Friday - September 25th 2009

Ithaca college imagesThom broadcasts live from Ithaca College in beautiful Ithaca, NY!

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

Hour Two: "The health care debate continues" Thom mixes it up with Ithaca's resident conservative Mark Finkelstein of Newsbusters

Hour Three - Jeff Cohen


DRichards (not verified) 14 years 39 weeks ago

Obama will bypass Congress to detain suspects indefinitely

Rather than seek approval from Congress to hold some 50 Guantanamo detainees indefinitely, the administration has decided that it has the authority to hold the prisoners under broad-ranging legislation passed in the wake of Sept. 11, 2001. Former President George W. Bush frequently invoked this legislation as the justification for controversial legal actions -- including the NSA's warrantless wiretapping program.

This is change we can believe in?

Mark (not verified) 14 years 39 weeks ago

It is clear that what is needed on Barack Obama’s “economics team” is someone like Dr. Ravi Batra to shake things up. That won’t happen, since shaking the Wall Street brain trust is likely to cause traumatic “brain” damage. Economics is, after all, an imprecise “science” where there as many ideas as people, which is probably why Barack Obama does not feel comfortable with pursuing a major change of course by taking advise from a real economist—especially one who deals in nuts and bolts instead of stock market tricks. Innovative policies can either right the ship, or sink it, which is maybe why Obama prefers to depend on the advice of Wall Street “experts.” The problem is that these “experts” only know the variables of that cause the stock market to go up, or down, and how much money they or their friends will make, or not make; sometimes that variable can merely be an off-hand statement that strikes chaos in the minds of investors. Wall Street is far too conservative when it comes to governing itself or its activities; on the other hand, it is far too reckless in playing with people’s money as if it was a game of Monopoly. The funny thing is,most of the money they are playing isn’t even real anyways.

Now a comment concerning the caller on Thursday who wanted medical specialists to make millions, while primary physicians should exist as bottom feeders. The AMA was founded in 1847 for the express purpose of making the medical profession “worthwhile”—that is, to make money for doctors. That is why they restrict the number of doctors—if the pool of doctors is too big, then doctors allegedly will make less money. The AMA has been permitted to accredit medical schools; schools that enroll over the prescribed limit of medical students risk loss of accreditation. Why the AMA has been allowed to be the sole judge of accreditation and licensing procedures when its intent has nothing to do with quality but everything to do with quantity for purely monetary considerations is something that health care reform needs to address. By deliberately restricting the number of doctors, the AMA in fact reduces the quality of care.

One other thing on a local (no, not “Glenn Beck Day” where Beck will receive the key to his hometown of Mount Vernon, WA). Last June, an unarmed Snohomish County man named Nile Meservey was fatally shot by an as yet unnamed Everett police officer, apparently for the crime of being drunk. Meservey was leaving a restaurant, where apparently “concerned” patrons notified police when he got into his car. The officers boxed in Meservey with their patrol cars; one of the officers tased him while he was inside the car, instigating a muscle reaction that caused the car to lurch forward. Mesevery was then shot seven times, dying at the scene.

This man was drunk, but is this sufficient reason for police to use lethal force of an excessive nature? It was clear that he did not intend to hurt anyone. Police at the scene lied in their subsequent report, claiming that he had hit a woman with the car; the woman has denied this occurred, saying that she tripped herself. Everett police have made no effort to investigate the actions of the officers at the scene, and the county medical examiner, Norman Thiersch—who has not called for a police inquest in ten years—stated that “there’s no purpose behind an inquest.” He may be right, if for the wrong reasons; I have lived in this state for almost twenty years, and I have never heard of an inquest jury declaring a death caused by a cop “unjustified”—to be expected, since inquest questions are loaded in favor of police. In the meantime, the family of the murdered man is hoping a $15 million lawsuit will entice answers.

Mugsy (not verified) 14 years 39 weeks ago

A question for Bernie:

Why must these "triggers" work in only one direction: "public only if private fails"?

Why not pass an UNRESTRICTED Public Option (that ANYONE can join) with a "trigger" of putting its repeal on the November 2011 ballot?

If after 20 months, if the Public Option hasn't reduced costs and/or improved quality, let voters decide if they want to go back to the old system.

