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tv   The Rachel Maddow Show  MSNBC  January 14, 2015 9:00pm-10:01pm PST

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for city council, wins going away. elected mayor of d.c. again. people at his obituary, basically people said he's mayor for life. all of this is a lesson. people are complicated. what people will forgive and what they will not forgive, is complicated. it's a good reminder of that. tara, brian, sam, thank you all. >> thank you. that is all for this evening. rachel maddow show starts now. >> i wish i was on it. buddy is the all-time best piece of political advice, be careful because the toes you're stepping
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on today may be connected to the rear end you have to kiss tomorrow. best political advice i've ever heard. thank you for that. thank you at home for staying with us for the next hour. rachel halgs the night off. there's a lot of news we need to get to tonight. breaking news at this hour, about the fbi busting an alleged plot to attack the u.s. capitol. we learned late today about what appears to have been a small-scale nearly lone wolf plot to set off pipe bombs around the u.s. capitol building in washington, and to shoot at members of congress and congressional staffers. according to the arrest warrant, the suspect is a young man who lives near cincinnati, ohio. his name is christopher lee kornell. he voiced his support for violent jihad, as well as violent attacks committed by others in north america and elsewhere. the suspect is alleged to have specifically referenced as inspiration the late anwar al awlaki in yemen. the terrorist attacks last week in paris that killed 17 people, the brothers who carried out the massacre at the magazine, "charlie hebdo," said they had been sent by awlaki's group, by al qaeda in yemen. and today, al qaeda and yemen released a video in which they claimed responsibility for that massacre, including funding the brothers and choosing the target. u.s. intelligence officials say it appears that at least one of the kouachi brothers traveled to yemen for training and met with awlaki before his death in 2011. in the arrest papers today, in this new case, the busted plot to bomb the capitol building in washington, and to shoot members
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of congress, the revelations we learned today, the suspect allegedly claims to have been in contact with people overseas. apparently he didn't expect authorization for conducting an attack. he allegedly said, quote, i believe we should just wage jihad under our own orders and plan attacks on everything. we already got a thumbs up from the brothers over there. and anwar al awlaki before his martyrdom and others. we should meet up and make our own group in alliance with the islamic state here. isis has been calling for lone wolf attacks. it's not clear the people who might be susceptible to that call make any distinction between those two groups, between isis and al qaeda. the fbi says they are tracking the suspect in ohio.
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they've been tracking him since the fall, since an informant first saw him posting online about his support for isis. the suspect is 20 years old. his name is christopher cornell. the fbi said he tweeted as raheel, ubida. it appears that someone using that handle did post isis propaganda. also stuff like calling ebola a man-made disease for population control. again, we have not confirmed that these are tweets from that same alias. the account seems to have been disabled. the fbi said christopher cornell chatted online, and later met with the fbi informant who was, quote, cooperating with the fbi in order to obtain favorable treatment in another criminal case. the suspect allegedly talked about his idea for planting pipe bombs around the capitol, described congress as the enemy. he allegedly planned a, quote, move on his plot in december. and then finally, this week, the fbi said that he bought two guns, a pair of semiautomatic rifles like you're seeing right here, and 600 rounds of
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ammunition. so when he did that, when he armed himself like that, that is when the fbi moved in and made the arrest that we're learning about tonight. officials tonight tell nbc news that christopher cornell never bolt the parts to build a pipe bomb. quote, there was never a danger to the public. that's what they're stressing tonight. christopher cornell faces two federal counts, one attempting to kill a u.s. government officer, another for possession of a firearm to attempt a crime of violence. his first court hearing is scheduled in cincinnati january 22nd. we'll have much more on the story as it develops and as we learn more about it. now, on to the other major story tonight. at least another major story today, and for the last two weeks. the aftermath of the attacks in paris. the chaotic hours after the "charlie hebdo" massacre in paris. on the same day, before the hostage crisis at the kosher grocery store, before a police woman was shot and killed south of paris, before all of that additional tragedy, back when the only thing the world knew about this initial terrorist incident is staff members at the newspaper had been essentially executed. back then, media reports all over the world named three
