Daily Topics Blog - Wednesday December 16th 2009

consumer protection imagesHour One: Healthcare: First they came for the Banksters....

Hour Two: Dan and Thom debate the healthcare debacle - Dan Gainor of the Business and Media Institute www.businessandmedia.org

Hour Three: Howard Dean www.democracyforamerica.com is here - Kill the Bill!


Quark (not verified) 12 years 35 weeks ago

"The Bitch is Back"

'Came across a fascinating review of Ayn Rand books by Andrew Corsello for GQ.

"2009's most influential author is a mirthless Russian-American who loves money, hates God, and swings a gigantic d----. She died in 1982, but her spawn soldier on. And the Great Recession is all their fault."


Mark (not verified) 12 years 35 weeks ago

So much for the “brilliant” strategy of lowering the Medicare eligibility. It sounded good for awhile, but we should take it for what it was all along—a useful (albeit brief) dodge for bailing on the public option. I doubt Lieberman was the only senator in the Democratic caucus to oppose the Medicare option, but this arrogant, self-obsessed individual wanted all the “glory” for himself for killing it. Lieberman claims that hospitals in his state complain of lower reimbursements from Medicare, but given deliberately inflated costs for often pointless tests and procedures in the hope of getting as much money as they can, I think this complaint of medical providers can be set aside as other senators were able to do. After all, health care reform is supposed to be about expanding coverage and reigning in costs, and it looks increasingly likely that the senate bill will do neither.

Just in case no one noticed, Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell did the courageous thing after the farce of a murder trial with an all-white jury in Shenandoah, requesting that the U.S. Justice Department conduct a civil rights violation investigation of its own. The result yesterday was a federal grand jury handing down indictments on two of the “kids” involved in the racially-motivated murder of Luis Ramirez. The grand jury found evidence that Ramirez had been deliberately targeted, baited and killed because he was a Mexican. But of greater import was the indictment of three Shenandoah police officers—including the police chief—for conspiring to obstruct justice in favor of the killers. The officers are charged with witness and evidence tampering, and lying to FBI investigators. Many whites in Shenandoah still “comfort” themselves by suggesting that because Ramirez was an undocumented worker, he shouldn’t have been in this country to have the opportunity to be killed by their racist youth. The problem, of course, is that this is after the fact; Ramirez was killed because he was a Mexican, not because he was an undocumented worker—and it is despicable to suggest that this would have made any indifference to begin with.

Mark (not verified) 12 years 35 weeks ago

I was watching a History Channel show that portrayed the early natives of this land with strangely Caucasian-like features. Of course, this is largely due to the discovery of Kennewick Man, and the wish of many racialist whites to believe that “they” were here first. It is interesting to note that the facial reconstruction of the original skull was not a “coincidence;” Jim Chatters took along the skull bones and a photo of Jean-Luc Picard to a local “artist,” who reconstructed the face to fit Chatters’ “vision.” Facial reconstruction is less science than guess-work, and other reconstructions more closely resemble Native Americans, but what does that matter to the “Whites were here first” crowd? That others have noted that the Chatters' reconstruction also resembles certain north-eastern Indian tribes, and former NBA star Patrick Ewing, are merely annoying details.

The “origin” of Clovis points is also a point of contention, but the whites were here firsters can’t seem to come-up with a rational explanation that accounts for how an estimated 100 million clearly non-Caucasian peoples came to live in the Americas by 1492—a number roughly equal to the population of Europe at the time.

chuckle8 (not verified) 12 years 35 weeks ago

Has anyone mentioned that the 5 worst words in the English language are "A corporation is a person".

Quark (not verified) 12 years 35 weeks ago

Kill the Bill

Howard Dean says current health care legislation should be scrapped.


Richard L. Adlof (not verified) 12 years 35 weeks ago

Joseph Lieberman (I-Douche) is not the problem; Lieberman is only the face of the villain. Max Baucus (D-Health Insurance Industry), Mary Landrieu (D-Wal-Mart), Ben Nelson (D-Corporate Hand-Jobs) are not the problem. These jack_holes are a symptom.

The ‘Progressive’ members are more of our problem. Yes, corporate media shuns them and allows them no access to the public BUT they have no voice because they fail to exercise their voice. Yes, they are working towards a goal BUT they are also low-balling their goals then compromising and ceding those goals away.

