tv The Last Word MSNBC December 23, 2011 1:00am-2:00am EST
>> we begin with the massive game of political chicken going on here in our nation's capital. >> a flurry of words today from all sides. >> a faction of house republicans have refused to support this compromise. >> sorry, but the president's like, y'all are in this mess. >> this handling or this chaotic handling by the house republicans may, in fact, help president obama's re-election. >> minority leader mitch mcconnell has even broken his silence, urging speaker boehner to pass the short-term payroll tax deal. >> when mcconnell comes out and separates himself publicly from boehner, there has never been daylight between the two of them politically until today. >> has this place become so dysfunctional, even when people agree to things we can't do it? >> you have senate republicans, the white house, the "wall street journal" editorial board essentially saying cut bait, make the two-month deal and let's move on. >> john bayer is now establishing a track record of not really being somebody you can kind of deal w. >> they better care about the politics of it. if they don't care about the politics of the it, they are going to end up losing their
power. >> it certainly feels like house republicans are on an island. >> the idea of, oh, yes, we are against taxes, we forgot that, now it is too late. >> enough is enough. >> just move on. get this thing finished. >> why are you going to continue this fight where you're losing the optics, losing the messaging and now you're just confusing people on top of all of that? >> as you know in politics and also in poker, off bad hand, you actually need to fold. >> surrender. john boehner and the house republicans finally realized there was no way out of the corner they painted themselves in on the payroll tax cut and they have caved. score one, a big one, for the president and the democrats. i'm melissa harris-perry in for lawrence o'done this will evening. the breaking news of the day the standoff over the temporary payroll tax cut extension is over.
for those of you playing at home, it is president obama, 1, house republicans, 0. now, here is how house speaker john boehner who wanted to take the compromise deal last week, started the day. >> the house passed the bill that would extend these policies for a year and it just kicked the can down the road, oh, my goodness, we are getting close to christmas is not the right thing for the american people. >> and here is where boehner ended up. >> senator reid and i have reached an agreement on payroll tax relief on behalf of the american people. key parts of this agreement are that on january 1st no american work letter see an increase in their taxes. we will ensure that a new complex reporting burden is not unintentionally imposed on small business. we will ask the house and senate to approve this agreement by unanimous concept before christmas. middle class families and small
businesses are struggling and they are making sacrifice and i think this agreement will help our economy. >> i want to be really clear about this. i know speaker boehner was trying to make it sound like something changed, like the house republicans won something in this six-day stand off they started. it was the same deal what senate republican leader mitch mcconnell told boehner do in the statement he released today. the house should pass this as an ex-steps that locks in the thousands of keystone xl pipeline jobs, prevents any disruption of the payroll tax holiday or other expiring provision and allows congress to work on a solution for the longer extensions. now, boehner's 180 turnabout came a day after being hammered by the democrats, members of his own party and by president obama. >> nearly every democrat in the senate voted for that compromise.
nearly every republican in the senate voted for that compromise. democrats and even some republicans in the house voted for that compromise. i am ready to sign that compromise into law the second it lands on my desk. so far, the only were it hasn't landed on my desk, the only reason, is because a faction of house republicans have refused to support this compromise. this isn't a typical democrat versus republican issue. this is an issue where an overwhelming number of people in both parties agree. how can we not get that done? i mean, has this place become so dysfunctional that even when people agree to things we can't do it? the house needs to pass a short-term version of this compromise and then we should negotiate an agreement as
quickly as possible to extend the payroll tax cut and unemployment insurance for the rest of 2012. this is exactly what the republican leader of the senate said we should do. >> and the pile on keeps on coming from senate majority leader harry reid today. i'm grateful that the voices of reason have prevailed and speaker boehner has agreed to pass the senate's bipartisan compromise. from president obama, i congratulate members of congress by ending the partisan stalemate by reaching an agreement that meets that test. i want to thank every american who raise third voice to remind those in this town what america was all b today, your voices made all the difference. alex wagner, host of now with alex wagner on weekdays noon eastern here on msnbc and msnbc analyst richard wolffe, author of "revival, the struggle for survival inside the obama white house." thanks for joining me. you and i were talking about this earlier today on your show on now.
