March 07 2008 show notes

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

fFriday 07 March '08 National show

  • "Brunch with Bernie" with Senator Bernie Sanders, Independent of Vermont. Congratulations on Thom's trip to Darfur. We will miss bernie next week. The budget committee is the rudder of the Senate. Big picture. Why aren't we talking about the biggest issues? Bush' budget. A better budget that Bush's was passed by committee yesterday, but Bernie does not think it goes as far as it should. There was a study a week ago that said that in USA there are more people in jail than any other country, in absolute numbers and percentages. The highest rate of childhood poverty, some drop out and end up in jail. We should invest in them as kids. Economics. Race to the bottom.

    Bernie has a newsletter you can sign up for. Bank rates. Bait and switch credit cards. The Bush administration is in the pockets of banks etc. Daniel Elsburg, whistleblowers, lack of hearings. Yesterday they passed consumer products legislation which protects whistleblowers. Bush's signing statement said he would ignore the whistleblower provisison in the Military Commissions Act.

    Ballots. United Technologies, Charles Black, campaign, Diebold. Prison population. The US Air Force buying from Airbus/France during recession. Thom will have done the show for 6 years this month. He recommended his Buzzflash Independent Thinker Book Review of the month, "Bad Samaritans: The Myth of Free Trade and the Secret History of Capitalism" by Ha-Joon Chang, to Bernie.

    Grossly unequal distribution of income. Taxes. Bernie wants to rescind the tax rates given to the top 1%, but he does not think it will pass; call your senators. We are trying to change national priorities. Ron called and said that the Army and Navy store looked bare; he was told that Homeland Security has stopped issuing surplus to everybody. One near Bernie has closed down. Mukasey refused to enforce contempt citations against Miers, Bolten. Bernie is impressed and excited by the huge turnouts at primaries. He hopes the momentum continues into November.

  • Bumper Music: 5 O’clock World, The Vogues.
  • Bumper Music: One Big Union, Matthew Grimm & The Red Smear (video).
  • What is the state, future of the US economy?
  • The economy is all over the place. Gold. Oil.
  • Article: Americans are getting poorer, say Fed.
  • Article: 1 million homes in foreclosure.
  • Article: Trichet warning over bond spreads in Europe.
  • Article: Surprise fall in jobs fuels US recession fears.
  • Guest: Ravi Batra, professor of economics at Southern Methodist University, Dallas. Author of "Greenspan's Fraud: How Two Decades of His Policies Have Undermined the Global Economy" and "The New Golden Age: The Coming Revolution against Political Corruption and Economic Chaos". Two surveys issued by the government today; the employment survey (63,000 jobs lost last month) and the household survey (225,000 jobs lost last month). Warren Buffet calls it a recession; the Bush Administration avoids doing so. It's going to be worse. The record foreclosure statistics were from last year when jobs were growing. Negative savings rate. The cause of the great depression was not bad economic policies, but economic dogma; the belief that the government should not intervene in the economy when it went into recession, and balance the budget year after year. 1920s bubbles. Economists caused the depression.

    Now they are cutting interest rates. Interest cuts are now creating the problem, because people don't have the collateral to borrow. and people who have saved, the elderly, are getting less interest so are cutting their spending. First diagnose the problem, why is it not responding to huge cuts in interest rates? Wages are stagnating, productivity is up. Wages affect demand, productivity affects supply. Imbalance. Overproduction. They have not been correcting by raising wages since 1980, instead nowadays they create new debt so that demand rises.

    Listeners' calls. Jobs lost in red and blue states. Boeing, which is in a blue state, lost a major contract to Airbus. Red states are getting contracts. Is this politically motivated? Political manipulation is more class based. Unlike what the textbooks say, in hte US interest rates do not go up when there is a large trade deficit, because people want to keep the dollar high. We export bonds, not goods. Rebuild Iraq not America. Oil, pharma, etc. are not free markets. Mutual funds can fall. The Chinese are losing by buying dollar. We are wasting time, we should be raising the wages of employees. Financial systems and banks. They fear Citibank may fail; they cannot allow that to happen. Diversify your money, use more than one bank. Inflation. gold. Deflation later. Sell gold when there is deflation. Municipal bonds are in deccine because some companies that insure them are in trouble; they are not triple A any more. I bonds, inflation adjusted are a good idea, but interest rates low.

