Quote: "I have the consolation of having added nothing to my private fortune during my public service, and of retiring with hands clean as they are empty." - Thomas Jefferson.
SHOULD THERE BE A "RIGHT TO RENT" PROGRAM?
Guest: Dean Baker, macro economist and co-director of the Center for Economic Policy Research. New homes sales surge. Thoughts? The housing market is falling less rapidly, prices are overvalued still. There is an uptick because of low interest rates at one point, and buyer's tax credit. It is a temporary boost. There will not be another free fall but it won't keep climbing, there is excess housing. It is close to crazy saying it is all going to be great. We need another stimulus or to get the dollar down to improve the trade balance. During the housing bubble, people spent money they did not have. His suggestion is "right to rent". Very few are getting moderations, there are lots of foreclosures. It would give housing security, and an incentive for banks to moderate. It is getting some traction, Charles Schumer sounded interested. What is his take on the worst and best scenarios over 6 months to 3 years? Consequences? The worst is that it continues to spiral downward, unemployment up to 11%, for several years. It might edge up, but needs more stimulus or a lower dollar. Why support free trade, not tariffs? We don't have free trade. Only a limited segment is in competition, for example doctors don't compete. If we went to a free market we would get professional services cheaper.
Article: "How to Solve the Housing Crisis: Rather than throwing families out of foreclosed homes, US laws should be changed to allow them to stay and rent" by Dean Baker.
Article: "Home sales rise as housing market tries a comeback" By Alan Zibel and Alex Veiga (AP).
Bumper Music: For What It's Worth, Buffalo Springfield (video).
Video: Elizabeth Warren Introduces COP's July Report.
"Once we had our numbers and our models we compared them with what Treasury has received for the warrants it has already sold. What we found has us worried. In general, Treasury sold its warrants back to the banks at just 66% of market value. That is, Treasury got about $66 for each $100 that we estimate that those warrants were worth. So far that has created a gap of about $10 million. This raises serious questions about whether Treasury should consider other methods such as auctioning off the warrants or holding them long term in order to get the highest possible price for the taxpayers.
Back in October, before this panel was even created, the Treasury Department under Secretary Paulson put nearly $300 billion into the banks. He said it was a par transaction: for every $100 of taxpayer money, the banks gave us back $100 worth of preferred stock and warrants. We analyzed these transactions and we discovered that these securities were not worth $100. On average Treasury got only $66 back for every $100 invested.
By the time we made our report, the money was gone."
These warrants are options the Treasury bought from the banks to buy stock in the banks at a fixed price in the future, when hopefully the stock price will have risen above the fixed price so the Treasury can buy shares then sell them at a profit. We were told we would get all our money back. But banks want to get out of TARP restrictions and buy the warrants back now. The banks screwed us and now they're reporting record profits.
Article: Common Food Dye May Hold Promise in Treating Spinal Cord Injury.
"A common food additive that gives M&Ms and Gatorade their blue tint may offer promise for preventing the additional – and serious – secondary damage that immediately follows a traumatic injury to the spinal cord."
Article: Spitzer: "The Fed is a Ponzi scheme, an inside job" by MinistryOfTruth.
"The Fed has benefited over the decades from the notion that it is quasi-autonomous, it’s supposed to be independent. Let me tell you a dirty secret: The Fed has done an absolutely disastrous job since Paul Volcker left. ... The reality is the Fed has blown it. Time and time again Alan Greenspan, whom we now can look back, good guy, smart, all that, but they blew it. Bubble after bubble, they failed to understand what they were doing to the economy and they created multiple bubbles without permitting the economy underneath it to grow. We need to ask the hard questions. The most poignant example for me is the AIG bailout, where they gave tens of billions of dollars that went right through — conduit payments — to the investment banks that are now solvent. They needed to get the money to the banks. We didn’t get stock in those banks, they didn’t ask what had been going on — this begs and cries out for a hard, tough examination. The Fed was quasi-autonomous from the public but it was run by the banks. You look at the governing structure of the New York Fed, it was run by the very banks that got the money. This is a Ponzi scheme, an inside job. It is outrageous, it is time for the Congress to say enough of this. And to give them more power now is even crazier."
Bernanke is saying we can have no oversight. Ron Paul, Dennis Kucinich, Bernie Sanders and others want to audit the Fed.
Bumper Music: Listen up!, The Gossip (video).
Article: Patrizia D’Addario: Silvio Berlusconi offered me a seat in European Parliament by Josephine McKenna.
China is not communist, but autocratic. China and Vietnam are cracking down on dissent.
Outsourcing of airline jobs - maintenance to unlicensed mechanics, reservation call centers to India, the Philippines. The union is lobbying with no success.
