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tv   The Last Word  MSNBC  February 1, 2012 10:00pm-11:00pm PST

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they saw it, it's a giraffe. so florida as rorschach test, best new thing today. and rachel maddow staffers, you mitt romney got 775,014 votes in florida last night. president obama got 4 million 282,074 votes the last time he ran in florida. and with oath 279 days left to catch up to president obama, mitt romney cannot afford to waste one of those days. like he did today.
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>> last night we saw mitt romney bask in a warm, warm glow of the florida sunshine. >> i stand ready to lead this party, and to lead our nation. >> i'm not concerned about the very poor, we have a safety net there. >> kicking off his victory lap with a kick to the poor. >> i'm in this race because i care about americans. i'm not concerned about the very poor. >> soledad o'brien was a little taken aback by the comment. >> i think there are lots of very poor americans who are struggling who would say that's wrong. >> when he goes offscript, he does not do well. >> it was obviously poorly worded. >> if joe biden is a gaffe machine, what is mitt romney. >> i doubt that's what he really believes and what he meant to say. >> what he's talking about is the emphasis he's placing on helping the middle class. >> it furthers this narrative of him being a detached guy. >> that is a made for tv ad that will haunt him.
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>> president obama responded indirectly to those comments by romney. >> it is wrong for anywhere to suggest that the only option for struggling responsible homeowners is to sit and wait for the housing market to hit bottom. >> he's trying to draw this distinction between who will fight harder for the middle class. >> no campaign is a campaign without money. >> money and infrastructure is important, it's not inspiring. ♪ i'm so in love with you ♪ oh, beautiful for spacious skies ♪ >> take the microphone away from that guy. >> if you don't run, chris christie, mitt romney will be the nominee who will lose. the last time president obama ran in florida, 51% of
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florida's maybe 8.5 million voters voted for him. last night in florida, about 8% of florida voters voted for mitt romney. democrats were not allowed to vote in the republican primary, independents were not allowed to vote in the republican primary, only 36% of florida voters are registered republicans, and less than half of them bothered to vote yesterday. and less than half of those who did vote voted for mitt romney. that was all romney was able to buy by spending 50% more than all of the republican candidates combined, including himself, spent in the last republican presidential primary four years ago in florida. if mitt romney returns to florida in the general election, he will be met by an obama campaign able to match him
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dollar for dollar in television advertising and, perhaps, even outspend him, something romney has no idea how to handle. even rush limbaugh said today that mitt romney is not ready to go against barack obama in a general election. rush is worried because the first thing romney did this morning was give this gift to the obama campaign. >> i'm in this race because i care about americans. i'm not concerned about the very poor, we have a safety net there, if it needs repair, i'll fix it, i'm not concerned about the very rich, they're doing just fine. i'm concerned about the very heart of america. >> it is not every day that we hear an american politician say he is not concerned about the very poor. can you google search all you want starting right now, and you will not find another presidential candidate ever saying that in any form, until today.
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today, mitt romney clearly had no idea that he was making history. presidential campaign history with this comment, but soledad o'brien sure did. >> because they have a safety net. i think there are lots of very poor americans who are struggling who would say, that sounds odd. can you explain that? >> well, you had to finish the sentence, soledad. i said, i'm not concerned about the very poor that have a safety net, but if it has holes in it, i will repair them. >> we will hear from the democratic party the plight of the poor. >> if there was anyone in america who you might expect to cheer you on for saying i'm not concerned about the very poor, it would be rush limbaugh. but even rush, as much as he might share that feeling with romney, knew it was a very, very stupid thing to say. >> i'm not worried about the poor, we have a safety net?
