Daily Topics - Friday January 28th, 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, "Rebooting the American Dream."

It's "Anything Goes on Townhall Friday!" Thom is live at Families USA 2011 Health Action Conference in Washington, D.C. - www.healthaction2011.org

Hour One: "Brunch With Bernie" - Senator Bernie Sanders takes your calls - www.sanders.senate.gov


Maxrot's picture
Maxrot 12 years 8 weeks ago

I have a difficult time understanding why our economic situation has to be at least as bad as the Great Depression to call our current economic situation a depression. It seems to be a political 3rd rail to suggest it. However, how can we, as a country on the whole, begin to address the problem if we don't admit we have the problem?

Hello, I'm America and I have a Depression. Its been x years since my last bubble, and I'm finding it almost impossible not to inflate another. Even though I know it hurts me more in the long run, the rush of the quick fix is too tempting to ignore. I need help.


rladlof's picture
rladlof 12 years 8 weeks ago

I know a place to cut if Republicans vote against the raising the debt ceiling. The Federal government should:

1. Immediately defund by 1/3 all Federal monies paid into the Congressional District of any Representative voting against the unfettered raising of the debt ceiling and

2. Immediately defund by 1/3 all Federal monies paid into the State of any Senator voting against the unfettered raising of the debt ceiling.

Tea Party states would get their fondest wishes . . . A lower deficit and less Federal government interference.

DRichards's picture
DRichards 12 years 8 weeks ago

Re: "Egypt has shut off the internet."

Obama may get power to shut down Internet without court oversight

A bill giving the president an Internet "kill switch" during times of emergency that failed to pass Congress last year will return this year, but with a revision that has many civil liberties advocates concerned: It will give the president the ability to shut down parts of the Internet without any court oversight.


Just in case the US population...

gerald's picture
gerald 12 years 8 weeks ago

Thom loves his cat Higgins but here is something his cat can't do.


fbacher's picture
fbacher 12 years 8 weeks ago

I thought George Lakoff's assessment of the State of the Union Address very good. I wish the President would have people like him involved in speech writing. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/george-lakoff/the-new-obama-narrative_b_81...

gerald's picture
gerald 12 years 8 weeks ago

January 29, 2011 is the date for the joke of the week. Obama made a comment on the unrest in Egypt. His number one concern was about the loss of human life. This is a comment from a person who has unleashed hundreds of drones upon Pakistan and Central Asia killing many, many human lives. I had to laugh so hard that my side began to ache.

gerald's picture
gerald 12 years 8 weeks ago

Hypocrisy reigns in the hell-hole I call the United States of Mortal Sin. We talk about spreading democracy but our rat-hole nation has an addiction to dictators.


We can’t avoid economic disaster by slowing spending, lowering spending, cutting spending, or freezing spending. Nor can we nickel-and-dime our way out of the crisis. We must stop spending on items that cost the most. And, we should begin to stop the spending by stopping all wars and bringing the troops home.

Studying the Americans' behavior since W's appointment in 2001 to the present is a classic example in the study of stupidity.

William Klein 12 years 8 weeks ago


Obama's SOTOS was complete bull. Yes, he actually articulated a Democratic vision which seems to be a first in a while. However, that vision, in accord with his political-economic behavior is decidedly corporatist. He said he was going to create jobs yet he said not one word about small business, where most new jobs are created. Yes, he did sign an SBA bill last year that provided $30B over several years for small business but it is dwarfed in comparison to TARP, zero percent trillions at the Fed window for the guys that Emmanueled us, and his corporate subsidies provided to the insurance companies et. al. .... It's no secret that health care premiums are skyrocketing! What happens when you add fifty million new subsidized customers to a market that is allowed to collude and set prices? Yeah, some people are being helped with the denial of care issues and that is a good thing, but we are all paying the hidden tax through the likes of Blue Sheild's 59% increase this year alone. I haven't heard one Democratic official admit this (and I am a very active Democrat.)

If you cut the entire domestic discretionary budget you only get 12% savings. It is nothing compared to the big four: Social Security, military spending, Medicare, and the fact that corporations for the most part, don't pay taxes while we support their exportation of our jobs! Social Security is supposed to be a stand alone trust fund. That leaves military spending ($1.2 trillion if you count all military spending hidden throughout the federal budget like mercenaries in the State Department budget, the black budget, myriad intel agencies, Homeland Security, nukes at DOE ad nauseum...), Medicare and seeing to it that corporations actually start paying taxes. Obama offered a "whopping" $15B in "defense cuts." That's less than a day and a half out of military spending for an entire year. Bet that Medicare will be savaged and soon!

Yes, the economy is growing but for whom? Main Street is still in the toilet and the banksters are sitting on two trillion dollars of our money that they won't lend to small business and Obama didn't say a damn thing about that either! WTF? Yeah, maybe "on average" we are doing great (and even that is debatable), but when you consider the huge and growing income disparity gap, the vast majority of Americans are hurting badly and will be doing so for "a generation" or more according to the "Finacial Crisis Inquiry Report."

