In today's On the News segment: House Republicans introduced their own “American Jobs Act” – more aptly named – the “Corporate Freeloaders Act,” Pennsylvania Republican Gov. Tom Corbett is trying to pass a bill that would change how Pennsylvania counts it's electoral votes in the next presidential election, FBI has fallen into the Islamophobia trap, federal investigators found that BP's cost- and time-saving decisions led to the death of 11 men, new poll: Americans blame Republicans most for the infighting in Washington, and more.
Thom Hartmann here – on the news…
You need to know this. Republicans in the House of Representatives introduced their own “American Jobs Act” – even though a more apt name for their bill would be the “Corporate Freeloaders Act.” Congressman Louie Gohmert – famous for his fear mongering over “terror babies” and bestiality – introduced the Republican version of President Obama’s jobs plan – and it includes only one provision. No infrastructure spending – no payroll tax cuts – no assistance to states to hire more teachers and police officers – nothing – except for…reducing the corporate tax rate down to zero. That’s right – the Republicans’ idea for job creation is letting multi-billion dollar transnational corporations – many of which already pay no American taxes – off the hook from paying any American taxes. They use our roads, our bridges, our schools, our police forces, our courts – but Congressman Gohmert thinks they don’t need to pay for any of that stuff – instead, he wants you and me to pay it all. Republicans think if these corporations just had a little more cash – then they’d turn into job creating fairies and save our economy. But as we know – they’re already sitting on $2 trillion worth of cash and not hiring anyone – at least not in America. This isn’t a jobs bill – it’s a classic Republican handout to Gohmert’s top corporate donors.
Let the 2012 election rigging begin. Pennsylvania Republican Governor Tom Corbett – with the help of his Republican colleagues in the state legislature – is trying to pass a bill that would change how Pennsylvania counts it’s electoral votes in the next Presidential election. Currently – whoever wins the state – which happens to have been a Democrat over the last five elections – gets all of Pennsylvania’s 21 electoral votes. But Governor Corbett wants to change that – he wants his state’s electoral votes split up depending on who wins each congressional district – giving Republicans a big advantage. Consider that if Corbett’s new idea was put in place in 2008 – when Barack Obama won the state by ten points – then instead of getting all 21 electoral votes – Obama would have only gotten 11 – with McCain getting the rest. As ThinkProgress reporter Ian Milhiser put it, “Corbett’s electoral giveaway to the GOP is merely the most audacious prong of a nationwide GOP strategy to steal democracy away from the American people.” Between new voter idea laws – stricter residency requirements – and these Electoral College shenanigans – Republicans aren’t even hiding the fact they’re trying to steal elections now.
In the best of the rest of the news…
The FBI has fallen into the Islamophobia trap. According to documents obtained by the website Wired – FBI agents who undergo a counterterrorism training course in Quantico, Virginia – are spoon fed anti-Muslim rhetoric – and subjected to Islamic fear-mongering. The training courses argue that American Muslims are terrorist sympathizers – and that the more devout a Muslims is – the more violent he or she is too. Also – there’s mentions of the prophet Mohammed as a “cult leader” – and a claim that Muslims believe that “any war against a non-believer is justified.” So not only is the FBI peddling hateful rhetoric – but it’s also pegging normal law-abiding citizens as potential terrorist – just because of their religious beliefs. It looks like the FBI outsourced its investigative duties to the Islamophobes over at Fox so-called News.
Not only does the Tea Party think our nation should just let uninsured Americans die when they get sick – so does Ron Paul. Back in 2008 – Paul’s campaign manager – Kent Snyder – fell ill of pneumonia – racked up $400,000 in medical bills – and then died – all because he didn’t have health insurance. As in – Ron Paul doesn’t give his campaign staff health insurance – and doesn’t help them when they get sick. Now – Snyder’s family is stuck with a massive $400,000 medical bill – and the Paul campaign which has raised millions thanks to Snyder’s efforts as a campaign managers – isn’t helping. That’s the Tea Party libertarian view of America at work – they claim the poor and sick will be helped by charity in the community once the government is taken out of the picture. But as we see in the case of Kent Snyder – that’s not what happens. In the Tea Party world – selfishness is the name of the game – and everyone is given the “freedom” to suffer and die alone.
Blame BP. In the most detailed report yet on the causes of last year’s BP oil spill – federal investigators found that BP’s cost- and time-saving decisions led to the death of 11 men and ruined ecosystems along the Gulf coast. As the report says: “BP’s cost- or time-saving decisions, without considering contingencies and mitigation, were contributing causes of the Macondo blowout.” And while BP shares most of the blame – the report also points a finger at Transocean and Dick Cheney’s Halliburton – for grave errors leading to the oil spill. It's time for corporate criminals to go to jail – not just for the environmental damage they caused – but also for murder.
While Republicans tout their victory in New York’s ninth congressional district Tuesday as a sign the American people are buying into their policies – they could be setting themselves up for a rude awakening in 2012. According to a new Bloomberg poll – Americans blame Republicans most for the infighting in Washington. 45% of respondents blame Republicans for “what’s wrong with Washington” – while only 20% blame President Obama – and only 19% blame Democrats. And with President Obama’s “American Jobs Act” on the agenda in Congress – then expect Republicans to play right into the public perception of them as the “Party of No”. Let’s hope the chickens come home to roost soon in the form of a landslide election for Democrats in 2012.
And that’s the way it is today – Thursday, September 15th, 2011. I’m Thom Hartmann – on the news.