Quark (not verified) 14 years 39 weeks ago


Re: one of your last posts yesterday.

Actually, Bette Davis said, "Hang on. It's going to be a bumpy NIGHT!"

About 1/4 of the way down the page:

(This has always been one of my favorite lines.)

DDay (not verified) 14 years 39 weeks ago


OK you got me. I was operating off of memory. Now you know why I get nervous in this crowd. Too smart for me. Actually to firm this up, Bette Davis said as the character Margo Channing: "Fasten your seat belts, it's going to be a bumpy night." I probably won't make this mistake again. None the less the meaning I intended for Gerald is intact. I thought someone would correct me over the wrong title I gave Ravi Batra's latest book. I muffed it too. I conflated and mixed his main title with his sub-title. "The New Golden Age" is what I should have written. Now we begin again renewed and corrected. I guess we all should fasten our seat belts ! I can still hear Bette the way she punched the word bumpy. That is what I remembered most accurately. Thanks Quark, the overlaps and many things we apparently share in common is freaky but cool.

DRichards (not verified) 14 years 39 weeks ago

US Govt May Fail In 5 To 10 Years -

Interview with Marc Faber -
By Bloomberg News

Click to view

Quark (not verified) 14 years 39 weeks ago


Thanks for your cx, too! It's too good a bit of dialogue to forget (tho, obviously, we both did! LOL)

Quark (not verified) 14 years 39 weeks ago


I look forward to reading the article. It does seem to me that our government has been failing ( for most of its citizens) for quite some time now, tho the final nail has yet to be driven in, I guess.

B Roll (not verified) 14 years 39 weeks ago


There was a revealing 20 seconds or so on Countdown, guest hosted by Lawrence O’Donnell, on Tuesday September 22. O’Donnell had Hillary Mann Leverett (former National Security Council Director for Iran and the Persian Gulf) as a guest for a segment on Obama’s efforts to get negotiations going between the Israelis and Palestinians.

There wasn’t anything unusual about the conversation, although it’s unlikely that you’d hear such an analysis on Thom’s show. What was revealing was about 20 seconds of visuals (B Roll, if you will) that came near the end of segment.

Leverett talked about two problems with Obama’s strategy to bring about a settlement between Israel and the Palestinians: 1) Leverett said that Obama’s focus on settlements has only annoyed the Israelis and that he hasn’t done enough on the settlements to get any results. 2) She said that Obama has a misplaced focus on Arab states making concessions. She said that he should be focusing on the Palestinians not the Arab states.

At this point O’Donnell pointed out that Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority, who the U.S. is negotiating with doesn’t represent all the Palestinian people. Leverett agreed and said that Hamas has to be included at the table. At that point there was a change in the nature of the stock video footage on the screen.

Up to that point the images on the screen switched between live footage of O’Donnell and Leverett and footage of Obama walking, speaking etc, and shots of Obama with Benjamin Netanyahu and Mahmoud Abbas. Everyone looked good, dressed in suits, appearing cool calm and collected.

But then Leverett said the word “Hamas” and within two seconds there was a cutaway to stock footage of hooded Hamas fighters in military uniforms marching with automatic weapons. Then there was a cut to their booted feet marching, then to a group of them getting up after praying in what looks like a dark courtyard or street and then two shots of armed hooded fighters stiffly swinging their arms as they marched past the camera. It was five menacing shots in around 20 seconds.

So, The United States was represented with images of our elegant black president rather than our massive military or the horrific damage we’ve done in countries like Iraq and Afghanistan. Israel and the Palestinian Authority were represented by their well dressed leaders rather than their militaries. But Hamas which also has sophisticated well dressed leaders is portrayed as ski mask wearing, gun totting menacingly marching fanatically praying fighters.

Ironically, while O’Donnell and Leverett were talking about the need to include Hamas at the negotiating table, somewhere behind the scenes, a decision was made (possibly instinctively rather than malevolently) to put up footage of armed menacing men.

I’m sure that neither O’Donnell or Leverett had any roll in choosing the footage.

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

we need campaign reform asap. government is the people. i want a strong government to protect its citizens from corporate power.

