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tv   Hardball With Chris Matthews  MSNBC  August 9, 2013 2:00pm-3:01pm PDT

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>> absolutely brilliant. thank you so much for watching this friday afternoon. you have a great weekend. but don't move. "hardball" and chris matthews is next. let's play hardball. good evening. i'm in for chris. leading off tonight president obama throws down the gauntlet on republicans launching an all-out offensive against republican threats to cripple his signature achievement, obama care. in a press conference late today the president was defiant. at times he almost seemed to taunt republicans when it came to their threat to shut down the government over the issue. in attacks that were swift and surgical, he began by calling out the republican fixation of obstructionism. >> the really interesting question is why it is that my
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friends in the other party have made the idea of preventing these people from getting health care their holy grail, their number one priority. the one unifying principle in the republican party at the moment is making sure that 30 million people don't have health care. that's hard to understand as an agenda that's going to strengthen our middle class. >> and this was his response to tea party leaders like ted cruz, rand paul and mike lee who are champb oning a government shutdown if the obama care law is not defunded. >> the idea that you would shut down the government unless you prevent 30 million people from getting health care is a bad idea. what you should be thinking about is how can we advance and
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improve ways for middle class families to have some security so that if they work hard they can get ahead. >> you'll hear more from the president shortly, but the bottom line is this. this was perhaps the most impassioned defense of the law that we've seen from him to date. it has democrats everywhere asking what took you so long. to break it all down we welcome in chuck todd, nbc's chief white house correspondent and the host of "the daily rundown." and msnbc political analyst with "the washington post." chuck, you know this president so well, was this calculated, or do you think he got caught up in the moment of responding to that particular question? >> oh, it's hard to say. i think this has been getting under his skin for a while. so calculated's probably not the word i would use, but i think he wanted to make sure that he drew a line, was a bit more defiant. he's been getting a lot of grief behind the scenes saying you've got to sell this law better, you've got to do this. and i heard more clarity from him than i have in a while on
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this. of course, the real test of all this, michael, is going to be is he start going on the road and p proactively doing this rather than doing this when he's asked a question about health care but proactively going out on the road and selling this and selling imple menation. he's got to find a moving congress on this which is going to be a lot harder. republicans just sit there and they look at the scoreboard. and they say, guess what, half the country thinks it's a bad idea. less than 40% thinks this law's a good idea. >> well, to your point, let me show some polling data on the issue of whether it's a good or bad idea. there it is, good idea 34%, bad idea 47%. chris, i follow you in all your social media, you did say get ready for the sixth sense or so question, i think you had a-rod in mind, but this is the one that ended up generating all the news. >> you know, chuck makes the right point, which is the president has not given this sort of passionate defense of
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his law that many hoped. he did defend obama care broadly, but it was in the context of sort of a dare. and, michael, i think you used that word, sort of a challenge. be my guest if you want to try to link defunding obama care to a government shutdown. i think he's on safer political ground there though the law broadly is not possible. the idea of shutting down government over health care and unfunding i think is also popular. i think that's why you've seen people like mitt romney come out earlier this week and say we should not do this. this is a bad idea for the republican party. you've seen other governors come out and say you should not do this. i think obama feels he has the higher political ground when it comes to linking that defunding of obama to shutting down the government. he probably wins that fight. >> it's not only the issue of shutting down the government, chuck, the president was quick
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to point out republicans don't have a real alternative to his health care law. listen to this. >> they used to say, well, we're going to replace it with something better. there's not even a pretense now that they're going to replace it with something better. the notion is simply that those 30 million people, or the 150 million who are benefitting from the other aspects of affordable care, will be better off without it. that's their assertion, not backed by fact, not backed by any evidence. it's just become an ideological fixation. well, i tell you what, they're wrong about that. >> chuck todd, what will be the response to that? and part b of my question, is the president also taking advantage of the fact that he's pretty much the only person in town so there can't be a coherent reply offered by the gop per se? >> well, that's right. but you're going to hear, i think, conservatives are going to hear that and say, hey,
