tv The Rachel Maddow Show MSNBC March 3, 2011 12:00am-1:00am EST
>> these are the women that started the housewives. it is a whole lot of blonde from orange county. i am going to be live afterwards on watch what happens live as i always am. >> that's a point in television. i have to skip lockup this week. andy cohen, thanks for joining us. >> thanks. >> good luck with the premier. you can have the last word online at our blog. "the rachel maddow show" is up next. good evening, rachel. >> lawrence, i am so turning you in for saying you're going to skip lockup. >> don't. it is my secret. that's my secret. >> i will see if i can get you excused. thank you, lawrence. and thank you at home for staying with us the next hour. if you were king for the day, if
you got to make the decisions in this country and wanted to bring down the deficit, would you raise taxes on people making more than a million dollars a year? would you let the bush tax cuts expire for the richest people in the country? would you get rid of the subsidies, tax breaks for oil and gas companies? would you do all those things? really, are you that liberal that you would do all those things? if you are that liberal that you would do all of those things, then you are an average american. the support for these policies, look at this. the support for these policies is the support you get for the contention that puppies are cute. 81% of the country supports raising taxes on millionaires to close the deficit. 81%. if you look at the policies that americans say they support, then we are the soviet republic of ameristan. if you don't say whether it is a conservative or liberal idea, if
you don't say who is proposing it or where the idea is coming from, big majorities of americans support really, really liberal economic policies. more liberal policies that are being supported with democratic majorities in washington. these are from the new nbc news "the wall street journal" poll that came out today. same poll asked nationwide whether or not people oppose or support what governor scott walker is doing in wisconsin. 77% of people, 77% of people in the country say that unions should be able to hold onto what the republicans in wisconsin are trying to take away from them. 77% of americans are for public sector collective bargaining rights. the american people turns out are a bunch of commie pink oh libs, hip east. kumbaya. the same group of people that says this is what they believe
in in terms of policy, the same group of people that believes this, mostly call themselves conservatives. 36% of people in this nbc news poll, in this poll with these numbers, identifies themselves as conservatives. only 24% identify as liberal. we like to use the word conservative. you keep using this word. i do not think it means what you think it means. how can you simultaneously be a country that believes in all of this stuff to this degree and be a country that calls itself conservative. you really can't be, not if the word conservative has any meaning. but the word conservative, the whole concept of conservatism has been treated to an expensive rebranding campaign over the last generation or so, and that's what it's thought of. people that don't believe in conservative ideas at all think that they do, because they like the idea of calling themselves conservative. in reality, in terms of real
ideas, it is economic pop lichl that's popular. policies that people that have to work for think are popular. people that demonize those that work for a living are not popular. what's happening in wisconsin is really, really unpopular. republicans appear to be shocked by that. they picked this fight in wisconsin because they thought they were going to win it and thought they were going to national liez it. thought it would be part of the post bush, post mccain branding. they are at the point of losing, and losing in a way nobody will be proud of. they are scraping the bottom of the barrel for the most desperate tactics they can think of to win. today, scott walker and the republicans came up with some new ideas how to ratchet up pressure on democrats preventing them from passing the union stripping thing. in addition to stuff like cutting democrats' pay and cutting their staffers' access to the copy machine, republicans today move to zero out their office budget. move to fine them $100 a day.
moved to remove their parking privileges. seriously? yes, their parking privileges. that's the ground of which the republicans are trying to win. that's the ground on which republicans are left to fight this out in wisconsin. that's what they have to stand on. republicans have gotten to the bottom of the barrel in terms of what they can do, and their support has disintegrated. as we talked about earlier, if the gubernatorial election were held in wisconsin today, not only would walker lose, but the state is evenly divided on whether they want to recall him out of office. republican state senators that are supporting scott walker on this are facing their own recall drives. the conservative leaning milwaukee journal sentinel, which endorsed scott walker for governor, today that paper came out against what walker and the republicans are doing with this union stripping bill. and listen to this. this is a republican state senator from wisconsin on a
wisconsin radio station today. listen to what he had to say about what his own party is doing now. this is amazing. >> all i know is we're not talking, we're wasting valuable time about collective bargaining, which i don't ever remember being a part of last election's discussion whatsoever. most of all, you know, to me this looks like the classic overreach. >> the classic overreach, this republican state senator calls what his own party is doing. nationally, the american people are against what governor walker and the republicans are doing. statewide in wisconsin, the people also appear to be against it. among even some elected republicans in conservative leaning media that previously supported this walker guy in wisconsin, they are against it now, too. they are down to the most desperate measures. down to parking spaces. they say they won't negotiate.