Maintaining an ‘Progressive’ oriented voting record is not enough. There is no whisper campaign. There is no grandstanding. Other than Bernie Sanders, where is the clarinet forceful expression of the Progressive ideals?

I understand the argument for incremental/marginal change. Every nibble towards the righteous is a nibble towards the righteous. I , also, recognize that Recessivists wield a clumsy and heavy axes to hew away any and all attempts to provide strength to our democratic republic or preserve our common wealth.

DRichards (not verified) 12 years 35 weeks ago

Senate rejects low-cost drug imports
By ALAN FRAM (AP) – 17 hours ago
WASHINGTON — The Senate has narrowly rejected a plan to allow Americans to import low-cost prescription drugs from Canada and other countries.
The amendment by North Dakota Democrat Byron Dorgan failed on a 51-48 vote. Sixty votes were needed to prevail.
Importing prescription drugs for personal use is a violation of federal law. Dorgan's amendment would have lifted the ban, allowing access to low-cost medicines from developed countries where the government limits drug prices.
As a senator, President Barack Obama supported drug imports, but his administration now echoes the objections of the pharmaceutical industry that it would cause safety problems.

Quark (not verified) 12 years 35 weeks ago

Return to Glass-Steagall

Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) are presenting legislation to put back the regulations included in the Glass-Steagall Act (decimated by the Clinton Administration.) Video:


DDay (not verified) 12 years 35 weeks ago

Former Gov. Howard Dean showed yesterday that he is not only a man of uncommon courage and wisdom, but one who puts the welfare of his fellow Americans before his own personal interests. Defying conventional "wisdom" which parrots the notion that this is our last chance in a generation to secure health care reform, he has advocated the scrapping of this crappy excuse for reform being put forth in the Senate and regrouping to take another run at it in the next 24 months.
I think it would be interesting if the few brave progressive Senators would take a page from the 4 to 6 obstructionist blue dogs and insist on their primary needs for a public option and/or expansion of Medicare to be included or their votes will be withheld. What is there to loose? At least it would serve notice that the needs and aspirations of progressives are just as important, (if not more!), as those who sell their souls to the highest bidder. More importantly, it would send the message that some Democrats still have the spine and the will to remain tough and principled when defending the common interests of the American people. That example has been absent for far too long. Russ, Al, Sherrod, are you listening? Time to get a pair!

Mark (not verified) 12 years 35 weeks ago

It is interesting that Sen. Sanders is forcing his fellow senators to listen to the entirety of his single-payer bill, but no matter. Obama and his fellow Democrats are taking Bill Clinton's "advice": It doesn't matter if you pass a substantive health care bill--the "appearance" of one is "sufficient." Anyways, I find it a bit hypocritical for Thom to go half-cocked on an individual or an issue, and then criticize other people for talking about it.

DRichards (not verified) 12 years 35 weeks ago

Is Joe Lieberman Protecting Israel?

By Robert Parry

December 16, 2009 "Consortiumnews" --- Sen. Joe Lieberman’s latest threat to scuttle health-care reform – vowing to join a Republican filibuster to block an over-55 buy-in to Medicare, a proposal that he has long championed – is raising questions about his motives. But no one is mentioning the unmentionable, the cause that has come to define Lieberman’s career: Israel.

Is it possible that Lieberman’s obstructionist behavior doesn’t relate to Connecticut’s insurance industry or to his political ego – the two most cited explanations – but rather to a calculation that he can use his leverage on health care to limit the pressure that President Barack Obama can put on Israel to make concessions on a Mideast peace plan?


Quark (not verified) 12 years 35 weeks ago

The White House phone is busy, so I sent Obama an email telling, in no uncertain terms, how disappointed I am in him and his DLC politics.

DDay (not verified) 12 years 35 weeks ago

The fact that Thom gives special treatment to conservatives who call in, seems strangely similar to the special treatment that the blue dogs receive from Obama and Reid. I understand that their participation helps add interest and fuel to Thom's show, but, it still seems somehow wrong to my egalitarian values.

Quark (not verified) 12 years 35 weeks ago


Maybe you don't have a good plot if the protagonist doesn't have a counterpart --- an antagonist.

mathboy (not verified) 12 years 35 weeks ago

I have a suggestion. When one of Thom's free-marketeer guests says "Government doesn't work," Thom should throw it back in their face by saying "If government fails to serve the people, it's because of the legalized bribery called lobbying, which is brought about by a lack of regulation of corporations."

