Recent comments

  • On the Program March 27 2009   10 years 34 weeks ago

    corporate coopting of EFCA. Disingenuously attractive name "Committee for a Level Playing Field. Progressives don't name bills as attractively like SCHIP for child health care. EFCA an exception.

  • VIDEO OF THOM ON CNN'S "LARRY KING LIVE" 3/23/2009   10 years 34 weeks ago

    I saw you on Larry King tonight and you were fantastic! I've been listening to you for almost two years since I've been in Seattle. And the whole time I've been raving to my friends about how you're the smartest man on radio. Finally, you're getting the recognition you, and we, deserve. Spread those intelligent thoughts and ideas!

    Good on you, Thom!

  • The Real Criminals are Neither Lynndie England nor the AIG Traders   10 years 34 weeks ago

    EXACTLY. The whole point is to incentivize people to avoid paying the tax. It's the exact opposite of what "conservatives" do -- million dollar handouts in tax breaks with the "hopes" that people will do good things. Instead, you don't have to give them anything, and you don't have to take anything -- just give them a damned good reason to do it on their own.

  • The Real Criminals are Neither Lynndie England nor the AIG Traders   10 years 34 weeks ago

    Of course no one ever paid the 90 percent rate, either. However, the public benefit was that to avoid the 90 percent tax required reducing income. That meant putting the earnings back into the business. Reinvestment in US companies could not have been bad for the country's strongest period of sustained economic growth in its history.

  • The Real Criminals are Neither Lynndie England nor the AIG Traders   10 years 34 weeks ago

    I was blown away when I heard what you said today as to where the blame correctly belongs. At least I now know that I am not crazy in believing the same thing. I have a degree in Economics, but it doesn't take a degree to realize where all of this came from. One only needs to remember history. And those who lambst Keynes are foolhardy. Now, my one other wish is that, for a time, President Obama becomes a sort of benevolent dictator.

    On a personal note, I remember, when I was much younger, that my grandfather made an odd comment at the time. He said he was proud of being an American and also proud to have to pay the 70% marginal tax rate. He was an orphan immingrant from Poland. He eventually built his own company and became very successful. He was a wise, self taught man.

    Funny how people view this country today.

  • The Real Criminals are Neither Lynndie England nor the AIG Traders   10 years 34 weeks ago

    A more comprehensive of how marginal tax rates work would be very beneficial. Most average people don't know they work and panic at the thought of paying such enormous taxes. 90% tax on my income would leave me with less than 5 grand a year to live on and that's the sense that average seems to get and that's the emotion that the corporate media plays upon. Call it the "lottery mentality". Every person I know tries to win the big one and then, even before they start fantasizing about being rich, they start complaining that they'd lose over half the winnings in taxes. Not true, but most people don't know that. and it automatically makes a king's ransom in cash look not so rewarding. 90% tax on a million dollars leaves you with about a hundred grand -- nice money, but not the yacht buying kind, so people have a knee jerk reaction to that thought. But, of course, that's NOT how a marginal tax rate works. Average Joe does not know that.

    Fact. All the high taxes on the wealthy during the FDR years did NOT keep anyone from becoming wealthy. It did however keep a lot of people from becoming fuedalistically rich. That egalitarian principle, De Touceville would agree, kept Democracy alive and well those decades. Capitalism is an economic system -- a potentially nice one --, but it's NOT a political system. America comes first.

  • Listen to the The Great Debate! Hartmann vs Medved   10 years 34 weeks ago

    That's funny, I thought Medved won.

    I thought it was a good debate from both sides, actually. The audience was rude to both participants. Thom and Michael were both funny and seemed to get along. I would like to hear more of these. I enjoy hearing alternative thoughts.

  • On the Program March 23 2009   10 years 34 weeks ago

    On Monday 3-23, Thom Hartmann discussed what homeowners facing foreclosure can do. Well, one thing I've heard is to demand the loan note. This is your legal right and may delay or even bring the foreclosure grinding to a halt. Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur is advising this form of legal hardball, as in linked article:

    Quote from article:
    KAPTUR: If you really look at the fine print, these Wall Street firms can't find the loan. They've divided it up into so many pieces, so there's a legitimate question in the law as to where that deed, where that loan actually is.

