Chris and UNH political science professor Dante Scala breakdown how the Rand Paul-Marco Rubio Cuba tiff previews the GOP primary foreign policy fight.
It’s Carnival Night at the Bolongo Bay Resort! There is lots of Caribbean food at the buffet; delicious rum drinks at the bar; live music; and colorful, local entertainment acts. Starting with a Moko Jumbie or stilt dancer, Chris goes behind the scenes to interview the performers at Carnival. Stilt dancers perform 18 feet in the air to lively Calypso music. A Moko Jumbie named Israel tells Chris about the history of these dancers which can be traced back to Africa. He also explains how he became a performer, how the stilts are made, and how to prepare and train to perform. Israel’s goal is to perform at over 50 feet.
King Heron is another Carnival performer who specializes in dancing on broken glass, eats fire, and does a flaming limbo dance. He tells Chris how he became a performer and how he uses nervous energy to prepare. When he was asked why he does what he does, King Heron gave an amazing answer that says it all,”I just love dancing.”
Bolongo Bay General Manager Paul Doumeng explains how his family has been creating the ultimate Caribbean vacation experience for 40 years on St Thomas in the US Virgin Islands and discusses the challenges of doing business on a island in paradise.
It’s not every day that you see a stilt dancer or a fire eater/dancer, but every Wednesday night they perform at Iggy’s Bar and Grille at the Bolongo Bay Beach Resort on St Thomas. Chris spoke with Moko Jumbi Israel and King Herin.
Wall Street Journal reporter Ben Leubsdorf joins Chris to talk about more positive economic growth in the U.S. economy and looks at how the Federal Reserve may react.
George Pataki, who served as governor of New York for 12 years from 1995-2006, is seriously considering running for the Republican nomination for president. The Republican field is filling up and promises to be very interesting. Governor Pataki was visiting New Hampshire and participated in a lively interview with Chris Ryan and Rebecca Ackerly. When he was asked why the governor feels that now is the right time for a run, Pataki claims that the country and the world are both calling for leadership by the United States. He also claims that the “progressive” agenda of President Obama and the Democrat party is creating an intrusive government presence which has to be pushed back. He feels that his record as governor demonstrates that he knows how to decrease the size, scope, and influence of the federal government. He pointed to his record of reducing taxes in New York each year. He also was proud of having a budget surplus by cutting the size of government and reducing the number of welfare recipients in his state. He feels that this is what needs to be done on the national level. Pataki wants to reduce the size of the federal work force, lower the federal tax burden, and reform the entitlement programs, so that people will look for opportunities rather than depend on the government for their lives. Governor Pataki put forward several suggestions about how to improve economic conditions in the country and in New Hampshire, the governor pointed to how he improved the business climate in New York by lowering tax burdens, giving incentives, developing the infrastructure, and helping to provide a qualified workforce. He feels that we can use community colleges to train a work force to meet these needs. He also feels that Obamacare discourages small businesses from growing. In his view, the tax structure also needs to be reformed in order to unburden individuals and businesses so that our economy can grow.
Pataki was also asked about the recent senate intelligence committee report which was critical of the CIA’s anti-terrorist interrogation practices. The governor questioned the accuracy of the findings and the motives of Senator Feinstein’s report. He was governor of New York at the time of the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center. For that reason, he feels that we need to be aggressive in order to prevent another terrorist attack. Pataki does not believe that the senate report is accurate, and he it is politically motivated. He questioned the finding of the report that the enhanced interrogations did not develop credible or useful intelligence. Pataki prefers to accept the claims of CIA directors and interrogators that useful information in the war on terror was gained by these methods. He also pointed out that the senate report makes no recommendations about what the agency should do in the future. The governor also criticized that the committee did not interview anyone at the CIA. Fundamentally, Pataki rejects that the interrogations were illegal or torture. In his view, terrorists are not subject to the Geneva Conventions and for that reason they are not subject to the same considerations as a captured soldier in wartime. He does maintain that as Americans we should use “civilized” techniques and operate within the rule of law.
Boston Pops conductor Keith Lockhart talks about the annual “Holiday Pops” concert coming to Manchester, NH tomorrow and much more!
Chris feels vindicated about whining about his post nasal drip and acid reflux after President Obama goes to the hospital to be treated for the former.
Chris joined Matt Bonner and the NBA Champion San Antonio Spurs on the road in New York City. The first segment deals with the game at the Barclays Center with the Brooklyn Nets. Unfortunately, the Spurs were edged 95-93 in an overtime loss to an energetic Nets team that seemed to be up for a game with the champions. Coach Gregg Popovich and Tim Duncan assessed the reasons for the loss. The coach blamed the loss on poor play by San Antonio’s first unit. Tim Duncan said that he was willing to take the blame for the loss. This is a prime example of why this future Hall of Fame player is so respected around the sport. The Spurs are winners because their super star does not have an ego that could damage team chemistry. Duncan’s willingness to accept blame stands out especially because Popovich benched starting point guard, Tony Parker for the entire second half. The comeback was mainly mounted by the Spurs second unit. Matt credited increased defensive intensity to the turn around which unfortunately came up a bit short.
