December 19 2007 show notes

  • How do we recover the moral high ground in America Political debate?
  • Guest: Scott Swett, "To Set The Record Straight: How Swift Boat Veterans, POWs and the New Media Defeated John Kerry".
  • Campaign Finance reform.
  • Is the use of torture destroying the America the founders fought and died for?
  • The purpose of torture.
  • Guest: Bart Jones. Author, “Hugo!”: The Hugo Chavez Story From Mud Hut To Perpetual Revolution.

Topics, guests, upcoming events, quotes, links to articles, audio clips, books & bumper music.

Wednesday 19 December '07 National show

  • How do we recover the moral high ground in America Political debate?
  • Guest: Scott Swett, co-author, "To Set The Record Straight: How Swift Boat Veterans, POWs and the New Media Defeated John Kerry". Thom mentioned that George Bush went AWOL long enough to be a deserter, an executable offense. Thom asked Swett how he would swift boat Bush. He said that CBS tried (Dan Rather), but the documents were forgeries. The Swift Boat veterans who spoke against Kerry were not actually there on his missions.
  • Bumper Music: God Bless my SUV, Capitol Steps.
  • Character assassination. What's the nature of our political discourse, and what can we do about it?
  • Clean elections. Public Campaign, for example. Statistics, for example in Maine 84% of the legislature is represented by people who won using public funding. Fair elections work. Buckley v. Valeo (federal campaign contributions limits, & spending money to influence elections is a form of constitutionally protected free speech), 1976, needs to be overturned. The Fair Elections Now Act, senators Richard Durbin (D-IL) and Arlen Specter (R-PA). Full public funding. The cancer is with the money. John Roberts, Florida elections, Supreme Court. Ask your candidates about their position on Campaign Finance reform.
  • Thom:
    The Democrats could have swift-boated George Bush. I mean, you talk about somebody who's ripe for the picking; that was low-hanging fruit. And they chose instead to talk about what they thought were the things that America cared about. And frankly I would like to see campaigns like that. This whole swift-boating thing frankly disgusts me, on either side... It turns my stomach. I will not even go there on this program. I think it's absolutely so wrong.
  • Bumper Music: Please Come Home for Christmas, Bon Jovi.
  • Is the use of torture destroying the America the founders fought and died for?
  • Article: Madison’s Ghost on The Intoxicated Presidency – and its Corporate Support Group, October 25, 2002. This article mentions the woman in Argentina Thom met who had been tortured.
  • The purpose of torture is to terrorize ordinary people, not information. The Romans used it only after conviction. The scourging of Jesus after his conviction. Torture is terrorism. The ticking time bomb scenario.
  • Article: Bush Lawyers Discussed Fate of C.I.A.Tapes .
  • Quote: "I know of no policy, God is my witness, but this -- Piety, Humanity and Honesty are the Best Policy. Blasphemy, Cruelty and Villainy have prevailed and may again. But they won't prevail against America, in this contest, because I find the more of them are employed, the less they succeed."
    John Adams.
  • Article: America's Anti-Torture Tradition by Robert F. Kennedy Jr., December 17, 2005.
  • Quote: "Treat them with humanity, and let them have no reason to Complain of our Copying the brutal example of the British Army in their treatment of our unfortunate brethren…. Provide everything necessary for them on the road."
    George Washington.
  • Quote: "Wherever our armies have marched, wherever they have encamped, every species of barbarity has been executed. We planted an irrevocable hatred wherever we went, which neither time nor measure will be able to eradicate."
    Col. Charles Stuart, Britain.
  • Article: FBI, CIA Debate Significance of Terror Suspect. Agencies Also Disagree On Interrogation Methods. "Bush has sided publicly with the CIA's version of events. "We knew that Zubaida had more information that could save innocent lives, but he stopped talking," Bush said in September 2006. "And so the CIA used an alternative set of procedures"...

    But former FBI officials privy to details of the case continue to dispute the CIA's account of the effectiveness of the harsh measures, making the record of Abu Zubaida's interrogation hard for outsiders to assess.

    There is little dispute, according to officials from both agencies, that Abu Zubaida provided some valuable intelligence before CIA interrogators began to rough him up, including information that helped identify Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the alleged mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks, and al-Qaeda operative Jose Padilla. Footnotes in the 9/11 Commission report attribute information about a variety of al-Qaeda personnel and activities to interrogations of Abu Zubaida beginning in April 2002 and lasting through February 2004.

    ".
  • Bumper Music: Till we get it right, Richard Aberdeen.
  • Bumper Music: It's All Good, Montgomery Gentry.
  • Upcoming Event: Jan 07 - 08 Manchester, NH. Show "Live" from the radio row at the NH Primary.
  • Upcoming Event: Feb 07 - 08 Washington D.C. CPAC.
  • Bumper Music: Christmas, Blues Traveler.
  • Article: NY Times changes CIA headline for WH.
    "The New York Times has changed the subheadline in Wednesday’s front-page story on the CIA’s destruction of secret interrogation tapes, following a formal request by the White House.

    The correction has already been made online, and there will be a print correction in the paper, according to a Times representative.

    On Wednesday, White House press secretary Dana Perino said in a statement that the Times subheadline — “White House Role Was Wider Than It Said” — was inaccurate.

