The Big Picture "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." 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 (a few sentences or a short paragraph) so they can be read on the air or they 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.


kulamakani's picture
I have an idea that will

I have an idea that will solve a lot of problems. Everyone should do absentee ballot. we now have a paper trail. people dont have to go looking for their voting place. you can vote in your own home and put it right in your mail box. good idea or bad?

thank you


Global Convergence
Global Convergence's picture
Corporations seem to have the

Corporations seem to have the upper hand in so many ways, one of which person hood. So, when decade after decade of all tax payer funded research becomes released to the public the access to the technology at all levels should be made available to the general taxpayer regardless of wealth. Please help me to understand how the primary benefactor of decades of tax payer funds should only be the most wealthy in the immediate sense? Why is it that an artificial person gets to heist the legacies of ingenuity all Americans have contributed to and then serve further insult by insisting that that access to the benefits of the innovations are created with zero input from Americans themselves?

mjolnir's picture
Hi Tom.    I noticed on last

Hi Tom.

   I noticed on last nights show that your on-screen display of Article 3 capitalizes the word (S)upreme. I think it is interesting that this is not done in the original document. Care to comment? I totally agree that the supreme Court usurpted it's power to declare laws unconstitutional in 1803.                                                                                                                                                                 Fred Creason



Ken in MN
Ken in MN's picture
Why does it seem like nobody

Why does it seem like nobody is talking about the fact that had President Obama signed the Paul Ryan Road to Ruin Budget "Plan" into law the Congress would have had to DOUBLE the debt ceiling???

Eric Frankson
Eric Frankson's picture
Can Exxon,

Can Exxon, MacDonnell/Douglas, Haliburton, and other trans-national mega-corporations be brought to trial in the U.S. under charges of 'War Profiteering'?  Making TRILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN PROFIT during a time of war seems un-American to me.  How can 'We the People' correct this injustice?

douglaslee's picture  

precinct committee persons are county based, this one is for Oregon, Cuyahoga has a site [Kucinich is Cuyahoga I think] After Obama loses next year, maybe the debt ceiling hostage issue will be to kill NAFTA. is another example

fusero009's picture
on the subject of debating or

on the subject of debating or engaging with conservatives or Republicans:

The only reasonable conservatives I've ever met are now converted Democrats and disgusted at what's happened with the Republican party.  Otherwise, I find no value engaging with anyone who gets in your face about them being right and you being wrong, even if they are in your own family.  Especially in these times, I refuse to waste my time or energy doing that and instead respond with either the silent treatment, or something like this:  "If you want to talk like that, and not be open to other ideas, all you will do is alienate people with discussion that is toxic and a turn-off.  If you want to continue to think that's a good way to win friends and influence people, you go ahead.  I choose not to.  I choose to engage, provide useful information, and ask questions."  I have found this to be quite effective with my right wing in-laws, because it instantly puts a mirror up to their behavior and the effect it has on members of their family.

As for Thom having conservatives on the show, I almost always turn off the show because I don't find it to bring up any useful information or insight.  So especially in these times I would vote for Thom  to, if he is going to have a conservative on the show, require him/her to abide by ground rules of civil respect and discourse.  Otherwise, I find the conservatives he's had on the show to be useless.

- Daniel, WA state

bobcox's picture
A comment was made concerning

A comment was made concerning Fascism.  I modified Wijipedia changing Fascism to Oligarchy

Please use any or all (at your own risk!)


Difinition and Objectives of an Olugarchy (Adapted from Fascists--Wikipedia)


Oligarchists advocate the creation of a single-party state that seeks the mass mobilization of a nation through indoctrination, physical education, and family policies.

Oligarchists seek to purge forces, ideas, people, and systems deemed to be the cause of decadence and degeneration, and to produce their nation's rebirth based on commitment to the national community based on organic unity, in which individuals are bound together by suprapersonal connections of ancestry, culture, and blood. Oligarchists believe that a nation requires strong leadership, singular collective identity, and the will and ability to commit violence and wage war in order to keep the nation strong.

Fascist governments forbid and suppress opposition to the state.


Oligarchists promote violence and war as actions that create national regeneration, spirit and vitality.

Oligarchists view conflict as a fact of life that is responsible for all human progress.

