Daily Topics - Monday January 24th, 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."

Hour One: Has our government become a captive of "Big Business?"

Hour Two: Social Security...are people under 50 screwed? Nicki Kurokawa, Senior Analyst-Independent Women's Forum - www.iwf.org - Plus, Nurses urge President Obama to stand up for secure retirement - Jean Ross, Co-President-National Nurses United - www.nationalnursesunited.org

Hour Three: Will Vermont become the first state to outlaw corporate personhood? Vermont State Senator Virginia Lyons - www.leg.state.vt.us/


harry ashburn 9 years 4 weeks ago

HOur `1: yes.

Hour 2 no.

HOur 3 yes.

Ron Cline's picture
Ron Cline 9 years 4 weeks ago

"cash for geezers"...

I think this may need to be coupled with an opt-in at reduced age for Medicare in order to get a significant response. I'm 62 and would retire but have a wife at 57 who, though in good health, has a pre-existing condition record that makes insurance prohibitive. I will keep working until that can be fixed, no matter what Social Security options are available.

cmoore68's picture
cmoore68 9 years 4 weeks ago

On SS, why not eliminate the employer tax for self employed workers?

mathboy's picture
mathboy 9 years 4 weeks ago

Of course Social Security is socialist, but so is private insurance. That how insurance works. You pay into a pool according to your abilities, and withdraw from the pool according to your needs. Whether it's run by the government makes no difference.

mathboy's picture
mathboy 9 years 4 weeks ago

The COLA thing is interesting. I've partially designed a tax system for individuals where everyone takes tax deductions for food, clothing, shelter, transportation, education and medicine. That's it. Any thing else is non-essential.

Video games and other forms of entertainment aren't a cost of living; they're a cost of luxury. (I'm still playing my 8-bit Nintendo from 1986.)

iandc 9 years 4 weeks ago

Beyond amazing to me that people don't understand the idea of social security; I guess they want to roll in their limos by the miles of poor standing by burn barrells on the streets, rubbing their hands together in the flames. Survival of the fittest, does that mean?

The rest of the Developed, Civilised world has pretty much done social security 60 or 70 years ago, as well as public health care.

It works

speedbird9's picture
speedbird9 9 years 4 weeks ago

Those 1,000 Civil Servants tend to spend their money within the community they live in. The scum-sucking millionaire and billionaires tend to stash their ill-gotten gains in Swiss and other foreign banks skimming interest and leaving the rest of us holding the bag.

gerald's picture
gerald 9 years 4 weeks ago

January 24, 2011

Equality Trust and the remedies!


I truly believe that the inequality in income is an orchestrated, planned, and strategic effort by the conservatives, the American corporations, the American government, and the American rich to kill off as many Americans as possible in a country that I call the United States of Mortal Sin.

gerald's picture
gerald 9 years 4 weeks ago

January 24, 2011

Here is my mini formula for justice and peace in the world.

Read Matthew 25:31-46! When you do it to the least of my brethren, you do it for me.

Read Matthew 5:1-12! The beatitudes!

Read Luke 10:25-37! Who is my neighbor?

Read Luke 12:13-21! These verses warn us against greed.

Read the Psalms in the Bible because they offer us hope.

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

If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other. – Mother Teresa

St. Ambrose says, “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.”

We must practice the Golden Rule. “Do unto others as you would want them to do unto you.”

We must also follow and practice the Eleventh Commandment that Jesus gave to you and me at the Last Supper. “Love one another as I have loved you.”

As a side note let me share some additional information!

January 22, 2011 was confirmation for fifty-three students. The monsignor had the Liturgy of the Eucharist. He gave a great homily. He said that he has tried to come up with a word for each confirmation class so the students can remember it for some future time. The word that he had chosen was “click.” With a car having seatbelts and they are necessary the driver clicks on the seatbelts. Or, when people meet and they may click. There are times when thoughts come to us and they click in the person’s mind.

As I sat listening to the homily, a thought clicked. Why is it that our politicians, our government officials, and our citizens cannot understand we are all God’s children? Everything on this planet is a gift from God and He wants for His children to share in His gifts. Will it ever click upon our world leaders that wars are outmoded and they serve no positive purpose? Wars create more problems than they resolve these problems. Will it click in our minds that maturity is needed in resolving problems?

In our church’s newsletter we had these words. A Supreme Court justice who does not grieve over the plight of Americans will consistently find ingenious reasons not to support efforts to relieve their pain. Economists and social theorists who are not affectively moved by poverty will offer dazzling rationalizations for the very conditions that foment and sustain poverty.

The root causes that threaten us with disaster are in the heart and not in the head. More precisely the problems are a disembodied, technological intelligence that is devoid of an affective awareness of our actual environment and its value. If we do not care enough about people born and to be born, if we do not prize the earth enough to preserve its miracle, there is no hope for it or us.

The world will change when we begin to ache with the heart of God and not before. I believe we need a heart transplant for most of the church and most of the United States.

gerald's picture
gerald 9 years 4 weeks ago
gerald's picture
gerald 9 years 4 weeks ago

January 24, 2011

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 of Mortal Sin. 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 of Mortal Sin’s 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?”

Now that Keith Olbermann is history, the next target for history by the fascist-Nazi groups in the United States of Mortal Sin is the really Big Enchilada, Thom Hartmann, after Hartmann will be Rachel Maddow. Progressive radio will be history with the election of Jeb Bush as president on January 20, 2013. January 20, 2013 will be the starting date for Americans to wallow in the abyss of a natural hell until they enter their manifest destiny of a supernatural hell.

gerald's picture
gerald 9 years 4 weeks ago

January 24, 2011


The 30-inch burrito story came from the Yahoo News Service. Yahoo did not mention whether or not the burrito was an all bean burrito. An all bean burrito would have put the burrito in the WMD category.

In fact the all bean burrito may be our answer to an alternative energy source. When people eat the all bean burrito, the gaseous emissions from our human bodies may offer an important research project to keep Americans away from their gluttonous and voracious appetite for oil that places our country in a constant war mode.

It is my understanding that Cheney and his band of goons and thugs have now a patent on caked animal and human dung that can be used as an alternative fuel source for Americans in northern states. The sale of caked animal and human dung should be on the shelves before the winter months commence. An insider says that the hold-up for announcing the sale has to do with the settled price for the sale of this dung. The insider also says that the settled price for caked animal and human dung will qualify Cheney and his band of goons and thugs for the “Golden Fleece Award.”

gerald's picture
gerald 9 years 4 weeks ago

The caked or hardened animal and human dung can be used as heating fuel during the winter months. Nothing would be wasted. For example, the food we have eaten would be nutrition for our bodies. The food leaving our bowels would offer us a delightful experience in taking a crap. The saved human dung would be caked and stored for our heating fuel during the winter months. We would be returning beauty to our planet.

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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