Crossposted at Docudharma.com and Thom Hartmann.com
I had the misfortune of listening to a podcast of Thom Hartmann’s show on Friday, October 21 ’11. I was afraid from the title (“Obama’s announcement of Iraq troop draw down”) that it would be a sickening gushfest over the Sellout-in-Chief’s latest political maneuvering, but was astonished at the sheer depths to which Hartmann has fallen in his attempts to bolster this tool of the banksters and war criminals.
I’ve listened to the show for 6 years now. Thom was once the one I could always count on for honest reporting and commentary. He would fearlessly tell the truth, regardless of whose ox was being gored, and let the chips fall where they would. Since his move to Washington from Portland, though, I’ve noticed a steady slide into shameless partisanship and lesser-of-two-evilism. I’ve written several pieces trying to get Thom to tell why he would so readily support O’Bushma at the expense of We the People and the truth, but he has not responded; instead, he keeps repeating the same mindless drivel about the Supreme Court, the healthcare-“reform” scam, and other meritless foolishness.
I am going to go over the second hour of this particular show and point out the many ways that Thom has sold out, and now just seems to be a tool of the Blue Shit branch of the Democratic Party.
Let’s start with the idea that O’Bushma is now on the bankster shit list; that Romney is their guy; and that, despite all evidence to the contrary, the DINO is now on our side. Thom trumpeted the NYT story that Romney is now getting more Wall Street money than O’Bushma. This is apparently wrong:
And even if it were true by a small margin that Romney was getting more bankster money than the DINO, Thom should have pointed out that it was very close, and that the thieves were obviously supporting both likely candidates as a way to hedge their bets. Instead, though, the show made it seem like the banksters had deserted the Sellout and had wholeheartedly thrown their support to Romney, thereby implying that O’Bushma now deserves our support. This is rank partisanship, and really shows that Thom Hartmann is no longer a trustworthy broker of information, but for reasons unexplained has deliberately chosen one bankster operative over another despite overwhelming evidence that, in every matter of substance, they are pretty much equivalent. Obama is a bankster tool, and is supporting them to this day. The latest: Why, the banks were not thieving RICO-chargeable criminal gangs who peddled fraudulent instruments which deliberately destroyed our economy for the enrichment of the very few. Oh no, not at all:
Yet in the face of every bit of evidence to the contrary, we’re supposed to believe that O’Bushma is the good guy here.
Other parts of the show which were misleading at best:
–He touted the DINO’s statement that “As promised, the rest of our troops in Iraq will come home by the end of the year…”, implying that O’Bushma deserved credit for doing something to dial back the war. I cannot believe that Thom is pushing that garbage. I no longer can make myself believe that he’s somehow mistaken or is just missing it. I am afraid that Thom’s man-crush on the Sellout is leading him into deliberately shading the truth in a misguided attempt to get the DINO reelected. The truth is that some uniformed troops will be pulling out. But why is this significant? The big problem is that we are there in the first place. But is our military role there ending? Hardly:
Spencer Ackerman points out the misleading nature of O’Bushma’s posturing:
“The Iraq War Ain’t Over, No Matter What Obama Says
“President Obama announced on Friday that all 41,000 U.S. troops currently in Iraq will return home by December 31. ‘That is how America’s military efforts in Iraq will end,’ he said. Don’t believe him.
“Now: it’s a big deal that all U.S. troops are coming home. For much of the year, the military, fearful of Iranian influence, has sought a residual presence in Iraq of several thousand troops. But arduous negotiations with the Iraqi government about keeping a residual force stalled over the Iraqis’ reluctance to provide them with legal immunity.
“But the fact is America’s military efforts in Iraq aren’t coming to an end. They are instead entering a new phase. On January 1, 2012, the State Department will command a hired army of about 5,500 security contractors, all to protect the largest U.S. diplomatic presence anywhere overseas.”
Thom and I are both 60 years old, both born in 1951. One reason I have been so enchanted with Thom until his move to Washington (and apparent co-optation by the corporatist establishment) is because of the amazing similarities between our life experiences, including having lived through the antiwar tumult of the late ’60’s. It was obvious then that Nixon’s many lies about ending the war were just that—lies; that the corporatists which were (and are) running the government had no intention at all of ending it; and that, were it not for a revolt in the US Congress which cut off the money, we’d still be there. And when the puppet government in Iraq has its Saigon moment—when the Shi’a majority, probably supported by its natural ally Iran, threatens to eject Maliki and the foreign occupiers of the oil fields—then does anyone doubt that O’Bushma will throw our weary, misused young men and women in uniform back into the mess again? Bush the Dimmer made it plain that leaving Iraq would not really happen (Exhibit 1: The monstrous American fortr—er, “embassy”, largest on the planet); that, so long as “America’s national interest” (read: Pig Oil’s control over the oil fields) were at stake, then America’s war machine would be there. THIS DYNAMIC HAS NOT CHANGED. Shame on Thom for implying that it has.
