Daily Topics - Monday December 7th 2009

going rouge imagesHour One - Why the populist left should be reaching out to the populist right...why move on members should be showing up at tea party rallies

Hour Two - Don't be fooled by phony recoveries that are nothing more than currency manipulation

Hour Three - Thom & Chris debate "Are Liberals Useless?" Chris Hedges www.truthdig.com

Guest: Going Rouge Katrina vanden Heuvel www.orbooks.com www.thenation.com

Comments

Richard L. Adlof (not verified) 12 years 29 weeks ago
#1

Strappin' on the stupid won't help ANY Progressive cause . . . It will further dumb down MERican politics.

Richard L. Adlof (not verified) 12 years 29 weeks ago
#2

Rasmussen is considered to be ‘ishy’ at best by the pollster industry anymore. Nate Silver of FIVETHIRTYEIGHT largely discounts them any more. Rasmussen is striving to be for the Recessivists what Public Policy Polling is for the DEMS.

Richard L. Adlof (not verified) 12 years 29 weeks ago
#3

THOM: I remain unconvinced that Progressives can usurp control of the Tea-Bag bunch. They appear to be driven by mindless, knee-jerk jingoism rooted in the response to certain key trigger words. They play the role of the “angry unwashed masses”. They anger/rage they embody would eat high-minded liberals alive. The Blue Dogs are our Tea-Baggers and they own us.

There is a reason Harry Reid, presently the de facto DEM leader, is the single most ineffectual individual in the whole farging mess we call government.

Quark (not verified) 12 years 29 weeks ago
#4

Thomas Jode,

OK, I'll copy and paste. Thanks!

Quark (not verified) 12 years 29 weeks ago
#5

From Gerald Socha,

Gerald Socha December 6th, 2009, 9:32 pm

I listen to Thom’s radio show everyday that fits into my schedule and the listening does not disrupt doctor’s appointments, shopping, visits to family, work around the home and yard, etc. Listening to Thom, a person can receive an education.

He is right that if we abandon the Democrat Party, we may elect someone who will cause more problems. Plus, the elected politician can appoint certain people to the Supreme Court, etc. Thom has also said that we are at the start of more progressive change. He is probably right but cycles can take time, like a century or two or maybe three centuries. I do not have that much time in my life and in fifty years or so it will not matter for our sons.

I must state here that I disagree with him. Maybe Thom has to put up a positive expression to keep motivating himself on his radio show.

Thom, nothing will ever change in our country and I truly mean we will never change. Here are the facts. Our country is completely controlled by the industrial-military complex, the Federal Reserve that cannot be audited, the banks, the radical religious fundamentalists from every religion, and Wall Street. Ten percent of the people in our country control ninety percent of the people. This fact will never change. Thom, do you remember the saying, THE PEOPLE WITH THE GOLD MAKE THE RULES? I am certain that you do.

The grand experiment of electing a minority president has failed. Obama is an elitist. He is part of The Establishment.

NOTHING WILL EVER CHANGE IN OUR COUNTRY!!! OUR COUNTRY WILL NEVER CHANGE!!!

We are a divided country where hatred, corruption, and lies are the norms.

Mark (not verified) 12 years 29 weeks ago
#6

Yesterday morning at work I was suddenly struck by a dire need for coffee (probably because I was frozen stiff in Seattle), and since there isn’t even a coffee machine, coffee pot or even hot water in the break room, I had to satisfy this need by venturing into the baggage claim area where there was a coffee vendor; this vendor sells 3-inch-in-diameter donuts for $2.25, but at least a drip coffee was somewhat of a more reasonable cost. Anyways, while the Nazis had their Brown-Shirts, this place has its Blue-Shirts. So it was that a simple expedition for a cup of coffee would be an occasion of suspicion, and find me spread eagle getting a pat-down by one of these (deleted). I asked one of the Blue-Shirts who inspected them, and I was informed that they inspected themselves—kind of like the police policing themselves, I would conjecture.

