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tv   The Rachel Maddow Show  MSNBC  October 7, 2011 9:00pm-10:00pm EDT

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follow my tweets @lawrence. the rachel maddow show is up next. >> good evening, lawrence. happy friday. when bill clinton was running for re-election in 1996, his campaign theme that year was building a bridge to the 21st century. that campaign theme worked, bill clinton of course was re-elected. and at his second inaugural address, he kept the theme going. it was all bridge, bridge, bridge, end of this century, start of a new one over and over again. >> my fellow citizens, at this last presidential inauguration of the 20th century, let us lift our eyes toward the challenges that await us in the next century. let us build our bridge. [ applause ] a bridge wide enough and strong enough for every american to cross over.
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from the height of his place and the summit of this century, let us go forth. >> love inaugural addresses. i love all inaugural addresses, no matter the president. as a theme for a campaign and for a re-election and a second term, that whole heading into a new century thing made sense because we were in the late 1990s. zooming toward the 2000s. so new century, new millenia. the whole thing was very big at the time. ♪ 2000, zero party, over -- okay. okay. party like it's 1999. y 2 k freak-out. bridge to the 20th century made sense as a '90s campaign slogan. having survived y 2 k, eating
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the food we stored, crossed over into the new century, making it to the first decade of the new century and now the second decade of the new century, today the man who would like to be the next president of the united states and has a good shot at it, declared a start of a new century. today. in 2011. either 89 years early or 11 years late depending on what you think he meant. >> let me make this very clear. as president of the united states, i will devote myself to an american century. this century must be an american century. in an american century, american has the strongest economy and the strongest military in the world. in an american century, america leads the free world and the free world leads the entire world. the 21st century can and must be an american century. >> mitt romney the current front-runner for the republican nomination depending on how rick perry and herman cain are doing
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today, mitt romney chose today, the tenth anniversary of the start of the afghanistan war, to declare his big vision of america in the world. despite choosing the ten-year anniversary of the afghanistan war as the occasion for this big speech, he did not say anything about afghanistan in the speech, substantively. he said if elected president he would convene a group to study the issue. >> i'll order a full review of our transition to the afghan military. to secure that nation's sovereignty from the tyranny of the taliban. i'll speak with our generals in the field and receive the best recommendations of our military commanders. >> on the war's ten-year anniversary, that is his big idea on afghanistan. i will look into it. mostly the big mitt romney next republican president vision rollout this week was about making this big speech today and making the announcement of his very long list of foreign policy advisers. which actually explains why he was talking about a new american
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century 89 years before it's due. >> in an american century, america leads the free world and the free world leads the entire world. the 21st century can and must be an american century. >> of the 22 people who mitt romney has named as his foreign policy advisers, 15 of them are people who worked on foreign policy under the george w. bush administration. 15 of the 22. a half dozen of them are former members of the project for the new american century. remember them? proj project for the new american century was a think tank arguing for an american invasion of iraq in the 1990s. again, for them, like for bill clinton the name sort of made sense. since they started before the end of the last century. talking about a new american century. the group did survive, though, for a hot minute into the 2000s. nine days after 9/11 they wrote to president bush saying saddam
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hussein may have helped in the 9/11 attacks and if he didn't help, counterterrorism strategy after 9/11 that didn't include invading iraq, will, quote, will constitute an early and perhaps decisive surrender. the project for the new american century has folded now. for obvious reasons. their website is still up, though. it's like a time capsule of i was wrong incorporated. saddam did 9/11 stuff. seriously, visit it. it's a time travel back to the worst losing arguments in foreign policy in the last decade. having been so discredited by the iraq war disaster, the project for the new american century people closed up shop. they did basically re-open under a different name. a rather obscure name, foreign policy initiative. which i think not by accident is much less googleable than their old name. with the greatest foreign policy error in american history hung around their necks, with the
