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tv   The Rachel Maddow Show  MSNBC  February 15, 2012 12:00am-1:00am EST

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sirius radio, monday through friday, 12:00 to 3:00, like "the ed show" on facebook. the "the rachel maddow show" starts right now. happy tuesday, happy valentine's day, thanks for being with us this hour. today is the 100th birthday of arizona. the state legislature is grappling with the pressing issue of foul mouthed public school teachers. this is arizona state senator lori klein, a republican, senator klein introduced state legislation that would punish teachers for using speech that violates the fcc standards for network television shows. so, senator klein wants to stop the scourge of teachers cursing. as her bill is written this would have the government regulating the language of teachers not just in the classroom but anywhere in their whole lives. math teacher, you hit your thumb with a hammer, the state government of arizona will be
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listening in to make sure you only say dang. or they will unleash all heck on you i guess sort of hard to be angry if you barred the whole swearing thing. if that is not big enough role for government, there is a man in virginia, bob marshall, also a republican. he once tried to outlaw swearing in e-mail. not just by teachers, not just by any one group of people, not a particular kind of email, he proposed virginia state government outlaw profanity by anyone in any e-mail sent from the commonwealth of virginia. it's one thing to think swearing is bad. it's another thing to say that
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swearing is bad or to ask other people not to do it. but to dislike swearing so much that you would expand the role of government, you would create a government so intrusive that the government would monitor your speech and read your e-mails in order to prosecute that is how seriously bob marshall took the problem of virginia's e-mail swearing epidemic back in the 1990's. this year, virginia delegate watch your mouth bob marshall is championing a really big government conservative cause. an anti-abortion anti-birth control personhood bill that would define a person under essentially the entire code of virginia state law as beginning at the moment of conception. you might remember the whole personhood idea from the double digit defeat on the mississippi ballot last november or 46 point defeat in colorado in 2008, and again in 2010.
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what bob marshall is proposing in virginia is essentially the same thing has been defeated by voters in mississippi and colorado. a key element to personhood's big loss in those states was the implication spelled out graphically on this billboard that went up during the mississippi campaign. the implication the personhood thing had for birth control. if you grant a fertilized egg the rights of a person, you might just be banning not only all abortion in all circumstances, but also hormonal birth control. the personhood folks know they have been losing in part because they seem to want to ban birth control. in mississippi, for example, once they seemed to be losing ground on the birth control is murder argument, they changed their personalhood campaigns language on their website. about birth control. earlier they listed on the website the kind of birth control they opposed.
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after a couple weeks the language disappeared and much softer language appeared in its place. playing down the birth control issue saying it's not they were opposed to birth control, they didn't necessarily advocate for the use of contraceptives. in virginia the republican ts backing the personhood measure in that state had a chance to take the birth control argument off the table entirely. a democratic delegate tried to attach an amendment to the virginia bill that would declare nothing in that bill could be construed to outlaw any form of legal contraception. republicans in the virginia house of delegates voted no on that by a huge margin, the vote was 64 to 34 against taking birth control out of the equation. so in virginia republicans had a wide open opportunity to say this personhood thing, this bill is only about banning abortion, we do not want to ban birth control. they had the opportunity to say that, and they rejected it. hugely. virginia republicans have watched this personhood measure go down over and over again
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across the country in large part because it's seen as a way to ban birth control. they are not contesting that idea. ban birth control, sure, sounds like a plan. that is what passed the virginia house of delegates today anti-abortion, the personhood bill, headed over to the virginia senate. in recent years the senate has been kind of the brakes for this sort of legislation in the commonwealth of virginia. senate under democratic control had been a cooling off chamber for virginia conservatives really intrusive big government proposals on social issues. republicans are in control of the state senate and virginia politics watchers say the bill has a good chance in the senate. if it as passes the house and senate, the uber conservative governor will say nothing more than that he plans to take a look at it if it reaches his desk. but wait, there's more! not only are republicans of virginia moving to pass a bill that could ban birth control, they explicitly acknowledge
