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tv   The Ed Show  MSNBC  December 14, 2012 12:00am-1:00am PST

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second term cabinet. i think michael bloomburg is about to become a board. he's playing behind man's bluff. why not call his bluff and ask him to get in the arena. a man who made billions in business in economic communication is the best possible person to communicate this administration's fiscal policy and world trade policy, don't you think? so let's get at it, america. the best country in the world, i'm in. that's "hardball" for now. "politics nation" with al sharpton starts right now. good evening, americans, and welcome to "the ed show" from new york. breaking news tonight, from washington, u.n. ambassador susan rice withdraws her name from consideration for the secretary of state position. john boehner just left the white house after meeting with the president. and did i mention that michael moore is here tonight?
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this is "the ed show." let's get to work. >> my going is to get to an agreement with the president of the united states that addresses this problem. >> the fiscal cliff end game comes into play. tonight, john boehner meets the president at the white house. congressman barney frank is here with reaction. republican bullies in the senate get their way. >> i didn't want to see a confirmation process that was very prolonged. >> jonathan alter and michael steele on the ugly politics that took down susan rice. the economic policy institute destroys governor rick schneider's best right to work talk point. >> all you have to do is look to indiana. >> they've gotten thousands of jobs coming to indiana. >> indiana's had a strong experience. they did similar legislation. >> tonight, michigan's favorite son, michael moore, on schneider's portrayal and the way forward for workers in the heartland. the 12-12-12 concert raised a ton of money for sandy relief. but house republicans are
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holding up federal dollars. i'll tell you why. and a meteorologist is fired for responding to racist facebook taunts. tonight, rhonda lee tells her story on "the ed show." good to have you with us tonight, folks. thanks for watching. time is running out on a fiscal cliff deal, and republicans are running out of reasons to reject the president's plan. house speaker john boehner left capitol hill this evening and met with the president at the white house for nearly an hour. administration officials and boehner's spokespeople say that the meeting was frank. president obama earlier today spoke with minneapolis television station wcco and left no confusion about why talks are stalled. >> the big problem right now is that republicans in the house are resistant to the idea of the wealthiest americans paying higher tax rates. >> speaker boehner held his own news conference this afternoon. he was there to provide serious answers to questions about tax cuts, extensions to the middle class. >> will you permit a vote on a
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bill that -- if we go over the cliff, would you permit a vote to decouple that and then fight again on the debt ceiling? >> ifs, ands, and buts are like candy and nuts. pp if it were like that every day would be christmas. >> he sure sounds like a negotiator with answers like that. boehner also brought a visual aid with him today. if this chart looks familiar to you, it does, it should because you've seen it before. paul ryan rolled out a similar chart when he was trying to sell the ryan budget plan. the projections in ryan's chart have been completely discredited. john boehner's latest chart was created by none other than paul ryan. it exists in a fantasy world where spending grows without any specifics. here's a chart from reality. most of the country's projected debt comes from unpaid wars and bush tax cuts. it's the price to pay for put things on a credit card. republicans are finding it hard to exist in reality these days. house republican leader eric cantor said members would not adjourn until a deal was
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reached. but today everybody went home. democratic leader nancy pelosi was beside herself. >> coming down to the wire, it's a matter of days. last week we went out on wednesday morning. this week we'll probably go out on thursday morning, having come in on tuesday. two two-day work weekes in a row. this is just not right. how does this make sense? when time is of the essence while the clock is ticking and again we're coming down to the wire. >> senate majority leader harry reid also pointed out democrats can't sit around and negotiate with themselves. >> i understand the house is gone again. i think one reason they're asking to leave is so more republicans walking down the hall won't be saying i think what somebody's doing is wrong. but they're leaving. it's hard to comprehend. but they are. we have nothing to do until they do something. >> democrats aren't the only ones putting the blame on republicans. departing tea party senator from south carolina jim demint intends to be a fly in the ointment for both parties.