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neocon fantasy a punch line now, mitt romney as a presidential candidate decided to embrace them. romney picked six new american century guys and three of the four board members of the new group that replaced it to be his advisers on foreign policy. he's essentially set on reconstituting the major parts of the george w. bush foreign policy apparatus. he's even picked the ones you would think could really never work in washington again. for example, do you remember the lie making into president bush's state of the union address? >> the british government has learned is-- >> the whole uranium from africa thing is traced back in the bush administration in terms of who they blame getting into the speech. traced back to a man named robert joseph, a specific guy in the white house who reportedly pushed the white house to include the year rain yaum from
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after hi -- it should not have been in the state of the union address or used as evidence for why she would go to war. if you were the guy responsible for that, we do not banish people in this country. you're not going to be exiled. you can't work on anymore talking about people getting uranium from africa. you can't be that guy. you can't work on proliferation anymore. it is the one thing you have not only discredited yourself but by your actions you basically discredited our entire country. you can work on anything you want. you can become a color by numbers genius. you can invent a new form of recycling container, write amazing sci-fi novels, be a stay at home dad but can't work on the weapons of mass destruction thing anymore. if you're the uranium from africa guy. that's the one thing you can not do. mitt romney named the uranium from africa guy co-chair of his counterproliferation working group. the uranium from africa guy is going to be mitt romney's
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uranium from africa guy. this would be like hiring somebody from black water saying forward looking foreign policy. oh, wait, cofer black who left in the middle of the bush presidency to become an executive at black water has been named a mitt romney foreign policy adviser. mitt romney picked up dan senor who the bush administration sent to be the spokesman for the coalition provisional authority in iraq. a former staffer for the authority acknowledged mr. senor's office would send out targeted good news about the war press releases to the american media during the '04 presidential campaign to deflect criticism of president bush. once somebody admitted you did that in war on behalf of your country, you're never supposed to be able to work in politics again. the "washington times" which is not a mainstream newspaper but is a conservative newspaper and therefore gets a lot of conservatives to talk to them, the "washington times" found a prominent conservative foreign
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policy observer today to give this assessment of mitt romney's new list of who's advising him on foreign policy. quote, there are some good people on this list and crappy people. it's like they stood on a street corner and screamed, who doesn't have a job? turns out a lot of people who don't have jobs in the field don't have jobs because of what they did in the field during the george w. bush administration. what they did to the world and what they did to the country. mitt romney has given them a soft landing. on the tenth anniversary of the start of a war that is still going on. to be fair to george w. bush, when that president, when george w. bush announced the start of the afghanistan war ten years ago, he did counsel. >> given the nature and reach of our enemies, we will win this conflict by the patient accumulation of successes. by meeting a series of challenges with determination and will and purpose. in the months ahead, our patience will be one of our
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strengths. >> in the months, months ahead. by patience, president bush counseled that it might take months. that administration was thinking about starting a new war on top of the one that was still going on in afghanistan. secretary of defense donald rumsfeld told the american public to sit tight. in december of 2002, he said everything was looking pretty good in afghanistan. asked by cnn's larry king, what's the current situation in afghanistan? secretary rumsfeld replied, it is encouraging. the taliban are gone. the al qaeda are gone. that was nine years ago. right now there are roughly 100,000 americans still in afghanistan. president obama's current plan would have them out not by the end of this year, not by the end of next year, not by the end of the year after that, but by the end of 2014. we have never had a decade-long war in this country before. afghanistan became the longest war in american history last summer. so we are in unchartered territory in terms of what we're
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asking america's military and mill tear folks to do on our behalf. the pew research center polled about american's life during wartime. 50% of iraq and afghanistan vets say the afghanistan war was worth fighting. 50% of them say it was. 50% of them say it wasn't. that's more than the country at large but not much more. here's the really striking thing, though, that has far reaching consequences for us as a country. not for what we've done, but for what we do next. if you ask iraq and afghanistan veterans about the distance between people in the military and their families who have been at war for ten solid years now, if you ask about the distance between them and the rest of the country, ask iraq and afghanistan veterans if after ten years of the military fighting these wars the rest of the country understands military personnel, if you ask them whether the public at large gets them and their family and their issues right now, 84% of iraq and afghanistan veterans say no. that is horrifying.
