tv Full Court Press Current June 28, 2012 3:00am-6:00am PDT
>> announcer: on your radio, on tv the "bill press show," new on current tv. >> bill: okay, so our interview with joe williams yesterday generated a lot of news and a lot of e-mails. diane says carlson offers high praise and a raise for monroe yet politico suspends joe williams without pay. "the daily caller" and breitbart judge ethical journalism? how did we get in bizarro world. pat says there is a two-fold reason there's so much flack directed toward joe williams. one, he's absolutely correct about mitt romney and two he is black and in the eyes of the far right, he's not allowed to even have an opinion much less express it. what's going on with eric holder? we'll find out at the top of the next hour from former assistant attorney general.
[ ♪ theme ♪ ] >> bill: happy thursday! thursday, june 28th. good to see you today. this is the "full court press," your new progressive morning show on current tv coming to you live across this great land from ours from our nation's capital where this is d-day today for the supreme court on healthcare, of course. that's the big story of the day. who knows what the hell they're going to do. they could throw out the whole thing. or they could let the entire thing stand. but this much is certain. whatever they do, universal
healthcare is the right thing to do. every american deserves universal healthcare and whatever the court decides. we have to continue to fight for it. and we will. first, let's take a little time-out here to say hello and get all of the latest, today's current news update from jacki schechner out in los angeles. hey, jacki, good morning again. >> good morning, everybody. colorado springs residents and firefighters are hoping for calming winds and maybe even a little rain today as wildfire there continues to spread. more than 15,000 acres have burned and more than 36,000 people have been evacuated. the extent of damage is still unclear but as of late yesterday, only 5% of the waldo canyon fire was contained. president obama will travel to colorado tomorrow to survey the scene firsthand thank responders. he's spoken with colorado governor john hickenlooper and indicated federal resources are at their disposal. residents describe what they're
experiencing in colorado springs as nothing short of surreal. >> it just flared up so quickly. it exploded. people walking through the streets like zombies. they had no reaction to cars, just complete shock. people outside of their own businesses. >> scary stuff. back here in washington today the president spending much of the day with the vice president in meetings, presumably schedule on the lighter side as we wait to see what the supreme court does in regard to healthcare reform. the president's one event is a trip to walter reed where he'll meet with wounded service members. it will likely be overshad dod by the supreme court ruling but the house is set to rule today on whether or not to hold attorney general eric holder in contempt of congress for refusing to turn over certain documents in regard to the fast and furious operation. the action p reports these kind of disputes never really amounted to much in the past. they say that federal judges usually advise the two sides to work it out amongst themselves. we're back with more after the
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>> announcer: broadcasting across the nation on your radio and on current tv, this is the "bill press show." >> bill: it is d-day for healthcare at the supreme court here in washington, d.c. three hours from now we ought to know how they're going to slice that apple. nobody knows until then no matter what they tell you. hello, everybody. good morning. it is thursday, june 28. good to see you today. this is the "full court press." new progressive morning show on current tv. and on all of your local progressive talk stations all around the country. great to have you with us today on a big news day like today
especially. and ready to take your calls standing by. 1-866-55-press. you can join the conversation any time. we'll be talking about not only the healthcare decision but another big vote here in the house of representatives today of all days. they're going to vote on whether or not to hold attorney general eric holder in contempt of congress. that vote today. so, we've got it covered what's happening here in our nation's capital, around the country around the globe and ready to take your calls. thanks for joining us. the entire team here this morning. peter ogborn and dan henning. and cyprian bowlding our videographer. joining us in studio, former assistant attorney general robert rayburn who is head of the cutting group the raven group here in washington, d.c. thank you for coming in. we want you to know ahead of time that you would not be here if it weren't for jamal simmons. one of your esteemed employees and a good friend of the
program. he said you gotta get my boss in here. >> promotion to follow. >> bill: jamal has been up to some good on your behalf. >> well-done. >> bill: and we've got to -- big news on the sports front today is the olympics, gearing up for the olympic games in london. ann romney on her way there with her dressage horse. and the olympics yesterday announcing they have a new official olympics song. it is by the band muse and it is survival. here it is. ♪ their state flag. they're from minnesota minnesota flag, delaware, the delaware flag, california, the >> bill: what's wrong with the
standard olympic song? >> they'll play it, too. >> they come up with a new song every two years. >> bill: this is such a classic song. >> every kid in america knows this. >> you don't salute it. >> bill: official olympic song every year? >> they usually pick a contemporary act that will do a song and they'll say this is the song -- this captures the spirit of the olympics but you won't hear it on the broadcast. it is a marketing ploy. >> bob costs a isn't going to roll in with muse out of every commercial break. >> although that might be entertaining. >> bill: so here's the line-up today. robert raben is here to talk about the contempt vote on eric holder. congressman charlie gonzalez from texas will be here at the top of the next hour. he'll talk -- we'll ask him about this as well and talk about the immigration decision this week and then a little bit later in this hour, cliff guffy the president of the american postal worker's union in here to
talk about the big battle over the future of the post office. lots to talk about but first -- the latest headlines. >> on this thursday, other headlines making news, paula deen's dietary changes have paid off. the butter loving diabetic celebrity chef tells "people" magazine in a new cover story interview she's lost 30 pounds going from a size 18 down to a size 10. she feels 1,000 times better sand managing her type two diabetes well, has much more energy and is sleeping better and she's not eating as many fried foods anymore after revealing in january she had diabetes which she kept under wraps for years. >> bill: what about all of the people who are still cooking her old recipes and eating all of that crap? >> that's on them. >> shame on her for promoting all of that stuff for as long as she did. i hope she's really getting healthier. that can only be good. i hope her cooking and recipes reflect the lifestyle change. the new recipe.
