tv Full Court Press Current August 16, 2012 3:00am-6:00am PDT
y direct means no b.s. just telling you what's going on in politics today. >>at the only on-line forum with a direct line to bill press. >>it's something i've been waiting for a long time. >>join the debate now. >> announcer: heard around the country and seen on current tv this is the "bill press show." >> bill: 25 minutes after the hour, thursday august 16. we're tweeting on twitter at bpshow he. that's our handle.
one other exam of a lie that mitt romney and paul ryan are telling over and over again in paid ads, saw this also in a paid ad last night here's ryan talking about it yesterday. >> the president took $716 billion from the medicare program, he raided it to pay for obama care. >> bill: what ryan doesn't tell you the ryan budget, his budget cuts the same $716 billion out of medicare because it is waste, it is fraud. it is duplicative payments to hospitals and providers. he does the very same thing. doesn't tell you that, does he? in his budget which every republican member of the house voted for except maybe three john boehner voted for it. now they're accusing barack obama of doing something which paul ryan himself does. freakin' liars. they're complaining about a negative campaign.
they're the ones running a negative campaign. steve is up in vermont. good morning. >> caller: listen, you know, as far as the campaign getting negative and the press being upset with the democrats they're just not used to democrats who actually fight back. i mean they accept it when republicans like dick cheney in 2004 said if you elect democrats, we'll get hit with another terrorist attack. >> bill: right. >> caller: or you know, every five minutes john sununu is on some other cable show, accusing barack obama of not being american. >> bill: right. >> because they're republicans. that's what they expect. cheating, dirty politicians. but when the democrats get a little -- oh, my god you can't do that. >> bill: i would say when democrats tell the truth and
fight back, steve that's an excellent point! excellent point. they're just not used to democrats who have a backbone. and now we're seeing it. thanks for the call. milton from frankfurt illinois. hey, milton, what do you say? milton? talk to me. >> caller: yes. bill, like you said, they just lie. they out and out lie. because that $700 billion that they're taking out, barack obama is putting it back. >> bill: yeah. >> caller: and they're just going to take it out and it is gone. >> bill: yeah. and i'll tell you it is gone from medicare, medicaid is gone and paul ryan had his way social security would be done as well. so if you're really going to say, let's talk about the negative campaigning let's do it. let's talk about the lies that mitt romney and paul ryan are telling about barack obama. >> announcer: this is the "bill press show."
right, who was reagan's budget director, omb director. i.q. will go way up. how are you ever going to solve the problem if you don't look at all of the pieces? >>tv and radio talk show host stephanie miller rounds out current's morning news block. >>you're welcome current tv audience for the visual candy. >>sharp tongue, quick whit and above all, politically direct. >>you just think there is no low they won't go to. oh, no. if al gore's watching today...
on. the big press show. now on current tv. >> bill: it is 233 it is 33 minutes after the hour. middle of the week. middle of the summer, middle of the week. talking about the issues of the day and taking your calls from our studio here on capitol hill in washington, d.c. our nation's capital. good to have you with us today. we have been talking about members of the media. a lot of people in the media saying this is the most negative campaign i have ever seen! boy, they got short memories, don't they? and of course, mitt romney whining about the negative ads.
the campaign has changed. we'll go back to your calls at 1-866-55-press in just a couple of minutes. wanted to take time out to talk about how the campaign has changed with paul ryan on the ticket. ginger gibson is the national political reporter for politico. she's been out on the road with the romney campaign. joining us on the news line. good morning ginger. >> good morning. >> bill: good to talk to you. since ryan was announced saturday there have been big crowds, a lot of enthusiasm. certainly that nomination has excited the base, right? is that what you're finding? >> those showing up to the rallies were clearly excited. bigger crowds, louder crowds, more enhe thusiastic crowds than governor romney has been able to draw for weeks, months. lots of people were showing up to see paul ryan. people are excited about him. >> bill: the polls though this morning over the last couple of days don't show a big bounce.
did they expect to get one? by putting ryan on the ticket? how do you explain that? >> the campaign told us they did expect to get a bounce off the v.p. they expect to get a bounce off the convention. but one thing we're seeing in poll numbers this year is they're really static. things aren't changing a whole lot at a time. so less than what the campaign had told us before and in a hypothetical situation could come off a v.p. bump but they were hoping to do well off of that. >> bill: i'm interested in your conversations with some of the romney people. clearly, they knew before they put paul ryan on the ticket that ryan did have -- he's got some pluses for sure. he's also got some negatives in that he's got this medicare plan. he's got this budget plan. he's got -- his extreme position on social issues. so they knew that he's more
specific, put it this way on a lot of issues than mitt romney is. but apparently they decided that they could take paul ryan but not take all of his ideas so they're already trying to -- i saw romney yesterday on cbs right, saying don't worry about paul ryan. he will get into line with me, right? he'll do what i tell him on medicare. so do you think this effort to distance romney from ryan is working? >> you're talking about people who are upset about the tone of the campaign. anybody who's ever covered mitt romney has been frustrated about the lack of specifics. we're frequently asking for details and don't get them. when he picked paul ryan, it was like here is a basket with a bow of specifics on the budget, on medicare. but like you said, they had a lot of problems. they have distanced themselves. we were hearing from the campaign. they tell us oh no, no, no, governor romney is the top of
the ticket. we still don't know what governor romney would do with medicare. i've asked several times on monday what the difference between the two plans were and couldn't get an answer. couldn't say exactly what the difference was. and said i'm sure there's some but we haven't gone through them. >> it is a point of frustration. we don't have the specifics. they're trying to maintain that lack of specifics. they think that that's the better way to go. and we heard governor romney this week, as medicare has become a big issue in the last week, try to make it not about his proposal but about president obama. >> bill: right. it will be interesting to see if that strategy of embracing paul ryan without embracing his ideas, if they can convince the american people of that. i think that's a tough sell. ryan comes with his power point presentation right? wherever he goes.
>> one of those situations where it is going to be a messaging battle between the two camps. can president obama and his campaign make and define the republican ticket as being ryan's plan or do republicans successfully message that ryan has his plan but governor romney is in charge. i can't predict who will win that fight. >> bill: my political experience tells me lots of luck with that one. before i let you go, gotta ask you, ginger gibson is our guest national political reporter for politico at politico.com. i've gotta ask you about so many in the media complaining saying this is the worst they have ever seen veteran political reporters. the worst -- not everybody saying that but a lot of them are as you know. mitt romney, of course, on the trail yesterday in ohio picking up that same theme. >> romney: so mr. president take your campaign of division
and anger and hate back to chicago and let us get about rebuilding and reuniting america. >> bill: so, ginger, you were on the trail with him in the primaries, you remember when he said there's no whining in politics. how do you read this negativity charge in the campaign? >> i think that we were all scratching our heads wondering why the romney campaign wasn't answering all of the attacks during the summer. and now we know. this was their response. instead, one by one they're going to take them all at once and make it about the attacks and attacks specifically. again, i don't know if it is going to work. i don't know if the people who watch that speech and watch -- it will be about attacks coming forward. but i did have a little bit of a flashback to newt gingrich in iowa.