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that's an unfair strawman. look at what he's trying to do, he's trying to paint us as anti-poor or we don't want poor people to get health care. but i tell you, it was, yes, the president likes to use strawman arguments, but that is a tough message for him to do. you know, both sides use straw men to make their arguments. we've heard what the republicans do when it comes to what they believe the health care law's going to do, whether it's on the economy, whether it's on job creation and things like that. so the president i think pushing back i think it's only going to increase the amount of rhetoric from the right in sort of pushing back on his statement that somehow they don't care about these 30 million people that don't have health care, that they don't want them somehow to get health care. so i think you'll see an increase in the rhetoric, but i think this is a case where the white house believes they may not be on the right side of public opinion about the overall law, but as chris pointed out, they believe they're on the right side of public opinion on this idea that you gum up the works and you create more
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gridlock to try to stop it. >> well, chuck, you maybe #make the point the question remains will the president now go on the road and speak with such passion? but, chris, cillizza, i think a corresponding question is does he get any support? the president may not have sold this to date, but he hasn't had the assistance of his own party to try and sell this message. >> well, you know, i think it's sort of one of those things should i take the first step, do you want to take the first step. >> yes. >> everyone in some ways is waiting. he is, ultimately, michael, he's the biggest politician in the democratic party and in either party. i think if he wants people to follow, he is going to have to take the lead. now, i will say i think he's much more comfortable making the argument that republicans are ku cutting off their nose despite their face on this because forget what you think about the health care law, the idea of defunding something that is law, threatening that in exchange for government shutdown, that is an issue i think he feels more strongly about. i can tell you and i agree with chuck on this.
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ideological fixation, the words the president used to describe republicans voting to repeal part of all of obama care, yeah, that's not going to go down so well in the republican party. they are not going to have warmer relations after today. >> well, chuck, despite the attacks on the republican insurgency against his health care law and the threat to shut down the government over the issue, the president did say he thinks in the end common sense will prevail. here it is. >> the idea that you would shut down the government at a time when the recovery's getting some traction, where we're growing although not as fast as we need to, where the housing market is recovering although not as fast as we would like, that we would precipitate another crisis here in washington that no economist thinks is a good idea i'm assuming that they will not take that path.
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i have confidence that common sense in the end will prevail. >> chuck todd, do you have confidence that in the end common sense will prevail? >> no leader of the republican party, and i say that leader of the republican party, wants to pursue this path. the question i have though is how do they stop it? can they come up with an alternative way? can they rally their party in such a way that says -- cause they're not going to get cooperation from democrats on trying to somehow find a stopgap measure here. can they find some way to appease the tea party wing of the party that really wants this, that wants some sort of stand on principles and all of this to try to force this vote? can they come up with a compromise that appeases them in some form, but also can get through? look, i think -- i know the leaders don't want to do this, boehner, mcconnell, you name it, i don't know how they stop it. i don't see a clear plan by them on how to precht this from happening. >> one other aspect, chris cillizza, i thought it was interesting that the president
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begins to try to manage expectations with regards to the delivery come october 1st. you heard that reference by way to the iphone, right? when he made reference to apple and the launch of a new product. the president said today stuff, his word, stuff happens. and we all know what he means because you know that the first few glitches with implementation are going to get trumped on fox and talk radio and could set the stage for the 2014 cycle unless they're responded to our managed. >> and, look, you know, i think, michael, this administration has struggled at times whether it's health care, economic stimulus, they have struggled to manage expectations effectively. they've sort of said, well, remember, as soon as the health care law begins to kick in, it's going to get more popular. that wasn't necessarily the case. i think he's trying to do that. look, the president is not unaware of that poll number that you read, 34% of people think it's a good law. they're aware of that. they're aware of the difficulties of selling this. i will say and i don't want to sound like a broken record, i will say if republicans continue
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to push the tying of defunding health care, the government shutdown, they are handing on a silver platter a message that president obama can actually talk about health care, the health care law and went on. there aren't a lot of messages he can talk about health care and went on. this would be one of them. i think that's why you see to chuck's point, mitch mcconnell doesn't want to do this, john boehner doesn't want to do this, mitt romney said they shouldn't publicly do this. there's a reason that minds like that in the party are warning on it. >> chris, thank you. chuck todd, as always, we appreciate you both. coming up, four summers ago the tea party road to power by disrupting members of congress at town hall meetings. their beef then was obama care. and now it's the law of the land, they're at it again. they're ready to take the country down because of it. also, the blowback from that supreme court decision to gut the voting rights act. florida governor rick scott is restarting his effort to purge the voter roles in his state, something the voting rights act stopped him from doing before.
