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tv   The Rachel Maddow Show  MSNBC  October 5, 2010 12:00am-1:00am EDT

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like everything else, i didn't have enough. >> oh, goodness. gene, i don't know what else to say, other than we appreciate your taking the time to explain this to us. our sympathy on what happened. it's unbelievable. >> i'd like to say one more thing. >> please. >> if i can. >> yes. >> the mayor up here said i refused to pay. i did not refuse to pay. i told them i would pay whatever it took. but i had forgot this thing, and i know people don't think you forget things like that, but you do. and just so happened that i forgot it. now i have to suffer the consequences for it. so -- >> you paid your taxes. one would think it would be covered in that. i'm sorry to end the interview. i thank you for talking with us. >> all right. thank you. >> thank you. keith olbermann, good night, good luck.
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to discuss the eye merging threat to the nation's water supply thanks to fracing, here is rachel maddow. >> good evening, keith. unbelievable story. incredible story. thank you keith. thanks. and thanks, too, at home, for staying with us. we'll be joined by mark ruffalo. michael isikoff, some common wisdom busting good news. about democratic prospects in this year's elections and by something we will see get set on fire that should never, ever, ever get set on fire. that's all coming up over the course of this hour. we're glad to have you with us. first, there's something you need to know about this year's republican candidates. if i tell you, however, i may have to kill you. turns out there are a lot of secret agents. fake secret agents running for office this year.
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running for major offices. they're connected. they're on the inside. and they have seen and done things that mere mortals like you and i can only dream of. today, the associated press revealed the identity of one of these fake secret agents among us. in today's political headlines, christine o'donnell is the candidate who upset her prohibitive favorite in the delaware republican primary. but in 2006, she let slip that she was fake secret agent 001. at the time, christine o'donnell was a protest candidate running in election after election after election and losing every time. in that year, christine o'donnell blind-sided her republican opponent at a debate with this claim. china has a carefully thought out and strategic plan to take over america. if they pretend to be our friend, it's because they have something up their sleeve.
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china plotting to take over america. how does christine o'donnell know about this plot? "there's much i want to say. i wish i wasn't privy to some of the classified information that i am prifty to." according to the associated press, when the claim was challenged, she suggested she had received it through nonprofit groups she worked with that frequently sent missionaries to china. we called christine o'donnell's campaign to find out which specific nonprofit groups she had worked with that had access to classified information about chinese plots to take over america. so far we have not heard back. what we do know about christine o'donnell's past work with nonprofits is she worked with groups that promoted the idea that homosexuality can be cured through religious boot camps.
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groups that said having sex alone is a kind of adultery. using condoms actually spread hiv and that allowing women to join the military harms the national security. that's what we know about her work with nonprofit groups. that's on the public record. we contacted the state department today to find out if being associated with groups that advocate things like that normally, or in the specific case of christine o'donnell, make the u.s. government disclose classified information to us as a citizen about secret chinese plans to take over america. the state department apparently has not found anything for us yet. we will keep you posted. fake secret agency case file number two was revealed today by the syracuse post standard newspaper in syracuse, new york. fake secret agent 002 is current republican candidate for governor of new york state, carl pal dino. the year was 1970. after four students were shot at kent state university in may of that year. the campus of syracuse
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university, where carl paladino. this picture shows a student takeover of a syracuse university administration building that day. on may 7th, students occupied the chancellor's office in that bulling. they stayed there overnight. and then everybody left the next day. agent paladino, however, has just revealed that in his mind, not only did things go really differently than what everybody else remembers and what was in the papers at the time that it happened, agent paladino revealed that he fake secret agent carl paladino had a secret agent role in how things went down that day. he told the syracuse post standard while working fake undercover with the syracuse police, he was a negotiator during a hostage standoff as riots enveloped the -- of the
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school's chancellor who the students had locked down in the administration building. i went out and found them and i said, you know, let the chancellor go home. the guy's got to take a shower. i mean, for god's sakes. they said, yeah, okay. according to actual reports of the time, no, carl, no. the school's chancellor was never held hostage for one. also, nobody else but carl remembers carl having any role in the protests or the resolution of the protests at all. a current syracuse history professor who was at the administration building that day told the syracuse post standard "that's completely wrong. he's either living in cloud cuckooland or shall we say his historical memory is clouded by whatever it is." one of his classmates said i have the feeling that this may be an urban ledge end in carl's
