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tv   Martin Bashir  MSNBC  November 16, 2011 12:00pm-1:00pm PST

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we begin with the race for 2012 and newt gingrich rising in the polls. will all that baggage end up weighing him down? his saddle bags were already laden with half a million in tiffany jewels, emotional and social baggage from his three marriages and years adultry. not to mention bags full of hypocrisy from his days as speaker. wait, there is so much more. a new bloomberg report shows gingrich was paid at least $1.6 million in consulting fees by mortgage lender freddie mac. the same mortgage giant that newt and his fellow republicans have blamed for causing the financial crisis. now, before you slap him with the l wordç lobbyist, that is, gingrich says he merely played
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historian. warning freddie mac of troubles to come. >> i offered advice. my advice as an historian when they walk in and said we're now loan to people with no credit history and have no record of paying back anything but that's what the government wants us to do, i said to they will at the time. this is a bubble. this is insane. this is impossible. >> yes, that was when we thought it was just $300,000 that newt earned. by the way, bloomberg looked into his claims and found no evidence whatsoever that he ever warned the company that its business model was suspect. however, he was retained to try and gin up support for freddie mac among republicans. and $1.6 million? gosh, isn't that a bit much for a history lesson? >> is it $1.6 million correct? >> i don't know. we're going back to check. >> it sounds like a whole lot more than being an historian. >> i was speaker of the house and a strategic adviser. >> so he denies lobbying while
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justifying such a large fee because he was speaker of the house. he did not mention the $1.6 million he earned when he railed against democrats' ties to fannie and freddie at a new hampshire debate last month saying they deserved jail time. >> the fix was put in by the federal government. if you want to put people in jail, i want to second what michelle said. start with barney frank and chris dodd and let's look at the politicians who created the viral, the politicians who profited from the environment and the politicians who put this country in trouble. >> yes, indeed. mr. gingrich. let's go now to capitol hill whereç congressman barney fran is thankfully not in handcuffs. good afternoon, sir. >> good afternoon. >> newt gingrich called for your good self to be tossed into jail following the financial crisis in 2008 but he never mentioned once that he had earned almost $2 million from freddie mac when he called for your
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incarceration. can i have your response, sir? >> it's part of a pattern in which the republicans who were the ones responsible for fannie mae and freddie mac during the bad times incredibly tried to blame us. newt gingrich was speaker of the house in 1995 through 1998 for four years. during that period, he never moved anything to restrain fannie mae and freddie mac. his fellow republicans continued to control fannie mae and freddie mac until the end of the 2006. george bush tried to get congress to do something about fannie mae and freddie mac, although he was contradictory there and the republicans refused. nothing happened to restrain those two entities from doing things they shouldn't have been doing until chris dodd became chair of the committee. if you read the book by bush's secretary of the treasury, hank paulson, he acknowledges that we were the ones who work for him and put it into conservatorship. and the one who now runs it says once we did that, we the democrats, there have been no
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losses since then. as to mr. gingrich, the notion that he was being paid $1.6 million for history is ludicrous. by the way, he refutes that himself when he said i got that money because i had been speaker of the house. i do not believe that having been speaker of the house has ever been held to enhance your credentials as an historian. if it enhances yourç worth, its as a lobbyist. he was one of republicans hemmed the republicans not do anything about fannie mae and freddie mac. then they blame us. >> i'm sorry to repeat the question to you but i wondered if i could have your reaction, now that you know about this $1.6 million from the same man who wanted yourself and mr. dodd to be thrown into jail. >> that's part of their effort to blame us. poor policy judgment wouldn't be a crime but the point is this. he and his party, he personally and then his party were in power during a period when all the bad
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things were happening in the house. and in the senate. they did nothing. so it's the pattern of his trying to blame us. in fact, in 2007 which is when dodd and i became the chairs, we acted as mr. paulson points out, and put it into receivership. so again, gingrich blaming us because the republicans didn't do this. by the way, george bush in 2004 told fannie mae and freddie mac to buy more loans. by the way, gingrich gets it wrong themselves don't make loans, they buy loans made by other people. they bought loans made by others. bush said they should buy more ploens were made to people below the medium income and we objected to that. we enacted legislation to ban the kind of bad loans that were getting us into trouble. the right wing opposed us. we passed legislation to stop the bad loans, the no documentation loans over the objections of the republicans. gingrich was gone by then but
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his colleagues on the republican side opposed us. >> officials familiar with his work at freddie mac say that his role had nothing to oç with lectures in history. and everything to do with building relationships with republicans on capitol hill. i have to ask you. isn't that lobbying? >> oh, yes, he's a lobbyist. you talk about the "l word with newt. lobbyist and liar. mr. gingrich was reprimanded for lying. he has a history of doing that. and this is nonsense that he was being paid $1.6 million and maybe more to talk about history. to talk about the trans continental rail roads. he was clearly there as a lobbyist. you don't enhance your academic credentials by having been speaker. what you enhance is your value as a lobbyist. >> is this not, sir, another case of shameless hypocrisy from mr. gingrich?
