In today's On the News segment: New poll shows that two-thirds of Americans - and even 53 percent of Republicans - support raising taxes on the wealthy, the 30-year cold war between the United States and Iran may soon turn hot, Republicans unanimously filibustered Obama's jobs bill in the Senate last night, the 99 percent movement took to the halls of the Senate yesterday, Occupy Wall Street movement is going global, and more.
Karl Frisch here in for Thom Hartmann – on the news…
You need to know this. There was another Republican debate last night – this time Bloomberg News hosted the circus. Ironically – Bloomberg just released a new poll before the debate showing that 2/3 of Americans – and even 53% of Republicans – support raising taxes on the wealthy. Of course – none of the candidates on stage last night agreed with the majority of the American people – and all called for even lower taxes on the wealthy. Other highlights of the debate included – Newt Gingrich calling for Congressman Barney Frank and former Senator Chris Dodd to be put in jail and Rick Santorum asking for a trade war with China. But perhaps most telling about last night’s debate was how virtually all the candidates ignored Rick Perry. A bad sign for the former front-runner who stuck his boot so far in his mouth in the first few debates – that it looks like his campaign is officially over flat-lining. There’s at least one positive takeaway form last night’s debate – not one time did the audience cheer death, sickness, joblessness, or homophobia. That’s a start at least…
The 30-year cold war between the United States and Iran may soon turn hot. The Department of Justice yesterday outlined a foiled assassination plot against the Saudi Ambassador to the United States – that was allegedly sponsored by elements of the Iranian government. The Obama Administration claims that two men – one of which is an American citizen – working at the behest of the Iranian government approached a DEA informant in Mexico – offering up $1.5 million for the death of the Saudi Ambassador. Plans were then made to bomb the Saudi Arabian embassy in Washington, DC – or a crowded restaurant that the ambassador often visited. According to the Washington Post – Justice Department officials were taken aback by the brazenness of the plot. But Attorney General Eric Holder had tough word for Iran yesterday saying, “The United States is committed to holding Iran accountable for its actions.” And already – Some Republican members of Congress are calling this “act of war.” Iran meanwhile – is denying their involvement and is calling the whole ordeal a complete fabrication.
In the best of the rest of the news…
Even though President Obama’s American Jobs Act could create 3 million much-needed jobs for our struggling economy – Republicans unanimously filibustered it in the Senate last night. While Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was able to garner a majority of votes in the Senate to pass the legislation – including 51 of 53 Democrats – he fell short of the 60 votes needed to break a unified Republican filibuster. Of course in the House – things are worse. There – Republicans have vowed to not even hold a vote on the jobs bill. So – with unemployment over 9% - the President’s American Jobs Act is being filibustered by Republicans in the Senate – and ignored by Republicans in the House. I guess it’s time to officially run against the “Do-Nothing” Congress.
Even though the American Jobs Act was killed – the Senate did come together in an unusual move of bipartisanship last night to pass legislation that could impose trade tariffs on China. The legislation requires the Treasury Department to study whether or not China is artificially keep its currency too low in order to have an unfair advantage in world trade and flood the global market with cheap goods. If the Treasury Department finds that is the case – then tough new tariffs – or taxes – will be placed on Chinese goods to level the playing field. Even though Democrats in the House support the measure – Republican leadership is trying to avoid holding a vote on it. And President Obama isn’t too thrilled about the legislation either – fearing that it could spark a trade war with China. While it might be unclear whether or not this specific legislation is the best way to address our so-called Free Trade problem – one thing is clear – our nation needs to do something drastic to protect American industries and jobs again if we hope to be the top economy in the 21st century.
The 99% movement took to the halls of the Senate yesterday in an act of civil disobedience against bought-out Senators. Several people were arrested after they entered the Hart Senate office building and unfurled banners in the atrium calling for an end to the war and chanting, “tax the rich, end the wars.” Meanwhile - just like the banking system – the Occupy Wall Street movement is going global. This weekend – demonstrators are expected to converge on the London Stock Exchange to being a peaceful occupation. So far, 3,500 people have confirmed they plan to attend the demonstration. What started as a small group camping out in New York City is now turning into a worldwide phenomenon. And it’s only going to get bigger.
While Republicans push budget cutting austerity measures here in the United States – the world is getting a glimpse of just how bad austerity is for the economy in the United Kingdom. Turns out budget cuts don’t create jobs – they kill jobs. After a year of austerity – unemployment has increased to 8.1% - higher than any other time since 1996. And now – 1 in 5 Britons between ages 18 and 24 are unemployed – the highest rate since 1992. Along with persistent unemployment – the British economy has failed to grow – staying stagnant now for more than a year. So yeah – if we want high unemployment and no growth – then we should do what the Brits are doing – and what Republicans here want to do – cut spending.
And finally…Welcome to Topeka, Kansas where domestic abusers get off scot-free. In a bizarre move – the cash-strapped city voted to repeal local laws that make domestic violence a crime. The city believes it will save them money as both the City Council and the District Attorney refuse to pay for the legal costs associated with bring cases against domestic abusers. The New York Times is reporting that 18 people who were arrested for domestic violence since September have been let free since no local agency seems to want to do its job. Want to know what a Libertarian paradise of no government looks like? Check out what’s happening in Topeka.
And that’s the way it is today – Wednesday, October 12th, 2011. I’m Karl Frisch for Thom Hartmann– on the news.