Highlights Thursday August 27th 2009

911-conspiracy-imagesHour One: "Who ARE the uninsured?" Thom spars with Michael Tanner of the Cato Institute www.cato.org

Hour Two: Pamela & Mary Anne Aden on the Economy - are we getting better or worse? www.adenforecast.com

plus Angie from Angie's List.

Hour Three: "Everything You Know is Wrong...about 9/11?" Thom talks with David Aaronovitchis about his new National Geographic Channel documentary "9/11 Science and Conspiracy" www.nationalgeographic.com

Plus...David Ray Griffin www.ctr4process.org on the other side.

Comments

Gerald Socha (not verified) 13 years 13 weeks ago
#1

If we continue to offer terrible health care or no health care to the American people, we will kill off the American population. Who will be left to to fight to expand the American empire? Or, will the American government commence a nuclear war with a preemptive attack against our so-called enemies? Will the religious right be truly glorified with the end time and the rapture so near?

Our son works for a European company. He must have a full medical examination every two years as preventive health care. This full medical examination must be scheduled in Europe. His company believes that the American health care is too expensive. European health care is as good or even far better than American health care.

Our son also talks to various people in Europe and Asia and he has said that European and Asian companies are reluctant to open up offices in the U.S. because American health care is three and four times more expensive than European and Asian health care costs. The U.S. is losing jobs with foreign companies unwillingness to open offices in the U.S.

Mark (not verified) 13 years 13 weeks ago
#2

I wish Thom would point out to these right-wing doctors that having "the finest health care in the world" is meaningless to those who are financially beyond its reach. And does anyone think that health insurance industry cares about the patient as much as the doctor claims to? What the doctor deems necessary is not necessarily compatible with what the insurance company considers so, and that incompatibility may cost the patient his or her house, or force them into bankruptcy. So in fact the insurance companies stand in the way of the patient receiving what the doctor considers "the finest health care in the world"--even primary care. The doctor is either a fool, naive or a hopeless ideologue to see this. If one digs deeper, you might even find his ultimate consideration is the money he may or may not lose from health care reform.

Yes, people who don't use their health coverage, or those who can afford the best coverage, are quite happy with their insurance, while those on government-run Medicare who need care the most are also generally happy with it. It is everyone in the middle who need what health care reform offers. And why do we need reform, again?

According to the National Coalition on Health Care, insurance coverage is decreasing while medical costs are going up. Over the last decade, employer-based insurance has more than doubled in cost. 62 percent of all bankruptcies are linked to health costs. 1.5 million families lose their homes every year in part due to health care bills. Workers wages stagnate or decrease because of the cost of health insurance to employers; in some lower wage jobs, employer-based premiums for coverage for a family nearly exceeds what they are paying a worker. Within the next ten years, health care costs will again double, particularly troubling if GDP stagnates.

This is the situation the good right-wing doctor wants to continue. Today, private insurance covers about 60 percent of medical costs for those privately insured. But increasingly higher premiums, higher deductibles, higher co-pays and higher out-of-pocket expense can be expected to change that equation for the worse. Higher deductibles are particularly insidious, since insurance companies will not honor coverage unless that is paid first. Meanwhile, as baby-boomers reach Medicare age, by 2018 it is expected that over half of people in this country will be covered by a "public option" by default. And it has to be paid for.

Some conservative say that spiraling costs are due to government interference in "market-oriented" solutions. These people have no idea of what they are talking about. If they are referring to the Republican-passed Plan D, they are certainly right about that, but they otherwise seem to be extraordinarily naive about everything else. The insurance and drug cabals are nothing more or less than trusts which have no interest in reigning in costs, because they hold all the cards; employers and individuals must pay, or else. The reality is that the health insurance industry has a stake in increasing costs, just as oil companies have a stake in high oil costs. For oil companies, the inevitability of running out of oil heightens their desire to get as much profit as they can now; for health insurance companies, the decreasing percentage of the population that is not Medicare eligible makes future profitability a concern.

A significant reason for those runaway costs, reported by Business Week, is that expensive new technology is driving up costs, although they may have only "modest" benefit to patients. Doctors who like to play with this new technology certainly do not have cost in mind (except how much they will be paid), or the patient's ability to pay. According to the story, "Price insensitivity on behalf of customers, lack of competition, technological complexity—they all add up to immense inflationary pressures on health-care costs." This medical price inflation accounts for 51 percent of the rise in medical costs. Although an older population's access to expensive technology that prolongs life has been a major contributor to costs, this does not explain the CBO's finding that more than half of all medical treatments have not been supported by evidence that they actually work; tried and true treatments which are less expensive have been set aside for questionable new toys. Furthermore, the Week notes that the cost of the "learning curve" to acquire proficiency in new technology has been prohibitive.

