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tv   The Ed Show  MSNBC  February 1, 2013 12:00am-1:00am PST

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having the -- i love that. there's a scene in this you do something, i wish the president did at the inaugural was dance. learn to dance. i was bragging about it the other week because these guys like obama don't even bother to take dancing lessons, they go out there and pretend to dance. but you danced in this movie. >> we trained, every moment we weren't on set jen and i were up there training. and she had the lion's share of the part. but there were no dance doubles, that was us. doing a very bipolar dance. >> there was kind of an embarrassing shot in there where she seemed to slip. there's a scene in the movie which i think is the treasure of the movie. we probably don't have the clip. when robert de niro, your dad, realized that your first wife has basically dumped ut isn't the right one, never was the right one. >> oh, yeah. the speech at the end. >> he has this great speech where he goes, she may have loved you once, maybe, but she doesn't love you now. and had this one does. >> that's a great moment. as a matter of fact, when we were shooting that moment the camera operator right after bob did that looked at each other, he had tears in his eyes, and we just thought, wow. it was so beautiful. >> what a dad.
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>> and it's one of the great scenes for them to come together. >> when you win the academy award for best actor i think you should show that scene. let me ask you about you're going to see the troops tonight at -- >> yeah, we're going right now. >> walter reed. >> yeah, we're going to show it to about 50 guys, do a q and a afterwards. >> you're going to show the them the movie. >> which is the best thing about this thing the fact it's able to reach out and make people feel included. i can't wait. >> they're all going to love it. what they're going through with missing arms and legs and post-traumatic things. >> that's the main thing. >> serious business. thank you, bradley cooper p it's great to have you on. i'm a fan obviously. and that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. "the ed show" with ed schultz starts right now. good evening, americans, and welcome to "the ed show" from new york. republicans have the audacity to attack a highly decorated veteran and label him as a dove? this is "the ed show." let's get to work. >> i'm pleased to see an old friend here before the committee. >> the hague hearing started out friendly and got ugly fast. >> were you correct or incorrect? yes or no? >> my reference to the surge being --
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>> i'm asking you a question, senator hagel. >> mccain, inhofe, graham, and cruz all trying to destroy the president's pick for secretary of defense, who just happens to be a republican. retired colonel lawrence wilkerson breaks down today's bizarre proceedings. plus, jonathan alter on the new democratic plan to take back the house using citizens united. another big-time republican reveals his disgust for moochers on social security and medicare. richard wolffe, howard fineman, and david corn break down the gop's ongoing problem with half of america. and in center left america, it is no longer okay to be a homophobic professional athlete. >> to let all lgbt teens know that it gets better. >> we'll tell you about the inspiring backlash to a 49ers' anti-gay slur. good to have you with us tonight, folks. thanks for watching.
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you know, if you had lunch with somebody every tuesday for 12 years, do you think you'd feel like you have kind of got to know them a little bit? chuck hagel must have felt blindsided today by old senate friends. because today republican senators looked like they were competing for an oscar. they tried to see which one could act the most outraged at president obama's defense secretary nominee. former republican senator chuck hagel was grilled during his confirmation hearings. senator john mccain took the lead and set the tone early on. >> our concerns pertain to the quality of your professional judgment and your worldview on critical areas of national security, including security in the middle east. >> john mccain did not always have grave concerns about chuck hagel's worldview. in fact, he named chuck hagel a co-chair of his 2000 presidential campaign.
