Monday - September 28th 2009
Hour One: Is America no longer a country by and for all the people?
Plus...David Cobb on how corporate personhood in undermining Democracy.
Hour Two: "The politics of division...who is to blame?" Thom confronts conservative Craig Shirley www.sbpublicaffairs.com
Hour Three: "Republican Gomorrah: Inside the Movement That Shattered the Party" Thom talks with The Nation's Max Blumenthal about his new book www.thenation.com
For more about Gottfried Mueller or to make donations www.saleminternational.org/english/en_about_us/en_mueller.htm
I have a few thoughts about your post. First, regarding our involvement in Afghanistan. It will soon become the longest war in American history. President Obama is reportedly getting some pressure to develop an exit strategy from his able Vice President, Joe Biden. What is the key thing missing which would allow us to leave? Osama Bin Laden. If we could bring him to justice, we could pack up and come home. Bringing Democracy to the Afghani people is a fools errand. It always is unless the people themselves are willing to fight for it. When the previous administration looked the other way and allowed the vast majority of the country to be ruled by war lords and looked the other way regarding opium production, the writing was on the wall. The only possible rational reason to boost the troop numbers would be to once and for all go after OBL in earnest. That would require the Pakistani government to change it's ways. Pressuring their already fragile government would be a risky gambit on our part. I believe we should try none the less. Get him and then get out.
Re: Ken Burns documentary on National Parks.
I believe this latest work of his serves to buttress the case for rediscovering the benefits of commonwealth. It was interesting to hear that the same forces which push for privatizing everything today were around in the 1880's when our parks were being established. These forces have no vision for anything but the immediate gratification of their greed. I have friends in Europe who greatly admire the national jewels of our great national parks. I would point out that it is not entirely true that all the beautiful areas in Europe are owned by the rich. France not only has several national parks but also has laws that allow all citizens access to all beaches and coastlines. The fancy hotels along the French Riviera can keep you off their furniture but not their beaches.
With already over 500 hundred proposed amendments to the Senate finance committee’s health care “reform” plan—many of them by finance committee members themselves, and many designed to be destructive—one may fairly ask why Sen. Baucus even bothered releasing the plan, being half-baked and all. It is clear that he felt some pressure to release something, just not anything. After six months, we should have expected a plan with a little a little thing called substance; its idea of “universal” care is mini-medical insurance, which I have already mentioned on this page several times is next to useless. It is clear that Baucus efforts at a bipartisan agreement were as pointless as Obama’s, and the fact the finance committee plan as it stands is little more than a patched-up framework to hang insurance industry dirty laundry ought be proof that budget reconciliation is the only possible way that a substantive health care reform bill will be passed. Harry Reid's need to get a balls transplant and inform Baucus he has two weeks come up with a substantive plan, or he will proceed without the finance committee.
Meanwhile, I mentioned on Friday that Glenn Beck was to receive the keys of his “hometown” of Mount Vernon, Washington. I’ve never been to this place (frankly, I don’t know where it is), but it surely must have little of credit if it must settle for this con artist with his tongue sticking out on the cover of Time magazine. Beck’s visit was the excuse for a street shout-out by pro and con forces, to be expected given the nature of Beck’s irrational method of discourse.
Speaking of irrational, Rush Limbaugh once again spent time trashing Jimmy Carter, blaming him and Barack Obama for causing the economic mess we are in, conveniently forgetting everything else in between. But there is something singularly disgusting about a fat slob, making tens of millions of dollars a year expectorating the propaganda of the powerful and wealthy elite to gullible bigots, belittling Carter’s Habitat for Humanity program. People everywhere are on the verge of destitution because of Wall Street’s profits over people philosophy, and here is this person who has never contributed a single constructive thing with his life, who after 30 years of hands-off Reaganomics has the impudence to lie to his listeners that it’s the “government’s fault.” It is, but because of what it did not do, not what it did. Talk, talk and more talk of a destructive nature is all he has ever done, to advance the will of the corporate and political elite in its quest to turn the working class into a whimpering, foolish mass that will be no threat to their power and greed.
"The politics of division...who is to blame?" Simply consider who most benefits from a divided public. How else do you get Grandmas out there shouting down discussion at Town Hall meetings to get Government out of health care (but don't touch their Medicare - or Social Security).
In regard to Thom's comments in regard to Hugo Chavez on Friday, I can’t say that I’m as ambivalent as he is. Yes, Chavez does seem to have a sliver of dictator in him, although of the “enlightened” kind. But this must be expected, not merely because of Latin America’s rather tenuous concept of democracy, but because Chavez has had to meet power with power in his struggle with the Euro-elites who dominate the social, political and economic structure of the continent. It must also be remembered that not long after his ascent to power, the elites attempted a coup against him, doubtless with the quiet acquiescence of the Bush administration; Chavez has never forgotten this, which has goes a long way to explain his blustering against the U.S. It also must be admitted that the U.S. has had a long and shameful history of supporting right-wing regimes in Latin America that have oppressed the poor and indigenous populations—and opposing leftist regimes that sought to change that equation; some on the left have even joined the right in demonizing and conspiracy theorizing in regard to Chavez. Venezuela is also a major oil producer, which is really why the U.S. has any interest at all in what is going on there—and better power in the hands of the elites than the people.