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also, this weekend marks the start of the final season of the award winning tv show "breaking bad." it's just the latest example of a big hit thinking "sopranos" where we end uprooting for the bad guy. and darryll issa wants to honor -- nobody does it like stechb colbert. >> i'm proud to declare that the area between four and seven feet off the ground, the ronald wilson reagan economic breathing zone. right up there. >> much or of that tonight in the side show. this is "hardball." the place for politics. that mrd the way to handle bigger, tougher messes was better leverage. that's why he created his new magic eraser handy grip. it has a handle that firmly attaches to the eraser so you get better leverage and more oomph with less effort. it's the perfect magic eraser
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rand paul by five, 48-43. she leads paul ryan by three, 47-44. she beats native son newt gingrich by four, 47-43. against jeb bush it's a tie right now at 45 a piece. and the only republican who has a lead on clinton right now is chris christie at 44-42. all those match-ups are competitive. by the way, bill clinton carried georgia in 1992 and then lost it in 1996. we'll be right back. ] these are sandra's "homemade" yummy, scrumptious bars. hmm? i just wanted you to eat more fiber. chewy, oatie, gooeyness... and fraudulence. i'm in deep, babe. you certainly are. [ male announcer ] fiber one. i'm in deep, babe. you certainly are. i don'without goingcisions to angie's list first. with angie's list, i know who to call,
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tea party wants to know, where were you -- mike lee meadows to defund obama care, yes or no? >> no. let me tell you why. you got your answer. let me tell you why. it takes 60 votes.
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we only have 12 votes. >> welcome back to "hardball." that was republican congressman robert pittender describing why he's voting against defunding obama care. protests erupted at town hall meetings across the country. they formed a tea party wave that swept over obama care and swept a new breed of republicans into power in the congress in 2010. and tea party anger wasn't just related to obama care, remember at this town hall where former delaware congressman michael cassel was confronted by a voter who demonstrated a new level of vitreal and viciousness? >> i want to go back to january 20th and i want to know why are you people ignoring his birth certificate? he is not an american citizen.
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my father fought in world war ii with the greatest generation in pacific -- in this country. and i don't want this flag -- i want my country back. >> angry vitreal at town halls in 2010 was an early sign of the republican coming sweep at the polls. are we seeing any har ben jers of a 2014 wave? with me now republican strategist rick tyler who is the president for the strategy group and aeisha moody mills. read the tea leaves thus far, are there any issues out there that are popping? are there any signs of a coming wave like we saw in 2010? >> well, i think there's a sign of a wave that's coming, but it's going to be the opposite of what we saw in 2010. >> how so? >> the republicans have spent years making this anti-obama care bed, and now they're going to have to lie in it. you're seeing this civil war of infighting happening.
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and i think that it's really going to crash and burn them. >> but you know, rick, passion sells especially in primary season, and especially on the gop side of the aisle. might this mark a reemergence of tea party candidates even though that can win a primary but never win a general election? >> well, aside from the latter point of your assertion, yes. i do think this could be a harbinger as it was in 2009 that was a real movement. not only reflected in the polls, but clearly reflected in the vote. i think we picked up 56, it was a historic republican sweep. and if the left is deathly afraid we're in a repeat here. because there is a narrative here. it's a metanarrative. we have people who don't trust the government on nsa spying. we have people that don't trust the government with the irs declining conservative organizations. we have benghazi, which we doentd hear enough about. it's not defunding obama care. obama care hasn't been funded.
