tv The Rachel Maddow Show MSNBC July 27, 2009 9:00pm-10:00pm EDT
green, green, natural gas, maverick, maverick, maverick. what do you expect from a maverick? my dad was in the audience today. across the nation. how long have i been at this, like five weeks? one of barack obama's earliest supporters is bill ayres a domestic terrorist. domestic terrorist. domestic terrorist. domestic terrorist. domestic terrorist. >> you know -- >> good. thank you. >> it is useful to recall that conventional wisdom regarding vice presidential picks, first, do no harm. governor palin, eight weeks after her selection, seems to be continuing to do harm. >> the clothes are not my property. my favorite shop is a consignment shop in anchorage, alaska called out of the closet.
>> based on multiple reports from multiple sources sarah palin is a rogue gop elephant. >> i'm glad now elizabeth brought it up because it gives me the opportunity. she gets to tell you the whole clothes thing. >> palin, quote, takes no advice from anyone. >> my friends, we have come to the end of a long journey. the american people have spoken and they have spoken clearly. >> we all have the same values and convictions and positions on policy so just a greater appreciation i think for what other candidates go through. you know, every day was just a blast out there on the trail. >> sarah, it was a blast for us, too. we can never thank you enough. i mean it. that will do it for this monday edition of "countdown." i'm lawrence o'donnell sitting
in for keith olbermann. tomorrow's guest host former governor howard dean. have a good night. up next on msnbc the one, the only, yes, the rachel maddow show. hey lawrence. i had such a great job watching you tonight on "countdown." >> can i hang around and cohost with you? >> yes. some other time i'll take you up on it. thank you for staying tune tonight at home. we'll have governor dean joining us to talk health care before he guest hosts "countdown" tomorrow night and wednesday night. also, this hour we'll have congressman barney frank here to talk about who exactly is fighting to keep the fine print on your credit card statement really, really, really small. we'll also be joined by pulitzer prize winner ron sufkin here to play by play the latest round in the most unexpected political
round ever. george w. bush versus dick cheney all coming up this hour. unexpected news from birtherville. despite indisputable evidence to the contrary birthers are conspiracy theorists who maintain president obama secretly isn't president because he secretly wasn't really born in the united states. the theory has been conclusively disproven by the fact that president obama has made publicly available his birth certificate from hawaii and by the supporting fact that there was an announcement published in a hawaii newspaper in 1961 when he was born. that's evidence that means these particular conspiracy theorists, the birthers, are rightfully classified as beyond reason, as marginal, fringy mcfringersons. this means we should expect them to disappear from the main stream of american politics as
main stream american politicians make decisions to disavow these theorists so as not to seem crazy and beyond reason themselves. you would think at least. you would be wrong. the modern republican party is proving to be quite fertile ground for the birther c eer co sifts. bill posey is sponsor of a bill that would require birth certificates for presidential candidates. we've known about mr. posey and his cosponsors for a while but now thanks to an intrepid reporter from fire dog lake and the huffington post, a man named mike stark, we can add more names to the birther caucus. here's a peek at what mr. stark discovered when he asked members of congress to go on the record on the issue of whether they're willing to defy the crazy birther people and admit that president obama is a citizen.
