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tv   The Last Word  MSNBC  October 24, 2011 10:00pm-11:00pm EDT

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to run in the new hampshire primary. she's not filed that by the way. it's due by the end of the next month. if they do intend to run in new hampshire, they are going to have to make some new hampshire friends. very, very fast. that does it for us tonight. now it is tonight "the last word with lawrence o'donnell". have a great night. >> good news for president obama, republican presidential candidates value donald trump's advice more than karl rove's. we've got breaking news from rick perry's campaign tonight. >> believe it or not, the birthers are back. >> birtherism is born. >> donald trump sells rick perry the brooklyn bridge. >> rick perry a very visible republican flirting with the birther movement. >> he was asked do you believe.
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>> that prosecute barack obama was born in the united states? >> i had dinner with donald trump the other night -- >> i had dinner with donald trump the other night. >> perry, i have no reason to think otherwise. that's not a definitive yes i believe. >> it's a distractive issue. >> he is eligible to serve. >> karl rove is worried. >> these kind of things do not help. >> i think rick perry may be trying to be too cute. >> donald trump, you associate yourself with a nutty view that and you damage yourself. because it starts to marginalize you. don't associate yourself with sort of this nutty fringe group. >> trump is a vulgar clown. >> rove is even more worried about becky, becky, becky stan. >> cain has had a couple of -- >> he didn't know what the right of return was. he didn't understand what neoconservatives were. apples and oranges. >> apples and oranges. >> then we say he may not be up
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to this task. >> i'm happy to be part of that process. >> well, if you don't run chris christie, romney will be the nominee. bhv president obama is on a fund-raising swing this night. the friends an supports in las vegas and hollywood is making sure he will raise more money than all the republican presidential candidates combined as he faces the eventual nominee who will emerge from a process more confused and messy than we have ever seen. the republican candidates are busy ignoring or attacking the mastermind of the last two republican electoral victories, bush's brain, karl rove. this morning, rove attacked rick perry for saying he doesn't know if president obama was born in the united states. then rove went after herman cain
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for a white board's worth of recent misfires and later in the day, herman cain decided to respond to rove saying i believe it is a deliberate attempt to damage me because i am not the establishment choice. it makes no sense unless it's a deliberate attempt on his part to try to push me down so that the candidate he wants rises to the top. i believe he wants romney to get it. rove then responded to cain's response saying -- i want the strongest nominee to emerge from the process. i have no personal favorite. every candidate is entitled to a few mulligans because of his energy and passion. he gets more than the normal number of mulligans, but he's running out of them. joining me now, former senior adviser to the mccain/palin campaign and current msnbc
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political steve schmidt. thank you both for joining me tonight. steve, come on, herman cain is right ear thabout this. here is rove hitting rick perry, all legitimate hits and hitting herman cain. what does that mean? rove likes ron paul or michele bachmann? he is trying to circle the wagons around mitt romney as an inevitable nominee, isn't he? >> first off, karl rove is right on both counts on this. unpreparedness for the presidency is not a virtue in a republican candidate, trying to unseat a very tough, very talented politician in president obama. herman cain has shown himself to be unprepared over the last week and i think it's fair for karl to point it out.
