April 28 2008 show notes

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

Monday 28 April '08 show

  • There have been food riots in over 30 cities around the world in the last two weeks. The United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization says that biofuels may be contributing up to 10% to the current price rise. There are those who are suggesting that the deregulation of the commodity markets in the United States in 2000, the last year of Clinton's administration, creating the "Enron loophole", has contributed. Protection of countries. markets of their own markets. In 1959 Eisenhower embargoed imported oil; Nixon lifted it in 1973. Jimmy Carter tried to take us to the point where we weren't importing oil. The increase in the price of oil accounts for at least 20% - it is used to power tractors and produce fertilizers and pesticides. Biofuels are only 1.3% of the world's food supply. Mediocre harvests, particularly in Australia, probably due to global warming. A perfect storm.
  • Article: The New Economics of Hunger.
  • Article: Europe’s CAP the ‘answer’ to food crisis.
    " "What we are now witnessing in the world is the consequence of too much free-market liberalism,” he said. “We can’t leave feeding people to the mercy of the market. We need a public policy, a means of intervention and stabilization. “I think [the CAP] is a good model. It is a policy that allows us to produce to feed ourselves. We pool our resources to support production. West Africa, East Africa, Latin America and the southern shore of the Mediterranean all need regional common agricultural policies"."
    Michel Barnier, France’s farm minister.
  • Guest: Yaron Brook, Ayn Rand Institute. US inflating money supply, exporting inflation for those using dollars. Food has gone up dramatically in dollars. Biofuels are not the solution. Europe's Common Agricultural Policy. "Europe’s CAP the ‘answer’ to food crisis". He wants to sell private property, bringing in high technology, GMO. India farmer suicides. He wants more capitalism, more trade.
  • Bumper Music: Dreams, Stevie Nicks, Fleetwood Mac.
  • In the fall, the right will say the answer is free market. The EU is a good counter example.
  • "The truth is, we need to figure this out before the convention. We need time to heal. And actually, I'm not the most important person in terms of bringing the party together. The most important person is the, is the person who doesn't win the nomination.

    Because I can remember when, I can remember when I lost to John Kerry, I had to go out and convince my supporters--it took me about three months--that they needed to support Senator Kerry. I endorsed him, I campaigned for him, I went all--to all the college campuses. And that's what the person who doesn't win this, with 49 percent of the delegates, is going to have to do in order to keep the party together."
    Howard Dean, 'Meet the Press', April 27, 2008.

  • Thom:
    "But this raises the question. Barack Obama up to this point has kept his attacks on Hillary Clinton below that threshold where if he went above that threshold he would not be able to support her in the general election. In other words, he has not attacked her in ways that could be used for example by John McCain. He has not attacked her in ways where he would have to go back and say, 'you know, I was wrong when I said that, and now I'm changing my mind'. Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, and again, please understand I am not being an Obama partisan when I'm saying this. This is an indictment not of Hillary Clinton but of the way of Mark Penn and what's his name, Wolfson; the guys running her campaign. I think that they are so wrong to be doing this. By saying, for example, that she has experience, John McCain has experience, and Barack Obama has a speech, you know, that's hitting below the belt. How do you then, if she's not the nominee, how do you then do what Howard Dean did, who by the way never hit John Kerry below the belt. How do you then go out and engage in a fifty state strategy where you go from state to state and you campaign? How can she campaigned for Barack Obama?

    "I think that it's fairly clear that Barack Obama will be able to successfully campaign for Hillary Clinton, because he hasn't, at least, some people in his campaign certainly have, there have been some vicious attacks on Hillary Clinton by surrogates, by people associated with the campaign, by partisans, you know, just people with bubbling in general and way too much enthusiasm. But it has not come out of the candidate's mouth. And when the candidate says, 'well, you know, I wouldn't have sat in church with that pastor', how is she then going to defend the reverend Wright if she's not the nominee?

