Monday August 17th 2009

pole-dancing-imagesHour One: Dear Obama.....Thom wrote a letter to Obama...about healthcare....

Hour Two: "Stimulus exposed...did tax dollars pay for sex dancing?!" Thom debates Robert Peters with Morality in Media www.moralityinmedia.org

Hour Three: "International Labor Update"  Canadian sex workers are pushing for decriminalization & getting stiff oppostion...Eric Lee www.labourstart.org

Comments

Loretta (not verified) 11 years 5 weeks ago
#1

If you can't afford health insurance here's a great yoga book to help keep you healthy. Flexibility could also come in handy if we need to lobby senators on healthcare reform with sex dancing:-)

http://www.rodmellpress.com/relax.html

Mark (not verified) 11 years 5 weeks ago
#2

Last week, Randi Rhodes received a call from Elmer Fudd, who said he wasn’t a regular listener but had been taking in opinions on the healthcare issue from various radio stations, meaning that for every pro-reform opinion he was hearing, 20 or so were opposed. This guy wasn’t much on thinking, having his mind already made up for him by someone else. Rhodes attempted to correct all of the misinformation he kept repeating point-by-point, but he just didn’t “get it.” The “highlight” of the conversation was when he stated his fear that there would be “affirmative action” involved in a public option. Rhodes had to ask him to repeat what he said, just to make sure she heard right.

Rhodes didn’t press Elmer to explain what he meant by “affirmative action,” but it is clear that people with race on the brain think that anything that has something to do with “the government” must mean that minorities will get “preferential treatment” in receiving access to a government-run plan, as if this was some kind of a free program in which only a certain number of people were allowed in—quite an odd notion when the right is complaining that healthcare reform really means “socialized” medicine for everyone. Minorities today (as yesterday and just as likely tomorrow) are underserved by the current healthcare system relative to whites; perhaps Elmer just wants to insure it stays that way.

A few weeks prior to this “discussion,” Rhodes received a call from a woman who said she only patronized doctors who refused to treat Medicare or Medicaid patients. It took awhile to determine what precisely she had against such people, but after some prodding, insinuations in regard to certain “personal habits” and the help of a subsequent caller who pieced the stereotypes together, it was clear that the terms the woman used could only be understood in a racial context.

It shouldn’t be a surprise that racism, has seeped into the healthcare debate, and it isn’t just about “the Mexicans.” Where would Elmer get such an idea? From Limbaugh, or he did he just make it up on his own? If it is the latter, it is further evidence (contrary to what Thom and some people on this page think) that this country either is regressing, or hasn’t travelled as far as we’d like to kid ourselves in thinking.

As an aside, the evening of Elmer’s call his sister Elma in Knoxville, TN weighed in on Coast-to-Coast. The topic of this particular show was the guest’s belief that the Afghan war was part of some internationalist conspiracy, and since Osama Bin Laden was (in his opinion) dead, we had no more reason to be there. An Afghan war veteran who claimed to be in military intel called to oppose both views (or at least a no comment on Bin Laden), but the guest cited as “proof” of his contention concerning Bin Laden the fact that he was not on the FBI’s most wanted list; as a matter-of-fact, he has never been on that list. Anyways, Elma wanted to know something that was entirely off-topic: She was a single white woman, and she wanted to know if she needed a handgun or a shotgun to defend herself against the forces of Obama when he announces martial law, presumably when the swine flu pandemic hits (maybe). The guest suggested a shotgun would be her best option. The question left hanging, of course, is why? And against whom?

Mark (not verified) 11 years 5 weeks ago
#3

Thom would have liked the lead story in the Seattle Times this past Sunday. Pakistani girls in this country are receiving educational opportunities that most would not be receiving in their native country. Only 18 percent of Pakistani girls have some high school education. This is outrageous, and a prime example of gender discrimination. Pakistani boys, on the other hand, have much greater access to a high school education.

