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tv   Lockup  MSNBC  August 5, 2011 7:00pm-8:00pm PDT

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not zimbabwe. tar baby has racial meetings. this colorado congressman calls obama a car baby. we will take a break. do not tar baby me. >> that's all from this week. i stand by my theory the dead-enders and profitiers are standing by the baby thing. we'll see you back in new york monday night. good night. what turned out to be a very busy, newsy shocking friday night.
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standard and poor's tonight has downgra downgraded's america's tripaaa credit rating. the decision prompted fierce criticism that standard and poor's not only made the wrong call, but that standard and poor's basic math may have been wrong calculating what they decided on this downgrade. we'll get jared bernstein's help understanding this. we'll get reaction over the controversy and what surrounds it. after the markets closed, an abc
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news report about the possibility of a downgrade set several million stomachs lurches into several million throats. abc's white house correspondent reported that the u.s. government was bracing for a downgrade by standard and poor's. citing two u.s. government officials. then what started off as an alarming story became a weird story when a third government official told abc the s&p made a serious mistakes based on flawed math and assumptions, and the administration was fighting back. was it ever fighting back. john harwood telling us after the s&p notified the administration at 1:30 eastern time they were going to downgrade, the treasury department argued their math was wrong. there were errors in the computation of their data.
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calculations that were off by trillions of dollars. john harwood will join us for more on that. since the downgrade, the white house is denouncing standard and poor's calling it amateur hour for having gone ahead with the downgrade even though the administration says the downgrade is based quite literally on a math error. word coming tonight in the wake of yesterday's 513-point drop in the dow jones. today the u.s. stock market was flat. moody's and fitch maintained the aaa downgrading.
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here is what s&p said tonight about why they downgraded a week after the debt ceiling 2k50e8 was reached. reading directly from s&p's press release. "the fiscal consolidation plan congress and the administration agreed to falls short of what would be necessary to stabilize the government's medium-term debt dynamics. the downgrade reflects our view the effect jeff any of and stability of american policy making and political institutions weakened at a time of economic challenges to a degree more than we envisioned.
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after a night full of confusion whether this would happen and whether it should be seen as legitimate if it did happen, we are joined by congressman frank. >> do you think this action was -- was warranted? >> absolutely not. in the first place, let's recall, this standard & poor's is the rating agency that took money from the people selling junk bonds and told other people
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hoe were selling junk bonds and told other people to buy it. these are the people who have one of the worst records of incompetent and irresponsibility around and people are well aware standard & poor's did a terrible job by overvaluing securities by private companies that were not worth much. it's not surprising they've done this to the u.s. government because i don't know if it's some kind of conservatism of a perverse sort, they have been overvaluing private debt, they consistently undervalue public debt. these people have for years been giving cities and states and counties varying ratings, despite the fact the city almost never defaults. that's where we have to be clear. people -- the amount of interest people pay the u.s. government shouldn't be depending whether the u.s. government pays them to borrow money. doesn't depend whether they like this or that political sanction, the question is, only question that's relevant, is that the company is going to default or not.
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the amount of interest people pay the u.s. government should be depending on whether they like this or that political sanction. the question is, and this is the only question, is the government going to default or not? there was zero chance of defaulting. they don't like the politics of it of the i think to some extent, standard & poor's is trying to cover a reputation that's justifiably in threads. they are as responsible for the crisis as anyone else with their terrible record. they have two fundamentals in opposite directions, they have consistently overvalued private debt and undervalued public debt. cities and states all over this country are paying more to build schools and fire houses because they have refused to treat these communities fairly and we got statistics that show, by the
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way, that palpable ratings for corporations and public governments unfairly downgrade the public governments. >> in terms of the basic meaning of a credit rating like this, as you point out, it's about whether people should expect to pay back, whether or not there is a real risk of default. do you think this is, in essence, an indictment of the u.s. political process for gotten so close to potential default because of brinksmanship of the debt ceiling? >> you may not like the politics of it, but we have a powerful incentive not to default. taking standard & poor's seriously is not something rational people should do. i'm speaking bipartisan, one of the things we agreed, there used to be laws on the books that said if you were a certain kind of an investment house, you couldn't buy a security unless it had a certain rating and we abolished that.
