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tv   The Rachel Maddow Show  MSNBC  December 2, 2011 1:00am-2:00am PST

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i'm ed schultz. "the rachel maddow show" starts right now. good evening, rachel. >> good evening, ed. thank you, my friend. and thanks to you at home for staying with us for the next hour. iowa is still 4 1/2 weeks away, but has already published a tell-all book about this year's presidential campaign.{ in this rather early book we learn the kind of details that is famous for making famous. things like mitt romney pulls the chief off his pizza before he eats it. and rick perry prefers the actress jennifer aniston to the actress angelina jolie. okay. we're also told about current front-runner newt gingrich, what he called the period this past summer when his staff quit and pundits mocked his trip to the greek islands and his six-figure line of credit at tiffany's, "the two hardest months in my life." think about that for a minute.
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one of mr. gingrich's former wives was diagnosed with m.s. one of mr. gingrich's former wives was diagnosed with cancer. mr. gingrich has been through two divorces. mr. gingrich is the only speaker of the house ever forced to pay an ethics fine, a $300,000 fine. he was basically forced out of congress in disgrace after his time as speaker. and the worst two months of newt gingrich's life, he says, are when he he got made fun of for going on a cruise and buying jewelry. in the late 1990s in england the conservative party's prime minister, john major, was in the midst of a serious challenge from the labour party headed by tony blair. one story that went around after blair beat major, after blair was elected, was that when each of these guys was asked what was the best day of your life john major answered that was the birth of his first child and tony blair answered that it was the day he was elected leader of the labour party. now, that was a possibly apocryphal story but still a sort of defining one. in britain at the time about tony blair and his rise to power.
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about tony blair as a politician. he was seen ashthis incredibly effective, incredibly nimble politician who was great at getting elected but who was also so thoroughly and desperately a politician that it was a little bit unnerving. but maybe being craven, maybe being that much of a politician was part of how skilled he was. key to tony blair's rise to power was the fact he was able to get the all-powerful rupert murdoch media machine behind him in the late '90s. rupert murdoch was just as right wing then as he is now. but his right-wing tabloid "the sun," which is as dominant in british tabloid media as fox news is anywhere cable news, tony blair convinced the conservative rupert murdoch to have the conservative "sun" tabloid get behind the blair candidacy. this right-wing paper, "the sun," endorsed the labour party and tony blair. so after nearly two decades of the labour party in exile, tony blair got rupert murdoch's backing. that helped him get elected
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prime minister. labour got to be in charge of briblt for the next decade. george w. bush got a new poodle. and we all got the iraq war. whatever you think of what tony blair did with his time in power, his rise to power was skilled, very skilled. and that skill was manifest in part with his triumph in the murdoch primary. josh marshall at the website talking points memos has been writing about this. he wrote about it this past summer and again today. the idea of the murdoch primary everybody talked about it and it's the real thing. you have to win rupert murdoch's endorsement if you want to win a national election. part of the reason britain has a conservative prime minister now when the conservative party in britain had been out in the wilderness since tony blair is because the current conservative leader you who see here, david cameron, he$rt win the murdoch primary. he got rupert murdoch and his media empire in britain to endorse the conservative party in the last election and that's part of why the toreys are now in power.
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in the united states at home there are influential rupert murdoch newspapers too. amazingly, they include the "wall street journal" now, which i have to say is still as astonishing as the day it happened. but rupert murdoch's flagship in america of course is the fox news channel. fox news is an unrivaled success in broadcast media and part of their incomparable success is due to the fact they tell their viewers don't trust anybody else. right? this is a technique that was essentially pioneered by rush limbaugh and then all of his imitators in right-wing talk radio, which is not only to just attract conservative listeners and conservative viewers by promoting conservative viewpoints but ensure that those listeners and viewers never change the channel, that they pay attention exclusively to you because on your channel you deride and essentially wage war on all other media sources that might be an alternative to you. you deride in particular the mainstream media. don't trust them. only trust us. don't touch that dial.
