Friday Oct 9th 2009

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


Mark (not verified) 13 years 24 weeks ago

Last Friday, Thom was commiserating with someone over the surprising rejection of Chicago as the site for the 2016 Olympics, having failed to receive a single vote in support. I think that despite Obama’s popularity overseas, there is nevertheless the continuing hangover of Bush administration; perhaps Obama would have received a sympathy vote if he hadn’t assumed too much, and had shown a little more humility by emphasizing the U.S.’s desire to make-up for its past sins. In any case, the right’s gloating over this is testimony to the fact that they would prefer to see the country go down in flames rather than see Obama succeed.

What really disturbed me, however, was Thom’s attempt to disparage Rio de Janeiro’s claim for the Olympic site, and Latin American cities in general. Yes, there is crime, and in certain cities in Brazil, gangs of vigilante police roam ghettos and indiscriminately kill homeless youths who may or may not be criminals. Thom seems loath to acknowledge the effect of the class (and caste) separation based on race and ethnicity in Latin America, which in many ways is far more pronounced than in the U.S. Terms used to delineate persons of European-descent from all others is still the determining factor in social status, like Mestizo, Mulatto and Zambo (where the term “Sambo” originated). This enforced social strata has made Latin America the region of the world with the most pronounced differential between rich and poor, with Euro-elites keeping wealth in their possession. Most analysts blame this grinding inequality for the high crime rates; the fact that teenage males are the principle victims of homicide in Latin American indicates a decided lack of expectations for the future among the young. In any case, few believe that this will change any time soon, particularly with the U.S.’ continuing support for oppressive regimes.

Not that this inspires much concern or understanding around here. I saw parts of a Schwarzenegger movie the other day, in which he—in defense of some oppressive right-wing Latin American regime—kills a number leftist rebel men and women, most of them half his size. I’m sure he, Eastwood, Norris, Willis and these other Republican action “heroes” are proud of their “heroics” in defense of oppression of the indigenous masses. Schwarzenegger, who speaks English in the manner we’d imagine that a Neanderthal would, has in the past showed contempt for Latinos in his state, oblivious to the fact that most are U.S. citizens, and most speak English much better than he does. Schwarzenegger also seems completely unacquainted with the history of the state he has played the role of governor in, or wondered why this “Anglo-Nordic” state of California has so many Spanish place names.

In other news, Boeing is learning the hard way that “downsizing” does not necessarily pay. Having laid-off tens of thousands of skilled local workers over the past ten years, it now finds itself in the midst of a critical shortage of skilled labor, forcing extended production delays not only for the 787 but for the latest iteration of the 747—delays that are causing decreasing trust by customers and threatening to cut down new orders.

Also, there is a new report out that claims increases in bullying and aggression in schools. However, there is a caveat: it is admitted that the numbers mix the significant with the insignificant, and perhaps even the drama queen imaginary, suggesting deliberately over-broad definitions and typical teen angst. The infamous “study” that claimed that one-in-four women in college are raped comes to mind; a newspaper story on campus crime at the University of Washington a few years ago listed 6 reported cases of sexual assault in the previous year, none which led to charges; if it was one-in-four, we would expect 6,000 cases at a university the size of UW. Yet the student union building was plastered with posters from the women’s studies department about the “epidemic” of rape on campus. This problem is too important to be subjected to the questionable credibility of its sources.

DRichards (not verified) 13 years 24 weeks ago

Gore Vidal: Obama ‘incompetent’ but GOP ‘like Hitler Youth’

Loretta (not verified) 13 years 24 weeks ago

I am feeling very protective of our President and it is becoming irrational and a bit unhealthy, I think. I love Gore Vidal, but his criticism just seriously pissed me off, even though his criticisms are justified.

But check this out! From King George to the Nobel Peace Prize in ten months!

