tv The Rachel Maddow Show MSNBC April 19, 2012 9:00pm-10:00pm EDT
m i was wondering whether or not you had seen it and sort of denying to myself that you might have. >> i was going to pull a stunt tonight, take the tie off, undo the shirt, then what am i going to do with the gut? what will i do then? rachel is correct. i want to think you're correct in your assessment. >> i meant every word of it but not at all in a creepy way. it was really funny to be put in that position the first time around. okay. all right. thanks to you at home for staying with us the next hour, you, too, have a barrel chested heartland virility that cannot be denied dear viewer obviously. okay. we have a lot coming up tonight. the best new thing in the world tonight that is foreign, on tape and brought the entire newsroom to a screech iing halt today i a astonishment coming up. we have some very good news, or at least interesting and progressive news from a very
unexpected republican place in the american southwest and steve clemmons joining us to talk about how some of the politics on the afghanistan war may be unexpectedly changing. we start with the presidential campaign trail. in order to talk about what's happening on the presidential campaign trail today, we have to talk about jerry falwell. this is jerry falwell. he is dead sadly. this is pat robertson. he is alive happily. i bring this up because these guys are frequently confused with one another. both men are or were televangelists who founded televangelist universities and often confused with one another. it's hard to remember which one is which. my numonic for remembering which university is which is that pat robertson founded regent university. r, r, right? regent university is the school where virginia governor bob mcdonnell as a 30 something year old mid-career student wrote a the sis how public policy should be designed to punish c
cohabitaters, homosexuals and forn caters. bob mcdonnell is now the governor of virginia but a regent university graduate. you also used to be able to remember regent university as the pat robertson university and as the one of those two easily confla conflatedd evangelical universities where mitt romney spoke. mitt romney spoke at regent in 2007 when he was trying to run an even more conservative specifically socially conservative campaign for the presidency. this time around, mr. romney has all but locked up the nomination, perceived to be not running quite as hard a campaign this time around but i think more perception than reality. today, it was announced mitt romney will finally make it not just to regent university but also to the other televangelist
university, the one you remember was founded by jerry falwell, because it ends in l where liberty starts. liberty university founded by this guy. their commencement speaker this year is this guy. the reason this is important in terms of understanding how mitt romney is running this campaign against barack obama, what kind of campaign this is because the chief distinguishing feature of liberty university in american conservative politics is liberty university is the hard liner institution against the homosexual menace. some parts of the republican party are moderating on the issue of gay rights. dick cheney, who has a gay daughter in favor of same sex marriage rights and ken mehlman ran the george w. bush in 1994, himself came out of the closet and particularly big dollar
donors, zillionaires, some republican big dollar zillionaires very pro gay rights like hedge fund manager paul singer, part of the pro gay marriage renaissance inside the republican party even while they've been supporting mitt romney for president this year and his very very anti-gay campaign. the daughters and wives of george bush have come out for their support of gay marriage. and george bush's deeply solicitor ted olson, along with david boies has been pushing that same sex marriage case. the republican dominated new hampshire legislature refused to repeal same sex marriage rights this year. the republican state senate in new york crossed over on the same sex marriage issue in this state allowing new york state to
legalize same sex marriage last year. there are a lot of pro gay rights republicans and conservatives now. that has been an interesting thing to see the gay rights movement contend with and an interesting left flank problem for the obama administration very pro gay rights administration but headed by a president who still will not say he is in favor of same sex marriage rights. as conservatives started to change their mind on this issue, the oh line, hard line oh, no you don't, super anti-gay hold the line folks have been this place where mitt romney is giving the commencement address next month. when cpac decided they would allow a gay rights group to be part of their conference in 2010, liberty university withdrew from the conference, they convened their own protest conference on the evils of homosexuality, how you can be cured of your homosexuality, how gay rights are destroying the
first amendment somehow and destroying religion. the liberty university contribution to the health reform debate was this, alerting the country health reform would result in mandated free sex changes. liberty university where mitt romney is doing the commencement next month, they are kind of obsessed with this stuff. this is their role in the conservative movement. in 2009, they got national attention when they dropped official school recognition of the school's democratic party club. why can there be a republican party club recognized on campus and not a democratic party club because the democratic party club platform is contrary to the liberty university. what's so wrong with the democratic party platform? gay rights, gay rights! gerry fall well university has a jerry falwell high school called the liberty christian academy. how do you think gay students are faring at the liberty christian high school?
