'Up w/Chris Hayes' for Saturday, September 29th, 2012
Read the transcript to the Saturday show
UP WITH CHRIS HAYES
September 29, 2012
Guests: Josh Barro, Joy Reid, Sheila Bair, Joe Weisenthal, Ro Khanna, Sherrod Brown, Mike Pesca, Jamilah King, Bill Fletcher
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC ANCHOR: Good Morning from New York. I`m Chris
With critics calling for U.N. ambassador, Susan Rice, to resign over
allegations the administration lied about who was behind the deadly attacks
on Americans in Benghazi, Libya, Senator John Kerry last night called for
Rice to stay on.
And the Republican Party has severed ties with a Virginia-based
consulting group, it has paid almost $3 million to this year alone. The
group is being investigated for voter fraud in nine counties in Florida.
But right now, my story of the week. The Republican bubble trap. If
you follow politics, you`ve probably noticed that polling of the
presidential election has swung quite decidedly in the president`s favor
over the last few weeks. The Real Clear polling -- Politics polling
average now has Obama up 4.1 points over Mitt Romney in national polls.
And Nate Silver`s prediction model at his FiveThirtyEight blog put
Barack Obama`s odds of winning the election above 80 percent for the first
time ever. Swing state polling out just this week seems to confirm the
trend. A new Quinnipiac University/"New York Times"/CBS poll of swing
states of Ohio and Florida shows surprisingly strong leads for the
And the Gallup tracking poll which has showed a near dead heat for
almost the entirety of the campaign now shows Obama up six points. It`s
pretty hard to survey the polling data and not come to the conclusion that
Barack Obama is beating Mitt Romney.
That if the election were held today, Barack Obama would win and that
Romney has a relatively steep, though, certainly not insurmountable uphill
climb to victory. That is, of course, unless you operate in the alternate
epistemic universe of right-wing media.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That begs the question, are these polls dishonest?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No. Look, we endow them with a falls scientific
precision they simply don`t have, these polls. I don`t even pay attention
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Polling is very good at saying how you`re going to
vote. It`s very bad at saying who`s going to vote, and the models these
folks are using are crazy.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: These two polls today are designed to convince
everybody this election is over.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: We should note that Fox News` own polls have been pretty much
in line with everyone else`s, but it`s not just observers making the claim
the polls are rigged, the Romney campaign itself is now getting in on the
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ERIC FEHRNSTROM, ROMNEY CAMPAIGN SENIOR ADVISOR: Some of these polls
have been called into the question because they assume a higher democratic
turnout in 2012 than we experienced in 2008.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: For the record, that`s not really true, but that doesn`t
matter. Conservatives are spending hundreds, maybe thousands of man hours,
far more appropriately bro hours, riding along, tortured pseudo statistical
take downs of every new poll from a wide variety of outlets.
The proprietors of one of the -- the proprietor of one of the go to
site (ph) to this kind of analysis, UnskewedPolls.com told Buzz Feed that
his trap (ph) has gone from 15,000 hits a day to 200,000. And bleed by the
huge uptick, the sites founder, Dean Chambers (ph), is planning an
Quote, "I`ve been hearing from people inside the Tea Party movement
and Republican movement calling to say they support what I`m doing,"
Chamber said. "Its giving them a boost of confidence. They`re glad to see
that someone`s questioning the credibility of national polls."
Now, to the conservatives and Republicans watching out there right
now, I know what you`re thinking. If not just people on the right who fall
victim to this way of thinking, and you`re right. In fact, I can recall
with some what pathetic acuity spending hours on the internet in the waning
days of the 2004 election searching out any in all articles or blog post
about why the lack of cell phones and the call list and the major polls led
to underreporting John Kerry`s strength.
We all, as humans, are subject to confirmation bias. The urge to find
information that we affirms our ideological priors, but the problem is that
the institutional structure of the American right slavishly caters to the -
- to this disposition. Institutional and market incentives on the right
all push towards feeding the audience what they want to hear and make a
good buck while doing it at the expense of actually giving them a handle on
some basic aspects of reality.
Glenn Beck left Fox News to create his own hermetically sealed media
environment wherein no longer has just a radio but now his own website and
TV network where the latter routinely runs stories first reported by the
former. While his audience has shrunk dramatically, NPR recently report of
the business for Beck has never been better.
His company, The Blaze, is expected to rake in more than $40 million
this year. His radio contract just doubled to 100 million over the next
five years. The increasingly claustrophobic parallel conservative universe
isn`t just something that lefties like myself have noted.
Julian Sanchez (ph) the Cato libertarian, who moves in social circles
of both liberals and conservatives coined the term epistemic closure to
describe the ultimate reality found in as he put it that, quote,
"multimedia array of interconnected and cross promoting conservative blogs,
radio programs, magazines, and of course, Fox News," where, quote,
"whatever conflicts with reality can be dismissed out of hand because it
comes from the liberal media and is therefore ipso facto not to be
"How do you know their liberal? Well, they disagree with the
conservative media. This epistemic closure can be a source of solidarity
in energy, but it also renders the conservative media eco system fragile,"
I think we are seeing right now just how prophetic Sanchez was. The
political problems the Republican Party is now facing, losing ground not
only in general election but a wide swath of Congressional races, is due I
think to the fact that the elites of that party have become so used to
operating within the confines of conservatism they`ve forgotten how to
persuade people that don`t already agree with them.
That we built this theme from the Republican convention was a tone
deaf inside joke that played off in intentionally misconstrued supposed gap
that didn`t really seem to resonate with the general electorate. Look at
the difference between the reaction to Clint Eastwood`s speech inside the
hall or it was met with raucous laughter and enthusiastic applause to
outside the hall where it was met with something more like confused
And the ultimate example of the cost of the conservative bubble are
Mitt Romney`s 47 percent comments, versions of which have become common
place to the point of cliche in right wing circles and ones which Romney
offered inside the safety and comfort of the conservative bubble, but if
now leaked out to general populous where they are rightly found noxious.
In the song "Ten Crack Commandments," Biggie Smalls offered a set of
rules for drug dealers who want to avoid the perils, and the trade and one
of them was a piece of (INAUDIBLE) advice.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Never get high on your own supply. Same goes for political
strategists. Never confuse your own talking points of the truth. Don`t
start believing that everyone out there in the voting booth is seeing the
world the way you do the. The GOP has, I think, lost sight of the simple
wisdom. They are now smoking what they`re dealing.
