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tv   The Rachel Maddow Show  MSNBC  September 30, 2009 9:00pm-10:00pm EDT

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republicans, keith, the fact of the matter is, i understand that the president is going to spend maybe 18 hours in total. it's not a pleasure trip and believe it or not you can get work done on air force one. >> mitt romney made his political career after helping turn around the 2002 olympics at salt lake city, the winter games. are the republicans actually worried in here that this might be a success story, sort of taking their turf or at least romney's turf away from them? >> i think they have more things to worry about. i mean the just say no campaign and the environment, they're already seeing their polls dropping and when their major spokes people are people like glenn beck and rush limbaugh and sarah palin, you know that they're in trouble, and it's not just the olympics. >> it's a panacea of things but the olympics thing makes it seem like they have forgotten recent history.
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great luck with your book, and great things for your time tonight. >> that is "countdown," for this the 2,344th day since the previous president declared mission accomplished in iraq. i'm keith olbermann, good night and good cluck. and now with her guest congressman alan grayson, here is rachel maddow. >> good evening, keith, this is great to have you back. and thank you all for staying with us for the next hour. as keith said, the most talked about man in washington today, congressman alan grayson is our guest this hour. sam stein is the head of the organization that files a prostitution complaint against a louisiana senator. we begin with republicans saying they are shocked, shocked by what frahm democratic congressman alan grayson of florida said about them on the floor of the house last night. >> it's my duty and pride tonight to be able to announce exactly what the republicans
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plan to do for health care in america. it's this. very simply, it's a very simple plan. here it is. the republicans' health care plan for america, don't get sick. that's right, don't get sick. if you have insurance, don't get sick, if you don't have insurance, don't get sick, if you're sick, don't get sick, just don't get sick. that's what republicans have in tind for you, america. that's the republican's health care plan. but i think that the republicans understand that that plan isn't always going to work, it's not a foolproof plan, so the republicans have a backup plan in case you do get sick. if you get sick in america, this is what the republicans want you to do. if you get sick, america, the republican health care plan is this. die quickly. that's right, the republicans want you to die quickly. if you get sick. now the democrats have a different plan.
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the democrats say that if you have health insurance, we're going to make it better. if you don't have health insurance, we're going to provide it to you, if you can't aford health insurance, we'll help you to afford health inshurks, do you want the republican plan? or do you want the democratic plan. the republican plan, don't get sick. >> the republicans demand an apology from grayson immediately. they drafted he condemned the speech itself on the house floor this afternoon. >> and i have a privileged resolution that i'm not going to introduce today that calls on the house to recognize that that kind of behavior is disapproved of by the house of representatives. but in an effort to try to give the representatives from california from florida, mr. grayson an opportunity to
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recognize that his comments were in fact a breach of decor rum, we respectfully request that he apologize to our leader. >> no word on whether congressman price got an apologies from their leader who was talking the whole time he was talking right behind him. but here's what congressman grayson did with the chance that was offered him. >> several republicans asked me to apologize. well, i would like to apologize, i would like to apologize to the dead and here why. according to this study, health insurance in mortality in u.s. adults which was published two weeks ago, 44,789 americans die every year because they have no health insurance, i apologize to the dead and their families that we haven't voted sooner to end this holocaust in america. >> holocaust? always a bad choice of words unless you're talking about the actual holocaust, at least in my opinion. and of course that was clearly
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not an apology. now were congressman grayson's comments over the top? were they fair and accurate? absolutely not. congressman grayson admitting that his remarks were meant to be tongue in cheek. but were his comments a breach of decor rum in the house of representatives? a breach of decor rum in the u.s. house of representatives is something like screaming at the president during a joint session of congress. that is still considered to be a breach of decorum. to say that the opposing party is going to cause the death of americans? that's not a breach of decorum in the house of representatives. that's an average tuesday in the house of representatives. you don't have to agree with congressman grayson or with the exact words that he used, or with the signs that he used to illustrate his point. in order to agree that what he said on the house floor was
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absolutely no departure from what his colleagues on the republican side of the aisle have been saying and doing all year long. does that sound extreme? do you not believe me? listen. >> last week democrats released a health care bill which essentially said to america's seniors, drop dead. >> they're going to save money by rationing care, getting you in a long time. like places in the uk and canada and europe. >> one in five people have to die because they went to socialized medicine. >> this program of government option is being touted as being this panacea, the savior of allowing people to have quality health care, at an affordable price is going to kill people. >> republicans have a better solution that won't put the government in charge of people's health care and is pro life because it will not put seniors in a position of being put to death by their government. >> a lot of people are going to
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die. >> i would hate to think that among five women, one of them is going to die because we go to socialized care. >> the president's advisor, dr. emanuel, says medical care should be reserved for the nondisabled. so watch out if you're disabled. >> now let's talk about political rhetoric that's worth apologizing for. could congressman -- that the republican health care plan was for people to die quickly? could that be part of the montage from the floor of the house that we just displayed? absolutely it could be part of that. but republicans calling for an apology, just from congressman grayson, while they think stuff like this is fine? >> last week democrats released a health care bill which essentially said to america's seniors drop dead.
