tv [untitled] December 3, 2012 7:30pm-8:00pm EST
back to the big picture i'm tom hartman coming up in this half hour it's no secret that exxon mobil of the rest of big oil has its hands all over our government but now a new information suggests american oil companies are not alone in corrupting our democracy foreign oil companies are doing it as well also in a society filled with corporate greed and widespread corruption it could be easy for people of faith to lose their way but what did jesus really teach about the treatment of the working class today and after years of searches and false alarms ronald reagan's welfare queen has finally been found i'll tell you where she's been hiding all these years and tonight's daily to.
in the most of the rest of the news we all know it was a tough election for mitt romney but it was an even tougher election for sheldon adelson the casino mogul who spent more money on this election than any american in any election in history actually spent more than we all previously thought according to republican fundraisers able to drop as much as one hundred fifty million bucks in the selection and today he has absolutely nothing to show for it is currently facing two federal investigations into his international business where he's allegedly violated the foreign corrupt practices act by bribing chinese officials it also had previously ended that he was supporting romney to in hopes of putting an end to president obama's justice department investigations ultimately he failed however thanks to the supreme court citizens united decision we the people have even more serious problem with our democracy and just inks. billionaire
spending a fortune to divert attention away from his own problems we now have to worry about foreign entities meddling in our elections as investigative reporter leif ali of the nation uncovered the nation's largest oil lobby group the american petroleum institute which spends evilly in our elections is receiving much of its money from agents of the saudi government it would have been criminal before the citizens united decision but now trade groups like the a.p.i. can spend unlimited foreign money buying our elections and never have to disclose the sources of this money which for all we know could be saudi arabia china even iran joining me now for more on this is leaf investigative reporter with the nation lee welcome back. i tom are you know just great and i'm glad to see you it's a great to have you with us to give us the rundown how did you discover that the a.p.i. was using saudi money in are like chains. well i did an investigation poor the nation magazine back in august looking at how corporations have taken advantage of the citizens united campaign finance landscape and my best occasion led me to trade
associations rather than super pacs trade associations have been the ideal vehicle for corporate money in this election because they can act like super pacs funneling money to advertising to a candidate committed to a campaign committees but they don't have to disclose any of their donors so chevron eighteen t. all the big fortune one hundred companies have been giving money to trade associations not super pacs when they want to get directly involved in campaigns largely because they don't want their brand associated with dirty partisan politics but as i did this investigation i found that several large trade associations have foreign leadership and one in particular the american petroleum institute actually has a board member who's not only a foreign national is actually a foreign agent of the saudi government registered with the united states state
department here in the united states as a foreign agent he's registered the department of justice which since the late thirty's has required lobbyist disclosure for people who are lobbying on behalf of foreign governments mazing so. is it possible that other foreign governments or other foreign corporations and in many countries there the same thing we're funneling money through other other as trade associations other front groups for this last election i you know the chamber u.s. chamber of commerce comes to mind for example yes certainly you know the u.s. chamber of commerce has solicited money from state run corporations in india bahrain korea and other places wisely in places where they've been doing free trade deals they've invited foreign corporations to help them with their lobbying but every game is completely changed with citizens united because colonel for the past thirty years trade associations have been forging these international lobbying coalitions to work on international issues like trade but the only differences in
the last three years these trade associations which are very large some of them have budgets of over four hundred million dollars now again act like super pacs they can spend directly in campaigns they can do to get out the vote efforts as the chamber does they can spend money on on ads and getting out getting their members to support certain candidates so that's how things are changing very quickly and it's difficult to moderate because they're undisclosed right and these groups have also been instrumental in creating astroturf political you know what look like grassroots organizations the early tea party stuff a lot of that funding was coming through through the chamber and other corporations was it not. you know that's right i did a story on the american petroleum institute last year in two thousand and eleven they had a front group called iowa energy citizens that was sneaking into town hall event and getting all republican candidates back then during the primaries on record to
support different big oil priorities so if you peel back the layers the front group behind the front group behind a frank group actually led back to saudi oil money which. i'm sure no one in iowa or the republican even the presidential candidates really understood at the time amazing so what's to prevent for example bush or else. the the dictator of syria what's to prevent him from taking a couple hundred million dollars which is chump change for him throwing it into a a trade association here in the united states and all of a sudden an asteroid or turf group called you know americans in solidarity with syria job stop you know i mean pick your country it could be north korea kim kim jong il or control and you know now we've got this this astroturf group citizens in defense of north korea. i mean where does this stop. really that the
possibilities are endless and i think with some of those countries where they know north korea or syria that there would probably be some red flags raised but at the end of the day really any country whether it's china russia or canada can influence american politics and in many different ways many but undisclosed unbeknownst to the average american voter and what's troubling is they can actually elect members of congress members of the u.s. house and senate by running these really aggressive attack ads as the american petroleum institute their other third party party campaign organizations and then we end up with our elected representatives being essentially beholden to these foreign interests. wasn't this i mean i think back to the i don't think that i read about the election of one thousand nine hundred right thomas jefferson versus john adams and jefferson had been in france and as the u.s.
