Daily Topics - Friday April 16th 2010
"Anything Goes on Townhall Friday!"
Hour One "Brunch With Bernie" Senator Bernie Sanders www.sanders.senate.gov
Hour Two - Dr. Joseph Scherzer Practicing Dermatologist in Scottsdale, AZ - Is he closing his practice over Obamacare???
Hour Three - Elizabeth Kucinich www.healthyschoollunches.org - What is Citizen Lobbyist Day for the school lunch bill?
re: Hour Two guest. A dermatologist in AZ closing over Obamacare. OMG what will AZ do!?!? One less dermatologist in a sun soaked state... I'm going to go out on a limb here and say I'm quite sure that there are plenty of other dermatologists in the area, and on top of that, I'll bet this one dermatologist will retire comfortably after removing growths from the majority of the sun baked population.
I've been mulling over our blog conversation for the last 24 hours. Maybe mankind will never, as a species, overcome our problems because of the variation that may always be a constant within us. Maybe we will never achieve the Gene Roddenberry Startrek "ideal" of a species that finally overcomes its baser instincts. Maybe our flaws will always be with us.
I guess this is the big question. But I would like to think that Thom is right --- that we get better and grow as a species. However, that does not explain the lack of weapons and war in man's earliest "mother cities."
Creation and entropy --- life as we know it.
It's interesting that we seem to be seeing the docs who are mostly interested in their profession for the money...
My son wants to go to medical school. He's been on his own and working for many years. He says, once his needs are met with a moderate income, he doesn't care if he makes much money. He just wants to help people.
Everyday id a race to post before Mark K . . .
Thanks for the first chuckle of the day! :-D
Good Morning Quark. The problem with evolution (especially social evolution) is that its so slow the present changes are imperceptable. However, we do have history to look back on to see how things have changed.
Imagine talking to someone in the 15th Century and telling them that some day Kings will no longer rule the majority of countries, but that a lot of countries will be ran by their citizens. Or how about telling someone in the 17th century that Slavery will some day be virtually eliminated. Tell someone at the turn of the last century that women and blacks would be allowed to vote and move closer and closer to real equality.
In every instance, they would look at you and say, yeah OK, keep dreaming dreamer.
@rladlof, Mark K has a lot to say, he has to hit the ground running.
Unfortunately, corporations have replaced kings. I have thought, for the last 25 years, that we are all living as corporate serfs... I hope THAT changes for the better.
In a way, blacks and minorities getting more equity in the "family of man" is their history of overcoming their more direct "serfdom." So, maybe there IS hope...
Quark, we can all see the promised land, but we're personally not getting there. It is just our job to keep herding the sheep in the right direction.
Maybe the only way to overcome corporate slavery is with co-operatives.
It's a wonder mankind ever achieves anything --- the turnaround time is SO long (relative to our puny lifetimes.)
It's worth remembering that there is such a thing as a tipping point. Once that is achieved, change can come unexpectedly quickly.
Well Quark, mankind is slow at some things, but on other things oh how we excel. Like weaponry, technology makes incredible leaps in time of war. I guess (sad to say) nothing motivates us as much as the chance to legally kill ourselves. Even the anarchy market doesn't drive progress like war does.
I know, I know, I'm being cynical, but if I didn't admit to myself that I see crap everywhere, I wouldn't do anything about it.
Chief Darrel Gates died today of cancer.
re death of Gates.... boo hoo.
I assume Sirhan was responsible...
Show of hands... who here believes the official spin that we're coming out of this depression?
Re: "I'm being cynical, but if I didn't admit to myself that I see crap everywhere, I wouldn't do anything about it."
If you were ignorant and didn't care, you wouldn't be on this blog or listening to Thom. (I can think of a few OTHER places you might be, though! LOL!)
Most folk don't grok what a novel concept that the Great American Experiment was and is. They don't remember that Great Britain's government at the time was a fusion of the feudal and the corporate in a proto-fascist state. The primary stockholders of the British East Indies Company were the Royal family, the House of Lords and over half of the House of Commons AND they simply voted their company (themselves) a set of tax breaks designed to hobble (wipe-out) Colonial enterprise. The Colonists did more than declare war by an act of civil disobedience . . . They declared humanity free to assume self rule and capable of governing themselves.The Colonials did more that declare war by an act of civil disobedience . . . They declared humanity free to govern themselves.