It`s the big part of why those poll numbers look the way they do and a
good reminder of the dysfunction and incompetence that happen when people
in charge only listen to themselves. I`m going to talk to my panel about
the consequences of living inside the conservative bubble when we get back.
HAYES: We`re talking about the increasingly cramped confines of the
conservative bubble in which I think a lot of political operatives on the
right are now operating and how that is hurting them in the general
election possibly is a good clue as to why Mitt Romney`s not winning the
presidential election, why he`s down, and why also other Congressional
candidates and Senate candidates are doing poorly.
Right now, I`m joined by Sheila Bair, author of the new book "Bull by
the Horns: Fighting to save Main Street from Wall Street and Wall Street
from Itself." Its very difficult fight. she`s also former chairwoman of
the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the FDIC, which is really a
remarkable, remarkable bureaucracy and worked as research director and
council to then Senate majority leader, Republican, Bob Dole. Great to
have you here.
Joe Weisenthal, Deputy Editor at "Business Insider" and the fastest
found the internet, MSNBC contributor, Joy Reid, also managing editor at
our sister website TheGrio.com, and Josh Barro, columnist at "Bloomberg
View" who`s recent post about Mitt Romney, quote, "having loss the election
when the 47 percent comments" came out of the most read article in the
history of "Bloomberg View," if I`m not mistaken.
JOSH BARRO, BLOOMBERG.COM: That`s correct.
HAYES: It was 90 billion views --
BARRO: We`re pushing 100 billion now.
HAYES: A 100 billion day dues (ph). Yes.
BARRO: I`m going to retire.
HAYES: Yes, right. Off the royalties from --
HAYES: If only, if only every writer in America --
BARRO: Isn`t that how it works?
HAYES: Isn`t that how it works? This - I found the polling stuff to
be kind of remarkable this week. I mean you know, the polling I think --
look, let`s not overstate how accurate polls are. I mean, its -- if
there`s margins of error and it`s also possible that we are systematically
getting something wrong, you know?
I mean there were models of the big Wall Street banks that were
systematically mispricing real estate out of this for six year. So, no --
lets not put too much - but, I think if you`re empirically minded and look
at the data, the president is winning the race. His lead has increased
over the past, you know, month or so.
It looks like from the polling we`re seeing the 47 percent comments
have hurt him and have hurt Mitt Romney, and yet, there is an increasing
industry growing up on the right to just deny this. and I`m not even sure
like what the point of it. I mean, maybe you`re right, but then, isn`t it
all just going to---- on Election Day be exposed as like -- I`m just
fascinated by how the growth of this industry, Joe.
JOE WEISENTHAL, BUSINESSINSIDER.COM: Well, one of the things that I
see in this outside of politics, because I write about economics so much
is, I use charts a lot in my writing, and you know, comparing public sector
employment, private sector, and I see the same thing all the time. People
cannot just this aggression against data or just convinced that all data is
manipulated or data is a lie.
So, you know, if I show that private sector employment has actually
done relatively well under Obama, relatively well compared to past
recoveries and so forth, and that most of the job losses have been in the
public sector, people just think it`s a lie. There`s -- and there`s no --
the debate ends because I can`t you know -- there`s nowhere to go from
They just refuse to believe it. I see this happen -- so I see this
happen all the time. I think what I thought when I saw the
UnskewedPolls.com site like this is really embarrassing, like I`m just
normal people like escaping to the shelter of this poll that site went up a
WEISENTHAL: Like when we put up posts about it, there like tons--we
were getting tons of search hits for it. So, there`s obviously this huge
thirst. And of course, as you said, I remember like during past elections,
every losing candidate has had this -- the Hillary voters in the 2008
primary had their own circle they were convinced that the support for Obama
WEISENTHAL: -- was way overstated. You were totally right about
2004, the 2002 -- like every election, this happens, but the weird how this
really happened in the last week was kind of remarkable.
JOY REID, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: I mean, isn`t this -- I think this is
sort of a subset of a larger trend on the right, right? And it`s been
going on for a really long time that there`s a sort of combination of self-
pity and sort of feeding the idea that they are victims of this massive
conspiracy by the left to lie about everything that they are truly the
I mean, I`ve been calling it the fun house mirror, but I love your
characterization of it even more, but there is this notion that everything
is a lie. Climate change is a lie. You know, the idea that liberals are
just lying to you all the time this distrust of media, distrust of numbers,
distrust of data. Everything is a lie.
WEISENTHAL: It`s also funny because a lot of the Paul Ryan
supporters, like, it`s not politics it`s just math. That`s like a lot --
math became like kind of funny because liberals talk about science.
WEISENTHAL: And now, conservatives are like all of this budget stuff,
look sorry, it`s just math. We have to slash Medicare and so forth. And
so, it is funny that the party of math now is like creating their own --
HAYES: Sheila, I want to get your thoughts on this, because I just
want note for people watching this, you know Josh, you worked on Mitt
Romney`s 2002 gubernatorial campaign.
BARRO: That`s right.
HAYES: You`ve been a Republican -- I don`t know if you are a
registered Republican --
BARRO: I am.
HAYES: You`re a sure Republican
HAYES: You worked for Bob Dole. So, I just want to make sure that
people watching, it`s not -- we`re not just a bunch of liberals sitting
here talking about like those crazy people out there, because you`ve been
in the Republican Party. You worked on the Republican Party. I think you
consider yourself a Republican now?
SHEILA BAIR, FMR. FDIC CHAIRWOMAN: Yes. Absolutely.
HAYES: And I`m curious what you make of this. Have-- am I wrong? Is
this just a natural human instinct that the internet cultivates and people
just do it or is there a broader issue here with this kind of turning
inward if that`s happened I think among the right?
BAIR: Yes. Well, I think there`s a--it`s kind of a silly debate
about the polls. And you`re right. All the polls are showing consistent
trends. And I think where Republicans should be focusing is their message,
and their message is not resonating. And they are--what my generation was
saying they`re listening to the wrong rhetoric. They`re, you know --
HAYES: As opposed you getting high on your own supply?
BAIR: That`s right.
BAIR: So, you know, I think in -- I think Bill Clinton really nailed
it at the convention. He said, I think you do have a vulnerable incumbent.
The economy is not in good shape. But what -- you know, the middle voters,
which are the voters that -- who are the voters that Mitt Romney needs to
speak to, what they`re hearing is that we want to reduce taxes on the rich
and deregulate again.
