tv The Rachel Maddow Show MSNBC September 24, 2010 9:00pm-10:00pm EDT
will shut up like a clam if you mention the afternoon of the great run. the day the dam broke by james thurbur. that's september 24th, i'm keith olbermann. good night and good luck and now to discuss the ruling that a major discharged undore don't ask, don't tell must be reinsta reinstated, ladies and gentlemen, here is rachel maddow. >> go east, indeed. thank you. have a great weekend. >> you too. >> thanks to you at home for staying with us for the next hour as well. how about a bit of big breaking news? late on a friday. a federal judge appointed by president george w. bush in 2002 has issued a federal court ruling late today, essentially dismantling the don't ask, don't tell policy. this is the second very strong federal court ruling against the military's gay ban in less than a month. the plaintiff in this case has not done a national tv interview before. she'll be joining us in just a moment for an exclusive discussion along with someone whose face will be familiar to those of you following our coverage of this issue over the last seven weeks or so.
excuse me, over the last year or so. the last seven weeks or so have been an unbelievably good seven weeks for gay rights in america. at least on paper. the proposition that removed existing same sex marriage rights after couples had already been married in california, the prop eight case, prop eight struck down as unconstitutional seven weeks ago. two weeks ago, don't ask, don't tell struck down in its totality as unconstitutional by a federal judge in california. two days ago, a ban on same sex couples adopting children passed by the legislature in florida more than 30 years ago, also struck down by a state court judge. and now the u.s. air force major marjor marjorie witt case. in tacoma, washington, today, judge ronald leighton was ruling for a second time on major witt's case. major witt was suspended in 2004, ultimately discharged under the don't ask, don't tell policy. in 2007, she sued the government
over her dismissal. the same judge who ruled today ruled the first time against major witt saying her dismissal was proper under the policy. but then something remarkable happened. when major witt appealed that ruling, the higher court, the federal appeals court, sided with her and they sided with her in a very specific way. they told judge leighton in the lower court that he had to hear her case again. but this time he had to apply a different legal standard when he judged her case. if you want to know anything about how this part of civil rights in america goes, if you want to know how don't ask, don't tell, is going to get struck down by the courts and that's probably how it is going to die, what the court told judge leighton was he had to consider margaret witt personally, rule on whether her, specifically her as an individual person, her being fired was necessary to further the military goals of unit cohesion and morale and readiness, the goals that the policy is supposed to further. the policy says gay people have
to be rooted out of the military and fired from their jobs because of unit cohesion and morale and readiness because those military goals require it. the appeals court told judge leighton, you know, they got to prove that. judge leighton looked at margaret witt's case again, and today, this time, said no way does firing her help the military. under what is known as the witt standard, judge leighton ruled today that the air force must reinstate her and in his words as soon as practicable. from the ruling, the evidence produced at trial overwhelmingly supports the conclusion that the suspension and discharge of margaret witt did not significantly further the important government interests and advancing unit morale and cohesion. the actions taken against major witt had the opposite effect. her unit is a highly professional, rapid response air evacuation team. it is compromised of flight nurses and medical technicians well trained, well led and highly motivated. they provide a vital service to our fighting men and women around the world. serving within that unit are
known or suspected gay or lesbian servicemen and women, no evidence before this court to suggest that their service within the unit causes problems of the type predicted in the congressional findings of fact that justify the don't ask, don't tell policy. these people trained together, fly together, care for patients together, deploy together, there is nothing in the record before this court suggesting that the sexual orientation acknowledged or suspected has negatively impacted the performance, dedication or enthusiasm of the unit. there is no evidence that wounded troops care about the sexual orientation of the flight nurse or medical technician tending to their wounds. the evidence before the court is that major margaret witt was an exemplary officer, effective leader, caring mentor, skilled clinician and integral member of an effective team. her loss want the squadron was a democrat nugs of the group's ability to carry out the mission. good flight nurses are hard to find. the evidence supports the plaintiff's assertion that the