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he's exactly right to point out rick perry's flirtation with the fringe. this birther issue is absolute looniness and it's unable that the incumbent governor of the state of texas who served there for 12 years is flirting with it in the midst of a serious presidential race. it is deeply, deeply worrying to republicans in washington and all across the country who want to put a candidate on the field who has a shot to beat the president. >> all right. we have got to go to our trump correspondent, jonathan -- as soon as the word donald trump comes up here, we go to jonathan. the statesman released a statement about the whole perry thing that came out over the weekend, that says -- this is trump's statement, despite releasing what is alleged to have been his birth certificate, no independent evidence has been disclosed to mr. trump or the
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american people as to its authenticity. is it authentic? i don't know. but i am proud of the fact that i was able to get him to do something that nobody else was able to get him to do, release the certificate while the issue remains unresolved, more important issues need to take center stage. jonathan, this was all provoked by rick perry in parade magazine this weekend saying he's not sure if it's the president's birth certificate, because he had dinner with donald trump was very, very convincing that this was not the president's birth certificate. >> well, look, in all of my conversations with mr. trump, this will come up and he will say that he's -- as he said in the statement, very, very proud that he was able to get the president to do what no one else was able to do and it's an issue that base he and i have come to agree to disagree over. he is somehow convinced that the president is not telling the truth about his birth certificate and where he was
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born, and clearly all the evidence is out there for anyone who wants to read it, anyone who wants to understand it, anyone who wants to believe it, that the president of the united states is indeed an american citizen, was indeed born in the united states in hawaii, and is leg legitimately sitting in the oval office as president of the united states. >> jonathan, has trump told you what his private detectives found when he sent them to hawaii? remember that crazy lie when trump said i'm sending private detectives to hawaii, and i said, he was too cheap to do that, he sent no one. not one word has emerged from what the private detectives have found. unless i missed something. >> no, nothing has been said about the private detectives. i haven't asked him about that question, but you and i both know that mr. trump would tell me immediately if i were to ask him what those detectives said. you know one over thing, lawrence, i wanted to add on to
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something that steve said with regard to karl rove. i don't think he's trying to circle the wagons around mitt romney to ensure he gets the nomination. i think he's trying to circle the wagons around the republican party as a legitimate party in the united states. if the birthers and the fringe take over the party, like literally take over the party, we're going to see the gop crumble. and when you've got a state like south carolina where in a recent poll last month, one in three republican primary voters don't believe that the president is indeed a citizen of the united states, there's serious trouble here and karl rove is ringing the alarm bells. >> steve, karl rove helped win the presidency back in 2000 by narrowing the differences between the democratic nominee and the republican nominee. the democratic nominee had a medicare benefit drug idea and bush had one and they simply
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argued about which one is better, and it wasn't that bush was saying no, we should not expand that entitlement. so it seems that rove's history here is -- as a presidential campaign operative is not one of trying to find how much can we separate ourselves from democrats, but where can we actually pull in some of their voters? there doesn't seem to be any republican strategy among any of the nominees about how do you reach in the middle for the voters or how do you pull democratic voters away from president obama. >> well, i know one thing, lawrence, that all of this flirtation with birtherism and the loony issues is totally repellent to voters who identify themselves as being in the middle of the spectrum. the 2000 race and i was involved in the president's 2004 campaign, but you know, the 2000 race was an election that took place in the time of peace and prosperity, where the lines
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between the parties was blurred and we were looking at drug benefit and education reform. the country is winding down two wars in iraq and afghanistan and we still face a threat from terrorist forces overseas. and you have a whole body of presidential candidates who aren't just showing that they're unprepared which they are, with aplomb, but they're flirting with the most extreme elements in american politics. and it's bad for the republican party. i agree with jonathan completely on this. i mean, one of the great services of, you know, bill buckley was his distancing of the conservative movement and pushing out of the fringe. it helped the conservative movement and the republican party become a majority party in this country. this is just terrible news and it's about time that senior republicans start to push back on the crazy talk, because it's going to have a very detrimental effect in an election where republicans have every
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possibility to win the presidency, to win the united states senate and maintain a majority in the house. but it won't happen if this type of crazy talk is indulged by serious people in the party. >> has harmful has donald trump been to republican politics this year? >> it's amazing that republican candidates who are running to be commander in chief in the armed forces of the united states feel like they have to go kowtow before donald trump or frankly that they have to kowtow to the front of any of the talk radio hosts. at the end of the day, i think the american people and republicans in particular are looking for candidates that have a level of fearlessness. go out, tell the american people what your vision is. explain it to them. be passionate about it. but show preparedness and don't be afraid of the extreme elements in your own party because if you stand up to them, you're going to get a lot of credit in the middle of the electorate in a way that helps
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you win general elections. >> steve, the latest news in the perry campaign tonight is that they have now released through a "wall street journal" op-ed piece flat -- rick perry's flat tax plan and this is a flat tax proposal we'll run the numbers in the next segment. but roughly 20% flat tax across the board, which will dramatically increase taxation on most americans. it seems this is the kind of tax proposal that president obama would want to write for every republican candidate that they could get on board with this. romney had a difficult history with this. he has sharply campaigned against it and he said, oh, i love the flat tax. how is the flat tax going to shake out as the republican campaign goes forward? >> look, i think at the end of the day the american people will not support a regression tax. that being said, i think the
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american people understand that the american tax code is as uncompetitive as it could possibly, you know, be. you were designing a tax code to be uncompetitive, this is what you would come up with. i think the part of the process is there is an issue that is now being incubated and i think as we move into the general election i think both the republican nominee and the president will be talking about fundamental tax reform, simplifying the tax code to make it as an instrument, something that can help american businesses and the economy in terms of competitiveness. i think that's going to happen. so i don't think these proposals are ever going to be put into law but i do do think they'll drive a debate that is going to lead to some level of tax simplification in the country because it's good for the economy to happen. >> i want to thank you both very much for joining me tonight. >> thanks, lawrence. coming up, we have breaking news coverage of rick perry's
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new flat tax proposal. jared bernstein will join me to run the numbers. later in the spotlight, a word exclusive, apple cofounder steve wozniak talks about steve jobs. that's coming up.