Quark (not verified) 12 years 29 weeks ago
#7

Quark December 7th, 2009, 7:54 am

Gerald,

I don’t feel very hopeful when I look at the increasing corporate control and the “too big to fail” model continuing to proliferate (Comcast takeover of NBC Universal, for example.) If I saw any significant push-back by congress or others with influence and power to effect change or, as Thom says, prices of the stock of such corporations declined, I might believe change is on the horizon. There was, however, a push-back in today’s NY Times editorial column:

“Concerns About Comcast – NBC”

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/07/opinion/07mon3.html?_r=1&ref=opinion

Since you indirectly quoted von Bismark (”He who has his thumb on the purse has the power.” Speech to North German Reichstag -21 May 1869), I have another one with which you might also agree:

“Man cannot create the current of events. He can only float with them and steer.” — Otto von Bismark, quoted in the London Independent

That encompasses perfectly how I feel. Until a movement reaches the proverbial “tipping point”, this is where one finds himself. I agree with you, we probably will not see real, positive change in our lifetimes (though, who knows, we now know that significant climactic changes can occur in a very short amount of time. Since mankind is a part of nature, maybe he has this ability, too.)

Quark (not verified) 12 years 29 weeks ago
#8

Quark December 7th, 2009, 8:07 am

Jared Diamond a Sell-out?

Jared Diamond, scientist and author of Collapse and other best-sellers about reasons for the success or failure of human societies, had an interesting opinion piece in yesterday’s “Week in Review” section of the NY Times:

“Will Big Business Save the Earth?”

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/06/opinion/06diamond.html?_r=1&ref=opinion

I guess, if you think you can’t criticize the issue of the existence of uber-size corporations, you find something redeeming to say about some of them. (It puts bread on the table…)

Quark (not verified) 12 years 29 weeks ago
#9

P.S.

Re: Jared Diamond a Sell-out?

I feel wishy-washy when I say this, but I DO believe that the world is not black & white, but shades of gray.

Quark (not verified) 12 years 29 weeks ago
#10

I may have posted this in the past, but it is worth repeating: TED talk (video):

“Jared Diamond on why societies collapse”

http://www.ted.com/talks/jared_diamond_on_why_societies_collapse.html

Quark (not verified) 12 years 29 weeks ago
#11

From Zero G:

Zero G. December 7th, 2009, 9:08 am

Hoping for Chevron, Wal-Mart & Coca-Cola to save us?

Isn’t Chevron still in bed with the Burmese junta?
Isn’t Mal-Wart still destroying local commerce?
And saved by high fructose corn syrup?

Quark (not verified) 12 years 29 weeks ago
#12

Zero G.,

Exactly! You’re right on (forgive the 60’s term…)

Quark (not verified) 12 years 29 weeks ago
#13

Thom IS talking about a tipping point. ‘Worth pursuing, I think.

Quark (not verified) 12 years 29 weeks ago
#14

Quark,

I’m very comfortable with 60’s terms.

I’m a vintage ‘57, if I were a guitar I might be worth something…

Mark (not verified) 12 years 29 weeks ago
#15

I found the conversation Thom had with a guy named “Bob” a bit interesting, especially since the middle class is in fact shrinking, and workers who still have jobs are more likely to shrink before the commands of the “ruling class” in order to keep their jobs. I heard some “Con” on the radio recently equate success with hard work. That question may be debated, particularly if being “clever” in the financial markets is “hard work.” A more pertinent question is whether hard work equates with success. A queen ant does nothing but lay eggs, all its needs provided by the labor of other ants. A queen that lazes about doing nothing but laying a great many eggs is regarded as a “success,” but does it “work hard?” A CEO may receive a compensation package worth $20 million; is this because he is a success—or has the illusion of “success?” Does what he performs to “earn” that compensation qualify as “hard work?” The right seems to believe that “success” means making lots of money, and making lots of money means that you must have worked hard—like buying and selling real estate, or companies, or gambling with someone else’s money.

On the other hand, there is worker ant which can carry a morsel of food many times its own weight into a colony, and continues to carry on so for a few weeks, and then dies of exhaustion. This ant can be said to work hard, exceedingly so in support of the queen and colony. But is it personally a “success?” Laborers whose toil for the success that the CEO “earns” may not benefit themselves materially in the success; they may even be forced to work their entire lives until they die of hard work. Vincent Van Gogh painted hundreds of paintings (most of them in the last four years of his life), many of them masterpieces; his hard work would eventually completely exhaust his mind and body. Was he a success? Certainly not in his lifetime, which was spent in poverty, artistically ignored or panned, and the last wretched years spent in a sanitarium.

