tv [untitled] May 16, 2012 9:30pm-10:00pm EDT
welcome back to the big picture i'm tom arbonne coming up in this half hour the senate republicans love it the filibuster is under attack by a lawsuit claiming current filibuster rules are unconstitutional could this lawsuit put an end the republicans games and bring democracy back to the united states senate also for the past twenty years american workers have been suffering from the effects of u.s. trade deals why do we keep bettering into these deals and when will washington learn that these deals done to help america they hurt us and with endless investments from wall street and corporate powers u.s. government no longer works for the people but for those of the fattest wallets is there a way to change this or are we the people permanently lost our say in america's government and democracy. in the best of the rest of the news could a lawsuit put an end to the republicans perpetual senate filibuster there is ation
common cause filed suit on tuesday against the united states senate claiming current filibuster rules are unconstitutional in a statement released yesterday common cause president bob edgar said the abuse of the filibuster by minorities on both sides of the aisle although especially since republicans especially republicans and so president obama became president is quote an affront to our democracy and not the way the senate was supposed to work and quote since two thousand and eight when democrats won control the white house and both chambers of congress the republican minority in the senate has abused the filibuster breaking the record for the most filibusters ever in the senate from two thousand and nine to two thousand and ten democrats and in the house passed legislation to create a cap and trade system to cut down on carbon pollution pass legislation to cut off tax breaks to companies that ship jobs overseas pass legislation create a public option to pass legislation of four sticks the disclosure of election spending and they pass legislation to put young undocumented immigrants who are in college of the military or military on pathway to citizenship unfortunately every
single one of those bills were filibustered by a republican minority in the senate so how might common cause this lawsuit change how the upper chamber of congress operates and bring democracy back to the senate spaulding's the staff council of common cause joins me now to talk more about this issue steve welcome thanks for having me thanks for joining us what's the legal basis of your lawsuit you know the filibuster has transformed itself it was once a tool of procedure to extend debate to extend due deliberation the senate considers itself the world's greatest deliberative body but we have seen especially over the past two. congress is and over the past ten fifteen years that the filibuster has transformed into a tool of obstruction it no longer provides for debate it no longer provides for due deliberation it actually stops debate right at the outset we have seen motion to proceed after a motion to proceed to debate just last week with the student loan debate the
republicans said no they won't even allow that bill to be debated on the floor so the filibuster can be used at two points you can use it. they can they can say no we don't even want have a conversation about this or once the conversation has finished they can say no we don't want to end the conversation about this and proceed to a vote exactly or you could just threaten at the outset and say we're going to filibuster this bill and it doesn't even come up for a vote when it doesn't come up for debate we see doesn't come up for debate we see that with the holes in our framers we think we're pretty smart they outlined in the constitution six areas where a supermajority is required passing legislation isn't one of them other things like treaties overriding a presidential veto right that's where we need a super majority the constitution presumes that the senate and house will operate on majority rule and the problem here is that the filibuster rule prevents any reform to the filibuster rule that's the real question there it's legislative self intrenchments that's the question of the law that we're putting to the courts harry reid came out last week and said that maybe he had made
a mistake in two thousand and ten because there's that little five minute window when the congress reconvenes where the senate actually can reestablish the rules as provided for in the constitution right. the fear i think of the democrats and harry reid is that was that if he blew up the filibuster in two thousand and ten and they lost the senate in two thousand and twelve then. you know all is lost politically. is and by think there's a lot of truth to that and that may well be the case if you guys are successful although odds are yours is going to go always for in court it's going to be a few years down the road but isn't it more important to have a clean procedure regardless of the political outcome and the chips fall where they may i agree i think this is about accountability in our elect. i think it's voters send their senators to legislate not block and obstruct abate we have we have no debate on these bills and that's that's precisely what this is about this is about restoring accountability so where is this going to go as well this was filed in the united states district court here in washington d.c. court first circuit court with common cause for members of congress including congressman john lewis keith ellison co-chair of the progressive caucus and three
undocumented students who would be united states citizens today but for the dream act which had fifty five votes in the senate we had a president yesterday where we said you know that bill won by five votes disclose that received fifty nine votes in the senate that won by nine votes one vote short of a filibuster passed the house passed the senate the president would have signed it it's not law that's the crux of this this debate and that's and that's the real crime of this stephen thank you thanks so much for having thanks for the great work that you're doing thank you for the last few years republicans in the senate led by mitch mcconnell who boasted that his number one job is not to create jobs for americans but instead to put president obama out of a job and shut down an entire branch of government by abusing the filibuster this is not what democracy looks like. twenty years ago as the united states is about to jump into nafta the north
