Recent comments

  • June 10 2009 Wednesday   10 years 10 weeks ago

    Thom,

    Per Krugman’s recent column on the probability that the financial meltdown, if it had occured during Gore’s presidency (had he been allowed to preside over it) would be blamed on the Dems. instead of the Republics seems to be refuted by “Sea of Red Ink: How It Spread From a Puddle” by David Leonhardt on the front page of today’s NYTimes. Leonhardt contends the 2 basic truths about today’s financial deficit are that Obama’s ambitious agenda is responsible for only a sliver of the total, and the current administration doesn’t have a realistic plan to solve it:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/10/business/economy/10leonhardt.html?_r=1&hp

    “The New York Times analyzed Congressional Budget Office reports going back almost a decade, with the aim of understanding how the federal government came to be far deeper in debt than it has been since the years just after World War II. This debt will constrain the country’s choices for years and could end up doing serious economic damage if foreign lenders become unwilling to finance it.

    Mr. Obama — responding to recent signs of skittishness among those lenders — met with 40 members of Congress at the White House on Tuesday and called for the re-enactment of pay-as-you-go rules, requiring Congress to pay for any new programs it passes.

    The story of today’s deficits starts in January 2001, as President Bill Clinton was leaving office. The Congressional Budget Office estimated then that the government would run an average annual surplus of more than $800 billion a year from 2009 to 2012. Today, the government is expected to run a $1.2 trillion annual deficit in those years.

    You can think of that roughly $2 trillion swing as coming from four broad categories: the business cycle, President George W. Bush’s policies, policies from the Bush years that are scheduled to expire but that Mr. Obama has chosen to extend, and new policies proposed by Mr. Obama.

    The first category — the business cycle — accounts for 37 percent of the $2 trillion swing. It’s a reflection of the fact that both the 2001 recession and the current one reduced tax revenue, required more spending on safety-net programs and changed economists’ assumptions about how much in taxes the government would collect in future years.

    About 33 percent of the swing stems from new legislation signed by Mr. Bush. That legislation, like his tax cuts and the Medicare prescription drug benefit, not only continue to cost the government but have also increased interest payments on the national debt.

    Mr. Obama’s main contribution to the deficit is his extension of several Bush policies, like the Iraq war and tax cuts for households making less than $250,000. Such policies — together with the Wall Street bailout, which was signed by Mr. Bush and supported by Mr. Obama — account for 20 percent of the swing.

    About 7 percent comes from the stimulus bill that Mr. Obama signed in February. And only 3 percent comes from Mr. Obama’s agenda on health care, education, energy and other areas.

    If the analysis is extended further into the future, well beyond 2012, the Obama agenda accounts for only a slightly higher share of the projected deficits.

    How can that be? Some of his proposals, like a plan to put a price on carbon emissions, don’t cost the government any money. Others would be partly offset by proposed tax increases on the affluent and spending cuts. Congressional and White House aides agree that no large new programs, like an expansion of health insurance, are likely to pass unless they are paid for.

    Alan Auerbach, an economist at the University of California, Berkeley, and an author of a widely cited study on the dangers of the current deficits, describes the situation like so: “Bush behaved incredibly irresponsibly for eight years. On the one hand, it might seem unfair for people to blame Obama for not fixing it. On the other hand, he’s not fixing it.”

    “And,” he added, “not fixing it is, in a sense, making it worse.”

    When challenged about the deficit, Mr. Obama and his advisers generally start talking about health care. “There is no way you can put the nation on a sound fiscal course without wringing inefficiencies out of health care,” Peter Orszag, the White House budget director, told me.

    Outside economists agree. The Medicare budget really is the linchpin of deficit reduction. But there are two problems with leaving the discussion there.

    First, even if a health overhaul does pass, it may not include the tough measures needed to bring down spending. Ultimately, the only way to do so is to take money from doctors, drug makers and insurers, and it isn’t clear whether Mr. Obama and Congress have the stomach for that fight. So far, they have focused on ideas like preventive care that would do little to cut costs.

