On the News With Thom Hartmann: Majority Leader Eric Cantor Has Financial Stake in Dollar Collapse, and More

Friday, 01 July 2011 06:59 By Thom Hartmann, The Thom Hartmann Program | News Report
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On the News With Thom Hartmann Majority Leader Eric Cantor Has Financial Stake in Dollar Collapse and More

Incoming House Majority Leader Eric Cantor. (Photo: Drew Angerer / The New York Times)


Thom Hartmann here – on the news…

You need to know this.  Minnesota is closed for business.  At midnight – the government of Minnesota shutdown as Democratic Governor Mark Daytona and Republican state lawmakers couldn’t reach a deal on how to close a $5 billion budget deficit left behind by the former Governor of Minnesota - Tim Pawlenty.  In what looks like a microcosm of the debate on Capitol Hill – Governor Dayton wanted to include – along with deep spending cuts – an income tax hike on millionaires and billionaires to promote shared sacrifice in the effort to fix the state’s budget deficit.  But Minnesota Republicans absolutely wouldn’t budge on that – thus shutting down the government.  So now as many as 35,000 government employees are being sent home without pay – a slew of government services are cut off – and state parks are closed just in time for the Fourth of July which means Republicans have not only started a war against working people – they started a war against patriotism by ruining Independence Day.  Someone call Fox News…   

When you hear someone say the American economy is recovering – ask him or her how many zeros are in their bank account.  Economists at Northeastern University have shed some light on just what the current economic recovery in America looks like – a great deal for rich people.  Since 2009 – the real nation income of the United States has increase by $528 billion.  But the lion’s share of that increase has been in corporate profits, which grew by $464 billion.  Whereas, total wages for working people in America only grew by about $7 billion.  In other words – corporate profits accounted for 88% of income growth in America over the last 2 years – but workers wages…only about 1%.  In fact – the AVERAGE hourly wage of workers in the last two years – went down, but CEOs salaries – especially on Wall Street – are surging and have returned to pre-Bush Depression levels.  Just more proof that trickle-down economics does nothing but create a nation of peons.

In the best of the rest of the news…

Want to know why House Majority Leader Eric Cantor REALLY walked away from debt-limit negotiations last week?  Because he has a financial stake in our nation defaulting on its debt.  According to Cantor’s latest financial disclosures – he has a $15,000 short on the dollar – in other words, a $15,000 bet that the US dollar’s value will plummet.  And there’s no better way to cause the dollar to lose value – than to ensure America defaults on its debt.  Cantor’s office dismissed concerns over what appears to be a blatant conflict of interest – arguing that the short bet is just part of a “balanced portfolio.”  I’ve been saying Republicans want to crash the economy to make President Obama look bad in 2012 – but it appears they also want to crash the economy to pad their own bank accounts as well.

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Is Secretary of the Treasury Tim Geithner on his way out?  According to senior White House officials – Geithner is considering leaving his post after the debt-limit fiasco is resolved.  Geithner denied the reports, saying he plans to stay in his job for the “foreseeable future” – but a source at the White House says that Geithner has been discussing plans to leave since early this year.  Secretary of Defense Robert Gates left yesterday – and a handful of other top officials have left the White House this year including Press Secretary Robert Gibbs and Economic adviser Larry Summers.   Which makes me wonder – are the rats fleeing the sinking ship?  Or is President Obama finally coming to his senses and will soon be putting some real progressives on his staff instead of the same old corporate suits.

The 2012 elections could have Stephen Colbert’s fingerprints all over them now.  Yesterday – the Federal Elections Commission gave the OK for Colbert to create his own “super PAC” – a new political machine born out of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision last year.  Super PACs can solicit unlimited corporate donations and then spend that corporate cash in our elections on stuff like television, Internet, and radio ads.  Super PACs used to not exist before Citizens United – but now there are over 100 hundred in operation around the country – mostly created by right-wingers.  And we already saw what effect these Super PACs have on our elections when they dumped hundreds of millions of dollars in secret corporate cash into the midterms last year – giving Republicans a landslide victory.  Colbert created his Super PAC – known as “Colbert Super PAC” – to highlight just how absurd campaign finance laws have gotten in America.  Now that it’s been approved by the FEC – it’s unclear how Colbert will use his new political toy.  After the ruling – Colbert told a crowd of supporters, “Today we put liberty on layaway.”

Goodbye OPEC – hello “L-PEC”?  The nations of Argentina, Bolivia, and Chile currently control about 85% of the world’s lithium reserves – a key resource as the world transitions to electric car batteries.  And those nations are now considering forming an OPEC-like cartel to make sure they’re in the best position to profit as demand for lithium increases around the world.  But this apparently doesn’t concern us here in the United States.  We’re worried about our six wars in the Arab world  to make sure our access to depleted Middle East oil isn’t disrupted.  While America may have been on the right side of history – we’re on the wrong side of the future.

Crazy Alert!  And the title for the loudest creature on the planet goes to…the micronecta scholtzi – also known as…the singing penis.  I’m not joking.  French and Scottish scientists have discovered the 2-millimeter aquatic insect with the phallic nickname is capable of producing sounds above 100 decibels – about the sound of a motorcycle 20-feet away.  The bug produces the incredibly loud sounds by rubbing its…”namesake”…against its abdomen to attract a mate.  That practice of rubbing body parts together to cause noise – also known as “stridulation” – is common in the animal kingdom – but rarely produces such deafening results.  But if you think that’s an odd way to attract a mate – consider there’s another animal on the planet that’s been known to snap photos of it’s sexual organs and send them across the Internet to prospective mates.  Now you tell me which is more bizarre…

And that’s the way it is today – Friday, July 1st, 2011.  I’m Thom Hartmann – on the news.

Thom Hartmann

Thom Hartmann is a New York Times bestselling Project Censored Award winning author and host of a nationally syndicated progressive radio talk show. You can learn more about Thom Hartmann at his website and find out what stations broadcast his radio program. He also now has a daily independent television program, The Big Picture,  syndicated by FreeSpeech TV, RT TV, and 2oo community TV stations.  You can also listen or watch Thom over the Internet.

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