Wednesday - September 9th, 2009

extinctionimagesHour One: Thom and Dan Gainor debate Thom's Healthcare reform bill - Medicare Part E

Hour Two: The Supreme Court is hearing Citizens United v. Federal Election today - How will this change the nature of politics. Thom will talk with both sides - Jeff Milchen & Roger Pilon

Hour Three: "Everything you know is wrong" Jill Richardson  How is Factory Farming destroying your health?


Rasta (not verified) 13 years 38 weeks ago

We Don't Feel Like Celebrating with Israel This Year

Naomi Klein, 09.08.2009

Award-winning journalist and author of The Shock Doctrine

When I heard the Toronto International Film Festival was holding a celebratory "spotlight" on Tel Aviv I felt ashamed of my city. This matches Israel's stated propaganda goals to a T.

Gerald Socha (not verified) 13 years 38 weeks ago

What a day??? Listening to Thom on September 8, 2009 was an experience. I knew the US of Evil was going to hell but I did not realize that we have already arrived there. Health care reform is smoke and mirrors and a shell game. Obama has joined the Nazi Party.

Network of Spiritual Progressives has sent me three articles to read. Afghanistan is looking more like Vietnam. Van Jones' resignation is bad for country and bad for Obama. The environmental crisis is worsening.

On a personal note my God's patience has reached the end of the line with the hell infected country know as the US of Evil.

I thank God that I have no grandchildren!!!

I agree with Rasta. I don't feel like celebrating.

Mark (not verified) 13 years 38 weeks ago

To add to the discussion in regard to the resignation of Obama adviser Van Jones over allegedly “inflammatory” remarks in regard to Republicans, the apparent disregard of intelligence into the possibility of a terrorist attack before 9-11, and who tends to be responsible for mass shootings in schools, this is indicative of the hypocrisy and double-standards that the right allows itself to practice with impunity. Nothing Jones said was particularly new or surprising, but because he was a black man in a Democratic administration, anything that could be construed to “disparage” white people sets off the those most guilty of inflaming such paranoid passions against minorities.

Glenn Beck is a man who to anyone with half a brain acts and talks as if he is off his medication. Beck and his ilk’s obliviousness to the fact that their own frequently violently provocative commentary could be construed as racist, unpatriotic and sadistic ought to cancel the effect, but this is clearly not happening. The constant stream from the right of loaded nouns, adjectives and verbs, which are utterly meaningless by themselves, but together create a state of paranoid agitation among bigots, xenophobes, jingoists and the otherwise purposefully ignorant amongst us, also unfortunately has a ready audience among whites who feel themselves uncomfortably put-upon. That is why the likes of white commentators such as Beck and Lou Dobbs (of whom the SPLCenter called on CNN to fire for his tendency to use hate groups as his principle source of information) are allowed to make racially-charged commentary without fear of censure.

It is an unfortunate fact that “mainstream” media has devolved into such juvenile behavior, disregard for facts and common human decency. The Becks, Dobbs and the like have been allowed such a long rope, it is difficult to imagine what it will take to marginalize them or remove them from the TV screens altogether. When they actually deign to consider serious issues, all they have to offer is empty puffery and mindless demagoguery. The same tired mantra of tax cuts for the wealthy and more deregulation—despite the evidence that neither prevented the steady disappearance of manufacturing jobs, and increased income disparity during the Bush years—is all they are intellectually capable of , doubtless because they have never been personally touched by the problems of "commoners." One waits in vain to hear anything intelligent about the health care crisis, or the looming energy and environmental disasters.

DDay (not verified) 13 years 38 weeks ago

09/09/09 A very lucky date according to the Chinese. Nine is the second luckiest number by their reckoning. It appears that Gerald, Mark, and you know who forgot to take their happy pills. So much gloom and doom. I share many of the concerns cited but am not willing to surrender to despair. Early indications this morning are that President Obama has heard some rumblings from the progressive wing, (us!). While he may not be ready to stand firm and now appears he will not throw us under the bus...yet. That means we are not dead...yet. Maybe that Mojo of trip nines will instill him with a stiffened spine and the realization that our advice and consent must be heeded much more than any Blue dogs or craven congressmen. Someone seems to be listening, at least, if not yet fully getting it. Our best allies are the Republicants. Their lack of common decency and smug cynical attacks may finally make the President abandon his laudable but useless fixation on Bi-Partisan reconciliation. I suspect that this latest flapdoodle over speaking to school children has awakened him to finally understanding his opponent's true nature. We'll see. Cheer-up!...we have the nines working for us.

