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tv   The Rachel Maddow Show  MSNBC  April 2, 2013 9:00pm-10:00pm PDT

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>> thank you, all. that is "all in." the rachel maddow show starts now. >> night two was even better than night one. can you tell how good you are yet? >> i can't tell. you know how that is. you think about everything you did wrong when you get off set. >> spectacular. >> too kind. >> thanks to you at home. there is a lot in motion. we've got updates on the killing of the district attorney and the assistant district attorney in texas. two separate and targeted killings less than 100 miles from where the colorado prisons chief was killed. we've got a bunch of developments in that situation today including on the crucial issue of whether a white supremacist prison gang may be linked to these assassinations. election results from south carolina. the clinic run by dr. tiller before he was murdered four years ago, that clinic today in
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kansas made its formal announcement that it is reopening for the first time in four years. and the guns debate, connecticut moved forward today with the most ambitious and most unique package of gun reforms since the newtown school massacre back in december. a vote is expected tomorrow in the connecticut legislature. the governor says he will sign it. while today, the nra distinguished itself by having the stones to announce yet another plan for more guns in schools while continuing to block everybody else's votes to keep guns away from schools and madmen. president obama announcing a big new plan, a big, ambitious sign tifb project that can change medicine, could frankly change the world if it works. are we the kind of country that does stuff like that anymore?
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can we be that kind of country again? like i said, there's lots in motion in today's news, but we begin with scandal. good old fashioned bribery, scandal. complete with politicians in handcuffs and envelopes of cash being passed in parked cars and wiretaps. sometimes, politics is really just an episode of "the sopranos." the easiest place to start is the 2012 election in new york state. kind of a weird one in new york state. you know that the governor of new york state is a democrat and a very popular one. andrew cuomo. he was not on the ballot in 2012. he had been elected in 2010.
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election night 2010, everything else in the country went republican, but that race was blue by 30 points. then in 2012, andrew cuomo's not on the ballot. the only statewide races with were the presidential race, in which obama beat his opponent by 27 points. one of the biggest margins of any state in the country. the other statewide race, november 2012, was the senate seat held by kirsten gillibrand. beat her challenger by a 45-point margin. the political picture in new york state was overwhelmingly democratic. just solidly blue in terms of the 2012 election, but new york is a big state. a largely rural state and a more idea logical state that it sometimes gets credit for. one of the manifestations of new york's unheralded diversity is that even though the state is so blue it looked cold, when it
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comes to voting for state ledge islators, it's not like that. the senate has only been in democratic control three times since world war two. but on election night november 2012, where president obama beat mitt romney by a 27-point margin under the leadership of a democratic government with the highest approval ratings of any state in the country, on that night in november where kirsten gillibrand embarrassed her opponent, was going to come crumbling down and finally become blue as well. the democrats looked like they won the senate in november 2012. democrats in november won 33 seats. republicans won 30 seats. so that means democrats take over the senate, right? wrong. even though the democrats won a clear majority in the senate, a subgroup of democrats decided to peel off and caucus themselves with the republicans instead, so the republicans could keep control in the senate. it was really weird.
