May 26, 2022Liked by Thom Hartmann

Again Thom thank you for a concise review of everything the GOP proposes to force the majority of us to live with in this country. I am a California native so I had to put up with Reagan as governor and despised him as a blowhard double talking traitor to us working class residents. After he decimated California’s mental health system and raised tuition fees on community/state colleges many of us were struggling to go to school and work to better our lives. Then he denigrated people on welfare by mocking those who needed help to survive. I couldn’t believe he was elected president. (We know how that turned out). To be honest I don’t trust any thing Republicans say or do. I also truly believe we need to tax organized so-called religious organizations especially since conservatives want to force their corrupt view of religion on the rest of us.

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For more details on the looting of $50 trillion by the one percent:


The Time article gives this more meaning by reporting that this looting averaged $297,000.00 per household.

Also, this "movement conservative" began after the Brown vs Board of Education decision by SCOTUS - see Who Stole the American Dream by Hedrick Smith, Democracy In Chains by Nancy MacLean and How the South Won The Civil War by Heather Cox Richardson. Their first attempt to take over our federal Executive branch was in 1964 with Barry Goldwater and their first significant impact on Congress was in the 1966 midterms when they got voters to reject LBJs Great Society.

Another wedge toward ending the for-the-people efforts of FDR, Eisenhower, LBJ, and Nixon was the Legislative Reorganization Act of 1970, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c4kvUxQIJlA. This act opened the Congressional Committee meetings to the public for the first time. A good thing, but this act also led to thousands of new career opportunties for those wanting to become a corporate lobbyists:

- "Late 1970s—Business mobilizes politically [Inspired by the 1971 Powell Memo]. The number of companies with Washington lobbying offices grows from 175 in 1971 to 2,445 a decade later. Along with 2,000 different trade associations, businesses have a combined Washington staff of 50,000, plus 9,000 lobbyists and 8,000 public relations specialists. Business lobbyists and advocates now outnumber members of Congress by 130 to 1." - circa 2012 from Hedrick Smith's book Who Stole the American Dream, http://hedricksmith.com/timeline-who-stole-the-american-dream/.

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Excellent background reading references. Thank you Andy!

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May 27, 2022·edited May 27, 2022

Thank you for observing that the "Powell Memo" is a point of origin for much of the trouble we are in today. I believe it is extremely important to understand how our present day problems with Scotus would not have been possible were it not for the Republican's Long Game of Court Packing, with the first of two seats staying in Republican control since 1958!

Powell's memo served as the starting point for the Republicans Rigging of Scotus by Court Packing. The Court Packing technique is the "Strategic Retirement'' cited by many, though it really is outrageous cheating and hoarding. Powell set the stage for the Long Game. In his memo Powell wrote, "Under our constitutional system, especially with an activist-minded Supreme Court, the judiciary may be the most important instrument for social, economic and political change."

Soon after the memo Nixon appointed Powell to Scotus. ...And then the packing began, resulting in the hoarding of 2 seats by Republicans across over half a century.

Seat #1: Potter Stewart, the Republican colleague of Powell who was appointed by Eisenhower in 1958, and after having served under several Democratic and Republican presidents, chose to wait until after the exit of Carter and the inauguration of Reagan to retire in 1981. Reagan put Sandra Day O'Connor on the high court. Years later, she famously was very upset at the apparent victory of Al Gore. Not by coincidence, she chose to appoint Republican Bush, so she could do as she desired and retired under him.

Bush appointed Sam Alito as her replacement, who continues to rule today.

That seat has been in Republican control since 1958! That's 64 years and counting.

Seat #2: Powell was appointed in 1972, who also served until retiring under the Reagan administration. Reagan selected Kennedy as Powell's replacement in 1987. Kennedy served for about 30 years, retiring under Republican Trump, who appointed Brett Kavanaugh as his replacement, who continues to rule to this day.

That seat has been in Republican control since 1972! That's 50 years, and counting.

Had there been Term Limits over the years, as proposed by former AG Eric Holder, none of that would have happened. We might even not had to suffer under George W. Bush, or Trump. McConnell would not have been able to push Gorsuch and Barrett onto the bench. If Trump had still served a term, he'd appoint only 2, not 3 justices.

