January 22 2008 show notes

  • Should the Republican Party reinvent itself as the party of Bill Clinton?
  • Guest: David Frum. Author, "Comeback: Conservatism That Can Win Again".
  • The latest Democratic presidential debate.
  • Are we poised on the edge of a great depression?
  • Guest: Kevin Gray, civil rights organizer in South Carolina and former president of the state ACLU.
  • Guest: Geoffrey Kleinman, DVD talk, live from The Sundance Film Festival.

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

Tuesday 22 January '08 National show

  • Should the Republican Party reinvent itself as the party of Bill Clinton?
  • Guest: David Frum. Author, "Comeback: Conservatism That Can Win Again". A former speech writer for George W. Bush, he invented the phrase "axis of evil". He has the stars the right way up on his book cover. He doesn't know why the GOP has them upside down.

    Book description: "Not in a generation has conservatism been in as much trouble as it is at the end of the Bush years. A majority of Americans say the country is “on the wrong track.” Voters prefer Democrats over Republicans on almost every issue, including taxes. The married, the middle-class, the native-born are dwindling as a share of the population, while Democratic blocs are rising. A generation of young people has turned its back on the Republican party.

    Too many conservatives and Republicans have shut their eyes to negative trends. David Frum offers answers.

    Frum says that the ideas that won elections for conservatives in the 1980s have done their job. Republicans can no longer win elections on taxes, guns, and promises to restore traditional values. It’s time now for a new approach, including:

    A conservative commitment to make private-sector health insurance available to every American
    Lower taxes on savings and investment financed by higher taxes on energy and pollution
    Federal policies to encourage larger families
    Major reductions in unskilled immigration
    A genuinely compassionate conservatism, including a conservative campaign for prison reform and government action against the public health disaster of obesity
    A new conservative environmentalism that promotes nuclear power in place of coal and oil
    Higher ethical standards inside the conservative movement and the Republican party
    A renewed commitment to expand and rebuild the armed forces of the United States—to crush terrorism—and get ready for the coming challenge from China"

    "After the loss of Congress in '94, Bill Clinton swung his party sharply to the right, endorsed free trade, balanced budgets, welfare reform, signed into law a big cut in capital tax gains rate, abandoned any talk of major new social programs. After his narrow win in 2000, George W. Bush swung his party equally sharp to the left; federal entitlement programs, federal education spending boosted, social welfare foreign aid".

    Is he suggesting that the Republican Party become the Democratic Party of Bill Clinton? Not exactly. What Bill Clinton did right. He was so narrowly focussed on his personal survival; there was no strategic goal or vision and he didn't bring his party with him. Book: An End to Evil: How to Win the War on Terror, David Frum and Richard Perle. The Republican Party is the party of Empire? Compassionate, greener Republican Party. He focuses on governing, not winning elections. The party should be more empirical.

  • Changes in the Republican party. Neocons, theocons, corporate cons are fighting for the control of the party. The Democratic Party, corporatists. Martin Luther King. New Deal. Book: Rights of Man, Thomas Paine.
  • Clip: "Now, I want to say something very important to you about this issue of morality in government. ... I think it is just as immoral for the Congress to enact special tax favors into law as it is for a tax official to connive in a crooked tax return. It is just as immoral to use the lawmaking power of: the Government to enrich the few at the expense of the many, as it is to steal money from the public treasury. That is stealing money from the public treasury. ... Legislation that favored the greed of monopoly and the trickery of Wall Street was a form of corruption that did the country four times as much harm as Teapot Dome ever did. ... I don't think the "black is white" campaign of the Republican Party is going to succeed. I think the voters are going to see through this holier-than-thou disguise that our Republican friends are putting on. All the tricks of Republican propaganda cannot make the people forget that the Democratic Party has been working for their welfare."
    Harry S Truman, March 29, 1952 "Jefferson-Jackson Day Dinner" speech (mp3 ftp)
  • Bumper Music: Business As Usual, Eagles.
  • Bumper Music: The Mail Must Go Through, Larry Groce & The Disneyland Children's Sing Along Chorus (clip).
  • Clip: "Private selfish interests are always trying to corrupt the Government in this way. Powerful financial groups are always trying to get favors for themselves.

    Now, the Democratic administration has been fighting against these efforts to corrupt the powers of Government. We haven't always won, but we have never surrendered, and we never will.

    for all these years, we have been fighting to use our natural resources for the benefit of the public, to develop our forests and our public oil reserves and our water power for the benefit of all, to raise the incomes of all our citizens, to protect the farmer and the worker against the power of monopoly.

