May 29th Friday

under-the-radar-1images1Hour 1: "Brunch With Bernie" Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) joins Thom for his weekly nationwide town hall meeting

Hour 2: "News Under the Radar" Christy Harvey of the Center for American Progress stops by

Hour 3: David C. Korten on the Economy...

plus...Karuppiah, Satinath Sarangi and Safreen "Rafat" Khan - 25th anniversary - Union Carbide disaster in Bhopal, India (12/2/84)


Mark (not verified) 13 years 43 weeks ago

You know, I don’t think Thom realizes just how offended many would-be African-American and Latino listeners woud be, not just by his sidelining of their issues and concerns, but by this going on and on and on trying to put on a level plane the “civil rights” struggle of gays, lesbians, and to a lesser extent white women (who, by the way, represent by far the largest demographic in colleges and universities, and have the lowest unemployment rates, while black men are at the opposite end of both spectrums). In regard to gays, we are talking about behavior, not revulsion on sight. Non-whites cannot conceal the aspect of appearance that excites bigotry—it’s out there front and center.
Civil rights? About what—gay marriage? This pales in comparison to the kind of bigotry racial minorities and especially Latinos today must endure. While Thom was tearing over the some children’s book that is nothing more than a gay activist’s political agenda, yesterday I wrote about how one school district is teaching “tolerance” toward minorities. And variations of this kind of “tolerance” is happening all over the country.
While the (white) gay community flexes its political and media muscle, and the same media allows a smorgasbord of talking heads full vent of their anti-Latino venom (with or without Sotomayor as a target), we must ask the following:
Who is more likely to be the target of harassment, brutality and lethal force by police—racial minorities or gays?
Who is currently the target of a “civil rights crisis” in the South, where many whites seem nostalgic for the Jim Crow era—Latinos or gays?
Whose “IQ” is being questioned by Tom Tancredo, and her hard work called “affirmative action” by Pat Buchanan—Sotomayor or a pick-em of successful white gay celebrities and public officials? It’s odd, but no matter if you do what whites tell you do—get an education, keep your nose clean, work hard—it still isn’t enough to be accepted as anything other than an undeserving token (unless, of course, you are Clarence Thomas, or the only job available is President).
And what group is being scapegoated for every national ill from lack of jobs to cultural degradation? It isn’t the gay community, is it?
Of course no one is a “pure” victim. Take for instance Bonnie Bleskachek, lesbian and former fire chief of Minneapolis. She was recently demoted for discriminating against heteros and giving preferential treatment in hiring and promotion to gays and lesbians, or those who associated with them. And then there is Laine Lawless, former "high priestess" of some lesbian pagan group called the "Sisterhood of the Moon," and now full-time anti-Latino immigrant fanatic, and was, according to e-mails obtained by the SPLC, in contact with neo-Nazis, suggesting ways to harass anyone who might be "illegal" in the fashion that follows:
• "Steal the money from any illegal walking into a bank or check cashing place."
• "Make every illegal alien feel the heat of being a person without status. ... I hear the rednecks in the South are beating up illegals as the textile mills have closed. Use your imagination."
• "Discourage Spanish-speaking children from going to school. Be creative."
• "Create an anonymous propaganda campaign warning that any further illegal immigrants will be shot, maimed or seriously messed-up upon crossing the border. This should be fairly easy to do, considering the hysteria of the Spanish language press, and how they view the Minutemen as ‘racists & vigilantes.’"
I used to live in Capitol Hill, more-or-less the gay and lesbian epicenter of Seattle. I generally don't pay much attention to what people are doing unless they offend me by acting on their stereotypes and prejudices, but I can tell you that when these folks want to call attention to themselves, they mean to offend. I viewed one of their “take back the night” marches—mainly an excuse to take to the air and offend as many people as possible—and I must say I never heard or seen more hate-filled rhetoric in one place (although admittedly I’ve haven’t seen or heard a KKK rally recently). I found a poster that listed the sponsors of the march; “radical” and “dike” seemed to be included in the name of every organization, such as they were. Hardly the stuff to inspire civilized discourse.
I think it is offensive to make any comparison of the racial minority and Native American experience in this country with the (white) gay and lesbian experience in this country. Everything is relative, like sick is to being dead.

Making Progress (not verified) 13 years 43 weeks ago

Sonia Sotomayor: Her gender & ethnicity are part of a shell game to avoid talking about how she is basically a Pro-Life Corporatist. She will become the 6th of 9 Roman Catholic judges on the court. This is clearly part of a deal involving the Clintons, probably as part of Hilary's DNC concession. Nevertheless, this should be insulting to progressives and more indication that Obama and the Democratic Party are just as beholden to corporations and wealth as are the GOP.

