March 06 2008 show notes

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

Thursday 06 March '08 National show

  • Why, or why not, should Hillary and Obama embrace each other as running mates? Thom has not made an endorsement.
  • Guest: Congressman Donald Payne (D-NJ, 10th District). He's just back from Darfur. He's an "Africa expert" in Congress. He was at the signing of the peace accord. Darfur, Sharia law. North vs. South. Arab vs. darker-skinned Christian and animist in the South. Slave trade. Boy jockeys were slaves. Oil. Power sharing. 27 leaders. Khartoum is an illegitimate government. What can we do?
  • Bumper Music: Send It, ELO.
  • Guest: Dr. Ha-Joon Chang, Reader in the Political Economy of Development, Cambridge University. Author, "Bad Samaritans: The Myth of Free Trade and the Secret History of Capitalism", Thom's Buzzflash Independent Thinker Book Review of the month.
    "As Ha-Joon Chang points out in his brilliant book Bad Samaritans: The Myth of Free Trade and the Secret History of Capitalism," in 1933 a clothing manufacturing company decided to branch out into the manufacture of automobiles. They had everything going against them - their nation had no really serious domestic auto industry, the company had no experience with the product, and other nations (particularly the US and Great Britain) were already making world-class vehicles that had captured most of the world's markets.

    But the company caught the imagination of its country's leadership, and a ministry of trade decided to help it along. Government subsidies helped the company develop their first car. Decades of high import tariffs protected it from foreign competition as it grew into a serious contender. Domestic content laws both made sure the company used parts made within the country, and also guaranteed that domestic competitors would have to, thus building a strong base of domestic companies supportive of an auto industry, from tires to plastic components to precision machine tools and electronics.

    In 1939 the country even kicked out both GM and Ford from sales within the country, and the nation's single wholly-owned bank bailed out the struggling textile manufacturer as it moved relentlessly forward in the development of an automobile.

    That company, originally known as The Toyoda Automatic Loom Company, is today known as Toyota, and manufactures the infamous Lexus that Tom Friedman mistakenly thought was successful because the world is "flat" and trade is "free." In fact, the success of the Lexus (and the Prius and every other Toyota) is entirely traceable to massive government intervention in the markets by Japan over a fifty-year period that continues to this very day.

    To illustrate how infant industries must be nurtured by government until they're ready to compete in global marketplaces, Chang points to the example of his own son, Jin-Gyu. At the age of six, the young boy is legally able to work and produce an income in many countries of the world. He's an "asset" that could be "producing income" right now. But Chang, being a good parent, intends to deny his son the short-term "opportunity" to learn a skill like street-sweeping or picking pockets or shining shoes (typical "trades" for six year olds in many countries) so he may grow up instead to become an engineer or physician - or fully reach whatever other potential his temperament, abilities, and inclination dictate.

    Somehow this is lost on Thomas Friedman and the whole "free trade" bunch. As Chang writes, "[E]ven from a purely materialistic viewpoint, I would be wiser to invest in my son's education than gloat over the money I save by not sending him to school. After all, if I were right [in sending him out to work at age six], Oliver Twist would have been better off pick-pocketing for Fagin, rather than being rescued by the misguided Good Samaritan Mr. Brownlow, who deprived the boy of his chance to remain competitive in the labor market.


    The USA was most protectionist. The USA should learn its own history.