Don't you feel so much rage at President Bush for what he is now putting President Obama through? Just think what President Obama could be accomplishing if he weren't having to clean up the mess left by King George. Off with his head:-)

Loretta (not verified) 13 years 24 weeks ago

Gosh I hope I don't get in trouble for that. I was thinking about King Henry the Eighth, but a person can't make jokes like that.

George Bush is one evil dude and President Obama is, at the moment, having to run through a mine field left by that criminal, and he is still accomplishing miracles.

In the long run, President Obama's work bringing republicans into negotiations will, in the end, pay off very slowly, year by year, when individual rightwingers are enlightened by his efforts. He has the brilliance to work every angle, and I bet he is working on education, infrastructure, women's rights and peace building in Afghanistan while having to juggle the MIC (Military Industrial Complex)

We more than likely don't get to hear much about this work.

DRichards (not verified) 13 years 24 weeks ago

'U.S. furious over Israeli incitement against Obama'
The source, who met in Washington with administration officials and members of Congress, told Haaretz he was stunned by the level of anger there over attempts to portray Obama to the American public as an enemy of Israel because of his efforts to restart peace talks and freeze settlement construction.

"There are people here who are playing with fire by damaging our relationship with the U.S.," the source said.

Loretta (not verified) 13 years 24 weeks ago

This was John Fugelsang's facebook status update this morning: John Fugelsang "awoke to find that America's President had won the Peace Prize and Bombed the Moon."

B Roll (not verified) 13 years 24 weeks ago


This can't be so for Thom Hartmann spaketh and said that Israel is our very most besttes buddy in the Middle East and so it must be so. He even spaketh that truth this week.

On the other hand, last month I heard that only 4% of Israelis said that they believe Obama is a friend of Israel in a recent poll. The person who said that emphasized that number by then pointing out that it was 4% not 40% because the number was so stunning.

Quark (not verified) 13 years 24 weeks ago

Interesting discussion this morning between Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Dylan Ratigan on healthcare and financial reform legislation. (Video)


'So good to "hear your voice" again!

Loretta (not verified) 13 years 24 weeks ago

Thank you Quark. So nice to write to you!

mathboy (not verified) 13 years 24 weeks ago

If Michael Steele thinks the Nobel Prize shouldn't go to yet another Democrat, he should spend some time trying to find a Republican who strives for peace, rather than profit.

B Roll (not verified) 13 years 24 weeks ago

Why is Bernie Sanders asking "what is our goal, what is our exit strategy and what is the time-line?"

Shouldn't the question be "what right do we have to have our troops and mercenaries in Afghanistan?"

DRichards (not verified) 13 years 24 weeks ago

It seems to me that the US government & the Israel governments use each other; the US uses Israel as a foothold in the Middle East, and Israel gets a country in return. (And the fundamentalist Christians blindly support Israel because their (Jewish) holy book says that they (Israel) are God's chosen people (and that God will bless those who support Israel).

Quark (not verified) 13 years 24 weeks ago

Hey, Thom,

Snow in Minneapolis, too!

Mena Sprague (not verified) 13 years 24 weeks ago

Hey John from Hastings, NE, glad to know others from NE are listeners. We do have an active peace group that meets in G.I. monthly with a state wide Nebraskans for Peace Conference in G.I. Oct. 24, 2009. We are the only Spragues in the St. Paul phone book.

Quark (not verified) 13 years 24 weeks ago

NBC news correspondent Richard Engel has compiled a documentary on Afganistan, "Tip of the Spear." It will be aired this weekend. Engel, a longtime foreign correspondent in that part of the world, says the U.S. needs to get out. Here's video:

Quark (not verified) 13 years 24 weeks ago

"Opt Out" Brilliant, Thom?

A recent pundit said it might result in a race to the bottom. States who give more generous benefits often end up on Republican hit lists (as Minnesota has, with its history of more generous, relatively speaking, welfare benefits.) States who have more generous benefits are constantly under attack, allowing for Republican slander and the ouster of Democratic governors (as happened in Minnesota.