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so the real question is will we vote to fund obama care or not, not defund. and it's certainly not the republicans who would shut the government down. it would be president clinton -- president obama. of course i don't think it would get to his desk. but by virtue of him not signing or vetoing the budget. that would shut the government down. >> let me show you something, congressman pittender took a vote to fund obama care even though he tried to explain why it would be pointless. and the crowd did not like what they heard. >> we lose over there, then they come back to us in the house. if you win by going after not only -- we look at your -- and how you're going to win. >> it doesn't matter what harry reid does, we need to show the american people we stand for conservative values -- >> aisha, the passion still seems to be on the right side of
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the aisle. you're telling me that you think there's potentially a wave coming of democratic support in time for the 2014 cycle, but you don't see that anecdotally. >> here's what you're seeing. you're actually seeing cheers and jeers coming at the republicans. they're getting flak from both sides. americans who are democrats and americans who are republicans are really frustrated with them. i mean, for a couple of reasons. we have a poll that came out that showed that most people, the vast majority of people, really think that we should at the very least be improving upon -- at the most i should say, be improving upon obama care and to leave it as it stands. so every time they try to repeal or they try to defund, they're turning people off on both sides be it tea partiers who are technically on their side of the aisle, or other democrats. and i think this is going to be bad news for the gop in general. >> rick, in another part of north carolina, his colleague, patrick mchenry, a staunch opponent of obama care faced his constituents in a town hall. but in a surprising turn of events, his constituents wanted
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to know why he won't support obama care in the first place because some of them say it's helping. here's the tape. >> yes, sir. >> i'm from east ashville. i'm 63. my wife is 63. and without obama care we would have no health insurance. i would like to ask you and the republican party to answer the question why do i not have a moral right in access to health care if you want to defund obama care which is by law and policy going to save billions of dollars over the next ten years? >> rick, anecdotally in the 2014 cycle there will be those individuals whether they're young americans who now can remain on their parents plan when heretofore they couldn't do so. there will be those faces to associate with stories like presumably that man's that the
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gop will have to respond to if they thwart this removing forward. >> of course, but we can fix those things. republicans have said that from the beginning. the republican party is not divided on this issue. every single republican voted against obama care, almost all the republicans voted -- democrats voted for it. several democrats actually broke ranks on this obama's delaying of the mandate for employers, which has no effect on the individual. not sure why he did it in the first place. but this is what's wonderful about town halls. i grew up in new hampshire, this is what the town halls are for. people show up and get voices heard and you can all cover it. but what republicans know is that if obama care goes through, in the end fewer people have health insurance, the average family is going to pay at least $2,300 more. we don't know how that man's going to be effected by obama care because we don't know the impact it will have on doctors, accessibility, incentives -- >> take a quick final word. >> we don't know that because the republicans have
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demonstrated they're not interested in figuring out if there are any opportunities for improvement. they don't want to work on anything. they just want to can the whole thing. >> guys, time-out. here's my final thought on this. when i look at the footage from the town hall meetings, i say to myself who in the world would want to run for office? i think that incivility keeps good people from getting into the fray. thank you, rick tyler. thank you, aisha, we appreciate you being here. >> anthony weiner is now taking on the germans and the brits. that's ahead. and a programming note, please, remember you can listen to my radio program weekday mornings at 9:00 eastern on sirius xm's channel 124. this is "hardball," the place for politics. bjorn earns unlimited rewards for his small business. take these bags to room 12 please. [ garth ] bjorn's small business earns double miles on every purchase every day. produce delivery. [ bjorn ] just put it on my spark card. [ garth ] why settle for less? ahh, oh!