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just as he condemned president clinton's infidelity, while committing it himself. here he is condemning you and democrats and pocketing $1.6 million. >> no question. look, he was twice repry imagined by the house. i was repry mouhameded once for inappropriate behavior sexually. he was reprimanded for his dishonesty on a couple of occasions. and this is a consistent pattern with hill. of lying. and again, this notion that he was not a lobbyist. i am impressed, i guess, with the gall of the man to say that because he was a formerer a spe and they gave him $1.6 million but it was to talk about the transcontinental çrailroad. >> you said mr. dwigingrich is liar and a lobbyist but he wants to be president. >> i have to say that my
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former -- he was the luckiest man in the world to use another l word. the republicans don't like him very much. the poor man has been trying to get a date for the prom from the republicans for, since 2008. and they really don't like hill. but everybody else shoots himself in the foot. shoots himself in the head. and gingrich was the latest one. you know, i'll reminded of the great fighter joe lewis who was so good, they had trouble finding opponents for him. in romney's case, he is kind of mediocre but they have problems finding an opponent. they call at this time bum of the month. every month another third rate fighter would come in. he is becoming the bum of the month club. you get rick perry who cannot remember what he men to say about this and that. you get herman cain, michele bachmann earlier, newt. he is a very, very lucky man because he is apparently going to be the republican nomination by default.
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and i guess it is by, it is the fault of everybody else but his. >> i have to say bum of the month is a new one on me. can i just ask you, there are hearings today on the very issue of freddie mac and fannie mae. but i understand he won't be mentioning once in those hearings the fact that his friend night gingrich got $1.6 million to give advice, or give historical perspective. >> mr. issa gets pretty good marks in the hypocrisy league. he said president obama was wrong because he did not subjecç fannie mae and freddie mac to the same restrictions on bonuses for the t.a.r.p. money. the republicans ran both houses of congress for 12 years and they try to act as if we were in charge. but in 2009, the committee i chaired passed a bill that said
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with regard to the fannie mae and freddie mac and the t.a.r.p. recipients, no bonuses. the kind of bonuses that are now being paid that mr. issa is so exercised about, we brought a bill to the floor and guess who voted against it. mr. issa. he voted against legislation in 2009 because he was a reflexive partisan. i don't know whether he was for it or against it. he is now complaining about a practice that would have been outlawed by a bill that he voted against. >> amazing. sir, we have to draw this interview to a close even though it has been both illuminating and entertaining. you've been in the house since 1980. you know newt gingrich probably certainly in relatively close proximity, very well. what are we to make of this man as we proex the presidential primaries in. >> well, i think he is fundamentally and intellectually
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dishonest. he is a man who was known not for any particular commitment of principal but for someone who wanted to get ahead politically. a number of very thoughtful conservatives with whom i disagree and whom i respect greatly. ron paul is one such one. newt gingrich never stood for anything other than his own advance. and he was very clever about that. he is also by the way the one who introduced the currentç lel of vitriol into our politics. he came in and decided that this notion of tip o'neill and ronald reagan being cooperative, of minority leader working with the democrats, that was wrong. and he crusaded to say, look, we are enemies. the democrats are bad people. and in fact carried that out on the other hand, it was unusual that he got to be speaker in 1995 and by 1998, he was forced out as speaker. that doesn't happen very often. there is a lack of ethical core to the man that as bright as he thinks he is, and he is not as
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smart as he thinks he is, it betrays him. >> congressman barney frank, thank you so much this afternoon for joining us. when we come back, from newt to herman. the holidays have come early this year. what's better than gold ? free gold ! we call that hertz gold plus rewards. you earn free days, free weeks and more fast. that's a plus. upgrade your ride. that's a plus. rewards with no blackout dates so you can redeem anytime. and it's easy to redeem your points online. already a gold member ? just select gold plus rewards in your profile and start rewarding yourself now. just go to to join. hertz gold plus rewards.
