Daily Topics - Thursday February 4th 2010

boston tea imagesYou can NOW! Watch Thom on the Dish Network channel 9415 at 2pm ET - Talk TV

"This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it, or their revolutionary right to dismember or overthrow it." -- Abraham Lincoln

On this day in history in 1789, George Washington became the first official President of the United States having been unanimously elected by the Electoral College

Hour One - Is the economic ship sinking and are the rats deserting the ship and taking all the food with them?

Hour Two - "Everything You Know is Wrong" Gayle Haggard - Are Gayle and Ted Haggard charismatic opportunists? (Have the Haggards moved from a multi-million dollar ministry to a multi million dollar anti-gay industry?) www.gaylehaggard.org

Plus...Geeky Science Rocks - did you know the farmer gene is alive and well and living in...Britain?! Who has it and how did it get there?

Hour Three - Economic vampires...who really sucked the life out of America's workforce? Andrew Langer www.instituteforliberty.org


Tomorrow -Friday, Feb 5th at 4pm Eastern - Discovery Channel - "Did the Mob Kill JFK" with Thom Hartmann and Lamar Waldron

Sunday & Monday, February 7 & 7, 2010, 8 and 11pm Eastern - C-SPAN's Brian Lamb presents Q & A with Thom Hartmann

Saturday - Los Angeles, CA - Saturday, February 6th, 7:30pm at the Downtown Independent Theater (251 S. Main Street in L.A.)  - a special screening of Robert Greenwald's powerful film "Rethink Afghanistan"...speakers include Thom Hartmann, Robert Greenwald, and Anand Gopal, Afghanistan based correspondent for the Christian Science Monitor.  Free tickets!!   But you MUST RSVP at www.rethinkafghanistan.com/screenings


DRichards (not verified) 10 years 22 weeks ago

The New York Attorney General's office is filing civil charges against Bank of America and its former CEO Ken Lewis, saying the bank misled investors about Merrill Lynch when it acquired the Wall Street bank in late 2008.


DRichards (not verified) 10 years 22 weeks ago

Re: Merrill Lynch CEO Ken Lewis

Is someone finally going after the Banksters?

Nels (not verified) 10 years 22 weeks ago

Do you think Chris Dodd is a sell out?

Is he a member of congress?

DDay (not verified) 10 years 22 weeks ago

I am greatly saddened by the recent actions of Sen. Dodd. Being a lame duck, should have given him a chance to speak out for the people instead of the bank and money interests. One voice speaking out is Rep. Bruce Braley of Iowa's first Congressional District. He is also the chair of the Progressive Caucus and sits on the Banking Committee. He is an Up & Comer. Go Hawkeyes! :-)

Trey (not verified) 10 years 22 weeks ago

Have you got that Jenny (Sullivan - of the Skil tool company) Sanford was the V.P. of M&A at Lazard-Freres when she met Mark Sanford in the Hamptons!?

DRichards (not verified) 10 years 22 weeks ago


Breaking news: "Republican Group to Promote Conservative Ideas"

No, seriously, that's the "shock" headline in the New York Times today: "Republican Group to Promote Conservative Ideas."

WASHINGTON — A group of prominent Republicans is forming an organization to develop and market conservative ideas, copying a successful Democratic model and hoping to capitalize on the fund-raising and electioneering possibilities opened up by a recent Supreme Court ruling.

Actually, underneath the remarkably lame headline, there's an interesting tale here, specifically:

1) For three decades, the Democrats have tried to copy the right-wing road map to success, usually with disastrous results (look at how well Air America replicated the success of Rush Limbaugh & Co.). It's weird to see the GOP try to copy something the Dems did.

2) The key here is the role of the Citizens United ruling -- let the flood of dollars begin! And who's interest is being served here? This should give you a clue:

Republicans who are donors, board members or both include Haley Barbour, the governor of Mississippi; Jeb Bush, former governor of Florida; Ed Gillespie, like Mr. Barbour a former chairman of the Republican Party; Fred Malek, an investor and official in the Nixon and first Bush administrations; Robert K. Steele, a former executive of Wachovia and Goldman Sachs who was a Treasury official in the second Bush administration, and Kenneth G. Langone, a founder of Home Depot and a former director of the New York Stock Exchange.

