Recent comments

  • May 15th 2009 Friday   10 years 14 weeks ago

    For insurance companies, cutting costs means cutting services . . .

    Insurance companies ARE a cost on the healthcare industry . . . Heck they could save 20% just by cutting CEO & CFO salaries in half and still leave HUGMONGALIOD $$$$ on the table for the heirs of their heirs.

  • May 15th 2009 Friday   10 years 14 weeks ago

    People who encourage the for profit only American Health Care System are interested in one class of citizen only and the profits that go with that status, profits that are not just sustainable but that rise quarterly with hopefully no end in view as far as the Wall Street Elites are concerned. Hence the rising cost of Heath Care.

    “The American Ruling Class” Money is power and security, it equals freedom of speech and Health Care Corporations like all Corporations maintain the rights of a individual, the Supreme Court needs to rethink these fixed power schemes.

    We can have a successful capitalistic system even with a Public Health Care system, taking the burden off of America as a whole, Individual States, Business Small or Large including the Individual. We can provide better Health Care at a lower price and pay Doctors, Nurses and Health Care workers very well under a publicly funded system at the same time save Americas Middle Class while pulling up more people into the middle class as well as save tax payers money and get rid of the middle man.

    Taking the burden of providing Health Care off of small business would create a real lasting, stimulating effect in our society like many of us have never known. A lasting effect!

    It is not all that ironic that rising Heath Care Costs were used as reasoning during the first big modern liquidation era during the Ronald Reagan reign. People that built the companies that created the post modern middle class after WW2 were the first victims of Health Care related “Corporate Downsizing” the cliché of the period. The cost of health care was used as a manifestation, laying off workers, out sourcing jobs, limiting or doing away with pension benefits for retirees and workers of that period including Health Care. This has continued to this day. This period was a real beginning for modern harsh profit marginalization strategies for shareholders on Wall Street. There was a time in this country when a good profit and living was enough, however, the philosophy became enough is never enough, and for the few who collect very big money literally off the labor, the lives and the blood of real people, things could not be better. “The Man With The Most Toy's At The End Wins” Thinking that has brought us Capitalism Without A Conscience. At the heart is a moral obligation in a democratic society, to take care of the sick, feed the hungry and provide fare valued housing. The core values.

    Look at the period since Reagan into the 1990's Clinton Administration to the Bush Administration and our current dilemma. The mantra Free Trade! Health Care cost again used as a core primary reason to kill jobs and outsource overseas and set up sweat shops...(NAFTA / CAFTA). Remember the line “we can not afford to compete in the world because our business cost are to high” Health Care again used as a core model to explain our inflated business cost in combination to not wanting to pay a living wage and claiming that business taxes and environmental restrictions are to costly. A false argument, the truth is that these same Free Trade advocates have deregulated and crafted a trade policy over these past decades that have crippled the American Middle Class and working poor. The big shareholders and executives of creative finance have made their lives and their children's lives financially secure and far beyond, leaving the rest to feel the need to fend for scraps. “The Fraternity Of Access And Power”
    These same free traders are also in favor of our current “Privatized For Profit Health Care System” that has crippled business and the families’ ability to keep up with even the most basic living cost.

    Privatized Health Insurance is a secondary privatized tax we all pay one way or another. A hefty tax indeed. Via offshore tax shelters, loopholes and a managed care system whose goal is to maximize profits and limit care. Unless you are very well off financially you are expendable. By using this all Privatized Health Care model, Corporations and their K-Street lobbyist and some of our elected representatives keep American's in a state of fear and anxiety in regard to Health Coverage; this is the vehicle destroying the middle class and the working poor in this country as we know it. “The middle class vs. working poor” I would say it is getting harder to distinguish now between the two anymore, we are the serves of the American Ruling Class and this is how they want it. Health Care is at the heart of all of this. It is no mistake that Wall Street to K-Street to Capital Hill run the show and milk the country for all it is worth. They write the bad legislation and they are willing to bleed this country to the point of no return. One would think fiscally conservative people would want to take the cost of Health Care off the backs of companies big and small, if we applied common logic since they are the pro business people, right? However logic has nothing to do with greed.