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that chasm, this yawning gap between american civilian life and the american military's life in the last ten years is horrifying. the radically different experiences in the ten years since 9/11 for military families and non-military families, that is fauundamental change for whoe are and moving forward. joining me now, former fbi special agent whose interrogation proved the first 9/11 link to al qaeda just after the attacks, the link that led to the start of the afghanistan war. his new book is called "the black banners: the inside story of 9/11 and the war against al qaeda." it's great to have you back. thank you for being here. >> thank you for having me. >> you were there, literally there in the room as we connected 9/11 to al qaeda, al chi do to afghanistan. does it make sense to you ten years on we still plan to have tens of thousands of troops there for years to come? >> it's interesting if you asked me that when we figured out if
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al qaeda was behind the attacks of 9/11 and on the eve of the afghanistan war. i could have told you now, it's really impossible to think th thattthat ten years later we're still in afghanistan and lasted longer than world war i, world war ii, the vietnam war. this is an interesting phenomenon and new water for us. >> when you think about this as a counterterrorism expert, you became an operative at the highest levels. the whole idea of why we're in afghanistan is counterinsurgency, the idea our presence will provide security and essentially build up afghan institutions so the afghan people want their government more than they want this insurgency and that that will have an effect on whether or not that society still produces terrorists that can pose a threat to us. do you see those as linked? do you believe that argument? >> i don't believe that argument especially when it comes to
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afghanistan. i you know, afghanistan is divided into many different factions. many different tribal factions. many different ethnic factions. you is the shiites or the pashtun. the pashtun tribes are divided between northern and southern pashtun. if you look at the landscape ten years later from the insurgency side, you have the taliban. there are different factions based on tribal and clans and so forth. also there's the haqqani network. and the haqqani network don't actually present haqqani network. they are the proxy for pakistan and the isi in afghanistan. so there's a lot of regional issues that we have to take into consideration. a lot of tribal issues that we have to take into consideration. a lot of ethnic issues we have to take into consideration. the hazara, their loyalty is iran and iran has control over them. the tajiq have a for strong
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relationship with different allies that they have in central asia. haqqani, jalal haqqani, historically from as early as the soviet jihad in afghanistan, he was the isi's main man. he was a wto. and after the soviets left afghanistan in 1989, the leaders of the mujahadin start fighting with each other. they say, we cannot tolerate this is happening in afghanistan. afghanistan is a strategic depth into pakistan. they created what we now as the taliban today under mulla omar. when they defeated the leaders of the mujahadin, they switched
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allianced and he became part of the taliban. mullah omar gave him position in the very first taliban government. now the strategy that we have in afghanistan is basically a strategy to pull out in 2014. the back stan strategy is how they can have their proxy in control of afghanistan after we pull out that that's what we see today. that struggle that's happening and the emergence of haqqani network as a major player in afghanistan. >> and in the an senbsence, the no effect we're going to have n on -- >> these people have been killing each other hundreds of years and will continue unfortunately to kill each other for hundreds. years. we need to leave but in a way we can guarantee afghanistan won't be a launchpad for transnational terroristic groups to attack the west and attack the united states. so in order to have the security guarantees, we have to have regional agreements and tribal
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agreements in the country. you can put 200,000 troops in afghanistan and that's not going to make a difference. >> the book is called "black banners: the inside story of 9/11 and the war against al qaeda." ali, because you're here, i have to ask you something personally as a favor. i've been using your book essentially as an almanac since it came out. will you publish an e-book like version of an index for this book? there's no freaking index of this book. i'm constantly looking stuff up in it. >> that's a very good question. >> now that he's been picked by mitt romney, cofer stars in your book. you need an index. >> the cia as part of a redaction pulled it out and said we cannot put the index or put the picture of me or my wife in the book for heaven's sake. as i mentioned on the first page of the book, we're working on that and hope the index we have, but it's considered redacted, will be part of the book. >> i may produce a wiki index of