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>> you can talk me into the idea that die quickly is a mean thing to say in congress. but you couldn't talk me into that if drop dead is considered to be okay. joining now is democratic congressman alan grayson of california. thank you very much for coming on to talk about this. you are the most talked about man in washington today and so let's take this chance of talking to you to clear some of this up. did you mean it literally when you said the republican plan is for sick people to die quickly? >> it was tongue in cheek, rachel, but i will tell you this, the republicans have no plan. i would love to see a choice between two or three or five plans from the democrats in america. there's no plan because the republicans simply won't offer one. they are not helping americans 47 million of them who have no coverage at all. they got nothing. >> when you said today that you wouldn't apologize to republicans, you said you did apologize to the 45,000 people who are said to die every year,
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because they don't have health insurance, but i want to ask you about your choice of words because i just criticized it. you said i apologize to the dead and their families because we haven't ended this holocaust in america. were you making a third reich reference? >> i was saying how disappointed i am that we can't get congress to work together in congress, we're talking about 44,000 people dying every year for lack of health insurance. what are we in congress for if we're not here to talk about that problem. we need to stop the bickering and move ahead. >> policy issues are absolutely the substance of how we got into this, but the character of your comments about it are the reasons that everybody decided to make you the issue rather than health care the issue. do you regret using the word holocaust? was ate reference to world war ii or did you mean it in a generic sense?
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>> i think we have put health care moving. it's stalled, nothing's happening, and meanwhile 4,000 americans die every month, over 100 of them died every single day while we were debating it and debating it. we have to do this, we have to solve this problem and every other problem, that's what we're here for. >> do you regret using the word holocaust or do you think it was appropriate? >> rachel, it may not have been the best choice of words, but i will say this, my words don't matter, that's not what's important here. what's important is that we do what we need to do, that we solve these problems and that's what i came here to do. that's what's so frustrating to me. i have been here for only nine months now, and i see the republicans have nothing, they simply dig their heels in, they won't let anything get done, time and time again, it's not just the health bill, it's everything. they simply block everything, that's not what america sent congress to do. >> what do you think the best
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way is for democrats in congress to fight republicans? you have obviously taken a very pugnacious rhetorical stand against them and you have been very blunt in the way you campaign, it's the way you have governed in your role in congress. do you think that the democrats should be approaching republicans differently? >> people want to see the democratic party with guts. they want to see us use the power they gave us in the last election. it's not just democrat who is feel that way. people want to see congress act, not drag their feet, not be stopped by the republicans, not be sonningered by these -- they want to see us solve their problems or at least work on them. that's what this plan does. that's why it's so frustrating to see a lack of progress when we have 122 more americans dying every day. >> do you think that there is a cost in terms of the likelihood of getting something worthwhile
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passed for health care? in terms of the overall effectiveness of the congress, to see the sort of incredibly inflammatory rhetoric we have seen on both sides in health care, it's clear that republicans are in a bind inning is you to apologize, because of their own history of inflammatory rhetoric on health care and other issues. do you think in general it should be dialed back? >> listen, rachel, we're dealing with people on the other side who are utterly unscrupulous. these are foot-dragging, nugal dragging neanderthales who know nothing but no. >> let me ask you about substantive policy issues, in relation to your efforts to get the defund a.c.o.r.n. act recueses that group of doing. how is that effort going? how is it being received?