Here is a multiple choice question: What percent of Pakistani boys have some high school education?:

A. 93 percent
B. 77 percent
C. 54 percent
D. 23 percent

If you guessed A, you would be wrong, and it shows just how much gender politics skews reality. If you guessed D, you would be right, and it shows that you have an awareness of how class often trumps gender in countries like Pakistan and India. Just because men may dominate political and economic life in certain countries, the people that do are usually members of the elite class that maintains itself by keeping the majority of people—males as well as females—in an illiterate or under-educated state. In many other parts of the world, boys are given guns instead of an education, to be used as cannon fodder by warlords.

An accompanying story reveals the “open secret” that female soldiers are courageously involved in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan, usually when fired on in convoy movements or IED attacks. When I was in the army, all soldiers—male, female, infantry, cooks—were required to be qualified in an M-16 or side arm. It would certainly hurt morale if some soldiers couldn’t or wouldn’t fire their weapons (even in self-defense), because it would endanger everyone’s lives.

According to the latest DOD confirmed fatality list from all causes for military personnel in Iraq, 111 have been female personnel (44 from “non-hostile” causes), 2.4 percent of total fatalities; 14 percent of all U.S. military personnel in Iraq are female. The real issue is not the high fatality rate of female soldiers, but that there are any U.S. soldiers there to die at all.

DRichards (not verified) 11 years 5 weeks ago
#4

White House Appears Ready to Drop "Public Option"

http://www.truthout.org/081609J?n

Philip Elliott, The Associated Press: "Bowing to Republican pressure, President Barack Obama's administration signaled on Sunday it is ready to abandon the idea of giving Americans the option of government-run insurance as part of a new U.S. health care system. Facing mounting opposition to the overhaul, administration officials left open the chance for a compromise with Republicans that would include health insurance cooperatives instead of a government-run plan. Such a concession would likely enrage his liberal supporters but could deliver Obama a much-needed win on a top domestic priority opposed by GOP lawmakers."

DRichards (not verified) 11 years 5 weeks ago
#5

Swine flu jab link to killer nerve disease:

Leaked letter reveals concern of neurologists over 25 deaths in America 15 Aug 2009 A warning that the new swine flu jab is linked to a deadly nerve disease has been sent by the Government to senior neurologists in a confidential letter. The letter from the Health Protection Agency, the official body that oversees public health, has been leaked to The Mail on Sunday, leading to demands to know why the information has not been given to the public before the vaccination of millions of people, including children, begins. It tells the neurologists that they must be alert for an increase in a brain disorder called Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS), which could be triggered by the vaccine. The letter, sent to about 600 neurologists on July 29, is the first sign that there is concern at the highest levels that the vaccine itself could cause serious complications.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1206807/Swine-flu-jab-link-kille...

JeffS (not verified) 11 years 5 weeks ago
#6

check out the snapshot of the health insurance sector from Goog Finance:

http://www.google.com/finance?catid=us-52935503

The booming stock prices of the healthcare companies should tell you all you need to know.

Notice how the AFLAC's and UNUM's are down?

It's because those guys are supplemental insurers; they would have benefited from real reform. That's why AFLAC makes all it's money abroad! We're the only country in the world (with money) with our ass hanging in the wind for primary care.

CNBC will cry all day about the sinking market and will never even mention that the healthcare racketeers are making a killing today.

Tom Y (not verified) 11 years 5 weeks ago
#7

I expect that any attempt to pass the simple Medicare-for-all solution would be met with a barrage of misinterpretations/mischaracterizations along the lines of those which are only too familiar to us.

E.g. "It's going to destroy Medicare"."It's a backdoor to government funding of abortions", "We can't afford it", "It's socialist", etc, etc, yadda, yadda...

brian a. hayes (not verified) 11 years 5 weeks ago
#8

to me the arts is a spiritual experience. through the arts people express their humanity people that want to suppress the arts are evil. they do not want people to inspire others in positive ways

Loretta (not verified) 11 years 5 weeks ago
#9

Mark,

Thank you for your awesome posts. I am so disgusted with the racism and sexism infiltrating the right. The nutcases are coming out of the woodwork right now.