envoy to france and and adams was charging the jefferson was too friendly with the french and jefferson was charging that adams was you know had secret alliances to the british and and i mean american history is littered with these these kind of mean. no semi zina phobic but sometimes there's a little substance to typically not concerns but now oh it sounds like it could be real. look there are a lot of issues confronting our country that matter greatly to foreign interests. canadian interests would like to see the trans. pipeline built across the united states china would like to see more of chinese investment in this country saudi arabia has been been on the record saying that they'd like to scuttle our efforts to enact a price on carbon pollution clean energy laws and that sort of thing so a lot of foreign countries have a big interest in american politics now they can play an outsized role in the
challenge for both the press and the public is to figure out where this is happening the problem is so much as undisclosed and in the senate republican senators have abused the filibuster to block any type of reform i mean there are pretty simple fixes for a lot of this just forced some of these third party campaign organizations to disclose right in the public and press can very evaluate very very quickly we just have thirty seconds left you've been doing some research into who is funding grover norquist who is a. few look behind his foundation over sixty percent percent more than two thirds of his budget comes from just two billionaire backed non-profits it's folks like steve backed steve schwarzman paul singer and these are billionaires who would not like to pay a penny more in taxes than they already enjoy a surprisingly low rates they don't even pay payroll taxes first while the wealthy investors so it's no surprise that norquist is serving their interests yeah no surprise at all leaf on thanks so much for the great work you do only and thanks
for being with us and thank you tom thanks for covering us for money in our elections as one of the biggest threats to our democracy you can join the movement to overturn citizens united and yet corporate and foreign money out of our elections by going to move to amend. or. just. the. it's the good the bad of the very very exit you asli ugly the good father jonathan morris known as the holiday season wherein fox so-called news starts up its investigative reporting on the so-called war on christmas in america it's twenty five days of fox news uncovering outrages of justice is like people calling christmas trees holiday trees on fox and friends this morning father morris a regular fox contributors said that fox is coverage of a war on christmas was just downright silly. if our christmas christmas is going to
be all about getting upset at people who wish they could take away our christmas isn't that silly to morris also pointed out much of fox's chagrin the very few people who try to stop public expressions of faith i don't think father morris will be back on fox any time soon but kudos to him for calling out fox's latest conspiracy theory campaign the bad congressman allen west the outgoing tea party and islamophobia congressman was interviewed on n.p.r. over the weekend when asked what was next for him after his time in congress comes to an end west responded by saying quote i will continue to you know stand up and fight for this country and grow and gain the real bombshell in west compared himself to one of this nation's greatest leaders as the interview is ending wes told n.p.r.'s michel martin quote and always remember abraham lincoln only served one term in congress to. great congressman west has been incredibly outspoken during his time in washington but this really takes the cake and the very very ugly
tim richard richard is the principal at westwood high school in mesa arizona last week he caught two students fighting and threatened them with suspension however he said they would not be suspended if they accepted his. alternative punishment to sit together during lunch holding hands for everyone to see the students chose to take that punishment were publicly humiliated for fifteen minutes looking students repeatedly asked if they were gay and to video the whole incident is that mr richards appalling discipline idea encourages bullying and taunting and reinforces the anti-gay statements in our society and that is very very. coming up after years of searching reagan's welfare queen has finally been found i'll tell you where she's been hiding for so long in tonight's elites.
