Daily Topics - Monday - March 29th 2010

revolution magesQuote: "It [racism] is the enemy of freedom, and deserves to be met head-on and stamped out." -- Pierre Berton

Hour One - Should all tea partiers be required to sign an "I won't take social security and medicare" pledge?

Hour Two - Thom defends Obama Zombies Jason Mattera www.jasonmattera.com

Hour Three - How do we get our jobs back to America? Scott Paul www.americanmanufacturing.org


mstaggerlee (not verified) 10 years 26 weeks ago

Whooo -Hooo! I beat MarkK to the "first poster" position today! :)

But ... hold on here a minute, boys - I think they might have gotten it all wrong. Obama ain't secretly a Moslem ... it's even WORSE ... He's secretly a JEW!


And damn that Reverend Wright for trying to confuse everybody, too! :D

mstaggerlee (not verified) 10 years 26 weeks ago

Bill Maher on how the Democrats should handle the sweet and unfamiliar taste of victory -


mstaggerlee (not verified) 10 years 26 weeks ago
DRichards (not verified) 10 years 26 weeks ago

Obama health insurance requirement taken from GOP

It seems to me that our two party democracy is just a charade. Even though they fight like cats & dogs, it's all smoke & mirrors to make the public think they have a choice. Either way it's still the same people running the country.

Mark K (not verified) 10 years 26 weeks ago

It didn’t take long for the health insurance industry to find “ambiguous” wording in the bill that it chooses to interpret on whim. It now claims that it is not “required” to cover children with pre-existing conditions until 2014, instead of immediately. According to the insurance companies, language that states that insurers “may not impose any pre-existing condition exclusion with respect to such plan or coverage" for children younger than 19 in plan years that begin on or after Sept. 23, 2010 does not say specifically that they are “required” to cover these children until 2014. I wonder how many other leaks in the hull they will find.

rewinn (not verified) 10 years 26 weeks ago

Palin's condemnation of Obama speaking to us "from a lectern" was delivered when she was speaking "from a lectern"

Mark K (not verified) 10 years 26 weeks ago

In respect to some things said last week, I think Thom prefers to regard race prejudice as fitting under the umbrella of one group having power over another because it allows him to make alignments along a hierarchal order. In the past he has stated that he didn’t think racism had much play “now,” and he tended to confirm this by placing greater emphasis on gay rights and women’s issues (much like how a discrimination and sexual harassment policy statement we had to sign-off on at work recently had two pages of definitions in the minutest of detail what constituted sexual harassment, but the only part that referred to discrimination was in the original heading). However, the responses to Obama’s presidency from some quarters has served as a wake-up call for anyone who thinks racism is a “thing of the past,” and recent roll-backs on affirmative action and school desegregation both from popular (i.e. white majority) vote and by the current Supreme Court also appear to suggest that many there is an element amongst the majority who wish to “reclaim” their past position of unfettered privilege. It does the country no good to have a large segment of the population relatively unproductive because they are denied opportunities for educational advancement, but this view seldom penetrates constricted minds.

Although I do give Thom considerable credit for now giving these matters the airtime they deserve, I also think that he is wrong about the power of stereotyping, because stereotyping supplies the rationales people use to justify their prejudices. Right-wing ideologue Dinesh D’Souza called this “rational discrimination” based on preconceived notions—that is, stereotyping—which he seemed to argue justified the active participation in discriminatory and b bigoted behavior. Although individual actions by those so inclined tend to be knee-jerk reactions or on the sly (like nighttime brick-throwing), what we saw the previous weekend was that bigots are emboldened to act more publicly when surrounded by like-minded people, and extolled by Republicans.

