I'm Karl Frisch in for Thom Hartmann here – on the news…
You need to know this. No surprises here – Mitt Romney wins New Hampshire. After 5 years of campaigning for President – Mitt collected 39% of the vote in the Granite State – with Ron Paul coming in second with 22% and Jon Huntsman in third with 16%. It was a smaller than expected victory for Romney – but it solidifies the inevitability of Romney winning the GOP nomination. But no candidate announced any plans to drop out of the race just yet, despite the urgings of Ron Paul who proclaimed that this is effectively a “two-man race” now. The candidates head on to South Carolina for a Primary on January 21st – and then Florida to close out the month. Romney has comfortable leads in the polls in both states. Time for Republicans to just accept it – Wall Street’s favorite guy – Willard Mitt Romney – is going to be the nominee.
Occupy Wall Street is back. Thanks to a complaint by civil rights groups – the NYPD removed the barricades that had been restricting access to Zuccotti Park – the site of the first Occupation of Wall Street. Once down – patriots stormed into the park – although they were not allowed to bring any sleeping bags or other essential necessary to re-start the occupation. Roughly 300 members of the Occupy movement gathered in the re-opened park to hold a General Assembly meeting. Later in the night – as demonstrators attempted to lay down on pieces of cardboard in the park – police moved in to enforce a new rule against laying down – leading to two people getting arrested. Welcome back Occupy Wall Street.
In the best of the rest of the news…
Between all the debates, the interviews, and the campaign ads – doesn’t it seem like the Republicans candidates only care about helping rich people? That’s because that IS all they care about. According to a report by the Citizens for Tax Justice – which examined all the tax cut plans proposed by the candidates – the average tax cut for the 1% is 270 times greater than the tax cuts being proposed for the middle class. Not only that – by redistributing massive amounts of money to the very top – Republicans will add enormous amounts of money to our national debt – ranging between $6.6 trillion and $18 trillion over the next decade. In other words – the Republicans are proposing an economic plan that will bankrupt this nation just so millionaires and billionaires can get even wealthier.
The CEO of Apple – Tim Cook – is raking in 378 million dollars in total compensation – making him one of the highest paid CEOs in America. Meanwhile – low-wage workers being employed by Apple in China are so desperately poor – they’re threatening mass suicide. Yesterday – reports surfaces that 300 workers at the Taiwanese-based Foxconn factory – walked to the edge of the building and threatened to jump if their conditions at the factory and their pay don’t improve. Workers at Foxconn take on 14-hour shifts, work overtime, and have to live in cramped dorm rooms, all for very little money. And suicide is such a problem at the factory, that nets have been installed around the building to catch people who decide to jump. But why should Tim Cook – who’s making $378 million far, far away in America care about that? This might be something to think about before you buy your next Iphone.
The world has just crept closer to doomsday. The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists – the organization that runs the so-called “Doomsday Clock” moved the time one minute closer to midnight this week – suggesting that the human race is getting dangerously close to obliterating itself. Created in 1947 – the Doomsday Clock reflects how close scientists believe the human race is to destroying itself through nuclear weapons – or now climate change – which would be signified by midnight on the clock. When it was first created – scientists pegged the time at seven minutes to midnight. Over the next few decades – that time has fluctuated – getting as close as 2-minutes til’ midnight in the 1950’s – and as far away as 17 minutes in the early 1990’s. As for why we’re only 5 minutes away from annihilation – the scientists cited, “Inadequate progress on nuclear weapons reduction and proliferation, and continuing inaction on climate change.”
Speaking of climate change – there’s more evidence of it coming out of Canada. Due to the slow formation of winter ice in Canada’s Hudson Bay – polar bears in the area are nearing starvation and are being forced to prowl around garbage dumps for food. According to researchers – polar bears have lost 6 weeks of hunting time on the ice – which is becoming the new norm. As one researcher from the University of Manitoba said, “Those bears are all lining up along the coast line waiting for the ice to form…They're basically all starving. They are really at their limit biologically.” Canada is home to two-thirds of the world’s polar bear population – but at this rate of warming – that population could be completely wiped out over the next few decades.
And finally…when millionaires attack! According to the Palm Beach Daily News – 76-year-old Palm Beach millionaire John Castle – the chairman of the private equity firm Castle Harlan – is being accused of breaking his waiter’s finger at an upscale restaurant on Saturday. According to the police report – a waiter at the Club Collette restaurant brought the check out to Mr. Castle’s table – which for some reason enraged Castle so much that he derided the server asking him, “You schmuck, why did you bring the bill to the table?” That’s when Castle grabbed the waiter’s finger – and it wasn’t because the waiter was trying to make a “pull my finger” joke – and squeezed and twisted it until it broke. So far – the waiter has yet to press charges against the disgruntled millionaire – deciding to consult an attorney first. As for what might have caused Castle to freak out – it’s anyone’s guess. But the action did put one doctor and nurse to work mending the broken finger. So I guess millionaires are job creators after all!
And that’s the way it is today – Wednesday, January 11th, 2012. I’m Karl Frisch in for Thom Hartmann here – on the news.