it looks like we now have a deal. here's what boehner said when asked if he had the votes. >> do you have assurances from your conference nobody will object to unanimous consent on the house side? do you have everybody on your line? >> you know that but our goal is to -- >> oh. >> yeah. it doesn't feel very con vision. >> you could almost see his fingers and toes crossed, i hope i do i really can't have any more egg on my face. just information if the house doesn't pass this, it will cost american taxpayers $4 million to fly the house back again to have another vote, assuming tomorrow's vote fails. you have got to assume that there is some kind of accord in the house they can pass this literally, john boehner's speakership has been under yet entire year in terms of rounding up his caucus together. this has been the most pronounced split.
not only a split between house republicans but a split between the republicans in the senate and the house. you had literally mitch mcconnell, john mccain, the "wall street journal" editorial board against john boehner, effectively position the republicans as the party against a tax cut which is an anathema to this current wave of republicans. i think boehner is weakened. if he can't get the house to pass this bill, i don't know what that means for his speakership. >> let me turn to you, richard, on exactly that question. part of this was the optics. there was president obama standing surrounded by kind of ordinary american taxpayers and there was john boehner literally all by himself. >> i know. and at christmas, too. look, he's zombie speaker. he is. it is over. he agreed to deal. had to back track from the deal. if you were a betting person, you would say he has not got unanimity, not the word would you apply this republican caucus. so it just takes someone, tea party freshmen, to want the limelight and say you lie, it's over and then he has to call everyone back for a vote, no to
say he won't get it through, but it is another round of embarrassment. by the way, then has to go into the negotiations for the year-long deal and how weak is the negotiating position from the get-go on that? so he really doesn't have much of a leadership position after all of this. and the president's numbers keep on rising. and he -- you know, bill clinton used to say you could be strong and wrong 'cause that always beats weak and right. in this case, john boehner has come out being weak and wrong. >> let me ask about this new idea, for example, for tea party freshmen who want the limelight. supposed tonight most exciting battle now the kitchen fight between newt and mitt. but is this -- is the real battle between eric canter, and boehner? does captor simply dislike this man? is there -- what is going on politically in this story? >> i think there's definitely a power grab. i mean, you know, some people say eric cantor, you haven't seen as much of eric cantor as you have seen of john boehner
because eric cap thor is busy driving the knife into john boehner's back. eric captor has sort of taken himself to be the representative of the rowdy tea party caucus and the thorn in bainers a side every time he has a grand bar gape. your point about gingrich v romney, we talked about this on the show, this is part of the larger cleave in the republican party, a group of very archconservative, deficit above all else, incredibly right-wing republicans against the establishment and that's exactly what you see in the capped dash so i was newt gingrich and mitt romney and the split in their supporters. now, richard, if we were to ask boehner and someone did whether or not he caved, here's what he said. >> sometimes it's politically difficult do the right thing. may not have about politically the smartest thing in the world but i'm going to tell you what, i think our members waged through a good fight, we were able to come to an agreement, able to fix what -- what came out of the senate.
>> am i -- am i crazy or is this position i tried do the best i could but things were just tough. is that not the corner they have about trying to put president obama in for a while, going on four years now? >> right. well, actually, this has really been playing out as let's punish the president. it's not actually -- i know there's all this language they use about deficits and spending and being responsible and all of that but remember, they don't want to pay for tax cuts normally. they don't think tax cuts have to be offset and yet tried to do it with this one. this suspect about ideology, not about a deficit, it is about sticking the president with something he didn't want to have to deal with and came off on the wrong side of t so they can try and put the best face in it but ended up really undermining their brand, undermining what they stand for, undermining their ideological principals all because they have been driven crazy by this president and end up on the losing side of it, too. you can only imagine that coming out of this they are going to be
even more upset, we really are talking about the tea party folks driven not by ideology but hatred for this president. >> let's pretend there was an ideological position or policy position here, because i want to pause and think about what happened today, what was the actual policy that looks like will now go into effect. we have been talking a lot about the tax cut piece, but on the extension of unemployment insurance, what kind of difference does this substantively make for the american people? >> i would take issue with what richard said, i don't often take i shall would you the position of richard wolffe. i think sticking it to president obama is the gilding of the lily. at the end of the day this whole argument speak to a part of the republican party that fundamentally believes that the takers, those at the bottom, the poor and those on, you know, those getting the tax credits and those getting unemployment insurance are taking an unfair
