The Big Picture & The Thom Hartmann Program "On Air" Questions or Comments for Thom?

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louisehartmann's picture

We have a new segment on The Big Picture - Thom will be answering questions or comments "on air." And - there is a Mailbag on the radio show. Post questions or comments here. First names would be great w/the Qs but not necessary. If you would rather call in a question or comment - call (202) 536-5306.

To all members - Please don't post replies to questions that are for Thom - They will be deleted. Please keep them short so they can be read on the air. All posts longer then a few sentenced or a short paragraph will also be deleted.

Keep in mind.... This isn't a Libertarian free market message board here on The Thom Hartmann Program

News. Opinion. Debate. All are welcome.


Are Howard Dean and Eliot

Are Howard Dean and Eliot Spitzer really unelectable?

dirac's picture
Does Thom have suggestions

Does Thom have suggestions for catfood recipes? We're not going to be able to afford retail or wholesale much longer.

Because if this Democratic President (who likes FDR more than Reagan, btw) has his way with Social Security and Medicare, not only will I have to share those recipes with Grandma but I'll have to start cooking them for myself too. 

EDIT: Should read "likes REAGAN more than FDR." Doh.

Taos Brit Dan
Taos Brit Dan's picture
If life begins at conception

If life begins at conception is incorporating the same as having sex?

Taos Brit Dan
Taos Brit Dan's picture
The solution to the impass

The solution to the impass republican party is to give them whatever they want, for their supporters, but only for their supporters. If you vote republican you are entitled to everything they are fighting for. If you vote democrat you get evrything they stand for. So if you need any services, social security etc. just show your democratic ID. Show your republican ID and get all the benifits of the republican plan.

can t access chat the

can t access chat the rich have to pay for the wars that are for their benefit, the middle and lower class pay a blood tax (lives, limbs, and mental casualties). The rich who have never paid in blood must pay in money.

Reed.Young's picture
Would you have a science

Would you have a science education advocate on sometime soon, to tell the other side of the story that Casey Luskins told half of today?

It's really not about promoting critical thinking, and evolution by natural selection does not have any "gaps" that any other hypothesis does anything to help explain. What's going on in Texas is a transparent attempt to smuggle creationism into public schools, and somebody needs to give all your listeners the background to understand that, and what Luskins' job really is.

dorfman's picture
About the Daily Take on the

About the Daily Take on the July 13 "Big Picture."

While I profoundly disagree with Citizens United and other decisions of the Roberts court, I disagree just as strongly with your statements on July 13.  The purpose of the Constitution, and particularly the Bill of Rights, is to prevent the Federal Government or the States from passing laws or instituting policies that, however popular, violate the rights laid out in the Constitution.  Because of the Constitution, the government cannot, e.g., establish a religion--even if a majority, even if 99.9%, of the people want it.  I don't think we can rely on voters to respect all Constitutional rights and vote out of office all, or a majority of, legislators who pass laws that don't respect Constitutional rights.

Nor do I agree with you that without Roe v. Wade, legislation would have changed the prohibition on abortion due to the increased political activity of women--just look at what is going on in the States now.

Having said that, I don't have a good answer for how to overturn decisions like Citizens United without taking away the Supreme Court's right to review the constitutionality of laws. 


Bullhorn Journal
Bullhorn Journal's picture
Would Thom please suggest

Would Thom please suggest some wording for an amendment dealing with corporate personhood?

Would he include 'money is not speech', in such an amendment and why?

Why is it important to simplify such an amendment, does it give it potentially broader powers to be succinct rather than detailed?

Chris Dudley, Albuquerque

(We're having a lively discussion about wording for an amendment in our Move to Amend group, as I'm sure many across the country are having. Help would be appreciated)

kmgilroy89's picture
Conservatives post the video

Conservatives post the video about JFK cutting taxes all of the time. Where did you get the clip of JFK discussing closing tax loopholes?

maubry3's picture
Why do you have a progressive

Why do you have a progressive blind spot with regard to religion and its antithesis -  for example, an issue with atheism, calling it a religion when it is the very absence of religion, and why so much praise for the Catholic Church as an institution (as opposed to praising individuals who happen to be Catholic), and implicit alignment of the church with the progressive cause when it is on Amnesty International's list of human rights violators and has a long history of being the essence of anti-progressive?

Jkirk3279's picture
Okay, I've got a question for

Okay, I've got a question for Thom.


Conservatives can't stand the idea that Clinton balanced the Budget with a Surplus, so they now claim it's not true.