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>> my fellow americans, i introduce you to a great republican, a great american leader, my friend, john mccain! >> how come mccain didn't get that kind of greeting, huh? or hagel, should i say. not only were hagel and mccain good buddies, john mccain wanted to give hagel the exact job he's up for right now. he told voters in new hampshire, "there's a lot of people that could be secretary of state -- secretary of defense. one of them i think is senator chuck hagel." but mccain sure has a different view of hagel today. he still can't get over hagel's opposition to the surge in iraq. >> do you stand by that -- those comments, senator hagel? >> well, senator, i stand by them because i made them. >> were you right? were you correct in your assessment? >> well, i would defer to the judgment of history to sort that out. but i'll --
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>> the committee deserves your judgment as to whether you were right or wrong about the surge. >> i'll explain why i made those comments and -- >> i want to know if you were right or wrong. that's a direct question. i expect a direct answer. >> the surge assisted in the objective. but if we review the record a little bit -- >> will you please answer the question? were you correct or incorrect when you said that the surge would be the most dangerous foreign policy blunder in this country since vietnam? were you correct or incorrect? yes or no? >> my reference to the surge being -- >> are you answering the question, senator hagel? the question is were you right or wrong? that's a pretty straightforward question. i would like the answer whether you were right or wrong, and then you are free to elaborate. >> well, i'm not going to give you a yes or no answer on a lot of things. >> let the record show that you refused to answer that question. now please go ahead. >> well, if you would like me to explain why -- >> i actually would like an answer.
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yes or no? >> well, i'm not going to give you a yes or no. i think it's far more complicated than that. as i've already said, my answer is i'll defer that judgment to history. >> now, put yourself in hagel's position. did that man just show a tremendous amount of discipline? i think he did. there is still no consensus about the so-called success of the surge. after the surge the u.s. still lost nearly 1,000 troops along with an unknown number of iraqi civilians, not to mention cost an additional trillion dollars. hagel wanted to get out and refocus on afghanistan. but another reason republicans wanted to stick it to hagel is because they just dislike the president of the united states. in 2008 hagel helped burnish barack obama's candidacy by traveling to the middle east with him. senator lindsey graham also calls himself a friend of chuck hagel. today he was anything but that. graham harped on a comment hagel made in the past about the israeli lobby. hagel has since apologized for
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the comments. >> name one dumb thing we've been goaded into doing because of the pressure from the israeli or jewish lobby. >> i have already stated that i regret the terminology -- >> but you said back then it makes us do dumb things. so give me -- >> that's what i was referring to. >> -- an example of where we've been intimidated by the israeli/jewish lobby to do something dumb. regarding the mideast, israel, or anywhere else. >> well, i can't give you an example. >> thank you. do you agree with me you shouldn't have said something like that? >> yes, i do. i've already said that. >> when hagel's old friends weren't settling scores, conservative senators were trying to make names for themselves. senator james inhofe opened the hearing saying he will oppose hagel no matter what. >> i believe he's the wrong person to lead the pentagon at this perilous and consequential time. >> tea party senator ted cruz tried to gin up an old conservative bogeyman. >> i'd like to draw your attention to an interview you
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did in 2009 with al jazeera. >> but here's the real reason. these guys don't want chuck hagel in the defense department. this is the bomb bomb iran crowd. you see, mccain and graham have led the charge for possible war against the iranians as well as syria. chuck hagel sees war as an absolute last resort. that's why president obama picked him. the two share similar views in philosophy as the obama administration attempts to define the role of the united states in the transition to a post-superpower world. their philosophy is this. the united states must get out of these massive land wars, iraq and afghanistan, and if possible avoid future large-scale war. despite all of the posturing and starcraft, hagel's nomination, well, is not in jeopardy. not one senator who previously voiced support for hagel has changed his or her mind. i think a lot of this has to do with jealousy.
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chuck hagel has an extraordinary background. very diverse. it all starts with being a combat veteran in vietnam. and of course educated under the g.i. bill. he understands veterans' issues and the possibility of what military war does, of course, to the guys on the ground. he has experience in washington and in the business world unparalleled to anybody on that senate armed services committee. he's a self-made guy in american business. this man has a resume most of these senators wish they had. he never did anything as reckless as john mccain did when he picked sarah palin to be a heartbeat away from the presidency. gosh, i wish he could have reversed the questioning today. if you ask me, this opposition to hagel is nothing but sour grapes. jealousy and envy. this man is qualified. he has impeccable integrity. he would be perfect.
