Our nation is in trouble when Rand Paul is the voice of reason!

After almost 13 hours of a real-live talking filibuster, at 1am Senator Rand Paul yielded the floor to Senator Dick Durbin. Senator Paul started speaking before noon on Wednesday, blocking the confirmation of John Brennan to CIA Director. The filibuster was a response to Attorney General Eric Holder's statement, that the President is authorized under the Constitution to use drones against Americans within our borders.

During the speech, leaders from both sides of the isle joined Paul's opposition to the drone policy. Democratic Senators Ron Wyden and Dick Durbin came to the floor to support the filibuster, along with Republicans Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Mike Lee, and Jerry Moran. In total, Rand Paul spoke for over 12 hours demanding Holder issue a statement saying unmanned aircraft would not be used to kill US citizens in our nation.

When the filibuster came to an end, at about 1 am, Senator Paul said he had not gotten a response from the Attorney General. It's not often we agree with Rand Paul, but his anger over the violation of our Constitutional right of due process is definitely justified. It's not up to the President to play judge, jury, and executioner of anyone in our nation, let alone a US Citizen. In fact, we shouldn't be using drones against anyone, in any nation.

We're supposed to be the Land of the Free, and the Home of the Brave, but as long as the drone program is in place, we are neither.


Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 11 years 15 weeks ago

Definitely agree on this one in total! Except, to be a little picky...sorry...but 'yeilded' should be spelled 'yielded'. (i before e, except after c) I know, no one is purrrrfect (perfect)!

The DOJ, ie: Attorney General Eric Holder, is a wimp when it comes to prosecuting really big criminals in our banking system but a real tiger when it comes to prosecuting someone like Aaron Swartz. How can you say Chicken Sh1t any better than Eric Holder and the entire Obama administration? They go after whistleblowers and truthseekers but they let the real scumbag criminals get away with anything and everything all the while pretending to be on 'our' side. (I know, I misspelled a word or two)

JLC's picture
JLC 11 years 15 weeks ago

Thom - - You mentioned economist James Galbraith the other day. He would be a great guest to have on. Here he is explaining, in his inimitable way, why Wall Street hates federal budget deficits:

“To put things crudely, there are two ways to get the increase in total spending that we call “economic growth.” One way is for government to spend. The other is for banks to lend. Leaving aside short-term adjustments like increased net exports or financial innovation, that’s basically all there is. Governments and banks are the two entities with the power to create something from nothing. If total spending power is to grow, one or the other of these two great financial motors–public deficits or private loans–has to be in action.

"For ordinary people, public budget deficits, despite their bad reputation, are much better than private loans. Deficits put money in private pockets. Private households get more cash. They own that cash free and clear, and they can spend it as they like. If they wish, they can also convert it into interest-earning government bonds or they can repay their debts. This is called an increase in “net financial wealth.” Ordinary people benefit, but there is nothing in it for banks.

"And this, in the simplest terms, explains the deficit phobia of Wall Street, the corporate media and the right-wing economists. Bankers don’t like budget deficits because they compete with bank loans as a source of growth. When a bank makes a loan, cash balances in private hands also go up. But now the cash is not owned free and clear. There is a contractual obligation to pay interest and to repay principal. If the enterprise defaults, there may be an asset left over–a house or factory or company–that will then become the property of the bank. It’s easy to see why bankers love private credit but hate public deficits.

"All of this should be painfully obvious, but it is deeply obscure. It is obscure because legions of Wall Streeters–led notably in our time by Peter Peterson and his front man, former comptroller general David Walker, and including the Robert Rubin wing of the Democratic Party and numerous “bipartisan” enterprises like the Concord Coalition and the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget–have labored mightily to confuse the issues.”

Michael Hudson makes a very similar point here:

“Mr. Obama’s first fallacy is that the government budget is like a family budget. But families can’t write IOUs and have the rest of the world treat it as money. . . . . . [E]conomies need government money to grow – and this money is provided by running federal budget deficits. This has been the essence of Keynesian counter-cyclical spending for more than half a century. Until the present, it was Democratic Party policy.

"It’s true that Pres. Clinton ran a budget surplus. The economy survived by the commercial banking system supplying the credit needed to grow – at interest. To force the economy back into this reliance on Wall Street rather than on government, the government needs to stop running budget deficits. The economy will then have a choice: to shrink sharply, or to turn almost all the economic surplus over to banks as economic rent on their credit-creation privilege. . . . . The reality is that running a budget surplus would increase interest rates, by forcing the economy into captivity to the banking system.”

And then there is Prof. Galbraith’s excoriating testimony before the Commission on Deficit Reduction back in 2010 found here, which is well worth the read (particularly section 5 and section 9): http://www.nextnewdeal.net/sites/default/files/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/deficitcommissionrv.pdf

SysBanana's picture
SysBanana 11 years 15 weeks ago

Dear JLC,

Wow. Thanks so much for posting these quotes! I'm just beginning to look into MMT (modern monetary theory), and you've provided a great frame for my inquiry, from what I know to be reputable sources (exception: not familiar with Michael Hudson as yet), while answering a question that's long been on my mind. I'm not an economist by training -- I'm a physical therapist -- and you've just kindly provided me avoidance of what I'm pretty sure would have been a long series of nasty brain blow-outs. Ever since the financial crisis of 2007, when conventional economic pundits started feeding us this garbage about how it's all too arcane for us to understand, I've felt that had to be a lie perpetrated by those who of themselves either did not understand what underlies the issues, or, had a vested interest in keeping the facts hidden. Most problems are simple enough when distilled to their essential elements, and explained by those with a sincere desire to educate. Simple enough for most, with open minds, to understand. Now, on to your links.