And that`s what got us into trouble. And you know, I think--if they
think that we`re just going to repeat the things that brought us the
terrible problems we had in 2007 and 2008, that`s just not going to
resonate. And I don`t think that is his message and that`s what`s coming
across, and they really need to be focusing on that not whose poll is
HAYES: Do you think that that is the product of just some tactical
errors now or the product of a sort of broader shift in the balance of
power within the coalition that is the Republican Party?
BAIR: Right. I think it is part of the balance of power. I think
there is say there`s a certain -- extreme just certain core that just wants
to unseat this incumbent no matter what. And, they don`t understand that
you need to provide an alternative and people aren`t just going to --
they`re not going to vote against somebody.
They`ve been burnt (ph) before. They want to know Mitt Romney is
going to do, and Mitt Romney`s going to help everybody, not just certain
segments of the population. So, I think --
REID: Isn`t the problem that Mitt Romney is only speaking to this
base? The denialism is sort of their core now. They didn`t believe Bill
Clinton was legitimately elected. It had to have been conspiracy to the
fraudulent voters so we have to now legislate voter fraud because the only
reason Democrats win is its all fraud. The election itself is a lie.
Barack Obama didn`t really get elected. Acorn somehow manipulated the
electoral system to place this fraudulent foreigner into the White House.
He isn`t American. There`s denialism about everything. And I think
they`ve built up a media that is willing to cater to the sort of sense of
denialism and victimology, so if you just hermetically seal yourself --
REID: --into conservative media, you can believe that it`s all a lie,
BARRO: I think we`ve seen this on the left, too, and I`m sure, back
in 2004, it`s not just the polls before the election but then the
insistence afterwards the voting machines in Ohio were somehow rigged.
BARRO: But I think the left got past that. They didn`t go into the
2008 campaign. .
HAYES: And there were structures in place institutionally in which
that was -- again, there are human instinct there, right? The question is,
are the structures in place institutionally there that would people that
pursue that line will profit greatly?
HAYES: Right? If there -- if there an incentive to pursue that such
that you can get a huge check or huge prominence or actually like get
elevated and that I think to me is a big question.
BARRO: Well I think the nice thing about this example is that we`ll
know in six weeks. The election will be over, and we`ll know whether the
polls were correct or not, and I don`t think that the -- I don`t that
Republicans are going to, you know, insist that the election was stolen.
BARRO: It`s unless, you know, and pouring (ph) an outcome like
Florida, where it`s really, you know, some -- which I don`t think is going
to happen. So, I think ---I think the party will have to get past this
because they will have a reality check. It`s not like climate change where
you can deny the data and then you have to wait 100 years to figure out
whether you were right or not.
This one at least is just time limited, but the thing that actually
that UnskewedPolls most reminds me of is this network of websites on the
right insisting that the inflation statistics are rigged. And that,
really, we`ve had eight or nine percent inflation for the last decade. And
that, you know, that I think has also been disproved because if that were
true, we would`ve had -- we`ve been in a recession for ten years.
BARRO: That`s correct.
BARRO: People still believe that.
HAYES: One of the things that`s really interesting that`s happening
right now is, A, there`s a debate happening among the right that if the
debate that should be happening after Election Day will find Mitt Romney
lost what`s happening right now. It`s still a very close race, like, it`s
still a very winnable race for Mitt Romney, I think, A.
And, B, I also think all the big money is contributing to this. And I
want to talk about how that plays into this right after we take this break.
HAYES: So, one of the factors, I think, that`s driving this -- the
message of the Republican Party being oddly tone deaf in terms of talking
to middle class voters particularly is the influence of big money, is the
influence of the donor class. We saw the Republican National Convention,
the we built this theme, which I thought was just a really tone deaf theme.
It was based on a supposed gap by the president which itself was
obscure. It was like telling an inside joke. And then, it also -- also
skewed at entrepreneurs who were, great, I love entrepreneurs, great
people, but a very small portion of the electorate. Most people work for
someone else. The vast majority of voters have a boss.
They go to work every day. They`re signing, as someone said the other
day, the back of the paycheck, not the front of it. And so, I think part
of what`s driving the society from Mitt Romney`s position is the fact that
you have all of these huge donors in the Super PACs in the world who that`s
their world view.
They want to see themselves celebrated, and they believe that if only
you celebrate them, if only you give the folks the rhetoric they want, and
this is what you saw in the questions named infamous 47 percent tape, you
saw people being, why don`t you go around and talk about your success,
And I think, actually, we`re seeing the effects of big money
negatively on the Republicans, because this big money is pushing them
towards messages that actually aren`t that effective.
BARRO: I don`t think this is principally about big money, because I
think this is a message that really sells to the Tea Party base in the
Republican Party, which are -- you know, does not principally consist of
people who are very wealthy. I think it`s a message that does sell to
actual small business people which is one of the most conservative
demographics voting groups in the country, you know?
People who own small businesses are much more likely to vote
Republican than wealthy professionals of similar economic means. So, I
think that the -- I think the reason that Romney feels trapped in this
message or feels compelled to keep using it is that it does sell to a
significant part of his base. It`s not just a few people giving him a lot
of money who like it.
REID: I mean, I don`t know if that`s true, because if you look at --
I think the biggest trick and sort of the most genius thing that the right
has done over the last 30 years is get sort of cloth coat Republicans who,
like you said, receive a paycheck rather than writing one, to kind of
worship the job creators and sort of have this reverence for these business
And when I was in Tampa -- we`re both in Tampa for the Republican
convention, it was a giant sort of self-pity party for people who were rich
and who want to be celebrated. You see the Wall Street -- sort of the Wall
Street whining about why is Barack Obama mean to us? Why doesn`t he
Why doesn`t he say how great we are? And then culminating in the
tweets on Labor Day from Republican lawmakers saying Happy Labor Day to
REID: This is your day. No one --- it`s Labor Day, you know?
BAIR: No. I actually agree. I think the -- we vote (ph)that theme
does resonate with -- certainly with a broad base of the Republican Party.
And I think with middle voters, it does as well. We are, you know,
culturally a nation, and we celebrate hard work. We celebrate
entrepreneurship, innovation, and even people, you know, who work for Apple
They still celebrate Steve Jobs as, you know, one of the best
entrepreneurs to ever hit our economy. So, I think it does resonate. And
I think you need to be -- I understand what he was trying to -- the point
he was trying to make. I think Elizabeth Warren probably did it better
early on, but you do need to be careful, because, you know, in some ways,
it`s stating the obvious.
