Recent comments

  • Wanted by Tent City Homeless: AIG Senior Employees   10 years 27 weeks ago

    mstaggerlee, I agree with you. I find it very hard to swallow that being so big, exempts anyone from failure!

  • Wanted by Tent City Homeless: AIG Senior Employees   10 years 27 weeks ago

    If taxpayer money was given to "bail-out" AIG, by the Congress, then Congress should and can demand it back!

  • March 16, 2009 On the Show Today   10 years 27 weeks ago

    correction.

    During the 50s and 60s elderly poverty rates went from 6 out of 10 to 1 out of 10.

  • March 16, 2009 On the Show Today   10 years 27 weeks ago

    Why the Milton Friedman brand of economics which conservatives embrace is absurd.
    Here's what is so ironic about it.
    Milton Friedman lived and penned his economic theory during the 50s and 60s, the very decades that prove he was wrong. He was concerned about the three recessions of the late 40s and 50s. In all cases, the economy rebounded and went on to be the best growth perhaps ever for America. The middle grew like never before. The very decades he was living through, were decades of growing govt., growing welfare programs and growing taxes as a percent of GDP. Freedoms grew as well, civil rights etc. The best prosperity we've ever had was when govt and taxes grew. Six out of ten elderly people were in poverty at the beginning of this era and by the 60s only one in six was in poverty. The largest growth in home ownership was also in this period.

    The same is true for Europe, which grew economically while government programs grew and taxes as percent of GDP grew. And these are all strong democracies.

    In both cases worker productivity grew while govt grew, and real wages grew.

    How many times have you recently heard conservatives say that liberalism is a threat to freedom? It simply is not true, as proved repeatedly by history. The same is true for economic well being and growth under big governments.

    It seems that European nations have done a better job of spending public money responsibly and productively. The countries in Europe with big welfare states have similar and in some cases better economic mobility than Americans. They have similar or better worker productivity and similar or better real wages(buying power). Germany pays workers 127% of American worker pay, even after higher taxes and much bigger entitlement programs.
    In other words, they make more than us, while getting free health care, education etc, much longer vacation time, shorter work week, and even after paying higher taxes.

    The only country that perhaps went a little too far in welfare is Sweden, where productivity is still 88% of America's. And real pay is 98% of in America. France, Holland, Norway all have higher productivity than America. Norway, Holland and Germany all have higher real wages.

    I learned this from the new book "The Case For Big Government" by Jeff Madrick.

    Another interesting new book is "What is America?: A Brief History of the New World Order" ever wonder how the modern conservative mindset came about? You'll find out here.

    Want to really understand why global warming coudn't possibly be a natural cycle like skeptics often claim?

    I highly recommend the book "The Carbon Age" by Eric Roston
    Fascinating book. Here's one of the take home messages from the book.

    It took 60 million years for coal to develop in the earth, by precipitating out of the short term carbon cycle, and being locked away in coal deposits and into the long term carbon cycle. Now we are releasing this 60 million year accumulation of carbon back into the atmosphere and thus, back into the short term carbon cycle, in 150-200 years, or a geological nanosecond. This is an unprecedented occurance, probably in the history of the planet.
    I would like a skeptic to explain how this is part of a natural cycle, or is anything like any natural cycle that the earth has been through before. I mean ones that didn’t wipe out 90% of life on the planet.

  • March 16, 2009 On the Show Today   10 years 27 weeks ago

    I am having a problem with this website as well. I am very unhappy that I cannot hear you Thom, on the radio. I work during the week and so, I cannot access this website very often. In my area, Phoenix, AZ, we now have no liberal talk station. The one you were on , 1190AM, is now an all Spanish speaking program. What happened to all the other liberal talkers, Randi Rhodes, Dr. Mike, etc.? I can't get anyone anymore. We have no information as to where we can hear these people. Help!!!!! What happened to Novam radio?

  • March 16, 2009 On the Show Today   10 years 27 weeks ago

    I also agree that this website is hard to navigate. I don't think it's just you, Hud.