Health care reform means more than just enacting a public option, since it will be sooner rather than later that half of us will be on government-run Medicare. Reeling-in costs will require government "interference," because market-oriented "solutions" have proven to be disastrous for this country.

Rasta (not verified) 13 years 13 weeks ago
#3

More of the effects of Israeli apartheid and those, like Thom Hartmann, who are allied to inhuman rights, injustice and zionist supremacy.

Israel seizes Palestinian radio transmitters

International media watchdog group Reporters Without Borders has condemned the Israeli Defense Forces’ decision to seize the radio transmitters of a popular West Bank radio station, saying the move “constitutes outright censorship.”

Popular Palestinian radio station Bethlehem 2000 said on Wednesday it went off the air after the Israeli army seized its transmitters.

The private radio station said in a statement that Israeli soldiers dismantled and took away the transmitters during a raid on Tuesday night in Beit Jala, just outside Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank.

http://rawstory.com/08/news/2009/08/26/israel-seizes-radio/

DDay (not verified) 13 years 13 weeks ago
#4

Following the troll seems to be my unhappy lot today. Speaking of following trolls...I'll be missing the show today in order to attend a Michele Bachmann town hall on health care. I will be armed with a few interesting questions for the hyperbolic congresswoman. Who knows if I'll get an opportunity to pose them. I'll report back tomorrow about what I see and hear. Someone please say a prayer for me.

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

New president, same old war against press freedom in Iraq

Is it audacious to hope that a new president promising change might at least put an end to America's unwarranted and indefinite jailing of journalists without charges in the Iraq war zone?

Apparently so.

While President Obama came to office promising the world that America would once again respect the rule of law and the cause human rights, with a high-profile (and not yet fulfilled) promise to close the detention center at Guantanamo Bay, a new commander-in-chief has meanwhile done nothing to halt the U.S. miltary's abhorrent practice of jailing journalists without trials, evidence, habeas corpus...

http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/attytood/

DRichards (not verified) 13 years 13 weeks ago
#6

How can legal tender be illegal?

Robert Kahre is facing up to 296 years in prison. His crime? He hired workers on mutually-agreed terms, and paid them in gold and silver dollars rather than in Federal Reserve dollars.

First, some background . . .

* The face value of the U.S. Mint's gold and silver coins are legal tender, meaning they must be accepted in payment of debt
* But a Gold Eagle coin that has "$50" printed on it is legal tender only up to $50, while its gold content is worth about $1,000 in Federal Reserve notes
* No law or IRS regulation requires that receivers of Gold Eagles and other U.S. Mint coins must report the market value of the coins instead of the legal tender value

After extensively researching the issue, Kahre . . .

* hired workers as independent contractors, so he would not pay the payroll tax for their labor
* paid them in gold and silver coins, whose face value - that is, legal tender value - was so low that the workers legally didn't have to report it as income to the IRS

For instance, if a worker was annually paid in gold coins with a legal tender face value of $2,000, the market value of the gold content in those coins could be $40,000, but only the legal tender face value of $2,000 would theoretically count as taxable income. That face value of $2,000 is low enough to be non-reportable to the IRS. But . . .

Even though the coins Kahre used were legal tender, the Justice Department alleged that Kahre's system was a fraudulent, tax-evading scam.

We agree with Jacob Hornberger who asserts that the federal government's prosecution of Kahre is self-contradictory . . .
http://www.fff.org/blog/jghblog2009-08-17.asp

* if you owe $100 in taxes and pay with gold coins with face values totalling $100, the IRS will accept the payment as $100; it could then sell the coins on the market for twenty times that amount and keep the difference. The government will accept your payment as "legal tender."
* but if YOU receive gold coins from someone else in a private transaction, the IRS says you must report the market value of the coins, not the face value. That is, YOU CANNOT TREAT THE COINS AS LEGAL TENDER.

http://www.DownsizeDC.org

Quark (not verified) 13 years 13 weeks ago
#7

How Soon They Forget (or Don't Care To Remember) ---

I sent Joe Scarborough an email this a.m. and just wanted to share it with you. Please forgive repetition of the parts I have already mentioned on this blog plus the fact that it is probably more about me than anything else. Maybe I will never find peace with my past OR the Republican Party. I just wanted Scarborough to know, in human terms, what destruction his fellows have wraught and why we don't eulogize them the same way:

"Joe, this morning I heard you complain about something to the effect that the Kennedys get so much more credit (and did you also mean admiration?) than the Bushes. You were clearly irritated by this. Joe, the Kennedys (especially Teddy) actually tried to HELP people. The Bushes (especially "W") were all about themselves, as is any Republican. To understand this, read John Dean's book, The Conscience of a Conservative. There is a clear pathology to this kind of behavior. I should know. I was adopted by very conservative, very politically active Republican parents with VERY authoritarian mindsets. I spent my entire childhood living in fear of their brutality (and I spent much of my adulthood trying to work through the physical and mental abuse I suffered as a child.)

