As a Houstonian, I nearly fell out of my chair when I heard Mr. Kleinknecht cite the Houston Chronicle as an example of a good newspaper! Things must have gone even more downhill in the rest of the country if the Hearst-owned Houston ‘Comical’ is an example of a good newspaper. Even with Mr. Kleinknecht’s endorsement, I still cannot recommend the Houston Chronicle for anything other than as a substitute if one runs out of toilet paper.

The narratives I hear quite frequently from Republican-leaning voters here in the Houston area concerning the local and state-level governments is that the voters are becoming rather skeptical of the politicians and their quest for unchecked growth which comes when government leaders are under the influence of corporatism. Many of the recent narratives are not so much about gonad politics and other national media-type narratives which come from party leaders, but rather about local crime, traffic, flooding issues, infrastructure, and so forth. It seems to me that many progressives share similar concerns. Thus, I think there is some room here for conservatives and progressives to work together to combat local corporatism. This addiction to growth is not just a problem with local and state Republican leaders, though it is a major issue there, but also with local and state Democratic Party leaders who are also under the strong influence of developers and so forth. Here in the City of Houston, and now also in Harris County, Democrats have strong control of the local government here in the Houston area.

Education has been in the local news quite frequently here in Houston and Texas as whole lately. Some school districts in Texas, including relatively wealthy suburban districts, are moving to four-day weeks as a way to deal with ‘teacher shortages’ and/or to reduce other costs. The Houston Independent School District, which is on the verge of being taken over by the Texas Education Agency for chronic academic under-performance (there is a lot which can be said about this, but I won’t get into that here), recently said they are looking to sponsor immigrants who want to work at HISD as special education teachers due to a ‘teacher shortage’ there. Of course, ‘teacher shortage’ means that educators do not want to work for the poverty wages the school districts are offering for these positions under challenging circumstances. Instead of doing the logical thing, increase wages to attract and retain the fairly healthy number of college graduates who wish to work in education, at least some of the local districts would rather turn to wage-suppressing immigration to fill important rôles at schools.

Furthermore, nationally, I hear that schools are turning to privatized remote teachers to act as classroom teachers. Instead of having a decently paid teacher in the classroom, someone teaches the class remotely while a lowly-paid teaching aide tries to maintain the classroom locally. This hardly seems like the most conducive environment for learning. With all of this in mind, it might be worthwhile for the RNRH to have an expert on who can describe modern conditions in public school classrooms. It seems that a lot has changed in recent years and voters might be surprised at the current state of public education especially if they do not have children in the schools.

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Journalism has become largely corrupted due to the raw economics of trying to do their jobs; the business manager and the bottom line rules and they routinely pull stories that may not be flattering to their largest sponsors.

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On the topic of media distortions, intentional or not, here is a good example of it. Here is a report today from the Associated Press about Biden’s proposed tax increase to ‘fund’ Medicare: https://apnews.com/article/biden-medicare-budget-tax-prescription-drug-costs-99e50b8e956118110dd4a7516318d2cc

Now, I am not opposed to tax increases and I am certainly not opposed to closing tax loopholes. There might be some good that can come from this if the White House is serious about trying to pass this and this isn’t a case of the Democrats attempting to pass something that they know the Republicans (and the most conservative Democrats) will reject just so they can try to act like they tried to pass progressive policy. That said, the whole notion that US federal government spending is funded by tax money is balderdash and so Biden is promoting austerity in a way that most people won’t even recognize because the narrative pushed by the media and the political parties creates a false narrative.

First, look at the ‘experts’ the AP cites in this article. The ‘experts’ are a completely biased set of voices. One is Grover Norquist. Grover Norquist! What more needs to be said?

Beyond that, the AP cites testimony from the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, a deficit hawk think tank. The commentary from the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget may have a veneer of progressiveness as they appear to be supporting the Biden policy, but one must understand why they are supporting the policy. They believe that all federal government spending must come from tax and other revenue and that any deficit spending is to be avoided. This mentality might make sense if the US was on the gold standard, but thankfully we are not and so it is completely wrong. It would be like the AP quoting a flat-earther about physics. Furthermore, they support the tax increase for the same reason that Margaret Thatcher supported tax increases in the UK. Yes, she supported tax increases, but for a strategic reason. This is to maintain austerity and privatization since they argue that government spending must come from taxes and there is a limit on how much tax revenue the government receives due to political pressure. Thus, the deficit hawks push for privatization and cancellation of social programs to (wrongly) justify that the private sector must run what the government cannot afford to spend. This is corporatism with the veneer of progressivism.

Finally, probably the cleanest organization of those in the article is the National Academy of Social Insurance. While this think tank may also have a veneer of progressive credibility, it does not take long for thought to perish when one looks at their board of directors and sees members from a private health insurance company and Amazon on there. Even (supposedly) progressive organizations are full of corporate actors. This is why nonsense like Medicare Disadvantage exists.

A few weeks ago, I linked to an independent report the BBC sponsored indicating that the BBC’s economics reporters lack economic knowledge and thus rely on corporate (not necessarily their words) expert testimony even if such testimony is biased and wrong. This leads to biased, incorrect reporting and a misled public. Thus, perhaps this distorted view of the situation is not intentional, but it is distorted regardless of the cause of the biases.

