tv [untitled] May 12, 2011 9:30pm-10:00pm EDT
welcome back to the big picture on town arbonne coming up in this half hour a federal communications commission executive responsible for one of the largest media mergers steps down to join forces with a newly merged company that i mentioned this executive is a republican surprised. plus some arizona residents but up with that state's immigration bill our school all the exits there be a fifty first state on the horizon and which war is our biggest threat our war on
terror or wall street's war on us the answer later and i still take. more news of corruption in washington d.c. earlier this year the federal communications commission the f.c.c. approved the controversy will merge or between n.b.c. and as a merger that will have huge impact on the internet and the future of net neutrality now for months after the comcast merger was approved one of the f.c.c. commissioners meredith attwell baker a republican appointee will soon leave her post to become a lobbyist for you guessed it comcast that's right just months after giving comcast the golden keys to national media meredith baker is rewarded with a top job there. so is there any agency in washington d.c.
that's not bought off by industry lobbyists should there be laws against this sort of revolving door policy joining me now to talk about this issue as dave's communications director of free press dot net dave welcome thanks tom pleasure to be here great great to great to be insured thanks for joining us first of all does this transition to shall we say. call into question the original decision that she voted on at the f.c.c. . well the only thing that shocking about this is that it's not shocking and that's what's particularly troubling about it and you know we wouldn't we wouldn't suggest that there is a quid pro quo involved but the fact that that's actually legitimate question is deeply disturbing. you know there are laws to prevent the rebel revolving door from revolving very quickly you know she will be banned from from lobbying her former colleagues for this year. but.
that's that's cold comfort to the american public who believe that these so-called public servants are actually there to serve the public it's awfully troubling to think that just a matter of months ago she was deciding one of the largest mergers in american media history and today or yesterday she announces that she's going to go serve the folks who she who she allowed to to make a merger. sam and i as our research and writing for our show like an hour today are going through all the federal laws and all this stuff and especially out of the executive branch there are a lot of limitations at law but in my book on equal protection which i wrote back in two thousand and two we had documented how there was a guy at one of the we shall not name them big seed pharmaceutical companies who wanted it which wanted their products to be approved he. and went to the f.d.a.
took about a fifty or one hundred percent pay cut or something went to the f.d.a. became the regulator decided in favor of that company and then left the f.d.a. went back to work for their company i got that from russell who is really on this stuff in the corporate crime reporter. how do you outlaw that kind of thing while at the same time maintain the notion that this is a free country and you can work for whoever you want. well that's that's the balancing act we're in a you know we're in a country where the freedom to contract is considered sacrosanct to be extent that it actually. had to be overcome in order to legalize unions and in the united states. so there is that difficulty of how do you how do you. how do you legislate against somebody making a living and i think the the laws that they've come up with are about as good as we can get i just wish that they would be in a forest with more vigor such that we don't have this what appears to be sort of
a wink and a nod kind of deal well it goes beyond that i mean when billy tauzin was in the house of representatives he left the house early he'd be goshi to the medicare part d. deal which forbids the government from from pain anything other than the highest retail price for pharmaceuticals shirtless bankrupting medicare and then he and handing three at least three hundred billion dollars a year to the pharmaceutical company my recollection is right correct me if i'm wrong it's some huge amount of money he leaves there goes to pharma because they had a pharma two million dollar your job and he had to get a waiver from congress to do this they all voted to say ok you don't have to wait the twelve months i mean it's like this is enough to make people's heads explode right we would hope that they know who enforces these losses this justice department yeah well when you find out please let me know because i'd like to make a make a phone call we'd very much. free press where as we're sort of alone in the wilderness right now. in raising
a big stink about this we're actually deeply disturbed by the fact that this person who who ruled on on a major major deal that a lot of people including free press believe should never have happened should never been allowed to happen. is is now. profiting for lack of a better term from that very decision. which isn't to say she should never be allowed to earn a living but put the fact that you know it's it's like a a morning widow who's remarried before the the autopsy is done on her late husband you know and well and the flip side of this is the more than half of all the members of congress who have retired from congress in the last twenty years have gone on to become lobbyists nice basically in this town you know junior lobbyists people who are just kind of knocking on doors for a living story about it hotter two hundred thousand dollars a year for a member of congress can start out at three hundred to five hundred thousand dollars a year former senator can start a million to five million dollars
