tv Lockup MSNBC November 16, 2012 9:00pm-10:00pm PST
i want this session of congress to do something about this. it's unfair. mitt romney would never run any of his businesses like that. that's what you republicans need to know. that's "the ed show." i'm ed shultz. "the rachel maddow show" starts right now. good evening, rachel. >> good evening. have a great weekend. thanks to you at home for joining us this hour. happy friday. what a week this has been. whoever packs president obama's bags is busy. he's going to asia tomorrow. no sitting u.s. president has ever visited the nation of cambodia before, but president obama is about to do so. no sitting president has visited burma either. but president obama is about to go there too. no president has ever done that. when he's there, he will meet with the opposition leader. what is the side note of this what is the side note of this historic trip to burma?
in before the u.s. government decided to send a president to in 2009 before the u.s. government decided to send a president to the country, we first decided we were ready to send a rock band to that country. the state department under a brand new president obama in 2009 authorized the great l.a. latin fusion band to go tour burma. a sort of ambassadors for u.s. culture in that part of the world. burma has only finally ended military rule there as of last year. after president obama makes his visit there this weekend, we have now learned we're going to be sending another american musical act to follow up the president's trip. this time it's jason mraz. he's scheduled to play a gig
december 16th. he's going to be playing outdoors free of charge. even though we expect democrats and republicans to fight over everything these days, the associated press notes that mitch mcconnell has for a long time taken a special interest in burma as a senator. he has not held back in praising president obama for taking this big historic trip to that once totally-closed country. president obama on this trip is due to meet with the japanese prime minister. in the midst of those countries fighting over who controls some islands. the midst of a flairup between israel and gaza. we don't know what started the most-recent round of fighting, but we do know a strike killed the top commander of hamas in gaza on wednesday and that was followed by rocket attacks aimed the israel and tel aviv.
the attacks appeared to be rapidly escalating including sounds they are preparing for a ground incursion. israeli tanks massing on the border with gaza. amid-all of this in the world, today washington was consumed with two issues. the first was the start of negotiations to head off a deliberate crisis that d.c. created for itself so they could come to a few new deal between the parties and congress on spending and taxes and the deficit. that negotiation started today. the white house said top staffers will be continuing those negotiations that started today even while the president is off on this big historic trip to asia. the other thing consuming washington is the investigation into what happened in benghazi. in the midst of his sex scandal,
but the head of the cia david petraeus testified to congress today about libya behind closed doors. we'll have more on that in a moment. but while all of this is unfolding in american politics, globally and in washington, there's a whole other level of things unfolding in american politics that's happening further down the food chain. what's happening there, i think, is rather off the hook. in a way that might be good news for the country. but for now, it's just worth seeing. >> a controversial seminar is being held at the state capital. >> republican leaders warned the obama administration is using mind control to manipulate all of us. the the forum was all caught on camera. >> how psyched was the guy who was asked to make that graphic
for that segment. we're going to need a graphic with president obama on it. and since he's president, maybe throw in an american flag. what's the theme? it's about mind control. so give us something with president obama and a flag and the words "mind control" and whatever other imagery might get the idea across at a glance. amazing. the story was based on this video inside a four-hour long seminar conducted by the republican caucus. republicans are the majority in the state and they convened this four-hour event for republican senators to learn about how president obama was using cold war era mind control techniques to trick americans into turning ourselves over to the united nations for, you know, one world government and enslavement.
if you want some historical perspective, there's stalin and then there's president obama. the results at the bottom, tbd. this was one of the slides from the presentation for republican state senators. back for more to cbs atlanta. >> the united nations is using a mind control technique developed during the cold war to secretly steal away american freedoms. >> seth clark videotaped part of the briefing before he was tossed out. >> usually talking about mind control and the problems with the united nations, that person is wearing a tinfoil hat. the thing that concerns us is the person wearing the tinfoil hat appears to be our senate majority leader. >> they have no idea why chip rogers sponsored the agenda 21 seminar.
