March 10 2008 show notes

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

Monday 10 March '08 National show

  • Thom Hartmann is traveling to Darfur, setting off straight after today's show. Ellen Ratner is taking 3 satellite phones; hopefully he will be able to do the show from there on Friday.
  • Guest: Brink Lindsey, Vice President for Research, Cato Institute. Author, "The Age of Abundance: How Prosperity Transformed America’s Politics and Culture". Why do Conservatives and libertarians want to throw away the abundance that FDR's liberal economic policies brought us? Thom said the premise of the book was fascinating. In 1950s America was above the bottom of Maslow's hierarchy of needs and people could think of other things. The book is reminiscent of Burke's. In the poorer times in between the revolution and the 1950s is when America was most Libertarian. The prosperity of the mid 20th century was brought about by FDR's New Deal, minimum wage, the GI bill, etc. His is a self-defeating argument?

    "Until the 1950s, the struggle to feed, clothe, and employ the nation drove most of American political life. From slavery to the New Deal, political parties organized around economic interests and engaged in fervent debate over the best allocation of agonizingly scarce resources. But with the explosion of the nation's economy in the years after World War II, a new set of needs began to emerge—a search for meaning and self-expression on one side, and a quest for stability and a return to traditional values on the other.

    In The Age of Abundance, Brink Lindsey offers a bold reinterpretation of the latter half of the twentieth century. In this sweeping history of postwar America, the tumult of racial and gender politics, the rise of the counterculture, and the conservative revolution of the 1980s and 1990s are portrayed in an entirely new light. Readers will learn how and why the contemporary ideologies of left and right emerged in response to the novel challenges of mass prosperity.

    The political ideas that created the culture wars, however, have now grown obsolete. As the Washington Post aptly summarized Lindsey's take on the contradictions of American politics, "Republicans want to go home to the United States of the 1950s while Democrats want to work there." Struggling to replace today's stale conflicts is a new consensus that mixes the social freedom of the left with the economic freedom of the right into a potentially powerful ethos of libertarianism. The Age of Abundance reveals the secret formula of this remarkable alchemy. The book is a breathtaking reevaluation of our recent past—and will change the way we think about the future."

  • Bumper Music: Stand, Rascal Flatts.
  • Mia Farrow has pictures from Sudan on her site and an AFP article, "China admits effect of pressure over Darfur".
  • War on new deal, economy rant.
  • Clip:
    "Roosevelt is dead, his policies may live on, but we're in the process of doing something about that as well." Rush Limbaugh.
  • Article: Central bankers cannot stop this contagion.
    "Since the start of the global financial crisis last August, monetary policy has been remarkably ineffective. The US Federal Reserve has cut short-term rates by a cumulative 225 basis points since then. Yet, borrowing costs for US consumers and companies have actually gone up. While the European Central Bank has stoically kept short-term interest rates at 4 per cent, rates charged to consumers and companies have increased.

    So have bond spreads. On Friday, the spread between Italian and German government bonds widened to more than 70 basis points. In other words, the Italian government has been subject to an effective interest rate increase of more than 50 basis points during the past year, while the German government has not. While Italy has its share of problems, it is clearly no more likely to default today than it was a year ago. For as long as this financial crisis persists, interest rates will be determined by toxic market conditions, not central bankers. Among the various channels through which monetary policy affects the real economy, the credit channel is one of the most important. If real-world interest rates are determined independent of a central bank's monetary policy, the effect of monetary policy on economic growth is correspondingly reduced.

  • Article: Credit derivatives turmoil bites.
  • Bumper Music: Kryptonite, 3 Doors Down.
  • Article: US House files suit to enforce subpoenas against 2 White House officials.
  • Bill Foster, the candidate for Congress in the Illinois 14th district who was on the show on Thursday, won Saturday's special election 53% to 47%, taking Denny Hastert's seat.
  • Book: "Free Lunch: How the Wealthiest Americans Enrich Themselves at Government Expense (and Stick You with the Bill)", David Cay Johnston.
  • Educate, show up at Democratic meetings, push for progressives.
  • Aggregate demand.
  • Go to Fix FISA, by Conyers and Leahy, chairmen of the House and Senate Judiciary Committees.
    "We're at a critical juncture. The House and Senate have passed different versions of the new FISA legislation, and we are meeting to resolve those differences. The president and his Republican allies are using this opportunity to pressure our colleagues to give in and grant retroactive immunity.

    That's why we need your help, right now, to push back against the White House while the final FISA bill is being negotiated. Help us respond to White House scare tactics, preserve our civil liberties, and reject the Senate's telecom immunity. Please use this online tool to write a letter-to-the-editor of your local newspaper to speak out and build grassroots support for fixing FISA the right way.