a year as a lobbyist and basically all the lobbying firms are buying is the fact that people take their phone calls shouldn't that be you know that their colleagues that the guys that they've been sitting you know hanging around drinking and eating lunch with a colleague in the in the senate office building or after it for years you know them is there something not just on seemingly about that but fundamentally wrong i mean we look at the example of jimmy carter after he left the presidency so building houses for poor people and go yeah you know that's that's how it should be. what do we do about. is not a strong enough word for it it's disturbing it's troubling it's you know there's a reason that the people the american people are losing faith in their government and this is one of them you know we've seen every branch of government. involved in some in some plainly political activity you know from from the white house to to the to the congress to to. the courts and now regulatory agencies
are you know shamelessly engaged in revolving door transactions. it's it's very bothersome that there is nothing or there appears to be nothing that we can do at this point you know the. day we just have electronic stuff there's there's no agency out there group out there is not on this thing i mean where do people go if they want to learn well we're raising a stink about it the sunlight foundation is another good source of citizens for responsibility and ethics in washington they are beating the drum crew is on this but let me just say that there's actually a wager going on in our office she's expected to testify tomorrow in front of the subcommittee of the economics in communications committee i'm sorry the energy and communications so committee in the house that the bet is whether she'll show up or not amazing dave thanks for being with us tonight thank you tom i'm not sure i want
to take this. and push it more politicians and regulators that walk through that we've all been there in washington d.c. and join the very same industries they were supposed to be policing and the more people will lose faith in our power once the tea party going to take up this issue . coming up while the legislative powers that be are focusing their eyes on wars overseas than a lot or just the ones to their own backyard i'll tell you why we're almost certainly facing another great crash. let's not forget that we met in apartheid.
i think. one well. we never got the says they're very safe to graduate because their freedom. you know sometimes you see a story and it seems so you think you understand it and then he lives something else he hears sees some other part of it and realized everything you thought you knew you don't know i'm sorry welcome to the big picture.
he says spend some time on the show talking about secessionist movements that are popping up around the country mostly by tea partiers in places like texas or way up there in alaska where people think that obamacare amounts to a socialist takeover of america. and they have a break away from the union right now but there are others calling for society not
from america but from their own state states controlled by radical republicans like in arizona there's a petition being circulated in arizona right now calling for the creation of a fifty first state called arizona start our state is the name of the group behind the petition starrer state on their website and it's made up of arizona's who think that their state government has gone rogue leaving them no other choice but to secede to separate in order to make it happen any forty eight thousand signatures collected and the issue will be put on the local ballot measure and pima county if it passes it will then have to be approved by the eurozone legislature and governor jan brewer self and then the u.s. congress cilicia says not likely our nation will add by arizona as a first state anytime soon that's not stopping the movement as paul and her sister i'm an attorney and co-founder of nice start r.c. groups said if we can do this vote at least we can send
a message not only to the state legislature but also to the rest of the nation and tell the rest of the nation that not everybody in arizona is crazy paul joins me now to talk about this issue paul welcome. great to have you with us here there in arizona with us here in d.c. i guess want to break away from arizona well you know over the last twenty years we've had a tax code everything all year and we were a low tax state in the first place to a point where our school now gone from twenty thirty and funding in the country among the states had good laughs and our tuition is gone up ten times for our state. universities and basically they're there pricing middle class kids getting a decent education and frankly i call it reverse robin. debatably stealing from the middle class and giving it to to the wealthy in the form of tax cuts for the wealthy the other thing that we were really upset about in recent years in the
special is last legislative session is they've been throwing people off our medicaid rolls to save money but we're losing federal dollars because that we're losing health care workers because of that and hundreds of thousands of people are getting health care including about one hundred. transplant patients and two of them have died since they were thrown off medicaid rolls you know they talked about death panels these folks about the national health care program they're the death panel this legislature and and governor brewer and in finally all of our very very vitriolic unconstitutional basically bordering on racist anti immigration legislation along with federal now with the cation statutes that basically would say that the fake could follow whatever federal laws it wants basically kind of seceding from the country and ignore other other laws yeah yeah and as a result you know we kind of felt we wanted to say in
