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tv   Up W Chris Hayes  MSNBC  November 20, 2011 8:00am-10:00am EST

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and join the movement. i pledge to op small at big top candy shop. allen's boots... at juno baby store. make the pledge to shop small. please. shop small on small business saturday. hello, from new york, i am chris hayes. if you missed our saturday program, we had a report about a detailed plan for taking down wall street. we will talk with one of the targets, ohio senator, sherry brown, later in the program. and then police sprayed peaceful protesters.
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and we have our guests. msnbc contributor, melissa harris perry, and was also here yesterday, and veteran, bob herbert, now a distinguished senior fellow at the think tank. thank you for joining me. first off, all candidates met in a church last night for a debate. it was sponsored by the christian group. the six candidates sat shoulder to shoulder around a table direct directed for thanksgiving. rick santorum, and herman cain was asked about a moment that led them to the path of god
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which i found effective, and then newt gingrich jumped all over the occupy wall street protesters. this is the biggest applause line of the night. take a listen. >> all of the occupy movements starts with the premise that we owe them everything, and they take over a public park they didn't pay for to go nearby to use bathrooms they didn't pay for, and to beg for food and obstruct those to go to work that are sustaining the park so they can self-righteous lisa stain they are the paragons to which we show everything. that's a simple as to how much the left has collapsed and why you need to reassert something like go get a job right after you take a bath. >> you know, there's a line on the internet among liberal
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bloggers, which ironically characters conservative attacks on some as dirty hippies. >> i find the republican campaigning as a time in history. but the comment there is not how factually fouled up but how mean-spirited and inappropriate it is to our country, and we have a lot of problems to pull together and try to solve. >> one of the things that i think we talked about yesterday, and congressman i would be curious to hear your thoughts which is the way in which the two months in which occupy wall street has been going on, it's a
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more polarizing moment, and it's represented by the fact of telling the protesters to take a bath is a big applause line. there was a beginning hope of transcending blue lines with occupy -- >> i think people hoped at first and thought at first that the tea party vote would have some understanding that their original issue, which was the banks and wall street, they would relate somewhere and maybe they could see they fell off the wagon, and now they started and then forgot about wall street. wall street really is the enemy. that's what the election is about and country is all about. are we going to care about all about the rich and all about the folks on wall street that don't understand what it's like to get
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a job. gingrich can say, go get a job, but we don't have jobs. even if you are capable and qualified, if your credit score is not at a certain level, and even if you are talented, there are not jobs out there, and the republicans are not trying to create jobs. that's what the whole thing is about, do you create or cut? and then he said they did not pay for the parks. yeah, they did. and people that are not clean and didn't need a bath, they pay for the parks, too, and he didn't get that. >> the get a job which is the recurring response to occupy wall street, i -- obviously it angers me because i think it's an unfair shot at people, but it seems to me the theory of why we have so much joblessness is incomplete on the right, and i am curious what your reaction is when you hear the get a job line. if you think people are being lazy, you have to wonder why so
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many more americans got lazy in this period of time after the financial crisis, right? clearly, there's something structural going on. >> i have a different view of the broader situation. there's a guy i know that is a friend of mine that had worked until recently at the "new york times," and since he was let go has been spending a lot of time with the occupy movement, and i believe that you might also know him, and he's a guy that has a warm fellow, and an educated man, and if you are somebody who is living in new york city and worked in news media, as i do and some of the folks around the table do, you are inclined to think about the folks differently, where if you are from a different cultural context, you are inclined to pay attention to different pieces. it's something that attracts a wide variety of different kinds of people. are there some people, who, for example, are people who are
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inclined towards anything, any activity as a magnet for agitation? yeah, that's part of it. and are there people who are, you know, sympathetic, people like me, people who are middle classed folks out there, i think that's also very true. just as the tea party movement gets refracted, that's what has happened to the occupy movement. i think people use nasty language when they talk about people when they disagree, because impaw thae is something that we tend to fail at. >> i think there's a lot of truth to that. i was surprised by the fact that it -- the occupy line got so much applause, and -- >> were you really surprised? >> i was, actually. >> and i was thinking about this, and so one of my favorite kind of findings in cognitive social psychology is the people
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that believe the world is fair are also those likely to applaud in that moment. and mow rthey would also be the most impathetic to the poor, but over and over again, we find that those believe that the world is fair and just will look at those not succeeding and say if the world is fundamentally fair and just, then your lack of success, your failure must be your fault in order for me to maintain a fair and just world, and particularly, a fair god. why wouldn't he just fix things except some people must be outside of the purview -- it's a standard strain in american -- >> one of the things we are seeing, and when you talk about
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the sort of tea party and occupy wall street, which is another thing we have talked about on the show, and there are's a meeting in memphis, tennessee, and they talked about what issues they had in common, and they certainly had their disagreements, but this notion that things are fair and just has been so ruptured by the experience in the last three years, that it's easy to hold on to, and the frustration that we have with our elected leaders, the system doesn't look particularly fair and just. >> if we are going to consider the audience's response, we have to consider who the audience was, and that's an audience hostile to all things left. and when gingrich referred to "we," you can infer that we are talking about we being the 1% versus the 99% that wall street talks about. whether they are from the 1%
