July 10th 2009 - Friday

wall-street-imagesHour One: "Brunch With Bernie" Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) spends the hour with Thom discussing the issues and answering listener questions www.sanders.senate.gov

Hour Two: "News Under The Radar" Christy Harvey of the Center for American Progress stops by www.americanprogress.org

Hour Three: "The Looting of America" Author Les Leopold visits with Thom in studio to talk about how Wall Street destroyed the economy and what we can do about it www.realitysandwich.org


Mark (not verified) 14 years 50 weeks ago

Does Thursday's disccussion on China suggest that Thom has come to the reluctant realization that despite the fact that our "trade policy" with China lacks nifty catchwords like "NAFTA" and "CAFTA," we face a far greater threat to our national survival from China than we do from the combined "efforts" from our "friends and neighbors" here in the Western Hemisphere? Stay tuned.

Quark (not verified) 14 years 50 weeks ago

It was just reported on MSNBC's "Morning Meeting" that the secret program that CIA director Leon Panetta stopped as soon as he was told about it (recently) was Cheney's secret army (aka Cheney's assassin squad.) Reportedly, both Republicans and Democrats alike whom Panetta informed were shocked.

I'll post a link to this report when/if it is added to the MSNBC website.

Loretta Long (not verified) 14 years 50 weeks ago

It might be a good idea to start studying up on foraging for wild foods right now so you have the skills if you need them in a few years. There is a ton of nutrition and flavor waiting for us in our weed patches. Garlic Mustard, which is considered terribly invasive, is also very nutritious. Dr. John Kallas said on the news that the reason Garlic Mustard is a problem is that we need to eat more of it! But be sure to study up carefully so you identify the right weed before you cook it up!


I can't wait to hear the latest news from Bernie on whats happening in Health Care with wonderful Al Franken, finally in Washington! I sure hope Franken puts on his satirist cap now and then while on the Senate floor. It would be terrific.


Quark (not verified) 14 years 50 weeks ago

Happy birthday, Nikola Tesla!
10 July 1856 - 7 January 1943

DRichards (not verified) 14 years 50 weeks ago

Will California Lay Down and Die . . . Or Will It Regain Control Of Its Money System and Thrive?

Wells Fargo started in California on March 18, 1852.

Bank of America started in California on October 17, 1904 (it was originally called "Bank of Italy").

These two banks owe their prosperity to the state of California.

But now, Wells and B of A are refusing to honor California's IOUs (as are JPMorgan and Citigroup).

Is California going to take this lying down?

Is Schwarzenegger - the former world champion bodybuilder who played the Terminator and Conan the Barbarian - going to just give up?

Or will California take back control over its money system by forming its own bank?

Read this to learn how and why it should be done.


B Roll (not verified) 14 years 50 weeks ago


I’ve been listening to Thom since he took over this time slot when Al Franken left Air America to run for the Senate back in 2007. He’s been talking about the emergence of China and the decline of the United States as economic powers the whole time. He’s also been talking about his concerns about immigration, the decline of the “American” middle class and the connection he sees between the two for the whole time.

You seem to think his position on immigration is racially based. I remember a comment you posted some time ago in which you implied that Thom thought of Hispanics as vermin and pests.

Although I disagree with some of Thom’s views on immigration and several other issues, I don’t attribute his views to racism. I see his views on immigration as based purely on his economic analysis and his stated “America first” point of view.

By the way, I've repeatedly criticized Thom for the scarcity of Black and Latino guests on his show and for his guest list which is heavily weighted towards conservatives and away from progressive guests. I also regularly challenge him on a number of his views. So I'd doubt I'd been seen as an apologist for Thom Hartmann.

Your mental filters may have removed Thom’s humanitarian work from your memory, but I recall Thom talking about going to many countries around the world, often at the risk of his life, to provide humanitarian aid and help to people of color, sometimes in war zones. He went to Uganda during their civil war, he’s been to several Latin American countries during times of crisis and violence, and last year went to bring humanitarian aid to the people of Darfur. Those are just the ones I can remember right now and I know he’s discussed these activities since you’ve been posting on this blog.

I understand your sensitivity to the issues of immigration and racism. However, I think you misinterpret Thom’s views.

B Roll (not verified) 14 years 50 weeks ago

On Thursday, July 2, 2009, Thom spoke with an investment advisor name Joe Ponzio. I usually listen to the show from a secure secret location, but I had slipped out without my normal security detail and was motivating around town when I heard that interview. Ponzio repeatedly cited Coca Cola as good company to buy stocks in and I was surprised that Thom never raised any question about the ethical implications of such an investment.

