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tv   The Rachel Maddow Show  MSNBC  October 23, 2013 12:00am-1:00am EDT

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>> the crises of the bank industry is not the worst cause in the world. >> the rachel maddow show starts right now. >> this is an amazing story. you will think i'm making parts of this story up for effect. this is the actual story and it ends in washington today in a way you're not going to believe. but just trust me, just sit down a moment. this is an amazing story. for a very long time, there was one really annoying down side to buying a new computer. so on the one hand, you're getting a new computer. getting rid of your old clunker, everything's going to work faster. new computers for a very long
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time always came with that freaking terrible preinstalled virus software. mcafee. it was always installed in some 30-day free trial, like they were doing you a favor and you were going to want to pay for it thereafter. it was super annoying, it made your computer run really slow, it stopped you from being able to do things you want to do. it didn't actually stop me from getting viruses. there was no way to get away from it. if you wanted to say no, don't do this to me, i reject the 30-day free trial, you kind of were not allowed. i think mostly they have grown out of it because people hate it. it's just terrible software. it's pointless. does not work. the guy who started that business is named john mcafee. he did invent the world's first commercial anti-virus software. and whether or not it was that annoying and pointless when he first invented it or whether it
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slowly became that annoying and pointless over time, the reason it's named mcafee because it's named after this guy john mcafee. he sold that company for something like $100 million in 2004. and thereafter he became a full-time gonzo playboy media figure. he cultivated this very friendly idea of being an outlaw eccentric millionaire. he got lots of action from the outdoor extreme sports world for something he called his sky gypsies. aero trucking, which is basically riding hang gliders with fast motors attached. it's very dangerous, it's john mcafee, he's an eccentric millionaire. he had real estate holdings all over the country, colorado, wyoming, he had a big swathe of property in hawaii. he told most of it in 2007 or 2008 and he then moved to belize. all the while doing lots of
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eccentric zillion air millionaires. he reported on his epic history of drug use, cocaine by the ton, way lose, lsd, a bottle of scotch a night. something called dmt. i don't know what that is. the drug bragging produced lines like this, quote, he would drop acid in the morning and go to work. one morning he decided to experiment with another psychedelic called dmt, he decided to snort a whole bag and within an hour my mind was shattered. he ended up behind a garbage can in downtown st. louis hearing voices and desperately hoping
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that nobody would look at him. he never went back to work. part of him believes he's still on that trip. one day he will snap out of it and find himself back on his couch in st. louis listening to pink floyd's dark side of the moon. it has just been one giant drug trip, you guys? i swear this ends up back in washington. so john mcafee would tell the drug stories and all the eccentric zillioniare stuff. he made himself into an irresistible story. he also insisted to reporters that would follow him around that he didn't use drugs anymore. the reason he had moved to belize is not because he was running from anything or because he had any self-interested idea down there, but because he was
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going to invent a whole new approach to antibiotics which he was working on with a scientist/waitress/guitar player whom he had met at a local resort. the fast company profiled mr. mcafee followed him around for a long time in belize, trying to figure out his belize rain forest antibiotic business plan. ultimately in april of last year, mr. mcafee's compound in belize was raided by local authorities and he was arrested on weapons charges. him being arrested sparks a new round of media interest of course which lets the 66-year-old mr. mcafee gleefully tell reporters that he was in bed with his 17-year-old girlfriend and stark naked at the time of his arrest. reporters invited down to his compound report that he seems to be living with not just one 17-year-old girlfriend but with a collection of five girlfriends, all of whom seem to
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be teenagers. he has wired magazines shoot portraits of him and some half his various girlfriends and shows off the collection of the whole sort of group of girlfriends he lives with, plus his body guards, plus some of the weapons plus some of his dogs, and the dogs end up being key to what happens next in the john mcafee story. his neighbor in belize is an american citizen named greg fall. mr. fall had filed a formal complaint about aggression and noise from mr. mcafee's 11 dogs who apparently roamed free. the same week, that complaint about the dogs was filed with the town, john mcafee told american reporters that somebody had poisoned his dogs, that same week, the neighbor who filed a complaint against him was found dead. he had been shot in the back of the head and a casing from a 9 millimeter handgun was found nearby.