Oligarchists exalt militarism as providing positive transformation in society, in providing spiritual renovation, education, instilling of a will to dominate in people's character, and creating national comradeship through military service. Oligarchists commonly utilize political organizations for violent attacks on opponents, or to overthrow a political system.


The Oligarchists is anti-anarchist, anti-communist, anti-conservative, anti-democratic, anti-individualist, anti-liberal, anti-parliamentary, anti-bourgeois, anti-union and anti-proletarian .


In economics, Oligarchists oppose liberalism (as a bourgeois movement) and Marxism (as a proletarian movement) for being class-based movements. Oligarchists present their ideology as that of an economically trans-class movement that promotes resolving economic class conflict to secure national solidarity. They support a regulated, multi-class, integrated national economic system. Oligarchists economics supports the existence of private property, the existence of a market economy, International Free Trade and the use of the profit motive.



I was unable to view the

I was unable to view the entire program, not because of anything you were saying, but because your guests from both the Weekly Standard and the Daily Caller, were tone-deaf to virtually all of your responses to their inane commentary.   That was my initial thought when I first tuned in.  As I continued listening to their comments regarding the Wisconsin election and ancillary topics  (BTW- I have no party affiliation, very independent),  I was startled by the self-important certainty with which they presented their opinions;  (I will try to avoid being flagged here)  opinions that exhibited all the depth of a High School poli. sci. debate.  You are to be commended for your patience with such individuals who seem to lack any substantive anchors in the intellectual history of this country, a serious problem of a different sort  ----  but one that manifested itself by their joint inability to grasp or appreciate the gravity of the difficulties we are presently facing, not just economically,  but whether or not we will actually survive as a republic.  On the economic issue, I was amused to hear your guests' quips about the failure of Keynsian economics. Your reply was quite correct, it is the only model that has worked. While their ignorance was painful to listen to,  I have a nagging  fear that they may well be representative of those reliable harbingers of lethal toxicity, the canaries in the coal mine.   We could be in a lot more trouble than anyone has imagined.

douglaslee's picture
A counter factual reponse to 

A counter factual reponse to  your guest Klaven's position that conservatives don't have a voice in the arts,


The reaction to the Lannan ban has been illuminating. The brave, like the great whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, were appalled and said so. Similarly, many ordinary Americans called into radio stations and have written to me, recognising a symptom of far greater suppression. But some exalted liberal voices have been affronted that I dared whisper the word, censorship, about such a beacon of “cultural freedom”. The embarrassment of those who wish to point both ways is palpable. Others have pulled down the shutters and said nothing. Given their patron’s ruthless show of power, it is understandable. For them, the Russian dissident poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko once wrote, “When truth is replaced by silence, the silence is a lie.”

Even before Obama, Phil Donahue was canceled because he questioned the Iraq war.

harry ashburn
harry ashburn's picture
thom!  right now, thom is


right now, thom is interviewing Jeff Sheshol, Clinton speechwriter. I'd like to know, is he the speechwriter responsible for giving us our one and  only 99-year century,. the 20th century. that's right!  Summer of '99, clinton declared Memorial Day '99 as "the last Memorial Day of the 20th century"!   'Til then, the century began Jan 1 of year 01, not year 00. the only journalist I saw who spoke the truth was an Australian covering the"century turn" in Sydney, remarked that it was the "penultimate" new year's eve of the 20th century, which is correct. Not one US mainstream media source noticed or cared.  Jeff, WTF??

PS any devout catholic will confirm the 'third millennium began Jan 1, 2001.

PPS: i was able to e-mail Clintons chief speech writer several years ago, and after a few e-mails, he ended up denying he was clinton's speech writer!.  :D  :D

Riverside-Singer's picture
Is Obama a good President of

Is Obama a good President of the USA?

If one listens to his past speeches before he became President and all the broken promises of "Change" and it is easy to see the problem. However, one thing which is not addressed in just about every Porgressive program is, Who calls the shots of Obama as President? One looks at his speeches and past and then see the actions from the White House.  They are two different persons, well if one looks at the facts, did Obama deceive us or is Obama deceived? Another point, is Obama afraid of doing real change to help the People and support the Constitution or is acting out of fear of his life considering what happened to JFK, RFK, and MLK. The fact is The United States of America is no longer a country of liberty and justice for all, perhaps it never was. America has abolished Natives to own this land, that is not a good track record for democracy.

