Monday - September 14th, 2009

liberal bias 2 imagesHour One: Why won't the news tell us what's really going on with the anti-health care rallies?

Hour Two: "McCarthyism on campus?!" Thom confronts conservative David Horowitz about "liberal bias" in academia www.davidhorowitzfreedomcenter.org

Hour Three: If we are to save the planet -  should economists learn to subtract?

Plus - Labor Update-why are we still outsourcing American jobs? Doug Cunningham of Workers Independent News reports live from the AFL-CIO conference in Pittsburgh, PA www.laborradio.org

Comments

Mark (not verified) 13 years 21 weeks ago
#1

It was amusing listening to the defensive measures some of these right-wing radio gasbags deployed in the immediate aftermath of Obama’s health care speech, gasping for breath and grasping for straws. “The Judge,” faced with callers who praised Obama (one gave his speech an “A+”), was unable or unwilling to refute the charge that the Republicans hadn’t seemed overly concerned about paying for Bush’s tax cuts for the rich or the Iraq war. Rather, he desperately enjoined listeners to ignore such mendacities of the past and face the fearful wrath of Obama, who will make you pay for health care reform. When another caller who praised Obama’s speech mentioned Joe Wilson’s outburst, the hapless Judge could only defend Wilson by pointing out that Obama was the one who said “lie” first; unfortunately, on the sound clip he immediately played to prove this, we hear Obama saying it was “false” that illegal immigrants would be covered, then Wilson shouting “lie,” which didn’t quite have the effect that was intended.

On another station, Michael Weiner—err, Savage—blathered about nonsensically about communism and Nazism, then lost his train of thought completely. Suddenly he remembered something of vital importance to the security of the nation : Why haven’t we heard from Michelle? Where is Michelle? Fortunately, or just coincidentally, he had handy a list of the 29 members her White House staff, who Savage referred to as her “servants.” She quit her day job as a lawyer just so she could have servants at the Big House. Funny how you never heard liberals have the bad manners to talk about Laura Bush and her “servants” at the White House, let alone the ones she deploys back at the ranch.

It hasn’t taken long for the racist right to regain its footing, however. One must note that it was when Obama said it was “false” that in his plan illegal immigrants would be covered, that Wilson was moved to shout out “You lie!” Most of the commentary in regard to Wilson’s outburst has focused on the rudeness of it. However, it should be pointed out that Wilson is clearly agitated about “the Mexicans” along with the rest of his constituency, which by the way has a history of not liking black people, either. In South Carolina (as in most of the South) anti-Latino hate doesn’t “discriminate” in terms of legality, as the SPLCenter pointed out in a lengthy report on the “civil rights crisis” that is accompanying the current phase of “dark-skinned” paranoia and xenophobia.

The fact is that the Republicans are reticent about immigration reform because it is too useful a tool to use to rile up their nativist, xenophobic and racist base. It’s like the death panels; the idea that the government wants to mandate death is absurd, yet there are people who hate Obama (because he has dark skin) so much that they can’t help but believe it no matter how often you tell them it isn’t true. The same with the belief that illegal immigrants will be allowed to participate in a public option; you can tell the bigots over and over again that it isn’t part of the plan, and that simply because you hate “Mexicans” doesn’t make it true, either. It just doesn’t seem to get through. Illegal immigrants are being used as a “race card” to cynically exploit white fears of health care equality, and wreck reform.

On Friday, Sen. Kent Conrad was pestered with questions by two reporters (probably working for Fox News) concerning illegal immigrant access to health care. He had to denied several times that there was any such intention, and had to dodge questions that were clearly aimed at tripping him up, like surely illegals could participate in a co-op if they paid for insurance. To his credit, Conrad took pains to point out that just because a person does not have a social security number, it should not be assumed that he or she is an illegal alien, and that those legal residents without Social Security numbers should still be allowed to benefit from the reform program.

Unreasoning bigotry is nothing new in this country. Back in the mid-19th Century, a political party calling itself the “American Party” formed in order to promote the rights of “real” Americans, which of course didn’t include Native Americans. Because this movement was actually born from secret societies whose members revealed nothing about themselves (like the KKK), the party became known as the Know-Nothing. Nativism, xenophobia and racism (back then, even Europeans were divided into “races,” a concept that would be used to promote immigration quotas beginning in the 1920s, and by the Nazis) was their calling card.

There were, of course, a few persons who found the “American” Party and its ideology repulsive: “I am not a Know-Nothing,” opined Abraham Lincoln. “That is certain. How could I be? How can anyone who abhors the oppression of negroes, be in favor of degrading classes of white people? Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we begin by declaring that ‘all men are created equal.’ We now practically read it ‘all men are created equal, except negroes.’ When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty-to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocrisy.”