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that's where the whole fox news fair and balanced thing comes from. it's strategic. the basis of their business model is telling their views don't change the channel because the rest of the world is out to get you. you can only trust us. you can only watch us. and so most americans are not self-identified conservatives, but essentially all self-identified conservatives only watch fox news and won't watch anything else. and that makes them incredibly successful. it also makes them incredibly influential at times like these in american politics when the conservatives of america, the republican party and its base, are having what amounts to{ a private group discussion about who they want to put forward as the republican party's presidential nominee. today "the new york times" quotes republican governor sam brownback of kansas, who himself ran for president four years ago. he did disastrously, but he did campaign hard. he told the "times" today, "everything has changed now. it's like a town hall every day on fox news. you hear people talking back to you what you saw yesterday on fox. i like fox, and i'm glad we have
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an outlet, but it is having a major, major effect on what happens." so in the american race for the presidency in the republican party who is winning the murdoch primary here? in the leadup to the republican primary a number of the early contenders or potential contenders essentially auditioned for the murdoch primary for rupert murdoch and roger a lz over at fox news by making themselves fox news paid contributors. you had newt gingrich and rick santorum and mike huckabee and sarah palin all employed by fox news and rupert murdoch as they very publicly weighed presidential runs. now that the primary season sunder way and a few of those folks did decide to get into the race, is it possible to tell who fox news is for? and more specifically right now who are they for between newt gingrich and mitt romney? because that's who it seems to be boiling down to at least right now. this is not just who does the conservative media support broadly. this is a specific thing. i mean, there are other conservatives out there, pundits and columnists and former officials and opinion leaders who are not affiliated with fox
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news. but it's worth drawing a distinction because of the media power that rupert media has with the fox news channel. i mean, for example, right now you have a whole bunch of conservative pundits and columnists and former officials very publicly tearing newt{ gingrich apart. he's had a long career in washington and not everybody loves him. you have people like george will, the conservative columnist on abc calling mr. gingrich a rental politician. a columnist named jennifer rubin, who blogs at the "washington post," attacking mr. gingrich daily, attacking recently his grotesque hypocrisy. she's just tearing him apart on a daily basis. rush limbaugh going after mr. gingrich on his past support for an individual mandate in health reform. for the record, i should say, former republican congressman conservative who hosts the morning show on this network, joe scarborough, he said this morning that newt gingrich is not fit to be president of the united states. i say all these things, i point out all of those examples, just to show there's no means -- by no means universal conservative
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appreciation of the candidacy of newt gingrich. he's been around a long time. a lot of conservatives do not like him for a variety of reasons. but the one place you really see very little newt gingrich getting torn apart, the place you see very little newt gingrich raw criticism, is fox news. his former employer. you almost never hear this stuff on fox news. i mean, there are rare exceptions from a contributor here or there. britt hume, a former actor there who appears as a guest now, has not been all that generous toward mr. gingrich. but in general mr. gingrich is enjoying pretty favorable coverage there. according to the liberal media watchdog group media matters the only candidate who's appeared on fox news more than mr. gingrich since june is herman cain. in the last six months newt gingrich has made nearly three times as many appearances on fox as mitt romney has. now, woe be to anybody who tries to do kremlinology about how things go over there, but interior i think some signs that fox news is not all that positively disposed toward mitt
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romney an{ his potential nomination. earlier this graer, for example, the media writer howard kurtz reported in "newsweek" magazine that "three weeks after dropping out of the race tim pawlenty showed up to ask for a gig at fox but there was a complication. mr. pawlenty was on the verge of endorsing mitt romney. "i'm not sure i want to sign you as a paid spokesman for romney, ales said." another example after this week's contentious interview with mitt romney with bret baaer, mr. baaier did something relatively unusual for a straightshooting interviewer like he is. he went on another fox news show to spill the beans on how mitt romney had behaved behind the scenes of that interview. >> he was irritated by the interview after we were done. >> how do you know he was irritated? did he slap you or what did he do? >> well, he just made it clear at the end of the interview. we had a little -- >> well, tell me how he made it clear. what did he do? did he say something to you?
