May 13th 2009 Wednesday

love-life-imagesHour 1: "Do Corporate Tax cheats...'help' our economy?!" Thom challenges Dan Gainor of the Business and Media Institute

Hour 2: Taliban waterboarding US Military prisoners? Says...waterboarding is not torture? Is GPS tracking without warrants OK?

Topic: Hour 3 "Everything You Know is Wrong - Is the economy hurting your love life?" Dr. David Schnarch stops by with advice for couples


Quark (not verified) 15 years 6 weeks ago


I agree --- the Soc. Security problem is easily solved by eliminating the cap on incomes. However, I think it's still the shock doctrine at work here. Private interests can't get their hands on the money unless they make us think there are no other choices (except privatization.)

Mahatma Kane Jeeves (not verified) 15 years 6 weeks ago

Does the SS Trust have any possibility of being repaid for the money that has been taken for other government purposes?

The Reagan double-taxing, like the idea of investing SS funds in the stock market is just another way that some are trying to destroy the program.

RavenRyder (not verified) 15 years 6 weeks ago


Check out the Cheney interview with Bob Scheifer last sunday (Face The Nation). They were talking about how safe we are... I forget the exact lead in, but Cheney stated " the trade towers were ' blown-up', the pentagon was 'blown-up'. Those were his words... was it a freudian slip...?

Andrew Woolman (not verified) 15 years 6 weeks ago

I side with you on just about every issue, so I'm offended when you hedge on your arguments. Correct me if I'm wrong: Social Security is not progressively taxed. In other words, you take out of it based upon what you have put in. People who earn more than 100k a year do not put any additional into the system, but they also do not draw any additional. If you want to convert it to a progressively taxed program, then please be honest with yourself and your listeners, and say so.
Secondly, you erroneously and repeatedly say that the program is "funded only by people making less than $100K". I don't think you mean it that way, but you say it that way more times than not.
Please address BOTH issues as you present a responsible and important discussion of Social Security. Real solutions only come out of an accurate assessment of the problem.
Thank You, and keep up the fight!

mathboy (not verified) 15 years 6 weeks ago

I would say that your car is one of your effects, and that being secure in your effects (according to the 4th Amendment) means not just that the police can't take things out without a warrant, but that they can't put things in (such as a wiretap) without a warrant. Therefore, the government shouldn't be allowed to put a tracker in your car without either a warrant or your consent.

Unless this decision is overturned, I expect the consent will end up being included in boilerplate contracts for purchase or lease of cars and that the text will be buried pretty deeply in the contract and be quickly glossed over by the seller. "Just initial here."

Someone will probably also figure out how to market the tracker as a convenience, just like putting an RFID chip in your child, or OnStar (which gives someone outside your car, whom you don't know, the ability to unlock your doors).

greg tyree (not verified) 15 years 6 weeks ago

Listening to Sean Hannity yesterday, I heard him say that it was this new administartions fault that the social security is going bankrupt. I wonder if he ever stopped to think that it was actually people in his income bracket that are the ones hurting it the most.

Mark (not verified) 15 years 6 weeks ago

“Tax cheating” isn’t merely the province of corporations; every day I see or hear an ad from some tax attorney who tells listeners if they owe back taxes, call us and we’ll insure that the IRS treats you with “respect.” They promise to reduce your tax liability to pennies on the dollar. Frankly, as someone who insures his taxes are paid by having no exemptions—and winds-up saving money in the end—I have no respect for such people who dodge their responsibilities to society.
On yesterday’s topics, I wonder if people like Rep. Bachus are at all concerned how they will look in the history books. The funny thing about history is that the “right” side is generally on the left. When the right tries to rewrite history, as it has tried to do with Reconstruction, they always reveal more about themselves than the history they are re-interpreting. They forget, for example, that killing Yankees and lynching freed slaves was not exactly civilized or lawful behavior, and what followed—peonage and Jim Crow—was hardly worthy of merit in a civilized society. It is hard to figure people who are so far removed from reality that they believe their own lies.
On the gay marriage issue, I think that the only people who have a problem with gays at all are those who are uncomfortable with the state of their own sex lives. Otherwise, gays, especially those who are white, do not suffer (so long as they are not “in your face” with it, like those “take back the night” marchers with their hetero-hate and misandrist slogans) the same kind of prejudices as, say, someone who cannot hide what society has defined them as. Back in ancient Roman times, the Romans regarded Germanic peoples in terms of physical characteristics and habits that are little differentiated from how so many people today disparage Latino immigrants (and, frankly, even those who are not). It is interesting that even though Germanic immigrants wanted to “assimilate” into the Roman world, incomprehensible prejudices barred that from occurring—even when the empire was on the verge of disintegration (a thousand years later, with the Byzantine Empire in its last throes, the people of Constantinople refused military help from the West due to religious bigotry). It also should be noted that Roman society was economically as stratified as this country is increasingly becoming.