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the safety net is one of the biggest cultural problems we've got. everyone knows what he's trying to say, but he didn't say it. and he makes himself a target with this stuff. he comes across as the proto typical rich republican. and it's going to make it harder and harder and harder to go after obama, because this turns around and -- you know, only the wizards of smart -- we can't have newt out there, why, newt's going to be the topic. we need obama to be the topic. we need obama to be the guy that campaigns about -- newt's out there, it's all going to be about newt. well, what evidence is there that it's not going to be about romney with these kinds of statements? >> rush limbaugh worried about the proto typical republican, rush who makes at least $50 million a year and flies in his own gulfstream everywhere he goes. worried about the prototypical rich republican.
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the obama campaign will, of course, be using that romney statement against romney, but they have so many other romney gems in their file that it might take them a while to catch up. today in virginia, president obama didn't use that. he pushed a plan for the government to help middle income homeowners refinance their home s. and he in effect reminded people of that romney gem, the romney strategy for the housing market. the romney idea, to let the housing market simply hit bottom. >> it is wrong for anybody toing suggest that the only option for struggling responsible homeowners is to sit and wait for the housing market to hit bottom. i refuse to accept that, and so do the american people. >> in ft. worth texas, last
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night, joe biden raised two points in president obama's favor in his re-election, that will be impossible for mitt romney to counter, especially since mitt romney opposed the action president obama took to save general motors. the vice president quoted a line he had heard elsewhere. osama bin ladin is dead and general motors is alive. joining me now is former vermont governor howard dean and howard fineman. thank you both, howards, for joining me tonight. governor dean, very to say, i don't think every one of the 279 campaign days left is going to be fun for the obama campaign. but i don't see what they couldn't -- what they didn't take pleasure in today in the republican campaign. everything seems to be going the obama campaign's way. >> we have a long way to go, but the problem is, that most people
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in america believe that republicans don't care about -- not only poor people, but middle class people. people complain about occupy wall street, but they've completely changed the discussion. it's the 99 and the 1. and most people believe the republican party is for the 1 and obama's for the 99. there's some incredible polling about this. 70% of the entire elector ate believe mitt romney cares about rich people. that's a very steep hill to overcome. since they're trying to convince people the stereotype is wrong, that's an even steeper hill. >> howard fineman, i don't believe we've had a republican president in our past who would be caught -- who would be flat footed enough to be caught saying, i don't care about poor people? and certainly, i don't believe that in their hearts the presidents bush thought that. what their policies were, were not necessarily in alignment with this, but the first president bush talked about 1,000 points of like. the second president bush was
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talking about compassion, conservatism. he did expand the social safety net with prescription benefits for medicare. romney doesn't understand what the republican talking points are when faced with questions like this. >> yes, i spoke to a couple top people in the romney campaign a little while ago. they expressed their frustration, they said, he said this before, end of story. the second thing they said was rather bitterly, i think, but with some factual truth to it, that more people have fallen into poverty in the last few years during the obama administration than has been true in many decades. but that doesn't mean the answer is for romney to do what he did. first of all, mitt romney is ham fisted on this stuff, he tries to show what a tough guy he is. he tries to show what an ideologue he is, because he's
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accused of being a massachusetts moderate. he makes an extreme statement, like let the bottom fall out of the housing market, like corporations are people, my friend. and like this statement today in which he left out some crucial conjunctions. and what the republicans have tried to do over the last generation, with people like the late jack kemp and others, is to argue that they, meaning the republicans, and the conservatives and the free market have a better answer for the problems of the poor than the democrats do, this is what rush limbaugh was partly upset about, he was defending newt, also upset about the idea that mitt romney is accepting the safety net. he's sort of saying, well, for the poor people, we have the the democratic policies and let them have their thing, so it couldn't have been worse in any conceivable direction for romney, and the romney people are quite defensive about it, justifiably tonight. >> i want to you listen to another clip from rush limb baurks which is sounds we've never heard before from him, listen to this.
