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tv   Viewpoint With Eliot Spitzer  Current  May 7, 2012 8:00pm-9:00pm PDT

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. >> way, way deep, up there in my vagina. >> that's funny, and here something serious, eliot spitzer in washington, d.c. have viewpoint. ♪ >> good evening illinois. eliot spitzer. disclosing our private information to the nsa the natural security agency ignoring fundamental institutional principles. some are saying that privacy has disappeared. i'll be joined by three former n nsa agency talking about privacy. and opening the door to share
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your private data with other interpret providers as well as government agencies. a bill the president has threatened to veto. while everyone appears focused on spying on internet activity there is actual spying going on by authorities of your cell phone. the ubiquity with which there are few safeguards to protect privacy and often without a warrant. ed markie co-share to send a letter to nine major wireless carriers to ask information on their cell phone tracking policies. the practice of cell phone tracking raises a number of legal constitutional and privacy questions. i am deeply concerned about possible privacy ininstitutions, particularly in the absence of consumer knowledge or consent or judicial oversight. joining me now is that co-chair of
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the congressionnal privacy caucus congressman ed markie and one of the most stalwart voices for reasons in the house of representatives. thank you for joining us. >> congratulations on your new show. >> we're having loads of fun. what could be better? >> we could keep an eye on them because we know that telephone companies and police are keeping an eye on all americans. >> tell me about that. tell me what led to you write this letter? you basically are saying to the phone companies you are tracking your collecting data. you are using your capacity to follow us for an improper purpose. tell us what is going on. >> all of these wireless devices that people are now carrying around in their pockets, at the same time they are tracking devices. at the time they allow telephone companies to tell your company that you work for or the local police or the cia where you are
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all day long. the question is do the companies, do the police have to go to a court to get a legally obtained warrant to pry upon your private information? >> now one of those questions, a small subset decided by the supreme court that said for law enforcement to put a tracking device on somebody's car they did need a warrant. but that's very different from a private company turning on the gps capacity keeping it, using it and selling it to someone else. what have you heard from cell phone companies? >> so far nothing. but this goes to the fundamental question of what is the level of private say that all americans are entitled to. 15 years ago most americans did not have a tracking device, a cell phone in their pocket. now they do. so we have to have this conversation. because the police are having this conversation. private companies are having this conversation. it's time for the american people to have this level of conversation. >> 35050 years ago we were worried
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about the government. then it became an issue of private companies collecting that data. now everything we do registers and leaves a fingerprint. when law enforcement calls these phone companies, what does it say, and what do the phone companies do as far as we know. >> what they say is we want the information about this individual. the companies say well, we're going to charge you for that information because it's an imposition on it. but at the same time do they ask the question of whether or not you've gone to a federal district court or local court to get a warrant? it's not clear that it's happening. it's more likely that it's not happening than it is happening. for the companies the telecommunications companies they now see your privacy your personal information as a product to be sold regardless there is an assumed agreement with the customer that has been
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kept private. >> there is almost an incentive for the companies to sell the information to the police. but they make money on this transaction. >> they make money. so there is the quality to these technologies. it's the best technologies and the worst simultaneously. it's the best and to be noble and you can use it to talk to your family. but it can be compromised in a way that comes back to haunt the customer. that's the big discussion. because of this ubiquitous now in the lives of our country. >> the value of this information is what is driving the value of facebook of google, of so many of the internet companies that have the enormous markets caps, the information that we're talking about right now it is there currency in trade. the phone companies say, we have this information, they may begin to sell it in the same way.
