March 27 2008 show notes

  • Melt down in Iraq. McCain's perspective in his speech, some of which really concerned Thom.
  • Guest: Larry Adelman. "Unnatural Causes" Documentary. Why Americans get so sick.
  • Guest: Carrie Lukas, Independent Women's Forum. Climate Security Act.
  • Progressive advertising feature: Guest: Huma Gruaz, the Shark Steam Mop.
  • Guest: Former Comptroller General of the United States David Walker.
  • Guest: Christy Harvey, Center for American Progress. "News Under the Radar".

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

Thursday 27 March '08 National show

  • Melt down in Iraq. McCain's perspective in his speech, some of which really concerned Thom; neocon 101, Leo Strauss 101, Bill Kristol 101, Dick Cheney PNAC 101. There is a strong element of truth to it, but it is insidious because their "therefore" is crazy.
  • Article: Crude oil surges after Basra pipeline bombing.
  • Sadr's Shia army is going after the Shia-dominated government of Iraq. The Sunnis are feeling disenfranchised, and we stepped in and started paying some of them via the Iraqi government to form militias that would not kill us. But now they are not getting paid. If it melts down rapidly our soldiers and contractors and civilians could be stuck in the middle.
  • Clip:
    "For decades in the greater Middle East, we had a strategy of relying on autocrats to provide order and stability. We relied on the Shah of Iran, the autocratic rulers of Egypt, the generals of Pakistan, the Saudi royal family, and even, for a time, on Saddam Hussein. In the late 1970s that strategy began to unravel. The Shah was overthrown by the radical Islamic revolution that now rules in Tehran. The ensuing ferment in the Muslim world produced increasing instability. The autocrats clamped down with ever greater repression, while also surreptitiously aiding Islamic radicalism abroad in the hopes that they would not become its victims. It was a toxic and explosive mixture. The oppression of the autocrats blended with the radical Islamists’ dogmatic theology to produce a perfect storm of intolerance and hatred.

    We can no longer delude ourselves that relying on these out-dated autocracies is the safest bet. They no longer provide lasting stability, only the illusion of it. We must not act rashly or demand change overnight.

    John McCain speech to the Los Angeles World Affairs Council, March 26, 2008.

    Propping up such regimes may profit some of the elite in the short term, but it is bad foreign policy. We overthrew a democratically elected government in Iran and in Iraq and replaced them with autocracies. We supported people in Afghanistan. Reagan was one of the biggest supporters of this point of view, supporting tyrants, Iran Contra. His policies are actually prescribing that we act rashly and demand change overnight, as Bush has been doing with the invasion of Iraq, for example. When we bring down governments, people turn to the mosques.

  • Bumper Music: Belief, John Mayer.
  • The Conservative world view, Maslow, democracy. Conservatives believe in hierarchy, neoconservatives believe in democracy, but it assumes it will exist regardless of peoples' circumstances; if you bomb them back in the stone age they will rebuild as a democracy. It does not work, for example Iraq. They do not understand democracy.
  • Quote: "An old English judge once said: 'Necessitous men are not free men.'" Franklin D. Roosevelt 27 June 1936, "A Rendezvous With Destiny", Speech to the Democratic National Convention, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
  • Clip:
    "But neither can we pretend the status quo is sustainable, stable, or in our interests. Change is occurring whether we want it to or not. The only question for us is whether we shape this change in ways that benefit humanity or let our enemies seize it for their hateful purposes."
    John McCain speech to the Los Angeles World Affairs Council, March 26, 2008.

    This is code for "are we going to force this change in a way that is beneficial to us or not?" As an Enlightenment, John Locke, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Jack Kennedy liberal differs from the Ronald Reagan, Dick Cheney neoconservatives who believe that you bring about democracy at the barrel of a gun. You should raise their standard of living until they are above that threshold, as we did in Japan and Germany after World War Two. Hamas etc. are feeding people and building hospitals and giving them some security and education. It's what Sadr is doing in Sadr City, Basra.

    Thom: "And so when the whack jobs, when the crazies meet the basic safety and security needs of the people, the people migrate to the crazies. It should be us whose providing the basic safety and security of the people. Instead what we're doing is destroying it. Look at Iraq right now. Iraq is devastated as a consequence of neoconservative philosophies. And now John McCain wants to take that neoconservative philosophy and export it to more and more countries in the region. This is a prescription for hell. This is a prescription to bring about that Armageddon that Hagee and some of McCain's most virulent and toxic supporters are so fond of."