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>> i think it's been going well. we're going to have some decision points coming up, in particular the comments between the house and the senate. but right now the house has passed a bill that defunds contractor who is commit fraud against the government and i'm happy to be part of that. i think we need to protect that. we need to make sure the final bill reads that way. it would change america. >> congressman alan grayson, democrat of florida. thank you for joining us to make it clear about what brought you here. okay transfats are actually good for you, specifically they're a good for clearing up any gunning you might have in your arteries, tanning prevents cancer, and drunk driving can really be thought of as freedom. the same guy has run real ad campaigns, well funded ones for all those positions. you will never guess what that same guy is trying to sell you now. i'll tell you when we come back. y whole grain. this can only end one way. (crunch) wheat thins. toasted. whole grain.
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today the conservative and republican war on a.c.o.r.n. they got outed as a pay us to say anything corporate farce. that would not only sell you the idea of this community organizing group for poor people being the death of the republic, they also sell you anything.
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anything they were paid to tese you, if you don't believe me, again watch this. >> you see the one responsible for you gaining weight. >> it might be that corn sugar. >> which one has the most calories? >> they all have the same a lot of calories and they're processed by the body the same way too. >> i have seen that high fructose corn syrup on the news too. you mean you're making all this stuff up? >> a sugar is a sugar, find out more at sweet scam.com. >> sweet scam.com. here to tell you to drink all the high fructose corn syrup you want, it's good for you. feed it to the baby. that ad is now running nationwide. now on msnbc, there is a doctor on our payroll who fact checks this sort of stuff on her noon tv show. >> high fructose corn syrup is made from corn. and here's the problem, it is married with fat and put into a lot of the processed food you
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eat, it rewires the brain. total spin, great psa, just not true. >> just not true. but the thing is a major campaign, that new national tv ad they're airing with the guy in the corn suit is paired with an enormous full print ahead in the new york city times. and anyone who sees these ads and surfs over to sweet scam.com has an entire website to convince you that sugar, even the form of high fructose corn syrup is great for you. maybe try mountain dew, sprinkle some sugar on top, wash it down with a can of hawaii punch. sugar is great for you. sweet scam.com is brought to you by something called the center for consumer freedom. the center for consumer freedom is headed by -- rick berman, the
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d.c. public relations guy who runs these operations as nonprofits so they don't have to disclose the names of the companies that fund them. rick berman's center for consumer freedom is not just here to convince you to stop worrying about sugar, they also link to their other sites like transfat facts.com. where under the position of a delicious looking cheeseburger and meatballs, you can learn how transfats are actually good for you. quote, transfats contain a compound called cla which has demonstrated beneficial health erkts including fighting cancer, enhancing immunity and decreasing artery-clogging plaque. eat more cheeseburgers, it will unclog your arteries. berman is also behind fishscam.com. where you can learn that the tiny amounts of mercury in fish are not harmful at all.
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even saying that pregnant women should eat more fish. when it comes down to picking a favorite, i personally find it hard to choose between the peta kills animals, about how the animal rights group is secretly full of animal killers and sun light scam.com, if you have ever been prey to the myth that tanning can lead to things like skin cancer. sunlightskam.com says that tanning beds fight heart disease, breast cancer, stroke and osteoporosis. >> go get a tan, your body will thank you. brought to you by the indoor tanning association. >> yeah. totally unbiassed indoor tanning association and of course rick berman. mr. berman also heads up an organization called the american beverage institute which claims to fight against drunk driving,
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even as it argues against dui check points and campaigns to relax drunk driving laws around the country. to accomplish those lofty goals, mr. berman's american beverage especial institute attacks mother's against drunk driving which is a group made up of mothers and fathers and families of drunk driving victims. attacking a.c.o.r.n. allows them to blame a boogeyman for all the nation's ills, it allows them to take down on organization that -- attacking a.c.o.r.n. is also great for business interests that don't like what a.c.o.r.n. does, things like fighting for a higher minimum wage and that side of the wage against a.c.o.r.n. is being waged by the trust worthy pr man who has brought you the man who says that high fructose corn syrup and suntans are actually
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good for you. mr. berman doesn't disclose his donors, but he is scheduled to be a guest on this show next week, right here in person. i think you will not want to miss that conversation.