    DOBBS: In point of fact, it's not -- to be clear, if there's no note, there is no debt?

    KAPTUR: That's right.

    More where that came from, perhaps pure gold for the desperate.

  • The Real Criminals are Neither Lynndie England nor the AIG Traders   10 years 34 weeks ago

    This 90% meme is vital. Keep saying it, and saying it and saying it, Thom.

    The hope is that at some point some bloviating blowhard on MSNBC will ask a guest, "What about this thing that's going around saying that we need a 90% tax rate? Is that INSANE, or what?" Then by the next day, six more conservatives will be trumpeting, "OBAMA WANTS A 90% TAX RATE!" Then somebody like Olbermann or Stewart will feel the need to debunk and defend it, and hopefully they'll do so by saying, "No, Obama never said that, but if you look back, it is true that we had a 90% tax rate for 20 years, and steady growth the whole time ..." And THEN the real discussion can start.

    There are tens of millions of middle-aged and younger Americans who have only known the top tax rate to be around 35%. 39% even seems outrageous. They don't even know that it can be higher -- much less that it was around 70% or above for the majority of the 20th century. If you say "raise it to 40%," they'll absolutely freak and talk it down to 36%. We can't do that. Start the debate at 90% and settle for 68% or 55%.

  • Listen to the The Great Debate! Hartmann vs Medved   10 years 35 weeks ago

    The so-called religious job of a Hindu deity, is to periodically return to Earth, (sometimes in disguise), and save everybody! Strangely, Mahayana Buddhism has put a rather illogical 'spin' on their visiting dieties. Their Bodi Satras, as they are termed, consider reasonable adult arguments as useless, as 'water through a seive'? So how does that type of attitude 'win' in American politics, especially with conservatives? Answer: the water is like our commons, and the seive is like the MSM!?! The problem with Medved's argument in the debate about the commons (on route to his spectacular loss!) was that to turn our backs upon our commons is as DISASTEROUS as leaving a child at home, alone!!

  • March 20th 2009 ON the Program   10 years 35 weeks ago

    Just to follow up on a full accounting of historic Trans-North America migration, from the historic crossing what is now the Bering Straite, to meso-American Mayan Civilization, Aztek depredation, and even the Inca Empire! What strikes me as fascinating, are the several Proto-Native American Languages, spoken throughout North America! Proto languages may be mutualy understood by other neighboring tribes, whereas each tribe retains a special core lexicon from its own region! (Ex. Proto-Iroquoian was understood by People of The Great Hill, People of The Great Swamp, People of The Hills, People of The Great Flint, and The Shirt-Wearing Peoples of the Northeastern North American region!!)

  • March 20th 2009 ON the Program   10 years 35 weeks ago

    Paid blogger wrap up:

    In earlier post (2nd from the top of this page) I said that I thought that two recent callers to the show were prolific posters on Thom's message boards and I wondered if they there being being paid to post here. Well, I can't prove whether they're being paid or not. However, here are some new numbers on their posting activities today.

    The guy who had called earlier this week about Thom "endorsing" Arlen Specter, has at this moment 97 posts since the new message board started. 5 of those posts were made within the last 5 hours.

    The guy who had called and challenged Bernie Sanders (last Friday, I think) has a 39 posts since the new board started. Amazingly, 19 of his posts were made in the last 4 hours. In addition, he called in to challenge Thom about the proposal to tax the $165 million in bonuses given to people at AIG.