In Minnesota, the Republican talking point was, for years, that so-called "generous" welfare benefits were attracting trasplants from Chicago, who, according to the meme, migrated to Minnesota for the welfare benefits It didn't matter that this was mostly a lie. Reagan's "welfare queens" ideology was accepted as the truth. Hence, enter Tim Pawlenty.

Quark (not verified) 13 years 24 weeks ago

s.b. transplants

Tim (not verified) 13 years 24 weeks ago

Trying to redeem myself here.
Why isn't the right wing clammering for a scoring by OMB of the escalation of the war in Afganistan?

Quark (not verified) 13 years 24 weeks ago



Quark (not verified) 13 years 24 weeks ago


Columbus Day is this coming Monday. I just wanted to put in a plug for the Norwegians (Vikings), who probably discovered America long before Columbus. The Kensington Rhune Stone, here in Minnesota, along with other artifacts in the U.S., seem to give evidence to that. Some theories suggest links with some Viking explorations and the Templars (and the Masons.) Reportedly, Columbus heard stories about America through Templar connections that he had in his family.

A fascinating program on this subject will be aired on The History Channel next Wednesday (see "Schedule" listings at the following link.)

OK, B Roll. I presume you will tell me how the program is all fiction, but it does have some interesting ideas (I've seen it before.)

"Holy Grail in America"

DRichards (not verified) 13 years 24 weeks ago

Congratulations President Obama on the Nobel Peace Prize -- Now Please Earn it!

Friday, October 9th, 2009

Dear President Obama,

How outstanding that you've been recognized today as a man of peace. Your swift, early pronouncements -- you will close Guantanamo, you will bring the troops home from Iraq, you want a nuclear weapon-free world, you admitted to the Iranians that we overthrew their democratically-elected president in 1953, you made that great speech to the Islamic world in Cairo, you've eliminated that useless term "The War on Terror," you've put an end to torture -- these have all made us and the rest of the world feel a bit more safe considering the disaster of the past eight years. In eight months you have done an about face and taken this country in a much more sane direction.


The irony that you have been awarded this prize on the 2nd day of the ninth year of our War in Afghanistan is not lost on anyone. You are truly at a crossroads now. You can listen to the generals and expand the war (only to result in a far-too-predictable defeat) or you can declare Bush's Wars over, and bring all the troops home. Now. That's what a true man of peace would do.

There is nothing wrong with you doing what the last guy failed to do -- capture the man or men responsible for the mass murder of 3,000 people on 9/11. BUT YOU CANNOT DO THAT WITH TANKS AND TROOPS. You are pursuing a criminal, not an army. You do not use a stick of dynamite to get rid of a mouse.

The Taliban is another matter. That is a problem for the people of Afghanistan to resolve -- just as we did in 1776, the French did in 1789, the Cubans did in 1959, the Nicaraguans did in 1979 and the people of East Berlin did in 1989. One thing is certain through all revolutions by people who wish to be free -- they ultimately have to bring about that freedom themselves. Others can be supportive, but freedom can not be delivered from the front seat of someone else's Humvee.

You have to end our involvement in Afghanistan now. If you don't, you'll have no choice but to return the prize to Oslo.

Michael Moore

B Roll (not verified) 13 years 24 weeks ago


The political dynamics around the U.S./Israeli relationship are bad for the U.S., the world and Israel.

Here are a few recent stories that you may be aware of but weren’t mentioned on this show.

* Obama’s special envoy to the Middle East ask Israel to halt build more settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

* The U.S. and Israel pressured Palestinian Authority both attacked the Goldstone Report and pressured Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas to ask that action on that report be suspended. This protects Israel from charges of war crimes but solidifies the view of Abbas as a tool of the U.S. and Israel.

* While the Obama Administration is rallying the world to apply pressure on Iran about its nuclear program, it’s been reported that they’ve given written confirmation that they won’t ask Israel to give information about its nuclear program, open its nuclear facilities or sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Iran is a signatory of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and opens its nuclear facilities for inspection. Israel isn’t a signatory and doesn’t open its facilities. Israel’s nuclear policy is called “opacity”. In other words they won't say what they have or what they don't have.

