Highlights Tuesday August 25th 2009

mercenaries-imagesHour One: "Obama Finally Gets It Right - Government Run Health Care Will Be Exactly Like the Postal Service" Thom debates Libertarian Wayne Allyn Root www.wayneroot.com

Hour Two: As Scotland continues to demonstrate compassion, which is the essence and goal of justice - is it time for the US to repudiate the brutality of the bush years?

Hour Three: "Blackwater...CIA assassins for hire?" Thom speaks with independent investigative journalist Jeremy Scahill www.rebelreports.com

Comments

DDay (not verified) 13 years 13 weeks ago
#1

FYI...Jeremy Scahill was on Bill Maher's HBO program last week where he really tore into the Press and the Congress. The three panelists were NBC political editor Chuck Todd, US congresswoman Jan Schakowsky ,(D.Ill.)and Jay Leno. The first two panelists were highly defensive while Jay sat back chuckling because comics were not included in Mr. Scahill's condemnations. It was priceless and revealing, especially concerning Chuck Todd. Thom, please thank Mr. Scahill for not only his dangerous, brave, writing work, but for his speaking up against the many cowards whom we must unfortunately rely upon for information or representation. Jeremy drew blood based on the reactions I witnessed last Friday night.

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

Over the weekend CNN was pitching “Romney Care” as a “compromise” plan for healthcare reform, while the Seattle Times did the same for the local co-op Group Death (I mean Group Health). CNN skirted the details of Massachusetts’ healthcare reform, failing to point out that plans under the insurer of last resort, Commonwealth Care, can still be an extremely expensive proposition for previously uninsured people required to buy coverage, but who otherwise could not afford it or would be denied coverage by other insurance providers. While there is a sliding scale for premiums based on ability to pay, there is still the potential for massive out-of-pocket expenses if you have the temerity to get sick. Furthermore, the plan has had budgetary issues, and tax increases to help relieve costs have been predictably opposed. One thing the plan has had a "positive" effect on is exposing just how great the shortage of primary physicians is.

Meanwhile, the Obama administration is continuing the insensible policy of trying to win over enough Republican lawmakers to make the claim that it is seeking a “bi-partisan” healthcare reform plan. Why, why, why? When the Republicans were in power, does anyone think they gave a damn about “bi-partisanship?" Not to my knowledge. Who cares what Orin Hatch thinks; the Republicans used the reconciliation ploy several times without once considering the hurt feelings of the Democrats.

The Democrats simply do not get it. The people respect strong, decisive leadership. If it is strong and decisive and unwavering, people will actually believe that leadership knows what the hell it is doing, or at least has a plan. I hate to say it (and I hope I'm wrong), but I am increasingly convinced that Obama and the Democrats will be completely and hopelessly indecisive and divided when the time of decision comes.

Obama likes the Lincoln analogies; well, here’s another one (at the risk of being “pedestrian”): in the 1860 presidential election, the Democratic Party was so bitterly divided between northern and southern wings that the party fragmented into several different parts, with only the North supporting the “official” Democratic Party candidate, Stephen Douglas. Although Lincoln won less than 45 percent of the vote (almost all of it in the North) he handily won the Electoral College. Many Northerners abandoned the Democratic Party in favor of the Republicans, because they were for the most part of the same mind in opposing the concept of a minority of slaveholding Southerners controlling the destiny of the country.

Now, we still have a fragmented Democratic Party and a united Republican Party. The Democrats reconstituted themselves after the Civil War, since the extension of slavery was no longer a dividing issue; Democrats didn’t start to fragment again in a significant way until Truman started having strange ideas, like desegregating the military, which disturbed the sensitivities of the Dixicrats. The problem today is that any issue that changes the status quo is a divisive issue, and Blue Dog Democrats are (let’s face it) Republicans under another name, who don’t like change. If they are not this, then I wish they’d just come out and tell us what they believe in that makes them "Democrats." In the meantime, Obama should—no, must—forget about lawmakers with an “R” after their names and focus on the challenge of “bi-partisanship” within his own fragmented party.