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it was very weird at the time. when it happened, even before we found out what it was leading to today, it seemed weird. the "new york times" said it was a probably coup for the fraction of democrats when they recruited their leader. they also recruited an additional democrat -- for a possible run for mayor of new york city. mr. smith talked through the arrangement over a lunch of fried meat balls at enzo's. today, it was not fried meat balls, but it was a shared arrangement between senator smith and the republicans who he thought could get him on the ballot as a republican to run for new york city mayor. see, there are a lot more democrats than there are republicans in new york city, so it is a tried and true method to become a republican,
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specifically for the purpose of running for new york city mayor. it means you don't have a difficult primary, right? you have an easier primary if you're running as a republican than if you were running on the democratic side. that's how mike bloomberg got the job in the first place, then once he was in, he ran as a republican, then dropped the republican label and became an independent. but if you are a registered democrat and you want to pull this, you want to appear listed as a republican on the ballot in a new york city election. what you need is a majority of republicans in the city to sign off on you doing this. we know what you want to do. when that democratic state senator was arrested today, he was arrested alongside two other democrats and three republicans, with whom he was conspireing to bribe his way into getting that
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permission to get on to the ballot so he can maybe end up running america's largest city. it was the state senator who helped give the other party, the republicans, control of the state senate and it was the chairman of the republican party in the bronx and the vice chairman of the republican chairman in queens and republican city councilman. six arrests and all the accompanying salacious details who looked disgusted at what he had to explain to the public. >> three bribery scheming involving tens of thousands of dollars. every new yorker should be disheartened and dismayed by the sad state of affairs in this great state. from time to time, the question arises, how common is corruption
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in new york? i can tell you based on the cases we have brought and continue to bring, it seems down right pervasive. but don't take my word for it. consider the words of daniel hallerin caught on tape in this case. after allegedly receiving a $7500 cash bribe, he says to the cooperating witness, quote, money is what greases the wheels. good, bad or indifferent. during the same meeting, he allegedly says, that's politics, that's politics. it's all about how much and that's our politicians in new york. they're all like that. all like that. and they get like that because of the drive that the money does for everything else. you can't do anything without the money. after the string of public
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corruption scandals we continue to expose, many may fear there is no vote that is not for sale, no office without a price and no official clean of corruption. >> money is what greases is wheels, good, bad or indifferent. quote from the republican city council mann arresteded today along with five others. feel dirty yet? how about the -- that he would get named new york city's deputy police commissioner. if the bribing worked out, he's get that big law enforcement job. my favorite detail from the complaint is where the vice chairman of the republican party in queens decided the stuff they were talking about was so shady, so illegal, that he ought to take precautions and so, he decided in one of these meetings they ought to pat down one of the guys to see if the guy was wearing a wire. the guy who he was patting down with was wearing a wire. he was an undercover fbi agent
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and did have a recording device, but the republican guy missed it. he did not do the patdown well enough to find the wire and the fbi agent just kept recording. what would have happened if he had found the wire? so that's part one of today's news that leaves you feeling like you want to shower in bleach. part two involves this guy. governor ultrasound. we hardly knew you. in a political context, governor bob mcdonald is known for trying to portray a moderate image. that's how he got the nickname. on his way out of office, he is pushing more antiabortion legislation and has signed new voting i.d. laws. thanks to new investigative reporting from "the washington post," we know he has found a whole new approach to making people feel dirty. the executive chef who governor mcdonald hired to work at the
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governor's mansion was recently indicted in virginia for embezzlement. he left the mansion amid a state police investigation that led to those embezzlement charges, but once he left the job of being official governor chef at the mansion, he still ended up cooking for him and at the mansion. specifically, the former chef's catering company ended up doing the $15,000 dinner when governor mcdonald hosted his daughter's wedding at the governor's mansion. now, hosting your daughter's wedding at the governor's mansion, that's the sort of thing that gets a lot of positive press attention. you get earned media and the kind of attention you cultivate yourself with a big, public facebook page full of photos with from the event. while the wedding was getting the attention, the spokesperson took pains to say that the
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family was paying for all the expenses associated with that event. now, under questioning from "the washington post," the governor's spokesman is changing the story, saying actually, the governor's daughter herself paid for that $15,000 dinner. and by paying for it herself, what he means is that she quote paid for it by accepting it as a gift from one of dad's campaign contributors. since it was a gift though to the governor's daughter and not to the governor himself, there was no need to report this gift. the governor does admit to his campaign taking more than $28,000 in gifts from the same contributor in the form of private air travel, but another $80,000 in private air travel. plus more than $9,000 in personal gifts to the governor.
