Episode 15 – Special Edition: Middle East Round-up with Landon Shroder
1 February 2016 – Arliss is ill this weekend, and yet another victim of what’s being called “Hell Plague 2016.” Having no voice, she was unable to join us this week.
Landon Shroder and I spent the hour discussing candidates positions, the Iranian perspective, and what comes after ISIS. We talked about ISIS’ own propaganda, and what we’re doing to counteract it.
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
Episode 16 – 2016 Politics with Jesse LaGreca
8 February 2016 – I love political detail. The nitty gritty, pixel level parts that combine to render something one can only see fully by stepping back. Jesse LaGreca (@JesseLaGreca on Twitter and MinistryOfTruth on Daily Kos) gave us some excellent, granular information on the seats most likely to help Democrats to flip the Senate. He also got into gerrymandering, the GOP Presidential nominees and why running away from Obama and the word “liberal” doesn’t fly with the Democratic Party base.
Will reminded us that Trayvon Martin would have turned 21 this week. Will also gave a nod to the Sanders campaign for policing their Reddit and banning attacks on Hillary. Will then goes on to compare the Scottish YES campaign to the current Sanders campaign. (“You say you want a revolution….”)
I start out the show with an update on the rapid changes coming for the Iranian economy and the real challenges faced by Iranian banks. Later in the show I try to answer listener Peter’s questions about how to talk about deficits and taxes.
We love hearing from you here and via Twitter @IMHoppingMad. You can always catch our podcasts on Stitcher and iTunes or download there here. – Carrots! Arliss
[Note: if you are interested in the behind the lettuce leaf scoop about why we have not been on the air consistently since mid-December, check out the previous blog post. We should be much more steady for the foreseeable future.]
Episode 17 – DeRay Mckesson, GDP, Puerto Rico & Umberto Eco
22 February 2016 – This week Will and I ended up with so much to say that we did the whole show ourselves. I open with an update on the economic crisis in Puerto Rico and I follow that with a quick take on economic canaries, Maersk and CSX.
Will follows me with news about the terrific campaign of DeRay Mckesson in the mayoral race in Baltimore. DeRay has released spectacular position papers and proposals and is running the kind of campaign which deserves to draw support from progressives across the nation.
I’m up next with answers to listener questions relating to the article, “It’s Not About the Debt,” by Chad Stone. I get into some detail about why using debt-to-GDP ratio as a metric makes no logical sense. As part of my explanation I draw from the excellent Levy Economics Institute Working Paper (Number 603), “Does Excessive Sovereign Debt Really Hurt Growth? A Critique of This Time It’s Different, by Reinhart and Rogoff.”
We also mark the passing of the gifted author and thinker, Umberto Eco. Both Will and I have been deeply impressed by his works and given the bent of the current US elections many of Eco’s literary themes seem inordinately timely.
In Extra Mad I venture out into the weeds of GDP; what it is, what it isn’t, what’s wrong with it and the various options. If you listen to the podcast version of the show I’m betting you will be surprised by relevancy of this topic.
We do have new interstitial music this week from Bua, the great traditional Irish band. Check out their website and support their music. Traditional music artists have an especially challenging road and artists as fluent and musically astute as Bua are rare.
As always, Hopping Mad is available here as a download as well as on Stitcher and iTunes. We are on Twitter and Facebook as IMHoppingMad. We LOVE receiving your feedback, questions and corrections. Spring is coming! – Carrots! Arliss
Episode 18 – Charles Gaba and Elections!
29 February 2016 – This week, we talked Iranian, Irish, and Scottish elections. I discussed Labour’s demise in Scotland, and talked about how they’ve never recovered from the death of Donald Dewar. It looks as if Labour is heading for yet another defeat in the upcoming Holyrood elections.
Arliss went over some banking terms (I know! What could possibly be more exciting?) because the jargon of the financial industry is a language of obfuscation. In order for us to understand what the heck these people are talking about, we need to learn what is essentially a separate language. That’s by design. If nobody can understand the words Banksters use to describe what they’re doing, then nobody can legislate against them. This is the first of a multi-part series which will get deeply into the weeds of banking reform.
Following that, we had a fantastic conversation with Charles Gaba (aka Brainwrap) of acasignups.net, who talked about the massive entity that is the US healthcare system and some of the options available for healthcare reform. He explained to us how even minor changes in theory become sweeping changes in practice, and we discussed in detail how Marco Rubio and the GOP killed even the modest Co-Op non-profit options that we sought to create when the Public Option was blocked.
Thanks for listening, everyone, and we’ll see you next time!