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tv   The Rachel Maddow Show  MSNBC  July 16, 2009 11:00pm-12:00am EDT

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obama [ mumbling ] and he's going to change the white house to a pyramid. >> no. but again -- not to belabor the point, one specific thing. >> katie, i'd like to use one of my life lines. >> don't think of john mccain. think of me. george w. bush. think of this face, when you're in the voting booth, before you vote, yes. >> just a few moments ago my opponent slandered my very best friend in the world, joe the plumber, by calling him imaginary. would the senator like to apologize to joe for that remark?
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>> joe, i'm happy to confirm your existence. >> senator, why don't you say it to his face? he's right here. >> um, joe, if i in any way implied you do not exist, i sincerely apologize. >> now i'd like to entertain everybody with some fancy pageant walking. ♪ put your heads up put your heads up ♪ all the plumbers in the house put your heads up ♪ all the plumbers in the house pull your pants up ♪ ♪ shoot a mother humping moose ♪ >> i'm sarah palin. good night, and have a pleasant tomorrow. >> congrats to tina fey and the entire show for all of their combined emmy nods. we don't know how we would have
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made it through decision 2008 without them. that will do it for this thursday edition of "countdown." i'm david shuster in for keith olbermann, and now to take on pat buchanan, ladies and gentlemen, here is rachel maddow. >> thanks, david, for that. appreciate it. thank you at home for staying with us for the next hour. today is the 40th anniversary of the launch of apollo xi, landed a man on the moon. did you know nasa accidentally taped over the original archived footage of the landing? they taped over it. we'll talk about that this hour. also, another shoe has dropped in the john ensign sex and money and ethics scandal. his office finally trying to explain some of the more inexplicable details of ensign's affair and breaking late today, an even bigger shoe that dropped. a lawsuit charges that a former congressman and his mistress carried on their affair actually at c street.
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at the c street house where john ensign and other members of the secretive religious community live. that is all coming up this hour, but we begin with remarks tonight in new york city by the president of the united states. >> no matter how bitter the ride, how stoney the road, we have always persevered. we have not faltered nor have we grown weary. as americans we have demanded and strived for and shaped a better destiny, and that is what we are called on to do once more. naacp, it will not be easy. it will take time. doubt may rise and hopes may recede, but if john lewis brave billy clubs across the bridge then i know young people today can do their part to lift up our community.
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somebody can testify against the man who killed her nephew i know we can be better fathers and better brothers and better mothers and sisters in our own families. if three civil rights workers in mississippi, black, white, christian and jew, city born and country bred, could lay down their lives the at freedom's cause, i know we can come together to face down the challenges of our own times. we can fix our schools. we can hear our sick heal our sick. we can rescue our youth from violence and despair and 100 years from now on the 200th anniversary of the naacp, let it be said that this generation did its part. that we, too, ran the race. that we were full of hope, that president had brought you us, we faced in our lives and all across this nation the rising sun of a new day has begun. thank you, god bless you. god bless the united states of america.
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the nation's first african-american president tonight speaking in new york city addressing an essentially all black audience for the first time since he has been president. the occasion, of course, the 100th anniversary of the founding of the naacp. the nation's oldest civil rights organization. beyond that huge anniversary, today was a landmark day for civil rights in america as confirmation hearings ended for the person who is on track to be the first latino elevated to the united states supreme court. the hearings for judge sonia sotomayor closed today with assurances from republican senators that she will not face a filibuster and will essentially be confirmed. >> i will not support and i don't think any member of this side will support a filibuster or any attempt to block a vote on your nomination. i look forward to you getting that vote before we recess in august. >> some have been filibustered. i told you when we visited my office that's not going to
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happen to you if i have anything to say about it. you will get that up or down vote on the senate floor. >> i hope to have a chance to get to know you better and we'll see what your future holds, but i think it's going to be pretty bright. >> all republican senators speaking there. probably because of the lack of suspense about the outcome of these hearings, they didn't garner huge tv audiences this week. if these hearing are going to be remembered for anything other than their obviously historic nature, what they're probably be remembered for is the insistence of the republicans who did express opposition to sotomayor. that the thing to talk about at these hearings, the grounds on which they wanted to objected to her potential elevation to the supreme court was race. race, race, race, and also race. >> had you voted for judge cabrotta, himself a puerto rican