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we told the regulators, you may not require anybody to pay attention to the ratings, because the ratings are junk. no, standard & poor's are trying to show how tough they can be and the question of default -- well, they talk about the american political process, that's not a relevant criteria. by the way, even if there was a very short-term failure to pay for a day or two, the question would everyone gotten their money? no, this is a political judgment of incompetence. >> barney frank, joining us on short notice tonight, sir, thank you so much for your time. >> please, pay no attention to these people whether they are rating mortgage bond or government or a city. nobody that i am aware of has
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been wrong more often than them. >> hearing that from you, i believe it, sir. thank you, i appreciate it. joined now by luis story, business reporter for the new york times. thank you for joining us tonight, i appreciate it. >> thank you. >> you heard congressman frank angrily denouncing this decision by s&p saying not only is it not warranted, people shouldn't take them seriously. attacking s&p as a ratings agency. can you react to that for us? >> well, you know, this is something you'll probably see all weekend long, politicians have been furious with the ratings agency ever since the financial crisis because the
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ratings agencies missed the boat there. they were wrong on the mortgage-backed security, they rated them aaa and as we all know now, they were full of crap. they were wrong. you'll probably see a lot of statements from politicians like that. that said, be careful to let this turn into another round of theatrics. they are things the bond market have already reacted to. the sell off you saw this week, gigantic sell off, that was investors reacting to the very poor gdp figures we got a week ago that showed the economy is growing far slower than we thought it was, the manufacturing figures at the beginning of the week, today you had unemployment records that are still weak, they are not going to turn the lights around for a lot of americans. it was those kinds of things as well as the governance that led them, according to their release, to make this decision and investors in the stock market have made a judgment this week as well, and so it's
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important to look at the fundamental issues underlying our economy, underlying global stability and assess where we are and not just get into kind of a pointing fingers match. >> in terms of the way this news broke tonight, it is extraordinary to have had such a very strong push back. i guess you can't call it push back, push ahead of the fact, even before this decision was announced, attacking s&p's methodology for coming up with this. s&p reportedly admitting to the treasury department their calculations were initially off by trillions. they presumably redid the math but still tonight issued the downgrade. does that tell us that this is about something other than the raw numbers that this is about processes as much as about figures? >> the stakes here are really high and that's why the obama
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administration pushed back so much. politicians can say that these ratings don't matter and people should ignore them, but clearly the reason they were pushing back is the stakes are high here and the reason they are high is that the ratings of the country have the potential to affect all kinds of other ratings here. some ratings agencies have said if there was a downgrade they may also lower the ratings of several states, they may also lower ratings of fannie and freddie, for instance, so the housing giants could find it more expensive to borrow in the market, so the ratings traditionally mean something and do affect pricing. this is unprecedented and we'll have to see on monday what happens in the market. it's possible investors will shrug and not demand a bigger premium from the united states, we already knew those things about the united states, so maybe investors will shrug it off but there could be collateral effects here.
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>> louise story, thank you for putting this in context, appreciate it. joining us us ezra klein from "the washington post" and bloomberg policy analyst. ezra, thanks for your time tonight, appreciate you being here. in terms of what louise was talking about here, obviously the importance of the downgrade and the legitimacy of the downgrade is a subject for debate and some very angry comments already from government officials both in congress and in the executive branch, but now that the downgrade has happened, what do you think happens next? what do you think is the practical effect? >> i think it's hard to say but we need to remember this is coming two days after the market dove by 500 points and almost every investor ran into treasuries. so treasuries have been reaffirmed as the single safest investment in the world. given there's no other options on the table i'm not expecting a
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huge movement there although we could always be surprised, but rachel, could i make one point on the legitimacy on the downgrade here, if you actually read it, it's not about the numbers, not about our ability to pay. what they say and i'm going to quite, more broadly the downgrade affects our view the effectiveness, stability, and ability have weakened at a time of ongoing fiscal and economic challenges. i understand people's anger at s&p. it's an agency that made enormous mistakes. i have no particular love for them, but it's hard for me having watched congress the past couple of years and say that statement is untrue. >> in terms of s&p making that assessment there, i totally agree with you, but my broader question here, especially somebody's who's generally outside on a day-to-day basis, what business is it of standard & poor's to link congress to the
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question, the raw question of whether or not america's good for paying back its debt? shouldn't the bond rating be about whether or not bondholders should get paid back? >> i don't think i agree about that. their job is to say whether or not we are a safe bet. aa, aa-plus, aa, so i think it's legitimate for them. whether it's so important whether or not congress decides to pay people back, we are the only countries in the world with this insane debt ceiling situation and congress can gridlock and as long as we are going to play it like that, s&p has to make those judgments. the question is whether we should have these ratings agencies with immense power. it showed we were too dependent on them and the fact the government itself legitimizes them by they are credentialed.