i hope she burns the old ones. >> one of the top-ranked players in the women with bell done tennis tournament in london came out yesterday against equal pay for male and female tennis players. think progress reports number 13th ranked simon said men should be paid more than women because their game is more attractive to spectators. wimbledon has been playing -- paying winners equally now for five years. other major tournaments have had equal pay in place for much longer. overall in ten is though, women earn about $31,000 less per year. >> bill: that's outrageous. i had no idea about that. >> especially with tennis. you know? >> bill: i would rather see women play. if i had a choice. >> totally. >> bill: they have a better game. >> it is now legal -- >> bill: they don't grunt as loud either. >> well that and -- >> i think they grunt louder than men in tennis. >> it is now legal to tell a white lie online in
rhode island. the ap reports governor lincoln chafee signed a bill to repeal an obscure law from 1989 that made lying on the internet illegal so if you posted a younger age than you usually are on facebook or a better photo of you from years past on a dating web site, you could be fined $500 and tossed in prison for a year. now it is okay to tell a fib. >> if you had to stop lying on the internet, the gears would come to a grinding halt. people would stop going on. >> bill: especially in the sex chat room. i've been told. [ laughter ] >> wow. >> bill: that's good to know. i'm going up to rhode island this weekend. once we hit providence, i'll just start lying. >> get onlined start lying -- get online and start lying baby. >> bill: robert raben of all days today faiz there's nothing else going on, john boehner has scheduled a vote to hold eric in contempt of congress. has any been in contempt of
congress? >> not through the full house. attorney general reno, there was a contempt vote against her in committee but they didn't go to the full floor. this is unprecedented. just a tremendous day here. very, very sad. >> bill: and boehner says this is -- and chairman isa of course, that this is because attorney general eric holder has refused to cooperate with the committee in releasing all of the documents they've demanded regarding the fast and furious operation. what's really going on? >> well, what's really going on, you can go to the nra.org web site and learn all about it. >> bill: how very involved in this is the question? >> i want to respond to what you said. you make an excellent point. you repeat what boehner claims to be going on here which is the attorney general allegedly hasn't dealt appropriately on document requests and i've been owning this fairly closely for the last few months and the executive branch, the obama
administration, the attorney general are dealing dealing with leaders who don't want to make a deal. the goalpost keeps changing. the department of justice keeps making accommodations and offers to share information that might be useful to an appropriate oversight investigation. and the chairman of the government reform committee goes and has a press conference and says these people aren't cooperating. so consistent with your olympics sports metaphor, the goalpost keeps moving, essentially who you're dealing with and it is unclear what the deal would be. >> bill: you've been there. you were assistant attorney general. so many questions about this. most people don't understand the fast and furious -- what was going on at any rate. so what was this operation all about and when did it start? >> it started in the -- this particular gun investigation and series of gun investigations started in the bush administration, attorney general
muck as iy, the phoenix office of atf a part of the department of justice conducted an investigation which is fairly common in law enforcement regrettably this one went awry and i think people know it as starting with what you call the people on the street. and surveilling them so you can build a case to go up to the traffickers, the kingpins, the people either in texas or mexico who are exploiting american youth, making a lot of money off of drugs or guns. so the goal was to build a case. against gun traffickers, people who are taking assault weapons where they're regrettably lawful to be sold in texas and shipping them into mexico. and it went awry. agents lost track of some of the guns and there was a tragic, horrible killing of a border agent. the republicans under the reform
committee -- >> bill: so it started under president bush. there were two operations. >> operation wide receiver which you don't hear anything about because the republicans aren't interested in that one. >> bill: then it was continued under this attorney general and this administration. >> right. >> bill: but again, by the same field office? >> yeah. the phoenix field office of atf. and it is clear that agents there knew about it. the u.s. attorney in phoenix knew about it. he ultimately resigned over this matter. the attorney general says he found out about it, he put a stop to the operation. but that wasn't good enough for the oversight folks. and they have spent -- i would guess, millions of dollars and certainly lots of time investigating whether or not the attorney general was telling the truth when he said i found out about it long after the fact and i put a stop to it. >> bill: and the documents that they have requested, the attorney general has refused to give them or what's the case
there? >> it is a mixed bag. they've requested every piece of communication that's ever occurred among senior officials from a time certain and as often happens in the oversight investigations, the department or other agencies too negotiate over what is appropriate to turn over. law enforcement agency has some interests that need to be protected. the jargon that they use which would make most people's eyes glaze over is called the deliberative process privilege. i think people on the street would understand it as when you're talking to your attorney back and forth through voice mail or e-mail, you have a reason to believe that that information is protected. that you're having confidential conversations about how to conert to yourself. most communications certainly among attorneys and attorneys and clients is privileged. and here, the obama administration like other administrations before it since the beginning of the republic
have made the policy judgment that they want to protect the deliberations among senior officials about some of the issues. and of course, as always happens, once you say we have this privilege people who want the information go nuts. >> bill: right. and then the accusations come well, if they're asserting executive privilege they must have something to hide. if they're asserting executive privilege, they're part of the cover-up right? >> that's right. people who were paying attention -- most americans are worried about the economy and it is interesting. the republican majority has said over and over again, it is jobs, jobs jobs. we're going to talk about the economy. we're going to talk about jobs. but today they're going to the floor for an unprecedented contempt citation against the nation's first black attorney general. i'm not sure what jobs they're worried about except for attorney general holder's. >> bill: right. what happens if they -- let's go back to the nra.
now that we know the facts here. suddenly, you've got the nra involved in this, calling up members of congress and saying we're going to count this against you unless you vote to hold eric holder in contempt of congress. >> that's exactly right bill. what does that tell you about this vote? >> it tells you it is politics. it is 91% politics. 9% oversight. the manner in which the legitimate oversight has been conducted to try to get to the root of whether or not there was a policy problem, whether or not this type of anti-gun trafficking operation is appropriate and how we can protect people's lives on the border, none of that is of any interest to the majority that's been conducting this oversight. what's of interest is going after attorney general holder and president obama and it is at the bidding of the nra. i had a debate with a republican congressman who is leading the charge on this and when i said
he was doing the bidding of the nra, he was furious. i asked him why are you furious about that? you have an "a" rating. they've announced they're going to score the vote and track it and count it in their endorsement and contribution record why aren't you proud of the fact the largest most successful political organization in the united states has made this what appears to be their number one priority and people in congress are falling in line. >> bill: robert raben is our guest. he's former assistant attorney general with us on this unprecedented vote today. it will happen the same day the supreme court rules on healthcare. the house of representatives under the leadership of speaker john boehner is not talking about healthcare or jobs. they're talking about eric holder and fast and furious. 1-866-55-press. continue our conversation and find out what happens if they do vote eric holder in contempt of congress. remember that seat there is yours. save a seat at the table for you. you take it by giving us a
we have a big, big hour and the i.q. will go way up. how are you ever going to solve the problem if you don't look at all of the pieces? >>tv and radio talk show host stephanie miller rounds out current's morning news block. >>you're welcome current tv audience for the visual candy. >>sharp tongue, quick whit and above all, politically direct. >>you just think there is no low they won't go to.
oh, no. if al gore's watching today... [ ♪ theme ♪ ] [ ♪ theme ♪ ] >> announcer: this is the "bill press show." >> bill: at 25 minutes after the hour here, talking eric holder who may become today the first cabinet secretary ever to be held in contempt of congress because he won't give every single document, allegedly will not, that chairman darrell issa has requested. robert raben is a former assistant attorney general now head of the raben group here in
washington, d.c. so robert, would -- is there a time when eric -- darrell issa would say okay, you've given us everything we want now? >> no, under no circumstances. >> bill: there would always be something else he hasn't done because they've decided they're going to go this route and that's where they're going. >> i think the beginning answer on that occurred when darrell issa announced several months ago on the floor of the nra convention he intended to go toward a contempt vote. once you make a -- >> bill: he said that to the nra? >> yes he announced it. >> bill: jay carney said this was nothing but political theatre. >> it is bad theatre but effective theatre for some in the conservative base. it is politics, politics, politics. >> bill: before we go to the calls here, one other question. here's what gets me. if they're really concerned about the flow of guns from the united states into mexico and the people who are being killed in mexico or this side of the
border by these guns, sold here in the united states, why don't the same members of congress support the restoration of the assault weapons ban? >> it is worse than that. you're exactly right. they don't even support a conversation with the department of justice about how to improve methods to take down the bad guys under existing laws. they don't want to have any conversation about policy here. they want to know what eric holder knew, when. if he ever had a conversation with president obama about an operation, they found out about and shut down because it didn't work. it is politics, politics, politics. >> bill: wanda is calling from lynchburg, virginia. wanda, good morning. >> caller: good morning, how are you this morning? >> bill: we're good. >> caller: i called last week while you were out and said thank you for saving me from morning -- my comment regarding that issue is --
>> bill: good to be here for you. thank you. go ahead. >> caller: is that i disagree with the percentage ratio. 91% to 9%. you must factor in a little bit of bigotry. you've got to. common sense just ain't that common my mom used to tell me. i used to think all educated people higher up, legislators whatever from local to federal that you were seriously intelligent. you covered all of the bases. >> bill: wanda that's an assumption that we can't make any longer. robert raben, i'm sorry. we're out of time here. it goes so fast. thank you for coming in. shedding the light on this. it is a day of disgrace if that's what they vote on today. holder would still keep his job? >> he'll be there until the end of his term and hopefully into his second term. >> thank you for having me.