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mind. this enveiling today of carl paladino as this year's fake secret agent number two follows the unveiling earlier this year of fake secret agent 003. dan maes. you may remember earlier this year, maes claimed to have been an undercover agent for kansas. once upon a time. mr. maes wrote on his campaign website at one point in my two years there i was placed under cover by the kansas bureau of investigations to gather information inside a book-making ring that was also allegedly selling drugs. i got too close to some significant people in the community who were involved in these activities and abruptly was dismissed from my position. i was placed under cover, he says, by the kansas bureau of investigations. after the kansas bureau of investigates came out and said, no, not true. dan maes admitted to the denver post "some people are probably
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taking that too literally." those comments, meaning his own comments, might have been incorrect comments. failing to recognize that a hole that you keep digging keeps getting deeper, the dan maes campaign for colorado governor to this day keeps releasing more and more information about his time as a fake secret agent for kansas. all of which continues to prove that mr. maes did not work as a fake secret agent in kansas and when he was fired for was tipping off his girlfriend at the time that the police were going to investigate her family. so fake secret agent 003 dan maes now reportedly outing himself. then there's fake secret agent 004, a gentleman named allen west, a republican congressional candidate in the great state of florida. allen west, a retired army lieutenant colonel made this remark an claim about his own secret agent status. >> i had a top secret security
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compartmented classification i still maintain a secret security clearance. i tell you, if you look at the application for security clearance be, i have a clearance that even the president of the united states cannot attain because of my background. >> are you from another country? because president is kind of the clearance level, nuclear football. i have a clearance that the president of the united states cannot attain? that's like saying you're even more magically delicious than the lucky charms lep rechaunlep. that doesn't make sense. you cannot have a higher clearance than the president of the united states in the united states unless you're in allen wift's minded. one of the really funny things about a year like this in conservative politics is that establishment candidates have been getting routed by people who are really, really, really not establishment candidates. republican congressman mike castle got beat by christine o'donnell in delaware.
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former republican congressman scott mcginnis got beat by dan maes. one really outside candidates like that are beating establishment candidates over and over and over again, it's sort of blows up the party machinery. it blows up the establishment. the republican party has not had much of a say this year about who is representing the republican party on big ticket races. and that begs a very unlikely question. was the republican party the machinery that was keeping folks like this out of national races? did we just lose the delusional person thinks he's a secret agent but he really isn't filter that we didn't know we needed until we lost ours? joining us now is pulitzer prize winning columnist for "the washington post" and msnbc contributor eugene robinson. grate to see you. >> great to be here, rachel. >> this is one of those stories where, i can't believe these
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people think they're secret agents. that's so crazy. that's not even real politics. these are real politicians running for real office. >> these are real politicians running for real office. they could win an they could be representing actual u.s. citizens in the u.s. senate or as governor of a great state and, you know, you use the word delusional and i don't know if that might not be fairly mild about some of this stuff. first of all, though, are you cleared for this discussion? >> gene, i've been meaning actually to talk to you about -- >> okay, okay, you're cool. no, i mean, t the christine o'donnell thing about the chinese plot to take over america? >> i was trying to be specific about the language here. with allen west, allen west had
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raised millions of dollars for his campaign. he completely outspent the more moderate republican candidate who he beat very badly in the primary. and that republican, the moderate republican came out and said as soon as west won, that he believes and he said it in a seer yois way, he believes allen west is irrational. if you're dealing with people who are delusional, who believe they have secret classified information that says the chinese are invading, is there something beyond politics that should happen there? >> there is. reason should happen there. and we should all be concerned and establishment republicans should be concerned because these people could be making decisions as leaders of our government. that concerns me when somebody who does not seem to have, you know, a firm purchase on reality, who -- or alternately who makes stuff up is, you know -- that should be
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concerning, i think, to everyone, aside from republicans, democrats, who's up, who's down. we talk about that some other time. but we're talking about, you know, logic and empirical, you know, reality. >> here's the strategic question, though, if you were a democrat running against one of these people, when i say beyond politics, at a certain point do you stop taking them, engaging with them as if they are a politician and start saying, listen, i'm not going to engage with them on a political level because i think that we've got a person who has -- who's delusional or who has mental health issues or is seriously not engaging -- with whom i cannot engage in a factual debate? >> i don't know that you can quite do that, because the machinery of politics, i think it's probably a mistake and counterproductive to kind of halt the machinery of politics
