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tv   The Rachel Maddow Show  MSNBC  October 11, 2011 4:00am-5:00am EDT

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continue prosecuting these cases, if we were to provide him with enough funding to continue at least two more months, until the compromise could be find between all parties, i think that would -- >> that was kari ann rinker, kansas state national organization for women coordinator. i want to thank her for joining us. we just lost the signal from kansas. have the last word online at our blog, the rachel maddow show is up next. good evening, lawrence, thanks to you at home for staying with us the next hour. this is russell pierce, a republican and tea party favorite. he's president of the state senate in the great state of arizona. russell pierce made a national name for himself last year by pushing through arizona's papers please law. remember sp-1070? at the time the most draconian anti-immigration law in the country before alabama got ahold of the issue. a federal judge has blocked arizona from enforcing major
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parts of papers please. but in the meantime, arizona voters, angry or grossed out by the whole sb-1070 ordeal started a recall campaign against russing pierce. the campaign said, overt disdain for the united states constitution. they put his petition out there and russell pierce up for a vote. through no fault of the arizona recallers, they're watching a cautionary tale unfold about the way we make decisions these days in our little democracy. here's how it goes. ready? the candidate who's trying to unseat russell pierce is in fact a fellow republican, this guy here. he's a totally mainstream local republican from the district who was urged into the race by other local republicans who within embarrassed by russell pierce. he says he accepted the challenge after a period of prayer and fasting. his biggest asset in the race is of course that he is not russell pierce. russell pierce seems to have
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decided he maybe couldn't win that way, if it was just him against this other regular guy mainstream republican from the district. so it appears that russell pierce and/or his supporters concocted a scheme, a scheme to run a fake candidate to confuse voters, to sheer off votes from the mainstream republican running against mr. pierce. the idea is to bamboozle voters into splitting the anti-russell pierce vote between two candidates so russell pierce ends up holding on to his seat. the head of a local tea party group which supports russell pierce became the campaign manager. not for russell pierce, not for his opponent obviously, but for this third candidate who they found. she is a local woman with no political history or experience at all. she's a naturalized citizen from mexico. russell pearce's brother is a justice of the peace locally and therefore not to get involved with any campaigning at all. brother lester went out campaigning anyway with his
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daughters, with russell pearce's nieces to collect signatures. they were not campaigning for russell pearce. they were campaigning for this third candidate they found. olivia cortez. to get her on the ballot. in addition to that remarkably charitable effort by the russell pearce family, the mysterious cortez campaign also somehow found itself with enough money, enough funding to pay professional signature gatherers to go out alongside russell pearce's nieces in order to get olivia cortez on the ballot. >> i was told that if people were supporters of mr. pearce, to tell them go ahead and sign this, that this will help his chances. >> so the idea was to dilute or divert the vote? >> yeah. >> by running a diversionary or a sham candidate that that might run a file of arizona's election laws? >> i had no idea. >> i had no idea, she says. no idea there could be serious legal consequences in this scheme to save russell pearce
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from being recalled, by saving russell pearce from running a clear election against somebody who wants to recall him. the circumstances of the russell pearce recall race were strange enough that a maricopa county judge began holding hearings into whether or not this olivia cortez had been put up for a sham candidacy. whether this was, in fact, a tea party republican pro-russell pearce dirty trick in this arizona election. on thursday facing the possibility that senator pearce's family would be compelled to testify in this case, olivia cortez suddenly dropped out of the race. she dropped out. you know what? as far as dirty tricks go, mission accomplished. because when voters in that russell pearce district go to the polls on november 8th, the name olivia cortez will still be on that ballot. the ballots are already printed. her name will be alongside the name of the mainstream republican who really is running and alongside the name russell pearce. three names in now a two-person race. two people who are not russell