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suspects, three suspects, not two, two of them were cherif and said kouachi, who we learned had indeed carried out the attack. but there was a third suspect who was named by police, by media outlets around the world at that time. that third suspect suspected of having drifren the getaway car for the kouachi brothers, 18-year-old student. a week ago tonight, we were all hearing that two guys in their 30s had carried out the charlie hebdo massacre, with help from an 18-year-old accomplice. now, all three of them are named as suspects. but then classmates of the 18-year-old started posting on social media, tweeting that he couldn't possibly have carried out the terrorist attacks during the day last wednesday, because he was at school with them, all day, last wednesday. they started tweeting an alibi for the 18-year-old. quote, what is this madness? he was with me all morning. he's wrongly accused. he was in class at the time of the facts. his classmates can attest. the tweets kept coming in. late wednesday night, last week, on the night of that attack at "charlie hebdo," hamid and his dad drove to a police station 145 miles northeast of paris, and at that police station the 18-year-old kid, the third most wanted man in the world at that moment, he walked into the
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police station, he turned himself in. he surrendered to police. what happened next, well, that was just a little weird. police held him for a little more than two days and released him without charge. despite all of the initial reports, he actually had not been there when that massacre at charlie hebdo happened. this is what he then said after it had been confirmed for the whole world he was not a terrorist. i'm no shock, people said horrible and false things about me on social media, even though i'm a normal student who lives quietly with his parents. the attack was horrific and my thoughts are with the victims. that was the first person in this story, in this drama, this terrible drama unfolding over the past few weeks. that was the first person to come forward voluntarily and turn himself in. that happened a week ago tonight. now today, a second person who's part of this story has come
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forward. and he didn't come forward claiming his innocence. he came forward to tell police he's guilty. one of the unanswered questions, as of yet, surrounding these horrific attacks is, where did the weapons come from. two of the assailants had criminal records, served prison time. in france you need a permit to own semiautomatic guns. it is illegal to own fully automatic weapons. and reportedly, a rocket propelled grenade launcher. those type of heavy weapons are not just illegal in france, they're also very hard to come
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by for anyone. much less anyone with terrorism convictions on their record. so today, according to the israeli newspaper, the person who said he sold the weapons used in these attacks, that person got in touch with police in brussels, belgium, and turned himself in. he told the police he's the one who sold the weapons. according to haaretz, when the police searched the apartment of the arms dealer, they found papers linking him to a transaction involving cowl coulibaly. he reports the belgian arms
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dealer that the weapons used at the kosher grocery store, and as well as the kouachi brothers used. according to this report, coulibaly expressed interest about purchasing a car, and it turned into the sale of illegal and heavy weapons. a different media outlets are giving varying explanations why the game came forward. the telegraph is reporting that the underground belgian arms unit decided to turn himself in, because he was scared. because he had apparently, quote, swindled cowly baly, and was scared of the repercussions of swindling an international islamic terrorist. that's person number two, the underground belgian arms dealer. he turned himself in to police in brussels. someone else stepped forward today to admit their connection to the terrorist attacks in
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paris. or really, to proclaim it. to brag about it. this wasn't a person, actually, this was a group. al qaeda in the arabian peninsula, aqap, al qaeda's yemen franchise. in their twitter account, a senior leader claims credit for the attack on charlie hebdo, carried out by the kouachi brothers. the video claims the order for these attacks came directly from the head of al qaeda. aman al zawahiri. at least one of the kouachi brothers spent time in yemen training with al qaeda, training with aqap in 2011. we have already known this. they seemed intent on making it known they were loyal to al qaeda in yemen. during the hostage crisis that
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ended with his death, the youngest brother telling a french tv station he was sent by yemen's al qaeda. quote, i went there and anwar al awlaki financed me. an american citizen in a leading aqap cleric just before he was killed in a u.s. drone attack four years ago now, in 2011. it's important to note in this al qaeda video released today, the group specifically claims credit for just the charlie hebdo attacks. they are not claiming credit for the hostage siege at the kosher grocery store that was carried out by coulibaly. coulibaly declared his allegiance to al qaeda's group isis. it's important to note that while u.s. intelligence officials authenticated this video and said it did in fact come from al qaeda in yemen, intelligence officials say there is no evidence yet that the claims made in the video are actually true. al qaeda's taking credit for what happened in paris, but u.s. officials say there's no evidence, again, yet at least, to support that. if al qaeda did order the attack on charlie hebdo, why did they do it now? why do this years after at least one of the kouachi brothers was in yemen training with al qaeda? how do intelligence officials move forward from here to figure out if al qaeda's actually responsible for that attack, or the video they released today is just to get credit for it after