>> what do you believe, personally? >> i'd like to see the documents. >> so you're kind of afraid of the lunatic fringe base? >> it's being looked at. >> what do you personally believe? do you think there is a question here? >> i think there are questions. we'll have to see. >> hey, congressman. how are you? i'm with the huffington post and fire dog lake. what's your name? well, you were able to say you're out of breath. you can tell me your name. are you democrat or republican? i'll race you. >> in addition to the sponsor and cosponsors of the birther legislation in congress then we can now add these names to the list of republican legislators who do not believe or at least will not say out loud that the president is a citizen. incredible. meanwhile, down the street at the white house briefing room today white house press secretary robert gibbs got a
break from questions about the cambridge police department, health care reform, iraq, iran, afghanistan, and every other matter of actual importance thanks today to the birthers. >> is there anything you can say that will make the birthers go away? >> no. i mean, the god's honest truth is no. bill, let's understand this. i always hate to indulge in such an august setting as the white house and i mean this in seriousness, the white house briefing room, discussing the made up, fictional nonsense of whether or not the president was born in this country. but i have news for themg and for all of us. the president was born in honolulu, hawaii. the 50th state of the greatest country on the face of the earth. he's a citizen. yes, sir? >> why does this keep coming up? >> because for $15 you can get an internet address and say whatever you want. >> actually you don't even need
the internet. you know, lou dobbs on cnn says he's a birther, too. you can't blame this movement of the fringe into the main stream on just the online machine. cnn's helping. back in congress today, hawaii congressman neil abercrombie introduced a simple resolution commemorating the 50th anniversary of hawaii's statehood recognizing it as the birth place of the 44th president of the united states a man named barack obama. a sort of game of parliamentary chess because a vote for the resolution would constitute defacto recognition that obama is a natural born american born in hawaii. that of course would be defacto rejection of the crazy birthers. well, the resolution after an initial delay did pass the house unanimously. so does this mean that the birther caucus among republican members of congress will disband? will the fringe go back to the fringe now? joining us now is david wiegel a
reporter for "the washington independent" who has done a lot of the national ground breaking work on this subject. thanks very much for coming back on the show. >> thanks. i'm happy to be here. today's resolution in the house could have been a political maneuver on the part of the democrats to put the birther republicans on record, to split the republicans from the birther movement that seems to be sort of capturing them. do you see it that way or do you think it was an accident? >> i don't think it was an accident. this is something some democrats and some pundits who talk to democrats have been talking about for a week. it's really devious. republicans did the same thing before the 2004 election when they forced the house to vote on charles rangel's bill on whether or not we should bring back the military draft. they did this to disabuse the nation of a rumor and gets all of the democrats on record, republicans on record saying they opposed it.
i think it's the same thing. this is very clever though because it's not so much of a distraction that you can call it out as one. it's something that congress really does. it is a distraction from thaddaeus mccotter's gates apology resolution but other than that pretty legitimate. >> senator james inhofe of oklahoma today was interviewed for a piece in politico about the birthers and about there now difficult situation that the republican party is in with this very loud, active, crazy group of people who maintain this despite all the evidence. inhope in response to politico's question said the birthers have a point. he then backtracked and said later in the day that the only reason they have a point is because the white house has screwed up this issue somehow. can you give me a take on where inhofe is coming from on this initial response and the backtracking? >> i think he's coming from oklahoma which contains no county that voted for barack obama.
look, the -- congressmen and senators don't get where they are by alienating voters. i think a mistake they make sometimes is not alienating anyone. i don't think there's a great political downside to taking the buzz aldrin approach to a conspiracy theorist and, well maybe not hauling off and whacking them like he did but saying, no, you're wrong. bill clinton is actually a ma master at knocking outs a heckler. taking it back to these people if they're not hecklers they're people who don't have a legitimate point and make you seem crazy by agreeing with them. a red state as oklahoma is, inhofe is really just appeasing a small part of his base and he's doing that as a politician but it's bizarre. i don't know why they can't get this right and say no a, no, yo wrong. here are the facts. >> i think this gets to the most important part of this story though. if the birther conspiracy movement essentially dovetails with some of the right wing
hatred of obama as president on the basis of his race, this idea of his foreignness essentially standing in for people's discomfort with the fact that he's african-american, is it possible that the reason so many republicans are having a hard time just flat out disavowing this movement is because they are counting on that discomfort with the president's race, that sort of racial anxiety created by having a black president in order to drive some republican votes? >> i wouldn't give them all that motive. let's remember he was still african-american in 2008 and they lost the election by a lot to him. so i think it's just, from the relevant case feeding the base here, from the perspective of the conspiracy theorists it's hard not to see a racial element to this. i heard it said today, well, alan keyes is on board with this and he is kind of the exception that proves the rule. this is not a rainbow coalition asking these questions.
