Msnbc Live at 6 p.m. ET, Tuesday, March 8th, 2011
Read the transcript from the Tuesday 6 p.m. hour
Guests: Lee Baca, Alan Grayson, Ana Kasparian, Jon Erpenbach, Peter DeFazio, Ron Paul
CENK UYGUR, HOST: Welcome to the show, everybody. It‘s an action-packed show tonight. Ron Paul and Alan Grayson will join us in just a little bit.
But first, we start by winning.
Governor Walker said that he wouldn‘t negotiate. You know what he released today? Negotiation points. That‘s weird.
Tough guy, I thought you weren‘t going to negotiate? All of a sudden you see the poll numbers and you see people talking about recalls, and he‘s like, no, no. All of a sudden, let‘s start talking about negotiation points.
You know what else is coming? Recalls.
The Wisconsin protests are having an awesome impact. As Daniel Ellsberg once said, “Courage is contagious.” And that is exactly what we‘re seeing in Wisconsin.
Now, it started with a couple people standing up for their rights. Then it was a couple hundred, then a couple thousand, until tens of thousands of people, everyday Americans, teachers, cops, firefighters, were standing up to a power-hungry big-business-fueled governor and saying enough, we‘re not going to let you take away our rights.
Now, those people made us realize they were what we‘ve been waiting for, real populists who are truly fighting for the middle class, not Astroturf Tea Partiers funded by billionaires, but a real liberal, progressive, grassroots movement. And Republicans are beginning to feel the heat.
Wisconsin Congressman James Sensenbrenner held a town hall meeting outside of Milwaukee last night, along with state senator Leah Vukmir. And his constituents let him know exactly how they felt.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If she lies—
REP. JAMES SENSENBRENNER ®, WISCONSIN: Please stop trying to drown out people (INAUDIBLE).
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Then let‘s hear from the senator.
SENSENBRENNER: OK. Then let‘s shut up and let her talk.
LEAH VUKMIR ®, WISCONSIN STATE SENATOR: Collective bargaining is not being taken away.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That‘s not true! That‘s a lie!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This not true, Senator.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
UYGUR: Now, they didn‘t like that kind of town hall, so they ended up calling it quits after less than half an hour, which only riled up the crowd even more.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This meeting will be adjourned.
UNIDENTIFIED GROUP: Shame! Shame! Shame! Shame!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
UYGUR: You know, the funny thing is Congressman Sensenbrenner loved the rowdy town halls back in 2009 when it was Tea Partiers doing the shouting and the bad guy was President Obama and his health care reform bill. Back then he slammed Democratic leaders for not “listening to the message” of the town hall attendees.
Did he seem like he was listening the message right there when he gaveled it? He‘s like, get out of here, let‘s scoot. Get, get. Run.
Back then he wrote, “President Obama, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi continue to ignore the voices of the majority of Americans whose outrage over a government takeover was expressed at town hall meetings across the country in August.”
Oh, I can‘t get enough of that irony.
So what happens when the town hall anger turns against him? All of a sudden, he can‘t take it.
His office released the following statement today: “It is unfortunate that the same respect given at Congressman Sensenbrenner‘s town hall meeting in Brookfield Sunday evening wasn‘t experienced last night, and individuals who were patiently waiting to ask a question, receive help with casework, or share their concern were unable to do so at the meeting.”
When the town hall crowds were yelling about health care reform, he didn‘t care about individuals who were patiently waiting to ask a question, but now they‘re just in the way of people with real concerns.
Look, you see, these guys like it when their people get in your face, but they can‘t quite handle it when you get in their face. Well, too bad, so sad, because that‘s what‘s happening right now.
For 10 years we‘ve been waiting for people on the left to get organized and fired up. And you know what? Left is great, that‘s fine. Progressives, great. I‘ve been waiting for the middle class to say enough, we‘ve given, we‘ve given, we‘ve given. Now let‘s talk about everybody and real shared sacrifice, and not just constantly taking it from the middle class.
And now that they have stood up, momentum has swung wildly. Governor Walker‘s stock is plummeting. He sees it, he‘s offering up negotiation points. All of a sudden, former Congressman David Obey, last night on this program, even threw out the R-word.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVID OBEY ®, FMR. WISCONSIN CONGRESSMAN: If the governor does not engage in meaningful compromise, he will be recalled, because when you go after the jugular and try to put workers out of business, that is when they will mean business in the way they respond.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
UYGUR: Damn. Recall. And all of a sudden, Walker‘s like, hold up, hold up, let me get some negotiation points going on here. E-mail these out. Hurry up.
What happened? I thought you were never going to negotiate. Weird what happens when it turns out now people don‘t like him and he sees those poll numbers.
Now, they‘ll have to wait a while to recall the governor. He can‘t legally be recalled until he‘s been in office for a year. But some of the Republican state senators, well, they‘re not so lucky.
The Wisconsin Democrat Party has launched a campaign to recall all eight GOP state senators who are eligible for recalls. They say they have already gotten 15 percent of the signatures needed to force those recalls in those eight districts. And that was just from this weekend alone.