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>> i think both parties have failed our country. i know what the american public has been told. the president campaigned on raising taxes and getting rid of the bush era tax cuts. and he's going to get his wish. i believe we're going to be raising taxes not just on the top earners. everyone's going to pay more taxes next year in this country. and i think that's what the president wants. >> it's hard for john boehner to convince his members about reaching a deal when guys like demint are saying a deal is impossible. boehner's party is not doing well in public opinion polls, but boehner, he's just in denial. >> you go back to, you want to talk about polling, most americans would agree that spending is a much bigger problem than raising taxes. they want us to deal with this. >> actually, voters across the board think taxes should go up on the wealthiest americans. democrats, independents, and republicans all agree by large maintains they want congress to raise taxes on income above $250,000 a year. republican leaders are
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completely disconnected from public opinion. this is one reason republican approval continues to nosedive while democrats actually have a positive rating with the public. when voters were asked to describe the republican party, 65% of the responses were negative. and here's the -- and here they are. like you know, bad weak, uncompromising, need to work together, broken, unorganized, disorthd. one prominent gop pollster put it this way. republicans have run out of persuadable white voters. john boehner is ultimately responsible. he is doing irreparable damage to the republican brand. i'm not sure if they're going to be able to recover from this in the short term. but a deal on taxes would certainly be a step in the right direction. get your cell phones out. we want to know what you think. tonight's question. are congressional republicans out of touch with the rest of the country? text a for yes. text b for no to 622639. you can always go to our blog at and leave a comment there. we'll encourage you to do that.
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and we'll bring you the results later on in the show. i'm joined tonight by congressman barney frank from massachusetts. congressman, great to have you with us tonight. >> thank you, ed. >> where should the emphasis be when it comes to cuts? boehner says he's got to have spending cuts. there's not enough spending cuts. where do you think the emphasis should be when it comes to spending cuts in an effort to get a deal? >> being that i've done a lot of work in banking i'll quote somebody who had a great relationship to banking. the bank robber willie sutton. they asked him why he robbed the banks at least reputedly and he said that's where the money is. if we're going to cut let's go where the money is. in the military budget, particularly in that part of the military budget unrelated to legitimate national security needs, unrelated to the need to protect people who really are in trouble. we are still fully stocked to wen a thermonuclear war with the soviet union long after there isn't one. we are still protecting germany,
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italy, england, and austria from staalin and his successors even though they are now strong enough to meet a threat which in fact doesn't exist. i just had my very able aid marcus rose check this for me. over the last ten years we have spent $3.8 billion in medicare. that's true. during that same period we spent $5.6 billion on the military. the military has been going up faster and it includes an awful lot of expenditure, unnecessary. we're reading today that canada is recoring whether they're going to buy the f-35. the f-35 is a very, very well conceived airplane that's proving to be a great financial disaster. if any agency, the decht housing, the department of education, the department of energy, had a disaster as remotely expensive to the taxpayer as the f-35 my conservative friends would be screaming. so yeah, i agree with them. ironically. that's one area where the republicans want to spend more, where mitt romney criticizes the president for not spending enough. and i'm very encouraged, ed, that in this last election for
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the first time in my memory a democratic president stood up to a republican who tried to spend more on the military than even the military's asked for and he won anyway. having said that i have to say i think the president still is suffering from a little cultural lag. so yeah, there are agricultural subsidies to rich farmers that can get cut. i will tell you that i do not believe in this situation we should be trying to put men on mars, men and women. i want to do scientific experimentation. well, let me talk briefly about where i don't want to cut because what's interesting as i listen to my republican friends, they have an interesting formulation. in the end they might be willing to tax the rich if we will help them attack the poor. it's really quite an extraordinary equivalence. in particular they say they want to restrict the cost of living increase that goes to people on social security. there are women living not far from where i'm sitting now here in washington who are living on $1,5 hupp a month.