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and say we can't run against this person because this person is delusional. because in fact if you stop, the delusional person could win. >> especially with the money that we're talking about. >> all this money by the way, tea party money coming from billionaires and from corporate groups that don't disclose their donors. >> anonymous. >> no. you have to continue politics. but what needs to happen, i think, is that people need to call them out on these sorts of irrational, nonlinear statements that they're making and going after people and saying, look, i know you're mad, i know you're angry but come on. you know, don't elect angry people who are crazy or seem to be crazy because we're all going to be sorry if you do that. >> that's this year's -- don't
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elect people who might be crazy. and i don't mean that as a euphemism. crazy is not a euphemism. that would be a bumper sticker. >> crazy is not a euphemism. >> i think the merchandising possibilities are endless there. >> absolutely. >> eugene robinson, pull itser prize-winning columnist for "the washington post." colbert tonight, right? >> yes. >> i'd tell you where i'm going to be tomorrow but i don't know if you're cleared for that. >> that's all right. talk to my agents. how many times have you heard that democrats are bored about the elections? rains are all hyped up to vote and democrats aren't. what facts have you heard to bolster that assertion? the facts that may be kind of sort of once supported that assertion do not seem to hold true anymore. the political common wisdom gets extra emphasis on the dumb and wisdom. coming up. plus, mark ruffalo is here in studio for the interview tonight. he's here to talk fracing, which is nearly as dirty as it sounds.
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have you ever had to warn someone to keep an open flame away from the running water in your house? actor and now activist mark ruffalo joins us with why some homeowners can now set their tap water on fire. we'll be right back. even if that means we have to shop all day, right, honey? yep, all day. good thing you're starting here. we compare your progressive direct rate to other top companies', so you can save money! look! we saved a lot! and quick, too. and no more holding her purse! it's a european should bag. it was a gift. mm-hmm. shopping less and saving more. now, that's progressive. call or click today.
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[ female announcer ] mousse temptations by jell-o. decadently delicious. 60 calories. it's finally me o'clock. time for jell-o. try new chocolate mint sensation. we are four weeks from election eve. the beltway media narratives about this election that were written six months ago are starting to expire. they have reached and passed their sell-by dates. now that doesn't mean that the new beltway narratives have been written. it means that the old ones are starting to stink.
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it may be time to discard them. the enthusiasm gap. the idea that democrats are going to lose real big this year because democratic voters are not excited, democratic voters are simply not motivated enough by this year's elections or their own party's leaders to actually go out and vote next month, which is an okay-sounding theory. the liberals keep complaining. that president obama hasn't accomplished enough, right? except anecdotes are not statistically significant. this is. "newsweek" pollsters asked people how likely are people to vote next month? who says they're definitely going to turn out? that would be a democratic lead. democrats beating republicans in the definite voter category, 50-42. on our bar graph, hopefully, they're exactly equal. the people saying they're motivated are planning to vote for democrats over republicans by eight points. hey, how about that enthusiasm
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gap? the other story we keep being told about this year's elections is that it's a bad year to be a democrat. generically speaking people don't like democrats right now, not the way they love republicans. the beltway common wis-dumb is you're going to lose simply by your democraticness. that margin of error territory there. even the super conservative pollsters at rasmussen reports, they only give the generic republicans a three-point lead, three points. the phrase it's a bad year to be a democrat might be a fun thing to say especially if you're rooting for the republicans. it does have a fact problem. the calcified narratives about what's going to happen in the elections, this idea that democrats aren't excited, that democrats aren't going to turn out to vote and republicans are, this idea that a generic
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republican is a much, much more appealing idea to voters than a generic democrat, these are getting a little threadbare. maybe all that doesn't matter. we're living in the era of citizens united. conservatives are doing their very best to flood the political system with totally unrestricted, unanimously donated money that will wash away every other dynamic there is. that's possible. ever seen the old liberal bumper sticker that shows the giant fish being eaten by the even gianter fish? but when you look closely, the gianter fish is made up of a tiny little fish. that was always a scary bumper sticker to me. that bumper sticker may actually be what's going on in american politics right now. "the washington post" has a big piece on who's spending what in this year's campaigns.