they are hemorrhaging support to the point they may get recalled from office. but you know who does support scott walker and the republicans trying to strip union rights and isn't afraid to say so? one of the koch brothers, a real one, not a fake one. the billionaire koch brothers are not from wisconsin. they own a large oil and chemical company, however. charles koch wrote in the "the wall street journal" that he is on scott walker's side. a bit of an anti-climax and in strucktive thing why this is a national story. there are two sides in this fight. there is the side that believes in this, there's a side that believes in the populist economic policies. then there's a few guys like david and charles koch and the multi billion oil and chemical conglomerate they inherited from their dad. it is a mismatch between the two sides. it is the upper crust versus the middle class. the few that own the company versus the number that work for the company. it is the people that write the paychecks versus those that cash the paychecks. the economic elite versus the
average person. what the elite lack in terms of numbers of people they makeup for in leverage in terms of the amount of money they can spend to advocate for their side. that split from these two sides. aside from social issues, issues of political style, that's the reason there are two different political parties in the united states of america. the chamber of commerce spent more money in last year's election than any other outside spending group. they put 93% of their chamber of commerce donations towards republican candidates. there are two sides. and because the democratic side is inherently the one with more people continue, and this is a democracy, and it is one person, one vote, the republican side in order to compete with that have to use money to leverage as many votes as they can. their side represents the interest of fewer people. that's where they found social issues and abortion and gay rights and religion and all of these other things to come in
handy. there's an economic split between the two parties, between democrats and republicans, but more people are on the democratic side of that economic split, almost by definition. so republicans have had to use noneconomic conditions to get people to vote with the economic elite and against their own economic interest. the other way this works is this. to the extent that democrats embrace their role as standing for the average american, standing for the rights of people that work for a living, to the extent democrats embrace that, people that work for a living and the institutions that represent them, and working people, and poor people, they have over the years pushed the democratic party to endorse pop u list policies, to endorse stuff that helps regular working people. stuff like minimum wage loss, expanded health coverage, workplace regulation, stuff like responsible tax laws that don't soak poor people. endorsing those policies, has the happy progressive side effect of paying real political
dividends for the democratic party. that works for democrats at the polls. there's nothing i have seen that helps democratic chances all the way down the ticket than putting something like minimum wage law on the ballot. economic populism is really popular. people really like these policies. even people that call themselves conservatives like these policies. we never talk about the differences between the parties like this. it seems old school, seems too big picture to acknowledge. the reason there are two different major parties in america is because one of the parties, the republican party, represents the interest of a comparatively smaller number of people. they decided to represent the interest of corporations. you can see it in how the elections are funded. they have decided to represent the interests of people like the koch brothers that own the corporations. the republican party represents those economic elite. and on the other side, the democratic party represents a
much greater number of people, the nonelite, everybody that has to work for a living. that's the reason there are two different parties, that's the reason the two parties exist. and to the extent that the democratic party embraces that and supports policies that make it clear where they stand, they stand for working americans to the extent that democrats do that, it helps the democratic party. and to the extent that the democratic party forgets that and gets away from it, starts chasing corporate money as well at the expense of its base constituency, not only is there less reason for the two parties to exist in this country, but the democratic party is sewing the seeds of its own demise. as the fortune cookie says. the reason democrats are tempted to be more like republicans, to chase corporate interest, to give up on what makes them different from republicans is because they tend to forget that economic populism is so popular. they forget numbers like this. they forget this is what this
country believes in. and now scott walker and the great republican overreach of 2011 has served to remind them. it has reconnected the democratic party with its reason for existing. scott walker is looking at being recalled as governor in wisconsin. what's happening on the other side? the progressive group act blue put out a call for people to support the wisconsin senators that fled the state to stop walker and republicans from what they are doing. with that call they raised more than $540,000 for state senators. aflcio are reveling. the president saying we've never seen the incredible solidarity we are seeing now. united mine workers quoted by the associated press, people are saying this is a struggle i want to be part of, this is our moment. a group called progressive change campaign committee put out the most pointed stand with the people that work for a living ad we have seen in a very long time. they asked for support online to keep it running.