    "And see, understanding that this is the fundamental dynamic in presidential politics, that the loser in a primary has to become the biggest cheerleader for the winner. Otherwise the winner will not win the general election. As Howard Dean understood in 2004, and in my opinion John Kerry did win that election; it was stolen in Ohio, but that's a whole other thing. But nonetheless to the extent that John Kerry was successful, in large part it was because of Howard Dean. Howard Dean who himself, by the way, was the victim.

    "Here we have now down in, I believe South Carolina, you've got these ads which are not even running; have not even run. With, you know, conflating reverend Wright and Obama with a couple of a local candidates and basically trying to say, 'you know this guy' - speaking of Barack Obama - saying, 'you know, this guy is blacker than you thought', or, 'this guy's a more black radical than you thought'. That kind of thing. And it's a, you know, 'scare the white folks in South Carolina' message. The Republicans playing the race card. But they didn't even have to the run the ad on TV. The networks have been all too happy to play it over and over and over again.

    "But anyhow, point is, Howard Dean who himself was taken down by Republican hit ads - remember the Club for Growth came into Iowa in Iowa primary when Dean was ahead and dropped one million dollars on television advertising? 'Howard Dean, take your latte drinking, Volvo driving liberals back to Vermont'. And it knocked him out of the race. So he's seen being on the receiving end of Republicans interfering in Democratic primaries, number one.

    "And number two as the loser, he's seen and understands the importance of going out there and saying, 'I'm going to support the winner'. Will Barack Obama be able to support Hillary Clinton? Will Hillary Clinton be able to support Barack Obama in the general election? Because absolutely, as Howard Dean said, and this is so important, and they need to be thinking this every time they put together a campaign commercial, every time they make a statement on the stump, every time Bill Clinton opens his mouth or Michelle Obama for that matter, they need to be thinking this: 'I may have to campaign for that person in the fall'. And frankly, you and I have to be thinking about this as well."

