Friday...broadcasting live from the Talkers New Media Seminar 2009 in New York, NY


Watch Thom challenge Radio Host Jennings who claims "Rush is the most important conservative since Reagan" at Media Matters

Hour One: "Brunch With Bernie" Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) joins Thom for his weekly nationwide town hall meeting

Hour Two: "News Under the Radar" Christy Harvey with the Center for American Progress stops by


Mark (not verified) 13 years 43 weeks ago

I recently became reacquainted with the late Carl Sagan’s Pulitzer Prize winning book “The Dragons of Eden,” early-on in which he writes the human race does not have another 10 million years of evolutionary progress in which resolve the many problems facing the world, many if not most are of humanity’s own creation. “We must adjust and adapt and control, or we perish.” A few years after writing this, Ronald Reagan’s Interior secretary, James Watt, would tell us that we didn’t need to adjust, adapt or control, since the Armageddon was coming and most of us would perish anyways—and he did his best to help Reagan insure that exactly that would happen.

As individuals, we can adjust and adapt to multiple situations, but that doesn’t mean we can control the forces that create those situations. We may or may not choose to adjust or adapt, in which case we can vote for a politician or party who promises to control a situation in another manner. But change only occurs in the tiniest of degrees, often barely perceptible on the ground. Corporate and financial institutions are as impervious to control as throwing a pebble at a speeding train (unless they go bankrupt and the government takes over). What a political change can do is shift attitudes or attention to a different set of priorities. Supreme Court appointments are one of the few opportunities a president has to make a long-term impact on the direction of the country; unfortunately, there are five men of questionable taste on the court who are not going anywhere anytime soon.

I truly fear for this country, one that often rather than searches for solutions, searches for scapegoats. For now, the ball is in Barack Obama’s court, and now we can only hope that he can control what we wish to adjust and adapt to, not what we are forced to.

By the way, Sagan—who was no dummy—was conflicted on the abortion issue. He devoted five pages to the subject in “Dragons,” ostensibly to determine when a fetus’ brain was capable of “human” function. He came very close to calling third-trimester abortion murder.

Mark (not verified) 13 years 42 weeks ago

I was unable to respond to B Roll yesterday, so I will do so now. While I accept the fact that there a few brave souls out there on the fringes of the media, but as demonstrated by recent efforts at immigration reform, a small, but vocal element of hate frightens the hell out of politicians, despite the fact that a majority of Americans favored immigration reform. Obviously there is no balance. A couple years ago I saw a small group of Latinos marching in downtown Seattle (not the May Day affairs that upset a lot of commuters) for civil rights; no white people were among them, and when the marchers were not ignored completely, they were greeted with scowls and mumbled remarks (like "go back to where you came from"). I am just telling you what I saw in a supposed "progressive" city. And while not all people run to see if their cars are locked every time they see a "Mexican," when it does happen those things tend to stick in the mind more than the occassional patronage.

Rasta (not verified) 13 years 42 weeks ago

Over 62% of US personal bankruptcies due to medical bills, and 77.9% of them had health insurance!

belletiane (not verified) 13 years 42 weeks ago

I am not sure that the outline made by Senator Sanders is in the right order. Does the fault lie with the lobbies or with the members of Congress who voted to legalize these lobbies and then who sell themselves and their constittuants?
How is is possible to reform Congress when these same Congress members are the profiteers of the laws they make.
They do not have to break the law - they make the law. Citizens are left out in the cold.

Richard Adlof (not verified) 13 years 42 weeks ago

Stop begudging working folk their earned financial security.

The soldier that becomes a cop and survives to collect Social Security and the pensions . . . The guy with multiple pensions . . . WORKED and potentially BLED on our behalf to earn them.

It is the investor class which earn by taking from the Commons and refuses to pay for their portion of their lot that is ripping us off.

Not the teacher, auto worker, soldier, cop . . . You know . . . Union folk.

Quark (not verified) 13 years 42 weeks ago

Richard Adlof,

Isn't it amazing to hear someone complain about a GNAT, but they're somehow not aware of the WHALE in the room that is pushing them against the wall?!

Mena Sprague (not verified) 13 years 42 weeks ago

Listening to Senator Sanders and our need for election reform, I am reminded we have some of the best Senators and Representatives money can buy.

edward capo beach (not verified) 13 years 42 weeks ago

Senator Sanders...If we had more like you. It is a kinder cleaner mass murder letting people scrap for health care. The 20'000 per year that die can be much greater in my estimate.

Richard Adlof (not verified) 13 years 42 weeks ago

Ridlin as a teenager . . . Never enough to do the trick. Had to watch eating grain products especially wheat. Wheat makes it worse.

Pots of coffee, caffeine tabs and Mountian Dew in my twenties . . .