    B Roll, CSI

  • March 20th 2009 ON the Program   10 years 35 weeks ago

    As I am listening to your show I have come up with a concept..we all came here from lands that made rules that worked against us(or our past family and the founding fathers)..somehow this distaste for rules and regulations are still with we elect others like us and they do in these laws that are meant to protect us..we used to drive many miles faster and we adjusted them..we now us we can no longer use cell phones..these are adjustments of the primary rules of safe driving..the same goes for medical care..but when it comes to our economic well being we are not have a wonderful opportunity to educate the American people with these facts..
    thank you
    saul bernstein

  • March 20th 2009 ON the Program   10 years 35 weeks ago

    For anyone that missed the names of the Supreme Court cases Thom mentioned, they were Buckley v. Valeo & First National Bank of Boston v. Bellotti.

  • March 20th 2009 ON the Program   10 years 35 weeks ago

    OK... OK... this is my 3rd post of the morning, but I guarantee it's strictly "pro bono".

    My suspicion was that the softness of John King's interview of Cheney may have been influenced by Seymour Hersh's recent revelation of Cheney's executive assassination squad.

  • March 20th 2009 ON the Program   10 years 35 weeks ago

    About the fealty that highly-paid newscasters pay to the GOP: It's not _only_ that the reporters need access to power in order to keep their jobs. That would apply equally to Democratic & Republican politicians. The other factor is, again, money: once you are making $millions, your self-interests are naturally more closely aligned with low-tax, conservative Republicans. This might explain Geraldo Rivera's devolution from consumer advocate to purveyor of weird and anti-average-guy stories (can't think of anything else).

  • March 20th 2009 ON the Program   10 years 35 weeks ago


    Has is ever occurred to you that with your policy of taking calls from people who disagree with you first, you may be padding the paychecks of the people who are paid to call in to your show?

    I just heard a caller who went to the front of the line because he disagreed with a point you made. I didn't catch where he was from, but his name was the same as one of the two I referred to in my post above. If he's the same guy, you're freeing him to make more posts on your message boards, while at the same time sincere callers have to wait for long periods of time and sometimes not even get on.

    Here's a personal experience: I've called into your show a few times, but haven't in quite a while. Several times, I waited for over an hour and didn't get on. The one time I did get on, I forgot a key word that you used that I found objectionable. When I got on, we went at it, but in the end we agreed to disagree. If I would have remembered that word, you probably would have agreed with me, because you started the next day's show by apologizing for what you had said (that I had objected to). You said that a listener had emailed you about your comment and mentioned the word that I'd forgotten.

    It seems to me that the practice of taking dissenting calls first is an opening which can be exploited by the paid propagandists at the detriment of sincere callers.

  • March 20th 2009 ON the Program   10 years 35 weeks ago

    Great show.
    Quibble, on oil drilling and replacing it with water: water is heavier, not lighter, than oil. That's why we have oil slicks.

  • March 20th 2009 ON the Program   10 years 35 weeks ago

    Other than a gap of 2 years--from 1863 to 1865, when there were 10 seats--the Supreme Court has had 9 members since 1837, when the 8th and 9th seats were added. The 7th was added in 1807, and the 6th was added in 1790, only a year after the first 5 seat were created.

  • March 20th 2009 ON the Program   10 years 35 weeks ago

    Thom, I can't call in right now (at work) but I would love to hear your thoughts on the Obama's plan to start gardening at the white house.

    people need to start taking back the genes of our world from big ag, and the more people garden the more people will be informed about the damage that GMO's, pesticides, and chemical farming are doing (organic was the original "conventional method"). I hope you would point the listeners to check out two sites. The first is the blog from a family in pasedena who grows the majority of their diet on 1/10th of an acre, among other sustainable/low impact practices.

    the second site is the facebook so to speak of the sustainable gardening demographic. Its a meeting place of people sharing info on gardening, composting, food preservation, seed saving, and a great positive place for people who want to "be the change."

    Thanks and keep up the good work.

  • March 20th 2009 ON the Program   10 years 35 weeks ago


    It's interesting that you raised the issue of paid bloggers today. I've been thinking about it in relationship to your show this week.

    You may be aware of this already, but in the last few weeks two of the more prolific conservative members of your message board have called in to your show.

