ACA Endangered Again – Seriously.

30 August 2018 – Because of the holiday we did not have a show planned for Monday but then I noticed a tweet from ACA expert, Charles Gaba (@Charles_Gaba). The ACA is at serious risk again, this time in the courts in what Charles refers to as the Texas Fold ’em Case (Texas v Azar). Normally, this would not be a case which posed any threat but the Trump administration has opted not to defend the ACA (you can insert “not to defend the rule of law,” same difference) so with very little warning a collection of Attorneys General from various blue states are suddenly arguing the side of HHS Secretary Azar. Either way, this thing gets appealed and it is almost surely bound for the Supreme Court…with whatever new justice is seated.

Not to beat a dead horse, but this is another one of those elections have consequences moments and yet another time when the lives of many will be put at risk (and many lost) which would not be happening if Trump had not won the election. Both sides are not the same. As I said on the last show, this coming midterm IS the fight of our lives and we can not afford to lose.

We will be back on 10 September with a regular show. Until then, many carrots! – Arliss

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Truth vs Zombie Lies About Social Security

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

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Steve Grumbine: Truth About Money

13 August 2018 – We were lucky enough to have Steve Grumbine, of Real Progressives, for the entire show. We talked briefly about the recent OH-12 special election and his take on how the Greens impacted the election. We then spent the rest of the show talking about spreading the word about modern monetary theory and messaging.

Next week we have terrific interviews with experts on Puerto Rico and the following week we have Nancy Altman of Social Security Works on her new book, The Truth About Social Security. Stay tuned, August is going to be a great month on Hopping Mad! Many Carrots – Arliss


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Trade, Peace, and YouTube

7/30/2018 – Media often speaks of trade as if it is partitioned off from the rest of US interests including many major areas like national security, human rights and climate. Of course, these things (and many, many more) are all deeply intertwined. Sadly, that is a level of complexity which is well beyond the capacity of Trump. In this show Arliss talks not about the specific daily news around trade but about the legal underpinnings and, in particular, how the work of the Trump administration to break down the rule of law is threatening to US national security.

Will’s deep dive this week is on how large media organizations, in this case the BBC, are abusing fair use to get small media sites pulled down from YouTube. This is made more insidious by the fact that the appeal process on YouTube is handled by AI and not actual humans so organizations like Wings Over Scotland simply go “poof”.

Will mentioned Phantom Power, a Scottish new media group that makes documentary films about Scottish politics, and their short film Altered State can be watched here, as well as the fact that Murray Foote, the man behind The Vow, a promise to Scotland discussed in the film, has now become a supporter of Scottish Independence.

At the top of the show Arliss comments on the Democrats new slogan:  For the People. She also gives a very brief update on recovery from the 2017 California fires in light of the new and massive blazes burning. Will brings some good news about community response to a hate crime in Toledo. Here is the link to the Toledo Blade article. Many Carrots! – Arliss


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MIA in US Media (Almost)

23 June 2018 – We are back (and trying to stay that way.) This is a grab bag show covering a number of international issues which are getting only cursory coverage by US media (for obvious reasons.) Will has news about currency plans for Scotland which, for MMT folk, is especially frustrating. On another front, remember all those times, pre-Brexit vote, when we said that the problem was going to be the Irish border. Well, the problem is the Irish border and it is both threatening to bring down the May government and cause the UK to “crash” out of the EU instead of Brexit in an orderly manner. Tune in to find out about the “Irish Backstop.”

In Extra Mad, Michele LeSure, our show editor, joins us to raise an important jobs issue which is just starting to break in Gainesville but could well spread to universities across the nation. Then we go back overseas to the Israeli Nation-State law and finally, to Iran for the changes which are happening as a result of Trump pulling the US out of the Iranian Nuclear Agreement. So, obviously, it’s a light show this week. 😉

Along those lines, things have not been light for me this summer and that is why the show has been off-air so much. My actual job had a number of really wonderful things happen but all of them have involved a huge and unexpected time commitment accompanied by a larger than ordinary amount of stress. But that’s not all, the announcement that Justice Kennedy was retiring really flipped a switch for me. I just had to stop on-boarding news, Twitter, podcasts…all of it. Kennedy was just, somehow, one hop too far. I have had to take a break. I’m getting back to the real world slowly, starting by concentrating overseas. I’ll get back stateside soon and, hopefully, will be refreshed and ready to plow forward to the election. Many carrots! – Arliss

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Action! Amanda Werner on Nielsen Protest

25 June 2018 – We are back from hiatus with Amanda Werner (@wamandajd), leader of the action at the Mexican restaurant in DC which sent DHS Secretary Kirsjen Nielsen scuttling for cover like a cockroach when the lights get flipped on. Amanda tells us how, with a little help from a friend, she was able to pull together such an effective protest in a matter of minutes. We also talk about actions in general, immigration and the upcoming election.

Since my day job is still pretty overwhelming (with good things but nevertheless…) we will be taking the holiday next week and will return to our normal schedule in two weeks.

