Daily Topics - Wednesday January 26th, 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."

What is the real state of our union?

Hour Two: Congressman Peter DeFazio (D-OR) - http://defazio.house.gov / Plus, The Nation's Ari Berman - www.thenation.com


Pretzelogic in Philly PA's picture
Pretzelogic in ... 12 years 8 weeks ago

I know using the nukes on Nam was a proposal in the Goldwater campaign... not sure about which, if any, sitting Presidents were serious about that.

charell's picture
charell 12 years 8 weeks ago

Nixon wanted to nuke Viet Nam

It was Henry Kissinger who talked him out of it... because it would be bad PR.

The audio of that conversation between Nixon and Kissinger is in the film, "The Most Dangerous Man in America", the documentary about Daniel Ellsberg.

WendyBluEyez's picture
WendyBluEyez 12 years 8 weeks ago

Thom, would it be possible for you and your team to create a graphic illustrating the point you just made about Paul Ryan's tax plan? Maybe a chart or something that we could use when we talk to the NeoCons.

Maxrot's picture
Maxrot 12 years 8 weeks ago

Why bother talking to neocons, its a huge waste of time, instead focus on finding and talking to the undecided/uninformed voter. Apparently there's a helluva a lot of them out there, and they're not as likely to stubbornly stick their fingers in the their ears chanting "Neener neener neener I can't hear you!"


WendyBluEyez's picture
WendyBluEyez 12 years 8 weeks ago

Maxrot, we have to talk to them. I know many "low information" people who vote Republican and have NO IDEA what they're doing to themselves and to this country. If we can make them understand what they are truly supporting with their one vote, the light just might come on for some of them.

DRichards's picture
DRichards 12 years 8 weeks ago

Re: Tom's Remark that Independents are low information voters

I would argue that point. I used to be a Democrat, now I am an Independent. You may regard me as a low information voter because I took off my rose colored glasses & left the party, but that does not necessarily make it so. My belief is that as long as you are going to vote for the "lessor" of the two evils, then the Democrats have no need to listen to you. Why would they, you are going to vote for them regardless!

Maxrot's picture
Maxrot 12 years 8 weeks ago

Well Wendy, I suppose you and I have different definitions of a NeoCon then. I figure a NeoCon is a someone who is politically minded and bought into the extreme rights' platform, whereas I view "low information" people as those who are not all that interested in politics and therefore not informed, they may vote for Republican't or Democratic candidates, but just out of an emotional response.

But it comes down to this, you can't change the mind of someone who refuses to have it changed. You will spend a lot of energy and time, and risk frustration and collapse of morale. Focus on educating those who are not informed. By all means engage in discussion with someone who thinks the Republican'ts are the way to go, and see if they are ardent supporters, or just misinformed. If their ardent, then let it go, you'll only find that you are an unstoppable force encountering an unmovable object. In the end, nothing will be accomplished there. Its time and energy that can be spent on minds that can be swayed.

Take the parable that Jesus presented about a farmer that was sowing seeds. Some seeds fell on rock, and would not grow, some fell in thorns and weeds, and was choked off, and some fell in fertile ground and flourished. Now the farmer didn't waste all his time trying to break up the rocks, or clear the thorns and weeds, no he happily harvested the plants from the fertile ground. Now I don't mean to get all Christian preachy on ya, its just a well know parable, and in this case it seems to apply aptly. (BTW, I'm sure there are others on this site that can give you a more precise re-reading of the parable from the New Testament, but I figured the point of it is clear enough without the verbatim recount of it).

So in short, I'm not disagreeing with you, I'm just trying to point out a more effective way to inform the ignorant, focus on the ones that have open ears and minds. Pick the low hanging fruit first so to speak.


mathboy's picture
mathboy 12 years 8 weeks ago

Why does the government have to pass a budget every year? The constitution limits military expenditures to 2 years because of the idea that expenditures can be made for longer. So why do they go through the motions of renewing everything every year? The budget should be a matter of law that doesn't change until a bill is passed to do so. Then programs wouldn't alternate in funding.

WendyBluEyez's picture
WendyBluEyez 12 years 8 weeks ago

Maxrot, point taken. Perhaps "NeoCon" wasn't the appropriate term for my comment. Thank you for the parable and I understand the point you're trying to make. However, I suspect I will continue to beat my head against the wall at times in the hope of reaching those that will listen. It's my stubborn nature. =)

Maxrot's picture
Maxrot 12 years 8 weeks ago

Well indeed Wendy, definitely attempt to find those that will listen. Not trying to disuade you from such a noble cause, and in fact I encourage it. I just don't want you or any other progressive to wear themselves out on entrenched minds, when they can far more easily work with open minds. BTW I also second your call for information that is clear and useful in such endeavors.


charell's picture
charell 12 years 8 weeks ago

Nicole "Stoneleigh" Foss

Thom, PLEASE have Nicole Foss as a guest on your show!

