tv [untitled] April 8, 2013 7:00pm-7:30pm EDT
richard fowler in for tom hartman live from washington d.c. and i'm sam sachs and here's what's coming up tonight on the big picture. after news broke of former british prime minister margaret thatcher's death earlier this morning talk of her legacy took over the mainstream media were thatcher's ideas good economic policy or are they what's causing the global economic crisis in front of us also as mayflower arkansas continues to clean up from last week's tar sands oil spill there are new questions surrounding the exxon mobil's handling of the spill why is the oil giant preventing media coverage of the spill and they knowingly let oil contaminate local wetlands and conservatives hate government regulations and constantly argue that the federal government needs to have a smaller role in a capitalist society is that really the case or do we need to put more regulations in place to protect our economy and overall wellbeing.
and we begin tonight with margaret thatcher the former prime minister of the u.k. for eleven years in the only female prime minister in that nation's history she died today of a stroke at age eighty seven in the past fifty years of british politics there was no leader more divisive and more transformative than margaret thatcher after the devastation of world war two the u.k. like many western european nations and like the united states came together and brace progressivism encourage unionization strengthen the social safety net tame the ruling elite with high taxation on the wealthy and tighten regulations on the banks and the economy but when thatcher became prime minister in one thousand nine hundred eighty nine she were verse this trying to put the brakes on progressivism in the u.k. and initiated a new era of neo liberal conservative rule not just in the u k. but all around the
world she crushed labor unions closed down state run utility companies slashed taxes on the rich sold tens of billions of pounds of the commons off to private industries cut investments in public health and education and she brought that same free market hokus pokus to the u.k. that reagan brought to the united states in the one nine hundred eighty s. sure enough that your ushered in a new era of unequal wealth distribution in britain and the rise of the big banks and financial ization in london she also took the reins of a u.k. that was slinking away from global empire and launched into another colonial war in the falkland islands in one thousand nine hundred and her foreign policy she consistently supported the undemocratic over the democratic the strong over the weak she opposed sanctions on apartheid south africa and she was now live a gusto pinochet today as another wiki leaks dump contains new revelations about how western powers related to pinochet during his reign of terror thatcher was not so secretive about her support for pinochet in one thousand nine hundred ninety
said of him quote i'm also very much aware that it is you who brought democracy to chile you set up a constitution suitable for democracy you put it into effect elections were held and then accordance with the result you stepped out. of course that was only after pinochet staged a military coup overthrowing chill chill a democratically elected government triggered a reign of terror through the one nine hundred seventy s. that's all thousands killed and thrown into political prisons flip the economy upside down to benefit the rich and then only then finally step down sixteen years later but the fatter pinochet was a hero. and today the new york times writes about the actor's legacy quote she pushed the conservatives to the right she pushed the labor party to the center without mrs thatcher there probably would have been no tony blair and similarly here in the united states without her counterpart ronald reagan who pushed republicans to the right and the democrats to the center without him there probably
would have been no bill clinton or more appropriately today no barack obama. this week as the legacy of that year and reagan indoors president barack obama a democrat will put forward his budget proposal that includes massive cuts to social security that reagan and thatcher could have only dreamed about cuts that will lead to seniors losing thousands of dollars in benefits and the u.k. margaret thatcher spoke of why she was pushing this radical transformative agenda and her rationale for all of it was ripped right from the pages of an unwritten iran novel she said about her country quote i think we have gone through a period when too many children and people have been given to understand i have a problem it is the government's job to come with it to cope with it or i have a problem i will go and get a grant to cope with it i am homeless the government must house me and so they are casting their problems on society and who is society there is no such thing there are individual men and women and their families and no government can do anything
except through people and people look to themselves first there is no such thing as society. reagan used the same thing i'm talking about the fictional welfare queen or demonizing the government but as those who depend on others for help or those who depend on the government as their final lifeline or who suspect that one day in the future they just may need some help and they will tell you that margaret thatcher is vision of a nice society is one that is very dangerous for most and very profitable for the very rich but yet it's her vision of that society that we're living through today and while we shouldn't rejoice the death of anyone we should tell the truth about what they left in their wake joining me now for more on this and president obama's budget is richard ask out senior fellow with the campaign for america's future and mark weisbrot co-director of the center for economic policy research and president of just foreign policy mark richard thanks a lot for coming on the show again thank you good to be here so mark want to start with you. the president's going to unleashed unveil this budget here that includes
these cuts to social security the chain c.p.i. which translates into a couple. in dollars with the cuts. is the presidents an extension extension of this kind of factor is number reaganism that we saw grow out of the eighty's or is he a break from that because based on this budget it sort of looks like an extension well we haven't seen the whole thing it i think it was a very good summary you did of the impact of thatcher and reagan together i think together they changed the history of the world more than any two people in the twentieth century and it's absolutely right that we're still feeling the impact of that today and i think the fact that president obama you know this is really a media strategy right he's going he's doing this he's proposing these cuts to social security so he can appeal to the press which has moved far to the right since the reagan. era because of them largely because of their leadership and the