    Second, even serious health care reform won’t be enough. Obama advisers acknowledge as much. They say that changes to the system would probably have a big effect on health spending starting in five or 10 years. The national debt, however, will grow dangerously large much sooner.

    Mr. Orszag says the president is committed to a deficit equal to no more than 3 percent of gross domestic product within five to 10 years. The Congressional Budget Office projects a deficit of at least 4 percent for most of the next decade. Even that may turn out to be optimistic, since the government usually ends up spending more than it says it will. So Mr. Obama isn’t on course to meet his target.

    But Congressional Republicans aren’t, either. Judd Gregg recently held up a chart on the Senate floor showing that Mr. Obama would increase the deficit — but failed to mention that much of the increase stemmed from extending Bush policies. In fact, unlike Mr. Obama, Republicans favor extending all the Bush tax cuts, which will send the deficit higher.

    Republican leaders in the House, meanwhile, announced a plan last week to cut spending by $75 billion a year. But they made specific suggestions adding up to meager $5 billion. The remaining $70 billion was left vague. “The G.O.P. is not serious about cutting down spending,” the conservative Cato Institute concluded.

    What, then, will happen?

    “Things will get worse gradually,” Mr. Auerbach predicts, “unless they get worse quickly.” Either a solution will be put off, or foreign lenders, spooked by the rising debt, will send interest rates higher and create a crisis.

    The solution, though, is no mystery. It will involve some combination of tax increases and spending cuts. And it won’t be limited to pay-as-you-go rules, tax increases on somebody else, or a crackdown on waste, fraud and abuse. Your taxes will probably go up, and some government programs you favor will become less generous.

    That is the legacy of our trillion-dollar deficits. Erasing them will be one of the great political issues of the coming decade.

  • June 10 2009 Wednesday   10 years 10 weeks ago

    Thom,

    Per Krugman’s recent column on the probability that the financial meltdown, if it had occured during Gore’s presidency (had he been allowed to preside over it) would be blamed on the Dems. instead of the Republics seems to be refuted by “Sea of Red Ink: How It Spread From a Puddle” by David Leonhardt on the front page of today’s NYTimes. Leonhardt contends the 2 basic truths about today’s financial deficit are that Obama’s ambitious agenda is responsible for only a sliver of the total, and the current administration doesn’t have a realistic plan to solve it:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/10/business/economy/10leonhardt.html?_r=1&hp

    “The New York Times analyzed Congressional Budget Office reports going back almost a decade, with the aim of understanding how the federal government came to be far deeper in debt than it has been since the years just after World War II. This debt will constrain the country’s choices for years and could end up doing serious economic damage if foreign lenders become unwilling to finance it.

    Mr. Obama — responding to recent signs of skittishness among those lenders — met with 40 members of Congress at the White House on Tuesday and called for the re-enactment of pay-as-you-go rules, requiring Congress to pay for any new programs it passes.

    The story of today’s deficits starts in January 2001, as President Bill Clinton was leaving office. The Congressional Budget Office estimated then that the government would run an average annual surplus of more than $800 billion a year from 2009 to 2012. Today, the government is expected to run a $1.2 trillion annual deficit in those years.

    You can think of that roughly $2 trillion swing as coming from four broad categories: the business cycle, President George W. Bush’s policies, policies from the Bush years that are scheduled to expire but that Mr. Obama has chosen to extend, and new policies proposed by Mr. Obama.

    The first category — the business cycle — accounts for 37 percent of the $2 trillion swing. It’s a reflection of the fact that both the 2001 recession and the current one reduced tax revenue, required more spending on safety-net programs and changed economists’ assumptions about how much in taxes the government would collect in future years.

    About 33 percent of the swing stems from new legislation signed by Mr. Bush. That legislation, like his tax cuts and the Medicare prescription drug benefit, not only continue to cost the government but have also increased interest payments on the national debt.

