Recent comments

  • March 19th 2009 On the Program   12 years 26 weeks ago

    Wednesday Evening on NPR I heard that when a company was in difficulty, it was common to offer retention contracts to make sure an employee stayed until a specific date. So, those were legal contracts put in place by the last administration, and that would be the reason, some employees had already left the company.

    Those toxic items were sold all over the world by US. I wish someone would come out and explain very clearly to the average person how important it is to bail out other countries and how AIG is an important global company.

    I have no special knowledge, but I felt we were in financial trouble a couple of years ago, although not to this extent. I have been following it all very closely, especially during and after the night it all went south.

    It is such a distraction from all the serious problems we have.

  • March 19th 2009 On the Program   12 years 26 weeks ago

    Hope I'm posting this in the right place, I have VIP tickets to the event tonight, including meet n' greet. Is 5:30 the correct time or do VIP ticket people arrive earlier?

  • March 19th 2009 On the Program   12 years 26 weeks ago

    I agree that the AIG employees should be fired and charged with fraud. The one that said that the bonuses were not for perfomance but retention should serve the longest since he obviously lied to congress. Also, these people should be tried by their peers after they are fired. Of course, their peers are other unemployeed people whose chance at jobs in the near future were shattered by the greed of the AIG employees.

  • March 19th 2009 On the Program   12 years 26 weeks ago

    Also, another thought I had about the AIG "retention awards". For AIG (or any company) to rationalize spending millions of our tax dollars to retain the employees who are in large part responsible for creating this mess, by asserting that they’re the most qualified people to solve problems they created, is absolutely ludicrous. By that rationale, the U.S. government should contract Al Qaeda to run our anti-terrorism efforts in Afghanistan and Iraq. This is an absolute scam and I say the U.S. government should seize those bonuses and fire those employees, or even better charge them with fraud, seize all of their assets and let them stand trial before a jury of 12 Americans who will decide their fates!

  • March 19th 2009 On the Program   12 years 26 weeks ago

    I just saw an article on the BBC website about our dear friend Mr. Madoff, which says "Madoff's lawyers have argued to a US appeals court he should be released as he had not fled while under house arrest at his Manhattan penthouse."

    My thought: "Past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results" - lock him up!

  • March 18th 2009 On the Program   12 years 26 weeks ago

    "Salon"has a great article by Glenn Greenwald about AIG and the Dodd lie.

  • Wanted by Tent City Homeless: AIG Senior Employees   12 years 26 weeks ago

    Great show, thanks for everything you offer-up. The other day I was listening to your show, I heard either you or your guest mention how Chris Dodd was equally responsible for the bonuses of AIG. According to Glen Greenwald of, the information is incorrect. I'm pasting the link straight to the article should you have time to read his side of the story. You've opened up my eyes so much more, thanks again.
    Jesse A.

  • Wanted by Tent City Homeless: AIG Senior Employees   12 years 26 weeks ago

    Let’s go after the REAL money given to AIG – the $183 billion! I realize that this has already been paid out, and we can’t get it back from the counterparties who knew that Alan Greenspan and George Bush and Hank Paulson were steering the U.S. economy off a real estate cliff, a derivatives cliff and a balance-of-payments cliff all wrapped up into one by betting against collateralized debt obligations (CDOs) and insuring these casino bets with AIG. That money has been siphoned off from the Treasury fair and square, by putting their own proxies in the key government slots, the better to serve them.
    So let’s go after them altogether. Sen. Schumer said to the AIG bonus recipients that the I.R.S. can go after them and get the money back one way or another. And it can indeed go after the $183-billion bailout recipients. All it has to do is re-instate the estate tax and raise the marginal income and wealth-tax rates to the (already reduced) Clinton-era levels.
    The money can be recovered. And that’s just what Mr. Schumer, Mr. Frank and others don’t want to see the public discussing. That’s why they’ve diverted attention onto this trivia. It’s the time-honored way to get people not to talk about the big picture and what’s really important

  • March 18th 2009 On the Program   12 years 26 weeks ago

    There isn't enough money, gold or oil in the world right now that would encourage me to trade places with President Obama. I keep hearing everyone saying that the President is trying to take on and tackle too much at once. Does he have much choice right now? Everything we are dealing with at this moment is interconnected to one another. You can't discuss the economy without including health care, employment/employees, the cost of two wars, etc.