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pearce conveniently splitting the vote against him. that's what it looks like in arizona now which is frankly a nice reminder both that people are fighting back against some of the extremes of the last couple years in state politics but also a good reminder of how republicans roll these days. what partisan politics looks like right now around elections this year and next. consider also ohio where republicans jammed a union stripping bill through the legislature in march. why attack union rights? well, for all attacking unions does to undermine the middle class directly and lower everyone's wages and living standards directly, attacking unions also has the nice partisan side effect of attacking the democratic party's largest institutional base of support. ohio's blog of mass destruction recently posted this e-mail from a local ohio tea party leader. "let me be clear, for the tea party patriot movement, our number one goal is to defund the union leadership and thus their exclusive partners in the democratic party and take back
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control of our government. if sp is upheld, the e-mail continues, the democrats will not have the money to compete in ohio next year. barack obama and sherrod brown will lose ohio and be thrown out of office in 2012." our number one goal is to defund the union leadership and thus the democratic party, defeat obama, defeat sherrod brown. the intent is not to level the playing field in other words but tilt it. to use public policy to give republicans an advantage in elections. here's the thing, though. ohio has been fighting back against this. in june, ohioans delivered enough signatures several times over to force a recall of ohio's union stripping bill. the bill is not in effect because the recall effort is under way. it will be on the ballot for recall just like russell pearce in arizona, it will be on the ballot for recall on novembe 8th of this year. speaking of player field tilting, ohio republicans went
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after early voting this year joining a majority of other republican legislatures this year who voted to make it harder to vote. early voting was used disproportionately in 2008 by african-americans who quite disproportionately voted for barack obama and other democrats so magically naturally early voting has to go away before we get to the next election in 2012. in june ohio republicans did pass a law that shrinks ohio's early voting calendar by more than half. last month, ohioans again fought back. delivering more than enough signatures to put that voting crimping law on hold. to put it up for a repeal next year in 2012. ohio has been fighting back all year against republican attempts to tilt the playing field. also in maine, republicans passed a law to end that state's
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tradition of being able to register on the same day that you vote. that has been the law in maine for decades, but republicans undid it this year. maine fought back, though, and got enough signatures to force a citizens repeal of that law on this november's ballot. in tennessee where you may remember our story about 96-year-old dorothy cooper suddenly finding it hard to vote after republicans in tennessee passed a bill that says you can't vote unless you show an i.d. that hundreds of thousands of tennesseens don't have. in tennessee the story of dorothy cooper is not just an infuriating story anymore. now it is a rallying cry the state democratic party trying to rally voters against how much harder tennessee republicans have just made it to vote there. and tennesseens launching a new effort like ohio, like maine, like arizona, to get this thing on to the ballot for a citizens recall. people are fighting back. these are state by state laws, but of course, the cumulative effect is national and pretty obviously intentional. to structurally tilt the playing field so state laws about elections make it harder for likely democrats to vote. and therefore more likely for republican candidates to win.
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in the next election and every election after. the democrat senate campaign committee nationally announced at the national level the dscc will be fighting back. they're asking for help from the justice department in protecting voting rights state by state and also say they'll be making a renewed push to register voters and mount get out the vote efforts in the states targeted by republicans changing the laws. maybe that could help. maybe it will. i think the attention to this issue certainly helps if only because it makes people who these laws are designed to discourage from voting, it makes those folks know somebody is trying to keep them from the voting booth which can have a motivating effect on the need to vote on election day. this kind of coordinated sustained national assault on voting isn't an esoteric thing. it isn't an idea. it isn't a plan. it is happening. it is concrete and nuts and bolts and hard to counteract. fighting for these kinds of rights, fighting back is about how we decide things in america. it is at the level of bone.
