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tv   The Rachel Maddow Show  MSNBC  April 16, 2012 9:00pm-10:00pm EDT

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her book tour, chris hayes who is the gold digger of sound bites. that was a dandy this weekend. >> big props to my staff. thanks to you at home for staying with us. l rachel has the night off. the last time i was sitting in this chair was about two and a half weeks ago. there was a vote in washington, d.c. on a piece of legislation that if you were just reading the polls probably should have passed. in the end it went down to defeat. today in washington the united states senate rejected an attempt to end oil industrial subsidie subsidies. it's a true mystery that when deficit scare monogoring rule the way and when nobody likes the oil companies, the democrats have a president in the white house they weren't tiebl pluck this low hanging fruit. i describe this as caper that
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night because it didn't make sense. oil subsidies aren't good policies. lots of conservatives won't defend them. they're not needed to keep the oil industry live and tlair not popular with the public. something like 74% of americans favor doing away with them. yet, the oil industry is powerful and so they got their way. they got to keep their subsidies. at the risk of sounding like a broken record, i humbly come before you cable news watchers of america to report that in the united states senate once again, republicans have filibustered a piece of legislation that's both good policy and also wildly popular. >> breaking news, the senate voting right now on the buffet rule and the bill failing tonight. they called for a vote or the buffet rule today knowing it would never muster the 60 votes needed to pass. >> you probably heard a lot about the buffet rule. it would create an effective tax
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rate for people making a million dollars or more a year. it would do that to avoid a scenario in an x private bar republican president candidate drawing $20 million a year in capital games, let's call him kit dumbny would pay an efktive tax rate of 14% while middle class pays a tax rate higher than that. that's the buffet rule in a nutshell. it won't solve the deficit. it won't make all that much dent in and of itself. it should show something important which is our political institutions at the federal level we retain the capability of raising taxes on the wealthy. it's an open question whether they retain that ability or not because it's been 12 years and we've had republicans in office and democrats in office and our institutions have been unable to do that despite rising income inequality, despite heating rhetoric about the need to cut
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the deficit, they still cannot do it. just so we're clear here, the reason the system can't do it is not because it's unpopular. taxing the rich is one of the most reliably popular things in polling. they found 60% support for it and today on the day of the vote, a new poll from cnn revealed an even more lopsided result. when asked if they would support a policy like the buffet rule, 72% of americans said yes. 72% the nothing polls at 72%. i take that back. right around 72% of americans approve of hunting as a past time. hunting as a past time comes in at 72%. the buffet rule the as popular as hunting. yet it was still defeated. we were brainstorming at the last political issue to poll at 72%. we remember back in june of 2009, the public option, the
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dearly departed public option polled at 72%. government administered health care program that would compete with private health insurance companies, we did not get a public option in the end. in fact, one can start to get the sense that the surest death nail, the surest sign that a piece of policy will not make it into law is widespread public support. there are other examples of this aside from things like the public option and oil subsidies and raising taxes the on the rich. 76% of americans support eliminate funding for weapon systems that the pentagon doesn't want. that's the defense cut that republicans have long resisted. the american job act by president obama that package enjoyed 63%. it was enough to render it dead on rival in washington. last time when talking about oil subsidies, i described it as caper because if you take a step back and think about it,
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somewhat mysterious. our basic understanding of the way self-government work s that public opinion, the majority of public opinion is essentially supposed to be transferred into legislative outcomes. this is not a perfect one to one process. we're not athens. we have representative democracy. there's a bunch of complicated bets and whistles and checks and balances in ways the process can be gained. the basic idea in order for democracy to be functioning and credible, there's got to be some rough correlation between what the majority in fact country wants and what their government does. it's a little unclear whether that sort of correlation still exists in the usa of 2012. in fact, there's been some fascinating research on this. larry bartells looked at the effect of public opinion on legislation. he matched senate voting records with public opinion data but
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specifically public opinion da that that was broken down by income level. pe found quote, in almost every instance senators appear to be considerably more responsive of aflunts constituents while the opinion of con stitch wents of the bottom third income distribution have no apparent sfatist cal affects on their senators roll call votes. the things that they all have in common, oil subsidy, taxes onto on the wealthy, there are powerful money interested who don't want to see them come to be. there's been a lot of cynical mockery of the buffet rule over the last few days as being a kind of gimmick and saying it doesn't fix the deficit. it's true. it is in some ways symbolic. it's more than symbolism. it goes to a core crisis i think this democracy faces right now.
