Recent comments

  • June 04 2009 show notes   10 years 27 weeks ago

    Saturday, 6/6/09 – Went to one of the national health care organizing meetings in Oakland CA today – waited to talk to Thom on Thursday, 6/4/09 – this is important:

    Thom said something about the insurance companies ripping you off or overcharging you in the Part D “donut hole.” --

    You need to make sure Thom knows the following: nothing and no one picks up the slack in the Part D prescription donut hole. I’m on my fourth Part D plan. Even a dishonest or greedy insurer would be appreciated right now for the gap but there isn’t any. You’re on your own. You’re stuck with the same plan for a year and if you’re in the gap, you pay it. Every year I have had to pay what feels like more than full price for three to nine months. I think I’m paying more than I did when I was without prescription coverage (temping or between jobs) because you’re not eligible for the discounts advertised by Wal-Mart and Walgreen’s. In fact, the bookkeeping is so sloppy, on two of the plans, I kept getting “threats” to deny me my medication(!) because it was too expensive and they wanted a medical justification for every refill – after I had switched plans! Add this to the limits on medical care with Medicare and Medicaid and it certainly isn’t a respectable model to use as Obama suggests for a universal care plan for all, without some corrections. At today's OFA (Organizing for America, outgrowth of Obama for America) organizing meeting, several others in my age group agreed about the rationing and restrictions on Medicare, not to mention Medicaid and the nightmare of paying for prescriptions and being threatened with denial ("You will no longer be allowed to receive .....") if a medication is "too expensive" or the Part D provider ceases to provide it!

    I have two non-generic medications both of which I was able to order from Canada for a third of what they cost here – in fact, they are probably available here but you’re just not given the opportunity to use them. Anyway, make sure Thom knows about the dreaded donut hole. No one – pharmacists, Part D providers, Medicare, is able to explain this. All I know is you start getting warnings almost as soon as the year starts – and presto-changeo, you’re almost at your “limit”. In fact, with the steadily decreasing number of Part D options in CA (I think it’s gone from 45 the first year I needed it to around 25 or 30 now), I picked two plans which claimed there was “no coverage gap” but began to dump me after six months or so and claimed they “never promised no coverage gap.” They lied, of course. But you can not call up the Medicare chart you used back then and it’s sometimes not possible to print it out at the time you pick your plan.

    I’m still working but there are seniors who have thousands of dollars a year in prescription costs and have no other resources. Without getting into a separate argument about FDA and whether or not the pharm companies have too much control over what gets approved by them, all I know is, in other countries, I’ve gotten medications (safe, no problems) over the counter that cost 50 to 100 dollars here and only by prescription.

  • THOM ON FIXED NEWS   10 years 27 weeks ago

    does it cost $ for those things? was social security intentionally destroyed by so called conservatives. do our reps on the hill except for the few souls willing to make a better world pool understand that Europe has the better plan for the future.

  • Friday...broadcasting live from the Talkers New Media Seminar 2009 in New York, NY   10 years 27 weeks ago

    Mark,

    It wasn’t the point of my post to say that there isn’t racism on the left. There are a variety of prejudices. I was responding to your depiction of the left as either ignoring Latinos or abusing them with populist propaganda.

    My post basically had two points. The first was to point out that there various factions, orientations and interests on the left and that you shouldn’t judge the left by commercial “progressive” radio or by the Thom Hartmann Show. If you listened to today's show, you heard Thom proudly admit that he’s closer to Pat Buchanan on immigration than to many other “progressive” radio talkers.

    You may have noticed that whenever I refer to commercial “progressive” radio I always put quotation marks around the word “progressive”. It’s because I don’t find it very progressive. It's mostly fairly moderate left side of the Democratic Party.

    The great majority of my post was devoted to telling you about what I consider real progressive (notice no quotation marks) alternatives, in case you aren’t aware of them. I devoted time and space to give you an idea of the diversity of the progressive progressive left (I intentionally used progressive twice).

