Wednesday August 5th 2009
Carl Wolfson and Christine Alexander from the KPOJ morning show are filling in for Thom today - Thom's on his way to LA. Don't miss him tonight at The Santa Monica Public Library, 601 Santa Monica Blvd. Event is Free!
Hour One: Wendell Potter www.prwatch.org Why our healthcare system needs an overhaul
Hour Two: Jeremy Scahill www.rebelreports.com Blackwater Founder Implicated in Murder?
Hour Three: "Everything You Know is Wrong...about Woodstock?!" Thom speaks with Elliot Tiber, author of "Taking Woodstock: A True Story Of A Riot, A Concert, And A Life" about the festival's 40th anniversary www.ElliotTiber.com
The idea that this country would be better served if it depended solely on “volunteerism” and "good will" rather than the government to assist the impoverished and under-served seems rather like pie-in-the-sky whimsy. There are religious and non-profit organizations that provide food or temporary shelter, but these only address short-term survival needs, not long-term issues like lack of work, medical insurance or sleeping under an overpass. Even though religious and community organizations do what they can within their budgets and level of donations, in hard times they have to do more with less. For individuals in hard times, they have to look after their own needs first. The rich, it seems, are too busy donating to their own “charities,” like the local symphony, opera house, art museum or their college's football booster fund.
Recalling an experience I had many years ago, I once received a letter from the state unemployment insurance office, informing me that since I had worked for an organization of a religious nature, I was ineligible for unemployment insurance. A functionary at the Department of Human Services informed me that since I was an “able-bodied single male” I was on my own, and there was nothing they could do for me except give me a few dollars worth of food stamps. Just for fun I looked through the community services listing in the phone book; there were rows and rows of services for women and “families,” but nothing specifically for men, although presumably the Union Gospel Mission and a food bank would provide assistance for some.
It is thus quite easy to see how people might find themselves in a situation that might be hard to dig out of. The fact is that in a country that lacks a true social safety network—not to mention such things as universal health care—“volunteerism” is not equal to the task, and never was. This country has long passed the time when most people felt a moral obligation to help even their own kin in need or when aged. Federal and state government programs that by default must pick-up the slack are themselves not entirely up to the task because of underfunding and opposition from right-wing politicians, who continue the disengenuous deceit that government has already insinuated itself too much into the social contract.
I find it fascinating that Thom and the other superstars of progressive talk radio are headed to Republican Kent to give a show at the ShoWare Center, and I have purchased a ticket. I’d like to give Thom a little background about the Center site. Perhaps the first thing you notice is how out-of-place it seems. On one side is a low-income neighborhood. Why is this significant? Because that brick fortress topped with barbed wire directly across the street from the Center is the King County prison complex, which was deemed a socially acceptable place to put it. The Center itself is built on what used to be a playing field for neighborhood kids and little-league soccer—when it wasn’t transformed into a swamp after a heavy rain. On the other side is a railroad track parallel to is the Interurban Trail, where Lance Armstrong wannabes in their silly tights take the Tour de South King County, with its scenic drainage ditches and picturesque industrial parks.
The first large silver metal utility pole adjoining the trail (streetside with the Center) has a swath of green paint rising six feet from the base. Why is it there? Why naturally it is to cover something up. What is it covering up? Racist graffiti. A few years ago someone or someones decorated the pole with Nazi symbols, “Die N(blank)r,” “Whites Only” and a stick figure with a raised penis and a line rising from its neck, obviously a portraiture of a lynching. It was identified as a “Dead “N(blank)r.” Perhaps not surprisingly in a town like this, it remained undisturbed for at least a month despite being so close to the street.
I contacted Arlen Specter recently about Single Payer Health Care and the Public Option. He responded with a long message about the complexity of the issue, but he did say that he is open to considering the Public Option for health care reform. Please contact his office to show your support for this option just to reinforce in him that it is what the public wants and needs.
202-224-4254 DC Number
Other Numbers are available on his website.
Here is another one of those stories about how brainwashed people are on the right. I know someone who argues that the government option would be very bad for our society. They argue that government destroys everything it touches. However, one of them served in the military for 8 years and loved the government health plan that they had while serving so much that they cannot wait until she reenlists later this month to get back on that spectacular plan. I cannot believe how obsurd that is that someone will tell us that we don't want a governent health plan when they are choosing to get one by reenlisting.
I am looking for information regarding the health care debate. Clearly, the single payer option is simpler to use and understand than any other option. It would reduce administrative overhead, and take the expense of insurance company profits out of the cost of health care.
That said, why is the debate not about single payer? The White House is vehement about the "Public Option" competing with private insurance and they insist that this is not a path to single payer.
