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

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>> with 97 days until the presidential election, new polling shows the president has turned a key state, previously considered a toss-up, into a safe obama win. and today president obama attacked mitt romney's proposal to cut income taxes for only the wealthiest americans. >> just today an independent, nonpartisan organization, they crunched all the numbers. they found that if governor romney wants to keep his word and pay for this plan, this $5 trillion tax cut, the only way to do it is to cut tax breaks that you middle class families depend on. in order to afford just a tax cut for somebody like
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mr. romney, 125 families like yours would have to pay another $2,000 in taxes each year. does that sound like a plan you can afford? >> no! >> the tax study president obama touted was conducted by the nonpartisan tax policy center. today the romney campaign dismissed that study because, according to them, the tax policy center is, of course, quote, liberal. but last november the romney campaign called a study from that same organization, quote, objective third-party analysis. a "new york times"/quinnipiac poll shows that president obama has turned pennsylvania from a toss-up into a safe win among likely voters in pennsylvania. president obama leads mitt romney by 11 points, 53% to 42%. the lead is so wide that the obama and romney campaigns are currently no longer advertising in that state.
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in florida, president obama leads mitt romney by six points, 51% to 45%. in ohio, president obama leads mitt romney by six points, 50% to 44%. and a "detroit free press" poll of likely michigan voters shows president obama leading mitt romney in that state by six points, 48% to 42%. wins in those four states would yield 83 electoral college votes and would secure president obama's reelection. here is team romney's newest attempt to win ohio. >> in 2009, under the obama administration's bailout of general motors, ohio dealerships were forced to close. >> that is a curious way to advertise, considering that mitt romney wrote an editorial in "the new york times" in 2008 saying, let detroit go bankrupt. and in may romney said this --
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>> my own view, by the way, is that the auto companies needed to go through bankruptcy before government help. and, frankly, that's finally what the president did. he finally took them through bankruptcy. that was the right course i argued for from the very beginning. so i'll take a lot of credit for the fact that this industry's come back. >> joining me now, howard fineman, "huffington post" editorial director and msnbc analyst and david cay johnston, pulitzer prize winning columnist for reuters. david, take us through this tax argument that's going on now between the two campaigns. >> well, the president is doing something that his predecessors did not, and that is explaining how this really works. so if you make less than $200,000 a year, if you think you should pay higher taxes so that people who make $1 million a year can pay less, romney's got a really great plan. i don't happen to share that particular view, but -- and the savings are pretty big at the top. the average would be about $1,600 a week that you would save. the president's making it very clear, you will pay for this. you will have to pay for this at the bottom.
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and i think that's hurting romney very badly. romney's argument is to come back and say, no, this will create jobs. and the problem he has with that, of course, is we have 12 years of experience now with tax cuts to create jobs and it didn't work. >> howard fineman, you have seen what we've all seen with barack obama, the candidate, is that the more he makes a particular argument, especially the ones that are a little bit complex, the better he gets at it. and here we see him with these leads in these polls in the swing states, having made some of these arguments. it seems that he has found the right spot in the tax argument. and my bet here is that he's only going to get better at refining and simplifying that point. >> yeah, they keep pushing on what turned out to be an open door, lawrence. a few months ago, a lot of analysts, including this one, me, wondered if pushing the fairness argument on taxes was risky for president obama.
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but it turns out, in a time of a bleak economy, when everybody's looking for a fair shake, that this argument really works. and it's not just that rich people are going to get more, what the president is saying now is middle class voters are going to get less. and on top of that, lawrence, he's now -- having secured that ground, he's now going to the deficit argument on this, too, which is very shrewd of him. in a speech in akron today, it was all about this topic. he didn't talk about anything else but this. it's clearly working. and the problem that mitt romney has is, once again, he's being pinioned on the fact that he's not giving any details. he's running an "i don't have to tell you any details" campaign. not about his taxes, not about his faith, not about his family, not about massachusetts health care, and not about the details of his tax plan. if this so-called liberal think tank is wrong, let's see his numbers. he hasn't put out any, which is why the obama campaign is pushing on this open door.
