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tv   All In With Chris Hayes  MSNBC  December 8, 2016 12:00am-1:01am PST

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michael flynn. inside the attacks on keith ellison. a declaration of victory in the pretend war on christmas. >> you can say again merry christmas because donald trump is now the president. >> author michael lewis on his new book about how we make decisions and how often we make the wrong one. when "all in" starts right now. good evening from new york. i'm chris hayes. in 44 days donald trump will become the president of the united states, and yet today his views on some of the most important issues he'll face in the white house are still a moving target. but on climate change, arguably the gravest, most urgent problem of our time, there were glimmers of hope earlier this week. former vice president al gore, probably the world's most prominent climate activist, visited trump tower on monday to meet with the president-elect and his daughter ivanka. and when i talked with him later he was surprisingly optimistic. >> it was a very intelligent exchange.
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it was a search for common ground, but it's no secret that ivanka trump is very committed to having a climate policy that makes sense for our country and for our world. i appreciate the fact that she is very concerned about this. and i very much appreciate the opportunity i had to have a meaningful and productive conversation with the president-elect. >> it was encouraging sign if a somewhat superficial one. though she's set to continue running the family business, ivanka trump is said to have her father's ear and his truss. while it's reported she might use that to promote climate change and mitigation, the job of overseeing actual policy falls to the administrator of the epa. so the president-elect had the opportunity to send a powerful signal with his pick to fill that post and now he's done just that. news broke today that trump plans to nominate oklahoma attorney general scott pruitt, a
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climate change denialist with ties to the fossil fuel industry who has sued to block president obama's climate agenda at almost every turn. >> what the affordable care act was to health care, what dodd/frank was to the banking and finance system, the clean power plan is to our power grid and energy in this country. the clean power plan that the president is advancing is all about an anti-fossil fuel strategy to shut down coal generation and fossil fuel generation and the generation of electricity. >> it is hard to imagine a worse choice to head the epa. of all of trump's troubling picks, there's the hard right ideological warriors seeming hell bent on up-ending the institutions they're being appoint to serve. you can put steve bannon in that category along with michael flynn and betsy devos. in this case, the future of the entire world is at stake. that's not hyperbole as dan
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fifer tweeted today. at the risk of being dramatic, scott pruitt in the eps is a threat to the climate. to some degree it's par to the course. the state's senior senator james inhofe famously brought a snowball to the senate floor last year, supposedly the final proof there's no such thing as global warming. oklahoma has seen a pretty big boom in oil and gas drilling. the race of what's called induced earthquakes, wow, that's really skyrocketed largely caused by drilling wells to store waste water from fracking. even after fracking waste was restricted prompting the governor to declare a state of emergency in one county. the state was hit by a 3.9 magnitude quake as recently as three days ago. pruitt charged with protecting the people's interests is shown to be in league with the oil and gas industry.
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in 201 1 he wrote a letter or sent a letter to the epa accusing regulators or of exaggerating the pollution caused by drilling natural gas wells. the letter was revealed by "the new york times" to have been actually written by lawyers for devon energy and delivered to him by devon's chief of lobbying. outstanding wrote a company executive, please pass along devon's thanks. the second largest emitter of carbon. but despite the overwhelming scientific consensus on man-made climate change pruitt contended in a column he wrote last spring that debate is far from settled. scientists continue to disagree about the extent of global warming and its connections to the actions of mankind. i'm joined by the democrat from rhode island and democrat from hawaii and senator white house i'll begin with you. this is an issue that you had
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spent a lot of time on in your senate career. your reaction to this appointment? >> well, chris, it's a sickening and a saddening choice. the individual who president-elect trump has nominated for this position is completely in league with the fossil fuel industry. he does their bidding on every occasion. he repeats their language. this public office can be put to work for this private interest. it's the biggest and the meanest special interest in washington. and this man's purpose in going to the epa will be to corrupt that public organization so that it does the bidding of the regulated industry and doesn't serve the american people. it is a terrible choice. >> there are two things i think two legacies of the president, this president, the existing president, on climate that seem to me the most important. one is the paris deal that john
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kerry helped negotiate. i want to read you or play for you what mr. pruitt had to say about the paris climate deal. take a listen. >> the agreement in paris was just that, an agreement. it wasn't a treaty. so he would not have to submit it to the u.s. senate for ratification. he brought that agreement back to the united states and said he was going to implement those provisions through the epa and try to force upon the states state implementation plans that carry out the elimination of coal and the generation of electricity. >> do you believe this appointment, if it were -- if the senate were to approve him, would imperil paris? >> we don't know yet, but this is certainly a four-alarm fire. this is really the worst case scenario. there were a number of names talked about. none of them were the kinds of people that i would hope would be the administrator of epa. but this is a person who isn't just on the wrong side of science, the wrong side of
