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tv   The Last Word  MSNBC  July 4, 2012 1:00am-2:00am EDT

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there is a new audition question for the republican vice presidential hopefuls. >> is obama care a tax? >> sure. yeah. i mean, listen, i thought all along that it was a tax. and i don't think it's exclusively a tax or a penalty. it's both. >> and that was chris christie, failing the audition, even after the romney campaign showed him how to answer that question word for word yesterday when chuck todd asked it. >> the governor believes that what we put in place in massachusetts was a penalty and he disagrees with the court's ruling that the mandate was a tax. >> today, the head of the republican party tried to make it sound like he was agreeing with the romney campaign, even when he was disagreeing. >> our position is the same as mitt romney's position, it's a tax. >> with the republican world drowning in message confusion,
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it fell to rush limbaugh to come to the party's rescue and straighten out everyone. >> the point has to be what this country is going to become. not whether this is a tax or a penalty, so that republican consultants can guide candidates to winning elections. that's not what this is about. this is about real substance. a disastrous obama care decision and apparently, it hasn't sunk in yet. in the republican establishment, how outrageously bad this is. there are no silver linings in it. we have to inform as many fellow citizens as possible what is in store for them. their freedom, their health care, their lives. we can fight to repeal obama care.
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and we must. but we have to win the next election big. >> and in veep stakes news tonight, mitt romney spent today at his new hampshire vacation home, where associated press cameras caught him meeting with the head of his vice presidential search committee. tomorrow, romney will campaign alongside new hampshire senator and possible vp candidate, kel ayotte, and rob portman will be in new hampshire this weekend. and in romney money news today, "vanity fair" reports on the ugly ways that mitt romney is making money in foreign countries and then hiding it from u.s. taxes in the cayman islands. "vanity fair" reports that the funds romney invests in can maintain extraordinary secrecy because in the cayman islands, a confidentiality law states that you can be jailed for up to four
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years, just for asking about such information. joining me now are msnbc contributor ezra klein and columbia university political science professor, dorian warren. we can ask you anything you want. there's not going to be any jailing. ezra, thanks for making that run over here. i hope we captured it on video for our website, which is tradition when rachel does that. so now i know why the money is in the cayman islands. it's against the law to even ask about it there. >> it's the chicken and the egg, which came first, the law or the money? >> with him, who knows. but this in the world where he's the regular guy out there trying to appeal to people. the regular guy on a jet ski, with a $90 million house besides the lake. this cayman islands thing is not going away. >> no, this cayman isles money, remember, there was a swiss bank account that mitt romney had forgotten about at one point. and this is the stuff that's leading to the change in the battleground polling. the republican consultants have
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begun to agree that what obama is saying in the battlegrounds is beginning to make battleground voters think, this guy does not really understand our problems. i heard a political consultant say to me once that the single most important poll result is do they care about people like me? does this politician care about people like me? that is the poll number on which romney's having incredible trouble getting traction. he can get traction on economic manager, get traction on the deficit, but not do you care about people like me. because it's when they hear about that, they think, he can't possibly understand what i'm going through. >> chris christie, when he feels like it, will ask reporters stupid for asking him questions that he doesn't like, which he already did this week with a new jersey reporter. he is asked about this tax versus penalty thing and he calls it a tax. that right there means you can't be on the vice presidential slot romney. >> i think he just auditioned and failed the audion to be vice president.
