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tv   The Rachel Maddow Show  MSNBC  March 26, 2012 9:00pm-10:00pm PDT

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romney is clear about what he wants, as well, i don't think the average americans, regards of political persuasion will go along with it. >> robert reich, always a pleasure. good to have you with you us on "the ed show." >> that's "the ed show." the rach rachel maddow show starts now. our studios here in new york city are at 30 rockefeller plaza, which is awesome 30 rock is a convenient thing to remember and they shoot saturday night live here. they shoot that show a few floors up from this studio. one of the weird implications for us as employees that work in this building is when we leave here to go home on friday, or sometimes even on thursday, there's often a very tidy little cue outside of the door, little line outside of the door of our
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building. people sleeping on the street, waiting to get in to see "saturday night live." as a general rule, the hotter the musical act or host, the longer and the younger the line outside of our building. the hipper and more mow the musical act or host the more likely the line of people outside of the building gets confused with an occupy protest, which happens all the time. but it is one of the cool things about working here. i thought for the people that work with at this building, at saturday night live in particular it must be really cool to see. people care enough about what they do for a living that they will camp out for it on the sidewalk. even in bad weather. i think that must be cool for the people that work at snl. it must have been cool today for the people who work at the supreme court for the justices and everyone to see the big skrum of people waiting outside of the court, jamping outcampine the oral arguments this the health care case.
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they will be stretched out over three days it was an hour and a half tomorrow morning, two hours tomorrow morning and hour and a half on wednesday morning. there are some seats in the courtroom. if you want to get one of the seats in the courtroom you have to get a ticket. a ticket that you get from this policeman. >> ladies and gentlemen, may i have your attention. this is a reminder, i'm only giving out tickets for today's argument only. today's argument only. i'm giving out tickets for the first 60 seats for regular seating to hear the entire argument. >> it is not exactly justin bieber is going to be here often "saturday night live" but if you work at the supreme court that has to be cool to see all of those people lining up to come to where you work every day for a living. all of the attention on the case turned out not just people lining up to get in, trying to get tickets to the see the arguments but protesters. reporters who are on the scene say it was mostly protesters who were pro health reform. who want it to survive the
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supreme court challenge. there were also some anti-health reform protesters. and also randomly there was rick santorum. right there at the court. republican presidential candidate rick santorum turning up in the middle of the protest outside of the supreme court today. he was not there to hear the case be argued inside. he was there to participate in the outside the court expression of feelings. now for the lucky people who got inside the courtroom today, let me give you a little sweet taste of what it was those people got to feast themselves on inside of that hallowed chamber. this is actual audio from the supreme court's oral arguments today which all of those people lined up to see. it is an exchange twes between solicitor general and justice ruth bader gins sglerg i think that's the strongest textual indication, justice ginsburg. >> the question i asked you is
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if you are right that this penalty is not covered by section 7421, if you are right about that, why should we deal with the jurisdictional question at all? >>. [ snoring ] >> sorry. i'm sorry. i'm a civics dork. i love policy. i love litigation. i love fighting about policy. i love courtroom argument. i'm really interested in what happens with the health reform act at the supreme court but today was a jurisdictional discussion about the applicability of the 1867 anti-injunction act. which is hard to stay focused on. oral arguments about the anti-injunction act, even to lawyers and people that are dorkier about this than i am are not in and of themselves riveting enough to explain the people lining up for tickets and signs and presidential cameo appearances a the supreme court today. it was not that exciting on its
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face. the reason everybody is turning out for this thing is because it has been built up to be the super bowl of partisan arguments. literally, "politico".com called it the super bowl for supreme court watchers. it was bilked as the health law show down the supreme court show down. supreme court showdown on obamacare begins today and it is. it's a huge showdown, a matter of principle. here's the principle, the defining difference between the parties is that the republican side of this argument. remember, the plaintiffs in this case are the states, specifically republican attorneys general from 22 states and in places that had democratic attorneys general who would not do it, would not sign on to the case it is four republican governors who stepped in and put their name to it. so it is all republicans from the states and what they are complaining and suing about specifically is the individual mandate. the part of the law that says everybody has to have health insurance. the individual mandate is what
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this super bowl of all political partisan fights is all about. >> it is a monumental, historic, insertion of federal power in the one-sixth of the economy, the likes of which i think the american people have clearly indicated they do not favor and oppose. >> if the government can tell people that, where's the line of what they couldn't tell people? >> we're begging the federal government to please leave us a shred of freedom. please. don't make us buy a product that we don't want to buy. is that asking too much? do we need to wake up in terms of the issue that is at stake here. it is our freedoms that are at stake. >> a shred of freedom. >> that's what this whole thing is about, the individual mandate. republicans are against it. republicans hate the individual mandate. also, the individual mandate is the republicans idea.