turns out they're not there. at least officially they're not there. according to the official school handbook, liberty christian academy does not employ or accept students who are homosexual. that's for the high school. for the university, it is more complicated and wonderful. try to make sense of this. in its employment practices, the school of law does not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation but does discriminate on the basis of homosexual conduct. how do they know? they're saying they won't fire you if you are gay but they will fire you if you act gay? what if you're straight and you act gay? what if you're not sure but you're just generally fabulous? a lot of prominent people in the republican party are now champions of gay rights. a lot of republicans support same sex marriage. the modern republican party is at least two minds when it comes
to gay issues. the remaining old mind in the conservative movement not only not changing but super angry about all the changing and aggressively fighting to make the republican party and conservative movement to go back to as anti-gay as possible that's liberty university and that's where mitt romney is giving the commencement address next month. we did a point in time in which mitt romney had specific right positions he had taken during the primary campaign he might want to pretend he never had once the general election rolled around and might want to seem more moderate. with mitt romney not wanting to take a stand on the anti-constitutional amendment voting starting today and president obama weighing in and saying he was against it. does that mean mitt romney would try to shake the etch a sketch and erase the previously anti-gay politics? will he ease up on the gay
issue? apparently not. he is still ducking the question on the north carolina anti-gay constitution amendment, the announcement he's going to liberty university as a de facto presidential nominee would seem to settle the issue whether or not he will try to seem less anti-gay. if you like super anti-gay romneys in the primaries, apparently you will love mitt romney in the general election, too. the other top contender what he might abandon in order to seem more moderate in the general election is his stance on immigration. on that one, [ ding ] ding, we may already have a winner. the big problem is mitt romney has a really bad problem with latino voters. george w. bush had 35% of the latino vote in 2000 and he won. john mccain had only 31% in 2008 and he got creamed. mitt romney has 14% among latinos in some of the most recent polling. it is not possible to win a national election with a number
that low. the romney campaign knows it. one of the things mitt romney was overheard telling campaigners last weekend, his campaign would be doomed if he can't get his numbers up among latino voters. how do you get your numbers up among latino voters when you say you would veto the dream act or self-deportation, please see yourself out. and you adopt as immigration adviser, the guy who co-wrote the arizona papers please law where they can walk up to you on the street and demand to see your immigration papers, not if you were doing anything illegal but if you looked like you conceivably might be illegal based on how you looked. how can you attract voters when you say that state's immigration laws should be a model to the nation. >> you talked about self-deportation, if businesses do their job asking for dochlts
people will leave? what about arresting as the sheriff indicates? >> i think you see a model in arizona. they passed a law here there at says people who come here and try and find work, the employer is required to look them up, e verify. this e-verify system allows employers to know who's here illegally and not. the right course for america is drop these lawsuits against arizona and other states to try to do the job barack obama isn't doing -- [ applause ] and i will drop those lawsuits on day one. >> they're praising arizona as a model. praising two things in arizona c the e-verify system where employers have to check on the legal status of their employees and papers please which is what the obama justice department has sued arizona to stop and which romney said he would not sue to stop it. i think arizona is a model for the nation.
