tv Politics Nation MSNBC November 28, 2011 6:00pm-7:00pm EST
positive feelings that light up the world around her. i'm not talking maria in the sound of music. i'm talking about the real thing. i'm glad i was able to come out here this morning, not just because the wife of mayor daley was like him, big on education, a leader in after-school programs and keeping a downtown parriish alive. it made me feel good about mankind, in this case, womankind. she is lively proof that humans are capable of being truly gracious to one another. that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. "politics nation" with al sharpton starts right now. welcome to "politics nation." i'm al sharpton, we start tonight with breaking news. another explosive allegation against herman cain. an atlanta businesswoman is claiming she had a 13-year affair with him. at this hour, ginger white is
making allegations on a local tv station in atlanta. moments ago, the station posted this clip of their interview. >> it was pretty simple. it wasn't complicated. i was aware that he was married. and i was also aware that i was involved in a very inappropriate situation, relationship. >> inappropriate relationship. we'll have more from that interview as it comes in this hour. herman cain himself spoke out earlier this afternoon preemptively denying the story. >> i did not have an affair, okay? and until i see and hear exactly what's going to be -- what the accusations are going to be made, let's move on. but i acknowledge that i knew the woman. i acknowledge that i've known her for about that period of time. but the accusation that i had a 13-year affair with her, no. >> nbc has not confirmed the
woman's story. herman cain married his wife, gloria, back in 1968. this latest allegation comes after several other women accused cain of sexual harassment. he denied those charges but has seen his poll numbers plummet in the following weeks. joining me is richard wolf, msnbc political analyst and author of "renegade." perry barack and erick mcpike. thanks to you all for joining me tonight. rimpd, let's c richard, how serious is this for the cain campaign if it's true? >> he doesn't have to leave the race under any circumstances. but it will take his support down to the low single digits. he's currently about 15 points in the poll, which is considerable when you consider that mitt romney is in the low
20s. there's a lot of cain supporters out there who could come and play. whether or not it's true at some point, there's so much smoke -- whether or not there's fire is kind of irrelevant. the smoke just engulfs this candidate. >> now, erin, mr. cain also said this, explaining the relationship with the new accuser -- >> trying to help a friend because not having a job, et cetera, and this sort of thing. that's all there is to the relationship. and here again, i don't know what's going to be claimed in the story. it was someone who was supposed to be a friend, but obviously they didn't see it as a friendship. >> now, he's trying to get ahead of the story by going on earlier before it came out. was that smart or not, erin? >> it depends on what there is. if it comes that there are pictures or hotel receipts or text messages of some kind that prove him wrong, he's in trouble.
he should have gotten out in front of the story before, if he knew this was coming. gingrich has affairs in his past but we knew about them. people don't seem to care about gingrich's past as much. but cain -- these accusations are new. if we see some evidence, he's in trouble. >> perry, mr. cain's attorney just released this statement. let me show you to it you. he says, this is not an accusation of harassment in the workplace. this is not an accusation of an assault, which are subject matters of legitimate inquiry to a political candidate. rather, this appears to be an accusation of private, alleged consensual conduct between adults, a subject matter which is not a proper subject of inquiry by the media or the public. no individual, whether a private citizen, a candidate for public office or a public official, should be questioned about his or her private sexual life.
the public's right to know and the media's right to report has boundaries and most certainly those boundaries are outside of one's bedroom door. the difference with this accuser, perry, is that it is not accusing sexual harassment or assault or abuse of power. it would be true in infidelity. is the lawyer right? >> the public gets to choose who they vote for and why. the public can decide if they want to vote for you if they trust you or not. i don't think he gets to decide that. the other problem with the statement is he seems -- when i read that statement i thought he seemed to almost confirm something happened versus herman cain strongly denying it. those statements -- what herman cain and his lawyer said earlier are in tension with each other. those are not consistent views. >> it goes back to you, richard, you're saying it's a lot of
smoke. i and others may argue because we've argued it when it has been democrats or liberals, that personal life is personal life. but i think the problem here is that it's accusation, accusation, four accusations of assault and then this. maybe if it was only this, it would be a different matter. >> well, look, let me rephrase something i said earlier. the truth does matter if you can prove that other people have been telling lies. unfortunately, herman cain has not been able to do that in these previous circumstances. moreover, take that lawyer's statement. one of the weakest defenses is to say what is appropriate for press to ask about or not. let's remember. this is a candidate who has not left politics outside the bedroom door. he's voiced many opinions on sexual activities when it comes to lesbian and gays. he doesn't say that there's a limit to privacy for those people and yet he's claiming one -- or his lawyer is claiming one for himself. that's a double standard at the very least and at the very worst, it's hypocrisy.
