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  • The Thom Hartmann Program - Aug 30th 2018   1 day 9 hours ago

    The Following article by Thom Hartmann was posted on July 22, 2018 by :

    Thom Hartmann: There Are 3 Main Theories That Explain Trump’s Approach to Putin and Russia—Which One Makes the Most Sense? Time for Occam’s Razor.

    There are three general theories to explain Trump’s behavior toward Russia (and other hard-right broadly autocratic regimes), and for unknown reasons the two most likely ones are almost entirely absent from our electronic media. The three theories, in ascending order of likelihood, are:

    The Manchurian Candidate: He’s being blackmailed or has been a Russian asset for years.
    The Wannabe Dictator: He believes that countries should be run like companies—essentially autocracies.
    The Deadbeat: He’s not only not rich, but he’s badly in debt, and Russian billionaires are among his main creditors.

    The Manchurian Candidate theory was largely the one Democrats implied during the election, and most have implicitly embraced since then, along with many commentators on MSNBC and CNN. It’s the least likely, although if it’s true Robert Mueller will probably be letting us all know soon. But there’s little in Trump’s past that would suggest this is the case other than his embrace of Russia over the Obama administration’s reactions to the annexation of Crimea and activity in Ukraine.

    But it’s far more likely that his support of Russia during the Obama administration had everything to do with hating on anything our nation’s first Black president had done (impose sanctions on Russia and expel diplomats, etc.) as well as wanting to trash the presumed 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

    Even his dislike of NATO is the sort of standard-variety right-wing stuff that’s been promoted within the Republican Party from the days of the John Birch Society to Steve Bannon’s recent reign, and reflects an isolationist fear of alliances rather than an affection for non-NATO actors like Russia.

    The Wannabe Dictator theory has a lot more credibility, and explains much of why Trump gravitates to strongman types like Putin, Turkey’s Erdogan, the Philippines’ Duterte, Saudi Arabia’s Mohammed bin Salman, and China’s Xi.

    Trump knows very little about the history behind democratic republics (it would be shocking if he could even identify Thomas Hobbes or John Locke, or define the Enlightenment) and virtually nothing (based on public pronouncements) about the fundamental reasons why “Governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”

    Businesses are basically serfdoms. The CEO is the king, the board and senior executives are the courtiers and landed gentry, and the workers are the serfs. This has been Trump’s experience ever since he inherited his daddy’s business, and he’s never in his life been accountable to any principle (like “democracy”) or to any persons.

    So, much like George W. Bush’s “joke” that, “If this were a dictatorship it would be a heck of a lot easier… as long as I’m the dictator,” Trump not only may think it would be easier, but, even more ominous, may think it’s desirable for the country.

    Republicans have long used false analogies of “government as business or home” (particularly with regard to debt) that completely distort the real reasons for the existence of, and functions of, government. So it wouldn't’t be at all surprising if Trump were to believe this nonsense, out of both ignorance and temperament.

    The Deadbeat theory is the most likely, although it doesn't’t preclude either or both of the above.

    When given a variety of possible explanations for something happening, usually the most simple and direct answer is the correct one. And there’s one huge, simple, straightforward explanation for Donald Trump’s perpetual unwillingness to even hint at a direct criticism of Putin. And it’s not the pee-pee tapes.

    Here’s how and why.

    We all know that Trump is both a terrible negotiator and a terrible businessman. Dozens of his companies have gone down in flames, thousands of small businesses and workers have been screwed out of money he owed them, and his bankruptcies are legendary.

    If the American people didn't seem to think this was a big deal, the American banks sure did. After Trump’s last bankruptcy, so far as press reports indicate, he could no longer borrow money at reasonable rates here in the U.S., and a real estate developer who can’t borrow money is rapidly out of business.

    So Trump, as his son Eric tells it, turned away from U.S. banks and went to a number of Russian billionaires for his money. In 2014, when asked directly how he could have acquired $100 million in cash for new golf course acquisitions, Eric Trump famously said, “Well, we don’t rely on American banks. We have all the funding we need out of Russia.”

    So, if President Putin were to order his own billionaires to get their money back out of Trump’s properties and refuse to give him any more, Trump could well end up broke.

    Really broke.

    As in, losing all his properties, from Mar-a-Lago to Trump Tower.

    It could wipe out all of his remaining businesses.

    His kids would have to get real jobs, and no more big-game safaris.

    His wife might leave him, and take their son.

    He could end up living in a cardboard box on skid row.

    Trump isn't afraid of being exposed as a lout or a racist; he’s afraid of being financially wiped out if Russian oligarchs pull out of Trump properties.

    If he’s seeing that collection of pictures in his head when he looks at Vladimir Putin, it would go a long way to explain his prayerful body posture and cringeworthy sycophancy.

    This also would explain why Trump has been so unwilling to release his tax returns, even after he won the election.

    As David Cay Johnston has pointed out on multiple occasions, Trump is almost certainly nowhere near as rich as he brags that he is, and has a long history of connections with shady/mafia characters to get the money he needs.