>> announcer: this is the "full court press." the "bill press show." live on your radio and on current tv. >> bill: how about it. 33 minutes after the hour now. here we go. the "full court press" on this big thursday june 28. two and a half hours from now we'll know from the supreme court what they're going to do about the affordable care act. with the white house and progressives around the country still hoping that the court will do the right thing. i know maybe a slim chance. do the right thing and uphold the entire act because it is the right thing to do for the american people. it is the "full court press"
coming to you live from our nation's capital brought to you today by the labor's union of north america. under terry o'sullivan providing better jobs for millions of americans. for more information to see how they're building a better america, go to their web site, liunabuildsamerica.org. >> we were talking about the last half hour about a big battle in front of congress today, the vote to hold eric holder, attorney general in contempt of congress. another big battle underway and that is regarding the future -- will determine the future and the viability of the united states postal service in front of congress's republican bill, house bill 2309 which would close thousands of offices slash postal service for all of us americans and lay off over 100,000 workers. cliff guffy is the national president of the american postal worker's union.
joining us in studio this morning. to talk about it. president guffy good to see you this morning. >> good morning, bill. >> bill: so what's behind this bill? people keep saying the postal service is broke and we've gotta fix it and the way to fix it is to close offices and lay off workers. what's the truth? >> we believe that the truth is that the postal service is still a very viable institution. it has $65 billion worth of revenue. the postal service gets no tax dollars whatsoever from the federal government. >> bill: i have to stop you there. i think most people don't realize that. every time i hear it, i'm struck. and i think it is important people focus on that. our tax dollars are not paying the salaries of the postal workers. >> that's correct. >> bill: right? >> the postage stamps, the postage paid by the mailers is what keeps the post office going. we don't take any tax dollars.
that makes it difficult because the federal government then has said you cannot make the profit, will not let us be in the black one year and use the money in the next year to cover the red. you've gotta break even. so you never can -- >> bill: as any business could -- >> as any business could you hear the slogans from the republicans saying return the post office to profitability. by law, they cannot be a profit-making organization. so it's gotta exist on the moneys that come in and what they did you start in 1970, the salaries that the postal employees make have tracked inflation. they haven't gone up any greater than inflation which is good for the employees. it is good for the american people. the product that we sell, the postage starch, the postage stamp has tracked well below inflation. in other words give you an example when the stamps were a nickel and newspapers were a nickel stamps were 25 cents and
newspapers were 25. we're at 45 now and most newspapers are now $1.50. something like that. so we have tracked well below inflation in the same type of information media that the newspapers are in. now i think it has been great for the american people. now if you look at the other countries around the world like a germany which is very small compared to the united states, their postage rates are 78 cents. and you have to remember in germany, because they're a socialist nation, the postal service is not sapped with the future healthcare costs like the 2006paea put on to the postal service. >> bill: look, the idea that you can spend 45 cents a day and mail a letter that's going to get its way all the way to your son, your daughter, your mom or whatever in california, right or hawaii is just -- to me, it is astounding, the best bargain out
there. >> it is not only the best bargain but also the last vestige of privacy. the cell phones and other communications can be monitored when you send that personal note, it is something they can hold close to themselves. >> bill: tell us what this republican plan would do. house bill 2309, correct? >> correct. it is more designed for two reasons. i don't think any of them have anything against the postal service. but what they do have is they have a great desire to dismantle the federal government and labor unions. and the problem they have with the post office is because government is bad government is bad -- unions are bad unions are bad the problem they have is that the postal service has got an 85% 86% positive rating, the best in the federal
government while the congressmen themselves i think are about 12% right now. so you know, i think that -- trying to save government is bad. they have this one entity that is really a very positive focus in the communities and by most americans looked at very favorable. they don't like that. they want to destroy that part of the federal government that is positive. >> bill: i think it is very, very much part of the war against employees that we saw in wisconsin, we've seen in indiana and other states and we see here at the federal level and particularly directed against the post office. so what do they want to do to the post office? >> they want to continue what they did in 2006. in 2006, they put an onerous cost on to the post office. in other words, everything was going well. the postal service was doing pretty good. they decided they were going to step in and save it. what they did was say we will
now tax the post office, in effect tax it by requiring the postal service to pay 75 years worth of future retiree health benefits in a 10-year period. that's zapped $5, $6 billion a year out of the postal service for the last several years. and let's face it. if you pass a bill and say you cannot raise your rates but you have to pay an additional $5 billion, you're going to go down $5 billion a year. we're down $30 billion. so it's like oh, surprise you guys are in the hole now. it is no surprise. it was designed to do that. now what the house bill will do contrary to the senate bill, the senate bill allows the postal service to give them some breathing room on the $5 billion plus returns on the overpayments that the postal service has put into some of the other pension plans. the house bill doesn't do that type of thing. what it does is cut more and cut
more and cut more which will result in the degrading of service to the american public. >> bill: we did a story the other day here about a small town i think it was up in new hampshire where the post office is going to be open now for 30 minutes a day. an extreme situation. but for most americans out there, if this house bill passes, what will be the impact? will we still have saturday delivery? will we have many post offices open? will the price of stamps go up? >> no, it will force the postal service to go to five-day delivery. it will force the postal service to shut their doors on most -- many post offices. it will slow down the mail delivery which i think big business and a lot of other areas in this country now are saying hey wait a minute, this hurts them because they don't get their bills paid as quickly. they don't receive their money. it will reduce the amount of
cash flow that they have on a regular basis by slowing down the mail. simple little things like mailing birthday party invitations in the neighborhood, instead of overnight maybe three days. >> bill: so there will be a real impact on people. >> yes. >> bill: the bill is house bill 2309. do we have -- cliff guffy is president of the american postal worker's union they and others are requesting a no vote asking members of congress to vote against it and asking the american people to let their members of congress know this is a bad bill and if you really care about the postal service you've gotta help defeat this legislation. their web site is apwu.org. is there a date yet for the vote? >> no. we've heard different things. for a long time we don't think the republican house had enough votes to bring it to the floor. they're trying to bring it to the floor now. i think the last thing i heard was that they're trying to bring
it to the floor right after the 4th of july holiday. >> bill: so we've got some time. >> got some time. we also have working on -- with individuals in congress to make amendments from the floor to make it palatable. whether or not in the republican house that would be able to be done, we don't know yet. >> bill: don't you think the ultimate goal of these people is to privatize the postal service? >> definitely. if they privatize it, you have to remember there are so many parts of this company that it is not profitable to do so they will only do the profitable parts. example, prime example of that, don't know if most people know this fedex and u.p.s., we deliver about 20% of their mail because it is not profitable for them to take their trucks out. >> bill: is that right? >> they have to put their mail -- it makes sense. interesting because they're not -- >> bill: rural areas. rural parts of the country where they're not going to reach. >> it takes five minutes from their programmers to look at it and say this one is going to cost us more to deliver this,
hand it off to the post office. >> bill: even fedex and u.p.s. depend on the post office. cliff guffey in studio. join the conversation. boy, everybody cares about the post office. love it or hate it seems. i love it. use it a lot. 1-866-55-press is the toll free number. join the conversation here on today's "full court press." we'll be right back with cliff guffey from the american postal worker's union. >> announcer: on your radio and on current tv, this is the "bill press show." well, we have something. show her, tom. filling on viewpoint with eliot spitzer. >>that was mitt romney showing once again his fearless fear of taking a stand that helps make him all things to no people. so, you actually reward people for
staying with you? yep. the longer you stay with us, the more you save. and when you switch from another company to us, we even reward you for the time you spent there. genius. yeah, genius. you guys must have your own loyalty program, right? well, we have something. show her, tom. you should see november! oh, yeah? giving you more. now that's progressive. call or click today.
