Daily Topics - Tuesday - June 1st 2010 - Live from NYC

Hour One: Should Americans continue to be forced at gunpoint to subsidize Brian Fischer and his ilk about Hitler and pink swasticas? Thom confronts Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association afa.net

Hour Two: Israel's High Seas Disaster and more on the Volcanic Oil Spill...Where is Big Government when you need them?

Hour Three: Isn't the oil blowout PROVING the stupidity of Objectivism, in that it's always remedial and never preventative?? Isn't WalMart and Miley Cyrus just a smaller version of the same thing, that we'll see over and over again until millions are dead from your philosophy? Thom has a rumble with Alex Epstein of the Ayn Rand Institute www.aynrand.org

Plus, how to take our jobs back from China - Scott Paul of the American Association of Manufacturers www.americanmanufacturing.org


gerald's picture
gerald 9 years 38 weeks ago

Obama is finished as president. The Grand Experiment has failed.

Obama is inept to be president. We are witnessing a president who cannot handle crises, such as the flotilla raid and the Gulf oil spill.

gerald is now the president. Here is what I would do as your president. I would call back our Ambassador from Israel and I would call back our Ambassador to come home. And, I would stop licking Israel's behind. I would set in motion the will to prosecute the environmental terrorists, like BP, Halliburton, and Transoceana.

I am finished listening to Obama's hollow rhetoric.

gerald's picture
gerald 9 years 38 weeks ago

You can fight for the American rich and American corportists but you cannot find work in America.


gerald's picture
gerald 9 years 38 weeks ago

The Great Eight

I need to share with you a dream I had. President Obama had sent his secret service staff to take me to Washington, D.C. I was taken to Camp David in the mountains of Maryland. The president said to me when we met that he had read some of my comments and he wanted me to put together a team to share information with him in helping our world move forward, especially the United States. I could not leave Camp David until I had a list of names to be on my team.

I have many names for the list but I wanted to keep the team small enough to be a workable team. Here are the names for the team – Bishop Thomas Gumbleton (a peace activist cleric), Thom Hartmann, Paul Craig Roberts, Ray McGovern, Stephen Lendman, Rachel Maddow, Karen Kwiatkowski (a retired military officer), and Joan Walsh (writer and editor for Salon magazine). These eight names are the core for my team.

I have four names to be called in as consultants from time to time – Doug Soderstrom, to offer inspirational words, Ed Schultz, to offer passionate pep talks on various subjects, Robert Reich, to share his economic information, and John Perkins, to keep us informed as to the United States’ predatory ways to take control over a country’s human and natural resources.

At the start of each meeting we would read the lyrics from John Lennon’s song, “Imagine.” Some words may be altered to meet current times but the central theme of his song will be evident to all who read the words.

The date, time, and place were not set because my wife in her melodic voice asked me a question that awakened me from my dream, “Jerry, what time is it?”

gerald's picture
gerald 9 years 38 weeks ago

I enjoy reading Andrew Bacevich's articles.


DRichards's picture
DRichards 9 years 38 weeks ago

United States invades Pakistan? Who's next?

Al-Qaeda No. 3 reported killed

Mustafa Abu al-Yazid, a founding member of group, apparently died in a CIA drone strike in Pakistan. » Greg Miller, Craig Whitlock | 9:52 ET

LeMoyne's picture
LeMoyne 9 years 38 weeks ago

BP CEO Tony Hayward disputes experts’ claims to have found huge undersea oil plumes. Hayward said yesterday, "The oil is on the surface. There aren’t any plumes." BP has used ~ 1 million gallons of dispersants (with 20% applied a mile deep) in order to mix the oil into the ocean so now it just doesn't exist anymore? Hayward's statement of denial in the face of plumes found by more than one university research ship, should immediately disqualify BP from ANY managerial control of the oil cleanup.

It is now crystal clear that BP values only the restoration of their image. It is one thing for BP to refuse to look for the plumes (misfeasance) and entirely another for BP to deny the existence of plumes in every direction when they are clearly pointed out (malfeasance). The US needs to remove BP from control of the cleanup for our own self-defense.

BP as a 'fictional corporate person' is a two year old hip deep in their own mess and actively lying about it. BP needs a serious time-out: the giant toxic mess is bad enough, but the lying portends all manner of crimes further down the road. Because, in fact, they are not a real two year old human being, AND Because, as head of Alyeska BP made the Exxon Valdez into a monumental disaster, I say a vigorous thrashing is in order.