* Thom’s glass is three-quarters full of Kool-Aid at the very least.

By the way, when I wrote that when Thom has had many guests that are critics of Israeli policy, I was told by one participant on this board that having those guests on was proof that Thom doesn't have a pro-Israeli bias. I had to point out that Thom talks to them about other things, not about Israel.

Robert Fisk is another example. Robert Fisk is the Middle East correspondent for the Independent in the U.K.. He's been based in Lebanon for since the mid-1970s. He's a highly respected journalist. Thom said Fisk is one of his favorite writers. Thom had him on the show on Wednesday, October 7th to talk about his article on the demise of the dollar. Has anyone ever heard Thom talk to Fisk about his views on the Israel or the Middle East? Has anyone ever heard Thom mention Fisk's views on the region? Do you wonder why?

DRichards (not verified) 13 years 24 weeks ago

B Roll
Re: Do you wonder why?

No, I do not wonder why. It is most likely because anyone who dares question Israel is immediately accused of being anti Semitic.

Quark (not verified) 13 years 24 weeks ago


Interviews with Supreme Court Justices, Friday - Sunday
9 pm ET


Supreme Court Week on C-SPAN closes out with three nights of interviews with all of the sitting Justices and retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. See the complete schedule below. And Monday night at 6 & 8 pm ET, catch an encore presentation of The Supreme Court: Home to America's Highest Court, our latest original feature-length documentary.

Friday, Oct. 9
9 - 11:30 pm
9 pm Justice Anthony Kennedy
9:40 pm Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
10:20 pm Justice Antonin Scalia
10:55 pm Justice Sandra Day O'Connor

Saturday, Oct. 10
9 pm - midnight
9 pm Justice Sonia Sotomayor
9:40 pm Justice Clarence Thomas
10:30 pm Justice Stephen Breyer
11:25 pm Justice Samuel Alito

Sunday, Oct. 11
9 - 10:40 pm
9 pm Chief Justice John Roberts
10 pm Justice John Paul Stevens

All times Eastern.

Gerald Socha (not verified) 13 years 24 weeks ago

On Thursday, October 8, 2009, we saw Michael Moore's movie, "Capitalism: A Love Story." My wife and I enjoyed the movie but we were also saddened by the fact that our country is not a democracy. Money talks and money is god in the United States.

I am becoming more aware through news sources that the Republicans are pro-death with their death panels.

Bishop Thomas Gumbleton of the Diocese of Detroit was in the movie. I am proud to say that he and I communicate by sharing information and letters.

I agree with this article.

Gerald Socha (not verified) 13 years 24 weeks ago

The Nazi Party should stop whining about Obama and the Nobel Peace Prize. The Nazi Party could collectively win the peace prize by pursuing peace in unison instead of projecting an image of mass murderers.

Gerald Socha (not verified) 13 years 24 weeks ago

Paul Craig Roberts is one of my favorite writers.

Gerald Socha (not verified) 13 years 24 weeks ago

UPDATE II: On Democracy Now, Naomi Klein calls Obama's award "disappointing, cheapening of the Nobel Prize," and adds: "I think it’s quite insulting. I don’t know what kind of political game they’re playing, but I don’t think that the committee has ever been as political as this or as delusional as this, frankly." On Daily Kos, Michael Moore writes ironically: "Congratulations President Obama on the Nobel Peace Prize -- Now Please Earn it!" Mairead Maguire, the 1976 Nobel Peace Prize Winner, says she's "very disappointed" with this award, noting: "President Obama has yet to prove that he will move seriously on the Middle East, that he will end the war in Afghanistan and many other issues." And my Salon colleague, Alex Koppelman, adds several thoughts about the efforts by the DNC and some Democratic groups to explicitly equate opposition to the Prize with "casting one's lot with terrorists."

-- Glenn Greenwald

Thom's Blog Is On the Move

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