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he also knows how to manage people, departments, and he'll be able to get his arms around the pentagon budget and maybe they can finally audit themselves, as we've had senators on this program say the pentagon is so big they can't even audit themselves. give hagel a shot. he deserves it. because he was shot at in vietnam and he knows what troops go through. get your cell phones out. i want to know what you think. tonight's question -- do republicans want a defense secretary who would just lead us into more wars? text a for yes. text b for no to 622639. you can always go to our blog at and leave a comment there. we'll bring you results later on in the show. joining me tonight, colonel lawrence wilkerson, former staff -- chief of staff of the state department during colin powell's term and is currently a distinguished visiting professor of government and public policy at the college of william & mary. colonel, good to have you with us tonight.
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>> good to be here, ed. >> you bet. did chuck hagel deserve the treatment that he got from these senators today? was it out of line in any way? >> it's a pretty rough world, and i'm sure senator hagel, whom i've known for almost two decades, realized that, and knew because of his previous moderate positions within his party, moderate positions becoming as scarce as almost anything in the republican party, he was going to be taken to task. i want to say that the most encouraging remarks i heard from him were in his opening remarks. i didn't think that as a 31-year enlisted officer veteran of the united states army i'd ever hear a secretary of defense candidate say the kinds of things that he did. the eloquent things that he did in his opening remarks, where he addressed the grunt, the infantryman, marine and soldier, who bears the brunt of this country's wars. bears the brunt of the dying and the bleeding on the battlefield. those were such eloquent remarks
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that i think for that alone senator hagel deserves a great deal of acclaim and should have had more deference from the members of that committee, most of whom have never been where he's been. >> is there any difference between chuck hagel today and the chuck hagel who was one of john mccain's campaign co-chairs? >> not a bit. and i take your point. it would have been my point had you not already made it. how dare john mccain question the professional judgment of chuck hagel? that's just unbelievable, that those words came out of john mccain's mouth. >> is mccain bitter? i mean, mccain really went after him. it looked like hagel was caught off guard, like john, you and i have been friends for a long time. i did some good things for you. i supported you when i needed it. and you know i'm qualified for this job to be the head of the pentagon, defense secretary. it was almost like he was stunned by it. your thoughts.
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>> i think you're right. i think it was very personal. i was stunned by it, too. especially the way mccain kept pursuing it and pursuing it. clearly, john wanted chuck to say yes, i was wrong and you were right. and of course the verdict of history, as hagel tried to say, is still out on that. and frankly, in my view as a soldier, the surge had almost nothing to do with the actual increase in american troops. what it had to do was the coincidence of a number of things that were already moving in iraq. not least of which was the awakening. and it had to do with very frankly a general by the name of david petraeus taking advantage of this in order to enhance his own reputation. and as far as i'm concerned, the increase in troops had nothing to do with the change in the situation in iraq except that it got a bunch of them killed, as senator hagel was careful to point out. >> and that is paralleling his opening comments, which you talked about, about how he cared about those soldiers. there was no guarantee that the surge was -- >> absolutely.
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>> there was no guarantee the surge was going to work. the popularity of the war had dwindled dramatically in this country. and hagel was asking basic questions at the time that simply were not being answered. and so it brings me to this point. go ahead. >> i just have to say, that's what i like about chuck hagel. he asked the right questions. whether he's right or wrong ultimately in his own position is not as important as he knows how to ask the right questions. and you've put together a good team, which i think president obama is trying to do. and that's the essence of good decision making, is asking the right questions. >> will he be a good secretary of defense? >> i think he'll be an exceptional one. and i look forward to his being confirmed. >> all right. colonel lawrence wilkerson, good to have you with us tonight on "the ed show." thanks so much. remember to answer tonight's question there at the bottom of the screen. share your thoughts with us on twitter @edshow and on facebook. we want to know what you think. coming up, a democratic super pac launches an effort to retake the house of representatives.
