PoliticsNation, Wednesday, July 25, 2012
Read the transcript from the Wednesday show
Guests: Barbara Boxer; Sherrod Brown, Jack Gillum, Erin McPike, John Q.
Kelly, Alicia Quarles
REVEREND AL SHARPTON, MSNBC HOST, POLITICS NATION: Goo evening. I`m
Al Sharpton and welcome to all our viewers who are watching our Special
Olympics coverage of women`s soccer here on MSNBC.
Here at "Politics Nation" we`re in the Olympic spirit, even brought my
soccer ball to prove it. There you go, guys. Show you my moves later.
We have a great show tonight. So thank you for staying with us.
Worries for women. Talking about women, women, millions of women, may
have a new reason to get mad at the same old politics being played in
Senator Barbara Boxer is here live on that issue.
Plus, a judge takes Michael Jackson`s children away from their
grandmother. Who is their new guardian? And what does this mean for those
And the Muppets, yes the Muppets are under attack by some critics who
apparently have a problem with felt and the treating people fairly.
And what`s up with the new celebration in Korea? In North Korea
today, is it wedding bells we hear? All, that is coming up.
But we start with tonight`s lead, the most anti-woman Congress ever
just eight days left until the summer break. Democrats are calling on
Republicans to stop dragging their feet on a bill that literally is a
matter of life and death, the violence against women act.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. BARBARA BOXER (D), CALIFORNIA: Every single day, three women are
killed by their abusive partners. Thirty million people are left out of
the house violence against women act. When there`s violence, we have to
help them victims.
SEN. PATTY MURRAY (D), WASHINGTON: Every moment our inclusive
legislation to reauthorize violence against women`s act is delayed, is
another moment they are left without the resources and protection that they
deserve. The women in this country are watching and waiting.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: The violence against women act helps protect American women
against domestic violence, sexual assault, as well as stalking. The Senate
reauthorized the law back in May. But in the house, Republicans refuse to
pass it, instead pushing their own version that excludes gays, undocumented
immigrants, American-Indians and the students. Now the clock is ticking.
Republicans are delaying and the law hangs in the balance.
On Friday 200 survivors of domestic violence wrote a letter to
Congress demanding action. And now "The New York Times" is ripping the GOP
for the delay. It`s just the latest example of Republicans putting
ideology ahead of women`s issues. Part of a pattern we`ve seen since the
Last month Republicans killed the paycheck fairness act, a bill that
would help close the gender pay gap between men and women. And in state
capitals across the country, conservatives are passing laws that actually
So far this year, 15 states have passed 40 laws to limit women`s
reproduction rights. Everything from abortion bans to insurance coverage
to forced ultrasounds. Nothing is off limits when it comes to the war on
women. And they`re not letting up. Just yesterday South Dakota upheld a
law requiring doctors to tell women seeking abortion they`re at a greater
risk for suicide even the experts say the information may be unreliable and
From day one the GOP has been working against women`s health and
women`s rights. And it looks like they`re not going to stop anytime soon.
Joining me now is Senator Barbara Boxer, Democrat from California.
Senator Boxer, thanks for coming on the show, first of all.
BOXER: Thank you.
SHARPTON: How does the GOP delay on the violence against women act
fit a larger pattern that we`ve been seeing of laws hurting women?
BOXER: Well, it seems that every day, Reverend Al, they come up with
a new way to punish women. I don`t get it. I don`t know why they`re doing
it. I have to believe that they want to see women without power because
really when you talk about women`s health and you try to shut down access
to health as they did by defunding Planned Parenthood, thankfully we
restored that, you affect the lives of five million women who rely on
planned parenthood for health care.
So, when women are not well and they have no place to go, they feel
that they`ve lost their ability to compete in the world, to hold down jobs,
to take care of their families. So I think it`s really something that I
can`t answer as to why they do it. But that`s the impact.
Now, this delay in the violence against women act is one that you have
laid out beautifully. And I thank you so very much, because many times I
feel like, you know, I`m in a bunker and we keep getting issue after issue,
but this one really sums it up.
The house bill leaves out 30 million people out of the protection.
