Thursday -October 1st 2009

michael moore imagesMichael Moore joins Thom today - Thom is doing the show 'Live" from Salem International

Hour One - Michael Moore (michaelmoore.com) joins Thom - Capitalism: A Love Story

Hour Two: "Could the Fairness Doctrine really 'shut down' talk radio?!" Thom challenges Scott Wheeler of the National Republican Trust www.nationalrepublicantrust.com

Hour Three:
"It Takes a Pillage" Thom talks with Nomi Prins, author and former managing Director for Goldman Sachs & Bear Stearns about her new book www.nomiprins.com

Comments

mstaggerlee (not verified) 13 years 18 weeks ago
#1

Just heard the news clip with Susan Collins of Mains saying that none of the bills she's seen address the COST of HEALTH CARE.

INCORRECT, Ms. Collins ... I believe you (and the media - and therefore MOST of the nation) are confusing health CARE with health INSURANCE! Contrary to popular belief, they are NOT one and the same!

Mark (not verified) 13 years 18 weeks ago
#2

I used to think that editorially USA Today veered left, but I was corrected in that assumption the other day when I discovered that it supported Max Baucus’ plan to tax insurance policies with high premiums to fund a private insurance “option” in place of a public option. The opposite view is that just because premiums are high does not mean they are “Cadillac” plans; anyone over 40 or has individual insurance knows that insurance companies tend to raise premiums indiscriminately, and companies that provide health coverage for their employees must either pay excessively for the same level of coverage every year, or offer plans with lesser benefits. USA Today’s editorial board also saw fit to deride complaints over such “trivialities” as increasing deductibles and co-pays. Perhaps its board members make so much money that deductibles and co-pays are trivialities, but for people just barely getting by, excessive up-front costs for primary and preventative care mean the difference the seeking needed care, or not.

Why must we keep discussing the need for a public option? Why is the Senate finance committee being the held up as the end all be all? Doesn’t the Senate Health committee have a say in this? It's already approved a much lower cost bill that includes a public option. Why does Obama continue to equivocate? Why didn’t he forcefully state that he will not sign a bill without a public option? Even if deep down he doesn’t really mean it, it would have at least put pressure on the Baucus and the other Democrats from populousless states from imposing their own will on the vast majority of the people. The House must stick to its guns and keep the public option in its version, and hold the line in conference committee. The public option is the only legitimate means to which universal care and cost control can be had. All this whining by insurance companies and the right is an evasion; given the choice between putting people before profits and executive paychecks, we need not speculate on what they would rather do.

Obama ought to take a tip from Brett Favre. Favre has a well-known habit of equivocating, and quite often admits to having a less than positive assessment of a game situation. To hear him talk, it always seems that he is hedging his bets. Many football commentators have said he has nothing left, that he is merely a hanger-on on good football teams, and more like a drag on them. The graybeard can’t step up and win a game with his arm anymore.

This past Sunday, the Favre-haters seemed to be having their way. Favre misfired for most of the day; fans were booing in the second half, and some left building when the Vikings gave up the ball on downs with 1:49 left in the game. The game was over, right? Not quite; the Vikings still had three time-outs. Their defense stopped the opponent on a three-and-out in only 20 seconds; on the punt, the return man faked-out the opponent by calling for a fair catch but allowing the ball to bounce into the end zone untouched for a touchback. With 1:29 left and no time outs, Favre calmly led the team downfield on his arm alone, finally firing a bullet into the end zone for the game winning score with :02 on the clock.

Obama has equivocated on the public option long enough. Even during his last speech, he seemed not entirely sure of himself. He seemed to leave the door open for backing away from a public option. The Senate finance committee will not pass a public option given its current predilections. But he can count on the House—if it includes a public option in its bill—to put up a stiff defense and stop the Senate from winning the game. It is then that Obama should pick-up the ball and drive for the winning score with no time left to stun the Obama-haters.

Gerald Socha (not verified) 13 years 18 weeks ago
#3

Thom's replacements for two days were able hosts but his return is important. We are planning on seeing Michael Moore's new movie.

The antiwar.com website has some revealing articles for October 1, 2009 on our military command and Obama's ineffectiveness as president. We are in for more surges and endless wars. History will not be kind as to our behavior for this first decade in the Twenty-first Century. I see before me a nation lacking in heart, conscience, and soul. I made a terrible mistake in voting for Obama. He is another W with better language skills.