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>> if you think of you used improperly, it becomes u-track. >> you can capture everything in the best sound byte. >> that's what you need to know. that's the bottom line. each and every bit of information that americans are now putting online that their wireless devices make it capable, can be used as that product. at facebook google, they have algorithms that can connect you to the rest of the universe, but what about privacy? what if they say i don't want to be tracked. i don't want my child tracked. they then become deaf, dumb and blind. >> one of the things that you said is troubling to me. there is no uniformity that guides the way law enforcement and these cell phone companies
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interact. nobody has said here are the procedures. here are the federal rules. we're talking about a void in terms of the legalities, in terms of the practices. there is sort of a wild west quality to it that permits them to do whatever they wish. >> because when in all previous geniuses they were using their cellphones, in those telephones calls, they were private. they could not be divulged. but when we move to these new devices, they're bringing the privacy with them to telephone companies are seeing it now. it's a new era it's a product that can be sold. it's invaluable. >> when i was a prosecutor a fair number of years ago. >> obviously to listen you need probable cause. what you're saying right now there is uncertainty about where all this leaves us. >> within this atmosphere of
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ambiguity we are seeing the because there are constraints about what they can do about what they're gathering. what should we do for a kid who is is a and we have 25% of colleges are now going to. facebook. >> come on that kid has a right to have that entire facebook record completely and totally expunged. >> i hope you do something that will set standards to guide the company. let's switch gears. you forced bp a couple of years ago to put a camera down there and it was because of that camera that we finally understood the enormity of the
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leak in the gulf. there was finally one prosecution of low-level executive, pictures came out of the horrifying imagery of the damage that was done to animals. do you think we'll see additional prosecution. >> on day one bp said only 1,000 barrels a day were leaking. a few days later they were saying 5,000 barrels. now we know it was 53,000 barrels a day on average. >> this could be the clue that let's us know i believe we're
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about to find out.. >> they blew the whistle on what they found out if you have an opinion, you better back it up. >>eliot spitzer takes on politics. >>science and republicans do not mix. >>now it's your turn at the only online forum with a direct line to eliot spitzer. >>join the debate now. [ male announcer ] this is corporate caterers miami, florida.
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>> bring us to the number of the day. three. that's the number of european countries where voters seem to be rejecting current economic austerity policies. socialist leader françois hollande is set to become france's new president after securing 52% of the vote this weekend. he promised to rewrite the austerity pack written by nicolas sarkozy and angela merkel in a depressed euro economy. this is especially awkward for david's prime minister david cameron. not only because cameron endorse endorsed sarkozy, but as his own conservative tori port last 400 seats last week.
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and wages and pension versus been slashed voters turned out to punish the two parties who have dominateed greek politics for over 40 years. both received combined 33% of the ballot. there is no apparent incentive for voters to bring back the same folks who created the financial disaster. instead, voters with the far right neo-nazi groups. if we learned anything, it was europe's austerity failing politically and economically. if you want to remember the names of two economists who got it jennifer granholm is politically direct on current tv. >>the dominoes are starting to fall. (vo) granholm is live in the war room. >> what should women be doing? >> electing women to office. (vo) she's a political trailblazer. >>republicans of course didn't let facts get in the way of spin.
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>>do it, for america. v >>now let's get some real news. (vo) first, news and analysis with a washington perspective from an emmy winning insider. >>you couldn't say it any more powerfully than that. >> current tv, on the roll. (vo)followed by humor and politics with a west coast edge. >>ah, thank you. >>it really is incredible. (vo)bill press and stephanie miller, current's morning news block. weekdays six to noon. >> the machinery to turn america into a totalitarian state overnight is already in place. that comes in an agency larger than the fbi or the c.i.a. responsible for what is officially known as signals
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intelligence and unofficially as wiretapping. since 911 the nsa has hut in place code name "stellar wind" by george w. bush. >> a limited program taking known al-qaida numbers numbers from known al-qaida people, and just trying to find out why the phone call is being made. >> instead the nsa is analyzing trillions of phone calls text, e-mails all without the benefit of a court order. it is now expanding under the obama administration. whistle blowers who they intend is retribution and intimidation while describing what they believe to be unconstitutional aspects of the program. with me whistle blowers who have seen their homes raided by the
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fbi for those benefits. resigned from the agency in in 2001. kirk, a former senior analysts with years of experience with the agency who along with bill and two others washington, d.c. the investigation and audit of the nsa. and thomas, a former material witness and was then charged with violating the espionage act. i've got to say gentlemen i've been in law enforcement a fair number of years. the three of you look like the quintessential fbi-c.i.a. agents and here you are as whistle blowers. that's why i think it's so critical the public see you. bill tell me what motivated you to raise these issues and what they were about.