Now, those are unverified Democratic numbers, so take it with a great of salt. But you know who apparently believed them? The Republicans, because it apparently scared the bejesus out of some of them.
State senator Rob Cowles, one of the legislators up for recall, and his colleague, Luther Olsen, have both recently told local papers that they are prepared to compromise. Oh, really? Funny how that works.
And state senator Dave Schultz offered a compromise weeks ago where collective bargaining rights would be taken away for two years, and his constituents weren‘t buying that either. He got an earful at his own raucous town hall meeting over the weekend, where one Independent told him he was officially registering as a Democrat now.
Now, those three are all that the Democrats need. If they flip and they make a deal, that‘s it, game over. Democrats win. But much more importantly, the middle class wins.
And these protests were not brought to you by any politician, let alone one from Washington. They were made in America by real people who were mad and wanted to stick up for themselves. That‘s the real heart of America, and that‘s the message that Wisconsin is sending to the rest of the country.
All right. Now let me bring in our first guest. He is Wisconsin state senator Jon Erpenbach.
Well, Senator, as you see these events unfolding, it seems like it‘s got to hearten you guys that you might have made the right move by saying we‘re not going to go along with this.
JON ERPENBACH (D), WISCONSIN STATE SENATOR: Well, thank for having me on, first of all. And I think you might be right. I‘m trying to put in my mind the timeline just over the past couple of days.
Over the weekend, there was a weekend meeting with Governor Walker‘s advisers and a couple of my Senate colleagues in south Beloit, Illinois, which is lovely this time of year. And then, last night, the governor has a press conference with the majority leader, just slamming us for whatever reason. We don‘t understand it.
Now, today, the governor releases the e-mails. So we‘re trying to figure out exactly what the deal is.
I know the governor has had basically about three press conferences for every meeting that he sent staff to, so we‘re trying to figure out if he does want to negotiate or he doesn‘t want to negotiate. We really don‘t know yet.
But I can tell you what Senate Democrats are going to do, is we‘re going to put together a piece of legislation and get it introduced tonight or tomorrow, which essentially is a clean slate to try and start over again, because obviously we‘re a little confused, they may be a little confused. So maybe a clean start might be the way to go.
UYGUR: Well, you know, it is interesting, because what‘s happened in between the two events that you were talking about is the two polls that came out specifically in Wisconsin. One was Rasmussen, which leans conservative, and even they said he‘s near 60 percent disapproval rating. And then the other Wisconsin poll, and they both showed terrible numbers for him.
Now, this e-mail that you mentioned, I want to show the audience. Here are the negotiation points that he is putting up now as a possible compromise.
Now, he‘s not saying he‘s going to do these. He‘s saying let‘s talk over these.
The bill would no longer seek to limit public employee union bargaining over the wages, just to the rate of inflation. It would allow bargaining over some economic issues over time, bonuses, hazardous duty pay, classroom size. It would allow bargaining over work place safety.
That‘s a lot of bargaining for a governor who said he wasn‘t going to do any bargaining.
ERPENBACH: Right. You‘re exactly right.
UYGUR: Go ahead. When you see that, how do you respond to that?
ERPENBACH: Well, again, I‘m a little confused, because he‘s been saying all along he wants us to come back and debate something that he says isn‘t negotiable. But at the same time, he‘s now starting to put some things out there that may be.
OK. If that‘s what he wants to do, that‘s great. I mean, that‘s the first real solid thing we‘ve seen from him as far as a possible compromise.
Again, we have to take a look at it and see the details and what it‘s all about. And then obviously we have the whole issue of trust right now with the governor, who he admitted that he wanted to maybe try and trick us back or agitate the protests up in Madison.
So, again, we want to take a look at the details, see what‘s in it. But maybe the best way to go is just to start over.
If this is where he wants to go, let‘s introduce it, let‘s start over, let‘s start clean. Let‘s have that collective bargaining debate in front of the public so people can see exactly what the governor is proposing, versus exactly what we want to do.
In the end, though, I‘ve got to tell you, if the governor had his way, he would destroy public unions because he‘s all about privatizing. And you can see that laid out in his big budget over and over again. He cuts off the money to local governments, and as a result of cutting off the money and capping where they can get their money, they‘re going to have to lay off employees.
So, again, we‘re still trying to figure it out. We‘re a little confused.
But it‘s something, I guess, is the best way to put it.
UYGUR: Yes. You know, look, when you look at this, some of their priorities, it‘s unbelievable.
One of the state senators we mentioned was Leah Vukmir. And she‘s—instead of trying to create jobs, she‘s going after birth control. Birth control? I mean, she thought that was the mandate given by the Wisconsin people?
But, look, let me ask you in the time that we have one last question about how to negotiate. Is it possible to do an end run around Governor Walker and just simply go to those three Republicans and say, look, you guys were talking about compromise, we have the perfect compromise? And look, the unions even said they were already going to take the pay cuts. Let‘s shake on it.
Is that possible?
ERPENBACH: Maybe. I know the Senate Republicans spent a lot of time in caucus today talking about their options.
Obviously, they‘re taking a look at the recall. And in some cases they‘re up over 30 percent in one or two of the recalls that they‘re looking at as far as signatures go.
