Friday - July 24th 2009

under-the-radar-1images1Hour One: "Brunch With Bernie" Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) spends the hour with Thom discussing the issues and answering listener questions

Hour Two - Ravi Batra Is the Economy getting better or not?

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


Mark (not verified) 11 years 26 weeks ago

I recall some years ago that former Cincinnati Reds star and baseball analyst Joe Morgan was arrested while walking through an airport to catch a flight. Apparently, the police thought a black man wearing a tailored suit must be a drug-smuggler. When Morgan told them who he was, the police were unimpressed. Later, after Morgan was released after being held on a bogus “contempt of cop” charge, the police chief bewailed the fact that it was always “articulate” minorities who gave them “trouble.” This is obviously applies to the recent incident involving Henry Louis Gates, arrested for not showing the proper “respect” to a white police officer who invaded his home, acting on report from an undoubtedly fearful white person.

Most police officers do frankly operated on the principle of racial stereotypes, or profiling. The “job” of police is to protect white people and their property against potential “predations” of minorities, although crime statistics do generally indicate that whites are more likely to be the victim of another white person. Profiling and stereotypes are so ingrained in the minds of most cops that they see every minority as “the enemy.” Even, apparently, educated, law-abiding—“articulate”—minorities. Why? Because their very existence exposes the underlying racism inherent in policing and society in general. I know, for example, that every time a police officer wants to “talk” to me, he or she is expecting a Spanish speaker or someone otherwise inarticulate that they assume they can bully. It doesn’t take long for them to discover the error in their thinking, but as other minorities like Morgan and Gates discovered, police have this inability to admit their errors—rather choosing to escalate matters in an effort to “excuse” their actions.

I might be too small a fry to detain for “contempt of cop,” but minorities (particularly male) who directly contradict the received stereotypes and in fact are deserving society’s respect (like a Harvard professor) are troublesome for police. They are “troublesome” because police simply do not know how to show respect to a minority they instinctually assume is a potential criminal. Not knowing how to show respect, they nevertheless demand “respect,” and this is where the “trouble” begins. Police who do not show respect do not deserve it themselves.

Quark (not verified) 11 years 26 weeks ago

Interesting interview on The Daily Show last night (a story about the the Civil War I hadn't heard until now.) John Stewart talked with author Sally Jenkins, who wrote a book (The State of Jones) how about how the Civil War was forced by wealthy Southern plantation owners who wanted to protect their interests.

Apparently, according to Jenkins, most of the South would have agreed to eliminate slavery, but a small group with interests vested in the existing system pushed for secession from the Union (min. 13:53, or segment 3 of this clip):

Quark (not verified) 11 years 26 weeks ago

Here's a shorter video clip of just the Sally Jenkins interview on The Daily Show (see my preceeding post):

Quark (not verified) 11 years 26 weeks ago

btw, now that Walter Cronkite (previously thought to be "America's most trusted newsman") is no longer with us, Jon Stewart has been voted the bearer of that title in a recent Time poll:

streamer (not verified) 11 years 26 weeks ago

Question for Bernie: DFA included John Kerry in their list of Democrats to attack based on a Huff post rumor. I think this was bogus since Kerry is FOR the PUBLIC OPTION. DFA and their associates stood by their stance that it was appropriate to attack Kerry when I asked them to take his name off the attack list.

I think attacking allies for not being perfect is very destructive to the credibility of liberal/progressive activism. There are plenty of real obstructionists to go after without attacking allies.

Question for Ravi Batra: Back last winter you had suggested that Obama not be very aggressive (beyond stimulus) in proposing big economic packages because the recession/depression was going to come anyway no matter what he did. Now in July do you have an update related to the February recommendation to be cautious.

Food Fascist (not verified) 11 years 26 weeks ago

Petition senate to stay and finish health care bill!