Today, it Latinos who are American citizens whose “real” Americanism is questioned, denied or ignored; "real" Americans tend to regard you the same way regardless of your legal status. The immigration “debate” is what it has always been: a smokescreen to allow an “acceptable” vent for latent racist paranoid convulsions. If we didn’t have a Latino “problem,” the venting would merely be transferred to another group. After the outbreak of World War II, the Japanese residing in this country were unjustly interned; but just as shameful—and never acknowledged—was the fact that FDR allowed the forced expulsion of an estimated 300,000 U.S. citizens of Mexican descent from the country. They were not able to retrieve what was stolen from them, nor were they later given reparations.

It is interesting to note that until the 1920s when immigration laws were first put into force to slow the influx of “inferior races” (like Mediterranean and Eastern Europeans), there were no barriers to immigration save that of the price of ship fare—that is to say, by today’s laws, all whites who entered this land were “illegal,” at least insofar that nobody asked the natives' permission. And another note: There were as many as a 100 million indigenous people southward of the Rio Grande, from tens of thousands of years before the first white man showed his pallid form (most Europeans, by the way, migrated to "Europe" from central Asia). As in Africa, national boundaries were the white man’s arbitrary creation. One might fairly observe that it is one thing to cross a river, but it is quite another to cross an ocean and claim the land is yours. In the U.S., Canada, South Africa and Australia, whites assumed the right to steal the land from native peoples who existed in them for thousands of years; they then (and now) had the audacity to complain when their victims act on what they learned from the white man’s “just” ways.

DRichards (not verified) 13 years 21 weeks ago
#2

China Moves to Retaliate Against U.S. Tire Tariff
By KEITH BRADSHER
China took steps toward imposing tariffs on U.S. automotive products and chicken meat in response to American tariffs on tires.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/14/business/global/14trade.html?_r=1&th&e...

Perhaps a tariff war might not be such a bad idea. Perhaps it might force US to start manufacturing products in the US!

DRichards (not verified) 13 years 21 weeks ago
#3

Leading Financial Modeling Expert: Adam Smith Was Wrong About the "Invisible Hand"

One of the leaders of the new science of financial modeling - Rama Cont - points out that Adam Smith was wrong about the "Invisible Hand".

Specifically, investors in financial markets rationally pursuing individual profit can produce outcomes that are bad for almost everyone.

As an article http://www.city-journal.org/2009/19_3_financial-markets.html in City Journal notes:

Simple forecasts can also be mistaken if they fail to account for the actions of market participants themselves: investor strategies can influence prices, which in turn influence future strategies in a feedback loop that can cause considerable instability. Cont recalls the severe stock-market crash of October 1987, which seemed to strike out of the blue, since nothing significant was happening in the real economy. Subsequent research, though, blamed the crash in part on a new investment strategy, “portfolio insurance,” which a large number of fund managers had simultaneously adopted. Based on the famous Black-Scholes options-pricing model, this strategy recommended that fund managers reduce their risks by automatically selling shares whenever their values fell. But the approach didn’t take into account what would happen if many investors followed it simultaneously: a massive sell-off that could send the market plummeting. The 1987 crash was thus not provoked by events in the real economy but by a supposedly smart risk-management strategy—and the current downturn, of course, also derives at least partly from a global craze for a seemingly foolproof financial innovation...

Investors in financial markets rationally pursuing individual profit, then, can produce outcomes that are globally negative. Doesn’t that contradict classical economic theory? “Both theory and empirical facts do tend to show that, on the financial markets, the Invisible Hand does not always lead to welfare-improving general outcomes,” Cont replies.

http://georgewashington2.blogspot.com/

Quark (not verified) 13 years 21 weeks ago
#4

Mark,

"The Rainmaker" is to healthcare reform as "Network" is to news. It so clearly lays out what's wrong with the system. Here's a link to a trailer and rental download site (I'll keep looking for a free download site):

http://www.jaman.com/movie/John-Grisham-Rainmaker/0MX9Ujea-CRc/

It's a great story ('was on TCM this weekend.)

Quark (not verified) 13 years 21 weeks ago
#5

Thom,

I think you're pissed with me for my recent comments on this blog about global climate disruption --- "atmosphere destruction" is even better. (I stopped calling it global warming a long time ago.) I (lamely, admittedly) joked --- really, gallows humor --- that the upper midwest may at least get a warmer than usual winter. (Now this prediction has changed, too.)

