NRA Ad Abomination & Trade War Trouble

3 July 2017 – Will is on vacation this week (and next) so I am joined on the show by two of our three new associates, Joel Dent and David Paquette. David, a self-professed connoisseur of lies, starts us off with a spectacular lie direct from a true master of the subject, Senator Orrin Hatch. I respond with a whopper from Secretary of Energy, Rick Perry but Hatch won the day on style points. Here, by the way, is David’s recommended maple syrup video. “The moment” is right at the very end but the whole thing is hilarious. Remember as you watch it that this is the man curating the nuclear arsenal of the USA.

Joel brought us the latest NRA ad which is so filled with hate that it just blows right past “abomination” as a descriptor. After the election, the NRA and the gun manufacturers had a problem. With Obama gone and no enemy to focus on how are they going to sell mountains of guns? They need a new enemy and they have found one…all of us. Joel uses video shot during one of the Milo Yiannopoulos protests (also here) as an example of the depth of the problem. He also quoted from some alt right gun blogs here and here. The psychosis is both depending and spreading.

I go back to my roots a bit to talk about the modern money take on trade and how trade works in economies like ours. The meme of the trade deficit being a problem is the same as the meme of the US needing a balanced budget. Both are ludicrous on the face if you take a minute to think about it. We give away pixels (fiat money) and get real goods and services in return. That’s the best possible deal especially when there is absolutely nothing standing in the way of making sure that everyone who wants a good job has one…except, of course, political will. *sigh* All of this is especially pertinent because while the whole country is looking the other direction, Trump is starting a trade war with our closest allies!

We have no interview this week (so no Extra Mad). Again a thank-you goes out this week to Michele LeSure, for her assistance in editing this episode. Michele will be on the show next week so you will have the chance to hear from her too! If you are in the US, enjoy your holiday! Many carrots! – Arliss

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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