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i mean -and the republican party as a whole is -- it's startling, actually, how the republican party the last 30 years has been the leader in framing debates. and right now, their messaging is all over the place. some people are saying tax, some people are saying penalty. what i think would probably have a more winning frame would be mandate, because people don't like individual mandates, but they're using tax, and they're not coordinating clearly with their candidate for president. so this is a republican party in upheaval right now in response to this supreme court decision. >> let's listen to a republican member of congress who really hasn't been given a fair audition for the vp slot, alan west. >> it's a tax. i think that the governor probably needs to look at who he has within his circle of advisers and probably get him to get them to provide the right type of counsel and advice. >> you got to figure alan had ruled out vp by the time he picked tax on the tax versus
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penalty multiple choice. >> i am so with rush limbaugh on this one. i don't get to say it all that often, but i so agree. it doesn't matter! it is the same policy it was two weeks ago. >> to republicans, if you're going to attack it, it doesn't matter. >> but this whole conversation the media has been having after the bill was ruled on, i've, shocked by it. the supreme court did two things, they did nothing to change the individual mandate, the way it works. that bill is exactly the same, as unpopular as it was before. and they did change the medicare part, and what everybody wants to talk about is whether or not we're going to call this thing a tax or a penalty, when it works in the same way we thought it would, when it raises a small amount of money, and will probably be paid by about 1% of americans. it is to me just like appalling. i can't believe so many people have fallen for this spin. and now republicans have got themselves caught in knots over it and have to spend more days talking about what it is. >> republicans chase that word "tax," because that's their favorite word.
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if we can hit you with a tax rap politically, and democrats fear the word "tax." >> terrified of it. >> horribly. so we understand the politics of it. but then this is the first time it cannot work for the republicans, because of romney. >> well, right. because obama care is nothing but romney care on steroids, right? >> right. >> and it's also a policy that came out of the heritage institute a long time. so it's actually a right-leaning policy that has been contorted for liberal purposes. so they've been boxed in in terms of this usage of the word "tax". but there's a conversation we should be having over the supreme court decision, and that's the implications of the medicaid ruling. what does it mean to curb federal power? what are the long-term implications of that? we don't really know, but that's the conversation we should be having. >> and ezra, this was the piece that i thought had to constitutional problem at all. because we've done so many changes, expansions of medicaid over time. but this time, they said, no, no. this is a change in the nature
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of the program, which i don't think it is. but this is a possibly much bigger impact in terms of what the coverage might end up being, than even the mandate was going to be. >> and they did, to be fair, they only changed the way of an enforcement penalty. what they said, the federal government couldn't take away all the state's pre-existing medicaid money if it didn't go with the expansion. it doesn't change the way -- >> which in effect made it mandatory. >> it made it mandatory. now it's a little bit more optional. but it should be said, it remains an incredible deal for states. right now the federal government pace 57% of their medicaid costs. that is good enough for every single state in the union to participate. in this bill, going forward, they will pay 90% of the expansion, and 100% for the first three years. so i don't actually expect many states to sit it out. but that is the real change here. and by the way, one other point on romney who also passed the mandate, in massachusetts, one of the ways they got everybody covered is they brought medicaid up to 133% of poverty for everybody, exactly like the affordable care act does. >> and just on this point in
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terms of stats opting out, seven republican governors have already said that they will opt out and eight are leaning towards that way. so we have 15 states at this point saying they're not going to implement the law. >> we actually have a team upstairs making the calls to all 50 state legislatures, because it requires an act to have the legislature, which the governor has to sign. illinois, by the way, thinks they might be able to do it by executive order, so we'll sort that out. but it's going to take a few weeks of record reporting just to try to get all 50 states on record as to what really is th impact of this decision. and then, as you've pointed out, they may not act on what they say they're going to do. because they may look at this two years down the road or a year down the road and say, you know what, the numbers here are such that i think we are going to take this deal. so the suspense about what really happened in the supreme court is going to take many months to work itself out. >> all of the incentives on the health care bill change after the election. we have that certainty. right now they're not sure, because they want to kill the thing, a lot of the republican governors. if obama wins the election, the affordable care act is here to stay and they have to live in that world.
