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tv   The Rachel Maddow Show  MSNBC  October 11, 2011 9:00pm-10:00pm PDT

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me tonight. >> it was a pleasure, lawrence. >> have the last word online at lastword.msnbc.com and follow tweets @lawrence. the rachel maddow shows up next. > good evenings lawrence. thank you. we're covering the big senate vote on president obama's jobs bill tonight. we have today's actual news story about zombies covering up. best new thing in the world. the one and only bill maher is going to be here for the interview tonight. first "the rachel maddow show" has recently had an international banking problem. but like all truly useful problems in the world, having this problem not even solving this problem, just having this problem has helped us at this show gain some valuable insight. in this case, into the today's -- into the most important story in today's news. you may remember a story that we did recently about an awesome
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anti-nazi t-shirt in germany. a few months ago we covered this story of a white power rock concert taking place in eastern germany and a genius anti-nazi, anti-racism group decided to hand out these t-shirts at the rock show. the first 250 racist skin heads to enter that concert received these t-shirts which aren't particularly overtly racist or anything but look nationalist-ish. they have the right kind of skinheady iconography. these people created crazy t-shirt technology, where once neo nazis proudly wore this t-shirt and laundered them. en the t-shirt came out of the reading in german, quote, what your t-shirt can do, you also can do. we will help you free yourself from right wing extremism. we covered this story back in august. we've since been trying to get actual physical genius t-shirts from the anti-nazi group that was distributing them. in so doing, we have been
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developing an international banking problem. we have been waiting through what it takes to wire money internationally. turns out in order to purchase 70 bucks worth of t-shirts it's going to cost us $35, half that much money just to move that money to germany. that is typically what it costs to do an international money transfer between bank accounts. 30 or 40 bucks. so today when this happened, when there was a massive show of national security fire power in d.c., a suddenly convened press conference to announce a high profile arrest in a case that is a spy movie plot to end all spy movie plots. because we on this show are working out our international banking $35 fee snafu, one part of this complicated fascinating thing made way more sense than it ought to have. on august 1st of this year a 56-year-old iranian american with awesome hair who said he was acting as an intermediary for iran's government specifically for his cousin in
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the iranian military, another high ranking government officials, this guy allegedly arranged for this odd amount of money to be wired to a secret bank account. $49,960. about a week later on august 9th, same deal. same dude arranged for this amount of money to be wired again to the same secret bank account. part of the reason the spy movie criminal complaint today was filed in a new york city court is because the bank transfers even though they were starting presumably in iran and going to a secret bank account somewhere else, the bank transfers went through manhattan. they went through a new york city bank. because almost all banking in the world despite our financial catastrophe here still pretty much goes through new york city. the fact that that money stopped over in new york city in spitting distance of the occupy wall street protesters, that is why this criminal case was brought today in new york. while this is not a central part of the case, it's worth noting wall street is also the reason
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why the amount of money this iranian guy allegedly wired twice was such a weird amount. $49,960? what? we know from what were apparently tape recorded conversations in this plot what the iranian guy was supposed to be sending was 100 grand. $100,000. clearly he chose to send that money in two installments but each time wall street takes a pop. this is an international money transfer so they scam 40 bucks every time you make a wire transfer like this. so $49,960. minus that 40 bucks twice. that $100,000 did move. leading to today's stranger than fiction bombshell national security announcement in d.c. >> the disruption of this alleged plot marks a significant achievement by our law enforcement and intelligence agencies. >> reads like the pages of a hollywood script. the impact would have been very real and many lives would have been lost.