–Then he has the nerve to talk about O’Bushma’s losing the vote on his weak-ass Kabuki-theater dog-and-pony-show jobs program, pointing the finger at Ben Nelson and Joe Lie-berworm. He’s been way too easy on the Blue Shits, including Nelson-pig, anyway; but it really was galling to hear the implication that the DINO had somehow been victimized by the Liarman. But who supported the Worm to begin with, when the good Democrat Ned Lamont was running for the seat? Who protected and supported the Liarman when it was so apparent that he would be the vote that would kill any real progressive initiatives that would come before the Senate during that critical 1st 2 years?
And the Worm is showing what he is to this very day:
Amazing. How can Thom, with a straight face, now support O’Bushma, this DINO lying tool of the criminal oligarchy, knowing full well whom he supports and how assiduously he’s worked to derail the people’s movement that put him into power and gave him overwhelming majorities in both houses of Congress?
–“[O’Bushma] has done these incredible things”, Thom says. Then he goes on to name them:
1.) “He killed bin Laden!” Yeah he did, by illegally invading a sovereign nation against all rules of international law. I’m all for Osama’s being brought to justice, of course. But why kill him? Why not capture him through honest police work, interrogate him by effective means (i.e. NOT torture), and take him to trial in a Federal District Court? And what’s worse: Why play into the Repig meme that, somehow, murder and military action are glorious? Democrats will NEVER beat the Repig’s when it comes to who can be more vicious or disrespectful of international law and human rights. Why reinforce their memes? One could almost believe that Thom is now pimping for the war corporatists and secretly likes the idea of an empire running roughshod over the structures of international justice that the FDR/HST administration worked so hard to put into effect. Because whether intentionally or not, that is the effect of this adulation of bloodshed. Thom MUST know this.
2.) “He set off the Arab Spring”. Oh bullshit. This is another astonishing (not to mention racist and Eurocentric) misrepresentation. The people in that part of the world have been building up to their revolt for a long time. At best, O’Bushma made some statements that (incorrectly, it turns out) seemed to be supportive of democracy in that part of the world. But as usual it’s the oil, stupid; O’Bushma has been supporting the military rulers of Egypt, themselves vassals of BP &c., and who are increasingly showing that they are a continuation of the Mubarak regime (without the ugly face):
3.) He repeats the canard that we must put the Sellout back into office because of the Supreme Court. I cannot believe that Thom is flogging this dead horse. The Supreme Court will never support We the People against They the Banksters in our lifetimes. The only solution is for an enraged, activated majority to take the Congress; the Congress can then simply pass laws reining in the SCOTUS bunch, regardless of the level of corruption there. (Example: Pass a law reversing Citizens United, and put in a rider that removes the jurisdiction of SCOTUS to rule on it, and make it a felony for any justice to purport to do so, on pain of being arrested by the Sergeant at Arms of the House and tried before the full assembly.) To reelect O’Bushma is to paralyze the Democratic Party as an agent for change for at least another 4 years, which assures more of the same corporatist depredations coming out of the Nine for years to come, because the DINO’s reelection would further delay the emergence of such an activated majority in Congress. Why would Thom, a professed supporter of Occupy Wall Street and purported proponent of People Power, be so ready to throw hopes of getting an activated majority under the bus in the feeble chance that, somehow, O’Bushma, for the first time in his Administration, would do something (like appoint a non-corporatist for the critical 5th vote on SCOTUS) which would seriously interfere with the thieving privileges of his corporatist masters? Because make no mistake: So long as O’Bushma is there, the Democrats are useless. People will not get involved in Democratic politics in any serious way so long as the Democratic leadership is controlled by Obamabots and other Blue Shits. Far better that we be opposing a President Romney after the election; that way, at least, the Democrats have a rallying point and a chance to move seriously in a progressive direction.
4.) He continues to tout Obamacare as a good thing. Nonsense. I wrote this to Thom in an earlier posting:
“The ACA is a fraud. Your touting it, as usual, is based upon unicorns and rainbows, not reality; it depends, for the first time ever under Obama, for something of substance he promised to become true. He’s good at making promises; but delivering–not so much. The latest is the silly claim that ‘premiums will come down next year’. But as I wrote here previously:
“‘Let me give you a quite personal example, for instance, of the profound fraudulence of the ACA: I am 60 years old, with two prior cancers. My wife is 54 years old, and has costly health problems. We make, together, about $50,000 per year, about $15,000 of which goes to pay the mortgage on our modest home. We have no medical insurance. Obamacare will do nothing for us but cost us the tax penalty at the end of the year; we cannot afford private medical insurance, even if they’d sell it to us in the first place. We will get no subsidy for private insurance, we make too much money. And anyway: When we did have insurance we found out that the copays ended up being about as much as the considerably-lower self-pay price which most doctors will give for uninsured patients. No, what we needed was the public option–which Obama obstructed in service to the criminals, despite making specific promises to the contrary.