randyreno (not verified) 15 years 6 weeks ago

I flew a fighter for the AF for 12 years. Until then Defense Secty Dick Cheney cut 500,000 military members in fiscal years 91-93. They didnt want to pay our pensions because they needed the money for thier phony Star Wars program. I flew with a man who spent time in the Hanoi Hilton. For military members who actually put thier lives in harms expect and train to do your duty in an honorable expect your adversary to do the same. Thanks to the Cheney Doctrine of Torture, our soldiers can now fully expect to be subjected to these same methods of interrogation/torture.

Lore (not verified) 15 years 6 weeks ago

I just received a phone call. It was a recording! It DID NOT say who paid for this crap call! The message? Many people are expressing their views through the Tea Bagging campaign and will be out protesting today! Really? The only campaign of protesters that I have heard of being active today are those fighting to get Single Payer on the table and at the table and the Union buses doing the 'made in America' drives this month! Does this mean that Americans are about to be 'tea bagged' by the anti-democratic press misrepresenting the reasons? Makes me wonder how the protesters will be reported!
Who has heard of tea baggers out today?

Meremark (not verified) 15 years 6 weeks ago

We need a 2War on Torture.

The gungho result of our 3War on Terror.

Futile consequence of always having 'wars' on the doing -- 4War on Drugs, 5War on Poverty -- instead of the doer -- 2sadist, 3saboteur, 4pharmacist, or 5banker?

Not to mention first, the unformalized War on Segregation, 1950s slang, after Brown v. Board of Ed, instead of making Segregationists the enemy. And the also unofficial War on Medical Abortion, instead of on Religious Fanatics, after Roe v. Wade, '74. (The 'war' was undeclared but its fighters called themselves Christian Soldiers -- transcending 'oxymoron' to a world-class uberoxymoron.)

We don't have to start it, the next-step 2War on Torture is already being battled.

Putting Thom's point at the spear tip, we can start the 1War on Distrust.

Jeff In Denver (not verified) 15 years 6 weeks ago

Often during the years of the Bush takeover, when the cabal was getting too much attention for its illegal deeds some scary thing would suddenly rise up to distract the country. Some of the scares came in the form of raising the terrorism alert level, anthrax scares, and the bird flu warnings.

Torture and Tamiflu

Now the heat is turned way up on Cheney/Bush and company and their role in torture.

So gee, what happens? Another flu scare that came at a convenient time and seemed fishy from the get go.

And where does it appear that the flu came from? The company that makes Tamiflu, Gilead.

And who is connected to Tamiflu? Torture leader - Donald Rumsfeld, who was Chairman of the Board and owns millions of stock in Gilead, as do other Cons such as former Secretary of State, George Shultz.

Hmmmmm. Further examination is essential.

Laotsu (not verified) 15 years 6 weeks ago

One caller mentioned earlier that both parties are owned by the rich. This is something I hear pretty often from conservatives and I think it is a fair thing to say. However I would like to draw a distinction. Within in the conservative movement, taking money in the form of campaign contributions in exchange of favorable legislation is how the system is supposed to work. As far as conservatives are concerned transnational corporations are just concerned citizens and giving huge donations to public officials is just their way of exercising their constitutionally protected freedom of speech. On the other hand though, within the progressive movement, the same phenomenon is called corruption and ideally it is behavior that should be eliminated, not propagated.

Marty (not verified) 15 years 6 weeks ago

My favorite rename for the GOP comes from Bob Kincaid of the Head On Radio Network ( when he refers to them as the "Repiglican Party".

Kai Wen (not verified) 15 years 6 weeks ago

CNBC is reporting that William Seidman has died at age 88.

Kevin (not verified) 15 years 6 weeks ago

Thom you are asking for what to call republicans and I want to bring back a word to describe them and this/their wall st. class...


