In today's On the News segment: On Tuesday, Sen. Ted Cruz took the floor of the Senate to launch an all-night phony filibuster; in Wisconsin, you can feel free to walk down the street carrying your loaded AR-15 rifle; not only will the Affordable Care Act provide health care to millions of Americans, but it may also save our democratic process; and more.
Thom Hartmann here – on the news...
You need to know this. On Tuesday, Sen. Ted Cruz took the floor of the Senate to launch an all-night phony filibuster. His 21-hour self-promotional charade was arranged in advance, and there was no way it would stop the Senate from voting on a continuing resolution to fund the government. Sen. Cruz stayed on the floor all night, without so much as a bathroom break, just to keep himself in the public eye, and to fund-raise for the Republican Party. Even if Sen. Cruz had the support of 60 of his fellow Senators, President Obama would veto the legislation, and it would have no effect on the Medicaid expansion or federal subsidies that will soon help people buy insurance. And, the Texas Republican only has a few allies who support his political ploy. Only a few of his Republican colleagues took to the Senate floor to ask a question, which is a procedural tactic that gave Sen. Cruz a short break from speaking. Most of his party refused to take part in the political theater, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said he would vote to cut off debate. Even Tea Party-Darling, Sen. Rand Paul reminded Sen. Cruz that Republicans "don't control all the government." Waging a 21-hour speech, regardless of the potential outcome, can be an great way to bring attention to an important issue. But, many Americans believe that this all-night political ploy was about nothing more than bringing attention to Sen. Ted Cruz.
In screwed news... In Wisconsin, you can feel free to walk down the street carrying your loaded AR-15 riffle. But, if you dare to carry a chicken, be prepared to pay a fine. To prove this point, Mark Scheffler attended a gun protest on Saturday, where he was asked to leave for carrying his brown hen named Winchester. He said, "Carrying a loaded assault weapon in downtown Appleton, the fine is zero dollars. The fine for carrying a loaded chicken – and she is loaded – is $263.50." Mark wasn't upset by the fact that he can't carry around his chicken, he was protesting the fact that people are allowed to carry dangerous weapons inside city limits. Several demonstrators joined Mr. Schffler wearing t-shirts that featured pictures of a chicken and an AR-15 riffle. Together, the group handed our leaflets asking people to call their state lawmakers and demand that the law be changed. They say they have no issue with carrying guns in rural areas, but they want cities to have the right to tell people to keep their weapons of war outside of city limits.
In the best of the rest of the news...
Not only will the Affordable Card Act provide healthcare to millions of Americans, but it may also save our democratic process. Starting October 1st, Americans will be able to register to vote when the sign up for Obamacare. Although some reports questioned whether President Obama would back down from the voter registration provision, a senior administration official called those reports "inaccurate." Perhaps this is the real reason that Republicans don't want the healthcare law to go into effect. Red state lawmakers have been waging an all-out assault on voting rights around our nation, because they know that their chances of winning goes up as more people are blocked from the polls. When people can sign up to vote easily under the Affordable Care Act, more Americans may actually start showing up to cast their ballots. Despite all of the Republicans' efforts to block the Affordable Care Act, millions of Americans will soon be able to sign up for low-cost health insurance, And, thanks to the healthcare law, millions of Americans will also be registering to vote.
On Wednesday, federal cleaning and concession workers will demand a living wage. They plan to walk off their jobs and march to the White House, calling on President Obama to increase labor standards for federal workers. It will be their first walk-out since May 21st, and the union-backed group, Good Jobs Nation, will be organizing the event. The group hopes to highlight the fact that our government is actually the largest low-wage employer in our nation, with even more workers than Wall-Mart. And, the federal workers in Washington, DC say low wages are not the only problem. They allege that many of the employers in D.C.'s federal buildings also short workers' hours, and pay them less than they are owed under federal law. While those allegations have prompted an investigation by the Department of Labor, workers say that they have the sense that the government is unlikely to help. So, low-wage federal workers are taking a stand, and demanding fair wages and respect in the workplace, and they're bringing their fight straight to our President.
And finally... A piglet's fall from a moving truck in Canada may have been the best thing that could ever happen to him. That truck was on it's way to the slaughter house, when the piglet slipped through a gap and tumbled off to the side of the road. Witnesses called local police, who called animal control to come out and pick up the piglet, and they dropped him off at the Wishing Well animal shelter in Toronto. When he arrived, the shelter's owner Brenda treated him for a few minor scrapes and bruises, and got him settled in for his comfortable new life at the no-kill shelter. Brenda has since named the little guy Yoda, and even found him a little sweater to keep him warm during the colder months. And, it appears little Yoda is settling right in. Brenda said, "He just loves to crawl into people's laps and be held. He's a little angel." Not only did Yoda's fall from the truck prevent him from becoming bacon, but it brought a wonderful new four-legged family member to the Wishing Well shelter.
And that's the way it is today – Wednesday, September 25, 2013. I'm Thom Hartmann – on the news.