  • Bumper Music: Me And My Gang, Rascal Flatts.
  • Bumper Music: Piggies, George Harrison, Beatles.
  • Article: Chase mortgage memo pushes 'Cheats & Tricks'.
  • Article: What can and cannot be spoken on television. Segment of Charlie Rose's fifth anniversary Iraq show.
  • Clip:
    "We must help expand the power and reach of freedom, using all our many strengths as a free people."
    John McCain speech to the Los Angeles World Affairs Council, March 26, 2008.
  • Thom will be broadcasting the show live from KMPT Missoula on Friday 28 March. Guests on the show will include Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer and Montana Senator Jon Tester and, as usual, Senator Berne Sanders. He will also be giving a free talk at the Holiday Inn Parkside at 200 S. Pattee St. in Missoula followed by a book signing.
  • Guest: Larry Adelman. "Unnatural Causes" Documentary Series Executive Producer & Co-Director of California Newsreel.
    "We have among the worst disease outcomes of any industrialized nation - and the greatest health inequities. It's not just the poor who are sick. Even the middle classes die, on average, almost three years sooner than the rich. And at every step down the socio-economic ladder, African Americans, Native Americans and Pacific Islanders often fare worse than their white counterparts.

    Our international health status has fallen radically in the last few decades. In 1980, we ranked 14th in life expectancy; by 2007, we had fallen to 29th. Our infant mortality rate lags behind 30 other countries. And illness now costs American business more than $1 trillion a year in lost productivity...

    We produced UNNATURAL CAUSES to draw attention to the root causes of health and illness and to help reframe the debate about health in America. Economic and racial inequality are not abstract concepts but hospitalize and kill even more people than cigarettes. The wages and benefits we're paid, the neighborhoods we live in, the schools we attend, our access to resources and even our tax policies are health issues every bit as critical as diet, smoking and exercise.

    The unequal distribution of these social conditions - and their health consequences - are not natural or inevitable. They are the result of choices that we as a community, as states, and as a nation have made, and can make differently. Other nations already have, and they live longer, healthier lives as a result.


    Sicko looked at medical care, he is looking at why we get sick. Wear and tear. Chronic stress. A necessitous man is not a free man.

  • Guest: Carrie Lukas, Vice President for Policy and Economics, Independent Women's Forum. Author, "The Politically Incorrect Guide to Women, Sex, and Feminism". She's saying that America's Climate Security Act is bad for the economy. McCain's position? He's a cap and trade guy, has been a lead sponsor in the past. The most important use of environmental valor is reducing carbon? Current solutions have very little impact. She recommends Bjørn Lomborg, author of "The Skeptical Environmentalist: Measuring the Real State of the World".
  • Bumper Music: Let's Go To Mars, Lenny Solomon.
  • Article: Pastor Of Clinton's Former Church, Dean Snyder, Defends Jeremiah Wright.
  • Article: Obama-Bloomberg Ticket? MSNBC Points Out Potential. During the Republican convention in New York, Bloomberg had protesters rounded up and set up "free speech" zones.
  • Bumper Music: Shout Out Loud, Amos Lee.
  • Thom aims to try and talk about McCain every day.
  • Book: Leo Strauss and the American Right by Shadia B. Drury.
  • Site:
  • Solar energy, the German scheme.
  • Bumper Music: In the Air Tonight, Phil Collins (video).
  • Progressive advertising feature: Guest: Huma Gruaz president and CEO of Alpaytac, which markets the Shark Steam Mop. Louise said she's the first woman that got Thom to mop the floor. No chemicals.Tap water steam, microfibres. The ads have had positive results.
  • Article: Ten Days That Changed Capitalism.
    "The past 10 days will be remembered as the time the U.S. government discarded a half-century of rules to save American financial capitalism from collapse...

    But something big just happened. It happened without an explicit vote by Congress. And, though the Treasury hasn't cut any checks for housing or Wall Street rescues, billions of dollars of taxpayer money were put at risk. A Republican administration, not eager to be viewed as the second coming of the Hoover administration, showed it no longer believes the market can sort out the mess.

    First, over St. Patrick's Day weekend, the Fed (aka the Lender of Last Resort) and the Treasury forced the sale of Bear Stearns, the fifth-largest U.S. investment bank, to J.P. Morgan Chase at a price so low that a shareholder rebellion prompted J.P. Morgan to raise the price. To induce J.P. Morgan to do the deal, the Fed agreed to take losses or gains, if any, on up to $29 billion of securities in Bear Stearns's portfolio. The outcome will influence the sum the Fed turns over to the Treasury, so this is taxpayer money; that's why the Fed sought Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson's OK...

