June 8th 2009 - Monday


muslim-imagesHour Two: "President Obama's speech to the Muslim world...invitation to attack America?!" Thom confronts Scott Wheeler of the National Republican Trust PAC www.GOPtrust.com

Hour Three: "Labor Segment"  Geri Jenkins, Co-President of the California Nurses Association, joins Thom on the future of health care www.guaranteedhealthcare.org


Mark (not verified) 13 years 42 weeks ago

Obviously Obama is doing something right if he can piss two people who thrive on hate--Limbaugh and Bin Laden--at the same time. Odd--or maybe not--how those two have so much in common.
The right-wing think-tank American Enterprise Institute just released a report funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation called “Diplomas and Dropouts,” which revealed that a large percentage of college students fail to graduate after six years. It is fair to say that the Institute has a class and racial agenda, but if its intent was to demonstrate that “unqualified” students who never graduate (like Bill Gates) should not be allowed in colleges and universities, the graduation rate of the University of Washington should be taken as a caution of how racist and classist assumptions get in the way of facts (and vice-versa).
The UW, which amusingly likes to think of itself as the Stanford or Berkeley of the Northwest, has about 9 percent African-American, Native American and Latino students—or less if we subtract Latinos who classify themselves as Caucasian. Yet UW has only a 59 percent graduation rate after six years. Like all right-wing organizations and pundits, the AEI blames affirmative action for allowing “unqualified” students access to college (me, I dropped out of high school, joined the Army, got a GED, and later graduated in three years with honors from one of those universities with a perennial nationally-ranked football program). Unfortunately for the AEI, the “progressive” state of Washington passed the anti-affirmative action I-200; although under-represented minority enrollment initially decreased, they are back to previous levels. But the real problem with the right’s assumptions should be all too obvious: even if none of the under-represented minorities graduated, that still leaves 80 percent of non-graduates who are the supposed Caucasian and Asian geniuses. Arrogance is a poor substitute for aspiration.
I have to admit that whenever I look from outside a UW campus library window, I see a lot of students who seem quite ordinary to me. It isn’t hard to suppose who has the best chance to succeed—anyone who is tall and white. But being short isn’t the only roadblock to success; in fact it is another thing that right-wing think-tanks get wrong: there is a glut of people with bachelor’s degrees—just in the wrong fields where there are few jobs tailored to them. Liberal Arts continue to be the most popular choice for degrees, and in our technological world, there are fewer and fewer American students obtaining degrees in the sciences and engineering. Because of the decreasing number of native students earning these degrees, foreign students and graduates are being imported to fill the need.
The glut of college graduates (let alone those who don’t graduate) finds these people taking jobs that would normally be filled by high school graduates—and high school graduates are taking jobs that might otherwise go to people without them.
Whether-or-not all of this is due to the fact that increasing majorities in the student population are women, or insufficient quality math and science education in K-12, or the over-use of computers as teaching aids, or as in this state the horrible under-funding of education (I once heard an old gentleman ask why should he vote for a school levy—he didn’t have any kids in school, as if he were never a kid) are matters of speculation. But it may be due to something else altogether. When I was a younger, kids were fascinated by the prospect of space exploration; man had walked on the moon, science books were filled with imaginings of self-sustaining cities in space, colonies on the moon, space-ships orbiting Jupiter by 2001. These possibilities seemed real, the next logical technological step. In 1929, man on the moon was sheer fantasy; in 1969 there seemed no limits to what man could do. Now, science texts have literally come back to Earth. We seem to have hit a technological dead-end, and space travel—which fired the imaginations of so many would-be scientists—is, in the year 2009, back to where it was in 1929—sheer fantasy.
That is the reality. Right-wing organizations like the American Enterprise Institute bring only pre-ordained—and usually false—assumptions to the table to suit an unprogressive agenda.

Dwayne Hunn (not verified) 13 years 42 weeks ago

People's Lobby's Fair Tax Bracket Reinstitution Act (FTBRA) http://www.worldservicecorps.us/Tax%20bracket%20proposal.htm starts fixing teh tax code adn escrows the funds to American World Service Corps voluntary service... but it needs public support, whidh you can garner for PLI's congressional proposals... Please mention www.worldservicvecoprs.us and www.peopleslobby.us, so the public will start understanding that they can begin pushing the specific laws that are needed...

