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tv   The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell  MSNBC  December 31, 2021 10:00pm-11:00pm PST

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>> good evening and welcome to a special holiday edition of the last word. 2022 will be the year of the all important midterm congressional campaigns. mitch mcconnell said republicans won't be running on any issue.
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joe biden and kamala harris. pulling the american economy out of the recession. how is the biden/harris team doing? >> american rescue plan delivered relief to millions of people. we are growing faster than any other nation in the world. we have a record number of jobs. we created over 6 million jobs since january 20th. no new president ever created that many jobsas quickly. we have seen the extraordinary drop in unemployment and passed the most important piece of legislation ever passed since the eisenhower administration.
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this law will create millions of good paying jobs that you can raise a family on. >> we have, past tense, lifted 40% of america's children out of poverty. let's reflect on what that means. talk about trancetransformative. elections matter. it is not about a victory celebration or a pat on the back but what can we achieve with the time that we have that directly impacts so many people? >> and in the most ignored huge
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accomplishment of the joe biden/chuck schumer partnership, president biden has nominated and chuck schumer has confirmed more lifetime appointed federal judges than any first-year president since ronald reagan. joining us now is nobel winning economist paul krugman. let's hear your review of the biden/harris first year review of the administration. >> by most normal standards this has been -- first of all, the social stuff. the american rescue plan did make an enormous difference. infrastructure was a running joke for four years and now it is for real. a lot of stuff that i would like to see happen, but it is a lock. we have had an extraordinary
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jobs recovery. you know, there are glitches. we are far closer to regaining the jobs lost due to the pandemic than i think anybody expected. by most natural standards this has been a really good year. the trouble is convincing anybody that it actually happened. >> inflation, how much of the inflation that this country is enduring now is attributable to government policy? >> i would say not very much. there is some. you know, those programs, the american rescue plan sustained purchasing power andin a lot of. physical stuff. couldn't go to the gym and you are buying exercise equipment. that clogged supply chains and part of the reason for
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inflation. the fact is that a lot of it is independent of anything that any president could have done. a lot of it has been oil crisis, but that came down a lot in the last few weeks. that will help. but the idea that this is a biden inflation does not stand up if you try to talk about it. and you can see republicans are condemning it. how would you bring inflation down. >> i know economics is not supposed to be a predictive discipline but you are called upon to do so all of the time. as you look forward in to 2022, what would you expect to see happening in the economy? >> i think that the economy will continue to grow to add jobs. not as fast as it has because we have gained so many already.
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we are pretty close to where we were before the nightmare happened. it will continue to add jobs. inflation will come down. there is enough stuff in the pipeline. other things like rent on new apartments are way up but the overall rent index does not reflex that because a lot of people are under under leases meaning inflation will continue for a while. but look. the fed, has releaseds it own projections. it expects inflation to come down but still be somewhat high over the course of next year and expects unemployment to continue to fall. i can't make much of an argument with that. i think where we are is a situation where we will still have things to complain about. but it will actually look a lot better a year from now than it does now. >> will it be possible for inflation to decline more
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rapidly in the united states than in other countries that are also enduring inflation right now? >> quite possibly because some of the things that have driven it up are kind of uniquely american, not because things are bad but because they are good. because we supported income so well, we are buying more stuff. durable goods. the stuff that comes in on the containerships that are parked outside the ports of los angeles. we are buying more of that than anybody else because we have done such a good job of keeping peoples incomes up. as the bottlenecks ease inflation will come down more in the united states than it will in other places. >> if you can spend a few minutes in the oval office on january 1st with the president, what would you tell him? >> i think mostly it is about messaging. the policies. i think, i hate to sound, you know, this is a very intelligent
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administration. it hasn't done anything stupid. there are very few things it has done that are obvious clear mistakes and a lot of things that were really good but the messaging seems to be weak. they should be hammering the job gains, not just an occasional press conference but they should be out there all of the time. they should be talking about what things should be like if republicans got their way. people want to take away the child tax credits making it possible to afford food for your families. usually i hate this thing. but i think the messaging is terribly important. >> joe manchin seems to think that there is a serious inflation risk in the -- what is left of the biden legislative agenda that hasn't been enacted or carried out. what would you say to joe manchin about that? >> i would like him to talk to a high school math teacher, really, seriously. the numbers are not there.
