December 10 2007 show notes
- What is the true nature of America and Americans? Are we a brave people?
- Guest: Dan Gainor, Director of the Business & Media Institute. Recession.
- Guest: Larry Johnson. His blog What Destroyed Torture Tapes?
- Guest: Ajamu Baraka, Executive Director, US Human Rights Network. Racism in the US.
Topics, guests, upcoming events, quotes, links to articles, audio clips, books & bumper music.
- What is the true nature of America and Americans? Are we a brave people or are we a nation of terrified little people?
- Article: It's the Economy, Stupid -- but Not Just the Current Slowdown, Robert B. Reich.
"According to new polls, the economy is the number 1 issue for American voters. But that's not just because the economy is slowing and mortgages are harder to come by. The real reason is middle-class families have exhausted the coping mechanisms they've used for over three decades to get by on median wages that are barely higher than they were in 1970, adjusted for inflation. Male wages today are actually lower than they were then; the income of a young man in his 30s is now 12 percent below that of a man his age three decades ago.
The first coping mechanism was moving more women into paid work. The percent of working mothers with school-age children has almost doubled since 1970 -- from 38 percent to about 70 percent. Some parents are now even doing 24-hour shifts, one on child duty while the other works. I call these families DINS - double income, no sex.
When families couldn't paddle any harder, we started paddling longer. The typical American now works two weeks more each year than 30 years ago. Compared to any other advanced nation we're veritable workaholics, putting in 350 more hours a year than the average European, more even than the notoriously industrious Japanese.
As the tide of economic necessity continued to rise, we turned to the third coping mechanism. We began taking equity out of our homes, big time. But now that home prices are sinking for the first time in decades, this final coping mechanism no longer keeps us afloat. As Moody's reported last week, defaults on home equity loans have surged to the highest level this decade."
- Guest: Dan Gainor, Director of the Business & Media Institute. Recession. The Department of Labor statistics quoted by Robert Reich on public radio recently. Thom is lobbying for the ability to raise a family on a single wage (either parent's), not for women to stay at home.
- Bumper Music: Ain't No Surplus, Capitol Steps. (video)
- Article: U.S. Mortgage Crisis Rivals S&L Meltdown. "Toll of Economic Shocks May Linger for Years; A Global Credit Crunch".
- Article: Profit Slump Deepens Recession Worries. "U.S. corporate profits are being hammered by the slowing economy and credit-market turmoil, intensifying concerns that the nation may be headed for recession."
- Article: Iran stops selling oil in U.S. dollars -report. Saddam did the same, or threatened to.
- Article: Subprime surprise: UBS writes down $10 billion.
"UBS on Monday became the latest Western bank to seek a financial lifeline from the cash-rich East, selling a more than 10 percent stake to investors from Singapore and the Middle East, as it wrote down a further $10 billion in the value of mortgage-backed assets.
The two investors - the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation and an unidentified Middle Eastern investor - will inject $9.7 billion and $1.8 billion into the troubled Swiss bank.
Citigroup recently agreed to sell a $7.5 billion stake to the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, shoring up its capital base after announcing charges of $8 billion to $11 billion related to bad subprime investments."
- Article: More suicides under Conservative rule, 18 September, 2002.
- Article: Suicide Risk May Increase When Debts Pile Up.
- Article: US and EU draw fire over call to drop tariffs.
- Bumper Music: Caught In a Trap, ELO.
- Article: Africa warns of rupture over European tariffs.
- John Edwards: "This system is corrupt. And it's rigged. And it's rigged against you."
Announcer: "Finally, someone telling the truth."
John Edwards: "And we can say as long as we get Democrats in, everything's gonna be ok. It's a lie. It is not the truth.
Do you really believe if we replace a crowd of corporate Republicans with a crowd of corporate Democrats that anything meaningful's gonna change?
This has to stop. It's that simple."
"Rigged" Television Ad - New Hampshire.
- What Reagan did. He dropped the progressive income tax that acted as a cap on the accumulation of mind boggling amounts of wealth. He doubled the social security tax, which is paid by working people. He cut dramatically the tax on billionaires and millionaires. He stopped enforcing the Sherman Anti-Trust Act, which led to a dramatic drop in locally owned businesses. Mergers and acquisitions, outsourcing.
- Article: What Destroyed Torture Tapes? Larry Johnson.
- John Bolton's take on the NIE report on the show last week.
- Guest: Larry Johnson. Larisa Alexandrova was a guest on the show yesterday to discuss "The permanent Republican majority: Part one: How a coterie of Republican heavyweights sent a governor to jail", and she found out that the torture tapes were not destroyed in 2005. His blog What Destroyed Torture Tapes?. From his knowledge of the Department, the idea that people were prepared to go to jail for releasing the NIE information is credible.
- Bumper Music: Stand, Rascal Flatts.
"It's a bloodthirsty religion that's practiced over there by a bunch of throwbacks, and we're to kill 'em." Michael Savage.
- Clip: Montage of Bush's "Be afraid" phrases in an RNC speech.
- Article: Issues: You say terrorism; I say economy. McClatchy poll.
- Quote: "Let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself — nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance." First Inaugural Address March 4, 1933, Franklin D. Roosevelt.
"Last Friday, in Moscow, we witnessed the beginning of the end of that era which began in 1945. With this step, we have enhanced the security of both nations. We have begun to reduce the level of fear, by reducing the causes of fear—for our two peoples, and for all peoples in the world."
Richard M. Nixon June 1st, 1972 Address to a Joint Session of the Congress on Return From Austria, the Soviet Union, Iran, and Poland. Then Rumsfeld, Cheney etc. set about rebuilding fear.
- Bumper Music: You Can't Do Wrong And Get By, George Jones.
- Upcoming Event: Dec 14, Minneapolis MN. University of Minnesota Bookstore 7p - at Coffman Memorial Union. Show live from AM950.
- Committee on the Present Danger.
- 'We are not afraid' rant.
- Bumper Music: Time Has Come, David James.
- Article: Supreme Court Upholds Budget Bill.
- Ellen Ratner of Talk Radio News. Dana Perino has been told by White House attorneys not to answer any specific questions about the CIA tapes. Perino is married to Englishman Peter McMahon. The movie Thirteen Days about the Cuban missile crisis in October of 1962. The Iraq Foreign Minister said they are going to try to agree by July on a limit to US troops - so the Iraqis are viewing it as an occupation. Supreme Court ruling about a case brought by Public Citizen where the Senate and House bills that were passed did not agree. Sentences for guns used in crimes to increase unless they are merely bartered for drugs. The UN asked all nations to donate helicopters for Darfur, but the USA said they did not receive the request.
- Guest: Ajamu Baraka, Executive Director, US Human Rights Network. Treaties become the Federal law of the land. The US signed the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD) in 1969 and ratified it in 1994. Governments are supposed to report progress every 4 years, and the US did on 2000. The most recent report, long overdue, was submitted on April 23, 2007. It cited the movie "Crash" as evidence. Examples of persistent racism in the US and what we should do.
- Bumper Music: Where Is The Love, Black Eyed Peas.
- Article: Huckabee: U.S. gave up on religion . "School shootings were wake-up call, he says". June 8, 1998.
- Article: Commercialization of Christ? Church Puts On Lavish Production.
- Thom's cat Higgins is in the final round of the KPOJ straw poll.
- Upcoming Event: Jan 07 - 08, Manchester, NH. Show "Live" from the radio row at the NH Primary. Afterwards Thom will fly to Michigan to spend the weekend with his family.
- Bumper Music: Don't Bring Me Down, Electric Light Orchestra.