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john mcafee took off. blogging all the the way about how he was fleeing the country. so there's not only the record of his blog posts about it and his selfie photos of him on the run, there's also footage, video footage about what life was like for him while he was fleeing that murder inquiry in belize. and the reason that footage is available is that he had vice magazine fleeing with him. so we know for example which of his teenaged girlfriends he chose to bring him on his flight from justice. he also did things like pretending to be a spokesman for himself and lying about what country he was in. >> mr. mcafee has been arrested
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just across the border of belize in the country of mexico. write that down. >> that was him speaking about himself in the third person. and that was a lie. but he likes lying. he thinks of himself as a trickster, as part of the eccentric charm. so he likes lying even when he's fleeing from a murder inquiry. guatemala and after a brief effort to try to get asylum somewhere, he got deported to his native country which is the united states and he still had not been formally charged in conjunction with that murder of a u.s. citizen in belize and because he hasn't been charged, he therefore is free to do more talking to the press. >> so is mcafee a successful entrepreneur who went mad while living in the jungle and surrounded himself by guns and became paranoid and killed his neighbor? or is he the potential savior of america or did he just act out the greatest mind [ bleep ] of all time.
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>> that was from a bbc profile which ran earlier this year and the bbc sent somebody to john mcafee's house in portland, oregon, to talk about what he's been going since the murder. john mcafee had other things he wanted to talk to the bbc about. >> time and time again, i tried to ask him what happened. but mcafee kept reporting to his number one talking, his sexual prowess. >> people ask me, did you really sleep with ten 17-year-old girls and you're a 67-year-old man? yes, i did. no sense in saying no. no sense in dancing around it. you have to tell the truth now. >> this is where the house republicans come in. that's the story of john mcafee, meanwhile, in washington,
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republican congress just organized an unpopular shutdown. the new "washington post" polling just out today on the shutdown is just terrible, terrible for the republicans by a huge margin, the country blames themselves for the shutdown. has a lower opinion of the republican party than as ever been measured before. has a lower opinion of the tea party than has everybody been measured before. when you ask someone who they think of the government shutdown, 80% of americans think it was a terrible idea. a majority of independents say they hate it. a majority of republicans say they hate it, even a majority of people who say they identify with the tea party say they hate it. so yes, ted cruz has found a ruse in texas in which he can get standing ovations. and republicans are telling each other in which this all went great. ann coulter told sean hannity that the shutdown was, and i
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quote, magnificent. but back on earth, most republicans even realized that what they just did was really bad. and they've got a big problem because of it. it seems like republicans' idea is to try to retroactively refocus the shutdown on obama care, after the fact. in reality, once they shut down the government and they were going to hit the debt ceiling, once the government was shut down, they forgot it was all about obama care and now they make it about a all sorts of things. now they want to go back to it being about became care. and this is where the stories come together. because cnbc obtained e-mails today from the staff of that republican oversight committee in the house. e-mails from them, soliciting an expert, a computer machine expert to come to washington and advise the committee. the expert they invited to washington to tell them what's wrong with obama care and how to fix it, is seriously, yes, i swear.