    Mr. Obama’s main contribution to the deficit is his extension of several Bush policies, like the Iraq war and tax cuts for households making less than $250,000. Such policies — together with the Wall Street bailout, which was signed by Mr. Bush and supported by Mr. Obama — account for 20 percent of the swing.

    About 7 percent comes from the stimulus bill that Mr. Obama signed in February. And only 3 percent comes from Mr. Obama’s agenda on health care, education, energy and other areas.

    If the analysis is extended further into the future, well beyond 2012, the Obama agenda accounts for only a slightly higher share of the projected deficits.

    How can that be? Some of his proposals, like a plan to put a price on carbon emissions, don’t cost the government any money. Others would be partly offset by proposed tax increases on the affluent and spending cuts. Congressional and White House aides agree that no large new programs, like an expansion of health insurance, are likely to pass unless they are paid for.

    Alan Auerbach, an economist at the University of California, Berkeley, and an author of a widely cited study on the dangers of the current deficits, describes the situation like so: “Bush behaved incredibly irresponsibly for eight years. On the one hand, it might seem unfair for people to blame Obama for not fixing it. On the other hand, he’s not fixing it.”

    “And,” he added, “not fixing it is, in a sense, making it worse.”

    When challenged about the deficit, Mr. Obama and his advisers generally start talking about health care. “There is no way you can put the nation on a sound fiscal course without wringing inefficiencies out of health care,” Peter Orszag, the White House budget director, told me.

    Outside economists agree. The Medicare budget really is the linchpin of deficit reduction. But there are two problems with leaving the discussion there.

    First, even if a health overhaul does pass, it may not include the tough measures needed to bring down spending. Ultimately, the only way to do so is to take money from doctors, drug makers and insurers, and it isn’t clear whether Mr. Obama and Congress have the stomach for that fight. So far, they have focused on ideas like preventive care that would do little to cut costs.

    Second, even serious health care reform won’t be enough. Obama advisers acknowledge as much. They say that changes to the system would probably have a big effect on health spending starting in five or 10 years. The national debt, however, will grow dangerously large much sooner.

    Mr. Orszag says the president is committed to a deficit equal to no more than 3 percent of gross domestic product within five to 10 years. The Congressional Budget Office projects a deficit of at least 4 percent for most of the next decade. Even that may turn out to be optimistic, since the government usually ends up spending more than it says it will. So Mr. Obama isn’t on course to meet his target.

    But Congressional Republicans aren’t, either. Judd Gregg recently held up a chart on the Senate floor showing that Mr. Obama would increase the deficit — but failed to mention that much of the increase stemmed from extending Bush policies. In fact, unlike Mr. Obama, Republicans favor extending all the Bush tax cuts, which will send the deficit higher.

    Republican leaders in the House, meanwhile, announced a plan last week to cut spending by $75 billion a year. But they made specific suggestions adding up to meager $5 billion. The remaining $70 billion was left vague. “The G.O.P. is not serious about cutting down spending,” the conservative Cato Institute concluded.

    What, then, will happen?

    “Things will get worse gradually,” Mr. Auerbach predicts, “unless they get worse quickly.” Either a solution will be put off, or foreign lenders, spooked by the rising debt, will send interest rates higher and create a crisis.

    The solution, though, is no mystery. It will involve some combination of tax increases and spending cuts. And it won’t be limited to pay-as-you-go rules, tax increases on somebody else, or a crackdown on waste, fraud and abuse. Your taxes will probably go up, and some government programs you favor will become less generous.

    That is the legacy of our trillion-dollar deficits. Erasing them will be one of the great political issues of the coming decade.