“‘And to make it worse: My wife is 54. Obama’s putting Social Security ‘on the table’ and his boosterism of Catfood Commission II–which likely will preserve a reduced Social Security only for people 55 and up–will mean that my wife will not have the program available for her when the time comes. How is this ‘change we can believe in’? Meet the new boss, a better-packaged version of the old boss.’
“The ACA will NOT help me or my wife; it will only cost us the penalty at tax time. As for the premiums coming down: How hard is this to understand: The name of the act (‘Affordable’ my @ss) is meaningless. What matters is the enabling legislation, and that is being written by the very criminal healthcare-denial companies whom the Act pretends to control. LOWER PRICES WILL NOT HAPPEN, and anyone who believes promises of such things is a fool. Obama never has done, and never will do, anything to discomfit these criminals, and this surely will not. All we will be left is the mandate–which will hurt the middle class, just as it’s supposed to do. We will be given the Hobson’s choice of either buying crappy ‘insurance’ at horrific cost, or paying the penalty. This is ‘change we can believe in’?”
And, of course, as predicted, the healthcare-denial thieves are not cooperating with Thom’s rosy view of their compliance with the spirit of ACA. They are going all-out to raise prices:
If Thom had told the stark truth—that there is little difference of substance between Bush and O’Bushma—and regularly detailed the latest reasons why (and they occur almost daily)—then I would have understood if he’d have qualified it with something like “…but I’ll still vote for O’Bushma anyway because [insert reason here].” I can’t see any good reason, but at least I’d be more understanding if he’d at least taken that tack. Instead, though, it has become obvious that Thom is willing to distort the truth in support of the DINO, which is unacceptable. Perhaps he really is a believer in lesser-of-two-evilism, despite decades (the same decades we both lived through) that show that lesser-of-two-evilism only begets ever-worsening evil. No, the time has come to take to the streets along with Occupy Wall Street, and to absolutely oppose corporatists, party label (or man-crush) notwithstanding. Look: This is not a game, where one chooses one side over another for the hell of the contest. We are talking about the wellbeing of the middle class and of democracy, not whether the oligarch tool who wins happens to bear one label over another. How hard is that to understand?
Thom says: “There’s a difference between the circular firing squad and the wind behind your back.” But a “circular firing squad” assumes that you’re shooting at your own, which is patently NOT true with O’Bushma. He’s not “one of our own”, any more than Lloyd Blankfein is. He’s a bankster operative who has succeeded brilliantly in delaying—perhaps for a generation or longer—the democratic renaissance which was at our fingertips when we put him into office. More propaganda, and it’s amazing that Thom would be spouting it.
The Gravestone XL (which the DINO will support—as predicted). The Unitary Executive. Killing American citizens without due process of law. The failure to close the torture prisons. Offshore oil-drilling expansion. The renewed war on medical cannabis. The failure to fire the corrupt Bush US Attorneys (Why is Laura Canary not in prison for official corruption?) and the failure to rescue the wrongfully-convicted Don Siegelman (if nothing else, he could pardon him). Van Jones. The failure to break up the criminal banks and prosecute their upper management. The cooperative silence in the face of trillions of Fed money being given to banksters and corporatist thieves foreign and domestic, while the middle class loses their homes by the thousands. On and on and on. Thom says constantly about O’Bushma’s perfidies: “Oh I could give you a long list, but…” No. No “buts”. He should say “…long list, in particular:…” and then tell the truth. Instead we get this constant pandering and shading of the truth in support of…what?
So, that’s it for me. I, along with posting this diary, am canceling my podcast subscription to Thom’s show and deleting the RSS and bookmark links. There are still some good talk show hosts out there; my personal favorite (and the one I’m subscribing to next) is Sam Seder, who has lately been spending a lot of time with Occupy Wall Street rather than blowing bullshit in support of the rank corporatist tool O’Bushma.
And as for 2012: I will be voting progressive Democrat where I have an option, Green where not (most definitely including for the presidency). And maybe O’Bushma will lose and we’ll have a real chance to remake the Democratic Party into an honest force for change. It’s not what I’d prefer—I’d much rather have been supporting an Obama who had lived up to his promises—but reality makes its own rules, and we have to live with them. And the reality is that O’Bushma is One of Them, and we must NOT support him.
Good luck to everyone. Support Your Local OWS!