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and they get tens of dollars in a cost of living increase. and by changing the cost of living increase you reduce it. we have people who've worked, women, men who worked 45, 50 years, they hit 675, now they want to tell them they can't get mdcare. it's very interesting. boehner is saying okay, mr. president, you tell us about the cuts. the reason is the cuts the remembers are hoping to get are so unpopular and i think so socially outrageous that they're afraid to put them forward. but understand, that's their equation. they might in the end grudgingly go along with a very, very small tangs crease on the richest people in the country -- by the way, i was talking to a very good friend who's one of the wealthiest businessmen, most successful businessmen in boston, and i asked him if we were to raise the marginal income tax at the extent we're talking about would he notice it if his accountant didn't call him up and tell him. he said of course not. so their price for a small tax on the very wealthy is increasingly putting pain on the
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poor. >> congressman, you've covered a lot of ground there. i want to go back to the first part of your answer. do you think democrats should be going after defense spending? i know that's what you think. but i have not heard that narrative played out much in the house and it sounds like you're advocating closing a lot of bases overseas in the countries that you mentioned. >> exactly. by the way, we still have marines on okinawa. i think people thought when john wayne died that was the end of that. the japanese are strong enough to defend themselves. yeah, they did terrible things 70 years ago -- >> so the democrats aren't being strong enough in this area. am i hearing that? >> no, but i'm pushing. ed, you're right. leon panetta, when he became secretary of defense, he said we can't hollow out the military the way we did after the cold war. except was the budget director after the cold war. and i think budget krerkt panetta under bill clinton made more sense than secretary of defense panetta. but it's getting better.
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i co-authored an amendment this past session to freeze defense spending, to reduce what was recommended by the appropriations committee. not enough of a cut. but for the first time in my congressional career a good majority of the house voted to refuse what the appropriators wanted by co-sponsoring -- by the way, it was a tea party republican and 80% of the democrats voted with me. our you're going to see either you make substantial reductions in the military or you make substantial reductions in medicare and i think when that choice comes -- >> okay. here's john boehner talking about his future as speaker. here it is. >> i'm not concerned about my job as speaker. what i'm doing about is dpog the right things for my kids and grandkids. if we don't fix this spending problem their future is going to be rather bleak. >> congressman, quickly, what's your take on that? >> he's got this right-wing constituency to which he is responding. and again, it's not spoly that they resist taxes on the very wealthy. these are people who want to
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undo what steps we've taken -- we have increasing inequality in this country. and if you want -- healthy increased dose of it. he is simply reflecting this -- i have to say this. i have no reason to think that there is any conflict between what he wants to do personally and what his caucus is trying to get him to do. fortunately, as you've just pointed out, the american people disagree with him, both on taxes and social security and medicare. >> across the board. congressman barney frank, thanks for your time tonight. i appreciate your take. remember to answer tonight's question at the bottom of the skreerngs share your thoughts on twitter @edshow and facebook. after weeks of republican attacks u.n. ambassador susan rice drops out of the running for secretary of state. msnbc's jonathan alter and former rnc chair michael steele with reaction. stay with us. we're right back. new research destroys the myth that right to work laws create jobs. we'll look at what the law has done for indiana's economy.
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and i'll talk with filmmaker michael moore about his fight for workers in his home state of michigan. what's next? and later, a reporter loses her job after responding to viewers on facebook. meteorologist rhonda lee joins me with her story later tonight. and don't forget, you can listen to my radio show on sirius xm
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new research destroys the myth that right to work laws create jobs. we'll look at what the law has done for indiana's economy. and i'll talk with filmmaker michael moore about his fight for workers in his home state of michigan. what's next? and later, a reporter loses her job after responding to viewers on facebook. meteorologist rhonda lee joins me with her story later tonight.
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and don't forget, you can listen to my radio show on sirius xm radio channel 127 monday through friday noon to 3:00 p.m. and share your thoughts with us on facebook and twitter using the #edshow. we'll be right back. [ thunder crashes ] [ female announcer ] some people like to pretend a flood could never happen to them. and that their homeowners insurance protects them. [ thunder crashes ] it doesn't. stop pretending. only flood insurance covers floods. ♪ visit to learn your risk.