Maxrot's picture
Maxrot 9 years 38 weeks ago

Holy flurking schnitt!!! China is becoming more progressive than America!?!?!? Actually making evidence gained through torture inadmissible in court. Positively amazing.


harry ashburn 9 years 38 weeks ago

re:#7:somalia, ho!!

RandyWinn's picture
RandyWinn 9 years 38 weeks ago

Thom - I love ya man but your interview with the American Facist Association didn't work as a model.

Perhaps in conversation you always need to give a rat a way out of the corner; otherwise he does as Brian did, and just sit there smiling at you.

"Does the ACLU advocate hating anyone?" came to mind as Brian threw the ACLU at you. I would make a principled distinction between hate groups and rights groups.

It might also have helped to be more concrete with the "pay your taxes" stuff. The AFA has police, fire and court protections but it pays for none of it. Ask Brian whose taxes pay for the military which he wishes to purge. When your corporation sells a book, a fraction of the money goes to pay for the court system that protects your copyright, but when the AFA sells a book, it does not chip in.

Just some thoughts. You're usually the best.

n8chz's picture
n8chz 9 years 38 weeks ago

How much weight does precedent carry in Chinese law?

Maxrot's picture
Maxrot 9 years 38 weeks ago

re: Bryan Fischer claiming Thom couldn't prove that his organization was being paid by the American people. What Thom did prove, apparently, that Mr Fischer doesn't understand how taxation works, or that corporations do have a responsibility to pay them.

By the way, there is no evidence that Hitler was or wasn't gay (or straight), there just isn't (if there was, Hitler made sure that the evidence was destroyed, as he did with much of his personal history). Though there is a lot of circumstantial evidence he had some sort of major sexual hang up, but what exactly it was, we'll never know. That would have to had been done between Hitler and his psychiatrist.


DRichards's picture
DRichards 9 years 38 weeks ago

The military is an instrument of our Democracy?

I understand that it is supposed to be that way... It seems to me that our military is an instrument of the corporations. Most of the wars & police actions are not about defending and protecting personal freedoms, they are about protecting & defending the corporations.

mstaggerlee's picture
mstaggerlee 9 years 38 weeks ago

@LeMoyne - OK, so if we take BP out of the cleanup picture, who do we turn to? Halliburton??!!

This is the deepest well anyone has ever tried to plug before. Nobody in Government has sufficient background in this field to have a clue regarding how to handle this. Hell, even the people in the industry, who are SUPPOSED to know what to do seem to be making it up as they go along.

What we have here is a problem of a sort that has never been addressed before - it's not like a leaking tanker, it's not like a surface well or a well in shallow water. It's a whole different beast.

Mind you, I'm not on BP's "side" here - assuming there are sides to be taken, list me alongside the shrimp fishermen, and the others who live near, and make their living from, the Gulf. BP's execs are absolutely a bunch of hypocritical A-holes, but we NEED their expertise (or, more correctly, the expertise of their Engineers) to fix this. Shaking our collective fists at them will have no more beneficial effect than wringing our collective hands. We are in the sorry position of NEEDING the ones who made the mess to figure out how clean it up.

Perhaps we'd all be better off, however, if they'd at least LISTEN to some suggestions from outside their corporate bubble, which they've been completely resistant to, thus far.

n8chz's picture
n8chz 9 years 38 weeks ago

I'm troubled by the implication that democracy's instrument (even democracy's defense) is an institution with an explicit hierarchy, or chain of command. If democracy is udderly dependent a localized (?) absense of democracy, then democracy is a flawed concept.

harry ashburn 9 years 38 weeks ago

re: #13: Hitler had only 1 testicle, if that means anything.

Maxrot's picture
Maxrot 9 years 38 weeks ago

@harry, I doubt it does, but how do you know that? ... and do I really want an answer to that question?


harry ashburn 9 years 38 weeks ago

@maxrot: yer nuts if ya do!

harry ashburn 9 years 38 weeks ago

re: homosexuality: considering the blooming obesity rate, in another few years, nobody will be attracted to anybody.