Quark (not verified) 14 years 39 weeks ago

brian a. hayes,

Re: "we need campaign reform asap. government is the people. i want a strong government to protect its citizens from corporate power."

Michael Moore said the same thing, along with suggestions on how Americans can make a difference in this situation on MSNBC's "Morning Meeting" today. It was a great interview. I'll post it as soon as a link becomes available.

B Roll (not verified) 14 years 39 weeks ago

To all George Lakoff fans

Sonali Kolhatkar had an excellent interview this morning with Lakoff about his book "The Political Mind". It can be listened to or downloaded at

Look for the Uprising show. Different shows in the archive remain there different lengths of time. This program is up only 13 days.

Heads up: KPFK is currently in a fund drive so there will be some interruptions for fund raising, but it's fairly limited an might add up to less time than the commercial breaks during an hour of Thom's show.

P.S.: Lakoff thinks "Medicare for all" is terrible wording though he does think it's better than "Single Payer".

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

we need universal heathcare for all. the rich can have their private gold plated insurance plans. its that simple mark finkelstein. when you talk less power for government you give more power to corporate interest.

Quark (not verified) 14 years 39 weeks ago

brian a. hayes,

Re: "when you talk less power for government you give more power to corporate interest."

yes, and money in your own pocket!

DDay (not verified) 14 years 39 weeks ago

i wish the Dems would take their heads out of their donkeys and apply cognitive linguistics like Lakoff endorses. The Repubs have used these effective words and techniques against us for decades with appalling success. Public option?
Phooey! Public choice? better.

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

we must understand a lot of the right wingers want a conflict between iran and israel to push the end of times. you have nuts like john hagee. to them it would be a religous war to bring the second coming of jesus. to them its christian against muslim.

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

we must raise our voices to say i want a strong government to protect its citizens. the right has been leading the debate on this say the problem is the government. the bush years has shown us what happens when government does nothing to protect its citizens. the republicans will spend and borrow. halliburton has stolen from the tax payers over charge our troops for services like a can of coke, and go off shore to avoid taxes this is the problem corporate power over the government of the people for the people.

Quark (not verified) 14 years 39 weeks ago

Interesting article in yesterday's business section of the NYTImes:

"Britain’s Top Financial Regulator Takes On Banks"

From the article:

Banks “need to be willing, like the regulator, to recognize that there are some profitable activities so unlikely to have a social benefit, direct or indirect, that they should voluntarily walk away from them,” Mr. (Adair) Turner told the group.

In March, he published the Turner Review, a 126-page report that combined eye-catching charts, intricate economic analysis and an overlay of thinly veiled disgust. It became required reading in the City, as well as on Wall Street and in Washington. On Capitol Hill, Mr. Turner has established a working rapport with Representative Barney Frank of Massachusetts, the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee.

Some suspect that Mr. Turner — who was nicknamed Red Adair in the 1990s after he wondered aloud if British workers had an adequate share of the economy — takes a dim view of free markets in general and enjoys railing against them.

Quark (not verified) 14 years 39 weeks ago

Michael Moore on "Morning Meeting" today (see my previous post on this):

B Roll (not verified) 14 years 39 weeks ago


The whole Democracy Now show yesterday was an interview with Michael Moore.

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

tims idol must be glenn beck lol

Quark (not verified) 14 years 39 weeks ago

The caller from Golden Valley, MN, must be a member of the Minnesota Republican Party. I've had several run-ins with them in the past. They have been, in my experience, nasty, cocky, mean, ruthless loud mouths. There's no way to have a real conversation with them.

Quark (not verified) 14 years 39 weeks ago

Thanks, B Roll. I'll look it up.

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

there has been many diferent types of revolutions throughout history. time now in the 21 century its time for human revolution, where people develope their lives to a life condition of compassion ,total freedom and wisdom. my mentor dr. daisaku ikeda talks about this concept of human revolution.

B Roll (not verified) 14 years 39 weeks ago

Glass-Steagall – Can we get rid of it?

Everyone’s saying we need to get rid of Glass-Steagall. But Lori Wallach the director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch division pointed out the difficulties in an interview with Juan Gonzalez today on Democracy Now. Here’s a snippet of what she said.