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the big picture narrative, of course, is that money is coming from outside groups on the right with conservatives outspending their democratic aligned competition 7-1. but check this out. democratic party raised $16 million last month. it was called a startling strong number by chris cillizza in "the washington post" today. it's not about the democratic party pulling in a large amount of cash over the course of the last 30 days. the democrats got their record money in a way that suggests the democratic base maybe does care about these elections. more than 80% of it came from low-dollar donors on online and in the mail. that means lots of people sending in checks or donating on the interweb machine, not just a handful of people going to rich people dpund raisers. now, according to the dnc, it's record 16 million haul last month came from more than
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250,000 individual donors. compare that to the biggest outside political fund-raising group on the right, american crossroads, the one founded and backed by karl rove. 1% of that group's funding came from billionaires. from two guys who are billionaires and one company that's owned by a guy who's a billionaire. so 91% of their money, three guys. the republican party has seasonally gone away for this election cycle. it is not even remotely competitive with the democratic party as a party. the democrats are blowing republicans away with a base that is donating frequently in small amounts whenever they can. conservatives are trying to make up all of that lost ground with outside groups. with the help of a handful of very, very rich people. on the one side you've got 250,000 plus people giving human sized small dough nations to the democratic party in a single month. on the other hand you've got three guys, three billionaires
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financing more than 90% of karl rove's outside campaign group spending. maybe the billionaire strategy will work. who knows. maybe money will win the day, maybe money will determine how everything works out. maybe three billionaires really can decide this year's elections. or maybe all the tiny little fishies when they get together in the shape of a big huge fish will eat the big fat billionaire fish. this year's elections are very fun so far. . - marry me. - be my wife, please. ( bells tolling ) ( all cheering ) ha ha ha! announcer: introducing the kohler karbon faucet. have got such a might crunch they'll surely get us saved. [ crunch ]
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programming note. you know how sometimes you have to see something for yourself. this year's senate race in delaware is one of those somethings. early tomorrow, "the rachel maddow show" will decamp to the great city of wilmington with dell zeaware's democratic candidate chris coons. we'll be trying to speak to both candidates. if we can't get christine o'donnell, we would be happy to speak to anyone from her campaign, or anyone that supports her and lives in delaware. so far, only the ones that don't live in delaware will talk to us. we've heard nothing from christine o'donnell headquarters. we live in hope. this is going to be very hard work. naturally it, therefore, requires very good beer. tomorrow night we'll be at the deer park tavern
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do you remember when we last took the show to new orleans, went in august and i got -- i got the "don't 'sperse me, bro," t-shirt? one of the most interesting debates on the oil spill is no one knew what the dispersants were. even when we visited the lsu lab when the chemicals are being studied, monitoring their effect on the oil, in the lab they were labelled with letters and numbers. they had codes. even the scientists were not allowed to know what was in the dispersants while they were studying them. it was some company's trade secret. the total amount of dispersants dumped into the gulf of mexico was on the order of 1.8 million gallons. we still have no idea what that stuff actually was. trade secret. mama's secret recipe, 12 herbs
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and spices and cancer. which brings me to the problem of lighting your own tap water on fire. watch this. watch. this is from gasland. a recent hbo documentary about the process of hydraulic fracturing, aka frac. if don't frac me brot t-shirts do not exist, somebody is getting those ready. they pump a whole lot of water really hard into the ground. included with that water is some magical, unknown proprietary potion of chemicals that we're not allowed to know about. on an average fracing site they are pumping this mystery stuff 8,000 feet underground. a typical aquifer is 1,000 feet
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underground. any chance of things getting mixed up there? that brings us to the site of people lighting their drinking water on fire. don't frac me, bro. joining us tonight for the interview is someone who's known as an actor and director and increasingly as an environmental advocate on the subject of fracing. mark ruffalo. thanks for coming in. >> so glad to be here. >> did i get anything wrong in the description of fracing there? you know a lot about it. >> you pretty much covered it beautifully. >> why are you interested in this issue? >> well, i happen to live in an area where this is going to be done in pretty mass industrial rollout in upstate new york. i'm raising a family in new york. i heard about this. about two or three years ago i started studying it. my study took me to dimmic, p.a.
