tv The Ed Show MSNBC May 2, 2012 12:00am-1:00am PDT
i look forward to finding a new date for my visit. this is "hardball" for now. "the ed show" starts right now. good evening, americans. welcome to "the ed show" tonight from new york. moments ago president obama addressed the nation on his surprise visit to afghanistan. the commander in chief talked about the death of osama bin laden and america's path forward. we'll tell you what it all means. this is "the ed show." let's get to work. >> i know the battle is not yet over, but there's a light on the horizon because of the sacrifices you've made. >> one year after the death of bin laden, the president makes a surprise trip to afghanistan and republicans are still squirming. >> you know the thing about heroes, they don't brag. >> john of vote vets on the politics of killing bin laden. also, e.j. dionne on the new obama ad hitting mitt romney
where it hurts. >> it's what you expect from a guy who had a swiss bank account. in wisconsin, scott walker is raising big money and bringing in big friends. >> the course he pursued here in wisconsin tells you a great deal about this man's character. >> tonight, democratic hopeful kathleen falk gives her plan to defeat scott walker. good to have you with us tonight. thanks for watching. president obama's surprise visit to afghanistan was capped off by an address to the nation moments ago. he used the anniversary of bin laden's death to remind americans why we are there. >> let us remember why we came here. it was here in afghanistan where osama bin laden established a safe haven for his terrorist organization. it was here in afghanistan where with al qaeda brought new troops
and plotted acts of terror. it was here that al qaeda launched the attacks that killed nearly 3,000 innocent men, women and children. ten years ago we went to war to make sure that al qaeda could never again use this country to launch attacks against us. despite initial success for a number of reasons this war has taken longer than most anticipated. in 2002 bin laden and his lieutenants escaped across the border and established safe haven in pakistan. america spent nearly eight years fighting a different war in iraq. al qaeda's extremist allies have waged a brutal insurgency. over the last three years the tide has turned. we broke the taliban's momentum. we built strong of began security forces.
we devastated their leadership talking out 20 of their top 30 leaders. one year ago from based here in afghanistan, our troops launched the operation that killed osama bin laden. the goal that i set to defeat al qaeda and deny a chance to rebuild is now within our reach. >> the president addressed the specifics of the troop draw down in afghanistan. >> last year we removed 10,000 u.s. troops from afghanistan. another 23,000 will leave by the end of the summer. after that, reductions will continue at a steady pace with more and more of our troops coming home. as our coalition agreed, by the end of 2014, the afghans will be responsible for the security of their country. >> earlier in the evening obama and karzai signed a ten year strategic combat partnership. u.s. troops will remain in afghanistan through 2024 in a support role.
president obama spoke about securing lasting peace in afghanistan through diplomatic means. >> my administration has been in discussion with the taliban. we've made it clear they can be part of the future if they break with al qaeda, renounce violence and abide by afghan laws. many members of the taliban from foot soldiers to leaders have indicated an interest in reconciliation. the path to peace is now set before them. those who refuse to walk it will face strong afghan security forces backed by the united states and our allies. >> the president also spoke directly to americans who are ready for our combat role in foreign territories to end. >> i recognize that many americans are tired of war. as president nothing is more wrenching than signing a letter to the fallen or looking in the eyes of a child that will grow
up without a mother or father. i will not keep americans in harm a single day longer than is required for our national security. we must finish the job we started and end this war responsibly. >> i'm joined by richard wolffe and eugene robinson. gentlemen, there's a lot to chew on here tonight. i think, richard, we got a very quick and short history lesson on what we did for eight years and oh, by the way, bin laden slipped out in 2002. i thought the president was very tactful in explaining that and making us remember what that was all about. is this way forward another two years as scheduled and then the question mark of the next ten years. how much troops and how much money? these are intangibles that have
to be answered by the congress. i think the president laid it out in an acceptable way tonight even for liberals that didn't want to be there. >> there's concern that everyone has about an open-ended commitment to afghanistan in terms of nation building, maybe not in terms of troops. the international community walked away when the soviets left. there's a legitimate goal that people have there about ensuring that the afghanistan doesn't collapse into chaos. the history lesson is fascinating. this doesn't start and end with 9/11 and al qaeda. he talked about iraq again, hinting at it. i don't think there's a bush administration official out there who wasn't bristle at that history, but it's the real story of afghanistan. why we've been there for this long, why it took so long is because we took our eye off the ball. >> eugene, was it defective to
point out that afghanistan is where the osama bin laden mission was launched from. it's been quite a while. there's some americans that need to be reminded of all of this. i think it was also very tactfully done by the president to remind the country that he inherited all this. he stopped this war in iraq and on schedule to get it done in afghanistan. your thoughts. >> it's always good to remind people of these historical facts. the war is not popular. the president seemed to try to indicate that we're turning page. he talked about the sunlight glistening off the new world trade center tower in new york. a decade of war beginning in afghanistan and it's going to end. i thought that was effective. we're going to see if that page stayed turned. we're putting a lot of faith and confidence in the karzai government in afghanistan.
