March 20th 2009 ON the Program

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"Brunch With Bernie" U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders - No Bernie today! Bernie is on his way to LA to be on the Bill Mahr Show tonight.


Frank Feuerbacher (not verified) 13 years 14 weeks ago

Eliot Spitzer:

The Real AIG ScandalIt's not the bonuses. It's that AIG's counterparties are getting paid back in full.

B Roll (not verified) 13 years 14 weeks ago


It's interesting that you raised the issue of paid bloggers today. I've been thinking about it in relationship to your show this week.

You may be aware of this already, but in the last few weeks two of the more prolific conservative members of your message board have called in to your show.

I won't mention their names (unless you want me to), but one called on a Friday to challenge Bernie Sanders about H1B visas. The other one called a few days ago feigning dismay that you urged listeners to contact Arlen Specter to urge him to switch from Republican to Democrat. The source of his feigned dismay was the fact that you'd been critical of Specter for his role on the Warren Commission.

When I noticed the fact they had called in within days of each other, I wondered if your show has been targeted for special attention since you were designated the most influential progressive talker. I also wondered if they had earned enough troll points to graduate from strictly blog posts to phone calls (or maybe it was their auditions).

I had wondered if these guys because of their prolificacy and the transparency of their arguments. In the case of one of these guys, after reading one of his posts, I had hoped that he was doing it for money rather than he actually believed it.

Just for reference, I checked on the numbers of posts of these two blogger/callers. Both of these guys were all over your old message board, and in the few weeks your new board has been up, the guy who called about Arlen Specter has posted 97 times (several this morning with the last one being within the last 5 minutes) and the one who called about work visas posted 33 times (with around 5-6 this morning and the most recent also within the last 5 minutes).

Kory (not verified) 13 years 14 weeks ago

Thom, I can't call in right now (at work) but I would love to hear your thoughts on the Obama's plan to start gardening at the white house.

people need to start taking back the genes of our world from big ag, and the more people garden the more people will be informed about the damage that GMO's, pesticides, and chemical farming are doing (organic was the original "conventional method"). I hope you would point the listeners to check out two sites. The first is the blog from a family in pasedena who grows the majority of their diet on 1/10th of an acre, among other sustainable/low impact practices.

the second site is the facebook so to speak of the sustainable gardening demographic. Its a meeting place of people sharing info on gardening, composting, food preservation, seed saving, and a great positive place for people who want to "be the change."

Thanks and keep up the good work.

mathboy (not verified) 13 years 14 weeks ago

Other than a gap of 2 years--from 1863 to 1865, when there were 10 seats--the Supreme Court has had 9 members since 1837, when the 8th and 9th seats were added. The 7th was added in 1807, and the 6th was added in 1790, only a year after the first 5 seat were created.

Don Payne (not verified) 13 years 14 weeks ago

Great show.
Quibble, on oil drilling and replacing it with water: water is heavier, not lighter, than oil. That's why we have oil slicks.

B Roll (not verified) 13 years 14 weeks ago


Has is ever occurred to you that with your policy of taking calls from people who disagree with you first, you may be padding the paychecks of the people who are paid to call in to your show?

I just heard a caller who went to the front of the line because he disagreed with a point you made. I didn't catch where he was from, but his name was the same as one of the two I referred to in my post above. If he's the same guy, you're freeing him to make more posts on your message boards, while at the same time sincere callers have to wait for long periods of time and sometimes not even get on.

Here's a personal experience: I've called into your show a few times, but haven't in quite a while. Several times, I waited for over an hour and didn't get on. The one time I did get on, I forgot a key word that you used that I found objectionable. When I got on, we went at it, but in the end we agreed to disagree. If I would have remembered that word, you probably would have agreed with me, because you started the next day's show by apologizing for what you had said (that I had objected to). You said that a listener had emailed you about your comment and mentioned the word that I'd forgotten.

It seems to me that the practice of taking dissenting calls first is an opening which can be exploited by the paid propagandists at the detriment of sincere callers.

Don Payne (not verified) 13 years 14 weeks ago

About the fealty that highly-paid newscasters pay to the GOP: It's not _only_ that the reporters need access to power in order to keep their jobs. That would apply equally to Democratic & Republican politicians. The other factor is, again, money: once you are making $millions, your self-interests are naturally more closely aligned with low-tax, conservative Republicans. This might explain Geraldo Rivera's devolution from consumer advocate to purveyor of weird and anti-average-guy stories (can't think of anything else).

B Roll (not verified) 13 years 14 weeks ago

OK... OK... this is my 3rd post of the morning, but I guarantee it's strictly "pro bono".

My suspicion was that the softness of John King's interview of Cheney may have been influenced by Seymour Hersh's recent revelation of Cheney's executive assassination squad.

mathboy (not verified) 13 years 14 weeks ago

For anyone that missed the names of the Supreme Court cases Thom mentioned, they were Buckley v. Valeo & First National Bank of Boston v. Bellotti.

saul bernstein (not verified) 13 years 14 weeks ago

As I am listening to your show I have come up with a concept..we all came here from lands that made rules that worked against us(or our past family and the founding fathers)..somehow this distaste for rules and regulations are still with we elect others like us and they do in these laws that are meant to protect us..we used to drive many miles faster and we adjusted them..we now us we can no longer use cell phones..these are adjustments of the primary rules of safe driving..the same goes for medical care..but when it comes to our economic well being we are not have a wonderful opportunity to educate the American people with these facts..
thank you
saul bernstein

B Roll (not verified) 13 years 14 weeks ago

Paid blogger wrap up:

In earlier post (2nd from the top of this page) I said that I thought that two recent callers to the show were prolific posters on Thom's message boards and I wondered if they there being being paid to post here. Well, I can't prove whether they're being paid or not. However, here are some new numbers on their posting activities today.

The guy who had called earlier this week about Thom "endorsing" Arlen Specter, has at this moment 97 posts since the new message board started. 5 of those posts were made within the last 5 hours.

The guy who had called and challenged Bernie Sanders (last Friday, I think) has a 39 posts since the new board started. Amazingly, 19 of his posts were made in the last 4 hours. In addition, he called in to challenge Thom about the proposal to tax the $165 million in bonuses given to people at AIG.


B Roll, CSI

Good_Boy (not verified) 13 years 14 weeks ago

Just to follow up on a full accounting of historic Trans-North America migration, from the historic crossing what is now the Bering Straite, to meso-American Mayan Civilization, Aztek depredation, and even the Inca Empire! What strikes me as fascinating, are the several Proto-Native American Languages, spoken throughout North America! Proto languages may be mutualy understood by other neighboring tribes, whereas each tribe retains a special core lexicon from its own region! (Ex. Proto-Iroquoian was understood by People of The Great Hill, People of The Great Swamp, People of The Hills, People of The Great Flint, and The Shirt-Wearing Peoples of the Northeastern North American region!!)

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