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tv   The Rachel Maddow Show  MSNBC  July 21, 2009 9:00pm-10:00pm EDT

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congressman womp's campaign committee accepted the contribution five days later on june 29th. so far, congressman womp has not returned that money. zack womp, of course, is a conservative family values republican. he is campaigning for governor in tennessee, in part on his enthusiasm for the sanctity of marriage. when the john ensign scandal broke, mr. womp said, quote, these are trying times, and obviously with senator ensign and governor sanford, everybody is disappointed. there's no doubt about that. not so disappointed he would turn down their money. he also said, i hated that john ensign lived in the house. and it happened because it opens up all these kinds of questions. but he also said, quote, i'm not going to be the guy who goes out and talks. one of the major unanswered questions about the role of this secretive "c" street group, in the ensign scandal, is whether the other members of congress who lived at "c" street, who study there had had a role in
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the funneling of nearly $100,000 in cash from senator ensign's parents to his mistress and her family. the mistress's husband, doug hampton, says that the payments were suggested by and directed by the other members of congress who were living at "c" street. so, did congressman wamp help come up with the plan to pay off senator ensign's mistress in this sex scandal, and was the $5,000 he got from senator ensign barely a week later part of the same plan? we called congressman wamp's office today with that question. we also asked if he was supporting senator ensign's bid for re-election to the senate. so far, we've had no word back. meanwhile, in nevada, senator ensign himself is coming under increasing pressure due to the scandal. the las vegas review journal newspaper commissioned a poll last week which revealed that ensign's approval rating since the scandal broke has dropped 22 points. and today, the other major newspaper in las vegas, the "las vegas sun" editorialized against
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senator ensign, on the basis of his association with "c" street. they said, quote, do the colleagues who live with ensign on "c" street exert influence over his decisions as a senator? when nevadans send someone to congress, they are doing so with an expectation that the senator or house member will serve the state's interests first instead of those of a secretive group, religious or otherwise. government works best when it is transparent, but there has been nothing transparent about the way ensign has handled himself since he revealed the affair. beyond senator ensign, from alabama to arkansas to tennessee, in local press across the country, members of congress who are affiliated with "c" street and the family are starting to get questioned about the secretive nature of this group and their ties to it. in south carolina today, one of the other "c" street linked politicians in the news these days for a sex scandal faced the media for the first time since admitting to his affair. he is, of course, south carolina
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governor, mark sanford, and he appeared before reporters in the apparent hope today of talking about the real i.d. program. instead, when he opened it up to questions, he faced a torrent of questions about his affair and about him covering it up. i'm not sure what the governor expected here, but it is clear that reporters had more questions than he had answers. >> -- admitted lying to so many people. how do you expect collins or lieberman or anyone to take you seriously on this issue? >> i made a mistake in life. i have apologized for that mistake. i said all i'm going to say on that one. >> do you think your affair will always be a distraction? >> life and the choices that we make begin each day anew. so it's as much of a distraction as you want to make it. i'm going to move on with my
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life. >> if it becomes apparent that it is always going to be a distraction, would you then consider resigning? >> let me put it to you this way. have you made a mistake, large or small in your life? >> i'm asking you. >> well, i'm asking you. >> i think so. >> i think we all do. we've all acknowledged that this has been painful, it's been what it is. >> where's your ring? >> what's that? >> where's the ring? >> governor, how will this scandal affect your race for president in 2012? >> he thought he was going to get questions about the real i.d. act. joining us now is eugene robinson, pulitzer-prize winning columnist and associate editor for "the washington post," also an msnbc political analyst. gene, really nice to see you. thanks for being here. >> great to see you, rachel. >> okay. the "las vegas sun" is complaining that senator ensign belongs to a secretive group. other local press is starting to
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make the same noises. they want to know if the family exerts influence over the decisions of these members of congress. do you feel like the secrecy is the core of the concern about "c" street? >> the secrecy, as far as i know, is the whole problem. look, i know a few people around washington who have been kind of associated with -- not necessarily with the "c" street house, with the larger fellowship called the family. and these are not sinister people. i don't agree with them politically, in general, but -- so i'm not -- i don't know why this is sort of, you know, "girls keep out, clubhouse" atmosphere about this whole thing that makes it seem more conspiratorial than i think it is, or more conspiratorial than i hope it is. but it raises questions that you have to ask and people have to