>> the republican senate majority leader did convene that meeting with georgia senators to talk about president obama's mind control plot to take over america. and then better georgia shot video of it and that ended up on the local news with the amazing graphics. then it ended up in the atlanta journal constitution and other newspapers. and then it got national coverage. then interestingly, it was the end of that republican majority leader in the state senate. he stepped down. the guy who inspired headlines about the lunacy infiltrating state leaders, he's gone after this. even though this guy was okay before, he was the longest-serving senate majority leader in georgia history. now that kind of nonsense means you have to go. it's interesting, right? same deal, seemingly, with the lunacy this week out of the main republican party, totally different part of the country,
but here's how it manifests. >> you still think we have a system full of fraud? >> i do. i'm going to do a meeting. in some parts of the state, in rural maine, there were dozens of black people who came in and voted election day. everybody has a right to vote. but nobody in town is black. how did it happen? we're going to find out. i think it's a problem. >> do we need to litigate how nuts that is? can we just agree how nuts that is? that's the head of the republican party in maine who initially defended his dozens of black people comments by saying he could not be racist or meant it in a racist way because he plays basketball with a black man regularly. that's what he told talking points. there's nothing about me that would be discriminatory.
i play basketball every sunday with a black guy. i repeat. state republican party chairman, ultimately this week after his basketball claim miraculously didn't tame it down, he took it back. but it's less important than someone is super out there. what's important is not that somebody thinks that stuff or says that stuff or does that stuff. what's important here is that it is starting to not be okay anymore. the republican who just ran the u.s. senate campaign in maine in this election responded to what happened with the main chairman has to go. the the last republican candidate for governor in the state is saying publically, oh my god, this guy has got to go. this is not democrats and liberals.
this is the republican party saying this guy cannot be our chairman. and he's going to be going. what it feels like from the main press in the state, the only reason they are not throwing the him out is because he's going voluntarily, essentially right now. he's leaving on december 1st. but this phenomenon out in the proverbial provinces, out in the state party in maine, is sort of what's going on in republican politics right now. you can see it at the national level too. at the republican governors association meeting in the senate right now, republicans who have ambitions for their futures are falling all over themselves to distance themselves from and criticize the arguably crazy comments from mitt romney. the comments he made when he attributed his election loss to some complicated bribery scheme involving green cards and the
democratic party buying votes for those things. it is less important that mr. romney said those things this week than it is that the party has reacted the way it has. that the party is policing him for saying it. in trying to figure out who the republican party is going to be next, how they are going to bounce back from this loss, all across the country, in their politics at the national level and below that, republicans are starting to try to disassociate themselves from the crazy. some republicans are. more than used to. i don't want to say it's a hard and fast rule. it can be disproven, but it's happening more than it used to happen. and given that, now, here's my question. is that dynamic at work in the republican party in the country at large right now also translating to a shutdown of that party's benghazi conspiracy theory nonsense? is it translating to that too or are we going to keep on keeping on with that. joining us is chris hayes. it's lovely to have you here.
>> can i say the burma details is the like the "the rachel maddow show" statement. that's amazing in so many ways. >> i can't tell you how much time i spent worrying about the adjectives about how would he like to be described? is that okay? would they like rock to be there? i get distracted. tell me how this plays out, chris. tell me if i have rose-colored glasses on looking at the republican dynamic of seeing them trying to resist the crazy. is this really happening? >> i think it's a combination of both. i think the question is, to use a conservative notion, people respond to incentives. who are those incentives acting upon? it's important at the national level with the kind of
entrenched senate aristocracy. who are they worried about beating them? someone like john mccain isn't that worried. he has been the most vocal voice. and it's hard to see whether those are going to reign him in. the question is do other people who care about their political future and have national aspirations, this they are more likely to likely to walk away from this conspiracy theory. >> we saw harry reid shut down the idea of there being a senate select committee, a mega investigation along the lines of watergate. we also saw resistance to that idea from richard mur, susan collins, joe lieberman, republican speaker of the house john boehner. i felt like that all isolated john mccain a lot. but you know, maybe he stands alone in terms of his influence on foreign policy matters. >> he does. but there's distance emerging between him and where everyone else is.