share from the makers and this whole idea of the stratification of wealth in this country and the way in which the poor have been getting a free ride. so, this is an opportunity to ensure that you know, this is an opportunity to tackle up employment insurance and cut back from 99 weeks to 79 weeks to 59 weeks, an effort to cut back on a tax incentive that would largely benefit the middle class. this is part of a broader re-envisionsing of a social compact at the heart of this republican congress. >> richard, off challenge here, in the heat of the kitchen from alex wagner. >> alex wagner's hell kitchen. >> that's right. is there some ideology here is that what is going on, particularly with the unemployment insurance element? >> on unemployment sure and key step xl pipeline, sure. trying to add some pet projects into this, certainly they hate unemployment insurance. really looking at the tax cut position, it is not consistent. i want to roll back to the tape
to the 1980s, when there was a concerted free market ideology, consistency was really important for conservatives. there is no consistent position on tax cuts here. that's why politically you it has been so awful, why the "wall street journal" editorial board doesn't like what the republicans are doing here, just on the issue of taxes, i don't think they have a big enough strategy in mind for punishing the middle class at this point. yes, a year would be better is what everyone wants. two months is not satisfactory to anyone. they haven't been able to get enough concessions to justify in their minds a two-month thing. so, they try to get more and it didn't work. so on the politics, on the short-termism, it didn't work, i don't think is there a bigger game plan, other than let's make life difficult for the president and what they have ended up doing, alex is right there, they ended up hurting the middle class people, actually not in the middle class, people earning less than the average wage in this country, $1,000 a year makes a huge difference. this suspect peanuts. >> makes a big difference to those households as well as the broader economy.
alex wagner and richard wolffe, thank you so much for joining me. >> thanks, melissa. >> thanks, melissa. coming up, will tina fay's famous imitation of sarah palin be overshadowed by julie anna moore's portrayal of game change? the first preview is out. we will have that and the day's 2012 headlines is next. including another endorsement for mitt romney. and later, how our society's declining trust in government institutions is slowly killing santa claus. [ sniffs ] i have a cold. [ sniffs ] i took dayquil
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last night you hbo film reese leased a trailer for movie "game change." here in the world of political news, we are really excited. that's going to premiere in march and it is based on the must-have best-selling book about the 2008 presidential campaign entitled requests game change, obama, the clintons, mccain and palin, the race of a lifetime." >> obama just changed the entire dynamic. it is a changed year, sir. >> we need to create a dynamic moment in this campaign.
or we're dead. >> senator mccain today reshuffling his most senior campaign staff. >> we desperately need a game change pick and up in of these middle-aged white guys are game changers. >> so, find me a woman. >> sarah. sarah. sarah. sarah. sarah. >> i will be honored to accept your nomination for vice president of the united states. >> joining me now, co-author of the book, "game change" and consultant on the film, john heilemann. he is also the new york magazine national affairs editor and msnbc political analyst. nice to see you john. >> hey, melissa, how are you doing? >> great. and part is because we have all been talking about this trailer every day all very excited about it.
i wanted to ask you, obviously, 2008 is an extraordinary election, but what is it that makes it a game-changing election? in other words, what are the elements that are actually impacting these republican candidates in iowa right now in 2012? >> wow. well, look, the biggest game change of 2008 was the election of barack obama. i think everything that has happened over the course of the 2012 cycle so far has been through the prism of the intense desire on the part of the republican party to get rid of barack obama as president. we have seep the conservative wing, the most conservative wing of the party that is driving these -- the pry mannered caucus system looking for an alternative to mitt romney throughout 2011 and it is all motivated by this very intense desire to have a republican candidate who can beat the president in november 2012 but also one who can beat him april long the way and that's why i think you see so many republicans who are a little bit
he is talent to get behind the nominal front-runner, former massachusetts governor mitt romney. >> so, there is somebody today willing to get behind this nominal front require and that is president george h. w. bush. now, granted, president obama was one of the only one-term republican presidents since world war ii, but that said, he seems to be saying exactly the opposite of what we saw in that trailer is that we don't need a game changer, we need this best choice because he is mature and reasonable and i think the president said not a bomb thrower. so, what does that mean? has president bush not learned the game change lessons from '08? >> well, i think that president bush is an arch establishment tearian, for sure, some ways embodies the republican establishment, not surprising to see him fall in behind line behind mitt romney. the romney campaign rolled out a series of establishment endorsements, including bob dole, the 1996 republican nominee. i think a lot of republicans who