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answer, this image. it's one thing for a congressperson to be consoled or counseled by a friend at a difficult time, making life decisions, as mark sanford says in his kind of new age speak. but that's sort of one on one. everybody understands helping a friend out of a tough situation. but when he get the image of these members of congress all kind of sitting around together and deciding how to handle this affair or how to handle that affair, it's unseemly, to say the least, and a little weird, to say the rest of it. >> with congressman wamp, we now have a member of congress who's very ambitious, who's running for governor in tennessee. he wants to be a rising star in the republican party. and he told the local press in tennessee that he doesn't think that belonging to this group will be a problem for him, because it's a christian group and having a religious affiliation, a christian religious affiliation for tennessee voters isn't going to be an issue. but it does seem to me like that
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there's a political liability to admit that you're a part of a group through which you learn about some other official members of congress' misconduct, but you're bound by the secrecy of this group and by the loyalty you have to this group to not tell the public. it seems like there may be an extent as to which people associated with this group are compromised by that affiliation. >> well, exactly. and the problem, really, is the group aspect of it. and, again, you can understand a friend not wanting to talk about private conversations he might have had, you know, with a good friend about marital troubles. and whether or not it's legitimate for a congressman to fail to disclose that sort of stuff. it depends on the circumstances, but at least you can kind of understand it. when the answer, on the other hand, is that, well, i'm not going to tell you because i don't want to rat out the other members of any group and i don't want to be the guy who goes out and talks, that sort of thing,
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then it certainly raises the issue of divided loyalties and we sent you to congress to represent us, we didn't send you to represent whatever this group is. i think that's a problem. and i think it will be a problem even in a bible belt state like tennessee. i think that's a problem. >> one of the reasons i wanted to talk to you about this, gene, is that i think you have a much better beltway antenna than i do. you're not a creature of the beltway, but understand it very well. and one of the things i don't get about this is that republican party still hasn't commented on the fact that senator ensign put the teenage son of his mistress on the party's payroll last year and then he apparently fired the kid once he stopped sleeping with the kid's mom. it seems to me like that's the sort of thing the republican party would have to comment on. but, yet, they haven't. why is that? >> it's not your antenna, rachel, because i don't get it either. i mean, look, look, ensign lost me at the $96,000 in hush money,
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okay? that is where i got off that train. and i don't understand why that's not in the headlines and being commented on by republicans and democrats every day. that seems like an outrageous thing to me. i don't know if any specific law was broken, but i would sure like to find out. and i suppose the son on the payroll, well, you know, it's not a governmental organization, per se, but you would think that republicans -- republican donors who gave to the committee would be concerned about that, would want to know that their money was being used not to employ the offspring of mistresses. >> shocking -- that could be a new rule, maybe. >> it's just -- i mean, call me old fashioned, rachel, but hush money, you know, nepotism, it's just kind of a little weird. >> eugene robinson,
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pulitzer-prize winning columnist and an old-fashioned associate editor for "the washington post," gene, thank you so much. great to have you on the show tonight. >> great to talk to you, rachel. okay. just when we were genuinely ready to stop discussing her political career, almost-not-alaska-governor-narm sarah palin is having an ethical problem about her not ethical problems. (man) i'm rethinking everything... includin. who i trust to look afte
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eight days ago, the raechl mel maddow show just kind of declared ourselves done talking about sarah palin, except in cases of genuinely important news, or irony so thick it must be cut with tonic to digest. now would be a good time to go find some tonic. we declared ourselves to be done, because governor palin appeared to be done politically. the bottom line of her resignation as alaskan governor, that even in just half of a single term, her run as governor was becoming a disaster. she did not appear to have the savvy to deal with either the responsibles of governing or the criticism that, inevitably, comes with the responsibilities of governing. even in these few weeks of post-resignation in alaska, governor palin has handled her critics ham handedly. yesterday in response to a brand-new ethic complaint filed
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by an alaska republican, the governor tweeted this -- quote, in allegations of ethics acts, more allegations were filed today by serial complainer. gave to press before we could respond. ridiculous, wasteful. you know, defensive, expertly abbreviated social networking like that wasn't even news enough to bring sarah palin back out of the raechl mchel maddow mothballs we had put her in this. an investigator found against her in the most serious of all the ethics complaints that are still pending against the governor. in a report that was supposed to be confidential, but mysteriously found its way to the associated press, the investigator concludes, quote, that there is probable cause to believe that governor palin used or attempted to use her official position for personal gain, in violation of alaska statute 39.52.120, subsection "a."