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senator mccain and senator graham and others want to go after somebody, they should go after me. but for them to go after the u.n. ambassador, who had nothing to do with benghazi and was simply making a presentation based on intelligence she had received is outrageous. welcome to "the ed show." after weeks of unfair attacks by republicans, u.n. ambassador susan rice withdrew her name to be the next possible secretary
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of state today. in a letter to the president rice said that she could have done the job effectively but added her confirmation process could hurt the country. in an interview that will air tonight on "rock center," the ambassador had a slifrm explanation for nbc news's anchor man brian williams. >> today i made the decision that it was the best thing for our country, for the american people that i not continue to be considered by the president for nomination as secretary of state because i didn't want to see a confirmation process that was very prolonged, very politicized, very distracting, and very disruptive. because there are so many things we need to get done as a country. and the first several months of a second-term president's agenda is really the opportunity to get the crucial things done. president obama released a statement today praising susan rice while criticizing republicans, saying, "while i
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deeply regret the unfair and misleading attacks on susan rice in recent weeks, her decision demonstrates the strength of her character." president obama is expected to meet with the ambassador tomorrow at the white house. for more let's turn to msnbc political analyst and bloomberg view columnist jonathan alter with us tonight. and also michael steele, msnbc analyst and former chairman of the rnc. gentlemen, great to have you with us. >> thanks, ed. >> this has been a real hot potato in recent weeks, although it cooled down a little bit. but this is something that we're told that the white house has had a consternation over. jonathan, you first. is this a victory for john mccain and lindsay graham? >> i don't think so at all. they acted like bullies. they mistreated susan rice in this process. now they -- in the world of fox news, i guess, they have a scalp. but it doesn't advance their interests in any way and it basically ends this as an issue for them. they can go ahead and hold
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benghazi hearings, but nobody will pay any attention except fox. >> michael, what's your reaction to susan rice dropping out of contention for secretary of state? why do you think she did it, and was she forced out with just a media circus? >> no, i think that's a good point, ed. i think she did largely because of what she said. she wanted to protect the administration going into the second term, not to have the distraction of a contentious confirmation hearing. as you know, senator mccain was already positioning himself on the appropriate committee to be a part of that grilling process to come. so i think she really looked down the road and saw for the betterment of the president's agenda in trying to get ahead of the noise to step aside. i thought that quite honestly that was a very smart thing to do. with respect to the political points scored, look, the bottom line is her scalp is one of many political scalps that have been
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shaved by democrats and republicans in trying to score for their base but it doesn't necessarily serve the ultimate interest of the country because i really think to a certain extent it would have been an opportunity for the administration to set the record straight on benghazi and really make it clear and put in context that what this was all about was going after the ambassador on political grounds than anything substantive related to the policy. >> john -- >> and was an opportunity missed. >> a third of the country doesn't even know who susan rice according to a "wall street journal" poll. she's been loyal to the president for a long, long time. is this taking one for the team and just getting out of the way? >> yeah. by the way, the fact that two thirds do know who she is is rather extraordinary since usually people don't know the u.n. ambassador. but yes, this was a sign of character, as the president said. she fell on her sword. the white house did not, i need
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to stress this, from my reporting they did not push her, if anybody's wondering that. she did this in order to help the president, who she greatly respects and is close to. and she realized it was a disruption, a distraction. he's got an awful lot on his plate right now. and she took something off his plate, made it easier. fortunately, there's a very plauz initial, highly qualified alternative in senator kerry. if there was nobody else standing in place, it would be a much bigger deal. >> we all know senator john mccain went after her in a very disparaging way. here are some of the attacks. >> in select committee if appointed served wrongdoing besides not being very bright because it was obvious that this was not a, quote, flash mob. there was no demonstration, charlie. >> michael, did the republicans go over the top? >> yeah. i think so. i have to admit that that comment in light of this woman's credentials and her capabilities and her skills, that she's