If they admitted it was true, it would undermine all their Supply Side beliefs.   Raising the top tax rate from 36% to 39% didn't crash the Economy as Newt predicted.    The Rich didn't pack up en mass and leave the Country.

Could Thom review their argument and refute it, please ?

peter sampson
peter sampson's picture
Hi, Thom. I've been asking

Hi, Thom.

I've been asking this question of my lawmakers and not getting any live replies. Perhaps you could ask it on the air?

Why not propose a tax hike on those who can afford it the most but couple it with a tax credit for those who actually hire people?

Hire a gardener? Get a credit. Hire a maid? Get a credit. Hire three workers for your small business? Get three tax credits.

Thanx. Love your show.

miriamhamsa's picture
Heard your comments about

Heard your comments about National Enquirer doing superb fact checking. Did you ever see the story (could be 15 years ago now) that said on his deathbed, LBJ told his mistress that the CIA and Texas Oil were responsible for the Kennedy Assasination? Put them together, and it seems to spell GHW Bush. I mentioned this to someone who told me they worked for the CIA (and since we had a mutual friend, I assume he was being truthful.) He said "yes, we all know that." I asked him why it was never made public, he said "we like staying alive."

Anyway, just passing it on.

Hold your show in very very high regard. Thank you so much for all that you do.

PlacitasRoy's picture
Thom - In discussing the

Thom - In discussing the 'corporate jet" depreciation loophold, there is also another aspect: Many companies lease their jets....and a lot of the time, the 'leasing company' that owns the jet is a company in which the CEO is heavily invested in.  A lot of 'privatly owned' jets are also owned by a leasing company owned by the 'private' individual who might or might not actually rent it out to meet IRS regulations.

A lot of 'leased' real estate is likewise owned by a company that the CEO has massive ownership interest in.

scriber1's picture
Can Thom speak to the issue

Can Thom speak to the issue of Deomocratic messaging? 1.) The Republicans keep saying raising taxes handicaps the job creators as if the wealthy themselves are their businesses.  In terms of personal taxes, the rich still should pay more.  They use more of the commons than their working class counterparts. 2.)  Why do we call them "middle class" instead of workers?  The classification used to blue collar workers (now, more or less, working poor) and white collar workers (professionals such as doctors, teachers, accountants, etc)  They are still workers and depend on employment.  It used to be that middle class were those who didn't work but had investments that didn't make them rich, only comfortable: or so I thought.


tkwiley44's picture
Dear Thom, With all of the

Dear Thom,

With all of the discussion about debt ceiling and spending a very important issue that is getting no attention is education.  The Republican governors like Mitch Daniels, Scott Walker, Rick Scott and Rick Snyder are dismantling our public education system quietly while everyone's attention is diverted.  Unfortunately the President has one of the worst corporate education "reformers" in Arne Duncan feeding him full of ideas that seem like reform but only take money and resources away from our public schools.  It would be great if you spoke about the dangers of vouchers (Indiana just passed a huge voucher bill) school take overs (Snyder has taken over many schools in MI without any notice) and the insane emphasis on testing.  All of this keeps us from addressing the true problem which is the inequality in our society that leads to the crippling poverty that effects success for students.  This is an issue that needs to be brought out into the media spotlight before we loose our democratic educational system in the US. 

My name is Teresa Wiley and I have been a public school educator for 18 years in Indiana.  I have never seen the state of our public schools in as much danger as it is presently in this era of the Republican over-reach.  Sadly, the damage may be irreversible by the time most voters realize what has been done to public education. 

I would truly appreciate your attention to this issue and hope you can add your valuable opinion.


Teresa Wiley - Art Teacher, Lebanon Community School Corporation,Lebanon, IN

czjenn's picture
Could you please discuss,

Could you please discuss, again, how shameful it is that half of all households do not make enough income to pay federal income taxes?

Lets refocus the discussion on that.  Give people a living wage and the can consume again.

LeMoyne's picture
Thom, Please consider using

Thom, Please consider using Lincoln's warning as the basis for a Daily Take that promotes Rebuild The Dream and/or Move To Amend.  I lay out the warning and some of how it has come to pass today on the thread Heed Lincoln's Warning: Restore American Democracy  Not alot there that you haven't covered before but Lincoln said it so well.  Read the last seven paragraphs of his first State of the Union - even though it was about the Civil War - his warnings about suffrage apply to voter ID and the Balanced Budget Amendment is an attempt to remove taxation from the reach of the legislature and many of the same states are involved.  We will hear about this BBA from now until 2012 - an amendment that restores democracy is an appropriate response.  If everyone just did one little thing for Rebuild the Dream and/or Move To Amend every time they hear about the BBA in the coming year we will have progressive candidates and millions of signatures by October 2012.  Honest Abe even ended the speech with Tag, we are all it.  