Students on college campuses, LBGT communities. We look at the immigrant
women, they`re left out. And native American women, one-half of whom are
abused. We cover them in the bipartisan Senate bill. This was the
bipartisan bill that passed with well over 60 votes. The house can just
take it up and pass it. Instead, they write a bill that leaves out 30
million people and expect us to say that`s fine.
Message to the house, message to Speaker Boehner, it is not fine. We
need you to take up our bill and pass it.
SHARPTON: And this was a bipartisan bill that passed in the Senate.
SHARPTON: You mentioned Planned Parenthood. Last night President
Obama got very personal about his feelings on the war on women and he
mentioned Planned Parenthood as well. Listen to this, senator.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Mr. Romney wants to get
rid of funding for Planned Parenthood. I think that is a bad idea. I`ve
got two daughters. I want them to control their own health care choices.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: I think the president addressed this strongly and I think
he`s saying in the same spirit of the bipartisan bill that passed the
BOXER: Absolutely. I mean, this president understands that Planned
Parenthood -- you know, what the Republicans have you believe is that all
Planned Parenthood does is abortions. The truth of the matter is 97
percent of what they do is health care, breast cancer screenings, cervical
cancer screenings, well checkups. This is what they do. And they`ll do
charity work. They`ll allow you to pay what you can afford. And for many
women, Reverend Al, millions of women all across our great nation, they are
the first line of care. And the Republicans went straight after them. And
frankly, I think they`re on the wrong side.
I think President Obama is on the correct side. I think women know
who`s on their side. I hope they know who`s on their side. If you look at
Mr. Romney, he wants to overturn Roe V. Wade. He would defund Planned
Parenthood. He supports the Ryan budget that destroys the things that
women need, the children need and families need.
So this is important for women to understand how key it is that they
get out and they vote in this presidential race, in the Senate races, and
in the house races.
SHARPTON: But, did you know what bothers me, Senator. You know, I
understand ideology, but some of these things are actually hurting women.
And then beyond hurting women, they`re insulting women. Some of the
rhetoric and some of the things we`ve heard.
Listen to some of the almost hateful kind of speech we`ve heard from
the right wing.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Got to make anybody watch. OK. So you just have
to close your eyes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This contraceptive thing, my God, it`s so
inexpensive. In my days they used Bayer aspirin for contraception. The
girls put it between their knees and it wasn`t that costly.
RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: What does it say about the
college coed Susan Fluke who goes before a congressional committee and
essentially says that she must be paid to have sex? What does that make
her? It makes her a slut, right? It makes her a prostitute. She wants to
be paid to have sex.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: I mean, the language and the tone of this is, downright
dirty. But how does this kind of language -- how`s this shaping the
debate, Senator Boxer?
BOXER: Well, what I hope it is doing is sending a loud and clear
message to every self-respecting woman that they should turn away from this
Republican party. This is not the Republican party of your grand dad.
This party has moved to the far right. They are ideological. They`re
conducting a war against women. They are conducting a war against the
middle class, and the works force.
Look. Today, we had a vote on tax cuts. The Democratic plan passed.
Not one Republican vote. They voted against giving tax cuts to the middle
class and the working force. And by the way, it always reduces the deficit
by a good amount. They walked away from that because they wanted to give
tax cuts to millionaires and billionaires and it wasn`t good enough for
So, I have to say this election is so critical and it is so important
that everybody weigh in and that women weigh in and they go to the people
who love them and they explain what`s on the line. Everything is on the
SHARPTON: Very, very, very serious times.
Senator Barbara Boxer, California, thank you for your leadership on
this issue as well as for your time tonight.
BOXER: Thank you.
SHARPTON: Coming up, today one party voted to raise taxes on the
rich. The other party voted to raise taxes on the poor. Can you guess
which is which?
Plus, a judge names a new temporary guardian for Michael Jackson`s
And conservatives take aim at the Muppets. These folks really have
too much time on their hands.
You`re watching "Politics Nation" on MSNBC.
SHARPTON: Folks, have you checked us out on facebook? The "Politics
Nation" conversation is going all day long.
Today, "Politics Nation" fans were fired up about the Senate middle
class tax cut vote.