reinstatement of major witt would not adversely affect morale or unit cohesion. and then he said they had to take her back. joining us now, major margaret witt and lieutenant colonel victor fehrenbach. thank you for being here and congratulations on the ruling. >> thank you, rachel. >> thanks, rachel. >> major witt, let me ask what you think this means practically for you in the short-term. do you expect you will be reinstated right away? >> you know, i sure hope so. i'm ready wherever they are. >> what are you been doing since you were discharged under the don't ask, don't tell policy? what have you been doing in civilian life? >> pediatric physical therapist and also the rehab coordinator for the veterans hospital. >> and if this goes through, if what the judge says has to happen ends up happening, if the air force does take you back, you are -- you're eager to get
back to the air force? >> oh, absolutely. i can't get -- i can't wait to get back to my unit and be with my incredible unit members. they're wonderful group. >> colonel fehrenbach, you're currently fighting your own discharge from the air force, like major witt. you did not tell anyone anything about your sexual orientation, you were outed by a third party. what is this decision today mean to you and to your case? >> well, the decision today just solidifies what was before known as the witt standard, sets a precedent. it gives me a lot of hope we'll be successful in my fight. as you said, i didn't tell, they asked me, and i've been fighting this battle for two years now. from day one when i was confronted this in may 16, 2008, two days later is when margaret got her first victory and that gave me hope. i hope today doesn't just give me hope, but there are thousands of people out there confronted with a don't ask, don't tell
case now and i hope margaret's victory today give them hope as well and allows them to fight. >> let me ask you specifically about the rational for the judge's ruling. it wasn't just that major witt should not have been fired because her being gay wasn't harming the military. what the judge ruled essentially was that fire iing her is what harmed the military. i wonder if that rational, in legal terms, nuts and bolts legal terms as a precedent or in terms of the morale of the people who are fighting this policy if that is a significant -- a significant part of the ruling. >> i absolutely think it is. he said it wasn't her orientation. he added good nurses, good flight nurses are hard to find. if you pull me out of my unit, it will harm that unit. not only that, it affects the morale of my unit.
i think that's across the board. they said in my case as well that my presence was detrimental to good order, discipline, morale and cohesion. at the time they said that, not one single person in my unit except for my commander and number two in charge knew of the nature of my case. they have no grounds to discharge me. >> after the ruling, the judge in this case, judge leighton, i know he brought himself to tears and much of the courtroom to tears when he read a statement of the distresses on you as a person, to be what he called a central figure. he described how it resonated with him personally when you said how important your family was in supporting you. i imagine that was surprising. what did it mean to you that the judge addressed you in those personal terms at that point? >> it was very surprising. it was very heart felt. he spoke to me directly. i think he really understands
the impact that it has on everyone around you, particularly family and how thankful i was to have my parents behind me and i think really gets that and he knew that it was a big struggle and a big event. >> major, your case is similar to colonel fehrenbach's, you weren't asked, you didn't tell, you were outed by a third party. before that happened, did you -- what did you expect from the don't ask, don't tell policy? did you know you could be outed and investigated and kicked out without ever volunteering to anybody that you were gay? >> i -- the third party thing is was very enlightening, yeah. i wasn't aware of that. i think i was aware i wasn't going to tell, they weren't supposed to ask me, but i wasn't aware that the third party could out me at any time. >> victor, let me ask you one
last question, i know that you told us here on this show that the president told you man to man, eye to eye, that he was going to end this policy. he told you he was going to get it done. i remember you saying it here on this show. i wonder, as things have changed so much since you and i first talked over a year ago, i wonder if you were starting to think that maybe it will be people like you and margaret witt and mike olney who will change this policy xi ddespite the presiden not because of him. >> as you mentioned, i've been disappointed over and over again by the lack of leadership and courage we have seen from so many of our political leaders. thanks to major witt and people like her, you know, i've had -- i've been able to fight and on that note, you know, we have experienced a loss, you could call it this week, that fight is not over as well. i think people need to realize they can still contact their senators.