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let's be clear that two l words, lobbyist and liar. >> that was congressman barney frank just moments ago on this
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broadcast labeling newt gingrich with the l word twice over. referring to the $1.6 million that he earned from freddie mac. let's bring in our panel for now. contributor overjoanne reed. liar and lobbyist. what do you think? >> it's funny. you could add ladies. he is somewhat of a serial wife replacer. >> you are on the alliteration. >> i have to go with the flow.ç barney frank knows him very well. and newt gingrich is out there now because i think a lot of republicans have a very short memory. he was not popular as speaker. not popular with the house caucus. this is that a guy against whom there were some 80 ethics complaints or more while he was speaker and was forced out in '98. his fundamental argument is flawed. if you want to blame somebody for the mortgage meltdown, why not blame phil graham who got
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rid of the protections that prevented banks from using themselves as a casino. >> it is really hard to figure out whether, how problematic it is for newt gingrich. his past is flawed, as we know. now we discover that all the things that he said about democrats complaining about freddie mac, complete hypocrisy. he was earning almost $2 million. >> just to stick with the alliteration on the ls, this guy has more personal drama has lindsey lohan. whether you look at his ethics issue, his personal behavior during the impeachment of president clinton, his lobbying which he has explanations on. even the major issues on where he has been on climate warming, on the mandates with respect to health care, he's been on a whole series of issues. he has three different positions on every issue. watching these republican candidates, it is like watching
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a bad dracula movie. each of these guys can take about ten minutes of sunshine before they wither. and i agree with barney. i think it looks more and more like romney will be the nominee. only because looking at these chain of fools, you know, look at obama's null in the last month since we've been talking about the ill motionç of cain d perry and now i think what inevitably will happen with gingrich. obama has gone up ten points in the gallup polls. most are saying it looks like a star trek convention. >> they're talking about the president's polling. in material of gingrich, we have a new poll today that shows gingrich and obama neck in neck. even closer head to head match-up than the president versus mitt romney. so what does that tell you? does that tell that you the american republican voting group of people have no memory whatsoever? >> i think it tells that you it is sort of meaningless at this point. i think that any of these guys polled against barack obama is just a stand-in for generic
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republican. the american people are not really paying attention specifically to any of them except for whichever one is behaving crazily in the front. everyone is paying attention to 9-9-9 and herman cain. you stack him against him and you get a real number. people clearly don't remember much about newt gingrich and he is a campaign number. >> his half million credit at tiffany's, he has taken a cruise in greece and a campaign swing around hawaii. he is on the trail with his books and dvds. it's hard, is it not? to shake the view that his entire career, particularly his political career has been about making money and filling his own bank account. >> quite a bit. as i said, this guy has more baggage than a check encounter at the airport. when you look at what he has done since he left the speakership. first the speaker from 1994 to 1998, he got almost nothing
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done. he did not lead the republicans particularly effectively. and everything sinceç that tim has been about personal enrichment. if you look at the personal narrative, it is not attractive. if you look at what he's done with fannie mae since he's been out, since he got out. if you look at his and evolving positions on all the major issues, this is a guy that i think she was exactly right. he is polling well against obama only right now because he has not had the media scrutiny. thanks to shows like this and other shows that will give him the media scrutiny, those numbers will plummet quickly. within another week or two as we picked would happen with cain, as we predicted would happen with perry. >> absolutely. thank you both for joining us. much more on the race for 2012 when we come back. small businesses in austin, texas, rthing local. mason arnold runs greenling
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refuted claim from the coach mcqueary who in an e-mail wrote that he reported the alleged abuse to university police. for the very latest, i'm joined by michael isikoff on campus at penn state. and mcqueary said he had discussions with police. the state college police are now saying he did not. do we need an outside body, the federal government to get involved here? >> reporter: well, there certainly are discrepancies and mouping discrepancies between what mike mcqueary is saying in these e-mails and what he is reported to have testified to before the grand jury. in that grand jury report, it is pretty explicit saying nobody contacted the university police. mcqueary is now saying in this e-mail he did. in the grand jury report, it is pretty explicit that after observing the 10-year-old boy
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being sexually assaulted in the locker room, he was distraught and left immediately. in one of the e-mails, he said he stopped it but not physically. not clear what that means. but appears to be a discrepancy between that and the grand jury report.ç so you put these together and given that mcqueary is such a central witness in this case. at least in terms of the charges against the university officials, it does look like there are problems, potential problem here for the attorney general's office. and that may explain why yesterday they asked for a delay in the preliminary hearing against schultz and curley, the top universities charged. the defense lawyers in this case say they're outraged. you've charged our clients and now you the government are asking for a delay in the case we're ready to proceed.