>> announcer: this is the "full >> announcer: heard around the country and seen on current tv this is the "bill press show." >> bill: congressman charlie gonzalez from texas up in the next hour. and also norm ornstein, american enterprise institute out with a powerful new book, he and thomas mann from the booking institute about congress, how broken it is today. you think it's bad? it is even worse than it looks says norm ornstein. in studio with us at this hour, cliff guffey is president of the american postal worker's union. bringing us up to date on very bad piece of legislation republicans have put out which would really gut the united states postal service. it is hr 2309. what should americans do about this? how can they get involved? >> well, we want 2309 to be
either defeated or to be modified to be more like the senate bill. the senate bill has some rational means of allowing the postal service to have their own money returned to them so that they can downsize in a rational manner. that's the problem the post office has right now. yes, there may be people out there in the public who will never use the post office again but they're not paying for it. and what we need is the postal service to have the ability to use the funds that it's gotten and turned over to the federal government, returned to them so that they can downsize in a manner that's reasonable and will not hurt the american public. >> bill: you can go to their web site. final question before we go to our calls. privatizing the post office, i mean that would -- as you're saying not necessarily something even the private enterprise could or would want to do. don't take the best parts.
the sweet spots. >> they will say well now the government has to do this part over here. make it more expensive for that. now there are just certain things. people gotta realize there are certain things that big government can only be done by big government. one is a good mail system throughout the nation. maintaining a good army. military. winning two world wars, that's not going to be done by small government. building nuclear capabilities is not going to be done by small government. there are so many things in this country that cannot be done by small government. so to whack government and criticize government is just irresponsible. >> bill: here's ray calling from harrison, arkansas. hey, ray, good morning sir. >> caller: good morning. >> bill: yes sir what's your point? >> caller: i think the house republicans should have to fund their own retirement and gold-plated medical benefits that they get the same way that the post office is having to.
>> good point. >> bill: there is a good point. false equivalency they're arguing here. right. they're making some demands of the postal service that they're not willing to take on themselves. >> right. i think if you really look at it, all of the different funds -- if they gave back the post office their own money for the retirement and post office, separate retirement system, it would show how underfunded the rest of the federal government is. we're the only ones who are fully funded. we've done that through our private postage sales. all of the other federal agencies who take tax dollars and get allotted x amount of money, they spend the money and then when it gets down to the end of the year to make the deposits into the retirement systems, they're grossly underfunding it. >> bill: i'm curious. people have this feeling that public employees all live high on the hog. what's an average postal worker make?
>> well, it is hard to say now because the age of the postal workers has gone up because they haven't hired in many years. you have a lot of the senior people with a lot of time in the postal service. but some of the newer people come on board at $13 $14 an hour, many without benefits to start with because they're noncareer type employees. it is a transition period to go into career which could take two, three four years so it is not -- it is a dedicated work force to the ones who have been here for many years. >> bill: so let's say you put in 25 years in the postal service and you're a clerk or maybe assistant manager or something at a local post office. what's the top dollar they're bringing down? >> probably about $45,000. >> bill: really? after all of that time? that's it? >> yes. >> bill: so we're not into six figures here. >> no, no. >> bill: we're not into six figure retirements either, i would imagine. >> no, no. my retirement after 35 years at
the post office, i think i take home about $1700 a month from the post office and i pay my own share of the health insurance and that sort of stuff. >> bill: yeah. and these are the public employees that the republicans feel are the problem right. we're going to balance the budget on their backs. i'm telling you people just do not understand. i don't think enough americans appreciate the great service that we get from our postal workers all across the country. but this is the time to stand up for them and stand up for us at the same time. again, it is hr 2309. web site is apwu.org. we're glad to join the fight here cliff. thank you for leading the fight. >> thank you. >> bill: and coming in this morning. cliff guffey, president of the american postal worker's union. we'll be back and tell what you president obama is up to today. he's got one eye on the supreme court. that's for sure. be right back. >> announcer: this is the "bill press show."
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[ ♪ theme ♪ ] >> announcer: this is the "bill press show." >> bill: hey, how about it. president obama, busy schedule >> announcer: taking your e-mails on any topic at any time, this is the "bill press show." live on your radio and current tv. >> bill: hey how about it. we love to bring you up to date on what president obama is up to on any given day. and today he and the vice president will get their daily briefing at 10:00 and then they meet for their weekly lunch at 12:45. then this afternoon the president has on his schedule that he will be going out to bethesda to the naval hospital
there, the national military medical center of walter reed to visit injured troops there. back at the white house at about 5:00 this afternoon. at which time he will meet with secretary of defense leon panetta. what is not on the schedule but we definitely expect is that at some point after 10:00 this morning, once they've had time to assess what the supreme court rules on healthcare and they have prepared their response that the president will make a statement in the rose garden or perhaps in the briefing room today on the white house and his response to what the supreme court decides. we don't know when that will happen but we're expecting to hear an announcement from the white house and as soon as we do, i'll be down there covering it for all of you. we'll come back with congressman charlie gonzalez from texas. >> announcer: this is the "bill press show."