and partly, we should remember this was very -- this was wielded to the election partly because there was this hope and you'd see it all over the conservative blogs. this was the thing that was going to turn around the election and the mainstream media because they wanted to get barack obama elected for ignoring the facts of the matter. because people used it incredibly cynical fashion, there's a little less energy behind the kind of conspiracy mongering except for john mccain mongering except for john mccain who is in it until the end. >> but then today, the reason this was an important question today, today the talking points given to susan rice after the benghazi attack, those talking points were published. and if those talking points are what she was given to say, she hued essentially exactly to what she was briefed to say by the intelligence agency. so on the matter of her and whether she's the architect of the great coverup and can't be secretary of state and all these other thing, i thought today
that settled it. >> it did, but i also think -- i guess i was to distinguish between two trends that happen in the republican party. there's this conspiracy mongering and this believing your own ridiculousness that happens. dick morris was calling into that agenda 21 briefing. that's a fairly prominent person in the american right these days. so there's that at one end. then there's the nihilistic obstruction. and the war on susan rice seems to be more in that latter category. whatever theories that they are picking up that happen to be by their side so they can wound her are about the implaqable project of political obstruction that's been a defining feature of republicans particularly in congress have conducted themselves in the obama era than it is the kind of association with the crazy fringe.
>> and i got nancy pelosi on the record on that subject yesterday in a clip we have not played, but we're going to play in a second. her reaction to that -- her diagnosis of that on the republican side and how she says it has been different in the past is fascinating and that's coming up. and it's apparently mraz. >> can i just say, every day, i get into my show and there's nine names that i forget to check the pronunciation. >> i'm sorry. i'll never do it again. chris hayes, i'm going to call it yupa. i hope you don't mind. we'll be right back. [ male announcer ] kids grow up in no time... marie callender's turkey breast with stuffing
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with that? i do too. i do too. if that's how you got elected and everybody in the country knows that's who you are and that's how you got elected, then you heading up to the senate is a story of national significance. it's significant enough to that "the new york times" is the hometown paper of wall street. when the hometown paper writes about elizabeth warren going to washington, it's possible you're going to get the word "fear" into that headline. she didn't try to disabuse anybody that she intends to be a senator of consequence. she said before she was elected "if the notion on this is we're going to elect somebody to the united states senate so they can be the 100th least senior person in there and be polite and somewhere in their fourth or fifth year do some bipartisan
bill that nobody is going to care about, then don't vote for me." in other words i'm planning on getting stuff done, yo, from the get go. now, news, we know what elizabeth warren wants to do first. senator-elect elizabeth warren planted her first flag in terms of what she wants to do with her new job. it's direct and to the point. on the first day that the senate is in session and only on that day, there's something important to happen. the senate decides its rules. right now if any one senator wants to block legislation, they can say that and it's blocked. instant filibuster. that means you need a super majority to get anything passed through the body. it was not supposed to be like that. the constitution established super majorities for some things, but for rare things like amending the constitution or ratifying treaties.
and minorities of senators could hold stuff up, but the filibuster was rarely used. that's not how it is anymore. the republican minority in the senate uses it for everything. they have made a 60-vote threshold the new normal for anything. but the rule that has let that become the new normal, the rule that's let the republican minority do that so easily, fundamentally change the way our democracy works, that rule can be changed. specifically changed on that one day. on day one of the new senate by a vote. and elizabeth warren says let's do it. in an article titled "the first week of january", which is when the new senate could do this, they have used it 380 times since the democrats took over the majority in 2006. we have seen it block jobs bills, political transparency, you name it, there's been a
filibuster. we have seen filibusters of bills and nominations that ultimately passed with 90 or more votes. why filibuster something with that kind of support just to keep the senate from working. on the first day of the new session in january, the senators will have a unique opportunity to change the filibuster rule. i'm joining six new-ly elected senators to pledge to lead this reform on day one. it can be done. they have long advocated for at least that kind of reform. at least the kind of reform where senators have to work for a filibuster. they have to stand up there and talk for as long as they want to hold something up. they can't just do it easy. those senators have been building support for the new session. and almost all of the rest of the newly-elected senators are
standing with those reformers and with elizabeth warren on this. they only need a majority. elizabeth warren was a national figure before she ever ran for the senate. which means she's poised to be the most-watched freshman in washington as of january. in her campaign, she made it clear she was going to be a different kind of senator. she was not going to go to washington to build a long career in the senate. she wanted to go and make some changes. so now for the most-watched freshman in the country, we know what day one is going to be about. fixing that filibuster. that's day one. then there's the next six years after that. machine [ male announcer ] free windows 8 training from your son. can you help me with something? nope! good talk.