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essentially, it's against alaska state law for a public official to use that public office to raise money for themselves. when sarah palin gave her okay to set up a fund to pay her legal fees and told the group setting up that fund that they could call the fund the official legal fund for sarah palin, and when she gave them her picture to put on the website, she broke alaska law, or at least she will break alaska law if she ever actually collects any of the money that is being raised by that fund in her name. that is the finding of the report that was leaked to the associated press today. now, the governor is a private citizen again as of sunday. apparently, though, she is still adding to her value as a political target, right up until the finish line. joining us now is jill burke. she's a reporter for nbc affiliate ktuu. she joins us on the phone from anchorage, alaska. jill burke, thanks very much for joining us. really appreciate it. >> sure thing. >> did i summarize these findings accurately? the investigator said the governor's fund created to pay
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legal bills associated with ethics violations is itself actually an ethics violation? is that right? >> reporter: that's what i took from it when i read it earlier today. there seemed to be two main points out of it. one, is the creation of it, first of all. and then, secondly, would be the receipt of funds, if and when there were to ever happen. >> and the reason that it is an ethical violation is because the governor is using her status as governor in order to set up a conduit through which she can be given money, essentially. is that right? >> correct. a personal gain, wealth that she otherwise would not have access to without using her official capacity as office to raise that money. >> now, as far as i understand it, i'm not an ethics on these types of ethics laws, but i know that lots of politicians have legal defense funds for various types of legal problems that they get themselves involved in. federally, certainly, that there are rules that allow politicians at the federal level to have
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these types of legal defense funds. but as i understand it, alaska doesn't have those types of laws. and that's why it's specifically illegal in alaska. does the report make recommendations about that and is that, in fact, the discrepancy that makes this, potentially, an illegal act? >> reporter: that's the discrepancy that this independent investigator highlighted. he pointed that out. he noted that the alaska fund trust on its website likens itself to other federally set up defense funds, but also states in alaska law, there's no framework by which to enact something like that. so he offers this remedy to kind of address the situation, which is to say, look, palin, you know rejects the money from the fund, don't take it, dissolve the relationship to the fund, ask the state to reimburse you for those complaints which were dismissed and then maybe have alaska state legislature take a look at its ethics laws and rewrite them so that office holders aren't subject to having
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to pay for frivolous complaints out of their personal pocket. >> those are the recommendations on how to sort of remedy this, but there is this funding that she's used or attempted to use her official position for personal gain. now, governor palin's spokesperson issued a response to this tonight, saying, there's no final report. the investigator is still confidentially reviewing this matter. it appears suspect in the final days of the governor's term, someone would again violate the law and announce a supposed conclusion before it is reached. i've seen the report. it is, in fact, marked confidentabconfiden confidential on it. i got this tingly feeling like, i don't think i'm supposed to be reading it, while i was reading it. do we know how this got delivered to the associated press, how it got leaked? >> that's a great question. i'm going to say, they have better contacts than i do, i hate to admit that on air. but i did talk to a couple of people who did have the report. none of them refused to provide it to us, so we would have to
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ask the associated press on that. but everybody, to me, gave the same answer. that this remains confidential, it's pending. the normal procedure would be for the board members to go into session, maybe in september, when their next regularly scheduled meeting is and to discuss it, discuss further action and wait until it's truly finalized in their process before anything is made public. >> jill burke, reporter for ktuu in anchorage, alaska. it's been really helpful to have you on the show to help us sort this out. thanks very much, jill. >> thanks. coming up, president dwight d. eisenhower finally gets what he wants from congress, 50 years after he asked. congressman barney frank will be here to talk about that. and do you want to buy the watergate hotel? if you said no, you're in good company, with everyone else on the face of the earth. important and sad real estate news, just ahead.