>> bill: absolutely. remember newt was saying this is unfair. they're saying mean things about me and governor romney at the time said basically grow up, right? this is politics. >> yeah. very similar, sometimes even in wording there. >> bill: absolutely. hey, ginger, thank you so much. we can follow ginger gibson on twitter. her twitter handle is at gingergibson. thank you, beginninger. talk to you again soon. >> thanks. >> bill: good point. let's go back to the primaries when it was newt who was the whiner and mitt romney saying oh, come on, grow up. now it is time for mitt romney to grow up. i thought she made an interesting point. have you noticed they didn't respond to the specific question about why won't you release your tax returns, mitt romney. what's in those tax returns? why won't you tell us about your swiss bank account or your tax
shelter in the cayman islands and bermuda. what about those questions mitt? they don't answer. instead, their response is saying this is unfair! and he's attacking me personally. next thing you know, he's going to be talking about my dog. janet is out in chicago. hi janet. >> caller: hey, bill, how you doing? >> bill: i'm good. thank you for checking in. >> caller: i loved your book. loved it loved it, loved it. >> bill: great. working on a new one now. go ahead. >> caller: oh, good! >> bill: go ahead. >> caller: my husband and i live in and around chicago. we grew up here. one, i took total offense to take your hate back to chicago. >> bill: oh, yeah. >> caller: what do you think we are? the other one is i'm so upset with the media. why don't they call a lie lie? i'm so tired of untruth and wasn't specific, wasn't accurate. no, it was a lie. >> bill: i know. what he's saying about welfare is a lie. what he's saying about medicare
is a lie. i go back to the question i asked earlier in the hour, exactly what is president obama saying about mitt romney in his ads, in the questions he raises, exactly what constitutes a personal attack? saying how about releasing your tax return, mitt romney like your father does is personal attack, right? >> no, it isn't. everybody releases their tax returns. >> bill: well, they used to. for the media to fall into that, shame on them. they're just not doing their job. phillip is in spokane washington. what do you say? >> caller: i would just like to say i was born and raised in cook county and i'm a cook county democrat and i live in spokane studying the right-wingers natural habitat. my heart is soaring. hate has been coming out running around. buck it up, boy! this is cook county style and quit acting like a bunch of little girls! >> bill: all right phillip.
we'll give you some cook county politics if you want it, right? 1-866-55-press. again, i think romney is a loser. i think romney is a whiner. i don't think americans like a crybaby. what bugs me the most about this is hearing so many people in the media, it is so easy to say -- i do a lot of these shows. they want you to come on and say the same thing everybody else says because that's the narrative now. the narrative now is this is the ugliest campaign ever, ever, ever in our history. wayne slater from the "dallas morning news" who i think is one of the smartest people ever to cover politics. he was on cnn yesterday and he laughed when they asked him this question, are you kidding? i remember south carolina in 2000, for example right? when they said john mccain had fathered that little edgeitimate -- that illegitimate black girl. this isn't negative at all. obama is telling the truth. >> announcer: this is the "bill
barack was having to work out the fact that people react to him based on his racial makeup. as barack obama seeks his second term we go back to see the people and events that shaped the life of the man who would become president. "becoming barack" followed by.. is america ready for a mormon president? between him and obama i wouldn't vote. mormonism is a cult. current tv explores the world's fastest growing religion. "becoming barack" followed by "the mormon candidate"
>> announcer: on your radio and on current tv, this is the "bill press show." >> bill: 13 minutes before the top of the hour. you know we're talking about the so-called negative campaign. we'll get back to your calls about that in just a second. this is classic right? so as we speak fox and friends is talking about this angry attack ads and who do they have on from the romney campaign? john sununu who is now complaining about the angry attack ads. this is john sununu who called president obama an un-american
who accused him of not even being an american. he had to apologize for it a couple of weeks ago. he's the person they put up to say we have to be nicer in this campaign. we have to stop the attack ads. give me a break. the hypocrisy is so deep! you need hip boots to get through it. back to your calls in just a second. first, here's something you ought to consider if you're looking for extra money at the end of the month incomeathome.com. they may be your answer. they're america's leading work from home business and this is something you can do to supplement your income no matter your age education or experience. you can literally earn money on your own computer from your own kitchen table and do it 24/7 with a little extra spare time and training that you'll get from incomeathome.com. so check it out. if you're sick of living paycheck to paycheck, worried about job security or retirement. if your dream is to earn some extra income from home part-time or full time, incomeathome.com,
that's where to go. they're adding my listeners in record numbers and giving away $1,000 to somebody for checking them out. you could be -- that could be you. visit incomeathome.com. joey is out in chicago. joey, what do you think about this stuff? >> caller: good morning. i think this is a classic case of when the little man punches the bully in the nose and you find out what he's made of when he runs home and cries to his mom. this is a perfect example of that. >> bill: don't you hate these guys just whining? >> caller: keep it going! we got this in our back pocket. >> bill: well, i wouldn't go that far. i agree with you. put on the gas and keep it going. that's the only answer. the biggest mistake the democrats could make would be to back down. keep the pressure on. you know one thing if -- here's what i was saying. my rule would be if they're
squealing, it is working. no doubt about it. that's the only reason they're squealing. come on, give me a break. put john sununu up on television. he's the model for rectitude. he's the model for positive campaigning? are you kidding me? all right. hey, by the way out on the campaign trail -- >> bill: president obama did get a chance to respond to this himself yesterday. he gave an interview to entertainment tonight. >> naturally. >> bill: that's where i always turn for my political news. nancy o'dell has been out on the campaign trail bus so she got a little interview and he said oh, come on, this is nonsense. >> obama: nancy, you've been on the campaign trail with me for a day and a half. this is typical of what we do. we're going around the country talking about how do we put people back to work. how do we improve our schools how do we make sure that we're producing american energy. how do we lower our debt in a responsible way.
and i don't think you or anybody who's been watching me campaign would suggest that in any way we have tried to divide the country. we've always tried to bring the country together. >> bill: good point president obama. i defy anybody to take last three days the president has been on the campaign trail for three days, i defy anybody to think this is the most negative campaign ever, especially again my brothers and sisters in the media who are not doing their job. i defy them. take every word that the president said over the last three days and then you tell me what constitutes a personal, negative, ugly attack. name one thing the president said over the last three days. they can't do it because it doesn't exist. mitt romney is lying and the media is buying into this negative nonsense. first lady joining the president yesterday on the campaign trail. they are a great pair when they're out there together. they were in dubuque iowa.
first time they've been together in iowa since the primaries and she was happy to be back and happy to give her husband a big boost here. >> your president knows what it means when a family struggles. this is not a hypothetical situation for him. he knows what it means to want something better for your kids and your grandkids. [ cheering ] >> bill: and the president said hey you know what? the polls may show it is close right now and they may say oh, my god with paul ryan now, mitt romney has a big edge. uh-huh. the president says hey we've been here before and we know what this is like. count on us. >> obama: if it weren't for iowa, if it weren't for what i remember about 2008, see we've been outspent before we've been counted out before. >> bill: yep counted out before. the president also went out of his way to point out the difference in response to the lies they're telling about
medicare that yeah he cut $716 billion out of medicare. he cuts that out of fraud and waste and duplic duplicative procedures and billing on the part of hospitals and providers. remember, it is paul ryan who cuts the same $716 billion out and then turns medicare into a voucher program in effect, destroying medicare and cutting seniors loose giving them pittance to try to buy insurance from private insurance companies and it ain't gonna work. president obama don't give up! keep the pressure on! keep mitt romney crying. >> announcer: heard around the country and seen on current tv, this is the "bill press show."
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>> announcer: taking your e-mails on any topic at any >> announcer: taking your e-mails on any topic at any time, this is the "bill press show." live on your radio and current tv. >> bill: we're going to talk about voter i.d. laws at the top of the next hour. a very bad and frightening and dangerous decision coming in pennsylvania yesterday on that topic. meanwhile, remember yesterday we talked about president obama big article in "the washington post" this morning about the president's beer fest. >> yeah, sure. >> bill: beer drinker. he drinks beer and mitt romney drinks champagne. that's the difference between them. bruce reminds us that romney is a mormon so they don't drink.
martinis or beer or champagne. they are divinely inspired to be perpetually foggy-brain and therefore do not require stimulants. [ laughter ] that sums up the mormon faith i guess. what we're talking about this morning on the negative campaigning and social security, jet says from the chat room, i'm just hoping president obama wins so my parents don't have to come back to live with me because of social security and medicare. yesterday we talked education with dennis van roekel from the national education association. linda says i enjoyed listening to mr. van roekel and his comparison. he's concerned about education. romney sucks at this agenda. and on call centers yesterday rick rothermill says hey press what's happening here? for the first time we actually agree on something! >> announcer: this is the "bill press show."