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ancestor, if you voted with him, you could have changed that case. with regard to the, the wise latina quote where you said that they should make decisions that are better than a white male -- >> reach a better conclusion than a white male. >> some of the old white guys. >> the wise latina woman quote. >> the wise latina. >> your wise latina comment. >> if i go home, get a gun, come back and the shoot you, that may not be legal under new york law because you would have alternative ways to defend -- >> you have lots of 'splaining to do. >> doing his ricky ricardo impersonation for the judge. one prominent republican who believes that the republicans did not make enough of the issue of race at the sotomayor hearings is my msnbc colleague patrick j. buchanan who argued in his column this week that the hearings should have been seized on even more by republicans to try to win over white
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conservatives who feel a grieve by racial issues. the folks that pay the price of affirmative action when their sons and daughters are pushed aside to make room for the sewna sotomayors. what republicans must do is expose sotomayor as a political activist whose career bespeaks even if confirmed making the nation aware she is a political supporter since college days of ethnic and gender preferences is an assignment worth pursuing. joining us now is my msnbc political colleague pat buchanan. pat, it's been far too long since you've been on the show. it's nice to see you. >> good to see you, rachel. >> so your argument is that republicans could reap political reward by making the argument that sotomayor essentially doesn't deserve to be on the supreme court, that she's only there because of her race. did i understand your argument correctly? >> well, i think i would vote no on sonia sotomayor the same
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way i would have voted no on harriet miers, and i said so the first day she was nominated. i don't think sonia sotomayor is qualified. she has not shown any great intellect here or any depth of the constitution. she's never written anything i've read in terms of a law review, article or major book or something like that on the law, and i do believe she's an affirmative action appointment by the president of the united states. he eliminated everyone but four women and then picked the hispanic. i would vote no. >> what do you think that affirmative action is for? >> affirmative action is to increase diversity by discriminating against white males. as alan bakke was discriminated at the university of california at davis. as brian weber that worker in louisiana was discriminated against. as frank richie and those firefighters were discriminated against, as jennifer grauts, was discriminated against and kept out of the university of michigan which she set her heart on, even though her grades were
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far higher than people who were allowed in there. that's the type, affirmative action is basically reverse discrimination against white males and it's as wrong as discrimination against black females and hispanics and others, and that's why i oppose it. >> i ofbsly have a different view about it but want to give awe chance too explain -- >> why do you have a different view? discrimination against white males. >> let me ask you this -- why do you think it is of the 110 supreme court justices we've had in this country, 108 of them have been white? >> well i think white men were 100% ever the people that wrote the constitution. 100% of the people that signed the declaration of independence. 100% of people who died at gettysburg and fredricksburg. probably close to 100% ever people that died at normandy. this is a country built basically by white folks in this country who are 90% of the entire nation in 1960 when i was growing up, rachel, and the
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other 10% african-american whose had been discriminated against. that's why. >> but does that mean that you think that there are 108, of 110 white supreme court justices because white people essentially deserve to have 99.5% of those positions? that there's nothing -- that doesn't reflect any sort of barrier to those positions by people who aren't white. you think that's what -- you think that's purely on the basis of what white people have deserved to get? >> i think a lot of people get up there for a lot of reason, but my argument would be, get the finest mind you can get. get real scholars. whether you agree with borque or scalia or not, they're tremendous minds and there are other minds. i'm sure the democratic party, i'm sure has women there that can stand up head to head with scalia and make the case, who have tremendous credential, knowledge, background, but this one doesn't have that. she was appointed because she's a latina, an hispanic and a woman.
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>> she is also the judicial nominee who has more judging experience than any judge who's gone up in the, what, the past 70 years? she has been in the abelt judge distinction a lot longer than judge roberts was, judge alito was. it's not like she was pick out of the minor leagues and brought up here, pat. >> listen, it certainly is -- look at her own words in the "new york times," from the tapes, it's in the "new york times," june 11th. she said i'm an affirmative action baby. >> yeah. >> i got into princeton on affirmative action. into yale. i didn't have the scores these other kids did. how did she get in yale law review? affirmative action. on the bench by moynihan? moynihan needs an hispanic woman just like barack obama needs a hi panic woman. that is not the criteria we ought to use, rachel. supreme court justices, conservative or liberal.
