tv The Last Word MSNBC August 24, 2011 5:00pm-6:00pm PDT
mind when arguing with people like santorum. life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. it's impossible to believe marriage to a person of one's mutual choosing doesn't fall in one or more of those categories. santorum and his friends might want to check out the word unalienable. last word with chris hayes starts right now. >> libyans are fighting for a new government as some republicans are realizing why a government is important. >> there's more chaos right now than there is violence. >> who is keeping track of moammar gadhafi's chemical weapons? >> the libyan rebels put a price on his head. >> stop looting the palace and stop celebrating. >> stop firing guns and figure out how to rule the country. >> the radio recording from gadhafi in which he is calling
on his supporters to take up arms. >> to call for more -- >> more of a symbol than anything else. >> symbols matter. >> screaming over this gunfire and smoke. >> how this ends matters. >> it's unclear how dangerous or how precarious it is inside. >> with an earthquake and hurricane in the same week, republican governors discover a new love for federal. >> congressman cantor is here. this is his district. >> the governor, his decision whether or not to seek federal assistance. >> do it for yourself. >> tracking hurricane irene. >> the washington monument is a big concern right now. >> some cracks found near the top. >> national cathedral in northwest washington, d.c., that also sustained damage. >> we are preparing for the worst. >> and right wing 19th century nostalgia pushes rick perry to the top of the republican polls.
>> perry should have an economic message to share. >> closer ties to the tea party network than certainly mitt romney does. >> please, don't quote me. >> pining for a white knight to replace the current candidates. >> i think it's a little early to be dissatisfied with the candidates. >> i've tried losing, i think i like winning better. good evening from new york, i'm chris hayes in for lawrence o'donnell. in libya, it is the second day in a row of almost there. tonight, the jubilant rebel forces hesitate to claim victory because moammar gadhafi's whereabouts still remain unknown and scattered fighting continues in the capital. britain's channel 4 asked
gadhafi's foreign minister in the conflict if the conflict is finished. he said yes, this is my feeling, if i was in charge, i'd tell loyalists to lay down their arms. in benghazi, the head of the transitional council announced wealthy businessmen declared a $1.7 million bounty for the capture of gadhafi dead or alive. also offered amnesty for any member of gadhafi's entourage that turns him in. tnc is the government of the people. i think it's safe to say that at this point libya is now the site of both the violent and remarkable turn of events in the ongoing arab spring. last april "the wall street journal" read "rag tag rebels struggle in battle." "rolling stone" deemed them
libya's amateur army. here is richard engel embedded with the rebels five months ago. >> outgunned, rebels say they are killed whenever they approach gadhafi's forces. we have light weapons, they have tanks. another rebel showed me he isn't actually armed at all. it's amazing, he handed me his gun, i didn't realize it was made of plastic, it's a toy. >> that's crazy tape. what a difference revolutionary determination on the ground western intelligence agents and 20,000 natos make. we had a sign the control over libya is gone. the loyalist troops who for five days held western journalists captive let those journalists go today. red cross workers transported
them to a rebel-held hotel where they reunited with colleagues. joining me now, missy ryan, thank you for joining me, missy, missy, at what point did you realize you were being held captive? >> well, thank you for having me. it was sort of an odd situation, because to begin with as a reporter in gadhafi's tripoli, we didn't have very much freedom even before the sort of climax of the military campaign over the past few days. we were generally kept from reporting freely, we were only allowed out on sort of government-organized trips, but things really did take a turn for the worst around august 13, when the coastal highway towards tunisia, the only way in and out
of tripoli was cut off, meani i journalists who were there couldn't leave, but it didn't seem like a crisis situation until last saturday when rebels entered tripoli and the heavy fighting began, and at that point, the government officials who had been sort of watching over us melted away. the hotel staff disappeared, and suddenly we were in a big empty hotel in a government-controlled area with only a number of armed gadhafi volunteers who were prohibiting us from leaving. >> when you say prohibiting you from leaving, what was the state of rationale of those men and how did they come to the decision to let you go? >> well, these men were ardent believers in colonel gadhafi and they, i think, had a real conviction the rebel's advance
into tripoli was going to be upheld and they told us they were keeping us against our will for our own safety because if we went out we'd be part of the cross fire or would fall victim to an opposition that they really saw as little more than armed criminal gangs. at the same time, of course, the gadhafi government has sought to use the foreign media present here in tripoli to counter some of the negative depictions in the international media, especially by reporters who have been in rebel-controlled areas, you know, and, for example, on sunday, i believe it was, when there were reports that saif islam had been arrested, they corralled us into covering a surprise appearance by saif, which was their great advantage.
