Tuesday, February 20, 2007
Thom Hartman now hosts the Al Franken show on Air America
Sunday, February 18, 2007
Franken’s successor set to go
Thom Hartmann on Air America
By Julia Silverman THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
The restaurant in Portland, Ore., that radio talk show host Thom Hartmann — comedian Al Franken’s heir apparent on Air America — has chosen for lunch speaks volumes.
On the one hand, it’s an old-fashioned Midwestern fish fry joint, where the perch comes battered and the fries are thickly cut, perfectly in keeping with the Michigan-born Hartmann’s well-honed message of economic populism, of the sort that’s been popping up with increasing frequency as both major parties try to lay claim to the country’s middle-class voters.
On the other hand, all the food served at the restaurant is gluten-free, and the menu takes care to note that the cooks use 100 percent rice bran oil — par for the course for a man whose broadcasting booth is virtually wallpapered with anti-right wing paraphernalia, including a poster of Dick Cheney dressed as a member of the Gestapo.
Thom Hartman who presently hosts a show on Air America KPOJ in Portland Oregon is known for his liberal views, and sunny disposition, as he takes on any comers on his talk show. You will be quickly corrected if you are presenting a bogus argument, and will have the facts set straight in a polite way. Get ready to hear about Democracy, and prepared to learn all about the Constitution, as Thom speaks truth to power, and exposes the travesties of justice commited by our current Corporate government.
Thom Hartmann Brings Context to Today's Political Frays
A BUZZFLASH INTERVIEW
The thing that the progressives within the Democratic Party apparently haven’t grasped – or if they have, they’ve simply been frustrated in their attempts to articulate it - is the power of incumbency and majority. The power of power itself. It aggregates. Over time, power adds to itself. ...
BuzzFlash: Under Tom Daschle’s leadership, and with the rather infamous leadership of Joe Lieberman on the committee that was responsible for investigating Enron –- the Democrats had this enormous scandal that was personally tied to the Bush Administration in many ways. Bush lied about his relationship with Ken Lay. It was symbolic of the corruption of so many corporations, and how stockholders, taxpayers and the government had been fleeced. But the Democrats basically did nothing with that. They were handed something, not of their making, but something that was a gift to hold out to the American people to say, here is what results from Republican policies. And they did nothing. That seemed almost inexplicable to us.
Thom Hartmann: To me it seems that was the result of two factors: the DLC’s influence on the Democratic Party, and Reagan’s war against organized labor, which is still ongoing. When Reagan came into power, a quarter of America’s workforce was unionized, so roughly half of America’s workforce had a good union job with benefits, retirement, job security, that sort of thing. Now we’re down to having just 8 or 9% of the private workforce unionized. So as Reagan’s war on organized labor was succeeding – and organized labor had been traditionally one of the largest sources of funding for the Democratic Party – Bill Clinton and others around him were looking around saying, where are we going to get some cash? It takes money to run for office.
They looked at what the Republicans had been doing basically since the 1880s, when they first started selling out to the railroads, with the Grant Administration’s railroad bribery scandals, for example. Clinton realized that the money’s with the corporations, and he said, "Let’s get in bed with them." And that spawned the new Democrats – the Democratic Leadership Council or DLC – and a tight corporate agenda.
We've got some Democrats who have sold out to the dark side, some who are beholden to the dark side, as it were – to the corporate force – some who were even in cahoots with Enron. So the Democratic Party wasn’t true to its founding principles any longer. A fair number of them had been as complacent in allowing the Enron scandal to happen as the Republicans had been.
Those Democrats who had a lot of power didn’t want things to be coming out that would harm their ability to get corporate money. So I don’t think that they missed the opportunity - I think they passed on the opportunity to go after Enron and corporations in general. Some of the more powerful forces within the Party basically took control and said, "We’re not going to go there."
Today that’s the battle that’s being played out for the heart and soul of the Democratic Party - between the DLC and their front groups, who are basically Republican lite – and the progressives within the Democratic Party.