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the fact? joining us now is nancy youssef. nancy, i guess this way of looking at what aqap did today, they had some contact with at least one of these guys a couple years ago. it would be a major, i guess propaganda coup for them if they could be seen by the world as having done this. so are they piggybacking on the claim these guys made, or do you think there's more to this? what's your read in this video? >> it's somewhere in the middle, isn't it. the attack that day, the brothers said they were part of al qaeda in yemen. now a week later this video comes out. what's unclear, even from the video, what exactly the relationship was between al qaeda and the arab peninsula and these attackers. if they ordered the attack as they claimed, when did they order it. if they financed it, how did they finance it, so on, and so on. the arab peninsula's interest to piggyback on this, because remember that they were in a losing battle, if you will, between themselves and isis, and sort of control for the arab voice. here is a group coming forward saying they're part of this attack. it seems the way the video was put together, that it came out so late, and we don't see any martyrdom videos from these two attackers, that suggest at this point being directly as involved as they suggest, that something this is perhaps they were part of three years ago when they
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were training them in yemen. perhaps like the authorities themselves lost track of the brothers. and that the brothers themselves perhaps decided to do this attack when they did. >> so what, in terms of coming forward then, and claiming credit, specifically to aqap, what does this mean? is this a recruiting benefit for them? is this the rivalry with isis? what does it mean to them to have people believe this? >> for at least five years, through the magazine that they put out, they have tried to encourage supporters living in the western world to carry out
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these attacks. so what we're seeing is perhaps the merging between those who are core members and those who are inspired members, working together, having a shared cause, and a shared effort to propagate the group. that certainly seems to have happened in this case. that's the interesting dynamic here. it's not clear how much control they have over those who are not core members, who are inspired by their attacks.
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and that's why we're in this gray area of not knowing whether themselves couldn't control these brothers, and that the brothers themselves decided. so we're entering this gray area of what constitutes a member, what constitutes propagating al qaeda in the arab peninsula, if it's not clear they had total control over this attack. >> is it at all plausible, so you have some evidence linking the kouachi brothers to awlaki, citing isis, is it at all plausible that those two groups could have been involved in this, given what we learned about the hared between them? >> the rivalry is quite deep, going on just in a couple of months, there was an online war over yemen in particular. isis was talking about moving into yemen. you could see the tensions building up. what seems more likely is coulibaly and the kouachi brothers met and their friendship superseded the tensions between the groups that they claimed to be members of. >> all right. nancy, national security correspondent for daily beast, thank you. >> thank you. much more ahead in the show tonight. we'll speak with a former top counterterrorism official at the obama state department. barnie frank is going to join us live in the studio. so stay with us.
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what do you most want the world to learn from the new "charlie hebdo"? >> well, first of all, this issue is a message of forgiveness. because we see that we need to forgive. it is a message for them. if you can't kill an idea, don't kill the people. because you can kill the people, but they cannot kill the idea. so the idea is still here. and we are also here. and if they kill us, it doesn't matter, because others will continue.
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al qaeda in yemen today came out to claim credit for the massacre at the offices of the french newspaper charlie hebdo. american intelligence officials say while they have authenticated the video came from al qaeda in yemen, they have not authenticated any of the claims made in that video. in recent months al qaeda has receded from the headlines as the terrorist group isis vied for the most barbaric terrorist organization. now al qaeda wants that title back, or at the very least they want the world's attention back. so now that al qaeda in yemen has come out to say we did this, we are responsible for this terrorist attack, how is the
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west and how specifically is the united states supposed to respond. joining us is daniel benjamin for counterterrorism at the u.s. state department, now director of the dickey center for international understanding at dartmouth college. in terms of a response from the united states to this, what is the difference between finding out that aqap essentially masterminded and planned this thing, versus they had some role in training this guy a few years ago and are now piggybacking on it and claiming credit? >> well, if we do find out that aqap was responsible in a serious way, not just putting out the idea of targeting charlie hebdo and claiming credit when someone who passed through one of their camps or schools years ago carried out that attack, then there will be serious scrutiny about their ability to get people into western countries and maintain contact with them. that's the critical thing. how do they maintain contact, exercise command and control.