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>> people ask me, did you really sleep with ten 17-year-old girls and you're a 67-year-old man? yes, i did. >> and the republicans in the house would like to talk to you about that, sir, you are their chosen expert. the republicans in house asked if mr. mcafee was available to come to washington in person for the committee's obama care hearings to, quote, guide our oversight and review of the program. this would hopefully not be a heavy lift for him. what advice generally does he have? ta-dah, mr. mcafee gleefully provided those e-mails. reasons tried to salvage some kind of win, based on how that party handled obama care. this is how roans would be
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handling obama care. joins us now the frank rich, his writer at large from new york magazine. mr. rich, it is wonderful to have you here, thank you for being here. >> you've been writing about the fever of obama care and the fever of the attempted obama care defunding repeal shutdown. did the theater just become pg-13? >> what amazes me about john mcafee is why he didn't run for president. he would have fit right in with trump and cane and a all sorts of things. it is kind of insane, you know, congress, you were talking about how bad the republican approval ratings are. and congress as a whole is down to 12%. which i think is the worst in history. >> after the '95 shutdown,
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people talk about how legendarily people were hated. it was over 30% then. >> we're now a third of that poor level. this could get -- if he came, it would give people an excuse to 250u7b in and i guess a lot of 17-year-old women would be enrolled in obama care very fast if he was in charge. but -- >> let me ask you about the sort of -- the two different parts of america in terms of viewing how the shutdown went. actually, the reason why i included the ann coulter line, the reason the shutdown was a success and obama care is so hated that america is cheering for the ted cruzs of the world for having set it down. and if you live in that bubble, i have to show you, john mcafee has been on the fox news channel as a cited fox news expert on obama care. i just want to show you this little clip. >> you could even lose your life savings if you do sign up.
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john mcafee is a computer programmer and founder of the mcafee computer software company, good to see you. how does someone lose their life savings by signing up for obama care? >> let's ask him. is it possible that you just don't google the guy, you see him on fox, and you assume, in my universe he's an expert, let's bring him to washington. >> you're in the bubble of fox and the companion if not directly affiliated radio talk show hosts during the day, you can put together a whole day, just as you put together a whole day of watching sports you can do a whole day of listening to the same stuff over and over again, often angrier than it even is on fox. furthermore you're probably represented in most cases by a congressman or woman who is in a safe district and says the same stuff and then feels heroic about shutting the government down because the whole point of this movement is they're against
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the government. of course they want to shut it down, and this is patriotic, we're upholding the constitution to get off our back. >> we're talking about the parallel existences that really on the right there isn't a parallel on the left. you can't live entirely in a left media bubble. you can see a lot of liberals on tv. but there isn't a talk media universe that is hived off from the rest of the world in the way the conservatives are. we have been talking about that for a long time now, for four or five years now. i'm just wondering if the shutdown puts more pressure on the bubble than has ever been put on it before because the disillusionment is that the bubble can't with stand knowledge of that for very long. >> i'm not sure about that, because it's sort of a liberal belief or a hope that maybe these rebel revolutionaries or whatever you want to call them, the radical right will learn
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from humiliating defeats that the shutdown was, but look at the goldwater campaign in 1964. everyone thought the republican party was dead, it was the biggest land slide defeat in history and yet two years later, ronald reagan was elected governor of california and the bubble just kept going in a different media atmosphere than we have now. this is why ted cruz can go to texas and be cheered and hear what he wants to hear and he's, you know, he's in washington, you would think he would hear something else. but i think he's confident that his cohort will remaining faithful and not be penetrated by reality. >> the criticism has been made from the right of the right that it is a party that only wants to be in the minority, it's a party that actually resents it's majority status in the house, prefers to be an insurgency so they can be pure without having to take the responsibility that you have to take for being in charge of something. i wonder if they would sort of
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bask in a goldwateresque defeat. because they could be perfect and uncompromising. >> i think we have seen it in reaction to the romney defeat. it is really in pli view the majority of the party. people say it's just a fringe, it's not a fringe. that is the base of the republican party. and their reaction to romney's defeat was he wasn't right wing enough. he was the problem, they're not the problem. >> frank thank you very much for being here. we have a big city mayor, and a u.s. senator here tonight. and it's the same person. cory booker. the interview is coming up. stay with us. in the nation, sometimes bad things happen.