DDay (not verified) 13 years 18 weeks ago
#4

Where is David?

Do you remember the self described centrist Republican who tip-toed onto this turf a short while ago? What happened to him? I thought we gave him a fairly gracious welcome. Why hasn't he returned to share his thoughts with us? Perhaps we were too nice to him. Maybe he was hoping for a little more drama and bombast. OR Perhaps we scared him off with rational argument. Whatever the reasons, I was looking forward to hearing his viewpoints. As far as can be determined, the most likely reason for his silence may be that he has retreated to his party's main refrain, i.e. NO. Yes David, that was bait. Are you out there?

Gerald Socha (not verified) 13 years 18 weeks ago
#6

Here are a couple of paragraphs from the Tikkun Daily.

Perhaps the most interesting look at where the “peace process” will go, and what Obama will do next comes from Larry Derfner, in the Jerusalem Post:

THIS CANNOT go on. Obama, for the sake of his presidency, cannot allow this to go on.
Which is why I’m optimistic that he won’t. Obama didn’t come this far and didn’t set such lofty goals to be hamstrung, to become a lame duck, so soon after entering the White House. He may not be a gut fighter, but he’s too ambitious, too smart, and he’s surrounded himself with too many barracudas to let the likes of Likud, Israel Beiteinu, Shas and the settlers do him in….I also believe Obama has learned … that there is no meeting point between him and the Israeli government on the peace process, that one of them is going to have to give in, and God help him if he’s the one. Obama’s learning that if he allows the most right-wing government in Israeli history to dictate his Middle East policy, that policy will fail utterly and his presidency will suffer the most devastating blow.
He’s learning that at some point in the not-too-distant future, he’s going to have to either bend Israel to his will or admit defeat in the Middle East and get blamed for the next war….He’s not there yet. But he’s getting there. He’ll have no choice.

I have to agree with Derfner on one thing: Obama absolutely needs some degree of success in Israel/ Palestine negotiations. Without it, his speech in Cairo becomes just words, dissipating before the facts on the ground. That would fatlly weaken his hopes in building some coalitions amongst Muslim states around Afghanistan, and in the continuing problem of Iran. As Defner also points out, the Republicans and the Israeli Government are deeply allied here: when Obama falters, the Republicans are strengthened as much as Netanyahu is. So perhaps what Obama is coming out of this round with is a sense that Netanyahu and he cannot be allies in peace. That might well lead to Obama’s speaking directly to Israelis, over their government, arguing in effect that his approach better meets their security needs than their government’s does. The only thing that’s really certain is that while Netanyahu may be ahead on points, this battle is far from over.

DDay (not verified) 13 years 18 weeks ago
#8

At the risk of sounding vain or self promoting, I would put forth for your consideration my last post which appears on Wednesday's blog roll concerning a crazy theory of mine. It has to do with how evolution may well select against conservatives. I'll call it the "Pop Goes the Weasel Paradigm". I would welcome any comment, derision, or feedback on it. Someone may remember more information than I ( about the scientific study mentioned), or be able to expand on it. It may well seem to frivolous "empty calories" for some serious types, as it is intended as a confection, but, it might amuse others and perhaps add an arrow to your quivers.

BTW, the caller who thought Thom was the rudest of the rude...would fall in the second or third group in the aforementioned scientific study. Either a dullard or a fraidy-cat. i.e. the proto-Republican

Quark (not verified) 13 years 18 weeks ago
#9

I just tried to call Sen. Max Baucus' office. I guess he's tired of hearing from the American people. His office phone is offline --- a recording comes up that says the office is closed.

I left a message to say that I will oppose (monetarily or in any other way I can) any political run he makes for re-election so his seat can have a REAL Democrat in it --- not a corporate whore who cares nothing about the American people.

FYI, Sen. Max Baucus:

(201) 224-2651

Richard L. Adlof (not verified) 13 years 18 weeks ago
#10

Given Rahm Emanuel’s involvement with the Obama Administration . . . We are looking at a redux of the Andrew Johnson Administration rather than a re-do of the Clinton Administration. Anything progressive coming out of the Obama White House will be purely by accident OR because they could not utterly squelch it and it got away from them. I am just surprised that corporate ties have not bled into public scandals yet.