It's pretty obvious that the court is severely broken, and does not represent or even serve the American people. Repairing it requires Court Expansion, and I'd consider adding 4 seats to total 13, which for whatever it's worth matches the number of Federal district courts. And the appropriate Term Limit would thus be 26 years - a virtual "lifetime appointment", and henceforth in each 4 year presidential term, 2 justices retire, and 2 are hired - as AG Eric Holder discusses in his book.

To get there, Democrats desperately need a wider margin of seats in congress, to be followed immediately by making Washington DC a state, adding 2 more seats to the majority.

Then, the court can be repaired. We'd have a chance to reverse the partisan, ideological and idiotic rulings by the Roberts court. And also a chance to deal with all the other insanity forced upon America by the Republican party.

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Somewhere recently I heard that the original count of the Supreme Court was keyed to how many Appellate Circuits, which number has increased. Encyclopedia Britannica counts 13 "intermediate appellate courts" including D.C. and something called "The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit" established 1982. So 13 "justices," (sorry, can't resist heavy so-called around that term now) would correlate to that standard. Hey, that's long-established, ain't it?

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When I was in college in the early 1980ies "all" the professors ( I was in a special class of only heads of departments, real professors at U of M ) warned and demanded that any and all papers turned in for credit had to have footnotes from the original source of record. This extra burden was because large publishing companies had been purchased by for profit company control. These companies were changing the boards of directors from academic scholars to "for profit" idea-logs that wanted to change history for the benefit of political and economic power. The lies of Reaganomics has been proven both economically and by the destruction of public and higher education born true by the failures of the pandemic and the failure of just in time supply chain in manufacturing small towns are dying or dead. local communities are struggling to be able to afford paying workers. Local is democracy!!! both economically, socially and in nature! just watch a flock of birds. democracy rules. if your are a micro biologist watch the growth of successful cultures. In Nature everyone gets to vote race, privileged and wealth have say because they lead to death.

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McConnell sees the writing on the wall and it says UVALDE. In a quote reported by NBC, he said "And so I am hopeful that we could come up with a bipartisan solution that’s directly related to the facts of this awful massacre." McConnell said that the goal is to "come up with a proposal, if possible, that’s crafted to meet this particular problem."

More bullshit, because all he really cares about is the election and getting back the Senate. He has realized that people are exhausted by the killing EVERYWHERE and ALL THE TIME. He also knows what the Republicans are going to look like during the committee hearings right around the corner. They will look exactly like what Thom has laid-out for us in this Report.

Republicans do not represent the good will of the people of this nation. They don't care about anyone's well-being or mental health. They bitched about locking down and keeping kids at home for their own good during covid. Now they want to lock them up in a school and let them be sitting ducks! McConnell gets what the voters will be thinking, especially the ones that have recently graduated from their school/prison.

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McConnell would like to have a bipartisan solution to the mass murder situation in this country like the parents of those children and survivors of its victims would like to have more Republican thoughts and prayers.

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A caller identifying as an evangelical asked about literature that might enlighten religious people about some of the issues discussed on the program. I recalled the book from 2007, which to the best of my recollection had attempted to bridge the gap, which I found on my shelf. The book is “The Great Awakening” by Jim Wallis, with a foreward by none other than Jimmy Carter. I don’t recall much about the book and I didn’t find it personally persuasive as a religious awakening, however I did attempt to get religious relatives to read it for the helpful insights and reasonableness.

The book by Susan Jacoby from 2008 entitled, “The Age of American Unreason”, also on my shelves came to mind as well, although it might be a little too liberal or challenging for most evangelicals. It’s worth looking at for certain.

There are plenty of others if one is willing to spend some time scanning Amazon’s pages. I remember discovering quite a few when looking up a book awhile back. I believe that book was “The Progressive Revolution” by Michael Lux. That one would really knock some socks off. It may have been mentioned on the show before and would be a great one to read from on the air in the future.

