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tv   The Rachel Maddow Show  MSNBC  August 7, 2012 12:00am-1:00am EDT

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in the parking lot who had been wounded and while he was continuedi to that person, that's when the gunman shot lieutenant murphy, too. he was hiding in an ambush nearby. he shot the lieutenant eight times at close range. the bullet-proof vest may have saved his life but he was reportedly shot in the neck and the cheek as well as the bullets that hit his vest. officers say that after he was shot, and they rushed to tend to him, lieutenant murphy waved them off and sent the other officers and responders not to help him but to help the other victims on the scene. police officers ultimately found the shooter in the parking lot. they ordered him to drop his gun. he did not. he fired back at the other police officers hitting at least one police car. officers returned fire and the shooter was killed. police say they believe the shooter in this incident acted alone. he's a 40-year-old male with known neonazi ties. he's reported to have played in
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a number of punk bands and served in the u.s. army in the 1990s but was not a combat vet. he was reportedly discharged with reduced rank for bad behavior. of the six people that he reportedly killed, five were men, one was a woman. they ranged in ages from 39 to 84 years old. four of the bodies were found inside of the sikh temple. another two were found in the parking lot where the gunman himself was shot down. three people were wounded, including lieutenant murphy. he's expected to recover but he's still in critical condition. the fbi is taking the lead on the investigation. it's being described as law enforcement officers as an incident on domestic terrorism. president obama ordered all flags in the united states to fly at half staff. >> all of us are heartbroken by what has happened and i offer my
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thoughts and prayers of not only myself and michelle but as the country as a whole. i think all of us recognize that these kinds of terrible, tragic events are happening with too much regularity for us not to do some soul searching and examine additional ways to reduce violence. if it is indicated that it may have been avoided by the et nis tis tea by those atebltding the temple, i think the american people immediately recoil against those kinds of attitudes and i think it will be very important for us to reaffirm once again that in this country, regardless of what we look like, where we come from, who we worship, we are all one people. and we look after one another
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and we respect one another. >> president obama speaking about the tragic shooting at the sikh temple yesterday in oak creek, wisconsin. as the president said, we do not know yet more about the shooter's motivation. we've seen a huge outpouring of support from various religious communities. wisconsin churches are calling for a day of prayer this sunday. the center for reaction and catholic university issued statements issuing condolences and support and last night hundreds of people attended a vigil for the victims in milwaukee. joining us is a son of one of those killed. i'm sorry for your loss. >> thank you so much for having me here. >> how would you say the sikh community in oak creek and oak
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creek in general, your community there, is coping with what happened at the temple there. how have you spent your day and how you treat one another? >> i think it's a day for heroes because the more the stories uncover and the more i walk around and i see people -- a lot of people that did a lot of good work that day in order to i guess bring the situation to a holt and kind of safe haven the people inside, including my mother, whoever minute now i go home and try to thank her and, you know, love on her and comfort her. so i think we're copg well because we're looking towards the pog positive in the situation. >> we're trying to piece together what might have been motivation for the shooter in this utterly senseless act. there's been more biographical information released about the shooter over the course of today. do you know if the temple or if
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the sikh community in wisconsin there, have you ever faced any threats in the past? have there ever been any incidents of violence or hostility that could be linked to what's happened here? >> rachel, let me tell you i think there's a lot of soft attacks that happen on immigrants and by soft i mean things that kind of go unnoticed or a broken window or somebody slashes your tires cht i was in georgia and somebody hit me from behind, rapped around me and started whipping their middle finger and told me to get out of this country and that was just post 9/11. and essentially these soft attacks i thought it was just happening to me once in a while. we had a congregation at our house, well over 200 people who paid their respects to my father and the more stories i would hear from them of these soft attacks, where people thought, oh, it's not something we should tell people, it's not something we should let -- push it out there, they wouldn't seen tell their friends and family. i didn't even tell mine until they started telling their stories and i started thinking
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to myself, oh, my god, how many soft attacks are actually happening out there? this is obviously like a critical attack but what is happening out there right now? what's the pulse of our nation? how is immigration and immigrants, how are they doing right now? because 99% of us are immigrants on this -- on this land. and we all have to look at each other and figure out each other's culture and background. >> terin terms of trying to rem that epiphany that you've had in the last 24 hours, do you feel like there's leadership or policy actions or anything else that you could look -- that you're looking to the country for, that you're looking to wisconsin for in terms of trying to remedy that? is there more coming out about that issue that you want to see from your own community? what do you want to happen? >> first and foremost we had great discussions with leadership here in terms of governmental leadership. but i absolutely at this point look to the people. the government is always going to give you the missing gap information.