believe in the establishment that they don't want someone who is a pugilist, someone who is going to try to take big punches at barack obama a lot of republican professionals, again, establishment tear yans, think if the key to winning in is try to make the race as much as possible a referindum on barack obama's leadership. and for that, in some ways, mitt romney is the ideal candidate because note going to offend swing voters as much some of the other candidates might. he is going to allow republicans to keep the focus on the president and the president's record. that's why they think that even though romney is not an exciting you candidate, he might be the best chance they have to win. >> speaking of exciting punl lists there is one possibility out there, and is the vice presidential position, the possibility of new jersey governor chris christie and when he was asked whether or not he kind of closed the door on accepting the vp nomination, here is the response he had. >> the fact is if governor romney wants to come to me and talk about that we will have a full complete conversation about it and mary pat and i will make
a decision what we want to do with our future. >> so, is he their game changer this time if you put christie on the ticket with mitt, do we have a pugilist in there, a fighter? >> certainly you have a pugilist and a fight, a guy who is very -- not only following fight with you but willing to spit on you as he fights with you in chris christie, i think that chris christi at the top of the ticket would be a game changer because he would open up states that there is a problem w sarah palin was an attempt to disprove this rule, but vice presidential candidates don't generally change the game. i think chris christie, like everybody else, no matter what he says, no matter what any of them say, if they are offered the vice presidential nomination, almost to a person they will accept t you never close the door on that very hard when the nominee of your party comes to you and says i need to you help me get elected president. very hard to say no.
i think chris christie was very frank there yes, of course, i will consider it unless my wife says no i will probably take it. that is are really true for all of them. >> one last possibility, has the game changed so much that a reality tv star in the person of donald trump could mount a serious third party campaign here? >> i don't think anything donald trump does is serious. i want to put that off the table. i do think the likelihood of a serious third party candidacy in is very high and it's higher than it has been since the time of ross perot and i think it is all the higher if anybody but mitt romney gets the republican nomination. if newt gingrich gets the republican nomination, the odds better than 50/50 there will be one or more third party candidates, a lot of interest in that in the country and a lot of people with a lot of money thinking they want to get someone who represents a third way, who is not a far right person or in their view you accurately or not, a far left person in barack obama. i think the centrist impulse is very strong you will see that happen. >> thanks so much for joining me tonight, john mileman, co-author
of "game change" and national affairs editor for new york magazine and msnbc political an list. i appreciate it. >> thanks, melissa. >> thanks. the olympic games have been cancelled and the communists are the ones to blame. more on that later. and i will tell you what happens to democracy when we stop believing in santa claus. , gas and bloating. with three strains of good bacteria to help balance your colon. you had me at "probiotic." [ female announcer ] phillips' colon health. ♪ it's nice to see you in my bed ♪ ♪ ♪ there are diamonds in her eyes ♪ ♪ and they sparkle in the night ♪ [ male announcer ] this is your moment. ♪ when the moment comes alive
a 24-year-old is bringing the past back to life in twitter. we will step inside the time machine and have him takes back to world war ii in 1939. stay tuned. later, one of our viewers created his own video for our kids in needs of desks program. his video was uploaded five days ago and has more than 200,000 hits. that's coming up. [ male announcer ] alka-seltzer plus presents: the cold truth.
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stop taking cialis and call your doctor right away. [ male announcer ] ask your doctor if cialis for daily use is right for you. for a 30-tablet free trial offer, go to cialis.com. okay so this guy in london has the coolest idea, bringing world war ii to life for the twitter generation live tweeting the entire war.
follow it at real time world war ii and i think this is an important and worthwhile exercise. america is, right now, a country at war. how many americans know what happened in afghanistan today? there are families in america whose only wish this year is that their loved ones fighting overseas will be safe but how connected are we as a country to their sacrifice? everybody in every country that was part of the second world war lived it, no one was up touched, no one on any given day would end. the realtime tweeting of world war ii captures the immediacy and realty of that lived experience. the internet has made the world much smaller today than it was for the people living during world war ii. they would probably be shocked to know that people in countries on opposite sides of the war and people from all over the globe are all virtually living the war together in 2011. so, we are going to step back in time and follow right along.
