Daily Topics - Wednesday - March 31 2010

polar bear 2 imagesHour One - Have Americans become useful idiots for Koch Industries? William Yeatman www.cei.org

Plus...Have Americans become useful idiots for Koch Industries? Executive Director, Greenpeace Phil Radford www.greenpeace.org

Hour Two -  "Everything You Know is Wrong" - David Kirby, his latest book is "Animal Factory: The Looming Threat of Industrial Pig, Dairy, and Poultry Farms to Humans and the Environment" www.animalfactorybook.com  Is a giant poop bubble coming to eat your town?

Hour Three - What does a candidate have to do to make a tea partier say "you complete me?!" Pam Dahl, President, Tri-County Tea Party Florida www.tri-countyteaparty.org


Nels (not verified) 10 years 19 weeks ago

drill 'bama drill?

Nels (not verified) 10 years 19 weeks ago

Can't agree with this guest that claims PBS is not influenced by corporate money.

making progress (not verified) 10 years 19 weeks ago

“Empathy Entropy Paradox and how to break it”
The Gestalt Effect & Biosphere Politics.
"One may contemplate history from the point of view of happiness. But actually history is not the soil of happiness. The periods of happiness are blank pages in it." - Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel

Jeremy Rifkin's talk at The American Academy in Berlin addresses the big picture issue of our corrupt culture. His talk about the Extension of Empathy in our society is a valuable listen. He is suggesting that we have to Begin to Empathize, on a more macro level, “As a Species.” He is asserting that the next progression in our evolution is a Distributed Economic Revolution and Lateral Capitalism. All of which requires a New Social Model. “Consciousness changes very quickly when energy and communication revolutions come in.” The goal should be an “Empathic Civilization.”
The Death Bed Test: Look back at life and see what parts really counted.

He calls the July of 2008 economic meltdown, “The end of the Industrial Revolution.” He says that was the earth quake and then the financial collapse was only an aftershock. So we are STILL not dealing with the crisis.
He also says not to confuse “Peak Oil Per Capita” with “Peak Oil Production.”
Peak Oil Per Capita has already peaked in 1979.
At $147 per barrel, purchasing power plummeted, and that was where “the engine of the Industrial Revolution shut off” world wide.
As we try to restart the global economy, and we do it with fossil fuels, we are limited by the inflation of oil prices and a ceiling of $147 per barrel. He say’s there is no way to get through that wall.
“We will be in very volatile times for many more decades”.... And then we’ll be extinct.

Please have him on.

Exemplified in symptoms that we recognize as current issues in our society (Global Warming, Poverty, Etc.), is a much larger problem and that is our culture. As such, I engage everyone I know on a daily basis with these issues and frame it in this big picture paradigm. My responses are usually that no one wants to hear it. This is because they feel overwhelmed and helpless in addressing such a momentous problem. How do we break through to the average, overwhelmed, disassociated, uneducated, miseducated, egocentric, ethnocentric, Self-Centered American? I need to know because I’m probably going to have to make new friends as a result of my current progressive world view. Thanks Thom.

Wendy (not verified) 10 years 19 weeks ago

William does indeed care about wealth creation - for the transnational corporations!

harry ashburn.... (not verified) 10 years 19 weeks ago

Did William say "thank you, Ed" when he said goodbye?

making progress (not verified) 10 years 19 weeks ago

Jerey Rifkin says that the temperature rising by 3% in the next century, now looks optimistic (which would still equal mass extinction).
A harbinger would be this one statistic: “One in Seven People in The World Go to Bed Without Access to Food.” That has never happened before. We have become the “Monster Species”
We are only 6.8 billion, yet we only make up half a per cent of the animal biomass on the earth. Unfortunately, we are currently using 24% of all the photosynthesis available on the earth.

Nels (not verified) 10 years 19 weeks ago

So Koch is trying to give us hallucinations? A Koch induced stupor so-to-speak.

Mark (not verified) 10 years 19 weeks ago

Economists can sometimes seem like the two quacks in Hogarth’s “A Harlot’s Progress” arguing between themselves over whose potion is better while the patient dies. There seems to be as many theories as there are professional and amateur economists. Some of these people may claim to understand all the convolutions and obscurities of their trade. It is all so simple, they say. Back in the day, a man might take his stone ax into the forest, and cut down a tree for firewood. His neighbor down the cave doesn’t have a stone ax, and pays him to cut him some wood with a side of venison he carved out of a deer he killed with an arrow. One service exchanged for another with resources readily at hand, given the limitations of transport. With the development of large urban areas, resources to develop industries and feed people had to imported from the countryside, bartered for finished goods or coinage.