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>> and, david, the fact that romney as a candidate will not release tax returns seems to me to help create an echo effect of the president's argument about taxes. >> oh, it helps a great deal. and let's go to his i.r.a., you could only put up to -- >> romney's i.r.a., which has $20 million to $100 million. >> you can only put $5,000 a year into an i.r.a.. >> i've been trying to figure this out. >> he put in something that they either valued close to zero, but the more important part is the other investors in bain who weren't him, they didn't get those kinds of returns. they didn't turned $5,000 over maybe even ten years, so $50,000, into $100 million. the managers of bain took care of themselves first and foremost ahead of their investors. now, what does that suggest to you about president romney and who he's going to take care of if he's elected? >> howard, the thing about $100 million in an i.r.a. is there are so many voters out there who have these i.r.a.s, and they, you know, would be
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very, very lucky to be able to amass $100,000 in an i.r.a. in the course of their working living. >> i would say most people who have one -- and there are tens and tens of millions who do -- understand how they work. so just those numbers alone are killers out there on the campaign trail. and you're right, having watched every day to what the president's saying, talking to his people in chicago, they plunged into this and the numbers are now showing the effect of it. the nbc/cbs poll i thought was fascinating because people are pretty lacking in bright hopes about the future right now. but they want a fair shake. and that argument, which is an old democratic argument, that the democrats put aside really for a while, has come back with a vengeance, and unless mitt romney can show something about his own values, about who he is, that will tell a different story than the one that's being put together because of his pension for secrecy, he's in deep trouble.
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and that's what these numbers in ohio, pennsylvania, and florida show. pennsylvania's very significant, lawrence, you're right to focus on it. if the dems can take that off the table, that's an enormous advantage for them. >> howard fineman and david cay johnston, thank you both for joining me tonight. >> thanks, lawrence. >> thank you. coming up, the bat-crap crazy wing of the republican party is causing trouble for the republicans who actually want to win the white house. and sarah palin's really mad at a guy she likes to call dick. david corn and karen finney will join me. and new information tonight on the voter suppression laws sweeping across the country. former ohio governor ted strickland will join me. and later, what has happened to the price of cocaine in the four decades of the war on drugs? well, i don't have to tell you. why are we still fighting the unwinnable war? the war on drugs is once again in tonight's "rewrite."
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uniting the republican party so they can be one, big happy family at their convention in tampa isn't easy with a party that includes michele bachmann, bat-crap crazy congressman steve king, and constant troublemaker and republican party embarrassment sarah palin. we'll see just how big the republican's circus tent is going to have to be during their convention. karen finney and david corn will join me on that. and republicans are turning on -- they are turning against the most powerful man in washington who does not sleep in the white house. that's right. grover norquist is in trouble with his base. that's coming up later.
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as president obama climbs in the polls, republicans are losing it. unifying the bat-crap crazy wing of the republican party with the hide your tax return wing of the republican party in order to have one big, happy family convention is looking more and more difficult. in bat-crap crazy news, iowa congressman steve king still believes that the republican path to the white house goes straight through barack obama's birth certificate. >> it would have been awfully hard to fraudulently file the birth notice of barack obama being born in hawaii and get that into our public libraries in that microfiche that they keep of all the newspapers
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published. but drilling into that now, even if we could get a definitive answer, and if that turned out to be that barack obama was conclusively not born in america, i don't think we could get that case sold between now and november. >> republican tennessee state representative kelly kiesling had an aide forward an e-mail to his constituents that included a conspiracy theory so indescribably insane, my only choice is to read it to you in full. "according to the newspaper's coverage of this dhs whistle-blower, the event would be a staged assassination attempt on the life of president obama that would be blamed on white supremacists and subsequently used to enrage black and hispanic communities, driving them to rioting all across the nation. the faked assassination, says the cfp report, would be carried out through the assistance of dhs agents and other colluders, taking their orders from the
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white house. the objective would be to stir up enough racial unrest to justify the imposition of martial law in major urban cities, including erecting dhs checkpoints, restricting travel, and delaying, possibly indefinitely, the november 2012 elections." and the most recent losing vice presidential candidate who will never be president is really, really mad at a guy she likes to call dick. excuse me. vice president cheney never misfires, then evidently he's quite convinced that what he had evidently read about me, by the lamestream media, having been written, what i believe is a false narrative, over the last four years, evidently, dick cheney believed that stuff. and that's a shame. so he characterized me as being a mistake. here's where the mistake would have been, greta.
