In today's On the News Segment: House Republicans continue to slam Obama's jobs bill while offering a “poor substitute” in its place, the Supreme Court denied another one of Rick Perry's executions, 50 economists say our economy has a good chance of slipping back into a recession, foreclosures jumped 33 percent in August, the IRS collected more than $2 billion after forcing people to disclose their offshore bank accounts, Palin says she didn't use cocaine, groin checks may be coming to a NFL stadium near you, and more.
Thom Hartmann here – on the news…
You need to know this. “Hell no you can’t!” In a speech yesterday – Speaker of the House John Boehner slammed President Obama’s “American Jobs Act” – calling it a “poor substitute” for actual job creation policies. But a week ago – when President Obama unveiled his plan – Speaker Boehner seemed open to negotiating on it. So it looks like Eric Cantor and the rest of the Tea Party Republicans who’d rather see the economy crash than Obama succeed – once again stuck the shiv in Boehner and told him, “no deal,” just like they did in the debt-limit debate. Instead of the “American Jobs Act” – Boehner put forward more of the same Republican proposals to create jobs – more tax cuts for millionaires, billionaires, and transnational corporations – the so-called “job creators” as pollster Frank Luntz calls them – and more deregulation to that the Republican Party’s corporate overlords can keep making profits off poisoning the air we breath and contaminating the water we drink. But this is great news for the President – because now he can put his Harry Truman hat on – and run against the Republicans in 2012 – as the Party that’s against job creation in America.
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The Supreme Court denied Rick Perry another one of his prized executions. Just hours before he was set to die – Duane Buck was spared lethal injection when the Supreme Court ruled that testimony used in his sentencing case needs to be reviewed. Back in 1995 – Buck killed his ex-girlfriend and another man in her apartment. His guilt is not in question – but in order to give him the death penalty – the prosecution needed to prove he would be dangerous in the future – and they did that by calling up a psychologist to testify that black people are more likely to commit violence. It was based on that testimony that Buck was sentences to deny – and today – it’s based on that testimony that Buck was given a reprieve from death row – at least for now. Of course – Governor Perry probably isn’t too disappointed – he has two more execution scheduled for next week.
In the best of the rest of the news…
A Wall Street Journal survey of 50 economists concluded that our economy has a pretty good chance of slipping back into a recession within the next year – tell that to the 46.2 million Americans living in poverty who still haven’t recovered from the first recession. The chief economist of the Wall Street Journal’s conference board – Bart van Ark – put the chances of another recession at 45% – and the paper noted that since 1988 – anytime the Conference Board has put the chance of recession above 40% – a recession did indeed follow. The economists also noted that whatever tools are available to the Federal Reserve will do little to stem a recession at this point. So far the Fed has been busy pumping more money into the economy through the hands of the wealthiest big banks – but that money has yet to trickle down to everyone else – meaning average Americans still don’t have enough money in their pockets to buy stuff and stimulate the economy. We have a demand crisis right now – and as long as Republicans keep denying that simple reality and keep blocking measures to stimulate the economy from the bottom up – then the Wall Street Journal economists prediction of another recession will hold true.
Speaking of the economy – August was a bad month for homeowners – as foreclosure filings jumped up 33%. According to the group RealtyTrac – nearly 80,000 homeowners received default notices last month – the most all year. Home foreclosure had slowed in recent months – as investigations into banks using robo-signers and fraudulent documents to kick Americans out of their homes ramped up – but now it appears the banksters are back on tracking kicking hundreds of thousands of people out on to the streets. Wall Street got its bailout and is doing just fine now – so when is Main Street going to get theirs?
The IRS announced that it’s collected more than $2 billion as a result of a program forcing individuals to disclose hidden cash in offshore bank accounts. Since 2009, 30,000 tax evaders have come forward revealing just how much money they have stashed away in Swiss bank accounts or the Cayman Islands. Under the program – individuals can avoid prosecution for tax evasion if they pay a 25% fee on whatever their highest annual balance was in their offshore bank account. It’s past due that the corporate CEO free-loaders start paying their fair share again.
Gubernatorial quitter Sarah Palin is pushing back against claims that she used cocaine – had a fling with an NBA player – and cheated on her husband – all revelations that appear in a new book about Palin entitled, “The Rogue.” The book was written by Joe McGinniss – who previously had a dust-up with the Palins when he moved into a house right next door to theirs while he was writing the book. Palin’s husband said the book is full of “disgusting lies” – but McGinness defended his work on the Today Show – calling his portrayal of Palin, “fair.”
Groin checks may soon be coming to an NFL stadium near you. The National Football League announced that it plans to use “enhanced pat-down procedures” at all of its 32 stadiums this year – to make sure fans aren’t carrying weapons. Taking a page from the TSA – NFL officials will pat down everyone who attends a game this year – roughly 16 million people – from the ankles up. The new pat-downs are supposed to focus on the area between peoples’ ankles and their knees – as well as the waist up. I guess the NFL foresaw the problem of telling hurly burly Chicago Bears fans to stand still while their junk gets groped.
And that’s the way it is today – Friday, September 16th, 2011. I’m Thom Hartmann – on the news.