within eight hours raised $145,000. >> governor walker and the republicans just gave over $100 million in tax cuts to corporations, and now they're asking teachers and nurses to pay for it, and attacking workers' rights to negotiate for fair benefits. >> i am just a secretary. this bill that walker is proposing is going to cost me over $3,000 a year. >> this is republican class warfare, an attack on the middle class. this is a battle and we need to win. >> in washington, democrats like ohio congressman tim ryan find themselves looking into cspan cameras and making this kind of case for what the democratic party stands for. >> the issue that we are talking about in ohio, in wisconsin is an issue of respect for the average worker in the united states of america. the issue is are we going to respect work in the united states of america. are we going to respect the
workers in the united states of america while all these fat cats have gotten off scott free. and we turn around and tell the workers in ohio and wisconsin and indiana and the big ten conference, you got to take the hit. it's unfair and it's disrespectful and it is not an american value. [ applause ] >> when is the last time you heard democrats talking like that in congress? democrats are placing themselves on the side of americans who have to work for a living and against the corporate interest and political party those corporate interests pay for who are trying to strip them of their rights. this is happening among democrats at the state level, right? the wisconsin 14, the wisconsin state senators have been out of the state 14 days now. they show no signs of wavering. in indiana, indiana, land of democrats like evan by, state democrats did what the wisconsin democrats did. in indiana, they fled the state. once they fled the state,
once the democrats fled the states, the republicans caved, and then the democrats decided to stay out of the state in opposition to privatizing the state school system, too. indiana, indiana, indiana. indiana and wisconsin democrats have galvanized to take the kind of stand and show the kind of spine that the democratic base has frankly been weeping for my entire adult life. in the state, democrats are remembering now that there's a reason there are two parties in this country. remembering why the democratic party is not the republican party. remembering that the democratic party stands for people who work for a living. stands for the kinds of economic pop lichl that are wildly popular in the united states of america, even when people call themselves conservatives. in the state, in the midwest, in places like wisconsin and indiana and ohio, the democratic party is rediscovering its soul, remembering why it exists. no national democrats remember
that, too. >> understand this. if american workers are being denied their right to organ collectively barring on when i am in the white house, i will put on comfortable shoes myself. i will walk that picket line as president of the united states of america because workers deserve to know that somebody's standing in their corner. >> that was candidate barack obama in 2007. there's no picket line in wisconsin, but those rights are certainly being stripped. what's happening in wisconsin is galvanizing the democratic party in the state and reconnecting democrats to what great majorities of americans believe. economic populism. interest of people that work for a living. republicans picked the wrong fight here. they are isolated, defensive and
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to in ohio the they voted to strip union rights. the measure passed 17-16, even though six republicans jumped ship and voted with democrats to protect the unions. in ohio, democrats couldn't block a quorum, so they didn't have the option that wisconsin democrats had of stopping the bill by leaving the state. the ohio union stripping measure heads to the assembly there, where republicans will probably pass it there, too. that said, protests in the streets in ohio, and wild unpopularity of what republicans are doing, and republican defections on this do not make passage a sure thing. and if it does pass, democrats say it will be repealed by public vote this november. for anyone concerned about ohio's budget which is why republicans say they are attacking unions there, one part of the hole in ohio's budget is because a few years ago the state eliminated income taxes for corporations, which would
have been paid to the state. so now, of course, there's a crisis in the budget and that's a reason to kill the unions? "the new york times" printed how former secretary of state bruner explained it on her facebook page. a dozen cookies are put in front of a ceo. a union member, and a tea partier. the ceo stakes 11. then he says to the tea partier, that union guy wants yours we're america's natural gas. and here's what we did today in homes all across america: we created the electricity that powered the alarm clocks and brewed the coffee. we heated the bathwater and gave kelly a cleaner ride to school. cooked the cube steaks and steamed the veggies. entertained dad, and mom, and a neighbor or two.