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i believe it's had i not answered the call. >> joining me now are david corn, washington bureau chief, and former mother jones and msnbc political analyst. and karen finney, former -- there's the former -- dnc communications director and msnbc political analyst. and pardon me for being thrown by sarah palin's urge, i think i saw on that video, to use the word "dick" and "misfire" in the same sentence and aim it at the former vice president of the united states. karen, sarah palin -- with problems like sarah palin, how does the republican party have this one big, happy family event they've got planned in florida at the end of the month? >> you know, i can't wait. i'm so excited! i would say i actually think that maybe between now and the start of their convention, we should have the bat-crap crazy watch, because i feel like there's plenty of fodder. we could probably do something just about every day.
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because, actually, you know you're in trouble when you're the republican party and sarah palin is the least of the bat-crap crazy when you've got -- what was that, an assassination attempt to-- i wish we were that smart. i mean, of course we're not going to do something like that. what i think we're all looking forward to is how this one big, happy family comes together in tampa, amidst all of the sort of conspiracy theories and, you know, the infighting. and i don't see sarah palin or ron paul going quietly into the night. so it should be very interesting to watch. >> david, we got an apology from mr. kiesling in tennessee who had that e-mail sent out with the crazy conspiracy theory about president obama suspending the election because of a fake assassination attempt. his apology, you know, he says, you know, i shouldn't -- it shouldn't have been forwarded. he says, it should not have been sent out. he says, it was inappropriate for distribution. he says he regrets the error, which was the error of
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distributing it, and he pledges to be more cautious in the future. he never says, oh, by the way, it was completely wrong. he just says it was inappropriate for distribution. we're supposed to just read that stuff alone and not let the media find out about it. >> what he meant to say was, i'm sorry it didn't go just to my second amendment e-mail list. >> yes, yes. that a >> that's the problem here. you know, per your earlier point or earlier question to karen, i think it's pretty obvious, at the republican convention, we just need to have one crazy night, you know, pick monday, tuesday, whatever you want to be, probably not thursday, but, you know, pick one crazy night and put them up one after the other -- the muslim brotherhood taking over the state department, the self-assassination plan. you can have two or three birthers. you can have the taking your guns of black helicopters. i mean, that would be pay-for tv if you ask me, probably the highest-rated night of the convention.
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it would get networks back on board covering this stuff. >> i was going to say, maybe that's how they'll get ratings. >> this is a great marketing opportunity i'm giving you for nothing, gop. >> all right. republican pennsylvania congressman mike kelly stepped into the center ring of the republican crazy circus today, warning the world about what it means now that private insurance plans must cover contraception services. let's listen to mike kelly. >> so i know in your mind you can think of the times that america was attacked. one is december 7th, that's pearl harbor day. the other is september 11th, and that's the day of the terrorist attack. i want you to remember august the 1st 2012, the attack on our religious freedom. that is a date that will live in infamy along with those other dates. >> karen, mike kelly has 5,722 children because he does not believe in contraception. i mean, you know -- karen finney, go ahead. i don't know what to say about what i just saw.
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>> here's the thing on this that we didn't really get to talk about the last time we were talking about aspirin between our knees, so i guess thanks to him we're going to talk about it again. you know, the men who sleep with them, they ought to be just as happy as women that we have access to birth control because, you know, a lot of guys don't come prepared. so i don't know what this guy is thinking, but i think a lot of women see today as a very important day when we actually were able to take control of our health care and not have the government tell us what we can and can't do. i don't know how else to make any sense to have that. >> it's really confusing because he compared today to september 11th, which was, of course, engineered by osama bin laden, but also barack obama is in charge of this attack, but he also killed osama bin laden. and it's -- i don't know. i find this really hard to keep track of. can they give me a wiring
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diagram or something so i know what days to really drape in black. >> pearl harbor day is the equivalent of now august 1st 2012. >> think about that, women having access to medicine is a day akin to 9/11 is what this man just said. that's the thinking going on in that building behind me. >> david corn, ted cruz who won the republican nomination for the senate seat in texas last night has said that the entire mission now of the tea party is to push mitt romney farther to the right. i mean, i'm not sure how much more to the right romney has to go during the campaign. but what they mean is, when they elect him president, they are going to enforce day in and day out that he stay the right-wing mitt romney, not that massachusetts romney. >> well, i'm looking forward to the primary battle in 2016
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between mitt romney and, i don't know, ted cruz. i mean, that's what they want to say now. but as the polling that, you know, you talked about earlier and we've been talking about all day shows, mitt romney is not faring well. if he doesn't start capturing more of the middle, more of those independent votes, he's not going to become president so they won't have to worry about keeping his feet to the fire. >> david corn and karen finney, thank you both for joining me on this day that will not live in infamy. >> we hope not. >> no. coming up, voter suppression is not quite as easy as republicans think it is, as they found out in a pennsylvania courtroom this week. we'll have the latest developments in the republican voter suppression campaign. and in the "rewrite" tonight, how many more lives will we sacrifice in the unwinnable 40-year war? the war on drugs. ♪ [music plays] ♪ [music plays] ♪ [music plays]
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author, screenwriter, playwright and occasional actor gore vidal left us yesterday at the age of 86. in 1968, during the democratic national convention in chicago, which turned into rioting in the streets, gore vidal debated conservative republican william f. buckley jr. at the height of the vietnam war on abc news. if you think debates get rough on cable news, wait until you hear these two distinguished gentlemen throwing around terms like "crypto-nazi" and "queer."
