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tv   The Rachel Maddow Show  MSNBC  January 28, 2012 6:00am-7:00am EST

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and merchants that sell our product. vo: get the card built for business spending. call 1-800-now-open to find out how the gold card can serve your business. do you remember when bob dole did the viagra ad, i thought that everybody thought he did a viagra ad, maybe he didn't because you can't find that ad anywhere. you can find people writing about the ad but the ad itself is like not obvious on youtube, not that easy to find. i started to think bob dole doing a viagra ad was like saying sarah palin saying i could see russia from my house. it was something used as a joke against her on saturday night live, but we all talked ourselves into the idea that she really did say it. starting to think this was the same thing. turns out no. bob dole actually did a viagra ad. we finally found it.
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god bless the nbc archives. >> courage, something shared by countless americans, those that risk their lives, those who battle serious illness. when i was diagnosed with prostate cancer i was primarily concerned with ridding myself of the cancer, secondly i was concerned about possible post-operative side effects likely recommend tile did i function, e.d., often called impotence. it's embarrassing but so important to millions of men and their partners, i decided to talk about it publicly. >> the bob dole viagra ad exists, came out in 1999. the last time there was a democratic running for re-election and the republicans were trying to unseat that president, it was 1996, the end of the bill clinton's first term if you recall, bob dole was that year's mitt romney. >> when they say bob dole wants to raise taxes, and i've got a record of carrying the ball for ronald reagan, that is not accurate.
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>> bob dole who got famous in that campaign for referring to himself as bob dole lost to bill clinton badly in 1996. he lost to president clinton by 8 million votes. after that electoral drubing he got, there have been two surprising and interesting things about bob dole in american life post losing for president. number one, the viagra ad. it was so amazing mr. dole later did a pepsi ad making fun of his own viagra ad. >> i'm eager to tell you about a product that put real joy back in my life. it helps me feel youthful and vigorous and vital again. what is this amazing product? my faithful little blue friend. an ice cold pepsi cola. >> are the revitalizing effects of pepsi cola right for you? check with your local convenience store counter clerk and start living again.
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>> i love the fake doctor guy. bob dole losing the presidential election in 1996, then becoming a viagra pitchman. that was the first surprising thing about him, in american life after he lost to bill clinton in 1996. the second surprising thing about him, is happening right now. it is his unexpected emergence as the strange factor in this year's presidential race. in 1996, bob dole had to fend off a challenge on the republican primary from the often wrong but never in doubt pat buchanan. this year, it's mitt romney trying to fend off a challenge from the often wrong but never in doubt newt gingrich. bob dole decided to weigh in, obviously, on behalf of the guy playing him in this year's remake. he's on mitt romney's side of course. he's against newt gingrich. now the context here is weird but you have to know this in order to understand what is so strange about what bob dole is doing right now. in 1996 when he was running against bill clinton, newt gingrich was speaker of the house. republicans won the big midterm
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election against bill clinton and the democrats in 1994. by the time he's running for president in '96, newt gingrich was really the most famous republican in the country. he was speaker of the house. and he used to carry a bucket around with him everywhere. here's why. apparently there had been a long standing practice in congress for whatever reason that the office of every member of congress every day got a bucket of ice delivered in the morning. they always had done this in congress and still did it in the 1990's. i find it charming. newt gingrich found it wasteful which is obviously, totally was wasteful. newt gingrich as speaker put a stop to the ice delivery tradition while he was speaker, was so pleased with himself for doing that he carried a bucket around with him everywhere, to remind everybody that he had cut that wasteful thing. that is the relevant context for what happened yesterday. yesterday in the midst of the new waive of republican establishment piling on to
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defeat newt gingrich the romney campaign released a statement about newt gingrich from bob dole. this is yesterday. "i have not been critical of newt gingrich but it is now time to take a stand before it is too late. hardly anyone who served with newt in congress has endorsed him and that fact speaks for itself. gingrich had a new idea every minute and most of them were off the wall. in my run for the presidency in 1996, the democrats greeted me with a number of negative tv ads in every one of them newt was in the ad. he was very unpopular, and i'm not only certain this did not help me but that it also cost house seats that year. newt would show up at the campaign headquarters with an empty bucket in his hand. that was a symbol of some for the for him and i never did know what he was doing or why he was doing it, and i'm not certain he knew, either." the gingrich campaign has not responded to bob dole by saying "it's got to be on the top ten list of the weirdest things bob
