RT

You're right, Rick - the smart people will never be on your side...

To understand the plight of the American middle class today - you have to understand that a crime has taken place. The Middle Class isn't dying today because of a random financial crisis in 2007 triggering a deep, and long-lasting recession. The Middle Class is dying today because of a decades-long - arguably criminal - effort to rig the American economy in favor of the corporate elite - and transfer massive amounts of wealth from the vast majority of Americans up to the top 1%. We're now in the final stages of this effort - and more and more Americans are waking up to what's really happening. In a recent article published for AlterNet - David Degraw - highlights each incident of theft against the middle class by the corporate elite. There're the Reagan tax cuts and destruction of labor unions beginning in the 1980's that fueled an enormous pay gap between CEOs and workers - so that 30 years ago, CEOs made 25 times more than their average worker - and yet today make as much as 500 times more than their average worker. Those same policies have resulted in the top 1% seeing their share of national income triple over the last three decades, while the bottom 90% have seen their share drop by 20%. Years of lobbying and outright bribery have rigged the tax code against working Americans - forcing them to pay a higher tax rate than members of the corporate elite like Mitt Romney and Warren Buffett.

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Should Strip Tease be Considered Art & be Tax Free?

Sheila Hageman, former strip teaseer & author "Stripped Down" joins Thom Hartmann. When you think of strip clubs and lapdances - do you think of pieces of fine art too? Well some people think a lapdance is as artful as a Monet painting or a Bach concerto. But let's be honest - is it really?

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The Good, The Bad and the Very Very Inexpugnableously Ugly!

The Good! *People of the World* On Friday - UN officials told a conference in Geneva, Switzerland that the ozone hole over the Antarctic will be smaller this year than it was last year. The officials also said that this goes to show how a ban on harmful substances - like CFC's - has helped to stop Ozone depletion. The ban on chemicals like CFC's was initiated with the signing of the Montreal Protocol 25 years ago. UN weather expert Geir Braathen told reporters at the Geneva conferecnes that the ban "has prevented a major environmental disaster and globablly ozone depletion has leveled off." So what's the bottom line here? Despite what Republicans in Washington will tell you - climate change is very real - and it can also be curbed directly through human action. We have a lot of work to do to save our environment - and it's time we got started. The Bad! *Congressman. Peter King (R-NY)* On NBC's Meet The Press yesterday - King told David Gregory that President Obama's orders to withdraw troops from Iraq - and end the war there - brought on last week's embassy attacks in the Middle East. and the Very Very Ugly! *Newsweek* Moving on from Congressman King's outrageous comments to an outrageous magazine cover. This week's edition of Newsweek - released today - features a picture of Muslims - with a big, bold title of "Muslim Rage" After the attacks in Benghazi last week - we saw numerous images of Libyans holding up signs in support of the US - and in support of what Ambassador ...

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Teachers Strike: Chicago is just the beginning

Josh Eidelson, Salon.com, joins Thom Hartmann. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is fed up with his city's teacher's strike - and wants to use legal action to force teachers and school workers to go back to work. Will Emanuel get his wish from the courts - or will the fight for better wages and better public schools march on in the Windy City?

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Hartmann Vs. Selig - Trickle-down economics only creates a nation of peons

David Selig, Conservative Commentator, joins Thom Hartmann. The message of economic equality that we hear coming from the Occupy movement hinges a lot on tax policy. One of the main gripes that Occupy has articulated over the last year was that the 1% no longer pays their fair share in taxes. Conservatives don't disagee - but they argue that low taxes on the 1%, will actually benefit all of us in the long run. They say it's all about helping the so-called job creators - making sure they keep more of their money to...well...create jobs. It's the basis of Reaganomics - or trickle-down economics. But as we know today - it doesn't work. Trickle-down economics works only to create a nation of peons. Since this trickle-down economic philosophy has been adopted - job creation has slowed - economic activity has been stagnant - and only the very very rich, the top 1% have seen any economic gains - while the rest of has have seen losses. And now there's this: a new report by the Congressional Research Service that delivers the death blow to trickle-down economics. The report examines tax policy since 1945 to determine whether or not low taxes on the rich actually benefits the economy. The report's conclusion: they don't. As the report says: "The results of the analysis suggest that changes over the past 65 years in the top marginal tax rate and the top capital gains tax rate do not appear correlated with economic growth...However, the top tax rate reductions appear to be associated ...

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Screwed - Citizens United

David Cobb, Move To Amend / Lawyer / Democracy Unlimited joins Thom Hartmann. One of the most contentious Senate races this year is in Massachusetts - between Elizabeth Warren and Sen. Scott Brown. How has Warren become the Occupy movement's biggest champion - and isn't her anti corporate personhood message at the center of Occupy's cause?

