April 09 2008 show notes
- Guest: Sydney Blumenthal, "The Strange Death of Republican America: Chronicles of a Collapsing Party".
- Petraeus, Crocker, Voinovitch on Iraq, etc.
- Guest: Jed Babbin, editor of Human Events, "In the Words of Our Enemies". The bloodshed in Iraq.
- Guests: Nadia Conners and Leila Conners Petersen, directors of The 11th hour, which is out on DVD. Thom is in it.
Topics, guests, upcoming events, quotes, links to articles, audio clips, books & bumper music.
"We’re really at a point right now where we’re really strained and stressed out. In addition to that, we have a national debt that’s $9 trillion. The budget's going to be out of balance by another $660 billion. And I hate to agree with Senator Feingold, but I think that Osama bin Laden is sitting back right now looking at this thing. In effect we’re kind of bankrupting this country. We are doing, we are giving, we are eating our seed corn. We’ve got some really big problems today, and we are in a recession, and God only knows how long we’re gonna be in it.
What we think we need to have is a surge of diplomacy during this period of time. The witnesses that were in last week
said that we should take advantage of this 10 month period between this administration going out, and the next one coming in. And if we don’t, if we don’t do it in terms of diplomacy, if we don’t sit down with the Syrians, and the Saudis, and the Egyptians, and tell ‘em, ‘Hey guys! We’re on our way out! We have to be here because of our own financial situation, and we’re stressed out to the point where we’ve gotta do this. Now understand this: it’s not in your best interest to see the thing blow up. It’s time for YOU to step in, and start taking some action and bringing people together’."
George Voinovich (R-OH).
- Book: "The Emerging Republican Majority", Kevin Phillips.
- Book: " Bush at War", Bob Woodward.
- Guest: Sydney Blumenthal, Former assistant and senior advisor to President Bill Clinton. Author, "The Strange Death of Republican America: Chronicles of a Collapsing Party", "The Rise of the Counter-Establishment: The Conservative Ascent to Political Power", "Pledging Allegiance: The Last Campaign of the Cold War". He writes for the Guardian. Voinovitch talking about hemorrhaging money. The rise began 1966. The Republicans have repudiated traditional Republicanism under George W Bush and imploded. He thinks it will be a long time before there will be another Republican Congress. Amnesty, acid and abortion". Bob Woodward sucked up to Bush; his books "Bush at war" established the false image of Bush as the president in charge - it was outsourced to him. Cheney. Slinging the propaganda. Bush's low popularity rating. Bob Woodward is a weather vane. Bush protecting Gonzales because Gonzales is protecting Bush and Rove. The purge of attorneys for political purposes. Is Michael Gerson doing for Rove what Woodward did for Bush? Blumenthal:
The main message of this book is that the Republican Party became the dominant influence over public policy and politics in our country after the Democratic debacle of '68. And now the Republicans have imploded. Their fall came from their own arrogance, their own radicalism, pushing beyond the edge of the envelope in a very short time under Bush. And we are really between eras right now. We're not in a new era. There's a great opportunity for the Democrats if they'll seize it properly. And then they have to govern well. That could put an end to this whole Republican era that has existed for two generations. And what my book describes is that it provides a framework for understanding that and describes the period in which Bush destroyed traditional Republicanism and the Republican effort to create a realignment and a dream of grandeur for power and how it's gone.
- Bumper Music: In Your Mind, Johnny Cash.
- Bumper Music: Piggies, George Harrison, Beatles.
- Article: Gov Credit Cards Used To Pay For Lingerie, iPods, $13K Dinner.
- Article: FDA triples death count linked to tainted heparin.
- Thom's Buzzflash "Book" of the Month: The 11th Hour (DVD).
- A previous Thom's Buzzflash Book of the Month: Messages To The World, by Osama bin Laden.
- Bush has done what Saudi Arabia wanted: removed US troops from Saudi Arabia, driven oil prices up and bled America dry through getting involved in conflict in the Middle East.
- Bumper Music: Thank You, John Mellencamp.
- Yesterday Bush gave a family a medal for the loss of their son. When will there be war charges? Thom does not think Bush can feel shame - he's a sociopath, views others as objects. Michael Ratner, President, Center for Constitutional Rights, has been to France and Germany trying to get Rumsfeld arrested. Thom is concerned about the precedent of pardons.