    But this is not about just being embarrassed by being caught about inflating his net worth—Trump’s a man who has little ability to feel shame, as we have seen over and over again. Similarly, it’s not about the pee-pee tapes.

    After bragging that he can grab women by the crotch—and having dozens come forward and accuse him of variations on just that—he must know that if he’d paid a couple of white Russian hookers to urinate on the bed that our nation’s first Black president and his wife had slept in, it may well actually help him with his base. It surely wouldn't hurt him politically, and he knows that as well as anybody.

    Trump isn't afraid of being exposed as a lout or a racist; he’s afraid of being financially wiped out if Russian oligarchs pull out of Trump properties.

    It’s why he’s even willing to take the risks and political hit by defying the Constitution and hanging onto the Trump Hotel in D.C.—he needs the money to keep his businesses afloat.

    In 2016, Fortune magazine analyzed his federal public filings, and concluded that he’s both less wealthy than he says and appears, and that he regularly lies about it.

    Occam’s razor dictates that, like with everything else in Trump’s entire life, this is all about money and its relationship to his own fragile self-image. If a few Russian oligarchs said, “Nyet,” he would suffer severe damage, both reputational and business-wise, and it may well be damage from which he could'’t recover.

    It may also explain why Russia (and a few other countries with billionaire oligarchs and/or Trump business interests, from the Middle East countries with Trump properties, to China with Trump’s daughter’s manufacturing) were enthusiastic about Donald Trump becoming president.

    A man who depends on you for his financial lifeblood is a man more willing to give in around governmental and policy areas.

    Now that Robert Mueller has, according to some reports, acquired access to Trump’s business records, all this may be coming out, which may explain why Trump seems so obsessed with, and frightened by, Mueller’s and the FBI’s “witch hunt.”

    If Mueller exposes financial fragility on Trump’s part, it may tip the first domino that then causes the entire Trump empire to collapse.

    It’d be interesting to see if the Chinese, for example, would then claw back the billion dollars they just pledged to Trump’s Indonesian property, or his daughter’s hundred-million-dollar Chinese trademarks, which coincidentally preceded by days Trump’s decision to let ZTE resume selling spy-able phones to U.S. citizens.

    Equally interesting will be if the Middle Eastern billionaires and state wealth funds that are loaning over a billion to bail out Jared Kushner decide he’s no longer a good bet, either.

    This is one of the few scenarios that explain pretty much everybody’s behavior within the Trump Crime Family, as well as the people in their immediate orbit.

    As Mark Felt (“Deep Throat”) famously said to Bob Woodward: “Follow the money.”

    https://voxpopulisphere.com/2018/07/22/thom-hartmann-there-are-3-main-theories-that-explain-trumps-approach-to-putin-and-russia-which-one-makes-the-most-sense/

    This article was produced by the Independent Media Institute and licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License.

  • The Thom Hartmann Program - Aug 30th 2018   1 day 10 hours ago

    DS,

    https://www.federalobserver.com/2018/10/19/hanson-epitaph-for-a-dying-culture/#more-39174

    https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2018/09/03/glenn-greenwald-the-bane-of-their-resistance

    https://www.truthdig.com/videos/glenn-greenwald-trump-is-a-continuation-of-american-political-culture-video/

    Glenn ...not right wing DS.

    While acient history is interesting, then was then and now is now. If the Dems were as they were in the Days of JFK I would get your point. I've never had any use for the Bush Cheney crowd so it's not that I was in love with Repubs.. However I never saw the side of Dems that I have since the pants suit lady ran for the second time. She brought a level of corruption and hatefulness I really didn't know the Dems had. Couple that with the disgusting mess California has become, all while being run by Dems. Now look at the rest of the country, the most run down trashed parts of the country, with the most violence have been governed by Dems. The nanny state Dems, straws...cow farts...really? Thats going to fix the world??? You can hardly take a piss in Ca. without accounting to the Government. The most taxes and power plays with the worst results, dems....et al.

    So how are the Dems dealing with it? By scratching and screeching on Supreme court doors, wearing pussy hats, advocating violence against their own bothers & sisters across the country that don't agree with them. Hating and disrespecting the middlle of the county that puts the food on many countries tables. Sick!

    Dems want medicare for all, while letting all who want to come here have free medical and still have the nerve to complain about the deficeit. Just how does that work, free medical for the world paid for by U.S. taxpayers who have such high deductibles they can't use their medical? Where's your logic???

    Dems think it's fine for Soros and Styner to spend billions while whinning about the repbub billionaires.The hyprocracy is so blatant!

    So today is medicare and tomorrow the Dems will find something else to complain about but the truth is the dems have been in office plenty long enough to fix it, they just didn't care ...UNTIL Trump became POTUS. Their main concern has been gender politics instead. Very important to decide if we should call our children theys or thems. Really?

