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tv   The Rachel Maddow Show  MSNBC  September 8, 2012 3:00am-4:00am PDT

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of the benefits of shopping small. on just one day, 100 million of us joined a movement... and main street found its might again. and main street found its fight again. and we, the locals, found delight again. that's the power of all of us. that's the power of all of us. that's the membership effect of american express. behold, the world's least exciting graph. look. this is gallup's daily tracking poll starting with the day before the republican convention. and continuing through monday, this past monday. see what i mean by least exciting? we showed this graph on monday night. right before the start of the democratic convention to try to understand if the republican convention last week gave mitt romney a bounce. that's no bounce. well, today, the world's least exciting graph gets updated. this is gallup's daily tracking
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poll, again, starting with the day before the republican convention, and then it goes through the first two days of the democratic convention this week. even though this does not yet reflect any reaction to the president's acceptance speech because it's just the first two days of the democrat's convention, at least from the first part of the convention, there's some evident obama bounce apparent to the naked eye. he went up one point to 48 points. mr. romney went down a point to 45 points. hey, arithmetic, the president got a two-point swing and leads by three now in what amounts to this national poll. so that's something. but that's not the election. national polling does not really matter because presidential elections are not won at the national level. presidential elections are won state by state. you win individual states, you get their electoral votes from those states. it doesn't matter how many votes mitt romney gets in california. he's going to lose that state and that's all that matters. it doesn't matter how many votes president obama gets in
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oklahoma, he's going to lose oklahoma no matter what. it's only the states in contentious that really matter. and they're the only ones who get fought over once the campaign has been joined in earnest, which it now has. barack obama and joe biden raced to get on the stump, first to new hampshire and then to iowa. you'll remember governor romney did not get back on the campaign bus. he instead got on his boat. instead of making a big swing through the states he needs to compete and win, mr. romney for the last week has been boating and debate prepping in vermont in what is being described in the local vermont press as a very fancy mansion. but today mitt romney finally did get back on the trail after his voting time and mansion time. this is really telling. here's how you know it's going to go for the rest of the year. as president obama today went to new hampshire and then iowa. what did mitt romney today do? he went to iowa and then new hampshire. it's not a coincidence they have
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parallel itineraries. mr. romney is laucnching a huge expensive ad blitz in iowa and new hampshire. he's using a clip from his convention speech and making a promise about how many jobs he'll bring. you're not seeing a lot of mitt romney the candidate, mitt romney the man, you're also seeing mitt romney ads all the time. so are you, north carolina and nevada and florida and ohio and virginia. the eight states that are being targeted in the ad campaign, an ad campaign so big the campaign describes it as a carpet bombing. and this list of states, the states you see marked on the map right here, that is pretty much where the election is going to be fought from here on out. this map, you will notice, doesn't include all of the places we have been thinking about and talking about as swing states. the romney is not placing ads in michigan, wisconsin or pennsylvania. the super pacs have pulled their ads from michigan. romney is trailing in michigan
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by as much as seven points there. the pro romney pac money has dropped out of pennsylvania where romney is also behind in the polls. the romney campaign and pacs together, of course, have more money than god and mick jagger combined, so they could still decide to spend money wherever, whenever. this almost have infinite resources in terms of ad dollars in this campaign season. unless something changes in their strategy, it looks like wisconsin and michigan and pennsylvania are out and so the 2012 election is down to these eight states. this is a very narrow playing field. and so the specifics of what happens in these few states, the technical aspects of how voting is going to go in these eight states becomes something of national importance. and so it's of national importance that we got news today out of ohio where republicans tried to cut the final three days of early voting before the election. you know that the obama campaign sued the state of ohio over that, trying to get those days of early voting back.