After that segment, a woman caller did raise the ethical concerns, but Thom parried her objections by saying that Coca Cola wouldn’t benefit from our purchases of their stock. The company only benefits when it sells its stocks in the initial offering. He also added a comment that some organizations buy enough shares to be able to attend shareholders meetings so that they can raise questions about the company’s policies. I think Thom’s answers missed the mark.

I’ll address the last point first. The segment was about Ponzio’s investment strategies not about protest tactics, so that point didn’t apply to the questions the caller raised.

Thom’s first point was that Coca Cola wouldn’t get any money from your purchase of its stocks. That’s true, but the picture is more complex than that. There are several ways that our purchase of stock can benefit the company.

Demand has an influence on the price of stocks and when you buy stocks you’re maintaining or boosting demand, keeping the price up or even increasing it. Thom has pointed out many times that a major part of the compensation for upper management of major corporations is in stock options. When you keep the stock price up by maintaining or increasing demand, you increase the compensation of the very management that plans and carries out the policies you may find objectionable.

Your purchase of the stock may benefit the company itself in other ways. It can help the company raise money for expansion or other purposes. This can happen in at least two ways. The company can issue a new stock offering. The higher the price of the stock in the secondary market, the greater the value of the new stock issue and the more money the company can raise. If the company seeks to borrow money from a financial institution, the price of its stock is one of the factors that will be determine whether it gets the loan and the terms of the loan.

Individually, most of us don’t have the power to impact the price of a stock, but what if the millions of Thom’s audience went out and bought a stock based on what they heard on his show. Don’t you think that would impact the price of the stock, which would have an effect on the company in the ways I’ve stated?

But let’s put the benefit to the company aside. Let’s assume that what I’ve written above is wrong. I think that a case could be made for not investing in the stock of a company like Coca Cola. When you buy a company’s stock, unless you’re doing it for protest purposes, you’re essentially co-signing to the company’s policies and business practices or at the very least saying you don’t care.

Activists have criticized and protested many of the policies of Coca Cola.

It’s been charged that union activists in Colombia have been killed and tortured by paramilitaries working in collusion with Coca Cola plant management. This goes back to the early 1990s at least. Barack Obama raised the repression of labor in Colombia when he voiced opposition to a trade agreement between the U.S. and Colombia.

The India Resource Center has a lot of information about impact of Coca Cola’s actions in India. There’s a lot of information about Coca Cola in India at that site. Here are a couple of paragraphs from an article on their website. The article is at http://www.indiaresource.org/press/2004/mehdiganjattack.html

Communities living around Coca-Cola's bottling plants across India are facing severe water shortages, and the groundwater and soil have also been polluted, directly as a result of Coca-Cola's bottling operations in the area. The Coca-Cola company has also illegally occupied land in the area. Furthermore, tests have confirmed that Coca-Cola products in India contain high levels of pesticides, including DDT, sometimes higher than 30 times those allowed by US or EU standards. Coca-Cola was also distributing toxic waste from its plant to farmers in India, including Mehdiganj, under the guise of "fertilizer".

Towards the end of the rally, the marchers decided to march to the factory gates, about a hundred meters from the site of the rally. The armed police reacted violently and swiftly, with no warnings. The armed police launched a vicious lathi (baton) charge on all the marchers, and many women, in particular, became the target of male police officers who beat them incessantly. The police also chased after community members in the surrounding fields to beat them, many of whom were escaping the site of the violent police action. A Budhist monk was also attacked by the police, who showed no regard whatsoever for any one present in the area. The police attacks were ordered by Mr. Tahir Iqbal, ADM in Varanasi.

If that isn’t enough to convince you, you might want to Google coca cola protest. Maybe one of the 1,800,000 links you get in a fraction of a second will touch your conscience.

One last issue you may want to consider is the impacts of various coca cola products themselves. When you look at the ingredients of many of the soft drinks, you see the first ingredient is water and the second is high fructose corn syrup. Thom and many others have serious concerns about high fructose corn syrup.

But let’s look at the cost of water, just plain old drinking water. I looked up the cost of water in Portland, Oregon, in part because someone we know lives there and I compared it to the cost of bottled water on sale at a local supermarket in my area. I was able to find the cost of tap water in Portland for the year 2006. I don’t know what it costs today, but even if the cost doubled, which I doubt, the comparison is shocking.

I did a breakdown of the numbers, but to shorten this post, I’ll just give the bottom line results. In 2006, you could turn on the tap and the water flow out at a cost of 0.3 cents a gallon. Today, I could go to a local market, and if I had their discount card, I could buy a case of 24 bottles (16.9 ounces each) at a cost of 93 cents a gallon. The bottled water costs you 310 times as much as tap water and you’d have 24 plastic bottles to dispose of.

