Olympian Orgies, Caterpillar’s Worker Strikes and Fed Hearings all on Thursday’s ‘Politically Direct’

Jennifer Granholm’s The War Room discussed Caterpillar, Inc. which has experienced “record-breaking” profits in the second quarter. Caterpillar Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Doug Oberhelman also adds,

“Our employees, dealers and suppliers across the globe are doing a superb job of executing our strategy. They have helped deliver the highest level of financial performance for any quarter in our history for our stockholders and outstanding value for our customers (courtesy of MarketWatch.com).”

Caterpillar workers are asking for a pay raise to match increases in the cost of living during this period of national economic stagnation and to reflect Caterpillar’s success. Caterpillar has refused the demands of the workers despite being on strike since May 1.

Caterpillar is asking 780 workers to accept a six-year wage and pension freeze despite its “record-breaking” profits. According to Granholm, Caterpillar’s CEO received a $11 million bonus on top of a $6 million salary, but cannot afford to share its profits with its employees who helped the company become successful.

Granholm interviews NYTimes.com reporter Stephen Greenhouse on the issue. Read his article here.

The show also met with Founder of Media Matters For America, MediaMatters.org, David Brock about the distortion of information by Fox News. They discuss the Obama quote saying “[…] you didn’t build that” and critique the Super PAC American Crossroads, which is backed by Karl Rove, and their new ad which paints Obama as unfriendly towards business.

Another segment reviewed the attempted comeback of conservative public policy group ALEC, which has drawn a lot of controversy after Americans became upset over their backing of Rush Limbaugh, after Limbaugh attacked Sandra Fluke earlier this year over her fight to have birth control covered under her health insurance.

Since then over 30 corporations have pulled their support for ALEC (watch clip here). A spokesperson from ALEC told Bloomberg this a “corporate intimidation and bully campaign.” She added this campaign is “politics at its worst and should be ignored.”

Granholm later discussed debate strategies for Romney and his blunder while in London. Romney’s blunder essentially compared his leadership of the Olympics in Utah to the leadership of London officials in 2012. London leaders are experiencing difficulty in keeping its city united amidst public strikes. Leaders of London did not take kindly to his remarks.

Eliot Spitzer’s Viewpoint, discussed the Libor scandal, which the other shows on Politically Direct don’t discuss as much. I’ve caught Cenk Uygur of The Young Turks discussing this issue as well of Jennifer Granholm, but not as in depth as Spitzer who has a history of prosecuting investment banks, mutual fund brokers and the New York Stock exchange for corruption.

Bethany McLean, a Reuters columnist, contributing editor of Vanity Fair magazine and best known for her top-notch investigative reporting on the Enron Scandal and 2008 financial crisis, was on the show tonight. McLean and Spitzer discussed the Federal Reserve hearings yesterday after a bill was proposed by Representative Ron Paul (R.-Texas) to audit the Federal Reserve. According to The Wall Street Journal,

“On Wednesday, the House on a 327-98 vote, passed a bill that would permit the government to review the policy deliberations that are at the heart of the central bank’s mission.”

Federal Reserve Board Member and US Secretary of Treasury, Timothy Geithner, was blasted by Congress, particularly Republicans, as they wanted to connect someone within the Obama administration to alleged corruption. Democrats praised Geithner as they too are playing politics and don’t want to connect controversy to the Obama administration. What this has shown is that these hearings, as pivotal as they could potentially be, are nothing but “business as usual” and “a dog and pony show.”

Also listen as Spitzer doesn’t buy the sudden change of heart from former CEO and chair of Citigroup, Sandy Weill. His sudden change of heart in believing the big banks and securities firms should be broken up because they are a threat to the economy is a little too late in Spitzer’s opinion—especially after Weill benefited from the contrary.

The Young Turks produced a show that was a bit milder on the political side, which the show is known for doing as they are beholden to discussing issues their online community (i.e., the TYT Army) is interested in.

Cenk Uygur discussed the enormous amount of sex expected to occur at this year’s Olympics (they city will add an additional 100,000 condoms to prepare for athlete sex and orgies), the $1.2B Americans are paying to subsidize junk food, Chic-fil-a’s civil rights controversy and Romney’s London blunder.

All of this coverage was complete with guests Michael Hastings of Buzzfeed, ESPN The Magazine writer Sam Alipour, conservative author Lenny McAllister and politically conscious rapper Immortal Technique.

You can read Alipour’s piece “Will You Still Medal In the Morning,” which takes a behind the scenes look at sex and Olympians.

Courtesy of Noma Bar and ESPN.com

Courtesy of The Young Turks and ESPN.com

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