May 15th 2009 Friday

Topic: "Brunch With Bernie" Senator Bernie Sandersunder-the-radar-1images (I-VT) joins Thom for his weekly nationwide townhall meeting

Topic Gov. Don Siegelman here is here - 20 years in prison?

Today on the air: "Geeky Science Rocks" our weekly update from the world of science


edward (not verified) 15 years 6 weeks ago

People who encourage the for profit only American Health Care System are interested in one class of citizen only and the profits that go with that status, profits that are not just sustainable but that rise quarterly with hopefully no end in view as far as the Wall Street Elites are concerned. Hence the rising cost of Heath Care.

“The American Ruling Class” Money is power and security, it equals freedom of speech and Health Care Corporations like all Corporations maintain the rights of a individual, the Supreme Court needs to rethink these fixed power schemes.

We can have a successful capitalistic system even with a Public Health Care system, taking the burden off of America as a whole, Individual States, Business Small or Large including the Individual. We can provide better Health Care at a lower price and pay Doctors, Nurses and Health Care workers very well under a publicly funded system at the same time save Americas Middle Class while pulling up more people into the middle class as well as save tax payers money and get rid of the middle man.

Taking the burden of providing Health Care off of small business would create a real lasting, stimulating effect in our society like many of us have never known. A lasting effect!

It is not all that ironic that rising Heath Care Costs were used as reasoning during the first big modern liquidation era during the Ronald Reagan reign. People that built the companies that created the post modern middle class after WW2 were the first victims of Health Care related “Corporate Downsizing” the cliché of the period. The cost of health care was used as a manifestation, laying off workers, out sourcing jobs, limiting or doing away with pension benefits for retirees and workers of that period including Health Care. This has continued to this day. This period was a real beginning for modern harsh profit marginalization strategies for shareholders on Wall Street. There was a time in this country when a good profit and living was enough, however, the philosophy became enough is never enough, and for the few who collect very big money literally off the labor, the lives and the blood of real people, things could not be better. “The Man With The Most Toy's At The End Wins” Thinking that has brought us Capitalism Without A Conscience. At the heart is a moral obligation in a democratic society, to take care of the sick, feed the hungry and provide fare valued housing. The core values.

Look at the period since Reagan into the 1990's Clinton Administration to the Bush Administration and our current dilemma. The mantra Free Trade! Health Care cost again used as a core primary reason to kill jobs and outsource overseas and set up sweat shops...(NAFTA / CAFTA). Remember the line “we can not afford to compete in the world because our business cost are to high” Health Care again used as a core model to explain our inflated business cost in combination to not wanting to pay a living wage and claiming that business taxes and environmental restrictions are to costly. A false argument, the truth is that these same Free Trade advocates have deregulated and crafted a trade policy over these past decades that have crippled the American Middle Class and working poor. The big shareholders and executives of creative finance have made their lives and their children's lives financially secure and far beyond, leaving the rest to feel the need to fend for scraps. “The Fraternity Of Access And Power”
These same free traders are also in favor of our current “Privatized For Profit Health Care System” that has crippled business and the families’ ability to keep up with even the most basic living cost.

Privatized Health Insurance is a secondary privatized tax we all pay one way or another. A hefty tax indeed. Via offshore tax shelters, loopholes and a managed care system whose goal is to maximize profits and limit care. Unless you are very well off financially you are expendable. By using this all Privatized Health Care model, Corporations and their K-Street lobbyist and some of our elected representatives keep American's in a state of fear and anxiety in regard to Health Coverage; this is the vehicle destroying the middle class and the working poor in this country as we know it. “The middle class vs. working poor” I would say it is getting harder to distinguish now between the two anymore, we are the serves of the American Ruling Class and this is how they want it. Health Care is at the heart of all of this. It is no mistake that Wall Street to K-Street to Capital Hill run the show and milk the country for all it is worth. They write the bad legislation and they are willing to bleed this country to the point of no return. One would think fiscally conservative people would want to take the cost of Health Care off the backs of companies big and small, if we applied common logic since they are the pro business people, right? However logic has nothing to do with greed.