The statistics you shared about education in Pakistan were also very interesting. Instead of sending guns to Afghanistan we should be sending solar and wind energy technology to help their citizens become leaders in the alternative energy industry. Continuing to kill innocent civilians with more bombing and fighting will only create more terrorists. We need to focus on social welfare to compete with the Taliban.

And also, the hate speech entering the left via jabbing right wingers is very depressing too. Mental illness is under attack via jabs at the right wing talk show host who cries so frequently. (I've forgotten his name suddenly). And the sexism that surfaces while people are critiquing Palin is pretty disgusting too.

People need to get their points across without demoralizing millions of other innocent people. We aren't doing ourselves any favors by disenfranchising women or those with bi-polar disorder while we critique the ridiculous views on the right. There are much better ways to go about it. Thom Hartmann and his blog are a great example of intelligent, positive ways to debate.

The interesting discussion on sex-dancing is a good example of discussing important issues that can spin quickly out of control in a tough minded yet positive and meaningful way.

brian a. hayes (not verified) 11 years 5 weeks ago
#10

we must fight back harder and kick ass. we have truth on our side when they yell .we yell louder speaking the truth. lets get ready to rumble

Food Fascist (not verified) 11 years 5 weeks ago
#11

Would Jefferson wish us health care?

See? Preamble is to promote the general welfare

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America

Loretta (not verified) 11 years 5 weeks ago
#12

Thom,

Your letter is brilliant. That turns the argument around. Those who oppose medicare for all are interfering with my right to choose the best healthcare plan.

DRichards (not verified) 11 years 5 weeks ago
#13

Re: Stiff opposition

Thom, your "Get screwed by Thom Hartmann" ad always makes me chuckle too!

Food Fascist (not verified) 11 years 5 weeks ago
#14

Ask Shawn if she will be our poster child - although, you know what the right will to her, what they did to Max Clelland.

Food Fascist (not verified) 11 years 5 weeks ago
#15

Say- does anyone here have the link to that FAIR.org article about the media sitting on boards of health care insurers? I was at that site and am not sure that I had it and am multi tasking.

Mena Sprague (not verified) 11 years 5 weeks ago
#16

I spoke earlier about not media coverage of Rep. Adrian Smith's (R NE) Town Hall meeting in Aurora, NE last Friday. Here is the email I received from the editor of the regional daily newspaper.
Mena:

I have no idea where the town hall meeting was on Friday. We recvd no notice or press release about it. We did cover his meeting with the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in G.I. on Friday and that was on page one of the Saturday edition. We did have notices about his appearances in Osceola and Aurora on Friday, but they were not billed as anything resembling town hall meetings. Where was the town hall meeting?

loganeagle (not verified) 11 years 5 weeks ago
#17

If I had the money I would wager any republican or person opposing heathcare reform that if a survey were taken in countries like Canada, England, Germany, France or Italy and the question was..."If you could choose between the system you now have or the one in the United States, which would you take?" I think that if 20% picked the United States, I would be stunned. Until that number reaches 50% plus, don't give me anecdotal stories. In the United States, in poker betting terms, I will see your story and raise you fourfold.

Mark (not verified) 11 years 5 weeks ago
#18

A public option should be Medicare in another name, and I think Thom is right in suggesting that the terms of the healthcare debate should be changed to accommodate it. It would be so much easier for people to grasp what "public option" means.

The caller before the end of the first hour merely confirmed my contention at the top of this page. I would add that most of those "brown people" sitting in hospital waiting rooms are not in there for themselves, but for their children--the "natural" result of substandard living conditions.

