Thom Hartmann here – on the news…
You need to know this. He did what he needed to do – but it was a not-so-Super Tuesday for Mitt Romney last night. While taking six of the 11 state primaries – including the most coveted state of Ohio – and nabbing the lion’s share of delegates in Tuesday night’s primaries – Romney was still unable to take control of the Republican race in a way that the establishment had hoped for. Santorum stayed in the game by winning four contests last night – and even Newt Gingrich was able to put a victory under his belt in his home state of Georgia – the biggest primary state up for grabs. In every state – Mitt Romney underperformed, based on polls numbers heading into Tuesday night – and, in Ohio, he just barely avoided a catastrophic loss by beating Santorum by a mere 1%. So while Romney appears in better shape to win the nomination after Super Tuesday – this primary season isn’t going to end anytime soon. That means Republicans will have to continue telling the truth to the America people about their plans to profitize Medicare and Social Security, promote endless war with Iran, and give the super rich more of our money by further cutting their taxes. The American people have spoken – and Mitt Romney really isn’t their guy – but Wall Street will spend a few hundred million dollars in the next several months to keep their guy going.
In screwed news…the American people have lost one of the most progressive Members of Congress and a champion of the Middle Class. Congressman Dennis Kucinich lost a primary battle last night in Ohio against a fellow Democrat – Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur. Because Republicans in the Ohio state legislature redrew the Congressional districts, Ohio lost two Congressional seats – forcing Kaptur and Kucinich to face off against each other last night. From the start, Congressman Kucinich was facing an uphill battle – having to compete mostly in Kaptur’s former district. From being one of the most vocal critics of war to taking on corporate power – Congressman Kucinich was a force in Congress – and will no doubt find a new role moving forward in the progressive movement. On the bright side – Ohio’s 9th district is all but guaranteed to stay in the Democrats’ hands – as the Republican nominee is none other than Joe the Plumber.
In the best of the rest of the news…
European austerity continues to takes its toll. First – on Tuesday – Greece issued a warning to all the banksters who’ve invested in about $260 billion worth of Greek debt – telling them they'd better take a new deal accepting about half the value of their investments – or risk getting nothing at all. Greece is hoping that about 90% of its investors will take the haircut – giving Greece a chance to restructure its debt in a way that’s more manageable. Investors have until Thursday to decide if they’ll take the deal – but if they choose not to – then once again a Greek default becomes a very real possibility. Meanwhile – the austerity-ravaged U.K. economy continues to tank. Having experienced virtually no economic growth in the last year and a half since Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron declared his nation was entering the “Age of Austerity” – the U.K. has officially been overtaken by Brazil as the world’s sixth largest economy. Unlike the United States and Europe – Brazil has strong regulation on its banking sector and protections for its labor force – meaning it came out the other end of the 2008 global financial crisis virtually unscathed. Brazil belongs to the BRIC nations alongside Russia, India, and China. And if things keep going the way they are in the world economy – it will be the BRIC nations – and not the U.S. and Europe – calling the shots in the not-too-distant future.
From economic woes in Europe to economic woes in the United States. A new study from the National Poverty Center shows that extreme poverty in America has doubled in the last 15 years – bringing the number of Americans who live on less than two-dollars a day to 1.46 million. This is an outrage in a nation of four hundred billionaires who own more wealth than 150 million other Americans combined – and more proof that Reagan’s trickle-down economics is nothing more than a scam.
A new front has opened up in the battle against Citizens United. One day after more than 50 towns across Vermont voted to overturn the Supreme Court’s radical decision – a New York State Senate Committee is expected to vote on legislation that could help mitigate some of the disastrous effects of Citizens United. The legislation – introduced by state Senator Daniel Squadron – would force corporations to gain the approval of their shareholders before engaging in any political spending – force corporations to disclose all of their political spending – and finally force corporations to justify the corporate benefits they get from any political spending. It’s very similar to the DISCLOSE Act which passed the House back in 2010 – but was filibustered by Republicans in the Senate. While this is just a baby-step in the right direction – sunlight IS the best disinfectant. So let’s hope other states follow with similar legislation – while the big battle continues, to pass a constitutional amendment saying corporations are not people and money is property, not speech.
The war on voting rights in Wisconsin was temporarily put on hold Tuesday. Governor Scott Walker and his Republican buddies in the state legislature passed a radical voter ID law last year that could disenfranchise tens of thousands of eligible voters in the Badger state. Recognizing that – Dane County Judge David Flanagan blocked the law from going into effect – calling it “extremely broad and largely needless.” Judge Flanagan went on to say that, “irreparable harm is likely to occur in the absence of an injunction.” Republicans in the state are outraged – and are calling for an investigation into Judge Flanagan after the ruling. That’s because they know the only way Governor Walker keeps his jobs during an upcoming recall election – is to make sure angry Wisconsinites can’t vote.
And that’s the way it is today – Wednesday, March 7th, 2012. I’m Thom Hartmann – on the news.