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tv   Mc Laughlin Group  CBS  August 12, 2012 12:00pm-12:30pm EDT

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from washington, "the mclaughlin group," the american original. for over three decades you by a >> issue one. curious and curiouser. >> touchdown confirmed. we're safe on mars. >> an incredible feat. a 2,000-pound robotic rover the size of an automobile is lowered by cables from a jet- propelled platform and lands with pinpoint accuracy on the surface of mars. it is named "curiosity." the touchdown occurred after an edge of the seat seven minutes
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of terror plunge towards the martian surface at 13,000 miles per hour, and that seven-minute descent came after eight months of voyaging from earth to mars. curiosity lifted off from cape canaveral on november 23rd, 2011. it traveled 352 million miles. the distance between planet earth and planet mars. curiosity is now beaming amazing photos back to earth of the martian landscape. >> it just looks a lot like what you see out in the mojave desert. it's really cool, sought kind of makes you feel at home. what's going to be interesting is to find out all the ways that it's different. >> curiosity will explore rock and martian soil searching for whether life ever existed on mars. the rover will dig for none other than the building blocks of life. carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorous, sulfur.
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the jet propulsion laboratory team at nasa came up with the idea and then the reality that landed curiosity. engineer adam stelzner led the nasa team. >> curiosity being on the surface of mars is something that could only have been done in the usa. the ingenuity, the practicality, all of those things wrapped together are what's necessary to do a huge engineering feat like this. >> question. besides possibly finding evidence of life on mars, a scientific breakthrough, can this mission yield any technological breakthroughs as did the apollo missions to the moon? tim. >> any time you spend $2.6 billion and do something unprecedented like this you are going to learn something. they are going to pick up new stuff about how to land on a 14th planet, what parts of mars might be good for manned space flights to land on. but just because you're spending a lot of money and learning something from it doesn't mean that the money was
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money well spent. we got tang out of the space program. i love tang. i grew up drinking tang. that doesn't necessarily mean it's something for the taxpayers to be spending on. so yes there will be things we learn technologically but it will be worth of the price tag? you disapprove? >> i think it's incredibly impressive. i wish that research universities were spending money on it or somebody who could get something out of it like minerals, or let private industry fund it. >> the president's science advisor immediately after the landing says if anyone doubts our supreme see in space think again. this is a spectacular achievement to have us attempt this land which is has never been done anywhere and to do it half a solar system away that is a technological marvel. who knows what we'll learn. basic research is what we should be doing so i think this is fantastic, and the folks at the propulsion laboratory ought to be recognized as american heroes just as the olympiads
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are. >> i think it's an astonish achievement. you just can't believe it when you see that it's 350 million miles this thing traveled, then they were able to lower with it a cable. the whole thing is just out of a movie. so i think it's quite wonderful but i don't think it's going to transform very much, but nevertheless i hope we can afford $2.6 billion ventures in the future. >> they ought to figure out how to get this from the bottom of the parachute to the earth. that was really amazing thing, that they were able to force to the land on the surface. i mean, the parachute doesn't go to the earth. >> they lowered it through some kind of cable, you know. the whole thing was worked up in advance. just astonishing. >> they lowered with it a special retro rocket assembly which was able to come down and lower it gently to the ground, then fly off and crash someplace else. >> and it all worked. >> i hate to shoot you down, tim, tang was not created for the space program. tang and teflon, i made that
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error in a column, and i got a lot of flak from people. they actually preceded the space program but the spirit in the right place. >> you didn't even do that in paris. >> that's right. >> that's another one. >> i want to tell you, they have great tang in paris. but i agree with my colleagues -- >> if you go to paris for the tang you'rein trouble. >> the astronaut in chief, obama. >> president barack obama described the landing of curiosity as an unprecedented feat that, quote, will stand as into the future, unquote. but the nasa program that launched curiosity, which clocked in at $2.5 billion, is under the budget knife. mr. obama halted the space shuttle program upgrade, but he wants to let stand nasa's overall budget at $17.7 billion next year. but the mars exploration budget would be cut from $587 million
