tv The Dylan Ratigan Show MSNBC November 1, 2011 1:00pm-2:00pm PDT
green curtain of money is making it impossible for our political system to give us a real debate on health care, trade, education,ç banking, energy, a jobs. instead, we get this ongoing pro wrestling back and forth between the bought and paid for republicans and the bought and paid for democrats. last month a friend of this show, mark ames, reported on how some think tanks are also bought and paid for in his "ideas for sale" segment. well, now we hit the triple. special interests buying and paying for the sitting judges we rely upon to enforce the rule of law. yes, even that is now up for auction. it's one thing if our politicians are bought and paid for. the media is supposed to be there to hold our politicians accountable. if the media fails in that regard, the last in tact system
that differentiate ours country from the third world, that brings fairness to the average american and creates equal opportunity for the 99% is supposed to be the rule of law, our judges, and our justice system. but now a report out from justice at stake is showing the following. justices increasingly more beholden to the increases of money, not fairness nor justice, as they are intended to be. spending on state high court elections has more than doubled in just the past ten years. it was $83 million a decade ago. most recently, $207 million. why? and 40% of that $200 million going to our judicial elections has come and continues to come fromç just ten organizations. we start with charles hall as
the co-author of justice at stake. the report you just heard from his book, the man at the center of these new unsettling revelations. he is considered on a leading authority on the role of the so-called super spender. these are the groups in the election of state supreme court justices. also with us today, landon roland, director and chair member of janus capital. landon believes corruption in our courts is the final barrier between the integrity of our economy and a very difficult-to-recover-from position. and landon, why do you see this as such a risk to our society and our economy? >> in our system, dylan, we depend on the third branch of government to ensure that there
is equal application of the rule of law to all persons, all controversies. we don't count on the executive branch, we don't count on the legislative branch, we count on judges. we count on their dispassionate, but professional view of controversies. and it really is a matter for guaranteeing the integrity of the free enterprise system as much as the individual rights of our citizens, and both business and citizens feel that judges can be compromised by this huge amount of money that's being spent in these campaigns, and in view of the citizens united case, it's likely to grow, so that our concern will be one that, who is going to monitor how this money comes in to the process? how are we going to guarantee that ourç courts are free of t kind of influence which huge amounts of cash are likely to impose on the system? we will be diverting to the deviant capitalism that we see in third world countries, in countries that have fallen away
from the socialist ideal, and they have fallen into a kind of banditry, in which those in the money induce decisions, produce interference with free enterprise decisions, and thus in the end, frustrate the kind of economy that this nation and nations around the world strive for. it's a serious challenge that we would regress to that point. >> and charles, you wrote this book, "justice at stake," give all of us, if you would, some education as to the degree to which the toxicity of this force has already infected our rule of law. and if you could highlight for us what we really need to understand that you feel you've discovered. >> well, dylan, we've seen really a radical change in the last ten years. in the late 1990s, court elections were not on anybody's radar. they were low-key and low budget. starting in 2000, national
business groups including the u.s. chamber of commerce, the national association of manufacturers felt they had to take on trial lawyers in electing judges. and as you said in your numbers, the money in these elections has exploded. it's changed the role and situation of judges. now many judges literally owe their jobs to a very small number of groups with very deep pockets. one of the biggest costs of all of this is a deep, profound loss of public trust. our polls show that three americans in four believe that all this campaign cash actually affects courtroom decisions. in effect, that means that americans actually agree thatç justice is for sale. >> at the same time, we have adapted, landon, through lots of horrible things in the history of this country, in the path and aspiration to a more perfect join, as they say. this is a country that once had slaves. this is a country that created freedoms -- unprecedented
freedoms for women, for minorities, for young people. it would seem that as alarming as reporting like this may be, it would also seem that this is the right country to engage it directly and resolve it. >> you're absolutely right, dylan. your summary and the comments from charles help in that direction very materially. one of the issues we have is, of course, that the u.s., since world war ii in particular, and the collapse of state socialism in the late '80s is that the u.s. was held out as being the standard setter, the gold standard for free enterprise. now the model for business development worldwide. many u.s. companies find as they extend their reach outside the u.s. into world markets, that they become victims of the clif kind of kleptocracy, the judges for hire, the justice for hire. the idea of the rule of cash, rule for law.
