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tv   The Dylan Ratigan Show  MSNBC  October 11, 2011 4:00pm-5:00pm EDT

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right next to me. it's nice to see everybody and the show starts right now. well, good afternoon to you. we do start with breaking news today. this hour, one of two suspects in a major terror plot is due in federal court in lower manhattan. it is a peculiar plot, to say the least, it may begin more questions or beget more questions than it answers. the fbi and dea busted an assassination plot, which the u.s. says was cooked up by elements, quote, inside the iranian government. what that means is a subject of wild speculation at this hour. whatever it was, it was a plan to attempt to kill the saudi ambassador to the united states on u.s. soil, and it includes the planned use of bombs and a foiled murder-for-hire plot that
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involves an opium deal with a mexican drug cartel. can't make it up, and it is, indeed, both terrifying and perplexing all at the same time. we begin with nbc news justice correspondent, pete williams. pete, we heard the attorney general say this was intended to be an opening act of a broader plot. what, exactly, is the quality of the information that we have that is tying this to whether it's the iranian government, the mexican drug cartels, and all the players that are sort of being whipped around right now. >> reporter: well, just those players that we know of. and it's a very straightforward line, according to the government. they say this whole plot was cooked up in the spring of this year, and the central character is a man named monsieur arbabsi rark r. he was talking with a group general. now, according to court documents, these two started talking back in the spring about
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assassinating the saudi ambassador in the u.s. it's arbabsiar who thinks maybe the way to do it is try to hire members of a mexican drug cartel on the theory that they would be willing to commit crimes for money. so in theory he comes here to the u.s., meets someone in mexico that he thinks is a representative of a mexican drug cartel, but turns out to be an informant for the u.s. drug enforcement administration. and from then on, it really is a sting. several meetings between arbabsiar and this informant. he arranges for two payments of $100 millio $100,000, a down payment for the assassination by setting off bombs
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in this country, a lot of it, understandably, a relative to the threat that iran may or may not pose, how does something like this stay in reality and not get taken up into all sorts of the internet and conservative
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media and whatever it might be, into really just a call to arms to attack. >> it would qualify, if it was true. i think what you have to be concerned about now is there has been a drum beat with regard to the iranian nuclear program. the israelis, we are told, are more concerned, increasingly more concerned about the advances that iran has made in its nuclear program, whether it's a weapons program or not, is in somewhat of a dispute. the iranians deny that. the israelis and to a lesser degree, the u.s. believes it is moving forward. so the question becomes, is this some sort of opening play for a new round of concern over iran? and i think that is something that we have to factor in -- >> what questions would you need
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to have answered to answer that question, relative to what you now know? >> i think one of the questions you would have to know, at what point does the united states say that this was a iranian government-sanctioned plot? they have not yet alleged that. until they allege that, that becomes very difficult. however, you can anticipate that there will be, within the saudi government, with israeli government, a certain level of concern and a certain level of rhetoric that you're going to see in the next few days. >> listen. thank you for your analysis and your time. bob woodrum, with us here in new york. we'll continue to follow the latest developments on this news program or news story, i should say, as we turn our attention to the other big story today here, which is confronting china in the u.s. senate. they are set to vote in the senate in about an hour and a half on a proposed piece of legislation that aims to
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confront china for unfairly manipulating its currency to our detriment and their advantage. as as you know, if you've been watching us here, that currency manipulation undercuts all sorts of things, not the least of which american manufacturing, the numbers speak for themselves. almost 3 million u.s. jobs, most of them manufacturing, lost in the past few years. china has been undervaluing its currency by 30 to 40% as compared to the u.s. dollar, which means that the average chinese good before any other considerations are taken in are 30 to 40% cheaper than anything that can be made in our country, simply by rigging the currency. on the other hand, u.s. goods are that much more expensive in china. how did it get this bad, you might ask? it is half of our trade deficit, after all. unfortunately, we need look no further than that green curtain of money that surrounds washington, d.c. in our auction democracy. because it is that auction by those special interests and the big corporations that bid into