All the best to you, JLC... (and Power to People of Integrity)! Keep on keeping on...

bobcox's picture
bobcox 11 years 15 weeks ago

What happened to posse comitatis?

BMetcalfe's picture
BMetcalfe 11 years 15 weeks ago

Even a stopped clock is right, twice a day... I usually don't agree with Ron Paul's interpretation of the Constitution, but I have to say... I'd hate for any voicing of my disagreements with any political figure to result in a drone attack on my neighborhood, my home, or any other innocents around me at the time.

Osterstock 11 years 15 weeks ago

Regarding drones, the genie is out of the bottle. Drones are here to stay. They're cheaper to make, operate, and maintain than manned aircraft. More important, they don't place a human pilot in harm's way. Having said that, it's time now for public debate about the role of drones in US policies, both military and civilian. I consider most of Senator Paul's views to be ill-informed and off-base, but on this issue, he's on the right track. I, too, was dismayed by A.G. Holder's comments regarding domestic drone usage. We must develop policies and legislation, as needed, to make certain that this remarkable technology is used to benefit Americans, not to harm them.

dhcases's picture
dhcases 11 years 15 weeks ago

try getting a civil trial if you have no money. In calif. you must pay a filing fee and also a $150 jury fee or waive it. victim taxation I calls it. Arggh. Then, every motion filed by the defense gets you a four month delay in many counties. terrible. two years to get to court recently on a PRIORITY case.

More importantly as to Washington: when you mix a cocktail of scalia, holder, obama and indifference, it gives you an acid that burns away the Bill of Rights. And people go right on watching stupid-ass tv shows (I should say "numb-ass") that pitch to our lowest common denominators. GET OFF YOUR ASS AND INTO THE STREETS TO PROTEST.

akunard's picture
akunard 11 years 15 weeks ago

John Kenneth Galbraith a socialist economist ran to England where he helped screw up their health and economic system. He lived out his life basking in the warm embrace of socialim but somewhat sad that the U.S. did not buy into his brand of BS! We have now seen the light and are in a rapid slide into Greek style economic and finance hell.

mycharley 11 years 15 weeks ago

Somehow this drone policy, overseas, here, makes me tired. It is so wrong. I can't even believe we have to have a discussion on this.

Not only posse comitatis but what happened to the idea that violating a sovereign nation's airspace and dropping bombs or missiles on that nation's citizens, killing and injuring them is an act of war?

Something is rotten in DC.

stecoop01's picture
stecoop01 11 years 15 weeks ago

Why are we pretending the Constitution still matters? Washington politicos have spit on it so much, the ink has been washed off of it.

I wonder what this country is going to look like after the coming revolution? (It's coming...no doubt about that.)

bingo65's picture
bingo65 11 years 15 weeks ago

Hi Thom. This is my first comment, but I had to chime in on the drones. You are right to be concerned . However, here in the South we have A LOT of anti-government types who are armed to the teeth, have extensive bunker complexes underneath their extensive McMansions. Law enforcement cautions that they are very, very dangerous. These people want another Civil War and will do "whatever it takes" to foment one. They think they are God's chosen people who are supposed to reign and rule over the rest of us. I would hope there is a drone hovering over each and every one of them, because if there isn't we will be the target. In a perfect world your comment that the courts ought to deal with people like this is right on, but they own the courts here. And I would not be surprised if they own drones. A decent person can not imagine what they are capable of. And someone has to push back against them. That is where our government comes in. Anything can be abused and misused. We all need to watch, but we must also realize that there is a lot going on that we do not completely understand.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 11 years 15 weeks ago

It is cause for deep concern indeed. I sensed it coming the other night when almost everyone on this blog agreed with each other on budget cuts. It was solemn foreshadow of things to come.

Now Republicans and Democrats on the floor of Congress agree to filibuster--the hard way--on a human rights issue against a nominee of a Democratic President? Now if that isn't a sign of the Apocalypse, I don't know what is.

I must say, current events are getting creepier exponentially. Stay tuned. I sense something is about to hit the fan; and, it ain't S(Grits).