    Is the current Private Health Insurance system a tax? It is a private tax to a private entity for a service that should be part of the public commons and the common good. Instead Privatized Health Care is used as a parasite to steal revenue from hard working people and small business, free traders love it. Not only can they bilk huge profits off the Health of American's, they get to keep the current business model of manufacturing good and cheep overseas with a work force that is what they would like to have at home. “Slave Thinking Or Prison Labor Thinking”

    Let’s face it Republicans like taxes just as long as they do not pay them. Lets also face the fact that they like spending our money and more of it, just look at the data from Reagan to Bush and I would argue even Clinton if we include the poor trade policies and further deregulation, Bill the fiscal conservative.

    Again what do taxes have to do with Health Care? We the tax payers deserve our taxes to go to something more than subsidizing corporations and inflated defense spending combined with inside contracting schemes and over inflated cost. Further, our taxes subsidize Private Health Care already and companies enjoy not paying taxes to the tune of 700 billion plus a year. A war in Iraq that is costing 11 to 12 billion a month, and in my best estimate with the US Governments Defense Programs ability to cook books just like many Investment Banks and Corporations, lets double that figure. Finally, the taxes we pay are the core of the public common and should go to the good of a stable nation and stable commerce.

    Health Care is a huge part of our survival. What does a real public Health Care system mean for America? A rebirth...! With Public Health Care we can do more than just survive, we can pay people more so they can spend more and we can have a real Gross Domestic Product Again. “With Fair Trade and Fair Health Care Policy” we can make things in the United States again. The person that works for mom & pop for lack of no better cliché now also does not have to worry about getting ill or their child or parent being ill and loosing the whole life's work for a Health Care Speculator / Carpetbagger to shrill up and destroy.

    Real Health Care Reform is a shot in our economic arm for decades to come only if our lawmakers have the courage to do it right and make this a more productive nation and save our business small and large. “May no American ever worry about getting sick again”

  • May 14th 2009 Thursday   10 years 14 weeks ago

    Barack Obama did not run on a mandate of hunting down and punishing the torturers of the Bush administration, and I am tired of hearing him compared to the former president or accused of covering up something. People only cover up crimes they themselves have committed. Thom's trying to figure out if he is playing chess or checkers is absurd. A lot of other liberals are hot on this conspiratorial trail that simply doesn't exist. I think liberals are transferring anger and blame to our new president because they were helpless against Bush and his gang of thugs.

    Everyone who actually thinks that President Obama has something up his sleeve with his opinion on the torture photos is living in a paranoid world inside their heads. The President is simply putting the needs of the American people first. It is all well and good for Thom Hartmann to have compassion for those killed and displaced in the Iraqi war, but he is not the president and has the luxury to focus on whatever issue fits his personal sense of politics. If the president pushes torture to the front of the line on his list of priorities we will hear a fury from the electorate that will make the handful of rabid liberals who want the torture issue front and center look like the selfish idiots they are. What? Don't we suffer? Or is the suffering in our country considered trite compared to others?

    Let the ACLU, Jonathan Turley, Keith Olbermann and Thom Hartmann beat the drum for justice, just stop insinuating that our president is complicit. More than rude it is just plain stupid and naive.

    Grow up, everybody. We just dodged a bullet. Stop for a minute and think what would have happened to the issue of torture if McCain had been president. We Americans can be just so damned ungrateful sometimes.

  • May 14th 2009 Thursday   10 years 14 weeks ago

    Hi Whitebear,

    I can't speak for Thom, but I can say what I understand about his feelings about 911 from what I've heard him say on the topic.

