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
16 May 2016 – When you have Mark Potok, from the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), on for the interview, you already know it’s going to be a good show. Mark is the editor of the SPLC quarterly journal, Intelligence Report and most of this interview is based upon an article he and Don Terry wrote for the Winter issue, Margins to the Mainstream. While Mark is one of the leading experts in the country on extremism (and we will have him back in a few weeks on that very subject) this article took a look at the conspiracy theories which have seeped into the mainstream of politics from the radical right. In this, the season of Trump, it seemed apropos.
Will takes a thoughtful stroll around democracy. Once initially ensconced, most citizens tend to think of democracy as a done deal but it is a process and, certainly, both in North America and in Europe, it is undergoing change, some good and some bad. Will knows where he wants to go and that’s what he’s “on about” today.
I’m off on one of those “third rail” topics of American politics, Social Security. Everyone seems sure that Social Security is in need of saving and, well, everyone is wrong. It isn’t that we shouldn’t maintain and even strengthen Social Security, we most assuredly should, it’s that the problem with Social Security isn’t funding, the problem is politics.
…and one other thing…we are going to Netroots Nation in St. Louis in July! Will and I will be there the whole time. We will be recording interviews for Hopping Mad and helping out on Radio Row at the Netroots Radio booth. Come on by. We would love to meet you, maybe chat over a couple of carrots and generally have a fabulous time.