[ ♪ theme ♪ ] >> bill: good morning everybody. welcome to the "full court press" here on current tv this thursday morning august 16. good to receive you today. thank you for being part of the program as we take a look at what's happening today wherever, here in washington, d.c., around the country around the globe. tell you all about it. talk to you about it and get your calls about it. what it means to you and to your family at 1-866-55-press. you know, there is a lot to celebrate this week including the 77th birthday of social security. it is a great program.
it is still going strong. over 20 million americans depend on it. social security is under attack like never before. and if paul ryan had his way social security would never get to celebrate its 78th birthday. that's why this election is so important. we'll talk about that and a whole lot more here on the "full court press" this morning. first, we take time out to get the latest, today's current news update from lisa ferguson in los angeles. good morning lisa. >> hi, bill. good morning everyone. the president's version of the dream act is now in place. meaning undocumented immigrants can apply for temporary work permits. the deferred action program could expand rights for nearly two million young illegal immigrants. thousands of whom lined up yesterday to start their applications. it is a controversial plan that falls mostly along party lines. romney though has yet to offer up any real opinion or alternative option. but arizona governor jan brewer
is taking a pretty firm stance. arizona, of course, a leading state in anti-immigration policy with its show me your papers act and maricopa sheriff joe arpaio's alleged racial profiling. brewer signed an executive order yesterday denying driver's licenses and other taxpayer-funded perks to anyone benefitting from the president's new policy. but tpn is reporting the order carries no weight at all since arizona already has nearly identical legislation. even brewer admits she's only reinforcing current state law. and last hour we reported paul ryan is taking a bit of a convoluted stance on medicare. attacking the president's $700 billion worth of spending cuts. even though his own plan would cut the same amount of money if not more. now we're hearing romney claim that ryan no longer supports those medicare cuts. he apparently would roll them back restoring $700 billion to medicare. more bill press coming up and
>> announcer: this is the "bill press show." >> bill: during the primaries mitt romney said there's no room for whining in politics. so why is he whining now every day? hello, everybody. what do you say? good morning. it is thursday, august 16. great to see you today. this is the "full court press" and we are coming to you live coast-to-coast on your local progressive talk radio station and on current tv. good to you have with us and don't forget if you're watching, if you're listening either one you can magnify that experience, expand the experience by going
to current.com and joining the chat room. where hundreds of thousands of "full court pressers" every day check in and talk about the issues among themselves back and forth because not all of you had a chance to talk on the air. encourage you to do that and or give us a call at -- and/or give us a call at 1-866-55-press. a big decision yesterday in pennsylvania. which upheld the new pennsylvania law saying you have to come in with a government-certified piece of voter i.d. in order to vote in this election. that's just the latest in a war against -- a campaign of voter suppression i guess around the country. we're going to start out this hour talking about that. with josh israel from the center for american progress and think progress. josh, good to see you. thanks for coming in. >> thanks for having me.
>> bill: you're right on top of this. >> trying to be. >> bill: you're on the line here today. we have our regular team here, peter ogborn and dan henning. >> good morning. >> bill: with cyprian bowlding here. yesterday, our friend bob beckel, lone liberal voice on fox news, at least on the five -- isn't that what they call that program that took glenn beck's place? it is amazing the program, it is working. they're getting good ratings. >> they really are. better ratings than glenn beck did. >> bill: you don't mess with bob beckel. you have to get -- the five of them are talking yesterday and the one guy is trying -- what's his name? >> eric boller. >> who comes off as a used car salesman on the air. >> bill: he's trying to get a word in. to make his point, he reaches over and punches playfully taps bob beckel on the arm. beckel is not happy with that. >> have you ever seen where the issues are dominated?
>> i'm so glad they're dominated by issues and not personality and competence. >> kimberly -- you yourself said the only way to fix this -- listen, the only way to fix this is -- >> one more time. [ bleep ] >> you have to look at programs. you have to reform entitlements. >> bill: beckel says you do that one more time, you're fing toast. >> it didn't get all the way out. i didn't apologize. i said i'm sorry. he just hit me in the arm. >> bill: i've lost track. is this the tenth or 12th time he's had to apologize -- >> for saying f on tv. >> what a loose screw. he just rolled it out. >> i blame eric bolling. do not feed the prayers. do not provek a beckel because you -- provoke a beckel because
you never know what you're going to get. >> bill: i never reached across and punched -- i was tempted to. >> you probably would have gotten a similar reaction. >> bill: we're going to talk voter i.d. very important. could have a big impact on this election. we'll be joined a little bit later by joe cirincione from the ploughshares fund. susan page is a washington bureau chief from the "usa today" to talk about their latest poll and people who may decide not to vote at all. but first... >> this is the "full court press." >> other headlines making news on this thursday, the white house is hosting a state dinner monday. for kids! the hill reports first lady michelle obama is hosting 54 children, one from each state and u.s. territory for lunch not a dinner even though they're calling it a state dinner. healthy recipes as part of a let's move campaign and a performance by the teenybopper band big time rush.
the kids are all winners of a white house recipe writing contest. they submitted recipes including a bunny bisque. >> bill: bunny bisque. >> rabbit? >> is there actually rabbit in there? >> bill: they shot them on the back lawn. this reminds me, by the way josh, we were talking yesterday about the fact the president was out on the road enjoying his beers. he had somebody go back on the bus and get a bottle of the white house beer and give it to this guy. they brew beer at the white house which i learned from dan yesterday. i called -- i know the groundskeeper at the white house. he's a friend of mine. i called him and i said what the hell is going on. you never told me. i didn't know they brew beer at the white house. they call honey ale. there is a picture of the bottle. >> they use the honey from the bees at the white house. >> bill: all home-grown stuff. the chef makes it. doesn't make a lot but makes it
using the honey and other stuff from the white house garden. and there's a picture in "the washington post" this morning of the white house action -- ale. i gave my friend a hard time for the fact he hadn't told me about this and more importantly, won't given me a bottle. >> who is the white house brew mast summer. >> bill: the chef. >> we have to get a bottle of that. >> bill: the president bought this -- he likes beer so much, he bought this brewery kit using his own money you know. there is a mini brew at the white house. i'm going down there today for the briefing, man. they better serve beer. >> cheating at the national scrabble championship! abc reports an unidentified player was kicked out of the competition in orlando yesterday for hiding two blank tiles. those are the most coveted in the game because they can stand in for any letter on the board. he hid them on the floor under his shoe.
>> bill: who hasn't done that? >> his opponent caught that. >> there will be a hearing to determine punishment. nijel richards did not cheat. he won for the third consecutive year. the take home prize $10,000. >> bill: that's the fun of scrabble. you always hide a couple of letters. >> i thought it was nice the scrabble committee gave him two tiles, f and u. >> another day another -- >> bill: like a jigsaw puzzle. you take a couple of pieces out so you can put in the last piece. >> another day another study about something that is reportedly very bad for your health. eating eggs. cbs reports -- >> bill: that's baloney. go ahead. >> canadian researchers say eating egg yolks can lead to 2/3 of the plaque build-up in arteries seen in people who smoke cigarettes. it notes the plaque build-up is worse than eating three or more egg yolks a week, not as bad as with two or less. the american egg board responded
to the study saying eating an egg a day as part of a healthy diet so long as you keep your cholesterol intake low across the wheek. it is based on 40 years of research. >> bill: make up your mind, okay? about everything. i remember dr. atkins, i interviewed him who said eggs, eat your eggs. eat your eggs and bacon. they're good for you. and you know, i've done the atkins and now eggs aren't good for you. how do you know? right? >> you really don't know. >> bill: you don't know. >> you don't know. give it a few years. >> bill: if i am going to die of something i may as well die from eggs. better than dying of cigarette smoking. josh israel, thank you for putting up had with this nonsense to get to something important. this judge yesterday said that there's nothing wrong with requiring this voter i.d., government-certified voter i.d.
for people before they vote. first of all is this the final word? can this be overturned? >> it is not necessarily the final word. it is likely to be appealed to the pennsylvania supreme court. unfortunately -- >> bill: do they have time to take the case? or are they in recess like the federal court? >> i think something like this, they'll probably hear it between now and the election given the attention focused on it. the challenge there is that the court is currently divided three republicans, three nonrepublicans. and the seventh justice who is also a republican is currently on suspension as she's dealing with her own election fraud. >> bill: oh, no. >> prosecution. she apparently required her allegedly -- allegedly required her court clerks to work on election day handing out -- walking around money. so you have a divided court.
