In today's On the News segment: A Fifth Circuit Appeals Court upheld a decision by Gov. Rick Perry to deny Medicaid funding to Planned Parenthood; Joe Arpaio could have a challenger for the title of America's most insane sheriff; a University of Colorado election model has predicted that Mitt Romney will win the presidency in November; Tropical Storm Isaac has a good chance of swiping Tampa, Florida, next week - just in time for the Republican's convention; NASA's Mars Curiosity rover finally made some moves on Wednesday; and more.
Jim Javinsky here - In for Thom Hartmann – on the news...
You need to know this. Vulture capitalists are looking to take over human's most precious resource – water. According to a new report by Food & Water Watch, a growing number of pirate equity firms are moving into struggling cities and buying out their public infrastructure – namely – the city's water infrastructure. Anyone who is familiar with Mitt Romney – is familiar with pirate equity firms like Bain Capital – which take over a company – strip it to the bones – and sell it off for a profit. When the strategy is used on public utilities – then consumers get screwed with insufficient services and price hikes. As Food & Water Watch executive director Wenonah Hauter warned, "Like Wall Street's manipulation of the housing market in the previous decade, private equity firms and investment bankers are increasingly looking to cash in on one of our most essential resources—water. These deals are ultimately a bum deal for consumers, who will end up paying the price through increased water bills and degraded service." As of January 2012, pirate equity firms raised nearly $200 billion to take over nearly 300 water infrastructure units. This is just the latest consequence of corporate capitalism run amok in America. We are no longer manufacturing wealth together as a nation for our economy. We now have Wall Street preying on the rest of us to make a buck.
Women in Texas are screwed. On Tuesday, a Fifth Circuit Appeals Court upheld a decision by Governor Rick Perry to deny Medicaid funding to Planned Parenthood. The Governor's decision means Texas will see a big cut in the amount of federal money it received for the Women's Health Program. As a result of Governor good hair's decision and the court upholding it, 52,000 women in Texas who currently rely on Planned Parenthood for preventative treatment, cancer screening, and check- ups will lose that service. That means other providers will have to take five times the number of patients than they did before. Planned Parenthood is considering appealing the court's decision. Whatever happens, under Governor Perry's administration – Texas is quickly becoming no place for women.
In the best of the rest of the news...
The Congressional Budget Office issued another round of warnings on Wednesday over the coming "fiscal cliff" at the end of the year. A series of deep spending cuts and tax increases are set to go into effect January 1st of next year, and the CBO is saying that if Congress doesn't do something about it, then United States economy is guaranteed to sink into another recession. This fiscal cliff is a result of the debt-limit deal struck last year. Remember - Speaker of the House John Boehner bragged Republicans got 98% of what they wanted in it. So now – staring down a deeper recession – we know who to blame for this mess.
Move over Sheriff Joe Arpaio, you could have a challenger for the title of America's most insane sheriff. Meet Frank Szabo – who's running for Hillsborough county sheriff in New Hampshire. During a local television interview, Szabo suggested he would use his office – and deadly force – to stop abortions. Asked if he would consider using deadly force to stop an elective abortion, Szabo said, "Well, I would hope that it wouldn't come to that, as with any situation where someone is in danger, but again, specifically talking about elective abortions and late-term abortions, that is an act that needs to be stopped." A slew of Republicans and Democrats in the state are now calling on Szabo to drop out of the race. If he does so, he could probably find a new job as security for Congressman Todd Akin's re-election campaign.
President Obama is going to have an uphill battle to fight for re-election. A University of Colorado election model has predicted that Mitt Romney will win the presidency in November – and here's the thing: that election model has been right 100% of the time – correctly picking the winner of the last eight presidential elections. To make matters worse, the election model doesn't even factor in the radical Voter ID laws that have been passed in several states that will disenfranchise millions of Democratic voters – or the billions that people like Karl Rove, Sheldon Adelson, and the Koch brothers plan to throw into the election to defeat the President. It's time for progressives to get to work and organize – or a Romney/Ryan White House is very likely come next year.
It's now very likely the Republican National Convention could be a wash out. According to forecasts by the National Hurricane Center, Tropical Storm Isaac has a good chance of swiping Tampa, Florida next week – just in time for the Republican's convention. According to MSNBC meteorologist Bill Karins, "Monday and Tuesday [of the convention] are definitely in jeopardy." Maybe Republicans will take Tropical Storm Isaac as a warning that their embrace of oil and coal and the global warming that comes with it – has serious consequences for our planet...as well, as their political ambitions. Probably not - I think you have a better chance of finding actual voter fraud!
And finally...after sitting for two weeks on the Martian surface – NASA's Mars Curiosity rover finally made some moves on Wednesday. The one-ton vehicle moved more than 4 meters and rotated 120-degrees – much to the delight of NASA scientists who wanted to make sure their rover actually roves. Curiosity's next mission is to travel 400 meters to area on Mars called Glenelg – where it will perform tests on rock to get an idea of the planet's history and whether or not it once supported life. Of course, Curiosity's second, less talked about mission is to determine of Mars can support life today – namely, Libertarians can start their Ayn Rand dystopia far, far away.
And that's the way it is today – Thursday, August 23, 2012. I'm Jim Javinsky - In for Thom Hartmann – on the news.