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the show has been on the air for a little more than five years, which means we are currently entering our terrible sixes. when the show first started we launched in the middle of an absolutely crazy news cycle. the first ever rachel maddow show was less than two months before the biggest and most riveting presidential news election in modern memory. we launched in september 2008 which is launched right into the whirlwind fight between barack obama and senator mccain. covering what race every single night was like being in the front car on a roller coaster with no seat belt. thank you governor palin. but when barack obama won on election night, when he and joe biden beat mccain and sarah palin and gave that historic speech in grant park in chicago, i knew exactly who i wanted to
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talk to first on this show after that election. my first guest, the night after the 2008 presidential election was not a national political figure, but rather a mayor. the mayor of the largest city in new jersey. >> we know for sure that barack obama is good at winning things. we don't see that in action. the question is, how was he going to lead? does he spend this massive political capitol to show that he knows how to do that? >> it's not time to spend political capital it's time to put politics aside and reach out to the nation. if people think they can just elect a president and he's going to solve a lot of problems they're wrong. >> i think i was wearing the same shirt tonight that i was wearing in that clip. a little weird. i should go shopping more. i wanted to talk to cory booker more than anyone else after that election. the election of barack obama was
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a moment for the country, a moment in history. but it was an important moment for the democratic party. they totally took over washington. i wanted to talk to cory booker as this young up and coming future star democratic politician about what that meant for him, what that meant for the party and whether that signalled some sort of larger shift in our country's politics. >> even in my state, i met republicans who were so excited about voting for barack obama not because he was a democrat, not because he was a black guy, but because they thought he was going to lift our country to our highest aspirations for ourselves. i think obama has a pragmatism about him, he will explain ideas to the american people not using
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the tired liberal parlance. he will be explaining to people in a way that touches people's hearts and compel them to act and work with us. >> just a few months later, even before barack obama was sworn in as president, republicans in washington decided that they would not work with him on anything during his presidency. nothing, no matter what. they voted unanimously against the president's first big initiative, the stimulus package that ultimately pulled the nation back from depression. they voted almost unanimously for the dpar pay act they were so against that one that they are still fighting him on it five years later. they shut down the -- so the optimism that was expressed by newark mayor cory booker that night in 2008 t night after the election, that optimism about a pragmatism that could reach people in a way that could defy part sang instincts. the part sannism -- >> and now five years later, cory booker is on his way to
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join those constitutional republicans in washington. last week, new jersey voters sent mr. booker to the united states senate. he won an overwhelming victory over republican candidate steve long began. when you're as optimistic a guy as cory booker is, what sort of washington do you expect to find when you get there? what he he learned? is anybody good at what they do there? what have you learned from being mayor of the biggest city in his state. let's ask him, he's here for the interview next.
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i'm going to washington to stand with senator menendez i'm going down to make the senate more accessible to all of us, i will bring more voices to the voices too often ignored in our state. i will be undaunted in my sense of service for all of new jersey.
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if you voted for me, i will make you proud. if you didn't vote for me, i will work every single day to earn your trust. >> joining us now for the interview is new jersey senator elect cory booker, the mayor of newark for another hot second, senator elect. congratulations, it's good to sigh you. >> i really am wearing the same shirt that i was wearing that night. i have had it since high school. >> you have comfort clothes. >> you get sworn in next week? >> probably one stay next week. >> and that's when you will cease being the mayor of newark. >> i will issue my regular nation. >> you have been in charge, at least nominally in newark since '76. you are now leaving that to be the 100th then that is the
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senate. is that daunting for you to go from being in charge to being a -- >> there are a lot of rules and rhythms and a lot to learn in a very short period of time. i talked to senator menendez who was the senior senator. i said look, i need to learn as much as i can from you and your team as quickly as possible. and i have had lots of calls who said they understood what it's like to be the new kid on the block and are offering me incredible, incredible sort of avenues of support. so i will be digging in very, very quickly to learn as much as i can? >> do you think there are current models -- i have been thinking about this because there is a number of very junior senators who are very much using the senate to make a play for president, to build a national profile. they're almost all on the republican side. on the republican side, you can be very famous, the first day you're in the senate as long as
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you're tearing down your own party and being really confrontational. it didn't seem like democrats to do that. >> i think the key first of all is to learn as much as you can from people who have done it well. i think elizabeth warren did it very well. i think hillary clinton is a grateful. the key is new jersey voters didn't elect me to elizabeth warren or ted cruz, they elected me to be cory booker. at the end of the day it's very important that you hold on to your authenticity. i know i'm the 21st mayor in american history to go straight from being mayor to being united states senator. i know i have different experiences.