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>> well, to start with i developed the program in nsa to mine massivesive amounts of data to detect foreign threats. then after 9/11 they decided to turn that capability against every in the country everyone in the united states. and they started by taking commercial data in from at&t on everyone approximately 3 oh 20 million calls a day were recorded by this device. that was just the initial participation. >> can i interrupt for just a second. >> yes. >> the domestic was not within the nsa domain. >> no, the charter was for foreign intelligence. >> not nsa. >> they can with a warrant issued. >> i went directly to the intelligence committee, and i spoke with chief justice
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renquist. then eventually kirk and i went to see the jod office. >> and what did they do. >> they rejected it. the only thing that came out was the joint doj report in 2009 where they simply said you need to have better and more active monitoring of these surveillance programs. so that did absolutely nothing. >> there was no question in european these were intercepted. these were violation of what the guidelines were. >> direct violation of an alcohol series of laws. >> and being able to track who is calling whom. >> right. >> track forward, what happened, the fbi came to visit you. >> in july of 2007 they came and raided us, yes. >> when you say raided you what happened? >> 10 or 12 of them busted in
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with guns drawn at my house. >> you don't seem terribly dangerous. >> i had been cooperating with the fbi for months. >> your complaints triggered them to come down on you like a ton of bricks. >> yes, plus the inspector general complaint that we filed. >> kirk, let me switch over to you. tell me what did you what you reported, and then what happened to you. >> we began with reporting reporting corruption in acquisition of the nsa system. it's not so much a fourth amendment issue as it was fraud abuse, mismanagement. so four or five of us drafted a report for the d.o.d.i.g. in-- >> the department of defense inspector general. >> exactly. that was in 2002 that launched a sizable investigation involving as many as 12 investigators. and lasted until 2005 when the report came out. >> and it showed what, there was
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fraud? there was waste? >> it was highly redacted, eliot. about 90% of the pages are blank. but what you can glean from it is that our assertions were right. there was something amies. billions were spent. trailblazer was the name of the project. it was an utter failure. >> what was "trailblazer"? >> the agency's attempt to modernize its capabilities to deal with the information age. nsa was caught a little bit behind the times and needed a quick injection of help. >> thomas, tell me what you reported and what happened to you. >> i discovered shortly after 9/11 that an illegal regime which had existed for 23 years and came about because of the substantial abuses during the 60s and 70s was now being absolutely violated by nsa in league with the white house. >> let me explain this. fisa was passed and put in legal constraints of what it could do
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because of political intervention and abuse in the nixon white house. >> if you're going to wiretap or suvel an u.s. person you need a warrant except circumstance where is you need a warrant later. >> and there was a court created, a fisa court for that precise purpose. >> now i realize that the wheels came off of the existing vehicle but we were in a new vehicle. i knew if i remained silent you would be complicity to the sub subversion of the constitution. >> they're doing all of this in secret, and in secret with certainly substantially large telecommunications concerns. >> explain to me how they do this. for those of us who still marvel at technology. have my blackberry. i push a few buttons and i can
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talk to someone. someone was tracking this data. >> arrangements were made for that to happen. the vast capability of the nsa was increasingly being turned inside the u.s. to surval networks e-mails gleets were those bad guys known to be talking to al-qaida or-- >> that was one aspect of the program. that was a small part of it, a tip of the iceberg. >> hundreds ever millions of calls. >> hundreds ever millions. >> of domestic individuals. >> yes. >> how would it capture calls. >> it was a "dragnet" program, a larger program. what was the name of that. >> "stellar wind." >> it baned the opportunity to cast a huge net and harness corral everything that was there, and then you would run algorisms through it. >> the united states was turned into the equivalent of a foreign
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nation in terms of the "dragnet" surveillance. >> this is in violation of fisa. >> absolute violation. >> when was i was prosecutor, if we wanted to listen telephones we would have to court and all these legal rules none of this didn't matter. >> when i raised my substantial concerns, first i reported to the number three person in the nsa, he said, you don't understand. we live in exigent conditions. >> i thought you could go 72 hours after the exact. >> i persisted. i said, if we go to congress, they'll say no. which raised more concerns. i was told by one of the senior attorneys, tom the white house has approved the program. the nsa is the executive agent of the program. it's all legal. >> you're desperate to jump in here. tell us what you know about "still arrest wind." what was it all about? >> it was pulling together all
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the e-mails phone calls and probably other records like banking and so on so you build relationships that would show communities of who you worked with, who you were involved with what whatever you were doing in your daily life. >> not just phone calls on my blackberry. if i go to an atm machine they know what my credit card is being used for? >> absolutely. any electronic transaction. >> how do they do this? i was when i was a prosecutor we had to put two little wires on and it was long and laborious. these days it's easier. >> the tell coms help them out by giving billing datas. that gives all the calls. to my estimate that was three billion a day. >> they downloaded this data. where do they keep it? >> it's not that difficult to keep. it condenses to rather a small graphic. it can be held in an eight-foot
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storage compartment. the whole raft. >> they download all this data from satellites and transfers tom, tell me what happened to you. did they give a bouquet of roses and thank you for not-- >> no, at at full. attempts were used to analyze the data of the nsa and discover discovered critical intense--this is another aspect of all this, critical intelligence before 9/11 that would have gone a long way to prevent 9/11. >> hold on,
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>> we're back, the discussion of the national security agencies unrerestaurant ability to our telephones, texts and
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e-mails. bill how was congress informed or not informed about this, and what was their role in permitting the nsa to crest through these walls that are supposed to stop them. >> the program "stellar wind" was started even before they knew about it, then they were told about it. in an interview on another network, he said that originally only the gang of four, which is the house and senate minority and majority leaders on-- >> the congressthe congressional over sight. >> yes. they were going to resign, i guess. >> because of this. >> because it was called a covert program. that expanded the gang of eight after that. >> was congress ever the full scope of stellar wind
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and how many calls were being followed? >> i suspect suspect they were told in a general sense that it's a large collection of all the information that the telcomms. >> nobody cared. >> they didn't seem to. >> at the moment, fourth amendment not so much, just gather the stuff. >> for the courts they just by passed the fisa court. >> tell me about stellar wind. how big was it? who was involved? were there private contractors involved, and what did they do with this information. >> we still do not know the full extent of the program. even to this day. it's one of the most protective secrets held by the government, but it's vast. i discovered people coming to me saying tom what are we doing now? we're supposed to be spying on americans, and now we're sweeping up anything.
