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tv   The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell  MSNBC  November 18, 2014 10:00pm-11:01pm PST

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certain what this board will ultimately decide. it is in process as we speak. but this tea party majority is running out of time. and as i said, we do think they could be caving. we'll let you know. we'll be watching the live stream obsessively. i know we're dorks but this is actually kind of a new level. that does it for us tonight. we'll see you again tomorrow. now it's time for "the last word" with lawrence o'donnell. but i have a confession about my high school biology textbook and please don't tell anyone this, but i was strongly tempted to tear pages out of that book. especially ones that i couldn't understand, which was most of them. but i never did. i never did. >> but if the school board had told you to rip them out, you would all of a sudden know how valuable they are. >> i would have a different attitude. absolutely. >> tonight, you're going to hear the amazing story of how president nixon's fight to deport john lennon back in the
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1970s first established the legal basis for president obama taking executive action on immigration. john lennon's lawyer, one of the great courtroom crusaders of our time is here to explain. but first, the attack on a synagogue today in jerusalem. >> among the dead, three americans. >> we're following reaction out of jerusalem. today's synagogue attack in jerusalem. >> five people dead, three of them rabbis. >> two attackers stormed a synagogue in jerusalem this morning. >> two palestinians entered with cleavers, knives and a gun. >> and attacked people that were praying. >> they were saying the two suspects were from east jerusalem. both were killed in a shootout with israeli police. >> benjamin netanyahu ordered the demolition of their homes in east jerusalem. >> the environment has been in free fall for much of this year. >> the attack falls several weeks of rising tensions. >> the violence has been building the last few weeks. >> those have been fuelled by
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access. >> trying to access the noble sanctuary. >> to one only jerusalem's holiest sites. >> so far, the violence is mostly in jerusalem. >> jerusalem is a city on edge. four men including three americans with israeli citizenship were killed this morning on an attack in a synagogue in west jerusalem, carried out by two palestinian cousins armed with axes, knives and a gun. >> people who have come to worship god in a sanctuary in a synagogue were hatcheted and hacked and murdered in that holy place in an act of pure terror and senseless brutality and murder. >> the two attackers and one police officer were later killed in a shootout. several people were injured.
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president obama today condemned that attack. >> israeli, as well as the united states, and our hearts go ought to the families who obviously are undergoing enormous grief right now. tragically, too many israelis have died, too many palestinians have died. we encourage both palestinians and israelis to work together to lower tensions. >> today's violence seems related to a long history of conflict between israelis and palestinians over praying at the holy site jews call temple mount and muslims call the noble sanctuary. two weeks ago, israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu pushed back against calls from right wing mps with the restrictions playing at the
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site. today, netanyahu blamed hamas and the palestinian authority for spreading lies that incited the attack and ordered the demolition of the attackers' homes and the homes of other palestinian terrorists who had carried out recent attacks. the president mahmoud abbas in this recent rash of violence. hamas, on the other hand, praised today's attack, telling nbc news, we congratulate this operation and ask our people to revenge and to do more attacks against israelis. this is a normal action against the enemy. joining me now by phone from jerusalem is shira frankel, the middle east correspondent for buzz feed news. also joining us nbc news foreign correspondent, what is the situation in jerusalem now? >> people are really tense.
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they're worried this is going to be the first of many attack, ongoing attacks in jerusalem. i spoke to parents earlier today and they said they're keeping their children out of school tomorrow because they're worried both sides might attack and this is going to escalate further. >> the palestinian authority condemns the attack. hamas glagt golden states. >> two different narratives. obviously hamas is seen by israel as a terrorist organization and at the same time, hamas has been fighting over the course of the last several years. very much against israel by using these types of tactics, terrorist tactics. they believe in their eye what is they call armed resistance as the only way for the palestinian people to achooe their independence. obviously mahmoud abbas and the palestinian authority, still believe in negotiations and a peace process. and that's why they condemned it.
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>> and what has benjamin netanyahu said about israeli reaction to this? >> he asked israelis to be restrained. and not take matters in their own hands. that's something israel has seen in the past. vigilante acts of revenge and he's worried about that happening again. he's asked his own members of parliament saying that's going to enflame tensions further. and he's basically making a call to people to calm things. he knows this is not something israeli police can calm on their own. they've seen random lone wolf attacks. and he's hoping that by calling tensions across the board, he'll be able to sort of deescalate the situation. >> trace the history of us for this conflict at temple mount. >> the old city, as you mentioned, it's one of the holiest sites for all three major religions in this world.