Quark (not verified) 11 years 26 weeks ago

Interesting (very basic) conversation on "Morning Meeting" today. Helps make a complicated situation understandable:

1) Eliot Spitzer on the Fed:

Quark (not verified) 11 years 26 weeks ago

For people pissed with Harry Reid (including me) ---

'Sorry for all the posts, but I came across interesting ideas (since yesterday) I wanted to share with you. Lawrence O'Donnell talks about Harry Reid's dilemma ('helped me have a little more sympathy for Reid):

I'm still going to sign the petition on "Food Fascist's" link above, will call the White House, today, etc.,

Rasta (not verified) 11 years 26 weeks ago



The Reality of Israel’s "Open Jerusalem"
Ghettoes, demolitions and housing shortages

In addition, movement restrictions mean that almost all of the nearly four million Palestinians of the West Bank and Gaza are banned from entering the city or visiting its holy sites.

Inside Jerusalem, as in the West Bank, Israel enforces a strict programme of segregation to disadvantage the Palestinians, said Jeff Halper, of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions.

Israeli Jews have the freedom to live in both parts of the city, with 270,000 in West Jerusalem and a further 200,000 living in East Jerusalem in rapidly expanding settlements heavily subsidised by the state.

Palestinians, meanwhile, are denied the right to live both in West Jerusalem and in many residential areas of East Jerusalem. Even in their tightly controlled neighbourhoods in the city’s east, at least 20,000 of their homes are subject to demolition orders, said Mr Halper.

Daniel Seidemann, a Jerualem lawyer, said that in his 20 years of handling residency rights cases for Palestinians he had never heard of a Palestinian with a Jerusalem ID living in West Jerusalem.

The reason, he pointed out, was that almost all land inside Israel’s 1948 borders, including West Jerusalem, has been registered as “state land” managed by a body known as the Israel Lands Authority.

The authority allows neither Palestinians nor Israelis to buy property on state land. Instead long-term renewable leases are available to Israeli citizens and anyone eligible to immigrate to Israel under the country’s Law of Return -- meaning Jews.

The settlements in East Jerusalem -- now covering 35 per cent of the eastern city, according to Mr Seidemann -- are also built on land declared as “state land”, in violation of international law. Again this means that only Israelis and Jewish foreign nationals are entitled to lease land there.

Because they do not hold Israeli citizenship, the Palestinians of East Jerusalem are disqualified from acquiring property either in West Jerusalem or in the settlements of East Jerusalem.

“The extraordinary situation is that a Palestinian who had his land expropriated to build the settlement of Har Homa [on the outskirts of East Jerusalem] cannot lease land there, whereas a Jew from Paris or London who is not even an Israeli citizen can.”

Richard Adlof (not verified) 11 years 26 weeks ago

The human appendix does more for healthcare than Harry Reid ever will . . .

mstaggerlee (not verified) 11 years 26 weeks ago

Ah, yes - our daily lunatic fringe post from Rasta.

“The extraordinary situation is that a Palestinian who had his land expropriated to build the settlement of Har Homa [on the outskirts of East Jerusalem] cannot lease land there, whereas a Jew from Paris or London who is not even an Israeli citizen can.”

What part of "JEWISH homeland" do you not understand?

Richard Adlof (not verified) 11 years 26 weeks ago

What is going on is the health insurance industry is buying the best possible system for themselves available and Americans will have another generation of wealth pulled from them before we institute public financed campaigns for national offices.

Laotsu (not verified) 11 years 26 weeks ago

I have been thinking about this Henry Gates fiasco a lot, specifically the conservative reaction to it. Can someone please explain to me why it is that conservatives, who claim to be protecting the rights of the individual from the state, even in the most EXTREME cases, defend fervently the right of agents of the state to exercise sovereignty over the individual? Unless of course it is in an economic context in which case it is absolutely unthinkable for the state to interfere in any way with the actions of the individual, natural person or otherwise.

Richard Adlof (not verified) 11 years 26 weeks ago

While I do agree that Israel need to squelch the 'Settlement’ movement (as it is not helping), RASTA needs to admit that every time those who call themselves Palestinians are granted unfettered travel access on Israel’s dirt, they strap explosive devises to their children and women . . .

Richard Adlof (not verified) 11 years 26 weeks ago

Sympathy for Reid’s position is best framed by Rita Mae Brown’s definition of insanity . . . Reid needs to do his job OR let someone capable takeover.