all of this they find in new countries what they're building new products for u.s. markets. all of this is corrupted by the kinds of things we're now seeing insinuated into our own system in the election for judges. there are ways to ensure that judges are not compromised, to the fullest extent possible. there are ways to give, to reinstate, to ensure their important, singular, unique roll in our constitutional system, to guarantee that theç rights of people, of enterprise, are protected from the rule of crony capitalists, the rule of the kind of justice for hire that we see offshore and that we have fought since the end of world war ii. >> yeah, charles, to that end, and i want to correct myself, justice at stake was a report, not a book. if people look for it, i want them to be able to find it. specifically, what are the
mechanic l devial devices avail people to engage in affecting the rule making such that as landon just pointed out, the mechanics are there to engage in a revision and reregulation of the judicial electoral process. the question is, what is the beginning for those who watch this show and those who read your report and read landon's -- and hear landon's speeches, and others that i'm sure will begin to talk more and more about this subject, which are the mechanics of resolution? >> first off, people need to know how widespread this is. most people think of the federal courts, where the judges are appointed for life. 38 states, actually, hold some form of state supreme court elections. so it's really the rule, rather than the exception. many of the changes can and need to happen at local state legislatures. in four states over the last decade, states have approved public financing, which helped get judges out of the business of having to dial for dollars. that's an important start.
another initiative that happened a lot in the '60s and '70s, is being looked at again, is going to some kind of an appointment system. just really recognizing that judges have a very unique role in our society. we don't want judges consulting polls before they make a decision. we don'tç feel comfortable wit judges going to donors, hat in hand, asking for money. so another reform that some states are considering is getting away, back to an appointment system where judges only go periodically before the voters every eight or ten years, for what we call a retention vote. these are different ways we can change the rules of the game. >> again, we have the points here from the missouri plan. experts screening judicial candidates. governor appoints from this pool. judges stand for period elections. again, i agree with both of you, that's what's most important is the educational process to make ourselves not only aware of the toxicity of this and its
prevalence, but also how much we depend upon it for the integrity of both of our commercial and social contract, as the liabilities of the breach and the judicial system are really our final defense. landon, it is a pleasure to have you with us, and again, i think we all have tremendous admiration for the work that you have already done in a crusade, really, to confront this injustice. and charles, much the same. thank you so much for simply the act of making the effort to disclose the information that allows people like myself to run with this. so thank you, guys. if you want to know more about this bought justice in our judicial system, it's the topic of our latest blog, it's up right now on the top spot at the huffington post, and along with dylanratigan.com. last month, you surely know, we took in our first 100,000 signatures for get money out. we took those first 100,000 signatures to senator dick durbin on capitol hill, and on
that day, goo-goo doll's front man,ç johnny resnick, as they call him, joined the show, and the band is a huge get money out supporter, as you may recall. and if you want to talk about wave theory, johnny resnick vowed to push the get money out foundation on stage during his band's north american tour. he said he would do it with ipads on hand so that he could actually collect signatures at the venue. well, the tour has started and i offer you this -- >> -- people from every political strife as possible to sign a petition online that's out in the hallway to rye to get the big corporate money out of the elections process. if you don't get a chance to sign it out here, go to the website get money out. it's a really, really good cause. it's not really so much a political issue as it is, it's about us, the people, with
representation under the law. >> i can't say whether they were cheering because he was about to finish talking and start singing or because he was talking about get money out, but i'll interpret it the latter for at least purposes of this afternoon. we want to thank the goo goo dolls. and if you haven't familiarized yourself, please take a trip. if you click in, there's more on that website than you might think. and i want to thank all of you for gathering into the storm that is to come that can get the money out of our political system. the wave now stands in excess of 235,000 and the number of interested communities around this effort is exploding. i do believe that jimmy williams, in the near future, will have a lot more to share with us in that regard. as we take a moment here, coming up on "the d.r. show," america's first major casualty from the global debt disaster. how former new jersey governor lew former new jersey governor himself and his own investors up. playing a little, you know, funny money. plus, what's in your lawmakers' wallet?
