It Doesn't Cost Billionaires Anything To Oppress You

There's a simple reason why Republicans default to the culture wars. It is because it doesn't cost their donor class any money.

If Republicans pass laws banning transgender people from bathrooms, that doesn't hurt the Koch brothers, it doesn't hurt Sheldon Adelson, it doesn't affect them at all.

If the Republicans pass legislation saying that Muslims can't run for political office, unless there's a Muslim right-wing billionaire out there it doesn't affect them.

And that's why Republicans attack gay people and the whole spectrum of LGBT, they attack people of color, they attack people whose first language isn't English, they attack immigrants, because none of those attacks cost the donor class of the Republican Party a single penny.

The Republicans will never ever speak out against pollution because the donor class is making money on that, against guns because the donor class is making money on that, against the obscene profits the pharmaceutical industry is making because the Republican donor class is making money off that.

Many industries are making obscene profits as a consequence of the extraordinary expansion of our trademark and copyright laws, largely at the behest of companies like Disney and Microsoft, so that those companies have these government-granted monopolies that last for centuries in some cases, decades certainly.

The Republicans will never talk about any of those things because those are the things that affect their donor class but they will enthusiastically kick around people of color.

The good news here is that the Republicans went all-in on Trump's racism over the last three weeks in Virginia. Ed Gillespie, everybody thought it was going to be a neck-and-neck race.

Ed Gillespie went in full racism in the last couple weeks of this election and it looks like it actually hurt his numbers, and when the Republicans figure that out then the donor class will start being concerned about race.

The billionaire class will get that they can't just rely on the votes of white people anymore.


Jayemal's picture
Jayemal 6 years 31 weeks ago

Tom, don't trash religion. MLK called out the U.S. on racism, militarism, and materialism. If only we listened to our prophets, in MLK's case one who spoke to us from the Christian heritiage, but we have had secular prophets and ones from other religions. The Rev. William Barber III, is re-igniting MLK's Poor Peoples' Campaign. He welcomes allies from all faiths and no faith, but it is obviou his inspiration and energy comes from his Christian faith. Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater. Relgioin, like everything else on this earth, can be used for good or ill. MLK and Barber used and are using it for good. Let's celebrate than and contribute to their efforts.

Also, come up to date on new insights into the Adam and Eve story and St. Paul who said in Christ there is "no male or female, Greek or Jew, slave or free." Yes, he had things to say about women not speakng in church to some of the churches he founded. This was in areas where he thought female leadership (which he praises in letters to churches in other locales) would only cause them more persecution and grief than they were already getting. Also, in my church we just call "God," "God" we don't use any pronoun. There is a lot more insight and revelation needed here, but dissing the whole thing is not useful.

Steve Spielman's picture
Steve Spielman 6 years 31 weeks ago

If you have wealth and power, you wish the status quo to prevail. Change is a threat to the status quo by it's very nature. Conservatives (real conservatives) seek to maintain the status quo. When you want to conserve something you don't seek to change it.

I am reluctant to refer to many republicans, that I speak with today, as "conservatives". There seems to be a disconnect between the ideologys of the republican party, of the past, with the direction of the party today.

Law and order seems to get lost, in the lack of interest in making sure that people purchasing guns (handguns and assault weapons), are able/capable of making responsible decisions. At least as responsible as we would expect from someone with a drivers license. Protection of property rights?: why is it that my community has no right to protect it's water supply from a corporation looking to find a cheap way to expose of waste?

The framers of our constitution had no interest in our rights. That's why you have no rights in the body of the constitution. The "bill of rights" are simply ten amendments to the constitution added/negotiated to get the constitution ratified. The constitution was written by the rich for the rich. Property and commerce, these are the only two rights fully protected by the framers of the constitution. Every thing else was fluff.

HotCoffee's picture
HotCoffee 6 years 31 weeks ago

I guess it isn't racist when Hillary tells the super predators that they need to be brought to heel, or calls Donna Brazile a brain dead buffalo.

I really expect better from you know darn well most people are not racist on either side. However there are some racists on both sides. You are promoting hate of republicans while closing your eyes to democrats that do the same thing.

Neither side is clean, the hypocrisy is blatant.

Oldskoold's picture
Oldskoold 6 years 31 weeks ago

Great Job Jayemal! I have seen the Reverend Dr. in person in Asheville NC. He is the true and present MLK of our time. No offence to Thom whatsoever. God is God. I don't think I need an intermediatery to funnel through as in Jesus or any others to speak and pray. Perhaps that was the reason kings like "King James" authorized the rewriting (or writing) of the Bible. Seems these southern white males want to comix and constrew the Old Testament with the new. The old testament seems rather "Sharia" law to me.... Actually after rereading Thoms post before posting this, i'm not sure how he trashed religion..... However; I'm hitting send! Enjoy and comment as appropriate. Remember though; this comes from a Southern White pater figure of two sons who share my resolve.

