- Chris Hedges, regular columnist for TruthDig.com; former foreign correspondent for the New York Times; author of numerous books including his latest, "Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle".
- The Nation's Katrina vanden Heuvel.
- Expectations for the Copenhagen Climate Summit.
- Why the populist left should be reaching out to the populist right... why move on members should be showing up at tea party rallies.
- Don't be fooled by phony recoveries that are nothing more than currency manipulation.
- Are liberals useless?
- Sarah Palin and "Going Rouge!"
- Aimeé Christensen, Executive Director of Global Observatory.
- Bumper Music:
- America, Tracy Chapman.
- Working On A Dream, Bruce Springsteen (video).
- I Melt with You, Modern English.
- The Mail Must Go Through, Larry Groce & The Disneyland Children's Sing Along Chorus.
- You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch, Dr. Seuss, Thurl Ravenscroft. Come On In, Brad Paisley (video).
- Chipmunks Roasting On an Open Fire, the Bob Rivers Show.
- Little Big Town, Novocaine.
- My America, Ann Hills.
- Democracy, Leonard Cohen.
- 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: "The real man smiles in trouble, gathers strength from distress, and grows brave by reflection." -- Thomas Paine.
- Anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor at 7:55am local time, December 7, 1941 (... and America's involvement in WWII began).
- Article: Daily Presidential Tracking Poll, Rasmussen, 4 December 2009.
"The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Monday shows that 27% of the nation's voters Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as President. Thirty-eight percent (38%) Strongly Disapprove giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of -11 (see trends).
In a three-way Generic Ballot test, Democrats attract 36% of the vote, the Tea Party candidate picks up 23%, and Republicans finish third at 18%.
The latest numbers on health care reform shows that public opposition remains stable. Just 41% favor the plan proposed by President Obama and Congressional Democrats. Just 23% are strongly in favor of it."
- Article: A Silent Coup d'état Has Already Happened in the U.S. by Luis Mendoza.
"I call it silent, and not bloodless, since it has been anything but bloodless. To the contrary, the brutal efficiency of this Coup has resulted in countless casualties in the U.S. heartland.
It's sad to see so much confusion out there. People don't understand how's possible for Obama to appoint scores of Goldman Sachs (and other Wall Street bankers) to government positions. The same people responsible for creating ponzi schemes to steal trillions of dollars from the country's coffers (the taxpayers). How is it possible to keep the country in a perpetual state of war for the direct benefit of war profiteers?
If people reflect and take off their ideological blinders, it's possible to see that our entire government (Congress, the Executive, and the Judiciary) has already been taken over by Oligarchs here in the U.S. And none of this happened by coincidence. And it's going to get worst."
- Article: Have the Very Wealthy Achieved Victory in Their Class-War? By Sam Pizzigati.
"In 1974, the most affluent 1% of Americans averaged, in today’s dollars, $380,000 in income.
Now let’s fast-forward. In 2007, the most recent year with stats, households in America’s top 1% averaged $1.4 million, well over triple what top 1% households averaged back in 1974—and, remember, this tripling came after adjusting for inflation.
Americans in the bottom 90%, meanwhile, saw their average incomes increase a meager $47 a year between 1974 and 2007, not enough to foot the bill for a month’s worth of cable TV.
The bottom line: top-1% households made 12 times more income than bottom-90% households in 1974, 42 times more in 2007.
The numbers become even more striking when we go back a bit further in time and focus not on the top 1%, but on the richest of the rich, the top 400, the living symbol of wealth and power in the United States ever since America’s original Gilded Age in the late 19th century.
In 1955, our 400 highest incomes averaged $12.3 million, in today’s dollars. But the top 400 in 1955 didn’t get to enjoy all those millions. On average, after exploiting every tax loophole they could find, they actually paid over half their incomes, 51.2%, in federal income tax.
Today’s super rich are doing better, fantastically better, both before and after taxes. In 2006, the top 400 averaged an astounding $263 million each in income. These 400 financially fortunate paid, after loopholes, just 17.2% of their incomes in federal tax.