I suggest you actually read the Report. Why have many of the perps circulated through this Administration? Why did Obama can"effin' moron" Emmanuel (gee, no "GE," I guess I'm some sort of "purist" and a member of the "professional left,"according to "Goober" Gibbs and Obama) only to replace him with Daley (JP Morgan.) Why did Obama's FCC approve the largest yet media consolidation when he pledged he would not do that and then turn around and appoint a direct beneficiary, the Chairman of GE, to his "jobs creation"panel, which has shipped over fifty-percent of its own jobs overseas?" And, Obama did this the Friday before SOTUS! What a hypocrite! The Emperor has no clothes and you know it!

While he waxed eloquent about a corporate driven green revolution somewhere off in the horizon, his Administration approved the sale and distribution of genetically modified Monsanto alfalfa that will impact practically the entire grocery food chain, without adequate study and with a whole lot of scientic and public opposition. And, he did this within days of the SOTUS!

BTW, if you do read the Financial Inquiry Report you will quickly realize that Obama's so called Financial Reform bill would not have stopped this crisis. Sorry to pop your bubble, but his so called "Financial Reform" is so much crap. The Inquiry Commission says in no uncertain terms that the conditions that created this mess still exist under this Administration. Like the "public option," the beef, Glas-Stegal provisions were removed by him, not the Republicans.

He said that he values "transparency" yet he held over thirty private, unannounced meetings with insurance company and HMO execs and he had to be sued under the Freedom of Information Act before he would release the documents and admit it. Dick Cheney's Energy Task Force anyone? He didn't have to be so duplicitous with "Financial Reform" because after all, he had Timmy, and Larry, and Rahm, et. al., right there in the White House with him.

And, he compromised with no one. He capitulated! He personally knifed the "public option" before he ever confronted the Republicans for a vote. Compromise requires BOTH parties to work together. How many Republicans voted for the final Health Care bill? How many are trying to tear it down right now? What "'effin'" compromise is he talking about? There was no compromise. NONE. ZIP. NADA. ZERO!

The real problem in this Country is the Corporate Republican Party AND the Democratic Leadership Council. You know as well as I that they BOTH are wholly owned susidiaries of the corporations. When Obama says that he is moving towards the middle, what he means is that he is serving the corporations, and you know that too. Why do you keep trying to pretend otherwise? In order to solve a problem first you have to recognize it and then acknowledge it. After listening to you for quite a while, and hearing you talk so much "psychology" on your show, I can only conclude that you are in a state of denial. You engage in wishful thinking and flights of fancy that somehow Obama will change... This is a guy who back when supported Joe Lieberman running against his own Party! Those are the kind of dellusional side effects that accompany denial.

You are spreading that denial which is helping to confuse your listeners. After Obama oversees the gutting of Medicare (and it is going to happen, you can take that to Goldman Sachs) are you still going to tell us that our health care system is much improved since Obama took office? "Medicare for everyone?" I've heard you say that many times. What you in fact are doing, is helping to set the table so that these greed heads can carve that up too!

What we are wittnessing in Egypt is the direct result of decades of Republican and DLC corporate foreign policy. It is nothing less than the collapse of American Empire in the Middle East after shoring up corrupt dictators for coprporate profits. Stay tuned, because if we don't take our government back from the corporatistas, and that includes Obama by his own actions, what we are seeing in Egypt is going to be happening right here.

Obama said he was going to change the way Washington works. Really? Washington has swallowed him whole. Yeah, I know you've said some things like this but you are all over the map on Obama. What I am writing about is your glowing praise of his SOTUS. I'm sorry to say this but you are starting to sound like that little techie kiss ass over at Daily KOs and all of his yuppie apparatchiks. Obama and they all ought to get an award for stealing defeat from the jaws of victory! I'm still trying to figure out how they managed the worst off year election results in seventy years after two terms of "W." Amazing! That is quite an accomplishment.

So when Obama talks about his great accomplishments he really ought to bring this up instead and how he managed to piss off the people who brought him to the dance or how Eric Holder suppressed the youth vote the week before the elections by saying that he was going to continue his pot raids et. al. after Obama said during his campaign that he was going to stop that too (talk about a place to cut a totally failed program from one end to the other). You don't think that had an effect? When Obama held his "youth town meeting" Friday on You Tube, that's all he heard! Two groups that supported Obama in 2008 did not show up in 2010: progrssives and young people. They couldn't have deflated their 2008 base any better than if they had planned it. Over there at Daily Kos they are saying that Ed Shutlz is dumb for pointing out the Administration's political hackery. What do computer hacks know about public policy anyway? From where I sit after thirty years in the policy arena, they don't know their own butts from first base




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