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more travel, food and lodging and entertainment, again, not including his daughter's wedding. the contributor is the head of a question who makes this anti-inflammatory drug. this picture that we have next here, yes, that is reported to be bob mcdonald up to the camera. the spokesman said the governor never authorized the xwaen to put this photo on the facebook page, but the spokesman also says yes, governor mcdonald does enjoy taking the supplement. the launch party was hosted at the governor's mansion. same political action committee that accepted tens of thousands of dollars in gifts from that company. three days before the daughter's wedding t governor's wife flew down to florida to go to an investor's conference for the company to tout the benefits of
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their tobacco related wonder drug. the first lady of virginia, three days before the wedding. wow. the company has reportedly received subpoenas related to transactions related to the company's stock. among the significant stockholders is the nominee, who himself is now in trouble for having gone nearly a year without disclosing he had those shares in that company. it's nice, right? the campaign contributors secretly paying for the daughter's wedding at the mansion in virginia, then blaming the daughter, saying it was her relationship with this guy that was under investigation? there's more. in case your second bleached shower wasn't enough, it's time for a third. it's not just governor ultrasound and the generosity of his family and his campaign contributor. it's not just envelopes of cash, no, there's more. just from today's news.
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specifically, from today's business pages, where we learned today that the outgoing chief of the securities and change commission, is is top cop, the top regulator on wall street, is leaving that top cop, top regulator job to go work for wall street. mary shapiro has decided to land very, very gently with promontory group, helps banks maneuver around the kinds of regulation. appointed to the job after the sec did not catch bernie madoff, she took over. her tenure was marked by no executives, getting handcuffed ever and now, upon leaving, she joins the industry herself. soft landing. she told "the wall street journal" there should not be in quote revolving door concerns because quote, in my case, there is no revolving door. i won't ever be going back to government.
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right. government served its purpose in the case. setting you up for this wall street job. should also be noted that the person replacing her as the new top cop is arriving there from the financial sector. so this is how it works, right? i'm in charge of enforcing the laws that keep you in check. now, my job is to help you get around those. now, to help you enforce. now, to help you evade. money is what greases the wheels. good, bad or indifferent. when scott brown was in the united states senate, his top contributor was wall street. when he left the senate, we learned subsequently, his new job is working at the lobbying firm that represents goldman sachs. we learned ben nelson was going to work at a top lobbying firm
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for the insurance industry. who was his top contributor? look at that. the insurance industry. every time someone in politics, someone in washington does this, it bolsters the expectation of everybody else still in washington or anybody planning on heading to washington in their career, that if they use their time in office, in politics, to scratch some rich guy's back or rich industry's back, there will be a nice, soft landing arranged for them. what gets headlines is when it's a bunch of guys scheming over fried meat balls. something as humiliating as your wife flying down to endorse the guy's product two days before you serve the guests the fancy chicken. that's when it gets headlines, right? that's when it's very obviously scummy. that's when bob mcdonald and all these new york politicians start to stink in the public's estimation. that's why people don't want to
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go into public service, frankly. but all of this is the same. all of this is. it's all cashing in for yourself and for the people who can buy access to you while the public interest goes begging. arrests and perp walks and investigations stop the new york and virginia vergs of this racket, but what stops the big version? the washington version? what stops that? that's next. a new property tax cap... and the lowest middle class income tax rate in 60 years... and a billion dollars in tax breaks and incentives. new opportunities for business. over 250,000 new private sector jobs were created over the last two years. and 17 straight months of job growth. with the most private sector jobs ever. lower taxes, new incentives, new jobs, now that's news. to grow or start your business in the new new york visit
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eliot spitzer is here next, stay with us. ♪ constipated? yeah. mm. some laxatives like dulcolax can cause cramps. but phillips' caplets don't. they have magnesium. for effective relief of occasional constipation.