Quark (not verified) 13 years 38 weeks ago

You'll want to listen to this discussion with Lawrence O'Donnell on Countdown last night if you haven't heard it before. He discusses the trading away of the public option and the possible backlash from the "blogisphere" of the left wing, which WASN'T around during the Hillarycare debate.

Quark (not verified) 13 years 38 weeks ago

Lately I've been laughing more while watching Countdown than Comedy Central. I just had to share this second clip and hope you like it, too:

Titantom (not verified) 13 years 38 weeks ago

I would like the President to ask the American People Why They Keep Voting Against Their Own Best Interest?

D.Day (not verified) 13 years 38 weeks ago


Thank you. I missed L. O'Donnell last night because I was herding cats, (running a meeting of Dems). If I could pick my "dream team" of political gurus, Lawrence would be a first round pick. It is nice to learn that we of the blogo-sphere may have some influence as L. O'D says. Want another chance to laugh with glee? FYI Check out, and then click on Sept. 12th St. Cloud event. Read the comments which are mostly posted by excited teabaggers. You will find an amazing abundance of ghastly spelling and grammar. Turns out that fliers left by the Tea Party organizers also contain numerous humorous errors. BTW. Michele Bachmann will be the keynote speaker at "The Convention for the Developmentally Challenged" there on Saturday. I love living here,.... so many strange beasts.

RandyWinn (not verified) 13 years 38 weeks ago

Thought for the day:

"One day, we Americans will view the peculiar industry of profiting from the misery of others in the same way we now view the peculiar institution of slavery"

Quark (not verified) 13 years 38 weeks ago


RE: "FYI Check out, and then click on Sept. 12th St. Cloud event. Read the comments which are mostly posted by excited teabaggers."

Nice comment and nice summary of the whole sick mess. I wonder how far back this crazy fringe goes back in MN politics. My first contact with right-wing crazies here was when I used to call Jackie Schwietz, the then-director of MCCL, and complain about her public comments and actions.

Quark (not verified) 13 years 38 weeks ago


That's the elephant in the room that no one sees, apparently... (or they are willing to overlook it.)

Besides that, I almost always wonder, when at any health facility waiting room, why, when we are ALL citizens of ONE country we can't ALL get the same healthcare. So obvious (except if you've been brainwashed all these years.)

Loretta (not verified) 13 years 38 weeks ago

This going to be one hell of a day. Are you all going to a watch party?

DRichards (not verified) 13 years 38 weeks ago

Kids Didn't Hear Obama, But Will be Bussed for Bush

The Arlington Independent School District, which passed on airing President Barack Obama's live classroom address, has announced that some students will be bussed off campus to hear a message from former President George W. Bush on Sept. 21.
District officials said it's part of a Cowboys Stadium field trip that the North Texas Super Bowl Host Committee invited 28 fifth-grade classes to attend several months ago.
In addition to hearing from Bush and former first lady Laura Bush, the students will hear from legendary Dallas Cowboys players and North Texas business and community leaders. The event launches the Super Bowl committee's largest-ever youth education program.
Students must have their parents' permission to attend, school officials said...

DRichards (not verified) 13 years 38 weeks ago

Israeli Government Ads Warn Against Marrying Non-Jews
By Jonathan Cook, AlterNet. Posted September 8, 2009.

Israel has launched an advertising campaign urging Israelis to inform on Jewish friends and relatives abroad who may be in danger of marrying non-Jews.

Quark (not verified) 13 years 38 weeks ago


I will not be able to see O's speech tonight --- prior commitment.