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doesn't matter, they are hostile to the fact that they are hostile to everything liberal. >> well, that's not accepted by those in that room, right -- >> yeah, that's true. i think that the ideas that that polarization is not the apropose writ polarization, rather there is a different polarization, it's about those that contribute versus those that don't. >> i have to disagree somewhat with that, because i am sitting here watching decade after decade, nobody wants to talk about class warfare, but i am sitting here decade after decade watching warfare on working people and poor in this country, and then i am looking at the people that think that that's l all right, and the people that the debate think it's all right. >> it was not people making over
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$750,000 a year -- >> i am saying doesn't mean that they are part of the 1%. >> well, what was interesting to hear you say is knowing people and who they are, but most of our framework has been this kind of respectability idea. the way you are allowed to ask for more, and the way you are allowed to ask for equality is by first asserting how much within the bonds of respectability and normality you are. and it's current in how the administration goes from don't ask, don't tell -- >> this is astut. when people talk about the employment landscape, they don't talk about it. >> because they are not respectable. >> we will talk more about this and the gop debate after this break. ♪
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that is a special dedication to all the lobbyist that watch "up with chris hayes." we know you are hustling. >> i thought it was going to be hustle and flow. >> yeah, that's from memphis, tennessee. >> from rick ross to the iowa family forum, a transition nobody else will be making this morning, i think, newt gingrich, i paid special attention to him because of the fact that he is now a frontrunner, and one of the things that i think is appealing about him, he is a
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dextrus politician. many have gotten into trouble by having gaffes or being under briefed, and gingrich is very sort of clever, and he has been doing this a long time. i want to show him talking about an abortion question, and it was an extended hypothetical. it was after you become president and roe v. wade is overturned, what will you do? here is his response about that nationally. >> to impose intolerance and drive out of existence, religion, it is a threat. they use the government to
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repress the government -- >> he is ememploying the culture world. and then this is him seeming to flirt with personhood, and that was defeated, but it's the most radical possible conception. >> i would like to explore where personhood begins at conception, and you could in the same law block the court and say this will not be subject to review, which is what we have precedent for. you would not have a constitutional amendment because the congress exercises its authority to define life, and to therefore undue all of roe v. wade for the entire country. >> this is a radical, radical position. congre congressman, as a profession al
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person, and he says partly of what i would like to explore, this is something you have to practice at to thread the needle, telling the audience what they want to hear. >> i think that's what people think of politicians as bad. and some people would take umbrage of saying professional politician. but that means i -- >> he's a failed -- >> he is stuck in class a baseball. he can't take it to aaa. and -- >> that's smack talk. >> he's a businessman because people rejected him more times
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than chuck got hit by joe frazier. >> i think across the country -- we will talk about this later. we will talk about the approval rating for congress. and one of the approval ratings because perry talking about a part time lepgt chur. >> we are? >> what do you mean? >> we meet less than any congress in the past. i came in congress in 2007, and we met regularly and five days a week, and we passed major legislation. it was where we were proud to be in the congress. now we meet a week, off two weeks, and it's nice to be home, yeah, it's nice, and memphis is a great place to be, but we're supposed to be in washington. but when you are home, you are working, you are looking at problems in your community. rick perry doesn't understand washington. he wanted to make us part time, and two years ago he wanted to
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make us nonexistent because hey wanted his own congress in houston. >> watching personhood defeated in mississippi was a bright, light moment. it was exciting to see that productive rights could be frame in the coalition, but the fact is the only way personhood gets defeated is a lot of people that self identify as prolife vote against it, and they voted against it because it would be the end of various forms of birth control, and it was a too far kind of amendment. watching the people of mississippi make a reasonable choice about that, had me breathing easier on this question, and to see it revived, and to see it revived -- i love those two sounds right next to each other. one says here is the government trying to impose its world view
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over and against your morality, and the next thing is what i would like to do is use the government to impose my morality on the rest of you. it really is an indication of what that -- >> wasn't it great of southerners could see mississippi be a beacon of hope. >> it was great. >> women are women in mississippi, too. >> i think what it spoke to, the overage question, but the question about impossession and morality, i thought last night there were mow maments of this , where there were philosophical conversations about bedrock issues, and you have those sitting there that take different positions on the certain of the questions, and then mitch daniels, the governor of indiana, and you admire him -- >> i think he has done a lot of
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impressive things. >> he had a truce that he floated that the consubjectives were going to be benefitted by turning away the issues that we saw as the focus last night. do you think that that -- that he has been successful, or the people advocating that thing has been successful in determining the orientation of the republican party. feels like we are dealing with the same electorate. >> i think there is a fantasy in political life that the people with whom we disagree will pick up their bags and vanish, and i think that's dead wrong. what melissa said earlier on, one of the things going on here is when you are looking at the personhood amendment, it represented the overreach on the part of some folks, and some people idea them as prolife or
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conservative, this has been a strategy for a long time. you look at the deployment of what the liberal journalists called pro-choice conservativism. that's a preproductive choice as such. it would provide women with resources to get an abortion. and it's an idea that we are protectingaatonomy. and so here you have an interesting situation, where there's something that sees the state as an affirmative defender -- >> and rick santorum spoke up. >> yeah, that position is not the position on the right, but it's a fragment that i think some liberals have been able to
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exploit constructively. >> i want to talk to steve cohen about life as a minority in the house of representatives right after this break. i'd race down that hill without a helmet.