    And where have the Republicans been in this fight for morality in Government? Do they come out and vote with us to keep the special interests from robbing the public? Not at all. Most of them are on the other side.

    It's the same thing when you come to the question of the conduct of Government officials. The Republicans make a great whoop and holier about the honesty of Federal employees, but they are usually the first to show up in a Government office asking for special favors for private interests, and in raising Cain if they don't get them. These Republican gentlemen can't have it both ways--they can't be for morality on Tuesday and Thursday, and then be for special privileges for their clients on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

    Harry S Truman, March 29, 1952 "Jefferson-Jackson Day Dinner" speech (mp3 ftp)
  • Clip:
    "I've always felt the nine most terrifying words in the English language are, 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help'." Ronald W. Reagan.
  • Clip:
    "Roosevelt is dead, his policies may live on, but we're in the process of doing something about that as well." Rush Limbaugh.
  • The New Deal is being rolled back.
  • If private health care companies are eliminated, it would lead to a vitalization of the economy because fewer jobs would be sent abroad because of employer's health care costs. People are staying in jobs they hate because of preexisting conditions; it is a form of serfdom. Historically masterless men were worse off than serfs, and people fear that.
  • Bumper Music: Calling America, ELO.
  • The Democratic debate. The loss of the American dream. The squabbling shows they could defend themselves against the Republicans.
  • Book: "The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism", Naomi Klein.
  • Are we poised on the edge of a great depression?
  • What's going on with the Democratic Party, America? Why did the Feds have to drop rates three quarters of a percent? A few weeks ago they said it was unthinkable as it would hit the dollar.
  • Clips:
    [Barack Obama]: "While I was working on those streets watching those folks see their jobs shift overseas, you were a corporate lawyer sitting on the board at Wal-Mart."

    [Hillary Clinton]: "I was fighting against those ideas when you were practicing law and representing your contributor, Resco, in his slum landlord business in inner city Chicago."

    [Hillary Clinton]: "Senator Obama, it is very difficult having a straight-up debate with you, because you never take responsibility for any vote, and that has been a pattern."

    [Barack Obama]: "These are the kinds of political games that we are accustomed to."

    [John Edwards]: "I also want to know on behalf of voters here in South Carolina, this kind of squabbling, how many children is this going to get health care?"
    CNN Democratic presidential debate.

  • Since George Bush became president, over 5 million people have dropped into poverty. Over 7 million people have lost their health insurance. Median average household American income, wage earners income, has dropped by nearly $1,300. 3 million manufacturing jobs have left the United States. 3 million American workers have lost their pensions. Home foreclosures are through the roof. The personal savings rate has gone to a negative. The real earnings of college graduates have gone down about 5%. When Reagan came into office they could expect to make about three times as much as a high school graduate; now it's only twice as much. Entry level wages for male and female high school graduates have fallen over 3%. Wages and salaries are now the lowest share of Gross Domestic Product since 1929. Several of the other statistics are the highest or lowest since the Great Republican Depression. Americans are surviving on debt. In 1987, when Reagan had Alzheimer's, the mortgage debt in the US was $1.8 trillion, now over 8. Consumer debt, mostly credit cards, went from $2.7 trillion to 11. National debt. Tench Cox, tariffs. Bring manufacturing back. The US has gone from the largest exporter to the largest importer.
  • Bumper Music: How Far We've Come, Matchbox 20.
  • Tariffs. Ross Perot was right. Statistics from Economy in Crisis. Recent large acquisitions of American companies by foreign companies.
  • They are using monetary policy - the value of money - to influence the flow of money through our economy. It won't work.
  • More than 50% of trade is within a company. "Roger and Me" by Michael Moore about GM moving production to Mexico.
  • Social Security automatically increases with the cost of living, so they have to calculate it in a way that it does not go up, so it excludes food, oil.
  • Bumper Music: Have a Nice Day Bon Jovi.
  • [Helen Thomas]: "On Saturday, I read in the Post that Canadians have a training manual which lists the United States as a torture nation."

    [Dana Perino]: "Actually, I think that article said that they were -- I think that article said that Canada had just changed their manual and had removed the United States from the list. "

    [Helen Thomas]: "-- they said they were not talking about policy, but it's in the manual."

    [Dana Perino]: "But they had just revised their manual. That's what that article was about."

    [Helen Thomas]: "Because of our pressure?"

    [Dana Perino]: "Well, I think -- I'm sure we had discussions with them."

    [Helen Thomas]: "Well, what does the President think of that? "

    [Dana Perino]: "Well, the President thinks that it's a matter that's been solved because the Canadians changed their manual."
    Press Briefing by Dana Perino, January 22, 2008.