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already demonstrated up to this point, again, furthers the narrative about the gop and its really lack of sensitivity in communicating on these issues. you don't have to call her not very bright because she's reading intelligence reports that's given to her by people in an area that she has no pursue or responsibility for. and so i really think that that oversteps that line yet again, particularly with respect to an african-american female of high caliber. and the country looks at that and goes, what the hell is your problem? you know, disagree on the policy, but why personalize it? why put her in the context of someone who is a buffoon or an idiot, when in fact she really isn't? >> by the way, at her iq, if you want to look at it that way, it alone matches the entire republican delegation on the senate foreign relations committee. combined. >> rhodes scholar. stanford grad. no doubt about it. jonathan alter, michael steele, great to have you with us
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tonight. thanks so much. >> next up, republicans say right to work laws create jobs. but a new study proves it's a lie. we'll look at the effect of laws on indiana's economy because they seem to be getting quoted a lot. and filmmaker from michigan, michigan native michael moore is here with reaction to governor snyder's move and how he plans to fight back. stay tuned. welcome back to "the ed
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welcome back to "the ed show." thanks for watching tonight. i tell you, it's a full-time job wading through the lies op michigan's right to work law. here's governor rick snyder offering one of the biggest reasons for supporting the law. >> indiana's had a strong experience. they've done similar legislation back in february. they've seen thousands of jobs come to indiana. and those jobs could also come to michigan. >> and when you look at indiana and see what they've achieved since february when they did similar legislation, they've gotten thousands of jobs coming to indiana because of this issue. >> all you have to do is look to indiana. and as soon as they did this legislation, thousands of jobs have come to indiana since that time frame. >> we're losing a major competitive advantage. indiana has become a right to work state. and i've looked at their pipeline. they've significantly increased the number of business looking to come to indiana and grow in
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indiana due to this legislation. >> because if you look at indiana they've been very successful, bringing thousands of jobs, even since this last february. and that'll happen right here in michigan. >> you just need to look to indiana. >> we've watched closely what's going on in indiana. >> hmm. he's looked at their pipeline. governor snyder said indiana got thousands of jobs because of right to work. indiana's governor mitch daniels has made similar claims. here's news for the governors. a report came out yesterday, and it says a much different -- and tells a much different story. first of all, the timing is truly laughable. on february 1st of this year, 2012, indiana's right-to-work law was signed into law. okay? on february 29th indiana's economic development corporation was already claiming the right-to-work law had lured jobs to indiana. on march 12th governor mitch daniels declared evidence of right-to-work success. but on march 15th that is actually the first day any labor contracts could actually be affected by the law. indiana business experts say a typical business decision like this takes four to twelve months. indiana's economic development corporation cited four companies
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motivated by right to work, but the companies were already located in indiana and had a long history with the state. busche had been in the state since 1997. steel dynamics was already in 19 indiana cities. seal corp. usa expanded because of $340,000 in economic incentives. whayne supply company expanded operations after the state of indiana provided $450,000 in refunds. yet all four of these companies were cited as examples of how right to work brought jobs to the state of indiana. governor mitch daniels specifically said mbc group created jobs in indiana because of right to work. that's false. the mbc group denied it. the truth is not a single company says it came to indiana because of right to work, according to the report. there is more. indiana has been losing jobs to states that don't have right to work laws. manitowoc is closing its indiana facility and moving to cleveland, ohio. diamond foods is closing its indiana facility and going west
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to california. whirlpool is moving jobs to michigan. a decision that was obviously made before michigan's right to work law was passed. geknight closed its facilities and moved its jobs to neighboring state illinois. governor snyder didn't lie all of the time. here's something he did get accurate. >> only about 17.5% of our workers in this state belong to a union. most people do not. so it wasn't a relevant issue for most michiganders. >> so he was accurate about that because snyder admits only 17% of workers belong to a union in the state of michigan yet he expects us to believe that a right-to-work law will spur economic development? it defies common sense. i'm not done with this story. more coming up. there's a lot more coming up in the next half hour of "the ed show." stay right with us. >> i never said unions are bad for business, and i don't believe this is actually anti-union. if you look at it, i believe this is pro worker.
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>> the people of michigan are fighting back against rick snyder's assault on workers. tonight, michigan's own michael moore is here to unveil his plan to undo the republicans' sneak attack. last night's concert was a smashing success. but it's not nearly enough. i'll tell you how house republicans are obstructing sandy relief money. and a meteorologist at a television station in louisiana defends herself on facebook against a racist comment and gets fired from her job. tonight, rhonda lee tells her side of the story on "the ed show."