[ ♪ theme ♪ ] >> bill: good morning everybody. good to see you and happy thursday. thursday june 28th. and it is a big day here in washington, d.c. this town just buzzing with anticipation with the supreme court is going to do on the affordable care act. it is d-day for healthcare at the supreme court and who knows what the hell they're going to do. anybody tells you they know, doesn't know what they're talking about. here's the deal. they could decide to throw the whole thing out. they could decide to leave the whole thing in place. whatever they decide, we've got
to agree that healthcare, universal healthcare is the right thing to do. it is the right thing for the american people and we progressives, no matter what the court decides, have to continue to fight for it until all americans enjoy access to healthcare. that's the deal we all make today and we'll see what the court says. about two hours from now. but first we find out the latest today on what we do know about from jacki schechner out in los angeles. good morning, jacki. >> good morning, bill. good morning, everyone. as we wait for the decision on healthcare reform, keep in mind who's behind the push to repeal it. one of the plaintiffs in the case that brought the issue to the supreme court is the national federation of independent businesses or nfib. it claims to be a voice for small business but "the huffington post" reports that in 2010 and 2011 it received ten donations for a total of more than $10 million from anonymous donors. we also know that karl rove's super pac crossroads gps gave
the organization $3.7 million in 2010. when asked who's behind the mysterious money the nfib told "the huffington post" it won't tell because it's not required by law to do so. arizona representative raoul grijalva had contacted the i.r.s. in regards to the nfib's donations. the group doesn't work for small business. it in fact works for a small group of wealthy donors and corporations. you also might remember the obama campaign released this advertisement on tuesday calling mitt romney outsourcer in chief in regard to his time at bain capital. >> "the washington post" has just revealed that romney's companies were pioneers of shipping u.s. jobs overseas. >> as you heard that ad says a "washington post" article. romney aides asked for a retraction. the paper has declined. now the romney campaign is prepared to release its own video featuring the vice president of gfc steel saying
that bain tried to save the firm when it took over. the videos accidentally showed up online. politico's got it. go take a look. we'll be right back. >>it's the place where democracy is supposed to be the great equalizer, where your vote is worth just as much as donald trump's. we must save the country. it starts with you.
♪ >> announcer: broadcasting across the nation, on your radio and on current tv, this is the "bill press show." >> bill: all right. two hours down. two hours to go before the supreme court rules on healthcare. all eyes on -- supreme court. about five blocks from our studio this morning. the crowd gathering there. and we'll cover that from every angle here in the time we've got together on the "full court press." good to see you. it is thursday, june 28th. "full court press" coming to you live from our nation's capital. booming out to you all across
this great land of ours from our studio right here on capitol hill. bringing you the news of the day here in washington, around the country and around the globe. good to see you today. we are so close to the capitol that every once in awhile, we're able to snare a member of congress on his way to work or her way to work in the morning and this morning we're pleased to welcome into the studio for his first visit to our "full court press" studio, representing san antonio down in texas, congressional -- 20th congressional district, congressman charlie gonzalez. i'm sorry. good to see you congressman. >> good to see you. thank you. >> bill: welcome. >> happy to be here. >> bill: meet the gang. we've got peter ogborn and dan henning and cyprian bowlding our team press here. >> congressman, i spent some time in san antonio and i don't know what the heck happened to the spurs this year but i was pulling for them. >> bill: i was not going to mention that. >> i had to bring it up because i'm the spurs fan. >> bill: i want you to know, congressman, he was really
pumping for the spurs. >> well, thank you very much. we just were not consistent and another thing called age. it was hard to keep up with those young thunder players. >> bill: yeah, i know. but boy if you listen to peter ogborn ahead of time, it was all decided. >> don't ever listen to me for sports advice. >> bill: so congressman, you had a good time last night. you were down at the white house picnic? >> i was. it was a good time. >> bill: the annual congressional picnic. president obama was pleased to see people were wearing the proper attire. >> i'm glad i see some folks here in shorts and some hawaiian shirts. >> were you in a hawaiian shirt congressman? >> why characterize it as hawaiian but it was casual. >> bill: you didn't wear a tie. >> definitely not. i was able to get to my apartment and change but there were plenty of members with ties and it was not comfortable but
it was a picnic. >> bill: they want people to come and relax and have a good time. okay so did eric kantor show up? >> >> you know, yes. >> bill: john boehner did all of these people who beat up on the president show up? >> yes. i saw congressman isa coming in and here came eric holder. i was just waiting for them to go and get some peach cobbler together. that did not happen. >> bill: did not happen. >> no. >> bill: in a sense it is goods to see them hang out together the way like tip o'neil legendary -- tip o'neil and ronald reagan used to knock back a couple of drinks in the evening after they fought during the day. but with this gang, you're never sure they're sincere right when they pretend to have a good time. hanging out with the president shaking his hand, getting their pictures taken. >> it is a real opportunity for members to actually have family
come with them on the white house lawn. other than the christmas party you really don't get there. this is a great opportunity for your family and so -- but i would say it is not like the old days. my dad was in congress for 37 years and it definitely has changed during my 14 years. but tonight is a good example. as you know, there's the annual baseball game. democrats against republicans. but right before that game, you know what we're going to be doing? >> bill: you're going to be voting to hold eric holder in contempt of congress. >> then go out and play baseball. >> that should be fun. awkward! >> bill: awkward! exactly. lots to cover here with congressman charlie gonzalez. i keep saying that -- sorry about that. and we'll get to those but first -- >> this is the "full court press." >> on this thursday, a quick check of other headlines making news. justin bieber and selena gomez made an appearance on the house floor yesterday in poster form. your colleague congressman, the
democrat from illinois, luis gutierrez was discussing the arizona immigration law and the show me your papers provision. spoke about the celebrity teen couple noting that when they're in selena gomez's native texas that justin bieber better have his papers on him since he's canadian. proving the point that you can't determine just by a person's looks what their immigration status is as selena is of hispanic dissent but the canadian bieber is blonde haired and brown-eyed. >> bill: good point. good way to make a point. >> one photo you don't see every day, the queen of england and a former commander of the i.r.a., the irish republican army shake hands. queen elizabeth ii and martin mcginnis met for tea at an arts event in northern ireland and made peace. mcginnis' party plotted to kill the royal family many years ago. >> speaking of awkward. >> bill: he was leading the group that was trying to blow her up and her family up and
succeeded in blowing up -- >> who's got better cookie recipe? is it michelle obama or ann romney in "family circle" magazine is back with its annual presidential cookie bake-off posting two recipes on its web site allowing readers to vote on them. it is a tradition that started with barbara bush and hillary clinton in 1992 going head to head. mrs. obama's recipe includes three different kinds of chocolate. white, milk and mint. and mrs. romney has peanut butter oatmeal, chocolate chips and m&ms. >> oh, man. >> bill: that's tough. >> i'm going for ann romney's cookie. i like the peanut butter and the m&ms in there and i don't like the idea of the mint chocolate chips. >> see, i'm a mint chocolate chip guy. >> chocolate is my sweet sweet lady but if you have the white chocolate and the regular chocolate and then the mint, that doesn't work for me. >> bill: good, you know why? more chocolate for me! thank you dan.