Robert joked sarcastically, "don`t people know? The Grover pledge
about not raising taxes is only for the rich."
Karen had tough words for some senators. Quote, "all who voted
against the middle class need to be voted out of office."
While Lisa had her own spin on the entitlement mentality. Quote, "if
anyone has an entitlement mentality in this country, it`s the rich and the
We want to hear what you think too. Head over to facebook and search
"Politics Nation" and like us to join the conversation that keeps going
long after the show ends. We hope to see you there.
SHARPTON: Folks, this election gives the country a clear choice.
Someone fighting for all Americans and someone fighting for the top one
The vice president, Joe Biden, laid out whose side the White House is on
today at a firefighters union.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This is not your
father`s Republican party. They really, really believe that they have to
cut you and millions of other middle class Americans in order to rebuild
this economy because they believe it is core. They believe the way to
rebuild the economy in this great nation is from the top down. We know the
way to grow this economy. To coin an old phrase, it`s the old fashioned
way. From the middle out.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Vice president Biden knows that it`s the middle class
that`s suffering. That`s why he came to the Senate floor today to lend
support for a bill that would provide tax relief to 98 percent of
Americans. While asking the top two percent to pay just a little bit more.
It was a bill that made sense. That helped the working class while
dealing with our deficit at the same time. Yet despite that, 46
Republicans voted no. They voted against the middle class. How`s that for
priorities? How`s that for absurdity?
But do you know what`s more absurd? That when brave members of
Congress stand up and fight for the middle class and stand up to big
interest, they become political targets.
A report out today says that the conservative business lobby, the U.S.
chamber of commerce, is unleashing ads against five Democrats in tough
Senate races. And get this, it`s been bank rolled by at least $100 million
One of those five Democrats being targeted is Ohio Senator Sherrod
Brown. He`s made a name for himself by standing up for what`s right and he
did it again today when he voted for the middle class tax break.
Joining me now is Senator Sherrod Brown, Democrat from Ohio.
Senator Brown, first of all thanks for coming on the show tonight.
SEN. SHERROD BROWN (D), OHIO: Good to be back, Reverend Sharpton.
SHARPTON: Now, you have a history of standing up for what`s right.
You did it again today. But clearly it`s made you a focus on the right.
How are you going to deal with this avalanche of money that`s being planned
to be spent against you?
BROWN: Well, they`ve spent $10.5 million so far. The U.S. chamber
just -- I heard just bought another eight or $900,000 more, it`s just the
same thing. I mean, they don`t really know where the money comes from. We
figure it`s from the oil industry. We figure it is from Wall Street. We
figure it might be Chinese money that is tied in with the outsourcing of
But you know, you keep fighting for the middle class. You stand up.
At the end it`s whose side you`re on. I don`t think people think it`s much
Republican, Democrat, conservative, liberal, they think whose side are you
In poll like today, shows are you on the side of the middle class or
always, always hold out for tax cuts for the rich. And today, in my state,
it`s 99 percent of taxpayers got a tax cut today, 99 percent. We need the
house to do the same thing.
SHARPTON: Explain to people what was at stake here in the tax cut
bill. What does it mean? You said what happens in your state. Tell the
average American watching what was at stake with this vote.
BROWN: What`s at stake is the Republicans is consistently wanted to
give tax cuts for the wealthiest people and everything else is secondary.
So they`ll vote no on this tax cut for the middle class because they`re so
always in the tank with the wealthiest people.
Whether it`s the oil company tax breaks. Whether it`s protecting
large companies that outsource jobs, protecting their tax breaks. In the
end it`s always that. It`s always their wealthiest contributors. That`s
why this fall is so crucial.
We have -- on my Web site, sherrodbrown.com, we have literally 250,000
people that have signed our petition who want fighting back on these
issues, on all the money that`s come into the state, my state and other
states for this corporate money from the billionaire`s money. They`re
trying to protect oil companies. They`re trying to protect the
SHARPTON: Now, what gets me, Senator, is the Republican tax proposal
is pretty brazen. I mean, it`s bold in how it sides with the rich. I
mean, look at this. It would allow for over a million dollars tax breaks
to wealthier states. Yet at the same time it would let tax credits expire
for some 13 million working families.
