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tv   The Rachel Maddow Show  MSNBC  March 2, 2010 9:00pm-10:00pm EST

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for blanche lincoln's senate seat. we will get to this over the next hour, and there are many, many dogs on this show over the next hour. that's all coming up. we begin tonight with breaking news out of washington, the dramatic end to a day's long stand-off in the united states senate. a stand-off between senators hoping to extend unemployment benefits to hundreds of thousands of americans and one lone republican senator standing in their way. jim bunning of kentucky who turned himself into a one-man roadblock has finally caved. mr. bunning agreed to lift his solo objection to a benefit's bill that the senate has been attempting to pass for days now. his five-day objection forced thousands of federal workers to go without pay and put on ice hundreds of thousands of americans who are getting unemployment benefits. senator bunning's decision to
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relent that bill to go forward. this ends a strange chapter for what has been a strange career for senator bunning. it's not accurate to report on the turn of events in the senate without also reporting senator bunning has a bizarre behavior. we mean literally strange behavior, to the point where even his hometown newspaper has at times questioned his mental fitness, saying, is his increasiincrease ing belligerence an issue of something worse? that was from 2004. in a race that tightened late due in part to mr. bunning's increasing erratic behavior. during that campaign, his
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security detail became a campaign issue. the former major league baseball star now travels the blue grass state with a special police escort at taxpayer expense. his explanation? al qaeda maybe out to get him. there may be strangers among us. during that same campaign. senator bunning refused to debate his opponent unless certain ground rules were agreed to. the debate could not be aired live, had to be held in the afternoon, not the evening. no audience was allowed to attend. and his opponent was barred from using clips of the debate in his campaign ads. after settling all those rules, mr. bunning randomly skipped town and took part in the debate via satellite from rnc headquarters where to some it
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appeared he was reading off a teleprompter. he also went after his opponent in the race saying his opponent looked like one of saddam hussein's sons. he had to apologize for that. last february jim bunning was forced to apologize after predicting the death of ruth bader ginsburg. he said, ruth bader ginsburg has cancer, bad cancer, the kind you don't usually get better from. his subsequent written apology misspelled her name twice. during this latest controversy, senator bunning angrily swore at other senators on the floor of the senate when he was asked to drop his objection to the unemployment bill. he yelled out tough -- thing
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that sounds like snit. he unloaded on a group of reporters when he was trying to get on an elevator. i think it's germane to understanding jim bunning's odd behavior this week. he has in the past behaved oddly. it's just a fact. now he maintains that this instance of what he's done this week in the senate, is not just another bizarre instance of behavior, but he's stabbedi ist principle. >> we cannot add to the debt. if we can't find $10 billion to pay for something that we all support, we will never pay for anything on the floor of this u.s. senate. >> mr. bunning claims he's standing on principle right now. that he won't support anything that wasn't paid for, that he
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won't support anything that would add to the national debt. accept for all of the things that jim bunning has voted for in just the last few years, that heaps billions of dollars on to the national debt like the 2008 war supplemental bill that he voted for, which wasn't paid for, and like this legislation extended unemployment benefits for out of work americans. or the 2003 extension of unemployment benefits that weren't paid for, but which senator bunning voted for anyway. he was quite proud of that vote, he put out this press release the next day that said, bunning touts extended benefits for kentucky's unemployment. senator bun ago patiently had no concerns then that the benefits he had just voted for weren't paid for. in 2001, senator bunning voted for the first round of bush tax cuts that weren't paid for. that same year he voted for the medicare part d prescription drug benefit that wasn't paid
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for. and if senator bunning is truly concerned about the senate paying for things they passed, he really is standing on a principle that's actually his principle here, you would think he would have voted in favor of the senate adopting pay go rules. pay as you go rules, earlier this year, rules that state that everything has to be paid for. but alas mr. bunning voted no on that too. this was not a matter of principle here. if it was, it's a brand new principle that jim bunning had never met before this week. you have to pay for everything that you vote for is not something in a has governed his behavior in the past. it does not explain what he has just done, but whatever he's just done, and whatever explains it, it has brought out some politically embarrassing truths about what some of his colleagues believe about those who have fallen on hard times. jon kyl has distinguished himself this week by defending jim bunning's decision to block unemployment benefits on
