Tuesday 24 March '09 show

  • Did “Starving the Beast” work so well that America and the Dollar are doomed? How much damage has been over the last 25 years? Tax history. The growth of national debt. Star wars spending. Misguided anti-"socialist", selfish, Ayn Rand views. Different definitions of freedom. China and Russia saying the dollar should no longer be the reserve currency of the world. The possibility of Weimar Republic-style hyper inflation.
  • "I've always felt the nine most terrifying words in the English language are, 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help'." Ronald W. Reagan.
  • Bumper Music: Space Cowboy, Steve Miller (video).
  • Tim Geithner testifying before Congress. Reaganomics. Last night Thom was on Larry King Live! with Rep Connie Mack, Arianna Huffington and Larry Elder, discussing whether Tim Geithner should be thrown out. (Video). (Transcript). Geithner said he did not have the legal authority to put AIG into receivership. He is now asking Congress for power to regulate not just banks but other financial institutions. Thom is learning to speak in sound bites. He would have liked to have said that Obama has only been in power for 2 months. Geithner is his guy, give him a chance. Reagan, both Bushes, and Clinton who signed the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act and the Commodity Futures Modernization Act. Maxine Walters asking about the role of Goldman Sachs. The bankers have screwed us. We need to stabilize the situation then break the banks up.
  • Article: The Real Criminals are Neither Lynndie England nor the AIG Traders.
  • Article: The Big Takeover, Matt Taibbi. <!--
  • Article: China urges switch from dollar as reserve currency.
  • China urges switch from dollar as reserve currency By Jamil Anderlini in Beijing Published: March 24 2009 02:00 | Last updated: March 24 2009 02:00 China's central bank yesterday proposed replacing the US dollar as the international reserve currency with a new global system controlled by the International Monetary Fund. In an essay posted on the People's Bank of China's website, Zhou Xiaochuan, the central bank's governor, said the goal would be to create a reserve currency "that is disconnected from individual nations and is able to remain stable in the long run, thus removing the inherent deficiencies caused by using credit-based national currencies". Analysts said that the proposal was an indication of Beijing's fears that actions being taken to save the domestic US economy would have a negative impact on China. "This is a clear sign that China, as the largest holder of US dollar financial assets, is concerned about the potential inflationary risk of the US Federal Reserve printing money," said Qu Hongbin, chief China economist for HSBC. Although Mr Zhou did not mention the US dollar, the essay gave a pointed critique of the current dollar-dominated monetary system. "The outbreak of the [current] crisis and its spillover to the entire world reflected the inherent vulnerabilities and systemic risks in the existing international monetary system," Mr Zhou wrote. China has little choice but to hold the bulk of its $2,000bn (£1,371bn, €1,464bn) of foreign exchange reserves in US dollars, and this is unlikely to change in the near future. To replace the current system, Mr Zhou suggested expanding the role of special drawing rights , which were introduced by the IMF in 1969 to support the Bretton Woods fixed exchange rate regime but became less relevant once that collapsed in the 1970s. Today, the value of SDRs is based on a basket of four currencies - the US dollar, yen, euro and sterling - and they are used largely as a unit of account by the IMF and some other international organisations. China's proposal would expand the basket of currencies forming the basis of SDR valuation to all large economies and set up a settlement system between SDRs and other currencies so they could be used in international trade and financial transactions. Countries would entrust a portion of their SDR reserves to the IMF to manage collectively on their behalf and SDRs would replace existing reserve currencies gradually. Mr Zhou said the proposal would require "extraordinary political vision and courage" and acknowledged a debt to John Maynard Keynes, who made a similar suggestion in the 1940s. More recently Joseph Stiglitz, the US economist and Nobel prizewinner, who is visiting China this week, has suggested expanding the role of SDRs to lay the foundations for a world currency. -->