SHARPTON: So, when you look at how this is not even subject to
interpretation on embellishing, this is where they`re outright in their
proposal saying what would help in many ways the rich. And let me show you
what Senator Hatch, the bill`s sponsor, called the president on the floor
Let me show you Senator Hatch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. ORRIN HATCH (R), UTAH: Like a petulant child, he is insisting it
is his way or the highway. We`ve had far too much of that.
It is the political equivalent of a temper tantrum. And I expect that
American voters will have about as much patience for this as they would a
similar fit from their children.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: So, this is how Senator Hatch describes the president. The
basis of their bill is a tax proposal that would give a tax break to
wealthy estates of a million dollars or more and credits to 13 million
working families. I mean, it is incredible how bold and brazen it is. You
usually get some form of at least cover. And they try to finesse it, but
this is like a kind of in your face to the middle class kind of policy that
is stunning. Yet there are those that feel they can get away with it.
And I really, really believe we`ve got to bring the message home that
this election is about the middle class and the working poor dealing with
those that are rich. And if we get that not only on the presidential level
but in the Senate level, like you Senator Brown, I think that voters will
at least know what`s at stake and what we`re dealing with here. When you
have such a brazen and bold proposal from the Republicans.
BROWN: Yes. And I think, Reverend Sharpton, I think on all of these
issues, you know, in my state, it`s whose side are you on the auto rescue.
We know that there were 800,000 jobs at stake in Ohio connected to the auto
industry. Many of those people still working in the auto industry wouldn`t
have been working if we didn`t stand up.
And again, it`s not conservative-liberal, it`s whose side you`re on in
these issues. And I think, again, President Obama and the Senate Democrats
today showed that they`re on the side of the middle class, on the side of
people who just want an opportunity to get ahead, want to work, want to
send their kids to school, want to own a house, want to live the American
dream. Just give them a little bit of tax help so they have that
SHARPTON: Now, they`ve poured a lot of money in. They`re pouring
more money in to get you and at least four other Democrats into races.
"The Real Clear Politics" polling shows that you are leading your opponent
by about nine points. But as we said in the intro, they`re pouring
millions of dollars in against you. How are you battling that, Senator?
BROWN: Well, so far, it has been -- as of today, what they`ve spent
is about a little over $11 million. There`s been -- we`re getting outspent
six to one, something like that. But the way you answer it is, first of
all, you build the grassroots effort. We have a couple hundred thousand
people that came to my Web site, sherrodbrown.com, signed up to help us
fight back. That`s a big part of it.
The main part is just continuing to keep your eye, keep focused on
what you do to help the middle class? What do we do to provide opportunity
for people that want to be in the middle class? Whether it`s auto rescue,
whether it`s voting for middle class tax cuts. Whether it`s trying to take
away subsidies for the oil industry, or trying to provide tax breaks for
companies to come back here instead of tax breaks for companies that go
overseas. There are a lot of things we can do. It`s pretty simple and
pretty direct and how you fight for the middle class.
SHARPTON: Senator, Sherrod Brown, thanks for joining us.
BROWN: Thank you, Reverend Sharpton. Very much.
SHARPTON: Still ahead, the mystery of Mitt Romney and Bain Capital
grows deeper. Some big news tonight on what he was doing after he
supposedly left the company.
Plus, growing turmoil in the Jackson family. Today Michael Jackson`s
three children have a new guardian.
And they`re at it again. The right wing is on the attack against the
Muppets. What`s next?
SHARPTON: Folks, I have an announcement to make. An announcement to
make. Are you ready?
The right wing`s not happy. That`s right, not happy at all. We all
know they love to slam the liberal media, environmentalists, and sometimes
the French. But for some reason they`ve got a problem with fake puppets
made out of felt.
That`s right. They`re going after the Muppets. Last week the company
that created the Muppets decided to cut ties with the fast food restaurant
Chick-Fil-A, after Chick-Fil-A president said he opposed marriage equality.
And now the right wing is furious with Kermit.