I wonder, though, how much what he says will matter. 'Seems to me that what's in the final sausage (uh, bill) will tell us more. (I'm taking my cues from what Lawrence O'Donnell said last night --- URL link I posted above.)

DDay (not verified) 13 years 38 weeks ago


Regarding partying.....I'm filling my I.V. with Eau de Vie as we speak. Don't worry I'll save some for Portland.


Thanks for the compliment, but never mind my snarky post. If you read through all the previous posts there is a remarkable shared and unabashed ignorance displayed. We need not worry about whether the teabaggers are playing checkers or chess. They seem to be playing the card game of "War", without a full deck. Reason for some optimism.

Mugsy (not verified) 13 years 38 weeks ago


How is forcing employees to buy "private insurance" when a public option exists any different than my company forcing me to mail everything using FedEx when we have a Post Office?

Such a "law" would HAVE to be unconstitutional.

MahatmaKaneJeeves (not verified) 13 years 38 weeks ago

I'm still afraid that President Obama is going to come out too timid.

I wish that I could believe that he is playing chess while the our corporate-sponsored representatives are playing checkers.

But I'm afraid that they are playing checkers and he's playing tic-tac-toe. And giving them the first move.

With apologies to Higgins, the best that we can hope for is a "Cat's Game"...

Mugsy (not verified) 13 years 38 weeks ago


Regarding the ridiculous "Reagan warning" observation:

Last time I checked, simply having a medical degree did not guaratee you a job in the city of your choice.

MahatmaKaneJeeves (not verified) 13 years 38 weeks ago

Obama has not been pushing a progressive agenda because he's not a progressive.

JohnnyO (not verified) 13 years 38 weeks ago

There shouldn't be any of these huge profits in healthcare. Profit's in heathcare result's only in deathcare.

DRichards (not verified) 13 years 38 weeks ago

UN wants new global currency to replace dollar
The dollar should be replaced with a global currency, the United Nations has said, proposing the biggest overhaul of the world's monetary system since the Second World War.

Trevor Seitz (not verified) 13 years 38 weeks ago

At what point will the corporations hae the legal right to claim their employees as property? if they are able to bypass the election financing laws they will be able to buy any law they want...

Is it time to just pack up and find a new place to achieve the "American Dream"? A nice government run country where the corporations haven't raped the system yet?

DRichards (not verified) 13 years 38 weeks ago

"Americans Believe That This Is The Katrina Of Recessions. Folks Are On Their Rooftops Without A Boat. The Water Is Rising, And Many See No Way Out."

Gerald Socha (not verified) 13 years 38 weeks ago


Mike Miller (not verified) 13 years 38 weeks ago

I LOVE that you played the clips from JFK's Madison Square Garden speech on health care. It is just one of the many great speeches of President Kennedy, but it is little known and tragically it is just as relevant now as it was then.

For those who would like to hear the whole speech, it is on Youtube.

RandyWinn (not verified) 13 years 38 weeks ago

If corporations DO have, acquire or are granted the rights of personhood, then they should be subject to ALL laws, including "Three Strikes You're Out".

That might be pretty amusing.

Trevor Seitz (not verified) 13 years 38 weeks ago

Corporations should not be able to OWN other corporations! they should not be able to profit from their crimes! They should serve the same jail time as natural persons! they should only be allowed to live the average life of a human! They must prove they require the same things to exist that humans do - after all most animals require all the things humans do to survive and we don't give them the same rights we give corporations...

rebasue (not verified) 13 years 38 weeks ago

thom referred to a website called "stopthecrap" - i think. yet i can't find it. did anyone catch the correct name?

AZAFVET (not verified) 13 years 38 weeks ago

Here is a bit of news about Medicare Advantage Plans. My wife is 61 and is disabled. She is eligible for Medicare 1 October 2009. We wanted to keep the original Medicare but wanted to buy a Medigap policy that would pay for the expenses that Medicare doesn't cover. Well in the State of Arizona this is only one "Company/Organization" that offers coverage to people under the age of 65. Unfortunately one must be affiliated with a certain religion to buy it. So, because she is disabled and under the age of 65 she is being discriminated against. So we settled for a Medicare Advantage program. Once you sign up with one of these plans your Medicare card can't be used.

