On the News With Thom Hartmann: Public Transportation System Is Failing Low-Income Workers, and More

In today’s On the News segment: According to a new study by the Brookings Institute, only a quarter of Americans can get to work in less than 90 minutes using public transportation; the Libor rate-fixing scandal is coming to America; in Wisconsin, there are questions about whether or not June’s recall election was rigged; and more.

Thom Hartmann here – on the news…

You need to know this. If Mitt Romney had to personally contribute $100 toward paying down our national debt every time he lied, then America would be out of the red by November. The Obama campaign – and the Washington Post – have hammered Romney in recent weeks over his ties to Bain Capital and the laying off or outsourcing of thousands of American jobs. But Romney says he’s not responsible since all of these layoffs occurred after he left Bain Capital in 1999. But a new report by the Boston Globe proves that Romney is lying. As financial documents filed in 2003 – and obtained by the Boston Globe – show – Romney still owned 100% of Bain Capital as recently as 2002 – and even earned at least $100,000 as an executive at Bain in 2002 – three years after Romney claims he had left the business. So now we can add lying about his record at Bain to the long list of other Romney lies, just as voters are demanding to know the truth about Romney’s several offshore bank accounts and whether they’re being used to avoid paying taxes. It’s crystal clear – the only way Mitt Romney can win the White House this year is by lying, which presents a great opportunity for Congress to pay down our debt by simply passing into law the “Romney Lying Jar” – and forcing Mitt to throw in a crisp $100 bill just about every time he opens his mouth.

In screwed news…our public transportation system is failing low-income workers. According to a new study by the Brookings Institute – only a quarter of Americans can get to work in less than 90 minutes using public transportation. For a lot of Americans who can’t afford a car – or the gas to commute the average 13 miles it takes for the typical American to get to work – then public transportation is the only option. But that means long, exhausting commutes. The study goes on to recommend that it’s, “critical then for the nation to focus on smart transit investments.” That means spending federal money on infrastructure – something that Republicans in Congress have absolutely refused to do, despite the fact that America currently has a $2 trillion infrastructure deficit – meaning we need at least $2 trillion worth of repairs just to get everything up-to-date. Considering there’s roughly 15 million Americans unemployed or underemployed – it’s good policy to put them back to work rebuilding our roads, bridges, and rails. That is unless Republicans REALLY believe that a deteriorating 19th and 20th century infrastructure will keep America competitive in the 21st century global marketplace.

In the best of the rest of the news…

The LIBOR rate-fixing scandal is coming to America. More than a dozen banks are being investigated by the U.S. Justice Department to determine just how widespread the rate-rigging scandal, which might have cost consumers billions of dollars, really is. So far, only one bank – Barclays – has admitted guilt in the scandal. But with the DOJ on the case, and several cities launching their own investigations to figure out if their pension funds took a hit as a result of the rate-rigging, it could just be a matter of time before other banksters’ heads role. Congress is jumping into the mix, too, with plans to bring Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner to Capitol Hill for hearings before the Senate Banking Committee and the House Financial Services Committee. However, given the charade on Capitol Hill when JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon came down to have his butt kissed by Republicans a few weeks back, many people don’t expect any really tough questions about this latest financial scandal. Then again, if Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner knew what was going on while he was head of the Federal Reserve Bank in New York – we might actually get some answers. After all, if there’s one thing Republicans love more than protecting Wall Street, it’s embarrassing the Obama Administration. Keep an eye on this story.

In Wisconsin, there are questions about whether or not June’s recall election was rigged. The group “Hand Count Votes Now!” is filing open records requests with the state to access ballots in all 72 Wisconsin counties to perform a hand recount. After doing a hand recount in several precincts in the city of Racine, Wisconsin, officials noticed huge differences between the recounted totals and the election night totals. And in every instance, it was Republican Scott Walker who benefitted from these differences, suggesting there’s more going on that just random error. So is it possible that easily hack-able corporate vote-counting machines were rigged to benefit Walker? You betcha!

House Republicans are patting themselves on the back after voting for the 33rd time on Wednesday to repeal or weaken Obamacare, despite the vote being completely meaningless since Democrats are still in control of the Senate and the White House. Now, we the taxpayers should be demanding some of our money back. That’s because House Republicans have now spent 80 hours of time on the House floor since 2010 taking meaningless votes against Obamacare. That’s roughly two weeks. And considering it takes $24 million a week for the House to operate – then Republicans have wasted nearly $50 million on their Obamacare political stunts. Since Republicans are pushing for more austerity and trying to find government waste around every corner – then maybe they should look in the mirror – because our nation simply can’t afford their shenanigans.

And finally…the Olympics are always a time for national pride – as we send 530 of the best American athletes to compete against the rest of the world to prove that America still leads the world. But this Olympics – we’ll be reminded that the United States is no longer the best at one very important thing – manufacturing. That’s because the Olympic uniforms our athletes will be wearing this year weren’t even made in America. As an ABC News report revealed – Ralph Lauren, which designed our national uniforms – manufactured all the clothing in…you guessed it…China. That’s right, we can’t even get our freakin’ national uniform for the Olympics made in America.