Conservative blogs say the Muppets are shedding their a-political
ping-pong eyeballs and asking when does Kermit marry Fozzie Bear?
Right-wing radio host Brian Fisher even accuses the Muppets of being
quote, heterophobic, anti-diversity, anti-inclusive bigots. So these guys
support Chick-Fil-A which donates to anti-gay groups and are attacking
characters made of felt. But they have a history of going out to
Remember when Jerry Falwell went after the teletubbies?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JERRY FALWELL: This is one more in many, many building blocks where
we have little boys running around with purses and acting feminine.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: And let`s not forget SpongeBob SquarePants have a hidden
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: SpongeBob is talking a lot of a global warming
and he`s only looking at it from one point of view.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: The SpongeBob book says that it`s a man made
problem that requires human intervention.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: They`re presenting it as fact.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: And the Muppets. They`ve been the subject of right wing`s
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: We called out the new Muppets movie for demonizing
oil executive Tex Richman and for brainwashing our kids with an anti-
capitalist agenda. I mean, how more much demonizing can you be to
capitalism? And yes, it`s terrible.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: They`re going after the Muppets, teletubbies, SpongeBob.
Come on, this is hilarious. But did they think we`d let attacks on Kermit
go unanswered? Nice try, but we got you.
SHARPTON: We`re back on POLITICS NATION with new details about the
mysteries of Willard Mitt Romney and Bain Capital. Questions just don`t go
away. The Associated Press is reporting today that Mitt Romney met with
Bain partners after he claims he left the company. Quote, "Romney
continued to oversee his partnership states even as he disengaged from the
firm. Personally signing or approving a series of corporate and legal
documents through the spring of 2001. According to financial reports."
Now, this new report adds to a pile of mounting evidence that
contradicts Romney`s claim that he left in 1999. In July of 2009, Romney
submitted paperwork to the SEC listing himself as CEO and the president of
Bain. In 2001, Romney`s SEC filing said, the same thing. President and
CEO of Bain.
But his financial disclosure field -- I mean, his financial disclosure
filed last year signed by Romney says quote, "Since February 11, 1999, Mr.
Romney has not had an active role with any Bain Capital entity and has not
been involved in the operations of any Bain Capital entity in any way."
And he continues to deny that he had any role in Bain after he left to run
the Salt Lake City, Olympics.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I had no association with
the banishment of Bain Capital after February of 1999. That`s when I left
the firm. I`m very pleased with the experience I had with the firm. But
as everyone knows, I went off to run the Olympics. For three years, I was
there full time, after that, I came back and ran in Massachusetts for
governor. I have no role with regards to Bain Capital after February of
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Joining me now is Jack Gillum. He is the investigative
reporter who broke the story for the Associated Press today. And Erin
McPike, political reporter for Real Clear Politics. Often frequent helper
of mine on the show. Jack, let me ask you. How would you summarize what
you found in your investigation?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JACK GILLUM, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER, AP: Well, my colleague and I
Steve Braun at the AP decided that once there was a lot of confusions
swirling around about Romney`s time from `99 to 2001, we said, well, let`s
go to the documents. Let`s look at it on paper. And we downloaded a trove
of these documents from -- as you referenced from the Securities and
Exchange Commission. And one story short, we found dozens of them that
showed Mitt Romney`s name attached to Bain investments listing him as the
sole director, shareholder, sole director, president and CEO.
Now, we look a little further and we found that his signature was also
attached on about ten of these documents in which he had what`s called the
beneficial ownership stake in some of these investments. Now, we`ve spoken
to some people who aware of the governor`s meetings with Bain at the time.
It was less about managerial decisions and more about his transition away
from the company.
But at the same time, I think these documents raised more questions
than answers of what really happened during that period from `99 to 2001 as
you say on this personal financial disclosure document, he says that he was
essentially sayonara as of February of 1999.
SHARPTON: Now, in your report, you wrote and I`m quoting from your
report today on "Associated Press." Romney made repeated trips to Salt
Lake City and Boston where he met at times with his former partners. A
legal expert for me would Romney`s talks with Bain partners, told AP,
"Romney did not relinquish his Bain ownership after taking the Olympics
role but that Romney took care to avoid the day-to-day role of a corporate
manager." Which really means he really didn`t totally leave in 1999 and
have nothing to do with the company.