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coming up, we'll have steve wozniak, cofounder of apple talking about steve jobs. but first, we do have breaking nulgs -- news from the rick perry campaign. the new flat tax proposal, which is an astonishing give away to the rich. jared bernstein will join me next.
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[ male announcer ] test our fast relief. love it, or get your money back. we're back with the breaking news report on rick perry's flat tax proposal which he's just released through an op-ed piece in "the wall street journal." a choice between your current tax rate or a flat tax rate of 20%. a reduction in the corporate rate to 20%. and an opt out of social security for younger workers. joining me now by phone is msnbc analyst jared bernstein, former chief economist to vice president biden. thank you for joining me. >> thank you for having me. >> i'm speed reading through the op-ed piece in the journal and what i'm seeing is you would have a choice between a new flat tax rate of 20% or your current income tax rate, the new flat tax preserves mortgage interest,
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charitable deductions, state and local tax exemptions for families earning less than $500,000 annually. and it increases the standard deduction. now, that is different from herman cain's plan in it allows deductions beyond just charitable, mortgage deduction, very important for most people who take it is preserved. but looks like if you give people an option of paying their current rate or paying 20%, it's very clear that only the highest income taxpayers will take that option of paying 20%. >> right. i mean, what you have done here -- it's interesting he kind of slops out herman cain's numbers for three syllables. he calls it cut, balance and grow. in fact it's a complicated idea. you have created a parallel tax system. everybody who can afford to do so is going to figure out their taxes twice. and pay the lower rate. now, a very important difference
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in the current system and what the candidate perry is offering here is eliminating taxes on dividends and on capital gains that you hold for a while, long-term capital gain. he's going to land us in the place that candidate cain did here, and he's talking about a revenue neutral plan, that means somebody is going to pay less, somebody is going to pay more. you shift the burden on to middle and lower income households. >> jared, he's allowing younger workers, i'm not sure what the age definition is of younger workers to opt out of social security which is the surest way you could come up with of eventually abolishing social security. >> no question about it, lawrence. he also eliminates taxes on social security benefits that some folks currently pay. we can debate the efficacy of those ideas, but in both cases what they those is undermine the
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financing to the system further. you hear republicans talk about how we have to shore up social security, but what he's talking about is a back door way to privatization. if young workers can opt out of this system, that absolutely unquestionably fully undermines this entergenerational contract known as social security. >> this is one of the reasons i have stayed on herman cain's 9-9-9 plan, because these flat tax plans behave the same way. they're hugely beneficial to the rich, to the high-income earners and extremely harmful below that. there's a big job killer provision in here, jared, that i found which is the way he treats what they call the repatriatation of foreign profits. he wants to drop it down to something minimal which is a way of encouraging companies to earn more profit overseas which means
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they will move more jobs overseas in order to earn that profit overseas. >> this is a neatly wrapped up package with a ribbon on it for multinational firms, basically taking the incentives to already go across borders and create investment and jobs there as opposed to here and putting it on steroids. not only does he reduce the corporate rate to 20%, so that's a very large reduction, but he has a temporary reduction for this tax repatriation idea that takes it under 5%. now we tried this before in 2004 and what we've found is multinationals who had been deferring their earnings, holding them overseas as they're able to do instead of bringing them back at the statutory rate, they bring them back at the low rate and in fact they didn't create the investment in the jobs, they pay out the dividends and increase their share prices. so once again, i mean, the thing -- by the way, then he switches to something called the