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mitt romney advisers in your books between now and then. ali soufan. thanks for being here. >> thank you. you probably don't know a 96-year-old lady from tennessee named dorothy cooper. after you meet her in a minute you will not forget her or forget how important her story is about who's going to be the next president. steady jobs across our country... ... scientists, technicians, engineers, machinists... ... adding nearly 400 billion dollars to our economy... we're at work providing power to almost a quarter of our homes and businesses... ... and giving us cleaner rides to work and school... and tomorrow, we could do even more. cleaner, domestic, abundant and creating jobs now. we're america's natural gas. the smarter power, today. learn more at montrose, california. ♪ in here, anarchy meets order. working with at&t, doctors set up
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best new thing in the world today coming up at the end of the show, involves facial hair, a goat, my executive producer and a bunch of other things that sound really dirty when you put them in a list but i swear they aren't. [ male announcer ] you are a business pro.
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executor of efficiency. you can spot an amateur from a mile away... while going shoeless and metal-free in seconds. and 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. this is dorothy cooper, miss cooper is 96 years old.
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she was born in north georgia on or about the year 1915. at the time miss cooper was born, america did not allow women to vote. women did not yet have that right. in 1919, web when dorothy cooper was a tiny tot, the u.s. congress passed an amendment to the u.s. constitution which gave women the right to vote. before the amendment could go into the constitution and go into effect, the states, of course, had to have their say. they had to ratify it. georgia where dorothy cooper was growing up at the time said no to letting women vote. georgia lawmakers voted against ratifying that amendment. men only voting for georgia. ultimately, though, enough other states agreed to the 19th amendment that it became the law of the land in 1920. georgia still didn't get around to extending that supposed federal right to women, that constitutional right for another year until 1921. they didn't get around to ratifying the amendment until 50 years later in 1970. but lucky for the women voters of georgia, a federal right is a federal right even if georgia's men wanted to keep that vote all
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to themselves. when dorothy cooper grew up, she left georgia, she moved to the city. se she moved to chattanooga,ton tennesse tennessee, to work and start a family. tennessee pushed it over the edge that gave the final yes vote. dorothy cooper as a new tennessee resident enthusiastically exercised her right to vote. in the 1930s she voted in pretty much every election she could. she voted in the race between fdr and alf landon. remember him? me neither. don't sweat it. dwight eisenhower and adlai stevenson. she voted in the southern state of tennessee before congress passed the act to protect african-american access to the polls. dorothy cooper did break her string of perfect attendance. she missed voting in the kennedy/nixon race. the only time miss cooper played hooky from an election. she said she just moved before
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election day and did not have time to update her registration. other than that sort of glitch in 1960, though, dorothy cooper from the 1930s until today dorothy cooper voted. she voted every single time. she voted in 2010 when republicans gained control of both chambers of tennessee's state legislature and the governorship. for the first time since reconstruction. the newspapers promised, quote, far reaching ramifications from the republican takeover in tennessee. one of those far reaching ramification was that for the very first time in her very long life in tennessee, dorothy cooper is now finding it very hard to vote. this year the new republican tennessee legislature passed a law requiring people to show i.d. they never had to show people in order to cast a ballot. during the debate, democrats tried to insert an amendment exempting senior citizens from the new rule but republicans rejected it. the bill passed on june 1st. the new tennessee republican governor signed it into law. for the first time in tennessee in order to vote you have to show an i.d. that 500,000