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>> today's charges should make crystal clear we will not let other countries use our soil as their battleground. >> not let other countries use our soil as battleground. i wonder if yemen or pakistan feels the same way about us? never mind. here's the stranger than fiction action movie plot u.s. officials are alleging. on may 24th of this year this american citizen, a dual citizen of both iran and the united states, he traveled from texas where he lives to mexico to go meet with someone from a mexican drug cartel. it's not described in the complaint explicitly as being the zetas cartel but he thought he was meeting with the zetas. he asks his contact in the drug cartel if the drug cartel is good with explosives. the guy from the cartel replies, yes, he's great with c-4 in particular. the iranian guy then says he's interested among other things in attacking an embassy of saudi arabia. what the iranian guy does not know at this point is the guy
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who he's meeting with from the drug cartel is an informant for the u.s. government. he's a person who was previously, quote, charged in connection with a narcotics offense by authorities of a certain u.s. state. in exchange for his cooperation and various narcotics investigations the state charges were dismissed and now paid by law enforcement officials to be a rat. that's not the term they used but that's what he is. a paid informer inside the mexican drug cartel. we have those apparently in american law enforcement. so the iranian guy is meeting with a d.e.a. informant in this mexican drug gang. the informant reports back to his handlers at the d.e.a. an iranian guy approached him about attacking a saudi arabian agency which point the d.e.a. calls in the fbi. the informant and iranian guy meet through june and july during which time the iranian guy clarifies he doesn't just want the embassy attacked, he wants the ambassador killed, the saudi ambassador to the u.s.
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murdered, assassinated while the ambassador is in the u.s. and at a meeting between the iranian guy and the informant in july, the informant like in the movies wears a wire. at that meeting the iranian guy says in english the money he's going to use to pay the drug cartel to kill the ambassador, that, quote, money, is in iran. the iranian guy explains that it's his cousin in the iranian army who's asked him to find somebody to mount this assassination, describes his cousin a big general in the army and wanted in america and in his words, been on the cnn. the informant says in english on tape, quote, i don't know exactly what your cousin wants me to. the iranian guy replies, quote, he wants you to kill the guy, talking about the ambassador. the informant says, there's going to be like american people there in the restaurant where he's planning the assassination. you want me to do it outside or in the restaurant?
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iranian guy answers, doesn't matter how you do it. according to the complaint on numerous occasions during that meeting the iranian made it clear the assassination needed to go forward even if doing so would cause mass casualties. the informant quotes him as saying, quote, they want that guy done. meaning they want the ambassador killed. quote, in the 100 go with him, "f" them. the complaint alleges the iranian makes clear the money to finance this operation is not some freelance thing, not some independent terrorist group. talking about his cousin in the army again, he says, quote, he's got the government behind him. he's not paying from his pocket. meaning the iranian government. at that point, as far as he's concerned, the plan goes into motion. this iranian guy believes he's now contracted with a mexican drug cartel to kill the saudi ambassador to the united states in the united states probably in a restaurant in washington, d.c., using a bomb.
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he makes $100,000 down payment, minus two wire transfer fees of 40 buck, makes that payment on the eventual $1.5 million cost of the job. he makes plans to finish the deal and skedaddle, to get out of town to go back to iran. with the guy on tape in english making the arrangements for the killing, arrangements for the payment, tieing it to the government of iran and having completed the wire transfer, the fbi and the d.e.a. sew him up announcing the arrest of the citizen at jfk airport in new york as he was trying to get back to iran. he was read his miranda rights and will be tried in the southern district of new york. the iranian government denouncing the charges laid out today as america trying to distract from its own problems. from the president obama's perspective this is not being treated as an average run of the mill true believer terrorist plot, not being treated as a criminal complaint, although it
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is that, too. the obama administration is treating this as a major international incident which is what it seems like it is becoming and quickly. >> in addition to holding these individual conspirators accountable for their alleged role in this plot, the united states is committed to holding iran accountable for its actions. >> remains to be seen exactly what the united states is going to do and how this ends, but looming over this whole story, over this whole dramatic press conference and the bombshell complaint today and the international incident this has now become is the fact that the reason this came down this way is apparently because the d.e.a. had a well placed informant inside what appears to be the zetas drug cartel and did not keep this information to themselves once approached by the iranian guy. the dots were connected. the arrest was made. the suspect confessed. the trial will be held. in a world where plots like this are not pot boiler fiction, from a law enforcement and counterterrorism perspective, this is the way this is supposed to go. want another one?
