Thom Hartmann here – on the news…
You need to know this. With the President set to present his job creation plan to a joint session of Congress tonight – he’s already getting some bad news from economists. Early reports indicate the jobs plan will cost between $300 and $400 billion – with less than half going to actually rebuilding our infrastructure – and the rest devoted to tax cuts and an extension of unemployment benefits. But economists are warning the President that his plan will likely do very little to turn the economy around. The labor economist at the Brooking Institute – Gary Burtless – said, “If we’re talking about whether the package is big enough to…start making a dent, it’s probably going to fall short of that goal.” And Nigel Gault – the chief economist as HIS Global Insight said about the President’s plan, “The kick to growth is going to be pretty small. It will add substantially less than 1% GDP growth in 2012.” Now that they know it will do very little to improve the economy – expect Republicans to suddenly throw their support behind the President’s job plan. That way they can keep up the illusion they care about jobs – while actually doing nothing to improve the economy before the 2012 election. And it will make it impossible for him to pull a Harry Truman and run against a “do-nothing Congress.”
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Republicans faced off against each other last night in another debate – and it’s clear there’s now a two-man race for the Presidential nomination between Mitt Romney and Rick Perry. In his debut – Perry didn’t back down on any of his radical positions. He again claimed that Social Security is a Ponzi scheme – questioned global warming – defended his state being dead last in health insurance coverage – and touted his accomplishment as executioner-in-chief – putting more people to death that any other Governor in modern history. Perry was even applauded by the Republican zombies in attendance at the Reagan library when he bragged about his execution record – even though he killed at least one innocent man. As for Mitt Romney – he was busy trying to deflect criticism once again for putting in place a health care system in Massachusetts that was the prototype for Obamacare. For perhaps the clearest indication of just how whacked out this Republican primary is – consider this: Mitt Romney put Massachusetts at the top of the list – number one in the country – in how many people have good, inexpensive health insurance. Rick Perry put Texas dead last in the country when it comes to health coverage. Yet – Romney is the one who has a health insurance liability. This really is a race to the bottom – which is scary because if President Obama doesn’t get his act together – then one of these bottom-feeders could win the White House.
In the best of the rest of the news…
Also during the Republican debate – so-called moderate Jon Huntsman pleaded with his Republican colleagues to not run away from science – and to accept the 99% of climate scientists who argue that global warming is happening – and it is man-made. In doing so – he just lost the Tea Party. That’s because a new study out of Yale University shows that only 34% of self-described Tea Partiers believe climate change is real – the majority think it’s a hoax – and the rest don’t know. That’s compared to 78% of Democrats how believe in climate change – and 53% of non-Tea Party Republicans. The ironic thing is – most of those Tea Party climate-change deniers claimed they are “very well informed,” on the issue. Will someone please let them know watching Fox so-called News everyday doesn’t make them well informed on climate science?
The United Nations is warning Europe and the United States to drop their austerity agendas. According to Reuters, the new report from the UN entitled, “Post-crisis policy challenges in the world economy” argues: “The pursuit of austerity measures and deficit cuts is pushing the world economy toward disaster in a misguided attempt to please global financial markets. “ Instead – the UN is urging governments to pursue policies that give workers higher wages – and break away from “market-led thinking.” Since Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher never were elected Secretary General of the United Nations – the UN never bought into the supply-side voodoo economics of putting banksters over workers. We saw what banksters did to the global economy in 2008 – so what the UN is asking, and what we should all be asking, is why are we begging the very same banksters to get us out of this mess?
More Republican Reverse Robin Hood news. According to the Columbia Daily Tribune, Republicans in Missouri are trying to figure out a way to pay for a massive corporate tax break – so what are they suggesting? Raising taxes on poor people and senior citizens of course! In the crosshairs of Republican lawmakers – is a $750 tax credit for more than 100,000 senior citizens and disabled people – many of whom are disabled veterans – to help them afford housing. The tax credit is now on the chopping block to pay for a nearly $400 million bill chock full of corporate giveaways and tax breaks. Again – Republicans are trying to raise taxes on senior citizens and disabled veterans to pay for corporate tax breaks. It just goes to show – Republicans have no problem AT ALL with raising taxes on people – just as long as though those people are poor – and thus can’t contribute to any political campaigns.
Can marijuana cure Alzheimer’s? The drug company Medical Marijuana, Inc. claims they’ve developed a marijuana-based drug that helps to prevent and treat Alzheimer’s disease. Last week – the same company said this drug – known as Cannabidiol – has also been proven to treat cancer and tumors. Unfortunately – since the for-profit private prison corporations like the Correctional Corporation of America spend millions lobbying for stricter and stricter drug laws so that they can profit off more people being thrown in prison – Nixon’s Drug War rages on. And the medical value of marijuana – which could help millions of sick people – is swept under the rug. We need to end Nixon's absurd War on Drugs – and focus on improving the lives of Americans. Marijuana is a medicine – and a pretty decent recreational drug too.
And that’s the way it is today – Thursday, September 8th, 2011. I’m Thom Hartmann – on the news.