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this is the relevant, but often left out context for what is happening at the supreme court this week and for what it says about the principles or lack thereof of the republican party. republican senators and republican presidential candidates are holding photo ops outside of the supreme court to demonize this thing they invented and that they introduced 19 years ago. in 1993 when bill clinton was president and he was trying to overhaul the health care system he argued essentially that employers should have to provide health coverage for their employees. employers were going to be mandated to provide health coverage. the republican answer to that, the republican plan was to say no. it shouldn't be employers who have to provide health coverage. it should be individuals that take that responsibility. the 1993 republican health care plan in the senate included, look at that, something called an individual mandate, a requirement that individuals must purchase health insurance. the author of the plan was a republican senator named john chafety if fi /* -- john chaffey
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of rhode island. nearly half of the congress signed on at the time. ittent a small idea of health reform. it is what they had to offer and at the center of what they were all about. this is from the national journal at the time. the republican senate plan would create an individual mandate for health insurance, similar to one that now exists for auto insurance from the associated press congressional republicans pushed their own propose al which would require individuals to purchase insurance. if you went around and asked republicans in 1993, they weren't just for the individual mandate they were dying to tell you how much they loved it. republican senator john chaffey, the bill's author, i'm the and the majority of republicans believe the route to go with is an individual mandate. bob dole, quote, we have an individual mandate in our plan. we have an individual mandate opposed to the employer man kate. kate bond asked by a reporter in
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1993, you have an individual mandate, where all persons would have the responsibility to have coverage, is that correct senator bond answers, that's correct. senator don nichols of oklahoma, we have an individual mandate. we do say everybody in america has to provide insurance for themselves. leading the charge was the heritage foundation, the right wing think tank, they put out a plan. look at that that proudly features an individual mandate as the main component. newt gingrich was for the individual mandate as recently as 2008. mitt romney not only included an individual mandate as part of the health reform plan he signed as the governor of massachusetts, he also came out in favor of a federal health care individual mandate back in 1994 when it was a republican idea. he wanted the republican individual mandate idea, not just for massachusetts but the whole country. now it is president obama for this thing. it is tierney.