american free trade agreement eccentric us presidential candidate ross perot had this warning for american workers. and you don't care about anything but make them money there will be no jobs sucking sound going south so last year in president bill clinton won in the start of the united states and its free trade been turns out twenty years later ross perot was right as a result of our addiction to so-called free trade that forces american workers to compete with cheap labor in mexico and elsewhere around the world fifty thousand manufacturing jobs have been lost in this country every single month over the last decade and our trade deficit with the rest of the world keeps getting larger and larger as we're buying more and more stuff from foreign countries and selling fewer and fewer made in america goods and yet we still haven't learned our lesson on tuesday u.s. colombia trade deal officially went into effect current estimates this trade deal like all the others will kill american jobs and increase our trade deficit so why
do we keep getting involved in these bad deals you're offering answers lori wallach director of public citizen's global trade watch laurie welcome thank you thanks for joining us just how bad a deal is this trade deal with colombia since nafta they've gotten worse and worse because the way to think of them is as a bad trade agreement but then also they serve is really a delivery mechanism for this whole other set of retrograde policies so there's a there's a policy in that that lets big pharma jack up medicine prices there's policies in there that let the oil and gas companies ravage the amazon in colombia their rules in their own financial deregulation things you would never get through even this congress like your lawyers this is like some kind of a stealthy slow motion. well you brand this thing as a trade agreement more exports despite the fact you're right hasn't worked out that when the economics but that notion of oh smart people there for free trade and then
you stuff all this other stuff in there and you end up with all the corporations lobbying for these agreements because they know what's in it the public gets half bamboozled about well maybe they'll give me a job polling though shows at this point made jordi democrats republicans independents all against more nafta's this is this is one of the big questions i mean ross perot took twenty percent of the vote in that election and he had a crazy guys as vice president i mean you know and and he and he had nothing to say on any policy the united states except trade so if twenty percent of americans would say yes make that man president over just that one little issue with the crazy guy or crazy but you know admiral stockton was going to whom i want to hear. this is going to be a real issue and i think the you know the the the rest of us have woken up since then so if the majority of americans are opposed to nafta cap to show after all these deals why aren't the politicians good number one well one of the things that we all need to do and particularly going into this election season is to get with
our members of congress specifically on how they voted not just on this deal but two months ago the korea free trade agreements that went into a fact that when is the big big big job killer i mean even the u.s. government official studies said both korea and colombia increase a trade deficit but with korea it specifically pointed out five different economic sectors new future of manufacturing green technologies they get slammed so if any of these agreements the thing that folks need to do is members of congress now are home typically two weeks of the month and so look on the web page go visit in these open houses it's your job to basically have these guys who are working for you answer the questions you go on our website which is trade watch dot org you can find out how your member of. congress voted on each of these agreements and for that matter every agreement since nafta while you click on your map you can type in your zip code to me near the person's name and it pulls up the member all the trade votes and then you go and ask what was your vote about not they did the right thing
and interesting lee more democrats voted against this trade agreement and vote against nafta the percentage is growing but a bunch of these tea party republicans who sad i'm against offshoring i'm for buy america buy america particular moment is banned in these agreements right and these international tribunals that the u.s. gets admitted to to have our laws attacked republicans shouldn't like that it's a loss of sovereignty and an operator nine hundred thirty five franklin roosevelt passed a law called by america act which explicitly says that if the federal government is going to source anything it's going to buy anything they have to first look to american supplier and they can and they have to have a waiver in order to buy it from a non american supplier and so you know during the reagan administration giving the waivers became routine and so we you know to to get lower prices for government and the result has been in part i mean it's combined with everything else to blow all this up now you're saying these trade deals even invalidate
a law that's still on the books that's right basically for any of these agreements and you know speaking of what we can do as well as holding your member of congress accountable for the old ones and basically saying just you have to say it to them i won't vote for someone who gives away my jobs have to really be very direct they can be a little bit sick about this because there's a huge tsunami of corporate cash and lobbying that sort of surrounds them when these trade votes happen they really have to hear from people at home there are members of congress who've lost their seats over this and it's going to take some more of that kind of accountability but right now the mother of all nafta style trade agreements is being negotiated the trans-pacific partnership of the trade agreements and in this agreement we would get rid of buy america. for any company operating in nine countries including vietnam which is packed full of chinese state owned companies we would have to treat it's a specific waiver you have to treat the goods from those country companies exactly
the same as a u.s. firm amazing laurie thanks so much for the great work you thanks for coming up we're going to sure you know. it's time to silence a giant sucking sound and ditch so-called free trade. that's coming up the corporate and billionaire takeover of our american democracy has given our country the best government money can buy how do we stop the flow of money into washington and make lawmakers work for we the people and not the corporations i'll tell you in tonight's daily take.