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here's the former soviet union. really big. right? here's a tiny little part of the former soviet union now known as moldova. one thing relevant to american security from the former soviet union is the uranium and plutonium left behind by the soviet's giant nuclear program when the soviet union fell apart. one thing u.s. officials do, u.s. government personnel do in the spy versus spy world we live in is try to track down the old soviet uranium and plutonium so it doesn't get sold to terrorists groups looking for a weapon or enough to make one on their own or enough highly radioactive material to explode a dirty bomb which is radioactive shrapnel and explosives. in moldova in june, police trained by authorities, identified a ring of people trying to sell 20 pounds of highly enriched uranium and some unknown amount of plutonium. the associated press reporting the asking price was about $30 million. the arranged buyer of at least a sample of the uranium was a north african man who has not yet been found. nor has one kilogram of highly enriched uranium that these authorities still think is out
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there and in criminal hands and for sale. because there is a functioning black market on which terrorist groups are shopping for uranium and plutonium. but thanks to the u.s. doing this work, prioritizing this, having a presence in somewhere as random as moldova, this uranium has been tracked to its source. the uranium and plutonium ring has started to be shut down. there have been arrests. this is the way it's supposed to work. this is why the u.s. government does this kind of work. how about one more? tonight we on the show can exclusively report that the united states government has completed a top secret mission to secure and dispose of more than 70 pounds of highly
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enriched uranium in the nation of kazakhstan, enough to build an improvised nuclear bomb. as we discussed on the show before, we have an agency in the federal government, whose job it is to find and lock down loose nuclear material all over the world to make sure the material stays out of the hands of terrorists and off the black market. you're looking at images nobody else has, the latest mission to kazakhstan kazakhstan. u.s. officials along side the kazaks spent the last seven weeks to secure and transport 72 pounds of weapons grade uranium, the most valuable substance on earth if you ask your local rich terrorist group. this highly radioactive nuclear material was packed up and moved 750 miles across that country where we can now report it has finished being downblended. it's been downblended into low enriched uranium which means it can no longer be used to make a nuclear weapon. this is what the nnsa does every single day, what your government is doing. in the last year and a half alone, the nnsa downblended more than 55,000 kilograms of nuclear material, enough to build over 2,000 nuclear weapons. they are the ones keeping this material off the nuclear black
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market for the world and for america. they are the ones keeping this stuff out of the hands of terrorists who are actively trying to get it and have millions of dollars to spend to do it. that is the way it's supposed to work. next thing you hear somebody talking smack about the government, the idea of government doing something useful, you have your rejoinder. these are your tax dollars at work. thank god. [ male announcer ] what if that hemorrhoid pain is non-stop to seattle? just carry new preparation h totables. discreet, little tubes packed with big relief. from the brand doctors recommend most by name. new preparation h totables. the anywhere preparation h.
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today some occupy wall street protesters took a walking tour of the new york city homes of billionaires. the protesters noticed that new york has a special 2% millionaires tax that's due to expire at the end of this year. in other words, that tax is in place now. it's due to be phased out. thus proving by their billionaires homes walking tour, even with that special new york millionaires tax, a whole bunch of millionaires and billionaires still live in new york.
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they survived the tax and they're still zillionaires. they did not flee. when a place like new york taxes really rich people, new york does better and really rich people still do okay. they do really okay. they do really, really, really okay. i'll have more ahead on this with bill maher who is our guest tonight for the interview.
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occupy boston protesters tried and failed yesterday to march on to the charlestown bridge. here's what that looked like on local tv in boston. >> you're looking live again from sky 5 at the charlestown bridge. there's a bit of a standoff with police not allowing anybody on the bridge.