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>> who in nsa did you speak to, and you said, i just don't think this fits the contours of our mandate and authority. >> i blew the whistle several times. my immediate boss who was the number three person of the nsa also spoke directly to the inspector general's office. i spoke to other officials in the nsa and i eventually had the phone call with the attorney general and the office's general counsel, plenty of attorneys who knew about the program. >> and did that lead to the nsa clamping down and stop or they just clamped down on. >> you i was told in no uncertain terms not to ask any more questions. you don't want to go there. >> kirk, let me can you a question. you can store it in one cabinet but it sounds like a lot of data, a lot of folks are in involved. where is this they building new buildings for this?
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>> nsa has many storage facilities around the country. and some overseas as well. but the thing on the horizon is this huge facility in utah bluffdale i believe it is, a small town in utah. it can hold physically speaking five united states capitol buildings. most of it will be dedicated to the storage of data. when you see something like that his notion of an eight-foot cabinet storing the graph, in other words, all the data that connects all the dots in the world is another matter. we're talking about content. and it's the only thing that makes any sense in terms of requiring the data. >> now i thought the only entity that had all this was google. but you're telling me that nsa has more than google. what continues to bother me. >> well, the mantra is this. we just need the data.
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we never know when we might need it later. we just need the data. no matter where we can get it from, let's just get it. >> they're casting this net around every electronic data point storing it some how with the capacity to go back after the fact to sift through it. >> 9/11 is a number one reason for the system. it failed to protect the country. so in essence it went to the other extreme. we need it all because you never know when we might need it. you never know when it might be something of interest. >> one of the things i thought i learned when i was in the business of being a prosecutor trying to peace together conspiracies sometimes too much information hurts you. the wiser approach is to limit your n to that which is really relevant. otherwise you can't sift through it. is there a way frommal intelligence analytic perspective, are they taking in too much. >> absolutely. that diffuses their effort
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across the whole much larger set of information they really need. they don't focus in on what is important because they can't figure it out yet. that's why they're storing it all. that's the problem. now one of the real problems though for me that i see is the sharing of that data with the fbi. they can make random inquiries to pull this data out. director mueller in his interview in the senate judicial committee in the 30th of march march, 2011 said in answer to a question how do you prevent another fort hood? he said, we put together a technology database where i can make one query and i can get all past e-mails and all fury mails as they come in. >> there has been a merger with nsa and fbi no longer respects statutory distinctions. >> and also with retroactive analysis capabilities all the way back to 2001.
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>> have any courts been involved in this other than the efforts to prosecute you? >> of the cases that have come to court, three judges have found nsa in violation of the constitution. some of those litigations, but those are the three to date. >> and just to sort of come to a conclusion where we began the case against you the government's case completely fell apart. they alleged vie rations of the-- >> they wanted to get somebody. i was told by very well placed sources, just fry somebody. find and fry them. >> because you were revealing the nsa. let me ask you this, you see what is going on with our justice department where we're prosecuting roger clemens of steroid use. no one in wall street is held accountable. do you think something is amies. >> absolutely. but the d.o.j. is covering up for all the crimes and the previous administration has been might be against the publiccommitting
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against the. >> we have problems on several fronts. >> this is a serious issue. this is one that deserves a public airing. this is not one to be dealt with in two conversations. i hope you'll come back. we have thank you all for your service to the nation as well as your time tonight. stop the presses. charles barkley has called the elec our conversation is with you the viewer because we're independent. >>here's how you can connect with "viewpoint with eliot spitzer." >>questions, of course, need to be answered. >>we will not settle for the easy answers.