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could ban birth control, virginia republicans have are already passed in both chambers a bill that would have the state government force virginia women into having medically unnecessary, unwanted vaginal ultrasounds. that is a physical penetration of the body, ultrasound. by state order. without your consent. that would be forced on you as a condition of your being allowed to have an abortion in the state of virginia. i don't mean to be unnecessarily graphic but the legislation is really specific. how detailed the ultrasound has to be. so for the vast majority of women, seeking an abortion in the commonwealth of virginia, the state government will specifically require a physical internal probe for which there is no medical reason and for which neither you or your doctor has a choice. the ap reported on this today, i may highlight, i'm reading with a pencil or highlighter, you know it's incredible when you're reading like three paragraph news story and you're
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highlighting the important parts and you end up highlighting the entire story. "legislation that has advanced on the strength of a gop majority would force women to under go a trans-vaginal ultrasound that produces fetal images. an amendment would have allowed medical professionals to determine whether images can be obtained without being penetrated by equipment used in the ultrasound, women would have to give written consent to such a probe under the amendments, but not to sonograms that aren't invasive. the amendment failed on a 64-34 vote setting up the bill for final house passage. republicans of virginia seriously want a government so big it can literally get inside individual citizens genitals. by force and without their consent. that bill "let the government inside your body" bill passed the house of delegates. it has passed the republican-controlled virginia
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senate. republican governor bob mcdonnell said he will sign it. he's one of the leading candidates on the vice presidential short list, sure all the republican candidates for president have endorsed the ban on birth control personhood thing but now one of the men considered most likely to be chosen as vice president has the chance and says he sign this forced ultrasound thing in law. he will have a chance to sign it in into law a birth control ban. government mandated medically unnecessary trans-vaginal ultrasounds from the state of virginia. that will be the choice for voters in november. let's say they pick bob mcdonnell, will you say it's okay to outlaw birth control anti-flaming presidential ticket that wants to force its way in your -- or pro-birth control or
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would like to leave your to you. i would love the opportunity to ask bob mcdonnell about the banned birth control personhood bill. i would like to ask him about his vice presidential hopefulness, how his take on those issues fits in his vice presidential hopefulness. bob mcdonnell told a conservative host he would love to come on this very show, he asked the radio host, laura ingraham to set up an interview. the producer set us over a clip what he said about wanting to talk to me about the issues. i have been super excited to have him, we called his office, we e-mailed his office, governor mcdonnell still not returning our calls or e-mails. sir i'm looking forward to some day you getting back to us. think time, governor you know where to find me, you have my number, we left it on your voice mail.
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joining us is msnbc polite can analyst eugene robinson. gene, thank you for being here. >> great to be here, rachel. >> one of the big campaign issues of 2012 is birth control it turns out. >> who knew. >> do you think we're heading toward this, are we heading toward a november election that is the pro birth control party against anti-birth control party? >> i can't imagine, because that cannot be a good idea for the republicans to go into a november election as the anti-birth control party. that -- i've tried to figure this out from every sort of cynical smart politics angle i can figure it out from. it doesn't work for me. what is the figure something like 98% of american women use some form of birth control at some point during their lives,
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how can you be against that? >> why do you think we are seeing, everybody reads the same polls on this, everybody knows what americans believe and practice about birth control, but yet we are seeing this big push for the personhood legislation in virginia, failed in mississippi, failed twice in colorado. in mississippi after they got clobbered by the voters they are trying through the legislature to do it again, even by referendum, what about this issue seems to be a winning argument to republicans? why do they like it if the polls aren't with them? >> well, the polls are not with them, voters are not with them, so clearly it's not a winning issue. they can't believe this is a good idea polpolitically, so the only thing i can figure out, rachel, it's based on a wrong and frankly insane belief a fertilized egg is a fully formed person. and has person and preventing the i am man -- implantation of that egg is murder. it baffles me what other
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explanation there could be, they can be sincerely mad on this subject and maybe they are. >> do you think that this factors possibility of bob mcdonnell as a vice presidential pick? he's not only on the short list he's the guy who makes no bones about the fact he would like to be chosen. he shows up in campaign states where he's not the governor, traveling around the country making himself evident on the trail. friendly toward the idea to be vice president. he can't continue to be the governor of virginia they are term limited. he has tried to cast himself in a mark warner-esque pro business role as governor. his social conservative is to the right of rick santorum. i don't think santorum ever talked about the state forcing vaginal ultrasounds as punishments for seeking abortions.