    I live in South Carolina. I love it here, but unfortunately my representatives, Sen. Graham, Sen. DeMint, Rep. Henry Brown and Gov. Mark Sanford are so caught up in the political machine that they are total disregard for the people they are required to represent. I did not vote for any of the above, but I'm still trying to live under their "regime".

    Anyway, thank you for allowing me to rant! I try to listen to you daily via web stream on You are a breath of fresh air. You prove educated and researched information for everyone, regardless of political affiliation.

  • March 18th 2009 On the Program   12 years 26 weeks ago

    Good morning,
    Just an explanation regarding the report that men get along with men better than women with women: there is research indicating that before menopause women tend to be competitors (for the "big dog"?) and that when estrogen levels drop, or perhaps if they're not ovulating, women increase their affinity for other women. There are also differences depending on whether the other women are related or not....

  • March 18th 2009 On the Program   12 years 26 weeks ago

    Good morning,
    Look forward to your show each day, and listen on my computer, as I don't get the local Air America station very clearly east of Seattle at my home.

    Used to listen at the office, but since my hours have been drastically reduced I'm usually at home...but I am very glad to have some hours, as social security barely covers my necessary insurance premiums!!
    Love and appreciate your entertaining continuing education -- so very important for all of us.
    Thanks also for the updated music on the breaks.

  • March 18th 2009 On the Program   12 years 26 weeks ago

    Hi Thom. I am listening to the show right now on line through my Palm Treo 755 on KTLK AM 1150 and I heard you talk about Fake Liberals. I have been battling this in Lenoir County, NC.

    Democrats hold most of the Local Offices but they aren Not Progressive. And in some cases aren't even Moderates. They are die hard conservative Dems. I can't stand it. I have notified the NCDP about my concerns and the Interim Lenoir County Democratic Party Chairman about this. It was Ironic to me when I heard you say that on the radio because I have been saying it for a very long time now. We didn't even have a Local Democratic Party Website. So I decided to take matters into my own hands.

    Thank you Thom for all you do.

  • March 18th 2009 On the Program   12 years 26 weeks ago

    So how do you define the 55-vote filibuster idea? Five ninths? Eleven twentieths? You can't just set it at a particular number of votes; it has to be a fraction of senators present.

    I think the danger here is that the bar can be rasied as easily as it is lowered. Let's say the Republicans get the majority again, and let's say they have 70 votes. They could change the cloture rule to require seven tenths.

    But the cloture rule applies even to a debate to change the cloture rule--and in fact requires two thirds when changing the rules of the Senate--so you'll have to get 67 senators to agree to let 55 senators end debate thereafter.

  • March 17th 2009 On the Program   12 years 26 weeks ago

    I found this song about the wallstreet bailout on youtube and it's spot on
    i think you all will get a kick out of it

  • March 16, 2009 On the Show Today   12 years 26 weeks ago

    As a native Hoosier, I wonder how we can get rid of Evan Bayh, I'm so sick of him. I know we need a primary candidate next time his term is up, but finding the right person who can actually beat him will be very hard. What advice is there for finding a good, charismatic progressive candidate?

  • March 18th 2009 On the Program   12 years 26 weeks ago

    On the issue of the dissemination of the truth, I wrote on the 'Contact us' that President Obama owed progressive radio at least publicity. A few days later, wa la and President Obama will be on Ed S Show Thursday, I guess I need to be more specific in letting the Whitehouse know that the President owes the Thom Hartmann show audience an explicit thank you and publicity. All the 'annointed one' [to use a Sean Hannity term] need to do is mention Thom's name and I am sure all progressives will find us!

    PS everyday I carry business cards with me that promote progressive radio shows including the actual link and time to tune in in an effort to teach the common wo/man to find us. Just make some up at the local printer and be part of the solution!

