July 7th 2009 - Tuesday

taxes-images

We will not be driven by fear into an age of unreason if we dig deep in our history and remember that we are not descended from fearful men, not from men who feared to write, to speak, to associate and to defend causes which were for the moment unpopular - Edward R. Murrow, 1954

Hour One:

Why do libertarians hate the middle class?

Thom challenges David Boaz of the CATO Institute www.cato.org

Hour Two:

Is “Cap & Trade” a Disaster? Marxism? or the thing that will save the world? The Waxman Report: How Congress Really Works - Thom talks with Congressman Henry Waxman  www.waxman.house.gov

Hour ThreeNew Haven Fire Fighters: How can a written test have racial bias? Bill Ayers guests with Thom www.billayers.org


Comments

Mark (not verified) 13 years 30 weeks ago
#1

Can't wait to hear Bill Ayers speak, a man who actually walked the talk....in regard to Monday's conversation with Carrie Lukas, I wonder how anyone can make with a straight face the claim that you can have a healthcare INDUSTRY of which the principle variables are profit, faux- innovation, skyrocketing costs and a quarter of the population uninsured or under-insured—and not describe it as dysfunctional. Expensive machines cost money to build for sure, but many people would not need them until late in life if they had access to preventative care (or ate healthy, unprocessed food, or worked in a safe environment). The “mini-medical” insurance plan my company offers discourages preventative care by paying minimal up-front “benefits,” forcing holders of the policy to pay most of the cost of preventative “procedures”—or rather in the insurer’s lingo, a $75 “office” visit—like say, for a colonoscopy, or even a simple check-up that requires more than what the doctor charges you for taking up space in the waiting room. Of course, the idea of this type of insurance is to build-up a cash fund when the insured has a catastrophic illness; but then again, most of the employees where I work are relatively young and healthy, and the so the insurer is banking on that the consequences of the lack of preventative care will not come to roost for years or decades down the road--by which time the employee likely will no longer be on the plan. One also gets the idea that the reason why insurers discourage preventative care is that there is more money in major illnesses; it is not out of the question to suspect that the cost of major procedures that run in the tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars is over-inflated, because when a person’s health is on the line, the patients rarely deem it necessary to request a cost audit.

Rasta (not verified) 13 years 30 weeks ago
#2

‘Bob Geldof humiliates Berlusconi’ for failing to give all the charity he promised to give these poor countries

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/g8/5753934/G8-summit-Bob-Geldo...

Mark (not verified) 13 years 30 weeks ago
#3

I don’t listen to right-wing radio, although I sometimes listen to “Coast-to-Coast” to keep updated on the latest pseudo-science, conspiracy theories and what the lunatic fringe in general is up to; this show, unfortunately, is deposited on a radio station that specializes in the lunatic fringe on the right, and sometimes when I’m dial-surfing I hear some predictably wild claims. One recent episode was a nauseating hypocrite earnestly enjoining his listeners to buy into his theory that Barack Obama was a power-mad dictator, whose ultimate goal was to Steal Your Wealth. One’s natural suspicion is that the core audience of such talk is Joe and Jane Six-Pack, since those who see their existence as the maintenance of material gain and white privilege formed this opinion long ago. Joe or Jane isn’t wealthy or powerful, so why would they listen to inflammatory pundits who speak for the fear, paranoia and greed of the wealthy and powerful corporate and political elite?

Why? Because underlying all is the fact that Obama is black (or half-so); being president he has the “power” to take away what is rightfully the white man’s and give it to those “other people.” Joe and Jane, who are not wealthy or powerful, need someone to blame for their subsistence-level life. For those wallowing in self-pity, convinced that because they are white they are naturally superior and thus wrongfully unfulfilled by unnatural forces, the choice of blaming the BLACK president is an easy one to make. Anything of a visceral nature requires no critical thought; realizing that working people who produce wealth are under-compensated (as opposed to the over-paid pretty people who sit in front of computer terminals all day) has nothing to do with race requires too much thinking.

