- Saint Patrick's Day.
- Quote: "For in the final analysis, our most basic common link, is that we all inhabit this small planet, we all breathe the same air, we all cherish our children’s futures, and we are all mortal." John F. Kennedy.
- Why do Republicans have different standards for blue collar vs. white collar workers?
- Article: 'Special Report' Panel on Outrage Over AIG Bonuses.
"I'm all in favor of keeping this heaping opprobrium. I would deny them the bonuses if possible. I would be for an exemplary hanging or two. Have it in Times Square, invite Madame DuFarge. You borrow a guillotine from the French and we could have a party." Charles Krauthammer.
- Article: Conservatives Suggest Torture Tactics For AIG Execs: ‘Exemplary Hanging,’ Guillotine Party, ‘Boiling In Oil’.
- Article: Anger Over Firm Depletes Obama's Political Capital, Michael D. Shear and Paul Kane.
"President Obama's apparent inability to block executive bonuses at insurance giant AIG has dealt a sharp blow to his young administration and is threatening to derail both public and congressional support for his ambitious political agenda."
- Article: Automakers should seek bankruptcy protection, say two GOP senators, March 8, 2009.
- Article: GOP Opposes Pay Limits On Bailed-Out Bankers, February 6, 2009.
- Article: How the Rules Were Rigged, Josh Marshall.
- Article: Wall Street 'made rod for own back', Francesco Guerrera, Nicole Bullock and Julie MacIntosh, October 31 2008.
"The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, the trade body that lobbied for the changes, rejected the criticism, saying the 2005 rules “enhance legal certainty for contracts, [and] reduce legal risk ... and systemic risk”.
The International Swaps and Derivatives Association added that the 2005 clarifications “provided legal certainty by clarifying existing federal policy”."
- Bankruptcy law rant.
- Article: The Predator Class and the Predator State, Time for change.
- Bumper Music: Crazy, Gnarls Barkley.
- Article: German Tax Office Haunts 16th Century Mathematician.
- Why the whole banking system could go down in flames.
- Unraveling derivatives without bringing down the system. The problem is the rules.
- Book: The Fourth Turning: an American Prophecy by William Strauss and Neil Howe, published in 1997, which was Thom's "Independent Thinker" Book of the Month a while ago.
- Article: How to stop the drug wars: Prohibition has failed; legalisation is the least bad solution.
- Article: Levels of prohibition: A toker's guide.
- Guest: Jacob Sullum, Senior Editor - Reason Magazine, author "Saying Yes: In Defense of Drug Use". Should we legalize all drugs worldwide now? How about regulation?
- Article: The success of drug decriminalization in Portugal, Glenn Greenwald, March 14, 2009.
"Evaluating the policy strictly from an empirical perspective, decriminalization has been an unquestionable success, leading to improvements in virtually every relevant category and enabling Portugal to manage drug-related problems (and drug usage rates) far better than most Western nations that continue to treat adult drug consumption as a criminal offense."
- If drugs are decriminalized, what about the Taliban?
- Thom and his family were offered the pot menu when dining in Amsterdam.
- All of the world's Viagra is made in County Cork, Ireland. The Republicans said that people should to be able to import drugs.
- Guest: William Greider, National Affairs Correspondent for The Nation Magazine, author of several bestselling books including Who Will Tell The People? : The Betrayal Of American Democracy. His new book "Come Home, America: The Rise and Fall (and Redeeming Promise) of Our Country". The premise of the book: we're in a real breakpoint in our history as a country, far more profound than even the current financial crisis quite expresses. He is trying to help people first understand what they're facing and then to give them his own optimism abut the country. We can become a better place; a country that really does enable everybody to lead larger lives than they do now; not necessarily richer, but fuller in our experience. IF people step up and reclaim their role as citizens. 28 year was against middle class.
The politics of hard money. Secrets of the Temple: How the Federal Reserve Runs the Country. People are told they do not understand finance. How the system has changed. Collapse. We cannot get back to a normal economy until the Federal Reserve is at least reformed. It's just a cover to keep things obscure. Take it back. Why North Dakota has its own bank. Create cooperative and state owned banks.
The Next War. The End of the Conservative Era. Machine Politics - corporations have replaced the old urban machines, the Boss Tweeds. Ward Heelers. Howard Dean tried to reawaken that spirit. The industries Obama is up against for health care reform. Let's do it right. 1907, Teddy Roosevelt, the Tillman Act which prohibited monetary contributions from corporations to national political campaigns. Only people can dislodge the ones in the way.
- Bumper Music: The Luck of the Irish, John Lennon.
- In 1770 it was illegal for people to grow cotton and make clothing from it; the cotton had to be shipped to England where the clothing would be made. The same in India. The people fought back. There is a populist explosion right now. Andrew Cuomo just released information about the recipients of bonuses. Be wary of populist demagogues on both sides, faux anger.
- Article: The US Is Facing a Weimar Moment by Robert Freeman.
"So the rightists set out to do everything they could to make it impossible for the leftists to govern. They would use parliamentary maneuver, shifting coalitions, domination of the new mass media, legislative obstruction, staged public relations spectacles, relentless pressure by narrow but powerful interests, judicial intimidation and, eventually, outright murder of their political opponents."
- Article: "Triumph of the Will" by Leni Riefenstahl Review by Thom Hartmann.
- Bumper Music: You can leave your hat on, Randy Newman.
- Article: French sex toy sales fall as credit crunch bites.
- Emergence of neofascism, merger of corporate interests and state interests with belligerent nationalism. Leaders are heard on hard right radio and in the Senate and House. Demagoguing. Phony population. Austria is concerned about the rise of the right. Top tax rates. Bonuses. Democratic socialist.
- Single power in China, Communist Party, they can do what they want. United States one party by money. Lobbyist. Campaign finance. Use of war.
- Thom is reviewing "In the Jaws of the Dragon: America's Fate in the Coming Era of Chinese Hegemony", Eamonn Fingleton.
- The Dawes Plan of 1924.
- Ellen Ratner of Talk Radio News. AIG. The bonus contracts were done before the government purchase. Trying to revise tax code. Surtax. Thom said roll back the Reagan tax cuts. The president said face more than one crisis at a time, not just banking. He said his budget was a foundation on which to build a lasting recovery, the cost of health care is too high to ignore, dependence on oil is too dangerous to ignore, our education deficit is growing too wide to ignore, it would be irresponsible to leave them for 4 or 8 years, he came to save the problems. Phony populism on the right. Ed Schaefer said give Congress bonuses if they can solve the problems. Public Service. Differences between CEO and worker pay, historically. Midge McConnell said reconsider shutting down Guantanamo.