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but i want to emphasize i think it's unlikely we'll find out that is true. i think what's more likely is that the kouachi brothers were acting on their own initiative, that they took the idea from the online magazine that aqap puts out, inspire, and that aqap has decided that this is a great opportunity to gain back some of the limelight. >> tell me a little bit then about, yemen comes up in this. my understanding has been that the united states especially with the drone attacks has been much more focused on yemen, the terrorist threats from yemen as opposed to france, europe may be paying more attention to europe and iraq, does this change that equation? >> well, many countries have been focusing on yemen quite heavily. the united kingdom has been very, very focused. the french, it is true, are more focused on the magrab in northwest africa, much less so on yemen, but much more so in iraq and syria, a country they have long historic ties with. there are a lot of different
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places to keep an eye out for. of course, everyone's still looking at pakistan. so it's a complicated picture. but i think the biggest thing to keep an yip out for right now is the activities of militants within europe's own borders. they may not have the organization and the skill-set, but some of them seem really motivated to carry out violent attacks. >> are you worried about follow-up attacks here? >> you have to be worried about follow-up attacks. the period immediately following any attack is, of course, the most dangerous. first of all, because terrorist organizations, especially jihadists, often plan on follow-on attacks to throw the public even more offguard. and also, because there's the possibility of copycat attacks. particularly when you have such a low-tech attack as the one we saw, then the possibility of others thinking that they should get into the act is considerable. and finally, you know, when the original provocation, the "charlie hebdo" cartoons, is then repeated almost on an exponential scale, that, too, is
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going to have an effect. >> referring to the publication, 3 million copies of the next issue of charlie hebdo. daniel benjamin, appreciate the time tonight. thank you. meanwhile, right here at home, we received late breaking news, as we told you at the top of the show, about a foiled terror plot to bomb the u.s. capitol building in washington, d.c. that and much more is still ahead. 't treat chest congestion. really? new alka-seltzer plus day powder rushes relief to your worst cold symptoms plus chest congestion. [breath of relief] oh, what a relief it is.
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a year and a half ago, on june 25th, 2013, the supreme court of the united states struck down the heart of the voting rights act in a 5-4 decision. they invalidated a key provision of the law, a provision -- allowed many states in the south to change their election laws without any advance federal approval. the ruling basically gutted the core of the voting rights act. a piece of legislation that was signed into law in the summer of 1965 by lbj during the height of the civil rights movement. since then, 50 years since then, the voting rights act was amended four times by congress. each time it was amended, it was expanded in terms of what it protected. the last time was in 2006. when george w. bush was president. and he signed the reauthorization. >> the voting rights act that broke the segregationist lock on the ballot box, rose from the courage shown on a selma bridge one sunday afternoon in march of
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1965. on that day, african-americans, including a member of the united states congress, john lewis [ cheers and applause ] -- marched across the bridge in a protest intended to highlight the unfair practices that kept him off the voter rules. >> the vote that made that possible in the senate, the vote in the senate that made that speech by george w. bush possible in 2006 was 98-0. unanimous vote. in the house, it wasn't unanimous, but it was overwhelming. it was also bipartisan. after the supreme court decision to invalidate that key part of the voting rights act in 2013, some republicans, including house majority leader eric cantor, hinted at the prospect of working with democrats to restore key parts of the voting rights act. >> my job is to fix the voting rights act.
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now, the first thing we have to do is to take the monkey wrench that the court threw in it out of the voting rights act and then use that monkey wrench to be able to fix it so that it is alive, well, constitutional, and impervious to another challenge that will be filed by the usual suspects. i'm with you on this. [ applause ] >> he sponsored a bipartisan bill that picked up 11 republican co-sponsors in the house. when congress wrapped up a few weeks ago at the end of 2014, that bill had gone nowhere. and now, a brand-new congress, a congress dominated by republicans, is in place. and today we got word what this new republican congress intends to do about the voting rights act.