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substance. >> if anything, continuing to pay people unemployment compensation is a disincentive for them to seek new work. >> you know, those lousy unemployed people lazing around, loving being unemployment. jim bunning, you're a hero for cutting them off without any rational explanation whatsoever. the jim bunning stand-off in the united states senate has ended now. it's been an important reminder about not only where jim bunning's coming from, but who's standing right there with him too. joining us now is chris hayes, thanks for joining us, appreciate your time. >> of course, rachel, good to be here. can we tell why senator bunning decided to cave on this tonight? >> well, basically, what happened was that harry reid leaked at role call that they were going to go through and make him filibuster. this is something people always want democrats make republicans
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do. he may have had demands, but he would have had to talk the whole time, and the moment he got up to leave the chamber, if someone didn't stand in for him, they would have been able to get unanimous consent. so basically, the democratic leadership called his bluff, is the short answer. >> obviously, now that they have beaten him, tonight this is over, the immediate impact of people who have not been getting unemployment extension will get them, the furloughs will be over, all of the other people who were really financially hurt by this will hopefully be made hole in terms of their finances. politically, what's going to be the impact of this? does this get chalked up as senate gridlock or whoa! jim bunning's a weird guy? >> both of those. people have been documenting on the internet this is senate gridlock. which, of course due to jim bung and the republican party for what they did, making sure
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people didn't get their unemployment checks. the entire incident should stand at this is the united states senate. if we had majority rule in this body, jim bunning could have said, i want this amendment to be paid for out of stimulus funds. it's a terrible idea, but maybe he could have gotten it passed. it's no way to run a legislative body, this kind of mini-crisis should be an object lesson in just what's wrong with the u.s. senate and the tarantino that dominates it. >> thank you for using the tarantino in a sentence. god bless you. on the issue of the senate being the problem, not just the venue in which problems are discussed. the president tomorrow is going to be talking about health reform. mostly what he's going to be talking about, what people are
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excited to be hearing about is how health reform is going to get through the broken u.s. senate. do you expect that this bunning incident is going to be one of the exhibit that the president uses to talk about how things are broken? >> it should be. for some reason they're extremely receipt seticent aboug someone out. i would be very very surprised if the president actually made explicit reference to this, i think he should, because it really does show how broken they are. if one senator can stop people from getting their unemployment checks, think how hard it is to pass health care legislation. if jim bunning can do something like this entirely none controversial, there's no way to get this through unless we get an up or down vote. >> jon kyl's comments seem important to me here, because it's not -- jon kyl weighed in not just by saying jeff sessions
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and john cornyn did, he weighed in on the substance and said that, you know, unemployment benefits are a bad idea because they're a disincsecentive for people working, which is like telling people it's going to rain because they're all wet. republicans want to get rid of unemployment, cobra, medicare, social security. is that going to be the narrative for democrats? >> i really really hope so. you have rand paul, the republican candidate and the tea party hero, and son of ron paul holding a rally outside jim bunning's office saying, go jim bunning. you have key party leaders quoted in the paper saying, yes, this is what we stand for, this is what the tea party movement that takes over the republican party stands for. they don't want you to get unemployment insurance, that is
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a view that is wildly outside the mainstream of america, and its incumbent upon democrats and progressives to make that connection to people. this is what this movement that's powering the republican party means, and it's really really out there. >> it's not just random anger, they actually have an agenda. if you vote for that agenda, this is what you're going to get. u three stars, thank you, chris. >> thank you. on most days, jim bunning's antics in the senate would place him squarely atop the senatorial shame podium. he got stiff competition today from orrin hatch, whose opinion piece in "the washington post" about how to pass health reform is so deeply misleading and hypocritical, i demand a runoff for the gold medal of legislative runoff today.
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steam will actually come out of my ears. the movement toward a public option, which don't forget passed the house and got traded away in the senate. public option may be back because of a leader who is responsible for moving this forward, and his name is michael bennett. he's put this back on the agenda in a big way, he joins us for "the interview" tonight.