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tennesseens to not have including dorothy cooper. her story appears this week in the "chattanooga times free press." she found out she'd need a photo i.d. to vote. she's never been a driver so does not have a license to show at the polls. she has documents, accumulated documents of a normal life lived normally when you're 96. she went to the local dmv with a ton of documentation. she brought her lease, a rent receipt, her voter registration card, her birth certificate. naturally that 96-year-old birth certificate carries the name she was born with, dorothy alex staale alexsander instead of dorothy cooper. she said, quote, i didn't have my marriage certificate, i don't know what difference it makes. it made all the difference in the world. the clerk looked at all of the documents and said, no, no, dorothy cooper, age 96, voting in tennessee since the 1930s, no, we will not give you the i.d. you need now in tennessee
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in order to vote. >> even during jim crow days you didn't have any problems voting in tennessee? >> no, i haven't had any problems at all until this time. this is the only time that i've had any problems. >> do you feel that this is something that you never thought at this stage in your voting life that you would have to face? are you surprised that they would change and make these kind of strict requirements at this stage in the game? >> no, i never thought it would be like this ever. >> dorothy cooper said she never expected this. at least she does have company in her predicamenpredicament. half a million of her fellow tennesseens do not have the right i.d. only half of the counties have a place to haul your documents to for the clerk to decide whether or not you meet the requirements. the man who sponsored the law,
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called the new law, necessary, quote, to protect the purity of the ballot box. casting out the manifest impurity. i guess that is dorothy cooper. that's what it looks like in tennessee right now where republicans have succeeded in making it harder to vote for dorothy cooper and other people. as we've been talking all year, this isn't just about tennessee. republicans are doing this all across the country with state law. republicans in kansas passed a law this year that requires you to prove your citizenship when you register to vote. you're at the supermarket, the nice woman from the league is out front, are you registered to vote, sir? would you like to register? okay. you would like to register. do you have your passport on you at the grocery store? how about your birth certificate on you at the grocery store? if not, not in kansas. in hcolorado, pueblo county was ordered not to mail ballots to troops overseas who had not
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voted since the big election in 2010 or reupped their registration. the state considers them enactive voters. maybe they're business ciy figh war or whatever. no ballots for them. we have to protect the purity of the ballot box. from the troops trying to protect us? tonight we can report pueblo county sent those ballots out to the troops after the intervention today of court ruling today against the secretary of state in a related case. pueblo county's clerk, gilbert ortiz, told us tonight sending the ballots to the troops is the right thing to do even if the republican secretary of state tried to stop him from doing it. mr. ortiz telling us tonight with the legal issues not all settled, he's gone ahead and sent the ballots to the troops. that's the way voting is being challenged and defended now. mostly at the state and local level. this is not seen as a national story yet. voting is a federal right. last week president obama said access to the polling place matters to him and his administration and that he would like to do something about it.
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>> i will say that my big priority is making sure that as many people are participating in our democracy as possible. some of these moves in some of the other states that we've seen trying to make it tougher to vote, restricting ballot access, making it hard on seniors, making it hard on young people, i think it's a big mistake and i have made sure that our justice department's taken a look at what's being cone across t croc country. >> president obama in an interview with michael smer k smerconish saying the justice department will make it into the changes in state law that make it harder for americans to vote this we'year. this is not a one-off matter of what's happening in florida, ohio, maine, kansas, colorado orin' tennessee. this map shows the states that tried to pass new requirements that you show i.d. you never had to show before in order to vote. these are the states that tried.
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republican states. enough of them succeeded in making it harder to vote. the new laws cld affect who are young and/or poor, and/or minority. this is important, not coincidental, but more to the point to note there are enough states now that have passed new laws to make voting harder to swing the electoral college. to decide who gets to be president in the 2012 election. the laws thin out and preclude likely democratic voters in more than half of the states you need to win the presidency. is that who republicans are trying to protect the purity of the ballot box from, the democrats? that is going to be the effect.
