February 22 2008 show notes

  • "Brunch with Bernie" with Senator Bernie Sanders, Independent of Vermont.
  • Bernie and Thom agree with Republican President Dwight Eisenhower.
  • The Democratic debate last night.
  • Prairie View A&M University students marched 7.2 miles to vote.
  • The "oh, damn" test.
  • Guest: P.J. Crowley, Center for American Progress. US embassy in Belgrade attack. Kosovo.
  • Why does Thom say free trade isn't free?

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

Friday 22 February '08 National show

  • "Brunch with Bernie" with Senator Bernie Sanders, Independent of Vermont. He's on the Budget committee. His priorities: resources to solve problems of working families and working class: deal with tax breaks for top 1%, Iraq spending and defense in general, foreign-produced components. Clips of Republican president, 4 star general Dwight Eisenhower. Bernie will put Eisenhower quotes on his site. Military infrastructures have been given away to other countries. Public funding of elections is enormously important. Veteran's affairs. Why is S961 not allowed to floor? World War 2 merchant mariners. It's been a struggle with Republicans, but they did pass the biggest budget for vets. He will look at S961. More nuclear power plants; drought and warm water, having to shut them down. Helen Caldicott, who has been on the show. We don't know how to get rid of waste. Solar, wind. They will have a solar thermal plant in the Mojave desert. Are Sibel Edmonds accusations being taken seriously? John F. Kennedy, June 10, 1963, American University Speech (Pax Americana). The baseline for social security should be poverty level and not below. Work plan for seniors - jobs dried up. Military industrial media complex. What's being done in our name.

    [Bernie]: "I think, especially when you hear a great military leader like Eisenhower talking about the impact of excessive military spending on the weakest and most vulnerable people in our society, on health care and so forth, it really resonates. And when you hear him also talking about the power of the military industrial complex. I mean, I think the vast majority of the people, certainly including me, want to make sure that we have a strong defense, we have to do that, and want to make sure that we are fighting international terrorism, which is a very serious issue,

    in the best possible way that we can. But having said that, that does not necessarily mean that you have to have to spend $515 billion a year on defense; more than half of our discretionary funding.

    And as one of the earlier callers pointed out, there's a whole lot of our defense that we should be looking at that the defense budget does not. For example, to the degree that we remain dependent on mid east oil, that's a defense issue. Having to prop up and work with authoritarian governments in the Middle East is a defense issue. Getting involved in the war in Iraq is a defense issue. If, for example, we could use some of our defense spending to build sustainable energy here in the United States, you know what? That makes us a lot safer country.

    If we could reach out to poor people all over the world and help them cure diseases which are curable, educate their children, deal with their problems, win them over to the United States of America, rather than Osama bin Laden, that's a defense issue which might not only improve the lives of millions of millions of people, but also win us a lot of friends that we don't have right now."

    [Thom]: "Yeah. Barack Obama made that point last night in the debates, and it shocked me, the statistic. He said our total foreign aid to Central and South America is £2 billion a year, which is the amount of money we spend in Iraq in three days."

    [Bernie]: "That's right, and I think I've mentioned, I mean, sometimes, some of the programs that we have with AID and so forth, the Peace Corps and other groups, do tremendous good for pennies, pennies."

    [Thom]: "Yeah, and instead we've got Castro flooding Central and South America with doctors."

    [Bernie]: "Yeah. That's right."

    [Thom]: "I mean, how can you compete? It's just common sense."

  • Clip:
    "Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.

    This world in arms is not spending money alone.

    It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children.

    The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: a modern brick school in more than 30 cities.

    It is two electric power plants, each serving a town of 60,000 population.

    It is two fine, fully equipped hospitals.

    It is some 50 miles of concrete highway.

    We pay for a single fighter plane with a half million bushels of wheat.

    We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people.

    This is, I repeat, is the best way of life to be found on the road the world has been taking.

    This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron.


    Dwight D. Eisenhower, April 16, 1953 "The Chance for Peace" speech (mp3).

  • Clip:
    "In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes."
    Dwight D. Eisenhower, January 17, 1961, farewell radio and television address to the American people, Washington, D.C. (transcript)
  • Clip:
    "As we peer into society's future, we - you and I, and our government - must avoid the impulse to live only for today, plundering, for our own ease and convenience, the precious resources of tomorrow. We cannot mortgage the material assets of our grandchildren without risking the loss also of their political and spiritual heritage. We want democracy to survive for all generations to come, not to become the insolvent phantom of tomorrow.

