Monday November 30th 2009

taxes 1 imagesHour One:  Our insane economic times with Chuck Sheketoff

Hour Two: Who are the 30 groups on a systematic risk list and why should we care?

Labor Update - Doug Cunningham - What impact does immigration have on the labor movement?

Hour Three: Dr. James Topic: Why would conservatives rather pay for war than health care

Plus Gareth Porter on Afghanistan and Pascal Zachery on getting out now


Quark (not verified) 13 years 26 weeks ago

Sen. Bernie Sanders on Bernanke reconfirmation (congressional hearings this week; video):

Richard L. Adlof (not verified) 13 years 26 weeks ago

That is about kidnapping . . .

Richard L. Adlof (not verified) 13 years 26 weeks ago

Nobody wants to play 'Where's Waldo' with Governor Sanford.

Mark (not verified) 13 years 26 weeks ago

On Sunday, four Lakewood (a town on the outskirts of Fort Lewis, WA) police officers were ambushed by an assailant while they prepared for the day’s activities at a coffee shops. It was a shockingly brazen act, unprecedented in recent memory. It must be confessed that relations between the local police and certain communities in Lakewood (and nearby Tacoma as well) leave much to be discussed, but it appears that “mental health” issues in combination with a history of “erratic behavior” and violence is to blame. It may also be a copycat of the Seattle police officer slaying a few weeks ago, committed by a man with no criminal past but had a “grudge” against police and what he believed to be police brutality. It is also a testament to the increased atmosphere of hostility between the police and certain communities, creating an atmosphere conducive to such acts—especially given the belief that the police are rather carefree with their use of lethal force, particularly when most of their victims seem to be non-criminal types who just happen to put themselves in a bad situation at the wrong time. In any case, this should end Mike Huckabee’s presidential aspirations.

Anyways, this right-wing retired soldier who wanted to argue with Thom about how the U.S. military personnel are treated, I recall an old saying that the best place to be in the military was between the place you were leaving and the place you were going. The service can’t be that great when you’re thinking about how “short” you are—180 days, 90 days and then the week you have to laugh at the guys who still have to run around like chickens during a 2 am alert, or have to go on 30-day “camping trips.” Yeah, some soldiers like to puff-out their chests, but that’s always after the fact and when they’ve escaped unscathed. I spent seven years in the Army during the Reagan years, and I don’t recall feeling particularly special, although Reagan did make of show of restoring the lost “honor” of the troops; at least we made a little more money, and Reagan knew that it wasn’t worth destroying morale to no purpose—pulling out of Beirut after the Marine barracks bombing. But not that much, at least not enough make to me rich; I recall one staff sergeant bragging about how he had $5,000 in the bank, which was pretty impressive considering most privates ran out of money a week after payday. When I left the service, what I had managed to save (as a buck sergeant) was my last paycheck. I suspect most single soldiers serving in war zones today have a considerably easier time saving money, since they don’t have as many opportunities to spend it, so I can see how this particularly former soldier can imagine what “rich” is like, since for a person who joined the service with no job and no money, $5,000 does seems “rich.”

Mark (not verified) 13 years 26 weeks ago

I also heard on NPR’s BBC service that some UN study is reporting that 70 percent of all women have been subject to some form of violence, presumably all by the hand of man. It is not known what role “feeling good about feeling badism” played in the study, malice, self-fulfilling phropecy, or if one incident (regardless of the circumstances or who was at fault) was sufficient to make the list. One activist group refers to “femicide,” although according to FBI crime statistics, 76 percent of all murder victims (at least in this country) are male, and more male children are killed than female (with women more likely than men to be the perpetrators of child-killing). Research on these subjects almost without exception focus on the female-as-victim angle; exceptions tend to elicit unfavorable reactions, such as the early 1990s University of Washington study which monitored couple behavior. The study suggested that women were just as likely as men to instigate “domestic violence;” the reaction from victim advocates was predictably heated and in denial. If it is claimed that men were conscious of their behavior, then what are we to say of the women who felt no compulsion to moderate their behavior?