one thing the president didn't mention is that one-third of allied casualties have been caused by our friends in the afghan forces. there's a long way to go before we sort of reach this post war period. >> i don't think there's any doubt. this is going to be a heavy lift. the next two years are going to be tough. the president said some of your buddies are going to die. the five-plan move was the first thing he was talking about and then the afghan security forces. it's been ten years. are they really capable of protecting their own country. the other thing is partnership of working with afghanistan and then the negotiated piece. richard, negotiating with the taliban. the president is saying we got to trust somebody in this region. he's talking about them having reconciliation.
is this trust really the right way to go? do we have to do this? >> they've been approaching this very carefully. overall, this is about as unlike as president bush here. first of all, there's a time line. remember how the republicans didn't want a timeline on iraq or anywhere else. the taliban are the afghan people. what's the realistic plan? thirdly, all this expectations from republicans that this president will behave that they did. it would be the spiking of the ball, the boasting. there was none of that both in tone and the specifics of this plan. this was a stark contrast from the last war president we had. >> eugene robinson, i think the president was speaking to the congress tonight as well. from 2014 to 2024, there's going to have to be some tough decisions to make. how many troops, how much money and what exactly are our operations going to be like.
i would doubt we would lose over the next 12 years air superiority over afghanistan. those troops will be involved in that. there's going to be rangers there. there's going to be seals there. what does that say to the american people? >> i think you're right. what it says to congress and extension to the american people is we're going to have to fund this going forward. it's not going to be the burden in terms of treasure and lives that perhaps it's been over the last decade. it's going to be a cost. he said something else to congress and to the people. he talked about how it's now time to renew america. i think he was trying to signal that yes, we are going to be doing some more nation building in afghanistan, but let's keep our eye on the nation building that has to be done here. >> it's very profound you picked that up. the president always trying to pivot to domestic concerns at tend of the speeches.
>> as we emerge from a decade of conflict abroad and economic conflict at home, it's time to renew america. america where our children live free from fear and have the skills to claim their dreams. a united america of grit. where sunlight glistens off soaring new towers in downtown manhattan and we build our future as one people, as one nation. >> richard, was that effective and did it mean something in. >> i think he's reaching for some rhetoric there. there's some nice images. there's something in the politics of fear that he has long felt was out of place with the american spirit and american optimism. that's what we saw through the years after 9/11. some of it justified and some of it exploited for political reasons. he's going to ask the international community to pay for the reconstruction as well. >> he talked about the global consensus tonight.
it was a big speech about respect too. we have to respect what these people want to do. as we move forward, eugene, how do the hawkish republicans react too this speech over the next 24 hours? i think we've seen a shift today backing off on how they have handled the death of bin laden and the anniversary. how will they handle this? >> i think smart republicans will back off further. i think to attack a president, the speech of a president delivered in hostile territory in the middle of a war zone is not good politics. i anticipate that prominent and smart republicans probably will stand down and some shrill voices will claim it's all a campaign trip and speech. i don't think they will get much traction. >> this country has had it with war talk. i don't view this as to be viewed overnight by a, i guess
with the intensity of maybe an invasion. the draw down is always much less dramatic. this is so long overdue. the polls have been out there for years saying the american people don't want anything to do with this anymore. we've got to get out of here. my first reaction when i saw 2024, i think that will have to be some explaining. americans are sick and tired of seeing the money going overseas. i thought the president talked about that tonight. great to have you. coming up, mitt romney and his supporters are doing a 180 on bin laden. yesterday they were slamming the president. today, it's a different story. iraq war veteran will join me later. also mitt romney claims he supports pay convict is silent on the paycheck fairness act. it's the republicans latest attack on women. senator barbara boxer will join me.
