Monday October 19th 2009

the warningHour One: "Impeach Obama?!" Why do conservatives have to resorts to lies and exaggerations? with Floyd Brown

Plus....Ricky Macoy, unemployed electrician - planning to camp out on his GOP reps lawn if Congress fails to extnnd unemployment benefits

Hour Two: Did Alan Greenspan squash a key economic whistle blower? Thom gets the scoop from Michael Kirk, Producer of Frontline's "The Warning"

Hour Three: How long will it be before America's fate matches that of Latvia?


Quark (not verified) 13 years 23 weeks ago

Last week, I received an email from the office of Rep. Robert Wexler (D-FL) announcing that he would be leaving congress in January. Wexler has been a strong, progressive voice in Washington. I am sad to see him go. He is leaving to head a think tank devoted to Middle East peace. Of course, the move will be worth it if he is able to help that situation:

Mark (not verified) 13 years 23 weeks ago

In the Lytle/Davidson book “After the Fact: The Art of Historical Detection” a chapter is devoted to oral testimony and its limitations. They discuss one undertaking in the New Deal writer’s project (that put unemployed journalists to work) which sought to fill a gap in the historical record that had long been ignored: slavery from the slave’s point of view. The project eventually compiled about 9,000 testimonials from former slaves still alive in the 1930s. An examination of this oral history revealed that certain similarities in background information suggested that many of the former slaves had been interviewed more than once, by different reporters.

In one statement, a former slave spoke bitterly and sharply about her experience and her masters; the fact that she addressed the interviewer as “son,” suggested that the interviewer was also black, to whom she was less fearful of expressing her views. On the other hand, the same former slave was clearly more submissive when she was reminded that she was fortunate to receive a pension, which the latter (we may suspect) was interviewed by an apparently white reporter. The former slave, in contrast to her previous testimony, didn’t mention the beatings and families ripped apart to this second reporter, but did note that she was once given a new pair of shoes for Christmas from her master. Interestingly, this reporter was aware of the prior interview of this particular former slave, taking pains to editorialize about the objectivity of that reporter, noting (as if she knew) how kind the slave masters “really” were.

Lytle and Davidson note that we may conjecture that because the former slave was more willing to reveal things to a person of her own race that she might be afraid to say in front of a white person, this original report could be said to be more truthful. On the other hand, because she was able to remember at least one nice thing that was done for her, the historical record would be incomplete and perhaps (slightly) misleading if we simply assumed that the slave masters were completely evil incarnate; but this pales in comparison to the gap in our knowledge if we simply relied on the second testimonial, which left out information the former slave chose not to state out of fear of how her words may cause her problems (such as loss of her pension).

Thus in regard to the conversation Thom had last Thursday with an African-American writer who crashed a white supremacist party in Idaho, I must disagree with the assessment that white supremacists interviewed by a man who is not white can in fact be reliably accepted as being “truthful.” Thom’s used this assumption that this would be evidence to support his theory the separation in this country has more to do with class than race (a notion that is clearly not the prevailing factor in the white/black vs. brown dynamic), and overlooking the fact that race is a form of class distinction in this country and in many other countries because it’s morally convenient. If a Latina grovels over a white man, is it for a perceived increase in social status? If marriages between black men and white women usually end in divorce, do societal pressures based on perceived racial “class” have a hand in this? Probably so. In any case, we can be fairly certain that the white supremacists who spoke to Thom’s guest were evidently self-conscious, and took great pains to deny that their racism was based on irrational beliefs, rather basing separation entirely on “behavior”—that is, “rational discrimination.” But we can surmise that what they say to each other outside of prying ears is considerably more “truthful” in regard to their actual beliefs.