Article: Audra Shay and The New Ice Age of the Young Republicans. Audra is the new chairman of the Young Republican National Federation.
"ISN'T THE BIRTHER MOVEMENT REALLY ABOUT RACISM?".
Guest: Gary Kreep, attorney/executive director of the United States Justice Foundation. The so-called birther movement is planning for Obama's birthday August 4. Comments Audra Shay's FaceBook. 378-0 resolution yesterday asserting that Obama was born in Hawaii. A lot did not vote. Why did they not vote no? The racist comments were reprehensible, racism has no part in this, unAmerican, unchristian. George Romney was born in Mexico. There was a peep about John McCain who was born in Panama, he said Democrats held a hearing, and passed a resolution. He says it is a certificate of live birth, not a birth certificate. It is online. He was born in Kenya, so can't be president. Thom asked what is the harm? He said to the constitution. He and Bob Barr opposed the extension of FISA. Director quote yesterday saying she had seen evidence of records.
FULL MONTY ALERT: Article: "Earth moves for randy roadside couple" By Leon Watson.
Bumper Music: Born In The U. S. A., Bruce Springsteen.
Even if you assume that the birthers are not racist, the virulently racist would give money to them for the cause; there is a living to be made.
Article: McCain's eligibility is disputed by professor By Adam Liptak.
Bumper Music: You can leave your hat on, Randy Newman.
Article: "Key GOP Senators Soak Up Thousands At Health-Specific Fundraiser" by Sam Stein and Arthur Delaney.
Upcoming Events: Thom's book tour for "Threshold":
July 30th - Seattle, WA - Town Hall.
Aug 4th - San Francisco, CA - World Affairs Council.
Aug 5th - Santa Monica, CA - Santa Monica Library.
Aug 17th - Minneapolis, MN
Aug 19th - Chicago, IL
Aug 21st - Madison, WI. There will be "Brunch with Bernie" with members of the audience getting to ask the questions.
Upcoming Event: Aug 8th - Seattle, WA AM1090 Presents - "Embracing Change: Moving Forward As The Majority" with Stephanie Miller, Thom Hartmann, Bill Press, Mike Malloy and Ron Reagan - Tickets are just $22 for Reserved Seating, $32 for Premium Reserved Seating, and $47 for VIP Floor Seating. Tickets go on sale Saturday June 27th @ 10AM. Purchase yours at the ShoWareCenter Box Office, or by phone at 253-856-6999. Doors open at 5pm, the panel discussion runs from 6-9pm. (not to be confused with the July 30th Seattle book signing).
Last night's event was sold out.
Bumper Music: Who Do You Think You Are? Brett Dennen.
HEALTH COVERAGE: HOW CAN WE CALL OURSELVES MORAL?
Baucus bill health care rumors.
Thom's brother was denied payment for tests for an adverse reaction to a prescribed drug - they call that drug abuse. There are hundreds of people in billing departments in American hospitals, in Canada only 3. Harry and Louise ads paid for by pharma. Profit is at the core of the cancer. Natural monopolies, where the free market does not make sense, should be handled by we the people. Preamble of constitution. Rant. Insurance of primary care is a crime in all but 1 of the other countries. Substance abuse is a medical problem. Single payer was first proposed in 1913, then 1947, yet they say don't rush. Thom has read HR676 - it is complete. Sanders bill, or good public option.
Bumper Music: Because I Got High, Afroman.
Article: Fireman sacked for growing marijuana at station.
Book: "A Crisis in America", Stephen Paine.
Bumper Music: I'll Go Stepping Too, Emmylou Harris.
Bumper Music: Crazy, Gnarls Barkley.
Thom has a piling system not a filing system, run amuck, Shawn organized it, put sex scandals right next to Republicans.
Two things make you natural born - being born in the USA, or one of parents must be American? There is a debate about that - citizens can be natural born, naturalized. Military bases, diplomatic residences are US territory.
Bumper Music: Democracy is coming to the USA, Leonard Cohen.
Ellen Ratner of Talk Radio News, back in the US. She has read read "Threshold". Thom's use of Madlow's hierarchy of needs. He should get a MacArthur's prize. WorldNetDaily said the birther issue is not dead. Are the Obama administration loving it because so much attention is being spent on the birth certificate and not health care? Republicans today, Michael Steele, getting them on the floor, 1 minutes, calling it the Democrats' job-killing takeover of health care. We need to push back on memes. China meme. Meetings. Face lifts, tummy tucks, unnecessary surgery tax. GAO, postal office financially high risk. Physical mail is down a lot, email up. Home prices up over the month, down over the year. Consumer confidence dropped. Sotomayor came through. Only Lindsay Graham of the Republicans voted for her. May debate, she will get through.