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territorial system which i won't go into right now, but is whoor explore at some point. but let it be said that the big cut in the corporate rate, the repatriation and moving to territorial are all big incentives for multinational corporations to do much more investment in overseas than here. >> if president obama is lucky, mitt romney will be forced to embrace some form of flat tax which i think combined with the republican party's history on the ryan vote plans vote on med care would be a lethal package for republican nominee to try to carry into the general election against the president. >> look, i think the president is going to be very clear on the shortcomings that we have discussed so far. basically, what this plan does is pretty much put you back on the sort of trickle down tax
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cuts at the very top, the basic road map that got us to where we are today. and i don't think it's going to resonate with most people when they get a closer look. >> jared bernstein, thanks for joining me on tonight on this breaking news tax story. >> my pleasure. rick perry is not just an advocate of a flat tax. he's a champion of socialism, and we'll have a last word with steve wozniak. he'll join me. ♪ when the things that you need ♪ ♪ come at just the right speed, that's logistics. ♪ ♪ medicine that can't wait legal briefs there by eight, ♪ ♪ that's logistics. ♪ ♪ freight for you, box for me box that keeps you healthy, ♪ ♪ that's logistics. ♪ ♪ saving time, cutting stress, when you use ups ♪ ♪ that's logistics. ♪
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this whole fight about what the government should be ought to do anything, prevent it from being able to do anything, that's a fundamental fight about what kind of country we'll be in and whether or not we take recovery from this economic disaster seriously. you have to build your way out of it. you have to be a stronger country when you come out the other side of this recession. than when you went in. you have to or you'll be left behind.
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that's the fight we're having right now. in tonight's profile in greed on day 38 of the occupy wall street protests, goldman sachs ceo lloyd blankfein. he worked his way up to ceo in 2006. according to forbes as ceo, he has earned $137 million in compensation to date. public information on wall street compensation packages is rarely complete, so you should consider these figures minimums. his stock is reportedly worth $337 million. last year, goldman sachs paid out more than that, $550 million to be precise, to settle a civil fraud lawsuit filed by the s.e.c. which found that goldman misled investors into buying the mortgage backed security by not
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telling them it was designed to fail. this year, under blankfein's leadership, goldman posted a quarterly loss for only the second time since 1999. despite that poor performance the company has decided to spend more, not less, more of its revenue on bonuses this year. so get caught leading your company in the deceptive scheme and then pay yourself more money, then lose money at your company for the first time in more than ten years and pay yourself more money. such are the ways of wall street where greed is, always has been and absolutely will be king. still to come in this hour, a last word exclusive with apple cofounder steve wozniak. he'll discuss the lasting legacy of steve jobs. i'll look at one of the wildest races in the country. this election cycle, filled with big money and political intrigue
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and you will never guess where it is. that's coming up.
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steve made our world a better place, and he left his fingerprints all over society, all over the world. he also leaves behind a company that only he could have built and the spirit that will be the foundation of this company forever. >> and in the spotlight tonight, the release today of walter isaacson's biography on steve jobs has given us insight into the visionary who helped transform the way we live today. the book tells the now familiar story of how the apple computer company was founded by steve jobs and steve wozniak and began production in steve jobs' parents garage. in palo alto, california. it was the introduction of the apple ii in the history of personal computing.
