Daily Topics - Monday - March 22 2010

healthcare is right imagesQuote:  Health is worth more than learning. -- Thomas Jefferson

Hour OneWhat is the real impact of health insurance reform and who's Waterloo will it be?

Plus...Dr. Robert "Bob" Letcher - Parkinson's patient targeted by Tea Partiers at rally in Ohio

Hour Two -  36 states are already challenging this legislation on constitutional grounds, is it unconstitutional to force people to buy things from private corporations?

Hour Three -  How do we stop China from continuing to eat our lunch? Eamonn Fingleton www.unsustainable.org


Gerald Socha (not verified) 12 years 9 weeks ago

I challenge Thom to put together a three hour show on why he is optimistic about America’s future. The show will not only give us information but it will also improve our health. Thom, do you want to improve our health? Now you have a chance to be a force in better health for us. I have included an article that may help to motivate for improving our health.


Gerald Socha (not verified) 12 years 9 weeks ago

Please excuse my delay in responding to your comments with my name on some of them. I saw these comments on March 18, 2010. I decided to respond on March 22, 2010.

@Nels, thank you for the great post that there are person’s who prefer to bathe in the human blood instead of consuming the human blood. What is so troubling to me is the fact of Americans hating Americans.

The reason for me using the words, the drinking of human blood, is the basic fact of my looking closely at the faces of goose-stepping GOP politicians or relatives and I see droplets of human blood oozing from the sides of their mouth. Human blood does escape from a person’s excessive gorging and consuming of human blood.

If you also look closely at the faces of goose-stepping GOP members, you will see their shit-eating grins. The GOP membership diet is basically the consumption of human blood and shit.

@harry ashburn, in one of my posts I mentioned that doing good work is a sacramental moment. Our health care plan is to fill our heart with love and mercy for our neighbor or neighbors. Organized religion can only do so much and we must give a hand with sacramental moments, such as Medicare for everyone.

@mstaggerlee, thank you for the question on God’s long blinks! I would love to say that He is my God but the fact is that He is our God. I have to share Him with other persons. I cannot answer your question because God’s time and patience are a mystery to me.

We are fortunate that God is patient. If He was an impatient God, we would have to experience His wrath from our ongoing transgressions.

@for all posters, I was at the Saturday, March 20, 2010, Liturgy of the Eucharist. The homily was on the Gospel and the woman who committed adultery. During Jesus’ time women who committed adultery were stoned to death. The opposite is true today. GOP politicians who copulate and fornicate with either a man or a woman are given a standing ovation by goose-stepping GOP colleagues upon entering the chambers in congress.

When men in the Temple asked Jesus about stoning a woman who has committed adultery, Jesus bent down and with His finger He printed in the sand. He stood up and said whoever is without sin can cast the first stone. He bent down again and with His finger He printed in the sand. The men were slowly leaving the Temple. Jesus stood up and He said to the woman, “Is there no one to condemn you? Neither do I condemn you.” Not condemning is not about condoning a person’s behavior. To not condemn a person is about saving and healing.

Today, we must save and heal human life with a health care plan that is Medicare for everyone.

In 1993 the American Catholic bishops said, “Every person has a right to adequate health care. This right flows from the sanctity of human life and dignity that belongs to all human persons, who are made in the image and likeness of God.”

Today, in 2010, the American Catholic bishops are embedded with the goose-stepping rich and the goose-stepping American corporations and they have been defied by 59,000 nuns who have sent letters to Congress that health care is a basic human right.

Mark K (not verified) 12 years 9 weeks ago

Just in time to bypass another lurid rerun of “Law and Order: SVU” about crimes more heinous than mass murder, came the House debate and vote on the health care bill yesterday had more than enough drama to satisfy. I have to admit that I was not shy about expressing my outrage watching the brazen mendacity of Republican after Republican (almost all speaking with Southern accents) repeating ad nauseam the Fox News talking points, utterly devoid of detail or factual information, and quite unabashedly so. Democrats added much needed perspective (and respect) for the proceedings as one after another put a human face on the many failures of the health care system run by the insurance industry. Before Nancy Pelosi had her “history making moment,” we had to suffer John Boehner one more time decrying the lack of “comity” that he perhaps more than anybody else in the House was responsible for. Everything he said bore the stench of hypocrisy. It was, after all, the Republicans who refused to listen to the cries of the victims of the insurance industry. It was the Republicans who refused to debate and compromise in good faith; as Pelosi pointed out, the health care bill contained 200 Republican amendments, and their refusal to acknowledge this undercut whatever credibility their complaints could claim to possess. The assertion that the time was not “right” because of a down economy would have more credibility if we could believe there would ever be a “right” time for the Republicans, even in a “favorable” economic environment. We all know that in this country, change almost never happens in “good” times, and for Republicans there is never a “good” time to upset their corporate puppet-masters.

