Jim Hightower’s Radio Lowdown

Who Taught George Santos to Be Such a Self-Serving Fraud?

People are baffled by the surreal saga of George Santos, the bizarre Republican congress critter who is a bottomless sink hole of lies. How could he think that he, a highly visible public figure, could get away with such blatant fabrications? Perhaps he thought he was a corporation. After all, these multibillion-dollar brand-name outfits routinely lie about who they really are. Crass polluters shamelessly run PR campaigns claiming to be environmentalists, price gougers pose as consumer champions, and economic downsizers glorify themselves as visionary creators. They gild their resumés for their own profit… and they get away with it. So George might’ve thought: I’ll follow the corporate model – just make stuff up. Like soulless tobacco executives do. For decades, they killed millions of people for profit, flat-out lying that nicotine was not addictive, that their cancer-sticks were not deadly, and that they did not target their ads to children in order to hook them early. But wait – today’s tobacco titans claim to be born-again public health champions! “We have an unprecedented opportunity to move beyond smoking,” said the head honcho of the Phillip Morris brand, asserting that Big Tobacco would henceforth back the public push for a “smoke-free future.” Phillip Morris garnered widespread praise for this bold stand. But it was a deliberate lie. Even as the executive’s lips moved, the tobacco giants were spending billions on lobbyists and PR campaigns to gut state and national proposals to prevent addiction and actually lead to a smoke-free future. Yes, we should be outraged that Santos, a flagrant political fake, has swindled his way into Congress, and he should be ousted. But what will Congress do about the far more destructive corporate deceivers who are George Santos’ role models? Their lies kill people, yet they’re still welcome in the halls of Congress.

Welcome to the US House of Crazies

An old political saying notes that the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good people to do nothing. However, given the proliferation of today’s goofball culture wars and fanatical right-wing phobias, that truism should be updated to say: Evil swarms when power-hungry leaders unleash the crazies. Which brings us to the US House of Representatives, now led by a run-of-the-mill corporate Republican, Kevin McCarthy. He’s always been a crassly-ambitious political climber untethered to any moral principle larger than his own ego, so he’s not trusted, even by GOP lawmakers. Indeed, in an almost-comical public spectacle, it took four days and 15 rounds of voting in January before Kevin cut enough desperate deals to get the slimmest majority of his own Republican colleagues to make him speaker of the House. To squeak out his win, though, he had to hand big chunks of his official power to a gaggle of extremist, far-right-wing legislators who are – in a word – BONKERS. Marjorie Taylor Greene, Paul Gosar, and other members of the GOP’s Kooky Kaucus promote unhinged QAnon conspiracy theories, warn that Jews are firing lasers from outer space to start wildfires, lionize Vladimir Putin and Adolf Hitler, call for the execution of Democratic leaders, and insist that the government is staging school shootings as an excuse to outlaw guns. Okay, they’re nuts. And politics makes strange bedfellows. But McCarthy has not just climbed into bed with them, he’s snuggling up tightly, naming them to powerful committees, publicly legitimizing their screwballism, and intentionally bringing the evil of bigotry, intolerance, and even fascism in from the fringe of politics – to sit in the seat of power. That’s not merely ridiculous and shameful, it’s dangerous. Evil swarms whenever so-called leaders meekly give permission for crazies to use government power to rule over us.

Santos Is Pathetic. McCarthy Is Disgusting. Both Should Go Away.