picture. here is mitt romney trying to figure out the name of that thing that many americans call a dollar. i'm sorry i missed the guy who cares an awful lot about you sorry are a fool you know what that is my terrorist cells in your neighborhood all want to give us aid to feature a zombie a liberal and a christian point you. can see your beliefs about it but it's going to fall for you to distract us from what you and i should care about because there are profit driven industry that sells us sensationalistic garbage because that breaking news i'm having martin and we're going to break that.
so sometimes you know what you know and sometimes you know what you don't know and sometimes as the firesign theater says everything you know is wrong and you know you think you know if you really are you're right to just say that you're right. you know everything you know is wrong in this day and age corporate greed and shady back alley deals are the name of the game and with such high levels of corruption greed in our society can be very hard for those who are religious to follow the true teachings of their religion this is especially the case for millions of christians in this country who are struggling to follow their beliefs and teachings in a country that for the most part seems to be morally bankrupt so if you think that jesus advocated leaving the less fortunate in the ditch and wanted a society where only the wealthy could prosper in everything you know is wrong
joining me now is reverend dr susan's the soulful a professor of theology at the chicago theological seminary and author of the book occupy the bible what jesus really said and did about money and power over dr thistlethwaite welcome to the program thank you very much for having me thank you for joining us what if there's been this i mean from process the vandalism or the gospel of prosperity and prosperity theology all this stuff to to the use of jesus by you know billionaires like pat robertson there seems to be this notion among many americans that jesus was all in favor of fundamentalist capitalism basically laissez faire capitalism what were his actual teachings and actions with regard to economics. well you know i'm going to mountain to the ministry by i think it's good news for the for and that you know they have a charity for that or if he said it
a year little more expensive for and you carry them over twenty years if you believe the jubilee is when everybody is a complete economic rebirth and it's no. not a hard concept to understand what did very radical and did completely not only like it but i think actually the christian right for a very long time has and distorting the teachings of the gospel and i want to stop that is a true the jesus actually helped organize workers or at least advocated for workers' rights. really shined on the cross and wrote this great book about the discovery of a fishing boat in the galilee and about how various the space cyclone wrecking the fishing industry with all the roma picking money out of judea and so john dominic first pointed us his book to me that did jesus go all the way to the galilee to recruit people to the disciples when he could have very well stated nazareth and he
went to recruit people who would actually get it that the kingdom of caesar is not the kingdom of god and those out of work why are they all standing around on the shore mending their nets well they're out of work they're poor and jesus recruits them in order to be disciples because there are people who will fundamentally understand see their kingdom of god. it's remarkable where. how should the bible be studied by modern christians who want a deeper understanding of. that i mean is that what you're describing is jesus as the original liberal. that world view. well you know i would recommend i teach my theology classes i say theology begins with a painter so in the bible studies that i'm writing for people to use occupy the bible and a lot of churches have signed up to use it for lent in bible study but i'm very
happy about so i actually start with the pain i start with the economic pain that people are in and i recommend that to people to study it actually to get in touch with what's happened to you how is it happened that the median income in this country has stayed practically stagnant for a decade and you know we've been going downhill in terms of real income for three decades the whole trickle up theory of reaganomics is a transfer of wealth from the bottom to the top and so people are in pain and i think if you start where the pain is then people can begin to hear wow this message of jesus is for me and i think bible study is grasping that existentially it's got to be at some level about the pain i'm in so that's where i am in the bible studies to start as fascinating jesus was a man paul was
a man the twelve disciples were all men this is been carried to such an extreme in the catholic church and some other. christian institutions that they will not allow women to be priests the mormon church also and others. what was jesus's real position on the role of women. well jesus taught a woman mary magdalen to be a disciple when she's you know last at the cross first at the tomb and she greets him when he rises and says teacher now then in the bible she disappear acts but in the gospel of mary and recent text that have been on earth and the more recent discoveries she is a not counsel and she is in a struggle with peter and other disciples to lead christian communities so jesus actually has you know is a wonderful teacher is mary and martha and. heals women and it's it's really
a just a shame. that also the church has not lifted up women's leadership the way jesus did and i and i have a chapter on that it seems like we're reading a history written by men about men form a sort of i'm. going to thank you so much for being with us tonight if you are having me on a chosen path to create it thank you. now everything you know about the real teachings of jesus is right. good news everyone after more than thirty years of searching by the news media ronald reagan's in for most welfare queen has finally been found she lives in bentonville arkansas as reagan warmed to during his one nine hundred seventy six