    (E-mail: Leonhardt@nytimes.com)

  • June 10 2009 Wednesday   10 years 10 weeks ago

    Making Progress,

    I agree that progressive thinkers like Thom and Batra need more exposure to the American public. (I even attempted to convince the managing editor of the NYTimes to have Thom as one of its op-ed writers (especially since they were, at the time, allowing Bill Krystal to present his poorly researched, poorly argued columns on their pages.) BTW, I think it is very disturbing that Carlos Slim owns part of (and wants to own more of) the NYTImes. (http://www.slate.com/id/2211248/)

    Mark,

    It’s too bad NAFTA continues to go unchallenged…

  • June 10 2009 Wednesday   10 years 10 weeks ago

    Making Progress,

    I agree that progressive thinkers like Thom and Batra need more exposure to the American public. (I even attempted to convince the managing editor of the NYTimes to have Thom as one of its op-ed writers (especially since they were, at the time, allowing Bill Krystal to present his poorly researched, poorly argued columns on their pages.) BTW, I think it is very disturbing that Carlos Slim owns part of (and wants to own more of) the NYTImes. (http://www.slate.com/id/2211248/)

    Mark,

    It's too bad NAFTA continues to go unchallenged...

    Thom,

    Per Krugman's recent column on the probability that the financial meltdown, if it had occured during Gore's presidency (had he been allowed to preside over it) would be blamed on the Dems. instead of the Republics seems to be refuted by "Sea of Red Ink: How It Spread From a Puddle" by David Leonhardt on the front page of today's NYTimes. Leonhardt contends the 2 basic truths about today's financial deficit are that Obama's ambitious agenda is responsible for only a sliver of the total, and the current administration doesn't have a realistic plan to solve it:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/10/business/economy/10leonhardt.html?_r=1&hp

    "The New York Times analyzed Congressional Budget Office reports going back almost a decade, with the aim of understanding how the federal government came to be far deeper in debt than it has been since the years just after World War II. This debt will constrain the country’s choices for years and could end up doing serious economic damage if foreign lenders become unwilling to finance it.

    Mr. Obama — responding to recent signs of skittishness among those lenders — met with 40 members of Congress at the White House on Tuesday and called for the re-enactment of pay-as-you-go rules, requiring Congress to pay for any new programs it passes.

    The story of today’s deficits starts in January 2001, as President Bill Clinton was leaving office. The Congressional Budget Office estimated then that the government would run an average annual surplus of more than $800 billion a year from 2009 to 2012. Today, the government is expected to run a $1.2 trillion annual deficit in those years.

    You can think of that roughly $2 trillion swing as coming from four broad categories: the business cycle, President George W. Bush’s policies, policies from the Bush years that are scheduled to expire but that Mr. Obama has chosen to extend, and new policies proposed by Mr. Obama.

    The first category — the business cycle — accounts for 37 percent of the $2 trillion swing. It’s a reflection of the fact that both the 2001 recession and the current one reduced tax revenue, required more spending on safety-net programs and changed economists’ assumptions about how much in taxes the government would collect in future years.

    About 33 percent of the swing stems from new legislation signed by Mr. Bush. That legislation, like his tax cuts and the Medicare prescription drug benefit, not only continue to cost the government but have also increased interest payments on the national debt.

    Mr. Obama’s main contribution to the deficit is his extension of several Bush policies, like the Iraq war and tax cuts for households making less than $250,000. Such policies — together with the Wall Street bailout, which was signed by Mr. Bush and supported by Mr. Obama — account for 20 percent of the swing.

    About 7 percent comes from the stimulus bill that Mr. Obama signed in February. And only 3 percent comes from Mr. Obama’s agenda on health care, education, energy and other areas.

    If the analysis is extended further into the future, well beyond 2012, the Obama agenda accounts for only a slightly higher share of the projected deficits.

    How can that be? Some of his proposals, like a plan to put a price on carbon emissions, don’t cost the government any money. Others would be partly offset by proposed tax increases on the affluent and spending cuts. Congressional and White House aides agree that no large new programs, like an expansion of health insurance, are likely to pass unless they are paid for.