Even if Obama appears to be seeking more power, it is not due to power for its own sake, but out of frustration of fact that so many entrenched interests oppose changing the status quo, which means relinquishing some of their power to maintain or expand their own agendas, based on personal cupidity.

DRichards (not verified) 13 years 30 weeks ago
#4

A Covenant With Death
“Many of the people who attend this year's God and Country Festival will arrive at the event in SUVs whose stereos resound with talk radio harangues denouncing the expansion of the welfare state under Obama. Yet those same people are blind to the ironic fact that the government institution they uncritically adore, the United States Military, has been the greatest factor in the growth of the welfare state.”

http://freedominourtime.blogspot.com/2009/07/covenant-with-death.html

DRichards (not verified) 13 years 30 weeks ago
#5

How Goldman Sachs and Citi Run the Show

The Wall Street White House
By ANDREW COCKBURN

Robert Hormats, Vice Chairman of Goldman Sachs, is to be installed as Under Secretary of Economics, Business, and Agricultural Affairs. This comes as one more, probably unnecessary reminder of the total control exercised by Wall Street over the Obama administration’s economic and financial policy...

http://counterpunch.org/andrew07022009.html

sharonsj (not verified) 13 years 30 weeks ago
#6

None of these comments address the libertarian view of the world, which is ego-centric and makes no allowances for illness or circumstances beyond one's control. I do listen to and watch right-wingers (how else to know the enemy?) and when Ron Paul was on Glenn Beck's TV show, they had the following exchange: Beck said that a real libertarian, when confronted by a homeless person laying on the street, would merely step over him and keep on walking--and Ron Paul agreed. According to the libertarians, everything is your fault, even if it isn't.

vcdaniels (not verified) 13 years 30 weeks ago
#7

Ah, the Libertarian. "What's mine is mine and (unless you've got a bigger gun) what's yours is mine.

TFF (not verified) 13 years 30 weeks ago
#8

lol - love this Why do you hate the middle class? No kidding! Call each financial grab element what you will, at the end of my money - there is more month to pay for! Looking forward to Waxman on the Waxman Markey Bill and Bill Ayers- in fact, am re scheduling my day because of this announcement at the beginning of the show.

You know, the republicans are so out to lunch, it is getting tiresome even listening to them. Frankly, since the Democrats cannot get along or agree on anything anyway, the debates between them can be much more interesting! Though, I am grateful to go over these exercises to sharpen our memories and of course those new listeners for whom each of us should be marketing this vital broadcast and podcasts to daily. Love the history lessons.

TFF (not verified) 13 years 30 weeks ago
#9

Yeah, and who paid for Bill Gates work force.

TFF (not verified) 13 years 30 weeks ago
#10

His name should be David Booze- for drinking too much!

Michael Gregory (not verified) 13 years 30 weeks ago
#11

Mark,

You mentioned that Carie Lukas cited expensive machine's contribution to our high cost of health care. This is the same argument conservative columnist George Will made in a Washington Post op-ed last week. It's not true.

I wrote a letter to the editor, that The Post published Friday called "Look Abroad for Answers on Health Care". In it, I pointed out something I learned from a FRONTLINE special "Sick Around the World":

The Japanese go to the doctor 3X as often as Americans, have more then 2X as many MRI scans, use more drugs, and have longer hospital visits. Yet, they spend half as much on health care. Clearly we're are not spending more because of any technological superiority - the Japanes boast better health related statistics as well. No, no, Japan's secret is that it is against the law for insurers to take home a profit. I also pointed out in my article that (according to the FRONTLINE report) this is also true for the highly capitalist country of Switzerland. Unfortunately the Washington Post decided to omit that sentence prior to publication.

Don't let anyone tell you we are paying more for health care in America because of costly technological advances. It's only half the story.

Here is the synopsis of the PBS FRONTLINE report:
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/sickaroundtheworld/etc/synopsis....

Quark (not verified) 13 years 30 weeks ago
#12

DRichards,

Re: The Wall Street White House
By ANDREW COCKBURN

This stuff makes me think that the same forces who gave us George Bush decided to give us something most of us find more palatable in Barack Obama. The point is, it's the same forces behind the "crown."