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but we can't forget citizens united is still polluting our democracy. but the democrats are jumping in the game. jonathan alter joins me for the discussion and so much more. stay with us.
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well, a massive storm system brings destructive tornadoes to georgia. let's see. both georgia senators voted against sandy relief. but i'll explain why the constituents of georgia shouldn't have to wait for federal assistance if they need it. and a san francisco 49er is apologizing after his comments about gay players. i'll talk with a former nfl player, wade davis, about the changing attitude toward gay athletes in professional sports. you can listen to my radio show on sirius xm radio channel 127 monday through friday noon to 3:00 p.m. certainly we want you to share your thoughts with us on our facebook and on twitter using the hashtag edshow. and we are coming right back.
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welcome back to "the ed show." democrats either swim or get eaten up in the world created by citizens united. if you're going to play in this fishbowl you'd better be the shark, right? citizens united is still a very horrible decision. it created super pacs, which threaten our democracy through the secret money and powerful corporate interests. but democrats, what else are they going to do? they've got to get in the game. until something changes. a progressive super pac has already targeted ten republican house members for defeat in 2014. the house majority pac has a 70%
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success rate in 2012 elections. so their goal is to help return the house to democratic control despite a heavily gerrymandered playing field. the ten candidates targeted by house majority pac for 2014 include congresswoman michele bachmann. we have a situation where the right-wing super pacs fared much worse than the democratic super pacs in the last election cycle. karl rove's american crossroads had a 1.29% return on investment, spending $104 million. compare it to the house majority pac's 70% success rate on $30 million. another democratic super pac, majority pac is what it was called, had an even higher success rate. democratic super pacs did better in the last election because basically, they had a better message, with policies people actually cared about. it seems to me the republican super pacs were all based on a power grab. they had more money. but the money is meant to protect those at the very top.
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the wealthy. it's power versus populism. and this time around i think we did pretty well. i guess we could say that the citizens united beat citizens united based on where people were. but president obama's remarks three years ago are so true to this day. >> last week the supreme court reversed a century of law that i believe will open the floodgates for special interests, including foreign corporations, to spend without limit in our elections. >> to spend without limit in our elections. let's bring in msnbc political analyst and bloomberg view columnist jonathan alter. great to have you with us tonight. it's a new age of politics. it's all about the money. the democrats are in this game, but we know many of them, it turns their stomach to do it. is it a must? >> it is, unfortunately. it's a necessary evil. otherwise, you're fighting with
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one hand tied behind your back. now, the thing to understand is that taking back the house for the democrats is not likely to happen in 2014 because of the way these congressional districts have been drawn. >> isn't that amazing? that's just amazing to think about that. >> you have to take a state like pennsylvania, which is a blue state. went for obama both times. they have 13 republican congressmen and 6 democratic congressmen. the lines are all drawn by the republican legislature to favor the republicans. and it's very hard to do anything about that. that's why there are only ten that have been targeted. that's not enough to take control. but what it would do is if they could pick up those ten seats in 2014 then in 2016 they would only need another, you know, seven or eight for them to get control back. and it would be more doable. but some of these ones that
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they're trying to get back they lost by ten points or more. not michele bachmann. they only lost that one by one point. >> well, it is rather amazing how the liberals made use of their dollars versus the lack of success that the conservatives had. why is that? >> well, i think that, you know, the ads were better, to start with. so the pro-obama super pac that was run by bill burton, who used to work in the white house, his ads were breaking through on bain and some other subjects, whereas the republican super pacs were spending much, much, much more money but their ads didn't cut at all, they were poorly done, and so the democrats kind of caught a break at the presidential level. at the senate level they had some terrible candidates to work with and they did not deploy their resources well on the republican side, and in both presidential and senate races they made a lot of poor media buying decisions. so some of these were kind of technical areas where the democrats were just smarter than