Richard Adlof (not verified) 11 years 26 weeks ago

Boy, I got this Mr. McAngry thingy going on . . .

Richard Adlof (not verified) 11 years 26 weeks ago

Senator Max Sieben Baucus (D-Health Insurance Industry) and Senator Mary L. Landrieu (D-Walmart) continue to express issues with single-payer.

L Grace (not verified) 11 years 26 weeks ago

One of our Oregon Senators, Ron Wyden, is a health care obstructionist.

I invite Obama to come here and invite Wyden to a public speech on health care.

Thousands of Oregonians will show up. Tens of thousands, likely, And all the media.

Then Obama can ask Wyden, in front of us all, if he has Wyden's vote.

Obama should use this Senate vacation to do that in all the Blue Dog states.

Richard Adlof (not verified) 11 years 26 weeks ago

High fructose corn syrup has a good friend in Senator Charles Ernest "Chuck" Grassley (R-ND). Senator Grassley will never allow a tax on fast food or sweetened drinks to address the healthcare . . . Heck, Senator Grassley has never shown any ability to make sense at all on healthcare . . .

Richard Adlof (not verified) 11 years 26 weeks ago

@ LGrace,

I believe that we have less of a conservative DEM issue and more of a corporatist DEM issue (which includes President Obama).

L Grace (not verified) 11 years 26 weeks ago


I agree. But are you suggesting that Obama does not want "government option" to succeed?

But, I suspect Ron Wyden does not want it to succeed. The healthcare industry are his biggest donors.

Take care. I'm off.

Food Fascist (not verified) 11 years 26 weeks ago

THX Quark - i appreciate Harry might be in a bad bind, but - we have still got to play our role here and I always think to myself, well.....maybe Harry is secretly shaking under his sheets saying- American People, step up!

PS- someone turned me on to this recently. It might be a good thing to circulate for those not up to speed on the health care system reform issue. Show documents what Britain, Germany, Switzerland, Japan and Taiwan have done-

"Sick around the World" you can watch this online on

Richard Adlof (not verified) 11 years 26 weeks ago

1. President Obama intellectually desires a national healthcare system that works . . .

2. The Barack Obama, the politician, wants the money to be able to run for a second term and to avoid the scorched earth death throes of the health insurance industry being directed directly at him. Given his addiction to the corporate snide . . .

I believe that there is significant reason that the second guy is running the show.

Food Fascist (not verified) 11 years 26 weeks ago

Waxman may go around his committee re Health Care Reform- so I heard on the news just now.

I called and cheered him on at 323 651-1040

Go Waxman!

Food Fascist (not verified) 11 years 26 weeks ago

Say Richard- that makes sense except for why did not Barack then wait until he was a lame duck and did not need the monies. Is he keeping his popularity polls up just for now?

Food Fascist (not verified) 11 years 26 weeks ago


In the documentary 'Sick around the world' The Taiwanese put a blue ribbon panel together to look at 10-12 best countries health care systems around the world. They likened their current model , which is something they are very happy with as closest to the America's Medicare system.
No gatekeeper, everyone has a smart card, no waiting, no one goes into bankruptcy. Costs are below 8% GDP, while America's is about 22% last I checked.

Quark (not verified) 11 years 26 weeks ago

Re: “Sick around the World” you can watch this online on

Thanks, Food Fascist! I will watch this and send it to others.

Food Fascist (not verified) 11 years 26 weeks ago

What does Ravi feel about our new minimum wage taking effect today?

Quark (not verified) 11 years 26 weeks ago

Oh dear, this is depressing. Batra says we need to go through a depression to get fed up enough to demand change in our political system. (I have been saying this, too, but have been feeling like a contemporary "Cassandra.")