one thing i'd add, almost tongue in cheek but who knows anymore is the current brand of this conspiracy theory is if obama is disqualified it will disqualify him, joe biden because he ran with him, and nancy pelosi because she signed on and vouched for his citizenship. that would of course make the president of the united states robert byrd who is the only current member of the senate who is in the clan. at this point maybe that's their plan. i don't know. >> maybe those folks would finally find somebody they'd be constitutionally comfortable with. >> we know where he was born. exactly right. i mean constitutional in a lot of different senses. dave wiegel reporter from "the washington independent" thanks for your time tonight. >> thanks, rachel. up next dr. howard dean will join us to talk health care. there is big news on that front today both on the democratic side and the republican side. stay with us.♪ ♪
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the republican party has decided to go all in, all in on their effort to kill health care reform in this country. if you've been following the health care debate even a little bit over the past month you've probably heard president obama calling on congress to vote on health care reform before the august recess. before members of congress go home to their districts for the whole month of august. why does the timing of this matter? why was the president so insistent on getting something done before lawmakers leave d.c. for the month? well, today we learned that during a recess the republican
national committee will spend a million bucks over the course of one month campaigning against health reform. a million dollars to offer their own health care reform idea? no. a million dollars to suggest republican alternatives to the democrats' plans? no. a million dollars to stop the whole idea of health care reform in its tracks? ding, ding, ding. yes. over the course of the next month the republican national committee says it will blanket the country with tv and radio ads attacking health care reform. the ads will reportedly run in 33 states denouncing the whole idea of changing the health care system as dangerous. democrats have 60 seats in the senate and a huge majority in the house. because of that ultimately it's on them to get health care reform done. but republicans are doing their darnedest and even as democrats split and split and split on this issue republicans have carved out a singular,
unmistakable role for themselves here. they aren't just trying to be a speed bump on the way to health care reform. they're trying to be a spike strip. they're trying to stop the whole idea of it dead. why exactly are they doing this? well, presumably they think it's a good way to hurt president obama, to chip away at his political capital, to make him fight a long battle that's almost impossible to win and hopefully he'll lose in his first term and get all swamped in the process. that's the obvious politics at work. maybe there is something else going on here, too. have you noticed that when republicans talk about why health care reform is such a dangerous idea they keep citing the same sources over and over and over again? >> according to the louen group 119 million americans would lose the coverage they currently have. >> louen, the louen associates, a very respected technical firm. >> there is one study from the
louen group. >> one firm louen group is telling us. >> what you'll have according to the louen think tank that specializes in health care -- >> this group is very influential among the republicans. they're supplying tons of the republicans' information about why health care reform is such a bad idea. thank goodness they've got the louen group to cite for research. want to know who the louen group is? it's reported in "the washington post" recently, it's the insurance industry. specifically, it's one particular insurance company. united health group. united health, one of the nation's largest insurers operates a subsidiary called ingenics and it operates a consulting firm called the lewin group which top republicans call nonpartisan and independent when they use lewin group insurance industry talking points to make us all feel afraid of changing the health care system. it said the name united health group is making your xooby news
sensing all ting ly it might be because you remember united health group from your corporate crime blotter. in january of this year united health agreed to pay $400 million. that was the settlement. $400 million for essentially defrauding patients. the new york attorney general's office accused the company of skewing data in order to shift medical expenses onto consumers. so if the democrats really don't get health care passed before the recess and that gives republicans a full month to talk about what a bad idea it is to change the health care system because they love it the way it is and it would be so dangerous to change it? consider who exactly they're representing. >> according to the lewin group. >> lewin associates. >> there is one study from the lewin group. >> opposition to health care reform brought to you by the people making a mint off the system being the awful way it is now. joining us now is the former
governor of vermont, dr. howard dean. thanks very much for joining us tonight. >> rachel, thanks for having me on. >> let me ask you first about the premise here. my sense is that there is not a democratic republican debate about how to reform health care. my sense is that it's more like democrats think there ought to be health care reform and republicans think there ought not be health care reform. do you think that's true? >> i think it's even deeper than that. i do think that's true. this is not even about democrats versus republicans. this is about the health insurance agency versus the american people. 72% of the american people want a public option. we want them to be able to make those choices. 50% of grass roots republicans think they ought to have a choice. so anybody who votes against the public option is not just voting a gens the democratic bill. they're voting for the insurance company and against the american public. that is going to be the cry in 2010. who are you going to vote for, the people who sent thru and pay your salary or the health
insurance industry? >> the associated press is reporting tonight that a bipartisan group of senators is making some sort of progress on some sort of compromise bill but it wouldn't include this government insurance option. it wouldn't include the public option. and it wouldn't require businesses to offer coverage to their employees. now, we've heard a lot of reports along the way about what's going to be in the bill or what's not. what is your take on this latest news? >> well, that's all very nice. i'm glad they're bipartisan but it isn't health insurance reform. that is insurance reform but it's not health reform. what it will do, i assume there is guaranteed issue and so forth in there and if that's true, if the guaranteed issue is in there and community rating then it's insurance reform. it's not going to do anything to curb expenses or change the health care system or insure anybody extra. that's what i call the fake public option. it's a shame because the democrats are going to end up being responsible for killing this bill. if we stick together like the republicans are we can get this
passed but, unfortunately, that doesn't seem to be the case. >> i feel like it's not surprising to see the industry, the people who profit from the system being the way it is now trying to stop anybody from changing the system. it's working great for the insurance companies right now. how do they get politicians democrat or republican to make that case for them? is there an ideological fit here or is it just campaign contributions or what is it? >> it's about money. it's about money. when you have 72% of the american people thinking they should have the choice instead of congress, this is about money. the insurance industry gives out of a lot of money and this is going to be a hell of an issue in 2010. what is the point of having a 60-vote majority in the united states senate if you can't produce health insurance reform or excuse me, health care reform. you can get health insurance reform. this bill is going to cost a lot of money and isn't going to do anything. this compromise does nothing except it will reform insurance.