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that's why i opposed hair why it myer. i know she's a good christian woman, probably a fine lawyer, but she's not supreme court material, and neither is sonia sotomayor, and i think -- i think you know that, rachel. >> i don't know that at all and i would say if you and i agree that what our country needs is to be able to choose from the largest possible pool of talent in order to be able to pick the people who are going to have to function at the highest levels so that our country can compete and our country to do all the hard things we need do i would hope that you would see that picking 108 out of 110 white justices to the supreme court means other people aren't actually being appropriately considered. the reason it's affirmative action, you recognize that the fact that people were discriminated against for hundreds of years in this country means that you sort of gained the system, unless you give other people a leg up. >> it is not. it does not. >> the best schools the best jobs -- hold on. i let you talk for a while. >> she was put into the best schools. >> that's right. she was. >> affirmative action. not because of ability, rachel.
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she was put there, she said herself, because of where she came from. a hispanic woman from puerto rico. that's why she was passed over. other students who applied there with better scores who were denied the right to go to princeton. >> do you think she has the grades that they got in princeton on the basis of affirmative action, too? >> they do in the ivy league and you know as well as i do, that half the class graduates cum laude these days. >> how did you do at georgetown compared to how she did at princeton? >> i graduated higher in my high school or as high as she did. in georgetown i did. and i match my test scores against her but i'm not qualified for the united states supreme court. >> but, pat, for you to argue that -- that there's no basis on which the united states benefits from having hispanics be among the people who we choose the best and brightest from, the idea that -- >> i want to -- >> by only -- >> hold it. no, no, no. >> white people and jobs i don't believe you believe it, pat. >> hold on.
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i believe everybody should get a chance to, to excel and be on the united states supreme court, but if i look at the u.s. track team in the olympics and they're all black folks, i don't automatically assume it's discrimination. i will say, i think maybe those are the fastest guys we got. maybe they're the fastest guys in the country. maybe they're the fastest in the world. if they're all -- on the olympic team in hockey, white guys from minnesota, i don't assume discrimination's why do you assume discrimination simply because you got one component on the supreme court? where is the genius you think who's a woman and a feminist who ought to be on that supreme court? go for her. don't go for an affirmative action person. you know she was pick because she's a latina and a woman. >> pat, when i look at the united states supreme court and i see 108 out of 110 white people i see 108 out of 110 men. i don't look at that and say, god, white guy, naturally better at this type of work than other
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people who aren't getting these jobs. i don't think that way, and i want to hear you -- i would love to hear your answer as to whether or not you think that is what explains it, too. the more obvious explanation is that you have to be a white guy in order to get considered for these jobs and has been true since the dawn of time in this country. >> no. >> that's starting to break up now to have the bigger pool of talent. you should be happy about that for your country, pat. >> i do. i'm happy when you've got all 78 firemen that can take a test, but if all the guys that win the test are all white guys and one is hispanic, i don't say automatically the test was fixed by, against black people, because i don't know that, rachel. those guys did well on that test and they are victims of this evil affirmative action policy which says in effect that everybody's covered by the 14th amendment and the civil rights laws unless you're a white male and your parents and ancestors came from europe. then we can discriminate against you. that's what i am against. >> pat, do you, are you happy
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that we've got a latino on the supreme court for the first time or about to? does that seem like a positive thing for the country? >> i think the republicans had an outstanding latino who had outstanding grades, was brilliant and was gutted, miguel estrada. >> let me ask you a question before going to talk about some other latino who's not in question here. are you happy for the united states of america for or prospect of the nation to be the best we can be that there is a latino on the supreme court for the first time, that glass ceiling is broken. is that a positive thing? >> if you say being the best we can be, we're not being the best we can be with sonja sotomayor and i think you know it. >> pat, i couldn't disagree with you more. i credit you sticking to your gun. i think you're absolutely wrong about this and by advocating that the republican party try to stir up racial animous among white voters here, i'd say you are dating yourself.
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>> i think what they ut to do defend the legitimate rights of white working class folks who are the victims of discrimination, because that's the right thing to do and because it's the political right thing to do. it so happens that here doing the right thing is the right political thing, standing up for frank ricky. we saw the face of, the face of a victim of these policies. rachel, you and your friends admire up there and in new york and you never look at these guys who are working class guys with their own dreams, just like sotomayor. >> i don't need a lecture. i know what working class is. >> you certainly do, rachel. >> what i think about working class americans or what anybody else in new york, including sonia sotomayor who grew up in the bronx thinks about working class americans. a lot of things divide us, pat. race is one of those. a lot of other ways to gratify the country, to be a privileged race and say what we really need to make sure, we tap politically is white people's racial grachbses, you are playing with fire and you're dating yourself.