  • Bumper Music: Radio Operator, Rosanne Cash.
  • Article: Government Concedes Vaccine Injury Case. Autism.
  • Bumper Music: Please Impeach Me, Jim Terr, Blue Canyon Productions.
  • Defense contractor United Technologies have offered to buy Diebold. The contractor is represented by lobbying a firm in DC, BKSH, whose founder and chairman is Charlie Black, who is senior advisor to the McCain campaign. Diebold said no yesterday. Today UT says they are going to buy. The parent company of BKSH (lobbyists) is Burson-Marsteller, whose head is Mark Penn, head of Hillary's campaign.
  • Article: Hope in the Time of NAFTA, by David Sirota. Hillary.
  • Article: Did Clinton Win Ohio on a Lie? Paul Rogat Loeb.
  • Stephen Harper, the Canadian leak.
  • Book: The Intimate Enemy: How to Fight Fair in Love and Marriage by George Robert Bach.
  • Relationship counseling / couples therapy. "The Intimate enemy". One of the core concepts of how to fight fair is that you never hit below the line. It is important in relationships for there to be conflict, because there will be differences; otherwise one person will gunnysack lots of grievances then suddenly leave. Hitting below the belt is saying whatever you know will wound them. The Clintons have hit below belt, probably because of Mark Penn. The video with Obama's face darkened. Hillary's saying she and McCain have experience. The 3am ad. If you hit somebody below the belt, you can't take it back. Calling policies voodoo economics is OK, calling Reagan voodoo practitioner would not have been. Obama is ahead, so it would be foolish for him to put her on his ticket now, and would ratify her behavior.
  • Bumper Music: I'm taking my country back, Tony Stampley, Honky Tonkers for Truth (lyrics) (mp3).
  • Taking My Country Back segment: Guest: Bill Foster. Candidate for Congress in the Illinois 14th district. The special general election this Saturday…is the first opportunity in 2008 for Democrats to flip a congressional seat (Dennis Hastert’s). He's a former Fermi scientist. Clip of an endorsement by Obama. Chicago flipped and endorsed the Democrat this time. Elevator speech.
  • Bumper Music: Me And My Gang, Rascal Flatts.
  • If you have no hope or expectation of interacting with a person, then maybe you can get away with hitting below the belt. The Swift Boat Veterans hit shockingly below the belt. Cheney before the election said if you elect Democrats, terrorists will hit again. Ronald Reagan's 11th commandment: thou shalt not criticize another Republican. LBJ slammed the Head of the Fed against the wall to get him to lower rates. Jack Kennedy did not hit below the belt.
  • Bumper Music: Belief, John Mayer.
  • Progressive advertising segment: Guest: Dean Cycon, Dean's Beans. Fair Trade organic coffee company in Massachusetts. He advertises on WRSI.
  • Guest: Veteran CIA counterterrorism officer Michael Scheuer. His experiences as the first Chief of the U.S. Rendition program, his latest book "Marching Toward Hell: America and Islam After Iraq". Former head of the Osama bin Laden tracking unit. Imperial Hubris: Why the West is Losing the War on Terror. He teaches a graduate-level course on Al-Qaeda at Georgetown University. Only Ron Paul said same, and he was called a crackpot. Known thine enemy. We're going to lose Afghanistan. We're helping Osama bin Laden. Thom's former Buzzflash review book, Messages To The World, by Osama bin Laden.
  • Bumper Music: Some Days You Gotta Dance, Keith Urban.
  • Article: It's Rush Wot Won It. Statistics.
  • Clip: Cindy Sheehan quoting George W Bush autobiography ghost writer Mickey Herskowitz: "As a matter of fact, in interviews in 1999 with respected journalist and long-time Bush family friend, Mickey Herskowitz, then Governor George Bush stated, 'One of the keys to being seen as a great leader is to be seen as commander in chief. My father had all this political capital built up when he drove the Iraqis out of Kuwait and he wasted it. If I have a chance to invade, if I had that much capital, I'm not going to waste it. I'm going to get everything passed that I want to get passed and I'm going to have a successful presidency.'
  • Bumper Music: It's the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine), REM.
  • Article: Infiltration of files seen as extensive: Senate panel's GOP staff pried on Democrats. January 22, 2004.
  • Guest: Christy Harvey, Director of Strategic Communications at the Center for American Progress, The FBI is looking into the GOP; the NRCC, the main fund raising arm for house is missing hundreds of thousands of dollars, and treasurer Christopher J Ward. Representative Mike Conway. Audits were faked since 2003. Ward was also fundraiser for several congressmen personally. He was partner in the consulting firm for the Swiftboat Veterans. United Technologies, Charlie Black. Lobbyists are having the ethics conference "All things ethical" in sin city, Las Vegas. Panels include "using phones ethically" and "the ethics of deception". Canada is doing right thing; it won't see evidence from CIA obtained from interrogations. The Orrin Hatch staffer who hacked Teddy Kennedy and others' computers. The FBI has been improperly using national security letters.
  • Bumper Music: In The News, Kris Kristofferson.
  • The House GOP tried to bring FISA to the floor again, but lost 221 - 191.
  • Ellen Ratner of Talk Radio News. They are going to get an even newer web site. The Senate and house leaders were both asked about the election, and put it on to the DNC, rightfully so. They want a nominee before the convention. Pelosi press conference. Earmarks. Contempt by Harriet Miers, Josh Bolten. The speaker said the House and Senate pass their own, and the Senate has some arrows in their quiver that make them have a lot more possibility on this issue than the House has. She said there are 17 members of Republican House Judiciary Committee that have gone on record for their dissenting views. She was very, very tough on the Chinese; their ownership of our debt is about $900 billion dollars so they have lots of leverage over our debt and she's very, very concerned about that. Reagan and debt. Senator McCain came up in the Senate conference and Nancy Pelosi's conference. Pattie Murray was asked directly about the deal that Boeing did not get. Why were there no specifications on the plane? Some blame McCain.

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