Rasta (not verified) 11 years 5 weeks ago
#19

MORE RESULTS OF THOM HARTMANN'S ALLEGIANCE TO THE PALESTINIAN EXTERMINATION

Human Rights Watch Calls on Israel to Investigate "White Flag" Shootings of Gaza Civilians

Human Rights Watch released a report last week detailing new evidence of possible Israeli war crimes committed during last winter’s Operation Cast Lead in Gaza that left over 1,400 Palestinians dead. The report says Israeli soldiers unlawfully shot and killed at least eleven Palestinian civilians, including five women and four children, who were in groups waving white flags to make clear that they were civilians and not combatants. We speak to HRW’s Fred Abrahams and air exclusive video from Gaza from Democracy Now!‘s Anjali Kamat and Big Noise Film’s Jacquie Soohen.

http://www.democracynow.org/2009/8/17/human_rights_watch_calls_on_israel

Paige (not verified) 11 years 5 weeks ago
#20

In today's program, you mentioned Bill Clinton's advice to President Obama to pass something, anything and call it reform. (Remember Bill Clinton's cheerleading for NAFTA.) As a modest proposal, President Obama and the Democrats could stand up, go for real reform -- including a smart and viable public option. Then, in the unhappy event that real reform does not pass, Republicans and Blue Doggers will bear the natural consequences of their positions. Let them answer constituents' pleas for help with the insurance/big pharm behemoth; let them respond to political opponents in the next election. The heartbreaking abuses, crippling economic pressure on American businesses, and other outrages of the current health care system are simply too universal, too grave, for any facile political fix. Go for the real thing!

Mark (not verified) 11 years 5 weeks ago
#21

I appreciate Loretta's comments in regard to my earlier posts. However, it should not be ignored that the hate speech of right-wing radio does have an effect on people who are "unbalanced," whether emotionally or mentally. I would also suggest that Palin doesn't deserve a "sexism" defense; this is a self-obsessed individual who will tread on anyone in pursuit of power. If she ever does decide to run for president, I hope that SNL does a "Dead Zone" parody where Christopher Walken shakes hands with Palin, and sees what lies in store for us if by some bizarre scenario she should become president.

DDay (not verified) 11 years 5 weeks ago
#22

Thom,
I believe your letter was brilliant too. I just wonder, since our President's W.H. said that a public option was not an "essential element", should we trust them? or should we hope that the W.H. is putting up a trial balloon? and in doing so basically holding a knife to their own best friend's throat and warning their opponent to "GET BACK!" or "I'll kill 'em!" "Em" being us who agree with you, Thom. Those who want to see him succeed. I hope the President takes your idea. I fear he may need to feel heat from his base before he stops only using them. He could use some help, not only from the people, but also from the middle. Senator Amy Klobuchar has had thousands of petitions concerning single payer health care delivered to her local office in MN. from us local Democrats here in Michelle Bachmann's Sixth MN. Congressional District without ever even acknowledging them. The SILENT middle in the Senate needs a swift kick in their collective arses. Whatever President Obama's true methods and motives really are, he needs all handst to pitch in. I have noticed that you've started using the metaphor of playing poker to describe the President's "game". I'm still waiting to hear whether the Prez is playing checkers or chess. Whichever works, we are the ones whose arses are on the line. Sorry about the rant. You try living in Bachmann Land! Hope you are liking the weather here Thom.

DDay (not verified) 11 years 5 weeks ago
#23

Thom,
I believe your letter was brilliant too. I just wonder, since our President's W.H. said that a public option was not an "essential element", should we trust them? or should we hope that the W.H. is putting up a trial balloon? and in doing so basically holding a knife to their own best friend's throat and warning their opponent to "GET BACK!" or "I'll kill 'em!" "Em" being us who agree with you, Thom. Those who want to see him succeed. I hope the President takes your idea. I fear he may need to feel heat from his base before he stops only using them. He could use some help, not only from the people, but also from the middle. Senator Amy Klobuchar has had thousands of petitions concerning single payer health care delivered to her local office in MN. from us local Democrats here in Michelle Bachmann's Sixth MN. Congressional District without ever even acknowledging them. The SILENT middle in the Senate needs a swift kick in their collective arses. Whatever President Obama's true methods and motives really are, he needs all hands to pitch in. I have noticed that you've started using the metaphor of playing poker to describe the President's "game". I'm still waiting to hear whether the Prez is playing checkers or chess. Whichever works, we are the ones whose arses are on the line. Sorry about the rant. You try living in Bachmann Land! Hope you are liking the weather here Thom.