forget wall street. the rich on capitol hill, in your congress, also getting richer. award-winning journalist katherine krier on what it means for the political process and how we can save our republic. and david goodfriend with his idea on how we can really honor our troops. it's all ahead. constipated? phillips' caplets use magnesium, an ingredient that works more naturally with your colon than stimulant laxatives, for effective relief of constipation without cramps. thanks. good morning, students. today we're gonna continue... [ daniel ] my name is daniel northcutt. [ jennifer ] and i'm jennifer northcutt. opening a restaurant is utterly terrifying. we lost well over half of our funding when everything took a big dip. i don't think anyone would open up a restaurant if they knew what that moment is like. ♪ day 1, everything happened at once. ♪ i don't know how long that day was. we went home and let it sink in what we had just done.
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judicial elections. >> i'm not supposed to laugh, but why not the third branch of government, right? i mean, aren't we at the stage where we know in my lifetime -- or in my time in washington in the last 19 years, the white house for all intents and purpose has been bought. republicans and testimonies. the congress clearly is bought, republicans and democrats. no matter who the speaker -- >> and it prevents certain things from being done or talked about. >> perhaps. but now we're talking -- the great thing is, thank god, the federal judges can't be bought. they have to be appointed by a president and confirmed by the senate. but when it comes to the state and county judges, which is actually where all tort law is done, i mean, a super majority of all law is decided in those courts. now the koch brothers can decide how those cases are determined. >> well, a massive poll -- >> what do you mean now? it's been going on, it's nothing new. so if someone from a law firm has been a supporter of a democratic party in new york or california or wherever, they are going to be up potentially for a
judgeship. >> it's a linear relationship. >> exactly. >> well, susan and i were just talking about this, yes, there's one element ofç you can literay give money and buy them, but their whole appointment process, you know who you were bought by? >> if you hear of a case, people always say, is the judge democrat or republican? >> which is why it's good if you get a speeding ticket and somebody knows the judge. you're like, oh, somebody knows the judge. >> you don't want it to get down -- >> well, if you know the cop. >> all right, let's talk about somebody -- let's talk to somebody who wishes i'm sure he knew the judge right now, jon corzine, who is a former, obviously, governor of new jersey. you may recall former chief executive at goldman sachs. by the way, along the way, one of the sort of principle architects and advocates of modern financial architecture, specifically the credit default swap market and distributed risk. someone that's very familiar with all those tools.
