• Guests:
    • Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT).
    • Matthew Hoh, who recently became the first known US official to resign in protest of the Afghan war.
  • Topics:
    • "Brunch With Bernie".
    • 'Anything Goes' Friday.
    • Afghanistan
  • Bumper Music:
  • Today's newsletter has details of today's guests and links to the major stories and alerts that Thom covered in the show, plus lots more. If you haven't signed up for the free newsletter yet, please do. If you missed today's newsletter, it is in the archive.
  • Quote: "In time of war the loudest patriots are the greatest profiteers." -- August Bebel.
  • Article: Too Big to Fail - Too Big to Exist by Senator Bernie Sanders. Petition.

    "Senator Bernie Sanders introduced legislation that would break up financial institutions that are too big to fail. "If an institution is too big to fail, it is too big to exist," Sanders said. "We should break them up so they are no longer in a position to bring down the entire economy. We should end the concentration of ownership that has resulted in just four huge financial institutions holding half the mortgages in America, controlling two-thirds of the credit cards, and amassing 40 percent of all deposits." Sanders' legislation would give Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner 90 days to compile a list of commercial banks, investment banks, hedge funds and insurance companies that he deems too big to fail. The affected financial institutions would include "any entity that has grown so large that its failure would have a catastrophic effect on the stability of either the financial system or the United States economy without substantial Government assistance." Within one year after the legislation became law, the Treasury Department would be required to break up those banks, insurance companies and other financial institutions."

  • Press release: 9/11 Mastermind to Be Brought to New York After Reid Bows from Pressure From the Far Left by NRSC.

    " Just over one week after Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) voted against a critical measure that would have barred captured terrorists from being brought onto American soil, Reid’s allies in the Obama Administration announced this morning that Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the self-described mastermind of the 9/11 attacks, will be brought to New York City and tried in a civilian court just steps away from Ground Zero.

    This incredible announcement comes despite the fact that tens of millions of taxpayer dollars have reportedly been spent already on building a military commissions courtroom at Guantánamo Bay – a courtroom that has sat empty as Reid and fellow Democrats have come under intense political pressure from interest groups on the far left, such as MoveOn.org, to give captured terrorists more rights.

    Last week, Reid voted to block an amendment proposed by U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) that would have barred the prosecution of these terrorists in federal civilian courts and instead ensured they were tried by military commissions. Notably, the Graham amendment was supported by almost 150 family members of victims of the September 11 attacks, who penned a joint letter to members of the Senate."

  • Article: Study of Disputed Florida Ballots Finds Justices Did Not Cast the Deciding Vote by Ford Fessenden and John M. Broder.

    "The data produced by the ballot review allows scrutiny of the disputed Florida vote under a large number of situations and using a variety of different standards that might have applied in a hand recount, including the appearance of a dimple, a chad dangling by one or more corners and a cleanly punched card.

    The difficulty of perceiving dimples or detached chads can be measured by the number of coders who saw them, but most of the ballot counts here are based on what a simple majority ? two out of three coders ? recorded.

    The different standards mostly involved competing notions of what expresses voter intent on a punch card. The 29,974 ballots using optical scanning equipment were mostly interpreted using a single standard ? any unambiguous mark, whether a circle or a scribble or an X, on or near the candidate name was considered evidence of voter intent.

    If all the ballots had been reviewed under any of seven single standards, and combined with the results of an examination of overvotes, Mr. Gore would have won, by a very narrow margin. For example, using the most permissive "dimpled chad" standard, nearly 25,000 additional votes would have been reaped, yielding 644 net new votes for Mr. Gore and giving him a 107-vote victory margin.

    But the dimple standard was also the subject of the most disagreement among coders, and Mr. Bush fought the use of this standard in recounts in Palm Beach, Broward and Miami- Dade Counties. Many dimples were so light that only one coder saw them, and hundreds that were seen by two were not seen by three. In fact, counting dimples that three people saw would have given Mr. Gore a net of just 318 additional votes and kept Mr. Bush in the lead by 219.

    Using the most restrictive standard ? the fully punched ballot card ? 5,252 new votes would have been added to the Florida total, producing a net gain of 652 votes for Mr. Gore, and a 115-vote victory margin.

    All the other combinations likewise produced additional votes for Mr. Gore, giving him a slight margin over Mr. Bush, when at least two of the three coders agreed."

  • Letter: Text Of A Letter From The President To The Speaker Of The House Of Representatives And The President Pro Tempore Of The Senate, March 18, 2003 by President Bush.