  • Bumper Music: Anything Goes, Harpers Bizarre.
  • Bumper Music: In the Air Tonight, Phil Collins (video).
  • Bumper Music: Let's Go To Mars, Lenny Solomon.
  • Ellen Ratner of Talk Radio News. The Democratic contest, Washington is talking about it. Samantha Power of Obama campaign called Hillary a monster. She's resigned. Hillary saying McCain is more qualified than Obama. If she was Howard Dean she would chain the two of them in a room until they sorted themselves out. FISA yesterday, the House beat back another attempt. Senate today looking at executive compensation in subprime companies. They get 600 x workers.
  • Happy birthday to Louise for yesterday. Get well soon.
  • Goosalini is back.
  • What might have actually happened in Ohio and Texas? Tin foil hat?
  • Clip:
    [Laura Ingraham]: "Rush, I understand that the Rush Limbaugh audience is mobilizing in Texas for Hillary. Am I hearing that right?"

    [Rush Limbaugh]: "I don't know if the audience is mobilizing or not. I am urging people — I am using a phrase — the Republicans — our nominee is chosen. It's John McCain.

    Texas is open. And I want Hillary to stay in this, Laura. This is too good a soap opera. We need Barack Obama bloodied up politically, and it's obvious that the Republicans are not going to do it and don't have the stomach for it.

    As you probably know, we're getting all kinds of memos from the RNC saying not to be critical there. Mark MacKinnon of McCain's campaign says he'll quit if they get critical over Obama.

    This is the presidency of the United States you're talking about. I want our party to win. I want the Democrats to lose. They're in the midst of tearing themselves apart right now. It is fascinating to watch, and it's all going to stop if Hillary loses.

    So yes, I'm asking to cross over and, if they can stomach it — I know it's a difficult thing to do to vote for a Clinton — but it will sustain this soap opera, and it's something I think we need. It would be fun, too."

    [Laura Ingraham]: "I mean, Rush, Bill, and Hillary. Very strange bedfellows. I mean, I've never heard of anything like that, but anything to keep the chaos going."

    [Rush Limbaugh]: "Well, let me tell you what the chaos is. Let me give you a great example. We had Michelle Obama, who was in Zanesville, Ohio talking to a bunch of people that live there. The income, average income is below the national average. So is the education level...

    "The O'Reilly Factor", February 29, 2008.

  • Hillary picked up Texas. The night of the election Fox and Friends called Thom, asking him to discuss the Democratic Primary with Michael Reagan early this morning. The segment before them, there was a conversation about this among the three hosts

    . They had had close to 800 emails from Republicans saying they had crossed over and voted for Hillary as Rush asked, either to keep the infighting going, or because they felt that it would be easier for John McCain to beat Hilary. People called in to a right wing radio show yesterday saying how hard it was for them to stand in Democratic lines. Michael Reagan was very uncomfortable with the idea that this was being discussed, as is the Republican Party. By then, 15 minutes later, the number of emails had gone up to over 1200.

  • Article: Turned away at poll? Click here. Some are told to wait - or come back later.
    "Democratic voters overwhelmed polling places Tuesday, forcing elections officials to run extra ballots to polling places - and in Clermont County, forcing voters to wait or come back - and delaying the final count for hours.

    "It just took us by total and complete surprise," said Mike Keeley, director of the Clermont County Board of Elections. "We've never experienced anything like this."

    In that heavily Republican county, officials weren't prepared for the high number of Democratic ballots requested. Some voters waited for more than an hour for new ballots to be delivered; others were asked to come back later or asked to go to the county Board of Elections to vote.