The next segment of the show took place in a unique part of New York city called Gramercy Park. This beautiful, private park is in an historic part of lower Manhattan which has been the backdrop for many movies. Chris and Matt discussed the current state of the San Antonio Spurs, and the “Red Mamba” also reflected on where he is at this point in his career. At this point in the season, the reigning NBA champions were doing very well. They had won eight games in a row. The game in Brooklyn was the fifth game in seven days. In order to get through the grueling NBA regular season, the Spurs manage the minutes of the older players like Duncan, Parker, and Ginobili. In certain games where they are not needed, Popovich utilizes the younger players on the team to fill in the gaps when the veteran players are sitting out. In this way, the Spurs are rested and ready for the grueling rounds of the NBA Playoffs. The Spurs are a very successful team because the players and coaches hold themselves up to very high standards. Then, they are motivated to improve and change any time fail like in their loss the final with Miami in game seven in 2013. The Spurs have won four championships, but they have never repeated. That is a current goal of the organization. Matt Bonner is 34 years old and is playing in his eleventh season. He began his NBA career after playing in Italy after college. At age 34, Matt has reached his initial goal of staying ten years in the NBA. Bonner’s first NBA team was the Toronto Raptors. On that team, he was playing lots of minutes, and the team practiced hard every day. He was so tired and worn down that he wasn’t sure how long his body would hold up. Then he was traded to the San Antonio Spurs where the philosophy is to keep their players fresh and healthy. He speculates that he might be able to play until he is 40. This year he is playing well and has been efficiently productive. As an example of the Spurs’ save yourself approach, coach Popovich has told him to not go after offensive rebounds and to just get back on defense.
In the third segment, Chris and Matt talked about how the team stays in some amazing first class hotels. On this trip, they stayed at the Gramercy Park Hotel. This landmark, luxurious hotel has had many famous guests, such as, Babe Ruth, Jimmy Cagney, and Humphrey Bogart. As you might expect, our hometown hero feels out of place with accommodations like these. Then they talked about how Matt is assigned some tough defensive match ups–such as Zach Randolph of the Memphis Grizzlies. Chris finally asked a question that his wife, Hilary, has been after him to ask Matt,”Why do you always inbound the ball?” The reason is that Coach Popovich doesn’t want Tim Duncan taking out the ball. He wants Duncan down the court getting good post up position and Matt would be the trailing big man in their offense. Bonner believes that he has cut down on his turnovers because he has totally accepted the Popovich mantra “Make the simple play.” The Spurs have a trusting, family atmosphere, but how long can their success continue. Other teams like the Celtics have dealt with a team with aging stars in a much different way.
Next, Chris talked with the official Brooklyn Historian, Ron Schweiger, about the how the Barclays Center was built on the site where the Brooklyn Dodgers would have built a stadium to replace Ebbet’s Field. He described the power struggle which occurred back in the late fifties between the owner of the Dodgers, Walter O’Malley, and Robert Moses, the powerful director of highways in New York. Moses wanted to build bridges and highways to accommodate the booming suburban growth at that time. Los Angeles made the Dodgers an offer that they couldn’t resist. Currently, Brooklyn is having an economic and cultural resurgence. With a population of 2.6 million, Brooklyn would be the third largest city in the United States. Real estate values in this borough of New York City are booming. Next year, Brooklyn and the Barclays Center will also be home to the NHL’s New York Islanders. Ron Schweiger then discussed the how the Dodgers were so much a part of the Brooklyn community.
Next, Chris talked with Sean Elliot, a former Spurs star who is currently an announcer for the team. He feels that one of the reasons for the organization’s success is the culture of the team and the city of San Antonio. It’s a beautiful city which loves their team. The team takes good care of their former players and creates a warm environment.
No history of Brooklyn is complete without discussing the Brooklyn Bridge. The last segment was another interview with Brooklyn Borough Historian, Ron Schweiger who talked about how this huge bridge was completed in 1883 without modern technology and equipment. It is considered the eighth wonder of the world. Finally, they talked about Jackie Robinson. As a youth, Schweiger would wait in a parking lot outside Ebbet’s Field. Jackie was usually the last player to leave the lot because he would take the time to shake hands with and talk to all of the kids who had waited to see the players. As Robinson’s wife, Rachel told Schweiger, “Jackie never wanted to disappoint the kids.”
Carly Fiorina is very well known in the business community. In 1998, Fortune magazine named her the “most powerful woman in business.” Fiorina was #10 on the Forbes list of The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women. She is regarded by many as being the first woman to head up a Fortune 20 company. So far in the presidential race, she is the only person who has been the CEO of a major corporation. Ostensibly, she was here to meet with the Independent Business Council of New Hampshire.
When she was asked what New Hampshire and the United States can do to revitalize the economy, Fiorina stated that it is necessary to see what “small business” needs to be more productive. Despite her background in big business, she believes that national and state government policies are crushing the potential for new businesses to start. She added that small businesses innovate at seven times the rate of big business, create 2/3 of the new jobs, and employ 1/2 the workers. However, polls show that 70% of these entrepreneurs feel that government is “hostile” to them. Big businesses can hire accountants, lawyers and lobbyists to finesse their way around government regulations. Small businesses, on the other hand, are being crushed.
The political experts feel that Carly Fiorina would be a very viable candidate for president. She sees that one of the problems with the current political culture is that we need involvement from more private citizens–not career politicians. Fiorina agrees that the Republican party needs to expand its base by reaching out to women and other groups not usually associated with the GOP. She believes that America needs to lead in the world by having a strong, thriving economy; a military that is second to none but not necessarily used; and moral clarity and leadership. In her view, the world is a sadder and more dangerous place when the United States chooses not to lead.
She praised the primary process in New Hampshire and the seriousness which its citizens give to vetting the candidates. At this point, Carly Fiorina claims that she is still in the pausing and reflecting phase of her campaign. After she evaluates the feedback which she has received, she will decide whether to announce her candidacy.