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>> our team -- our team, not all that good. you know it, and i know it. they're just not. >> howard dean, honesty, breaking out on the rush limbaugh show today, that's how bad it's gotten for republicans. >> that's not something you hear very often. look, these guys have a problem, because the idea was to run against obama and make obama the issue. the obama campaign is incredible. they've been on a role since the jobs speech before labor day. and you're just not going to grind them down. the issue of this campaign is, can you trust the republicans? that is a terrible issue for the republican party, but that's the issue. the issue is can you trust the republicans, who got us into this in the first place to get us out. the other thing we haven't talked about is, in florida, the republican brand has been destroyed by the governor, who's at 30% in the polls.
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the iowa governor is barely above that, and in wisconsin. these are critical states. if republicans can't win ohio and florida they can't win. i think romney is going to win ohio because of what the legislation has done in the last two years. the republican brand is in trouble. the primary hurt them, and what they've done in the states since 2010 has hurt them. >> newt gingrich continued to attack mitt romney today. you've raised a very interesting possibility. i want to read your words, howard. if you listened carefully to newt gingrich's concession speech, you heard the first strains of what could be an independent third party run for the white house if he doesn't get the republican nomination. gingrich vowed he would not run a republican campaign, but a people's campaign.
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howard, people's campaign, this is the only thing i can think of, structurally in the campaign. that could make things even better for the obama re-election campaign. >> first of all, somebody pointed out to me this morning that the people's campaign of newt gingrich would start at the tiffany's outlet here in chevy chase, maryland. and march from there out into the country. but i -- look, i think newt gingrich -- first of all, there's personal animosity between him and mitt romney, that's number one. newt gingrich views himself as a guy who destroys in order to create. he thinks that the republican party as it exists now, especially as exemplified by milt romney is not an institution worth saving. newt has a grand -- if not grandiose view of himself, that he would knock over anything in his path to make his point. the drama here is going to be diplomacy with newt gingrich. it's going to be at the convention, and if newt gingrich
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doesn't get what hen watts, which i think he won't. i think he will at least discuss the possibility. look for him to be talking in pretty favorable terms with ron paul and others, and the americans elect -- america elect and who knows what he might try. >> quickly, governor dean before we go, can the democrats quickly get together a super pac to help newt gingrich run as a third party? >> he's already got one, they just have to get shelly to write >> that's right. >> exactly. >> governor howard dean, and howard fineman, thank you both very much for joining me tonight. >> thank you. >> thanks, lawrence. coming up, we're going to go where the money is, and see what lengths mitt romney will go to to not pay his fair share of taxes in this country. david cay johnston joins me. and later, cecile richards is here to respond to the heated reactions across the country from the susan g. komen breast cancer foundation announced
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planned parenthood would with no longer getting its support for breast cancer screenings. with 279 days to go before the presidential election. i will give you reason number 279 to vote in november's presidential election. and later, for those of you who don't already know how, we'll tell you how to be black. forty years ago, he wasn't looking for financial advice.
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mitt romney says he doesn't care about the poor. well, mitt romney doesn't know any people who are poor. if you're a romney, you are set for life. mitt and his wife have a couple hundred million dollars, and his five sons have 100 million dollars. they don't have to work a day in their lives. mitt romney has done all this, without paying almost any taxes moving all that money around. mitt romney the tax avoider. and later, the politics of
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stopping planned parenthood has put more women at risk of dying from breast cancer. i'll have an exclusive interview with the president of planned parenthood. from ntrum. helps you find the multivitamin nd supplements... that are right for you. so visit nutritionpossible.com. better nutrition... is within reach. centrum. nutrition possible.
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this is the romney family's last christmas card. the 2011 christmas card. it's willard and anne their five sons, their daughters in law and their 16 grandchildren. if you are one of the people in that christmas card, you don't have to worry about your personal economic future, because all of you are set for life.