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compartment debra medina. with a whopping 2% of the vote counted, governor perry is leading with 53%, governor hutchison has 30%. if no one wins by a clear majority, there will be a runoff election on april 13th. the winner of that republican race will face bill white in november. "the associated press" is declaring that bill white has defeated his primary challenger today. as having to decide to go for it? at the hartford, we help businesses of all kinds... feel confident doing what they do best. by protecting your business, your property, your people. you've counted on us for 200 years. let's embrace tomorrow. and with the hartford behind you, achieve what's ahead of you. ♪ achieve what's ahead of you. there's a home by the sea somewhere in america... there's a home by the sea powered by the wind on the plains.
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health reform is going to pass. it's going to pass. if passed the house before christmas, it passed the senate
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on christmas eve with 60 votes. the next step is to bridge the differences between the two bills so the president can get something on his desk to sign. first the house will pass the senate version of the bill, and then there will be a small package of tweaks to that bill that will be passed by democrats under majority rule. all appearances are, it's going to happen. there are things the republicans can do to yell and scream about it. there are ways to slow it duown. and they can scream about it, but it's going to happen. all that's left is to procedurally see is it through. and, of course, to pop the popcorn and watch the people opposed to health reform lose their minds. over the fact that this is one that they have lost. for example, senator charles grassley, the republican point person in the senate on health reform has started denouncing his own proposal for a mandate that people buy insurance. it's charles grassley's own idea which he's now denouncing as
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unconstitutional. senator grassley taking a brave stance against himself, and senator lamar alexander, they've been trying to elevate into a prominent position on health reform since maybe senator grassley needs some help. lamar alexander is denouncing the use of reconciliation -- he's denouncing health reform as a political come kazdy mission. a mission that should be noted that senator alexander has flown many, many times. it's amazing that he's still around to be so hypocritical after flying all those kamikaze missions. then there's john mccain who's threatening to change reconciliation rules. john mccain's own record of voting yes on those types of votes that he now wants to ban is not holding the senator back from taking this strong stance
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against his own behavior. lamar alexander, chuck grassley, john mccain, these are not n newbies, these are guys that have been around the block. they're such respected respectable members of the political establishment. i thought these were the people who we're supposed to take seriously, and yet they're just trying to get away with really really really blatant hypocrisy on this subject. i don't get it. do they think they're so respected, they're so mainstream that no one's going to fact check them? they're above that? take another example, senator orrin hatch of utah has just publiced an op ed in the washington post that has so many falsehoods in it that made me wonder if there's a deal or something, if you're a united states senator who's been in office for 33 years like orrin hatch has, you just don't get fact checked any more in the washington post.
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they agree to let you print whatever you want. is that the rule? if that isn't the rule, how else due explain this? the use of reconciliation to jam through the legislation against the will of the american people would be unprecedented in scope, and the havoc would threaten our system of checks and balances, corrode the legislative process, and damage the prospects of bipartisanship. doesn't it sound horrible, this reconciliation thing? senator orrin hatch makes it sound horrible. senator orrin hatch who voted for a reconciliation bill in 1989, 1995, 1996, 1997 and a second time in 1997 and again in 1999 and in 2000, and in 2001 and 2003 and 2005, and again in 2005 and again in 2007. now he says that doing what he's done all those times would wreak havoc -- orrin hatch goes on to
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admit that yes, both parties have used the process, he says, but only when the bills in question stuck close to dealing with the budget. in insubstances in which other substantive legislation was included, the legislation had significant bipartisan support. that is a total utter complete 100% unambiguous lie. it is a lie. it is not the truth. i -- maybe i'm naive, i find it hard to believe they can get away with stuff like this. in 2003, republicans used reconciliation to get the bush tax cuts passed, tax cuts that explodesed the deficit. they did not get significant bipartisan support for that, they passed it with 50 votes. dick cheney had to come in and break the tie to give them 51. two years later, another