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last week, a judge ordered the state of ohio to restore those three days of early voting. ohio's republican secretary of state announced he would appeal that rules and while he was appealing it, he would ignore the court order telling him to go ahead with early voting. he said there was no valid reason for him to restore the voting hours now. i mean, besides that whole federal court ordering him to restore the early voting hours. yesterday, the judge in the case issued another order that ordered john husted to come back to court personally and explain why he thinks a federal court ruling should not apply to him. that got mr. husted's attention. he rescinded his original order and he filed a new brief with the court in which he apologized to the court for any misimpressions. he also asked for a stay of the court's order that ohio restore the early voting rights. while john husted is very, very sorry and would like very much not to be held in contempt of court in ohio, he would also like to not restore the three days of early voting right
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before the election where last time around, 93,000 people voted in ohio, including a large number of african-american voters, who were voting for barack obama. in terms of voters knowing the basics of what to expect in ohio, knowing when they can vote, it's a mess right now and ohio is going to be really important this year, and it's getting late in the game. then there's virginia. virginia has been weird all year. for quite different reasons. virginia essentially did not have a primary for the republican presidential nomination this year. getting on the ballot in virginia is hard. the state requires you to gather hundreds of signatures in each congressional district. you can't just go to the mall in alexandria and have a good day and say it's done for the state. you have to be all over the state. in the republican primary, over the half dozen candidates still in the running at the time virginia was holding its primary, only two of them qualified to make the ballot. that's how hard it was to get on the ballot. only mitt romney and ron paul got their names on the ballot.
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rick perry and rick santorum and huntsman all tried to get on the ballot but failed to get on the ballot, so the primary in virginia didn't matter. it didn't really exist. you know who did make it onto the ballot for the general election in november? this guy. hello. who are you? a former congressman named virgil goode. he's a traveling man, a democrat and an independent and a republican. but this year, virgil goode is running for president as the nominee of the rather right libertarian-ish constitutional party and he'll be on the ballot in november along with the major party candidates. now, think about this strategically. mitt romney does not want to see virgil goode's name on the ballot as another right-wing candidate, right? he doesn't want to see his name there as a choice for conservative virginians other than him. virginia's republican party
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challenged virgil goode's challenge, saying he didn't have enough valid signatures to qualify. they don't want him on the ballot because look how high he's polling, as high as 9%. presumably, those votes would go to mitt romney and he needs every vote he can get in virginia. one virginians said if you want to see barack obama re-elected president of the united states, do whatever you can for virgil goode. they challenged his spot on the ballot and they said put him on the ballot anyway, and he's going to be on the ballot unless virginia's attorney general, this guy, decides to kick virgil goode off the ballot. he's been campaigning for mitt romney including last week at the republican convention. under virginia law, he gets to decide whether virgil goode gets his name on the ballot or not. look at the headline, he promises he will be absolutely objective, absolutely objective about this whom thing. absolutely. virginia is getting three
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different mitt romney ads this week. virginia, ohio, new hampshire, iowa, colorado, nevada, north carolina, florida. that's it, that's the election. that is who the country is counting on to handle this decision about the presidency for the rest of us, eight states. so when stuff gets weird in one of those eight states, when something like virgil goode happens in one of those eight states, while that might be a weird side bar virginia story in any other time, any other political circumstance, right now virgil goode is of national political importance. joining us now is steve kornacki, cohost of "the cycle" and a senior writer for welcome back. great to have you here. >> great to be here. >> did you have a good time at the convention? >> a great time. the crowd, a lot of energy there. i wasn't ready for that, but there were tons of people and it was exciting to be there. >> now that you are a big msnbc tv star, were you weirded out that everyone knew who you were? >> it doubled as an nbc convention, it felt like.
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i have to say, a lot of times people say, you're that guy with rachel maddow. why isn't she here? you were missed. >> if you are a republican strategist, how concerned would you be about virgil goode on the ballot? >> no, i think this is legitimate. it's a very sort of narrow circumstances where it could be decisive in the presidential election. it needs to be razor thin in the electoral college. virginia is a decider the way florida was in 2004. and then it comes into play, how many votes does he have. who is he stealing it from? you look back to 2000, look at pat buchanan in florida. that was a result of ballot confusion. but you look at the ballots buchanan got or you could look at ralph nader and look at the votes he got. everywhere else in the country, he would be a fringe candidate who would get a microscopic amount of the vote.