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one of the things we saw this year, even in a year it didn't come down to a recount in florida, we did see eight-hour long lines in some places. we saw contested rules, some say, partisan-contested rules around early voting and the availability of voting machines. how long it was going to take people to vote. is there -- as you have championed the idea of reforming the role of money in politics, is there also sort of energy
right now for the idea of election reform? there being federal advancement for the states to get their acts together. >> the electoral system is a state function. but in a federal election, we should be able to pass legislation that people should be able to vote and the rest of the long lines are an obstacle. they are a form of voter suppression. whether it's money suffocating the air out of the air waves, whether it's suppressing the vote through regulation or state laws, or it's just telling people that this is poisoning the debate so people throw up my hands, i don't want to vote. all of it is really an obstacle to participation. i'm pursuing this, there should be a national law for federal elections that says that people should be able to vote in a reasonable amount of time, that these long lines are designed to
suppress the vote. >> is that -- one of the things i have been trying to understand since the election is what in congress is now politically doable that wasn't politically doable before. and some of the ideas are the same, but the prospects of passage are different now that we have gone through the election process. would you put election reform as doable and what else has crossed over the line because of the election results? >> electoral reform will be public sentiment is everything. and i think the public sentiment is there for saying enough already with all the money and all the commercials and the length of time these campaigns take place so we can exploit that opportunity to make change. it's a great organizing tool throughout the country. not even in a partisan way, but in a democratic way. and i think that sufficient
activism, don't agonize, organize. sufficient activism on the outside, mobilization there, helps us maneuver to get something done in that regard. i would certainly hope that the budget issues, that that has changed with the election. the president was clear about the wealthy paying their fair share in the election. the public supports that overwhelmingly in all the polls. even if they didn't vote for president obama, they support the wealthy paying their fair share. so hopefully the need and the ability of republicans to vote for that has been improved. i don't know. it remains to be seen. i would certainly hope that the participation of so many people in the electoral process sends a clear message that we have to think in a different way about the value of immigration to our country and not in the way that it has been presented by those who oppose comprehensive
immigration reform, just to name a few. >> when you look ahead to the next congress, the rights of the minority in the house are won. but you have a decision to be made about how your caucus is going to work with john boehner and his caucus in the house. do you see it as working out any differently in the next congress than it did in the last one? >> it depends on what level of cooperation and respect is extended to the president of the united states. when i was speaker and president bush was president, we worked together and we passed an energy bill and passed a rebate bill that was refundable. i worked for the aids initiative ever. so we were able to do things working together. more than that even. tarp. so the idea that a congress would come in and say to the
president, never does never work for you, even when he was extending the hand of friendship saying how can we work together. it was something quite different than any of us had ever seen before. but sure, i worked with president bush. i stand always ready to work in a bipartisan fashion. that's what we came here to do. the last two years is a different phenomenon. it reared its head in the '90s with republicans impeached president clinton, but we offered cooperation to a republican president. i hope they will offer cooperation to president obama. we stand ready to work in a bipartisan way with speaker boehner and the republicans in congress. we have regional concerns that are not partisan. we have issues of human rights
in the world that are not partisan where we have come together in a bipartisan way and sometimes in disagreement with our own leadership or our own white house in the past. so i think the american people expect and deserve a bipartisanship to take place and let's hope that it's there because then we'll get our most sustainable solutions. we come here to find common ground. if we can't find it, we have to stand our ground. but we have a responsibility to try. >> before heading into the so-called fiscal cliff negotiations with the white house and republicans in congress, you heard there the top democrat in the house, nancy pelosi, telling me in an exclusive interview, her first after announcing she would stand to be leader, that the republican attitude towards president obama these past two years is not something that should be seen as normal. when she was speaker and george