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reconciliation vote on medicaid. they only got 52 votes for that one. significant bipartisan support. when orrin hatch says, hey, we never use reconciliation when the vote was going to be close, that would be unprecedented. he is not telling the truth, is a lie. health reform passed the senate by 60 votes, passed the house by a majority, and now democrats are going to pass the last fixes to align the two bills using reconciliation. republicans used reconciliation a lot, for major legislation. they did it all the time, and they're now lying about that record. orrin hatch in particular, has been there voting with them, while they did it, just about every single time. and now orrin hatch is lying about that in the washington post, and the washington post is just printing the lying. who knows, maybe they'll run a correction. but meanwhile, chuck grassley, lamar alexander, john mccain, orrin hatch, all these guys are
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taking brave stands in public against their own positions, against their own voting records, against their own purported beliefs. it's one thing to not want health reform, to not want the other party to get a legislative win. you don't want them to be seen as addressing the problems of the country, trying to help people. it's one thing to try to stop it, it's another thing to expect us to suspend disbelief while you pretend you're doing this for principled reason. at this point you're a guy on a loud speaker scolding us to keep our voices down, you're a family values, chastity lecturing lecher, you're a hypocrite, you're not making serious arguments and do you not believe what you're saying, it's disproven by your record. in the case of orrin hatch, you are flat out lying about the history of the tactic that democrats are going to use to pass health reform. that -- doing that, lying about what's been done, lying about
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the record, lying about this tactic is not actually a substitute for making this argument against health reform. for these established, supposedly mainstream senators to try to get away with this is an insult to everyone they're addressing and to the media in particular. and for us all to just let this slide and call it politics is to surrender to cynicism profoundly. listen, health reform's going to pass, chuck grassley, lamar alexander, john mccain, orrin hatch, you can't stop it. you can't stop health reform. you tried, but you can't. you can stop embarrassing yourselves with the blatant h hypocrisy and the lying. come on, get serious. the country needs real debate. the country needs real opposition, the country needs you guys to grow up here. (announcer) regular kool-aid. goes almost three times further than soda. kool aid. delivering more smiles per gallon.
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president obama is tomorrow expected to make clear he wants democrats to use budget reconciliation rules to get around the republican filibuster in order to pass health reform. that means it will take 50 votes, the majority to pass the final tweaks to the bill, not 60. today the president made a point of publicly embracing a handful of republican ideas for health reform, in a letter to house and senate leaders, the president highlighted four specific gop proposals he's interested in including in health reform, including tom coburn's idea of
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using undercover agents to investigate fraud and abuse by health providers in federal programs like medicare and medicaid. five, he wants five. also, the president endorsed helping states come up with different ways to resolve medical malpractice complaints. an idea that the president says has been included in bills sponsored by five republicans. increasing reimbursements to doctors who treat medicare patients. as well as expanding health savingings accounts. the response from the republican leadership to the president endorsing all of these ideas was roughly -- they just essentially gave him a raspberry. it's called not taking yes for an answer. mitch mcconnell firing off a letter to the president in which
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he demanded that democrats scrap the health reform bills that have passed both houses of congress, even if they are changed to include these republican ideas that the president is endorsing. senator mcconnell also, of course, denouncing the idea that democrats use budget reconciliation rules to pass reform with a simple majority in order to get around the republican filibuster. meanwhile, not even does it seem clear that health reform is going to be passed, it also seems possible that what passes by reconciliation, may include the what's popular. the effort to put the public option back into the senate bill has followed a letter written last month calling for a simple majority vote calling for the public option in the senate. the letter was initially made public with just four signatures on it. those of senator michael bennett of colorado, jeff merkley of ohio.