    I won't mention their names (unless you want me to), but one called on a Friday to challenge Bernie Sanders about H1B visas. The other one called a few days ago feigning dismay that you urged listeners to contact Arlen Specter to urge him to switch from Republican to Democrat. The source of his feigned dismay was the fact that you'd been critical of Specter for his role on the Warren Commission.

    When I noticed the fact they had called in within days of each other, I wondered if your show has been targeted for special attention since you were designated the most influential progressive talker. I also wondered if they had earned enough troll points to graduate from strictly blog posts to phone calls (or maybe it was their auditions).

    I had wondered if these guys because of their prolificacy and the transparency of their arguments. In the case of one of these guys, after reading one of his posts, I had hoped that he was doing it for money rather than he actually believed it.

    Just for reference, I checked on the numbers of posts of these two blogger/callers. Both of these guys were all over your old message board, and in the few weeks your new board has been up, the guy who called about Arlen Specter has posted 97 times (several this morning with the last one being within the last 5 minutes) and the one who called about work visas posted 33 times (with around 5-6 this morning and the most recent also within the last 5 minutes).

  • Wanted by Tent City Homeless: AIG Senior Employees   10 years 35 weeks ago

    Medved vs. Reality

    Here are some thoughts from The Great Debate last night.

    Blame the recession on Obama. / The recession started earlier than it was supposed to .

    Corporate media has a liberal bias. / Reality has a liberal bias. Corporate media often reports on reality.

    Bush/Cheney kept us safe since 9/11. / Bush/Cheney did a lousy job keeping us safe since 9/10.

    We would not have gone to war with Iraq if not for 9/11. / The only connection between Iraq and 9/11 is you can start a war with Iraq if you lie about a connection with 9/11.

    Decent union wages are bad for business and economic recovery. / Decent wages will empower you the audience to become customers and customers of customers. The only way to economic recovery is to empower your customers.

    A large proportion of the audience is happy with their healthcare. / The audience consists of people with enough disposable income to go see a political debate. The growing population of desperate struggling Americans is not represented here.

    No able bodied person should be paid by the government for sitting around doing nothing if they’re poor. / So we should create an environment to get that person employed and not poor. And we should undo the conservative shift of the tax burden onto working Americans and off of investment income. Lost tax revenues on the upper percent of income is the worst way for the government to pay able bodied people for sitting around doing.

    Why is progressive talk such a failure? I thought it was fat-cat corporate sponsors and station owners with an anti-American worker agenda.

  • March 18th 2009 On the Program   10 years 35 weeks ago

    MathBoy: Along side a 'cloture' rule, it may be helpful to think about the entire body of forty-three Standing Rules of the Senate, too? Because these Senate parlimentary rules all modify the constitutionally required 'simple majority', for votes in both houses of Congress. Together, these rules add a parlimentary level of complexity. Besides, at the direction of the chair of the Senate (and sometimes, the clerk?) a 'unanimous consent' motion, a.k.a. 'general consent' motion, can end debate when there are no objections present! The general consent motion ignores the subject of what has been debated, or even how intense it may get! Practically, 'general consent' in the Senate, is a parlimentary tool that is used often, or informally, and saves time, and does that civililly!

  • Wanted by Tent City Homeless: AIG Senior Employees   10 years 35 weeks ago

    Hi Thom and all,

    I was listening to your show today and your comment about Carter begin the first to deregulate reminded me that actually Gerald Ford started that ball rolling. Here's a clip from UTexas:

    "Beside abolishing many controls on petroleum prices, Ford proposed economic deregulation of the railroad, aviation, and trucking industries, and created a regulatory reform task force to identify other areas in which deregulation would be economically and socially desirable. Only railroad deregulation had been achieved by the time Ford left office, but the groundwork had been laid for other regulatory reforms later carried out under Carter."

    I have read other references to Ford being the "deregulation president".

    It's good to put this back onto Republican shoulders.

  • March 20th 2009 ON the Program   10 years 35 weeks ago

    Eliot Spitzer:

    The Real AIG ScandalIt's not the bonuses. It's that AIG's counterparties are getting paid back in full.

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