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cut spending, raise taxes. if you've got money trouble, if you've got a budget problem, spending more than you're taking in, how do you fix that problem? cut spending, raise taxes. cut spending, raise taxes. those are the two basic tools you've got to fix the problem. and they are both pretty ugly little puppets. you can spin either one of them, aren't they hideous? you can spin them to sound better or worse, depending if you're for or against it in the first place. those are two options for dealing with an unpleasant money problem. wouldn't it be great if you could start to fix a money problem, if you could fix a deficit problem without having to do either of these things, without having to raise taxes or cut spending? wouldn't that be amazing? welcome to your amazing life. there is another option, another way to do it. that is without raising taxes to increase the amount of money you collect from people that owe taxes. if this were a small business, if you were a plumber doing this, it would mean getting better at your billing.
not raising your prices or hourly rates, just making sure that money that's supposed to be coming in to you is actually coming in. that's how it would work if you were a small business. for a government, the equivalent to getting ready at billing is cracking down on tax cheats. when people owe taxes, it is getting them to pay those taxes. it is catching them when they try to evade taxes or when they cheat. it is not cutting spending or raising taxes. sorry, you guys. but it does reduce the deficit. every dollar the irs spends going after tax cheats pulls in more than $10 against the deficit. it is the tech no krat i can good government efficiency way to cut the deficit without raising taxes or cutting spending. and republicans want to do less of it. republicans this year want to cut $600 million out of tax enforcement. how can you say you care about the deficit and then propose that? whatever you think about these bad ideas, that has got to be the worst idea ever. joining us now, david cay
johnston, pulitzer prize writing columnist, professor at syracuse university and author of the book "free lunch." professor, thank you for your time. >> thank you, rachel. >> please, forgive the puppets. is there something i'm missing about cutting the irs budget, is that secretly somehow a smart move if you are interested in bringing down the deficit? >> well, if a lot of your campaign contributors aren't paying their full load of taxes, it would be very smart, but it is called the internal revenue service. it's functionally the sales department of the federal government. so if you need more revenue, would you fire salespeople or hamstring them with all sorts of rules or do what the republicans started in 1995, tell your sales force to go after the working poor and pull back on the rich. that's like a police chief saying i want more people on the parking ticket squad and we're going to shut down the homicide bureau.
>> i am interested in what you alluded to actually with the first sentence there, into what is being called fiscal policy, but that is really about accomplishing other political goals. i think that's what we have in wisconsin, an attack on unions that's purportedly justified by the budget but actually not related to the budget at all. a, do you think that's the case in wisconsin, and do you also think that's what's going on with this call to cut corporate tax rates? >> i think this is going on all over the country. i have written a number of times about a former irs official that figured out how to catch tax cheats using computers. i was told by an official in kentucky that the governor's office sent word that no, they weren't going to do this, because it might catch some of the donors to the governor. in new york, a huge amount of tax cheating going on easy to catch involving real estate. the state won't pursue it. wisconsin, same thing. the previous administration
fired state corporate auditors while saying we don't have enough revenue. >> and where does the revenue come from. you keep using those words. is there real evidence that cutting corporate tax rates helps with deficits or helps with the economy? it is one thing to have it be nakedly partisan or nakedly about crean eeism, but is there any evidence to support that argument? >> you know, rachel, it has been ten years since we started with the bush cuts. 30 years since reagan. but ten years. so what's happened? the median average wage in this country in 2010 was smaller than it was in 2000. corporate tax revenues are down more than a third, even though profits are up 60%. individual income tax revenues down 30%. what's going on here is very clear. we have a policy that does not work. how long do we have to let it
go? do we have to totally break the country before we recognize this policy didn't work? george bush said, you know, elect me. i will cut taxes. you will all become prosperous. and he was very clear, everyone. and he never wavered from that message. he didn't say oh, it is beyond my control. he stuck to that message. well, it's not working, and a lot of us predicted it wouldn't work. a lot of people wrote papers explaining why it wouldn't work, and we need to recognize we have a failed policy. the bottom 90% of people in america today, rachel, make less than $300 a year more than they did in 1980. but the top tenth of 1% have seen the average go from a million 400,000 to $6 million, all the gains going for 30 years to the top tenth of 1%. 300,000 people. >> let me ask you specifically about a broken policy and about ways that fiscal situations are being used to justify really
radical political action. in wisconsin, the governor there, scott walker, started signing tax cuts for businesses as soon as he took office, despite the state's budget shortfall and his purported concern for that. what were the taxes like for corporations in wisconsin that governor walker felt needed to be changed? >> well, here is what happened with large corporations. they set themselves up within america just the way they do overseas. you take the profits in a place like delaware where you're not taxed or florida, and put all of your costs in a place like wisconsin. so in wisconsin as in most states, most of the corporate income tax doesn't come from big companies, it comes from mom and pop businesses, people that own restaurants or small hardware stores, maybe car dealers. it doesn't come from big national companies, and the states are all busy giving away money. the states are now giving away at least $70 billion a year to corporations. where i live in western new
york, one of the counties here just gave verizon a deal. $3.1 million for each of 125 jobs they're creating, and those jobs pay about $50,000 a year. this is crazy! >> wow. that is absolutely crazy. david cay johnston. thank you very much for your insight. really appreciate it. >> thank you. there is fresh data for study in the john boehner study in john dainer bain ring ring. progresso.