There are other issues as well. Coca Cola’s main brand is Dasani with sales in the hundreds of millions of dollars. In early March of 2004 in England, the company was forced to admit that Dasani water was tap water with a little extra treatment. A few weeks later, Coca Cola withdrew 500,000 bottles from the British market because tests found illegally high concentrations of the carcinogen bromate. (To be fair, Coca Cola discovered the problem itself and began withdrew the batch without being ordered to do so, and the health damage would have been for long term use.)

It’s my opinion that Thom’s answer was wrong because he only looked at who would get the money you’d spend to buy the stocks. But if you look a little deeper, it seems that when you buy stocks like Coca Cola, the company can benefit, and any profit you make will be at the expense of other people and the planet. In the end, I think it’s a moral question and the caller’s concerns were warranted.

B Roll (not verified) 14 years 50 weeks ago

Note: I composed this post in MSWord and pasted it on the blog. I indicated the paragraphs I copied from the article at the Indian Resource Center website by preceding and following them by the word "snip" inside of the backward and forward and backward arrow signs. These arrow signs didn't appear. Apparently the site interprets them as some kind of HTML or something. Booooooooo!

The two paragraphs I copied from that article are the two right after the link to the article. The first paragraph started with "Communities living around Coca-Cola’s bottling plants across India are facing severe water shortages," and the second paragraph started with "Towards the end of the rally, the marchers decided to march to the factory gate"

Richard Adlof (not verified) 14 years 50 weeks ago

Max Baucus needs a copy of Bernie’s pamphlet . . . And a new job.

Richard Adlof (not verified) 14 years 50 weeks ago

Solve healthcare by removing those two most heinous legal words from the Medicare Act “over sixty-five” and slicing out the donut hole out the Part “D” AND popping the FICA cap. Bingo! Bango! Boom! No problem AND enough cash to cover Social Security F O R E V E R also.

Richard Adlof (not verified) 14 years 50 weeks ago

Dude!!!! You crunched sanders.senate.gov . . . Yesterday, it was Priate.org!!!

Loretta Long (not verified) 14 years 50 weeks ago

I was so interested to hear the psychological process that turns a liberal, conscientious senator like Ron Wyden into a mouthpiece for the insurance industry. Wyden truly believes he means well and that his insurance run health-care plan will work.

There are countries who use private insurance companies to run their National Health Care plans, but they aren't using private insurance companies who have designed their business structures with unethical practices for more than a decade. There is no way that we can reign in our Insurance executives and suddenly, overnight turn them into ethical, compassionate gatekeepers for health care. Insurance companies have slowly and methodically formed their pool of exectives and employees into robber barons who believe they are justified into wiggling out of paying for promised care.

US Insurance companies would have to do a 180 degree turn in how they run their businesses and this would necessitate hiring new executives and employees who live their lives in ethical, compassionate ways.

We may as well have the US Government hire those new employees for the medicaid program in order to avoid retraining the robber barons in the US insurance industry.


brian a. hayes (not verified) 14 years 50 weeks ago

mental healthcare needs to be included in the debate. we need to have a system that gives total suport to thoose with mental disorders. not the hmos 25 visits in a year for a therapist.

Kriss Aho (not verified) 14 years 50 weeks ago

Public funding of elections is really the only thing that is going to work. "Your future is with us and not with the big money interests" might be true, but we must get all the money-grubbing out of congress.

brian a. hayes (not verified) 14 years 50 weeks ago

i sick of people whinning about paying income taxes. what gets me made is having to pay $150 for a veicle sticker for a 4 cillinder truck or paying 25 cents for 15 minites on a parking meter

Richard Adlof (not verified) 14 years 50 weeks ago

I sit here in California, contemplating the three additional cents I had to spend in sales tax to buy my hotdog for lunch yesterday, simply because our legislative body’s members of one single political party signed onto the ‘Club for Growth’s’ NATIONAL ‘no-new-taxes’ pledge AND took this to mean it was stand to protect the interest on Paris Hilton’s inheritance instead of my pocketbook. Perhaps if our Governor weren’t such a girlie-man, he’d be able to real in at least one guy or gal from his own farging party and do the right thing by restoring the progressive tax system that once made California great.

brian a. hayes (not verified) 14 years 50 weeks ago

that borowitz is great lol

Loretta Long (not verified) 14 years 50 weeks ago

The sound of one patent clapping:

Does a patent have to respected when the earth looks like Mars?

mstaggerlee (not verified) 14 years 50 weeks ago

Here's something I suspect we may be hearing on mornings in 2012 -

Good morning, Ladies and Gentlemen, and welcome to Fox & Friends ... I'm Tom DeLay, and here's my co-host, Sarah Palin ...