that's a good thing to do but they ought to strip the money out of it because we reformed insurance like this in vermont 15 years ago. it's a fine thing to do but doesn't insure more people. it does make it fair. it's not worthless because it plax it fair but it's not health care reform and nobody should pretend it is. >> as you said, the republicans, as you implied, the republicans are very unified on this and it seems their strategy is they don't want anything to change. and as you point out, it's not just the democratic republican divide. there's also a divide within the democratic party and that -- and you can trace that divide down to where the insurance industry influences. so what can happen within the democratic party to hold the democrats together, to make conservative democrats and those aligned with the insurance industry do the right thing. >> i think some conservative democrats are doing the right thing. i don't mind blue dogs holding the feet to the fire on issues like fiscal responsibility. that's good. what's bad is coming out against the public option because that's
what their constituents want. this is not a conservative-liberal divide. constituents want a choice. they're tired of politicians telling them what to do and frankly tired of insurance companies having bureaucrats telling their own doctors what to do. the republicans are completely bankrupt on the issue. half the things they say are not true and made up by spin doctors. the question is will the democrats reform health care or will they not? the house did a great job. the committee did a great job. the senate finance committee is reel anytrouble. if this is true about the so-called compromise i really fear for the future of health care reform because that's not health care reform. >> what i really want now is you to host "countdown" tomorrow night and wednesday night on msnbc so you can keep sort of helming this coverage. will you do that? >> i will actually. good suggestion. i'll go right over and see if i can arrange that. >> excellent. former dnc chairman and former governor of vermont howard dean who will be hosting "countdown" tomorrow and wednesday night.
looking forward to seeing you, governor. thanks a lot. >> thanks for having me on. okay. coming up, part of congress would like to protect you from getting totally jacked around by your credit card companies. another part of congress favors letting you get totally jacked around by your credit card companies. congressman barney frank will join us in a moment. plus, beers of choice have been revealed for the president obama, henry louis gates, sergeant jim crowley, big awkward knees up at the white house this week. welcome to the now network. population: 49 million.
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did you know that the average goldman sachs employee will make more money this year than he or she did in 2007? which was before the old disastrous financial crisis that required a massive taxpayer bailout in barney frank will be here to discuss that with us in a moment. first it's time for a few holy mackerel stories in today's news. in the six and a half year course of our war in iraq 18 american servicemen are known to have been killed not by enemy fire but by electrocution in american maintained facilities in iraq. in early 2008, staff sergeant ryan mesa, a green beret, was killed while he showered in iraq when an ungrounded water pump failed that electrified the metal shower and the hose. that system was set up by kbr which used to be part of
halliburton. they had the giant, multibillion dollar logistics contract for supporting american troops in iraq. according to a brand new defense department report kbr did not properly ground and inspect their electrical equipment in iraq. also the army itself failed to set standards for contractors like kbr and never even bothered to ask them to repair like oh, say the electrical grounding system. improper grounding and faulty equipment was reportedly responsible for nine of the 18 electrocution deaths known in iraq. staff sergeant mesa ace mother cheryl harris is suing kbr and told the associated press today she was pleased with the report findings. she said, quote, the results are revealing and contrary to what kbr and its president have continuously stated. at first ms. harris was told her son had brought some sort of appliance into the shower with him. then they told the story that he had touched hanging wires while showering. neither turned out to be true. staff sergeant maseth's death was just your standard
potentially criminal contractor negligence. there's more to come on this story undoubtedly. now, how much more to come about sarah palin's political career remains to be seen but she is as of today a private citizen. the former vice presidential candidate stepped down as governor of alaska yesterday, about a year and a half before the end of her first term. and so, to commemorate the handover of power in alaska, ms. palin gave a farewell speech. it was a speech that sounded very much like a retro campaign speech from the fall of 2008. it was a speech that included this nugget about the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad media. and its compulsive obsession with the families of alaska governors. >> how about in honor of the american soldier you quit making things up? and one other thing for the media. our new governor has a very nice family, too, so leave his kids alone. >> just a guess but i think the