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bob goodlatte of virginia, is the chairman of the house judiciary committee, telling reporters today he doesn't think any changes to the voting rights act are needed right now. even without what the supreme court took out of it, the voting rights act still provides the protections it needs to provide. goodlatte voted to reinstate the voting rights act. it's changed a lot in the last nine years. it doesn't look like there will be any fixes to the voting rights act for the next two years. at least. so this woman right here, available as an oral rinse toothpaste, spray or gel. biotene can provide soothing relief and it helps keep your mouth healthy too. remember, while your medication is doing you good, a dry mouth isn't. biotene, for people who suffer from a dry mouth. you can find a new frontier. there's nothing stopping you and a lot helping you. technology that's with you always.
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alright, so this tylenol arthritis lasts 8 hours, but aleve can last 12 hours... and aleve is proven to work better on pain than tylenol arthritis. so why am i still thinking about this? how are you? aleve, proven better on pain. check it out! i'm sending a tweet. tweet! that's not how it works, grandpa. you think i am out of touch. i saved 15 percent on car insurance in just 15 minutes. you could've saved money in half that time with esurance. (wings flapping) ah, a reply... i'm trending! 15 minutes for a quote is old news. start with a quote from esurance and you could save money on car insurance in half the time. welcome to the modern world. esurance. backed by allstate. click or call. so this woman right here, this woman is nominally in charge of new jersey today. in fact, she was in charge of
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new jersey for most of the past month. her name is kim, and she's lieutenant governor of the garden state. in new jersey, when the governor's out of the state, technically his powers pass to her. and she becomes the acting governor. she might not really have much power, basically no power, but technically, at least on paper, kim was in charge of new jersey for nearly 40% of 2014. that's because chris christie, the actual governor of new jersey, was traveling for 137 days last year, traveling to places like iowa and new hampshire. and meeting with business leaders and assorted political power brokers. it came a day after christie was actually in new jersey to give his own state of the state speech in trenton, which in a lot of days sounded like a presidential stump speech.
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it's no secret chris christie is eyeing a run for the white house. along those lines, it was also no surprise yesterday when kentucky senator rand paul announced he hired a campaign manager for a likely 2016 bid of his own. again, people have been talking about rand paul running in 2016 for years now. so it's not a big surprise. but what is surprising is how suddenly and how early christie and paul and so many other potential candidates are suddenly making some very serious noise, and some very serious moves to position themselves for 2016. and maybe to elbow out their rivals while they're at it. today we learned rick santorum will be meeting with potential donors this weekend at a gathering organized by freeze, largely funding santorum's 2012 bid.
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looks like they're ready to give it another go. mike huckabee caught folks offguard when he suddenly left his tv show to explore a run for the white house. with a new book coming out, it was widely expected he would wait a while and size up the field, take his time. but apparently he felt he couldn't wait to get out there. as he did this week, obamas are letting their daughters listen to beyonce. marco rubio is holding parties with activists and donors. wisconsin governor scott walker delivered a state of the state speech yesterday that sounded so many national themes, it was practically treated as a campaign announcement.