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republicans back off their attacks on president obama over national security. john soltz is here with reaction next. the obama campaign isn't given mitt romney the chance to shake an etch a sketch on economic policy. we'll show you the latest ad. new jersey governor isn't the only one out of state getting support for scott walker. he's getting in the recall fight now. we'll show you how much out of state cash he's pulling in. share your thoughts on twitter using the hashtag #edshow. we're right back.
republicans are getting beaten at their own game. the party that talks tough was criticizing the president for talking tough on national security. here is john mccain on fox talking about the killing of bin laden. >> any president, jimmy carter, anybody, any president would have under those circumstances done the same thing. to now take credit for something that any president would do is indicative of the kind of campaign we're under, we're seeing. i've had the great honor of serving in the company of heroes. the thing about heroes, they don't brag. >> what a difference 24 hours make? he was asked about the president's trip to afghanistan today. he said it was the right thing to do. >> i think it's a good thing. i think it's always good when the president goes to where
young men and women are in harms way. >> this is not spiking the football in the end zone as he said? >> i don't think view it as that. >> it's hard for republicans to accuse president obama of politicizing bin laden when mitt romney stopped by new york city for a photo op with mr. 9/11, rudy giuliani. they used the first anniversary of bin laden's death to visit a 9/11 fire house. romney chose his words about president obama carefully. >> this is on the anniversary of the day when bin laden finally was taken out and we respect and admire the many people that are part of that. the president that authorized that attack to the intelligence community that worked on it for so many years to identify where he was, and of course, to the members of our armed services. >> where was that audio yesterday? somewhere between yesterday and today the republicans figured out they were playing a losers game politically.
mitt romney looked small while republicans criticized the president. the obama camp has decided to be aggressive on national security and keep telling the story. they are putting the president's record out in front and it's working. it would not be surprising if republicans take national security off the table in this election. they're not off to a good start. get your cell phones out. i want to know what you think. does president obama have the right to run on his national security record? text a for yes. text b for no. our blog is there for you waiting from a comment. we'll bring the results later on in the show. i'm joined by the chairman of vote vets.org and an army captain that served in iraq during the occupation from may to september of 2003. good to have you with us tonight. >> thanks. >> is the obama team justified
in promoting the president's national security record? there's been a lot of criticism especially yesterday about politicizing the death of bin laden. you, as an army vet, a captain, how do you feel about the conversation that's playing out right now? >> from an outside observer standpoint, obviously it was different last year when i was in iraq when he was killed during my tour, i think the president has every right to do it. when you're on the ground in combat and someone says there's a 40% chance you could put your troops out in medication and someone could get killed, there's a serious conversation to have and it's hard decision to make. i think there's a lot of people including secretary gates that wouldn't have made that decision. i can't tell you that i would have. when you start talking about young american lives that are there, i think it's hard decision to make. he has a right to take credit for it. they keep invoking the name jimmy carter. the reason he wants to talk
about jimmy carter is desert one. bill clinton paid a heavy price for black hawk. he's taking credit for something he did that they couldn't do for eight years. they use 9/11. they used it in 2004. he has every right to take advantage for something he accomplished. >> the very thing the republicans are criticizing president obama for, you think, as a vet, from what you have seen, that the republicans have politicized military operations and military events for a long time? >> absolutely. george bush, the first time i went to iraq was may of 2003. we were in kuwait. we wanted to get in before george bush stood up on that aircraft carrier with mission accomplished sign. they are experts at using the military. they had the republican convention in new york so they could use 9/11 as the backdrop.
they did multiple props. they used it to attack democrats for years. they'll talk about somalia. they will talk about what happened when jimmy carter in desert one. this president is taking credit for something he did that was a very hard decision. it was something the republicans couldn't do. george bush had a chance to kill bin laden in 2001 and he didn't have enough forces on the ground. he chose not to focus on pakistan with the drones that this president has done. he chose to send five division commitment to look for weapons of mass destruction that weren't there. this president is highlighting his success which he has ever right to do in an election year. donald rumsfeld wrote this, the special operators are too professional to do so.