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kent jones will have that story. but first, it's time for a couple of holy mackerel story in today's news. it is back on in iran. despite a ban on public gatherings, hundreds of people marched in the streets of tehran today. a power protest was also planned for this evening. iranians were organizing today to turn off all appliances at a designated time and then switch them back on five minutes later, trying to cause a power surge. there were some unconfirmed reports of power outages in three tehran districts. on friday, of course, much larger protests in the streets
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coincided with an appearance from iran's reformist former president at official friday prayers. but the turmoil isn't just on the ground and in the streets, it's also, apparently, inside the regime itself. because he's the newly elected president, mahmoud ahmadinejad gets to create his government. he gets to appoint vice presidents and advisers all on his own, without the involvement of the supreme leader, ayatollah c khamenei, who is, in theory, above politics. that's in theory, but in practice, the supreme leader is kiboshing ahmadinejad's choice for his vice president. khamenei writing ahmadinejad a letter demanding that his choice for vice resigns. in other words, there's a crisis in this state. which isn't weird for a country whose real name starts with "the
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islamic republic of." but this means that he might be losing the support of the cleric regime that runs the show in the iran. the question if this will be a jolt in the arm for the support in iran that still seems ready to pour into the streets to try to get rid of their government at any moment. and the nixon scandal-related real estate market is not so hot. back in april, you might remember that apartment number 310 at watergate west went on the market. it was the apartment once owned by fred larue. he's the man who in that apartment distributed hush money to keep the original watergate break-in secret. remarkably, the watergate tells us now that the fred larue piece of watergate history apartment is still vacant, still for sale, never sold. that said, if you were in the market for a piece of watergate history, the whole watergate hotel went up for auction today. the hotel's current owner defaulted on a $40 million loan,
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so the whole 12-story kit and caboodle went up for sale to the highest bidder. the highest bidder, however, never showed. neither did the lowest bidder, for that matter. the watergate hotel failed to attract a single bid today. for the record, the rachel maddow show would like to offer 15 bucks for all the ashtrays. and finally, science update. we reported last week that off the alaska coast, there floats a big, gnarly blob of goo. it's in the chuck c. sea. this blob reportedly stretches for more than ten miles. officials say it's been hanging off ice and kind of sucking stuff into it like jelly fish and fish-fish. someone even turned it into the local wildlife department the remains of a dead goose that did not survive the blob in very good condition. it was just a skeleton and a bunch of feathers. well now, tufting on samples of the big blob of goo has been
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completed and according to the alaska state department of environmental conservation, the blob is algae. now, algae blooms are usually green or yellow or red. this stuff is black and it's hairy. but researchers say that the color probably just means that it's rotting and the hair just means that it's strongingy, hai algae. my biggest pain's really in my lower back.
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feels kind of like knives. aleve works all day on my back pain. only two aleve liquid gels can stop pain all day. that would take twice as many advil or ibuprofen. aleve allows me to get through my work day. she is the greatest thing ever. woman: one little smile, one little laugh. - honey bunny. - ( coos ) we would do anything for her. my name is kim bryant and my husband and i made a will on legalzoom. man: it was really easy to do. - ( blows raspberries ) - ( laughing ) robert shapiro: we created legalzoom to help you take care of the ones you love. go to today and complete your will in minutes. at we put the law on your side.
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go to today and complete your will in minutes. 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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every dollar of waste in our defense budget is a dollar we can't spend to support our troops or prepare for future threats or protect the american people. our budget is a zero sum game. >> something happened today in washington that defies the common wisdom of 50 years of american politics. in raw mathematical terms, what happened today is $2 billion got dropped out of a plan to spend $700 billion. that means it was almost literally a drop in the bucket. but this particular drop was such a totally unexpected, nah huh, no way, it can never be dropped drop in the bucket that
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d.c. common wisdom might never recover. what happened is that the senate voted to not pay for more of a specific kind of plane that's called the f-22. the f-22 was a great idea when what we thought war would be like would be having "top gun" pilots having aerial dogfights with similarly armed "top gun" pilots who were from the soviet union. the soviet union never had time to come up with anything like the f-22, though, before they went kaput, and since then, the f-22 has essentially been the vestigal third nipple of the defense budget. it's pointless, but it's still there. here's why. >> i arrived in washington 43 years ago this summer. of all people, i am well aware of the realities of washington and know that things do not change overnight. after all, the influence of politics and parochial interests in defense matters is as old as the republic itself. henry knox, the first secretary