We have -- government has a role. They have infrastructure,
education, and we all need that to perform our jobs, our start-up
businesses, whatever. But, you know, is it going the next step and saying,
well, you know, no matter how successful we are, we`re going to take some
of it, but I think that`s kind what people were hearing, and I think that`s
where the president needs to be careful, but I do think that that theme did
HAYES: You could imagine, I mean, you`re a person of -- perfect
person to channel this. You can imagine a very effective conservative --
Republican message that was also kind of anti-Wall Street?
HAYES: Yes. Well, exactly, right?
HAYES: Right. And the question is why has that --
BAIR: I don`t -- that`s one of the great mysteries. I mean, I think
this is where right and left should agree. I think this is not
ideological. These guys are still threats to our financial system. They
should stand on their own two feet. Taxpayers shouldn`t have to bail them
out, but that`s a good conservative principle. That`s a good progressive
or liberal principle. I don`t understand --
WEISENTHAL: Here, you might be getting to an issue that really is
about the donor.
HAYES: Yes, thank you.
WEISENTHAL: I know who were like hounding the table. Mitt, take on -
- Wall Street take on the banks, take on, you know, really hit this issue
hard. And I think it would resonate with a certain ideological wing.
It would resonate with a lot of people that aren`t ideological but
just are really upset with the bailouts and still think that the bank
bailouts are big reason why the economy is not so great and so on. But I
think it would be too alienating. It seems there is this like sort of like
anti-Wall Street. Its combined with kind of a hard money crowd.
HAYES: Yes. I find them fascinating, those people.
WEISENTHAL: Yes, you have to. But I just --it`s just too impossible
-- I just have a hard time seeing that really get all the way up to the top
given the source of so much money and the way Wall Street has --
HAYES: Because of the donor becoming -- that -- this is the thing,
right? He is -- I mean, we`ve seen all the stories about Wall Street
shifting their donations to Mitt Romney because they don`t like being
called fat cats, and obviously, Mitt Romney comes from the financial world,
so he`s not a great messenger to talk about the --
REID: I mean, we have forgotten, I think, including we in the media,
that the Tea Party movement started with Rick Santelli who is a financial
reporter from CNBC standing on a floor of Chicago Mercantile Exchange, not
complaining about Wall Street but complaining about deadbeat homeowners
(ph). The Tea Party movement itself was Wall Street people complaining
about poor people or people who were in trouble financially.
HAYES: But it took -- I think it took root because of some actual
genuine anger at the banks.
HAYES: I mean, I totally agree with you.
REID: It`s so ironic right?
HAYES: Right. We lose sight of that, because people say, oh, it
started against the banks. No. It started yelling at homeowners --
HAYES: Losers, actually in Rick Santelli`s exact words.
BARRO: But I think there is an opportunity to split both the
Republican base here and the donor base. I think honestly you know, there
are people in the hedge fund industry who view increase bank regulations as
a business opportunity, because they think it will clear space for them to
get into businesses the banks won`t be allowed them anymore.
So, I think there is a message that could be crafted that would have a
financial base on the right and would appeal to a lot of voters who see the
banks as having gotten a free ride, but I think you know, I think Jon
Huntsman tried to be in that space, but then he also tried to be --
HAYES: He got nowhere.
BARRO: Well, but he was also kind of like --
BAIR: I`m writing in this -- no.
BAIR: This one, I am. Yes.
BARRO: I`m poking social conservatives in the eye for no good
political reason and sort of I think he was a flawed candidate.
WEISENTHAL: There is a little bit of an inconsistency in the way a
lot -- even the -- you, see, you hear a lot of like sort of like populist
deregulation. So, it`s like oh, we`re going to repeal Dodd-Frank but is
WEISENTHAL: Yes. Like you hear that, and so, it`s just a really
difficult message for all kinds of reasons.
HAYES: I want to talk about the other huge cost of the Republican
bubble, which I am more and more convinced has -- it goes by the name of
Paul Ryan. I think if you look at the polling actually, naming Paul Ryan
to the ticket was a big mistake. Let`s look at some of the numbers in Ohio
and Florida that show that right after we take this break.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MITT ROMNEY, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: There are 47 percent of the
people will vote for the president no matter what, who are dependent upon
government, who believe that they are victims, who believe that government
has a responsibility to care for them, who believe they`re entitled to
health care, to food, to housing, you name it.
And they will vote for this president no matter what. And so, my job
is not to worry about those people. I`ll never convince them. They should
take personal responsibility and care for their lives.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: That`s the new ad the Obama campaign is running, I think, in
seven swing states. That`s not just like something you put on the web,
that`s running in swing states. They put a lot of money behind that. I
think it`s pretty brutal. They didn`t try to gild the lily, just let it
speak for itself.
Official UP WITH CHRIS HAYES policy obviously that all guests at the
table are entitled to food which is why we have this.
HAYES: We believe that you`re entitled to food. What I said before
the break was that I think when you look at what`s the thing that is pushed
the polls apart, there`s the -- you know, the convention balance, the 47
percent comments. But if you look at the internals, Noam Scheiber at TNR,
at The New Republic, had a post the other day I found persuasive.
He said look at the internals In Florida and Ohio. Look at Florida,
huge swing from Romney to Obama among those 65 and older in the last month.
OK? Late, August, the president was down 13 points in Florida among people
65 and older. Today, he`s up four. So -- and we see what the actual
results are. Obama is now beating Mitt Romney. He was down.
Ohio polling, Obama was down eight points among people 65 and older.
Today, he is up one. I think that`s -- and he writes, I think,
persuasively that Republicans, again, get smoking what they were dealing
thinking that their desire to see the end of Medicare, to see the
entitlement shrunk -- state vastly shrunk was actually a popular political
message broadly decided to double down on it by putting Paul Ryan on the
ticket and going right after it. And, these are the results.
REID: Yes. I mean, I think much like playing the notorious BIG, you
are spot on once again -- that is it, because that -- I look at those same
(ph) internals and said the only thing that has changed demonstrably is
seniors. And not only -- it`s huge because seniors have been so resistant
to Barack Obama. They`ve been the one constituency that had not warmed up
to him at all.
And in 2010, they were a big reason why that wave washed up against
Democrats. Now, you actually see in Iowa, in Ohio, in these swing states,
seniors moving back for one reason, Medicare, and putting -- the only thing
special about Paul Ryan was this budget that he put forth that wants to
voucherize Medicare. By putting him on the ticket, Romney owns it whether
he likes it or not.
HAYES: Which they all voted for and convinced themselves was a smart
thing to do. They`ve walked the plank on a vote that had no -- surely
symbolic. It wasn`t going anywhere, and yet, they got the entire caucus to
vote to voucherize Medicare. I`m talking about the first round of the Ryan
HAYES: The whole caucus voted for it and --
REID: And they went for the second version, too.