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you're living in the 1950s, pat. >> i'm dating the 1960s with a civil rights act. do you think frank richey and those guys were treated justly when they were denied that promotion because they were white? >> pat buchanan, msnbc political analyst. very sorry we're out of time. nice to have you back on the show, pat. >> i've enjoyed it. always do, rachel. we will be right back. hi, may i help you? yeah, i'm looking for car insurance that isn't going to break the bank. you're in the right place. only progressive gives you the option to name your price. here. a price gun? mm-hmm. so, i tell you what i want to pay. and we build a policy to fit your budget. that's cool. uh... [ gun beeps ] [ laughs ] i feel so empowered. power to the people! ha ha! yeah! the option to name your price -- new and only from progressive. call or click today. ♪ so blessed with inspiration ♪ ♪ i don't know much ♪ but i know i love you
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another story about
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congressional adultery, hypocrisy and the secret of the d.c. religious group known as "the family," has broken late this afternoon. they recently disclosed extramarital affairs of john ensign and republican south carolina governor mark sanford of linked to this group the family through a house in washington, d.c. called c street. it's operated by the family, described in tax records as a church, although it functions as a residence for a number of members of congress including senator ensign. senator ensign and governor sanford both reportedly disclosed their extramarital affairs to the residents of c street months before they were forced to disclose them publicly. both men called on other politicians to resign because of having affairs neither ensign nor sanford has moved to step down himself. today, late this afternoon, the soon to be ex-wife of former republican mississippi congressman chip pickering filed an alienation of affection lawsuit. against mr. pickering's alleged
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mistress. mrs. pickering, in other words is suing the other woman. here's why it's news. first, another moralizing c street connected politician has a personal hypocrisy problem. as a congressman, chip pickering lived at c street, which members call a christian fellowship house. on his website at the time was this message to his constituents, "mississippians know my leadership is grounded on our principles of faith, family and freedom, and when in washington those are my guiding values." in 1998, congressman pickering said of president clinton, "i think for the good of the country and for the good of his own family it would be better for president clinton to resign when someone puts himself forward for public office, then his personal conduct does become relevant." the timing of congressman's picker's own extramarital dalliance is still unclear, but
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he and his wife filed for divorce in june of last year. congressman pickering left congress in january of this year to become a lobbyist for the firm that represents cellular south. a telecom company owned by the family is hf alleged mistress, a woman named elizabeth creekmore byrd, and she makes allegations about c street itself. point four against her complaint against the other woman alleges that some of the wrongful conduct on the part of creekmore byrd occurred and accrued in the first judicial district of heinz county, mississippi as well as washington, d.c. at the c street complex. wrongful conduct to the lawsuit is presumably not talking about cheating at pinochle and allegedly it happened at c street, as in, in the building. the church. we reached mr. pickering's office seeking comment and were politely told he was out. phone calls for his mistress went immediately to a full voice
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mail box. hypocrisy of politicians who campaigned for office on the basis of their own purportedly soupor morality, to call for resignations over the marital since of others even as they staid in office during their own that sort of hypocrisy is newsworthy on its own term, but in this case it ties into what turning out to the political story of summer. it ties into and further flushes out the picture of this secretive religious group. that is tied overtly to two political sex scandals and allegedly to another. a group that literally provided facilities in which members of congress could be counted on to keep their affairs out of the public eye. joining us again is jeff sharlet, who lived with members of the family for a year as part of reporting he did for "harper's" magazine, and
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that book turned out now in paperback as "the family." you're going on vacation. i won't bug you as long as no more c street scandals break out. >> they keep coming. amazing. >> congress pickering and his mistress had an extramarital affair while living in c street. from what you know about the living arrangements there, could people secretly be carrying on an affair in the house? >> absolutely. they speak of the house as a refuge, a place they can go to in washington where they can have the kind of privacy they don't have anywhere else in their lives. at the same time, combine that with an oath to protect each other's secrecy as fellow c streeter zach wamp that we were talking about the other night. take an oath of secrecy. in fact, one article by a former member of the family talked about the wives of c streeters and the wives of members of the family, and one of the wives describes it like this. i'm very comfortable with the idea that in my husband's life,
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first come his brothers and the family and then come me. so these, you know, the family calls itself a christian mafia, but there's a level in which when you're at the c street house it's almost like a fundamentalist frat house. >> well, yeah. in more ways than one. at this point if the allegations of the lawsuit is true. when we talked about the last about the enthusiastic secrecy of family, how that's part not only of the sort of operating philosophy they have about power also about their theology, these members of congress living together, swearing to tell one another their secrets but not to tell anybody outside the group. you and i talk last night about whether hypothetically members of this group would feel obliged to report it if one of them confessed to a crime. now i want to know if it's possible that this group and this physical house operating under the secrecy rules could be something like a safe house for things that members of congress wanted to get away with, whether a crime or an affair or something else that they knew was going to be trouble for
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them? >> well, it's the something else we need to look at. you're absolutely right. and you mentioned that former congressman pickering is now a lobbyist for cellular south, the company of his mistress. another c streeter representative, steve largent, talking about the other day is in the meantime left congress to become the head of the big lobbying association for the industry, and in that capacity, he's been inviting and paying for congressman pickering and senator ensign as well to go on trips. we want to know if these are trips related to their issues so is the mistress going along with this? the bottom line that we see in that is whether it's personal infidelity or any other issue, the family sees their oath to one another as more important than their accountability to the public. >> yeah. lots of pressure for you, jeff.