I recently saw her sobering and intelligent film: "Stoneleigh's A Century of Challenges"

I HIGHLY recommend watching A CENTURY OF CHALLENGES for anyone who is able to sit through an 80 minute power point lecture on the energy and economy. Nicole Foss presents many denial-smashing realities about converging phenomena that threaten to sink our age of prosperity. She warns that most people are woefully unprepared to face the consequences of the devastating deflation that is now unfolding.

Carolyn Baker writes at: http://www.countercurrents.org/baker021110.htm
"Her online presentation 'A Century of Challenges' is a must-watch, complete with Powerpoint slides which de-mystify the world of finance that often leaves our heads spinning and our eyes glazed."

Nicole M. Foss is an energy industry consultant and financial analyst from Ontario, Canada. She blogs at http://theautomaticearth.blogspot.com 

A CENTURY OF CHALLENGES can be ordered as an interactive DVD or it can be viewed online.

mathboy's picture
mathboy 12 years 8 weeks ago

Go for it, Wendy. Erosion will turn those rocks into soil eventually.

WendyBluEyez's picture
WendyBluEyez 12 years 8 weeks ago

LOL Thanks for the encouragement, mathboy! But put that way - it sounds like a lot of hard work!

WendyBluEyez's picture
WendyBluEyez 12 years 8 weeks ago

Michelle "Bat Sh*t Crazy" Bachmann

mathboy's picture
mathboy 12 years 8 weeks ago

Thom, you have to pay attention to the difference between "is" and "could". Ben Stein said Obama could run as a Republican. Also--and as a radio host you're not alone in this--you need to watch out for overuse of pronouns. When you switch between using "he" for both Obama and Boehner several times in one sentence you can easily confuse the listeners.

Maxrot's picture
Maxrot 12 years 8 weeks ago

Any who, I also wanted to make this point about Obama's speech. I'm getting a bit tired of the education is important mantra spewed forth by our political leaders. I'm not saying that education isn't important, but if you listen closely to how Obama framed it, it comes down to this, if you don't at least have a college education, screw you. Now perhaps that's not how he wants it to sound, and yes perhaps he's trying to encourage the American youth to strive for more. But lets get back to reality here, even if every American became a Lawyer, Doctor, Engineer, IT Professional etc... with at least a Masters Degree level, that doesn't do a damn thing to ensure they have a LIVING WAGE JOB!!!

Second so what if some Americans choose to end their education after high school. Maybe, just maybe, some of them really don't have aspirations of having a corner office with a solid oak desk, maybe they'd be happy with a job that puts food on their table, and pays for the god damn table in the first place. Is that too much to ask? Sure it would be wonderful to have a nation of citizens with nothing but a higher education, I'm sure your local garbage man would be happy to have a PhD in refuse collection but still be paid a garbage man's wages. I'm certain factory workers would find a Masters in assembly line mechanics very honorable as they get an average of $.50/unit produced. Its a bunch of crapola that education will save our country. Jobs will save our country, and I don't think you'll need much more than a High School education to swing a sledge hammer, poor cement and lay rail for a high speed interstate railway, nor will such an education be pivotal while working in the factory that produces the sledge hammers, cement and rails. I don't think you'll need to have an engineering degree to assemble solar panels and wind generators, sure its helpful when designing them, but I don't foresee an army of engineers installing them either.

There's a lot more to the economic backbone of the country besides the administration office at any company.


gerald's picture
gerald 12 years 8 weeks ago

I am an Independent and I am proud of it!!! I oppose abortion because such a procedure is a dastardly act. I believe in a strong defense that is prudent in the defense of our country. I have been a union member but I have some issues with unions. Yes, they did help to bring about our middle class. There are reasons why the unions are at a 7 or 9 % base. I do not give up my vote for any particular party - such as right or wrong I am still a Democrat or a Republican. An old fashion Republican would whip a Democrat's ass. Current Republicans are certifiable psychos. I am not from Missouri but I believe in the Missouri modal - SHOW ME.!!!

jerfein's picture
jerfein 12 years 8 weeks ago

Can someone please let me know the bumper song from today's radio broadcast (Wed, Jan 26 2011)? Bumper music is the music that leads after a commercial break (before Thom starts talking). In particular, I'm referring to the Chicago-style instrumental horn song. It's great. Thanks in advance for any help.

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