Chavez clearly considers himself of man of the oppressed peoples, and not just in his country. It should come as no surprise that he has alienated himself with those who identify with the Euro-elite class, but the efforts of that class to block the uplift of the impoverished masses has clearly not gone unnoticed by the majority of Venezuelans who support Chavez. They can see for themselves that the country’s oil revenues have gone to build schools and medical clinics where there were once none, and not all in the pockets of elitist few.
DDay, OBL is one of our blame figures so we can justify the war. W, the warmonger, should have agreed to have a neutral country try OBL for his crimes but W said no that he wanted to catch and try OBL. W wanted a war to be the war president. His stupidity has had thousands of people suffer for his desire to be a war president. He also wanted to attack Iraq. W is an idiot.
Why should we continue wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan and have more of our soldiers killed? These countries are corrupt just like the US. Birds of a feather flock together! I oppose wars as a means of resolving problems. War only creates more problems. War is part of the American way. Please read Stephan Lendman's article, "A Culture of Violence."
Afghanistan has many self-governing villages who make their own rules and that is why Afghanistan will have difficulty of being one nation.
DDay, I gave each or our sons a copy of this letter. Daughters are also welcome to receive a copy.
Please read this letter! I believe this letter is also me as a human being and not some machine.
Everything You Know About Iran Is A Myth
Thom's dear friend and mentor Gottfried Mueller passed away on Saturday September 26.
I would suggest that this blog be used on Tuesday and Wednesday, while Thom is at the funeral, for uplifting post. I'm sure Thom will be fine, but this is the second major loss Thom has experienced in several months. Maybe this is a good time to consider our common humanity.We could post personal stories, poems etc and links to uplifting material. I think this would be in the spirit of Gottfried Mueller who Thom loves so much.
We can resume our normal activities when Thom gets back. Of course, no one can tell anyone else what to post, but it seems that it would be a show of respect for Thom and Mr. Mueller. If I, being Thom's most consistent critic here, can do it so can some of you.
I read (in the NYTImes) within the last few days that Gen. Stanley McChrystal's advisors include Fred Kagan (remember him, from the American Enterprise Institute, advising Bush on Iraq?) and William Kristol.
Need we say more?
I don't completely disagree with your views of war. I would support all efforts to move towards a conflict adverse world. I personally couldn't support a unilateral laying down of arms. There are many malevolent forces in the world and evil people who exploit weakness. I would rather us get out of Iraq yesterday. There are more than 140,000 troops there along with more than 160,000 so-called contractors. I am concerned about the vacuum we would create by pulling out immediately. The Taliban is a force of ignorance which I oppose. Al Queda is a force for hatred and violence. Neither can be ignored safely. Getting OBL would provide a real world shortcut to getting out for this President. OBL is far more than a "boogyman". Political reality precludes your solution. It shouldn't be that way, but it is what it is. You have no argument with me over your views of W, but, That was then, and this is now. If you really want to make wars less likely here in the U.S.A. lobby for a national draft that all are required to be eligible for.
... the ancient dinosaurs who denied global warming are still with us ...
... in the form of PIGEONS!!!
So now we see the future of the GOP: wandering around, pooping and fluttering off in panic when confronted.
About SCOTUS: Was it not only in the head note that the clerk claimed the court found that the court found that corporations are persons - wasn't it also in the record that the court actually did not even consider the matter? Wouldn't that nullify any claim that the court found a certain way, given that they had not even considered the matter?
You finally found an intellectually honest conservative in Craig Shirley. He actually participated in a real conversation, not a spouting of right-wing cultish dogma. THAT kind of modelling I can applaude! PLEASE do more of THAT (with HONEST give-and-take.)
Otherwise, there is no point in trying to model a conversation with someone who is brainwashed. You might as well talk to a piece of paper (and it's quieter!)
@Gerald Socha -
Perhaps you didn't get the memo ...
Rule #1 of polite discourse among bloggers -
The party who resorts to referring to those who disagree with him as Nazis loses the arguement.
We might also apply to your comments the following, from John Lennon's "Revolution"-
But if you go carrying pictures of Chairman Mao,
You ain't gonna make it with anyone anyhow.
If your goal was to rant, rave and make yourself feel better by such venting, then I guess your opening comments here today fulfilled that goal.
If, however, your goal was to change anyone else's way of thinking about the world, I'm afraid you'll need to calm down a bit & try again.
It's always wonderful to hear John Lennon quoted. Thanks for that. Lennon's words ring as true today as when he said them; they are music to my ears.
What on Earth has america come to? Over 730 people voted in a Facebook Poll on the question "Should Barack Obama be Killed?" before it was taken down.
I am deeply ashamed to have to share oxygen, much less my nation, with whoever posted that poll.
More info on the above -
If u haven't heard what Blumenthal has come up with this is going to blow you away.