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does that follow him in the political calculus of choosing him for vp? >> you bet it does. the personhood thing he has been kind of coy on that, i'm not convinced that if it actually passed that he would sign it. he seems to understand that is a bad idea politically if he wants to be vice president, the voters of mississippi rejected this. this is not a great idea for him. but the vaginal ultrasound bill which he says he will sign, i think is equally problematic for him. this is a republican party in virginia that claims the government has no right to force anyone to buy health insurance, yet the government has a right to insert a vaginal probe for no reason, for no medical reason and nouf choice, your doctor has no choice? that is absolutely outrageous, i don't see how you can go in the
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november election and endorse that view. >> i think so, too. and yet this doesn't seem to be front page news around the country, i have been amazed to see the way abortion politics and reproductive rights politics when republicans want to make them the issue like attack democrats with you they had this bulldozer, even when they -- only liberals squawk eugene robinson, thank you again for being here. >> great to be here, rachel. still ahead, ron paul, the disaster in the maine republican party that unfolded over the last few days, plus visual evidence of mitt romney's electabit woes, after last segment i have warn you it's graphic. unavoidable edition of debunk shun junction. new stride whitemint is a hit but it lasts too long.
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in the great state of maine. does this still work? oh, yeah, that works. this is my secret way, subtle, of sigging to the fourth graders in maine i need your help. if you grow up in maine and go to public school, you learn a song, you learn to memorize all 16 counties in maine by singing them to the tune of "yankee doodle ". watch. ♪ tada, that is 16 counties set to the tune of "yankee doodle ""sung by fourth graders. i need your help.
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your state has 16 counties, right? for some reason, certain residents in three of maine's counties are being treated right now as if they don't exist. right now, certain maine residents in washington county, waldo county and kennebec are being treated as if they are not residents at all. so far this year as we talked about before the republican process of picking a nominee has been a mess. started in iowa where the republican party first declared mitt romney won the state. then declared it was a tie in iowa, then declared, after futzing around, rick santorum won. then their chairman quit as a result of the whole mess. iowa was a mess. florida also a mess. not necessarily in terms of
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counting the vote but florida doesn't know what their vote means yet. the florida republican party insisted loudly that their primary was winner take all in terms of the state's delegates whoever came in first got all the delegates. that is not actually clear under the rules and now being challenged. le nevada, also a mess, took republican officials two days to release a final vote tally after they discovered they had more ballots than voters and don't know why. then there was the missouri mess, missouri republicans couldn't get around to changing their previous plans from earlier years, even though they tried and so they held a primary last week which rick santorum won but that primary although required by state law, was meaningless in the republican contest. so they are holding a caucus next month and supposedly is the one that counts. a mess? yes. the republican presidential primary has been one mess after another.