>> that's saif gadhafi appearance, one of the strangest things to come out of libya, missy, thank you for joining me and please stay safe. more specifically, what is this mean for the fragile and eroding nuclear nonproliferation regime? in between the chapters of gadhafi's life, there was a brief period in which he was america's prodigal sun. u.s. and u.n. pressure led to libya dropping its nuclear program in 2003, a victory much celebrated by the bush administration in a development that was awarded with the dropping of sanctions against libya and even a visit from one senator john mccain who tweeted in august 2009 "late evening with colonel gadhafi at his ranch in libya, interesting meeting with an interesting man." all this attention that was lavished on gadhafi was predicated on this kid pro kuo,
>> that gadhafi has a point. i want you to put yourselves in the shoes of a depraved death bed and from the morally neutral perspective, if you look at the structure set up for the world's authoritarian regimes, it begins to look a lot like the very worst thing you can do is ever give up your nuclear weapons. joining me now, washington editor at large for the atlantic steve clemons, steve, thanks for joining me tonight. >> great to be with you, chris. >> so you look at where the u.s. has engaged and intervened and where they haven't, we are definitely not going to get into a shooting war with north korea no matter what kim jong-il does, he has a bomb. we did intervene in iraq and
support nato intervention in libya. is the sort of perverse lesson not to give up your nuclear weapons? >> of course, it is. moammar gadhafi gave up his nuclear weapons as part of his own strategy to create a different kind of security for himself, which would embed himself and his family and his future with the west and try to behave a bit more, but now with the invasion, it sent a signal. in fact, on the day that president obama authorized intervention and we had our first nato strike there, north korea came out and basically told him he was a sucker, essentially, for having given up his nuclear weapons. and now the other problem, chris, is the bar for nations getting in the nuclear weapons track, technology has become a lot more available, so i suspect you're going to have a greater possibility of this kind of nexus of paranoid leaders wanting the ultimate protection. >> we have a nonproliferation
reg regeme, how robust is the nonproliferation regime right now, it's something the bush administration talked about and seemed to go about in the most counterproductive way possible, but how do we deal with the current situation to make sure we do not have proliferation? >> well, i think the global nonproliferation comments eroded quite a bit during the bush administration. when president obama came in, and last year he chaired a u.n. security council hearing. that hearing was about trying to create new safeguards that would prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons and wmds, we also had a review in the united states that was designed to reduce the nuclear weapons footprint in the u.s. arsenal, joe biden was working very hard on this, so there was a several-packaged plan to try to
restore the sensibility around the world that nonproliferation was what really mattered and this was something that we were going to -- when you look at the full ledger, both the positive and then the cost of invading libya, to some degree the obama administration has undone what they tried to do last year, which was to send signals to everyone that nuclear weapons were a bad course. >> final question i want to ask you is just how surprised are you by the outcome we've seen, and obviously, this is not over, but in terms of the actual military victory the rebels seem to have achieved, how surprising an outcome was that for you? >> i think it was fairly surprising, i think the thing that's disconcerting is that nato thinks that it was the turning point. i think it was the tribes getting a unified military command and closing off the western flank. i think what was really
interesting, and i give president obama a lot of credit, he didn't let this become a slippery slope, he left this a libyan story where libyans were able to get control. we certainly played a role, and i think it's very important for those powers that were assisting libya to maintain some humility right now, so i'm impressed we helped give the rebels a tilting point, better odds than they would have otherwise had, but for forces with very little training, very little armament in place and a lot of uncertainty, i think this has been a dramatic -- it's transfixed the country, it's seeing mubarak fall again but in another country. >> steve clemons, joining me, thanks a lot. coming up, how to prepare for a hurricane if you're a
republican governor who wants washington off your back. number one, ask washington for money. the pearls of the gop politics of emergencies is next. and governor rick perry wants to get rid of an amendment, repealing the 20th century perry style coming up. k my heartburn l and some antacids. we're having mexican tonight, so another pill then? less we eat later, then pill later? if i get a snack now, pill now? skip the snack, pill later... late dinner, pill now? aghh i've got heartburn in my head. [ male announcer ] stop the madness of treating frequent heartburn. it's simple with prilosec otc. one pill a day. twenty-four hours. zero heartburn. no heartburn in the first place. great. we get double miles on every purchase, so me and my lads earned a trip to san francisco twice as fast! we get double miles every time we use our card... i'll take these two... ...no matter what we're buying. ...and all of those.