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tierney, leave us a shred of freedom. tierney in the pure ist form. if you want to see it, consider chuck grassley of iowa. hef one of the sponsors one of the republicans who sponsored the individual mandate bill. after president obama was sworn in to office as the health reform debate was getting underway, chuck gasly was still arguing for the individual mandate. >> when it comes to states requiring it for automobile insurance, the principle ought to lie the same way for health insurance because everybody has some health insurance costs. if you aren't insured there's no free lunch. i believes this a bipartisan consensus to have individual mandates. >> a bipartisan con sense us is to have individual mandates. after president obama said chuck grassley, i agree with you. i'm for an individual mandate,
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too. watch whaps what happened. >> i personally think, and i think constitutional lawyers think that the mandate in and of itself is unconstitutional. >> oh, now you do. really? >> see, it is okay if you are a republican. if a democrat has the same idea, tierney! the democrat has the same idea it is unconstitutional. if republicans proposed it, great idea. conservative solution. a conservative, small government solution. when a democrat has the idea it is socialism, tierney and unconstitutional. in case you were under any illusion there is actually a matter of principle at work here. joining us is dalia lithwick, senior correspondent for request "slate." she watched the proceedings at the supreme court. thank you for being here. >> thank you very for having me here, rachel. >> i have to ask you if the arguments today at the supreme court were any lest less stolt fieing in person than listening to the audio. >> it takes a special kind of
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nerd to really enjoy dusty old 19th century statutory construction. i personally found it slightly thrilling but i appreciate the eye-glazing quality of particularly the little snippet that you played. >> in terms of the -- everybody seeing this as a partisan showdown, the fight over the individual mandate, is that what you expect, that the justices will be in to tomorrow? are they going to get to the meat of what everyone is excited about in tomorrow's arguments? >> tomorrow is the big game. today i described it as the court coughing up a constitutional hair ball. they needed to get this out of the way. okay. it turns out this tax law doesn't preclude us from hearing it and move along. so today was actually so not dramatic. it is reassuring because you got to see the court almost unanimously come to a conclusion aun think through it and it is
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what they do best. tomorrow i think the gloves come off and we start to hear the talk of tierney, freedom, broccoli everywhere. broccoli. so tomorrow is the big day by every measure. >> what is the broccoli argument? you have been referencing this in our columns for "slate".com. >> the argument at its core is if the government can force you to purchase something that you don't want to purchase, and that's the argument here that has been made by the challengers, what's unprecedented here is not the government is regulating activity but for the first time they are regulating inactivity. you want to be in your house, left alone. if your kidney fails, you want to pop it back in, sew it up yourself and be left alone. no insurance for you. and the argument is if you don't want to buy something and the government is forcing you to buy something than what's to stop them from forcing you to the buy broccoli. because after all, broccoli is even more highly correlated with
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good health outcomes than health insurance and if they force you to buy broccoli, the next step is the general motors car to boost the economy. it is a slippery slope argument that persuaded some of the lower court judges in the case. >> the argument, correct me if i am wrong, but my impression of the counterargument is that health care isn't like any other market, not like the market for cars or leafy greens. health care is a market where people participate in the market even if they don't purchase health insurance or have money. if you have a heart attack and are dragged to the emergency room, somebody is going to pay for your care. you can't be an inactive par 'tis nant the health care system unless you agree to never get health care. your inactivity isn't guaranteed by you and therefore it isn't regulated. is that the argument? >> that's it. that's exactly it. the argument is whether you choose to be purchasing health insurance or choose not to purchase it, you are making an economic decision that is
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rationally related to the entire economy, the entire health care economy. let's remember, this is one-sixth of the economy. this is a huge, multi-state economy. it is not something trivial like in some of the other commerce clause cases where you are looking at the court saying guns near schools may not have a basis to say that implicates interstate commerce. but this really does. i think it is both the argument that, you know, this is you making a choice by not making a choice. the emergency room is not going to turn you away. so then ebb everyone else's premiums get jacked up by $1,000. that loops back to your original point, that's why this is a conservative, market-based idea. it is anti-free rider idea that somehow got spun out in to a mandatory broccoli bill. >> dale ya, i know that that part of it that we were discussing, mandatory broccoli and the are rest of it is what