Key AWSC proposal is at http://www.worldservicecorps.us/world%20service%20key%20proposal%202yr%2...

ABC (not verified) 13 years 42 weeks ago

Brilliant Thom!

You had me nervous for a moment because I thought you were going to trample on Obama for some reason, maybe because you are so nice to these folks like Scott who is obviously, the enemy of the Golden Age of Peace we could have.

The thesis that President Obama's Cairo Speech swayed Lebanese voters to vote pro American is brilliant and true. The World loves President Obama and this takes hate as a tool away from these bizarre creepy fear mongers; those that truly do not love what America is all about.

ABC (not verified) 13 years 42 weeks ago

How come we have not caught Bin Laden? Yes!

ABC (not verified) 13 years 42 weeks ago

911 happened on the Republican's watch!

DRichards (not verified) 13 years 42 weeks ago

Virginia is holding the Democratic Primary (for Govenor) this Tuesday. Does anyone know a web site to list which candidates are (truly) progressive?

Richard Adlof (not verified) 13 years 42 weeks ago

As a Jew and American, I wish to go on the record as stating that it would take a seriously drug-infested reading of the text of the speech to come up with that idea that Obama was equating the Holocaust and the conditions under which those who call themselves ‘Palestinians’ live.

This is exactly the brand of happy horse hockey that is most un-useful.

Quark (not verified) 13 years 42 weeks ago


I think the cost of college is SO prohibitive now, it is difficult for someone with no financial backing to afford it. Those who are working to pay for college often must do so over a much longer period of time than the traditional 4 years that college costs and worker wages used to make easier. I've known people who have worked to get through college and have become "burned out" due to working several jobs and studying hard to complete class work.

My son, for example, is working full time as a mechanic and has, over a period of about 6 years, gotten his undergraduate degree. He also was a late starter, dropping out of high school and later getting a GED. He wants to go to med. school, but that will take a very long time to pay for and get through.

Nicholas Kristof, in yesterday's NYTimes' "Week in Review" section, addresses the higher education issue from a slightly different approach:

"Rising Above I.Q. "


Here are some excerpts:

'In the mosaic of America, three groups that have been unusually successful are Asian-Americans, Jews and West Indian blacks — and in that there may be some lessons for the rest of us.

Asian-Americans are renowned — or notorious — for ruining grade curves in schools across the land, and as a result they constitute about 20 percent of students at Harvard College.

As for Jews, they have received about one-third of all Nobel Prizes in science received by Americans. One survey found that a quarter of Jewish adults in the United States have earned a graduate degree, compared with 6 percent of the population as a whole.

West Indian blacks, those like Colin Powell whose roots are in the Caribbean, are one-third more likely to graduate from college than African-Americans as a whole, and their median household income is almost one-third higher.

These three groups may help debunk the myth of success as a simple product of intrinsic intellect, for they represent three different races and histories. In the debate over nature and nurture, they suggest the importance of improved nurture — which, from a public policy perspective, means a focus on education. Their success may also offer some lessons for you, me, our children — and for the broader effort to chip away at poverty in this country.

Richard Nisbett cites each of these groups in his superb recent book, “Intelligence and How to Get It.” Dr. Nisbett, a professor of psychology at the University of Michigan, argues that what we think of as intelligence is quite malleable and owes little or nothing to genetics.'

"A common thread among these three groups may be an emphasis on diligence or education, perhaps linked in part to an immigrant drive. Jews and Chinese have a particularly strong tradition of respect for scholarship, with Jews said to have achieved complete adult male literacy — the better to read the Talmud — some 1,700 years before any other group.

One large study followed a group of Chinese-Americans who initially did slightly worse on the verbal portion of I.Q. tests than other Americans and the same on math portions. But beginning in grade school, the Chinese outperformed their peers, apparently because they worked harder.

The Chinese-Americans were only half as likely as other children to repeat a grade in school, and by high school they were doing much better than European-Americans with the same I.Q.

