Archive for Diplomacy

Whither Dems Podcast

rightsign2The Trump win Tuesday is the right time to stop these weekly podcasts after 9½ years. Watch this URL for occasional commentary, maybe a little video…later.

Today was my usual half-Vulcan Spock self.

We shall survive as a nation, as we did during and after the George W. Bush time. He ruined the economy even more than the typical Republican. We haven’t climbed all the way out of his debt pit. We’ll never get back the many thousands of lives lost to war and jobs destroyed. I fear more of that from Trump.

I snort as Speaker Ryan and GOP sorts claim mandate. The lost the popular vote, held the House only due to gerrymandering in previous years, and hold a paper-thin Senate majority. Mandate, my bad head!

We don’t yet know what malicious laws Congress will try to enact. We do know that the wave of emotion that brought us President Trump is as irrational and ignorant as he. We need look no farther than comparing the cries of do-nothing Congress and throw the rascal out to right-wing voters keeping nearly all the do-nothings and rascals from the GOP in office. Huge duh.

We’ll surely have at least two years of pettiness and malice. As the economy slides and unemployment climbs, even the loudest Trumpettes will feel shame. Let us look historically to see in the last century that again and again Dems have rescued the nation after the GOP has goofed it up.

It’s going to be a rough, disheartening, anti-American two to four years.

icon for podpress  Whither Dems [18:22m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

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:Hillary’s Email (Eek! Mail) Podcast

No free ride for Hillary Clinton. Yes, the FBI cleared her of criminal wrongdoing in its probe of her use of private email servers. Yet, it deemed that doing so was “extremely careless” and in particular did not follow federal protocols for archiving government records.

Those who hated and slandered her before are not about to start publicly apologizing to her or those in their social-media feeds. Plus, the fast majority of us who have been saying for a year or more that this would be the result also haven’t changed our opinion.

My questions were more along the lines of what does this mean to the third to half of the electorate who hadn’t totally made up their minds? I talk through why I think it will be a wash for her. The moderates and independents are likely to be more open to her. She’ll be a bump from the pending Democratic convention. The Hillary and sick-of-Democrats-in-the-White-House types won’t change their minds at all. I bet she’ll get a very modest bump in the polls when this settles.

 

icon for podpress  Hillary's Eek-mail [22:42m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

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Post bin Laden Opportunities Podcast

Flippancy aside (this show was billed Zombie bin Laden), we ended talking about this huge moment, including but far beyond Osama bin Laden’s take-down. We ended up calling for progressive sorts to think about what they want our government to do and let the Administration and Congress know.

Sure, Al Qaeda is still there and it or similar terrorists will hit small and maybe big short- and mid-term. Yet, in this democratic spring of aspiring nations trying to throw off their oppressive governments throughout North Africa and the Middle East, we have a greater opportunity to create partners and allies. Properly handled, we could stifle terrorists and create a more peaceful larger world. This is a moment like none other since the end of WWII.

In today’s show, Ryan and Mike spoke of some of the things we need to change, and chances for us to tell our President and Congressional delegations to do. There’s the hundreds of billions annually thrown away on Cold War defenses against non-existent enemies (Rep. Barney Frank is on that and will need support). There’s the craziness that torturing people and massively spying on Americans keeps us safe. In fact, those are what bin Laden wanted to drive us to all along.

Listen in as we kick around what we see as the opportunities available. We want to see time, effort and money spent more on expanding a democratic world, rather than pretending we can build and hide in a Fortress U.S.A.

icon for podpress  Zombie bin Laden [27:35m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

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Egypt and U.S. Podcast

We never got to Reagan. As a nod and grunt to his 100th natal anniversary, we thought we’d talk about foreign policy. We did but only current events.

We looked at the crisis in Egypt and the vacillating response of the U.S., particularly President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton. As the Mubarak government slowly seems to begin accepting that it has to go, our own leaders have sent mixed and confusing messages.

Listen in as we play pure pundits.

icon for podpress  Egypt and U.S. [30:30m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

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WikiLeaks Podcast

As always, Ryan was more sanguine about the public’s collective wisdom. As opposed to Mike, he concluded that further WikiLeak revelations would likely convince many of us that revealing hidden (but in redacted form) classified documents would be a good thing.

We discussed the impacts and implication of the leaks, of the pursuit of the editor-in-chief, and what it means for small-d democracy and the larger U.S. system of diplomacy. During the show, Mike checked and found that numerous live listeners were on, but none chose to speak.  He hoped that this did not indicate a trepidation that mirrored recent fears of being accused of terrorism or anti-American behavior.

Regardless, we discussed the unfortunate long-term trend of overclassifying documents and trying to hide information from the public — lying in more common parlance. We agreed it’s past time for the the executive and legislative branches to order evaluation and declassification.

Listen in as we hit this and that. Granted, we had the advantage of considerable current coverage in news and blogs. You have even more now. Feel free to comment.

Related Post: Mike comments at Marry in Massachusetts.

icon for podpress  Wicked? WikiLeaks [57:40m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

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