Unrelated, but related to healthcare and the south, did anyone see that Walmart is expanding their medical clinics? They will now be in Texas, Arkansas, Florida, and Georgia. Illinois will get this as well. Houston will be one of the places that gets these clinics which provide primary and urgent care, lab work/X-rays, dental, and behavioral health/counseling. Behavioral health from Walmart! Steve and David cannot even do comedy routines about this because it will be reality. Link: https://www.healthcaredive.com/news/walmart-health-plans-double-medical-centers-in-2024/643922/

The AMA has long fought single-payer/single-provider healthcare, but I wonder if this might start to change once the AMA realizes physicians will have to work within Walmart HMOs and will have to work for Walmart wages/labor conditions since health insurance companies will love Walmart’s cost-cutting measures. Aspiring young doctors will not want to take on substantial debt to go to medical school just to end up working for and at a Walmart. Certainly the public should be aware of what the Walmartization of health will mean for public health.

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How can you guys, especial in the rap up section, avoid the 2 Elephants in the room. 1. Mass Migration from the Blue States to the Red States. 2. Ron DeSantis Vs Walt Disney Corporation. Please don't ask me to explain my position because they are Elephants in the Room. I understand these 2 subjects are complicated and probable requires their own shows. As a loyal listener from your 1st podcast, would really appreciate it.

Thank you

Don Klepack

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Don, we did talk about migration. Weather and cheap labor with bad workman's comp protections. And between DiSantis and Disney, I don't know who to root for there. We actually mentioned that one last week in The "In Case You Haven't Heard" segment.

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I still don't see how you can have a guest on who talks about the Failing Red States and not mention people moving from Blue States to Red States. In my opinion it has very little to do with weather and cheap labor with bad workman's comp protections. Please go to Google and search "Mass Migration from the Blue States to Red States", their are article after article mentioning quality of life.

I also reviewed the great show you had a few weeks ago about Corporate Personhood. It was one of your most thorough teaching experiences of the dangers of Corporate Power by Ralph Nader and I learned a lot. Please forget about Ron DeSantis and review Disney has a Big Corporation. Ralph gave many examples of Corporate Power but he did not mention Disney who in a true sense has their Own Government inside America. Is their any other American Corporation that does this?

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He owns Build-A-Box for your house that can be added or deleted. Man in the last 22 years the Pandora’s box was opened wide open every year I think it’s at the breaking point for Capitalism! Call me crazy but I like Washington’s senator who is from India and has the same mind though as me ! We need to ALL go past Capitalism and find OUR new path to agree with!

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Georgia Power Customers are receiving a $23 increase on their bill. I guess that’s to pay for unit three and four at the Vogtle Electric Generating Plant. Units one and two were completed in 1987 and 1989 respectively the NRC renewed the licenses for both units and 2009 for 20 years two January 16, 2047 for unit one and February 19, 2049 for unit two during construction of units one into capital investments required jump from an estimated $660 million to $8.87 billion. Two additional units three and four have been under construction since 2009 the original Cost was to be $14 billion as of 2017. Buy 2018 the cost were up to $25 billion In 2021 it was estimated to be over $ 28.5 billion upon completion of units three and four in 2023. VOGTLE, electric generating Plant will become the largest nuclear Power Station in the United States.

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There are no red states or blue states. They are all brown states.

Comparing the red part of an apple that is 90% rotten to the blue part of a blueberry that is 85% rotten still leaves you with mostly rotten fruit.

Rather than continue to accept the choice between rotten fruit we could take action to prevent the fruit from becoming rotten by eliminating the cause of the rotting- big money.

We could make 2024 a referendum on politicians that take big money by demanding small donor candidates and enforcing that demand with our votes, testing Ralph's theory that politicians want our votes more than big money.

Please get behind this Ralph as it would be a more productive course of action than the red state, blue state comparisons that are part of the lesser of two evils propaganda.

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Within here lies the rub. You have Red States kiling/harming people in one way (poor healthcare, poor education, contaminated water systems, etc.) and the Blue States killing/harming people in another way (mandates, reduction of civil liberties/rights, deadly Covid vaccine shots - all as examples). So where do people turn to? Mr. Nader, can you do an analysis between Red and Blue States? In my opinion, they are the same. Using different crimes and/or thuggery initiatives but the end of the day - they are BOTH killing and/or harming their citizens, US!

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Too much Democratic Party propaganda to refute point by point but it's very clear that Nader's obsessions with our "healthcare" system is blind to the depredations and unnecessary procedures, and medications. And Nader has been silent on what many medical professionals such as Dr. Peter McCullough regarrd as the greatest fraud perpetrated on the American public.

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And what is that greatest fraud, I dare ask? And is Peter McCullough this guy? https://www.medpagetoday.com/special-reports/exclusives/93936

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He writes here if you have an open unbiased mind: https://petermcculloughmd.substack.com/

100% backed up by the best science and critical thinking.

US health agencies are 100% sell-outs to pharma, totally corrupt.

And we also have not heard from Nader on the pervasive censorship that Elon Musk has exposed with Matt Taibbi. The Dems are totally cowardly when it comes to their own party corruption and their "leaders".

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Also Alex Berenson has been thorough in his review of the real science during the pandemic: https://alexberenson.substack.com/p/urgent-mrnas-jabs-may-have-caused

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