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that's the question of whether our political institutions can enact into law positions favored by a majority when those majority positions will result in diminished wealth and power for the most wealthy and powerful in society. joining us now is the author of the buffet rule legislation sheldon whitehouse of rhode island. >> good to be with you. >> i'm bummed because i think the policy is a kind of test for this basic principle. when i look at the history of policy in this country over the last 12 years, what i see are what i see is one party imposed to raising revenue in any way. one party that will talk about raising it at the upper end but not able to put it into effect. i despair if we can make a more fair tax code. i'm turning to you senator to wrench me back from the precipice of despair.
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>> don't despair too much. i think, first of all, this was round one. this will not be the first or last time that will a special interest in washington was able to take one hard vote. if we keep coming at this issue, sooner or later we will win. it's important to keep coming at this issue. you have the problem of special interest money behind this. you have the problem of the oath that so many of the senators swore to. >> you raise public opinion. i wonder do you think this was hard vote for republicans across the aisle because with the exception, i believe of susan collins, it was a party line
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vote. was this a hard vote for republicans. i don't get the sense that it was. you seem toll think, you seem confident it's the kind of thing they will have to have a hard time explaining back in their home states. >> i think it was an easy vote for them in the sense it fit very well with the prevailing ideology that drives the republican party in washington. i think it was a hard vote for them in the sense that in that idealology they know they are very distant from the american people. that's why if you looked at the debate today you thought ranging over a dozen different issues. nobody was willing to stand up and say, you know what, it is a good thing when somebody who makes 2$270 million in one year in the united states of america paying a lower tax rate on their income than a middle income
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family does. nobody said that. they know in that sense that they are wrong but they are kind of prisoners of their ideology and that's where the public pressure comes in to break them free. >> you you say this is the first round, the way this tax discussion and battle is shaping up is we're going to have a series of squirmishes as it were right now in the election year. there's going to be a conversation whether it happens before the election or after the election during the lame duck about the extension of the bush cuts that are slated to expire at tehe end of this calendar year, how much leverage does this give democrats? >> i think that each time we call this to a vote and each time that the american people focus on this question and see how far apart from their values the republican ideology has taken the republican senators, the better our position is and
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the stronger we are to get what every american, i mean huge majorities understand to be the right thing done. >> it's interesting you say ideology and not interest. we're offering different theories of what happened in this vote. the theory i'm offering is you have interests that are lobbying against a tax raise on the wealthy because there's a lot of money on the table. you're saying doing that is it would be bad for the economy. i guess it doesn't have to be either or. aren't they and you getting lobbied heavily on these tax vote by people that have a lot of money. >> i get calls from people that want to lobby me, so i can only imagine who comes into your office.
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>> i think in part, like the oil vote, there's just special interest money out there and special interest power out there and that has a significant affect. at the same time, you also have to remember that a great number of these people swore an oath the grover norquist it it obliges them to protect all tax loopholes and any increase even when it's from a lower rate for a multimillion dollar income up to the same level that middle class taxpayers pay that you think would be simple tax fairness that everybody would appreciate it. that's what makes it an easy vote for the republicans. because they are so at odds with the american people and on merits it's wrong, that's what makes it hard vote. that's why the involvement of the public is so important. i want to thank everybody who
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went to and registered their vote. >> we'll see that will play out over the course of this year. thanks so much for your time. it looks like mitt romney problem relating to women has intersected with mitt romney's problem relating to poor people. the romney notion of what work means up next. they have names like idle time books and smash records
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and on small business saturday they remind a nation of the benefits of shopping small. on just one day, 100 million of us joined a movement... and main street found its might again. and main street found its fight again. and we, the locals, found delight again. that's the power of all of us. that's the power of all of us. that's the membership effect of american express.