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and there's money in that world. >> ezra klein, the hardest working man on msnbc prime-time tonight, and dorian warren, thanks very much for joining me. >> thanks, lawrence. >> thank you. coming up, bill o'reilly promised he would call himself an idiot if the individual mandate was declared constitutional. we'll find out what an o'reilly promise is really worth,n tonight's "rewrite." and you heard it here first last night, the story that became today's supreme court news on how chief justice john roberts actually wrote the majority opinion in the health care case and most of the minority opinion. we'll have more on how that happened, later. and also later, the church of scientology is under siege, thanks to the divorce of its most important member. is scientology losing its grip on hollywood? [ male announcer ] hey, isn't that the girl who tore out your still beating heart? [ bowling pins ] ok, how's this gonna play? mi amore. [ chicken clucking ] [ male announcer ] bit needy, g. ok don't sweat it. just do your thing.
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the nuns on the bus rolled into washington today, protesting paul ryan's
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republican budget. sister simone campbell joins me with what must surely have been a spirually fulfilling meeting with paul ryan. i mean, a good catholic boy like paul ryan wouldn't slam the door on the nuns, would he? paul ryan? and more on the intrigue later inside the supreme court. we have more information tonight about how chief justice john roberts managed to write both the minority opinion of the court and the majority opinion by switching his vote from one side to the other and making supreme court history in the process. an accident doesn't have to slow you down.
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with better car replacement available only with liberty mutual auto insurance, if your car's totaled, we give you the money for a car one model year newer. to learn more, visit us today. responsibility. what's your policy? it was in this segment last night that we broke the news that chief justice john roberts
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wrote both obama care opinions. the majority opinion, finding it constitutional, and the minority opinion, finding it unconstitutional. professor campos, i was just told before we came on that you may be able to add to our knowledge of this with some breaking news information of your own from a source close to the drafting of this opinion. >> yes, lawrence. i've been speaking with someone who was involved in the drafting of the opinions, who wasn't willing to divulge that information, up until now. in fact, the first 48 pages of the 65 pages of the joint dissent were really the majority opinion. only the last 17 pages of that joint dissent were added on, essentially, for the most part, after chief justice roberts changed his vote. what my source is very clear on is that most of that opinion was, in fact, chief justice roberts' opinion for the court. most of that was now the joint dissent.
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>> joining me again tonight is paul campos, a professor of law at university boulder, and glen greenwald, a contributing writer for salon. he is the author of the new book, "with liberty and justice for some: how the law is used to destroy equality and protect the powerful." professor campos, in the piece you wrote today in salon, under the headline, "roberts wrote both obama care opinions," you say that the chief justice began writing the opinion that obama care is unconstitutional, and then switched to writing the other opinion, that obama care is constitutional. and in making that switch, the chief changed which side was the winning side and which side was the losing side. but one of the pieces of evidence you offer in your article is, this is surely the first time in the court's history that a dissent has gone on for 13,000 words before
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getting around to mentioning that it is, in fact, dissenting, the last 19 pages do so repeatedly. and that adds to your -- to the information that you've had from a source, at least one source, inde the court, doesn't it? >> yes, it does. when i first read the joint dissent, i was struck by the extent to which it really read like a majority opinion, until relatively close to the end. so what took me aback about jan crawford's story for cbs this weekend was the claim that the joint dissent was drafted after the majority opinion, in response to it. that didn't really seem particularly plausible, and then, a source inside of the court confirmed, in fact, for me, when quizzed on this question, that that's not the way that it happened. what happened was that chief justice roberts drafted an opinion, had five votes for it.