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where people had their wells poisoned. i saw it for myself. i saw that people really didn't have a voice. there was no one backing these people up, the local governments had turned their governments on them, the state government. i decided, you know what, for my family, this is my life, these are my neighbors, these are my people, i have to be involved. >> in upstate new york like portions of pennsylvania, any place where there's natural gas that's essentially locked newspaper shale, in rock, that's why companies use this process? >> that's right. it's actually small pockets of gas that are locked up in the shale and they crack the shale with such high pressures of water and chemicals that they allow the gas to percolate to the surface. and like you see, these chemicals are ending up in people's wells and gas is ending up in people's wells and today, in dimmic, p.a., where we see
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this happening, they have to build a seven-mile pipeline to a municipality because the entire aquifer in a seven-mile radius has been poisoned. they've been using that water for 100 years. >> and this, the way that the companies are getting access to the shale that they're doing this to is by offering people money for the mineral rights on their land. >> that's it. >> they're approaching farmers and people who own any land of any amount, even small amounts of land to do this. >> that's right. the desperation of the farmers who -- a big constituency is dairy farmers up there, have been losing their farms. there's been 100 suicides of farmers, dairy farmers in the last two years in america. we've lost 150 dairy farms in the last -- 150,000 dairy farms in the last ten years. they can't make a living wage farming. >> yes. >> because of that, they're being forced to lease their land. no one loves their water and
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land more than a farmer does. i see it as a two-prong problem. so i've been working to, you know, i love for tom vilsack to sign a $20 per hundred weight of milk. they make $14 for 8.6 gallons of milk. it's crazy. it's $1.10 a gallon. >> if farmers were able to make more of a living off of the farming they wouldn't be selling out. >> exactly. >> are you finding political allies on this? are you hopeful something will be done on this? >> maury cinchy, the congressman of my area has been up front on this. he has the frac act, which is in congress right now. and what it's doing is it closes the halliburton loophole which has basically said that there's no regulation for this industry. they do not have to tell us the 590 chemicals they're putting in
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the ground. >> that was passed during the bush administration? >> 2005 energy act, dick cheney's legacy to our -- >> pump whatever you want into the ground, it's fine. >> just pump it down there. i say if gas drilling is so safe, then there's no problems with gas drilling, how come there's so many problems with gas drilling? a few people think that what you think you're putting in the ground is so safe, come into regulation under the clean water act and the safe drinking water act. they've been fighting it tooth and nail. >> would it matter -- in terms of the companies disclosing what they're doing with this stuff, to me, that's the most incredible thing about it, they don't have to tell us and it's our drinking water, it's one big aquifer out there. it all comes to all of us. >> where i live in the delaware river basin, that is the watershed for 19 million people. we have the cleanest water in
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the country coming into new york, philadelphia and parts of new jersey. 5% of our population could have their water poisoned or contaminated by this process. and there's no way of regulating it. >> amazing. >> the delaware river basin commission who has been charged with keeping the delaware river watershed safe is on the fast track to begin drilling asap. they want to put 30,000 wells in there. >> you hollering about it may stop them from doing that, i'm getting a sense. >> don't make me mad, you wouldn't like me when i'm mad! >> mark ruffalo, actor, director, big-time activist on this issue. good to meet you. >> it's a pleasure. thank you. >> from fracing to t.a.r.p., several other words i never knew existed before last year. please stay with us. [ male announcer ] you are a business pro.
