tv The Ed Show MSNBC June 29, 2012 8:00pm-9:00pm EDT
us liberals. now that we have health care going, we're entering a new phase in the fight over health care reform in america. republicans lost the fight in congress. then they lost the fight in the supreme court. now they're fighting back by telling outright lies to the american people in an attempt to take out president obama. >> that was a central claim. failing to buy health insurance did not result in a tax, but court has now spoken. it is a tax. >> mitch mcconnell and dozens of other republicans in congress say that the health care law is a tax increase on the middle class? the republican national committee has a new ad hammering president obama for his broken promise. >> every single american has the right to affordable, accessible health care and that should never be purpochased with tax increases on middle class families. >> nobody helps spread the lies better than the folks on fox news. >> the president promised this
was not a tax. now, according to the highest court in the land, it's a tax, and it's going to hit everybody, isn't it? >> absolutely. there are 21 taxes in the build, 12 of which hit people making less than $200,000? >> everybody, it's going to hit everybody? the taxes in the health care bill were well known ever since the bill was voted on and both chambers of the congress. some of these might ring a bell. now, there are fees on health insurers based on their own market share. same thing for pharmaceutical manufacturers. how many of you out there are pharmaceutical manufacturers? also fees on high-cost health plans, the cadillac plans. and there's a 10% exice tax on indoor tanning services. of course, john boehner hates that one. the supreme court ruling says the penalty for not buying health insurance is a tax. this penalty applies to people who can afford to buy insurance but choose not to. there's still noç evidence of
widespread tax on the entire middle class in the law. but republicans are still scaring americans into thinking that the tax man is going to be coming after them. watch how many times senator marco rubio of florida talks ability sicking the irs on people. >> millions of americans if they don't buy health insurance, they're going to have an irs problem. we're going to come after you with a fine. >> i don't think siccing the irs on millions of americans is the right answer to the question. that's going to insure a lot more people without having to sic the people on the ir srk. the only way to get rid of the irs problem is to elect a republican president and a republican congress. >> he builds up the myth about the irs and gives an opinion on it. this is how they play the game. if republicans say it, the curvy couch crew is going to repeat it. >> this is a tax, a gigantic tax on the american people, and the
affordable care act specifically spells out that the irs will come after you if you don't pay your tax. >> apparently one reporter at fox news did not get the memo. some dude named wendell went on fox the other day and did something really weird. he actually reported the truth. >> white house said today it's not a tax, it's penalty because it only hits people who can afford health insurance but refuse to buy it. an estimated 1% of the population. >> oops. the 1% estimate comes from the congressional budget office. you know, where they have all these facts. in some cases, it will be even less. inç massachusetts, less than 1 of residents are paying for the penalty for not enrolling in health insurance. mitt romney is the father of the massachusetts health care plan. but he is still attacking the president's plan with total falsehoods. >> obama care adds trillions to our deficits and to our national debt. >> but the congressional budget office says the exact opposite.
the health care law will lower the deficit by $124 billion over ten years. romney has another big lie up his sleeve. >> for up to 20 million americans, they will lose the insurance they currently have, the insurance they like d want to keep. >> not even majority leader eric cantor can help him explain this lie. >> we also heard the president consistently say that if americans have health care they like, they can keep it. and we've seen that most americans who have health care, they like it, they just think it's too expensive. and so what we're seeing now is obama care's forcing those people out of those plans. >> even canter admits no one is being forced off their plans. somebody -- i tell you, who is spreading the memos over there? people may chose to leave their plans because the law gives them access to a cheape alternative. they're hardly losing coverage. they're getting a better deal.