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the latest cosigners are mark udall, colorado's other senator. bob casey of pennsylvania, ron widen of oregon and ted kaufmann of delaware. that brings the grand total after just two weeks to 34. 34 senators are now publicly calling for a return of the public option by a means by which it really could be achieved. 34 down, 16 to go. the interview tonight is with the freshman senator who wrote that letter about the public option. senator michael bennett of colorado. senator bennett thank you very much for coming on the show. >> thanks for having me, rachel. >> what was your goal when you decided to write this letter? was it to get 50 senators to sign on. >> i think that would be great. the other thing was, it was happening at a time when i think there was a view from some of the special interests in washington that health care was dead. that view being reflected by the way, and notices to policyholders in california and other places raising rates by
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40%, 25 and 30%. and i thought it was important to remind people that we're not dead yet. >> there's also a public option revival letter that's circulating on the house side, that effort being led by shelly and jared pole is from colorado. how important was jared polis in your decision to take part in the senate? >> he's a great guy, he called me and told me he had done the letter, it sounded like a great idea to me, and we started circulating it. >> you told the colorado paper, the durango herald that health reform shouldn't hinge on the public option even though you said you supported it. i know you told "the denver post" you didn't think the public option could pass, you told the durango paper you didn't want to use it to draw a line in the sand on health reform. do you feel more strongly about it now than you did then? >> i don't think anybody's got a monopoly on wisdom on any of this stuff, but i think the
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american people are looking for us, and certainly the people for colorado are looking for us to stop playing these ridiculous political games, and actually start to solve the problems that they're facing every single day of their lives. one of the great ironies to me about this debate is that the people that are defending the current system and saying that somehow this is a takeover of our health care system are defending a system that every day is throwing thousands of people off private insurance, and they're ending up in one of two places, if they're poor enough, they're ending up on medicaid, a public plan. if they're not poor enough, they're ending up in the emergency room, getting uncompensated care that all of the taxpayers are paying for and policyholders are paying for. they're the ones that are defending a government takeover of health care, it's just the least expensive version imaginable. we have to keep fighting this to tell a story on behalf of the american people that says, it's time to do something different.
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>> how does the public option fit into that, in terms of the big picture of the -- what you describe as the unwarranted criticism from the right that this is some sort of takeover, the critics on the democratic side -- how does that fit with what government's trying to do here? >> i think it's important for two reasons, one it injects competition into the system, where too many parts of our country there is none, and then there's the more practical reason, people are saying to me in my state, they're saying, michael, if you're going to require us to have health insurance, then i'd like to have the broadest array of options to choose from for my family. let me decide what the right thing for my family is as the father of three little girls, would i like the ability to make that decision myself. and fortunately, i don't need to, because i'm on a public option, just like all the people sitting around the table the other day at the white house, but for our families, if you're
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going to require them to have insurance, they want to have all the choices, i think it is very important. i also think there are other components of health care reform that are enormously important when it comes to costs, and when it comes to coverage. and if there's a combination of things that can help cover more americans, drive down our costs, increase our quality, i'm all ears to everybody's ideas, but i think the public option is one of the best ideas we've had so far. >> i should also ask you about something we've just learned about -- it's just happened in the last few minutes. the bill that was held up by senator bunning all week to dramatic and strange effect finally passed, overwhelmingly, 78-19. what do you make of senator bunning's actions here? what happened? >> well, that's a real nail biter, isn't it? after a week of holding up the work of the senate, i can't explain what he was doing, it's not the first time this has happened.
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we had another vote to extend unemployment insurance in the worst recession since the great depression. 10% unemployment rate and people on average have been unemployed longer than ever. we tried to extend unemployment, it could have tainan afternoon instead it took five weeks and the vote was 97-0 or 98-0, and we've been through another week like this, and all i can say is that this place -- i've been here for a year, and it does feel a lot like alice in wonderland, it doesn't make any sense. >> i understand you're going to announce a wide ranging plan for congressional reforms, including some filibuster reforms. you want a sneak preview of any of those for us? >> i think having things like the ability to do holds anonymously, where senators don't need to step up in front of the american people and say, i'm the person that's holding up the nomination or a piece of legislation, i think we should
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get rid of that, we should think very seriously about how to reduce the thresholds that are required when it's clear that delay is the only thing that's happening, and i think finally, that there's some interesting ideas about how to try, try to create some bipartisan effort around here, around the filibuster, tomorrow i'll be talking about that and some other reforms, including trying to make sure that members of congress are banned from ever being lobbyists in washington. >> senator michael bennett of colorado, a democrat of colorado, we look forward to that announcement tomorrow, and i thank you for joining us tonight. >> thanks for having me, rachel. the 2010 elections turns out are this weekend in iraq. remember iraq? my pal g.q. reporter michael hastings will join us in a few moments. and in the department of warmer, fuzzier, louder news, we have the results of our does your dog bark at the
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in some ways it seems like the democratic party doesn't know what hit it. last night tim cane joined us and told us he had just heard the news. >> i just learned within the last couple hours about the situation in arkansas and haven't really dug into that one very much. >> now, he's a busy man, he has loots of responsibilities and to be fair, we did not book him to talk about the race in arkansas, there's no reason he should have been super familiar with mr. halter's announcement he would primary blanche lincoln, but thousands of liberals across the country were super familiar with mr. halter's announcement by the time that show aired and liberals have already introduced the newly minted candidate to their wallet. they hope to raise $500,000 for mr. halter in a week, that goal was blown out of the water in less than a day.
