Monday, November 22, 2010

On Today’s Show:

Author Jacob Hacker talks about American wealth inequality, and Sam ponders the Pope’s wide stance on male prostitution.

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95 Responses to Monday, November 22, 2010

  1. Not enough time for Sam to slam that little RW woman on Jansing this AM but was glad Sam took the Grope Gate story to the Patriot Act.!

  2. gloryoski says:

    Still cute…

    For the record “Dancing with the Stars”

    I think you are thinking of Costner?

  3. James "Rolin" Stone says:

    Not “run” by the rich? You wanna rethink that comment?

    Congress averaged a 16% increase in wealth between 2008-2009 (during the financial bubble fallout?) And during the same period, over 250 new millionaires were created in the US. I heard this on DemocracyNow or similar.

    Good morning!

  4. James "Rolin" Stone says:

    A citizen who claims they do not vote because their vote would not effect change, can be certain of one thing: If they do not vote they will definitely not effect change.

    • Since the 2000 election, one vote has made a difference!

      • James "Rolin" Stone says:

        Have you signed onto Mike Gravel’s constitutional amendment to allow for direct legislative action on a national level. National Referendum thing where “the people” could enact a law or commit an action through majority vote for say, campaign reform? Or foreign troops withdrawal? Or indicting an ex-president or VP or other white house persoanges for war crimes? ETC.

  5. mornin gang,

    life goes on.

    DECLINE of EMPIRES: The Signs of Decay

    Chalmers Johnson, author of Blowback, Sorrows of Empire and Nemesis: The Last Days of the American Republic , talks about the similarities in the decline of the Roman and Soviet empires and the signs that the U.S. empire is exhibiting the same symptoms: overextension, corruption and the inability to reform.

    • James "Rolin" Stone says:

      Johnson is interviewed in Eugene Jarecki film “Why We Fight”. I got chills the first time I heard him explain what “blowback” meant. I had just recently watched Adam Curtis’ “The Power of Nightmare’s” and I’m sure that had an influence on my reaction the Jarecki film.

      • mornin James,

        Chalmers Johnson:

        The BLOWBACK SYNDROME: Oil Wars and Overreach

        • James "Rolin" Stone says:

          Thanks for that. “The Power of nightmares” puts that whole concept into historical context going back to 1953-54 and our CIA coup in Iran, the rise of radical Islam (blowback), Sayyed Qutb, the Muslim Brotherhood, Osama bin Laden, and in Amerika, neo-conservatism (Leo Strauss, Milton Freidman, Ayn Rand). Chilling.

          While we were asleep…

          • plooger says:

            Recommended viewing, to be sure.


          • James "Rolin" Stone says:

            You notice how there seems to be only that one copy on the entire internet? The VHS dub. I suppose whoever originally put that up should be given some kind of psuedo-hero status.
            \I did manage to find a clean copy of it a couple of year ago but the HD it was on has since crashed and I didn’t manage to get it on disc, so back to the VHS copy…

        • James "Rolin" Stone says:

          From DemocracyNOW:

          * Chalmers Johnson, 1931-2010, on the Last Days of the American Republic *

          The distinguished scholar and best-selling author Chalmers Johnson has died. He passed away in California on Saturday afternoon at the age of 79. During the Cold War, he served as a consultant to the Central Intelligence Agency and was a supporter of the Vietnam War, however, later became a leading critic of U.S. militarism and imperialism. He wrote the book, Blowback: The Costs and Consequences of American Empire in 2000, which became a bestseller after the 9/11 attacks. He went on to complete what would become a trilogy about American empire. Today we re-air part of our last interview with Chalmers Johnson from 2007. [Includes rush transcript]


          • Whatever happened to that former repeat UN weapons inspector in IRAQ that published many private books exposing the whole debacle and repeatedly poo phood …I think he was American.

    • utilitopia says:

      Dmitry Orlov gave an awesome talk about collapse using the collapse of the USSR for comparison:

  6. daveyeah says:

    The smoothest break music in talk radio.

  7. James "Rolin" Stone says:

    Research Norman Finklestein. I bet he would do a phone interview or something. He would stir things up too on the middle east situation.