bush was president, they were able to get a reasonable amount of stuff done together despite their differences. she expects john boehner will have to start thinking about governing in the same way. joining us is john stanton. thank you for being here. >> it's good to be here. >> what do you think seems newly possible now? election reform? filibuster reform in the senate? anything on immigration? does any of that seem viable to you? >> i hate to be a wet blanket, but immigration reform, yes. there's certainly a possibility that immigration reform in some manner could be done. the problem there, though, frankly is that john boehner has come out and said, look, i want to do this. we learned a lesson from the election. a lot of republicans feel they need to do something. the problem is when you start to dig into what they are saying f you look at what john boehner
said earlier this week, he said first a step by step approach. we want to do border and then visas and then do some other things. that's very much what republicans have been saying for the last several years. they don't want to do a comprehensive deal. they want to do rifle shot legislation. and advocates of immigration reform are very opposed to that. they understand if you don't keep them all together, you're not going to get the coalition of people to get a bill through the house particularly. so that may be the best shot. i think election reform is going to be difficult unless it's sort of top line stuff on, you know, donations and things like that -- transparency kinds of things. and filibuster reform is something that everyone has always talked about. if you're in the majority, you want it. if you're in the minority, you don't.
you realize eventually you're going to be the minority and you're not going to want it. so i don't know. i hate to say it, but i think we'll have two more years of similar kind of situation. >> you're not being a wet blanket, but you're being damp. but let me follow up on that idea of rifle-shot legislation about very narrowly targeted stuff. that doesn't take on any of our big problems, but does pry off some of the stuff that we can get people to agree on. on the bush tax cuts, president obama wants those broken into two parts. extending for those under $250,000 and hold a separate debate in terms of what happens on income higher than that. could that happen? >> it actually could. there's been an interesting thing going on within the republican party in the house the last couple days, particularly the last week since the election. there are a lot of members that are now saying, you know, we may be open to this. especially if you get a high above $1 million. we might be willing to accept
that. which is definitely a change. there are members of the republican party willing to do that a few years ago, they sort of became less so after 2010 with the tea party election. they are now coming back to that. the big problem there was going to be john boehner. he has been very explicit about his position on this. he says we're not going to raise tax rates. we can increase revenues by getting rid of some of the loopholes and deduction, but he doesn't want to see that. that's very much an explicit tax increase. the other things are tax increases, but you can fudge in how you talk about it. so it could, if enough pressure comes on leadership and if they feel like they get a majority, they might be able to pull it off. >> the key there is the faster that it happens, the more likely it is to happen and the longer it drags on, the less likely it gets. john stanton, thank you very being with us.
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for the marine corps. a canon in one hand and a rifle in the other. and a story teller's worst nightmare is becoming the story. so there i was, one fateful day in may. an explosive device tore through a 26-ton vehicle filled with marines, ammunition, throwing us ten feet into the air. six men to my right, some fathers, all sons, gave their lives. how i didn't make seven god only knows. and i believed that it is for this purpose so that i may share
with you the things that i have witnessed so that you will know the things that you demand of us and we gladly provide. i get to share these stories with you. things that all of us should know. i'm blessed. there are things in my life now, blessings i can count that may have never existed. i can connect with fellow warriors in ways that others can't because i understand what it means to transition home, how difficult it can be. but in all respects, my transition has been easy.
because you see my scars. i wear my uniform everywhere i go. but there are those among us in our community, in our families who have scars that are never seen. and i hurt for them. as you should. it's not easy. that's the burden we carry for our country. i didn't do -- i almost swore, i was close. i didn't do a darn thing. you see the marine corps is a department of the navy so i can cuss like a sailor, but i'm a marine, i'm better than that.