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highly unusual and it does raise some pretty serious issues here. >> indeed it does. in 2008, penn state's president personally went and asked to be exempt from the state's open records act to ensure records were kept private. why would they do that? >> well, i think there's a whole range of reasons at a big institution, like lots of institutions, wants to keep the records private including personnel records. i think one issue that had arisen was how much joe paterno was boo everything paid. >> that was in 2008. a long time after first mention was made to joe paterno at least of allegations of sexual abuse. >> reporter: right. i'm just saying i think we should be cautious in drawing too direct a connection between the university president lobbying for the0o$ records
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law and this particular case. a six-year gap and we don't know that there is a relationship. there may be. there is clearly a lot we don't know. a lot of answers we don't have at this point. i'm just saying that on its face, an institution asking for closing public records is not all that unusual in my experience. >> national investigative correspondent fair and balanced as ever, michael isikoff. thank you very much indeed. >> the day's top lines are coming up. >> dr. kissinger offered to be my secretary of state. he said he's perfectly happy to be doing what he's doing. what's better than gold ? free gold ! we call that hertz gold plus rewards. you earn free days, free weeks and more fast. that's a plus. upgrade your ride. that's a plus. rewards with no blackout dates so you can redeem anytime. and it's easy to redeem your points online. already a gold member ? just select gold plus rewards in your profile
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after different topic, i paused. and i don't understand why that pause created so much quote/unquote controversy. >> wow! wow! holy [ bleep ]. >> i have never not taken responsibility for what some people perceive as mishaps, missteps or whatever the case may be. >> dr. kissinger turned my offer down to be secretary of state. he said he's perfectly happy doing what he's doing. >> you asked dr. kissinger to be secretary of state. >> no, i did not. i was not serious about asking him. i know he's retired. >> holy [ bleep ]! >> my advice as an his or the yandle when they walked in and said to me, we're now making loans to peel with no credit history and have no record of paying back anything. that's what the government wants us to do. i said at the time, this is a
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bubble. this is insane. things impossible. >> talked to republican sources who say you were up there lobbying. >> that's not true. i've never lobbied. what i tried to do over and over again was offer strategic advice in whatever they were doing. i did noç lobbying of any kind. >> did you characterize it -- >> i'll very open about the fact that i've had moments in my life that i regret. i've indicated that i've had to go to god and ask for forgiveness holy [ bleep ]! >> holy indeed. to make sense out of this nonsense, i'm joined by a professor at georgetown university. and the founder of the tea party nation. and michael, you just heard it. herman cain in a serious tone stating that he offered henry kissinger a job in his cabinet. then he tries to convince us that it was a joke. he did the sail thing with his electrified fence comment on the bored he of mexico.