I’m not going to be stupid enough to sit here and say that a few men are not savage beasts, but then again you have to question why some women find such men preferable as “mates” than others; maybe they feel “safer” with them. But there are other realities. A columnist for the defunct P-I commented on almost unanimously-ignored study that suggested that 35 percent of all domestic violence cases were perpetrated by women. In the following column he revealed that he had been contacted by a police officer who expressed his frustration when confronted with many a domestic violence situation. Often it was difficult to ascertain who was at fault, but unless the woman was standing over the bloody pulp of a man with a frying pan in her hand, it was the man who would almost invariably be arrested, because the police were required to arrest someone after a domestic violence call.

Perhaps some people heard the news of Tiger Woods’ auto mishap last Friday morning, and were skeptical of the rather bizarre explanation for it initially. Over the weekend, Tiger and his wife “delayed” talking to police investigators (apparently to get their story straight), but an AP story Friday evening suggested a much different scenario. Tiger allegedly told someone who was not law enforcement after the incident that he and his wife were arguing about his alleged tabloid affair with another woman (the latter who vehemently denies this, saying “those girls are lying”); after 2 am, Tiger apparently had enough argumentation and left the house. As he was pulling away in his SUV, his wife (who was still in the mood for argument) emerged from the house with a golf club, caught up with him at the gate and started clubbing the vehicle. After that, the story returns to murkiness; Tiger allegedly turned around to see what was going on, and with the SUV still in gear moved forward and struck the fire hydrant and tree.

But the fact that Tiger and his wife have delayed for the third day talking to investigators remains suspicious, and the unanswered questions are legion. What was he doing a 2:25 AM? If the SUV was traveling at high speed, why didn’t the air-bag deploy? Why were the rear windows smashed? The person who called 9-1-1 after hearing the crash did not see Tiger inside the vehicle, but lying outside. The truth may be that Tiger got out of the SUV to stop her, and she then turned the club’s attention to his head, knocking him into the senseless state police would find him in. Meanwhile, the SUV, still in gear, rolled out of the driveway and into the fire hydrant and a neighbor’s tree.

But Tiger will take the chivalrous route and (try) to avoid more such publicity; other than the occasional curses at a bad shot, he seems even-keeled, somewhat aloof and careful of his privacy. But some people will no doubt find the account just described amusing, even if entirely true. That is why the role that women play in domestic violence is largely overlooked. How can you “solve” a problem if you only look at half of it?

ReaganRules (not verified) 13 years 26 weeks ago

Here we go. The first hour as always, will be the usual Ronald Reagan bashing and the economy.

When are libs going to start taking ownership of these ridiculous Obama policies and stop blaming a President who was elected 29 years ago?

Mugsy (not verified) 13 years 26 weeks ago

Hey Thom,

While nothing could probably have changed your last caller's mind on healthcare reform, you need to remind these people one important fact:

The ONLY way these companies can make a profit is by DENYING someone care.

To defend the "FOR PROFIT" insurance system is to defend denying people care.


Richard L. Adlof (not verified) 13 years 26 weeks ago

@RONDOG.RULZ: The first hour was NOT about bashing the Alzheimer’s addled actor . . . Just pointing out the evil crap done in your Saint’s name that hunts us today.

ReaganRules (not verified) 13 years 26 weeks ago

................"Alzheimer's addled actor". Well done. As someone who lost both grandparents and my father to that disease, I would expect nothing less from liberals.

When you cannot have a debate, chide and ridicule............once again, well done.

Richard L. Adlof (not verified) 13 years 26 weeks ago

@RONDOG.RULZ: I feel for your grandparents, your father and your loss. I acknowledge that I could have chosen my words better.

I, also, note that it appears that their loss has had little or no impact on your capacity to sympathize with others and feel their pain. Playing the guilt card, does not give you a free pass on going out of your way to champion willful ignorance and economic warfare on the middle and lower classes. Additionally, your attempt at projecting your on-going heartless rhetoric upon others cheapens the mindless jingoism you spew.

Furthermore, I acknowledge the accuracy of my post. Reagan’s diminished capacity was used as a marketing devise to do real damage to the American economy and educational systems. Turning a man into a puppet to sell the dismantling of public systems was evil.

ReaganRules (not verified) 13 years 26 weeks ago

My original post, mind you, was about the on-going incessant blame game about a President who left office in 1988! Can you tell me what the shelf life is for blaming Reagan for every ill that happens in the world? I listen to Hartmann's first hour every single day, and not 1 day goes by before he blames SOMETHING on Ronald Reagan.