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the grandchildren, all of you. the five romney sons as their dad explained the last time he was running for president, never served a day in the military, even though their father was in favor of the wars we were fighting, because like their father they found better things to do. mitt romney said my sons are showing support for our nation by helping me get elected. which, of course, they failed to do. but it's not as if the romney sons were ever going to need veterans benefits, because before any one of them had gone off into the work world, dad had dropped $100 million on them, which left mitt and anne with only a couple hundred million to get through their golden years. joining me now, a man who has been heroically digging through the romney tax returns, david cay johnston, a professor at syracuse law school.
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i know you've been digging, i know very few other people have. these returns are gigantic and complicated and it's difficult to get through them. what is the biggest mystery you found? because i think normally when you look at tax returns like this, what you come out of it with is more questions than answers. >> i got lots of questions, lawrence. in this case, anybody who reads a personal finance magazine, money, smart money, they would think you could only give $13,000 a year, $26,000 for a married couple to each of your children, and a lifetime maximum of $2 million. but the romney campaign acknowledged to reuters that no gift taxes were paid. now, they didn't do anything illegal, they didn't do anythin improper. this is the scandal of the law, and how romney's positioned to take advantage of it, in the way that most people would not be. and he was able to pass this $100 million.
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and his sons who are getting about a million dollars a year in income they don't pay any taxes on that, because mom and dad pay the taxes for them. >> let me slow this down, i am already more than stunned by this. i want to dwell for a second on what we all think we're limited by, we all believe as you said, that we have this index -- the number changes a little bit over time, but it's now $13,000 that you can give -- a parent can give to one of their children without any taxation involved, that's how much you can give in one year. and the reason you can't give them $100 million in a year or a million dollars in a year, is that we're trying to make things work within an inheritance tax structure, we don't want to you avoid inheritance tax by giving it to kids while you're alive. we have these tax rules there.
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very never heard of anyway -- i have listened to tax planners and estate planners -- they will always say to you, there's that limit, and there's the lifetime limit of what you can do when those annual donations add up. i've never heard anyway around it, which is why all sorts of lawyers and tax planners are making a lot of money trying to explain to people how to comply with all of these rules, and now you're telling me there's five kids who somehow got $100 million with nobody paying any tax on that transfer? >> and that's just the tip of the iceberg. lawrence, lots of people do these transactions, and that's one of the things i've been trying to get people to understand is, the rules as they appear on the surface are not the real rules in the tax system. basically if this case, he was able to give carried interest, that is this right to profits that's taxed as if it was capital gains to his children, transfer it to them.
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can you transfer stock options, you can transfer property where you take it back, and if the value of the property is going like this and the government official interest rate like it is now way down here, why you can pass forward a lot of money to your children. that's why these very wealthy families, despite the estate tax law that's designed to create ameritocracy. years ago, warren buffett said to me, if we don't have an estate tax, it's like we want the olympic team 20 years from now to be the sons of the winners of this year's gold medals. it makes no sense whatsoever. that's what we do economically, and romney has really worked this system for his benefit and his families. >> we're going to put a link on our website to your article, because everyone has to read it. >> i have written about tax law, i have done my own tax returns, i've never been able to do it alone, i need help.
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i do not understand how they're getting away with this. this is a massive scandal -- >> i'll try to do a better job. >> no, this is my failure of comprehension. it's a massive scandal and i keep staring at your work in stunned amazement. we'll keep coming back to you. thank you for joining us tonight. >> thank you. coming up, reason number 279 why you need to vote in the presidential election this year. and later, an exclusive interview with planned parenthood president cecile richards, why is the susan g. komen breast cancer foundation making harder for women to get breast exams. why would they do that? [ male announcer ] the inspiring story of how a shipping giant can befrid a forest may seem like the stuff of fairy tales.
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we'll have the last word exclusive with cecile richards, she'll respond to the susan g. komen for the cure foundation's decision to cut funding for 170,000 breast exams, next. and later, what the bankruptcy of american airlines can teach us all about the importance of voting for president. that's in the rewrite. [ british accent ] i host a book club. so sexy...