  • Wanted by Tent City Homeless: AIG Senior Employees   12 years 26 weeks ago

    Any individual whose gross income was more than $1,000,000 in any of the past 4 years will be subject to a tax rate of 99% on any compensation from designated companies that have received TARP funding from the US government.
    All other individuals will be subject to a tax rate of 99% on any compensation above $180,000 per year from designated companies that have received TARP funding from the US government. All compensation subject to this tax rate are subject to backup withholding. Problem solved.

  • March 18th 2009 On the Program   12 years 26 weeks ago


    As in the movie 11th hour, we need to mimic natures systems of distribution and checks and balances, this is the key to re-booting our economy.

  • March 17th 2009 On the Program   12 years 26 weeks ago

    On a much more fundamental level, what is the source of human conflicts? Are we, by the force of social necessity, engaged in 'fighting' the better part of our divine or common nature? Were humans always aware that they were healthy, and fecund? Because, we all essentially eat one diet. How are we all coping?

  • March 17th 2009 On the Program   12 years 26 weeks ago

    In regards to Thom's warnings about false populism...

    The most perfidious way of harming a cause consists of defending it deliberately with faulty arguments.
    - Friedrich Nietzsche

  • Wanted by Tent City Homeless: AIG Senior Employees   12 years 26 weeks ago

    I think it's about time for these laissez-faire capitalists to "Go John Galt" --

  • March 17th 2009 On the Program   12 years 26 weeks ago

    Oy! My bias is against any drug use. That being said, the drug problem in neighboring Mexico, may stretch deep, into a historically mis-understood region of that honorable country? The rich Mayan culture once dominated in Meso-America until 900 C.E. when (IMO?) dis-honorable Azteks forced their way into power....Aztek leaders, brothers Tlacaelel and Moctezuma1, set up shop, deep in the heart of the inter-continental peninsula! They reportedly institued the hostile policies as book burning, ritual wars, and the wholesale re-writing of histories! Spanish conquest around 1500 A.D. might have severly repressed real Mayan histories, and civil concepts of that noble, culture??

  • March 17th 2009 On the Program   12 years 26 weeks ago


    I heard EXACTLY what Thom said and I've heard him say it several times before. As you stated, Thom said that young black men who sell drugs do it because they don’t have a legal outlet for their entrepreneurial spirit.

    I’m saying that’s BS. I’m saying that a number of young black men end up involved in a number of illegal activities because they don’t have employment opportunities, not because they don’t have entrepreneurial opportunities. Selling drugs is one of the illegal activities, but there are others such as robbery, burglary, pimping, selling bootleg and/or stolen merchandise and identity theft. It’s sad but it’s a fact in our society.

    It’s not because they’re naturally inclined to do so, it’s because a confluence of societal and economic factors keep many of them out of legal employment and the mainstream economy. Our society has failed them.

    But they’re only a portion of the black community. Many blacks who are employed feel the entrepreneurial impulse, and they do what people of other communities do. They start small businesses on the side. They use their own financial resources if they have any, or get help from their families. Sometimes their side businesses are intended to supplement their income from their jobs. Sometimes they hope to grow their side businesses into full time businesses.

    Like I said in my original post on this topic, there’s also a large underground economy in the black community. Some of it is merely unlicensed and unreported, and some of it is blatantly illegal. People do what they have to do to survive.

    What I objected to was Thom saying what I’ve heard him say several times before, and just using it as a throwaway line. He says it with authority, but to me, it indicates that he’s accepted a romanticized view of the illegal drug industry. The reality is that these young men aren’t entrepreneurs; they’re more like employees of the gangs that control the drug business. The work is dangerous and doesn’t pay as well as most people imagine. They’re more likely to get robbed, shot and/or arrested than they are to retire to a comfortable life in the islands. Many only do it occasionally because of the danger and the fact that they don't want to live a life of crime.