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back to "hardball" now for the side show, congressman darryll issa introduced a bill last month that would rename nearly all of america's coastline waters after our 40th president, ronald reagan. the proposed legislation would include 3.4 million square nautical miles stretching 200 miles out from u.s. shores. so if you're hitting the beach this summer, know you may soon be honoring reagan's legacy ere time you take a dip. stephen colbert liked the idea so much that he's proposing another way to honor the former president. take a look. >> there's no place on earth too large or too arbitrary to honor the giper's legty. that's why tonight i am proud to declare that the area between four and seven feet off the ground the ronald wilson reagan economic breathing zone. right up there. [ laughter ] this, folks, this is the storied swath of american atmosphere
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within which ronald reagan's very own mouth was often found. i'm feeling a little woozy. i think i might sit down in the walter mondale, don't stand up for america's zone. >> next, new york mayoral account anthony weiner isn't winning anything in the foreign press. he knocked on doors of harlem. he was making fun of germany with an awkward exchange. >> this? >> no, no. >> no doors, right? >> just gates. >> just huts, right? you have like plumbing and stuff like that? like indoor plumbing? flush toilets? >> no. that's why i'm here. >> i know. this must be a great assignment for you. >> in fairness, he tried to clarify to that reporter that he was only kidding. i guess it was hard to tell at
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the time, but then several minutes later he gave this snarky interview to a british report eer who asked him about s motive for running. >> is it ambition? is it a hunger for the big job for power? >> hard to take you seriously. no, it has to do with wanting to be mayor of the city of new york and wanting to help the middle class and those struggling to make it. >> what is it you want to do for this city? >> the hunger for the big job. >> would anything stop you? >> i just have a feeling i've stepped into a monty python bit. i don't know. is a rock now going to fall on my head? no, nothing's going to stop me. i'm going to win this election. anything else i can do for i.t., it's going to be rainy, cloudy and grey. do what you can, guys. try to keep your head up. keep a -- what is it? stiff upper lip. >> good thing weiner doesn't need votes from the uk or germany. up next, add florida to the list of states looking to make it harder for people to vote in the wake of the supreme court's
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i'm jackie deangelis with your cnbc market wrap. the dow dropping 76 points today, the s&p losing 6, the nasdaq falling 9. priceline shares up 3% nearing the $1,000 mark, this after topping quarterly earnings expectations. and blackberry stock soaring after a reuters report suggested that the smartphone maker might go private. and that labor day road trip might cost you less at the pump. aaa says the national average for gas dropped five cents in the last week and predicts prices should continue to fall. that's it from cnbc, first in business worldwide. now back to "hardball."
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welcome back to "hardball." ever since the supreme court effectively gutted the voting rights act, we've been keeping an eye on the ripple effects. within hours of the kourlt's decision three states that had been covered, texas, mississippi and alabama, ushered in photo id requirements that had been previously held at bay by the voting rights act. weakening opportunities and broadening id requirements any day. and now there's florida where five counties had been covered by the voting rights act, the republican governor is restarting an effort that he says is designed to purge the voter roles of noncitizens but that a lot of people believe is an attempt to purge the roles of democrats. when rick scott tried this last year, he was stopped by the voting rights act. last time as the "new york times" reports the attempt at unearthing noncitizens initially
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began with a pool of 182,000 names of potential noncitizens. that was wid ld to a list of 2,600. those names were sent to election supervisors who found many were in fact citizens and ultimately the list of possible noncitizen voters shrank to 198. of those fewer than 40 had voted illegally. we'd like to remind you of one of the people who was caught in the dragnet. >> bill, a 91-year-old army veteran of world war ii who earned the bronze star and legion of honor for his service is one of the voters targeted by the state as a potential noncitizen and was ordered to prove his citizenship or lose the right to vote. >> i was amazed when i got the letter. i've been voting since i was 18 years old or what it was. and i never had any trouble. i voted here for the last almost 15 years. to me it's like an insult.