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joining me now for an exclusive interview is planned parenthood federation of america cecile richards. we had a big long script in there telling us the story of what happened yesterday. i want to get to you, we were all drowning in florida primary coverage. >> yes. >> and yesterday, from what out of the blue, the komen foundation suddenly says, we don't want to partner with you any more? >> well, they told us right before the holidays, that they were going to end all funding for planned parenthood centers that provide breast cancer screenings. it came as a total shock and a real disappointment. we've been very proud of our relationship with the komen foundation. >> the people in that foundation, karen handles, senior vp, they're big republican who is have been on the republican side of the world for a long time, and there seems to be a lot of political intrigue behind this? >> i hope not, that's what's so
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surprising, i think, and upsetting, is that we share a mission, to make sure every woman in this country has breast cancer screening and early detection. i think that the sad thing about this is, when politics gets in the way of women's health care access, we're helping that the komen foundation will rethink this decision and partner with us again in providing care to women across the country. >> i've contributed to the komen foundation. a friend's mother of mine died of breast cancer. he asked us all if you want to make a contribution, i did. i'm surprised to learn what i'm learning now. one of her campaign promises was to defund planned parenthood. i didn't know that when i was contributing to them. >> i think historically the komen foundation has been focused on women's breast cancer. unfortunately, they have been the target of a real right wing campaign to try to end their relationship with planned parenthood.
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again, i hope they rethink this and change their mind. we've been trying to sit down with them and talk about this, and the work we need to do to gather to end breast cancer, and make sure every woman in this country has access to screening. you. >> remember my friend last year who sent me an e-mail about how she's getting virtually all of her health care from planned parenthood over the years. >> right. >> she just told me that she had been waiting a year for a breast screening. she found something on her own self-examination. very troubling. she's thrilled last week she got her notice from planned parenthood she's going to get a breast exam finally. this is what's involved -- she has no other way to get this done. no other way. >> and that's why part of this is so surprising. very recently the komen foundation was with praising the work they do with us, and the care we provide to many women who have no other source of health care.
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they don't have insurance. and many women, we're the only doctor they'll see. that's why once this story broke, we have been flooded. thousand of women have written to us, like your friend from around the country who count on planned parenthood as their doctor and we're shocked and saddened that the komen foundation would make this decision. >> what can people do who are interested in this to change this? >> well, again, our facebook page has exploded. there are folks coming and liking us on facebook, writing in their concerns. and we've actually created a whole breast health fund now to try to replace the money we lost from the komen foundation. our commitment is to the women who have come to see us. >> now there's a place at planned parenthood where you can contribute to earmark this gap. >> that's right. in the last 24 hours, we've had 6,000 people, mainly small donors. >> tell us where they go. >> they can go to plannedparenthood.org and say you want to contribute to the breast health fund.
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we'd love to have the support, and we're really hoping that this is something the komen foundation will rethink and we can re-establish what has been a great partnership for many years. >> i have to say to them, i can't imagine anyone i know who's contributed to them the way i have, who would contribute under these circumstances, the people i know won't. >> and breast cancer, it's not anything that we need to be playing politics with. this is a serious issue, there's not a woman in this country who hasn't been touched -- a family member, a friend who hasn't been touched by breast cancer. >> i'm glad there's another place to go for people who want to make contributions. plannedparenthood.org. >> yes. >> thank you for joining me tonight. >> thank you, lawrence. how the bankruptcy of american airlines shows us why voting for president is even just a little more important than you think. in fact, it's reason number 279 why you should vote for president. that's in tonight's rewrite. and later, the author of the book "how to be black" is here. apparently i have a lot to
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ah, well played sir. download the free hotels.com app and get exclusive mobile deals. hotels.com. be smart. book smart. i'm hoping to rewrite your list of reasons why you vote for president by adding at least one little item to that list. you need a list of reasons for voting in a country where half of our voters don't even bother to vote. when the nonvoters ask you why you vote, you can't just tell them it's your civic duty. you have to give them real, and something realer than hope and change which has never been on my list of why to vote for president. number one on my list has been and always will be, you are voting for the person who will choose the next supreme court justices.
