Thom Hartmann here – on the news…
You need to know this. Another weekend – another surge in the Occupy Wall Street movement – or as it is now referred to with occupations taking place all around the nation – the 99% movement. Thousands of demonstrations stretched across America in 25 different cities once again over the weekend – but protestors might soon have a problem on their hands – Conservatives trying to sabotage the 99% movement. Over the weekend – an assistant editor with the right-wing magazine "The American Spectator” – bragged that he infiltrated a group of protestors as they marched to the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum on Saturday and that he was at the forefront of provoking the police to respond violently. The group was protesting the museum’s unmanned drone exhibition – and were pepper sprayed after a confrontation with museum security. Patrick Howley – the right-wing editor whose only intention was – as he put it in an article he published later - “to mock and undermine” the movement, was one of the first to taunt and confront the Museum's police. Now that it’s clear “Occupy Wall Street” isn’t going away anytime soon – and it’s only going to get bigger – watch out for other right-wing “agent provocateurs” to resort to desperate and violent tactics to sabotage this truly grassroots movement.
Speaking of the 99 percent, there’s still no economic recovery in sight for working people. According to a new New York Times report – household incomes in the United States have fallen more in the two years after the Bush recession was supposedly over – than during the recession itself. From December of 2007 to June of 2009 – when the housing bubble began to burst and Bush bailed out the banks – household income dropped 3.2%. But in the two years after that – household income fell twice as much – about 6.7%. But even though average wages are sinking – corporate CEOs – especially those on Wall Street – are taking home astronomically high paychecks just like they were before the recession. It’s the tale of two Americas – or what happens when you suck a few trillion dollars out of the middle class to bail out the banksters. OR to put it in today’s terms – an economic recovery for the 1% at the expense of the 99%.
In the best of the rest of the news…
The Planet could be just weeks away froma global economic meltdown. Last week – IMF adviser Robert Shapiro warned that the global banking system is still under unbelievable stress and could collapse in a matter of two to three weeks. Then yesterday – UK Prime Minister David Cameron echoed similar concerns – telling European leaders they have just weeks to act to avoid a financial catastrophe – suggesting Europe needs a “big bazooka” approach to averting a disaster. Looks like we’re headed for a repeat of 2008 – because governments around the world have embraced the bankster economic model of booms for the banks and austerity for the other 99 percent.
Just how out of touch are Republicans in the House of Representatives? Consider what they plan to vote on this week. With 46 million people living in poverty and unemployment above 9% - House Republicans are planning to vote on 3 Free Trade Agreements this week that will lead to even more job offshoring. They will also be voting on legislation to gut the EPA – giving their corporate owners a free ticket to pollute. And then, a vote to ban abortions – a little giveaway to the religious right that sponsored the weekend Values Voters Summit. Oh – and don’t forget – House Republicans also need to rename some post offices too. As jobs bills on the Republican agenda this week? – that number is zero. Speaker Boehner - WHERE ARE THE JOBS?!
Is our military under siege cyber warriors? According to a report by “Wired” – our nation’s unmanned drone fleet has been infected by a mysterious computer virus. The virus is logging all the commands given to the drones – though military officials have yet to determine if those commands are then being sent to an outside source. Despite repeated attempts – military officials have yet to get rid of the virus – as one unnamed source said, “We keep wiping it off, and it keeps coming back…We think it’s benign, but we just don’t know.” Odds are, though, SOMEBODY knows…
Even though the FBI closed the case on the 2001 anthrax attacks – three scientists have come forward with an explosive new report calling for the case to be reopened. In the months after 9/11 – anthrax was mailed to several media outlets including NBC News and the New York Post – as well as Democratic Senators Tom Daschle and Patrick Leahy. As a result – 5 people were killed and 17 were sickened. The FBI accused Bruce Ivins – an Army biodefense expert – of sending the anthrax – but Ivins allegedly committed suicide in 2008 and was never charged. Now, a new report suggests that Ivins may have been innocent and there's no way he could have pulled them off. Not to mention the curious circumstances surrounding the anthrax attacks and the passage of the PATRIOT Act. Senators Leahy and Daschle were the two Senators who could hold up the PATRIOT Act – but after they - and they alone, among legislators - were targeted with anthrax, they both quickly pushed the bill through Congress – and, in the process, handed over a trillion dollars to the military-industrial complex. This case certainly deserves a lot more attention.
And, finally, today is Columbus Day – when lots of Americans get a day off work to commemorate the founding of the “New World” even though it had already been found – and was settled for thousands of years before Columbus showed up. And it’s also a day commemorating a psychopath who arrived in Hispaniola in 1492 and set out to rape, slaughter, and enslave thousands of indigenous people in a manic hunt for treasure. Fifty years after Columbus landed in Hispaniola – the region’s original 3 million people were completely wiped out. Happy Genicide Day!
And that’s the way it is today – Monday, October 10th, 2011. I’m Thom Hartmann – on the news.