You couple that with the poll numbers, and the two polls you talked about are both very conservative polls, one really conservative poll that came out on Sunday. And those numbers aren‘t good for them. And their ship is tied to Governor Walker right now, and obviously they see what‘s going on with his numbers.
So my guess is part of the discussion today had to do with the fact that, look, we need to compromise, we need to be realistic about this. That‘s what the people of the state want us to do, and maybe that‘s what we should do. And maybe they‘ve talked to the governor about it today.
UYGUR: All right. State Senator Jon Erpenbach, thank you so much for joining us tonight. I really appreciate it.
ERPENBACH: All right. Thanks.
UYGUR: All right.
Now, the blowback against Congressman Peter King‘s hearings on Islamic radicalism grows. More than 45 House members sign a letter urging him not to hold his witch hunt. Lee Baca, the sheriff of Los Angeles, will be a witness at the hearings, and tonight he brings us the real facts.
And you might be shocked about Congressman King‘s connections to terrorism in the past. That is a very interesting story.
And gas prices are up. And you guessed it, Republicans are doing everything they can to try to blame President Obama. Oh, yes, and we had a lot of snow this winter. Of course that‘s also Obama‘s fault.
And Al Simpson‘s long, strange trip into pop culture with—are you ready for this—“Enema Man” and the “Snoopy Snoopy Poop Dog.” Luckily, Ana Kasparian is here to decipher Simpson and tell us who in the world he‘s referring to.
UYGUR: The budget standoff is raging in Washington. The Republicans want to cut $61 billion, the Democrats want to cut $6 billion initially. That‘s on top of the $40 billion that the White House has already taken out.
So how will we ever find common ground? What kind of cuts could Tea Partiers and progressives agree on?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. RAND PAUL ®, KENTUCKY: I think the biggest problem in Washington is they‘re talking about looking at this much of the budget. We‘re talking about looking at the portion of the budget they call non-military discretionary spending, but then there‘s military spending. Nobody is talking about that.
If you eliminate all of the non-military spending, you won‘t balance the budget. And conservatives in my party will have to admit that there‘s waste in the military budget.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
UYGUR: Will you look at that? I couldn‘t agree more with that assessment from Tea Party-supported Republican Senator Rand Paul. Why? Take a look at the numbers.
There‘s a 2012 federal budget. It‘s $3.7 trillion. Social Security appears to be the largest expense, followed by defense spending, Medicare, non-defense spending, Medicaid, and the interest that we‘re paying on our debt.
But Social Security and Medicare pay for themselves. You already paid payroll taxes on that. And that‘s why Social Security, for example, has a surplus.
So the picture looks a lot different when we take them out. And now the largest expense now is defense.
We‘re spending almost one-third of our budget when you take out Social Security and Medicare on defense. But most of all, the congressional cuts -- but most of the congressional cuts, I should say, are taking place in non-defense discretionary spending. They‘re trying to cut the fat from small potato programs while ignoring the giant elephant in the room.
Luckily, on this program we can reach bipartisan agreement on this issue.
Joining me now are Congressman Peter DeFazio, Democrat from Oregon; and Congressman Ron Paul, Republican from Texas.
We appreciate both of you coming on. It‘s a great pleasure to have you here.
First, let me start with you, Congressman Paul.
I take it that you agree with your son that we should get into the defense budget.
REP. RON PAUL ®, TEXAS: Well, maybe he agrees with me. Who knows which way it went?
But, you know, the one thing that I‘m careful about, I think you used the word and I think he does, and sometimes I correct him, because I don‘t want to cut defense. I want to cut military. And there‘s a big difference.
Militarism doesn‘t provide defense. As a matter of fact, I think our foreign policy and militarism actually diminishes our defense. So I‘m for it.
I think we could cut hundreds of billions of dollars off, but you have to change policy. If we assume we‘re the policemen of the world and we have to get involved—I mean, right now, with this financial crisis that we‘re in, you know, we have people talking, Republicans and Democrats, about, how are we going to get involved in Libya?
You know, I just cannot believe that. And quite frankly, I don‘t think they‘re all that serious. If we were serious enough, I think there would be more bipartisanship about doing something and more of us getting together and cutting spending.
Congressman DeFazio, now, look, you two are right there, Republican and Democrat. I want to ask both of you guys how many people from your own side you can rally.
So, to you, how many Democrats will get on board for saying, hey, you know what, we just simply spend too much on the military, and there‘s a lot of pork and waste in there, and that we should actually begin that process of looking into it?
REP. PETER DEFAZIO (D), OREGON: Well, two weeks ago we had a great test of that when we finally defeated the second engine for a single-engine jet fighter. It was the best joke I had going in my district.
I‘d ask people in meetings, “How many engines do you think it takes to fly a single-engine jet fighter? And they‘d always look at me puzzled, like you‘re nuts. I‘d say, “Well, inside the beltway it‘s two.”
That was a very bipartisan vote. And I think that could be a test case for further cuts and unnecessary weapon systems, perhaps a quicker drawdown in Iraq, Afghanistan? Why are we still in Europe 70 years or 60 years after the end of World War II and other overseas missions?