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self-interest. every time a politician is arrested in new york, it should not feel like a scene from ground hog day and yet, it does. what can we expect when transgressions seem to be tolerated and nothing seems ever to change? new yorkers should demand more. >> u.s. attorney announcing federal corruption charges against six public officials in new york, including charges that a democratic state senator was trying to bribe his way on to the republican line of the ballot for the new york city mayoral race this year. joining us now, former new york governor and former new york attorney general, eliot spitzer. good to see here. thank you. >> thank you for inviting me. >> i want to talk to you about the broader connection between different types of corruption here. this big potential election rigging scandal that unfolded today is the silver lining here
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is that it was nice and bipartisan at least? >> it was so incredibly stupid. malcolm smith has put himself into that rare category of corruption, stupid, venal. not terribly surprised. it's a sad, sad day at every level. >> u.s. attorney saying it shouldn't feel like ground hog day. i feel like there's a nexus of petty corruption that's almost expected among public officials in both parties. that's why listening to you introduce this segment about the petty and obviously corrupt case, one that needs to be brought. yet, you were saying that deep corruption, mary shapiro going from the sec to the regulative company, oh, you don't need to worry, she misses the point. the entire time she was in government, she was being windowed by these companies she reacted to that. people know you want to job. you don't bring the big case and so, that invidious relationship
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that has done so much in such a corrosive way to damage enforcement of a law at that level needs to be focused upon as much we do the case. >> it doesn't come back in, but it is also not just in regulatory jobs like that. when members of congress leave office, whoever was paying them the most attention on their oversight committees. what is the cure to it? >> we discussed mary joe white a couple of months ago. >> incoming chair. >> i said let's be agnostic. sometimes, people can go back and forth and not be prey to the int luck eventual direction. then there's the example of tim geithner, who did a horrific job. so, it isn't as easy as you've been in the private sector, what really is determined is the intellectual integrity. having said that, what can be done, buffers. there should be a five-year mandatory hiatus. you cannot work for them for five years, we need to rebuild
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the perception of integrity of government and it will not happen if mary shapiro goes on monday or friday from the sec. monday, she's working for a financial services company. you simply can't have the public trust and for good reason. >> we have laws about lobbying, and she's being clear to note i'm not going to lobby for these companies. i'm banned from that, but she's going to be steering those companies and how to get around to the regulatory structure she helped build. it can't be that you go back and forth that quickly and the public will believe that honest decisions are being made. members of congress, who on friday are in congress, monday, lobbying in it firm, even if they're not individually
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lobbying, the firm is, they're getting revenues, benefitting from their capacity to sit down with clients and do all the other things. lanny brewer had been a major law firm. not everybody, his mom would not agree. i thought his tenure at justice, a disaster. they lost the wrong cases. now, he's back at the big firm doing the same sorts of representations. it shouldn't be that people go back and forth that quickly because the public says no wonder everything is correct. >> there is a specific cop mentality that should come with wg a regulator, but there is also the bigger issue, which is about whether or not it is companied to get their way and they buy everybody along the way. is there something structurally
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that can be done to try to interrupt that process? >> an adjournment isn't as good as an acquittal, just doesn't last as long. companies know if they wait, their -- they'll leave. somebody else will look at the file and say, not my case, who cares? i think mary joe and this isn't directly responsive. it's one of the most corrosive pieces of our failure to regulate the financial services community. time and time again, major companies settle, they pay money, but neither admit or deny they did something wrong. it proves this is merely a financial transaction. here's a check, but we're just doing it to save the litigation costs. i think we need to get rid of this and get the ceo to stand up and say something wrong happened. i think ceos should be fired. if they have overseen a company where there are a multitude of
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instances of wrong doing, second time, third time, three strikes you're out, the ceo has not been managing properly. ceos should be fired. none of that happened under mary shapiro owe. that's why her tenure at the sec, a disaster. she will be comfortable. as i said, soft landing. >> in broader american politics, if you're trying to understand the enthusiasm for people like elizabeth warren, ed marquee has taken a hard issue. this is why. there's a hunger for an emerging, progressive attitude towards these things that is much sharper elbow than we've been getting. >> simplicity and clarity of purpose. >> and the public interest is invaluable. eliot spitzer, thank you for being here. good to see you.