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build back better, you know it looks like a lot of money. you sound like dr. evil, $1 trillion. largely paid for with new taxes are not enough to be a source of inflation. largely paid for over ten years. that is not a big inflationary thing. >> professor, always an honor to speak with you. thank you very much for joining us tonight. >> take care. >> coming up the political media still hasn't adjusted to the new reality that the republican party no longer believes in democracy and is changing state laws now that might allow them to change the outcome of elections. elections. ho ho ho!
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>> 2021 is the year the republican party officially defected from democracy. they are now focused as they were on january 6th with trying to steal the presidency through the electoral college. if necessary, change the outcomes of elections in some states. dana millbank writes in the "washington post," we need a skeptical independent press, but how about being partisans for democracy. the country is in an existential struggle and we in the news
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media have given collectively equal or more favorable treatment to the authoritarians. too many journalists are caught in a mindless neutrality between democracy and -- both are msnbc political analysts. in 2021 what adjustments should the political media being making in the approach to the coverage? >> there are a lot. there are a lot of things that we learned or we should have learned, rather, from what we saw unfold from 2015 to present. but we have been slow to see the things translate into how coverage has changed.
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the first is that it is absolutely true that we are supposed to have a vantage point. what we have done is mistaken it or substituted an even-handedness for neutrality being that you would treat things that are fundamentally dissimilar as if they are the same in the name of object festivity. but it normalizes the thing that has become unusual. in this case we have seen a number of things and an array of things. we can see the numbers declining, things that are not in dispute or partisan elements here. the media should approach it with that critical eye.
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we shouldn't give platforms to people that are consistently mendacious. of course i am not naiive enough to think that politicians don't lie. pretty much all politicians do. we see people operating in bad faith and using the media as a means of misinforming people, the people shouldn't be allowed access to platforms like the sunday morning shows, something we have done again and again. and finally, i think that margaret sullivan has a great point when she is as stop having reporters covering politics and have them covering government. politics is treated like sports. covering government requires that you look at ethical questions, issues of democracy, looking at what exactly is being done to the governing structures of the country. >> there are three subjects in front of us.
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professor cobb distinguished between politicals and government and the politics of governing. the politics of governing is what we are seeing the media attempt to cover when they are chasing joe manchin down a hallway with a microphone. he usually turns and says something. but that is also a tricky arena in which to try to bring a careful eye to what is being said. >> yeah. look, the media needs to make a major new year's resolution. we need a new paradigm. we need a new lens on american politics. it is not that, you know, people should go easy on joe biden. after dana milbank wrote a piece, i wrote a piece calling for an end to the neutrality. the response is that you don't
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want the press to go easy on biden. i don't want that. we need to maintain the relationship between the press and the white house that we had for 150 years in this country. it does not have to go away. it shouldn't dominate the way that it is. the axis around which coverage terms should be turned to democracy and anti-democracy. our approach should be directed not just at people in government but those that would assault our system and undermine our system. the coverage has been pathetic. just to take the eastman memo. this was a sketched out coup attempt, a blueprint for a coup and the networks did not even cover it on the evening news broadcasts.