While elements of class separation may exist within racial demographic groups, there is no evidence, for example, that middle-class whites and minorities cohabitate, at least not by choice, and upper-income minorities are too few to be noticed. In a “progressive” city like Seattle, we might expect to see greater integration of neighborhoods, but that is clearly not the case; Seattle is as segregated along racial lines as any city, and class considerations are simply not part of the equation in racial integration. A simple observational experiment demonstrates this: look at who stands on what side of the street at a bus stop on the weekend in downtown Seattle. It is whites we see waiting at stops that go north, while it is minorities we see waiting at stops going south. Furthermore, in Seattle few will claim that there is a “behavior” issue that prevents integration in “Chinatown”—referred to as the International District—yet separation there is real and persistent. Other than the odd tourist, this district services Asians almost exclusively.

It was also mentioned in this conversation that the white-brown/black-brown divide was immigrant-based. Again, this simply flies in the face of anti-Latino feeling that has existed since at least the extortion of California and the Southwest from Mexico, largely at the behest of Southern fire-eaters who wanted to expand slavery westward and southward; the original “filibusterers” were Southern adventurers who sought to turn Mexico and Central America into new slave states that would offset free state expansion. Mexicans who chose not to abandon their homes and property in the newly acquired territory became U.S. citizens and retained their property rights under the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo; the fact that California and the Southwest has thousands of place names that are Spanish is testimony to their long-time presence. Yet white and black commentators choose to insist that the Latino presence is wholly an “immigration” issue, and that their prejudices is entirely based on this premise. Yet the reality is that U.S.-born Latinos lived under in a Jim Crow society themselves, their property confiscated and the civil rights as U.S. citizens seldom honored; this is a historical reality that has never been adequately addressed in American history books.

Quark (not verified) 13 years 23 weeks ago


I don't think I will be listening to the third hour. Day-to-day life in this country is hard (and depressing) enough. I can't listen to dark predictions...How about more progressive guests and guests of color with "food for our soul"?

Quark (not verified) 13 years 23 weeks ago


It is sad and shameful that the history of Europeans is predominately one of expansionism and usurpation, then living in denial.

mstaggerlee (not verified) 13 years 23 weeks ago

I took an advance peek at Its creator, Floyd Brown, will be appearing on the show today. His bio (on the site) includes -

"Most people know me as the man behind the infamous Willie Horton Ad that sunk the presidential aspirations of Governor Michael Dukakis, or for the pivotal work in support of the confirmation of Justice Clarence Thomas. I was also among the first to sound the alarm on the Clinton Whitewater scandal as well as the mysterious circumstances surrounding the apparent suicide of White House Counsel Vince Foster during the early Clinton years. And when it comes to the subject of impeachment, I've been down this road and trod this ground before."

Later on on the same page, in discussing things said about himself by George Stephanopoulos, he says - "(As) My mother always used to say, "consider the source." "

Yes ... I believe those very words would apply to pretty much EVERYTHING you have to say, Mr. Brown!

mathboy (not verified) 13 years 23 weeks ago

And given that quote, Floyd Brown isn't very good at grammar either.

DRichards (not verified) 13 years 23 weeks ago

Has the Government Sowed the Seeds for Green Shoots or Another Depression?

Note: To those who think that keeping quiet about bad news and gloomy forecasts will help the economy recover, or that talking about them is unpatriotic, please read this.

You probably heard that Nicu Harajchi - CEO of N1 Asset Management - told CNBC on Friday that we're heading into a full-blown depression.

You may have heard that Paul Krugman said a couple of days ago that the collapse in global trade is worse than during the Great Depression.

But surely the worst is over, and the government has done what is necessary to help our economy recover. Right?

Well, if you get most of your financial news from the tv or newspapers, you might not know what other experts have been saying...

Steve Pipenger (not verified) 13 years 23 weeks ago

Marching in Chicago is not the answer. Marching in DC is not the answer. You want to rile up Wall Street? March, 2,000,000 strong down Broadway in New York to Wall Street and a rally in front of the New York Stock Exchange. The ONLY way you show your anger is to scare them. Two million people standing outside their giant house of cards is about the only way to start that process.

mstaggerlee (not verified) 13 years 23 weeks ago

@Steve Pipenger -

GREAT idea - I have a suggestion to improve it, though.