romney lies don't stop there. >> obama care is a job killer. >> really? i'll let democratic house leader nancy pelosi take this one. >> it creates 4 million jobs, reduces theç deficit, lowers costs individuals, it improves quality and expands coverage. >> she's referring to a study from the center for american progress showing 4 million added jobs coming from the full implementation of the health care law. republicans only have lies because they have no alreadyturnatives. it's to repeal and replace obama care. they have the repeal thing down good. they just don't plan to replace it. >> what do we do for 57 million people who have existing conditions? >> we're going to work on that. >> the mantra has been repeal and replace. is there an idea of what the replace will be? >> no, we want to take it in a deliberate, open approach and take everybody's ideas. >> you're not going to hear mitt
romney talking about any replaceme replacement alternatives. he's also not going to talk about how the health care law raises taxes. he was for the mandate penalty three years ago, in 2009, he wrote using tax penalties as we did, encourages free riders to take responsibility for themselves rather than pass their medical costs on to others. hey, mitt, come on over to the good side. you don't have to be the nominee. in many ways, mitt romney is the worst possible candidate for the republicans. he can't run against health care. not even marco rubio could make sense of defending romney's health care law while bashing the president's. >> he sported it on a state level, which means if you don't like it in massachusetts, you can move to a different state. what are they supposed éo do now, move to a different country? >> republicans are worried about the health care law because it might actually work. and if you're a republican,
well, government can't work because then americans are going to like it. get your cell phones out. i want to know what you think. tonight's question, will republicans ever stop lying about health care? text a for yes or b for no to 622639. our blog is for you at ed.msnbc.com. i'm joined by political analyst richard wolfe. great to have you with us. it's obvious, the strategy is to lie their way out of this. they're trying to make this a tax issue now. is this a -- is this their only path? what alternative do they have? >> health care hasn't been just about health care. it's about making this president look extreme, to the extreme. socialist, and the problem they have is in their three-year campaign to make this president seem illejisegiillegitimate, the supreme court ruling with him. he's acting in the bounds of the
constitution. all that tea party waving the constitution stuff doesn't hold up anymore. you are left with them grasping at straws and exaggerating certain things. remember, mitch mcconnell's strategy here was to deny any republican votes for anything. because he knew that if there were any republican votes for health care, or any other issue, then the president would look as if he had bipartisan support, and people don't understand the details, but they understand ç bipartisanship. now he has a conservative vote for health care and it came from a man named john roberts. >> from the reaction of some of the republicans, they seem to be caught flat footed and they hadn't thought up a narrative on what to say to the american people on how they're going to foyt this thing. let's try the tax thing. maybe that's going to work. you know, that's really what it looks like to me. but your thoughts. >> look, you have to believe. you have to lead people to believe that everyone's going to pay the tax. that means no one's buying
health insurance anymore. what kind of fantasyland is that? you can only do this by distorted things. and you know, if you people believe that, maybe their base believes that, maybe the tea party folks believe that, but those aren't the ones they need in this election. they need independent voters, the gettable, the squishy middle, and they're not going to buy this stuff anymore that the president is un-american, unconstitutional, and that everyone is going to be paying a tax because those people are rational. >> is this going to fire up the tea party? are we going to see what we saw back in august of 2010? is this going to fuel the fire for them? all this tax talk? >> i think it will, to be honest. and we have seen some of that online. we have certainly see it with smaller donations going through the romney campaign. in the end, they're getting riled up about something that most voters do not really care about right now. yes, they care about health care generally. yes, they y see health care as an economic issue, but they really care about are jobs. republicans should know about. that's what they talked about in
2010. this isn't about jobs. they're going to have votes on repeal through july. that's a wasted month of their time. if they think their base needs that much activity, that much enthusiasm, they're way further behind than they're pretending they really are. >> with the conservatives. romney is going to have a hard time hiding from his past the way he embraced the mandate. i mean, there's so many contradictions here, it's pretty comical. >> this was a republican bunch of ideas to engender private options and personal responsibility. no free riders, and if it's a tax for the president, it's also a tack for the governor. in the debates, he can try doing this and maybe he can fool a bunch of fox viewers when there are no reporters asking questions at his press avail, but when he gets to the presidential debates, there's going to be man on the opposite chair and he'll say if it's a
tax for me, it's a tax for you, too. who are you trying to fool? >> richard wolfe, have a great weekend. thanks. remember to answer tonight's question at the bottom of the screen. share your that's thoughts on twitter. sarah palin said governors should be tough and opt out of the health care plan, but those governors if they do so, they do it at their own peril. robert rice with the discussion with me on this and all of the details. [ male announcer ] aggressive styling. a more fuel-efficient turbocharged engine. and a completely redesigned interior. ♪ the 2012 c-class with over 2,000 refinements. it's amazing...inside and out. see your authorized mercedes-benz dealer for exceptional offers through mercedes-benz financial services. through mercedes-benz recently, students from 31 countries took part in a science test. the top academic performers surprised some people.