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 11 years 15 weeks ago

bingo65 ~ Your fears are understood; but, your logic is flawed and irrational. If you surrender your constitutional rights to Government you create an entity much worse than anything you described. There are laws--federal if not local--and due process that can deal with all the issues you have mentioned. There is no private Army that can match the federal Army. Look at what happened to David Koresh and his followers. Not necessarily due process, but an example of what may follow when a search warrant legally obtained gets challenged. You have nothing to fear but fear itself bingo65.

leonardk's picture
leonardk 11 years 15 weeks ago

hi thom i called in about the post office. check amazon.com reader reviews for a quick idea about the book" mobbing" also worker abuse was much more informative and helpful on that subject and directly refers to the post office as an autocratic crappy place(my words). i felt that the shooter in that real documentary movie (murder by proxy) and I were treated the same, i wish it was'nt true. i wish you could give some airtime to the subject. thanks

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 11 years 15 weeks ago

Bingo65: The "anti-government types" you refer to didn't just crawl out of bed one morning and decide to hate our democracy. Someone had to program them. That someone would be Fox using guys like Beck and Limpbaugh. This fomentation of domestic enemy combatants goes way beyond our First Amendment rights....it's TREASON. So why do they do it? This hate your government sentiment is a strategy. It's being used by a few billionaires who have employed the media and Teapublican Party as their vehicles of mass obstruction and distraction. This keeps attention off their looting of what's left of our wealth.

Unfortunately Holder and Rand just put an extra sail on this mass distraction of fear and hate. Not only is Obama going to take your guns, now he's also going to kill you with a drone.

ken ware's picture
ken ware 11 years 15 weeks ago

Aliceinwonderland - (from Mar. 4th) My point was that the President and his cohorts in Congress helped to design the Sequestration Bill and therefore were just as responsible as the Republican puppets that agreed to push this B.S. through Congress. Do you really believe in this phony in the Whitehouse? The Sequestration is nothing short of an Austerity program that he and the Dem.'s supported. Why would anyone support an instrument that is designed to cut the poor and middleclass off from essential help that the government can only supply?

HalFonts's picture
HalFonts 11 years 15 weeks ago

Some how I sense a sense of total naivety among my "liberal" friends. Not all victims of normal governmental force are "innocent victims or non-citizens with full constitutional rights."

Do we not authorize SWAT teams, police and other officials the "right" (license) to use lethal-force in certain domestic situations? Hey, it happens. It's messy, but sometimes legal lethal-force is authorized (and/or justifiable) and used legally. (ie: Shit-happens in the real world). So what's the difference if it comes from a SWAT team-member's pistol, rifle, or drone?

To categorically dismiss any use of "drones" in every future domestic situation is utterly naive and stupid. We need an intelligent policy debate and rational realistic policies, not overly simplistic all-or-nothing babble from either extreme Left or Right.

Similarly I've been thinking lately, that before we jump to condemn Syria's President Assad for using lethal force against his own citizens (thereby certifying his own illegitimacy to my mind); we should remember that the US under President Lincoln, waged our bloodiest war (750,000 dead), including Sherman's final march of destruction, against the seceding (US) Confederacy. Yes, I understand an argument that by succeeding, they gave-up their (US) citizen rights -- but did they?

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 11 years 15 weeks ago

Ken Ware ~ Again you are spot on. Although I doubt President Obama dreamed up this fiasco himself. Don't give him too much credit. If you ask me the whole scheme was dreamed up behind the scenes by the Banksters and handed to the two parties via scripts. They are dying to run the financial market game like a bunch of loan sharks. They want to transfer the national debt from the Government to us; and, then foreclose on all our property--turning us into a nation of paupers.

All these Politicians are is just a bunch of bought and paid for, well dressed, puppets. What we need to do is cut the strings with Campaign Finance Reform. That's where we should be focused.

ken ware's picture
ken ware 11 years 15 weeks ago

If anyone believes the motives from anyone in Washington are for the benefit of the Union and not for themselves, you are really losing it between the ears my friends. These people are the most corrupt and uncaring bunch of political leaches that our country has ever created in our short history as a nation. Personally, I would love to read tomorrow morning that Washington has been erased from the face of the Earth, whether it is by a terrorist act or an act from a benevolent deity, I would rejoice in the news. I hold only contempt for these scumbags that have the brass balls to call themselves people who care about our nation and our people. May they all be damned in the fires of hell or something comparable. As if they really care what happens to anyone but themselves and their own interests! Does anyone really believe Paul really gives a damn about anything except being the next scum sucker in the Whitehouse? These guys and gals would sell their mothers into sex slavery for a chance to be the next president of this corrupt political system. I believe it is easy to see how I view our politicians and their motives. I am not angry, just truthful and have the brass to state how I see these bastards and the illiterate voters who have given them the power of life and death over our social safety nets. We deserve what is about to happen to our country...K.W.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 11 years 15 weeks ago

Halfonts Wrote: "To categorically dismiss any use of "drones" in every future domestic situation is utterly naive and stupid."

Then call me "Stupid" Halfonts because you are wrong. SWAT teams are used in a deadly situation as a last resort when the police are confronted with heavily armed criminals or hostages. BLOODY CRIMES ARE ALREADY IN PROGRESS!

No one sends a SWAT team in to a situation where a crime is suspected. Everyone is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. We have due process for a reason--to protect the innocent. That is why search warrants and arrest warrants must be granted by a judge who has concluded that there is probable cause. Then you serve the warrant. If the suspect cooperates you have a trial to prove guilt. If they challenge the warrant, then you call SWAT.