I also wish that instead of congratulating that Republican caller on Friday who said he wasn’t a racist, Thom should have allowed him to continue his statement, which almost surely would included a “but.” The Republican Party in its current form dates at least from Reagan, but it had its roots in the Nixon and Ford administrations, that included unapologetic bigots like Pat Buchanan and jingoists like Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld. Nixon’s “Southern strategy” was aimed at becoming the party of choice for Southern racists and cultural paranoids “disenchanted” with Democratic social policies. I’m fairly certain that this was the only Republican Party this person is familiar with, and his point would have been (if Thom had let him talk) a “but” he was not for all this “social engineering” stuff (code for equal opportunity) like health care reform.

What to do? Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center was asked last week on another radio program what could be done to stem hate-inspired activity. As I have talked about many times on this blog, he also blamed the media for actively encouraging and contributing to an atmosphere conducive to hate. As an example, he noted that a fringe hate group in Arizona had concocted a conspiracy theory called the “Plan de Aztlan,” a bastardization of a 1960’s Chicano movement manifesto meant to combat racial discrimination, but now regarded as a “counterculture” relic of its times. The “revised” version of the “plan” allegedly calls on Mexican-Americans to act as subversive agents of the Mexican government to help “reconquer” the Southwest. This conspiracy theory found ready adherents in the Minuteman movement, and from there it landed on Lou Dobbs’ eager lap, and he ran with it with a straight face in front of millions of CNN viewers. We may conjecture that a small minority of people lend this theory any credence, but then again this kind of paranoia underlines the anti-Latino rhetoric of Pat Buchanan, who has been allowed a certain “mainstream” credibility.

The SPLCenter has also kept tabs on the numerous myths passed on as “facts” by the mainstream media in regard to illegal immigration. It notes that the infamous claim by Dobbs concerning the “deadly import” of 7,000 cases of leprosy first originated with a nativist named Madeleine Cosman, who also claimed that “most” Latino men molest white girls under 12 years of age (that must be why every time I walk past a white parent with a 4-year-old daughter, they wake-up as if out of trance and speedily insure that the kid is safely out of “harm’s way”). The Center also presented studies that disputed various commonly held theories such as undocumented workers “steal” jobs that would otherwise have gone to natives, depress wages, and cost a “fortune” in social programs without contributing a dime. In something that would be particularly surprising to Michelle Malkin, the Center also notes that

“Robert J. Sampson, chairman of Harvard's sociology department, reported in a 2005 article in The American Journal of Health that the rate of violence among Mexican Americans was significantly lower than among non-Latino white and black Americans.” Lorena Bobbitt—who immigrated from Ecuador dreaming of marrying a white American man—should have been so wise.

The Center also noted studies that show that “second- and third-generation immigrants are significantly more criminal than their parents, suggesting that U.S. culture somehow eventually produces more, not less, criminality among its citizens.” Given the fact that 50 percent of all illegal immigrants who are incarcerated are imprisoned strictly on immigration charges, this suggests that criminality and violence among first-generation Latino immigrants (legal or not) is far lower than is commonly held, yet is an image perpetuated by the media—blatantly and without any hint of context.

Potok didn’t ignore the dramatic rise in anti-government “patriot” and militia movements since Barack Obama’s election, or the fact that the Tea Party movement is “shot-through” with the influence of extremists. But the group he found particularly troubling was the so-called “Oath Keepers”—comprised mainly of military and police officers. These people believe that they are tasked to protect the country from “foreign” enemies and occupation, and stop the “plot” to herd (white) Americans en mass in concentration camps. Bizarre as these ideas might be, it is a disturbing fact that law enforcement officers in this group who are “licensed to kill” have the power of making decisions on their own who the “enemy” is that needs to be “taken out.” Given the fact that police officers are virtually immune from accountability even in cases where their victim is unarmed should give one pause.

Todd T (not verified) 10 years 26 weeks ago

It seems increasingly clear the republicans are denouncing and accusing the democrats of everything they are doing as a way of distracting and probably trying to make any democrat trying to attack back as a copy cat.

The republicans are re-writing history and cutting education to lower the education level and make people "zombies"

The republicans are pushing corporate control and fascism.