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i've long thought that should be abolished. they should be competing in a normal market and we can see who is accurate over a longer period of time and with more different players in the game. but as long as we do have them, just reading this, it is hard for me having said all i've said about the political system and its incredible weaknesses driven by republicans who are willing to almost default on the debt to not have a tax increase. it's hard to argue with what they are saying here. >> ezra klein columnist for "the washington post" and bloomberg, also an msnbc policy analyst. you are thinking big thoughts and i appreciate you being here to do it. thanks a lot. again, breaking news this hour amid howls of protests from washington other allegedly flawed assumptions and even flubbed math, the standard and poor's rating agency has tonight downgraded the united states aaa credit rating for the first time ever.
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we were aaa, now standard & poor's says we are aa-plus. while aa-plus sounds great, it's worse than aaa. more ahead with jerad bernstein, former chief economic advisor with vice president biden.
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energy is being produced to power our lives. while energy developement comes with some risk, north america's natural gas producers are committed to safely and responsibly
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providing decades of cleaner burning energy for our country, drilling thousands of feet below fresh water sources within self contained well systems and using state of the art monitoring technologies, rigorous practices help ensure our operations are safe and clean for our communities and the environment we are america's natural gas. america, for my whole life and your whole life, no matter how old you are has had a aaa credit rating, being so trustworthy helps the government borrow money cheaply and in turn ordinary americans can borrow cheaply for homes, cars, student loans, anything else and american businesses can borrow cheaply too in ways that are not obvious always and usually we do not need to think about. in a way our whole life depends
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on america having a good credit rating. tonight it's been downgraded for the first time, changing our rating from aaa to aa-plus. i'm joined now by jerad bernstein, former member of president obama's economic team, former economic advisor to vice president biden. mr. bernstein is now a senior fellow at the center for budget and policy priorities. jerad, thanks for your time. >> my pleasure, great to be here. >> standard and poor's has downgraded the united states. moody's and the other agencies have not. what's the importance there? >> the importance there is many fold. first of all, they are one of three and it's easy to think oh, my goodness, u.s. has been downgraded, end of story. no, as long as the other two have us at aaa, which they do, and have asserted they'll keep at least for a while, there are lots of things that probably don't happen. if all three downgraded at the
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same time a lot of pension funds would have to divest and get rid of their treasury holdings. >> they have rules you can only invest in aaa. >> those rules don't necessarily apply when it's just one of the three takes a stem at one notch. >> in terms of why s&p did this, as i mentioned, howls of protests in washington today that they got everything including the math wrong, they were off by trillions of dollars in calculations, white house announcing it as amateur hour at standard & poor's, how important is that criticism? >> i think it's actually quite important, especially in tandem with what some of the other guests have said tonight about how badly the ratings agency missed the boat in the mortgage crisis, but look, $2 trillion, what i think happened there is they were using the wrong baseline and this the debt to gdp ratio going faster than it was.
