Highlights on the Show...November 30 - December 4, 2009

Thom hartmann books imagesMonday

Hour One: Our insane economic times

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

Labor Update - Doug Cunningham www.laborradio.org - What impact does immigration have on the labor movement?

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

Plus Gareth Porter on Afghanistan and Pascal Zachery www.inthesetimes.com on getting out now

Tuesday

Hour Two: "No God?  No Problem!" Thom spars with Scott Wheeler of the National Republican Trust www.nationalrepublicantrust.com; then speaks with Roy Speckhardt of The American Humanist Association about their new holiday ad campaign www.americanhumanist.org

Wednesday

Hour Two: "Health Care or Gun Rights?" Thom debates Larry Pratt of Gun Owners of America www.gunowners.org

Hour Three: "Is belief in God hurting America?" Thom challenges Dan Gainor of the Business and Media Institute www.businessandmedia.org

Thursday
Hour Two: "Everything You Know is Wrong - The Genius of the Beast: A Radical re-Vision of Capitalism" Thom talks with author/economist/futurist Howard Bloom howardbloom.net
Hour Three: Should Mainstreet America Embrace Globalization?" Thom confronts Daniel Griswold of the Cato Institute www.cato.org
Friday
Hour One: "Brunch With Bernie" Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) spends the hour with Thom discussing the issues and answering listener questions www.sanders.senate.gov

Comments

DDay (not verified) 9 years 33 weeks ago
#1

@Richard,Quark,Mstaggerlee, & Food

I greatly enjoyed reading your back and forth with Reagan'sTool, (good one Quark) on yesterday's blog. It is so good to see us back engaging the Cons rather than each other. Richard, you have a 14 carat mind with a 17 jewel movement. It is a pleasure to behold. Remind me to not get on your bad side.

Mark (not verified) 9 years 33 weeks ago
#2

Is he talking about people describing their foul-smelling posterior emanations? Sometimes I'm embarrassed to post here. Anyways, in a city “famous” for its supposed continuous rainfall for most of the year, working outside all day in these conditions can make life rather miserable. Last Thanksgiving (yes, some people have to work on Thanksgiving), it rained eight hours straight, took a break for a half-hour, and then rained some more. Needless to say, it was quite miserable. Having labored in these conditions, you are not really in the mood to put up with people who treat you like a criminal or a terrorist—like those blue-shirted bozos with the rent-a-cop badges and Department of Homeland Security patches. These guys with their red IDs (denoting people with limited capacity for work), generally justify themselves by confiscating their daily quota of bobbie-pins and toe nail clippers; a training film I saw showed a table upon which was laid out a bucket full of explosive material from a bag that had been tagged “inspected” by these fellows. It’s particularly frustrating to have these guys try to intimidate you by putting their hands on your food during one of their “surprise” 4 AM inspections of your backpacks.

Speaking of troublesome issues, where I work there is a new rule: No cursing, touching or “nick-names.” Sometimes it is difficult to comply with at least two of these items when you hear something odious to one’s sensibilities. On the Saturday of the Senate procedural vote on the health care bill (that merely allowed debate on the bill to begin), I discussed the health care issue with a person who I would say gets most of his “facts” from Fox News and such. I explained to him that yes, it was possible for there to be a net budget surplus (according to the CBO) in the Senate health care bill, because it would be paid for by tax increases and other means, and not just money coming out of thin air; apparently he had been told that the cost of reform was all deficit spending.

I also had to explain why we needed a public option, because we couldn’t trust insurance companies to be honest—just like how the drug companies are raising prices seven times the rate of the CPI after promising to reduce prices by $80 billion. He was concerned that reform would have an adverse effect on his family, which I thought odd, since he didn’t have any insurance. He was of course concerned that people might go to jail if they didn’t buy insurance, but I thought a $750 fee for not getting insurance was a small price to pay, particularly if you needed emergency care, and it would probably end-up being paid for by the hospital’s “charity” fund. He was also concerned about taxing “Cadillac” plans; I told him he shouldn’t worry about that; the plan our company was offering (which I talked about a couple weeks ago) would not qualify.

But then he told me that he had heard that the government could force you off your private insurance plan and into the government plan. My first reaction normally would be something to the effect “Where did you get that bullshit from?” But then I remembered the new decree against cursing, so I cried out “Where did you get that horseshit from?” This caused some people to crane their hands toward the supervisors’ cubicle, but I think I was well enough excused for expressing myself in this fashion.