Is the current Private Health Insurance system a tax? It is a private tax to a private entity for a service that should be part of the public commons and the common good. Instead Privatized Health Care is used as a parasite to steal revenue from hard working people and small business, free traders love it. Not only can they bilk huge profits off the Health of American's, they get to keep the current business model of manufacturing good and cheep overseas with a work force that is what they would like to have at home. “Slave Thinking Or Prison Labor Thinking”

Let’s face it Republicans like taxes just as long as they do not pay them. Lets also face the fact that they like spending our money and more of it, just look at the data from Reagan to Bush and I would argue even Clinton if we include the poor trade policies and further deregulation, Bill the fiscal conservative.

Again what do taxes have to do with Health Care? We the tax payers deserve our taxes to go to something more than subsidizing corporations and inflated defense spending combined with inside contracting schemes and over inflated cost. Further, our taxes subsidize Private Health Care already and companies enjoy not paying taxes to the tune of 700 billion plus a year. A war in Iraq that is costing 11 to 12 billion a month, and in my best estimate with the US Governments Defense Programs ability to cook books just like many Investment Banks and Corporations, lets double that figure. Finally, the taxes we pay are the core of the public common and should go to the good of a stable nation and stable commerce.

Health Care is a huge part of our survival. What does a real public Health Care system mean for America? A rebirth...! With Public Health Care we can do more than just survive, we can pay people more so they can spend more and we can have a real Gross Domestic Product Again. “With Fair Trade and Fair Health Care Policy” we can make things in the United States again. The person that works for mom & pop for lack of no better cliché now also does not have to worry about getting ill or their child or parent being ill and loosing the whole life's work for a Health Care Speculator / Carpetbagger to shrill up and destroy.

Real Health Care Reform is a shot in our economic arm for decades to come only if our lawmakers have the courage to do it right and make this a more productive nation and save our business small and large. “May no American ever worry about getting sick again”

Richard Adlof (not verified) 15 years 6 weeks ago

For insurance companies, cutting costs means cutting services . . .

Insurance companies ARE a cost on the healthcare industry . . . Heck they could save 20% just by cutting CEO & CFO salaries in half and still leave HUGMONGALIOD $$$$ on the table for the heirs of their heirs.

Michael Tate (not verified) 15 years 6 weeks ago


I've noticed lately that over the last couple months, probably starting with your Joe the Plumber interview, you have been much more aggressive and in some cases more childish with some of your right-wing guests. I was originally turned on to you because of how you remained mature in those interviews which I'm sure are really really really really tough to do. But I have noticed a slight lapse in this, such as using "gotcha" questions that don't address the issue at hand, and wandering off topic towards something that is easier for you to defend. I trust that you not want to be coming off like this, so please keep this in mind and keep doing what you are doing.

ryan (not verified) 15 years 6 weeks ago

private health care will still do there dirty deals even if they cut cost. public is the only way! we need to save our small businesses. think what small business can save if they can take the cost of health care off the books and save on state workman's compensation. states will save billions because they will not have to subsidize the billions in cost that is past on, tax payers save billions in cost past on.

Ned Nefarius (not verified) 15 years 6 weeks ago

If Cheney and Bush did indeed keep America safe AND break the law, shouldn't they make the sacrifice and pay for their crimes AND received our thanks, as Heros AND Felons?

B Roll (not verified) 15 years 6 weeks ago


I heard the commercial which starts with you saying that "50 is the new 40" which you seem to like.

My problem is that this principle seems to be working on my IQ and every time I get settled in at the new number it drops another 10 points. On the other hand, it seems to work the other way when it comes to my weight and 170 just became the new 180.

Richard Adlof (not verified) 15 years 6 weeks ago

OMG!!! You soooooooo don't get it . . . Factual evidenence on vacation and health and quality of life and pay rates MEANS NOTHING to multinational business . . . If you aren't willing to DIE for the opportunity to die for the company which lowers itsself to hire and employ you . . . You are committed enough for the boon the company is offering you.

All hail the company! The company is good! Boo and fie to to workers and our country!


KMH (not verified) 15 years 6 weeks ago

At the site and trying to sign onto the campaign I am getting an error that is "Not enough storage is available to complete this operation."

Perhaps we are crashing John's site?

Great topic- we could argue we would have time to spend money!

KMH (not verified) 15 years 6 weeks ago

Oh- I was just able to get in to the web site and sign onto the campaign regarding - sorry for unnecessary alarm, I should be more patient.- Maybe a paid vacation would help !

Richard Adlof (not verified) 15 years 6 weeks ago

Ned Nefarius



B Roll (not verified) 15 years 6 weeks ago


You have a tendency to misapply animal research to humans. For example, you cited the research that showed that rats remember better after eating fat.