average democrat is far to the. well to the right of say nixon and economic issues and so they shifted the whole world their way and that is why yes you can have a situation where a democratic president goes and just to please the media proposes cutting social security i don't think though i wouldn't put him say that he's a continuation of the reagan and thatcher policies because he is moving in the other direction on a little bit on some other issues on health care on increasing taxes for the wealthy so there is a certain break to the right wing era with the election of obama but on the other hand this is a right wing policy it's going to hurt senior citizens right richard i want to get your take on that same question i think mark makes a good point but to me with the president putting out this budget they say it's a lot for political reasons they need to get republicans on board but it also goes beyond politics it's kind of like what mark talked about it seems to be just common
wisdom in the media and in the beltway that you're unions are bad nowadays or that spending needs to be cut nowadays or that entitlements. going broke nowadays it's like he has this headwind of common thinking to confront as president is that right right yes i think that's exactly right and i think what he's done consistently is reinforce some very false and very factual right reaganite perceptions about the economy throughout these budget discussions the idea for example that government spending is always a negative for the economy it can't be positive even though he's put through some stimulus programs he constantly reinforces the argument that government spending is a negative first of all constantly reinforces the idea that social security which does not contribute to the deficit should be part of deficit discussions has been trying to sell this whole idea of the chained c.p.i. which you know this would cost the average recipient forty six hundred dollars at each seventy five and fourteen thousand at age eighty five twenty eight thousand
age ninety five he's constantly trying to sell it is a minor thing and it could have just spent a good idea and and tried to appeal to that very saturated get a new conventional wisdom and try to reinforce and sell it as bill clinton did rather than challenging him on what we really need to do is challenge it so i guess the only thing i'd add to that is i think mark meant that the average democratic politician is is to the right of nixon only ever and that's true but the average republican voter if you look at the polls is far to the left of baracoa vama on the issue of social security would like to see it strengthened rather than. now in the past couple of months we've seen the president i think everybody hope that they progress the hope that a second term would have been this great progressive era of you know change and i think you know there's a lot of questions that are disheartened by the what the president has done should they should they really be disenchanted or is the you know just one part of. the post i would suppose the slate of
a very progressive term for president barack obama. yeah if that question was up for mark i thought my. answer to that would be they should have first of all i think being disheartened that saps energy and waste time i think they should have no faith in barack obama's willingness to support the money at this agenda and i think they should concentrate their efforts on pressuring the senate and the house to reject these cuts and to push for more progressive proposals i mean that's my take on it and you know we've been hearing from senior administration officials including myself personally for a long time that they want to do these sort of neo conservative economic policies i think we need to look past the white house and look to the house and senate and perhaps to future elections you know mark the question for you is so there's a lot of this you know from the left people are sort of throwing stones at the left quote unquote left president is that a good thing or a bad thing could that hurt the president's agenda and hurt the progressive movement overall or throwing stones at the president now would make him
a better president but i don't know i mean i think i don't know if i would call it throwing stones or organizing a move on his organized campaign for america's future if l c o m e and he has to realize that he's alienating important allies that he can't just ignore the people who are going to help him get elected and of course they're going to they're going to put up a fight and it's going to cost him politically i think actually that he might lose this one too so this is a very important part of any democracy you hold the president accountable for what they do so security should be part of this discussion you know it's a separate entity it's funded by a separate payroll tax so it shouldn't even be part of the bargaining in any kind of budget negotiations richard we have just about thirty seconds left quick mark mark said that he might lose this fight you've got your ear to the ground there with progressives is this a battle that the president elect the loser present progress is going to draw a line here and say no this is not going to happen. well progressives on the hill
and in the base have a history of folding at the last minute so i would say it's very very important to be determined and to communicate that to. from a nation to the house from the senate so that he does loses their will keep we'll keep an eye on it richard us cow thank you so much mark weisbrot people think you guys thank you coming up the first the first footage of last month's oil spill in mayflower arkansas showed gas that toxic tar sands oil spilling through suburban streets but now new video suggest a disaster is impacts far worse than was previously thought we'll be talking with eric mol from tar sands blockade about the damaging new failed new film and what it says about exxon's role in the potential cover up right after the break. let me let me i want to know why don't you let me ask you a question. here on this network is what we're having
a debate we have our knives out. the truth is this time it was a space thing never again we're in a situation where b. and i don't even talk about the name and we. you know sometimes you see a story and it seems so you think you understand it and then you glimpse something else and you hear or see some other part of it and realize everything you thought you knew you don't know i'm tom harpur welcome to the big picture.