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at juno baby store. make the pledge to shop small. please. shop small on small business saturday. congressman steve cohen, i have to thank you for coming today, because you are the first sitting congress we had sitting with us for the full two hours. >> that's interesting. i was the only one at the pipeline rally last week, and i will be the only one there for the tigers basketball. >> you represent tennessee's ninth district, and you have been a member of the house of representatives in the minority and majority, and you are in the minority now, and is it just a bummer to be a member of the
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house when you are in a minority? it seems like it would be extremely frustrating, particularly when you have tasted what it's like to be in the majority. >> it's much better to be in the majority, and it was a great honor to be in the 110th and 111th congress, which is two of the productive in the nation. they have been compared to lbj's congress, and as far as being productive, we did a lot. it's always an honor to be in the congress. even in the minority. and yeah, you are not passing legislation and it's frustrating and you are hearing the issues being discussed, but you also have the opportunity to voice the opposition to them, and to give a different perspective. you do a lot of messaging rather than pass legislation. you can pass small things but not much. >> is that how you see your role, as a messenger, and
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obviously there are constituent services? >> yeah, you still have access to the administration in a better way than in the other party, and we had great successes there, but a lot is messaging. we were able to get the message across on the environmental questions, and the potential damage to the aquafor, and get the keystone pipeline set off, and there were other members of congress that worked with me on that. you can have success, but as far as legislation, no, the party in power picks every bill that gets heard. only a few bills get heard and then to get to the floor is even less. so you don't get the bills that you really care about, and you don't have the feeling of exhilarati exhilaration, of passing national health care that has been around for years, and civil rights legislation, and women rights legislation, and you are
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fighting against, you know, you are messaging. >> you have been in congress for how many terms? >> this is my third term. >> right now i want to show achart that we're passing along the office this week which cracked us up. it's a chart of things more popular than congress. and there's a whole bunch of things on there, including the irs is more popular than congress. i think my favorite is the u.s. going communist, which is at 11%, and then the united states congress comes in at, i think, 9% there. so there's a whole number of things that are more popular in the united states, including the u.s. going communist, which cracked me up. there's a large constituency -- >> well, it's not because they support it. >> sort of the unfunny part of
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this is that congress has historically low levels of public trust as an institution, and how do you understand that? what is your theory for why congress is so poorly trusted right now? >> there are several reasons, i guess. one is we have not been productive particularly in this congress, and secondly the public people are polarized, and we are two different animals as far as where we see government. should government exist or be an umpire and help people and give them a chance and help give the middle class an opportunity and keep the american dream flourishing, and the other is about job creators and the rich. >> and then what you have, you do have a situation where the low congressional approval extends through republicans having a majority and democrats having a majority. and if you look, and i have been looking at this data for a book i have been writing -- >> part of it is campaign finance reform.
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a lot of members of congress, when you get up there one of the first things you find is you are surprised how much time people work on raising money. and it doesn't make you involved with lobbyist and specialists. i think public financing elections would make congress a better place, and then running every two years brings that cycle in, and that needs to change, and people see that. there's a lot of stuff about congress. and being the institution as what it's looked upon, i have written speaker boehner again and again to try and get him to stand up for congress, which he should as speaker. a lot of things put on the internet are lies -- >> on the internet? >> they put out things like congress people, after one year, get a retirement for life. it's a full salary.
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that's not true. you don't get a retirement until you serve five years, and then it's the same as any employee. we have the same health care as any other federal employee. they say the laws don't pertain to us. the police person that gave me that ticket for talking on my cell phone and not having my seat belt on, she didn't care and i paid it. >> that's dangerous. you should buckle up while talking on the cell phone. you can go to where they talk about this. i want to talk about something you touched on there. lobbying and the role on lobbying, and pizza, the role it plays, vengetables, and that is coming up. [ gong ] strawberry banana! [ male announcer ] for a smoothie with real fruit plus veggie nutrition new v8 v-fusion smoothie. could've had a v8.
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story. well, i will speak for myself. what i find frustrating. this is during bush. bush signed it. congress passed a bill saying school lunches should meet common sense science-based dietary guidelines to be established by the u.s. department of agriculture. he said school lunches should conform to the dietary recommendations the usda makes for everybody, and this is what a balanced meal is, and if we serve it in the schools, it should be there. and so seven years later they conducted a study. school lunches can include no more than two starches a week, and tomato paste could no longer be considered a vegetable. and that means that frozen pizza counts as a vegetable.
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and big food companies spent $5.6 million lobbying appropriation members to change the rules. and they had a victory for the frozen food industry. almost 32 million kids participate in the school lunch program. congress authorized usda to improve the traditional quality of school meals seven years ago. usda commissioned a report to help the agency do that, based on the best available science. usda has taken public comment and should come up with final regulations but the food industry didn't get what it wanted through the normal channels so it went to congress. i would love to see reporters
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asking how did that happen. >> chris, it seems to me this answers the question of why congress is held in such low esteem. i go all over the country talking to working people, and they feel the system is rigged and they have the view of whether it's fair or not. they feel that congress is alive with the corporate interests and the financial interests and with the big special interests that have the finance, the lobbyist, and the clout and the access that ordinary people don't have. >> if these large food processors did not send a single cent to lobby in congress, they still produce large numbers of jobs. it's a large employer. so regardless of spending a cent on the issues, i think the members of congress would have one reason to remember them. so -- >> but it matters in the margins. so there's a distinction. >> i think one way to think
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about lobbying, and there's a wonderful book about policy change, and part of the model that advances is this idea that people have an ideological view, and they are looking for information subsidies. who is aligned with the view and how can i advance that view so it's not so much there is the money, spending it, and it's rather you are a job creator in my district, and this is something that can facilitate and -- >> but i don't think that that's right or appropriate. i don't think that's sensible. i think you want to resist that pressure, and people care about things like job creation and etc. >> i think that part of that is the polarization. there was a time when you looked at the u.s. congress and despite partisan differences, there were also regional differences, and democrats and republicans would come together, and those from the midwest and south had a
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shared interests, but much less. much more of what you are seeing is ideology. and the potato farmer is being protected by the potato congressman, and that's the idea that there should be -- >> there has always been regional situation. >> it goes along with the it yo logical won. now, how dare the government tell me what to feed my kids. >> yeah, and so this was both of these things. this was industry group, and this was sort of old-fashioned, i am from a potato state, and i have to represent the potato growers. >> i don't think you can say -- i was watching larry o'donnell when he went ballistic on the members of congress, and i was like, yeah, congress is terrible, and then no, i am one of them, stop, and i checked it
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out, and it was a continual resolution to keep the government going without having a shutdown, and there were three different areas in the appropriation, so you had to vote it up or down. i thought about voting no because -- >> right. >> i was doing anti-swaps, and anti-carbs -- >> somebody at the flower industry group right now is typing an angry letter to the congressman. >> that is showing, what is the thought process that is going on, and how are you making these decisions? it's a complicated matter where there are moving pieces, and the people defending that industry are going to be more active. >> i want to talk more about pizzagate after this break. to bd medicare prescription drug plan. ♪ with the lowest national plan premium... ♪ ...and copays as low as one dollar...