As adults, 55 percent of the Chinese-American sample entered high-status occupations, compared with one-third of whites. To succeed in a profession or as managers, whites needed an average I.Q. of about 100, while Chinese-Americans needed an I.Q. of just 93. In short, Chinese-Americans managed to achieve more than whites who on paper had the same intellect.

What’s the policy lesson from these three success stories?

It’s that the most decisive weapons in the war on poverty aren’t transfer payments but education, education, education. For at-risk households, that starts with social workers making visits to encourage such basic practices as talking to children. One study found that a child of professionals (disproportionately white) has heard about 30 million words spoken by age 3; a black child raised on welfare has heard only 10 million words, leaving that child at a disadvantage in school.

The next step is intensive early childhood programs, followed by improved elementary and high schools, and programs to defray college costs.

Perhaps the larger lesson is a very empowering one: success depends less on intellectual endowment than on perseverance and drive. As Professor Nisbett puts it, “Intelligence and academic achievement are very much under people’s control.” '

BTW, is it surprising that Bill Gates would pay for the AEI study?

B Roll (not verified) 13 years 42 weeks ago


You left out an important fact in your reporting of the Supreme Court's decision to not hear the appeal on a "don't ask, don't tell" case. The Supreme Court ruled in favor of the position of the administration of His Holiness President Barack Obama.

Here's a link to an Associated Press article followed by the first paragraph of the article.


By LARA JAKES, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court on Monday agreed with the Obama administration and refused to review Pentagon policy barring gays and lesbians from serving openly in the military.

I guess all I can say is "Praise the frog."

ABC (not verified) 13 years 42 weeks ago


Thom serves on the board of Progressive Democrats for America http://www.pdamerica.org/

I happen to love Charles Chamberlin also at http://www.democracyforamerica.com/

Go there are start networking. If you call their offices, they should be able to hook you up-

Go get em!

Rasta (not verified) 13 years 42 weeks ago


your contempt for your listeners and your own grandiose belief in your superiority is growing to a level of an unhinged dictator. in one breath extolling the intelligence of your listeners all the while reaching for the cutoff button. i can't believe that when a caller calls in paralleling what's going on in the USA and what went on in NAZI Germany he gets dismissed out of hat. YOU YOURSELF HAVE WRITTEN A PAPER TITLED EXACTLY THAT!!! (or have you forgotten about WHEN DEMOCRACY FAILED: THE WARNINGS OF HISTORY?) you have a SEVERE l.i.s.t.e.n.i.n.g problem.

it seems that the almighty Thom Hartmann is the only one "allowed" to highlight such parallels. pathetic hypocrisy at its best.

and while we're on the subject of hypocrisy......NO KKKristian should EVER make fun of another's religion. so steeped in stupidity, fairytales and LIES is the bloodthirsty KKKristian death cult, that ANY indoctrinated participant and perpetuator of the zionist agenda and the Palestinian extermination would surely rot in your hell.

your moral foundation is sooooooo fundamentally flawed and any "activism" that you may do as result is nothing more than building a house on the sand.

moonbat666 (not verified) 13 years 42 weeks ago

There was a genocidal maniac that was pro-Israel that is talked about in the Old Testament. This of course is the invisible entity in the sky known as god. As the Israelites sought the land of promise, they murdered and took the spoils of their wars from those who had different gods or other beliefs. This was done with the blessing of their god. The genocide against the palestinians is an ongoing example of their belief that they are special and that their lives have more value than their Arab brothers who in fact believe in the same god. This is nothing more than delusional at best. To tolerate this behavior is uncivilized. It's time to reign Israel in. I hope Obama has some success in the peace process.

Dwayne Hunn (not verified) 13 years 42 weeks ago

Twice in the first two hours you talked about the need for tax reform on the top income brackets...
People’s Lobby’s Fair Tax Bracket Reinstitution Act (FTBRA) http://www.worldservicecorps.us/Tax%20bracket%20proposal.htm starts fixing the tax code and escrows the funds to American World Service Corps voluntary service congressional proposals… but it needs public support, which you can garner for PLI’s congressional proposals by mentioning them specifically. Please mention http://www.worldservicvecoprs.us and http://www.peopleslobby.us, so the public will start understanding that they can begin pushing the specific laws that are needed turn this from a nation moving toward the "landed rich" to a healthy community of doers…

Key AWSC proposal is at http://www.worldservicecorps.us/world%20service%20key%20proposal%202yr%2...

