Friday - September 17th 2009

bernie imagesHour One: "Brunch With Bernie" Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) spends the hour with Thom discussing the issues and answering listener questions


mathboy (not verified) 14 years 39 weeks ago

Thom, you need to read this article. It's about having a corporate takeover of education--Walmart University.

Mark (not verified) 14 years 39 weeks ago

If anyone thinks that my post yesterday is in need of moderation, which I take to mean I was unfair to Thom (I must observe, however, that I never see a "awaiting moderation" for Rasta's posts), I'll submit this: I think Thom is conflicted on issues such as immigration, as many people are, because left-wing principles often run head-on with right-wing impulses. I still think he's a good guy, though.

Mark (not verified) 14 years 39 weeks ago

Now that my Joe Wilson imitation is out of the way, back to health care reform. In the aftermath of President Obama’s speech, Sen. Max Baucus discovered a sliver of audacity hidden somewhere in his conservative being, declaring that he was prepared to move without the Republicans on the Senate finance committee in putting forward a health care reform proposal. On Wednesday, like some Bizzaro the Conjurer, he revealed a rather hastily cobbled-together “plan,” that at first blush appears to be the product of his alchemistry set: a “nonprofit” co-option with no public option; no requirement for employers to provide health care benefits, but obliged to pay a reimbursement fee to the government for subsidizing insurance for their employees; and an “excise tax” on high-end insurance, but no additional taxes on the richest Americans.

Republicans predictably dismissed it out-of-hand (because they have no intention of supporting anything proposed by a Democrat, even a Blue Dog), and Democrats ranged from lukewarm to positively scornful (because this plan is pure idiocy, let alone not a serious one). After six months, this all Baucus’ committee could come with it? What have they been doing—sitting on their fundaments, waiting for the insurance companies to submit their proposal, to sneakily rename it as a finance committee production?

Baucus’ plan should be dismissed without further ado, because it should be obvious that there was never anything worthwhile to be had from his committee, given its right-wing decline.

B Roll (not verified) 14 years 39 weeks ago


I've only seen the "awaiting moderation" message on this board once before; It was on a very civil post I made in which I disproved (using undeniable facts) one of Thom's claims.

What your post and mine had in common was they both were very long. Mine was over 2000 words. Yours looked like it could be of a similar length. I think there may be a length limit programmed into the software on this board. My post had that awaiting moderation message and after a while it disappeared.

I read your comment the day you posted it and didn't see anything particularly offensive that you said about Thom. I have no way of knowing what happened, but I suspect it had to do with the length of the post. That's why I made by post on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict (that you enjoyed so much) a 2 part post.

As for Rasta, he had at least 1, maybe 3 comments deleted from the Tuesday/Wednesday blog. He posted a comment as Rasta, then it looked like he posted a comment agreeing with Rasta's comment as Jsmith or something. I think he may have been deleted for doing the sock-puppet thing.

Michael Gregory (not verified) 14 years 39 weeks ago

A story I have to share…

I used to love debating the role of government with my conservative Republican mother-in-law, especially when there was a legitimate debate over what actually makes a people more free and secure, and which policies can actually work as intended. After realizing we were not even basing our arguments on the same facts and figures (things that cannot be disputed), we stopped. How can you have any meaningful philosophical discussion when you disagree on the facts?

Anyways, my mother-in-law was visiting this week; out of the blue she turns to me and says, “I read an article that proposed allowing all Americans to buy into Medicare. It could be paid for from the common fund for seniors, children, and the disabled. Everyone else can have the option to buy into it. Why isn’t anyone pushing this instead of a ‘government take-over public option’?” Wow! She had no idea that this is exactly the public option many people would love to see. It made sense to her, and she LIKED it! Now, I understand Thom has had this idea for a while, but somehow I doubt my mom is reading Common Dreams, the Huffington Post, or listening to Thom on the radio. I’m guessing she read Bill Moyers OpEd in the Washington Post. Regardless…

Bravo Thom for simplifying a complex issue with a common sense solution that even some conservatives can appreciate. Unfortunately, after I informed her that this is actually a progressive solution that many Democrats would love to see passed into law, she suddenly seemed not so sure anymore. We’ve become so polarized that the merits of an idea are clouded by party loyalty. What a shame. How do we overcome this hurdle?