I understand you liberals will use the GWB blame card for decades to come, but what is this sickness with blaming Reagan?

When will Hartmann discuss the continued bailouts, the non-stimulus job creator, the takeover of GM and Chrysler, the government health care fraud, the climate change fraud, the Afghanistan war decision, the KSM criminal trial, the H1N1 virus shot debacle, the ACORN fraud, the waivers for lobbyists in the WH, calling Tea Party protestors "teabaggers" the "don't jump to conclusions on Ft. Hood vs. the Cambridge cops acting "stupidly"................I could go on for another 30 minutes, but my point is, can't you libs discuss the on-going policies of Barack Obama, or is he off limits?

Richard L. Adlof (not verified) 13 years 26 weeks ago

@RONDOG.RULZ: Debate is based on the interplay of facts. Debate requires the rigorous application of logical rules. Interpretation is based on those twin principles. Debate requires a ‘prima facie‘ case to be presented then questioned, dismantled or superseded by the opponent within a structured environment. You never even attempt to do any of those things.

If you truly wish to engage in debate, I would be happy to respond in kind.

Richard L. Adlof (not verified) 13 years 26 weeks ago

@RONDOG.RULZ: Reagan’s political career represents the coalescing of the institutionalization of an inordinately large number of recessivist movements. I will go on record stating that Ronald Reagan lacked the foresight and ability to orchestrate these attacks against capitalism and democracy in American. Frankly, the guy did not have the game . . . He was a front man only BUT as the front man, his name has become synonymous with the destruction of the recessivist movement.

G.W. Bush was little more than a cheap imitation of Reagan and represented the opportunity for the fruition of the movement.

DRichards (not verified) 13 years 26 weeks ago

An Open Letter to President Obama from Michael Moore

Monday, November 30th, 2009

Dear President Obama,

Do you really want to be the new "war president"? If you go to West Point tomorrow night (Tuesday, 8pm) and announce that you are increasing, rather than withdrawing, the troops in Afghanistan, you are the new war president. Pure and simple. And with that you will do the worst possible thing you could do -- destroy the hopes and dreams so many millions have placed in you. With just one speech tomorrow night you will turn a multitude of young people who were the backbone of your campaign into disillusioned cynics. You will teach them what they've always heard is true -- that all politicians are alike. I simply can't believe you're about to do what they say you are going to do. Please say it isn't so.

It is not your job to do what the generals tell you to do. We are a civilian-run government. WE tell the Joint Chiefs what to do, not the other way around. That's the way General Washington insisted it must be. That's what President Truman told General MacArthur when MacArthur wanted to invade China. "You're fired!," said Truman, and that was that. And you should have fired Gen. McChrystal when he went to the press to preempt you, telling the press what YOU had to do. Let me be blunt: We love our kids in the armed services, but we f*#&in' hate these generals, from Westmoreland in Vietnam to, yes, even Colin Powell for lying to the UN with his made-up drawings of WMD (he has since sought redemption).

So now you feel backed into a corner. 30 years ago this past Thursday (Thanksgiving) the Soviet generals had a cool idea -- "Let's invade Afghanistan!" Well, that turned out to be the final nail in the USSR coffin.

There's a reason they don't call Afghanistan the "Garden State" (though they probably should, seeing how the corrupt President Karzai, whom we back, has his brother in the heroin trade raising poppies). Afghanistan's nickname is the "Graveyard of Empires." If you don't believe it, give the British a call. I'd have you call Genghis Khan but I lost his number. I do have Gorbachev's number though. It's + 41 22 789 1662. I'm sure he could give you an earful about the historic blunder you're about to commit.

With our economic collapse still in full swing and our precious young men and women being sacrificed on the altar of arrogance and greed, the breakdown of this great civilization we call America will head, full throttle, into oblivion if you become the "war president." Empires never think the end is near, until the end is here. Empires think that more evil will force the heathens to toe the line -- and yet it never works. The heathens usually tear them to shreds.

