Thom Hartmann here – on the news…
You need to know this.
While Republicans are on vacation watching the economy tank due to THEIR economic polices and have yet to put forward an actual plans to create jobs – one Democrat IS focusing on jobs. Yesterday – Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky introduced a plan that will create 2.2 million jobs over the next year and lower the unemployment rate below 8%. Remember – the debt-limit deal that Boehner said he got 98% of what he wanted in the debt-limit deal last week – will LOSE 1.8 millions jobs over the next two years. Schakowsky’s plan CREATES hundreds of thousands of jobs in several different areas – such as school improvement – neighborhood revitalization – healthcare expansion – and environmental protection. Her bill also extends unemployment benefits and protects the 99ers. And she funds this job-creating machine by raising taxes on millionaires and billionaires. This is exactly what America needs to get us out of this second Republican Great Depression.
“Sell, sell, sell!” was the directive on Wall Street yesterday as Stocks plummeted 519 points – marking the second time this week the Dow dropped more than 500 points in one day. Yesterday – $600 billion in wealth was wiped out on the Stock Market – and since July 22nd – over $2.8 trillion has disappeared in the market tailspin – screwing over millions of Americans who depend on pensions and 401Ks. Back in 2008 – we gave the banksters trillions of dollars to keep them afloat during the financial crisis. But instead of lending that money to homeowners or small businesses in trouble – they pocketed it and went to work creating more bubbles on Wall Street. Now – our economy is crumbling – and we’re watching the market bubbles burst. Hang on tight – the Dow is going to 9,000 – and the Republicans are doing everything they can to drive it there or below so they can run against Obama on a bad economy. Buckle-up.
In the best of the rest of the news…
A loss of faith. According to a new Washington Post poll – 79% of Americans are dissatisfied with the United States government. And only one out of four people ACTUALLY think our government can solve the nation’s economic problems. It appears the 30-year effort by Republicans of dragging the good name of government through the mud by running government poorly – is working. Expect these very same Republicans in Congress who’ve broken our system – to run on a campaign platform next year that government is broken. Unfortunately – what many Americans don’t realize – and what most Republicans do – is that nature abhors a vacuum. And when you shrink government – something has to fill the power vacuum – and that something is ALWAYS corporate power. Don’t get rid of the government – get rid of too much corporate influence IN government.
There was a setback yesterday in plans to wind down the Afghanistan War – the longest war in our nation’s history. The Daily Telegraph is reporting that secret peace negotiations between United States officials and the Taliban have collapsed – quashing the idea of a cease-fire anytime soon. It’s unclear why negotiations collapsed – maybe it has something to do with the Taliban thinking that if they just hold out long enough, they’ll eventually get everything they want – just like the Tea Party.
Two days after we all witnessed the tragic consequences of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision on our democracy in Wisconsin – Democrats are vowing to keep up the fight. Wisconsin Democratic Party Chairman Mike Tate said yesterday the recall efforts will continue – and guaranteed that Governor Scott Walker himself will be on a recall ballot next year. Tate told the Washington Post, “We will not stand down…we will begin anew with a Democratic Governor…we will fight for the people – not the powerful.” Well – those powerful will have a say in the next recall election. The $40 million in mostly corporate and billionaire cash that was spent to protect Republican state senators over the last few months is pocket change compared to money the oligarchs will spend to make sure Walker stays in office. We have a long, uphill battle ahead of us to restore our democracy – and it begins by overturning Citizens United – and declaring corporations are not people – and money is not speech. Go to Movetoamend.org.
The wall between church and state is crumbling in Kentucky. A religious theme park conceived by the Christian ministry “Answers is Genesis” that promotes creationism – is set to open it’s doors in 2014 – thanks in large part to massive tax breaks given by the Kentucky state legislature. Construction of the full-size version of Noah’s Ark has already received $43 million in tax breaks – and now the religious theme park will receive a 75% discount on its property taxes over the next 30 years. An official with the Kentucky tourism cabinet defended the massive tax breaks by saying, “we cannot discriminate against the project based on any religious criteria.” I wonder if a Muslim theme park would get the same generous help?
Crazy Alert! A new hit summer film – bats on a plane! A Delta flight headed to Atlanta had to be rerouted back to Madison, Wisconsin after a bat got loose in the cabin and started terrorizing passengers. The captain reportedly told the control tower he had to return to the airport to “remove a winged animal”. After a few minutes of chaos – a passenger on board forced the bat into the bathroom and closed the door while the rest of the passengers cheered. However – when the plane arrived back at the airport – no bat could be found – it had vanished. Unclear what happened to the bat – though I have a feeling it has something to do with the mysterious looking passenger in the back of the plane - the guy wearing the cape and demanding everyone call him, “The Count.”
And that’s the way it is today – Thursday, August 11, 2011. I’m Thom Hartmann – on the news.