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more than any other machine, apple ii launched the personal computer industry. wozniak deserves the historic credit of its awe-inspiring circuit board and related operating software which was one of the era's great feats of solo invention. but jobs was the one who integrated wozniak's boards into a friendly package from the power supply to the sleek case. he created the company that sprang up around wozniak's machines. woz designed a great machine, but it would be sitting in hobby shops today were it not for steve jobs. however, most considered apple ii to be steve jobs creation. joining me right now is steve wozniak. thank you for joining me tonight. >> thank you, lawrence. very good introduction. oh, my gosh, those are the most exciting times in our life. that was about the sixth time
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actually that i designed a cute little board and steve found a way to turn it into money. that was the way we worked together, kind of like a lennon/mccartney. if you want to get the full story, get my book too. >> what is yours? >> mine is "i woz." i'm so thankful that steve got this book written and listening to isaacson on "60 minutes" last night, i was thinking how honest, i don't like when people do words, and so i was delighted. the beautiful sense i love so much in steve, if steve hadn't come back and turned the world around with the ipod and the follow on i products i would be very, very sorry. wish he was still here, that we could go out and be friends and have a pizza and chat over old times and tell jokes. so it's very difficult, you
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know, he's young so a lot of his friends from childhood are still alive and missing him dearly. you know, for more reasons than apple even. >> steve, we learned last night that -- and walter has said that steve jobs knew that there was going to be some real negative information about him, certainly some things that people would interpret extremely negatively and in his choice of walter isaacson, he chose a serious journalist who does not leave stones unturned. it seems as though it was his desire to get the kind of book you would want to read, the kind of book that had the real flesh on the bones of this story. >> it tells something about his own credibility. the truth that was within. you know, the sincerity in steve jobs. i listened to him and his reasons for pursuing things. he didn't want to be one of those high up become very
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strange because you got rich type people. i want to live a lot of the normal life too. i meant so much for that. i go further in that extent. >> steve, i wanted to ask you a question that came in to me today from twitter. i'm not sure whether it came in over an iphone. probably did come over an apple device. it's from kelly 805. when was the last time woz talked to steve jobs and about what? >> a few months ago, and he had called up because he had somehow heard me tell -- i had told a reporter i might want to come back to apple. oh, no, the reporter sucked that out after six questions. he said, would you want to? i said no, no, it's not on my mind. if i thought i could help apple, i would absolutely want to come back and be of assistance to apple. but that wasn't it. steve mentioned in the call, he said that i was what going to die soon. i thought it was metaphorically. like we all live shorter life than we would like. and it was sad. i didn't ask questions. didn't know that -- i was stunned as much as anyone the day that he died and i got the
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word. >> steve, you know, i also e-mailed my friend walter isaacson today to say what should i ask steve wozniak today and he said ask about the blue box and breakout. that's what he said in e-mail back to me. the blue box was something you created before apple and i get the impression that the blue box was the road to apple. >> well, it was actually a start of a long history where steve and i had just met recently before that, building a computer i had designed of my own. and then i designed this little blue box that could make free phone calls over the korld -- over the world by putting tone in american telephones. steve found a way to actually sell these things, but then from then i built a game for myself. steve saw it, he went down to atari and got a job there because he loved atari after seeing that. then he said, nolan bush, the
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owner of atari wants a one-pawn game and i would love to design a game that kids love to play. steve said you have to do it in four days. you don't do it in four days, it was six months. i said i don't think i could do it. i was the hot shot designer then. we worked day and night, we both got the sleeping sickness, mononucleosis and we delivered it to atari and that helped steve buy a farm up in oregon. >> you and steve jobs made a lot of money at this. but what i'm hearing from you, i don't hear you saying, oh, boy, that's a great idea, i can make a lot of money from this. i say oh i'd love to design a game kids would really love. i'm getting the feeling that you at least were going into this just out of your own enthusiasm for what these ideas were, and pursuing these ideas and you didn't start out looking for
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money in the creative things you were coming up with. >> yeah, both steve and i had spoken a lot about like things like his zen buddhism and the religions of the day and thoughts about what was right and wrong in the day and vietnam war and we both had sides similar in the respect. i decided things because i wanted the products in my own life, show them to friends and neat things and steve always came by and he just wanted to make products that somehow were important to the world. he wanted to turn them into companies, he wanted to turn them into products that millions of people would buy some day. he wanted to be one of the people that's known for change in the world. so both of us were very pure and not really seeking money, you don't measure your success by money for either one of us. >> steve wozniak, cofounder of apple. i can't thank you enough for joining us tonight. i can't thank you enough for joining with steve jobs and bringing us these wonderful changes to our lives that we use
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every day. i really have to thank you very much for that. >> well, i certainly hope we have another steve jobs somewhere in the future. maybe 100 years from now. >> we're going to need plenty more steve woz knee yniaks too. >> thanks. good talking to you lawrence. a program note, this wednesday at 10:00 p.m., the author of steve jobs' biography, walter isaacson, will be my guest. still ahead, rick perry and his love of socialism. texas style socialism. and big money is pouring into one of the strangest elections in the country. that's coming up.
