January 30 2008 show notes
- John Edwards suspended his campaign.
- Bush's Iraq signing statment.
- The American economy, recession.
- Guest: Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ), endorsing Hillary Clinton.
- Guest: Jennifer Palmieri, Center for American Progress. Edwards campaign.
- Guest: David Bender who will co-anchor Air America's Super Tuesday coverage.
- Why people should not vote for Edwards now.
Topics, guests, upcoming events, quotes, links to articles, audio clips, books & bumper music.
- Last night John McCain won Florida, although Romney outspent him 5 to 1, so he's a very powerful candidate. Edwards will be announcing that he is leaving the campaign race. People are disappointed. Edwards was the most progressive, best. There is speculation as to why.
- "Claudius the God" blogged, "A salute to Edwards":
"I suspect Edwards withdrew because he realized how much damage a brokered convention might do to the Democrats. I'm supporting Obama and think his chances are marginally better, actually, if Edwards had stayed in. For the Democrats to have the strongest chance of winning in November, though, they need a nominee who could say that he or she received the majority of the votes cast in the primaries. Edwards, I think, understood that. We've reached the point where the supporters of the two other candidates would not accept a result which was based on horse trading or shenanigans. Therefore this is an act of true statesmanship. Edwards supporters can feel very proud of him today. So do I."
- Super Tuesday next week.
- Article: Super Tuesday: 'It's the economy, stupid'. Primary states lost 1.5 million manufacturing jobs under Bush. Jerome R. Corsi.
"Republicans who have opposed unions for decades don't want to talk about outsourcing as a problem, because they are afraid the unions would come back if the jobs came back, and the Republicans are happy to see Democrats denied campaign contributions that would be coming out of union dues", Kerri Houston, senior analyst at Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM).
- Romney and his people are happy about outsourcing and concerned about manufacturing coming back; he made his money pumping and dumping.
- What's the impact of John Edwards pulling out? He seems unlikely to make an endorsement before Super Tuesday. Will his supporters go for Obama or Hillary? Because they don't know much about him, people are projecting their hopes or fears onto Obama. He needs to talk not just about vision, for the future, but specific issues, and define himself. Hillary has a progressive voting record and is more likely to be able to beat John McCain. Democrats should beware the circular firing squad.
- Article: State of Union Came With a Signing Statement.
- Bumper Music: My, Oh My, The Wreckers.
"In signing the DOD authorization bill into law, the President declared his right to ignore several important provisions, including the establishment of an important special commission to review wartime contracting. This provision was an initiative of the Senate Democratic freshmen class, led ably by Senators Webb and McCaskill. The President also declared his right to ignore a provision prohibiting funding for U.S. military bases or installations in Iraq that facilitate the “permanent stationing” of U.S. troops in Iraq. Let me translate that into plain language: this provision sought to prevent the United States from establishing permanent bases in Iraq.
Every time a senior Administration official is asked about permanent U.S. military bases in Iraq, they contend that it is not their intention to construct such facilities. Yet this signing statement issued by the President yesterday is the clearest signal yet that the Administration wants to hold this option in reserve. Mr. President, that is exactly the wrong signal to send, both to the Iraqi government and its neighbors in the region. Permanent U.S. military bases gives a blank check to an Iraqi government that has shown no evidence it is ready to step up and accept its responsibility to take the training wheels off and demonstrate real leadership and governance for the Iraqi people. Permanent U.S. military bases feeds the propaganda of our enemies, who argue that the U.S. invasion in 2003 was carried out only to secure access to Iraq’s oil and establish a strategic beachhead for the U.S. military in the region. Permanent U.S. military bases means that U.S. troops will be in Iraq for years to come, ensuring that the great strain on the U.S. military we see today will continue indefinitely.
Mr. President, we have a lot on our plate this year: injecting a badly needed boost for our economy, getting a handle on the subprime mortgage mess, and ensuring that our nation’s kids receive the health insurance they deserve. But the war in Iraq continues to be the central foreign policy challenge facing the President and the nation. When this President departs office after eight years, he should not — should not — commit our soldiers and our nation to ten more years, if not longer, and hundreds of billions of dollars more spent on the war in Iraq."
Casey blasts Bush’s Iraq signing statement..
- This is the boy king declaring he can ignore the law. Impeach. UNITED STATES v. NIXON.
- Article: Election 2008: McCain vs. Clinton and Obama: McCain Leads Obama by Six, Clinton by Eight.
- Thom's back on the air on Missoula, MT and Columbus, OH, with more affiliates on the way.
- Bumper Music: Send It, ELO.
- Edwards dropping out is a significant change. Thom thinks he would be good Attorney General, rather than Vice President.
- Article: Corporate America braced for recession.
- Article: Barroso tells EU leaders to avoid protectionism.
- Article: IMF slashes forecast for US growth to 1.5%.
- Article: Bleak snapshot shows 7.7% fall in US house prices.
- Article: Economy nearly stalled in 4th quarter.
- 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.
- Article: One Bush Left Behind.
- Article: Economists rate chance of recession as a 'coin flip'.
"Roosevelt is dead, his policies may live on, but we're in the process of doing something about that as well." Rush Limbaugh.