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since then, it's been under the custodianship of the jordanian authorities. muslim worshippers allowed to pray at the noble sanctuary, they're not allowed to actually pray inside or on the top of the temple mount as they see it. but in recent weeks, the israeli government, or the israeli parliament was trying to reduce legislation. there were calls by right wing israelis that they wanted to change that rule to allow jewish worshippers into the noble sanctuary of the temple mount. john kerry flew to the region to try to negotiate some kind of agreement. and we heard from the israeli officials trying to calm situations down by saying they are not going to change the status quo, that the status quo
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would remain in place. but in the past several year, the restrictions on muslim worshippers into the noble sanctuary has become increasingly difficult. they've limited who can go in and who can't go in to pray for muslims. and that has just continued to build up that tension. >> shira, it sounds like to some extent thats the israelis are trying to preserve a status quo while also slightly adjusting the status quo over time. >> yeah, definitely. we've seen a shift. it's become -- it's not mainstream, but more acceptable for jewish politicians, israeli politicians to openly call for jews to be able to pray on the temple mound. and that's something we never would have heard five or ten years ago. the groups of jewish visitors as well going there. we've been down to the floor to actually mutter a prayer. the little acts that they see as rebellion are viewed as incredibly disrespectable by muslims who are there praying.
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we've seen an increase in this. that's kind of gradually excluded thing to a point we've gotten to today. >> what's your judgment about what the next step might be? where might we be on this a week from now? >> it's going to depend on the leadership from both sides. friday is always a big obviously in jerusalem. it is the holy day for muslims. thousands of palestinians will try to enter the mosque for prayers, but it also will come down to the israeli authorities and whether or not they are going to attempt to destroy and demolish the homes of these two palestinians or are they going to try to push that down the road? keep in mind, when the israelis killed the palestinian teenager, some of the israeli authorities did not go destroy the homes of the israeli perpetrators. you can see why when israel is going to destroy the homes of these palestinian attacker, there's going to be a lot of anger and perhaps that could
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once again trigger another round of violence. but right now on the palestinian side, there's a disconnect between the palestinian leadership and the people on the streets. >> thank you both for joining me tonight. coming up, why before our criminal president richard nixon was forced to resign from office in disgrace he managed to shake hands with elvis presley and try to deport john lennon. luckily for undocumented immigrants today, john lennon and his very brave lawyer did not back down from a fight with president nixon. john lennon's amazing lawyer will join me next.
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- ( helicopter whirring ) - ( roars ) ( siren wails ) ( pop music playing ) ♪ when you're ready ♪ ready, ready, ready ♪ come and get it ♪ get it, get it ♪ when you're ready, come and get it ♪
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♪ na na na na ♪ na na na na na na na ♪ ♪ when you're ready, come and get it ♪ ♪ na na na na... female announcer: it's a great big world and it can all be yours. here and only here. ♪ come and get it. >> tonight's vote in the senate to approve construction of the keystone pipeline failed by one vote. mary landrieu of louisiana
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pushed the pipeline bill and in the end she got 59 of the 60 votes needed for passage. senator landrieu is facing a runoff election in december to retain her senate seat. republicans say they'll bring the bill back to the senate floor when they have the majority in january. up next, how john lennon opened the door that dreamers and other undocumented immigrants can now walk through. (receptionist) gunderman group. gunderman group is growing. getting in a groove. growth is gratifying. goal is to grow. gotta get greater growth. i just talked to ups. they got expert advise, special discounts, new technologies. like smart pick ups. they'll only show up when you print a label
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and it's automatic. we save time and money. time? money? time and money. awesome. awesome! awesome! awesome! awesome! (all) awesome! i love logistics. >> it's still where i like to be. it's still paris or rome to me. like they used to be thousands of years ago and i want to be
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here. i want to be able to be here and be in england or france or travel wherever i want. i don't expect to be you know, hasled unless i'm going to hungary or something, czechoslovakia, then i would expect it. >> that's john lennon in 1975 outside the courthouse in new york city where he was fighting deportation. i learned something about john lennon on this program last night. >> the supreme court has recognized the action many times. it has recently -- the authority of the government to exercise discretion cently as 2012. and regulations have recognized this since 1978 when for the first time the first known beneficiary of deferred action was john lennon. >> john lennon. people say i'm a dreamer, but i'm not the only one. the dreamer who wrote those lyrics was, of course, john lennon who actually was america's first immigration
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dreamer. because the legal precedent established in john lennon's immigration case 42 years ago is the first legal building block that gave president obama the authority through executive action to in effect grant new status to the dreamers in june of 2012. >> effective immediately, the department of homeland security is taking steps to lift the shadow of deportation from these young people. over the next few months, eligible individuals who do not present a risk to national security or public safety will be able to request tech rare relief from deportation proceedings and apply for work authorization. >> the door that was opened by john lennon's immigration court battle has now deferred deportation of more than 580,000 immigrants who entered the country illegally when they were children. president obama is now planning to allow millions more people to pass through that door.