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coming up, republican governors are playing chicken with the federal government over health care. and robert reich will join me for the discussion on that. later, the far right, obama haters. aren't taking yesterday's supreme court decision too well. van jones will be here tonight to make them feel a lot better. >> and a very serious situation, colorado battles the biggest wildfire in the state's history, leading scientists to say it's a sign of global warming. we'll have that discussion. i'll be talking with one of the leading scientists on that. share your thoughts on
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you don't have to talk my word for it. you can take president obama's word for it. president obama said that he designed obama care after romney care. and basically made it obombney care. >> don't you love the highlight tapes? welcome back to "the ed show." that was an instant classic from tim pawlenty when he used the term obamney care. now they're whining about obama care, and bobby jindal slipped
up on a conference call today. >> he will repeal the obamney -- the obama care tax increase. >> he has made clear he will not implement parts of the affordable care act. here in louisiana, look, we refused to set up the exchange. we're not going to start implementing obama care. does he realize that there are three choices on setting up the insurance exchanges? the state can do it alone. or it can be done by the federal government, or the federal government will do it for you?ç okay, you can kwoordinate with the federal government or they'll do it alone. as for medicaid expansion, do republican governors really want to deprive their citizens of benefits they're entitled to? and hold it right there, you mean to tell me that no one in louisiana paid federal tax? and when there's a law passed by the congress or representative of government, they shouldn't have it? their government -- their
governor should do a government takeover and deprive them? governor scott walker of wisconsin said he won't phase in the health care law until after the november election. florida governor rick scott said it's unlikely florida will expand its medicaid program even though the federal government is covering most of the costs. virginia governor bob mcdonnell who cannot run for re-election under state law in virginia, well, he won't give a firm answer on whether or not he would accept the expansion of federal medicaid funds. governor chris christie said the supreme court opinion gives states a ray of light on whether to accept medicaid funds, but he could not offer a firm decision yet. governor rick snyder of michigan said he's evaluating his options. he's not sure whether he wants to shaft his citizens anymore or not. then there's former half-term governor sarah palin. urging governors to do this -- >> i would like to see governors
be tough and opt out of this. and exert our tenth amendment rights and tell president obama who does not understand theç constitution, he even being a constitutional lecturing and supposed scholarer in our constitution, not understanding, probably never reading or absorbing the tenth amendment to understand that states have rights. >> how about that? sarah palin questioning how smart barack obama is. let's turn to robert reich, former secretary of labor under the clinton administration, now a professor of public policy at uc berkley and author of the book beyond ourage. good to have you with us tonight. your take on these republican governors as they are certainly getting a fraternal order put together to refuse benefits to their constituents after they have paid federal taxes in their working lifetime. what do you make of all this? >> it's obviously a political ploy right now to make the president look bad and to
reassert what they want the public to believe are states' rights. but the same governors somewhere along the line, not too far in the distance, they're going to have to face their constituents and plain to their constituents why they are going to say to lower middle class and working middle class people in their states, we're not going to allow you to get coverage even though the federal government is going to pick up the entire tab for the first three years and 90% of the tab after that. well, you know, let them face the voters and let the voters do their will. >> so i know you're in california and california has some issues financially. 100% of this medicaid expansion would be paid for by the federal vernment for the first three years and then the fourth year, it'sç 90%, and it's slowly comg down after that. now, how can states turn this down? how can they turn over a three-year period to their constituents and go through an election cycle and say i did the right thing by denying you
health insurance tough medicaid? >> well, it's going to be very, very hard, ed. what the governors might try to do, the republican governors, is essentially the same thing that mitt romney is doing is using the big lie. and as we saw in wisconsin with regard to governor walker, scott walker there, you know, if the big lie is well financed and you have a huge amount of money supporting the reiteration of a big lie such as, well, we don't want medicaid here even if it's supported by the federal government because it will come with too many strings and blah, blah, those kind of laws when stated over and over again and supported by enough money, people might start believing, but still, it's risky for republican governors to do this. you know, their constituents are not dumb, and again, the working class people that do not now qualify for medicaid do need coverage. they know they need coverage, they are not stupid, they know that voters in other states who are working class people will get medicaid coverage under the
affordable care act, and so they're going to hold these governors accountable. >> here's more from sarah palin, some of her famous talking points on this. >> a lot of the e-mails and texts use the word treachery in the messages, and i tend to agree with that term used to describe what happened today. so if obama is re-elected, well, america,ç you will no longer recognize the country that today you truly love and can enjoy all of its freedom and prosperity and security if obama is re-elected. >> when 30 million more people get health insurance, we won't recognize the country. there's a bright one for you. i want to point out that these insurance e changes will help people and if the states don't do it, the federal government will. so republican governors would just be throwing useless temper tantrum by not implementing these things themselves. >> and also, ed, let's be clear what the exchanges are.