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>> and he said he thought it was overly aggressive. >> he did? he said that to you? he thought it was overly aggressive? >> he did. >> wow. >> and as we were walking in the walk and talk and after we finished, he went to his holding room, and then came back and said he didn't like the interview and thought it was uncalled for. >> it's not an anchor reflecting on how the interview went. that's the anchor giving you the behind-the-scenes backstage dirt that the candidate probably thought was off the record. and doing it on tv. sort of spilling the beans. bret bayier informing the entire fox news audience that behind the scenes when he was doing something that he probably thought was unreportable mitt romney is a real whiner. is it clear who's winning the{ important murdoch primary in the republican race for the nomination, who the biggest monopolistic republican operation in the country, the fox news channel-s getting behind for this nomination? i don't think you can say definitively at this point but if you want a little snapshot of where they're at right now, here's one. mitt romney and newt gingrich
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appeared on fox news within the last 48 hours. mr. romney as we just mentioned sat down with mr. bret baier. and mr. gingrich made a nearly hour locke appearance on sean hannity. and yet, mr. baier and mr. hannity are are different types of tv personalities ander, it was a different hour of the day so don't go wild with the extrapolation but looking at these appearances and knowing how important it is the murdoch endorsement is as to who gets the nomination in the republican party which of these candidates ow want it to be? as you laid your head down on the pillow and went to sleep last night after another day on the campaign trashlgs which which of these guys would you have rather been? >> the "new hampshire union leader" endorsed speaker gingrich over the weekend saying he was -- he has courage, conviction, and isn't just telling them what they want to hear. now, the editor there, joe mcquaid, confirmed that that last line was really about you. what's your reaction to that endorsement and specifically that charge about that you lack conviction? >> why do you think that you're
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the more conservative candidate? why do you think that you're more electable? >> your critics charge that you make decisions based on political expediency and not core conviction. how can voters trust what they hear from you today is what you will believe if you win the white house? >> let me ask. because it's interesting. on the other hand, you sort of take it on the role during the debates as a statesman. >> do you still support the idea of a{ mandate? do you believe that that was the right thing for massachusetts? do you think a mandate mandating people to buy insurance is the right tool? >> this interview's going great so far but -- >> do you think you have work to do to convince republican voters to trust you? >> if you could choose which republican candidate for president you could be in that one snapshot of a day on fox news, knowing how important fox news is to how -- whether or not you get the nomination, which of those candidates would you rather be right now? joining us right now is frank rich, writer at large for "new
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york" magazine. mr. rich, thank you so much for joining us tonight. i know it wasn't easy for you to be here. so thanks a lot. >> i'm delighted to be with you, rachel. >> would you rather be newt gingrich than mitt romney if you wanted to be the republican nominee for president right now? >> absolutely. and i think that the murdoch primary is extremely important. and it's not just happening on fox. it is happening in the "wall street journal." the "wall street journal" is very close to rupert murdoch's heart. its editorial page has been savage about romney for months. ridiculing him. and even sort of began to boost gingrich before the recent gingrich rise. there was a very influential piece on the op-ed page of the "wall street journal" a few weeks ago by dorothy rabinowitz, who is a member of the "wall street journal" editorial board, saying how gingrich could win. so i think gingrich is in a very, very good position and gingrich was known as being a cry baby famously in the 1990s. now can make way for the new cry
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baby, romney, who can't even survive it seems a straightforward interview on a conservative network like fox news. >> if you see a clear i guess if not alignment{ at least a preference for gingrich over romney in the murdoch primary, do you think that would be from what you know of roger ailes and rupert murder sxok how these things have worked in the past, would that be an ideological decision they like gingrich better in terms of his ideals or would that be a practical decision in terms of who can beat president obama? >> i think it's both, but i think it's most of all a practical decision. i think that there's a real feeling on the right but really throughout the political world that people just don't like mitt romney. he's like the unsally field. you know, people really, really don't like him. forget about his positions or his flip-flopping. and of course gingrich is a big flip-flopper too. there's something plastic about romney.