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>> still to come, vice president biden has evolved faster than the president. but first john mccain is in denial. a dictator is in new york, and someone just got a hot tub. when it doesn't fit anywhere wells we put it in the viewfinder. nick. >> hellonubbing >> hello, hello. the best of the west. >> what is the best advice you can give mitt romney about picking a running mate. >> i think it's a person that he knows he can trust and primary the absolute most important aspect is if something happened to him would that person be well-qualified to take their place. >> as putin rears his head and comes into the air space of the united states of america where do they go? it's alaska. it's just over the board. >> would you pick me? i'm so much my own agent.
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it's inconceivable. >> what is black and white and lies. >> no, no. >> dodo not say barak obama. >> i was going to say panda on waite watchers. >> will the real brian kill me please stand up. >> mitt romney, we are going to beat you like a drum in november. don't take it personally. i like you. you seem like a nice guy. you're going down, bro. >> a hot tub. >> he's all fired up about that. >> coca-cola talked about the energy drink called "monster" beverage. it could compete with meth. >> be very careful picking a running mate. wall street millionaires and billionaires have had their feelings hurt.
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so, you guys grew up together. yes, since third grade... what are you lookin' at? not looking at i anything... we're not good enough for you. must be supermodels? what do you model gloves? brad, eat a snickers. why? 'cause you get a little angry when you're hungry. better? [ male announcer ] you're not you when you're hungry™. better. [ male announcer ] snickers satisfies. >> did joe biden just force the president's hand when it comes to taking a stand for gay marriage? but now let's take our first trip of the week out west and visit jennifer granholm. >> you're discussing all kinds of wonderful things. we're talking campaign trails, guy marriage and will it make it on the platform. we've got a little someone who knows a thing or two about budget deficits as well. and we've also got romney's
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surrogate buchanan who is always interesting. that and a lot more at the top of the hour. >> sounds awesome. you never know if joe biden says something. was it crypted or did it pop out. we all love him and it's usually right on the mark in terms of substance. we never know how to interpret it. very, very excited about that and very proud of that. >>beltway politics from inside the loop. >>we tackle the big issues here in our nation's capital, around the country and around the globe. >>dc columnist and four time emmy winner bill press opens current's morning news block. >>we'll do our best to carry the flag from 6 to 9 every morning. >>liberal and proud of it. car. polymers, hydo-carbons, thermal plastics, math and science? you bet it is.
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many kids don't understand how important these subjects can be that's why time warner cable developed connect a million minds. to introduce kids in our communities to the opportunities that inspire them to develop these important skills. how can my car go faster? maybe your child will figure it out. find out more at >> still to come, joe biden says he's comfortable with same sex marriage but is his boss? but first my view. the sound you hear coming out of wall street is the cry of a child whose toy has been taken away. self-pitying ceos and hedge fund titans requesting the question, why don't you like us any more? what did we do wrong? even after the cataclysm of 2008, mind you they created and the bailouts we paid for they say president obama is akin to the roman emperor nero for wanting to tax the wealthy at a
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slightly higher rate, and they compare his effort to eliminate one of the most inindividualous tax loopholes to the nazi invasion of poland, a revolting comparison if ever there was one. sometimes you have to conclude that the leadership of high finance just doesn't get it. let's be clear about something. the public loves ceos who create invent, and actually play capitalism the way its supposed to be played. take steve jobs. an american icon, even though his company didn't pay all the taxes maybe it should have, and produced many of its products overseas, but steve jobs was a creator. just the waybill gates was a creator, or andy grove a couple of years back. these three stand in sharp contrast to the fox on wall street who move money back and forth with sticky fingers. managing to hold onto some of it while too often deceiving customers along the way. wall street played a high risk game of heads i win. tails, you lose. and they don't think we understand that. the truth is, we love
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capitalists, inventors ands real risk takers as long as they generate a real product and play by the rules. we love the spirit of entrepreneurship who built this country. we scorn those who try to game the system and
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♪ ♪ >> while the president continues to evolve the vice president's evolution seems to be complete. appearing on "meet the press" yesterday, the vice president biden had this to say on the topic of same-sex marriage. >> i'm absolutely comfortable with the fact that men marrying men, women marrying women and heterosexual men and women marrying are entitled to the same exact rights, all the civil rights all the civil liberties. >> the white house immediately tried to down play the vice president's comments. white house press secretary jay
