Buckle up – and get ready for two years of this stuff…

Members of Congress will be sworn in today – and Republicans will officially begin their rule over the 112th session of the United States House of Representatives. And what can we expect? For starters: higher deficits. Republicans will reform PAYGO rules in the House to exempt tax cuts for the rich. Also – Republicans have set a date for repealing Obama's health insurance reforms - reforms that save Americans hundreds of billions of dollars a year by requiring insurance companies to actually pay for health care, and cutting billions of dollars in fraud by corporations that sell insurance they call "Medicare Advantage" that isn't Medicare at all. Republicans are also planning to add more secrecy and back room deals. A rule to be voted on today will give Budget Chairman Paul Ryan sole authority to set spending levels in the federal budget without debate. And guess who these back room deals will favor? Big Business. Lobbyists have found their way onto key staff positions with new Republican Members of Congress – and are playing advisory roles with key new Republican Chairmen of House Committees. The new Republican Congress will be tailored for the Chamber of Commerce. And finally – to distract us all from these shenanigans – the House Government Oversight Committee – chaired by Republican Darrell Issa – will be busy launching investigations after investigation into the Obama White House – which Issa declared is, “one of the most corrupt” in history. This is the same Darryl Issa who sent letters out to big corporations asking what regulations they'd like done away with. No corruption there, right? So buckle up – and get ready for two years of this stuff…


desert fox's picture
desert fox 12 years 11 weeks ago

"Crying" John Boehner today becomes the "Weeper" of the House.

Kate Anne's picture
Kate Anne 12 years 11 weeks ago

Epiphany has been January 6th as long as I remember though it will likely be celebrated this Sunday at my little Episcopal/Anglican church.

ALSO, I tend to listen to Thom by streaming KPOJ (and sometimes listen and/or (re)listen on 1600 WWRL) because hearing Thom keep repeating bad news like the bumble bees, etc. online here at the web site during the commercial station breaks can be darn depressing and Obama and his kowtowing to the corporate Republicans is depressing enough. Yes, I know, despair is not an option. As an activist, I keep reminding myself and others of this -- and point them here.

Peace hugs from NYC!

MACusack's picture
MACusack 12 years 11 weeks ago

After reading your blog and hearing your 100th interview Dan Gaynor today (1/5/11) PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE CHALLENGE anyone who makes the following statement about health care: "people can just choose to go elsewhere if they get dropped from their carrier because they can just go to another provider" or how about this one: "if people are unhappy with their insurance provider and do not like the "service" they are getting - they can change and go elsewhere". PEOPLE LIKE DAN GAYNOR ARE EVIL WHEN THEY MAKE COMMENTS LIKE THAT - PEOPLE DIE AS A RESULT OF OUR SYSTEM! THERE IS NO FREE MARKET IN HEALTHCARE IN THE USA!!!!!


People like Dan Gaynor have NO CLUE - he obviously has never been truly sick. ALSO, next time they say everyone has heatlh care because they can go to the ER - CALL THAT OUT FOR WHAT IT IS A LIE! Yes, you can go the ER without insurance but people who have anything... a house, a bit of savings etc would never go to the ER because they would get hit with a MEGA BILL and would go bankrupt. A year ago a woman died because she would not let anyone call an ambulance because she did not have health insurance and did not want the bills. IF YOU INSIST ON HAVING THESE PEOPLE ON YOUR SHOW PLEASE CALL OUT THEIR LIES FORCEFULLY! AS JESUS WOULD SAY "CALL THE DEMON BY NAME" - today Dan Gaynor and his insane views on health care are demonic! CALL HIM ON IT OR DON"T GIVE HIM THE MICROPHONE!

PS: Not sure how Dan spells his last name

BlackBearCoffee's picture
BlackBearCoffee 12 years 11 weeks ago

I called in today about one of the best kept secrets in the country is our Constitution's first draft. I was privileged to see the only copy (there were sixty printed for the delegates) that has Elbridge Gerry's hand written notes regarding what was discussed, and how the voting on the original preamble, and the twenty three original articles went. This copy is not available for public viewing, but is stored in a vault at the Massachusetts Historical Society in Boston.

In subsequent searching, I discovered that two copies (no notes) are available for viewing on line that the Library of Congress, which includes links to more readable text. Doing a Google search for "we the people of the states of new hampshire" produces the link to the Library of Congress’s location of the two copies. The following link takes you there directly: http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/h?ammem/bdsbib:@field(NUMBER+@od1(bdsdcc+c01a2))

In my opinion, the most dramatic change that our founders thought necessary was the preamble. What served as the original preamble simply did not adequately reflect their intentions. After consideration they came up with what we now have. What a difference! So when folks constantly wonder aloud, "what did our founding fathers intend?", I say, not only did they write it down, but they thought it significantly imperative to be much clearer about what they intended than was stated in the original preamble.