You said it yourself --- we're all screwed. I really don't have a lot of hope. The planet will go on without us, as it has during past extinction cycles. Western man in general is too stupid or (more likely) too corrupt to listen to those who try to warn us to change our ways...

I periodically reference Jared Diamond and his writings on this blog. Here's a video which brings out the ideas in his recent book Collapse:

"Jared Diamond - How Societies Fail-And Sometimes Succeed - Long Now Foundation"

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=4271982381147720351#

Randy Winn (not verified) 13 years 21 weeks ago
#6

Ok friends,

For a delightful musical commentary on health care let me heartily recommend the Tom Lehrer-esque "We're Number 37!!!!!" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yVgOl3cETb4

It's not quite "Born In the USA" but it'll make you laugh ...and think!

lore (not verified) 13 years 21 weeks ago
#7

I was out with my signs for Health Reform! Along with a number of other people on Saturday. Why wasn't that in the news???
The signs - and flip side ----
Stop Hate - We are all in this together - Americans! (made in shape of stop sign)
Medicare for ALL! TRILLIONS in profits = MILLIONS in propaganda!
We did pass out leaflets, for those interested, that showed based info that was provided by Congresswoman Carolyn Kilpatricks office -- Health Information Reform!

Doug Wetzel (not verified) 13 years 21 weeks ago
#8

Thom, just listening to your list of corporate connections, and decided to go have a look at who else is on United Health Care's Board of Directors....imagine my surprise to find a familiar name:

Walter F. Mondale.

Yep...Fritz Mondale is on their board.

Hmmm.

DRichards (not verified) 13 years 21 weeks ago
#9

Charles Darwin film 'too controversial for religious America'
A British film about Charles Darwin has failed to find a US distributor because his theory of evolution is too controversial for American audiences, according to its producer.

It has been sold in almost every territory around the world, from Australia to Scandinavia. However, US distributors have resolutely passed on a film which will prove hugely divisive in a country where, according to a Gallup poll conducted in February, only 39 per cent of Americans believe in the theory of evolution.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/6173399/Charl...

belletiane (not verified) 13 years 21 weeks ago
#10

They are working against America, capping IQ _ when what we need is a ladder.

DDay (not verified) 13 years 21 weeks ago
#11

Quark,

I'm not sure why you think Thom may be pissed at you about your concerns over Climate Change, or Climate Disruption, or whatever the term of art is this week. I do know that the Heritage Foundation or some similar group preferred calling it "Global Warming" because it sounded more attractive and less menacing than Global Climate Change. It may interest you, Quark, (and Thom), that eight out of nine Republican candidates running to replace Tim Pawlenty as Governor in Minnesota are arguing over who is the biggest climate change denier. In fact one Moron who happens to be my State Senator and who is running for Guv. actually claims we are actually cooling! I kid you not. He also claims to be the biggest expert on all matters scientific at our State Capitol and in the legislature. God help us. Oh yah you betcha, he even is also a self proclaimed man of the cloth. He ministers to motocross people. I have never been able to confirm any real degrees or accreditation for either his theological or scientific claims. You can't make these things up.

Here is the interesting kicker. I hope this particular State Senator becomes the endorsed Republican candidate for Governor. That's why I haven't mentioned his name yet. I don't want to impede his accent. I want to see him climb to the top of the heap. The reason being; the higher you climb the harder the splat when you fall. In the interest of full disclosure I ran his opponent's campaign last election cycle four years ago. Just two weeks before election day I was able to get two campaign finance and ethics convictions against this idiot. Unfortunately, I couldn't get much coverage from our local newspapers. (Most were/are owned by the family of a former Republican Governor here) Most voters here never heard about the convictions. My candidate, a straight arrow, 25yr.military veteran (ret.) and now school teacher lost by less than 900 VOTES. Some might say, well ho hum an ethical or campaign violation is pretty boring. Who would be interested? Well, no the untold stories were fairly interesting and even funny. The Senator in question was represented by the same law firm that represented Norm Coleman in the recount fight. His convictions were for several infractions, but they stemmed from stealing public campaign finance funds and buying MODEL AIRPLANES! for himself! More than $1500.00 worth! Less than 6 months later I filed charges against him again and got a conviction for the more serious offense of KNOWINGLY filing false campaign reports. Again the papers here were not interested. They had another case that week which was more sensational in that it featured a conservative State Rep. in a domestic abuse case who had thrown a bible at his wife. (Rep. Mark Olson, R.)
I am praying that the senator in question who is now running for Governor will climb high. If he is able to reach a high enough place, perhaps the press will then look at his record. Here is my plea and prayer: If you live in Minnesota, send $5 to Sen. Mike Jungbauer, R. He is the self proclaimed "leading climate change denier" in the race. He deserves our support. If he gets the exposure he seeks, I can promise a just ending this time. It may even help our climate problems.