WEISENTHAL: I think it`s a different -- you talk about bubbles. I
think that`s actually different bubble than the right bubble -- that`s kind
of like the serious people bubble. So, it`s actually kind of bipartisan.
WEISENTHAL: Or in Washington where you have --
HAYES: That`s a good point.
WEISENTHAL: -- Democrats like the whole Simpson-Bowles thing where
people on both sides of the aisle think that really -- that walky-ish -- I
don`t even think it`s like walking, but that --
WEISENTHAL: -- like specific proposals about how we`re going to, you
know, reduce the --
WEISENTHAL: -- so within elite circles and a big swath of the media,
I would say, there is like this glow that envelopes people who take on
these things. And, I think the public does worry about the national debt
and the deficit in the abstract, but as soon as it starts coming to
specifics, you start talking about, you know, what`s really going to cut,
it doesn`t seem to play very well.
BARRO: I think this is interesting in part because the Republican
strategy on Medicare was a little more complicated than just vote for this
HAYES: No. It was much more complicated. Very tangled.
BARRO: Well, but they -- what they were trying to do was split it
where they were they were going to say if you`re over 55, you`re going to
keep what you have now, and in fact, we`re going to spend $700 billion more
BARRO: -- over the next ten years. Paul Ryan instantly reversed the
position that he had when he was In congress. His budget kept the
president`s Medicare cuts. Romney says he`ll repeal the Medicare cuts, and
now, Ryan says that, too.
And it looked to me at first like that was working, that they were
actually managing to sort of get to the president`s left on Medicare and
attack him and say the president`s going to cut your Medicare. We`re going
to protect it. I don`t know why it`s not still working.
HAYES: Here`s why. They`ve -- so they`ve decided they`re going to
pick this fight on Medicare, and it`s a bizarre fight they picked for
exactly the reasons you named. Clearly, they`re the party that wants to
shrink the entitlement state in the long run. All you have to do is read
what Republican say and see what they say, you know, behind closed doors or
even read conservative blogs from the "Wall Street Journal" editorial page.
We all know what the conservative apparatus in the Republican Party
thinks about the entitlement state. At the same time, they want to say,
actually, we`re going to be more extravagant to you, seniors, on
entitlement. But broadly, what they did was they made the mistake of
picking a fight on an issue that the Democrats have all this reputational
capital built up over time.
And it`s not sustainable. If Democrats went out and try to convince
the electorate that they were the party that was going to give more tax
cuts to the rich, it would not be possible. It`s not a credible promise.
We all understand which party does that and which party opposes it. You
can`t swoop in in 2012, and I`m seeing this play out. When I was in
Nevada, all these ads were being run by Crossroad CPS (ph) and about
This is madness. Don`t -- if you`re a Republican, don`t pick a fight
on who`s going to spend more on Medicare. That is not your comparative
REID: And not only that, but don`t try to divide current seniors from
basically saying --
HAYES: Well, that might be smart politically, actually.
REID: But it isn`t working.
HAYES: Right. Yes, that`s true.
REID: What we`re finding out is that seniors care about Medicare for
the future, too. And that they don`t like the idea of changing the
program, period. And if you say, well, for your grandkids, they`re getting
a voucher, they don`t like that, either.
HAYES: Before I let you go, Josh Barro, a bit of advice, a smart
point from my friend, Matt, who e-mailed to reference the biggie Ten Crack
Commandments thing. Now, we missed a very important piece of advice from
Mitt Romney. Advice number one in Biggie`s Ten Crack Commandments is never
let them know how much dough you hold.
HAYES: That Mitt Romney is listening to. He maybe ignoring that
never get high in your own supply. Josh Barro, columnist at "Bloomberg
View," thanks for your time, man.
BARRO: Absolutely. Good to be here.
HAYES: A major new revelation about the strength of the Obama
recovery, up next.
HAYES: We`ve been discussing new poll numbers suggesting the
president (INAUDIBLE) election shifting decidedly in the president`s favor.
For months, the conventional wisdom among the political establishment has
been this election would be a nail biter. The lagging economic economy
would weigh the president down.
And Republicans figured all Mitt Romney would have to do is ride vast
waves of economic discontent into the White House, but somehow, despite
what appears to be on the surface to be a dispiritingly slower recovery,
President Obama is surging. In Ohio, a must-win state for Romney, the
president is ahead by 10 points, according to the Quinnipiac
University/"New York Times"/CBS poll released Wednesday.
The same poll found him up nine points in Florida. And perhaps, even
more surprisingly, voters in both states now trust President Obama more
than Mitt Romney to turn the economy around. As "New York Times"
columnist, Paul Krugman, put it on Thursday, quote, "this really isn`t
looking like the election anyone expected."
So, what happened? The predominant theory seems to be that Mitt
Romney is an inept candidate, that his repeated gaffes have set him back
against and otherwise weak incumbent. That may be true, but the facts
suggest something deeper and more important going on. The economic
recovery may just be a bit more real bust than we`ve all assumed.
The striking example of that came this week when the Bureau of Labor
Statistics announced that it underestimated the number of jobs created from
March 2011 to March 2012 by a massive 386,000. Taking those new jobs into
account, President Obama has now overseen a net positive, 125,000 jobs,
added to the economy even if you take into account the massive job losses
from the financial crisis at the start of his term.
Not one of the only economic bright spot (ph) this week, on Friday,
the University of Michigan`s consumer confidence index reached its second
highest level of nearly five years. Joining us now to talk about this is
Ro Khanna, author of "Entrepreneurial Nation: Why Manufacturing is Still
Key to America`s Future?" and former deputy assistant secretary in the
Obama Congress. Great to have you here.
RO KHANNA, AUTHOR: Thanks for having me.
HAYES: All right. So, we know the headline numbers. GDP growth
provides down, GDP growth continues to be sluggish. I don`t think anyone,
anywhere thinks, hey, awesome, one percent, 1.2 percent GDP growth which is
have that for another 10 years, right? No one likes that.
Unemployment, too high. No one is happy, well, except for some of
the people on the Federal Reserve board, apparently --
HAYES: --is happy with unemployment above eight percent. And yet, I
think the economic picture is a bit more complicated than the headline
numbers indicate. And I`ve actually, as someone who`s been a very critical
from the left of the recovery, have been surprised.
