In today's On the News segment: Occupy Wall Street is bringing down the big banks, Gang of 12 SuperCommittee failed to come up with a compromise, according to a new study – you’re better off watching no news than GOP TV's Fox so-called News, religious lobbying groups on Capitol Hill have increased five-fold since Roe v. Wade, and more.
Thom Hartmann here – on the news…
You need to know this. Occupy Wall Street is bringing down the big banks. The bank consulting firm “cg42” is projecting that the top 10 mega banks in America could lose $185 billion in deposits through next year as a result of people taking the advice of the 99% Movement and moving their money from banksters on Wall Street to local credit unions on Main Street. Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, Well Fargo, and Citibank will account for nearly three-quarters of all the losses alone. So far – since the 99% Movement kicked off two months ago– more than 700,000 people have made the switch – depositing their money into local credit unions instead of mega banks. That’s more people making a switch than through all of last year. Time to redefine exactly what “starve the beast” means in the Occupy age.
Who’s screwed? American workers. A new report out of the Commerce Department shows that over the last decade – U.S.-based transnational corporations laid off 864,000 American workers – while hiring more than 1.5 million new Asian workers and hiring nearly 500,000 new workers in Latin America. Also during the last decade – these transnational giants reduced how much money they were investing in the U.S. economy – but increased their investment in foreign economies by 4%. Currently – American corporations pay the second lowest amount in taxes of all the developed nations in the world – and many like General Electric pay absolutely no taxes at all. Yet – they have no interest in keeping all their extra profits right here in America. There used to be a business ethic in our nation that a corporation not only focuses on making a profit – but also serves the community it belongs to. Unfortunately – thanks to thirty years of Reaganomics, Clintonomics, and Bushonomics – and all the tax cuts, deregulation, and so-called Free Trade deals – it’s all about getting as rich as you can – as fast as you can – and to hell with the nation you call home. Can you hear the giant sucking sound that Ross Perot warned us about?
In the best of the rest of the news…
Republicans made their bed – now they’ll have to sleep in it. On the day the Gang of 12 SuperCommittee failed to come up with a compromise – mainly because their lord and master Grover Norquist refused to let Republicans negotiate – President Obama announced that he would veto any attempts by Republicans to strip out the automatic trigger of cuts to the Defense Department. And in the wake of the SuperCommittee failure – he should take austerity itself off the table. We need to listen to the 99% Movement and start creating jobs and focusing on wealth inequality in our nation. Gang Government is what democratic failure looks like – the 99% movement is what democracy looks like.
According to a new study – you’re better off watching no news than GOP TV's Fox so-called News. Farleigh Dickinson University surveyed New Jersey residents about the uprisings in the Middle East – and it turns out people who get their news from Fox are 18-points less likely to know that Egyptians overthrew their government compared to people who watch absolutely no news at all. Similar results were seen when Fox viewers were asked questions about the Syrian uprising too. I guess all the chatter about the Muslim Brotherhood over at GOP TV distracted viewers from the actual news taking place. So isn’t it about time to strip the word “news” from Fox – and just call the network what it really is – what Roger Ailes envisioned when he first proposed it to Richard Nixon in the 1970’s – GOP TV?
Ever wonder why nearly 40 years after the Roe v. Wade decision – the push to outlaw abortion is stronger than ever today in America? It’s because the Religious Right has developed quite a knack for lobbying. According to a new survey by Pew – religious lobbying groups on Capitol Hill have increased five-fold since Roe v. Wade in the 1970’s – spending hundreds of millions of tax-free dollars a year to fight abortion and same sex marriage – and push for school vouchers for religious schools. Over 200 different religious groups spent nearly $400 million last year alone lobbying. That wall between church and state is cash-permeable.
Mr. Second Place in the Republican race to the White House – Mitt Romney – is already eyeing the general election and President Obama. His campaign just cut its first TV ad – attacking the President. But rather than focusing on facts – the ad focuses on lies. In it – there’s a voiceover of President Obama saying, “If we keep talking about the economy, we’re going to lose.” Yes – the President said that – but he was quoting what McCain's campaign said – a fact that the Romney ad fails to highlight. In a statement to Politico – the Romney campaign said they used that quote “intentionally.” So let the lying negative ad season begin.
A pregnant woman in Seattle, 19-year-old Jennifer Fox, who was beaten in the stomach twice by two different Seattle police officers, and then pepper sprayed, has miscarried. She said, “I was standing in the middle of the crowd when the police started moving in. I was screaming, 'I am pregnant, I am pregnant. Let me through. I am trying to get out.'” An article by Dominic Holden notes, “At that point, Fox [said], a Seattle police officer lifted his foot and it hit her in the stomach, and another officer pushed his bicycle into the crowd, again hitting Fox in the stomach. “Right before I turned,” [she said] “both cops lifted their pepper spray and sprayed me. My eyes puffed up and my eyes swelled shut.” She had intended to name her baby Miracle.
Crazy Alert! Not exactly Casper. A 73-year-old British woman is having a problem with a “touchy-feely” poltergeist. Doris Birch claims she can’t sleep – because a ghost gropes her every night while she’s lying in bed. As she told a UK website – “It’s like an octopus. It started four months ago. I was laying in bed when I felt this creepy pair of hands.” Birch claims she’s afraid to tell others about the groping ghost because they could think she’s crazy. But according to paranormal research Alejandro Rojas – stories of women being groped by ghosts are fairly common. So either Birch is being haunted by the Ghost of Herman Cain – or by a TSA Agent stuck in the netherworld.
And that’s the way it is today – Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011. I’m Thom Hartmann – on the news.