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you had people in the states who were basically trying to rig future elections, very little if any coverage. this should be top tier and other things. chasing joe manchin around. that is fine and has it place. that should be the number one story which is will our democracy survive. and to the question of whether, you know, the press should be neutral. it is not neutral about fascism and neutral about civil rights in the 60s. they were not giving phony balance coverage to segregationists. they are not neutral about climate change. >> what does the word neutral mean in journalism? >> well, i mean neutral has generally been taken. it is supposed to mean that you don't approach a story with a particular agenda. you are not more favorable to
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one party than another party. what winds up happening is that we round things up or we round them down to equivalence. when you start to talk about things that are truly hostile to democracy in the same tones as you talk about things that are day to day occurrences in a normal functioning democracy. what you do is lull the public into a false sense of complacency. one thing that is really crucial to jonathan's point, we need an accord. we need some sort of document that press organizations can sign on to in terms of how we will approach covering fascism in the united states. we need more than anything else to be able to get on the same page about how we are go be to deal with this looming crisis in front of us. >> professor cobb, you are invited to do the first draft of
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the accord we will all consider joining. thank you very much for joining our discussion tonight. coming up, the testimony you must hear. unfortunately it is testimony that the supreme court did not hear. that is next. hear that is next
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>> 2022 we will get the supreme court's decision on the first direct challenge to roe versus wade in more than 20 years. the republican appointed justices showed no comprehension of the lives of poor women and girls who seek abortion services. michelle goodwin a professor of law who has written books about abortion laws shared her deeply personal story in a "new york times" article and on the last word and it is the essential testimony that the supreme court never heard.
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never talked about it not once in 90 minutes. didn't talk about the pregnancies that result from rape and incest. rape and incest were completely ignored by the supreme court justices who are considering taking away a american woman's right to an abortion. here is justice barrett category -- suggesting the mother could terminate her parental rights by putting the baby up for adoption. >> it does not seem to me to follow that pregnancy and then parent hood are part of the same
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burden. seems to me that the choice more focused would be the ability to get an abortion at 23 weeks or the state requiring the woman to go 15 or 16 weeks more and terminate parental rights at the conclusion. >> the state requiring the woman to carry the pregnancy and terminate parental rights through adoption. appoints of abortion like amy coney barrett don't think it sounds unreasonable at all but how would it sound to them if we changed just one word? how would it sound if it said the state requiring the girl to carry the pregnancy. or real cases of real suffering and said that the state requiring the 12-year-old girl to carry the pregnancy and then
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terminate her parental rights. amy coney barrett side of the argument never uses the word girl to describe who needs abortion services in the country. michelle goodwin teaches constitutional law at the university of california and in a "new york times" piece she writes this. like a military draft the state has coercively conscripted rape and incest survivors to endure one more tremendous burden, to take another devastating physical and mental hit. to tie their lives to those of their rapists. this time it is state lawmakers who strong-arm their bodies into service. this draft, the pregnancy draft, is warfare at home and the state leaves it girls on the battlefield to fend for themselves. the republican appointed supreme court justices were not willing to frame any of their hypothetical questions around rape and incest pregnancies of
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little girls but that is what they will be ruling on. what happens to those little girls. those justices do not dare acknowledge the existence of those girls who become pregnant through rape and incest. michelle goodwin's op-ed piece is titled i was raped by my father. an abortion saved my life. the single most important article published in the latest round of the national discussion about abortion and it is an astonishing piece of writing ranging from the tragically auto biographical to the scholarly analysis of the law. i temporarily went blind.