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you say the name virgil goode in new york, california, texas, who is he? you say the name in southwest virginia, they know this guy. we have been talking about how mitt romney has the problem with the enthusiasm of the republican party base. this is wung sort of very small corner of the country where not only does the republican base maybe have a little problem with mitt romney, but there is a conservative on the ballot who they actually know and who to them is a legitimate political figure. served 12 years in the house. was in the legislature forever down there in virginia. this is a guy they know. all he needs in that corner of the state is 10%. that starts to affect the state-wide total. it could be big. >> we're at the point in the campaign when the field is being narrowed and so therefore, we get magnified political import of these internal dynamics in these individual states. because of that, i feel like we ought to question whether or not the field really is narrowed. we have this decision from the romney campaign to get out of wisconsin and michigan and
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pennsylvania. the romney super pacs essentially followed suit in that. are they doing that potentially as a fake? is this a commitment that they have to now follow leading up to the election? it has big consequences. >> i think part of this is they wanted to make news coming out of the democratic convention. they also have this pile of money they can start spending because he's officially the republican nominee. they're trying to leave hints out there they could expand this later to wisconsin, to michigan, to pennsylvania. but the interesting thing to me is when we start talking about the swing states, the way this gets conventionally talked about in politics, we have it slightly wrong where we look at it and say we have the national polls, but let's look at the swing states. when you do that, you see that obama is ahead in the swing states right now. we come to this conclusion that mitt romney has this narrow path to 270, that there's an extra challenge for mitt romney on top of the popular vote. i think we're reading it wrong. i think the fact that barack obama is leading in the swing states tells us that barack obama has been leading in the
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presidential race all year. the race is commonly -- you hear dead even, neck and neck, virtual tie. that's generally how this thing gets talked about. the best thing to do is not look at individual polls here and there, gallup here, ppp there. look at these poll averages. real clear politics does it, huff post does them, where they average it together and come up with that trend line. if you look back, barack obama has been ahead since mitt romney became the republican nominee. basically it's been two to three points. >> that's an electoral college count, right? >> right, if you're ahead, you're going to be ahead in ohio, virginia, colorado. all these states. if mitt romney could get ahead two to three nationally, he takes the lead in these states but the conclusion is barack obama has been winning there. >> even without virgil goode. steve kornacki, cohost of "the cycle" week days at 3:00 on msnbc. thanks a lot. appreciate it. >> one of the most notable speakers at the democratic national convention is here tonight.
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she's nancy keenan is going to be talking to us about the fresh news about the 2012 campaign and, of course, the lady parts. that's the interview tonight. we'll be right back. [ music playing, children laughing ]
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al jazeera blish just made a really good documentary in which they interviewed a state legislator from ohio. he's a cosponsor of a bill in ohio in which the time a woman has to have an abortion is cut back dramatically. he tells al jazeera what he wants is for a woman to have no legal abortion except to save a woman's life. watch what happened with the follow-up question from the reporter. this is kind of amazing. watch. >> reporter: what do you think makes a woman want to have an abortion? >> well, there's probably a lot
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of -- i'm not a woman so i'm thinking, if i'm a woman, why would i want to get -- some of it has to do with economics. a lot has to do with economics. i don't know. it's a question i have never thought about. >> why would a woman want an abortion? i have never thought about it. says the man who is doing his best to ban abortion in ohio. amazing moment from that new al jazeera documentary called "the abortion war." we have posted a link to that at maddowblog. highly recommend it. that problem that legislator has there with the follow-up question, that puts in a nutshell this problem for republican politicians that actually goes all the way up to the very top of the national ticket this year. it's a problem they got specifically on this issue and a whole lot of politicians who have this problem but mitt romney is among them. it's a problem with follow-up questions. it is a problem that may get worse this sunday morning. hold on. that's ahead. >> i don't know. i've never -- it's a question
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i wrote an op-ed piece in the "boston globe," described my view that i am pro life, described why i had changed to become pro life. i recognize it's a change.