and social conservatives may wonder what kind of social conservative he is. >> that's a fair statement, perry. once owe open up the door for anyone, you open it up for everyone. clearly that's been the case of what's happened in the past with the right so-called moralists. they open the door to people's personal life, you can't jump personal when it comes to yours. >> exactly. the other thing is, reverend, you may have thought bill clinton should stay in office. but lots of republicans thought he should leave office. lots of republicans do care about moral behavior and this kind of thing. and i think they can vote on whatever they choose to. some have expressed concerns about the previous sexual harassment and they are going to be concerned about rumors of affair. >> there will also be, as i said at the beginning, the inconsistencies or the
misleading. whatever one does or doesn't do, if you mislead people, then you have raised another question. a fish wouldn't get caught if he kept his mouth shut. we have more from this latest accuser, ms. ginger white. listen to her stating why she came forward at this time. >> i wanted to come out and give my side before it was thrown out there and made out to be something filthy, which some people will look at this and say, well, that's exactly what it is. he made it very intriguing. it was fun. it was something that took me away from my sort of humdrum life at the time. and it was exciting. >> so she said she wanted to come out before in the course of the race someone brought it out and made it something distasteful or she used another
term. erin, how do you respond to that? >> well, if she's telling the truth and it was a 13-year affair, it's presumable that friends of hers or people around both of them knew about it. if that's the case, maybe some of them were leaking it to the press. it's true, there are rumors going about herman cain and the media's always trying to get to the bottom of rumors they hear about national politicians. if that's the case, someone was going to come out with the story, she wanted to be first and clear her name somewhat. not that it's totally clearing her name. she's admitting to a 13-year affair. but that tells you that it might have been coming out anyway. >> now, the thing that bothers a lot of us is that this distracts from the serious issues affecting the country. here we are dealing with the economic inequality, jobs, the fact that they are voting this week on the extension of the unemployment in terms of the
taxes and extension of that. and here we are again in the middle of some private sexual scandal. then we see that there are legitimate policy attacks on the other candidates. the democrats came out with an ad this weekend on mitt romney that dealt more with his policy flip-flops, richard. let me show you where the dnc came out with an ad on willard. >> from the creator of "i'm running for office for pete's sake" comes the story of two men trapped in one body. mitt versus mitt. >> i will preserve and protect a woman's right to choose. >> two mitts willing to say anything. >> we put together an exchange. obamacare is bad news. >> now, so we've got the democratic party putting an ad
out, two men trapped in one body, mitt versus mitt, willard versus willard. richard, how effective is that? >> it's very cute. it's got a sense of humor. by the way, they had three or four minutes of this stuff straight out of the gate. there is so much of this material out there for romney. there's no secret, the obama campaign, democrats in general have been very frustrated at what they see of the malpractice the republican candidates have inflicted on themselves by giving mitt romney a free pass. democrats want to say, this case is too easy to make and they don't want to sit on the sidelines. all of this stuff is his own words, by the way, in context. it's not out of context. it's in context against himself. i think it's very powerful for republicans as they look to see who is the authentic, true politician they want to have as their nominee. >> richard wolf, perry caken and erin mcpike, thank you for joining me tonight. you stay with us.
we will give you more on the breaking news on the accuser against herman cain and the herman cain reality show. and i'll give you some american reality, a mixture. the gloves are off. the new frontrunner, newt gingrich, attacked willard today. plus, nothing is sacred when it comes to republicans. but death, taxes and hypocrisy on taxes. i can't believe they're saying it with a straight face. and lawmakers come and go. but few transform america the way congressman barney frank has. he announced his retirement today. you're watching "politics nation" on msnbc. [ sniffs ] i have a cold. [ sniffs ] i took dayquil but my nose is still runny. [ male announcer ] truth is, dayquil doesn't treat that. really? [ male announcer ] alka-seltzer plus fights your worst cold symptoms, plus it relieves your runny nose.