Note: To verify or research my assertions one can check out those local Republican owned newspapers at: HometownSource.com or ABC Newspapers. You can go to google and search Michael Jungbauer and ethics.
That is only if you have no life or on the off chance you are interested in this little story.

DRichards (not verified) 13 years 21 weeks ago
#12

Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this...oh, nevermind

The most interesting story of the weekend http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article6829735.ece (no offense, um, "patriots") came from overseas, proving that when it comes to foreign affairs and realpolitick, everything you know is wrong. Remember Margaret Thatcher, the "Iron Lady," Ronald Reagan's partner in conservative resolve?...except when it come to that whole Berlin Wall thing. This is pretty stunning in 20-20 hindsight:

Two months before the fall of the Berlin Wall, Margaret Thatcher told President Gorbachev that neither Britain nor Western Europe wanted the reunification of Germany and made clear that she wanted the Soviet leader to do what he could to stop it.

In an extraordinary frank meeting with Mr Gorbachev in Moscow in 1989 — never before fully reported — Mrs Thatcher said the destabilisation of Eastern Europe and the breakdown of the Warsaw Pact were also not in the West’s interests. She noted the huge changes happening across Eastern Europe, but she insisted that the West would not push for its decommunisation. Nor would it do anything to risk the security of the Soviet Union.

Like I said, this sounds pretty silly in hindsight. Perhaps Thatcher (and France and other western powers worried about German reunification) still had World War II on their brain, but more likely it's just the political inertia of wanting the status quo and fearing the unknown, even when the status quo is something as unconscionable as Soviet domination of Eastern Europe. Ultimately, the West owes a debt of gratitude to Mikhail Gorbachev, warts and all, who comes off as a resolute advocate for change -- while everyone else dithered.

http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/attytood/

mstaggerlee (not verified) 13 years 21 weeks ago
#13

I received a note yesterday, with the Sunday edition of my local newspaper, to the effect that they will be "outsourcing" delivery, and that this will be the last paper delivered by my local carrier.

My first reaction - "What - some kid in INDIA is gonna be delivering my paper now??!!"

My local paper is called the Times Herald Record, published in Middletown, NY (could the name more clearly indicate that it had already undergone a merger process more than once?). About 2 years ago, thy implemented an on-line bill paying system, the result of which was that we almost never saw our local carrier any more - the paper was in our mailbox when we woke up, and since the carrier did not have to come by to collect from us, we no longer saw him (or her, as the case may have been).

My second raection - "Boy, what a dummy this carrier is - if he'd told us about this earlier, we coulda given him one last tip!" That's when it occurred to me that, because the carrier no longer came to collect directly from us, we were only tipping him/her at Christmastime, anyway. I'm pretty sure the same is the case with most of my neighbors.

At some point last year, it was acquired by Murdoch's NewsCorp, local columnists gradually vanished, and most content came off the wire services. I've been considering dropping it for a while, now. This may be the last straw. With the economy shedding jobs at a frightening rate, this organization is phasing out the paper route - one of the best and most traditional income sources for young Americans.

lore (not verified) 13 years 21 weeks ago
#14

WHITE ROSE SOCIETY!!!!! The campuses were a hot bed of reaction!

lore (not verified) 13 years 21 weeks ago
#15

the famous Hitler quote about the campuses acting up ---- used in the 60's!

lore (not verified) 13 years 21 weeks ago
#16

sorry, but David Horowitz is so myopic and single minded that he is refusing discussion. he seems intent on ignoring reason.

Madilyn (not verified) 13 years 21 weeks ago
#17

He's all over the map., grasping & missing.
Thank you Thom.

Jericho (not verified) 13 years 21 weeks ago
#18

Perhaps, it's because Wall Street owns the Insurance cos?

Wall Street Banks hold these percentages of shares in Health Insurance giants and are increasing shares by the tens of millions.

United 77.32%
WellPoint 79.04%
Aetna 79.45%
CIGNA Corp. 68.71%
Coventry Health 82.25%
Health Net Inc. 79.37%

I DON'T WANT GOLDMAN SACHS BETWEEN ME AND MY DOCTOR!

lore (not verified) 13 years 21 weeks ago
#19

It’s ok to disagree and have a discussion! That’s how we figure out the best ways to fix it! By sharing knowledge and experience! That was the Populist movement – understand the problem and issues to find solutions.