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history, but he's made a profession out of climate denial. this is a person who has organized across the country to undermine the agency that he wants to lead. epa enforces the clean air act and the clean water act. this is a person who now wants to lead the epa who sued the federal government to try to disallow them from banning pollutants like smog, soot, arsenic and mercury. this is a person who is not qualified to lead the epa. this is a four-alarm fire for people who care about clean air and clean water. >> senator whitehouse, this is someone who made his bones politically as one of the lead warriors against the clean power plan that was put through the epa. that's been caught up in a lot of litigation by republican attorneys general like mr. pruitt. what is the fate of that? i mean, that seems -- paris is one thing, but that seems like it is not long for this world and if it's not long for this world, that's a real problem. >> well, i think if he is confirmed, administrator pruitt will find that he has some real
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problems trying to dismantle the clean power plan. first, a lot of the states will go forward on their own. second, the supreme court has already determined that carbon dioxide is a pollutant so epa is obliged to do something. but the danger is that you have somebody who is an operative of the fossil fuel industry who is loyal only to the fossil fuel industry in this job. and in a million smaller ways he can compromise that agency, he can drive the good and honorable people out of that agency and what you have here is what i think is becoming a recurrent theme in this trump presidency which is that the koch brothers and their operatives are infiltrating the tru presidency. he won it and they're going to run it. and they are just inveterate climate deniers and a true menace. >> how hard are you and your colleagues -- there's two of you right now on my program. how hard are you going to fight? >> this is absolutely the fight
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when it comes to climate change. you know, the paris climate agreement we think will stay in force. the only question when it comes to the international climate change agreement is whether or not the united states abdicates its role and abdicates its leadership. china wants us to abdicate our leadership so they can be the global leader in this important space. but i am more confident on the paris climate deal than i am about the clean power plan and the ability for the epa to administer the law. so worry going to fight. i think there is an opportunity. sheldon and i worked very hard over the last four years to try to find common ground and find a number of republican senators who would occasionally flirt with the truth. and we were successful in many, many instances. so really what we need is four or five republican senators to put their country first, to put the next generation first, to put the planet first and to set partisan politics aside and reject the climate denier. there are a lot of republicans who would say that they're not
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climate deniers. but here's the litmus test for them, if you are not a climate denier you cannot vote for this appointment to the epa. here we me now sam seder. you know, it's interesting because there's a lot of discussion about what the trump presidency will look like. and a big debate about how much he represents discontinuity or continuity from the republican party. and one of the things i always thought was that largely domestic policy was going to be run by the ryan, mike pence, koch brothers, heritage part of the conservative movement, with scott pruitt, betsy devos at education, that seems like that's what's happening. >> tom price. >> yeah. >> absolutely. and the far sort of margins of that. >> yeah, i mean -- >> these are people where it's like the idea of the fox in the henhouse, this is like soaking a lot of cardboard with gasoline
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and throwing that into the henhouse and lighting it on fire. these are people who are put at these agencies to literally undercut the premise of their existence. you have betsy devos -- >> -- school system. >> she's fundamentally against the idea of public schools. it's against the idea of public school. she's okay with public education so far as you can take money and give it to a parochial school -- >> she's fundamentally -- >> but public school existence she's against. you have someone against the concept of the environmental protection agency. >> who fought a war against the epa regulating against a pollutant. >> his campaign co-chair the last time he ran for re-election was an oil industry executive. i mean, this guy is on the forefront of destroying. there's nothing about protecting the environment that this gu interested in. in terms of health and human
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services, it is going to just -- they're just going to sit there and destroy government's ability to provide through medicare, through medicaid -- >> particularly medicaid. >> the affordable care act. these are people who are to the -- you know, the marginal part of the ryan party. >> yeah, although we should note all price -- we talk about devos, price and pruitt, all conceivable in a ted cruz administration. now here's what i think is did i -- distinct about what's coming into focus. this is paul blumenthal. billionaire president, education billionaire, two billionaires appointed to commerce, small business administration today linda mcmahon, connecticut billionaire. >> tom price is just a millionaire. >> dod, dhs, nsa, that's not the actual acronym, you got billionaires and generals.