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the republicans. that might not stand up. ultimately, it may be that when the democrats don't have the white house anymore at some point in the future or if more republican super pacs come in then some of the nightmares that the democrats had this past year might come true, where the money will just blow them away. >> some political professors that i revere and talk to from time to time tell me that because the democrats had the house for 40 years that the republicans want it for 40 years and the only way that they're ever going to have it is to make sure that they jury rig all the -- gerrymandering that they're doing to make sure they have a chance to do that. it's part of their long-term strategy. >> that's why local elections are so important. for anybody out there who says don't vote for the state representatives, i only vote for the presidential. the gerrymandering decisions, which come from in the 18th century it's a combination of eldridge jerry, who was the
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governor of massachusetts that drew maps that looked like salamanders. peculiarly shaped. why does that happen? because one party controls the process. so after the 2010 mid-terms the republicans picked up so many state legislatures that they were able to essentially rig the 2012 election -- >> they saw an opportunity, they took it. >> democratic candidates got 1.1 million more votes for the house of representatives in 2012, and they lost the house by a substantial margin because the maps rigged the process. the only way to change that is to elect democratic state legislators so that those maps at the next census in 2020 -- >> so that money's going to have to be spent on a state level. i mean, this national money -- >> absolutely. remember, it doesn't get redrawn until 2020 and the new census. so between now and then it's going to -- it's an uphill fight for the democrats to get the house back. >> all right. jonathan alter, great to have
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you with us tonight. thank you. >> thank you. coming up tonight, a massive string of storms could have republicans who voted against sandy relief asking for federal i'd. i'll bring you the details. and a republican rising star echoes mitt romney's 47% comments. howard fineman, richard wolffe, david corn all weigh in. stay with us. you're watching "the ed show" on msnbc.
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welcome back to "the ed show."
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thanks for staying with us tonight. after republicans voted no on hurricane sandy relief, a huge wave of severe storms could have them in a real rough spot and a tough spot for them to explain why they voted the way they did. you see, on wednesday a 1,000-mile stretch of dangerous storms swept across the east coast all the way from georgia to vermont. the storms caused severe flooding, high winds, power outages, tornadoes, and left two people dead. 20 tornadoes were confirmed in eight different states. but georgia, the good old state of georgia, was hit the hardest. a massive tornado rolled through the town of adairsville, georgia. leaving roughly 100 homes destroyed in the area. georgia governor nathan deal declared a state of emergency for counties affected by the storm. and there are currently 21,000 customers right now without power in that state. my heart goes out to these
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folks. to have no power, to be inconvenienced like that. it sucks. but it's important to point out georgia might be in need of some federal aid. and this could be -- really put these republican -- the republican delegation from this part of the country in kind of a tough spot. because remember, both georgia senators, saxby chambliss and also johnny isakson voted against hurricane relief for sandy victims. and besides congressman jack kingston every single house republican from georgia voted against helping the northeast in their time of need. pretty heartless move, don't you think? well, things sure turn around, don't they? republicans voting against sandy aid and slowing down the process had members of congress from the northeastern portion of this country outraged. >> over two decades the congress has looked at these set of
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disasters and said it's an emergency. but when it comes to the northeast somehow it's not an emergency. i can't look at the face of a fellow new jerseyan and say i still can't tell you what the government will do to get you back in your home. and i would suggest to any of my colleagues that you wouldn't want to look at the face of your citizens and have to be in the same position. >> senator menendez of new jersey is exactly right. the people of georgia, in every state in this country, deserve federal aid when a disaster hits. but if georgia does not end up needing federal aid, i think every georgia republican who voted against sandy relief should go to the floor. i think saxby chambliss and also johnny isakson should go to the floor and explain to the american people why their state deserves relief right now but the people in the northeast don't deserve their vote. explain that one. you see, we have become so callous and so focused on money