i didn't do a darn thing in the military alone. not once did i stand by myself. i can't see a greater national travesty. is it any worse, ask yourself, any worse to leave a wounded man in battle than to have him return home and struggle alone? >> retired marine corporal aaron mankin, speaking for a dinner this weekend for afghan veterans of america.
as we're trying to figure out how to do right by the veterans who have been fighting our drawn out wars for 11 years, barely noticed in washington was the confirmation for the general who would take over the war that is still raging in afghanistan. even less noticed this week was the start of negotiations in kabul for how long we're staying after we end the war in 2014. those negotiations started yesterday. yesterday, nancy pelosi told me she's staying on as the top democrat in congress and would like to see the end of 2014 timeline for afghanistan moved up. she said that she would like to see us draw down faster. ever watch chris matthews' weekend show? on sundays, he does "the chris matthews show" on nbc. and on that show he asks his guests for a prediction for the week ahead. and here, courtesy of chris and his producers, is a reason you should watch this weekend's show
on nbc. >> welcome back. tell me something i didn't know. >> i got a call this week from a republican congressman seeking to call attention to his efforts to move up the timeline for the removal of our troops from afghanistan. now, this may indicate that there's more bipartisan support for that line of thinking than most people may realize. we've had bipartisanship on issue by issue, even in recent times, but not on the broad, general thing. but what this tells me and what people think about, with this in mind, there may be things about which congress can reach some bipartisanship issue by issue as we go along. >> i think a true concerted view is we can only do so much. how long can we stay in that country? >> exactly. >> nobody can be bothered to care about the war we're still
in is the beltway common wisdom. i think that's getting old and worn out. the main honoree for that dinner was supposed to be general davis petraeus. for obvious reasons, that did not happen. he resigned on friday because of his sex scandal. but if one 10th of his attention to his career carries over to the war he left could be enough. his sex scandal has affected the map who is now the commanding general in afghanistan. this week was the confirmation of the new general. this week, the main capitol hill proponent for staying in afghanistan forever humiliated himself in misplaced conspiratorial grandstanding and got called out for it on live television by a very confident president who just walloped the
next guy from the republican party after he trounced senator john mccain who is having a bad time of it right now. this week, the president and the two sides on capitol hill sat down to talk about our fiscal future and finding some place where the spending isn't necessary or isn't justified. at a time when we have 68,000 americans in afghanistan at the cost of $1 million per soldier per year for two more years? at least? everybody is saying it's impossible that the politics can change the course of the war there. but people just don't care. i think people care. i think democrats and republicans, even some in congress care. i think this is a door that will open if anyone pushes on it in washington. and now might be the time. we'll be right back. look how small they were!
best new thing in the world today. when you are an american diplomat stationed abroad, one of the biggest events in your life is a visit from the president of the united states. the nation of thailand is ant to get its very first visit ever from a president this weekend. president obama. so the american embassy in bangkok is excited right now. but they're also disappointed and having a hard time disguising it. they're disappointed because president obama will be visiting there but not staying very long. three countries in less than three days. but because they can't schedule a bunch of official stops for the president to see all of thailand's most famous sites, the u.s. embassy in thailand came up with another idea. we call it president obama faux obama.
they have done ten of these photos in all. flat president obama posed at famous thai landmarks. even though we officially thought they toted cardboard obama around the country to do this, the state department says these are theme park replicas of major landmarks across thailand. so it's faux obama visiting faux thailand. the american embassy takes a heartwarmingly aggressive approach to courting good will from the locals. in addition to the cardboard president at the famous sites of thailand feature, they have lots of pictures of dogs, which they use to explain dog-related idioms. so this one is accompanied by an explanation of the phrase, dog eared. this one explains what dog tired means. this one explains what sick as a dog means. so we wish the fine folks at the u.s. embassy in bangkok congratulations on their presidential visit and tir