Japan, we allow them to spend a tiny fraction of their budget on military because we provide their military shield. It‘s time for some of these other countries to grow up.
PAUL: Peter, you know, you had a very positive statement there, and I agree with you. But in that same bill, we had an amendment—I think it was $600 million to cut infrastructure in Afghanistan, and we‘ve got to allow 120 people to vote for it.
PAUL: So we‘re still building bridges in Afghanistan at the same rate.
But I agree with you. Certainly, that was an encouraging vote—
DEFAZIO: I was with you on that vote because I want to build infrastructure here in the United States.
PAUL: Yes, you‘re right.
DEFAZIO: We need the balance (ph), we need the infrastructure.
UYGUR: I love this love coming out here on this program.
All right. So, Congressman Paul—and this is real bipartisanship—but you have to look at this honestly.
When we look at defense, it has historically been the Republican Party that has blocked anything in that direction. They said, oh, my God, you‘re soft on defense, I can‘t believe the Democrats would do this, et cetera.
How do you get beyond that in your own party?
PAUL: Well, yes, I agree with what you said, but you can‘t exonerate the Democrats either. I mean, look at what our president is doing right now.
He‘s the one that‘s pushing to do more in Libya. He had a very strong statement about our need to be involved in Libya. He‘s expanded the war in Afghanistan. He‘s issuing the drone attacks in Pakistan.
So I don‘t think—I think we have sometimes too much bipartisanship going in the wrong direction. Foreign policy never changes. Rhetoric, a little bit.
But Obama is getting very close to the George Bush foreign policy. I think monetary policy is bipartisan. And I think when it comes to Republicans cutting spending, they act like Democrats and they don‘t cut spending even on the welfare side.
So, it‘s a bipartisan mess, and I think that represents that fact that a lot of Republicans and a lot of Democrats outside of Washington still expect a lot from Washington and a lot from our government. And they need to get rid of that appetite for big government and their programs, and maybe we would do a better job here.
UYGUR: And Congressman DeFazio, look, let‘s get realistic here. The reason that you guys—yes, you won on that 35, but you‘ve lost a lot of votes together, no matter how bipartisan you guys have been on that issue and finding agreement. It‘s because, as Congressman Paul says, there‘s still a lot of bipartisanship on the other side taking money from defense contractors.
I mean, that‘s got to be relevant, right?
DEFAZIO: Yes. No, it‘s a substitute, very inefficient, very ineffective jobs program.
I mean, President Eisenhower warned us about this in the 1950s, and talked about when you produce weapons you don‘t need, how that is stealing from the domestic economy, from real productivity, from feeding people, educating people, building our own infrastructure. So, no, it has been a bipartisan problem.
There are a lot of Democrats who are worried about—I‘ll give a quick example. Ron and I tried to eliminate the selective service for the draft, which we‘re never going to have, as an amendment in that bill.
We get a pathetic 130, 140 votes, and Democrats and Republicans stood up and said this is a national security issue. It wasn‘t a national security issue. It‘s more bureaucracy that we don‘t need. And they say that a big part of their budget goes for uniforms. I‘ve never seen a selective service uniform.
And entertainment. Yes, they‘re very entertaining.
So, yes, there is a bipartisan problem here. Democrats are worried about -
and Republicans—being called soft on defense. And as Ron pointed out, there‘s a difference between military spending and wasted and defending the real interests of the American people.
UYGUR: All right.
Well, Congressman DeFazio and Congressman Paul, it‘s a pleasure to see you guys together fighting on this issue and actually trying to change the framing in Washington, where people refuse to talk about defense generally. But we‘ve got to since this is such a huge part of the budget.
Thank you both for coming on. I really appreciate it.
PAUL: Thank you.
DEFAZIO: Thank you.
UYGUR: All right.
Now, ahead, protest fever spreads across the country. So why are hundreds of people swarming Bank of America? We‘ll tell you that.
And instead of focusing on jobs, Speaker Boehner‘s big accomplishment so far has been bringing back Styrofoam cups.
We‘ll tell you how that might have gotten him in even more trouble.
UYGUR: Protests are heating up all across the country. Bank of America paid no federal income tax for 2009 by taking advantage of loopholes in the tax code. And you know what? Americans want them to pay up.
The National People‘s Action Network launched what they call a “Make Wall Street Pay” campaign yesterday in Washington, D.C. Hundreds of protesters swarmed into a Bank of America and presented bank tellers with past-due notices on their unpaid bills to the country.
They also flooded House Speaker John Boehner‘s office and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell‘s office, carrying signs that said, “We found the money,” which I think is hilarious.
These protests come on the heals of a report that this group released which pointed out that over the last two years, the six biggest banks in the U.S. paid income tax at a rate of about 11 percent instead of their legally mandated rate of 35 percent. Now, if they had actually paid that full 35 percent, those banks would have had to pay $13 billion more in taxes.
Gee, I wonder why they didn‘t buy the politicians to make sure they don‘t have to.
Now, that would be enough to cover two years worth of salaries for the 132,000 teachers who have been laid off since the recession began. Can you imagine if we had all those teachers instead of the bankers having that money that they got because they put the loopholes that the politicians that they sponsored got in there for them?