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i really didn't expect to call you again, but this is now this summer's alleged adulterous affair by c street politician number three. when you were in the family, when you infiltrated the group in the research for your book, what was the professed attitude towards adultery? sex is probably not the most important thing to understand about this group, but it keeps coming up over and over again. i wonder if they have a professed morality around issues about sexual fidelity? >> no. the family, and the core of the family they actually reject the idea of morality for their members. they believe that morality is a secular construct and morality is something made by man for little people like us, and that if you're part of god's chosen as we've been talking about. the family believes they're a new chosen of god, morality, ethics, these things don't apply to you. doesn't mean they endorse adultery, they're just not paying attention as much to it. combine that to a frankly fairly
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masogonist view point. they describe to the idea of male headship. some of the documents, doug coe the leader of the group in advising another member on what to do with his wife who the member felt was demonically possessed and doug co said it's quite possible. the symptoms were, just no way to make this sound, you know, respectable, the symptom was that the woman was complaining that she wasn't sexually satisfied by her husband, that was to them a symptom of demonic possession. sounds crazy and it would be silly if it weren't happening right in the middle of washington with these men who are so powerful, who are congressmen and then lobbyists and its revolving door that seems to be facilitated by the family. >> jeff sharlet, author of "the family." thanks for coming back on the show. i release you back to your own family now, jeff. sorry to bug you. thanks for helping us out. >> thank you, rachel. another member of the family
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who lived at c street, nevada senator john ensign, as you know, had an affair with a campaign staffer whose husband he also employed. beyond the affair, what is now emerging is a big fat complicated money trail of payments to the mistress and to her family from ensign and ensign's family. and that's the part where creepy starts to make googly eyes at criminal. new news on the ensign scandal and its finances from an unexpected source, when we come back. limb: dude that was sick!
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i've been hangin' up there for, what, like, forty years? and then - wham - here i am smacking the pretty off that windshield of yours. oh, what you're looking for an apology? well, toss another coin in the wishing well, pal. it's not happenin'. limb: hey, what's up, donnie? how you been? anncr: accidents are bad. anncr:but geico's good ding! with onsite windshield replacement.