in order for this to be overturned, you would need to get four of the six justices. >> bill: sounds like that would be a tough haul. first of all -- so what damage does this do, do you believe? and you've done a lot of research on this at think progress on voter turnout? >> bill: this rirmt -- this requirement. >> beyond the damage it may do as far as making it seem like a harder thing to vote which may psychological make people not want to bother, just on a logistical level, this disproportionately will make it difficult for precisely the sort of people you expect republicans would want to keep away from voting. people who live in urban areas often don't need a driver's listens because they can take public transit. they can walk to work. senior citizens who you know,
in their 90s might not be driving anymore and might not have a driver's license that's been valid in the last year. people who are in those groups are most likely to not have the sorts of i.d.s that are listed under this. >> bill: now i saw -- i've heard this argument before and i saw deputy secretary of state from pennsylvania on the news last night who said you know, bfd basically. they said there are 70 d-mv centers in the state where people can go and get not a driver's license but the equivalent of a driver's license. they can't use it to drive but it is a voter i.d. no big deal and get your voter i.d. and stop whining. what's the truth? >> the truth is that there are indeed dmv standards in pennsylvania and there are ways people who don't have another valid i.d. can get one. but it is a real burden for someone to have to take off work and get to one of these places.
the locations may not be near if you you're a senior citizen living in a rural area. additionally, in order to get this, you have to show some sort of proof of who you are. the easiest of course is a birth certificate, significant portion of african-american seniors don't have. so if you have i.d., it is easy to get i.d. the problem is those who don't. >> bill: now pennsylvania of course is not the only state right? there are something like 20 states where there have been various 20 some states, various attempts at suppressing the vote. this is just -- voter i.d. is just one thing. they've also shortened the early voting period, right? done away with the requirement in some states that you can register on the same day in which you vote. is there any doubt or do you have any evidence there at think progress that this is all an
orchestrated concerted effort to suppress? it has only happened in states where there are republican governors and republican legislators, right? coincidence? >> i don't think it is a coincidence and certainly these efforts would tend to make it more difficult statistically for minorities and people who are traditionally likely to vote democratic to vote. is it part of a concerted effort? well, you have alec which is the american legislative exchange council -- >> bill: funded by the koch brothers the "the obama hate machine," i remind you. i talk about them again in this book. of course. they wrote the laws. the state legislatures and the alec members almost exclusively republicans but not quite than -- went and brought those to their legislatures, passed them and put them into law. you've had people like the
majority leader of the pennsylvania house of representatives who have, you know, all but explicitly said that this is, in fact, designed so mitt romney can win the election. he pretty much said those words. pennsylvania will go republican because we have the voter i.d. rules. >> bill: pennsylvania of course one of the key battleground states in this election. no doubt about it. i'm amazed there hasn't been more attention the media hasn't paid more attention to this campaign of voter suppression around the country. i know many of you called about it and talked about it before. here it is now in pennsylvania. also florida governor of florida has already had this kind of voter purge. he's back with another -- we'll ask about that when we come back. we'll take a quick break. this attempt at voter suppression, not an attempt. it is a real campaign. it is a successful campaign in many states.
1-866-55-press. let's talk about it and what experiences you might have had or questions you have. josh israel our guest senior investigative reporter at the think progress. thinkprogress.org. we'll be right back. >>i'm a slutty bob hope. the troops love me. >>only on current tv. dose of politics from a fresh perspective. >>i'm a slutty bob hope. the troops love me. >>only on current tv.
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>>we go in and spend a considerable amount of time getting to know the people and the characters that are actually living these stories. >>the award winning series "vanguard" only on current tv. [ ♪ theme ♪ ] >> announcer: this is the "bill press show." live on your radio and current tv. >> bill: 27 minutes now after >> announcer: this is the "full court press." the "bill press show" live on your radio and on current tv. >> bill: 25 minutes now after the hour. susan page from "usa today"
joining us in the next segment to talk about their latest poll in the 2012 campaign. right now, we're talking about something a lot more important and that is attempts to suppress the vote. in some 20 states by republican legislators and republican governors. josh israel is our guest senior investigative reporter for think progress. tuesdays, we always have tuesdays with judd. judd legum your boss. >> yes. >> bill: good for you to come in today. pardon me. i saw on the news last night that i think it was cbs they looked at all of these states where there was a total of 40 million voters and they found over the last decade 70 cases where there might have been voter fraud so this is not like a real serious problem facing this country is it? >> you are more likely statistically to be struck by lightning than to commit voter
fraud. additionally, if you do commit voter fraud and i don't think most people get up in the morning on election day and say i'm going to go vote and pretend to be someone else and vote. >> bill: or vote several times. >> it is illegal. you will go to jail. it is not like this is something that's legal and needs to be stopped because it is going on. >> bill: you talked about -- we talked about -- in the interest of time here, what happened in pennsylvania with this decision, meanwhile, rick scott in florida is really on the warpath right? >> yes. first of all they also, in florida, attempted to pass a bill to make it harder for people to register. voters and so forth. that's currently on hold as the courts are looking at whether it is constitutional and whether it violates the voting rights act but what governor scott -- sort of kept an ahab-like hell bent
approach, he wants to purge people he thinks might be noncitizens from the voter's rolls. >> bill: you know what that means. brown skin, likely to vote . >> hispanics. he sent the list to county supervisors, he was sure, these are noncitizens list. and within weeks they discovered that a huge percentage of them were u.s. citizens. >> bill: were in fact, citizens. this is so important. i hate to have to stop there. we do. we're out of time. josh, thank you for staying on top of this. i wish more people had been paying attention to it. keep raising hell about it. back with susan page. josh israel from think progress. >> announcer: this is the "bill press show."
>> announcer: this is the "bill press show." >> bill: 33 minutes after the hour. the "full court press" on this thursday, august 16. good to see you today. man, what a week it's been! i mean can you believe it? julia childs, 100th birthday. right? we've got that. 77th birthday of social security. >> sure, yeah. >> bill: 33 or 35 years? >> 35 years. >> bill: 35 years. >> today is the 35th anniversary. >> bill: 35 years since we lost elvis. oh, my god. wow! it is hard to keep up with all of the big events. by the way also an election going on.
presidential campaign underway and we are so busy talking about whom people might vote for not a lot of attention until yesterday about some people that may not vote at all. susan page is on top of that. washington bureau chief for "usa today." good friend joining us back on the program this morning. hi susan. >> hey bill. >> bill: how are you? >> i'm doing well. i didn't realize this was the day of mourning on elvis. >> bill: i'm surprised you didn't have the dvds on. >> you happen to be wearing the white jumpsuit. >> i do that every morning. >> bill: tell us about this poll that you reported on yesterday about -- a lot of americans saying this is not an important election. we're going to sit it out right? >> not just a lot of americans. 90 million americans who are eligible to vote won't do so this year is what the experts say based on their turnout projections.
if they did vote, this wouldn't be a contest. by more than two and a half to one, they back president obama. >> bill: wow! 90 million americans. so is that like a record for stay at homes? >> it may be a record in terms of the number. in terms of the proportion, we don't think the turnout will sink as low as it was in 1996 which was an historic low. but we think that after pretty good turnout in 2008 when the nation was pretty excited about the election, it is going to fall back perhaps to the level that we had in 2000. >> bill: why are these people saying they're not going to vote this time? >> several things. they're busy. they say -- >> bill: oh, come on. >> they don't trust politics and politicians. they don't think their vote matters and they don't think anything ever happens anyway so why bother. >> bill: could this be somewhat attributed to look, it is august. people like you and me we live for this stuff.
if you get outside the beltway not everybody is talking about politics all the time the way we do. so is it -- >> this is not -- i wasn't aware of this. not everyone is spending all of their august thinking about the presidential race? >> bill: exactly. >> i should do a story on that. >> bill: do you think it is a little too early for some of these people? >> the survey we did with suffolk university was of people who either said i'm not going to vote or there's no better than a 50/50 chance. we call them unlikely voters. we know from the polling people totally overestimate the likelihood that they're going to the polls. a lot of people say they plan to vote and for whatever reason, they don't. i don't think the numbers are going to change. we had it -- even in the high turnout election of 2008, 80 million americans didn't vote. we think that number will go up. a lot of these americans that we surveyed 70% about 2/3 said
they did vote in 2008. we think that's probably a little high. some people said they voted when they didn't. there is a group of people who voted last time and most of them voted for president obama. and a lot of them are a little discouraged by the economy. they haven't seen the kind of change they had hoped to see. and that's one thing that among some of the voters, convinced them that why should they bother to go to the polls this time. >> bill: so if i were in the obama campaign and i saw these numbers that came out of your poll yesterday, i would be thinking seriously about what you can do to moi it's the people. -- to motivate the people. the key to winning could be to get ten million of those 90 million to get out and vote. >> absolutely. that's why they've invested in this huge ground operation. really to kind of turn out the vote organization that we've never seen before. i'll tell you, there was one -- we asked people what would make them vote. most things would not persuade them to vote.