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he changed his mind about the individual mandate section of the opinion. the other dissenters were -- excuse me, the other membersf the majority at that point refused to go along with that, of course. and so he ended up writing another opinion, and they took over what had been the opinion of the court and added this final section to it, and that's why it reads so bizarrely. where you have three quarters of an opinion that reads exactly as if it's the opinion of the court, and then all of a sudden it veers off for its last quarter and starts talking about why it's disagreeing with the court, when for the first 47, 48 pages, ispeaks as if it were the opinion of the court. which i think helps explain the very strange treatment of the ginsberg opinion by the majority as well. so i think we both have now textual evidence and evidence from inside the court that what happened was that roberts' switch ended up producing a situation in which the bulk of
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the dissent was written by the same justice who wrote the opinion of the court, which is, i think, a close to unprecedented situation. >> and glen, what professor campos calls the strange treatment of the ginsberg opinion is that the dissent refers to the ginsberg dissent. the ginsberg opinion was a concurring opinion with the majority. this is yet another clue that they -- that that opinion, when the dissent with was first written, ginsberg was in the minority. >> yeah, we don't know exactly what went on here. i have great regard for professor campos, and i'm sure someone in the court have told him this, just as people have told jan crawford something a little bit different. i'm sure people have different agendas. but what he's right about is that this opinion is extremely strange. and a lot of legal experts reacted exactly the way i did,
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that he did, that something happened here that is very unprecedented. and i think it's really important to keep in mind how much political pressure was on the court for this case. the right has hated the supreme court for decades, going pack to the warren court, and especially roe versus wade, and now the left has been hating the court almost as much, if not more so, from bush v. gore and citizens united. had this decision resulted in a predictable 5-4 split, i really think the court's legitimacy as this institution would have been irrevocaby destroyed. so i do think john roberts is sort of a guardian of the court felt he had to dsomething. but there's no question some shenanigans want on internally, and that's very, very unusual. >> now, this would be the moment in our story telling when we cut to president obama at the state of the union address, scolding the supreme court, but we don't have time for it. because we have much more important clue to present here, which is this absolutely
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stunning audio recording of a "national review" editor speaking at princeton university 26 days before the supreme court handed down this decision. >> my own educated guess, based on people i talked to at the supreme court, is that, well, as i'm sure people know, there's an initial vote the same week on the friday of the oral arguments, and my understanding is that there was a 5-4 vote to strike down the mandate and maybe some related provisions, but not the entire act. since then, interestingly, there seems to have been some second thoughts, not on the part of justice kennedy, but on the part of chief justice roberts, who seems to be going a little bit wobbly. so right now, i would say it's a little bit up in the air. >> paul campos, that's 26 days before this opinion.
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you have someone saying, i have a source, this is a conservative editor of the "national review" saying, i have a source inside the supreme court who's telling me that justice roberts is going a little bit wobbly. >> yeah, lawrence. i think what's really interesting about this is that the sort of code of oherta, you know, that the supreme court normally operates under, you know, that those who know don't tell really seems to be breaking down. the very fact that we've had now leaks, not months or years after the decision, but really even before the decision came down, in regard to the, as what glenn correctly referred to, as to the shenanigans taking place in terms of the process in which this decision was made, i think is a kind of extraordinary comment on the degree to which now the court is being overtly politicized in a way that i think is pretty much unprecedented in american league history. >> and glenn, john fund wrote in
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the "national review" today from his own sources. there is an amazing amount of leak going around here, and i think the people who are claiming to have sources there are credible. that they do have sources. >> yeah, ramesh, he's a conservative commentator, but also extremely credible and well regarded on both sides of the political spectrum, and what he was describing is is certainly what he was hearing. and as it turns out, it was quite precient. >> and the only people who could be saying this is clerks. >> and even what you referred to earlier, the reference to justice ginsberg as a dissent, this is not a mistake that supreme court justices, with all the checks on their opinions just simply make accidentally. >> they deliberately left that in there. >> a suggestion that it was sort of a way of signaling to the public that this shift was -- >> we were winning. >> right. and it was sort of a last-minute thing, and look at what john roberts did. i think that's a really credible theory.