Choose carefully, President Obama. You of all people know that it doesn't have to be this way. You still have a few hours to listen to your heart, and your own clear thinking. You know that nothing good can come from sending more troops halfway around the world to a place neither you nor they understand, to achieve an objective that neither you nor they understand, in a country that does not want us there. You can feel it in your bones.

I know you know that there are LESS than a hundred al-Qaeda left in Afghanistan! A hundred thousand troops trying to crush a hundred guys living in caves? Are you serious? Have you drunk Bush's Kool-Aid? I refuse to believe it.

Your potential decision to expand the war (while saying that you're doing it so you can "end the war") will do more to set your legacy in stone than any of the great things you've said and done in your first year. One more throwing a bone from you to the Republicans and the coalition of the hopeful and the hopeless may be gone -- and this nation will be back in the hands of the haters quicker than you can shout "tea bag!"

Choose carefully, Mr. President. Your corporate backers are going to abandon you as soon as it is clear you are a one-term president and that the nation will be safely back in the hands of the usual idiots who do their bidding. That could be Wednesday morning.

We the people still love you. We the people still have a sliver of hope. But we the people can't take it anymore. We can't take your caving in, over and over, when we elected you by a big, wide margin of millions to get in there and get the job done. What part of "landslide victory" don't you understand?

Don't be deceived into thinking that sending a few more troops into Afghanistan will make a difference, or earn you the respect of the haters. They will not stop until this country is torn asunder and every last dollar is extracted from the poor and soon-to-be poor. You could send a million troops over there and the crazy Right still wouldn't be happy. You would still be the victim of their incessant venom on hate radio and television because no matter what you do, you can't change the one thing about yourself that sends them over the edge.

The haters were not the ones who elected you, and they can't be won over by abandoning the rest of us.

President Obama, it's time to come home. Ask your neighbors in Chicago and the parents of the young men and women doing the fighting and dying if they want more billions and more troops sent to Afghanistan. Do you think they will say, "No, we don't need health care, we don't need jobs, we don't need homes. You go on ahead, Mr. President, and send our wealth and our sons and daughters overseas, 'cause we don't need them, either."

What would Martin Luther King, Jr. do? What would your grandmother do? Not send more poor people to kill other poor people who pose no threat to them, that's what they'd do. Not spend billions and trillions to wage war while American children are sleeping on the streets and standing in bread lines.

All of us that voted and prayed for you and cried the night of your victory have endured an Orwellian hell of eight years of crimes committed in our name: torture, rendition, suspension of the bill of rights, invading nations who had not attacked us, blowing up neighborhoods that Saddam "might" be in (but never was), slaughtering wedding parties in Afghanistan. We watched as hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians were slaughtered and tens of thousands of our brave young men and women were killed, maimed, or endured mental anguish -- the full terror of which we scarcely know.

When we elected you we didn't expect miracles. We didn't even expect much change. But we expected some. We thought you would stop the madness. Stop the killing. Stop the insane idea that men with guns can reorganize a nation that doesn't even function as a nation and never, ever has.

Stop, stop, stop! For the sake of the lives of young Americans and Afghan civilians, stop. For the sake of your presidency, hope, and the future of our nation, stop. For God's sake, stop.

Tonight we still have hope.

Tomorrow, we shall see. The ball is in your court. You DON'T have to do this. You can be a profile in courage. You can be your mother's son.

We're counting on you.

Michael Moore

Richard L. Adlof (not verified) 13 years 26 weeks ago

@RONDOG.RULZ: Obama is mediocre, just-right-middle-of-the-road, pro-corporate centrist. He has no policies to debate. In the off chance that Obama actually develops policies someday, I will be happy to discuss them.

ReaganRules (not verified) 13 years 26 weeks ago

WOW..........4 posts by yourself and yet, I have not heard the name Obama.

Nothing left to say, thanks for making my case.

Mugsy (not verified) 13 years 26 weeks ago
Food Fascist (not verified) 13 years 26 weeks ago

THX for posting the M Moore letter. I have it posted on the message board. And on the discussion section on the Barack Obama Facebook site.