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evident the disaster is such severity and magnitude that federal assistance is necessary. today in mineral, virginia, house majority leader eric cantor returned to his home district to survey the earthquake destruction, and guess what he didn't rule out. >> the federal government does have a role in situations like this. when there's a disaster, there's an appropriate federal role, and we'll find the moneys. >> we will find the moneys, and while texas governor rick perry vows to take washington out of the lives of the voters, he was turned down for a major federal disaster declaration after wild fires ravaged the state. >> 9,000 separate fires in the state of texas. the federal government's only helped us with 25 of them. that's inappropriate.
>> perry failed to mention he only asked for federal money 25 times prior and in each of those cases fema said yes. and now south carolina governor nikki haleigh faces her own test. she tried today to keep the tea party tone intact with this warning of residents facing the wrath of hurricane irene. >> when an event like this happens, don't wait for government to come and take care of the situation, do what you're doing what we need to do to keep our families safe. >> joining me now, michael lyndon. michael, thanks for coming on. >> thanks for having me. >> all right, i'm going to put you in a totally unfair position, i'm going to make you defend the premise for my segment. to play devil's advocate, you could say look, they are governors of states, the money is already appropriated for this federal money pot, and these disasters are disruptive events
that come from outside, not budgeted for, good for them for getting their share of the money. what is wrong with that? >> nothing is wrong with that. what's wrong with it is the previous rhetoric about how, you know, the government's not the solution, it's the problem in every case and every situation. there's nothing wrong with the governor asking the federal government for help in a natural disaster. in fact, if they didn't ask for the government's help, that would be a dereliction of duty. governors should take advantage of that, but these are the same governors who are saying the government's the problem, you know, we don't want the government in our lives and our back yards, but, of course, they do want the government when it suits them. >> and this isn't -- we should be clear here, this sort of hypocrisy or mismatch between ideology, rhetoric, and their actual record, it's not unique to this instance, right? >> no, this is a long and less than proud tradition of
conservatives going back to the recovery act. members of congress denouncing the recovery act left and right, but only too happy to accept the money that came with it, and, of course, the jobs that came with it. >> you know, one of the things i think that's interesting about a disaster is it makes us actually read the fine print of that category, that nebulous category of nondefense discretionary funding. you actually had a tweet early after the earthquake, i don't think the ground had stopped shaking yet. >> it was mid-earthquake. >> it was mid-earthquake about the u.s. geological survey, right? >> right, usgs, in the nebulous category you mentioned was cut by $25 million. that's not a huge sum out of its budget, but what else got cut this year, fema got cut, federal emergency management agency, and the national oceanic administration that tracks
hurricanes, that got cut. all these things are in that category, and it sounds easy to cut, but when you look at what's in there, it's stuff people like and want and need. >> the thing that's so frustrating is that's the stuff that even by the most sort of ideologically zealous definition of government stays in there. that is not something that the america is going to supply. >> or highway safety or, you know, airport security, whatever we may think of it, having some of it is important. drug safety, food inspections, all of that is the very definition of a public good. it's the very definition of a service that the private market is not going to provide. >> michael linden, thanks for joining me tonight. >> thank you. why the new front runner in
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in the spotlight tonight, the new republican presidential front runner. less than two weeks after jumping into the race, texas governor rick perry has stolen congresswoman michele bachmann's momentum and leapt ahead of former front runner mitt romney. a new poll shows perry at 29%, romney at 17%, ron paul at 13%, and bachmann fourth at 10%. paul is the highest polling and least covered candidate in the race. unlike this guy, who merely wants to repeal the 16th amendment. in case you're rusty on your amendments, the glorious 16th is the amendment that created the federal income tax. it was ratified in 1913, and it's not high pushiyperbole to
of the state. bounced around two to three percent. after the 16th amendment passed, spending clocked in 10% to 40%, depending how many wars we were in. repealing the 16th amendment has been one of the far right ideas like denouncing president abraham lincoln as an aauthoritarian anti-christ and now it's gone mainstream because republican front runner rick perry wrote about it in his book, "fed up." funny thing, rachel maddow carrying it in her back pack today. too soon for mainstream america saying the book is "a look back, not a path forward and was written as a review and critique of 50 years of federal excesses not in any way as a 2012 campaign blueprint or manifesto."