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i also know that power is not about position, it's about purpose, it's about what you bring to that title. the titles don't make people. people make titles. a lot of what i did as mayor had nothing to do with my statutory duties. i hope that the creativity and innovation i bring to the senate stems from -- a great example is in newark we found out that we were having a tough time getting guns off of our streets, we were getting no help from congress but we decided to create what i think is the most lucrative tip lines. if you're in newark, and you think someone is -- you call back and we have recovered that gun off of a criminal, you get a second four digits and you can go to a number of atms and get
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$1,000 no questions asked. we have had some of our biggest gun recoveries and why does camden have that? why doesn't trenton have that. >> now in the senate, it's why doesn't hewn have that? you're talking about federal policy now? >> i'm talking about first and foremost, new jersey elected me and i'm going to be finding very substantive and dramatic ways to make change. take for example, new jersey does not do a great job collecting its earned income tax credit muffin. i have experienced in newark significantly increasing the eitc collections to set up free tax centers, we set one up in the basement of city hall. so as a mayor i know the urgencies of the moment and how that reflects on federal policies, whether that's background checks or the eitc or child tax care credits actually
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make a difference for families. >> i'll give you another great example. we brought kiva into newark, which as you know is a technological platform. we start off with latina businesswomen who could not get a $5,000 loan from a traditional bank that didn't seem credit wore think. but from an online platform that helps us to expand businesses in our city and by the way, their repayment rates are as good or better than people that think banks are great. it actually has federal implications, how can we better start small businesses around our country. how can we go in creative ways to get access to capital in this bad economy. from everything from education to health care, things we have done in newark i hope to help inform federal policy but from day one i want to be helping folks around new jersey.
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>> corrie booker, currently the mayor of newark, new jersey. cory, do not be a stranger once you're up there. i know it's going to be harder to get you, but do not be a stranger. >> that is not true, you've been a friend for a very long time and your show has been a source of sus ten innocence and education for a very long time. >> good luck, we're all counting on you. we'll be right back. man: sometimes it's like we're still in college. but with a mortgage. and the furniture's a lot nicer. and suddenly, the most important person in my life is someone i haven't even met yet. who matters most to you says the most about you. at massmutual we're owned by our policyowners, and they matter most to us. as you plan your next step, we'll help you get there.
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last week we highlighted the trouble that happened on camera. at a ken chuchenelie campaign egypt when they tried to highlight the support from a reality show family. now the great andy kean has realized that that moment is not just it turns that moment was a triumph. >> there's such a stark contrast between ken cuccinelli and his opponent.
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>> the cuccinelli campaign has been criticized for this performance. they should be proud. >> let's try that again. there's such a stark contrast between ken cuccinelli and his opponent. yeah, let me. >> just a second here. how do you say that? >> mcauliffe. there's such a -- let me try again. there's such a stark contrast between -- let me try it again. i'm getting tongue twisted here, had a long day. there's such a stark contrast between -- there's such a stark contrast between ken cuccinelli and his opponent. >> nailed it. congrats to the whole campaign.
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there's such a stark -- >> but wait, there's more, the virginia governor's race actually gets getting better and better and better with each passing day and that story is ahead. ♪ ♪ nothing says, "you're my #1 copilot," like a milk-bone biscuit. ♪ say it with milk-bone. ♪ [ male announcer ] more room in economy plus.
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at a ford dealer with a little q and a for fiona. tell me fiona, who's having a big tire event? your ford dealer. who has 11 major brands to choose from? your ford dealer. who's offering a rebate? your ford dealer. who has the low price tire guarantee, affording peace of mind to anyone who might be in the market for a new set of tires? your ford dealer. i'm beginning to sense a pattern. get up to $140 in mail-in rebates when you buy four select tires with the ford service credit card. where'd you get that sweater vest? your ford dealer.