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which individually i think some ofhese -- i think mattis is a fairly good pick all things considered. but when you think about governments that are run by billionaires and generals, you don't conjure a ton of great historical precedence. >> no. there's sort of a childlike quality to the way that donald trump is doing this. >> right. >> you would expect sort of like astronauts and then, you know, a police officer or something. from like the village people or something. but it's billionaires -- it gives you a sense of what is his value set here. it is big daddy essentially. people who live fundamentally outside of our society in some fashion. i mean, the military personnel live in a completely different silo of our society where -- >> well, particularly lifelong generals who have lived their life inside the -- correct. >> indeed. and billionaires. >> right, right, good point. >> simply float above --
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>> they're in different masses than civilian society. generals can be very useful in certain circumstances. but that's a good point. these are not people who are sort of in the core of the -- >> the generals at least have an appreciation for things like medicare. they've gone through the v.a. system. they have an appreciation of what society is supposed to function as. >> yeah. >> the billionaires simply live outside of it. you can see that reflected in the other agencies in so far as they're going to be essentially gone you know. and i think you can add things like the s.e.c. to this. they might as well be cafes, people will go in and have a cup of coffee but that's all that's going to happen. coming up, the author of "the big short" "moneyball" and his new book. the chinese government rebuked donald trump's pick for national security adviser saying they're allied -- the chinese that is -- with radical islam. we've got some that beg to differ.
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michael flynn's conspiracy theorys the after this two-minute break.
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trump's pick for the position op national security adviser, michael flynn claimed in a book released earlier this year we are facing an alliance between radical islamists and regimes in havana pyongyang and beijing. today the foreign ministry spokesman pushed back that china is in an alliance with radical islamists saying he hopes people can make remarks based on solid facts so that bilateral mutual trust can be enhanced. but solid facts don't seem to really be michael flynn's thing. over the course of his career he's pushed dubious claims baseless conspiracy theories and flat-out fake news stories. last month he tweeted out a false story saying that hillary clinton and her associates have engaged in sex crimes with children. today he met with the woman he's set to replace in the white
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house, susan rice. a meeting flynn told the news went very well. maybe. odds are it was also probably pretty awkward and not just because trump has vowed to undo much of the current administration's policy legacy. tweeted that and this is what he said, fear of muslims is rational and characterized islamism as a cancer inside the entire religion. >> another ism just like we face nazism and imperialism. this is a vicious cancer inside the body of 1.7 billion people on this planet. and it has to be excised. >> his book flynn described the muslim world as a, quote, spectacular failure. writing can anyone remember the last time a scientist, economist or mathematician in a muslim country won a nobel prize in this is muslim turkish scientist
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who won a nobel for chemistry just last year. flynn also appears to be very enthusiastic about the prospect of going to war. public opposition is no reason to not engage. and we're in a messianic movement of evil people. most americans mistakenly believe that peace is the normal condition of mankind while war is some weird aberration, actually it's the other way around. joining me dana priest who wrote a piece for the new yorker on the disruptive career of michael flynn. i have to say i find flynn fascinating if for no other reason than the fact that he rose to a very high level within the architecture of the national security state and then as soon as he got on the campaign trail tweeted like someone you would find in the comments section of
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like a right-wing web site. it's a little hard to square those two. can you help me understand? >> yes, yes, i can. he always bucked the system. and general stanley mcchrystal who took flynn under his wing and promoted him along with him to do things to buck the system, a special forces unit, they can do things they never did before, he needed somebody who would not adhere to tradition. the problem was when he left that cocoon and became the head of the d.i.a., the defense intelligence agency, he immediately fell, well, on his face. he could not get people to be loyal to him. he had conspiracy theories even then. and then he hooked up with michael ladean who has radical views of islam. and mike flynn accepted those views and took them on as his own. i guess during the campaign that is something that they valued. but you would think that now
