November 21 2008 show notes

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

Friday 21 November '08 show

  • Thom is working on the Air America Cruise all this week. The show was guest hosted by Jay Marvin, host on Denver's Progressive Talk Channel (760 AM).
  • Book: The Uprising: An Unauthorized Tour of the Populist Revolt Scaring Wall Street and Washington, David Sirota.
    "The Uprising is ... about the re-emergence of populist politics on both the Right and Left in America... The Uprising is all new, firsthand investigative reporting from across the country, showing how populism has become a dominant political force in both national and local politics. Sirota, a nationally syndicated newspaper columnist, takes us far from the media spotlight into the trenches where real change is happening - from the headquarters of the most powerful third party in America to the bowels of the U.S. Senate; from the auditorium of an Exxon Mobil shareholder meeting to the quasi-military staging area of a vigilante force on the Mexican border".
  • Article: Wall Street Bailout Takes Us Back to the U.S.S.R, David Sirota, September 26, 2008.
    "When I worked for then-Rep. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., in the late 1990s, Washington was in the panting throes of a deregulatory orgy. Many lampooned my boss's opposition to the grotesquerie, and his notoriety as the only self-described socialist in Congress. Nobody guessed that a few years later, our country would become the globe's newest U.S.S.R.: The United States' Socialist Republic.

    Yes, a red flag is rising over the Capitol, only the laborer's hammer and sickle has been replaced by a baron's top hat and monocle. America is Amerika, and throughout Washington a socialist rallying cry echoes: Politicians and lobbyists of the world unite! -- unite to rescue Wall Street capitalists with a $700 billion taxpayer bailout.

    Though socialism seems new in the U.S., it isn't. Using public resources and government power to control the economy is as Amerikan as the Pentagon and the Patent Office. And the problem is not socialism itself, but our uniquely destructive version of it. Amerika's is not the democratic socialism of many countries. Ours is kleptocratic socialism -- the objective is theft.

    Unlike European comrades, our socialists rarely mandate returns on taxpayer investments. The same 19th century socialism that gave the Mountain West to railroad companies became a 20th century socialism subsidizing oil and drug industry profits. Now, our 21st century socialists propose giving financial industry con men the national credit card, confirming Marx's theory that history repeats itself first as tragedy, then as farce.
  • Guest: David Sirota, columnist, author of The Uprising: An Unauthorized Tour of the Populist Revolt Scaring Wall Street and Washington and Hostile Takeover: How Big Money and Corruption Conquered Our Government -- and How We Take It Back. The bailout. Buy into the auto companies. Return on investment, leverage, the government is more likely to protect workers than vultures. Paulson should not have bought non-voting shares. We don't want Summers or Rubin as treasury secretary. Summers has changed his tune over the last year, writing in the Financial Times. Summers is campaigning for treasury secretary by writing for regulation - a good sign of change in their thinking? Socialism is as old as the Pentagon and the Patent Office, as he wrote in an article. The Pentagon hands out huge amounts of money, and the Patent Office hands out monopolies. We usually intervene for a small number of wealthy people. With the auto industry, we are thinking of millions of workers.

    He's a senior editor at In These Times. He has a syndicated column. He is working on another book proposal. It's not just the car companies fault, the government should have set standards. Lots of actors have been negligent. Don't let the companies go under because of the workers. At times of transition governments have to shelter or support industries temporarily. Corporate socialism: socialize social risk, privatize profits. The big 3 should be asked for plans. Comparison with Sweden. We have too little union, not too much. The strongest growth happened when the US was most unionized. He who controls the media controls the culture of the country. Employee Free Choice Act, the business community will do all it can to stop it. Rosa the laundry worker. Colorado amendment.
  • Most of the rest of the show was given over to listeners' calls, and most of the calls were to discuss various aspects of the automotive industry bailout.
  • His blog is at - adults only. He likes cars and books.
  • JFK said America would put a man on the moon, Reagan said a space station, so why shouldn't Obama say universal health care, etc.?
  • Documentary: Who Killed The Electric Car?
  • Sarah Palin Pardons Turkey - While others killed behind her (not for the squeamish).
  • Article: Let Detroit Go Bankrupt. Mitt Romney.

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