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>> you must realize what some of the political issues are here. many people in the united states happen to believe that the united states policy is wrong in vietnam and the viet-kong are correct in wanting to organize their own country in their own way politically. this happens to be pretty much the opinion of western europe and other parts of the world. if it is a novelty in chicago, that is too bad. but i assume that the point of the american democracy is something you can express any point of view you want. >> shut up for a minute. some people are neo-nazi and they were well treated by people who ostracize them. >> as far as i'm concerned, the only pro crypto-nazi i can think of is yourself. >> listen, stop calling me a crypto-nazi. i'll --
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you stay plastered. >> gentleman, let's -- >> go back to his pornography and stop making any allusions of nazi infantry in the last war. >> you were not -- >> i was -- >> we'll have more on gore vidal later. and it's intern night once again here on "the last word," following many, many years of "last word" tradition, sherman fabes of staten island and the university of missouri now gets to tell you what's coming up in the show. go, sherman. >> thanks, lawrence. coming up, he used to be the most powerful man in washington. now grover norquist could be losing his base, though. and why can't the people who want voter i.d. laws remember what's in those voter i.d. laws? that's coming up. and in the "rewrite," the war that cannot be won, the war on drugs. that's coming up. >> beautifully done. >> thank you. >> way to go.
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♪ [music plays] ♪ [music plays] ♪ [music plays] in the "spotlight" tonight, voter suppression. last week we showed you just how much the governor of pennsylvania, the man who signed the new voter photo i.d. bill into law, knows about the acceptable forms of photo i.d..
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>> other forms of i.d.s, i don't know where people are getting the data as to how many people don't have because the other forms of i.d. could be student i.d. we've been working with the nursing homes to get people new i.d.. it can be military i.d. there's two or three other forms, right now off the top of my head i don't have it here in front of me. >> and tonight, meet pennsylvania secretary of the commonwealth, republican carol achele. yesterday, during the state trial on the photo i.d. law, secretary aichele said, quote, i don't know what the law says. she also said that she doesn't know exactly how many voters will be affected by the new law but believes that 99% of voters will have the right i.d. meanwhile, the state of pennsylvania estimates that
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about 758,000 people or about 9% of pennsylvania voters do not have proper i.d., according to the new law. the american civil liberties union puts that number close to a million. today, during the last day of the trial, philadelphia's democratic deputy city commissioner said, i'm anticipating a mess on election day. joining me now, pennsylvania state senator vincent hughes and former ohio governor ted strickland. senator hughes, what is the latest status of the case, the trial in pennsylvania? >> well, lawrence, thank you for giving me the opportunity to be with you. essentially, things kind of wrapped up today. the judge is predicting, i believe, the week of august 13th to render a decision. what we know so far, and everything that we followed in the proceedings is that it hasn't gone very well for the state, capped off by the secretary of state's comments
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that you just referred to. there's been some very compelling testimony from anecdotal stories, especially by those individuals who filed the suit, miss applewhite, miss gonzalez, miss lee talking about all kinds of issues that they've had to go through with respect to trying to get their identification. and we need to be clear, this is -- this law is simply a voter suppression move. it is a return to a poll tax. it is partisan in nature, but it is absolutely a return to a poll tax. people are having to spend hundreds of dollars to try to locate their appropriate identification, largely their birth certificates. they're having to go through all kinds of hoops to get that identification so they can get their photo i.d. and it really is falling badly, at least on the outside looking at the court operating. it doesn't look very good for the court, but i'm not into predicting court decisions. this issue has been very partisan in nature. i think we need to wait, but i
