Daily Topics - Monday April 19th 2010

Hour One - Nomi Prins www.nomiprins.com SEC files civil suit against Goldman Sachs

Hour Two: Defending the KKK...really? Thom challenges their attorney www.aclu-em.org

Hour Three: "Earth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet" Award winning Environmentalist/Educator/Author Bill McKibben www.billmckibben.com


Quark's picture
Quark 9 years 49 weeks ago

Comedian Bill Maher recently* made the observation that, somewhere 20 or 30 years ago in this country, the left moved to the center and the right moved to a mental hospital.

I've been musing over it for a week and wanted to share it...

*He made this comment to Keith Olbermann on "Countdown" last week.

Maxrot's picture
Maxrot 9 years 49 weeks ago

I haven't heard that comment from Maher, sounds like an accurate assessment to me.

Meet John Doh's picture
Meet John Doh 9 years 49 weeks ago


Bill Maher's comment really touched a sore point with me because I can still remember when that happened and I was forced to give up my bed to a Republican.


Meet John Doh's picture
Meet John Doh 9 years 49 weeks ago

Thom and Louise,

You might want to give Mike Malloy and Kathy a call when you have the chance. Last week I heard them say that Kathy had developed some kind of heart condition. I forgot the name of the condition but they said it makes her heart beat at a rate of around 200 beats per minute. I think they said she was going to have surgery towards the end of last week. They said it wasn't a big thing and she'd be back very soon, but since you are friends, you might want to give them a call and see how she's doing.

constans's picture
constans 9 years 49 weeks ago

Mark K: In regard to Thom’s imminent conversation with an ACLU attorney, I suppose that the theory behind its support of the KKK’s “right” to march and shout hate-filled slogans in minority or Jewish neighborhoods has something to do with its wish to appear “non-partisan.” But this is a hard position to stomach, and betrays an inherent contradiction in the alleged aims of the ACLU. For one thing, the KKK and like groups have no interest in respecting the civil liberties of those groups that they hate. Their aim is to deny or destroy the rights and privileges of citizenship to anyone who is not white; this is quite unlike groups with so-called “radical” agendas like the Black Panthers, whose aim was to expand, not contract, those rights. In its de facto support of the import and substance of hate group speech, the ACLU is making itself a party to its consequences, just as it has done in regard to the Citizens United case. Just because it wants to appear “fair and balanced” doesn’t mean the ACLU needs to be totally devoid of conscience or common sense when picking its spots.

constans's picture
constans 9 years 49 weeks ago

I’m sure that Mitch McConnell, who was obliged to confess that he was happy to support a bank bailout when George Bush was president, would have (we can assume) supported another one if John McCain was president. And he would have done so (cynically) for reasons similar to those that Barack Obama supports a mostly bank-funded “insurance” scheme as part of the banking regulation bill, much as the FDIC is. When taken to task on CNN (amazing) that he was perpetrating a lie when claiming that the source of this fund was taxpayer money, McConnell mumbled something about “it didn't matter” where the fund was coming from. It is just this kind of deliberate, shameless deception that the Republicans think they can get away—and, frankly have been doing so with impunity outside MSNBC and progressive talk radio. I’m still trying to discover what the Republican “plan” is to right the financial ship; the closest as I can make out is one that appears to be in direct opposition to Democrats’ idea, which seek to address public anger by throwing water on the problem of financial irresponsibility. The Republican “plan,” it seems, appears to comprise merely of stoking further public anger by throwing gasoline on it. Doubtless McConnell hopes that the flames will engulf a Republican senator or two who might dare think about supporting regulation, especially in the currently completely unregulated derivatives business. The Democrats would do well to continue to apply their own “heat,” forcing Republicans to dance on the hot coals of their own duplicity before an unamused public, at least the part that hasn’t been conditioned by Fox News into reflexive stupidity like so many Pavlov’s dogs.

While a great deal of attention has been focused on Goldman Sachs and its “newly discovered” fraudulent behavior, garnering less attention nationally is Washington Mutual’s self-destruction, which probably tells us more about what went wrong in the run-up to the banking crisis. It wasn’t just that WaMu was making bad business decisions, mainly in regard to toxic home mortgages, but that the oversight entities that were supposed to supervise them failed to do their jobs. The FDIC and the Office of Thrift Supervision (created after the last thrift meltdown in the late 1980s) spent most of their time fighting with each other like children over trivial technicalities concerning the nature of WaMu’s all too apparent self-destructive habits. The OTS, allegedly an “independent” arm of the Treasury, was in fact a regulatory weakling which actually “marketed” itself to banks as just another business offering friendly advice. The OTS, which has no independent financing, is dependent on the financial institutions to pay for its operations, and perhaps not surprisingly in retrospect, WaMu was its biggest paymaster. While the OTS can be blamed for deliberate laxity, so to could the FDIC for failing to go over the head of the OTS and taking control of the situation when it was clear that WaMu was running aground.