    "During the long lane of the history yet to be written America knows that this world of ours, ever growing smaller, must avoid becoming a community of dreadful fear and hate, and be, instead, a proud confederation of mutual trust and respect...

    Together we must learn how to compose differences, not with arms, but with intellect and decent purpose...

    May we be ever unswerving in devotion to principle, confident but humble with power, diligent in pursuit of the Nation's great goals.

    To all the peoples of the world, I once more give expression to America's prayerful and continuing aspiration:

    We pray that peoples of all faiths, all races, all nations, may have their great human needs satisfied; that those now denied opportunity shall come to enjoy it to the full; that all who yearn for freedom may experience its spiritual blessings; that those who have freedom will understand, also, its heavy responsibilities; that all who are insensitive to the needs of others will learn charity; that the scourges of poverty, disease and ignorance will be made to disappear from the earth, and that, in the goodness of time, all peoples will come to live together in a peace guaranteed by the binding force of mutual respect and love.


    Dwight D. Eisenhower January 17, 1961, farewell radio and television address to the American people, Washington, D.C. (transcript).

  • Bumper Music: Lovin' the Ride, Healy & Orr.
  • The Democratic debate last night. The low point was when Hillary pulled out her lines of speech when it should have been her own words. Obama did what Thom tries to do, and ask about the larger issue, what are we going to do for the American people? Hillary was booed then. He was cheered much more than she was when she was arrived. Judging by body language, she feels behind. Healing moment at the end, insightful when she said, "I am honored to be here with Barack Obama. I am absolutely honored. And you know, whatever happens, we're going to be fine. You know, we have strong support from our families and our friends. I just hope that we'll be able to say the same thing about the American people, and that's what this election should be about." That was brilliant.
  • Article: Clinton, Obama sharpen words. Democrats spar over plagiarism allegation. It's all about infotainment. We're better than that. But the important part was about differences on healthcare issues, though what they end up will be different - presidents don't usually make laws.
  • Prairie View A&M University students marched 7.2 miles to vote, as there were no early voting booths on their campus (video). Some on YouTube quoted Thom's phrase "activism begins with you, tag you're it".
  • Clip:
    "Now many of our Christians have what I call the goo-goo syndrome. Good government. They want everybody to vote. I don't want everybody to vote. Elections are not won by a majority of people. They never have been from the beginning of our country and they are not now. As a matter of fact, our leverage in the elections quite candidly goes up as the voting populace goes down." Paul Weyrich


  • Even millionaires are crazy to be Republican, because their short policies look good for the rich in the short term, but over the long term they will be a disaster for them too. They are destroying this country.
  • McCain has more lobbyists working for him that anyone.
  • Bumper Music: Anything Goes, Harpers Bizarre.
  • Video: Swift Boating John McCain - or real? .
  • Clip:
    "But it's not fair at this point for you to say, "My friend said X and Y," because we just don't know. But if you would give us your information, we would like to talk to your friend. And then whatever your friend tells us, we'll track it down. We'll do it in a fair and balanced and methodical way. That's how we're going to cover this campaign -- all of them, all of them. So stay on the line, give us your information. If indeed Michelle Obama is angry about something, if she has a history, we would like to know that, and then we can put it into some kind of context so that we can be fair to everybody.

    You know, I have a lot of sympathy for Michelle Obama, for Bill Clinton, for all of these people. Bill Clinton, I have sympathy for him, because they're thrown into a hopper where everybody is waiting for them to make a mistake, so that they can just go and bludgeon them. And, you know, Bill Clinton and I don't agree on a lot of things, and I think I've made that clear over the years, but he's trying to stick up for his wife, and every time the guy turns around, there's another demagogue or another ideologue in his face trying to humiliate him because they're rooting for Obama.

    That's wrong. And I don't want to go on a lynching party against Michelle Obama unless there's evidence, hard facts, that say this is how the woman really feels. If that's how she really feels -- that America is a bad country or a flawed nation, whatever -- then that's legit. We'll track it down.