joining me now, dave weigel, dave, how are you doing tonight? >> i'm doing well. thanks for having me. >> if fluoride in the water as a communist plot is one end of sort of extreme views and gold standard and the f.e.d. is in the kind of acceptable area of sort of right views, where is repealing the 16th amendment? >> repealing the 16th amendment fits snugly into that framework. conservatives have talked for a long time about what they call the constitutional exile. perry in this book says what radio hosts believe that basically the progressives hoodwinked a lot of americans in 1913. the new deal did even worse and to really get americans liberated the way the founders wanted us to be libertied, we need to repeal all of it.
it was actually kind of honest in the book to say we need to do this. >> the honesty is sort of taking a turn. in response to questions about whether governor perry holds the views, campaign released a statement. the 16th amendment instituting a tax has exploded into tax rates and rules for the american workers. it goes on to say we can't undo more than 70 years of taxation overnight. what do you make of the view articulated in the book? >> well, i think one reason they are backing away from it is that the conclusion to reach if we get rid of the income tax is we need to institute a national sales tax or something, the conclusion if social security has been sapping the precious livelihood of americans for 70 years and is a ponzi scheme, the conclusion is we need to get rid of it and those are both
unpopular. saying you want to demolish the irs is old hat for republicans, saying you want to get rid of the 16th amendment, any time you talk about getting rid of an amendment, some people's crazy buzzers go off, but not for republican voters. this is a guy leading in the polls nationally and have to let the campaign be fought over barack obama's record, so democrats generally can defend themselves pretty well if they are allowed to talk about the legacy of the new deal, but perry is doing something by challenging the foundations of that. they have been doing it for quite a long time. this is more mainstream than when ronald reagan was saying things like this. >> the gallup poll, i actually was pretty surprised by how massive the bump has been, were you? >> i was not that surprised,
because we've seen this sign wave in the republican field. every couple of months somebody rises, somebody passes mitt romney, and somebody falls. perry's taking a bigger chunk out of mitt romney support and has become a credible front runner in a way romney never did, but i'm not surprised because republicans have been looking for somebody who has a record they can run on and frankly has, you know, a main line christian faith that's not fun to talk about, but it's a reason mitt romney was not the victor in iowa three years ago if we're being honest. he hits all the butt donbuttons none of this we've been talking about disqualifies him with republicans. we went through this with ronald reagan. he was a critic of medicare before medicare passed. he got past that. republicans have been very successful in taking ideas that most americans, if they think about them, are not used to and packaging them in a way that's
exciting. perry's gotten even further because republicans have shifted our conversation pretty far down the road towards rethinking whether the new deal worked. he's taking advantage of that. i think that's why he's more credible winner in the primary, more credible in november than michele bachmann was. >> rick perry taking it to woodrow wilson. i'm waiting for the launch of the fred thompson 2.0 candidacy. dave weigel, political reporter for slate.com, thank you so much. >> thank you. earlier today, the new york attorney general was kicked off the committee leading the foreclosure settlement negotiations with major banks. that's right, the attorney general where the financial crisis started is no longer on that committee. that's coming up. and earlier today as part of his four-day event in jerusalem, glenn beck delivered a keynote speech he himself called a game changer.