  8. James "Rolin" Stone says:

    I’ve been disillusioned since Reagan’s second term, though I hated that he had the first term. but even more surprised that he even won…

    I blame “disco”.

  9. James "Rolin" Stone says:

    Easy to digest example of past to present income distribution trending:

    If America had $100 and 100 people

  10. James "Rolin" Stone says:

    It’s the “natural ” state of Social Darwinism…

  11. plooger says:

    Wanna participate in The Majority Report?

    ===> Check this out! <===

    p.s. Morning, all!

  12. James "Rolin" Stone says:

    Wall Street is more or less a “closed system” now and an economy unto itself. yet many of the economic indicators we now use are based on that performance rather than the real economy where regular working people are. Which is why when they say 9% unemployment, it is really more like 12 or even 15%

    • gloryoski says:

      There was a thing last week said 23 by the broadest federal measure. I will find a link if I can. It was all over just the other day. Anybody?

      • James "Rolin" Stone says:

        My grasp of economy-think is akin to looking over the fence at your neighbor’s bbq and imaging what the food will taste like. I’m right-brained by nature, and left-handed. Although no one forced me to change my left to right tendancies (physically I mean), life in Amerika has forced me to at least acknowlegde my left-brain and look “over the fence” at it. More and more as I get older, lest I completely perish without knowing it. (Flatland awakening)

        Plus I suppose running my business has had some influence as well…

        • gloryoski says:

          “My grasp of economy think…”

          Oh me too…totally!

          • James "Rolin" Stone says:

            Sam just hinted that Alex Jones was a commodity and perhaps a good “buy”.

            Now I know I’m out of my environment…

      • gloryoski says:

        D’oh! No the third number on the chart here is not official. Some guy with a blog called “Shadow Gov’t Stats.” No idea about it.

        • James "Rolin" Stone says:

          I can believe that. Why not?

          Just consider how many people odd-job, one-person contract, under the table small change, small business (the real “small” kind like Sole Proprietor, not the $250k/yr LLC kind) etc.

          I haven’t been on the employment roll in over 20 years except for maybe 18 scattered months during that time. but nothing long enough to qualify for unemployment, so I’m not counted even though I’ve not had a steady “living-wage” in at least 7 years. Retirement squandered by Wall Street and still 5 years away from “early” retirement which is obviously at risk now…

  13. James "Rolin" Stone says:

    Neo-liberalism (corporate democrats) is not new. It goes back at least to Bush senior’s day when the Repubs showed them how much money could be “pac”-ed

  14. plooger says:

    From Sam’s email distro, this morning….

    On Monday I welcome guest Jacob Hacker, co- author of _Winner Take All Politics_ perhaps the best book ever explaining how and why our Govt policy has been systemically redistributing wealth upward to the richest of the rich …

  15. James "Rolin" Stone says:

    Nixon and Halderman promoted HMOs from a corporate profit angle from the very beginning.

  16. Mhappenow says:

    David Sirota and his wife just had a baby boy named Isaac Irving!

  17. jean palmer says:

    Sam you really do need to get Dmitry Orlov to interview. You need to move on from punditry and more into what do we do now that everything is collapsing around us. check out his website.

  18. Yes! Fighting for your values, even when you know your goals are not achievable in the near term, is very important.

    Great guest! Seder, looking forward to you talking about the book again.

    • James "Rolin" Stone says:

      “The ultimate measure of a man (or woman) is not where he (she) stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he (she) stands at times of challenge and controversy” — Martin Luther King, Jr.

      (I’m sure if he had been thinking beyond his era he would have elaborated on the gender – women were fighting for some of their civil rights then too – maybe a freudian slip on his part caught up in the racial bigotry of the times?)

  19. RECYCLE your modem to get your computer back online.
    (I IM’ed you that , but I don’t think anyone is paying attention)

    • Nah, it’s some bizarre issue with the network card on the g5. the rest of the network (this here broadcast system) is online and running well.

    • James "Rolin" Stone says:

      Yes, I think Sam really needs someone to more closely monitor “our” various modes of interaction who can recognize the things that might be brought to his attention.