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in our society and in our government, we really aren't our brother's keeper anymore. if a storm comes your way, as far as the republicans are concerned, you're just s.o.l. there's a lot more coming up in the next half hour of "the ed show." stay with us. we're right back. >> the good news is our principles are sound. >> another big-time republican gets busted calling medicare and social security recipients moochers. howard fineman, richard wolffe, and david corn on why the 47% is more than a talk point for the gop. an applebee's waitress gets stiffed on a tip and then gets fired for complaining about it. you're not going to believe this story. and in center left america it is no longer okay to be a homophobe in an nfl locker room. >> let all lgbt teens know that it gets better. >> coming up, we've got the story that's burning up media
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in just one week goes to you. there are 47% of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. all right, there are 47% who are with pimm, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they're entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it. >> and of course those were the remarks that sunk mitt romney's campaign. yet instead of distancing himself from the language, romney used, the republican party is basically embracing it. the new gop messaging is just like the old gop messaging. and the party's newest messenger is virginia attorney general ken cuccinelli. he's a rising star in the republican party and he's running for governor in the state of virginia. the "washington post" got a hold
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of cuccinelli's upcoming book and noted the tea party favorite is adapting romney's views, attacking a culture of dependency and the politicians who he believes enable it. one of their favorite ways to increase their power is by creating programs that dispense subsidized government benefits such as medicare, social security, and outright welfare, medicaid, food stamps, subsidized housing, and the like. these programs make people dependent on government and once people are dependent they feel they can't afford to have the programs taken away, no matter how inefficient, poorly run, or costly to the rest of society." yet cuccinelli tells the "washington post" he's not trying to disparage people. this isn't a single vote -- there isn't a single vote in virginia that i'm not going after, he says. of course, he's just following the advice that louisiana governor bobby jindal dispensed to the party last week. but despite jindal's weak rebranding effort, the gop's policies haven't changed. nor has the ideology.
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and that was the larger issue with romney's 47% comments and with paul ryan's makers versus takers argument, as greg sargent of the "washington post" puts it, "there has been a great deal of chatter among republicans lately that they don't really need to change their ideas, they merely need to change their tone. but as cuccinnelli's comments demonstrate, the ideas are the tone." let's turn to our panel tonight. msnbc political analyst richard wolffe is with us. also howard fineman of the huffington post and david corn of mother jones. gentlemen, great to have you with us. >> thanks, ed. >> good evening. >> what's that deal about here's the old boss, meet the new boss? we've just got to put the sign on the front door a little differently. david, what do you make of this? cuccinnelli, the rising star, not backing off from anything mitt romney said or did. what do you think? >> well, this is one reason why the 47% tape was so potent, because people saw that it showed mitt romney in 67 seconds
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speaking candidly about how he believed. and i think about how a lot of people in his position in the republican party on the right also believe. you know, the speech that paul ryan gave at the convention, which is very ayn randian, he talked about the government trying to get people dependent. and this comes up again and again. it's a very dark conspiratorial view. you and everyone on this panel have been around lots of liberal democratic members of the congress and elsewhere, and i have yet to hear one say, you know what, if we can just make people more dependent and turn them into parasites we'll do better on election day. i mean, it just isn't the way it happens. >> doesn't this in a sense really make it easier for whoever's going to end up running against cuccinnelli in virginia, i think his name is terry mcauliffe? richard wolffe, what do you make of this? isn't this another silver platter for the democratic opponent? >> yeah, look, it's bad politics, it's bad policy, and by the way, you know, it would
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fit into bobby jindal's characterization of this is the stupid party. you know, this is an old storyline for republicans. he's tapping into some very old narratives about people on welfare. and that's how, you know, somehow democrats are busing people to vote, buying up votes. we're really talking about the inner cities. we're talking about african-americans here. there are lots of code words that might work for cuccinnelli among a virginia tea party audience, but it's not going to speak to the bigger things voters are looking for. how does it speak to people's aspirations? how does it speak to people's attempt to get into the middle class, to get themselves out of being in the working poor, or cement their position in the working class? and that's where it's bad politics as well as a miscalculation about what makes this country work. >> howard, how does this cuccinnelli get away from these comments and rebrand himself in any way, shape, or form? >> well, he's not going to, ed.