i would like to sit down and talk with my senator from ohio, senator voinovich, and tell him my story, maybe to sway his decision there. i would love to sit down with senator rick haine. i would love him to come to work with me and see how the military operates and see how this is a nonissue of the military. he can come to work with me and see how professional military people operate. >> lieutenant colonel victor fehrenbach and major margie witt, congratulations on this big freaking deal of a ruling. and thanks so much for joining us tonight. i wish i was there to take you both out for a beer. >> i have a hat for you on monday and go irish. beat stanford. >> that's your consolation hat after stanford beats you guys. >> not right, not right. thank you. >> thanks, guys. the administration and the senate are unwilling or unable to do what the federal courts appear to have no problem doing. when it is not political, don't ask, don't tell does not stand up. in a moment, why that is and
twice since labor day don't ask, don't tell was said to be unconstitutional. that means the policy is not long for this world, not because of politicians that want to get rid of it, but despite the politicians. that's ahead. an excelnt day today in u.s. politics for billionaires. though really what day isn't an excellent day for billionaires when you think about it. an a democratic leader appears ready to commit an act of politics, an act of politics that might help democrats for the elections. man bites dog, i know. please stay with us. maybe you want to provide meals for the needy. or maybe you want to help when the unexpected happens. whatever you want to do, members project from american express can help you take the first step. vote, volunteer, or donate for the causes you believe in at membersproject.com.
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today, a federal judge appointed by president george w. bush ruled that marjorie witt is constitutionally entitled to reinstatement to her duties as an air force flight nurse after she was fired years ago under don't ask, don't tell. another day, another bombshell court ruling. even with big majorities of democrats and big majorities of independents and even big majorities of republicans saying they want to kill this policy, politicians don't seem to be able to get it together to kill it. are the courts beating them to it? after these many 17 long years. joining us is george washington university law professor jonathan turley who blogs at jonath jonathanturley.org. how important do you think this ruling is in term of the immediate future of the don't ask, don't tell policy?
>> you know, rachel, the witt standard is enormously important and may be more important than the real blockbuster decision a few weeks ago finding don't ask, don't tell to be just fundamentally unconstitutional. the reason is that that earlier decision you could find court of appeals judges who are uncomfortable with just saying that it cannot be done as a constitutional question. but with the witt standard, it would effectively kill this policy under the weight of a standard that quite reasonably says look at the individual. if you're going to say this individual is a threat to unit cohesion, prove it. and most fascinating about this case and judge leighton is that after he was reversed, after he ruled against her, he had a two-week bench trial. and in those two weeks he found what he clearly thought was profound evidence that not only was this not a danger to unit cohesion, but that the real danger was the removal of this
talented nurse. >> it is interesting to me when i was trying to follow the legal chain of reasoning here, because they have interesting case where you have the same federal judge ruling on the same individual twice, and his rulings went two different directions. he initially ruled against margie witt, now upon getting essentially legal direction from the appeals court, telling him to think about it in a different way, use a different rational, different standard, he ruled in the opposite way. the justification for the appeals court telling him to rule a different way is that they said they were following supreme court precedent in lawrence v. texas, another landmark gay rights ruling. are all of these rulings coming out of fundamental change about gay rights and civil rights issues in the federal court system? >> i think they are. rachel, the most elegant aspect of all of this is it is easy to dismiss cases against gays and lesbians as some faceless monolithic body. it is much, much more difficult when you have to face a person,
a talented and patriotic person who is doing a very important job. and i think that's what is so elegant about this decision is that when you actually took the time to find out who witt was, and what she did, the outcome was inevitable. i think that your point is still a very good one that it is -- it does appear to be the courts that are most likely to address this policy. which has always been built on what is -- can be described as a not so noble lie. that, you know, that gays and lesbians are a threat to military readiness. and this case puts the lie to that assertion. but it also, rachel, is very similar to what we saw with the civil rights movement in terms of african-americans. that congress has never been particularly brave in terms of constitutional rights or civil liberties. the courts have often stepped in and with the civil rights movement, it was the courts that