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>> thank you. more to report on the arkansas oil spill. on the special election in south carolina and on that insane situation in texas involving the murder of the assistant district attorney and attorney. lots ahead. stay with us. i don't like to golf. i love to golf. ♪ [ grunts ] yowza! that's why i eat belvita at breakfast. it's made with delicious ingredients and carefully baked to release steady energy that lasts...
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this is jim demint, a republican senator from south carolina, but then he quit. this is nikki hailey. when jim demint quit, he got to pick a replacement. a first term congressman named tim scott. that freed up the seat in the house and so now, it's election day because today, south carolina republicans got to pick who they want to run for that tim scott seat in congress. heading into tonight's run off, former republican governor mark sanford was the favorite. he's trying to mount a political comeback after an affair in argentina while he told everybody he was hiking the appalachain trail. he was facing curtis bostic. mark sanford is the winner and that means he will face elizabeth colbert bush, stephen colbert's sister. that general election will happen on may 7th. which means we won't have election music for weeks now. have to saver this timpny while
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it's all about absorption. it's july 25, 2010 in marshall, michigan, then out of nowhere, boom, an oil pipeline bursts, sending hundreds of thousands of crude oil everywhere. including into the nearby kalamazoo river. the oil company that owns the pipeline does nothing for close to 18 hours. and the oil keeps spewing all that time. the oil spill forces evacuations of all the local residents, compromises the drinking water in the area and now, nearly three years later, the oil company responsible for the spill is still trying to clean up all the oil. almost three years later, there is still oil in the kalamazoo river.
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that was july 2010. one year later, it's july 1st, 2011. nearing midnight in the city of laurel, montana. an otherwise normal summer night in montana, then again. another oil pipeline. this one owned by exxon mobil. it bursts out of nowhere and dumps oil into the previously pristine yellowstone river. even though another oil company shut down their pipeline in the area because of that warning, exxon decided to keep theirs running. this is the result. july, 2011. now, today, mayflower, arkansas, outside arkansas. it's friday afternoon and by now, you know the drill. it starts with boom. >> so, that is a pipeline that has busted and has flooded the neighborhood and is going all the way to the drain at the end
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of the street. luckily, our house is here, but the smell is unbelievable. i mean, look. that is oil. >> lots and lots of oil. on friday afternoon, another pipeline, an exxon mobil pipeline, this one carrying between illinois and texas, ruptured underground. it sent a thick stream of crude oil everywhere. dozens of residents have been evacuated indefinitely. it's now encroaching toward lake conway, a local source of drinking water. so far, the oil company says 12,000 barrels of oil contaminated water have been recovered by emergency responders. one of the things that has emerged is that it turns out this oil pipeline, a ticking time bomb, this was mostly unknown to the residents who live right on top of it.