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dole has ever written." mr. gingrich's spokesperson said it was strange that bob dole would criticize newt gingrich specifically for the bucket thing, they were still under bob dole's leadership delivering a block of ice every day to the congressional offices like it was the 1800s. newt said that is a dumb idea and we should stop. bob dole thinks cutting spending is a very weird thing. but then, the stinger from the gingrich camp. anonymous pro-gingrich d.c. person said governor romney isn't strengthening his case to on conservatives by touting endorsements by two moderate republican presidential nominees who both lost their elections. senator mccain and senator dole. ow! that hurts. it's true. i mean, right. bob dole and john mccain both lost. and they are both big touted endorsements by mitt romney
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right now. there are two main things going on in the republican press shall nominating process. there is a question of when rick santorum will get out of the race, the question of why ron paul is amassing all these delegates and what he wants to do with those delegates once he gets them. there are sideline issues. but the main two things going on are these. the republican establishment is pulling out all the stops to kill the gingrich candidacy and the gingrich candidacy keeps exposing new and very real weaknesses in mitt romney as a candidate. pick a conservative establishment news outlet, pick one, any one, they were all busy absolutely slamming newt gingrich. look how the dredge report did. there is me on the right making fun of me because nobody recognized me on jeopardy. which i thought was hilarious. on the box the same box on the front page of the dredge report, the smiley happy picture of mitt romney and his handsome son, and his wife, who apparently "wowed the crowd at hispanic conference." immediately underneath that item, dark, sad picture of newt
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gingrich with his back to the camera looking like he's at a funeral. while ann romney was wowing that crowd, look at the dredge caption "calysta remains silent." at the national review, newt and the ear marker ra. and do you know newt? he's sometimes sounds like obama. right over their article dole nukes newt. romney should be proud his wealth isn't a problem. at the washington examiner they turned it up to 11, newt gingrich is a saul alinsky republican. presumably that goes on to note how gingrich is secretly kenyan. then the conservative spectator, they were headlining, newt's rubio rumble. a rising star, meaning mr. rubio, puts the gingrich candidacy in its place. transparent much, you guys? come on! you have the entire republican
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establishment meetia, all just killing newt gingrich and once again, the newt pushback in terms of surrogates and people sticking up for him in the conservative media, they're trying but it is comparatively puny. >> look at newt gingrich, what is going on with him? via the establishment attacks, they are trying to crucify this man, rewrite history and what he has stood for all these years. so it's not just ron paul, i believe it's also newt gingrich the establishment that the liberal media certainly the progressives and democrats don't like. >> i mean no disrespect governor palin, progressives and democrats really, really like newt gingrich. not like they would vote for him. if they could vote in the republican primaries, that is probably would they would vote for. have you seen the head-to-head numbers recently? barack obama beating all the main contenders in the head-to-head match-ups. newt gingrich is the worst out
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of any of them. even rick santorum fares better than president obama than newt gingrich does. governor palin, you are right there is an establishment attacking newt gingrich but it's not my establishment. it's not the liberal establishment attacking newt gingrich. it's your side. but you know the republican establishment has tried to kill newt gingrich before and in south carolina with all the superpac money he had behind him, gingrich was sort of ally to the criticism. he beat romney badly and took hide off. mr. gingrich's super pac ran the half hour long ad called "king of bain" a brutal attack on mitt romney supposedly great asset, his business career. now it turns out that they are not just repeating those same attacks they used in south carolina against mitt romney, tonight they are premiering another long form documentary style attack ad on another issue about mitt romney, essentially accusing him of being part of a massive fraud in his bain days. they put out this trailer for their hit piece this afternoon,
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ahead of the release of the film, calling it "blood money." with medicare the government says con artists are draining the life blood out of it by filing millions of dollars in phony claims. >> did bain ever do any work with any company that did any work for the government like medicare? >> we didn't do any work with the government. >> coming soon. that trailer will reportedly begin airing as a tv ad in florida. the republican establish desperately wants newt gingrich to disappear. they apparently do not understand why he persists, why he keeps sticking around. who's the guy with the bucket anyway? can't we make this guy go away? but newt gingrich is sticking around.