- Those policies included unemployment insurance, the 5 day work week, the right to unionize, social security, a minimum wage, rural electrification, rural telephone service, a national road system, he amped up the national parks which were put in place by his distant cousin Teddy.
- Darwinian economics rant. Survival of the fittest. Ricardo. Destutt de Tracy
- Articles: Ricardo's "On labor" 1814, "On profits" 1816.
- Bumper Music: Another Brick in The Wall, Pink Floyd.
- The pluses and minuses of Hillary and Obama.
- John Edwards was giving a speech saying he got commitments from Hillary and Obama to put the ending of poverty in America as central to their campaigns, and their presidency should they be elected. And he would continue the fight.
- Guest: Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ). He's a superdelegate. He's endorsing Hillary Clinton. He thinks Edwards supporters are naturally Hillary Clinton supporters; they are mostly blue collar. Economy and health care are focal points of her campaign.
- Thom said it's not who is the president, it's we the people, that is the great hope.
- Bumper Music: Waiting On The World To Change, John Mayer.
"And I want to say a personal word to those I've seen literally in the last few days – those I saw in Oklahoma yesterday, in Missouri, last night in Minnesota – who came to me and said don't forget us. Speak for us. We need your voice. I want you to know that you almost changed my mind, because I hear your voice, I feel you, and your cause is our cause. Your country needs you – every single one of you.
All of you who have been involved in this campaign and this movement for change and this cause, we need you. It is in our hour of need that your country needs you. Don't turn away, because we have not just a city of New Orleans to rebuild. We have an American house to rebuild.
This work goes on. It goes on right here in Musicians' Village. There are homes to build here, and in neighborhoods all along the Gulf. The work goes on for the students in crumbling schools just yearning for a chance to get ahead. It goes on for day care workers, for steel workers risking their lives in cities all across this country. And the work goes on for two hundred thousand men and women who wore the uniform of the United States of America, proud veterans, who go to sleep every night under bridges, or in shelters, or on grates, just as the people we saw on the way here today. Their cause is our cause.
Their struggle is our struggle. Their dreams are our dreams.
Do not turn away from these great struggles before us. Do not give up on the causes that we have fought for. Do not walk away from what's possible, because it's time for all of us, all of us together, to make the two Americas one.
Thank you. God bless you, and let's go to work. Thank you all very much."
- Ellen Ratner of Talk Radio News. Edwards dropping out. DNC conference call today at 3 o'clock. What happens to the Edwards vote? Split between the two. Some thought an Edwards vote was anti Hillary vote. Thom disagrees. Mukasey still won't take a position on waterboarding except to say it does not happen like that.
"I began my presidential campaign here to remind the country that we, as citizens and as a government, have a moral responsibility to each other, and what we do together matters. We must do better, if we want to live up to the great promise of this country that we all love so much.
It is appropriate that I come here today. It's time for me to step aside so that history can blaze its path. We do not know who will take the final steps to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, but what we do know is that our Democratic Party will make history. We will be strong, we will be unified, and with our convictions and a little backbone we will take back the White House in November and we'll create hope and opportunity for this country."
- Guest: Jennifer Palmieri. "Senior Vice President for Communications at the Center for American Progress. Prior to joining the Center, Ms. Palmieri was the National Press Secretary for the 2004 Edwards for President campaign. She held the position of National Press Secretary for the Democratic National Committee during the 2002 election cycle, and is an eight year veteran of the Clinton White House. Ms. Palmieri was a White House Deputy Press Secretary from 1998 to 2001." She was an advisor in 2008. What's the meaning of John Edwards' departure?
Thom: "I have pretty openly on this program, I haven't formerly endorsed John Edwards because I felt like people should make up their own mind and it should all play out. People know where my sentiments lie, and I think I speak for many of my listeners, I feel a great sense of loss today. On the other hand, what's the old cliché, but there's some truth to it, every time a door closes another door opens. Every change can be made into a change for the better."
Edwards was sincere about carrying on, but South Carolina. He spoke with both the other candidates, they committed to put poverty and the working class at the forefront of their agendas. They may do a poverty tour with him.
- Bumper Music: I Won't Back Down, Johnny Cash.
- Guest: David Bender. He and Mark Green will be anchoring Air America's Super Tuesday coverage. How will Hillary cope with misogyny, Obama with viral emails? He's not endorsed anyone either but is strong for Edwards. It is almost a certainty because of the other candidates' pledge against poverty that he's not going to endorse. Hillary ran as Hillary, now it's the Clintons - a disaster for her. She let it happen. Hussein means "beautiful / handsome child", an honorific given around the world. Obama should embrace it - let Oprah introduce him with it.
- Bumper Music: It's My Life, The Animals.
- Thom: "I've been hanging out in the chat room here during the break. You can get to our live chat room, by the way, go to thomhartmann.com and actually interact with each other, hang around, talk to each other in real time during the program every day.
And some of the questions, "is John Edwards' name still going to be on the ballot"? And I think we can safely say that in probably all the states, it's conceivable that in some of the states where they're using electronic touch screen machines that the might be able to quickly reprogram them and pull his name off the ballot, but odds are, these ballots have already been printed, these computers have already been programmed, etc., etc. and John Edwards' name will be on the ballot.