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they are going to leave a bunch of information out, like such as these soft attacks or anything that you give them. the people know the pulse of their communits. if your neighbor is knew, doesn't look like you, approach that person, create a dialogue. if you don't look like other people in your area, if you're chinese or immigration descent, go out, be an emisary, go out and contact people in the community and make sure that they know you and understand you. my father, i thought he did a tremendous job of doing that in milwaukee, whether it be the latino community, every elderman knew him by first man and it was amazing how much he did. and i'm not saying all of that stuff is for not. i actually think that's why we're having such an outpouring of support. it's because he did those things and planted those seeds in a form of protection for us when
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he built this temple. >> hearing that you are receiving that support now is some comfort in this horrible aftermath. amardeep kaleka, we are so sorry for what has happened. thank you for taking the time. >> thank you so much, rachel. god bless. >> all right. we'll be right back with much more news. stay with us. living in a beautiy imperfect world. it's amazing we've made it this far. maybe it's because when one of us messes up, someone else comes along to help out. that's the thing about humans. when things are at their worst, we're at our best. see how at liberty mutual insurance -- responsibility. what's your policy? this is new york state. we built the first railway, the first trade route to the west, the greatest empires. then, some said, we lost our edge.
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lots more going on the news tonight, including senator harry reid acting out in a way that is uncharacteristic to him and that seems to have unnerved the entire republican party. that's coming up. and that seems the entire republican party. that's coming up. are you okay, babe? i'm fine. ♪
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so i think we did something recently on this show that had unintended consequences. i'm not 100% sure that we're to blame but back in june we did a segment on this show about congressional republicans and their single-minded focus on all things jobs, jobs, jobs. that particular day, their apportion obsession was particularly remarkable because republicans were holding up the flood insurance bill by attaching an abortion amendment to it. they were holding up a bipartisan flood insurance bill at a time when the american southeast was being flooded by tropical storm debby. it turns out that this attempt was too much for democratic senate harry reid. harry reid just lost it. do you want to see? ready for some emotional ka thar sis? are you ready to feel the rage, america? >> really? on flood insurance i'm not going
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to put up with that on the flood insurance. i can be condemned by outside sources, my friends can say let him have a vote on it. there will not be a vote on, that on flood insurance. after all of the work that's been put on this bill, this is ridiculous. >> see, when you read the transcript, when you look at the words in print, you can tell he is mad. it just doesn't sound very mad when it comes out of harry reid's mouth. so that day in june, to convey the fact that he really was mad, on this show we ran harry reid's words through a rage-producing device by the name of kent jones. so it's harry's words but kent's rage. >> i am not going to put up with that on flood insurance. i can be condemned by absent forces. my friends can say, let him have a vote on it. there will not be a vote on that in flood insurance. >> here's the problem.
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ever since we did that segment, essentially sending up harry reid for being insufficiently demonstrative about his rage, he's been transformed into a one man rage bot. i don't know if it was us but something seems to have act vated a major case of reid rage. the first sign after we did that segment was when senator reid found out that the uniforms for olympians were made in china. >> i think they should be embarrassed, i think they should put all of the uniforms, put them in a big pile and burn them and start all over again. >> suddenly, harry reid who is usually a mild person, but suddenly harry reid sounds angry. then last week, more. senator reid let this gem fly on the floor in the middle of a debate about state taxes.