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cohen of memphis, tennessee, i cut you off midst, and you were going to figure out if you were going to vote up or down to fund three different agencies and fund the government, and it included the pizza deal, which would allow pizza to continue being counted as a venlable for the purposes of -- >> i was being facetious. i am on atkins. but i thought it was so awful. but you have to vote the package up or down, and it has no legal services on the senate side for the house, and that was important, and more money for the cops program, and more money for high speed rail, and there were a whole lot of areas where it was a much better bill, and the man ahead on the appropriations bill, and he has been around for a while and he knows it was the right thing to
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do. i was going to say i will be the most vur chau wus decision, and vote no. but that would not have been right. >> this gets to a deep issue here. one is a profound issue in the nature of democratic policies, it's about choices, but in the current system, it's the fact that so much of what the real action happens is up stream of the vote, right? by the time it gets to the vote, the cake has been baked, essentially, right? >> i don't know who was on the conference committee. i got my news from lawrence o'donnell. you know what is going on in your committeees, but in other committees, you have no clue. >> so this is just coming out, and you read it and you -- if you are not on the committee, you bone up on it, but it's not like you have special access to what has happened.
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>> right, you don't. when you have caucus meetings, you might get briefed on certain of these things and that's when you are brought into the loop. >> but the cbig actors, whether they are on the left or right, whether it's corporate or the financial industry, or whether it's labor, they do understand how the process works, and they can get in there and maneuver and try to make it work for them. >> they can hone in on had where they need to be, and they have a specific target. and so they know that, and so they make sure that there are areas -- >> well, ordinary voters think, where does that leave me? where do i get to have my say? >> and the campaign finance reform cannot in and of itself fix the entire problem despite supporting that because it's not
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just financial asem trees. i need we need a new schoolhouse rock about how a bill becomes a law. >> yeah, maybe with rick ross's "every day i am hustling." >> and there's a sense that the congress is a more complicated place. government has grown and it's bigger and it's more complicated. there's a lot going on. and it points to the fact that being a professional politician, and we might want to call it an expert elected official has value because you learn over time how to run -- >> i want to talk more about congress when we come back after this break. ♪ mama said there'd be days like this ♪ ♪ "there'll be days like this," mama said ♪ [ male announcer ] the toughest job on the planet just got a little easier. with one touch technology and even an air scrubber.
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talking about how congress works or does not work here and we have a real-life sitting congressman with us.
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it's a great pleasure. we were talking about the sort of kind of special interest jousting that happens in the committee process, and however much big money is corrupt in the process, there's a certain amount of it that will always happen and it happens under any conceivable finance reseam, and that seems to me like the current regime egg saser bates a lot. and this is the iceberg theory campaign of finance. but just a little pokes out at the top. but calling the person, the last person that went against the potato person, he got something
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dropped against him in the race. you don't have to spend a dime to brandish that in the regime. >> let me -- >> welcome to our state. >> basically, these expenditures, i agree that they are a problem but perhaps i have a different view of why they are a problem. the party organizations, they are accountable. if you have a political party able to raise a large amount of money, they can channel it and aid candidates that don't have enough money themselves and actually our efforts to fix the campaign finance system changed the system radically for the worst, and created a system in which candidates are raising money and they depend heavily on groups to act on their behalf, and those are not accountable groups. >> congressman, you have to live this reality. what do you think about it? >> i was thinking about what was
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being said, and i was thinking about the senate and we thought the senate was the enemy, because you get very little done when you have to get 160 votes, but with potatoes, idaho gets more power than otherwise, and identify hoe center has more power than the california senator. if you are a senior senator, you have a lot of power different from what you think you would have. that's the system. but the senate gives small states more power than they deserve. that's where potatoes come from. >> there's a rigged proagriculture bias to the senate, because it represents land and not people, and that's part of the reason why we have farm subsidies and ethanol and a bunch of other things that i think conservatives are not huge fans of. we are going to have senator sherry brown -- >> a good senator.
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>> we will get his reaction to the lobbyist and occupy wall street, and we will talk about the super committee and what havoc it may wreak or not wreak right after this. d by some mop. why you... nobody's taken a shine to me in a long time. phooey. i don't need anybody...but you! ♪ i believe in miracles [ male announcer ] swiffer attracts dirt. used mops can push muddy water around. swiffer wetjet's new, upgraded solution helps prevent streaks and residue to reveal more shine than a mop or your money back. you're a fresh swiffersnapper! since ameriprise financial was founded back in 1894, they've been committed to putting clients first. helping generations through tough times. good times. never taking a bailout. there when you need them. helping millions of americans over the centuries.