a country we felt we down in southern arizona we have a long history the spanish colonialism and mexican the heritage our hispanic heritage here we we celebrate we don't denigrate down in southern arizona and so for our own economic future in our kids' future we felt we had to do something to push back against all this are there other arizona isn't the only state that's basically been taken over by right wing crazies are there other similar movements springing up in other states around the country well not that i'm aware of it's happening of various places upper peninsula of michigan once want to try to move the way i know helping try to split up it's actually happened in reality in twice in our nation's history maine separate from massachusetts an eight hundred twenty but for ginia from virginia during the civil war and it is in the constitution that you can do this but you have to get permission from the state. but but you're as you said and then you have to go to congress and be allowed in we would like that
to just have to vote that basically they were not happy with what you're doing up in phoenix to the very far to the right but that you're the can conserve really moderate state if you look at the polling data and i grew up here in it but we've always supported public education in the past barry goldwater supported public education all the republicans in the past according to but this group doesn't and this group uses basically what i think you need to pay them beer to basically pick the pockets of of the middle class and and while they're distracted and give the money to rich people in the form of tax when arkle start our state politic he so much debt thank you for talking with use a session is probably not the best idea or what happened last time was tried back in one thousand nine hundred eighty one although that was a session from america not from a state but nonetheless i think the folks behind the bar high arizona movement realize this and they're doing a great job raising awareness about just how far to the fringe republicans like jan
brewer are taking the states and i have a what may even be a little more radical proposal when you consider how the states are organized every state has two senators this was the result of a compromise back in the constitution was being put together where the members of the house of representatives would be apportioned by population but the small states said but wait a minute we don't end up with one member so they said well you can have two senators for instead that's how they brought them in so that they could get all thirteen signed off it's become a problem for america right now in the united states forty one senators representing only fifteen percent of americans can filibuster a bill can stop legislation fifteen say percent of americans can block what would affect everybody so this chart here joy california texas new york and florida those four states represent eight senators. over the little spectrum over here you've got about twenty states that all have populations of under under three million in the
neighborhood of three to four million maximum some of them less than a million and they can block just you know everything for everybody else so under one million montana delaware south dakota alaska north dakota vermont and iowa mean these these states are mostly from small conservative states my suggestion my radical suggestion break california to three states south los angeles l.a. to san francisco san francisco north three states break new york into two states new york city represents about half the population your state make it its own state break texas into two states the southwest in texas is blue it's republican democratic break that away from the rest of texas into two states break florida into two states the southern part of florida lou separate that from the rest of the two states what that would do is it would bring in ten new senators it would make these larger states smaller and it would increase at all ten of the senators of the democrats we have more even represented representation in the united states more
equal representation and a more small d. democratic process. just. the. it's the good the bad of the very seriously ugly person the good senator john mccain maverick is back and i just say he's the good yeah take it on those in his own party who think that torture is what led us to bin log mccain himself wrote an op ed in the washington post yesterday arguing that those who exalt torture are wrong and that information derived from torture was usually wrong and actually made it harder for us to find bin laden mccain summed it up by writing i don't mourn the loss of any terrorists life what i do mourn is what we lose one by official policy
or official neglect we confuse or encourage those who fight this war for us to forget that best sense of ourselves we are always americans and different stronger and better than those who would destroy us. all said never the bad. news our so-called news now the new gingrich has officially announced his presidential bid it's time to start sucking up to it and gretchen carlson seems like just the right person to do it on fox and friends this morning rush lavish. praise and rich but there's no doubt that newt gingrich is a brilliant man and i think we would all agree with all the people that we interview on this couch take politics out of it he is a brilliant man now will be up to the voters whether or not they want to see in this craft or meet. the voters who watch your show for news get you swooning over a newcomer just rain must be nice being a republican presidential candidate haven't hired network operators or even paid
advertising. and a very very ugly. rand paul at a senate committee hearing yesterday paul launched into its tirade about health care arguing that people who believe that we all have a right to health care believe that we have a right to be enslaved to take a look. i'm a physician that means you have a right to come to my house and conscript me and you believe in slavery it means that you're going to enslave not only me but the janitor of mosque little the person who cleans my office the assistants who work in my office the nurses he if you have a right to their services basically one she would imply a belief in a right to someone services you have a right to plumbing you have a right to water and you have a right to food you're basically saying that you believe in slavery your state. we're the only nation in the developed world that doesn't consider health care a place equal right and i don't think i'd consider most of the nation most of the