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now we have maine. and maine may be turning out to be the biggest mess of them all. maine held a multi-week caucus, culminated with this announcement on saturday night from the state's republican party chairman, watch. >> i'm now going to announce the winner of the maine gop presidential poll. and that winner is mitt romney. excuse me. >> according to the maine republican party, mitt romney won maine's caucus with 39% of the vote. ron paul with 36%. the margin of victory for mr. romney was a razor thin 194 votes. case closed, right? ha, not by a long shot. remember those three maine counties i mentioned, washington, waldo and kennebec, lots of republicans living in those counties who voted in the presidential preference poll never actually had their votes
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counted by the maine republican party. republicans in washington county postponed their caucuses on saturday because of a snow storm they expected to hit the area and even though they are planning to vote instead this coming weekend, that is when they postponed the caucus to, the state republican party has said, washington county your votes won't count. no additional votes will be counted. sorry, washington county, you don't count. republicans in waterville main, in kennebec county did vote but their vote total, as you see here, shows up look on the right shows up as a zero in the official results. not because nobody showed up in waterville, apparently because a contact person in waterville didn't phone in the results on time even though the vote took place on time. even though the state party has the results for waterville, sorry, too later with ee not counting you, either. then waldo county, nearly all
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towns held caucuses on february 4th, a full week before the maine party announced suppose edly final results, here is how most of waldo votes, look in the official results list, zero votes, zero votes. why is waldo not being counted? who knows. we tried to find out what happened to the votes. so far we have not heard back. the margin of victory for mitt romney in maine was 194 votes. that is called a hair. he beat ron paul by a hair. and even though lots of republicans in three of of maine's 16 counties did not have their votes counted at all, the republican party there is somehow standing by mitt romney as the winner and saying nothing else is going to be counted. since the maine republican party won't answer our questions, it's you to you fourth grader, up to you to help us understand why of the 16 counties you sing about, only 13 count. as we await the help from the
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fourth graders, we'll bring in someone in the middle of the mess, doug wead, senior advisor to the ron paul campaign, mr. wead thank you for coming back and being here. >> thanks for having me, rachel. >> simple question, who won the maine caucus? >> we won as far as getting delegates are concerned, and right now, until all the votes are cast the networks are declaring or the republican party is declaring mitt romney won. there is a lot more than what you said. washington county was the only county ron paul carried four years ago, the strongest county and the man who cancelled it was a mitt romney supporter, that is a little piece of evidence you probably need to add. and the snow storm he predicted didn't happen but four years before when all the wrong people
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came out and made it his only victory, they had eight inches of snow and the girl scouts met fine in washington county while they cancelled the caucus. in every other instance you mentioned, waldo county, in each of the cities, in belfast, portland, newportland, waterville, on every occasion the votes that were lost were paul votes and the person responsible for reporting them were mitt romney supporters. in one case. votes were transferred from paper to electronings and the lady was a mitt romney person. it could be the costliest victory mitt romney ever had because the romulins are not happy. >> are they going to force maine to revisit the declaration of a winner here or they are going to channel that outrage in something else they think will help mr. paul? >> i don't know, maybe a little bit of both. as i said, you know, we feel
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okay about delegate selection, i saw one of the networks giving mitt romney eight and giving us seven delegates, thankfully that network doesn't get that privilege and our numbers show we captured majority of the delegates in maine, but nevertheless, it's not that the victory is so important it's just losing it that way is kind of tough. >> when you were here last week we talked about the delegate strategy of the ron paul campaign and while it seems arcane, the basic idea in the caucus states delegates are not allocated directly on the basis of how people vote in the caucuses, the delegates are allocated by a separate process and you think have gamed the process all the delegates will be ron paul delegates even if the voters themselves didn't choose ron paul. that is the impression we left a lot of people with last week. i want to just have you reiterate if that is in fact
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what you're doing. >> it's different in each state. in nevada, actually on the first ballot, the delegation that selected to go to the rnc nevada has to vote for the winner of the beauty contest on the first ballot, there after they can vote as they wish. but unless the candidate that won releases them which is conceivable the way the contest is going. in most states, yes, it's decided the rules are that the state convention will decide who the delegation is and the beauty contest is totally irrelevant those were the rules. it's not a new thing it's how barack obama won the democrat nomination four years before. hillary clinton carried california, she carried new york, she carried new jersey, pennsylvania, i don't know if she carried ohio, i can't remember ohio, but carried a lot of the biggest states but barack obama won the nomination because
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he worked hard in the caucus states. >> the different cuss in the caucus state he won by large margins and got the delegates that way. you're claiming delegates you talked about thinking you won minnesota, won colorado, won nevada, that you may have won from reading the campaign stuff you may have won all 24 delegates in maine in most of those cases dr. paul was not first or is not in contention to be first in terms of the way the votes were counted at the caucus, that is a difference how obama racked up his delegates, isn't it? >> no it isn't. the beauty contest in each of those is a non-binding contest that doesn't matter. if we knew it mattered, in some states it does, in some states like new ham share, the delegates were awarded proportionately based how how they ended in the vote. so what we campaigned in new hampshire, came in second, we contested it.