Bypassing a judges screwtiny and sending in SWAT on the word of one man is a worse crime than anything a criminal can commit. However, firing a rocket at that suspect and killing him, everyone around him, and his neighbors is absolute insanity. If I'm "naive" and "Stupid" for believing that my friend, you are flat out "insane."

HalFonts's picture
HalFonts 11 years 15 weeks ago

DAnneMarc #12,

If I stand with a pistol to someone's head, or my hand on a bomb-detonator in a crowded place, I have effectively "surrendered my constitutional rights to Government." Whether a warrant is issued by a judge, or existing police procedures are followed, I stand to lose all rights including "Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.

Your other points and those of bingo65 are all well taken -- these are complex (not simple) topics.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 11 years 15 weeks ago

Ken Ware Wrote ~ "I would love to read tomorrow morning that Washington has been erased from the face of the Earth, whether it is by a terrorist act or an act from a benevolent deity, I would rejoice in the news."

Sadly, my friend, you are not alone. I feel the same way and so do many people I know. One of my oldest and dearest friends put it this way, "This place needs an Enema!" A very sorry state of affairs, indeed!

HalFonts's picture
HalFonts 11 years 15 weeks ago

Reread my post. I never said to "USE drones in ALL situations." I said "To categorically DISMISS ANY USE of "drones" in EVERY future domestic situation is utterly naive and stupid." Words matter. You obviously agree that in certain situations, the use of lethal force is already authorized.

Eric Holder wrote Ron Paul (March 7, 2013): "It has come to my attention that you have asked an additional question: " Does the President have the authority to use a weaponized drone to kill an American citizen not engaged in combat on American soil?" The answer to that question is no."

I can easilly envision normally "legal" police (civil-hostage) actions, where that self-limitation would be naive and stupid -- Ie: would not exist or would be ignored. I presume that individual police officers, officials and even individual citizens already have the authority to exert such lethal force in some such extreme situations -- irrespective of Eric Holder's poorly thought-out all-or-nothing statement.

MMmmNACHOS's picture
MMmmNACHOS 11 years 15 weeks ago

KEN WARE wrote; "We deserve what is about to happen to our country".

Even you Ken??? Why do you deserve what is about to happen??? More so, why do I deserve what is about to happen?
Just because I am a U.S. Citizen does not mean I agree with the policies or actions of this government. In fact I DO NOT support this country in any of its endevours that propagates war and paranoia, kills hundreds of millions of innocent people; here and overseas, props up murderous Governments, illegally occupies other soverning nations, or condems its elderly, sick, and poor as beasts' of burdon.
I am not in anyway as a U.S. citizen obligated to support a government that is destructive of the principles that this country was founded on; The EQUAL RIGHT to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. It's EVERY Americans duty to stand up and alter or abolish our government when it becomes destructive of those ends.
When injustice becomes law...Resitance is our duty.

"Obedience to government is the sign of a Totalitarian State". H Zinn

Now if you are saying that I - as well as 300+million other Americans - are about 50+ years tardy to the battle field, I would say I agree...Then again I am only 41 years old; My fight didn't start until 24 years ago.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 11 years 15 weeks ago

HalFonts ~ Your reply is also well taken. A CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER is what I believe you mean. Like I said before its fine to fight fire with fire. But when you only suspect a crime might be committed in the future, drones, are not acceptable ever. Don't get me wrong. They are fine for surveillance. No problem! Firing rockets. Big problem!! SWAT is effective in such situations because they use sharp shooters with pin point accuracy. Rockets aren't accurate! They are indiscriminate! They miss! They are more dangerous than the criminals. They cause serious collateral damage.

That is unacceptable in any domestic situation.

You can't use a rocket in a hostage situation without killing all the hostages. You can't use a rocket in a gun battle/barricade situation because you destroy all surrounding property. The only good a rocket and drone does is to indiscriminately kill innocent people. That's right, innocent. Anyone killed for suspicion of a crime and denied due process is by law innocent. So are all the collateral victims. INNOCENT! The overall effect of this course of action. Institutionalized, official terrorism. Every law abiding citizen is terrorized by the Government because they never know if they, or their NEIGHBOR is being suspected of doing anything someone in the Government feels is a threat.

The bottom line: If you want to live in a Tyranny where you, your family, and your friends have to live in constant fear that you might ever be targeted by the Government --or happen to be near a target at the wrong time--than supports using drones to kill people as a Constitutional power of the President. You risk loosing everything; including any rights to complain about it afterwards. Is that what you wish?

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 11 years 15 weeks ago

Ken Ware says "My point was that the President and his cohorts in Congress helped to design the Sequestration Bill and therefore were just as responsible as the Republican puppets that agreed to push this B.S. through Congress."

Now, THAT I can agree with! Much more specific. As to the question of whether I believe in Obama, the answer is no; at this point I don't have much faith left in our president. And if there's one thing you and I are in lockstep about, Ken, it's Sequestration & Austerity. You don't have to convince me what a cruel hoax it is. I am in total agreement with your assessment of all that.