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okay. check this out. on the bottom axis on the "y" axis here, the years we've been shooting into pakistan with our remote control flying robots. first time we know we did that was in 2004. okay? on the "y" axis, the left side, that's the number of drone
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strikes we know we've done. in 2004 there was one drone strike reported. tiny line there. 2005, again, just one. year after that, three. the year after that, five. five in the hole year, then things started to pick up. 35 strikes in 2008. the following year, the first year of the obama administration, more than 50. this year, so far, and we're only in october, more than ever, nearly 80 already. if we broke it down even further, the more recent numbers are even more dramatic. we're getting close to shooting missiles into pakistan almost every day now. why are we doing this so much more than we ever did before now? you tell me. you are as likely to give me an explanation as anyone else, since this is all secret, this is the cia. nobody admits to the fact that it's happening. here's a clue, though, as to why we're doing this secret thing more right now. one more thing to show you. what's marked here, the
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proportion of the secret missiles we are shooting into pakistan. that are going to this one specific place. the part that's in red on each of these lines, that's the proportion of drone strikes that are hitting a place called north waziristan. not only are we shooting people with missiles in pakistan more than we ever did before, look at the way the red number goes up. we are shooting at something very freaking specific. look how much we're zeroing it up. there is something specific we are trying to shoot at and we are doing that with increasing frequency and intensity. at least that's what it looks like when you graph it out. this weekend, the united states issued a travel alert about potential terrorist attacks in europe, britain, france and germany. what's the threat? we do not know. there are rumors it involves osama bin laden himself. today, there's news that the latest of these missiles that we shot into north waziristan happens to have killed a great number of germans.
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some reports say five, some reports say eight. men holding german passports described as militants. what's going on here? joining us now is nbc news national investigative correspondent michael isikoff. thanks for joining us tonight. nice to see you. >> good to be with you. >> what do we know about the german passport holders, the germans killed in pakistan? >> we don't know a whole lot about the germans killed in this particular drone strike because we don't know a lot about who gets killed in any of the drone strikes. by definition these are strikes in areas where u.s. intelligence and law enforcement, it does not have easy access, nor for that matter do the pakistanis. that's why we're firing drones at them, because we can't send troops there. we can't put troops on the ground there, nor are the pakistanis doing it. what we get are claims of strikes, claims of people killed and in this case, the pakistanis, who are eager at
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this point to show how much they're cooperating with the u.s., reported today, said today, that eight germans have been killed and told people that these are among the germans of pakistani dissent who are believed to be connected with this plot that has everybody worked up in europe right now. >> so they're asserting that there is some connection between the threat alert for germany and other european countries and the victims, the targets, of this most recent drone strike? >> yes. >> okay. >> absolutely, yes. >> in terms of the -- our int intelligence on the grounded there, do people in national security talk, even anonymously, do they talk about why we are having so many more drone strikes? is it because we have more intelligence about something specific that we are shooting at there? >> there are a number of reasons for the escalation. part of it is the intelligence about this ongoing plot that u.s. intelligence officials believe is in europe. over the summer they captured
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this guy, saddiqi. he told them about a plot that was under way. he was believed to have been traveling with ten other germans from hamburg to pakistan for training. and that the idea was, you know, multiple attacks simultaneous in european capitals along the lines of what happened in mumbai. that's part of it. even before that this was escalating, escalating because of increasing pressure by the u.s. military and u.s. intelligence to show some progress in afghanistan and given that in pakistan is a safe haven for a lot of jihadi groups who are aiding the taliban, who are killing american troops, particularly this, you know, the hakani network, which they're really worked up on, affiliated with al qaeda not not al qaeda, sort of around independent jihadi group that's mainly been
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focused on pakistan but has been identified as one of the chief dangers to u.s. troops now. there's a lot of pressure on general petraeus to show progress in afghanistan, in time for next july. i think that's one reason why we're seeing this escalation. >> politically what you just said is so important, i can hardly stand it. if that's the justification for why we're having more drone strikes, if it is not about some new information, new intelligence or intensified strategy about international terrorist groups projecting force against the united states of america, meaning projecting force here or against other western targets but literally just about providing a sort of back -- rear-guard action for the afghanistan war, then we're just talking about an expansion of the afghanistan war. we're not talking about the supposed war on terrorism that's a whole separate thing. >> well, look, i mean, u.s. officials would argue that it's all intertwined.