Richard Adlof (not verified) 13 years 42 weeks ago

Thomas Paine died on French soil cuz once the French Revolution was finishing up, he wanted to bring freedom to the world and the French country-side royalty, while happy that Paris got its come-uppings, felt that democracy was a terrible thing to be left in the hands of the people AND LOCKED HIS BUTT UP UNTIL HE DIED.

Quark (not verified) 13 years 42 weeks ago

God bless this woman for being a vigorous advocate for single-payer health care, but I think she's deluding herself if she thinks Max Baucus' statement that they "probably shouldn't have left single payer out of the discussion."

I think Baucus' statement is just another tactic, while still avoiding the issue.

ABC (not verified) 13 years 42 weeks ago

Health care would take away the need for worker's comp! or the cruddy treatment our vets have been giving - did you hear the story of the vet who came back to America. His family had about a two day drive just to visit him and died in a car accident while doing so- if that doesn't tug on your heart strings, you must be a right wing Rush Limbaugh listener.

Quark (not verified) 13 years 42 weeks ago

My previous statement was about Gerry Jenkins, CalNurses.org.

ABC (not verified) 13 years 42 weeks ago


Exactly what are yee smoking or perhaps shall we say INJECTING today?

Quark (not verified) 13 years 42 weeks ago

ABC, that story is heartbreaking. There's SO MUCH that is heartbreaking in this country whose multinational corporations (and, therefore, much of congress) are run or "owned" by sociopaths...

Quark (not verified) 13 years 42 weeks ago

Oops, meant to say:

God bless this woman for being a vigorous advocate for single-payer health care, but I think she’s deluding herself if she thinks Max Baucus’ statement that they “probably shouldn’t have left single payer out of the discussio.” WAS A BREAKTHROUGH.

Richard Adlof (not verified) 13 years 42 weeks ago

Hyperbole and sloganeering short-changes a truly unhelpful conversation. Rhetoric seeped in anger and reeking of lack of self confidence will do little to solve the Israel/Palestine issue. Folk throwing flames and calling names contribute nothing. If you really wish to contribute to the conversation, do so. If not, there are a plethora of forums you can continue inflicting your brand of impolite languaging upon.

Both Israel and Palestine deserve dirt they can call their own. Obama is correct in his vocalization that these will have to be to separate pieces of dirt to have any chance of peace succeeding. The fact that these hunks of land are adjacent is a fact.

One of the real issues not being discussed is the lack of leadership on the Palestinian side. There is a group of people with folk claiming to be their leaders and treating them as a marketing campaign against Israel. It does not help that the majority of the Arabic world have a dramatically similar view of the Palestinians and are using them as a tool to economically damage Israel.

We must deal with the situation from the real.

ABC (not verified) 13 years 42 weeks ago

I know and love Christine Kraft and remember when she reported Michelle Obama 's salary increasing when Barack became a senator. Consider having Christine on your show! She is a decline to state and her reports are intellectually honest. She was a fierce Hillary supporter however, and we know Hillary takes the second greatest amount of money from the health insurers per Michael Moore's Sicko.

Quark (not verified) 13 years 42 weeks ago


Unfortunately, the worst thing about "Morning Joe" is, in my opinion, Joe Scaborough! He shouts over guests and others without letting them get their points across and he is so busy expressing HIS point of view that I want to shout, "Shut up!" Instead, I just turn the TV off!