    I think you're wrong in saying that Thom completely dismisses the possibility of government involvement in the 911 attacks. In fact, I recently heard him say that he thinks there should be a better investigation than what came out of the 911 Commission.

    I want to point out that Thom isn't against conspiracy theories. He has coauthored books in which they propose their own theories on the assassinations of John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr. So, he isn't someone who instinctively dismisses such theories.

    If it came up today, I must have missed it, but I've noticed that if a caller raises a 911 conspiracy theory to Thom (or other hosts) and he doesn't respond in a way that believers want, the believers tend to assume he's dismissing the theory outright.

    There are many reasons that Thom responds to a particular theory at a particular time. Here are just a few examples, in no particular order:

    1) Thom is working against the clock and may not have time to go into it in depth.

    2) Thom usually is dealing with a particular topic at a particular time and may want to keep on topic. Now it's true that he often lets callers get into other topics, but that's at his discretion. It is his show and we have to go with how he flows. We can make criticisms and suggestions, but he's the decider. I have criticized Thom for the focus of his show, for his repeated choice of conservative guests to spar with and for topics and kinds of guests he doesn't have.

    3) 911 happened almost 8 years ago. Can you imagine how many times 911 conspiracy theories have been brought up by callers. He can only deal with it so many times, and for the most part, Thom and all talkers deal with fairly current stories. I think that if there was some major new breakthrough Thom would deal with it.

    Like I said, I think there are topics and guest Thom should deal with and doesn't. All I can do is raise the issue from time to time and I do.

    Don't think that Thom completely dismisses the possibility of government involvement in 911. He's far more open to it than I am.

  • May 14th 2009 Thursday   10 years 14 weeks ago

    Hey Thom! I can't understand why you can think that Nancy Pelosi and President Obama might be being "blackmailed" by the CIA (I think it has alot of merit) and completely dismiss the concept that the CIA and others cooked up 9/11. If nothing else the evidence that the "government" lied about 9/11 is overwhelming.

    Thanks

  • May 14th 2009 Thursday   10 years 14 weeks ago

    Earlier this week the Social Security Trust Fund was discussed. Although it is clear that the Trust Fund is insolvent, Social Security should not be privatized.

    Part of the reason why it seems that Treasuries held by the Social Security Trust Fund have value is that normally when Treasuries are held they have value to whoever holds them even if the Treasury has spent the proceeds from issuing them. However, when the Treasury holds Treasuries it is holding its own debt. In order to spend the value of the Treasuries to pay Social Security recipients, it must sell its own debt which is borrowing. Because of this, the only way in which it could have avoided needing to borrow in order to spend the value of the Treasuries in the Trust Fund would be to have not already spent the proceeds from the Treasuries.

    If the Trust Fund were to withdraw Treasuries from the account, it would have to sell them for cash to give to Social Security recipients. When it is the Fed that sells Treasuries, it is not borrowing. Instead it is sterilization since the Treasury does not get additional funds to spend. However if the Treasury were to sell previously issued Treasuries, it would be the same as if they were issuing new Treasuries since they would be removing the ability to spend from the rest of the economy to transfer to Social Security recipients. This is the same as what would need to be done if there were no savings from previous years in the Trust Fund. It is different than if the Treasury issued the Treasuries and they were then bought and resold later since in such a case the reselling would be offset by the buying. If the Treasuries in the Trust Fund were resold, it would be using one Treasury to borrow twice since they would never have been bought.

    In 2018 when the Social Security Trust Fund will need to borrow it will be in the same situation as if someone were spending more in a year than he was earning that year and needed to borrow because of this. However, he would only need to borrow if he didn’t have savings from previous years, which indicates that the Trust Fund really doesn’t have savings from previous years. The only way in which it can be said that the Trust Fund has savings from previous years is in the same way that someone could say that he had a savings account if it was a savings account where if he wanted to withdraw $100.00 the bank would say that he had to pay them $100.00. Without any savings, he would have to borrow the $100.00 to give to the bank to get his $100.00. He certainly wouldn’t be able to use such savings account as collateral for a loan!

