You Heard It Here First…

19 June 2017 – This was one of those shows where Will and I covered a lot of ground. We did not have an interview (and there is no Extra Mad) so we just moved straight through the show with no breaks.

I began with a nod acknowledging Will for bringing on Math Campbell last week and taking time from the discussion of the UK snap election results to talk with Math about the fact that the new agreement between the May government and the DUP has destabilized the already precarious Good Friday Agreement. This week Gerry Adams and the group of the Sinn Fein leadership met with PM May and made their grievances known and clear. Interestingly, Adams also pressed May on the fact that her austerity economics has drained more than £1bn out of the Northern Irish economy, an economy already dramatically endangered by the coming closure of the border between the Republic of Ireland and the Counties.

I also took a moment to note that MP Jo Cox was assassinated one year ago this week and the memorial event her family planned, The Great Get Together (#Jo Cox, #GreatGetTogether, #MoreInCommon) spread deep and wide across the country as people joined to acknowledge their desire for less divisiveness and more unity. More than 100,000 listed events took place and millions of people participated in everything from fair-like activities held in parks to tea parties held at libraries, churches, mosques and synagogues and even in simple things like baking cupcakes for neighbors. In this week when members of Congress and their staff were terrorized in Alexandria, it seemed appropriate to take a look at what trying to heal could look like if we wanted it to.

In our Hopping Mad’s Lying Liar Lie of the Week segment Will’s contender was the inability of the Trump administration to have any actual idea if Trump went to see Rep. Steve Scalise. I nominated Trump’s “witch hunt” tweets and included my favorite response tweets. As it turns out, Congressman Seth Moulton (D-MA) made the best case. He, of course, represents Salem, MA. ’nuff said.

In the body of the show I use the example of the central bank of Denmark warning its member banks about concerns related to the hot lending market despite the fact that all of those banks have passed ECB compatible stress testing. Meanwhile back in the US, the House voted to roll-back Dodd-Frank and the Trump administration is tamping down regulatory enforcement at every opportunity. This leaves only the Fed between us and the same economic disaster which nearly destroyed the economy in 2007. So – every time you hear the deeply misguided “audit the Fed” meme, I want you to remember this week and thank the Great Bunny that the US Federal Reserve is (relatively) independent and self-funded.

Will then spoke about the violent, so-called “left” DemExit movement and enumerated the ways in which they not really part of the left and definitely not part of the Democratic Party. Their dangerous, nihilistic rhetoric is really not about politics it’s just a self-justification for their rage. They are not interested in engaging in the public debate about policy. Truly, their only focus is on revolution in the streets and destruction. Just as progressives blame the GOP for not having called-out the violent, far right; progressives must now take responsibility and call out the terrorists on the farthest fringes of the left for both their views and actions.

I followed-on the subject of the responsibility to speak out by talking about former Fed Chair Ben Bernanke’s new book, Courage to Act. NOW Bernanke acknowledges the the economic crazy is all coming from one side, the GOP, and even goes so far as to blame the Obama administration for not having issued more progressive budgets and then fought for them. Ben, where were you then!?!

This show will air on 19 June and so I thought it was appropriate to take time to talk about the history of Juneteenth and why it is a relevant and important holiday for all Americans. I have to say I had to educate myself from scratch in order to even be able to speak in the most general ways about Juneteenth but I hope to listen and learn more in the coming year. By next year I would hope to lift up this topic with greater understanding.

One last thing – Rebecca Romans, thank you for the AMAZING TOUR and for all that you do in supporting progressive media. I know I speak for many podcasts when I say that we all love you! Many, Many Carrots! – Arliss

Download Here!

Common Core, Spratly Islands and Fiscal vs Monetary Policy

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

Donwnload MP3