Relax! - Aliceinwonderland

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 11 years 15 weeks ago

"akunard" has said: "We have now seen the light and are in a rapid slide into Greek style economic and finance hell." And you're blaming socialism?! Don't make me laugh. - Alice I.W.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 11 years 15 weeks ago

Osterstock says, regarding drones: "We must develop policies and legislation, as needed, to make certain that this remarkable technology is used to benefit Americans, not to harm them."

I think your are naieve to assume that we stand to benefit, in any way, from such instruments of evil; especially in times like these, where deregulation is the theme of the day! Where you see a genie released from a bottle, I see Pandora's box blown wide open. Only a tyrannical regime would be inclined to develop and utilize anything this grotesque. - Alice I.W.

ghostlly's picture
ghostlly 11 years 15 weeks ago

Where is the anti-war left that was calling out all the war crimes against Bush? What about all the war crimes that Obama has done.

HalFonts's picture
HalFonts 11 years 15 weeks ago

@ghostly: The anti-war Left has been ragging about The Obama Administration constantly -- almost as critical as the rabid-Right. Where have you been? Sipping Tea?

HalFonts's picture
HalFonts 11 years 15 weeks ago

Drones have many research uses, far beyond police and military weaponry. I believe drone camera platforms are already in use in uppercanopy habitat forest ecology research. Should be a simple search.

Folks, not all "DRONES" carry "ROCKETS." Drones are simply small un-maned flying platforms with unlimited good and bad uses. this is like saying "Early airplanes were used by the military, therefore prohibit ALL future use of aircraft for anything." Huh???

The point is that we intelligent ones should be writing the proper regulations for their appropriate use rather than playing word-games about their mis-use for one of many possible applications.

HalFonts's picture
HalFonts 11 years 15 weeks ago

Why do you limit your assumptions of drone use to "ROCKETS"? Drones are simply unmanned remote controled flying platforms, now available commercially off-the-shelf for many uses. They have extremely valuable potential for scientific research and civil applications, carrying instrumentation where human observers can not access.

This is like babbling about prohibiting all future use of GPS (Global Navigation Systems) because it was first developed by the military for Missle Guidence Systems. Had we done that, we would have no moving-maps for our cars, boats and planes -- and Civilian Land Surveying would be back in the ancient days (pre-2000) of optical instruments and steel measuring tapes.

We're playing word-games here, confusing "Drones" with "Rockets," when we wise-ones should be intelligently dealing with how to write responsible legislation ror their responsible safe and productive use in our common airspace.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 11 years 15 weeks ago

Well said HalFonts ~ If we leave weapons off those little things I too am all for them. Glad to see we finally see eye to eye.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 11 years 15 weeks ago

Regarding drones, Hal Fonts has stated: "The point is that we intelligent ones should be writing the proper regulations for their appropriate use rather than playing word-games about their mis-use for one of many possible applications."

And my point is, I do not trust the powers-that-be, who hold themselves above the law, to respect such regulations. - Alive I.W.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 11 years 15 weeks ago

ghostily ~ You make an excellent point! I have often said that President Obama's biggest mistake was not investigating the Bush Administration for War Crimes in his first day in office. (He flat out promised to do so on TV. I saw it. I guess that makes him a liar as well.)

My guess is that the anti-war left has been led into a sense of complacency by the election of the first black president who is also a Constitutional scholar. A perfect minority spokesman who obviously believes in Peace, Freedom, and Liberty, right? How could he not be everything his rhetoric paints him as? As his term rolled on, however, the anti-war right were then subjected to the shock of finding out, one issue at a time, that their new leader was an ineffective puppet. This led them into a state of shock mixed with disbelief. After all, now where did they stand. They went from thinking they won the struggle to realizing that there is no winning option available, and the War Criminals were going to get away with their crimes. So what did they do, the natural human thing to do, bury themselves in a hole of denial.

Perhaps for this reason alone, budget cuts that directly effect the generation most responsible for all this happening might be a good thing. This might actually motivate them out of their slumbers and force them to take to the streets in anger.

I remember in the early 70's there was a march on Washington in an attempt to levitate the White House and force out the demons. Demonstrators had the White House surrounded. The National Guard was called out; but, was hopelessly outnumbered. The leaders of the demonstration had other leaders put roses in the shotguns of the Guard. How often it has occurred to me what a huge mistake that was. If the masses simply disarmed the Guard, rushed the White House, and drug tricky Dick by his nose from the Oval Office to the White House lawn and executed him on TV, non of the horrible tragedy's we have had ever since would have occurred. No President since that would dare to piss-off the American people that much. This Generation blew that chance. Now this Generation has to fix their own mess.

Just food for thought. Hopefully, the next chance we get--God forbid we have to go through that again--the People don't blow it again.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 11 years 15 weeks ago

~cont~ It is no wonder why we failed to solve this issue back then. This is a Country of cowards not "the home of the brave." American Indians and black people are the only citizens that didn't come here running away from a problem that they were too afraid to fight in their home country. It's no wonder that those problems chased them here, and also no wonder that they are afraid to fight them here as well. It's this generation that is responsible for allowing our Government to be compromised ever since the Kennedy assassination and it is this generation that has to fix this problem. There is no running away. There is no place to run to. These criminals will not be happy till they take the shirt from your back. The time has come to take a stand!