And the current states of health care and of the health care bill are proof.

Quark (not verified) 12 years 35 weeks ago


Yes! Absolutely! I always wish those things would be said.

thebinxster (not verified) 12 years 35 weeks ago

obama has done a brilliant job of putting members of congress out there to catch flak for things he is attempting to get done.
first, baucus was the bogeyman.
then senator nelson.
then blanche lincoln.
now joe lieberman.
and of course, rahm emanuel is always handy to deflect attention from the president. old rahm can always be blamed for anything the president is actually trying to get done.
thomm has finally come to the truth of the matter: these people have only been doing obama's bidding and he has ended up with exactly the bill he has wanted all along.
he just didn't want to take the hit for advocating for obviously regressive policies that lots of people will loathe, once they find out about them.
obama's problem all along with this: he's been a co-conspirator with all of the above-mentioned all along.
his biggest problem has been that he has been trying to keep his fingerprints off the murder weapons so that he can maintain plausible deniability.

Quark (not verified) 12 years 35 weeks ago


Yes, to me that makes Obama a coward...

Richard L. Adlof (not verified) 12 years 35 weeks ago


DDay (not verified) 12 years 35 weeks ago

@ Quark....
Re: A good plot....

Shyla (not verified) 12 years 35 weeks ago

I was an Obama supporter, and over the last few months, I've become increasingly disappointed with his promise of "change." I don't want to give up hope, maybe we are expecting too much too fast.

thebinxster (not verified) 12 years 35 weeks ago

absolutely. but voters need to understand exactly what he is doing and stop wasting time and energy going after people like baucus and lieberman, who are simply performing the function obama wants them to perform.
obama's calculation is that most voters will continue to be easily distracted by a never ending stream of convenient boogeymen.
and let's face it: is there anyone easier to hate than holy joe? he's perfect for the role. and he obviously relishes playing his role.
no, the public needs to identify the real man behind the curtain: obama.

DDay (not verified) 12 years 35 weeks ago

I first came to this site late last summer trying to get Thom to answer the question he posed...Checkers or Chess? Thom has avoided answering this ever since. Given what was just said about Rahm getting exactly what Barack wanted....does that indicate an answer is forth-coming? Inquiring minds still want to know. Thom?

Richard L. Adlof (not verified) 12 years 35 weeks ago

Presidents have the obligation to VETO in defense of the nation and the Constitution.

thebinxster (not verified) 12 years 35 weeks ago

an idle thought...
remember how supposedly crucial it was for obama to get at least one republican on board so that he could claim a bipartisan bill?
remember how important it was to get olympia snowe onboard for that purpose?
ahhh....funny, how all of a sudden all that talk of needing snowe onboard has stopped. not one mention of how important a "bipartisan" bill is, now that crunch time has come.
gee, i wonder why it's not so important anymore?
could it be because of the fact that other senators - lieberman, eg - have stepped up and provided the cover that snowe was providing?
and it makes that supposedly crucial element of "bipartisanship" not so important, after all...

DDay (not verified) 12 years 35 weeks ago

B.T.W My vote is neither Checkers nor Chess. I think it may be Three Card Monty.
I hope not.

margaret m walsh (not verified) 12 years 35 weeks ago

good morning from camp luna linda --

who paid for all those C-SPAN ads that i have heard/seen lately?

the ads invites observers of the healthcare debate --

if you go to C-SPAN by TV you will hear/see the TEAPARTY organizer --



out of the blue DIRECT TV just gave this camp FREE C-SPAN (1) --

AGAIN -- who paid for those C-SPAN.ORG

thank-you for your consideration --
with so many options -- mm

DDay (not verified) 12 years 35 weeks ago

When the British surrendered at Yorktown, their band played a tune called "The World Upside-Down". Right now the Republicans are slowing down Senate debate by insisting on reading Bernie Saunders 767 page bill for Single Payer. G.O.P. head Michael Steele is on MSNBC pushing the idea that this idea is should be part of the debate. Senator Jay Rockefeller says Howard Dean is wrong and his ideas are irresponsible. And so it goes.