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it that are financing the policies to ensure that we see our jobs exported to china, such that the corporations that are buying our policy makers can continue to accrue the profits from their investments in china. this is just one of the endless reasons, as you know, why all of us, 175,000 partners, you can see we just clicked 175,000, have decided to align around the singular agenda for 2012, of getting money out of politics, to end the auction of our government. we'll get more on get money out and what you can do to help get involved in broadening that message over the course of the next year, later in the program. but for now, let's talk about china. first up, democratic senator sherrod brown. he's the lead sponsor of the china currency bill. he says china is bullying the u.s. on trade and pricing, and first off, senator, where do you stand in the very simple matter of votes? >> we're in good shape, with 62
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senators voted for the -- last thursday morning, voted for cloture, in other words, to end the debate for tuesday's vote. we only need 51. we got 62. that, i think, obviously looks in good shape. there'll be some -- there was some pretty vigorous lobbying over the weekend. i spoke with senator sessions and senator schumer and senator snow about this. they're pretty confident, when they talk to other senators, that we'll get the vote. and this is really all about american jobs, as you said. we've lost hundreds of thousands, as many -- up to as many as 3 million jobs to china in the last decade. half of our trade deficit was with china. our bilateral trade deficit with china has tripled in the last ten years. what that means in laypeople's terms is we're losing jobs, most manufacturing jobs in places like springfield and mansfield and cleveland, ohio. that's why this is so important for the american public. >> so two questions for you. one, you and i both know that
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the treasury department on the executive branch of our government, with the white house, has refused to identify china as a currency manipulator, which evokes a large set of tools for people like yourself in our congress to confront this issue. do you have any feedback from either the white house or the treasury department as to how aligned with your agenda they are and would they sign this the bill? >> well, i think they'll sign the bill. they have not come out publicly supportive of it yet, nor -- and republican leadership in the house has opposed it. but frankly, i look at the votes we have. we get well over a dozen republican votes in the senate. some 50 republicans in the house of representatives have signed on to similar legislation. this really came home to me, a company in brunswick, ohio, the company called automation tool dye run by the bennett brothers lost a $1 million customer because the chinese get a 25% -- as you said, a 25% subsidy,
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basically selling into our market. and that doesn't work for the american public. it doesn't work for jobs, it doesn't work for our companies. >> at this point, i don't think the american people need to be informed of the problem. i think the american people are confused as to why the president and the treasury department have not stepped up to the plate to defend america and the biggest question is, how big is the onslaught of money as we know that the auction process is best to spend money to prevent legislation, that is why the banks spend money, that is why the health care companies spend money, that is why the energy companies spend money, is to prevent policies that would hurt their businesses in the political auction market. how do you know that the political auction market is not going to basically be funded by the multi-nationals who would be hurt by your law, who currently finance a large portion of the political campaigns going into an election cycle? >> well, i'm concerned about that. i know that this is the first time that i can think of in world history where companies will shut down in a place like toledo or dayton, move their
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production and sell the products back to the united states. those are the companies that are mostly fighting against our bill. i think we get bipartisan momentum coming out of the senate. i think that that puts pressure on the house. i think the white house, if the house passes this, i think the white house will sign it. i think they're listening to the american public enough to know that this is costing us jobs. i mean, all americans understand that, as you just pointed out, dylan, and your question was exactly right, that this hurts american, particularly small manufacturers, and it's millions of jobs in this country. we will gain or lose based on whether this currency legislation passes. whether we can finally right this wrong, that our government has let the chinese inflict on us for a decade. >> while accepting campaign finance money from businesses that have been profiting at america's expense, which we leave out of that, which is a critical link in the chain. >> well, and i think that congress is going to listen and
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i think the white house will listen to those small manufacturers, who make such a difference in a community in terms of, from funding the schools to employing the families to paying taxes, to the state and all that they do. and i really do think our chances of passage are very good in the senate and pretty good in the house, and if the house passes, as i said, i think this president will sign it. this president has done some good things on trade enforcement. he needs to step up to the table in china and stand up for american workers. >> we all have our point of view. and i appreciate your point of view on china. i disagree that this president has done anything on trade, other than make it worse, but we can do that on a debate for a different day. it's a pleasure, senator. thank you so much. >> mine too, dylan. >> coming up here on "the d.r. show," the senate not just set to vote on a china bill, but also on the president's jobs plan. plus, a march on the mansion. occupy protesters paying a visit to some of new york's wealthiest home.