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part of the reason why they wanted to go to that bridge is many of the union protesters who are joining them at this hour believe if we repaired bridges like that one, there would be more jobs. >> "the boston globe" reporting protesters hoped to hang a banner on the bridge that said, fix this bridge, create jobs now. if you look again at the local news footage from the standoff at the bridge, you can actually see the big fix this bridge banner. that banner and big group of it. according to "the boston herald" that's because police told the protesters the ageing structure that is the bridge would buckle if they all walked on to it. so you can't take your fix this bridge sign on to the bridge because the bridge is so decrepit it might not support your weight. that's one implicit prayer for america's infrastructure, from a boston bridge too run down to speak for itself. there's another argument for infrastructure spending today coming from big business. president obama met with his
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council on jobs and competitiveness today. a group made up almost entirely of business and corporate big whigs including ge and comcast ceos. hello bosses who i don't know. this council is charged with giving the president advice on the economy in which they did today in the form of this 50-page report. this jobs council is a corporate america thing. these are the businesspeople who the republicans call the job creators. right? you might have noticed corporate america is not really creating jobs now with unemployment stuck at 9%, corporations are as "the wall street journal" are deciding to horde cash instead of hiring anybody. as businesses build up buffers rather than invest in new plants or hiring. corporations in other words have tons of money right now. they're sitting on it as cash. they're not using it to hire american workers. it's not because they don't have any money or need to pay lower taxes, ge, taxes, ha. corporate america is not hiring because the economy sucks. there's no market here for anything that they're selling. they're not hiring here. so if jobs aren't going to come
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as a gift to the nation from corporate america, what do the supposed big business corporate america job creators say need to happen in order to get jobs back? their number one recommendation in their big report to the president today was infrastructure. quote, the council wants to add its voice to appoint every thoughtful group that's looked at the matter, shout it from the rooftops. repairing and modernizing our tunnels, railways, ports, dams, schools, airports, transit, electrical grids, water and waste water systems. and expanding our broadband networks are classic twofers. they create jobs in the near term. if washington can agree on anything it should be this and should be now. so says corporate america. for the record says the chamber of commerce. and so says labor. and so says the great majority of the public. so says the great majority of all economists both bearish and even though bullish. so tonight in the united states
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senate, there was a test vote on the senate's version of president obama's jobs bill. for the $175 billion and that everybody agrees on it, infrastructure investment. not a single republican senator voted for the bill. not one. charlestown bridge, how you doing, scott brown? almost every single democrat and therefore a majority of the senate voted to move this bill forward, but the republicans filibustered it. they are unanimously opposed. joining us now is john stanton, reporter for "the roll call" newspaper. thanks very much for your time tonight. it's nice to have you here. >> goods to be here. >> let's start with the exception to the rule. which democrats did not vote for this version of the jobs bill tonight? >> jim webb and ben nelson from nebraska did not vote for the bill. >> okay. david axelrod has been arguing in a memo to democrats really to everybody today that the policies in the jobs act are really popular, the bill,
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itself, is popular and getting more so. he is saying democrats who don't back it are making a political mistake. why doesn't the polling on this appeal to guys like jim webb? >> i think partly it's because webb is fairly conservative in sort of his fiscal policies. you know, with say nelson and other democrats that opposed it, they're really looking at what happened in the election two years ago and seeing an echo effect. they see the tea party, calls for deficit reduction, fiscal restraint, that kind of thing as sort of the order of the day. they sort of begin to triangulate toward the right and are voting with republicans on things like this. particularly for folks like ben nelson facing a tough re-election next year, expect him to vote republican down the line on anything like this. >> even with webb and nelson defecting from the democratic line, it shouldn't overshadow the fact democrats actually did get almost all democratic votes here and they did in fact get a raw majority for the bill. if the republicans hadn't
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filibustered it, it would have passed. do you have any inkling in the senate that harry reid and the democrats might be thinking about that filibuster rule so they can pass things with the majority again? >> no, i don't. i think, you know, there's been a lot of calls obviously and a lot of people on the progressive side of the world would definitely like to see that. there were democrats that voted for this bill frankly who would not have voted for it if they thought it was actually going to pass in the end i think. you know, they felt like harry reid put a lot of pressure on them for this vote. it was a political point to show that 51 democrats were willing to vote for it. that a civil majority of the senate was willing to vote for it but had no repercussions for them. if it was going to pass, you'd see a fair number of democrats defect it and vote with republicans on it. >> republicans can find unanimity on the most complicated issues in the world as long as it's bad for a democrat. democrats can't agree the sky is up when they're standing. the president saying tonight,
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john, this isn't done. he clearly wants to campaign on the jobs bill. he says he wants to try to pass any part of it any way he can. what do you think happens next on this? >> well, i think that's what you're going to see. next week they're going to be doing appropriations bills and there will be a week off. and the senate will come back to this probably in about three weeks. what you're going to see between now and then is essentially a political campaign run by the white house. by senate democrats. by house republicans. continuing sort of this same fight that they've been having frankly since, you know, february or january of how do we move forward as a country and not really trying to talk to each other but past each other to the voters. hoping to put enough pressure on the other guy to get them to cave as opposed to trying to find some kind of middle ground which has traditionally been what we've done in this country and they're really no longer trying to do that. it's mostly a game of who can yell at the other longer and louder at this point. >> that's very depressing. john stanton, reporter for "roll call." thanks for joining us.