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this is a structural thing. this is deep and national. and sometimes it comes down to decisions that are very, very, very individual and very local. we've been bringing you the story of two county clerks in colorado. where the new republican secretary of state has ordered the counties not to send ballots to voters who would usually expect to get them. in denver, the voters happen to live in heavily hispanic neighborhoods. anybody who hadn't voted since the election in 2010, no ballot for you. in pueblo county, the voters are u.s. troops overseas what would usually get sent a ballot. the republican secretary of state in colorado said he wanted left out of the ballot mailings this year. on friday, a judge ruled against the republican secretary of state in colorado in a hearing on a denver case, he ruled denver's ballots could get mailed out to the disproportionately hispanic voters. as we reported on friday night, in pueblo county, the clerk there heard the verdict, in the courtroom, heard the judge's
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verdict and without waiting for details got on to the phone with his office and told him to send out those ballots to those troops. send out the military ballots. this is what fighting back sometimes looks like right? it is a national fight. there's a national plan at work here. sometimes stopping this stuff, sometimes standing up to this stuff comes down to one person, one official doing what he or she believes is the right thing to do and doing it right away. joining us, gilbert ortiz, the pueblo county clerk who was ordered by the colorado secretary of state not to send ballots to military personnel overseas. he joins us live from colorado. thank you for making time to join us tonight. >> thank you. >> last week moments after the court ruling, i know our office spoke with you and we learned that you had sent those ballots out to troops overseas. was that a hard decision for you to make? did you know you would do that when that verdict came down that night? >> i knew exactly i would do that. it was my intention since the
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beginning of this whole process to send those ballots out to military overseas voters. and so it was an exciting moment for me and my staff and i made that call as soon as i was able to. >> we have been looking at this issue of voting rights in terms of its effect on electoral politics, literally on elections. in your role as county clerk, how do you see this? do you feel like this is unfolding in a partisan manner? is this a technocratic issue to you? how do you see these changes the secretary of state has been trying to put in place in colorado this year? >> you know, in pueblo county, i really concentrate on our own voters. and it's always been my intent as an election official to send ballots out to everybody that's registered and to make the voting process available to them. and it's something that i'm passionate about and i think all clerks in colorado are passionate about.
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and, you know, we're not paying attention so much to the political side or the reasons behind it. we just know that we want to send ballots to registered voters in colorado counties. >> mr. ortiz, have you in your capacity as clerk and recorder in pueblo county, have you ever had to deal with a problem of voter fraud, voter impersonation fraud or any kind of voter fraud by troops serving overseas? >> it's never happened. i can't imagine that it would happen. here our troops are overseas and they deserve a ballot. they're out there defending democracy for all of us and the least we can do as election officials is to send them a ballot and make them part of the process. >> in terms of -- i hear what you say, sir, about not focusing on the politics of this. your job is to run the elections, not to make sure they go any particular way. i wonder since you've been involved in this, what's turning out to be a real fight in colorado, real difference of
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opinion here, being fought out in court and other places. do you feel like you have the support of the people who you serve? the support of pueblo county in your stand to try to get ballots out to the people of the county in as guess as quick and seamless way as possible? >> i do. you know, we made intergovernmental agreements with all our participating entities early on in the process. they all agreed in the contract to send ballots out to voters. just walking around pueblo county recently and in the grocery store with my family, i've gotten a lot of support, a lot of pats on the back for what we're doing. i've gotten a lot of phone calls nationally from veterans groups and from veterans, themselves, thanking me for continuing to fight for their right to vote. so it's been great. it's been very difficult to deal with this every day. i'm used to dealing with just ballots and elections. and the political spotlight is a
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little difficult, but i'm excited for what we've done and the fight that we've brought. >> gilbert ortiz, pueblo county colorado clerk and recorder. thank you for your time tonight, sir. i know this fight is not over in pueblo county and colorado. we'd love to stay in touch with you as this progresses. >> i'd love that, rachel. thank you. >> thanks very much. melissa harris-perry joins us next.
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wolf, i was able to pull aside here for a few moments dr.