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you know what's been a great business to be in since say 9-11? oil. in the last ten years, top five oil companies made collectively almost $1 trillion in profit. not in revenue, in profit! yesterday, house democrats put forward a motion that said hey, given that, maybe we should stop providing tens of billions of taxpayer dollars in subsidies to big oil. >> let's stop sending taxpayers money to the most profitable companies in the world. the time is now to stop subsidizing the largest oil companies. i think it shocks every american taxpayer to know that they're
required to fork over over $40 billion in subsidies over the next decade to the most economically profitable of companies, especially as oil soars to $100 a barrel. >> the motion to cut those subsidies was soundly defeated. every single republican who was voting voted against it. they voted unanimously as republicans to keep giving taxpayer money to an industry that made a trillion in profit in the last decade. how are they going to explain that. are they going to say it helps jobs or something? let me warn you off that argument now. exxon mobile, the babe ruth of making money, exxon mobile saw its income go up and up and up again from 2005 to 2008, while the number of people employed at exxon, the number of jobs at exxon in these years went down and down and down. that's who republicans want to
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until 1947, the united states had a department of war. now we have a department of defense. a defense department, which is a euphemism. and in keeping with that euphemism, there is the fantasy it is easy to use the military for defensive purposes, that the military can be deployed in fact as a shield. in reality, it doesn't really work that way. missile defense is just other missiles. peace keeping forces have guns which are used to shoot at people. military force pretty much always just force. right now in libya, the leader of that country is using the force of that country's own military against his own people. this is footage from an oil town on the mediterranean. they witnessed libyan jets dropping bombs there. the rest of the world is finding ways to stop gadhafi from attacking his own people, one of the fanciest has been the idea of proposing a no-fly zone, using military force as defense to protect the people, not so much attacking libya as halting
attacks in libya. there's a reason we called it the war department. today secretary of defense robert gates popped that balloon when he said yes, if ordered to, the military would impose a no-fly zone in libya, but what that would mean logistically is bombing them. bombing libya's air defense systems. >> there's a lot of frankly loose talk about some of these military options. let's call state to state. no fly zone begins with an attack on libya to destroy the air defenses. that's the way you do a no fly zone. >> the general in charge of sent come told the senate armed services committee the same thing, in blunter terms. >> you would have to remove the air defense capability in order to establish the no fly zone, so no illusions here, it would be a military operation. it wouldn't simply telling people not to fly airplanes.
>> setting up a no fly zone, even if the rebels there want us to. in fact, it means starting a war in libya. another war in the middle east. the defense secretary putting none too fine a point on that. >> we also have to think about frankly the use of the u.s. military in another country in the middle east. >> another one, in addition to the others. military force is not defense or even defense. it's military force, planes, guns, war ships, ammunition, force with a capital "f." as much as our country wants to stop what gadhafi is doing in libya, the pentagon is telling congress the military force options for doing that are not good options. joining us now, nbc chief foreign correspondent richard engel live in the capitol of tripoli. richard, thank you very much for joining us. are you safe and sound out there? >> we're actually very much in the eye of the storm. it is a very surreal situation in tripoli. there's almost an environment
like people are pretending the war doesn't happen here, shops are open, people are going to work. the internet is working, phones are up. it is a different reality from rebel held libya. so right in the capitol, there are troops and armors rigging the city. but when you get to the middle of it, it feels very calm. >> in tripoli tonight, should we think of that calm because this is a gadhafi strong hold? is it peaceful because gadhafi still has supporters, has a constituency there, or is it the threat of force that is keeping things calm there? >> i think it is the threat of gadhafi's continued presence, and i saw a similar situation to this in the final days of saddam hussein. people were nervous, people were scared. people wanted to go out and express their feelings, but as long as saddam in that case was still in power, people had to go along with the fantasy that saddam had, which was the war is not coming.