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if it goes up too quickly, you can worry about the sustainability about that debt. if you do it the right way, and eventually they did, it's pretty stable. it does wiggle up at the end of the period, so it's a judgment call on that basis, then when you consider as other guests have tonight, in the history of our nation we have never defaulted on our debt and once we get the crazy debt ceiling nonsense behind us, no reason why we are not the best place to borrow from. ask yourself -- and you have this discussion with ezra that i found interesting. i think you were saying they have this paragraph in there where they talk about the predictability of our politics, it sounded like my blog the other day. and it's a good paragraph, but it's not what we look for the ratings agencies to do. they need to tell us am i as a lender making a safe bet when i lend to this institution, and the answer to that is yes. >> okay, what you just described in terms of the debt ceiling is you described it as crazy debt
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ceiling nonsense, and the debt ceiling was crazy and nonsense, but doesn't that make the very last day, isn't it legitimate for them to say that's close to default and makes us worry about default? >> if we were to have this discussion two weeks ago, by the way, when s&p and others threatened to downgrade. if we had had this discussion then, i would have said a couple of weeks ago, this is a silly discussion. there's a pin prick of reason in this you kind of circled around. we have prominent republicans, mitch mcconnell, rob portman, representative paul ryan, some of the most prominent republicans are saying for now on, what happened with the debt ceiling should be a template for every other debt ceiling increase we have and we should have a dollar for dollar rule, every dollar of debt ceiling increase means a dollar of spending cuts.
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basically, they want to enshrine dysfunctionality in our system and i can see where s&p would raise an eyebrow. we are still a completely reliable borrower, the united states government, so the downgrade was wrong, math was ridiculous, all that, but that one point maintains. >> that is politically devastating assessment. devastating coming from the ratings agency, devastating if the political world wakes up to that being the message here. a lot of whether or not the -- a lot of whether or not this is a wake-up call depends on the practical impact of this. is this going to raise interest rates? is this going to cause a contraction in credit, is this going to hurt the economy? >> historically when we've seen downgrades in other advanced economies that were somewhat analogous to this, nothing really happened. maybe some interest rates could go up a little bit, investors insist on something called a risk premium, they want a higher interest rate if they are going
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to lend you their money. look at it this way, some interest rates go up by ten base basis points, 1/10 of 1%. okay, that's $10 billion more on u.s. government debt. that's a $10 billion increase on our deficit. this is playing with fire. let's be clear about this. >> bottom line this, to be clear, you think a reasonable chance is because of the brinksmanship over the debt ceiling. >> that's what the agency is saying, i take them at their word. i have no question in my mind that that is very much, i believe, why this. >> when we were approaching august 2 and i was ranting on television saying the damage could already be done, the damage was already done. >> basically, they looked at the deal, they didn't like it, but the dysfunctionality and the potential of ongoing dysfunctionality is the one
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thing in here where the agency is making a tiny bit of sense. >> jerad bernstein, msnbc contributor thank you for being here. it gives me great comfort to know i would get to talk to you tonight when i realized this was breaking. there is a recurring theme throughout the s&p's press release on why they decided to downgrade the credit rating of the united states for the first time in their history. theme is "political brinksmanship," policy making uncertainty. the gulf they describe between the political parties. the politics of the downgrade and what happens because of that downgrade next.
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again, the breaking news this evening that the standard & poor's rating agency has for the first time in u.s. history downgraded the american credit rating from aaa to aa-plus. this has never happened before in the united states states. joining us now, chief correspondent john harwood, also a political writer for "the new york times."