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appreciate having you here. >> any time. bill maher occupies our airwaves straight ahead. that's a great new thing on the show. it's not the best new thing. for the the best new thing we had to turn to zombies tonight. we have bill maher and we have zombies all coming up on the show but not together. it's two different things. you e little industrial? okay, there's enough energy right here in america. yeah, over 100 years worth. okay, so you mean you just ignore the environment. actually, it's cleaner. and, it provides jobs. and it helps our economy. okay, i'm listening. [announcer] at conoco phillips we're helping power america's economy with cleaner affordable natural gas... more jobs, less emissions, a good answer for everyone. so, by reducing the impact of production... and protecting our land and water... i might get a job once we graduate. exclusive to the military. and commitment is not limited to one's military oath. the same set of values that drive our nation's military are the ones we used to build usaa bank. from free checking to credit cards to loans, our commitment to the military, veterans, and their families
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we've got bill maher tonight for the interview. i wanted to get his take on occupy wall street and whether this is finally the shot in the arm outside the box lefty populist movement the country is about two generations overdue for. today in new york somebody made
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this sign for occupy wall street, repeal the enclosure act of 1801, common land for the common folk. that drove peasant farmers into the city. i do not know who made this sign, but i think this cardboard protest of an 1801 foreign land statute shows that people have a thousand different reasons for joining the occupy wall street movement. this guy, for example, told us today that he's there because of income inequality. this person says she wants to see the economy improve. this man believes that americans need to stop voting for rich people because they think it will somehow make their own non-rich people lives better. this artist in this work consumed be silent hazmat suit says people need a wake-up call to treat the planet better. for instance, no nukes. this guy here wants to know who wrecked the country. >> this is a fantastic, beautiful, bountiful land that's hopelessly in debt. what happened? what went -- what happened?
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>> we talked to another person today at occupy wall street. a somewhat famous one, though not as famous as he'd like to be. buddy roemer, former governor of louisiana, running what you might call an underdog campaign. republicans are not putting him in the debate. he's at jon huntsman levels in the polls. buddy roemer is not a wing nut, not a crank. he's a candidate whose sole and signature issue is getting corporate money out of politics. today out at occupy wall street buddy roemer signed on for another issue about how democracy rolls now in america. listen to this. >> your party has made a concerted effort nationwide to change voter registration laws. they're going to disenfranchise millions of people. what are you doing about that? are you saying anything about that? >> i am not saying -- but i am -- >> why not? >> in louisiana we did not do that while i was governor. i mean, my record is pretty reform and clean on those issues. >> what are you going to do?
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like, why don't you go on the news tonight and say my party is passing laws nationwide that will disenfranchise millions of people? and i support the right of people to vote regardless of whether you vote for me, you vote for republican, you vote for whoever. >> let me tell you what i'm doing. let me tell you what i'm doing. i have put my whole 24/7 on money and politics. that's what i'm doing. and i can't be given 18 message, but i can give 1. that is free to lead. you asked me, have i made this an issue. i have not. >> will you? will you? >> absolutely. >> immediately? >> absolutely. >> okay. i mean, we can't ask for more than that. >> there it is. realtime, realtime, real live footage of a movement moving someone. in this case buddy roemer who is not getting enough attention he deserves. we have to have him back on this show soon. coming up, the great bill maher on occupy wall street. has a great shot in the arm for american politics.