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that would be somewhat subdued. however he's continued to tweet out that he's -- he's continued to tweet these conspiracy theories. at least today when he met with susan rice, the national security adviser for obama, he listened to her, which is somewhat of a progress because the last time he interacted with the u.s. government, it was when trump was having his initial intelligence briefings and general flynn kept interrupting so much that chris christie had to say, let him talk. so at least he's a little bit stood down from that stance. the other thing -- >> yes, please continue. >> the other thing i want to point out is since trump is filling his cabinet with generals, rank matters. and general flynn has three
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stars. mattis and kelly have four stars. it is not going to happen that they will all of a sudden submit to general flynn who should be the person who builds consensus, listens to people and brings a very busy president a consensus view or at least a compact view of different opinions. so i would expect that there will be a fair amount of conflict. rice was not able to play the traditional national security adviser role of getting people together, getting their opinions into consensus view because she had very big personalities. trump is building a cabinet with very big personalities with a lot of history behind them. so -- >> yeah. it's a really important point about how this sort of national security process works and the key role of the national security adviser as kind of a point guard to use the metaphor. they are essentially
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coordinating the various parts of the national security state to try to present the president with options, to sort of take in all the information and listen and that's why i thought that this part of your reporting was most troublesome when you said his subordinates started a list of so-called flynn facts, things he would say that weren't true like when he asserted that three-quarters of all cell phones were bought by africans or later that iran had killed more americans than al qaeda. in private his staff tried to dissuade him from reading these lines. the information coming from the channels of this process are extremely important. >> well, that's true. the problem is that fell apart during his only role as a manager at the defense intelligence agency and now his role is of a manager and then a manager that gives, you know, filters everything, decides what's the most important thing for the president to hear and
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tells him. >> yeah. >> you know, tells him. but i suspect this will not be the model that is followed by donald trump. i think maybe because he has appointed the generals, he will listen more individually to them, and it is yet to be seen what mike flynn's role really will be. >> that's a great point. >> however, given the fact that they fired his son, hopefully somebody's looking more carefully at what general flynn believes now and what he's actually promoted. through his tweets. >> thanks for your time tonight. appreciate it. >> my pleasure. still to come, charges of swiftboating in the race for dnc chair. ahead we'll lay out the facts and tell you how the congressman took a big step today to silence his critics.
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we're going to repeal and replace obamacare. we have no choice. we have no choice. we have absolutely no choice. >> the stakes in the coming fight over obamacare are becoming increasingly urgently clear. the study out today found that repealing the law without a clear replacement risks making 30 million people uninsured. and the hospital industry warned that repealing it could cost hospitals $165 billion by the next decade and trigger an unprecedented health crisis. republicans soon will have the republican president they need to do so. mitch mcconnell said a repeal resolution will be the first item the senate takes up. but turns out it isn't as easy as republicans have made it
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sound. gop leadership in congress appears to be coalescing around a repeal and delay strategy. they vote to repeal the law in january but in reality keep much of the law in place for years while they work on a replacement. the plan isn't going over well with people like mark meadows who want the law repealed in full immediately. the gop leaders seem to be worried about the political damage that may well result from massively disrupting the health insurance industry and potentially stripping millions of health care coverage. they're preparing to deploy a strategy thab used in the past. set a date in the future for full appeal, calling it the obamacare cliff, then use the threat of looming disaster to try to extract concessions from democrats on the replacement bill. >> this has been a very, very controversial law. we have an obligation to the american people to change it and to do a better job.
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and if we can get democratic cooperation in doing that, that would be great. >> charles schumer, the incoming senate democratic leader said that he will not assist republicans. we're not going to do a replacement if they repeal without a replacement, they will own it. democrats will not then step up to the plate with a half-baked solution that we will partially own. it's all theirs. it's the biggest issue right now in the democratic party and the nasty fight over who will be the next chair of the dnc. keith ellison and the fight for the party's future, ahead.