yesterday, on this show at this time, we asked how long it would take before mitt romney tried to pretend he had nerve sa -- never said that. today, update, romney campaign says he didn't call it a model. we buried the show in a time capsule and thought we would have to dig it up month from now. our time capsule is barely dirty. we still have the shovel in our hand and already you made us dig it up. he said arizona's papers please law aces model for the nation. that is what is etched onto the sketch of mitt romney on april 8th 2012? is that still true in the future. only you have the answer. we didn't have to go far. that was last night and this morning he said he never said arizona's law was a model for the nation. amazing. they told us they were going to do this, this is how the republican party would run their candidate for president this
year. they will have him take really right wing positions to try to make them happy and shake the etch-a-sketch and hit the reset button and deny it and take new positions to try to convince you he's actually quite moderate and reasonable. today, we learned he will speak at liberty university may 12th. may 13th presumably we will get an announcement that he never spoke at liberty university and doesn't support that school at all. i understand why they want to do this. conscience free living. eat a buffet of fried cheese for lunch and tell your cardiologist, it was all kale, steamed kale, mostly raw. i understand why you want to do this, shame and a conscience hold you back from doing this. the real question in real politics is how you run against this on the other side. joining us gene robinson, pulitzer prize winner from the
"washington post." >> i actually had the fried cheese, i'm sorry. rachel, congratulations not only on your best selling book but also on the world land speed record for time capsules, a record which will never be broken. one day. that's as fast as you have to reopen a time capsule. >> when we did that segment last night, my worry, i realize this is an investment in future reporting, we will want to refer back to this. let's do the time stamp. it will be so long before we go back to this, it will be ancient history. it was like 10 hours before we got the first major issue he caved. is it really etch-a-sketch? do they really think there is no record of this, it doesn't matter you can convince most of the people you never had that previous position? how does this work? >> i don't know. there is the thing called
videotape, internet, in distant universal dissemination of anything anybody ever says or writes. it lives forever. it will be an interesting experiment to see if they will really try to do this, shake the etch a sketch. you will have to put that time capsule on a dumb waiter to take it up and down everyday. will they actually think they will not be called on every single one of these things, complete with videotape, complete with paragraph marks showing here's what he wrote and said and here's when, da-da da. >> looking at the evidence today, trying to figure out what possible basis the romney campaign can get away that he made that arizona should be a model for the nation, he wasn't asked what should be a model for the nation, he volunteered arizona should be. looking back, all you find in these other instances he is just praised.
sb 1070, praised this papers please law with the guy who wrote it. talked about arizona doing it right. lavish lavished praise on that law. i wonder if he thinks that will become the pivot point to go back to the center and the idea of what good governance is. >> how can he get back to the center of latino voters when he's so far away. that's a long distance. 14% is unsustainable. how close can you get to the 31% john mccain had. that's a long shot for romney and frankly think he has to look for his votes else where or at least try to convince latino voters i won't do anything for you but obama hasn't done that much for you anyhow, therefore, look at my record on other things.
another interesting thing, romney tends to do this. he didn't have to call the arizona bill a model but he kind of ad-libbed that, it looked like. he does that all the time. i think those instances are going to get him into trouble. >> eugene robinson, pulitzer prize winner for the "washington post." thanks. i'll see you at the fried cheese buffet later on. we have a really really good best new thing in the world tonight. it involves piz sza and scooter and foreigners on tape being awesome. stay with us. great shot. how did the nba become the hottest league on the planet? by building on the cisco intelligent network they're able to serve up live video, and instant replays, creating fans from berlin to beijing.
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are you ready for a somewhat dubious profit experiment i don't think works? this is the republican party and this is the conservative movement, well funded well organized, has long term goals knows exactly what it stands for. it does not have much trouble moving the republican party to its own positions. now, on the ideological flip side, not the same thing. if you imagine instead this is now the democratic party, say this isn't the conservative movement, the liberal movement, progressive movement, this is the progressive movement on the
democratic party, there's not really a differential between the democratic party and liberal organizations the same way there is on the right. if there is any differential, the democratic party exerts as much influence on the republican party -- the democratic party institutes as much in nearby sha on the progressive movement as the conservative movement does on the republican party. there's a reason when i say liberal movement and progressive movement, i trip over it because it doesn't even particularly sound like a familiar concept in pundit tr punditry, right? democrats and liberals work together but there isn't a sense it's being dragged by a position movement more powerful and organized than the party itself the way there is on the right. that dynamic of the conservative movement being able to move the republicans over to their way of thinking, it is not the same on the left as it is on the right.