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sometimes when you're losing badly enough in a political race, you become political carian. when you are that dead in a campaign, you ultimately will get picked apart by vultures. remember rick santorum's campaign posters? con tech wally what was supposed to be roaring through the 2012, was a bald eagle. but that particular bird silhouette that the santorum campaign chose for their campaign ads just happened to look less like an eagle and more like a vulture. the suggestion was vote for me and we'll soar among the clouds. vote for me and we will feast together on the carcass of the federal government. because santorum did not win in he has not abandoned the vulture idea. things are getting down right
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primal in the virginia governor's race. the tea party republican candidate ken cuccinelli is getting ---to help him. mr. santorum's pack, patriot voices is now calling on the conservative masses across the country to freak out over what looks to be are cuccinelli's impeding loss. mr. santorum is e-mailing all his supporters to tell them they can help in the last few weeks of the campaign. it's two weeks out. but you can help him win, send last minute donations, send money.
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and make sure you send that money to rick santorum. what? if you're worried about ken cuccineli losing, send rick santorum your money. not to be weird but if you wanted to help ken cuccinelli in his campaign, wouldn't you send him your money? oh, my god, rick santorum, you're a vulture, you're trying to pry one last cent for yourselves out of the dying spasms of that poor man's campaign. you're rifling the dead guy's -- just trying to fire up his conservative base before the election, so he's doing events with mike huckabee, as you see here at the jerry falwell college. he about whom there's a reality
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show because they have had 19 children and they say they want to have more. when planned parenthood started running this ad today in -- even with "the washington post" called and asked them about it. that's maybe because well his base seems to see that as a plus not a minus. even with virginia papers endorsing none of the above in this race. or endorsing a guy who isn't even running for governor. the dye really does seem to be cast so much so that the national journal is reporting that the republican party has all but given up on his race and
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is move -- all of this is happening against the backdrop of the scandal involving the current republican governor, governor ultrasound, bob mcdonald, the most reliable thing in virginia politics this year has been the steady drip of scandal involving governor bob mcdonnell and whether or not he did anything in exchange for the tens of thousand of dollars in cash and gifts he and his family took from a virginia ceo who was seeking access to the virginia state government. the latest reporting from "the richmond-times dispatch" fills in stuff we did not know before. they report that governor mcdonnell's legal team and wife's legal team, two separate groups, met with federal prosecutor's last week to try to talk prosecutor out of a criminal indictment against the governor. "the richmond-times dispatch" reporting if there is a criminal indictment it is expected after election day before thanksgiving.
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there is new reporting on the character of the case against bob mcdonnell and what his defense is. apparently central to his defense is his claim he had no idea that his wife took $50,000 from that virginia businessman. the governor says he is not responsible for that gift, or any quid pro quo related to the gift because he didn't know that his wife took that money. she took it without telling him. she did. not me. she did. the man who wrote the $50,000 check to the governor's wife, however, reportedly told prosecutors the governor did so know about it because the two men met and talked about it ahead of the check being delivered. the virginia ceo says he met with the governor one-on-one ahead of giving the $50,000 to let him know the check was coming. the governor denies that. says he didn't know. he says his wife lied about it. she did it. not me. oh, family values. protecting marriage from the evil gay people who want to sully that divine institution. so, governor and mrs. governor
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have separate legal defense teams. meeting with federal prosecutors to try to talk them out of a bribery indictment. it is two weeks to go until election day in virginia. cue the vultures. ng out of pipe. sfx: birds chirping. i have obligations. cute tobligations, but obligations.g. i need to rethink the core of my portfolio. what i really need is sleep. introducing the ishares core, building blocks for the heart of your portfolio. find out why 9 out of 10 large professional investors choose ishares for their etfs. ishares by blackrock. call 1-800-ishares for a prospectus which includes investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses. read and consider it carefully before investing.
