Full Show 7/10/12: Voting Rights for All!

Thom calls on Congress to amend the constitution to grant voting rights to all US citizens. Also discussed: the latest from the LIBOR rate fixing scandal, whether Ron Paul will take over the GOP convention in August and in tonight's "Daily Take" Thom looks to Germany and France and their shorter work weeks to boost the US economy.

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Would Cutting the Work Week put Everyone Back to Work?

Even though Americans are some of the most overworked people in the world - our long hours at work are doing very little to help the economy recover. So - could following the European model by cutting back on the work week actually help our economy - and put all unemployed Americans back to work? According to a recent CBO report - President Obama's 2009 stimulus package saved up to 3 million jobs - preventing an all out economic catastrophe. Unfortunately - ever since then - Republicans have blocked every single stimulus measure - radically slowing down our nation's economic recovery. Republicans are even trying to make things worse by pushing for austerity and spending cuts - which cuts jobs - and Republican governors have laid off more than 600000 public workers around the nation. The result is persistently high unemployment, and Americans of all strips are calling for more "job creation." But here's the thing - we all have it all wrong! It's not jobs we should be talking about - it's hours on the job. Look at the average number of hours worked by each of the OECD nations: You'll notice at the top of the list is Greece - where workers on average put in more than 2000 hours a year on the job. That dispels that myth that the Greeks are in economic trouble because they're lazy - they actually work far more hours than the rest of Europe. But also near the top of the list is the United States - working nearly 1800 hours a year on average. Now - toward the bottom of the list ...

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Can Ron Paul Embarrass the Entire GOP Party in Tampa?

Austin Petersen, Director of Production-FreedomWorks joins Thom Hartmann. Ron Paul wants to leave a mark on the Republican Party next month - even if he's not going to be their nominee for President. What's happening in Nebraska this weekend - and what does it mean for the future of Ron Paul and his supporters?

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

The Good! *The Cork, Ireland City Council* Last night - the Cork city council became the first local authority in Ireland to officially support marriage equality. The Bad! *Matt Drudge* Drudge - the founder of the infamous conservative news site The Drudge Report - is no stranger to promoting far-right conspiracy theories. But now - he's thrown his support behind a truly absurd conspiracy theory that says President Obama was once a secret agent for the CIA in Pakistan. and the Very Very Ugly! *Congressman David Dreier (R-CA)* Last night - during a House Rules Committee debate - Dreier said that he didn't think that people with pre-existing conditions should be able to get health care insurance.

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LIBOR - We Don't Call Them Banksters for Nothing

Bartlett "Bart" Naylor, Financial Policy Advocate-Public Citizen joins Thom Hartmann. The LIBOR rate fixing is growing. After heads rolled last week at Barclays Bank following admission that the bank rigged key interest rates that underlie millions of consumer loans from home mortgages to credit cards, there are new allegations that other banks may be involved, and that this massive rip-off has been going on for decades. As one financial insider admitted to The Economist, "fifteen years ago, the word was that LIBOR was being rigged." The insider went on to say that he remembers rate fixing as far back as the 1980's. And Business Insider is reporting that the Federal Reserve was worried about LIBOR manipulation as far back as 14 years ago. Now, other banks are being investigated for their role in rate-rigging - including JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America, and UBS. However, it's unlikely anyone will actually go to jail for this multi-billion dollar fraud since we have a two-tiered justice system - one for working people who can be thrown in prison for stealing a Slurpee. And one for the banksters who get to skate with a small fine when they steal billions of dollars. Curiously, even Wall Street knows criminal activity pays off for banksters. A recent survey of 500 Wall Street senior executives revealed that 24% of bankers believe they need to "engage in unethical or illegal conduct to be successful." Tune in for more on this.

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The Religious Right Field Tests Plan for Beating Obama

Adele Stan, Alternet, joins Thom Hartmann. The Right is field-testing a plan to beat President Obama - and the main character is Ralph Reed. For our viewers who don't know him - who is he - and what's he up to now?

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Pass a Constitutional Amendment that Voting is a Right!

All across America - Republicans are trying their hardest to prevent Democratic voters from having a say in the November election. How are the horrible stories of slavery in America's past helping fuel the Republican war on voting today?

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Full Show 7/9/12: The Bigger Picture

Thom debuts "The Bigger Picture," a new segment focusing on the heart of the big issues facing our nation. Tonight's "Bigger Picture" panel discusses taxes, labor unions and voter suppression. In tonight's "Daily Take" Thom looks at how cities and towns across the country are fighting back against the big banks.

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Do Americans, without a photo ID, have a right to vote?