The opponents of the bill tried to make a great deal of hay out of the fact that the bill was a few thousand pages long. But if Boehner as the “leader” of the House Republicans minority didn’t bother to read the bill himself, then for him to have any opinion on it is worth only a few belly laughs and our contempt. The bill was long because people took a great deal of effort to think through every angle and obstacle that the insurance industry was sure to erect, given the fact that a simpler public option based on Medicare was not in the cards. Needless-to-say, neither the Republicans nor their constituency take much stock in thinking or reading, and even the simple seems too tough for many to grasp. They’d rather engage in incomprehensible petty bigotry and fears of “social engineering,” especially whites on the far-right fringe. We heard these people using racial epithets and holding signs “suggesting” the killing of pro-reform lawmakers, and one of their representatives scream “baby killer” at Bart Stupak, one of the most solidly anti-abortion Democrats who switched his no vote to yes. The Republican efforts to “clean-up” their image by attempting to fool people into thinking that they are not taking their cues from the voices of the far-right fringes one finds on Fox News and right-wing radio is continuously undercut by their refusal to cut loose this hardest core of their support. Even the “winning” talking point about first creating jobs for the jobless is undercut by the Republicans seeming lack of interest in keeping the working class without or with substandard health care fit to work.

There are obviously some difficulties in eventually implementing this bill, but we would only know what works and what doesn’t through the fire of experience. One can hope that a majority of the American people will (sooner rather than later) recognize that the president and Democrats have made this difficult and courageous move of passing health care reform for their benefit, and the Republican likely assault in the run-up to the 2010 elections is emblematic of their cowardliness in the face of their corporate and insurance industry paymasters who do not have the interests of working people in mind. Their unanimous “no” vote on the reform bill should serve as a reminder of their irrelevancy when it comes to issues of public welfare. As for Democrats, this long delayed gut-check should convince doubters amongst the public that the Democrats are the party best equipped to deal with the pressing domestic issues of today, and the future.

harry ashburn (not verified) 12 years 9 weeks ago
Nels (not verified) 12 years 9 weeks ago

The Democrats have given us an inch, now lets keep working and get the mile.

Gerald Socha (not verified) 12 years 9 weeks ago

Will the United States of Hell soon become another graveyard for empires?


Gerald Socha (not verified) 12 years 9 weeks ago

@harry ashburn, thank you for sharing the article!

mstaggerlee (not verified) 12 years 9 weeks ago

This is a troublesome time of year for me ... I'm a sports fan, but I don't like basketball much. So, what to do on a Sunday afternoon after NBC's Hockey broadcast is over - where's the action now?

I know - let's switch it over to CSPAN & watch the House Health Care debates! Truly, it WAS sorta like a sporting event - there was a 'good' team and a 'bad' team (which was which depending upon your viewpoint), the good team occasionally made you cheer, and the bad team often inspired boo-ing.

I'll tell ya what, though - my wife often complains that sporting events take too long (how come you told me there were only 2 min. left half an hour ago??) ... BOY OH BOY, does the legislative sausage factory know how to stretch time out! By about 9 last night, we couldn't hold our heads up any more, so we missed the "exciting" conclusion.

Glad that, in the end, the "good guys" won, though! :)

Quark (not verified) 12 years 9 weeks ago

FBI Whistleblower --- Important Issue Not Widely Known

My friend, former FBI profiler and whistleblower, Jane Turner, now a spokesperson for The National Whistleblowers Center in Washington, D.C., is urgently fighting to prevent imminent legislation to undercut federal whistleblower protections. Here is a recent interview with her for anyone interested:


"Interview #137 - Jane Turner
Date/Duration: 2010/03/11 / 24:39
Description: FBI whistleblower Jane Turner joins us to talk about her own experience blowing the whistle on FBI agents stealing items from Ground Zero after 9/11. She discusses being forced out of the Bureau for her whistleblowing and we talk about S.372, the draconian new bill in the senate that would strip national security whistleblowers of any protection or oversight."