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robert jeffress, pastor of the first baptist church of dallas and gave a speech introducing governor rick perry earlier this afternoon. if you don't mind mind me saying pastor jeffress, you created a stir coming out of that speech. in talking to reporters, you said in strong, plain language what you think of mormonism. you described it as a cult. and you said that if republican votes for mitt romney, they're giving some credibility to a cult. do you stand by that comment? >> absolutely. that's not some fanatical comment. that's been historic. it has officially labeled mormonism as a cult. >> when a front-runner for the republican nomination for president gets caught in a fundamentalist bigotry eddie like this, the expressed understanding in the beltway media is not that there's been display of religious bigotry in the republican party or among
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the conservative movement, but rather that mainstream republicans like mitt romney and like speaker of the house john boehner and majority leader eric cantor, these guys have just had an unfortunate brushup against the very fringy far right extreme. which the presumed mainstreamers just make a big show of being nice to even though we all know they have no real influence in what they think, doesn't really mean anything. that's your basic beltway media narrative about something like this weekend's values voters summit. here's what's missing from that analysis. the values voter thing is not a fringe event. if it ever was, it isn't anymore substantively it's a fringe event. it's not fringe within the conservative movement and republican party politics. mitt romney has gone to the values voters summit for six years in a row now. every major republican presidential candidate except for jon huntsman, is he still considered major, spoke at the summit this weekend.
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the congressional leadership of the republican party which supposedly represents the mainstream of the party and should not be tarred by the extreme views of the fringe of the conservative movement. but here's house majority leader eric cantor speaking at the values voters summit. here's speaker of the house john boehner speaking at the values voters summit. here's who they shared the stage with. >> i believe we need a president that understands just as islam represents the greatest long range threat -- >> woo. woo. when all the republican presidential candidates in the republican congressional leadership do big national televised events like this, why is there this gentleman's understanding, right, with the beltway media that republicans who speak at the things shouldn't be viewed as sharing the event's agenda. they know what they're getting into. why do we make excuses for
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things like this? in the weeks leading up to the number one and number two republicans in the house speaking at the values voters thing, look at how they behaved. move forward with another effort to remove insurance coverage for abortion anywhere in the country. they tried to do this during the health reform debate and hijack health care reform to ban abortion for women who could not afford it without insurance. since they didn't get what they wanted at that time, republicans in the house have started going after that again. they've also started a new witch hunt going after planned parenthood demanding documentation from planned parenthoods nationwide going back 20 years. documentation of patient referrals, of funding and what they call improper billing. the big values voters speech on his calendar, speaker of the house john boehner just announced plans to triple the amount of money the house is spending to defend the anti-gay clinton era defense of marriage act in court. thanks to john boehner, you the
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taxpayer have a $500 an hour lawyer making that case on your behalf. to hold on to the defensive marriage act. his expenses were not supposed to exceed a half million dollars, this lawyer, but he's now cleared for $1.5 million of your dollars. c-span was told on friday that he will block all funding for the pentagon unless it also comes with a new anti-gay marriage law. the pentagon will not be funded now according to house republicans unless they get their way against gay marriage. >> is this issue for you worth not having a defense authorization bill? >> yes. >> yes. no matter how much republicans prioritize abortion at the state level and the federal level again and again and again and prioritize gay rights at the state level and federal level, again and again and again, no matter how many republicans get their jerry fallwell and focus again and again and again on the social issues and rights issues,
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the beltway media insists they're focused like a laser on jobs, jobs, jobs. also on jobs. and also jobs. i do not know why the beltway media excuses what the republicans are doing in favor of the republicans favored mainstream narrative about what they're doing. why don't we look at what they do instead of what they're saying they do? i realize i'm aiming too high. let me close with one case study. presidential candidate mitt romney told former presidential candidate mike huckabee on fox news recently he, mitt romney, would support a constitutional amendment to define life as beginning at conception. mitt romney said, yes, he would support such a constitutional amendment. look, i can prove it to you. watch. >> would you have support of the constitutional amendment that would have established the definition of life at conception? >> absolutely. >> absolutely. this is a personhood amendment. the huckabee is talking about. personhood amendments are broadly understood not just to