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from real people... 5-year price-lock guarantees... consistently fast speeds... and more ways to customize your technology. ♪ good morning. from new york, i am chris hayes. we have democratic congressman, steve cohen, of tennessee, a columnist for the daily, and nbc contributor, melissa perry, and bob herbert, formally from the "new york times." if you are watching one of the other cable network, you may see a doomsday until the super committee blows the deadline, and at the risk of sounding like a news cable tech, i am rooting
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for failure. i think it will require more deficit sending in the short term, and we are up against an array of other factors, and history indicates that's what we need. but if the super committee succeeds and comes up with a way to reduty the deficit, it will involve major cuts in government spending, and major reductions involving kids, families and the elderly. if the plan fails to pass congress, it triggers a process which was part of the deal to get the debt ceiling passed. $1.2 trillion in spending cuts, half coming from spending programs excludeing medicaid and medicare, and it looks like we're going towards the latter. congressman cohen, are you
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hoping for super committee failure? >> yeah, i guess in a way you generally look at failure, i consider the professor a guru, and i think we need to create jobs, and a failure would be a success, because you eliminate the bush tax cuts, and that could take care of the problem in and of itself, and bush tax cuts put us at rates we never heard of in 60 years. i saw memphis is the fourth largest disparity gap -- tied with houston, and i hate to be tied with houston in everything. and this is not fair what is going on. >> to take it one step further, and i never understood why anybody thought they would reach a deal. >> i never thought they would. >> why would it be the case, if you take two bodies and you make them 50/50, right, between two
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very polarized parties that represent very different constituencies and have different ideology commitments and visions of the way forward, and i never understood why neighbor thought you would get something different than this. it would be devastating to social programs. >> if defense is cut, maybe we will realize it would be smarter to put money in electric batteries, and then it would be better to protect the country eternally. and fred smith, a federal express founder, he is a constituent, and he talked about this last week, we need to do it
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with more cars, because defense is about oil and we need to take it out of defense. defense has put money into it, and they have power and know where to go in the appropriations committee and they have -- you vote on budgets as to who has the jobs. do we need that engine or not. >> we have -- what do you think, bob? >> i think the introduction to the segment. put on it a card and mail it to every voter. jobs is the number one problem facing the country and austerity is a job killer. i am rooting for the committee to fail, but you have to be concerned about the see questered process, and who will
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get clobbered if it goes forward. what could congress do, assume the super committee fails, to alleviatievleviate the damage - >> we could vote to make things different. what i figure is what would happen, is defense would come out. they would vote not to cut defense but to cut social services more and there would be enough votes in the house, and republicans would do it, and you have democratic people who d districts depend on jobs -- defense would be the first thing. >> and the congressman said something earlier, and he said it could create a repry or tauization. prioritization. the idea that sometimes that
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spending restraint can lead to greater financial discipline and organizational discipline. i think that that is why i am somewhat more optimistic about providing cuts that will allow us to reform work rules and other practices that make it harder to reprioritize spending. >> we have a senator from ohio on the phone. he joins us now from his home state of ohio. welcome back to the program, senator. >> good to be back, chris. thanks. >> senator, what do you think, are you hoping they do not reach a deal and we get the sequestration -- >> i can't imagine the republicans that signed their
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vote away assigned their ability away to think. i am not optimistic it would be any deal that would work for any majority of the senate. the house is another ball game there. there are other things floating around, and i hope a few democrats could change the cost of living, and the cpi and ratchet it downward, and instead of capturing a fairer cpi as we said. seniors have not had a cost of living increase, but they had one for this year. and they don't weigh health care costs that affect seniors, and
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obviously it's a much bigger part of their income than it does somebody in their 30s or 40s. they are going the wrong way on many issues. that's what makes me think that likely this will move forward into see quester. >> the last reported plan -- we have a graphic set up that gives you a sense of what the composition of what republicans propose as reported to the super committee. it's a pie chart we put together -- no, it's not that. that's projected government spending. that we will talk about in a second. this is a pie chart that i want to show you of the composition of the gop debt plan, and it only contains -- there we go. 99.5% of the plan was spending cuts and other revenues, and .5%
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of the plan was new taxes. >> that would be considered fair and balanced, right? >> senator, do you think that democrats have not been forthright enough in the rhetoric about taxes? do you think that part of the issue here is that democrats are in such a defensive crouch they have a hard time making an affirmative case for taxes? >> i think democrats are in a defensive crouch generally too often. i think voters respond to us -- well, voters respond to us when we make the contrast, and many of us have run as progressives in states that are considered swing states. you make that case whether it's medicare or taxes or defense, and voters rally around.
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i think you saw that with an issue in ohio where nobody thought we would win by 22 points when the radical takeover of the legislature and the governor repeal collective bargaining rights, they went after women rights and voter rights and in washington we see what is happening with taxes. the more they make that contrast, i think the better we do. >> senator from ohio, i want to you stay right where you are, and we will continue this discussion -- we have -- >> love to. >> we have representatives from each of the houses of congress today, which is a treat. we will talk more about this. >> thanks. ♪ you, you ain't alone
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we're back with senator brown, a democrat from ohio. he was one of three sitting
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democrat senators named in the memo from the lobbying firm written to their client, the american banker associating, and another senator named was bob casey. and his office had this comment. he said the senator is not surprised that big bank lobbyist are trying to use money and their yuns to protect the wealthiest few at the expense of hard -- >> thank you for bringing up that story. we heard a buzz about this story and the good journalism in getting the memo. apparently the consulting group of the banker association has a lot of contact with boehner's office. the 99% group in occupy wall
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street has tapped into a real fear and concern and anxiety in the country. they have said more persuasively, regardless of what happens exactly on the streets, they have said more persuasively how big of a deal it is, and how terrible and troublesome it is for the country that we have the huge gap, and in the middle class is shrinking, a small number of people are getting wealthier and falling out of the middle class, and people aspi aspiring to be in middle class are seeing the doors shut in their face right and left, and the bank lobby and the wall street lobby is empowered to do more to hold their place and to get more tax cuts and more deregulation and to do the same things that a lot of the republicans on the super committee want to do. and it's clear from occupy wall street, and what happened in ohio, and on issue two to beat back the efforts to repeal collective bargaining, the
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country is saying no more to this, and the middle class is going to fight back. >> do you see this coming election being framed as a r referendum in those terms? is that the strategy you will face as you face re-election, and do you think that will be the strategy broadly pursued -- >> i think it will come down, but not nearly enough of my colleagues articulate it this way, whose side are you on, on the side of mainstream or wall street? i think that you make those contrasts and you point out whose side are you on. that's the fear that john boehner and mitt romney -- mitt romney said it was class warfare when he was asked about occupy wall street.
