April 29th 2009 Wednesday


Hour One: The Best of the Rest of the News

Hour two: "America's twisted history of racism" Thom challenges Fox News pundit Judge Andrew Napolitano about his new book "Dred Scott’s Revenge: A Legal History of Race and Freedom In America" www.judgenap.com

Hour Three: Jonathan Alter www.newsweek.com - Obama's First 100 Days

Topic: "Everything You Know is Wrong" - Living With a Grizzly Bear? Thom speaks with Casey Anderson of the National Geographic special "Expedition Grizzly" www.nationalgeographic.com


Quark (not verified) 14 years 4 weeks ago

In Pres. Obama's official comments welcoming Arlen Specter this a.m., he said that (among other things) he was looking forward to working with Specter on rebuilding U.S. manufacturing.

This was the first time I'd heard Obama say much of anything about promoting manufacturing in this country. I have been sending emails and calling the White House to urge the Prez. and the V.P. to more actively work on this area of our economy. I hope this is a portent of good things to come!

Frank Smathers (not verified) 14 years 4 weeks ago

Regarding Obama's first 100 days and Arlen Spector's switch to the Democratic Party -

"Ronald Reagan is dead. His policies may live on but we're in
the process of doing something about that as well.

(paraphrasing Rush Limbaugh)

moonbat666 (not verified) 14 years 4 weeks ago

The right wing talkers have changed the Democratic party name to the Democrat party to make the name a little less appealing. Why don't we add one letter to them since they removed two of the letters from our name. How does the name Republicant party sound? They can't do anything, they are the party of no.

phala (not verified) 14 years 4 weeks ago

For anyone interested in the depth and breadth of Senator Arlen Specter's (D-PA) past and future efforts to re-establish credibility and efficacy in government and re-institute Separation of Powers and Checks and Balances, nybooks.com has posted his absolutely MUST READ marvelous article:

The Need to Roll Back Presidential Power Grabs By Arlen Specter (submitted on 16/04/09 for publication May 24, 2009)


The article covers his past efforts and future plans to address the following areas (to name just a few): Patriot Act, Signing Statements, FISA, need for SCOTUS review of lower courts rulings, and so much more.

... one must appreciate an imbalance in our "checks and balances" that has become increasingly evident in recent years. I witnessed firsthand, during many of the battles over administration policy since September 11, how difficult it can be for Congress and the courts to rally their members against an overzealous executive.

The article is divided topically and covers:

1. The Terrorist Surveillance Program—Act I
2. Shortcomings of the Legislative and Judicial Branches as Checks on Executive Power
3. Signing Statements
4. The Terrorist Surveillance Program—Act II
5. A Plan for the Future

If after reading this piece, anyone still views Senator Specter as someone motivated only by his own, narrow, self-interest, (or as a potential Blue-dog Dem), I can only respond -- they are uninformed and sorely mistaken.

Whys=Wise but No≠Know

Cherizac (not verified) 14 years 4 weeks ago

Remember the medium in Poltergeist? I hear her in my mind as the Democrats calling out "Welcome, Welcome" to Arlen Specter. It's almost as creepy as well. Mr. Specter has often spoken up for issues that I care about, but when push came to shove he always backed down.

I welcome him to the Party, but I hope he won't prove as fragile here.

Sufilizard (not verified) 14 years 4 weeks ago

If corporations are persons why can't I punch one in the nose?

AZAFVET (not verified) 14 years 4 weeks ago

If corporations are persons, and corporations can own other corporations , is this not a form of slavery which is illegal under the constitution? Or are these person-hood rights and responsibilities valid only when it is convenient to the corporation?

Sue (ELO) (not verified) 14 years 4 weeks ago

As my birthday present today, I get President Obama's 100 day benchmark, and the pleasure of watching the republican party implode on itself!

Judging how the world has reacted to President Obama so far, it seems they are as happy as many of us are, that the republican party's fascist power is now so small, that it can be taken into the bathroom, and drowned in the toilet!

Richard Adlof (not verified) 14 years 4 weeks ago

The BOND-HOLDERS!!!!! Morgan Stanley is working to force bankruptcy on Chrysler because they want the interest and America's manufacturing base be damned.

Hadenough (not verified) 14 years 4 weeks ago

Ronald Regan maybe dead but if "we the people" act like the "living dead" what good have we done and what will our children and grandchildren have to say about us? Come on America, there are more of us than there are of them. WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE!