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back in march when newt gingrich was just thinking, considering, noodling around, kicking and the idea of thinking about maybe running for president, he put up this website, newt explore 2012, send cash right away to help newt make up his mind. the smiling diverse americans on the website there in the photo looking admiringly up at newt, they are available to look admiringly up at anybody with an internet hookup. they're a stock photo. they're for sale. the people looking in different directions. engaged in various patriotic activities. except for the guy in the middle breaking character. what is he doing? or when they have to break and make that call, of course. all available for purchase. but now our friends in the stock
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photo are doing something altogether new. as you can see here, they are occupying wall street. at least according to these are the 99% protesting the 1% that own 50% of everything. as reported by npr, was registered as a website this sunday using a post office box in brisbane, australia, which is not the heart of the occupy wall street protests. the site seems poised to place well on internet searches for people looking for information about occupy wall street or people looking for newt gingrich's fake adoring crowd. what ever happened to those guys? the interview tonight about occupy wall street and many other issues is with the great lawrence luswig. [ male announcer ] cranberry juice? wake up!
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one thing we've been very clear on in iowa is we plan to be first in the nation if our first of the nation caucuses. >> the iowa republican party settled on a tentative date for their first in the nation caucuses. january 3rd, the date party officials agreed to which means the process of voting for president officially begins on
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the theird day of 2012. we'll be voting for president for ten months. and so now more than a year before the election, campaign season is already well under way. campaign season it turns out is basically never now. that leaves politicians of both parties with hardly any time in office to do what they're supposed to do between elections which is, of course, raising money. new estimates out this week are that tv ads for the 2012 election will total more than $3 billion. we're told to expect almost a quarter billion dollars of that will come just from karl rove's group, american cross roads group which announced last month they were doubling their fund-raising goal to $240 million. 92% of the millions they raise this year so far was from three people. three zillionaires. that fund-raising isn't going to be hard. every season is campaign season, where every campaign season is driven by cash and where there's so much cash the cash only
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counts if you can divide it into $100 million increments. we are not much for public intellectuals in this country. we have celebrities and politicians and activists, public intellectuals we do not have many. lawrence lusti fwrks g is an intellectual we have as a nation. the way you can tell that because now on the occasion of his profound and comprehensive new book on the routine corruption of money and politics, lawrence lustig's talks about money and politics are remixed with video of the occupy wall street protests. for explanation and for inspiration. >> the dreamers of our constitution gave us a republic. democracy to be dependent upon the people alone. here's the problem. members of congress spending between 30% and 70% of their time raising money to get back to congress. 75% of americans believe, quote, money buys results in congress.
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11% of americans have confidence in congress. 11%. just think what that means. there were more people who believed in king george iii at the time of the revolution than who believe in our congress today. >> joining us tonight for the interview is professor at harvard law school and author of "how money corrupts congress and a plan to stop it. "professor, i've been nervous and excited to talk to you. thank you for being here. >> great to be here. >> i'm a fan of yours. >> me, too. of you. >> let's just leave that alone. the process of raising money, the amount of time that it takes, the proportion of a member of congress' life that is taken up by the pursuit of campaign money in order to stay a member of congress. is the money process, itself, what corrupts or is it specifically about where the money comes from? >> i think it's both. the first thing to recognize is this corruption is not the kind
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of blagojevich corruption. this is not criminal activity. these are decent people trying to live in a terrible system. as they spend their time, 30% to 70% of their time trying to raise money, it begins to shape shift them and they're constantly aware how anything they might do affects their ability to raise money. leslie burn, a democrat from virginia describes when she went to congress, quote, always lean to the green and clarify, the guy continued, she continued, he was not an environmentalist. the point is they recognize exactly how they can raise the most money and that begins to effect exactly the policies that they pursue. >> is there any opting out option for a member of congress? if somebody gets elected to congress because of something other than a ton of money or maybe because of a ton of money, once they get there, can they opt out and survive as a member of congress if they choose not to do with the fund-raising thing? >> well, probably not, but the one big pressure increasingly they have is a tax for their own