Do you know the different options?

Government run health system: All hospitals are government owned and all doctors are government employees. (This is not part of any of the bills under consideration or being discussed).

Single Payer: All health care is paid for by government but hospitals and doctors may remain private.

Public Option: Government funds one of many insurance plans competing in the marketplace. Kind of like a brand x company buying health care for its’ employees. These costs are separate from Medicare and other programs. The costs are covered by those using this program.

Medicare, Medicaid, Veterans Administration – all government run health plans.

Currently, in the private insurance sector, the investors must be paid even if that means denying care to patient/policy holder.

Medicare Part B – was added to cover prescriptions but denied the government status of a big buyer getting reduced rates for high volume. WE pay top dollar for all prescriptions covered but there is still a ‘donut hole’ that requires additional insurance coverage. President Obama has bargained to get $10 Billion cut from this cost – 2% reduction. Big Pharma is so powerful that they can threaten a president or country!

Hyde Amendment: No government funds can be used to pay for an abortion.
This will NOT change as part of the Health care reform.

Death Panel? Two parts to this. First, you will have the option to talk to YOUR doctor about end of life decisions. Do not resuscitate, Living Will, etc. so you can understand all of the issues and can make decisions before any crises occurs and this meeting will be paid for/covered . The ‘panel’ will ensure that once your decisions have been made that the Doctor and hospital have access to your information and will follow YOUR wishes. This is the Living Will, Advance Life issue that was encouraged after Terrie Schiavo ended up on the front page. She did not have her decisions in writing. Her parents disagreed with her husband and Jeb Bush asked George W. Bush to put through legislation so they could intervene.

Torte reform: Has been implemented by some states but costs are negligible. This only accounts for about 1-2% of costs incurred by doctors and hospitals. It is a red herring – a distraction to turn your eyes away from the real issues. However, Pres. Obama has said they will add this to the legislation.

State lines (portability): This is a way to get states to compete and sell out the interests of regular people in order to gain some business. They give up taxes (income) and often provide special protection for the corporation without oversight (so you can’t sue if disagree with service). In addition, laws vary from state to state and insurance companies can reside in states that provide the least protection to consumers, or none, to increase their profits. In many cases there is no penalty for non-compliance – e.i. if they don’t cover your health issue, you can go to court and after many years the insurance company may be required to pay for the bills that they were supposed to pay when you signed with them. (Fleecing option!)

TRILLIONS of dollars in Profit are at stake!
MILLIONS of dollars in propaganda!
For lobbyists, politicians and ads!
WE will PAY no matter who wins! We must get what WE need!

Any updates or corrections to this?????

Brenhin (not verified) 13 years 21 weeks ago
#20

Thom,
I wanted you to consider the "Freakonomics" argument in regards to conservatives.

I hear what you say about those that tell you what they really think.

I say, consider they are gaining wealth, purpose, identity, and care not where the debate goes so long as they get to be in it, and benefit from it.

Quark (not verified) 13 years 21 weeks ago
#21

DDay,

Last week, when Thom discussed the 350 "threshhold," he made an oblique reference to someone on the blog talkiing about how a part of the country may have better weather due to climate change and sounded irritated about it.

DDay,

I've been thinking about something about which I want to ask you. Pawlenty is busy positioning himself for the Rep. prez. primary in '12. Pawlenty's governorship seems to have been engineered by Texas money --- the same faction that is making crap out of everything else in our country:

http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2006/12/19/swiftboathatch/

Could a good investigative journalist uncover the connections (and discredit Pawlenty?) 'Just wondering what you think about all this. I am considering sending info. to Rachel Maddow to look at. (She has followed up on several previous links I've sent her.) Do you know anything new on this stuff?

Mark (not verified) 13 years 21 weeks ago
#22

In regard to David Horowitz resuscitating the old Reagan shibboleth of class "envy," I'm certain that many of the founding fathers would be horrified to learn the extent to which this society has become defined by class. Southern "aristocrats" still seek to keep alive old world notions of "nobility" and "serfs," while elsewhere robber barons have created the illusion of class by simply paying themselves and their friends far in excess of their worthiness. I'm sure that many people prefer the "simple" life; it's just that they want to be appropriately compensated for the value of their work.

Quark (not verified) 13 years 21 weeks ago
#23

DDay,

Maybe Thom's comments last week didn't mention the exact words, "someone on the blog," but the implication, referring to some people thinking trade-offs could be good (paraphrase) seemed evident to me. If I'm mistaken, I apologize. However, I know the subject is very serious and my joke was in poor taste. Again, I just don't have a lot of confidence we'll actually save ourselves...