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welcome back. we're following this breaking story on a new accuser on republican candidate herman cain and his denial. joining me now is dana milbank and bob franken. tomorrow, bob's column will be about newt's rise to the top. thanks for both of you being here. i know that both of you join me in wanting to talk about what's
really happening in the country and what's going on with the people. but as this story has breaking news, it does speak to the honesty or dishonesty and transparency of someone who has chosen not to remain silent about it. how damaging, if this is proven to be true and therefore making cain's denials untrue, how damaging will this be in terms of his credibility, dana? >> well, look, reverend, the only reason it may not be terribly damaging is because he's already basically publicly dead. i think we've already got various nails in the coffin. and this is just one more thump for this guy. we've been through one after another of candidates rising and falling. they've moved on to the latest flavor of the week. so this would have been devastating if he were still really a contender. >> bob, the new frontrunner who
you wrote about in your column tomorrow has survived allegations like this, though he's probably handled them better. how does this now position him? is it now a romney/newt gingrich race for the republican nomination? >> well, it certainly seems to be that -- that seems to be the current flavor. i will say, however, that anytime anybody talks about these latest allegations about marital infidelity on the part of herman cain, it splatters on newt gingrich because dana is absolutely correct. he is handling it very proactively. but everybody else is going to say, hey, wait a minute, what about newt? i have some ambivalence about this. i have not written about that at all as i've been covering newt thinking there's other stuff to talk about. but if it's out there, we're certainly going to have to talk about that. and arguably, it's the republicans who started all this when they went so hard after bill clinton. >> let me, dana, play you what
herman cain has said about this situation. listen to this. >> i did not have an affair, okay? and until i see and hear exactly what's going to be -- what the accusations are going to be made, let's move on. but i acknowledge that i knew the woman. i acknowledge that i've known her for about that period of time. but the accusation that i had a 13-year affair with her, no. >> so in your estimation, dana, his denial is whatever it is. but it doesn't matter because you think he was politically finished anyway? >> i think so, reverend. but he really brought this on himself. you remember those absurdly sweeping denials "i've never done anything appropriate with anybody at any time." so now he's back to saying, i didn't have a 13-year affair with this particular woman. it was like he created this gary hart situation for himself saying, check it all out, i'm
clean, put a tail on him. that's what's happening here. he's gotten much further in this race, herman cain has, than he ever expected to. he probably never expected to have this kind of scrutiny into his private life because he figured people would never care. >> bob, let me play a new sound bite from the interview with ms. white, the new accuser. >> i think it's safe to say that after this interview, we can assume that that will be the end of it. but, yes, yes, we have a friendship now. never worked together. i can't imagine phoning or texting me for the late 2 1/2 years just because. >> i don't know what she says is over their friendship or whatever, but newt gingrich, you're writing about, you're saying that something will splash over on him. but let's look at this graph showing that gingrich should have been dead this summer. in june, he was at 6.7% in the
polls. went down to 4.9% in july. august, went up to 5.5%. september, up to 6.8%. october, 9.3%. now he's at 23.8%. what happened, bob? >> i think there's a big hair thing going on here. we have mitt romney, we have newt gingrich, rick perry, michele bachmann, the only one without big hair who has been up there for a little while was herman cain. but with the rest of them, it was hair today and gone tomorrow. but the problem here is that they're running out of alternatives to mitt romney. you've got this large number of republicans who just don't like the man because they view him as a -- it's the hated word, a moderate. >> now, dana, when you look at four -- not one, not two, but four national polls has newt
gingrich beating mitt romney. 26 hearse to 22%. 24%, 22%. across the board, he is winning against mitt romney in four national polls. this is an amazing occurrence for someone that was written off by all of the wise political observers just a couple of months ago. >> it sure is. we've seen something like this with john mccain. but this isn't john mccain. when i look at newt gingrich leading in the polls, it tells me that the republican primary process has become some sort of a mass suicide movement. it is just so hard to imagine the republicans giving this gift to a very vulnerable president obama, as you were discussing with bob. we've got the family values party getting involved with this guy who's on his third marriage. you have the cut the budget party dealing with this guy who's got all these problems with tiffany's and cruising the greek islands.