Marsh In Florida's picture
Marsh In Florida 11 years 15 weeks ago

I agree DAnneMarc - I think President Obama walked naively into field of quicksand. He ran on a promise that there would be no "politics as usual" but once he got into office, so much damage had already been done, and I'm not just talking about the bottoming-out of the economy, I'm talking about all the little legalities (or illegalities) that have been set into motion that makes it damned near impossible to fully stop this runaway train.

Case in point, government contractors such as Halliburton, KBR, Grumman, Lockheed-Martin, these are all contractors who have been sued numerous times for criminal acts as well as civil misdeeds. Yet when they are found guilty and punished with a fine, they are able to stick that fine to the American people to pay. It seems they all have this little "indemnity" clause in their contracts - which, by the way are so secret that no one is allowed to SEE that indemnity clause, yet they are allowed to use it to protect themselves from any financial harm. So it's on the backs of the American taxpayer to pay the fine, or penalty, or whatever you want to call it. Let's say it's a $1,000,000 fine. As soon as the case is over - maybe even while the case is pending - Congress rewards these same WRONGDOERS with new contracts in the Billions. How do we stop this kind of injustice when our legislature is promoting it?

When the GOP or the tea party or the libertarians and anarchists speak of Less Government, this is the kind of Less Government they are referring to. Zero ability of the American people to interfere with the Mil.Ind.Comp. and the banksters to seek honest retribution for the grand theft committed against the public. A bank robber on the street will receive a 20-year sentence when caught, tried and convicted. Not so with big business, the plutocrats. And all the public can hope to do is vote out of office the crooked politicians who allowed this blitzkrieg on our democracy to happen.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 11 years 15 weeks ago

Marsh in Florida ~ Well said! I couldn't agree more. In fact, I think you just made my case for Campaign Finance Reform. Without that, voting these Puppets out of office is only going to vote in another cast of Puppets. We must cut the Corporate strings before we cast the votes. Food for thought!

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 11 years 15 weeks ago

HalFonts: We progressives should keep in mind that most of the population has very little interest or attention span for lenghty and complex discourse, especially when political in nature. The Right has gained much ground on us by their clever usage of overly simplistic all-or-nothing babble. Babble like, thaaaats Socialism!.....he's gonna take your guns!..... it's a Govt. take over! ..... Obama-care will include Govt. Death Panels!...etc. The Kochs realize how well this strategy of babble/disinformation works, just look at the number of Teabaggers in the House.

What's wrong with fighting back with truthful but brief RHETORIC that's composed with puposefully simple language?

Our aim with communication should include not only Thom's,"relatively," small group of politically astute blog participants, but it should also endeavor to reach beyond to the vast numbers of those less interested voters. It works well for FOX with their lies, it will also work for us with the truth. That's my goal anyway. I think we progressives need to win over the hearts and minds of the many. We're not going to do it with complex language and thoughts that will only tend to alienate the average citizen.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 11 years 15 weeks ago

2950-10K Wrote: "Our aim with communication should include not only this relatively small group of politically astute blog participants, but it should also endeavor to reach beyond to the vast numbers of those less interested voters. "

A brilliant idea! I'm all for Adult Education. Any ideas how to achieve this noble objective?

Marsh In Florida's picture
Marsh In Florida 11 years 15 weeks ago

I personally don't think that argument of Rand Paul's went far enough. I find absolutely no difference in the possible harm caused by the use of drones and the use of nuclear weapons. There should be a world-wide prohibition against drone warfare just as there is an "attempt" to get worldwide cooperation against the use of nuclear weapons. The use of drones to stop so-called terrorists is a very self-serving and unfair tactic, and it is indescriminating in who it kills, the people guiding these drones are not always right about what they "think" they are seeing or reacting to, and such weaponry leaves a permanent scar on the country these weapons are deployed in. It's an unfair tool on so many levels, that it reaches the level of the horror brought to bear by nuclear bombs.

All drones, even those proposed to be used by police departments in the U.S., should be outlawed. The potential is not only there for abusive use of these drones, but in fact has already been shown exactly how badly our freedoms provided for by the Bill of Rights are subject to being totally corrupted. Do you really want to trust your police department, the men and women who are seen on every nightly news report taking very abusive action over and above the necessary action to restrain someone in their custody, do you really want them to have this technology to use against you?

ALL drones should be recalled and destroyed. All of the horrors of these "tools" have not yet been realized. Do we really want to wait until the damages have been done to start asking for their demise? Why do we need to keep running in front of speeding trains before we realize that it could be hazardous to our health to do so?

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 11 years 15 weeks ago

DAnnMarc: Regarding this type of political communication, I do it in the workplace when possible, I do it at various places online, I do it with agreeable conversation at community events, political events, you name it. However my main point is we don't have a network called FOX, but we do have social media like Thom's Blog, so let's make the most of it!

By the way D, did you check out Dr. Feelgood on Youtube? I know you're a guitar player!

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 11 years 15 weeks ago

2950-10K ~ I too spread the word this way myself. Seems like a waste of time sometimes. People don't want to hear my opinion. The experience usually reminds me of that famous Bible quote:

Matthew 7:6 Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.

