Thom Hartmann here – on the news…
You need to know this. Occupy Wall Street is bringing down the big banks. According to the Credit Union National Association – or CUNA – more than 650,000 people have moved their money into local credit unions across the nation in just the last 4 weeks – coinciding with the rise of Occupy Wall Street – and Bank of America’s decision to set up a $5 debit card fee…a decision the bank has since backed down from. More people fled the big banks and joined credit unions in the last month – than they did through the entire year of 2010. Credit Unions now have $4.5 billion in additional savings – and four out of every five credit unions across America have reported growth. These staggering new numbers run up to “Bank Transfer Day” which is Saturday, November 5th, when all Americans are encouraged to drop their accounts with Wall Street – and instead do business with local credit unions on Main Street. If Congress doesn’t want to do its job and end too big to fail banksters – then the people will just starve the banksters themselves. Move your money!
Occupy Mitch McConnell’s office! Yesterday – a group of about 20 unemployed Americans staged a sit-in inside Senator Mitch McConnell’s Senate office – vowing to stay there until the Senator met with them. As one of the members of the group said, “The people here have suffered unbelievable hardship…and they believe that Senator McConnell needs to hear their story, needs to understand the pain… folks are angry and tired and they feel like he needs to hear them.” Well – rather than hearing any stories – Senator McConnell took refuge on the floor of the Senate all day yesterday to lead a unified Republican filibuster to block another jobs bills that would have put 450,000 Americans – many of whom were sitting in his office – back to work rebuilding America’s infrastructure. Even though the legislation again got a majority of votes in the Senate – it didn’t get the 60 votes needed to overcome a filibuster. The 1% has their lobbyists swarming Capitol Hill – but the 99% has its occupiers who are just now taking to Capitol Hill. We’ll see which side is more effective now.
In the best of the rest of the news…
Despite best efforts by Republicans to crash the economy – 80,000 new jobs were added last month – and the unemployment rate ticked down to 9%. For the nineteenth straight month – President Obama added new private sector jobs across the nation – more than 104,000 of them in October. However – a lot of those gains were offset by Republican Governors laying off government workers – as they’ve done every month this year so far to keep unemployment rates high. 24,000 government employees lost their jobs last month – meaning if only Republicans would ditch their political maneuvering to crash our economy with deep spending cuts – then maybe we could see a full-on economic recovery in America.
Judgment day for Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou. One day after ditching plans to hold a national vote on the Greek bailout – and amid calls for his resignation – Prime Minister Papandreou faces a critical no-confidence vote today that could lead to the collapse of the Greek government. Currently – Papandreou’s ruling party only has a 2-seat majority in the assembly – meaning if just 2 members jump ship – it could be the end of Socialist party rule in Greece – which came to power back in 2009 after the nation learned that Goldman Sachs had, for a half-billion dollar fee, helped the nation fudge its financial records so they could qualify for entry into the EU. In the battle raging between democracy and bankster bailouts – bankster bailouts have prevailed in Greece…for now.
Republicans who think President Obama is making a mistake ending the Iraq War this year are out on a boat by themselves. According to a new Gallup poll – 75% of Americans support the President’s decision to withdraw American troops from Iraq at the end of the year. That includes a whopping 96% of Democrats and 77% of independents. The nation is increasingly over it with a decade of Republican wars.
Voters in Ohio are gearing up for an important election next week – when Republican Governor John Kasich’s radical anti-union law known as SB-5 is put on the ballot for repeal. According to early polls – voters overwhelmingly support repeal of the law – which could be a huge lift for the national labor movement – and disastrous for the right-wing anti-union agenda. And the 1%ers who support the law are getting some help down the stretch from a familiar friend…Citizens United. That’s right – the hard-right organization famous for winning the Supreme Court decision last year affirming that money is speech – and that, as people, corporations can spend unlimited amounts of money in our elections – is planning to dump huge amounts of cash into next week’s Ohio elections. The group will spend six figures on a new ad-campaign in a last ditch effort to sway voters before Tuesday. “We Are Ohio” – the group spearheading efforts to repeal SB-5 - called Citizens United’s decision to meddle in the Ohio election, “a desperate attempt by another shadowy out-of-state group that refuses to disclose the source of its money.” Welcome to elections now owned by cranky billionaires, since the Supreme Court ruined our democracy.
Crazy Alert! Vote Birther in 2012. The queen of all the birthers – Orly Taitz - announced she is running for Senate in California to unseat Senator Dianne Feinstein next year. She said she likes her chances because she is the, “best known of the candidates who have announced that they are running.” Of course she is known strictly for being a birther, before being birther was even cool. On a side note – she is running on a platform against so-called Free Trade, which she says is destroying American jobs – so she does have that going for her. But I doubt she can stay on message – especially if she picks fellow BIRTHER Donald Trump as her running mate for a BIRTHER-BIRTHER ticket – and gives a nod to another BIRTHER Sheriff Joe Arpaio to be the new BIRTHER Attorney General. Look out for all the noun, verb, BIRTHER campaign slogans next year.
And that’s the way it is today – Friday, November 4th, 2011. I’m Thom Hartmann – on the news.