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george pataki has been trudging through the snows of new hampshire, meeting everyone he can, trying to drum up enthusiasm on twitter, where he wrote, quote, great trip to new hampshire. we'll be back soon. i haven't even mentioned the big one here, jeb bush. the one who got all the this started. forced all of these other potential candidates to start making moves of their own. and he did that last month when he surprised everyone with an announcement he was eyeing the race. followed it up by resigning
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board memberships and forming a political action committee in a matter of weeks. his entrance was so early, and so unexpected, at least with the intensity that he entered, that chris christie's campaign team was reportedly startled by it. christie expected to announce his own pact next week. there's mitt romney. a lot of news about mitt romney this week. that he's seriously considering a third white house run. surprised absolutely everyone. here's the thing. we're always talking about our presidential campaign starts earlier and earlier. but this is more than that. this isn't just potential candidates delicately testing the waters, dipping a toe in to see if they like the temperature. this is a serious and intense and emotionally behind the scenes fight. this is the richest donors, the biggest bundlers in the
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republican party, being put on the spot. being asked to choose sides now, or sometime very soon. think about what's playing out right now. the private meetings, the personal phone calls between republican candidates and the republican donors. the decisions that will soon be made. is the republican nomination for president in 2016, an election nearly two years away, is that nomination actually being decided right now as we speak in january of 2015. joining us now is robert costa, national political reporter for the post. i'm looking at this and saying,
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jeb bush is making his big play here to line up all these donors. mitt romney steps in and says, wait a minute. he makes a much more aggressive move than anybody thought of. chris christie is forming a pac. when you look at the importance of money to any campaign, are we looking at a situation where in a few months we'll go from having a jumbled republican field to really knowing who the front-runner is in this thing? >> it's really hard to say right now. i talked to santorum's people. i think santorum model from 2012, find a few mega donors who can fuel super pac that's informing a thinking of a lot of the camps heading into 2016. >> past elections, in 2012 we didn't have that as a factor. let's look at the romney versus
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bush dynamic right now. what would it take for mitt romney, at least i'm seeing in the day two stories, a lot of republicans politely saying, we're not so sure about a third mitt romney campaign. what would it actually take? what is mitt romney looking for? >> according to my sources, within romney's inner circle, he feels confident he's in a good position, because he believes jeb bush, he respects jeb bush's record as governor of florida, he believes he's been in the arena, romney believes he has the support early and fast. >> can you see a scenario where romney or christie or somebody else actually forces jeb bush to reconsider, and backs out of this? >> when you speak to jeb's allies, they say governor bush has not yet formally decided to run for president. he hasn't been on the campaign trail. this is all private meetings. he declined the invitation from steve king to go to iowa later this month. we still haven't seen jeb meeting voters. >> tell us a little bit, like i say so much is hugely consequential, if you line up the donors now, you have a huge advantage. where are some of these phone calls taking place? we have all the stories about mitt romney working the phones. i guess chris christie is, too. the other guys are as well, too. what are the questions being asked, what are the candidates saying? >> according to those who have spoken with jeb bush, it's really about his leadership pac, right to rise. sounding off a paul ryan type message on poverty. romney, i hear he's a little more aggressive, asking them to sign on and do it now. >> we talk about the christie/romney/bush, the more grass roots side of it. interesting dynamic at least to me where santorum wants to run
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again, and now huckabee has gotten in. huckabee won iowa in 2008. very popular with the evangelical christians. how is that side of the party shaping up? >> huckabee's move is as significant as mitt romney. you have santorum making moves. ben carson, doing the same. ted cruz, starting to make calls to operatives and donors as well. they believe the santorum model for 2012, it may have been good to have a super pac guy, like foster freeze, but you have to have authorization and you have to have money. huckabee in 2008 and santorum they say faded because they didn't have the money. >> doing great reporting on all these major early developments. thank you for being here tonight. appreciate it. >> thank you. ea dulcolax tablets can cause cramps but not phillips. it has magnesium and works more naturally than stimulant laxatives. for gentle cramp free relief of occasional constipation that works! mmm mmm live the regular life. ♪ ♪ with the incredible fuel efficiency of 38 mpg highway... ♪ can feel like royalty in the nissan altima. ♪ now get great offers on the 38 mpg highway nissan altima.