According to a newspaper story the Sunday following the first vote, at least one Democratic senator is stating his belief that the Senate bill should not be furthered watered down just to appease the four senators, when the majority of the country wants real reform, including a public option. These four senators need to put aside re-election concerns and show a little “profile in courage,” and do what they know in their heart of hearts is the right thing. They may find that there is a “silent majority” that wants reform, as opposed to the fanatical right-wing fringe element shouting annoyingly in their ears.

mstaggerlee (not verified) 9 years 33 weeks ago
#3

Do Senators even pay attention??

Last night, after the President's Afghanistan policy speech, we all heard the Senior gentleman from Arizona say that while he supported the escalation, he did not support the decision to establish a timetable for withdrawal (What??!! You want to go to war with an EXIT STRATEGY??).

This morning, I got an e-mail from, Russ Feingold's office (one of few folk who work on Capitol Hill that I used to have some respect for), stating that he cannot support the President's decision to escalate WITHOUT a timetable for withdrawal!

http://feingold.senate.gov/record.cfm?id=320330

I've gotta wonder - did Russ' office write up two responses, one assuming a timetable, the other assuming none, and send the wrong one out this morning? I sure hope that's the case.

loretta (not verified) 9 years 33 weeks ago
#4

Gerald posted this terrific link yesterday with statistics that will help us write coherent, fact filled letters to the editor so I wanted to re-post it.

http://walt.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2009/11/30/why_they_hate_us_ii_how_m...

In the article, I so appreciated MOHAMMED SAWAF's rational discussion of the horrifying statistics detailing numbers of lives from the Middle East ruthlessly ended by our bombs and warfare. At the same time, SAWAF also makes sure to state clearly that not all of these deaths were our fault. His rational tone gives his article the weight the horror in these numbers deserves.

I especially appreciated this paragraph: "Contrary to what Friedman thinks, our real problem isn't a fictitious Muslim "narrative" about America's role in the region; it is mostly the actual things we have been doing in recent years. To say that in no way justifies anti-American terrorism or absolves other societies of responsibility for their own mistakes or misdeeds. But the self-righteousness on display in Friedman's op-ed isn't just simplistic; it is actively harmful. Why? Because whitewashing our own misconduct makes it harder for Americans to figure out why their country is so unpopular and makes us less likely to consider different (and more effective) approaches. "

Unfortunately President Obama invoked in his Tuesday night war call the same 9/11 fervor that Bush used to bring a football-game sort of adrenalin tone to what would become the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians. Because we have never experienced war on our soil in our lifetime we so easily deny its realities and allow our leaders to justify the murder of innocent people who mean to do us no harm. We accept our leaders' rationalizations that this murder is being done in the name of our "security" when all evidence shows that we are less secure because we are killing so many innocent people, an obvious, common-sense truth.

I haven't figured out the math, but how many innocent people will have to die for each one of those 3,000 Americans who were killed on 9/11? 30,000? If we kill 30,000 people from the Middle East for each one of the folks who died in 911, does that make any sense whatsoever? Such behavior seems much more "evil" than the actual act committed on 9/11.

In his speech President Obama reminded us that we were going to battle not only for the US but for other allies who experience terrorist attacks from the Taliban. Would that bring the numbers down to 10,000 innocent deaths for each person killed by a terrorist?Is this a moral act?

There is a sort of underlying belief that Presidential candidates have to lie about a few things in order to get elected, and I think most progressives truly thought President Obama was talking tough about Afghanistan to win debates, but that in his heart he knew that bombing countries never makes them stronger.

I think we believed that after he was elected he would settle in to his real intentions and end the war in Iraq and help Afghanistan with humanitarian aid not more war. Now we must realize he is in many ways another puppet, or has been turned into a puppet, for China's interests because of our debt. It's obvious that this war has very little to do with security, because our presence there is escalating the recruitment of those who wish to harm us.

If we want to help women and children in Afghanistan, and help prevent more people from joining terrorist organizations, we need to build for them schools, libraries, hospitals and roads and help create jobs. Bombing and maiming hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians in order to capture 100 Taliban leaders is unconscionable, and I hope that we can muster enough outrage to stop our President from committing another unforgivable act in our name.

Can America Claim to Be Civilized?

Thom plus logo Supposedly Stalin said, " A single death is a tragedy; a million deaths is a statistic."

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