Gabriel (not verified) 14 years 50 weeks ago

I know you spoke about the article "The Great American Bubble Machine" the other day. I was wondering if you could consider having Matt Taibbi on your show because it was such an important story and I would like to hear from him.

mstaggerlee (not verified) 14 years 50 weeks ago

By the way - can anyone tell me why America's foremost "hockey mom" would be making basketball references in her resignation speech?

Susan Pennington (not verified) 14 years 50 weeks ago

I paid my son for grades, but I paid with rewards and punishments in mind. I paid $10 for an A, $5 for a B, 0 for a C, he owed me $5 for a D and $10 for a F. It helped him to concentrate and I only did it for a couple of years.

Susan P

mstaggerlee (not verified) 14 years 50 weeks ago

Gabriel - guess you weren't listening on Wednesday, huh?

Loretta Long (not verified) 14 years 50 weeks ago

German has non-profit private companies running mandatory "sickness funds", nonprofits who compete with each other for clients. Would this sort of option help the debate?

Loretta Long (not verified) 14 years 50 weeks ago

I meant Germany, sorry.

brian a. hayes (not verified) 14 years 50 weeks ago

do you think the christian right would like to have a theocracy here like irans?

Richard Adlof (not verified) 14 years 50 weeks ago


I'd love to hear you banter a bit with Melanie Sloan of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington . . .

B Roll (not verified) 14 years 50 weeks ago


Sarah Palin (Sarah Heath) was the captain and point guard of Wasila High School basketball team. Her nickname was Sarah the Barracuda, supposedly for her aggressive style of play. (That's the "official story" but others claim the nickname was related to something she did to get the starting point guard position.) Her high school team won the state championship in Alaska. That's why she used the point guard analogy.

Gary R. Page (not verified) 14 years 50 weeks ago

I had a friend who had a local radio show on a Dallas NPR station. He told me (in a straight forward manner) that PBS will not allow any negative stories or coverage of the oil industry due to the foundation sponsorships. That was eight years ago and I have been able to confirm this "bias" through acquiring my news with multiple sources. I quit funding the local station about three years ago and have stop listening as most of the "news" has trended toward lifestyle stories.

Thanks to CSPAN and BBC for their journalistic integrity. And to you and Rachel Maddow for supporting your opinions with facts.

ProgressiveMews (not verified) 14 years 50 weeks ago

Bill Moyers Journal - the exception to the PBS Health Insurance "rule"?

Tonight, Wendell Potter, the former President of Communications for CIGNA who gave the mind-blowing testimony before Congress a few weeks ago (a MUST READ: http://www.tnr.com/politics/story.html?id=a571410c-634b-4424-a6c1-d6760c... ) is going to be on Bill Moyers TONIGHT!!!


mstaggerlee (not verified) 14 years 50 weeks ago

B Roll - thanx for screwing up a perfectly good wise-ass comment with the facts! ;D

B Roll (not verified) 14 years 50 weeks ago

Gary R. Page,

Some critics of PBS have been calling it the Petroleum Broadcasting Service for years.

Conservatives have essentially destroyed its independence by cutting government funding and making it reliant on corporate underwriting and what is essentially commercials.

Quark (not verified) 14 years 50 weeks ago

Here's the link to the video clip about Cheney's private army (purportedly the CIA program Leon Panetta stopped immediately upon his awareness of it):


Richard Adlof (not verified) 14 years 50 weeks ago

There is NO PBS. There is a PBC. The Service has been replaced with a CORPORATION.

B Roll (not verified) 14 years 50 weeks ago


Sorry but I had to do it. On Wednesday, they were discussing hemp and marijuana. I posted, "Give them enough rope and they’ll hang themselves. Give them enough hemp and they’ll stone themselves." and ProgressiveMews corrected my by pointing out that hemp doesn't have enough THC to get you high.

I had to find someone to pass the karma to and unfortunately it happened to be you. Now it's your turn to pass the curse on to someone else. You have been deputized into the Fact Squad. Wear your badge proudly.

Rasta (not verified) 14 years 50 weeks ago

Thom Hartmann is an obvious enabler of the Palestinian extermination

you are a coward, zionist and part of the problem you effin NAZI

i am glad you're a KKKristian.....you will surely ROT IN HELL

don't ever talk about hypocrisy EVER again....you make me and are


Richard Adlof (not verified) 14 years 50 weeks ago

INQUIRY: How can the sovereign nation, Israel, make peace the marketing campaign of the Arab countries of the region?

