Jim Hightower

Jim hightower

National radio commentator, writer, public speaker, and author of the book, Swim Against The Current: Even A Dead Fish Can Go With The Flow, Jim Hightower has spent three decades battling the Powers That Be on behalf of the Powers That Ought To Be - consumers, working families, environmentalists, small businesses, and just-plain-folks.

Twice elected Texas Agriculture Commissioner, Hightower believes that the true political spectrum is not right to left but top to bottom, and he has become a leading national voice for the 80 percent of the public who no longer find themselves within shouting distance of the Washington and Wall Street powers at the top.

Hightower is a modern-day Johnny Appleseed, spreading the message of progressive populism all across the American grassroots.

He broadcasts daily radio commentaries that are carried in more than 150 commercial and public stations, on the web, and on Radio for Peace International.

Each month, he publishes a populist political newsletter, "The Hightower Lowdown," which now has more than 135,000 subscribers and is the fastest growing political publication in America. The hard-hitting Lowdown has received both the Alternative Press Award and the Independent Press Association Award for best national newsletter.

A popular public speaker who is fiery and funny, he is a populist road warrior who delivers more than 100 speeches a year to all kinds of groups.

He is a New York Times best-selling author, and has written seven books including, Thieves In High Places: They've Stolen Our Country And It's Time To Take It Back; If the Gods Had Meant Us To Vote They Would Have Given Us Candidates; and There's Nothing In the Middle Of the Road But Yellow Stripes and Dead Armadillos. His newspaper column is distributed nationally by Creators Syndicate.

Hightower frequently appears on television and radio programs, bringing a hard-hitting populist viewpoint that rarely gets into the mass media. In addition, he works closely with the alternative media, and in all of his work he keeps his ever-ready Texas humor up front, practicing the credo of an old Yugoslavian proverb: "You can fight the gods and still have fun."

Hightower was raised in Denison, Texas, in a family of small business people, tenant farmers, and working folks. A graduate of the University of North Texas, he worked in Washington as legislative aide to Sen. Ralph Yarborough of Texas; he then co-founded the Agribusiness Accountability Project, a public interest project that focused on corporate power in the food economy; and he was national coordinator of the 1976 "Fred Harris for President" campaign. Hightower then returned to his home state, where he became editor of the feisty biweekly, The Texas Observer. He served as director of the Texas Consumer Association before running for statewide office and being elected to two terms as Texas Agriculture Commissioner (1983-1991).

During the 90's, Hightower became known as "America's most popular populist," developing his radio commentaries, hosting two radio talk shows, writing books, launching his newsletter, giving fiery speeches coast to coast, and otherwise speaking out for the American majority that's being locked out economically and politically by the elites.

As political columnist Molly Ivins said, "If Will Rogers and Mother Jones had a baby, Jim Hightower would be that rambunctious child -- mad as hell, with a sense of humor."

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Justice sStevens



Tuesday, April 20, 2010 |

Posted by Jim Hightower

Good grief, here we go again!

When Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens announced that he was stepping down from the high bench, politicos, pundits, and even most progressive activists immediately began chattering about where his replacement should stand on abortion, gay marriage, gun ownership, the death penalty, and other social issues. As important as all of these are, the crying need on the Court is for a populist-minded justice who will unflinchingly stand up to corporate arrogance and avarice.

No single issue comes close in importance to the broad threat that is now posed to America's very democracy by what Thomas Jefferson called "the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations." The rise of corporate plutocracy reached a dangerous apex in January. In a sneak attack mounted behind an obscure election case, five overtly corporatist justices pulled off a judicial coup. They unilaterally proclaimed that corporations are "persons" with a Constitutional "right" to spend unlimited sums of money to buy our elections!

Who was the most eloquent and forceful opponent of this ludicrous usurpation of The People's authority? John Paul Stevens.

That's why it is so important – not only to progressives, but also to real conservatives – for Obama to choose a replacement who will pick up where Stevens left off. Indeed, Obama should make the confirmation fight a national referendum on this outlandish enthronement of corporate power by the five extremist right-wing justices. And he just might! In comments after Stevens' announcement, the President said he wants a nominee who "knows that in democracy, powerful interests must not be allowed to drown out the voices of ordinary citizens."

To push for a populist advocate, connect with Public Citizen at www.dontgetrolled.org.

"How a Supreme Court Fight Could Help the GOP," www.motherjones.com, April 12, 2010.

"Who's on the Shortlist to Replace Justice Stevens?" www.alternet.org, April 13, 2010.

"Supreme Court considers vast increase in the political power of corporations," The Hightower Lowdown, September 2009.

"Giving corporations more power to buy politicians of their choice," The Hightower Lowdown, March 2010.

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Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens joined the nation’s highest court in 1975, and is the court’s senior member
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Embracing the World with Our Arms
by Jim Hightower

The good news is that America is No. 1. Once again, the US of A is at the top of the heap, not only besting every other nation on the globe, but beating out all other nations combined. Go USA!
The bad news is that this spectacular achievement is in the sales of military weaponry. Yes, your country and mine is the top arms supplier to the world. In 2008, America’s corporate weapons-makers peddled nearly $38-billion-worth of everything from attack helicopters to small arms. This was $13 billion more than the previous year, and it totaled more than two-thirds of all sales in last year’s global arms bazaar. Our closest “competitor” was not Russia, not China, not Iran, but—of all places—Italy. It tallied $3.7 billion in sales.
In its annual report on the arms market, the non-partisan Congressional Research Service noted that last year’s surge in U.S. sales was “extraordinary,” given the fact that a global recession restricted the ability of many countries to lavish such funds on war toys. Apparently, however, our arms dealers did a bang-up job of rustling up buyers. Especially fruitful were sales efforts in developing nations, which the report calls “the primary focus of foreign arms sales activity by weapons suppliers.”
Indeed, such developing countries as Morocco, India, Egypt, and the United Arab Emirates accounted for almost $30 billion of our overall sales, giving U.S. suppliers 70 percent of this lucrative market. Russia was second, earning $3.3 billion for helping arm the developing world.
What a fine example of a national achievement this sets for all the boys and girls of our land. No doubt they’ll bust with pride—unless, of course, they end up having to battle some of the governments we’re now arming.
Jim Hightower is a radio commentator, writer, public speaker, and winner of the 2009 winner of the Nation/Puffin Prize. He’s also editor of the populist newsletter, The Hightower Lowdown.

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