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>> paul campos and glenn greenwald, thank you both very much for joining me tonight. >> thank you. coming up, it's religion night here on "the last word." we'll be joined by one of the nuns on the bus, and "the last word's" senior catholic analyst, e.j. dionne. and later, freedom of religion or freedom to indoctrinate. the children of scientology and why katie holmes doesn't want her daughter to be one of them. that's coming up. and in the "rewrite" tonight, we'll find out if bill o'reilly is a man of his word. the wordeing "idiot." that's coming up. w flames reache as her family pulled out of the driveway, this isn't just a teddy bear. it's a step towards normal. it's why allstate catastrophe teams didn't just arrive at these fires with cold water and checks to help the grown-ups start the rebuilding... they also brought thousands of these teddy bears for kids. people come first. everything else is second. [ female announcer ] allstate customers affected by the recent wildfires
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bill o'riley promised he would call himself an idiot if the individual mandate was found constitutional. then he took that night off when it was found constitutional, and the next night, and had all weekend to think about it, and came back on his show last night saying that he is a man of his word. i will show you the video of exactly what the idiot said in tonight's "rewte." and the nuns on the bus went to see paul ryan in washington, and, you know, a good catholic boy like paul ryan would never refuse to see the nuns. we'll hear all about it from sister simone campbell. and later, does freedom of religion include freedom from religion? that's one of the things katie holmes is seeking in her divorce from tom cruise and the church of scientology.
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that's coming up.
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thank you, sisters, thank
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you, all of you, for what you do. america is truly blessed. >> thank you, sisters. >> thank you, sisters. >> thank you, sisters. >> thank you, sisters. >> thank you for acting on your beliefs. >> in the spotlight tonight, the nuns on the bus. those were just a few of the 75 members of congress who went on camera to thank the nuns on the bus. the sisters' two-week, nine-state bus tour for social justice and against the paul ryan budget rolled to a close yesterday in the nation's capital. the nuns were cheered by their supporters as they made stops at the congressional offices of some of the bill's supporters, including its creator, paul ryan. the sisters and other religious groups have come up with an alternative to paul ryan's plan called the faithful budget. in its preamble, they state, "in the current political and economic climate, neither party is giving voice to the needs of the families who are struggling to overcome poverty. it is simply not true thate must reduce assistance for the
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poorest among us in order to achieve fiscal recovery." joining me now, in her triumphant return to the "last word," sister simone campbell, the executive director of the national catholic soal justice lobby, and e.j. dionne, a senior fellow at the brookings institution, and the author of "our divided political heart." he's also an msnbc political analyst and he is "the last word's" senior catholic analyst. sister simone, can't wait to hear about this. you knock on paul ryan's door, you want to sit down with him and discuss theology and the theology of social justice. you can take all the time you want. tell us just word for word how it went for paul ryan. >> well, it's quite a short little comment. we met with his staff, the staff took copious noteswe haven't heard a word back. we did get an e-mail just recently saying, yes, there's interest in a meeting. we're trying to set one up when he's back in d.c. next week.
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>> e.j. dionne, i'm afraid this is not of the way i was taught to receive nuns when i was being taught by them in my elementary school. i'm, uh -- this is a -- what do you make of it? the nuns come to paul ryan's office. he has said he has based his budgeting and his political thinking in his religious beliefs and he won't even discuss those with the nuns. >> well, first of all, thank you for giving me that very august title. >> battlefield promotion, right here tonight. >> you know, i -- when the health care fight was happening, when a whole group of nuns endorsed the health care bill, and the bishops opposed it, i wrote a column that i thought would resonate with many, many catholics and it ran under the headline, listen to the nuns. because that is what we were always taught. and i'm not entirely surprised that congressman ryan reacted that way, because he knows that what he is for may be approved
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of by quite a few conservative catholics, but it's outside the teaching of the catholic church going back a long way. i think it's really important to underscore that the vatican may have criticized the american nuns, but what the nuns are saying here is very much mainstream catholic social teaching. back in 1919, the catholic bishops put out their program for social reconstruction, which in many ways pre-figured the new deal. i think what's different now is a new conservative catholic leadership is a little less vocal on these issues, but it hasn't actually changed the church's positions, and the nones are out there being vocal in a way the bishops used to be on these social justice questions. and obviously, for someone like congressman ryan, that's a lile bit uncomfortable. >> let's listen to congressman ryan's governing philosophy on what he said about it on abc. >> we disagree with a notion that our rights come from governments, that the government can now grant us and define our rights. those are ours.
