May 27th Wednesday

Hour 1 - Is Sotomayor a corporate tool? Is too big to fail too big to exist? Is China going to save the world from North Korea or do we all need to be saved from China?

Hour 2 -  Dr. Ravi Batra -  Should we be considering a national tax? Is there a depression still looming? 

Hour 3: "Start Where You Are" Chris Gardner, Author of "The Pursuit of Happyness" talks with Thom about how to go from homelessness to happiness



Chris from Saint Paul Mn (not verified) 13 years 44 weeks ago

Hey Thom,
or anyone, does anyone know where I could find the percentages of Conservative justices following the Constitution comapred to the "Liberal" judges? I know Thom had said yesterday the Conservatives were typically more to adlibbing than liberals (50%+, compared to 40% or less) I'd just like a link, or know where to find this info to help strenthen my argument!
Thanks all.

Richard Adlof (not verified) 13 years 44 weeks ago

I have developed a real dislike of the oppressive things that rapturian recessivists inflict on good and godly people.

Quark (not verified) 13 years 44 weeks ago

Richard Adolf,

'Sounds like Elmer Gantry redux.

Richard Adlof (not verified) 13 years 44 weeks ago

"Oh look, the mediocre, just right of middle of the road, President nominatated a Centrist Judge as his first pick . . ."

Making Progress (not verified) 13 years 44 weeks ago

Once Again, Obama disappoints real Progressives! We have another Clintonian democrat. Ugh!!!
Thom you hit the nail on the head yesterday when you pointed out that back in 1998 Trent Lot said they were 'grooming her for the Supreme Court'. This obviously comes out of the backroom deals with Hillary Clinton as part of her concession for the Democratic nomination.
Worth Pointing out is that she is CATHOLIC. How representative of the US population is it to have 6 of 9 Supreme Court Judges being Catholic?

Richard Adlof (not verified) 13 years 44 weeks ago

There are NO, NADA, NONE, ZERO, ZIP liberals on SCOTUS.

There a moderates with consciences and recessivists with fascist plutocratic tendencies.

Richard Adlof (not verified) 13 years 44 weeks ago

Progressives NEED to haunt the President until he becomes just.

Progressives NEED to raze the DINO's from the House and the Senate.

Marty (not verified) 13 years 44 weeks ago

Clarence Thomas was the "First" Black justice on the Supreme Court?!? What was Thurgood Marshall? An ET? Not that I would want to see Thurgood Marshall brought down by a comparison to the current president. But, Thom - you were a bit too reactionary there.

KMH (not verified) 13 years 44 weeks ago

Here is what made me angry about the latest Obama email into my account. His organization Organizing for America set up a vigil to support those who lost the Prop 8 ruling yesterday. I shot the email back:

I know that President Obama came out against Proposition 8, but the fact of the matter is he did say during a debate that both he and his Vice President were against gay marriage. We cannot have it both ways. If he feels differently now, he should make a statement. He helped this measure pass.

Below, see how Miss California used the President's statements to reinforce her outright desire to take away the rights of gay people. I am not gay, but I see today's decision an assault on all of us since we are now vulnerable to a vote as to whether or not we will have a right to be ourselves at the scrutiny of someone else's church.

Miss California's actual statements includes confirmation from the President.
I will not back down for my right to take away freedoms from gay people.

I was punished on that stage. It was my assault on my freedoms and constitutional rights Which should not happen in America – unless you are gay. In which case you should quietly understand that God does not agree with you.

To hear the remark about the President, play this clip

Watch this!

kim (not verified) 13 years 44 weeks ago

so, we need to put more progressive pressure on Obama the centrist. How? Tell me what to do. I don't have any money to do anything with because of the state of the economy. I sign petitions, and send emails. What else can I do?
I am thinking that we need to infiltrate the local Democratic party. What else?

Paul Velleman (not verified) 13 years 44 weeks ago

I think you misunderstand Pres. Obama. Look (again) at *Team of Rivals*. Goodwin claims that Lincoln had a masterful sense of where the public was. He waited with emancipation until he sensed that it would get the support it needed. He ignored attacks from both right and left so he could stay his course. I suspect Obama is more progressive than he is showing us, but that he's a Lincolnesque politician.

For example, I expect (hope for) progress on gay rights when and as the majority of the country come around to that point of view. That will happen, if only by the death of older, more conservative citizens. When it does, Obama will move.

What *we* have to do is move the public to the left. You contribute mightily to that cause. Keep up the good work.

KMH (not verified) 13 years 44 weeks ago

Hi Kim-

Are you receiving emails from OFA to host events? I do and do set up events. I am frank and kind with those who show up. I also remind everyone that JFK was shot only 1000 days into his presidency. So- it could be that the President is mindful of this and frightened. He most likely feels he is doing the best he can do while keeping himself alive and we need to be out there doing exactly what Thom says- we need to take over the Democratic Party and this might also mean joining the Green Party. But my experience is no matter how blatant I am to the Obama Camp, they do still allow me in their quarters and reminded of my views by my blogs and fairness of assessment of the issues at hand. My secret feeling is truly that Obama is Sheriff of Rockinghman in Blazing Saddles. Go host an event!