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of war, was charged with building the first american fleet, and to get the support of congress, knox eventually ended up with six frigates being built in six different shipyards in six different states. >> why would he do that? see, because then you would get the members of congress from those six different states all to be political allies for building those frigates. well, that was revolutionary days. same goes for the f-22. when lockheed martin set out to make them 30 years ago, they planned from the beginning to have parts for these planes made in 40 different states, so members of congress from those 40 different states would have reason to support building more of the planes, just for the sake of local interests, just for the sake of jobs, regardless of the usefulness of the planes. and bingo, we ended up in a situation where the soviet union hasn't existed for 20 years, every f-22 costs $350 million to build, they're not useful for our current conflicts. no f-22 has flown a single
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mission in iraq or afghanistan. the military does not even want f-22s, they've been known to trap their pilots inside them. they take over 30 hours of maintenance for every hour they're in the air, but for some reason, we keep building more of them. and even the biggest, hawkiest hawks in the defense world know that this is dumb. >> with regard to something like the f-22, regardless of whether the number of aircraft at issue is 12 or 200, if we can't bring ourselves to make this tough but straightforward decision, reflecting the judgment of two very different presidents, two secretaries of defense, two chairman of the joint chiefs of staff and the current air force secretary and chief of staff, where do we draw the line? and if not now, when? if we can't get this right, what on earth can we get right? >> i would only add to president
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eisenhower's farewell address to the nation, which is compelling in many ways. that it should be changed -- the words should be changed from military industrial to military industrial congressional complex. >> senator john mccain, joining those who spoke out against funding the f-22 before it was voted down today in the u.s. senate. the military industrial congressional complex, of course, is john mccain's reference to eisenhower's 50-year-old warning, that us creating a huge domestic industry that needs war and preparation for war to be profitable also creates huge permanent incentives for war over peace, and for the defense budget above everything else we spend money on. >> we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. our toil, resources, and livelihood are all involved. so is the very structure of our society.
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in the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military industrial complex. >> it took 50 years, but maybe this decision today in washington means we're finally, 50 years later, listening to ike? joining us now is congressman barney frank, chair of the house financial services committee. he has opposed funding for the f-22. mr. chairman, thanks very much for coming back on the show tonight. >> i'm glad to be here, rachel. it's a very important issue. >> do you think it's true that this plane is still being made today after all these years because of domestic politics and not because of its usefulness? >> absolutely. we've been having this debate about whether or not we need a second stimulus, and people have missed the point. my conservative colleagues have a second stimulus, it's the f-22. they don't even pretend it's a military mission. it's extraordinary. these are the people that said, don't do an economic recovery bill, government can't create
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jobs, my government spending detracts from jobs, except for weapons. it's kind of armed cainianikeyn. they find a power to create jobs that doesn't exist elsewhere, and you're quite right they try to spread this out. that's why today's victory was a very important one, but not the last one. the committees, the armed services committees in the house and the senate and the military appropriations subcommittees are still for this plane. they're composed of my colleagues who really feel these things are very important. so next week we're going to have another vote, because the appropriations bill on defense will come to the floor and i'm dying to be able to tell people, please, write your representative. the senate's done its job, but there's going to be an effort to have this plane rise from the ashes of this defeat and we will be offering an amendment next week when the defense appropriations bill comes to the floor of the house to kill it. let me add one other thing, it's very important, i was glad to hear what secretary gates said. we're being told that we can't afford to do health care, that
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we can't afford to do housing, et cetera. well, the military budget is the main reason we can't afford it. if we had not fought that foolish and destructive war in iraq, we would have had the money to pay for health care. that whole debate wouldn't have happened. going forward, if we don't begin to curtail military spending excesses, then we will be in that bind. if we'd lost this fight, i give the president a great deal of credit for rallying after we lost the first round, then all bets would have been off and we would have an ever-increasing military budget, almost literally eating everybody else's lunch. >> how is it and why is it that defense spending gets considered in a different way than all other kinds of spending? you've said that people who support the f-22 assume that the defense budget is essentially paid with monopoly money. why isn't defense spending thought of as something that's finite? >> it's probably cultural lag. there was a fear of the soviet
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union and there was a real military problem. this is a plane, of course, that has never fireded ed d a shot ir and never will, probably. but military spending were, for conservatives, that's a way to show you're tough and patriotic. it's wholly illogical. but it's probably cultural lag. we've got to be strong. people will say, look, our people are fighting in afghanistan and iraq, we need the f-22. as you pointed out, it is wholly irrelevant to that. the other thing is that the military contractors have been very clever about putting their people there. and i guess part of this is, some liberal democrats will vote for this. there's a very good union, the machinist union that does a lot of good work and they're a socially responsible group. and some of those people will be laid off. and that will bother me and i will be glad to have national policies in place who deal with people who get laid off. so you get the conservatives who are ready to spent on the military, unquestioningly, and