    So, why is Trump doing so well in my opinion....Dems are fed up with Dems and Repubs got fed up with Repubs and Trump is neither Dem or Repub. He just happened to pick the Repub side to run on, possibly because of the intrenched corruption was worse on the Dem side. I'm waiting for FBI & DOJ to quit taking the 5th and refusing to show docs to the rightful committees.

    Dems also want to turn our country over to the NWO Repubs do not.

    So here we are...waiting for Nov. 6th.

  • The Thom Hartmann Program - Aug 30th 2018   1 day 11 hours ago

    DianeR,

    Mitch and Grahm have suprised me the most! Seems Pelosi got a tiny taste of Maxine's politics...finally.

    I haven't checked yet to see if Nancy has a new perspective on " get in there faces". I don't think they will like their own medicine.

    The wetlands are awesome...good for you... I love the wildlife. I don't have wetlands but I do have a river aprox. 400ft from my home with a couple of ducks that come back every season and a busy otter. The good life!

    And I pictured you hangin with the roadrunner!

    Gotta do chores spent to much time wasting my breath on DS.

    Cheers enjoy you bloody mary!

  • The Thom Hartmann Program - Aug 30th 2018   1 day 14 hours ago

    Morning HotCoffee, hope the turkeys and quail are fed. I have 40 acres of wetlands just 30 feet out my walkout lower level and the wildlife is fed by me on a daily basis. Everything from deer to wild mink and numerous species of ducks are just a few feet away.

    Here is another example of people gone wild.

    Another angry individual spewing the phony leftie/socialist meme, "the Republicans are going to take away your SS and Medicare". A verbal attack on Mitch McConnell who I personally never had a thought about until he crafted the Garland holdup in the senate and then dazzles them with history while doing so. His dinner, in what looks to be a fast food restaurant, and suddenly a crazy starts spouting the usual leftie BS only to be shouted down by a few sane diners thank God.

    I await the day when one of these assholes crosses the line just far enough for it to become assault and they find themselves on the floor sobbing while covered in their own urine and feces. Believe me, we are very close, and Mad Maxine Waters and a host of other democrats who pushed this agenda may wish they had never uttered a word of encouragement to these idiots. They would all do well to shut up, stay home, and knit pink pussyhats in preparation for another futile march to nowhere.

    http://www.tmz.com/2018/10/20/senator-mitch-mcconnell-confronted-restaurant-protesters/

    Old Mitch is tougher than Dolly Partons minipad and he handled it well and after his recent clever offering to the senate to choose between approving 15 more conservative judges and go home, or stand by their principals and spend the 30 hours per judge holding up the process for weeks as they have others, they instantly caved, and the US court system won. Who cannot admire his brilliance as leader of the Senate.

    Have a great one.

  • The Thom Hartmann Program - Aug 30th 2018   1 day 22 hours ago
  • The Thom Hartmann Program - Aug 30th 2018   1 day 23 hours ago

    Excerpt from Thom Hartmann's "The Big Picture" transcripts for 6 February 12:

    "... And so the question is, what is the natural state of humankind? Whether you take the religious story or not. Hobbes thought that the natural state of humankind was the same thing that he thought he saw out in nature, where animals ate each other. He said if we did not have the iron fist of state or church controlling us, then...

    'In such condition, there is...no knowledge of the face of the earth; no account of time; no arts; no letters; no society; and which is worst of all, continual fear, and danger of violent death; and the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.'

    This is the core conservative world view. People are evil and therefore you need these constraining forces. And this is why, you know, Chris Matthew's old joke - Republicans are looking for a leader, Democrats are looking for a meeting - is true. Because this was the conservative view.

    Then John Locke came along and in 1689 John Locke suggested that the “state of nature” might not be what Hobbes described, that it might be different than other animals. Why? Because we have reason. The ability to reason is what separates us from claw and fang. Now, actually, modern research shows the whole claw and fang thing ain't all that true but there's democracy in nature. But nonetheless, this is the evolution of democracy. And what John Locke wrote in his State of Nature, was...

    'Men living according to reason without a common superior on earth, to judge between them, [and that] is properly the [uniquely human] state of nature.'

    Right? In other words, reason. That idea of Locke's was taken by Rousseau and Voltaire and turned into the Enlightenment, a truly revolutionary period of time. And this is when we saw the real clear definition of liberal and conservative. The British were the conservatives - the Kingdom - the liberals were the revolutionaries here in the United States. ..."

    Read more:

    https://www.thomhartmann.com/blog/2012/03/transcript-thom-hartmann-ows-revolutionary-vs-reactionary-6-february-12

  • The Thom Hartmann Program - Aug 30th 2018   2 days 1 hour ago

    1) FYI: #41 is Thom's piece, not mine.

    BTW, a "hit piece" implies that what he wrote is not based on solid evidence.

    It is.