    Then the Fed lent directly to Wall Street securities firms for the first time.

  • Article: Busy Fed Might Need to Reload.
  • Guest: Former Comptroller General of the United States David Walker, President and Chief Executive of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation. Expert insight, analysis and commentary into the recent market and economic crisis. Is there a limit on what Bernanke can do? What more can the Bush Administration do to restore credibility? What are the short-term and long-term problems and solutions? We need transparency. Nobody knows who was exposed and by how much. He wasn't at the press conference where somebody brought a chain saw to cut through red tape. New ball game. Gaps in current oversight. Memo on how to cheat to authorize a mortgage. We're all focussed on the current sub prime crisis, but there's a bigger sub prime; government analogies. The people borrowing are not those taking the risk - future generations will have to pay for government debt. There's $44 trillion in unfunded promises. The real problem is Medicare, healthcare, it could bankrupt the country, unfunded promises.
  • Bumper Music: 5 O’clock World, The Vogues.
  • Article: Depression, You Say? Check Those Safety Nets.
  • Article: Tent city highlights US homes crisis.
  • Article: Foreclosures slam doors on pets, too.
  • Bumper Music: Send It, ELO.
  • Article: 'Frontline' looks back on 'Bush's War' in Iraq.
    "As for the human factor figuring into war planning, try retired Marine Lt. Gen. Michael DeLong's explanation of how he and Army Gen. Tommy Franks decided to endorse the bid by Rumsfeld and Cheney to convince Bush to order an invasion. "Gen. Franks likes margaritas," DeLong said, "and I've got a margarita recipe -- of course, I'm a tequila connoisseur. And so we sat down and had some margaritas and tequila and walked through 'Is this the right thing to do for us, for the country? Can we look our troops in the eyes and say, 'You're going to die tomorrow and here's why?' And the answer was yes." "
  • Article: Patients' Data on Stolen Laptop: Identity Fraud Not Likely, NIH Says.
  • Guest: Christy Harvey, Director of Strategic Communications at the Center for American Progress, "News Under the Radar". War on the rocks with salts. DeLong and Franks getting drunk to decide to go to war. Lobbyist pay doubled. Somebody stole laptops from the NIH, including 2500 patients' data for 7 years on a heart trial, not encrypted. They found out a month ago and sat on it. Similar has happened in most agencies. The White House is fighting for the right to pollute. Fed appeals case last week, the EPA violated the Clean Air Act, allowing mercury from power plants. The White House is appealing the ruling. If you count the number of McDonalds, Wendys and similar businesses in Ohio you get a lot, but there are more predatory pay day lenders. Congress capped the rate to 35% around military bases. The companies are fighting against a cap for elsewhere. America is 22nd in prosperity and stability.
  • Bumper Music: One Big Union, Matthew Grimm & The Red Smear (video).
  • "On the security side, the surge has brought important gains, which I discussed in detail last week in a speech at the Pentagon. In Baghdad, we've worked with Iraqi security forces to greatly diminish the sectarian violence and civilian deaths. We've broken the grip of al Qaida on the capital. We've weakened the influence of Iranian-backed militias. We've dramatically improved security conditions in many devastated neighborhoods in what some have deemed a "re-liberation." "
    President Bush Visits Dayton, Ohio, Discusses Global War on Terror, March 27, 2008.
  • Article: Clinton Campaign: Obama thinks that the Democratic process is not in his best interest.
  • Ellen Ratner of Talk Radio News. There is more Darfur stuff up on their site and they will do more over weekend. President Bush's speech today. The Pentagon knows the surge is a big problem, but won't speak on the record. Several Democrats put out comments on the speech. Steny Hoyer said, "Once again today, President Bush painted a rosy picture of the continuing war in Iraq that is divorced from the reality on the ground... The reality is rockets continue to rain down on the fortified Green Zone ... Basra has fallen into chaos, violence and bloodshed, and car and suicide bombings continue to kill scores of innocent Iraqis almost daily." An oil pipe line was blown up. The president is going to NATO and to see President Putin. Dueling Obama and Clinton economics speeches. Hillary spoke of education. Hillary's campaign accused Obama of taking her economy ideas, and said that he believes that the Democratic process is not in his best interest and that he has stepped up personal attacks on hers. Hillary's tax returns will be out in a week.

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