Quark's picture
Quark 9 years 49 weeks ago

Oops --- I goofed!

Bill Maher talked with Chris Matthews (not Keith Olbermann.) Here is the interview, filled with Maher's usual pithy, amusing comments (Republican comment at minute 7:17 of 9:21):


Quark's picture
Quark 9 years 49 weeks ago


I heard that the SEC has only civil penalties available. It's up to the Justice Dept. to prosecute with criminal penalties.

Maxrot's picture
Maxrot 9 years 49 weeks ago

@Quark, Justice Dept? Do we even have one of those?

Quark's picture
Quark 9 years 49 weeks ago


LOL! We are on the same wave length!

Quark's picture
Quark 9 years 49 weeks ago

'Need to leave --- 'back later.

harry ashburn 9 years 49 weeks ago

Its the Just Ice Dept.

Maxrot's picture
Maxrot 9 years 49 weeks ago

@Quark, after all if we did have one of these so called Justice Departments, then I'm sure talk show radio hosts that demand jail time for illegal drug users would themselves be put in jail when found using illegal drugs. Administration officials that outed a undercover CIA agent would be rooted out and tried for treason. A Vice President who shoots a buddy in the face would be immediately removed from office as (at least) incompetent. (The list just goes on and on).

Maxrot's picture
Maxrot 9 years 49 weeks ago

Thom, prostitution is legal in parts of Nevada. I therefore don't think its federally regulated. If California passes Prop 19, taxation of Marijuana will be legal in the state (which I'm really curious to see how this plays out if it does actually pass). But point taken, a lot of regulations are placed on the common citizen, but corporations seem to get all the privileges of being human with free speech, without the limitations of many of the regulations.

Maxrot's picture
Maxrot 9 years 49 weeks ago

Anarchy Market not Free Market

Gene Savory's picture
Gene Savory 9 years 49 weeks ago

As Jack London wrote (paraphrasing), "What are we to do with the massive overpoduction of our country? Throw it into the sea?"

Well, yes. That's what limitless military spending gets us. Have to keep those wars going ...

We are beating plowshares to missiles.

Gene Savory's picture
Gene Savory 9 years 49 weeks ago

As much as I disagree with plutocracy, at least Bill Gates made something.

TJONKPTK's picture
TJONKPTK 9 years 49 weeks ago

How about trading in movie futures? http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/businesstechnology/2011498990_apusbettingonboxoffice.html

Like Mortimer and Randolf Duke said in Trading Places:

Billy Ray: No thanks, guys, I already had breakfast this morning.
Mortimer Duke: This is not a *meal*, Valentine. We are here to TRY to explain to you what is we do here.
Randolph Duke: We are 'commodities brokers', William. Now, what are commodities? Commodities are agricultural products... like coffee that you had for breakfast... wheat, which is used to make bread... pork bellies, which is used to make bacon, which you might find in a 'bacon and lettuce and tomato' sandwich.
[Billy Ray turns and gives a long look at the camera]
Randolph Duke: Randolph
Randolph Duke: And then there are other commodities, like frozen orange juice... and GOLD. Though, of course, gold doesn't grow on trees like oranges.
Randolph Duke: Clear so far?
Billy Ray: [nodding, smiling] Yeah.
Randolph Duke: Good, William! Now, some of our clients are speculating that the price of gold will rise in the future. And we have other clients who are speculating that the price of gold will fall. They place their orders with us, and we buy or sell their gold for them.
Mortimer Duke: Tell him the good part.
Randolph Duke: The good part, William, is that, no matter whether our clients make money or lose money, Duke & Duke get the commissions.
Mortimer Duke: Well? What do you think, Valentine?
Billy Ray: Sounds to me like you guys a couple of bookies.
Randolph Duke: [chuckling, patting Billy Ray on the back] I told you he'd understand.

Maxrot's picture
Maxrot 9 years 49 weeks ago

@Gene, well now-a-days China's throwing their overproduction on the sea, it washes up here every day.

Gene Savory's picture
Gene Savory 9 years 49 weeks ago

Shouting "fire" in a crowded theatre was actually linked to protesters handing out leaflets opposing the war in Europe. Holmes did a Roberts stretch on that one.

Gene Savory's picture
Gene Savory 9 years 49 weeks ago

@Maxrot, We're coming up with more and more creative ways of throwing our production into the sea.

Maxrot's picture
Maxrot 9 years 49 weeks ago

@Gene, seems more like were throwing our jobs into the sea, to me.