Other callers had talked about demanding that pictures of the children’s bodies from the school shootings be shown in the media. I don’t believe that will ever fly and I couldn’t bear seeing them having buried my own child after an accident. But I’m wondering if it would be possible to have an artist’s rendering with graphic drawings such as are used when pictures and recordings of court proceedings are portrayed.

With regard to today’s piece, I’m surprised that the tantrums on the right about the removal of school prayer from official or routine classroom sessions was not mentioned. That was right up there with desegregation and separate is unequal driving the reactionaries to desperation. Again, I must state that students who truly knew anything and had any meaningful comprehension about our government and civics were always the exception to the rule and in most cases learned from parents or an extraordinary teacher. The big STEM push might have been misguided, but the problems in our schools were legendary (see “The Great School Legend” by Colin Greer) and long preceded the 1970’s or 1980’s. The baby boomers have hardly distinguished themselves as scholars, or as people who know much about civics, history, or government, with the exception of 18 of the listeners of the Thom Hartmann show.

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Am I one of the elite 18???My tail is wagging!!! Anyhow, I can claim to be a scion of Lowell High, San Francisco, 1970, and what I remember from the "civics" textbook is, Communism bad, America good. So for nuance you have to hope to stumble across, huh, what's goin' on with this Hartmann guy??? I recognize your serious references.

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Oops. Should have been "fount of knowledge". Chalk it up to premature senility.

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Did I exaggerate? Is the actual number more like 118? I am astounded daily by the awareness and insights of callers and Thom is a font of knowledge and good thinking that is unmatched anywhere or at anytime in history. But there is simply no denying that school has inspired far too few and that the true mission is to condition and program students for a society which is bent on self-perpetuation and setting limits. Schools are designed for dumbing-down and keeping the focus on trivial pursuits and behavioral modification. It wouldn't have to be that way except for compulsory attendance laws. Still, schools cannot ever deliver authentic education to more than a tiny minority. Mass education is the stuff of mythology and self-delusion on the part of idealistic and egotistical adults. For one more serious reference, look at "Philosophy in the Flesh" by Lakoff & Johnson, 1999, if you haven't heard of it before. Escaping Plato's cave might begin there and overcoming Descartes' errors is job one.

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Jun 6, 2022Liked by Thom Hartmann

You have a point. I was raised by two schoolteachers in the "cult" of "the hidden curriculum of the middle-class home." Time-life history series, Nat'l. Geographic, and unabridged Shakespeare in my lap playing the "see if you can find what they're saying" game with "The Age of Kings" on PBS. My Mom was the first college grad in her family, and she had "Aspirations!" Including world travel. That was the "Middle Class." Was. Now all of that is demonized, and ignorance is a banner of glory. I am so, so glad I am the last of my line.

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Now, I’m feeling a little envious. While my favorite aunt (Aunt Martha) was a teacher and later a school principal and my uncle was a well-known professor who served as an advisor to several presidents, the emphasis in my home was on the Bible and Sunday School lessons. We had a set of encyclopedias and my parents stressed study and good grades. But it was mostly left up to teachers to inculcate a desire to learn and to inspire curiosity and a love of learning, duties on which they fell quite short. I was the only one of four kids who went to college or has shown much interest in reading anything truly exploratory and educational and that was primarily because of the G.I. Bill, and only after I had an incredible amount of free time to read while in the Air Force for four years and after I was married with children.

I’m guessing that you have become well-rounded and well-educated more as a consequence of rejecting the academic priesthood and going out on your own to discover truth and reality. School is not just highly over-rated, it is the most significant barrier to authentic learning, growth, and discovery imaginable, contrary to common misconception. However, I wouldn’t knock Nat’l Geographic, PBS, or Shakespeare if they are merely available or used as a guide and not pushed as the end-all and be-all of life. Parents do have the right in any case to coerce, prod, egg, and badger children. Schools under the auspices of the state do not have that right, and when the state compels attendance in schools it defeats the purposes for any number of reasons.