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now they upped the ante. they've doubled their goal to $1 million of which they've raised $920,000 as of an hour ago. actblue has continued to rake in the dough for halter. some unions have already pledged $3 million to his campaign. why aregressives so generous? halter supports health care for all. bill halter will be a guest on this show tomorrow, as i said last night, we have invited senator lincoln to join us a number of times she's never said yes. today we spoke to her spokesperson and we're hoping to work out a date soon. we would like to have you senator lincoln, really 37 (troops) omnaris! to the nose. (general) omnaris works differently than many other allergy medications.
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today the twitter feed from nbc's chief foreign correspondent richard engel made for some pretty interesting reading, iraq flew in from imam,
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no spiral cork screw landing. iraq just saw a parking lot on a u.s. base. i've seen it before filled with american humvees, now it's filled with suvs of security companies. in a moment, we'll be talking with michael hastings who is on his way to iraq to cover the elections there. he's been in and out of iraq lately. beyond the headlines about the election, the big news about iraq today is that the contractor kbr, which used to be part used to be part of halliburton got a new contract for work in iraq, a contract that could be worth as much as $2.8 billion. you'll recall that kbr also had the contract to do electrical work on living quarters. green beret staff sergeant bryan mayseth was killed by electrocution by taking a shower in living quarters made by them. 17 other deaths of service personnel by electrocution were investigated concerning that
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contract in iraq. in fact the hometown news outlets reported thursday that kbr, that the company tied to his electrocution death, kbr, would not be getting a $25 million bonus payment from the government but gep get this. the very next day on friday, for get that piddling $25 million penalty. the next day they were told they're getting a brand new $2.8 billion deal. i love the smell of accountability in the morning. joining us now is michael hastings. he's covering the elections this weekend for "gq." he's been in and out of iraq a lot recently. his book "i left my love in baghdad" is coming out. as you head back to iraq -- tomorrow? >> tomorrow, yeah. >> do you feel like these elections is the first time iraq is back on the radar screen? >> besides "the hurt locker" basically but i think it's significant now that -- the debate about iraq has moved from
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a policy debate to how we're going to remember iraq and what narrative and legacy the united states leaves behind when they leave. i think even these elections are almost just a blip compared to the news in afghanistan. so, yeah, i would definitely say that iraq has fallen off the radar and there's a collective desire i think we have as a country to put it behind us. >> when you are in iraq these days, what's the role? what's the function that you can perceive of the 110,000 u.s. troops that are still there? >> they're very bored. that he sitting around on bases complaining about how bored they are for the most part. they will probably be busy these next couple of days obviously as they help the iraqis prepare for the election. but essentially, they're waiting to go home as well. >> in terms of the security challenges that still plague iraq -- not just political challenges but the big bombings that keep happening -- u.s. troops are not playing a role in security in terms of preventing that from happening. >> exactly. this is the issue now with security.