Look, I love those signs, “We found the money.” And that‘s what you have to understand. This isn‘t the free market. If you‘re a conservative, you shouldn‘t be in favor of the loopholes that these banks have.
It‘s them saying, hey, here‘s my campaign contribution, now give me the loopholes, I keep the money, and you don‘t. And that‘s what you‘ve got to understand. Somebody has to pay the money. If you don‘t, you‘ve got to fire the teachers.
So if it‘s not Bank of America and other banks, it‘s you paying higher taxes, and we don‘t want that.
All right. Now, the U.S. ambassador to China, Jon Huntsman, is being floated as a potential 2012 GOP presidential candidate. You know, that‘s interesting. He‘s in the Obama administration. But he is the former Republican governor of Utah.
A Huntsman PAC has already popped up. Huntsman has already announced he will leave his post in April.
So, what‘s the Obama team‘s strategy to handle this possible competitor? Well, listen to what the president‘s new chief of staff, Bill Daley, said on “Meet the Press” on Sunday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BILL DALEY, WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: He‘s done an excellent job on behalf of the Obama administration. His support of the Obama administration, his support of the president, and the things he did on behalf of this administration, and the closeness in which he worked with the president is most appreciated. And I‘m sure he‘ll talk about that in the primaries.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
UYGUR: Oh, I love that. That‘s suffocating him with love.
Now, let me put on my decoder ring for you. By the way, this is actually my wedding ring. And did you see? I missed. We‘ve got to get better props.
All right. Look, what is that mean? You already saying, he‘s like, oh, you want to run a republican primary? We thank you so much for all the great work you did for President Obama. How is that going to work out for you in the republican primary? Now, President Obama pulled the same trick back in January at a joint presser with the Chinese president. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRES. BARACK OBAMA (D), UNITED STATES: I couldn‘t be happier with the ambassador‘s service and I‘m sure he will be very successful in whatever endeavors he chooses in the future, and I‘m sure that him having worked so well with me will be a great asset in any republican primary.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
UYGUR: I love that—it‘s not even at—it‘s like, oh, you want to work with the department. And remember, that‘s why they didn‘t in the first place. They originally chose him to be as ambassador in the hopes of removing Huntsman from the field who might run against him in 2012. Then, that‘s a sign of respect for Huntsman, you‘ve got to appreciate that. But it turned out, since Huntsman is a republican, he took the position, I might run against him anyway. But the good news for Obama, in a recent poll, 84 percent of Americans said, they have no clue as to who the hell Jon Huntsman is. So maybe the better strategy is, shhhh.
All right. Now, instead of focusing on jobs, Speaker Boehner‘s biggest accomplishment so far is bringing Styrofoam cups back to the capital cafeteria. Why did he care about this incredibly inconsequential matter, because Nancy Pelosi had brought in biodegradable cups, and he wanted to show her. I‘m in charge now. I will be screwing with their environment in every way possible.
All right. Congratulations, Speaker Boehner. But it turns out Boehner might be in for a cup of fail. A group of House Democrats are circulating a letter calling on him and the rest of the Republicans to get rid of those Styrofoam cups. And unlike John Boehner, who is just trying to be annoying, these seven Democrats are asking for the cups to be banned, because they might cause cancer. That‘s pretty serious. In the letter, they explain how foam products can reach their component chemicals into the foods and liquids that they contain and they might have negative health impacts. Oh, yes, the GOP might have had one other reason to bring in the possibly cancerous cups, you want to guess who the maker of those Styrofoam cups are?
Former Koch Industries executive George Wurtz. You have to give the Republicans credit man, they worked hard for their campaign donors. Even down to the cups, we‘ve got you covered, man. Give me, oh, yes, yes, whatever, it comes back.
All right. Congressman Peter King on for a witch-hunt against Muslims? We‘re talking about that. The outrage is growing, and what you‘ll really be outraged at is Congressman King‘s past and his connections to terrorism. Yes, you heard me right.
And Lee Baca, the sheriff of Los Angeles, in the hearings, will bring the real facts on Muslim cooperation with law enforcement.
And Alan Simpson says, the weird things, I ain‘t said, many of them, but this one is on a whole new level. He somehow ties Social Security cuts to ungrateful grandkids to, quote, “enema man and the poopy dog.” Is he referring to Eminem‘s Snoop Dogg? Well, Ana Kasparian has the answers tonight.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. PETER KING ®, NEW YORK: I have to live—I lost over 400 people -- 150 in my district, 400 on Long Island, on September 11th. I don‘t ever want it on my conscience if another attack comes, I wake up the next morning and said, I backed down to political records.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
UYGUR: He doesn‘t want it on his conscience. That‘s a curious thing for Congressman King to say. Because in the past, he hasn‘t been all that concerned about terrorism. In fact he there are reports that he has helped to fund it in the past. And that seems unbelievable, right? Well, actually, let me show you the facts. Congressman King was a well-known supporter of the Irish Republican Army, which is estimated to have killed 600 civilians during its campaign to drive the British out of Northern Ireland. A recent “Washington Post” article detailed Congressman King‘s long, close relationship with the I.R.A. in the 1980s and ‘90s. King called I.R.A. quote, “a legitimate force.” He was in fact reportedly speaking at the events for Noraid (ph), the I.R.A.‘s fund-raising wing.