and in fact, i suspect, used some of them in his most recent financial venture, only to find himself blowing up. and now, it's obviously going to be interesting financial porno with jon corzine, but greece is in convulsions before our eyes. they will pay, won't pay, heir going to pay half, they're not going to pay any, whatever it is. you'll have more and more about this. most notably about corzine, and i don't think people understand this, is that corzine's default, his nonpayment was the first nonpayment of an investor-grade financial institution -- so, he was deemed to be -- they're not going to pay. it's the first time there's been a default of a financial institution with that caliber of ranking since washington mutual did it in september of 2008. so in other words, the credit agency's inability to anticipate a massive risk explosion on a level where something that looks good, jimmy, isn't. it's like financial landç mine are distributed around the earth, and quite honestly,
nobody can answer the question as to where the risk is or who's going to pay for it? >> what's the consequence for that, dylan? >> well, for corzine individually? the consequence for the distributed risk is a decision by the central bank in europe, the central bank in america, to continue to print money on some mechanism, because the only way to prevent the calamity of those defaults, whether it's in for the pension system in greece or the pension system in italy or whatever it is, is to go to the currency market, whether it's the euro or the dollar or asian currencies, and manufacture it from scratch, like niro did in rome in -- they're like, we're in rome, what are we going to do? we've got nothing to eat? why don't you print some more coins so people can buy food. people can't quantify the risk. >> we were talking about this earlier, dylan. the thing that struck me as you were laying it out is, here jon corzine made this decision to take this kind of risk with
people's pensions after everything that's already happened, which all of the changes over the last couple of years are supposed to be preventing or at least telling -- >> here's something that i'll say in defense of jon corzine, is we do not know that jon corzine believed what he was doing was risky. >> how could you not? >> but standard & poor's didn't think what he was doing was risky. standard & poor's -- but the point is, there is a delusion in this, jimmy, of distributed risk theory, that these people still subscribe to, even in the face of mathematical rejection of the philosophy, over and over again, and yet the ratings agencies ha1 jon corzine investment grade. no problem, no warning, no signals, no nothing. jon corzine, been through the political system, in the democratic establishment. >> sat on the banking committee. >> but also a governor who understands the implications -- >> and the fact that he tried to
sell it off and he would have gotten a $12 million package as a result is just crazy. >> but think about it through the lens of somebody who actually believes it's not that risky. which is what the ratings agencies were telling him. >> i would like to point out that there's a problem here. we have a bernie madoff jr., and that's what this is -- >> well, i mean, i think the -- >> money has gone missing. >> fair. but i believe to say that is explosive and distracting in a sense that i could then get dragged down a rabbit hole of what jon corzine did with money and lose sight of the global x distraction. >> i'm not talking about jon corzi corzine. here's what i want to know. where was the regulator when bernie madoff did what he did? silent. where is the regulator now? i'm not blaming the principle regulator, i'm just saying, the system -- >> what about dodd/frank? where's the risk management. >> people said the volcker rule was a bad idea win suggest to you if that was your pension
fund, maybe the volcker rule wouldn't be such a bad idea at this point in time. >> well, we're all learning in public, that's for sure, and i have to take that as encouraging, actually, because the more we're aware of these issues, these things can be resolved. they've been resolved in the past. you just can't resolve them if you don't talk about them. thank you for having the conversation with me. the panel stays. our specialist joins the conversation and answers the question, now, this ink about t last two conversations we've had here. so, you know, it's a little bit of a thing there. but what would our foundingç fathers think of america today? an author who believes he is channeling james madison joins us after this. is this a chevy volt? [ stu ] yeah. it's electric. i don't think so. it's got a gas tank right here. electric tank, right over here.
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thomas jefferson, james madison. famous founding fathers for this country. icons, if you will. if they were alive today,ç wha would they think of the nation they created for all of their scandal and dysfunction? that's the question that our specialist, richard brookhiser, senior editor at the "national review," and author of the new book about america's fourth president entitled "james madison," joins us right now. what would be your best guess, richard? >> in terms of scandals, they would say, you have cleaned it up. politics is quiet -- >> hallelujah! >> it's saner, it's less crazy. journalism is more sober and more honest. >> go ahead. >> wow. >> and what would -- give us some of the anecdotal examples that might be offered up by one of these gentleman to offer the proportionality of the improvement that we now benefit from. >> well, the first casualties in the war of 1812, which is when madison was president, were americans who were killed in a
riot in baltimore, soon after war was declared. because baltimore and maryland were divided city and state, politically, and madison's enemies, that was the federalist party, they had a newspaper in baltimore, bitterly, bitterly, bitterly anti-war. a mob tore the building down. so then the publishers in the newspaper decide, we're going to rent a second building, but we're going to arm ourselves next time. >> like we do here at msnbc. >> well, do you have a cannon? they actually had a cannon. when the mob broke in that building, they fired and killed someone. then the mob increases like ten times. they're taken to the jail to protect them. that's the only place -- the mob breaks in the jail and tortures them for hours. >> fellow americans who are political opponents, effectively? the motivation was political? >> it was all political riot, basically. >> if that's our standard, we are doing better. >> we're doing prettyç good. high five, high five, over here.