DDay (not verified) 13 years 18 weeks ago
#11

I am loath to come to the rescue of a Quisling like Max Baucus but I'm watching him live chairing his Senate Finance Committee. All his aides appear to be arrayed behind him. That being said, I'll contribute to a movement that is dedicated to contributing inter-party challenges of Baucus, Conrad, & Lincoln. or max, kent, & blanche. Ravi says the Golden Age comes when we throw out corruption. Cleanliness begins at home too. Time to shovel out the barn.

Richard L. Adlof (not verified) 13 years 18 weeks ago
#12

@MARK: Seriously? USA Today veers left? Have you ever read a single issue? USA Today has never been more than the pictorial version for semi-literates of the fusion of People Magazine and the Wall Street Journal.

Quark (not verified) 13 years 18 weeks ago
#13

Here we go...

"Pawlenty files PAC forms, fills out political team"

http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2009/10/01/pawlenty-files-p...

St. Paul, Minn. — Gov. Tim Pawlenty will file the official paperwork to form his political action committee today.

My comment: Beware America. Pawlenty ran Minnesota into the ground with the same policies as Bush ran the country. He is a scary package with the face of a poker player.

Mena Sprague (not verified) 13 years 18 weeks ago
#14

Have we noticed how three people have talked over Thom and then accused him of talking over his guests and him. The CRAZIES are calling in today. When are we going to organize???????

Quark (not verified) 13 years 18 weeks ago
#15

Thom,

You may be interested in listening to the podcast of the following:

"Do 'Buy American' policies work?"

In an Oxford-style debate, six experts discuss whether Buy American and Hire American provisions actually work.

http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2009/09/29/midday2/

Mary T (not verified) 13 years 18 weeks ago
#16

John's call just now about the word "holocaust" ... he just spoke for me. I take offense to the offense to Rep. Grayson's use of the word in his comments to the House. The word holocaust is totally legitimate to be used outside of the horrible events of the first half of the 20th century. Why we grant this word such an exalted and limited use is a continued source of frustration to me.

My Merriam-Webster (11th edition) has TWO definitions for the word holocaust before it gets around to mentioning what Nazi Germany caused.

Please, can we all agree -- what Hitler did was inexcusable and not to be repeated. We get that. Now can we move on and act like adults and stop this phony posturing that everyone in the media takes regarding a single word. It's wrong, and Rachel Maddow was wrong to make such a big deal of it. In fact, I was embarrassed for her; it was a cheap shot against the congressman, and it plays right into the hands of the Rethugs.

Quark (not verified) 13 years 18 weeks ago
#17

Kim,

Your call echoed my sentiments re: the uselessness of trying to talk to cult members (who need deprogramming!), in so many words. Thanks!

Mary T,

Yes! I don't think the "crazy right" has a leg to stand on 'til they behave the way THEY want to be treated! What immature, misanthropic excuses for human beings!

Mena Sprague (not verified) 13 years 18 weeks ago
#18

Quark, I'll have to disagree with you on Thom's guests, providing a different point of view is enlightening. The guest was bogarting the conversation as most Republicans do. I admire the way Thom took much needed control of the conversation.

DDay (not verified) 13 years 18 weeks ago
#19

@Richard L. Adlof: I admire your unequivocal style. It's muscular yet refreshing, what with all the pussyfooting common to so many on the Rive' Gauche. OOPS...Using the French idiom to clothe the meaning of liberal is an example of pussyfooting in itself.

@ B. Roll & Mena Sprague: I wish Thom would devote or set aside more time for his discussions. Anything worth doing is worth doing right. Most right-wingers have unfortunately adopted the tactics of rudeness and bombast when debating the left. It's been tolerated for way too long. Being polite and hoping for embarrassment to dampen their incivility is ineffective and lame. we have watched this crap for more than a decade. Better to achieve a draw by matching them when forced by circumstance, (when on Fox). However, when in control of the format, (as Thom is on his show), the outcome is unsatisfying for the audience. When time is so constrained it becomes a contest of who can talk over the other, rather than a more satisfying contest of ideas.

I think Thom does a better job than most, if not all, by offering provocative, intelligent and timely discourse with great grace and patience. BUT For the most part, the one segment debates with ideologues on the right are usually, mostly, noise.

B Roll (not verified) 13 years 18 weeks ago
#20

DDay

I will respond to your post about your theory today when I have time. It is fun, and hopefully useful, to ponder these questions.