Imagine if people were doing fund-raising for other terrorism groups these days. And an Irish judge once threw King out of a courtroom, saying, he was quote, “as you just saw there, an obvious collaborator with the I.R.A.” He was so close to the I.R.A., the Irish government boycotted the St. Patrick‘s Day parade in New York in ‘85, because King was the grand marshal. Now, still not convinced that Congressman King could do on terrorism, they can get a lot of what he said in a 1985 interview, quote, “If civilians are killed in an attack on a military installation, it‘s certainly regrettable, but I will not morally blame the I.R.A. for it.”
Interesting how it‘s all kind of relative. If the I.R.A. does the terrorism and civilians are killed, well, he‘s not going to morally condemn them. If some Muslim radicals of terrorism ten years ago, he‘s going to investigate all Muslims. King still defends his support of the I.R.A. to this day. Now, this is the man leading hearings on whether American Muslims have become too radicalized? Is this an idea of a sick joke? On Capitol Hill, 46 House Democrats are now criticizing King‘s planned hearings. In a letter, the Democrats say, the hearings quote, “unfairly stigmatized and alienate Muslim Americans, and call on King to examine all forms of violence motivated by extremists‘ beliefs, not just related to Muslims.”
With me now is Lee Baca, who‘s going to talk about that specific issue. He‘s the sheriff of Los Angeles County. Sheriff Baca will be testifying on King‘s hearings on Thursday. Sheriff, I want to ask you about that, you know, earlier Congressman King had said that we were lacking the full cooperation from too many people on the Muslim community. He‘s now getting a lot of heat from that, so he‘s starting to backtrack from that, but I want to ask you, is that you‘re in the Law Enforcement Community, is that true or untrue?
SHERIFF LEE BACA, LOS ANGELES COUNTRY: Well, let‘s look at some of the statistics. Of the last ten terrorism plots planned in the United States, Muslim-Americans were involved in solving seven of them and we‘re vital to providing information to the authorities that led to the results of the arrests. When you look at domestic violence in terms of extremist violence in the United States, 77 of the plots that were occurring within the last 10 years since 9/11 were done by non-Muslim extremists. When you look at the number of Muslim related extremists nationally and internationally, there were 41 plots, they were thwarted. And significantly the strategy that we‘re using in Los Angeles is that you have to bid strong relationships with the Muslim community in a variety of ways, and we‘re doing that here.
UYGUR: So, talk to me about that, talk to me about your experience in Los Angeles. Do you think the Muslim community there has been cooperative and has helped to find the extremists, et cetera. Or as King claims, do their leaders say, oh no, we‘re not going to help you.
BACA: Well, in Los Angeles, and I can speak about Los Angeles only, although I do have affiliations with the major city chiefs and the national sheriffs on a variety of issues including violent extremism. But in Los Angeles right after 9/11 within days, a few days after the Muslim-American community came to rally at my office with the governor and political leaders along with the diverse Muslim societies that are here, close to 500,000 Muslims live in Southern California. What they decided to do is rally behind law enforcement, eventually after the London bombings, a Muslim-American Homeland Security Congress was formed made of all the leaders with the greater Muslim community, nonprofits along with their advocacy groups in the fourth and educational groups.
So, we do have a system in place, and then we created a Muslim affairs unit of Muslim speaking deputy sheriffs that go to all the mosques and the various activities that the Muslim have to build relationships. And the outreach is extensive to the youth, to the adults, to the religious communities, that are active and to the political communities that are representing various segments such as the Pakistani Affairs Council. So, the point is that you have to build public trust with various communities including the Muslim community, and we believe that the phone call regarding a violent extremist shouldn‘t necessarily come straight into police as the first call, although we welcome that. It can come to a person who can make the second call right into law enforcement. And that‘s how you build trust without scaring the public.
UGYUR: Sheriff, if somebody were going to met, he came and said, hey, I want to investigate only one specific ethnicity. He said, you know what, I want to look into a Christian because, you know, I think some of these evangelical Christians are doing abortion, bombings, et cetera. So I‘m going to investigate all Christians. Or he they came in and said, I just want to look into Jews in L.A.? What would be your reaction?
BACA: Well, I believe that‘s unacceptable. I think our constitution is very clear regarding the laws and heckle rights and the ability to be protected and any crime—and this is what we need to say regarding violent extremism. Violent extremism is a crime. It‘s not necessarily a crime that one would typically think of in traditional criminal sense, but it is a crime to murderers, a crime to plot destruction, and to cause the things that terrorists have caused worldwide in the United States. Law Enforcement locally, however, is our frontline prevention source for dealing with extremists, and therefore we have to have the relationship.
We have to have the confidence that we are not signaling out an entire society or religion in order to get to the criminals. We believe that the societies and religions are capable of helping though, and that‘s why we have a large interfaith council as well as numerous ethnic advisory councils from Pakistan, from Iran, from Lebanon, from the Middle East, helping law enforcement here as an alert system when the violent extremist plots start to emerge locally.