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you can find many, many instances of my indicating my position previous to that time of being effectively pro choice. i didn't call myself pro choice, but my position was effectively pro choice, and that position changed. >> that was republican presidential nominee mitt romney the last time he was running for president, speaking on "meet the press." abortion was not an issue in the last election the way it is this year. but even then, he had trouble explaining what he meant about it. >> i didn't call myself pro choice, but my position was effectively pro choice. and that position changed. >> what exactly is mitt romney's position on abortion rights? well, here is what he says about it when he talks about it now. this year, in this election. this is just a couple weeks ago. >> i am in favor of abortion being legal in the case of rape and incest, and the health and life of the mother. >> abortion should only be allowed rape, incest, health and
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life of the woman. at least he said it clearly there, right? or not. after that interview, the romney campaign said that actually mr. romney does not believe abortion should be allowed to preserve a woman's health. quoting npr here, the romney campaign won't say the candidate misspoke, but a spokeswoman does say he does not support an exception to protect the health of the pregnant woman. except -- wait. >> i'm in favor of abortion being legal in the case of rape and incest and the health and life of the mother. >> mitt romney does not believe that thing he just said. did he misspeak? no, he did not misspeak, but we want to be clear that he does not believe what he said he believes. but it was not a misstatement. four years after my position has changed from the thing that wasn't really my position, mitt romney is still devolving into incoherence when he tried to explain his own views on
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abortion rights. i mean, he's fine with butcher sticker simple states, but any further effort to explain just goes horribly wrong. i mean, honestly, npr, this npr statement about the cbs interview is he does not believe what he said he believes. and it wasn't a misstatement. how does that make sense? this kind of thing has turned out to be the kind of problem that a lot of republican candidates have had this year. thanks to todd akin and his fairy tale legitimate rape science theory about using sexual assault as a form of birth control, thanks to todd akin, the media and voters are asking republican candidates to explain what they think precisely about abortion rights. republicans are going after abortion rights in the states and republican candidates are getting a lot of hard questions about it and even follow-up questions and that is new. republicans are used to having this political field to themselves, dealing with this
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issue for them means talking to true believers who want to push them further and further and further to the right on this issue. they really only faced questions on abortion rights from people who want them to be even more extreme on the issue. because democrats have traditionally been shy about talking about this issue in most election years, republicans aren't used to having to explain themselves to anyone who doesn't already agree with them. they almost never face mainstream media questions. they don't face political opponents' questions. that's not true. this year, many republicans are getting follow-up questions on this for the first time and it's not going well. from vice presidential nominee paul ryan trying to explain forcing rape victims to bear their rapist's children and his efforts with todd akin to redefine rape even as he criticizes todd akin for his efforts to redefine rape. because even down the ticket, the house and senate candidates are having similar problems. we have seen new todd akins cropping up all over. todd smith is the republican
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nominee for senate. here's what happened when an a.p. reporter asked him a follow-up question or two. >> in incest or rape? >> no exceptions. >> no exceptions? how would you tell a daughter or a granddaughter who, god forbid, would be the victim of a rape to keep the child against her own will? is that something you -- do you have a way to explain that? >> i lived something similar to that with my own family. but she chose life. and i commend her for that. she knew my views. but fortunately for me, she chose the way i thought. she wasn't raped. >> similar how? >> having a baby out of wedlock. >> that's similar to rape? >> no, no, no, but put yourself in a father's position, yes. it is similar.
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but back to pro life. >> republican u.s. senate candidate from pennsylvania, name is tom smith. him explaining why getting pregnant outside of marriage is just like getting raped. put yourself in a father's position. oh, and also, the government should force you to carry the pregnancy to term either way no matter what you want. vote for me in november. tom smith his name is. then rick berg. running for the u.s. senate seat in north dakota. this week, the folks at buzzfeed reported on an anti-abortion bill he voted for in the state legislature there. it would criminalize abortion to the tune of life in prison for violators including victims of rape and incest. the bill doesn't just classify abortion as a felony punishable by life in prison. it also defines a fertilized egg as a person, which means even some forms of by the way control could become felonies punishable by life in prison.