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they are getting tomorrow. can you come back and explain how it went tomorrow once they do that. >> i will if you drink every time i say broccoli tomorrow. >> i can't do it on the air but i'm keeping a tally for friday's cocktail moment. appreciate i want. senior editor and legal correspondent for slate magazine. even though today was boring legally speaking tomorrow rb riveting in terms of the arguments whether or not you have been following it closely i'm looking forward though audio clips tomorrow. i'm a dork. still ahead, protests continue over the shooting death of teenager trayvon martin and florida's stand your ground gun law. charles schumer will join us and for the interview we have frank rich. stay with us. two of the most important are energy security and economic growth. north america actually has one of the largest oil reserves in the world. a large part of that is oil sands. this resource has the ability to create
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the calcium they take because they don't take it with food. switch to citracal maximum plus d. it's the only calcium supplement that can be taken with or without food. that's why my doctor recommends citracal maximum. it's all about absorption. one month ago today trayvon martin was shot and killed in florida. some of the details of his killing are well known by now. mr. martin was unarmed. he was walking home from a convenient store carrying a ba bag of skittles and iced sea tea. the man who shot and killed him on the street said he did it in self defense and has not been arrested or charged with any crime. this is the picture you have probably seen of him. this is a more recent photo of him. from washington, d.c. to baltimore, atlanta, indianapolis, iowa city and detroit, san francisco, people held rallies and marchs in trayvon martin's memory today. the rally in san francisco was
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called an emergency scream out. organizers said at this point a speak out was not enough. speaking was not enough. it is time to yell. over the weekend people wore hoodies to church in support of trayvon martin, protesting the assertion that mr. martin may have looked suspicious because he was wearing a hooded sweatshirt. last week, thousands of gathered in sanford, the city where tray tay was killed. big crowds gathered there again and the his parents spoke before the city council. this is his mother sybrina fulton. >> as a parent, you want some answers to your question. as a parent. so i'm not asking for anything, any extra favors. i'm just asking for what you would ask for as a parent. i know i cannot bring my baby
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back. but i'm sure going to make changes so this does not happen to another family. >> at the backdrop of that hearing and protests in sanford and across the country anonymous law enforcement authorities have leaked to the media the shooter george zimmerman's side of the story. they leaked it to "the orlando sentinel" newspaper. according to these anonymous law enforcement sources, or specific source, mr. zimmerman said he had turned around and was walking back to his suv when trayvon martin approached him from behind. the two exchanged words and then trayvon punched him in the nose sending him to the ground and began beating him. mr. zimmerman said he shot the teenager in self defense. remember, mr. zimmerman is 28 years old, carrying a gun and he initiated the encounter with this teenager after following him around the neighborhood. trayvon martin was totally unarmed. this were more anonymous releases of records about trayvon martin's suspensions
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from school, once for writer the letters wtf on a locker. his mother responded by saying they killed my son and now they are trying to kill his reputation. a conservative website published what they said were tweets from trayvon martin's twitter account. as if that might shed light on whether or not he should have been shot. the martin family's lawyer benjamin spoke before the city council. >> who was the officer who made a decision for whatever reason to not do a background check on george zimmerman who had just shot and killed trayvon martin? but yet saw fit to do a background check on this dead child on the ground. >> can you understand that none
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of this would be going on if they simply would have treated george zimmerman like they would have treated trayvon martin? >> with the furor over the case showing no signs of dying down, quite the contrary, with no further zegs indication at this time there will be an arrest in the case the interwoven strands are outrage over the racial profiling that appears to have led to the shooting in the first place. trayvon martin's seeming suspicious because of his race according to to the shooter. the excusing of violence against black men because of the racial profiling of black men as being dangerous. the so-called stand your ground law, even though chasing someone down on the street because they look suspicious to you is nobody's idea of standing your ground. new york chuck schumer is asking for a revision of the stand your ground law. he is asking the department of
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justice to see the they maybe creating more violence and whether potential murder cases are going unprosecuted because the laws make it harder to bring these cases in court. joining us is senator charles schumer. and member of the judiciary committee. thank you for joining us. >> good evening. sgluf asked the attorney general t eric holder, to investigate the stand your ground laws. you have been calling them a shoot first request ask questions later type of law. why do you think the justice department federally should look in to this? >> these laws which have been all passed recently change the common law and the law we always observed. the law i was taught in law school 30 years ago. when is when you are outside of your home and you are faced with a very troubling situation, you don't shoot, you try to avoid doing that and try to invoke law enforcement whenever possible. the stand your ground law seems to say that if you imagine that you might be in physical danger