I'm sure that line-up will impress the Tea Party.

3) This whole story about a think tank to promote conservative ideas....doesn't mention a single idea!

Just sayin'.

DDay (not verified) 10 years 22 weeks ago

I am a proud retard. I hope Rahm keeps it up, because no one else is doing a better job of riling up the retards than him. I'm toying with the idea of having buttons made up for our State Convention with: "Proud Retard" on them. Make it a badge of Honor.

DDay (not verified) 10 years 22 weeks ago

Make that : "F___ing Retard" Buttons

Mark K (not verified) 10 years 22 weeks ago

I once heard a George Carlin comedy routine where he wondered aloud why people need a big house, because the bigger the house, the more “stuff” you need to put in it, stuff that just takes up space and is rarely used or even have a discernable purpose other than merely ornamental. Most people’s abodes are cluttered with useless items that had some temporary fascination. If you feel you need to keep everything “just in case,” the “answer” in most cases is a bigger abode, to store “stuff” that you will never use, books you will never read, home movies you will never watch, clothes you will never wear. In a “perfect” world, people would need only enough money for things that have meaning to them. They will only buy books that inspire them, or videos that reward repeat viewings (i.e., the “classics”), buy clothes that they will wear more than once, keep knick-knacks of sentimental value suitable for display, and store everything in a abode sufficient to cover a modest ego. If you want to be pretend to be something more than you are, write a book.

But this, like New Year’s resolutions, is more difficult in the execution than in the conceptualization. I know this from personal experience. Every time I do my spring cleaning, it is mostly dated paper and magazines that are easily considered disposable; but when it comes to items that may or not be usable in some explicable way, such as cables and power cords for ancient devices you got rid long ago, you can’t bring yourself to toss,. I have lots of old R-rated films on DVDs (and not for “language” or “drug references”) that I’m too old to remember the reason why I bought them (I mean, I know why I bought some of them, but I don’t feel sitting through the bad acting find it), but I am loath to just toss them for that reason. And sometimes you throw things away by accident, or without thinking, and when at some odd chance you remember some use for it, you’re stuck. If you had a bigger abode, this would not be a problem, with a spare closet to hide it in.

But now I drifting away from the point I want to make: Why do some people need more money (I mean, a lot more) than they really need to live a life of “happiness?” I can understand why people who create businesses would do so because they want to be the boss, or thrill in the idea of creating something, or even making a lot of money. But they don’t operate in a vacuum; somebody has to buy their products, and those people have to have sufficient disposable income to spend. The entrepreneur must take into consideration if their own workers have the ability to spend money to keep the economy going when they consider their own compensation. This is the kind of thing that Chambers of Commerce should consider in their get-togethers—that it is the best mechanism for keeping the economy on a sound footing, rather than having the highest profit margin, or CEOs conspiring among themselves to enrich themselves at the expense of workers. A bigger issue is how to measure the real value of executives who do not themselves create businesses or wealth, but simply paid not to make imprudent decisions, and keep stockholders happy, often through nefarious means more façade than substance. People who actually own businesses are presumably more judicious in looking to the long-term (unless you just create businesses to sell them later), but one may presume that hired guns come in to do as must damage as they can do to working people in making a business appear on the surface to be profitable, and steal as much money as they can before things go south.

The right claims that making loads of money is the sole inducement for being an entrepreneur, but if this is true then our values as a nation have devolved rather considerably. The desire to have more money to spend on more useless purpose while many millions are struggling to survive, and challenges to health care and retirement funding becoming more acute, the desire to get rich now while the getting is still good in the face of an uncertain future, and damn everyone else.

Nels (not verified) 10 years 22 weeks ago

OK is Chris Dodd a sell out?

Is Sara Palin a Hypocrite?

Is Rush Limbaugh a douche?

Is the Space Pope a reptile?

Nels (not verified) 10 years 22 weeks ago

DDay, how about a button that says "I must be a retard, because I can't understand why the Democrats always run to the Right!"

rewinn (not verified) 10 years 22 weeks ago

If all "persons" have equal rights, and

Corporations are "persons", and

Corporations have the right to commit crimes and not be jailed or executed, then

Humans have the right to commit crimes and not be jailed or executed!