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here is how general lennon opened that door. president richard nixon, the only president in history forced to resign the presidency because of his own criminal conduct, was not a beatles fan. here he is in the oval office with elvis presley in 1970, who by the time, could not have been more uncool. elvis' rock 'n roll had quickly become old fashioned once the beatles made it to the united states. john lennon had picked up a conviction for possession of cannabis residue in london in 1968, which is all the white house needed to deport him during richard nixon's releks campaign when john lennon was planning a concert tour and voter registration drive that would help drive richard nixon out of office in favor of the most liberal anti-war candidate ever nominated by a major party, democrat george mcgovern. john lennon hired a new york city immigration lawyer to fight his deportation. the lawyer leon wilds was 39
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years old, but couldn't have been listening to the radio very much in those days because he had to actually ask a colleague who is john lennon? he tried many approaches to win legal status for john lennon, including challenging the law that said convictions for possession of narcotic drugs or marijuana was grounds for deportation. he presented expert testimony that cannabis resin was not marijuana and not covered by the law. and he actually asked john lennon if hashish was marijuana to which john lennon replied, oh, no, much better than marijuana. but most importantly, through the freedom of information acts, leon wilds discovered that the immigration national ralization service using prosecutorial discretion in deciding who to deport.
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he discovered 1,843 cases of such prosecutorial discretion, which was part of a secret program then. and after he made that secret program public, the agency was then forced to issue public guidelines for the use of that kind of prosecutorial discretion, thus enshrining in law for the first time that prosecutorial discretion that president obama has used to help dreamers and expected to use to help millions more immigrants remain in this country. the 1986 immigration reform law further clarified prosecutorial discretion to include deferred action on some immigrants who could then be allowed to legally work while their immigration cases were pepding. that is the basic legal authority that president obama is expected to use when he takes action on immigration. it is an authority he might not have if john lennon didn't bring in wilds to fight richard nixon's immigration and naturalization service.
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it is my honor now to be joined by john lennon's immigration attorney leon wilds and his son michael wilds. first of all, thank you very, very much for being here. this really is an honor. i remember as a kid watching you on television coming out of the courthouse with john lennon. in fact, i think we have a little more video of that that we can show right now. let's take a look at that. >> your defense must be costing you a lot of money. >> yeah. >> is it worth it? >> it will be. i don't care about the money. i want to be here. if i cared about the money i would be living in switzerland. i wouldn't be living in england or america. both the taxes are high. i mean, it's only that much difference between the english and the american tax. and if i cared about money, i would be in switzerland. wouldn't i, folks?
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that's a good idea, isn't it? >> leon, i know you went after this case in the representation of an individual client, but did you realize at the time that when you found this prosecutorial discretion that you could be opening the door for more people than just john lennon? >> yes, i did. actually, john asked me when i had explained to him that this has great potential for other people, he asked me whether i would continue studying it and publish some articles on it so that other lawyers might be able to use it in the future. it was very important to him. >> tell us what it was like just to work with john lennon. john lennon the person in this situation. >> he was a very sweet, kind person. he was concerned about everybody around him. my children were -- he would find out how were they doing. how is my wife?