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>> we haven't done an appropriation bill. stop and think for a minute, do you think 85 fill li busters had anything to do with that? 85. we haven't done a budget. that is poppy cock. >> senate majority harry reid using sarcasm in both words and tone and leaning way over the podium and using the word poppy cock in a sentence, a very angry sentence. then, more, a few days later during an interview he called one of the members of the nuclear commission, one of the most unethical incompetent people i've ever dealt with, not to mention a quote, treacherous, miserable liar, a first-class rat, a tool of the nuclear industry and an expletive stir. wow. reid rage activated. and that was apparently still just a warm-up act because last week the new 100% moorage harry
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reid really went off the rails. the big story is mitt romney's tax returns and why no one is allowed to see them except for john mccain. reid offered his theory that the reason mr. romney's tax returns are being kept under lock and key, because he did not pay any taxes for ten years, none at all. a bain investor told him so, he says, over the phone. who knows, maybe harry reid is right, but he has no produced any evidence. it's a wild allegation. it's hearsay. and yet the next day, the newly activated harry reid man of rage not only didn't dial it back, he cranked it up to 1 # # 1, saying, quote, i don't think the burden should be on me. the burden should be on him. he's the one i've alleged has not paid any taxes. he truly said that. he said the burden isn't on mitt
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romney, not because it's traditional for presidential candidates to release tax return, not because president obama has released his, not only because -- not because he, mitt romney, has attacked his opponents in the past for not releasing their tax returns. harry reid says the burden is on mitt romney because he's the one i've alleged has not paid any taxes. and then the next day he dug in further. he took his idea for a guilty until proven innocent system, along with his new propensity for both anger and hearsay right to the senate floor. >> the word's out that he hasn't paid any taxes for ten years. let him prove that he has paid taxes, because he hasn't. >> yes, senator reid, the word is in fact out that mitt romney has not paid taxes for ten years, if by the word you mean your own accusation.
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that day senator read put out a press release saying it's clear romney is hiding something and the american people deserve to know what that is. he followed it up the next day with another press release, on the occasion saying mr. romney couldn't be confirmed as a cabinet secretary, let alone anything higher without releasing more of those taxes. people runds blee being judge mental about raging harry's tax particulars here. but as a matter of form, it is also worth noting that nobody has disapprove enhim. i mean, he may be wildly irresponsible here but nobody can say whether what he is saying is true or not. you may not like that he's saying it but he cannot prove if it's true or false, not even rights priebus who has issues of his own. >> listen, i know you might want to go down that road. i'm not going to respond to a dirty liar. >> you think harry reid's a dirty liar?
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>> i just said it. >> rights priebus for all of his righteous ig dig nation has offered no proof that harry reid is a liar, clean, dirty, or otherwise. harry read is definitely lying, pants on fire lying. but they produce exactly zero evidence to support their claim that harry reid is lying. but that's politifact which is par for the course which is why it's okay not to take them serious on anything ever. it's also worth noting how sen tore harry reid continues to comport himself for the way he's been pursing this allegation. he gets trashed on the sunday shows, gets called a dirty liar. how does he he respond sne digs in deeper telling reporters today, the whole controversy would end quickly if he would just release his income tax returns like everyone else who runs for president. this seems like an emotion nalt
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outburst from a guy who has had pent-up emotions ready to burst out. but whether it's unchark stick for harry reid, it does not seem to be a stunt. even though the way he's gone about it has been kind of embarrassing. harry reid is not embarrassed by this. he is not backing down. he didn't do this accidently and he's not being intimidated out of pursing it. maybe it took unleashing the rage bot to get this genie out of the harry reid bottle. he's not going back in, whether or not you like him when he's angry. you have a plan? first we're gonna check our bags for free, thanks to our explorer card. then, the united club. my mother was so wrong about you. next, we get priority boarding on our flight i booked with miles. all because of the card. and me. okay, what's the plan? plan? mm-hmm.
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in may of last year, selected in a twitter contest to witness the launch of a space shuttle in person, tricia's reaction to that incredible event was, without question, the best new thing in the world that day. that's tricia on the right in the little box down there. and she is so genuinely and seriously and uncynically overwhelmed by what she is seeing happening, by what nasa is achieving on behalf the human kind that i could watch her watch that all day long. tonight, a different moment. that happened in pride and joy of spaceville. you've seen how happy everybody at nasa was to have landed the
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curiosity on mars. you have seen how happy everybody was but you have not seen this particular part of it. that is the best new thing in the world today. that's coming up. wake up!