what they are essentially is devices to allow consumers to get more and better comparative information about private health insurance plans so people can exercise their rights as consumers to be informed. this is what romney was saying when he was justifying romney care when it was passed three years ago in massachusetts. romney really can't possibly say that insurance exchanges are bad. he was one of their big advocates. nor can a lot of the other governors when people take a look at the logic of these things. >> and mr. reich, we have to congratulate you. you're one of the very few in the talking heads circuit that got it right. you said the supreme court would uphold the law and that's exactly what happened. congratulations. you called it. thanks so much. >> i'm going to call it in the election, barack obama is going to win re-election. >> all right, the right wing meltdown over health care continues. it will energize the tea e(áuv
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our freedom of chose just met its death panel. the supreme court. >> welcome back to "the ed show." as you can see that we're in the middle of a complete right-wing meltdown. righties all across the country are grieving over the supreme court's decision to uphold the affordable care act. according to one editor at brig brightmart.com. this is the greatest destruction of individual liberty since dred scott. this is the end of america as we know it. no exaggeration. can't you feel it, folks? those who feel betrayed by justice john roberts are blameing the chief justice's health on his decision to side with the liberals. >> it's well known that roberts unfortunately for him, has suffered from epileptçic seizures. therefore, he's been on medication. therefore, neurologists will tell you that medication used for seizure disorders, such as
epilepsy, can introduce mental slowing, forgetfulness, and other cognitive problems. and if you look at roberts' writings, you can see the cognitive disassociation in what he's saying. >> how could everybody else in the american media miss that one? the ruling has caught some right wingers completely off guard. back in march, bill o'reilly was so confident health care reform would be overturned that he told a guest this. >> if i'm wrong, i will come on and play your clip and i'll apologize for being an idiot. >> we're still waiting for an apology. just looking out for you. last night, the vacationing o'reilly called in to his own show to warn them the ruling was a plot to redistribute the wealth. gr for poor americans it's good because the government is going to give them insurance, hand it to them for free like they give
welfa welfare, food stamps, like they give health care. for affluent americans. it's bad because their taxes are going to go up. >> and o'reilly isn't alone in his dilutional ramblings. take a look. >> i can't tell you how sick i am. i am literally sick over what happened yesterday. total fraud was perpetratedç o this country. >> working americans, middle class americans have to decide do you want to be sweden. >> what is this, russia? >> i'm scared we're becoming socialists, frankly. >> progress frbs are fascists. >> if obama is re-elected, well, ameri ameri america, you will no longer recognize the country that today you truly love. >> progressivism, it's a disease, and it's in both parties. it's in both parties. and if we don't wipe out the
progressive idea, if we don't correct that in the minds, those people shoot people that disagree where them. >> let's bring in van jones, president of rebuild the dream and the author of the book by the same name "rebuild the dream." it starts out with a little bit of comedy, but then when you hear something like that and think about the head shaking crowd in america, where's this anger going to take this country, van. good to have you with us? >> it's good to be here, and this is a good friday for america. i mean, when you see people going this nuts, you know, you know something good has happened in america. they're trying to go in the medicine cabinet and try to find the pills that -- to try to blame on this decision. here is what happened. when we fight, we win. when good people in america say we're tiredof 30 million people not having health insurance, we're tired of kids who are 22,
23 years old, can't work, not havingç health insurance and we're going to do something about it, we get it done. the same thing happened with the student loan fight today. the students looked up and said we're going to get socked with double interest rates, young people with rebuild the dream, usaa stood up, the senate and the house followed. what is happening and why the people are freaking out is because good people in america of all colors and all classes are starting to act like we have some sense. it makes s no sense to live ine richest country in the world and have people dying in emergency rooms and not get health inshrbs. we're just going to keep stepping forward, one foot in front of the other, making these changes, and they're going to keep freaking out. but the reality is when you see this level of venom on their side, they're just being sore losers. the supreme court has spoken. their justice, they loved this justice, justice roberts. they talked about how incredibly brilliant he was. he came down on our side.