here is mitt romney trying to figure out the name of that thing that we americans call a tony. i'm i'm sorry. you know what i. want to feature on the liberal press. recently. for you distracts us from what you and i should care about because there are profit driven industry that sells a sensationalistic garbage because that breaking news i'm happy martin and we're going to break that. down in the field that we will find it here if you're looking for relevant stories unique perspectives from tom my scans time.
in screwed news according to activists of the group tars them blockade tar the tar sand oil from last week's arkansas rupture now have diluted now have been diverted from neighborhoods to nearby wetland areas while it is uncertain whether the oil has been intentionally diverted or dot exxon mobil the big oil giant responsible for the spill has said it's cleaning up the contaminate the contaminated pavement with power washing the power washing device which could cause the oil to be pushed off the neighborhood streets and flow into other areas other areas like fragile wetlands where there aren't any media camped out meanwhile reporters covering the spill say exxon mobil is actively blocking them from the spill site and threatening them with the rest and the mainstream media has barely said a word about the spill let alone provided any footage of it so what's really going on down in arkansas has exxon mobil intentionally let the oil flow into arkansas's
wildlife wildlife wetlands excuse me joining me is eric mol spokesperson from tar sands blockade eric welcome to the program hello. what is going on in arkansas eric what is going on in arkansas well exxon is basically running the show they got permission from a local judge to basically take over their paying all the over time for the local police for the local sheriff's department to keep media away from where the oil is where the tar sands bitumen is rather we were told by one officer quote i'm being paid a lot of money to keep ya'll out of here and we went in anyways and we got footage of the wetland where are they how are washed all that tar sands fishermen that spilled into the neighborhood and the idea that our washing could send it to the wetland is absurd water runs downhill and there are topographic maps and hydrological maps that they have access to they knew exactly what they were doing
and they put it someplace that it would be harder for the media to see the extent of the spill and then made the neighborhood itself look as tidy and cosmetic as possible for the t.v. cameras that they do allow and so eric the media is camped out there covering the one part of the oil spill with the media mainstream media is not covering what's happening to the wetlands just down the street or in lake conway is that correct yes and the mainstream media has also sort of missed the boat in terms of the true number of people who were affected by this spill twenty two homes were evacuated but a lot more should have been evacuated and they just named a couple of streets right where the spill happened and got everybody who's addresses on the streets out and into hotels but there are people who are actually closer physically to the epicenter of the spill than some who were evacuated and those people were not evacuated and we're finding out through facebook and
television what happened rather than from exxon and a lot of them are very sick now some people have been unable to talk to us because they've been too sick. and we have interviewed several people who have gotten sick and we ourselves our film crew was sick for a couple of days after i get in that air what is with the response of the state like the states government where is the governor on this where is the secretary of state want to come to this issue and sort of protecting a lot of the people as well as the wetlands. well it's been clear for a long time that all levels of government are very much in the pocket of the fossil fuel industry and to be perfectly honest i don't pay too much attention to the politics around this issue because it is in many ways a distraction and. especially some of the politicians around here are very much bought and paid for big proponents of the keystone x.l. pipeline for example. yeah. same here this isn't your
typical oil spill we're talking tar sands oil how is that making the situation even worse while tar sands picture man is different from crude oil and a number of ways it's tar sands is just dirtier and thicker and there's sand in sentiment and a lot of other compounds in it and they have to actually make it more toxic and more dangerous even to get it through the pipelines they have to heat it they have to pressurize it and they have to add a number of diluting chemicals to allow it to flow and then we can tell us what those chemicals are and tar sands six it doesn't float like crude oil does so you can just scrape it off the top of the water it will sink down and it will get in soil it will get into the sediment underneath the ice water it will get into the groundwater and do you have any hope of removing it you basically have to completely destroy everything that is living and excavate the entire ecosystem and bring something new and of course now that they've washed it into this wetland
which is either logically connected to lake cotton way end to streams and rivers that ultimately lead to the arkansas river there's there's really no way that they can claim that they're containing this oil and yet you mentioned how it six that i don't want to sound unsympathetic to homeowners i mean what they're going through there is awful but by diverting the oil off the pavement and concrete that you saw it you know in people's driveways and things and then into water and into wetlands are they making it even more difficult to clean up and has there or do they have any estimates or do we even know how long it takes to clean up such a kind of tar sands disaster like this yes well had they tried to clean it up directly from the neighborhood rather than just getting it out of sight as quickly as possible and trying to make it seem like nothing was wrong and maybe less of it would have gotten into the groundwater and its surrounding ecosystems because those paved areas are less hermia bone. but we don't really know