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

"The corporate grip on opinion in the United States is one of the wonders of the Western world. No First World country has ever managed to eliminate so entirely from its media all objectivity - much less dissent.

"Of course, it is possible for any citizen with time to spare, and a canny eye, to work out what is actually going on, but for the many there is not time, and the network news is the only news even though it may not be news at all but only a series of flashing fictions..." : Gore Vidal

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

i have a question on taxes.
http://www.forbes.com/2009/06/18/taxes-crisis-recession-opinions-columni...
in this article it states that corporate taxes are high because the corporation pays a tax and then the shareholders pay a tax. Isn't that two different things? Why would that be considered as 2 items that should be added together to determine the rate?
When income tax is spoken of for wages, the sales tax isn't automatically added as an additional surcharge! Am I making the right analogy???
Help please!

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

Since we've been on the subject of healthcare, if you are like me and don't have health insurance--which means you must stay healthy and treat yourself with herbal remedies---here is a terrific supplier of herbs and some very useful videos on how to create your own tinctures and syrups.

Tinctures take six weeks to make, so it's good to start now. Elderberry syrups you make and use right away- they only last two weeks in the refrigerator-- but using it may ward off flus and colds and might help if you get the flu.

I've purchased enough herbs for the fall and winter for 50 dollars. I love the whole process, having pretty jars full of herbs and remedies in my cupboards, the aroma of herbs, and the fun of making the tinctures and syrups. Plus it feels like anarchy to be your own doctor. Herbs have antioxidants and other vitamins and minerals that allopathic medicine doesn't have, too. And because your body is better at using what it needs of whole herbs, doses don't have to be so exact.

You have to do your reading, though, because they are powerful and some have toxic properties, or shouldn't be mixed with certain things, but there are so many resources for learning about them. And you can always see a naturopath first and then order the bulk herbs. If you make the recommended remedies yourself, they are much more affordable.

On one of the videos, an herbalist shows you how to make $100 worth of valerian ticture for example for around $15 or less.

Anyway, Mountain Rose is a terrific, reasonably-priced supplier and here are some fun videos for making remedies.

http://www.youtube.com/user/mountainroseherbs

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

Here's a fun cartoon comparing single-payer healthcare insurance run by government to our fire protection.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jng4TnKqy6A

Gerald Socha (not verified) 13 years 13 weeks ago
#7

The Obama Administration needs to listen to the Thom Hartmann Show on health care reform. Medicare is universal health care for all. Why try to reinvent the wheel?

I was unable to comment on Monday's show so here is my dummying down of American education comment.

Both American and foreign CEO's agree that they would prefer to hire foreign educated workers. American educated workers for the most part learn rote learning and they do not know how th think, discern, and do trial and error problems. On standardized tests teachers have been teaching to the test and not challenging students to think for years. This trend started in the early 1970's.

Gerald Socha (not verified) 13 years 13 weeks ago
#8

I have solidified my belief in the real America with the reading of two articles - Stephan Lendman's article, "A Culture of Violence" and Ray McGovern's article, "Christians largely mum on torture."

We should not be surprised that the American people who claim to be a Christian people have accepted assassintion squads. Assassinations and torture are truly the American way.

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

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gXL998q7skI
John Pilger - Obama and Empire, recorded july 4th, 2009

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

I hope you get to read this before confronting the libertarian about health care. Every time you are debating someone on this they always bring up the profit motive in supplying better health care. Occasionally they also mention how foreigners will come to the States for treatment.

I live in Minnesota, home to the Mayo Clinic where so many of those very rich foreigners go (as well as Reagan) because it is arguably one of best medical facilities on the planet. Also we are home to Hazelden, rehab of the rich and famous. And the University of Minnesota Hospitals, birthplace of open heart surgery and of course a government run facility.