Yet, somehow, I always find the strength to press on. After all, even an avalanche begins with one snow flake. So let me be that flake.

Rome wasn't built in a day and I believe that you can change the world just by putting the divider behind your groceries in the check out line at the supermarket for the person behind you. It shames them into being considerate for the person following them--and so on, and so on...

Dr. Feelgood. Hmmmm! He may have written a prescription or two for me in the past. Seriously though, I assume you speak of the "Crew." I've got them on DVD, but only just now checked them out on YouTube. Nice video! Thanks for the suggestion. Unfortunately, I've retired from 'practicing' medicine decades ago. I enjoyed the video though!

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 11 years 15 weeks ago

Marsh in Florida ~ Calm down! Remember when we were kids these drone predecessors were merely toys. Essentially, they've evolved beyond the toy status and have the potential to be very useful tools. HalFonts was right in this respect and I agree with that.

It is only when they are perverted and equipped with weapons that they become evil.

By themselves they can serve many benevolent potential uses. They make wonderful toys. They can be used not only in surveillance, but also in search and rescue missions. They can be used by fire fighters to deliver extinguishing agents in perilous areas, in particular, forest fires. They can be used by meteorologist to examine hurricanes, tornadoes, and volcanoes without endangering scientist. They can be used by the police department to follow suspects instead of engaging in high speed pursuits. They can be used by farmers to deliver fertilizer and pesticides to crops without endangering pilots with this task. They can also be used by news agencies to gather traffic information without having to send helicopters in the air with people in them.

The list goes on and on. The benefits are quite specific. Don't let the current perverted use of these tools discourage you from the technology all together.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 11 years 15 weeks ago

Regarding drones, DAnneMarc says: "Essentially, they've evolved beyond the toy status and have the potential to be very useful tools. HalFonts was right in this respect and I agree with that."

Once our government has evolved into a true democracy instead of a fascist plutocracy, and respects and upholds the Constitution, and no longer wages war on the rest of the world; and once our police forces have demonstrated a committment to protect & serve everyone equally regardless of race or class (rather than simply serving as goons & bullies protecting the interests of the rich), then - and ONLY then - will I change my position on the question of whether or not drones should exist. - Aliceinwonderland

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 11 years 15 weeks ago

DAnneMarc: Sorry bout the delay, lunch break ended!....Anyway I need to clarify, Dr Feelgood was a great English band with a true, in the Chuck Berry sense, rockin guitar player by the name of Wilco. I saw the guitar video you posted a while back and I thought you might get a kick out of Wilco's relentless style. As I mentioned before, I used to play in garage bands and could relate to your video.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 11 years 15 weeks ago

2950-10K Gotcha. Wow! Checked out Wilco. High praise. Thanks for the compliment. Your only the second one I received. (The first was from my niece. Bless her heart.) Rock on 2950-10K!

AliceInWonderland ~ Your concerns are well founded. I suppose you are right to suspect the worst from this pack of Bozos. I'm not defending them or the way they use Technology. However, as a Technician myself I am defending the Technology. One of the things I love about being a Technician is the fact that the machine is completely under your command. You can do with it as you will--much unlike occupations that deal with people, who are very unreliable and unpredictable.

I suppose you are right in concluding that Technology is only as good as the people that control it. Like the match. In the right hands they can be used to cook a meal, or keep a family from freezing. In the wrong hands they could be used to destroy a family. In that sense, the current dominant paradigm should probably be locked up and stripped of anything dangerous and pointy. Rock on AIW!

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 11 years 15 weeks ago

DAnneMarc says: "Rock on AIW!" You too, brother. We seem to be on the same page most of the time. In fact, it's pretty rare when you say anything I can't agree with. You've got good character, a good heart and a lot on the ball.

As you've stated, any gadget is only as good or as bad as the people who use it. The problem is, there are some very bad people in power these days. When it comes to drones, the potential for abuse is virtually limitless. And the reality is, with these fascists in the driver's seat, some of that potential has already been realized. When you have people being assassinated without charge or trial, as is occurring today (and it makes no difference to me whether they are American or not), I'd say that anything is possible. This is serious stuff, my friend. With the potential for so much more, and so much closer to home, to deny such a possibility exists or to assume it could never happen here is simply naive. The Republican Party (and the Democrats, to a lesser degree) has been taken over by psychopaths. Having people like that in positions of power is very, very dangerous. It creeps me out.

Psychopathy is an inherited trait. Between three and five percent of the human population is born that way, without a heart or a conscience. It's as genetic as the texture of your hair or the color of your eyes. Depending on what culture you're living in, psychopathy can be encouraged or ostracized. We happen to live in a culture where this unfortunate trait is nurtured. Materialism and preoccupation with wealth & status is as American as apple pie; combined with the lack of shared, universal spiritual values (and I'm not talking about religion!) it makes 21st Century American culture the perfect setting for psychopathy to flourish. This is an environment where such people can really thrive if they are intelligent, conniving and/or lucky enough. They care about nothing except winning at any cost, and no amount of money is ever enough. Other people are simply a means to an end. It should come as no surprise that so many of these scumbags would be drawn to positions of power and influence, such as in government and politics. There's a book I would highly recommend on this subject, if anyone is interested. It's titled "The Psychopath Next Door", by Martha Stout, PhD. A real eye opener.

