Highlights for Monday August 24th 2009

more-humanity-imagesHour One - Who's winning the battle at the townhall meetings...public or "for profit" for healthcare? Thom mixes it up with Dan Gainor of the Business and Media Institute www.businessandmedia.org

Plus - Cynthia Wilson www.montanademocrats.org Baucus on the public option

Hour Two - Why do conservatives want to keep American children stupid? Don Soifer www.lexingtoninstitute.org

Hour Three - CIA torture memos being released this week - what's there? Majorie Cohn www.marjoriecohn.com


B Roll (not verified) 14 years 43 weeks ago

mstaggerlee -

I just saw your comment that you understood instantly that Mark's first post on today's blog was a reaction to Rasta's posts. I think you're wrong.

I'm sure that Mark's post was mainly aimed at a series of about 4 long posts I made on the subject on last Friday's blog. He just lumped me in with Rasta by referring to "one or two commentators"

I know you've said that your Jewish and had briefly taken issue with at least one of Rasta's posts, so you may not like my comments. If you wish to read them they are at


All together they're probably a few thousand words.

Mark (not verified) 14 years 43 weeks ago

I have to admit that I find it interesting that B Roll would claim that I am being overly sensitive concerning the atmosphere of racism, discrimination and civil rights violations that permeates around the immigration "debate" (and anyone "suspected" of being an immigrant) that the SPLCenter and other organizations have done extensive research to expose. And yet on the other hand, he has no problem in refusing to address the terrorist activities of Hamas (the chosen representatives of the people of Gaza); he defacto accepts it as business-as-usual. I don't care how he sugar-coats it. Let's not forget that the reason Gaza has been cordoned-off is because of the series of suicide bombings that killed hundreds of Israelis after the failure of the Rabin/Peres peace initiatives. If B Roll wants to make common cause with this Rasta guy, he has to live with it; the Israelis shouldn't have to.

B Roll (not verified) 14 years 43 weeks ago


You wrote that I’m putting words in your mouth. I don’t think I did. Let’s look at the situation.

The second post on today’s blog is from you. In it you wrote:

“I think I will take a little break from the belittling, arrogant, egoism creeping up on this blog from a few commentators who think they are right and don’t seem to have much room for opinions other than their own…”

DDay was concerned that he/she might have written something that upset you. Since you said you were going to take a break from the blog and ended by telling us to “Have a terrific week”, I think it was fair to think you were planning to not participate for several days, maybe even a week. If you held to that intention, you wouldn’t be able to answer DDay.

Therefore, I posted a comment so DDay wouldn’t feel guilty. I said CLUES to what you were upset about MAY be found on last Friday’s blog. Then I mentioned the topics you took issue with from that blog. I didn’t say those comments were definitely what upset you; I suggested that they might have been because you commented on those posts specifically.

I thought there was a good chance that your first post today may have been in regards to Mark’s post, but since you didn’t specifically mention it, I didn’t mention it in my comment. That’s the opposite of putting words in your mouth.

You wrote:

“you think you can make assumptions about what other people feel or believe and act as if the assumptions you make are true.”

I think that may be called reading people and may even be part of being empathetic. There are people who have a lot of ability to understand where other people are coming from and others who have very little. I do think I’m fairly good at it, although I DO NOT assume my “assumptions” (instincts) are necessarily correct.

I remember the first book I read on my own (not for school) was called something like “Understanding Other People”. I’ve had an interest in how people think since I was young. And based on past performance, my instinct was that Mark might respond to my posts, although I didn’t quite expect such a pedestrian retelling of the Israeli version.

I’ve already told you why I didn’t mention Mark’s post even though I thought you might have been reacting to it. Now I’ll tell you why I thought your comment might have been in regard to Mark’s post. You wrote a very positive response to my two part post about the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. Mark’s post was obviously in response to my posts, and since you liked my post, I “assumed” you disagreed with his. Turns out, I was right, but I didn’t mention it in my response to DDay, because you hadn’t mentioned Mark’s post.

By the way, I totally agree with you that Mark’s version of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict isn’t the only version. In fact, though he may call it a “dispassionate knowledge of history” which he juxtaposes against what he calls the views of “passionate” pro-Palestinian advocates, he really has a very limited and biased view of the history of the conflict as well as of the current situation.

As for your belief that I was putting words in Thom’s mouth, again I disagree. In my posts on the Friday blog, I wrote things I’ve actually heard Thom say. It’s not worth the time to go through archived shows and listen to hours of programming to find the exact words, but I probably could. It would just take a long time.

Maybe you’re referring to my interpretation of the meanings of Thom’s comments and how he approaches the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. You seem to not like that I say he has an obvious pro-Israel bias.

Notice that unlike Rasta, who thinks Thom wants the Palestinians exterminated, I never wrote that Thom has an anti-Palestinian bias, only that he has a pro-Israeli bias. That’s a big difference, and there are several examples of me saying that Thom is a good decent man.

I’ve been listening to Thom since he took over this timeslot from Al Franken around two-and-a-half years ago. I’ve heard his frequent use of the term “Muslim crazies” while almost never using the term “Jewish crazies” although many of the religious settlers do heinous things. I’ve heard him put the problem at the feet of the Hamas and the Palestinian people for electing a majority Hamas parliament. I’ve heard him want to share the blame equally in situations where the majority of the blame belongs to Israel. He doesn’t even fully understand the dynamics of that election and thinks “3 cups of tea” could have solved everything.

These are some things that led me to the conclusion that Thom has a pro-Israel, not an anti-Palestinian, bias.