don't be a sore loser now. if he was good enough for every other decision, he should be good enough on this one. if he wasn't popping pills in the other decisions, why is he suddenly popping pills on this one. >> what is this summer going to be like with the tea party? are we going to see what we saw back in 2010? >> i don't know because i think what you're seeing i progressives are starting to get energized. wi learned a lesson. in wisconsin, we put the minimum against their maximum. on the ground, they fought hard, but we didn't show up for the fight. we put our minimum against the maximum in wisconsin and we lost. in health care, we put our maximum against the maximum.ç on the student loan fight, we put our maximum against the maximum and we won. progressives are going to say, hold on, we don't have to get rolled by these people. they lied, screamed, they said if you're a slacker, you're going to get taxed. it's a tax on slackers who don't want to pay for their health insurance. they want to dive bombs themselves into an emergency
room and make us pay for it. if you're that person, you get taxed. that's the only tax you're going to get. if they're going to scream and yell and lie and say that's socialism, more of us are going to say, we're not going to be intimidated and bullied by these people. we're going to keep making positive changes for americans. >> great to have you with us. van jones. >> a lot more coming up in the next half hour. stay with us. the highest court in the land has now spoken. we will continue to implement this law. >> the high court ruling takes obama's june from swoon to boon. the big panel is next. when natural disasters like this hit, america comes together. >> the president visits the record wildfires in colorado. in a leading climate scientist says this is what global warming looks like. dr. michael oppenheimer joins me tonight. >> and sometimes laughter is the best medicine. >> roberts has always been in
obama's pocket. think about it. he single handedly make obama president. >> we'll bring you all of the funnelies following yesterday's historic decision. >> if you watch his body language, you can see, he's feeling pretty good. here he is.ç ♪ house tonight what happens when classroom teachers get the training... ...and support they need? schools flourish and students blossom. that's why programs like... ...the mickelson exxonmobil teachers academy... ...and astronaut sally ride's science academy are helping our educators improve student success in math and science. let's shoot for the stars. let's invest in our teachers and inspire our students. let's solve this.
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serve in the military and have advanced degrees would qualify for those. >> it sounds an awful lot le what president obama has been doing of late and his position on this. the campaign is now scrambling. they told talking points memo that mr. romney just misspoke. i guess he's just as confused on his position on immigration as the rest of us are. let's sort it out. let's turn to crystal ball and steve cornacky, and meghan mccain with us today. if it's not immigration, it's immigration. how does he mop this up, crystal? >> it's so -- i feel bad for him, he's having trouble keeping track of his own positions, but i think it underscores the fact because he went so far to the right in the primary, it's very difficult for him to make any movement back to the center. and even though immigration is not the top issue for most american voters, it's one that
republicans are very sensitive about. anything that smacks of amnesty is going to beç treated as treason on the right. >> you know, meghan, your dad didn't have a problem with this. your campaign didn't have a problem with this when he was running in 2008. what's the problem here? >> i think he just misspoke. i think it's as simple as he's exhausted, these are the dog days of summer. i am giving him a break. i think he just misspoke, which is blasphemy. god forbid somebody make a mistake. >> does he have to corrects it because it's different than what he said before. >> is this a great week for republicans? and romney, everyone on this panel? no, it is not a great week for republicans and not a great week for mitt romney, but i just think he misspoke. i don't know. >> i think what's happened here is he was telegraphing pretty clearly what he was going to do on immigration after the primaries because he did move so far to the right and he was aware of the need to move back to the middle and he was going
to wait for marco rubio to propose the watered down version of the dream act. not citizenship but permanent work status in the united stateswork that's what he was waiting for. what he said tonight says that obama stole his thunder. he said i'm now declaring this a policy of my administration. >> if that's what he was going to do, he should have stood by it. i don't think he should have back pm tracked. >> it looked like anything he says now, he's echoing obama as the challengers he doesn't want to do. he wanted to get to the middle but the path of the middle is gone. >> and the fundamental problem here is that$+ery decision he makes and every position that he takes is calculated politically rather than what he actually believes. so when the president cut him off at the pass, he's not doing to say, well, this is my firmly held view. he's going to try to pivot and make the best political chess
move he is. >> and president obama hasn't -- >> no, take for example the gay marriage decision. like that was a very politically perilous thing to do, and was the timing of that forced by joe biden? absolutely, but if you look at the polling and swing states, gay marriage is still a tough sell, that's an example where he was courageous and politically ahead of the curve. i doentd think wi have had a similar one from mitt romney. >> he made a politically expedient move for political purposes. >> do you believe it's his firmly held believe? >> the president's? of course. >> that's the difference. >> i don't believe mitt romney is doing things just for politics. i believe he believes what he believes and he made a mistake. and i'm up against three now. >> this is ed the moderator. come on. who won the month? the end of june, who won the month? >> has it been a great month for republicans? no, but i don't know. i still think it's the dog days
of summer. a long time until the election. >> any month that obama ends ahead in the polls with the unemployment rate sitting where he's sitting, he's above mitt romney, so he's defying gravyt6ñ >> i agree with that. i think this has been a good month particularly towards the end here for the president, particularly with the health care ruling this week which was unexpected even, myself, i was sort of building myself up for a disappointment and was surprised with the supreme court ruling in a way. so it was a good month for the president, but we have a long summer ahead of us. i totally agree with you there, meghan, and we have a lot of economic uncertainty ahead, too. >> a lot of things can happen in 120 days. >> yeah. >> about, give or take a few. great to have you with us. up next, late night comedians were on fire last night thanks to the supreme court's health care ruling.