congressman, let's start with eric holder. what is this all about today? is this the most important issue facing the nation? something that the congress ought to be spending its time on? >> of course not. but then again this is par for the course. it is a diversion but everything now has to have some sort of political capital for things. it is a sad chapter in congress. this would be the first sitting u.s. attorney general that actually would be held in contempt by congress. in my own view, it is an abuse first of all of discretion but of authority and power by the committee. >> bill: and the argument is, of course, that eric holder has just refused to corporate with congress. now i mean -- i'm not a member of congress. we're not far away from congress but just as an observer, i've seen a lot of pictures of eric holder in front of congressional
committee after congressional committee testifying about the fast and furious operation turning over documents as requested. i mean is there at any point where they say okay, we've got everything we want. everything we need. >> you never reach that point because you're squeezing it for the political worth that's there. that's the problem. you're never going to satisfy people. some will say you're saying it is all political but there is a legitimate role for government and for this committee on oversight reform. >> bill: there is a legitimate reform. >> the problem is exercise -- exercising it in a responsible way. when chairman issa took over the committee in january of 2011, he started off by basically saying he thought eric holder, at that point in time, was not helping the administration, not helping the american people, by not seeking the arrest and the indictment of the wikileaks
individual. basically said he ought to be stepping down. that was like around january 2nd. i don't even think we were sworn in at that point for the new congress. regardless -- and he also said i'm going to reinstitute the unilateral issuance of subpoenas. that hadn't been done since burton issued 1,000 subpoenas during the clinton administration. since that time, there had been cooperation where if we can issue a subpoena, consult the minority, bring it before the committee, that's not what's happening today. so i can't help but think that in essence what you're seeing is again, it is an election year but it's really, again politically motivated in my opinion and if you look at the history of what's going on, the political ramifications nra is going to score this. can you believe that? they're going to score this vote on the motion for contempt. >> bill: meaning this will be a vote where they tell members you gave us -- you were pro nra
or anti-nra depending on how you voted on the holding eric holder in contempt of congress. and not only that but i learned earlier today, chairman issa announced that they were going to have this vote to hold holder in contempt of congress. he announced it at the nra convention. >> no one wants to believe this. but it's there. if you want to watch it. >> bill: you can't deny this is politics. >> absolutely. i was talking to a. >> reporter: yesterday. you can't seriously believe that nra is looking at this seriously as something that this administration would have done in order to increase gun violence in mexico so that we can have gun laws in the united states. defies any kind of common sense or logic but that's where these individuals are coming from. but nra is basically telling members of congress we're watching you and there's consequence if you don't vote the right way.
>> bill: congressman charlie -- charles gonzalez here, our guest in studio representing texas' 20th congressional district. congressman, a lot of attention today, of course to the supreme court, what the supreme court rules on healthcare. but a major major decision that they announced on monday on immigration, on arizona law. did they get it right? >> i actually think that they did. obviously three out of the four major provisions were held to be unconstitutional. immigration law is the exclusive purview of the federal government. that last provision that wasn't held unconstitutional but simply said you know, we are going to be seeing and monitoring this because you're going to have a really hard time executing this part of the law without violating the constitution of the united states. and that is in essence when someone in arizona law enforcement officers pursuant to sb 1070 stops someone on a legal
stop or arrest, that they will then seek to clarify the legal status of someone without taking into account ethnicity or race. my colleague congressman gutierrez made his point yesterday. that's the only way they're going to be able to pursue that kind of questioning because it is going to be based on the complexion and the accent and obviously of someone who may be, at that point detained, apprehended for whatever reason, doesn't have to be for a serious crime. we're all for stopping people and arresting them for serious crimes. we're talking about it could be a minor traffic infraction. that will be used as the pretext then to pursue the next line of questioning and basically detaining someone for an indefinite period of time. it makes no sense. >> bill: even on that point which the court let stand we're going to be watching you on this one as well because it is prime it is ripe with potential for discrimination. >> the other thing the oral
argument on 1070, justice -- chief justice roberts at the outset did say this is not about racial or ethnic profiling. that's not before us. and the solicitor general said that's correct. that will be for another day. and as we speak those lawsuits obviously are pending. will have more evidence of this profiling and we get away from what's going on in arizona and other states. this is a bad thing for this country. and i think the extreme rhetoric has consequences and this is not all about illegal immigration. this is for every latino out there. this impacts all of us. that's why people don't understand why latinos are sensitive to this issue because it does impact us. it was just a question of time some time ago that my grandparents came over and such but it is more than that. in san antonio we have actually had where a high school team and
they were all latinos took the court and the opposing team which was not all latino and is heavily anglo student body started chanting u.s.a., u.s.a. where do you think that comes from? it is this debate. it is divisive. it is horrible. it is harmful to the country. >> bill: as chair of the congressional hispanic caucus, numbers i saw recently show that president obama has something like a 40% advantage among latinos over mitt romney. and yet there are a lot of latinos who don't feel president obama has done enough toward immigration reform. so why is it that disappointment but yet still this overwhelming support. it is because mitt romney is so bad on immigration? >> i always say as far as latinos and democrats we have a secret weapon and that is the republican party. i mean they have earned it.
they've earned this kind of opposition and disapproval. if you look at where romney was during the presidential primary campaign and what he said on immigration, what he said on comprehensive immigration reform, what's said on the dream act, it's impossible. i don't know what he's going to do at this point in time. the disappointment, i will say this, people don't understand and i think we've done a very poor job of educating individuals as to why we weren't successful in comprehensive immigration reform. it wasn't for a lack of support from the democratic side of the aisle. it was the republican party. we can substantiate all of this. people who don't understand in the senate, you can have a majority for something but that doesn't mean you're going to get to vote. >> bill: right. you can't get the 60 votes foreclosure. we're talking immigration and eric holder and other issues in front of the united states congress with cofngman charles gonzalez from texas.
glad to take your calls. 1-866-55-press. congressman, when we come back, justice scalia not happy with what president obama did for the dreamers in this country. was the justice out of line? we'll talk about that when we come back here on today's "full court press." >> announcer: on your radio and on current tv, this is the "bill press show." all right. just a truce. all right. 45 minutes -- it was a wash. 45 minutes after the hour. right back on "the stephanie miller show." [ male announcer ] it's back again at red lobster but not for long! nice to talk to you.
[ applause ] >> when someone stumbles across the show, it usually doesn't end well. >> stephanie: it ended better do. all right. just a truce. all right. 45 minutes -- it was a wash. with lysol kitchen soap hands are healthy. with lysol kitchen soap, washing dishes is easy. with lysol kitchen soap surfaces are clean. hands. dishes.
current tv, it's been all building up to this. >>bill shares his views, now it's your turn. >>i know you're going to want to weigh in on these issues. >>connect with "full court press with bill press" at facebook.com/billpressshow and on twitter at bpshow. >>i believe people are hungry for it. >> announcer: this is the "bill press show." live on your radio and current tv. >> bill: joe cirincione is our >> announcer: this is the "bill press show."