Yesterday we were at her Doctor at the Mayo Clinic and told her that my wife was changing Health Insurance companies and that she is starting Medicare and bought one of the Advantage plans. The Doctor kind of gasped and said that Mayo Clinic Hospital doesn't take Medicare Advantage patients but does take traditional Medicare. We asked why and she responded that traditional Medicare reimburses the Clinic at a higher rate than the so called Advantage Plans.

So although she only enrolled last week, she will be going back to traditional medicare during the November 15 - January enrollment period.

rctowns (not verified) 13 years 38 weeks ago

Mr. Pilon - how do I 'enhance' my own 'speech'?

DRichards (not verified) 13 years 38 weeks ago

You asked your guest if he thought that giving corporation the right to personhood is what the founding fathers had in mind. Your guest said Yes.

That is his opinion. What do the facts say?

mstaggerlee (not verified) 13 years 38 weeks ago

@rebasue - It's CUT the crap, not stop the crap -

rebasue (not verified) 13 years 38 weeks ago

thanks mstaggeriee

rctowns (not verified) 13 years 38 weeks ago

The question of whether corporations were persons within the meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment had been argued in the lower courts and briefed for the Supreme Court, but the Court did not base its decision on this issue.

However, before oral argument took place, Chief Justice Morrison R. Waite announced:

"The court does not wish to hear argument on the question whether the provision in the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution, which forbids a State to deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws, applies to these corporations. We are all of the opinion that it does."

This quotation was printed by the court reporter in the syllabus and case history above the opinion, but was not in the opinion itself. As such, it did not technically - in the view of most legal historians - have any legal precedential value. However, the Supreme Court is not required by Constitution or even precedent to limit its rulings to written statements.

The persuasive value of Waite's statement did influence later courts, becoming part of American corporate law without ever actually being enacted by statute or formal judicial decision. For these reasons, some believe it to be literally an unprecedented extension of constitutional rights to US corporations.

Mena Sprague (not verified) 13 years 38 weeks ago

In response to Dan Gainor, we have a volunteer fire department and we pay taxes to support it. Where does he think the money comes from to buy the trucks, equipment and buildings to house them? They do have fund raisers but all the people in the fire district pay taxes to support the fire department. They are your friends and neighbors and some of the best in the nation. We live in the Wolbach, NE fire district.

Gazmik (not verified) 13 years 38 weeks ago

So, if contributions from the corporation are the shareholders practicing their First Amendment rights through the corporation, the personal contribution limits through the corporation should be enforced, and the contributions should be made in the names of the individual shareholders rather than in the name of the corporation. And any personal contributions should be applied against the contributions made through the corporation as far as the limits. And there should be documentation of the shareholders' intent to contribute through the corporation signed by each of the individual shareholders.

MahatmaKaneJeeves (not verified) 13 years 38 weeks ago

I thought that we fought a civil war to prevent persons from owning other persons.

This USSC story is huge. If they can enlist the corporate resources against candidates then coming elections could sweep any progressive notions out of our political system completely.

This first (only?) term of President Obama may be the last chance we have to save the remnants of our form of government.

If Obama doesn't take a page from FDRs playbook and make a populist pitch against the economic royalists immediately then defacto slavery will be the fate of all workers for us and our descendants.

eDebbie (not verified) 13 years 38 weeks ago

I never hear anyone on the right explain why they think that the only voice that executives and share holders have is through their corporations. Why don't they use their own voice, just as I do? Why do they think they're mute unless they're 'talking' through their rich and powerful corporations??

DRichards (not verified) 13 years 38 weeks ago

So, what will it take to get the Democratic party to implode?

Quark (not verified) 13 years 38 weeks ago


Yes, corporations should also be subject to the death penalty for killing people.

Sufilizard (not verified) 13 years 38 weeks ago


I've taken your advice and infiltrated the local Democratic Party. Now I'm going to MC the Jefferson Jackson Dinner in about 3 weeks. The keynote is our Blue Dog rep, Joe Donnelly.