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newt gingrich has a message here. he's a message guy. for a country transfixed with the race between him and mitt romney, he is doing more than anybody else in the country right now to define who mitt romney is. joining us is karen tumulty, she's the national political correspondent from "the washington post," reporting from south florida today. karen, thanks for being with us. >> thanks for having me. >> you probably remembered the bucket story, i was very happy to go back and figure out it was about ice deliveries. >> he did a lot of things. he got rid of the house barber shop. i believe he may have fired the house historian. so there were a lot of things that newt gingrich was doing back in those days. >> he would take care of that in-house, he's a very well compensated historian you may have heard. the pro newt gingrich super pac is reportedly planning to buy air time for anti-mitt romney medicare sort of pseudo-documentary. what do you foresee as the impact of that? >> you know, i'm not really sure.
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remember this is a state that elected a governor and in fact he was the tea party candidate, elected a governor who he himself was accused of running a company that was accused of medicare fraud. i don't know how far this takes him. i also think that just the whole headline "blood money" takes us a little bit over the top here. just the whole -- it is sort of one of the more interesting things we've seen this year. here is this guy who is in congress for close to a quarter century, the speaker of the house, one of the most popular surrogates out there on the campaign trail for everybody, and he's not the establishment, so it's been a real sort of funny empire strikes back drama going on. >> i feel that the analysis the blood money thing is a little too far, a little too much, sort of applies in all politics, except for right now. politics right now. it's hard for me to imagine something being seen as too over the top given the way the guys have been talking and going at
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each other. didn't mr. gingrich say today that mr. romney was like the most dishonest presidential candidate ever in american history? >> in an interview with my colleague, amy garner at "the washington post," he said what mitt romney did to him last night during the debate was the most dishonest thing he had ever seen in presidential politics. mind you, this is a man who is old enough to remember watergate. so it was a pretty extraordinary statement. >> karen, in terms of the republican establishment, we are seeing marco rubio complaining a little bit about newt gingrich, neither he nor rick scott, the medicare fraud tainted florida governor, nor jeb bush, the very popular former governor in florida, they are not endorsing anybody. if the establishment is so squarely behind romney and anti-newt gingrich, why isn't the florida republican
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establishment doing that same thing? >> well first of all they haven't officially endorsed romney but both rubio and jeb bush, basically a saint to the conservative movement, have issued statements that were supportive of romney. essentially they defended romney against newt gingrich's characterization that he basically has the same team that ran charlie crist's campaign for governor. he was an incumbent and he had to become an independent because he was going to be defeated on his own ballot. so they have done some things that are supportive of him but i think quite frankly that what you have here in florida as you have all over the country is this very deep divide within the republican party, between the establishment and the insurgent tea party forces and marco rubio is the tea party's guy. the last thing he wants to do is get in the middle of this fight. >> karen tumulty, national
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political correspondent for the "washington post," enjoy the last few days in florida. i have a feeling it will get more fun and not less. >> thanks a lot. appreciate it. hey, great news, turns out there is a crack in the dam, in terms of prominent elected republicans refusing to come on this show. i think we have a line on a good one. the way we got a line on a good one is very, very strange. i'll explain that in a second. m? c'mon, michael! get in the game! [ male announcer ] don't have the hops for hoops with your buddies? lost your appetite for romance? and your mood is on its way down. you might not just be getting older. you might have a treatable condition called low testosterone or low t. millions of men, forty-five or older, may have low t. so talk to your doctor about low t. hey, michael! [ male announcer ] and step out of the shadows. hi! how are you? [ male announcer ] learn more at isitlowt.com. [ laughs ] hey! the sleep number bed. the magic of this bed is that you're sleeping on something that conforms to your individual shape.