media is almost certain to leave governor parnell's kids alone. and almost surely would have left sarah palin's alone if not for the fact that the person who most often put sarah palin's kids in the media spotlight was sarah palin. >> on september 11 of last year, our son enlisted in the united states army. treg now serves in an infantry brigade and on september 11 will deploy to iraq in the service of his country. being a mom. being one who is very concerned about a son in the war, about a special needs child brkts kids heading off to college, how are we going to pay those tuition bills -- >> what i know is that my son has made a decision. i am so proud of his independent and strong decision he has made. bristol can be used as an example of taking less than ideal circumstances and still making the best of these circumstances. and that is who she is. she's strong. she's kind hearted. she's going to be just fine.
>> when you were traveling do you miss your friends back home? >> yeah. >> that's the hard part isn't it? >> yes. >> did you miss much school? >> a lot of school. >> yeah. and how is that now? is it hard to catch up? >> yes. it's really hard. >> so you're 7 now so if your mom comes in four years you'll be 11 and she says, kids, here we go again. another campaign. how would you feel about it? >> i don't know. >> so who brought up governor palin's kids in the media? who's the big, bad, exploiter of the palin kids for political gain? good luck in private life, governor, honestly. good luck to you and to your family. am i allowed to say that? finally, an update on the controversial arrest of harvard professor henry louis gates at his home in cambridge, massachusetts. president obama made a surprise visit to the white house press corps last week to announce he had spoken with the arresting officer in the case sergeant james crowley as well as with
professor gates. in the interests of advancing the conversation on racial profiling and racism in america, the three men said they would have a beer together at the white house. and that is now apparently official. the beer will reportedly happen sometime this week. okay. so controversy over. right? wrong. because as i said last week, you have to pay attention to the people who try their mightiest to keep this story alive. exhibit a is michigan republican congressman thaddaeus mccotter who plans to introduce a resolution in the house calling on obama to apologize to sergeant crowley. a brow beating over a controversial presidential sound bite is not a constitutional power given to congress so congressman mccotter's bright idea is unlikely to make much more news than to expose his position. what is news is the kind of beers that the president, the professor, and the sergeant will be enjoying at the white house. the white house has revealed that the president will be
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if you were applying for a credit card 30 years ago, you'd probably be asked to sign off on a one and a half page contract. today credit card contracts are 30-page novelas crammed with fine print full of financial traps and hidden penalties. lots of people get that envelope with the block letters that says you can have a free credit card. free, free. they sign up for all that freeness. they don't fully absorb the text and meaning of the micro print contract novela and find out later about the rate hikes and inexplicable fees and ultimately the damage to their credit. that same sort of change over the last generation, change that swindled consumers but helped short-term corporate profits is also the kind of change we saw laid bare in the mortgage industry meltdown. millions of people steered toward complicated loans full of traps and risks they weren't really assessed to bear.
ultimately defaulting, blowing up whole portions of the financial sector that made subprime mortgages a mythical source of profit based on willful ignorance of real people in real houses with real debt burdens that were being traded and bid up like so many baseball cards or beanie babies. whatever became of the geniuses who used to make money signing people up for mortgages they couldn't afford? as the new york times has been reporting this month, quote, many of the same people who dispensed risky mortgages during the real estate bubble have reconstituted themselves into a new industry focused on selling loan modifications. so the people who made money issuing bad loans are now making money fixing bad loans. be afraid. be very afraid. the good news is congress is working on some legislation right now that would make it harder to make money on financial products just by swindling people requiring simple, clear, readable language and nonloan sharkey terms for doing business with american
consumers. part of the great big reform package on the table is the creation of something called the consumer financial protection agency. its goals would include bringing us back to the days of understandable, page and a half long credit card contracts. warning labels for complex, dangerously risky financial products, think subprime mortgages, setting official standards all home mortgage lenders would have to follow. guess who is against an agency like this? wall street. it's flush with taxpayer provided bailout cash and wall street's number one lobbying priority right now is killing the consumer financial protection agency. naturally. joining us now is the member of congress who more than any other is the gatekeeper on these issues, barney frank. thanks very much for joining us tonight. >> i'm glad to, rachel. this is about as important an issue as consumers can deal with. >> do you think we'll ultimately get the consumer protection agency? >> yes.