up next, late night comedians take on yesterday's historic health care ruling. we'll show you the highlights. knl and the big finish, what role does global warming play in this summer's wild weather? i'll ask michael oppenheimer of princeton university. stay tuned. f economic crisis for three years. and he still is. president obama's plan keeps taxes down for the middle class, invests in education and asks the wealthy to pay their fair share. mitt romney and his billionaire allies can spend milions to distort the president's words. but they're not interested in rebuilding the middle class. he is. i'm barack obama and i wouldn't it be nice if there was an easier, less-expensive option than using a traditional lawyer? well, legalzoom came up with a better way.
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genius. yeah, genius. you guys must have your own loyalty program, right? well, we have something. show her, tom. huh? you should see november! oh, yeah? giving you more. now that's progressive. call or click today. welcome back to "the ed show." thursday's historic skourtd ruling on president obama's health care law created an historic evening of late night comedy. here's a quick recap of last night's laughs in case you missed it. >> did you see president obama's reaction to the supreme court ruling? it's interesting, he didn't want to gloat, but if you watch his body language closely, you could see he was feeling pretty good about it. here he is today. ♪ have a good time in the house tonight ♪
♪ and everybody just have a good time ♪ >> it was important that house minority leader nancy pelosi wear her luckyurple shoes for theç ruling while john boehner wore his orange face. >> he said, don't worry, you're going to get the goodies but not the bill, because that woulde taxes and that would be tyranny, except in massachusetts where it worked and [ bleep ], just make me president, okay? >> chief justice roberts decided to take a walk to the liberal side. >> j-rob, how could you? i trusted you. i'm not the only one who has had their man crush crushed. republicans congressman and georgia peach phil gangry said of roberts, i don't want to drink a beer with him today. i'm not calling for his impeachment. i'm just very, very disappointed. are you happy, justice roberts? now, phil is going to have to spend another night drinking alone.
and you know what? i might join him. look, why not? why not? my liver's covered now. >> his liver's covered now. tonight in our survey, i ask will republicans ever stop lying about health care. 6% of you say yes, 94% of you said no. coming up, record-breaking fires. and record-breaking heat. experts say this is what global climate change actually looks like. we'll sort through the facts with a type scientist when we come back. stay with us. do you see it ?