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>> if the events in these states are any indication, there will surely be more attempts to limit voting rights since this congress is unlikely to fully restore the voting rights act. joining me democratic national committee chair and florida congresswoman debbie wasserman schultz. i think dr. nor man orn stooen is a smart guy, a resident scholar at the american enterprise institute and he recently published outlines for a new national voting rights act. let me tell you what some of the components are. he recommends a separate federal ballot. he thinks we should have no more confusing butterfly ballots, no more than three races on the ballot, no more provisional ballots. in a word there'd be uniformity. he also thinks there should be a new voter registration regime. that the default should be eligible decisions are presumed registered. he thinks we should have a weekend election day, a 24-hour period from noon saturday to
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noon sunday with early voting the week before. and he thinks that a social security card should be recognized as a valid form of voter id. what thoughts do you have on that proposal? >> well, the thoughts that i have on the notion that we should be making voting easier rather than harder is a notion that i fully embrace and that our party fully embraces. democrats have stood for years on the idea that we should be making voters -- making the process of voting easier, and give more access to the franchise not less. while republicans on the other hand as you've seen recently systemically have made it a legislative priority across the country to make voting harder. and in my state, to take your example that rick scott has gone through with the potential purging of so-called noncitizen voters, that amounts to on that 180,000 person list 0.2% of the
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names on that list came up as noncitizens. not exactly a glaring problem. and 60% of those, michael, were targeted on that list were hispanic when only 13% of our electorate are hispanic. clearly they're not only trying to purge voters, they're trying to purge certain kinds of voters. >> congresswoman, this officially would seem like a no-brainer that of course congress is going to take action. i look at the fact that the time of the last reauthorization in '06, the vote in the house was 390-33, in the senate it was 98-0. i assume it's because no one wants to be the individual who's held accountable for having voted against the voting rights act. but at the time when it comes to doing the heavy lifting behind the scenes, this can be torpedoed. isn't that what's going on? >> well, michael, i was on the judiciary committee during that entire process of reauthorizing the voting rights act. there was some resistance by republicans, but essentially, you know, the republicans were in charge. they actually pushed through the
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voting rights act reauthorization. republican from wisconsin was the chairman, and he has embraced the idea that we should revise section four, make sure we respond to the supreme court's constitutional concerns and revamp the voting rights act so we can make sure that we make the franchise something that everybody has access to, not do what republican governors and legislatures have done across this country systemically since then which is in 30 states introduced 55 different measures to actually make it harder for people to vote and make it harder for certain kinds of voters to vote. >> why is congress reauthorizing the voting rights act? what can be done? >> you know, it's critical in the first instance that congress do something to put back in place the protections that were lost in the voting rights act. we need to have some way to block discriminatory voting changes before they go into effect, before they mar an election. but there are also other critical steps that congress should be taking to improve the
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voting process for all americans. we do have a messed up system in many ways that's keeping people waiting in lines one to seven hours. and chief among them is really upgrading our voter registration system. >> it's not just as you well-known at the brennan center you track this information, it's not just the states. look at my home state, chris's home state of pennsylvania and what's taking place in the commonwealth of pennsylvania wouldn't have been effected by the votiing rights act which is why i think of dr. ornstein saying we need to do something on a national level. >> there are national protections against voting discrimination and protect voting rights. there are some places where the problems are so persistent and so constant that we need greater protections to be able to stop them before they go into effect. and that's what congress found in 2006. just last year alone we had 17 discriminatory voting changes blocked by the department of justice. 17 in those states, which does pale in comparison to what we
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saw in the rest of the country. >> thank you, wendy weiser. congresswoman, i know you're in new hampshire, if you go to iowa next we're going to have a big story here. thank you for being here. >> well, i spend quite a bit of time in lots of states. great to be here in new hampshire. up next, why we americans just love to root for the bad guys on tv. this is "hardball," the place for politics. humans. even when we cross our t's and dot our i's, we still run into problems. namely, other humans. which is why at liberty mutual insurance, auto policies come with new car replacement and accident forgiveness if you qualify. see what else comes standard at liberty mutual insurance. responsibility. what's your policy?
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♪ now you can give yourself a kick in the rear! v8 v-fusion plus energy. natural energy from green tea plus fruits and veggies. need a little kick? ooh! could've had a v8. in the juice aisle. anthony weiner looks like
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he's fading away in the new york's mayor's race. a new "new york times" sienna college poll has him at his lowest rating ever. he's fallen to fourth with just 10% support. city council speaker christine quinn leads the field at 25% followed by bill thompson and bill deblasio. we'll be right back. the postal service is critical to our economy. delivering mail, medicine and packages, yet they're closing thousands of offices, slashing service and want to layoff over 100,000 workers. the postal service is recording financial losses, but not for reasons you might think. the problem? a burden no other agency or company bears. a 2006 law that drains $5 billion a year from post office revenue while the postal service is forced to overpay billions more
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like carpools... polly wants to know if we can pick her up. yeah, we can make room. yeah. [ male announcer ] space. yes, we're loving this communal seating. it's great. [ male announcer ] the best thing to share? a data plan. at&t mobile share for business. one bucket of data for everyone on the plan, unlimited talk and text on smart phones. now, everyone's in the spirit of sharing. hey, can i borrow your boat this weekend? no. [ male announcer ] share more. save more. at&t mobile share for business. ♪ hey, we're back. here's a warning, this sunday night you might have a hard time reaching some of your friends. if you don't know why, then you've probably never seen "breaking bad," the hugely addictive show about a science teacher turned meth-cooking drug lord. it returns for its final batch of episodes.
