Daily Topics Blog - Wednesday January 5th 2011

Truthout is proud to bring you an exclusive series from America's No. 1 progressive radio host, Thom Hartmann. We'll be publishing weekly installments of "Rebooting the American Dream"

Hour One: Members of Congress will be sworn in today – and Republicans will officially begin their rule over the 112thsession of the United States House of Representatives.

Hour Two: Health care in the hot seat again...second chance for single payer? Thom mixes it up with Dan Gainor of the Business and Media Institute - www.businessandmedia.org

Hour Three: Buzzkill: USA’s bumblebee population declining with Dr. Sydney Cameron and George Langworthy & Maryam Henein, Co-Directors/Producers of "Vanishing of the Bees"


Maxrot's picture
Maxrot 9 years 26 weeks ago

We all need to go out, buy and wear orange polo shirts with the Aligator logo and Croc's to represent our loyalty to the Republican't party leadership and their Crocodile tears.

Boo hoo, the rich aren't allowed to enslave the common people out right, boo hoo, they still have to pay some taxes, boo hoo. Snnniiifff. Someone get me tissue and another Rusty Nail.


Lebovitz 9 years 26 weeks ago

Dead fish, birds and whale, could this have any connection to John Wheeler's murder?


Maxrot's picture
Maxrot 9 years 26 weeks ago

Walking into an Emergency Room is no guarntee that you won't die on the floor of it. Emergency Rooms don't provide preventative, or maintenance health care either, so unless your health is in a critical condition, you are SOL, and if your health is in critical condition, then too, you are SOL.


mathboy's picture
mathboy 9 years 26 weeks ago

I interpret the clause "To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States" as having an implied "in order", so that it would be "To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, in order to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States." This means that a tax, duty, impost or excise is Unconsititutional only if its purpose is not for paying down the national debt, providing for the common defense or providing for the general welfare. Notice that the first "to" is capitalized, just as it is at the begining of every other clause in Section 8, but the second "to" is not capitalized. Oddly, the following clause simply says Congress can borrow money, so apparently that doesn't have to be restricted to those purposes.

Frankly, I'm glad the Republicans are reading the Constitution out loud in Congress, since so many of that party seem not to have read it in the first place *cough* Christine O'Donnell */cough*

mathboy's picture
mathboy 9 years 26 weeks ago

Html codes don't seem to be working.

Maxrot's picture
Maxrot 9 years 26 weeks ago

Thom, tomorrow is the Epiphany, its on Jan 6th, not the 5th. Close, but no cigar.... well that and in reality the Astrological record tends to support that the "Star" the wise men saw appeared in late spring/early summer. Christmas and the rites associated with it are more aligned with Roman Winter festivals than anything else.


gerald's picture
gerald 9 years 26 weeks ago


Today, January 5, 2011, is a day that will live infamy in the United States. Our country is now in a state of demise. Our demise has been in progress for many years but it became most evident under Reagan and continued steadily under Bush I, Clinton, W and Cheney, and Obama. The coffin is finished and awaits our placement in it. The problem for Americans in our demise does not mean that we will rest in peace. On the contrary we will rest in torment with our enslavement by the conservative crazies and their brain farts that bring about stinking thinking and stinking behaviors and its consequences.


Absolution, Contrition, and Evil

On Gunsmoke an evil son of an influential rancher attacked a father and his daughter passing through Dodge City, Kansas. The father did not want to say much about the attack. He only said that “evil kills itself.” The evil son was going to kill the father but his father shot and killed his son. I do believe that evil kills itself and so I see America killing herself.

On Law and Order a priest was wrongly murdered. The man who killed the priest had confessed to a different priest about killing a person in the park. A priest at the Diocese office said that an absolution could not be given until the murderer confessed to law enforcement officials. A truly contrite person would confess about the murder in the park. I believe that America and Americans murderous ways could not be forgiven because our country and our people have continued to swim in a pool of mortal sin.

St. Padre Pio would not give absolution to a person whom he believed was not contrite about his sins.