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john hagy, remember him, he appeared at rick perry's prayer rally in houston this summer, i quoted his past comments that could cause political trouble for rick perry. you can watch that on our blog. i don't want to say any of the things i said then because i'm trying to get pastor hagy to come on the show. pastor hagy didn't really like what i had to say, and he wrote letters of protest to this network. something he's done before about other references to him on other shows at this network. and i have invited pastor hagy to join me on this show to clarify any of his past statements, to talk about anything he wants to talk about. i'm happy to give him more than equal time to respond to anything i have said or anybody else has said about him on this network. but he's refused so far to come on the show. and i have also invited his spokesman on the show, but the spokesman also refused. pastor hagy has a standing invitation to come on this show,
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at his convenience. now, as regular viewers of the show know, religion is right up there with tax policy as one of my very favorite subjects, and there is no one i would now want to discuss religion with more than pastor hagy. except maybe rick perry. but they also go beyond banking. we installed a ge fleet monitoring system. it tracks every vehicle in their fleet. it cuts fuel use. koch: it enhances customer service. it's pretty amazing when people who loan you money also show you how to save it. not just money, knowledge. it's so much information, it's like i'm right there in every van in the entire fleet. good day overall. yeah, i'm good. come on in. let's go. wow, this is fantastic. ge capital. they're not just bankers. we're builders. they helped build our business. ♪
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in tonight' rewrite, another episode of we're all socialists now. do we have the music for that? we're all socialists now. someone should come up with that. the love part of america's love/hate relationship with socialism began in 1922 with the grain futures act. the federal government's first venture into agriculture socialism. you know, the kind where the government guarantees certain farmers certain price levels for their products, or offers tax subsidies for certain wildly inefficient agricultural activities like ethanol production. these are purely socialistic ideas that have the full support of some of the most republican precincts in the country, places like kansas that never deliver democrats to the united states senate, but fully expect the republicans they send to the senate to deliver socialism to kansas. and they do. red states just can't get enough of federal agriculture
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socialism. i mean, literally it's not enough agricultural socialism for them so they have programs to deliver even more. rick perry's first statewide elected office in texas was agricultural socialism commissioner. in that job, perry took the stupidest kind of american socialism, agriculture socialism and made it even stupider. he fulfilled the socialistic campaign promise to make government guarantee loans to agribusiness start-ups that would process the state's agricultural products. copeland writing in this sunday's austin american statesman tells the full story of how that turned out for texas taxpayers. 30% of the loans that rick perry made turned out to be bad loans, never repaid. while rick perry was running the program, perry repeatedly told
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this lie. this has not cost texans money. in fact, the program cost texans -- texas taxpayers $50 million in bad loans and then governor perry once he became governor had the pleasure in 2009 of signing his own government bailout of the failed loan program he ran when he was agriculture socialism commissioner. an auditor found that perry had guaranteed loans to applicants with a negative net worth. have you ever tried to get a loan with a negative net worth? these are applicants who couldn't have paid back those loans. the auditor found that perry had violated the lending guidelines. perry's successor, susan colmes, also a republican, found the program in such hopeless condition that she simply stopped making agriculture socialism loans. now, good socialists like me like good socialism.
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programs that work as designed that we simply couldn't live without like unemployment insurance, social security, medicare. but bad socialists like rick perry, like bad socialism, like agriculture socialism and his failed loan program. now that we're all socialists, the hate part of america's love/hate relationship with socialism is simply hatred of the word socialism. rick perry, a new leader from agriculture for texas.