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why has iraq fallen out of the headlines? because americans aren't getting killed. why not? they're not the targets anymore and they're also staying on their bases quite a bit. so the security challenges are all the attacks have been aimed at the iraqi government. and these are significant attacks. massive car bombings. oklahoma city style bombings every couple of months in the capital city. there's been a rash of political assassinations, detentions, politically motivated detentions. kidnappings have increased recently as well. members of the independent election committee have been kidnapped and targeted for assassination as well. >> one of the things that's happened that has made the inside the newspaper headlines here is that a number of candidates, hundreds -- dozens of candidates suddenly disqualified from running in these elections this mornth. what happened there? who done it? >> the force behind the scenes there was ahmad chalabi, the man once the cia pentagon favorite who sold the weapons of mass destruction information or passed off the weapons of mass destruction information, the
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fake information, and essentially the americans are saying chalabi under orders from iran is trying to target secular candidates and sunni candidates. this is the most troubling sign for the future of iraqi democracy because american officials will say maybe the war is a mistake but iraq is on the path to a democratic future. i would be highly skeptical of that argument. what we're seeing now is the shiite-dominated islamist government in baghdad consolidate its power. and they're doing this by any means necessary. and one of the ways they're doing this is to legally take out their political opponents. >> you wrote "a true slant" recently. iraq will have very little resemblance of any of the imagined u.s. policy goals that iraqis and americans were asked to sacrifice their lives for. is that why, because we're not -- there's no western recognizable democracy taking shape here? >> i think -- you could point to signs that there are some
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recognizable sort of trappings of democracy. but, yeah, i don't think -- i think what we're going to see this weekend and the argument i'm making is that this could be iraq's last election. essentially sort of the final democratic gasp iraq has, the final purple-fingered farewell salute before falling into the familiar pattern of totalitarianism. i'm sitting in the election commission building speaking to an iraqi election official and this official tells me that if saddam hussein was on the ballot today, i would vote for saddam hussein. then she went on to say, 99% of the people in this office would vote for saddam hussein. and that, i think, gives a picture of what sort of sentiment iraqis have about the future of their country. they actually want a dictator back. >> michael hastings contributor to "gq" magazine author of "i lost my love in baghdad" a modern war story just out in paperback and i personally highly recommend.
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good luck in baghdad. coming up on "countdown" congressman anthony wiener on the way forward in health reform. next on this show why dogs bark at the "law & order" theme music. [ male announcer ] if you've had a heart attack caused by a completely blocked artery, another heart attack could be lurking, waiting to strike. a heart attack caused by a clot, one that could be fatal. but plavix helps save lives. plavix, taken with other heart medicines, goes beyond what other heart medicines do alone, to provide greater protection against heart attack or stroke and even death, by helping to keep blood platelets from sticking together and forming clots. ask your doctor about plavix, protection that helps save lives. [ female announcer ] people with stomach ulcers or other conditions that cause bleeding should not use plavix. taking plavix alone or with some other medicines, including aspirin, may increase bleeding risk, so tell your doctor when planning surgery. certain genetic factors and some medicines, such as prilosec, may affect how plavix works. tell your doctor all the medicines you take, including aspirin, especially if you've had a stroke. if fever, unexplained weakness or confusion develops,
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we've spent more than a week trying to answer a burning question first poised by our friends at boingboing.net. why do some dogs howl at the theme to "law & order." one viewer a musician say dogs imitate tones in their vocal range. if you wa-wa bend the notes. another that has to do with a beautifully complex idea known as subjective tones and the missing fundamental effect. we'll post stuff about that at our web page so you can try those yourself. then there was evidence you sent in across america of the many, many things that your dogs howl
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at. we've done nothing else in the office except watch the videos and eat cupcakes since you started sending them in. ♪ [ dogs howling ] ♪ 800-588 -- [ dogs howling ] ♪ 800-588 ♪ [ dogs howling ] >> this is the colbert report.
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♪ [ dog howling ] >> i do exactly the same thing! if watching those dogs makes you feel like you just need more, we've got a page full of them online. you can watch them all day. i do. that does it for us tonight. we will see you again tomorrow night. "countdown" starts right now. have a good one. thanks for joining us. which of these stories will you be talking about tomorrow, the bunning block? after days of obstruction, a deal is reached. the breaking news from washington, the republican senator is said to be ending his quest to block the extension of unemployment benefits. this after an intense day of criticism from democrats and republicans. >> if there were ever an emergency, this is it. >> i hope that we can act together for the american people. >> tonight the details of the

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