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this is as close as i'll get to interviewing liz and dick cheney. >> hi, rachel maddow. >> hi, rachel. >> how are you? >> we said we're here, we'd love to speak with ms. o'donnell or any representative of the campaign. >> like getting bounced from a bar. we have asked sarah palin to come on the show i don't know how many times and she has never agreed to come on. our brooking producers have been calling liz cheney asking her to come on the show and debate the issues for months. every time we asked scott brown to come on the show he has said no. >> former candidate tim pawlenty will be here tonight, not talking to me.
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say yes, christine o'donnell. it will be fun, i promise. say yes, sharon angle, you will get a fair shake. say yes, sarah palin, you have our number, i know you do. ken buck, come by any time. liz cheney, the door is always open, to anybody in your family, any cheney, any time. >> thank you. >> we're on our way to the jon huntsman event right now. we heard from the jon huntsman campaign, no. no way, no chance, never. they told you no. >> they told you no? >> they have told us no, don't try to get close. >> the old campaign end around. >> i know. >> i was getting nowhere near this supposed rick santorum surge. mr. huntsman, mr. romney, if you would like huntsman2012.com
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it's yours, seriously, for free. i would be happy to give it to you in person. if you're free one weekday night in the 9:00 hour perhaps, i could give it to you here, you know where to find me. suffice to say i have a hard time getting republican candidates to agree to come on the show. requests are in, to everybody, all the time but i'm not getting anybody ever. however, looking down the road at potential vice presidential prospects for 2012, this week i was given an inkling of hope. the person who gave me this inkling of hope is laura ingram. this is amazing. laura ingram talking with one of the guys who everybody says is on the short list, virginia governor bob mcdonough. listen. >> i was going back on youtube, governor, watching some of reagan's old debates from the '60s, late '60s, early '70s. there wasn't a place he wouldn't go to argue the conservative message and advocate for conservative principles.
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he got a lot of grief for it but he won a lot of respect seems to me if we have republicans out there coming up through the ranks who are concern about going rachel maddow's show or concerned she will get the better of him or her in a sit down we have real problems. we have to be able to engage with these people, doesn't mean you will convince her but means you will probably be a stronger advocate across the board to people who don't know what conservatism even is. >> i couldn't agree with you more, laura. that is exactly right. think you can get rachel to set that up for me? >> i'll send her a note. for sure. >> and she did. she sent me a note or her producer did, which was very nice. so laura ingram, thank you. bob mcdonnell, even though i think he called me lil' rachel there, i'm totally looking forward to it. so we're all above board and no suspicion of ambush because i want this to happen in the interest of full disclosure, governor mcdonnell, since we
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have never before have the privilege of having you as a guest on our show, here is what i have been saying on television, here are things that might come up in our interview. >> thanks to bob mcdonnell's overt order in this case, you can be asked what your sexual orientation is in a job interview in virginia and your answer can legally be the reason you don't get the job. grad school thesis condemned cohabitators. homosexuals or fornicators and said public policy should be directed against those people. bob mcdonnell, putting out the proclamation on confederate history month. it makes no mention of the fact that slavery had something to do with the cause. bob mcdonnell made this proclamation about importance of virginia seafood in the same week that he called for oil drilling off the coast of virginia to begin as early as next year. bob mcdonnell of virginia great milktoast hope. virginia governor just say no to
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fornicators, mcdonnell. you can too credit for balanced budget and stop talking smack or refuse to take the credit for it because you don't like how you didn't earn it. why raise the debt ceiling i don't a see a reason to do it. so says the governor of virginia. try to get something in exchange for it but if you can't -- again, quote, cohabitaters, homosexuals or fornicators. i'm all three. that's what bob mcdonnell said. not only is that not leave me alone small government conservatism, that is big government crusade against fornicators. i have to say, governor, i could not be more excited to have you here. we'll try to set something up for next week. i hope that works for you. i will have my people call your people or whatever. as you can probably tell, i think you would be a horrendous
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choice for vice president. i have to tell you. if you'd like to bring along the candidate you've endorsed for president, mitt romney, that's okay with me. he could come and do an interview as well. i could talk to both of you at once or separate. i can't wait. laura ingram, i can thank you enough. i owe you. thank you. rface to whiten as wes a five-hundred dollar professional treatment for a transformation that's hard to believe. ♪ wow, that's you? [ female announcer ] new intensive professional effects whitestrips. and try 3d white toothpaste and rinse. from crest. life opens up when you do. prego?! but i've been buying ragu for years. [ thinking ] i wonder what other questionable choices i've made? [ '80s dance music plays ] [ sighs ] [ male announcer ] choose taste. choose prego.