After taxes, as a group, the top 400 of 2006 had $84 billion more in their pockets than 1955’s top 400, $84 billion more they could put to work bankrolling politicians and right-wing think tanks and Swift Boat ad blitzes against progressive candidates and causes."
"The really dangerous American fascists are not those who are hooked up directly or indirectly with the Axis. The FBI has its finger on those. The dangerous American fascist is the man who wants to do in the United States in an American way what Hitler did in Germany in a Prussian way. The American fascist would prefer not to use violence. His method is to poison the channels of public information. With a fascist the problem is never how best to present the truth to the public but how best to use the news to deceive the public into giving the fascist and his group more money or more power.
If we define an American fascist as one who in case of conflict puts money and power ahead of human beings, then there are undoubtedly several million fascists in the United States. There are probably several hundred thousand if we narrow the definition to include only those who in their search for money and power are ruthless and deceitful. Most American fascists are enthusiastically supporting the war effort. They are doing this even in those cases where they hope to have profitable connections with German chemical firms after the war ends. They are patriotic in time of war because it is to their interest to be so, but in time of peace they follow power and the dollar wherever they may lead...
Still another danger is represented by those who, paying lip service to democracy and the common welfare, in their insatiable greed for money and the power which money gives, do not hesitate surreptitiously to evade the laws designed to safeguard the public from monopolistic extortion."
Vice President Henry A. Wallace, New York Times, April 9, 1944.
- Article: Japan Shifts Course In Halting Postal Sale By Alison Tudor.
"Japan passed a law Friday to halt the privatization of the country's postal service, holder of $3.446 trillion in Japanese investments and household wealth, in a move symbolic of the new government's efforts to overturn nearly a decade of deregulation in the world's second-largest economy.
The law blocks the planned sale of shares in Japan Post's banking and insurance arms and paves the way for a drastic overhaul of the group during the next parliamentary session starting in January.
The move will force Japan Post to reverse efforts to slowly transform itself in smaller, disparate earnings-driven companies. It will instead begin to revert to its former status as a key nonprofit organization carrying out the government policy in the country's hinterlands."
- You can leave your hat on, Randy Newman.
- Article: EPA: Greenhouse Gases Threaten Public Health and the Environment / Science overwhelmingly shows greenhouse gas concentrations at unprecedented levels due to human activity.
"After a thorough examination of the scientific evidence and careful consideration of public comments, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today that greenhouse gases (GHGs) threaten the public health and welfare of the American people. EPA also finds that GHG emissions from on-road vehicles contribute to that threat.
GHGs are the primary driver of climate change, which can lead to hotter, longer heat waves that threaten the health of the sick, poor or elderly; increases in ground-level ozone pollution linked to asthma and other respiratory illnesses; as well as other threats to the health and welfare of Americans.
“These long-overdue findings cement 2009’s place in history as the year when the United States Government began addressing the challenge of greenhouse-gas pollution and seizing the opportunity of clean-energy reform,” said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. “Business leaders, security experts, government officials, concerned citizens and the United States Supreme Court have called for enduring, pragmatic solutions to reduce the greenhouse gas pollution that is causing climate change. This continues our work towards clean energy reform that will cut GHGs and reduce the dependence on foreign oil that threatens our national security and our economy.”
EPA’s final findings respond to the 2007 U.S. Supreme Court decision that GHGs fit within the Clean Air Act definition of air pollutants. The findings do not in and of themselves impose any emission reduction requirements but rather allow EPA to finalize the GHG standards proposed earlier this year for new light-duty vehicles as part of the joint rulemaking with the Department of Transportation.
On-road vehicles contribute more than 23 percent of total U.S. GHG emissions. EPA’s proposed GHG standards for light-duty vehicles, a subset of on-road vehicles, would reduce GHG emissions by nearly 950 million metric tons and conserve 1.8 billion barrels of oil over the lifetime of model year 2012-2016 vehicles.
EPA’s endangerment finding covers emissions of six key greenhouse gases – carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons and sulfur hexafluoride – that have been the subject of scrutiny and intense analysis for decades by scientists in the United States and around the world."