Mark K (not verified) 12 years 9 weeks ago

It isn't surprising that Nancy Hamsher would trash the bill, since she is pretty far off on the fringes. We don't live in a "perfect world"--I know, because I have to live in a world that has been pre-defined for me, and I don't see any awareness of that fact by people like Hamsher.

Wendy (not verified) 12 years 9 weeks ago

Good Riddance Rush!! Don't let the door hit ya! =)

Richard L. Adlof (not verified) 12 years 9 weeks ago

Waterloo . . . No.

Healthcare/Health Insurance Reform is now largely null and void . . . It has been reduced to a grousing point but breaks no one.

If it had been real HealthCARE reform, it would have been over for the Whigs . . . Uh, sorry . . . Republicans.

If they failed to pass anything, it woulda been over spineless, DLC-driven DEMs.

Nope, we live in a holding pattern . . . Thirty Thousand feet up and running on fumes AND no one is going to pay for it.

harry ashburn (not verified) 12 years 9 weeks ago

@mstaggerlee: re: sporting events taking too long: Just tell your wife "just 2 more minutes" in sports is the same as "just 2 more minutes" in shopping.

mstaggerlee (not verified) 12 years 9 weeks ago

Firedog Lake petition to reinstate the public option in the reconciliation package -


The page linked above has a petition addressed to Senator Michael Bennet, who led the effort to determine that there were 51 members of the Senate who MIGHT vote in favor of a public option. It asks him to introduce a public option amendment as part of reconciliation.

GO SIGN IT - NOW!!!!!!!!!!!


Gerald Socha (not verified) 12 years 9 weeks ago

Why are we afraid to tax the goose-stepping rich?


harry ashburn (not verified) 12 years 9 weeks ago

@Mysterious Floating Head: you said: " we live in a holding pattern . . . Thirty Thousand feet up and running on fumes AND no one is going to pay for it."

- and we're out of peanuts and the bathrooms are backed-up.

Nels (not verified) 12 years 9 weeks ago

This is an interesting speech made by Johnathan Gruber, Health Care economist, at Holy Cross college. I caught it on C-Span Friday night. Thought I'd share it with all here.


Quark (not verified) 12 years 9 weeks ago


I got the same email, but wonder if this will jeopardize the pending reconciliation bill, since it would change the language. That would force it back to the House.

What do you think?

Quark (not verified) 12 years 9 weeks ago

Conservative Libertarian

For anyone who missed it, Jon Stewart did an amazing presentation "Glenn Beck style" last week. I laughed out loud. Video:


mstaggerlee (not verified) 12 years 9 weeks ago

Michael Moore on his Congressman - Bart Stupak ... a great read!


Quark (not verified) 12 years 9 weeks ago

harry ashburn and Mysterious Floating Head,

I guess you've solved the mystery!

"Wave of UFO Sightings over Cleveland (March 2010)"


Gerald Socha (not verified) 12 years 9 weeks ago
glenn n (not verified) 12 years 9 weeks ago

re: waterloo

Let's make this health care victory the REPUBLICAN'S waterloo. Sure the bill is not perfect and it benefits the insurance companies and it is nowhere near the public option or single payer system that we want.

The tea baggers labeled this "OBAMACARE", a term they thought was degrading and would frighten people. We should not run away from this, but embrace it.

We should all call it OBAMACARE from this day forward, and hope that it becomes as important to America as Medicare and Social Security. Remind people every day how the Democrats fought to pass OBAMACARE without the support of one single Republican. Run with this and carry it proudly into the upcoming elections against the Republicans and let it be their downfall.

harry ashburn (not verified) 12 years 9 weeks ago

re: Man Assaults Officer with Penis: I understand he got off on insufficient evidence. ;D

Bill Taylor (not verified) 12 years 9 weeks ago

The Health Care legislation is more about politics than health care. The battle is not over. The final battle has yet to be fought. When Alito, Roberts, Kennedy , Scalia, and Thomas enter the fight we'll be watching the battle to see who controls the country; the President or the Supremes.

mstaggerlee (not verified) 12 years 9 weeks ago

@harry ashburn - only one problem with that ... my wife (bless her) is not a big SHOPPING fan, either.

harry ashburn (not verified) 12 years 9 weeks ago

@mstaggerlee: D'OH!