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we didn't come from wealthy families. the only reason that we were able to achieve what we were able to achieve was because we got a great education. that's the only reason. and we could not have done that unless we lived in a country that made a commitment to opening up opportunity to all people. >> the president today in michigan to incentivize colleges to keep tuition rates low. these are not fights that sunday shows love to prognosticate about or beltway media cover like their boxing matches. it's something the political class doesn't much notice. but if progress would be made on that, it would be a huge deal for millions and millions of
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good news today, goodish news at least. this chart was posted on our blog by the great and good steve benen who blogs here. his arrival is the latest addition to the "rachel maddow show" staff is my own personal christmas in january. very exciting. but as you can see from steve benen's chart the good news, the economy is growing, a little. we're on the positive side of zero, that is what the last bar on the right means. back here, back that part at the end of 2008-2009, that is when wall street blew up and seemed like the world might, too. was about that time, three years ago, january, 2009, as the wave of that economic disaster was crashing down on us, that a congress woman from ohio said something that will be in the history books forever. when the story is written of how america survived the worst economic disaster to befall us since the great depression, what
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marcy captor said in congress, january 15th, 2009 will be part of the history as it is told. >> so why should any american citizen be kicked out of their homes in this cold weather in ohio it will be 10, 20 below zero? don't leave your home. because you know what? when those companies say they have your mortgage, unless you have a lawyer that can put his finger or her finger on that mortgage you don't have that mortgage. you're going to find they can't find the paper up there on wall street. so i say to the american people, you be squatters in your own homes. don't you leave. ohio and michigan, indiana, illinois, all these other places where people are being treated like chattle, this congress is stymied. >> stay in your home, don't you leave. make the bastards at the banks drag you out by your heels. what she was saying that day was
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in part were catharsis, she was making a legal argument. they can't find the paper on wall street. she was making that argument years ahead of almost everybody else in washington. >> when those companies say they have your mortgage, unless you have a lawyer that can put his finger or her finger on the mortgage, you don't have the mortgage. you're going to find they can't find the paper up there on wall street. >> she was right. in order to create their personal fortunes from trading other people's houses, wall street first had to devise a way to bundle zillions of mortgages together to bet on them and buy and sell them in bulk. one house, that is a deal between you and your bank. that can take months to finish up. 10,000 houses is something wall street can flip in a new york instant. when wall street did that, created the bundles, they broke the link between your one house and the bank you borrowed money from to buy the house, it turns out the implications of that one simple little fact are astounding. in january 2011, two years after her speech we played, the massachusetts supreme court
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ruled that the banks had no right to foreclose on two homes, the court decided the loans were shuffled around so many times among so many investors nobody knew who had the right to kick the home owners out if they stopped paying. financial blogger felix looked at the case and wrote "anybody who was foreclosed on in massachusetts should be phoning up their lawyer and trying to figure out if the foreclosure was illegal, if it was they should be able to get their home and deed back from the bank. marcy captor was right three years ago. they can't take your house. you will see cases like the one in massachusetts popping up. this month in nevada the state supreme court considering the case of andrew and loretta davis, said their mortgage, too, does not legally belong to the bank trying to kick them out of the house. if they win, thousands of nevada families will have reason to ask whether the banks had any right to kick them to the curb, too. while we just got another sign athat marcy captor was right, this time it came from a different place.