simply decided not to wait any longer and handed down decisions like brown v. board of education. and this seems to be following the same trend where you have a coalescing of federal judges who are saying, enough. that we can't continue to blindly impose this discriminatory policy. >> if the politics can't happen on this, if despite the white house's assurances to people who want to see this policy gone that they'll get rid of the policy politically somehow, if that can't happen this does get worked out in the courts, are we eventually heading toward a supreme court showdown on this issue? and is there any way to foresee what the conservative roberts court would be like as a venue for this challenge making it all the way? >> well, the expectation is it would come down once again to justice kennedy who is becoming a court of one on these issues. unless the court changes significantly. and we have to -- it could come to that. the obama administration is
moving to roll back on the victory earlier against don't ask, don't tell. they are trying to get that victory essentially negated in most part. and so you have not just the administration not helping, but in this case, hurting. what they're not doing is what governor schwarzenegger did, what attorney general brown did, we had a duty to defend a statute, but we're not going to appeal it because we happen to agree with how the court came out. the obama administration appears not to be doing that. >> jonathan turley, law professor at john washington university, putting as fine a point on things as we need to hear. thank you, jonathan. good to see you. >> thank you, rachel. as well as republican politicians are expected to do in the elections this year, the republican party itself as an institution doesn't really functionally exist anymore. who exactly is paying for all of this campaigning? i have a hint for you, there are not have many of them and the --
you could describe them with the word that ends in illionaires and begins with b. that's coming up. [ male announcer ] fact -- when doctors are in pain, the medicine in advil is their #1 choice for pain relief. more than the medicines in tylenol or aleve. use the medicine doctors use for themselves. one more reason to make advil your #1 choice.
we had other late breaking news today on what has all week long been a giant question mark about what democrats are doing in terms of election strategy for this year. there is a huge list of things people disagree on in terms of democrats' political strategy for this election. should there be a national
messaging strategy? or should democrats just let republicans do that and have individual democrats compete locally district to district, ignoring washington? should democrats talk about the tea party movement and the extremism of this year's crop of republican candidates or pretend that's not happen and talk about their own agenda? there is a lot of points on which reasonable people agree on how democrats ought to campaign and what is likely to be a very upstream election for them this year. just about everybody agrees, for all those points of disagreement, just about everybody agrees that democrats do have a winning issue on tax cuts. the republicans who passed the george w. bush tax cuts in 2001 set them to expire at the end of this year. as those expire, what the obama administration and most democrats say is that there should be tax reducks frtions f here on out. for everything under a quarter million dollars on income, tax cuts. if you are making more than
$200$20 $250,000 a year, you don't get a tax cut on that higher income. for all the income over a quarter million dollars a year, you go back to clinton era rates, when if i remember correctly, i think rich people were doing just fine, thank you very much. the winning issue for democrats here is that republicans have said they don't want anybody to get tax cuts. they don't want anybody to get tax cuts, unless rich people do, people making more than a quarter million dollars of a year get tax cuts too. they want to hold hostage tax cuts for the lower class so that rich people can get their taxes cut. that's their priority. and that is the definition of a winning issue for the democratic party. especially in a year with a really lousy economy. for days now, it has been the biggest, stupidest question mark in politics. why aren't the democrats hammering this home? why aren't the democrats specifically forcing a vote on
this tax cut thing before the election? why aren't democrats forcing the republicans into doing what the republicans say they'll do, which is to vote no on middle class tax cuts because they want to take care of the rich? why aren't they forcing the vote that will make republicans look really bad in the eyes of most voters? why aren't democrats doing this? what are they thinking? as of tonight, we still don't any what harry reid is thinking because apparently he is still not planning on holding a tax cut vote in the senate before the election. as of tonight, it is being reported that nancy pelosi is moving toward forcing that vote. that most obvious of all obvious politically smart votes. before the election, still nobody has any clue what harry reid is thinking, but nancy pelosi in the house has started to make electoral sense for democrats. more on that with chris hayes ahead.