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that's good morning, veggie style. hmmm. for half the calories plus veggie nutrition. could've had a v8.
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today's august 6th. today is the first monday in august, which means this is supposed to be a totally dead time in politics, specifically in the presidential campaign. common wisdom says that nobody cares about politics until a month from now, until not the first monday in august but the first monday in september. until labor day. labor day is when people are supposed to start to make up their minds and pay attention to the campaign. and maybe that used to be true. that is no longer true. whether or not you like how your favorite candidate is looking in the polling, probably the most telling, the most novel big picture thing about the polls right now is that almost nobody is undecided. there's only a teeny, teeny, tiny portion of the electorate that has yet to make up its mind between president obama and mitt romney. and, yes, that teeny, teeny, tiny slice of the population will be fought over like the last piece of kibble and community puppy feeding time.
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but there's just not much there. there's just not that many people who are likely to vote in november who do not yet know who they are going to vote for. so that turns old ideas about campaigning on their head. by and large, here to the election is not -- no longer about persuading people who don't know how they are going to vote. the campaigns are still trying to persuade people to their side but mostly they are trying to get people who they already know who are already on their side to actually prove it, to register to vote, to get out and vote and do both of those things that makes sure their vote is counted. we are already at tla part of the campaign. and it's not -- and it's not just the candidates themselves, but also for the activist groups and the funders who are doing what the political parties used to do. nobody is waiting until labor day. everybody has hit their stride already. we are in primetime right now. and you see just in the weekend schedules even. this past weekend, the coke
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brothers funded american for prosperity folks. they held in washington, which included phone banking sessions and shuttle buses to their anti-health reform rally and screening of an anti obama movie, what worked and how to defeat it. they have pledged $200 million. remember a guy named tim phillips is a long-time republican activist the last time i had him on the show i talked to him about his previous career in republican politics. he was a partner in a pr firm called century strategies along with ralph reed, the right hand of god. century strategies had a role in one of the more disgusting parts of the scandal. working on behalf of jack abram mouf, they got american christians to write letters in
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supporting made in the usa label of clothes being made in a u.s. commonwealth that jack abe bram mouf lobbied for. how did they get christians to support that? they mailed these materials saying that the workers were being exposed to the teachings of geez just while they were working there. they didn't mention that they were working in near slave condition cans, conditions that included things like forced abortions and forced prostitution. nice. so that's tim phillips from century strategies. he now runs the koch funded american for prosperity. also this weekend, not in washington but in arlington, texas, tim phillips' old business partner, ralph reed was doing his big beat obama cofou
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nchl d. given what he got caught for in that scandal, it's almost impossible that ralph reed got to win society as a super pia sky. ralph reed's whole role in the scandal was a guy willing to use his connections with christian voters and his perceived personal piaty to start humping incorporate accounts. the senate investigation into the abramoff candle routed to him through groups and paid ralph reed opposition to prevent rival tribes from opening casinos. it's interesting, though, that that's a description of ralph
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reed's role in the scandal written in "the washington post." that was written during the last presidential campaign. "the washington post" noted at the same time in the same article, ralph reed's much publicized role cost him the 2006 republican primary for georgia lieutenant governor. now ralph reed is on the sidelines handicappeding romney's prospect. the senate is issuing the report on the fact that he was humping in corporate accounts. he's getting paid by gambling interests to secretly trick anti-gambling christians into helping certain casinos paying him for the privilege. he tries to run for office that year in 2006. he gets laughed off the ballot because of the scandal. by 2008, by the next presidential race, he's on the sidelines. he's this disgraced figure. but now, by 2012, he's no longer on the sidelines. now, look, there he is. he's back and does os extent
