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tv   The War Room With Jennifer Granholm  Current  December 20, 2012 11:00pm-12:00am PST

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girl needing approval and comfort and she said, "was it okay, was i okay?" and i said, "you were great!"
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>> jennifer: more than 30 michigan schools will close two days early for the holiday break this year. why? well, it is not to give students an early christmas gift. it is because officials are concerned about copycat killers following the newtown tragedy. now, the superintendent of one of the districts issued a statement saying... john fuglesang my friends has it really come to this? that kindergarteners can't go to school because we, as a country can't ensure they'll be safe from semi-automatic weapon wielding lunatics and the solution from our far right wing friends? arm the teachers. the very teaches they've called union thugs.
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we should pay to train these teachers. the people who scream us to about fast and furious and said gun proliferation and mexico was dangerous are still telling us gun proliferation in america makes us safer. welcome to the u.s.a. where of some you will find it's easier to buy a weapon designed to kill a lot of people in a short amount of time than it is to marry who you love or vote where you want or send your kids to kindergarten. we now live in a society where the aurora, colorado, shooter could buy 6,000 rounds of ammo online and tommy chung went to jail for selling bombs. it is painfully obvious... we need change in this country! and the good news, the majority of americans and the majority of gun owners agree. in fact, a new ppp poll finds that the majority of americans and the majority of gun owners support banning assault weapons and closing the gun show loophole. but the nra opposes both of those measures and in the past, the nra has successfully fought gun control legislation by
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threatening to attack any politician who doesn't take their hard line. even after last year's tragic gabby giffords shooting, gun control introduced by chuck schumer and carolyn mccarthy could not get passed congressional republicans. the justice department didn't get very far either. attorney general eric holder created a task force on gun control but most of its proposals were shelved as the election and the fast and the furious inquiry heated up. this time, it seems as though, however, there might be a bit more cooperation. today, speaker john boehner said he could be willing to consider vice president biden's recommendations on gun control. >> we join the president in mourning the victims of that horrible tragedy in connecticut. he's appoint vice president biden to lead a commission and when the vice president's recommendations come forward we'll certainly take them into consideration. john fuglesang now john boehner may say he'll consider but he did give himself a good amount
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of wiggle room. do you hear that right now? that's the friend of the nra revving up their spin machine. fox news reported the gun lobby has remained silent to allow for a proper period of mourning but that soon they would start to "push back." because, you see guns don't kill people but nra people who own congresspeople make it a lot easier for o derange people to get gun and kill innocent people. tomorrow, the nra will hold a press conference outlining their position. and an honest source gave fox news a preview saying that the nra would push politicians to talk about hollywood and the video games that teach young kids how to shoot heads. if you really want to stop incidents like this, passing one more law is not going to do a damn thing. so again what are we saying here? don't enact gun control laws. blame video games. even the conservative national review magazine found it ridiculous writing "blaming violence on video games is
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unfair and worse unlikely to lead to effective policies." friends, if the conservative national review is preemptively taking the nra to task, maybe maybe things are on the verge of changing. for more on this story i'm joined by think progress senior investigative reporter josh israel from washington d.c. josh welcome to "the war room." >> thanks for having me, john. john fuglesang pleasure to have you. what do you think the nra will say tomorrow? will there be anything that we haven't heard before? >> well, i certainly couldn't say for sure they're not going to surprise us. but they have a very, very long history of not doing so. every time over the last couple of decades there's been a disaster like this, they've followed the same pattern. first they wait. they say nothing. and then they go right back on doing what they do. which is lobbying against any restrictions and actually actively fighting to get rid of the restrictions we have and to make access to guns easier.
