Indivisible SE IN “Where’s Waldo” Town Hall

28 February 2017 Indivisible Southeast Indiana (@IndivisibleSEIN on Twitter and Indivisible Southeast Indiana on FB) met on Sunday, 19 February, for our second meeting. We gathered in the home of one of the organizers and decided that we needed to act immediately. One week later, on Sunday, 26 February we hosted a “Where’s Waldo” themed constituent town hall. We invited Congressman Luke Messer (R – IN-6) and Senator Todd Young (R-IN). Both declined to come. In fact, neither held any open-to-the-public town halls or events anywhere during this recess. We persisted.

Our  Where’s Todd? Where’s Luke? Town Hall was held in front of the lovely and historic Ohio County Courthouse (the oldest in continuous operation in Indiana) located in little Rising Sun, Indiana (population 2304). Sunday was cold but sunny and with little notice and very little publicity in this red, red corner of Indiana, about fifty people turned up. In San Francisco this would be an embarrassing turnout but in Rising Sun it was exceptional and you could feel the excitement in the air. We even had (briefly) a tiny Trump contingent but they left when they didn’t draw attention or a fight.

The event featured life-sized Todd and Luke Waldos, lots of handmade signs and really darling Waldo scarves that one of the organizes made and handed out. Several planned speakers told their two-minute stories and then other attendees asked to speak and we were thrilled to have them. The thing which most struck me was how well informed these voters are and how wide ranging their issues of concern.

For Hopping Mad I recorded a brief interview with two of the organizers, Rebecca Barhorst and Christine Craig, just after the meeting on the 19th and then the entire town hall on the 26th. I think what people had to say during the town hall was as important as any of the interviews we have done on this show. I think you will enjoy this and when you imagine what people are thinking about in these midwestern states, remember what you heard here today. Carrots! – Arliss

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PS – For anyone wondering, the show will remain on hiatus for another few weeks. Will may try to host a show on his own but I will again be unavailable. I went in for surgery, as I had previously mentioned, on 6 February but the surgeon found a conflict in the diagnostic reports just a few minutes before the surgery was supposed to begin. I was floating on a cloud by this point but, as I understand it, the decision was made to run another entire battery of (hideous) tests over the following two weeks. Ultimately, those tests confirmed the original diagnosis and I go back in for the originally planned surgery on Thursday, 2 March, which means I will be down for the count for a while. Already I have a backlog of things I want to talk about so by the time I am back with you I will be brimming over. Take care of yourselves. I miss you already!

Moving Forward & Denise Oliver-Velez

14 November 2016 – As was said so beautifully by American civil rights lawyer and Sikh, Valerie Kaur, in her moving piece in the Washington Post following the white supremacist massacre of the Charleston Nine, she still felt optimism “Because today we mourn. Tomorrow we organize.” Many of us are still spinning with emotions following the 8 November election we must take a breath to grieve, we must take care of ourselves, our families and our loved ones – and then we must organize. Fast. There is no time to waste.

Our guest for the interview this week is Professor Denise Oliver-Velez (@DeOliver47). Denise’s experience as a civil rights activist goes back to the Young Lords Party and the Black Panthers. Though she has won some, she has also lost many struggles and her perspective on losing and still moving forward seemed perfect for this time in our Party, our movement and our hearts.

I begin the show talking about grief and making sure we are all clear that there is no “right” way to grieve. People will grieve in many different ways but the bottom line is that we are resilient. This too shall pass. I must say, however, I am done with being nice. I am finished with letting radical left purists, bigots, white supremacists, sexists and Confederate flag traitors, people who are the least among us, believe that I find them anything other than deplorable. I am through trying to reason with the irrational and the stupid. Consider this your pre-rant warning. Moving forward, I would like to see Rep. Keith Ellison become the new Chairman of the DNC. He would be a unifying voice and a much needed one. I am also going to invest my time in the coming Obama/Holder National Democratic Redistricting Committee project. I’m going to put my energy into getting rid of the incredibly harmful national gerrymander. This project begins with the 2017 elections in VA and NJ so again, time is of the essence.

Will spends time talking about some reorganization within the Democratic Party and about the “we oppose everything” tactic which has served the GOP so well during the Obama administration. Will deeply believes that in addition to the important big tent work the Democratic Party has been doing to become increasingly more inclusive, some of that needs to be directed toward the specific and forgotten needs of rural (and by “rural” he does not mean just rural white) communities. He also brings into real focus the scam which masquerades as the American Green Party. He also pointed out that Donald Trump has a legitimacy problem, and no mandate, because Hillary Clinton got more votes than any presidential candidate in history with the exception of Barak Obama himself.

As we all try to figure out for ourselves the best way to keep heart, I have to say one of the things which did me the most good this past week was the soothing and still hilarious “F*ck That: An Honest Meditation” on YouTube. I highly recommend it. Carrots! – Arliss


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HRC & DNC Conspiracy Theories & the IMF Says “Whoops!”

8 August 2016 – This week we had a lot of territory to cover and very little time due to scheduling issues. We have no interview or Extra Mad today but do start with breaking news on a new and unexpected humanitarian crisis. From there I plunge into Trump’s views on and utter lack of knowledge about nuclear weapons. (Be afraid. Be VERY afraid.) Will then moves on to the newest nation in the world, South Sudan, which represents an incredible opportunity missed and a sad story we will be hearing for a very long time.

Will wanted to spend some time this week really talking about several of the conspiracy theories surrounding Hillary and some of the misunderstandings/conspiracy theories which are frustrating regarding the Democratic National Convention and Committee. Will talks about the truly hideous conspiracy theory about Hillary having Vince Foster Seth Rich murdered recently. Will also, apparently for my entertainment, brings up an old theory where President Obama has ordered a nuclear attack against Charleston…South Carolina. He then chats about the false claims that the DNC rigged the primary election and I end up ranting while reminding everyone that the DNC is not a public organization and not part of the government. It’s a private organization, a club…a treehouse, and because this is the case the DNC gets to write its own rules. I also mention why I feel like Bernie delegates, to the national convention, had expectations which could not be met because they were not fully briefed by the Sanders campaign. I do feel bad that it happened this way.

I close out the show with a review on the recent report from the Independent Evaluation Office (IEO) of the International Monetary Fund, “The IMF and the Crises in Greece, Ireland and Portugal.” This is a WOW report. The IEO has provided a very constructive but extremely brutal review of the many, many failures of the IMF in dealing with the European banking crisis. The thing I am most pleased by is that so many of the things the MMT community has been shouting for years now are bourn out in this report but this is small comfort beside the gravity of the impact of the errors made by the IMF and the troika.

Will is traveling this next week but we will be back on 22 August with an all new show. – Carrots! Arliss

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@DeRay McKesson For Mayor!

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

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Apologies all, for some reason this Blog entry never posted like it was intended to. New Episode tomorrow.

Will

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.]

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