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there is an eerie parallel to vietnam as there is in so many aspects here with the secret bombing of cambodia. military in vietnam saw a safe haven that the north vietnamese were using in cambodia, so they tried to use air power to wipe it out, to attack it. we can't just fight within the confines of the border. you do see a parallel with this escalation in air power in pakistan right now. and the question is whether it will be any more effective. >> and whether we ever get to debate it as a country or whether we have to pretend this isn't happening because it's some cia secret. incredible stuff. nbc news national correspondent michael isikoff. thank you for joining us tonight. >> thank you. coming up on "the last word with lawrence o'donnell," congressman barney frank responds to his many, many, many right wing critics. and democrats, why are you
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taking republicans' advice about whether or not you should campaign on democratic accomplishments this year? what if those democratic accomplishments were accomplishments? stuff that worked? come back. hug it out. that's next. are the same, consider this: a tornado hits, air life denver takes off... their night-vision goggles keeping the rescue mission safe... and powering those goggles-- the only battery air life trusts: duracell. trusted everywhere.
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according to the common beltway wisdom for this year's elections, health reform is supposed to be an awful thing, an awful, terrible burden democrats have saddled themselves with like an albatross that will sink them on election day. run away from health reform, run fast. whenever the president mentions
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health reform, he does so to huge applause. russ feingold have started running ads on health reform and it polls really well. how is it the common wisdom that democrats have to run away from it? it's the common wisdom because republicans have been trying to make it a common wisdom. a self-serving effort to keep as many democrats on the offensive about health reform as possible. same thing with the t.a.r.p. and stimulus. both which are supposed to be swear words in this election. they weren't disasters. t.a.r.p. officially end yesterday, passed during the last months of the bush administration. it is often referred to as a $700 billion bailout but only half of that was ever actually dispersed. six months after president obama took office, the administration projected the program would lose pretty much all of the money that was dispersed. by this august, the estimated
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loss was down to only $66 billion. now as t.a.r.p. ends, the treasury says the worst case scenario is that taxpayers stand to be on the hook for all of t.a.r.p. for about $50 billion. the best case scenario has aig paying back all of the remaining $49 billion that it still owes the government. if that happens not only will t.a.r.p. have cost far less than anyone imagined it would. if that happens, the program almost paid for itself, did pay for itself or conceivably made a profit. by the way, it worked. how can you tell? well, have you used an at 346789 recently? did you go to the atm with full confidence that not only whatever money you happened to have would be there but you still have an account as well as a bank to go to? thanks, t.a.r.p. those banks that were too big to fail, oh, god i hate they're too big to fail. they didn't fail. they worked, as did the stimulus. the obama administration said it
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wanted to save or create 3.5 million jobs. the congressional budget office says it is on track to save or create 3.5 million jobs. it worked. does any of this meanle economy still doesn't suck? no. the economy still sucks. but what the administration has been doing on the economy is working. take a look at this. this is from the "new york times." this is how much the gross domestic product, the gdp declined in the last quarter of 2008 before obama took office. and this is the first quarter of 2009. it's getting better. that line there, that's when the stimulus started. that's -- then there's the next quarter and the next quarter and the next quarter. that last quarter there, does that still suck? yes, that still sucks. is that better than everything else in that graph? yes, yes, it certainly is. so yes, t.a.r.p. and stimulus are swear words in this year's election.
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everybody thinks they're awful, terrible, horrible, awful things that hurt the economy. and not only hurt the economy but will hurt the democrats in this election if they dare to campaign on them. run away from them. that is the narrative. that is the common wisdom. the facts tell a different story. both were the exact opposite of awful, they were successful, cost effective programs that did exactly what they were designed to do. instead of den graigrating them swear words, instead of running away from them, imagine what the election might look like if democrats started to campaign on the actual accomplishments that they accomplished on the good things that big democratic supported programs have done, things like t.a.r.p. and the stimulus. what would that look like? what would that look like not only for this year's crop of democrats trying to campaign against republicans who are trying to get away with character san diegos of the programs that don't meet the facts but what would that look like for the long run when democrats campaigned on