look, the conventional wisdom and the way washington has worked has been that the powerful lobbies line up and they're the ones that are on the scene, right here. they're the ones people hear from. ordinarily it's very hard to mobilize the average citizen. people have jobs, families, other things to do. consuming is kind of a small part of what they do. they got to worry about where the income comes from. but the abuses in the financial area have been so egregious and the consequences so negative because as you pointed out it wasn't just that with some of these mortgages people were getting hurt. the whole economy suffered. i believe the public is now ready to speak out. i told my associates in the banking industry, the people i deal with, i think they're making a mistake. i've invited them to work with us. we want to do this consumer agency in a sensible way and make it work but if they are going to try and kill it then they will be outside the process and they'll lose. i don't have any doubt that the american people will do this. look, you've got people obviously watching tonight.
if every one of them calls his or her u.s. representative and senators and says don't you dare come home without a consumer product agency at the end of the year then we'll win. >> common wisdom in washington is when people slow something down that's the first step toward killing it. and the people who are against the consumer financial protection agency think they have succeeded in slowing it down. but just to be clear you think that the more time there is to debate this the more likely it will pass because people are -- >> absolutely. put it this way. we're sort of holding the fort here and the people attacking the fort were the ones on the ground but the reinforcements are coming. my advice to the banking industry was, look. i don't think you're all evil people. you have an important function in the economy. let's work together to make sure this works. too many of them said, no. we're going to beat it. i said fine. let's have this debate. i think it will be very healthy for this country to have the debate for the average person to speak out to his or her representative. this bill is getting stronger not weaker. it is going to get more
sensible. there are some things in it i thought were excessive. i worked very closely with elizabeth warren who is the very creative consumer advocate at harvard law school whose basic idea this was and, yeah. i believe that over the next couple months by the time we vote on this in september six weeks from now it's going to be a very strong, very effective piece of legislation. i think part of the problem people have, they don't understand how angry people are. you saw it last week. some of the people to whose rescue we had to go in the financial crisis -- we didn't want to rescue them. we had to rescue the economy and there was no way to rescue them, to rescue the economy without them. they started to go back to their old ways. i said, rachel, you're probably too young to remember the radio series but there was a radio series which began with "return with us now to the thrilling days of yester year when the lone ranger rode again." and i said, these aren't the lone rangers. these are the lone arrangers. they've arranged loans and
arranged it badly. if they think they're going to take us back to those thrilling days of yester year they're crazy. we're going to beat them. i'd rather work with them but if it becomes a fight we'll beat them. >> people who work at goldman sachs are supposedly going to make more money on average than they did in 2007 before the crisis. is there going to be action from congress? >> yes. tomorrow the committee i chair will vote on a piece of legislation to deal with executive compensation at two levels. first of all we're going to let the share holders vote on the pay. the problem is the boards of directors and the ceo are very closely connected. they kind of compete, you know, everybody wants his or her ceo to be above average. it's kind of like lake woe begone. we'll pass a law that says if you're a public corporation and you spend share holders money the share holders get to express their opinion on the pay. we call it say on pay. we believe that will be very effective. beyond that we're going to tell the securities and exchange
commission that they have to with regard to all financial institutions, investment banks, commercial banks, any financial institution, here's the problem. it's not just the amount they pay themselves but how they do it. they give themselves incentive bonuses and they work under the general principle of heads i win tails i break even. because if they take a big risk and it makes money they get some. if they take a big risk and it loses money then it was a nickel. well if that were the situation you were faced with, take a risk and you only get a benefit if it pays off and lose nothing if it doesn't you'd have to be pretty dumb not to take too much risk. that's how we got into trouble. there was this incentive to take too much risk. so we'll let share holders vote on the pay and give their opinion and we'll have the securities and exchange commission mandate, refuse to allow any compensation system that has these incentives to make money. in 2007, things went good they made money. 2008 bad year. they didn't lose any money.