What do all these places have in common besides MN? They are all non-profit. As far as I can tell all the hospitals in Minnesota are, as is primary care insurance (despite being the headquarters of UnitedHealth). As the Harper's article that you mentioned a while back pointed out, health care costs here are relatively low. Also, we have one of the lowest rates of uninsured in the country, and some of the best hospitals in the world. And profit had nothing to do with it. Quite the opposite. And those government emergency workers and county hospitals did a hell of a fantastic job when the I35 bridge fell. (In a way it was kind of the anti-Katrina.) And they didn't do it for profit.

Don't let him get away with that profit-makes-it-better nonsense.

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

U.S. Chamber of Commerce seeks trial on global warming
The nation's largest business lobby wants to put the science of global warming on trial.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, trying to ward off potentially sweeping federal emissions regulations, is pushing the Environmental Protection Agency to hold a rare public hearing on the scientific evidence for man-made climate change.

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-climate-trial25-200...

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

Add 4 More to the Palestinian slow genocide body count. Thom Hartmann and his allegiances to murder and killing must be pleased to hear the news....

4 Palestinians Killed in Israeli Attacks

In Israel and the Occupied Territories, four Palestinians have been killed in a pair of Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip. Three Palestinians died earlier today when Israeli warplanes bombed a tunnel along Gaza’s border with Egypt. A Palestinian farmer was killed and another Palestinian wounded in a separate Israeli attack. The killings come as the Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad has unveiled a plan to declare a provisional Palestinian state within the next two years. On Monday, Palestinian Authority spokesperson Nabil Abu Rudeineh said the Israeli government is preventing meaningful peace talks.

http://www.democracynow.org/2009/8/25/headlines#9

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

While I am disillusioned by many Obama Administration actions and policies so far, I saw this article in yesterday's NYTImes and thought, "those dam_ right-wing Republicans":

"Obama’s Team Is Lacking Most of Its Top Players"

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/24/us/politics/24confirm.html?_r=1&scp=20...

Obama is also without Sen. Kennedy and Daschle, upon whom his pregame healthcare reform relied and counted as very valuable assets in achieving reform.

I guess I won't talk about "stars" not being aligned, but this is starting to feel like a sisyphusian task.

Thom,

BTW, I will try not to sound in despair, tho one of the guests you had on yesterday (don't know who --- I only listened a short time before I couldn't take it anymore) certainly dropped the "makings" of despair like a ton of bricks (predicting Sarah Palin as the next president if Obama doesn't come through with healthcare reform.)

'Seems to me that the "Left" can be just as hyperbolic as the "Right."

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

A Pittsburgh Post-Gazette cartoon reprinted in The Week smartly summed-up the health care reform dilemma: There are three skydivers, one without a parachute. One skydiver, identified as “Obama,” is imploring the second, identified as “Congress,” to “Hurry.” Congress wants to know “What’s the rush?” He’s too busy immersing himself in a thick tome entitled “How to Make a Universal Health Care Parachute.” The third skydiver, identified as “The Uninsured,” is trying to get their attention. Naturally, he is the one without a parachute.

It is a simple matter, really. While Congress dithers, people continue to suffer. Worse, Congress—unless the president decides to advance into the fray with a baseball bat—may not figure out how to make a “parachute” that will open, or make one that contains too many holes to prevent the uninsured and under-insured from ending-up being a greasy spot on the ground.

brian a. hayes (not verified) 13 years 13 weeks ago
#15

i want a strong government that protect s its citizen from corporate greed ,anger and folly.

Food Fascist (not verified) 13 years 13 weeks ago
#16

Get this a hole Thom! We dont have the money to feed the Health insurance PIGS!

Food Fascist (not verified) 13 years 13 weeks ago
#17

Wayne is on Cocaine!

Food Fascist (not verified) 13 years 13 weeks ago
#18

Why do I have to call your Billionaire in order for me to go to the DR. How free is that- how libertarian is that! [you paid off schill nut]

Food Fascist (not verified) 13 years 13 weeks ago
#19

ALERT MADISON, WISCONSIN A gal called into the Stephanie Miller Radio Show this morning to say that ABC’s 2020 is planning to film an event full of only Dick Army’s Freedom Works – [those supporting the Health Insurance Industry] She said the only way to sign up for the event is to sign up at http://www.freedomworks.org/.