Richard L. Adlof (not verified) 12 years 35 weeks ago

President Obama remains a wishy-washy, mediocre, just-right-of-center, pro-corporatist.

I know that ‘Progressive’ oriented folk LOVE to gnash their teeth and wring their hands and whine that they can’t figure out what Obama is doing BUT . . .Apply the above framework . . . and, magically, EVERYTHING falls into place perfectly every-farging-time.

Richard L. Adlof (not verified) 12 years 35 weeks ago

Dan Gainor remains human dreck and a waste of flesh.

Thomas Jode (not verified) 12 years 35 weeks ago

Hey! Today is Boston Tea Party!! You know what THAT means!

Richard L. Adlof (not verified) 12 years 35 weeks ago

Yeah, the loosing side is warning us that doing the right and righteous thing will get us screwed into the dirt in 2010. Dan Gainor, please, hurry up about fading into obscurity where history awaits your utter diminishment.

mstaggerlee (not verified) 12 years 35 weeks ago

Call me naive. Call me a cockeyed optimist. Say what you will, but I simply do not (yet) believe that the Health Care bill now coming out of the Senate is exactly what Obama has wanted all along, as it has been characterized by some folks here.

The reason that the Clinton Health Care debacle was eventually scuttled was that the bill was crafted mainly in the executive branch, and foisted upon Congress as a fait accompli. Thus, it was necessary to allow Congress, collectively, to craft the bill this time around. Also, remember that whatever comes out of the Senate must still be reconciled with the House bill.

So, it ain't over till it's over, and I still harbor some hope that a bill that will actually help the American people more than the insurance lobbyists.

Quark (not verified) 12 years 35 weeks ago


"@ Quark….
Re: A good plot….

It makes it more interesting.

thebinxster (not verified) 12 years 35 weeks ago


okay, i'll do it.
you are hopelessly naive.
look at the facts. look at what obama has done.
ignore what he has said.
it could not be more clear.
obama is saying this:
who are you going to believe?
me, or your lying eyes?
i believe my lying eyes.

Quark (not verified) 12 years 35 weeks ago


Re: "the public needs to identify the real man behind the curtain: obama."

Yes, the conversation should be all about Obama.

Quark (not verified) 12 years 35 weeks ago


The letter you're reading from "Jane" about her healthcare increases shows very clearly why people 55 and older could never retire early. Our "wealth" has been stolen from us in a hundred different ways, from insurance premium increases, to loss of value in homes, to outrageous increases in interest rates on credit cards, etc.

Who has MONEY? Oh, yes --- the corporate criminals. Never mind...

Michael (not verified) 12 years 35 weeks ago

It is time sound the alarm about a growing number of Americans who are fed up with taxation without representation. I am not talking about the under informed or misinformed tea-baggers, I am talking about a true movement whose time has come. Our politicians have for decades now screamed foul whenever the raising of taxes is mentioned. Americans have been indoctrinated that new taxes are bad and feel comfortable when their elected officials promise not to raise them. We are finally fed up with the hidden taxes our government levies on us through their legislation. From the Enron Loophole to the banking deregulation we have seen the cost of everything from energy to credit skyrocket. These hidden taxes do not benefit us nor are they beneficial to our general economy and national deficit. These hidden taxes benefit the big corporations that have taken tight control over our government.

One of the worst offenders is our health insurance industry. Their control over our government, our will, and our majority desires has become blatantly evident during this debate. If Congress actually passes a Bill without proper controls, regulations, and/or competition while including a mandate I am afraid it will be a final straw for millions of us. It could be the first bill passed that millions of Americans will actively reject as a product of obvious taxation without representation. The rejection of such an entity is a very dangerous and slippery slope for a country we love and just want to see restored to the true Democracy it once was.

Richard L. Adlof (not verified) 12 years 35 weeks ago


Right now, we have representation without payment of taxation . . . for corporations.

Don Powell (not verified) 12 years 35 weeks ago

If us conservatives reject government health care because of the traditional arguments - bloated administration, diminished choices, fraud and corruption, etc. - than what has the capitalist version brought us? As long as the government doesn't legislate private enterprise to restrict it's competition, and doesn't become infested with Big-Brother mandates, then this conservative is ready to capitulate on single-payer medicare for all.... I can't imagine it getting worse.