Instead of the NYSE, make the march's destination Goldman Sachs HQ. Arrive at about 3 PM. Stick around, entertaining ourselves, unitl about 8 PM. This way, we hold the bastards hostage in their own offices for a little while, just like they've been holding OUR MONEY hostage all these years.

mstaggerlee (not verified) 13 years 23 weeks ago

Re-reading the above, it sounds somewhat more forceful than I had intended. It probably doesn't have to be, though.

These guys are very brave when it comes to taking risks with OPM (other people's money), but I'm willing to bet that they're a whole lot more risk-averse (to use their own terminology) when their own skin is in the game.

In other words, I think our simple presence will be enough to keep these lily-livers locked in their ivory towers - no threat or demonstration of physical violence will be necessary (unless they sic the Pinkertons on us!).

brian a. hayes (not verified) 13 years 23 weeks ago

thom, wanted to let you know about a new book i think you might like. its called CREATING WALDENS An East- West Conversation on the American Renaissance by Ronald a. bosco Joel Myerson Daisaku Ikeda i wish i could send you a copy but i can't afford too. you can get more information at maybe ronald bosco and joel myerson can be on your show. with deepest respect brian a. hayes

Boris31 (not verified) 13 years 23 weeks ago

On friday the show was closed with Thom speaking of how a Religious element has risen within the Military, this coupled with a steady dose of piped in right-wing Fox news is why I believe "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" won't be repelled anytime soon.

The upper echelon of the Military (not the troops themselves), have a hardcore religious doctrine that will not allow for change. The move to evangelize the troops would run counter to "Don't Ask, Don't Tell".

I believe the topic is radioactive to the general media, but here's an article that explains how deep the problem is..

mstaggerlee (not verified) 13 years 23 weeks ago

Very Interesting ...

Again, Floyd Brown, from - Most people know me as the man behind the infamous Willie Horton Ad that sunk the presidential aspirations of Governor Michael Dukakis.

Floyd Brown, 2 min. ago, on the Thom Hartmann Show - "I never said that the Willie Horton ad killed the Dukakis campaign."

I suppose, though, that we must (as Mr. Brown himself recommends) CONSIDER THE SOURCE!

GranMaggie (not verified) 13 years 23 weeks ago

Re: Lloyd Brown, and his narrow-minded activity... Where was he when the truth about our entry into Iraq was made public? Why didn't he promote the impeachment of Bush?

how can he dare --
DARE -- to promote impeaching Pres Obama, who is trying to clean up the mess -- MESS -- left our country by the actions of GB? The tax refund to the richest, the lies about Iraq which has proven to have the most fraudulent activity by the defense contractors? GB's goal was apparently to destroy our economy, laying the path for the richest to get richer and the poor to get poorer -- reminds me of a song from the 30's!!!!

Boris31 (not verified) 13 years 23 weeks ago

As a quick follow up..

I believe that the Obama administration knows how deep the Religious Right-wing runs in the Military , that any attempt to enact change will be blocked.

Steve Pipenger (not verified) 13 years 23 weeks ago

Article 2, Section 4

The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors. (Source:

There is often much confusion about what "high crimes and misdemeanors" means. Thom, in his conversation with Floyd Brown, stated that the constitution required a criminal violation to impeach. However, this is not true. this is a phrase that the reader must take in whole and cannot, to get its correct meaning, look at as requiring a "crime" or "misdemeanor." That said, then, what does the Constitution mean when it states "high Crimes and Misdemeanors?" Essentially, these are acts, which are abuses of power and undermine the operation of government. These can be political offenses and do not necessarily have to be "crimes."

Mark S (not verified) 13 years 23 weeks ago

Would the religious right support a woman's right to choose if the fetus was gay?

Mugsy (not verified) 13 years 23 weeks ago


"Darwin Awards" aren't for plain stupidity.

The "Darwin" Award rewards someone for benefiting mankind by removing themselves from the gene pool through their own stupidity.