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and the class warfare is from the elite aimed at the middle class. they commit class warfare every day in congress and ever day as they try to privatize social security. we point it out, and they accuse us of class warfare. i don't want the middle class to have a fighting chance, and that means to tell the 1% to back off when they ask for more tax cuts and more deregulation and more privatization of public functions in many of the things that the states do. >> bob wanted to ask you a question. i will ask you the same thing i asked congressman cohen. if the super committee fails, what do you see unfolding in the senate after that? >> i heard part of his question. i think that clearly john mccain has said this and others will fight any cuts in defense spending. when you look at what we have done in defense in the increases
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in the last ten years during the bush years, and when it's important, as i think we need to accelerate our with draw from afghanistan and iraq, and i am concerned about the president's move into australia. i don't know enough yet to question that as directly as i might, and i don't know what he is doing with moving troops around. i think the defense establishment can absorb expensive cuts. i appreciate the comments that steve smith said, that we should be using some of the defense dollars to do things like batteries and other kinds of advancements. and advancement in the defense department over the years does create jabs. >> you mentioned senator john mccain, and we have sound of
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him. this is, to me, is the heart of the issue. the idea, just so everybody is tracking this, congress was going to tie itself to the mast, right, and then that would force it to make a decision, and immediately, as we saw the super committee start to break down, people coming out saying we can just untie ourselves from the mast. this is john mccain saying i am going to move forward. here he is talking about defense spending. >> my reaction is, if there is a failure on the part of the super committee, that we will be among the first on the floor to nullify that provision, because congress is not bound by this. it's something that we passed and we can reverse it. as far as i am concerned, i will fight any additional cuts in defense spending. >> this does feel a little like lucy and the football. why do we go through this whole thing -- i guess my question is, to you congressman and senator,
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people say, well, the process is going to kick in and it's going to require, you know, the president will veto it if it doesn't have the cuts. but they are going to come at democrats with everything that they have without defense spending, and that's an argument throughout the years. >> there's a lot of jobs and money and influence. they have it spread throughout the nation. it makes it difficult. i will be against -- maybe it's because we don't have it in memphis. but i think we fundamentally don't need to be known around
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the world as a defense nation, and we're falling behind in so many areas. innovation is one of the areas we're falling behind. we are letting the chinese beat us, and infrastructure here is falling apart. >> and one was the policy question you asked us initially, do you want the super committee to fail? and then you asked us a political question, about is this going to be the framework for the 2012 election. with all due respect, the framework of 2012 elections is going to be the presidential election. and my question is, look, this is going to be about whether or not president obama is going to be seen as the leader of the party, seen as having strong support, or whether or not you will give him the coattails to get him fwhak and keep and hold the democratic senate, and maybe
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some gains in the house. i am wondering what that relationship at this moment going into 2012 and thinking about the potential failure -- >> senator, please. >> i think a couple of things temper the question, the original question of what happens with defense spending during s during sequestration. the democrats are weak on the defense argument when considering what he did in the war on terror, and he has done things that george bush who talked a lot tougher but carried a small stick when you get down to it, he has done things that his predecessors did. i think he has much more credibility on defense, and it doesn't mean you have to spend and spend and spend to do it. and then the second thing at the end of the line, while mccain says he will change it before
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2013 when the sequestration goes into effect, but they will try to continue the bush tax cuts and ae limg nate the defense cuts, and john mccain is not going to get it both ways. >> and we appreciate you getting up on sunday morning and joining us. >> thank you again for breaking the occupy wall street story. that was really important. >> we will be right back after this. whoa. whoa. how do you top great vacations? whoa. getting twice the points on great vacations. whoa! use chase sapphire preferred and now get two times the points on travel, and two times the points on dining and no foreign transaction fees. whoa! chase sapphire preferred. a card of a different color. apply now at
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austerity vision. and then, you know, there's a case embedded in what erin burnett was saying in how -- i think there was a case that made to the run up of the debt ceiling deal. the long term cbo physical projections in the out years are producing in this moment uncertainty, anxiety, paralysis among the job creators that is at the cause of the stalled recovery. do you think that's a strong argument? >> well, the argument that i find more compelling relates actually to an argument that representative cohen raised earlier on. when he was raised about defense expenditures, he mentioned these guys are evasively spread. and that creates a dynamic in which we tend to spend more and more. that's an upward ratchet.
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they make themselves a strong political coalition. i would argue if you look at medical providers, you see a more persuasive political -- you see where we will cut x amount of spending, and that's interpreted as you are attacking people that want medical care, rather than let's saying let's raise medical cares about medical physicians, and rules and other protections. regardless of what you say about overall spending levels, the question is is the structure working. when people say we're going to make cuts, we say, where is the wedge. and sometimes it's ex -- >> there is a distinction you bring up between the provider side and the recipients side.
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>> they are not getting high quality medical care, rather than how much -- >> my understanding is in the see questation process, there are cuts to providers, right? that's part of the process -- am i wrong? >> no, that's true. it's a hard thing to kind of -- >> right. you raise what is essentially the central question, we end up talking around it, and america has lost its virtue, and it's has lost its ability to restrain itself, and that's the moral language we use to talk about austerity. the long term problem in the budget, the rising health care costs. and here is a chart that shows what the sources of our long-term fiscal challenges are.
