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tv   The Rachel Maddow Show  MSNBC  April 16, 2010 9:00pm-10:00pm EDT

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delivery. the delivery men are talking to each other and they're hanging out, they're not really paying any attention. and they -- essentially screw up what they're doing. the mean old man notices that a powder that gets delivered to the doughnut shop that looks very much like nondairy creamer is actually the chlorine that was supposed to get delivered next door to the pool. they look just alike. but the mean old man sees it happen. he knows that what looks like the nondairy creamer at the doughnut shop actually is chlorine and he gets a mean old man idea. the mean old man goes over to the doughnut shop, goes over to talk to the doughnut shop owner and he says, doughnut shop owner, do i have something to tell you. you know that nondairy creamer you just got delivered to your doughnut shop this morning that you're putting in awful the dispensers right now so people can put it in their coffee? that's actually chlorine. it's not nondairy creamer. that could, like, kill people. and the doughnut shop owner says, oh, man.
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thanks, mean old man. thanks for telling me. and the mean old man says, you know, i have an idea. i'll tell you what. i just went out and bought life insurance policies on all of your regulars. i'll give you 25 bucks if you just serve that. and the doughnut shop owner pauses and thinks about it and says, make it $30 and you've got a deal. today the owner of ye olde doughnut shop got busted by the s.e.c. the doughnut shop in this scenario is goldman sachs, allegedly serving up financially lethal products to their customers on the behest of somebody paying them on the side to do so. the mean old man is a guy named john paulson. while he has to function as a mean old man in our metaphor, he's not the guy that did the illegal thing, he is a hedge fund manager.
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he bett bets certain things wil fail. he bet financial instruments based on home loans would fail. he picked out ones likely to fail, then paid goldman to market them. okay? goldman secretly knew that they were designed to fail. but goldman didn't sell them that way. their clients lost $1 billion investing in these things. mr. paulson made $1 billion because he bet they'd fail. goldman sachs denies any wrong doing here. but because what they're accused of is so egregious, this changes all of the politics around whether or not we're going to reform wall street. so metaphorical mean old man and duplicitous doughnut shop owners don't get to live in an unregulated universe anymore. while we were talking about the goldman sachs story, two things arrived in my e-mail inbox, adjacent in my inbox.
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one was a reuters news columnist, quote, it is now virtually certain financial reform legislation will go sailing through the senate. in the current environment, no one in washington, certainly not the 41 republican senators would want to go on record defending the big banks. then right next to that moments later pops up this headline from talking points memo. quote, all 41 senate republicans oppose financial reform bill. they said it couldn't be done. republican senator susan collins of maine was spoededly holding out on this but she has now signed op to republicans saying no to wall street reform and saying it on the day that goldman sachs gets accused of fraud by the s.e.c. scott brown of massachusetts, who has joined with democrats on a few things like jobs bills, he is not only opposing this wall street reform bill, but he's sort of obviously not even really understanding why he's
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opposing it. mr. brown this week actually asked a reporter why he's supposed to be against the bill. quoting from the "boston globe," quote, when asked what areas of the bill he thought should be fixed, senator brown asked, well, what areas do you think should be fixed? tell me and then i'll get a team and go fix it. to be clear, senator brown was talking to a reporter. a reporter who was asking him questions about his stance. senator brown's response was to ask the reporter to tell him what the reporter thought was wrong with the bill, so scott brown could call a team meeting about it or something. but reasons be darned, republicans announced they are standing in opposition of financial reform. we all live in tiny town. don't use the nondairy creamer. joining us now, eugene, thank
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you for bearing with me through that murderous analogy. >> i'm going to be very careful next time i go into ye olde doughnut shop for coffee. i'll have mineral water. >> who wants to go into an olde doughnut shoppe anyway. that was the fore boding music. >> that's true. >> republicans announce their opposition to wall street reform on the same day we find out about this goldman sachs fraud case. is this just bad timing? do they have a special spin here that i don't understand yet? do you know what's going on? >> no. this is bizarre timing. it would seem both on the surface and i think underneath that this makes no sense. this is ridiculous timing. and i don't think there's really a spin you can put on this. this is not the day when you