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the suffering that hi endured included severe migraines, hair loss and even gray hair at 10 years old. at age 12 i was pregnant by my father and had an abortion. i had had no idea that i was pregnant. my father lied about my age and the circumstances of my pregnancy informing the doctor i was 15 and was reckless with a boyfriend. nobody wants to write about such experiences. revisiting traumatic aspects of childhood. the lack of compassion and the hubris that under lied the mississippi and texas legislation deserved a response. with the laws the state had in effect forced girls to carry the burden of its desires forcing many of them to risk their health and even risk death by remaining pregnant. joining us now is michelle goodwin, the chancellor's professor of law at the university of california irvine
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and the author of policing the womb and the criminalization of motherhood. professor, were you surprised that in that 90 minutes there was not once, not once a mention of or a real discussion or exchange about rape and incest and little girls? >> unfortunately i was not surprised that it was lacking in the questioning from the justices themselves. that it was an issue that was not raised. what is so horrific is that in the texas and in the mississippi law there are no exceptions for instances of rape or incest and it is ironic given that was specific in the laws that the justices did not address it at all. >> you write in your piece about your own experience, my father's
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predations were hidden behind wealth, social status. i attended elite schools in new york city. took private violin and tennis lessons. i think in that sentence and others in your piece we have to realize that there is no way of knowing who the kind of thing is happening to. many americans think of it as the creepy guy driving around in the white van all sealed up. we fail to pay attention to these phenomenon happens across all society and are fathers that are doctors, lawyers, legislatures and maybe judges
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themselves. i think if we look at the way that some judges ruled in cases involving incest, it is striking the very eliminated sentencing some of the fathers get. >> one of the things i was feeling the republican appointed justices have no comprehension of and no curiosity about the real lives of little girls and women who do not have financial resources. who do not have choices in life generally never mind the choice of abortion services. >> that is right. it is important to read judge reeves lower court opinion. the reason it hasn't gone into effect is that there is a judge, judge reeves who wrote a stunning opinion with wonderful footnotes identifying how harsh
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mississippi has been as a state to the interests of women and black women. states like mississippi and texas have amongst the highest maternal mortality rates in the entire world. there was a time texas was considered the most dangerous place in the world to get pregnant. black girls that were sterile -- regarding black women and girls or generally any women who happen to be vulnerable and poor in those states.
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it seems that what roe versus wade, at this point protecting the rights of poor women and those that don't have significant means and live in republican-controlled states and who will then change the laws and restrict or ban abortion completely. the wealthy women in the states easily will be able to travel to other states that provide abortion services or the big democratic states will preserve abortion rights as they have now. so a majority of the population will be living in states that preserve roe and more. it was really just the protection of women that don't have the means. to create their own choices in these situations. >> that is really why the choice
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framework, though really important. because for very poor women it is very difficult. in mississippi there is only one abortion clinic remaining in the state and it is a deadly proposition to carry a pregnancy to term in the state and a person is 14 times more likely to die by carrying a pregnancy to term than by terminating it. we have to look clearly at what the states are doing given the data that we know. the high death rates. the expense. the costs. the wait times and other things imposed. it is not just health risk but it is life and death for a number of women. the judges and legislatures need to look at the life and death scenarios in the united states. i want to share one thing.
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i know we are tight on time. the united states ranks 54th in the world in terms of maternal health and safety. it is safer to give birth in bosnia than the united states. the laws are a deadly proposition. >> professor, thank you very much for joining us tonight. we are going to post a link to your article which is the must-read article in this subject that i want everyone to see. thank you so much for joining us tonight. >> thank you so much for having me. >> coming up a former police officer is in prison tonight for the murder of george floyd, a crime that might never have been exposed were it not for the bravery of 17-year-old darnela frazier. darnela frazier.
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we the jury in the above entitled manner as to count one unintentional second degree murder find the defendant guilty. as to count two, third degree murder perpetrating an imminently dangerous act find the defendant guilty. as to count three creating an unreasonable risk find the defendant guilty. >> here is what the minneapolis police department told us on may 25th of last year after george floyd died. on monday evening shortly after 8:00p.m. officers from the minneapolis police department responded to the 3700 block of chicago avenue south on a report of forgery in progress and two officers arrived and loelkted a
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subject in his car. he resisted officers. they were able to get him into handcuffs and he appeared to be suffering medical distress. officers called for an ambulance. transported by ambulance where he died a short time later. end of story. end of police story. that was the lie that the playoffs involved in the killing of george floyd were going to get away with. not one of the cops on the scene was going to tell the truth about what happened to george floyd. their story fell apart overnight thanks to one person. she was on the earth less than half of the time but at 17 years old she knew how to do the right
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thing. she aimed her phone and held it and recorded every minute of what derek chauvin did to george floyd. even when threatened with mace she held her ground and kept recording and posted her video on facebook and the police lie instantly began to crumble. >> probably close to midnight a community member contacted my and said chief, have you seen the video of your officer choking and killing that man. once i heard that statement i
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knew it wasn't the same video that i saw. eventually within minutes after that, i saw for the first time what is now known as the bystander video. >> changed the police chief's mind when she testified in the trial she said that she wished she did more. >> when i look at george floyd, i look at my dad. my brothers, cousins, uncles. i have a black father, black brother and black friends. i look at that. i look at how it could have been one of them.