but there was one thing that 85% of obama supporters said would make them vote. that was if they thought they could swing the election, a close election to president obama. that would be enough to convince them to vote. you know, the fact is that could be the situation that we have. >> bill: i was going to say i think that is the situation right? this certainly -- now you and i both know the national polls are not the best indicator of this election but the national polls have been static and tied, right? and president keeps saying -- the president keeps saying it will be a close election. i think he's right. >> if that message gets through and people are convinced it is a close election and it is important that i go vote, then some of the people say they will vote. but these are people who often i think get overlooked in politics because campaigns just like news organizations focus mostly on the people that we think will turn out to vote. >> bill: sure.
susan page is our guest. she's the washington bureau chief for "usa today." "usa today," of course usatoday.com. so susan even if you look at those likely to vote, the other number that has really surprised me this year is we talk -- we used to say that 40% are always going to vote democratic. 40% always republican. it is that 20% in the middle that the campaigns are geared to. right now, that number of people percentage of voters in the middle has really shrunk, hasn't it? >> oh, yeah, no question. >> bill: maybe 5% or 10%. >> it is definitely smaller than it was last time around. and you know, people have chosen a team, most people. those people who actually might swing one way or another it is a pretty small group. >> bill: right. so the effort, you know, a lot of money being spent on relatively few people.
>> not to mention they just live in a handful of states. 5% of voters in eight or nine states and our whole campaign, multibillion dollar campaign is waged right at them. >> bill: which may explain partially why the pick of a paul ryan helping motivate the base, usually you think you need somebody who will help you get the independent voters in the middle. if there aren't so many in the middle, you have to make sure you have your base. maybe that was part of the thinking behind the ryan pick. >> maybe so. it is an eternal debate whether you want to turn out the base or win the swing. the fact is successful candidates manage to do both. you know i think it is not very difficult to win an election unless you have elements of both. >> bill: i have to ask you we've been talking a little bit earlier this morning there have been many of our brothers and sisters in the media who have said this is the dirtiest,
ugliest, nastiest campaign i have ever seen in my whole life! now, susan you and i both have been following politics a long time. we've been on the road together. >> people getting this impression bill. >> bill: we're friends, that's right. so would you say this is the worst ever, ever, ever? >> i think this is the ninth campaign -- presidential campaign i've covered. there were the willy horton ads. there has been tough nasty politics before. >> bill: the swift vote ads. >> the swift vote ads. i do think the tone of this campaign is the worst. and that the fact that we're seeing this language turned around by the candidates themselves, and in august. i think this is new. i think we've crossed some kind of line this time that i haven't seen before. but that's not to say every other year, politics was a wonderful exercise and debating
the highest principles of government. it hasn't been. we've had tough politics in the past. this does seem somewhat different in quality to me. i wonder, you watch politics a long time, too. what do you think? >> bill: i think -- i don't think it is as bad as it was in 2004 with the swift vote campaigns. i don't think it was as bad -- in 2008, they were actually accusing barack obama of palling around with terrorists. pretty serious charge. you know what? what i think is the funniest thing this morning susan, mitt romney whining about oh, come on. stop the mean attacks. and during the primaries when he was running the negative attacks against newt gingrich, what did he say? there's no room for whining in politics. so i think a lot of this is just -- rather than respond to the question, release your tax returns, he's saying this is a personal attack.
>> you know, here's what seems different to me. we've got the republican candidate calling the president a liar. and we've got the vice president saying the republicans -- to an audience that's mostly african-american wants to put you back in chains. i think somehow the swift vote ads were an outside group. the willy horton was an outside group. it seems deutsch me when the candidates and the -- it seems different to me when the candidates are using this kind of language. no sign this is going to away. i think it will only going to get worse. >> bill: from my perspective i love it. [ laughter ] hey, susan, so good to talk to you again. you know, we're not just a national radio show. we're also now a national tv show. so we want to see your beautiful face on television one of these days. we invite you to come into the studio. >> great. congratulations on that, bill. >> bill: thanks, susan.
good work as always. very important poll. interesting poll. the thought that this is what the experts are saying in suffolk university with "usa today," 9 owe million americans -- 90 million americans might not even vote in this election. this is -- the most important -- as important as any -- as important as any other election in my lifetime and 90 million americans say this they will sit it out. i would take their right to vote away if they sit it out. >> announcer: this is the "bill press show." >>i jump out of my skin at people when i'm upset. they're doing this this corruption based on corruption based on corruption. >>that's an understatement, eliot.
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>> announcer: there is the "bill press show" live on your radio and current tv. >> bill: 12 minutes before the top of the hour. joe cirincione from the ploughshares fund on syria egypt, afghanistan, up at the top of the next hour. we talked to you yesterday about the communication workers of america. the cwa. great union. under larry cohen. they are sponsoring legislation in the united states congress which would make it a lot tougher for companies to establish these call centers overseas. and one of the reasons behind it is because there have been so many cases of identity theft from people using call centers overseas because those countries do not have the same tight regulations that we have against identity theft. it is a lot easier to steal your information. until that legislation passes, that's a good reminder that you need to do something to protect yourself against identity theft.
i've done it with lifelock ultimate. i think you ought to look into it too. lifelock ultimate, the most comprehensive protection ever made includes coverage of your bank accounts as well as your other information. but lifelock can't protect you or your bank account if you're not a member. call now and mention press 60 and they'll give you 60 free days of protection. if you're not happy, you can call them again within 60 days and cancel to get a full refund. see life lock for full details. give them a call at 1-800-356-5967 for life lock ultimate. >> bill: marvin is calling from pittsburgh, pennsylvania. hello, marvin. >> caller: good morning, bill. listen i agree with what you're saying this morning regarding
the -- i guess it is lack of candor among the press. they have seen worse elections and i have to be honest with you, i am becoming so turned off, especially what i'm hearing and looking at on television. some of the journalists -- i put that in quote -- used to really, really be interested in. they are -- i don't really understand where they're coming from. so much to the point that i just click off the tv and i'm listening more to radio today. and you know, why they are classifying everything as attack, attack attack. where does differing of opinions come into the conversation? >> bill: also, where does truth come into the conversation? you know what, marvin? part of it is there is a herd
mentality. they get called to do a tv show. they don't know what to say. then hear somebody else say something. they end up saying the same thing. everybody is saying the same thing saying this is the most ugly campaign in my life. that is nonsense. that's total nonsense. their memory goes back a year. >> right. it is doing such a disservice to the public. it is like the media is failing at this point. >> bill: i agree. i agree marvin. really good to hear from you. again, i challenge anybody go back over the last three days in iowa or you can go back over the last -- you go back over the last six months, don't care, you parse every word that president obama has said and you tell me what constitutes an ugly personal attack. is pointing out that mitt romney has not released his tax returns, is that a personal attack? no. is pointing out that mitt
romney's plan would lower taxes on the top 2% and raise taxes on 98%? is that a personal attack? no. is pointing out that while president obama himself eliminates $716 billion worth of fraud in medicare, that if those same $716 billion are included in paul ryan's plan, is that a personal attack? no. where is it? carol is in galley township, new jersey. hi carol. >> caller: good morning. >> bill: good morning. what's your point? >> caller: my point is that for three years, the campaign was nasty, ugly and totally one-sided. and now that the president has finally started defending his policies, it has become a big issue, the negativity. >> bill: amen. >> caller: and i have to say that i blame the media for a lot of it because you have a lot of guests -- not just your network. i'm talking about networks in
general -- >> bill: right. >> caller: have a lot of people that come on and want to raise this issue of negativity that -- to the point where it is turning a lot of voters off. now, they didn't do it before and they need to tone it down. >> bill: yeah, carol i agree. there's something else going on, too. one of our callers made this point earlier. republicans always do this. they always have the hateful spots. mitt romney out there accusing president obama on welfare. accusing him on medicare. john sununu saying president obama has to learn how to be an american. when republicans do it, the media doesn't say anything because they're used to republicans being ugly and nasty. look at john kerry right? what happened to him. but when democrats fight back, then suddenly, oh, my god this has become so negative and so ugly. when democrats tell the truth they call it an ugly campaign. i blame the media too. my brothers and sisters in the media, shame on them.