Riverside-Singer's picture
Interesting, thanks for

Interesting, thanks for posting. 

Riverside-Singer's picture
Those who refuse to openly

Those who refuse to openly debate with honesty are ignorant and fascist.

nathankeough's picture
So after IM'ing briefly with

So after IM'ing briefly with Sue, learned this is the best place to post follow to on air call.

My situation.....I choose to have my S-Corp pay about 25% of it's adjusted gross income to me, myself, as an individual for which it pays payroll taxes. Then I pay my individual income tax rate, SS tax, Medicare, CA State Tax, and Los Angeles City tax on that income, at the personal level.

The S-Corp pays corporate tax (a lower rate, of course) on what's left.

So, of course, it makes sense for me to be an S-Corp from a financial POV because I can control how much payroll tax the S-Corp pays and, therefore, how much income tax, SS tax, and Medicare tax I pay as an idividual.

To answer the question: "why pay yourself anything?" I reply "I'd get audited if I didn't." As the only employee of my company, I must be on the payroll. Someone has to be on the payroll. If no one was on the payroll, the IRS would get a little irked because NO ONE from the company would be paying SS tax, income tax, or Medicare Tax.

"What's the difference between God and a Hedge Fund Manager? ; God doesn't think he's a Hedge Fund Manager."


DamonM's picture
I wanted to tell Thom that we

I wanted to tell Thom that we appreciated his attitude towards Dick Cheney on his Big Pictureshow. Love to see progressives showing some fight and going after those 2 criminals.

Jo_Terry's picture
Robin Hood The true story of

Robin Hood The true story of what became of the Defender of the Realm

In 1713 after Robin’s adventures with those who would unseat the throne and usurp power from the kingdom, the return of the King (Sean Connery) stopped to acknowledge Robin for saving his throne and protecting his subjects. The King then commissioned Robin as Protector of the Kings Domain. As the King made his travels abroad the Patron Protector closely regarded the kings men for any signs of abuse or corruption, a slippery slope for any men in such positions. In 1809 the Monarchy gave way to the Republic. Robin’s descendents, seen and embraced as father figures were commissioned to maintain the same rules and procedures that worked so well through the 18th century. This became an investigative agency commissioned by the people to regard the men elected to office. Through the 19th century this refined system now had the cooperation of the Chancellors office providing an echelon of two professional skills for a double knock out punch, the legal and the watchful parent. Corruption was quelled with no complaints of police abuse. Through the 20th century this system was ready for export and now is embraced by 25 of the 34 OECD governments. A civilized system of governance that allows plenipotentiaries to stand with the public to enforce new laws that promote sustainability, see Based on the organic to nature model of mammals protecting their progeny from depredators who would hurt, harm the people and destroy the commons, water, air, and food, ending most life on the planet, this system has no detractors. This is the true legacy of Robin Hood that continues to thwart unsustainable feudalistic laws by Lords designed to conquer their subjects to this very day.     Jo

Jo_Terry's picture
How can we the

How can we the people/government correct any injustice?  By adopting a system of justice just like the rest of the world is adopting. First we need a Matt Damon action thriller that conveys this global phenomena.  Bourne investigated corrupted government agencies who were abusing citizens, and as a trained government agent exposed these men who slid down the slippery slope to torture and murder. This system has no detractors being that it is of Patrons protecting the progeny of nations, getting a Nemine Dissentiente vote.  In order for our feudalistic Lords to continue in their injustices they need to maintain a dumbing down of Americans through obliging media moguls. For correcting injustices Americans need to be informed so they can give consent to the New Guard of this proven system that employs Robin Hood ( Matt Damon) and his merry men to thwart the Lords in their evil plans of making trillions on war profiteering. There is much to do but in the end it will be the revoking of their charters.

Roy Maldonaado
Roy Maldonaado's picture
Hi Thom, I would like to know

Hi Thom, I would like to know what you feel about big corporations hiring on so many seasonal employee's making min.wage? People can not collect unemployment after a seasonal job and they can not get overtime ether when working a seasonal job.