The folk calling themselves the ‘Palestinians” lack a leadership body interested in pursuing peace and nationhood. Until there are two sides of this issue at the table, I fear nor real resolution will surface.

DRichards (not verified) 14 years 50 weeks ago

MCLEAN, Virginia - The federal government's most secure prison has determined that two books written by President Barack Obama contain material "potentially detrimental to national security" and rejected an inmate's request to read them.

Ahmed Omar Abu Ali is serving a 30-year sentence at the federal supermax prison in Florence, Colorado, for joining al-Qaida and plotting to assassinate then-President George W. Bush. Last year, Abu Ali requested two books written by Obama: "Dreams from My Father" and "The Audacity of Hope."



Quark (not verified) 14 years 50 weeks ago


WOW! Is this a case of hearing only what you want to hear? I didn't hear your version of Thom's comments...

I certainly don't like the right-wing ideologues in Israel, and I even question the legality or ethical position of the U.S. and Britain to push Palestinians off their land to establish Israel, but I don't think Thom is a "Zionist," etc.

Of course, that's YOUR opinion and this is MINE. So be it.

B Roll (not verified) 14 years 50 weeks ago

I'm not a fan of the concept of the Faith Based Initiative, but people seem to misunderstand Obama's take on it. Obama. The Obama Administration replaced the Bush Administration’s language of “White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives” with “President's Advisory Council For Faith-Based And Neighborhood Partnerships” and changed the emphasis from being a way to payoff the religious right to being a way to help neighborhood organizations provide aid to the poor.

You can read the executive order at


Richard Adlof (not verified) 14 years 50 weeks ago


rasta has a history of SPAMming such content . . . and yes . . . the selective hearing is engaged here.

While simple solutions exist to the situation NEITHER side displays interest in pursuing them and I find myself seriously ticked at both sides . . .

ProgressiveMews (not verified) 14 years 50 weeks ago

B Roll

You made that rope comment to somebody that was asking about hemp, who clearly didn't know enough about it to understand it was untrue. Speaking truth is not a "curse" nor bad karma.

I have to hand it to mstaggerlee though, as they (unlike you) seem to have NOT lost their sense of humor as a result!

rak (not verified) 14 years 50 weeks ago

Act 2 of Pickens' plan begins... he's cancelled the windfarm: http://www.businessweek.com/bwdaily/dnflash/content/jul2009/db2009078_35... and is talking up natural gas:

Act 3 will be the drilling for the water under the windfarm land.

Quark (not verified) 14 years 50 weeks ago

Richard Adlof,

Yes, both sides are to blame, but I think there is no trust there.

mstaggerlee (not verified) 14 years 50 weeks ago

Rasta -

Fascinating - I don't think I can ever recall seeing the words Zionist and Nazi in the same sentence.

Someone please correct me if I'm wrong regarding any of the following statements -

1) Zionists are, by and large, jewish (BTW - so am I, by birth, at least)
2) The attempted extermination of Europe's jewish people by the Nazis was the reason for the founding of the state of Israel.
3) NONE of the existing Islamic nations in the region at the end of WWII were at all willing to accept their displaced "brethren" when the British decided to hand Palestine over to the Jews to create the state of Israel.

The state of Israel desires nothing more than to exist on the land they were given (leagally or not - that point, I believe, is past debate). Many, if not most, of the nations that surround Israel want that state destroyed. The ONLY permanent expansion that Israel has ever attempted was re-claiming the western half of the city of Jerusalem, which, when under Islamic control, was off-limits to non-Muslims.

So, Rasta, can you please explain to me why you feel that the agressor nation in the region is Israel.

brian a. hayes (not verified) 14 years 50 weeks ago

is rasta looking for some attention? im cofused

Quark (not verified) 14 years 50 weeks ago

brian a. hayes,

Re: "is rasta looking for some attention?"

He certainly got it, didn't he? LOL

brian a. hayes (not verified) 14 years 50 weeks ago


Quark (not verified) 14 years 50 weeks ago

More on Cheney's hit squad (old news, but the original sound):


Quark (not verified) 14 years 50 weeks ago

Re: "More on Cheney’s hit squad"

Video of same:


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:
"Hartmann speaks with the straight talking clarity and brilliance of a modern day Tom Paine as he exposes the intentional and systematic destruction of America’s middle class by an alliance of political con artists and outlines a program to restore it. This is Hartmann at his best. Essential reading for those interested in restoring the institution that made America the envy of the world."
David C. Korten, author of The Great Turning and When Corporations Rule the World
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