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the vote in minnesota was base prod portionally how you appeared in the beauty contest we would have gotten this and fought, but to say that we're stealing the delegates is not true. santorum knows the process, gingrich and mitt romney know the process, in fact it was devised for mitt romney and the way the process is is any candidate can have people go, vote in the beauty contest and stay and elect their own delegates to in some cases the district convention in some cases the county convention, it's not a big secret, it has been around a long time. if they are patient they go to the county convention and elect again new delegates to go to the state convention where they then elect the delegates that will go to the republican national convention. we don't have big money, mitt romney can literally create money because goldman sachs and
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bank of america, jp morgan are getting trillions of dollars of electronically created money from the federal reserve, we're challenging an elite system. we're a peoples movemen and we don't have their kind of money and we have to, as long as we play by their rules and win we can keep going. >> doug wead, senior individuals or to the ron paul campaign, everybody treating this like a big secret, i think people wig fill it out if we keep talking about it. appreciate it sir, thank you very much. debunking debunking, debunktion junction is coming up [ male announcer ] you are a business pro. monarch of marketing analysis. with the ability to improve roi through seo all by cob. and from national. because only national lets you choose any car in the aisle... and go. you can even take a full-size or above, and still pay the mid-size price. i'm going b-i-g. [ male announcer ] good choice business pro. good choice.
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[ female announcer ] it's an upgrade in a bottle. upgrade your freshness with downy unstopables -- scents that last for 12 weeks! we have a trip to debunktion junction coming up. the land of factual statements. one story that has not necessarily been reported wrongly, but i think has been misunderstood is about something that happened off the coast of iran today. a u.s. aircraft carrier was training through the strait of hormuz, the ship the the uss abraham lincoln, it was the first since another carrier left the area back in december. iran's military warned at the time warned them never to return. american aircraft carriers never go on their own, this one was being escorted by two other ships, one in front and one behind. when seven small iranian boat ts sped up toward the american ships. two journalists wereraveling with the fleet.
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they say the seven fast boats approached the navy war ships, six of them buzzing the american ships, cutting right in front of the american ships. a u.s. military helicopter fired flares down in the water, which caused the seventh boat to turn away. this story is getting reported as a confrontation with iranian patrol boats. while that is sort of true, there is a crucial detail here further down in the reporting. these boats, the so-called patrol boats were not from iran's military. or from iran's revolutionary guard. they are reporting, the seven boats screaming toward the war ships were not official uniformed iranian military nor revolutionary gather. they were smugglers. revolutionary guard boats can look like smugglers boats, these were smugglers. why would smugglers choose to
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pester american war ships? i don't know. part of what makes it unsettling is the context. all these other seemingly unconnected but maybe connected things that are are happening. yesterday, riding a motorcycle in india planted a bomb on an israeli diplomat's car. the passenger, a diplomat's wife survived the blast. israel blamed iran and hezbollah, gets support from iran. india has no evidence that iran was involved in this pom bombing. iran is denying being involved. somebody tried to bomb an israeli diplomatic vehicle in the republican of georgia. in the capital city. that attempt failed, israel blamed iran and hezbollah, then iran blamed israel saying they were attacking their own
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diplomats as psychological warfare. bangkok, a bomb exploded in a house believed to be rented by iranian nationals. the wounded man was arrested. israel blaming iran and hezbollah for the attack, iran continuing to deny involvement. the state department said a plot was sponsored by iran, the obama administration is concerned about the uptick in violence and links to iran in the bombings. any one of these incidents on its own probably doesn't amount to a front page story but all of them happening at once is starting to feel like a front page story. joining us is josh rogin, very busy week for you.