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the sort of big hint we got was on nra news earlier this week, they called the assault weapons ban from the clinton administration. it failed experiment. so it doesn't really sound like they're ready to change their tune and embrace it two days later. >> john: a failed experiment i guess because the bush white house allowed it to lapse so easily. the nra has backed mental health background checks, josh. it sounds like that will be their subterfuge, what they'll get people talking about instead of gun control and keeping weapons designed to kill people out of the hands of civilians. do they have an advantage on that? could that work? >> well, i first of all want to point out that is a very real part of this discussion and it should be. and this country right now it is much easier for people to get a gun than it is for them to get access to mental health treatment. and that's a problem that needs to be addressed. however, that's not going to be
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enough here. i think the american people are to a point where they're not going to let that one portion of the solution be the only thing that's discussed. or the only thing that's addressed. >> john: i agree josh. i'm heartened to hear the nra wants more government money spent toward healthcare. however, when you think about it, wouldn't an national unified database of all gun owners include that, include the mental health background checks? isn't a national database a step toward making this a safer society? >> yeah, absolutely. you could include that. you could include criminal records. which, you know, the vast majority, even of nra members want to see checked before people get access to guns. even at gun shows. they would do well to consider that as a serious part of the solution. >> john: with public sentiment shifting toward stricter gun control, is the nra control
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weakening or are they hoping people will move on to the next shiny thing in the next few weeks and things will continue as the status quo. >> their control has been a bit of a paper tiger. they spent a whole lot of money on the last election and it didn't really have a whole lot of sway. most of the candidates backed extensively from romney, lost. certainly a lot of members of congress have been scared of them because, you know, they're loud and the people who support sensible gun control restrictions have in recent years not been as loud. certainly in recent days, we've seen a wide array of democrats and republicans in the senate. more by the day coming forward and saying we need to get serious about gun control. or at the very least we need to be talking about gun control. and all of a sudden, you see a lot of people who have had nra ratings of as for their entire career saying i think i'm
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spooked. >> john: a decade ago the nra shamelessly had their convention in colorado shortly after the columbine killings. i think it is a sign of how much progress has been made that they wouldn't even consider doing that in newtown connecticut today, do you agree? >> i think they would be pretty crazy to, given the popular sentiment right now. i'm not entirely sure they weren't crazy to back at columbine. >> john: i think they were crazy, too and that legacy has certainly hurt them. you mention before about politicians with an nra "a" rating, do you think that could turn into a strike against the politicians? could that be the sort of thing that voters scrutinize when they pick who they want in the ballot box? >> a lot of members of congress listen to the nra because those are the voices that hear. and if the people who take the opposite position and also if nra members who don't
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necessarily share the extreme views of the national nra leadership, let them know that they don't want to see the nra dictating our entire federal policy, not just on gun control but on the judiciary and on so many other things, it could absolutely turn into a strike against them. and i think the national sentiment we're seeing is ones of just people saying i've had enough. this is one -- one disaster too many. we've had -- i think -- i think we've had 31 school shootings since columbine but i think you know, this may be the straw that broke the camel's back on that. but people are saying "enough"! >> john: i want to talk briefly about one state you've done a lot of reporting on, virginia. governor bob mcdonnell and ken ush nelly are calling for -- virginia is a bellwether state.
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which way do you think they're going to go? >> virginia went for president obama in the presidential election by about three points. polls showed that by a 9% margin despite huge, hundreds and hundreds of thousands of dollars of expenditures on virginia by the nra voters in virginia preferred president obama's approach on guns to mitt romney's by 9 points. so i think there's definitely a popular sentiment in virginia that we need to do something. >> john: josh, i realize americans love guns the way the rest of the world loves soccer but it is encouraging to hear how nra members support closing the gun show loophole and sensible background checks. i thank you for the terrific reporting you've done for think progress. josh israel, political reporter for think progress. >> thanks very much. >> john: coming up, do you remember the scene in the bible where jesus side loads of shotguns and says say hello to a real peace make summer me neither.
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that ain't in the bible. although some think that's exactly what happened. plus women can be wounded in combat and heroically, they are. women can die in combat and heroically they do but technically women can't serve in combat. later in the show, hillary clinton, democrats love her. progressives are warming to her. conservatives begrudgingly respect her and everybody wants to know what she's going to be doing four years from now. all of that and much more tonight in "the war room." >>now let's get some real news. (vo) first, news and analysis with a washington perspective from an emmy winning insider. >>you couldn't say it any more powerfully than that. >> current tv, on the roll. (vo)followed by humor and politics with a west coast edge. >>ah, thank you. >>it really is incredible. (vo)bill press and stephanie miller, current's morning news block. weekdays six to noon.
