27 August 2018 – This week we have Nancy Altman, the President of Social Security Works and the Chair of the Strengthen Social Security Coalition. We are dedicating this entire episode to Nancy’s new book, The Truth About Social Security: the Founder’s Words Refute Revisionist History, Zombie Lies and Common Misunderstandings. Guess what…Social Security is NOT going bankrupt. Social Security is neither an entitlement nor welfare. Instead, Social Security is an insurance program which will be there to pay its beneficiaries indefinitely into the future. Monied interests have been deeply invested in lying about Social Security all the way back to the 1930’s. We fight the zombie lies by learning the truth and sharing it. Just think of how much fun you can have with your crazy uncle MAGA at Thanksgiving! Oh, you won’t convince him but you will send his blood pressure through the roof!
We are off next week for the Labor Day holiday and back the week after. Cheers! – Arliss
26 September 2016 – We are finally back up to full power this week and have a truly terrific interview with Alex Lawson of Social Security Works! Because our listeners already have heard me talk about the mechanics of how Social Security works, Alex was free to wade out into the weeds where the world gets really interesting. He went into a great deal of detail about the dirty underbelly that the lying liars are trying so hard to keep us from seeing when they promote the privatization of Social Security. He also recommended that we take a side trip to the link for Social Security Spotlight where the (excellent) website lays out the economic impact of Social Security state by state.
At the top of the show Will talked about the importance and joy of celebrating Bi Visibility Day. I was especially caught by his pointing out why it is that the largest group within the LGBTQ community is also the most ignored. For my opening section I was less cheerful in giving an update on the latest news from the protectors gathered on the Standing Rock Sioux reservation along the Cannonball River. Like Keystone XL before it, the Dakota Access Pipeline is an enormous environmental threat and its construction has already caused the bulldozing of burial grounds, sacred sites and the locations of historic villages. Pressure from around the world has caused the Obama administration to reconsider but the project is by no means stopped. We must join in demanding an end to this and all similar pipeline projects.
Will then really spent time time getting into the role that journalism is playing in the protests in Charlotte. That journalists have stopped operating as journalists and now are only feeding the clicks necessary to support advertising has destroyed one of the cornerstones of our democracy. When the people lose their voice, they lose hope and then where do they turn?
I spend just a few minutes talking about how banks create money and why new money is pulled out of central banks by private sector banks instead of being pushed out as is the common view.
One last note, if you haven’t checked us, ImHoppingMad, out on Instagram yet, the six Team Arliss bunnies are now there providing their own brief comments on politics, economics and, of course, carrots. Carrots! – Arliss
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
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.
2 November 2015 – This week we interviewed an expert on Common Core and, seriously people, she was incandescent. Even if you don’t have kids in school, you REALLY want to listen to this interview. Debra is a teacher-consultant of the National Writing Project and the California History Project, a school district Director of Libraries and Literacy leader, with a PhD in Language, Literacy and Culture from UCBerkeley. She has 25 years classroom teaching experience and provides professional development for teachers. So, clearly, she’s a rock star. What is especially revelatory about this interview is that Debra talks about Common Core from so many different perspectives. She has been on the front lines of Common Core since years before it made it into classrooms and she has the kind of insight that can only come from depth of experience.
Will is talking about bird and bat guano this week. What!?! You think I’m making that up? He is covering the Spratly “Islands” and the claim made to them by China. The diplomatic scuffling between China, Vietnam, the Philippines, Taiwan, Malaysia and Brunei Darussalam over this archipelago is transitioning from talking to shoving. China is, of course, the elephant in the room but the US is reinforcing the status of the international waters with a recent Freedom of Navigation transit through the area by the USS Lassen. Personally, I’m proud to know that the US feels compelled to defend the freedom of birds to deficate freely in freedom with extra free freedom.
I continued talking about the mechanism of fiscal spending versus the mechanism of monetary spending. During these many years of Congressional disfunction the Fed has been holding the economy together with monetary policy alone, which, I explain, is like pushing on a string. The economy will not truly recover until we have a functional Congress which is operating its fiscal spending responsibility with an eye toward economic growth. (And people in Hell want ice water too.) I also sprinkle in a little talk about social security just for seasoning.
Technically this week most things went well. Debra had an issue with her mic which worked out nicely for her dog who wanted to get in the act during the “Extra Mad!” portion of the interview. I finally gave up on having our RSS feed hosted by Feedburner. They really are just AWFUL. Our feed is still there until I get the time to rip it down but our new location is at Buzzsprout. I LOVE them. Their site is easy to use and, unlike Feedburner, actually makes sense. Also, they have real humans in technical support and helpful help pages. So, Stitcher and iTunes are getting switched over. You should be able to find us easily on both in the next day or so. As the week progresses and I get a bit of time I will switch all the players on our site to the Buzzsprout players because they are nicer as well. A tip of the carrot to Bluegal, from my favorite podcast, The Professional Left, for her Buzzsprout recommendation. Carrots! – Arliss