And yes; Hotcoffee, they are racist. I see and hear it most days. Not as frequent though.

HotCoffee's picture
HotCoffee 6 years 31 weeks ago


I have 8 aunts and uncles from South Carolina ...1 of the 8 is a racist. They do exist however compared to 50 years ago much had improved..yet I now see that the left is promoting if they don't want to let it die a natural death. It is their Trump card so to if 1 of 8 is racist perhaps the other 7 don't appreciate being falsely accused.

Especially forgotten are all the whites that marched in support of MLK or Ceaser Chavez.

My point, what is the point of insulting 7 non racist people to convict 1 racist?

Or as in my post above why pretend that there are not any racist democrats when clearly there are.

Oldskoold's picture
Oldskoold 6 years 31 weeks ago

# 5

Oh; there are many racist "D's" and they don't realize it. Thank you for replying/commenting by the way, sincerely. The racism I refer to is; as I witnessed recently, "white people (friends/coworkers) " congregated in a public venue and one decides to enter that realm with conversation. He looked both ways and backwards before speaking. It wasn't a terrible remark but; why feel as though you must look? I call it "latent racism". Something I have been guilty of engaging in ocassionally in my time here. My point is; they/I ocassionally, don't even realize it.

HotCoffee's picture
HotCoffee 6 years 31 weeks ago


I'm pleased to discuss your post.

I guess because I grew up in S.F. I have always had friends of many different backrounds.

I don't recall even being aware of racial issues until I was 12 years old and took a trip to Tennessee. After a day or two I asked several relatives where the black people were.

They didn't want to answer but eventually I was told they had there own part of town.

Came home to S.F. and continued on with my friendships.

I still have those friends and our conversations about race are always easy,comfortable,

and honest on both sides. One girlfriend who grew up in Texas wouldn't go back there for any reason due to race relations.

So S.F. is 99% Dems as I have always been, but this last election and my dislike of Hillary,

changed something for me....I felt like I woke up in the twillight zone...couldn't believe the way my party had changed and how they were running around in dumb p*ssy hats,

and being generally hateful. I still hope they come to their senses.

Legend 6 years 31 weeks ago

Hot Coffee, You should add references and facts with all of your opinion. Otherwise it is just opinion.

Radical's picture
Radical 6 years 31 weeks ago

II know this probably isn't the proper place to put this but I can't find anywhere else. The individual who replaced Thom Hartmann on his Rt show the Big Picture is terrible. Holland Cooke isn't even a progressive. He is a wishy washy moderate. On one of his last shows he had a stock market expert on for 15 minutes telling people to buy oil stocks. I am not sure if he hhas control of the show or if the network makes him do certain things. Thoms replacement should have been someone like Chris Hedges or Mike Papantonio Lee Camp and there are several other I could name. I won't watch that show anymore. Anyone who reads this and would like to comment please do. I welcome other progressives insights.

bollivar 6 years 31 weeks ago

A while back, a commentator told me I should contact Thom Hartmann concerning my ordeal with Green Tree Servicing, LLC. I am a 66 year old, disabled man that has been terrorized by Green Tree who hired Safeguard Properites thugs. 5 breakins where the intruders where stealing my foreclosure defense documents (I have been proceeding pro se since my lawyer was disbarred for taking bribes from the servicers). Many prank phones calls pretending to be Fannie Mae and old college buddies. I never had any college buddies as I worked while going to college for all my college degrees. Coming to my house shooting off a large calliber, chrome plated rifle next to my kitchen window. Banging on the sides of my house and setting traps for me to fall coming out my front door and many more malicious act attempting to scare me out of my home. Why? I did not default on my home loan. Bank of America had embezzeld close to $24,000 from my mortgage account and increased my mortgage payments from $1,079 per month to $2374 per month on a 30 year, fixed rate loan. I have an eye witness, license plate number, a description of the perpetrator by the witness and myself and a photo of the vehicle used. The judge knows all of this and has tried to seel my house several times. Still fighting the judge.

RRHolch's picture
RRHolch 6 years 31 weeks ago

Hello Thom,

I just got through a youtube about "The Pursuance Project". This is an idea developed by Barret Brown who is famous for his connection to "Anonomous".

Brown's Pursuance Project is about useing the internet for civic organizing. It is just getting started and I think you might want to consider having him on your show for an interview. You can find out more by going to

Legend 6 years 31 weeks ago

For some reason you put hour 3 before hour 2 on the podcast list. That stopped Itunes from downloading hour 3 Friday and downloaded 2 hour 2's. This has never happened in the past. I manually downloaded tonight and will run it separately.