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nissan, innovation that excites. [ kevin ] this is connolly cameron, zach, and clementine. we have a serious hairball issue. we clean it up, turn around and there it is again. it's scary. little bit in my eye. [ michelle ] underneath the kitchen table underneath my work desk we've got enough to knit a sweater. [ doorbell rings ] zach, what is that? the swiffer sweeper. the swiffer dusters. it's some sort of magic cloth that sucks in all the dog hair. it's quick and easy. pretty amazing that it picked it all up. i would totally take on another dog. [ kevin ] really? ♪ ♪ koalas, kangaroos, and compassion. we're going to be joined live by the man who is the frank
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in dodd/frank. barney frank from massachusetts will be our live guest right here, that's next. republicans as you probably to ford. it felt nicer than my bmw. good gas mileage... ecoboost makes a four cylinder engine feel like a six cylinder. my dad went and turned in his lexus and got the exact same car as me. he had to have it... i'm very happy with my escape. i don't know if i'll ever not buy a ford. make the switch to america's favorite brand. check out special offers on ford escape at or see your local ford dealer. ♪
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is there such a thing as a sure thing in business? some say buy gold. others say buy soybeans. i say, buy comcast business internet. unlike internet providers that slow down when traffic picks up, you get speed you can rely on. it's a safe bet. like a gold-plated soybean. reliably fast internet starts at $69.95 a month. comcast business. built for business. know took control of the senate for the first time in nearly a decade last week. jim imhof declared global warming a hoax, and john mccain champion of the very hawkish foreign policy, new chairman of the armed services committee. this man, right here, you're
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looking at right now, richard shelby of alabama, new chairman of the senate banking committee. that means he's about to become a very busy chairman. the moment that republicans won control of the senate back in november, back then, incoming senate majority leader mitch mcconnell made it clear one of his top priorities in this new congress, the one that's meeting now, would be to dismantle one of the signature achievements of the obama era. that's the wall street reform legislation palgsed in 2010 known as dodd/frank. republicans have never liked dodd/frank since it passed. they tried to weaken it piece by piece. for example, at the end of last
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year, actually just a few weeks ago, they tried to slip something into a must-pass spending bill. that's a bill that had to pass right away to keep the government from shutting down. they inserted something into that that was aimed at weakening dodd/frank. you may remember how this played out. a little bit of going to the floor of the senate to lobby her colleagues to vote no on that bill. >> the house is about to vote on a budget deal, a deal negotiated behind closed doors, that slips in a provision that would let derivatives traders on wall street gamble with taxpayer money, and get bailed out by the
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government when their risky bets threaten to blow up our financial system. i urge my colleagues in the house, particularly my democratic colleagues, whose votes are essential to moving this package forward, to withhold support from it until this risky giveaway is removed from the legislation. >> now, warren and minority leader in the house nancy pelosi went head-to-head with republicans, and wall street friendly democrats over that legislation during that impasse. the hours ticked down to the spending bill deadline to the prospect of a government shutdown. president personally stepped in and convinced the republicans to pass the bill to avoid the government shutdown, pass it even though it included the language that weakened wall street reform. the president got his way, the bill did pass, with 57 democrats voting in support. then this month, just a few days ago, republicans added a provision to a bill called the terrorism risk insurance act. the new provision that they inserted into that would again weaken parts of dodd/frank. and again, president obama criticized the inclusion of the dodd/frank reforms, but democrats still voted for the bill anyway and the president still signed it anyway because they said it was that important to get that bill through, even
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with the changes weakening dodd/frank. this week, republicans tried to fast track legislation that would delay the implementation of what's called the volcker rule. it limits the number of risky investments that banks can make. republicans have called this new legislation, quote, basically minor changes, and just modest clarifications to the dodd/frank act. but this time, president obama drew a line in the sand. the white house issuing a strongly worded veto threat against the bill. that bill passed the house today with a simple majority. and with some democrats voting for it. republicans are making it a priority to water down dodd/frank little by little, piece by piece. but there's also a question of how committed democrats are to fighting them on this. democrats allowed those dodd/frank tweaks to remain in the final spending bill last year and the legislation that passed the house today, that passed with the help of almost 30 democrats. we know how dedicated republicans are to dismantling dodd/frank, how committed are democrats to keeping it intact. former congressman from massachusetts, thank you for