[ ♪ theme ♪ ] >> announcer: this is the "bill press show." >> announcer: radio meets television. the "bill press show." now on current tv. >> bill: jennifer duffy with the cook political report in studio in the next hour to talk to us about the important senate races in this country. and joe sir cirincione from the plowingshare funds to talk about what's happening in syria and in afghanistan. another important foreign policy topic. president obama and the first lady arrived back from the campaign trail last night.
probably came back and had a white house beer before they went to bed. and today, he's got a busy day. catching up on stuff. he will get the daily briefing this morning at 10:15 a.m. meeting with secretary of state hillary clinton at 10:45. the vice president included in that meeting. then the president and the vice president will have their weekly lunch. in the private dining room. and after lunch the president and the vice president will be meeting with treasury secretary tim geithner. jay carney back in town today. he's scheduled a white house press briefing, this is the first one in the white house this week, at 11:30 this morning and i will be there representing all of you and i will tell you all about it tomorrow. so let's come back and talk senate races and foreign policy. >> announcer: this is the "bill press show."
[ ♪ theme ♪ ] >> bill: what do you say? good morning everybody. welcome to the "full court press" on current tv this thursday morning. august 16th. good to see you today. thank you so much for being part of the program. this is where we tackle all of the big stories of the day. let you know what's going on in washington, d.c. around the country and around the globe. and take your calls at 1-866-55-press. and how about this. they say this is the ugliest presidential campaign ever. forget about it. what are people thinking? what about saying that john kerry was a phony and had never been to vietnam. what about accusing president obama of -- then candidate obama
of palling around with terrorists. come on, mittens! stop whining. this is hardball, okay? we'll bring you up to date on that and a whole lot more here but first, we'll go out to los angeles and say hello to lisa ferguson with today's current news update. hi lisa, good morning. >> hi, bill. good morning everyone. paul ryan's budget plan. he has built his entire reputation around it. and if you knew anything about him before last saturday, you likely knew that. you might think that would be a major factor in romney choosing him as the v.p. nominee but so far, romney is steering clear of budget talk. in fact, his senior advisor ed gillespie is saying he's not sure when romney would balance the federal budget. that comes just a day after ryan said the campaign had not yet run the numbers. in june, romney claimed he would balance the federal budget within eight to ten years. we've heard little details on how he would actually make that
happen. other than getting rid of government programs and cutting back federal employees. romney's on record supporting ryan's budget plan in the past. but now he says he will run his campaign on his own platform, not ryan's. and gallup is tracking voter opinions during the four days after romney announced his new running mate. but we're seeing no big change in the numbers. according to the poll, 45% of people favor president obama. that is virtually the same as it was before the announcement. romney is up just one tick from 46 to 47%. we're also learning a little more about ryan's financial disclosures. turns out one of the family's biggest assets is his wife's trust fund which earned between $1 and $5 million but ryan neglected to report that income. he did amend his statements when romney's camp was vetting him for v.p. more bill press coming up. we're live in chat, current.com/billpress.
how are you ever going to solve the problem if you don't look at all of the pieces? >>tv and radio talk show host stephanie miller rounds out current's morning news block. >>you're welcome current tv audience for the visual candy. >>sharp tongue, quick whit and above all, politically direct. >>you just think there is no low they won't go to. oh, no. if al gore's watching today... joining us. >> my pleasure. thanks for having me, man.
>> announcer: broadcasting across the nation on your radio >> announcer: broadcasting across the nation on your radio and on tv, this is the "bill press show." >> bill: during the primary mitt romney said there's no room for whining in politics. why is he whining so much now? can't take it? good morning everybody. what do you say? thursday august 16. good to see you today. this is the "full court press," of course. coming to you live all the way across this great land of ours from our nation's capital. washington, d.c. our studio right here on capitol hill. booming out to you on your local progressive talk radio station and on current tv. we are pleased to welcome back into the studio our good friend back from vacation, so tan
rested and ready joe cirincione. >> good morning. >> bill: part of my part of the world. >> the nest up in oregon. -- the northwest up in oregon. >> bill: the great area up there. >> white water rafting and kayaking. a great time. >> there he goes. you're still wearing the life vest. >> you should see me in a wet suit. i look good! [ laughter ] >> bill: great place for outdoor sports. everybody's got a pickup truck and a ski rack on top. >> that's right. >> bill: our team here, team press, peter ogborn and dan henning and cyprian bowlding, hello, one and all. >> hey hey. >> good morning. >> bill: joe you're just getting back in town. the significance of this week, it was julia child's 100th birthday two days ago. today, i believe or one of these days is the 77th birthday of
social security. >> uh-huh. >> bill: when president roosevelt signed it into law. today is the 35th anniversary of a sad sad moment in american culture. here was the announcement 35 years ago. [no audio] >> one way or another, he passed away. >> bill: a huge gathering at graceland for all of the elvis fans from across the country. i love -- elvis presley from tupelo mississippi. memphis, tennessee, bevel hills and las vegas. -- beverly hills. >> he got around. >> long live the king. >> bill: the one thing you didn't do, you never accused
elvis of taking drugs because he wouldn't put up with it. here he is on stage -- >> i got sicker with a 102 temperature. they wouldn't let me perform. from three different sources i heard i was strung out on heroin. i swear to god hotel employee, bellboys freaks up to the room. people working around, talking and i was sick. i had the flu. all across this town. strung out. so i told them elle, don't you get offended, ladies and gentlemen, i'm talking to somebody else. if i find or hear the individual that has said that about me, i'm going to break your damn neck, you son of a bitch. >> yea elvis. >> bill: he didn't take any crap. >> bill: break your damn neck! and then that's not enough. >> he was on the warpath. >> bill: elvis comes back.
>> dangerous. that is damaging to myself to my little daughter. to my father. to my friends. my doctor. everybody. my relationship with you. my relationship. it is dangerous. i will pull your damn tongue out by the roots. >> elvis didn't do no drugs. >> bill: don't normally see that side of elvis. >> don't mess with elvis. >> bill: got it. all right. so joe is here. we'll skip around the world and then a little bit later, all of the hot senate seats with jennifer duffy from the cook political report. but first -- >> this is the "full court press." >> other headlines making news on this thursday. in sports, felix hernandez threw a perfect game against the tampa bay rays yesterday. the 2010 a.l. cy young award winner threw no walks hits or runs and 12 strike-outs through all nine innings. it is the third perfect game of this baseball season.
the 23rd in baseball history. seattle won 1-0. >> bill: king felix. >> condoleezza rice has a new gig, modeling for the nfl. politico reports the former secretary of state is taking part in the nfl's it's my team advertising campaign focuses on marketing team clothing to women. a new ad for wearing a jersey for her favorite team, the cleveland browns. >> bill: she wanted to be the commissioner? is this how -- >> this is where you start. >> this is where you start. work your way up. >> wear the clothing. the folks -- >> bill: selling tickets at the game? is that next? >> the folks at price line.com have responded to customer complaints over killing off william shatner's character as the price line negotiator and its advertising campaign several months ago. they brought him back. the character was supposedly killed in a bus crash so the company could take a new direction. >> what? >> in its marketing strategy.