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you can shoot. "the orlando sentinel," the local paper in the sanford area studied 13 instances where stand your ground was invoked and a -- sorry, a person invoked that law. in all but one of the cases the person who was shot or shot at did not have any weapon at all. six people were killed and four people were injured. clearly something is amiss here. you know, i have a lot of faith in our justice departments, in our sheriffs and in our police. they are trained. they do a lot better in most situations, in almost all situations than a civilian. for instance, had mr. zimmerman actually listened to the police when he called because he saw trayvon, they told him not to pursue him and to let the police come and pursue him. had zimmerman listened, things would be a lot better today than
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they were then. we need a broad investigation for two with reasons. one, this law, which is now, as you said, in 20 states could well be causing more violence than it prevents, and second, it seems to be preventing the law enforcement from being able to prosecute cases that would otherwise be actionable. those are pretty serious things. i think we need a quick, thorough investigation of how this law's working and maybe the states on their own when they saw that would repeal them. maybe it will require federal action. that remains to be seen. we certainly should examine these laws which have been passed sort of in a rushed way by more than 20 states. >> one thing that is interwoven with the concern over these relatively recent stand your ground gun laws -- stand your ground anti-self defense laws in
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these states, is there a concern of how race factors in to this? the core idea of the laws is you have to imagine you might be in danger. imagination is innekted by all sorts of things including prejudice. it happens whether we think of ourselves as racist or big gs oted people. when we imagine threats we may see it not as a legal actionable course. do you think the long-standing concerns about racially selective prosecution can be addressed at the same time? i realize the gun laws are novel but concerns about race and policing and prosecution are old. >> well, you know, my call is for an investigation of this law which is new. we do have a civil rights division, which of course has investigated cases where race may well be at issue over and over and over again. i will tell you this, i'm dubious of these laws which
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encourage vigilanteism, even if there weren't a racial component involved. the idea that anyone, when they think they are in serious physical harm that they are going to be punched, that they should take out a gun and shoot the person who they think might be punching them is really, really troublesome. we ought to get to the bottom of it before these laws -- before they spread and before they are too engrained in our culture. it seems to encourage vigilanteism when the right thing to do is rely on law enforcement. >> senator charles schumer of new york. thank you for your time tonight. >> thank you, rachel. good to talk to you. >> thanks. right now the most important figure in newt gingrich's run for the presidency is named ellis the elephant. that story and the interview tonight with frank rich straight ahead. we love gardening...
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programming note, i will be on the late show with david letterman tonight. that's on cbs 11:35 eastern. i have a sneaky suspicion that he will ask about nuclear north korea and about my pants. tomorrow i will be on npr with terry gross on fresh air which i have always wanted to do and never done before. before i am with you tomorrow night, i will be appearing on "the today show" in the morning on nbc. i will be on the 7 a.m. eastern hour and will be on with kathy and hoda.
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this can mean one thing, right? books out. my first book comes out officially tomorrow. it is exciting. i'm proud of it. nervous it is going out in the world. it is about the civilian politics of the military. it is about ra ronald reagan running a war while wearing his pjs at a golf cottage and a connection between our war in pakistan and an enormous bird about lbj yelling things to reporters from his toilet about ho chi minh and the book is dedicated to vice president cheney who i have to say i really do wish all of the best in his recovery from his heart transplant this week. in any case the book is out tomorrow. nervous. i'm with david letterman tonight. and we will be right back. [ male announcer ] every day thousands of people are choosing advil®.
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when i have to get through the pain, i know where to go. [ male announcer ] take action. take advil®. save on advil® with our special coupon in select newspapers this sunday. save on advil® with our special coupon havi ng a save on advil® with our special coupon n irregular heartbeat havputs you at 5 times calgreater risk of stroke. don't wait. go to afibstroke.com for a free discussion guide to help you talk to your doctor about reducing your risk. that's afibstroke.com. we have two car insurances that we're going to have you taste. the first one we're going to call x.