Big news from Congressional Republicans: After years of failing to unearth any proof that America’s elections are corrupted by flagrant cases of voter fraud, the GOP has now found a whopper! Unfortunately for the Party’s voter integrity police, though, what they’ve uncovered is not some nefarious Democratic plot, but a scheme of mass deception by one of their own congress critters: George Santos. Last November, he effectively stole a New York City congressional seat. How? By making himself up. Santos invented a fictional “George” that hid his criminal record and touted an amazing storybook past he never lived. No, he is not Jewish, his grandparents were not Holocaust survivors, he was not a volleyball star at a prestigious college he never even attended, he was not a renowned Wall Street banker (though he did help run a Florida Ponzi scheme), he was not a New York City real estate baron, and the mystery money that financed his campaign apparently came from nowhere. Naturally, when Congress’ fraud-busting Republican leaders learned that this hyper-fraudster came from their own ranks, they promptly expelled him. Ha-ha-ha! Just kidding. Instead, Kevin McCarthy, the GOP’s unscrupulous congressional leader, has fully embraced this defrauder as an honorable member of his legislative team, sanctimoniously declaring: “The voters elected [Santos] to serve.” That makes Kevin even more dishonest than George. One, the people did not elect Santos, but voted for the caricature he concocted to fool them. Two, McCarthy doesn’t give a damn about the integrity of elections – he’s only clinging to George because his own support in the House is so iffy that he needs Santos’ vote to save his own worthless political hide. Santos is a pathetic congenital liar. But McCarthy is worse – a truly-disgusting, self-serving political hack. And neither one should be in public office.

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Meet Jim Hightower.

Looking for photos and more of Hightower? Check out the media kit.

National radio commentator, writer, public speaker, and New York Times best-selling author, Jim Hightower has spent four 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.

Every month he pens a rousing newsletter, The Hightower Lowdown, that blasts through the corporate media blockade to lend new reporting and populist perspective on the events of the day.

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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    Swim Against the Current (2008)

    Swim Against the CurrentThe New York Times bestselling author and America’s funniest activist gives the lowdown on how to put up-not shut up-in the fight for our future.

    Hightower, the country’s #1 populist, has picked up some useful advice over the years, from “never eat at a café featuring ‘bargain kebobs'” to “never hit a man with glasses; hit him with something much heavier.” As he and his longtime co-conspirator Susan DeMarco have rambled through grassroots America, however, they’ve also come up with more serious words of wisdom to share here, namely: question authority, trust your values, seek alternatives, break away, stand up for your beliefs, and swim against the current!

    Their book introduces readers to people across the country who have actually done this-people in business, politics, health care, farming, religion, and other areas who are taking charge, living their values, doing good, and doing well. Hightower and DeMarco show how they are doing precisely what the elites want us to believe can’t be done: changing their lives and making a difference. He tells the stories of these people and offers inspiration and information that will help readers tap into their own maverick potential in order to navigate a different, more satisfying course of their own.

    Whether they are young and just starting out or older and searching for a different path, the commonsense folks in this book have escaped the corporate tentacles to find their own way toward a richer life and a better American future. They are creating a new, deeply democratic model for the country, edging it back onto the long road toward egalitarianism and the common good.

    Hightower and DeMarco are at their contrarian, sharp-witted, and straight-shooting best as they celebrate the triumph of grassroots gumption over the tight-fisted grip of corporate control.

    Thieves in High Places (2004)

    Thieves in High PlacesAmerica is at an historic divide between rulers and rulees and the rulees are restless. Hightower’s THIEVES IN HIGH PLACES is an epistle to the American people about vision and choices, and it’s a clarion call to action. The question Jim Hightower is asking is: What kind of country do you want America to be? Not only for you, but for your children and theirs? In THIEVES IN HIGH PLACES Hightower takes on the Bushites, the Wobblycrats, and the corporate Kleptocrats, digging up behind-the scenes dirt that the corporate media overlooks like BushCo’s “Friday Night Massacres”, what’s happened to our food, and the Bush plan for empire. Also drawing on Hightower’s Rolling Thunder Down-Home Democracy Tour, Hightower has tapped into the thriving activist networks that are our country’s grassroots muscle, and his book tells their uplifting stories of retaking control of their communities.

    Let's Stop Beating Around The Bush (2004)
    Let's Stop Beating Around The BushThe bestselling grassroots guru is back with his incisive take on the state of the union and life today in the good ol’ U.S.A.