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this is a moment of truth for the u.s. senate. in front of them is a bill, a jobs bill, that independent economists have said would grow this economy. >> it would, indeed, but would it add the 30 million jobs we need? it's a do-or-die night for our
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president and his jobs plan, set for a critical senate vote. the bill likely to fail. and if that happens, it won't just be because of republicans, as a few key democratic senators are either nos or leaning that way. what, then, happens to the inempli unimpu unemployed in this country? the next part would be to pass parts of the president's bill piecemeal, but i'm not sure the 30 million unemployed in this country would be okay with that. consider this. even in its entirety, the president plan, at its best, creates 1.9 million jobs. would you accept a solution to a 30 million jobs problem that is less than 2 million jobs? and isn't that the equivalent of trying to take down a rhino in the jungle with a bb gun? let's turn to our tuesday megapanel. karen finney, susan del percio,
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and of course, the newly minted get money out foundation executive director, jimmy williams. karen, there's an obvious desire to look at the president's intent and this mission as honorable, as righteous, as the correct path. at the same time, how many chances does the president or any politician or any coalition get to go to the floor with a major plan? and if the plan goes through and isn't actually the solution, a la a lot of the things that we've seen, not just from this president, but from a lot of presidents in this country, does he and do they not risk further alienating the electorate, ultimately by saying we've got this plan, and even if the plan happens, it doesn't address the scale of the problem. >> look, i think, ultimately, that's the question that the election is going to be asking people, right? is that, let's say -- everybody's assuming that the president's plan doesn't go through. let's say it did go through. that's exactly the question. people will be asking whoever the republican nominee, who will
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be saying, i've got a better plan, and president obama who will be saying, stick with me and my plan. that's who they have to decide, do we stay with the guy we know, switch forces midstream? >> isn't that the reason, jimmy, why people feel trapped in this sort of bogus two-party debate? you walk into the room and you're presented with, okay, do you want to stick with this guy who's got a 2 million jobs plan, or do you want to go with these guy who say they've got a different plan when we've been consistent presented as a people with plans from both parties that fail to address the scale and nature of our problems. and i believe the reason that we're seeing the level of all the angst in our society is a pent-up, a building frustration at the failure of either the political party or the media, for that matter, willingness to address the scale of what we're dealing with. >> well, they all have jobs so, i guess in a way, what the hell do they care? they care.
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and i guess that i care. i don't think that speaker boehner or leader mcconnell or president obama don't care. i think they care. i think they have fundamentally different ideas about how to do it. >> what if they're both wrong. what if they're both wrong. >> here's the problem. i want a debate. i want a debate on the senate floor. i want henry clay and daniel webster and john c. calhoun to take their dead selves out of their graves and walk on to the senate floor and show these juveniles and sophomores how to do it. that's what i want. >> but who would listen, jimmy? >> i would listen. >> you would listen, but you would be one of the few. who's going to carry it? >> well, the 30 million people that done have jobs, make they can sit in front of their tvs like they are now and listen to a senate floor. but instead, we're going to run through procedural debates because people are fill buribusg this or jiving this or whatever
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it is. >> i agree. i came on in january saying, they have a small window, maybe one or two months to get something done, they didn't. >> i thought you were overly optimistic when you said that, by the way. >> i had hope. right now, everyone is frustrated, and dylan, you're right, on both sides, what's to say something's going to work or not? i mean, the president's 1.9 -- >> -- won't work if the problem -- if i walk in and say, listen, you have cancer, and i come up with a plan to stretch out your hamstrings, and you go to your doctor and say, no, no, i came here because i have cancer. and cancer in our case, we're down 30 million jobs and suffering extraction and you're coming up with a plan to stretch out my legs. that's why you're seeing frustration. but i want to move to the other side of the aisle. there's other news today, on the republican side, which as you may have already heard, new jersey governor chris christie picked his horse for the gop field in 2012. >> i'm here in new hampshire today for one simple reason. america cannot survive another