Quark (not verified) 11 years 26 weeks ago

Has anyone else noticed how MANY TV ads are for Walmart and Target? 'Seems like they are the world's sellers (of the few left standing.)

mstaggerlee (not verified) 11 years 26 weeks ago

Quark - Ravi has been saying that for the better part of the past 3 years - I've alwayys thought of him as the "Chicken Little" of Economists. :)

Food Fascist - From the FDL link that YOU posted (with a bit of math) -
For each DAY of our Status Quo "healthcare system", 6800 people will lose their health insurance, 2500 will declare bankruptcy due to medical expenses, and 60 people will die from preventable health issues. Obama knows this - thus waiting for his 2nd term (which may or may not happen) just isn't an option.

mstaggerlee (not verified) 11 years 26 weeks ago

WalMart is China's primary US retail outlet. Target is Indias.

Quark (not verified) 11 years 26 weeks ago


I guess I dismissed it because I really didn't want to believe it.

mstaggerlee (not verified) 11 years 26 weeks ago

The TV ads that surprise ME are all the ones for prescription drugs, many of which amount to little more than a 60-second disclaimer. Does anyone really think that these ads sell pills? They don't, but that's OK with Big Pharma, because this advertising is NOT about sales. Pharmaceutical advertising is about media leverage.

Suppose that someson publishes a study in a medical journal next week regarding a dangerous side-effect of Viagra. Searle (? - I think they manufacture Viagra, but you get my drift) can call up the major TV networks and threaten to pull their advertising if they carry the story. And as we all know, if it's not on the TV, it didn't really happen.

Quark (not verified) 11 years 26 weeks ago


Yes, it's all about living in a corporate state...

Richard Adlof (not verified) 11 years 26 weeks ago

@Food Fascist,

The only program that makes sense from a risk management basis and economies of scale point of view is a true single-payer fully paid by popping the FICA cap.

Barack Obama, the human being, lost his mother early due to health insurance company shenanigans . . . In Barack Obama’s heart, I am sure that he has zero love for health insurers.

President Obama started with mandated health insurance for all and has been drug up kicking and screaming to a public option . . . It may be calculated pragmatism betting that folk will more readily accept something that he and the government got drug into OR it is well documented that he defaults to the just-right-of-center choice when left to his own devices.

If I were running the healthcare campaign, I woulda started with all out socialized medicine and government 100% paying for training anyone desiring to be a medical professional . . . But I’m a unabashed laissez-faire capitalist with Socialist leanings. I woulda came out with sledgehammers swinging . . .

Loretta (not verified) 11 years 26 weeks ago

Food Fascist,

Thank you for the link to sign the petition to keep the Senate chained to their seats until they vote on health care and Waxman's number and the tip to watch “Sick around the World” . I woke up very depressed about the Senate leaving before they've signed the bill. Taking a few steps, reading everyone's posts, and listening to Thom's show helped a lot!

L Grace, I love your idea of asking Obama to visit all of the obstructionists in their home states for a debate in front of their constituents on why they are slowing things down. You should write to President Obama and ask him to do it!

If anyone lives in Portland and wants to go doorbelling on Sunday, I'd love a doorbell buddy.

Richard Adlof (not verified) 11 years 26 weeks ago

Side-line Conversation: What does the “twin bathtubs in the wild” have to do with limp body part pills (Cialis)?

mstaggerlee (not verified) 11 years 26 weeks ago

Richard A. -

My wife and I have always wondrered about those twin bathtubs, too. Is that supposed to be romantic? It's certainly NOT sexy!

BTW - Props for being selected "Member of the Day", and enjoy the book. I will, however, take this opportunity to mention that last night, my brother and I had a good laugh at the double-entendre meaning of the word "member" vis-a-vis a certain company that was famous for nylon jackets in the mid 80's. :D

nora (not verified) 11 years 26 weeks ago

RE: The Professor Gates Incident

This policeman does not want to apologize to the Professor because cops who like to be feared don't apologize. And, on the ground, police who like to be feared bring us closer to an all-out corrupt police state.

As their EMPLOYERS, we give them authority. The policemen themselves do NOT have to add BRUTALITY and FEAR to that to increase their authority. Actually brutality and fear DETRACT from the effectiveness of that authority by polarizing the relationship between the public and the police, and reducing cooperation..