Roy Maldonaado
Roy Maldonaado's picture
Hi Thom, I would like to know

Hi Thom, I would like to know what you feel about the growing seniors in the work force? China is projected to be 40% seniors by 2030. I don't know what it is for the U.S. but as a 49 year old man I'm finding it harder and harder to find a good job. With so many Corporations paying min. wage with no benefits I think people are going to start saving for retirement at age 16 or at least make most of their money while they are young, which is when they are trying to have a famliy.   

Jo_Terry's picture
   For Troy’s death to have a

   For Troy’s death to have a meaning it has to bring change to capitol punishment. This was a disaster but we have no known system lying around to implement. Will we see a turning away from disaster point at this time? Your rumble guest Joe Madison does not believe so given his understanding of our conditioning. As Morpheus explained to Neo, until we enlighten the ignorant citizenry, they are part of a corrupted system that conditioned them in an insane way that is dangerous to the whole. Have to understand that most of these people are not ready to release the grip of this conditioning and many of them are so very slow to act, so hopelessly dependent on the system that they will fight to protect it. The first time out with a proven system, there is no reaction. If Charlie Rose brought on a plenipotentiary from Hawaii to convey the New Guard system there, as we are given the duty to bring here after a long train of abuses, his ratings would drop as there is no controversy, no opposition, no detractors, no one even interested or commenting. If an action thriller starring Matt Damon conveyed this system as a nemesis government agent who investigated maladministers within the administration of justice for executing innocent citizens it would be another Bourne success, but it would not bring a turning point.  A TV spin off with Jack O’Neil in Nemesis Plenipotentiary One (NP1) as a plenipotentiary Jack had skills with the intergalactic maladministers the hubris Gou-uld.  In this new series he would be investigating corrupt government agencies. This will not bring a turning point either but it will leave a system lying around in a time of the next disaster that will then be implemented by the people. This will be Troy’s legacy with a movie dedication to him at the end.

voila's picture
If my understanding of the

If my understanding of the taxation of small businesses is correct, a huge argument in favor of taxing the rich more has been missed.  We hear "don't tax job creators more!!"

Well, if I am right, when taxes are low, such businessmen tend to take excess earnings as personal income to take advantage of low tax rates, but when tax rates are high, they tend to plow more money back into their businesses to get the tax write-off for business expenses.  Hence, higher taxes would tend to result in more jobs being created (when demand justifies it).  What am I missing?

-Dave in Saint Helens, Oregon

Jo_Terry's picture
    Catch 22 is the problem

    Catch 22 is the problem as we need MSN to inform Americans who then can give their consent to an administration to tackle the source problem which is main stream news. How can we be informed without any investigative reporters? All four estates are dysfunctional because our fourth estate became degraded from a corrupt FCC. The association who fosters the New Guard from our Declaration of Independence to end this corruption so as to end the debasing of our estates has no MSN reporters to contact. If we have no reporters to inform Americans no consent is given. Catch 22

    With this catch 22 scenario we are left with nothing to do but protest the problem of corrupt government ending glass steagle which stemmed from MSN firing our reporters from our estate. Along with Wall Street we should be marching on Erik Cantor’s home, no, rather our FCC and our degraded MSN. The first order of business is to get our citizenry informed of all the issues, most importantly the proven solution of this New Guard system called for as a duty by our founding Patrons at this time. This system is specifically formulated to stop the despots from pursuing the object which reduces the whole of society and abuses on the individual as well as reversing citizens united which everyone asks continually what can we do. Answer is waking people up. This is the duty of MSN a vicious cycle. Doing our duty provides New Guards. No more pepper spray, capitol punishment, harassment by police, corporations corrupting decisions of our government with money and retaining USPS. It will be like living in OECD nations who embrace this system along with single payer health care. So how do we wake people up and inform the citizens of this system which is now a global phenomena?

    By protesting we can get just enough to go away but this still leaves us with our decimated four estates and all the problems stemming from this debacle. We have to focus on the source problem. How do we promote a system designed to repair these source problems without the luxury of time? Jo

hhamil1015's picture
please, those of you who are

please, those of you who are definitely more politically knowledgeable, what about pres. candidate who has Harvard business degree, doesn't take special interest money, wants tax code change, 8 yrs Congress, 4 yrs Governor, etc., like Buddy Roemer?

hhamil1015's picture
please, those of you who are

please, those of you who are definitely more politically knowledgeable, what about pres. candidate who has Harvard business degree, doesn't take special interest money, wants tax code change, 8 yrs Congress, 4 yrs Governor, etc., like Buddy Roemer?