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you guys remember the tea party and how every tax day we used to be treated to tricorner hats and the occasional misspelled racist sign. whatever happened to that? we sent a zermg party out for the tea party, just ahead. according to the signs, ford is having some sort of big tire event. i just want to confirm a few things with fiona. how would you describe the event? it's big. no,i mean in terms of savings how would you sum it up? big
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in your own words, with respect to selection, what would you say? big okay, let's talk rebates mike, they're big they're big get $100 rebate, plus the low price tire guarantee during the big tire event. so, in other words, we can agree that ford's tire event is a good size? big big has been because of the teachers and the education that i had. they're just part of who i am. she convinced me that there was no limit to what we could learn. i don't think i'd be here today had i not had a wonderful science teacher. a teacher can make a huge difference in a child's life. he would never give up on any of us. thank you dr. newfield. you had a big impact on me.
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yetd on my show, we played a piece of tape of mitt romney that's gotten a lot of attention. it's mitt romney in his own words unraveling his latest campaign yarn. he last week was outraged, just outraged that a democratic consultant not associated with the obama campaign used the word work to mean working for a money. a job that provides income. it is just how mitt romney used the word in january when describing how as governor he amended welfare requirements in massachusetts. >> i said, for instance, even if you have a child two years of age, you need to go to work. people said well that's heartless. i said i'm willing to spend more giving day care to allow those parents to go back to work.
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it will cost the state more providing that day care. i want the individuals to have the dignity of work. >> even if you got a kid, if you want assistance from me the goeft, you have to work. you're not working now. what you're doing now as a parent, that is not work and you won't have dignity until you get real job. since we played that tape of mr. romney other people have pointed out this sentiment is not new for the former governor. this is his book. it was published two years ago. it's his ideas in his own words. the books index leaves a lot to be desired. if you look up welfare there's no entry but he does write about welfare in his book. on page 251. i've got it marked with my special rachel maddow book park. welfare without work erodes the spirit and the sense of self-worth of the resip yents and conditions the children of nonworking parents to an indoe
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lent and unproductive life. hard working parents raise hard working kids. we should recognize that the opposite is also true, end quote. parent that doesn't work outside the home that receives assistance from the government that person suffers from an erosion of the spirit and lack of self-worth. so called nonworking parents don't raise hard working kids. this was mitt romney's argument two years ago. it's not a new idea and it isn't new to the republican party either. >> last year the house of representatives passed legislation to build on the successes of the 1996 welfare reform law. they did so because they want more americans to know the prize and success that come from hard work. the law passed the house require 40 hours of work each week. >> the first stage of welfare reform brought unprecedented success. millions of americans now knows
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the rewards of work. welfare mothers have found their long lost self-e seem. >> we want to stop the dependency the government has created with all these entitlement program. we want to give people the opportunity and dignity to work. >> in welfare reform we reached the conclusion that giving people money for nothing is a bad idea. >> the romney campaign was forced to respond. their response was instructive. it was a dodge in which they tried to say he was talking about the bipartisan welfare reform of the 1990s and everyone agreed with that. quote, moving welfare recipients into work was one of the basic principles of the bipartisan welfare reform legislation that president clinton signed into law. everyone loved the idea of welfare reform. everyone bragged about it. everyone has tried to take credit for it. even a little known state senator from illinois and his running meat. >> he passed a law fo move people from welfare to work.