that is one of the most frequent misunderstandings in the pundit area. the conservative has a lot more power and wherewithal, it can be confusing why republicans do some of the things they do. republicans are clearly not dancing to their own tune in terms of the republican party's electoral interests when they take on contraception. the hard core anti-abortion movement, part of the conservative movement which is in fact anti-contraception, they're exerting a magnetic poll on republicans and everybody thinks it will cost republicans in electoral terms. i think it probably will. it's what the conservative movement wants and it's what they get. similarly, 72% of americans say there shouldn't be special tricks, special loopholes that rich people can use to get themselves a lower tax rate than middle class people have. that's why democrats in an election year, are pushing to
close those loopholes, the whole buffet rule thing. hugely popular. republicans are all signed onto a conservative movement pledge they will never raise a tax which means never closing a rich people tax loophole. they cannot do a thing 72% of the country wants them to do because they promised some conservative group they wouldn't. the interests of the republican movement aren't the same as democratic. they scoot the republican party to the right to serve their interests even when they want to even though it hurts republicans in the short term. we also see it on guns, where the national rifle association, big money, well organized, long standing key member of the conservative movement, nra has long supported pro gun democracy and even some conservative democrats as well. the nra is leading on policy even after the virginia tech massacre, the main change
in-laws is that we got more guns on campuses. to the point post 9/11 ant anti-terror years, we had people on the terrorist watch list, more than 200 people on the terrorist watch list who were allowed to buy guns. not like they figured out a secret illegal way to buy guns, but it's okay to buy guns if you're on the terrorist watch list. the nra came out in opposition to the law that would have given the attorney general the authority to deny someone the ability to buy a firearm. frank lutz polled on the position in 2009 and 80% of the people support ed preventing thm from purchasing guns. the nra doesn't matter, insists on absolute orthodoxy. the republican party cannot resist the magnetic allure of
the conservative movement. they can't stop the conservative movement dragging them to the right even when it's not in the republican party's interest. that's the way it's always been. except sometimes it's not. here's headlines that had an exclamation to me. brewer vetoes law that allows guns on public property. brewer vetoes? yes. arizona bruer vetoed a bill that sailed through the republican controlled arizona legend tuisl that would have let people carry guns in county courts, the state capital, libraries, should everybody be allowed to carry a gun into the state capital? according to those in the legislature, that's no problem. but jan brewer said no. she said no twice and said no most recently today.
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honking or beeping siren on the carts, instead, by having the cart drivers just say beep. they just politely say beep beep, as they drive around the airport, not hitting you in their silent electric cart. route your next trip through new arc, i swear they do this. it's awesome. why does the new arc airport do it this way, i have no idea. we asked the spokesperson whether this was official airport policy, where it came from? they chuckled at us, were very nice, said they would check but have not gotten back to us. tonight, on the best new thing in the world, somebody has one upped the geniuses at new arc airpone newark. it's from holland. stay tuned for that. they have names like idle time books and smash records
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mechanical failure or shot down by enemy fire. yesterday, the news from afghanistan was dominated by this revelation from the "las angeles times." a u.s. soldier reportedly a member of the 82nd combat team turned over to the "l.a. times" 18 photos of his fellow soldiers in afghanistan. they said he was a whistle-blower who want ed ed t show a breakdown in leadership that compromised discipline of the troops and safety. and it show ed soldiers disposig of body parts and described other similar photos it chose not publish. on the heels of the massacre of 17 civilians by a soldier last month and accidentally burning a religious book before that and the video surfacing of u.s. troops urinating on the corpses of dead taliban fighters a month before that, the further
revelation of these "l.a. times" images a couple years after they were taken is yielding a new round of attention and criticism what we are doing in afghanistan on the longest ever u.s. war. two things not getting as much attention i think may end up being more important. the first one concerns money. at the big nato meeting this week to talk about who's going to pay the estimated $4 billion a year it will take to run the afghan security forces after the war the country that has the second largest force in afghanistan after us, our allies the british, they declared their contribution to that annual $4 billion cost is going be rough ly 0.1 of $1 billion pledging essentially a rounding error to the cost of afghanistan's security after the war. gee, thanks. second thing, the american
presidential election, mitt romney has so far not been able to gain traction in an effort to politicize the afghanistan war. he has taken positions for and against timetables for withdrawal, said he would like to bring the troops home and also said we have to stay until the taliban is defeated, all over the map even as he has taken a critical tone. the republican party's leading hawk, senator john mccain has been out this week giving a major speech on afghanistan pounding the rhetorical table saying that united states should not be so quote hell bent on leaving, even 2014 cannot be the end of the american war in afghanistan saying we need to plan for years longer indefinite stay in afghanistan. it is no surprise john mccain is calling for that. that is the kind of thing he always calls for. he has not met a modern war he was not in favor of us expanding or extending. john mccain is make playing for mitt romney to start calling for