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alright, in 15 minutes we're going to do the young turks. i think the number one thing that viewers like about the young turks is that we're honest. they know that i'm not bs'ing them with some hidden agenda, actually supporting one party or the other. when the democrats are wrong, they know that i'm going to be the first one to call them out. they can question whether i'm right, but i think that the audience gets that this guy, to the best of his ability, is trying to look out for us. >> john: welcome back to "the war room." i'm john fuglesang filling in for governor granholm. earlier this week, the revoltingly fake christians of the westboro baptist church announced they would be heading up to newtown to picket the funerals of the children on account of their insufficient hatred for gay people.
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giving westboro a lot of coverage is what the mainstream media does. however, we were soon treated to this inspiring image of the local firefighters prepared to make a human wall blocking the westboro fake christians from any mourners. sadly, westboro baptist church aren't the only american christians trying to exploit the tragedy for their own decidedly nonchristian goals. former governor and former human being, mike huckabee went on his fox show this week and said this... >> we ask why there's violence in our schools but we systemically remove god from our schools. should we be so surprised that schools would become a place of carnage? >> john: now, mike this massacre was not caused by take god out of the schools or a lack of government-sponsored nativity scenes or as you mentioned later in the interview taxpayer funded abortion pills which actually don't exist. here's a tip for our fundamentalist christian friends. if you believe god is everywhere, it is impossible to
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remove him from our schools. when you say not having god in public schools leads to massacres like this, technically, you're really blaming james madison because our constitution guarantees a wall between church and state. so those of us who support what madison wrote are the actual conservatives on this issue. taking the bible out of context is something right wing christians do every day because the only way you can cling to both guns and the bible is if you agree to totally ignore the jesus parts. but across america, millions of people of all states are wrestling with a spiritually sane response to gun culture. so i'm pleased to welcome my next guest. joining us here in new york is rabbi eric yoffe for the union for reformed judaism. thank you for coming inside "the war room." >> happy to be with you. s. >> john: you wrote a deeply powerful piece in "huffington post" and everybody out there atheist and believer alike should read called "gun worship is blasphemy." what was it that prompted you to go with that particular title? >> i believe that gun control is
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a religious issue. we have turned guns into idols and the worship of idols is blasphemy and the only proper response to blasphemy is moral outrage and moral action. that's what that piece was about. >> john: i want to talk with you about the whole morality of gun culture. a lot of people are struggling with where do you draw the line between wanting to protect your family and giving easy access to weapons designed to kill people to whoever wants them. >> we're not talking about protecting your family. we all support that. all of the major religious traditions support that. we recognize the constitutional issues which allow us to bear arms. the question is do you have a right, either a moral right or constitutional right to have a gun that can fire 100 bullets in a minute? and the fact is you do not. is there any need to have a gun with a magazine that has more
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than eight to ten bullets and the answer is absolutely not. there is no reading of the jewish tradition the muslim tradition, the christian tradition that poses any obstacle to sensical gun control >> john: i could not agree more. you were part of a group of interfaith clergy members called the faiths united. which are calling on congress to enact steeper gun control. s how do you think -- how meaningful do you think a call like that will be for politicians coming from clergy members? >> this is a grassroots issue. we have the nra the congress is awash in nra cash. you have the stooges in congress who are not concerned with the next generation. they're concerned with the next election. we have to speak to them from home from their districts and religion can do that. we're the most religious of the modern democracies the modern industrial democracies. 40% of americans worship every week. that's more than go to a football game in the entire
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season. >> john: when they say it is my god-given right to have a gun. where do they get that from? there's one line in luke where jesus says buys a sword and he's speaking metaphorically and he tells him not to use sword. where do people get this notion of a god-given right to guns? >> they don't get it from the religious traditions. they get it from various elements of political culture that simply have no place in our religious thinking. we're created in the image of god. all of our major traditions embrace that principle. nothing defiles the image of god as much as pointing a gun at a small child and pulling the trigger again and again. religious leaders need to come together now platitudes aren't enough. caring for those who suffered a loss. very, very important. but that's not enough either. now we have to act for justice. we have to do so with some anger and some passion. that's the only way to take on the nra and those who support
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the terrible things they do. >> john: i agree. speak of not doing enough, let's talk about the democratic party for a second. gun control is an issue they've largely dropped over the last 15 years. in your excellent piece you talk about how president obama is the only person who can show national leadership on this issue. are you satisfied with what he's said and done so far? >> over the last four years i'm not satisfied. by in large he avoided this issue. i admire the man but i was never pleased with his approach to guns. he didn't have the courage but he's done very well since the terrible shooting in connecticut. very well. in terms of how he's provided leadership and the specific things that he's said. once the recommendations emerge from that, that commission, the key will be will he fight for them? you've got to fight for them. and if he leads the way religious leaders i believe will follow. if he doesn't, i fear that we're lost. >> john: if you think you can get this kind of coalition of christians, juice and muslims and -- jews and muslims and
