March 12 2008 show notes

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

Wednesday 12 March '08 National show

  • Thom Hartmann is traveling to Darfur, Laura Flanders was guest host today.
  • New York Governor Eliot Spitzer is resigning effective from Monday 17 March. Lt. Governor David A. Paterson will take his place, New York’s first African-American and blind Governor. Spitzer's apology.
  • How we build up political celebrities. The victims of the Spitzer case include not only his family but those who won't see the legislation they hoped he would bring forward, for example the reproductive rights bill. Politicized prosecution. Who are clients 1 to 8 - any powerful Republicans? Hypocrisy. Politics is about we. Spitzer was not alone.
  • By what criteria, standards are we judging Spitzer? Laura:
    "There will be a lot of people out there who say, if it's adultery, then Larry Craig should resign. If it's hiring prostitutes, then David Vitter should resign. If it's about breaking the law, then certainly George W. Bush should and Dick Cheney should resign. If it's about plain old hypocrisy, then John McCain who has one thing to say about torture on the campaign trail, and another to say in the Senate, then it's clearly a contradiction there."
  • Guest: Richard Kim, the Nation. Who are the winners? Wall Street, Mukasey, IRS, FBI. Subconsciously Spitzer must have been wanting to be discovered. His causes lost. The sex trade lost. What about the massively more serious crimes of Bush and the Department of Justice?
  • Guest: Lori Price, manager, Citizens For Legitimate Government. The escalating battle between the House Judiciary and the White House. List of news concurrent with Spitzer.
    "Spitzer's Sex Life Is Weapon of Mass Distraction for Bunch of Bad News for Bush 10 Mar 2008 By Lori Price On Monday, we learned: The Iraq war will top 3 trillion dollars; a former Pentagon official has written a book attacking the CIA and other US officials over the US-led Iraq war; 5 8 US soldiers were killed in a Baghdad blast; an Iraqi tribal leader - the head of an 'Awakening Council' - and three others were killed in a Diyala province suicide bombing; CIA torture will continue, per Bush decree; the House Judiciary Committee has filed suit to force two White House officials to provide information about the firing of U.S. attorneys; more trouble for Carlyle Group has surfaced; oil has soared to $108 per barrel; gas prices have reached a new record; a lawsuit has been filed claiming that the Fish and Wildlife Service is now in breach of its own mandate; an AP investigation has revealed that a vast array of pharmaceuticals are in the US water supply. Oh. Last but not least: The Dow and Nasdaq are down hundreds of points, again. But, here is the mainstream media's headline: Spitzer Is Linked to Prostitution Ring...

    International outrage as 'shameful' Bush refuses to ban CIA torture 10 Mar 2008 George Bush caused international outrage last night after refusing to ban torture by the CIA. The President [sic] announced on Saturday that he had blocked a bill which would have outlawed simulated drowning and other torture methods. Snubbing advice from 43 retired military chiefs and admirals and 18 national security advisers, Mr Bush refused to tie the hands of interrogators, claiming the tactics helped foil terror plots.

    "
  • The Mann Act, the White-Slave Traffic Act, as passed by the Sixty-First Congress on June 25, 1910.
    "An Act to further regulate interstate commerce and foreign commerce by prohibiting the transportation therein for immoral purposes of women and girls, and for other purposes."
    They are trying to expand it to federalize more prostitution-related crimes. The Department of Justice is objecting. It is being pushed by fundamentalist Christians and fundamentalist feminists. boundnotgagged.com. The sex worker is normally treated more harshly in these cases.
  • Laura was at the Labor Research Association dinner on Monday; Governor Spitzer's absence cast a pall over what was supposed to be a celebration.
  • The resignation of Admiral Fallon as CENTCOM commander, which ought to get more attention.
  • Article: The Man Between War and Peace. Esquire.
    "As the White House talked up conflict with Iran, the head of U.S. Central Command, William "Fox" Fallon, talked it down. Now he has resigned."
  • Article: Fallon didn't get it.
  • There's a pattern of driving out, ridiculing, expecting obedience of military commanders. John Bolton.
  • Congress, contempt citations against Miers and Bolten, lawsuit.
  • Guest: Congressman Steve Cohen, Tennessee. Citations. Conyers has taken civil procedures. He first spoke to Randi Rhodes about it. Mukasey should take the case up. Spitzer - it's nobody's business; government has more important things to do.
  • Article: Iraq violence sees spike.
  • Talk of repealing the 22nd Amendment (presidential term limits). Resolutions to change the constitution, and what they take. Jan/Feb 2005 had two which went nowhere. The process.
  • Article: CEOs Pocket Big Pay While Their Companies Tank.
  • Guest: Richard Belzer. The Eisenhower nuclear strike force has just been ordered to Iran. Fallon was the first admiral in his post, so he prepared for it. Belzer and Laura will be at the (sold out) SPEAK OUT! For Peace in Iraq and Justice at Home at St. Ann's Warehouse on March 18. There's an event at Powerhouse Books beforehand with Naomi Klein.
  • Guest: Representative Henry Waxman. He wants an IRS investigation into Blackwater, for calling its employees contractors. He's calling for hearings on Monday. Blackwater is a private military which is not responsible to anybody but ther corporate executives. In Iraq they are acting like cowboys, undermining what we are trying to accomplish. They are not always giving them enough equipment. They have written letters.

    Hearings about 3 subprime CEOS whose companies lost billions, but they came out of it rich. There's no accountability, and people have to invest in them for their pensions, 401Ks. Will there be any fruit from the hearings? They will insist that people on boards act responsibility for shareholders, otherwise our whole system of capitalism with fall and the rich will get richer and the middle class will fall.

Trump Goes Full Authoritarian Dictator

Thom plus logo What we saw last night was the dictator's playbook.

Tell violent white supremacist racists to "stand by" and encourage them to show up at polling places to intimidate voters.

Bully, bluster and threaten like Mussolini did, promoting your brand as "tough guy" when in fact you're a lazy coward.
From The Thom Hartmann Reader:
"With the ever-growing influence of corporate CEOs and their right-wing allies in all aspects of American life, Hartmann’s work is more relevant than ever. Throughout his career, Hartmann has spoken compellingly about the value of people-centered democracy and the challenges that millions of ordinary Americans face today as a result of a dogma dedicated to putting profit above all else. This collection is a rousing call for Americans to work together and put people first again."
Richard Trumka, President, AFL-CIO
From Cracking the Code:
"Thom Hartmann ought to be bronzed. His new book sets off from the same high plane as the last and offers explicit tools and how-to advice that will allow you to see, hear, and feel propaganda when it's directed at you and use the same techniques to refute it. His book would make a deaf-mute a better communicator. I want him on my reading table every day, and if you try one of his books, so will you."
Peter Coyote, actor and author of Sleeping Where I Fall
From Screwed:
"I think many of us recognize that for all but the wealthiest, life in America is getting increasingly hard. Screwed explores why, showing how this is no accidental process, but rather the product of conscious political choices, choices we can change with enough courage and commitment. Like all of Thom’s great work, it helps show us the way forward."
Paul Loeb, author of Soul of a Citizen and The Impossible Will Take a Little While