the white house might follow their lead. your response to that. someone who served in the iraq war as part of donald rumsfeld army, how do you respond to that? >> i mean, look, i remember where i was at this time last year. my father died and i was home on leave. we talk. everybody in the army talks and the military and everyone was relieved that bin laden was killed. it was something like we accomplished something as a team. special operator community, it's a private community. they don't talk a lot as is. they are very professional people. i don't think donald rumsfeld has any right to speculate on how they feel or the military feels. everybody in the military was happy that bin laden was killed just like many americans were. i think the question donald rumsfeld should ask is why didn't he do it? he had us invade iraq. i don't think he has the
credibility to take any cheap shot like that or speculate on a military that despises him. he's one of most despises secretaries in america. >> great to have you with us. >> thank you. president obama's poll numbers are rising and his campaign is going on offense against his republican opponent mitt romney. e.j. dionne joins me. scott brown wants to repeal obamacare even though his own family benefits from the law. stay with us.
welcome back. i think democrats have been waiting for campaign like this for a long time. the obama campaign has mitt romney on the ropes early on. romney is reeling on national security, and president obama is going after romney now on the economy. if you're a leftie and you support president obama, you got to love this ad. here it is. >> over the top, out of context. big oils new attack ad. president obama's clean energy initiatives have help create jobs for projects across america, not overseas. what about mitt romney? he shipped american jobs to places like mexico and china. as governor he outsourced state jobs. he's still pushing tax breaks for companies that shift jobs overseas. it's just what you expect from a guy that had a swiss bank account. >> if you're an independent you got to love that.
it's going up in ohio, iowa and virginia. the obama campaign released this graphic showing where romney has bank accounts and trust funds all over the world. for the faint of heart who thinks it may be too soon for president obama to go on offense, you better think again. bush defined kerry in 2004 and he never recovered. it helps when president obama has a record to run on. the latest good news is this. chrysler u.s. sales are up in april. president obama's job approval rating during the month of april is up. it was the highest it's been since may of last year. today, occupy wall street staged may day protests around the world. it's another reminder of which candidate supports the 1% and which candidate is with the 99%.
let's turn to e.j. dionne. swiss bank accounts, overseas trust funds. that's pretty clever. not many americans have those things. it really makes a separation between the middle class and who romney is. your thoughts. >> yeah. i think some campaigns are won early. some are won late. i think president obama is trying to build up a lead that he never gives up between now and november. even if it doesn't work out that way, successful campaigns of all kinds establish themes very early on that they stick with right till the end. the bush campaign, as you suggested, started harping on john kerry's, i voted for the $87 billion before i voted with it, really stuck with that. in this case, the whole notion of outsourcing and the swiss bank accounts will be with us as part of an image they are trying to create with romney that will
go with two cadillacs. i like firing people. it's important to working class voters and white working class had been one on president obama's weaknesses and important in key states like ohio and pennsylvania and wisconsin and michigan plus virginia down the road from here. >> i just think this is a very aggressive start by president obama with the national security conversation, the war on women, his standing up for the middle class, and now, of course, this issue of going after mitt romney and separating him away from the middle class. have we seen a democrat run a campaign this early, this aggressive? i got comments on the radio today, it's about time. it seemed like clinton was on the defense. he said it's the economy. never saw michael dukakis get like there or jimmy carter. this is about as aggressive as it gets. >> i think they are learning from bill clinton.
he went aggressive very early. sounds familiar to our ears now given what i think the president will do on that now. yes, it is unusual to see a democrat go this aggressive this early. don't forget that ad that you showed also goes after one of those super pac ads. i think he needs to go aggressive before there is so much haze created by tens of millions of dollars in this super pac ad spending against him. it may be a little bit unusual, but i think this year it's absolutely essential. our air waves are going to be filled with a lot of nasty stuff in the coming months. >> romney super pac is running an ad in eight swing states. here is part of it. >> how many jobs did barack obama create as a community organizer, as a law professor?
