January 17 2008 show notes

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

Thursday 17 January '08 National show

  • Laura Flanders, host of RadioNation, was guest host today.
  • What is the role of 'we the people' in our government?
  • Quote:
    "Let us not be afraid to help each other—let us never forget that government is ourselves and not an alien power over us. The ultimate rulers of our democracy are not a President and Senators and Congressmen and Government officials but the voters of this country."
    Franklin D. Roosevelt, Address at Marietta, Ohio. July 8th, 1938.
  • Mudslinging, money, media manipulation galore.
  • What kind of a leader do we want in this country?
  • Her trip to Colorado Springs
  • Guest: Bob Fulkerson, State Director, Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada (PLAN).
  • Guest: Craig Holman, Public Citizen's whitehouseforsale.org. Bundlers, lobbyist bundlers.
    "Bundling describes the activity of fundraisers who pool a large number of campaign contributions from political action committees (PACs) and individuals. Bundlers, who are often corporate CEOs, lobbyists, hedge fund managers or independently wealthy people, are able to funnel far more money to campaigns than they could personally give under campaign finance laws.

    While there are disclosure requirements for bundling, they only go into effect when a bundler personally hands over checks. Most campaigns get around the disclosure provision by not having the bundler ever touch the checks. Mandatory disclosure of all bundled contributions – regardless of whether the bundler touches them – is the very least we can do to address this new way to evade disclosure laws. Disclosure of bundling activity could be achieved either through a new law from Congress or by an improvement in FEC regulations.

    Bundlers play an enormous role in determining the success of political campaigns and are apt to receive preferential treatment if their candidate wins. Bundlers who direct money to presidential candidates tend to be first in line for plum ambassador positions and other political appointments. Industry titans and lobbyists are more likely to receive preferential treatment from elected officials if they raised large amounts of money for them.

    "

    It's a funding practice that brought the death knell to the public financing system which places limits on contributions. Obama has 359 bundlers, Clinton 322, Edwards 665 bundlers but less money. If you are making sure the candidates know the money is coming in due to you, it means you want something. A quarter of Bush's bundlers got ambassadorships or government posts. Some got deregulation. Obama brought in a law concerning lobbyists, but they are only 10% of bundlers. We need public campaign finance, a cap. Feingold and Collins bill. Candidates can do better opting out and bundling. Dennis Kucinich and Mike Gravel are not bundling.

  • Is the percentage of women in legislative office, related to the fate of Hillary? New Hampshire has the second highest percentage. Nevada has a lot. What difference do women make?
  • Guest: Dina Titus, Nevada Senate Minority Leader (D-NV). There are lots of new people there, but still a glass ceiling. Caucus, sites.
  • Ellen Ratner of Talk Radio News. We are not having a recession, we are having a "softening of the economy". Ben Bernanke: "Recently, incoming information has suggested that the baseline outlook for real activity in 2008 has worsened and that the downside risks to growth have become more pronounced. In particular, a number of factors, including continuing increases in energy prices, lower equity prices, and softening home values, seem likely to weigh on consumer spending as we move into 2008." President Bush is having a conference call today with Nancy Pelosi and the Democratic and Republican leaderships to see what kind of stimulus package they need. The Republicans wanted to make the tax cuts permanent, but the Democrats not.

    Bernanke: "A number of analysts have raised the possibility that fiscal policy actions might usefully complement monetary policy in supporting economic growth over the next year or so. I agree that fiscal action could be helpful in principle, as fiscal and monetary stimulus together may provide broader support for the economy than monetary policy actions alone. But the design and implementation of the fiscal program are critically important. A fiscal initiative at this juncture could prove quite counterproductive, if (for example) it provided economic stimulus at the wrong time or compromised fiscal discipline in the longer term."

    Leahy Endorses Obama, Likens Him To Bobby Kennedy. The teachers union and the Clinton Campaign say they don't want there to be special areas of caucuses. But there are caucuses in or near casinos for casino workers and restaurateurs, and the casino workers union just endorsed Obama. NEA suit. Obama needs to move, and needs to be pushed in the direction we want.

    The Pentagon is moving backwards on what the Secretary said yesterday about NATO's ability to fight in Afghanistan. The General in charge of the transition command testified before the House Armed Services this morning, and said that the Iraqis are going to give about 80,000 soldiers but won;t be ready to stand alone. The president said that we're moving too slowly in Darfur. She's going there in March with Thom to see. The UK gave a briefing on Kenya, there are almost half a million displaced people.

  • Guest: Sheila Leslie, Majority Whip, Nevada assembly.

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From Screwed:
"I think many of us recognize that for all but the wealthiest, life in America is getting increasingly hard. Screwed explores why, showing how this is no accidental process, but rather the product of conscious political choices, choices we can change with enough courage and commitment. Like all of Thom’s great work, it helps show us the way forward."
Paul Loeb, author of Soul of a Citizen and The Impossible Will Take a Little While
From Screwed:
"Once again, Thom Hartmann hits the bull’s eye with a much needed exposé of the so-called ‘free market.’ Anyone concerned about the future of our nation needs to read Screwed now."
Michael Toms, Founding President, New Dimensions World Broadcasting Network and author of A Time For Choices: Deep Dialogues for Deep Democracy
From Unequal Protection, 2nd Edition:
"If you wonder why and when giant corporations got the power to reign supreme over us, here’s the story."
Jim Hightower, national radio commentator and author of Swim Against the Current