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One Year later...Can OWS have an impact without physical encampments?

Jesse LaGreca, Journalist/OWS participant & Ravi Ahmad, activist/ participant-OWS NY join Thom Hartmann. One year ago - Occupy Wall Street hit the streets of New York City - marking the beginning of one of the largest grassroots social change movements in American history. We'll take a look at what Occupy has accomplished over the last year - and talk about the work that still needs to be done to create lasting change.

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Happy Birthday OWS...The Game is Rigged - Keep it Up!

Happy Birthday Occupy Wall Street. One year ago today...Americans started occupying Zuccotti Park in lower Manhattan - and over the next several weeks - hundreds of similar occupations popped up all around the nation. The movement went mainstream - and average middle class Americans were drawn to it because it targeted the two fundamental crises facing not just working people in America - but working people around the world. The first being the corporate coup de tat of our democracy. And the second being the subsequent corporate takeover of the economy - and the emergence of a globalized corporate financial economy that is today collapsing under its own weight. And since one year later - these two crises are still threatening us all - the Occupy Movement is just as important than ever. On the first front - there's a new report, written by an international commission chaired by Kofi Annan, which sends a warning to the world's democracies, specifically the United States, about the corrupting influence of corporations and money in the democratic process. As the report - titled "Deepening Democracy: a Strategy for Improving the Integrity of Elections Worldwide" - states, quote: "Across the world, uncontrolled political finance threatens to hollow out democracy and rob it of its unique strengths."

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Full Show 9/17/12: Occupy Turns One

Thom talks the one year anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street movement with three OWS participants. Also discussed: Elizabeth Warren's surge in the polls following her DNC speech, a new study released that takes down trickle-down economics and the latest from the Chicago teachers strike. In tonight's "Daily Take" Thom discusses how the system's been rigged in favor of the 1% for decades.

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The Arab Spring "J Curve"

So, what the heck is going on in the Middle East right now? I submit for your consideration that what we're seeing is actually the logical continuation of revolutions against poverty and dictatorship that we've been calling the "Arab Spring." And it's going to continue - and get worse - until one very specific thing happens. Here's why and how. In a brilliant paper that explains revolutions far better than Marx & Engles, back in 1962 James C. Davies wrote for the American Sociological Review an article titled, "Toward a Theory of Revolution." In it, he proposed that revolutions don't happen because life is intolerable for people, which was basically Marx's theory. He points out correctly that there are countries all over the world and all through history where life was and is terrible, but people don't revolt. Keep in mind that of the 7 billion people on earth right now, about 5 and a half billion of them live on less than $5 a day, and about 3 billion of them live on less than $2 a day. Over a billion of them don't even have access to sanitation or safe drinking water. But they're not revolting. Why is that? Davies proposed that it's not life being terrible that provokes revolutions. Instead, it's all about the gap between what people expect life to be like and what it's actually like. When that gap is small - people live in squalor, but just figure that's the hand life has dealt them - then you don't have revolution. But when that gap is large, when people expect that ...

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Gov. Jesse Ventura - How Pro Wrestling Prepares you for Politics

Gov. Jesse Ventura, former Gov. of Minnesota, joins Thom Hartmann. Corporations have destroyed our Democracy - with both Republicans and Democrats listening to the money - and not to we the people. How do we retake control of our government - and restore our founding fathers vision for America?

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The Big Picture Rumble - Obamacare is working!

Marc Harrold, Libertarian Commentator & Erikka Knuti, Democratic Strategist & Neil Munro, The Daily Caller all join Thom Hartmann.

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The Big Picture Rumble - Who Mitt Romney thinks are middle income Americans?

Marc Harrold, Libertarian Commentator & Erikka Knuti, Democratic Strategist & Neil Munro, The Daily Caller all join Thom Hartmann.

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The Big Picture Rumble - diplomatic community calling Romney out, too...

Marc Harrold, Libertarian Commentator & Erikka Knuti, Democratic Strategist & Neil Munro, The Daily Caller all join Thom Hartmann.

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Full Show 9/14/12: Gov. Ventura Vs. Gang Gov't

Thom talks with Governor Jesse Ventura about America's troubled political system and his new book "Democrips and Rebloodlicans." Tonight's "Big Picture Rumble" panel discusses Romney's handling of the unrest in the Middle East, the Fed's new stimulus plan and the latest from the Chicago Teacher's strike. In tonight's "Daily Take" Thom explains what's really going on in the Middle East.

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Our kids are counting on us to reverse austerity.

According to UNICEF, even in the world's richest countires, children remain “the most enduring victims” of the recession. In the last six years, 2.6 million more kids have fallen below the poverty line, and more than half of them live right here in the United States.

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