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watch. >> mike oswald is worried about his mother. >> no, i didn't know there was one. >> he is like many who said they had no idea the pipeline existed. alexander says he knew nothing about the pipeline. >> before we buy the house, you know, what is underground or what is, where the houses are. >> supposed to be a 20-inch pipeline runs from illinois to texas. >> brantly knew nothing of the pipeline. >> i had no idea and i'm the fourth of fifth house from it. >> official from the arkansas geological commission say most of the pipeline is underground expect for places where it crosses a body of water. they say there are published maps of the pipeline. after 9/11, details of the location were somewhat depressed. >> so, residents don't even know until friday when they learned about it because it bursts. well, all of that is going on in arkansas, the other big thing going on in the oil industry, it's happening simultaneously to this spill in arkansas is that
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in nearby louisiana, there's a trial. bp, halliburton and transocean are in court defending themselves in trail on charges relating to the deepwater horizon. the prosecutors have been building the case against those oil companies. what has emerged in the trial is a pattern of companies destroying evidence related to the spill. a former engineer has been charged with destroying electronic messages about the spill. bp is now accusing halliburton of destroying documents in order to hide their role. destroying evidence is a way of shrinking out of responsibility. it is against that pattern from the other nearby oil company disaster that officials in arkansas are now gearing up to take on exxon mobil, so while they are dealing with this spill physically in arkansas, while they're trying to clean up what's been spilled and trying to protect the drinking water, they are doing that, the attorney general from the state of arkansas has put exxon on
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notice. very publicly. the attorney general demanding exxon preserve all documents and information relating to friday's oil spill in his state. he say his expickation is that exxon mobil will come ply with that question, but that is cognizant with the fact that other companies in the past have not done that. joining us now is the arkansas attorney general. thank you so much for being with us. i really appreciate it. >> thank you. i'm glad to be with you. >> your office has asked exxon to preserve documents related to this accident. we know in the gulf spill, bp and halliburton are accusing each over of destroying documents related to the spill and on the yellowstone spill, it took twice as long to seal up the spill. knowing that, are you confident you're going to get the cooperation you need from exxon in this situation? >> well, i certainly hope so,
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but most importantly, i'm going to let them know on the front end we expect it and intend to watch closely how they respond. i've been in close contact with my friends, the attorneys general in mississippi as they have been preparing for the litigation you've been talking about and they've given me serious points of caution led leading up to that litigation. i guess i've been thinking about the regulatory capture and how good the government is at fighting industry. when these fights need to happen. obviously, oil companies deal with litigation over spills all the time. they're the companies that cause them, but you have to deal with everything. there's no reason for you to be expert on this particular type of litigation or companies. what kinds of advice are you getting? >> you're absolutely right. i'm no expert in this kind of litigation, but what i have spent my time as attorney general doing is standing up for the people of a ar against out
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of state multinational companies that have limitless resources that have found ways to take advantage of the people of arkansas and we've been very successful in standing up for ourselves. we are a strong state, but strong especially when we are looking out for one another. so i want to know how long was that rupture releasing before it saturated the ground before it came up to the surface. i want to know what the chemicals are in the mixture of this crude that is also been released into our environment. i want to know what they've done cap it. the history of the inspections, who's going to secure the pipeline. it is a serious learning curve. for instance, i had no idea that the department of transportation regulates america's oil pipelines. the d.o.t. is in charge of this
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investigation, not the epa, so we're having to figure out whole new regulatory alphabet soup. >> one of the things people have focused on in terms of national attention to the spill in your state is the type of oil. there's a big learning curve for all of the technical aspects, but there are these reports this is tar sands oil. that it's a lower grade oil. does that matter at all in terms of how you're pursuing this? >> it may or may not matter to the nature of the investigation. it certainly is going to matter with the nature of the clean-up. this product wasn't even considered to be oil, per se, until recently and only recently
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as technology reached the point to where it's cost effective to break down the sands and transport this sub tans to be refined. and it's particularly pungent. it's hard to clean up. it's very viscus. so i would think that the expense is going to increase and that the length of time for the clean-up as you mentioned the michigan spill, so we're obviously very concerned about that. will that impact the nature of the investigation? no. we're going to be aggressive in asking for information and compliance. i expect additional information tomorrow in from exxon and so far, they've been cooperative,