    If government borrowing is increased to replace the increased amount of government borrowing that goes to Social Security, it will harm the economy by increasing interest rates. To the extent that the additional borrowing causes the dollar to fall, interest rates will rise even more. In addition, as the employed percent of the population becomes smaller, GDP will decline in proportion to spending. This will cause the dollar to fall even more. As inflation increases because of these factors, Social Security obligations will increase to the extent that they are indexed to inflation.

    The lack of funding of Social Security will become more apparent in 2011 when baby boomers start to retire. Since the government has depended on having more paid into the Trust Fund each year than is paid out and is using the net inflow of funds for financing spending, even though there will still be a surplus until 2018 the government will have to increase borrowing before then to maintain the same level of spending.

    Reaching peak oil will make the situation even worse. As oil is depleted, there will be decreasing real wealth each year as production costs increase and there is more pressure to share the limited remaining oil with the rest of the world. Everyone will have to settle for a smaller slice of a smaller economic pie. However, we have an obligation to pay the debt to those who paid Social Security taxes with their fair percent of the smaller economic pie and to not try to take away through privatization what is owed to them to give a larger share of the shrinking economic pie to the fat cats on Wall Street.

  • May 14th 2009 Thursday   10 years 14 weeks ago

    you can find the pics,( or at least you could three hours ago) at
    http://georgewashington2.blogspot.com/2009/05/here-are-few-of-torture-ph...

  • May 14th 2009 Thursday   10 years 14 weeks ago

    Memo to Lunarelle and AZAFVET -

    PLEASE pay attention - What we have been discussing all day is the fact that the administration is hesitant to RELEASE these pictures. They are, at present, UNAVAILABLE to the general public ... AND THAT'S THE PROBLEM!!!!

  • May 14th 2009 Thursday   10 years 14 weeks ago

    AZAFVET, here are the links:

    http://www.georgewashington2.blogspot.com/

    http://www.smh.com.au/news/world/photos-us-doesnt-want-seen/2006/02/14/1...

    BTW, physically we see changes in Obama with his graying hair. Mentally, I would think all this is taking its toll. Maybe it's wearing him down. (Or not...) But when you stop to think that Bush was on vacation about a third of his time in office, maybe Obama could use some high-quality down time (quality, NOT quantity!) Just a thought.

  • May 14th 2009 Thursday   10 years 14 weeks ago

    To mstaggerlee.

    Apparently, Thom didn’t know that you had to register to merely READ the message boards on his site. He thought anyone could read it, which by the way, is how it was up until a few months ago. It changed shortly after Thom changed syndicators and got a new website. In fact, it wasn’t like that when the new site started. And it isn’t the case on Ed Schultz’ site, Mike Malloy’s site and Randi Rhodes old site. She doesn’t have a fully functioning site at this time.

    Now that Thom knows, he said he’s going to have it changed.

    By the way, the “why do you hate America” question was a joke. I actually feel that Thom tends to overlook many of the faults of this country.

    If you reread my post, you’ll see that my point was that some people might be interested in reading the message board and be put off by the necessity to register to merely read them. If they have the opportunity to read them without registering, they might decide to register to add their thoughts. If they’re put off before even reading the boards, their participation is lost.

    You question whether I listen to the show at all. I’ve been listening since Thom got this slot after Al Franken left to run for the Senate. I used to send Thom emails, but I stopped because Thom has asked us to post on the board because he gets over 500 emails a day.

    And for your information, Thom has given me an on air “tip of the hat” at least twice this year.

    In fact, Shawn recently wrote me because she selected me as “member of the day” back in January for one of my posts. I think it was the one about Bush requiring journalists at his final presidential press conference to sign a statement promising to abandon the policy of “Shoes first, ask questions later” before they could come in.

