Thom Hartmann here – on the news…
You need to know this. Falling behind in the polls – Mitt Romney is expected to lay out his plan for job creation today at an event in Nevada. And like all the other plans put forward by his colleagues on the right – Romney’s job creation plan sounds more like a Christmas list for millionaires, billionaires and transnational corporations, and less like an effective way to get Americans back to work. The plan is complete with massive tax breaks for US-based corporations – which already pay the second lowest taxes as a percent of GDP in the entire developed world – and are today sitting on more than two trillion dollars in cash and not hiring anyone. Romney will also call for the elimination of the Capital Gains tax so that trust-fund babies like Paris Hilton and Wall Street speculators can get a free ride in American while just sitting on their butts by the pool collecting dividend checks. And of course – Romney will take aim at bringing down those pesky federal regulations that make sure the air we breathe, food we eat, and water we drink are safe. That’s also what House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said are the priorities of House Republicans, as Members of Congress head back to Washington, DC and Republicans begin their assault on the EPA. So, meet the new Republican plan to create jobs – George W. Bush, recycled.
Speaking of jobs – President Obama’s job approval numbers continue to plunge. A new Washington Post/ABC News poll gives the President his lowest approval ratings ever – with just 43% of the nation approving of the jobs he’s doing. 53% – a new high – disapprove of him. The writing on the wall is pretty clear here – the American people want President Obama to try something new. Luckily for him – he’s addressing a joint session of Congress this week to talk about jobs and has a platform to shift the debate in this country. Now’s the time to go bold – and embrace a second FDR-like New Deal to rebuild the United States – and call out Republicans who are dead set on crashing the economy to tilt the 2012 elections. It may be the only way for Barack Obama to save his Presidency at this point – and to keep our economy from going off the edge.
In the best of the rest of the news…
Yesterday – workers around the nation celebrated Labor Day. But in Wisconsin – the day was spent rallying workers against Governor Scott Walker who declared war on organized labor earlier this year. The organization “One Wisconsin Now” spearheaded the effort, releasing a statement saying, “We celebrate Monday the many contributions of organized labor and working men and women to our nation, but with an eye to a brighter day when we remove Gov. Walker from office and restore decency, competence, and humanity to the state’s top office.” That day could be as soon as January 3rd of next year – when Walker becomes officially eligible to face recall. Let’s hope by the time next year’s Labor Day rolls around – Walker is out of a job – and the message of, “Don’t mess with working people” is heard loud and clear around America.
The days of American tax-dodgers relying on Swiss banks accounts may be numbered. According to Reuters – the U.S. government issued an ultimatum to Switzerland – to hand over information about how many American dollars are being stashed away in secret Swiss bank accounts – or face investigations into some of the nation’s top banks. According to a Swiss newspaper – as much as $30 billion belonging to thousands of Americans is hidden in Swiss tax havens – but Switzerland’s Finance Minister is not ready to hand over the details – saying that ultimatums are, “no way of dealing with other states.” With taxes for millionaires, billionaires, and transnational corporations at historic lows – while profits surge to new highs – something doesn’t add up. It’s time to crack down on the tax-dodgers – and the nations that are complicit in this theft of American tax dollars.
The United States Post Office is on the verge of shutting down. According to the New York Times – the Post Office is quickly running out of cash and may be forced to shut down this winter. Postmaster general Patrick R. Donahoe described the situation as, “extremely serious,” and warned, “If Congress doesn’t act, we will default.” While the media story line is that the Post Office is dealing with the problem of trying to remain profitable in a world of decreasing paper mail – the real cause is poison-pill legislation pushed through Congress during the Bush years that required the Postal Service to make a $5 billion annual contribution to a retirement account to pay for future retirees who aren’t even born yet. No other company or government agency has been asked to do something this crazy. Of course – like all other government services – Republicans want to privatize the Post Office and have manufactured a crisis to do just that. The Postal Service that Ben Franklin created is in trouble today – privatizing the Post Office is the ultimate assault on the commons.
Republican front-runner for President Governor Rick Perry left the campaign trail Monday to return to Texas. After denying climate change and accusing climate scientists of manipulating the data for money – Perry is going back to his home state to deal with a climate-change-induced epic wildfire. The fire is more than 16 miles long and 4 miles wide – has scorched more than 14,000 acres – caused at least 5,000 people to evacuate and destroyed 500 homes – and even killed two people. The Texas Forest Service described the fire as, “a monster” that is, “zero percent contained.” Maybe seeing the devastating consequences of our nation’s addiction to fossil fuels up close and personal will change Governor Perry’s thoughts about climate change. If so – I’m sure a big campaign contribution from the oil oligarchs will quickly change it back.
Crazy Alert! Snake-bitten. A California man is in police custody after munching on an unusual snack – a python! The man was asked to hold the pet snake when he inexplicable decided to take two massive bites out of the reptile – forcing the snake’s owner to take his pet to the hospital for emergency surgery. The Python lost a few ribs and had to get stitched up – but is now recovering. Police are still trying to figure out exactly why the man went for a python sandwich, but the suspicion is that he was seriously intoxicated at the time. As they say – a dog biting a man isn’t news – but a man biting a dog is. That’s doubly so when a man bites a snake.
And that’s the way it is today – Tuesday, September 6th, 2011. I’m – Show quoted text –