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tash vowsly as ever, he's humping in apparently the $10 million checks from some of the country's wealthiest conservatives. $10 million bank roll to prevent christians for mitt romney and against barack obama, the americans that he once tricked on behalf of jack abramoff's corporate clients. he's out of jail and is marketing himself as a truth teller who may have been repellant once but he's not learned the err of his way. he has a radio show on satellite radio now. but all of the people from the jack abramoff that you thought would have been drummed out of public life, not only are they not repen tant, they are in the middle of republican politics. they are in the middle of this race. tim phillips is running a $200 million effort on behalf of the koch brothers and despite his falth and values con man past
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and all of the groups in the campaign themselves and party's turn to decide what is going to win the election, which is whether or not people register to vote, whether they turn out, whether it's counted. it turns out that all of the jack abramoff scandal sleaze balls are right in the middle of that, that, that, that specifically. when the group alec, the corporate funded network that spoon-feeds corporate friendly legislation to lawmakers across the country, when a.l.e.c. announced that they would stop pushing voter suppression efforts through the states, through the republican state legislatures, the group that said they would take up that mantel after a.l.e.c. dropped it was this group, the national center for public policy research. you may remember them getting famous during the jack abramoff scandal as a pass through for mr. abramoff that he wanted to
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spread around on behalf of his corporate lobbying clients. here's how "the washington post" reported on their involvement on the scandal at the time. as far back as 1996, abramoff was using the national center for public policy research to hide the funding for trips and other ventures intended to boost the interests of his lobbying clients. that group still exists and even though they acknowledge their role in the abramoff scandal, they get upset when anyone tries to limpb them to the scandal. they just published their first paper on voting laws. they were going to take up this man tl. they published their first big paper on this, on why voter i.d. is actually secretly awesome for african-american voters. they say it's good news for black voters and even though they don't want to be linked to the abramoff scandal anymore, their operator on voter i.d.
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happens to be a guy who pled guilty in the jack abbramoff scandal. this group does not want to be associated with the abramoff scandal. charged with exchanging political favors for gifts from jack abramoff he later pleaded guilty to filing a disclosure report and sentenced to 36 months of probation. but pay no attention to the jack abramoff scandal. jack himself has the decency to be embarrassed. the people who helped him out in his legendary republican corruption and bib bree scandal, though, apparently do not have that same decency. nor do we as a society have the decency to remember scandals like this long enough to shame people like this out of our politics when they try to come back in this lifetime. in the long run, we have to grapple that as a society ralph reed walks onto a high profile
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stage and people do not laugh and throw tomatoes. that's about us. in the short run, all of the sleaze balls have in common, in addition to being abramoff sleaze ball scandals, they are working hard on the practical it starts early this year election end game of getting one side's voters to the poles and keeps the other side's voters away from the polls. we saw combat over the issue of early voting in ohio. there is this underappreciated role of the hundreds and millions of dollars spent by outside groups on both get out to vote on their own side and what is unknown now but will be answered between now and the november election is which sides political professionals, which sides pros are better? which side is better prepared and which has the most aggressive posture on the thing we used to not do until after labor day but this year we are doing already, which is getting
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soles to the poles, the on the ground shoe leather house by fire voter ground game. joining us now is steve corn knack key, senior writer for thank you for being here. >> happy to be here. >> so does the fact that voters have mostly decided earlier on their preference in the presidential campaign, does it mean that it's more of a mobilization battle than a persuasion battle? >> i would not underestimate the percent situation aspect of it because romney is counting on the very end of this election, whatever swing voters are going to turn against obama because of the economy. that's part of it. the parallel has been drawn to 2004 because 2004 was a turnout election. a lot of people are saying it's the 2004 election in reverse. what was working in bush's favor is now working in obama's favor. and the liabilities are flipped around, too.