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per year, to $360 million by 2013. >> question, will the success of curiosity spare nasa's mars budget from cuts? eleanor clift. >> we've given up on the idea of sending a man or a woman to mars, and i think the tact that we're now doing these things technologically and by computer screen saves a lot of money. i think the president can hold this up as an example of smart cuts and using government money effectively. he's kept the nasa program alive and it's actually flourishing. kudos to the president for how he's handled this and to the people who made this happen. >> in a time when we have these giant budget deficits, when everybody is asking for sacrifice from somebody, it seems that you could ask for bigger sacrifices from the martian budget. >> you know what the problem is tim? private industry will not fund basic research. this is true across the board, not just the space program. biotech, et cetera. private industry just won't do
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it until they find that there is some kind of a possible profit return, then they go crazy with it. >> uncertainty is -- >> this could act as a magnet for money from private industry. >> the mars landing is getting millions and millions of hits on the net, and that is going to be worldwide, and the dividends from that, that will flow into this sector of engineering will be amazing. i'm not talking about space, i'm talking about applications of what was learned. >> we hope. >> here here. >> am i right on that? >> yes. in the 1890's some scientist who had a telescope where key see mars saw these lines on the ground that they thought had to be done by some intelligent being. that's where we began to think of martians. i think we're going to be in that kind of fantasy for awhile because we're not going to spend that kind of money. we just don't have it. >> question. how big a boost will the mars triumph give america's battered
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psyche? major, minor, none at all? >> minor and fleeting. >> eleanor. moderate and lasting. >> i think it's major. i think it's phenomenal. all the way up to the top of nasa, they thought this was a crazy idea but it might work, and it did work. and this is what -- this is how you make breakthroughs. people said the same thing about the wright brothers. >> do you remember buck rogers? >> i'm afraid. so. >> comic strip. >> what was it about? >> it was about space, space travel. that's why i wanted to be an astronaut. >> it was kind of a funny strip in many respects but this is not funny. this is very serious science. and the applications of this science are beyond what we can see now. prove to be with the last launch. >> the gang because at the control center -- >> when we come back, get a job!
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issue two. get a job. >> with a very careful executive action he removed the requirement of work from welfare. it is wrong to make any change that would make america more of a nation of government dependency. we must restore, and i will restore, work into welfare. >> is work out of welfare?
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that's what republican presidential candidate mitt romney is charging president barack obama with doing. the issue arises from the welfare reform act that was signed into law in 1996, 18 years ago. the overhaul of the welfare system was initiated by republicans who then controlled congress, led by newt gingrich, who worked it through with president bill clinton. the welfare overhaul required that a certain percentage of people receiving welfare checks from the state must also be, quote unquote, engaged in work, or engaged in, quote unquote, work activity, like job training, or searching for work. but in july last month president obama signed an executive order that gives states more leeway in defining what constitutes work, like more months of training or
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schooling. so recipients can continue to draw welfare checks even if not actually working at a job. opponents of this delusion, like mr. romney, think this will be abused. romney is not only launching verbally attacks but also this ad. >> under obama's plan you wouldn't have to work and train job. they just send you your welfare check. >> question. why are republicans objecting to giving states more leeway with welfare reform work requirement, the work requirements of welfare, when in the past many gop gophers, including romney have supported waivers? is that clear enough? >> that's clear enough. because they're looking for a wedge issue that can appeal to white working class men principally, and this draws on an issue that republicans campaigned on for years. welfare cheats, candidate ronald reagan first talked about the welfare queen. i think it's an act of desperation by the romney
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campaign. and all the fact checkers out there about these ads, it's gotten four pinocchios, pants on fire. to top it off, romney, when he was governor of massachusetts, asked for these same waivers. we're in a very tough economic climate. you've got two republican gophers in nevada and utah saying they need waivers in order to make this program work. and so they will be granted if they can demonstrate they can put more people to work. nobody is trying to gut work privileges or rights or anything like that. >> the "new york times" editorial page disagrees. when they were praising obama's decision they described what obama did for nevada as making it so that people -- getting rid of the work requirement in the welfare reform. so the "new york times" editorial page described it that way. i'm a new yorker. i've been reading those editorials for year.