My problem is I'm so angry with Democrats right now, I'm not sure how I can use this opportunity to rally the troops and provide constructive criticism to the blue dog without losing my temper with him.

Do you have any advice?

Sufilizard (not verified) 13 years 38 weeks ago


"So, what will it take to get the Democratic party to implode?"

I think passing crappy health care reform will do the trick.

RandyWinn (not verified) 13 years 38 weeks ago

Link to "Yes We Still Can" (that Thom just talked about) is here:

Terry Williams (not verified) 13 years 38 weeks ago

It seems irrelevant which party is in power because they're all on the payroll of the corporations and are just two different factions of the one US political party running this country: The MULTINATIONAL CORPORATION PARTY.

It's not about what's good for the American people and the country, It's about what the corporations are willing to live with.

RandyWinn (not verified) 13 years 38 weeks ago

Oh, here's a shorter link ... it's ".org" not ".com"

DRichards (not verified) 13 years 38 weeks ago



DDay (not verified) 13 years 38 weeks ago

Thanks for the opportunity to add my two cents worth.

Respectfully, for the first time in a while I would like to take issue with your usually perceptive analysis. During yesterday's show, (I believe in your nearly last segment), you compared and discussed the factors which greatly influence the direction of the Republican & Democratic Party(s), respectively. Unless I am mistaken, you failed to mention the various unions and their relative power in influencing the Democratic Party. It is a complicated alliance which is especially true when you also acknowledge the two other major camps you failed to cite, that divide the Democratic Party. There is a Clinton/Emmanuel/D.C.C.C./Blue-Dog friendly faction, in fierce competition with a Dean/Kucinich?/Grass Roots (Progressive) faction. Obama, seems firmly within the dominant group which has "traditional" and safe ways as practiced by R. Emmanuel. The Dean/Progressives represent a threat to business as usual and the highly centralized control of money.
This struggle is crucial to understanding the present situation when confronting the politics of health care reform. The yes-we-still-can people along with the progressive Deaniacs are pitted against the entrenched forces addicted to power and willing to deal anything for it including their principals. The unions will probably always be there for both, whoever is on top; even if they don't feel fully comfortable with either one. I said it was complicated didn't I? Obama, it seems to me, still hasn't figured out where he really wants to stand. He only seems to know where he wants to end up.... and that is to remain on top. I hope I'm wrong about Obama, if not, I hope he grows up soon and discovers that reaching higher is the more audacious and satisfying move, for everyone concerned. (I am confident that I'm not substantially wrong about the split in the Democratic Party. I have had the chance to observe it, up close, for some time now.) We will get a clue tonight about the prospects for our own audacities of hope.

Quark (not verified) 13 years 38 weeks ago


Thom has often talked about the DLC (corporate wing) - the relatively new usurpers of the Democratic Party started by Clinton, Lieberman, etc. and the traditional Democratic Party from which the Liberals come.

Obama has been so deliberately (in my opinion) ambiguous about so many of his positions because he really is reliant on the corporations and the DLC and doesn't want to show his hand. (Of course, that is the "glass half empty" interpretation. Time will tell.)

Is this what you're saying?

DDay (not verified) 13 years 38 weeks ago

Yes, Quark,
I thought about mentioning the DLC. They have been mentioned a lot in the past, ("90's") BUT,their power is supposed to be diminished and I have no first hand experience with them. They have a rarefied atmosphere. I have seen the" D-trip" in action many times. I think they are the real institutional 800lbs. gorilla in the party. Rahm not only controlled it but also picked his successors.

I'm saying that I fear unless Barack makes some course corrections and turns over a new stone in regards to who he listens to for various things... our hopes will not be fulfilled. Barack should listen less than I fear he has been on policy from Rahm and Larry S., and their ilk. Strategies maybe, but, not policy from them. No one in the position to oppose the Machine, a.k.a. Corporations, seems willing to do so. Self preservation over courage seems to be the theme here.
It is sad if my cynical view is correct. ....... Where's my medication?..................... never mind.

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