Also worth noting is that the original "We the People of the States ...", referencing each state, was changed to "We the People of the United States ...", without any reference to individual states. This little detail should lead to some interesting reflection about state sovereignty versus national sovereignty, and just what was intended.

Happy reading.

yoch3's picture
yoch3 12 years 11 weeks ago

Failing to make our case to the people... The bottom line is that we must now set aside all kinds of divisive social "wedge" issues and FOCUS on the bread and butter. We need to get the President to educate people as he did during the campaign. In terms of talking to each other - we have to welcome and embrace socially conservative people (like me) who appreciate that the regular working person is getting the short end of the stick. The socially conservative, on the other hand, should not automatically join the Republican party against their own best interest for goodness sake! There may be recovery in Wall Street but there are no jobs, and when there will be jobs, will there be unions left to bargain for workers? Why is there no one in our leadership explaining what unions have done for workers in America and in the world? Most Americans go around with the vague sense that there is something wrong with union organizing - as just one example. In the most extreme case, my uncle who is a gigantic Rush Limbaugh fan, has fantastic health insurance through his wife's job which is because she is in a union!! I asked him why he does not decline the wonderful health insurance since he hates unions like poison. He hemmed and hawed. In another realm targetted for venom, I have a neighbor who hates the idea of government involvement in health care - yet this same person has a special needs child who got 24 hour care in the home for months after her birth from a government assigned health worker! We must educate people, root out corruption wherever it rips off the people (whether in the government or in corporations), and insist that we all stick together and fight against hating those who do not agree on social issues. Finally, we should push back against the extreme tone on talk radio on both sides - except for Thom (who only does this when he is very sleep deprived). Love you Thom - Big hugs... sorry Louise - it is just a virtual hug. :-)

readsome5's picture
readsome5 12 years 11 weeks ago

President Obama still has the bully pulpit. If he doesn't use it more effectively than he has the last 2 years, these hand maidens of wall street bankers and corporations, who have been masquerading as Republicans, will spend the next 2-years negating much that has been accomplished by his administration. He must hold weekly "fire side chats," to talk directly to Americans. He must do a better job of explaining why a progressive agenda, including living wage jobs and the rebuilding of America's manufacturing, the expansion of labor unions, high tech education, and health care reform is critical for the rebuilding of our economy and our middle class.

Mojavelyn's picture
Mojavelyn 12 years 11 weeks ago

The first things the Dems need to do is get a backbone and grow a pair. This "we can't do this, it might hurt their feelings" is crap. If they don't start standing up to the totalitarians, there won't be a country to worry about.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 12 years 11 weeks ago

Yeah, yeah, yeah all meaningless crap without at least a public option. If it at least had a public option then it would be worth fighting for...but, as usual, the damn Democrats give us smoke and mirrors and expect us to think they've done something useful. They sold out to the Republicans and the rich. I didn't like the fact that everyone was being forced by our government to pay these criminal healthScare gangsters anything they wanted us to pay them and for what? The healthScare mobsters would have found a way to claim pre-existing conditions or raise our "protection money" rates so high we would all go bankrupt in short order anyway. The only thing left for us is to just roll over and die...or maybe revolt against the system first. I will not vote for Obama again under any condition...he shafted us..and we will not be fooled again.

GaryGreen's picture
GaryGreen 12 years 11 weeks ago

Honestly, Democrats = Republicans. They just have different stage personas. I see Healthcare for the people written by insurance companies, I see bailouts for the rich while the middleclass gets kicked out of their homes, I see fascism on the rise. The Dems had a majority and a president who promised us change but gave us more of the same while surrounding himself with rich, conservative advisors.

If you people really want Change, you will vote Democratic Socialist. If you don't then just expect more of the same. You've seen it with your own eyes now. Don't allow yourselves the luxury of denial.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 12 years 11 weeks ago

Ever try to shop for a doctor?
They don't advertise their rates and they really don't want to tell you until after you get the bill. If you don't have insurance and want to pay out of pocket you would like to know, in order to shop around, what their rates are. Same thing with hospitals...their rates all seem to be kept under lock and key because they don't want you to shop around. There is something very crooked about all of this. You either have to pay through the nose for health insurance...and after making the huge monthly payments, you still have a deductable, and a co-pay, and even then you might get shafted by their claims of pre-existing conditions. And even the amounts they say are billed to the insurance company, I believe are overinflated on purpose just so that it makes it look like the insurance company is a "lifesaver" and picking up the biggest part of the tab....and "gee, weren't we lucky to have paid only the 10% of the $250,000 that the hospital and doctors charged the insurance company"? But these insurance companies have no intension of paying the $250,000...usually, it is much less...but do they reduce your amount you have to pay? No way. This is even worse than a store, wanting a profit of $10.00 for an item that usually sells for $12...then advertises the item for $24 but, they hype "it's now on sale for half off"! The store still gets the profit it wanted in the first place. Well, of course, everyone falls for that. Obama advertised that he was going to change a lot of things but ended up shortchanging us all...except for the rich. Some people have chronic illnesses who are stuck with having to take a certain kind of medicine for all the rest of their lives. People with asthma, for example, have to take an inhaler or two, so why do we have to go to a doctor, pay him/her hundreds of dollars for an office visit and prescription, then pay through the nose for the prescription drug? Why can't we get a lifetime prescription in order to weed out the middleman...the doctor...who is quite unnecessary..and is only sucking out our savings? We should have a system more like Mexico where you can go into any drug store, without a prescription, and buy the drugs we need! This country, the US, is corrupt and I think revolution is inevitable.