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host of "realtime with bill maher" on hbo. bill maher, it is nice to see you. thanks for being here. >> always good to see you, rachel. >> the occupy wall street protesters today, bill, they took a tour of wall street billionaires' homes in new york city. noting among other things that new york's special millionaires tax expires at the end of this year. there's been this surtax on millionaires in new york, but yet all these millionaires are still here. i wonder if you feel like the occupy wall street protests are resonating, have come up with at least a vague message that is speaking to people who may not be participating in those protests yet. >> absolutely. i think it's a great thing. on our show, we've talked for the longest time about how what the left needs is something to put the wind at the back of the president and other democrats who as you know have a tendency to falter toward the side of, shall we say centristism. this could be it. so what their message is a
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little vague. i like it they're sort of militantly vague at this point. because they are in a lot of ways the opposite of the tea party movement. although that's sort of weird also because the tea party movement, let's remember, sort of started out as protesting some of the same things. remember the bailouts of the banks. they didn't like the big banks. it just shows how easily the people in the tea party can be herded to something else. they were sort of on the same page as these folks but then they started to watch fox news and found out, no, what they were really upset about is things like obama care and taxing the job creators and somehow they wound up on the wrong side of the issue again. >> the tea partyers, though, i feel like -- i feel like you're right that where they ended up was just being a really awesome brand name for what is always the conservative base of the republican party. but i think back to the rick santelli call from the stock exchange in chicago and the bailout that he was angry about, that he called for that first chicago tea party, he wasn't angry about a bank bailout.
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he was angry about the idea that people with mortgages might get bailed out. individual homeowners might get bailed out. and that was the outrage. so i don't know. i feel like the origin myth of the tea party is something that's screwed up in my own mind. i'm not sure they were ever anti-bank. >> i'm not sure they were ever even that much about financial issues which is what they purport to be about. when you, of course, look deep into the tea party, not that they're really that deep, they're, you know, it's sort of the same stuff that we've had in this country going back to the berchers. it seems like the republican party periodically gets taken over by a group of people, the berchers in the '50s and the '80s, the christian coalition, values voters. now it's the tea party people. it seems like it's one of those viruses that every time it comes back it comes back a little stronger and more dangerous. and that seems to be what we
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have here. i mean, a lot of really what we find out about the tea party and their agenda despite the fact that they're named after a gay sex act is really social issues. you know? they're really -- they're really mad at the same things that those nativists have been worried about. >> you think back on this year, even just the year in stupid punditry and the amount of power that has been ascribed to the tea party movement. they're seen as essentially driving all republican political decisions at this point. is that in part because they were seen as being so potentially -- because they were seen as being potentially violent, because they were seen as an unruly mob. i was thinking about that as we see eric cantor and other republican congressmen denouncing the occupy wall
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street people as an angry mob and somehow dangerous to the country. i wonder if a sense of dangerousness is what gives them power. >> well, yeah, i think so. i don't think anyone feels that we're in a country like so many in the world. let's remember we are luckier than most. where violence is really going to rule the day and effect policy. yeah, people can be intimidated by that kind of thing. i mean, this idea that they're marching now on millionaires' homes, i couldn't help but think of that scene in the martin scorsese movie "gangs of new york" where the riots break out in new york and martin scorsese has the cameo where he plays this rich guy. he's in his fifth avenue apartment and a brick comes through the window. if a brick came through rupert murdoch's issue, fox news would be a lot more gentle on the wall street people. >> in terms of the way republicans are dealing with this, i mean, it's interesting enough to see democrats dealing with this, trying to decide how much they want to embrace the
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idea of some movement outside politics as having their message. republicans i think are also changing their message toward it, too. in one day, mitt romney went from describing occupy wall street as dangerous to saying he understands how these people feel and he worries about the in one day, mitt romney went from describing occupy wall street as dangerous to saying he understands how these people feel and he worries about the 99%. i mean, that's mitt romney's evolution on the subject over the course of one day on the campaign trail. does that tell you more about mitt romney or tell you they may be seeing some political cost in denouncing these folks? >> if you're trying to stay mitt romney is a flip-flopper, that does not resonate with me. that's not the mitt romney i ever remember. if you're going to try to sell that, i'm buying it. you know, no, i don't know, who knows what mitt romney is saying from one day to the next. but he said in the debate, the last debate, that he wanted everyone to be rich. that seems to be the line from the republican party, which, of