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thanks for being here. >> sure. >> what are you hearing from the white house to treasury? >> treasury isn't saying anything. a statement that a judgment on a $2 trillion computation error speaks for itself. just got off a conference call with sources, detailed what the error was, it had to do with calculations of levels of discretionary spending over the next several years, a lot of numbers back and north, but essentially this is being portrayed from washington's end as a political decision by s&p. they noted in their downgrade there were political risks associated with the debacle in washington over the debt ceiling, so they founded it largely based on that political exposure. >> just to recap in terms of s&p's statement on this, i mean,
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the downgrade reflects our views that the effectiveness, stability, and predictability of the policy making and political institutions have weakened at a time of economic challenges, we are pessimistic about the administration being able to leverage their agreement this week into a broader fiscal consideration plan. it's a very, very political document. what is treasury saying? is the political aim of the ratings agency doing this? >> well, not politically motivated but based on political criteria. >> plainly. >> what's that? >> plainly. >> absolutely. and look, to be honest, the president's own rhetoric has opened the door to a judgment of that kind. he said during the stalemate, we have aaa credit, we don't have a aaa political system. s&p is pointing to that and immediately you see the
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political fight start. i've gotten tweets in the last few minutes, first credit downgrade in u.s. history over barack obama, harry reid put out a statement saying this shows the need for balanced deficit reduction, which republicans resisted in the debt talks. this certainly isn't going to solve any of our political issues, it might, provide, though, some impetus if we need anymore and it can be effective as we get to the special committee. >> it is striking to see, as you say, such political -- such political language from the rating agency, almost giving us a political credit rating rather than a default credit rating. very little in here about whether or not people who lend the united states money are likely to be paid back. >> that is precisely the counter argument you hear from administration officials. first of all, u.s. treasury securities are the most transparent, best financial instruments in the world. investors every day make judgments on their view of those
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instruments and they don't need to hear it from the credit ratings agencies. secondly, there's three agencies. fitch and moody's stuck with the aaa, so the administration is pointing to that, two of the three are with them, and obviously we've seen in the financial crisis in 2007, 2008, 2009, the ratings agencies didn't cover themselves in glory. i think the administration is hoping the memories of that poor performance helps them fend off whatever fragile market reaction will be. >> the market reaction is going to be incredible to see on monday. obviously, all eyes are going to be on that and the political reaction and we've had two huge shocks this week. a 500-point drop and this. if any sort of economic news can change political realities, these are the sorts of things that can do it. >> rachel, the administration believes on narrow economic terms, there aren't too many
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investors who will be required by the terms of their investment guidelines to divest because of this rating. however, when the psyche of the market is as volatile as it is right now, you never know what's going to tip things and cause a huge reaction. >> john harwood, political writer for "the new york times" and my old buddy who i don't see very much, thanks a lot. a bit of good news out of washington, iraq and afghanistan veterans. having good news to share about that group makes me happy. with an irregular heartbeat called atrial fibrillation, or afib, that's not caused by a heart valve problem. today we have pradaxa to reduce the risk of a stroke caused by a clot. in a clinical trial, pradaxa 150 mg reduced stroke risk 35% more than warfarin. and with pradaxa, there's no need for those regular blood tests. pradaxa is progress. pradaxa can cause serious, sometimes fatal, bleeding.
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don't take pradaxa if you have abnormal bleeding, and seek immediate medical care for unexpected signs of bleeding, like unusual bruising. pradaxa may increase your bleeding risk if you're 75 or older, have kidney problems or a bleeding condition, like stomach ulcers. or if you take aspirin products, nsaids, or blood thinners. tell your doctor about all medicines you take, any planned medical or dental procedures, and don't stop taking pradaxa without your doctor's approval, as stopping may increase your stroke risk. other side effects include indigestion, stomach pain, upset, or burning. if you have afib not caused by a heart valve problem, ask your doctor if pradaxa can reduce your risk of a stroke.