maybe now you see the problem. mitt romney turned around dozens of american companies. he rescued an olympics hit by scandal. took over a state facing huge deficits and turned it around without raising taxes. >> interesting how the ad conveniently skips over the president's jobs record. 4 million jobs since he's come into the oval office. where were those numbers in that super pac ad? >> on the one hand, i think it's a pretty good ad. it's fairly good positive ad. we haven't seen my positive ads. he makes himself vulnerable on this because he wants to say at some times that his record with bain capital isn't a legitimate issue. we shouldn't talk about the jobs
destroyed. he opens himself right up to that. we know the republicans in the primary are saying he may not have raised taxes but there were fees and other things. he opens himself up for some attacks. given some such negative ads, that one looked relatively good. >> it did. there was also a graphic up there that said turned around dozens of american companies. i'd like to see that list, these dozens. how many dozens versus the ones that were shut down and jobs shipped overseas. great to have you with us. there's a lot more coming up. stay with us. >> there is no pay gap. men work eight to ten hours per week than a woman. >> republicans have their head in the sand on equal pay for women. democrats are fighting back. senator barbara boxer is next.
it's the next battle in the gop's war on women. mitt romney is still trying to figure out where he stands. senate democrats will hold a vote on the paycheck fairness act. the measure updates and strengthens the equal pay act of 1963. it would ensure that women aren't punished for seeking out information about pay. it would make employers prove the differences in the pay are due to other reasons than gender. republicans blocked the legislation two years ago.
paycheck fairness complements the lilly ledbetter act which gives women more time to file discrimination suits. lilly ledbetter remarked giving women the act is like giving them the nail without the hammer. a woman makes 77 cents for each dollar a man makes, yet republicans aren't buying it. here is romney's surrogate who voted against the led better act trying to sell the gop lie. >> the 77% number is misleading. it doesn't tell the whole story. when you compare men and women in the same positions with the same experience, the same education, there is no pay gap. >> except that just isn't true. here is just one example. 2010 study found that female mbas, women who attend top schools, aspire to the level of
ceo and had no children still made $5,000 less than men. men's salary growth out paced women's. this puts romney in a real difficult spot. he said he supports pay equity but would not say whether he would sign the ledbetter act if he were president. now romney is silent on paycheck fairness. "the ed show" asked where the former governor stands on this matter. they didn't get back to us. joining me now is senator barbara boxer of california. it's been too long. good to have you on the program. >> i'm just delighted. >> you bet. are you confident that mitt romney will support the paycheck fairness and the republicans will see the light? >> which mitt romney? i have no clue.
in 2009, the house passed this bill. every single republican senator filibustered it so we were never able to take it up. we're going at them again. all this talk about this isn't true. there's no differential is just made up. you pointed out, ed, all the facts but they don't let the facts get in the way. ed, this is a huge economic issue for our families. i don't know if you're aware of this but because women only earn 77 cents for every dollar earned by a man, every single year our families lose out on $200 billion. an average woman over her lifetime because of pay discrimination will lose between $400,000 and $2 million. >> what do you think the republicans are going to do? you think they're going to block this paycheck bill?
>> i certainly hope not because we have the facts on our side. you've laid them out. i've laid them out. this just a fact. lilly ledbetter who was on your show, what a wonderful woman. she was a manager in a goodyear tire plant. she did the exact work as her male colleague. he told her she was being discriminated against. we have case after case after case. we need to make sure that the whistle blowers who speak out about this are protected. that's what this new law will do among other things. i think they may go along with us. there is a war on women. if they, even this student loan situation where we're trying to get the interest rates reduced. how does boehner pay for it? he cuts women's preventive health. it's unbelievable. >> you serve on foreign relations and there's been quite a discussion as of late.