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and offputting. and fake. and i think the murdoch empire wants somebody who can win. they want a tony blair. they want -- as you mentioned before, they want someone who can beat a president they think can be easily beaten. and i think they feel it slipping away with romney. >> do you think that this is a year in which retail campaigning has finally slipped away in terms of its importance? i mean, part of the reason that rick perry was expected to do well is that he's good with people in person. it doesn't always translate on camera, and it definitely doesn't translate to the debates. but i know i've never seen him in person, i know from good reporters who have seen him in person he really is impressive in person eye toto eye. jon huntsman's strategy in new hampshire has been to meet voters eye to eye, to shake everybody's hands, to kiss the babies. is this a year that stopped being important and it just became a tv show? >> i think that's exactly right, and i think it's been happening for several years.{ think of, for instance, in the other party chris dodd going and sitting in
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iowa in the last cycle and doing that kind of retail politicking and getting no traction at all, much like what's gone on with huntsman. it's because really the whole world has shifted technologically in the world of facebook, twitter, social networking. it started to change really with the obama campaign. and now you have of course the importance of cable television as well, which has been going on for years. but i think that retail politicking is a real sign of what's going on as kind of a nostalgic cause of journalists, not really reality as it's being lived in the 21st century by americans. >> frank, i trust your judgment above almost everybody else i know of. absolutely everybody else i know in terms of watching the media and watching how politics gets translated through the prism of the media. given that, in your judgment is it worth paying close attention to other dynamics among the republican candidates right now,
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or is it more important to focus in on what's happening between these top two front-runners? do you think that anybody else besides gingrich and romney matters from here on out? >> i really don't. the x factor that we know, though, is could there be some coup in desperation within the republican party as the convention nears or some kind of, you know, surprise draft movement out of desperation? that of course is happening not in the media, not happening in retail politicking. but given what's officially happening, i think we're down to these two guys. and{ none of these others are going to make a comeback. you know, even if herman cain turns out to have 999 women coming out of the woodwork. i don't think it will resurrect him. >> frank rich, writer at large for "new york" magazine. thank you again for joining us tonight. frank, irail appreciate it. >> thank you, rachel. >> and i should say if you had any trouble hearing mr. rich mr., the thing in the background
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that was the noise was actually the cheering, the screaming crying cheering of liberals all over the country really excited about the prospects of newt gingrich being the republican nominee this year. we will be right back.