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ban abortion outright but also to ban many common forms of birth control. including the pill. that's what their proponents intend and it is seen as a likely impact of this thing that mitt romney just said he supports. wow. the republican front-runner for the presidential nomination wants to ban the pill. i have a follow-up question. i mean, not a single beltway reporter has asked him a follow-up question about this. as to whether or not he really understood what he was saying yes to. did you really mean it, sir? you really want to ban the pill, mitt romney? can you explain? can somebody please ask mitt romney a follow-up question on that? do we believe him that he's laser focused on jobs, jobs, jobs? we here at "the rachel maddow show" cannot get a call back from the romney campaign when we asked him the follow-up question. can somebody who can get mitt romney's people on the phone ask him that? just ask him. anyone, please? joining us now is melissa harris-perry, professor of
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political science at tulane university and msnbc contributor. melissa, thanks for your time tonight. >> absolutely. >> is there as much as a disconnect as i am frustrated about between how much republicans really are focusing on social issues and the coverage of them as if they are not focused on social issues at all? >> well, for me the most frustrating part is the disconnect between the extent to which the republican potential nominees for the gop presidential, you know, run here, are focused on social issues when the polling tells us that ordinary americans are fundamentally focused on issues of the economy, sometimes the deficit shows up, unemployment, every once in a while you'll get a blip, for example, post-9/11 around questions of national security and terrorism. i think we can make lots of claims about how our media, whether it's beltway media or supposedly ideological media or twitter or any of our media sources are sort of focused on a variety of different ways of thinking about the political arena.
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but the big disconnect is between what people are identifying as the major problems facing america at this moment and what these candidates are talking about and the basis on which they're being chosen as front-runners. >> the issue internally within the republican party used to be how much mainstream republicans could sort of flirt with the fringier elements of the social conservative movement, the evangelical movement, not part of the conservative movement while maintaining general election electability. having to walk that line becomes a lot easier if they're not reported as doing that flirting. and so as we see the real -- i mean, the brian fishers of the real, the real fringe of the movement essentially become mainstream figures in republican politics, is there not a cost to be paid for that in the long run? >> there is. interestingly enough, that
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transition of a relatively well organized but undoubtedly small minority within a kind of big party like the gop is, suddenly becoming central to deciding who the republicans will actually put up as a presidential candidate. someone who's going to have to appeal across a broad range. that's actually exactly what much of the american left has been trying to figure out how to do in the democratic party, right? how do we get sort of a set of questions or issues on the agenda that can be hammered home over and over again? the democratic presidential candidates in a way that would force them to have the sort of progressive agenda at the same time that they were running for president of the united states? and the fact is that much of the left has been unable to do that. on the right, over the course of the past 25 years, they've been incredibly effective at moving to the center of that party and particularly to the center of the nominating process. so that over and over again even in supposedly mainstream debates, not just at value voters summits, we hear them
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answering questions about how much you're willing to restrict reproductive rights. how pro life are you? it's no longer even a question of whether or not choice is even a possibility for republican candidates, for example. >> melissa harris-perry, tulane politics professor and msnbc contributor, thank you for helping us understand this. i appreciate it. >> absolutely. you may remember former florida congressman alan grayson from appearances like this on the floor of the house of representatives. >> here it is. the republicans' health care plan for america. don't get sick. that's right. don't get sick. if you have insurance, don't get sick. if you don't have insurance, don't get sick. if you're sick, don't get sick. just don't get sick. >> alan grayson is not congressman alan grayson anymore. his words about the occupy wall street protests been clear and pointed and from what i hear from a lot of people, motivating. alan grayson is our guest tonight on the subject of the
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growing movement and the right wing's tin ear for it. ♪ more and more folks are trying out snapshot from progressive. a totally different way to save on car insurance. the better you drive, the more you can save. no wonder snapshot's catching on. plug into the savings you deserve, with snapshot from progressive.
