On the News With Thom Hartmann: Republican Plot to Sabotage Scott Walker Recall Campaign in Full Swing, and More

In today's On the News segment: Demonstrations are planned across the nation to mark the two-month anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street movement; the clock is ticking on the Gang of 12; in Wisconsin, the Republican plot to sabotage the Scott Walker recall campaign is in full swing; Blue Dog Democrats have signaled a willingness to join Republicans in support of a balanced budget amendment; and more.


Jim Javinsky in for Thom Hartmann here – on the news…

You need to know this. Today is a day of action. Several demonstrations are planned across the nation to mark the two-month anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street Movement. In New York City – patriots staged a rally outside the New York Stock Exchange this morning where they endured beatings and mass arrests by the NYPD. Undeterred, there are plans to take the protests to the New York City subway system this afternoon – and then to Foley Square across from City Hall this evening. Similar days of action are planned across the country from Portland to Washington, DC. But police in Dallas decided to mark the two-month anniversary of the movement with another violent crackdown. Following in the footsteps of New York City – Oakland – and Denver – Dallas cops swept into the Occupy Dallas encampment in the middle of the night – arrested patriots – and razed the camp. And in San Francisco – about 100 demonstrators were arrested yesterday after they marched through the city and occupied a Bank of America. It should be quite an interesting day.

With just 6 days to go until the deadlines – chances of the Gang of 12 striking a deal are looking slim. In a last ditch effort to compromise – Democrats last week offered up a plan that cuts $876 billion from spending – including $225 billion in cuts to Medicare and $50 billion in cuts to Medicaid. But since the plan also included $400 billion in new revenue – which was far less than the Democrats’ first proposal – Republicans rejected it – with Speaker of the House John Boehner calling it “a step backwards.” The clock is ticking on the Gang of 12.

In the best of the rest of the news…

In Wisconsin – the Republican plot to sabotage the Scott Walker recall campaign is in full swing. First – Conservatives bragged about plans to burn recall petitions. Then on Tuesday – the first day of the recall campaign – there was a cyber attack against the United Wisconsin website – the group that is spearheading the recall effort. Then Republicans in the state legislature moved to make it harder for college students to vote in an upcoming election. And now – Wisconsin Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch is getting in the game. She released an ad on YouTube – urging people to not sign recall petitions because of how “expensive” they are. In the video – Kleefisch says, “There might be a day when someone asks you for your signature. Signing a recall petition is like saying you’re O.K. with spending $7.7 million on another recall election, 7.7 million that may already be allocated to merit raises for teachers or health care for the poor, or school books for your kids.” What Kleefisch fails to mention is that if Scott Walker stays in office – far more than 7.7 million dollars will be cut out of education and healthcare for the poor. The Wisconsin Democratic Party fired back – filing a complaint against Kleefisch arguing she is misrepresenting the office of Lieutenant Governor.

On Capitol Hill – Blue Dog Democrats have signaled a willingness to join Republicans in support of a Balanced Budget Amendment. According to a report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities – the Balanced Budget Amendment will kill 15 million jobs – double the unemployment rate – and shrink the economy by 17%. But instead of hanging this devastating economic policy solely around the necks of Republicans – Blue Dog Dems want to spread some of the blame around to themselves. I guess they never listened to the advice of Harry Truman when he said – if voters have a choice between a Republican and a Democratic who acts like a Republican – they’ll choose the Republican every time. Truman was right – in the 2010 election – half of the entire Blue Dog caucus of Conservative Democrats was kicked out of office. And by supporting the Balanced Budget Amendment – it could happen again.

The House of Representative passed a controversial “right to carry” bill yesterday. The legislation creates a race to the bottom in gun laws – by allowing people who have a concealed weapons permit in one state to carry concealed weapons in any of the other 49 states – regardless of local gun laws. That means whichever state enacts the most lax gun laws – that state will also dictate the law of the land. So I guess Republicans’ support for state’s rights doesn’t matter when the issue is getting guns into the hands of people even easier.

After a four-day manhunt – the Secret Service finally nabbed Oscar Ramiro Ortega-Hernandez – the man accused of firing gunshots at the White House last Friday night. Ortega was picked up in Pennsylvania yesterday – and is described as a mentally disturbed individual who was obsessed with the President and referred to Obama as the “antichrist.” According to police reports – Ortega drove his vehicle to Constitution Avenue – fired his rifle at the White House – and then fled leaving his car and rifle abandoned on the outskirts of Washington, DC. Secret Service later recovered two bullets lodged in the White House’s bulletproof glass. Unclear of Ortega – like other delusional maniacs who think Obama is the “antichrist” was a a frequent viewer of Fox so-called News.

And finally…Governor Good Hair Rick Perry challenged Nancy Pelosi to a debate next week. In a letter written to the former Speaker of the House – Perry writes, “I am in Washington Monday and would love to engage you in a public debate about my Overhaul Washington plan versus the congressional status quo.” Based on his past performances – you’d think Perry would be a bit hesitant about more debates. So far – Pelosi has not responded to the request. Perry is touting a new plan that would create a “part-time Congress” – he thinks it’s a good idea for three reasons – and you can probably guess where this joke is headed.

And that’s the way it is today – Thursday, November 17th, 2011. I’m Jim Javinsky in for Thom Hartmann – on the news.