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today minnesota congressman keith ellison who is running to lead the democratic national committee vowed to step down from his house seat if he's elected dnc chair saying the next chair faces a lot of work, planning and resource raising. i will be all-in to meet the challenge. the dnc needs a full-time chair especially as democrats look to rebound from this election. but ellison, the first muslim elected to congress, has also been subjected to a sustained assault from a small but prominent group of jewish organizers and donors including haim saban who called ellison an anti-semite and the an-defamation league that called ellison's past remarks on israel are disturbing and disqualifying. louis farrakhan as well as help organize a group for the million
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man march in 1995. ellison later apologized for that support of farrakhan. i had long since distanced myself from and rejected the nation of islam due to its propagation of bigoted and anti-semitic ideas and statements. he's most being criticized for comments he made to muslim activists in 2010 saying that u.s. policy is governed by israel. audio of that was surfaced last week by steven emerson, someone who the southern poverty law center lists as an anti-muslim extremist. congressman ellison responded to the report saying that the sound bite was selectively edited. my memory is that i was responding to a question about how americans with roots in the middle east could engage in the political process in a more effective way. my advice was simply get involved. i believe that israel and the u.s./israel relationship are and should be key considerations in shaping u.s. policy in the middle east. several prominent leaders and organizations have come to his defense including chuck schumer
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and an israeli member of parliament. joining me now is jeremy ben-ami, founder of j street. jeremy, your reaction to what seems to be a sort of sustained attack on ellison along these lines. >> well, let me say two things. one is on a personal basis i think it's really unfair against keith ellison who is one of the most tolerant and open minded people that many of us know and who has done a great deal not only in his home community but also nationally to promote dialogue and cooperation across jewish and muslim lines. i think more importantly this is part of a pattern where people who stake out positions that are not necessarily in line with old guard pro-israel advocacy get attacked for being anti-semitic or anti-israel in an effort to
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try to shut down the criticism of the policy. 's a way to avoid the debate about underlying issues to say if you're taking these positions you must be an anti-semiter or anti-israel and that's not true. >> the is the anti-defamation league is wrong? >> i think what the anti-defamation league and many others are trying to convince people when they make mistakes to learn from those mistakes. and keith ellison has done that. he's apologized and said he was wrong. to then turn around and 20 years later still attack him for the same things seems to undercut the whole purpose of trying to educate and move people on these issues. >> have jewish organizations or leaders in his district expressed concern? it seems to me what i've heard mostly from those folks is they're quite pro keith ellison. >> right. that's the thing that's being missed here is the folks who know him the best who are from minneapolis or from minnesota,
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people like al franken and folks like sam and sylvia kaplan, our ambassador to morocco and big supporter and jewish and active in the community. they know him well and they know he's worked in their communities to promote tolerance, coexistence, religious freedom. and i think that they're missing the point. the people who know him best. i've traveled with keith in the middle east. i've traveled with him to israel and to the palestinian territory and i've seen how much he cares about the jews and the palestinians and trying to find a future for both of them. i think these attacks are just not understanding who the man is. i have no dog in this fight for who is chair of the party, but i do have a dog in ensuring that he doesn't get attacked for things that aren't true. >> what would it mean for the conversation particularly within the democratic party. you have haim saban calling him an anti-semite. this is one of biggest donors of democratic part politics. his politics on israel i think
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are fair to say ridgedly pro the israeli government in almost every conceivable way. what would it say for the conversation within the democratic party if this were to be the thing that caused ellison not to get this job? >> well, i think the important thing about the democratic party and a site people should go check out the most recent polls done by the brookings institute which put on the saban forum that show that american attitudes and particularly in the democratic party are shifting in the direction of keith ellison. the types of things that he stands for, which is opposition to israeli settlement expansion, pro two states, greater u.s. engagement and a stronger role to try to make peace, those are actually growing in support not only in the democratic party, across the board in the american public. the democratic party is very much going to be the party of the type of policies that keith ellison is outlining when it comes to the israeli/palestinian conflict in the future. >> this is a fascinating test in front of the party right now.
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jeremy ben-ami, thank you for your time. still to come my interview with michael lewis, best-selling author of "the big short" and "moneyball." and his new book. i'll talk with him ahead. plus 'tis the season for a special thing 1, thing 2.