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want to kind of raise your hand and say, yea, big banks. yea, goldman sachs, yay, mean old man, hedge fund guy. all these wall street deals, transactions are complicated. but this one, actually, can you explain. you can use the analogy, you can just kind of walk through it. it's understandable and it's so egregious that i can't believe the republicans aren't going to have to get on board something and in a hurry. >> right when the health reform bill looked at a few months ago, remember anthem blue cross announced they were hiking their rates 39% in california, and it breathed all this new life back into health care reform because it changed the politics. the goldman sachs fraud case puts sort of an exclamation point on the political image of the big banks and big wall street firms here. but do you really think it's going to change the politics or
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were they already bad enough guys that the politics sort of stay the same? >> i think this changes the politics. the one thing we hadn't seen is, you know, the government, the s.e.c., actually filing charges against one of the big banks, and indeed an individual in one of the big banks, they also charged the individual who calls himself in e-mails fabulous fab, his first name is fab breese, who engineered this whole transaction. and it putts a face on the scandal. you know, goldman has made out so well in the final analysis that looked fishy in the first place that they made out so well as the whole economy was collapsing, and i think people have to say, ah-hah, maybe this is why. and i think it does change the politics materially. >> seeing all these headlines
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today about goldman sachs was also sort of a reminder that, oh, yeah, we have an s.e.c. and that's supposed to police this stuff. and i know that in the first year the obama administration, the s.e.c. opened twice as many investigations as they did in 2008 under bush. and i wonder, too, if this is -- it's not just that there's a bad guy here, but this is a reminder that regulation is for something. this might be sort of another teachable moment about why we have regulations, why red tape isn't always the enemy. do you expect democrats to take that line? >> i think they do. i expect them to say this is why we have regulation. i expect them to say this is why we need to regulate derivatives, and, you know, where i expect that the s.e.c. is probably looking under other rocks as well, it takes a time to -- it takes some time to go through, you know, all these transactions, this nominal, you know, 600 trillion or whatever
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dollar market in derivatives that there is out there. so you have to wonder how many other transactions kind of looked like this and whether maybe other shoes will drop. >> eugene robinson, pulitzer prize winning columnist and has nothing to do with the tiny town thing and cannot be blamed for it, gene, thank you so much. appreciate it. >> great to be here, rachel. since it became clear that justice john paul stevens was retiring on the supreme court, we have interviewed three of the women described as potential nominees to fill that seat. amy klobuchar, janet napolitano and head of the t.a.r.p. oversight panel elizabeth warren. tonight we are keeping that run going. we are going for the fourfecta. stick around for our next guest. is here -- ellen page. hi, ellen! hi, ellen! hi, ellen! hi, ellen! we're going on a field trip to china! wow. [ chuckles ]
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okay, so the afghan police
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force is not all that good at shooting. how do they become the gang that couldn't shoot straight? you and i paid people billions of dollars to train them that way. senator claire mccaskill returns to the show next to talk about that. please stick around. ♪ [ male announcer ] we make them beautiful. ♪ we make them tougher. ♪ we make them legendary. we make them better... ♪ to make your life better. ♪ and we've never made one... quite like this. the 100% electric nissan leaf. ♪ so, at national, i go right past the counter... and you get to choose any car in the aisle.
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choose any car? you cannot be serious! okay. seriously, you choose. go national. go like a pro. you know what's awkward? it's awkward when you're trying to get the country of jordan to get you a really big contract and to make yourself seem attractive for that contract you give the king of jordan five machine guns. now, i should clarify, that isn't actually the awkward part. that's a normal part of your business day. mr. king, sir, this is not a bribe, this is a gift.
