In today’s On the News segment: The Libor rate-fixing scandal could grow, Rick Perry announces he will refuse to cover 1.2 million more low-income Texans, Democrats are fighting back against the avalanche of secret corporate cash being used against them this election cycle, and more.
Jim Javinsky in for Thom Hartmann here – on the news…
You need to know this. The LIBOR rate fixing scandal could grow. After heads rolled last week at Barclays Bank following admission that the bank rigged key interest rates that underlie millions of consumer loans from home mortgages to credit cards, there are new allegations that other banks may be involved, and that this massive rip-off has been going on for decades. As one financial insider admitted to The Economist, “fifteen years ago, the word was that LIBOR was being rigged.” The insider went on to say that he remembers rate fixing as far back as the 1980’s. And Business Insider is reporting that the Federal Reserve was worried about LIBOR manipulation as far back as 14 years ago. Now, other banks are being investigated for their role in rate-rigging – including JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America, and UBS. However, it’s unlikely anyone will actually go to jail for this multi-billion dollar fraud since we have a two-tiered justice system – one for working people who can be thrown in prison for stealing a Slurpee. And one for the banksters who get to skate with a small fine when they steal billions of dollars. Curiously, even Wall Street knows criminal activity pays off for banksters. A recent survey of 500 Wall Street senior executives revealed that 24% of bankers believe they need to “engage in unethical or illegal conduct to be successful.” We don’t call them banksters for nothing.
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The working class is screwed in Texas. Governor Good Hair, Rick Perry, announced on Monday that he will drop his state out of Obamacare and not set-up free-market health insurance exchanges where Texans could buy health insurance without being denied for pre-existing conditions. He’s also refusing to expand his state’s Medicaid program to cover 1.2 million more low-income Texans. In doing so – Governor Perry is turning down $164 billion in federal money that can help millions of Texans finally get health insurance. And to make matters worse, Perry doesn’t have a single idea on how to insure his citizens. After serving as Governor of Texas for nearly a dozen years, Rick Perry oversees the nation’s worst health care system – where 6.5 million people – roughly a quarter of the population – don’t have health insurance. In 2010, Texas hospitals absorbed more than $4.6 billion in unpaid emergency room medical costs. Obamacare can go a long way toward fixing this problem, but Governor Good Hair would rather play politics instead.
In the best of the rest of the news…
Democrats are fighting back against the avalanche of secret corporate cash being used against them this election cycle. On Monday, The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission arguing that several so-called non-profit organizations being run by Karl Rove and the Koch Brothers are in violation of campaign finance laws and are abusing their tax-exempt status. According to IRS law – groups like Crossroads GPS and Americans for Prosperity, which have spent tens of millions of dollars on ads attacking Democrats this year, can claim 501c4 tax exempt status and keep secret their donors as long as they air ads “in the public good” and do not try to “influence elections.” But looking at the ads this election cycle – which are blatant attacks against President Obama and other Democrats – the D-triple-C is arguing that Rove and the Chamber are actually using “secret money to subvert the democratic process.” So far, 91% of all political ads paid for by outside groups have been funded by these 501c4’s and not by SuperPACS, which do have to eventually disclose their donors. While the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee could succeed in its challenge – forcing Rove and the Kochs to disclose just who is behind all the money – it’s unlikely to happen any time before the 2012 election. So, we might have to wait until 2014 to see how heavily Mahmoud Ahmadenijad is funding Mitt Romney this year.
It’s official, the United States is in the middle of the hottest year-to-date ever recorded. According to new statistics from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration – the national average temperature between January and June of this year was 4.5-degrees above the 20th century average – making it the hottest first half-year ever recorded. On top of that – the nation is in the midst of the worst drought it has ever experienced. Roughly 56% of the nation is experiencing drought conditions – making this the largest drought ever recorded, too. The head of NOAA suggested that the recent spate of freak weather may begin changing some minds about global climate change saying, “In the US, I think that the increasing number of extreme weather-related events will help the American public understand that there is a lot at risk and that we do need to be acting more definitively.” That first means kicking out all the corrupt politicians in Washington who’ve been bought out by big oil, coal, and gas.
After restarting a nuclear reactor, Japan is now calling on its neighbors to drop bans on its exports. After the Fukushima nuclear crisis began last year – several nations cut off Japanese agriculture exports out of fear they’ve been contaminated by radiation. But now Japan is arguing that their food is uncontaminated and “people will find that there’s no more danger.”
And that’s the way it is today – Tuesday, July 10, 2012. I’m Jim Javinsky in for Thom Hartmann – on the news.