Maxrot's picture
Maxrot 9 years 38 weeks ago

@harry, since when has attraction been a limiter, what do you think alcohol is for anyway? Why do you think people often have a bottle of wine with dinner on a date... to dull our inhibitions, duh.


harry ashburn 9 years 38 weeks ago

re: #21: alcohol can only dull the senses so much. Maybe it can compensate for a few extra pounds, but not for mounds of cellulite...

n8chz's picture
n8chz 9 years 38 weeks ago

Beer bellies and beer goggles; made for each other

Maxrot's picture
Maxrot 9 years 38 weeks ago

@harry, obviously you don't partake of Rum like I do ;-)


harry ashburn 9 years 38 weeks ago

@maxrot...i never realized how cute you are!

Maxrot's picture
Maxrot 9 years 38 weeks ago

@harry, there you go, here have another Rum and Coke. Really helps to adjust one's point of view, just be careful, can make you extremely agitated and violent if you go to far.


harry ashburn 9 years 38 weeks ago


babasaurus's picture
babasaurus 9 years 38 weeks ago

Thom, we could use your help in our upcoming election in California.

Proposition 16 is a real David versus Goliath type situation. This is a proposition funded almost entirely by Pacific Gas and Electric company, perversely presented as the "taxpayers right to vote act". It seeks to require voter approval before local city governments can negotiate electric power contracts with municipal utilities.

Municipal utilities typically provide a 15-30% cost savings to their customers, in part because they do not pay dividends like PG & E, and also due to reduced executive compensation. But prop 16 would require a two thirds majority in order to approve these new contracts.

PG & E has spent $38 million on their campaign and plan to dump 10-15 million more. They have saturated the airways with slick TV and radio ads, full page newspaper ads and multiple mail flyers. They are trying to feed on the anti government sentiment asking: "shouldn't you have the right to vote before elected officials spend your money by entering the electric power business?" and "Politicians want to spend YOUR money to take over the electric service...and they don't want to let you vote on it." of course they don't mention that the politicians are saving the voters money by negotiating cheaper electric power contracts. This is the classic case of those in power spending money to convince citizens to vote against their own interests.

There is no organized opposition, as no local government has the funding to sponsor even one major TV ad. If passed, this would essentially guarantee PG & E can hold onto their monopoly in California. And it may provide a blueprint for other "citizens united" type campaigns to follow.

could you help us out here by giving a shout out to all your listeners in California? Vote NO on prop 16 in the upcoming election on June 8th!!

jerry_tech 9 years 38 weeks ago

hey, anybody hear on Fox (just a few minutes ago), the Israel/Pakistan issue was created by Obama.

no real explanation why, but it's all his fault.


Maxrot's picture
Maxrot 9 years 38 weeks ago

@babasaurus, you wouldn't happen to have poll numbers on Prop 16 would you? I'm curious as to how the people are thinking about it. In truth I haven't seen any bumper stickers or yard signs for or against it, and sometimes that tells me more than all the TV and Radio ads I hear.


pahrumplife's picture
pahrumplife 9 years 38 weeks ago

Yesterday in Arizona, Another Prison Riot

www.pahrumplife.org writes: At 3:00 a.m. today a source told me.

"Just to let you know, there was a riot today in Kingman in the new Cerbat unit."

"I'll let you know if I hear any significant details. I hear it was whites and blacks."

The film below is from another MTC race riot, six years ago, when white and Hispanic prisoners broke into a kitchen cabinet and took cleavers, knives, meat forks, etc., and attacked African Americans at Eagle Mountain, California. They can be seen on the video beating one prisoner to death with 2x4s. All but one of the guards ran away, unwilling to risk injury or their lives for $8 an hour.

The prison closed forever nine weeks later.

Eight inmates were later convicted of the murders.


The heirs of the inmates sued MTC and the California Department of Corrections and collected about $550,000.

The eight inmates identified as assailants were short termers who were all convicted of murder. The killers had all been identified by their specific street gang affiliations on the front pages of their files, but when questioned in depositions, the MTC chief of security claimed he didn't know anything about gangs in the prison.

The riot control equipment all had been locked away in the armory, and no one had the key so they couldn't use tear gas, rubber bullets, etc.

The riot only ended when the facility finally called the California DOC and an officer came up to the prison, borrowed a gun and fired a single shot in the ground. You can see on the video that the riot then came to an almost instant halt.

