Daily Topics - Tuesday August 23rd, 2011

The Big Picture "On Air" Questions or Comments for Thom?

Hour One: Exposed..."Businessman Behind Effort To Dismantle Health Care Hints At Campaign Against Federal Banking Regulation" - Lee Fang, Think Progress

Hour Two: As the war on labor continues, AFSCME remembers the legacy of MLK - Lee Saunders, AFSCME

Hour Three: Gun control...U.K. vs. U.S.A. - Jan LaRue, American Civil Rights Union (ACRU)


mathboy's picture
mathboy 8 years 46 weeks ago

I'm glad everyone's okay there in DC. We had a 5.3 earthquake in Colorado this morning, the largest we've had since 1967 (not counting Operation Plowshare). I'm 180 miles from that epicenter, so I didn't feel it.

Claudine's picture
Claudine 8 years 46 weeks ago

Just wanted people to know that we also felt it in NJ. About one minute after I heard thom say he felt it in DC we got it in NJ. No damage

OVtomato 8 years 46 weeks ago

Howdy y'all,
    The Republicans want to raise taxes on the average working American. We have to frame this argument in the best possible light for our side.  The 2010 tax agreement kept the Bush tax cuts in place
and provided for a one year tax holiday by reducing the EMPLOYEE portion of FICA tax by 2% from 6.2% to 4.2% . Many Progressives and President Obama want to exend this tax cut, the Republicans
do not.  They will do anything to stop this extension  --- that is TAX INCREASE ! (just like they argued last December) THIS WILL BE A 35% TAX INCREASE FOR THE AVERAGE AMERICAN  !!!!!!!!!!! 
    But you say it is only a 2% increase. Yes a 2% increase in the tax RATE, but 35% in total federal taxes paid. The facts:
2009 Married couple with 2 children under 18 (ignore state taxes, standard deduction only)
US Median Family Income                $50,303
Standard deduction inc tax paid         $     11
Payroll taxes 7.65 %                         $ 3848
Total Federal Taxes                           $ 3859
(income taxes reduced from $2811 with $800 Making Work pay tax credit, an $1000 child credit x 2)
US Median Family Income                $50,303
Standard deduction inc tax paid         $     11
Payroll taxes 5.65 %                         $ 2842
Total Federal Taxes                           $ 2853
(income taxes reduced from $2811 with $800 Making Work pay tax credit, an $1000 child credit x 2)
US Median Family Income                $50,303
Standard deduction inc tax paid         $     11
Payroll taxes 7.65 %                         $ 3848
Total Federal Taxes                           $ 3859
(income taxes reduced from $2811 with $800 Making Work pay tax credit, an $1000 child credit x 2)
The Republican wants to see the taxes for the AVERAGE (median) FAMILY increase by $1006 ---- A 35% INCREASE IN FEDERAL TAXES  !!!!!!!
Stay away from the language suggesting an end to a tax break, this is nothing more than a tax increase on working Americans !!! (according to the Republican way of looking at things.
        Many on our side are concerned with the effect of this tax holiday on the Social Security Trust Fund.  These folks are buying into the Republicans talking points. Who says SS in in crisis ?
The only reason they think it is in crisis is because they do not want to have to raise general tax revenues to start to redeem the $2.7 TRILLION in the trust fund. Every solution the Republicans
propose just adds to the trust fund and kicks the can down the road so they won't be there when it is time to start paying off these bonds.  A 2% reduction on employee contributions is a
decrease of 2/12.4 % or just under one-sixth.  This means that for each year the tax cut is in place the viability of the trust fund is shortened by less than 2 months !!!  When you take into account the
multiplier effect and the likely increase in economic activity this foreshortening should be somewhat less than 2 months. Raising the age of eligibility does ABSOLUTELY NOTHING for
today's budget problems.  The only thing this will do is erode support for Social Security among younger workers !
There should be no changes to Social Security until most of those bonds have been redeemed, sometime in the 2030's  !!!
For more info read "Cracking the Code" by Thom Hartmann
Another great book and must read for talk show hosts is "Crimes Against Logic"  Exposing the Bogus Arguments of Politicians, Priests, Journalists, and Other Serial Offenders   by Jamie Whyte

sparklekmd's picture
sparklekmd 8 years 46 weeks ago

Btw the caller who told Thom to go into a doorway is WRONG. I'm a teacher in SoCal and we've been told unequivocally to NOT go into a doorway. The door can swing shut & really hurt you. Instead you should crouch under a strong table away from shelves, cupboards, and glass, use one hand to cover the back of your head, the other to hang on to the table, shut your eyes tight, and if you feel like it, tell the earthquake to stop. When the shaking has stopped you should exit the building as soon as it is safe and get to an open area away from trees, power lines, etc.

Also the so-called "triangle of safety" you might hear about in emails doesn't apply to the US. That is safest in countries with substandard building codes. Though if you're in an old brick building that hasn't been retrofitted ....

Sedwin's picture
Sedwin 8 years 46 weeks ago

I was listening to the comments by Jan LaRue regarding the violence in London and I wanted to comment myself. The statement Ms. LaRue made regarding the "fact" that London has a much higher rate of violence and murder than we do (of course she didn't specify which city she was refering to), but this is a simple fact anyone can easily look up on the internet. Why the right wingers make these wildly inaccurate statements constantly when they know anyone can simply prove them wrong is beyond me except that I assume they know that their primary audience will simply take them at their word without checking the facts because they don't want to believe any different.

The truth is, according to the FBI statistics, the homicide rate in the U.S. is approximately five times that of western Europe and has been so for the last eight decades. Violent crime also is much higher. There has been an effort to manipulate these statistics (as usual) by using inaccurate comparisons that using models with different population numbers, infanticide, assisted suicide, and euthanasia numbers. In other words, simply manipulating data when they get caught misquoting statistics.

The key point is, as always, check the facts. Unfortunately, the right wing talkers are notorious for making up statistics to make their point, and it has become so commonplace within our mainstream media that most don't even question these people on their facts anymore and as such their claims get more and more outrageous.

Maxrot's picture
Maxrot 8 years 46 weeks ago

Actually as I understand it, if frac'ing is causing earthquakes, that woulnd't necessarily be a bad thing. If frac'ing did cause the earthquake in DC, in fact it didn't create the cause, it only triggered the symptom, and in the case of earthquakes, its better to have them happen happen more often than to build up to a humongous one. Fact of the matter is, it's not a matter of if an earthquake is going to hit, it is only a matter of when, and its better to have 3 or 4 that registers at around 5.0 or 6.0 than it is to have one that hits 7.0 or 8.0 or worse.

Though that being said, I still can't support frac'ing, pumping poisonous chemicals into the ground, and ground water = really bad idea.


tim4change's picture
tim4change 8 years 46 weeks ago

Thom - you speculated regarding the earthquake and its possible causes, including heavy rains increasing groundwater and hydraulic pressures. In the 1960s a USGS geologist named David Evans showed that earthquakes in the Denver area which had increased greatly were caused by the Rocky Flats Nuclear Facility, which sits a few miles NW of Denver. They had been pumping wastewater from the plant deep into the Golden Fault, which runs along the Front Range. This actually lubricated the fault and this led to swarms of small to mid-sized earthquakes. These quakes subsided after they stopped allowing the wastewater to be pumped in the ground.
It would be interesting to see if geo-hydraulic engineers are doing studies right now on acquifer pressures. You could be right!

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