Mark K (not verified) 10 years 22 weeks ago

It’s hard not to become cynical when confronted by the hypocrisies of our society. A couple of days ago came the news that four women who tied-up a man in a motel room and glued his member to his stomach received one year probation. The judge admitted that some would suggest a double-standard in his ruling, but rationalized it by suggesting that the man deserved it. I’m sure this is the kind of story that would amuse some of Thom’s co-workers, but there are certainly some women out their cracking-up about it too. But what would have happened if a husband of a flagrantly philandering woman decided to get revenge by persuading a friend to coax her into a motel room, and conspired to have her vulva glued shut? There is no doubt in my mind that this would have media traction for weeks, non-stop outrage by violence against women advocates, and states passing new laws mandating harsher penalties for such acts. Perhaps one act is more disturbing than the other, but I have difficulty in understanding that mentality that requires that .one be accompanied by a laugh track.

I remember a local case some years back where some balding middle-aged man shot to death his soon-to-be ex-wife and her friend in a courtroom during a divorce proceeding. Naturally, the media went wild for a spell. But there was a story beneath the outrage. The woman, an immigrant from the Philippines, had a boyfriend in the U.S. who was legal immigrant, but was herself having difficulty in getting an entrance visa. What to do? She posed as a “mail-order” bride, and hooked this guy in. After arriving in the states and marrying him—thus giving her legal status to stay—she promptly hooked-up with her boyfriend and became pregnant. After a “decent” period—one year—she filed for divorce, persuading a friend to falsely claim in court domestic violence. I don’t think it is hard to imagine what was going through the husband’s mind (although it entirely escaped the local media’s grasp), or the possibility that he might snap. Again, if the gender tables had been turned, there is no doubt that certain segments of this society would ”rationalize” and excuse such actions as the product of “temporary insanity.” Frankly the insanity defense doesn’t work for me. In the Andrea Yates case, it take a bit mental (and physical) effort to take hold down each of your five kids in a bathtub full of water while they violently struggle for life.

Nels (not verified) 10 years 22 weeks ago

@rewinn, I regards to your supposition about human rights and corporate rights... your forgetting Orwells' axiom.

"All animals are equal... but some are more equal than others"

Essentially that modification to our barn wall was done by 5 Supreme court justices.

DDay (not verified) 10 years 22 weeks ago

Not bad Nels, no wonder TCL loves you!

Nels (not verified) 10 years 22 weeks ago

How 'bout this one DDay, "I must be a retard, because I can't see why Rahm is a Democrat!"

DDay (not verified) 10 years 22 weeks ago

Nels, AS TCL would say: "KEEP IT UP!

How about Rahm's Retards? or "I may be a Retard, but I'm not Spineless! or I'd rather be a Retard than a Spineless Sellout! or I'd Rather be a Retard than a Rahm.

Nels (not verified) 10 years 22 weeks ago

"Better a Retard, than a Rahmtard" :-)

mathboy (not verified) 10 years 22 weeks ago

Why won't my attempt to comment go through?

mathboy (not verified) 10 years 22 weeks ago

Sure, now it works, but I can't get the comment I want to make to show up.

DDay (not verified) 10 years 22 weeks ago

That's the best yet. You may have a future in sloganeering Nels.

Nels (not verified) 10 years 22 weeks ago

mathboy, I've had the same problem from time to time, its as though this blog won't allow some words through... the strange thing is, as far as I can tell the words are innocuous though. I've found if I just re-worded my comment it would go through.

DDay (not verified) 10 years 22 weeks ago

Hey Mathboy!

Your comments posting is obviously retarded! :-)

mathboy (not verified) 10 years 22 weeks ago

Fine. I can't include a link to it, so I'll just copy my entire blog post in:

There are two major ways of electing legislators. In America, we have the single-member district (SMD), a winner-takes-all election in which a candidate with 50.1% of the votes gets all the power and a candidate with 49.9% gets none. And it can be worse if there are more than 2 candidates. In many other countries, they use the proportional representation (PR) system, in which the people vote only for a party, and the party decides which of its members get to hold office.

SMD means that a large part of a district's population--possibly even a majority--has a "representative" that, while representing them geographically, doesn't represent them ideologically. This may be worse in their opinion than having an empty seat in the legislature, because their representative knows their issues and can propose legislation to do exactly the wrong thing about those issues. And there's no guarantee that the ideological proportions in the legislature as a whole will reflect the populace as a whole.