      It would better serve his celebrity status (don’t ignore the fans).

      It could provide him with various potential insights and revelations, not just from a studio-technical standpoint, but also from a PR/merchandising/ad-vocation and most important to the show’s Mission: politically.

      It would also be “professionally” courteous merely to acknowledge our time and effort, stroke us where needed, appreciate when appropriate and dissuade when called for…

  20. Good show Sammy,as usual.. 🙂

  21. gloryoski says:

    H”cr”/insurance mandate not the same as Social Security because SS money does not go to private corporations (directly, yet).


  22. The intro to the show is a little creepy. How ’bout some bouncy, fun, uplifting music instead? If you can’t find good music that’s not copyrighted, Sam, Evan and the crew should write a little ditty and sing it.

    Who agrees?

    • James "Rolin" Stone says:

      I like the “creepy”. Think about how it got your attention the first time you heard it. Made you want to hear more, didn’t it?

      This show needs to be about continued growth in the cause, not another clique social network that loses focus and potency.

      • Thanks, James. I don’t see how zippy, fun music turns the show into another clique social network.

        Anyway, obviously we disagree. That’s okay.

        I didn’t realize the show was over when I posted. I’m in a different time zone. I’m going to repost when I can catch a thread live.

        • James "Rolin" Stone says:

          I do think that Sam’s demeanor should be more “positive”, but the idea of an intro is to “engage” the audience. Now if by “uplifiting” you mean some good ole 60s protest music, I’m all for that. But if it has a too much of a feel-good “feel”, and I were a first time listener, I might get pessimistic and turn-off.

          Maybe like a lot of language used these days, you and I are not disagreeing necessarily, but may instead just be interpreting your descriptive differently. Ya think? Like something can be called “catchy” but that doesn’t say whether it inspires or depresses… Reaction could be according to the personality and that may be the case here. I do know that just saying “OK, we disagree” is a conversation stopper and no progress gets made like that.

          So I’d have to have some real examples of what you mean I guess. Still, I think the intro as-is influenced my enthusiasm about the show.

          And nothing personal was meant by the “clique” comment. Just an observation from seeing that happen too many times online. We are “social” creatures by nature, yes? It’s just that we are also “selfish” creatures by nature. It’s all part of our prehistoric genetic hanger-on genes.

          AND one of the biggest reasons we are even having this conversation on a blog for a show that is a much-needed voice in a selfishly social world.

          • Didn’t mean for “agree to disagree” to be a conversation stopper. I see what you mean though, how it would be. I was just trying to be polite and not have an argument. 🙂 Did not know you were open for discussion.

            I would be fine with 60s protest music! I also think Sam and the gang could write something short and sing it that would be fun for me, and for you – meaningful. Oh, and knowing Sam it would be meaningful for me too. 🙂

            Yes, “catchy” is not necessarily good. Not a good word. But, I do like it when a song reminds me of someone when I hear it. Say that 60s song. If one were used, every time I heard it I would think of Sam and his show. I would like something inspiring. Maybe that’s what I meant with uplifting. Currently, the intro voice is not inspiring to me. It’s more rough and gruff. As far as reacting according to the personality, yes, I just want the current intro to be OVER, and for Sam to start.

            Do you know what the opening music was on Sam’s old show? I believe it was probably famous, but I’m out of it enough to not know. I think I heard it in a tv commercial. I spent some time Googling for information a long time ago, but never came up with anything. Anyway, I didn’t love it, but I always smiled when it came on. I may have grown to love it. It was a tune that meant “Sam was on.” Much better for me that a grumbly, gravelly voice – – which I still call creepy. 🙂

            Maybe some music could play, then the music softens, and the voice comes on – briefly!

            I am not sure what you mean by a “selfishly social world.” ?

            If I repost my question, we will have to direct people to this conversation, or repost our comments.

          • There is no doubt that the looking in the mirror dude is creepy…funny…but creepy…that said it would be a lot to ask sammy and the gang to do the singing…sounds like another project brewing for the aspiring blogger musician such as jimmy reefercake.


            i love me some jimmy reefercake.