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think we need to also keep our fingers crossed. but i think this is going very well for the people and their right to exercise their franchise. >> governor strickland, what should happen in this case like the pennsylvania case where basically you have a secretary of state saying, i don't know what's in the law. it's her job to enforce it in that state, make it work. doesn't even know because of, obviously, the complexity of it and the fact that it just doesn't make any sense. what is the right judicial remedy at this stage? >> well, lawrence, what we're facing not only in pennsylvania and we've faced it in ohio and other states is a planful, purposeful attempt to keep legitimate voters from casting their votes. that is a shameful set of circumstances. every republican in these states should be ashamed of what their party is doing. now, the courts, i think, have the ultimate responsibility to make sure that the rights of the people are protected. and i would hope that that would be the outcome, certainly, in
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the pennsylvania case. here in ohio we've got a case because the legislature says that people are going to be deprived here in ohio from voting on the weekend before the election. that's a time when many thousands of ohioans have voted in the past. and so the obama administration, with the ohio democratic party, have joined in a suit trying to get that changed as well. but look at what's happening in many states, and it is truly shameful behavior. it is an insult to our democracy, and the leaders of the republican party who are engaging in this kind of behavior really should be hugely ashamed of themselves because they are attacking the most fundamental part of our nation's democratic process, and that is the right of citizens to cast their vote. >> governor strickland, when you look out at these laws that have -- in the ohio law and
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others around the country, they all seem to imply that in the past there has been some kind of problem that's being remedied. like, for example, in ohio that early voting in the days before the election. was there in the past in ohio some problem with that form of voting? >> lawrence, they have a solution for a problem that doesn't exist. and quite frankly, they are willing to deprive hundreds of thousands of people of their legitimate right to vote in order to solve a nonexistent problem. that's why i think most americans understand this for what it is. it is a shameful, planful attempt to deprive poor people and minority folks and students and older people from their legitimate right to vote. that is shameful behavior. >> pennsylvania senator vincent hughes and former ohio governor ted strickland, thank you both very much for joining me tonight. >> thank you, lawrence. >> thank you, lawrence. coming up, the futile war
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america keeps fighting. the endless war on drugs. that's in tonight's "rewrite." (jet engines roaring) era detergent once laid a hurt on a mud stain. it was so legendary that hollywood made a movie about it. ah-h-h-h! so much fight, it's chuck norris approved. era detergent once head-butted a tea stain so hard... (shrieking) ...a cup of tea on the other side of the world felt it. (moaning in distress)
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in 1971, gore vidal's feud with fellow novelist norman mahler went public on the dick cabot show. gore vidal's debate strategy that night was mostly to let norman mahler make the case against norman mahler. >> i'm beginning to see what bothers you now. okay, i'm getting the point. >> are you ready to apologize? >> i would apologize if -- if it hurts your feelings, of course i would. >> no. it hurts my sense of economic pollution. >> i would say, as an expert, you should know about that. >> i guarantee you, i wouldn't hit any of the people here because they are smaller. >> in what ways? >> intellectually. intellectually smaller. >> let me turn my chair and join these three.
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perhaps you'd like two more chairs to contain your giant intellect. >> yes, television was once great. it's something you're born with. and inspires the things you choose to do. you do what you do... because it matters. at hp we don't just believe in the power of technology. we believe in the power of people when technology works for you. to dream. to create. to work. if you're going to do something. make it matter. ttd#: 1-800-345-2550 let's talk about market volatility. ttd#: 1-800-345-2550 in times like these, it can be tough to know which
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ttd#: 1-800-345-2550 way the wind is blowing. ttd#: 1-800-345-2550 at charles schwab, we're ready with objective insights about ttd#: 1-800-345-2550 the present market and economic conditions. ttd#: 1-800-345-2550 and can help turn those insights into ttd#: 1-800-345-2550 a plan of action that's right for you. ttd#: 1-800-345-2550 so don't let the current situation take you off course. ttd#: 1-800-345-2550 talk to chuck. ttd#: 1-800-345-2550 in tonight's "rewrite," how long do you fight a war that cannot be won?