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go ahead and take a sip, and then let me know what the baby thinks of it. four million drivers switched to this car insurance last year. oh, she likes it babies' palates are very sensitive so she's probably tasting the low rates. this is car insurance y, they've been losing customers pretty quickly. oh my gosh, that's horrible!, which would you choose? geico. over their competitor. do you want to finish it? no. does the baby want to finish it? no. three new things to report on 2012 and the newt gingrich campaign specifically. first, all major paper print reporters have been pulled off the newt gingrich for president campaign. they did not coordinate it or anything, at least it doesn't seem that way, but the illinois primary was the last gingrich stop for the associated press. on friday, "politico".com pulled their embed reporters from the campaign too. that leaves just the television
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networks including nbc on the campaign trail with newt gingrich but no print reporters. second newt gingrich cancelled his campaign events in north carolina this week. the campaign would prefer we call ate postponement. mr. gingrich will stay close to home in northern virginia and go to campaign events there. the north carolina primary is on may 8th. virginia's already done. that brings us to the third new thing to report about the newt gingrich campaign. it is about his wife, calista gingrich. she is campaigning for her husband all week. an important state, her home state of wisconsin. this is a new thing for mrs. gingrich. this isn't something she hadn't made a habit of. she doesn't go on events on her own very often. she seems to be at an elementary school in trinity academy, in hudson, wisconsin. she took a tour of the school and did a book reading from her book "sweet land of liberty." which is a great and effective
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campaign stop if you are courting the k-8 vote. she is actually doing a lot of that this week. mrs. gingrich has nine scheduled campaign stops. four to elementary schools. kids cannot vote, but they can buy books. the gingrich campaign has been defined in part by its, let's call it multitasking. part campaign, part book tour. this is a national federation for republican women event in october. mr. gingrich was the featured speaker at the luncheon and right after the speech he and his wife walked off the stage and went outside and where they had set up tables to sign their respective books. mr. gingrich's wife's book is about a character called ellis the elephant. here's the ellis the elephant of mrs. gingrich's book brought to life by a person in a big flushy elephant costume. the person in the costume, the real life ellis the elephant is
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a gingrich campaign staffer. look a campaign staffer has to put on the costume to promote calista gingrich's event at a campaign event because oh, yeah right that is what the campaign is for. this is back in october. and this is ellis again with mrs. gingrich at they are elementary book signing/campaign event. mr. gingrich is reportedly pressing on. the came in a thirder place in louisiana. that's a problem for newt gingrich even if his strategy is to go to the republican convention in tampa and try to win the nomination there through a contested convention. as nbc has been reporting the republican party's rules say in order to compete for the nomination, to have your name put forward you have to win at least five states. any candidate needs to win a flurlty of the delegates in five
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states to even have their name put forward for the nomination. mr. gingrich has so far won two states. his home state of georgia and south carolina. no matter how bad you are at math, two does not round up to five. it is not looking good for bl gingrich but looking good for book sales. that's what is happening at the lower etch lons of the republican primary right now. look at the results from the primary in ha la this weekend. rick santorum won the state overall. he got the most votes in every single income bracket. republicans who made under $30,000 a year, snoumpl won by 53 points. the next income bracket, santorum defeating romney by 15 points. but then mitt romney does run away with it in the tippy top income bracket, right? look at that. among people making more than $200,000 a year, that's what
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mitt romney wins. mitt romney was the winner in louisiana only among the richest sliver of the electorate. when mitt romney loses he still wins the rich people vote. we have seen it over and over again. if you are mitt romney or a strategist on his campaign you have to wonder how do you put together a national win when your base, the only people you can really count on everywhere are the tiny sliver of the richest people in the country that happen to be voting that day? it is a tough strategy. here's the good news for the romney campaign, it's been done before. >> it is an impressive crowd, the haves and the have mores. some people call you the elite. i call you my base. >> worked once. maybe they can be mitt romney's base, too. frank rich from "new york magazine" is joining us next. [ male announcer ] don't miss red lobster's lobsterfest. the only time of year you can savor 12 exciting lobster entrees,
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with who you love. kellogg's frosted flakes. they're gr-r-eat! so every year my family throws this great reunion in austin. but this year, i can only afford one trip and i've always wanted to learn how to surf. austin's great -- just not for surfing. so i checked out hotwire. and by booking with them, i saved enough to swing both trips. see, hotwire checks the competition's rates every day so they can guarantee their low prices. that's how i got a 4-star hotel on the beach in san diego for half price. ♪ h-o-t-w-i-r-e ♪ hotwire.com you could spend as much as $200. olay says challenge that with an instrument that cleanses as effectively as what's sold by skin professionals for a whole lot less. olay pro x advanced cleansing system. frank rich joins us for the interview next.