there hasn't been anything yet on t.v. . it is to get the maximum political impact. before source material is what helps keep journalism honest we. we want to present. something else. more news today violence is once again flared up. these are the images the world has been seeing from the streets of canada. shining top aeration to rule the day.
yes they should they can use the euro as their currency which will help tourism and trade but it will have to be responsible for their own fiscal stability they should have been in the euro zone from the start well i agree grecian a bit in the euro zone from the start they actually cut a deal with goldman sachs to to illegal i would say to to hide the level of debt that they had so that they could get into the into the euro zone and meant to be did a great job great exposé on that thing and thus they are the problem they have now however they won't be able to use the euro unless they do it the way the u.k. does you have some stores take the euro but as a nation they're going to go back to the drachma which i think is going to the best thing for them the next comment for the night comes from dan who had this take on an armed society he said an armed society is a polite society kennesaw ga ga history is a prime example that they created in ordinances that every household should be armed since that ordinance there been no home robberies rape etc well let me tell you dan first of all i lived near there at the time and i lived in iraq as well ga
secondly kennesaw has fewer than thirty thousand people third it has a similar crime rate for such small towns and two different studies found that there is no significant change in crime compared to other towns in fact if you look at this graph rhetoric right about here in the middle is this brown high vertical line this is one the is actually a line this is when the law went into effect and the this is the break ins burglaries rate of burglaries hasn't changed it's all right wing fairy tale it's bits pure and simple right wing fairytales. just. if it's the good the bad of the very very good. luck to you and cold
to sleep there we go finally with the good joseph miles the nine year old boy was walking with his mother on the campus of washburn university in topeka kansas on saturday and noticed a group of in for most westboro baptist church members protest and holding up their signs that read god hates fags well upset by the signs and the protests joseph decided to make his own sign out of notebook paper which read god hates no one good on you just for standing up to rampant bigotry and hatred is becoming all too common in america today the bad oklahoma governor mary fallin fallin signed oklahoma's senate bill seven hundred thirty three into law tuesday which allows oklahomans to openly carry firearms while signing the bill fallon said the bill quote sends a strong message that oklahoma values the right sort of citizens to fund themselves their families and their property early fallon also thinks that oklahomans want their state turned into a scene out of an old wild west movie and the very very ugly florida governor rick
scott scott's war on on education in florida is taking a toll state board of education decided on tuesday to lower the passing grade on a section of florida standardized tests because preliminary results showed most of florida students wouldn't be able to pass the test might have something to do with governor scott cutting nearly one point three billion dollars out of education funding last year rather than funding proper education for florida's children scott and the board of edges. lowering the bar just to get by that he's feeling fairly. united states has the best government money can buy with massive investments from
wall street big agribusiness for profit education corporations and foreign governments among others to govern the united states is no longer working on behalf of the american people but instead on behalf of those who have the fattest wallets and looking at the watchdog organization united republics blog republic report you can see all the evidence of this corporate and billionaire takedown of american democracy first there's the story on why the united states is the only developed nation in the world without guaranteed paid sick leave efforts by progressives in congress to path pass the healthy families act requiring businesses to give paid sick leave to their employees had been derailed by huge lobbying dollars from business organizations republic report calls out the u.s. chamber of commerce the american hotel and lodging association and the national retail federation as the main forces behind killing guaranteed paid sick leave for americans so rather than our democracy being responsive to the millions of workers
would appreciate a pay day off when they're sick or don't want to waitress stricken with the flu serving them food are democracies instead responsive only to a few wealthy business owners who are trying to suck every last drop of productivity out of their workers to maximize profits that's why on like every other developed nation in the world there's no paid sick leave in the united states and then there's this story why is america so fat because giant agribusiness is investing in congress so that they can keep taxpayer subsidies and continue selling unhealthy food to americans the corn industry for example received more than seventy billion dollars in subsidies over the last fifteen years leading to an explosion of high fructose corn syrup in our foods and the ongoing obesity epidemic . to keep these subsidies in place corporations and organizations like monsanto the american farm bureau kraft foods and the american corn growers association of cordura public report have shelled out tens of millions of dollars in lobbying and
campaign contributions on the other hand the center for science in the public interest the leading healthy food lobby spent only seventy thousand dollars lobbying last year which is roughly what the giant agribusiness spend every thirteen hours so while obesity threatens to bankrupt our nation with higher medical costs and lower productivity congress is looking the other way and instead taking pockets full of campaign cash from the very industries that are driving this epidemic. but that's not all there is this story too about how democrats in congress are also up for sale one of the leading democratic critics of the volcker rule which outlaws banks and gambling with your money is virginia senator mark warner so why does warner oppose regulating the big banks because he's received over a quarter of his campaign donations from wall street giant j.p. morgan chase he also has millions of dollars invested in hedge funds run by that bank which apparently he's not too worried about losing even though j.p.