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first of all, you've got two fantastic political analysts who have already spoken, david and richard. so i'm going to do something i don't usually do, which is vent. who are the takers and who are the makers, ed? is chris christie a taker? are the people on the jersey shore takers? not makers? are the people in connecticut and on staten island who were devastated by sandy takers and not makers? the congress of the united states, over the last couple months, just voted about 60 or 70 billion dollars to repair the devastation in the new york metropolitan area through new jersey up to connecticut. and i guarantee you that a lot of people who enjoyed the jersey shore or a lot of people who lived on staten island might under other circumstances find a message like ken cuccinnelli's somewhat appealing about the takers in american society, about how the people who become dependent on government.
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but then when disaster struck the whole rest of the country through the congress weren't takers or makers. they were givers. because this is one country and this is a place where people get together when necessary. now, that was one event and one disaster. but the whole idea of what federal programs are about are not about makers and takers. they're about giving everybody a chance. >> they sure are. >> that was the speech that president obama gave in the inauguration. and cuccinnelli and all the others can try to play this game. it's a loser. paul ryan, by the way, who i saw the other night at a dinner, i said what are you up to, what are you looking at? what do you want to do this time around? and he talked about -- he said he wanted to look at poverty and see what he could do about poverty. i actually think that -- this may sound silly to you, but paul ryan's a smart enough politician to know that he made a big mistake talking about takers and makers in 2012. >> no question about it. >> and he's not going to repeat it. cuccinnelli can repeat it. paul ryan's not going to.
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>> gentlemen, let's talk about chuck hagel. i was surprised at how republicans threw another republican under the bus today, especially the exchange between mccain and chuck hagel. howard, what did you think of that? >> well, i think there's a lot of republican resentment about hagel. and i will say this. i think the administration, if they want to protect chuck hagel, they'd better come out and do it right away. i think he had a pretty rough time. unfairly so in many respects. he's talking about a new world that we know exists. you can beat up on chuck hagel all you want. i think the basic propositions that hagel is putting forth are probably pretty unassailable. but hagel himself was on the defensive a lot today. and if the administration really wants him, they'd better back him and they'd better back him really fast and furious. >> richard, i thought he showed a great deal of composure. really took the high road when he was being attacked. >> look, there's a lot of
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personal animus there from john mccain to his old friend. they went out campaigning against each other. look, they may have split on the question of the surge in iraq, but the problem for john mccain is he was the biggest -- one of the biggest advocates for invading iraq. and so john mccain might want to try and whitewash the whole experience and pretend like it was all a great thing for america. but you know, when you look back at it, chuck hagel got the overall analysis right. this was the biggest foreign policy disaster since vietnam, where they both served. it's very personal. >> david, your thoughts. >> john mccain wants to start the conversation of iraq at the surge and not before that. and hell has no fury like mccain's scorn. it was very personal. it was very bitter. and he really was kind of a bully. he got back to his old crotchety man routine after having a few days in the bright sun on immigration reform. but i agree with howard. i think that chuck hagel did not fend very well those attacks. and they're going to have to come out really clearly in the next day or two to make up for that. >> all right. david corn, howard fineman,
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richard wolffe, great to have you with us tonight. thanks so much for your time. >> thank you. >> coming up, if you've w0rkd in the food service industry before, you've probably been stiffed on a tip one time or another. but you won't believe the excuse one customer got caught using. we'll show you that next. it's amazing.
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like the ed show when you're
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there. we appreciate that. still to come, nfl players are speaking out after one super bowl-bound star's controversial remarks. former nfl player wade davis joins me to discuss the league's changing attitude toward gay athletes. stay tuned.