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rising health care costs are the problem. and the democrats dealt with that in the past in the health care bill. it will reduce long-term health care costs. democrats have dealt with the deficit before, and we dealt with it with president clinton, and it was a great success, and that was in 1993, and then with the health care. republicans have had two wars off the budget, and they put the bush tax cuts in effect. that's the reason we have the great deficit. >> well, remember medicare part d and tim carney in the washington examiner did great reporting on newt gingrich, and he pushed for medicare part d, which was a new entitlement -- >> yeah, it was more expensive.
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>> the great story about the child that kills his parents, and he said but i am an orphan, look at me, feel sorry, and that's the republicans. >> i don't know if we have dealt with health care costs. >> thank you, sir. >> but also, you know, we're talking like we're in fantasy land somewhere. at some point, we have to raise taxes. at some point we have to stop fighting the endless unfunded wars if we get a handle on budget deficits. and perhaps most importantly, you are going to have to do something with the economy that puts people back to work so that you have ordinary people paying taxes again. >> paying taxes ain't consuming goods. >> yeah. >> if you buy goods -- >> well, we need to go back to
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the initial question, it's attacking basically the private sector job creation. when we look at what has happened over the last couple years, and that may have been true early on, but in the last couple years it's not the private sector, it's the public sector shedding jobs. primarily as a result of not so much federal policy, although that's critically part of it. the absence of federal health, to states and localities, and you see republican governors that are shedding these public sector jobs over the past couple of years. and we talk about the middle class and all of that, and those are government workers, but a government worker is somebody that brings you mail and teaches your kid, and -- >> well, we will talk about that after we take this break. with no vegetable nutrition? ♪
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all right. you are a man of many credentials. you wanted to respond. >> melissa raised a good point, most of what we have seen is shedding in the state and local sector, but there are two things to keep in mind. one between the end of the korean war in 2009, state and local expenditured doubled. over the last decade, they increased about 8%. and there's a tremendous burst of hiring. and another thing to keep in mind, states where they were able to shift the compensation mix to deferred compensation -- >> meaning mentions? >> exactly. for example, if you see illinois, they shed lots of
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number of public sector workers, and that's controversial. do the state governments have the flexibility. >> and state and local government has grown. if you want to look at where the growth is -- >> economy did not grow at 8% -- >> right. >> it's going to take -- >> well, the share of taxes as a percentage of gdp is the lowest level it has been since the 1950s. >> but part -- but part of that growth in state and local was about the unfunded mandates of the federal government to states in low tal teas. the localism, this idea that local people know better, and so -- >> well, that was opposed, too, and it's a complex evolution. but a lot is a desire for class size and other things that are -- >> well, sure. and yet, i suspect that, as we
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are sort of looking at, for example, the medicare cost and the affects that will have on states and localities, i think what will undoubtedly happen is because the supreme court will reassess under the u.s. commerce clause this question of the health care reform individual mandate, and whatever else it does, it will lead us to have a conversation about the appropriate relationship between the various levels of government. so much civil rights law, and the sex registry registration, all that happens under the assumption of what the federal government can and cannot ask localities to do. this is all up for play right now. >> do you think that the politics of this moment, it seems to me that one of the things that characterize the moment, we're talking about the moment of austerity, but the low
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growth and shrinking pie, and there's a tenure of that politics, and they are more brutal than some, and do you feel that in congress. >> i think we have to think about what is not participating in the american dream, and you have the upper 1%, and the dow is over 12,000, and the dow doesn't affect most people in my district, and they need jobs and help with public education, and disparity has grown over the last 15 years, and you have more emphasis on government having to deal with these issues. you mention people that don't have jobs. we need to have second chance opportunities and we're not doing with that. there's so much more at the street level that needs to be done. >> yes, i think -- well, i will speak for myself. we need jobs desperately. the employment crisis is as debill tating and grinding and
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miserable as we have seen in my lifetime and since the great depression. the tenure ais like the great depression. and it doesn't seem like everything is going to happen in the next 12 months. i can't see a way forward to alleviate the jobs crisis. >> i don't think it's going to happen. mitch mcconnell said our main job is to defeat president obama. that's what the republicans have done in the last two years, not help the economy or the american people, and even though they read the constitution in the first week, but not to care about the public interests. >> i want to press you on this. there are two theories of republican opposition. the good faith theory is they think it's bad legislation that won't work, and the bad faith theory is they think it will work and it will lead to the re-election of obama.