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coming up, why they kicked the new york attorney general off the committee investigating the foreclosure robo signing scandal. it has something to do with him wanting to investigate. and glenn beck wants to restore israel. something unexpected to the world of multigrain... taste. ♪ delicious pringles multigrain. t he y obmulte les.ckoni ng [ male announcer ] members of the american postal workers union
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during, and in the aftermath of the financial crisis, but before i read you that quote, a little bit of context so you can understand just how outrageous it is. now, during the housing bubble, banks started churning out lots of bad loans they'd pack an into securities and sell to investors. when everything blew up, the banks wanted to foreclosure on people who wouldn't make the payments on their crazy, adju adjustable rate mortgages. but a problem low and behold. during the heavy days of the bubble, banks hadn't been careful about documenting the loans, when bank x wanted to foreclosure on mrs. johnson, bank x found that the documentation proving it owned the loan wasn't anywhere to be found. may not have ever existed. so the banks, it appears, devised a way to get around their documentation problem, robo signing. the banks allegedly hired a bunch of people and paid them to
blindly sign affidavits all day long testifying that even though we don't have mrs. johnson's mortgage, i swear to you we own that loan. so robo signings of affidavits became a way for banks to move forward with foreclosures without the required proof. foul was cried when this was blown up in the press and every state attorney general, republican and democrat, opened up an investigation of foreclosures, including robo signing. i love saying attorneys general plural, justice department and hud have been working on a negotiation with the banks that would make the banks pay out money to home owners saying our bad and wipe their hands of the whole mess and they are this close right now, as i speak, to getting away with it. the terms would be a $20 million payment split between five big
banks, a sum roughly equal to the second quarter profit this year in exchange for total immunity of prosecution. let me say that again, total immunity of prosecution. not a bad deal considering no one knows the extent of this alleged systemic fraud and if a settlement is reached, we'll probably never know. so three attorneys general have said heck no. one attorney general who said no, eric schneiderman, has been booted off the committee negotiating the settlement. okay, now back to the quote i promised you. in explaining why schneiderman was a problem, katherine wilde, a member of the new york f.e.d. that represents the public told schneiderman in a conversation, and i quote, "it is of concern to the industry that instead of
trying to facilitate resolving these issues, you seem to be throwing a wrench into it. wall street is our main street. love them or hate them, they are important, and we have to make sure we are doing everything we can to support them, unless they are doing something indefensible." joining me now, felix salmon, the financial blogger for tomson reuters, what did you think of the quote? >> new york f.e.d. is owned by the banks. it's not surprising the new york f.e.d. might think that way, what's surprising the 50 attorney generals across the country seem to be caught into this new york f.e.d. brain mill. where did they get this idea? >> that's the thing about the settlement, and i hope people are tracking this because it's a complicated story, but it is a remarkable one, because you have this revelation of tremendous
bad practices which seem to be plaguing the entire industry, the state attorney generals get serious and the banks get scared and come to the negotiating table and it looks like there's going to be some real hell to pay, now there seems to be wriggling out, how does this happen? >> we have what i like to think for a nonstoppable force and immovable object. you have the banks, who would love to put this whole thing behind them, and as you say, they'd love to wrote a check and say i have complete immunity, none of this will bug me again. if you look at the stock market right now, bank of america is trading at less than 1/3 of its asset value because no one on wall street believes anything it's saying and everyone is worried about how much this could blow up in its face. so this is -- the market is incredibly worried about this. it would be so easy for the banks to write the check and
make it go away, but they need everything to go away, securitizationin securitizations, where they sliced and diced the bonds, and what eric schneiderman wants, he wants to investigate the securitizations, he's investigating them now. he doesn't know what he's going to find or what criminal activity is going to turn up. the last thing he wants no matter what you turn up, you're not going to prosecute it. >> plot point aside from today when schneiderman gets boots off is yesterday when schneiderman was told to step down. >> the federal government and justice didn't want to give immunity for securitization. there's a lot of murkiness and probably nothing is going to happen because at the end of these negotiations when people suddenly realize how far apart
they are that they fall apart. >> if nothing happens, to me this looks too big to fail for this reason, exactly the degree of uncertainty we're talking about. the thing that happened with robo signing was the symptom of the disease. the disease is all the securitization that happened on the front end, a lot of it was not legitimate and lord knows how much securities are legally invalid. if that's revealed, that's a real big problem for wall street, and it seems to me no one is going to have the courage to force that moment. >> the other thing you have to remember is although it's a problem for wall street, it's a huge possible benefit for the investors. the banks are -- the people who bought this nuclear waste are suddenly going oh, my god, i could make billions of billions of dollars which they thought they lost because the banks could be back on the hook. >> so just so people are clear, i'm holding this security, you,
felix salmon sold to me, it's now worth 20 cents on the dollar, but i learned it's fraudulently created and i can say take that back and give me my dollar. >> the new york f.e.d. they are suing the banks. >> right, right. felix salmon from reuters, fantastic blog you should all be reading. up next, glenn beck in je rees lem. rity and economic growth. north america actually has one of the largest oil reserves in the world. a large part of that is oil sands. this resource has the ability to create hundreds of thousands of jobs. at our kearl project in canada, we'll be able to produce these oil sands with the same emissions as many other oils and that's a huge breakthrough. that's good for our country's energy security and our economy.