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speaking of today's news theme, the goose and the gander, the pot calling the kettle black, being able to dish it up and not being able to take it or any other cliches you might favor about those who condone
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things they condemn others for. the office of disciplinary council is against republican senator david vitter. david vitter is most famous as the family values conservative senator who admitted to being a client of the d.c. madam prostitution ring. the new bar association complaint against senator vitter points out that patronizing prostitutes is a crime in louisiana, that senator vitter admitted to that crime and that committing that crime, especially one that reflects on the lawyer's honesty, trust worthiness or fitness as a lawyer is in the definition of professional misconduct for a louisiana lawyer. so far senator vitter has been able to get away with admitting to being a client of a prostitution ring without facing criminal charges, without an ethics investigation of him in the senate and without any consequences for his career as a lawyer. senator vitter has not only been able to get away with it thus far, he's even running for re-election in louisiana right now. and he's had the chutzpah to put
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pictures of his family back into his campaign materials for this election cycle so as to demonstrate presumably to louisiana voters his personal family values. because senator vitter is running for re-election, this is a very uncomfortable time for vitter to see his name back in the news again next to words like hooker, prostitute, madam. in terms of the timing, senator vitter might not be facing this kind of ethics hassle over his history with prostitutes right now if he had not recently been standing in his glass brothel throwing stones at the community group a.c.o.r.n. when the activists went from a.c.o.r.n. office to a.c.o.r.n. office trying to get employees to say something about the group that would play well on fox news, senator vitter took the lead in condemning a.c.o.r.n. for the tapes, he called for congressional hearings and then he called for a criminal
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investigation. quote, the recent reports of a.c.o.r.n. workers from various cities and states giving how to instructions on carrying out crimes warrants an immediate rico investigation into a.c.o.r.n. but definitely not an investigation into me. senator vitter's democratic opponent spojded to the complaint against vitter by saying, quote, what david vitter confessed to wasn't just a serious sin, it was like acrime. and so far vitter hasn't been charged with anything. with his complaint, vitter may finally have to answer for his actions. but i'll tell you this, i cannot sit idly by and let this man represent louisiana in the u.s. senate. joining us now is melanie slump, he's from citizens from ethics in washington. thanks for your time. am i right that there's not any
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information because senator vitter and prostitution, but it's because he's inveighing against other people and prostitutes here? >> his hypocracy is astonishing and can't be stomached and it's the height of irony for mr. vitter to be the one of all those in the united states senate to decide he should be the guy to take on a.c.o.r.n. and prostitution, beginning his background. it's like he thinks we'll all just forget about him and go away, but if he thinks he can go out and -- his role with a real prostitution ring, because there may be to others that we know about. >> your organization has filed a complaint against senator vitter with the senate ethics committee a year or two ago. did the ethics committee just sit on that and never do anything about it or did they actively dismiss that complaint? >> they said that senator vitter
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wasn't a senator at the time he engaged in that conduct. he was a member of the house of representatives, though, but they thought they couldn't do anything about it. and the house couldn't do anything about it because he was no longer a housemember. >> how convenient. what is your expectation about how the louisiana bar will respond to this new complaint? >> the bar ethics are pretty clear, committing a crime is professional misconduct. and mr. vitter clearly committed a crime. he was on the prosecution's witness list after his phone number was found her call list, so we know he was involved in that prostitution ring and there's also been allegations that he was involved in canal street brothel in new orleans and another prostitute in new orleans that he was a frequent client of hers. so that means there may be as many as three and if there's three, there may well be others. soliciting prostitution isn't just a serious crime, but it's
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an ethical crime. and with senator vitter who swore to uphold the constitution committed those crimes, but at the same time, that is all that is, he wants to invade against other organizations who weren't involved in prostitution and ask for criminal investigations, so if he's going to get a criminal investigation there or if he's just even going to ask for one, it certainly seems to fair to ask that mr. vitter be held accountable for his crimes. >> senator vitter responded to his complaint to the louisiana bar saying that your organization c.r.e.w. is biassed and you're pro-a.c.o.r.n. >> that's true, viter has gone after some other politicians. we also recently put out our most corrupt list, something we do every year, and this year we had eight democrats on the list and seven republicans. we're a nonpartisan organization, but one of the things we hate the most is hypocrisy and david vitter really tops the list. >> we have done a number of