By E.J. Dionne Jr.

Republicans would be foolish to fight the nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the U.S. Supreme Court because she is the most conservative choice that President Obama could have made.

And even though they should support her confirmation, liberals would be foolish to embrace Sotomayor as one of their own because her record is clearly that of a moderate. It is highly unlikely that she will push the court to the left. Indeed, on many issues of concern to business, she is likely to make the Chamber of Commerce perfectly happy.

In this battle, it's important to separate Obama's reasons for choosing Sotomayor from her actual record. He was drawn to her not simply because the politics of naming the first Latina justice were irresistible, but also because he saw her as the precise opposite of Chief Justice John Roberts.

In his September 2005 speech explaining his vote against Roberts, Obama argued that 95 percent of court cases are easily settled on the basis of the law and precedent. But in "those 5 percent of hard cases," Obama said, the "legal process alone will not lead you to a rule of decision" and "the critical ingredient is supplied by what is in the judge's heart."

And that is where Obama found Roberts wanting. The young senator insisted that Roberts "far more often used his formidable skills on behalf of the strong in opposition to the weak" and "seemed to have consistently sided with those who were dismissive of efforts to eradicate the remnants of racial discrimination in our political process."

Obama believes Roberts's subsequent behavior on the court has justified his initial suspicions. He hopes that Sotomayor will be the anti-Roberts, a person whose experience growing up in the projects of the South Bronx will allow her to see life and the quest for justice in a way Roberts never will.

Conservatives -- particularly those who run direct-mail outfits and want a big court fight -- would love the decision over Sotomayor to hang on Obama's call for judges who show "empathy." They would cast her as a dangerous activist willing to bend the law to produce the results she wants.

They want to turn Obama's argument on its head and claim that Sotomayor would show bias in favor of those who share her background -- and never mind that they dismiss such assertions when they are raised with respect to white, conservative, male nominees.

The problem is that this approach is untrue to who Sotomayor has been and has little relationship to the decisions she has actually rendered as a judge. News accounts from the 1990s consistently described her as a "centrist" in her politics. Her lead sponsor when she was first named as a judge, the late Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, was hardly a conventional liberal. Obama may have found himself an empathetic judge, but she practices her empathy from the middle of the road.

A careful analysis of her record by Business Week, for example, concluded that she is a "moderate on business issues" and would fit the court's current alignment on such questions.

She also upheld a ban on federal funds going to family planning groups that provided abortions overseas. Sotomayor wrote that "the Supreme Court has made clear that the government is free to favor the anti-abortion position over the pro-choice position, and can do so with public funds."

Dan Gilgoff, on his excellent "God and Country" blog, points out that Sotomayor also ruled in favor of a group of Connecticut antiabortion protesters who asserted that police "used excessive force against them at a demonstration." He concludes that her "thin record on abortion is most likely a relief" to pro-life groups. In picking her, Obama sent another signal that he is serious about seeking common ground on abortion.

Liberals should not take the bait of the right-wingers by allowing the debate over Sotomayor to be premised on the idea that she is a bold ideological choice. She's not. But if conservatives succeed in painting this moderate as a radical, they will skew future arguments over the court. In fact, liberals should press Sotomayor on her more conservative decisions on business issues, an area in which the current court already tilts too far right.

As for Republican senators, they have to ask if it's worth alienating Latino voters to wage a fierce battle against a woman who is, from their point of view, the best nominee Obama was likely to give them.

Making Progress (not verified) 13 years 43 weeks ago

Yea, so I hit 'post comment' too soon and failed to indicate that the first paragraph of the previous comment is mine and the remaining is the article by E.J. Dionne that sparked my comment.

growin (not verified) 13 years 43 weeks ago

Speaking of news under the radar:
Now we can be questioned by police without a lawyer present, and apparently the Obama administration asked for this. I am starting to believe he is a carefully crafted product (maybe a cyborg) designed to induce warm, fuzzy feelings of hope to keep us calm, while systematically continuing the corporate privatization of our govenment. The only reason they have let him make some better environmental decisions is because they have realized they won't even have a planet left to control if they keep on polluting.

Quark (not verified) 13 years 43 weeks ago


You are expressing my fears. I keep watching with hope that I am wrong.

Quark (not verified) 13 years 43 weeks ago

Along with Ravi Batra's rather discouraging predictions this week is a story by Floyd Norris in today's NYTimes:

"High & Low FinanceCredit Relief May Not Last Long"


Bailouts and government spending do appear to have warded off Great Depression II, but the current government-supported financial system may not be enough to do much more than keep the economy breathing. In the words of Mr. Kaufman, whose prescient warnings of credit market excesses in recent years were largely ignored by Wall Street, “we do not have the financial firing power to lift this economy in any meaningful way.”