PR means that while everyone gets an ideological representative, there is no requirement for a fair geographical distribution of the seated legislators. So while a voter's favorite party may reflect his values, they may never understand his issues. And it provides incentive for the politicians to toe the party line to get higher on the party list. They can't act as individuals. You may as well just give the party the votes and not bother seating any humans. Let the majority party (or coalition) decide what it wants and then let them have it without debate.

There is a third way. Keep the districting for the geographical representation, but let the candidates be given proportional power. In each district, give out a minimum of 5 votes to the candidates, proportionately to the percentage of the popular vote each receives. Then the Democrats get a Democrat and the Republicans get a Republican, both from where they live. And there's room for other parties without the "divide and conquer" effect of vote stealing. And because it's proportional, the politicians get only as much power as the people choose to give them. Especially if abstentions of registered voters count as "none of the above".

The biggest possible drawback with the multi-member district system (MMD) is that, as hard as it is now to unseat a legislator, it would be much more difficult when he needs only one fifth as many votes to stay in office. MMD begs for term limits. Normally, I'm against term limits for two reasons. One is that we have de facto term limits in the form of elections, but, as I said, that would no longer be effective. The other is the great loss of expertise caused by instituting term limits. If legislators are limited to, say, 6 terms, you're looking at a turnover of over 16% with every election. But when the limit is instituted, it forces a much bigger turnover somewhere along the line as those who were elected before the limits were enacted--those who know how to run the place--get booted out.

With MMD, there is the opportunity to make instituting term limits less disruptive. By basing each member's limit on his number of votes in the legislature, even the old guard would get booted out in phases, with the less popular leaving sooner. Now for the math: Given 5 votes per district, I would say that the point at which a legislator becomes ineligible for reelection should be when the number of terms he has served (including the current one) is greater than 2 times the number of votes he currently has. Thus someone that can't get more than one vote cannot last more than 3 terms; two votes, 5 terms; etc. Very few politicians could get more than three votes consistently, and therefore, there would be few legislators that last more than 7 terms. And those few should be the good ones, given their popularity with the people.

Giving the votes to the candidates according to the Sainte-Lague Method is the way to make sure the process is proportional and fair (avoiding the Alabama Paradox).

Nels (not verified) 10 years 22 weeks ago

DDay, you should look back at the archives on this blog, (if they still exist), either right before X-mas or New Years (Dec 23 or 29 I think). I was basically the only one in here, so I just made up a bunch of Bumper Sticker slogans.... what can I say I was bored. It was pretty much the same thing one does when they find themselves at a echoy canyon... sort of just going silly.

Nels (not verified) 10 years 22 weeks ago

BTW DDay, if you do look them over and find any of those useful, feel free to present them to your RATPAC.

DDay (not verified) 10 years 22 weeks ago

FYI Michele Bachmann's husband Marcus runs a clinic that "deprograms" gays. Also, they just purchased a 1.4 million dollar home. Her salary is about 170K. Deprogramming must be lucrative!

DDay (not verified) 10 years 22 weeks ago

Thanks Nels. I have always been especially fond of the Irish. Fun, generous, and creative and often retarded! (In this new and laudable meaning)

Tracie Van Den Houten (not verified) 10 years 22 weeks ago

In an ideal world, we would be able to get rid of all the criminals on Capital Hill. It seems to be an impossible task, they are given so many perks that it seems most of the best are even romanced into submission (Sen. Bernie Sanders being an exception!) I say that to start the process, the Electoral College needs to be abolished, we no longer NEED it. But again, a seemingly impossible task because of all the money that talks and walks on the Hill.

Foodfascist (not verified) 10 years 22 weeks ago

lol Mrs Haggard stayed for the dough - those wretched people are such HYPOCRITES!

Tom Palmer (not verified) 10 years 22 weeks ago

the Haggards should just admit that he is bi....then a good time could be had by all.

Nels (not verified) 10 years 22 weeks ago

To Mrs Haggard: "De Nile ain't just a river in Egypt, honey!"