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♪ a continuous link, that is always in sync ♪ ♪ that's logistics ♪ ♪ there will be no more stress ♪ ♪ cause you've called ups, that's logistics ♪ good news for the big guy. the ninth richest men in the country last year were two brothers, two brothers who inherited a giant oil and chemical company from their dad. if you combined their wealth, they were tied at number nine for richest guys in the country,
if you combined their wealth, the two brothers combined fortune was behind only bill gates and warren buffett in this country. but as singletons individually last year, david coke and charles coke were tied to be the ninth richest men in the country. this year, moving on up, they're tied for fifth this year. moving on up! to the top, to an even more deluxer important higher up in the sky. the name david koch rings a bill for you because of david koch's politics. he ran for vice president as a libertarian in 1980. he garnered a below infinitesimal proportion of the vote, and then in disgust just started bankrolling right wing causes instead of running for office anymore. he bank rolls stuff that includes americans for pross pi prosperity, freedom works and other things. you remember americans for prosperity ran bus tours against health reform that said reforming halt care would be the equivalent of the holocaust.
david koch may not have succeeded in getting his head put on your money like caesar, but he is even richer this year than he was last year. if you liked him bankrolling a big proportion of what you see in american politics now, buckle your seat belt for the year ahead. american politics right now is turning out to be great news for the big guys. as you may have noticed, michael steele isn't running things for the republican party right now. that's a picture of him recently on a trip to guam and saipan, the kind of plays he's been spending time to stay far out of the way of any actual republicans actually running for impending actual election. michael steele has since embarked on a michael steele goes to the hinterlands bus tour where the republican party chairman plans to visit dons of congressional districts that do not have a competitive race this fall. no matter how much fun it is to talk about michael steele on cable news, and it is fun, no matter his job title as head of the republican party, neither michael steele nor the
republican party proper are running the republicans election efforts this year. frankly it is more of a karl rove joint. karl rove's political group american crossroads is pledging to spend $52 million on behalf of republican candidates for these elections this year. $52 million. $52 million. a half million dollars of tea party money ousted an incumbent senator in the alaska primaries this year. karl rove is planning on spending 100 times that much. and the good news for the big guys is that he's raising it all from billionaires. not kidding. salon.com's justin elliott look at the financial disclosures for the month of august and it turns out out of the millions of dollars that karl rove's group raised last month, 91% of it came from just three sources. 91% of the money that karl rove raised last month came from two
billionaires and one company owned by a billionaire. 91% of the funding for karl rove's giant outside group that is dumping tens of millions of dollars into the elections for republicans, 91% of their fund-raising last month came from three billionaires. and that's actually off pace for them. because the month before 91% of their funding came from billionaires, the month before that, 97% of their fund-raising came from billionaires. eight candidates endorsed by the republican parties' official senate campaign arm lost their primaries this year. eight candidates who were anointed by the republican party proper and have republican party support lost. niccal steele kicked off campaign season by banishing himself to signen. the official republican party is not functioning in these elections in any meaningful sense of the word, functioning. but the tea party movement is doing a lot, thanks to david koch, billionaire, and the $50 million plus giant elephant in the room in terms of tv ads and
get out the vote and other republican campaigning this year is karl rove's operation. which, thanks to good reporting by justin elliott, we know is also funded by billionaires. basically by three guys, three billionaires. there only, as far as we can tell, 304 people in the country with who illionaire can start with a b. joining us is mr. chris hayes. hi, chris. nice to see you. >> great to see you. i love when you tease to me after the commercial break. it makes me feel good. >> hold on, here comes chris. we practice it in the news meeting. i jump out from behind a desk, i wear glasses. lots and lots and lots of money and a handful of people giving it to karl rove's political