UYGUR: All right. Sheriff Baca, we really thank you for your time tonight.
BACA: You‘re welcome.
UGYUR: Appreciate it.
Now, Florida Governor Rick Scott lays out his radical agenda today, and calls for draconian cuts. And it‘s not just Democrats that are mad, Republicans are also going after him, but wait until you hear about Governor Scott‘s questionable past. Former Florida Congressman Alan Grayson, well, he‘s going to expose Scott Shady past. And it will be interesting. That‘s coming up next.
UYGUR: Republican Alan Simpson has said some crazy things in the past, but nothing about a poopy dog before. That madness when we come back in the program.
UYGUR: As we continue to follow the blowback against Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, we‘re keeping an eye on the other Scott as well. The uber-conservative governor of Florida, Rick Scott. Who is the most—you‘re going to love his past, he is the most ironic past you can imagine. And just minutes ago, Scott actually just finished laying out his extreme agenda in his state of the state address in Tallahassee. He wants to cut corporate taxes to just three percent and then eliminate them completely by 2018, combine and he wants to cut $2.5 billion in corporate and property taxes over two years. And then, in that same two years, he wants to eliminate 9,000 jobs from the state‘s workforce. I wonder if there‘s a connection. Even though the state‘s unemployment in Florida is at a stunning 12 percent, that‘s gigantic, and he‘s cutting more jobs. He wants to privatize Medicaid and the state prison system, Scott claims the profit motive will make them more efficient.
There‘s great irony in that, and I‘ll explain that in just a moment. This is part of Governor Rick Scott‘s state, he likes to say that he wants to run the state like a business. The state‘s republican legislators reportedly don‘t like being bulldozed by a lone wolf governor who doesn‘t respect that there are three branches of government. But here‘s the irony about the so-called CEO governor. Scott was the CEO of the nation‘s largest for-profit health care system. He resigned in 1997 in the middle of an FBI investigation into massive fraud. The company pled guilty to 14 felonies, most of which were committed on Scott‘s watch. The company Columbia/HCA was forced to pay $1.7 billion. In criminal fines for fraudulently over charging the government, which, by the way, means you the taxpayer.
Now Rick Scott is bragging about being a CEO governor, looking out for the taxpayer. When he was an actual CEO, here‘s who he looked out for, Rick Scott. Do you know how much he made while he was CEO of that company running that huge fraud on you the American taxpayer? In stock options alone, he add over $300 million. You know, how much of that he got to keep, all of it. How is this guy governor? And how is he seriously bragging about his CEO credentials, and now proposing to privatize essential state functions? To help me answer that question is former Florida Congressman Alan Grayson. Congressman, great to have you here.
ALAN GRAYSON, FORMER FLORIDA CONGRESSMAN: Thank you.
UYGUR: Look, I‘m going to start with a simple question. How did that guy get elected governor when he was bragging about his CEO experience where he defrauded the American taxpayers?
GRAYSON: Well, the last head of the Republican Party of Florida was literally led away in chains and indicted, and put in prison. So, the Republican Party reached out to the biggest crook in the state and then nominate him as governor. You didn‘t mention the fact that he actually pled the 5th 75 times in his deposition. That‘s like pleading the 375th, and that virtually his entire fortune comes from cheating sick people.
UYGUR: And I still can‘t imagine how you could lose an election to that guy. But anyway, you know, Democrats, look, I know, you‘ve been advising them to get stronger this whole time. They could have use a stronger campaign I guess Governor Scott if you ask me, but let‘s talk about what‘s happening now. OK? They‘re saying in essence the teacher pay cuts here are over $2,300 that he‘s proposing. And at the same time, property owners are getting about a $45 a year tax cut let alone the huge corporate tax cuts as well. I mean, do you think the people in Florida are happy with that deal? Do you think, hey, I get to keep 45 bucks and then, you know, we‘re cutting all this education, we‘re cutting the pay of the teachers dramatically? Is that a deal they‘re happy with?
GRAYSON: I can make it simpler fewer than that. He wants to eliminate the corporate income tax and cut corporation taxes in Florida by $1.5 billion at the same time that he wants to cut funding for the schools by $1.5 billion. You don‘t get much simpler than that. He‘s taking money out of our children‘s pocket, dollar for dollar and other stuff that‘s in his own. Because he thinks that the fundamental problem with clarity and - - is that Rick Scott doesn‘t have enough money. He wants a cut for rich people, he wants a tax cut for corporations, because he wants a tax cut for Rick Scott. That‘s his motivation here. He spent $78 million to get the office. And he wants a return on his investment.
UYGUR: Congressman Grayson, how dangerous an idea is it to privatize some of these essential state functions like prisons where you give people and companies motivation to put more people in prison?
GRAYSON: It will simply never worked, I mean, when as it ever worked, we tried to privatize wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and we ended up with massive war profit-tiering, $8 billion simply missing. It‘s not going to work any better, we‘re talking about our prisons or our schools or anything else. We have a public school system that dates back to colonial times in American. In fact, we were the first company in the world to have a universal free public school system. And that‘s what Rick Scott and the Republicans wanted to destroy.