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carney was asked several times today about the president's views and gave almost an identical answer each and every time. >> there is a little bit of an overreaction here. the vice president supports and made clear he supports the president's policies when it comes to protecting the rights of lgbt citizens. and he also has his own personal views about the issue as does the president as do most people. >> meanwhile, in an interview this morning on msnbc when asked whether he believes same-sex marriage should be legal secretary ofation arne duncan agreed with fellow cabinet secretary shaun donovan saying simply, yes, i do. joining me now is host of the michelangelo show on sirius xm, and editor at large for
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"huffington post" gay voices. michelangelo. >> it seems not to be calculated move by the white house but does it work in their favor? is the white house saying something fundamental something fund mental has shifted. >> i think there is enormous pressure on this white house to deliver something more. as you pointed to the development of the executive order, the disappoint of the president not evolving. there is an attempt to go as far as you can without going quite there. that requires a lot of nuance, a lot of skill. joe biden is not exactly a nuance kind of guy. [chuckling] he tried to do something and went a little bit too far. it blue up in their face blew up in their faces because then it meant that they had to pull back and then you have demonstration among activists. >> you want to keep the issue in the news by doing something that
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will make people happy and same-sex marriage should be legal, and it should be federal law and certainly state law or don't talk about it. but keep canning it in the news if you're not going to make that step seems counterproductive. i'm not clear and is it the vice president doing what we love him for and that's talking his mind. am i wrong in the analysis here? >> i think you're right in the sense that biden was probably going to address this in a short way, maybe just put out his feelings, having come from this fundraiser. he really was heat felt heartfelt about what he said. but it just kept going. it became something that they had to deal with in a way that really then sent a message to a lot of the supporters that this president just isn't quite there yet. and again had a lot of people thinking what is this president standing for. why doesn't he come further and
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that's why the press briefing turned into that debacle today. >> i think what we're going to see is every member of the cabinet is going to be asking this question. we've gone from the vice president to secretary of education, are we going to go through every member of the cabinet to see if we get a head count? are they simply saying we're not going to answer the question any more? >> well, it seems to me that they've allowed the education secretary, the housing of urban development secretary to speak their minds. if that's the case, this is going to keep coming up, i think it really puts pressure on the president to come forward on this. it's going to condition to blow up as we--it's going to continue to blow up as we get closer to the convention. it's not going to go away. i think the president is going to have to address it. >> have you had any contact with the white house reaching out to the community saying, look, help is out here. make the issue go away for a couple of months.
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we promise something good will happen after november, and kind of hinting something will happen before november. there has been a lot of communications meetings in the white house a voices reaching out to smooth the waters. what have you heard if anything. >> i think those days are over, frankly after activists and others helping out the white house. i think a lot of that went on certainly over the past couple of years earlier this year. there logical has been a shift. really in the last month and a half or so where the major lbgt groups, human rights campaigns and others are no longer giving cover to the administration. they're no longer saying we'll take this back to the community and help tamp this down. the white house is on its own here. the white house will have to produce something quick. >> which is frankly from a political perspective obviously
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not a good week in the last two weeks with the president's failure to sign the executive order and then mitt romney firing an aide simply because he happened to be gay. this is not a good stretch and we're shaking our heads thinking where have we gone on this issue. there is an addition tinks and dichotomy with lots of progress in new york, california, even colorado, reasonable things happening around the nation. and then at the federal level not so much. what explains this division? >> well, you have states who have obviously moved forward dramatically because the constituents and those of particular states, gay communities that have really worked hard to get this on the agenda, if you have this congress that we have right now and you have this real animosity toward gay rights in the republican congress and among the republicans and the senate
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and the house, it's impossible to get anything done at the federal level. when the democrats had that opportunity when they controlled the house and the senate, they were afraid. this didn't move forward. only after they lost control did we see forward movement on trying to repeal the marriage act. we had some missed opportunities federally, and now the republicans are in control. >> now i think you're right. there is a theological strand of the republican party that is pulling the entire republican party so far to the right, it's hard to see how that part of the republican party will do anything that will be dramatic in this with regard. as you point out add this to the list of missed opportunities that perhaps should have been dealt with when the democrats party had control of both houses and had the white house as well. michelangelo on sirius xm, and editor of "huffington post." thank you for your time. that's viewpoint.
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