GILLUM: Right. I think what this raises for us when we talk with
these experts and we spoken people at the time, is it shows, if anything
that Romney was transitioning if not already transitioned his role out of
Bain. And some experts we`ve talked to said that there was certainly a
difference between being an owner or having ownership stakes in investments
versus running the day-to-day operations of a company.
And what compounded that was some of the documents we found showed
that Romney had power of attorney, that is the Bain`s lawyers had some
power of attorney over deciding some of these investments. So, again, yes,
I think for us it raises more questions than answers particularly as when
we talked to campaign officials they have been reluctant to share -- to
give us a full picture of what happened during that period from `99 to `01.
SHARPTON: Now, Erin, as we go through the weeds of his finances, why
does this even matter? Why is this important in the politics of 2012
whether he left in 1999 as he said or whether he did not leave? What does
this mean to the average voter in terms of why this should even be an
ERIN MCPIKE, REAL CLEAR POLITICS: It contributes to this pattern of
secrecy that we`ve seen Mitt Romney show over and over again. And as Jack
pointed out, it raises more questions. And that will be very important
because that means that this conspiracy over Bain, essentially, is not
over. That reporters are going to continue to investigate this until we
get to the bottom of it and have final answers.
And that means that Bain Capital and Romney`s involvement with it will
stay in the press and in ads in the Obama campaign likely until Election
Day. And that`s not really a good thing for Mitt Romney. Because that is
not at all what he wants to be talking about, he wants to be talking about
President Obama`s record. And that`s pretty much it.
SHARPTON: But also, is it not true Erin that a lot of the things in
terms of outsourcing and closing of certain businesses that cost people
their jobs happened after `99 and he was saying he had nothing to do with
it, didn`t benefit from it, didn`t gain from it. So he`s trying to really
adjust the time so he cannot have any responsibility at all for some of the
things that Bain has been accused of doing to workers.
MCPIKE: He`s certainly trying to distance himself from that. We`ve
seen that over and over again. But some of the documents that have come
out have shown that his signature is on. Some of these deals with some of
these companies. So, he may have had some sort of advisory role even if it
wasn`t in day-to-day. And so, yes, he could bear some responsibility for
that. And I think that is the key. Those are the questions that are
SHARPTON: Now, let me go back to you in a minute, Jack. In a recent
"USA Today" poll shows, more people think the President is more honest and
trustworthy than Romney. Who is more honest and trustworthy, the poll
raised the question. Mitt Romney, 39 percent. President Obama, 47
percent. Your article, though it raises more questions than it answers,
certainly doesn`t help Mr. Romney in this category.
GILLUM: Well, I think the thing that we have to answer here that we
have to look at further is what regulatory documents and what interactions
can we find during this period that really shed light on this time from `99
to 2001. Which is, as we`ve just been talking about, this was a period
during which a couple of companies including G Steel down in Georgetown,
South Carolina had fell into bankruptcy in which there were other reports
of outsourcing either to Mexico or other countries.
And I think that trying to figure out Romney`s exact role during that
period whether he had an ownership stake or whether he had day-to-day
operations which some folks we talked to said, he necessarily did not have,
I think is the key to figuring out those last years, so to speak.
SHARPTON: Yes. Erin McPike and Jack Gillum, thank you both for your
GILLUM: Thank you.
MCPIKE: Thank you.
SHARPTON: Coming up, a judge takes Michael Jackson`s children away
from their grandmother. Who is the new guardian? And what does it all
mean for those kids?
But first, do we hear wedding bells for a certain North Korean
dictator? It`s your summer break, next.
SHARPTON: We`re back with a pause from the political battles of the
day. A time to rest, relax, and recharge. That`s right. It`s time for
the POLITICS NATION summer break. But today, we`ve got a special North
Korea edition of our summer break for you. And it`s not because of the
blunder we saw today when the Olympic organizers accidentally displayed
South Korean`s flag instead of the North Korean flag in their preliminary
soccer game. Sorry about that, folks.