and you have this anti-washington party rallying behind this ultimate washington insider who's received millions from special interest groups. it just boggles the mind that he could actually come out of this as the nominee. but i'm sure nothing would delight president obama more. >> bob, you have to admit that mr. gingrich has been a different frontrunner than his proceeding flavors of the month. he's come out fighting. look at how he ripped into willard today. watch this. >> i don't claim to be the perfect candidate, i just claim to be a lot more conservative than mitt romney and a lot more electable than anybody else. i wouldn't lie to the american people. i wouldn't switch my position for political reasons. it's wrong to go around and adopt radically different positions based on your need of any one election. because then people have to ask themselves, what will you tell me next time? i never take polls to figure out where i stand. >> i never take polls to figure
out where i stand, i'll never lie to the american people. this is today on a radio station in south carolina. those are pretty, pretty harsh terms and references to the former frontrunner, wouldn't you say, bob? >> well, i would, in addition to which it's a bit ludicrous coming from newt gingrich who's been accused of being somebody who has a position of the minute kind of way of looking at things. the one example i remember so vividly was what he was first advocating that the united states should take action of a certain sort in libya. then the united states took that action and he immediately criticized it. and he criticized president obama for that. i think he may have some problems when he tries to pin on mitt romney the flip-flopping label. >> now, dana, how important is
the fact that the union leader, a major newspaper, if not the major newspaper in new hampshire, came out today in support of newt gingrich? >> right, it is a big surprise, reverend, in part because romney so far had in new hampshire. but, of course, this paper went against romney the last time around. it has the potential to shake up the race. i think we in the newspaper business think we're a little bit more important than we actually are. but even if gingrich can perform very solidly out there in iowa and get close to if not actually defeat romney in new hampshire, he's going to be in a very solid position getting to south carolina. but, again, i have to believe that the republicans are going to come to their senses and not let that happen. >> well, dana, i think you're right. but, bob, i think that -- you know, as one who went on the education tour with newt gingrich that president obama had set up, newt gingri
gingrich/president obama debate would be interesting, more interesting than the rest of the guys on that stage maybe. >> it would be. you'd have somebody who would like to position himself as even smarter than barack obama. as for that endorsement from the union leader, i think that that's quite significant because this is mr. romney's neighborhood. this is where he was pinning his hopes on getting a momentum going because he probably realizes that he's not going to do very well in iowa. so if he gets the wind knocked out of his sails in new hampshire, i think that's a big deal. >> dana and bob, thanks for coming on the show tonight. ahead, corporations' profits are booming as middle class wages free fall. more fuel for the occupy movement and more proof there is class warfare by the rich.
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broke my hypocrisy meter. here's what they same senator kyle said in an interview -- >> are you saying, no deal on extending payroll tax cuts? >> the payroll tax holiday has not stimulated job creation. we don't think that is a good way to do itment. >> let's see. most republicans were for payroll tax cuts when they helped extend the bush tax cuts last december. in fact, 138 republicans signed on to extend them as did 37 senate republicans. but now, republicans are in favor of letting the average american family lose out on payroll tax cuts worth $1,300 a year. that's good medicine? no. that's a tax increase on middle class americans. i thought tax increases were the wrong medicine? i don't think i'm the only one who finds that total hypocrisy. and, republicans, you owe me a
new hypocrisy meter. joining me now, senator sherrod brown, democrat from ohio. senator, thanks for coming on the show tonight. >> thank you, reverend sharpton. that hypocrisy meter is working overtime, isn't it? >> this one was off the chain. am i missing something? is this more blatant disregard for the middle class? >> one thing we should be able to work on is cutting taxes for working families and creating jobs. yet if there's a choice between tax cuts for the rich and anything else -- if anything else is infrastructure, if anything else is hiring teachers, if anything else is cutting taxes or refusing to raise taxes on middle income working families, people making $20,000, $50,000 or $100,000 a year, republicans always choose tax breaks for people making over $1 million a year. it's pretty simple.