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atheists, people of good faith even if they have no faith to do this that's an example of the people leading and the leaders following. i haven't seen that kind of grassroots organization from a unified religious community really in many years in this untry. thth artion debat d i i lgely rr drr by the conservative christian right. what you're going for is something much more broad that unites conservatives and liberals correct? >> i think that's true. look the nra is the criminal's lobby in this country. one thing i will say for them is they've played by the rules and they know how to work our democratic system and they make a difference. we need to do the same on the other side. we haven't done so up to now. i'm hoping that this is the moment -- if anything is going to rouse our conscience, particularly as religious leaders, it seems to me this terrible, awful shooting is perhaps going to be the event that will do that. >> john: where can people learn more? do you have a web site to share? >> which is the
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organization that i represent. it has a section on that that will provide some direction and that would be a good place to start. >> john: rabbi eric yoffe president emeritus of judaism. thank you for writing your piece, gun worship is blasphemy. >> women have served this country in combat with distinction since the revolutionary war. officially, they're not allowed to serve in combat. anybody else see a problem with >>you couldn't say it any more powerfully than that. >>it really is incredible.
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i'm john fuglesang in for governor jen granholm. yesterday, a national review article claimed that the sandy hook tragedy occurred because women were running the school. and what the school needed was "male aggression for protection." the article made no mention of the fact that male aggression was the problem. this same sexist and frankly insane line of reasoning is what keeps women out of military combat even though they have time and again proven to be heroes. like kimberly munley, the police officer who took down the shooter in the 2009 fort hood massacre that killed 14 people. last month four female service members and the aclu filed a federal lawsuit to overturn the pentagon's exclusion of women from combat. they argue that the restrictions are unconstitutional and have created "a brass ceiling." i love that. the plaintiffs all have served in iraq or afghanistan in dangerous combat-related missions. two even have purple hearts, a combat declaration after being
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wounded on the battlefield. zoe bedell is one of the plaintiffs. she joins me here in new york to discuss why this exclusion needs to be overturned. captain, welcome to "the war room." >> thank you for having me. >> john: before we begin i want to read. >> very brief list of countries that allow women to serve in combat. all are allies. israel france, new zealand finland, norway, serbia, swede and switzerland and the u.k. allows women to serve in artillery. why is america so far behind the rest of the world? >> you know, i think we're just attached to those past rules that have been in place and it is not really taking into account the change in the modern warfare today and the fact that women have really been in combat for the last ten years in the last two wars we've been in. >> john: 14% of the 1.4 million active military are women. but 238,000 jobs across the armed forces are completely off-limits to them. is there any reason that you are given consistently by the brass as to why this is? >> you know, i think the policy
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is in place just because it has always been in place. the military hasn't quite caught up yet. the reasons tend to be women can't keep up. women don't belong. they won't fit in. and again i don't have to argue about what good women are or the nature of women if we're aggressive enough. i can just point to the last ten years of history and the fact that they have been doing this and they've been doing it very well. >> john: you led a 46-member female engagement team in an insurgent heavy province of afghanistan to build relations and gather intel that your fellow male sergeants couldn't. how was that experience for you and out how you come to lead that many women into a dangerous area? >> it was a great program developed because of the necessity. we needed to have women to interact with the women in afghanistan or iraq. it was a fantastic experience in that i got to meet a lot of people and do thing that women don't often get to do in the military but made you realize that memories are out there patrolling. i was patrolling with all of the male marines and someone attacked us, we all fought back. it emphasized the discrepancy
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between the reality and the policy. >> john: you've done things like this in your military career. has this policy actually held you back? >> well, there are a number of different ways. i think one of the most stark statistics i've seen is 80% of generals come from these jobs that are currently close to women whereas the entry level jobs aren't 80% combat armed. you can see just by the natural progression of the military as the people rise through the ranks, women will be disadvantaged. you're also going to lose people who are not being evaluated based on their qualifications and performance but based on their gender. for me i thought it was ridiculous i wouldn't be judged based on how i performed but i could be assigned to position simply because of my gender. i decided to get out and move on. >> john: considering the military has been one of the foremost affirmatives -- of affirmative action, we need a broader hiring pool for minorities and women as well. doesn't it seem like on a business level the military is hurting themselves?