The more resources from the countryside was diminished, the further afield it had to be obtained, sometimes from other nations, who might demand some resource or goods that they lacked. In order for a society to advance, the more complex were the goods needed to accomplish this, and the greater reliance on imported technology and resources. Sometimes you couldn’t just take what you needed; the Roman’s discovered that the Celts in the wilds of the Baltic and North Sea coasts were not willing to just handover their amber. You had to make deals with other nations to get what you wanted. And that was just the trade part of a complex web; economics turned out to be not so simple after all.

Many people believe that simply focusing on the issue of trade will solve a multitude of problems. If it were only that simple. The United States itself is a “globalized” market comprised of 50 separate entities that are governed semi-autonomously. In order to maintain their economies, the parties in power must maintain a favorable climate for which business can prosper, and this includes barter with other states and even other nations. What is interesting here is that the U.S. has states large and small, some richer in resources and trade goods than others. There is unfettered free trade among states, and no state puts up trade barriers with another. Yet we don’t talk of trade deficits due to imbalances in interstate trade, or the fact that jobs move from state to state or region to region (mainly to the South). Why is this? Because at least it remains “in-country” even if different parts of the country are affected in different ways? Or because chaos would occur if every state put up trade barriers?

Most economists would say that the benefits of free trade outweigh the costs of implementing trade barriers in a complex economy, such as inefficient allocation of resources and reducing markets. There are even those who argue that high tariffs of the past had little or no value in creating or sustaining domestic industries or jobs; some even blame the Smoot-Hawley tariffs for much of effects that would cause the Great Depression, because in keeping prices artificially high it reduced the market both internally and externally for excess U.S. production. The fact is that there are just as many domestic industries that benefit by free trade as there are that are hurt by it, and this occurs in all countries, including that convenient scapegoat Mexico.

Instead of blaming the usual suspects for job losses, we should ask why a net 22 million jobs were created during the Clinton years and only a net 2 million during the Bush years. One reason is because the Bush tax cuts benefited the people least likely to drive the consumer economy beyond their current spending. The rich already have enough of what they want; it is the middle and lower income levels that have unfulfilled consumer needs. Lower-income consumers ability to sustain real job creation has also been stymied by the failure in almost a decade to reshape the earned income tax credit to fit the times, which is one of the few genuine anti-poverty mechanisms that has actual value.

Trade deficits are only a symptom of the failings on the macroeconomic level. Reducing trade deficits, and by doing so believing that this will cure a multitude of social, political and economic ills, is now commonplace now amongst “populist” and tea party-types. This allows people to engage in scapegoating “foreigners,” and this is at best simplistic. This is no more factually-based now during the “Great Recession” than it was during the Great Depression. Garment production is virtually non-existent in this country, so it is pointless, for example, to continue to blame that sector for depressed wages. Debt has been rising at or near record rates in every sector of the economy, not just in trade. Manufacturing jobs in this country were actually stable until the Bush years, because new, although perhaps less robust, industries were replacing those that were lost; but in the last decade, 3 million manufacturing jobs have been lost. Why? Because, in part, economic “growth” during this period was due almost wholly to unsustainable sectors like the housing market and financial transactions relating to it; tax cuts for the wealthy created a risk market not in sustainable, long-term job creation, but gambling in phony money for quick pay-outs.

The bottom line is that there is no convenient “fix-all” for the economy; we can even “thank” China for bankrolling our debt and investing in U.S. market with their excess trade dollars (because they have to do something with that $1.7 trillion in foreign currency reserves that has increasingly diminished value), but like the housing market, that is another unsustainable avenue of “growth.” Instead of whining about free trade and searching for foreign scapegoats, the U.S. has to expand its own job growth horizons in new industries capable of sustained growth, like green energy and the products that grow from it.

DRichards (not verified) 10 years 19 weeks ago

Re: Drill Baby Drill
It seems to me that the Democrats & the Republicans have more in common than what they differ on.

harry ashburn.... (not verified) 10 years 19 weeks ago

"Koch - its the REAL thing"!

