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

Download Here!

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!

JD Alt on “The Millennials’ Money”; AltRight & the Trump Economy

17 October 2016 – I have been talking on the show about JD Alt’s book, The Millennials’ Money, since it was still a series of posts on the modern monetary theory (MMT) blog, New Economic Perspectives. This book is that good and it’s that important. JD not only covers the basics of MMT effectively and in an especially accessible manner, he goes much further and explains why it has particular applicability to millennials and how it can be the tool they need to make the changes in the world they have been calling for so articulately. JD’s ideas for using MMT to solve some of the biggest challenges facing society genuinely made me think deeply. And guess what, there’s an app for that (or there could be.) JD is an architect by trade so his drawings, showing how MMT works, are unmatched and are core to the success of his first MMT book, the best-seller, Diagrams & Dollars. The inclusion of his diagrams in The Millennials’ Money makes the book even more useful. Perhaps the most important thing JD brings to the MMT discussion is some truly original and interesting thinking on how we re-frame the debate to make the obvious nature of MMT as apparent to everyone else as it is to us right now. The Millennial’s Money is available from Dog Ear Publishing and on Amazon.

This week Will starts our talking about the cluster bombing of Syrian civilians by the Russians. Cluster bombs are fragmentation weapons which deploy many smaller bombs and are anti-personnel ordinance on a major scale. Will then goes on to talk about so-called “New Mysogyny” and the Altright. Apparently, there are various pods of men who are so under-developed emotionally that they think women rule the world and are running a massive conspiracy to keep men down all the while being considerably less intelligent than are men. (Because that makes sense. LOL!) But these guys in the Manosphere are so far gone that they are working to repeal the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote, and are blaming their involuntary celibacy (which they refer to as “incel”) on everything except their own repulsiveness. Will recommends David Futrelle’s website We Hunted the Mammoth for insight and appropriate mocking of these tiny, tiny “men.”

I start out with something you knew had to be coming, a run-down of the “achievements” of Indiana Governor and GOP Vice Presidential Candidate, Mike Pence. Suffice to say here that Pence is dangerous but unlikely to be a threat to anyone in the future as he rides off into the sunset of what will be his non-starter of a 2020 Presidential campaign. I then finish-up detailing the lies Trump told about the economy during the first debate. This does not really matter since the Trump campaign is toast but these old tropes are regularly trotted out by the GOP so it is worth putting a stake through their heart.

Remember that voting is open in many states. Be sure to vote and to get all your (sane) friends and family to the polls to do the same. A big win for Democrats will help us crush the “the vote is rigged” meme beneath our foot, grind it under our heel and then scrape it off on the nearest patch of grass. This election is the most important in decades. Never doubt it. Carrots! – Arliss

Download Here!

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

Download here.

Rabbit Rescue with Mara Hurwitt

28 March 2016 – In the interest of full disclosure, as a Rabbit American I admit a bias on the topic of rabbit welfare. Toward that end Will and I were able to have attorney Mara Hurwitt join the show to talk about the legal complexities and issues related to rabbits. Mara is a long-time educator for the House Rabbit Society, a leading international rabbit rescue organization. Mara has provided pro bono legal support for a variety of animal welfare organizations and has worked at the Federal level to protect wild horse herds (which, in my opinion should be considered a national treasure). Rabbits are the third most abandoned domestic animal in the nation yet few municipal facilities or private rescue organizations are both equipped and knowledgable enough to meet their special needs. Rabbit abuse is rampant and seems to be on the increase but things are changing and Mara is a part of making that happen.

Will begins the show with the newest in crazy from North Carolina. Later in the show he brings the history with an overview of the Irish Easter Rising. I start out with, of all things, graffiti in Cairo. I draw almost exclusively from an article in The Guardian but you absolutely must take a moment to look at photos of this fragile, moving and significant art here and here. My main segment is on 21st Century Glass-Steagall legislation and this is the last of my banking regulation series. Next week I get back to modern monetary theory. Yippie!

We have no Extra Mad extended interview this week. It’s the busiest weekend of the year for rabbits – so many eggs and too little time. – Carrots!  Arliss

Psst – from top to bottom, the rabbits in the photo are my office crew:  David (age 3), Neo (age 3) and Bethy (age 12).


Download Here

Dodd-Frank with Alexis Goldstein

21 March 2016 – This week we take a deep dive into Dodd-Frank. As I have been promising for the past several weeks, I start out with a fast but fairly detailed backgrounder on the legislation itself. Then, 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.

Will begins the show talking about Bernie’s Town Hall on the Navajo reservation, while correcting the record. President Russell Begaye had a “very good” discussion with Bernie, where he talked with the Senator about the need for a cabinet-level position for Native Americans, which could cut across various federal agencies, asked that Native Governments be respected as sovereign entities, and asked that the government honor its treaty obligations. While President Begaye spoke in glowing terms about the Senator’s visit, he has not endorsed any presidential candidate in the 2016 election, contrary to claims being made online.

Will also made some noise about the deafening silence in the aftermath of the execution-style murder of three young black Muslims in Fort Wayne, Indiana in late February.

Here the daffodils are up in the front yard and the tulips are coming on right behind them. I hope it is equally beautiful wherever you may be. – Carrots! Arliss


Download Here

Interviewee Joe Firestone Gets Us “Extra Mad!”

5 October 2015 – We realized something this week. While we must maintain a tight 58 minute schedule for the version of our show which airs on Netroots Radio (at 8AM Eastern on Mondays) we have no such limitation for the version which posts here. Joe Firestone, who joined us to talk about his new book, “Who Needs Balanced Trade? Who Needs a Balanced Budget?” was so fascinating that we simply had lots more to ask…so we did. The version of the show here on the site adds an additional 25 minutes of the interview with Joe and you must listen because Joe really had time to dive down and give us some detailed answers to our questions. While we could have called the extended version either, “Extended” or “Directors Cut” we took the path less travelled and went with, “Extra Mad!” because why not have a little fun with it, right?

The show starts off with a few minutes on the crazy things happening in Indiana Congressional District 6 / Indiana House District 68. Basically, Jud McMillan needs to keep his pants on and stay off his cell phone. In the A Block Will goes into the background of the modern Catalan independence movement, something which will be more present in the news in the relatively near future. I get my paws dirty digging into the scandals at the Vatican Bank and the impressive work Pope Frances has done to get that long-corrupt institution forcibly dragged out from the shadows and into the light. Then we get to the exciting part, the interview with Joe Firestone.

Book Cover, "Who Needs Balanced Trade? Who Needs a Balanced Budget?"

I make a real effort to read everything Joe Firestone writes and that takes some doing because he is such a prodigious writer and touches upon so many topics. Still, Joe doesn’t fool around. If he has taken the time to write on it, it’s important. Joe, like me, is generally focused on the applications of modern monetary theory to the real world and recently he has been doing truly deep and detailed dives on pending trade treaties which are currently in negotiation. His newest book, published on 28 September, is his latest on the subject and is absolutely excellent. Even Will, who unlike me doesn’t usually spend all his spare moments reading about economics, could not get his nose out of Joe’s book once he started reading. He kept saying to me, “Wow! This is really good!” And so was our interview with Joe. We think you will love it too which is why you are getting “Hopping Mad” with a side of “Extra Mad!” this week. Carrots! – Arliss