I tried that. In fact, while I listen to your show, I'm just sitting here eating potato chips and double cheeseburgers. I don't remember much of what you talk about, but I am a better rat. Is that what you want for humanity?

I probably won't even remember writing this in 5 minutes. Where's my milkshake?

Richard Adlof (not verified) 15 years 6 weeks ago

When President Obama was in the Senate he was the * * * 46th * * * most progressive Senator. In short, he was on right-hand fringe of Democratic Party and just RIGHT of Centrist.

President Obama was and is not progressive. I know that folk THOUGHT he was Progressive because he was not jack-booted right BUT thinking that he was Progressive was self-delusion at best.

We, the People, have gotta drag this horse to water. Anything less is selling our essential liberties for less than eternal vigilance.

Michael Tate (not verified) 15 years 6 weeks ago

One thing that annoys me about this Pelosi outrage, is that even if she knew waterboarding was going on, she is not the one you should go after. She is like the woman who sees a bank robbery and does not call 911. Yes she was wrong in not alerting the crime to others, but SHE WAS NOT THE ONE ROBBING THE BANK.

salty (not verified) 15 years 6 weeks ago

People are questioning Obamas pull back on the torture issue. I think his move is to be forced by the higher court at a more opportune time and allow for various legal manuvers to take place because I think that once he and those who want justice will have an air tight case that will not be defeated by any legaleese. I pray that that is what is truely going on.

Robb (not verified) 15 years 6 weeks ago

How poorly educated are we really? Everyday the point is proven, many of the callers to the show sound like imbeciles! No offence, we need everyone to be involved. But is there any doubt about how rediculously inane we have become as a nation. WE NEED EDUCATION REFORM!

Michael Tate (not verified) 15 years 6 weeks ago


Sorry I don't mean to fill up your liveblog, but you just mentioned how Bush tried to keep the war going in 2003-2004 and it reminded me of the book 1984, and the book in the book by Goldstein. Chapter 3 where he talks about "War is Peace" This Iraq war the more I think about it is straight out of the pages of that book. They have this war that does not have the catastrophic losses on our side that most other wars had. We are fighting over resources in the middle east (as stated in the book). And it is an endless war designed to destroy our overproduction keeping the population from acquiring wealth and thus keeping them in check from rebellion. I think this might make an interesting segment for your show, but wow this war is soooooooooo 1984.

AZAFVET (not verified) 15 years 6 weeks ago

Think what a better world it would be if we all, the whole world, had cookies and milk about three o'clock every afternoon and then lay down on our blankets for a nap.
Barbara Jordan

Quark (not verified) 15 years 6 weeks ago

Michael Tate,

I agree that Pelosi is being promoted (by the Repubs) as the one who should receive outrage and blame in the waterboarding fiasco. However, once she was briefed by the Bush degenerates, she was legally restrained from talking to anyone other than a fellow "briefee" about it. Her hands were tied.

Once again, why blame the person who was TOLD about the illegality when it's the people who PERPETRATED it who need to be held accountable? It's amazing how good the Repubs are at twisting facts and distracting people by spreading skewed information.


I really appreciate your comments on my call today regarding the health ins. cos. backpedalling on their $2 trillion cost reduction over 10 years "commitment." (The knot in my stomach feels better.) Maybe Obama really is playing chess.

Richard Adlof (not verified) 15 years 6 weeks ago

Am I the only one that is disturbed beyond belief that Karl Rove actually HAS a wife?

Frank Feuerbacher (not verified) 15 years 6 weeks ago

Recent report suggesting that we don't have hundreds of years worth of coal after all. Hubbert's Peak , The Coal Question

B Roll (not verified) 15 years 6 weeks ago


If I misunderstood or misremember your comments I apologize, but based on what I think you said, I say:

Optimism is good, overoptimism is a problem especially when fueled by cluelessness.

You described the 60s and 70s as a time when America was a "we society" and you mentioned race relations as an example. Ask black people how welcome they felt in your "we society".

I've heard you occasionally use the term "white privilege" but you don't seem to believe it applies to how you conduct your program.

This is at least the 3rd or 4th time I've raised this on this blog page. African Americans and Hispanics together make up around 30% or more of the population of the United States. There are a variety of other ethnic minorities who make up several more percent.

How do those figures match up the list of guests on your show? I'd say that your guest list isn't very representative of the population of this country. How many times has Carrie Lucas been on your show this year? I wouldn't be surprised if she's been on more than the total number of blacks and Latinos you've had on this year.