Hard work thus does not necessarily lead to “success,” at least not in the terms that the right understands. In these hard economic times, “success” may merely mean keeping your job instead of losing it. Nor is “hard work” necessary for “success,” if all you do is be clever with other people’s money. Where I work, you can tell the difference between “success” and hard work; those blessed with the former are provided with free coffee, and have time to mount and admire holiday decorations in their AO; those mired in the latter don’t have time for any of that.

This country’s economy would quickly evaporate if that was all the “work” people did was the kind the right admires. Someone else has to do the real hard work, and generally it is someone else who decides how “successful” they will be. “Success” is also parceled out by social or “good old boy (or girl)” networks that generally exclude minorities, and by access to higher education, limited by “standards” designed to keep people out, not to provide opportunity.

Quark (not verified) 12 years 29 weeks ago
#16

From chuckle8:

chuckle8 December 7th, 2009, 10:01 am

I wish Thom could get Ravi Batra to agree with him about rolling back the Reagan tax cuts.

When Thom did mention to Ravi that increasing taxes would help the economy, Ravi replied that in the current economic situation it would have a negative effect.

I wish Thom would have replied that he agrees that a general tax increase would not be appropriate at this time. Then, I wish he would have asked, how a tax increase to 78% on incomes over 3.2 million would have a negative effect.

Thomas Jode (not verified) 12 years 29 weeks ago
#17

Thank You! =)

Quark (not verified) 12 years 29 weeks ago
#18

Thomas Jobe,

Thank YOU for the heads up. (I hope my cutting and pasting isn't too confusing.)

Quark (not verified) 12 years 29 weeks ago
#19

oops...s.b. Jode

Zero G. (not verified) 12 years 29 weeks ago
#20

Anybody else see this? (sigh)

Share16 The Psychological Implosion of Our Soldiers
Monday 07 December 2009
by: Dahr Jamail, t r u t h o u t | Report

http://www.truthout.org/1207092

Thomas Jode (not verified) 12 years 29 weeks ago
#21

He was describing tribalism, where, in making your own living within a group, you give support to the tribe and the tribe gives support to you. It is the purest essense of democracy.

Tim (not verified) 12 years 29 weeks ago
#22

A little checking up about Provigil after my phone call Thom. Provigil might be available in Generic by 2012, maybe.
Wanted to convey over the phone but skipped it in favor of time but I feel we have a lot in commom. In that we grew up in the upper midwest, the Toledo area for me, I was raised in a 3 bedroom, 1 bath house with 3 siblings. My father worked his job on the railroad for many years, bought a new car every few years, we took a nice vacation every year, sometimes twice. I see that opportunity slipping away for my kids.

chuckle8 (not verified) 12 years 29 weeks ago
#23

Thanks Quark for copying my comment over.

Thomas Jode (not verified) 12 years 29 weeks ago
#24

I don't think they are useless, but I do think that liberals, as Thom says, should join revolutionary movements. "Revolutionary" in the original sense of creating change for the Good of We The People.

Richard L. Adlof (not verified) 12 years 29 weeks ago
#25

Sarah "Nailin" Palin is a modern day Father Charles Coughlin.

chuckle8 (not verified) 12 years 29 weeks ago
#26

Still back on hour one explicitly (and all the other hours implicitly).

I wish Thom would give Ravi a homework assignment to determine the cause and effect relation of Larry Beinhart's empiracal correlation between higher taxes (greater than 50% after loopholes) on those making more than 2 million and the positive effects on the GDP, the DOW, number of jobs and the average wage (for wages I think the median and the average are close to the same) of those jobs. Larry's work empirically shows a correlation. I would like Ravi, an economist, to show the causation.

Everytime I mention this study by Larry Beinhart, a novelist, they say it must be some cause other than tax increases.

Richard L. Adlof (not verified) 12 years 29 weeks ago
#27

As much as Sarah "Nailin" Palin is the fool, she inject truly damaging jingoistic fodder into the debate. Medicare-for-All and the Pubic Option are still being sacrificed on the pyre of Death-Panels.

chuckle8 (not verified) 12 years 29 weeks ago
#28

Mark,
You forgot to mention all the hard working slaves in the south before the civil war.

Thomas Jode (not verified) 12 years 29 weeks ago
#29

Jason you've got quite the nerve. =I o_0

Thomas Jode (not verified) 12 years 29 weeks ago
#30

What a juvenile cop out! <D

Richard L. Adlof (not verified) 12 years 29 weeks ago
#31

How much of your business is built on the resources of the commons and with the people's money?