It is that freedom that the Tea Baggers protest.
I won't start to be optimistic until I see the FUNDAMENTALS of our economy changed for the better. Then I will know that rules will be in place to guide us toward a better future.
Quark, listening to Thom is a great antidote for ignorance.
Prescription for a T-bagger: Take two hours of Thom and then call him in the morning.
Oops --- didn't mean to short-change you!
Quark, you need to be a little optimistic to believe you can affect those changes. "The glass is half full, but it is evaporating" is sort of how I try to look our political situation.
Better than when we had Bush though, the glass wasn't eve half full, and it was a shot glass at that.
'Need to leave for awhile. 'See ya later.
Yes, I know what you mean...
The edit button, Quark, use the edit button.
@Maxrot RE “Better than when we had Bush though, the glass wasn't eve half full, and it was a shot glass at that.”
You are such the total optimist . . . The glass, NOW, isn’t half full and is smaller than a thimble.
Mark K: Most of the reporting on the various tea-party gatherings yesterday treated them with the predictable corporate media kid gloves; it was maddening listening to the most simple-minded, self-victimizing assertions given the same status as a pronouncement from God. But while Thom still seems conflicted about these people, yesterday Norman Goldman gave the tea-partiers their proper due by taking a verbal two-by-four to their obvious and sundry mendacities.
Another man who has a plentitude of gonads is former NBA star and current basketball commentator Charles Barkley. Unlike the mostly white fans who find him a little too uppity, he is no hypocrite; he doesn’t hide behind falsity. Obama and the Democrats could take a tip or two from his view of how the world works. He stated in a radio interview last week that he had only had two problems with Tiger Woods and the way he has dealt with his current problem. “Number one, I told him years ago to quit saying you’re not black because all these people who smile at your face, when you screw up, you’re going to be black. And that’s come back to bite him in the a#s. We kept telling him not to say that. These people are not your friends… And secondly, I wish he would get to the point where he says, ‘Hey listen, I’m not going to walk around on eggshells anymore.’”
Admittedly, “He’s not the kind of guy who is going to fight back. That’s why he needs to surround himself with some people who got his back, who are going to be his friends through good and bad. He has not done a good job in that aspect. I got his back. He’s just got to start fighting back. He can only keep going backwards. I know all these idiots in the media running these shows like Inside Edition and Access Hollywood, they got no life. They just got to talk about celebrities. You got guys on TV. You got Skip Bayless, who’s a punk (he is). You got Jay Mariotti, who’s a punk (him too). There’s always going to be guys on TV because they got no talent, they just got to talk about famous people. But, at some point, he needs to stop and like you know, ‘I’ve apologized to my family. I’ve apologize to my wife. I’m not going to take abuse from you jacka#$@s.’”
Obama and the Democrats have admittedly missed most of their shots while not making proper use of their current home court advantage. For an entire year they allowed themselves the false hope that they had one or two “friends” amongst the Republicans, and seemed utterly reticent in defending themselves against the relentless onslaught of often hysterical hyperbole from the right. The Democrats have to realize that liberals and progressives (the latter albeit reluctantly) have their “backs.” They ought to feel free to bring the hammer down on Republican hypocrisy, such as on “fiscal responsibility.” They need to hammer on Republican policies that created a mere net of 2 million jobs during the Bush years, as opposed to 22 million during the Clinton years (I’m not as down on Clinton as Thom is). They need to point out, for example, that Clinton’s earned income tax credit policies that put more money into the hands of working class consumers helped create those jobs, while the Republican tax cuts for the richest Americans created almost no jobs. They need to hammer on the inherent hypocrisy of Republicans’ alleged concern about the wellbeing of the average American—opposing health care reform, economic stimulants and delaying unemployment extensions, while seeming to care a great deal for the “wellbeing” of their corporate paymasters, who pay little or no taxes while accumulating mind-numbing profits. They need to hammer on what is really “unpatriotic”: the failure of corporations that benefited from taxpayer money (most of whom paid little or nothing themselves) to use that money to keep America strong by maintaining a aviable employment climate rather than keeping all that money for their own enrichment, and the right-wing media creating a deliberately divisive civic atmosphere for destructive ends seemingly for “fun” and personal profit.