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>> always glad to be on. >> do you think it's correct to draw even dotted lines between those various incidents i just mentioned? is it appropriate to think of them as a string of incidents? >> these are the latest dots in a long line of dots going for years. what this is is this is the covert war that has been going on between israel and iran, erupting in the public eye in a very serious way and for a few different reasons. the bottom line israel with tacit or american approval or u.s. government looking the other way has been attacking iranian scientists, blowing up missile factories, this is all part of the effort to delay iran's achievement of building a nuclear weapon and this is something that i guess the u.s. government is for, supporting in some way but the iranians are now fighting back and this is what happens when you raise the stakes of these kind of confrontations and as we get toward an iran that has, closer to achieving a nuclear wp on the
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stakes get higher and risks get higher and risks of miscalculation, including whether or not it's a patrol boat or smuggler, or iranian government boat become much much more dangerous. >> in what you describe as the covert war between israel and iran that is underway, how does that proceed? where does that go? where does that end up? does it stay at this level, does it escalate, do we know what it escalates toward? >> this is the $64,000 question. this was a big topic of discussion this week. the u.s. government leon panetta was reported to say that he believes that israel will attack iran in an overt way, with planes, dropping bombs, in the april-may-june time frame, coming up quick. he was asked to deny that and he didn't deny it. he didn't confirm it either but
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the bottom line is people around washington are getting worried israel is about to take it to the next level. there has been new reporting in "newsweek" the u.s. and israeli governments are not on the same page, no longer sharing information as well they used to, no longer have confidence to warn each other if and when this covert war becomes a hot war, and at the same time iranians are suffering under brutal u.s. led sanctions, economy is going in the toilet. this is causing them to do all sort of things to make up ground on their side. it really is spiraling out of control, this is the nightmare scenario for the obama white house which doesn't want an economic crisis much less a war right in the middle of their election season. >> josh rogin, senior writer, something that everybody is reading about every day and trying to keep in context. the context is unimaginable. thank you for helping us understand it. always great to have you here. >> any time.
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after the show on the last word, lawrence o'donnell and washington state's decision to legalize same sex marriage makes beautiful music together. here what i think is worth obsessing about more than rick santorum, that is next. [ male announcer ] it's simple physics... a body at rest tends to stay at rest... while a body in motion tends to stay in motion. staying active can actually ease arthritis symptoms. but if you have arthritis, staying active can be difficult. prescription celebrex can help relieve arthritis pain so your body can stay in motion. because just one 200mg celebrex a day
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can provide 24 hour relief for many with arthritis pain and inflammation. plus, in clinical studies, celebrex is proven to improve daily physical function so moving is easier. and celebrex is not a narcotic. when it comes to relieving your arthritis pain, you and your doctor need to balance the benefits with the risks. all prescription nsaids, like celebrex, ibuprofen, naproxen, and meloxicam have the same cardiovascular warning. they all may increase the chance of heart attack or stroke, which can lead to death. this chance increases if you have heart disease or risk factors such as high blood pressure or when nsaids are taken for long periods. nsaids, including celebrex, increase the chance of serious skin or allergic reactions or stomach and intestine problems, such as bleeding and ulcers, which can occur without warning and may cause death. patients also taking aspirin and the elderly are at increased risk for stomach bleeding and ulcers. do not take celebrex if you've had an asthma attack, hives, or other allergies to aspirin, nsaids or sulfonamides. get help right away if you have swelling of the face or throat, or trouble breathing. tell your doctor your medical history
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and find an arthritis treatment for you. visit and ask your doctor about celebrex. for a body in motion. last time i had an on air chat with politifact i lost my ability to use words. tonight i will try to be slightly less neaderthal. are you still sleeping? just wanted to check and make sure that we were on schedule. the first technology of its kind... mom and dad, i have great news. is now providing answers families need. siemens. answers.