I can't find any reference to Monday's riot on the wires and the dispatcher at the Mojave County Sheriff's Department in Kingman refuses to confirm the riot and forwarded me to the Department spokesperson's voice mail.

Oops. I just found this on prison talk. It confirms my source's story:


"Sorry I had to make it a very short post but I have my grandson with me today. I had to send him to do something else cause I don't want him to know. So here's the scoop. Son called at 2:10pm today. Said mom there is a riot at the prison. He sounded out of breath. He said it was whites against the blacks. All the guards ran out the gate and left all the inmates to fight. He said it just ended and that he was ok and he called to let me know so I didn't worry. He said it will more than likely be on the news tonight. He said I don't have much time to talk, he said the phones will likely be turned off. He said he would call me in a couple of days or when he could.

I just want my son home. I don't know how much more I can take...."

And a second post:

I have been calling and they don't have it under control yet? Anyone have any information?

And a third:

Cerbat Unit - I got word that the riot was between the blacks and whites. Some altercation began between the two. For what I dont have the information. They blacks were out numbered. Tear gas didn't work and windows were broken. Thats about all I know. I called to Kingman to speak to a Sgt. however, I was told that everyone is still out on the yard and trying to get it under control. Took my name and number to call back at a later time.

A fourth:

A friend of mine just texted me and said she was kicked out of visitation early today because of the riot. If I get any additional information, I will post it here.

babasaurus's picture
babasaurus 9 years 38 weeks ago


the last I heard, PGE was worried they were not doing well, that's why they planned to spend another 10-15 million more. I do not know any exact numbers or percentages on the vote. but just the thought that they could even initiate and fund such a sleezy proposition is disturbing. and if they win, any contract that a city negotiates in order to provide cheaper electric service than PG & E would have to be approved by 2/3 of the voters to be approved. absurd.

RandyWinn's picture
RandyWinn 9 years 38 weeks ago

The Spartans at Thermopylaw were gay ...

...or, technically, bisexual.

So the entire foundation of Graeco-Roman Civilization exists because of Gays In The Military.

(although, to be fair, Greek historians might have exagerrated a little ... they were men after all... ;-)

mstaggerlee's picture
mstaggerlee 9 years 38 weeks ago

re: #18 - It comes from an old song that British troops used to march to during WWII... (to the tune of Bridge on the River Kwai) -


He's only got one ball


Has two but very small


Has something sim'lar

But poor old Goebels

Has no balls at all.

harry ashburn 9 years 38 weeks ago

re: #34: when I was a kid ('50's), we used to sing:

Whistle while you work,

Hitler was a jerk;

Mussolini bit his weenie,

Now it doesn't work (or squrt)

Maxrot's picture
Maxrot 9 years 38 weeks ago

@babasaurus, I'm only voting yes on Prop 15, all others I'm flatly voting no on. I completely agree with you; this is yet another corporate grab for more of the commons. I'm glad to hear that they are feeling behind the curve on this.

It would be nice if the progressive talk show hosts could just devote a small portion of their shows every day a week before an election and state what propositions progressive organizations specifically support or want blocked, for every state in the union. However, I'm not sure if that really violates any laws, especially from state to state.


DRichards's picture
DRichards 9 years 38 weeks ago

Re: Israel & the Palestinians & the Iranians & the ...

It seems to me that the solution would be to give Israel the state of Texas. Israel would have plenty of room to grow, and it would create a buffer zone between the US & Mexico ;)

mstaggerlee's picture
mstaggerlee 9 years 38 weeks ago

re:#37 -

Yeah, and I bet the Jews in Texas would really support that idea ...

... BOTH of them! :)

harry ashburn 9 years 38 weeks ago

re: #37: remember the comedy skit where Israel and the US state of Georgia change places? It was in a comedy movie who's name I cant remember right now.

harry ashburn 9 years 38 weeks ago

re: #39, it might have been "Kentucy Fried Movie".

TimFromLA 9 years 38 weeks ago

Oil Antitrust Exemption ProposedCommercial Trades Would Be Included in Emergency Policy


July 01, 1985|KATHLEEN DAY, Times Staff Writer.

After years of lobbying by the petroleum industry, the Reagan Administration has quietly proposed a significant broadening of the antitrust relief granted to oil companies in the event of an energy crisis.

The proposed policy to include commercial oil trades in the exemption permitted under the Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975 has angered some members of Congress as well as some federal regulators. The proposal still requires final approval by top Administration officials. A few details are left to be worked worked out and the proposal must be published in the Federal Register before it can take effect.