Bob (ProgressiveInTexas) (not verified) 12 years 9 weeks ago

So 36 Republican States plan on a Constitutional Challenges to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and associated Reconciliation. We can only hope. Maybe President Obama is playing a game of Chess game on a scale not easily apparent to most. It could explain why the Public Option and Single Payer were never on the table in any of the negotiations.

I think we need Republicans to challenge requirements to purchase PRIVATE insurance under penalty of law. Follow the Argument to The Supreme Court:

Republican State Solicitor: It is not Constitutional to require people to buy any product, especially health insurance from a corporation. The government is in fringing on their rights and freedoms.

Solicitor General: May it please the court, but these states have a statutory requirement for people to purchase minimum Automobile Insurance Coverage in order to renew their drivers licenses and renew their vehicle registrations. Why would this be any different?

Republican State Solicitor: It is different because driving is a privilege. Cars are not necessary to life liberty or the pursuit of happiness. Owning and driving a car is not a right specifically protected by the Constitution.

Solicitor General: Your honors, to me it appears that my opponent is arguing that access Health care is a basic right guaranteed by the Constitution. If you rule in their favor, then you must also rule that every expectant mother has a constitutional right to pre-natal care and every new born has a constitutional right to neo-natal care, no matter what pre-existing conditions may have occurred at birth. You most also rule that a 20 year old diabetic has the right to medical treatment and a 50 year old who contracts cancer must be guaranteed life saving treatment. I am not sure that is in the capacity of private insurance companies. The only practical and economic means for protecting their constitutional rights it to have the largest risk pool possible. This risk pool most necessarily then consist of every American Citizen, for that would spread the risk among the larges possible base. By your ruling in my opponents favor, you would in effect decree that the Government MUST operate single payer basic health insurance system in order to protect it’s citizens Constitutional Rights.

Note:Let the right-to-life Supreme Court Republicans of the United States (SCROTUS) rule that a fetus does not have a Constitutional Right to be born healthy and that premature babies, diabetics and cancer patients do not have the right to life saving medical care.

Gerald Socha (not verified) 12 years 9 weeks ago

Great sources for backing up THE UN-AMERICAN EMPIRE!!!


mstaggerlee (not verified) 12 years 9 weeks ago

BAD JOKE ALERT (If you are likely to take offense, DON'T READ THIS!) -

Does this mean that we can finally kill grandma?

(I warned you, didn't I?)

Nels (not verified) 12 years 9 weeks ago

Well if the Republicans don't want the American people to be forced to purchase health insurance from a private source. Great, let them set that precedent, then there is the more reason for at least a Public Option.

mstaggerlee (not verified) 12 years 9 weeks ago

@Nels ... and even MORE for Medicare for all ... :)

Richard L. Adlof (not verified) 12 years 9 weeks ago

@harryashburn: Sooth.

LeMoyne (not verified) 12 years 9 weeks ago

Now omg NOW Thom tells us the deal that kept public anything and real reform off the table in the health care debate. Of course we knew that all along.
For a year we have heard that we can't let the perfect be the enemy of the good.
All along it has been the [pre-defined] 'Possible' that is the enemy of the good.

The healthy have always taken care of the sick both by direct care and by paying for insurance and not using it. There is understandable anger with the current system where people have to pay twice - once to the government for the sick, poor, young and old and again to a private insurance company for themselves and their family. The Congress is on its way to passing a mandate that we buy for-profit insurance (tithe to Mammon) while avoiding either any public option or Medicare expansion (share and share alike). Yet the Democrats sound like they passed Medicare for all.

The camel that puts its nose under the tent gets kicked in the face.
Prepare for months of ads about personal mandates on everyone, unfunded mandates on the states, IRS agents and years of premium hikes. If the Democrats lose a bunch of seats it is their fault for compromising core principles and not making it clear that the right to life is fundamental to all other rights.

Clearly, we have government of the people by the government for the corporations. Hope and Change we can believe in has come to waiting for Republican attorneys general to successfully convince the corporate dominated courts to throw out this nameless mess to make room for a public solution. Stranger things have happened but don't hold your breath because... Clearly, we have government of the people by the government for the corporations.

