Will the coronavirus wake Americans up to the cancer that has infected our political system?

Thom plus logo The Republican hostility to helping people who lost their jobs because of the coronavirus, to expanding healthcare to all the American people, and their hostility to doing anything about climate change all come from the same source: greed and the big money it produces.

For decades, the tobacco, fast food and alcohol industries funded junk science saying that their products were actually just fine and didn't harm people. Eventually, after millions of Americans died of diseases associated with them, we figured out they were lying to us.

They've been doing the same thing around climate change, Medicare for all and carbon pollution, and Republicans continue to quote phony science and assert that there is no problem with the status quo.

The same people, corporations and trade associations that sponsor this phony science also sponsor the Republican Party, from the White House all the way down to your local city council.

Now, right wing trade groups are arguing that unemployment benefits keep people from going to work (when people are actually simply afraid to go to work and get sick and die) and that therefore it's a good thing that the GOP let unemployment benefits expire.

Their real agenda is simply making more money, regardless of how many people die.

They didn't care how many people died when they were promoting tobacco, alcohol, or fast food. They don't care how many people die when they promote junk science about climate change, or from a lack of access to healthcare.

And they don't care how many people die now from coronavirus, be it in the workplace or in schools.

If these big money interests had not been funding virtually the entire Republican Party and a small but meaningful chunk of the Democratic Party, there would be millions fewer deaths, and the nation would be much healthier.

Because the coronavirus moves so fast, we are seeing the consequence of their lies played out in real time: death and disease followed by poverty and homelessness.

Their policies are causing the same outcome with regard to climate change, but it's showing up much more slowly. Nonetheless, it will be at least as devastating as coronavirus to America, and, over a 50 year horizon, far more so.

None of this will change until we get money out of politics.

When people who are willing to lie about science simply to make money no longer have the power to own politicians, our political dialogue will change back to concern for the people and the planet rather than simply the interests of toxic corporations and the billionaires they create.



DrRichard 2 years 43 weeks ago

Let's not forget the pesticide, pharmeceutical asbestos and petroleum industries either. In fact, the arguments I'm hearing about climate change being unproven science are exactly the same type as I heard 60 years ago about the dangers of tobacco. When the facts can't be buried or ignored they are attacked as uncertain. Trump does one better with his magical thinking (Putin loves me, the virus will just disappear, etc.) Of course with him reality is unhinged; the last 4 years has been like living in an endless bar fight. Big industry is much more focused on getting its way and when this clown is no longer effective they'll simply used their hired stooges in Congress and the state legislatures. Time for a real change here.

Hephaestus's picture
Hephaestus 2 years 43 weeks ago

All these deeply religious people seem to have a really hard time understanding their own invention they name "evil"... no apparent recognition... somewhat like a one eyed man leading the blind

Legend 2 years 43 weeks ago

To this day Republicans are trying to prevent or remove mask wearing requirements and sell Hydroxychloroquinn as a cure. What more needs to be said! We are 5 to 6 months into this.

Hopeless but still trying's picture
Hopeless but st... 2 years 43 weeks ago

I just watched a clip of the show in which Thom talks about the death rate in the USA being 1%. I wanted to comment on this because I think it is WAY off...

According to the data I can find online, here are the numbers for confirmed cases of COVID 19 in the USA:

  • 3.1 million active cases. 'Active cases' means people who currently have COVID 19.
  • 1.9 million resolved cases. 'Resolved cases' means people who had COVID 19, and who no longer do, because they either recovered or died.
  • 160,000 deaths.

To calculate the death rate, we do not consider active cases because we don't know what's going to happen with them. The only numbers we use are the resolved cases (1,900,000) and deaths (160,000). A little math later...
The death rate in the USA for people who have been confirmed to have COVID 19 is about 8.5%

alis volat's picture
alis volat 2 years 43 weeks ago

These damn Republican Senators and that evil bastard McConnell had two months to figure out what they would do at this stage. There is no excuse for the cruelty they have inflicted on the American workforce and those who just need to survive. People see that, and a boat load of those people are the non-affiliated voters. I hope they come to the light.

It's impossible to find your bliss in this midst of all this misery, so we need to find our grit. We have to fight them with all the science, facts, decency, and love we can muster. We can have pretty things that are not broken: universal health care, a sound plan for our planet, human rights, and some peace in the world. If good people vote, where will we be August 2021? Recovering nicely is one possible answer.

whatabout's picture
whatabout 2 years 43 weeks ago

Speaking of cancers,

I find it telling that Portland's Mayor Wheeler who on a scale of other incompetent mayors in democrat run cities would surely rank in the top three, would worry more about "creating an ad for the Trump campaign" than being outraged by the attempt of rioters to burn police officers alive in their own precinct building.

Maybe Thom it is time to do a show on how a once beautiful city can be ruined by democrat leadership in just a couple of generations.


Legend 2 years 43 weeks ago

Whatabutt, Can you tell the difference between Antifa and Boogaloo? Antifa are the ones that are against Fascism. Do you support Fascism? Read up on the 2 links I just gave you. Plus this one.

telcoman's picture
telcoman 2 years 43 weeks ago

I don't know if you have seen the article in Rolling Stone by Wade Davis. It is the best article on the state of America I have ever read. Wade Davis is a Canadian anthropologist who was the inspiration for the movie, "the Serpent and the Rainbow" and many think he was the inspiration for Indiana Jones. He would be a fantastic guest for the show.


SueN's picture
SueN 2 years 43 weeks ago

There seem to be various ways of calculating death rates or mortality rates, and various versions of the data. I don't know which Thom was talking about. But for example, Johns Hopkins gives a case-fatality figure of 3.3%. https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/data/mortality

alis volat's picture
alis volat 2 years 43 weeks ago

Has Wade Davis been listening to Thom? No seriously, that is a great article by a real professor, but our "professor" Hartmann has hit every point and piece of history included in it.

Thom, I have listened to you forever. I even shook your hand during Barack's primary, gave you a sign from his campaign, and I said "thanks professor". The Rolling Stone piece proves just how good you have been in all your research and assessments, but I knew that!

Lantana's picture
Lantana 2 years 42 weeks ago

Re: getting money out of politics Please look at the website therevolvingdoorproject.org. The op ed, “On Climate Policy, Biden’s Advisers Reveal More Than His Proposals Do”. It outlines the people Biden is listening to from the Obama admin. who were the oil and gas fracking folks who then went into oil and gas companies, investment companies, think tanks for fossil fuel industry, and law firms. Heather Zichal, Jason Bordoff, Ernest Moniz, and Brian Deese. This article was originally on The Intercept, so you can find it there too. This is not a good sign for the Biden admin as relates to climate change and the Green New Deal. As the Dems need all of the people who voted for Bernie and others who had programs to address climate change, we surely do NOT need a dem president who does not understand the urgency of this problem. Ya think the pandemic is bad? A mask and social distancing is not going to save anyone from the destruction and violence of climate change.

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