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

Mena,

The conversations never go anywhere. They're not really conversations (that is, what I would call a conversation --- open to give and take on both sides.) Instead, they all seem to follow the same pattern, ending with Thom's tolerance. Great, I'll try to be the tolerant adult and just let the intolerant child babble on.

What an exercise in futility.

DDay (not verified) 13 years 18 weeks ago
#22

@Mary T & Quark: You both spoke my feelings pretty darn well.

@ B. Roll: Thank you. Warning!: Useful is a word seldom associated with my musings.

Quark (not verified) 13 years 18 weeks ago
#23

Re: Conversations with right-wing crazies... B-Roll, I can hear you chuckling in the background...

B Roll (not verified) 13 years 18 weeks ago
#24

Mary T

It's an unfortunate fact of our lives that certain words have been appropriated by certain groups who guard them jealously.

"holocaust" is such a world and has been made into a proper noun, which many Jewish people feel should only be used to refer to the actions of the Third Reich. The right wingers can only make it an issue because some powerful forces in the Jewish community have taken offense at ti being used in any other way.

Many other groups use the word "holocaust" to refer to mass scarle killings of their people and usually don't get much flack, e.g., American Indians, African-Americans and Armenians, though some may not like their using the term. But generic use often gets criticism.

But this whole brouhaha is another case of artificial rage on the part of the Republicans who are only interested in waging political war against the Democrats and economic war against average Ameicans.

Possessiveness about words isn't limited to the world "holocaust". Many African-Americans feel that they have ownership of "civil rights" and resent it when other groups, i.e., woment and especially gays use it. They feel like these other groups are riding on the backs of their people and usurping the gains they made through hard struggles.

This was something the opponents of Proposition 8 in California. They thought that when they framed "gay marriage" as an issue of "civil rights" that the black community would understand and support their position. But the truth is that many in the black community take great offense at that framing.

People rationalize more than they are rational.

B Roll (not verified) 13 years 18 weeks ago
#25

Quark

I'm actually not chuckling. I think most of these conversations are an incredible waste of time. There are so many incredible progressive out there with profound insights and vast experience, but there isn't time them because Thom believes it's important to have these dialogs.

What dialongs? At best, we have two people throwing ideas at each other like mud pies. These guests aren't sincere and thoughtful people interested in sharing and testing their ideas. They're well paid propagandists who are going to spout the party line close to 100% of the time.

If this pedagogical technique was working you'd expect that Thom would be getting calls reporting of successes at family gatherings or at the legendary water cooler. I don't remember hearing call like that but I do remember heairng calls from people who complain about having family members or friends who they can't get through to.

The reason many listeners think Thom is doing such a great job in these debates is that they hear Thom saying things they agree with. Right wing listeners aren't going, "Damn, we lost that one. They think their guy prevailed.

If this is modeling it's like what we often see on TV. The high stepping skinny model comes down the runway in her emaciated beauty and then... well we've all seen what happens.

Mary T (not verified) 13 years 18 weeks ago
#26

B Roll:

You are right about word possessiveness -- although I feel that the use of "civil rights" is far less controversial than the use of "holocaust" in our national conversation.

I just fired off an e-mail to Maddow (and Hardball too) to make a point I formed after researching the word "holocaust" via four different hardcover dictionaries I have at home (editions that span 1959 through 2003).

My point?

The evolution of the American definition of the word "holocaust" over six decades makes me wonder whether our country is trying to downplay our own violence committed on the planet (nuclear holocaust perpetrated TWICE less than 50 years after annihilating the Native American populations) by elevating Hitler's? Just a thought.

B Roll (not verified) 13 years 18 weeks ago
#27

Mary T

I think we have a tendency to over analyze and interpret sometimes. I think that the horrific nature of The Holocaust in an era in which the world had world wide news media, plus the determination of Jews to make sure the world know had more to do with it than any attempt by the U.S. to cover its trail.

In addition, The Holocaust provided the impetus for the creation of the state of Israel, so the connection was intentionally made stronger.

Gerald Socha (not verified) 13 years 18 weeks ago
#28

When Thom interviewed Michael Moore, he asked a question as to why there was so little demonstration. Michael Moore felt that the people were in a state of despair. The people had such high hopes and Obama has failed the people. It is the same old, same old.

Alan Grayson, a Congressman from Florida is becoming an American hero. We need more Alan Graysons in America.

Thom's Blog Is On the Move

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