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>> they're not dropping the work requirement. >> they are giving the states the right to -- >> no, they're entitled to apply for a waiver. they would not be granted a waiver unless their plans show that they're going to move more people from welfare to work than is currently in the program. now, i can't -- >> they don't have the legal authority to do that. >> i don't have to, because, like eleanor said, all the fact checkers that look at this, that ad is flatly erroneous when it says all you have to do is walk in and pick up your check and walk out. that's flatly wrong. >> it's playing on the worst stereotypes that people can create. >> you want to speak to this. >> yes, i do because there is a concern about what this administration will do in terms of using executive privilege to redefine the obligation to work and the period of time in which you could work it. there was a -- excuse me a second. there was a precedent, and that is what happened with the children of immigrants, okay, who were here illegally when obama waived that through an executive order, even though it was con trier rei to what he
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-- contrary to what he himself said. >> that's what they're worried about. >> they're worried because they don't trust obama. >> i agree. >> if a republican president would do this -- >> obama can legally do this. if the goes to the court, it will be struck down. the law says may not waive. >> there's one thing from the heritage foundation i read but that's just one opinion. the fact is they do have the right to grant waivers in >> if it fits within -- >> the i'm waiting for the lawsuit and justice roberts to come through. >> president obama gives his version of mitt romney's tax plan for the middle class. >> he'd ask the middle class to pay more in taxes so that he could give another $250,000 tax cut to people making more than $3 million a year. it's like robin hood in reverse. it's romney hood.
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>> a champion of the rich. mitt romney. that's how president obama is trying to paint him. the president says governor romney's tax plan includes a new $5 trillion tax cut. mr. obama says this is not fees i believe without raising the deficit and forcing the middle class to ultimately pay more. mr. romney says mr. obama cannot explain how this won't be the case. >> there was a whole different kind of gymnastics being perfor what's been happening in the olympics. >> question, are president obama's attacks on mitt romney for being out of touch with the middle class hitting home? clarence page. >> this is kind of the flip side of the charge that obama is a socialist. it's the kind of charge that fits in with a lot of people's preconceived notions about romney and every time he plays to that, it just reinforces it. so i think that's one big reason why, in all these months he's not been able to get more than a couple of points ahead
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of obama at any point, and mostly behind him in the polls, and doesn't seem to be getting traction. >> the president is beginning to open up a small lead. i don't think it's anything to crack open the champagne about. but when you look at romney's tax plan, he has not revealed any of the details, if you will. he wants to increase defense spending, lower the tax rate to 25%. he says that top income earners would not pay any less in taxes than they do now, and he will make up for all of these differences in revenue by spending cuts. and closing loopholes. but he doesn't say which loopholes because a lot of those loopholes are very popular, like the home mortgage deduction, the charitable did he tuck shun. so he is treating this just the way he is his tax returns. it's as though if he releases any details that would be worse than taking the heat for concealing them. >> let's see makes a difference. hollywood calling.