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so using iud, life in prison for you. in vitro fertilization, life in prison for you. that includes rape victims and incest victims. and then congressman roscoe bart let. he has served ten terms, but thanks to redistricting he's not running in a super safe district since 1992. this year, he really has to campaign hard to hold on to the seat, which is why it's not a great time for him to be faced with follow-up questions about his anti-abortion policies he's not used to talking about with anyone who doesn't agree with him on the subject. that's what happened at a town hall last week that went very bad very quickly. >> there are very few pregnancies as a result of rape or incest. there's the usual abortion. what is the percentage for abortion? it is a tiny, tiny percent. >> 20,000 pregnancies every year from rape. >> and how many abortions? in the millions. >> that's 20,000 rapes.
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that's 0,000 people who were violated. >> yeah, i know. i know. >> 20,000 too many. >> i'm talking pregnants, percentage of abortions for rape as compared to overall abortions. a tiny, tiny percent. >> and incest is quite high. >> yeah, yeah. but again, it's a tragedy for the family and the person in terms of actual numbers, it's a pretty small percentage. as a total number. >> unless you're one. >> 20,000 women a year. congressman roscoe bartlett doing his best todd akin impersonation with some of his constitutes. he's facing a hard re-election already. >> republicans inability to answer questions and follow-up questions on women's reproductive rights is a skill that has atrophied. republicans simply don't have all that much ability to take criticism from the center or from objective people or from people who are not activists on their side of this issue. this campaign season, when mitt
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romney has agreed to interviews, he has mostly agreed to them on the condition they're conducted by the fox news channel. i don't know why, but that's how it's been. but this sunday mitt romney is appearing for the first time in nearly three years on "meet the press." and if his answers to basic follow-up questions about his positions stay as incoherent as they have been on the issue, he could be in for some trouble. do tell. capella university understands rough economic times have led to an increase in clinical depression. drug and alcohol abuse is up. and those dealing with grief don't have access to the professional help they need. when you see these issues, do you want to walk away or step up?
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i am proud to say that the democratic party believes that women have the right to choose a safe, legal abortion with dignity and with privacy. >> nancy keenan, president of naral, pro choice america, addressing the democratic national convention in prime time this week. she joins us now for the interview. nancy, thank you for rushing back from charlotte to be here. >> great to be here, and congratulations on the show. >> thank you very much. lots of speakers at this convention referred to a woman's right to make her own health care decisions, like sort of using language like that. you came out and talked about a woman's right to choose a safe,
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legal abortion. did you get any feedback or any direction from the dnc or from the ambassador campaign on what kind of lang wang they wanted you to use? did they tell you anything about that? >> not at all. we wrote the speech, so obviously, it was the message i wanted to say, and having sat on the platform committee on what the democratic party holds as a value, and that is that abortion should be legal in this country and women should make that decision, not politicians. >> when the decision was made by the democrats that they were going to put the issue in primetime with your speech and a lot of other references and speeches with cecile richards speaking from planned parenthood, by a patient talking about her experience there. by putting it on tv in their big 72-hour infomercial this week, do you think there were decisions to make about how to -- essentially, how to pitch it? essentially how to make a decision on how to vote for barack obama? do you think it was a hard decision?