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welcome back to "the ed show." our next guest has a long history with the state of michigan. >> hi. i'm michael moore. in my hometown of flint, michigan general motors closed the factories and put 30,000 people out of work. to raise their spirits i made this movie. >> the protests we've seen in michigan lately probably got his attention. >> right to work is wrong! right to work is wrong! right to work is wrong! >> right to work is wrong! >> right to work is wrong! >> let's bring in academy award-winning filmmaker michael moore, who was born and raised in the great state of michigan. michael, good to have you on "the ed show." appreciate it. >> thanks for having me here, ed. >> is your blood boiling over this? >> well, yeah. i've been in a bit of a rage the last couple of days. my uncle was in the sit-down strike in flint 75 years ago this year. uncle vern. and our family and all the families of people i grew up with have been union people from
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the get-go. and because they were my generation, people who would never have gotten to go to college, needed to see a doctor you could see a doctor, our dads had the weekend off, which they didn't have before, work-class people like us were able to buy a house and live in it. before that most people rented. you didn't have your own car. couldn't get anywhere. of course there was no reason to get anywhere because you didn't have any vacation. all these things happened that really got ignited by that sit-down strike in flint. and if these republicans who are not going to be in power -- the ones that are there, people that were voted out last month, are sitting there voting and removing these laws. it's just -- here's -- the
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bright side of this is that the fact that they're doing this, they know that the people don't want what they want. that's what they've got to do it in a rush right now before january 1st because january 1st these new democrats come in and there's enough moderate republicans in the state that that will be the majority. >> it just goes against the culture of the state. everything the state has ever been. birthplace -- >> it goes against the united states of america. that's right. it's not just the birthplace of the -- it's the birthplace of the middle class. there was no middle-class before flint. there was a great middle class after flint and for decades after that. and they've been on this run since reagan. they've been doing whatever we could do to make sure that wages remain stagnant, that jobs are shipped out -- this governor snyder, you understand what he did before he was the governor of michigan. >> he shipped jobs it china.
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>> he was at gateway computers. which by the way, i think we can stop at gateway because everybody knows it was just a crap computer. and then he just shipped all the jobs right to taiwan. it should have been like a coming atraction for michigan, looking at what he did at gateway. and people say, well, mike, how did this guy get in there? i mean, this is a state that voted for obama ten points over romney. and i think honestly, i think people didn't take 2010 serious enough. and i think a lot of people were -- i think a lot of the base was depressed because at least the perception of what president obama was doing in that first year or two, he was trying to get along, he was trying to be a good guy. and it's like -- >> no public option. no universal health care. that's what the country wanted. >> right. >> but there was a perception there wasn't a good enough fight -- >> and putting a guy from goldman sachs, larry summers, in charge of our economic policy. >> what's the plan? you have a history in terms of being able to battle these kinds of issues. do you have a plan to fight back in michigan? because they're going to go to other states and try to push the same legislation, which is all
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about stripping the democratic infrastructure, going right to the money, to the foundation, to make it so unions can't be effective in social networking to have an effect on elections. what's your plan? >> a number of things are going to happen. first of all, the unions and the democratic party there are going to use every legal means possible to obstruct this thing that they've done, which is against the will of the people. that's number one. number two, the democratic party of michigan has got to run candidates who are going to win. and in the last two days i've spent a lot of time talking to friends and colleagues in michigan, and we're going to put together our own search committee. we're going to recruit candidates who are going to win. we don't need to win all the seats. we just need to identify a few. we're only behind by a few. a few seats. and remove those republicans in 2014 and get somebody to run for governor who's going to win.
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you had ed verge on last night, great guy, lansing mayor. but it's like the republicans. they run somebody that wins. this is why they have both of these governorships. i think we need to run -- if i were the michigan democratic party, i would be approaching boulevard democrats in the state of michigan who the people would love. a number of ex-red wings, for instance. >> sure. >> denise ilitch, from the ilitch family that owns the tigers and the red wings and little caesars. democrats. >> people that people like. >> they like them. and that family's a beloved business and the sports teams. i mean, why not run people that the people like? that's what the republicans have -- they ran schwarzenegger in california. they run -- they always run these people. reagan. people -- >> your hands-on to get good candidates. >> absolutely. we've got to start that now. not next month or next year. that has to start right now. and we're starting it now. the final thing i want to say about this is personally.