    I did that because I felt you might enjoy and benefit from the hearing those perspectives. I’m not claiming that the sources I mentioned are perfect, but there’s a greater diversity of progressive opinions than what commercial “progressive” radio has to offer and it's far more progressive.

    To tell you the truth, I enjoy and appreciate much of your contribution to this site, in part because, as you said in one of your posts, you’re writing about a world that most of us aren’t familiar with. I happen to be far more familiar with it than most. And it’s long been my contention that different segments of our society have little understanding of the facts of life for members of other segments.

    On the other hand, I think you’re overly pessimistic about the state of (let’s call it) race relations in our society. I’m a baby boomer and it won’t be long before there will only be background radiation left from our big bang. In that time, I’ve seen so many changes in race relations and other aspects of personal and group relations.

    To sum up what I’ve seen, it’s been a seesaw back-and-forth process, with some groups getting along at one point and at odds at another time. But I’ve also seen that the direction seems to be towards more acceptance between groups. It's not as good as it should be and there’s no guarantee that there will be a happy harmonious resolution.

    Here are a few changes I’ve seen. I went to a high school that was a little over 40% Latino, a little under 40% white, close to 15% African-American and the rest was Asian. There was very little interracial dating or socializing. Now, when I go our class reunions, I find a lot of mixed marriages, especially between whites and Latinos. You never would have guessed that when we were in school. And you can go places in Southern California where it almost seems that interracial couples (of all mixes) are more the rule than the exception.

    In one of your posts, you said something along the lines that with the exception of people like Sonia Sotomayor and Barack Obama, there are few opportunities for blacks and Lationos. My observation is that, while the playing field isn’t even, there are more opportunities than you would think. I know many and know of many black and Latino professionals who have been able to take advantage of amazing opportunities.

    You can always find the negative side if you look for it and we should. But I think it's wrong to deny the progress that has occurred.

    I could go on and on, but I’ll finish with a few final points:

    You said that politicians have been scared away from immigration reform even though a majority of the public wants it. That indicates that a large number of whites want it. That undermines the picture you portray of an overarching racism in our society. I’m not saying that there isn’t racism or that it isn’t powerful, but I think it points to the kind of shifts I’ve indicated I’ve seen.

    You told about the reactions you saw in downtown Seattle when a small group of Latinos demonstrated for civil rights. You noted that there were no whites among them. Let me point out that the fact it was a small number of Latinos, indicates that there was some sort of social relationship between the people in this group.

    You also said they were either ignored or greeted with scowls or muttered hostility. I don’t find the ignoring of a small demonstration unusual. The people who came across it were involved in their own lives, so it’s not surprising they didn’t take time to pay attention. The muttered comments indicate a racial hostility and there’s no point denying that. As for the scowls, some certainly are what you perceived them to be, but your expectation of racial hostility may have influenced your perception in some cases. And I wonder what kind of expression might have been on your face when you encountered the gay rights demonstration you mentioned in another post. That’s not a swipe at you, but you have expressed animosity to both gay issues and the concerns of many women.

    I mentioned that Thom said he's closer to Pat Buchanan than to other liberal talkers on immigration. He may be right, but I think Buchanan's position is based a lot on racism, whereas I believe Thom's is strictly economic. But on gay rights and women's issues, the views you've expressed here are closer to Buchanan and other right wingers than to progressives. I hope that if you listen to some of the sources I recommended you might have a change of heart.

    Sorry about posting this after the end of the show and I hope you see it.

  • Friday...broadcasting live from the Talkers New Media Seminar 2009 in New York, NY   10 years 27 weeks ago

    Quark,

    Amen.

  • Friday...broadcasting live from the Talkers New Media Seminar 2009 in New York, NY   10 years 27 weeks ago

    Ridlin as a teenager . . . Never enough to do the trick. Had to watch eating grain products especially wheat. Wheat makes it worse.

    Pots of coffee, caffeine tabs and Mountian Dew in my twenties . . .