Hiya,  Just thought I would


 Just thought I would share a Youtube video, it is of a short clip from a 1940's movie named The Great Dictator, Charlie Chaplin gives a speech that some have called the "greatest speech ever" and I think it might help explain the way people feel about how and why things are the way they are today. BTW great show Thom and Staff!

Peace and sorry if this is a repost.

Below is a link to the video:



ronni50's picture
1st line of defenceSubmitted

1st line of defenceSubmitted byronni50 on 18. October 2011 - 23:43

My call goes out to all Vetern's and Military personal ! Being a " MARINE " from the 60's I feel I have a right to do this. I ask all my brothers and sisters to stand behind the 99%'s. We take the same oath as the Police do " to protect this country from all enemies foreign and domestic ". Maybe they will think about that, if we were on the front line where we should be. Well this time it's a Domestic enemy. So lets get to it and show our presence and support. " SEMPER FI " your a Marine until the day you die.

Recon/Sp.Ops. ICOR. 66 thru 68

Fred Wilder
Fred Wilder's picture
It's not like we weren't

It's not like we weren't warned that things would get to this point.

I like to think of myself as a relatively intelligent human being who has a fairly accurate memory of a lot of the events he has lived through in his 65 years on the planet.  Friday night as I was watching the talking heads pontificate about what is going to happen next in Libya I had an epiphany......I remembered a debate on the Charlie Rose show about 15-20 years ago between Sir James Goldsmith and Laura Tyson on GATT and I specifically remembered being incredibly disappointed at her defense of GATT.  So I found a link to the video and thought I'd share the link....I have a suspicion you might be able to use it....

I also wanted to remind you about this gem of Severn Suzuki pleading to the UN in 1992.....

Both videos say an awful lot about the wilfull ignorance, wanton destructiveness and incredible selfishness of this generation of plutocrats.  It's not only our children and grandchildren they are dooming to a more dismal life, it is their own.  The entire baby boom generation and post boom generation are leaving the world worse off than they found it.  A first in human history in the past 500 years.

Fred Wilder
Fred Wilder's picture
There are lots of Vets

There are lots of Vets standing with the 99%, in Lewisburg, Pa. we had WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Gulf War I and current Iraq and Afghan vets in the crowd, all wondering if there was going to be a generation of Americans in the 21st Century that might actually know real peace.  Of a crowd of 300 gathered in a small Pennsylvania town of 5500, at least 25 Veterans were in the crowd, the demonstrators received warm support from passers buy and positive coverage in the local press.  Occupy Wall Street is at it heart a conservative movement wanting to return to the days of economic law and order.  It is the corporatists who are the radicals wanting to socialize debt and privatize gain.  People are waking up to this fact.

jrdowning's picture
Thom: Please read these to


Please read these to your third hour guest:

Jeffree10902's picture
I just watched your program

I just watched your program about Democrats that should be fighting to holding on to medicare, social security, unimployment and so fourth instead of just putting things on the table for the Republicans to tare aparte. Democrats are for the people, Republicans are for speacial interest groups. Maybe speacial interst groups have gotten the Democrats in their pockets as well as the repulicans, there both corrupt and are selling out the people of this Country.

Julie Anne Of M...
Julie Anne Of Michigan's picture
I don't think we have a

I don't think we have a government that is afraid of or even respects we the people. We are in the streets by the scores (OWS)...But they (our gov. at all levels) seem to keep going on about the business of dismanteling our lives.  Cuts to Medicare, voting rights, reproductive rights, God , you name it, if they the 1% want it they seem to still be more than willing to take it...It is as if they don't see what is going on in the streets right now or if they do they don't care..they have no fear of us... they see us as powerless(that doesn't mean we are). However, I wonder what it will take for our overlords to change their ways? I am thinking it is going to have to get a whole lot more uncomfortable for them than it is right now. I really don't think they give a crap what we think even if we are in the streets.  Our "Overlords" I fear feel we will give up and go home in the winter or tire of the whole thing and go back to our gutters. My God! If the Dem's on the Super Committee just throw out cuts to Medicare like they have ...! I don't know but I find it really hard to think any of them even care .  Something has to happen to make them fear the power we the people have...I am so proud of the "Occupy Patriots" but I worry "what is it going to take before our gov. represenatives start acting like they understand what is going on.  I mean a lot of people are really hurting.!!!! I see no relief in site. I see no "powers that be" really giving a flying *%!*#!..Can someone cheer me up!!