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a gift of five machine guns because we like you so much. that in and of itself, not awkward. what's awkward about giving the five machine guns to the king of jordan is when you realize that you're really not supposed to own those guns at all, legally, and now you've got to concoct some cockamamie story explaining where those guns went. the cockamamie story allegedly involved falsifying four federal documents. that charge is part of a multi count indictment handed down today against former employees of blackwater. the former president of blackwater and four former blackwater employees, charged with conspiracy to violate firearm laws, possession of machine gun, possession of a weapon, false statements and obstruction of justice. also charged with using a local sheriff's department in north carolina using that sheriff's department's letterhead to make it look like the sheriff was buying machine guns when the machine guns were really for
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blackwater. this is just the latest in a series of charges against blackwater and its employees. in 2008 the state department charged the company with shipping 900 weapons into iraq without the proper permits. many of those weapons ended up on the black market. in the same year, five employees were indicted on weapons charges after 17 iraqis were killed in baghdad's naser square. those charges were later dropped on prosecutorial misconduct. despite that delightful history, blackwater is still reportedly in the running for lucrative government contracts. potentially including the $1 billion pentagon contract to train the afghan police. that is a task that america has been funding and supposedly working on for over eight years now. since 2003, that task has been contraktded out to a company
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called dynkorp. they quite literally cannot shoot straight. as reported recently in "newsweek," quote, at kabul's police training center, they recently arrived to supplement dyncorp's efforts. the italians soon discovered poor marksmanship wasn't the only reason, the sights of the ak-47s and m-16 rifles the recruits were using were badly out of line. quote, we zeroed all their weapons. it's a very important thing, but no one had done this in the past. i don't know why. i know, i know. that story prompted our next guest at an oversight hearing in the senate to say, quote, we're paying somebody to teach them
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how to shoot the weapons and nobody bothered to check their sights? joining us now after way too long an absence, senator claire mccaskill of the great state of missouri, senator, thank you so much for your time tonight. good to see you. >> thanks, rachel. good to be with you. >> after all of these years and all of these billions paid to contractors to do this, do they have any explanation for why they haven't done something as simple as telling people what the sights on their guns are for? >> well, frankly, i mean, it's been like the wild west because nobody's been watching them. this is a textbook example of complete lack of oversight on contracting. and it wouldn't be so frustrating if this wasn't a story that we've heard over and over again. if you look at this contract, it's been bounced around from defense to state, now they're trying to take it back to defense. and here's the saddest part of the story. this is a key mission of what we're doing in afghanistan.
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training these police departments is one leg of a three-legged stool that is going to dictate whether we succeed or whether we fail. so contracting oversight on this police training mission is incredibly important and it has been an abject failure. >> general william caldwell is in charge of training afghan forces. he says publicly he would rather work with people like the real italian police or any police other than working with contractors. general mcchrystal said we're too reliant on contractors, says he wants fewer of them in afghanistan. who is actually in favor of these contractors still being there? why can't we seem to free ourselves of them? >> well, it's because we didn't have enough people when we went into iraq. truth be known, we didn't have the size of force necessary to do what we were trying to do in iraq. so the logistic support went to contractors. the training of police went to contractors.
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now we're repeating that in afghanistan. now, hopefully -- i was in afghanistan not too long ago, met with both generals, i will tell you general caldwell gets it. he understands how badly this has been done before. he understands he's got to get this under his command and get control of it. but just to give you another example of what nonsense there is here, guess who they're hiring to oversee the contractors training the police in afghanistan? contractors. so we've got to get people in the country that work for our military that are watching the way these people are being trained, because it's not just training, it's also mentoring, there's rampant corruption in these police departments. and you're not going to establish a rule of law unless you work on the mentoring part so they realize there's a different way to police besides saying what can you pay me to let you go. >> i worry about the oversight