Thanks for all that you do. 

Global's picture
Give a listen to the Steve

Give a listen to the Steve Wynn recent rant on Obama for a little insight on how companies and small business job creators see how this administration does not care about unemployment or wages as their incomprehensible policies have paralyzed this economy. If there are actually any drones out there that think this guy is a leader then they are all just looking for the next entitlement program to enslave them.

wamy49's picture
Wow -- just HAD to tell you

Wow -- just HAD to tell you how superbly you handled that last caller (Katherine?). Wish I had your patience, but I'm learning! After reading "Screwed" and highlighting the heck out of it, AND sitting at your (figurative) knee for the last two years, I feel sooo much more confident in my knowledge, and in my ability to debate these %&#& "folks". Great job, today, Thom. Get some R&R before "The Big Picture". See you then.   

Sushi's picture
I am wondering if the

I am wondering if the BigBanks are getting exemptions from property taxes on vacant, foreclosed homes.  I cannot see them paying the same taxes and insurance for the vacant homes on my street that I pay, therefore I am probably covering theirs for fire, police, liability, school districts and courts they rely on for their foreclosures.  Just wondering if anyone knows.  


Robindell's picture
From: Dan How do you get our

From: Dan

How do you get our educational system to stop producing so many people who believe all poor people are lazy and should be punished rather than helped, that disabled people are inferior, and that people who have health problems don't deserve good health coverage?  Additionally, how do you get business schools in colleges and universities to start graduating future executives who aren't so greedy and are more concerned with ethics in areas such as social inequality, mistreatment of employees, and the environment?

Erik300's picture
Thom, I heard you and others

Thom, I heard you and others say that Clinton raised the top marginal tax rate 4% in 1993 but looking at the tables I see it was raised from 31% to 39.6% on incomes over $250,000. That's 8.6% if my math is correct. Or am I missing something?.

I posted this on the ADHD

I posted this on the ADHD education forum:


A newly released study by The Society for Research in Child Development, Inc. addresses my biggest academic pet peeve....  ....which is the bass ackwards socioculturally conditioned stereotype that boys are better at math than girls: 

Thom, you were so flippin' close to hitting a majorly pivitol nail on the head with your article: "It's Time to Empower our Girls". 

I've said it before and I believe it is worth repeating - I wish you had continued to pursue this topic. It's a paramount topic that has the potential to empower an entire group of people who were conditioned to feel less intelligent/empowered.  

Please, (PLEASE, I'll beg if I have to), do a segment addressing the fact math and science IS for girls dispite what they may be taught at an early age.



GrundyGreen's picture
Have you Heard about

Have you Heard about this? 

"Exempt techies from social security taxes, India tells US"

ramaci's picture
We need to manipulate the

We need to manipulate the opponent's force against himself rather than confronting it with our own force. Social Jiu Jitsu. Create the largest multi-national corperation in the world and run it like a country. 1 in 6 or 8 people of the world are connected economical to it.

Phaedrus76's picture
Hey Lousie, my question is

Hey Lousie, my question is "Where are the Snowdens of yesteryear?"

bernice14's picture
a suggestion:Your mentioning

a suggestion:Your mentioning what Bush did at this time 10 years ago to preemptively decimate this Democratic Economy sparked another thought: We're 10 years out from 9-11; Begin to chart (broadcast) a timeline/daily reminders of the actions/inactions (including financial, legislative, etc.) that occurred every day leading up to it (e.g. "Ten years today in 2001 Richard Clarke was running around 'with his hair on fire' but couldn't listen." (on Aug. 6.:) "Tenet & Bush on separate vacations--received famous warning memo re Al Qaeda; Bush cleared brush" etc.

chef dude
chef dude's picture
How do we get everyone to

How do we get everyone to listen to Senator Bernie Sanders or to the Progressive Caucus? They have an excellent buget option endorsed by many experts but it is not part of the discussion. It seems as if we are doomed to be a failing empire.

Sentient's picture
Louise,  Thank you so much

Louise,  Thank you so much for the show that you and Thom bring to the country.