    • I like Sam’s honesty….don’t need or want a different demeanor (have GE’s msnbc after all); intro reminds me a bit of Cobert Report but they could upgrade to a Professional Leftist version of “The Price is Right” Bob Barker’s COME ON DOWN! for variety on casual friday perhaps!

  23. gloryoski says:

    ThePlumLineGS Greg Sargent
    RT @ggreenwald Right shld find someone else to exploit: Victims families sup’t choice to try Ghailani in civilian court

    GG turns in last of his new book today. Yay! Win/win

  24. gloryoski says:

    davidcnswanson David Swanson
    Of top 100 books on Amazon only the anti-war one falsely says it doesn’t ship immediately

    This is bs!!! Help him beat Bush despite whatever’s going on with Amazon !!

    • gloryoski says:

      War Is A Lie, just published by David Swanson, exposes virtually all lies about all wars in history. The book was published today and is already in the top 50 books on

      (Amazon has been overrun with orders and currently says it is not shipping the book for weeks. But this is false; the book will be shipped right away, and we are working on getting this corrected on Amazon’s website.)

      “Not a single thing that we commonly believe about wars that helps keep them around is true. Wars cannot be good or glorious. Nor can they be justified as a means of achieving peace or anything else of value. The reasons given for wars, before, during, and after them (often three very different sets of reasons for the same war) are all false.” — From the Introduction

      Let’s make War Is A Lie #1 on Amazon.

      The reviews of War Is A Lie already are phenomenal. Rob Kall of OpEdNews calls it “an important, destined to be classic book.” He adds, “If there are awards for brilliant books that explode new ways to oppose the evils of this world, then David should sweep the field this year.”

      Norman Solomon, author of War Made Easy, says “David Swanson is an antidote to the toxins of complacency and evasion. He insists on rousing the sleepwalkers, confronting the deadly prevaricators and shining a bright light on possibilities for a truly better world.”

      And Geoff Millard of Iraq Veterans Against the War concludes, “Not since General Smedley Butler’s War is a Racket has a simpler, more brilliant, or truer book been published.”


      Right now, George W. Bush has the topselling book on Amazon, while Glenn Beck is at the top in nonfiction. Replacing them with
      War Is A Lie will be quite a change.


      At you’ll find the audio book plus animated graphics, videos, and articles to post on your website, including a new article by David Swanson just out on TomDispatch and a new video interview of Swanson just posted by You can also catch Swanson on Monday on KPFK, Radio or Not, and RT.

      But first, please help open the door to many more people by buying the book on Amazon.

      • gloryoski says:

        Also, could anyone help with hashtags? All these other ones besides #p2 have sprung up while I was asleep at the switch, or in school. Any other good suggestions for tweeting for David?

        • gloryoski says:

          He still doesn’t use any tags at all. I think he’s famous, but not that famous. 😉

  25. gloryoski says:

    The Clash – Pressure Drop

    Yeah…kinda famous. 😉

  26. Nasquasha says:

    I wish I understood why it’s always the middle class being glorified and plumped up like a monogrammed throw pillow on an Ikea sofa. Wouldn’t it make more sense to rally the poor and working class of whose ranks the make up the statistical majority? How does one define the middle between private jets and tent cities? Seems like today’s middle might look alot like yesterday’s poverty line.

    • gloryoski says:

      Excellent point but SOME version of “middle class” (without the over-consumption; and not UPPER middle class) is the closest thing in this econ/gov’t system that we have ever had to a what a decent standard of life/living should look like. Some economic security (assuming no over-consumption) and access to education equals more freedom to dissent and some of the tools that can help too.
      (Although others tools may be given through experiences that middle class do not have.)

      So when people like Bernie talk about the destruction of the middle class I don’t mind it. He is talking about a real problem. Others do fetishize it…yes…opportunistically or b/c of prejudice.

      When the working/non working poor get organized a bunch of them are gonna be former middle-class anyhow. (And some may still think of themselves that way.)

      So both messages and strategies can be effective, maybe?