    Alan Auerbach, an economist at the University of California, Berkeley, and an author of a widely cited study on the dangers of the current deficits, describes the situation like so: “Bush behaved incredibly irresponsibly for eight years. On the one hand, it might seem unfair for people to blame Obama for not fixing it. On the other hand, he’s not fixing it.”

    “And,” he added, “not fixing it is, in a sense, making it worse.”

    When challenged about the deficit, Mr. Obama and his advisers generally start talking about health care. “There is no way you can put the nation on a sound fiscal course without wringing inefficiencies out of health care,” Peter Orszag, the White House budget director, told me.

    Outside economists agree. The Medicare budget really is the linchpin of deficit reduction. But there are two problems with leaving the discussion there.

    First, even if a health overhaul does pass, it may not include the tough measures needed to bring down spending. Ultimately, the only way to do so is to take money from doctors, drug makers and insurers, and it isn’t clear whether Mr. Obama and Congress have the stomach for that fight. So far, they have focused on ideas like preventive care that would do little to cut costs.

    Second, even serious health care reform won’t be enough. Obama advisers acknowledge as much. They say that changes to the system would probably have a big effect on health spending starting in five or 10 years. The national debt, however, will grow dangerously large much sooner.

    Mr. Orszag says the president is committed to a deficit equal to no more than 3 percent of gross domestic product within five to 10 years. The Congressional Budget Office projects a deficit of at least 4 percent for most of the next decade. Even that may turn out to be optimistic, since the government usually ends up spending more than it says it will. So Mr. Obama isn’t on course to meet his target.

    But Congressional Republicans aren’t, either. Judd Gregg recently held up a chart on the Senate floor showing that Mr. Obama would increase the deficit — but failed to mention that much of the increase stemmed from extending Bush policies. In fact, unlike Mr. Obama, Republicans favor extending all the Bush tax cuts, which will send the deficit higher.

    Republican leaders in the House, meanwhile, announced a plan last week to cut spending by $75 billion a year. But they made specific suggestions adding up to meager $5 billion. The remaining $70 billion was left vague. “The G.O.P. is not serious about cutting down spending,” the conservative Cato Institute concluded.

    What, then, will happen?

    “Things will get worse gradually,” Mr. Auerbach predicts, “unless they get worse quickly.” Either a solution will be put off, or foreign lenders, spooked by the rising debt, will send interest rates higher and create a crisis.

    The solution, though, is no mystery. It will involve some combination of tax increases and spending cuts. And it won’t be limited to pay-as-you-go rules, tax increases on somebody else, or a crackdown on waste, fraud and abuse. Your taxes will probably go up, and some government programs you favor will become less generous.

    That is the legacy of our trillion-dollar deficits. Erasing them will be one of the great political issues of the coming decade.

    E-mail: Leonhardt@nytimes.com

  • June 10 2009 Wednesday   10 years 10 weeks ago

    Tuesday’s show was quite fascinating, especially the last hour’s conversation with Abraham Bolden. Nevertheless, there were several things Thom disappointed me with. "Populism" is to me little removed from mob rule; the only difference between conservative and progressive versions of populism is that conservatives are more brazen is offering-up the “other” as a scapegoat. I think it should be pointed that free trade with the U.S. has also hurt Mexican farmers; most Mexican tariffs have been removed, while the American farmers still receive government subsidies that their counterparts in Mexico do not. Contrary to popular belief, the U.S. exports more foodstuffs to Mexico than vice-versa, and competition from the U.S. has driven tens of thousands of poor farmers in Mexico from their fields to the cities, and failing to find work there, to the U.S. It is interesting to note as well that the dollar value of U.S. exports to Mexico is double that what the U.S. exports to China.