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those come from nature and god, according to the declaration of independence, a huge difference in philosophy. >> sister simone, what would have been your response to that if congressman ryan had the courage, if you don't mind me saying, to sit will and say that to you? >> well, i think congressman ryan has it part right and part wrong, as usual. i mean, yes, god is significant in giving us the rights, the human dignity. i mean, that's why every person has human dignity, but the fact is that the vatican, pope benedict xvi recognizes that things like health care are a right of all individuals in a modern society. and those rights evolve over time. we work it out from what human dignity is, and then you apply it in the current circumstance. so a right to health care is very much at the core of catholic social teaching. >> e.j., this seems to be a critical point here, where some catholics take firm scripture,
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from the life of jesus christ, that they should participate in a generous way through government in social programs. and others say, no, no, because this was the work of jesus christ, it had nothing to do with government and there's nothing in the life and work of jesus christ to indicate how government should run. >> but jesus actually was someone who has a rebel against authority, in so many ways in his own time. i think it's a mistake to try to divorce jesus from politics or jesus from the political situation that he was in. there is a real debate. i think you put it properly, among christians, over whether what jesus said about helping the poor, and no one can deny the centrality of the poor in jesus' teaching, and how that relates to the feder government. but in the catholic tradition, certainly, there has always been a link between a charity,
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justice, and the role of government, because catholic teachings says that government is a central organizer, even of economic life. the church is for the market, but it always wants the market to be within moral limits. >> and sister, how would you address that with congressman ryan and others, who would say there's nothing in the life of christ that is about the conduct of government? >> well, actually, our father -- there's a whole act of jesus about our father being a very political statement. so that's that the prayer jesus gave us. all about bread tax and having daily bread was a big thing in roman law. but i think the real thing here is picking up on what e.j. is saying, is that pope benedict xvi makes it very clear that government is there to ensure justice for all and that once everyone has justice, then we can do charity.
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the giving of something extra. and that the role of government is to balance the excess of any culture or any large group of people. so in our culture, which we have an extensive excess of individualism, the role of government then is to help us balance it in relationship with each other. >> sister simone, i had eight years of catholic education with nuns in my elementary school and many of them told me many things that i didn't want to hear. it never occurred to me that i had the option of not listening to them, as paul ryan seems to think he does. sister simone campbell and e.j. dionne, thank you both very much for joining me tonight. >> thank you. and thank you to sister. >> okay. coming up, bill o'reilly, the promisekeeper is in tonight's "rewrite." he said he would apologize, which he didn't do, and that he would call himself an idiot, which he didn't exactly do, if the individual mandate was ruled
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constitutional. the idiot is in tonight's "rewrite." and later, how the latest celebrity divorce case raises difficult issues about freedom of religion and freedom from religion in this country. why more than money is at stake in a divorce in the church of scientology. that's coming up. for healthier ? natural instincts! formulated with aloe, vitamin and antioxidants natural instincts has a system that's a healthier way to radia color. indulge... with natural instincts. less guilt, more gorgeous. with two times the points onake lunche... dining in restaurants,ch?incts. you may find yourself asking why not, a lot.
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what does bill o'reilly know? he knows everything. everything. and he knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the individual mandate would be found unconstitutional. and he was so sure, he promised to call himself an idiot if it wasn't. you'll see an idiot's version of keeping a promise, next in the "rewrite." and later, for once, it really isn't about the money. the latest celebrity divorce case is about freedom of religion and freedom from religion. the religion of scientology.