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critically injured by oakland police during the occupy oakland raid. he'll be joining us for "the interview." stay with us. that's coming up. m@n@=@sññ
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if you are in the eastern part of upper upstate new york and you want to drive to vermont, there's a pretty good chance that you have to drive over a bridge to get there. that's because lake champlain is
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there. it is very long. and the new york-vermont border slices it right down the middle. the crown point bridge over lake champlain was built in 1929. very exciting. it was a very big deal at the time. and for the people who live and work and commute in that area, vermont and new york, this bridge was still a really big deal in 2009. even with no local metropolis in that area, still thousands of cars use that old bridge every day to travel between those two states. but by then, by 2009, the bridge was anoctogenarian. it was 80 years old and it had deteriorated structurally. its concrete pillars were no longer sound. it was no longer safe to drive on. by the time they realized the bridge was in trouble, it really, really was in trouble and it actually had to be demolished on kind of short notice. the demolition of that bridge increased commuting times in that part of the country by hours. lake champlain is{ big. but wait, this is a happy infrastructure story. when the old bridge was blown up
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in 2009, they estimated that it would take eight years to put up the new bridge. eight years. eight years of having to drive all the way around or take a ferry to cross it. it will be ready in 2017, the new bridge? even with some delays this spring because of flooding from hurricane irene, even with one other un-related construction hiccup, i'm here to tell you the new bridge is already done, finit, complete, six years sooner than the engineers had thought possible. it is already open. but a big weekend-long celebration is planned for the new bridge in may. and wait. more good news. more good news that also includes a shout out to hurricane irene. in new york state the metro north railroad line was hit really badly by irene. major track damage. shut down 14 miles of the point gefshis line on metro north railroad. but despite that damage the port jervis line reopened this week a month earlier than they thought they'd get it done. a month early and $20 million under budget. they thought it would cost them $60 million to fix it. but instead it is expected to
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cost less than 40. the trains are already up and running. because there is still some additional work being done, trains are running a little bit slower than usual. but the additional work that is still being done is also ahead of schedule. they thought it would take -- this additional work, they thought it would take until the fall of next year. they say it will be done months early with that work too. they'll be done by june. on the subject of infrastructure, in gazniing prot province in eastern afghanistan another big construction project is going on, or at least it was. in 2008 the united states military zoided to spend $10 million to build an erjj road. 18 miles of road there between a remote district and the province's capital city in ghazni. roads are an important part of building an economy in afghanistan, connecting people to the government there, building basic services. so the u.s. military was going to spend 10 million bucks for an 18-mile road. they picked a local contractor and in 2008 they handed over the first million dollars to get the work started. the contractor started the work.
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they got about 2/4 of the first the first mile paved, 2/3 of one mile. a couple years down the road, that very short road, the u.s. military paid that afghan contractor another $3 million. and nothing. the road did not proceed. then this year, now three years into that project and $4 million into the project and with only 2/3 of a mile paved the afghan contractor said they were out of money. where did the money go? according to recent reporting from mcclatchy, "u.s. and afghan provincial officials think that two of the principals of the afghan contractor absconded to new zealand and the netherlands with cash from the company account." so $4 million spent on what was supposed to be an 18-mile-long road. what was actually built was 2/3 of a mile. and the rest of the money, your money, american taxpayer money, absconds to amsterdam. lake champlain this is not. joining us now is a united
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states senator who has just filed legislation to essentially stop large-scale u.s. military construction projects in afghanistan, to limit them to projects that cost $50,000 or less. the estimated $800 million this would kibosh in afghanistan would instead be transferred to the u.s. department of transportation to be spent on building road and bridge projects here in the united states. senator claire mccaskill of{ missouri, thank you very much for joining us tonight. i appreciate the chance to talk with you about this. >> thank you, rachel, for having me. >> is it your objection that it is a bad idea to even try to build infrastructure in afghanistan, that's not the sort of thing we should be trying, or do you think it's an okay idea but it's just not working? >> it's -- both. we can go to iraq, and the landscape is littered with projects that we built with taxpayer money, empty health care centers that are crumbling, water parks that are twisted piles of rubble. and now we're going down the same road in afghanistan. these large major infrastructure projects, we cannot secure them while we're building them.
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and the country can't sustain them after we have gone. and that's why this is a tremendous waste of money. we've never been able to show that it has any positive connection to our mission in afghanistan. it's time for to us pull that big infrastructure money out of afghanistan and put it in the united states, where we desperately need it. >> now, i know road building is not a core part of the u.s. military's mission, but i imagine that the military might not want to give up this pile of money if only because it's a big pile of money. is the pentagon against this move you're trying to make here? >> well, we haven't heard from the pentagon today. and i'm sure they won't like it. but this is the bottom line. we're spending next year in afghanistan over $100 billion. and most of that money is for personnel on the ground that are training the afghanistan military, the afghanistan police department, doing, you know, fight against taliban and the
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enemy in afghanistan. this is a small amount of the money we have there. but it's being wasted. i've{ spent five years looking at contracting in iraq and afghanistan. and frankly, i mean, we can't keep doing this over and over again and saying, you know, it will get better. it's not getting better. and we need the money here. it's time for it to come home. >> when i think about the expanded role of the u.s. military since 9/11, and it's not just counterinsurgency, it's just that we've asked the military to do so many things, and you and i have talked about this before, it makes me think about what other parts of the u.s. government have -- conceivably have responsibilities overseas. i mean, normally overseas development projects would be something that the state department would do, u.s.a.i.d. why is this something the military has been doing? i mean, to the tune of $200 million. as you say, it's a small proportion of the military funds that we're spending there. but why military at all?