Julie Anne Of M...
Julie Anne Of Michigan's picture
Thom; Can you give any


Can you give any insight into why the 6 Dem's on the gang of 12 committee would approve such cuts to Medicare considering such a large percentage of American's disapprove of this and the streets are filled with 'Occupy Patriots'.? Are they locked in a bubble, don't care and just want their campaign money, or just plain mean and or evil? Do they think they will be re-elected?   Julie

Fred Wilder
Fred Wilder's picture
Occupy Lewisburg, Pa. will

Occupy Lewisburg, Pa. will rally on Saturday, November 5th from 1-2pm to support Bank Transfer Day along with MoveOn's campaign's Make Them Pay. Bring a sign; come prepared to speak your mind.  There will be an open mic for all who want to speak.

The Act-Up to follow the rally (2-3:30) will be a chance to organize local actions with other members of the community. It will be held at the Campus Theater on Market St.

We will also have a free public showing of the movie Inside Job, starring Matt Damon at 10:30 AM at the Campus Theater.

We hope you can join us. Spread the word.

Also here are a few of Photos and Graphics Thom may want to use on the show.

Fred Wilder
Fred Wilder's picture
Patrick Byrne, the CEO of

Patrick Byrne, the CEO of – and a 1 percenter – talks to Cenk Uygur and “The Young Turks” about why as a libertarian he supports Occupy Wall Street.

Fred Wilder
Fred Wilder's picture
Curious about something that

Curious about something that Thom may have already looked into, but I am wondering if a creative Federal Prosecuter could make a RICO case against the banksters who conspired to tank the economy? It seemed to be a good tool against the Mafia, I would assume that the banksters kept better records than the mob.  Thom's thoughs?

jenwolf's picture
JENN FROM Fairfax, In your

JENN FROM Fairfax,

In your question how does change happen in America now... change at a local level is where people are turning, it is more effective in the long run.  I believe it's because people who try to enact progressive change cannot control the negative message the media portrays at these large gatherings, such as happened late at night in Oakland after a very successful large peaceful protest.  This scares people away from joining these movements, and creates doubt in the minds of undecided media viewers.  Organizers need a strategy to isolate and stop  troublemakers and help further their own positive media messaging.

No matter what good happens during the protests, the mainstream media still promotes a sensationalistic "if it bleeds, it leads" mentality.

I attended the WTO "Battle of Seattle" protests in 1999, and despite the non-violent blocking of streets, I was tear-gassed with others in the crowd.  I watched peaceful gatherings during the L.A. Democratic Convention in 2000 get beaten, tear gassed and attacked with rubber bullets from LAPD cops itching to try out their new riot gear -- all due to a couple of youths throwing bottles over a fence at police during a peaceful rock concert. 

arky12's picture
Christmas 2011 -- Birth of a

Christmas 2011 -- Birth of a New Tradition

As the holidays approach, the giant Asian factories are kicking into high gear to provide Americans with monstrous piles of cheaply produced goods -- merchandise that has been produced at the expense of American labor. This year will be different. This year Americans will give the gift of genuine concern for other Americans. There is no longer an excuse that, at gift giving time, nothing can be found that is produced by American hands. Yes there is!

It's time to think outside the box, people. Who says a gift needs to fit in a shirt box, wrapped in Chinese produced wrapping paper? Everyone -- yes EVERYONE gets their hair cut. How about gift certificates from your local American hair salon or barber?

Gym membership? It's appropriate for all ages who are thinking about some health improvement.

Who wouldn't appreciate getting their car detailed? Small, American owned detail shops and car washes would love to sell you a gift certificate or a book of gift certificates.