how long it takes to clean this stuff up because we've never successfully cleaned out a large parks and still in kalamazoo michigan there was a one million gallon spill about three years ago from an end bridge pipeline it directly into some wetlands that were right by the kalamazoo river and it was a huge disaster we don't know what the final count on this one is in terms of gallons but it seems like kalamazoo is larger that was three years ago people are still sick cleanup is still not finished people are still finding oil and their tar sands rather actually so i don't have an answer for that sort of if your crew got a chance sort of go in and see how bad the wetland was you know the from from the oil how bad is that the possibly you know for there to be a recovery for that ecosystem and if so what would the recovery look like. because you could you be just the last part of that again if so how that recovery what how that the recovery looks like to sort of recover the ecosystem back to how it was prior to be oil spill it seems like that's probably impossible there already
especially because they pump all this other stuff sorry our wash all this other stuff in there if they're really going to get the chemicals out of there they're going to need to remove all of the soil and deep down and probably drain the area or something like that and. the ecosystem is never going to be the same and any bio water that it gets to is probably not going to be the same which is a big deal here because a lot of people fish a lot of people go duck hunting in that right now it's prime season for both of those things and so it's. any claim that they're going to make that they can fix this are are really disingenuous and also aside the point because even if they did everything right with this spill even if they put all the money into it to make this better so to speak the point is that they this was not an accident this was a negligence exxon is the largest corporation in the world. and for them human
lives of people in mayflower or as we saw years ago with the valleys or even just this this recent spill of a hat from a louisiana refinery human lives are numbers on a balance sheet these people write this is the most profitable corporation the history of the world as you mentioned there real quick you mentioned how we don't know how to clean this up up it happened in michigan three years ago the clean up is still going on yet the debate in washington is whether we should build a massive pipeline the keystone x.l. pipeline extend the pipeline i guess and carry more of the stuff in just thirty seconds what should the president be paying attention to in our consultant night as a ministration is weighing this decision. well the thing that the big issue that i see with the keystone debate is that everyone talks like president obama is on the fence about whether or not he's going to prove he's done x. out he's actually already approved and expedited the southern portion of the
keystone x.l. pipeline through oklahoma and texas it's already being built it's just over fifty percent complete miter tar sands blockade has been physically imposing its construction but even if the northern segment is never built the southern portion will connect what has been called the fuse to the largest carbon bomb on the planet which is the basket tar sands area so we are pleased he said i noticed on air that he's on the ground. thank you so much for being with us erica. thank you for having me. and other news across the country our democratic process is under attack thanks to conservative efforts to rig the electoral college and basically to steal future elections and the justice department has finally caught on to these republican efforts to steal the white house last week to new york attorney general eric holder so they're part of justice will pursue legal action against state officials who attempt to rig the electoral college he said that quote recent purpose. those
changes in our electoral votes are apportioned in specific states are blatantly partisan unfair to visit and not worthy of our nation let me be clear again we will not sit by and allow the slow unraveling of an electoral system that so many sacrificed to construct an older comments were aimed at republican officials across the united states who are currently working to change the way electoral college the way electoral college votes are counted if republicans succeed with their election rigging plans it would virtually guarantee republicans winning the white house in two thousand and sixteen and beyond so let's hope attorney general eric holder stands by his word and is ready and willing to fight back against those who threaten our democracy. raise the alert romania lawyer madaline chica lesko has
a problem the problem is farting demons courted to chika lesko his office is infested with devils that cause all sorts of trouble from fiddling with the t.v. to swelling up the room with a hellish hellish flatulence he's become so fed up with the demonic roommates that a few months ago he contacted local priest constantine are gateaux to two according to the range an exorcism on a four unfortunately the exorcism failed and the demons followed him to his apartment he now sees demons everywhere in various forms some even disguising themselves as crows so chica lesko did what any good lawyer would do he filed a complaint against the priests for failing to complete the exorcism to maintain courts have already rejected his fraud claims they contended the demons are a figment of the man's wild imagination chick alaska who argues that he's a victim of religious fraud he now intends to take his case all the way to the european court of human rights good luck attorney chica let's go good luck. all
right and after the break republicans love to complain about too much government oversight but if that truly were the case wouldn't the two thousand and eight presidential crisis fueled by the housing crisis have been prevented just how much regulation and oversight is there of the finance and banking industry today and should we be putting more regulations in place to protect the american people.
you know sometimes you see a story and it seems so for lengthly you think you understand it and then you glimpse something else and you hear or see some other part of it and realize everything you thought you knew you don't know i'm tom harvey welcome to the big picture. potentially deadly blizzard taking aim for the northeast it's expected to hit stunning in a few hours from new york to maine we have team coverage of the storm. but what we're watching is the very heavy snow moving into boston proper earlier today it was very sticky you can see it start to become much more powdery down so the
bottom line there's still a lot of snow out here a good place for snowball fight. piece and it is kind of pretty incredible day there and even record snowfall throughout what's been like nobody's luxury driving lessons to them urgency fear exceptional. worst. light out for the day the radio guy and. make. a good joke of you've never seen anything like this i'm telling.