nations in europe or canada slave states rand paul is just afraid that we will actually but he will actually have to do his job healing people and that's very very of. the last decade in american can be defined by three words war on terror it's a definition that's been advanced by both our politicians and our media and while we've been so focused on this war on terror it's a vivid imagery of a smoldering world trade center the bearded anti-christ of solomon law and our soldiers and desert camel patrolling across the middle east is another war that's been completely forgotten and that's a wall street's war on america we're only three years removed from one of the worst financial catastrophes in the history of this nation but since you are right it's
down since it went down right smack dab in the middle of the war on terror it was on george w. bush's watch it's been ignored. nine eleven nearly killed or did kill actually nearly three thousand people a terrible terrible tragedy no doubt and i'm not trying to downplay the importance of being vigilant against terrorism there are people who are kill americans around the world that's a fact but the financial crisis of two thousand and eight is that banks tears on wall street can do far more damage to our nation that any terrorist could ever dream of the cost of nine eleven or mostly american lives amaj to symbolic buildings and a blow to our national psyche because of the wall street meltdown are far far greater millions of people have lost their homes millions more are losing their jobs millions of divorces an explosion in child abuse a spike in suicides and trillions of dollars of wealth literally removed from
hardworking americans it and lost equity lower wages lower pay and fewer benefits or the worst unemployment are federal budget most state budgets have enormous holes blown in them threatening to take down our economy and undo all the progress that's been made since the new deal helped create the american middle class a dollar is teetering on collapse thanks to bush borrowing five trillion dollars to fight two one necessary wars and give tax breaks to his oligarchy billionaire buddies and china is going to take us over as a world economic super superpower in fewer than five years in large part because we've devoted all our resources to chasing terrorists around the middle east instead of investing in our own nation like they've been doing very wisely the days of the american empire a number and it's not because of been law it's because we'd been added by our own
banks toure's. to her despair but wall street nearly ended america as we know it. and still damn well could and frankly almost certainly will do it again al qaeda is considered public enemy number one and our politicians have spent trillions of dollars fundamentally remaking our society compromising our freedoms and ideals and burying our reputation around the world just to engage in a worldwide match with this sorry small band of crazies and criminals. seem to be willing to pay any cost to make sure nine eleven doesn't happen again even stupid costs like stripping our rights and putting charity off for no scanners in our airports and it is all with radiation but we were a financial collapse what are we willing to do to make sure that doesn't happen again while we've spent trillions in corporate welfare to bail our banks we haven't
spent a dime on preventing another crash wall street lobbyists went to work making sure that any financial reform laws were either killed our right or watered down to the point of view relevance and they've been successful and now republicans in congress are even making sure that those miniscule wall street reform laws that were passed back when the democrats controlled congress won't be enforced basically nothing has changed since two thousand and eight more bubbles are being created and as the recent standards and poor of poor worn there's more risk in today's market and there was before the meltdown in two thousand and eight it's like if after nine eleven bush said what me worry everything's fine i think the american people would have been satisfied with that answer i doubt it so why does the republican party think they can sit back block any hammock efforts of democratic reform and let wall street take down our economy. is that how powerful the wall street lobby is it is
bribe some politicians and get back to business as usual ruining our economy like nothing happened. it makes you wonder if al qaeda had lobbyists with the war on terror ever of happened pakistan for example actually does have a lobbyist right here in washington d.c. and they're already pressuring lawmakers to tone down the rhetoric on pakistan's involvement in hiding but a lot in the next few years thanks to our trillion dollar plus so-called war on terror america may escape not getting hit by again one thing we want to escape is another wall street take down and this time when wall street implodes we will find ourselves in the midst of the second great depression and will wonder why we didn't see it coming. why why were we chasing terrorists instead of bankers this decade is closing with a huge victory on the nine eleven front taken up and. unfortunately looking at the
next decade in america and the mess that has yet to be cleaned up on wall street terrorism is the least of our worries. as the big picture for tonight for more information on the stories we covered visit our website at tom hartman dot com and our team. check out our you tube pages at youtube dot com slash the big picture our t. and slash tom hartman and this entire show is available as a free podcast on i tunes and don't forget democracy begins with you when you show up when you participate sag your it will see them are.