Police ARE just people, and can be impractical, cranky, take things personally, and can be bigots or whatever. Therefore, we should not treat them as infallible. They are not infallible, And we should not accept as 'the way it is' this growing necessity to fear and kow-tow to cops. The Professor Gates incident shows that, today, we are not allowed to talk to a policeman like one would speak to another human being, but instead must limit our words to total subservience of fearfulness. "Yes, sir. No, sir." have their place for efficiency. But as the Gate incident shows, it is getting out of hand. We give police frightening power these days to brutalize. But shouldn't that change? We are headed in the wrong direction; more and more the in-you-face authoritarianism of today's police is growing -- and the way people of color are treated in particular is an indicator we ALL should find troublesome.

Quark (not verified) 11 years 26 weeks ago

L Grace,

I agree with Loretta. You have a terrific idea for Obama to visit the home states of the obstructionists for a debate in front of their constituents on why they are slowing things down.

Yes, you and all of us "should write to President Obama and ask him to do it!"

Loretta (not verified) 11 years 26 weeks ago

Facebook is doing a poll on health care reform and to my surprise 70 % are against government run health care. I suspect something about this is rigged but there are currently over 40,000 comments and it is very interesting to read through them to see the false information people are sharing with each other and believing.

Reading these comments is a good way to get read for debates we are going to run into while door belling this weekend.

I think you have to be a facebook member to read this but here is the link

Comment on The Universal Healthcare Poll

Quark (not verified) 11 years 26 weeks ago
Loretta (not verified) 11 years 26 weeks ago

I should have said "at this point 70 % are against it" Because facebook polls are spread by word of 'wall", more conservative friends may be linking to other more conservative friends first, perhaps. Maybe the numbers will change, hopefully, to reflect the actual majority on facebook, liberal voters who supported Obama.

So I guess we need to take over the Facebook health care poll, too. Thom, maybe you should post the poll on your wall on Facebook, ? But if it is rigged in some way that might not be a good idea? Not sure.

Lots of young voters read these things so I think it is important.

Quark (not verified) 11 years 26 weeks ago


I just wanted to thank you and Shawn for sending me your book Cracking the Code, which I recently received for being selected a "Member of the Day" from the blog.

Thanks so much for your generous gift. I'm looking forward to reading it.

jaymur (not verified) 11 years 26 weeks ago

Did anyone catch the two websites that Thom mentioned after the Batra interview? They were in response to a caller and Thom said he did not want to give investment advice, but did provide 2 websites. Thanks

Quark (not verified) 11 years 26 weeks ago


Yes, I did. I have them bookmarked on my computer. I'm on a different computer now, but will post the links when I get back to my computer later.

Quark (not verified) 11 years 26 weeks ago

Re: "Thom,

I just wanted to thank you and Shawn for sending me your book..."

Louise, my comments have been bugging me all last evening. Thank you so much, too!

Quark (not verified) 11 years 26 weeks ago


Those 2 websites Thom mentioned are:

1) Professional Timing Service

Quark (not verified) 11 years 26 weeks ago

Re: jaymur,

Those 2 websites Thom mentioned are:

2) The Aden Forecast

(The blog format only allows me to type one URL per post.)

How Much Better Off would America be If 6 Republican Presidents Hadn't Stolen The White House?

Thom plus logo It's about time the last one, Trump, is held accountable

Trump's impeachment trial is coming up in the Senate, and already his allies are trying to throw up procedural roadblocks to exhaust the effort to hold him accountable. Should America "move beyond" Trump? No friggin' way.
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
From The Thom Hartmann Reader:
"Never one to shy away from the truth, Thom Hartmann’s collected works are inspiring, wise, and compelling. His work lights the way to a better America."
Van Jones, cofounder of and author of The Green Collar Economy
From Screwed:
"Thom Hartmann’s book explains in simple language and with concrete research the details of the Neo-con’s war against the American middle class. It proves what many have intuited and serves to remind us that without a healthy, employed, and vital middle class, America is no more than the richest Third World country on the planet."
Peter Coyote, Actor and author of Sleeping Where I Fall