    The side-stepping of immigration reform doesn’t make sense to me either, especially given the fact that nonsensical U.S. immigration policy is part of the problem. A couple years ago a local weekly published a story concerning the Emerald Downs horse race track , which employed Mexican immigrants who obtained work visas to labor as horse grooms, before returning to Mexico for several months. But because of the rising anti-immigrant onslaught, there were unexplained visa problems when the next season was about to begin. There “magically” appeared a three-month "window of opportunity" for the "natives" to take those jobs. But despite extensive advertising for jobs in print, only two “natives” showed interest in the work, and apparently after being told that the job included cleaning stalls, they were never heard from again. "White people don't want to work; they just want to bitch and say there are no jobs” one 60-year-old trainer was quoted as saying. He and other trainers were obliged to do the groom work themselves until the work visas were finally granted and the Mexican grooms arrived. They were “soaked-up” by relieved trainers “like a wet rag.”
    There is need for seasonal workers like these for the kind of work that Americans do not want to demean themselves or find too inconvenient to do. If the U.S. had a work visa program that was less prejudicial and more flexible, it stands to reason that fewer would have reason to come into and stay in the country illegally.

  • June 10 2009 Wednesday   10 years 10 weeks ago

    The Daily Show was great last night! John Hodgman makes fun of California’s Ballot initiative system and how they are privatizing everything instead of raising taxes.
    Peter Schiff was also on The Daily Show on Tuesday and Jon Stewart was fawning over him. I feel like if he can get air time why can't Ravi Batra? While Schiff correctly predicted the credit crunch, his causes and solutions are not entirely correct. He fails to discuss wages and trade policies. I realize that Ravi Batra is only an SMU professor and not running for the Senate or the economic adviser for Ron Paul's campaign. But why can’t Batra, an obvious establishment outsider, get an interview with Jon Stewart under the guise of the paperback release of The New Golden Age. For that matter, Thom should go on The Daily Show. More exposure is needed for progressive view points. My fear is that the general populous will adopt the libertarian ideology as a so-called middle ground from where we’ve been the last eight years.

  • June 9th 2009 - Tuesday   10 years 11 weeks ago

    Quark,

    You may be right. Eisenhower may have felt regrets later in his life. Smedley Butler felt that way after serving over 3 decades in the military. He said that most of the time he spent in the military he was "...a high class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism..."

    There's a good short article on him at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smedley_Butler It has that full quote.

  • June 9th 2009 - Tuesday   10 years 11 weeks ago

    B Roll,

    It sounds a little like Eisenhower may have made his "beware the military industrial complex" remarks with hindsight regret, since he didn't seem to have a problem using the military for some of these pro-corporate, antidemocratic ventures.

  • June 9th 2009 - Tuesday   10 years 11 weeks ago

    Re: What was the website for the Harvey J Kaye, Thomas Paine Promise of America?

    http://www.forgottenfoundingfather.net/

  • June 9th 2009 - Tuesday   10 years 11 weeks ago

    B Roll,

    Thanks for the history lesson. I've read a couple of the books you referenced, but have forgotten about some of these events.

    Once again, the military and corporate industrial complex shows how it runs the world.

  • June 9th 2009 - Tuesday   10 years 11 weeks ago

    P.S.: In relation to my post about Scarborough and Eisenhower above and for people who may not know:

    Mohammed Mossadegh was the democratically elected Prime Minister of Iran in the early 1950s. He ran afoul of the western powers when he decided to nationalize Iranian oil because Britain was taking an unfair share of the profits. This upset the Brits who asked President Harry Truman to help them get rid of the Mossadegh government. Truman said, “No.”

    The Brits asked again when our hero Dwight Eisenhower became president. He said, “Okie Dokie,” and the CIA engineered the overthrow of Mossedegh and the installation of the playboy Shah of Iran who had been partying it up in Europe. Decades of brutal rule ensued. The Shah’s secret police, the SAVAK, trained by the U.S. and Israel, were infamous for their brutality.

    Jacobo Arbenz Guzman, usually referred to as Arbenz was the democratically elected president of Guatemala. He was liberal, but not as liberal as Franklin Roosevelt. He was ousted in a CIA organized coup. He got on the wrong side of our country when his government decided to buy some of the vast unused land holdings of United Fruit Company, the largest landowner in Guatemala, with 85% of its holdings uncultivated. The Guatemalans decided this unused land could be used to grow food to feed their country.