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parties. they have to raise money for their own party as well as themselves. a constant focus, democratic policy, republican policy is a focus on capacity of members to continue to raise money so that the party can regain control or to maintain control. so the shift, and you talk to people like jim cooper, a democrat from tennessee, who described for me congress as a farm league for k. street, the shift from a congress that was really working out policy issues, to a congress that is really working out fund-raising issues is profound. and it's really just in the last 20 years. this is not something that was 30 years ago. >> that is a really important point. in terms of not feeling hopeless about it and angry about it in an impotent way. it wasn't always this way and doesn't have to be this way. what got us to this point? >> newt gingrich got us to this point. when republicans took over the control of the house and the house and the senate and then congress was up for grabs. it created huge competition for both parties to continue to keep
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control. and leadership in both parties began to demand, not leadership on policy issues, but leadership on the capacity to raise money. so they became full-time fund-raisers. you know, spending the vast majority of their time focused on this issue rather than focused on the issues that are important to america. that has had a profound effect, not just on what congress does, i mean,there's a great story in "the huffington post" about how in the first six months of the year the number one issue that congress focused on in the middle of two wars, huge unemployment problem, huge deficit problem. the number unissue was the bank swipe fee issue. why was that? if you dance around with $19 billion on the table and act like you're coy and not sure which way to go, money begins to rain down on top of your campaign. so the whole agenda of congress gets driven by the issues that will raise the most money. you wonder why we don't pay attention to unemployment. turns out unemployment doesn't raise a lot of money for congressmen and their campaigns. >> the proscriptive element of your book, the diagnostic part
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of it is fascinating. you're legendary for being able to explain things well in this sort of tightly constrained use of visual media. even in the book, is really helpful. it is the prescriptive part of it i think makes this important. and -- not to be too long winded, but it's essentially i feel both good and bad about it. i am buoyed by the fact you see this not as good members of congress and bad members of congress but a bad system. that gives hope it could have a cross-partisan solution. we could solve it both from anger left and right. the thing i'm worried about is i feel like all the potential solutions that all have to do with public financing instead of private financing of campaigns, i feel like they're all precluded by the supreme court. >> well, the solution that i describe here, a kind of citizen funded small dollar-funded election would not be precluded even by the supreme courts even under the recent arizona solution. it's true solutions that try to
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silence people or block the ability to speak, this court said those are off the table. a system that said -- the proposal i have here is basically every voter has a $50 voucher plus they can give $100 on top of that. and candidates who opt to take only $100 contributions can get the voucher money. that's if every voter had $50, that's $6 billion in an election cycle and 2 1/2 times the total amount raised and spent in the last congressional election. that's real money and completely constitutional even under this supreme court's session. the hard part is not the supreme court but the world inside the beltway that depends upon a system where very small number of people fund campaigns so that lobbyists can leverage that influence to sell more lobbying services and therefore sell more access to members of congress. those people, that business, gets crushed if we had a system where the funders were actually the people and they will fight
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like hell against any change that undermines that power. >> the idea that you an get around that through bottom-up democratic means is radical and interest and presented in really concise form. i'm not going to explain it now a. because we're out of time and b., people should read the book. i'm glad you're doing a heavy duty book tour promoting this. you're a good kmucommunicator at this. it's important. i had buddy roamer on the show talking about the issues and cannot tell you what an incredible response we had from our viewers. you tell this story and the overall story so well. thank you for doing this. i know you could be doing a lot of different things. thanks. lawrence loussig. it's been almost a year since 33 chilean minors were rescued after being trapped underground. today ed schultz hosts a documentary about the miners' ordeal called "17 days buried." it's amazing stuff and has
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exclusive interviews with the miners, themselves. it's going to be airing tonight after this show here on msnbc. i recommend it. first here, best new thing in the world today. or as it says on our rundown board in the office, if you can read my writing, cat, goat, rat, squirrel. ♪ [ female announcer ] have you ever seen a glacier while sunbathing? why not? have you ever climbed a rock wall in the middle of the ocean? or tried something really wild? why not? it's all possible in the nation of why not. royal caribbean's floating nation where you're free to do anything you want. which may be nothing at all. royal caribbean international. visit today.