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i have a michigan business. my production company. and what i will do, i'll say this publicly right now, is i plan on committing my own act of civil disobedience. i will not obey this law. if you're going to come and be a cameraman or a sound person on my next film, a writer, a director, an editor, if you don't belong to the union you don't work on my film. that's the position i'm taking. and let them come after me. >> you're going to force them to pay dues? >> there's no force them to pay dues. you get all the benefits of being in the union. it's like you know, my -- we've got a little league team here that doesn't want to pay their fees to be in the league. but let us play anyways. but we're not going to pay our fees. you know, i don't like these wars going on. do i get to not pay my taxes? what happened to my freedom of choice? this is all b.s., ed. >> so is governor snyder going to start going after country clubs and letting people pay
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without paying their dues? i mean, that's really what it comes down to. they get the benefit of doing whatever they want to do. >> this is class war that's been ignited by them. working people have always kind of admired people with money. they like them. because they would build factories. they create jobs. you know, and the american dream was to aspire to do better. but the rich have been on a rampage for the last 30-plus years to really destroy everything that my uncle, my dad, my grandparents and everybody else fought for for all these years. people just take it for granted now. they think oh, it's the weekend. we're going to have the weekend off. >> but it is about election -- >> it didn't exist. >> it is also about elections and making sure the democrats don't have the infrastructure to fight back against the republican machine. you've only got less than 20% of the people in michigan belong to unions, but they are really the foundation of the democratic base when it comes to doing all the things and getting candidates elected. how do you fight that? >> well, the only way to fight it is we have to overturn this law. because they are trying to defund the opposition.
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but again, i just want to point out the silver lining in this. they know that people don't support what they're doing. that's why they had to rush this thing through before january 1st. same reason why they had voter suppression this past year. why would you suppress the vote p f. you believed the country was a republican country? why would you suppress the vote if you thought the o'majority of mefrnz were conservative? you have to suppress the vote because think you're in the minority. it's an admission they know that the country doesn't like republican or conservative philosophy. we're a different country now and a lot of them don't have a clue about it. and they think they're going get away with it and they're not going to get away with it. everybody is fighting mad in michigan. and we're not going to stop. >> michael moore, thank you for coming in to "the ed show." >> i tried to keep it pg-13 here. >> i think people are connected to your passion on this issue. no doubt. some republicans are playing politics in the wake of hurricane sandy. find out why they're refusing to help their fellow americans. stay with us.
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a meteorologist in louisiana loses her job after defending herself on facebook. rhonda lee joins me with her story. we'll be right back.
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and we are back. a handful of republicans are playing politics with the victims of hurricane sandy. they're refusing to fund disaster relief unless democrats offset the spending. these republicans probably didn't attend the 121212 concert last night. stars like bruce springsteen, bon jovi, and the rolling stones helped raise more than $35 million. now congress needs to do its part. the president is asking for $60 billion in disaster relief. remember, sandy killed at least 100 people. 500,000 people have already applied for temporary housing. but senators jon kyl calls it "an awful big bite to swallow." senators coburn, also johnson
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from wisconsin, and hoeven from north dakota aren't ready to spend the money either. louisiana congressman steve scalise says he wants to control the spendling and georgia representative jack kingston says congress shouldn't have to pay $2 million to fission fix the roof at the smithsonian museum. maybe those republicans don't want to fix the statue of liberty island either. we'll save money if we just kept it closed, right? crews pumped 270 million gallons of saltwater out of the transit tunnels. but we could have saved money there if we just didn't fix the commuter trains. governors christie, cuomo, and milloy have really heard and put together and joined forces to demand help from congress. in an op-ed in the "washington post" the governors wrote, "americans come together in times of crisis. our states have stood with your communities when they suffered and faced devastation. it's time for congress to stand with us. amen to that. tonight in our survey i asked,
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are congressional republicans out of touch with the rest of the country? 99% of you say yes. 1% of you say no. coming up, she was fired for responding to racist remarks on her company's facebook page. tv meteorologist rhonda lee will join me next. stay with us. it's a new day. if you're a man with low testosterone, you should know that axiron is here. the only underarm treatment for low t. that's right, the one you apply to the underarm.