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>> not at all because women are going to make the difference in this election. and i think that in -- let's take a look at '08 when the issue wasn't quite prime time. and we saw in the 2010 elections, and these guys ran on jobs, jobs, jobs. and then actually started attacking reproductive rights, both at the state level, the federal level. so, it has come back into the consciousness of people in this country to say, whoa, this is at risk. then we saw the debate on birth control. people said, oh, no, really, birth control? we saw the next generation of young women begin to say, what's at stake here and what's at stake in this election? it's not surprising to me at all. i think we understand the role that women are going to play in this election for barack obama. >> we have seen mitt romney have trouble explaining his own position on the issue. i don't just mean that he's evolved over time. i think politicians can evolve, on and this all sorts of different issues. but he appears to be even evolving in this moment. he did an interview a couple weeks ago in which he said one of the exceptions he believed in
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for criminalizing abortion is saving the health of the woman. his campaign said and he doesn't believe that at all. do you believe those details about specific types of ways to criminalize abortion, specific ways to erode that right of privacy, are appropriate sort of needling and follow-up questions for the media to be pressing on this, or do you think they should just be focusing on the fact he wants to overturn roe versus wade? >> the fact you have to focus on is you can't trust this man. you can't trust mitt romney. that's what i said to women in this country. on any given day he can have a different position. how do you trust him with our health? how do you trust he won't make every effort to overturn roe v. wade? he could have that opportunity with supreme court justices and the opportunity to fill a seat. so when people say what does a president have to do with this? a lot. a lot. he can be the backstop for all of the insanity we have seen
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come out of the congress, be or he can make sure women's rights and health are protected. and barack obama has done that. and mitt romney, you can't trust. >> do you feel like the articulation of the issues around the federal election, the presidential election, may have knock-on effects in the states? so many places where the restrictions have gone forward is in the states. is this going to help with that? >> absolutely. i think you're seeing it at the legislative level. you're seeing it in governors' races and you're seeing people stand up and say this is not the role of government. these are the small government people unless it comes to women's health. and they're standing up and saying no. we can run on this issue. we can win on this issue, and it's making a difference. not only are they talking about broadly women health. they're talking about the right to an abortion in this country without political interference, without him being -- him or her being in that examining room with a woman and her family. >> nancy keenan, the president of naral, pro choice america. again, congratulations on your high profile spot this week. thanks for being here this week. >> there was a big story that broke right in the middle of the
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democratic convention that got just about zero news coverage because of when it broke, but it's the kind of story you'll talk about for a long time after you hear it and you'll hear it here next. at purina one, we believe small things can make a big difference. like how a little oil from here can be such a big thing in an old friend's life. we discovered that by blending enhanced botanical oils into our food, we can help brighten an old dog's mind so he's up to his old tricks. it's just one way purina one is making the world a better place... one pet at a time. discover vibrant maturity and more at mid grade dark roast forest fresh full tank brain freeze cake donettes rolling hot dogs bag of ice anti-freeze wash and dry diesel self-serve fix a flat jumper cables 5% cashback signup for 5% cashback at gas stations through september. it pays to discover.
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it isn't fair to say that mitt romney doesn't have a position on afghanistan. he has every position.
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he said it was tragic to leave iraq, and then he said it was fine. he said we should have intervened in libya sooner. then he ran down a hallway to run away from the reporters who were asking questions. then he said, the intervention was too aggressive. then he said the world was a better place because the intervention succeeded. talk about being for it before you were against it. >> what a difference eight years makes. john kerry, the democratic presidential nominee in 2004, derided by the republicans that year as the for it before he was against it guy who couldn't be trusted to take over foreign policy from george w. bush. amazing as it sounds that republicans ran on foreign policy in the era of george w. bush, they certainly did. but now in the post-george w. bush era, republicans can do no such thing.