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we met in an elevator once going in the immigration building and he was so kind. he would call to express his best on all the jewish holidays, because he knew that i didn't answer the phone on friday night and saturday. and he was so thoughtful and concerned about my well being. it was a very, very special guy. >> and the case dragged on for years, didn't it? >> yes. actually, we dragged it on for years until we were able to get to a point where we could sue the government under the freedom of information act for all this important information. and it needed -- we needed to prolong his stay in the united states, because the government, mr. nixon's administration charged him with being an
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overstay by making up the rules as they went along. he was perfectly in legal status. they had just given him two weeks to leave. and they cut off his time within the two weeks and charged him with being an overstay for about half a week. it was an outrageous violation of his constitutional rights. anticipate he reacted very well to it. he seemed to accept what the government was doing as what governments do. he saw the approach that he had. he only wanted to be able to live here peacefully and travel. >> and michael, one of the extraordinary things about it that we all saw when we were watching you and john lennon on the courthouse steps in these cases was, this was someone who loved america, loved new york city sfeskically. really could live anywhere in
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the world, really wanted to live here. >> john had goped an extraordinary love for this nation. and i have to say, through my dad's scholarship in this case, he taught for 33 years in law school an immigration law class. and i had the bridge of meet middleweight wife in the class and i'm teaching the class now. but it was an enduring relationship. >> do you teach the lennon case? >> i do. in fact, my dad comes each year. i got into the business just to carry his briefcase. he comes each year and teaches that class which is in a few weeks' time. and it's an enduring case that was a snapshot of america gone bad. and a dreamer and a scholar getting together and not knowing the effect that this would have on our nation a generation later. >> now leon, this was a president with an enemy's list. this was as nasty a president as we have had in modern times, as we know.
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you were going into direct battle with richard nixon when you took on this case. j. edgar hoover, these were people who were willing to be vengeful about lawyers like you and cases like this. did any of that enter your mind? were you concerned about any of that? >> oh, y e. we were concerned because our phones were being tapped. john was being followed. two guys standing across the street continuously fixing a bike would be in a car following him if he left his apartment at anytime. and it was a terrible pressure in the handling of the case. and i have to say that john's attitude was helpful even to me. he had a philosophy that the government does these things and we will still succeed. >> what was it like for you, as i said, having represented this
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one client in a case you knew could have implications for many, many more. to be sitting here tonight with president obama in office considering taking executive action, using as the primary building block of his justification for this the building block that you laid in the lennon case, that you could be responsible now for the enter of -- or the legal unification of millions of families in this country. >> i'll give john lennon credit for it. i think he's entitled to that recognition. i'm a specialist that he hired to do the technical work. but his love of america and his willingness to dedicate himself to this case is something we
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should never forget. >> lawrence, my father is doing this for the last 58 years in the same office that john used to call on my dad. anecdotally -- >> where the hold music really is -- >> "imagine." >> anecdotally, you should know i broke away this evening from dinner with elvis presley's granddaughter because she's dating a gentleman we helped get an old visa. >> this is way too small a world. >> immigration has permeated just about every society from the pickers of blueberries in georgia to the corridor ans the borders we have. we need strong border protection, but we also have to be judicious and put our resources where they're deserved. if the president is going to focus on pushing murderers and rapists out of this country, we're all for it.
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but we want to unify families and we want the economy to be repaired by workers. and the greatest entrepreneurial spirit we have now, immigrants. >> wilds father and son, thank you very much tonight. and leon, i can't praise you enough. heroic trial law officers have done things as important as legislators as we all know, in changing this country. a real honor to have you here. thank you very much. >> thank you. coming up, the wall of snow that's all over the northeast. we're going to show you six feet of snow you feel in buffalo. >> more than 100 cities could so when we asked the guys at composites horizons to map their manufacturing process with sticky notes and string, yeah, they were a little bit skeptical. what they do actually is rocket science. high tech components for aircraft and fighter jets. we're just their bankers, right? but financing from ge capital also comes with expertise from across ge. in this case, our top lean process engineers. so they showed us who does what, when, and where.
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built for business. >> more than 100 cities could break low temperature records by tomorrow. a brutal snowstorm that's already caused four fatalities continues to hammer western new york. the storm is expected to dump almost six feet of snow on the buffalo area. the weather channel's mike bettes has the latest. >> reporter: whiteout, blizzard conditions. the great lakes region is under siege. buffalo, all but buried with more than 51 inches of snow, and it's still falling. 100 miles of i-90 is shut down. 100 vehicles stranded, many may be forced to leave with rescuers tonight. >> so it's a very serious situation. many travel bans and roads closed, highways close popped. >> semis and cars stuck with nowhere to go. you could see it coming, a huge call of snow coming into the city.