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then you get some liberals who have union ties and don't like to see people who want to work for any reason. that's been the coalition. but, again, i give the president credit. frankly, a couple weeks ago when the house armed services committee did this, i tried to offer an amendment on the floor, and i couldn't even get the democratic leadership to allow me to offer the amendment. but we kept up the fight and that's why i think this is very important. and as gates said, if we can't win this fight, listening to secretary gates' channel, if not now, when, if we had lost this fight, our ability to begin to curtail the military budget would be over. as of now, if the president follows through on this, let's be very clear, without endangering one iota the security of the united states, we stop spending on cold war weapons, we don't do anymore foolish and destructive wars like iraq, we could bring down the military budget prediction over time, that would pay for health care. we wouldn't be in the bind that we're in, trying to figure out
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how to do both. >> congressman barney frank, a pleasure to have you on the show tonight, sir. thanks for joining pu ining us. >> thank you, rachel. cnn's lou dobbs has decided that he is a birther too. he stands with the most entertaining conspiracy theorists of the era, the ones that maintain that president barack obama isn't actually president. nutrients in your diet. be proactive about your health with... this great-tasting chewable fiber supplement harnesses the goodness of real fruits and vegetables to provide you both natural fiber and protective antioxidants. its special blend of antioxidant vitamins c, e and beta carotene help support your long-term health and vitality. feel your best every day, even when you're on the go. try fiberchoice plus antioxidants. brand power. helping you buy better.
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this is humiliating. stand still so we can get an accurate reading. pounds and a smidge. a smidge? y'know, there's really no need to weigh packages
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under 70 pounds. with priority mail flat rate boxes from the postal service, if it fits, it ships anywhere in the country for a low flat rate. cool. you know this scale is off by a good 7, 8 pounds. maybe five. priority mail flat rate boxes only from the postal service. a simpler way to ship. tonight's moment of geek is something that happens only once in a hundred years. a total eclipse of the sun visible from india across china and into japan. the moon's shadow traveling 9,415 miles across the earth, a journey of nearly 3 1/2 hours. the reason that's important is because that makes it the longest solar eclipse this century. at its peak, just about an hour ago, the total eclipse in some
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places lasted six minutes and 39 seconds. the reason today's eclipse was so long is that the earth is nearly as far away from the sun as it gets right now and the moon is nearly as close to earth as it gets. so if you think about the shadow, big moon plus small sun equals long, long, long shadow, equals long, long, long, long eclipse. neat.
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the proposal is not crazy. the proposal is just looking forward, and i want to get to that. but wouldn't you like to put all this to rest? that's what this proposal is about. >> republican congressman john campbell of california appeared on "hardball" with my colleague, chris matthews, earlier tonight, proving that this is turning out to be landmark week for the conspiracy theorists known as the birthers. birthers argue that president obama secretly isn't actually president, because he secretly wasn't actually born in the united states. this despite the fact that the president has posted his born in hawaii birth certificate online. little-known fact here, hawaii, u.s. state. it's now ten house republicans that are cosponsoring a "provide the birth certificate" bill authored by congressman bill posey, a republican who says he doesn't know whether or not president obama is actually an american citizen. as we highlighted last night, the birthers are hard at work trying to get their message out.
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in addition to the ten sponsors of that bill, all republicans, republican congressman mike castle of delaware found his june 30th town hall meeting momentarily taken over by someone aggressively heckling him on the birther issue. he was then booed roundly more saying that the president is a citizen. of course, the home run for conspiracyists of any strife is when their ideas can leave the lunatic fringe and enter the mainstream. enter cnn anchor lou dobbs over on our competing network, that anchor campbell brown says is the only one still doing journalism. mr. dobbs is using the platform of his cnn show to advance the birther conspiracy. >> a lot of questions remaining, and seemingly, the questions won't go away, because they haven't been dealt, it seems possible, to straightforwardly, and quickly. >> mr. dobbs then went even further than that on his radio show.
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>> guess what, folks? there are issues here that should be really resolved. what is crazy about this is all the president of the united states has to do is produce a birth certificate. we have a document issue. you suppose he's undocumented? no. it wouldn't be right. >> get it? he's undocumented. the president is an undocumented. journalism. joining us is a reporter that has done a lot of national leg work on this story, the phenomenon of the birthers, dave wagall. >> thank you for having me. >> the claim here is producing the birth certificate for hawaii with the raised seal isn't enough?