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the other office devices? they don't get me. they're all like, "hey, brother, doesn't it bother you that no one notices you?" and i'm like, "doesn't it bother you you're not reliable?" and they say, "shut up!" and i'm like, "you shut up." in business, it's all about reliability. 'cause these guys aren't just hitting "print." they're hitting "dream." so that's what i do. i print dreams, baby. [whispering] big dreams.
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finally tonight, the wild and weirdest race of 20011. wildest is the superlative used to describe the race for district one school board in denver. the campaign for the district one school board seat, one of the three open school board seats in denver this year is on. it's on its way to being a quarter of a million dollar race. if it has become a partisan proxy in the war on democrats and republicans going on in this country, it has filtered all the way down into a school board race. this is school board candidate at her campaign announcement in august in the gazebo with pizza and a few dozen people. she is a mother of a 10-month-old boy, she worked on education policy with brian
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schweizer. she raised $57,000, her opponent ann roe has outraised her three to one, for her district one school board campaign. the colorado statesman filed this report recently on the influx of money into the denver school board election. many of the contributions this year come from the oil and gas industry and from investment bankers henry gourd and the president of stra da resources a business that investment in oil and gas and candidly admitted to the statesman he was not familiar with the particular candidates when he was asked to contribute $75,000. gordon complied. it's worth noting that henry gordon doesn't live in denver, but as the nation reports the big money interests are taking advantage of a loophole in colorado election law which impoises donation limits on every colorado race from contest for local posts to statewide
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positions except local school board campaigns. joining me now is emily seroda, candidate for district one. thank you for joining me. >> thank you for having me. >> emily, you have raised what seems to me to be a very, very large amount of money for race like this. >> you would think so. you would think so. except in this out of control atmosphere where folks are able to write $26,000 checks, $25,000 checks, $10,000, those are the kind of campaign contributions my opponent is getting. >> what did you think you were getting into when you sliced some pizza and said, okay, i'm running. how much money did you think you'd have to raise and spend for this? >> you know, it has been escalating over the last couple of election cycles here in denver. i didn't think it was going to escalate in such a way. i thought, you know, i was going to have to ask for money from some friends and family and community members and it would be a lot of knocking on doors and talking to folks around the district. i had no idea this kind of money
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was going to be dumpled into denver. >> now, is this a matter that something that the republican party has taken seriously, that the way you get in their view the united states senator is first you have to get a school board member somewhere who then becomes maybe a state senator or a state representative and then that person runs barack obama style for the united states senate, becomes a united states senator. the republicans have always played a very long game in developing their candidates from the lowest level offices all the way up to the top. is that what's going on here? >> well, i suspect there probably is a little bit of that going on. we also have seen, you know, special interests playing a role here. some of these huge donors not only to my opponent's campaign, but she's running as part of a slate of candidates in this school board election, so the big donors have given to
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everyone in that slate. some of those donors are connected to interests that have to do with increasing access to vouchers and the privatization of our public schools. so i think there's some of that at play as well. >> so is there -- what is at stake -- could you expand on what's at stake for the big donors on the other side -- to the other candidate? what's at stake for them in this election? >> you know, they have been rather coy about it. you know, some of them talk about we have to continue down this path, we can't alter from the course we're on, but, you know, i am running for school board because i have a little boy who will be heading into our public schools very soon. and the progress that we have made just it's not good enough. we need to bring -- i'm running because i think it's important to bring the focus back to our neighborhoods and our communities and making sure that all kids no matter where they live in denver, they have access to great schools in their
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neighborhoods and that's not the case right now and that is not the path our school system is headed down right now. there are privatization interests who would like to see parents drive their kids halfway across town to find a good school, and i think we can do better. >> emily, what is this flood of money into a race like this do to people like yourself who consider getting in? who consider as you do i have a child, i want to get into this, i care about it from that perspective, you discover there's a big flood of money. is that inhibiting candidates from making that decision? >> absolutely. it's hindering folks who can make a difference in public policy across the board, but these days now you have to be a good telemarketer instead of somebody who actually understands policy and can work with communities to improve our education system. >> emily, thank you very much for joining us tonight. >> thank you for having me. you can have the