Ümläüt 12 years 11 weeks ago

Easy answer for Gainor and(sp?) general libertarian argument for "government forcing you to buy healthcare"

Essentially, the government forces us to buy machine guns, jeeps, nuclear weapons through taxes and to provide a system of defense.

We also should pay to defend our bodies from illness, not only from aggression. Same rationale imho.

Also Democracy is a system of defense against tyranny, where the minority rule over the majority. You are being anti-Democratic when attempting to defeat measures that protect us from this happening, i.e. the rich minority, or corporations having undue influence over the majority. The should be called out with the same fervor that the right does about communism being the enemy of Democracy.

When they say that the government is attacking freedom when attempting to limit the influence of the minority, they are really saying that the government is attacking freedom, by not allowing those who want to take away freedom.

Its double talk.

Its like when David Duke was trying to change the image of the KKK or the NAAWP, he said that because the blacks have gotten organized, whites now need protection, the missing part of the equation is that blacks hadn't oppressed whites in any sense of the word.

The same can be said of the classes. The rich may get less rich, but there is no example of the rich being destroyed by the poor in American history. France, and communist revolutions, maybe, but not here. They lost their massive power after FDR, but I doubt any were starving afterwards, maybe only brought down to average.

Also, please don't let him get away with saying that the majority are against health care reform. This is true, only because the majority wanted it to go further, not that they were against it. Something like 60% wanted single payer.

Gainor is a liar, and sociopath.

olenzekm's picture
olenzekm 12 years 11 weeks ago

It is true that middle-class America will suffer during the next few (hopefully just two) years. But maybe this is a necessary "phase" that we need to go through.

There is a debate in this country. Does government give value for money or is it always negative and less effective than the "free market?" One could consider this a test of the proposition of the market fundamentalists that markets are always right.

I am reminded of the quote from Winston Churchill (I paraphrase), "You can always count on America to do the right thing, after exhausting all other possibilities." A market-fundamentalist type of economy is one possibility. We will need to exhaust it before we can get to a more realistic approach.


leighmf's picture
leighmf 12 years 11 weeks ago

Sung to the tune of "What Do the Simple Folk Do?" from Camelot

What should the Democrats do?
Congressionals standing in glue-
Their royalties are showing,
Like petticoats of yore.
Each man and woman glowing
With benefits galore!
Oh, what should Democrats do?

DC's a play.
You can't believe
A thing they say.

Fangtastic 12 years 11 weeks ago

What should Democrats do? - They should tell a story in a lie with little truth- like the Republicans do - and say "Democrats Giveth, Republicans Taketh Away" - That is the story they need to promulgate. What have the Democrats become but just the cowed Republican light. They are all bought and sold by the corporations and FEAR rules the day. We should be saying "If your must be fearful, then FEAR RUSH! FEAR BUSH!" Why doesn't Obama invoke Roosevelt's "We have nothing to Fear but Fear Itself" speech? - because he is afraid. Rush and Republicans have successfully framed the story of Roosevelt as something to be afraid of. The only way to talk Republicans into voting Democrat is for them to be so afraid of their own party and to make empathy cool again - They have to fear becoming the hudled masses and at the same time relate to the huddled masses - using the "Us or Them" dogma - that the Republicans do so well. Dems have to turn the tables and make the Republicans the "Them" (Corporate Banks/Big Business/International Sell Outs) and the Dems the "US" as in USA (Community Banks/Small Business/Protecting National Interests). Big business and corporate banks will fear us if we get enough people to take thier money out of the big banks and put them in community banks. Raise your children right: 1 - Never kill for pay. 2 - Never take what doesn't belong to you. 3 - Never put your money in a big bank.

Thom's Blog Is On the Move

Hello All

Thom's blog in this space and moving to a new home.

Please follow us across to hartmannreport.com - this will be the only place going forward to read Thom's blog posts and articles.

From The Thom Hartmann Reader:
"Through compelling personal stories, Hartmann presents a dramatic and deeply disturbing picture of humans as a profoundly troubled species. Hope lies in his inspiring vision of our enormous unrealized potential and his description of the path to its realization."
David Korten, author of Agenda for a New Economy, The Great Turning, and When Corporations Rule the World
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
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