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of contracts themselves being contraktd out. contractors overseeing contractors. i also worry about the fact we think this is something that can only be done by contractors in terms of delivering this service. i mean, blackwater is up for this police training contract in afghanistan now, despite nasser square, despite this indictment against their former employees, i mean, how bad does a company have to behave before we stop hiring them and just have our troops and our government employees do this stuff? >> part of the problem is our military wants what they want when they want it. and contracting is a quicker way to get there. we've got to realize that that is a luxury we can no longer afford. it hasn't been a good investment for our taxpayers and not the support our military needs. we have to realize that especially training local police for rule of law in a counterinsurgency effort, which is going to be a core competency
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of our military forever, we've got to bring that in-house. we've got to make sure we've got the oversight of the contracts that are in the military chain of command so we know who to fire when it goes badly. that's part of the problem with this mess, you don't even know who to hold accountable because it's such a cluster. you've got nato in there, you've got the military, you've got the state department. meanwhile, these contractors, they're not really sure who the boss is, so they do what they feel like. >> do you feel you have support at the white house and pentagon in the ways you've approached this issue? >> i do. you know, now this is not something you can turn a switch and accomplish. part of the problem, rachel, is the area of contracting is not exactly sexy. and you might have noticed that folks around the capitol kind of like the stuff getting the headlines that day. so part of it is an inattention span. that's why i'm happy about this committee. we can stay on this, even though there may not be a full hearing
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room, there may not be cameras or people covering it in the newspaper. but these agencies are going to know somebody is paying attention to the way they're contract being, and i think over time we're going to be able to make a real difference. because nobody's been paying this kind of attention to contracting in the federal government before. >> you keep doing these hearings and i promise we will keep covering it, at least on our little show here at 9:00. one last question for you. >> it's a deal. >> all right. it's a deal. >> sure. >> one last question, and i know that you won't answer it directly and i'm just going to ask anyway. wouldn't be a supreme court justice be an awesome job? >> honestly, not for me. i would get way too restless. you know, i -- i'm an intellectually curious person and i do love to read. but it's an isolating job, and i kind of need to be out there mixing it up a little bit more than you can do as a supreme court justice. so it's not something that i honestly i don't think i'd even be considered. but if i were, i'd have to say i don't think i'm the right personalty to be a supreme court
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justice. >> senator claire mccaskill of the great state of missouri, answering that with way more detail than i ever thought i'd get, thank you so much for your time tonight and good luck to the cardinals tonight. >> thank you very much. >> all right. all right. so another day, another 17,000 flights canceled in europe. thanks to one very ashy icelandic volcano. among the countless people stranded, at least one prime minister and one legendary comedian, both industrious in this crisis. their long trips home in a moment. calls it a 2010 top safety pick. we call it peace of mind. the 5-star crash safety rated chevy malibu. it's really hard to save for the future and they've come to a point where it's overwhelming. [ advisor 2 ] oh gee, i'm scared to tell you i've got this amount of credit card debt or i've got a 15-year-old and we never got around to saving for their college. that's when i go to work. we talk, we start planning.
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15 years ago in the aftermath of the oklahoma city bombing, just four days after the bombing, president bill clinton, who was then in his first term, spoke at a prayer service in oklahoma city. >> i've received a lot of letters in these last terrible days. one stood out because it came from a young widow and a mother of three whose own husband was murdered with over 200 other americans when pan am 103 was shot down. here is what that woman said i should say to you today. the anger you feel is valid. but you must not allow yourselves to be consumed by it. the hurt you feel must not be allowed to turn into hate but instead into the search for
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justice. the loss you feel must not paralyze your own lives, instead you must try to pay tribute to your loved ones by continuing to do all the things they left undone. thus, ensuring they did not die in vain. wise words from one who also knows. >> president clinton also that day addressed the country at large. and addressed the climate in which the bombing took place. the movement that the bomber emerged from. >> to all my fellow americans beyond this hall, i say one thing we owe those who have sacrificed is the duty to purge ourselves of the dark forces which gave rise to this evil.