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the most important appointed jobs that exist in government. and arguably, at many points in our history, the most important jobs in our government. since we are now 279 days from the election, let's look at number 279 on my list of reasons why i vote for president. number 279 on my list is, of course, the pbgc. i'm sure most of you are nodding and saying, yeah, yeah, yeah,ed pbgc. it may be 300 for some of you, it may be 200. if you work at american airlines, it may be your number one reason this time. and i guess there are some of you, very few of you who are saying what the heck is the pbgc? which is what everyone in the offices of the last word said today when i brought up the
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pbgc. it's also what i said in the 1990s, when i had to organize a senate hearing that would include testimony from the head of the pbgc. i didn't know what it was. i promise you i wasn't the only chief of staff of a senate committee who couldn't name you every government agency, but i was probably the only one who couldn't name every government agency that was under my jurisdiction. with jurisdiction over the treasury department, the health and human services department, the social security administration and a few other cats and dogs i never quite got around to noticing the pbgc until they had to come to testify. if you've got a pension plan run by your employer, as many people on the staff of the last word do, you should really care about the pbgc. the pension benefit guarantee corporation. the federal government agency
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that guarantees that you will collect a pension even if your company goes bankrupt and cannot make good or doesn't want to make good on its pension promises to you. and you should care about who the director of the pension benefit guarantee corporation is. which means you absolutely must care about who appoints the director of the pension benefit guarantee corporation and that is, of course, the president of the united states, subject to confirmation by the united states senate. there may have been a lot of people working at american airlines last year who didn't know about the pbgc, but now they all do. and most of them now know about this man, josh ya gotbaum, president obama's director to the pbgc. because he's doing everything he can to save the pensions that are being threatened by the american airlines bankruptcy
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proceedings. american airlines announced today it hopes to cut 13,000 jobs, that's 16% of its workforce, and to terminate its worker's pension plan, just end it, throw it out, and replace it eventually when they get around to it, with a much lower cost plan, with much lower benefits. now, pilots retiring in the next couple years would probably lose something like 50% of the pension benefit that is they've been counting on. last month american airlines would have had to contribute $97 million to its workers pension funds if it were not being protected by bankruptcy proceedings. instead of fulfilling their $97 million obligation to the pension fund, american airlines contributed only $6.5 million to the pension plans.
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less than what the adelson's contributed to newt gingrich's campaign. 91 million less than the company owed those pension plans. 91 million. now, the president of the united states did not notice that american airlines short changed its worker pension plans by $91 million last month. he was too busy ordering the rescue of another american hostage and killing some somali pirates in the process. but the president's man at the pbgc, joshua gotbaum saw what american airlines did to its worker's pensions and he immediately put liens on $91 million of american airlines assets, most of the assets he put liens on are in latin america, and non of the assets are part of the bankruptcy proceedings. the first line of the new york times report on this said, the federal government signalled
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that it was ready to fight to prevent american airlines from using bankruptcy to shed its pension plans. ready to fight. in a news conference, joshua gotbaum said, companies in bankruptcy often try to do things that they don't need to do. and you know who helps them do those things that they don't need to do? bain and company, mitt romney's old company. bain is one of a group of high priced consultants and financial advisers who have been hired by american airlines to help get through the bankruptcy process, by, of course, making the financial condition of the company much worse. that's what they do. bain and the other consultant's lawyers working on the american airlines bankruptcy are being paid $14 million a month. that's more than double what american airlines put in its pension fund last month.