"If someone with multiple personalities threatens to kill himself, is it considered a hostage situation?" -george carlin

Mark K (not verified) 10 years 19 weeks ago

That was by Mark K in the above post. I don't want some other Mark to take the blame for it.

Tim (not verified) 10 years 19 weeks ago

Oh My. I just realized that as a retiree and long term disability beneficary from my previous employeer my benefits are connected to Koch industries. So far I can't complain as they have taken care of by benefits until now. But somehow I feel like I need to go take a shower, even though I just took one.

harry ashburn.... (not verified) 10 years 19 weeks ago

@Mark K. don't worry, there's no mistaking your posts.

Nels (not verified) 10 years 19 weeks ago

Don't feel bad Tim, few of us have the choice to work for a honorable corporation. We may as well try to find the Pot O' Gold at the end of the Rainbow, if we're going to hold out on getting a job with a honorable corporation. (Or at least heavily invest your retirement funds in lottery tickets).

Charles in OH (not verified) 10 years 19 weeks ago

Again, progressive desires have been transferred to Obama. I clearly remember him endorsing off-shore drilling and nuclear power. This should not come as a surprise.

Nels (not verified) 10 years 19 weeks ago

Quick turn on PBS and see if the Cookie monster is pushing Oreo's or Chips Ahoy in his skits.

harry ashburn.... (not verified) 10 years 19 weeks ago

PBS is dropping Bill Moyers and NOW, and adding programming from Bushies.

"If you've got them by the balls, their hearts and minds will follow." - john wayne

harry ashburn.... (not verified) 10 years 19 weeks ago

re: John Wayne quote: Maybe that should be: "If you;ve got them by the remote, their hearts and minds will follow."

Charles in OH (not verified) 10 years 19 weeks ago

My Career Builder account is being flooded with openings at insurance companies. Seems to me the healthcare law is creating jobs.

Nels (not verified) 10 years 19 weeks ago

@Charles, what kind of jobs are those Insurance Companies offering anyway? Data Entry, Sales, Phone Operators, or something else entirely? (Just curious, not looking for a job)

Charles in OH (not verified) 10 years 19 weeks ago

Mostly sales.

Nels (not verified) 10 years 19 weeks ago

@Charles, maybe they feel they're really going to have to push their product now ;-)

DRichards (not verified) 10 years 19 weeks ago

WikiAnswers - What is the lifespan of a nuclear power plant
Environmental Issues question: What is the lifespan of a nuclear power plant? Typically 40 years.

LeMoyne (not verified) 10 years 19 weeks ago

The Germans get solar power - if we're lucky we will get poop power before the fart bubble brew under those sewage ponds poisons the water.
lol - it's all still solar power
Yay! Thom brought up the reality of long-line loss and instability of central power plants! Solar is cost-effective now.

DRichards (not verified) 10 years 19 weeks ago

Nuclear power - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The MIT study used a 40 year baseline for nuclear reactor lifespan. Many current plants have been extended to operate well beyond this period, ...

Nels (not verified) 10 years 19 weeks ago

@DRichards, and how much and how long does the nuclear waste hang around, how does it compare to solar panels cells?

Side question: Are solar panels recyclable?

LeMoyne (not verified) 10 years 19 weeks ago

Those gas bubbles are *under* and have lifted the lining of the sewage lagoons with swamp gas. The soil and water table under the lagoon have already gone anaerobic - perhaps it is just because the natural soil is covered with an airtgiht seal. More likely the soil is already polluted with sewage.

LeMoyne (not verified) 10 years 19 weeks ago

Popping the bubbles is cutting the lining and will guarantee the sewage gets into the water table.

Nels (not verified) 10 years 19 weeks ago

Thom maybe right about Obama's ability to win political points, but I'm still concerned about what those wins mean. Sure I'm happy that health insurance reform was passed, and its great that the Republicans are crapping themselves over it, but in the long run what do we have? I'm wondering what the unintended consequences will be.

harry ashburn.... (not verified) 10 years 19 weeks ago

from TVNEWSLIES.org: GM Crops Cause Liver, Kidney Damage


Pablito (not verified) 10 years 19 weeks ago

Tom just asked his caller from California,"If she would rather have GWBush or Ronney"

I say yes I would rather have GWBush or Ronney implementing GOP policies rather than a Prez who says he is a Dem implementing GOP policies.