    Welbutrin . . . in my thirties . . . White noise laid over the feed back but the teeth felt like they were crawling.

    One or two B-100 vitamins a day and allergy meds . . . Seems to be doing the trick.

    Welcome to club ADHD.

  • Friday...broadcasting live from the Talkers New Media Seminar 2009 in New York, NY   10 years 27 weeks ago

    Senator Sanders...If we had more like you. It is a kinder cleaner mass murder letting people scrap for health care. The 20'000 per year that die can be much greater in my estimate.

  • Friday...broadcasting live from the Talkers New Media Seminar 2009 in New York, NY   10 years 27 weeks ago

    Listening to Senator Sanders and our need for election reform, I am reminded we have some of the best Senators and Representatives money can buy.
    SAD!

  • Friday...broadcasting live from the Talkers New Media Seminar 2009 in New York, NY   10 years 27 weeks ago

    Richard Adlof,

    Isn't it amazing to hear someone complain about a GNAT, but they're somehow not aware of the WHALE in the room that is pushing them against the wall?!

  • Friday...broadcasting live from the Talkers New Media Seminar 2009 in New York, NY   10 years 27 weeks ago

    Stop begudging working folk their earned financial security.

    The soldier that becomes a cop and survives to collect Social Security and the pensions . . . The guy with multiple pensions . . . WORKED and potentially BLED on our behalf to earn them.

    It is the investor class which earn by taking from the Commons and refuses to pay for their portion of their lot that is ripping us off.

    Not the teacher, auto worker, soldier, cop . . . You know . . . Union folk.

  • Friday...broadcasting live from the Talkers New Media Seminar 2009 in New York, NY   10 years 27 weeks ago

    I am not sure that the outline made by Senator Sanders is in the right order. Does the fault lie with the lobbies or with the members of Congress who voted to legalize these lobbies and then who sell themselves and their constittuants?
    How is is possible to reform Congress when these same Congress members are the profiteers of the laws they make.
    They do not have to break the law - they make the law. Citizens are left out in the cold.

  • Friday...broadcasting live from the Talkers New Media Seminar 2009 in New York, NY   10 years 27 weeks ago

    Over 62% of US personal bankruptcies due to medical bills, and 77.9% of them had health insurance!

    http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2009-06/pfan-imb060309.php

    http://maxkeiser.com/

  • Friday...broadcasting live from the Talkers New Media Seminar 2009 in New York, NY   10 years 28 weeks ago

    I was unable to respond to B Roll yesterday, so I will do so now. While I accept the fact that there a few brave souls out there on the fringes of the media, but as demonstrated by recent efforts at immigration reform, a small, but vocal element of hate frightens the hell out of politicians, despite the fact that a majority of Americans favored immigration reform. Obviously there is no balance. A couple years ago I saw a small group of Latinos marching in downtown Seattle (not the May Day affairs that upset a lot of commuters) for civil rights; no white people were among them, and when the marchers were not ignored completely, they were greeted with scowls and mumbled remarks (like "go back to where you came from"). I am just telling you what I saw in a supposed "progressive" city. And while not all people run to see if their cars are locked every time they see a "Mexican," when it does happen those things tend to stick in the mind more than the occassional patronage.

  • Thursday...broadcasting live from UN Radio Day with Talk Radio News in New York, NY   10 years 28 weeks ago

    6 months for disrupting Congress is an abominable penalty. Many thanks to the brave demanders of representation.

  • Thursday...broadcasting live from UN Radio Day with Talk Radio News in New York, NY   10 years 28 weeks ago

    Thanks Mahatma...

    Thanks for catching that. It is KPFA in Berkeley and KPFK in Los Angeles.

    And it's nice to know that at least a few people read my posts.

  • Thursday...broadcasting live from UN Radio Day with Talk Radio News in New York, NY   10 years 28 weeks ago

    We need NO, NADA, ZERO, NONE, ZIP Czars.

    We are not a pre-Communist Russia.