i want your reaction to the criticism that the republican attacks that they're putting on president obama on national security. >> listen. president obama made the key decision to go after the man who was the master mind of 9/11. i was there and i voted to go after him. i voted no to go into iraq. i voted yes to go after bin laden. let me just say, if george bush had done that, he would have put on that aviator suit, he would have put up six banners and he would have flown across the country. our president just telling the truth. joe biden is telling the truth. hillary clinton when they talked about that moment that president barack obama had all the chips on the line and he said we're
going to go after the man who attacked us on our soil. >> you don't think the president in any way shape or form is politicizing this and the republican criticism is out of bounds? >> i hope he reminds people all the time. they are coming after him with everything they have, and he has to tell the truth. he inherited the worst recession since the great depression. he turned it around. it's tough going, but he's doing it. he saved the auto industry. he got bin laden. the fairness paycheck fairness. he's done so much. i hope he just keeps on telling the truth to the people. that's what this election is about. do you want to trust this man again? i say the answer is yes. >> senator barbara boxer, california. great to have you on the ed show. next, republicans senator scott brown loves that his grown daughter gets to stay on his health care plan until she's 26. he doesn't want the other americans to enjoy the same
republican senator from massachusetts, scott brown, is continuing with the hypocrisy. he ran promising to be the republican to vote against health care. he followed through once he got to washington. brown has voted three times to repeal the law, but least voting one way and living another way. this year brown is up for re-election. he once again is running against obama care, but at the same time his family is benefitting from one of key components of the law. his 23-year-old daughter has health care coverage because of
the affordable care act. she is covered on his congressional insurance plan. scott brown defends his commitment to repeal obama care by saying health insurance decisions should be up to the states. it's the same argument he used before he was elected. >> where do you stand on health care? >> it's not good for massachusetts. we have 98% of the people insured. we're going to cut half a trillion from medicare and have higher taxation about a trillion dollars plus to pay for it. we're going to subsidize with what other states have failed to do it. i would stop it and ask for them to go back to the drawing board. >> he's spewing the typical republican attitude denying others benefits they enjoy themselves.
scott brown, state of massachusetts, already has a version of obama care thanks to mitt romney but brown is determined to deny similar care to the rest of the country. wisconsin is just weeks away from deciding whether to fire scott walker. the governor is calling in reinforcements from out of state. those surprising little things she does still make you take notice. there are a million reasons why. but your erectile dysfunction that could be a question of blood flow.
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five weeks from today we're going to find out in wisconsin governor, scott walker, gets to keep his job or not. he's doing all he can to survive. today he brought in new jersey governor, chris christie. >> i'm going to do everything i can to make sure that no special interests from washington, d.c. or within this state get a free ride taking a shot at scott walker. we decide in the next five weeks that we are the people that can make the difference. we invest more in the america of tomorrow than we will care about sacrificing some of the america
of today that we've earned and put in our pockets. >> really. when chris christie and scott walker talk about sacrifice, what they really mean is public employees should sacrifice while millionaires get all the tax breaks. scott walker has raised $13.2 million so far this year. only about $4.4 million has come from within the badger state. two-thirds of walker's total haul came from out of state donors. not all of walker's cash is going toward his recall campaign. he transferred $60,000 to his criminal defense fund which was created to pay for his lawyers in the ongoing john doe investigation surrounding walker's time as milwaukee county executive. he's shelled out $230,000 to law firms since january. it's amazing.
scott walker, he can go around the country raising millions of dollars. what does it say about the bent of his donors that they keep giving him money even though he's paying defense lawyers hundreds of thousands of dollars? amazing. going to be fun five weeks from tonight. i'm joined by kathleen falk. she's the former county executive and democratic candidate for governor. good to have you with us tonight. what is chris christie's impact on this election especially after his state just lost 6,000, 11,600 jobs in the month of march? >> it only reinforces out of touch that governor walker is out of touch. the $13 million that governor walker just reported and so much of it from out of state, it's like the far right extreme is trying to use wisconsin as a guinea pig for their agenda. you've been here with us from the beginning.
thank you. >> you're only allowed to set up a criminal defense fund in wisconsin if you are going to be charged with a crime or you're being investigated for a crime. walker continues to raise millions of dollars. does that amaze you? >> it amazes us here because there's a john doe investigation going on. as you just said, ed, you're only allowed to use your campaign funds if you're subject to that kind of review. we continue to say governor walker owes us an explanation about what he knew, when he knew it and why he didn't do anything about it? it's one of reasons he's going to be recalled in 35 days. >> how are you going to beat some $20 million since november? >> well, we have an army here. you've seen it, ed. you've seen it on the ground. any time the political establishment said this recall
would never get off the ground, you'll never get 540,000 signatures. >> it's faith against money? >> it is an army. >> democrats are also hitting walker on repealing the equal pay act. the democratic party is out with a number of ads on that. are they going to be effective in your opinion? >> it's real effective. i never thought i'd be having to fight the same old fights i've been fighting my whole life. to not want men and women to have the opportunity when they have been paid fairly, this should not be a fight in 2012. >> kathleen falk. thank you for your time tonight. one week from tonight is the democratic primary and five weeks from tonight is the recall election. we'll be doing a lot aboutt