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and in the big finish tonight the national association of black journalists is standing behind a tv meteorologist who was fired for responding to racially insensitive remarks on the station's facebook page. back in october rhonda lee of ktbs in shreveport, louisiana responded to a viewer's comment about, of all things, her hair. the viewer wondered if lee had cancer and suggested she wear a wig or grow some more hair. lee's response read in part, "i'm very proud of my african-american ancestry, which includes my hair. many black women use strong straightening agents in order to achieve a more european grade of hair, and that is their choice. however, in my case i don't find it necessary. i'm very proud of who i am and the standard of beauty i display." a month later another viewer commented on facebook about a children's charity event and toy giveaway featured by the television station, ktbs. the viewer complained that too many of the event's participants
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were black. "am i the only one that has noticed that this year all the kids, let's say, are people of color? seems like some racism going on to me." lee responded to it that, "i'm not sure i understand your comment," she wrote. "the children are picked at random. so there goes your theory that they are selected for their color. i would like to think that it doesn't matter who the child is." in both cases lee was polite and respectful when expressing her views. she even thanked the clueless viewer who inquired about her hair. yet a short time later lee was fired. the station, ktbs, alleged lee violated the company's social media policy. the station manager says lee received a copy of a policy via e-mail back in august. the policy directs employees not to respond to viewer complaints on facebook. but lee says that she never got that e-mail. and is now without a job. ktbs issued a statement about the firing of the meteorologist. "if harsh viewer comments are posted on the station's official website, there is a specific
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procedure to follow. ms. rhonda lee was let go for repeatedly violating that procedure and after being warned multiple times of the consequences if her behavior continued. rhonda lee was not dismissed for her appearance or defending her appearance. she was fired for continuing to violate company procedure." joining me tonight, former ktbs meteorologist rhonda lee. rhonda, thanks for your time tonight. this is -- >> thank you, ed, for having me. >> you bet. social media is a part of life. do you feel like you violated the company's policy? >> no, i do not. mainly because there really is no policy. i asked upon my termination as well as as late as last week when i went back to the station to ask for my job back for a copy of the policy, and i was told that there was not one written down anywhere. so that of course begs the question, how do you violate a policy that isn't in existence? so that's why when i have seen the policy that was handed out a few days ago, i'm not really
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confident that that might be all that legit considering i've asked for it twice. >> they say you repeatedly violated the company's policy. did you answer a lot of people on facebook or just these two times? >> no, sir. it was just those two times. >> this is highly unusual. have you had any other problems with management or anything like that that would cause them or does this just come right out of the blue? >> no, sir. i've had no problems. i was told on the day that i was fired, i asked my boss at the time, haven't i been an exemplary employee? that's exactly what i asked. and he said, yes, you have. and then i said, am i specifically being fired for these -- for this facebook post? and he said, yes, you are. so that left no room for doubt for my reason for termination.
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>> were these racist comments on facebook in your opinion? >> i would believe that they were racist comments, yes. but at the same time i didn't find them to be terribly upsetting, which is what the alleged policy that they've sent out anyway says. i didn't find them to be hateful, all that hateful. i used it as an opportunity to educate. i was not at all disturbed by answering them at all. i looked at them mainly as simple comments that just required some sort of answer rer ver letting them sit on the facebook page for almost a week, in some cases unanswered. >> do you feel like you were wronged here? do you deserve to have your job back? do you think this is just an unjust firing across the board? >> i do believe that i should have my job. there's no doubt in my mind for that. i don't believe that i violated any policy whatsoever. i do believe that it's very unfortunate and i feel it's really a huge loss for the station more than anything