Joe, are there things you`re seeing in the data that suggest why
voters seem more bullish on the economy than you might anticipate they
WEISENTHAL: Let me just break it down how I see --
HAYES: Break it down, Joe.
WEISENTHAL: I think there`s two ways of looking at it. One is, the
economy is bad. The unemployment is way too high. GDP growth is slow is a
really disappointing. We`d like it all much stronger. On the other hand,
there`s this relative way of looking at it compared to other crises,
compared to what`s going on in Europe, compared to what`s going on in
China where you have to be impressed by the resilience of the U.S.
When you look at it from the voters perspective, I think, there are
like two interesting things. One is, housing is starting to come back, and
I think the positive effects of that are going to be huge in terms of
wealth effect, in terms of what people feel comfortable spending their
money and so forth.
This was the core of the collapse and now it`s coming back. And then
the other thing is this sort of steady improvement. The non-farm payrolls
creation is spotty where you see the steady improvement in the decline of
HAYES: Jobless claims. Yes.
WEISENTHAL: And that is like a sense of everyone looking around are
seeing fewer and fewer people being laid off all the time. And I think
that has to create a positive feeling for a lot of voters that things are
not only -- that things are consistently getting less bad.
HAYES: We have a few charts. Let`s go to the charts here. This is
the jobless claims year over year, and you see them falling off since 2009,
right? So, that`s still --
WEISENTHAL: So, yes, basically, that number has been about negative
10 percent. So, every year that -- every week, jobless claims have been
about 10 percent lower than they were a year ago. That`s incredibly steady
improvement. Basically for two years, no worsening of that trend in a long
HAYES: Here`s household debt as a percentage of GDP. Obviously, a
huge amount of debt was (INAUDIBLE) the bubble and a big part of what`s
called the balanced sheet recession which is what we`ve been experiencing
is getting rid of it. You see that starting to come down, although, if you
look at that graph, there`s a long way to go, right? That`s household debt
as a percentage of GDP.
WEISENTHAL: That`s one reason to think that this recovery is going to
be slow for a long time, because it`s also the debt that really affects
people. So, when people talk about the debt, in politics, they`re usually
talking about the national debt.
WEISENTHAL: This is the debt that was at the core of the crisis. And
this is the debt that`s actually improving (ph).
HAYES: And then, finally, I want to -- you said compared to post
crisis recovery, because this to me is fascinating. When you start the --
it was clear the campaign and the white house thought, you know, the
absolute numbers are rough in terms of re-election. And we have to make an
argument about the counter factual about how we saved the country from real
And, there`s been a lot of debate on the left, on the right about the
rescue plan, the bailouts, policy known as extend and pretend which is
basically the kind of hand waive at the housing problem. You make a case
that that`s actually been quite effective. You make a case in your book
that it`s unjust and somewhat outrageous, and I`d like you guys to litigate
that right after this break.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
America is a great place, because there`s a fantastic fusion of two
forces, individualism and community. When you look at communities where
there`s been a natural disaster or where there`s been a terrible terrorist
attack, what you see is Americans running towards each other, not running
away. So, there`s a kind of amazing fusion between individuality and yet a
commitment to community. And I don`t think there`s anywhere on the earth
quite like it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Talking about the economic recovery and the role it`s playing
and the campaign in the ways in which it has not created the political drag
on the president one might assume just from looking at eight percent
unemployment. And one of the arguments that the White House has made in
the re-election campaign is, it could have been worse.
The rescue is really effective, and I think the conventional political
wisdom and I will come to this myself (ph) is that you can`t sell counter
factual arguments to voters. And I actually think they`ve done a pretty
good job of selling counter factual arguments to voters. I think they`ve
been so insistent on reminding everyone in the crisis.
And Joe, you put up this chart on "Business Insider" the other day
about comparing employment recovery in various different financial crisis,
right? So, Sweden had a financial crisis. Spain had a financial crisis,
Japan, and what you see is that the U.S., which is that red line there,
right, is doing much better, right?
If things cut off and didn`t go as deep and it`s coming back faster
than almost any other one except for Japan which is kind of stays the same
for 20 years. You`re very critical of a lot of the actions that were taken
around the rescue. Do you feel that -- do you feel that it was the right
thing to do? Do you feel like the policy was handled well? What was wrong
with about it?
BAIR: Well, I think in 2008, we were dealing with a situation
potentially spinning out of control. And so, we threw a lot of money at
it. We were flying blind. We didn`t have a playbook. I didn`t really
like what we did then, but I at least understood it better. But in 2009,
we did have a stable financial system. I am a rip the band aid off kind of
I think that`s really when we should have started imposing some
discipline at least for these very sick (ph) institutions, making them sell
their toxic assets (INAUDIBLE) that would give them some realistic mark
about what they`re really valued. I mean, that continues to be a problem
with the bank balance sheets. So, a lot of the assets are held at an
inflated value. By doing that, you create new balance sheet capacities.
If you just prop the bank up and leave all the bad assets there, what
do they do? They nurse their balance sheet. Over period of years, they`re
very conservative. When you get into a business cycle, when you want a
healthy institution willing to go in there and take some risks and lend
into an uncertain economic situation, sick banks with a lot of bad assets
just don`t do that.
It was also -- there was the moral hazard problem. I`m sorry, there
was. There needed to be some accountability. There never was. We just
kept bailing institutions out. And I do think in the housing policies have
not been effect, we should have done a lot (ph) more. It was part of
trouble -- to get the mortgages restructured.
We didn`t really do that very well, either. So, I do think we would
have had a more robust economy if we had tried to fundamentally restructure
bank balance sheets in 2009. We didn`t -- you know, I guess I`m trying to
prove a negative now, too.
BAIR: But I do. And I think history is really more on my side than
HAYES: Well, no. Ro, I want to get you to weigh in on this. One of
the things I think is interesting I remember the big debate in 2008. What
do we do with these toxic assets, right? There`s always toxic assets.
What do we do with them? And then it was just kind of like, whatever
happened to those --
BAIR: It`s hard to deal with them. I mean, they need to write checks
to big institutions. It`s hard to set up a facility, set up an auction
process. They would have taken losses if you -- if the government had
forced them to sell mainly bad mortgages. A lot of bad securities, a lot
of bad commercial real estate loans.
But you would have had some type of pricing process to know what the
true value of the assets or which would be very helpful market information,
you would have expanded balance sheet capacity to lend.
HAYES: Ro, what`s your thought?