I hope this helps you understand why I wrote the things I wrote, both about why you might have posted your first comment today and why I think Thom has a pro-Israeli bias. But if you want to think I’m putting words in other people’s mouths, there’s not much more I can say about it.

Mark (not verified) 14 years 43 weeks ago

Well, reiterating what I said in my last comment (and it's actually a surprise to me that he thought I 'd respond to his Friday comments, since I've never directly responded to anything he's said before), history is simply what it is. B Roll would prefer to "sex it up." I suspect that B Roll thinks what I recounted was "pedestrian" because he simply has no idea of it, and being presented with reality it's a problem for him.

Loretta (not verified) 14 years 43 weeks ago

Here is one of the most sensible discussions on healthcare reform that I've ever heard.


On Fresh Air Terri Gross interviews TR Reid who traveled around the world seeking care for a bum shoulder. He sums up all of the different versions of healthcare provided by the countries he visited, and from his travels, he came up with four categories of health coverage. Medicare--(named and created by Canada); NHS-- Britain; non-profit private insurance --Germany; and third world care (Out of pocket, trade, or stay sick and die). He maintains that the US system is inefficient partly because we have all four types of care in our one country.

One of the most interesting parts of the discussion was how Taiwan's liberal progressives were able to gain universal care for their citizens by insisting that it is indeed a moral imperative.

It's a very intelligent, witty, interesting discussion with a little bit of ayurveda thrown in too.

Reid's one mistake is comparing Germany's insurance coverage to our own. Germany's insurance companies are non-profit and it would be illegal for them to be otherwise. That's why their system works.

Loretta (not verified) 14 years 43 weeks ago

B-Roll: thank you for summing up what you believe Thom's comments to mean. You will never again have to sum up what you think my comments mean because you can simply ask me. And I will be forever grateful to you if you do just that. Thank you

B Roll (not verified) 14 years 43 weeks ago


I will try to keep that in mind. As I explained, I only wrote my comment because DDAy expressed concern that he/she might have been part of what had upset you and you had suggested in your post that you wouldn't be participating here for a week.

As I've already stated, I only referred to comments you'd posted here between last Friday through Sunday and I gave the link to that page so anyone who wanted to could see exactly what you wrote in your own words.

Whatever you think of me, I still appreciate your efforts in the cause of health care reform.

Loretta (not verified) 14 years 43 weeks ago

B-Roll. Thank you very much for keeping in mind that I prefer to speak for myself. I appreciate that greatly! And If I want to post links to previous comments I've made, I'll be sure to do that, too, as I imagine others will as well. I would hate to feel as if big brother were living amongst us.

Since you have become so fascinated by what I have to say, here's a short story I wrote.


And as far as my opinion of you. Rest assured I have no opinion of you whatsoever. I rarely think of you.

JoninMD (not verified) 14 years 43 weeks ago

Business and Media institute is a front for Brent Bozell's Media Research Center. mrc.org has a link to businessandmedia.org.

Jon in Md (not verified) 14 years 43 weeks ago

Re hr 2 TX schoolbooks indoctrinating students in conservative versions of history:
Mel Gabler and his wife pressured textbook companies to follow conservative memes for years. One or both is dead but the Gabler's cause still has legs. TX, as a state, may buy books for all its local districts. Instead of following conservative view supporting local control of schools by letting local school districts decide for themselves what books to buy and the state supporting the districts as a support of local control of education.
Fights over textbooks below college level here are similar to the first post by Mark of passionate pro-Israel views (called dispassionate only to appropriate a good-sounding term to one side of an issue to make partisan appear factual) that Jews are less wrong in the conflict and Jews have a stronger attachment to land Israel now controls than non-Jews that is enforced by folks in the 'Israel academic lobby' like Daniel Pipes campuswatch.org, Morton Klein's 1991 criticism of a college textbook An Enduring Vision and standwithus/Michigan's attempt to stop publication of Overcoming Zionism that still resulted in Bard College firing the author Joel Kovel because of the resulting controversy that made Bard afraid of student enrollment and alumni donation drops but those two fellows are by no means alone.
Re any discussion of Thom being pro-Israel or pro-Palestinian or neutral: Thom is afraid of losing his affiliates and ultimately program from controversies started mostly by those on the Israeli side that twist the expression of views with which they disagree and fears of influence it may have on events into 'bias' accusations (telling reporters and even radio show hosts how to do their jobs). Look up the article called "Keeping Talk Radio Pro-Israel" in the NY Jewish Week by Jonathan Mark. Mike Malloy read it on his July 16, 2007 program. He has been, falsely imo, called anti-semitic or anti-Israel for his talking about the Israel-Palestine situation much more than Thom does. His show is on much fewer stations and he has to self-syndicate since Nova M went bankrupt and Air America fired him without paying him full salary owed (about $100,000). Thom is probably taking Mike Malloy's experience as a 'don't let this happen to me' cautionary tale whenever Thom considers bringing up 'the situation' as people in Israel refer to what we in USA call the Israeli-Arab-Palestinian conflict.

Blake (not verified) 14 years 43 weeks ago

The caller is right about the flue vaccines. Its not a right wing scare. They are not tested enough, most contain mercury, and are not proven to work. The only thing proven is that they are dangerous. The drug companies would love to have manditory vaccinations, and seeing Obama's love of the drug companies, I wouldn't be surprised if he goes for it. Gary Null is on our side. He is one of the nations leading progressives, an an expert on health and nutrition. We should all go to his web site and sign the petition against manditory vaccines. This is no joke. Thank you

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