Tim Fullerton (not verified) 12 years 35 weeks ago

Thom, why oh why can't/won't progressives get organized and flex our muscles like the 'Tea Baggers' etc. What would happen if 200 people in wheelchairs etc. showed up at Lieberman's Senate Office? Do we feel that it is somehow too 'plebian' to do this kind of thing? Since the current democrats remind me a lot of the moderate Republican party of the 50's and 60's is it maybe time for a new party with real alternatives, not rehashed corprotist agendas?

DRichards (not verified) 12 years 35 weeks ago

2010: "The Year of Severe Economic Contraction"

By Mike Whitney

URL of this article: www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=16569

Richard L. Adlof (not verified) 12 years 35 weeks ago

@DDay RE Three Card Monty: Exactly and precisely.

Ames (not verified) 12 years 35 weeks ago

We Democrats are a fickle bunch, aren't we? The republicans whine threaten, and we sulk and pout.
I support Obama, I will vote for him in '12. I believe we have a president who will respond to public demand. If the republicans make demands in greater numbers than we do, then those demands will be met. We have to be willing to grit our teeth and be as robotic as the teabaggers when it comes to voting the polls, signing the petitions, and calling D.C. I keep reading and hearing about sooooo many callers saying they are Democrats and will vote against Obama in '12, or that they are "disappointed" in Obama. Well, MAYBE they are Democrats, but since there was a rather rapid uptick in the number of those calls and blog postings I suspect it's nothing more than an organized poisioning of our political water by the right wing nutjobs.

mstaggerlee (not verified) 12 years 35 weeks ago

@thebinxster -

Well, I guess I explicitly asked for that.

Here's an idea - All that we keep hearing about this bill, from the Centrist Rethugs and from Blue Dogs, is that if we take certain things OUT of the bill, then they'll be happier about passing it. Now that they've taken out enough to make it palatable for Holy Joe, I have ONE MORE subtraction to recommend.

The current bill makes a gift to the insurance industry by requiring few concessions from them, but mandating that the uninsured MUST insure themselves, one way or another. So, howzabout as long the best parts of the bill have already been gutted, we also strip the mandate?

Yes, I AM aware that doing so will make the bill utterly useless. But, if all we're after is the APPEARANCE of reform, wouldn't that be better than forcing 45,000,000 Americans to support the insurance gangsters?

Blue Mark (not verified) 12 years 35 weeks ago

Here's the only way I can see to save this "reform":

Pass anything in the Senate. It doesn’t matter anymore what it contains, its worthless. just submit whatever pile of crap it takes to get 60 steenkin’ votes.

It then goes to a conference committee to reconcile with the House bill. Reid makes sure to leave the Blue Dogs out when he picks the Senate conferees. Pelosi does the same. The conferees basically ignore the Senate bill, and fashion a decent bill mostly from the House version. Pass the conference report in the House – as a budget bill, then send it to the Senate where it cannot be amended or filibustered. 50 votes plus Joe Biden = universal health care.

Richard L. Adlof (not verified) 12 years 35 weeks ago

@TimFullerton: We do and mobilize hundreds of thousands only to get ZERO corporate media coverage BUT 40,000 people who are too stupid that the Boston Tea Party was for PRECISELY the opposite reason get wall to wall coverage.

Richard L. Adlof (not verified) 12 years 35 weeks ago

@Ames: I sulk not . . . I am waiting in the political tall grass . . .

Nels Nelsen (not verified) 12 years 35 weeks ago

If this Health Care Bill is a victory, its a Pyrrhic Victory.

Perhaps we can replace the term with "Democratic Victory"

Rem J (not verified) 12 years 35 weeks ago

"..At around noon ET, the Senate Clerk began reading the text of Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) single-payer amendment. The reading of amendments is usually waived during debate, but Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) requested the reading of the complete Sander's text. "

Coburn has left the floor.

Is this filibuster by proxy?

Thom's Blog Is On the Move

Hello All

Today, we are closing Thom's blog in this space and moving to a new home.

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

From The Thom Hartmann Reader:
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From Unequal Protection, 2nd Edition:
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From Screwed:
"I think many of us recognize that for all but the wealthiest, life in America is getting increasingly hard. Screwed explores why, showing how this is no accidental process, but rather the product of conscious political choices, choices we can change with enough courage and commitment. Like all of Thom’s great work, it helps show us the way forward."
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