that. he appears to be making a play for the republican campaign to start to be about not ending the war in afghanistan. joining us steve clemmons, great to see you. >> great to be here. >> do you think john mccain is trying to move mitt romney to hard line extend the war position in afghanistan? >> i think he's trying to build out the flank in the romney campaign that argues that these pentagon activities around the world are a way to look tough, presidential, pug ignatius and wrap the flag around it. interesting we just learned news mitt romney just hired john bolton's former spokesman in the u.n. as his spokesman on the campaign for national security issues. and you see a toughening ratcheting up of we need to be tough and president obama is weak by talking about leaving
kind of stick. >> when you talk about that being a flank within the romney campaign, it was point of interest when he first announced who hiss for ren policy advisors would be and so many associated with the george w. bush administration and there were so many. he announced dozens of foreign policy advisors, do you think is there an internal dynamic in the r romney campaign in being more hawkish and others doing the opposite. >> to be fair to romney, the day he gave the announcement of advisors, he gave a speech at the scitadel, he laid out his strategic vision i thought was pretty in kuwait. john bolton's adviser was not on the list then. there are a number that are realist centrists and reflected the same kind of tensions inside
the bush administration. what we see happening now, mitt romney saying he is opposed to the timeline president obama has laid out and accepted it in the past and dropping a line we should be listening to the generals and not having civilians essentially commander in chief making his own decisions and issuing instructions to the military. what you see romney doing and one faction in his team is reaching deep for their inner dick cheney and trying to go back on a track that to me looks a lot more neoconservative than what we've heard romney do in the past. to some degree, we see romney moving in a track we've seen play out before with iraq, other -- with iran and rhetoric about iran. it's a very surprising move because a lot of poll numbers show americans and a lot of republican americans are no longer supportive of this war,
very tired of it, fatigue and want to see the focus back on the united states and getting the country back in shape. >> i guess that's the heart of the matter. public attention to the war in afghanistan waxes and wanes with various scandals and high profile advances and setbacks, depends what's going on in the news that day. american public opinion is clear, in favor of ending the war as soon as possible, a majority of republicans in favor of ending the war sooner than president obama want to end it. what is the means by whichthy american public opinion about the war has an influence when the war ends? is there a means by which that happens? >> the connection is obviously through elections. i think president obama has laid out a track for redeploy iing america's strategic assets away from the middle east and away from south asia, in the eyes of many other countries in the world and myself, we've been
stuck in a quagmire, trap. having a does not look like a place that's leveraging america's ability to show it's shaping the international system. it looks like something that's containing american power and holding us down. iran has been perceiving america at its limits militarily and may explain their behavior. other great stakeholders in the international system have been behaving differently because they sense a void. what obama's doing in moving and putting an end essentially to this achilles heel of the u.s. military capacity in afghanistan has, i think, very helpful to show the world we will have assets and ability to influence things in other places. why mitt romney who's n now -- he's sort of -- one thought like george romney his father, be sort of rockefeller republican but seems the need to show a gold water foreign pol y policy. he decided whatever obama is for
he's decided to be very much against. that's what we see as the very slippery north star romney is driving in his forn policy decision. >> two ways to run against mitt romney, one was the jon huntsman and ron paul approach, we ought to be hole ame and home now. i will outflank you on the left. and the other is john mccain. i did not know mccain would push romney so well and i know he's very sensitive to anything on his right flank. we'll have to see how it lines up and makes a statement. steve clemmons from the american foundation and my pal, nice to see you? thank you, rachel. right after this show on the last word, president obama is compared to hitler and stalin by a catholic bishop. lawrence o'donnell has that story next. good news, michigan is mad at us
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michigan's emergency manager law lets the state take over cities and school districts. the state overrules choices made by local elections and instead hands the authority turnover a singialty unelected overseer who gets unilateral control. they can sell off the town's property, cancel kraktscontracte to dissolve the town, they get to desire how much remains. if he or she wants, they can take all the power from elected officials, no matter who the voters picked to represent them but democracy does not apply at the local level. but democracy is hard to give up. opponents pushed a drive to put it back on the petition and they turned in more signatures to ge referendum on the november ballot. last week another group challenged those petitions. their top objections was that the font on the petitions themselves is a hair too small.