Instead, we want to celebrate the news that North Korea`s dictator Kim
Jong-un is married to a mystery woman. He`s been seen in the past few
weeks with. But we couldn`t help but wonder what North Korean delights did
he use to woo his new bride? Was it with spectacular North Korean
fireworks shows? I wonder if he took her out to dine on giant rabbits.
That was one of his father`s favorite delicacies.
Maybe he appealed to maternal instinct by having hundreds of kids
perform gymnastics spectacles. Or maybe he ordered his soldiers to dance
their way into her heart. Or she could have been inspired by Minnie and
Mickey Mouse`s love during their unauthorized Disney performance earlier
this month. However you won her over, Kim Jong-un, congratulations on your
marriage. May you live a long and happy life together. Maybe she can help
warm you up to the idea of democracy.
SHARPTON: Now to developing news in the turmoil surrounding the
Jackson family. Tonight, there`s a new temporary guardian for Michael
Jackson`s three young children. At an emergency hearing in California, a
judge suspended the family matriarch Katherine Jackson as the guardian and
named T.J. Jackson, her grandson and son of Tito Jackson in her place. He
is now legally in charge of Michael Jackson`s children.
Joining me now is former prosecutor turned civil attorney John Q.
Kelly and Alicia Quarles, New York correspondent for E! News. Thank you
both for being with me tonight.
ALICIA QUARLES, E! NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Thank you.
JOHN Q. KELLY, FORMER PROSECUTOR: Sure.
SHARPTON: Alicia, can you explain exactly what happened in court
QUARLES: So basically T.J. who`s Tito`s son went and he applied for
temporary guardianship. So, right now, he can make all the decisions for
the children. Who come into the house where the children live, and he also
controls the $86,000 a month that Katherine was getting from Michael
Jackson`s estate to take care of the kids.
SHARPTON: What basis legally could the judge have done that John,
just on the word of T.J.?
KELLY: Well, the other fact they took into consideration was
Katherine was missing from the household. The children returned from
sleepover camp, Katherine, their legal guardian were not there. The
children were back in the house without anybody, you know, ostensibly
taking care of them at that time. So, they needed a guardian appointed.
SHARPTON: But would you not think a judge would say, I give the
guardian x-amount of time to come forward or something. And if the claims
by T.J. was that she seemed like she was not herself on the phone.
SHARPTON: .he could offer an examination. I mean, how do you take
someone who had an interest in this word for the condition of Ms. Jackson?
KELLY: Well, I think T.J. said that she was slurring her words and
she was using language and phrases she`s never used before. So the judge
in the -- I guess an abundance of caution said, all right, you`re the
guardian for tonight. You know, if Katherine comes back in here, if she is
of sound mind, she`s the legal guardian, he can reappoint her tomorrow.
We`re going to be back in court tomorrow or the day after that again.
KELLY: So, it`s just a very temporary situation.
SHARPTON: Let me read Alicia, T.J. testified. He spoke with
Katherine Jackson on the phone last night. She didn`t sound right. Here
is what he said. Quote, "I have never heard my grandmother talk like that.
She wasn`t sharp. The pauses, the choice of vocabulary. She has not used
certain phrases like that before."
QUARLES: Basically, T.J. side of the camp, and Paris Jackson is
saying that some of the kids kidnapped, I mean, it`s the term, Katherine
Jackson in an attempt to control the estate. You know, Paris Jackson was
tweeting out these desperate tweets. I haven`t talked to my grandmother in
nine days. Where`s my grandmother? So, they`re making it seem like
Katherine was being held against her will.
But then you`ve got foot side, Jermaine saying, wait a minute, that`s
not true. Mother is fine. Mother was ordered to rest. Her lawyer went to
see her in Arizona. He wasn`t able to see her. But he said, look, it was
a SPA resort, you know, Katherine is coming back, she wants custody of
SHARPTON: Now, but the question becomes if I thought my mother or
grandmother was kidnapped, wouldn`t I be going to try to get her free? Not
going to try to get the kids?
