Brian Gongol Show on WHO Radio - December 20, 2019 - Filling in for Jeff Angelo
Please note: These show notes may be in various stages of completion -- ranging from brainstormed notes through to well-polished monologues. Please excuse anything that may seem rough around the edges, as it may only be a first draft of a thought and not be fully representative of what was said on the air.
Breaking news to watch
Segment 1: (11 min)
Home security cameras and porch pirates | Sgt. Dan Wade, West Des Moines Police Department
- Security cameras are nothing new
- Low prices and cloud storage of video are
- Noticed a distinct rise in the number of doorbell and front-of-house outdoor cameras in my neighborhood this last Beggar's Night
- Also noticed the West Des Moines Police Department actively replying to comments posted in the Ring neighborhood chats
- Are they a helpful deterrent?
- Have they provided useful evidence of any crimes?
- Does the WDMPD's engagement with them signal any kind of encouragement that people should use them, or is it just accepting their reality?
- Should people take any precautions with them? Are there places we shouldn't point them?
- Have they helped with any deterrence to porch pirates and package theft?
Totally Unnecessary Debate of the Day™:— Brian Gongol Show (@briangongolshow) December 14, 2019
Are you monitoring your door for porch pirates?
Segment 2: (8 min)
Totally Unnecessary Debate of the Day
Totally Unnecessary Debate of the Day™:— Brian Gongol Show (@briangongolshow) December 20, 2019
Is your entire workplace closed for a week or more over the Christmas/New Year's holiday period?
Totally Unnecessary Debate of the Day™:— Brian Gongol Show (@briangongolshow) December 19, 2019
Would you buy a Christmas/holiday gift for your significant other from their wish list (Amazon or other)?
Segment 3: (14 min)
USMCA and China trade deals | Bill Watson | R Street Institute
- House of Representatives approved the USMCA on Thursday
- Goes to the Senate for approval; will be next year before it's considered
- Free trade a huge issue for Midwestern economies
- USTR says we reached a Phase One trade agreement with China, but did we really?
- What held up the USMCA this long?
- What odds does it face in the Senate?
- Does it fix anything important?
- Does it leave any big problems unaddressed?
- Can we expect this to be a long-term solution?
- China trade deal: Is it for real, or is this Lucy pulling away the football from Charlie Brown?
- How close are we to solving fights over IP?
- Are there other issues that take some nuance to figure out?
- Is anyone really talking about the separate tracks we have for "winning a trade war" with China and for pressuring them to do the right things vis-a-vis Hong Kong or Xinjiang?
Segment 4: (5 min)
I'm going to run for President on a platform of banning studio audiences from Presidential debates.
Federal debt is easily going to be $70,000 or $75,000 per person by the time someone is sworn in 13 months from now. Maybe more.— Brian Gongol (@briangongol) December 20, 2019
It's basically intergenerational larceny. https://t.co/rF7J4MwzPD
My kingdom for a political movement that applies a serious 20-year time horizon to all of our big issues. It's been almost 20 years since 9/11 and we're still approaching almost every related issue on a month-to-month basis. It's madness. The appropriate discount rate on serious problems should be close to 0% over the first 20 years.
- Federal debt
- Infrastructure funding
- Entitlement spending
- International alliances
- Immigration and family policy
- Health care
- Public health: Pollution, climate change, antibiotic resistance
The moral of the story:
Segment 5: (11 min)
That basic principle -- exercised not as a legal or regulatory requirement, but instead as the kind of thing enforced by social pressure and accepted mores -- would be really valuable for knocking down some of the dreadful and exploitative practices found in industries like money management. Customers get talked into management fees that are patently obscene: 1% or 1.5% on assets sounds small...but it's really a 10% to 20% cut of your returns in most years -- or even more. And for what?
Two observations on the BEA's latest data release: 1. It's pretty unusual for any county to be able to log 71.2% annual GDP growth, as Harlan County, Nebraska, did last year. That's...quite something. 2. The number of counties in the zero-to-negative-growth range is distressing.
Worthwhile reading. N. Gregory Mankiw is credible and his analysis is fair. MMT doesn't seem to lend any credence to real constraints in the economy. Playing games with the money supply doesn't erase those constraints.
New Englanders, Iowans, Minnesotans, and Wisconsonites are apparently good for their promises to pay you back:https://t.co/dt5jj5ZHJ8— Brian Gongol (@briangongol) December 19, 2019
The moral of the story:
Segment 6: (8 min)
Ominous: "It is only the second time such a warning, the highest level of bushfire danger, has been issued for the Greater Sydney area since the rating system was introduced in 2009." https://t.co/ZUREWpzZdk— Brian Gongol (@briangongol) December 20, 2019
Reuters quotes a fire official: "People should be under no illusion, we won't contain the fires by the time the weather deteriorates later this week". One might wonder whether an increasing frequency of devastating wildfires will tend to accelerate the pace of urbanization. There are only so many firefighting resources to go around. If the choices look like (a) move or (b) risk being abandoned, won't that nudge people to move?
The moral of the story: Disasters are probably going to push people into cities, and cities may become susceptible to more disasters
Segment 7: (14 min)
Boeing Starliner launch | Eben Brown | Fox News Radio
I don't think people living around Iowa City are accustomed to UAVs crashing out of the sky. "Authorities said the 18-foot, 100-pound vehicle was valued at $300,000. The damage to the lawn and ornaments was estimated at $100. The UAV was a total loss."https://t.co/6zq85tGmpn— Brian Gongol (@briangongol) December 20, 2019
How are you feeling?
Straight from the CDC: "Antibiotic-resistant (AMR) bacteria and fungi cause more than 2.8 million infections and 35,000 deaths in the United States each year, according to a November 13 CDC report." 35,000 deaths is a huge number -- comparable to the number of deaths caused annually by automobile crashes (around 40,000). That's a number large enough that it should be treated like a serious public-health problem, worthy of lots of popular attention. It doesn't seem like it's getting that attention at all.
The moral of the story:
Segment 8: (5 min)
Netflix needs a "folding laundry/drying dishes/assembling toys" mode, where it randomly picks episodes from a preselected list of your favorite series and plays them haphazardly, like a low-wattage UHF station.
Your role in cyberwar
It may take a while for this mnemonic to catch on, but it's worth trying. https://t.co/64Tl2xOi07— Brian Gongol (@briangongol) December 12, 2019
The moral of the story:
Unsorted and leftovers:
How, exactly, was the head of Chicago's city law department claiming a homestead tax credit on two residences at once?
From the official Blair House website: "Franklin Roosevelt, Jr., recalls the morning his mother found the prime minister wandering towards the family's private quarters at 3 a.m., trademark cigar in hand, to rouse the sleeping president for more conversation. He met Eleanor first, however, who firmly persuaded him to wait until breakfast." And it was soon after that Churchill and others were to be put up at Blair House instead of the Presidential residence.
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By the numbers
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Notes from the episode that aired on December 20, 2019
Listen to the full episode from December 20, 2019 here 🎧
Segment 2 | Totally Unnecessary Debate of the Day: Is your workplace closed for an extended stretch over the holidays?
Segment 3 | Where do we stand with the big trade deals? Bill Watson of the R Street Institute has updates on the USMCA (passed yesterday by the House) and the state of whatever deal it is we're trying to make with China.
Segment 4 | [skipped it!]
Segment 5 | I'm going to run for President on a platform of banning studio audiences from Presidential debates. Oh, and forcing ourselves to take a 20-year look ahead at all of our major issues.
Segment 6 | Listener comments and feedback on what it means to look a few years down the road.
Segment 8 | Create more value than you consume. That shouldn't be a hard thing to ask.