over here. >> here's a question. just sort of thinking about james madison and the concept of a centralized government and a federal system, three branches of government, and yet in our politics today, the constitution is really being used, it feels more to tear the condition apart in terms of challenging this issue of state's rights around immigration laws or some of the redistricting that's going on, some of the voter legislation that's going. what do you think the founding fathers would think about the interpretation that's being used currently in our political system of what the intention of the constitution is, in terms of our centralized federal system of government? >> well, you know, they disagreed about the interpretation themselves. i mean, they disagreed among themselves and only, you know, a few years after the constitution was written, some of the very people who were together in philadelphia that summer are disagreeing over what it meant. i mean, that doesn't mean they
weren't originalists, but they were all different kinds of originalists. and madison takes on, you know, his former friend, alexander hamilton, the two of them write the federalist papers together. then four years later, they're quarreling over whether it's constitutional to have a central bank. you know, and hamilton, yes, it is. madison says, no, it isn't. and this is at the very beginning of things, and it just keeps on going. >> banking's always a problem. >> these banks, from the get-go. >> that's why madison basically started the first political party, was as a result of that feud. >> to slow down alexander hamilton, his former friend, what do i do? he forms the first american national political party, which he calls the republican party. now, that's not today's republican party. that's a different organization. but his republican party, 30 years later, becomes the democratic party. so that is the ancestor to today's democrats. >> which proves there's really
no difference between the parties. >> well, you know, people took it -- >> he just proved my point! >> people took it very -- you know, another way in which we've cleaned it up and made it better is that politicians are not killing themselves, each other today. remember when dick cheney shot that manhunting? >> yeah, in the face? >> well, that was an accident and he lived, but vice president aaron burr fought a dual with former treasury secretary alexander hamilton and killed him. and hamilton was not the only signer of the constitution to be killed in a duel. >> so accepting the anecdotes, that the behavior was, obviously, we were more willing to indulge in murder of one another to solve our problems, so that is clear. at least on a small scale. at least in the political theater. at the same time, to karen's point about the aspirations for the integrity of the decision making system, forget who had the power, forget for a moment,
you know, north, south, and land and all the issues that were obviously in play, what is your assessment of the aspirations of the population, the aspirations of both the 1% and the 99%, the power and the people, and the surrounding press and whatever the ambient sort of noise machine of the day was, and its aspirations to the integrity of three branches of government, representational democracy, my district, your district, we're going to honorably sit asç men and women around this table in a circle and we'll work it out and we'll work to the best solutions and liberty will take its hits and we will move forward. how will we compare the current aspirations that we preview today to what sort of our relationship to those aspirations are historically? >> well, i have to say, it's always a mixed bag. i mean, it is a mixed bag today. you find people going into each other's throats and you find
people behaving honorably, but you saw that back then. and madison, part of his brilliance, is he's one of the first of the founders to see that parties were going to be a feature of this system. because, of course, they're not mentioned in the constitution, and a lot of the founders thought they could rise above partisanship. but madison is the first one to kind of break out of that cocoon and say, no, parties are going to be part of this also. and he, you know, he foresees this world that we're in, and he embraces it. >> would he expect more parties today? >> you mean, more than two? two seems to be kind of a natural number. we've, you know, through history, sometimes they break down and there's more, but it always kind of coalesces back to two. >> but two, you're good to go. >> how did you fund elections back then? >> it was a lot cheaper. >> well, hell, everything was a
lot cheaper. slaves were a lot cheaper, i'm sure. all these white dudes owning people, for god's sake. >> but the only media there was was newspapers. >> pamphlets. >> well, newspapers. there were actually daily, you know, daily newspapers in big cities, but that's it. and the population, we're talking like 3, 4, 5 million ç people. it's a much tinier country. so the whole scale of what you have to spend -- >> and not everybody could vote. >> and not everybody could vote. >> some people could vote 3/5s, oh, you're not a person, you are, he owns land, we've got to let him vote. you've made me feel fantastic. i was very concerned. we started with the whole bought justices, that sounded pretty terrible. then looked at the whole financial shenanigans, sounds awful. it's not that bad. >> same as it ever was. >> they're just killing you on the air waves instead of shooting you in your face. >> perseverance will get you there that. >> congratulations, richard. the book, james madison, a
reason to feel good about today, because it was screwed up then too, i don't know what to tell you. put me in charge of your book sales, richard. i'll get this thing sold, no problem. straight ahead, good night to the panel, but a sugar high for all of us. some sweet numbers from all the halloween festivities and why the fun is simply not over yet. [ groans ] [ marge ] psst.