and so no matter how many michiganders signed the petition, they say the board of state canvassers must throw all of the petitions out based on font size. the group that is so outraged by the font size is the project of that republican consulting firm. the font size challengers have the same address and the same phone number as the republican firm. the firm's senior council is the spokesman for the your font size is too small effort. one of the three partners in that firm. hey, look at that, one of the three partners also serves on the board of state canvassers. that's the board who gets to make the decision on this. he gets to make the decision about the font size challenge being brought by the group that lives inside his office. he is the pitcher throwing the baseball and the umpire saying whether or not that pitch was a ball or a strike. and he has not said whether he will step aside or whether he will stay in the game and play both roles. michigan state law says it's his choice to make. but wait, there's more.
turns out it's not just that one guy and that one guy's problem. oh, michigan, you are amazing. it turns out there is another member of that same board who has exactly the same kind of problem. another one of the four people on this board works as the political coordinator for a michigan union. a michigan union that has a petition drive going for a referendum on union rights. before collecting signatures, her union asked the board of state canvassers, including their own political coordinator who sits on that board to approve their petition. and when they did that in march, the union's political coordinator voted for her own union's petition. she joined the other three board members in approving the petition. she stayed in the game as pitcher and umpire. just as, so far, the republican guy has too on the emergency manager thing. and she says it's okay that union rep, the democrat in this case she says it's okay because the four-member board is supposed to be made of partisans.
she says what makes the system fair is it takes three votes on the board of canvassers to do anything. so why not let the other three people who don't have a conflict of interest vote on this? because everybody on the board could have a conflict of interest that somehow makes all of the conflicts okay? this is seriously how michigan is handling its democracy? in order to get something voted on on the left or the right, you have to run this gauntlet where the deciders, the gate keepers all have huge direct conflicts of interests? but we've decided nobody cares about that? my favorite part about covering what's going on in michigan right now is all the scolding we get from the michigan press about us reporting on things that are shocking and back ward and antidemocratic in michigan but that they say we should not report on nationally because in michigan they don't care about it. well, we keep getting all of this pushback from michigan press. back off, in michigan we don't care about this stuff. we don't see it as all that bad. why don't you see it as all that
bad? this week a former emergency manager in michigan spoke out about the way the state of michigan is running things these days. michael stamp ler. he was the second emergency manager assigned to pontiac. governor rick schneider replaced him in september. in part, the administration tells us mr. sampler recommended letting go of pontiac having become a place in oakland county. after having been an emergency manager, after having been willing to essentially dissolve the city he was put in charge of, michael stampler, this guy, is blowing the whistle on the law that empowered him to do all that. he now says, "i do not believe emergency managers can be successful. they abrogate the civic structure of a community and return it dismantled for the community to attempt to somehow make a go of it." a guy who has been there, who has been put in unilateral control of an american city says
putting someone in unilateral control of an american city doesn't exactly prepare that city for good governance and standing on its own two feet in the future. yeah, right. right? he's planning on giving his speech on the emergency manager law next week at a rotary club which is just south of detroit. as much as it apparently infuriates the press in michigan for us to be the ones saying it, it seems this whistle blower guy might be important for a state trying to figure out how its democracy went all cockeyed, provided, of course, you care if your democracy in your state has gone all cockeyed. ♪ dave, i've downloaded a virus. yeah. ♪ dave, where are we on the new laptop? it's so slow! i'm calling dave. [ telephone rings ] [ male announcer ] in a small business,
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engineering, an electric vehicle's motor does not make noise. it seems like a good thing, but for safety's sake, pedestrians need to hear when a car is coming. so electric cars may need to have a sound artificially added to them in order to make them safer for pedestrians. if you were in charge of coming up with that sound, what sound would you choose? last year the ford motor company put four potential sounds out there as a test. here they are. >> that's one idea. traditional car sounds plus a little jetsons feeling. here's another way. in the netherlands the dominos pizza company is not owned by the same people here in america. and in the netherlands they apparently deliver their pizzas by scooter. the company wants to change all the scooters over to electric,
but in the interest of pedestrian safety, the dutch version of dominos knew they'd have to make their delivery scooters make some noise. and here's where this gets amazing. and coming up with the noise for their scooters, dominos, the netherlands decided to get creative. listen. >> dominos, pizza. dominos, dominos. >> it's the dutch word for yummy. the noise the scooter makes is yuy, yummy, yummy, pizza, pizza, dominos. watch it in action on the street. watch. >> dominos -- pizza. yum, yum. >> the best part of it is that the bzz