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the #1 doctor recommended pain relief brand. tylenol® when you have a cold, pain from chest congestion can make this... feel like this. all-in-one cold symptom relief from tylenol®, the #1 doctor recommended pain relief brand. tylenol® thing 1 tonight, it's that time of year again, eggnog, mistletoe, colorful decorations and the conspiracy of the war on christmas. if you're unfamiliar and i suspect you're not, it's the plan to ban the sacred christmas holiday. but victory has been achieved in the war on christmas. last night donald trump confidant and former campaign manager corey lewandowski brought us the good word. >> those are hardworking americans who are going to be able to keep their jobs here and have a great christmas where it's tok say merry christmas again.
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a great christmas which you can say merry christmas because donald trump is now the president. it's okay to say. it's not a pejorative word anymore. >> two things to note, that guy will probably have a job in the white house soon and this is something that trump peddled during the campaign it was not okay to say merry christmas under president obama, everyone was forced to say happy holidays instead. could this be true? i went to the video vault. that's thing 2 in 60 seconds.
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a great christmas chu can say again merry christmas because donald trump is now the president. you can say it again. it's not a pejorative word anymore. >> apparently corey lewandowski believes the war on christmas is over now that trump is in. the idea that president obama had an anti-merry christmas poli sous like an absurd conspiracy theory. but we looked into it. a warning, you may find this
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video christmassy. >> have a very merry christmas. we want to say merry christmas to everybody. a very, very merry christmas and a holiday filled with joy. i want to wish every american a merry christmas. merry christmas, everybody. >> merry christmas. >> to merry christmas, everyone. >> merry christmas. >> merry christmas, everybody. merry christmas, everybody. >> merry christmas. >> merry christmas, everybody. merry christmas, everybody. merry christmas. merry christmas. merry christmas. merry christmas. merry christmas. mele kalikimaka, everybody. ma hallow.
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in the wake of donald trump's victory, a lot of people are looking back trying to figure out how it happened. how can people become so collectively blinded? that theme has been at the center of many best-selling books by one of the most acclaimed nonfiction authors in america, michael lewis. liar's poker, moneyball and the
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big short, how human beings can collectively misjudge the world and how those who can see it clearly, usually the protagonists in the books, can come in to big success. his new book is about two brilliant psychologists who mapped out why it is we, human beings, so often get the world wrong. in "the undoing project" lewis chronicles their friendship. michael lewis joins me after the break.
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would you say that it is a possibility or a probably that subprime losses stop at 5%? thank you. >> i would say that it is a very strong probability indeed. yes, sir. >> zero. zero. there is a zero percent chance that your subprime losses will stop at 5%. >> the big short, most people missed something that is right in front of their eyes. the subprime mortgage crisis which led to the 2008 financial meltdown but some were able to
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see i coming. michael lewis' latest book "the undoing project." it's great to have you here. >> happy holidays. >> thank you. happy holidays. i really am a longtime fan of your work. i'm a future chapters into this book. which is fascinating for a whole list of reasons. why did you write this book about these two academics when i feel like you're ouvre is stories of people acting in the world. the sort of stories of applied vision. your now sort of talking about the theoretical foundation. >> so had they just been academics, i wouldn't have written the book. but they were mixing it up with the israeli army constantly, on and off the battlefield constantly, they were like a lot of israeli academics at that time they felt the pressure to be useful and practical. so danny essentially did moneyball for the israeli army. he designed the algorithm to
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choose who would be an officer and who would be a regular soldier and dramatically improved the army. so they were in the world. but in addition to that, the ideas that had such practical consequence. you trace it into medicine, law, into sports. moneyball, i discover after i wrote moneyball, basically comes from them in a funny way in the sense that you have these baseball players that are being misvalued by professional sports team industry, how does it happen? how do people get misjudged that way? and these guys described the psychology of what's going on in the mind when people make that misjudgments that were being made that were described in "moneyball." >> the basic theory here and in the context of rational humans. we evolve all sorts of what they call biases to deal with this very complex world which help us usually but then lead to blind
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spots. >> so our mind naturally wants the world to be a more certain place than it is. >> right. >> right? that we don't operate as probabilistic kind of machines. we don't. even though we're often in improbablistic situations. >> always. >> instead of actually doing the statistics, what we do as we move through life is tell story. find patterns. after the fact when we're wrong we tell a story that explains why we're wrong and covers up the whole problem. so these guys were describing essentially the tricks of the -- the problems that arise from the way the mind cope copes with the world. a mechanism that's good for coping with lots of problems also has this error built in. to me that's the essential thing. that's the odd thing about this that speak to this moment, the