Richard Adlof (not verified) 13 years 44 weeks ago

NEWS FLASH: Hyper-inflation held in check by corporate salary supression . . .

Mark (not verified) 13 years 44 weeks ago

Economists with their various and conflicting computer models, politicians doing what is politically expediate for themselves, corporations headed by management that only looks to see how much money they can make personally before they get out, most of the public having no real idea of what is going on beyond their own circumstances, and talking heads speaking out of their fundaments--anyone who claims to know the perfect solution to this perfect economic storm should be in an insane asylum. Economic policy has never been anything more than hit or miss.

jacmacc (not verified) 13 years 44 weeks ago

I invite Thom to discuss the possibility that antitrust laws could prohibit a national health care program that is not controlled by insurance and drug companies, as suggested in the NY Times article below

New York Times
May 27, 2009
Antitrust Laws a Hurdle to Health Care Overhaul

WASHINGTON — President Obama’s campaign to cut health costs by $2 trillion over the next decade, announced with fanfare two weeks ago, may have hit another snag: the nation’s antitrust laws.

Antitrust lawyers say doctors, hospitals, insurance companies and drug makers will be running huge legal risks if they get together and agree on a strategy to hold down prices and reduce the growth of health spending.

Robert F. Leibenluft, a former official at the Federal Trade Commission, said, “Any agreement among competitors with regard to prices or price increases — even if they set a maximum — would raise legal concerns.”

Already, some leaders of the health care industry who appeared at the White House on May 11 say the president may have overstated their cost-control commitment. Three days after the gathering, hospital executives said that they had agreed to help save $2 trillion by gradually slowing the growth of health spending, but that they did not commit to cutting the growth rate by 1.5 percentage points each year for 10 years.

White House officials say even the more limited commitment is significant. Under current law, federal officials predict that health spending will grow an average of 6.2 percent a year, to $4.4 trillion in 2018.

Mr. Obama is asking the industry for detailed proposals to control costs. But so far the administration has not offered the industry any relief from antitrust laws and has, in fact, vowed to step up enforcement.

As a presidential candidate, Mr. Obama said consumers had suffered because of “lax enforcement” of antitrust laws in many health insurance markets.

In 1993, when President Bill Clinton made the last major effort to overhaul the health care system, the lobby for the drug industry, then known as the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association, devised a voluntary cost-control plan. Under it, each drug company offered to limit the annual increase in the average price of its prescription drug products to the increase in the Consumer Price Index.

The Justice Department rejected the proposal, saying it would violate antitrust laws. In blocking the proposal, the department said the Supreme Court had made clear that agreements setting maximum prices were just as illegal as agreements that set minimum ones.

“Such maximum price-fixing agreements create the risk that the maximum prices will become minimum or uniform prices,” the department said in a business review letter signed Oct. 1, 1993, by Anne K. Bingaman, then the assistant attorney general in charge of the antitrust division.

In 1978, hospitals also asked the Justice Department for an assurance they would not be charged with antitrust violations when they undertook a “voluntary effort” to curb costs as an alternative to legislation proposed by President Jimmy Carter. The department would not provide such an assurance.

Many savings now envisioned by the health care industry would require much closer cooperation by independent doctors and hospitals, taking them into a gray area of the law where federal agencies have not provided clear guidance.

In a recent letter to the Senate Finance Committee, the American Hospital Association said uncertainty about enforcement of the antitrust laws “makes it difficult for a hospital and doctors to collaborate to improve care” and lower costs.

Doctors often want to collaborate and share information about prices without sharing financial risk or fully merging their office practices. The American Medical Association has asked Congress to revise antitrust laws so doctors can collectively negotiate with insurers over fees and other issues.

The Federal Trade Commission has repeatedly challenged such collective action as illegal price-fixing, even though doctors say they are at a severe disadvantage in trying to negotiate with giant insurance companies.

A new study by an economist at Northwestern University, Leemore S. Dafny, finds that a growing number of geographic markets are dominated by a handful of insurance companies, and that the decline in competition may contribute to higher prices.

Among the groups that say they have joined together to rein in health costs, besides the hospital and medical associations, are America’s Health Insurance Plans and the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America.

Jamie Court, the president of Consumer Watchdog, an advocacy group, said he was wary of such joint efforts.

“When companies that control the health care system get together to change it, there is a serious risk that they are doing it to stifle competition at the expense of consumers,” Mr. Court said.

The Federal Trade Commission says that while cooperation among health care providers can benefit consumers, it can also increase the bargaining power of hospitals and doctors, making it easier for them to set prices and eliminate competition.

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Quark (not verified) 13 years 44 weeks ago


That's why it's said that economics is as much an "art" as a "science." Like predicting the weather, only more mysterious. LOL

BTW, I just sent the following email to Obama (

Dear President Obama,

Let me preface my question by saying that I am a life-long Democratic activist and delegate. I WANT you and your administration to succeed.

