Daily Topics - Monday September 27th, 2010

Quote of the Day: Faced with crisis, the man of character falls back upon himself. — Charles DeGaulle, French general and president, founder of the Fifth Republic (1890-1970)

Hour One: "How did the wealthiest Americans get all the money and stick you with the bill?" Thom speaks with investigative journalist/author David Cay Johnston www.davidcayjohnston.com; Plus, keeping the Bush tax cuts will create jobs...really?! Thom has a rumble with Curtis Dubay of the Heritage Foundation www.heritage.org; And, how is labor fighting Chase Bank to keep embattled homeowners in their homes? Doug Cunningham of Workers Independent News has the latest www.laborradio.org

Hour Two: "C-Street: The Fundamentalist Threat to American Democracy" - Thom talks with author Jeff Sharlet about his new book http://jeffsharlet.com

Hour Three: Will a trade war be the lesser of two evils and are rare earth minerals the new oil?

Comments

cmoore68's picture
cmoore68 9 years 21 weeks ago
#1

How does investing in a hedge fund create jobs? How does buying a competitors business create jobs?

Maxrot's picture
Maxrot 9 years 21 weeks ago
#2

Thom, your Higgins vet story reminds me of a almost identical incident I had with a cat I had a long time ago. My wife and I had a black female cat, Veronica, and we took her into the vet. Now this cat had the habit of being very friendly, rubbing her head and body on a outstreched hand for about 30 seconds or so, basically luring her victim into a false sense of calm. Then wham claws and teeth. We knew this of her, and when we let her out of her carrier for the vet, she started doing this with the vet. We warned the vet, "Careful, she's just getting your guard down, she's going to attack your hand", "Oh no", replied the vet, "she's a very sweet kitty, she wouldn't do that..." wham, "...OK put her back in her carrier!" We tried warning her, but the vet didn't want to listen to us. You know if the vet had witnessed this cat trying to lunge through her cage door to get at the menacing Doberman in the lobby, instantly aquiring the moniker from the dogs owner of "Killer Kitty", perhaps she would have been better prepared.

Don't ask me why this cat had such attitude, her mother was my cat, she had always been treated well, and fed well. My only guess would be a bit of a Siamese bloodline, and three brother kitties that played rough with her. Her mother had a similar attitude, but she was far more docile with me personally because I had pretty much been her surogate mother from the age of about two weeks (my best guess, she was found by my boss on the road and he rescued her). Her mother, didn't pull the tricks Veronica did, but she would sit on the top of a bookcase and swipe at peoples heads that passed near. Cats do indeed have strong personalities, and where they get them is anyone's guess.

N

DRichards's picture
DRichards 9 years 21 weeks ago
#3

"The left-right split is false, and hundreds of millions of Americans are waking up to the fact that the whole Republicans-Versus-Democrats things is a dog-and-pony show. They are waking up to the fact that both parties serve the big banks, big pharma, military-industrial complex, and the whole oligarchy."

ttp://georgewashington2.blogspot.com/

cmoore68's picture
cmoore68 9 years 21 weeks ago
#4

Is the ploy to privatize Social Security an attempt to remove the employers contribution? In essence, that windfall to the employer will result in greater profits and in turn higher dividends to shareholders.

flotron9's picture
flotron9 9 years 21 weeks ago
#5

The ploy is to remove the people's stake in government. Social security means that people expect the government to work for the people.

A lot of people would be VERY disconnected from government without Social Security. Also, the tycoons want to steal all the contributions of the workers in derivative-type schemes.

flotron9's picture
flotron9 9 years 21 weeks ago
#6

About capital gains tax. Yeah, the argument they always chant is that income invested for capital gains is already taxed as income, so the capital gains shouldn't be taxed.

But one: income from the investment is what is being taxed in capital gains, not the investment itself;

two: the security requirements and demands for infrastructure are so advanced for capital investment, that the government needs the tax to be able to protect the investors' property and integrity of the process of investment.

three: the "right" of workers, owners and investors to "own" property and wealth is completely dependent on the strength of government to ensure it. Without a strong, honest government to protect the rights of owners and investors, they wouldn't have any such right at all.

four: Actually, according to the founders, the right to own property is explicity granted in the Constitution of the United States. The government the Constitution created performs the administrative function of granting that right, on the democratic terms set in an ongoing way by Congress.

fifth: The reason this is necessary is because in nature there is no private ownership. Everything is freely given to the takers. That's why, instead of having a king who owns everything and just doles out benefits to his subjects according to his arbitrary will because he controls the army, we created the Constitution so we the people could administer the rights of ownership, which citizens obtain by taking on obligations on behalf of the government--the people--the sovereign. But the principle is still the same, private ownership is a right granted by the people to those who comply with the laws, the Constitution and the lawful processes of self-government.

That's it. There's no "inherent" right for people to own anything. It comes from the covenenant between sovereign and subject and fluctuates accordingly.