Are you one of those extravagant givers who think nothing of plonking down the Benjamines on a Chinese made flat-screen? Perhaps that grateful gift receiver would like his driveway sealed, or lawn mowed for the summer, or driveway plowed all winter, or games at the local golf course.

There are a bazillion owner-run restaurants -- all offering gift certificates. And, if your intended isn't the fancy eatery sort, what about a half dozen breakfasts at the local breakfast joint. Remember, folks this isn't about big National chains -- this is about supporting your home town Americans with their financial lives on the line to keep their doors open.

How many people couldn't use an oil change for their car, truck or motorcycle, done at a shop run by the American working guy?

Thinking about a heartfelt gift for mom? Mom would LOVE the services of a local cleaning lady for a day.

My computer could use a tune-up, and I KNOW I can find some young guy who is struggling to get his repair business up and running.

OK, you were looking for something more personal. Local crafts people spin their own wool and knit them into scarves. They make jewelry, and pottery and beautiful wooden boxes.

Plan your holiday outings at local, owner operated restaurants and leave your server a nice tip. And, how about going out to see a play or ballet at your hometown theatre.

Musicians need love too, so find a venue showcasing local bands.

Honestly, people, do you REALLY need to buy another ten thousand Chinese lights for the house? When you buy a five dollar string of light, about fifty cents stays in the community. If you have those kinds of bucks to burn, leave the mailman, trash guy or babysitter a nice BIG tip.

You see, Christmas is no longer about draining American pockets so that China can build another glittering city. Christmas is now about caring about US, encouraging American small businesses to keep plugging away to follow their dreams. And, when we care about other Americans, we care about our communities, and the benefits come back to us in ways we couldn't imagine. THIS is the new American Christmas tradition.
Forward this to everyone on your mailing list -- post it to discussion groups -- throw up a post on Craigslist in the Rants and Raves section in your city -- send it to the editor of your local paper and radio stations, and TV news departments. This is a revolution of caring about each other, and isn't that what Christmas is about?

ssamalin's picture
Police infiltrating protests

Police infiltrating protests isn't all bad.  In Madison WI in the 60's police infiltrated and arrested the "real" infiltraters:  violent people.   This is superlative police work. 

Fred Wilder
Fred Wilder's picture
Great Graphic in this story

Great Graphic in this story that you just might want to use on the show.

webbleslie's picture
The full picture of the smear

The full picture of the smear campaign painting the occupations as one of "sexual assault, violence, vandalism, anti-Semitism, extortion, perversion and lawlessness." Correct me if I am wrong but isn't this what is being perpetrated on the 99% by the 1%? Sexual Harassment in the workplace is alive and strong, hostile work enviroment perpetrated in the form of coercion and intimidation, vandalizing our economy and environment for profit, extortion speaks for itself (corrupt financial institutes, corporations and congress--the 1% extorting the 99%), as does perversion and lawlessness within the corrupt financial institutes, corporations and congress (they are not jheld to the same standards as the 99% and it is just a free for all for profit over the people)

Fred Wilder
Fred Wilder's picture
Here is a link to a photo

Here is a link to a photo that you might want to show as an example of how OWS is coopting the police.



Catheryn Bachman
Catheryn Bachman's picture
The American people will

The American people will starve before the Corporations and our Government create enough jobs.  How many of the right to work for less States have out-lawed Worker Owned Co-operatives?  A massive investment into education for communities on how to set up a Worker Owned Cooperative could quickly put masses of people back to work in democratic work places and jump start all areas of our economy.  It's time to jump out of the corporate controlled system!

Thom I'm confused. I'm trying

Thom I'm confused. I'm trying to see the big picture but it's eluding me. Help. Nobody's been adequately covering the fraudlant elections that took place last month in Russia in which One Russia recieved a commanding majority in the legislature despite the fact that around half the country rejects the leadership of Putin and his party. What has happened to the protests that many have called the introduction of OWS into the East? What has the international community been doing to pressure One Russia to support new elections overseen by international monitors from the UN? What does this mean for the future of democracy in Russia?

wolfman's picture
Indiana Right to work for

Indiana Right to work for less example

Caterpillar Closes Plant in Canada After Lockout

Quote from article:

FEBRUARY 4, 2012


MUNCIE, Ind.—Bulldozing its way through a high-profile dispute over wages, Caterpillar Inc. said Friday it will close a 62-year-old plant in London, Ontario, that makes railroad locomotives, eliminating about 450 manufacturing jobs that mostly paid twice the rate of a U.S. counterpart.