>> bill: 26 minutes after the hour, norm ornstein from the american enterprise institute talking about congress. it is even worse than it looks he says coming up in the next segment here of the "full court press." right now we're visiting in studio with congressman charles gonzalez from texas. congressman, you said earlier that the democratic party has a secret weapon in getting latino votes and that is the republican party. mitt romney and the republicans would say we have a secret weapon. he is mario rubio -- marco rubio from florida. is he going to save the day for the republican party? >> i don't see that he can. first of all i've said -- my prediction is that he will not be the vice presidential nominee or candidate for the reason that the most interesting debate if that were to happen between romney and rubio on immigration. because they're worlds apart. there's no way. it is too early for marco rubio
to be honest with you to making that kind of a difference. and he has said some of the right things. i commend him for at least being open to a dream act. the problem is he can't convince anybody on his side of the aisle. so you may have one individual who sounds reasonable but then he has no influence within his own party. something's gotta give. and who prevails? i'm not real sure if romney and the others that are backing romney just stick to the positions that they obviously have taken and simply ignore someone like marco rubio on an issue like immigration. but there are many other issues, too, that i think marco rubio's position would not benefit latino communities or middle class americans as a whole. >> bill: no doubt the power of the latino community in american politics will grow greater and greater in large part through your leadership. thanks so much for coming in today. >> thank you so much. >> announcer: this is the "bill press show."
>> announcer: this is the "full court press." the "bill press show." live on your radio and on current tv. >> bill: how about it. 33 minutes after the hour now on thursday. whoa, whoa whoa. thursday, june 28th. good to see you today. it is d-day here in washington d.c. an hour and a half now from the supreme court's decision on healthcare. supreme court right across the street from the united states congress. which everybody admits is broken these days. but how badly broken is it and what can we do about it? nobody follows the congress
better i believe or understands the congress better or writes about the congress better than norm ornstein from the american enterprise institute, does a lot of that good work with tom mann from the brookings institution. the two of them have written -- i have to tell you -- i've got right here in front of me, two of the best books i've read this year. okay. we talked yesterday a little bit about nora efron and her latest book "i remember nothing." but by far the best political book i've read this year, "it's even worse than it looks." norm ornstein, congratulations. good to see you. >> great to see you. >> bill: you're looking awfully sharp. >> really? >> bill: this is like at the white house picnic. you have to dress down for the "full court press." >> you should have seen the hawaiian shirt he had on yesterday. >> i'm just back from las vegas and in fact, i did jennifer granholm's tv show from there. >> bill: oh, cool. >> i made a confession when we first started that i was
embarrassed to say i was out there to give a talk, that i was staying in a hotel owned by sheldon adelson. >> bill: you were at the venetian. >> i told her i wouldn't spend more money than i had to and i took the soap. shampoo, too. >> bill: a high roller. >> on somebody else's dime. >> bill: so tell us, some people say look, congress has always been broken. if you go back and read dish just finished robert caro's book on lyndon johnson. they talked about stalemate. is it worse today than it's ever been? >> it's worse than i have seen it. and i've been here for almost 43 years. you know, it is not as if we've had these wonderful periods where everything works well together. we use the old cliche of people sitting around the campfire, holding hands and singing cumbaya. that's not how the system was designed. it was designed to be
rambunctious and partisan. all of that is good and it's fine. the level of vitriol the amount of lying that takes place, that gets nothing but reward for it, basically, the tribal politics and the polarization and in this case, in particular, a republican party that has very consciously decided to act like a parliamentary minority but in a system that doesn't tolerate it. all of that makes it -- the title of the book is "it's even worse than it looks" because it never looks pretty. >> bill: how the american constitutional system collided with the politics of extremism. the refreshing thing i find about your book is you do really lay it out. i want to talk to you about the hold and about the filibuster. these are ways people have found to really obstruct and prevent anything from getting done. you also point out the idea that there is a false equivalency that both sides are equally responsible here is is simply not
true. it is basically the republicans who decided they're going to shut things down. correct? i don't want to put words in your mouth. >> you're right. there are no angels here. it is not like we have one party that is pristine and always wants to do what's in the national interest. they act in their own interest. but you also are there to solve problems. and when you've got a party that consciously decides that it does not want to solve problems, it wants to throw a wrench in the works because solving a problem would make the president look good and the number one goal as mitch mcconnell said is to make him a one-term president. when that means problem solving takes a backseat, it is different. and we've got a press corps that doesn't hold miscreance accountable and how are you going to resolve a problem and how are voters going to know what's going on if instead everybody does it, they're all the same. it just doesn't work that way. >> bill: i love toward the end of the book where you talk about
the press corps. you're talking about the media. you make the point that there's not necessarily two sides to every story. >> i'll tell you, bill what motivated me on that particular instance was there was a piece in "the washington post" around the time which will you remember well when eric kantor, the house majority leader, decided for the first time ever to hold disaster aid hostage. that it had to be paid for right at the same time when we had the horrible floods in the midwest and then we had the hurricane and the earthquake in the east -- >> bill: the hurricane that went up to the northeast and we have this massive flooding for areas that never suffered hurricane damage before. >> all the way up through new jersey, new york and other places. but the idea at that point that you were going to say you're going to have to either take money from missouri where the floods were taking place to help to pay for disaster relief in the northeast or take it out of food stamps for whatever it may be and democrats said no, that's
not the way we've done things. we're not going to do it. it was a threat of government shutting down. and there was a story in the post that said democrats picked a fight. and i wrote a piece in the new republic at that point that said just imagine you're a journalist and your publisher comes to you and says i'm ordering you to distort a story to benefit an advertiser and you said i'm not going to do that. and you went on strike. and the story that emerged was reporters pick a fight. is that accurate? it is like saying the hit and run victim is the equivalent of the hit-and-run driver and that's just wrong. i got an e-mail back from another veteran post reporter saying sanction moniously our job is to report both sides of the story. i said your job is to report the truth! sometimes there are six sides to a story but oftentimes there are not two sides, there's one. >> bill: norm ornstein here, our guest. the book again is "it's even worse than it looks." so i'm interested, what kind
of -- because you're around the hill a lot. what kind of response have you gotten from members? do they -- charlie gonzalez who was just in the studio -- he saw the book on the desk. he said it is a great book. he's got it absolutely right on. how about the republican side of the aisle. have any of them privately told you good job? spot on? >> i have not heard anything from current republican members although many of them are long-time friends. >> bill: sure. >> they simply have not communicated. privately, i've heard some are furious because, of course, this is the last theme they want pursued. what i can tell you bill, is i've heard from lots of former members, republicans who serve for a long time and for many of them, it's look, you're right. i don't know what's happened to my party. one of the things that's happened here this is a larger fin -- phenomenon, look how it
has metastasized into the states and local levels. i was just in my native minnesota where the legislature used to be a paragon of civic culture. you know, there were republicans like david dernberger who happened to be at a book event and now you've got a republican party who's gone off the rails on the right. shut down that government for no particular good reason. look at what's happening in pennsylvania with the voter suppression and in so many other states. but with some of the former members, it is almost like all right, i served inside. and it is like i was in a tent where i was breathing in some kind of gas that made me think that they were the enemy. it is the tribal culture. as soon as i got outside and i'm back to breathing regular air i'm thinking what are these idiots doing? that's partly what's happened is even good people and plenty of them still serving, there are plenty of problem solvers in the republican ranks has nothing to do with ideology. you can be very conservative and