You should pay that back . . .

Thomas Jode (not verified) 12 years 29 weeks ago
#32

It's also the time when people were cracking on the subgugation of the tribal peoples of America and their assimilation in to our society; an aspect of the country which does not reflect democracy at all. It is the stuff of Empire.

Quark (not verified) 12 years 29 weeks ago
#33

chuckle8,

Re: "I wish Thom would give Ravi a homework assignment to determine the cause and effect relation of Larry Beinhart’s empiracal correlation between higher taxes (greater than 50% after loopholes) on those making more than 2 million and the positive effects on the GDP, the DOW, number of jobs and the average wage (for wages I think the median and the average are close to the same) of those jobs. Larry’s work empirically shows a correlation. I would like Ravi, an economist, to show the causation.

Everytime I mention this study by Larry Beinhart, a novelist, they say it must be some cause other than tax increases."

I agree that this would be important information to have. Not a day goes by that I hear some corporate blow-hard (usually Republican) state that lower taxes would HELP the economy. I wish I had a study to point to.

I do remember hearing that Florida under Jeb Bush raised taxes and its economy improved. I don't know if anyone did a cause-effect study on that.

Minnesota, where I live, has historically had high taxes along with a good/progressive economy. It took Jesse Ventura and most especially Republican Governor Tim Pawlenty to reverse the trend.

Quark (not verified) 12 years 29 weeks ago
#34

For "Monk" Lovers:

http://www.popeater.com/2009/12/04/tony-shalhoub-caricature/?icid=webmail|wbml-aol|dl1|link4|http%3A%2F%2Fwww.popeater.com%2F2009%2F12%2F04%2Ftony-shalhoub-caricature%2F

Thomas Jode (not verified) 12 years 29 weeks ago
#35

i just sent an email to Thom, but only After I read the print saying any thing to do with politics is put through the spam filter. Mine was sort of about that, but it was about asking for a list of movement meetings in my area. Basically, I was asking how I personally and in a more complex manner can get involved in any various movement/s.

Mark (not verified) 12 years 29 weeks ago
#36

I still think it is delusional to believe that tea baggers can be “co-opted”—especially when their motivational basis is cultural and racial; the rest of their ranting is about the “theft” of America by these “others,” and their tax money being used to “support” them. And this conversation with Chris Hedges who claimed that NAFTA was what broke the liberal camel’s back may not be delusional, but he is a hypocrite. I have pointed out many times on this page that official trade statistics point out a very different reality than the horse that Thom has repeatedly beat on; overall, our trade with our New World neighbors is much closer to being balanced than most people are led to believe, while our trade with Asia and Europe is far, far out of sorts. High ticket items—and with them high earning jobs—are produced in those regions; when was the last time you saw an electronics item without a “Made in China” label? Hell, when was the last time you saw anything without a “Made in China” label? It is interesting to note that in regard to NAFTA, Thom isn’t particularly worried about Canada—he has stated so; it is only Mexico that he is concerned about. Why? Is it some visceral, gut reaction he may have?

Quark (not verified) 12 years 29 weeks ago
#37

Thomas Jode,

There seems to be lots of info. on the Tea Bag Parties on the Huffington Post website. Maybe we could follow up and try to contact them to see where/when future protests, etc. will be held:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/news/tea-party

Quark (not verified) 12 years 29 weeks ago
#38

Canadian-U.S. Border Fence

I would like to propose that the U.S. and Canada build a VERY tall fence on their border. It's getting cold here in Minnesota and it would be nice if some of that Arctic air wasn't allowed into our country!

Gerald Socha (not verified) 12 years 29 weeks ago
#39

Quark, I was quoting my brother-in-law, The people with the gold make the rules.

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 Unequal Protection, 2nd Edition:
"If you wonder why and when giant corporations got the power to reign supreme over us, here’s the story."
Jim Hightower, national radio commentator and author of Swim Against the Current
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 Screwed:
"Thom Hartmann’s book explains in simple language and with concrete research the details of the Neo-con’s war against the American middle class. It proves what many have intuited and serves to remind us that without a healthy, employed, and vital middle class, America is no more than the richest Third World country on the planet."
Peter Coyote, Actor and author of Sleeping Where I Fall