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>> it began because they started with something call sirp, the incident response program. which was supposed to do little projects, the broken glass window in the storefront, doing a little humanitarian aid for a family, and then it got bigger and bigger and really this year for the first time they actually requested an afghanistan infrastructure fund to get at these larger projects so they don't have to abide by the limit that we have in that initial program. so this is like the son of sirp. we've never done this before. ever. our country has never turned over major reconstruction projects to the united states military. it's unprecedented. i don't think it's healthy. i don't think it's working. and i think we need to be honest about that and move forward. >> if the state department did decide that building something in afghanistan was in america's interest, would your bill affect the state department's{ ability to do something like this or would you be effectively returning this to the way it used to be, which is this is something u.s.a.i.d. should handle?
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>> there's nothing in this bill that limits the state department's ability to build projects in afghanistan. having said that, i can give you a couple of projects. i can give you a power plant in kandahar that has cost hundreds of millions of dollars, built by the state department, that is sitting there not working right now because it's too expensive to operate. and frankly, the afghanistan people don't have the expertise to do it. so they're buying cheaper electricity from uzbekistan rather than run this multihundred-million-dollar plant that the united states taxpayer billed. i'm going to warn the stapt department. i'm not going to ignore the mistakes you're making in terms of sustainability of projects, but i want to get at this first because frankly i think this is
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a road we shouldn't go down with the military handling this kind of work. >> democratic senator claire mccaskill of missouri. of all the times i speak to you you never let me forget you that used to be the auditor of the state of month mop. >> there you go. >> i can hear it in your approach. >> that's exactly right. thank you, rachel. thanks. >> why did george w. bush and president barack obama make a joint appearance today? this is a good news story. it is a very, very good news story. that's coming up.
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a woman named ginger white went very public on monday, alleging that she and republican presidential hopeful herman cain carried on a consensual sexual relationship for the past 13 years. today in manchester, new hampshire mr. cain continued to deny any improper relationship with ms. white. he said they had a friendship but it was not a sexual relationship.
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in an interview with the editorial board of the "union leader" newspaper mr. cain has now asserted that his wife of 43{ years did not know of his friendship with ginger white until this week, until monday. he also lobbed this accusation about ms. white's motives. >> someone offered her a lot of money. >> okay. >> i was helping her with month-to-month bills and expenses. somebody -- this is speculation only. >> okay. >> i have no proof. offered her a lot of money. and one of my objectives is to clear my name and my reputation. >> in the wake of that today, ginger white has agreed to respond publicly and at length here on msnbc. speaking with our own lawrence o'donnell on "the last word," which is the show on right after this one. that exclusive and extensive interview is coming up right after our show. so you should probably stay tuned. if you have high blood pressure, like me,
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overnight on tuesday this week police surrounded one of the biggest occupy encampments in the country at occupy philadelphia. the city had given the occupiers
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a deadline. the city waited two days past that deadline. but then the police moved in, chasing protesters for hours and making about 50 arrests. by daybreak the occupy encampment in philly was over. that same night hundreds of police surrounded occupy los angeles, which was another of the largest protest sites in the country. in l.a. they too had stayed past the official deadline. but tuesday night the lapd took down tents and handcuffed anybody who stayed. 200 arrests in all in los angeles. that leaves only a few big city occupations continuing now in the way we have been used to, meaning outdoor overnight encampments in tents with a 24-hour presence. occupy san francisco was told by the city of san francisco that they had a deadline of noon today for getting out of the site they've been occupying. mayor ed lee, though, says he has no plans for a police raid on the site. occupy boston, interestingly, has a court order preventing the city from kick the protest camp out of dewey square in boston. a judge today said she'll issue