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he said we need a sense of humor. why does he keep doing this? >> i don't know. the foot-and-mouth disease that won't stop. he keeps opening up, the foot keeps getting inserted and then he tries to retract and back up. the point is that if you're ready for prime time and you're a serious candidate, jokes are appropriate when humor is called for. but not to dismiss our legitimate concern about what you mean. saying that you're going to invice kissinger and then saying i was joeging. saying you're going to electrify the fence and saying you were joking. how are we to tell the difference? part of the problem is that herman cain has been caught up in a whirlwind of an incredible magnitude that has focused on him and programs it is revealing some of the flaws, some of the holes in his own approach and he has to really think about what he has to say. and being caught off guard, i'm in so much different rooms with so many things coming at me. that's the name of what itç mes to be a president, mr. kaib.
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get ready. you should have been ready already. >> i think that's a generous description. you recently called for herman cain to leave the field. even before his libya gaffe. why was that? was it the sexual harassment allegations that worried you? >> it was not the allegations themselves. but it was the way that he and his campaign handled it. i watched what they were doing. i'm sorry. like herman cain but it is clear. he was just not ready for prime time. until all right. "the new york times" reports today that some veteran republicans are beginning to worry. the overall republican brand is being seriously damaged. one called at this time field animal house. this is what representative barney frank said on this broadcast a few minutes ago. listen to this. >> romney is becoming the inheritor of the bum of the month chuck. you get newt. you had michele bachmann earlier. again, he is very, very lucky
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man. he is apparently going to be the republican nomination by default. >> juddson, is it fair to call mitt romney the bum of the month? >> i don't think it is fair to call any of them the bum of the month. that's low class. but then again it's barney frank saying that so i'm not surprised. >> you get the idea. he was suggesting a different analogy to the flavor of the month. and you've seen multiple individuals, michele bachmann, rick perry, herman cain and now newt gingrich is back up there. we'll come to newt in a moment. is he not right? >> that republicans are bums? >> no, no. that every month there is a differentç competitor for the front-runner alongside mitt romney. >> oh, sure. this has been a particularly volatile election cycle. but you know what? if you remember back four years ago, everybody was saying it was going to be a fred thompson, rudy giuliani race. and look where the two of them ended up. so the republican electorate is
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sorting itself out. they're at each of the candidates. each is getting a good bit of time to be examined. to have people see what they stand for, what their track record is. i don't have a problem going from candidate to candidate to candidate. what i want to see at the end of the day is a very good candidate who can stop mitt romney and key feet barack obama. >> you heard barney frank. i believe he was referring to joe lewis talking about who the bum of the month was going to be. what's your reaction to what he suggested? >> i'll take him at his metaphoric license. he wasn't calling them bums. he was saying unless they meant the new brother of the the microscope. he is talking about people who are competing for the job of bging the nominee of the republican party. that by default, by remaining alone, that mr. romney is the last man standing.
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that these other people flit up and down. they receive spikes in terms of polls and then they decline. what he is suggesting is that mr. romney is steady and persistent. by attrition he will be the last person remaining. i think that mr. phipps is absolutely right. that the republicansç have the right to destruct in public. the reality is that as they fight for the candidates who will rep they will, there is no great deal of enthusiasm for mr. romney. becoming presidential nominee by default is different than by acl acclimation. >> here's a clip from your last appearance on this show when you and i made a friendly wager. watch this. >> i've come out and publicly everybody dorised newt gingrich. >> newt gingrich? he's never going to win the
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nomination. come on! >> really! do you want to bet a nice steak dinner on that? >> i will hold you to that wager on dinner. >> just tell me how you like your steak. >> are you still up for that steak dinner? and michael, would you like to join us? >> i'll join you. i'm carniverous. i have a steak in that plate and a dog in that fight. >> thanks so much for joining us. >> thank you. make mine medium rare. >> i will. >> let's turn now to the president and his trip to secure america's role as the dominant force in the pacific. or his trip to -- well, i'll leave sean hannity of fox news to explain and then we'll decide. >> for much of the week the president has been rein beautiful hawaii under the guise of the apex summit. he's at the golf course with friends, he's hosting
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fund-raisers but it is the republicans who are to blame -- >> hold on, hold on. could you just scrollç back to those friends the president is being golfing with? yes. if i'm not mistaken, that's russian president dmitry medvedev. and they were meeting in hawaii not to play 18 holes but in the president's own words, to shape a common response so we can move iran to follow its international obligations when it comes to its nuclear program. relaxing in beautiful hawaii, mr. hannity? let's try to get the facts right. the president on his revisit to the tropics, tackles an ever-rising china. 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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we'll give you the difference on a walmart gift card. what are these guys doing? [ horn honks ] could you please not honk while this guy's telling me about his chevy volt? is that that new... is that the electric car? yeah. but it takes gas too. ask him how much he spends on gas. how much does he spend on gas? how much do you spend on gas? how much do i spend on gas? if i charge regularly, i fill up like once a month. he only has to fill up about once a month. [ woman ] wow. that's amazing. today alongside the
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australian prime minister, president obama announce ad security pact that would increase u.s. military presence in australia at the start of next year. the plan is to eventually have up to a total of 2,500 american personnel on the ground in the northern territories. the bifgt deployment in australia since the second world war. he joins us now. author of the wounded giant. according to a senior administration official, this new presence will allow the united states to better respond to what they describe as humanitarian disasters and other contingencies. let's be honest. isn't this really about keeping abreast of china in that region? >> that's part of it. i think the important point here, i'm glad you came right to it.