    Why not do your homework and study his articles and sources before posting such inane replies to his work? Ignorance is an unbecoming mistress.

    https://www.commondreams.org/views/2018/10/17/fascists-are-coming-your-social-security-and-medicare

    2) Your "Business Insider" link only further supports Thom's point about Republican Party leadership intentions -- in their own words! They're all about drastically reducing benefits and federal subsidies, and/or jacking premiums and withholding for Social Security and Medicare, while reducing federal payments (through block grants) to the states' Medicaid programs. The point was not whether they could fulfill those wicked intentions.

    That's why it's so important to vote for Democrats these next two cycles -- to act as a counterweight, which is a vital point the Business Insider article, intentionally or not, poignantly demonstrates.

    3) Employ multiple sourcing from credible outlets:

    https://www.dailydot.com/layer8/best-fact-checking-websites/

    First: Your "Snopes" link is outdated and only rated Trumps remarks during his 2016 campaign, when of course he wasn't going to say anything about cutting popular programs. To peel off low-information voters, he was merely stealing the progressive talking points about the most important and popular Democratic Party platform issues of all time. That's a sleazeball tactic right out of the Republican Party Playbook: Before a close general election, run as a Democrat on the issues; once elected, legislate as a Republican.

    Second: Since squatting in the Offal Office, he's lied directly to the face of the American People over 5,000 times; so, you can't believe a goddamn thing he says anyway.

    Despite any of his claims to the contrary, and the fact that he's an extremely poor negotiator -- being untrustworthy, spineless, mercurial, impulsive, indecisive, and easily persuadable by the last person with whom he happens to chat -- chances are high that this fake wannabe "leader" (Hah!) will sign any bill that promises to underhandedly slash any and all -- earned -- "entitlements" (Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid) the moment it hits his desk -- that is, if the party of the rich gets its way and maintains enough of a majority to ram through their crap in their fake democratic process, as they did with the tilted tax cuts and the nominations of thoroughly corporatized and extremely right-wing SCOTUS justices (one flat-out stolen from a Democratic president and another -- a f*cking liar -- who was very poorly vetted).

    Republican leadership on the whole has been emphatically against all of these wildly-popular, DEMOCRATIC programs from their very inception -- no matter what they say right before an election.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/business/wp/2018/06/19/house-gop-plan-would-cut-medicare-social-security-to-balance-budget/?utm_term=.22eb90f6217c

    https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/10/17/trump-vows-lot-cutting-after-midterms-americans-urged-protect-social-security

    https://thinkprogress.org/republicans-voted-tax-bill-cut-medicare-social-security-pay-488a9bcbba7d/

    4) Per right-wing Twitter thread, i.e., worthless opinion: Yeah right. No one is holding their breath for that pie-in-the-sky, false campaign promise right before the midterms, again cynically devised to trick naive and low-information voters into voting Republican. Besides, why would anybody in their right might believe a damn thing coming from the forked tongue of an on-the-record pathological liar?

    Republicans already blew their budget, and political capital, on unpaid-for tax cuts for the super rich that did almost nothing, comparatively, for the middle class. So now, how do they plan to pay for a Trump middle-class tax cut that would actually mean anything to the average Jane and Joe? LMAO! The chances of getting that false campaign promise through the misnamed "Freedom Caucus" (read tea-baggers) in the House are Z-E-R-O, as it would be in McConnell's Senate. Dream on, naive voter...

    5) And finally, Paul Pauker is yet another far-right ideologue (You really love those guys, don't you?) who, to match his extremist opinions not borne out by facts, rewrites history with no compunction. He can't hold a candle to the veracity of Thom's numerous dissertations on our Founders' thinkings, feelings, and intentions backed up by decades of deep-dive research.

    Conclusion: The best way to preserve Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid is to vote Democratic. Unless you are foolish enough to leave yourself, the young, the old, the poor, and the sick to the tender mercies of Republicans and their billionaire donors.

  • The Thom Hartmann Program - Aug 30th 2018   2 days 8 hours ago

    Mitch McConnell's call to cut Medicare, Social Security, and Medicaid also perfectly laid out why it won't happen anytime soon

    https://www.businessinsider.com/mitch-mcconnell-medicare-social-security-medicaid-cuts-trump-2018-10

    Nice hit piece DS....the Thom drama continues.

    It's not popular and it won't fly!

    Here try this one

    https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/trump-social-security/

    you seem to like snopes :)

    https://twitter.com/prayingmedic/status/1053749250822103040

    For Dems, it could be the last nail in the coffin.

    POTUS: "We are looking at putting in a very major tax cut for middle-income people. And if we do that it'll be sometime just prior to November...” pic.twitter.com/c1ihgsCL8W

    And finally,

    The decline of the liberal mind

    http://www.thecasellp.com/2017/07/05/the-decline-of-the-liberal-mind/

  • The Thom Hartmann Program - Aug 30th 2018   2 days 10 hours ago

    Published on Wednesday, October 17, 2018 by Common Dreams

    "The Fascists Are Coming for Your Social Security and Medicare

    The warning signs are already here." --by Thom Hartmann:

    The billionaire fascists are coming for your Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. And they’re openly bragging about it.