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yes, they are still using the military for a prop. they unveiled their vice presidential nominee by having him literally run out from a battleship as if he had just been in there swabbing the decks or something when they happened to hear his name called, i guess i better get out there. there was no mention of the war we are currently fighting from either republican nominee at their convention. no mention of the war. no real focus on foreign policy at all except some nonspecific chest pounding about new wars they might want to start maybe in iran, syria, maybe russia. but it's the democrats including a bellowing and aggressive john kerry who were the ones who sound like this at their convention now. >> he promised to focus like a laser on al qaeda. and he has. and our forces have eliminated more of its leadership in the last three years than in all of the eight years that came before. and after more than ten years
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without justice for thousands of americans murdered on 9/11, after mitt romney said it would be naive to go into pakistan to pursue the terrorists, it took president obama against the advice of many, to give that order and finally rid this earth of osama bin laden. ask osama bin laden if he is better off now than he was four years ago. >> while that was all happening in politics this last couple weeks, something else was happening in justice. back during that 2004 campaign that john kerry versus george w. bush campaign, in the spring of that year, photos surfaced that showed something going horribly wrong in one of the bush wars. photos from an american run prison in iraq called abu ghraib. they showed the prisoners being mistreated horribly and
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bizarrely. sexual humiliation, obvious physical abuse, sexual assault. prisoners being menaced by dogs, it was just obscene and medieval. and it was americans who were doing it. ultimately, 11 soldiers were charged and convicted. the commanding general in charge of prisons in iraq was demoted. but that was it. donald rumsfeld stayed, bush got re-elected. the war went on for another seven years before we got a new president who ended it. as much as we may have just decided to move on from all that and consign it to the way we think of the bush era, which is over, there has been all these years one element of abu ghraib that could not really just be over. and it was this. these are army reservists, we have blurred both faces, but army reservists on the top of the screen, army reservists were prosecuted posing with a dead man. the same man appears a few dichlt times in the photo
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dossier from abu ghraib. he got described as the iceman in the descriptions of the photos because his body was packed in ice in the picture, but he had a name. this is his widow and his son holding the same picture. he was killed in u.s. custody. military autopsy ruled his death a homicide. the justice department announced this year they had reviewed about 100 cases of people abused are tortured by american personnel abroad and decided they would not prosecute anyone. but they saved out two specific cases for full criminal investigation. two cases where people in custody were killed. one was a prisoner who died while shackled half naked to the wall of a freezing cold cell in afghanistan, and one what mr. al jamadi. of everything that happened in the bush years they tried to push down the memory hole, these were the two cases, the murders that were held out as maybe worthy of prosecution. 100 cases, no prosecutions. but these two, okay, maybe we'll look at those. no. last week, on the last day of
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the republican national convention, when mitt romney was busy not mentioning the war in afghanistan at all, the justice department announced that day they would not prosecute anybody for those last two cases either. the new york times editorialized any remaining hope for meaningful accountability for torture and other abuses under george w. bush has ended for all practical purposes. that's it. those are the last two cases. it's over, as of thursday. and then all of a sudden, it wasn't over anymore. yesterday, a week after the justice department said that chapter in our history is over, yesterday the book opened back up. this is a drawing of a box. a three foot by three foot box that a libyan man says he was locked inside by the cia in afghanistan. three feet by three feet. think about that. he and another man -- he and another man say they were hung from handcuffs inside this box that they have drawn. there would have been multiple
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people in this, one in each of these stalls that is barely wide enough for a man's body. these drawings were push li published tonight at the dangerer room blog at the two circles you see are speakers on either side of the heads of the men who would be suspended in the boxes. speakers blaring loud music into their ears. a new report by human rights watches the man described as having been locked inside the first cramped box, he was also water boarded by americans in 2003 in afghanistan. that is a whole new allegation of water boarding we never knew about before. the cia only admits to doing water boarding to three people. this libyan guy, this new guy, is not one they admit to. the cia denying his claims. we've never prosecuted any of this. not even the murders. we keep trying to put it behind us. but it keeps coming back. president obama on his first full day in office banned torture by u.s. personnel. it is already illegal to torture somebody, so it is therefore
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supposed to be banned. we did torture people as a matter of policy during the george w. bush administration. banning that meant rescinding the pseudo. the president made it no longer the policy of the united states to torture, but his administration also decided to let the people who did torture get away with it. and the man he is running against for president now says that he would happily reinstate the bush-era policies on water boarding. prosecutions for torture would have made this a matter of law and justice, not policy. not prosecuting it makes it another policy issue. makes it another choice between candidates. just another choice any president can make moving forward because there is a precedent of it being known in this country and unprosecuted in this country. therefore, effectively legalized. which means that as long ago and as far away as 2004 seems from this year and this election, the american people have another choice to make in this
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elections. between torturing people or not. that is still not a settled matter for us as a nation. it's just a decision made by one man, depending on who's in that office. the past never dead. it's not even past. [ male announcer ] this is rudy. his morning starts with arthritis pain. and two pills. afternoon's overhaul starts with more pain. more pills.