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and chances are there isn't a happy ending in store at the end of this twisted, dark and violent saga of walter white. if you don't watch, here's what you need to know. bryan krants den is a high school chemistry teacher struggling to make ends meet in albuquerque, new mexico, when he's given a cancer diagnosis. he turns to meth hoping to leave a nest egg behind for his wife and children. five seasons later the cancer is gone, we think, but walt's lust for power has only grown. the dark truth is he's come to enjoy it. >> who the hell are you? >> you know. you all know exactly who i am. say my name. >> do what? i don't have a damn clue who you are. >> yeah, you do. i'm the cook. i'm the man who killed gus
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fring. [ bleep ]. >> i killed him. >> you sure? that's right. now, say my name. >> eisenberg. >> you're [ bleep ] right. >> we've watched him steel, blackmail, maim or kill or poison a child. and shockingly there are many of us who still root for him. what is it about characters not to mention tony soprano and others that make us want to forgive their evil? a culture reporter for the "new york times" and like me a huge "breaking bad" geek. and paul is a psychiatrist in los angeles. he loves "breaking bad." doctor, why are we loving this guy? we should hate him by now. >> we absolutely should,
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michael. but the thing about it is these are not evil men including walter white, these are flawed men that do bad acts or evil acts. and we all have impulses just like that. and just like within, you know, there's a book that came out a few years ago bad men do what good men dream written by a forensic psychiatrist robert simon that goes into, you know, we all have these certain impulses. only certain people act on them. with that is the fantasy fulfillment in the show of watching something get carried out that we all wonder what if i did that and watching it out. >> all right. you're really saying that david wants to break bad, and because he can't because he's a "new york times" guy he's living through walter white, is that a fair assessment? >> i was carefully vetted before the "times" brought me in. >> do you buy into this? >> oh, yeah. i'm not going to disagree with a psychiatrist, but i think there's also we've seen the progression of the walter white character over these seasons. and when he started out, he was a very humble man. he was making choices that we could almost understand. he was a teacher who had been sort of shut out by the economy.
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he had health care problems. we could all relate to that in circa 2008, 2009. and little by little he makes minute but increasingly, you know, morally problematic choices until the point where he is the drug lord he is now. he's had opportunities to bail out and he doesn't want to take them. >> david, for the benefit of those who haven't seen "breaking bad," first of all, don't start at the end. go back to the beginning. there's "dexter," tony soprano. >> these serialized narratives they show things you can't show on network. and the short-runners of these programs are taking advantage. >> by last season it became clear that far from helping his family, walter white was driving it apart in this pivotal scene after his wife suggests he turn
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himself into the police for protection, white makes it clear that she doesn't really know who he is after all. >> walt, please, let's both of us stop trying to justify this whole thing and admit you're in danger. >> who are you talking to right now? who is it you think you see? do you know how much i make a year? i mean, even if i told you you wouldn't believe it. do you know what would happen if i suddenly decided to stop going into work? a business big enough that it could be listed on the nasdaq goes belly up, disappears. it ceases to exist without -- you clearly don't know who you're talking to so let me clue you in. i am not in danger, skylar, i am the danger. a guy opens his door and gets shot and you think that of me? no, i am the one who knocks.