    • James "Rolin" Stone says:

      Totally agree. It has been the middle classes’ abject failure since it’s creation to be lapdog to the elite and status quo (usually the same thing), rather than rallying with the poor. Instead they promote things such as “charity”, which do nothing to improve living conditions, much less autonomy, dignity and self-respect.

      Things are progressing in Latin America, where constant austerity is forcing the classes to unite. Europe is right on their heels, particularly in France. We’ll either have to come around, or be dust in the winds of history.

      The rich don’t care either way. It’s not about “nationalism” to them unless preceded by “trans”. They own the geography and have the power already. Nationalism was just a tool created by the Aristocracy centuries ago in order to build armies for conquest and defense.

      That’s the real danger of the “one world order” conspiracy. Instead of looking at it like we tend to do as a political/governmental movement, we need to understand that it is a corporate movement, and the government side of it will be a puppet like it is now. We actually do need global solidarity in order to take back our own government and spread true democracy.

      We could have a “global society” if we could rescue democracy, and thereby much better keep the corporate powers under control. We have 50 “state entities” now within our nation, and that works fairly well.

      My point is, we shouldn’t let the fear-mongers of the New world Order threat blind us to a potential social network of global proportion (like we kind of already have via the internet and social networking).

      If we have our social and philosophical orders placing democracy for all as the top priority, we can work out our governance from that perspective. We need to throw off the “idealistic” shackles of “nationalism” anyway, because what THEY are really talking about is loyalty to their aggressions, while what WE are really talking about is “culture”. And that doesn’t have to go away.

      In fact in a society of pure democratic equality, cultures should thrive.

      The challenge is keeping it out of the corporate arena and firmly in the realm of individual human and civil rights. Sometimes I think the buzzards fan the conspiracy fires, just so we’ll fall faster into their psychological traps by keeping us paranoid and socially separated, powerless.

  27. Very interesting to hear how a reporter in Ireland questions their Prime Minister 1 min 21 seconds into this morning’s BBC Newshour. I wish we had some reporters with courage to question our leaders with this type of passion.

  28. Nasquasha says:

    fair enough, but the longing for the lost middle reminds one of the Teabagger longing for their country back, the idyllic 50s as far as anyone can tell. The chimeric middle seems to me a weak and negative point from which to define one’s identity, relying on material comparison rather than positively defined qualities. Why not focus on clearly defined positives like the Universal Declaration of Human Rights? Tangible positives like specific mending of the social safety net? We need to redefine what we mean by ‘A decent standard of living’ anyway, in sustainable terms.

  29. gloryoski says:

    Yes. I agree with Cyrus. “Look in the mirror guy” funny but creepy. But funny.

    I doubt they will stay with that exact thing forever anyhow.

    That said…

    Hands off my “Pressure Drop.”. 😉

    • James "Rolin" Stone says:

      “funny but creepy. But funny.”

      *snort* (my turn)

    • Thanks for the vote of “creepy. ” I obviously think so.

      Also, there is no reply link for me under Cyrus’s recent post above, so I am commenting to him here.

      RE: jimmy reefercake: Don’t give them any ideas! Ha!

      • gloryoski says:

        Emphasis on “BUT FUNNY.” 😉

        Whoever said it reminds them of Colbert. Yes. (In a good way, which it mostly would be.)

        I won’t explain why. “Comedy theory…ugh.” 😉

  30. The 2010 electorate: Old, white, rich and Republican

    Source: Miami Herald

    The 2010 elections turned into a rout of the Democrats because the elderly and wealthy surged to the polls to help sweep the Republicans back into power, and the balance of women’s votes shifted to the GOP as well, according to a new report.

    The study released Monday by Project Vote, a nonpartisan, nonprofit group, also found that turnout by pro-Democratic blocs such as African-Americans, young people and Latinos dropped sharply from 2008 levels, leaving a lopsided pro-Republican electorate to dominate the national landscape.

    Perhaps the most significant point about voter turnout in 2010 is how many voters didn’t vote. Some 38 percent of eligible voters didn’t vote in 2008, and this November, another 33 percent didn’t show up, which means that “nonvoters were the majority in 2010,” the report said.