Gene Savory's picture
Gene Savory 9 years 49 weeks ago

London's point was that the oligarchy was guilty of mis-management. He also used the example of modern man's ability to produce 1000 times more than cave-men.

The book is "The Iron Heel," released in 1907.

Maxrot's picture
Maxrot 9 years 49 weeks ago

@Gene, sounds like a good read. I'll keep it in mind.

harry ashburn 9 years 49 weeks ago

Al's ox is being Gored.

LeMoyne's picture
LeMoyne 9 years 49 weeks ago

Excellent caller said we should only suppress 1st Amendment right to free speech when that speech is either 'Falsehoods about imminent danger' [fire in theater] or 'direct incitement to violence'. Bush did both! lol - over and over again.

Maxrot's picture
Maxrot 9 years 49 weeks ago

How do we limit (censor) hate speech but protect free speech? How can you say some sentiments are banned and others are OK (for now)? Reminds me of Orwells' Animal Farm "All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others."

Basically, who decides whats acceptable and what's not (a committee in Texas)?

gerald's picture
gerald 9 years 49 weeks ago


If we pay careful attention to all the conservative rhetoric, we will soon realize that racism is their central theme in attacking Obama and the non-white population. Then whites know that by 2020 they will be the minority group in the United States of Hell. Even as a minority group whites will still be the powerbrokers in this country. They will keep their power through the help of the Catholic Mafia in the Supreme Court, the rigged electronic voting machines, the subjective tests that non-whites will need to pass in order to vote.

Whites’ hatred for non-whites will blacken their souls. Whites will fall into the abyss of

Hell like charcoal falling from the sky. As the black charcoal reaches Hell the coal will

turn gray and in Hell the inside of the soul will be orange from the eternal torment of

extreme heat. Hell will have the sky gray and the exterior of he soul will be gray. The sea

of Hell will be orange from the interior of the soul.

Most people who can see do not take the time for colors. Colors are an everyday experience and so it becomes second nature to us. In the summer there is green for the trees and the grass. Some people will also say that God is green because God loves the earth and all her living beings. The colors in Hell will be gray and orange.

The stench in Hell will have the souls gagging continuously. The souls in Hell will not see the diversity of colors, like brown, black, red, yellow, and white for human beings or the green meadows and blue shies. Color diversity will be gone in Hell. Souls that are damned for eternity will experience the colors of gray and orange, pain and suffering, and frying and gagging. Beauty and color diversity will be non-existent in Hell.

With human beings we have the colors white, black, brown, red, and yellow. Even organizations have colors, such as Gold Star Families for Peace and Code Pink.

I would like to introduce you to another example of the color blue. Blue is Mary’s color. Mary is the mother of Jesus. She has a special relationship with God. God will never fail to grant a request from Mary. God has said that if the world prayed to Mary, there would be peace.

I am not a person who desires for any person to join or enlist into the military service because the military service teaches a person to hate and murder another human being. Yet, I am asking you to join and enlist with me into Mary’s blue army for peace. Let us pray for peace as part of Mary’s blue army! You can be one of the FEW, the PROUD, and a BLUE ARMY MEMBER FOR PEACE.

Zero G's picture
Zero G 9 years 49 weeks ago

On Saturday, the National Socialist Movement held a rally at Los Angeles City Hall. They were out with swastika banners, sieg heil salutes, and the assorted filty paraphanalia of their ilk. (Although, it must be mentioned that they also carried American flags, whereas their idealogical forebears were at war with that symbol.) They were protected from the much larger counter demonstration by a very restrained, very ethnically diverse LAPD force.

The counter demonstration was the most diverse crowd I've ever seen at a demonstration, Jewish groups both (pro- and anti-Israeli policies,) immigrant rights, gay/lesbian/bi/trans, socialists and communists of every stripe, you name it...

This was not a Gandhian crowd coming to meet the Nazis...rocks and bottles were thrown by some in the crowd as the Nazis were escorted to their vehicles.

White supremacist rally at L.A. City Hall draws violent counter-protestTwo men are beaten by mobs of counter-protesters, and five are arrested for throwing objects at the neo-Nazis and their police escorts.April 18, 2010|By Robert Faturechi and Richard Winton

Zero G's picture
Zero G 9 years 49 weeks ago
constans's picture
constans 9 years 49 weeks ago

I can’t begin to tell you how absurd I thought Thom’s conversation with the ACLU guy was. Why did he even bother? But I’ve already said what I wanted to say about this at the top; we don’t ”need” to hear what the KKK or other hate groups have to say to know what they are about—we can read all about it on the Internet. Their actions have already spoken louder than any words could.