Food Fascist (not verified) 11 years 5 weeks ago
#24

Just a little news on Rasta here. I researched his other blog posts and seems he is also charging Santa Claus with the starvation of the Ethiopians! That Rasta, he is some journalist.

Loretta Long (not verified) 11 years 5 weeks ago
#25

Mark.

I completely agree with you and I was afraid my comment would be misinterpreted. The point I am making is not that sexism should be used to defend Palin, but that sexist remarks shouldn't be used to criticize her. There are plenty of non-sexist reasons to dislike just about everything she says and when we on the left stoop to sexist humor or in the case of the crying talk show host, Glen Beck, when we stoop to humor that basically puts down everyone with bi-polar illness we aren't making good arguments.

Some of these comments are funny but even though I abhor the hate speech by the right-wing talk show hosts I felt offended by the way mental illness was characterized by Ring of Fire this weekend. They were backhandedly criticizing bi-polar disorder while they were satirizing Glen Beck.

There has to be a way to totally humiliate these mindless bozos without insulting innocent people that share characteristics with these fools. Women as a whole don't have to be insulted in order to prove Palin a fool and folks with bi-polar disorder also don't need to feel any more humiliation simply because an idiot talk-show host shares their condition.

Do you see what I mean now? It's a hard thing to make clear:-)

Loretta Long (not verified) 11 years 5 weeks ago
#26

I wanted to say one more thing about this. Nastier arguments with heated, intense debates offer a kind of laboratory where prejudices seem to surface and we seem to be more willing to allow to be part of the argument some prejudices more than others, or rather some prejudices seem to be more acceptable than other ones.

If we take the time to observe and reflect, passionate arguments give us an opportunity to talk about tacit assumptions and hidden prejudices we might not have known existed in ourselves and others until we started the street fighting. It brings them to the surface and I think they need to be talked about.

nora (not verified) 11 years 5 weeks ago
#27

MEDICARE-FOR-ALL as Thom's editorial today suggested, is better than a private insurance dominated so-called public option.

(Isn't it weird that a private industry dominated plan should be called a "public" option???)

My friend who is an economist major dampened my enthusiasm for Thom's suggestion, however, by asking me questions I could not answer. So I share them here:

o Current Medicare recipients/participants paid into the system over years prior to participating in the program at retirement, so they may feel put upon to suddenly have to share the Medicare funds with a flood of millions who would opt in to "Medicare-for-All", no?

o How would it be funded? Would new taxes on the now tax exempt Richest (which is called that stupid term 'tax cuts') be used? Or would citizens choosing Medicare-for-All buy into the program ? -- and at what rate? Medicare for seniors results from years of paying in; how does a system like the one suggested immediately provide for a large universe of active members? (I believe, if we can give Halliburton and Blackwater Mercenary Supply billions in open-ended no-bid contract$ for an illegal war, and the Banksters a $700 billion Bail-Out (egad), we also can seed a Medicare-for-All program!)

So if I missed Thom's detailed proposal, can someone steer me to a place it is posted here?

Many thanks.

Loretta (not verified) 11 years 5 weeks ago
#28

Hey Rasta,

Why do you think Thom wants Palestinians exterminated? Did you hear him say something anti-Palestinian? Because if you did, you could argue your point in a rational way.