Quark (not verified) 13 years 21 weeks ago
#24

This morning, Harvard professor Elizabeth Warren, chair of the congressional oversight panel on the bail-out, said, in effect, we're screwed UNLESS Americans contact Congress:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/31510813/ns/msnbc_tv-morning_meeting#32840069

Quark (not verified) 13 years 21 weeks ago
#26

Thinkiing about ALL the things that are WRONG and ALL the reasons for which people are being told to contact congress, I keep thinking: We HAD an election (2 balance-changing ones.) It's time for the people we elected to use THEIR spines and brains!!!

I could be screeming all the time... (and am!)

Food Fascist (not verified) 13 years 21 weeks ago
#27

Gross National Product
Too much and too long we seem to have surrendered community excellence and community values to the mere accumulation of material things…Our gross national product does not allow for the health of our children, the quality of their education, or the joy of their play. It does not include the beauty of our poetry or the strength of our marriages, the intelligence of our public debate or the integrity of our public officials. It measures neither our wit nor our courage, neither our wisdom nor our learning, neither our compassion nor our devotion to our country; it measures everything, in short, except that which makes life worth while. And it can tell us everything about America except why we are proud that we are Americans.
Robert Kennedy
University of Kansas
March 18, 1967

http://bobby-kennedy.com/rfkspeeches.htm

Quark (not verified) 13 years 21 weeks ago
#28

River Wolfe and Food Fascists,

Loved your posts and will send the info. on!

Quark (not verified) 13 years 21 weeks ago
#29

s.b. "screaming"

Food Fascist (not verified) 13 years 21 weeks ago
#30

Homework! Remember to Tweet your Thom Hartmann daily newsletter!

We are winning the war on Twitter- keep it coming. Beck is frightened to death that we will educate his audience. Tweet Thom_Hartmann and alot of the goons are at @alancolmes - Keep shouting the truth- they would not be showing up on our pages and radio station sites, if they were not looking for something, lets give it to them. Keep driving traffic to Thom's site! Write longer responses onto your blogs and link them to your passage with some great attention grabber. MEOW!!!

DRichards (not verified) 13 years 21 weeks ago
#31

Why Obama Isn't Breaking Up the Insolvent Banks

Top economists and financial experts believe that the economy cannot recover unless the big, insolvent banks are broken up in an orderly fashion.

There is no logical reason not to break them up.

So why isn't the Obama administration doing so?

For all of the wrong reasons:

Nobel prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz said yesterday that the U.S. government is wary of challenging the financial industry because it is politically difficult, and that he hopes the Group of 20 leaders will cajole the U.S. into tougher action
Economic historian Niall Ferguson asks:
Guess which institutions are among the biggest lobbyists and campaign-finance contributors? Surprise! None other than the TBTFs [too big to fails].
Manhattan Institute senior fellow Nicole Gelinas agrees:
The too-big-to-fail financial industry has been good to elected officials and former elected officials of both parties over its 25-year life span
Investment analyst and financial writer Yves Smith says:
Major financial players [have gained] control over the all-important over-the-counter debt markets...
It is pretty hard to regulate someone who has a knife at your throat.

William K. Black - the senior regulator during the S&L crisis, and an Associate Professor of both Economics and Law at the University of Missouri - says:
There has been no honest examination of the crisis because it would embarrass C.E.O.s and politicians . . .
Instead, the Treasury and the Fed are urging us not to examine the crisis and to believe that all will soon be well. There have been no prosecutions of the chief executives of the large nonprime lenders that would expose the “epidemic” of fraudulent mortgage lending that drove the crisis. There has been no accountability...

The Obama administration and Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke have refused to investigate the nature and causes of the crisis. And the administration selected Timothy Geithner, who with then Treasury Secretary Paulson bungled the bailout of A.I.G. and other favored “too big to fail” institutions, to head up Treasury.

Now Lawrence Summers, head of the White House National Economic Council, and Mr. Geithner argue that no fundamental change in finance is needed. They want to recreate a secondary market in the subprime mortgages that caused trillions of dollars of losses.

Traditional neo-classical economic theory, particularly “modern finance theory,” has been proven false but economists have failed to replace it. No fundamental reform can be passed when the proponents are pretending that there really is no crisis or need for change.