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blam projects like these could create more than half a million jobs in the us alone. from the canadian border, through the mid west, to the gulf coast. benefiting hundreds of thousands of families throughout the country. this is just what our economy needs right now.
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was on the campaign trail tonight speaking in front of local republicans in delaware. delaware votes april 24th. mitt romney was on the trail in san diego giving a speech and doing fund-raisers. california votes on june 6th. rick santorum was out and about being visibly political today, but we cannot say he was on the campaign trail because rick santorum specifically was in washington, d.c. today. rick santorum is not on the ballot in washington, d.c. when d.c. votes next week. it is not a conspiracy against
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him or something. his campaign just did not get it together to even ask for him to be on the ballot. they didn't pay the fee or ask for a petition for signatures to get him on the d.c. ballot. they didn't bother. nevertheless, rick santorum was in washington, d.c. any way today. the supreme court was hearing arguments in the health reform case, rick santorum was outside of the court with all of the protesters. >>. >> i believe basic rights are guaranteed under the declaration of independence and recognized under the declaration of independence. rights come from our creator. they are protected by the constitution after 0 this country. rights should not and cannot be created by a government where because anytime government creates a right they can take that right away. and they can force you, as you have seen with obamacare. they can force you to do things
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that you believe are right for you and your family and things that are against the tenets and teachings of your faith. >> nobody asked rick santorum about the tenets and teaching of his faith as they pertain to health reform. nobody asked about religion, whether your church is cool with contraception. he was just asked open-ended question, is health care a right like all of these people are chanting behind you. is health care a right? and rick santorum goes to the lady parts. this is what the campaign is like on the republican side this year. as frank rich writes in "new york magazine" out today. santorum, flaky as though he may sound is not -- he was tamm bush an unsuspecting america who thought the birth control had been resolved by the supreme court half century ago. joining us for the interview is frank rich. thank you for being here. >> delighted to be here. >> how do you think that rick santorum got to be the
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republican party's advanced man on birth control? i'm not surprised that he went there. why did everybody else follow him? >> he owns it but they all did follow him. i think the party moved so far to the right that you have even a so-called moderate by the standards of this crowd, like mitt romney being against planned parenthood, wants to the defund planned parenthood and end title x, title ten, this important program that helps so many poor women just get basic health care, let alone birth control can. they sort of gone off the rails. the biggest thing i think and i know you talked about a lot is the blunt amendment. that was an amendment that passed with every single republican in the senate, 45 of them voting for it except for olympia snowe who's fleeing and essentially allowed employers to get rid of all health care for women and men if they had a
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moral objection. good-bye to mammograms, contraception, pap smears, whatever it is. i think they sort of lost touch with reality. they certainly lost touch with the american voters. >> is there a parallel republican logic that you can see at work that explains what they are doing? i ask not because i would be surprised they are moving further to the right than their fortunes should indicate but because it was the blunt rubio amendment. rubio wants to be chosen as the vice presidential nominee of his party. scott brown who's facing a difficult electorate, moderate electorate in massachusetts running against very popular elizabeth warren. olympia snowe didn't vote for it on the way out the door but other people who have big aspirations in general election big races are going with this. is there a lonlic that explains it? >> i don't get it. do you? it seems to me if you are from a completely red state you can do whatever you want but in a state
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like massachusetts for instance i don't get the logic of it. i don't think there is a majority that wants all of the stuff stripped away. and the majority of the country is women. while there are some women, including the republican party who defend this policy, most women, according to polls are against it. so, you have to wonder if they are an echo cham bempl i look for an machiavellian theory that would explain how it will pay off in november but i don't see it. >> you write about the right on this side on the republican side sort of playing a long game. this didn't just emerge now but something that has had longer horizons for the party. where do you think it came from? >> i think it came from the 1960s like so many neurotic things in the republican party. what's important to remember is that republican party had a history of being pro suffrage for women, most state legislatures that approved it