Right now you have lost credibility because of your false accusations. I feel you believe very very strongly in your cause, and it is such a very important cause that I would like to see you use credible arguments so that people will believe what you are saying. It isn't fair to Palestinians to give their argument a bad name by falsely accusing people when there are so very many people who have brought great harm to Palestine who do need to be criticized.

We need to focus our energies on the actual guilty parties in this terribly sad crisis. When you criticize Thom in what appears to be irrational outbursts, you have the opposite effect of what you are trying to achieve.

I love it when you argue rationally because you make many many good points.

So please help provide us with the real information we need to help fight for the rights of Palestinians in Gaza.

Beep (not verified) 11 years 5 weeks ago
#29

I've been supporting HR 676 http://www.hr676.org/ and now I'll be supporting your proposal as well. Some murky "public option" was never going to do it for us anyway, not by the time the private rip-off artists were done sticking conditions onto it. I do agree with the person who is calling for Medicare Part D to be fixed. Some of us are trapped onto it as we are not old enough (although I'm getting there) to qualify for Medigap policies. California used to pay my Part D premium and my Part D copays but my beloved Governor has let me know that it might just be my turn to die rather than roll back the states recent corporate tax giveaways. D is for Doughnut hole of Death. What happens when you let private corporations help write the plan. I know people don't trust the government. So, don't trust it; watch it like a hawk. But you can't watch private corps that way (well you can but it's illegal to bug their executive offices.) Enron should have told us not to trust them but if that wasn't enough how about last autumn's Wall Street collapse? I don't understand why this is such a partisan issue. We are already paying more than every other country does, per citizen, for good health care coverage...we just aren't getting what we pay for. Where is all that money going? Duplicative paperwork? To pay for people to keep denying the care you need and the drugs you need, harassing your doctor's office's to the edge of sanity (I was a medical insurance biller.) How about marketing? Lobbyists? Oh and let us not forget upper-level salaries and perks! Dividends? TV ads? A whole heck of a lot of things except health care? Medicare gets confined to the seniors and the disabled/chronically ill. This puts the most expensive users of care on the taxpayers' dime. While the private cos. get to cherry-pick who gets to give them premiums. Nice scam oops I mean system. If you are not the taxpayer, that is. I wish the radical right would sit down and shut up and let the rest of us have some health care. You know, that's not tea they're drinking.

Trevor Seitz (not verified) 11 years 5 weeks ago
#30

http://www.bobcesca.com/blog-archives/2009/08/doof_quote_of_t_58.html

Not quite keep your gov't hands off my medicare, but it does infer that the gov't doesn't run it....

misterdirk (not verified) 11 years 5 weeks ago
#31

I just heard in passing Thom's joke about creating a little pledge card so that conservatives could sign on the dotted line to opt out of Medicare and Social Security. It sounded like a great idea, even if he was being satirical. Is anyone following up on that? Can someone point me to such a thing if it exists yet?

Wicked (not verified) 11 years 5 weeks ago
#32

Great galloping gods, please tell me that I am not the only one here who took note of the wretched pun in the following headline: "Canadian sex workers are pushing for decriminalization & getting stiff oppostion". Other progressive I know were rolling over this one!

Trump has told us how he and the Republicans plan to steal this election: can we stop him and save our republic?

Thom plus logo Donald Trump became president by exploiting a loophole called the Electoral College. The majority of Americans did not want him or vote for him as president, but he's there anyway.

Now he's planning on using a different loophole, the 12th Amendment, to hang onto power.
From Unequal Protection, 2nd Edition:
"If you wonder why and when giant corporations got the power to reign supreme over us, here’s the story."
Jim Hightower, national radio commentator and author of Swim Against the Current
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
From Screwed:
"Thom Hartmann’s book explains in simple language and with concrete research the details of the Neo-con’s war against the American middle class. It proves what many have intuited and serves to remind us that without a healthy, employed, and vital middle class, America is no more than the richest Third World country on the planet."
Peter Coyote, Actor and author of Sleeping Where I Fall