both on the right and even the left that Occupy didn’t matter but you have to ask yourself, would the Sanders campaign be as strong if Occupy hadn’t gone first?
Tune in to Netroots Radio on Mondays at 8AM Eastern or download our podcast from Stitcher, Libsyn or iTunes. You can even listen to the player which will be on our “Hopping Mad Podcasts” tab. It used to be that organizing progressives was like herding cats but lately the GOP has (laughably) picked up that ball and we are moving forward. Social media and the web are integral to our collective success. We at Hopping Mad are doing our part to spread the word (and to laugh and point at the Tea Party but that’s only because they STILL can’t spellcheck their protest signs.) Join us, it’ll be a thumping good time.
– Carrots to you and yours – Arliss