    The reason: a wave of "crossover" voting, in which normally Republican voters asked for Democratic ballots. In Clermont County, turnout surged to 43 percent Tuesday - compared with just 31 percent in the 2004 presidential primary.

    Hamilton County, which also prints its own ballots, also came close to running out of Democratic ballots....

    Of Clermont County's 128,128 registered voters, 37,714 are registered Republicans and 14,496 are registered Democrats. With all precincts counted, 26,279 people had cast Democratic ballots and 28,032 had cast Republican ballots.

    Warren County has 12,440 registered Democrats and 41,377 registered Republicans. With all precincts reporting, that county was reporting 27,855 Democratic ballots cast and 28,683 Republican.

  • Article: It's Rush Wot Won It. Statistics.
    "Ohio didn't wind up being very close, but Clinton won the Texas primary by about 98,000 votes out of 2.8 million cast. If the exits are right, about 252,000 of those voters were Republicans, and about 618,000 were conservatives. Clinton truly might have won the Texas primary on the backs of Rush Limbaugh listeners...

    An astounding number of voters took Democratic ballots, voted for president, then left the rest of their ballots blank.

    The undercount in the D primary was almost 700,000 ballots out of 2.86 million. By contrast, the undercount in the R primary was about 164,000 ballots out of 1.38 million. In the 2004 general election, the dropoff from president to railroad commissioner (the next race on the state ballot) was less than 400,000 out of 7.4 million.

  • Office of the Texas Secretary of State 2008 Democratic Party Primary Election Election Night Returns (unofficial election night results). In some counties, there were no votes for president in the 2008 Republican Party Primary Election.
  • Thom got an email from a Texas precint chair who said they had lots of Rush followers who voted for Hillary.
  • Bumper Music: Somebody, Eagles.
  • Article: Let's have some fun in Michigan.
    "In 1972, Republican voters in Michigan decided to make a little mischief, crossing over to vote in the open Democratic primary and voting for segregationist Democrat George Wallace, seriously embarrassing the state's Democrats. In fact, a third of the voters (PDF) in the Democratic primary were Republican crossover votes. In 1988, Republican voters again crossed over, helping Jesse Jackson win the Democratic primary, helping rack up big margins for Jackson in Republican precincts. (Michigan Republicans can clearly be counted on to practice the worst of racial politics.) In 1998, Republicans helped Jack Kevorkian's lawyer -- quack Geoffrey Feiger -- win his Democratic primary, thus guaranteeing their hold on the governor's mansion that year." Jan 10, 2008.
  • Article: Democratic Circus Comes To PA..
  • Clip:
    [Michael Smerconish]: "I can‘t get enough of this.

    This is like the Super Bowl is finally coming to Lincoln Financial Field, and we football fans are going to enjoy ourselves on the sofa and put our feet up for the next six-and-a-half weeks. This is as good as it gets.

    And, you know, I have to say, I was one of the ones who said, in the face of a lot of pressure to move our date forward, maybe this is the year to keep our powder dry. And thank goodness we did, because a lot of it is going to get determined in Pennsylvania.


    [Chris Matthews]: "You sound like one of the people I work for here. Everybody wants this thing to keep going. Michael, you‘re one of the ones that—you‘re like a ballyhoo boy, keeping this game going."
    'Hardball with Chris Matthews' for March 6.

  • Article: 3am in the White House: and McCain takes the call.
  • Bumper Music: What a Wonderful World, Louis Armstrong. Thanks.
  • Guest: Nicholas Kristof. Columnist, The New York Times. Darfur. He's been in South Sudan and Darfur. There's a risk Darfur strife may bleed into Southern Sudan. Darfur is the west, mostly of the south. Militias are being sent in to destroy everything and deter people from resistance. Movie: The Devil Came on Horseback, which Louise, Thom and two of their kids went to see. Kristoff's parents lead a q and a afterwards. Kristoff is in the film. His New York Times articles on Darfur. The central character portrayed in the film gave him the photos and they were posted in the New York Times. Now Brian has left, new photos are locked up again. 1-800-GENOCIDE.

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