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again the breaking news this evening is that the standard & poor's rating agency has downgraded the american credit rating for the first time in u.s. history. our aaa rating is now a aa-plus rating according to standard & poor's. barney frank on this show earlier this hour saying the rating agencies, standard & poor's particularly should not be -- having made multi-trillion computational errors in coming up with their downgrade decision. in the midst of that, this week the white house started to float a number of proposals, they said, to get the economy going. whether or not your main concern is jobs or your main concern is the deficit, the only way out is jobs and economic growth. the white house floating this week like an infrastructure bank to fund major construction projects, doing more repairs and upgrades to u.s. schools, fast tracking trade agreements, the building of new highways and repair of existing ones. all ideas of hiring workers and putting money back into the
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economy in the short-term to get things moving. also extending unemployment benefits for people who can't find new jobs, given the news the average job search is getting longer, now over 40 weeks. even if we can't get a political consensus for say building schools or roads, surely in the short-term we can agree to extend unemployment benefits. workers paid into the unemployment system for themselves when they were working, now they need those benefits. every dollar we spend on unemployment insurance is worth $1.61 to the rest of the economy. surely we're not going to undo this one thing that everyone agrees works by cutting off unemployment benefits in a few months. actually, we are going to shoot
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ourselves in that foot. this was the message from eric cantor. >> jim, the most important thing we can do for somebody who's unemployed is see if we can get them a job. that's what needs to be the focus. for too long in washington we've been worried about pumping up stimulus moneys and unemployment benefits. to a certain extent you have states in which you can get unemployment for almost two years and i think those people on unemployment benefits would rather have a job. that's where our focus needs to be. >> focus needs to be on shooting ourselves in the foot. also those lazy unemployed people. maybe we should shoot them on the foot too and get them hopping. white house cannot make a magic wand to make the economy go and the things the government can do are not things the president can wave a magic wand. eric cantor is signaling republicans will try to block even the baseline minimum stuff
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to not make things worse than they already are. so in that context, getting really granular today, the president announced a jobs return. >> a new returning heros tax credit for companies who hire returning veterans. i'm proposing an increase in tax credits for those employers hiring those with disability. we're challenging the private sector to hire or train 100,000 unemployed post 9/11 veterans or their spouses by 2013. >> the unemployment rate is an atrocious 9.1%. the unemployment rate for post-9/11 veterans is worse, 12.1% this month.
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>> one of our veterans who returned home with a sudden unemployment was specialist nick colgin, an army medic. >> when nick was in afghanistan he served as a combat medic with the 82nd airborne. over the course of his deployment, nick saved the life of a french soldier who was shot in the head and helped 42 people escape from a flooding river. he earned a bronze star for his actions, but when nick got back home to wyoming, he couldn't get a job as a first responder, so he ended up taking classes through the post-9/11 g.i. bill that he could have easily taught, just to qualify for the same duties at home that he was doing in afghanistan. if you can save a life in afghanistan, you can save a life in an ambulance in wyoming. the challenges don't end in kandahar or baghdad, they
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continue right here at home. today we're saying to our veterans, you fought for us, and now we're fighting for you. >> joining us now here in studio, specialist nick colgin, also by todd bowers, todd's a u.s. marine who served four tours in iraq and afghanistan, awarded the purple heart. thanks for being here, appreciate it. you're here to talk about downgrading the u.s. credit rating, they told you, right? nick, let me start with you, when you got home a couple of years ago, what were you expecting in terms of job opportunities and how did the reality of the situation compare? >> basically when you're in the military, you have these high hopes, i'm going to be a medic, save lives, earning bronze star, i receive a bronze star, get home and receive an unemployment check and quite a dose of reality, that's not the case. it's -- your hopes get all high and you get heart broken and your soul gets crushed, it seems like. >> this initiative that
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president obama announced today and told your story and gay this announcement in the navy yard, how do you think this would have affected you and helped you in your particular situation? >> i got out totally unprepared, had no idea -- i got out in 2008, 2011 i just got my resume made up and that's thanks to some non-profits like iava. without their help i wouldn't have been prepared. it would have been nice to kind of get a way of getting out, because i feel more at home in afghanistan than i did coming home and getting out of the military. >> todd, in terms of both this tax credit for employers, hiring veterans and specifically an additional tax credit for hiring wounded veterans, also this reverse boot camp, training for the job market for people coming home from war, how much
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difference do you think they'll make? >> massive. >> they've been convoluted, complex and hard to understand. when service members get ready to leave the military, they take part of transition programs. they are going to allow people to use the procedures before they leave. we spend hundreds of thousands to train them before they go into the military. let's spend time to train them so they can get back in the civilian market. >> i know that you know the policy realities of this, i know you're also kind of a realistic guy. given what can and can't get through congress these days, how much does it make a difference there was a presidential announcement for or against its chances and how likely is this it will pass? >> highly likely it will pass, when it comes to veterans, folks stay focussed. the other point i bring up to
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folks, is this isn't just spending money. this is an investment to save money in the long run. homelessness and overall medical expenses as a whole. it's an investment, you know, and guys like nick are a perfect example of a good investment. the s&p gave him aaaas. good investment. >> nick, in terms of your employment situation and your hopes and what your plans are right now, what's ahead for you? >> i don't know. i got out, tried to be a first responder as stated before, ended up using my g.i. bill to take classes the government had to go back to school. about to graduate with an english degree in the fall. already invested to train me in. wanted to go out and get a job right away, but i don't know what's going to happen. see the speech today by the president instilled a lot of
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hope in me, but at the same time i don't know if i can tell my wife everything's going to be okay, i'm going to have a future, i'm going to have a career. that's scary because you don't know. i'd like to see some action on this. the president gave the order today and we want to see the mission executed in the coming months. >> i will say just watching this happen as a washington process, weave we've had complete faith in washington and the fights they've made up justified about and still stuff has been moving on veterans issues and military in particular. do you both feel like veterans are being treated with respect by even our dysfunctional political system? it seems like that to me. does it feel like that to you guys? >> i'll be honest and say sometimes we get used as window dressing, propped up and put behind big statements that come out there. the proof is in the pudding or the mre apple sauce. we want to see what's going to come out of these programs. seven commissions coming through how we helped this new generation of veterans.