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i think there's an extra twist with romney. he really, really needs the republican base to turn out in big numbers this year. the republican base is not going to turn out for mitt romney. they are going to turn out against barack obama. so mitt romney himself is not going to inspire these people but you talk about like ralph reed, for instance, he's going to play a very critical role for that turnout strategy because he's back and mobilizing christian conservatives. it's what he's doing again. mitt romney, in the republican coalition, more resistant to mitt romney in the republican presidential primaries, he had a nomination locked up and still voting for rick santorum in primaries. it's a huge group, about 44% of the republican party. they are very hostile to mitt romney and equally or much more hostile to barack obama. so romney himself can't go to that group with much credibility but a guy like ralph reed, believe it or not, still can. >> i look at the -- to serial if reed and tim phillips and these anti-voting rights people out
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there at the same time, to me it's like the rats who survived the sinking ss abramoff. i can't believe they are in public at all. but their very survival maybe ought to be sentiment to how good they are at playing the political game. as a liberal i look at the right like that and think, wow, rib brals cannot survive hardball politics stuff. am i just being liberal about that, though? is the left just as good at playing this game? >> i think we're seeing real differences between the two parties. voter i.d., when we talk about the effect that that could have this fall. i don't know the right way to say this but there's a tradition in american politics where, look, not everybody is going to vote in every election. both sides say, this is the group that we need to have turn out. maybe it would be better if that group didn't tuvote in big
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numbers. both sides are equally guilty of that. it's been taken to a different level this year and the last couple of years, the republicans saying, okay, these are the groups we need to vote. these are the groups we don't need to vote. we are going to x into law provisions that will help our people and hurt their people. that's completely different. that is not an equal opportunity. that is not one side. that's one side is doing it and the other isn't and republicans as we are seeing are very good at it because you have the sort of bogus studies and you will of the grassroots mobilization. suddenly they are in a position to implement that in all of these different states. >> and they have a history of doing that and it's happening more systematically than we're used to seeing. >> yes. >> steve kornacki, senior writer for and the owner of the best tie in rockefeller center. >> i rarely get compliments on my wardrobe, so thank you.
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it was not surreal enough to be having huge political fights over the issue of contraception in the 21st century, it's just become all the more surreal, surreal enough to maybe even be funny if we're allowed to have a sense of humor about these things and i think we are. reami, any way you want. fully customize it for your trading process -- from thought to trade, on every screen. and all in real time. which makes it just like having your own trading floor, right at your fingertips. [ rodger ] at scottrade, seven dollar trades are just the start. try our easy-to-use scottrader streaming quotes. it's another reason more investors are saying... [ all ] i'm with scottrade.
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all right.
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this is a doozie. did you hear about this? there's an evangelical called wheaton college. when the obama unveiled the new insurance regulation that requires health insurance plans to cover birth control, wheaton college said it was outraged, outraged to the idea of having to provide birth control. they believe emergency contraception is morally wrong. they said being forced to cover it would be a violation of their freedom, trample on their rights. the first step for wheaton college, before trying to sue their pants off the obama administration, for this whole travesty being thrusted upon the school, the first step was to apply for a one-year exemption to the new birth control rule. remember, the obama administration was offering an exemption from that requirement and the institution who rejected the requirement off of religious grounds. wheaton went to apply for that exception but when they went to apply for that exemption,
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they -- they had this thing that they vigorously opposed. when wheaton went to apply for an exemption to that policy, they found that they had a problem. the problem, it turns out, is that the health problem at wheaton college already covered emergency contraception. the thing that they couldn't possibly be expected to do, the thing they were going to fight, the thing that they claimed violated their religious freedom was something they were already doing of their own accord. "the huffington post" reporting this out, confirming a spokesman for the school, which we also confirmed today, despite trying to appear morally outraged, wheaton was already voluntarily complying with the emergency contraception requirement when the new rule was announced, which made their objection to that rule rather difficult to sell. so what do you do when you get called out on something like this? do you give up, admit the fact that you've already been offering birth control in health plans and that means requiring
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you to offer birth control in your health plan doesn't trample on your rights and destroy america? of course you don't admit that. wheaton college, instead, scrambled to get rid of their emergency birth control coverage as quickly as they could so that then they could claim that if they covered emergency birth control that would trample their rights and destroy america. so wheaton college having just scrambled to get rid of that birth control coverage is now asking a federal judge for emergency ruling exempting them from the birth control coverage that they used to provide. same quote, wheaton otherwise faces the imminent pros sect of ir rep par rabl harm to its religious freedom, its integrity, and employees' well being. we're all fine when the college is happily pro i had vooing birth control coverage but now they are all threatened because, did i mention how irreparable it