>> did they really kill him off in a bus crash? that seems unnecessarily detailed for how to get rid of an ad campaign instead of saying we're retiring him. >> it is william shatner. >> they killed him off. he's back from the dead as a relaxed surfer and with faster and easier ways to save you money as a traveler. >> zombie william shatner trying to sell us travel deals. perfect! >> that's what it is. >> bill: next time, they'll have him eaten by a shark. >> exactly. shark will come up behind him. oh man. >> bill: dan we thank you. aren't you glad you're back, joe? see what you've missed. >> ten minutes in, we're talking zombies. >> bill: where do we start here? i want to start with syria. the prime minister, all of these different high-ranking officials
have fled the country and one of them was quoted saying -- >> it certainly looks that way. the former prime minister, he's a fairly new prime minister, wasn't part of the inner circle. he fled to london ten days ago. he says there's many more waiting to flee. a lot of more responsible members of the assad government want to leave and he's urging the rebels to start forming a provisional government that could take its place. we don't know if that's true. but what we do know is inside seer ya, the violence is increasing. people are fleeing parts of damascus. there are regular bombing attacks in damascus, in the capital. the fighting is intensifying at aleppo between the rebels. there was a report the rebel for the first time had shot down a syrian aircraft. but the assad forces are still
quite strong and quite capable of inflicting massive damage just yesterday there was a bombing attack that killed 30 civilians. >> bill: so it is civil war in syria. close to it. >> i think you could call this a civil war. i think we've hit that point and it is now -- here's the real thing that's concerned people. it seems to be spreading in the regions so you've seen some of the violence slip over into lebanon. here's what happened. the syrian rebels, remember the rebels are mainly sunni kidnapped, captured someone they said was lebanese, a shiite who was a sniper, they said. had come to aid the assad government and kill the rebels. in retaliation, this man's family part of a powerful shiite clan in lebanon kidnapped 20 sunnis in lebanon including turk, saudi arabian and others and are holding them and this is a pattern we saw during the
lebanese civil war massive kidnappings on both sides and now there is a fear the searian conflict was -- the syrian -- split the communities there saudi arabia and qatar have urged citizens to leave lebanon so the violence is starting to spread. >> bill: if there is -- there is a civil war in syria. is the united states doing the right thing by standing on the sidelines? >> so far, the united states is downplaying any talk of arming the rebels of massive assistance. they don't want to see this spread further. they're worried about once the u.s. starts to arm other countries start to arm russia, china, arab states and you have a massive infusion. >> bill: what we did in libya. >> no-fly zone. secretary of defense leon panetta said that's not on the front burner right now but that kind of means it is on the back burner so there is starting to be talk of a no-fly zone being
extended. there are consultations underway. >> bill: but the reality is, if i'm correct that a no-fly zone in syria would be a hell of a lot more dangerous than it was in iraq. iraq basically didn't have a military force. >> remember, the first thing you do when you do a no-fly zone is you suppress the enemy's defenses. a no-fly zone is u.s. and nato jets coming in and bombing syrian air defenses which are quite substantial. more substantial than anything iraq had. more substantial than libya. it would be a big campaign. you would start to see american bombs killing syrian citizens. do you want that? that's what the u.s. is trying to avoid. >> bill: kofi annan was at one time was leading an effort to try to resolve this. he just stepped down and said it is impossible. are there any talks underway now with assad or any attempt to say
you know, we'll find you a way out of here if you just kind of step down? >> there are no public talks underway. no u.n. talks, as far as i know no talks between the russians which bat the assad regime. diplomacy is at a standstill. >> bill: are we sending any help at all to the rebels? >> officially we're not but there was a report two weeks ago, there was an intelligence finding authorizing assistance to the syrian rebels and they are -- >> bill: where are they getting the weapons from? >> it is unclear. some being provided by the ca quite possibly saudi arabia appears to be a member of the sunni and the rebels are sunni so you're seeing this sunni divide play out in syria. some of the sunni governments are aiding the rebels. you're starting to see more communication devices more sophisticated small arms, reports that the rebels have
some shoulder fired anti-aircraft weapons. we haven't seen those used yet but they're starting to get better equipped. >> bill: jumping to egypt not that we've exhausted syria. it is interesting because when the new president was elected everyone said he will be a pawn, the generals are the ones really in charge. and they had dissolved parliament. so he brings parliament back and then he threw the generals out. >> this is quite surprising. the president has now forced the resignation of the defense minister and the army chief of staff and the air force chief of staff and apparently -- >> bill: how could he do this? >> several interesting things are happening here. one is that we don't really know. this isn't something that the egyptians cleared with the u.s. we found out about it after it happened. so egypt is actually more of an independent nation than it's been in our lifetimes. independent from us.
independent from other countries. >> bill: good for them. >> good for them. watching this happen, it means we know less. we have less control and it looks like this is a deal that he actually worked out with the military. and perhaps with some of the younger officers who you're pointed to replace the older more mubarak-linked officers. two days ago, the president had a ceremony where he presented the military chiefs he had just fired with medals. and everything appeared to be -- >> bill: i thought that was classic. he honored them for service. >> some kind of arrangement. this is a very, very skilled politician we're seeing, basically starting to restore civilians. >> bill: democratic politician? >> he's part of the islamic brotherhood. he's identified more with the islamic democracy movement rather than any western democracy movement but he's always stood more for egyptians running egypt. >> bill: free elections? >> free elections. this is no dictator.
this is no power grab. this is a man putting together political coalitions and wants to revive the parliament and write the new constitution. wants to establish egypt as a democracy in the middle east tradition. in an islamic tradition. >> bill: interestingly we haven't heard as much about iran lately. why? they're still trying to develop nuclear weapons. >> what we have heard from israel talking about it so it is proceeding slower than it used to. no big advances. they're not on the verge of a nuclear weapon. they don't have a nuclear weapon. they're not near getting a nuclear weapon. but you do hear israel just in the last week start to issue very strong warnings from netanyahu and from barak that israel is on the verge of attacking iran. and this has caused quite a bit of consternation in the u.s.
government and among iran and israel watchers. in my community there is a big debate, does israel mean it this time. they've been crying wolf on iran for years saying we're going to attack. nothing ever happens. do they mean it this time? quite a flurry of activity between u.s. officials and israeli officials. >> bill: and the united states has been trying to say hold your horses. >> don't do it. in fact, there's rumors there might be an obama/netanyahu meeting in september for precisely this purpose. it is unclear whether netanyahu is actually issuing a final warning. we're going to go. or if he's just trying to get the u.s. and other countries to take even stronger measures, stronger sanctions against iran. it has everybody nervous. >> bill: we're talking to joe cirincione head of the ploughshares fund. joe, when we come back, your call is always welcome. we've got the seat right there empty one that's your seat at the table. if you want to take it, give us
a call at 1-866-55-press. provocative article in this week's "new yorker" magazine under the headline have obama and romney forgotten afghanistan? find out your take on that when we come back here on the "full court press" this thursday morning. >> announcer: this is the "bill press show." if al gore's watching today... i.q. will go way up. how are you ever going to solve the problem if you don't look at all of the pieces? >>tv and radio talk show host stephanie miller rounds out current's morning news block. >>you're welcome current tv audience for the visual candy. >>sharp tongue, quick whit and above all, politically direct. >>you just think there is no low they won't go to. oh, no. if al gore's watching today...
(vo) cenk uygur is many things. >>oh really? >>"if you ever raise taxes on >>the rich, you're going to destroy our economy." not true! >> announcer: this is the "bill press show." live on your radio and current tv. >> bill: joe cirincione is our >> announcer: this is the "bill press show" live on your radio and current tv. >> bill: how about those important senate races in the country. we'll tell you all about them starting in the next segment of the "full court press." right now, we're talking some
important hot spots around the world with joe cirincione, head of the ploughshares fund. so this headline, have obama and romney forgotten afghanistan? the writer calls -- how's this for a conspiracy of silence. it is true joe. we don't hear much about afghanistan. what's going on? >> the forgotten war. the forgotten war. in fact, secretary of defense leon panetta came out the other day and said we're at war don't forget. the reason is people want to forget. this is not a war that's popular with the american public. if it was up to them, they would pull out today. they want out of that war. it is not a campaign issue. there's not an iota worth of difference in afghanistan between romney and obama. basically the same position. and it is not a success. it is not something that the president actually wants to brag about or that romney has some magical solution for. we're basically losing the war. >> bill: nine years now? >> 11. >> bill: 11! >> it was right after 9-11.
october of 2001. so it is 11 years ago. it was a quick war. we won in weeks. >> bill: we accomplished our mission. >> then president bush diverted all of the forces and the attention over to iraq and that disastrous nonnecessary war. never finished the job in afghanistan. it has fester and gotten worse many people, let me credit you many people have said all along this was a fool's mission. you can't externally establish a centralized state in this basically futile nation. what do we think we're doing there? well several hundreds of billions of dollars and thousands of american lives later, we haven't been able to do it. it doesn't look like we're going to. >> bill: looks like we'll drag it out until 2014. we're out of time. joe cirincione, good to have you back on the job. >> my pleasure bill. >> announcer: this is the "bill press show."