run for president about the nameless cadillac driving woman who's caught in the social safety net she has a d.n.a. thirty odd rosen's she's got a better kid getting food stamps and she's collecting welfare underage of her names are tax free cash income is over one hundred fifty thousand dollars. for more than thirty years republicans have used the existence of that welfare queen to justify their attacks and public spending and prove that the welfare state has run amok yet her identity has never been revealed after decades of searching the best and brightest minds in the field of journalism were never able to discover who was behind the wheel of that welfare queens cadillac or even if she or it even existed that is until now we now realize our mistake we should have been listening to the supreme court in our search for the welfare queen we were looking for actual people when we should have been looking for corporate people we should have been looking at wal-mart wal-mart is the largest private employer and brought in more and two
thousand and eleven than any other company in the nation pocketed not too shabby sixteen point four billion dollars in profits that same year in the six wal-mart heirs the walton family owned roughly one hundred billion dollars in wealth which is more than the bottom forty percent of americans combined but despite making all this money wal-mart's business model inches. chain from the government it hinges on being the biggest welfare queen in the united states because of the everyday low wages that the retail giant pays its employees our government has to step in and provide public assistance to wal-mart employees just so they can survive which is why the wal-mart workforce represents the largest recipient of federal aid in the nation. a wal-mart worker makes an average thirty one percent less than the worker of any other large retailer and requires thirty nine percent
more in public assistance recent study by u.c. berkeley found that wal-mart's low wages are costing the state of california alone eighty six million dollars a year to provide public assistance for basic stuff like food stamps and health care for that retailers forty four thousand low wage employees in california that state california spends nearly two thousand dollars every single year on each wal-mart employee who can't afford basic essentials like housing food and health care on their wal-mart paycheck in total it's estimated that wal-mart stores loot more than two and a half two point six billion dollars every single year from the federal government in the form of taxpayer funded public assistance for their employees that includes more than one billion dollars in health care costs associated with medicaid and two hundred twenty five million dollars in free or reduced price lunch is for school children a wal-mart employees and now as reported by the huffington post wal-mart is planning
to loot even more from us taxpayers as the giant corporation adopts a new health care policy that will deny insurance for employees working fewer than thirty hours a week wal-mart routinely forces their workers in a part time schedules working fewer than thirty hours a week so many are going to lose their health insurance under this new policy when asked for comment by the huffington post and how many workers will be affected wal-mart declined to answer make no mistakes about it while it may be individual wal-mart employees who are collecting government benefits for the corporation itself benefits tremendous if our government didn't step in to provide food assistance wal-mart couldn't operate with a team of m a sheet of workers unable to lift pallets of canned food or call back the correct change of a check only. if our government didn't step in to provide health insurance and wal-mart stores would be a breeding ground for infectious diseases since their employees can't afford to see
a doctor on their own if our government didn't step in to provide school lunch assistance and parents who work at wal-mart may have less money to put gas in their car may not even be able to make it into work how can a business succeed with a sickly tarty tar tired and altogether absent workforce it can't and while most businesses understand that having a healthy happy productive workforce is good for business wal-mart has instead wal-mart with its enormous fortune has shifted this responsibility out to taxpayers like you and me they are indeed among the biggest of the welfare queens in america the only difference is wal-mart actually exists and reagan's welfare queen never did it with the help of welfare queen arguments conservatives have targeted individual americans who rely on public assistance as irresponsible and argue that it's time to end the handouts but in reality it's time we target the
actual institutions of responsibility america walmart and the other corporate giants who don't give enough of a damn about their workers to pay them a living wage and they end up sticking us with the bill for the well being of these people. you know if a corporation can't afford to pay its employees enough that each worker can afford basic essentials like health care food and housing. and that corporation no matter how big or small it is shouldn't be allowed to do business no more corporate welfare queens in america. and that's the way it is tonight monday december third two thousand and twelve more information news stories we covered visit our website to tom hartman dot com free speech dot org dot com if you missed any of that i'd show you can now watch it in h.d. on hulu at hulu dot com slash big picture also check out our two you tube channels or links at target dot com also there you can check out all the different ways you