now they want to go back to winning. you can't have the win, win, win, break even. there has to be a win-lose situation. >> congressman barney frank democrat of massachusetts these are complicated matters i feel i understand better after i talked to you about them. thanks for coming on the show tonight, sir. appreciate it. the new weird battle royale between george bush and dick cheney over who gets the less icky legacy rages on. after taking the fight to his former boss in the early round cheney is knocked back on his heels with reports that bush was protecting america from cheney the whole time. got that? bush protected us from his own administration. that's the argument they're asking us to swallow. a pulitzer prize winning author will join us next. announcer: welcome to the now network. currently, thousands of people
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the new york times reports that in 2002 vice president dick cheney argued that u.s. troops should be dispatched to buffalo, new york, to arrest terrorism suspects. why use the military and not just the police? the fbi like we normally do? well, in the words of the times the suggestion was mr. cheney's strategy for, quote, testing the constitution. even though active duty troops hadn't been deployed in the u.s. for law enforcement since the civil war, even though using our own military to arrest americans
on american soil is so blatantly illegal that it causes the posse blatantly illegal, it causes the act to bust in protest, he argued it would be worth a try to test it to see how it works out. "several top bush aides argued firmly against the proposal to use the military, and mr. bush ended up ordering the fbi to make the arrests in lackawanna." the case being made in the press right now by lots of unnamed former senior bush officials is not just dick cheney as bad guy, bush as good fwi, it's cheney as bad guy thankfully constrained by george w. bush the noted civil libertarian equal protection anti-coneyism protector of the rule of law. the george bush legacy project is full effect and the strategy is to blame cheney for all the worst stuff.
joining us now is ron suskind author of the book "the way of the world." do you think this is the george w. bush legacy project at word? >> it's two. the cheney legacy project versus the bush legacy project. it's an extraordinary thing to watch. it's like the ali-frazier fight. it's going on as long as cheney keeps it going. >> cheney is fighting his own battles, bush has unnamed senior bush officials fighting in his name. >> what happened here was a deniability strategy. they talk tlud all the key issues and bush unleashed his cheney. i don't want to know the details, i want to know the top line. then bush becomes deniable if there is an emergency of transparency. that is the model here. to sever basic issues of accountability that the
president is supposed to be constrained by. >> but to have dick cheney explicitly attacking the president for not pardoning scooter libby, closing guantanamo, torture regime, why is cheney overtly attacking bush now? >> cheney thinks he was right and that bush peeled back the extra legal stuff and cheney says, i'm right, you are wrong. the legacy of this period, the war on terror era, it's my legacy. i was driving the ship. my idea, mr. president, that's cheney's view, were the right ideas. the ones history will affirm is right. at this point you've got, i think, open warfare. a lot of this bush assort of the propitious constitutional guardian is just absurd. >> no one is above the rule of law, said bush. >> ashcroft was the person to say it. >> actually. makes me cough out the words "geneva conventions."
what about the administration considering sending in active duty troops, sending the army into an american suburb to arrest people. what do we know what was going on there? >> first off, the intelligence was thin on the lackawanna group. there was a lot of debate on what to do. these guys were sitting around doing not much of anything. much of their engagements looked like jihadist summer camp. cheney had his eye on the 9-11 one-year anniversary. he wanted a big show. a show of force, a show of resolve, a show of expanded power. that's part of what i understand was driving cheney's desire to send troops into downtown lackawanna. >> for the political anniversary, for the political resonate anniversary, let's test the constitution, show how much we've changed as a country because of the anniversary? >> cheney is a big believer in demonstration models. to shape expectations and shape other people's actions. this was part of that thinking.
now, it's interesting because up in lackawanna i talked to the folk once that case. the fbi guys were so conspicuous. everyone knew the fbi was watching the guys. the guys knew they were being watched. everyone was sitting doing nothing. at the end of the day there was little oefevidence on the lackawanna group. cheney said this is an opportunity to show our new-found resolve as to the powers of the president. >> thank god we had that great civil libertarian holding down the west wing. unbelievable. ron suskind, thank you. pulitzer prize-winning author. i read your book and loved it. thanks, ron. >> great to be here. >> a fun look back at the last ten months on sarah palin. and comic-con. so, what's the problem?
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