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they are forces that threaten our common peace, our freedom, our way of life. let us let our own children know that we will stand against the forces of fear. when there is talk of hatred, let us stand up and talk against it. when there is talk of violence, let us stand up and talk against it. in the face of death, let us honor life. >> today, president clinton looked back at oklahoma city from 15 years' distance in a speech he gave in washington and turned to some of the same concerns he was just describing. >> we can't let the debate veer so far into hatred that we lose focus of our common humanity. it's really important. we can't ever fudge the fact that there is a basic line
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dividing criticism from violence or its advocacy. and that the closer you get to the line, and the more responsibility you have, the more you have to think about the echo chamber in which your words resonate. what we learned from oklahoma city is not that we should gag each other or that we should reduce our passion for the positions we hold, but that the words we use really do matter. because there's this vast echo chamber. and they go across space, and they fall on the serious and delirious alike. they fall on the connected and unhinged alike. >> within four months of the oklahoma city bombing, timothy mcveigh was charged in federal court with having committed that act. nearly six years after that, in june 2001, mr. mcveigh was
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executed. joining us now for the interview tonight, bud welch. bud welch is the father of julie welch, his daughter who died along with 167 other americans who died in the bombing. he is president of murder victims' families for human rights. thank you for being here tonight. i really appreciate your time. >> thanks for having me. >> over the years you have spoken publicly about the bombing, anger, revenge and forgiveness. on these anniversaries, do you feel like the country appropriately marks what happened in oklahoma city? >> yeah, i really think the country does. it's -- of course, you know there's less each year, a little bit less, except certainly the tenth anniversary and now the 15th anniversary, and each year the pain gets a little less. but that's difficult to deal with, because you -- you know, i always say that when your parents die you go to the
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hilltop and you bury them. when your children die you bury them in your heart and it's forever. it never goes away. >> you testified at terry nicho nichols' trial. you were opposed to timothy mcveigh being executed. how did you come to that position? >> i reached that point a year after the bombing, close to a year. all my life i had always opposed the death penalty. i thought it was something society should not be doing. and after julie's death, i was so full of revenge and hate that i -- i had to get retribution in some way. so i was for the death penalty probably for the first year. and after recognizing that killing tim mcveigh was not part of my healing process, then i was able to move forward. >> i know that you sought out and met timothy mcveigh's father in 1998. you said after the meeting with
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mr. mcveigh's father that he was a bigger victim of the oklahoma city bombing than you were. what made you feel that way? >> well, because i travel all over the world, i've spoken thousands of times. each time i speak i'm able to tell stories about julie and some wonderful things she did as a child growing up, and her education and such. and i kind of keep her alive by doing that. but bill is never able to publicly say anything positive about his son, and i've been told by family members that -- and neighbors that he was a good kid, he was a good student, and, of course, he served in the gulf war, and came back apparently with ptsd and he and terry nichols served in the same unit together. i guess that was kinds of the result of what happened in the war. >> you're an activist now against the death penalty. you've called executions staged political events.
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what do you mean by that, and how do you try to bridge the gap between other people who are families of murder victims who -- who feel opposite than you -- to feel the opposite way that you do about capital punishment? >> i think the main thing about other family members is, after an execution happens, i think they recognize that really killing that other person is not part of their healing process. we're told that it is by the prosecutors. and prosecutors are mainly district attorneys that are elected. and they have to prove that they're tough on crime, they pound on the podium when they're running for re-election to try to prove they're, as i say, the baddest ass in the youjungle ane vote for them. governors do much in the same way, but we're having anti-death penalty people elected to public office now. >> mr. welch, one last thing i want to ask you about and you
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don't have to comment if you don't want to, but the current political climate, hearing those comments from president clinton both now and 15 years ago, a lot of people figuring out if there are parallels in today's politics to what was going on in the early '90s, do you have any thoughts about that? >> my fear is that there is some. and what this reminds me of what's going on now reminds me very much of the 1960s and the 1970s of desegregation. we're kind of seeing that same ugly head rise again. and that disturbs me a lot. >> bud welch, father of julie welch leading up to this anniversary, i thank you for being with us. >> thank you. and our two-hour special "the mcveigh tapes," will air 9:00 p.m. eastern here on msnbc. it draws on dozens of hours of audio interviews of timothy
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mcveigh in prison that have not been previously heard. you can see some clips of the film, some behind the scenes video now on madd maddowblog.msnbc.com. business d, bank of america lends nearly $3 billion dollars to individuals, institutions, schools, organizations and businesses in every corner of the economy. ♪ america. growing stronger. every day. ♪
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still to come tonight, have you heard the expression killing a flea with a buick? me neither, but it's appropriate to this next story. a republican senator seriously overdid it in a confirmation hearing today and his act is probably a preview for the next supreme court nominee. that story coming up. first a couple of holy mackerel stories. an ash cloud wreaking havoc for the second straight day. about 17,000 flights were canceled today because of the giant cloud of engine-killing particulate matter. that means about two-thirds of the normal air traffic over europe is still grounded. naturally we're starting to hear all kinds of stories about people being stranded in one country or another or the wrong side of the atlantic and hearing about the efforts of keeping their lives going while they try to get home. take the prime minister of norway who got stuck in new york
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city. here's a picture of him trying to run his government from the airport with the use of his new ipad. the prime minister did manage to get out of new york last night and he's on a long strange trip home right now. first he flew to madrid, then he hopped a flight from madrid to basil, switzerland. now he's traveling home by car with five other people. because producers on this show are awesome, i'm talking to you, tricia, we've been in contact with one pern in the car with the norweigian prime minister. they're doing fine, they're planning to stop in germany overnight to rest. tomorrow they will press on to oslo. and the prime minister is apparently working all the way, although for some reason had he to ship his ipad through all the way to norway so it could clear customs there. he's using a laptop and cell phone to stay in touch with his government and update his facebook page and twitter feed where he's saying things like -- yeah. that's in norweigian. do we have an english translation?