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slashed the roles by 80%. >> more people have moved from welfare to the dignity of work and he got it done. >> work equals dignity. that's a bipartisan position. it's been a bipartisan position for a long time. fine. that is not exculpatory. in fact, it only further proves what's important about this national debate which sometimes feels like a lot of silly semantics. everybody understands, every speaker of the english that the word work has different means in different contexts. when applied to women and the things they do, their labor inside the house and out, it has a whole host of different meanings for different kinds of women doing different kinds of labor at different points. the way we respond to and understand that work, work is embedded in a bunch of culture assumptions that just weren't the province of the romney campaign. the romney campaign just tried to cynically deploy a narrow definition of work to score a
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cheap political point. they pretended to misunderstand. they took us all for stupid. why did we show that clip? to show they themselves do not hue to that nor row definition when they pretended to be outraged last week. in fact, they employ a double standard that almost enk in our entire political establishment does. a double standard that allowed welfare reform to pass in the first place. embedded was the assumption that these women were lazy. they had no dignity because they were not working and because they were poor being a stay at home mom had no dignity. joining us now is connie shultz. it's great pleasure to see you. >> it's wonderful to be back in touch with you, chris. congratulations, by the way on the great reporting you did on this. >> thank you very much. it was largely my staff. i can't take that much credit. >> aren't you a generous person.
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congratulations to all of you. >> my first question is how we move this conversation somewhere substantive. you've written incredibly eloquently and emp th pathetica working women when we say outside the home or inside trying to make ends meet and the ways that economic realities intersect with that. that seems to have been complete ly. >> it occurred to me this isn't about women at all. mitt romney isn't even
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attempting to window l away at the lead the president has with women. he's appealing to the kind of male voter that i've been hearing from in my mate mail for the last ten years as a columnist. you bring up welfare, these men go after these women. what kind of women have babies that aren't married. that's the stereo type they're going to have. if they can't afford the babies, they shouldn't be having them. i was a single mom for ten years. that was the scariest time of my life because every mother worries about her child. when you're on your own you worry you're not going to be able to support your children. you're not going to come through for your children. they're not going to be able to be proud of you as a mother. he has no idea what it's like to be a woman like that. i've got it good. i was a single mom when i first started writing my column. i lost count of the number of men that would go after me. it was always the con seservati that wanted to make no matter what my opinion was, they wanted
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to make it about what kind of mother i was. this is what we're seeing at play right now. he's trying to work up that base. he doesn't care about women. >> that's a really interesting and very apt point about what is motivating this. there was a -- i want to give some credit to mitt romney because buried in that little clip is the kernel of a good policy idea, which is that if you're going to set up a situation in which the government says in order to receive temporary assistance to needy families, you must look for work and work outside the house. you must work for paycheck. if you're a mother with two kid, when you're working, someone that to watch the kids. there has to be some system in place to provide subsidies our universal day care. the subsidy vs diminished. how much can we have a conversation, how much can we take this conversation to have an opportunity about the social challenge of day care and finding day care and finding
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care for children for mother's that do want to or have to work outside the home? >> it's not just day care we're talking about. we're talking about transportation. how do you get the children to day care? how do you get the mother back and forth to work? there's so many obstacles. i'm not going fault him for his privilege. i'm faulting him for his willing bas disregard, his willful cluelessness when we're talking about women that don't have the means trying to support their children and trying to make a living. most mothers i've met who need help from the government want to have jobs. they want to be able to take care of their families on their own. they are proud women. that's the thing that seems to be completely missing from this discussion with mitt romney. he's talking about them, it makes me think of my mom. my mom raised her daughters this way. don't marry him this will you see how he treats the waitress.
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how we treat the people we're allowed to mistreat is the measure of who we are as human beings. i've been thinking about my mom in the last few days as i listens to mitt romney talk. >> that's a profound way to think about society. i'm not sure we're passing the waiter test. thanks so much for joining us. >> thank you. if you're fan of this show, first of all, thank you for watching. also, stay tuned because tonight we will have your soon to be favorite story ever about getting out of a traffic ticket. i promise. it's coming up. and why you still feel the same. but your erectile dysfunction -- that could be a question of blood flow. cialis for daily use helps you be ready anytime the moment's right. you can be more confident in your ability to be ready. and the same cialis is the only daily ed tablet approved to treat ed and symptoms of bph, like needing to go frequently or urgently. tell your doctor about all your medical conditions
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with to small amount of sadness went to many marable. the book was more than ten years in the making and came ut just three days after his death. they called it a provocative work that separates fact from fiction and blends the heroic and tragic. if new york times called it complete unvarnished and inspiring. congratulations to his family. selfishly i'm happy this book won the award because it's been on my two read list since it came out. now i'm definitely going to start it tonight. are you still sleeping? just wanted to check and make sure that we were on schedule.