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>> absolutely. you're not getting to pick the best people. you're just getting to pick men. sometimes the best people may be men and sometimes it may not be. why not give yourself the wider pool to pick from. >> john: i've done a lot of military shows as a comedian. i talked to them about what they think of don't ask don't tell. do you get the same sense from your male counterparts that many of them have seen female soldieriers demonstrate their ability and yet they're still not allowed to serve? what kind of feedback do you get from your fellow soldiers? >> especially the ones who have served with women i had a very senior sergeant major tell me after my marines had been in combat with his marines and had taken fire and responded returned fire and done everything appropriately. he said you know, your marines are like sisters to us, just like it is a group of brothers and now we have sisters too. so when they see how women perform, it is just like every other marine performs, it is very accepting. >> john: when you're in a
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combat theatre do you feel excluded? have you been made to feel shut out by male soldiers? >> well, it depends on different levels. the organization is absolutely putting that message across and that permeates the way that people treat you. but when you're dealing with marines on the ground and you're in the combat situations, you don't have time for that nonsense. it is can you do your job and do it well? >> john: colin powell gave a reason why we couldn't allow gay soldiers as being a threat to unit cohesion. that's the same b.s. they're using against female soldiers now. >> they use it against integration. they use it against don't ask don't tell and in each of the situations we've seen so far that the unit doesn't fall apart. cohesion gets stronger when everyone is treated as an equal. >> john: i'm glad you have so many male allies. you and your entire struggle makes me proud to be an american. >> thank you very much. i've been touched by the people who have reached out and demonstrated their support. even people i didn't think would be supportive. >> john: how can people learn more? >> do a google search, read the
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news. people are -- women have been in combat for ten years. and you have the opportunity it if you're paying attention you'll see it out there. >> john: captain zoe bedell, what an honor. thank you for your service then and now. up next, i really, really, really want to play poker with john boehner. someone who so obviouslily refeels his hand would be like playing against a human atm machine. his latest >>now let's get some real news. (vo) first, news and analysis with a washington perspective from an emmy winning insider. >>you couldn't say it any more powerfully than that. >> current tv, on the roll. (vo)followed by humor and politics with a west coast edge. >>ah, thank you. >>it really is incredible. (vo)bill press and stephanie miller, current's morning news block. weekdays six to noon.