Harvard professor of government Jeffry A. Frieden says:
Regulatory agencies are often sympathetic to the industries they regulate. This pattern is so well known among scholars that it has a name: “regulatory capture.” This effect can be due to the political influence of the industry on its regulators; or to the fact that the regulators spend so much time with their charges that they come to accept their world view; or to the prospect of lucrative private-sector jobs when regulators retire or resign.
Economic consultant Edward Harrison agrees:
Regulating Wall Street has become difficult in large part because of regulatory capture.

http://georgewashington2.blogspot.com/

Food Fascist (not verified) 13 years 21 weeks ago
#32

THX Quark- your comment made me look at the other posts and I played River Wolfes link - its HYSTERICAL

THOM PLEASE PLAY THIS ON AIR WE'RE NUMBER 37 ROCK AND ROLL VIDEO THAT ENCAPSULATES THIS WHOLE HEALTH CARE HITLER DEBATE
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yVgOl3cETb4

LETS GET THIS OUT, ALREADY 90,000 LISTENERS

Food Fascist (not verified) 13 years 21 weeks ago
#33

Republicans always use to use the 'incentive argument' to promote pure unregulated capitalism. Well...what incentives are there with unregulated capitalism and privatized prisons and health care?- yup- there is an incentive to keep you in jail and keep you sick.

DRichards (not verified) 13 years 21 weeks ago
#34

Redemonizing Judas: Gospel Fiction or Gospel Truth?
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-eisenman/redemonizing-judas-gospel_...

Loretta (not verified) 13 years 21 weeks ago
#35

Quark,

I'm guilty too. Thinking of the pleasure of growing basil in winter, but I doubt Thom's pissed at us. We are working hard and trying to fight to stop global warming. the humor we need once in awhile to keep ourselves from going crazy is probably pretty innocent. Dark humor helps us get through dark times. I think he is speaking more about folks who are using the "benefits" of global warming to justify not trying to change it.

And if he is irritated at us, he'll survive:-)

We're human and doing the best we can.

Loretta (not verified) 13 years 21 weeks ago
#36

I very much appreciated hearing Bobby Kennedy speak about the crazy inhumanity of using the GDP to rationalize immoral actions. Economics is very confusing so it can steer us off course if we let it. I will listen to Bobby Kennedy's words many times.

Quark (not verified) 13 years 21 weeks ago
#37

Loretta,

Your words of kindness are always healing... thank you.

DDay (not verified) 13 years 21 weeks ago
#38

Quark,

I don't have time to answer your questions right now. I might be able to help you with some investigative techniques for you to test your theory. Money support and tracing it is difficult but not impossible. It takes time and patience AND GOOGLE.
I will be more specific later. My work on Jungbauer mirrors this. Your interests and concerns about our Climate Crisis are shared by me. This is one reason why I keep playing "Javert" to Jungbauer's "Jean val Jean". He considers himself one of the leading experts in America on climate. He has stated so in public on the record. He is a fraud. Pawlenty isn't as stupid but is as slippery in my book.

Bryce (not verified) 13 years 21 weeks ago
#39

Please stop inviting David Horowitz on the show. All he does is shout and demean the progressive position. He doesn't add to the show and only brings hate. I really enjoy it when Thom debates with the cons but DH doesn't debate, he just shouts.

Textynn (not verified) 13 years 21 weeks ago
#40

Oh Thom I must correct you. You need to do your homework on Kaiser. Kaiser, first of all, is as expensive as the rest and denies just as freely with the same catastrophic results that we hear from broken people that are victims of other Medical Insurers.

Kaiser, however, may be the worst of all. You want to talk about who is in bed with who. Well guess who Kaiser is in bed with every single second of every single day. Themselves.

Yes Kaiser is the same Kaiser that brought you Kaiser Aluminum and Kaiser Steel, coal and many more. Kaiser mines and Kaiser Permanente are the same people. While they are running a medical industry with one hand they are running working superfund sites that are employment sites and handling, maybe, hundreds of thousands of law suits pertaining to Toxic poisoning of residents and others.

I call Kaiser the Toxic Trinity: EMPLOYER that holds the finger on the button of employee's health care, 2. POLLUTER and owner of Superfund sites across America, polluting neighborhood , water, and their own, as well as others work sites. 3. HEALTH CARE PROVIDER who can freely deny members tests and treatments, price members out, and cancels policies.

Yeah, if I was a major polluter I might want to be in the health care business. You might want to consult Erin Brockovich about how that works.

Start here for facts:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_J._Kaiser

http://www.theledger.com/article/20090321/news/903215038?Title=No-Answer...

http://www2.fluoridealert.org/Pollution/Aluminum-Industry/Kaiser-agrees-...

These are just a handy few. The suffering is mind boggling. Please insert POLLUTER into your health care politics paradigm.