Maxrot's picture
Maxrot 9 years 21 weeks ago
#7

I know this would never fly, but I was pondering the libertarian/neo conservative dream of a flat tax rate. I would like to see something like that, but with a bit of a twist, in fact it would be a severe form of the progressive tax, but here is how I'd like to see it:

Currently I make just about the average median income, and I'm taxed about 10%. So it seems reasonable to me to do the tax code in this way. Every year the median income is calculated and the tax rates are then based on that number. Then for every multiple of the median income you make, your tax rate is multiplied by that multiple. Using this equation would mean at 10% at the Median Income, by the time you get to 5 times the Median Income, your make the most you can make, at 6 times the median income, your take home pay becomes the same as 4 times the mean income, and it goes downhill from there. On top of that, I would do the same with Capital Gaines, if your dividend checks for the year is equivalent to 2x the Median Income, than your taxed at the same income rate as twice the median income rate.

Now you could drop the tax rate on the median income, and it would extend the multiples of the median income prior to the point where your income and tax rates flip, but still even at 5% of a median income of 50,000, by the time a multiple of 10 times the median income (500,000) is reached, your taxes are at 50%. The top take home pay is still only 5 times the median income rate.

As I stated above, this would never fly, but I just can't be convinced that any individual needs to make more than five times what the average citizen makes. There is still incentive for someone to make 2 to 3 times the median income, because they will still bring home nearly twice the take home of the individual who makes the median.

I would also tie minimum wage to the medium income. Minimum wage could be calculated at 50% of the Medium Income.

And since the supreme court has deemed that Corporations are people, then they are subject to these tax rates on their profits.

Now it isn't a flat tax rate, but it is a flate tax rate equation, and that's close enough for me to call it a compromise. Guess no one but the middle class would care for this solution, too bad there are so few of the middle class left to fight for it.

DRichards's picture
DRichards 9 years 21 weeks ago
#8

Re: If and when ETs make contact.

Former Air Force Officers: UFOs Tampered With Nuclear Missiles

(Sept. 25) -- Former U.S. Air Force officers and a former enlisted man are about to break many years of silence about an alarming series of UFO encounters at nuclear weapons sites -- incidents officially kept secret for decades.

When the group appears at a press conference at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., on Monday, it will offer testimony about events so chilling...

http://www.aolnews.com/weird-news/article/former-air-force-officers-ufos-tampered-with-nuclear-missiles/19647296?icid=main|ie8t|dl1|sec1_lnk1|173207

camplunalinda's picture
camplunalinda 9 years 21 weeks ago
#9

MAD AS HELL DOCTORS are on the road in CALIFORNIA --

now with DR MARGARET FLOWERS --

Santa Cruz tonight --

thank-you for your consideration --

GRATEFULLY EVERYTHING CHANGES --

with so many options

camplunalinda's picture
camplunalinda 9 years 21 weeks ago
#10

now -- today -- let's give it up for all our leaders --

social, political, religious, military, etc --

where there is Loving-Kindness + Non-Injury --

let there be Leadership --

where there are Leaders --

let them know Loving-Kindness + Non-Injury --

when Leaders speak --

let them speak of Loving-Kindness + Non-Injury --

thank-you for your consideration --

GRATEFULLY EVERYTHING CHANGES --

with so many options

Maxrot's picture
Maxrot 9 years 21 weeks ago
#11

Maybe for now, it's better for Obama to do nothing about protectionism. So long as state governors are practicing America first purchasing, its win win for Obama and America. China can bitch up and down that America is being protective, but Obama can reply, "no America isn't formally doing any such thing, State Governments have the right to do business with whomever they want." China can't singularily target individual states for retaliation, because materials can be brought into "China Friendly" states, then shipped to "non-China Friendly" states.

It sounds like a good start. Maybe, America will remember that we are States United in a common cause, and if the individual States start to move in one direction, then once the tipping point is reached, the whole country will move that direction too. Sounds democratic to me (and natural too... geeky science alert).

N

cmoore68's picture
cmoore68 9 years 21 weeks ago
#12

Capital gains tax rate 1916-1997.

http://www.huppi.com/kangaroo/TaxTimeline.htm#income

DRichards's picture
DRichards 9 years 21 weeks ago
#13

Protectionism China Imposes a Steep Tariff on U.S. PoultryBy KEITH BRADSHER

Published: September 26, 2010

HONG KONG — Days after it flexed its economic muscle in a diplomatic dispute with Japan, Chinacontinued to display a more assertive international economic policy on Sunday as it imposed steep tariffs on poultry imports from the United States.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/27/business/global/27yuan.html

making progress's picture
making progress 9 years 21 weeks ago
#14

ILLUSTRIOUS DUNDERHEADS quotes:

"I know that our people hate everything that Hitler stands for, we despise dictatorship in any form, but I challenge anyone to tell us the difference between the Executive Orders issued by Roosevelt and those issued by Hitler..." George Bender, (R) Ohio 9/26/40

"When are we going to get rid of Churchill and stop fighting England's wars?...If our President's leadership is failing us in this war, what can we do about it?" Fred Bradley (R) Mich 2/18/42 - 2 months after Pearl Harbor!