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four years of barack obama and mitt romney is the man we need to the lead america, and we need him now. >> classic case of lesser of two evils voting. trash the other guy and offer very little alternative. it's been working very well for a while. it appears that the plan is to say, listen, barack obama stinks and we're not barack obama, so come with us. again, the frustration of the american people, one crappy jobs plan or no plan, two bad choices. this mechanism of political debate seems like it's a short timer to me. >> i agree with that. although i have to tell you, as an african-american in this country, i have a different frustration. i am so angry that we spent the weekend talking about more momo and let rick perry -- i don't care about mitt romney being a mormon, i care about rick perry growing up in texas with the kinds of language or the name that was on that rock on his ranch. i think it's disgusting we're
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having a conversation about religion instead of race. and i know the economy's really important, but so is race. and race is tied to the economy, and we're not having that conversation. >> why do you think that is? >> i think we're afraid. i think people are very afraid to have this conversation. i think most media outlets are more comfortable talking about race than they are -- i'm sorry, talking about religion, than they are about race. people can talk about religion and mormonism in this very technical, you know, sort of way -- >> and they don't put themselves at risk -- whereas the race conversation forces the people having it to put themselves at risk, they may feel like they're puts themselves at risk, and oh, my goodness, this is scary, but the fact of the matter is, racism exists, we know it exists as a mathematical fact, so to speak, but we also know the only way i can mathematically measure it, right now, that i can observe is the systemic incarceration of young black men, which regardless of what you think about racism, is something that is a real issue. >> and that conversation on race took longer than two or four years. or even eight years to take place. and what we see now is conversations, because people
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are afraid, in two-year cycles, as members. six if they're senate. this takes a longer time and it goes to what you had said earlier about what changes. if you're giving me a diagnosis, i have cancer, and you're fixing my hamstring, what's going to happen? people, whether it's the occupy wall street movement, have to be committed for the long haul. our leaders have to be committed beyond a two-year cycle for us. >> very quickly, jim? >> if i can get this right, i think i remember one night watching some kind of documentary on fran leavowitz, and she was asked about barack obama being elected a black president. and i think her answer was, it's not that barack obama was elected as the first black president, the question is, until he's re-elected or a black man or black woman is re-elected, then we as a country can't get past the race issue. >> i've got to run this commercial. this is the god's of commercial
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television, not any disrespect to the conversation, which we will -- we will expand. we take a break, however, now. millionaires march is the version of the day. occupy wall streeters striking close to home. we'll talk about harnessing that rage and whether it can be converted into the positive action that we are seeking with our get money out campaign. we're back after this. time for the your business entrepreneur of the week. mobile medical international, a builder of mobile surgical units, hit hard times in its first years of operations. owner rick cochran asked employees to work without pay, maintaining their health insurance. soon, business boomed and the company was named the spa's 2011 small business of the year. for more, watch "your business" sunday mornings at 7:30 on msnbc. [ male announcer ] tom's discovering that living healthy can be fun. see? he's taking his vitamins. new one a day vitacraves plus omega-3 dha is a complete multivitamin for adults.