The republicans are removing our freedoms.

The republicans are pushing for the government to take over everything in your life.

glenn n (not verified) 10 years 26 weeks ago

Sarah Palin says in her tea party rally speech:

"The government that governs the least governs the best."

At least NOW I can understand why she quit her job as governor of Alaska. She was trying to make the government better. In her case, I'm sure it is true. Alaska is better off without her around.

mstaggerlee (not verified) 10 years 26 weeks ago

How is Michael Steele spending the RNC's money?


LeMoyne (not verified) 10 years 26 weeks ago

Harper's Ferry Rebellion is often called John Brown War and was an abolitionist capture of an armory in 1850. The rebellion was ironically put down by Virginia troops under command of Robert E. Lee.
Of course the Tea Partiers shouldn't be required to sign an anti-socialst pledge but maybe they should be given a chance. Really the thing to draw the TPers out on is protectionism. Their corporate 'leaders' (who jumped in front of the actual movement behind the hype) will not emphasize the fact the bulk of the Tea Party wants protective tariffs (keep jobs here) and job programs (stimulus) and stability for Medicare and Social Security (end rich ppl tax exemption). They are angry because they have lost jobs and their kids are under/unemployed and they know it is because of free trade policies of the last 30 years. They are like the Coffee Party in that they want government to work. The Tea Party should be encouraged in every way to bolt the Republican party :-)

harry ashburn.... (not verified) 10 years 26 weeks ago

*)!&$(*&^ COMMERCIALS!!!

What is that, 8 straight minutes of commercials?? I cant stand this any more!!!

mstaggerlee (not verified) 10 years 26 weeks ago

Hey, Thom - Let's not forget that Tea Partyers must also boycott that monument to socialism - Mt. Rushmore!

BTW - how does the Texas Board of Ed plan to deal with that? Will future Texas textbooks contain photos of Rushmore with Jefferson replaced by Calvin?

harry ashburn.... (not verified) 10 years 26 weeks ago


harry ashburn.... (not verified) 10 years 26 weeks ago


harry ashburn.... (not verified) 10 years 26 weeks ago


Helen Stapleton (not verified) 10 years 26 weeks ago

Can someone please post the full text of the pledge that the teabaggers should sign or tell me where I could download it. I'd love to share that with my friends.

Wendy (not verified) 10 years 26 weeks ago

@harry ashburn I'm not hearing 9 minutes of commercials - but I'm listening online not on sat radio. Maybe it's your carrier.

harry ashburn.... (not verified) 10 years 26 weeks ago

@hELEn: here's the Pledge:

I PLEDGE, having an IQ under room temperature, to do what I'm told.

Make an X or have your keeper sign

harry ashburn.... (not verified) 10 years 26 weeks ago

@Wendy, no we're listening to the same broadcast. how long did it seem to you?

harry ashburn.... (not verified) 10 years 26 weeks ago

@ Wendy: Thom was doing commercials almost the whole time. Just 'cause Thom was talkin doesn't mean it wasn''t a commerical

Wendy (not verified) 10 years 26 weeks ago

@harry ashburn I understand that. It didn't seem any more than usual. And a lot of what I heard was the news. Maybe I wasn't paying attention. =)

Zero G. (not verified) 10 years 26 weeks ago

There is no point to trying to "get" the tea partiers with logic, they don't process logically.

@harry, my least favorite commercial..."70% off the labor..."

Tim (not verified) 10 years 26 weeks ago

You should do the petition in 2 parts. Have them sign the sheet that says NO TO SOCIALISM! After the do that, hand them the list of things they can’t do, like drive home on the social roads. Etc.

mstaggerlee (not verified) 10 years 26 weeks ago

In his Commentary at the conclusion of "Face the Nation" yesterday, Bob Schieffer suggested that one possible way to narrow the ever-widening partisan gulf between Democrats and Republicans would be to eliminate party primaries. His arguonlment stems from the fact that only about 5% of people nationwide actually trouble themselves to vote in primaries. One can pretty safely assume that those included in that 5% are the nations heaviest partisans. One wins a Republican Primary, therefore, by running as hard right as possible (appealing to the most partisan elements on the right), or a Democratic Primary by running hard left (to attract the partisan left vote).