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reports on the attacks on the organization a.c.o.r.n., in the last week, we have done every night for the last four or five nights, i think. and the reason we have done that is that for all of a.c.o.r.n.'s faults they're being attacked for hypocritical reasons, they're being attacked for things that other people, even their accusers are getting away with. obviously there's a lot that a.c.o.r.n. has done that doesn't deserve defending and that is indefensib indefensible. do you agree that some of these attacks on a.c.o.r.n. that their critics are saying are inexcusable are things ta other people have been allowed to get away with. >> when c.r.e.w. is accused of playing politics, that's what a.c.o.r.n. has been doing. they've been going after it for a long time. now they have something to go after it against. it's much like president clinton, they had an impeachment resolution long before there was monica lewinsky, this is just a
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great excuse for them to go after a.c.o.r.n. and c.r.e.w. is in no way defending a.c.o.r.n. we have a website called berman exposed.org where we talk about all of the different groups he's executive director of all all of the areas he has both health and consumer safety and drunk driving to things like unions and now to a.c.o.r.n. >> he has agreed to come on this show next week and i hope he will still agree to go on the next week even though we have been talking about him a lot. we can all have a big "kumbaya" moment. >> quite a moment, but accumula"kumbaya" is probably not the word to describe it. a nonpartisan watch dog group, thanks very much for your time. senate finance committee members kept conrad and blanch lincoln voted against the public
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option twice. and then voted for abstinence only funding in the health care bill. and here's the weird part, they both still have ds after their names. and later, today when i got to work, i asked kent jones to please spend the day looking into who is ghost writing sarah palin's book. he has a special report on that subject, the answers will surprise you, that is coming up. but first one more thing about senator's serious sin of david vitter on the basis of his family values and how much he's against prostitution. the republican governor of the state of louisiana is of course bobby jindal and as governor of louisiana, he's the state's most powerful political voice, the defacto head of the state's republican party and probably the only politician in the state of louisiana at all whose words carry national weight. bobby jindal is not endorsing senator vitter's re-election campaign. to be clear, he's not endorsing anyone else either at this
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point. but as noticed by jonathan mar on the of politico.com, when asked about the senator's re-election, pointedly declined to offer his endorse financial. they may be only because he hasn't seen the family shot on his website. that could change everything. extreme situations. the deeper you look, the more you see the real differences. and the more you understand what it means to own a mercedes-benz. the c-class. see your authorized mercedes-benz dealer for special offers thrgh meedes-benz financial. the sea salts of the world vary in color, taste, and intensity. now campbell's has found one that tops them all. it's naturally flavorful. adding it helps us use less salt than before
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a typhoon, an earthquake and a tsunami caused by another earthquake have wreaked havoc in asia and the south pacific. a typhoon killed more than 300 people over the past few day, forcing millions from their homes, the vast majority of the victims were in the philippines. the typhoon has now weakened, it's now moving west to laos. the storms continue to threaten populations and more storms are expected this week. to the southeast of that dart, two earthquakes separated by one day and about 6,000 miles have left hundreds of people dead, many more missing and thousands
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of people destroyed. it was a magnitude 7.6 earthquake which hit 30 miles off the coast of indonesia takes 200 more lives. many more people are missing, trapped under office buildings, hotels, homes and hospitals and yesterday it was an 8.0 earthquake that hit off the coast of samoa. it set loose four 15 and 20-foot high waves. it hit american samoa just after the earthquake struck. a radio station manager named joey cummings ended up videotaping the second tsunami wave that flooded the harbor in samoa's capital city. he describes what he saw to britain's channel 4. watch. >> it's the worst earthquake i have ever experienced. then the water started surges,
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and at first it was just three or four feet of water outside of our studio, at first i thought there would be a loss of cars and after the water stayed for a few minutes, another fantastic surge that completely dwarfed the first surge came up and the water rose to 15 feet. at this point, trees, boats, cars, trucks were all floating past my second-story window in just a torrential river of mud. this lasted for several minutes until the river reversed as the floodwaters receded back into the ocean. there was a second and a third surge, like every 15 to 20 minutes after that, but they were much less severe than the first. it completely wiped out everything that wasn't made of brick. homes, businesses, everything that was caught in the path of
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this surge in the pago pago harbor area was completely flattened. >> at least 120 deaths have been attributed to the tsunami so far. if you want to help, you can donate money at ww.red cross.com. boy: is that your new car? uh...yeah. boy: cool. thanks. i knew i wanted the new subaru legacy. i went back and forth on the hood scoop. but i'm glad i went for it. the all-new subaru legacy. feel the love.