Senator Sanders and Thom Hartman,
Again, it seems like we're just nibbling around the edges to "fix" our financial system when what is really needed is a wholesale change of ideology regarding what the United States of America should be an example of.
First, why aren't Democrats, Independents, and Progressives who have a microphone calling out Conservatives for what they are in terms of their attitude toward the economy. They clearly are following the playbook of Milton Friedman that sinks more people into poverty, but they "claim" to care about jobs and "Americans." We know they don't.
So, why aren't non-Conservatives in the public sphere calling out Conservatives for the Fascists that they clearly are? Why not use that direct language and force them to answer to those charges? Naturally, they'll fake anger and pretend to be indignent, but Fox "News" is expert at forcing Democrats into defending their point-of-view.... why aren't non-Conservative politicians and media forcing Conservatives to defend their Fascist Agenda?
Based on my own study (a lot owed to Thom), here is the list of things that needs to be done to fix our nation at the most fundamental levels. (below) Why is there no push by Democrats to make any of this happen? If we don't, the Fascists WILL take our government back eventually and we may not get the chance to ever bring the USA back to the ideals of what this nation should stand for.
A) enforce the Sherman Anti-Trust Act which Reagan essentially killed http://www.infoplease.com/ce6/history/A0844878.html B) repeal the Reagan Tax Cuts on the richest Americans (During Reagan's tenure, income tax rates of the top personal tax bracket dropped from 70% to 28% in 7 years which resulted in less taxes overall into the general fund which, when coupled with Starve the Beast tactics by Republican Administrations, means that money pools at the top and the Middle Class and physical infrastructure is eroded) C) undo the twisting of the 14th Amendment that allows Corporations to be "persons." http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/2469/how-can-a-corporation-be-legally-considered-a-person and the recent Supreme Court Ruling that allows ANY Corporation ANYWHERE around the world to influence our government. D) Re-empower the Wagner Act and get rid of the Taft Hartley Act. http://www.u-s-history.com/pages/h1612.htmlhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taft-Hartley_Act E) Campaign Finance Reform so that our elected officials aren't obligated to serve the needs of Corporations and their desires. When Government policy is dictated by Corporations, we call that Fascism. And that is definitely what we have going on right now, particularly on the Conservative side of the aisle. F) and The Federal Reserve is HIGHLY suspect in its very existence (it was formed by a very secretive organization of bankers) and it's influence in our economy....it likely should also be dissolved. and of course G) Glass-Steagall should be reinstated. ONLY with fundamental ideological financial reform away from the failed Milton Friedman ideology of unfettered greed can any society truly function. Short-term profits for a few is nice...for them... but society and democracy can't be sustained with that kind of imbalance. It just can't and it's time for Conservatives in the USA to grow up and realize that they can't all be super-wealthy without significant detriment to the nation they claim to love.Thank you, Brian Dzyak
IATSE Local 600, SOC
Not Sago Mines. Massey Energy.
Why won't Congress do their job and compel President Obama and Attorney’s General Holder to do their job and enforce the Sherman Anti-trust Acts. Where are the Hearing on that?
Yes, I know that Ron-dog declared enforcement verboten BUT making our mediocre, pro-corporatist Administration spend twenty or thirty hours defending this insanity would be edifying for the public.
Daryl Gates is gone, but Robert Gates is still alive and well and pushing the Corporate Empire in Latin and South America. Today he is in Colombia extoling the Colombia Free Trade Agreement. This in a country where labor/union leaders have a shorter life expectantcy than fruit flies...
The Golden Rule for the White Rich and American Corporations
I would like to share with you my belief of the Golden Rule for the wealthy.
The US Supreme Court will never vote to help middle class Americans. They will always favor American corporations and the white rich.