    Right after Trump’s election, back in December of 2016, Newt Gingrich openly bragged at the Heritage Foundation that the Trump administration and Republicans in Congress were going to “break out of the Franklin Delano Roosevelt model.” That “model,” of course, created what we today refer to as “the middle class.”

    This week Mitch McConnell confirmed Gingrich’s prophecy, using the huge deficits created by Trump’s billionaire tax cuts as an excuse to destroy “entitlement” programs.

    “I think it would be safe to say that the single biggest disappointment of my time in Congress has been our failure to address the entitlement issue, and it’s a shame, because now the Democrats are promising Medicare for All,” McConnell told Bloomberg. He added, “[W]e’re talking about Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid.”

    These programs, along with free public education and progressive taxation, are the core drivers and maintainers of the American middle class. History shows that without a strong middle class, democracy itself collapses, and fascism is the next step down a long and terrible road.

    Ever since the election of Ronald Reagan, Republicans have been working overtime to kneecap institutions that support the American middle class. And, as any working-class family can tell you, the GOP has had some substantial successes, particularly in shifting both income and political power away from voters and toward billionaires and transnational corporations.

    In July of 2015, discussing SCOTUS’s 5 to 4 conservative vote on Citizens United, President Jimmy Carter told me: “It violates the essence of what made America a great country in its political system. Now it’s just an oligarchy with unlimited political bribery…” He added: “[W]e’ve just seen a complete subversion of our political system as a payoff to major contributors…”

    As Princeton researchers Martin Gilens and Benjamin Page demonstrated in an exhaustive analysis of the difference between what most Americans want their politicians to do legislatively, versus what American politicians actually do, it’s pretty clear that President Carter was right.

    They found that while the legislative priorities of the top 10 percent of Americans are consistently made into law, things the bottom 90 percent want are ignored. In other words, today in America, democracy only “works” for the top 10 percent of Americans.

    For thousands of years, economists and economic observers from Aristotle to Adam Smith to Thomas Piketty have told us that a “middle class” is not a normal byproduct of raw, unregulated capitalism—what right-wing ideologues call “the free market.”

    Instead, unregulated markets—particularly markets not regulated by significant taxation on predatory incomes—invariably lead to the opposite of a healthy middle class: they produce extremes of inequality, which are as dangerous to democracy as cancer is to a living being.

    With so-called “unregulated free markets,” the rich become super-rich, while grinding poverty spreads among working people like a heroin epidemic. This further polarizes the nation, both economically and politically, which, perversely, further cements the power of the oligarchs.

    While there’s a clear moral dimension to this—pointed out by Adam Smith in his classic Theory of Moral Sentiments—there’s also a vital political dimension.

    Smith noted, in 1759, that, “All constitutions of government are valued only in proportion as they tend to promote the happiness of those who live under them. This is their sole use and end.”

    Smith added a cautionary note, however: “[The] disposition to admire, and almost to worship, the rich and the powerful, and to despise, or, at least, to neglect persons of poor and mean condition… is the great and most universal cause of the corruption of our moral sentiments.”

    Jefferson was acutely aware of this: the Declaration of Independence was the first founding document of any nation in the history of the world that explicitly declared “happiness” as a “right” that should be protected and promoted by government against predations by the very wealthy.

    That was not at all, however, a consideration for the architects of supply-side Reaganomics, although they appropriated JFK’s “rising tide lifts all boats” metaphor to sell their hustle to (boatless) working people.

    Far more troubling (and well-known to both Smith and virtually all of our nation’s founders), however, was Aristotle’s observation that when a nation pursues economic/political activities that destroy its middle class, it will inevitably devolve either into mob rule or oligarchy. As he noted in Politics:

    “Now in all states there are three elements: one class is very rich, another very poor, and a third in a mean. … But a [government] ought to be composed, as far as possible, of equals and similars; and these are generally the middle classes. …

    “Thus it is manifest that the best political community is formed by citizens of the middle class, and that those states are likely to be well-administered in which the middle class is large, and stronger if possible than both the other classes, or at any rate than either singly; for the addition of the middle class turns the scale, and prevents either of the extremes from being dominant.”

    This is how America was for the Boomer generation until about two decades ago: a 30-year-old in the 1970s had a 90 percent chance of having or attaining a higher standard of living than his or her parents. But, since the 1980s introduction of Reaganomics, there’s been more than a 70 percent drop in “social mobility”—the ability to move from one economic station of life into a better one.

    So, if our democratic republic is to return to democracy and what’s left of our middle class is to survive (or even grow), how do we do that?

    History shows that the two primary regulators within a capitalist system that provide for the emergence of a middle class are progressive taxation and a healthy social safety net.

    As Jefferson noted in a 1785 letter to Madison, “Another means of silently lessening the inequality of property is to exempt all from taxation below a certain point, and to tax the higher portions of property in geometrical progression as they rise.”