I recommend everyone printout the following linked article.  Written by William Dowell for Time Magazine and entitled; "Saddam Turns His Back on Greenbacks":,9171,998512,00.html  (Note the date of the article, maybe cash is a WMD?).  It IS current to the present financial situation.  I hope Thom will take up the charge and continue to point out that the massive borrowing the Republicans and TeaPartiers ignored during the Bush presidencies is being artificially propped up by a military empire.  Currently, the USA can borrow cheaply because the dollar is also the currency used for 85% of international transactions (like oil from Libya to France, for instance).  The principal amount that the USA borrows never changes because it is OUR currency and no matter how good or bad our economy that principal balance does not change.   If China owned US debt while the Euro was the world reference currency, the US Dollar would no longer benefit from being THE currency  The USA would pay interest AND exchange rates and a failing US economy would now influence (increase) our cost.

Great Britian had a soft landing when the Pound Sterling began being usurped by the Dollar as the world reference currency.  The USA is not under the same conditions nor may we expect the same results.


-Al from Charlestown

scriber1's picture
Why is there no discussion of

Why is there no discussion of the fact that Republicans signed an agreement  to not vote on increasing taxes or closing tax loopholes no matter what, with a lobbyist, and that is why they are so adamant in their stance?

arturogsmv's picture
         Connecting the

         Connecting the dots..... if its been reported that the ex-british prime minister T. Blair frequently consulted R. Murdoch and that his newspaper staff where like part of his cabinet and over here Murdoch was close to the bush White House, then maybe Murdoch helped convince Blair and other international strong figures to go along with the IRAQ WAR.

        if has you say that basically the US gov behaves like an EMPIRE, to be this capitalist empire it uses and it needs an strong military presence around the world. (Us navy - "freedom of the seas" Army and the rest "protecting American interest abroad") Then the direct benefactors of this expence, GE Chevron etc. are not paying their share in taxes. Americas shrinking middle class is being suckered into paying into this expensive Pentagon Budget.



MikeK's picture
I have come to believe Obama

I have come to believe Obama is a Republican Trojan Horse which appears in the form of a cute little pony. 

Bill300's picture
Hey Thom: Maybe we should get

Hey Thom: Maybe we should get the platform from the " Bull Moose" Party. Teddy Roosevelt and the bull moosers were right on target.

Andrew H
Andrew H's picture
I have a question... This

I have a question...

This debate over social security is a bit confusing.  Progressives speak of the fact that social security is solvent for decades, running at a surplus and has nothing to do with the deficit.  So...?

Why is it on the table?  Seriously...straight scoop.  I understand the surplus or deficit does not affect the budget deficit or (I believe) the national debt.  But there must be SOME reason this is on the table.  Do we borrow against the social security trust fund and by making cuts it will somehow improve the debt situation?  

Dems and Cons have talking points on social security...there must be something more to this I'm not getting from progressive talk.  

BKB's picture
Once again the argument

Once again the argument floated by Obama loyalists is that the president is playing chess while Republicans are playing checkers. This is a specious bit of sophistry. For the past three years we've watched Obama's peculiar game of Old Maid pitted against the Republican version of Liars Poker. 

On Thursday's radio show

On Thursday's radio show (07/21/2011) I heard you say President Obama should declare a 1917 law unconstitutional (not sure which law you were referring to). I would like to know when President Obama obtained the power to declare a law unconstitutional?  Please explain in detail how President Obama or any other president can "declare" a law unconstitutional.


Philadelphia, PA


StarrGazerr's picture
Re: Allen West's

Re: Allen West's District.

Thom, I've been hearing that Allen West actually lives in Debbie W. Schultz's district.  How is this possible?  I was under the impression that a representative was required to live in the district he represents.  Wasn't that one of the issues with one of the Wisconsin Republicans (who was living with his mistress)?

Thank you for your great work.  You are a true asset to America.

Eddie K.

PS - Regards to Higgins!

Thom has used the analogy of

Thom has used the analogy of the I/we window, that basically we view the world from one of these two windows, and our ideology springs from that one which we fundamentally see through. My question is this: what is it in us that makes us one way or the other? Apart from conditioning, it seems it is the distinction between selfishness and sharing, between caring for all the people as opposed to caring for only the few, between empathy and cold indifference for the needy among us.  It is like the story of the good Samaritan. What is it that makes one behave in such a way, contrary to the group? To me it is what defines what has been historically democratic, and today progressive.

jingles's picture
Here is the answer to all

Here is the answer to all things presidential.  Obama can run as the Republican he has become and then we get a great Progressive to run for the people.  This would still get us out to vote, at least the Democrats, and either way we would be better off than with a Bachmann or a Romney, etc.  And, we could still have a Democratic House and Senate. 