Joe (not verified) 14 years 4 weeks ago

I am the principal author of the The Patrick Henry Society of Orange County CA proposed a US Constitutional Amendment (No. 29) presented to the California Democratic Party Legislative Commitee. This proposed amendment would prohibit any for-profit or non-profit corporation from enjoying the same rights as "individual citizens" under the First Amendment (we say "human beings") including the right to petition the government, i.e., lobbying. The proposed amendment also deletes "money" and any equivalent term as equaling "free speech." The point of the amendment is clarify individual vs. corporate rights and to overturn all previous Supreme Court decisions such as Buckley vs. Viejo - 1987 which, along with other decisions over the past 100 years, expands corporate influence via having individual rights protections such free speech including money and the right to petition the government. The descriptions have to be broad enough to encompass as many possible situations to thwart corporate attorneys while at the same time specific as to uphold individuals access to their elected representatives.

AZAFVET (not verified) 14 years 4 weeks ago

Does Thom believe in the right to Arm Bears?

Lore (not verified) 14 years 4 weeks ago

Speech on Women's right to vote by Susan B Anthony to court - under 3 minutes.


from 1873

She points out that 'WE THE PEOPLE' does not exclude women; that citizen does not limit rights to white males; and, it makes you more cognizant that 'corporations' are not included!

Sufilizard (not verified) 14 years 4 weeks ago

On healthcare....

My wife is an RN and for the first time in her life she's seeing cross-the-board pay cuts and empty job boards in the hospital. Health care is no longer insulated from recession.

Lore (not verified) 14 years 4 weeks ago

AZAFVET - I think you need to switch that! LOL!

Anna (not verified) 14 years 4 weeks ago

Dear Thom,

When my friend's husband, a full MD, came here from Lebanon, the AMA required him to starts over from scratch. After over 10 years as a doctor, he had to be a student/resident again. If they're doing this for doctor, why would they just hire nurses from the Phillipines for less? Isn't nursing/doctoring one of the few fields that is not at risk for losing jobs over seas? I can't get a nurse from China to treat me over the Internet. They have to come here to treat me, and then they have to go through the AMA standards again from scratch. My friend's husband couldn't even test out of the subjects. He had to start over as though he had just finished medical school. Opinion?

Thanks for a great show! Take care.

Sufilizard (not verified) 14 years 4 weeks ago

Thanks for the show Thom. I don't get to listen much anymore but on the occaissional Wednesday, when I work from home, I can listen via internet.

I used to catch every single show.

Lore (not verified) 14 years 4 weeks ago

I hear that doctors are a limited profession. That the number of students per year in the US is maintained instead of increased. We have a doctor shortage and maybe the doctors should get help with their insurance costs like the insurance companies do.
Nurses are brought in from all over. Computer people are brought in from all over. Seasonal workers are brought in. We need the rules to be rewritten on all of these. We need the rules to be written to support the US, not corporations.
We need to ensure that records and data entry are not shipped to India or China to be stolen. I don't know that any such protections are in place.

Richard Adlof (not verified) 14 years 4 weeks ago

Arlen is a mixed bag. Author of the single bullet theory. Pro-Choice and (ex)Republicant. Waffles between Pro-labor and Corporatist.

Remember that the term Moderate Republican means voting recessivist only 80% on the time instead of 97% of the time.

Jack Frohlich (not verified) 14 years 4 weeks ago

How can there be a debate about torture? I always thought that torture was universally acknowledged to be outside the bounds of acceptable human behavior. Just to have the "debate" allows for the possibility that torture may be acceptable. We have the affirmative obligation to treat those who are under our control humanely.

Lore (not verified) 14 years 4 weeks ago

Thom - I love that 'Renaissance thinking..' . You and your cohorts do a great job keeping us informed and thinking!

cheesehead09 (not verified) 14 years 4 weeks ago

Regarding the GM bonds, my understanding is that several large/institutional bond holders have taken out Credit Default Swaps whereby in the event that GM files bankrupsy, they will be paid 100% of the original investment. They are HOPING for a GM bankrupsy instead of taking shares of stocks worth 80% or 90% of their original investment.

Obama sure has a mess on his hands!

Kevin (not verified) 14 years 4 weeks ago

Thom, There is one thing I would like to point out since a caller just said that health cars is not a right. I submit to you the preamble of the constitution were it states that "We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America." Wefare is the key word here the definition of Welfare n. 1. health, happiness, or prosperity; well-being. [<ME wel faren, to fare well] with that being said in the most sacred and ripped apart document in our countries history I would like others to make that known, Healthcare is a right and the government knows it has a place in it for natiobnal security reasons.