morgan chase c.e.o. dan jamie dimon announced his bank lost two billion dollars on bad bets in just the last six weeks after all now the j.p. morgan chase is officially too big to fail one knows that if the bank starts to go south this investments will be safe because he and all the other members of congress who get big campaign donations to the bank which is about to bail them out again and there's also democratic representative dave lowe's back awhile who's received thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from for profit on line education companies after taking the donations representative lowe's back turn around and introduce the schools of the future act which gives taxpayer subsidies to you guessed it for profit odelein education companies in the old days that used to be called bribery now we just call it lobbying. also democratic governor of maryland martin o'malley who received twenty five thousand bucks from purdue chicken is head of the democratic governors association and is now turning
a blind eye to produce rampant pollution of the chesapeake bay in his home state worst of all the best government money can buy may soon take us all to war this week house republicans plan to vote on a house resolution five sixty eight which calls on the president to take our nation to war should iran ever become capable of building a nuclear weapon even though both u.s. and israeli intelligence agencies have confirmed that iran is not building a nuclear weapon in either republicans found that lobbyists working on behalf of the israeli lobbying group apac are the ones primarily pushing this bill so far this year eight backers hired seven lobbyists and spent more than seven hundred thousand dollars according to republic report pushing several pieces of legislation including this one calling for war with iran which goes against the best interest of u.s. soldiers our economy and the stability of the world but does suit the interests of a far right faction within a foreign government this is no way to run
a democracy unfortunately when members of congress like democratic senator sherrod brown from ohio try to do the right thing and cut down the overwhelming influence of corporations in our government or foreign governments for that matter they themselves become targets senator sherrod brown has introduced legislation to put the big banks before profit health insurers the drug companies and job outsourcers in check and for that effort he's now being targeted in israel action race by the chamber of commerce with millions of dollars in negative ads running against him in his home state of ohio paid for by big banks for big for profit health insurers big drug companies and big outsourcers. sherrod brown is being made an example of clear message being that corporations are sending to lawmakers simple mess with us and you lose your job oh and don't expect to hear about any of those stories that i
just talked about in the corporate news media and news media is all owned by giant corporations that are also spending fortunes lobbying congress as corporate buyout of our democracy is happening right out in the open for anyone who wants to see it but our news media which carries the water for these same corporations isn't reporting on it at all this should be headline news it's a relentless attack on our nation's most basic fundamental democracy it only a small slice of americans know what's happening and we can thank the supreme court for that thanks to a series of radical rulings by the high court corporations have secured new rights or weapons to lay siege to our democracy from the buckley vs vallejo decision in one thousand nine hundred six the first national bank of boston versus bill oddie decision in one thousand nine hundred eighty eight to citizens united twenty ten the supreme court has handed corporations the rights of human beings and declared that money isn't property it's b.
and thus given corporate power free rein to spend as much money as they'd like corrupting our democracy that's where we stand today in a similar spot to where we stood nearly a half century or century to after the accident when the railroad oil steel and robber banking robber barrons were walking on the floor of the senate to hand their favorite members of congress literally bags of cash prompting republican president rutherford b. hayes to say in eight hundred seventy six this is a government of the people by the people and for the people no longer it is a government of corporations by corporations and for corporations and of quote. publican president teddy roosevelt put that in check in one thousand seven bypassing the tillman act which made it a felony for a corporation to give money to a politician but the supreme court blew that up in two thousand and ten with theirs for the citizens united decision the only way to end of this insanity is to get the
money is to get on board with the movement to get the money out of politics go to move to amend dot org that's it for the big picture tonight for more information on the stories we covered visit our website to tom parton dot com free speech tonight or. also check out our two youtube channels there are links of tom harpur dot com also a tolerably narconon check out all the different ways you can send us your feedback and don't forget democracy begins when you show up when you participate get out there and get active occupy so if the tag you're it will sort of.