The model in use is 180 degrees from true and useful. Knowledge is embodied. Or, did I already say that before? Students must be creating knowledge and their creation must be an amalgam, but mainly their own. I’m wondering if you have happened to read Paul Goodman, “Growing Up Absurd” & “Compulsory Miseducation & The Community of Scholars”; Dennison, “The Lives of Children”; any of the John Holt books, or “The Disposal of Liberty & Other Industrial Wastes”, by Edgar Z. Friedenberger. Tolstoy on Education was also a thrilling read. It’s all ancient history but that appears to be the only light in the dark forest to guide us out.

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If a child isn't in thrall to a particular preacher, the Bible is a rich source of intellectual development. The ultimate test of congenital tolerance for cognitive dissonance, but also a mythology a la Joseph Campbell, with something to say about human nature, and I sometimes wonder whether paradox, or the experience of paradox, isn't symptomatic of being in touch with reality. I love your phrase: "Students must be creating knowledge..."

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My statement about students creating knowledge is not hyperbole or some sort of platitude. Kindergartners, high school seniors and all in between, not to mention master’s degree candidates create knowledge. Knowledge exists solely in the human brain. Knowledge is the stuff of neurons, synapses, nerves, grey matter, glia, and neurochemical substances. What has traditionally and mistakenly been called knowledge, which is recorded in various media, is mere inert symbols, language, data, images, etc. This is why the expository model fails so regularly. What the student does with it depends on myriad factors. However, the resulting cognition is all that matters, and it is always exclusive in large part to that student.

I have very limited trust in my ability to interpret the Bible and less in the ability of most others. I agree that it is a rich source of intellectual development and that it does indeed confront one with a load of cognitive dissonance. However, I cannot imagine many students under the age of 21 being able to sort out the frivolous and the subjective historical passages from those which might provide meaningful insights and guidance. I believe Sam Harris had a great take on it in his book “The End of Faith”, but I only vaguely recall what the book was about.

The name Joseph Campbell was unfamiliar to me, but I remembered that his ideas were referred to in the book I just finished re-reading last week and I looked him up. What I found (and skimmed cursively) resonates with what I have long believed. The book I just finished is “The Crack in the Cosmic Egg” by Joseph Chilton Pearce. I am a loss to explain with any accuracy or brevity what Pearce is trying to get across but if you are curious about a different take on reality and encountering an alternative reality, and you haven’t read it, it seems like a book you would find provocative. Thom wrote the Foreward to the first edition of the book around 1970, although I no longer have that version and don’t know what he wrote then.

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Do I ever hope you are correct! With the religious (autocratic) mindset taking over government for the big moneyed outfits it looks a bit discouraging right now. Getting everyone to vote their interests is tough with the GOP disinformation network controlling all news/info to an uneducated audience.

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Actually, it has worked - for the wealthy and corporate, mostly Republicans.

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There is one thing the Republicans may be right on, and that is this issue of "dependence". Here's the sentence in your Report that caught my attention: (because, Republicans said, feeding, educating, or providing healthcare to people made them dependent).

Helping people who are in dire circumstances is the loving, democratic thing to do, but it comes with a risk - that those being helped will form a dependent attitude. Being dependent on anyone, whether it be for finances, or in an intimate relationship, can sap an individuals virility and vitality. Having a strong spirit of independence can keep one from falling into this trap, but I can assure you that many of those who have become "dependent" on others don't have this characteristic. It becomes the easiest route, to just settle into that state of dependency. I think this is what the Republicans, and other people of means who have a kind heart and want to help others, are expressing a concern about. It's a delicate balance, and unfortunately has become a subject that both sides take to extremes - by those either for or against helping others. America, for me, has always stood for independence, and I hope it can stay that way, because a strong, independent nation that has a heart will always be willing and able to help those in need.

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Many Americans who consider themselves "independent" have "socialistic" government programs like subsidies, tax breaks and incorporation (all taxpayer supported) to thank for much of their success.....and none of us, including farmers, ranchers and developers, would have a square inch upon which to piddle, had not the U.S. Army moved or committed genocide upon the original inhabitants, opening up the land for our use.

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The great irony is that we really do need to "Make America Great Again!", and if there is any question as to when that really was, read the beginning paragraphs again. It was the time before the right wing republicans got a hold of and destroyed the mental framework of the American people to buy into their self serving deceptions and loot the wealth of 'We the people'.

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