At stake are policy issues that pit the nation's ability to provide emergency oil supplies to friendly nations against the checks and balances necessary to protect consumers from price-gouging at the gasoline pump.

Those who favor broadening the antitrust exemption say the change is necessary to insure unfettered cooperation of oil companies in times of emergency. Those who oppose the proposal say it would, in the words of one federal antitrust lawyer, "give the oil industry carte blanche " to manipulate the market.

'Price-Fixing Act'

After a report critical of the draft proposal was released last week by the General Accounting Office, Sen. Howard Metzenbaum (D-Ohio) denounced the plan on the Senate floor as one that would transform the 1975 law into "the energy price-fixing and cartel act."

Passed in the wake of the 1973 oil crisis and renewed last week for at least three more years, the Energy Policy and Conservation Act established the $17-billion Strategic Petroleum Reserve, a federal stockpile of petroleum intended to buffer the effects of an oil shortage. It also sanctioned U.S. participation in the Paris-based International Energy Agency, a consortium of 21 countries that would coordinate an oil-sharing plan should the world's supply--or that of any member country--fall short 7% or more of a specified level. No antitrust exemption could take effect unless the IEA decided that such an emergency had occurred.

The IEA would act as a clearinghouse for information about the supplies and shortages of each member nation. The agency then would match the haves with the have-nots so that all would share the hardship--and the available oil. Full cooperation from each IEA member--especially the United States, which is home to many of the world's largest oil companies--is essential for the system to work.

Of course, this is back in 1985

babasaurus's picture
babasaurus 9 years 38 weeks ago

@ maxrot

I'm glad you see the light on prop 16

I'm just worried that the way PG &E has framed the issue: "don't let those politicians take over the energy contracts without your vote" may gain some traction. that and how the airways are saturated with yes on prop 16 ads. the only opposition I have seen is one or 2 letters on the editorial pages.

gerald's picture
gerald 9 years 38 weeks ago

Dear Thom Blog Listeners,

I want to share some information with you and maybe Thom can recall what I will convey to you. About fifty years ago Detroit added Channel 50 to their other channels. Channel 50 was to be a sports channel. That is how it was sold to the public. The channel incorporated many programs.

Lou Gordon was a very popular talk show host. He criticized everyone and everything. At first I would listen to him but soon I began to realize that he offered no resolutions to the problems facing Michigan and Detroit.

Thom is very popular but he does offer some resolutions for our many problems. I do not oppose people criticize but along with their criticism they should offer constructive resolutions for our many problems. Thom does offer constructive resolutions for our problems.

Maxrot's picture
Maxrot 9 years 38 weeks ago

@babasaurus, I understand, and I can only assume you were looking for the opposition literature when you found it.

The left is really going to have to figure out a way to communicate effectively to its base, all too often it seems as though the base has to seek out what it's progressive leadership is recommending.

Any ideas? Anyone?


gerald's picture
gerald 9 years 38 weeks ago

I agree with Thom. Everyone and every institutions should be taxed. This also includes religions and religious institutions.

Monastic property and its way of life should not be taxed.

harry ashburn 9 years 38 weeks ago

I would get scrubbed as if I had been exposed to radiation after talking to John Bolton...

RandyWinn's picture
RandyWinn 9 years 38 weeks ago

re #38 - Kinky Friedman AND his band!


Maxrot's picture
Maxrot 9 years 38 weeks ago

The History Channel's mission is to sanitize American History. I've watched several programs in regards to WWI and WWII that just present the events as though America was justified every step of the way.

I've read enough books on WWI that I can call out some of the statements I've seen in their programs as out and out lies, whether their repeating the lie, or make it up as they go I'm not certain. The point being, the History Channel is more the White Wash channel. (Don't get me started on their recent turn to multiple reality TV shows, can't even make a decent argument as to how the shows apply to history).


gerald's picture
gerald 9 years 38 weeks ago

We are living George W. Bush's third term.


How To Bring Back A Middle Class

Thom plus logo From the 1930s to the Reagan Revolution, America grew the largest and most robust middle class in history. Along with strong unions, the main driver of that was that people earning more than about $10 million in today's money confronted a top tax rate of 91% until the 60s, and 67% until Reagan came into office.

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