Our electronic voting machines are rigged with no paper trails to accurately count the voting results.
The poor and the middle class voters will have to pass a subjective test in order to vote. These subjective tests will eliminate at least ten percent of the voters from casting their votes.
The white rich and American corporations have the money to elect goose-stepping conservatives.
The middle class must work to survive but the rich powerbrokers have the time to usurp our laws to favor the white rich and American corporations.
We are a divided nation that favors the white rich and American corporations. The persons with the gold will always make the rules to protect their wealth and themselves from any prosecution for their unlawful deeds.
The banks and the financial institutions are permitted to function above the law for their own benefit and pleasure at the expense of average and middle class Americans.
I am sad . . . The Emoticons work in the chatroom but not hte blog . . .
Speaking of fascists...the self-identified kind...they are rallying, the National Socialists @ Los Angeles City Hall on Saturday, 1:00 PM.
Counterdemonstrations start at 11:00 AM.
@rladlof you're one of the very few to consider me an optimist. I have to admit, that branding does make me feel icky.
I also have to admit, I'm happier having a Democrat in the W.H. over a Republican, yet deep in my heart, I know that some of the more conservative policies are put in place by Democrats. Guess there's nothing like a Democratic coating to help the poison pill go down.
As I said earlier though, I feel it necessary to be optimistic, its about the only thing that keeps me bleating loudly in the slaughter line.
@Maxrot: Our DLC President is not a Democrat. I refuse to conflate DINO and Democrat. President Obama is simply the best Reagan Republican in politics at this time.
@rladlof, what is the fundamental difference between the chat room and blog on this site anyway. I haven't really bothered with the chat room because I don't feel like creating yet another user/password login, yet I'm curious as to what goes on in there.
Yesterday a caller brought up the case of Bradley Birkenfeld a whistleblower from Swiss Bank giant UBS, and Thom didn't seem to grasp the scope of the issue. (IMHO)
Whistleblower Bradley Birkenfeld: Some U.S. pols kept off-shore accounts with UBS
As almost always, it is the whistleblower who is doing the hard time. How's that hopey-changey thing workin' for ya'.
War - the way Americans learn geography. -- Jon Stewart
@Maxrot: If you can log in here . . . You can login there . . . Click on Community.
The difference is your words here have a level of permanence. There the comments are fast and furious and WAY more emotional and SHORTER . . . BUT they disappear at the end of the session.
I normally prefer it here but THOM reads the chat during breaks so IF I want to vote with a comment I pop in and out of the chatroom.
"Our DLC President is not a Democrat. I refuse to conflate DINO and Democrat. President Obama is simply the best Reagan Republican in politics at this time."
@rladlof, now who's being the optimist. A progressive Democrat is as rare as an independent in the Senate these days. I never could bring myself to join the Democratic party, I went with the Greens, they may never go anywhere, but I agree with most of their views. Probably because the old axiom "Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely" has proven all to true time and again. My support for the Democratic party is more of a reflection of my anti-support of the Republican Party. In truth, I'm more likely to contribute money to a right wing third party than any other party. I rather so discord in the enemy camp, then sing camp fire songs along with my brethern.
I guess its juvenile and silly, but (sad to say) that's my style.
that's cool that your son just wants to help people. by chance did you hear Stephanie Miller show where one of her staff from years ago has gone on to being a doctor and about half of his work he does pro bono.
Life more important than money! Could we design a system for which none of us need to grovel for charity and that all work is fairly compensated.
I don't visit the chat room 'cause its so hectic...six conversations going on at once.
I think Jon Stewart got it wrong this time. Most Americans still couldn't point to Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan...or even Colombia on an unlabled globe.
Many Americans, esp. the young, cant find the US on a map.
Dr. Joseph Scherzer,
Go ahead and leave your practice NOW . . . During the height of the recession . . . There are plenty of jobs for folk greeting at Wal-Mart. I will never use your services.
WTF?!? Didn’t haven’t you read the bill? Forced insurance for all is OBAMACARE . . .
Here is a flip book of sign photos from green960.com