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>> a new can of worms in the john ensign ethics and money scandal. senator ensign called on bill clinton to resign and when larry craig got caught in a bathroom republic sex sting, senator ensign called on senator craig to resign, as well saying, "i wouldn't put myself hopefully in that kind of position, but when i was in that position like that, that's what i would do, as in, i would resign. regardless, since admitting to his own affair with his campaign treasure, cynthia hampton, married to his senate cheer of staff, senator ensign has to plans to resign and going to run for re-election. since he disclosed the affair a bigger issue for the senator than the immoral hypocrisy the unanswered question why in
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addition to having a sexual relationship with this woman he also diverted to her and her family lots and lots of money. today the explanation about who he was paying and with whose money and for what, got a little weird. after weeks of not responding to our phone calls and refusing comment to reporters, senator ensign's office has now finally reached out to "the washington post." specifically, reached out to the funny pseudo gossip column written by al cayman in "the washington post." senator ensign's office asked mr. cayman to what amounts to a correction concerning one of the big unanswered questions about the money trail left in the wake of the senator's affair. when senator ensign fired the woman he was sleeping with from his staff, that woman's husband said that she was paid more than $25,000 in severance. that claim raised eyebrows, because senator ensign never reported paying any severance like that and not reporting something like that would be a violation of federal election law that could get you five years in the hokey. senator ensign did say his mom and dad gave $96,000 as a gift
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to his mistress and her family. today in "the washington post" senator ensign's office dug an even deeper hole telling the "post" that $96,000 gift from the senator's mom and dad was at least in part a severance payment. "ensign's office says that the alleged $25,000-plus severance payment to the hamptons that some critics had questioned is part of the generous gift ensign's parents decided to give the hamptons." according to "the washington post" the senator had his parents make a severance payment to a campaign staffer who he fired. one he was sleeping with. that contradicts what senator ensign said just last week, that that money from his mom and dad was just a gift. to his mistress and her family. legally, to count as a gift a payment has to be made out of detached disinterested generosity. that's the legal standard.
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that doesn't usually include severance for somebody getting fired. we, of course, called senator ensign's office again today to try to clarify whether the money his mom and dad paid to his mistress was a gift, like he said last week, or whether it was severance like his office told "the washington post" today. the office again declined to respond to our request for comment. in "the las vegas sun" today they published the senate financial disclosure form filed by the husband of ensign's mistress during the time when all of this money was changing hands. that form asks, did you, your spouse or dependent child receive any reportable gift in the reporting period? i.e., aggregating more than $335 and not otherwise exempt? mr. hampton checked the box marked, no, in answer to that question. no, in other words, apparently that money was not seen by the hamptons as a gift. mr. hampton already said publicly they didn't see it as a gift. they saw it as severance. which, again, isn't the kind of thing a senator usually has his mom and dad pay for.
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for that senator's employees. joining us now is lisa miskaro, the washington correspondent for the "las vegas sun." and she's been crunching the numbers opinion lisa, thanks for joining us tonight. >> hi, rachel. thanks for having me. >> have you been able to have direct comment from senator ensign's office whether this huge payment from his mom and dad was a severance payment or a gift? >> well, you know, right when the, when the gift was announced or payment was announced last week, the senator's attorney did put out a statement where he said very clearly that the $96,000 according to the senator's office, according to the senator's attorney, was a gift, and he said it was made as a gift and accepted as a gift. now, in our course of reporting, we've asked, how do you know if something was a gift? how is this determined? mr. hampton said it's a
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severance and mr. entire's office or his attorney's office says it's a gift, how do we know? the tax experts tell us this is really what an investigation would have to determine. just because something is called a gift now doesn't mean that it necessarily was a gift at the time. there would need to be contemporaneous evidence explaining what was said at the time, how the gift was given and how it was received. maybe documents, maybe a verbal conversation. maybe a witness, a third-party witness who was aware of these discussions, who could say, you know, what exactly happened at the time. >> and which would help us figure out whether or not in addition to potentially implicating himself on campaign finance law issues, he may have also somehow implicated his parents on tax issues. that remains to be seen and in the absence of any real investigation, any explanation from senator ensign we don't yet know. i was sort of surprised to see senator ensign's office talking about this particularly to a
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columnist in "the washington post." they've declined all our requests for comment. you've been working with stories since it broke. does it seem to you his office is changing their approach to this scandal, that their approach, their efforts to talk about it are not talking about it are changing over time? >> well, yeah, rachel. i think that's a good point and you really saw this week an effort by the senator to sort of reinsert himself in the public, in the public sphere. he was very openly coming off the senate floor today, earlier this week, into a busy foyer. he stopped and talked to reporters a bit and then you saw that push back against the "washington post" sort of a clarification, if you would, of what was being reported, and i think initially the senator was maybe sort of waiting to see how this was going to play out, sort of following that rule of crisis management that says, you know, you just kind of say what you're