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we're thinking of having a chicago tea party in july. all you capitalists that want to show up to lake michigan i'm going to start organizing. >> what are you dumping in this time? >> going to be dumping in some derivative securities. >> that was rick giving the tea party its name if not its launch. a few weeks after he ranted about the obama administration's meager tentative proposal to help a relatively small number
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of homeowners caught in the jaws of financial crisises, the losers as he referred to them, a few weeks after he delivered that ramp the new thing called the tea party owned tax day. remember that tax day 20709 when the tea party exploepded with the tea bags and the lawn chairs. remember glen beck when he was still on the tv. remember when he got on stage and told the tea partiers that their moment had come. they rallied effectively against health reform. specifically, president obama's proposed law providing coverage for millions of new people while requiring everyone to buy health insurance. here is the tea party response to those ideas in 2010. they are challenging law maikers outside the u.s. capitol just before the final vote on the bill. this kind of scene does not want to make me buy a tricorner hat. the tea party was maybe onto something. whether the tea party itself
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motivated voters maybe debatable as a proposition but with their out sized outer rage they represented a real sentiment, a sense of disposition, distrust of institutions and panicked fear of decline. you saw that in the 2010 elections especially in the house where republicans won control with dozens of new seats. many of them filled by freshm lw makest. republicans controlled most state legislatures and held the majority of governorship. tea party back republicans in florida and ohio and pennsylvania and wisconsin and south carolina and on and on. the tea party was powerful the it was unstoppable. just a little while later on tea day eve, people are wondering what happened to them? a.p. asking what's become of the
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tea party. i love this. the group leader asked the assembled members, are we dead? answer, we're persistent and we communicate with each other and when it comes time to vote we'll definitely pull the ballot lever. maybe what happened the they voted and they won. if you want to find the tea party, you can just call a legislature. jeff landry who would like mitt romney to know just who is in charge. quoting, we're not a cheer leetding squat. we're the conductor. we're supposed to drive the train. maybe what the tea party needs now is an inside, outsider, be aide here who can ring bells in washington without holding office. maybe what they need is an inside outsider like herman cain. the guy that delivered tea party response to thoo year's state of the union speech and held a big
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rally today on capitol hill. ladies and gentlemen, your revolution. this was posted of the revolution on the hill. dave reports that organizers had six buses to get people there and you got a box lunch to boot. it looked like a couple of hundred people shoep second-degr showed up. they had hundreds of flyers. one volunteer said i was told to expect thousands of people. we were told to expect a revolution. have we gotten it? joining us now is the reporter for slate who had the pleasure of filing that report. dave, thank you for stopping by. >> thank you for giving me the dignity of work. i appreciate it. >> that's right. exactly. get you out of the house. all right. i think this is a really interesting question. it's one i've been mulling over is whether the -- does the tea party still exist? that's my first question for you. when we look at these rallies
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and compare them to previous years, it looks like it really has diminished. does it still exist? >> i think you set it up quite nicely. it's estimated they have gone to about a thousands active groups to about 600 active groups which is a fall off. i would suggest the occupy movement which did change the national conversation feel off a lot more steeply than that in a short amount of time. they achieved their main goal of changing the republican party and we can argue about how much they really needed to change it. a lot of demands they are making on republicans were being made from inside the party from the republican study committee from groups that exist in d.c. and pounding at this door for years, but i think they successfully made the republican party incredibly right wing, more right wing than it was and made demands on the guy that ended up
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winning the nomination. >> that's the big question in terms of what the me trick we should measure tea party strength by. there's a few ways to think about it. there's the deficit showdown in which they were able to kind of enforce an idealology benefit. mitt romney is the nominee. after all the back and forth after the tea party. he took off those votes during the bush years which apparently they were in the wilderness. he was there on every one of those votes. what is the presidential nomination contest so far say about their control of the party? >> it says that they screwed up. i think if you talk to a lot of tea partiers they will admit it. they didn't have a candidate early on. they always liked herman cain. they had a lot of faith in him. i spent a lot of time to talking to his activist but people that