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course, is just a complete fantasy. herman cain, of course, famously said recently that if you're not rich, blame yourself. this is what really bothers me. this idea that somehow we can all be rich. i mean, among the stupid things and you really have to dig deep to, you know, have that contest which is the stupidest, that is one of the stupidest things i've ever heard any politician say. i want everybody to be rich. first of all, if everybody was rich, who would do the things that rich people hire people to do for them? who's going to be my foot man, my liposuctionist? rich people need poor people to work for them. this idea that herman cain said that, you know, if you're not rich, blame yourself, this is what bothers me about rich people. they don't, first of all as elizabeth warren said, they don't cotton to the idea they wouldn't be rich if they didn't have this great country that provides the roads and schools and all the other things that allow them to be rich. this idea, they never understand
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it's a fluke mostly. that what you do is something that made you rich. yes, if you throw a baseball 100 miles an hour or even what i do, i mean, i'm not humble about some things. i'm very humble about the fact that telling jokes is something that gets you a lot of money. that is a complete fluke. and so is owning pizza parlors. yes, herman cain was good at business. great. he became very rich from it. what about teachers and cops and firemen? you know those people we always say are our heroes. they're such heroes that we pay them like crap. they do what they do very well. it doesn't happen to be something that is ever going to make you rich. this idea that if you're not rich, blame yourself, oh, really bugs me. but i tried to hide it. >> bill maher, can you hold on one second and come right back with us in just a moment? >> no, i can't. i'm just going off right now. >> keep the camera on. okay. hold on one second. >> okay. a fuel-efficient car, the first thing you got to do
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one correction from earlier on the show. our guest from "roll call" said ben nelson and jim webb were votes against cloture in the senate. it was jon tester of montana, not john webb, the second democrat voting with ben wilson against the president's bill tonight. apologies that was misreported here. we'll be right back with more bill maher.
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joining us once again is bill maher, the host of "realtime with bill maher" on
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hbo. thanks very much for sticking with us. great to have you here. >> i've calmed down, rachel. i've calmed down. >> i'd like to get you more excited by talking to you about mitt romney who gets your blood pumping. chris christie endorsed mitt romney now. tim pawlenty today said he wishes he was back in the race which is odd given he's romney's campaign co-chairman now. it's hard to make the case for that guy being the guy for the country when you say you wish you stayed in the race to beat him. what do you make of the republican party's dissatisfaction with mr. romney as they seem to be picking him for their nominee? >> well, you know, it's funny. i mean, it's delightful for someone who doesn't like the republicans. i'm enjoying them watching them pick at each other. i mean, you have to understand the republicans i think basically cannot find a person that they really like because they really don't like people. they like people in general. they like people in the abstract. if you show a soldier, you know, in a sunset and put the syrupy
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music behind it, they get teary like john boehner. if that soldier then opens his mouth and says he's gay, they'll boo him out of the room. that's part of it. they don't like human beings. they like ann rand who doesn't like human beings. as far as mitt romney, i was reading an interesting poll today which said most americans are not familiar with mitt romney. they can't name the people who are running. this isn't just americans. this is republicans who you think would be a little more interested. i don't think they know who he is yet. he's still defining himself. you have so much to pick from to define because he's been on every side of every issue as we know. what really is going to be the problem for mitt romney is the mormonism thing.
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the flip-flopping thing doesn't bother people anymore. they accept politicians are always full of it and all over the map and can't trust them and say one thing and do another. but the religion stuff in this dumb religious country, that's going to be a problem for mitt romney. as we saw this week when herman cain -- well, not herman cain. who outed him? rick perry, the jeffress guy. outed him as a mormon. and started to play this mormon car. when people find out that mormon is really is not a branch of christianity, i think it's going to be a problem for him. when mitt romney made his speech in 2007, people compared it to the kennedy speech in '60. it was nothing like the kennedy speech. what kennedy was saying was i'm a catholic, yes, but i'm not going to take my orders from the pope. i separate church and state. that's not what mitt romney said. what mitt romney said was look, yes, i'm a mormon.