- Thom saw the effects of decertification in Sudan. See his pictures from Darfur on Thom's web site here and here and also over at Talk Radio News.
- Bob called and blamed greed. Thom said, "I believe that basic human nature is to look out for each other. Basic human nature is to form community. Basic human nature is to protect your family. Basic human nature is to say, 'we're all in this together'. This 'greed is good' stuff, this Gordon Gekko stuff, this Reaganomics stuff, this robber baron stuff is, in my opinion, a form of mental illness. It's another variation on sociopathy." It has always been with us, but it is not the dominant feature in human nature. You see more community in countries like Sweden.
- Book: Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, John Perkins.
- Book: "The End of America: Letter of Warning To A Young Patriot", Naomi Wolf.
- Book: The Shock Doctrine, Naomi Klein.
- Book: The SS Brotherhood of the Bell: Nasa's Nazis, JFK, And Majic-12, Joseph P. Farrell.
- Bumper Music: This is such a Pity, Weezer.
- It's all about the money: Republicans for the wealthy few, Democrats for everybody.
- Article: IMF puts cost of crisis at $1,000bn.
- Article: BoJ nominee warns US over crisis response. Masaaki Shirakawa.
- Article: IMF points to high cost of global credit crisis.
- Article: Small-Business Optimism Plunges.
"The National Federation of Independent Business said its index of small-business optimism fell 3.3 points in March to 89.6, the lowest reading since the monthly surveys began in 1986."
- Article: Fed Weighs Its Options in Easing Crunch, Greg Ip. (Graph of the Federal Reserve's holdings). The Fed is selling treasuries and buying riskier things.
"British and Swiss central banks also are contemplating contingency plans. For now, the European Central Bank is reluctant to consider options that require substantial modifications of its standard tools.
The Fed, like any central bank, could print unlimited amounts of money, but that would push short-term interest rates lower than it believes would be wise. The contingency planning seeks ways to relieve strains in credit markets and restore liquidity without pushing down rates."
- Book: In the Words of Our Enemies, Jed Babbin.
- Article: Will Petraeus and Crocker End Clinton’s Campaign?. Jed Babbin.
"The Democrats fear tomorrow. Not only in the metaphysical sense, but literally. Tomorrow, Gen. David Petraeus and Amb. Ryan Crocker will report again on the situation in Iraq. And before a session of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Petraeus and Crocker will face two of the three competitors for the presidency."
- Guest: Jed Babbin, editor of Human Events, who served as a deputy undersecretary of defense in President George H.W. Bush's administration. Author of "In the Words of Our Enemies", "Showdown: Why China Wants War with the United States", "Inside the Asylum: Why the UN and Old Europe are Worse than You Think". He is a conservative supporting the surge, Petraeus. How and when do we stop the bloodshed in Iraq? His column about the Democrats fearing tomorrow. Petraeus and Crocker testimony. Things are not going on right direction, but not it is not the fault of Petraeus. Hillary has calmed down, did not call him liar this time. A BBC News report yesterday from area in Baghdad recently bombed by the US showed a father whose 3 kids had died. When does the indiscriminate bombing stop? He says it is not indiscriminate. Democrats are incompetent, have not stopped the war. He says Iran is the biggest sponsor of terrorism, Thom said Saudi Arabia is. He called Barack Obama "Obambi".
- Bumper Music: I like it like that, Dave Clark Five (video).
[Senator Joe Biden]: "Mr. Ambassador, is Al Qaeda a greater threat to US interests in Iraq, or in the Afghan-Pakistan border region?"
[Ambassador Crocker]: "Mr. Chairman, Al Qaeda is a strategic threat to the United States wherever it is, in my view."
[Senator Joe Biden]: "Where is most of it? If you could take it out? You had a choice: the Lord almighty came down and sat in the middle of the table there and said, 'Mr. Ambassador, you can eliminate every Al Qaeda source in Afghanistan and Pakistan, or every Al Qaeda personnel in Iraq, which would you pick?' "
[Ambassador Crocker]: "Well given the progress that has been made against Al Qaeda in Iraq, the significant decrease in its capabilities, the fact that it is solidly on the defensive, and not in a position of, as far as..."
[Senator Joe Biden]: "Which would you pick, Mr. Ambassador?"
[Ambassador Crocker]: "I would therefore pick Al Qaeda in the Pakistan-Afghanistan border area."