Typically, the winner must die to be eligible, but on rare occasions, simply wounding themselves in a manner that assures that they will never pro-create, can allow a living person eligible for the award.

But ordinary stupidity doesn't make you a "Darwin Award" candidate, it makes you a Republican. :)

Richard L. Adlof (not verified) 13 years 23 weeks ago

Why import clothing?

Silly Willy Nilly Ol’ Bear . . . It is because of the catchy, foot-tapping tune: Look for the Union Label!

Boris31 (not verified) 13 years 23 weeks ago

Impeach or remove Obama ???...

Ridiculous...he was voted in by a wide margin, and although some fringe elements might not care for his policies, so what ? Elections have consequences.

The flip side to the right-wing point of view is that the folks that voted him in think he's moving too slow making changes...
they also wouldn't take kindly to having their considerable efforts of electing Obama be over-turned.

mathboy (not verified) 13 years 23 weeks ago

I saw an "Impeach Clinton" sign in a window before Bill Clinton had even been inaugurated. The right wing always floats that balloon. (But like the Heenes' UFO, it rarely deserves the attention.)

Quark (not verified) 13 years 23 weeks ago


Quark (not verified) 13 years 23 weeks ago


I misunderstood the description of the third hour. I stayed put and listened to the whole show. Thanks.

Quark (not verified) 13 years 23 weeks ago


Per the previously linked video,makes me think Alan Greenspan may have had a Lee Atwater moment and is repenting previous behavior...

Gerald Socha (not verified) 13 years 23 weeks ago
Mugsy (not verified) 13 years 23 weeks ago

The argument that "illegal aliens could receive healthcare because the bill lacks a citizenship test" is a disaster waiting to happen.

There is a HUGE difference between "in the country legally" and actually being a citizen.

If I visit Europe and fall ill, they will cover me at no charge. Republican's crying for a "citizenship test" means even LEGALLY PRESENT visitors from other countries could not get the same healthcare benefit their own country affords us.

Mugsy (not verified) 13 years 23 weeks ago

On "Hate Crime"

Thom, you mentioned "child pornography".

Carrying your Libertarian guest's argument to its logical conclusion, Child Pornographers should only be prosecuted for the injury they inflict upon "each child" and not for the crime itself.

nora (not verified) 13 years 23 weeks ago

A Hate Crime is an INTIMIDATING POLITICAL ACT--an attempt to control others to one's will and goal through FEAR and THREAT. Using the word "hate" is probably the problem here. The word "hate" insinuates that emotion is the drive here, but that diregards that political/religious ideology and the specifics of their goals -- as these are driving the "INTENT" of crime as pointed out by a couple of Thom's callers today.

Calling these specific acts of violence and intimidation/threat by the term "hate crimes" makes them seem akin to crimes of passion. Nothing could be further from the truth. They are premeditated and often planned; they are ingrained in many ideological platforms. I think they should be called "Political Crimes".

C. Marcus Parr (not verified) 13 years 23 weeks ago

We’ve been infantilized, lobotomized, and turned into consumerist chattel that live on credit, buying things we don’t need with money we don’t have. We no longer have an admired workforce of educated and talented workers. We used to be the envy of the world. America had machinists and mechanics and builders and engineers, a skilled workforce. This is no longer the case. Our economy has been gutted of factories and steel mills. We make very little in this country today.

Seventy percent of our economy is consumer based. The financial sector capsized the economy through toxic derivatives and securitization of “vapor assets.” The so-called "wizards of Wall Street" even sold insurance as a hedge against the toxic assets going south. Irrational exuberance is a phrase that does not adequately define the extreme greed and criminal behavior that destroyed our country.

But turn out the lights, the party’s over. At this point, there’s nothing you can do, nothing anyone can do. No stimulus package or Treasury or Federal Bank policy is going to save us. Obama will do all that he can, but in the end the American economy is in for ten or more years of pure, unadulterated economic wilderness.

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