JOIN NOW! http://www.billionairesforwealthcare.com/HOME.html

Food Fascist (not verified) 13 years 13 weeks ago
#20

REP Maxine Waters calls Blue Dog Senators and those against health care reform Neanderthals. FOX NEWS reports Maxine declined to be on the show and so they play a tape of Rush No Brain commenting on Maxine - oooohhhhh America is about to see who has been lying to them and who lied to them about sending its children off to fight an in just war against an imaginary bogey man, in which they tortured, and killed and murdered innocent civilians.

http://iheartradio.com/pages/whitehousebrief.html?an=VIDEO-Maxine-Waters...

Food Fascist (not verified) 13 years 13 weeks ago
#21

Our government is our neighbors Colburn you NUT We the People you sick twisted creeps.

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

I don't understand why Thom isn't telling this libertarian that individual success doesn't come from a vacuum, unless you win the lottery. "Success" comes from knowing the right people, getting breaks that some other people might not receive, hiring people to labor to make your product, convincing enough people to buy your product., and trying to avoid paying taxes. If we lived in just world, it is people like Root who get over-paid for doing nothing but mouthing the corporate line who should be "penalized" for their "success."

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

Ir's not just in the preamble to the Constitutuion. Article 1, Section 8 clearly states:

"The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States;"

Food Fascist (not verified) 13 years 13 weeks ago
#24

The USA 's commitment to judicial rule of law is hardly exemplary....OUCH

and Mel Gibson is no brave heart anymore, since he is now a cradle robber and ditched his wife and family- just as a typical Republican - which character in Braveheart would Gibson play now, that he has been exposed for what he is....

brian a. hayes (not verified) 13 years 13 weeks ago
#25

what is the mindset that needed to be changed that president obama spoke of during the election?

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

"Mel Gibson is no brave heart anymore, since he is now a cradle robber and ditched his wife and family- just as a typical Republican – which character in Braveheart would Gibson play now, that he has been exposed for what he is…."

Girolamo Savonarola would be a good role for him.

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

i feel that the greatest life condition for people is one based on compassion by taking actions for others. working for social justice. when we see injustice in society ,we take actions to correct the injustice. to live our lives in total freedom based on truth and justice.

Quark (not verified) 13 years 13 weeks ago
#28

brian a. hayes,

You last post seems to epitomize what all the enlightened "prophets" throughout history have tried to teach us. Beautiful ideas to which to aspire...

mundy (not verified) 13 years 13 weeks ago
#29

Where is a link to the speech by the Canadian about health care? Video? Anything?
This stuff needs to be easily accessed, immediately if possible, so when I hear it on the radio, I can run to my Facebook and throw it on there...before I forget! :)

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

what qaddafi son did regarding the bombers release was folly. what is lacking in society is people of wisdom. people that understand the interconection of all life. in buddhism we call greed anger and folly the 3 poison of life people must understand that they have to develope their lifes first then society will change man and his enviroment are not seperate

Food Fascist (not verified) 13 years 13 weeks ago
#31

Blackwater - it seems to be that President Obama has a pattern of keeping the bastards that got us into this mess on board...........we can only hope it is to uncover the dead bodies...........where are our new attorneys? On board to get Rove and cooperate with that investigation. This is so scary. Per Braveheart Character, [not the cradle robber MG!] Hold.....Hold..........Hold...........!!!

brian a. hayes (not verified) 13 years 13 weeks ago
#32

don't panic everything i feel and live is based on the teaching of nichiren buddhism as practice by the soka gakkai intenational. where by chanting nam myho renge kyo can awaken one to these qualities of life.