Please spread this word around, it is a great grassroots first step to helping take back America for us, the peasants

Mark (not verified) 15 years 6 weeks ago

In regard to credit card companies, people who lose their jobs and miss a payment or two have more problems than they think, Once late and over-limit fees kick-in, there's no stopping the spiral of debt unless you take on the companies yourself, and that only after a period of time battling them. You could go into bankruptcy (not the best option) or go to a law firm that will charge you thousands of dollars in fees to eventually reduce your debt, or pay one of these so-called "credit counseling services"--actually collection agencies for the credit card companies--do what you could have done yourself: get deeper into debt while the credit companies haggle over payment plans. The only thing that seems to work is threatening not to pay anything at all unless they stop charging over-limit and late fees, and reduce the finance charges. Of course, you have to keep on them month after month, until they've decided that they've piled on so much debt through those additional charges that even they might think that they've beat on you long enough.

Catsrule (not verified) 15 years 6 weeks ago

They aren't THE aristocracy, they're the aristocracy's puppets.

fourarrows (not verified) 15 years 6 weeks ago

THOM, I DISAGREE!!! (from former Marine officer, honorable discharge 1969)
I have the highest respect for your mission, your clear thinking and good research, but for you to not take the time to clarify your statement, "they don't want us to trust government" so they can make the money is at best incomplete and at worst playing into "their" hands. I mean just now in one breath, after saying this several times, you used governmental officials as examples of the worst crimes! I'll give a shot at a better way to say it and then explain why it is a significant rephrasing:
"They don't want us to trust the potential of the public's ability to maintain a government that is by the people and for the people." And continue, "Instead, they want to control government themselves while trying to dismantel any populist laws that exist in government. And one way for them to keep us from protesting is to make it seem they are against government."
NOW, here is why it is important. Although as a former Viet Nam era Marine, I do understand Obama's decision to protect the troops by not showing photos, but he is wrong because the enemy knows already how ugly it is, The folks who don't really know are the people in the U.S. who might just get made enough to demand accountability for the Bush criminals. Now, consider your own position on this, and your commentes just now made about the apparent suicide of the waterboarded "witness" responsble for connecting 9/11 to the Taliban, etc. And then consider your reluctance to even TALK about the evidence surrounding Paul Wellstone's assassination (I wrote the book) or the amazing data in support of Cheney being behinid 9/11 (I am co author of the Elseveir text on this). Are these positions because you, like Noam, Amy, and so many others on the left "WANT TO MAKE SURE WE TRUST THE GOVERNMENT?" I hope you see my point my friend. In any case, keep up the good work. The fear of "conspiracy theory" does not lessen my admiration for what you are doing.But until we can wake up from the HEGEMONY that prevents us realizing the worse then working toward the best will continue.
Whooa, just now you respond to a call about the influence of corporations on government and I agree that we need to be active in government, but we can't DO this if we are not willing to understand that we cannot trust government WHEN it is controlled by corporations. So stay with that concept and please reconsider the value of talking about 9/11 and Wellstone. And while you are at it, talk about General Smedley Butler, the most decorated U.S. Marine and why no one talks about him either.
Four Arrows
Author, American Assassination

Quark (not verified) 15 years 6 weeks ago

Jeff in Denver,

I remembered the same info. regarding Rumsfeld and his connection with Gilead. What do they say --- the simplest answer is often the truth?!

Thom's Blog Is On the Move

Hello All

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

Please follow us across to - this will be the only place going forward to read Thom's blog posts and articles.

From The Thom Hartmann Reader:
"In an age rife with media-inspired confusion and political cowardice, we yearn for a decent, caring, deeply human soul whose grasp of the problems confronting us provides a light by which we can make our way through the quagmire of lies, distortions, pandering, and hollow self-puffery that strips the American Dream of its promise. How lucky we are, then, to have access to the wit, wisdom, and willingness of Thom Hartmann, who shares with us here that very light, grown out of his own life experience."
Mike Farrell, actor, political activist, and author of Just Call Me Mike and Of Mule and Man
From The Thom Hartmann Reader:
"Never one to shy away from the truth, Thom Hartmann’s collected works are inspiring, wise, and compelling. His work lights the way to a better America."
Van Jones, cofounder of and author of The Green Collar Economy
From Unequal Protection, 2nd Edition:
"Hartmann combines a remarkable piece of historical research with a brilliant literary style to tell the grand story of corporate corruption and its consequences for society with the force and readability of a great novel."
David C. Korten, author of When Corporations Rule the World and Agenda for A New Economy