In today's On the News segment: Yesterday, voters rejected the radical right-wing takeover of America; Italy is the next European nation on the verge of economic disaster; “Gang of 12” runs up against their deadline to cut $1.5 trillion out of the deficit; Occupy Wall Street and Occupy DC might soon be combing forces; last weekend’s Bank Transfer Day was a success; and more.
Thom Hartmann here – on the news…
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You need to know this. Backlash! Yesterday – all around the nation voters took to the polls to reject the radical right-wing takeover of America. In Ohio – voters overwhelmingly repealed Republican Governor John Kasich’s anti-union law SB-5. Late last night – Governor Kasich responded to the rejection of his agenda by saying it’s time for him to “take a deep breath.” Progressives also scored a victory in Maine – where voters restored same-day voter registration – repealing a Republican law that required voters to register two days before an election. And down in Mississippi – the highly controversial fetus personhood amendment was shot down by 55% of voters – preventing Pandora’s box from being opened up when it comes to a woman’s right to make decisions about her body. And the cherry on top of yesterday’s election was in Arizona – where Republican state senator Russell Pearce – the primary architect of the far right SB-1070 anti-immigration law – also known as the “papers, please” law – was recalled by 54% of voters. So despite all the secret, corporate cash that flooded elections to keep the right-wing policies in place – the voice of the voters was heard loud and clear. With the rejection of the hard-right policies of Republicans, now we need to work on making the Democratic Party more progressive and building movement politics from the ground up.
Italy is the next European nation on the verge of economic disaster. Borrowing costs in Italy soared above 7% today – a critical threshold that – once reached – has forced other eurozone nations to seek immediate bailouts. In response to the looming fiscal crisis – Italian Prime Minister – and “bunga bunga” sex-party enthusiast – Silvio Berlusconi agreed to resign yesterday once his government passes a new budget. I guess he doesn’t want to stick around for the unrest in the streets in response to new austerity measures like the world watched in Athens. But the departure of Berlusconi has yet to settle frazzled investors around Europe – as markets continue to tumble. Earlier today – the chief of the International Monetary Fund – Christine Lagarde – warned that the entire planet is at risk of falling into a “downward spiral of financial instability.” The bad news is we might be headed for a global crisis – the good news is – it might be just thing to end Wall Street’s dangerous reign over the world economy.
In the best of the rest of the news…
In a few weeks the Gang of 12 runs up against their deadline to cut $1.5 trillion out of the deficit – and Republicans are already trying to sabotage the process. Faced with an unpleasant choice of agreeing to some tax increases if the Gang of 12 comes up with a deal – or watching huge defense cuts be automatically enacted if the Gang of 12 doesn’t come up with a deal – Republicans are plotting a way to avoid either choice. In a strategy being promoted by Republican operatives and Senators John McCain and Pat Toomey – Republicans will make sure the Gang of 12 fails to reach a deal – therefore avoiding any sort of tax increases on millionaires and billionaires – and then Republicans will come up with legislation to prevent the automatic trigger of cuts to the Defense department – pleasing their war-profiteering campaign contributors. Meanwhile – the Reagan/Bush deficit problem still wouldn’t be solved – and average, working people across America would still be screwed. But for Republicans, that's a victory.
Occupy Wall Street and Occupy DC might soon be combing forces. A group of patriots who’ve been camped out in Manhattan’s Zuccotti Park will depart the Big Apple today and begin the 240-mile march to the nation’s capital – hoping to arrive in Washington, DC by November 23rd – the deadline for the Gang of 12 Supercommittee. Since Washington, DC and Wall Street have forged an unholy alliance – it only seems appropriate for Occupy DC and Occupy Wall Street to do the same.
Last weekend’s Bank Transfer Day was a success. According to numbers from The Credit Union National Association – over 40,000 Americans moved their money from big banks on Wall Street to local credit unions on Main Street. Member credit unions garnered $80 million in new savings in just one day. Tack that money on to the $4.5 billion in new savings and 650,000 new customers that have flocked to credit unions over the last five weeks since Occupy Wall Street started – and there’s clearly a huge movement afoot in America to make the big banks pay for the mess they caused. If the Justice Department won’t put banksters in jail – the people will put banksters out of business.
According to new figures form the Bureau of Labor Statistics – there are more than 4 job seekers for every one available job in America. That means for over three years in a row now – there’s been at least a 3-to-1 ration of job seekers to available jobs in our economy. Yet – Republicans like Herman Cain still think the unemployed should just blame themselves. But in reality – the jobless should be blaming the 30 years of Reaganomics, Clintonomics, and Bushonomics, that got us into this mess.
Cover your ears, Joe the Plumber – because most Americans want redistribution of wealth. With the wealth gap between the rich and the poor in America larger than it’s historically ever been – a majority of American want the federal government to step up and address it. According to a new Washington Post/ABC News poll – 61% of American want Washington to “pursue policies that try to” reduce income inequality. I guess we’re all democratic socialists now!
Crazy Alert! Is that building wearing a bra? In a charitable publicity stunt to raise awareness of the Breast Cancer Campaign’s “Wear it Pink” initiative – a British stain removal company created the world’s largest bra. The makers of “Vanish” stain remover spent four weeks contracting with a ship-sails company to sew together the behemoth brassiere – before hanging it across the front of a high-rise building. The undergarment fit for a giant – was made with 375 square meters of fabric and weighs nearly 200-pounds. As for the cup size – it’s reportedly a 1,222 B. Meaning it’s only a matter of time before the ITV South Bank building in London – on which the monstrous bra was hung – comes forward with it’s own sexual harassment allegations against Herman Cain.
And that’s the way it is today – Wednesday, November 9th, 2011. I’m Thom Hartmann – on the news.