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>> it's funded by taxing the upper 1%, the tax on millionaires. they don't want to tax millionaires. they want to keep the wealthy -- you know, i am rich as hell and won't take it anymore. it's the hospital, part two. >> bob, i cut you off. >> well, i agree with chris. i don't think that anything is going to happen over the next 12 months, but i would make the timeline even longer than that, and i think the implications are pretty profound, because they are as serious as you say. we will have an increase in the inequality that people are finally beginning to talk about, but more important than that, there is going to be a destabilizing aspect to the society, which i think we're already beginning to see. and we're not addressing it at all. >> and the can fruns that they had in iowa, the group that was concerned about social issues, and they said marriage is falling apart and this is
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terrible. part of the reason people aren't staying together is because of jobs. they didn't bring that up at all. jobs are part of it. >> you are starting to see in ru rural areas, and older suburbs, many of the problems that we associated with the inner city -- >> one statistic in the new york times, and the new poverty numbers, it's good news at the level of extreme poverty, which there is less numbers in the extreme poverty, and there are far more people at the near poverty level, and as many as 100 million in the near poverty. >> i just want to -- so the only danger that we have, an important danger that we have when we make the claims is the issue of making sure obama is not re-elected. in many ways, i am suspicious the second scenario is true where they think it's good and they don't want him to get
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re-elected, but as much as we like president obama we will have to let him go, because if we shed obama, they will bring in president romney or gingrich, and because they will be on the same side and they recognize it's good policy, they will go ahead and pass it, and so even though it may be bad for the democratic party or president obama, it will gb for all of us. i want to caution us again even implying if we just get rid of president obama, then the republicans will be able to deep a deep sigh of relief and make jobs, i think that's -- >> i agree with you. i agree with you on that. what you should know for the news week ahead is coming up next. nouncer ] just how many appliances are on our wish lists? 'cause this season, the timing couldn't be better. right now, we can get those black friday prices without fighting through all those black friday crowds, which means we can do more this year
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in just a second, what you should know for the week ahead. right now it's time for a preview of "weekends with alex
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witt." >> it's an outcry and an investigation. could these pictures of police cracking down on protesters spark the occupy wall street movement? we will talk to the congressman whose district includes that park. and then the gop, surprising moments that brought tears to two of the candidates. plus the changing retail landscape and black friday. and then we will look at how we celebrate thanksgiving. that's all ahead at 10:00 eastern. >> thank you. what should you know as we head into the week. well, total spending in washington has gone up from $1.4 billion to $3.5 billion, and no matter what anybody else you the exploding growth of the economy of influence represents a huge cancer on the democracy. the super committee will not come to an agreement and all
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things considered that's better than the alternative. and republicans will go into pivot to unlock the deal they made. and then you should know boumice bachma bachmann's book will be released this week. and while banks continue to go unpunished and prosecuted, those worrying of american justice should know about the mother of two being sentenced to three years for the crime of lying on a federal application for food stamps. she was previously convicted of drug offenses which made her ineligible, but she lied so she could feed her children. you should know that she paid
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that back, but that will not spare her from three years in prison. you should know the national press club has a funny definition of journalism. after one journalists asked one about his record, he was suspended for two weeks, and the rest of our press shared the same spirit, we would likely be in better shape ad as a country. some enterprising students found a way around the university's prohibitions on occupy cal. they used their balloons to float their tents. and finally, as we approach thanksgiving, shoe know how genuinely and prou foundly
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thankful i am to take time to watch our program. and that expends to those that can't stand what we say but watch anyway. happy thanksgiving. ♪ i think i'm falling
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i like bumping back of the shot of the pastries. they got eaten today thanks to myself. our guests are back to tell us what we should know as the news unfolds. i'll start with congressman steve cohen from memphis, tennessee. >> i guess they should know, whatever happens with the quote-unquote super committee, that the country will continue and go on. most of the members of congress, even though our rating is down, are good human beings. they have difference of opinions but want to do the right thing. most people are good. there's a small percentage that
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are bad apples and they get a lot of attention. >> do you want to name them on live television? i'm kidding. >> and that thanksgiving we need to give thanks and for those given much, much is expected. those people who are having their catered and wonderfully thanksgiving dinners with all the trimmings should think about those that don't and write their congress first and say vote for taxes on me. there were a bunch of millionaires that came to the hill and said we want to be taxed more and we should. that was -- warren buffett is right. there has been class warfare and my class is winning. we ought to think about the people who don't have thanksgiving or jobs or healthcare. are homeless. veterans that come home, et cetera, et cetera and to give more and sacrifice. they ought to know the memphis tigers will have the best basketball team in the united states of america. >> there's a terrible proposal called the stop on-line piracy act making its way to the house
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now. one way to think about this. the extraordinary expenditures of hollywood and the recording industry versus the modest by the technology industry that suffers from these proposals, recently an independent expenditure group has started making ads and attacking potential republican presidential candidates. it's raised $3 million, $2 million of which from jeffrey katzenberg, the renowned hollywood producer. they've captured both political coalitions, one right of center and left of center. it's trying to stop the stop on-line piracy act. the other thing i had the pleasure of finishing a novel that hasn't made it on to enough top ten lists called open city. i recommend it strongly to he everyone who is inclined to read fiction. priorities, usa is a democratically aligned -- they are not doing on the stop
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on-line piracy act. that's not their brief. melissa harrison. >> as we're at our thanksgiving tables and thinking of values, our nation's values are clear in the tax code. it is the most collective way that we measure what our vl us are. approximate you look at the tax rate for millionaires, at the end much world war ii, for a moment of the generation and the expansion of the middle class, the tax rate on millionaires was 66.4%. democrat and republican presidents and congresss have been cutting, cutting, cutting that. it's now at about 30%. so what we see now with the shrinking middle class and with a glance at our tax code, there has been an enormous shift in american priorities over the course of the past 60 years away from an expansion of the middle class. >> we know for a long time that the middle class has been squeezed. now we're getting census data
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documenting that the middle class is shrinking. there are fewer and fewer people in middle class neighborhoods. as you touched on earlier, weave reports that there are more and more people in the near poor category. between poor and the near poor, that covers about one-third of all americans. >> 100 million people as we said before. this is a running story. i don't know if it's chris hayes. obsessed with the poverty numbers. it gives a striking picture of where we are, particularly as the great recession continues to grind on and continues to create tremendous misery broadly but intensely acute pockets of misery, particularly among certain sub populations. i want to thanks my guests today, steve cohen of tennessee, great pleasure to have you. rye han salaam of the daily, melissa harris perry and herbert. we'll be back next saturday and sunday at 8:00. our guests include ezra cline
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and nancy giels. set your dvr's people. keep up with us on facebook at up with chris. next is weeken"weekends with al wit witt". we'll see you next week here on "up." gonna tell them all ♪ [ male announcer ] the most headroom per dollar of any car in america. from $10,990. the all-new nissan versa sedan. innovation upsized. innovation for all. ♪ ♪ small talk, big thoughts, gonna tell them all ♪ [ male announcer ] the most legroom per dollar of any car in america. from $10,990. the all-new nissan versa sedan. innovation upsized. innovation for all. ♪ that is better than today. since 1894, ameriprise financial has been working hard for their clients' futures. never taking a bailout. helping generations achieve dreams. buy homes. put their kids through college.
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