If the public option is not on the path to single payer, what does it do exactly?
Thom me and my wife are currently under two seperate BC/BS plans and we are paying about $550 a month between the two and $7500 a year in deductibles ,so what I am going to do is drop my BC/BS because it has the $4500 and is more exspensive in premiums, so I offer this suggestion to all like me who have a health care plan that is self funded by their employer and drop it and get others to do the same if their spouse has good coverage.I know it will hit alot of company`s hard because it`s hitting them in the bottom line.On Jan !st 2010 I will be switched over to United Health care because Delta bought NWA my employer and we get to sibsidize Bill McGuire`s pay check,hopefully not me and my fellow union brothers and sisters who have dual health care.As of yesterday I am waiting to hear from the AFL CIO health care task force through my union the IAM to see how I can help with health care and it`s issues pertaining to working middle class folks that are losing everything because of health care costs.
DanSnith, please look at web sites like think porgress.org,Huffington post,Pleasecutthecrap.typepad.com,you can also check out the movie Sicko and the Bill Moyers interview with Wendall Potter and J,R. Reed(Reid) not sure on his spelling articles and books on health care around the world.
Got another example of brownshirt action, this one in my own hometown. If I had KNOWN this town hall was happening, I would have showed up and tried to offer some reason to the debate...if you could call it that...
I don’t know if being both extremely arrogant and extremely self-pitying is a peculiarly Russian trait, but Birther birthmother Orly Taitz amply gave a demonstration of it on MSNBC the other day. Taitz, a Russian immigrant whose command of the language makes Arnold Schwarzenegger’s sound like King’s English, came off as completely insane, her mangled tirade fit only for a belly laugh. Although it is now long since clear that the latest Obama birth certificate she is pushing is a forgery—in fact a forgery so obviously contrived that it seems that it was never meant to be taken as anything but a joke—it is still being used as exhibit number one by this patently racist fool, and the fools who follow her.
Mark , I look at this whole charade as RACISM from the Reich and their KKK members who have fooled a whole of seniors into thinking they will lose the Medicare and the lives,and that Obama is from another planet.
Dan Smith, It`s T.R.Reid not J.R.
TTF said it so beautifully yesterday. Single-payer or at least a public option in health care reform should be called (or something equally easy to understand):
HEALTH CARE DIRECT!
In my opinion, this clarifies the description of health care that the corporations would like to remain muddy and confusing.
I have used this frame several times since yesterday and will contact Obama, my senators, etc. to suggest they adopt it.
Great, if not terribly recent, article I found on Huffpo yesterday -
The Real Lesson of Iran - Beware America' Republican Mullahs, by Frank Schaeffer
Something else the MSM won't be telling you about, from yesterday's The Nation -
Blackwater Founder Implicated in Murder - by Jeremy Scahill
BTW - Will RASTA expend enough time and effort on this site today to actually read this post? ... Not F'in likely!
(Oops - this shoulda been in all caps, shouldn't it?) :D
mstaggerlee , The story was on countdown and Rachel last nite and it brings a whole new perspective to the Bush crime family.Reacg the Blackwater book by Mr.Scahill, it`s excellent.
Here are links to the depositions referred to in Jeremy Scahill's Blackwater article -
I rarely get to listen to Thom, but I'm working from home today and Thom's not there. Thanks for the folks filling in though. At least I'm getting good progressive talk rather than the other blather that would be available to me otherwise.
On a lighter note, is anyone surprised Bill Clinton rushed to North Korea after he heard about two Asian girls in bondage?
Lloyd Doggett Tea-bagger update: http://www.traviscountydemocrats.org/fullstory.php?artid=1637&db=current...
I am glad to hear that Doggett is more committed to health care reform, and that they, and the local media, recognize this bush whacking for what it was.
MORE OF THE ZIONIST CENSORSHIP, INHUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVITIES AND “PUBLICITY STUNTS ” (AS THOM TERMS IT) FOR HIS CHARITY FUNDED AND SUPPORTED ISRAELI FASCIST STATE
WILL THOM HARTMANN HAVE THE SPINE TO FEATURE THESE ACTIVISTS ON HIS SHOW TO TALK ABOUT THE HEAVY HAND OF ISRAELI AUTHORITARIANISM, FASCISM AND APARTHEID?……NOT F’N LIKELY.
Israel Deports Three US Peace Activists
Three US peace activists from Minneapolis have been deported from Israel after trying to enter the country as part of a human rights delegation. Israeli officials reportedly said the three were security risks and would not be allowed to enter the country. The activists are Sarah Martin, a sixty-nine-year-old retired nurse, and two members of the Anti-War Committee, Katrina Plotz and Karen Sullivan.