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>> john: as we speak house republicans are doing everything they can to push us closer to the fiscal cliff. and tonight they're going to vote on house speaker john boehner's plan b. because his plan a was called president mitt. let's not get into too many details because john boehner's plan b stands zero chance of ever ever, ever becoming law anywhere on planet earth. here's johnny. >> president obama and senate democrats haven't done much of anything. their plan b is slow walk us over the fiscal cliff. and frankly i'm convinced that the president is unwilling to stand up to his own party on the big issues that face our country >> john: okay. let's make a few things really clear. number one, it is december. you're in d.c. you're orange. number two speaker boehner's plan b is a slow walk off the fiscal cliff. we're on a deadline so meaningless votes aimed only at republican primary voters two
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years from now is a complete waste of everybody's time. plus his plan b will never pass the senate even if all of the democrats got sick on food poisoning from tainted shellfish christmas night and didn't show up to vote no, president obama would still veto it. the man is wasting your time! and for bainer to say obama's unwillingness to stand up to his own party? john boehner is so terrified of eric cantor taking his job in his own party that he's putting his discredited losing fringe above the american people to keep his job a little while longer. president obama is the one arguably putting social security on the table. after passing republican healthcare bill, i might add. with us to explain the political back and forth on the fiscal cliff and much more is keli goff political correspondent for the root and someone i'm a huge fan of. welcome back inside "the war room." >> thanks. i'm a huge fan of the show. >> john: it is great to be here and dragging it down to my level. republicans plan a -- mitt
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didn't work. >> surprisingly. >> john: why do they think the plan b is going to fly? >> i don't think they do. i think you hit the nail on the head. this is about a lot of posturing because not you why is boehner afraid of losing his job. he knows that newt gingrich faced a coup himself not that along ago. but the other thing too is they're all worried about primaries. they're all terrified of the tea party and the problem with that is it is short-term fear and they should have much more long-term fear which is not just losing the primaries but losing control of the house which is very possible because as i explained, this is history repeating itself all over again. all of the polls are showing americans blame republicans for not having a deal. there is not a single poll unless it has been conducted privately by john boehner among his friends and family that shows republicans are winning the public image war in terms of this issue. the majority of americans are blaming republicans for not having a deal. they think the president is the one who's trying.
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when this happens 15 years ago with newt gingrich, guess what ended up happening republicans lost seats in the house after the republican revolution. bill clinton got a second term. are you hearing this john? this is not good news for them. >> john: you're exactly right. >> but because he faced a coup attempt dehands of his own party, he survived that. >> john: his personal life had a little bit to do with that. >> it did. he didn't think that was relative enough when he came roaring back. >> john: voters at the g.o.p. did. i think that speaker boehner is in a tough position. i will give him credit for this. he's got his eye on trying to save his entire party from the far right wing fringe. he knows if they all capitulate to them to win primary races that they're all going to be wiped out. no. a gerrymandering will fix it for them. >> you and i are hearing the same inside baseball. we talk to some of the same people. we hear some of the stuff that doesn't make it into print. he was willing to negotiate last year. he was willing to negotiate the
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year before that. it was always the young guns in his party that he's afraid of. in essence who he couldn't corral and control and here we are, all of these years later you're right. they're facing the possibility of losing not just in the immediate future but down the road. i wrote a piece titled going over the fiscal cliff bad for americans, good for obama. that's what it is. if we go over the fiscal cliff it will hit me in the pocketbook. it will hit you probably in the pocketbook but the reality is republicans will get blame and heading into midterm elections that's not exactly a bad thing for the president or a democrat. >> john: how dare you be so sane. president obama isn't afraid of it. on january 1st, he can mitch the middle class tax cut and get that passed. this is not obama's tax increase. this is bush's tax increase going back to the clinton-era rates designed to expire two years ago but of course you know all of this. i want to turn to everybody's favorite topic. something you wrote a terrific piece on that i loved. secretary of state hillary clinton now fox news hosted greta van susteren took issue with her snarky comments about
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the concussion that forced hillary clinton to not testify today about benghazi. greta wrote... they think it's just a way of avoiding testifying this -- chris christie avoided it with an ice cream headache. how is does the benghazi probe affect secretary clinton's political future or does it now that election day has passed and benefit benghazi is no longer a football? >> i think it doesn't because the sacrificial lamb was obvious on susan rice. for a lot of voters, it has been put to bed. how long are they going to keep beating the drumbeat of making someone pay. someone has. her name is susan rice. she won't be secretary of state. it is largely due to benghazi. i think that's what -- the other thing, too the bigger thing
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with hillary clinton john, is i did write a piece about what would be the most brilliant thing to say i'm running for one term. >> john: i think this is a smart strategy considering she will be 69 years old in 2016. >> people keep raising the age issues even though ronald reagan was older. then is a woman, it is perceived differently. but the other reason i think it is important and smart is because i mean there aren't very many parties who hold on to the white house for 16 years. >> john: indeed. >> the likelihood of her being re-elected if she were going to say i only want to do one term, all of the experts said that's a brilliant strategy. it is disastrous for a national president. in terms of governing if people know you're only going to be there for four years you're starting as a lame duck so there are voters who might vote for someone who says i want to go and not worry about re-election. just do the right thing for four years. there are a lot of people in the party say okay, do you that. i won't be on board when you need me. >> john: we know the candidates who run on term limits would never break their
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word. >> never. >> john: so much we could have talked about, keli goff. political correspondent for the root. and where can people read more of your stuff? >> the >> john: thank you keli. it wouldn't be the sacred season of christmas without some unholy comedians poking fun. greg proops will join me to do just that right after this.