Gerald Socha (not verified) 14 years 39 weeks ago

I was reading in the Tikkun Magazine or on the Network of Spiritual Progressives bog that the Day of Atonement is not just for Jews. As a cradle Catholic I BELIEVE that a Day of Atonement should be set aside one day of each month. It should be a day when Americans reflect on their crimes against humanity, such as wars, torture, and the rape of other nations' resources.

Quark (not verified) 14 years 39 weeks ago

B Roll,

'Glad to see your post. 'Missed you...

B Roll (not verified) 14 years 39 weeks ago


Thanks. I thought of you yesterday while I was in line at a store. I have an addition to our past discussion about spirituality.

I was in line at a checkout stand. One line over there were two families. Each had a child too young to walk in their carts. The children saw each other and each reacted by trying to reach out to the other. They wanted to make a connection.

I'm fascinated that children that age seem to recognize other young children as being members of their tribe. They accept each other without question and want to connect, while they're more suspicious of adults they don't know.

Mundane things like this seem to touch my spirit (such as it is) and I find beauty and healing in them.

PS: I've been reading but not posting.

DRichards (not verified) 14 years 39 weeks ago

Yesterday I had my two posts listed as "awaiting moderation" They were simply links to news articles.

DRichards (not verified) 14 years 39 weeks ago

The GOP was right to be afraid of Sonia Sotomayor

Politically, you had to wonder why the GOP was so up in arms about Sonia Sotomayor -- it was terrible politics, after all, to alienate Latino voters as their power as a voting group continues to grow. Maybe it's because Sotomayor is proving to be the Republicans' worst nightmare: A Latina who's wise enough not to buckle to the clout of American corporations:

WASHINGTON -- In her maiden Supreme Court appearance last week, Justice Sonia Sotomayor made a provocative comment that probed the foundations of corporate law.

During arguments in a campaign-finance case, the court's majority conservatives seemed persuaded that corporations have broad First Amendment rights and that recent precedents upholding limits on corporate political spending should be overruled.

But Justice Sotomayor suggested the majority might have it all wrong -- and that instead the court should reconsider the 19th century rulings that first afforded corporations the same rights flesh-and-blood people have.

This is the true battle for the heart and soul of the Supreme Court -- and of America. Not all the -- pardon my initials -- BS that wastes everyone's time during these increasingly pointless confirmation hearings. The real story of justice in America since the 2004 election is this, that George W. Bush appointed two of the most corporatist flunkies ever to the bench in John Roberts and Samuel Alito and now we have Sotomayor seeking to tip those scales back toward the people.

It's probably not enough. Sometime in the coming months, the Roberts-Alito court is going to vote 5-4 to allow a flood of corporate money into American politics, which will probably result in legislation that will make the billionaire bailout of Wall Street seem as tame as voting to rename a post office. You want to know the real problem with Justice's that we don't have four more like her.
-Will Bunch

B Roll (not verified) 14 years 39 weeks ago


Did you have multiple links in your posts? I've had posts disappear that had more than 3 links in them. Now I never put more than 2 or 3 links in any post.

rak (not verified) 14 years 39 weeks ago

WSJ on Sotomayor's "There could be an argument made that that was the court’s error to start with… [imbuing] a creature of state law with human characteristics"

Quark (not verified) 14 years 39 weeks ago

'Looks like the "gang of six" has become the "gang of four" (video):

Quark (not verified) 14 years 39 weeks ago

B Roll,

Your "standing in line" story was lovely. Not only do very young children "recognize" each other, I've noticed that people who are sensitive to animals often have a special "relationship" with them (or recognition of a kind of friendship), even if they don't "know" them.