We saw this before with BClinton and here we are again,with "progressives" defending Obama who is implementing GOP policies.

Just what do progressives stand for again ?

harry ashburn.... (not verified) 10 years 19 weeks ago

@Pablito: Progressives stand for hours.

Nels (not verified) 10 years 19 weeks ago

@harry, I thought that was Rumsfeld, and that's why making someone stand for long periods of time wasn't torture ;-)

Charles in OH (not verified) 10 years 19 weeks ago

The referenced ADP National Employment Report of 23K jobs lost does not tell the whole story.

Goods producing = -51K
Service providing = +28K

We are still on the path of becoming a service-based economy.


harry ashburn.... (not verified) 10 years 19 weeks ago

@Nels: sorry, " I thought that was Rumsfeld"...what was Rumsfield?

Nels (not verified) 10 years 19 weeks ago

@harry, when allegations came out that Gitmo prisoners were being forced to stand for hours at a time and it was equated to torture, Rumsfeld said he stood at his desk all day long, and if he could do it wasn't torture to make prisoners to do so.

harry ashburn.... (not verified) 10 years 19 weeks ago

@nels okeydokey:D

harry ashburn.... (not verified) 10 years 19 weeks ago

@Nels: a progressive will stand for hours; a liberal will sit on your porch and whine for hours.

Nels (not verified) 10 years 19 weeks ago

Tea Party with a real agenda! What a concept, the corporate backers might not allow that.

KMH (not verified) 10 years 19 weeks ago

Thom is not crazy about the Aikido. When I worked on the Obama campaign, I mentioned to a fellow worker that I had heard Barack had indeed studied Aikido. I was quickly told to shhhhh- because there was no way to disclose this to the American public and to be sure they could comprehend what Aikido was and that it was something that Obama's team could explain without any back lash from the other side of the aisle.

KMH (not verified) 10 years 19 weeks ago

The Bloom Box may be an important future source of clean energy. This story was featured on the Sunday show “60 Minutes.” A shorter story was highlighted on MSNBC. Fascinating (video): [When you begin playing the video, a short story that is not related will begin playing, it will only take a moment to wait for that to finish. Hang in there and watch the segment about The Bloom Box. ]


simmsrider's picture
simmsrider 10 years 19 weeks ago

I wrote Thom earlier today regarding an Alaskan Pipeline Oil spill and I apologize foe getting some of my facts wrong. This took place in March of 2006. It seems that the leaking pipeline was responsible for much less oil on the ground than I remembered. “Alaska's Department of Environmental Conservation increased its estimate of the size of the spill, the latest estimate putting it at around 265,000 gallons.” Not the 500,000 barrels I had recalled. Still it was the largest pipeline oil spill ever recorded in the U.S. and it was as recent as four years ago.

This was in response to Thom's statement that the oil companies claim that they have significantly cleaned up their act and are much safer in their delivery of offshore oil.

Please see the article from The Independent, UK at the following URL:


Given the fact that this story was held so close to the vest, only one news cycle scroll bar, and the fact that one mistake can be so environmentally devastating, I do not wish to see any additional offshore leases opened up. If we truly need a transitional oil supply, why don’t we mandate that the oil companies drill and use the offshore leases they already have. Why do they need more?

LeMoyne's picture
LeMoyne 10 years 19 weeks ago

Too true Nels... I know that the individual health care mandate was a Republicant idea and the corporations drool at the prospect of this kind of 'managed' economy where we the people are all forced into contractual agreements to pay that corps(e). But I am pretty sure that the mandate will generate unintended consequences even tho' it has no teeth (at present) - the Democrats have tried to make it seem kind and safe. But the fact that it is a corporate Republicant idea that will not stop the right from blasting out ads against it from now until the mid-terms. We 'll see, but the Republicants usually can't pass up that kind of opportunistic doublespeak.

If Biden Wins, Get Ready for Trump to Punish America

Thom plus logo What could happen to America if Trump were to further, severely crash the U.S. economy the day after Joe Biden is announced as the winner of the 2020 presidential race?

As Trump tweeted on June 15, 2019, "if anyone but me takes over... there will be a Market Crash the likes of which has not been seen before!"
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."
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."
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."
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From Unequal Protection, 2nd Edition:
"If you wonder why and when giant corporations got the power to reign supreme over us, here’s the story."
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