  • Article: Executive Order: Establishing the President's Advisory Council on Financial Literacy, January 22, 2008.
  • Ellen Ratner of Talk Radio News. She was at the Senate. Roe v Wade protest, more this year than ever before. The real Jane Roe did a press conference this morning with Ron Paul, they both want to overturn it. Paul's HB1095 to criminalize abortion. Helen Thomas asked the question of the day, about the Canadian manual that listed the USA as a torture nation. The Supreme Court would not take the Enron investors suit, saying they could only sue the company, and the rest is up to the FCC - and the last liberal left. Clinton press briefing at 9am, global crisis, financial markets working group, mortgage crisis. Thom said Obama came looking for a fight - that's not how Ellen saw it. Bill Clinton. 10,000 earmarks in omnibus, the president is going to do an exec order? He's just done one on financial literacy.
  • Guest: Kevin Gray, civil rights organizer in South Carolina and former president of the state ACLU. Playing the Race Game. Author of "Waiting for Lightning to Strike: The Fundamentals of Black Politics" and his forthcoming book, "The Decline of Black Politics: From Malcolm X to Barack Obama." John Edwards won last night. They let him look like a statesman. He expects the Republicans to play the race card against Obama. Republicans are tough. He ran for governor as a protest against Obama's co-chair who brought in the lottery which takes money from poor black people. Obama should focus on his base in the primaries, not on the election. He hopes Edwards will make it through South Carolina. If you deal with a bank, you pay more, and your credit rating is effected and makes everything else go up.
  • Bumper Music: Some Days You Gotta Dance, Keith Urban.
  • Thom thinks Edwards is the best chance to get the Democratic party back. He also respects the others except Gravel. He thinks the US is at the point where it is possible for an African American or woman to be elected.
  • Letter: Martin Luther King, III Praises Edwards For Leading The Fight For Economic Justice In America, January 20, 2008.

    "Dear Senator Edwards:

    It was good meeting with you yesterday and discussing my father's legacy. On the day when the nation will honor my father, I wanted to follow up with a personal note.

    There has been, and will continue to be, a lot of back and forth in the political arena over my father's legacy. It is a commentary on the breadth and depth of his impact that so many people want to claim his legacy. I am concerned that we do not blur the lines and obscure the truth about what he stood for: speaking up for justice for those who have no voice.

    I appreciate that on the major issues of health care, the environment, and the economy, you have framed the issues for what they are - a struggle for justice. And, you have almost single-handedly made poverty an issue in this election.

    You know as well as anyone that the 37 million people living in poverty have no voice in our system. They don't have lobbyists in Washington and they don't get to go to lunch with members of Congress. Speaking up for them is not politically convenient. But, it is the right thing to do.

    I am disturbed by how little attention the topic of economic justice has received during this campaign. I want to challenge all candidates to follow your lead, and speak up loudly and forcefully on the issue of economic justice in America.

    From our conversation yesterday, I know this is personal for you. I know you know what it means to come from nothing. I know you know what it means to get the opportunities you need to build a better life. And, I know you know that injustice is alive and well in America, because millions of people will never get the same opportunities you had.

    I believe that now, more than ever, we need a leader who wakes up every morning with the knowledge of that injustice in the forefront of their minds, and who knows that when we commit ourselves to a cause as a nation, we can make major strides in our own lifetimes. My father was not driven by an illusory vision of a perfect society. He was driven by the certain knowledge that when people of good faith and strong principles commit to making things better, we can change hearts, we can change minds, and we can change lives.

    So, I urge you: keep going. Ignore the pundits, who think this is a horserace, not a fight for justice. My dad was a fighter. As a friend and a believer in my father's words that injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere, I say to you: keep going. Keep fighting. My father would be proud.


    Martin L. King, III"

  • Bumper Music: America, Jewel.
  • Article: Fred Thompson quits presidential race.
  • One world, one people, one planet. Why do we care where the jobs are? There are 6 billion on the planet, there were about 1 billion in 1800, which was more is practical. 3-4 billion live on $2 a day. If we distributed the money, everyone would be in terrible poverty. Why any more restrictions dealing with a company just over border rather than on this side?
  • Bumper Music: Let Me Take You There, Plain White Ts.
  • Book: An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, Adam Smith, 1776.
  • Guest: Geoffrey Kleinman, DVD talk, live from The Sundance Film Festival. Oscar nominations. "Where in the world is Osama bin Laden" Lot of films about the economy. IO USA, Sugar (immigrants). Indies are made quicker so show trends. "View from the Bridge" - stories from Kosovo. "Incendiary" - effect of terrorism blast. He will write more at kleinman.com.

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