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they were very emphatic. even as we cut the defense budget. i think that's the right policy. the question is how can we be more efficient? more clever, more creative in how we make the deployments in that part of the world and the broader persian gulf. our interests are jufl too important and theç turbulence too great to allow to us somehow pull back because we need to cut the defense budget. so you have to find ways to be more efficient and economical but you have to stay. so i think this is a pretty good decision. >> there has been immediate reaction from the china he's newspaper saying if australia uses its military bases to assist, then australia will be caught in the cross fire. the chinese are clearly worried about this development, aren't they? >> they make our job pretty easy when they say silly thing like that. to the stenlt the chinese try to bully people around in the region or ill apply that they have no business allying with
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the united states, then that tends to drive countries, even vietnam to want to beef up their partner shi partnerships with the united states. starting to encroach upon japanese territorial waters. at least they're getting along with taiwan these days which is of course the most volatile thing of all. there's an unresolved issue there as well. and to the stenl the chinese are blustery like this, they will make people think there is more of a need to negotiate with the united states. i'm not wishing for that kind of a bad relationship with china but the peel's daily or whoever it was that made that comment should think twice. that will make our job easier, not harder in material of finding bases. >> could this move also produce some benefits though economically for the united states? >> not much. i think that frankly, it costs money to have forces abroad and it doesn't cost a lot if the host country provides the bases
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and provides most of the support. so it's not a big expenditure but it is not a money maker. this may, çhowever, ease our problems right now in okinawa, japan, where we have up to 15,000 or so marines. we've been trying to relocate half of those to guam. the japanese can't figure out. it's good to look for another place where we can have marine presence and send a message that we're not going home from the we shall pacific despite our economic problems. >> michael o'hanlon, thank you very much for joining us. >> my pleasure. coming up, washington, the only city in the world where pizza is a vegetable. luck? i don't trade on luck. i trade on fundamentals. analysis. information. i trade on tradearchitect. this is web-based trading, re-visualized. streaming, real-time quotes. earnings analysis. probability analysis: that's what opportunity looks like. it's all visual. intuitive. and it's available free,
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the deadline for the so call super committee to slash the debt is now just one week away. congressman peter welsh is a congressman from vermont. i'm delighted to say he joins us
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now. good afternoon. >> there are reports the gang of six is preparing their own deficit reduction plan if it fails to have a better way to go? >> well, basically there is a lot of pessimism as to whether there's going to be anything presented by the super committee, so-called, and what the backup plan is, who knows. really everybody has an idea, but nobody's got an answer. >> let me show you what republican senator tom coburn of nebraska wrote in a report titled "subsidies of the rich and famous." this week, he says millionaires are even receiving government checks for not working. this welfare for the well off, costing billions of dollars a year, is being paid for with the taxes of the less fortunate. is he onthe only sane republica on capitol hill? >> i thought you were quoting bernie sanders. that's great. that is great. see, that's the kind of acknowledgement that -- that we
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need from some republicans, and then on our side we've got to acknowledge that we can't have health care costs going up two to three times the rate of inflation, the rate of profits and growth, and that's why many of us think the best way forward is to have a big plan and be ambitious and do $4ç trillion over ten years where in order to accomplish it you've got to put serious revenues on table, much of which can come up from cleaning up the tax code and those unfair disparities and some of which can be made by making overdue cost-containment steps in our health care programs, including medicare. so there's a policy way we can proceed. it's a political deadlock that's strangling us. >> is it your view, sir, that we're going to reach agreement in time for thanksgiving or not? >> i'm pessimistic. >> you just don't think it's possible? >> i don't see it. there's a lot of back and forth, and it looks like a pr game is being played on both sides. you know, the fact is it's a very difficult problem when you're trying to have 12 people in a small room come up with