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a decision on whether or not to change that order by december 15th. occupy washington, d.c. is camped out on land policed by the national park service. the d.c. city council says they support them being there. and the park service says they can stay as long as they keep the{ ok pooigs safe ation safe and clean. but even if you're allowed to occupy where you are the occupation has effectively now become a movement on the move. in washington, d.c. tonight occupy d.c. protesters were on the move from their encampment in mcpherson square to the site of a big dollar fund-raiser for house democrats two blocks away. dave weigel from posted these photos on twitter tonight. the d.c. protesters say they wanted to send a message that their frustration with the political process is a bipartisan frustration. in arizona this week occupy phoenix protesters have been occupying a conference of alec, the american legislative exchange council. it's a conservative corporate political organization that doesn't immediately try to shape the leng slaigs written at the state and local level by conservative politicians.
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alec often just writes the bills outright. the cops used pepper spray on the occupy alec protesters. the occupiers say they were demonstrating peacefully when it happens. the police contend they were provoked. and in new york city tonight thousands of protesters, many of them union members, marched on union square. the central labor council organizing a march for jobs and economic fairness today in conjunction with occupy wall street, saying it was for everyone who is frustrated and worried about the growing economic disparity in this country. this movement has come a long way since the first big police crackdown more than a month ago in oakland, california when police fired on the crowd with tear gas and flash grenades. that night a projectile, we still don't know exactly what kind, struck a 24-year-old young man named scott olsen in the forehead. it fractured his skull. scott olsen had previously served two tours in iraq as a lance corporal and the united states marine corps. and as he put, it he had emerged physically unscathed from iraq. but scott olsen was hurt that night in oakland, california.
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he was really{ hurt. his name became a rallying cry even as he began his long march toward a full recovery. last week he was finally well enough to join occupy oakland again. and scott olsen joins us now, tonight, for "the interview." mr. olsen, thank you so much for coming on the show. it's really nice to have you here p i've been looking forward to the chance to talk with you. >> thanks, raich p chel. great to be talking with you. >> how is the recovery going? i can hear your speech is different than it was before but you're speaking clearly. >> yeah, it's different. and it seems to be getting better most days. some days are better than others. some days aren't. but i feel like i'm getting better. >> the night that you were injured in oakland, why had you gone to occupy oakland? what was motivating you to be there? >> well, i got off work and saw a tweet on twitter, and i -- that occupy oakland needed help. they needed support.
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and i went over there to join them. >> do you remember the injury or any of the time after the injury? >> i remember the whole night. i remember getting to -- to there. i remember standing with the other veteran, josh, in navy blues. i remember -- even after i got hit, i remember people carrying me away and driving to the hospital. i remember just about everything. >> are you angry about what's happened to you? are you angry about what happened that night{ to the other protesters but also to you in terms of this grievous injury? >> i'm not happy about it at all. but i wouldn't say i'm angry. it's hard to know where to
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direct the anger. but it's sad to see that it continued going on and all their -- all our rights are being trampled upon. >> since you have been recovering, what's it been like to go back to occupy oakland? >> it was quite a bit different was the first thing i noticed. but i was well received there, and i liked being back there. >> as a former marine, as an activist, as somebody who's obviously committed to this movement, what do you think tactically about the fact that so many of the encampments are getting kicked out of the public
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space that they have been occupying. police raids happening all over the country. do you think than outdoor encampment is critical to keeping the pressure on, to getting your message out, or do you think that this thing evolves now? >> i think it's in the process of evolving. some cities' occupations might stick it out with an encampment. some are going to move on to taking over foreclosed homes. some might go to {internet-based occupational flash mobs. and i think they'll all be successful. they each have something that they bring to it. >> scott, i think that seeing what happened to you, particularly because there was so much cell phone footage, this very personal handheld footage of people around you when it happened, people seeing what
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happened to you and knowing what happened to you and learning about your personal story i think radicalized a lot of people. i think a lot of people went to occupy events who wouldn't have gone had they not seen what happened to you. how do you feel about that? >> i don't know. i'm glad i guess that what happened to me got people more involved, if that's what it takes. i mean, it's sad that occupations have started out as politics and economics and now it's turned into something more based on rights, the freedoms that we were all told when we were growing up that we had as americans. >> as the movement goes on, you've obviously made a commitment now to speak out, even as you're continuing to recover from your injury.