Schieffer's idea was that all candidates who want to run for a given office should run in a single, NON-PARTISAN primary election. The two primary candidates who get the highest vote totals in the primary - REGARDLESS OF PARTY AFFILIATION - would then run in the general election. This could have the dual effect of attracting more people to vote in Primaries, and of allowing more reasonable, centrist types to gain positions of power.

Sounded like a reasonable idea to me. Opinions?

harry ashburn.... (not verified) 10 years 26 weeks ago

@Wendy...The break that just ended was 7 minutes.

Zero G. (not verified) 10 years 26 weeks ago

more socialist programs:

overtime pay
child labor laws
retirement pensions

but like I said, no point in arguing logically, they don't proccess that way.

Mugsy (not verified) 10 years 26 weeks ago

Thom, if you are interested:

signthepledge .net/.us/.info/.biz are all still available.

Wendy (not verified) 10 years 26 weeks ago

@harry ashburn I must not have been paying attention. At any rate, I love that I can stream Thom for free and anything he has to do to keep that coming is OK with me.

LeMoyne (not verified) 10 years 26 weeks ago
Tim (not verified) 10 years 26 weeks ago

Sunday night NBC nightly news led the 5:30 newscast with 6 minutes of the Sarah Palin tea party rally in Nevada. 6 MINUTES. Then less then 1 minute on the Presdidents recess appointments. What a joke.

Mugsy (not verified) 10 years 26 weeks ago

"signthepledge.org" is taken, but currently hosts no site.

Current owner: "donordigital.com"

rewinn (not verified) 10 years 26 weeks ago

Customer reviews of the "Voyeurs" club where Mr. Steele laid down more than a grand of RNC money ( according to http://dailycaller.com/2010/03/29/high-flyer-rnc-chairman-steele-suggest... ) include comments like

"There are topless "dancers" acting out S&M scenes throughout the night on one of the side stages, there's a half-naked girl hanging from a net across the ceiling and at one point I walked to the bathroom and pretty much just stopped dead in my tracks to watch two girls simulating oral sex in a glass case.

Really understated elegance here."

"On the bar, on the stage, and above my head I find myself staring at female dancers wearing nothing but a mask and underwear. The crowd is beautiful and trendy for the most part."

" Beware of the ladies hanging above you in nets - they whip the occasional unsuspecting drunkie. "

More reviews:

Zero G. (not verified) 10 years 26 weeks ago


I would disagree with Schieffer's premise of the widening gulf between the two corporate parties.

Sure the volume goes up with increasingly inane argument, however the basic premise of militaristic American exceptionalism to international law goes unchallenged, neither party dares to prosecute torturers, or the march to conflict based on prevariacation.

Mugsy (not verified) 10 years 26 weeks ago


God pledge, but too snarky to fool even your average teabagger. Some rewording similar (identical?) to what Thom used is in order.

Mugsy (not verified) 10 years 26 weeks ago

(oops: "Good" pledge, not "God pledge") :)

harry ashburn.... (not verified) 10 years 26 weeks ago

@rewinn..never sit under a cage...birdcage or otherwise. Watch out for the guacamole drops.

minny (not verified) 10 years 26 weeks ago

Keep in mind that "opt-ing out" of Social Security and Medicare can easily play into the Republican't privitization arguments. Perhaps the pledge should be that the anti-socialist would refuse to receive the socialist benefits.

mstaggerlee (not verified) 10 years 26 weeks ago

RNC refuses to sign joint statement with DNC asking for public civility.


