In today's On the News segment: Libyan Leader Moammar Qaddafi was buried in Libya today, backlash is underway against Republican governors who attacked labor unions this year, Republicans aren't looking out for the 1 percent ... they're looking out for the two-tenths of one percent, new report uncovers disturbing problems with so-called crisis pregnancy centers in North Carolina, WikiLeaks is drowning from financial block by American banks, Fox so-called News is now in the crosshairs of Anonymous, and more.
Thom Hartmann here – on the news…
You need to know this. Libyan Leader Moammar Gadhafi was buried in Libya today – essentially closing the book on the United State’s military effort to oust him from power. And if President Obama thought he’d get some credit for toppling a dictator in the Arab world without putting one U.S. troop on the ground – he thought wrong. As an analysis from Smart Politics found – of the 53 Members of Congress who released statements on Gadhafi’s death – only 7 Members gave credit to President Obama – and only 1 Republican did. Meanwhile, the President is also having a difficult a time getting Republicans to support his decision to end the war in Iraq at the end of the year. I guess the only way to please the John McCains and Lindsey Grahams of the world – is to start a new war every year or two – and never end them.
The backlash is underway against Republican Governors who attacked labor unions this year. Next month – voters in Ohio will get a chance to repeal SB-5 – the law pushed by Governor John Kasich to strip collective bargaining rights from public workers. According to a new Quinnipiac poll – SB-5 is in big trouble with 57% of voters supporting repeal – and only 32% against it. But Governor John Kasich has it easy. While his signature legislation may suffer defeat next month – at least he’ll still get to keep his job. The same can’t be said about Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker who passed similar legislation – and will likely face a recall election next year as a result. Don’t mess with working people.
In the best of the rest of the news…
Republicans aren’t looking out for the 1%...they’re looking out for the two-tenths of one percent. After Senate Republicans filibustered a job creation bill that would have put 400,000 teachers, cops, and firefighters back to work thanks to a one-half of one percent tax hike on people who earn more than a millions bucks – Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell defended the move saying, “The President should drop his obsession with raising taxes.” But a new analysis by Citizens for Tax Justice found the new surtax on millionaires will only affect just two-tenths of one percent of the population…that’s it. That’s whom Republicans were protecting with their filibuster – the two-tenths of one percenters. It looks like it may be time to start the 99.8% movement.
Florida Governor Rick Scott’s crusade against the privacy rights of the poor has been put on hold. A federal judge yesterday blocked the Governor’s new law requiring welfare recipients to submit to drug testing because it violates the Constitutions’ protections against unreasonable searches and seizures. In her ruling – Judge Mary Scriven – who was appointed by George W. Bush – sided with a 35-year-old Navy veteran who refused to take the required drug test and took it to court. She wrote: “This potential interception of positive drug tests by law enforcement implicates a `far more substantial' invasion of privacy than in ordinary civil drug testing cases." Now – with harassing poor people off the table – maybe Rick Scott can move on to real issues – like addressing the state’s massive 10.7% unemployment rate?
A new report by the pro-choice group NARAL uncovered disturbing problems with so-called crisis pregnancy centers in North Carolina. These centers – that are mostly set up by anti-abortion groups and receive taxpayer funding – routinely give women misinformation about abortion risks and consequences. The report found that a vast majority of the taxpayer funded facilities have no professional medical staff – yet only one quarter of the facilities admitted they weren’t a medical center. Not only that – two thirds of the centers gave false medical advice – and one center even told a Jewish woman she’d go to hell unless she converted to Christianity. Again – these are centers that receive taxpayer money. And in North Carolina the number of these centers has doubled since 2006 – as Republican lawmakers have defunded actual medical clinics associated with Planned Parenthood and instead put that money toward these crisis pregnancy centers focused on religious teaching and medical misinformation. The Republican war on women grows - and you and I are paying for it with our taxes.
Wikileaks is drowning. In a press conference yesterday – Wikileaks founder Julian Assange announced the site will no longer be publishing material until it can break through a “financial blockade” imposed on the site by American banks. Assange claimed that 95% of Wikileaks’ revenue has been destroyed as a result of banks blocking funding to the site – and that if this blockade isn’t ended by the end of the year – Wikileaks will go dark. Assange said, "The US government itself found that there were no lawful grounds to add WikiLeaks to a US financial blockade. But the blockade of WikiLeaks by politicised US finance companies continues regardless." Meanwhile, these same banks and paypal continue to process payments for racist and white supremacist sites. Bankster morality seems to only involve an organization with the potential to out bankster crimes.
Fox so-called News is now in the crosshairs of Anonymous. The hack-activist group released a video detailing their newest operation – known as Operation Fox Hunt – which will culminate in the shutting down of the Fox News website on November 5th. In the video – the staple digitized voice of Anonymous points to Fox’s “continued propaganda against the occupations” as a reason to hack the site. It goes on to say, “Since they will not stop ridiculing the occupiers, we will simply shut them down. Fox News, your time has come.” Who will be affected most by a Fox so-called News shut down? The Republican Party – whose re-election chances plummet without their GOP-TV spin machine.
Crazy Alert! Elvis has left the building. And so has Elvis. And Elvis, and Elvis, and Elvis. More than 60 Elvis impersonators had to flee a hotel convention in the U.K after a fire alarm went off. As one hotel guest described the scene, “I was in a bit of a state getting out of my room But I was more confused when I got outside to see all these people dressed as Elvis. There were people in full Elvis jumpsuits and wigs." While several dozen men donning pompadours, gaudy sunglasses, and white rhinestone jumpsuits might be an unusual sight across the pond – in Las Vegas, it’s called Tuesday.
And that’s the way it is today – Tuesday, October 25th, 2011. I’m Thom Hartmann – on the news.