still look for common ground and solutions to problems. but they're forced away from it now. >> bill: you know, i have not been around this town as long as you have. been here 16 years now. there are people on both sides of the aisle that i remember -- you call them problem solvers -- they fought like hell during a campaign and in between elections and there was a period then by the way in between elections where today there doesn't seem to be any at all -- but people like a trent lott or a bob dole or a tom daschle or george mitchell, they sat down and said okay, what do we gotta do here? how do we get it done and how can we work together to get it done? the house and the senate, the same thing. i think denny hest ra was out of that mold. you don't have them today. you don't have them today in john boehner and mitch mcconnell. >> i think john boehner would instinctively like to be a legislator. he's boxed in by his own members. there's leadership he can
pursue. his other leaders are ready to take him down. the kind of leadership you can pursue is where are they going and i'll run faster to get out in front of him. the sad part now to me is you look at boehner who when he was first going to become speaker something he never thought would really happen. he was emotionally overcome but he gave a message to his new members coming in. look, we're going to bear some responsibility now. we'll be in the majority. there are things we have to do that we may not want to because it is part of our responsibility in governing. we'll have to swallow hard like the debt limit. now it is boehner leading the way to hold the debt limit hostage again. it tells you how far askew we've come. you hit on a major part of it. it is the permanent campaign. it is all about how you gain traction for the next election. but in a campaign, the other side is the enemy. when you govern, the other side is supposed to be the adversary and your adversary one day can be your ally the next. it is a very different phenomenon now and you know, the
problem solvers are still around but if you try to do that, the club for growth comes in with $10 million to knock you off. >> bill: can you find a point or a person where this all started? >> in the book we point to newt gingrich. and to grover norquist as to perpetrators in a way. and you know, i got to know newt. tom, my cow co-author and i started a project in 1978 at the american enterprise institute to bring in new members coming in the class of '78 starting in january of '79 the regular informal off-the-record dinners about their first two years in congress. we happened to have a pretty good class and chose well so we had newt gingrich, geraldine ferraro, dick cheney among others. but newt, from the beginning had a fully-formed approach, a strategy set with tactics on how you could overcome what was then
the 24-year stranglehold the democrats had on the majority in the house. i can't say he was wrong about what to do. it was i've got a nationalize an election and make congress look so bad that people say anything would be better than this. over 16 years, he created a level of tribalism. the use of ethics as a political weapon. a kind of language casting dot on the patriotism of the people on the other side. a sense of them as being corrupt. frankly, they contributed to it, the democrats had been in power long enough that they had become arrogant and complacent and condescending. but all of that created a generation of people who totally believed it. newt didn't. out in newt thought once i take over, i'll be in charge and it will be fine. then you take grover norquist and the pledge and i blame far more the people who took the pledge. for promoting it. you put those two things together, the hatred of
government, the belief that the other side is not just wrongheaded but eve oel and -- evil and a pledge where you cannot raise taxes under any circumstances and you've got a bad combination. >> bill: the result is "even worse than it looks." norm ornstein. but of course not enough to bitch about it. we have to fix about how we might fix it. norm does in his book. we'll talk to him about that and get your calls as well at 1-866-55-press. the "full court press," thursday, june 28th. >> announcer: this is the "bill press show." so check out the web site. just google elizabeth warren. i think i want to write her a check plyself. i would really love to see her join the ranks of the united states senate and get rid of scott brown. 1-866-55-press.
we have a big, big hour and the i.q. will go way up. how are you ever going to solve the problem if you don't look at all of the pieces? >>tv and radio talk show host stephanie miller rounds out current's morning news block. >>you're welcome current tv audience for the visual candy. >>sharp tongue, quick whit and above all, politically direct. >>you just think there is no low they won't go to. oh, no. if al gore's watching today... >> announcer: radio meets television, the "bill press show" now on current tv. >> bill: yeah, bill press here coming to you live coast-to-coast from our studio here on capitol hill in
washington, d.c. we're talking about the mess in congress. how bad it is. how it got that bad and what we might do about it. norm ornstein has co-authored with tom mann "it's even worse than it looks" seriously one of the best books i've read in a long time. it nails what's going on in congress today. so norm, is there any way out other than getting rid of the whole bunch and starting with a whole new clean slate of people. not all of the people who are there, the obstructionists, that won't happen. what can we do? >> it is not just the people and one of the things that concerns me bill, is the public is a part of our problem here. >> bill: good point. >> the instinct is whenever anybody pops up and says i'm not like the rest of those bozos i'm not a politician, that person gains traction. look what happened to herman cain for awhile. the problem is what we with need is politicians. the framers were politicians. you need people who are there to
solve problems and who understand. >> bill: through the political system. >> and respect their own institutions. understand there will be horse trading going on. try to figure out what the other guy wants and needs and why. we're losing that. the biggest problem is this is not simply a structural one and it is not simply the people there although is getting harder and harder to get people given what the supreme court has done with citizens united and its progeny. it is a cultural one now. the fact is we've become a tribal culture. it is reinforced by a tribal media and the social media that amplify all of that. we started -- i talked about lying. lying brings no penalty or approbation. if you lie and get caught out you don't say i'm so ashamed. you double down. how can you survive in a world where we just saw a survey, 64% of republicans still believe that there were weapons of mass
destruction in iraq because that's the message that they keep getting and almost 40% believe that obama was not born in the united states. >> bill: 44% believe -- don't know what religion he is. >> you know, if 40% of the members of one party believe a president is illegitimate then it is illegitimate to cut a deal with that president. that's simply a problem we've so you have to have structural changes. because that can help to change the culture. we've gotta focus on change the culture to some extent including the culture of the press. to pick one example the filibuster rule is the same as it has been since 1975. for 30 years, it was one of those things that often annoyed sometimes enraged a majority that wanted to get things done but was used infrequently, only on a handful of major national issues where a minority felt really intensely. you work your way around it.
sometimes it was a rogue individual but it was more an annoyance than anything else. now it is not the rule that's changed. it is the culture that says let's use it as a routine weapon only for obstruction. we're going to use multiple filibusters on bills that get unanimous support. use filibusters on nominations that get unanimous support. so you can spread out the time and take away the most precious commodity of the senate. the notion that you raise the bar to 60 routinely is not anything we've ever had in our history. it flies in the face of what the framers wanted. but the culture allows it. change the rule and maybe we can begin to change the culture a little bit. >> bill: in terms of -- i think the first step is informing people, too. making sure americans understand what's going on and you've done a great job at that. i thank you. thank you for coming in. thank you for writing it. we'll put a link up on our web site. "it's even worse than it looks."
hey, it's about 200 pages right? good fast read but a great read. important for all americans. to know what's going on. maybe we can all work together to change the system. get it back to something we can be proud of and government that actually got some things done. >> exactly so. we sure need that. >> bill: thanks, norm. come back in any time. i'll be back with a quick parting shot here on thursday morning. >> announcer: this is the "bill press show." where's michelle , the people that accuse me of being a traitor. why aren't they out there taking on michele bachmann. that's what i want to know. why not? she's trashed the american flag. all i did was say let's dump the star-spangled banner for god bless america. >> that's way worse. way worse. hers is way worse. >> bill: there's the proof