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after years of federal prosecutors trying to find a way to assign blame for the wall street disaster that ate the economy, the president will look at what wall street did to main street as a potential crime. >> tonight i'm asking my attorney general to create a special unit, a federal prosecutors and leading state attorney general to expand our investigations in the abuse of lending and packaging and risky mortgages that led to the housing crisis. this new unit will hold accountable those who broke the law, speed assistance to home owners and help turn the page on an era of recklessness that hurt so many americans. >> today attorney general eric holder announced he has a working group ready to go forward to do what the president is asking, sort through what wall street did in betting on average american homes and put the bankers on trial wherever the evidence warrants prosecution. we are now almost three years removed from marcy captor's pleas to family to have confidence that the law will protect them even as the banks
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come to get home. a scene like this one, the family that used to live here, a scene like this is tragic, can be enraging, this is a crime scene? like a mugging or an assault? could this also be a crime? joining us for the interview is eric schneiderman, mr. attorney general of the great state of new york. thank you for being here. >> thank you, rachel. >> in terms of the president's language what he said was expanding our investigations in the abusive lending and packaging of risky mortgages that led to the housing crisis. people who have not been -- have not been following this issue closely may not understand the specifics. how should we understand what you are tasked to do? >> our working group is going to dig into all of the conduct that blew up the economy. it's not really a secret. i spent 15 years representing folks in financial services, wall street firms, everyone knows what happened. the market went up, the housing market went up and ordinary
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market circumstances would have come back down but they were making so much money with the bundling of mortgage into mortgage-backed securities that they sliced up and sold to pension funds and mutual funds and investors all around the world. it was hard to let go of. you can see from you go to 4, 5, 6, standards for loans going down. people as the president said didn't understand and shouldn't have taken on the loans getting the loans. no documentation loans. negative amortization loans. we know what happened. we know what created the bubble and what created the crash. it was not an earthquake, it was not a natural disaster, this was a man-made disaster and our task force is now given both the charge and the resources and the jurisdiction to go in and figure out what happened and hold anyone who was responsible accountable. >> if as you say it's not a secret if the basics are understood about what happened, why haven't there been
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prosecutions thus far? >> i think, first of all, there have been some and there are prosecutors who pursued cases, you mentioned a couple of my colleagues who actually are part of our working group, attorney general marge think coakley, attorney general cortez-masto and lisa madigan, there are folks working on this. what the president came to understand, i became attorney general a year ago, realized new york and delaware, why my collaboration with beau biden was important. we had a unique place. the security-backed mortgages were pools of mortgages deposited in trusts. we started looking at what she is talking about, did they get the paperwork done, things like that, and realized there was a lot of work to do, but a lot of potential for proving liability. we started discussing this with our federal counterparts a few months ago. i've been in discussions with them and negotiations but the
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president took hold of this and said you know what, we don't want to do this gradually, i'll throw resources behind this and mandate the attorney general put together all the agencies you need to get it done rachel, you need resources, jurisdiction and you need will, and when i stood there today with eric holder and my other colleagues in government, other prosecutors, i felt that we have that level of commitment. >> there has been a sense in terms of pursuing accountability on these issues that you and some of the other state attorney generals you've mentioned have sort of wanted to be more aggressive or hard-nosed in terms of your approach toward the banks or mortgage holders you're looking at here. more aggressive than the federal government has. the creation of this task force and your role in it should we see that divide as now something different? is there a divide between the state approach and federal
