On the News With Thom Hartmann: Sandra Fluke Paints a Picture of What America Would Look Like if GOP Wins, and More

In today’s On the News segment: The night featured Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke painting a picture of what America would look like for women if Republicans win in November, The Eurozone crisis is going critical, A new report by the Institute of Medicine reveals that our health care system is wasting hundreds of billions of dollars a year, and more.

Thom Hartmann here – on the news…

You need to know this. Day two of the Democratic National Convention was one giant punch in the gut to Republicans. The night featured Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke painting a picture of what America would look like for women if Republicans win in November. She described a Republican Party that will restrict access to contraceptives for women – force women to undergo intrusive probing before an abortion procedure – and redefine rape. As Fluke said – the choice comes down to, “a country that honors our foremothers by moving us forward, or one that forces our generation to re-fight the battles they already won.” After Fluke, Massachusetts Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren took the stage to give a spirited defense of the middle class in America. She exposed how “rigged the game” is against working people in America – and she blasted the idea of corporate personhood, saying, “Corporations are not people. People have hearts. They have kids. They get jobs. They get sick. They thrive. They dance. They live. They love. And they die. And that matters.” That might mark one of the first times in political convention history that the issue of corporate personhood was given the spotlight. Then, closing off the night – former President Bill Clinton took the stage to defend the Obama presidency – and tear down the myth of trickle-down economics. Clinton explained how over the last several decades, Republican presidents have added the majority of debt, while Democratic presidents have added the majority of jobs. And then he went after the Republican lies – saying that it takes a lot of “brass” for Paul Ryan to attack President Obama’s Medicare savings – while including those very same savings in his own budget. Ultimately, Bill Clinton’s message could be summed up by this one warning he gave to the nation, which is, we can’t “double down on trickled own.” Never mind the fact that some policies signed into law by Bill Clinton got us into this mess, the former President gave one of the best defenses of the Obama Presidency yet – and explained how dangerous today’s Republican Party is to the nation.

Also yesterday at the DNC, Democrats managed to muck-up what’s so far been a successful convention. At the urging of President Obama – language was inserted into the official Democratic platform – that affirms Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and also mentions the word, “God.” Since the platform had already been approved, it had to be amended by a voice-vote among delegates at the convention. A lot of delegates opposed the change – and boo’ed adding “God” to the official party platform – thus giving right-wing websites a great sound-byte to use until November. Ultimately what happened here is that Democrats caved again. Not just on their own principle of being a party that represents all faiths, but they also caved on one of the main principles that founded this nation – separation of church and state. God is not in the Constitution, and shouldn’t be in the Democratic Party platform.

In the best of the rest of the news…

The Eurozone crisis is going critical. A new report by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development warned that the German economy could sink into a recession during the second half of this year. Germany’s is the biggest economy in the Eurozone, and has largely been spared from the debt crisis that is dragging other nations like Greece, Portugal, Spain, and Italy into economic ruin. But this report suggests that it’s just a matter of time before Germany, too, starts to go under – signaling that the Eurozone crisis is reaching a new stage – where even the strong can’t survive. News of Germany’s woes comes on the heels of a decision by the European Central Bank to buy bonds in struggling Eurozone nations to ease the debt crisis. From the get-go, the Eurozone was a bad idea proposed by transnational corporate interests that thought doing business with a single currency would be more profitable. Now, with the Eurozone collapsing – it’s not the corporate interests that will suffer, but instead working people across Europe.

Our healthcare system is screwed. A new report by the Institute of Medicine reveals that our health care system is wasting hundreds of billions of dollars a year. A panel of doctors, public health officials, and business leaders spent a year analyzing our nation’s private, for-profit health insurance system and found that it wasted roughly $750 billion a year on unnecessary medical procedures, paperwork and overhead, CEO bonuses, and other wasteful spending. We’re the only developed nation in the world that relies on for-profit health insurers to administer health care for the majority of Americans. Clearly the system doesn’t work. Time for a revolutionary change in health care in America: Medicare Part E – Medicare for everyone.

Organized labor secured a big victory in Michigan on Wednesday. The state Supreme Court cleared the way for a measure to appear on the November ballot that would place the right to collectively bargain in the state Constitution. Over 700,000 voters signed the petition to get the collective bargaining measure on the ballot – which is more than twice the number of signatures needed. Now voters will have a say in November as to whether or not Michigan will stand up for working people – or go the way that nearby states like Wisconsin and Indiana have gone – and screw working people out of their rights to unionize and collectively bargain. Get involved in Michigan – this is a big deal.

And finally…Mitt Romney won’t release his tax returns, but hackers might do it for him. An unidentified group of hackers are claiming they’ve obtained Mitt Romney’s tax returns after an elaborate heist at the Tennessee offices of financial firm PriceWaterhouseCooper. The group says it has sent thumb-drives with Romney’s tax return information to local Democratic and Republican Party offices. The Republican Party executive director in Williamson County, Tennessee did confirm receiving the drive, but has not commented on whether it actually contains Mitt Romney’s tax returns. The hacker group is demanding one million internet currency units from Romney by September 28th – or else they will publicly release the tax returns.

And that’s the way it is today – Thursday, September 06, 2012. I’m Thom Hartmann – on the news.