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republican governor scott walker of wisconsin found himself nationally famous earlier this year when he picked a fight with union rights in wisconsin. after campaigning for office on a different set of issues, he and the republicans in the state legislature decided to go after union rights. in wisconsin a state where a lot of america's union rights for born, did not react well to this. you may recall.
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the first electoral consequence for the republicans was a round of recall elections. in august. in which two republican senators were sent packing and the republican majority in the senate was cut down to just one seat. tonight on "the ed show" here on msnbc, the second electoral consequence for governor scott walker and the wisconsin republicans will be unveiled. a recall election campaign against scott walker, himself. if we did not know if before, we learned this year wisconsinites like the badgers they are can be a force to be reckoned with when they get threatened. details for republican governor scott walker's career ahead tonight on "the ed show" which is right after this show. [ male announcer ] indulge all you want.
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gondola actually living in new york city, even though most people don't know it, has to do with the occupy wall street protests. the occupy wall street protests in new york that have just entered their fourth week. the protests gained enough national traction that individual candidates for president are now being asked about the protests as they campaign across the country. here for instance is republican presidential front-runner mitt romney denouncing the occupy wall street protests earlier today at a campaign stop in new hampshire. >> i think the idea of dividing our nation at a time of crisis is the wrong way to go. all the streets are connected. wall street's connected to main street. and so finding a scapegoat, finding someone to blame in my opinion isn't right way to go. >> all the streets are connected. wall street connected to main street. you know, that is actually a checkable thing. if you check it, it turns out not to be true. here's a map of manhattan. there's wall street at the very bottom of manhattan over there on the left.
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and there is a main street in new york city. it is all the way over there sort of on the center right there. turns out they are not at all connected. in fact, they are separated by a body of water. main street in new york city is located on roosevelt island which is a lovely but tiny island in the east river. so if you want to go from main street to wall street in new york city, they are not connected. you have to use the gondola. okay? i mean, technically the tramway i guess they call it which connects roosevelt island to manhattan and thus connects main street to wall street. sorry, mitt romney, work on the metaphor. they are not connected. except by a vaguely swiss seeming thing you probably don't want to talk about. the front-runner having to come up with a snappy rejoinder to your protest, failing but attempting to come up with it, that's for the protesters a sign that their protest movement is catching on. another sign. media coverage of the cause. not media coverage of the organization necessarily or specific protesters but of the cause that the profest is against. in the month before the occupy wall street movement, there were
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two our account 164 mentions of the phrase corporate greed in the news. one month. 164 mentions. in the month since the occupy wall street movement has been under way, 1,801 mentions of that same phrase. corporate greed. in the news. here's another sign that your movement may be gaining some momentum. your protest which is narrowly focused at first to one specific geographic location, in this case wall street, your protest begins to spread fast. well beyond that initial location. today nbc news got video in of occupy wall street's spinoff protests being held in boston, in atlanta, in washington, d.c., in columbus, ohio, in des moines, iowa, all today. that's just what we got tape of. over the weekend, we got video in of occupy protests being held in portland, oregon, and in knoxville, tennessee, and in chicago and in indianapolis and in cincinnati and in philadelphia and in sacramento and in san francisco. today new york city mayor