    "
  • Ellen Ratner of Talk Radio News. Fire at the White House, VP's ceremonial office. Some old stuff there. Joke that it was cause by a shredder, but there was old wiring. In 14 years she has not seen this: Perino issued a 3 page paper refuting a New York Times story that the White House role was wider than it said. Are they doing it to feed the media machine? That usually comes from the RNC as talking points. Is the White House the new right wing anti press bias machine, taking from Cliff Kincaid who is on the show tomorrow? The Fed is to release $20 billion for the world credit crisis tomorrow. Foreclosures up 68% compared to year ago, leading edge of tidal wave.
  • "No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice, and no person who has held the office of President, or acted as President, for more than two years of a term to which some other person was elected President shall be elected to the office of President more than once. But this Article shall not apply to any person holding the office of President when this Article was proposed by Congress, and shall not prevent any person who may be holding the office of President, or acting as President, during the term within which this Article becomes operative from holding the office of President or acting as President during the remainder of such term."
    22nd Amendment, Section 1, February 26 1951.
  • Guest: Bart Jones. Author, “Hugo!”: The Hugo Chavez Story From Mud Hut To Perpetual Revolution. Hugo's been demonized. He's no saint but we need a reality check. Jones lived in Venezuela from 1992 to 2000, mostly working for AP. 2002 coup against Chavez. He was kidnapped. He lost an election and accepted it, there are protests against him, the media criticizes, so he is not a dictator. His giving away of oil.
  • Bumper Music: The Way Life's Meant to Be, ELO.
  • Article: Top Political Talk Show Hosts Dedicate 0.1 Percent Of Their Questions To Global Warming.
    "In his Nobel Prize acceptance speech, Al Gore explained the severity of the climate crisis. “We, the human species, are confronting a planetary emergency — a threat to the survival of our civilization that is gathering ominous and destructive potential,” he declared."
  • Last night Chris Matthews kept asking John Edwards about the war in Iraq, and Edwards kept talking about the invasion.
  • Thom was in Germany for Salem International, the organization he has volunteered for for decades. He travelled to Russia to help start a project there, which he wrote about in "The Prophet's Way". When he was there, they were having elections, and a politician promised everyone who voted for him a liter of vodka and a turkey.
  • At least four top White House lawyers — Harriet Miers, John Bellinger, Alberto Gonzales, and David Addington — “took part in discussions with the” CIA “between 2003 and 2005 about whether to destroy videotapes showing the secret interrogations.” “Some top White House officials” reportedly voiced “vigorous sentiment” in favor of the destruction.

    “Iraqis of all sectarian and ethnic groups believe that the U.S. military invasion is the primary root of the violent differences among them, and see the departure of ‘occupying forces’ as the key to national reconciliation, according to focus groups conducted for the U.S. military last month.”

    Despite “significant security gains” in much of Iraq, nothing has changed within Iraq’s political leadership to guarantee sustainable peace, according to a new Pentagon report. “The Iraqi government has made little headway in improving the delivery of electricity, health care and other essential services.”

    Ousted U.S. attorney Bud Cummins has called on Justice Department communications director Brian Roehrkasse to step down, contending that he “did more than perhaps any other DOJ official to disseminate the avalanche of untruths” in the U.S. attorney scandal.

    Russian President Vladimir Putin has been named Time magazine’s “Person of the Year” for 2007 for “taking a country that was in chaos and bringing it stability.”

    ThinkFast: December 19, 2007.

  • Bumper Music: Goodle, USA, Darrell Scott.
  • Article: Clinton Says Being Married to Hillary ‘Has Never Influenced My Behavior’.
  • Movie: The Evil That Men Do. Torture.
  • Bumper Music: Happy Xmas (War is Over), John Lennon.
  • Article: Dennis Kucinich's 52-year-old brother is dead.
  • Article: The Execution of Pvt. Eddie Slovik.
  • Thom:
    The way that we treat animals as a society is ultimately, I think, a reflection of the way we treat humans and the way that we think of ourselves.

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From Cracking the Code:
"Thom Hartmann ought to be bronzed. His new book sets off from the same high plane as the last and offers explicit tools and how-to advice that will allow you to see, hear, and feel propaganda when it's directed at you and use the same techniques to refute it. His book would make a deaf-mute a better communicator. I want him on my reading table every day, and if you try one of his books, so will you."
Peter Coyote, actor and author of Sleeping Where I Fall
From Cracking the Code:
"No one communicates more thoughtfully or effectively on the radio airwaves than Thom Hartmann. He gets inside the arguments and helps people to think them through—to understand how to respond when they’re talking about public issues with coworkers, neighbors, and friends. This book explores some of the key perspectives behind his approach, teaching us not just how to find the facts, but to talk about what they mean in a way that people will hear."
Paul Loeb, author of Soul of a Citizen
From Cracking the Code:
"In Cracking the Code, Thom Hartmann, America’s most popular, informed, and articulate progressive talk show host and political analyst, tells us what makes humans vulnerable to unscrupulous propagandists and what we can do about it. It is essential reading for all Americans who are fed up with right-wing extremists manipulating our minds and politics to promote agendas contrary to our core values and interests."
David C. Korten, author of The Great Turning: From Empire to Earth Community and When Corporations Rule the World and board chair of YES! magazine