  • Bumper Music: It's All Good, Montgomery Gentry.
  • Everyone should avoid personal vilification. It's one thing to attack a person's policies and say that policy's wrong. It's another thing to attack a person and say, 'I don't think that person's qualified to be president', or 'that person is bad', 'I wouldn't have sat in that church all those years'. That falls in the category of below the belt, and it's very difficult to back away from below the belt, just like in a marriage or relationship. Sometimes people never recover from that.
  • Clip:
    "I feel that those citizens who say that have never heard my sermons, nor do they know me. They are unfair accusations taken from sound bites and that which is looped over and over on certain channels. I served six years in the military. Does that make me patriotic? How many years did Cheney serve?"
    Jeremiah Wright At National Press Club, on questions about his patriotism.
  • Clip:
    "Iraq sits on top of 10 percent of the world’s oil reserves, very significant reserves, second only to Saudi Arabia." Vice President Dick Cheney, Meet the Press, September 14, 2003.
  • Thom:
    Sometimes when you love your country passionately, you passionately criticize your country's bad policies. And as Teddy Roosevelt pointed out, that's the highest form of patriotism.
  • Bumper Music: Do Ya, Electric Light Orchestra.
  • Article: The Top 100 Effects of Global Warming.
  • The candidates agree that the climate is changing and that something should be done about it, but they differ on solutions. The IPCC follow up report, sea level, glaciers, water shortages, species loss, the ocean conveyor belt, a positive feedback loop, the soda pop theory. Say goodbye to french wines, baseball (ash), Christmas tree, fly fishing, ski vacations, snorkeling - coral, salmon dinners, guacamole, etc.
  • Guest: Lene Johansen, Warren T. Brookes Journalism Fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute. She says we should accept global climate change instead of trying to prevent it. Extreme scenario. Thom said it is already happening. She said it's natural, we've been through them before, in the middle ages Norway had wine. Thom said 10 out of the last 11 years were the hottest years in history. She said Europe was warmer in the middle ages, hotter than now, but not the whole world. Glaciers. World health top problems are malaria, malnutrition, unsafe water. Sudan, desertification of Africa. Malaria on the move. Her solution - provide bed nets. DDT ban. Malnutrition, desertification and climate change. We've been stupid using water. Kyoto Protocol.
  • Bumper Music: Fire It Up, Modest Mouse.
  • Say hello to more mosquitoes (and inoculations), poison ivy. Say goodbye to lobster dinners. Death march of the penguins - just 9 pairs left. Long list. Should we just adapt to this? I don't think so. 150,000 people were killed by global warming last year. Say hello to Belgian hookers in ski resorts to make up for lack of snow.
  • Replace income tax and corporation tax with carbon tax?
  • Bumper Music: Magic, Pilot.
  • Megafarms, food miles. Nutritional value decreases. There's no guarantee of any cost savings to consumer, they will go to profits. Speculation in food, oil. OPEC is a cartel. Enforce the Sherman Anti-Trust Act.
  • Thom: "Being good stewards of the Earth... I think the essential message of environmentalism is the same message as the essential message of most aboriginal and indigenous societies, which is leave the Earth a little better than you found it, for future generations. And we're certainly, we're certainly not doing that right."
  • Bumper Music: Say (All I Need), Onerepublic. (video)
  • Book: "Emerging Viruses: AIDS And Ebola : Nature, Accident or Intentional?" by Leonard G. Horowitz.
  • Ellen Ratner of Talk Radio News. Violence in Gaza. Questions about what is going on in other areas such as Iraq. She was at the UN Foundation planning a radio day that Thom will be at, first week of June. 2% of houses are for sale, vacant. Home ownership down. The Reverend Wright spoke today about AIDS. He mentioned "Emerging Viruses". Clinton up by 5 in Indiana in the last 24 hours. McCain's pastor? Hillary's prayer group? Media frenzy. Rove luncheon the other day, Fitzgerald. Tomorrow she leaves for Dubai, Richard Miller will be in Afghanistan, Meredith McKenzie will be with the Secretary of Defense in Mexico and elsewhere.
  • Book: "Crunch: Why Do I Feel So Squeezed? (and Other Unsolved Economic Mysteries)".
  • Guest: Jared Bernstein, Director of the Living Standards program, Economic Policy Institute. Author, "Crunch: Why Do I Feel So Squeezed? (and Other Unsolved Economic Mysteries)". Book signings in Portland, Oregon. Food and energy prices are rising a lot more quickly than paychecks. Economists do not realize. The median male wage, adjusted, is the same as in 1973, but 1973 was a huge difference from 1953. Why is it that when companies sack workers their stock goes up? When the unemployment rate goes up, Wall Street is happy. Greenspan, minimum worker insecurity.Pump and dump like Romney Sr. is short-sighted. The world isn't as flat as all that. Globalization, benefits (lower prices) and down sides. Good news, highly productive economy, even if people aren't benefiting, we need a government that will change that.
  • Guest: Congressman Keith Ellison. In an outrageous move, Senate Republicans blocked a resolution recognizing Chavez's life and work. March 31 would have been his 81st birthday. He's no longer the only member who is Muslim, André Carson from Indianapolis joined a month ago. The right wing have been trying to conflate Obama with him being sworn in on the Koran. There are bigots, but the majority want solidarity, people are smarter now, need to keep working. Pass card check.
  • Bumper Music: Stand By Me, John Lennon.
  • In 1867 South Carolina had the first free public schools, it was a black dominated legislation.
  • Quote: "Let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself — nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance." First Inaugural Address March 4, 1933, Franklin D. Roosevelt.
  • Clip: Montage of Bush's "Be afraid" phrases in an RNC speech.
  • Terror is a tactic. The poorest use it because they are powerless. It is asymmetric.
  • Book: The plot to seize the White House by Jules Archer.
  • A carbon tax would hit larger states with larger distances to travel disproportionately. Cubic inch tax. Electric cars, cost of replacing the batteries when they are older and otherwise within the price range of poorer people.
  • Bumper Music: You Learn, Alanis Morissette (video).
  • Bumper Music: Crazy, Gnarls Barkley.
  • The high price of gold has led to people pawning or selling their gold teeth, etc.
  • Book: "Fingerprints of the Gods", Graham Hancock.

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