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this past week has been a good "newsweek" overall.
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for the running competition on our show to be named the best new thing in the world. this we cited from the best sarcastic thing. governor brown send thing letter, and i quote, to the members of the california state senate, i am signing sb-769 which allows for a dead mountain lion to be stuffed and displayed. this presumably important bill earned overwhelmingly support by democrats and republicans. if only that same bipartisan spirit could be used to ending tax laws sending jobs out of state. best country western single released by a conservative democratic senator and reviewed this week by the omaha world herald newspaper, that award goes to ben nelson of nebraska, who, in the song, sounds way more like kermit the frog than i would have expected. but i mean nit a good way.
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♪ i'm going home where the buffalo rome ♪ ♪ so i can see my next of kin >> it's not easy being ben. best country and western single released by a conservative democratic senator and reviewed by the omaha world herald. but for the single best new thing in the whole world today, you must know that this happened at our show's news meeting today. when the person pictured here, our boss, bill wolf, e-mailed this picture to his wife alison, she e-mailed back instantly, how old are you? to which bill replied, 13. bill is not 13. if he was, that beard would not have so much gray in it. but the best new thing in the world that's inspired the beard and the shameless regression to the point of being dressed down by his wife and him being happy
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about it, that's coming up at the end of the show. best new thing in the world, it is awesome. that is next. look, every day we're using more and more energy. the world needs more energy. where's it going to come from? ♪ that's why right here, in australia, chevron is building one of the biggest natural gas projects in the world. enough power for a city the size of singapore for 50 years. what's it going to do to the planet? natural gas is the cleanest conventional fuel there is. we've got to be smart about this. it's a smart way to go. ♪
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he's a rabid fan of the chicago fans and he was also a goat owner. the kind that took his goat everywhere he went, including game four of the 1945 world series between the cubs and the detroit tigers. at the entrance, he and his goat were denied entry. no animals allowed. this infuriated him, so according to legend, he said the cubs ain't going to win no more. the cubs will never win a world series so long as the goat is not allowed in wrigley field. since that day, the cubs have not returned to the world series.
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that is the curse of the billy goat. then there's the black cat curse. in the 1969 season, the same cubs were in first place playing the new york mets when a black cat released from the stands crossed in front of the dugout and reportedly hissed at the cubs. uh-oh. the cubs lost that game and went from first place to eight games behind the mets. that's the curse of the black het. 16 years ago tomorrow, hockey player scott melonby was in the locker room when he saw a rat on the floor. he slayed the rat by smashing it with his stick and scored twice that night. from that point forward, panther fans threw plastic rats by the hundreds on the ice to celebrate big goals and the rat pro-felled florida panthers would up in the stanley cup finals. that's the opposite of a curse, that's the victory vermin. but all of that brings us to now. this is my boss, bill wolf.
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his team, the st. louis cardinals are playing the phillies in a deciding playoff game tonight. bill's concerned we've already jinxed them by even discussing this. but how did the underdog cardinals get this far? by squirrel power. in tuesday's game in st. louis, a squirrel darted across the field and hung out along the third baseline, delaying the game. the squirrel did not stay long and the cards lost 3-2. but then wednesday was different. game four, in st. louis, fifth inning, the cards' skip shoemaker at the count. he delivered the pitch as the squirrel makes his return in front of the plate. the immediate result was ball two. but in the next inning, the cardinals unheralded david freese hit a two-run home run to give the cards a 5-3 win. how certain of the squirrel's power are they? the


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