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and this time lapse video shows how it just hasn't stopped. relentless, piling up overnight and all day. >> i lived in buffalo all my night. i have never seen it like this. it was scary. >> i received information that the national guard will be deployed. >> the niagara university women's basketball team stuck nine hours on the new york throughway while headed home to pittsburgh. >> the wind is blowing. the snow is blowing at a pretty high rate. >> people at rate posted online. snow day. very visible backyard. i lost my house and no way this dog is getting through the doorway. snow piled up outside this man's garage door. michigan also hit hard by the lake-effect snow. and in wisconsin, snow up to the stop sign. six feet in one week. the milwaukee river completely frozen over. record low temperatures for this time of year in ten cities. in louisville, kentucky, the big chill fell on churchill downs,
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cancelling racing for the first time in nearly 30 years. this morning's low in florida, just 42 degrees near jacksonville. that's colder than oregon's mount hood at 44. >> that was the weather channel's mike bettes. later, it may not have been polite, but what jonathan gruber said about passing health care, is it true? howard dean and jonathan colm join me. [ breathing deeply ] [ inhales deeply ] [ sighs ] [ inhales ] [ male announcer ] at cvs health, we took a deep breath... [ inhales, exhales ] [ male announcer ] and made the decision to quit selling cigarettes in our cvs pharmacies. now we invite smokers to quit, too,
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jonathan gruber whose work helped pass health care reform legislation in massachusetts, which government mitt romney signed into law and the affordable care act, which president obama signed into law is in trouble in washington this week for using impolite language while telling the truth about the political strategy for passing the afford care act. >> this bill was written in a tortured way to make sure cbo did not score the mandate as taxes. if they score it as taxes, the bill dies. so it's written to do that. in terms of risk-rated subsidies, if you get a law that said healthy people are going to pay in, it made explicit that health people pay in and sick people get money, it would not have passed. lack of transparency is a yuj political advantage. call it the stupidity of the american voter or whatever, but that was really, really critical to getting the thing to pass. >> that was last year at the university of pennsylvania. he said something very similar on this program last year, which caused no controversy at all. apparently because he didn't say
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anything about voters being stupid. the politics of defending complex legislation is never easy, and remember what these democrats are worried about is losing an election next year to a republican who will then replace them. >> yeah, i think -- look, there's no free lunch. as e.j. said, if you're going to reform insurance markets so that everyone has to pay one fair price for insurance, which is, by the way, what the majority of americans want, the vast majority want fair, nondiscriminatory insurance market, that means some healthy people are going to have to pay more. you can't have a world where no one pays more and some people pay less. that's not going to happen. >> that is the speech that was never made by any democrat supporting the affordable care act. that little passage you just said right there. >> that's absolutely right. >> joining me now, the senior editor for the new republic and howard dean, former chairman of
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the democratic national committee. howard dean, i know you've worked on legislation in your day. i have. and i have to say that certainly in washington, everything that professor gruber said about it is exactly right. when you're trying to move legislation, especially legislation like this through the congress, the less people know about it the be thor a and you're hoping that people don't talk about all sorts of the aspects of the plan. and when you talk about it, you always try to frame it in a certain way and try to hide the ball in certain way ps it's just the way the play is always run. >> i think there's a difference between framing and being dishonest with the american people. i don't have any cases at all for the argument a, that the american people are stupid, or b that it's a good idea to conceal what's in the legislation in order to get it to pass. that is what is wrong with washington in general. is this contempt for the american people. it's a big mistake. maybe the american people don't know everything about health care, i don't think they're stupid and i think you've got to be up front with people about
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what they're getting. i think obama care is a better deal than not getting anything at all. but to take the attitude that jonathan gruber took i think is outrageous. and i don't doubt that lots of people in washington have that attitude. >> let's listen to some of the things that president obama said about the plan while selling the plan that actually are not actually in the plan. >> if you like your current plan, you will be able to keep it. let me repeat that. if you like your plan, you will be able to keep it. >> that's the one that everyone now knows about. every time -- >> my actual -- sorry, go ahead. >> gark howard. >> my view of that was that the president himself didn't understand what he was doing. or talking about. and i don't blame him for that. this is very, very complex stuff. it didn't have to be this complex, but that's what they chose to do is make it complex because they wanted it to stay in the private sector because the insurance companies were essentially writing the bill.