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michael bloomberg announced the protesters who have camped out on actual wall street in new york city will be allowed to stay there indefinitely. officials in washington, d.c., giving protesters there permission to stay for at least four more months. perhaps the best sign that your protest movement is catching on would be this one right here. dead end saboteurs showing up from the right to try to take the whole thing out of context and make it look like something that it's not. tape here of right wing activists james o'keefe. remember him from the a.c.o.r.n. fake pimp thing, shirley sherrod thing? wandering around to make the protest looks like it has something to do with hookers or implies something scary about black people. not sure what the scary black people or hooker line will be yet. we'll have to wait for the tape. a conservative writer for the american spector magazine
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acknowledging he infiltrated the occupy d.c. protests provoking a pepper spray confrontation with a security guard at a national museum. specifically provoking the pepper spray incident as a provocateur. occupy wall street engendered a full scale freak-out for those defending the policies now being protested against. people advancing and defending policies that advance the interests of the richest 1% of people in the country. those folks are now in full panic mode. >> i for one an increasingly concerned about the growing mobs occupying wall street and the other cities across the country. class envy and social unrest is not what we do in america. >> you think that's what the president is doing? >> i think president is doing that. he's preying on the emotions of fear, envy and anger and not constructive to unifying america. >> my parents, they never played
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the victim card. my parents never said, we hope the rich people can lose something so we can get something. i don't have patience for people who want to protest the success of somebody else. >> capitalists. if you think that you can play footsies with these people, you're wrong. they will come for you and drag you into the streets and kill you. they will do it. they're not messing around. those in the media -- and i say this, i am included in this -- they will drag us out into the streets and kill us. if you're wealthy, they will kill you for what you have. >> you know, glenn beck still exists. that was apparently him on his radio show today. they're coming to kill you! after the -- never mind. i'm not even going to get into the mind of glenn beck. never mind. the right is going to try to
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make this movement seem super scary, right? they don't even need glenn beck. glenn beck helps. and people can be scared by protests in general. absolutely. you can use that to scare people. particularly if police continue to use brutal tactics against the protesters. that, itself, can make the protesters seem scary. counterintuitively if police are beating people up and using pepper spray on people, it can make the people police are abusing seem like scary people. we've seen this before in the past. the idea here, the message the protests are promoting is not only a simple one to say, it's a simple one to understand. case in point, friday night's bill maher show on hbo experienced what was apparently at least anecdotedly reported to be the first ever standing ovation given to a comment by a guest on that show. on stage with bill maher, was former democratic congressman alan grayson of florida, former george w. bush communications director nicolle wallace who you've seen on this show and on the right, p.j. o'rourke. after congressman grayson gave an eloquent description of the
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problems raised by occupy wall street, the critique they've been raising, things like wall street's financial grip over both political parties and what hasn't happened since the financial crisis caused by wall street in 2008, p.j. o'rourke tried not so much to denounce the movement as a whole but rather to just mock it. congressman grayson mercilessly, it was a move that did not end well for p.j. o'rourke and ended very well for congressman alan grayson. >> get the man a drum. they found their spokesman. >> well, if i -- >> get a bongo drum. forget where to go to the bathroom and it's yours. >> listen, if i am a spokesman for all the people who think we should not have 24 million people in this country who can't find a full-time job, that we should not have 50 million people in this country who can't see a doctor when they're sick, that we shouldn't have 47 million people in this country who need government help in order to feed themselves and shouldn't have 15 million families who owe more on their mortgage than the value of their home, okay, i'll be that spokesman. [ cheers ]
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>> oh, look, they're standing in the audience. >> oh, look, they're standing in the audience. former democratic congressman alan grayson of florida joins us next.
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joining us tonight for the interview is former congressman alan grayson of florida.