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we need to be the watchdogs and make sure these things actually happen and make sure they get implemented and if they don't, make a big old stink. we're not left or right or a donkey or an elephant. we're a bull dog and you don't want to get bit by us. >> i believe that. nick colgin, todd bowers, both veterans, thank you for your service. i really appreciate it. >> thank you for having us. >> all right, we'll be right back. while energy developement comes with some risk, north america's natural gas producers are committed to safely and responsibly providing decades of cleaner burning energy for our country, drilling thousands of feet below fresh water sources within self contained well systems and using state of the art monitoring technologies, rigorous practices help ensure our operations are safe and clean for our communities and the environment we are america's natural gas.
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programming note, if you are a fan of nbc's sunday morning show "meet the press," i will be a guest this weekend. we'll be mud wrestling over whether or not washington is up to the task of coping with the
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backward slide of the economy, and what it means that standard and poor's downgraded america's credit rating from aaa to aa-plus. i'll be the one in the navy blue jacket as usual. we're thinking about them. a couple decades ago, we didn't even realize just how much natural gas was trapped in rocks thousands of feet below us. technology has made it possible to safely unlock this cleanly burning natural gas. this deposits can provide us with fuel for a hundred years, providing energy security and economic growth all across this country. it just takes somebody having the idea, and that's where the discovery comes from.
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i'm in a face-off, a huge fight, a massive brawl with rush limbaugh right now. you know what? rush limbaugh wins. i thought when president obama released the second form of the birth certificate that would not give things to rest, that giving more facts would help. it did put it to rest. on the president's 50th birthday today, it is the profitiers still flogging this thing. there is nobody who has any pull in conservative politics or republican politics at all who is -- seriously? are you sure?
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are you sure this is -- this is from this week, this is from yesterday? play it. >> tomorrow is obama's birthday. we haven't seen proof of that. he tells us august 4th. sorry. >> sorry. apparently it's not over. that was from last night's show. i was wrong. i lose. that was rush limbaugh on his radio show about not being sure when the president was born or if the president was born. that was not from rush limbaugh's show this past wednesday, it was from a year ago. way before the administration produced that second form of president obama's birth certificate this past april. the reason i thought this sound bite was from this week because of a report from the pro birth publication.
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the link does not work any more. it was posted just midnight yesterday. it was wednesday august 3rd. it misattributed the days rush limbaugh's comments that i believed were from 2011, but that clip was mislabeled. the article was wrong. it was wrong of us to not check worrell net daily reporting. i'm very sorry. if you're worried that our overall thesis that rush limbaugh is trying to use the president against him, don't misuse that thesis. well proven by mr. limbaugh this week alone. >> they are going to apologize
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for the magic negro. we are going to play it again today. the guy is always going to look like a man child. he is earning every gray hair. i believe it living with her. not because of the job of being president. next thing to look out for is for obama to take the farms. that's what bim bab zimbabwe did. they took the white people's farms. tar baby has racial -- we've got to stop everything. this colorado congressman calls obama a tar baby. do not tar baby me. >> that's all from this week. i stand by my theory the dead-enders and profitiers are


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