>>i jump out of my skin at people when i'm upset. do you share the sense of outrage that they're doing this, this corruption based on corruption based on corruption. >>i think that's an understatement, eliot. u>> i'm not prone tot. understatement, so explain to me why that is. i think the mob learned from wall st., not vice versa.
>> announcer: this is the "bill press show." live on your radio and current tv. >> bill: all right. 33 minutes after the hour now on this thursday morning. very important election year, of course. president obama says may be one of if not the most critical presidential election in our lifetime but that's not all that's at stake. every seat in the house of representatives and some very, very important senate races around the country which could have as much to do as who wins the white house with the direction this country goes in. jennifer duffy covers the senate races or keeps on top of them for the cook political report. she joins us in studio now. as long as i've been talking and
covering politics in washington, jennifer, i've known you. it has been a good run. good to see you. >> it has. nice to see you again. >> bill: you've been on the senate seat with charlie for i don't know, how many years. >> too many. >> bill: so first of all overall, how many senate seats are up? >> okay. there are 33 seats up this time. democrats are defending 23 of those. republicans are defending ten. >> bill: so already democrats start out with a disadvantage. >> it is an interesting cycle for them. they looked like they have all of the exposure in the world. they have to defend more seats more open seats than republicans do. we have seven democratic seats in our tossup column. they're too close to call. we've already given one seat to republicans, the open seat in nebraska. it is a big exposure election for them. except that some things have happened along the way as they normally do in elections that give them an even shot of
keeping the senate. >> bill: so today i should know this right off the top of my head, democrats have a -- what two-vote -- three or four? >> they have three vote advantage. republicans would need to gain four seats if obama wins re-election to get the majority. three seats if romney were to win and you would have ryan breaking the tie. >> bill: got it. okay. now we had -- we talked yesterday, had a little clip here. let's start in wisconsin. very key state. very, very important state. paul ryan, of course from wisconsin. president obama really needs wisconsin. and tommy thompson coming up as the republican nominee. here he is. little victory speech. >> we are going to take america back. we are going to send barack obama -- we're sending him back to chicago.
>> bill: he's been around a long time. >> he has been around a long time. his victory was a best-case scenario for republicans in this race. one, he's eminently qualified. he's the longest serving governor in wisconsin's history. he's been secretary of the department of health and human resources. he's a known quantity -- he certainly ran in the primary as a conservative. i didn't have much of a choice but he's actually viewed a little more moderately. he appeals to independent voters. republicans were pretty happy with this outcome. it is going to be a great race. democrat congresswoman tammy baldwin from madison. she's gotten a free ride so far. she's been very fortunate. >> bill: no primary battle. >> no primary battle. republicans were too preoccupied with their own to pay much attention to her. this race is just getting underway. thompson's got a bit of a lead. it is not outside the margin of error in most polls. this will be a good race. but this is -- this is a big
race for republicans. mostly because one i think that wisconsin now in the presidential is probably in play, certainly more than it was in ryan's choice. this will be a good race to watch. >> bill: coming on the back side of the unsuccessful scott walker recall, all of that politics involved in it, too. >> i actually pity the voters in wisconsin. they have been subjected to more politics than anybody deserves. >> bill: so you rate that one today -- as a tossup. >> bill: as a tossup. okay. in missouri, claire mccaskill. she's one of the most targeted democrats up against congressman todd aiken. >> this is not outcome republicans needed. claire mccaskill is the most vulnerable incumbent up in either party. one, missouri has become a redder state since she got elected in 2006. she's voted with the president
on some big issues like healthcare reform, the stimulus and then she's got some self-inflicted wounds of an airplane that she didn't pay taxes on for years. >> bill: she was also one of the most visible senators out on the stump for barack obama in 2008. >> absolutely. and now she says please don't come see me. so republicans had a three-way primary and mccaskill actually had something to do with who her opponent was because she started airing ads criticizing him as a solid conservative, a pro-family republican. lots of buzzwords that appeal to republican primary voters. he was running third most of this race. and so he was a candidate who didn't go negative and he came out on top. republicans have a lot of work to do to get -- >> bill: she wanted to run against him.
>> she badly wanted to run against aiken. he's got a record. her choices were running against a former state treasurer without much of a record or a self--funding businessman who's sort of in the mold of a ron johnson from wisconsin. no, she wanted the guy with the long congressional record of very, very conservative, social conservative. almost a religious conservative. this is her candidate. and she has not let him off the mat since that primary over a week ago. she's got ads up attacking him. you know, a barrage -- >> bill: damn good candidate. >> they're running a smart campaign. mccaskill went from frankly being a definite underdog to having an even shot at winning this race. >> bill: so this is a tossup again? >> this is another tossup. we've got ten of them. >> bill: really. i want to jump up to connecticut
because linda mcmahon she took a run last time, lost. to blumenthal. she's back, beat chris shea in the primary. she's up -- whoa. she's up against chris murphy. democrat chris murphy. here she is on election night. >> do you want a professional politics who believes that washington knows best for your small business? no! do you want a career politician who's never worked in the small business? >> no! >> bill: she's got a ways to go to become a candidate. how does it look? >> i think a bit of a ways to go before i'm ready to put this race and a tossup. i thought this in 2010. i think she's underestimated as a candidate. she has spent the last 18 months revamping her image i think her goal is to meet every single
connecticut voter because to actually meet linda mcmahon is to like linda mcmahon. this is a better race for her had in some ways. chris murphy has been in congress for awhile. he's not well-known statewide. hard to get known statewide in connecticut. it is a small state with expensive media markets. so it is an interesting race. i'm sure democrats are going to use wretionelling against her again. but her job is to make some inroads with women voters, with independent voters, two groups she lost badly in 2010. she can do that. she can make this race competitive. >> bill: today you call it -- >> today, i have it likely democrat. i'm not underestimating her. i wouldn't -- it wouldn't surprise me if it is one of those races i end up moving. >> bill: north dakota. our friend retiring. heidi and rick burg. >> this is a race that surprises us a little bit. one that democrats are still in this game.
because north dakota -- >> bill: you would think. write it off. >> it is one of the most republican in the country and it has become more republican in the last six years. >> bill: byron dorgan and kent conway. >> who were sort of populist, prairie democrats. heidi hide camp, former attorney general and running very much as a moderate. she has criticized the president on any number of issues including the keystone pipeline which is important to north dakota's economy. and she has really made rick burg the creature of washington. and somebody who's kind of lost touch. now remember, he got elected to this seat in 2010 so he hasn't been here long but -- >> bill: is he a tea party republican? >> not really. he's a pretty conservative republican. and the benefit to burg in this race is that congressional seat is at-large, they don't have one. he does represent the entire state. but really if things were going the way republicans thought
they would put the race away by now and not only haven't they put it away but hidecamp has a shot here. >> bill: i haven't met her. how would you rate this? >> this, too, it is a tossup. i gave. >> list of tossups. >> bill: jennifer duffy is in studio with us. we'll continue to go through the important states. if you have a question for jennifer or comment 1-866-55-press. you don't have to agree with cook political reports ratings but you better have some good evidence to challenge them, too. you can follow their races by the way at cookpolitical.com. we'll be back with jennifer duffy. >> announcer: on your radio on tv the "bill press show." new on current tv. oh, no. if al gore's watching today...
it's like chicken and crunchy stuff got married! i only use french's french fried onions i.q. will go way up. how are you ever going to solve the problem if you don't look at all of the pieces? >>tv and radio talk show host stephanie miller rounds out current's morning news block. >>you're welcome current tv audience for the visual candy. >>sharp tongue, quick whit and above all, politically direct. >>you just think there is no low they won't go to. oh, no. if al gore's watching today... it's like chicken and crunchy stuff got married! i only use french's french fried onions on my crunchy onion chicken because it's america's number one brand. just minutes to make, then bake! venttv