Quark (not verified) 13 years 13 weeks ago
#33

brian a. hayes,

Please don't think I was panicking just because I didn't reply. I was just thinking about your comments and contemplating how they are so positive and how much they feel "right" for a well-lived life. Thank you for sharing your insights. They are welcome thoughts.

Richard L. Adlof (not verified) 13 years 13 weeks ago
#34

The human animal is communal. The human mind is forged of language. Language is agreed upon codex that allows two or more human animals to communicate concepts.

The very act of communication invalidates Libertarian concepts. Heck, the very thought of Libertarian concepts invalidates because the concepts are framed in language.

Food Fascist (not verified) 13 years 13 weeks ago
#35

Thank you- I needed this: chanting nam myho renge kyo can awaken one to these qualities of life.

And this too: The human animal is communal. The human mind is forged of language. Language is agreed upon codex that allows two or more human animals to communicate concepts.

Mark (not verified) 13 years 13 weeks ago
#36

I wonder if anyone remembers the Sidney Lumet film "Network" from over 30 years back. It told of a struggling network that had been sold to a corporation. The news department was told that taking a loss simply for editorial integrity was out; it too had to make a profit. The only way to do this, apparently, was to transform itself into an "entertainment" entity. It also had to take care of any insinuation that foreign countries might be influencing the slant of American news reporting; the corporation was being invested in by the Saudis. Since this film was a satirical in nature, many viewers took it with a grain of salt. Today, of course, it seems all too prophetic.

Quark (not verified) 13 years 13 weeks ago
#37

Mark,

A few weeks ago, I pasted a link to "Network" on this blog.

When the movie came out, I remember thinking it couldn't get that bad --- it seemed like a cartoon to me at the time.

We have so MUCH to thank the corporations for. NOT!

Quark (not verified) 13 years 13 weeks ago
#38

'Just came across this. Even with miles between us, we can be positive forces in each others' lives:

"Online Canasta Player Saves Woman's Life"

http://news.aol.com/article/tulsa-woman-saves-nebraska-woman-through/638460?icid=main|htmlws-main-tarana|dl5|link2|http%3A%2F%2Fnews.aol.com%2Farticle%2Ftulsa-woman-saves-nebraska-woman-through%2F638460

Mr. Nice (not verified) 13 years 13 weeks ago
#39

Hi thom - I heard you talk about Bloombergs FOIA on the Federal Reserve. Go to http://www.independent.org/blog/?p=2339 and you will see that $9 trillion plus $1 trillion fron 2008 is unaccounted for. Fed. Reserve Inspector General Elizabeth Colemans response to Congressman was...

At a hearing in early May, Federal Reserve Inspector General Elizabeth Coleman was asked by Congressman Alan Grayson (D-FL) to account for the $9 trillion in off-balance sheet transactions ($30,000 for each man, woman and child in the U.S.) plus a $1 trillion expansion of the Fed’s balance sheet since last September. Her answer is that no one at the Fed knows or is keeping track of where the money has gone.
Mr. Nice

Thom's Blog Is On the Move

Hello All

Today, we are closing 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:
"If we are going to live in a Democracy, we need to have a healthy middle class. Thom Hartmann shows us how the ‘cons’ have wronged this country, and tells us what needs to be done to reclaim what it is to be American."
Eric Utne, Founder, Utne magazine
From Unequal Protection, 2nd Edition:
"Hartmann combines a remarkable piece of historical research with a brilliant literary style to tell the grand story of corporate corruption and its consequences for society with the force and readability of a great novel."
David C. Korten, author of When Corporations Rule the World and Agenda for A New Economy
From Cracking the Code:
"In Cracking the Code, Thom Hartmann, America’s most popular, informed, and articulate progressive talk show host and political analyst, tells us what makes humans vulnerable to unscrupulous propagandists and what we can do about it. It is essential reading for all Americans who are fed up with right-wing extremists manipulating our minds and politics to promote agendas contrary to our core values and interests."
David C. Korten, author of The Great Turning: From Empire to Earth Community and When Corporations Rule the World and board chair of YES! magazine