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approach or is it now a unified cause? >> actually what we realized as we went back forth is we all need to work together. there are situations new york's securities law is strongest security laws than the federal laws. some of our statutes of limitations are shorter. we can't go as far back. federal statute is longer. we need everyone together. the folks we have in on this consumer financial protection bureau, a whole array of new powers came in existence with the new appointment. that's a huge addition. the president got that done just recently. we have internal revenue service in, they are a huge tax fraud implications to some of the stuff that went on. all the people who are in this, all the agencies that have been designated working together can achieve so much more than any one of us on our own. we are working really hard here attorney general biden and i getting somewhere but nothing compared to what we can do with the level of cooperation the president has now mandated and i'm telling you, the excitement in the room when we had the first working group meeting of
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people realizing the potential for what we can do with the hundreds of attorneys and investigators and accountants, we can throw in this, was palpable. >> new york state attorney general, leader of the president's new financial crimes unit, for lack of a better term, eric schneiderman, it's a real pleasure to talk to you about this stuff. i'm also hoping that as one of the people who i think is good talking about these things in a way regular people understand i hope that this will allow to you still do more media, both with me but in general you're good at explaining this stuff the country has an interest. my appeal to you. >> i appreciate it. i'm not going to avoid your show like some folks do. >> very good. fair enough. good luck, sir. appreciate it. did you hear that there is a special extra nevada caucus after the normal nevada caucus this year? there is the nevada caucuses and then there's an extra one. it's weird, right? weirder than you would even
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best new thing in the world just ahead. and despite quite a few e-mails today, i'm not going to wear this again. turns out it's way too clampy. that's coming up. r mood is on its way down. you might not just be getting older. you might have a treatable condition called low testosterone or low t. millions of men, forty-five or older, may have low t. so talk to your doctor about low t. hey, michael! [ male announcer ] and step out of the shadows. hi! how are you? [ male announcer ] learn more at isitlowt.com. [ laughs ] hey!
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everybody from time to time has a little bit of the tin man in them. if you're finding yourself feeling continueman-ish, if you're starting to feel like you don't have a heart, if you need
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to get the water works going proving the heart is still there thumping, you go to youtube and type in the search feature homecoming soldier iraq. in fact, there is a whole video blog called the welcome home blog, just videos, pages and pages of videos of american soldiers coming home from the wars and surprising their families and their kids and in some cases their dogs welcoming them home. if you're feeling tinmanish and need to exercise your tear ducts, this is the way to do it. the afghanistan war, of course, tens. 90,000 americans deployed in afghanistan now. the target date for ending that war is not this year, not next year but the end of the year after that. the iraq war is over. it has been six weeks since the last u.s. troops crossed in kuwait for the last time. while the trip back from iraq led to lots of emotional homecomings, for military families at home and at military bases. in.civilian world there has been no welcome home ceremony,
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no end of the iraq war celebration, to say thank you to the troops. there's been no ticker tape, no marching bands, no welcome home parade anywhere in civilian life. tomorrow st. louis, missouri changes that. they become the first city to say welcome home. it's all because of two friends who decided if nobody else was going to hold the nation's first big welcome home parade for the troops for the end of the iraq war they'd try to do it just as a couple of citizens. they met with the mayor, collected donations, started a facebook page and voila, a parade. floats are being built, marching bands are practicing their routines. the anheuser-busch clydesdales are being harnessed. the parade starts at noon tomorrow, downtown st. louis.
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now the founder and executive director of veterans of america, paul raycroft. good to see you. >> happy friday. >> are you going to be represented in st. louis? >> absolutely. we are excited to be involved. we have a two-tour iraq vet named angela peacock. she's organizing it now. she said they need more trucks. this has been a grassroots effort. angela's stepping up and will lead the charge. it's exciting. it's a community effort. people are coming from all over. your attention has helped as well. it's great to have folks get the recognition they deserve. i hope this is the first of many. >> it's amazing it is happening. i guess it could be happening anywhere. the closest military base is three hours from st. louis. why sit happening there? >> there is a sense of community in st. louis. you see it when the card dos well. local leaders stepped up. the old army adage, adapt, improvise and overcome. they had a good idea. social media helped. you have anheiser-busch and the mayor and others getting on board.