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but i think we are just the beginning of a long process. >> dustin mcdaniels, thank you so much for your time tonight and you've helped me understand a lot of stuff about that that i did not understand before. good luck. stay in touch with us on this, sir. >> thank you. >> all right. here's a money question. how much does it cost to not think big? that's straight ahead. [ male announcer ] let's say you pay your guy around 2% to manage your money. that's not much, you think. except it's 2% every year. go to e-trade and find out how much our advice and guidance costs. spoiler alert: it's low. it's guidance on your terms, not ours. e-trade. less for us. more for you. a talking car. but i'll tell you what impresses me. a talking train. this ge locomotive can tell you exactly where it is,
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there appears to be significant news regarding the murder of kaufman county texas district attorney mike mclelland and his wife. since the killings were discovered saturday, speculation about who committed that crime is centered on a possible connection to the aryan brotherhood of texas, a white sue premise gang who has been prosecuted by kaufman county d.a. the assistant d.a., the same county, was shot and killed in a parking lot outside the kaufman county courthouse. killed at a time when sources say he was heavily involved in investigating the aryan brotherhood of texas. mike mclelland who was his boss, the man responsible for finding hasse's killers, mclelland talked to the associated press
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after the killing about the possibility that the aryan brotherhood may be responsible for that murder. so speculation about this particular prison gang having connection to the two murdered texas prosecutors, that speculation has been based on widely known circumstances of the activities of that office and also on the words of the kaufman county d.a. himself, prior to his own murder. however, and it is a huge however today, that speculation about the prison gang has been starkly interrupted today by new reporting about the murders which suggests an entirely different possibility. it is the los angeles times reporting tonight that someone in an entirely different case is also, quote, emerging as a person of interest. this is according to a law enforcement source. that person is reportedly a local official who lost his job in a corruption scandal and who made numerous threats thereafter, including threats of retaliation against the two prosecutors who have now been killed in kaufman county. mark hasse and mike mcwill he and are the second murdered like
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this in our country. it is very rare. it is unclear who is responsible in kaufman county, texas. we will report developments as law enforcement tries to solve this mystery. watch this space. [ male announcer ] rocky had no idea why dawn was gone for so long... ...but he'd wait for her forever and always be there with the biggest welcome home. for a love this strong, dawn only feeds him iams. compared to other leading brands, it has 50% more animal protein. help keep his body as strong as a love that never fades. iams. keep love strong. now you can keep love fun with new shakeables meaty treats. you'll have to pay five hundred bucks for your deductible. the truth? at allstate, you could pay zero. allstate gives you a hundred dollars
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a decade later, president clinton announced a major break through. they finished the first rough draft. we the public funded the project, the data it produced is free and available to anyone that wants it, property of everyone. you can get a free poster for your dorm door or use it to research new treatments for cancer or sickle cell anemia. with all of that publicly funded available data, we set the table for future scientific progress. they say it produced $140 in economic results for every dollar we invested in that project. today, president obama announced a new project, the brain initiative. scientists will be mapping the stuff between your ears so we can finally understand how the individual cells and regions of
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the brains work and how they work together. the idea again is to think big, use the new tools we have for looking at the human brain and to make better tools to create a new and better map of the human brain and its functions. then make that map publicly available so scientists in all fields can use it to work on, say, alzheimer's, autism, or schizophrenia. right now, the map of the human brain has blank spots the size of texas. this man's parkinson's disease makes it hard to walk. when the same man can ride a bicycle like a ten-year-old with no problems at all, we don't understand. that's a mystery. if we understood the brain better, we could offer more help to people with brain injury, like veterans that come home with signature injuries from the wars.
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if we understood the brain better, maybe we could offer replacement limbs that just work. like the first president bush 20 years ago, what president obama is calling for is for the nation to think big. we can do that if we want to. we have done it in the past. or we can think small. this photograph was taken a couple weeks ago in columbus, indiana. because of budget cuts, head start programs have to kick out preschoolers. the ap caption says the man is listening to the names of families that lost their place in preschool in his town. they decided which kids got to stay in head start by lottery. drew names from a fish bowl in columbus and franklin, indiana. 36 kids were booted from head start because their names were not picked and because congress decided to impose arbitrary life changing nickel and dime budget cuts technically called the sequester, for kids in indiana are called no more preschool for you. despite real world harm from the cuts, republicans have seen the sequester as a political victory, because even though they didn't particularly want the sequester, democrats didn't want it, and anything democrats don't want must be a good thing. generally speaking take a buzz saw to the federal budget fits the ideological stance, which is that government must always do less to do better.