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were republican controlled. richard nixon supported equal rights amendment. it started to change in the early '70s when strategist saw well, we can play the southern strategy to bring over a certain kind of, particularly white, male, democratic voter, the reagan democrats on race. there was also reaction to the feminist movement. so you see, even in the early '70s before roe v. wade was decided, before legal abortion was a political issue in this country, they are running campaigns against the idea that women should work and be outside of the home and have equal pay. like uppity women. they were sort of against it. that's the seeds of it, not abortion. although obviously the religious right would rise and abortion would be a big issue, too. >> frank rich, writer for "new york magazine." reading you exploring the roots of this and hearing you talk about it here makes me feel we
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are on to something in being puzzled by this but i am still puzzled by it. i feel like this is one of the things that requires more work. >> i agree. >> thank you very much. >> thank you for having me. >> right after the show, this is big news actually. on the last word with lawrence o'donnell rveg his guest tonight is the lawyer for george zimmerman. the lawyer for the man who's alleged to have shot trayvon martin. you will not want to miss that. here the new issue republicans are hoping will be their big winner against president obama this fall, i think they are wrong, but i will tell you what it is next. your finances can't manage themselves. but that doesn't mean they won't try. bring all your finances together with the help of the one person who can. a certified financial planner professional. cfp. let's make a plan.
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for making atms and branches appear out of thin air. simple to use websites, tools, and apps. for making your financial life a little bit easier. all told, thousands of pounds of nuclear material have been removed from vulnerable sites around the world. this was deadly material that is now secure and now can never be used against a city like seoul. >> president obama speaking today in south korea. the plane that dropped the atomic bomb on hiroshima.
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was called the enola gay. there is a photo of the bomb that blast. the plane that dropped the bomb on nagasaki a couple of days later. it was called boxcar. this is the photograph. of the nuclear bomb blast on nagasaki. you can see the mushroom cloud over nagasaki there. the reason we have these photos of these nuclear bombs going off in these two cities in japan is because along with boxcar and the enola gay, we flew planes with them that took pictures of the explosions. the plane that photographed the nagasaki explosion was called big stink and the plane that flew the hiroshima bomb was necessary evil. because his i have written by deeply cynical poets. the first of those bombs killed 75,000 people instantly. the second one at nagasaki killed 40,000 more people instantly. within a couple months, 150,000, possibly 250,000 people were del
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dead. killed by just those two bombs. the nuclear bombs we've got today are roughly ten times the yield of what we dropped on hiroshima. the hiroshima bomb instantly killed 75,000 people. imagine a bomb blast ten times that size. can you imagine us using a bomb like that now? a bomb that size. we have 1800 bombs that size deployed right now. 1800 nuclear bombs, each ten times the size of the hiroshima bomb, all deployed and ready to be fired and we have thousands more in our stockpile. if you can imagine us dropping another nuclear bomb, like we did on hiroshima and nagasaki, how many can you imagine us dropping? how many more nuclear bombs do you think america could conceivably launch in our nation. could we launch two more? ten more? could we launch 100 more?
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a 1,000, more than 1,000 bombs each time the size of hiroshima? what would be left. president obama is in seoul, south korea for his summit on locking up vulnerable nuclear material to keep nuclear material out of the hands of terrorist and off the black market. in a visit to a south korean university, the president said, quote, we have more nuclear weapons than we need. this is not yet a central issue in the president's re-election campaign, but republicans want it to be. republicans are banking on us, the country, thinking that the ability to blow up hiroshima ten times over, thousands of times over and then thousands more times over is not enough. and that reducing the number of nuclear weapons we've got, either all together or deployed and ready to fire, reducing the number of nuclear weapons would be a sign of weakness because who knows, maybe we will have to drop 2,000 nuclear bombs at some point. republicans think this will be a good issue for them to use against president obama. i do not think they are right

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