>> a new year is at hand. we cannot tell what it will bring. if it brings a peace, how thankful we will all be. if it brings us continued struggle, we shall remain undaunted. all are member of the great family of nations, which is prepared to sacrifice everything, that freedom may be saved for the world. >> that was the christmas
message from king george to the british empire, broadcast all across the globe, including to our neighbors in canada. we are on the eve of a new decade, the 1940s here in america. we don't know quite what the new year will bring. for our friends in europe, it seems certain to bring continued fighting. there were hopes that this new, strange war as british prime minister neville chamberlin has called it would be over by christmas but hitler's aggression has been persistent since invading poland four months ago and the people of finland are fighting desperately to hold off the advancing soviet army into their country. british soldiers joined the french while back in england, families celebrating an anxious holiday under the threat of air raids. joining me now from london is alwin colinson who is covering all the developments of the war. good evening. >> good evening. >> tonight, the world is thinking of the people of finland, trying to hold off
sovits, how is the resistance going? >> well, fin land has stunned europe with that astonishing resistance. three weeks ago, when russia attacked fin land, they had 450,000 men, over 300 tanks, planes, everything, a modern army and the at this points, 30,000 men, less than 30 tanks. and in the last three weeks, the fins have not only stopped that russian juggernaut rolling down on them but they have actually counterattacked. they are using the cold weather, they are using their familiarity with the terrain and that breaking deep into the russian lines. trying to chop up the russian forces into what they call fire wood battles. so they are chopping up the red army and they are getting ready to destroy it in front of their defensive lines drawn all across their boarder with russia. >> now, it seems not so important in the face of that kind of reporting, but the fact
is all around the world, we are so disappointed to hear that the 1940 olympic games scheduled to be held in finland's capital have been canceled because of the fighting. what is the relationship between stalin and hitler right now? >> it is extremely cordial. stan and hitler agreed not to a secret pact but public pact, which means they have nonaggression between these two countries of the soviet union and hitler's germany and actually just sent each other birthday messages. it was stalin's birthday yesterday, hitler sent him a telegram congratulating him on his 60th birthday and hoping that germany and soviet union would remain firm friends in the future. >> that is a chilling response to that question. now, lord of the admirality, winston churchill, has created some controversy but suggesting that britain invade nor way. what is his intention with a preemptive war? >> well, what winston churchill would like do is to cut off german access to swedish iron, which is sent down through norway and through norwegian
waters. now, of course, a preemptive invasion would be illegal under international law, but winston has said that we should think about human i had and not legal knit fighting nazi germany. >> so, tell us, tell us about what's happening right now on the couldn't. the situation is very bad for jewish residents in occupied poland what do you know about this? >> well, of course it is not only bad for jewish resident. poland itself has been split in half by the two invading armies, itself yet and the germans, so, now polish residents must be forced to choose to live under nazi oppression in the west or soviet oppression in the east. as you said, for jewish residents it is particularly bad. we have reports coming in of synagogues being burned with flame terrors, of people being marched out of the towns and the ghettos where jews are being forced to live to be shot in the fields it is possible that several thousand people may already have died. we can only hope the situation gets better. >> is there reason to believe
that this attack on jewish residents is specifically because of their identity as jewish citizens? >> absolutely. as we all new york the nazi regime is based on racialist theories so they believe the jews live at the bottom of the pyramid so they are subhumans some they would like to do is force all of the jews who live in poland and indeed in germany, east into itself yet sphere of influence them want the jews gone from the greater reich. >> now, in this moment, british soldiers are on the front in france and they have been visited by prime minister neville chamberlain and king george s there fighting there yet? >> very little. very little indeed. as you said earlier, neville chamberlain has declared this a strange war. other people are calling it a phony war because really, there has been almost no combat. on the other hand, france does lie safe behind the line so we can be confident the defenses will put the germans off from attack. >> there is, of course, a unique
relationship between those of us here in america and those of you on the home front in london. what will this christmas be like with the threat of air raids and food rations and of course, the expanded con description rule for british men? what kind of holiday are our british brothers facing? >> well, i think most british people are hoping to get all the holiday cheer they can out of this christmas because it may well be the last one they will enjoy for some time. as you said, rationing, butter and bacon are both going to be rationed from january 1st. conscription, all men between the ages of 18 and 41 are going to be conscripted. already hundreds of thousands of british men have been called up. yep. absolutely. so everyone between 18 and 41 not in a protected occupation will have to join the army or at least have to volunteer and be fit or unfit. london and all other major industries black out. so, there's no light whatsoever. all of the public lights,
including street light, are off. and it really is chaos out there. you know, people are bump nothing each other on the streets. people are coming home with black eyes. people are having car accidents at rates that are just unprecedented. it really is a christmas that looks a little gloomy. the british people will soldier on, i'm confident. >> it certainly is difficult to imagine christmas without lights or butter. alwin colinson, thank you for your efforts to keep us up to date on the war. the last word will be right back. through diet and exercise, alli can help you lose one more by blocking some of the fat you eat. let's fight fat with alli. ♪ are choosing advil®. here's one story.