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won't believe until the end of their days that the media was unfair to herman cain and created a scandal out of nothing. they put their eggs in the wrong basket to use a cliche i already regret using. it was not -- this is not the worst case scenario. you can find a lot of discussion not so much with tea party member themselves but of people analyzing whether they would the so disenchanted with the republican party that they would break off and run their own candidate. we're pretty late in the game. i think the only people discussing this is the ron paul members of the movement libertarians who were outside joined it again, very much a part of what was happening 2010 and a bit distant now. they are looking at gary johnson's campaign. that's really minor. think of the sort of people who turned up to the 9-12 rally and turned up to glen beck's event
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and what michele bachmann put together. they have been successful apart from that and within the republican party. >> i'll offer one final theory is fundamentally a lot of what happened in terms of the tea party was drif bin fox news and they saup te as a way of of strengthening the republican party. they're not showing up with a speaker system to pump it up. thanks so much for joining us. really appreciate it. >> thank you. right after this show, it's pulitzer day. it's only right lawrence has david k. johnson. don't miss that. i have a moment of geek that pits the traffic tickets against physics. you can probably guess who wins. that's straight ahead. they claim to be complete. only centrum goes beyond. providing more than just the essential nutrients, so i'm at my best.
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he was given a $400 ticket for failing to stop at a stop sign. he arrived in traffic court armed with a science using this chart and others apparently he
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argued three points of physical science. first the observer and in this case the cop sitting 100 feet away was measuring his angular speed. it does not appear to be moving at all. that's angeular speed. he quickly deaccelerated to a stop and accelerated quickly. finally and most crucially i would say even though i know nothing about physics be observer cops view was obstructed at the moment he said he stopped his car but accused of having not stopped. for his very good work he was let off the hook, no ticket. no fine, no points for moving violation. for extra geek credit he of cou peer review. and from here forward, should dmitry crew yn kof be pulled over on a traffic beef, he can skip the general pleading, bag
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we've got to protect the environment. the economists make some good points. we need safer energy. [announcer:] who's right? they all are. visit over the weekend, mitt romney gave what was for him a pretty candid speech. that was because it wasn't given to you or to me or to the press, it was given to donors at a fund-raising event in palm beach. the reason we know some of the details of his remarks is that nbc's garrett hake and a reporter from the "wall street journal" were outside the event and they overheard romney's talking to said donors. now, donors can be lied to just like voters can be, but there's also a certain kind of informal intimacy that comes from these events, where people are cutting the big checks. so some of the things that romney said at this fund-raiser, he said he'd consolidate the department of education with another agency or make it
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smaller, but healthn wouldn't gd of the it entirely. and ann romney talked about how she loved, absolutely loved being criticized by hilary rosen, called it an early birthday present. but one thing that caught my ear was romney's remark about the department of housing and urban development, or hud. things like housing and urban development, which my dad was head of, that might not be around later. if you pay any attention to politics, you have heard of the state department, the department of defense, the justice department, and chances are you have also heard of the treasury and you know who's running them. hillary clinton, leon panetta, eric holder, and timothy geithner. then there are the less well-known, less popular federal agencies, the department of interior, say, or transportation, which don't quite get the headlines the other ones do. but down near the very bottom of the federal agency's list is the one mitt romney is toying with scrapping. housing and urban development. and romney is not the only