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we all know it. america is mad as hell and on the march. occupy wall street protesters rallied outside the homes of new york business titans on fifth avenue today, targeting news corp. owner rupert murdoch and jpmorgan chief jamie dimon, catching our own susan del percio along the way. in the nation's capital, half a dozen arrests after they took their message into senate offices, and it has been arrests and fireworks if boston where
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the occupation there may be the most heated in america. remember, they do have the bona fide history of paul revere and the original tea party, inspiring all those college kids in boston from harvard to m.i.t. to umbc. as a result, police in boston cracking down, arresting 129 on what they call the green necklace, which is a park running off the river up there in boston. how long will these protests go and will they focus on an agenda that is a consolidated agenda to restore fairness? beyond that, can they move beyond the heroes and villains to look at the actual system that we are working inside of for a given tycoon or a given hero will not either bring this system down nor will he or she save it. it is only our collective action to form a system that is rewarding this behavior that gives us any chance of
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harvesting this anger for positive change. to that end, with us today, our specialist, oregon congressman, kurt sclhrader, who's introduce his own amendment to get money out of politics. it's a pleasure to meet you, sir. >> thank you, dylan. likewise. >> the logic, as i read through your amendment, one question that struck me was, it appears that money is still speech in your language. why not reach to that high bar of effectively ncaa rules and the auction, instead of trying to control the auction and who can bid, ending the auction and forcing a different campaign finance mechanism. >> well, that's a certainly valid alternative, but i've been in this business far too long and seen way too much money involved. and back in oregon, they tried to cut it down to 100 bucks allowed and that was it. and it just didn't pass the common sense test. unfortunately, we live in a mass media age where television and social media rule the day.
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and at this point in time, you've got to get a message out. so i'm trying to find a practical solution that democrats and republicans can actually rally around, and just allows congress to limit contributions and expenditures to avoid the sense of corruption that i think many people that you're seeing on wall street are seeing and feeling right now today. >> jamie? >> congressman, i love what you've done, but here's my question. the supreme court and citizens united and other cases, buckley v. vallejo and others, has specifically said that money is speech. until -- and every single time, in every one of those court decisions, they have struck down or they have watered down or they've just diluted the theory of campaign finance reform from mccain/feingold, forbes, and backwards. if we don't get -- i get what you guys did in oregon, but here, it's simple. either money buys an election or it doesn't. and it's a $25 donation or a $25 million donation by the koch brothers. at the end of the day, isn't
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there a quid pro quo, no matter what the number is? and if so, doesn't that mean there should be no number, no money at all? >> well, in the ideal world, when it started, communication was slow, it was by written hand, you knew your neighbors, you knew exactly what was going on in your locale, and everybody knew everybody. maybe so. and i just -- again, in an ideal world, certainly. i'm just trying to find a logical path that kind of threads the difficulties we find in this modern society. i think what i would like to comment, though, is that if you limit, if you give congress the ability to limit contributions and expenditures at a reasonable level, then no one's created more equal than the next. jpmorgan can't contribute more than dylan ratigan, quite frankly, at the end of the day. it's going to be the same. and i think the quarters have, with vallejo and buckley and with mccain/feingold, had come to -- up until the recent supreme court decision -- had come to the point where a
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certain amount of distribution is fine. i'm just a realist. >> congressman, but when you talk about expenditures, i'm just curious, how do you rationalize what a congressman needs to spend to get elected in new york city, for example, and what they would have to spend if they wanted to get their message out versus, let's say, south dakota, where the media market is not nearly as competitive. how do you determine what's the proper amount? >> that's something that congress could easily do. we represent all 50 states in the territories. we would have to come to that balance. i have a little trouble understanding that $250,000 is middle income back east. from where we are, that's a very rich person. but we come to some kind of accommodation at the end of the day. and i also point out, in the urban areas, you don't need to reach as great a territory. i think it balances out over the long haul. i studied this in the state legislature, and as a citizen, a veterinarian, discussed it with all the information that was out there. most of it, misinformation. if we thought the last election
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cycle was bad, wait until the koch brothers, wait until everything starts cranking up their big machines. it's going to be very, very ugly. people are going to be so turned off. i think that's where our constitutional amendment to get the money out of politics approach, my colleague, don edwards amendment -- >> but with all due respect, congressman, your amendment does not get the money out of politics. i believe that that's a lie. what you're doing is you're controlling -- you're saying that the congress should be trusted to control how much money is in politics, and i think that where certainly myself and the 175,000 petitioners that have joined in the past ten days would respectfully ask for your consideration is to consider the distinction between a controlled auction, as defined by your amendment, and the ending of the auction, as defined by ours, as we will, quite happily and have already, dive into your amendment. >> well, i'm just -- based on practical experience. sounds good. you know, i support what you guys are doing. you're really pushing the