    “It is fair to say that 2010 was the year of older, rich people,” the study said.

    Read more

    38% did not vote. And non-voters that were eligible were the majority. That says it all. Yet Obama does not get it! I hope David Plouff can explain this to him!

    • James "Rolin" Stone says:

      Yet you can’t tell them (non-voters) that their actions actually do effect things, and that by not voting they almost always help ensure they will get exactly what they DON’T WANT!

    • James "Rolin" Stone says:

      I’m surprised that people are still posting. Glad, but surprised…

      Is that an indication of our dedication to the cause or our lack of a life…


      • Me too. That’s why I said I would have to repost my question on a live thread. And, this one turns out to be sort of lively.

        Nice to see. Maybe diehard fans who can’t get Sammy out of our systems. 🙂 Or no life.

        Maybe this will turn into a regular blog instead of just a show thread.

  31. James "Rolin" Stone says:

    I posted this above, but will probably get missed by many.

    From DemocracyNOW today (another sad loss this year):
    * Chalmers Johnson, 1931-2010, on the Last Days of the American Republic *

    The distinguished scholar and best-selling author Chalmers Johnson has died. He passed away in California on Saturday afternoon at the age of 79. During the Cold War, he served as a consultant to the Central Intelligence Agency and was a supporter of the Vietnam War, however, later became a leading critic of U.S. militarism and imperialism. He wrote the book, Blowback: The Costs and Consequences of American Empire in 2000, which became a bestseller after the 9/11 attacks. He went on to complete what would become a trilogy about American empire. Today we re-air part of our last interview with Chalmers Johnson from 2007. [Includes rush transcript]


    • Don’t know if you read Daily Kos, but Meteor Blades just posted about Mr. Johnson on the front page.

  32. Mike Silva says:

    Does the Pope’s stance on condom use also apply to priests bonking choir boys?

    • gloryoski says:

      NO!!! Only farmers and doctors dammit! Get it str8! 😉

      (Now if a doctor wanted to boink a choirboy…)

  33. gloryoski says:

    Too much to expect Sam to monitor the blog during the show and any other way of delivering the info thereon to him will necessarily be “filtered,” so that’s not necessarily more like paying attention, IMO. It’s would be like being screened (which I guess he is gonna do for calls, b/c Lauren used to so…)

    There’s also the issue of _instant_ access (thru IMs) being a “product,” which sounds like it’s part of the business model Sam has chosen.

    Better that he reads the blog himself whenever he has time. A lot of traffic might mitigate against that, but (if it’s “good” traffic) be a positive in other ways.
    In re “Rolin'”: ”

    Yes, I think Sam really needs someone to more closely monitor “our” various modes of interaction who can recognize the things that might be brought to his attention.

    It would better serve his celebrity status (don’t ignore the fans).

    It could provide him with various potential insights and revelations, not just from a studio-technical standpoint, but also from a PR/merchandising/ad-vocation and most important to the show’s Mission: politically.

    It would also be “professionally” courteous merely to acknowledge our time and effort, stroke us where needed, appreciate when appropriate and dissuade when called for…

    • gloryoski says:

      OTOH, if it’s abs “dated” material like breaking stories/ serious corrections I can see it.

      It’s a puzzle…

  34. gloryoski says:

    Those Who Refuse TSA Patdown Will Be Denied Airport Entry
    By: Jane Hamsher Tuesday November 23, 2010 7:46 am


  35. ‘morning, glory. There’s a new thread, hope you have something tasty for it. I got nothing, except a silly: The TSA’s New Genital Visualizer Will Probably Upset Travelers.

  36. A lot of suggestions on the show, interesting stuff. I think Sammy and crew will consider it well. It boils down to this for me: make me laugh so hard that I almost throw up. Thats why I love Sammy, the laughing is good for us all.

    I think Sammy can prosper by bringing in more original content, catching the audience off guard, keeping us awake, bring the variety….you know, guys like Jimmy Reefercake could help.

  37. Pingback: Tuesday, March 8, 2011 | The Majority Report with Sam Seder

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