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that is first and foremost a moral question. it is also a political question, because all wars are political, and no war is more political than our longest war, the war on drugs. we fought the vietnam war long past the point when we knew we could not win. and in the process sent 58,193 americans to die there in a 14-year period. before we ended american involvement in the vietnam war, we started the war on drugs, which is now 41 years old. the objective of the war on drugs is to end illegal drug consumption in the united states. the war plan was that in the march toward victory in the war on drugs, the price of drugs would be driven sky-high as the government seized more and more drugs and made drugs more rare and, therefore, much more expensive.
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eduardo puerto reported last month in "the new york times" that, according to drug enforcement administration data, the street price of one gram of pure cocaine from your local dealer is $177.26. that is a lot of money. that's more than i've ever paid or will pay for one gram of anything. it sounds like the war on drugs is working, at least driving up the price of cocaine. but the price of cocaine is, in fact, 74% cheaper than it was 30 years ago. there's the retail price of pure cocaine tracked over the last 30 years. we have seen similar drops in the price of heroin at the same time. the government has spent $20 billion to $25 billion a
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year, trying to drive that price up, bend that curve up. every dollar spent on that war on drugs simply makes the failure of the war on drugs more and more expensive. the warriors against drugs would tell you that if the price of cocaine drops like that, the use of cocaine will increase. but cocaine has dropped right along with the price. every theory of how the war on drugs would work has been proven wrong and the war on drugs now functions as a massive transfer of wealth to drug cartels and a relentless destroyer of lives here and in drug trafficking countries. the rand corporation has done a study showing that if marijuana were legalized just in california, mexican drug cartels would lose about a fifth of their annual income from the
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united states, which is now $6.5 billion a year. it makes you wonder how much money the drug cartels must be funneling into the california campaigns against legalizing their product. the greatest tragedy in the war on drugs are the innocent casualties, the men and women, boys and girls, who end up in our legal system and our prison system because of an innocent exploration with marijuana and other drugs. that is the part of the war on drugs that is manufacturing criminals, taking people who would otherwise never get arrested and ruining their lives, throwing them in jail, making them unemployable when they get out, and moving many of them closer to a life of crime now that they are ex-cons instead of mere pot smokers. that could have happened to
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president obama, but it didn't. not because he was lucky but because his experience with drugs is the normal american experience with drugs. most people never come close to getting arrested for recreational drug use. recreational, experimental drug use in this country is normally a phase of a few years or maybe ten years that becomes a faded memory or a very occasional pleasure after people turn 30 or get married or get pregnant. the american experience is that people simply age out of drug use, and most of them then spend the rest of their lives in a much more dangerous relationship with perfectly legally obtained alcohol. but, just by chance, by bad luck, some recreational drug users get their lives ruined by the war on drugs. bad luck is not equally distributed in our society so the bad luck casualties of the war on drugs are
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disproportionately poor and disproportionately african-american. we call it the war on drugs, not the war on young african-american men, but if you look at the victims of our war effort, our war on drugs, the american government's war on drugs, the war that we pay for, it's hard to continue to call it a war on drugs. drugs have not suffered in this war. the war has not reduced the supply of drugs or increased the prices of drugs. the war has not harmed drugs in any way. it is a war in which the only damage done is collateral damage. drug addicts who need treatment are thrown in jail instead. young people going through the now completely normal rite of passage with drug experimentation get their lives ruined for no good reason. we have sacrificed the lives of millions to a war that cannot be
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won. we've gone from a president who tried to make us believe he didn't inhale to a president who simply refused to answer whether he used cocaine to a president who honestly described his cocaine experimentation and marijuana phase. and, through it all, the war on drugs rages on. how did we let it happen? how do our presidents and politicians who know better let it happen? why are we in the 41st year of the merciless sacrifice of the innocents? why do we sacrifice millions of lives to a war that cannot be won? and perhaps, most importantly, what have we sacrificed in ourselves that allows us to turn away from this crime against
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humanity day after day? ireland's most renowned poet, william butler yates, wrote the answer in this line 96 years ago. "too long a sacrifice can make a stone of the heart." ♪ [music plays] ♪ [music plays] ♪ [music plays] thor's couture gets the most rewards of any small business credit card. your boa! [ garth ] thor's small business earns double miles on every purchase, every day!