group. does this sort of tell us more than we knew before about republicans and tax policy and republicans, billionaires who love republicans and their tax policy? >> it lays it all on the table. we already knew this. the republican party is at its core the sort of existential core is tax cuts for wealthy people. that, if there is one thing that everybody gets behind, the one thing that the party has -- the one policy that the party has become a vessel for, is that. that's what the conservative movement and the modern republican party embody fundamentally. this is the most bold faced naked intense kind of class politics, frankly. this is just self-interest. when you think about what kind of money is on the table, think about the tax cuts that are currently being debated, think about what a marginal tax increase or keeping the bush rates means for the koch brothers or other billionaires in perpetuity. we're not talking about a sunset. extend it out 20, 30 years, take
the current present discounted value and you arrive at that it is rational to spend money now to forestall that eventuality. that's the face we're faced with. >> i feel like it was understood before and sort of -- when you boil down democratic democratic versus republican in terms of what they mean in american politics it was understood before we're talking about republicans representing moneyed interests. a lot of them don't even contest that. they talk about rich people as job creators. they're okay with that as their agenda. it is not a slur against the party to say that. what i think feels new, though, is to have three people giving 91% of the funding to the biggest republican interest group in the election. to have it be such small numbers of people, and we're in a situation where the whole country could essentially be in a michael bloomberg for mayor situation. >> that's exactly right. and what it does is it embodies one of the most kind of undercovered and poorly understood but important trends
in american political economy over the last 30 years, and that is this, yes, okay, we know the rich has gotten richer, more inequality. but the further you go up the income scale, the higher the rate of return has been. when you look at the top 10%, okay, they have gotten richen. the top 1% have gotten richer more more than the top 10%. the top 100 of the top 10%, the further up you go the more the money is pooled and collected. it produces a political system that fundamentally starts to verge on ail gartke, starts to verge on a system that is dysfunctional. with citizens united now, the amount of money pooled to the top poses a threat to general popular democracy. i know that is an extreme thing to say, but at a certain point we have to -- we are staring in the face of something really kind of ominous and i feel like
this election may be such a turning point. >> yeah. it is a face in profile on a gold dime of david koch. briefly, chris, we're out of time, i want your brief reaction to the news that speaker nancy pelosi may be rethinking the vote on tax cuts before the election. is that a good move? >> it is a good move. nancy pelosi is not the problem. people are frustrated with democrats and house democrats. nancy pelosi has done a pretty remarkable job over the last two years. she understands all the political arguments you've been making, i've been making, keith olbermann has been making, a whole host of people have been making, she understands the arguments. can she basically get the blue dogs on board with that? if she bluffs them into it we'll hold a vote, maybe she can kind of convince them that this is in their best interests. it is crazy she has to do that convincing, but, yes, it is a good idea. i'm glad to see it is back on the table. >> chris hayes, thank you very
much. >> have a great weekend, rachel. thank you. coming up, democrats may not be psyched about running on the democratic party's political achievements for the elections this year. but it turns out republicans are. the actual dirty little signature bearing evidence on screen for you to see next. stay with us. yellowbook has always been good for business. but these days you need more than the book. you need website development, 1-on-1 marketing advice, search-engine marketing, and direct mail. yellowbook's got all of that. yellowbook360's got a whole spectrum of tools. tools that are going to spark some real connections. visit yellowbook360.com and go beyond yellow.
no bait and switch. no gotchas. and there's one flat rate for online equity trades... for big accounts... or small ones. that's the way it ought to be. time for fresh thinking. time for td ameritrade. the bill before us is a trillion dollar mistake. >> a trillion dollar mistake that that guy wants in on. the fine art of blatant bold faced, two-faced shameless hypocrisy as acted out in three parts by congressman thaddeus mccoder and friends. it is a passion play, more of a pageant, i think. it's coming up. hoo? omnaris. [ men ] omnaris -- to the nose! [ man ] did you know nasal symptoms like congestion can be caused by allergic inflammation? omnaris relieves your symptoms by fighting inflammation. side effects may include headache, nosebleed, and sore throat. [ inhales deeply ] i told my allergy symptoms to take a hike.