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envelope, which i think is excellent. you're creating the right counterpoint to what's going on right now, which is total, unlimited spending. people can't understand what's going on. candidates can't control their own message. even you have friends of yours helping you, but they could be totally off message and not talking about what you really feel and believe. >> absolutely. and congressman, we appreciate your passion for the subject and your willingness to join us in the debate and your own efforts unrelated to anything that we are doing, we appreciate. thank you, sir. >> we'll work together. >> wonderful. we look forward to that. and we would like that. as we -- speaking of working together, where are we together? an update on the get money out campaign that we began some 10, 12 days ago. at this point, more than 175,000 people, we are three quarters of the way to our first official double, have now signed up on as you know, we have established a foundation, thanks to the donations of leo hindery and others who will be making
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themselves known very quickly here. jimmy williams has resigned his position in washington, d.c., to do this. and ultimately, we are looking to inform the politicians in d.c. that we are coming. we did that last week. we'll go back there tomorrow. remember, we are currently in phase ii. our first double is the goal. our first and only way to get there is to use the power of the digital wave. we must be partners. when we sign the petition, we must agree, each of us, to tell a friend to double our individual impact or else we will forfeit the benefit of the digital wave and the doubling mechanism. once we are doing that, and nothing can be more important than that, we must join a public debate on the amendment language, not only here, but in every forum, twitter, facebook,, wherever you want to do it. the more active we all are, the better chance we all are to end the auction of our government. it is an honor to partner with all of you in this undertaking and we will be back right after this. ♪
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well at some point, we've already dreamed of being able to control things with our minds, like a jedi. getting that remote that's just out of reach, maybe telling a police officer you were not actually speeding. the possibilities would seem endless. well, we may be stuck with our speeding tickets, but using your mind to change the channel may soon be a reality. in england, researchers have now developed technology, get this, that allows all of us to control computer screens and remote control cars, a light switch, even a tv with nothing but the brain pattern expressed by your thoughts. the system would use a headset with electrodes attached to your head, which pick up brain signals, read them, and relay them to the computers, which then implement the prescribed action. so when you think about turning
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on the light or moving the image on the screen, the computer recognizes the signals and does it. and it's not just the brits experimenting with this sort of mind control. swiss researchers are trying to help the handicapped control wheelchairs with their thoughts and nissan is working on a program that would anticipate your intentions and eliminate the kind of tedious actions that are riddled with human error, like, for instance, steering. researchers say the biggest hurdle to all of this is getting the program to recognize our cluttered brain patterns, so just as yoda once told luke, before you can control anything with your mind, you must learn to clear your mind. next, the simple economics of sex. a professor who says more gender equality means more sex for all. . with advanced power, the verizon 4g lte network makes your business run faster:
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willpower is determined by our biochemistry. that there's actually a mathematical calculation that can be done. breaking it down with us, psychologist roy bombmeister, co-author of "rediscovering the greatest human strength." roy, what is the correlation biological between what we eat and how we live and our willpower? >> well, willpower is your capacity for self-control and it depends on a variety of things. you need to -- the energy you use for willpower comes from the food you eat. so it isn't bite by bite that you get better, but having an adequate amount of food and energy in your system enables you to control yourself better. >> you say in your book that researchers were able to predict that 80% accuracy in which prison convicts would commit crimes based on your assessment of their willpower. how is that possible?
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>> well, criminality depends to a great deal on self-control or a lack of self-control. people who show good patterns of being able to regulate their behavior will be more likely once they're released from prison to obey society's laws. criminality is sort of a general breakdown and a general disregard for laws. it's not like we see in the movies, where you specialize and become expert at a certain kind of crime. it's more a general lack of inhibition or lack of respect for the rules. most criminals are arrested again and again for different crimes. >> you say to build willpower, you have to do small but regular mind exercises, don't tame every bad habit at one, watch for ego fatigue, and you say don't diet, because it create it starves self-control system. most interesting, do small but regular mind exercises.