As a child, I couldn't understand how people who are supposed to love and care for their children's well being could be so frightening and cruel.

Later, I saw that same disregard for people's welfare played out in the Republican congress' refusal to pass legislation after 9/11 that would hire additional airport security people unless they were not permitted to join a union. I had a physical and mental breakdown at that refusal to protect our country (unless it was without a union!)

I ended up in the mental health wing of a local hospital. When a doctor asked me, "when was the last time you felt this way," I blurted out, "when I was a child. I should have been protected and cared for by my parents. Instead, I was afraid all the time and ran away from home several times."

Somehow my mind subconsciously made that connection. I could never understand my parents' treatment of me until I read John Dean's aforementioned book. I saw and understood the same cruelty and self-centeredness that plays out in the Republican Party.

Read it for yourself, Joe. I doubt you will recognize it, though. You are too much a part of it."

Richard L. Adlof (not verified) 13 years 13 weeks ago
#8

THOM!!!!

Thank you for making Tanner choke at the end of the segment.

Quark (not verified) 13 years 13 weeks ago
#9

The caller makes a wonderful point about how healthcare is captured by a giant insurance cartel. Is there some way to get the meme out that the insurance companies are doing for healthcare what Enron did for the energy industry in this country?

Loretta (not verified) 13 years 13 weeks ago
#10

I disagree with the David Aaronovitchis' theory that it's scarier to believe the government is incompetent rather than intentionally evil.

Several years ago I attended a 911 Truth Group meeting that explained that cell phone calls couldn't be made from the altitude the planes were flying. The speaker claimed that although cell phone technology wasn't capable of making high altitude calls yet, what was available was voice technology where voices could be copied and cell phone calls manufactured. He implied that all of those phone calls from the air had been shamelessly staged.

That thought scared me so badly I had to leave the packed auditorium and go walking for three hours. I don't have any idea if that is possible. I can't even figure out whether or not to advise my daughter to get a flu vaccination or not. The whole thing is mind boggling, but it sure is fascinating! The 911 Truth groupers feel almost like a religious group. The speaker I heard was a pastor and sounded like an evangelist as he lifted the crowd to nearly speaking in tongues over 911.

Loretta (not verified) 13 years 13 weeks ago
#11

Quark,

That is a beautiful, powerful letter. I am sorry that you had to experience such pain. I think that is exactly what terror does, whether is was dealt out by offshore terrorists or by terrible people within our own culture. It stirs up deep insecurities in everyone it touches. You have such a strong point in your letter about the terrible misuse of power in child abuse is similar to the misuse of power by the Republican party. I hope he's smart enough to understand your beautiful letter!

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

Loretta,

I agree that intentional evil is scarier than incompetence. It's easy to make mistakes.

It seems that there is so much theory one way or the other. I always ask, "who stands to benefit and why?" That allows me to take a step back, out of the immediate fear through which others may try to manipulate us.

Richard L. Adlof (not verified) 13 years 13 weeks ago
#13

DDay,

Prayer said and additional prayers on the way. I hope you were wearing a

Palin - Bachmann 2012

T-shirt so they called on you . . .

Loretta (not verified) 13 years 13 weeks ago
#14

Prayer from me too! Funny T-shirt idea Richard. That's great. Damn, I wish you would have been inspired yesterday. It may be too late:-)

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

Loretta,

Fear is such a "great" motivator. Unfortunately, it so often warps people instead of inspiring them in a positive way. (My parents were abusive because THEY were each severely abused as children by significant people in THEIR lives.)

I keep thinking of the passage from the Bible that says something like "the sins of the father will be visited upon the children of the 6th and 7th generations (or something similar to that)."

To me, there is a lot of healing the human race needs to go through...

Marty (not verified) 13 years 13 weeks ago
#16

Loretta, while I dispute the official story of 9/11, I strongly agree with your opinion of the 9/11 Truth movement. It has become more like a religion and like a religion requires near complete fealty to it. I've had to pull back a bit from it, because I'm think I'm seeing the movement being co-opted into movements against health care reform and against protection of the environment, especially related to global warming.

Richard L. Adlof (not verified) 13 years 13 weeks ago
#17

The long term issues with the use of fear as a motivator is folk develop a shell-shocked resistance to it so the abuser must escalate for diminishing results.

Alferd (not verified) 13 years 13 weeks ago
#18

David Ray Griffin is a wackadoodle truther.