in the end, they always come down for their wealthiest benefacto benefactors. and the public's on to it. when you hear john kyle saying, we can't ever raise taxes on the rich, that will cost us jobs, but when it comes to some guy making $30,000 a year, if you raise his taxes or $1,400 per family in ohio on the average, you know that hurts the economy because it's money they're not putting into the economy for christmas presents for their kids or going out once a month for dinner or buying books for their kid in college. all of that's so clear. we need to generate more economic activity, not give more tax cuts for rich people who basically just put it away and don't spend it and put it in the economy. >> rich people that they call job creators even though we can't find the jobs they're creating. but let me ask you this, senator.
when we talk about it and certainly $1,300 a family is a lot of money to a working family, but collectively, this was in "the washington post." this would impact a 0.5% of the economy. so collectively, we're talking about a real hit in terms of the economy, 400,000 jobs by the end of 2012. this is serious. >> yeah, it's real serious. you know, it's this. it's the tax increase that the republicans are going to force by filibuster on working families. it's also their opposition to extending unemployment benefits. i was just at the nestle corporation, which is a stouffer's corporation owned by nestle. i was talking to a couple of workers who had been laid off for a couple of years. one guy said, i'd never been laid off in my life, i was laid off for a year. i said, did you come back to
work with a lot of debt? and he said, not too much because i had unemployment benefits and i was able to keep my family's head above water for that year. but this is important. john kyle, nice guy, he's retiring, not a bad guy. but everything to him is about tax cuts for the rich. he ought to come to cleveland and talk to some of these nestle workers -- >> which is why -- >> -- find out what they're thinking. >> which is why when you look at the polls, you have support on both sides of the political spectrum among the people. 56% of republicans say they support taxing millionaires. these are republicans. >> yeah. >> 58% support extending the payroll tax cut. 58%. it's not even politically wise what they're doing. >> it is when you talk to people at the country club, your closest friends, your best advisers are the people that sit in the suites with you at
phoenix suns games or wherever senator kyle goes. those people are affected by tax cuts, by tax increases for the rich. >> let me show you how you're right. when you look at this graph of how they have gone overboard to protect a few millionaires as opposed to the masses of the people, you have 235,000 millionaires that they're fighting to protect a tax hike. and if they extended the payroll tax cut, it would help 160 million american people. they would choose 235,000 people to give their energy to, their effort to, over 160 million americans. that is obscene. >> but not to be cynical about this. those 235,000 millionaires, i would guess, in the scale of who contributes to republican senate campaigns, my guess is those 235,000 millionaires give more
than 160 million working families that are going to -- that they're going to raise taxes on if they filibuster our efforts this week. >> well, i don't think you were being cynical. i think you're making an educated guess. >> perhaps. >> senator sherrod brown, thanks for coming on the show tonight and for continuing the fight. >> thank you. up next, washington moved heaven and earth to bail out the banks. but the middle class has been left high and dry. we'll talk to former congressman alan grayson about why wall street made billions while the american people were getting squeezed. also, the barney frank highlight reel, how the legendary lawmaker used his razor-sharp wit to fight for justice over three decades in congress. stay with us. ♪ [ man #1 ] i was fascinated by balsa wood airplanes since i was a kid.
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>> today we're learning just how huge that bailout was, a new bloomberg report revealed that secret fed loans helped banks rake in $13 billion in income while they were getting rescued by taxpayers. wall street is doing great. but what about main street? a new report reveals that one in five americans have been economically insecure in the last three years. take a look at these graphs. since 1960, corporate profits have always been about 6% of gdp, sometimes a little higher, sometimes a little lower. but in the last three years, corporate profits have soared past 10% for the first time ever. meanwhile, look at the wages, the money that real people are taking home. that's at an all-time low,
slowing dropping to 44%. this is the real class warfare in america. and republicans are fighting to make sure corporations and the rich are the ones who win. joining me now is former congressman alan grayson, democrat from florida, now running again. congressman, thanks for being here. where's the urgency for main street bailout, mr. grayson? >> well, there hasn't been in. and that's the sad part of it. it's been three years since the banks got bailed out to the tune of $16 trillion directly from the fed and another $10 trillion lent to foreign central banks and then from there to foreign institutions. so a total of $26 trillion and that doesn't even count the bailouts to fannie mae, freddie mac, aig and all the rest that went individually. that's huge amounts of money. we're talking about almost $100,000 per person in america for every man, woman and child
