Transcript #128-1

McCain Becomes Incoherent Trying To Excuse Growing Economic Inequality


Partially hyperlinked to sources.  For all sources, see the data resources page.


Sources you'll hear in this first segment include: the New York Times,, the Center for American Progress, Reuters, Gallup polling, the National Taxpayers Union,, The Nation magazine, and


The mainstream corporate media tell you that John McCain has trouble reading a teleprompter. That's why his speeches are so poorly delivered.  But in town hall meetings, the unscripted McCain is brilliant and witty.


Oh yeah?


I wonder how brilliant and witty you'll think he sounds after you hear this.  I'll let the entire 90 second clip play uninterrupted and unedited.  That way you can get the full, real-time flavor of it:


audio: McCain

Questioner:  Do you think the economic policies of the last eight years has led to a concentration of wealth--in other words, is it skewed income so there's too much money with too few people? 

McCain:  I think that because of our spending practices, we have mortgaged all of our children's futures.  And I believe that every American should have a chance to become wealthy.  And I want to provide them with that opportunity.  I want to keep their taxes low and I want to provide them with a lower price for a gallon of gas, because it's lowest-income Americans that are suffering the most. 

So, as you know, I had my own proposal for tax cuts.  And those tax cuts, I think, were important.  But they also were associated with spending.  I think spending--out-of-control spending--has harmed all Americans.  But I think it's harmed low-income Americans. 

And our failure, over 30 years, to address the energy issue.  Who is paying the most today?  It's the lower-income Americans driving the much older automobiles.  That's who is bearing the majority of the burden of our failure to act to become independent of foreign oil and address the energy issue.

Huh?  Have you ever heard worse gobbledygook?


There's a reason for McCain's befuddlement.


The noted late economist John Kenneth Galbraith penned one of my favorite quotes:


The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.

I have what I call the Jack Clark corollary to Galbraith:


Everything the right-wing does is designed to accomplish one of two things, either (a) transfer wealth from everyone else to the rich, or, (b) distract everyone else from the fact that (a), that wealth transfer, is occurring.

In the questioner's words, too much money with too few people is the right-wing goal.


What more do you need to know than this?


Since 1980, the beginning of the reign of Reaganomics, the wealthiest 1% of Americans have more than doubled their share of the nation's income.


They went from getting 8% of all the income, to 21%.


They're already the richest 1%.  Do they really need to more than double their income relative to everyone else? 


Isn't there something wrong with this picture?


We now have the greatest income inequality since the Great Depression!


And on top of that, the right wants to give them even more tax cuts than they've gotten already!


No wonder McCain can't come up with a straight answer.


There is none.


It gets even worse.


Wealth is unspent income accumulated over time.


How you ever wondered, how bad is wealth distribution in the United States?


The next statistic is so mind-boggling, I had to go double check the actual underlying government figures myself, after I read it in an article.  It's solid.


The 400 richest American families -- all billionaires -- have as much wealth as the entire bottom half of the nation. 


Yes, you heard me correctly.  400 top-of-the-pile families have as much wealth as 57 million other American households.


Before you right-wingers start emailing me about how I'm jealous and I hate the rich and blah blah blah, let me set you straight:


I don't hate the rich.


Maybe I'm rich myself.


But the wealth just can't be so concentrated at the top that there's not enough left for the rest of the country to live a decent life by American standards.


Up next:


How do McCain, and some of the more prominent right-wing talk radio propagandists, fare under GOP tax plans?  Stay tuned!




Isn't it amazing how solutions offered by right-wingers invariably involve giving more money to the already wealthy?


Which is themselves!


Check this out.


The Center for American Progress Action Fund recently ran some numbers.  They compared how McCain and Obama would do under each of their tax plans.


Under McCain's plan, McCain and his wife would save a cool $373,000 in taxes.  Per year!


Under Obama's tax plan, the McCains would save less than $6,000.


Hmm… no surprise here.  McCain, and the entire right-wing opt for the "be generous to the rich" plan.


Even if vital public services need to be cut to pay for it.


Now under McCain's plan, the Obamas would save $49,000.  Under the Obama tax plan, the Obamas would save a little over $6000.


Economic self-interest would naturally lead Obama to support the McCain-type plan.


But instead, Obama proposes progressive tax measures that will cost him tens of thousands of dollars in taxes.  Every year.


Have you ever made a decision that upholds your principles at a cost of tens of thousands of dollars a year?


Obama did.  That's something no right-winger would ever do.


Ok, now let's see what some right-wing talk show big shots are up to in this area.