Just a month or two ago an American citizen (Anwar al-Awlaki) was murdered in Yemen. No charge, no trial; just BLAM! Death by drone. Just three weeks later his sixteen year old son, a junior from a Canadian boarding school born in Denver, Colorado, was also massacred by drone while eating at an outdoor cafe with some friends... Just an innocent kid who never harmed anyone! His friends also perished in the attack. This is what the Obama Administration shrugs off as "collateral damage". Hey, who needs due process; guilt by association is sufficient reason to kill! I can't even find words that could begin to describe the revulsion & outrage I feel over this. Two people, including a minor child, MASSACRED for NO REASON, without posing anything remotely resembling an imminent threat to us. Turns my stomach. Makes my head explode.

Things were bad enough during the Cold War sixty years ago, when the Rosenburgs got executed for collaborating with the Soviets (something I happen to believe they were innocent of). But at least they had a trial. Now we have a Commander in Chief (a Constitutional scholar, no less!!!) who doesn't want to be bothered with due process. No one even tries to prove or disprove a person's innocence anymore; one need only be a suspected terrorist to get targeted by these death machines and... BLAM! Execution by mouse click.

This is where we are, folks. And according to Katha Pollitt in her article "America Doesn't Torture -- It Kills" (March 4, 2013 issue of The Nation), polls indicate that 78% percent of Americans are fine with drones, including most liberals.

I am so ashamed of my country! - Aliceinwonderland

Timothy Gilmore's picture
Timothy Gilmore 11 years 15 weeks ago

Why must we fight Congress, our elected representatives, for our civil rights, and why the antipathy politicos and CEO’s show to unionization? Because Congress does NOT act in our interests, and employers busting unions do NOT want workers to have better working conditions, higher salaries or better lives. Both Government and Business oppose the worker. Why does our government support dictators? Why do our industries move to countries known to be police states? Why does our government support the murder of peoples’ advocates? Why oppose unionization and workers’ safety?

It’s in their economic interests to do so. It has nothing to do with freedom, democracy or rights; it has everything to do with money and therefore power. International economic institutions like the World Bank and programs such as NAFTA* have been engineered to benefit the G-8*, WTO*, IMF*, International Banking System, politicians and the haute of the world, not the lower classes, about and to whom they pay exquisite lip service and little else.

“There is no Western …concern for issues of aggression, atrocities, Human Rights abuses and so on, if there’s a profit to be made.” Noam Chomsky.

excerpt from, "Ultimate Poverty, Unlimited Wealth; A Request for World Peace"<antigoldrush.com>

david c. 11 years 14 weeks ago

(Songwriters: Brian Wilson/Mike Love)

Well since he got into The White House
we've been goin' out of our minds!
We tried crashing the economy,
but still he get's reelected - oh dread!

Well, Rand Paul you look so fine (look so fine),
and we know a fillibuster wouldn't take much time,
for you to help us Rand Paul,
help us get Obama out of The White House!

Help us Rand Paul,
help, help us Rand Paul!
Help us Rand Paul,
help, help us Rand Paul!
Help us Rand Paul yeah;
Get Obama out of The White House!

Well, Rand Paul you caught our eye (caught our eye);
and right-wingers can give you lots'a money if you'll try.
You got'ta help us Rand Paul;
Help us get Obama out of The White House!

Help us Rand Paul,
help, help us Rand Paul!
Help us Rand Paul,
help, help us Rand Paul!
Help us Rand Paul yeah;
Get Obama out of our White House!

Thom's Blog Is On the Move

Hello All

Thom's blog in this space and moving to a new home.

Please follow us across to hartmannreport.com - this will be the only place going forward to read Thom's blog posts and articles.

From The Thom Hartmann Reader:
"Thom is a national treasure. Read him, embrace him, learn from him, and follow him as we all work for social change."
Robert Greenwald, political activist and founder and president of Brave New Films
From Cracking the Code:
"In Cracking the Code, Thom Hartmann, America’s most popular, informed, and articulate progressive talk show host and political analyst, tells us what makes humans vulnerable to unscrupulous propagandists and what we can do about it. It is essential reading for all Americans who are fed up with right-wing extremists manipulating our minds and politics to promote agendas contrary to our core values and interests."
David C. Korten, author of The Great Turning: From Empire to Earth Community and When Corporations Rule the World and board chair of YES! magazine
From Cracking the Code:
"No one communicates more thoughtfully or effectively on the radio airwaves than Thom Hartmann. He gets inside the arguments and helps people to think them through—to understand how to respond when they’re talking about public issues with coworkers, neighbors, and friends. This book explores some of the key perspectives behind his approach, teaching us not just how to find the facts, but to talk about what they mean in a way that people will hear."
to understand how to respond when they’re talking about public issues with coworkers, neighbors, and friends. This book explores some of the key perspectives behind his approach, teaching us not just how to find the facts, but to talk about what they mean in a way that people will hear."