Truthers are left wing nuts, just like birthers are right wing nuts.

Why is Thom giving this clown air time?

nora (not verified) 13 years 13 weeks ago
#19

David Aaronovitchis didn't have much to say--accept the repetition of the instantaneous story placed in the media as 9-ll was still occurring. Even before the second tower collapsed, photos of the hijackers were shown on the tube and at the time I said to my friend -- "How come they have all these photos of the hijackers at the newsroom already? If they knew these guys were dangerous, why weren't they tailing them?"

I think if this National Geographic special does NOT address the nano-fied, weaponized thermite issue (found in the WTC dust) -- then I will consider the National Geographic production an attempt to leap over this data and grab the maximum public audience in a clearly propagandized effort to DISMISS those who ask questions,

nora (not verified) 13 years 13 weeks ago
#20

Aaronovitchis seemed to be UNAWARE (which is unlikely -- so this is sarcasm) that the Neocons' Project for a New American Century (PNAC) clearly stated their need and desire of a "New Pearl Harbor".

That Bush conveniently used the 9/11 WTC detruction to gin up a FEAR campaign for his invasion of innocent nations like Afghanistan and Iraq does not look like two separate things from my perspective -- but rather a single seamless process!

Alferd (not verified) 13 years 13 weeks ago
#21

Maybe WTC was "detonated" because Obama's "real" birth certificate was in a safe on the 27th floor?

Dave (not verified) 13 years 13 weeks ago
#22

Tom,

I listen to you daily, I have learned quite a bit from your show. However, I am disappointed in your segments with the 9/11 myth maker David Aaronovitchis. First of all your demeanor with him was one of respect, while your demeanor with David R Griffen was dismissive. Mr. Griffen's time was shorter, and you clearly wanted Mr. Aaronovitchis to give his prepared stock answers.

His experiment was bogus because he looked at only one small beam, to assume the entire building or even the entire floor was seeing the same heat loading is not supported by the photographic evidence or the firemen's audio accounts that have been released. THIS IS OBVIOUS. But you were silent.

Tom I sincerely hope you are not a tool of the Might Wurlitzer, called on to be friendly to govt. propaganda when the timing is right.

godfrey47 (not verified) 13 years 13 weeks ago
#23

aloha to everyone,

it's sad to say but i was disappointed
with the national geographic response.

tom, rolled out the carpet or extended
the rope perfectly for all to hear their
angle on 911truth...it sounded weak.
we will soon see with their documentary.

we should all note that any truth
movement coming from a heritage
that can't recognize the radical differences
between Yahshua (jesus) and saul (paul)
is bound to make cultic mistakes in zeal
and remedy...

*we always notice,
when we break open the control of the questions,
we open up the freedom of the perfect answers,
which are always already present.

Christopher7 (not verified) 13 years 13 weeks ago
#24

Thom
You cut David off and changed the subject when he was in the middle of telling your audience that in their final report, NIST admitted that WTC 7 fell at free fall acceleration for over 2 seconds [105 feet]. This is the proof the NIST did NOT explain the collapse of WTC 7.

Shyam Sunder had stated in a briefing on 8-26-08 that: "a free fall time would be an object that has no structural components below it and that is not is not all unusual because there was structural resistance that was provided in this particular case." In other words, in the NIST scenario of progressive collapse there are always structural components providing resistance and preventing free fall acceleration from occurring. The NIST scenario and computer model do NOT fall at free fall acceleration.
For free fall acceleration to occur, all the structural supports on 7-8 floors were removed within 2 seconds. The only explanation is they were removed with explosives.

BTW: "OBL and 19 hijackers did it." is a conspiracy theory.
Any crime committed by two or more people is a conspiracy.
WTC 7 was a controlled demolition/progressive collapse are alternate building destruction theories.

Alferd (not verified) 13 years 13 weeks ago
#25

truther = birthers = nutjobs

Alferd (not verified) 13 years 13 weeks ago
#26

Thom should be ashamed of himself for encouraging truthers

JoninMD (not verified) 13 years 13 weeks ago
#27

Aug 21, 2009 Mark Levin interviewed someone from the Pacific Research Institute trying to state numbers of uninsured as lower by blaming some of them for own problems- the ignorant of existing public programs for insurance and drug co.-run 'patient assistance' programs to help people pay for needed drugs. Michael Tanner on Aug 27 Thom Hartmann was part of a push-back against doing anything. I went to a book signing at the Cato Institute about 9 years ago by Larry Elder for his book "10 things you can't say in America" and he blamed uninsured for not 'helping themselves' too. One of the 'things you can't say in America' was that there was no health care crisis. I bought the book to prove conservative stupidity and lies on this issue. I didn't ask to sign it.

Thom's Blog Is On the Move

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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."