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i want candy, indeed. that must have been the theme song of this year's halloween, where americans burned through an all-time record $2.3 billion worth of their favorite treats. not just the candy, do we have a vampire-like appetite for my friends, it's the costumes. other decorations, blinking lights, whatever frightful parties you may have conjured yourself. all told, the bill for all of us comes to $7 billion in the old
retail economy, and it's not even over yet. power outages forced many towns to push halloween back a couple of days, making thousands of young trick-or-treaters postpone their sugar highs until this friday. which means those bags of candy laying around your house, that means they're going to be there an extra week and getting another round of trick or treating. and if you're like me and don't trust yourself around all those little mini snickers and butter fingers, there are programs like the halloween candy buyback, an operation that will buy that candy off our hands and put it in care packages to service men and women abroad. and that is rather sweet. next here, the rich getting richer. but not just on wall street, as we all know. in the actual halls of capitol hill. award-winning journalist katherine krier on what it means for our political system, after this.ç what's better than gold ? free gold ! we call that hertz gold plus rewards. you earn free days, free weeks and more fast.
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is best absorbed in small continuous amounts. only one calcium supplement does that in one daily dose. citracal slow release... continuously releases calcium plus d for the efficient absorption my body needs. citracal. well, the last two years have been touch on the average american. home prices continue to decline, foreclosure rates continue to decline. joblessness continues to climb. two wars. the bills and casualties continue to climb. endless, fruitless posturing. meanwhile, from those chosen to lead us in the democratic establishment and the republican establishment, 94% of the time, remember, the politician who raises the most money wins.
so the whole two-party democracy thing is kind of just for fun. you know who hasn't been tough on, though? is those bought politicians. new analysis out today revealing that during the last two years, since the financial crisis, long after all that stuff, the net worth, the average net worth of each individual in the house, each sitting congressperson, each senator, has increased by an average of 25%. are you 25% richer today than you were two years ago? the staggering value for this very small and elite group now $2 billion in personal worth, according to "roll call." it is no wonder that our next guest says she is not only frightened by the growing disconnect, but enraged and engaged. to that end, the well-being of our citizens is at stake, all of it because of the current dysfunction of a government that is simply sold at auction. we're breaking it down with catherine crier, the youngest
state judge in texas history, which is saying something. an award-winning journalist as well with an emmy. i consider being on the judicial -- the judge in texas. that's when they knew you were something to deal with. >> got to watch out, darling. watch out. >> listen, we knowç the story. i'm interested. the book is entitled "patriot acts." and you say, what america must do to save the republic. so this is an empowering view of the issues. i'm interested in how you're seeking to direct my energy and everybody else's energy as we confront these issues. >> well, you have taken the biggest step of all, and that is, talking to your viewers, talking to the audience about the importance of a constitutional amendment to get money out of politics, corporate money out of politics, because right now, both democrats and republicans are serving the big corporate givers. they're not serving the constituents that sent them to congress. and if we don't have a representative government. it's over, right there. done deal. so we've got to start there and
that would be my number one -- >> it was interesting, at the beginning of the show, we spoke with landon rowland, the former chairman at janus capital, what i would consider a true american entrepreneur, in the true sense, compared to the modern sense that we were talking about moments ago. and he's done a tremendous amount of work of exposing money in the judicial system, in selecting the state judges, in selecting the county judges, in selecting the people that actually administer the rule of law. >> been there, done that. read your piece in "the huffington post" today. excellent piece. >> how worried should we all be about that? >> you should be very, very worried, because we can go back in tree and look at the political relationships that inspidi inspired a lot of judicial decisions. there was a whole era in there, several days ago, where basically judges were a little bit too influenced by politics.