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that's different than the christian. but what's important is that we all believe in nonsense. we can all rally around that. >> do you think, though, that -- mitt romney now has this choice of whether or not to redo that speech that he did before about his faith. or should -- i mean, he could also go sort of on the offensive against the people who are calling his religion a cult. it seems like he's counting on this creating some sympathy for him because his religion has been attacked by his rivals. if you were advising mitt romney what would you tell him to say about this? he's sort of in a box, isn't he? >> well, yeah. i would advise him to become a protestant and i'm sure he would have no problem doing that because he's mitt romney. he is the ultimate shape shifter. if a poll came out tomorrow that said he could get elected easier if he was a black woman, he would have the sex change operation tomorrow, get a weave and rename himself latisha.
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i have no doubt about that. you know, he's not going to do that, of course. he's going to down play it as he did before. kind of gloss over this idea that mormonism is a completely different religion as it is from christianity. he's going to try to sell this idea that we're all -- you know what? this is just a different branch of christianity. no it's not. i was raised catholic. i don't remember anything about magic underwear or baptizing dead people or getting your own planet to rule over when you die. mormonism -- i mean, look. all religion is nuts. but mormonism just takes it to a different level. all religion is magic tricks. mormonism is just a particularly cheap, novelty store brand of magic. >> please address your commentary to bill maher the host of hbo's "real time with bill maher." can i ask you one more thing about the democratic side of things? >> absolutely.
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>> president obama has this jobs program. it's infrastructure investment, middle class tax cuts, all these hiring incentives. and he's got republicans 100% uniformly against him on all this. but he cannot get democrats uniformly behind him on this. he cannot get it from the democrats. is that just the the nature of democrats at this point? or is there anything to get them in line on this? >> i would agree with you that is one of the big problems in this country. is we understand that the republicans are mostly bad policy makers who are trying retreaded ideas that didn't work the first time. what's especially disappointing is that group of democratic senators, you know, the ben nelsons. these same types, these corporatist democrats who ally with them. it's bad enough you need 60 votes which is a quiet coo in government because it should be
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51. when you look that there's 53 democratic senators, 40 of them are pretty good. but there's those 13 that call themselves centerists and then nothing is going to get done. this is again to come back to what we started to talk about. why i think the occupy wall street movement is so important. because the left needs something to move them away from the center and toward the left. you know, we've tried conservativism in this country. we need something to make us try liberal policies. >> bill maher. performing live at the gibson amphitheater on november 5th. mr. maher, i will see you next
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week on your tv show. i will be there. >> thank you. >> i'll be much more relaxed. thanks, bill. good to see you. >> you too. we'll be back with the best new thing in the world today. there's only one bottle left ! i've got to tell susie ! the vending machine on elm is almost empty. i'm on it, boss. new pony ? sorry ! we are open for business. let's reroute greg to fresno. growing businesses use machine-to-machine technology from verizon wireless. susie ! the vending machine... already filled. cool bike. because the business with the best technology rules. and here's what we did today: supported nearly 3 million steady jobs across our country... ... scientists, technicians, engineers, machinists...
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best new thing in the world today but it started with a good news, bad news caveat. the bad news is this does involve some bruises and broken bones. there were injuries on set while a movie was being shot in toronto. 16 people hurt when some scaffolding collapsed. the good news is everything else is the rest of this story. it's resident evil movie. the next was in toronto. like all the resident evils, this featured zombies.
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this is from the extras on the first resident evil film. looking at this makeup, imagine you're a paramedic called to the scene of an accident and you've got to assess if there have been any injuries. when you turn up there are 16 of these. it was 16 people in full zombie makeup on that scaffolding. how exactly do you triage that as an emt? the victims gory zombie victims made it difficult for the paramedics to assess the severity of the actors' injury better thing the injury are not serious and some already back at work playing in the undead horde. but the best new thing in the world today is the stories that the paramedics that responded to the zombies on that movie set today will be able to tell their kids. late at night with a flash light under the chin on halloween.

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