    Similarly, Thomas Paine, proposing in Agrarian Justice (1797) what we today call Social Security, said that a democracy can only survive when its people “[S]ee before them the certainty of escaping the miseries that under other governments accompany old age…” Such a strong social safety net, Paine argued, “will have an advocate and an ally in the heart of all nations.”

    Tragically, Republicans are today planning to destroy both our nation’s progressive taxation system and our social safety net, in obsequious service to their billionaire paymasters.

    Flipping Jefferson and FDR on their heads, Republicans last year passed a multi-trillion-dollar tax break for the rich, with a few-hundred-dollars bone tossed in for working people.

    Meanwhile, Republicans are already hard at work dismantling the last remnants of the New Deal and the Great Society.

    As Ian Milhiser notes, “Republicans in the House hope to cut Social Security benefits by 20–50 percent. Speaker Paul Ryan’s plan to voucherize Medicare would drive up out-of-pocket costs for seniors by about 40 percent. Then he’d cut Medicaid by between a third and a half.”

    This is not, of course, the first time Republicans have tried this. They’ve been trying to dismantle Social Security since 1936, and Reagan himself even recorded a 33 RPM LP calling LBJ’s Great Society proposal for a program called “Medicare” as “socialism,” saying that if it passed then one day we’d all look back “remembering the time when men were free.”

    And it’s always been in service to the same agenda—handing political and economic power over the morbidly rich and the corporations that got them there.

    In earlier times, we had a word for this takeover of democracy by the morbidly rich and the corporations: fascism.

    As I’ve written before, in early 1944, the New York Times asked Vice President Henry Wallace to, as Wallace noted, “write a piece answering the following questions: What is a fascist? How many fascists have we? How dangerous are they?”

    Vice President Wallace’s answer to those questions was published in the New York Times on April 9, 1944, at the height of the war against the Axis powers of Germany and Japan.

    “The really dangerous American fascists,” Wallace wrote, “are not those who are hooked up directly or indirectly with the Axis. The FBI has its finger on those. ... The American fascist would prefer not to use violence. His method is to poison the channels of public information.

    “With a fascist the problem is never how best to present the truth to the public,” Wallace continued, “but how best to use the news to deceive the public into giving the fascist and his group more money or more power.”

    In this, Wallace was using the classic definition of the word “fascist”—the definition Mussolini had in mind when he claimed to have invented the word.

    As the 1983 American Heritage Dictionary noted, fascism is: “A system of government that exercises a dictatorship of the extreme right, typically through the merging of state and business leadership, together with belligerent nationalism.”

    Vice President Wallace bluntly laid out in his 1944 Times article his concern about the same happening here in America: “American fascism will not be really dangerous until there is a purposeful coalition among the cartelists, [and] the deliberate poisoners of public information...”

    He could have been describing Fox, right-wing hate radio, and the billionaires who keep today’s GOP in power.

    Noting that, “Fascism is a worldwide disease,” Wallace further suggested that fascism’s “greatest threat to the United States will come after the war” and will manifest “within the United States itself.”

    Watching the Republicans of his day work from the same anti-worker playbook they are today, Wallace added:

    “Still another danger is represented by those who, paying lip service to democracy and the common welfare, in their insatiable greed for money and the power which money gives, do not hesitate surreptitiously to evade the laws designed to safeguard the public from monopolistic extortion.”

    As Wallace wrote, some in big business “are willing to jeopardize the structure of American liberty to gain some temporary advantage.”

    In a comment prescient of Donald Trump’s trashing of “Mexican rapists” and “gangs” in Chicago, Wallace wrote:

    “The symptoms of fascist thinking are colored by environment and adapted to immediate circumstances. But always and everywhere they can be identified by their appeal to prejudice and by the desire to play upon the fears and vanities of different groups in order to gain power.

    “It is no coincidence that the growth of modern tyrants has in every case been heralded by the growth of prejudice.”

    And that prejudice would be exploited to win elections so that the fascists could rob the people and enhance their own power and wealthy.

    But even at this, Wallace noted, American fascists would still have to lie to the people in order to gain power. And if the day ever came when a billionaire opened a “news” network just to promote fascist thinking, they could promote their lies with ease.

    “The American fascists are most easily recognized by their deliberate perversion of truth and fact,” Wallace wrote. “Their newspapers and propaganda carefully cultivate every fissure of disunity, every crack in the common front against fascism. They use every opportunity to impugn democracy.”

    In his strongest indictment of the tide of fascism the vice president of the United States saw rising in America, he added:

    “They claim to be super-patriots, but they would destroy every liberty guaranteed by the Constitution. They demand free enterprise, but are the spokesmen for monopoly and vested interest. Their final objective, toward which all their deceit is directed, is to capture political power so that using the power of the State and the power of the market simultaneously they may keep the common man in eternal subjection.”

    In the election of 2018, we stand at a crossroad that Roosevelt and Wallace only imagined.

    Billionaire-funded fascism is rising in America, calling itself “conservativism” and “Trumpism.”