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>> the mayflower corporation also contributed. >> they had a national presence. it's a patriotic city. i hope it's the first of many. i have gotten tweets and facebook messages saying, we want to do it in san francisco, in new york. >> cool. >> we hope it continues. >> mayor bloomberg said it won't happen here. he says he's talked to military leaders and what the pentagon tells him they don't want it to happen because of afghanistan. it's inappropriate to mark a homecoming when so many people are still rotating out. what's your reaction to that? >> we hear that. there are folks fighting and dying in afghanistan. why not have two parades? let's have one when that's over, too. mayor bloomberg is not one that marches in lockstep with everything people say. the people of new york have responded to us and said they want something. they want somebody to recognize people. we hope they can work with mayor bloomberg and speaker quinn and others to recognize them. >> there have been city counselors advocating for it. it's funny in new york. you have a three-term mayor, he's very, very famous.
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his popularity swings but always stays pretty high. everybody is waiting on bloomberg to make the decision. >> we can push his hand. the gulf war parade costs $5 million. he could fund that himself. we can make this happen. we have done it for the gulf war and so many other times. new york will lead the way or follow others. i hope they will be in front. >> i know you were nancy pelosi's guest at the state of the union this week. are you feeling like congress is moving forward on veterans' issues in a way that is where they ought to be right now or do you feel like there are big challenges ahead? >> we're still playing catch-up. the state of the union was a great message. the president used the veterans that embodies the way we should all work together. but unemployment is high. we have 20% nationally in our membership. in places like st. louis, especially after the parades we have to get them jobs. that's going to be our number one focus. we'll do an event at the super bowl in indianapolis next week and around the country to try to get vets jobs.
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that's got to be what congress takes on. they should do it in a partisan way. >> don't talk to me about the super bowl. >> go, giants. >> my bet this year is with paul ryecoff. i don't want to talk about it. i'm superstitious. nice blue tie. >> go giants. >> tiny little hands. not even afraid. >> he's cool under pressure. you'll see. >> paul is from veterans of america. rabid giants fan which is weird. good to see you, man. >> it's great. come on over to our side. >> yeah, right. it's not even a side. >> yes, it is. it's growing. best new thing in the world, a special billionaire edition, coming up next. i had enough of feeling embarrassed about my skin.
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the best new thing in the world today is that we have proof that art and life are now inseparable in the 2012 presidential race in case herman cain didn't prove it. here's how this goes this time.
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newton leroy gingrich, republican presidential candidate has one major source of funding, las vegas casino mogul sheldon adelson who pumped the billionaire's equivalent of pocket change, $10 million so far into a pro-newt gingrich super pac. precitizens united, impossible. now anything goes. the only reason newt gingrich is a choice for president in america now is because one guy, one billionaire wants him to be. this is our world now. this is the best new thing in the world part of it. now the billionaire bringing us the continued candidacy of newt gingrich is also getting something else from this year's presidential politics. he gets his own private presidential caucus. he lives in nevada. nevada is like iowa with caucuses instead of primaries. they happen saturday, february 4th, day before the super bowl and they have to be done by 3:00 in the afternoon on saturday. of course saturday is also the sabbath in the jewish faith and for 7th day adventists.
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adelson is a strictly observant jew and they do not travel or conduct business between sunset on friday and sunset on saturday in order to honor the sabbath. this year the republican party of clark county, nevada, decided to schedule most of the caucuses at the regular time but they've decided to let one precincts start caucusing four hours after everybody else has finished to accommodate about 500 people, including a guy named sheldon adelson. the precinct meets at the adelson educational campus which is a school named for sheldon adelson because he bought it. this was reported by our awesome friend john ralston from the las vegas sun who says this special sheldon adelson caucus seemed destined to cause controversy and further humiliation for the party and the state. yes, yes, it does. sheldon adelson gets his own caucus in a building with his

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