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>> john: i'm john fuglesang fill in for governor jennifer granholm. this has been a great year for political junkies. we don't want to justic aboutber gun control and the fiscal cliff. let's turn to the unbridled joy that is the holiday season, a time to express love through credit cards. a time to buy material possessions to celebrate the guy guy -- the birth daf -- the
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birth of a guy who denounced personal possessions. i can think of no one better to help me discuss the reason for the season is greg proops. he's one of my favorite american comedians, host of the extremely popular podcast the smartest man in the world. he joins us from los angeles. greg proops, welcome back to "the war room." >> thank you mr. fuglesang and happy holidays. >> john: i'm deeply offended you would say happy holidays to me. it is hard to be happy when there is a war on christmas raging when you say happy holidays. how is the war on christmas going where you are and which side are you on? >> here in los angeles, it is a swirling vortex of gay celebrity. we hate on the lord and everything he represents every minute of the day. we really stay up at night thinking of new ways to make war on christmas. frankly, i'm a mayan as you know. i celebrate the plumb id serpent god. this is my last day on tv. it is one of the most important ways you can destroy christmas
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is to build a step pyramid. tonight we'll be sacrificing someone and taking their heart out and feeding it to the sun. >> john: the mayans were only warning us about the movie 2012. but i feel the same way. every year, pnc bank calculates the cost of the items in the song the 12 days of christmas to figure out how much the lords a leaping and the partridge in a pear tree. it totals $25,431. if you wanted to give your true love all of that stuff from that song. that's up 4.8% from last year. in these tough times which necessities should americans cut back on? do we really need all of the lords a leaping? >> the lord asleeping part, i'm all for because if the lords leap far enough, they might fall off something and then they'll be gone forever. it is the eight maids a milking i take exception with. i think men can do a milking job. i don't think it should be limited to maids. >> john: i agree. >> i'm all for partridges in pear trees, it is just so hard to find a pear tree here in
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los angeles. it would be more like a lizard in an avocado tree here. that would be a great deal cheaper and more healthy i think really in the end. >> john: i applaud your role to get gender rolls out of maids a milking. the fact that a giant international bank put a price tag on a song promoting reckless spending for this holiest of holidays is that quintessentially american at this point? >> it is as american as cursing someone out at the mall when they take your parking place when you're going to buy gifts for people you love. here in l.a. human life, as you know, is disregarded almost utterly. people are extra big a-holes during the holidays here and as far as cutting you off and not letting you do what you want. that speaks to the christmas spirit. it is about me and me and did i mention me? >> john: that's just at the williams morris agency you're talking. as far as christmas carols go, i don't mind 12 days of christmas. there is love and birds and stuff. but some carols really get under my skin. like do you think that in some
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way, greg, there are some christmas carols we need to retire? >> i hate the little drummer boy. >> john: i do, too. >> not him personally. probably a nice child. it is the worse premise for a song ever. he's drumming in the major on the night the christ child is born. why don't you let the donkey play the walking bass line? hit the cymbal again. it is the -- and rum a pull pull over and over again it is the water torture of christmas carols. >> john: i couldn't agree more. if i can add to that, bob dylan did a great cover of it. you're in a manger. there is a baby trying to sleep. do you really want some little keith moon wake up the whole barn? >> no. it is a nonsensical premise. i've never understood it or enjoyed the vienna boys choir whatever they're called. i also don't like -- it is not that i don't like jingle bell rock. it is that i think i've o. d.ed
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on jingle bell rock about two years ago. i don't know what a jingle horse is. i don't want to mingle and mix in a mingle with a jingling beat. i would rather get drunk quietly in the corner and sob to myself as i so often do at christmas gatherings. >> john: i'm still a fan of oh, holy night. >> i like that. >> john: it is a great song. we're both pretty big film fans and holidays bring their share of classics. do you have any favorite christmas films or any films that aren't necessarily about christmas but still you think capture the christmas spirit? >> i do. drugstore cowboy with matt dillon has been a favorite of mine. watching him throw all of their drugs that they've gotten from the drug stores through the floorboards of their car on the way to portland. something about it makes my heart sing like a sparrow. we used to watch that one. we'll watch the hobbit this year because i've laid in an enormous amount of chronic. i think i can handle the 48 frames per second if i'm high enough. >> john: gandalf looks like