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viewers of this program know grover norquist as the most powerful man in america who does not sleep in the white house. tonight, let me introduce you to grover's conservative archenemy, robert gaffney. gaffney has a ten-part web course, the muslim brotherhood in america, which counts among its students bat-crap crazy michele bachmann, and in the course, gaffney explains how radical muslims have infiltrated the american conservative movement and claims one of those operatives is grover norquist. >> my own organization, the center for security policy, sublets space from americans for tax reform. that's right. for seven long years, we shared elevators, a hallway, lavatories, a conference space and even a xerox room. i consider this unlikely arrangement to have been an act
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of providence. shortly after we moved into our offices, one of my colleagues pulled me aside and asked, did you know there's an islamist front group on the other side of that xerox room? i didn't at the time, but from then until now i have been trying to make sure that privately at first and publicly since early in 2003 conservatives and other americans are aware of the help grover norquist has given and is giving to the muslim brotherhood and others promoting the sharia agenda in america. >> joining me now is amanda teshg turk elle, a senior political reporter for the huffington post. amanda, i guess what this means is, if you make your political bed on the side of the aisle that attacks islam, don't be surprised if they get uncomfortable with some of your associations, i guess. this is the crazy going after grover norquist now.
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>> i mean, grover norquist happens to have a muslim wife, and he was -- >> well, that'll do it! that's enough, right? isn't it? that's enough for those guys. >> not only that, he was the chief strategist for george w. bush and his outreach to muslim and arab americans. so in frank gaffney's world, it seems to be enough if you have associations with muslim-americans or have if you happen to be muslim-american. so this is an interesting fight now playing out on the right between norquist and gaffney. >> and amanda, why does it sound like a landlord/tenant gripe. he talks about, i sublet space from grover and now i'm wicked mad at him. >> it seems very, very personal, like there's some sort of vendetta there, and i'm not sure what it is. but people have reviewed, other conservatives have reviewed, the evidence that frank gaffney has put out there against grover norquist and other individuals gaffney has gone after, and they've said, this seems to be nothing more than conspiracy theories and bigotry. >> what is gaffney's big evidence against grover norquist being some sort of infiltrator? >> i mean, it's very unclear.
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it's like with conspiracy theories, you can keep going down and down these rabbit holes. he points to everything, but there's nothing concrete. the board of the american conservative union, which includes people like the head of the nra, the former ambassador john bolton, who was in the bush administration, wasn't exactly seen as sort of always reaching out to the muslim community, they've rejected gaffney's claims on grover norquist. >> well, i have to say, i know grover norquist and i will rise in his defense on this one particular matter. amanda terkel of "the huffington post," thank you very much for joining me tonight. >> great. thank you. >> you can watch the very last word online at our blog every night, thelastword.msnbc.com, featuring david cay johnston and other guests on this show, the people who get to say a few more things that they wanted to say that they didn't quite get to say in our little time period here on the air.
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fury on the right. let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. let me start tonight with this. huey long once said fascism when it comes to america will call itself antifascism. what do we call this hard right in the country? not conservatives. they're the ones getting hit by this hard rightward swing in republican politics. last night in texas a cheered on hero of the tea party right beat governor perry's candidate and now can't be stopped. suddenly conservatism isn't good enough. you have to be on the farout fringe, where people don't believe in abortion, where same-sex marriage is the work of the devil, where government is bad, another neocon race toward
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armageddon. what happened to the party of lincoln? of ike? of reagan who put his whole heart into eliminating nuclear weapons. who thought the key of politics was tough negotiation across the aisle. not this crazed gang of the right who want nothing more than for govement to fail so they can climb up to the capitol dome, pound their chests and lead the charge for the victory over the remaining democratic opposition. to help me, john hileman and washington post's rising star in fact already star knnia-mali henderson. ted cruz went from 2% in early polling to trouncing dex dex lieutenant governor david dewhurst last night by 13 points in the race to take on a democrat for the u.s. senate seat, a seat he's sure to win. and it was a victory for the right wing against whatever's left of the republican establishment. sarah palin took to the airwaves to cheer on her winning candidate. let's watch. >> it's a victory for tea party

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