Mark (not verified) 14 years 4 weeks ago

First off, I share Thom's belief that we need to rebuild the middle-class, but I don't see starting a tariff war will achieve that end. Attacks on NAFTA and CAFTA don't make any sense, particularly if we don't want a "failed state" on our border; apparently our trade with China doesn’t have a catchy name. Our trade deficit with China alone far exceeds that with all of Latin America and Canada combined; U.S. exports to China are valued at one-fifth of imports from China. The U.S. in fact has an overall trade surplus with the CAFTA countries, just not as large as it used to be. The Congressional Budget Office, meanwhile has found that NAFTA has little to do with the trade deficit with Mexico—which, according to the CBO, would have occurred without the agreement anyway. The relative differences in economic activity between the U.S. and Mexico has had far greater impact on the trade deficit than the provisions of NAFTA. What does Thom want to do--stop all trade with Mexico and set in motion a maelstrom that will engulf both countries. This is simple shortsightedness.
I was also wondering (since Thom spoke at length about women's rights) what Stanton's and Anthony's position was on the lynching of black men in America; after all it was done almost solely in defense of the "sanctity" of white womanhood, and it went on for a century after the 14th Amendment was passed. It's apparent that white women didn't try to stop it, since racism didn't stop with their menfolk.

Mark (not verified) 14 years 4 weeks ago

Although Andrew Napolitano didn’t bring the subject up, many of his fellow Italian-Americans like to point out that their predecessors came to this country “legally.” What they don’t mention is that there was unlimited immigration from Europe until the early 20th century for the price of ship fare; Ellis Island was nothing more than a brief inconvenience to be catalogued and checked for communicable diseases. There were no checks on criminal background or economic status. It was only until it was decided that there needed to be a break on the number of morally and intellectually “ inferior races” like Mediterranean (Italian) and Eastern Europeans that quota systems were instituted, which favored Anglos and Nordics—and harmed Jews trying to escape the Nazi terror. The late Stephen J. Gould’s book “Mismeasure of Man” discusses at length how this “inferiority” was given “scientific” credence through so-called intelligence tests administered to Army recruits during World War I.
And since we’re on the subject of “inferior races” and immigrants, we might as well talk about the people Italian-Americans like Joe Arpaio, Tom Tancredo and others of their racially self-conscious ilk have been targeting. It is interesting to note that the swine flu scare, is, naturally fodder for feast by anti-Latino immigrant fanatics like Pat Buchanan, Lou Dobbs and Michelle Malkin. The chancre sore in this latest version of their paranoid, racist mythology is that 36,000 Americans die of various forms of the flu every year, without much fanfare. But just at the mention of Mexico and Mexicans, there’s just no stopping the racist fantasies that have appeared on blogs everywhere. But while the uncertainty as to the cause of this outbreak has been the subject of many flights of fancy in some quarters, it does not entirely explain why there is an astonishing lack of empathy for the hundreds dead and thousands sickened in Mexico.
The fact that when Americans are not fed just one version of events (which supports the racist view), that “alternative” view is often silence—and silence betokens consent, declared Thomas More at his trial charging him with refusing to accept the Act of Supremacy. The “progressive” media has been almost entirely silent in the face of anti-Latino prejudice, fearing backlash whenever the subject of illegal immigration surfaces. The proof, of course, that this is Latino-specific bigotry is the fact that no one ever mentions that one-quarter of all illegal immigrants are from outside Latin America.
And so I look with a jaundiced eye at the “progressive” media shedding tears over the Guantanamo Bay inmates; consider this case: A developmentally-disabled teen is thought to have tried to kiss a girl at a party. He is dragged outside, stripped naked, kicked unconscious, is burned with cigarettes, has a racial slur scrawled on his chest with a knife, has a patio umbrella pole thrust into his rectum, which rips apart his internal organs, and to “hide” the evidence the perpetrators pour bleach over and inside his body. The victim was not a Guantanamo Bay inmate, he was Latino in Spring, Texas; the perpetrators were two white skinheads, who “thought” he was trying to kiss a white girl (she was Latina). The victim survived, but with permanent physical disabilities.
I do not relate this story merely because it contrasts how Americans (unlike, say, the Germans) seem to have more empathy for victims in circumstances where there is identifiable villain that exists in some other realm (say, the Bush administration), but when the villain might exist in the dark corner of one’s own mind, the mind either closes or reacts with hypocritical defensiveness. But the media failing to connect such acts with an atmosphere of hate is even less excusable. The Seattle Times’ sole mention of the story was brief paragraph which left out all the details save the part about the girl, which made it seem as if she was the real “victim.” When I wrote a letter of complaint to a Times editor, I was informed that the paper left out details about the gruesome assault because it didn’t want to “revolt” readers.
The failure of the media, and the “progressive” media even more inexcusably in allowing the internal forces of hate to escape censure (labor or “working people” as Thom calls them). “Working people,” inspired by the hate-filled rhetoric of local officials, murdered Latino men in Shenandoah, PA and in the Long Island recently. Last week a report from the Southern Poverty Law Center went virtually unnoticed by the media, and entirely ignored by “progressive” radio, drowned-out by all the talk about torture memos. It is entitled “Under Siege: Life for Low Income Latinos in the South” which details what it calls a “civil rights crisis.” I urge anyone who needs to expunge the existence of anti-Latino bigotry from their minds to read it, since Thom certainly has not read it, because if he did he wouldn’t hesitate to invite someone from the Center to discuss it. I will quote this from the report:
“The belief that immigrants are disease-carrying criminals bent on destroying the United
States economy for their own selfish purposes would have previously been written off
as the ranting of a xenophobe who needs to be kept away from any legitimate discussion
of immigration policy.
Today, however, immigration myths and wild conspiracy theories are frequently repeated
in the mainstream media and in the corridors of power from Congress to statehouses to
town halls across the country.
These ideas have gained currency in large part because talk radio and television news
programs trusted by the public have provided a platform for racist extremist groups to
spread their propaganda — fueling anger and hate against Latinos.
This vilification has dramatic consequences for Latinos, regardless of their immigration
Dramatic indeed. Racist “slights” have a tendency to add-up in a big way. Whether it is being given the shriveled-up donut hidden in the back at the bakery, or by whose very appearance automatically encourages one to insure their car is locked, or being followed around a bookstore because you are obviously too ignorant to read, so you must be a thief—indignation in defense of ones own humanity builds. Some, like me, do not stand silently by. At the airport where I work, Latino males—especially if alone—are fair game for racial profiling. I myself have filed three complaints of harassment against the Port of Seattle police, and have frequently been targeted—not always subtly—by Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs, and TSA personnel for “special attention” merely because they see a “Mexican.” On the day I’m writing this, the security detail at the Federal Building saw a “Mexican” too; on my way to the IRS office, I was the only one in line waiting for clearance required to show ID, demanded of me in a condescending manner.
In order to rationalize this almost instinctual bigotry, all types of physical or character defects are applied to the extent to which a process of dehumanization occurs, much as the Nazis dehumanized the Jews. In fact, other than their relative economic and educational status, the Nazi attitude toward Jews and Latinos in this country are strikingly similar: unwanted, stateless intruders or “illegal aliens,” parasitical, licentious, criminal, perpetrators of violence against the “native” population, vermin—scapegoated for every national ill.