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and if i'm wrong, i will come on and i will play your clip and i will apologize for being an idiot. >> and then when the supreme court found the individual mandate constitutional, bill o'reilly took the day off. but he did call in to his own show and do a phone interview with the substitute host, in which he never quite got around to calling himself an idiot. then he maintained complete silence the next night by staying home and letting his substitute host do the show without any input from him. and then last night, monday night was his first night back in the anchor chair since the supreme court ruling, and after suffering days of shame, heaped upon him by me and others, who noticed that he did not fulfill his promise to idiot, o'reilly knew that he just had to do something. he showed the video that i just showed you and then he said -- >> i am a man of my word, so i
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apologize for not factoring in the john roberts situation. truthfully, i never in a million year thought the chief justice would go beyond the scope ofhe commerce clause debate and into taxation. >> never in a million years, huh? how about say the last three years? in the last three years o'reilly could have heard me explain how the individual mandate's claim of constitutionality resides not in the commerce clause, but exclusively in the power to tax. i said it many times. sometimes i told the story of how fdr's labor secretary, frances perkins, discovered from a tip that he picked up at a supreme court gathering that the social security act should be within the power to tax. that's why lbj and the democrats created a separate medicare tax to fund medicare when they created the program in 1965, so that it's constitutionality would also be firmly grounded in the power to tax, just like social security. if what bill o'reilly just said
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is true, which is a very big if, it's o'reilly we're talking about here. but if it's true, it means, one, my feelings are hurt that bill doesn't watch this show. and two, bill is just as horribly informed and uninformed about current events as his fox news audience is. but i digress. let's keep rolling the video and see if he calls himself an idiot. >> truthfully, i never in a million years thought the chief justice would go beyond the scope of the commerce clause debate and into taxation. i may be an idiot for not considering that. >> "i may be an idiot?" may be an idiot? let's roll that video from the thing where he said what he said. >> and if i'm wrong with, i will come on and i will play your clip and i will apologize for being an idiot.
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>> okay, there was no "may" in there. he said,i will apologize for being an idiot." and he said he will apologize. so, where's the apology? >> i'm not really sorry. >> you -- you're kidding. he promises two things. he will apologize and say he's andiot. then he specifically says he's not sorry and he hedges on the idiot thing. never mind how you feel about that. imagine how demoralizing it was for the fox news team to watch their fearless leader be afraid to do the right thing, to do what he said he was going to do. now they know their fearless leader is a fraud. if they weren't smart enough to catch on to that before. and so now o'reilly -- now that o'reilly proved that, even to the kool-aid drinkers at fox news, how, how could they ever, ever look o'reilly in the eye again?
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>> well, you know, i think you're being too sensitive. >> and there you have the world according to fox news. you know, back in the rat pack days, dean martin once said of frank sinatra, it's frank's world, he just lets us live in it. and as has been obvious for many years now, bill o'reilly is the leader of the fox news rat pack and it's bill's world and he lets the rest of the rats live in it. and the only time they are allowed to disagree with bill is when he says this -- >> i may be an idiot. i may be an idiot. i may be an id krot. [ male announcer ] before you take it on your road trip... we take it on ours. this summer put your family in an exceptionally engineered mercedes-benz now for an exceptional price during the summer event.
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in a country that included freedom of religion as a founding principle of our government, what happens when your freedom to practice your religion runs into your spouse's freedom to not practice your religion and which one of you has thright to impose your religion on your child? these are the important and difficult questions raised this week by the newest celebrity divorce case. nbc news "today" show national investigative correspondent jeff rossen has the latest on the story. >> reporter: katie holmes emerging monday, wading through the media mob scene. the soon-to-be single actress out and about in new york city. photographers following her every move, and something's missing. her wedding ring, gone. but even in the midst of chaos, katie looks relaxed. hardly the portrait of a woman in a custody battle with one of hollywood's most powerful stars.