Quark (not verified) 13 years 30 weeks ago
#13

Thom,

It seems to me that much more unrest and anxiety are being created now by impoverishing the middle class. The term "wage slave" literally applies to life for us today.

Don't the oligarchs see that this is not good for society, either? (I think progressive Dems. should pass legislation enticing French farmers to move here. They could set the example for protests the (former) middle class SHOULD be doing!) (Yes, I know this isn't logical --- just kidding. I just wish there was a way to jump-start citizen blow-back short of extremely dire circumstances.)

DRichards (not verified) 13 years 30 weeks ago
#14

It seems to me that both parties, Democrat and Republican, love big government (as do the corporations that fund them). I am not so sure that small government is such a bad thing. Perhaps we need to get back to small government & small business. Big government, like big business becomes horribly inefficient, and the lack of competition means that quality & service suffer. The problem appears to be that our government has become a government of we, the corporations (wealth) instead of we, the people.

Quark (not verified) 13 years 30 weeks ago
#15

DRichards,

I see what you're saying. However, I do think what the government does is the key. With a country as big as ours, it's probably not possible to have a small government. (Some argue that the country is too big to govern effectively. The demographics are too diverse and the population is too hard to deal with.)

Somehow, we need to throw off the yoke of the oligarchs and the corporations.

DRichards (not verified) 13 years 30 weeks ago
#16

Patriotism and the Fourth of July
By Howard Zinn
AlterNet

Tuesday 04 July 2006

"The Declaration of Independence is the fundamental document of democracy. It says governments are artificial creations, established by the people, "deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed," and charged by the people to ensure the equal right of all to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." Furthermore, as the Declaration says, "whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it." It is the country that is primary-the people, the ideals of the sanctity of human life and the promotion of liberty..."

http://www.truthout.org/article/howard-zinn-patriotism-and-fourth-july

TFF (not verified) 13 years 30 weeks ago
#17

RE Waxman's reasoning re the cheapest way to meet the reductions of greenhouse gases (ghg) we are trying to achieve- seem realistic to me. As a scientist gone company representative, I had to work to keep companies, quarries, construction-development companies, farmers in compliance. More often than not, when educated on environmental matters, these persons, when given realistic education on the matters and purpose as in jobs to resolve these matters, they climbed on board better than if having simply be told they had to - like parents who yell at their children giving no reason for why they must. Often, they became better environmentalists than the environmentalists themselves. Common goals allowed them to develop even better ways to achieve that goal, once they were on board and convinced the goal was not just a scheme to control them. Hats off to Henry W !

Richard Adlof (not verified) 13 years 30 weeks ago
#18

OMG! I just heard the seven largest health insurers are forced to divert $1,400,000.00 DAILY from avoiding paying for services of their insured to subvert/block even the possibility of a public option.

Think about it . . . Shame on the sick and poor for being so selfish. Aren’t there a 140 people a day that are willing forgo their chemotherapy treatments and do their patriotic duty to offset/support the cost lobbying?

For those of you keeping score, the health insurers still have to skim billions of dollars off of services for their insured to maintain ANNUAL executive compensation packages. Oh, the plight of the poor insurance companies! How will they survive if they can not buy off our elected officials?

Thank you, Max Baucus for doing god’s work . . .

DRichards (not verified) 13 years 30 weeks ago
#19

"And so when you look at the American Revolution, you have to look at it in terms of class."

"What about class divisions?

Did ordinary white farmers have the same interest in the revolution as a John Hancock or Morris or Madison or Jefferson or the slaveholders or the bondholders? Not really."

Untold Truths About the American Revolution
By Howard Zinn, July 3, 2009

http://www.progressive.org/zinn070309.html

Richard Adlof (not verified) 13 years 30 weeks ago
#20

The opening paragraph of the Declaration of Independence in context:

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just power from the consent of the governed. That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its power in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to affect their Safety and Happiness."