WHY won't you listen to progressive economists like Ravi Batra (, Paul Krugman, Rbt. Reich or others? These people WILL PROVE TO BE RIGHT and your Wall Street/financial market advisors WILL BE PROVEN WRONG.

Ravi Batra is, this very minute, saying that the U.S. economy is currently in a "holding pattern." By about July, 2009, it will take a nose-dive, worse than what we have seen so far. This is because:

1) Oil speculation will absorb most of the emergency funding the gov't. has put the the hands of consumers.

2) Propping up banks and the financial markets will only reinflate the credit bubble. This will fail because citizens are "tapped out." They have nothing left on which to borrow. The real problem here is that INCOMES HAVE NOT KEPT UP WITH PRODUCTIVITY FOR THE LAST 30 YEARS.

Americans have lost income, assets and savings, along with jobs. As long as the government caters more to corporations and the wealthy, this country WILL FAIL.

This is very discouraging.

Watch and see. This is what we can expect. Why don't you change your direction NOW? Are you REALLY willing to listen to other points of view? I don't think so...At least, I don't see it happening.

Chris (not verified) 13 years 44 weeks ago

Regarding Carol's comments earlier, I understand what she is saying about giving Obama a chance. Believe or not, I think this appropriate regarding holding the Bush administration accountable and health care. Do not despair regarding accountability. Holder is doing his job and letting the health care issue run its course through the end of the summer. But I just have a strong feeling that the main stream press is totally misreading Obama on this.

As health care, I'm less certain. I'm starting to feel that we are about to be sole down the road on this. The only thing that keeps me hope is that Obama knows that it is the paramount issue on which his presidency will be eventually judge. He can't afford to blow it.

However, I couldn't disagree more with Carol as to Obama's intent regarding the financial industry. He did not hire Sumners and Geitner only to fire them later. That's absurd. He does not know the industry well enough to totally dismantle it. He will heed his advisors' advice in this area. Moreover, he does not believe he has the power to fix it. You may have heard that the banks own capital hill now. Also, Obama fears what major changes or a hostile financial industry could do to his presidency and this country. He should. This selfish group of people could destroy him and us . . . and themselves. As the Haitian elite have proven, I think they would be okay living behind walled off compounds that they can't leave without risking their lives.

Obama will tweak around the edges of the financial industry. Then, leave the problem for his successor to tackle, Bush like, during the next financial crisis in about 5 - 7 years (unless a sooner collapse forces his hand). If he's lucky, it won't occur until a year or two after he leaves office. Maybe that will be the only major thing on that President's plate.

madisonmichele (not verified) 13 years 44 weeks ago

What exactly is the best prediction concerning global warming? Are we facing an ice age, because of the loss of the gulf stream warm water converyor belt in the Atlantic ocean?

Or severe drought brought on by higher temperatures?

Thank you

KMH (not verified) 13 years 44 weeks ago

Schwarzennegger wants to see Alcatraz, too!

Richard Adlof (not verified) 13 years 44 weeks ago

All this crap in California plugs into Republicans in the Legislature sign that farging “Club for Growth” “No New Taxes” pledge and sticking to their guns while having exactly ONE too many bodies to be ignored.

Arnold wants desperately to look good while eviscerating the State Government. This is the reason for Props 1A-1E last week.

The DEMs were desperate for the money and they were willing to sale CA’s future for a stop gap today.

The REPs were willing to give one year stop gap to sewer the budget for the next ten years AND the ability to blame it all on the voters.


KMH (not verified) 13 years 44 weeks ago

We have a group of old buzzards here called the Howard Jarvis Taxpayer's Association and they will not let their chompers off any representative that wants to raise taxes. They are true vigilantes for the right wing and as Schwarz said himself in a European interview that these right wingers are CRAZY EXTREMISTS!

I am promoting Kibbutz as I really think those fortunate enough to be on one will be luckier than others. BTW check out to find local food cooperatives.

Quark (not verified) 13 years 44 weeks ago

I think I saw that same sexual hypnotist on "How to Marry a Millionaire." He turned out to have a "commitment" problem (and was a real jerk!) The "matchmaker" refused to find him any more matches!

Minnesota is going the same way as CA and OR. The Republican governors must have gotten the same "lesson plans" from Rove.

Richard Adlof (not verified) 13 years 44 weeks ago

Screw giving Obama a chance. He had his chance when he refused to return to the Senate and filibuster Mukasey rather than fund-raise and play Presidential Candidate.

Now, Obama NEEDs to be reminded DAILY that the United States of America is a representative democracy and he has the job of representing us.

Gabriel (not verified) 13 years 44 weeks ago

Tom please excuse that lady that blamed California's problems on illegal immigration. We have a horrible right winger problem here. We have an array of right wingers on the stations here and two inparticular are very popular and talk about nothing other than illegal immigration(John and Ken.) They venerate Lou Dobbs and are equally, if not worse, than Lou.

Gabriel (not verified) 13 years 44 weeks ago

To: madisonmichele
Global Climate change means different things to different geographic areas. In Europe it will eventually mean that it freezes over but it can also mean drought in Australia and higher water level in the United States.

Thom's Blog Is On the Move

Hello All

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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."
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