    What we need is for the farging Department of Justice to do its farging job.

  • Thursday...broadcasting live from UN Radio Day with Talk Radio News in New York, NY   10 years 28 weeks ago

    Everyone forgets that during the cold war, we also had a space race going on. One thing Russia could do that we never could do was to land their space crafts on land. We always plot our space capsules into the ocean. They perfected that so they could drop a tank on the Salisbury plain and it hit the ground, rolling.
    When you tell the right wing that, they claim that we could do that if we put another parachute on the Gemini space capsule. It isn't that simple. In fact, that technology was responsible for the formation of NATO treaties we sign with our European allies.
    But, what happens is that Russia would rather spend their money on war then on fixing elevators and that lead to their downfall. If we don't become more concern about spending our money in the US to help our infrastructure, then we will face the same fate as any country in history that turned its back on itself and tried to control the world.

  • Thursday...broadcasting live from UN Radio Day with Talk Radio News in New York, NY   10 years 28 weeks ago

    Hey B Roll, I think that you meant "...KPFA in Berkeley..." -- you said KPFK for both.

  • Thursday...broadcasting live from UN Radio Day with Talk Radio News in New York, NY   10 years 28 weeks ago

    Mark,

    In reference to the treatment of Latinos, you wrote:

    "while the left–when it is not silent before these attacks–abuses them in their populist propaganda"

    The left is very large and varied and you shouldn't judge it merely by what you hear on the commercial "progressive" radio shows. Even on those shows, there's a diversity of views on many issues including immigration.,

    This post could have been shorter, but I included more than the basic information because I wanted to give you (and others) an idea of another kind of "left" and another kind of "progressive" radio.

    I don't know if you are familiar with Democracy Now! hosted by Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez. If you aren't, you might want to check it out. I think you'll find it more in tune with your views than what you get on most of the commercial "progressive" radio shows.

    You can find out more about it, and even listen to or watch it at their website www.democracynow.org It's a daily show. The website also lists radio and/or TV stations that air it in your state.

    Another great show is Grit TV hosted by Laura Flanders. It can be seen on Free Speech TV which, as far as I know is only on Dish TV. But Grit TV has a website where you can watch all their shows.

    Both Democracy Now and Grit TV recently had long interviews with Eduardo Galeano, the author of "The Open Veins of Latin America", the book that Hugo Chavez recently gave to Barack Obama.

    I have a suspicion that this blog page disappears posts that have more than one link in them, so I'll just name a few more resources you may be interested in. Then you can Google them.

    If you happen to have Dish TV, Democracy Now is followed by Grit TV which is hosted by Laura Flanders. The show has a diversity of topics and guests that might appeal to you.

    You also should check out the Pacifica Radio Network. It's a group of around 5 listener supported stations that is way to the left of most commercial "progressive" shows.

    The hosts and shows range from left of center to beyond the orbit of the dwarf planet Pluto. You have to find which shows and hosts appeal to you. The political shows range from giving a left perspective on politics to the promotion of almost every conspiracy theory you can or can't imagine.

    The two Pacifica stations I'm most familiar with are KPFK in Los Angeles and KPFK in Berkeley. You can Google them or just put .org behind their call letters. I believe you can stream both stations online and both stations archive their programs. I don't know how it is on KPFA, but shows on KPFK are usually in the archives around 1 hour after the shows air. (They don't have to edit out 20+ minutes an hour of commercials.)

    Most of the shows on these stations are hosted by non-paid volunteers who are passionate about the subjects they cover, but the quality of reporting can be quite good. Shows that air more than once a week have paid hosts, though the pay isn't comparable to what they'd get on commercial radio. They also have some excellent musical programing for a variety of tastes.

    Both of these stations have shows hosted by and geared towards the concerns of various "minorities" including Latinos, African-Americans, Native Americans, etc. Even some of their general political shows are hosted by "minorities", and white hosts also advocate for the interests of "minorities". They also address issues of the poor rather than just fetishization of the middle class that's the staple of commercial "progressive" radio.