  • Parallels with the Great Republican Depression. Kids today are not educated in social studies. Blame David Horowitz.
  • Conyers and Leahy should be using inherent contempt, but can they send the sergeant of arms to arrest them in Texas?
  • Guest: Al Parienello, Preserve The American Dream. Pity the poor rich. "How the Democrats created poverty in America and are hell-bent on keeping us poor!" Bar Room Economics. But the poor guys are drinking from thimbles out in the corridor and the rich guy's drinking from a barrel.
  • Bumper Music: Talk, Coldplay.
  • Bumper Music: Lives in the Balance, Jackson Browne (video).
  • Article: IRAQ: Childhood Is Dying.
  • Bumper Music: Radio, Hackensaw Boys (video).
  • Bumper Music: Crazy, Gnarls Barkley.
  • Article: Bush Reveals Tap Water as Prescription Drug Plan.
  • Bumper Music: You are not alone, Eagles.
  • Ellen Ratner of Talk Radio News. She' in Switzerland with Rusty Humphries. Congressman Frank R. Wolf wants to ban officials attending the Olympics, including the president. Bush just issued a memorandum releasing Kenya migration aid, to furnish assistance up to $4.9 billion. Mia Farrow's site. AFP story about the Chinese special representative for Darfur. Steven Spielberg. The special representative is on his way to France. Kristof was there 3 weeks ago. The army from the North was bombing aid stations about 30 miles from where they are going to be, to drive aid folks out, presumably so the won't report genocide. Thom talked to John from the charity last night. The American foreign council meeting, Jim Woolsey said that the ideology that controls Iran should be taken as seriously as Hitler. He's been on the program. KBR has given troops chlorinated old water for showers, they got water-borne diseases. the US House of Representatives filed a lawsuit to enforce subpoenas. The Bush Administration will run out the clock. What effect will it have on the new president? Leahy and Conyers asked for letters to editors on FISA. Do not give out Darfur schedule.
  • trucker. Commons. Taxation of privatization of national resources. Earned and unearned income. Economic rent.
  • Guest: Robert Creamer. Author, "Listen to Your Mother: Stand Up Straight: How Progressives Can Win". How can progressives win? People are not commodities. A J Liebling saying that employers are said to offer wages and workers to demand them, making workers sound like the aggressors, rather than the other way around. Dwight Eisenhower was more progressive than a lot of Democrats now. He likes Obama because he can inspire. There's been a lack since Bobby Kennedy died. It brings out the flip-floppers and those who do not normally bother to vote. We need to mobilize lots of us, and leaders.
  • Bumper Music: Forty Hour Week (For A Livin'), Alabama (video).
  • Clip:
    "That very word freedom, in itself and of necessity, suggests freedom from some restraining power. In 1776 we sought freedom from the tyranny of a political autocracy - from the eighteenth-century royalists who held special privileges from the crown...

    "But since that struggle, man's inventive genius released new forces in our land, forces which reordered the lives of our people. The age of machinery, of railroads; of steam and electricity; the telegraph and the radio; mass production, mass distribution - all of these combined to bring forward a new civilization and with it a problem for those who sought to remain free.

    "For out of this modern civilization economic royalists carved new dynasties. New kingdoms were built upon concentration of control over material things. Through new uses of corporations and banks and securities, new machinery of industry and agriculture, of labor and capital - all undreamed of by the Fathers - the whole structure of modern life was impressed into this royal service...

    "Private enterprise, indeed, became too private. It became privileged enterprise, not free enterprise...

    "The royalists I have spoken of, the royalists of the economic order have conceded that political freedom was the business of the government, but they have maintained that economic slavery was nobody's business. They granted that the government could protect the citizen in his right to vote, but they denied that the government could do anything to protect the citizen in his right to work and his right to live...

    "These economic royalists complain that we seek to overthrow the institutions of America. What they really complain of is that we seek to take away their power. Our allegiance to American institutions requires the overthrow of this kind of power. In vain they seek to hide behind the flag and the Constitution. But in their blindness they forget what the flag and the Constitution stand for.


    Franklin D. Roosevelt, 27 June 1936, "A Rendezvous With Destiny" Speech to the Democratic National Convention, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

  • Guest: Terry O'Sullivan, Laborers' International Union of North America (LIUNA) General President. 500,000 members. Companies aren't creating jobs. We sell them our labor and they make a profit on it, if they are to stay in business. Working men and women are the most important asset. Organized labor stands for creating a better balance between employers and employees. We need to rebuild our national infrastructure, for example bridges. There is a role for privatization, but not privatizing infrastructure, it is government's responsibility to provide safe roads, etc. John McCain, like others who serve, is an American hero, but he is not a workers' hero. He votes against workers, for example Davis Bacon. Obama and Clinton support working families.
  • Bumper Music: Let Me Take You There, Plain White Ts.
  • Article: Spitzer Is Linked to Prostitution Ring.
  • Hillary is willing to put her own ambitions ahead of the party? Relationships. Belt line.
  • Bill Richardson for VP?
  • The DNC will not help progressives unless they can bring a lot of money, as Nancy Skinner and Tony Trupiano found out.
  • Bumper Music: My Wish, Rascal Flatts.
  • Rebuttal to "bar room economics".
  • Thom set off for Sudan straight after the show. Tuesday's guest host will be Sam Seder, Wednesday and Thursday Laura Flanders. Thom hopes to do the show live from Southern Sudan on Friday by satellite phone. Carl Wolfson will be in the Portland studio. On Monday and Tuesday while Thom is flying back, Peter B. Collins will be doing the show live from the Take Back America conference. Thom will be back on the 19th.

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