In today’s On the News segment: A new poll shows that only 27 percent of Americans support the war in Afghanistan, oil prices continue to fall, Michele Bachmann becomes a Swiss citizen, and more.
Thom Hartmann here – on the news…
You need to know this. No more war! That’s the message the American people are sending as approval for the Afghanistan war has now dropped to an all-time low. A new AP poll shows that only 27% of Americans support the war – that’s a ten-point drop from just one year ago. On the flip-side, two-thirds of Americans are opposed to the war – and 40% say they are “strongly opposed” to the war. So far – 1,834 U.S. soldiers have died in Afghanistan – and the conditions don’t seem to be getting much better over there. French President-Elect Francois Hollande has promised to remove all troops from Afghanistan by the end of this year. I think it’s time we do the same.
Americans who want a government that works are screwed. The Republican Party kicked another moderate to the curb last night. After 35 years of serving in the Senate – Indiana Senator Dick Lugar lost a primary battle Tuesday night to Wall Street’s candidate, Tea Party Republican challenger Richard Mourdock. Mourdock attacked Lugar for crossing the aisle to support the auto bailout, the START nuclear treaty, and President Obama’s Supreme Court nominees, but Lugar’s real crime was voting on the side of the Big Box retailers to put a ceiling on how much Banks could charge the stores in credit card fees. That vote cost the banksters $16 billion, and, to get revenge, they showered money on Mourdock, using conservative blogs like Red State, K street hacks, and funding millions in TV advertising in Indiana. As Politico pointed out, “The banking industry is making an example of Sen. Dick Lugar.” Now Lugar will probably follow in the footsteps of Indiana’s past four senators and become a millionaire lobbyist himself.
In the best of the rest of the news…
The field is set for the Wisconsin recall election scheduled for June 5th – and it’s going to be a rematch. Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett won the Democratic nomination Tuesday night – giving him another shot at defeating one of America’s most unpopular Governors – Scott Walker – who beat Barrett in 2010 by 6-points. But this time around – things are different. With the labor movement fighting for its life – and millions of Wisconsinites organized to end Scott Walker’s war on working people – Progressives have a real shot at taking back the Badger State’s governorship. But they’re going to have to overcome more than $20 million in out-of-state millionaire and billionaire campaign contributions that Walker has raised in the last few months. Keep an eye on Wisconsin this month.
The White House might have a plan after all when it comes to endorsing same-sex marriage. While many wrote off Joe Biden’s endorsement of same-sex marriage last weekend as a typical flippant remark, White House insiders are hinting that it could be a signal that President Obama himself is ready to come out in support of same-sex marriage. President Obama has previously said he doesn’t support same-sex marriage personally, but his views on the matter are “evolving.” But now – according to a report by the New Yorker’s Ryan Lizza – a senior White House official said the President may throw his support behind same-sex marriage before the election – and certainly will after the election. If so, he’d be the first President in American history to back equal rights for ALL Americans – regardless of their sexual orientation. And with states like North Carolina passing radical constitutional amendments banning same-sex marriage – the LGBT community very much needs President Obama’s leadership on this issue.
It now looks like the underwear bomber terror plot that was foiled – wasn’t really a terror plot at all. The would-be bomber was actually an informant working for the Saudi government and the CIA, who had infiltrated Al-Qaida in Yemen, and then volunteered to carry out the attack. Once the informant was given the bomb – he turned it over to his handlers – who then turned it over to the FBI. The underwear bomb that was seized, by the way, is a much more sophisticated device than the one used in the failed 2009 bombing: Reportedly, it’s a non-metallic device that would have been undetectable even during an intrusive pat-down. So, surprise – our security theatre in airports – complete with Chertoff X-Ray porno scanners and TSA gropes – doesn’t keep us safe. Next step? Have TSA agents slap on latex gloves and bust out the K-Y jelly? We’ve become insane, and Ben Franklin was right when he said that, “Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” Time to end the “security theatre” and get rational again.
Oil prices continue to fall – now dropping to just over $85 a barrel – the lowest price of the year so far. The price drop might have to do with oil speculators selling off their futures contracts – since as much as $14 of every tank of gas in America is a result of banksters speculating on Wall Street. Those suffering the most from falling oil prices are Republican operatives who’ve been trying to pin rising gas prices on President Obama, despite the fact that he’s increased domestic drilling and reduced dependence on foreign oil each year he’s been in office. US inventories are now at a 21-year high, and demand at a 7-year low. Now that gas prices are falling – let’s see if Republicans are as quick to give the President credit as they were to fault him when they were rising.
And finally…if Michele Bachmann loves America so much – then why is she now a citizen of Switzerland? According to a Swiss TV report on Tuesday – Michele’s husband – Marcus Bachmann took a break from “healing the gays” to revisit his roots and become a Swiss citizen. In an interview with Swiss TV – Michele Bachmann gushed about Switzerland – saying, “It’s tough to find a place not to like in Switzerland.” So – inquiring minds want to know. Did they become Swiss citizens for the universal non-profit healthcare? Or because Switzerland’s been a pacifist country for 200 years, run by the Social and Liberal Democrats? Or because gays are explicitly protected from discrimination by the Swiss constitution, so Marcus can now safely come out?
And that’s the way it is today – Wednesday, May 09, 2012. I’m Thom Hartmann – on the news.