Sean Hannity is constantly demanding further tax cuts for the wealthy.  Might that be in his own self-interest?


A recent report said Hannity is being offered a $200 million, 8 year contract.


That comes out to $25 million a year.


The average American's income is $50,000 a year.  Let's assume he or she works even as long as 50 years.  His or her total lifetime earnings would be $2.5 million dollars.


So Sean Hannity will earn in one year, as much as the average American would take ten lifetimes to earn


Ten lifetimes.


Yet Hannity whines all the time about he doesn't want his taxes to go up.


Rush Limbaugh just signed an 8 year deal worth $400 million dollars.  At $50 million dollars a year, Rush earns as much in a year as most Americans would take at least 20 lifetimes to earn.


Rush also, is horrified by the prospect of increasing taxes on the wealthy.


You probably know that economic justice and progressive taxation were hallmarks of Franklin Delano Roosevelt's economic program.


No wonder Rush says with such glee:


audio: Limbaugh

Roosevelt is dead.  His policies may live on, but we're in the process of doing something about that as well.

Well, not so fast, Rush.


The public's noticing this extreme greed on the right.


A recent Gallup poll found 68% of Americans agreeing with the proposition, that wealth in this country is unfairly distributed. 


51% wanted the rich taxed heavily to redistribute wealth.  That's the highest number since the question was first asked in the Great Depression.


This is despite some 27 years, starting with Reagan's ascendancy in 1980, of relentless right-wing propaganda about the dire necessity to lower taxes, especially on the wealthy


51% of Americans support heavy taxes on the rich.


And Obama's plan, which so infuriates, or better yet terrifies the right, isn't even heavy taxes. 


It's just letting the Clinton 39.6% level return, from the present 35%.


Heavy would be going back to the Kennedy era 71%, or the Eisenhower era over 90% top marginal tax rate.


Open, naked, available-for-you-to-see oh so clearly right-wing greed is the reason the public has turned on the GOP.


It's why I just got this email from Terrence from Kansas City:


I just started listening to your podcast and i love it! I am registered Republican but i have to tell you I ashamed right now of what the party has become.  Under this administration we have $4.48 gas in Kansas City where I am at.  We have banks failing left and right and people who have to choose between going to work and eating, but we still have these jerk talking heads who say the economy is doing great.  Keep up the good fight! I am ashamed to say this but my voter registration might be changing soon!

I wrote back to Terrence saying


Always a pleasure to meet someone who can change
their mind based on facts!

Let me know if you do change registration.

The public's waking up is why McCain and Hannity and all the rest of the right-wing lying squadron are repeating over and over again blatant falsehoods about Obama's tax plans.  Trying to scare the public into thinking Obama would raise taxes for the average American. 


Check out podcast 123 for the details. 


The simple fact is, Obama's plan raises taxes only for those making over $250,000 a year, the richest 3% of Americans.


To close, George from Bellmore, Long Island, New York -- two towns up the Ling Island Railroad  line from where I grew up -- George sent me in something Garrison Keillor recently wrote. 


[P]oor Rush Limbaugh living alone with his cat in his Palm Beach compound with the cherubs on the ceiling just like at Versailles and the life-size oil portrait of himself. Imagine having to look at that as you come down to breakfast.

Appropriate that ol' Rush fashions himself a French King living at Versailles.  Rush and all those right-wingers better watch out.


You know what happened to Louis XVI in 1793, don't you?


Rush may not literally lose his head, but I think he is about to lose his political clout, as the American public increasingly wakes up to the falsity of right-wing dogma.


You can help hasten that day by continuing to spread the progressive word.


Transcript #128-2

More Shady Deals & Lies As The Right-Wing Closes In On Iraq's Oil


Partially hyperlinked to sources.  For all sources, see the data resources page.



Developments are coming fast and furious on the Iraq oil front.  The Bushians are near the end of their 8 years of misrule. So they're scrambling big time to get their tentacles as deep and as firmly entrenched as possible into the Iraqi oil fields.


All to set things up for the theft of Iraq's oil.


Sources you'll hear in this segment include: the New York Times, Reuters, CNN, The Nation magazine, and the Washington Post.


First off, remember a couple of podcasts ago you heard how the giant oil multinationals have been invited back into Iraq?  With some dubious no bid contracts?


And that the Bush administration had denied having anything to do with it?


At the time, I said I didn't believe that at all.


I was correct.  Not that it takes any large degree of intelligence to assume the Bushians are lying whenever words come out of their mouths.


Turns out, American advisors working alongside the State Department had a major role in writing those contracts.