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coming up, why believing in santa isn't just for kids it is believing in the institutions that built america. that's next. [ thunder crashes ] [ snoring ] [ male announcer ] vicks nyquil cold and flu. the nighttime, sniffling, sneezing, coughing, aching, fever, best sleep you ever got with a cold... medicine. ♪ ♪
in 1897, virginia o'hanlon wrote this to the editorial page of the sun. i'm 8 years old, some of my little friend says there is no santa claus. papa says if you see in the sun, it's so, please tell me the truthsome there a santa claus? virginia got her answer from frances church, a former civil war correspondent and hardened journalist who had seen suffering and hopelessness up close, telling virginia to reject skepticism, small mindedness and joyless imperialism, church tells her, yes, virginia there is a santa claus. in 2011 it is easy to think of santa claus as a symbol both of unrestrained commercialism. many think he is a dangerous myth, driving a debt despite national economic security and
winding inequality, but let me make a case, believing in santa claus is a litmus test of americans' faith in our political institutions n 1897, the sun assured virginia of santa's existence. 50 years later, the u.s. postal service did the same thing n 1947, miracle on 34th street. at the film's climax, santa's attorney, mr. gaily, proves that kris kringle is santa claus, by showing the post office delivers to him santa's mail. gaily waxes eloquently about the history and scope of the postal service, even getting the prosecutor to concede -- >> your honor, the state of new york is second to none in its admiration of the post office department t is efficient, authoritative and processed. every one of these letters is addressed to santa claus. the post offices deliver them. therefore, the post office department, a branch of the federal government, recognizes this man, kris kringle, to be the one and only santa claus.
>> the judge agrees, santa's existence and identity are confirmed, because of the post office. we the people have faith in the federal government, the government is embodied by the post office, the post office says santa is real. he is real. nearly 50 years later, santa's existence was again questioned in a popular remake of miracle of 34th street. kris kringle finds himself in a mental competency hearing and must establish his identity in the court n 1994, his defense attorney turns to the u.s. treasury attorney bedford arranges for susie to present the judge with a $1 bill. the judge looks at the dollar, sees the inscription, "in god we trust" and declares -- >> federal government put its trust in god. it does so on faith and faith alone. it's the will of the people that guides the government and it is and was their collective faith in a greater being that gave and gives cause to the inscription on this bill. the state of new york, by a
similar demonstration of the collective faith of its people, can accept and acknowledge that santa claus does exist and he exists in the person of kris kringle. >> in 1897, there is a santa claus because the sun said so american print journalism had such authority that an unsigned editorial could verify the existence of a mythical being. in 1947, there is a santa claus because the post office delivers his mail. the will of the people is verifiable through its faith in its government agencies. in 1994, the collective fate of the american people rests firmly in its financial system. literally printed on its money. imagine american media declaring santa's existence today. any such editorial would be politifacted, drunld, daily coast to shah red, the post office can't save santa they can't save themselves.
very soon, the idea of a postal service may seem as mythical as a santa himself in this economic crisis, no one is turning to american currency for security. americans no longer trust congress or the president so neither institution can simply declare santa's existence by law or executive order. to whom would virginia turn today to verify the claim of santa's existence? not the press, not the government or the financial system. as our ideological partisan and identity differences grow, we lose an ability to adjudicate our collective claims. the 1994 version of miracle on 34th street offers this visual montage of belief.