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trump moment. these guys at the center of their work is the idea that we are fallible, that we are actually kind of wired for certain mistakes. >> systematically. >> systematically fallible. the awareness of our fallibility is actually human. if we're going to guard against it, we need to know it. we have a president who just got elected that prides himself on infallibility and trusts his instinct. it's really terrifying. >> i encountered his work as an undergraduate. when you encounter it, you start to see it everywhere. you see it in yourself. i sat at a blackjack table and thought to myself, i'm due. i'm due. and i feel the feeling that i'm due as powerfully as you could feel anything. and i know it's dumb and totally wrong and i should get up from the blackjack table. >> imagine how you feel after you've had a couple of drinks. you know, it's absolutely right. people go with that feeling. anyway, so these mistakes that they kind of -- i feel like them charting in searching for the kind of errors that the mind
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made, they were actually kind of describing human nature. they were telling us about ourselves in ways that a novelist might tell you about yourself. that's what interested me. it touched every aspect, any sphere of human activity, the mind is involved in everything. >> they also sort of fascinating relationship, right? so there's this friendship that's sort of opposites in different ways, temperamentally. >> very much opposites. >> that produce this incredible work over this tremendous career. >> the book is structured as a love story. i mean, it is a love story. that they both felt different in each other's companyhan they felt separately and the work they created together was different than they did apart. and part of the tragedy of their relationship is the world didn't want to accept it. that there was the need to know who did what and to apportion credit for the work. and it tore at their relationship.
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>> they also -- this work in many ways the beginning starts as a real sort of affront and challenge to the fundamental framework that, for instance, mainstream economic is built on, right, that humans are rational actors, that they do a really good job of calculating everything. >> and they're consistent in their preferences and so on and so forth, and they know -- they understand the choices they're making. they aren't responding to this, the description of the choices. they did all the studies. i mean, for example, if i tell you, chris, you have terminal cancer, you're going to die in seven years but we have a procedure. we can do an operation now. the problem is there's some risk s associated with it. if i tell you there's a 90% chance you'll survive you're several times more likely to have the operation than if i tell you 10% you will die from it, which is the same thing. >> literally the same thing. they show this time and time again. >> he shows that doctors are
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actually -- their judgment is cleared by that perception. that can happen in a life and death situation, where can it happen? they just showed you what a minefield your mind is. a mind that generally is pretty well equipped to deal with lots of situations. it generates this error. >> they start out -- again they sort of build this conceptual framework that's an attack on the foundation of economics then ultimately he ends up winning a nobel, right? >> no one really pointed out how odd it was for a psychologist to be given a prize in economics especially who thought that his work didn't have much to do with economics. in the end he saw one of the implications of this if people could make systematic mistakes, markets could be wrong, elections could be. it had implications but he
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crawfished his way into the nobel prize. it wasn't something they were aiming for when they rted the work. >> i feel like this is an intellectual journey for you, too. the themes of this book are present there. >> well, absolutely. among th how easy it is to -- people's longing for certainty expresses itself in the financial markets by listening to people's financial advice. that they shouldn't listen to. and that was my job. was to give that advice and seem very sure of myself. >> michael lewis, your mastery of craft is incredible and enraging at the same time. it's great to have you here. >> i don't have a tv show, so i have time to figure it out. >> the rachel maddow show starts right now. >> you're very cute when you're jealous. >> how can i not be? >> in april 2009, a couple months after president barack obama was sworn in for the first
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time, one youngish proudly eccentric silicon valley billionaire declared sort of a public manifesto. didn't make that much of a splash outside silicon valley because he's kind of a known eccentric so therefore whatever he's on about now sort of tends to be seen as an interesting thing if you care about him, but if you don't it doesn't necessarily mean it will have any wider impact on the world. still, though, what this silicon valley billionaire had to say right after barack obama was sworn in in 2009, it was controversial enough that people do expect weird stuff from him, looking back on it now, even now it stands out. what he proclaimed in 2009 in this manifesto was that democracy was over. freedom was dead. and the only hope for humankind would be for us all en m