Nels (not verified) 12 years 9 weeks ago

@mstaggerlee forget Waterloo, let this be their Agincourt. Either way the Republicans get to be arrogant Frenchmen (my apologies in advanced to any French that I may have offended).

harry ashburn (not verified) 12 years 9 weeks ago

@Mysterious Floating Head: "Sooth"? as in For Sooth?

harry ashburn (not verified) 12 years 9 weeks ago


Richard L. Adlof (not verified) 12 years 9 weeks ago

Brandon Voice SPAMs all liberal talkers . . . One of his two ‘entrepreneurial’
companies he ‘runs’ buggers liberal talkers and bloggers for cash . . .

Richard L. Adlof (not verified) 12 years 9 weeks ago

Sooth . . . As in foretold truth . . .

Zero G. (not verified) 12 years 9 weeks ago

Chomsky: Health bill sustains the system’s core ills
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor added that it’s a damning referendum on American democracy that one of the most highly supported components of the effort nationally, the public insurance option, was jettisoned. He partly blamed the media for refusing to stress how favorably it’s viewed by the populace.

"It didn't have 'political support,' just the support of the majority of the population," Chomsky quipped, "which apparently is not political support in our dysfunctional democracy."

The provision has consistently polled well, garnering the support of sixty percent of Americans across the nation in a CBS/New York Times poll released in December, days after it was eliminated from the reform package. Democratic leaders deemed it politically untenable.

"There should be headlines explaining why, for decades, what's been called politically impossible is what most of the public has wanted," Chomsky said. "There should be headlines explaining what that means about the political system and the media."

Well, he does say that he'd of held his nose and passed it, but the dysfunction of our system is out for all to see.

For myself, watching Democrats straining their arms (and credulity) to pat themselves on the back, I think back to the single-payer advocates being arrested in Max Baucus' committee, being shut out of the White House forums and the Blair House summit.

Democracy Hogwash - At Least We Have Clean Pigs...

harry ashburn (not verified) 12 years 9 weeks ago

Oh, OK. I'm from Texas so English is a foreign tongue.

Nels (not verified) 12 years 9 weeks ago

@Zero G, thanks for the Chomsky article and clip from it. Always enjoy Chomsky.

Nels (not verified) 12 years 9 weeks ago

Brandon doesn't believe in the commons. He thinks he stands alone and likes it that way. He's delusional, but oh well.

harry ashburn (not verified) 12 years 9 weeks ago

@Zero G: you said: "Democracy Hogwash – At Least We Have Clean Pigs…" :) .... yes, but do those pigs have lipstick?

Nels (not verified) 12 years 9 weeks ago

Now that the Republicans have lost this battle, all I can say is quick someone get a microphone in front of Palin. Can't wait for her next brilliant soundbite. (Your lipstick quip brought this to my mind harry).

harry ashburn (not verified) 12 years 9 weeks ago

Nels, since the insurance companies won this battle, its hard to say the Republicans lost.

"Stocks have reached what looks like a permanently high plateau."
- Irving Fisher, Professor of Economics, Yale University, October 16, 1929.

Kai Wen (not verified) 12 years 9 weeks ago

I live in California, and currently my state government requires me to buy car insurance from a private corporation. If I do not have car insurance, I cannot register my car.

LeMoyne (not verified) 12 years 9 weeks ago

The question is: How do we get the camel or jackass in this case (the Democrats) to quit sniffing around the back of the tent, stand up on its hind legs and walk in the front door?
I think that we the people need to insist that Democrats amend the Constitution to define person/people as one/some/all of the natural human(s) subject to the laws of the US. The 28th amendment must also make it clear that restrictions on commercial interests do not restrict individual liberties and add the Congressional duty to regulate commercial entities for the general welfare. I see no other way to get real health care reform, to get health are for all, to get the money out of politics and to shrink the obscene war budget.

Zero G. (not verified) 12 years 9 weeks ago


just the ones on camera...

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:
"Thom Hartmann is a literary descendent of Ben Franklin and Tom Paine. His unflinching observations and deep passion inspire us to explore contemporary culture, politics, and economics; challenge us to face the facts of the societies we are creating; and empower us to demand a better world for our children and grandchildren."
John Perkins, author of the New York Times bestselling book Confessions of an Economic Hit Man
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."
Paul Loeb, author of Soul of a Citizen
From Screwed:
"If we are going to live in a Democracy, we need to have a healthy middle class. Thom Hartmann shows us how the ‘cons’ have wronged this country, and tells us what needs to be done to reclaim what it is to be American."
Eric Utne, Founder, Utne magazine