and you could see the decision resulted. and what we don't seem to understand is that those things are on the books, those things then drive our politics for decades, if not centuries, and we're stuck. and what has happened, there's a direct line between sort of buying and influencing the judiciary and the problems we're having today. >> so i want to talk about the actual net worth of our congress. the house net worth in 2008, $1 billion, which is right at the peak of the financial crisis. that's the personal net worth of the financial and real estate holdings of the individuals who serve in the house of representatives, correct? >> orpersonal financial responsibilities, et cetera, $1 billion. two years later, massive housing dl decline, house, $1.26 billion. that's pretty good. i would like to have them run my money. senate net worth, $651 million.
there's only 100 of them, so that's still good money. 2010, two years later, up to $784 million. i actually think that the senators' return is a little better. >> i saw a story several months ago, and didn't see a follow-up on this, and that was beginning to look at just the stocks, the investments, the ipos, the insider trading that was going on on capitol hill. now, where is the rest of that investigative piece? beyond the numbers, we need to know how day got access, how they knew when to trade, and how they got the increase in their accounts. because there'story there, and the ending. >> the thing is, and remember, in covering both the health care health reform process, and i believe there was a young executive professional working for -- in senator max baucus' ç office, excuse me, from wellpoint, which was one of the monopoly health insurance companies, who was really administering a lot of drafting
and framing of the legislation. meanwhile, in senator chris dodd's office during financial regulation, it was once again a former, i believe, jpmorgan executive who was working with senator dodd in framing the, for instance, credit default swap market regulation, which as jon corzine and others are showing us, doesn't seem to be as reliable as everybody might want it to be. how do we get into a situation where this is happening and where are we in american history that we're sort of seeing this, all this obviously corruption, which we've seen it before. >> it's the banana republic, right? >> we have been here before. this country had slaves -- >> do you remember when bill clinton came into office, the first week he was in office, he said, i am going to ban the revolving door for the upper level officials, at least for the four-year term. so you had to wait five years before -- >> love that idea. >> what'd he do the week before he left office? repealed the ban. >> convenient. >> all the buddies.
so it's not -- it's republicans, it's democrats. it's incestuous within the system. >> how much does our obsession, the media's obsession and our own individual obsessions with how we are different -- you're different than me. you're a conservative texas judge and i'm a liberal hillbilly from upstate new york or whatever it is, and i look for all the differences. how much is our obsession with those differences preventing us from recognizing the incredibly shared common interest that you and i and every other person in this country have. >> here's an example. i write about it in the book. the tea party started out in the right direction, right? >> wonderful. i was one of them when they started. i was çlike, here we go. >> not just wall street. the marriage of wall street and government. and they got it. then, of course, they were deflected. >> the bank regulation comes, where's the tea partyers? >> the 99ers out there occupying wall street. the message, the conversation is so integrated. but what happens? divide and conquer. if the politicians can divide
and keep the public distracted, oh, no, it's really the wall streeter -- you know, the occupiers against the tea party -- oh, no. same agenda, guys. we've got to understand that if they can keep us divided, they can conquer and own the government. but if we ever understand how much we have in common and that all of the american people are being cheated of their constitutional republic, of this democracy, then the politicians will get really nervous. >> and we have -- if we just think about looking for what we have in common, and all of us have so much more in common than we don't. >> that's right. >> it's a pleasure. thank you. >> thank you. >> "patriot acts" is the book, catherine crier is the author, what americans must do to save the republic. a pleasure. coming up on "hardball," is bizarre behavior by the republican presidential candidates killing their chances? that, of course, depends on how you define bizarre.