Mark (not verified) 14 years 4 weeks ago

Although it certainly can get worse, at this point the swine flu “pandemic” seems to be more a function of media manipulation, international posturing and political maneuvering, with an astonishing lack of empathy for the victims in Mexico City. Stay away and let them die seems to be the unspoken mantra.
It is interesting to note that 36,000 people die of flu or flu-like symptoms every year in this country, yet no one seems to think this is cause for alarm; it is just another way that people die of natural causes. But if there is someone to blame—like the “Mexicans”—it is unnatural, and at least for the media and those who take Lou Dobbs and Michelle Malkin and their ilk seriously, it is just the latest ploy to increase ratings and engender xenophobic fear and paranoia.
No one at this time knows the precise source of the outbreak (a few suggest that it was someone traveling from the U.S. to Mexico who carried the swine flu bug; the pig farm where that 5-year-old lived has been declared "clean" of swine flu), but it is interesting to note some populations are more susceptible than others. In their book “After the Fact” James Davidson and Mark Lytle have a chapter on the debate concerning the precise population of Native Americans at the time of European contact; they note that contemporary accounts that indicated large populations were arbitrarily reduced by later historians for no reason other than to advance a political agenda. They also note that whole populations were wiped-out long before anyone thought to take a census; for example, they tracked the progress of a smallpox epidemic that extinguished a half-dozen Indian communities along a river route. The source? One white trader.

Thom's Blog Is On the Move

Hello All

Thom's blog in this space and moving to a new home.

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From Screwed:
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to understand how to respond when they’re talking about public issues with coworkers, neighbors, and friends. This book explores some of the key perspectives behind his approach, teaching us not just how to find the facts, but to talk about what they mean in a way that people will hear."
From Screwed:
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