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joining us tonight. >> you're welcome. >> this is one of the most significant things, maybe the most significant thing you did in all your years in congress. i'm curious, are you confident that the law you put on the books is going to still be intact in a meaningful way two years from now? >> from the financial crisis really happened in 2006 including things like sub prime lending. the republicans bought this in the anymore of the free market. we had to step in this was done with the bush administration. secretary pahlsson the head of the federal commission. ben bernanke. and we put some rules in place. i was disappointed that there is a complacency about this. this current one, weakening the
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rules about derivatives, people should remember it was a.i.g.'s heavy involvement in selling a form of derivatives and not having the money to back up it when they had to that was a precipitating cause of this crisis. 170 short. too long of an answer. i apologize. here's the point. i think they have done us a favor, the republicans, by trying to pile on so much. i think you now have a resolve on the part of the president, clearly backed by well over a third of the democrats in both houses at the very at least. so i don't think they'll be able to do anything further, and they have given us, i think, one of the first issues of the 2016 election. and i'm competent -- >> let me just ask you on this a
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little more specifically, because we see the strategy here. you can pass a stand alone bill trying to take dodd-frank off the books, that's that piece, but the strategy that they've used successfully is to take these bills, like funding the government, we're going to have a shutdown in 48 hours if this bill doesn't get through and put something in there that weakens the law in some significant way. and democrats, as they've done twice now, saying i don't like it, but i want to keep the government open. >> the tree of peace actually, that said that one party in the transaction was not bound by some of these rules. that had to do with people who were using a commodity and trying to hedge. the rules with regard to the financial institutions that caused all the problem hasn't been weakened. but i think some people underestimated on the democratic side how fierce the determination is not to give in to that. i regret the bill was passed but i'm confident that won't happen
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again. and the next time they try to take a must-pass bill and use it as a cover for putting us back into this unregulated forum, lit be veto and that will be sustained. this is being set up, and i think it's now clear, one of the central issues in the 2016 campaign for the president and congress will be do we keep tough financial reform or do we in effect repeal it and go back to the situation that brought us the crisis? >> this looks like the strategy republicans have right now. we'll see how democrats and the president respond next time this is put to the test. next, an important way humans can help endangered wildlife in a crisis. anyone offended by off the chart cuteness, consider this a heads up.
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all right. best new thing in the world today, we do need one tonight. it's a cold, hard fact that humans love dressing up fellow animals. a huge swath of the internet is devoted to this. youtube has countless videos of animals in costumes. this one has 5 million hits. for better or worse, it's a lot of fun to dress up animals, i guess. but every so often, there's a reason to do it. sometimes it's for the good of the animals. in the uk, jumpers were knit for chickens because they went bald. last year, in australia, sweaters were made for penguins who were caught in an oil spill. they got sweaters to keep them from grooming themselves before the oil could be cleaned off. now this week, we got a good excuse to make clothing for wild animals. extremely hot and dry weather in
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australia caused massive brush fires. thousands of acres have been burned, damaged homes and killed animals. emergency response teams battling the blazes have rescued dozens of animals and koala bears have been particularly vulnerable. they even nor for being very slow on their feet. many of the rescued koalas are coming in with second degree burns on their paws. one organization taking care of them has put out a call for help. the international fund for animal wildlife posted this -- >> little homemade mittens started flooding in from all over the world. thousands of pairs of them, from the united states, china, from kazakhstan. people in kazakhstan were sewing mittens for australian koalas. now they have way more than they need. now they are asking people to please stop sending mittens.
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what they need now are pouches, a whole bunch of them. hurt kangaroos and possums are also rescued and many are babies who need a pouch-like environment to survive. so this week they put up a sewing pattern for a marsupial pouch on the website. the instructions say you can make it out of an old bed sheet or piece of flannel, as long as it's 100% cotton. they are asking for five different sizes. just cut, stitch and iron and you can make a baby marsupial very happy. the best new thing in the world today, help in the form of a cotton pouch. plus, a baby kangaroo in a homemade pouch. rachel will be back tomorrow. now time for "the last word with lawrence o'donnell." >> steve, how many pouchs are you working on? >> i've sewn thousands of pouches.
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>> well done. rachel will be back tomorrow. now time for "the last word with lawrence o'donnell." >> steve, how many pouchs are you working on? >> i've sewn thousands of pouches. >> well done. thank you very much, steve. tonight, we have video of the man who drew the cartoon for the new "charlie hebdo" cover, explaining how he created what instantly became their biggest selling cover ever. and french police are now searching for a new suspect in the "charlie hebdo" massacre. >> police have identified a fourth suspect. >> the investigation is yielding new suspects daily.