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chart imitates life. take this as a thank you to ezra klein who guest hosted while i was out of town last night. we love ezra here and ezra loves charts. this is a chart-laden valentine for understanding what is going on in the news of politics right now. this is the chart of what the beltway media is obsessed with for 2012 politics in the current news cycle. the oh my holy smokes is rick santorum going to beat mitt romney story. shows mitt knit in black, his polling over time and in red, that is rick santorum, his polling over time. mr. santorum coming out of no where and with that steep climb, now challenging if not beating mr. romney nation-wide. this is the story the beltway media cannot get enough of right now. here's why i don't think that is the most important political dynamic in the world. yes, mr. santorum has come from no where to meet or exceed mr. romney this week. but before this week, mr. romney weathered the same storm from rick perry, see him there, that was rick perry in september,
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right? then mr. perry went away. after mr. perry, mr. romney weathered the exact same storm from herman cain, and herman cain went away. then after herman cain, mr. romney weathered the exact same storm from newt gingrich and mr. gingrich went away and mr. gingrich came back and went away again. though it's exciting in the moment, a rival republican candidate coming from no where to surge it's not the most novel story in the world. yes, mr. santorum has come from nowhere to meet or exceed mr. if in all the breathless rick santorum coverage today you feel like you have seen this movie before, it is because you have seen this movie before. and it might end up being a big deal, but it might not.
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this is what's going on in the republican rate for president.
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the more happens in the race, the more voting, the more campaigning this year, the more voters have decided nationally that they cannot stand mitt romney. if there's polling in politics that might be worth blanket coverage from the beltway media, i would think that this would be it. chart imitates life. happy valentine's day.
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i know a quiet little place where we can get some work done. there's a three-prong plug. i have club passes. [ male announcer ] now there's a mileage card that offers special perks on united, like a free checked bag, united club passes, and priority boarding. thanks. ♪ okay. what's your secret? ♪ [ male announcer ] the new united mileageplus explorer card. get it and you're in. debunktion junction, what's my function? now, we do this every once in a while on the show when an outright lie or an incorrect perception is circulating in the news, and we think we can clear it up by showing that something that's being described as true is, in fact, false alternatively, sometimes someone tries to cast aspersions on a true fact, trying to undermine someone's confidence in a true thing. in that case, we think we can clear it by affirming the truth
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of that thing. we do the debunktion junction segment on this show for those reasons from time to time. people at an organization called politifact try to do that sort of thing every day. and they are shockingly, shockingly bad at it. i've lost my mind more than once recently about how bad politifact is, and how anybody who values the meaning of the word fact needs to stop citing them as an authority on the subject of facts. but politifact has just done it up again. they are so bewilderingly bad that i just need to put them on the record here one more time. here's the statement that they put to their patented politifact truthometer test today. >> for the majority of americans are conservatives, they believe in things like the constitution. i know that's weird to some people. >> florida senator marco rubio, leading contender for the vice presidential nomination alongside bob mcdonnell, marco rubio fact-checked by politifact on his claim that the majority of americans are conservative. politifact tests the
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truthfulness of that statement by consulting the gallup poll, which they note has been regularly asking americans about their political ideology since 1992. politifact goes on to cite the most recent gallup ideology poll results from last year, which show that 21% of americans identify as liberal, 35% identify as moderates, and 40% identify as conservatives. so marco rubio says a majority of americans are conservative, politifact looks into it and finds that, actually, only 40% of americans say they're conservative, and that obviously isn't a majority. so quoting politifact, he said a majority of americans are conservatives, in gallup's poll, the number has never crossed the 50% threshold. oh, but wait, there's more. politifact goes on to point out that even if you split up the independent vote, people who say they are in the middle, even if you split them up into leans republican or leans democrat, still, there's no majority for the more conservative of the two parties, for the republican party. "the independent splitup so that the country is almost evenly divided." so to sum up, marco rubio says the majority of americans are conservative. politifact looks into that and
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finds that a majority of americans do not identify as conservative. and even if you want to extrapolate to parties, even if you want to give marco rubio the benefit of the doubt and say that republican leaning instead of conservative, that still doesn't get you to a majority either. so according to politifact, marco rubio's literal claim is false, extrapolating generously from his literal claim, also false. therefore, politifact's rating of marco rubio's statement -- mostly true! seriously?! claim "a," false. claim "b," false. overall politifact rating, mostly true! politifact, please leave the build. do not bother turning off the lights when you leave, we will need them on to clean up the mess you have left behind you as you are leaving. poli


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