So then the question is, "well, you know, I like Edwards, shouldn't I still vote for him, or can I still vote for him?" No, don't do that, because John Edwards is pulling out now because he wants to unite the Democratic Party. He does not want to divide the Democratic Party. He's saying to you and to me, "pick one of these two candidates". And he's clearly saying they're both good candidates, because if he thought that that wasn't the case, he would have endorsed one over the other. He's saying, "pick one of these two candidates and work with them and push them in these directions and you keep involved". That was his message. He repeated that at least half a dozen times during his farewell speech; that you have to, we have to be involved, we must be involved."
- Misogyny. Racism. Slime. Swift boating. Hillary, the Movie. Thom: "I liked Edwards on the issues, frankly. That was my thing. I was not so concerned about the electability of a woman or an African American. I really think that much of America can get beyond that."
- How can Thom and John Edwards remain optimistic? Thom: "We are at, I really believe this, and the evidence is all around us. We are at a transformational time in the history of the United States. People are now clearly seeing what they were not seeing in 1992 when Bill Clinton was running, they are clearly seeing that 26, 27 years of Reaganomics is destroying this country; that the Conservative economic policies, that the Conservative social policies, that the politics of division and hatred and fear, that the use of war as an instrument of politics, as George Bush did, a comment out back in 1998 or 1999 telling his biographer Micky Herskowitz that if he was elected president, the first thing he'd do is invade Iraq because it would get him political points. It would allow him to get his domestic agenda, specifically the privatization of social security, passed. He thought a war in Iraq would do that. All that stuff, Americans are fed up with it.
We have seen it, we get it, we're over it. And I am convinced, I really and truly believe this, this is not happy talk, that Americans are awakening in incredible numbers. Particularly you see folks like, you know, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert out there reaching out to young people right across the board. An entire new generation coming along and waking up. And I think that we're at a political point that is very much like the mod and late 60s and that is very much like the early 1930s. We at one of those, Ravi Batra says they come every 30 years, one of those major turning points here in the United States. And that turn is either going to be Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton, you know; we have to pick one or the other."
- Clip (about John McCain winning in Florida):
Pat Buchanan: "If he wins this thing I think they're going to say, "well, it looks like he's the guy", but I'll tell you, here’s a guy, you know, here’s a guy, basically, what does he say? The jobs are never coming back, the illegals are never going home, but we’re gonna have a lot more wars."
Joe Scarborough: "We’re gonna start a lot of wars! He has promised, for the record Keith, John McCain’s platform — and it certainly looks inviting for the fall — he has promised less jobs and more wars. Now that’s something we can all rally behind. Back to you, Keith."
Keith Olbermann: "No, no. No, I'm not saying a word." Joe Scarborough: "You don't have to. John McCain's already said it."
Keith Olbermann: "Yeah, I'm not saying a word. It's too, I'm not saying a word."
Scarborough: McCain’s Platform Is ‘Less Jobs And More Wars’.
- Thom: "The point, I think, that John Edwards was making, he didn't come out and specifically say this, but the strategic calculus here that I'm guessing is that he wants to make sure, he got it that he wasn't going to be the nominee, right. He didn't win four primaries, and he really needed to win South Carolina. He got it he wasn't going to be the nominee.
And so, if we had a brokered convention, if the Democrats had a brokered convention, then the nominee would be going into, you know, you'd have John McCain who's the presumptive nominee and I think frankly after Super Tuesday he's going, you know, one week from now, from yesterday, he's going to clearly be the nominee in my opinion, and probably most other people's opinions.
And yet, if we still didn't have a clear Democratic winner, Democratic Party winner, then you would have the Democratic candidate going into the general election with independents and moderates and folks saying, "well, you know, that Democratic candidate didn't get the full support of the party. Why should they get my support?" So he's making sure that whoever the nominee is, one of these two people, actually has the majority of the votes of the people of the United States before they go to the election. I think that's a good thing."
- Bumper Music: Yes Sir No Sir, Beth Nielsen Chapman.
"Universal health care for every man, woman and child in America. That is our cause.
And we do this -- we do this for each other in America. We don't turn away from a neighbor in their time of need. Because every one of us knows that what -- but for the grace of God, there goes us. The American people have never stopped doing this, even when their government walked away, and walked away it has from hardworking people, and, yes, from the poor, those who live in poverty in this country.
For decades, we stopped focusing on those struggles. They didn't register in political polls, they didn't get us votes and so we stopped talking about it. I don't know how it started. I don't know when our party began to turn away from the cause of working people, from the fathers who were working three jobs literally just to pay the rent, mothers sending their kids to bed wrapped up in their clothes and in coats because they couldn't afford to pay for heat.
We know that our brothers and sisters have been bullied into believing that they can't organize and can't put a union in the workplace. Well, in this campaign, we didn't turn our heads. We looked them square in the eye and we said, "We see you, we hear you, and we are with you. And we will never forget you." And I have a feeling that if the leaders of our great Democratic Party continue to hear the voices of working people, a proud progressive will occupy the White House."