Email the president here:

Richard L. Adlof (not verified) 13 years 26 weeks ago

@RONDOG.RULZ: I suggest you read before you post. Look to the post directly above yours. Thank you for proving my point on being a knee-jerk sloganeering . . . (Impolite word, self censored for the good of the community).

mirfromindia (not verified) 13 years 26 weeks ago

Saved by the bell! That could have been embarrasing, Taliban and Al-Qaeda are both Sunni and infact a lot of taleban do tend towards the salafi branch of sunni islam!
Only difference being 'Taliban' is a very loose term that includes a lot of the pashtun tribes and the original group led by Mullah Umar and is fighting to establish their rule in Afghanistan based on a mish-mash of Islamic and traditional, centuries old, afghan traditional practices. They do they understand global politics are not interested in domination of muslim minds worldwide, unlike Al-Qaeda.

ReaganRules (not verified) 13 years 26 weeks ago

Your post occured less than 1 minute before I posted. Continue showing this "vast" community what the typical name calling liberal does.

Have a great day.

Food Fascist (not verified) 13 years 26 weeks ago

Like the Roman Empire - at some point, the rest of the world gets tired of a bullying tyrant, and begins eating away at it from every corner of the Earth.

Quark (not verified) 13 years 26 weeks ago


er, ReaganRules,

Go educate yourself, then come back and try to talk.

Richard L. Adlof (not verified) 13 years 26 weeks ago

@RONDOG.RULZ: Perhaps the issue was more that to properly respond to your one drive-by post it requires a number of posts to restore some resemblance of logic. Dumping garbage does not make ones garbage any more palatable or valuable.

I know that it remains important to lump me into a non-specific group by continuously attempting to label me as a liberal name-caller. It always you to fail addressing my points by dismissing them without considering them.

Quark (not verified) 13 years 26 weeks ago

Richard and Food,

The idiot lurker probably gets paid by the number of people he annoys... LOL

mstaggerlee (not verified) 13 years 26 weeks ago

@Reagan Rules -

In answer to you quesrtion regarding the shelf life of criticicm of Reagan's policies - I've heard Limbaugh, Hannity, Beck and the like spend considerable time on their programs criticising the New Deal policies of FDR. Maybe, sometime after FDR's shelf life expires for the Right, Reagan's will expire for the Left - certainly not before.

If you bothered to pay any attention to what goes on in here, you'd realize that we are decidedly NOT a cheering section for Barack Obama - He's WAAAAY to the right of most of us ... Obama's opinions are likely closer to yours than to mine, so maybe you should leave him alone.

If you truly beleive the Fox-feuled ninsense about Obama representing the EXTREME left, then there's very little to be gained by having any kind of arguement with you. I also generally avoid arguements with people who believe in Santa Claus.

Lee (not verified) 13 years 26 weeks ago

We call people in Afghanistan and Iraq who are fighing foreign occupation "insurgents" (in other words, OUTLAWS) what would we be called in the USA if a foreign country invaded our country and began stealing our natural resources? . . . Heroes?

We invade Irag and Afganistan and coincdently both countries are undergoing civil wars. Divide and conquer and steal the resources. In Afganistan's case, it's a matter of placing military bases and operations to faciltate the gas and oil pipelines from the Caspian Sea.

I think Thom is finally beginning to get to the matter of who is controling our politics. It's not Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Carter, Obama, it's the people with billions of dollars in wealth and interests in controlling global resources that co-opt our democratic process with money who are the problem and need to be identified and chased from the shadows of annonymity. We need to follow these people around and hound them just as the paparizi hounds celebrities. They must know that we know who they are and how they sew discord through the Hegelian Dialectic to play working people off each other.

These people own the media and depend on the media for cover and to manufacture distractions. Focusing on politics is exactly what they want, focusing on the cross ownership of media and corporate global interests is exactly what they don't want.

Thank you Thom for talking about Exxon in Iraq, then there's Hunt and the Kurdish deal and on it goes. It was about oil after all. The Bush adminsitration was the oil administration.

Lee (not verified) 13 years 26 weeks ago

I meant to say what would we be called if we resisted foreign invaders . . .

