February 12 2008 show notes
- Have we pimped out the news? Do you want news or entertainment?
- Guest: Dinesh D'Souza, "The Enemy At Home: The Cultural Left And Its Responsibility For 9/11".
- Dodd's amendment to strip retroactive immunity from telecom companies fell 31-67.
- Guest: Congressman Charles Rangel. The economic stimulus package.
- Guest: Caroline Fredrickson, Director of the Washington Legislative Office, ACLU. The Protect America Act.
Topics, guests, upcoming events, quotes, links to articles, audio clips, books & bumper music.
- Senate is voting on amendments to the Protect America Act which include immunity for the Telecom companies. This legislation is criminal, shifting the decision from the judiciary (as per the constitution) to the executive branch. 6 years not 6 months. Some are trying to poison pill it or water it down. It should be ditched.
- Chapter: What Sort Of Despotism Democratic Nations Have To Fear, Alexis de Tocqueville.
"I think that men living in aristocracies may, strictly speaking, do without the liberty of the press: but such is not the case with those who live in democratic countries. To protect their personal independence I trust not to great political assemblies, to parliamentary privilege, or to the assertion of popular sovereignty. All these things may, to a certain extent, be reconciled with personal servitude – but that servitude cannot be complete if the press is free: the press is the chiefest democratic instrument of freedom."
- There is a lot of talk about MSNBC anchor David Schuster saying last week that Chelsea Clinton seemed to be "pimped out" by Hillary's presidential campaign. To Thom, the big issue is that Schuster is pimping out himself. He's a reporter who was asked to be a commentator. Major "Have we pimped out the news? Do you want news or entertainment?" rant. Where did the news go? The new generation is getting its news from comedy shows such as the Daily Show and Stephen Colbert. Tucker Carlson said that there's something about Hillary Clinton that "there's just something about her that feels castrating, overbearing and scary. I've often said when she comes on television, I involuntarily cross my legs." But he's a commentator, so while disgusting, it was not news. Infotainment. Why are there ads for F-14s, oil rigs, coal plants? Alexis de Tocqueville quote. The press is not free, owned by only a few corporations. Ben Bagdikian.
- Bumper Music: Stuck in the Middle With You, Stealers Wheel.
- Article: Military tribunals are not the way.
- Article: Max Boot: McCain Will Scare The Bejeezus Out Of Our Enemies.
"Ironically, John McCain's bellicose aura could allow us to achieve more of our objectives peacefully because other countries would be more afraid to mess with him than with most other potential occupants of the Oval Office -- or the current one."
- Bumper Music: Hello Trouble (Come On In), Buck Owens.
- Bumper Music: Life Is A Highway, Tom Cochrane.
- Bumper Music: Crazy, Gnarls Barkley.
- Article: Latest Anti-Pot Quack Science: 'Marijuana Makes Your Teeth Fall Out'.
- Guest: Dinesh D'Souza, author of "The Enemy At Home: The Cultural Left And Its Responsibility For 9/11". His book introduction says:
In this book I make a claim that will seem startling at the outset. The cultural left in this country (such people as Hillary Clinton, Ted Kennedy, Nancy Pelosi, Barbara Boxer, George Soros, Michael Moore, Bill Moyers, and Noam Chomsky) is responsible for causing 9/11. The term “cultural left” does not refer to the Democratic Party. Nor does it refer to all liberals. It refers to the left wing of the Democratic Party—admittedly the most energetic group among Democrats, and the main source of the party’s ideas. The cultural left also includes a few Republicans, notably those who adopt a left-wing stance on foreign policy and social issues. Moreover, the cultural left includes organizations such as the American Civil Liberties Union, the National Organization for Women, People for the American Way, Planned Parenthood, Human Rights Watch, and moveon.org.
In faulting the cultural left, I am not making the absurd accusation that this group blew up the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. I am saying that the cultural left and its allies in Congress, the media, Hollywood, the nonprofit sector and the universities are the primary cause of the volcano of anger toward America that is erupting from the Islamic world. The Muslims who carried out the 9/11 attacks were the product of this visceral rage—some of it based on legitimate concerns, some of it based on wrongful prejudice—but all of it fueled and encouraged by the cultural left. Thus without the cultural left, 9/11 would not have happened.