Confession does usually lead to absolution but every person who confesses must give a true effort to avoid sin. Without a true effort to avoid sin a person at some point will not be granted absolution.

For me in helping the poor the most beautiful sight is to see the smiles on their faces.

mathboy's picture
mathboy 9 years 26 weeks ago

A "session" of Congress is only one year, not the two-year numbered Congress. Remember John Bolton being a recess appointee until the end of Congress's "next session"? He went from August 2005 to December 2006, which was all within the 109th Congress.

ventg4fun's picture
ventg4fun 9 years 26 weeks ago

Good segment on the bee population decline. An author was featured on NPR the other day who's name I can't remember. She is an organic bee keeper and also just released a book about organic honey farming. She was asked her opinion on the declining bee populaton. She replied that in addition to the use of systemic pesticides, etc.,, it's also what the bee keepers feed the bees... They extract all, or most, of the honey for commercial sales, and don't leave any for the bees.. They feed them a sugar water combo which is supposed to simulate nectar, but it's not nutritious enough for most species. they basically starve the bees to death...

OVtomato 9 years 6 weeks ago

Read an editorial in the Seattle Times by Bruce Ramsey and sent the following comment. http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/opinion/2015137831_bruce25.html?pr...

Bruce Ramsey has fallen for the con-men's talking points. When Social Security was "reformed" in 1982, baby boomers were required to pay for current retirees AND save for their own retirement benefits. Those savings were used to PURCHASE Treasury Bonds which have the same obligation of payment as any TB sold to China, Japan or any pension fund. Those bonds DO PAY INTEREST on behalf of the beneficiaries - a group of people that is different than the federal government or taxpayers as a whole. (Many people, corporations and other entities do not participate in Social Security, BUT, are still obligated to redeem these bonds, as they benefited from lower tax rates because of the SS surplus.) So SS has not dipped into the principal balance, but HAS spent some of the interest due, to pay current benefits. This was the plan in 1982 !!
The PANIC from the right is that more general tax revenues will have to be raised to redeem those bonds in the SS account. "Reforming" Social Security NOW will be a criminal farce.
If we raise the retirement age for younger workers that will do NOTHING for the balance of payments until they get to the current eligibility age. (ie I am having a hard time making my mortgage payment, so I will quit eating in restaurants in five years.)
If we increase taxes now to build a bigger cushion it will just push the redemption period further down the road and make it a BIGGER problem.
The only smart way to handle this "problem" is to wait until the trust fund is exhausted and then either raise the SS tax rate or raise the income cap.
Now I am going to get a little crazy on you and tell you how we can reduce the Federal Debt considerably.
1- Cancel all bonds held by the Federal Reserve- they did nothing but print pieces of paper (or input numbers in their computers) to buy them, so we owe the Fed NOTHING.
2-Pay off all foreign owned bonds with US Treasury dollars - not federal reserve notes. This will not cause inflation because M3 will not change, those bonds will be destroyed, not held under a double entry system.
3- Make most federal taxes voluntary by reinstating import duties and tariffs - if you don't want to pay those taxes, don't buy imported goods. Just see how fast the factories and jobs come back !

------Forgot to mention that Social Security and Medicare are the only line items on my paycheck that pay for specific programs !!!

Can Americans Stop the Republican Party and Their Billionaire Lifeline Before Another Hundred Thousand Americans Die?

Thom plus logo Can Americans Stop the Republican Party and Their Billionaire Lifeline Before Another Hundred Thousand Americans Die?

If a group of international billionaires who don't like democracy, business regulation, or the idea of a functioning multiracial culture wanted to hire somebody to destroy America, they couldn't have done better than Donald Trump.
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"With the ever-growing influence of corporate CEOs and their right-wing allies in all aspects of American life, Hartmann’s work is more relevant than ever. Throughout his career, Hartmann has spoken compellingly about the value of people-centered democracy and the challenges that millions of ordinary Americans face today as a result of a dogma dedicated to putting profit above all else. This collection is a rousing call for Americans to work together and put people first again."
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