On the News With Thom Hartmann: Los Angeles City Council to Vote on Corporate Personhood Today, and More

In today's On the News segment: From 2009 to 2010, carbon emissions took the largest one-year jump since the Industrial Revolution started three centuries ago; European summit plans to hash out a solution to the ongoing euro zone debt crisis alters this week; Occupy Wall Street to focus on foreclosed homes today; corporate personhood comes to Los Angeles today; and more.

Thom Hartmann here – on the news…


You need to know this. The battle for the health of our planet may be all but lost. According to data released this weekend from the Global Carbon Project – carbon emissions shot up 5.9% between 2009 and 2010 – the largest one-year jump since the Industrial Revolution started three centuries ago. We’re coming off the hottest year – and hottest decade ever recorded – and 2011 has already set the record for the most costly natural disasters in history. Yet – our lawmakers continue to sit on their hands, as we’re the only nation in the developed world that still thinks man-made climate change is up for date. We better wake up soon…and hope it’s not too late to do something about this radically changing planet.

The world economy is screwed. We could be just one week away now from the collapse of the global financial system. Later this week – a European summit is planned to hash out a solution to the ongoing Eurozone debt crisis – and credit rating agency S & P issued a warning yesterday about what might happen if European leaders can’t come up with a plan. According to the New York Times: “S&P said it had told 15 of the 17 eurozone countries, including Germany, France and four others with the top AAA credit rating, that it might downgrade them within 90 days, depending on the outcome of Friday's summit.” Stay tuned…this could end badly.

In the best of the rest of the news…

Occupy Wall Street is going off in a new direction today – occupying foreclosed homes. A day of action is planned today in 25 cities across America – including New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago to help Americans hardest hit by foreclosure. Occupy Wall Street patriots will take to the suburbs to stop cops from evicting people from their homes – and they’ll begin “occupying” already foreclosed and vacant homes. According to a press release from the “Occupy Our Homes” movement: “We, the 99%, are standing up to Wall Street banks and demanding they negotiate with homeowners instead of fraudulently foreclosing on them.” The bankster-caused Housing crisis sucked $7.7 trillion in wealth out of the middle class. It’s time to start getting that money back, home-by-home, bank-by-bank.

The fight against corporate personhood comes to Los Angeles today. The City Council is scheduled to hold a vote on a resolution calling on Congress to pass an amendment stripping corporations of their personhood. The resolution cites a 1938 dissenting opinion by Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black in the case of Connecticut General Life Insurance Company v. Johnson, in which he said: “I do not believe the word ‘person’ in the Fourteenth Amendment includes corporations.” Of course – corporate personhood goes farther back – to 1886 – when a rogue Supreme Court reporter who was in the pocket of the railroads in the case of Southern Pacific Railroad v. Santa Clara County slipped corporate personhood into the headnote commentary despite the fact that no Justice ever ruled on it. Each court since has affirmed this false story of the ruling. It’s time to finally correct this wrong – say once and for all that corporations are not people, and money is not speech – and return our democracy to ACTUAL people. Go to MoveToAmend.org to help.

Wealth inequality isn’t just growing in America – it’s growing all over the world. According to a new report by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development – inequality is surging in the rest of the world too – with the richest ten percent of the population in OECD nations making on average nine times more than the poorest 10-percent. Looking at the numbers – OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurria said, “The social contract is starting to unravel in many countries…This study dispels the assumptions that the benefits of economic growth will automatically trickle down to the disadvantaged and that the greater inequality fosters greater social mobility.” Among workers in the United States – wealth inequality has surged 25% since Reagan was elected in 1980. And since the banksters went global around that same time – they took massive wealth inequality with them. However now – with people in the streets all around the world – the backlash is underway.

Dick Cheney’s Halliburton is in trouble after it was alleged that the corporation destroyed evidence showing it was partly responsible for the BP Oil Spill last year. According to court documents filed in New Orleans, “Halliburton destroyed the results of physical slurry testing, and it has, at best, lost the computer modeling outputs that showed no channeling…in part because it wanted to eliminate any risk that this evidence would be used against it at trial.” Why does it seem like everything Dick Cheney touches turns criminal?

NASA scientists have discovered a planet in another solar system that could be inhabitable for humans. Discovered about 600 light years away – Kepler 22-b rests comfortable in what NASA calls the “habitable zone” of a star similar to our sun. The planet is about two-and-a-half times the size of Earth and has an average temperate of a cool 71-degrees. So we’ve found yet another place for Libertarians to set up their Ayn Rand selfish community – far, far away from our planet. Then again – a team of astronomers also found two of the biggest black holes known to exist in the universe – roughly ten billion times the mass of the sun. I think that’s a more suitable location for the Libertarians. Add it to the list.

Crazy Alert! The 99-snakes movement. After the Government Land Registry Office in India failed to approve a land request application submitted by a snake charmer named Hakkal – Hakkal took matters into his own hands. He showed up at the office with three sacks full of snakes – and unleashed the cobras to “occupy” the Registry office. Hakkal told a local news agency, “Having waited patiently for so long, I had no option but to leave all my snakes in this office.” Government workers desperately tried to shoo the snakes away as they slithered around desks and chairs. Luckily – no one was bitten or injured. And according to reports – no snakes were pepper sprayed.

And that’s the way it is today – Tuesday, December 6th, 2011. I’m Thom Hartmann – on the news