What we're seeing here is a battle between the 11th century and the 21st century. Frankly, we're seeing it played out in Christianity as well as Islam. When Tim McVeigh blew up the Oklahoma City federal building he was operating out of that same 11th century mind view that violence is the way to bring about social change. And he represents a very small and very marginalized bunch of Christianity or part of Christianity in the United States and around the world and it became even more marginalized because the response to it by Bill Clinton was to say, "this guy is nuts, this guy's a criminal, we're going to put him in jail".
George Bush, on the other hand, when a guy who was equally nutty, equally criminal and frankly equally marginalized, you know, represented a very, very small, less than 1% perspective in Islam, Osama bin Laden presumably attacked us on 9/11. When he did, George Bush, instead of saying, "this guy is nuts, this guy is a criminal", and when Afghanistan said "we'll hand him over to you for trial", Bush said, "no thank you" and started dropping bombs on them instead of choosing the rule of law and marginalizing him and bringing all of Islam, or a larger portion of Islam into the embrace of the modern world. Bush instead declared a crusade and started dropping bombs on Muslims and radicalized Islam. I would say that not only was the cultural left not responsible for 9/11, but that the conservative right has turned 9/11 into just a horror show for the entire world and empowered the radicals within Islam.
- Bumper Music: Tainted Love, Soft Cell.
- Bernie Sanders and 30 Democrats voted to strip immunity for phone companies. Dodd's amendment to strip retroactive immunity fell 31-67. (roll call).
- Bumper Music: Play Something Country, Brooks & Dunn.
- Ellen Ratner of Talk Radio News. Thom needs a tent for the trip to Sudan. Why did some Democrats vote for immunity? The amendment to prevent it failed 67-31. Then there was a surveillance oversight amendment and that went down. Immunity's not in the House bill, so what will happen in conference? Today Chesapeake or Potomac primaries. McCain will take them all, as will Obama. Today Hillary went to class on TV, whereas Bill did radio.
- Guest: Congressman Charles Rangel of New York, chairman of the House Ways and Means committee, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and the Dean of he New York State Congressional delegation. The economy and stimulus package. When Bush finally told them the economy needed a shot in the arm, he sent his number one sales person Paulson and said they needed it fast. It had to be timely, targeted, and temporary. How it progressed and changed. The Democrats has been meeting economists but were fearful of mentioning the word recession for fear of coasting one along. They don't yet know when he will sign it. Are Republicans putting their fingers in the dyke of recession, hoping to keep it going until after the election? They are not that sophisticated, they are in complete disarray. Bush had the gall to include the extension of his $2 trillion tax cut in the stimulus package. Structural issues. There is no way for anything to be accomplished this year, Senate is effectively controlled by Republicans. Thom asked why no there was no nuclear option, real filibuster? He said Thom was trying him to get into political problems. The Senate has a camaraderie. What happens to infrastructure meanwhile? China buying institutions. Education. Health care. The House is being courageous, then the "other side" has no contest. It's painful to do the right things. People don't accept perpetual war.
- Bumper Music: Amazing, Aerosmith.
[Clive Coleman, BBC]: "Tell me about the issue of torture. We know that cruel and unusual punishment is prohibited under the 8th amendment. Does that mean the issue, if it comes up before the court, it’s a ‘no-brainer’?"
[Justice Scalia]: "Well, a lot of people think it is, but I find that extraordinary. To begin with, the constitution refers to cruel and unusual punishment, it is referring to punishment on indefinitely..."
Scalia in uncompromising form.
- Article: Bloomberg: global warming as big a threat as terrorism.
"You've got to kill the terrorists before the killing stops and I am for the President — chase them all over the world, if it takes ten years, blow them all away in the name of the Lord."
Jerry Falwell, CNN Late Edition, 24 October 2004.
- Pete called Conyers' office today, an spoke to a staffer for 20 minutes. They are not pursuing impeachment because Conyers feels it would tie up the entire office and would prevent further investigations, so it is better to go after criminal prosecutions. The death of Lantos postponed a meeting abut Harriet Miers' not testifying.
- Jamail called. Sunni versus Shia. In spite of differences they have had many hundreds of years of peace. Large parts of Baghdad were mixed.
- Guest: Caroline Fredrickson, Director of the Washington Legislative Office, ACLU. The Protect Bush and his friends Act, or "Protect America Act". The Senate is rushing to put its rubber stamp on warrantless wiretapping and giving immunity to telecom companies.