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prominent republican to treat hud like a throwaway. ronald reagan cared so little about hud, he couldn't even recognize the man he'd put in charge of running it. "early in his presidency, at a white house reception, reagan greeted the only black member of his cabinet, housing and urban development secretary samuel pierce saying, how are you, mr. mayor? i'm glad to meet you. how are things in your city?" now, the reason reagan couldn't recognize his own hud secretary and the reason a republican presidential candidate might want to get rid of hud actually relates in an important way as to why mitt romney was leveling, again, for mitt romney, to the people he was speaking to at his palm beach fund-raiser. because the people at the fund-raiser are powerful people who support romney needs while the people who depend on hud are not. the people who depend on hud are largely urban dwellers, and urban dwellers are disproportionately nonwhite and the disproportionately
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democrats. so hud is an easy target for any republicans that comes to office. they can go after it, secure in the knowledge that most of the pain will be visited upon folks that don't have much power and don't vote for them anyway. this is part and parcel of the overall republican vision, as embodied in congressman paul ryan's budget to take a hatchet to those programs that most benefit the poor. and to eliminate nearly all of the federal government that is not defense or spending on senior citizens by the year 2050. but here's the thing i find particularly galling about toying with the notion of getting rid of hud. let's take a step back and remember where we are right now. the economy is still recovering from the worst recession we've had since the 1930s. the worst recession was precipitated by the worst financial crisis we've had since the 1930s, which was precipitated by the worst housing bubble, and that housing bubble was precipitated by both deregulation and housing policy. housing and housing policy, making sure that we have enough that's affordable, but don't drive a consumption bubble is actually not just a tangential,
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but a policy that you can lop off or forget about. it has actually proven to be something that's extremely important to get right. and in fact, what we've seen in the obama administration is a battle behind the scenes between the treasury department or hud, over housing policies, in particular about how to get over the housing crisis and out of foreclosures. a battle that the treasury has been winning with terrible results for homeowners and the economy, but great results for the banks. in the 1960s, it basically took nothing less than rioting for the political establishment to pay attention to cities. hud was established in the 1965. and politicians did eventually pay attention. everyone had to come up with a platform, a vision, even republicans of how they were going to address the urban question. today, those voters can be safely ignored by the national political establishment and particularly by the republican party. that's why mitt romney can say to his donors when he thinks no one else is listening that he may just get rid of the government agency that sees to the needs of people who live in cities. the agency that works to make
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sure that people, people who are not typically in attendance at palm beach fund-raisers, have some semblance of a fair shake when it comes to housing policy. but beyond the questions of fairness and urban policy, there's the wider issue that we were supposed of learned in the wake of the financial crisis. economic problems are like a contagious virus. they may may start in one small, marginalized population, but they do not stay there. they spread. so even if you think it's okay to ignore the problems of the poor or the urban working class, because they may not be your constituency, that decision will probably come back to haunt you. the constituencies that most rely on hud are the same communities that served as a petri dish for the subprime lending virus, and we all saw how that ended up. a government that is unresponsive to an entire subsection of its society that believes it does not need to listen to or serve the marginalized is a government
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that will be doomed to repeated failure and crisis. that does it for us. rachel will be back tomorrow. i will see you next weekend, saturday and sunday on "up" at 8:00 a.m. eastern. we're going to have christine todd whitman, which i'm very excited about. now it's time for "the last word" with lawrence o'donnell. have a great night. it was open mic night in palm beach. mitt and ann romney got caught telling their super-rich friends what they would never tell you. new reaction from the romney campaign. >> mitt romney was at a big fund-raiser. >> comments made by romney during a prite fund-raiser. >> romney suggested he could gut all kinds of agencies. >> things like housing and urban development. >> cuts to housing and education. >> it is so outrageous. >> agencies like hud provide some of the safety net. >> i'm not concerned about the very poor. we have a safety net there. >> for folks who are in the middle class. >> my campaign is focused on middle income americans. >> this is