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what do you mean? >> self-control works like a muscle, so after you use it, it gets tired, but as you use it regularly, it can get stronger. this is one of the great things, because self-control is one of the strongest keys to success and happiness inwomen so they c
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get more sex, and that when women were in a disadvantaged position, that this was to the benefit of men so they could have more sex. very much the opposite appears to be true. men and women have a much more active sex lives when the two genders are equal. i can elaborate on that if you like, but that is the basic finding. >> i'll take it at that, and i think we'll assume a pro pro-equality position if we hadn't already. i think that's further evidence that equality is a better way to relate among human beings, whether it's on matters of sex or any other issues. clearly the fairness principles create more balanced activity in general. congratulations on the book and thank you for teaching us a little bit this afternoon. the book, rediscovering the greatest human strength, "willpower," roy baumeister, one of the co-authors, thanks for the lesson. and coming up on "hardball," chris matthews with a preview of
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the gop debate tonight, but first, what our entire country can learn from a bunch of wisconsin cheeseheads. the daily rant is straight ahead. uh... um... [ bling! ] four score... [ bling! ] ...and seven years ago... [ bling! ] i kissed emily costa... eww! [ male announcer ] unlimited talk and text, only $45 a month, add more lines only $25 each. plus other low prices every day on everything. save money. live better. walmart. and here's what we did today: supported nearly 3 million steady jobs across our country... ... scientists, technicians, engineers, machinists... ... adding nearly 400 billion dollars to our economy...
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well, today's daily rant is about a very specific type of capitalism. apparently, they call it cheesehead capitalism, and david goodfriend takes the floor. hello, sir. >> hello, dylan, thank you. you know, as the presidential election process moves into full-blown philly season, we're hearing some odd statements about what real free market american capitalist economy looks like. on the far right, they say anything other than casino amounts to socialism.
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and on the left, they say corporations are the enemy, but as usual, the extremes are wrong. most jobs and economic activity in this country originate in the private sector. that's true. but american private enterprise works best when the majority of people feel they have a stake in it. if the system is working well for most of us, we generally like it. and when it looks like it's just siphoning off of us in order to chosen we don't. what we need in america are organizations that feel they have an ownership stake and get treated fairly. it's just that simple. now, if you say i'm just a dreamer, consider my life-long favorite professional sport team of all time, the green bay packers. the packers are the only american professional sports team owned entirely by fans. that's right. the packers are not owned by some retired oil billionaire, they're owned by the fans. in 1923, when team founder curley lambeau was running out of money, he offered shares of stock in his young team, but there was a catch. to buy a share, you had to live in wisconsin and no single shareholder could acquire a controlling stake.
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it worked! fans bought shares and kept the team afloat. today, there are over 112,000 packers shareholders. they hold the annual shareholders meeting in lambeau field, green bay, wisconsin. so how does a team owned by fans compare to all the other teams owned by a few wealthy individuals? well, the packers have won the championship 13 times, more than any other team in nfl history, including last year. i went to the game with my kid. it was awesome. and don't be surprised if they're back in the super bowl this year. so, clearly, being owned by a large group of fans hasn't hurt. and just as important, you don't ever hear story of the packers threatening to leave green bay. the fans own the team. so even the smallest town in the nfl keeps its team. now, why does all this matter? it matters because today americans are upset, whether it's protesters in madison or wall street or even the tea partyers, who i usually disagree, there's a general feeling out there that the deck has been stacked against the little guy by people in power. we sense that the idea of owning
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our own share of the american dream is slipping away. so what folks need these days is a sense that they have a stake, some share, some say in their futures. sure, the green bay packers are just a football team, but they're also a private corporation that invited a large group of ordinary people to invest, own, and control the enterprise. they're an example of what can happen when, instead of investing ownership in a select view, you allow everyone a shot at putting skin in the game, and what a game it is when you let everybody play. just ask the packers, who are now 5-0. >> and isn't really the base narrative of what capitalism is working together with aligned interests toward a shared goal, where money, ideas, and resources align. and if it works, everybody gets more money. >> but we all have to feel we own a stake in it. >> precisely. but what you're describing is an aligned interest between the fans, the team, and the ownership structure. >> that's right. >> which basically is pure capitalism. >> it can work. you have capitalism that works for everybody. >> i would say nothing works better than that.


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