Ou812's picture
Ou812 6 years 31 weeks ago

‘Al Franken kissed and groped me without my consent,’ broadcaster Leeann Tweeden says
Broadcaster and model Leeann Tweeden said Thursday that Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) “forcibly kissed” her and groped her during a USO tour in 2006, saying that “there’s nothing funny about sexual assault.”
“You knew exactly what you were doing,” Tweeden wrote in a blog post for Los Angeles radio station KABC, for which she works as a morning news anchor. “You forcibly kissed me without my consent, grabbed my breasts while I was sleeping and had someone take a photo of you doing it, knowing I would see it later and be ashamed.”
The allegations came two days after a stunning hearing where lawmakers acknowledged sexual harassment is a pervasive problem on Capitol Hill.
In her blog post, Tweeden recalled that Franken “had written some skits for the show and brought props and costumes to go along with them. Like many USO shows before and since, the skits were full of sexual innuendo geared toward a young, male audience.”
Franken, she said, “had written a moment when his character comes at me for a ‘kiss’. I suspected what he was after, but I figured I could turn my head at the last minute or put my hand over his mouth, to get more laughs from the crowd.”
But on the day of the show, she wrote, “Franken and I were alone backstage going over our lines one last time. He said to me, “We need to rehearse the kiss.” I laughed and ignored him. Then he said it again. I said something like, ‘Relax Al, this isn’t SNL … we don’t need to rehearse the kiss.’
In a statement, Franken said: “I certainly don’t remember the rehearsal for the skit in the same way, but I send my sincerest apologies to Leeann.
“As to the photo, it was clearly intended to be funny but wasn’t. I shouldn’t have done it.”
Tweeden’s blog post included an image of Franken looking into a camera, his hands either over or on Tweeden’s chest as she slept.
“The tour wrapped and on Christmas Eve we began the 36-hour trip home to L.A.,” she wrote. “After two weeks of grueling travel and performing, I was exhausted. When our C-17 cargo plane took off from Afghanistan I immediately fell asleep, even though I was still wearing my flak vest and Kevlar helmet.”
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Upon returning to the United States, Tweeden said, she was “looking through the CD of photos we were given by the photographer” when she came across the image. It was not immediately clear who took the photo.
Franken, an Air America radio host at the time of the alleged incident, was elected to the Senate two years later, in 2008.
Leaders of the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Franken’s home state colleague, also didn’t immediately respond to inquiries. She is co-sponsor of a bill unanimously approved by the Senate last week that will mandate sexual harassment training for all senators and their staffs.
On Tuesday, House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) announced that the House will adopt a policy change to make anti-harassment training mandatory for all members and staff.
That announcement followed a congressional hearing during which members publicly came to terms with sexual harassment as a pervasive problem on Capitol Hill. Female lawmakers aired tantalizing details, albeit without naming names, of unwanted sexual comments and advances taking place in their midst.
“This is about a member, who is here [in Congress] now. I don’t know who it is, but somebody who I trust told me this situation,” Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-Va.) said at the hearing Tuesday.
Harassers have propositioned themselves to staff members by asking: “Are you going to be a good girl?” Some have exposed their genitals to victims. Others have grabbed victims by their private parts on the House floor, Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) said.
“In fact, there are two members of Congress, Republican and Democrat, right now, who serve, who have not been subject to review but have engaged in sexual harassment,” said Speier, who has been pushing for years to make anti-harassment training a requirement.
In a Facebook post last month, as sexual assault accusations began to mount against Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein, Franken applauded the bravery of the women who shared their stories.
“It takes a lot of courage to come forward, and we owe them our thanks,” he wrote. “And as we hear more and more about Mr. Weinstein, it’s important to remember that while his behavior was appalling, it’s far too common.”
Lawmakers in recent weeks have come under pressure to improve the workplace culture on the Hill amid reports from multiple news outlets, including The Washington Post, of lewd comments, unwanted sexual advances and other examples of sexual misconduct that have plagued Congress for decades. More than 1,500 former congressional employees have signed a letter urging Congress to require anti-harassment training and to overhaul the reporting process, which advocates say is stacked against the victim and designed to protect the institution.
Last week, the Senate for the first time in its history required members and their aides to receive anti-harassment training. The Office of Compliance and the Office of House Employment Counsel currently provide training upon request.
Tweeden said she finally decided to share her story now “because there may be others.”
She wrote:
In 2009, Franken was presented a USO Merit Award to recognize the tours he’d taken overseas to visit troops as well as his visits with wounded soldiers at local military hospitals.
Ed O’Keefe contributed to this report, which is developing and will be updated.
J. Freedom du Lac is the editor of The Post's general assignment news desk. He was previously a Local enterprise reporter and, before that, the paper’s pop music critic.
Lindsey Bever is a general assignment reporter for The Washington Post.
Michelle Ye Hee Lee is a national political enterprise and investigations reporter for The Washington Post.
Democracy Dies in Darkness
© 1996-2017 The Washington Post

ChristopehrCurrie's picture
ChristopehrCurrie 6 years 30 weeks ago

Yes, most of our Republicans in Congress literally "have no god but money" (along with their coporate sponsors). They can't call themselves "Christian" WITHOUT LYING! That's why I often refer to them as "screw-your-neighbor Republicans". (Ref. Matthew 22:37-40).

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