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santa's older unwashed brother. >> the comic book artist now. >> john: my vote for unlikely christmas movie is really children of men. i think that whole scene where they give bit to the baby that will be the savior of the world and hiding from the government and there is a dog barking the animals in the room, i thought that was actually all joking aside, a really smart sophisticated take on the nativity scene and one of the few interesting takes on it i've seen in awhile. >> i thought that movie was tremendous. i loved how urgent it was and the hand-held camera when he throws the whiskey over his hands when he bursts the baby. i don't know if that film was overlooked but it was cogent and having been in england recently, it is almost a documentary. >> john: greg, where can people see you and find out more about your work? >> i would rather not talk about what i'm doing. the nature of my work precludes me from having popularity at any point. i'll be in san francisco at the punch line over new year's weekend. you can go to itunes and look up the smartest men in the world. it is greatest christmas gift of
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all. two next week. one on monday and a special christmas one on tuesday. >> john: terrific podcast. thank you for your service greg proops. you're seriously one of my favorite comics. thank you for making politics funny for the rest of us. and happy holidays. up next, before "the war room" says good-bye until 2013, brett ehrlich has to go and get one last word in. >> coming up, this is the way the world ends. not with a bang. unless you're davididididididididididididididididididididididididididididididid [ singing christmas carols in background ] aunt sally's singing again. it's a tradition honey. [ singing christmas carols ] mmmm. [ female announcer ] make new traditions with pillsbury grands! cinnamon rolls. ♪ ♪ [ female announcer ] holiday cookies are a big job. everything has to be just right. perfection is in the details. ♪ ♪ get to holiday fun faster with pillsbury cookie dough.
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[ male announcer ] red lobster's crabfest ends soon. hurry in and try five succulent entrees like our tender snow crab paired with savory garlic shrimp. just $12.99. come into red lobster and sea food differently. and introducing 7 lunch choices for just $7.99. salads, sandwiches, and more. >> john:er friends this is the last "the war room" episode of 2012. it has been a great honor for me to fill in for governor jen several times this year and to work with her excellent staff. as many of us look forward to the promise of a new year, brett ehrlich looks back to make sense of what the hell happened over
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the last 12 months. shh. brett's talking now. >> 2012 is almost over. and if you're a moron so is the world, you think. and looking back, what have you learned this year? i learned that america didn't just elect a black dude once because the texan dude was so dumb. we elected him twice because we like him. and because the guy with all of the money is so mean. i also learned that ryan lotky swallowed a lot of chlorine. >> seven times more. >> 21. >> i'll show china how to dance. >> what defines me? >> ryan lochte. >> he embodies american exceptionalism. being world-class at something while still sounding like kind of an idiot. it is just as true today as the day it was placed in my hotel room. it tells of a tower a vast, decadent structure. erect the by those who saw themselves as god's eequals.
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asas paybacks for the presumptive. god curse their tongues making them speak in utter gibberish. >> ing the -- what? what do you want me to tell romney? i can't tell him that. i can't tell him to do that. >> that's right. i also learned that mitt romney can do that to himself. >> 47% of the people who vote for the president no matter what. >> stupid freeloaders. i'm glad none of them are here filling our water glasses and parking our cars and recording this. someone please tell me they're not recording this. mitt romney. that's me. mitt romney. and finally probably most importantly, i learned what paul ryan looks like when he works out. he looks ridiculous. who works out in a baseball cap? that, my friends is what i learned in 2012. oh, and also this. ♪ gangnam style ♪ ♪ gangnam style
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