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(crunch) wheat thins. toasted. whole grain. crunch. have at it. want to take threads of good news where one finds them in life during wartime. today the commander of the multinational force in iraq gave his assessment on the war there to the house armed services committee. there was this surprising announcement. >> we have approximately 124,000 troops and 11 brigade combat troops operating in iraq today. by the end of october, i believe we'll be down to 120,000 troops
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in iraq. >> 4,000 troops leaving iraq by the end of october. he also told the committee is u.s. is on track to meet the current timetable for drawing down and eventually withdrawing u.s. troops from iraq. he even said he might, quote, accelerate the drawdown by early next year, if the iraqis have successful elections in january and if tensions, roughly speaking, are reduced. the general cautioned lawmakers to have strategic patience and to not expect a complete withdrawal before the december 2011 deadline. but progress is progress and now our military families are wondering if the troops really do get to come home or if they just get moved to america's other war in afghanistan, a war that's about to start it's ninth year. progressive.
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call or click today. today's stay six of the finance committee's mountain moving toil to consider the 500 amendments to the health insurance bill. warren hatch put in an amendment that was meant to doubly restrict abortion coverage in the bill. olympia snowe joined the opposition to defeat senator hatch's amendment. it would have required women to buy extra insurance for abortion services. you know that women plan ahead of time to have lots of abortions, the senator put her opposition succinctly. >> as a woman i found it
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offensive. >> ten in favor, 13 opposed. the one democrat voting with senator hatch on the side of the the spear torl fear that health -- senator kent conrad of north dakota. we will have more on him in just a moment. also considered in the finance committee was to doubly triple identify that the bill will not cover illegal immigrants, because, you lie, you know. democrats defeated that amendment as well. >> a rather dreadful amendment, and i say that for the following reasons. we already have requirements for people, undocumented immigrants that are taking advantage of medicaid and c.h.i.p. who wanted to do that. >> it was a very strong day for the democrats, compared to yesterday that was kind of abysmal. conservatives not only voted against the public option for health reform, they also voted
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in favor of providing money for abstinence only education, better known as the best teen pregnancy and std delivery system politicians have ever deviced. in fact this week school districts in texas announced plans to end their abstinence only education. why? because abstinence education doesn't work. texas ranks third for the highest birth rate in the country. a teenager gets pregnant every ten minutes. and the amount of government money spent on abstinence only education. blanch lincoln of arkansas and mr. conrad of north dakota voted for $50 million of abstinence only funding, which president obama had removed from his budget proposal earlier this year. senators lincoln and conrad were not alone in their conservativeness this week. confirmed yesterday that he's completely opposed to using budget reconciliation rules.
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a simple 50-plus one majority to pass health reform, sam stein of the huffington post has reported that ben nelson supported the use of reconciliation to pass one, about now two of president's bush's tax cut packages. senator nelson also told -- not just a simple majority of 51 votes, or even a supermajority, filibuster proof 60 votes, but he said it should have a due per duper majority of 65 votes in the senate in order for him to consider it legitimate. greg sergeant of plumline reports that senator nelson's most acclaimed legislative accomplishments, the one for which he pats himself on the back most regularly is the stimulus bill. hiss efforts helped target the bill more on job creation and tax relief to turn the nation's troubled economy around. that bill that nelson was so proud of passed the senate, 60 to 36.