    When Thom made that comment, he didn’t think he was saying anything wrong or offensive. He thought he was sharing one of his insights. But I’ve been listening to Thom since he took over for Al Franken. I’ve hardly missed a show. I haven’t heard anything to indicate that he knows much about life in black or other minority communities and I haven’t seen much indication that he’s very interested in it.

    From my perspective, today Thom used black people for a throw away line that he’s used before on his show. I think what he said was wrong and ridiculous and I called him on it.

  • March 16, 2009 On the Show Today   12 years 26 weeks ago


    We shouldn't be surprised that the BIG SCAMS of the Bush I and II presidencies are banking scams.

    Iran-Contra had a major banking scam element to it, what with all its money laundering and secret bank accounts. (I consider the Reagan administration under some major control of V.P. George H.W. Bush (probably from the beginning with the October Surprise, but most undeniably after Reagan was incapacitated by Alzheimers and seemingly absolved from responsibility for Iran-Contra (not to say Reagan didn't okay stuff; he just didn't really 'get' what he was okaying!)) Then there was the Savings and Loan rip-off and the seeds of it (the unregulated insurance derivatives of today are a hang-over of the device created to fix the Savings and Loan damage) which reach to today's Economic Meltdown caused by AIG derivative scamming. The BCCI banking scandal is another.

    The Bush family has its history in banking and investments and government interface with wartime armaments primarily until Prescott Bush (Dubya's grandfather), as Senator, opened the door to a Dynasty of government careers for his progeny.

    Herbert Walker (the source of the Walker in George H.W. Bush and George Walker Bush), was the Anglophile wheeler-dealer/networker for the likes of the intercontinental railroad builders and then moved on and up to do behind the scenes dealmaking for the likes of J.P. Morgan & Company. Herbert Walker arranged interlocking deals like the one between the Guaranty Trust and J.P. Morgan, and between J.P. Morgan and W.A. Harriman & Co. (of which Walker was president) and the bank Morton & Co. These INTERLOCKING connections were Walker's speciality. By the 1920s Walker set up international offices like the headquarters in Berlin of W.A.Harriman & Co. which worked with Warburg Bank to invest in German industry and the Soviets. These connections were conveniently in place by the time his son-in-law Prescott Bush was a managing partner in a subsequent merger, Brown Brothers Harriman which became "ULTIMATELY THE LARGEST AND POLITICALLY THE MOST IMPORTANT PRIVATE BANKING HOUSE IN AMERICA". This was the base (along with his directorship at Union Banking Corporation) from which Prescott Bush worked to finance the Nazi war machine. This was how Prescott Bush made the investment-banking fortune to build two Bush presidencies.

    Now, with this in mind, should we be surprised that the scams of the Bush Dynasty Era are BANKING SCAMS?

    (P.S. In another nasty bit of money-talks power, J.P. Morgan banksters forced/extorted the German government to cave to Hitler, so we need to keep THAT in mind, too.)

  • March 17th 2009 On the Program   12 years 26 weeks ago

    Chris from St Paul -- First, a flat tax isn't a fair tax, and calling it that is pure spin.
    Second, here is the reason it isn't really fair:
    When you make only enough money to live on (or less), you spend all of your income on necessities. When you make somewhat more than subsistence amount, you spend most of it on necessities, and most of the rest on semi-necessities (maintenance, advancement strategies like college, etc.) When your income really exceeds what you NEED for food, shelter, transportation, and clothing and even semi-necessitites, Then you start buying luxuries, investments, upgrades, and frivolities.
    If you are spending 100% of your income on necessities, you really can't afford to pay a big percentage in taxes. When the first fraction of your income goes to necessities and the rest is free for luxuries, you can afford to pay a much larger percentage in taxes. People who have more, also tend to use The Commons more (roads, police, courts, legal protections, etc.), and therefore cost the country more --so they owe more.
    I hope this helps.

    As to socialized countries, most of modern Europe is semi-socialized. They also score higher than we do on almost all quality-of-life tests that anyone does. Now, they also have more social mobility than we do -- meaning the ability for a poor person to become a rich person. That used to be one of the things we were proudest of about America -- and we have lost it.

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