Lee (not verified) 13 years 26 weeks ago

An example of outing the machinations of the media and corporate ownership is to consider the ongoing development of a electricity generating power plant in Dabhol, India. In a cooperative arrangement, Enron, Bechtel and General Electric built the power plant that was dependent on natural gas from the Caspian Sea that had to be piped through Turkmenistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Cut to the 2008 Democratic primary, Progressive candidate Dennis Kucinich is barred from debating in Las Vegas near the Yucca Flats Nuclear facility by the host of the debate: NBC. NBC is owned by nuclear power developer, rotary cannon maker etc and an advocate of the Yucca Flats expansion while Kucinich wanted it shut down. There is now massive aquifier contamination in the Yucca Flats area and water is at a premium in the Southwest. So we had a media outlet, NBC owned by General Electric, effectively screening our presidential candidates for us, thereby reducing our choices to Obama, Clinton, and pretty boy Edwards.
The right did the same thing with the popular Ron Paul. Paul flatly stated at a previous republican primary that he would pull out of Iraq and Afganistan, would dissolve the CIA and Federal Reserve. Poof! He's gone from the debates tool.

There's something wrong with a people who allow their candidates to be screened for them by private interest groups with obvious agendas.

Lee (not verified) 13 years 26 weeks ago

I see that I should take more time to look over my posts as this site doesn't allow editing, My apologies for yet another correction.

The Dabhol plant began in the early to mid 1990s. In 1998 John J. Maresca, VP of Unocal went before a sub committee of Congress detailing the vast oil and gas reserves in the Caspian Sea. His presentation, still on the web, outlined the possible routes and destinations and concluded with the best option being through Turkmenistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan to terminals at ports in the Arabain Sea for emerging markets in the Far East and India. He concluded his presentation by stating emphatically that the Taliban are a non sovereign entity and therefore unavailable for diplomatic negotiations and were being recalcitrant to the idea of the Centgas consortium's exploitive plans, and thus the Taliban needed to be removed from power. By another coicidence, the Project for the New American Century was also formed in 1998 and later called for a New Pearl Harbor and after stating that American's could not be persuaded to engage in corporate/military global expansion in the absence of a catostrophic and catylizing event, "Like A New Pearl Harbor."

The rest, they say is history, history of blood and sacrifice by the middle class, profits and exceeding wealth by the corporate global entitities that continue to foment discord today. I've barely scratched the surface, it is everyone's human duty to have the curiosity to delve into this affair and turn over ever rock. The rock that hides the sun, in this case, is the corporate owned media/military/oil complex.

Quark (not verified) 13 years 26 weeks ago


As Thom says, the damage in which we currently live would start to come undone if "natural" could be added to "person" (thus disconnecting the "rights" of corporations as "persons") in the Supreme Court decision in the late 1800s that Thom investigated.

mirfromindia (not verified) 13 years 25 weeks ago

Regarding Lee's post "I see that I should take more time to look over my posts as this site doesn’t allow editing". I agree!!!!

I wanted to say that "the 'Taliban' DO NOT understand global politics are not interested in domination of muslim minds worldwide, unlike Al-Qaeda".

My apologies! And to 'ReganTool' ..err...'ReaganRules': Liberals / Progressives are also humans (probably unlike most neo-cons) and they are entitled to a few errors from time to time.

Thom's Blog Is On the Move

Hello All

Thom's blog in this space and moving to a new home.

Please follow us across to - this will be the only place going forward to read Thom's blog posts and articles.

From Cracking the Code:
"No one communicates more thoughtfully or effectively on the radio airwaves than Thom Hartmann. He gets inside the arguments and helps people to think them through—to understand how to respond when they’re talking about public issues with coworkers, neighbors, and friends. This book explores some of the key perspectives behind his approach, teaching us not just how to find the facts, but to talk about what they mean in a way that people will hear."
to understand how to respond when they’re talking about public issues with coworkers, neighbors, and friends. This book explores some of the key perspectives behind his approach, teaching us not just how to find the facts, but to talk about what they mean in a way that people will hear."
From The Thom Hartmann Reader:
"Thom Hartmann channels the best of the American Founders with voice and pen. His deep attachment to a democratic civil society is just the medicine America needs."
Tom Hayden, author of The Long Sixties and director, Peace and Justice Resource Center.
From The Thom Hartmann Reader:
"Thom Hartmann seeks out interesting subjects from such disparate outposts of curiosity that you have to wonder whether or not he uncovered them or they selected him."
Leonardo DiCaprio, actor, producer, and environmental activist