    The Republican candidates’ and their billionaire donors’ behavior today eerily parallels that day in 1936 when Roosevelt said, “In vain they seek to hide behind the flag and the Constitution. In their blindness they forget what the flag and the Constitution stand for.” President Roosevelt and Vice President Wallace’s warnings are more urgent now than ever before.

    If Trump and the billionaire fascists who bankroll the Republicans succeed in destroying the last supports for America’s enfeebled middle class, including Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid—and succeed in blocking any possibility of Medicare for All or free college and trade school—not only will the bottom 90 percent of Americans suffer, but what little democracy we have left in this republic will evaporate. History, from Greek and Roman times through Europe in the first half of the 20th century, suggests it will probably be replaced by a violent, kleptocratic oligarchy that no longer shrinks from words like “fascist.”

    The warning signs are already here, and, in the face of nationwide election fraud based in Republican voter purges, we must turn out massive numbers if we’re to preserve the American Dream and finally make it available to all.

    This article was produced by the Independent Media Institute.

  • U.K. Pound Falls As Markets Get Brexit Jitters   2 days 18 hours ago

    There's a huge 2nd referendum protest happening in London today!

    Carpet cleaners near me

  • Banding Together for the Common Good   3 days 5 hours ago

    There is a lot of wisdom in this article. People definitely need to work together to survive because if you don't some will propser and many will not. This is the type of system I believe in. We work as a team in my business and everyone does well at my https://appliancerepairleader.com appliance repair company. I would hate to have employees that bust their humps for me not be able to make ends meet.

  • The Thom Hartmann Program - Aug 30th 2018   3 days 7 hours ago

    DianeR,

    It's a multi prong attack....really needs to stop on all levels.

    This lawlessness is going to bite them in the....donkey!

    If no one will go by rules it's every person for them self... the strongest survive. Sounds like acient history to me.... Or Portland, Honduras, the middle east, Africa, Haiti et al.

    more on Ca. voting...DMV & more.

    http://capitolweekly.net/partisanship-roils-voting-reform-efforts/

  • The Thom Hartmann Program - Aug 30th 2018   3 days 8 hours ago

    HotCoffee,

    Anyone asking just who is financing this "sudden" migration? Winter is coming to the US so I find the timing of this flood of children that will be "RIPPED" from their mothers breasts to be a bit suspicious?

    Who is providing the logistics, food, water, sanitary conditions, shelter at night, etc. Did they time this to be at our door just before the midterms? Have the alt-lefties already got pictures of kids in cages? Do they have interviews with distraught parents that don't even know the name of the prop that they dragged with them. I can imagine leftie/socialist radio bobbleheads reading stories provided to them from the mooks following along step by agonizing step trying to create a suitable picture of despair.

    I suspect Mexico has learned their lesson and will take care of the issue.

  • The Thom Hartmann Program - Aug 30th 2018   3 days 10 hours ago

    More great pics of the women and children in the caravan.

    Caravan migrants break Guatemala border fence, rush Mexico

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6293893/Leading-supporter-giant-caravan-Honduran-migrants-headed-border-arrested.html

    https://apnews.com/d52af53fc55b49cdbd320df9a19ff626

  • The Thom Hartmann Program - Aug 30th 2018   3 days 10 hours ago

    coalage,

    Avanatti ....I've heard of Ambulance chasers but he's the first Porn chaser I've run into.

    What a sad excuse for a human being.

  • The Thom Hartmann Program - Aug 30th 2018   3 days 11 hours ago

    DS,

    Lord have mercy DS are you ok? You actually said something nice, well nice for you anyway! And I actually agree with you.

    No hard feelings DS, I know you'll come around and wake up eventually! :)

    "See ya around somewhere in the mud and the blood, HotCoffee. Ha ha, you've been a fairly good sport despite my Irish browbeating and name-calling. Nothing personal; as anonymous bloggers, we're just digits and data, zeros and ones, trapped in website software. But, somewhere behind the facade, we're all humans who share a common destiny and a common humanity that simply must prevail against lies and violence.

    };--))"

  • The Thom Hartmann Program - Aug 30th 2018   3 days 11 hours ago

    DianeR,

    Geez it's everywhere.

    Texas Democrats Ask Non-Citizens To Register To Vote, Pre-Checked Citizenship Box On Applications, Report Says

    https://www.dailywire.com/news/37334/texas-democrats-ask-non-citizens-register-vote-ryan-saavedra

  • The Thom Hartmann Program - Aug 30th 2018   3 days 12 hours ago

    DianeR,

    A good Morning to you!

    Speaking of Puerta Rico one home design I was speaking of to DS is made in Puerta Rico.

    All the rebuilding there should be done this way.

    The technology to build fire-resistant homes, called “Structural Cement Insulated Panels” (SCIP). It was invented and patented in the 1960’s through the 1990’s. Wood construction costs have become so expensive, this technology is now economically competitive.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VJekgKmro_Y

    also

    http://cscda.org/Infrastructure-Finance-Programs/Statewide-Community-Infrastructure-Program-(SCIP)/SCIP-Presentation/SCIP-Presentation-12-15-20141.aspx

    So many solutions to the problems are available but not promoted.