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going to say and then say no more. very different than, in fact what we saw with the south carolina governor, mark sanford, who really told us a lot about what was going on with himself. senator ensign didn't, but has been more reacting and i think reacting to new information as it came out, but this week we did see a more aggressive sort of reassertion of himself. he was even, one more example, he would be on the floor yesterday delivering a policy speech. you know, i think it was his first speech in a month, since this whole thing first broke. so i think, you know, you're seeing him do that. >> maybe that means he'll clarify some of these conflicting remarks from his attorney and his office, and these other people who have been speaking for him about this troubling, strange money trail that followed the affair. lisa maskaro, washington
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correspondent for the "las vegas sun" thanks for your report and for join us tonight. >> thanks for having me. >> what did the movie "casablanca" and apollo xi have in common? after nasa lost the tape "casablanca," did the same. apollo beamed back to earth. here's looking at you. more coming up on that in a second. ♪
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♪ all by myself turns out that still south carolina governor mark sanford on the appalachian trail to hook up with his south american girlfriend wasn't the first time he ditched his duties as governor for the same purpose. a year ago in june of '08 mr. sanford went on trade mission to brazil, argentina being right next door and all the governor added an argentinean destination to his itinerary and apparently wound up, as they say, hiking the appalachian trail in buenos
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ares. along the way, he conveniently missed a flight as we note an urban dictionary reference. missed a flight perhaps to extend his stay. meanwhile, his staff couldn't find him. the evidence obtained by the state newspaper in south carolina. an e-mail from the south carolina commerce secretary joe taylor who is looking for the governor but couldn't find him. the e-mail said, need contact and number for sanford asap. that was among the hundreds of pages of e-mails released wednesday night to the state newspaper, which is probably safe to say now the official bane of mark sanford's existence. he's still apparently not making any plans to resign. ♪
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the greatest cliche in american politics is we can put a man on the moon but we can't -- insert favorite difficult project here. in this case, the project in question is preserving the tapes of putting a man on the moon. we're showing nbc's tape of that because nasa's own original
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presumably higher quality recordings were misplaced. nasa admit sod three years ago. today on the 40th anniversary of the apollo 11 launch, the nasa engineer in charge of televising the mission in 1969 and who has been exhaustively searching for the missing nasa recordings for several years now finally broke the news that the recordings, again, we're talking about the original recordings of humans first landing on the moon were probably erased and taped over some time in the '70s or '80s. today nasa did release new digitally restored videos of the moon landing that they pulled from other sources, secondary sources including those from news organizations. the complete restored moon landing video from secondary sources is scheduled to be available in september. joining us now is james obert, a 22 year veteran of mission control and a space consultant and a man consulted to debufrpgt
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the moon landing. >> thank you for mentioning that story, rachael. >> well, i have to ask you about the conspiracy theory. i am sort of obsessed with them. do they get more ammo from the news like this that the original land mooning tapes were erased? >> no, their ammo works either way. when you have a conspiracy theory, fact a or the opposite of fact a, either one is evidence of the conspiracy. so you can't win. >> fair enough. there are a lot of little known idiosyncratic details about this landing, the fate of the original tapes is one of them. one of the reasons i want to talk to you tonight is you wrote recently about something that happened involving the audio and the video, the syncing up of the audio and video of neil armstrong's first step on the moon. >> what we're seeing 40 years after the event is that people have been telling the story again and again, it's like army veteran. they keep the -- the story keeps getting better or changes. when neil armstrong put his --
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made the small step out to the moon, he was standing on the foot pad of the ladder an just moved his left foot a few inches into the soil. what people show on most documentaries and describe in most books is him jumping off the ladder going butt forward and then landing awkwardly to the surface. no, that wasn't the small step. the small step was one foot down and looks around, moves his left foot and puts it on to the moon. that was a small step. and can you do this at home. watch the other shows. read the other books. see how many people get it wrong because it's easy are or better tv. it's been more dramatic. >> so when he first comes off the ladder, he is landing on another piece of the lunar module. >> exactly. they didn't have steps at the bottom. they had snow shoes. they had about three foot wide
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garbage can lid foot pads. he was standing on that. we have paintings. we'll put them on the website so can you see. that i like a lot more knowing that. because his putting the foot deliberately on to human contact first alien world wasn't something -- wasn't falling off the ladder and saying oops. he was there. he put his foot down on purpose just like we went to the moon, on purpose. >> yeah, it gives so much gravity to the noble thing he said when he did it. >> explains it better. >> happy anniversary. thanks so much for joining us. >> coming up on "countdown," jeff sessions wants to "do that crack cocaine thing." next on this show, my friend kent jones shows us some sports for the unsporty. [ thud ] [ woman sighs ] [ horn honks ] [ sigh ] a lot goes through your mind after an accident.
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