On the News With Thom Hartmann: Something Fishy is Happening in Florida’s 18th Congressional District, and More

In today’s On the News segment: Coal baron Robert Murray recently announced he’s laying off 163 of his employees because, he says, President Obama was re-elected, something fishy is going on in Florida’s 18th Congressional district, BP is about to be hit with the largest criminal penalty in the history of the United States for its role in the 2010 Gulf oil spill, and more.

Thom Hartmann here – on the news…

You need to know this. Mitt Romney just couldn’t beat Santa Claus. At least that’s how he’s spinning his landslide loss to President Obama in last week’s election. According to the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times, Mitt Romney convened a conference call with donors on Wednesday and blamed his loss on a President who was “very generous” and promised to give away “big gifts” to women, minorities, and the poor. Those “gifts” Romney is referring to are things like contraceptive access for women, affordable student loans for young people, health care for poor people, and a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants who’ve been living in this country since they were children. Romney calls them gifts, while the rest of us call them basic essentials needed to make it in America. Republican strategist Jude Wanniski was the first to label Democrats as Santa Claus back in the 1970’s for giving Americans things like Social Security and Medicare. Wanniski said Republicans had to play Santa Claus, too, by giving people tax cuts, which Republicans have stuck to ever since. Post-election, a lot of Conservative talking heads, from Rush Limbaugh to Bill O’Reilly to now Mitt Romney, have played the “gift card” against President Obama. But what they ignore is that for several generations now, we as Americans through our democracy, have voted in these policies. “We the people” have concluded that we should all be protected from old age, sickness, and unemployment – and have elected representatives to protect these programs. Some of the millionaires and billionaires like Mitt Romney think that just because they don’t need any help, then no one in America needs help. If they want to whine about these programs now that they’ve lost the election, then I suggest they find a remote piece of land and begin constructing their Ayn Rand utopia far, far away from the rest of us in “we society” America.

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In screwed news…Coal baron Robert Murray recently announced he’s laying off 163 of his employees because, he says, President Obama was re-elected. He claimed that due to an Obama second term his company must, “go into survival mode.” We now know at least one reason why his company may be short on cash – because he threw away $100,000 in campaign contributions to Karl Rove’s SuperPAC. And Murray Energy spent another $3 million on lobbying and other political contributions. After all those failed tries to buy seats for Republican politicians, Robert Murray claims his company just can’t afford to keep workers on the payroll anymore. It’s time to build a wall between government and business. Not only does business corrupt government through the obvious methods of lobbying and spending unlimited amounts in our election, but government corrupts businesses. Think of how much more efficient businesses could be if, rather than investing in politicians and legislation, they invested in their businesses and their workers.

In the best of the rest of the news…

Something fishy is going on in Florida’s 18th Congressional district. Though Democrat Patrick Murphy was declared the winner in the race, his opponent, freshman Tea Party Congressman Allen West is refusing to concede – especially now that 800 votes vanished over the weekend when an unsanctioned recount was conducted on electronic voting machines in one county in the district. According to Florida law, if the race is within .5% or less, then an automatic recount is triggered. Currently, Murphy leads West by just more than that threshold. As to why a recount was ordered in the first place in just one county – which allowed West to gain 500 votes on his opponent – no one seems to know the answer. This is just another consequence of privatizing the vote and relying on paperless machines to pick our representatives. It makes no sense.

BP is about to be hit with the largest criminal penalty in the history of the United States for its role in the 2010 Gulf oil spill. So far, the settlement is still under wraps, but one official said BP will have to pay billions of dollars for the damage caused to the environment and local businesses. There are also reports that two BP employees may actually face criminal manslaughter charges over the deaths of 11 workers when the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded triggering the oil spill, though corporate suits going to jail rarely happens in America. All in all, slapping BP with billions in penalties is a good start. But to make sure this sort of corporate misbehavior never happens again – the United States should go a step further and revoke BP’s right to do any business in the United States. There are plenty of American companies that would be glad to pick up the slack.

And finally…now that President Obama has been re-elected, he’s going to kick his mind-control agenda into high-gear. Or at least that’s what a group of Republicans state senators in Georgia think. MotherJones is reporting on a secret meeting in the Georgia state Capitol last month convened by the Senate’s majority leader to expose President Obama’s secret mind control plans. The Senate leader, Chip Rogers, showed his fellow senators a slide show equating President Obama with Joseph Stalin and Mao Tse Tung, and alleging that the President is using a mind control tactic known as the “Delphi Technique” to force Americans into the cities and put our nation under the thumb of the United Nations. Several other Republicans state lawmakers in places like Kansas and Tennessee have actually already passed legislation to block President Obama from using UN mind-control on us. Most of the language in this anti-UN legislation is provided for by the whackadoodles at the Koch-founded John Birch Society. Of course in this place called reality, the UN’s Agenda 21 is not a secret takeover of the United States. It’s just a non-binding agreement to encourage nations to promote a sustainable environment. But in the Conservative twilight zone – nothing is at it seems. Do do do do do do…