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triple checking hydraulics. the evening brings more pain. so, back to more pills. almost done, when... hang on. stan's doctor recommended aleve. it can keep pain away all day with fewer pills than tylenol. this is rudy. who switched to aleve. and two pills for a day free of pain. ♪ [ female announcer ] and try aleve for relief from tough headaches. a great clean doesn't have to take longer. i'm done. i'm gonna read one of these. i'm gonna read one of these! [ female announcer ] unlike sprays and dust rags, swiffer 360 duster's extender gets into hard-to-reach places without the hassle. so you can get unbelievable dust pickup in less time without missing a thing. i love that book. can you believe the twin did it? ♪ swiffer. great clean in less time. or your money back.
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i'm also a survivor of ovarian a writand uterine cancers. i even wrote a play about that. my symptoms were a pain in my abdomen and periods that were heavier and longer than usual for me. if you have symptoms that last two weeks or longer, be brave, go to the doctor. ovarian and uterine cancers are gynecologic cancers. symptoms are not the same for everyone. i got sick...and then i got better.
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okay. when president obama gave his speech last night, he did so indoors. they had planned for the president to give his speech outdoors at the stadium where the local nfl team plays in charlotte, but because of the threat of severe weather, they moved it indoors to the stage where the rest of the convention took place. now, the practical consequence of that was that tens of thousands of people who thought they would get in to see the president's speech at that giant stadium could not get in to the smaller arena. i think that may have been part of the reason there were these giant crowds mobbing and cheering msnbc, cheering for chris matthews and al sharpton and everybody else at the msnbc set in downtown charlotte. i think people do love us, but people couldn't get into the president's gig so they came out to hang with us instead. and it made it very, very fun for everybody there from msnbc. the other practical consequence was there was not enough time at the indoor arena to get a
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zillion balloons hung from big nets in the roof of the arena. while mitt romney got big balloon drop like every convention does, president obama instead didn't get balloons, he got doused in confetti. thus raising the important political question of which is better. what is the best way to celebrate? honestly, i have to say for us here at msnbc, getting rid of the balloon drop is kind of a load off our minds. last election at the republican convention, you may recall that our beloved andrea mitchell was nearly lost for good, totally subsumed in a balloon avalanche that nearly carried her away. and we love andrea mitchell. this was scary. this year it was by necessity, but getting rid of the balloon drop as a way to celebrate is itself a reason to celebrate. and so we celebrate. the conventions are over. we did marathon coverage here and loved every minute of it. not to brag but we were the number one network in the
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country for the dnc, which has never happened before in the history of this network. it's exciting to know people are so into following politics for this election. to celebrate and to gird our loins for the last 60 days in the election, i'm going to make you a harry's pick me up, a classic cocktail from the savoy cocktail book. and really easy to make and delicious and not too boozy which either means you can have two or you can have one for breakfast, depending on something about your religion that i shouldn't ask you about in mixed company. you take an ounce of brandy or cognac. in this case we're using cognac. and then you take the juice of half a lemon. you'll get more juice if you don't keep it in the fridge. it has to be an actual lemon. don't use a fake thing. juice of half a lemon, ounce of brandy or cognac and then the not so secret but crucial ingredient is grenadine. if you can get grenadine that's not just like sugar water with red dye in it, you'll be happy.
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there's one that actually tastes like pomegranate. you want two teaspoons of grenadine. one, two. and because this has fruit juice in it, technically you should mix this up with ice in a cocktail shaker. you should shake it instead of stirring it, but i find if you're going to put some sort of liquor based thing in with champagne, you're happier if the thing are you putting in the champagne is clear. and stirring something is a better way to have it be clear than if you shake it up and it gets full of air bubbles. an ounce of cognac, juice of half a lemon, two teaspoons of grenadine makes a not very full glass, which is good not bad, because you're going to top it with delicious champagne. it's called a harry's pick me up. i think it's susan's favorite drink of 2012. oh, no, it's going to spill. i owe nbc a mouse pad. sorry. congratulations to both parties