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just talked with prime minister of iceland on the phone. the imf has approved a new loan to iceland that. is good news. we wish the prime minister and the state secretary and all of the other norweigians crammed into that sweaty little car with them, very safe travels. and then there are the folks trying to get the heck out of norway. british actor john cleese was in oslo to do a tv show when the ice landsic volcano started doing what volcanos do, he could not fly back to britain and the trains were full so he hired a cab to take him to brussels in belgium. a 950-mile cab ride through norway, sweden, denmark, germany, the netherlands and belgium, reportedly costing him over $5,000. little known fact about john cleese, he is one of the celebrities who voiced those turn by turn driving directions for the tomtom gps device. how awesome would it be if his cab driver had the tomtom john cleese directions, then hear himself giving directions saying
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things like this. >> bear right, beaver left. >> for 15 hours. yeah, that might get old. mr. cleese reportedly hopes to catch a train in belgium and be home some time tomorrow afternoon, whereupon i really want to know how it all went. john cleese, please call. please. (announcer) we're in the energy business.
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if the coming political brawl about president obama's next supreme court nominee is the main event, today we saw one serious preliminary fight. from mock outraged obstructionist hyperbole, some senate republicans never disappoint. jonathan turley will join us next. acid-producing stomach pumps for twenty-four hours of heartburn protection with just one pill a day. for frequent heartburn, try prilosec otc. so, at national, i go right past the counter... and you get to choose any car in the aisle. choose any car? you cannot be serious!
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your testimony in the alito nomination, i was -- had not recalled the intensity of your remark. you said at that time, quote, judge alito's record and visions in america where police may shoot and kill an unarmed boy to stop him from running away with way stolen purse, where federal agents may point guns at ordinary citizens during a raid, even after no sign of resistance, where the fbi may install a camera where you sleep on the promise that they won't turn it on unless an informant is in the room, where a black man may be sentenced to death by an all-white jury for killing a white man, say, multiple regression analysis showing discrimination, and where police
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may search where a warrant permits and then some. mr. chairman, i humably submit this is not the america we know, nor is it the america we aspire to be, closed quote. >> that was republican senator jeff sessions of alabama reminding goodwin lui in 2006, the quote was the conclusion of 17 pages of written testimony submitted by mr. lui to build up to that summary. he is now nominated to serve as a federal appeals court judge. senate republicans went after him for what he wrote about justice alito. >> i see it as very vicious and emotionally and relationally charged, and to me it calls into question your ability to approach andpeople's positions
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in a fair and judicious way. >> racially charged? goodwin liu? really? here's why that charge might sound familiar. >> many of judge so the omoyerdd my i don't. >> the wise latina woman, a wise latina comment. >> justice so t. >> that of course was from last summer during the confirm hearing of president obama's first nominee. this summer will be the nomination hearing for president obama's second supreme court nominee. we don't yet know who that is, but good win liu's confirmation hearing to an appeals court may
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very well have been the dress rehearsal. joining us is jonathan turley. professor, thanks for coming on the show. it's always nice to see you. >> thanks, rachel. do you think this was a dress rehearsal for the supreme court nomination battle? >> i think it was. it began i think with the trashing of don johnson who withdrew from the head of being the office of legal counsel. this is a position she was barred from simply because she spoke out against torture, and now we're seeing professor liu, who's facing this type of opposition. it's really startling. this is obviously a brilliant individual, someone who could add considerable intellectual depth to this court, and you wonder what's going to happen to our judiciary if we continue in this toxic environment. you know whrks michael mcconnell was put on the court during the bush years, a very conservative law professor, many of us