DDay (not verified) 10 years 22 weeks ago

FYI: Anyone who might have thought that Sen. Susan Collins was a reasonable and decent Republican, watch her comments beginning last weekend regarding Abdulmatalab, (the X-mas undie bomber) and her complaints regarding charging him in civilian courts. She lied, and lied, and then tried to correct things by lying again. Even their most moderate of members are liars and crooks. BTW, has anyone noticed how Sen. Collins speaks in the kind of trembling voice which makes one wonder if she is about to wet her pants? or just came out of a freezer? Sum ting wong dare.

Nels (not verified) 10 years 22 weeks ago

Yeah, Thom I've seen similar in the animal kingdom too, though I have to admit that in my experience it was more of an Alpha Cat expressing his dominance in the pride. I'm guessing that in the animal kingdom, there is no real gray zone between heterosexuality and homosexuality, it just is.

mathboy (not verified) 10 years 22 weeks ago

The punishment in Leviticus 11 for eating the wrong animal is that you're "ritually unclean" until evening and you have to wash your clothes. If that's all you get for doing something that's an "abomination", then why do some people think homosexuality is the greatest threat to society?

Tom Palmer (not verified) 10 years 22 weeks ago

Susan Collins could be called obtuse,to be kind.

Nels (not verified) 10 years 22 weeks ago

Jesus was also a drug producer too (water into wine). And don't forget he was also not white... that alone would have made his words inaudible to the GOP.

Bruce A Spencer (not verified) 10 years 22 weeks ago

The economic ship in this country has sailed long ago. As far as the rats go, they have left just enough food crumbs, swepted from the table of plenty, to keep the masses fighting between themselves over the few remaining morsels.

Foodfascist (not verified) 10 years 22 weeks ago

@Tom- lol awe what the hell, let's call it polyculture and all join in.

Foodfascist (not verified) 10 years 22 weeks ago

Look how these rats are all changing their messaging. They are just following the money. Even Frank Lutz admits that his messaging re global warming is not based on science. AND that now that the polling shows most of us do understand global warming, he will change his message...@thedailybeast Frank Luntz changes on global warming http://bit.ly/9v403g

Charell (not verified) 10 years 22 weeks ago

Even if being gay were a choice, so what! This is supposed to be a free country. Live and let live People!

Foodfascist (not verified) 10 years 22 weeks ago

@Charell No kidding. What is the GOPs next next. A mobile dispatch unit that sends an umpire to determine whether the sexual posiiton or partner they happen to catch you in will bear severe consequences. They seem to be leaders in creative sex in bathrooms and all.

azafvet (not verified) 10 years 22 weeks ago

Ted Haggard does not have to be forgiven for being gay, but for cheating on his wife.

DRichards (not verified) 10 years 22 weeks ago

It seems to me that as long as people believe the Bible to be "The Word of God", then these people have to acknowledge their God has a problem with gays & women.

DDay (not verified) 10 years 22 weeks ago

I'm not in the mood to be kind Tom. She is frigging weird. More importantly dishonest. No more dumbing down of lying!

glenn N (not verified) 10 years 22 weeks ago

as a god fearing christian, I cannot accept the notion of gay pigeons.

everyone in their right mind knows pigeons are asexual robots.

rewinn (not verified) 10 years 22 weeks ago

Hey Nels - good point. How soon before the Roberts court rules:

“All persons are equal… but some are more equal than others”

Nels (not verified) 10 years 22 weeks ago

Unusual concept there Charell, actually allowing people to live their life the way they want to. Stop making sense damn it! Our forefathers really wanted this country to be a bible thumping Christian Nation.... but they were obviously RETARDED!!! ;-)

Tom Palmer (not verified) 10 years 22 weeks ago

True Dday,she is the typical lying fear monger that the republicans are

Nels (not verified) 10 years 22 weeks ago

rewinn, 2 weeks ago I believe :-(

Can Americans Stop the Republican Party and Their Billionaire Lifeline Before Another Hundred Thousand Americans Die?

Thom plus logo Can Americans Stop the Republican Party and Their Billionaire Lifeline Before Another Hundred Thousand Americans Die?

If a group of international billionaires who don't like democracy, business regulation, or the idea of a functioning multiracial culture wanted to hire somebody to destroy America, they couldn't have done better than Donald Trump.
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