    Shawn reads this board, and to show there are no hard feelings, I hereby authorize her to send that book to mstaggerlee if you write to her. It wasn’t something I was interested in, although I don’t remember what it is.

    By the way, I don’t agree with the comparisons you gave in your post. You were talking about public participation; I was talking about access to information. I’ll also note that you referred to participation in a “public, democratic institution” and say that if you want to do that, you have to state your intention to do so publicly.

    This website is owned and run by one or more corporations and Thom has said that corporations are dictatorships, not democracies. In addition, when you register for this site, that information isn’t public. It’s for their internal purposes only.

    A few last points:

    I did a little experiment and you might want to try it too. Go to Google and enter either Ed Schultz or Mike Malloy. Then click on the link to the show website. Then look for “Message Board” near the top of the page. You’ll go right to the message boards and you don’t have to log in. It took me about 20 seconds. There’s no link on the homepage of Thom’s site to go to the message boards. I don’t know if Mike actually did it, but after Nova M folded, Mike said he was going to have the same people who built Thom’s site build a site for him.

    Your B tRoll joke was O.K. In fact I wrote the following to a rather annoying participant on the message boards.

    “I’ve read many of your posts here and there was something familiar about them. So I have a question to ask.

    Are you my long lost cousin T Roll?”

    If you want you can go to the message board click on the “General” link and scroll down about 5 threads to “Thom’s Message Board goes the way of the GOP”. You’ll find my post is around the 7th reply.

    Finally, you told me that if I didn’t want anyone to know anything about me I was welcome to keep my opinions to myself.

    Well, Thom’s company obviously knows something about me, since I have to be registered to post on this board. I stated as much the last time I posted about this issue on this blocks some time ago. My point wasn’t about me. I was pointing out that some people might not want to give out personal info merely to read the message board. Now that Thom knows about the issue, he agrees that access to those boards shouldn’t require registration, as Randi Rhodes, Mike Malloy and Ed Schutlz apparently do.

    And I hope you really don’t think that people shouldn’t criticize Thom, his show or his website on his website. I criticize him on this blog all the time. I also post what I hope is helpful information and insights. I will continue to do both. That’s just how I Roll.

    In fact, I will soon post another message on this board about confusing information on the contact page that Thom might not be aware of and that could cause listeners a problem.

    P.S.: Don’t forget to email Shawn to claim the book. You can reach her through the Contact link.

  • May 14th 2009 Thursday   10 years 14 weeks ago

    I am unable to find any reference to the torture pictures Thom mentioned-there is nothing at the Sydney Morning Herald online, nor any reference to them on google. Does anyone know how to find these pictures?

  • May 14th 2009 Thursday   10 years 14 weeks ago

    It only makes sense that Pres. Obama treads a thin line with the power structure to accomplish his goals. His wife and children are vulnerable, and may hang in the balance of what he does even if his life isn't snatched away as was Kennedy's. Isn't it strange that Obama's grandmother died just before he won? The "timing" was interesting, like a warning. I thought he was unusually somber for his acceptance speech with pain and anger just under the surface. I had the uncanny feeling that he knew her quick departure was a "warning" to him that he isn't free to do what he wants. Obama has to play "chess", and he is counting on the determination and the spirit of the american people to push real change forward.

    The republican party needs a new name like "Republican Mafia". Rush and Cheney are like a "Boss" and a "Godfather", dangerously connected to bring people down. We should create images of them as Mafia, and see how this affects the Evangelicals! It would be great if they brought themselves down in the end!

  • May 14th 2009 Thursday   10 years 14 weeks ago

    Precedent as a time bomb is correct. More then that is the lack of response can cause great harm. Just as the original legislation DID NOT find corporations to be people, the lie of the reference led to corporations getting all kinds of rights that have caused people to suffer.
    We have treaties that give corporations rights OVER our country! This is not something that should be accepted but is and the lack of congress to redress means that we are left being liable to corporate policy.
    If we do not get Pres Obama to rescind rendition, spying on Americans, and other abuses of the Bush dictatorship (he ran the 3 branches - oversight denied) then we will lose those protections and rights too.