Mike Elk, In These Times, Vince Coglianese, Daily Caller & Sam Sacks, progressive commentator join Thom Hartmann. Let's now tackle another issue that's been in the news a lot lately: the right to vote - and if there is even such a thing. Today - in a court room down the street here in Washington, DC - state officials from Texas are defending a recently passed voter ID law that could deny hundreds of thousands of people their right to vote come November. The Department of Justice filed suit against Texas, with evidence showing that as many as 600000 registered voters lack the necessary photo ID to vote. It's the same story in Pennsylvania - where as many as 750000 registered voters could be kicked off the roles for lack of photo ID after that state as well passed a new Voter ID law. Take a look at this map created by Mother Jones - the states in red are states that have introduced legislation to restrict voters' access to the polls in just the last year. As of April of this year - 24 states have attempted to do this. And nine states - including Texas, Iowa, Wisconsin, and several others - have passed new laws requiring voter IDs just to vote. These laws will affect 3.8 million voters. And as this chart shows - the vast majority of those affected by these laws are Blacks, Latinos, young people, and senior citizens - people who tend to vote for Democrats. Now - a lot of these laws were written by the American Legislative Exchange Council - a right-wing corporate thinktank ...

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What Role do Taxes Play in a Society?

Mike Elk, In These Times, Vince Coglianese, Daily Caller & Sam Sacks, progressive commentator join Thom Hartmann. President Obama called on Congress to extend the current tax rates for all working Americans earning below $250000 a year. In this call for action - the President also argued for letting the Bush tax cuts expire for those making more than $250000 - effectively increasing taxes on the wealthy to where they were under President Clinton. Currently - the top income tax rate in America - the rate that the wealthies among us pays - is 35%. Looking all the way back to 1945 when the top rate was 94% - other than a period in the 1980's when President Reagan cut the top rate down to 28% - today's wealthiest Americans are enjoying historically low tax rates. And looking at the economics of it all - our current top income tax rate hasn't really paid off. At a top income tax rate of 35% - GDP growth has been the slowest it's ever been compared to other top incomes tax rates. So too has job creation. Our 35% top income tax rate has produced the least amount of jobs of any other income tax rate. Now this is certainly going ot be one of the top political debates heading into November. But what will be lost in between accusations of class warfare - and wealthy freeloaders - is exactly what the purpose of taxes are to begin with. As in what role do taxes play in a society - or nation - like ours? And just how much should the very wealthy contribute in taxes, while still keeping ...

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Is Union busting to blame for the power outages in DC?

Mike Elk, In These Times, Vince Coglianese, Daily Caller & Sam Sacks, progressive commentator join Thom Hartmann. In Scranton, Pennsylvania - despite winning a legal battle, police and firefighters unions have lost a battle with the city over their wages. Last week - the Mayor of Scranton, Chris Doherty, announced that the pay of 398 unionized public workers will be slashed down to minimum wage - just $7.25 an hour. The mayor argued his city simply cannot afford to pay the unionized workers anymore money. Unions are also suffering in other cash-strapped cities. In Detroit - Financial Managers are laying off hundreds of unionized teachers - shutting down public schools - and replacing them with private charter schools that pay non-union teachers less and and have a much higher turnover rate of teachers. We've also seen the decline of organized labor on a state level across America. From Wisconsin - where collective bargaining rights were stripped from public sector unions - to Indiana, which just this year became a right-to-work state. There are now 23 states in America that have adopted right-to-work laws, which make it a lot harder for unions to operate. In the post-World War 2 Era - working Americans were able to achieve a comfortable middle class lifestyle with a decent paycheck thanks to unions. But since 1980 - union rates - especially in the private sector - have rapidly declined - and right alongside with it - so has the middle class's share of national income ...

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How Cities are Fighting back against the Banksters

How can cities and towns across the country bring an end to the brutal reign of Wall Street big banks and their influence over the American economy? Just follow in the footsteps of Oakland, California. We all know that big banks screwing over their customers is nothing new. They routinely steered investors into junk mortgages and investments, which the banks knew were destined to fail. They hired day laborers, falsely gave them "vice president" titles to sign tens of thousands of fraudulent foreclosure documents, so they could illegally kick millions of Americans out of their homes. And all the while - they paid their executives record-breaking salaries - while sucking more and more cash out of their customers through fine-print, hidden fees, and deceptive practices. This is nothing new - and we all know someone who has been directly effected by these abuses. Or we've heard about their stories on the news - like Norman Rousseau who battled with Wells Fargo for years to keep his home, before finally giving up and shooting himself. Or Sgt. Robert Bales - who received a lot of media attention after he went on a shooting rampage in Afghanistan - murdering 17 Afghan civilians. What's talked about less in his story is that three days before the massacre - Bank of America was close to foreclosing on the home Sgt. Bales' and his wife owned in California with their two kids - and so she was forced to put it up for sale as the family was $50000 underwater on their mortgage. The ...

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Full Show 7/6/12: Beyond Fukushima

Thom talks the Fukushima disaster with Paul Gunter and Kevin Kamps of Beyond Nuclear in a special extended discussion on this gravely important issue of nuclear power. Tonight's "Big Picture Rumble" panel discusses June's jobs numbers, the latest from the right on Obamacare and voter ID efforts in Pennsylvania. In tonight's "Daily Take" Thom looks at why the US should follow Rwanda's health care plan.

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Activism Works!

When he was elected, President Obama told us to push him. Well, it looks like we may have pushed hard enough when it comes to the Keystone XL pipeline.

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