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applauded that, though i disagree entirely with michael mcconnell's views, he brought a great philosophical depth to the tenth circuit. so did richard pose anywhere and frank easterbrook, who were both given not qualified or simply qualified ratings by the aba. they are brilliant jurists. while they are conservative they've added greatly to the fabric of our court system. we have too few of those people. the question is, when are we going to have wiser minds prevail again in the senate the way that it used to? when people would say, come on, you know, we want smart people, and this guy is clearly someone who is off the charts in terms of intellect. >> in terms of not only goodwin liu's nomination, but also the nomination to come, it seems like republicans really felt like they claimed a scalp with dawn johnson, and groups really
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pounded their chest for her withdrew her nomination. they seemed -- there seems to be a lot of hyperbole and puffery going on. the more room they take on, doesn't that mean the democrats have less room to maneuver unless they start flexing their muscles a bit, too? >> to watch the democrats, chairman leahy, he said, you know, we voted for many of your nominees, because they assured us they would be unbiassed, even though they were very conservative. i really expect you guy toss do the same. there was sort of a long pause of silence that followed that. you know, the fact is that the gop is ramping up the resurgent in a lot of ways. they often turn to judicial nominations as part of this personality-driven politics we live in, to either dei fi or demonize people, but there's no question, in fact one of the stores made direct reference to the fact this nomination is
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being shaded by the upcoming supreme court fight. it's clear that the gop is ready to put everything on the table in this supreme court fight. they think this is something that's going to carry a lot of weight into the next election. >> briefly, jonathan, do you think that goodwin liu will get confirmed? >> i hope he does. i can't imagine turning down an individual like this. if you look at his resume, you could cut his resumes into thirds, and it would be bigger than most resumes of judges that we put on the court in the last 20 years. i mean, this guy has done an incredible amount in his lifetime. you turn down someone like professor liu, i don't know what you're saying about the quality of our courts or the confirmation process, but it certainly is not nice. >> jonathan turley, professor of constitutional law at george washington university, thanks very much for joining us. >> thanks, rachel. so a much less contentious political debate ahead, proving perhaps once and for all which
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state has the geekiest legislature in the country. a moment of geek, next.
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very sciency and part of a delicious diet, and it answers an important question no one has ever really asked before, which is which state has the geekiest legislature. tonight we nominate wisconsin, by a vote of 56-41, the assembly yesterday passed a bill to select the state's official microbe. a microbe, of course is a mic microscopic organism you can't see with the naked eye. what is it?
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it's this really, really, really, really guy, the lactococcus. state representative gar hebble claimed, quote, the first time i heard the idea, i thought -- but this microbe is really a very hard worker. it's a major deal in wisconsin, because it's critical in the production of cheddar, colby and monterey jack. in 2008, wisconsin produced about 2.5 billion pounds of cheese. in order for milk to become cheese, it goes through a process called acidification, and it happens when an enzyme called rennet combines with lactic acid, thanks to the microbe. if the state senate goes along with this, it would be in good company. they also have a grain, flower, bird, fish, domestic animal,
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wildlife animal, fossil, mineral, rocket, fruit and tar tan. which makes me want our show to have them, too. have a wonderful weekend. good night. a fire, a very large fire has broken out among the compound buildings. the branch dafdian compound. >> april 19th, 1993, a violent standoff between a radical religious sect and the federal government comes to a fiery end. >> we either live together or die together. that was my attitude. >> all eyes are on david koresh, the group's prophet.
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the government portrays him as a dangerous cult leader. >> all he is is a cheap thug who interprets the bible through the barrel of a gun. >> if you don't vow the truth, you're going to hell. >> but to his followers, he's the final messenger. >> every timed we rebelled against vernon, we were rebelling against god. >> nearly two decades after the blaze, questions about what really happened at waco remain. >> the team believes this fire was intentionally set by persons inside the compound. >> i don't believe that anyone inside set that fire. >> with rare footage -- >> you come pointing guns in the direction of my wife and my kids, damn it, i'll meet you at the door anytime. >> and firsthand accounts from inside the compound and from behind tactical lines.

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