  • May 14th 2009 Thursday   10 years 14 weeks ago

    President Obama-

    Martin Luther King said, it is always the right time to do the right thing.

    If you allow these crimes to go unpunished, you are now a criminal as well.

    Support the American Civil Liberties Union.

  • May 14th 2009 Thursday   10 years 14 weeks ago

    Precedent ----- like corporations are people!

  • May 14th 2009 Thursday   10 years 14 weeks ago

    Why isn't Eric Holder demanding the resignations of these left over Repuke judges? These positions are appointed positions and they must be replaced immediately in order to restore the Judicial system. We need to keep calling Eric Holder to tell him quit dragging his feet on this issue. We also need to tell him to throw out the Don Siegelman case too.

  • May 14th 2009 Thursday   10 years 14 weeks ago

    I have always suspected that impeachment was off the table due to the number of Democratic as well as Republican members of congress that would be implicated. Now, because it never happened we are spending much time and energy chasing down the ghosts of the Bush administration instead of focusing on the economy, health care and the environment.

  • May 14th 2009 Thursday   10 years 14 weeks ago

    My My, did you hear the fear in that last caller's voice pleading with us like an abused wife fearing her oppressor. Release the torture pictures and lets get some sunlight on the matter. Reckoning Day is here folks. Do you want hell or the Golden Age of Peace we could have- but we won't have it with little chickens like that calling in desperation to hide the bruises and the scars. Bra rack! Brack!

    Best argument I have heard on the matter is what we began with as opening comments. The rest of the world needs to know we are working thru this, just like any re taking an exam or a class or re building their character. We must show due diligence.

  • May 14th 2009 Thursday   10 years 14 weeks ago

    You can trace every social problem in this country down to poor education. We are a dumb nation as a whole. Its easier to control people if they are ignorant, America is the garden of Eden for our Corp. Fascist, that really rule this country.
    Time to throw the gloves off, and fight for all the things our forefathers thought were worth dieing for.

  • May 14th 2009 Thursday   10 years 14 weeks ago

    Read Ursula LeGuin’s ‘Those Who Walk Away from Omelas’ . . . All the beauty in the Omniverse is for not if it is built up the suffering of one individual. We are a nation of laws . . . And laws are for mankind.

  • May 14th 2009 Thursday   10 years 14 weeks ago

    If President Obama thinks that public exposure is unwarranted . . . President Obama should send the pictures to Spain as they has jurisdiction over War Crimes and Torture . . .

  • May 14th 2009 Thursday   10 years 14 weeks ago

    Proof that racists tend to be incredibly stupid! The front page of today's Eugene Register-Guard has an article about two parents who got into a racially charged altercation at their son's high school over a perceived wrong. If that wasn't stupid enough, while in jail they called their minor children at home with instructions for the care and feeding of their indoor marijuana growing operation! Seems like a topic for the show! Are racists inherently stupid?

  • May 14th 2009 Thursday   10 years 14 weeks ago

    i am so saddened and now i am getting angry that evil is beginning to win. i thought good had won once we put Obama in office. it is time to STAND UP!!

  • May 14th 2009 Thursday   10 years 14 weeks ago

    . . . And the winner this years in the category of Conspiracy to Cover-up War Crimes . . . Mr. Barack Obama , President of the United States of America.

    This is a big win should come as little surprise to his adoring public in the light of Obama’s lame attempt, last year, at supporting the destruction of the Bill of Rights by fleeing Washington, D.C. for the final FISA vote. Here to accept the trophy on President Obama’s behalf today is Porter Goss . . .

  • May 14th 2009 Thursday   10 years 14 weeks ago

    “The healthy man does not torture others - generally it is the tortured who turn into torturers”-Carl Gustav Jung

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