RO KHANNA, AUTHOR, "ENTREPRENEURIAL NATION": I think we have to
remember that where the economy lies at that point. I mean, there was
thought about the market going down to 3,000. There was a fear of actual
collapse. And I think what the president did is said, let`s stabilize the
And I think what`s resonating in Ohio and other places is also his
focus on manufacturing, on exports. And people are responding to a sense
that he has a long-term vision to what`s going to make America economically
competitive. So, I think what the president`s strategy was is let`s
stabilize the financial system and then build a new strong foundation.
HAYES: But what does that vision -- I mean, part of the issue there,
right, is there`s the vision in the future which he talks about all the
time and then there`s the current problem and I think -- I felt sometimes a
little lack of urgency coming out of Washington about the jobs crisis,
particularly, from Republican Party but even in terms that the way the
president talks about the present from the White House itself in terms of
talking about jobs.
KHANNA: Well, I think that the president, if you look at what they
did with the small business administration, with the funding of loans to
small businesses, with the export initiative, with the focus on
manufacturing for the first time in 30 years, I mean, those were things
that were going to create jobs.
And even on China, the huge debate about who was going to be tough on
China. Yesterday, the news was that the Chinese currency is the highest
it`s ever been relative to the dollar. And I think that led from an
administration focus on the Chinese currency. So, I don`t think that there
was a sense that immediate jobs don`t matter, but I think Americans are
They care about our economic future. And I don`t think it`s right
that the long term doesn`t sell. I mean, people have a stake in whether
we`re going to be a great economy and I think the president`s vision is
selling. It`s the immediate and the future.
REID: But you know what`s interesting though is I think during that
time, and I think I find myself agreeing with you on this is that that
moment when T.A.R.P. happened, that was sort of the last time that we had
sort of a bipartisan agreement that we have to act together for the future
of the country, right?
Since then, you`ve had Republicans I think hedging in part because I
think from a political standpoint, a bad economy would be helpful to them
in the elections. But at that moment, I mean, you had John Boehner weeping
on the floor of the House asking people to pass T.A.R.P. which Republicans
just didn`t organically want to do, but everyone sort of did it.
And I do think there was some caution in the stimulus. And I do think
that we did sort of miss an opportunity for holding Wall Street
accountable. And I think that that moment was partly because of political
caution maybe. I don`t know what it was, but it does feel like he could
have done that.
BAIR: Well, I think Wall Street`s influence is very -- you know, I do
think this administration`s economic team has been Wall Street friendly, I
do. And I think the president has got the worst of both worlds so they
don`t like him because he`s been publically critical of them.
BAIR: But I think the economic team has been pretty friendly to Wall
Street. And I -- the thing about the bailout, so, would you do the
bailouts again? I mean, that -- I`m sorry, it makes my skin crawl when
they (ph) said these bailouts were great. They saved the system. They
I mean, the cynicism that has been created, the moral hazards that
have been created. I feel a lot of people on Wall Street would just like
to take those risks again.
REID: -- the bailouts were a good idea, but that we could have done
more to hold accountable --
BAIR: We had to do something. We were in a crisis in 2008, but in
2009, we had stabilized the banking system. We could have imposed some
accountability there. I think there are people in the White House, I think
there are people at the fed, I think there are people in this treasury (ph)
want to do that. It just didn`t get done because -- leadership of the
HAYES: Hold that thought. Senator Sherrod Brown is going to weigh in
on all this when we come back.
CHRIS HAYES, HOST: Good morning from New York. I`m Chris Hayes.
Here with Sheila Bair, author of "Bull by the Horns : Fighting to
Save Main Street From Wall Street and Wall Street from Itself," former
chair of the FDIC.
Joe Weisenthal from the BusinessInsider.com.
MSNBC contributor Joy Reid, also with TheGrio.com.
And Ro Khanna, author of "Entrepreneurial Nation: Why Manufacturing
is Still Key to America`s Future", formerly with the Obama Commerce
We`re talking about the economy, recovery and I think the complexity
of the recovery. I mean, that to me is what is surfacing in this campaign.
The recovery isn`t one thing. It`s not great. It`s not terrible.
It -- for different segments of the population, there`s been
different benefits. And my own pet theory about the recovery is that the
biggest critique of the recovery isn`t the aggregate, because we showed a
graph of how compared to other financial -- the aftermath of other
financial crises, employment has actually come back faster. That`s quite
It`s distributional, right? It has benefitted certain people way
more than others. Personal income has flat-lined. Wages are stagnant.
Household debt is just so rather high.
In 2010, the first year of the recovery, 93 percent of income gains
went to the top 1 percent income of voters, 93 percent. The first year of
the recovery, 93 percent of income gains and the banks are back at --
UNIDENTIFIED GUEST: Nice profits.
HAYES: Ro, what is your response for someone who worked in the Obama
administration. The president has focused a lot on the middle class, I
think both in his policies and his rhetoric, the fact that the way the
recovery is playing out distributionally has been so skewed.
RO KHANNA, AUTHOR, "ENTREPRENEURIAL NATION": I think part of that is
a fair critique. I think, I think, my personal view is that there should
have been a larger stimulus. Paul Krugman has called for that. That would
have helped consumer demand. It would have helped the middle class more.
I think the distributional effects are skewed.
The one thing, though, to say, is with the stock market, a lot of
people have their pensions in there. A lot of unions have pensions in
there. So, the stabilization of the market and taking the market from
HAYES: And the growth.
KHANNA: And the growth -- has helped a lot of middle class families.
I think that`s being reflected in the battleground support.
JOE WEISENTHAL, BUSINESSINSIDER.COM: Yes. I mean, one area where I
agree with Sheila completely is the sort of failure to look at that
household debt to GDP chart that you showed earlier and say, this is the
problem. There has been a lot of confusion, I think, people talk about the
banks, the national debt, whatever. This to me -- this was the core of the
issue, the fact that households had too much debt and that the recovery and
the decline was going to be all about this deleveraging.
And to the proper response -- they did it to some extent but to
really think about using the government`s resources to ameliorate this
HAYES: I want to bring in Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown who is in
a competitive race against Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel to keep his seat.
Senator, great to have you this morning. And we`ve seen a lot of
SEN. SHERROD BROWN (D), OHIO: Chris, good to be back. Thanks.
HAYES: -- a lot of presidential activity in your state. We`ve also
seen the polls move in Democrat`s direction, both in your direction and in
the president`s direction.
And I want you to weigh in on this. What does the economy look like
from the perspective of the Ohio middle class, working class voter?
BROWN: Well, I think increasingly better. Not great.
