In today's On the News segment: Speaker of the House John Boehner made history yesterday by rejecting a presidential request for a joint session of Congress, Michigan Republican Gov. Rick Snyder is donning his reverse Robin Hood hat, census data shows that most Texas job creation between 2009 and 2010 was thanks to the government, and more.
Thom Hartmann here – on the news…
You need to know this. Speaker of the House John Boehner made history yesterday. After President Obama requested a joint session of Congress to announce his new jobs plan next week – on September 7th – Boehner REJECTED the request - and instead suggested Americans should choose between watching the President or the opening day of the football season. According to the Senate historian – never in the history of this nation had Congress ever rejected a presidential request for a joint session of Congress. Never. And, by the way, never in this history of our nation has a president ever had to produce his birth certificate, either. Never in history has a president been called a liar by a sitting Supreme Court Justice during a State of the Union address, or been heckled as a liar by a southern Congressman. In the end – President Obama gave in to Speaker Boehner’s demands (once again) and agreed to September 8th. So ultimately – yesterday turned out like every other day. It started with the president wanting to talk about jobs – the Republicans sabotaging that effort – and then President Obama caving in. So, we’ll all get to watch the debut of “Governor Good Hair” Rick Perry in the Republican debate, instead of hearing the President share his jobs ideas with Congress. And the following night, the President goes up against the Packers and the Saints. While I'm rooting for the President, I'm guessing most Americans will be watching the Packers.
At least that's the Republican plan.
Michigan Republican Governor Rick Snyder is donning his reverse Robin Hood hat – stealing from the poor to give to the rich. The Governor is expected to sign legislation that cuts the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program in Michigan from 60 weeks to 48 weeks. As a result – on October 1st – more than 11,000 desperately poor people in Michigan will lose a critical lifeline. However, at the same time – Rick Snyder wants to toss his CEO corporate donors a nice fat tax break, signing into law an 86% tax cut on corporations that with cost Michigan $1.7 billion – far more than the $60 million the state is saving by cutting welfare to the poor. In other words – for every dollar Governor Snyder is taking from the poor – he’s giving 30 dollars to transnational corporations. The Sheriff of Nottingham would be proud.
In the best of the rest of the news…
A new Wikileaks release details shock and horror in Iraq. One of the latest leaked state department cables – alleges that back during Bush's presidency in 2006 - U.S troops executed at least 10 Iraqi civilians – including 5 children – and 4 women – and then called in a airstrike to destroy the evidence. At the time – Bush's military officials denied the incident. But as this Wikileaks release shows – a U.N.special investigator uncovered evidence to the contrary, noting that morgue reports showed that all victims were handcuffed and shot in the head execution style. The investigator, Philip Alston, writes in the cable, “ [U.S.] troops entered the house, handcuffed all residents and executed all of them. After the initial…intervention, a U.S. air raid ensued that destroyed the house." Once again – it takes Wikileaks to reveal to the American people the secret horrors of war.
So much for Republican Presidential candidate Jon Huntsman being the moderate. The former Governor of Utah unveiled his job creation plan yesterday – and it turns out he’s just another shill for millionaires, billionaires, and transnational corporations. Huntsman’s plan would lower the top income tax rate on the wealthiest Americans from 35% down to 23% - lower than it was during the Coolidge and Hoover administrations in the 1920’s that led to the Great Depression. He’s also proposing eliminating the capital gains tax altogether – ensuring that billionaires like Warren Buffett and the Walton family pay pretty
much nothing in taxes. And how will Huntsman pay for these gigantic tax cuts for the uber-rich? By taxing the middle class – and seniors collecting Social Security. Huntsman also pushed for more pollution – more drilling for oil – and more free trade. Republicans may occasionally sound moderate, but the reality is that when the super-rich say "Jump," Republican's only question is "How high?"
Rick Perry is a big government “socialist”! While Governor Good Hair is on the campaign trail touting his impressive record of job creation – census data shows most of that Texas job creation was thanks to the government. Between 2009 and 2010 – Governor Rick Perry added a higher percentage of government workers than any other Governor in the country – hiring more than 17,000 government workers. Of course this is the same guy who claims the government can’t create jobs. But his actions show Rick Perry had his state hire enough folks to be able to brag that his state created more jobs than any other state - just in time to run for President.
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is getting what he asked for – a massive exodus of public employees from the state. So far – nearly 10,000 public workers – many of them teachers – have retired or left their jobs this year – that’s more than double the amount of retirees during all of last year. And most who’ve left point to Scott Walker’s anti-union legislation that requires public workers to pay more for their benefits as the primary reason. As one retiring teacher in Green Bay noted, “It wouldn't make sense for me to teach one more year and basically lose $8,000." Now Wisconsin is struggling with a lack of qualified teachers. When Governor Walker wins – everyone loses.
Crazy Alert! The Great Masticator! Norwegian authorities are on the hunt for a man who allegedly walked into a museum and stole an 8-foot tall whale tooth. The suspect – described as a man between 40 and 50 wearing a black leather hat and dark coat – was seen fleeing the museum with a big white dog by his side. According to museum officials – the whale tooth is more than 100 years old and is estimated to be worth about $9,000. But we hear from supply-side economists that the tooth thief can earn far more than that in a deal with the tooth fairy.
And that’s the way it is today – Thursday, September 1st, 2011. I’m Thom Hartmann – on the news.