QUARLES: Well, they`re calling this is a bridge, right? So, somebody
allegedly went to the police office, Trent, this relative of Joe Jackson,
and filed a missing person. The police did not pursue this. So they are
trying to do that. But in between, these are three minors that need a
guardian. And so T.J. who is 34 years old, the kids all support him being
the temporary guardian. Somebody has to watch those kids.
SHARPTON: John, isn`t this at the end of the day going to come down
to there was some claims by Randy and the others that the will of Michael
Jackson that appointed all of these people was fake. That this was the
claim, matter of fact Randy was on the show by phone last night. Let me
play you the sound bite.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RANDY JACKSON, MICHAEL JACKSON`S BROTHER: My brother was not in Los
Angeles from the day that they swore under penalty of perjury on that on
that will that he was. He was in New York. So therefore the will is fake.
And they cannot answer that question. They`ve done whatever they can to
try to turn family members against family members.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Now, on the day in question that`s on that document, he was
in New York with me at the headquarters in National Action Network. If it
proves to be that this will was dated wrong and is in fact fake, won`t this
then change everything in terms of who was appointed?
KELLY: Well, I think what the siblings are challenging right now is
the date of the signature and they`re looking to have the executors
removed. They`re not challenging the substance of the will that the three
children are the benefactors or Katherine is the legal guardian. What
they`re saying is, we know Michael Jackson was in New York, that might be
his signature but something nefarious went on where it`s dated and
notarized at a different time that he signed it. So, these guys should not
be executors. Let`s remove them and start from square one again. Let`s
make sure everything is in perfect order.
SHARPTON: Well, I`ve known Michael since both of us were kids and
I`ve known the Jacksons. One thing I can guarantee you, it`s going to be a
long haul to find out what happened.
KELLY: We`re not talking about the Brady bunch right now, so.
QUARLES: Yes. You know, he wouldn`t have wanted this for his kids.
SHARPTON: No. Absolutely. He loved his kids, he loved his mother,
he loved his brothers and sisters. And they are family. They love each
other and I hope that we`ll follow this and it works out. We`ll be
watching the story as it continues to play out. Alicia, John, thank you
for your time tonight.
We`ll be right back with a tribute to who is called the queen of soul
food. Sylvia Woods. Stay with us.
SHARPTON: Finally tonight, I want to remember a very special woman.
Sylvia Woods, the Queen of Soul Food. She died last Thursday. She was 86.
Today, I had the honor of eulogizing her at the historic Grace Baptist
Church in Mount Vernon. She opened her famous restaurant Sylvia`s 50 years
ago up in Harlem. Though she had humble beginnings, Sylvia turned her
famous cooking into an institution.
Her staples of ribs, hot cakes, corn bread, fried chicken became the
stuff of legend. And she introduced that soul food to a national audience
which supermarket products and cookbooks. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg
said quote, "She brought the world to Harlem and she made sure that the
world took Harlem back home with them."
Sylvia was a pillar of the community, a place where regular people sat
alongside celebrities and politicians. Former President Bill Clinton was a
frequent visitor. I spent a lot of time there myself with Caroline Kennedy
and then Senator Barack Obama during his presidential campaign in 2007.
Other places might have served soul food, but it was Sylvia`s personality
that made us all feel like we were home with momma. She put her soul into
that soul food.
And for that, we will miss her. Even after she started getting
international acclaim and awards and celebrity and became more successful,
she never stopped standing in the door, personally greeting people with a
smile and personally going around table to table asking people how they
enjoyed the food and seeming to know a member of everyone`s family. She
taught us success is not how big you stand. Success is how you keep your
feet planted on the ground.
And soul food was not just about your taste buds. It was about what
you really believed inside. And how you conducted yourself. For this
woman, a walking testimony of the progress we`ve made from Hemingway, South
Carolina, to Harlem, she was able to attract global attention by doing
something simple. Putting on an apron, cooking like momma, but never
losing her humility and never feeling she was a big shot. Long after I
quit eating soul food and meat, I still would go to Sylvia`s. Because the
real soul food at Sylvia`s was Sylvia.
Thanks for watching. I`m Al Sharpton. "HARDBALL" starts right now.
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