10. 10 - The Electoral Playground19:40Not ones to leave the U.S. Constitution alone, the dogs and I decide to abolish the Electoral College. This puts us at odds not only with the small states of the Union, but with our favorite Founding Father (and birthday buddy) Alexander Hamilton. But we're not going to throw away our shot on what has become a partisan coup machine. So it has to go.
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9. 09 - Ben Franklin Bets On America17:19America’s wisest old man was writing his last will and testament. Benjamin Franklin had plenty of people to leave his fortune to – his son William Franklin, former royal governor of New Jersey. His grandson, Temple Franklin, who had been Ben’s secretary during the negotiations with France that got the colonies some much-needed assistance with that whole “give the British a whuppin’” thing. Sally Bache, his daughter. Benjamin Bache, Sally’s son. Or even his sister Jane Franklin.Everyone got a little something, but there were a couple of surprise bequests - to the two cities he called home - Boston and Philadelphia. America's most middle class Founding Father made a two hundred-year bet. And he won. Can we do the same?
8. 08 - The Jury Congress19:11I served on a jury once, and if that makes you doubt both the stability and effectiveness of the American justice system, well, just imagine how I felt when I got the summons.But I have to say the experience went pretty well, and justice (I think) was served by twelve random people and two alternates who definitely jumped in the jury pool with preconceived notions about the case. Justice was most definitely not served by Phil from the hardware store, but I’ll get to him soon enough. The relevant point for today’s episode is that the whole experience gave me a great idea for a way to change the way America chooses its representatives, crafts legislation, and makes laws. The dogs and I once again raise America’s proverbial hood and tinker with the metaphorical engine that is our governing document on this episode of I’m Not Allowed To Watch The News. Help support the show and get access to great exclusive content at our Patreon page.
7. 07 - The National Debt17:06In the early days of the American Republic, Alexander Hamilton, the first Secretary of the Treasury, argued that a certain amount of national debt was a good thing. There was no way a country that was four days old was going to be able to raise the tax revenue it needed to pay the president or build a navy or anything like that. So it had to borrow. Probably from the Dutch. During the American Revolution, the French sent ships, the Dutch sent money, and Belgium sat the whole thing out, too busy perfecting their chocolate recipe to help establish the world’s first republican-style democracy or support freedom from tyranny. Just you wait, Belgium. You’ll get what’s coming to you. America started borrowing money while the ink was still wet on the Declaration of Independence, but that was to serve the British Empire with its eviction notice from the colonies. Once the Constitution was ratified, we needed cash to fund laws like the one calling for lighthouses to be built along the coast, and I think we can all agree those aren’t cheap. Hamilton’s idea was that revenue from the postal service and a tax on whiskey would pay that money back. He was a wine-drinker himself, so that whiskey tax wasn’t going to be a problem. For him. For now. As it turned out, America needed to borrow more money to raise an army to put down the Whiskey Rebellion. Talk about your chickens coming home to roost. But the debt was eventually paid by all those offsets, which Hamilton called a “sinking fund.” Borrow money, assign a revenue source to pay it back in full. Sounds pretty simple. Except, somehow, it’s not.
6. 06 - Now It's A Party28:15Do you ever think about why you vote for a particular political party?Maybe you’re a Democrat because you really love the way that James K. Polk got us Texas, California, and Oregon in the 1840’s, despite the objections of Abraham Lincoln. Maybe you’re a Republican because you think Abraham Lincoln was right to oppose the deal, even if it means we don’t get to keep Oregon. Sorry, Oregon. You might be a Republican because your great-grandpappy has been one since that time William Howard Taft got stuck in the White House bathtub in 1911. You might be a Democrat because your grandma swooned over that dreamy John F. Kennedy when he nearly ran for Vice President in 1956. Maybe you want to vote for a party that says they’ll do something about climate change, healthcare, student loan debt, and get you a discount on an electric car or solar panels. Maybe you want to vote for a party that says they’ll do something about abortion rates, tax rates, immigration, and get you a discount on your annual United Nations dues. Whatever the reason, is it something you give a lot of thought to?Maybe you do. Maybe you don’t. If you’re a member of the Exhausted Majority, you pick one because there are only two choices. You vote with a shrug.The dogs—who truly understand blind loyalty—and I dig into partisanship, and how it’s destroying America. And if you think the party you keep voting for has been the same party this whole time, I’ve got some bad news for you, on this episode of I’m Not Allowed To Watch The News.
5. 05 - If It's For Sale Let's Buy It09:45The dogs and I are starting a GoFundMe campaign to raise five billion dollars. We have a pretty big purchase in mind. We’re going to buy the Congress of the United States. Get your credit cards out and start making your legislative wish lists, as the dogs and I plan to purchase one of America’s three branches of government on this episode of I’m Not Allowed To Watch The News.
4. 04 - All Or Nothing16:21Our political leaders always give us choices when it comes to solving the nation's problems. Two of them: All or nothing. Mass shooting? What we need are more guns. Or none. Too many abortions? Ban them. Or put no restrictions on them. Cop killing? We need more police. Or less. Healthcare too expensive? The government should pay for all of it. Or none of it. Gas prices too high? Drill for oil everywhere. Or quit using fossil fuels. When your only choices are all or nothing, there's a good chance you'll get nothing. The dogs and I dig into why these are the only answers we're ever given, and why the solutions to America's problems are so diametrically opposed on this episode of I'm Not Allowed To Watch The News.