well, gadhafi is using that same analogy. he is saying the war is not coming. there is no war. there is no rebellion. all there are are some terrorist-inspired drug crazed youths that are causing problems in a few far away places, and hopefully the people of libya will just wake up. he told the people of benghazi today to reign in their sons, to tell their sons to stop this nonsense and take their weapons away from them before something really bad happens. now, i think that's his paternalistic way of warning the people that something very bad could happen, but also gives an insight into his tone, the tone that he's taking about this conflict, that it is somewhere else. and when you're here in libya, in tripoli in particular, it does feel somewhere else. >> richard, i know you've been able to report both from some of the rebel held territory as well now from tripoli. from what you've seen across the country, do you think we should
understand this as a civil war? is this a war that's going on? is it a protest movement? how should we think of this? >> i wouldn't think of it as a civil war. now, civil war, to me, is sort of what we had in the later years of the iraq. you had civilians killing civilians because they had religious or ethnic differences. this is more like a revolution. people are gathering steam and trying to topple the regime. it is more like the french revolution or american revolution. yes, it's true that you have libyans that are loyal to gadhafi fighting against mercenaries and libyans that are part of the rebellion. but the goal is not because libyans want to kill them to settle a score, they want to topple this government and are fighting against the loyalists of the government. it is more of an armed rebellion
than civil war. >> richard, how long do you think this will take to resolve? do you think this revolution has a real chance of succeeding? >> the geography is working against them. their biggest stronghold is obviously in benghazi. now benghazi is far away. and there are some strongholds, particularly sirt, right in the middle. it is not a recognized force. just to get from benghazi with a population of 2 million to here in tripoli is a long way, and they're probably not going to arrive here in force. they're coming in a few vehicles at a time, 10 vehicles, 20 vehicles, not even that many. what we're seeing in the east is they are trying to defend their territory. today they repulsed that sort of weak attack on those areas in the east. what is much more a threat to the libyan capitol are the suburbs here around tripoli that have fallen. if those suburbs can mobilize
and tap into frustration in tripoli but is right now afraid to express itself, then this capitol does have a real chance of falling and gadhafi's regime has a chance of falling. but it is going to be much slower. in iraq when there was that same trep dags that people were very afraid to express, everyone had to pretend to go about their business, they knew that the american military was on its way to attack. here you have rebels that are outside the city that are not particularly well armed. motivated, but not the kind of force to sweep in and overwhelm the city. this could get quite violent if it gets into the city itself and could be quite protracted. >> nbc chief foreign correspondent richard engel in the middle of it as he finds himself. reporting live from the capitol of tripoli. stay safe. thanks for joining us. >> my pleasure. at the top of the hour, ed
schultz's stellar, unparalleled coverage of what's going on in wisconsin continues. next on this show, we are hard at work on a new chapter on the john boehner is bad at his job hypothesis. trending towards a dissertation. r from a mile away... while going shoeless and metal-free in seconds. and you...rent from national. because only national lets you choose any car in the aisle...and go. you can even take a full-size or above, and still pay the mid-size price. now this...will work. [ male announcer ] just like you, business pro. just like you. go national. go like a pro. but when i was diagnosed with prostate cancer... i needed a coach. our doctor was great, but with so many tough decisions i felt lost. unitedhealthcare offered us a specially trained rn who helped us weigh and understand all our options. for me cancer was as scary as a fastball is to some of these kids.