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here's the bad news. on the day we find out that a fistfight broke out in the stands between a man and two women no less while sharron angle was speaking in nevada, on the day that stephen colbert braves performance art and politics together so tightly that he almost pops immigration reform out of congress with the sheer pressure of his wit, on the day we actually get in the mail these steak mailer from the crazy carl for governor campaign in new york, the piece of direct mail scented with the smell of land fill, on the day when we most need a man of kent jones' talents to make sense of the world around us, kent is on vacation. that's the bad news. we need him. he's gone. the good news is that it turns
up that kent does some freaky crazy weird stuff on vacation and pops into a studio to tell us about it. did you seriously do what i heard you did today? >> it depends on what you think it is i did today. i'm in san francisco and i think that i helped the people of san francisco advance music to the next level. >> okay. >> that's what i think i was doing today. my i present the festival of music for people and thingamajigs. ♪ >> this is a guitar, but not like one we know. tell me about this. >> this guitar actually has no threads on it. it is basically a combination of an ude and a guitar. ♪ >> you told me these are skach boxes. what is that?
>> skach box is a kind of instrument that comes out of a technique called skaching. skaching is basically taking a shaped comb and scraping it across a surface. >> and that's what it sounds like inside my head. ♪ >> this is a koto, a traditional japanese instrument. and this is a photo koto. they react to light in a way you will hear when i play. >> could you play a little bit for me, please? >> of course. your cameraman can play? >> what? how does that work? >> okay. light comes in here, ready. >> that was my cameraman playing the photo koto. it's a first. >> this one is used from
recycled pan lids and this is called the percussion ball. each hole has a different length tube in it. the first one is fen feet long. the length of the tube determines the pitch or the note you're getting. >> thank you, good night! >> ken, if you come back to the office without that thing, that thing that makes noise when you hit it with light, i'll be very angry. >> i'm going to need a bigger desk, i'm just saying right now. >> and maybe a larger overhead compartment for the flight home. >> that goes without saying. >> thank you, ken. happy vacation. >> thank you. names, ranks and corresponding shamelessness. coming up next, as republican politicians try to run on the democrats' policy achievements this year, there is downlow, grainy, evidence ahead. announce] what is performance? 0 to 60? or 60 to 0?
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okay. what i'm holding right here is something that shouldn't beggers believe, but it does. this is a letter to the energy secretary requesting funding from the energy department as part of the stimulus package, funding that would, quote, employ 100 people over a three-year period. the person who signed it, the person who signed this letter asking for stimulus money to create 100 jobs is this guy. >> the idea is not to grow government, but to grow the economy, create jobs. unfortunately, the stimulus package passed by the house fails on this count. >> republican congressman dan lundgren of california, making it very clear last year that darn stimulus package is not going to create any jobs. then here's the same guy writing to the energy department a month
after the tape, asking for stimulus money to create jobs in his district. but, wait, i thought you want the stimulus couldn't do that. congressman lundgren, like practically every other republican in the country, has spent the past year trashing the stimulus plan, saying it's useless, something that's even worse, something that's harmful, harmful to the economy. if you pass this stimulus, the economy will be worse off than if you don't pass this stimulus. the stimulus is hurting the country's economy. that's what republicans have been saying in public, and then proving in private that they don't actually believe. that letter that i just read was posted online today by "wall street journal," who has found another treasure trove of republicans trying to run against the obama record by talking all sorts of smack about the obama record, but then proving they don't believe all that smack they've been talking.