    "March 18, 2003

    Dear Mr. Speaker: (Dear Mr. President:)

    Consistent with section 3(b) of the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002 (Public Law 107-243), and based on information available to me, including that in the enclosed document, I determine that:

    1. reliance by the United States on further diplomatic and other peaceful means alone will neither
      1. adequately protect the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq nor
      2. likely lead to enforcement of all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq; and
    2. acting pursuant to the Constitution and Public Law 107-243 is consistent with the United States and other countries continuing to take the necessary actions against international terrorists and terrorist organizations, including those nations, organizations, or persons who planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001.

    Sincerely,

    GEORGE W. BUSH"

  • Speech:
    "Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.

    This world in arms is not spending money alone.

    It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children.

    The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: a modern brick school in more than 30 cities.

    It is two electric power plants, each serving a town of 60,000 population.

    It is two fine, fully equipped hospitals.

    It is some 50 miles of concrete highway.

    We pay for a single fighter plane with a half million bushels of wheat.

    We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people.

    This is, I repeat, is the best way of life to be found on the road the world has been taking.

    This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron.

    "
    Dwight D. Eisenhower, April 16, 1953 "The Chance for Peace" speech (mp3).
  • Margaret Mead:

    "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."

  • Craig asked Thom how he keeps a good, positive attitude given that corporations have got stronger. Thom replied:

    "I think it was Margaret Mead, in fact I'm quite sure it was Margaret Mead, who said, 'never doubt that a small group of dedicated people can change the world, indeed, that's the only way it's ever happened'. Susan B. Anthony didn't live to see the fruit of her actions. W. E. B. Du Bois didn't. I mean, so many. Go all the way back to, I mean, you could go back to the Greeks with their experiment with democracy 3,000 years ago. Things don't always happen rapidly. But just, here's what makes me most optimistic.

    Number one, the arc of history is progressive, it is in a progressive direction.

    Number two, people are waking up.

    And number three, consider, for 7,000 years, the 7,000 years that we've had what;s called modern western civilization, although it encompasses eastern civilization as well, going all the way back to the founding of the Chinese empire and the founding of the western empire in what was then called Ur, Uruk, the Epic of Gilgamesh 7,000 years ago. For 7,000 years, the writing of the old testament, the new testament, the prophets, Jesus, all this, you know, through all this stuff, you know, religious, political, everything, out of that 7,000 years, let's say it was absolutely 7,000 years to this day, it wasn't, but just for purpose of argument. Out of that 7,000 years, 6,800 of those years, it was accepted as conventional wisdom that humans could be the property of other humans as slaves, and that women were the property of men.

    For 6,700 of those 7,000 years, it was accepted as conventional wisdom that it was impossible for people to govern themselves, that they had to be governed by a ruling elite who were informed by God or the gods. And in just 300 years we have gone from no democracies on Earth to over 100. In just 200 years we've gone from, or really, 150 years, we've gone from the absolute conviction in the United States that slavery, or at least the majority opinion, that slavery was an acceptable thing to viewing it with horror.

    In the last 70, 80 years, 100 years in the United States, well, 80 years in the United States, we've gone from the idea that women shouldn't vote and should essentially be the property of men to a strong consensus that women not only should have the same rights as men, but should be a strong and dominant force in our society, or at least a strong and equal force in our society.

    We have gone from fighting wars of genocide and wars that were just incredibly brutal like World War I, you know, the war to end all wars, and the Civil War. Some of the wars that were fought over the last 3, 400 years were unbelievable in the horrors and the reasons for those wars, to having legitimate, legitimate's the wrong word. To having loud and honest debates about war and to having people like Matthew Hoh in the State Department resigning over what's going on in Afghanistan.

    Yes, we have had cycles in the United States where corporations have risen in power. They were very low in power after the American Revolution. It was a war against corporate power, against the British East India Company, principally, and corporate power gradually rose into the 1830s, 1840s and really picked up steam in the 1860s after the Civil War, 1870s, but then it got knocked down by Teddy Roosevelt and the Progressive Movement, and further knocked down by Franklin Roosevelt and reached, I'd say, its low point in 1950. And then it started slowly coming back, then Reagan brought it back.

    So we have these cycles of progressive times and conservative times in the United States, of corporate power and people power. And I frankly believe that right now we are entering, we are at the early stages, this is the birth pains, that we are entering a new progressive era. A new era of pushing back against corporations, not just in the United States, but all around the world. And frankly, I think that it's a tremendous thing. I am very optimistic.

    I have a long list of complaints. I can give you all the things that even the Obama administration's done wrong, that I'd like them to do better and they should do more and we need to, you know, and we talk about those things from time to time.

    But I have a lot of hope and optimism, and I think that there's evidence for it, number one.

    And number two, I also know that if you don't take the despair that you feel or the anger that you feel or whatever, and convert it into positive action, you end up paralyzed. We all need to be active."

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