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no root. no weed. no problem. it's all the way down the hill, dude. look at this. we got to go. >> oh, my gosh. >> oh, my gosh. oh, my god. >> this is crazy. i have never seen anything like this in my life. >> the animals are freaking out. our dogs are going nuts. >> you have to see this. those flames are massive. >> pretty scary stuff. the heat wave that's breaking records across the country still poses a serious risk in colorado tonight. the so-called superfire is only 15% contained, but that's actually good news. tens of thousands of firefighters and volunteers have been working 18 hour shifts for the past seven days. today, they finally made some
headway. the fires have burned almost 17,000 acres and forces 32,000 people to evacuate. and look at this. the fires are so big you can see smoke from space. a nasa satellite captured these images over the rockies just in the last 24 hours. president obama flew to colorado springs so he could thank some of the firefighters in person. he's already cleared millions of dollars in disaster relief. >> we want to just say thank you to all of the folks who have been involved in this. we're proud of you. we appreciate what you do each and every day. so for folks all around the country, i hope you are reminded ofç how important our fire departments are, our forest services, sometimes they don't get the credit that they deserve until your house is burning down. >> but there's a bigger question tonight about why these fires are worse than they have ever been before. experts say we're seeing a real evidence of global climate
change. >> let me show you how hot it's going to be in the next three days. here's the forecast for today. again, near 108 in st. louis. many areas above 100. >> the heat wave is just part of the problem. look at these temperatures. cities across the country are breaking all-time heat records right now. we had a dire -- drier than average winter and now it's hotter than average summer. pretty extreme. it looks like climate change turned colorado into a tinder box. i'm joined tonight by dr. michael oppenheimer, professor of geo sienlss and international-affairs at princeton university. how extreme is this? how extraordinary is this? >> it's unusual to see this explosive fire event occur early in the season. usually, this kind of thing will occur later. to see this in the midst of a heat wave and dry situation that is very wide spread across the
country, it's dire, not just drier, it's a dire picture of what the future holds if we don't bring global warming under control. >> is this what global warming looks like? >> it's part of it. there are other pictures that are just as disturbing. let's focus on this. what doesç global warming do? it's making earth warmer. earth is just about a degree warmer than it was. it makes many areas drier. if you dry earth out f you make it hotter, you get dead trees because of the transition that ruls in the forest. dead wood, heat, drought, you get fire. >> do we have to manage the forests differently or take a serious look at it? >> we have been managing the forests for many, many decades, the forests were managed to suppress fire. now more and more, they have been managed in a way to let fire burn to some extent because all that suppression of fire let dead wood build up. now we have to think about the policies carefully because we're
going into a future with a very, very high risk of fire because we're going to have more heat in certain areas, more drought, and you've always got the ignition happening because you always have lightning and always have careless people with matches. >> so we're going to see more of this kind of stuff? >> the risk is increasing unless we act to stem the emission of the green house gases causing the problems that result from the burning of coal, oil, and natural gas. we're going to increase the risk. >> can this happen in our lifetime? >> it's happening already. we have already increased the temperature of earth. we have already increased the number of heat waves and the intensity of heat waves. we have already caused certain areas to get drier. when they combine, this is what you get. >> what is your recommendation to stop climate change? >> climate change needs to be slowed by first using energy much more efficiently. you should be driving the car with theç highest fuel economy you can get. you should take the ads
seriously about putting in the compact floresant bulbs. you get the ones that the epa says is the more efficient. and the more money you save. it's ridiculous to throw the money away. >> what about air quality? what does it do to the air quality? >> the fires themselves wreck air quality, and the same fuels which are causing the build-up of the green house gases are the major causes of air pollution. we could clear up the air, slow down and eventually stop global warming if we did a long-term transition to nonfossil based fuels, solar energy, winld, et cetera. if we do that at the same time, using energy more efisantly, and the u.s. is starting to do this even without a lot of policy coming out of washington. we need to move to a phase where washington gets actively engaged. >> what do you say to critics that say this isn't happening? >> head in the sand. a lot of people said smoking
doesn't cause lung cancer, but it does. i don't want to take that risk with the whole earth. >> and do you think that washington has a grip on how serious all this is? >> i think the president understands. i think some in congress understand. there are big issues which are getting in the way, the economy is a serious problem. but this is a long term problem, the longer they put opdealing with it, the more serious it is because the gases live in the atmosphere for centuries once you put them there. so you better not let them get there in the first place. the administration has taken certain steps. they have increasesç the fuel economy of automobiles. even the bush administration took a step in that direction. they now have rules on power plants. there's a lot more they have to do. >> dr. michael oppenheimeoppenhd to have you here. this is "the ed show." i'm ed schultz. the "rachel maddow show" starts right now. it's the weekend. for one person on the screen, anyway. >> i was going to say, the weekend for you. >> that's right.
>> i got one hour to the weekend, ed. i'll see you there. >> thanks, rachel. sbl a good one. >> you, too. thanks to you at home for starting your weekend in one hour at least as well. what a week this has been, right? this is supposed to be the dog days of summer. heading into the fourth of july, nobody paying attention to politics. washington beside the point. yeah, right. not this week. congress was even in session today. they passed this big highway bi that nobody thought they would be able to pass. as part of that, they passed the student loans thing so everybody with student loans will not see their rates double as of next week. they brought that down to the wire but they finally did it. president obama was in colorado where the state is suffering through the worst wildfires in its history. wildfires that have killed two people already and that are threatening built-up population centers like colorado springs. the supreme court ruling yesterday, of course, on health reform has democrats and republicans, liberals and conservatives, frankly, still vibrating at a high