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baucus' committee. and that's what what they chose to do. i don't think the president meant to mislead the american people. my guess is this is what he was told was going to happen and it didn't happen. >> and jonathan cohen, especially any bill that has taxes in it, whenever you try to move a tack bill out of the finance committee, this bill had 15 taxes in it. more than most tax bills that move out of the committee. one of the things that's involved is you want to try to hide that ball as long as possible, and it's not about the american people. it's about lobbyists. it's about, for example, the medical device lobbyists, and you don't want them to know that you're planning to do a tack on them. and so it's -- and so this ethos of hiding the ball, hiding what's in here permeates the process all the way stloug. through. >> it does. and when you think about the obstacles they had to go through to pass -- you know, to pass any legislation these day, but particularly something affecting such a large sector of the
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economy, they really had to run a political gauntlet. they were conscious of all kinds of cross-cutting pressure, from conservative democrats, from industry lobbyist. and that led them obviously both to write a bill that we all knew and talked about at the time and we still know has lots of flaws. it's tortured, to use professor gruber's phrase. but, you know, i will say this. you know, for all that -- if you look at the -- by the standards of legislation, and lawrence, you worked in congress. you've seen this. i actually think the process that led to the affordable care act was by all reasonable standards relatively transparent. i mean, we talked about everything in that bill. >> hold it there for a second. we didn't, in fact. i think relatively transparent, i agree with. however, the clinton bill which lets everyone, remember, was defeated and didn't pass was much more transparent and much more widely debated and had many more high-profile hearings in both the house and the senate
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than this legislation did. but remember, there's a lesson in it. it did not pass because it was so thoroughly debated. and i actually think one of the things that is part of the lack of the debate was how bad and ridiculously uninformed the republican side of the debate was. they were chasing mythologies like death panels that didn't exist. and they didn't spend any time talking about things like the -- in real tirms about how the tax on health care plans might work or the tack on medical devices and things like that. >> that's a really good point. when this whole gruber thing started i went back again to some of the coverage. and i thought about, you know, we were talking about before about keep your plan, which was a promise that should not have been made. that was wrong. anticipate i think we all recognize that. and i was also looking at this fact that, you know, we talked about the fact that some people were going to have to pay more for their plans. and that's what gruber was talking about. you know, the funny thing was, that did come up. i actually wrote a story about it. lots of people did, but it got blown past because everybody was
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talking about death panels. >> exactly right. a lot of those elements got blown away. i think, howard dean, i'm going to say it again, because the republican side of the debate was managed so badly, and it was basically fact free. and i was shocked by it. they had all these tacks that they could have gone after, and they didn't. they spent their time talking about things that weren't in the bill. >> i agree. the republicans were totally unhelpful and uninformed. i wasn't surprised. this wasn't something they wanted to do. there was an easy alternative. and we've talked about this before. had joe lieberman not changed his vote at the last minute, we would have a public option in this bill. and if we had a public option in this bill, we would probably still control the senate. it took ten minutes to sign up for medicare last year when i turned 65. if there had been a public option and the website had crashed, which i think is to be expected, people could have signed up for medicare, end of story. the core problem that these guys
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blew is they invented this complicated system, which was modelled after romney care, i'll grant you. they could have simply expanded immediate cade and medicare and expanded private insurance and widened the number of people who were in medicare and medicaid. everybody understands medicare and medicaid and they luke those programs. that's what they could have done. they didn't do that. the house did a good job. the senate did not. >> jonathan cohen and howard dean, this will not be the last word on this subject. i'm sure we will all be back on this once again. thank you very much for joining me tonight. >> thank very much. >> coming up, uh how an amazing teenager managed to collect half a million pounds of foot for the homeless in 24 hours. he's going to join us. than ever why now is the best
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and now for good news, a woman in china is alive tonight thanks to a group of complete strangers. in this cctv footage, you can see the woman is r50iding on a motorcycle with her husband when a car suddenly hits them. while her husband is able to escape, the woman becomes trapped under the car. her husband, the driver of the car, and dozens of quick-thinking passersby go into action to lift the car. the woman was taken to a local hospital where she is recovering from her injuries watching them lift that car, amazing. up next, more good news. a remarkable young man with a very important little red wagon.