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two years ago, hosni mubarak made an important visit to floor even i can't. he visited, did things the way they do. it sounded boring. the discussion included ways to strengthen relations in the areas of trade, investment, industry, transport, energy, tourism, tim pawlenty, technology information, communications, tim pawlenty. it not only feels super boring. on this trip he wore this. charcoal colored pin stripes. look closely. something about the pin stripes. look closer. those pin stripes are trying to tell us something, and that something is hosni mubarak, hosni mubarak. he showed up wearing personalized pin stripes, pin stripes that are letters now look closer. hey, wait. those are trying to tell us
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and here's what we did today in homes all across america: we created the electricity that powered the alarm clocks and brewed the coffee. we heated the bathwater and gave kelly a cleaner ride to school. cooked the cube steaks and steamed the veggies. entertained dad, and mom, and a neighbor or two. kept watch on the house when they slept. and tomorrow we could do even more. we're cleaner, domestic, abundant and ready now. we're america's natural gas. the smarter power today. learn more at anga.us. we've introduced the hypothesis on this show that john boehner is bad at his job. not about whether he's a good guy, or whether or not what he's trying to accomplish as speaker is good for the country. it's about whatever his agenda, whatever he wants, is he skilled enough to reach his goals. can he do it. is he good at his job or bad at
his job. john boehner, the most high-profile republican in the country. one of the only republicans the chairman of the republican national committee, the famous preebis who has a national position. what house republicans do under his leadership establishes how america thinks about republicans. heading into the presidential election year. so under that kind of pressure, one way to be a good speaker, one way to be good at that job is to make sure when the eyes of the nation are upon you, you are not caught out being really petty. you may feel petty, but try not to show it. rise to the occasion. members of your caucus may have petty instincts, but be their leader. stop them from putting their pettiness on parade. yesterday in the house energy and commerce committee, they held a hearing that was titled the consequences of obama care. that is not the shorthand nickname. that is not the shorthand nickname for the hearing. the committee actually put obama care in the title.
that's like if you were the university of michigan, and you were hosting your big rival ohio state, instead of putting buckeyes up on the scoreboard, you put suck eyes up on the scoreboard. hilarious. also petty. house republicans keep doing stuff like this. let's have a hearing where we call it obama care. even their bill, their repeal health care reform bill was not repeal the affordable health care for america act. they called it the repealing the job killing health care law act. republicans report about health reform was titled obama care. a budget busting health care law. these are the actual formal titles. suck eyes. over and over again, they keep proposing or doing stuff under john boehner's leadership that just isn't ready for primetime. for example, republican congressman aaron shock of illinois put forward a resolution to ban signage, anywhere in the country, that would identify any project as being funded by the stimulus. suck eyes. at the same time, you had california republican
congressman daryl icea threatening to launch an investigation into signage on stim las act projects. not only tear down the signs so nobody knows who the stimulus is funding, we'll investigate the signs, too. we'll subpoena the signs. this is sort of what the house is like under speaker boehner. it's like spitball time. there are more than 100 cities, not all of which rhyme with san francisco, which ban styrofoam food packaging. it has the half life of nuclear waste. its toxic components leach into the food it holds. you know where you can find it? at the house cafeteria. because mean old nancy pelosi took away that precious styrofoam and the house republicans made it an urgent priority to kill the biodegradable food packaging
program. and they killed it. and john boehner's press secretary cheered it this week with this tweet. the new majority, dash, plasticware is back, along with a picture of styrofoam. sockeyes! the petty parade extends all the way to how they're actually doing business. hillary clinton flew back from geneva to appear before the house committee yesterday to answer questions about all of the myriad things going on in foreign policy right now. she was supposed to be answering questions, but under john boehner's leadership in the house, the foreign affairs committee instead just sat her there, and fired long-winded questions at her, and would not allow her to answer those questions. >> i feel strongly that we're making an impact -- >> thank you, madam secretary. i respectfully request written responses as you offered to the questions that you were not able to answer because i asked so many. >> certain organizations and individuals -- >> madam secretary, i'm going to
be a little ruthless, because we want to get all of our members in. thank you so much. i know my good friend understands. try to help those who are -- >> madam secretary. >> thank you, madam secretary. i do apologize. thank you, madam secretary. >> so it's important we keep doing that. >> it's forced sterilization, it's forced abortion. >> i'm sorry, madam secretary. i'm sorry. thank you so much. mr. ackerman, the ranking member is recognized for five minutes. >> just when it was getting good. >> we didn't leave any time to hear what you had to say. we're just going to talk on our side, madam secretary of state. let's add this data to the john boehner is bad at his job hypothesis. one of the ways john boehner is a bad speaker of the house, one of the ways he d