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mr. grayson represented florida's eighth district from 2009 to 2011. congressman grayson, thanks very much for being with us. it's nice to see you again. >> thank you. >> you have and have always had a knack for saying things in a way that connects with people. sometimes you upset your critics, but you definitely always enthuse your supporters. the occupy wall street protests seem to be connecting with people despite a campaign on the right to portray them as scary. what do you think is resonating so much here? >> i think they have their eyes open and more and more people are seeing the scales fall from their eyes as well. because the occupy wall street people are saying first there's no accountability on wall street. they wrecked our economy. years ago they took a healthy economy and gave us 9%, 10% or more unemployment. and they destroyed 20% of our national wealth in the course of just 18 months from the middle of 2007 to the end of 2008. destroyed 20% of our national wealth accumulated over the course of two centuries. and nobody's been prosecuted for
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it. nobody's been indicted or convicted. first there's no accountability. the second thing is that they've created a system that is enormously unequal. and the result of that is people are struggling to find a job to pay their bills, to pay their rent, to pay their credit card bills. according to wikipedia there are only five countries in the entire planet that are more unequal than the united states in the distribution of our wealth. that's a system that wall street created, maintains, and enforces. the way they enforce is is the third gripe. the third gripe is wall street controls and dominates our political system. one party is a subsidiary of wall street and the other caters to wall street all too much. people got into the situation now where they feel the sichls is unresponsive and they're driven deeping into misery. >> how do you think it ends up
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playing out and affecting american politics more broadly? not even in strict electoral terms. but how does it change the framing of issues. i mean, the right is trying to denounce the existence of protests at all as mobs and social unrest. glen beck today saying people are going to be dragged from their homes and killed in the streets. the kinder, softer version of that on the right is to say they're motivated by class envy and class resentment dividing the nation. the right is reacting to this in slightly hysterical terms. that implies to me that people have a message that the right is worried about. >> i think that glenn beck is right. it's only a matter of time before they take him away. not the way he needs with a straight jacket. that much is obvious.
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but fundamentally ask yourself what people want is solutions to their problems and what is either side offering in the next election? people don't see solutions to their problems. as i said earlier, there's 24 million people in this country who can't find full-time work. there's 50 million people in this country who can't see a doctor when they're sick. they want to know what's being done about this. what is going to help them in their normal ordinary lives and they're desperate for solutions to those problems. the right isn't offering any. you heard herman cain. his answer is get a job. it's not that easy. if one person is out of work they can find a job. but if 24 million people are out of work, that's just not possible. the economy has been grossly mismanaged by wall street and others. people see that wall street is running our economic policy. that big oil is determining our energy policy. and that the military industrial conflicts is conducting our foreign policy in these endless costly wars. people are fed up. so what's left to do? what is the one thing you can still do as a human being? you can go someplace. you can go someplace and in this world of the internet you can show yourself. and that's what the people on occupy wall street are doing. they're doing the one last human thing left. they're going somewhere. >> showing yourself and also
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finding each other, i think. congressman alan grayson, thank you for being here tonight. i miss talking to you, sir. we'd like to have you back soon if you don't mind. >> it would be a pleasure. >> thanks. all right. debunktion junction what's my
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all right. debunktion junction what's my function? first up ron paul won the most recent supposedly highly predictive candidate straw poll at this summit this weekend. is that true? ron paul libertarian except on abortion won the god, guns and
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gays summit straw poll this weekend. true or false? true. and the reason this has to be debunked or bunked if you prefer is because the value voters straw people are unhappy about the fact that ron paul won their contest. the value voters folks wanted so badly for him not to have won their straw poll, the president of the group went on why the win should be seen as totally irrelevant. >> i don't think ron paul is truly reflect ich of where value voters stand. >> so you're saying your own poll results don't mean anything? >> well, no. i actually say, you know, when you look at statistics statisticians will look for outliars in this poll. >> otherwise known as first. it is true to ron paul won the straw poll as much as the value voters summit people wish he had not.
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up next, jon huntsman is polling at 3% in iowa. jon huntsman who gave his policy address today trying to position himself as the only republican in the race with any foreign policy experience at all which is true, jon huntsman is out of his 1% in every poll doldrums. now he is now polling at a full 3% in iowa as of today. true or false? false. you may have been confused about this today if you saw this tweet from the folks at public policy polling. jon huntsman leads gary johnson 3-1 for eighth place in iowa. that's supporters, not percentages. we called the folks just to make sure we understand this. the full poll is due out tomorrow and yes they did not find 3% of likely iowa republican caucus goers supporting jon huntsman. they found three people total for governor huntsman. jon huntsman is not polling at 3%. he is polling at three persons. so one true, one false