    Nellie Orr testifies today....more rope to hang themselves with! Enjoy the show.

  • The Thom Hartmann Program - Aug 30th 2018   3 days 13 hours ago

    DS,

    Trump signs ocean plastics pollution law. Of course not reported by CNN or MSNBC.

    http://www.plasticsnews.com/article/20181012/NEWS/181019959/trump-signs-ocean-plastics-pollution-law

    We need our oceans cleaned up right DS?

    What if Trump cares more than you can posibly give him credit for? He has children too.

    The left has screamed Russia Russia Russia for 2 years now, they really seem to want to start a war with Russia...will that be good for the enviornment? While Trump is stopping Russia from taking over the energy market leftists fight him every step of the way. Instead they cheer Hillary's plastic red reset button.

    Today, right now, they are burning tires to poison the air the Isreal breathe. Ever hear Amy Goodman complain about that? Or Thom for that matter?

    So now we have 4000 or so people headed for the US....Plus the 1000 or so that come everyday...geez only another 165,000,000 worldwide that want to come to this...according to the left ...horrid country. All financed by the hated worldwide George Soros. Talk about scum.

    Where do you plan to put them DS? Cut down how many trees for how many houses...or just let them live in the street like our Americans are doing? How much water will 4000 people need...while California charges more & more for every drop? Do you think we could build houses out of something other than trees? I do. SF wastes more water in one year of broken pipes lines than Northern Ca. ( where the water is ) can save in 5 years.

    What did Gavin do to fix the problem....nothing!

    All the while your hollywood spokpersons sit in their gated frenced estates filling there swimming pools and telling everyone else how to live.

    So yes I'm sitting here saving my 80 acres of trees and promoting homes not built from trees, loving the wildlife and appreciating the real men & women that live here. Also working with people from all over the world on alternative decentralized enery projects since 1972.

    What are you doing besides Bitchin?

    I could go on & on....but later for that.

  • With The Dalai Lama   3 days 14 hours ago

    Over last night's simple dinner of Moules Marinieres my life-partner and I caught up on some thoughts we've been sharing recently. 192.168.l.l

  • With The Dalai Lama   3 days 14 hours ago

    One conversation dominated the interval chit-chat at my most recent visit to the Globe Theatre. 192.168 l 254

  • Mom and Dad   3 days 14 hours ago

    Over last night's simple dinner of Moules Marinieres my life-partner and I caught up on some thoughts we've been sharing recently. 192.168 l 254

  • Mom and Dad   3 days 14 hours ago

    Chatting with the barrista at my favourite Crouch End café this morning stirred a thought. I would rather vote for the BNP than let my three year old eat anything sold in Asda! 192.168.l.l

  • The Thom Hartmann Program - Aug 30th 2018   3 days 16 hours ago

    Morning HotCoffee, Here is another beauty. Remember the wise ass mayor of San Juan who spent her hours on CNN and MSNBC bashing Trump for not stopping the hurricane that hit Puerto Rico? I am sure Thom was going to do a story on this but hasen't quite got around to doing it yet. Funny how dirty democrat party shit gets "misplaced" by the radio bobblehead leftie/socialists.

    "Trump-Bashing Mayor’s Office Gets Surprise Visit from FBI After Allegations of Corruption"

    https://www.westernjournal.com/ct/trump-bashing-mayor-gets-surprise-visit-fbi-allegations-corruption/?utm_source=Email&utm_medium=WJBreaking&utm_campaign=ct-breaking&utm_content=western-journal

  • The Thom Hartmann Program - Aug 30th 2018   3 days 17 hours ago

    As to Sen. Warren, she may have really thought that she was part Cherokee. As it turns out, aren't we all? Her bigger problem is that she chose to try and profit from this supposed heritage when it really wasn't accurate.

    Now, given the current state of democratic identity minority grieved politics, one can hardly blame Pocahontas, err Sen Warren, for trying to parlay this into an opporunity for 2020. She was just trying to shore up her alleged minorty bona fides. But she's way behind Sen. Harris, in particular, and Spartacus Booker in the minority category. She might be female, but she is an old white female. And now you got old white guy Joe Biden trying to drum up support. Good luck with that. Plus old white Joe is known to be a little "handsy" around women.

    In the democratic party of today, the more minority status one can claim, the better. I wonder what Avenatti is going to do to claim some kind of minority status.

The Thom Hartmann Program - Aug 30th 2018

It seems it's all racism, all the time w/the GOP...Neo-Nazi robocall hits Iowa on Molly Tibbett’s murder: “KILL THEM ALL. ” Richard Wolff drops by about the National Debt. Is it a disaster or an OK thing? Also - Trump & The National Enquirer - Is the Economy Here To Serve Us Or Are We Here to Serve the economy?