If he is right, the end of the current recession is unlikely to produce much of a recovery."

Mena Sprague (not verified) 13 years 43 weeks ago

This is the message I just sent to NE's Nelson & Johans. Thanks Mena
Taxing health insurance benefits puts the health care burden on working Americans and should not be passed. When 70% of Americans want a CHOICE between public health care or private health care, it should be an option. There are millions of Americans that the insurance industry won't insure or are under insured and there should be an option for them. Competition is good except in the health industry? If our present system is so great, why is it we are rated 37 behind many third world nations?

We have a single payer plan now and that is Medicare. Why not allow those with no insurance or who are under insured join Medicare? Most Nebraskans are self employed, insurance premiums in Nebraska in the past five years have increased by 69% while salary increases were 29%. It is time you put Nebraskans first. Please pass legislation to allow those who need it to join Medicare.

Thank you,
Mena Sprague. 844 20th Ave, Saint Paul, NE 68873
308 754 4901

Quark (not verified) 13 years 43 weeks ago

It looks like people in general aren't angry enough yet over health care to call for a public option. Even a "million-man march" on Washington isn't enough to force change.

I hope I am cynical and wrong.

KMH (not verified) 13 years 43 weeks ago

Check out this veteran's group with Michael Pollan and Pat Tillman's Mother!

Mission statement
The mission of the Farmer-Veteran Coalition is to mobilize our food and farming community to create healthy and viable futures for America’s veterans by enlisting their help in building our green economy, rebuilding our rural communities, and securing a safe and healthy food supply for all.

Deregulate_This (not verified) 13 years 43 weeks ago

Hi Thom - Please, ask Bernie to tighten G.A.A.P. standards. Currently, a company can report huge profits to Shareholders and simultaneously report huge losses to the IRS. Under current standards: Both statements are perfectly legal.

Get Tough on Crime measure - we should institute a formula for financial crimes. If a person can get 10 years for stealing $1,000 in a robbery, then that should be the formula: 10 years for every $1,000 ---- Charles Keating would still be in jail. Ken Lay would be in jail and his assets seized (his 'death' protected all his assets). I bet he found a homeless guy that looked like him and put him in the casket.

AZAFVET (not verified) 13 years 43 weeks ago

Advice for President Obama from a song by Jerry Riopel, "Let the strength of your words, come from your deeds"

Richard Adlof (not verified) 13 years 43 weeks ago

FRAG Party politics! We are the owners o' the government and NEED to take back the wheels of government.

If only I hadn't so misspent my youth in such a wild and wooly manner . . . Wait! That worked for Andrew Jackson . . . Hmmmmm.

brian a. hayes (not verified) 13 years 43 weeks ago

as a progressives i stand up for truth and justice. this is what gives me such great joy and fortune in my life. i do not follow anyone blindly be it in my religous belief, my politics, and any thing else in my life. i live with total freedom on the side of truth and justice.

Quark (not verified) 13 years 43 weeks ago

Richard Adlof,

Right! If I only knew then what I know now. Oh well, you do the best you can at the time.

On the other hand, I tell my son that some of the best saints came from the worst sinners...

Richard Adlof (not verified) 13 years 43 weeks ago

I was listening to an OLD podcast (September or October 2007) where Thom interviewed Daniel Brook about his book, "The Trap: Selling Out to Stay Afloat in Winner-Take-All America" and wanted to suggest that folk pull it off their shelves and give it a re-read.

It will get your blood pumping and your ire up . . .

Richard Adlof (not verified) 13 years 43 weeks ago

GAAP - Generally Accepted Accounting Principles are industry/academic standards and have happy horse hockey to do with the government . . .

OMG! I just revealed that I'm an accounting/finance dude . . .

moonbat666 (not verified) 13 years 43 weeks ago

Ken Lay's heart attack was quite remarkable for a man that could have had an ambulance on staff and a cardiac surgeon if needed for a man of his means. I know he was in jail, but give me a break . Yasser Araafat---most likely poisen, the Russians use poisen too------radioactive. Deregulate was, in Thom's words, spot on. W always refered to his bud as Kenny Boy. Just old buds when it's cool, but when the shit hits the fan, anyoneone can have a heart attack.

Quark (not verified) 13 years 43 weeks ago

On the front page of today's Sunday NYTimes, a headline reads "Industry Fears U.S. May Quit New Car Habit - Is Slump Now Norm for G.M. and Chrysler?" I want to scream back: "As long as good jobs and a livable wage are not the NORM in the U.S., people will not have money to spend on new cars!"

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