Caterpillar's decision, ending a standoff with locked-out workers huddled around barrels of burning scrap wood outside the London factory gates, may benefit another downtrodden manufacturing city: Muncie, Ind., where Caterpillar last year opened a locomotive plant and where it is trying to fill jobs at about half the pay workers in Ontario received. At a job fair in Muncie Saturday, Caterpillar will be offering jobs at that plant at wages ranging from $12 to $18.50 per hour. Wages for most workers at the Ontario plant are about 35 Canadian dollars an hour (US$35.03).

I really agree. Thom's

I really agree. Thom's debating skills are supposedly highly polished but I find the discourse usually to be just a useless string of "gotcha's".  Take the "debate" with Maggie Gallagher, an activist against gay marriage.  She trounced Thom.  She presented a simple. clearly-defined target yet he kept setting up his own strawman targets because he had the come-backs in his toolbox.  She didn't make her case on religious or constitutional grounds yet Thom kept trying to set her up to shoot her down on those premises.  She didn't take the bait.  He could have shed some light on the divide such as, where does she draw the line? Civil unions?  What rights should a gay couple have?  Her tying marriage to the ability to produce children was such a plum - Thom could have hit her out of the park but he chose to follow his standard litany of comfortable "talking points".  Oh well....

I think Thom needs to take a hiatus from debating and rethink - what is he trying to accomplish?



I sat next to a man on a

I sat next to a man on a flight back home who claimed his wife was a high level economic advisor to Obama.  He flatly stated that the deficit is a farce and just a political football.  Yet we progressives still play the game and respond to the debate as framed by neocons - here's a few concepts to ponder:

Consumers, not entrepreneurs, are "job creators" - what businessperson in his or her right mind would knowingly hire to produce or provide a product when there are no consumers able to buy that product?  WE hire entrepreneurs to provide the labor to produce what we want.

The household budget or that of a business is in no way analogous to the budget of the federal government.  When a neo-con tries to use that analogy, don't let it stand.  When a household or company spends - the money is gone.  When the government spends, the money stays in the economy circulating among the citizens - eventually returning as taxes and investments in what makes this country great (education, infrastructure, research...)

What is "the debt"? Really.  T-bills,bonds, notes.  T-bills are printed money and trade as currency - governments can buy oil with them.  Suppose the US stopped paying interest on the T-bills and called them what they are - money, currency - non-interst bearing.  OMG!  Printing money! What happened to the "debt"??!!  As long as there isn't more money in the system than resources to buy, there will be no inflation.  We have more "resources" at this point than we seem to know what to do with - they're called human resources - labor - millions of unemployed people just waiting to teach our children, build our roads,  heal our sick...

Or would you rather keep getting sucked into the old austerity vs revenues debate to the delight of the neocons. 


tonirochelle's picture
I watched the debate last

I watched the debate last night.  When the first commercial break came on, there was a picture of an ultrasound showing a fetus attached to the umbilical chord.  It was just there for maybe 3 seconds before the regular commercials.  I have not heard anything about this on MSNBC or Democracy Now.  My husband did not see it. Did anyone else witness this?  If so, who was responsible for this? 

I agree with the vast

I agree with the vast majority of what Thom says but have to disagree about what he said about boycotts.  Yes, they can be difficult to organize.  Sometimes, the fights have been long, but there have been successes.

All we have to do is to look at the Civil Rights movement.  The Montgomery Bus Boycott was a boycott.  The movement in Birmingham was actually a boycott.  During the sit-ins businesses lost money.  This is one effect of a boycott.  These certainly are not the only examples.

What Thom could do is to interview people like the Reverend Jesse Jackson and Dr. Joseph Lowery, two of Dr. Martin Luther King, Junior's lieutenants.  They can provide a lot of insight.  Laws were changed due in large part to the boycotts.

Look at what is happening to Rush Limbaugh.  The pulling of advertisers is effectively a boycott.