Anne Wayman (not verified) 14 years 39 weeks ago

Thom and all, I just called my two senators... Boxer and Fienstein (I'm in San Diego) to tell them that I changed my mind. I no longer want a "Public option" because it's become too polluted with profit. I want a single payer...but I think I may have come up with a worthwhile meme - the public option is polluted with profit - in fact campaigns have become polluted with profit... government has become PWP...

Thanks for being there,

B Roll (not verified) 14 years 39 weeks ago


I'm not sure if you're saying that people who are sensitive to animals have a special relationship with animals or with youngins. I'm not a big animal person so I wouldn't know about that. But now that I think about it, a lot of children reach out to me in stores. I just assume they reach out to a lot of people.

I almost put in my post, but decided to apply self-discipline. that I've noticed that dogs seem to behave the same way that children do. I've seen something like this countless times. I'm walking around at some outdoor event and see someone walking with their dog on a leash. Someone comes walking a dog in another direction and the two dogs recognizes each other as dogs and try to connect, usually in a friendly manner.

brian a. hayes (not verified) 14 years 39 weeks ago

we need campaign reform now. max baucus has shown us the urgency for reform. thom mentioned that if each taxpayer payed $10 this would be enough for reform, than it would be funded by we the people.

brian a. hayes (not verified) 14 years 39 weeks ago

do some people hate america for what american corporation have done around the world?

Jonnee Kohler (not verified) 14 years 39 weeks ago

1)It has become obvious that this is an antitrust problem, and Conyers has introduced a bill to remove the antitrust protection from the insurance business.
Why not have insurance/and or health care provided cheaper by Canadian companies, or those from the EEU or by Britain or China, Brazil??
2) in the Kucinich hearings yesterday, the insurance reps lied by omission, possibly directly, but oddly, they revealed they believe a public option would put them out of business.
3) see my fake newscast and comment at kos site above

brian a. hayes (not verified) 14 years 39 weeks ago

i will never forget Milton Friedman saying greed is good.

Quark (not verified) 14 years 39 weeks ago

B Roll,

Okay, I'll get specific and use my husband as an example (though I've known other people to whom this applies.) Mike seems to have a special "understanding" with animals. I've seen him "befriend" strange (in that he's never "met" them before) animals, talk to them and touch/pet them, when they don't react the same way to others. Maybe he is doing the same thing the "horse whisperer" does, I don't know. He also has this same kind of "relationship" with very young children. There is a real kindness, gentleness or "understanding" between him and those beings. (However, he doesn't have much patience for unthinking, unfeeling, self-centered adults.)

DRichards (not verified) 14 years 39 weeks ago

Obscene profiting from a fellow human being's ill fortune IS immoral!

dosaybe (not verified) 14 years 39 weeks ago

Socialized federal health care systems in the United States:

Federal Bureau of Prisons:
Veterans Administration:
Investigational studies (NIH):
Military retires:
Active Military:
Public Health Hospitals in past:
Merchant Marine Health care:
Public Health Service:
Indian Health Service:
Pennsylvania PACE card (Lottery pays senior's drugs)
Child Health Improvement Program:
Womens catastrophic cancer fund for uninsured women:

B Roll (not verified) 14 years 39 weeks ago


I've seen people who are like that way with animals. I hadn't noticed that they were like that with very young children.

By the way, I saw that you weren't feeling well the other day. I hope you're feeling better.