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and her new neighbors have a front row seat. >> she's been with her daughter. she holds her daughter in a loving way, and she is a great asset to the building and is handling herself great. >> now questions about tom cruise's religion playing a role here. did scientology break them up? >> i think it's a privilege to call yourself a scientologist. and it's something that you have to earn. >> reporter: cruise, seen here in this church promotional video, praised the faith. >> we are the authorities on getting people off drugs, we are the authorities on the mind. >> reporter: he's a leader in the church, but katie was raised catholic. citing sources, "people" magazine reports that she was concerned about their daughter, suri. >> the church of scientology is a critical issue in this divorce, as it relates to suri. she's at an age now where she is going to go to elementary school. will she be raised and educated as a scientologist or something else or something in between? this is issue number one for katy holmes.
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>> reporter: now katie wants sole custody, filing divorce papers in new york, and bringing suri to manhattan with her. spotted with her hello kitty purse. cruise reportedly wants to move the case to california. >> new york has a presumption of sole custody while states like california have a presumption of joint custody, so she has a better chance of taking sole custody of the child here in new york than probably anywhere else in the country. >> reporter: the couple owns property from new york to l.a., italy, to england. so it comes down to a judge, deciding where suri really lives. a bi-coastal battle with katie firing the first shot, their daughter caught in the middle of this new celebrity spectacle. >> nbc's jeff rossen joins me now. jeff, it's been fascinating me to see how this is playing out. obviously, the celebrity aspect is what all the media cares about, but there is a fascinating religious question
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here at the center of this, what is going to be divorce case, and that is, how are these kids brought up? how was that handled in the nicole kidman divorce from tom cruise? >> you know, nicole kidman was raised as a roman catholic -- >> as was katie holmes. >> as was katie holmes. and by the way, they were both 33 years old when the divorces happened. but nicole kidman allegedly did not want her kids raised as scientologists, and that is allegedly one of the reasons that she left and she doesn't practice scientology anymore. and the question is, and many published reports out there, that this all came down now possibly because of a couple of reasons. one, we'll talk about the scientology angle, and that is that suri, their 6-year-old daughter, is about to get into school and start her education, and there are published reports that tom cruise wanted her to get into this sect of scientology when the kids get in there very, very young. >> and do they have a school for that --
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>> yeah, they have a school. and they begin their long road of education. it's sort of a camp. and the church of scientology for their part denies that. they say no child under 16 is allowed in, officially. so that's number one, she was at that cross roads, needed to make a decision about suri's future, according to several published reports. there is also the fact that they have this prenup. again, we haven't seen those papers, but also, widely reported that after five years of marriage, she gets a certain amount of money. and, you know, they've been married just over five years now. >> so on the scientology side, does she think new york will be more favorable to her interests on getting her away from scientology? >> yeah, she wants full custody. she wants sole custody. and according to "people" magazine, who's spoken to family sources from katie holmes, she doesn't want suri raised as a scientologist, so she wants sole custody to raise her the way she wants, and in new york, the rules are very much favored
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towards sole custody, whereas in california, they sort of automatically go towards joint custody, unless proven otherwise. so tom cruise's lawyer has been reported as saying that he wants this case moved to california. so the first battle, you know, that faces both of them is where this thing is even going to be battled. >> and the new york media is absolutely consumed by it. >> that never happens. >> jeff rossen, thank you very much for joining me tonight. we'll be back here after the fourth of july and i will begin my day on thursday. >> repeal or get real. let's play "hardball." good evening, i'michael smerconish. in important chris matthews. leading off to tonight, what to
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expect when you're rejecting. mitt romney says it all the time. repeal and replace health care reform, but with what? he doesn't say and repealing may not be as easy as it sounds. n they do it? do they really want to take bay away way what people like about the law? shades of the republican trashing of mag cleland, joe walsh suggests his opponent, tammy duckworth is not a true hero. then she talks stooch -- too much about her military service. duckworth lost both legs and use of one arm in iraq. plus, fires in colorado, drought in the west. more than 3,000 temperature records in june. is global warming to blame? this is exactly what scientists had been predicting. how long can the right wing continue to insist that what we're seeing is a hoax? and remember jonathan krone, the 13-year-old darling of the right? >> so i decided there were too many people who through