>> santa exists if we make him real through belief and the american project in democracy is similar. even as we challenge it to be better, fairer and more honest, we still have to believe that democratic govern naps by the people through their institutions can and should exist. like santa claus, democracy requires us to believe that collective faith can be greater than our individual doubts. now, our faith has been badly damaged by governors who crush unions, by congress that will not govern, by a military that still tortures, by campus police with pepper spray, by coaches who prey on kids, by ceos that slash jobs, as profits rise, by a system that seems irreparably
broke bun building a country requires investment in one another, hope that we can be better tomorrow than we are today and faith that our failures not definitive. in these final days before enter the 2012 election year, it is time to ask, do you believe? >> i am not just a whimsical figure who wears charming suit and eeffect jolly testimony meaner. you know, i -- i'm a symbol. i'm a symbol of the human ability to be able to suppress the selfish and hateful ten den says that rule a major part of our lives. [ male announcer ] , dayquil doesn't treat that. really? [ male announcer ] alka-seltzer plus fights your worst cold symptoms, plus it relieves your runny nose. [ deep breath] awesome. [ male announcer ] yes, it is.
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lawrence has been telling you but the kind fund, kids in needs of desks, the joint program with unicef raises money to buy desks for kids in malawi. we take desks for granted here n that part of the world, students spend their indictment dirt floor and you have graciously tried help us give the gift of a better education this holiday season. since last night, viewers raised an additional $93,560, making the new grand total an amazing $3 million,350 $3,350,876. some of you have been contributing through not just your pocketbooks but the internet. one viewer made his own kind video. >> this is the earth. it goes around the sun this is what it looks like up close. this is america. this is los angeles.
this is a school. this is a classroom. these are desks. here some american children. here ther in class. here is their teacher. here is one student being told that the earth goes around the sun. here he is being told that there are 300 billion as far as the galaxy. here he is being told that one thimble-full of a neutron star would weigh 100 million tons. here he is getting in mit. here he is graduating magna couple lady. here is the boy receiving the nobel prize. here he is thinking back over his life how everything he has done, everything he is he owes to that first science teacher who told him about the earth and how it goes around the sun. but the boy who is now an old man would be wrong. he is forgetting something, something woe never think of, something that predicate the nobel prize and the solar kills are and the physics and mit and that excitement about a thimbleful of neutron star, boy is the forgetting the desks.
this is the earth again. this is africa. this is a country in africa called malawi this is a school. this is a classroom. there are no desks. here are some children in pain from sitting on the dirt floor for eight hours day. here is one being told that the earth goes around the sun. here is how much it would cost to get that boy a deck. here is how much it would cost to get the whole classroom desks. here is how much you have to donate. >> the creator to that have youtube clip, evan, joins me now to talk about it. hi, evan, how are you? >> good, how are you, melissa? >> oh, we were absolutely blown away by your video. can i tell you, we have been e-mailing it to one another and playing it over and over again. what inspired to you make it? >> well, i was watching last night when lawrence said, you know, it was the simplicity of the idea and i completely agree with that, but i think it's that plus the fact that's something that you -- you don't think of, and that's what struck me when i originally heard him announce it
a year ago on the show, it is something you never think of so, it sort of hits you in that feel bad organ, whatever that is. and you -- you get that reflexive feel egg, like he said last night to donate. >> so it was uploaded five days ago, you have gotten more than 200,000 hits. what has been the reaction you have been getting from people online who have seen it? >> the reaction has been i use the word aggressively generous. it is -- the comments just on the video have been like, to donate it, they just say donate or they say i took a kid off the floor in malawi. and to know that you could possibly kind of do -- make that effect in the world by making a video is truly incredible. >> now, speaking of that i mean, a small thing, desks, a small thing to make a video, so, why what is your ultimate goal though? you have is small thing but then a video that creche shep dose wing the nobel prize. what's your kress shen dough here? what would you like this video to do?
>> what i would like it to do, it was -- it was a video for the project for awesome, which is a youtube charity event that happens every year where people make videos on the charity of their choice, they submit them, the community watches them it is hosted by john and hank rein of the blog brothers, a lot of people at their disposal online and we all donated to the project for awesome, i think it raised about $71,000. what we are waiting for now is the top voted charities are going to get some of that money, david up base old what the votes are the ultimate goal for this is to get some more money for the kind fund because we could actually make a huge difference getting -- getting classrooms, you know, not just kids but classrooms off the floor. >> evan, the video is indeed awesome. >> thank you. >> although i have absolutely no authority to do so i got to tell you that's a good enough video that, i don't know, maybe somebody ought to be talking to you here at msnbc. >> i know. >> that was a great video. >> thank you very much. i appreciate it.