    To determine what they should pay for the land, they looked at how the United Fruit Company valued the land on its tax returns. Well, it seems that the United Fruit Company listed the land at a very low value so they could pay very low taxes. The Guatemalan government offered to pay United Fruit Company the value they listed on their tax returns. United Fruit Company wasn’t very happy. That made Eisenhower unhappy, so he told the CIA to get rid of Arbenz, which they did in 1954. Tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of Guatemalans were killed and tortured in the following decades. The United States and the repressive Guatemalan government have been on pretty good terms since then.

    One of my big issues with Thom Hartmann is that he knows about these incidents and many more, but he refuses to include this information in his views on this country and its foreign policy. But these things are important because the U.S. has been doing this for quite a while.

    Reading recommendations: “The People’s History of the United States” by Howard Zinn, “Overthrow” by Stephen Kinzer (a very middle of the road journalist), and “Confessions of an Economic Hit Man” by John Perkins. Thom knows all these books, but it seems he can’t handle these truths.

  • June 9th 2009 - Tuesday   10 years 11 weeks ago

    When I type in www.dealeyplaza.net I get re routed to http://www.jfk.org/ is this right?

  • June 9th 2009 - Tuesday   10 years 11 weeks ago

    Quark,

    I didn't base my comment about Scarborough on today's interview. I based it on what I've heard from him on TV. There was a time, when he was speaking out against the Iraq war when he seemed to be becoming reasonable, But after a while, he started slipping to the right again. It was like someone whispered something in his ear.

  • June 9th 2009 - Tuesday   10 years 11 weeks ago

    What was the website for the Harvey J Kaye, Thomas Paine Promise of America?

  • June 9th 2009 - Tuesday   10 years 11 weeks ago

    People of Nebraska and Louisana (Nelson and Landrieu) please get on your senators case about the public option. Call or go to their office if you have to. This is going to be a huge battle and we need your help.

  • June 9th 2009 - Tuesday   10 years 11 weeks ago

    One thing ignored and unexplained about JFK's assassination is the video clip showing the secret service being told to stand down and get off JFK's limo as it took off on its route...the one where the SS agent throws his arms out in disbelief as he was told to get off the car where he was "supposed" to stand. Only the SS had the authority to remove him at that moment. Hope your guest will explain that.

  • June 9th 2009 - Tuesday   10 years 11 weeks ago

    I too was impressed with what little I heard from Joe Scarborough. He reminded me of the republican party I once knew.

  • June 9th 2009 - Tuesday   10 years 11 weeks ago

    Mary Landrieu's phones were busy so I sent her the following email even though I know she will never read it.

    Because of you opposition to single payer, or any public option for health insurance that would benefit the poor people of your state whom you obviously care little about, I will be sending a campaign to your opponent in your next election. I am a real Democrat and having said that, I will send a donation to your Republican opponent should you survive a primary just to remove you from office.

    You are a female Benedict Arnold.

  • June 9th 2009 - Tuesday   10 years 11 weeks ago

    thom, what are the tricks that conservitives do to get their books to #1 on the new yorks times best sellers list? i once heard they buy their own books in bulk.then some conservitive websites give them out as gifts if you buy the websites magazine.

  • June 9th 2009 - Tuesday   10 years 11 weeks ago

    Onit2day and B Roll,

    I need to listen to the Scarborough segment again. I must have missed much of what you heard.

    I guess the absense of shouting (from Joe) lulled me into a false sense of contentment! (LOL)

    Thom,

    Mary Landreau has not been a particularly reliable Democrat in the past. This is more of the same behavior.

  • June 9th 2009 - Tuesday   10 years 11 weeks ago

    Joe Scarborough still is a right wing crazy on his show.