dosaybe (not verified) 14 years 39 weeks ago

A review of 10 years of uninsurance came out from Treasury on 9/11/2009

48 percent of non-elderly Americans are uninsured at some point over a ten-year span. Between 1997 and 2006, 47.7 percent of Americans under age 65 went at least one month without health insurance. As we discuss below, this percentage is likely an underestimate of the share of people who actually spent time without insurance during this period and an even greater underestimate of the share who will spend time without coverage over the next decade absent reform.
Individuals who lost health insurance within the past year are nearly three times as likely to have forgone a needed physician visit. Women who lost insurance within the past year are about twice as likely to forgo a clinically indicated mammogram,1 and among women diagnosed with breast cancer, being uninsured increases the risk of death by 49 percent.2 Children who have spent part of the previous year uninsured were about ten times as likely to have necessary care delayed due to cost.3 A 2002 study by the Institute of Medicine estimates that individuals without insurance have a mortality rate 25 percent greater than otherwise similar individuals with insurance.4
1 Ayanian J, et al., 2000, “Unmet Health Needs of Uninsured Adults in the United States,” JAMA1 Ayanian J, et al., 2000, “Unmet Health Needs of Uninsured Adults in the United States,” JAMA 284(16):2061-9.
2 Ayanian JZ, Kohler BA, Abe T, Epstein AM, 1993, “The relation between health insurance coverage and clinical outcomes among women with breast cancer,” N Engl J Med. 329:326-331.
3 Duchon, L et al., 2001, Security Matters: How Instability in Health Insurance Puts U.S Workers at Risk. The Commonwealth Fund.
4 Institute of Medicine, 2002, Care Without Coverage: Too Little, Too Late, The National Academies Press

Quark (not verified) 14 years 39 weeks ago

B Roll,

I have no way of knowing if ALL people who are sensitive to animals are also sensitive to young children. I just have known a number who ARE. Maybe they are able to suspend expectations or criticism --- I don't know. Maybe it's a willingness to let down one's facade and defenses and to be open...

That's kind of you to ask. I have been sick for over 2 weeks. It's finally improving a little, day by day. It's not the swine flu, but it's an infection that spread to my lungs. With mild asthma, it's prolonged.

B Roll (not verified) 14 years 39 weeks ago


Sorry to hear about your health difficulties, but glad that you're getting better. Now for the obligatory "Take care", as if you might not remember too.

Quark (not verified) 14 years 39 weeks ago

B Roll,

Thanks. Actually, I DO forget. (I guess I just don't want the focus on me. 'Seems selfish, somehow, tho that probably sounds dumb.)

Quark (not verified) 14 years 39 weeks ago

B Roll,

Be well.

Gerald Socha (not verified) 14 years 39 weeks ago
Gerald Socha (not verified) 14 years 39 weeks ago

Here is the final paragraph of the above article.

What a world might be like in which we began not just to withdraw our troops from one war to fight another, but to seriously scale down the American global mission, close those hundreds of bases — recently, there were almost 300 of them, macro to micro, in Iraq alone — and bring our military home is beyond imagining. To discuss such obviously absurd possibilities makes you an apostate to America’s true religion and addiction, which is force. However much it might seem that most of us are peaceably watching our TV sets or computer screens or iPhones, we Americans are also — always — marching as to war. We may not all bother to attend the church of our new religion, but we all tithe. We all partake. In this sense, we live peaceably in a state of war.

nora (not verified) 14 years 39 weeks ago

That Micheal Medved -- such a rude and dismissive way of interrupting, talking over, and verbally bullying in what was called a "debate". Sheesh. He wasn't a very good host to his guest either.

The most frustrating thing about listening to the exchange was it's self-contained format. We usually get to hear liberals discount a righty's words and ways. And I missed that.

nora (not verified) 14 years 39 weeks ago

Does Medved have a lower middle class relative who has tussled with the for-profit medical care delivery system? He sounds like a shining-eyed dreamer about our cruel and predatory for-profit healthcare system.

Loretta (not verified) 14 years 39 weeks ago

Can you give this link to Louise so she can listen to this great song?

Paul Delay was a very beloved blues singer from Portland. We miss him.

Thom's Blog Is On the Move

Hello All

Thom's blog in this space and moving to a new home.

Please follow us across to - this will be the only place going forward to read Thom's blog posts and articles.

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 Screwed:
"Once again, Thom Hartmann hits the bull’s eye with a much needed exposé of the so-called ‘free market.’ Anyone concerned about the future of our nation needs to read Screwed now."
Michael Toms, Founding President, New Dimensions World Broadcasting Network and author of A Time For Choices: Deep Dialogues for Deep Democracy
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