  • March 16, 2009 On the Show Today   10 years 27 weeks ago

    i agree that it is very hard to navigate this website. its got "stuff everywhere" except a simple menu to ord. from . am i just missing it or not alone on this one. p.s. thanks for all you do Thom, and your webmaster as well, its probably me who cant get into the 21 century

  • March 16, 2009 On the Show Today   10 years 27 weeks ago

    Thom -- You give these Ayn Randians too much air time, without giving their opposites any airtime.
    Randians haven't won any elections. They're a small percentage of people.
    Randians say they don't want controls on the market, but here's the key:
    It isn't that Randians don't want controls on the economy, it's that they don't want government controls on the economy -- they have no objection to the controls inherent in monopolies and back-room deals. Isn't that control too? They don't seem to object to stopping unions. Isn't that control? Lobbyists perform control of a sort too. I haven't heard Randians condemning that kind of control.
    What opposite? you say. How about some real long-term solutions, rather than just trying to get the government to rescue us. While I agree that one of the functions of government is to keep things fair and keep the playing field level, governments are short-sighted and not creative, they react rather than invent.
    The long-term solution we pose is to stop artificially propping up old-fashioned cut-throat feudal Capitalism, and let it evolve to the next incarnation of capitalism: Co-operative or Progressive Capitalism. If businesses, big and small, were owned by the workers rather than stock-holders, many of the evils inherent in hierarchical Capitalism would go away naturally: If workers owned the business and shared the profit (or loss), they would be motivated to work to the very best of their ability, they would run the business democratically, thus learning democracy on a very real level, and the business would be run for long-term viability rather than short-term profit percentage.
    One of the evils built into stock-based Capitalism that most people are unaware of is that, to keep the stock value up (and that's what businesses depend on to stay afloat), they don't just have to be profitable, or have increasing profit, they must have an increasing PERCENTAGE of profit. That means a business that is doing well, making a steady profit, selling a steadily increasing amount of their product, paying all of their bills with money left over, is, in stock market terms, failing.
    In order to have an increasing PERCENTAGE of profit, the costs of manufacturing (or advertising, or whatever) must be a steadily decreasing percentage of the equation. This means the company must keep decreasing the cost of labor and/or materials. That means overstressed workers, poorer quality materials, or cheating someone somewhere. Stock-based Capitalism demands underpaid workers and poorly made goods in order to feed the ever-growing need for profit for the stock-holders, who do no work, but "let their money work for them". That's another way of saying the game is rigged to make the rich richer and the poor and middle poorer. It's a part of the system, it's the only way it CAN work when it's set up that way.
    If the workers own the company, instead of the stockholders, the company only needs to make enough money to keep paying its workers and buy materials and do Research and Development, and do maintenance. The drive is to keep the business alive, long-term, by providing a superior product at a fair price and paying the workers a living wage. This builds a strong middle class which has money to buy things, which keeps the economy going. (And Yes, tariffs are needed to keep this fair.)
    In Argentina, workers have been taking over abandoned factories (and other businesses) and running them. They face artificial difficulties in that there are conspiracies fighting against them succeeding, both in government and in businesses owned by Economic Royalists. But they are succeeding anyway. More slowly than we would like, but they are.
    This is the next stage of the evolution of Capitalism. Businesses still compete against each other in an open marketplace. But the people who do the real work also get the reward for the work, and the responsibility of the sense of ownership. The quality of goods and materials would improve. We win all 'round.

  • Wanted by Tent City Homeless: AIG Senior Employees   10 years 27 weeks ago

    With reference to the picture at the top of this page - if Drugs and Alcohol are disallowed, how can we call it "Bushville?" ;-D

  • Wanted by Tent City Homeless: AIG Senior Employees   10 years 27 weeks ago

    They seem unclear on the concept of bonuses: a bonus is extra money as a reward for doing well. If they have a "contract" to get bonuses even when they do poorly, it isn't a bonus, it's a salary.
    These people have done so poorly, they shouldn't be getting bonuses, they should be getting blacklisted.

  • March 16, 2009 On the Show Today   10 years 27 weeks ago

    WIth all due respect folks, your website is very difficult to navigate.

    here's hoping for more updates to it's usability,
    RIver

  • Wanted by Tent City Homeless: AIG Senior Employees   10 years 27 weeks ago

    With apologies to Bill Maher, I have a "New Rule" I'd like to propose -

    A company that's "too big to fail" is too big to EXIST!

    peace,

    mstaggerlee

    “Of course, the New Right is WRONG! - that doesn’t make wrong the new right!”

  • Wanted by Tent City Homeless: AIG Senior Employees   10 years 27 weeks ago

    What if Congress made a Tax on people who received a bonus from a company that was part of the taxpayer-bailout. I think a tax of 99.99% on all bonuses sounds fair.

    intruder

  • Wanted by Tent City Homeless: AIG Senior Employees   10 years 27 weeks ago

    As I listened to the Sunday TV talk shows this weekend, my rage just grew and grew.