The word "We" implies that this is a communal document . . . Not a happy handjob for those who happily sacrifice other folk on the alter of Individualism.

Richard Adlof (not verified) 13 years 30 weeks ago
#21

alter = altar

Richard Adlof (not verified) 13 years 30 weeks ago
#22

John Galt is the delusional ranting of the insane sociopath, Ayn Rand.

Milton Friedman got it exactly backward ass.

Howard Zinn is a recessivist revisionist; not a historian.

DRichards (not verified) 13 years 30 weeks ago
#23

Re: Statues of Limitations Voter Registration Fraud

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/02/08/ann-coulter-under-investi_n_165...

Brad Friedman of BradBlog.com reports that Coulter was never actually cleared; the Florida Election Commission dropped the case after deciding that the two-year statute of limitations had run out.

Richard Adlof (not verified) 13 years 30 weeks ago
#24

1. Equality,
2. Life,
3. Liberty,
4. Pursuit of Happiness,
5. Safety,
6. Happiness,
7. Government by the people’s consent,
8. Government NOT by the purported will of any deity,
9. Government NOT by the divine will of the socio-economic elite, and
10. The reserved right to change/reframe government if it fails to support and protect the people

Are ALL rights; not entitlements. Calling rights “entitlements” belittles them and pretends that they are bestowed by another’s benevolence instead of being owned outright. We, the People, are owed the defense of these things. We, the People, must defend these things. Government is our tool to do so.

DRichards (not verified) 13 years 30 weeks ago
#25

Richard

Very well said.

Re; points #8 & 9
Many believe the "revisionist" history that we are a Christian nation. The fact is that many of our founding fathers were Deist.

vcdaniels (not verified) 13 years 30 weeks ago
#26

"The word 'We' implies that this is a communal document . . . Not a happy handjob for those who happily sacrifice other folk on the alter of Individualism." -- Richard Adlof.

I'm gonna take the conservative approach to assert my concurrence of that point. Let's use the book conservatives always use and that Libertarians sometimes use: the Bible. Consider the the earliest book of the Bible, Genesis. When God created Adam, He realized that he could not live as a lone individual. Man, from this earliest moment was meant to be a social creature. And so, Eve was created as a companion. And so it is with every sexually reproductive creature. We are creatures that form societies. And in societies you must have rules to maintain order. The nature of rules is that they infringe on individual freedom to promote the good of the community. That's why killing is wrong. Otherwise murder would just be considered an "extreme form of individual expression of dissent" rather than a "crime endangering the safety of the community". And speaking of murder . . .

brian a. hayes (not verified) 13 years 30 weeks ago
#27

i was walking downtown chicago a lady walking with a book .i asked what she was reading it was a bout fdr and elanore. i'mtry to listen on the internet but today on wcpt. everything you are saying about the middle class ... must be brought up to the middle class and poor in the south. they must understand that the right is not concern about making a middle class. thom your last name fits you. peace

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 Unequal Protection, 2nd Edition:
"Beneath the success and rise of American enterprise is an untold history that is antithetical to every value Americans hold dear. This is a seminal work, a godsend really, a clear message to every citizen about the need to reform our country, laws, and companies."
Paul Hawken, coauthor of Natural Capitalism and author of The Ecology of Commerce
From Cracking the Code:
"No one communicates more thoughtfully or effectively on the radio airwaves than Thom Hartmann. He gets inside the arguments and helps people to think them through—to understand how to respond when they’re talking about public issues with coworkers, neighbors, and friends. This book explores some of the key perspectives behind his approach, teaching us not just how to find the facts, but to talk about what they mean in a way that people will hear."
Paul Loeb, author of Soul of a Citizen
From Cracking the Code:
"Thom Hartmann ought to be bronzed. His new book sets off from the same high plane as the last and offers explicit tools and how-to advice that will allow you to see, hear, and feel propaganda when it's directed at you and use the same techniques to refute it. His book would make a deaf-mute a better communicator. I want him on my reading table every day, and if you try one of his books, so will you."
Peter Coyote, actor and author of Sleeping Where I Fall