in america. >> $100,000 per person? >> that's right. and nothing for the middle class. >> i want to walk through this slowly so people understand this. these banks were getting these huge bailouts, according to this bloomberg report, first payment like $1.2 trillion, while they were still fighting regulations. so they were having it both ways. getting bailed out while they were keeping their levels down in terms of deregulation? >> they call them loans but they took the worst assets, the garbage assets there on the books of institutions like citibank and pushed them over in the general direction of the fed, didn't even give them control of those assets, called it collateral and they lent out trillions of dollars at an interest rate of 0.01%. where can i get a deal like that? where can you get a deal like that? it looks like if you're not a wall street bank, you're
screwed. >> when you look at the fact that many on the right were making all types of claims about the t.a.r.p. money -- let's look at this from bloomberg. $7.77 trillion fed loans to banks. only $700 billion to t.a.r.p. what are we talking about? so while $700 billion went to t.a.r.p. that had some commitments had to be made, some collections, we had these loans in the trillions, over $7 trillion in loans with no strings attached that went to banks that they didn't complain about, stop or put in check? >> no, this is the way the fed has done business. and i'm grateful that i was able to join with congressman ron paul to get this exposed. the fed deliberately held those loans in secret because they said, if we tell people who's
get these loans, they won't have confidence in these institutions anymore. but because i joined with ron paul and got the audit, the fed bill passed, we can finally find out what happened to all this money and who got it. and frankly when i look down the list, i see all sorts of names i don't recognize. dex dexia, a bank in belgium, got over $100 million of our money. i don't understand that. but the fed pushed it out to anybody who seemed to need it. >> who is dexia? they're people in belgium who got $100 million of our money. >> right. >> this is absolutely absurd. but let me tell you when you hear your outrage on dexia and others that got this money pushed out by the fed, i'm sure the republicans would be outraged, but look at where they're taken their anger. look at who they're talking
about. >> corporations are people, my friend. >> when you raise your hand if you feel so strongly about not raising taxes -- >> our biggest problem right now is our regulatory burden. >> if we keep taxing our job creators a lot more than our foreign competitors tax their, they win, we lose. >> we are not going to engage in class warfare. the president's out there doing it every day. i frankly think it's unfortunate. the top 1% pay 38% of the of the income taxes in america. >> when you pick one area of the economy and say, we're going to tax those people because most people are not those people, that's class warfare. >> sowing social unrest and class resentment makes america weaker, not stronger. >> are we in parallel universes? when you look at the facts and then you hear what they're saying, it's almost like we're on different planets. >> the one thing you can always count on is that the republican party leadership will always kiss up to the rich, every
single time. but who do the ordinary people in america have to turn to? it's only the democratic party. i've said it before and i'll say it again. you have only three friends in life, god, your mama and the democratic party. that's it. >> congressman, thanks to you for your time tonight. we'll be right back with the greatest hits of the great barney frank. we're america's natural gas
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welcome back. lawmakers come and go, but every now and again, one comes along who truly changes america. that's what massachusetts congressman barney frank has done. at a press conference today, he said after 40 years of service in government, he's retiring at the end of next year. in true barney frank fashion, he went out fighting republicans with a smile. >> one of the advantages to me of not running for office is, i don't even have to pretend to try to be nice to people i don't like.
now, some of you may not think i've been good at it. but i've been trying. >> congressman frank has been a frequent guest on our show and he never fails to both enlighten and entertain us. >> trying to have a conversation with you is like talking to a dining room table. give me those 12 people's names and i will go talk uncharacteristically nicely to them. ♪ thanks for the memories >> she is apparently going to be the republican nomination by default. i guess it's by default -- default of newt gingrich and it's default of herman cain and everybody else's fault. never has the willingness of the minority to abuse the process
been clearer than today. does whining come out of my time, mr. speaker? >> this is why americans don't trust the government. >> this is why your stupidity gets in the way of rational discussion. >> poor newt is just beside himself. he thought he was a great gift to the country. and he finds himself being taken back to the return window, not at tiffany's and he can't deal with it. >> here at "politics nation" and across the country, we will truly miss his bright sense of humor and his deep sense of justice. he was the first openly gay member of congress and a champion for civil rights. he led the fight for the biggest overall of banking and financial industry since the depression. long before occupy wall street, he was fighting harder than anyo else for fairness. thank god he's still with us. he's still alive. and he will still, i'm sure,