    America in 2004 is color coded — and it’s not just a matter of red, white, and blue. The terror alert bounces from yellow to orange. The economy offers up a hundred shades of red ink. The environment is turning brown. National security is cloaked in gray shadows. And, as he did in the bestselling Thieves in High Places, Jim Hightower covers it all with uncommon insight, political fearlessness, and laugh-out-loud humor.

    America’s #1 populist gives us Let’s Stop Beating Around the Bush — a hard-hitting, fact-filled review of the real state of the union that you won’t get from the establishment media. With his daily radio commentaries and award-winning monthly newsletter, no one has chronicled the madness of King George the W, the wimpiness of corporate Democrats, and the aggressive avarice of Wall Street with the thoroughness and tenacity of Hightower. Now he brings that investigative punch into this wild and woolly hook of fiery essays.

    With his satirical “Six Perfectly Good Reasons to Re-elect George W. Bush”; his mix of damning indictments and uplifting stories; and side bars, cartoons, games, and puzzles, Hightower has clone the impossible: he has created a subversive read that makes politics fun again.

    The People Are Revolting! (In The Very Best Sense Of That Word) (2003)

    The People Are Revolting! (In The Very Best Sense Of That Word)

    With his aw-shucks charisma and no-nonsense attitude, he dishes out what’s wrong with the eroding integrity of our democracy: politicians for sale to the highest bidder, the economic boom of the 90s not trickling down to the regular folks and more corporate scandals than you can shake a stick at. Offers a compelling collection of Hightower talks plus the best of his daily “Common-Sense Commentaries” on radio, all with an introduction by the late Senator Paul Wellstone.

    • Buy from Indiebound — support independent booksellers
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    • Digital versions: Android, Apple and MP3/CD
    If the Gods Had Meant Us to Vote They Would Have Given Us Candidates (2000)

    If the Gods Had Meant Us to Vote They Would Have Given Us CandidatesJim Hightower, America’s favorite subversive, is still mad as hell, and he’s not going to take it anymore. But he will give you a sizeable piece of his mind on Election 2000. This plain-talking, name-naming, podium-pounding populist zeros in on everything that ails us, from the global economy and media to big business and election winners everywhere. In his hard hitting commentary and hilarious anecdotes, Hightower spares no one, including the scared cows — and especially the politicians — who helped steer us into this mess in the first place. An equal opportunity muckrucker and a conscientious agitator for “We the People”, Hightower inspires us to take charge again, build a new politics for a better tommorow — and have a lot of laughs along the way.

    There's Nothing in the Middle of the Road But Yellow Stripes and Dead Armadillos (1998)
    There's Nothing in the Middle of the Road but Yellow Stripes and Dead ArmadillosRevised, and with a New Introduction by the Author

    “I am an agitator, and an agitator is the center post in a washing machine that gets the dirt out.”
    –Jim Hightower

    Hightower is mad as hell and he’s not going to take it anymore! He’s also funny as hell, and in this book he focuses his sharp Texas wit, populist passion, and native smarts on America’s political, economic, scientific, and media establishments. In There’s Nothing in the Middle of the Road But Yellow Stripes and Dead Armadillos, Hightower shows not only what’s wrong, but also how to fix it, offering specific solutions and calling for a new political movement of working families and the poor to “take America back from the bankers and bosses, the big shots and bastards.”

    “If you don’t read another book about what’s wrong with this country for the rest of your life, read this one. I think it’s the best and most important book about out public life I’ve read in years.”
    –Molly Ivins, author of Molly Ivins Can’t Say That, Can She?“When do we get to vote for Jim Hightower for president? Will somebody please tell me? When do we get to vote for Jim Hightower for president?.”
    –Michael Moore, author of Downsize This!

    “Listen to Jim Hightower. His is a two-fisted, rambunctious voice unafraid to speak truth to power, eloquently and clearly…He’s one of the best.”
    –Studs Terkel