Divelonger's picture
Thom, did you know that CA

Thom, did you know that CA will be issuing debit cards to pay unemployment? I am a 99er and received the notice that I don't have a choice and will be receiving my Bank Of America Visa debit card any week now. So, Bank Of America will be making money off of processing fees when we use the cards! Once again, the banksters making money on our hardship! 

Meg H in Orange County.

MadisonHere's picture
Hi Thom & Senator

Hi Thom & Senator Sanders,

I'd like to make some suggestions for presidental candidates - Russ Feingold, Dennis Kuchinch, Alan Grayson but only if we couldn't have Senator Sanders.  



MadisonHere's picture
Hi Thom & Senator

Hi Thom & Senator Sanders,

Senator Sanders said that the tea party did a great job of getting their candidates elected and we should do the same. From what I can see they were largely used so I don't see how they would trust anyone after that experience. We liberals look like we are going to experience that under Obama, how can any Americans trust that our voice will ever be heard when it's very apparent that money and corporate interests control the government and elections, which actually are getting worse under the ALEC legislation. Wow you just answereed this and it was not what I was hoping to hear. Can we get some truth in the Media where government is concerned that may help. How do we go about doing this?




MadisonHere's picture
Wow, another nail in the

Wow, another nail in the coffin of US IT workers. I watched as jobs supporting my state's medicaid systems be insourced, outsourced, best-shored, off-shored and H1B'd. I lost mine when HP took over EDS in 2009. They don't want educated people or people with money in the US. This is the same fight just a different year. Check out George Carlin's utube American Dream, it says it all.

So who's really running this country anyway. US Chamber of commerce? they're scary one of their sites freeenterprise has a logo of a disintegrating American Flag, gee I wonder what their goals are.

How about ALEC, writing our legislation for years and weakening American voters while strengthing wealthy bankers. These people are the Republican party, lobbyists and corportists and they are a revolving door.

Maybe the Federal reserve - guess who they are check out  The Creature of Jekyll Island - quite an eye opener.

Rupert Murdoch and his media machine.

Mostly I think it's all of these groups are related and they are those controlling this country.

The unions are the only ones on the side of the people. I think we need a workers party.


MadisonHere's picture
Unfortunatley that's what I'm

Unfortunatley that's what I'm beginning to think too. We'll all know soon enough as far as I'm concerned if he makes deals that cut benefits I'll be working for a third party. There are a couple of things he could do that would be ok with them like:

Removing the cap on Social Security

Getting a better deal on perscriptions and ending the big Pharma give away.

MadisonHere's picture
Hi Thom, Since the Fed is

Hi Thom,

Since the Fed is owned by the fat cats and they're running the show, if the monetary system fell would that be the worst thing in the world for the American people? Those of us with skills would then have an upper hand on those who only know how to make money with money.

Would we still owe defunct companies money for mortgages, credit cards etc..?




Pasquino's picture
I'm proud you're sticking up

I'm proud you're sticking up for a president who's in a terrible position not of his making. Lightly armed and virtually alone.

Here's what he was saddled with.

1. Bush's economy

2. Millions of Democrats who stayed home in 2010.

3. Other Democratic leaders too timid to make good arguments and be proud of their achievements. (Bernie Sanders and Al Franken excepted.)

Matt Taibbi said it very well today.

The diary of FoxNews coverage of Murdoch story is hilarious. No coverage at all. When will Americans realize their media is dominated by a lying Republican propagandist and his foreign billionaire boss?

Always good points and smart arguments at  

jkwcf60's picture
Hello:  I have been wondering

Hello:  I have been wondering for a long time why we are not given a receipt at the time we VOTE.  My vote and your vote are increasing in value with each election.  This would be such an EASY way to be proactive with election fraud.  With some inventive thought, using the internet could easily track when necessary to account for votes.  Why should we trust election people with our vote with no accountability?  I think this whole idea that we are children to be lined up and "do our duty" of voting (akin to being called into the principal's office) needs to be turned on its head!  We need a rceipt for our VOTES!  I want accountability for my vote!  I could easioy register the receipt number on the internet.

Laborisgood's picture
Why is religion despised by

Why is religion despised by so many liberals and progressives?  Is it just a reflex action to counter the religious pandering of the Republicans or should any true liberal be opposed to anything that can't be verified by science?

Wouldn't God be more saddened by the GOP than the Dems?

turtlemother's picture
amusing idea... maybe

amusing idea... maybe do-able?