    "Yes," all the pundits agreed, "the AIG bonuses are absolutely unfair, but they are contractually obligated to pay them, so we have no choice in the matter."

    What a crock! Why is is that contracts with executives seem to be written in stone, but contracts with labor collectives seem to be written on much flimsier stuff? How many unions over the past decade or so have seen the pension plans that were created BY CONTRACT, to which they contributed their own money, earned with their daily labor, simply taken over by the company to cover bad executive decisions, simply negotiated into oblivion? What about those CONTRACTUAL OBLIGATIONS? Are they less important, because one of the parties to that contract is less worthy? I think not.

    These AIG execs may indeed have fulfilled the conditions under which they were supposed to collect a bonus. BIG DEAL - the company I work for used to give annual bonuses, too - but only if the company was PROFITABLE! AIG was NOT - in fact, they were so far from profitable that they damn near pulled the entire system down with them. If these men feel that their efforts are deserving of some reward, how about this - they get to KEEP THEIR JOBS, when MILLIONS of others lose theirs. AIG worrys that they will be unable to retain or recruit "the best and the brightest" if they reneg? If "the best and the brightest" brought us to this day, maybe they just ain't so freakin' bright! Maybe there are better, brighter people who are now living in tents, who'd like those jobs!

    peace,

    mstaggerlee

    "Of course, the New Right is WRONG! - that doesn't make wrong the new right!"

  • Wanted by Tent City Homeless: AIG Senior Employees   10 years 27 weeks ago

    Thanks Thom, great stuff as always.

    It's amazing to me how, even after having been voted out of power, Cheney & co. still try to run a shadow government and control our policies through fear and misdirection. What's unbelievable to me is now they're trying to claim the Bush administration inherited a recession, and that the Obama administration didn't... in they same breath as they claim credit for this week's economic uptick and blame Obama for the downturn from November to March...

    Keep up the good work, if we can keep the facts at the forefront we may be able to outlast people's short attention span into another election cycle or two...

  • OPEDNEWS.COM Thom Hartmann Leaves Air America   10 years 27 weeks ago

    Fortunately my Air America Station here in Portland, Or (KPOJ) still carries Thom.

    Re: CIA DOMESTIC HIT SQUAD

    Sy Hersh's coming exposure of such abominations will merely corroborate what has been reported but not mainstreamed for many years; with Sy's bylline, however, perhaps we'll get traction at last.

    These kinds of domestic assassination units have operated for DECADES.

    There are two primary factions at low-intensity war with each other for domination of the national security paradigm:

    (1) the 'JFK/George Kennan/Stansfield Turner/Elliott Richardson' faction;

    (2) the Wm. Colby/Richard Helms/George H.W. Bush/Cuban Exile/Richard Nixon/J. Edgar Hoover/Alexander Haig/Curtis LeMay' faction (the latter also known as "The Octopus.")

    These two primary factions (with, of course, many affilliated slippery alliances and temporary coalitions, as well as double agents and defectors from one faction to another) have engaged in everything from leaking embarrassiung personal skeletons ott he press, to framing up opponents on false criminal raps, to murdering them, over the course of more than 50 years..

    With the exceptions of Nixon and Bush/Cheney, however, these antics were kept relatively removed from the operation of the democratic institutions of government, and the generalized domestic loss of fundamental liberty was not at hand.

    The Cheney regime, however, crossed a line previously crossed in such brash manner only by Nixon, and envisioned such overt measures as domestic concentration camps a la GITMO. The ubiquitous telecom surveiilance regime is now in place. In my opinion, it is indeed quite likely that the anthrax attack on Daschle and Leahy was an "Octopus" operation.

    Thom, you're not crazy or paranoid. Please keep on this (and get a remote starter for your car).

  • Chat   10 years 27 weeks ago

    Hi Thom,

    I do think it is possible we, as a culture, have gone over board on synthetic medicine.

    However, I can tell you that I believe my life has been saved by Zoloft.

    I suffered for months from what I thought was the onset of a terrible internal disease. I had frequent and severe shortness of breath and was terrified to go many places because I never knew when I might start feeling even worse. I had two visits to the Emergency Room with no clear diagnosis. I went to over 12 doctors with different specialty backgrounds. They tested me over several months for asthma, heart disease, lung disease, etc. I had CAT scans, tons of meds and even an angiogram. I just kept getting sicker and sicker. It was a nightmare!