    Let me give you an example of the diversity on KPFK. Monday through Friday the in the 7-8 AM slot the shows change from day to day. The host of the Monday show is a long time well connected political older Jewish woman who is a prominent member of Progressive Democrats of America. The Tuesday host is a black woman who was born in Barbados and (I believe) lived in Harlem as a young woman. She's a long time political activist. The Wednesday host is a Latino professor at a local state university who is also a political activist. The hosts of the Thursday show switch from week to week. One week is a black woman political activist with a spiritual bent to her orientation and the other week is a Japanese-American transgendered (born woman) political activist. Friday's show is hosted by a white male attorney and political activist. The show that follows (8 to 9 AM) is a daily show hosted by a woman of Indian decent who was raised in the United Arab Emirates. She was working towards a Ph.D when she dropped out of Caltech to become a full time political activist.

    Two warnings about the Pacifica Stations.

    They are very pro-minority, pro-immigrant, pro-worker, pro-peace, etc. They're also pro-gay and pro-women, and your posts indicate a resentment towards women and gays.

    Since they're listener supported, they have on air fund drives that interrupt their regular programing. In fact, KPFK began its summer fund drive this week. They usually schedule fund drives to be around 10 days to 2 weeks, but lately they tend to take around 3 weeks to reach their goal. But even during the fund drives, they often have fantastic shows that feature the premiums they offer for donating to the stations.

  • Thursday...broadcasting live from UN Radio Day with Talk Radio News in New York, NY   10 years 28 weeks ago

    hey Thom,
    That 45 year old guy who remembers so well how bad Jimmy Carter was must have been 12-16 years old during the Carter presidency. Hmmm...

  • Thursday...broadcasting live from UN Radio Day with Talk Radio News in New York, NY   10 years 28 weeks ago

    Mark,

    Maybe this is not possible with your schedule, but have you ever thought about choosing a person in an elected position whom you admire and volunteering a few hours a week in his/her office? It might allow you the chance to make some suggestions or offer some insight from your experience, as well as seeing how people and laws can be be positively influenced. If you like it well enough, or see enough promise in it, you might even run for office yourself.

  • Wednesday June 3 2009   10 years 28 weeks ago

    Nancy Pelosi, according to this morning's reports, says the House will start publishing the expenses of all members on-line starting at the end of August. It's not the expenses that bother me and many others, it's the contributions that they receive from the corporations. Nancy, how about you and Harry publishing on-line the list of donors and the amounts to the campaigns of all House and Senate members?

  • Thursday...broadcasting live from UN Radio Day with Talk Radio News in New York, NY   10 years 28 weeks ago

    Thom,

    I posted this at the end of your show on Monday and in case u missed it I'm posting info again.

    84 year old Steven was your last caller Monday. He said he and his wife were expecting checks for their one-time tax cut by the end of May, but they haven’t seen their checks yet.

    Due to their age, they must be getting Social Security. If their Social Security payments are being electronically deposited into their bank accounts, their one-time payment would be made the same way. So they should check their bank accounts to see if the payments are there.

    It shouldn't even take half-a-minute pass that info along on your show.

  • Wednesday June 3 2009   10 years 28 weeks ago

    Mark,

    I have always believed that life begins at birth. As with increased understanding that comes from life experience (either ours or someone we know), wisdom and compassion frequently influence our initial opinions.

  • Wednesday June 3 2009   10 years 28 weeks ago

    Anthony,

    That's GREAT news!

  • Thursday...broadcasting live from UN Radio Day with Talk Radio News in New York, NY   10 years 28 weeks ago

    Thom, in case you missed the news yesterday:
    =====================================

    'Gay penguins' rear adopted chick.- 6/3/09

    The zoo, in Bremerhaven, northern Germany, says the adult males - Z and Vielpunkt - were given an egg which was rejected by its biological parents.

    It says the couple are now happily rearing the chick, said to have reached four weeks old.
    ...

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