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How to Talk About Suicide: Dan Reidenberg

14 May 2018 – This past week, with the suicide of Frightened Rabbit frontman, Scott Hutchison, media and, well, all of us, once again came up against how best to talk about suicide and best practices for media. Dr. Dan Reidenberg, Executive Director of Suicide Awareness Voices of Education (SAVE), joined us for the interview. In particular he spoke about the fact that everybody has a role in suicide prevention and that including stories of hope, of those who have survived, is important. Dan also mentioned a number of websites and I am including links for you:  SAVE.org; Live Through This; Blogging on Suicide; and To Prevent the Attempt (for media organizations).

At the top of the show Will lets the Finance Minister, Bruno Le Maire’s, French flag fly with Le Maire’s threat to push the EU to use blocking regulations in response to Trump reinstating US sanctions against Iran in breach of the Iranian nuclear treaty. I’m excited that heterodox economists are finally being accorded a modicum of respect and space in the overall discussion around the “science” of economics.

In his block Will gets into the fracas the International Association of Athletic Federations is in over their new regulations on natural testosterone levels. Their reasoning is based on secret, unethical, and dubious research carried out by the communist German Democratic Republic which suggested that testosterone levels affect the performance of female athletes. This research can’t be repeated because dosing children with testosterone without their knowledge or consent is deeply unethical. Despite broad opposition from scientists of various disciplines, the IAAF is pushing forward with the regulations, mostly because they’re angry that Caster Semenya keeps winning races.

In my block I’m still on framing modern monetary theory (this is part 4) because how we talk about things, how we frame them, makes all the difference and since MMT redefines the art of the possible and we are still at the beginning of surfacing MMT, this is the time to set those frames well. Also, I learned a new word from Will:  sado-monetarism!

As we mentioned at the beginning of the show, we will be off next week because my day job is invading my life. Until next time, many carrots to you and yours! – Arliss

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Revised! Nathan Tankus: Defending Job Guarantee

Update: The original episode released this morning did not contain the extended interview. We’ve corrected that this evening.

7 May 2018 – Job Guarantee remains the talk of the Twitter town (nest?) as well as some mainstream media. Critics have been vocal and a core of MMT thought leaders have been guiding the response to the push-back. Nathan Tankus (@nathantankus), who is a research scholar at the Modern Money Network and a terrific follow on Twitter, is among those leaders and joins us for the interview.

Will focuses in on the court case between the British and Scottish Parliaments and why that is another example of the losses incurred by the structures of norms which underlie both the US and UK systems of governments. I am on to the third part in my series on framing MMT. In this show I cover better and more accurate framing for neoliberal deficit, surplus and balanced budget memes. I think I have just one more week on framing before I hop onto another topic. Many Carrots to All – Arliss

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Steven Attewell: the history of Job Guarantee

30 April 2018 – As I was flying through my Twitter stream this week, dipping in here and there to read all the many job guarantee (JG) tweets, I came across a thread, by Dr. Steven Attewell (@stevenattewell), that served to put JG into a historical context and provide background as to why past efforts had failed. What could be more timely! Steven joins us for a deep-dive interview into the history of past JG-type efforts and exposes the fact that we liberals played a substantial role in the collapse of the plans and programs. Now that was something I had never heard…had you? Steven has a book coming out, People Must Live By Work, and I can’t wait to read it.

Will put all his focus into talking about the Windrush generation and he both explains what the Windrush scandal is and why it is so undeniably inhumane and despicable. His block begins with the audio of the words of Member of Parliament David Lammy calling out the opposition.

At the top of the show I note that Mick Mulvaney is not only an ass but one who we now have grounds to send to jail for his admitted pay-to-play activities while still in Congress. I also address the need for Amazon to be a quality community partner and carry its own weight as it seeks a location for its new corporate headquarters, HQ2. In my block I continue my series on framing MMT, why it’s hard and why it’s important.

Plus – this is episode 100!! We’ve made it to three digits. I’m breaking out the carrot cake. Thank you for joining in on this venture! Many carrots to you and yours. – Arliss

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Inherent Contempt: Not Just Another Pretty Statute

23 April 2018 – Everyone is talking about the Comey memos and I think I’m about over it BUT I have been curious about how Congress and the Justice Department both run investigations in parallel without pulling a Nunes or embarrassingly dropping a Gowdy on the floor. David Waldman (@KagroX), who is a lawyer, Congressional procedure expert and the master of all that is Kagro in the Morning, is on the show to walk us through why it is such a mess right now, how it is supposed to be done and, in Extra Mad, he gets into something I had never heard of, inherent contempt. Between March of 2007 and April of 2008 David wrote a number of explainer diaries at Daily Kos so I have included the links here:

At the top of the show, Hopping Mad #99, we take a quick look back at how we got started and then Will continues his Big Ideas of Democracy series talking about just war theory. In my block I begin my own multi-show series, this one focusing on framing MMT.

Many, many carrots! – Arliss

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