Also on Face the Nation yesterday, DNC chairman Tim Kaine stated that he faxed a draft of a the joint statement to the RNC on Friday, and that on Saturday afternoon, the RNC simultaneously faxed the DNC a rejection to sign the joint statement, and issued their OWN statement calling for civility.

Scott (not verified) 10 years 26 weeks ago

Nice to hear Thom quoting John Dean's book Conservatives Without Conscience when describing the Tea Party followers. I haven been saying this same thing on this site starting about six months ago when Thom was saying that Progressives can work with Tea Partiers on economic issues. As Thom now realizes, this is not possible.

Google The Authoritarians to read more about them online where you can read a free book on the topic by Bob Altmeyer. Altmeyer's studies of Authoritarians over the last 30 years was the basis of Dean's book.

Charles in OH (not verified) 10 years 26 weeks ago

Vinnie wants to sign the oath, but will he follow through? Maybe he should start a blog. Oh, what am I thinking, the internet was developed by the military.

brian a.hayes (not verified) 10 years 26 weeks ago

maybe its time for protectionism again is it time to demand american corporations to protect american jobs is it time for strong tariffs its time to become a production economy again. america was at its best when we protected our comerce

minny (not verified) 10 years 26 weeks ago

Obama Zombies, indeed. The audio clip of Rep. DeMint talking of Waterloo and breaking Obama sounded like a Zombie or a hypnotist.

I have had far too many experiences with right wing Republican't radicals who start SCREAMING and just can't stop. Rather like a two year old in a temper tantrum.

Once again, the wrong wing radicals are PROJECTING their own behaviors and hatred on others.

Gerald Socha (not verified) 10 years 26 weeks ago

Is this what God meant by “rendering to Caesar what Caesar wants?”


Zero G. (not verified) 10 years 26 weeks ago


...and of allowing more reasonable, centrist types to gain positions of power. Sounded like a reasonable idea to me. Opinions?

Centrist democrats, like Max Baucus, who arrested single payer advocates rather than give them a seat at the hearing? Centrist Republicans, like Arlen Spector, who would switch parties for electoral expediency? In my view we'd be better off without both.

Yellow stripes and dead armadillos, as Jim Hightower would say, are found in the middle of the road.

LeMoyne (not verified) 10 years 26 weeks ago

Seriously, I am starting to like the Tea Partiers - they know that Republicants and Democrats both did the free-trade bleeding of our economy. The unreal issues motivating them are race and socialism. The real issue motivating them is jobs, jobs, jobs - I believe their rank and file is very protectionist and would sign a pledge to restore tariffs and to penalize offshoring jobs.
Convergys closed a call center here last week - I have spent hours and though still finding closures, I find that they have moved thousands of jobs from US and Canada to the Phillipines. Convergys went from 0 to 20,000 jobs in the Phillipines in the last five years while closing call centers all across the US and Canada. Marife Zamora, the vice-president and country manager of Convergys Philippines, said and a huge call center opening in Cebu last year that 'most clients of Convergys Philippines are English speakers from Australia and the US'. Their clients include credit card companies (9 of 10 majors - all except Citi?), AT&T, DuPont, etc.
Let's encourage the Tea Partiers to Converge on Convergys!

DRichards (not verified) 10 years 26 weeks ago

Re: Divide & Conquer
It seems to me that that is what two party system is all about; get the common folk fighting among themselves so that they don't band together & direct their efforts against the aristocracy.

Gerald Socha (not verified) 10 years 26 weeks ago
Charles in OH (not verified) 10 years 26 weeks ago

Ah! There it is, "social justice". Jason is a Beckian.

Republicans ruthlessly reshaped America to hold onto power - can Dems do the same thing to save it?

Thom plus logo In the power grab to fill the Supreme Court seat announced the same evening as the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Mitch McConnell didn't do anything new. The GOP has a long history of playing hardball power politics.
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