UYGUR: All right. Former Florida Congressman Alan Grayson, we appreciate your time tonight. And, you know, it looks like the Republicans are wising up too. It‘s not just Democrats, Florida‘s Republicans are complaining about these draconian cuts, and they apparently buyer beware. Again, Congressman Grayson, thank you. Now, when we come back, Alan Simpson speaks out on Social Security, grand kids, enema man, snoopy, snoopy, poopdog boy, oh boy. Ana Kasparian, ties them all together. That‘s coming up, next.
UYGUR: Now for some stories that cross over from politics to pop culture, let me bring in my “Young Turks” co-host Ana Kasparian, who‘s out in Los Angeles. Ana, I know Alan Simpson has said a lot of crazy things in the past about 310 million blanks, et cetera, et cetera. But I think he outdid himself this time. What exactly did he do?
ANA KASPARIAN, CO-HOST, “THE YOUNG TURKS”: Oh, my gosh, Cenk, this story is such a doozy. Former Senator Alan Simpson added one more crazy comment to his growing list of colorful remarks. Yesterday on FOX, he attempted to criticize retirement-age Americans for being afraid about having their Social Security cut, but instead he ended up bashing the youth of America and their crazy rock in roll in rock music.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALAN SIMPSON, FORMER SENATOR: It‘s all about their children or grandchildren, sometimes I doubt that. I think, you know, grandchildren now don‘t write a thank-you for the Christmas presents, they‘re walking on their pants with the cap on backwards listening to the enema man and the snoopy, snoopy poop dog and they don‘t like them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
UYGUR: Come on, come on. That was awesome. The snoopy, snoopy, snoop dog, he means Snoop Dogg, right?
KASPARIAN: Of course, that was hilarious, and of course, enema man is supposed to be Eminem. It‘s just incredible how out of touch this guy is from both the average American and America‘s youth. Enema man, where did you get that from?
UYGUR: Did he really think it was enema man? All right. And the other thing I got from is he seems incredibly bitter.
My grandkids, they wouldn‘t write me Christmas thank-you cards, and they‘re stepping on the back of their jeans and they got the backwards cap listening to that enema man.
KASPARIAN: You‘re so right. He totally sounds bitter, but I love it.
That quote was great.
UYGUR: Yes, can I just say one quick thing here? We had a discussion in the morning here. Are you supposed to write thank-you cards for Christmas gifts? Because if that was the case, I would have said, hey, don‘t give me any more. I hate writing thank you cards. Did you have to write thank you cards?
KASPARIAN: I don‘t, but I do give my grandparents a call if they send me some money. I mean, come on, it‘s the nice thing to do. You don‘t just grab the gift and forget about them.
UYGUR: All right. OK.
KASPARIAN: You know what Cenk, you know what your problem is? You listen to too much enema man, OK? And because of that, you deserve to get your Social Security cut. Done.
UYGUR: Sure. And I love that point too about Social Security connected to those guys. By the way, I do have a CD of enema man and snoopy poopy dog or whatever he called it. All right. So, now, tell me a little bit more about Charlie Sheen and of course, he‘s always more.
KASPARIAN: All right. So, Charlie Sheen actually climbed to the top of the live nation office building in Beverly Hills yesterday. And he did that to let everyone know how he feels about getting fired from “Two-and-a-Half-Men.” He waved around a machete and repeatedly yelled, quote, “free at last, free at last.” But in true, Sheen—that wasn‘t the craziest thing he did yesterday. He climbed out—he actually came out with a third episode of his infamous “Sheen‘s Corner” and this one was by far the most disturbing one.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Have you had your breakfast yet, my friend?
CHARLIE SHEEN, ACTOR: No, I‘m smoking a cigarette and drinking something I won‘t reveal.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: I like the way you go to you scream—when you go to you scream.com.
SHEEN: We are in the middle of a movement here, and audacity of epic proportions, it‘s radical, it‘s radical and the people are doing exactly what they should be doing which is watching me and listening to you, because we have all the answers, we have all the goal, we have all the solution, Bob.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
UYGUR: Yes. When Martin Luther King was saying, “free at last, free at last,” I‘m sure his ultimate dream was to have Charlie Sheen waving a machete on top of a building in L.A.
KASPARIAN: Yes, absolutely. By the way, he‘s got to stop with the “Sheen‘s Corner.” It‘s such a terrible, terrible disaster, like people at first started to like Charlie Sheen because he seemed to be a free spirit who was telling you how it is? And now people are starting to realize he‘s absolutely crazy. Stop with the “Sheen‘s Corner.” I mean, it‘s enjoyable and entertaining to watch because it‘s a train wreck, but you have to stop.
UYGUR: Absolutely. And by the way, also stop with the machete.
That‘s a terrible idea.
UYGUR: All right. Ana, thank you for joining us. We appreciate it. And that‘s the show, everybody. Thanks for watching. You know what, “HARDBALL” is going to start right now.
CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST, “HARDBALL”: Right wing purity test, let‘s play
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