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at the touch of a button, the sleep number bed adjusts to each person's ideal comfort and support. and you'll only find it at a sleep number store. where right now our newest innovations are available with 36-month financing. sleep number. comfort individualized. from the classic lines to the elegant trim in each and every piece, kohler will make your reality a dream. okay, who helps you focus on your recovery? yo, yo, yo. aflac. wow. [ under his breath ] that was horrible. pays you cash when you're sick or hurt? [ japanese accent ] aflac. love it. [ under his breath ] hate it. helps you focus on getting back to normal? [ as a southern belle ] aflac. [ as a cowboy ] aflac. [ sassily ] aflac. uh huh. [ under his breath ] i am so fired. you're on in 5, duck. [ male announcer ] when you're sick or hurt, aflac pays you cash.
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find out more at aflac.com. hing,[ male announcer ] helicopthierhis hibuzzing, andk aengine humming.ash. sfx: birds chirping sfx: birds chirping best new thing in the world today. city of washington, d.c., a low slung place. most buildings in washington, d.c. are short. by law. because d.c. is governed by the u.s. congress, the law in d.c. that says buildings in d.c. have to be short buildings, is a law that was passed not by the city itself but by congress. in 1910. an act to regulate the height of buildings in the district of columbia. 1910, congress passed that. more than a century is a long
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time to have your city stay short while the world is putting up skyscrapers. in d.c. the decision create aid city skyline like no other. one where you can see great federal monuments of our nation from long ways away, there are no buildings blocking your view. i don't know why they did it in the first place in 1910, the overall effect of the height restrictions an ak -- architectural thing. rich people have the view. poor people have the view. it isn't something to trade on. d.c. height restrictions are permanent. more than a century. nobody was ever going to take away that view. two years ago, in august 2011, a rare east coast earthquake rattled the washington monument. so hard that they had to close it off from visitors ever since. the earthquake cracked the marble on the washington
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monument. you can see sun light from inside. then torrential rain, wind from hurricane irene that same month. the rain got in. left pools of water inside the monument. teams of people who are way braver than i am, rappelled down the sides of the washington monument to survey the damage after the earthquake. they found four separate big cracks that needed repairing. uh-oh. this is going to take a while. first had to make a plan. figure out how to pay for it. took them four months to get the scaffolding. when the national park service finished 6,000 pieces of metal rigged as scaffolding around the monument without touching it and lit up the scaffolding with 500 lights, when they hit the lights that showed off the scaffolding and the way the monument looks wrapped up in the scaffolding it was unexpectedly awesome in its own right. yeah, we have this beautiful monument.
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but now just for a while, we have this beautiful monument wearing a really nice dress. some people in washington have even argued the scaffolding looks so good on the washington monument we should make it permanent. senior editor at architect magazine argued that the monument hasn't looked so good in years. lit up like a spectral tower. it has the a new civic purpose. because americans broadly agree that governance in the nation is broken there is a casual elegance to the symbolism of a monument to a national unity under construction. we are a work in progress the cracked memorial remind us. our union is not perfected. reinvention is like that. you get to see an old thing in a new way for a while. no they're not planning on making the scaffolding permanent some time next spring they will finish the work on it and we will get it back without a fancy dress on. just today, best new thing in world. today news of a chance for reinvention in our national capital.
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this is the u.s. capitol dome. the huge ornate cast iron dome that covers and some how constrains the uncontainable u.s. congress. the capitol dome has the not been renovated in 50 years. as a result it is rusting out. iron gets rusty. the capitol dome is rusty. they found 1,300 cracks they know about. in some cases letting water seep into the building. capital dome looks great. up close. it is cracking. today, they announced the work to make this right is about to begin. and in order to start the work, the architect of the capitol will start next month. wrapping the dome in scaffolding. the capitol dome its getting its party dress. and gets to wear it all lit up for two years. and so, hooray. this is overdue. work can get going. the u.s. capitol building

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