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bain's job is to advise american airlines how to cut labor costs, something any company ought to be able to figure out on its own, it has to do that. all the bain blood suckers have done so far is increase the company's costs. but the president's man at the pbgc is watching every move they make with only one objective in his mind every day, to preserve the pensions of those pilots, who every day bear an awesome responsibility than any other workers in our society. they have in their hands every hour that they're in the air, lives of hundreds of people sitting behind them on the ground if they somehow not bring that plane in for a safe landing. he's fighting to preserve the pensions of those mechanics, the
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unseen heroes, with the awesome responsibility maing those glorious machines fly. and fly safely. he's fighting to preserve the pensions of those flight attendants, every one of whom knows how to save your life with the defibrillator on board, every airplane, if you or someone you love has a heart attack in the air, it is that flight attendant who annoyed you by ordering you to turn off your phone, who will be rushing to your seat to try to save your life. the bain guy, and his first class seat is not going to run back and save you when you have a heart attack. the bain guy doesn't know how to do that. the bain guy doesn't know how to fly the plane, he doesn't know how to run the plane. he's only on the plane because he's bleeding money for american
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airlines to make himself as rich as mitt romney. or he's on his way to some other city to try to make more money. in november, you will have a chance to vote for the person who appoints the director of the pension benefit guarantee corporation and the choice you will be offered will be president barack obama or a bain guy. erything - everything.
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did you know the president could sing? >> i did. >> you knew he could sing? >> no, i didn't. but -- >> he can't dance. he can't dance. so one -- he had to do one of the two. >> that was d.l. hughley in the very last word, an additional interview we posted on the
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website after doing a very short segment on the show. joining me now mr. thurston, digital director of the onion, whose front page headline today includes romney celbrates florida win with all-night miami beach rave. thank you very much for joining us. >> thanks for having me. >> not everybody gets the joke. the onion is not actually a serious newspaper. >> no, it is the most trusted, i would say, the finest news source, not the most serious -- >> it's a joke. your books, sir, which i am working my way through. "how to be black." >> this is the black version of the book. >> no. >> there are race appropriate versions. >> i have been -- >> what's different? >> they're the same --
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>> same words? >> just like people. >> oh, i get it. you say in this book, i will attempt to recomplicate blackness, exposing the challenges, the fun and the future of being black in the united states. it's also a convenient way to make you care about my life, sir. why would you want to recomplicate blackness? >> because for too long it's been piped down into a few simple archetypes. you can be the thug, the rapper, the sassy black woman. there's so much more to black people, and we so have so much more to people. the book is ultimately about identity. we have the power to share that a little more. >> you used a think tank of sorts? >> yeah, a panel. >> to ask important questions, it became chapter titles of the book. for example, when did you first realize you were black? >> that was a powerful question. >> it is.
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it's the kind of question, you first hear is it, you laugh, you go, wait a minute. when does a baby -- when does an infant, a toddler, when does it hit? >> i talked to derek ashawn he's featured in the book. he said, i was born in africa, everybody was black. i didn't realize i was black until i came to the middle east and american, and then it was very much reinforced in him that he was black. for some people it comes much later, in general, the stories were a little funny and sad. there's a little pain associated with it, some exclusions, some reminder that you're different from the people around you. and that's when of the earliest notifications people have that they're black. >> you have another chapter title in discussion. can you swim? >> yeah. >> there's a cliche that black people can't swim. the best swimmer i have ever known is black. >> and you also have black at harvard and life in boston. careful there. >> i know you're from dorchester.
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i know. >> you have indicted boston as being one of the most segregated cities. it is insane, isn't it? >> there's nothing like it. >> i lived in boston for 12 years, i spent 4 years as a student, 8 years as a full taxpayer, contributing to the economy. it took me years to see black people. they're on ray whole other part. for a city that's been around so long with such a great history, it's a little odd -- >> you went to harvard and would never see -- >> right. i got on my bike. >> it used to be in some places shockingly segregated. it's been the slowest changing place in that respect. >> i've said this before, i've never seen a city so effectively hide its black population. >> we could go on and on. the book is how to be black baratunde thurston. thanks for joining me tonight.

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