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>> clint eastwood, movie star and oscar winning director, has gone ahead and made mitt romney's day. eastwood is publicly backing a so said eastwood at a romney fund-raiser in california last week. six months ago eastwood was featured in a chrysler ad broadcast during the super bowl. >> people of detroit know there's something about this. they almost lost everything. but we all pulled together. now motor city is fighting again. >> mr. eastwood says the ad was about job growth, and the spirit of america, not an endorsement of president obama. >> question. is oprah's 2008 endorsement of obama the equivalent of clint eastwood's 2012 endorsement of romney? eleanor clift. >> i love clint eastwood but i
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just don't think he carries the same kind of constituency. >> you mean women. you mean a lot of women. >> well, even -- >> what's this again? >> oprah had a dedicated following. people would buy any book she told them to buy. few right. >> i tried to get her to endorse my book. didn't work. >> she has more -- >> by far, by far. and obama's got dirty harry reid on his side. >> she brings that female vote which we said on this program is so critical and under analyzed. >> she's an important endorsement. i don't think clint eastwood resonates to that extent. >> no, but he resonates, but not to that extent. you're absolutely right. she had a really dedicated following. so hers was different. but it doesn't hurt. you know, if i were him i would feel very happy about it. >> clint eastwood appeals to the demographic that romney is strong in. working class males.
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i was rather surprised -- >> clint eastwood also has an appeal to women. i just thought i'd mention that. just think about that. >> you understand that celebrity endorsements have a very low yield in turning out votes. >> i'm sure you're endorsement carries a lot of weight, john. don't be modest. >> all celebrity endorsement. the exception of this is oprah. >> let's see if clint eastwood actually campaigns with romney. i suspect he will not. >> why? >> i don't think he'll campaign with him. let's see. if he does -- >> do you recall, there was another gentleman who had a hollywood event, a dinner, and he gave the proceeds of that dinner to barack obama's campaign. who was that? >> lots of hollywood figures. >> david geffen. >> do you know who dells that? i'm talking about a hollywood actor. >> george clooney. >> george clooney did that. he threw the dinner, and he --
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>> well, no, you can give up to about $31,000 to the obama victory fund. >> he gave about 20,000. >> and that's what each head, each person was paying. obama throws a ton of these in new york and hollywood. >> it's the hollywood community that he engaged sufficiently to pay at the table and proceeds about $20,000 apiece what. do you we think of that? >> hollywood is very important to the obama campaign. >> did obama go to that dinner? i think did he. >> john, john -- >> raising money, and getting 20,000 -- >> it was 31,000 a person. it came to hundreds of thousands of dollars. >> now, that's a familiar name. he's a friend of newt gingrich? >> he was a supporter of newt gingrich, and he's now a supporter of the republican candidate, whoever he is. >> sea pal of yours? >> oh, i know him. he's not a pal of mine.
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he's much older than i am, and more wealthy. >> but he doesn't have more money. >> absolutely. i got another target to go at. >> exit question. which presidential candidate won the week? barack obama or mitt romney? tim carney. >> i think that obama probably won the week in part because of what you're talking about, that mars is a popular thing. u.s. success in olympics. all these things reflect on to obama, deserve is it or not. >> eleanor. >> i agree with tim carney. >> mort. >> i think obama barely. it was more or less a tie, but i think obama was slightly ahead. >> obama finished up the week ahead in the polls, evidently, and that's a good week for him. >> actually, it was a draw. >> okay, if you say so john. >> we'll be right back with predictions.
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predictions. tim. >> by the end of september neither pennsylvania nor north carolina will be battleground states. north carolina will be safely in romney's camp and pennsylvania will be safely in obama's camp. ohio might even move into the romney camp, too. >> eleanor. >> in keeping with the clint eastwood theme, senator harry reid, a/k/a dirty harryl not back down from his comments about mitt romney's tax returns and mitt romney could live to
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regret the fact that he has become the poster child for the top 1%. >> uh-huh. a very tender story. i mean, tender as far as the speaker is concerned. he doesn't back down at all? it was quite ignomanias. mort. >> vankey moon is going to run into a firestorm for agreeing to attend a conference in tehran when everybody in the world is focusing on the illegality and, shall we say, attacks from iran. >> mitt romney has been so focused on the economy that some folks in his camp are concerned that we won't find out what he believes on other issues like foreign policy and defense until we get to the debates. the tea party will reconstitute and remobilize itself. bye-bye!
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