    O'Reilly: "I don't want to go on a lynching party against Michelle Obama unless there's evidence, hard facts, that say this is how the woman really feels". Lynching is an act of terrorism, not necessarily hanging.
  • Clip:
    "While talking to a radio caller, I said there should be no lynching in the case, that comment off Clarence Thomas saying he was the victim of a high tech lynching (he said that on 60 Minutes, you may remember). I'm sorry if my statement offended anybody. That, of course, was not the intention. Context is everything"."
    Bill O'Reilly Apologizes For Michelle Obama "Lynching" Remark.
  • Article: Tony Snow To Join Bill O’Reilly’s Radio Show.
  • Movie: Devil Came on Horseback about Darfur.
  • Thom:
    "The "oh, damn" test, which is like "how do you access your unconscious?" Well here's how. If you don't know how to make a decision, and you've got 2 choices, a binary decision, take out a coin and just say, OK, head's it's A and tails it's B", you know. "Head's it's Clinton and tails it's Obama" in this case. You flip the coin, slap it on your hand, you don't know what it's going to say, right?You take your hand off and when you look and you see, "oh it's heads" or "oh it's tails", an immediate thought will flash through your mind like, "Oh great!" or "Oh damn!" Then you know how you really feel."
  • FBI whistle blower Sibel Edmonds.
  • Bumper Music: One Original Thing, Cheyenne Kimball.
  • Guest: P.J. Crowley, Senior Fellow and Director of Homeland Security at the Center for American Progress.
    "During the Clinton administration, Crowley was Special Assistant to the President of the United States for National Security Affairs, serving as Senior Director of Public Affairs for the National Security Council. Prior to that, he was Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs."
    Yesterday's attack on the US embassy in Belgrade. Kosovo has been an issue for more than 20 years. Slobodan Milosevic. Martti Ahtisaari. Ambassador Frank Wisner, US Representative to the Kosovo Status Talks. Kosovo independence was the only viable option left; the Serbs are the big losers. 17 EU countries have recognized Kosovo's independence, but some have called it illegal. Should Bush have rushed to recognize independence? Bill Clinton.
  • Quote:"Before he enter on the Execution of his Office, he shall take the following Oath or Affirmation:--"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States"." Article 2, Section 1, paragraph 8 of the Constitution of the United States.
  • Bumper Music: Tom Cruise Scares Me, David Ippolito. (video)
  • Bumper Music: You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch, Dr. Seuss, Thurl Ravenscroft.
  • Pardons are the only kingly power, and they cannot be undone.
  • Article: US misled London on rendition flights.
  • Article: Police concerned about order to stop weapons screening at Obama rally.
  • Clip:
    "Well, when the President does it, that means that it is not illegal"
    Richard Nixon in a televised interview with David Frost (19 May 1977).
  • From the chat room: [ss-409] Here's a thought -- The Cold War ended this week -- Castro won.
  • Bumper Music: What Do Ya Think About That, Montgomery Gentry.
  • How bad our standing in the world is.
  • Why does Thom say free trade isn't free? Thom:
    There's nothing free about it. Free trade is, all of trade is regulated, period. I mean, there's all kinds of regulations that have to do with trade; rules that have to do with what can be traded and what's safe and what's not safe and what's legal to import and what's illegal to import and all these kinds of things. And typically most countries, for example China just increased by 10% their tariff on the import into China of automobiles that have high technology in them. If you want to import a simple car, fine, but if you want to import a fancy car, they want to develop their own fancy car industry in China.

    And so they're doing, China is doing what we're not doing. There's a whole bunch of countries around the world; the majority of them; Japan, Korea - South Korea, that have very, very restrictive import trade policies but we don't. We just say, "Fine! You know, if an American company wants to go overseas and make something and then sell it back here, you know, that's fine". That's not free trade. That's not even fair trade. That's corporate outsourcing of labor. It's arbitrage of labor. We have more than 50% of all international trade is done within individual companies.

    In other words, an American company sets up a, closes down a factory in Detroit and opens the same identical factory in ShenZhen, China and then ships their own products to themselves in the United States and sells it on the United States. More than 50% of all international trade takes that form. That's not trade either. That's the outsourcing of labor.

  • Bumper Music: What a Wonderful World, Louis Armstrong. Thanks.
  • Obama taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School.

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