    How hard was it to be "right on Katrina"? Is this the limbo? The bar keeps getting lower and lower.

    Dwight Eisenhower overthrew Mossadegh in Iran for the sake of British Petroleum and overthrew Arbenz for the sake of the United Fruit Country.

    I dislike Ike.

  • June 9th 2009 - Tuesday   10 years 11 weeks ago

    Medicare is a deficit only because the elderly and disabled (biggest users of health care ins) are the only ones allowed. If we had Medicare for all it would always be solvent. You let Scarborough get away with his ignorant propaganda of how will we pay for it...Medicare will be bankrupt blah blah blah. The "big decisions" Joe is stopping the profiteering from greedy private ins. We'd have no problem paying for Medicare for all as it would amount to less than 10% of what we are currently paying AND include dental. A $1.7 Billion CEO package goes along way in covering the uninsured.

    Are you getting too busy to prepare for your guests Thom? If Joe Scarborough has one moment of clarity he thinks he's a genius. Leaders of both parties are members of the "Money Party". Joe is an idiot and nothing he said was anymore than appeasement. Medicare for all is single payer not for profit and Joe is furthest away from ending the profiteering as possible. You don't know Joe or you would know how full of shit he is...he is an embarrassment and is willfully ignorant...just question him and you'll see. Thom you are so easily mislead in your desire to avoid conflict. Joe is a blatant idiot and you gave him a pass.

  • June 9th 2009 - Tuesday   10 years 11 weeks ago

    Thom,

    I was pulled out (1 of 4 people chosen from our high school) as a gifted student, too. Every year we went to the UW-Madison (WI) to take tests and be interviewed. Nothing ever came of it, though. (There was no early graduation allowed.)

    BTW, I was pleasantly surprised to hear Joe Scarborough sound so rational. 'Gives me some hope.

  • June 9th 2009 - Tuesday   10 years 11 weeks ago

    What I will think about when I hear Joe Scarborough . . .

    http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/2009/06/reort_before_congressi...

    Yes, everyone requires a vigorous defense BUT somethings are less than defensible.

  • June 9th 2009 - Tuesday   10 years 11 weeks ago

    Thom,

    I don't think you're realistic about the heyday of American capitalism. You often say tht the United States used to be an importer of raw materials and an exporter of manufactured goods. You say that like that was a good thing.

    It may have been a good thing for the American economy and American workers may have benefited from it, but it relied on getting the raw materials from other countries at low prices which meant the impoverishment of the masses of people in those countries.

    Maybe Hugo Chavez should give you a copy of Eduardo Galeano's "The Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent". The story is in the subtitle.

    I think you refuse to accept the fact that capitalism, which developed in Europe and North America first, was built on pillaging the human and natural resources Africa, Asia (including South Asia) and the Americas. To a large extent, it still does so, even though some of the most dynamic capitalist economies are now based in Asia. They still get their resources from the less developed countries of the South and often set up factories in those areas.

Come Cruise with Thom Hartmann in July 2020

Join me for an exciting Bermuda getaway aboard Oceania Cruises, the world’s leading culinary and destination-focused cruise line. Set sail on the reimagined Insignia for 7 nights beginning July 25th 2020. Take advantage of Oceania Cruises’ OLife Choice promotion, where you can choose shore excursions, a beverage package, or onboard credit – Oceania Cruises also includes Wifi! You'll also receive complimentary gratuities, a $50 onboard credit and two exclusive cocktail parties. Did I mention we are planning special onboard events with yours truly? Prices start at $1199.

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How Did the America Media Miss the "Pro-Life" Movement Isn't about Saving Life - But - Is About Women Under the Thumbs of Men?

Thom plus logo Anti-abortion groups want you to believe they're all about saving "unborn" human lives, but a new poll shows that, for the majority of abortion rights opponents, that's a lie. The "pro-life" movement, it turns out, is fundamentally about keeping women down - a sentiment that's even shared by a majority of women who support forced pregnancies.