Daily Topics - Thursday March 24th, 2011

Truthout proudly presents Thom Hartmann's book, "Unequal Protection" Click here for the latest chapter

Hour One: War on democracy...how Repubs planned to punish AWOL Dems - John Nichols, The Nation

Hour Two: War on the poor...jail for unpaid bills? Matthew Vadum, Capital Research Center / Plus, The shift from greed to gratitude - Tom Shadyac, "I AM"

Hour Three: How exactly is "forced unionism like the Jim Crow laws of the South?" Ken Klukowski, American Civil Rights Union


ottomine's picture
ottomine 13 years 18 weeks ago

The Nebraska Legislature is finally doing something right. From Paul Fell's blog

Thursday, March 24, 2011 Roaches Can Be A Real Bear When the Citizens United decision came down from the United States Supreme Court a little more than a year ago, we warned that a proverbial Pandora's box had been opened on the subject of campaign financing. We likened it to cracking open a roach motel.

We were far from the only ones to say similar things, on either the left or right.

With that idea in mind, it's actually somewhat refreshing to see the action that the Nebraska Legislature took on Wednesday to force some light onto the subject on campaign finance activities in Nebraska.

For those readers who missed the story, unanimous, bipartisan, first-round approval was given to LB606, a bill introduced by state senator Bill Avery, a former political science professor. This bill, if passed would force outside groups who attempt to skirt Nebraska's campaign finance laws to publicly disclose their spending, if they attack or support candidates directly, or distribute campaign advertising within thirty days of an election.

For our readers who don't know Nebraska very well, in the past the state has often hedged towards bi-partisan or non-partisan politics. For example, in Nebraska, voters can even register officially as "Non Partisan" or "NP", a designation at least one of our staff members has chosen for most of the last 20 years.

State Senator Avery is also a registered "non-partisan", yet there have been accusations thrown his way that attempt - and fail - to appear to make him out to be some kind of liberal who is intent on attacking Nebraska's campaign finance system.

This isn't a surprise to us, either, unfortunately.

The main group that Sen. Avery is attempting to force to do business in a more open fashion is a right-wing group known as "Americans For Prosperity", funded in part by the multi-billionaire Koch brothers. If the groups that the Koch Brothers support have proven anything over the past few years, it's that they'd be willing to call Mother Theresa a whore to her face if they thought it would help make them more money. Sliding a few more dollars towards those who oppose a simple state senator from Nebraska should be a piece of cake for groups like theirs, compared to the political battles they've fought in the public eye over the past few years.

It is interesting to note that zero - meaning not a single soul in the Nebraska legislature - voted to do what the Koch Brothers and "Americans for Prosperity" wanted, and kill Sen. Avery's bill, in this round.

We'd like to say that will be the end of this issue - but the actions of AFP and the Koch Brothers in the recent past have shown they believe everyone and everything is for sale, including elections.

Would full disclosure of who funds which nasty mailer or advertisement change the minds of all that many people? We're not entirely convinced it would.

It is the RIGHT thing to do in politics, however, so we are 100% in favor of that.

For now, we'll be glad at the turn of events in the Nebraska Unicameral, and we hope state Sen. Avery's bill becomes law. As most of us know, nothing makes the cockroaches run and hide like a little light. Posted by Staff at 8:36 AM 0 comments // // //

mathboy's picture
mathboy 13 years 18 weeks ago

Well, we all knew after the bankruptcy bill a few years ago that the Republicans would try to bring back debtors' prisons. They really do have an 17th-Century attitude.

WendyBluEyez's picture
WendyBluEyez 13 years 18 weeks ago

Umm, didn't Harriet Meirs refuse to appear in court when she was subpoenaed? Not sure if I have that right but I know that someone around Bushs did.

Guess you just have to appear in court when your yearly income is below a certain level.

mathboy's picture
mathboy 13 years 18 weeks ago

Wendy, I think it was Karl Rove that refused to appear.

WendyBluEyez's picture
WendyBluEyez 13 years 18 weeks ago

That sounds about right mathboy. Thanks for the correction.

Gene Savory's picture
Gene Savory 13 years 18 weeks ago

Both Meirs and Rove refused.

Gene Savory's picture
Gene Savory 13 years 18 weeks ago

Another fire shows the Triangle fire only made a difference in the law books, but not much in the actions of criminal corporations:

Food Plant Fire Kills 25; Exits Blocked : Disaster: Chicken workers in North Carolina are trapped in a facility that had never been inspected for safety. Another 40 workers hurt.


Mitch in Tacoma, Wa 13 years 18 weeks ago

Apparently Pres. Obama is going around Congress in holding suspects without giving them Miranda Rights.

This is from Jonathan Turley's site:


FuzzyMath's picture
FuzzyMath 13 years 18 weeks ago

Thanks for discussing Governor Rick Scott. However, I believe you understate his efforts to obtain ill-gotten gains from his postion as Governor. I believe his company his company Solantic does drug tests that were mentioned in your show today. But there is much more as detailed in the following link. I hope someone will start talking about this.


Thom's Blog Is On the Move

Hello All

Thom's blog in this space and moving to a new home.

Please follow us across to hartmannreport.com - this will be the only place going forward to read Thom's blog posts and articles.

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