In fact, I have any clear memory of black or Latino guests, although you may have had some black anti-gay preacher. Whatever... the number of ethnic minorities as guests on your show is either next to none or none.

I know you're very busy, but i'd suggest you do some research on race relations in the 60s, 70s and today. Look at the numbers of blacks and Latinos in our prisons and jails. Look at unemployment among ethnic minorities. Look at income and wealth disparities and mortality rates.

I think your claim that the election of Barack Obama indicates that we're becoming a "we society" is a misreading of the facts. While it's true that race was less of an issue in this election than ever before, that's only part of the reason that Obama is president now.

Hillary Clinton failed to win the Democratic nomination to a large degree because of a poor campaign strategy based on over confidence. John McCain had so many factors going against him, the main factor being that he's a Republican. Remember that the Democratic Party, as a whole, was polling better than Obama in the run-up to the election. I remember polls that indicated that a significant number of Democrats felt they couldn't vote for Obama because he was African American, and many Clinton supporters expressed racist feelings.

I assume you saw Obama's 100 day press conference. A black journalist raised the issue of high black unemployment, pointing out that unemployment for black men in New York City was over 50% and asked if Obama's economic program was going to address this problem.

My impression was that Obama didn't even understand the question. He talked about community health clinics and extended unemployment benefits. 50% unemployment among black men is a largely a systemic problem, not a mere statistical blip. It has to be addressed specifically.

After Obama's news conference, I was amazed to see Chris Matthews, Mike Barnacle and Lawrence O'Donnell saying that Obama's elections was an indication of how little a part racism had become in American society. I particularly remember O'Donnell talking about how un-racists white Amreicans had become. Early in that discussion Matthews commented on the irony of three white men talking about race in that way.

This post is too long already, but I think your understanding of racial dynamics in this country is seriously flawed and your apparent indifference is sad. This is typical of what I've seen on "commercial" progressive radio. But then, I've said that on this blog before. Who's listening?

Michael Tate (not verified) 15 years 6 weeks ago

(B Roll)

I whole heartedly agree with you. White Privilege has been written into the very DNA of pretty much all of the institutions in the USA. After the 60's, desegregation occurred and now colored faces started to appear in some businesses and institutions, but at their core they are still run by whites for whites. Joe Barndt in his book Understanding and Dismantling racism does a great job of pointing this out. Thom the next step for your program would be to recognize it's contribution to white privilege, and to become more accountable to the colored community, which would include perhaps bringing on some leaders from the colored community. (This does assume you arn't already doing this since it's a little tough to tell color over radio)

BTW I am a white male.

kemo sabe (not verified) 15 years 6 weeks ago

I am as disappointed as any of our liberals that our President is doing a 180 on many of the things he promised. But let's not forget we have the power to bring about change. If we set our priorities right with single payer health care on top of the list and flood the White House and the Congress with letters (e-mail are soon deleted) and phone calls and explain that we will remember broken promises in 2010 we can force change. It's imperative that we all unite at least on the health care issue which is favored by a majority of the electorate. We can't get everything we want in one fell swoop but we can get what we want one issue at a time.

Emory Callaway (not verified) 15 years 5 weeks ago

Our health care and financial systems were broken with the full knowledge and consent of the law makers . The people we sent to congress have no idea of finance or health care systems so they bring in the local lobbyist to show them how and the lobbyist winds up writing the laws . A few years ago I saw via the Cspan camera the lobbyist on the floor of congress handing out checks while congress was in session . After the public noise from this action became too loud congress made a rule that checks could only be handed out ourside of camera range . But YOU created the financial catastrophe . When Wall Street (WS) got it's hands on your retirement money (401K's , IRA's , Mutual Funds , etc.) WS became very powerful . It gave WS the money to buy our law makers and open the doors to massive out-sourcing of jobs at a rate beyond our imaginations . Even today we pump more of our money into the WS coffers and WS has flexed it's muscles during the last attempt by congress to pass an anti-WS law . Very little is manufactured in our country and WS is working hard to finish off what is left of our manufacturing . The only way we can win this battle is by taking our money out of WS and do the same as the China and Japan . Open American US Treasury Accounts and buy US Treasury Bonds as we did during WWII . Our money is leaving our community so fast our children will be leaving the US to find jobs in China or Japan . If those places will have them .

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