In today's On the News segment: Mitt Romney is outpacing Obama in fundraising on Wall Street, unnamed sources told The Associated Press the president will withdraw all US troops from Iraq by year's end, plant and animal species are decreasing in size due to climate change, and more.
Thom Hartmann here – on the news…
You need to know this. Occupy the planet! Over the weekend – the Occupy Wall Street movement swept across the world – as hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets in Europe, South America, and Asia to push back against too much corporate power in government. In Rome – demonstrations turned violent – as police cars and a government building were torched causing over one million dollars in damage. Here in the United States – where protests have remained peaceful for a month – tens of thousands of people filled Times Square in New York City – and tens of thousands more occupied thousands of cities across the country. In at least four different cities – including New York City – Chicago – Denver – and Phoenix – hundreds of demonstrators were arrested for engaging in peaceful civil disobedience. After decades of globalism and the emergence of an international banking system that has made transnational corporations and their CEOs mind-boggling rich but destroyed the social fabric of nations across the world – the backlash is now well underway. This is a time of social, political, and economic revolution and the forward march of history, like water running down a mountainside, can't be stopped. In a few years, this world will be a very different place than it is today.
As people across the world protest Wall Street banksters – Mitt Romney is working hard to be their guy. According to the latest campaign finance reports – Mitt Romney is drastically outpacing President Obama when it comes to fundraising on Wall Street – raising more than 5 times as much bankster cash as the President. But without the huge support from Wall Street – President Obama is still creaming Romney when it comes to total fundraising – bringing in close to 100 million dollars – three times more than Romney. Romney is doubling down on Wall Street – hoping banksters will catapult him into the White House – while the rest of the world is shouting about how Romney's banksters are destroying the middle class.
In the best of the rest of the news…
President Obama pledged to end the war in Iraq – and come the end of 2011 – he just may do that. The Associated Press is reporting that unnamed sources say – ALL 41,000 U.S. troops still in Iraq today will leave that country at year’s end. The decision to completely withdraw complies with a December 31st deadline set back in 2008. There were reports that a few thousand troops might remain in Iraq past the deadline – but that now looks unlikely. That’s one war down – several more to go.
It’s official – the Republican front-runner Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 tax plan WILL raise taxes on the poor. Appearing on Meet the Press yesterday – Cain himself admitted that some Americans – namely poor and middle class Americans – will pay higher tax rates under his plan. When asked if he thought the American people would rally around a tax plan in which the wealthy pay a lower tax rate and middle and lower-class Americans pay a higher tax rate – Cain simply responded, “Yes.” I would say running on a platform of higher taxes on the middle class would be an electoral disaster – but then again – this IS the Republican Party we’re talking about. No wonder Cain is the front-runner.
So much for the millions of jobs that could be created by leveling the trade playing field with China – legislation that imposes tariffs on Chinese goods is dead on arrival in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives. Despite the fact that the Chinese Currency bill received broad bipartisan support in the Senate – Speaker of the House John Boehner promised it has no chance of passing the House. So now we can add this job-creation legislation – along with the American Jobs Act – to the growing list of things that could put millions of Americans back to work that Republicans refuse to even vote on.
Republicans have been in control of the House for 10 months now, so, Speaker Boehner, where are the jobs you promised us?!
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The men and women who fought wars abroad – have to fight to find a job at home now. According to new data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics – unemployment among veterans who served in the last ten years is at 11.7% – far higher than the national 9.1%. In an effort to address this – the President’s American Jobs Act offers tax credits to companies that hire veterans. Unfortunately – Republicans refuse to vote on it. Republicans love to send Americans off to die in war –but filibuster helping find a job for those soldiers when they return home.
Not only is the world getting warmer…it’s getting smaller. According to a new study from the National University of Singapore – plant and animal body sizes are shrinking in response to climate change. 45% of species studied – from microorganisms to large predators – have grown smaller over the last several generations. During previous times when the planet warmed – similar shrinking effects took place – however today’s pace of shrinking is accelerated and could push billions of people to the brink of starvation around the planet as the food we all depend on is becoming less and less abundant. Yet another dangerous consequence of global warming.
Crazy Alert! X-rated Skydiving. The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating a skydiving incident in California – after a video surfaced of two people engaging in a sex act while jumping out of a plane together. Any activity that could be a distraction to a pilot violates federal regulations. And based on the video – and what was going on right next to the pilot – it’s hard to believe that he wasn’t distracted. The skydiving instructor at the company Skydive Taft – who moonlights as a porn star – has been fired as a result of the incident – and the receptionist who was the partner in the high-flying sex act is awaiting disciplinary action. And you thought a parachute was the only protection needed while skydiving.
And that’s the way it is today – Monday, October 17th, 2011. I’m Thom Hartmann – on the news.