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they want footage of the birthing room? >> think time a reporter or a witness verifies anything, they must be thrown aside. we saw lou dobbs do this four years ago. it's disappointing to see him go down this path. calling hawaii should be enough to put this for any sane person to put this to bed. >> one of the things you've been able to do is trace it specifically to where this came from. >> it started with the obama campaign. there were rumors a year ago, a year and change, that obama's real birth certificate contains a middle name. the rumor is his middle name is muhammed and he changed it to hussein. we'll put his birth certificate
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online. that created a cottage industry of people trying to prove this this is forged. hawaii said we have another copy on record, then hawaii was lying. the white house doesn't talk about this and the national democratic committee doesn't talk about this because when they do there is more evidence this is a great conspiracy. >> who in the media or political world is helping this to cross over from the fringe into the mainstream? one of the things i love about american politics and americans in general, we are enthusiastic about conspiracy theersys. i find it entertaining. the holy grail is to make cnn, to make the mainstream media to be talked about as if you have some credible idea. >> right. even hearing yourself debunked on cnn, that is still coverage.
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having alan keyes on tv to talk about this is coverage. that is a breakthrough. i think it is the conservative base that goes to town hall meetings and calls congress to get this into issue. members of the congress, john campbell on "hardball" today looked like he was auditioning for the jack lemmon law on "glenngary glennross." bill posey will go to a radio show and say, the only people i know who don't want to take drug tests are people that use drugs. i'm paraphrasing him this michigan. once it's in the media blood and stream we have to cover it and
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rush limbaugh can talk about it and world net daily con brag rush limbaugh talked about it. >> one way to cover it is to say this is totally faults and the people propounding it are cooks. david, your reportings that hen helpful. coming up on "countdown," the cia is in big legal trouble after violating the state acts. kent jones reviews the upcoming literary masterpiece that is carrie prejean's memoir. aleve. choose aleve and you could start taking fewer pills. just 2 aleve have the strength... to relieve arthris pain all day. you have questions. who can give you the financial advice you need? where will you find the stability and resources to keep you ahead of this rapidly evolving world? these are tough questions.
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we turn toto >> reporter: we turn to our lit ray and grooming correspondent kent jones. >> defender of marriage has signed a deal of a tell-all memoir to be called "still standing." i did not make that up. it comes out in november. i cannot wait that long. a triumphant memoir of a true story of courage. >> in my country and in my family, i think that i believe that a marriage should be between a man and a woman. >> and a legend was born.
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caroline michelle prejean was born into a world that despised her. look at her. what kind of a chance does a woman like this have in a society like ours? in shear determination, carrie prejean overcame so many trials to defend the instant substitution of marriage for all of us, our champion should be an unmarried 22-year-old makes her story all the more remarkable. "still standing" by carrie prejean coming in november, from the publishers that brought you such challenging conservative master works like "real change" by newt gingrich, "the darwin myth" and "green hell," an inspiring story of anyone who has a dream of stopping other people's dreams. >> 2 you very much, kent. i'm a little tempted by "green hell" after that. thank you very much, kent. appreciate that.
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thank you for watching tonight. see you tomorrow night. "countdown" starts right now. have a great evening. which of these stories will you be talking about tomorrow? full-court press. the head of wednesday night's prime-time news conference, president obama still on offense. pushing his health care plan and stressing his self-imposed deadline. >> if you don't set a deadline in this town, nothing happens. there's a reason why we haven't had health care reform in 50 years. >> it could have something to do with this leaked internal rnc memo. quote, the republican national committee will engage in every activity we can to slow down this mad rush. they think they can control the clock? they don't even have possession of the ball. >> new fraud charges at the cia. a federal judge rules cia officials were not honest in protecting the actions of the covert agents facing an illegal eavesdropping lawsuit. the abuse of the state secret offense.
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crank calls gone wild. the brash cranksters who dupe hotel guests into destructive acts, all for the enjoyment of their internet followers. but have the jokes gone too far? >> you need to break a window, ma'am. baseline hysteria, all the rage among the gop's most consipiritorial constituents. the legitimacy of the president's bird record. >> why are these people ignoring his birth certificate? he is not an american citizen. >> and the other great fight within the gop. rnc michael steele says joe the plumber helped the gop get its groove back, yet megan mccain called him a dumbass. the polarizing power of joe wurzelbacher and samuel black. >> i have lots of issues. all that and more now on "countdown."