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there have been nights i stayed up apologizing to george floyd for not doing more and not physically interacting and not saving his life. but it is not what i should have done. it is what he should have done. >> all three of the other police officers on the scene could have done more. each one of them could have intervened and knocked derek chauvin off of george floyd's neck but did not have darnella frazier's sense of duty to the life of another human being. he is in life awaiting a sentence that could leave him in presence for the rest of his life and that happened because she knew something had to be done for for george floyd.
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she wrote that i just cried so hard. i was so anxious. anxiety buzzing through the roof. but to know guilty on all three charges, thank you god. thank you. thank you. thank you. thank you. george floyd, we did it. justice has been served. derek chauvin was sentenced to more than 20 years in practice. all four former officers are facing federal civil rights charges for depriving george floyd of his constitutional right to be free from the use of
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unusual force. in june he was awarded a special pulitzer prize. coming up, a teenage girl who many met on the program five years ago is now closer to achieving her dream of becoming a doctor and joyce will tell us how it is going next in tonight's last word. is going n tonight's last word. and wait for back and forth e-mail, or a call to be rescheduled for the third time. orrr... you could use slack. and work faster with everyone you work with, together in one place. slack. where the future works.
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>> five years ago on the program we introduced you to the remarkable joyce, 13 years old and had been sent home from high school because her family could not pay the school feels. public high school is not free there. she would receive a scholarship from the k.i.n.d. fund, the partnership i created between msnbc and unicef. joyce told me on the day we met she wanted to be a doctor and poet. reciting a poem many will never forget.
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little by little we grow. no matter how far the distance is. little by little. we reach our destination. little by little we will go. no matter how bumpy the road is, we are not go to turn back. little by little we will go. no matter how narrow the path is. we are going to force themselves to pass. little by little we will go. don't be shaken. don't turn back. little by little you will go and reach your destination. >> joyce has reached the next stop on the road to her destination, and a few days ago she told us how it is going in her first year at the university at the college of medicine. >> it has been good, exciting.
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it has been an adventure as well as stressful. it has been stressful but wonderful because i learned how to manage my time. yeah. it has been good. >> joyce has the enthusiasm of a student who feels very lucky to be there. >> my favorite classes here, biology. chemistry as well as mathematics. i learned a lot of things about human anatomy.
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the chemical equations. >> now it is time for joyce's first college exams. >> i will be studying it is very good. yeah. although there are things that are difficult but it is wonderful to have friends helping me and doing discussions with. i will be very good to start my first year of medical sciences. >> you can help others achieve their dreams and your dreams for them by going to last word desks. give a gift to anyone on your lift list and unicef will send them an acknowledgment of the gift. joyce made me promise she would
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get this last word tonight from her heart to yours. >> to the people who are donating to the k.i.n.d. fund scholarship. you are doing a great job and helping a lot of kids including me. thank you for your support. once again tonight's last word. and from all of us here on the last word team and msnbc, thank you for watching this year. good night. ♪ ♪
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♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
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>> good evening everyone. we begin the reid out with 2021. a year that started promising following the pandemic nightmare of 2020 after the awfulness of the previous four years and a new horror emerged when a pro trump mob stormed the capitol to violently overturn the election. biden