“I mean, the busting of Glass-Steagall, which, by the way, we listed in the WTO as one of our commitments, to reform Glass-Steagall, because it created firewalls between insurance, securities, banking. It, you know, kept banks from gambling with our savings—good idea. The WTO commitment lists reforming Glass-Steagall, getting rid of it. That all happened during Clinton. So not just at the WTO, but domestically, a lot of the folks who came from the Clinton administration who are now in the Obama administration—Larry Summers, Geithner—were in on this.”

There's also a great interview with Wangari Maathai the Kenyan environmental and political leader ant Nobel Prize winner.

One really cool thing about the Democracy Now website is that you can watch or listen to the show and a few hours later there’s a written transcript up on the site.

DDay (not verified) 14 years 39 weeks ago

Quark & B Roll,
Re: Michael Moore

My German Shepherd, Homer, got me up extremely early this morning so i found myself watching Willie Geist's "Way too early" show. He had one of what I derisively call the MSNBC Bimbo babes on the line to discuss Michael Moore. This entertainment reporter, (don't recall her name), was saying how she found it "ironic" that M. Moore was railing against capitalism when he had grossed over 120 million on one of his previous movies! I found her logic curious and circular. It reminded me of the paradox presented by the movie "Elephant Man"". If you show a movie about the exploitation of an individual, are you in turn exploiting them at the same time? Of course this reporter didn't harbor such deep thoughts. In fact she admitted to watching the movie on the upper west side of New York where most of the audience was comprised of the uppermost 1% who own 95% of everything. She seemed to think that Moore was a bit of a phony because he had been successful, so how could he attack capitalism? I hadn't noticed that all those millions had done much to improve Michael's wardrobe, however. for all I know, he gives to a lot of charities.

Quark (not verified) 14 years 39 weeks ago


My cat, Lily, gets me up early, too. I used to watch Willy Geist and, later, Joe Scarborough. I've had it up to my eyeballs with them --- just can't listen anymore (for the very same reason as your example.) So now, I just read and play with Lily. 'Much better start to the day! LOL

DRichards (not verified) 14 years 39 weeks ago

Outfoxing the 9/11 Coverup
When 9/11 Commission Chief Counsel, John Farmer, released his book, The Ground Truth, debunking his own 9/11 commission report and was supported by Chairman Thomas Kean and commission member Senator Bob Kerrey with no dissent, the cover story of 9/11 died.

This leaves us with these inescapable facts:

* We no longer have an official answer to questions about 9/11.

Gerald Socha (not verified) 14 years 39 weeks ago

Although the past few days have been hectic, I needed a break from commenting. I was able to read some articles.

The Afghanistan Nazi commander says that 500,000 soldiers will be needed in Afghanistan within the next five years.

The Nazi U.S. Senate votes to triple Pakistan's aid but votes no on health care reform for all Americans because we cannot afford it. Where are our priorities???

Obama says Americans are tired of war but he still will not say no to the extra soldiers to be killed.

Retiring Major General who built Gitmo said it was a bad idea from the beginning. Yet, Obama is expanding detention centers.

I have concluded that we are a certifiably crazy nation where the lunatics are running our asylums, such as the White House, the U.S. Capitol, the U.S. Supreme Court, the Pentagon, and the State Department. To survive in the U.S. you must be crazy and a Nazi.

Gerald Socha (not verified) 14 years 39 weeks ago

This is my command to you. It must be imprinted in your brain for all eternity as a Nazi American. WARS AND MORE WARS ARE GLORIOUS IDEAS BECAUSE IT IS THE AMERICAN WAY AND THE ONLY WAY TO RESOLVE PROBLEMS!!!!!

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 The Thom Hartmann Reader:
"Thom is a national treasure. Read him, embrace him, learn from him, and follow him as we all work for social change."
Robert Greenwald, political activist and founder and president of Brave New Films
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 The Thom Hartmann Reader:
"Thom Hartmann is a creative thinker and committed small-d democrat. He has dealt with a wide range of topics throughout his life, and this book provides an excellent cross section. The Thom Hartmann Reader will make people both angry and motivated to act."
Dean Baker, economist and author of Plunder and Blunder, False Profits, and Taking Economics Seriously