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something that isn't getting vetted by committees and by other members of congress because that process of making the compromises is something that is painful but has to be done, in my view, more in public, but i think two things. one, if we could get back -- there are 150 of us who basically are in support of a big deal. that allows all of us to have skin in the game. secondly, we should be doing a major infrastructure program. that's an area where we could legitimately rebuild our roads and bridges, infrastructure around the country and borrow money legitimately at record low interest rates and put people back to work. there are problems that are separate and distinct, jobs and the long-term structural deficit >> i think we all agree. sir, how can your home state of vermont recovering from the damage caused by the devastating flooding last summer, and did you get the funds that you needed to repair all the bridges because, of course, ski season is upon us, isn't it? >> that's right. martin, it looks good. we've got a conference committee
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report from the house and the senate where finally we've got republicans and democrats to work togetherç and we fully funded the disaster relief program, and for vermont, something that was incredibly important, we took the $100 million cap off because our damage is in the range of $200 million. we're very optimistic. we'll vote tomorrow and it couldn't have happened without republicans and the irene coalition, and i have to thank mr. cantor and mr. boehner for their willingness to help vermont out. they got it. this was a disaster and won't political. >> congressman peter welsh of vermont offering immense praise to speaker boehner. thank you very much. >> thank you. >> and we'll be right back to clear the air.
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it's time now to clear the air, and we all know that this republican-dominated congress has chosen to oppose the president on virtually
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everything that he tries to move, from his jobs plan, to the rebuilding of american infrastructure, and they are following the lead of speaker boehner who wants to ensure that mr. obama is just a one-term president. fine, we get it. but on monday they broke even their own extraordinary record of obstruction and sheer belligerence. only this time their victim was not the president but the very health of our children. earlier this year the united states department of agriculture tried to change the nutrition guidelines for school lunch programs. this has nothing to do with politics and everything to do with the nation's obesity epidemic, where one in three children in the united states is now overweight or obese. obesity alone costs the nation $147 billion a year in direct medical charges. so, the usda wanted to limit the amount of starchy colorific
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vegetables that schools serve, including the tomato sauce on pizza as fruit and to add more green vegetables to the menus. who could possibly disagree with that? yes. appropriations committee rejected these recommendations and said they present overly burdensome and costly regulations. now, there are some who are suggesting that the real reason for why republican lawmakers opposed the change is because they were lobbied relentlessly by food companies that produce frozen pizzas and others involved in the salt and potato industries, and, of course, if the food industry entertains a congressman to a fine steak and supreme court pinot noir but we're not supposed to say no. we're not talking about rich congressmen. we're talking about the very health of our children and that's why the final word must
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go to amy dawson taggert who is the director of a group fighting hard for healthier school lunches. she says it doesn't take an advanced degree in nutrition to call this a national disgrace. thanks very much for watching. dylan is here to take us forward. dylan, it's all yours. >> i've been reading between the lines and watching the show for the past 15 minutes, martin. can i tell you what i've come away with? >> oh, boy, i hope it's positive. you know how sensitive i am. >> i'm excited to go skiing in vermont. sounds like vermont is ready to go. >> that's right. >> and got to stop making ourselves and our children so fat like a bunch of idiots. >> that is correct also. >> i'm on both of those. >> two useful points of information, do you not think, for you personally? >> two things i had not considered for myself today. i feel a little bit overweight and i feel like i need to address that in myself. >> i think you're being