  • Article: China wants to oust dollar as international reserve currency, Jamil Anderlini.
  • Russia is talking about the same thing. China will propose it at the meeting in London on April 2 of the group of 20, saying currency should be based on shares in the IMF, which is owned by the 185 member nations. This would be the end of the American Empire.
  • Bumper Music: Six Days On The Road, Dave Dudley (video).
  • Article: Stink-free Japanese underwear in space.
  • Battle of philosophies.
  • Bumper Music: Be the Rain, Neil Young (video).
  • Article: Madoff to Help U.S. Sell Bad Assets.
  • Protectionism.
  • Guest: Jamie Glazov, editor of Frontpage Magazine, co-editor (with David Horowitz) of The Hate America Left, author, "United in Hate: The Left's Romance with Tyranny and Terror", foreword by James Wolsey.
  • Bumper Music: Drivin' My Life Away, Eddie Rabbit.
  • Book: The Conservative Mind: From Burke to Eliot, Russell Kirk.
  • Book: Rights of Man, Thomas Paine.
  • Quote: "The occupation of an hair-dresser, or of a working tallow-chandler [candle maker], cannot be a matter of honour to any person -- to say nothing of a number of other more servile employments. Such descriptions of men ought not to suffer oppression from the state; but the state suffers oppression, if such as they, either individually or collectively, are permitted to rule. In this you think you are combating prejudice, but you are at war with nature."
    Sir Edmund Burke, Reflections on the Revolution in France, 1790.
  • Bumper Music: Me And My Gang, Rascal Flatts.
  • Article: A Preliminary Analysis of the President's Budget and an Update of CBO's Budget and Economic Outlook.
  • David Stockman's 'starve the beast' plan as laid out in the New York Times. The CBO report about how much Obama is going to spend. Immigrants are staying and increasing the work force, driving wages down. Thom's experience of getting a visa for Shinji is an example of how it should be.
  • Bumper Music: Talk to me, Stevie Nicks, Fleetwood Mac.
  • Bumper Music: You can leave your hat on, Randy Newman.
  • Article: Calif. Cops Seek Breast Implant Bandit: Hunt On For Woman Who Allegedly Stole Someone's ID To Pay For Cosmetic Surgery.
  • Shrinking government.
  • Rocky: "Bullwinkle, we're headin' swiftly down the river and out to sea".
  • Traditional Republican values; Teddy Roosevelt broke up large corporations Eisenhower warned about the Military Industrial Complex.
  • Clip:
    "This is Ronald Reagan speaking to you from Hollywood. You know me as a motion picture actor but tonight I'm just a citizen pretty concerned about the national election next month and more than a little impatient with those promises the Republicans made before they got control of Congress a couple years ago.

    I remember listening to the radio on election night in 1946. Joseph Martin, the Republican Speaker of the House, said very solemnly, and I quote, "We Republicans intend to work for a real increase in income for everybody by encouraging more production and lower prices without impairing wages or working conditions", unquote. Remember that promise: a real increase in income for everybody. But what actually happened?

    The profits of corporations have doubled, while workers' wages have increased by only one-quarter. In other words, profits have gone up four times as much as wages, and the small increase workers did receive was more than eaten up by rising prices, which have also bored into their savings. For example, here is an Associate Press Dispatch I read the other day about Smith L. Carpenter, a craftsman in Union Springs, New York. It seems that Mr. Carpenter retired some years ago thinking he had enough money saved up that he could live out his last years without having to worry. But he didn’t figure on this Republican inflation, which ate up all of his savings, and so he's gone back to work. The reason this is news, is Mr. Carpenter is 91 years old.

    Now, take as a contrast the Standard Oil Company of New Jersey, which reported a net profit of $210 million after taxes for the first half of 1948; an increase of 70% in one year. In other words, high prices have not been caused by higher wages, but by bigger and bigger profits.

    The Republican promises sounded pretty good in 1946, but what has happened since then, since the 80th Congress took over? Prices have climbed to the highest level in history, although the death of the OPA was supposed to bring prices down through "the natural process of free competition". Labor has been handcuffed with the vicious Taft-Hartley law. Social Security benefits have been snatched away from almost a million workers by the Gearhart bill. Fair employment practices, which had worked so well during war time, have been abandoned. Veterans' pleas for low cost homes have been ignored, and many people are still living in made-over chicken coops and garages.