"...We often hear it said that we should get into this war to preserve our civilization. That is not what these people mean at all. We should get into this war to save the money system of England and the U.S." Usher Burdick (R) ND

"I don't know what you think of Lindbergh or his judgement; but personally, I believe he is the one man who told the world the truth from the very beginning of the trouble in Europe...For his loyalty he is called a traitor." Frank Carlson (R) TX

flotron9's picture
flotron9 9 years 21 weeks ago
#15

I love this, Maxrot! It flies as far as i can see.

Maxrot's picture
Maxrot 9 years 21 weeks ago
#16

flowtron9, I simply believe that the tax rate, minimum wage, capital gains, and corporate taxes should all be figured based on the Median Income as it changes year to year. Its keeps everything fair, and up to date. I know that Median Income changes its average from state to state, so that should be taken into account, and I know loop holes will crop up with corporations, but its a start, its simple and straightforward.

N

gerald's picture
gerald 9 years 21 weeks ago
#17

We must dismantle the military or we face doom and gloom for the next one hundred years.

http://www.opednews.com/articles/1/Dismantle-the-empire--or-by-Jim-Miles-100926-435.html

Maxrot's picture
Maxrot 9 years 21 weeks ago
#18

gerald?

Dismantle our military or all military organizations around the world?

'Cause dimantling just ours, does nothing but allow our country to be overran by whichever country wishes to.

Dismantling all around the world, well that was the concept of the League of Nations, never happend though.

Do you have a plan, or just a desire?

N

gerald's picture
gerald 9 years 21 weeks ago
#19

@Maxrot, there are no simplistic ways to dismantle all the military in the world. America talks about nuclear arms reduction and yet our nuclear arsenal expands. Thom has his ideas that he has shared with us. I have shared some articles with you. Here is my plan for a BETTER WORLD. I believe this plan is our only hope for survival as a people and as a planet.

A Brief and Yet Powerful Formula

I want to give you a brief and yet powerful formula for justice and peace in our world.

Live each day practicing the Golden Rule! “Do unto to others as you would want them to do unto you!”

Obey the Eleventh Commandment that Jesus gave us at the Last Supper! “Love one another as I have loved you!”

Seek Sacramental Moments (good deeds) each day in helping people!

“Love the poor and your life will be filled with sunlight and you will not fear the hour of death.” - St. Vincent DePaul, the first social worker

“I shall pass this way but once, any good that I can do let me do it now, because I shall not pass this way again.” – St. Ambrose

Maxrot's picture
Maxrot 9 years 21 weeks ago
#20

gerald, there's nice sentiment there, but you kind of completely avoided the question to your statement of dimantling the military.

I don't particularly like the police department either when I hear of them practicing brutal and oppresive methods. Based on the feeling, heck I might want them disolved, until I'm mugged, or violently attacked, or... well you get the point.

Having such organizations are not the problem, it is how they are allowed to act that is the issue. There are several functions both perform for a modern society, and just cutting them out is, well seems to me to be severly short-sighted and impractical.

N

gerald's picture
gerald 9 years 21 weeks ago
#21

@Maxrot, no country will dissolve their military because every thing starts with basic trust. If a country cannot trust another nation, it will not phase out the military. The United States of Satan's Disciples has had a history of people not trusting our country. Let me ask you the question, "How would you go about dissolving the military in our country and in other countries?" Thank you for your input in this dialogue.

gerald's picture
gerald 9 years 21 weeks ago
#22

Our nation was founded on predatory capitalism. We must move away from predatory capitalism and embrace responsible and spiritual capitalism.

gerald's picture
gerald 9 years 21 weeks ago
#23

**Reflection of the Week** "The obligation to provide justice for all means that the poor have the single most urgent economic claim on the conscience of the nation."- Economic Justice for All, #86

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.

Latest Headlines

Who rejected United States-North Korea peace talks?

There were conflicting reports on Sunday regarding a recent proposal for United States-North Korea peace talks which was allegedly made before North Korea"s recent nuclear test

U.K. Pound Falls As Markets Get Brexit Jitters

Bloomberg said on Monday the pound had sustained its biggest fall against the dollar in 11 months

Clinton: I'll defend Israel but push for 'two-state solution

Hillary Clinton believes both Republican candidates Donald Trump and Ted Cruz "missed the mark" with their approach to the Israel-Palestinian Arab conflict
From Screwed:
"The powers that be are running roughshod over the powers that OUGHT to be. Hartmann tells us what went wrong — and what you and I can do to help set American right again."
Jim Hightower, National Radio Commentator, Writer, Public Speaker, and author of the bestselling Thieves in High Places
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."
Jim Hightower, national radio commentator and author of Swim Against the Current
From The Thom Hartmann Reader:
"Thom is a national treasure. Read him, embrace him, learn from him, and follow him as we all work for social change."
Robert Greenwald, political activist and founder and president of Brave New Films