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one pet at a time. discover vibrant maturity and more at best new thing in the world today. you may have seen a little bit of it today. >> touch down confirmed. [cheers and applause ]down conf [cheers and applause ] >> that was a control room full of scientists in pasadena, california, geeking out over the successful landing of the mars curiosity rover. it is safe to say that it's directly proportional to the
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aerospace feat that they are celebrating here. the rover is the size of a car. it weighs about a ton. which means that it's too big and too heavy to land using the only ways we have successfully ever put anything on mars before. so engineers had to come up with a really novel and sort of crazy plan for how to do this. rover wouldn't just plummet down to the surface of mars. they came up with a plan in which it would start to plummet and then essentially stop and dangle fortunately a rocket-powered platform. the rockets would control the descent until the rover touched the ground jenltly. then, even more crazy, the platform's rockets would fire again after the rover had landed which would send the rocket part to crash land at a safe distance away from the rover so it didn't just crash right down on top of it. it may have been crazy and it is a crazy idea but it could work. and it did work. and right after landing,
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curiosity sent back its first pictures of the surface of mars. so those were the stakes, right? but i want to get back to the tense moments right before the landing, right before the celebration. but this time i want you to take a look at one specific guy in the back row. watch. >> touchdown confirmed. we're safe on mars. >> so that guy is the one guy in mission -- look at him. before anybody else, the one guy in mission control who did not wait for the head of the descent team to declare, touchdown confirmed, mission accomplished. something that guy heard or saw on his screen made him get all excited just a few seconds earlier than everybody else in the room. dan amira of new york magazine first pointed this guy out to us today. but man pointing it out was not enough for us here at the show. we had to figure out who this guy was and what he knows and why he popped off earlier than
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everybody else did. so we figured out that he probably works in af john nicks and we called around and were able to get the guy's name. it's true, he's an avionic system engineer named jonathan grimblat. the other nis industry is, why did he react first before everybody else reacted? after a really fun's day worth of effort, we reached mr. grimblat at nasa and he explained it to us. he told us that everybody knew that there were several landing criteria, right? and he calls them checkpoints. these landing criteria checkpoints and everybody knew if they were met, that meant the landing was successful. he said when he saw the rover's sky crane, the rocket thing that eases the rover on to mars and then fires away so it doesn't crash on to the rover, when he saw that thing successfully fire and fly away to leave the rover
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safely on the ground on its own, he said that was the checkpoint he was waiting for. he knew the landing was successful. >> grimblat also heard animated chatter in his headset not from engineers in that room with him but in nearby rooms. our guy was apparently excited to wait to cheer with everybody else. i totally get, that totally would have been me. so do all of the amazing scientists and engineers at the jet propulsion lab, you have done something wonderfulnd we salute you. the whole country salutes you. but to the early celebrator, you are the mitt romney's defenders must be getting tired of defending
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his refusal to release his tax returns, because now they're attacking harry reid. >> let him prove that he has paid taxes. >> attacks against senate majority leader harry reid. >> the word's out that he hasn't paid any taxes for ten years. >> i'm not going to respond to a dirty liar. >> i think he's lying. >> do you think harry reid's a dirty liar? >> i just said it. >> i think he's making things up. >> i just said it. >> you think the leader of the senate is lying? >> i really do. >> i think republican have kind of misplayed this. >> i'll triple down on my comments. sfl he wasn't doing this ringside in vegas in a boxing match. >> let them call names. >> i know that governor romney could clear this up in ten seconds. >> brilliant politics. >> i give you nothing on that. >> claim that mitt romney is withholding his tax returns. well, that's not a claim. he is. >> i would have put out five or six years. >> a huge amount of income, paying a tiny amount of tax. rchlt i 85 i.
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>> i give you nothing on that. >> i'm glad i wasn't holding my breath. >> when the preacher can't preach to his own choir, it's time to get a new preacher. >> we knew it. you must have been. who else would you have for? >> have a nice day. >> i'm alex wagner, in for lawrence o'donnell. mitt romney thinks he's found his battle cry. after trying it out on sean hannity's radio show on thursday, romney brought it on to the national stage during a media availability day on friday in las vegas. >> harry reid really has to put up or shut, all right. so harry, who are your sources? let's have harry explain who that is. >> mitt romney claims harry reid has to put up or shut up, regarding his source on romney's undisclosed tax returns, after reid launched attacks that romney says are patently false, though he patently refuses to offer any proof. >> let me also say categorically, i have paid taxes every year, and a