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imagine this. you're a waitress. you make a base salary of $3.50 an hour and depend on tips for income. tips are great, aren't they? you share them with your co-workers in many places. and after all is said and done, you average about $9 an hour before taxes. it's a situation many americans find themselves in in the working place in the country. and anyone who spent time at all in the food service industry has a story or two over the years to tell about being stiffed on a tip. this story might make you lose a little bit of faith. earlier this week chelsea welch, an applebee's employee, took to
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social media site readit -- reddit to show a photo of a receipt left by a st. louis pastor, alois bell. according to welch the worker the pastor and her party of i should say 20 ran up more than $200 worth of food but weren't feeling so charitable when it came time to pay. the pastor crossed out the automatic 18% gratuity charge for groups larger than eight and wrote "i give god 10%. why do you get 18?" to emphasize her point a big zero and "pastor" above the signature. the post immediately went viral online. which is when welch says pastor bell called her applebee's employer and demanded everyone working there that night be fired. as a result chelsea welch, she was laid off. she was laid off. in a statement by applebee's they said, "our guests' personal information including their meal check is private and neither
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applebee's nor its franchises have a right to share this information publicly. we value our guests' trust above all else." as welch told the consumerist, applebee's "made it clear that they would rather lose a dedicated employee than lose an angry customer." as for pastor bell, she claims to have left money on the table and is calling the whole thing a lapse in judgment that has just been blown out of proportion. i'd like to think the good pastor has learned her lesson at this point. but it's worth remembering the following tip from the good book. it's called the golden rule. do unto others as you would want to have them do unto you. and if you don't want to pay your waiter or waitress a tip, then don't go out to eat. these people work really, really hard to get stiffed at any job any day in the service industry. tonight in our survey i ask, do republicans want a defense secretary who would lead us into more wars?
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97% of you said yes. 3% of you said no. up next, a super bowl contender is forced to tackle a serious social issue. find out why this player's apology could be a sign of serious change for the national football league. stay tuned.
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in the big finish tonight, we've been talking a lot lately about america becoming a center-left country.
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we're just days away from the super bowl. and the nfl is trying to adjust to the politics of its fans. and it's a little painful to watch. here's the guy at the center of the controversy this week. 49ers defensive back. he plays the corner. chris culliver. told an interviewer that gay players shouldn't be in the locker room. >> what about gay guys? have any of them approached you? >> no. i don't do the gay guys, man. i don't do that, no. >> are there any on the 49ers? >> no. >> coach jim harbaugh had a chat with culliver. so today, super bowl media day turned into culliver's personal apology tour. >> would you welcome a homosexual teammate? >> if it is then it is. you know. everybody's treated equally in our locker room. >> why do you think you said those things? >> like i said, just -- just something that was just in a joking manner. but like i said, definitely nothing that i feel in my heart. >> culliver might believe there are no gay nfl players, but statistically he's probably
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wrong. the latest research finds that 3.4% of americans call themselves lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender. so if you've got 55 guys on a roster, at least two of them could be gay if you go by the percentages. 49ers safety donte whitner says culliver clearly made a mistake. whitner told reporters today, "who knows? there could be somebody gay in our locker room. right now. that's scared to come out, which he has a right to be because of the other players on the team, the way they might feel." whitner says culliver should have been more sensitive. "there's probably a large amount of people who come to candlestick park who are gay. it's just a mistake, and i know he wishes he could take it back." this picture of two 49er fans kissing made the "sports illustrated" super bowl issue. it's a sign the culture is changing. joining me tonight is wade
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davis, former nfl player and a human rights activist. wade, good to have you with us tonight. >> thank you so much for having me. >> what happened here? is there animosity towards gay people in the nfl amongst the players, or did this player just misspeak? >> i think that chris made a mistake. there's probably a few players who may have issues with a gay teammate, but i think the majority of guys are inclusive. >> is it hard to be gay in the nfl? >> i would believe so. it's a masculine space. there are a lot of people who believe that gay men can't play sports. so yes. >> and what should the 49ers do, if anything? >> i think first thing that the 49ers should do is make sure that chris, you know, apologizes, as he did. but also do some work in the community. you know, partner with an organization where he can have the firsthand knowledge of how his language hurts you. >> now, you were with three nfl teams -- the redskins, the seahawks, and the titans.