    At the end of my rope, and very depressed, I went to a psychiatrist. He believed it was all caused by the onset of Panic/Anxiety Disorder. He got me on Zoloft adjusting the dose until I started feeling much better. The physical improvement was almost immediate. I started counseling as well to help me understand how and why I had suddenly been afflected with this disorder.

    Now, 3 years later, I have made fantastic progress. It has not been easy. But I know I could not have gotten through it all without the Zoloft.

    I want to add that I have not experienced a flattening of my emotions. I actually have more empathy now and feel much more balanced. My immune system is stronger than ever. I have not had a significant panic attack in over a year. I now have the mental tools that keep me on a much more centered physical and mental plane.

    I hope to one day start reducing my Zoloft intake. The doctor said this should be possible.

    So let's continue to stress that meds such as Zoloft, Prozac, and the like, can be the golden key to recovery for some people. And of course, keep pushing forward to promote more awareness of safe, natural medicines.

    Thanks!

  • Chat   10 years 27 weeks ago

    Thom,

    The discussion of merit pay for teachers brought to mind my time
    in graduate school in Rochester New York almost 20 years ago.
    Then and there, the local school district engaged in an attempt
    the set up a merit pay system for its teachers. The community,
    the school district and the teachers worked hard to come to
    mutually agreeable terms for this effort. But as I recall the
    sticking point was just how merit should be determined. There is
    one person, prominent in this effort, whose name I recall, Adam
    Urbanski, a spokesman for the teacher's union. A quick web
    search confirmed my memory and revealed that Urbanski is now a
    vice president of the American Federation of teachers. Urbanski
    has considerable practical experience on this topic, is very
    thoughtful and well spoken. I think that he's make a great guest
    to expand and inform the discussion on this important topic.

    Thanks

  • Chat   10 years 27 weeks ago

    Have you read The Political Mind, by George Lakoff? I just started it, but he addresses exactly what Thom is talking about: why people don't act politically in line with "reason."

  • Chat   10 years 27 weeks ago

    Thom, I'm pro-single payer system all the way. Even though I hear much talk about preventive care and health maintenance, I think they should go a step further and give people an incentive to change their behaviour...and in so doing, help finance the system as well. I'm suggesting that foods that contribute greatly to sending people into the health care system early because of obesity-related disease should be taxed in the same way cigarettes and alcohol products are. I know it would be a dogfight with lobbyists from the various food industries but smart minds focused on the endgame should be able to come up with something.

    Also, kudos for you on fixing that gold commercial. I was telling a co-worker the other day that it drove me crazy how you had the inflection in the wrong place and then noticed just a few minutes ago that you finally fixed it. Now I can sleep at night. Thx!

  • OPEDNEWS.COM Thom Hartmann Leaves Air America   10 years 27 weeks ago

    Wow. I'm sure glad my local progressive station, KKGN, here is the San Francisco Bay Area, still has Thom in the mornings. I don't know what I'd do without him! (get more reading done?)

  • The Thom Hartmann Radio Program   10 years 28 weeks ago

    [...] the top ten of Talker’s Magazine’s “Heavy Hundred” talk show hosts) has abandoned Air America as well. One time CEO Mark Green is pulling out as well, to get back into NYC politics. [...]

  • OPEDNEWS.COM Thom Hartmann Leaves Air America   10 years 28 weeks ago

    Unfortunately, Air America at least in New York has struggled for an identity. They seem to get great hosts and one way or another lose them. I've listened to believe it or not Jerry Springer, Randi Rhodes, Mike Malloy , Al Franken and now Thom Hartmann. All great and all gone from the Station. I wish they would get their act together. Progressive radio is needed to bring us out of the Nightmare of the last eight years.

  • OPEDNEWS.COM Thom Hartmann Leaves Air America   10 years 28 weeks ago

    First they took my Air America station away (in Eugene Oregon of all places).And now, I cant find Thom on the web at Air America. My quality of life has been impacted negatively. So, today I signed up to Thomcasts.

    I don't know what they are yet, or how to use them..and I get that our economy is changing in all kinds of ways, so we need to pay for things which were once free. Now hopefully, I wont be cut off from regular doses of sanity Hartmann-style. And the people I work around are gonna enjoy the lack of advertisements too.

  • OPEDNEWS.COM Thom Hartmann Leaves Air America   10 years 28 weeks ago

    Is anyone else tired of hearing Carrie Lukas? Sorry but I don't think she brings much to Thom's great show. I believe it is time to phase her out and get someone new to banter with. Have you tried to get Carly Fiorina? I think it would be an interested conversation.

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