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the words of my mouth. we're thinking of naming my new show on the weekends "hear the words of my mouth." glenn beck was in israel today, all part of a four-day event to, in his words, restore courage. during today's production meeting we had a blessed conversation asking is glenn beck now just a side show. he's sort of fallen by the wayside. there's something about this rally we decided we had to talk about. partly because, to be honest, there's tape. >> somebody this week said that we were going to bring chaos and mayhem, and i thought it's the middle east, how would you know? >> that was the beginning of beck's speech today, the speech this event has been leading to and one that in beck's mind, people all over the world have been waiting for. take this passage in which he quotes from the old testament
book of isaiah. >> in synagogues all over the world just last week, they read the words the prophet isaiah, comfort, oh comfort my people, says your god. speak tenderly to jerusalem and to declare to her her term of hard service is over. look, look at us. look at where we are. look at what we say. we declare words of comfort. to israel. in jerusalem. >> call me crazy but it seems beck is saying the prophet of isaiah foretold beck giving a
speech in jerusalem. the reason there's something both important and dangerous here is the alliance between the christian right and the most reactionary forces in israeli life. this week, there's glenn beck, right there, in the middle of all of it. joining me now, jeremy ben-ami, founder and president of d.c.-based pro-israel pro-peace lobbying organization. jeremy, what did you make of the glenn beck spectacle today? >> i think you're right, you don't know whether to laugh or to cry. on the one hand, the tape is too good, you have to run it because you have to laugh at the guy pretending to be a modern day prophet at the gates of jerusalem, but it's tragic there are those in american jewish
life and politics in this country that thinks it's what it means to be a friend of israel and are ready to embrace him on his terms as he's defining a new holy war. >> the deception of israel has been polarizing to beck, how has it seemed to break down? >> you do have people on the right and on the left who have criticized him and said we should have nothing to do with him, but there are very, very strong elements on the west bank, people within prime ministers netanyahu's own party and glenn beck is clearly aligned with them as well as a way of getting support for israel. >> for a long time this kind of alliance between the christian right and the right wing of israeli politics have sort of happened at a time when the center of israeli debate seemed
to move to the right and positions have gotten more dug in. we've seen netanyahu saying things and people in his cabinet saying things that would have been outside the mainstream ten years earlier, at the same time very recently it does seem there has been a real uprising in israel against the netanyahu government, there's hundreds of thousands of people in street. where is israeli public opinion right now on the issue of the settlements and the issue of peace? >> well, the settlements have never been popular and iz rsrae believed there would be a two-step. but their problem they never thought it could actually happen, so when glenn beck shows up in jerusalem and says i'm here to save israel, that this is a greater threat than bombs and bullets to israel is you may have a two-state solution or you have candidates running for the presidency of the united states
on the republican line who are saying they don't believe a two-state solution is in israel's interest, they are way out of line with the majority, not only of israelis, but jewish americans who believe we got to have peace and a two-state solution. >> final question, slightly off topic, but do you think americans know enough about non-violent resistance and political action that happens in the palestinian occupied territories against the occupation? >> i don't think so. i think that there's an image of palestinian and arab and muslim terrorism, and it is the face of the resistance movements that are in place that the far right in this country and in israel wants to promote, but at the same time you have a massive movement on the west bank now that is non-violently been protesting for years the exact root of the wall that separates israel from the west bank and is asking now peacefully for their