and more chris matthews as he hosts the show right here in new york city. but first, david goodfriend with a daily rant on how we can all truly honor our troops. the employee of the month is... spark card from capital one. spark cash gives me the most rewards of any small business credit card. it's hard for my crew to keep up with 2% cash back on every purchase, every day. 2% cash back. that's setting the bar pretty high. thanks to spark, owning my own business has never been more rewarding. [ male announcer ] introducing spark the small business credit cards from capital one. get more by choosing unlimited double miles or 2% cash back on every purchase, every day.
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here with the daily rant is our friend, david goodfriend. hi, david. >> hey, dylan. something has changed in the occupy movement, and it changed last week. scott olson, a 24-year-old two-tour iraq war veteran, while standing quietly in front of a row of police officers preparing to disperse and occupy oakland gathering was hit in the head by what appeared to be a tear gas canister fired from police lines. olsen remains in the hospital with a skull fracture and
impaired speech. hopefully he will have a full recovery. his fellow marines are rall]'g around their brother, semper fie. his fellow iraq veterans are doing the same. the oakland police department are claiming that none of their members fired a projectile at scott olsen. something changed last week. what by most accounts had become a nationwide movement from people of all walks of life turned violent. oakland was not the only city to witness this. government officials in multiple jurisdictions decided it was time to clear out the protesters. i guess, because too much peaceful assembly in one place is a threat to keeping the peace. someone was bound to get hurt. scott olsen has become the face, the symbol of who got hurt. the thing is, though, he's a marine corps veteran, and this makes all the difference. we love to celebrate our men and
women in uniform. think of a football game. the fighter jets fly overhead, the colorguard presents the colors, the veterans are in the stands to be recognized, veterans are invited on to the field to meet the players, we see video of our brave men and women stationed in iraq or afghanistan as they watch the game and wave to loved ones back home. professional sports uses military imagery and personnel as a metaphor, something we all can relate to. let's cheer for the men on the old line, just as we cheer for our men and women on the front line. hoorah! and so it is, with occupy. the irony of scott olsen surviving two tours in iraq only to be injured by police at home while exercising his first amendment right, a right he was fighting to protect, is lost on no one. the the fact that marine corps veterans see injustice in their country's income disparity or in the lack of jobs for returning military personnel or the
outrageous cost of paying for college means that this isn't just a bunch of crazy hippies banging drums, it's a wide swath of america, including america's heroes, saying something is wrong. you want to really treat our men and women in uniform like heroes? i suggest we start by listening to them. get well soon, scott olsen. >> i just had a conversation, david, with catherine crier, who was discussing the need for all of us -- she's, again, originally the youngest judge in texas, okay? >> right. >> and was discussing the need for all of us in this country to expand and reach out to one another, to find that which we share in common as opposed to exploit that which we do not. >> correct, correct. >> and i feel like what you just spoke to represents that. >> yes, absolutely! i mean, look, dylan, we have in our history here in the united
states examples going way back of efforts to separate us because together, we're a little too powerful. and i'll give you one example. you think about the south pre-civil war, and then during the civil war, why on earth would a poor white farm worker want to fight to preserve slavery? well, the whole art of racism was to make that group of people fight with the wealthy land owners. and it survives to this day. racism was used to preserve an economic system. so today, as catherine crier was saying, you put together the tea party with the occupy movement, you've got something çvery, ve powerful. the tactic that will be used against that is division. and i hope it doesn't work this time. i think we all have a lot more in common with each other than people in power would like us to know. >> and it would seem that it's only our intention each day as