PS I liked that guy that read on the air today. He said it right. He sat down so he would get it all said correctly. I think you should have let him go for a while. The current health care reform on the table is just a wider net for a welfare program that currently exists. And People on welfare absolutely lose all their rights to property. It's better than dying but it costs everything just the same. You have to liquidate everything you have to qualify and be left with nothing once you recover and nothing for your kids if you don't. It still maintains the old shift of wealth the Republican demand from every government dollar. I would say that the way health care is run now is the direct cause of the unprecedented shift of wealth seen over the last decade and last few years particularly.

Gerald Socha (not verified) 13 years 21 weeks ago
#41

As I listened to David Horowitz, I felt he was incoherent and he rambled all over the place.

When I first heard Horowitz several years ago, he seemed to make some sense. After a brief period and time he made little sense and I started to disagree with his thinking.

Today, he, like other reichwingers, seem to be losing it. We are a divided nation and that division will not heal until we join the International Criminal Court at The Hague, Netherlands but that will never happen because our elected policians are too embedded in corruption and lies.

I have issues with Obama but I focus on the issues and not his skin color. Too many Americans are racists and that will never change.

People, please come to grips with the fact that America is changing!!! Here are two trends that will not change in America. WHITEY, LIKE ME, WILL BE IN THE MINORITY BY 2025 but most definitely by 2040. THE ISLAM RELIGION WILL BE THE MAJORITY RELIGION BY 2070 OR 2080.

Textynn (not verified) 13 years 21 weeks ago
#42

Oh yeah and Thom
Kaiser is UnitedHealth Group.
Straight from the belly of the beast..
http://www.kaisernetwork.org/daily_reports/rep_index.cfm?DR_ID=55802

Loretta (not verified) 13 years 21 weeks ago
#43

I also had to compliment Thom because his segment about the GDP tied to the horror of mountaintop removal was one of the most powerful segments I've ever heard. I always and learn so very much but especially that section should be "youtubed" and sent around. I need to learn to "youtube."

Robert (not verified) 13 years 21 weeks ago
#44

If the people of the United States really want a Tax Payer supported Health care system then they will vote in the next election to increase the Democratic majority in the Senate and the House.

If we want the banking system to collapse again then elect more republicans, if we want to keep giving our tax money to the wealthy insurance CEOs and their executives then elect more republicans, if we want more of our manufacturing job to be exported to other countries then elect more republicans, if we want Americans to hate American elect more republicans, if we want Americans killing other Americans because they believe in a women’s choice then elect more republicans, if you want Americans killing other Americans because of they have darker skin pigmentation then elect more republican, if you want Americans killing Americans because they worship as Muslim then elect more republicans, if you want Americans that turn their backs on those Americans the need health care but cannot get care because they can not pay for it due to preexisting health issues then elect more republicans and if you want another civil war that will kill other Americans then elect more republican.

The march this weekend in Washington showed that only the Americans that want to find ways to hate other Americans participated in that rally. There was not a cross section of Americans at that rally. Where were the Asian Americans, the Native Americans, the American that have dark pigmentation of their skin, the American the speak Spanish with dark pigmentation of their skins, the Persian Americans, the Arab Americans and so now. Most of the American people where not represented at this rally. How can anyone believe that this rally represents what most American want?

If the people of the United States do not want Tax supported health care system to be off the table then we need to keep supporting this president and vote for more people that do want single payer health care. If we do not get it in this congress then we have to work to get the people in office in the next congress. Our representatives do not tell us what is or what is not on the table. We need to keep working to get people that will represent us and remove the representative that are democrats that only are democrats in name only. If we democrats do not vote for real democrats then we are just as weepy as the democrats that we elect.

brian a. hayes (not verified) 13 years 21 weeks ago
#45

listening to thoms debate with david horowitz made me proud to be a progressive to david it seem everything in the world must be feared. its like the right will do anything to have an enemy to fight. by listening to david i heard a scared angry man. what is most important is the peoples life condition. it is how we think our words and actions. i feel total freedom in my life with no fears. for i am in control of my life with the understanding that all life is interconnected.

brian a. hayes (not verified) 13 years 21 weeks ago
#46

listening to david horowitz i felt sorry for him. he sounded like like a scared angry man

Gerald Socha (not verified) 13 years 21 weeks ago
#47
Gerald Socha (not verified) 13 years 21 weeks ago
#48
Gerald Socha (not verified) 13 years 21 weeks ago
#50

We are the greatest country??? What a pack of lies!!!

http://www.opednews.com/articles/US-Census-Bureau-Confirms-by-Stephen-Le...

Thom's Blog Is On the Move

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