    Tax-reduction bills have been passed to benefit the higher-income brackets alone. The average worker saved only $1.73 a week. In the false name of economy, millions of children have been deprived of milk once provided through the federal school lunch program. This was the payoff of the Republicans' promises. And this is why we must have new faces in the Congress of the United States: Democratic faces.

    This is why we must not only elect President Truman, but also men like Mayor Hubert Humphrey of Minneapolis, the Democratic candidate for Senator from Minnesota. Mayor Humphrey at 37 is one of the ablest men in public life. He's running against Joe Ball, who was a member of the Senate Labor Committee, helped write the Taft-Hartley law. The Republicans don't want to lose Ball, and are spending a small fortune on his campaign. They've even sent [Thomas] Dewey and [Earl] Warren to Minneapolis to speak for him. President Truman knows the value of a man like Hubert Humphrey in the Senate, and he has been in Minneapolis too, campaigning against Joe Ball. Mayor Humphrey and Ball are the symbols of the political battle going on in America today. While Ball is a banner carrier for Wall Street, Mayor Humphrey is fighting for all the principles advocated by President Truman; for adequate low cost housing, for civil rights, for prices people can afford to pay, and for a labor movement freed of the Taft-Hartley law. I take great pride in presenting my friend from Minneapolis, Mayor Hubert H. Humphrey, candidate for United States Senator.

    "
    Reagan Campaigns for Truman in 1948.
  • Book: "The End of Food ", Paul Roberts.
    "Paul Roberts, best-selling author of The End of Oil, turns his attention to the modern food economy and finds that the system entrusted to meet our most basic needs is failing dramatically.

    In this carefully researched, vividly recounted narrative, Roberts lays out the stark economic realities beneath modern food, and shows how our system for making, marketing, and moving what we eat is growing less and less compatible with the billions of consumers that system was built to serve.

    Comprehensive and global, with lucid writing, dramatic detail and fresh insights, The End of Food offers readers new, accessible way to understand the vulnerable miracle of the modern food economy. Roberts presents clear, stark visions of the future and helps us prepare to make the decisions - personal and global - we must make to survive the demise of food production as we know it.

    "
  • Bumper Music: There Goes the Neighborhood, Sheryl Crow.
  • Bumper Music: Crazy, Gnarls Barkley.
  • Article: O’Reilly’s sexism: Women need male breadwinners, should stay home to watch the kids..
    Bill O’Reilly: Everybody, all the statistics and studies, show if you don’t have a father supporting the family, you’re probably poor.

    Margaret Hoover, Fox News: That’s sexist. It’s not that you have to have a father supporting the family. But you do have to have parents and you have to have them be able to —

    Bill O’Reilly: I love this. I love this from you. It’s sexist, because I just told the truth. You don’t have the father providing some income when the mother is giving birth, OK? You see, when you give birth — you may some day know this — you can’t go out and work the next day, OK?! And you should be watching the kid anyway. So there’s got to be somebody else giving you money beside the government.

  • Voodoo economics.
  • Companies involved in El Salvador, etc. No administration is blameless, economic imperialists. Movie: "Charlie Wilson's War".
  • Article: Go back into hiding, GOP begs Dick Cheney .
  • The story yesterday about a McDonald's employee being hurt defending a customer and being refused benefits. Helen contacted McDonalds who said it was a franchise, and the franchisee said it was the insurance company refusing the claim, and if necessary he would pay it himself.
  • There are no winners in wars. The cults in Germany and Japan. People woke up. The US was in the grip of a death cult under Bush after 9/11. Rant. Iraq. Afghanistan. Years ago on a trip to Uganda, Dick Gregory told Thom that if you got something as good as Democracy, you wouldn't have have to shove it down people's throats with the barrel of a gun; they'd steal it.
  • The current mortgage system is too profitable for banks for them to change.
  • Ellen Ratner of Talk Radio News. She's going to the press conference tonight. Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission appeal heard today, concerning whether "Hillary: The Movie" violated campaign laws. It could mean books too. Thom's booklet on sugar. Supreme Court, 9th circuit murder case appeal on quality of defense.

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