Welbutrin . . . in my thirties . . . White noise laid over the feed back but the teeth felt like they were crawling.

One or two B-100 vitamins a day and allergy meds . . . Seems to be doing the trick.

Welcome to club ADHD.

Richard Adlof (not verified) 13 years 42 weeks ago



B Roll (not verified) 13 years 42 weeks ago


It wasn’t the point of my post to say that there isn’t racism on the left. There are a variety of prejudices. I was responding to your depiction of the left as either ignoring Latinos or abusing them with populist propaganda.

My post basically had two points. The first was to point out that there various factions, orientations and interests on the left and that you shouldn’t judge the left by commercial “progressive” radio or by the Thom Hartmann Show. If you listened to today's show, you heard Thom proudly admit that he’s closer to Pat Buchanan on immigration than to many other “progressive” radio talkers.

You may have noticed that whenever I refer to commercial “progressive” radio I always put quotation marks around the word “progressive”. It’s because I don’t find it very progressive. It's mostly fairly moderate left side of the Democratic Party.

The great majority of my post was devoted to telling you about what I consider real progressive (notice no quotation marks) alternatives, in case you aren’t aware of them. I devoted time and space to give you an idea of the diversity of the progressive progressive left (I intentionally used progressive twice).

I did that because I felt you might enjoy and benefit from the hearing those perspectives. I’m not claiming that the sources I mentioned are perfect, but there’s a greater diversity of progressive opinions than what commercial “progressive” radio has to offer and it's far more progressive.

To tell you the truth, I enjoy and appreciate much of your contribution to this site, in part because, as you said in one of your posts, you’re writing about a world that most of us aren’t familiar with. I happen to be far more familiar with it than most. And it’s long been my contention that different segments of our society have little understanding of the facts of life for members of other segments.

On the other hand, I think you’re overly pessimistic about the state of (let’s call it) race relations in our society. I’m a baby boomer and it won’t be long before there will only be background radiation left from our big bang. In that time, I’ve seen so many changes in race relations and other aspects of personal and group relations.

To sum up what I’ve seen, it’s been a seesaw back-and-forth process, with some groups getting along at one point and at odds at another time. But I’ve also seen that the direction seems to be towards more acceptance between groups. It's not as good as it should be and there’s no guarantee that there will be a happy harmonious resolution.

Here are a few changes I’ve seen. I went to a high school that was a little over 40% Latino, a little under 40% white, close to 15% African-American and the rest was Asian. There was very little interracial dating or socializing. Now, when I go our class reunions, I find a lot of mixed marriages, especially between whites and Latinos. You never would have guessed that when we were in school. And you can go places in Southern California where it almost seems that interracial couples (of all mixes) are more the rule than the exception.

In one of your posts, you said something along the lines that with the exception of people like Sonia Sotomayor and Barack Obama, there are few opportunities for blacks and Lationos. My observation is that, while the playing field isn’t even, there are more opportunities than you would think. I know many and know of many black and Latino professionals who have been able to take advantage of amazing opportunities.

You can always find the negative side if you look for it and we should. But I think it's wrong to deny the progress that has occurred.

I could go on and on, but I’ll finish with a few final points:

You said that politicians have been scared away from immigration reform even though a majority of the public wants it. That indicates that a large number of whites want it. That undermines the picture you portray of an overarching racism in our society. I’m not saying that there isn’t racism or that it isn’t powerful, but I think it points to the kind of shifts I’ve indicated I’ve seen.

You told about the reactions you saw in downtown Seattle when a small group of Latinos demonstrated for civil rights. You noted that there were no whites among them. Let me point out that the fact it was a small number of Latinos, indicates that there was some sort of social relationship between the people in this group.

You also said they were either ignored or greeted with scowls or muttered hostility. I don’t find the ignoring of a small demonstration unusual. The people who came across it were involved in their own lives, so it’s not surprising they didn’t take time to pay attention. The muttered comments indicate a racial hostility and there’s no point denying that. As for the scowls, some certainly are what you perceived them to be, but your expectation of racial hostility may have influenced your perception in some cases. And I wonder what kind of expression might have been on your face when you encountered the gay rights demonstration you mentioned in another post. That’s not a swipe at you, but you have expressed animosity to both gay issues and the concerns of many women.

I mentioned that Thom said he's closer to Pat Buchanan than to other liberal talkers on immigration. He may be right, but I think Buchanan's position is based a lot on racism, whereas I believe Thom's is strictly economic. But on gay rights and women's issues, the views you've expressed here are closer to Buchanan and other right wingers than to progressives. I hope that if you listen to some of the sources I recommended you might have a change of heart.

Sorry about posting this after the end of the show and I hope you see it.

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