[Senator Joe Biden]: "That would be a smart choice."
Joe Biden Just Obliterated Every Administration Argument About Iraq.
- Bumper Music: Running down a Dream, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.
[Clinton]: "With respect to our long term challenges, Ambassador Crocker, the administration has announced that it will negotiate an agreement with the government of Iraq by the end of July that would provide the legal authorities for U.S. troops to continue to conduct operations in Iraq. Let me ask you, do you anticipate that the Iraqi government would submit such an agreement to the Iraqi parliament for ratification?"
[Crocker]: "The Iraqi government has indicated that it will bring the agreement to the council of representatives. At this point it’s not clear at least to me whether that will be for a formal vote or whether they will repeat the process they used in November with the Declaration of Principles in which it was simply read to the members of the Parliament."
[Clinton]: "Does the Administration plan to submit this agreement to our Congress?"
[Crocker]: "At this point Senator, we do not anticipate that the agreements will have within them any elements that would require the advise-and-consent procedure. We intend to negotiate this as an executive agreement."
Senator Clinton Presses General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker on Iraq Withdrawal. Is it a treaty? The retrospective authority from the UN expires at the end of this year. According to the US constitution, the power to approve treaties rests with the Senate. So Bush is going to bind the next president.
- Bumper Music: Have You Ever Seen the Rain, Creedence Clearwater Revival.
- It's the calm before the storm now, The storm will probably come in October. Martinez, Graham, Lieberman trying to blame Iran for what's going on in Iraq.
- Article: FBI taped lawmaker calls.
"FBI wiretaps picked up the voices of several members of Congress in their conversations with Rep. Rick Renzi (R-Ariz.)."
- Ellen Ratner of Talk Radio News. She's at the House Republican radio row. Nobody will come on air. Thom and Ellen will do the RNC together. The Hill has a very interesting front page, the FBI taped lawmaker calls with Rick Renzi who ran against her friend Ellen Simon and was indicted. What gives the FBI the right to tap these phones? They work for the administration. An assistant of Congressman Ney (R-Ohio) was persuaded by the Justice Department to try and take papers out. Hoover was blackmailing Congress, and being blackmailed by Marcello and Trafficante. Discussion of the limits. Half way through the reduction of the surge. After they are down to pre surge level, Petraeus wants a pause.
Guests: Nadia Conners and Leila Conners Petersen, directors of The 11th hour, which is now out on DVD. Thom is in it. It's his Buzzflash "book" of the month. It's about the state of the world, not just global warming, environment. It's about how we're thinking, as Thom said in the movie; the turning point of the film. The world is made up of circular systems, apart from us; everything's waste is something else's food. The industrial system is turning everything into waste, there's little re-use. Oil allows us to accelerate our speed of digging up the Earth and creating waste, we aren't stopping to think. Kenny Ausubel spoke of the human footprint. We could reduce it by a huge percent. There is not one silver bullet, but everything. A community has built up at 11thhouraction.com.
- Bumper Music: Last Man Standing Bon Jovi.
- If you go to mikehuckabee.com the screen says "Coming Soon" with a count down at 6 days or so. What could it mean? Chat room suggestions included phred42 - that's when they shut down the Internet, Dessalines says it is when Huckabee is hosting a squirrel cooking show, several suggest it is tax day on April 15.
- Article: Obama May Bypass Public Financing.
"We have created a parallel public financing system where the American people decide if they want to support a campaign they can get on the Internet and finance it, and they will have as much access and influence over the course and direction of our campaign that has traditionally reserved for the wealthy and the powerful.""
- Public financing has spending limits. The Democratic nominee could raise a lot amount of money on the Internet. Bush said, "Here we have the haves and the have mores. Some call you the elite; I call you my base."
(video). The Democratic nominee may have to bypass public financing to beat McCain.
- Bumper Music: Belief, John Mayer.
- Overview. Is the economy really going in the tank? Gold has gone up $30 since Thom went on air. Oil has gone up. What does the market know that we don't know?
- Article: Surprising Political Endorsements By U.S. Troops.
- Bumper Music: Speed of Sound, Coldplay.
- Bumper Music: You can leave your hat on, Randy Newman.
- Article: Brazil builds £10m condom factory to help save rainforest.
- Article: IMF says US crisis is 'largest financial shock since Great Depression'.
- Site: Economy in Crisis.
- Who owns the Fed?