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>> that was a great line. hey, dr. puri, is part of the attraction of someone like david not only that he wants to break bad but that he still wants to see if walter in the next eight episodes is going to turn it around and somehow get back on the straight and narrow? >> absolutely. i think with all of these guys there's always been something redeeming about them from the very beginning that hooks us. and once we are connected, it's so hard for us to disconnect or give up on them. the same reason a person has trouble letting go of an abusive family member or someone with a drug addiction, it's hard for us to be able to let go on the possibility of them redeeming themselves. >> david, i came to your times talk seminar. i stood up to ask a question and they cut off the microphone before i could ask it, which is the real reason you've been summoned to "hardball" because i'm going to ask you what i would ask vince. >> okay. i'll answer in his voice. >> do you think that they feel some kind of a requirement to
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appease the fans? and if so, how do you do that? >> i don't know if they want to appease the fans specifically, but i'm sure the sopranos ending lingers in everyone's mind. that was one that took years for people to kind of make peace with. i think people expect something much more conclusive with "breaking bad," but i have a sense they are going to deliver something with finality. whatever number of cast members are in the show now, i suspect there will be fewer by the end of the season. >> you may know the answer, so i shouldn't ask you. let me ask dr. puri, truly, do you want to see him live or die at the ends of this? >> i think he has to go, michael. i think he has to get cancer. the cancer needs to recur and he has to go maybe with hank chasing him. >> hank's the only guy who's maintained his scruples. i'm not rooting for hank. >> you don't want to see hank win the day? >> we sound ridiculous at this point chitchatting about this, but the person i'm really rooting for is jesse. i think jesse is a redeemable soul and i really want jesse to
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survive and succeed. i'm heartbroken he lost his girlfriend. quick final thought. >> do you think jesse represents something he lost his moral compass a long time ago? he has po pay for his choices too. >> maybe. thank you, david. this is great stuff. dr. paul puri, we appreciate you being here. we'll be right back after this. . the ones getting involved and staying engaged. they're not afraid to question the path they're on. because the one question they never want to ask is "how did i end up here?" i started schwab for those people. people who want to take ownership of their investments, like they do in every other aspect of their lives. the house caught fire and we were out on the streets. [ whispering ] shhh. it's only a dream. and we have home insurance. but if we made a claim, our rate would go up... [ whispering ] shhh. you did it right. you have allstate claim rate guard so your rates won't go up just because of a claim. [ whispering ] are we still in a dream?
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let me finish tonight with this. after my radio program ended today, i visited the national september 11 memorial at the
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location we used to call ground zero. i've been to that location many times since september 11, but not since the memorial opened two years ago. here is some good news. nine million visitors beat me to it. that's how many have flocked to pay their respects in just that last two years. and they have come from 180 different nations. today under threatening skies on a hot friday in august, it was nice to see the memorial was crowded. designer michael and peter walker are to be commended. there is tremendous attention to detail. i'm sure you've seen the photographs and the film footage of the two pools set in the footprints of the original twin towers. water constantly flows into both pools, masking the sound of the surrounding city and providing the appropriate backdrop for reflection. 2,983 victims are remembered here, including six from the 1993 attack. their names are arranged in meaningful adjacentsieies which
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allows visitors to touch their remembrance in any weather. friends and family and american heroes like todd beamer who lost his life aboard flight 93. i myself wanted to pay homage to the captain of united flight 175. white roses are placed on a daily basis to commemorate birthdays at an average of nine per day. the actual facade is of the buildings is represented by a ring of trees. and speaking of trees, there is the survivor tree. that's a calorie pear that originally stood on the eastern edge of the site. it was planted in the 1970s, and it was found after the attack by workers when it had been reduced to just an eight-foot stump. it has since been nursed back to health, and it stands 30 feet tall. next spring, the museum will open underground. it will house engine 21, a fire truck from the fdny, the survivor's staircase, the last column, and the cross of steel. hey, we're one month away from the anniversary of september 11th. go see the memorial. and support it with your donations.
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the memorial is a national nonprofit that doesn't receive city, state or federal funding for its operations. that's "hardball" for now. thank you for being with us. "politicsnation" with al sharpton starts right now. >> thanks, michael, and thanks to you for tuning in. tonight's lead, president obama calls out republicans. late this afternoon, the president gave a news conference at the white house. he strongly defended his health care law, and he slammed republican extremists for their threat to shut down the government if obama care isn't defunded. >> between october 1st into march, there will be an open enrollment period in which millions of americans for the first time are going to be able to get affordable health care. now i think the really interesting question is why it


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