Good luck having any kind of balanced conversation with him tomorrow.

renazantz (not verified) 13 years 42 weeks ago


Can you please explain this? If the rule is "don't ask, don't tell" and the person who is gay gets fired, what happens to the person who ASKS?

the one soldier who said that he was tired of lying about "what are you doing this weekend" for those who would talk about family and "wife" issues for their own weekend, why is the person who ASKED not fired. I thought the rule is "don't ASK, don't TELL".

seems kind of unfair to me that they find it is ok to discuss hetero lifestyle but not a gay lifestyle. what about those who are not married and go out having sex on the weekend with a girlfriend or boyfriend that the hetero is not married to, why are they not punished?

this entire line of questioning should be banned. or ALLOWED, which fosters TRUTH and TRUST. which is what we want in the ARMED services.

thanks for all you do. I wish I could be 1/10th as smart as you Thom.

moonbat666 (not verified) 13 years 42 weeks ago

Hey Renaztz, Thom is intelligent but he's not ten times smarter than you or me. Thom actually has his talking points down and repeats them so often that I at times have thought he was in "The Best Of". Thom also has repeated the same errors for a year or more, ie The Fillibuster Rules. He was unaware that the rule was changed during the civil rights era. A quick look on Wikipedia could have solved his mistake. I love Thom too, but please no groveling.

moonbat666 (not verified) 13 years 42 weeks ago

Sorry about the spelling, maybe Thom is 10 times smarter than me. Renazantz

Jon in Md (not verified) 13 years 42 weeks ago

DRichards progressive candidates in Dem VA gov primary.

Creigh Deeds lost so closely to Bob McDonnell for Atty General in 2005 that it took a week or 2 to finish counting. He has bought ads on website of Thom's old syndicator Air America. He may be trying to at least give the impression he is most progressive. Bob McDonnell unopposed in Repub primary. He quit as Atty general to run-some commitment to VA people to serve in capacity elected to he's just another ambitious professional politician. Terry McAuliffe is former DNC chairman after 1998 elections who could raise a lot of money and was close to B and H Clinton. Brian Moran is a state senator or delegate and is a relative of Cong Jim Moran. Am Jewish and I forgive Jim for stating Jews (like Perle, Wolfowitz, Feith, Libby, Krauthammer, Kristol, and their ilk) were pushing for Iraq war and could have stopped it before it started. It was, what conservatives like N Boortz and G Beck like to call painful truth or only saying what everyone is thinking. Progressives need to appropriate same rhetoric when they say something unpopular but correct. The condemnations and heated disputes only prove to me how true it was.

Jeffery Smith (not verified) 13 years 42 weeks ago

Prof. Harvey Kay of U. Wisconsin-Greenbay, author of "Thomas Paine and the Promise of America", brought up Paine's so-called progressiveness and his proposal to "tax the landed rich". Actually, a flat-rate tax on land is built-in progressive since the curve of location value from the sticks to downtown is so very steep. Thom Hartman could do this powerful reform for good a great service by discussing a bill in the Oregon legislature, HJR 47, to allow local governments to convert property taxes into a site-value tax. Progressives in BC (Canada) got a carbon tax passed by coupling it with a dividend. We could do that in Oregon, too.

Rainy (not verified) 13 years 41 weeks ago

Not understanding why these guys on the right are saying the left is more anti-Semitic, Thom. They need to provide examples. Saying Obama isn't investigating something doesn't mean he's anti-Semitic. I guess not rubber stamping everything Israel does, is anti-Semitic now. Interesting.

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 hartmannreport.com - this will be the only place going forward to read Thom's blog posts and articles.

From Screwed:
"The powers that be are running roughshod over the powers that OUGHT to be. Hartmann tells us what went wrong — and what you and I can do to help set American right again."
Jim Hightower, National Radio Commentator, Writer, Public Speaker, and author of the bestselling Thieves in High Places
From Screwed:
"I think many of us recognize that for all but the wealthiest, life in America is getting increasingly hard. Screwed explores why, showing how this is no accidental process, but rather the product of conscious political choices, choices we can change with enough courage and commitment. Like all of Thom’s great work, it helps show us the way forward."
Paul Loeb, author of Soul of a Citizen and The Impossible Will Take a Little While
From Cracking the Code:
"In Cracking the Code, Thom Hartmann, America’s most popular, informed, and articulate progressive talk show host and political analyst, tells us what makes humans vulnerable to unscrupulous propagandists and what we can do about it. It is essential reading for all Americans who are fed up with right-wing extremists manipulating our minds and politics to promote agendas contrary to our core values and interests."
David C. Korten, author of The Great Turning: From Empire to Earth Community and When Corporations Rule the World and board chair of YES! magazine