A group of American advisers led by a small State Department team played an integral part in drawing up contracts between the Iraqi government and five major Western oil companies to develop some of the largest fields in Iraq, American officials say.

The disclosure…is the first confirmation of direct involvement by the Bush administration in deals to open Iraq’s oil to commercial development and is likely to stoke criticism.

I'll say.


As I told you in an earlier podcast, when the US government wanted the overall Iraqi hydrocarbons law drafted a certain way, it hired an American consulting firm to direct the Iraqis in what to do.


Same here.


Management Systems International, a US consulting firm, was hired by the US Agency for International Development to "assist" the Iraqi oil and other ministries.


Maybe you'll laugh out loud as I did, when I read what Dana Perino, White House spokeswoman, said in denial:


Iraq is a sovereign country, and it can make decisions based on how it feels that it wants to move forward in its development of its oil resources

Yup, totally sovereign and free to make its own decisions, if you ignore the some 147,000 foreign occupation troops propping up that government.


Ok, caught red-handed on the no-bid contracts, a few days later, another oil scandal surfaced.


Official Bush administration public policy is that the Kurdish region in northern Iraq shouldn't sign any separate oil deals, until a national oil law is in place.


But Ray L. Hunt of Texas is a close political ally of George W.


State Department officials apparently condoned Hunt's actions in signing such a separate oil deal with the Kurdish regional government.


At first the right-wingers did what they always do, lie about it.


They denied condoning the Hunt deal.


But then email messages and other documents surfaced proving the exact opposite was true.


Oops!  Forgot to use the delete button and shredder, guys?


Here's an interesting wrinkle for you.


Condoleezza Rice is continuing to deny any State Department role in the awarding of the no-bid contracts I spoke of earlier.


Henry Waxman, Democrat of California, is my congressman. He's chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.


He just wrote a letter to Condoleezza Rice demanding documents relating to the awarding of the no-bid contracts.  He links it to the dissembling about the Hunt oil deal.


You and other administration officials have denied playing any role in these contracts.

The documents the Committee has received about Hunt Oil show that in matters involving Iraqi oil, official denials of knowledge and involvement can be misleading.

This is a serious matter because of the widespread suspicion in Iraq and other nations that the United States went to war to gain access to Iraqi oil.

We'll see where this leads.


Up next:


The big enchilada surfaces.  And I ain't talking food.  Stick around.




You've heard me explain in prior shows how the dominant model in the world today is for national oil companies to own and control all aspects of the exploration, extraction and sale of oil.  The government hires giant oil multinationals only to provide services.


Up until the 60's or so, on the other hand, the oil multinationals basically ran things.  And they took a lion's share, as much as 84%, of the profits.  The oil multinationals have been itching -- and plotting -- to get back their control of the world's oil.


Check out podcast 86 for details and evidence.


Well, as reported by CNN, the plotting has begun to come to fruition.


Iraq's oil minister Monday opened international bidding on six oil fields…

It marks the first time in more than 35 years that Iraq has allowed foreign oil companies to do business inside its borders.

For the first time in 35 years.


It took a US invasion and occupation to achieve this.


Now these deals are not the dreaded production sharing agreements, or PSA's.  Under these, the oil companies used to severely rip off Third World nation's by taking 80% or more of the profits.


The contracts just announced for bidding are structured differently.   But they're still wildly inappropriate in the multinational's favor.  They're still the beginning of giving the store away.


According to progressive oil industry analyst Greg Muttitt, the fields in question are already developed,  It's always been Iraqi policy that the Iraqi National Oil Company would have 100% control of this type of oil field.


All six of the fields… are already producing oil…As such, their investment and technology needs are relatively minor, and could easily be provided within the public sector, as they have been for more than 30 years.

Yet these new deals give a 75% stake to the multinationals.


Instead of 100%, the Iraqi National Oil Company gets a 25% stake.


Anywhere else, in the year 2008, this deal couldn't have happened.


But everywhere else, there's not a foreign occupying army.


Oil theft, anyone?


That such is the case, has just been admitted by a most unlikely source.


Fadhil Chalabi was a major adviser to the Bushians leading up to the invasion of Iraq.  He met with the oil multinationals before the war.


Chalabi recently said the war was


a strategic move on the part of the United States of America and the UK to have a military presence in the Gulf in order to secure [oil] supplies in the future.

He said this was a "primary objective" of the war.


To close, you should remember:


Under the Geneva conventions it's illegal to invade another nation to grab their natural resources.


I hope you and I will see this as one more count on an indictment at the Hague.  An indictment we all hope will eventually be filed against Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, Powell and the whole lot of these war criminals.



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