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what do you hope happens? what do you -- i mean, i know there's been a lot of stupid discussion, frankly, on how specific people's demands should be and how -- and how the strategy should proceed. but what do you want your{ fellow occupiers to accomplish? what do you think the movement can accomplish? >> i want them more than anything is to get more people involved because politics isn't something that you sit at home and go out once every few years and vote. it's about creating a community with your people and sharing ideas and meeting people and learning their story. >> scott olsen, iraq war veteran, occupy protester, thank you for your time.
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i really -- i know it's a big deal and sort of an ordeal in order to do this sort of thing, and i really appreciate you speaking out, man. thank you. >> thank you, rachel. >> all right. the best new thing in the world today. i have to tell you is inarguable. inarguable. i don't care if you disagree with me on everything i've ever said in my life. you will agree with me on this. it's coming up.
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today president obama and former president george w. bush made a joint appearance. i'm not joking. former president bush appearing via video link and president obama at george washington university today. also there, former president bill clinton all speaking at the same event today marking world aids day. commemorating world aids day. since aids was first{ identified 30 years ago, nearly 700,000 americans have died from the disease. anti-retroviral treatment against the virus that causes aids developed to the point of being pretty effective at keeping people alive by the late 1990s. it has continued to improve, and hiv-positive people who get effective health care and antiretroviral treatment can expect to lead long relatively healthy lives now provided you can get treatment. but the good news is if you are hiv positive and suppressing it
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through effective treatment, that also means you're less likely to transmit the virus to anybody else. and that is a really handy thing. it is handy for life and also handy for policy. what it means is that policymakers don't have to choose between preventing new infections and treating people who are already living with the virus. that's because effectively treating people who are already living with the virus is effective prevention. if the treatment works, they are much less likely to transmit the virus to anybody else. and that is the breakthrough idea that led president obama to make this landmark pronouncement today. >> we can end this pandemic. we can beat this disease. we can win this fight. we just have to keep at it, steady, persistent, today, tomorrow, every day until we get to zero. >> he says zero, he means zero. and he means that that is the policy now of the american government's approach to aids. in a little-noted speem a ch a
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couple of weeks ago, secretary of state clinton defined it more bluntly saying an aids-free generation is for the first time in the history of this disease within the world's reach.{ >> the goal of an aids-free generation is possible with the knowledge and interventions we have right now. and that is something we've never been able to say without qualification before. imagine what the world will look like when we succeed. >> to get there, president obama said today the u.s. will up the number of people we help to get on treatment from 4 million to 6 million around the world. that's a new target. we'll also target treatment and preventive care to pregnant women so their babies are born hiv free. here at home, means an extra $50 million to shore up aids assist assistance programs. one interesting and i think
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sort of telling thing to note here, in secretary clinton's dramatic speech announcing that goal of an aids-free generation, at one point in that speech secretary clinton was talking about mother-to-child transmissions. and she said that we can actually get that number down to zero. that's what she said. and then she paused and explained how her speechwriter kept hedging by writing virtually zero. and she said she just kept changing it back to zero. actual zero. let me tell you about a very important phone call i made.
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