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they didn't get that 65 vote threshold. has night we pointed out that senator nelson won hiss fist term with 64% of the vote. his new majority standards have not been adopted retroactively, so thoseing us now is huffingto political reporter sam stein. does senator >> thanks for having me. >> did senator nelson have any explanation as to why he was for budget reconciliation rules for the tax cuts. he's for the legislative agenda. >> not surprisingly, the office is yet to return my request for an explanation. as you mentioned in 2001 and 2003, the senator supported using reconciliation to pass the tax cuts. in 2003, he ended up being the 50th vote on the critical piece of legislation which allowed vice president cheney to pass the tie breaking vote. in both of the cases he cited
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the impact on the budget which was the traditional use for reconciliation. in this case, i guess health care doesn't have the same impact. i'm not sure if it holds water. they vice president provided information. it seems wider than consistent. >> senator nelson has picked the 65-vote threshold. we have heard from other republican senators all summer long, even now saying health reform needs 80 votes, health reform meets 75 votes. is it all the same strategy? is it an idea to raise the hurdle so high there's no chance any bill could get there. >> to suggest that the republicans are interested in passing comprehensive reform is to be delusional with oneself. and senator grayson's lament was as much toward the republicans for being disruptive. more towards the democrats to negotiate with the republicans on health care reform. for him and the other community is the time for negotiation is long since past.
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his frustration is we still go to the table as barack obama, democratic leadership in congress expecting a vote here and there. in all actuality, democrats are holding out for olympia snowe. some people think she will be onboard in the end. but the party needs to operate on the 60-vote threshold minimum. i spoke to senator tom harken. he demands vote for cloture. i think that's the end game right now. >> that seems to be shaping up to be the important procedural thing. the important procedural factor which is going to make the difference in terms of whether or not we get health reform or not. we discussed it on this show with charles schumer and howard dean. both of them, i guess, imparting the political importance of democrats being held to a standard in which they vote to vote. they vote there can't be a filibuster. they don't side with the republicans saying there has to be a six-people majority. how widely is it accepted among democratic power brokers in congress? >> to tie it to the beginning of
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our conversation, i did a report on how this is the new strategy for democrats in the wake of the special pundits to the massachusetts senate seat and to replace ted kennedy. i noted that ben nelson of all people lamented he would support cloture to end the republican filibuster. two hours after my report went up, ben nelelson's office calle me to correct the record. he is not committed to supporting cloture. he's keeping open the idea of supporting the republican filibuster. there are people in the senate like tom harkin, bernie sanders, charles schumer who are demanding that everyone at least votes who have a vote, it's not a done deal. there are people in the party willing not to follow the leadership on the hurdle. >> expect more pressure on that from outside groups, activists. samstein, political reporter from the huffing ton post. thanks for your time. >> i want to be on the rick berman hour, okay?
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oh. >> fair enough. not going to be kumbaya. >> all right, coming up on "countdown," jay rockefeller joins keith with breaking news on his latest health care amendment. and on my show, sarah palin's ghost writer. the person who wrote sarah palin's book. sarah palin didn't go rogue all by herself. stay tuned for this one. ko, actually - exec: with all due respect, if i was tiny and green and had a british accent i'd have more folks paying attention to me too... i mean - (faux english accent) "save money! pip pip cheerio!" exec 2: british? i thought you were australian. gecko: well, it's funny you should ask. 'cause actually, i'm from - anncr: geico. fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more on car insurance.
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sarah palin's upcoming book, "going rogue: an american life" was co-written by someone named lin vincent. who's that? well, today, i asked kent jones to investigate. hi, kent. >> hi, rachael. it turns out this isn't her first book at all. she's written several other books. they're kind of scary. they're a little scary. take a look.
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>> so, lin vincent, for the last 11 years, she's been working for the christian magazine, "world" and co-authored six books, four of them memoirs for other people. she turns life stories into page-turning narratives that both compels and redeems, earning the praise of editors, readers, reviewers, and now hollywood. the self-record is positively palin-ian. what other authors have proffered from the lynn vincent touch. "never surrender" with lieutenant general jerry boykin. that's the same boykin that set up george w. bush -- he's in the white house because god put him there for such a time as this. and who said of one fighter? somalia -- >> i knew my god was bigger than his. my god was a real god and his was an idol. >> if you want to talk about god beating each other up, she's picked the right

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