take doug lamborn of colorado. saying, quote, this spending bill is a sorry substitute for a comprehensive economic stimulus plan. it will actually weaken our long-term economic growth. 12 days later, 12 days later, congressman lamborn writes to the obama administration asking for stimulus funds, saying these projects will create jobs. the jobs, he wrote, will provide significant stimulus to our state and national economy. that was 12 days after he says the stimulus will weaking or nation's long-term economic growth. also signing onto the letter requesting stimulus funds for projects to create jobs was republican congressman mike kauffman of colorado, the same mike kauffman who said this about the stimulus one month prior. >> the american recovery is a massive and wasteful government
spending bill that will not stimulate our economy, will you will recklessly plunge our nation deeper and deeper into debt. >> but please, obama administration, may i please have some of that awful, harmful money to bring jobs to my district because i think it will help? lynn westmoreland of georgia, blasted the stimulus, saying that it won't create jobs, because he then wrote to the energy department asking for stimulus funds to a research lab in his district. he wrote it would employ 25 to 50 scientists and technicians with secondary employment of up to 400 people. so says the guy who says it wouldn't create any jobs. republican congressman jack kingston joined mr. westmoreland in pleading for that stimulus money to create jobs in his district in georgia. that will be this jack kingston. >> mr. president, where are the
jobs? this goes not the change the folks in coffey county, georgia, can use. they need jobs. >> they need jobs, they don't need that stimulus that won't provide jobs, so please can i have some stimulus money so i can have jobs for my district? because i think it will work. remember zach wamp of tennessee? when he wasn't busy dodging questions about living at c street, he was busy weighing against that irresponsible democratic stimulus bill. >> it does many, many things that are not stimulating. they shouldn't call this a stimulus bill. the vast majority is just associate spending. it's a transfer of payment from one taxpayer over to other people. >> social engineering, transfer of wealth, it is anything but stimulus, it is not going to create job. after zach wamp wrote this, asking for the horrible, terrible, no-good stimulus funds, writing specifically he wanted the money to, quote,
create about 200 manufacturing jobs in georgia, and 120 in tennessee, it will create more than 1,000 total jobs when the direct jobs and indirect jobs created by this proposal are added together, because it's so stimulative. also voting against the stimulus and trashing it bubbly was michael turn, who last month said, quote, more americans believe elvis is alive than those that believe stimulus created jobs. well, put mr. turner in the second category. here he is asking for stimulus money for a, quote, project that will create and retain highly skilled jobs. that only people who would believe in elvis would believe were real jobs? if you remember the stimulus debate at all, you will recall lots of doomsday rhetoric about it. >> the bill before us is a trillion dollar mistake. it will harm working families like greg's, deprive them of hope and damage our already
resaysed economy. >> a few months after trashing the stimulus, congressman thaddeus mccotter undercut his credibility, by asking for that to invest in vital home-grown technologies and job creation. ditto republican senator brownback of texkansas. the bill in front of us is neither prudent or responsible. i think it digs the hole deeper. it's spending a lot of money and it's not going to stimulate the economy. >> it's not going to stimulate the economy? i think i had texas before, sam brownback of kansas. he then asked the centering department for a piece of that unstimulative deeper hole. he said, quote, funding for this project will create job crazy in the near term, by that thing that's not going to create jobs. republicans continue to prove over and over again they are not at all embarrassed by stuff like this. democrats, on the other hand are
proving themselves to be afraid of their own shadows. they're essentially refusing to campaign. that's a surefire way to win. what could they campaign on? well, republicans apparently think that democrats could be campaigning on reforming the health care system in this country, because a ton of the stuff that democrats did in the health care bill republicans put in their new pledge to america and are running on that as if it is their own record as if they're not talking smack about health reform. they're running on those ideas, because they think the american people will like those ideas. democrats, on the other hand, actually implemented those ideas and they're refusing to run on them. with the stimulus, it's the exact same thing. republicans are trying to bring home to their constituents all the economic benefits of the stimulus plan, all of the jobs that it will create. while talking all sorts of smack about the stimulus saying it doesn't work, it's a waste, trying to take credit for the fact it does work. republicans have no problem