Maxrot's picture
Maxrot 9 years 49 weeks ago

Sounds like the 41 Republicans are riding the 2 Santa Claus Theory right off the cliff, fortunately for the Democratic party, the Republicans have no concept of when to say when.

harry ashburn 9 years 49 weeks ago

@Constans: why? If you're a skilled and knowledgeable interviewer, you can point out contradictions in their rhetoric. It actually makes some of them think. More of them resort to slogans and babbling.

Zero G's picture
Zero G 9 years 49 weeks ago
Zero G's picture
Zero G 9 years 49 weeks ago


I came out to protest the Nazis coming to L.A.'s City Hall. I would have been loath to have had their permit denied or rescinded, however. Surely giving the police or city the right to deny any group the right to assemble gives them the power to deny your similar right.

Besides, it was interesting to see such a diverse crowd being mobilized in common opposition to the Nazis. It isn't everyday that you see pro-Palestinian and pro-Israeli groups on the same side of an issue.

harry ashburn 9 years 49 weeks ago

Far be it from me to defend the Klan, but its true all groups arent the same; some don't believe in violence at all. Some klans historically adhered more to Christian values and didn't condone violence, but followed the "White Man's Burden" philosophy; and treated blacks like children or retarded adults.

gerald's picture
gerald 9 years 49 weeks ago

I do not know what happen to my post. For some reason the sentences were printed in half and the other half was the start of a new sentence.

harry ashburn 9 years 49 weeks ago

@Gerald did you notice missing time? If so, you just got abducted. Congrats.

babasaurus's picture
babasaurus 9 years 49 weeks ago

where do I draw the line?

3 simple answers

line #1 bill "tiller the baby killer" o'liely

line #2 rush "I will move to costa rica" limbaugh

line #3 glenn "he has a deep seated hatred for white people" beck

Maxrot's picture
Maxrot 9 years 49 weeks ago

If we get to put self-described NAZI's in Jail, we then get to put self-described Communists in Jail, and any self-described socialists, Code Pink members, Move-on.org members, Thom Hartmann bloggers, etc...

If you don't like the groups going out and spouting disagreeable rhetoric, counter-protest, counter-protest, counter-protest. For every NAZI assembling in your town square, try to bring at least two counter-protesters, for every Tea-Party spewing division, counter with a Coffee-Party.

Odious speech is disgusting to listen to, but not as disgusting as the silences not being filled by counter-opinions.

And if violence arises from the shouting matches, then hand out Jail terms where appropriate.

Gene Savory's picture
Gene Savory 9 years 49 weeks ago

The hate speech/fightin' words of provocateurs are only successful in generating action when the populace is significantly short on education.

Going to school isn't a cure for anything unless people are being taught HOW to think. Uneducated people on school boards are in favor of teaching people WHAT to think.

Zero G's picture
Zero G 9 years 49 weeks ago

Grossest food, must be considered in a cultural context, what is a local delicacy in one locale is often thought yucky in another. That said, I've had rattlesnake and ants while at summer camp many years ago, but the most vile tasting thing I've ever eaten, though not for nutritional value:

Peyote, hands down. Worth the nausea every time.

Zero G's picture
Zero G 9 years 49 weeks ago


Well said, were you also at City Hall on Sat.?

making progress's picture
making progress 9 years 49 weeks ago

Capitalism Hits Fan
"Regulations are just objects to be undone" I like the questions he asks! What if the workers to become their own Board of Directors? His prime sucess example is the Silicone Valley start-ups that were employee owned.

Richard Wolff helped launch Rethinking Marxism: Marxist quarterly journal of economics. Please have him on. His half hour lecture called "Capitalism hits the fan" is very informative. "Individuals can't carry any more debt and we can't work more hours than we currently do. We are at a ceiling." Instead of raising wages, people have been lent money from essentially their employers. I really like his explaination of how we got here. He brings it all full circle, his explaination is well versed.

harry ashburn 9 years 49 weeks ago

Forget Soylent Green, Black People are the secret ingredient!!


harry ashburn 9 years 49 weeks ago

@Robert S. Peyote is foul, but how about 2-week-old mushrooms with worms crawling in and out? Are we having fungus yet?

harry ashburn 9 years 49 weeks ago

@Robert S: sometimes the worms crawl around under your skin and sometimes form mysterious heiroglyphs and pictures of the virgin Mary.

harry ashburn 9 years 49 weeks ago

And sometimes they reveal the future, but; of course you knew that.

Zero G's picture
Zero G 9 years 49 weeks ago


Paraphrasing Mary Poppins, my personal preference is: Just a cube full of sugar helps the medicine go down...

...but fresh picked mushrooms dipped in blue cheese dressing didn't suck!

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