Re: General McCrystal
I believe Gen. McCrystal was the officer in charge of the Pat Tillman cover-up. If a General answerable to me was consulting with Bill Crystal, I would fire him on the spot. If our president keeps pussyfooting around as he has thus far, I plan to place his name in nomination for the Neville Chamberlain Award for Fecklessness.
Yes, that is why it's such an outrage. The neocons are still calling the shots...
BTW, I wouldn't mind a general consulting "with Bill Crystal." At least it would show he had a sense of humor! LOL
Quark, I think Obama hired McCrystal because he is seen as an expert in counter-insurgency, the kind of war he wants to fight, and to give hiimself "military cred" and because the Pentagon is pushing him into continuing some war, any war. The McC report was leaked to force his hand. The Pent is challenging him for control of the armed forces: we have civilian control of the military in this country, but I think they are trying to take it over (the military)
By law, Obama can do whatever he wants, but I think the military is trying to control his decisions and I think they have some way of pressuring him, that we don't know about. Military coup anyone?
'Sorry --- I couldn't help myself... (re: Bill Crystal vs. Wm. Kristol)
by the way I heard someone from Public Citizen on Democracy Now Saturday: Does Thom know about this?
WTO will not allow RE regulation of financial institutions
And Tim Geithner knows it since he signed us on to the following agreement during CLINTON.
Does anyone think Clinton's recent focus on Gay Marriage is to cover up his having sold us out to the WTO?
click on link and they have links to the actual docs:
WTO Financial Services Agreement
Amidst breathless calls from all quarters for expansive new global financial services regulations addressing the current global economic crisis is a seemingly total lack of awareness that most of the world's countries are bound to expansive World Trade Organization (WTO) financial services deregulation requirements. The WTO's Financial Services Agreement (FSA) locked in domestically, and exported internationally, the model of extreme financial service deregulation that most analysts consider a prime cause of the current crisis. Deregulation (not only liberalization) of the financial service sector – including banking, insurance, asset management, pension funds, securities, and more – is among the most important, but least discussed, aspects of the WTO.
For more information:
Report: No Meaningful Safeguards for
Yes, I read that one of the reasons Obama chose McCrystal was that David Petraeus recommended him.
Re: "B Roll,
BTW, I wouldn’t mind a general consulting “with Bill Crystal.” At least it would show he had a sense of humor! LOL"
Please forgive me. I read too quickly. This comment should have been directed to DDay. Please forgive me.
Ha Ha, I of course meant the former aid to Dan Qayle and snarky regular on Fox, William Crystal. Billy Crystal is a whole different thing. Anyone who could inspire Meg Ryan into simulating an orgasm at a delicatessen deserves everyone's gratitude. It set up Rob Reiner's mother to utter one of the best lines in cinematic history: "I'll have what she's having." :-)
cx: Willhelm Von Kristol .....Ja
campaign reform now, no more bribery in congress
Actually, I really enjoy hearing Thom do "modelling" talking to right-wingers who call in. He usually refutes them in a cheerful way. I really admire that.
Small correction, it was Rachel Carson, not Carlson.
Also, if there was cooling during the 70s, it can probably be attributed to the amount of sulfur oxides in the atmosphere, which reflected or scattered incoming solar radiation. This effect is similar to the cooling that can be seen following a large volcanic eruption. A cap-and-trade system to reduce atmospheric concentrations of SOx was implemented in the 90s. Guess what...IT ACTUALLY WORKED!!!!
Keep up the good fight.
Yes, that was a great line...I always think of the scene in "The Princess Bride" with Billy Crystal as Miracle Max and Carole Kane as Valerie. That was such a great bit, talking about "true love."
Safe journey, Thom.
In the 70s, there was some talk of cooling, and one of the sources was a paper by Stephen Schneider of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. His premise was that pollutants in the atmosphere would block more solar energy with a greater cooling effect than the warming effect of CO2 leading to an ice age if aerosol pollution quadrupled.
But then he realized that he overestimated the cooling effect of the aerosol pollutants and underestimated the warming effects of CO2.
Wieder sehen comraden. (mein Deutsch ist kaput)
Kagan and Kristol are hardcore neocons. I consider them a Nazi's Nazi. We should never have entered into any Middle Eastern war. I oppose the return to the military draft. You only have to scroll up to read the letter I gave to our sons.
I am not trying to change anyone's mind. Personally, I need to vent and rant at times. You need some information on W and his relationship with his grandfather, Prescott Bush, who was a traitor for helping to fund the Nazi war machine up until early 1942. He was informed that if he did not stop funding the Nazis, he would be tried as a traitor. Prescott Bush would give fireside chats to his grandchildren extolling on how great Hitler is and his great leadership style. W grew up wanting to be just like Adolph Hitler.
Part of this comment is carried over from last Friday's show.
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!!!!!
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.
I had a chance to watch Ken Burns’ documentary on National Parks, a great idea. In Europe the beautiful areas of a country are owned by the rich and the corporations. In the US the beautiful areas were set aside to be public lands for all to enjoy. Yet, we have the rich and the corporations trying to exploit and rape these public lands for private use. We can never let our guard down. The rich and the corporations in the US are hypocrites who want to control everything for private use.