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>> all right, everybody. quiet on the set. okay. last february thousands of students from across the country worked together to create more than 2,500 short films for the first ever white house student film festival. you showed us how you were using technology in your classrooms to connect and explore like never before. and this year we're doing it again. i'm proud to announce that submissions are open for the second white house student film festival. once again we're collaborating with the american film institute and our theme this year is service and giving back. so whether you're a kindergartener or a high school senior, we want to see how you're making a difference for your communities and doing your part to change the world. >> 17-year-old high school student zach bonner has been making a difference in his community for more than ten years. and a movie has already been made about him. after hurricane charlie hit
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tampa, florida, in 2004 zach, who was just 6 at the time began pulling his little red wagon in his neighborhood to collect and then distribute disaster relief supplies to families in need. since then, he's done a series of walks to raise awareness and money for impoverished american, including a walk from tampa to los angeles in 2010. he's distributed more than 6,000 backpacks filled with school supplies and snacks to kids in need. and this month, zach set a new guinness world record for the most food collected in a 24-hour period. zach's organization, the little red wagon foundation focuses on underprivileged and homeless children. joining me now is zach bonner, founder of the little red wagon foundation and his mother, laurie bonner. zach, how did you break that guinness record? how did you do that in 24 hours? >> with a lot of support from
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the local community as well as our national community. it was a very collaborative effort, but it was a lot of work. but it was a great project. we were able to serve a lot of people. >> you know, laurie, whenever i see or hear about amazing young people like zach, first thing i want to do is talk to mom or dad. how did you do it? he's not sitting there alone. he grew up and is growing up under your guidance. and how did you do it? how did you steer him in this direction? >> i don't think i really did anything special. i think i just listened to what he wanted to do and helped support him. he just cooped of went with it. >> zach, what is your next big plan? >> well, we have a lot of great ideas on what we can do next, but right now, we're actually focusing on our holiday events this year. every year we host holiday events throughout november and
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december for homeless youth in different cities across the u.s. but this year, we're really focusing on a great program in los angeles so that they can provide holiday event with meals and gifts and just a great experience for youth. in los angeles and orange county. so we're actually really looking for support for that this year. >> zach, what about support from other kids your age? i don't know too many or any, i don't know any simply any 17-year-olds like you who are this committed to doing this kind of work. >> well, we -- you know, we definitely have great support from people of all ages ranging from, you know, young kids to older adults. so it's really great seeing that age, you know, that whole entire age range coming together nor common goal. people from all different walks of life coming together, you know, to unite against this one problem.
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>> so zach, how are going to fit college into your busy schedule? >> well, you know, i think that when i go to college, when i graduate high school, that it will really just open up more opportunitied to continue to spread awareness about the problem of youth homelessness and incorporate a whole other demographic in being part of the solution to a problem where a recent study just showed that we have 2.5 million homeless children here in the united states. so i definitely think that it will be challenging, but it will be a great opportunity as well to involve a whole bunch more people in it. >> zach, talk about what it feels like for you to do this kind of work? >> you know, for me, i just -- i really love what i do. you know, every day i get to work on solutions to really big problems. homelessness, poverty. here in florida, one in four children struggle with hunger on
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a day to day basis. really big problems. but at the same time, i get to create projects and programs to really have big impact on people's lives. for me, that's really, really exciting. if you look back over the last ten year what is the foundation has been able to accomplish, that's really exciting for me. there's no words that can describe the great feeling that you get when you know you've made a difference in someone's leaf. >> zach, thank you very much for joining us tonight. and laurie, thank you very much for the great job you've done raising this guy. >> thank you. thank for having us. >> thank you. this holiday season, 10,000 u.s.-based groups are joining forces for something called giving tuesday. msnbc is a partner in the global effort. giving tuesday is on december 2. it's a day to highlight philanthropy and encourage everyone do donate time or money to the cause or causes of your
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choice. to find out more, go to giving chris hayes is up next. hardball "hardball" starts right now. victory. obama wins one. let's play hard ball. washington, let me start with one word, victory in the first big battle since the november election president obama's side has prevailed. the united states senate failed to reach the 60 votes required for approval. the measure is now dead for the current congress. this means that if the advocates get the pipeline approved they have to rely on the senate taking office this january. the big fights are on the immediate horizon. the president expected executive


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