I think people are still anxious, of course. People still look
around. They see more people hired. They see more manufacturing jobs.
They don`t see enough yet and that`s our challenge.
Ohio`s unemployment rate in the last two plus years has gone from
over 10.5 percent to under 7.5 percent. Much of that is the auto rescue.
Much of that as Joe and others were talking on the show is the discussion
of exports and attention to manufacturing and SPA raising the loan limits
for small manufacturing companies.
And we`ve seen trade enforcement create jobs. There`s a new steel
mill in Youngstown that wouldn`t have been there if we hadn`t enforced the
oil country tubular steel rules. We`re seeing more tire jobs in Finley,
more aluminum jobs in Heath and Sidney, more steel jobs in Lorraine and
So all of that comes together in a way that I think makes people a
good bit more optimistic but still anxious in the state.
HAYES: You know, there`s a long discourse among progressives in
every election about the white working class, how we`re going to win the
white working class. We lost the white working class in the Democrats.
I thought this chart from I believe public religion and research
institute at Pew about the white working class voters. And they`re roughly
split between the president and Romney in everywhere but the South where
there`s a huge gap. The one region where white working class voters are
supporting the president over Mitt Romney is in the Midwest, is in your
What is -- what`s the source of that? Is that -- is that the auto
rescue? Is it the out of touch plutocratic heir of Mitt Romney? What`s
your understanding about that?
BROWN: Well, it`s yes and yes. It`s probably higher rates of
unionization in these plants and the entire rates unionization among white
working class voters. It`s the auto rescue but it`s the part of the auto
rescue especially for nonworking voters that are rarely talked about in
You have insight that most don`t have on this, Chris, I think, and
it`s the supply chain. Tier two and three and tier four supply chain auto
companies. You know, the UAW members that work at the Jeep plant in Toledo
that put together the Wrangler, the Liberty, and the UAW workers in
Youngstown that put together the Cruze, one of America`s bestselling cars
now, that wouldn`t be there in all likelihood without the auto rescue,
they`re already voting for Obama, voting for me, voting for Democrats
because they`ve had this process of understanding the auto rescue from the
The anxiety when they thought their lives were going to -- their
communities and lives were so threatened and standard of living and all.
But it`s the tier two and three and four suppliers that might make the bolt
that goes into the aluminum wheel that goes in Cleveland and Alcoa that go
into the final assembly. Those workers are likely to be non-union and
those workers are learning increasingly that the auto rescue has mattered
JOY REID, THEGRIO.COM: You know, Senator Brown, this is Joy Reid.
Do you feel like because -- you know, I do think the Republicans have
bifurcated self interest among white working class voters from the cultural
issues that draw them to the Republican Party. Do you think that that`s
more what`s pulling those voters back toward the Democrats, more than,
let`s say, Paul Ryan`s issues on Medicare? Because in Ohio, that`s one of
those states where Medicare is really resonating with voters too. Do you
think the self-interest is coming back for these voters?
BROWN: Well, I guess I don`t -- I don`t subscribe to the theory that
white working class voters don`t understand their self-interest on economic
issues. I think we don`t talk to them.
I mean, they may in some cases vote on other issues and cultural
issues. I`m sure that many do. That would account for the 20 percent of
UAW workers in Toledo or Youngstown that don`t vote for Obama or me I
But I think the issue is we as Democrats by and large fail to talk to
the white working class, particularly white working class nonunion voters.
We do very well among white working class union voters but not so well
among nonunion voters. That`s a complex array of issues there.
But we don`t talk to them about economic issues enough. That`s why -
- that`s why the discussion of my currency bill, the biggest nonpartisan
jobs bill that passed the Senate in 2011, supported by a number of
Republicans, even, quote-unquote, "pro free trade" Republicans, to level
the playing field on currency.
That is very appealing to white working class voters because they`ve
seen a government that`s betrayed them over the years and they want a
government that`s on their side. They didn`t like NAFTA. They didn`t like
CAFTA. They don`t like our trade policy, our tax policy, that reward
companies to go overseas. They don`t like the Cayman Islands parking
And it`s all those issues appeal to white working class voters who
have been dealt a pretty bad deck of cards over the last 25 years.
HAYES: Senator, you`ve been very outspoken on trade since your days
in the house. In fact, you wrote a book on it and you`ve been talking
about China a lot for a long time.
China has now emerged in this election. Obviously, both candidates
have tried to seize the mantle of being tough on China.
And my question to you is, tough on China is something that every
presidential candidate is during the campaign but there`s a real continuity
in American policy, trade policy and foreign policy with China, and not
necessarily because of that every candidate is lying or they`re sellouts,
but because it`s an incredibly complicated relationship.
I want you tell me what is going to be different about a relationship
with China if Barack Obama is elected versus Mitt Romney right after we
take this commercial break.
HAYES: We have Senator Sherrod Brown from Ohio.
And, Senator Brown, I asked you about what our vision is for China.
You sponsored a bill about it. What its odds are going forward? What
policy might look like under a Democratic or Republican administration?
BROWN: Well, I think you look back to -- I mean, sometimes you want
to look back to look forward. You look at the history of the two
candidates for -- on China.
And Mitt Romney`s never shown much interest in enforcing trade rules
in China. You`ve heard -- you`ve seen the ads and heard the president`s
discussion of what Romney did at Bain Capital. So I don`t have very high
hopes for him doing much of anything positive with closing the trade
imbalance between the U.S. and China and strengthening our economic
relationship that way.
President Obama has been the most aggressive president actually since
Reagan in enforcing trade rules. I mentioned the steel, the aluminum, and
the tires and some work on solar panels and some other issues that the
president has been aggressive in enforcing.
The next step is our legislation. I organized 20 senators to send a
letter to John Boehner asking him to move forward on our legislation that
had passed the Senate bipartisanly to level the playing field on currency
because that`s the Chinese method on every single import/export that really
cheats, that sets -- the makes the playing field not level.
They subsidize other things, water, energy, capital, land, depending
on the product that they are exporting. But on currency, it clearly puts
our companies at a disadvantage to sell there and our companies here at a
disadvantage competing with Chinese imports and products coming from China
to the U.S.
So we know what we have to do there. If this legislation gets
through, I think the president will sign it. I think it helps to change
our relationship and I think it will help American manufacturing. I don`t
think there`s any question about that.
HAYES: Ro, you just wrote a book on manufacturing. You know, the
senator`s talking about this leveling the playing field. Other critics are
going to say, this is just demagoguery. This is just protectionism.
What is your response to those who say that these kinds of actions
are essentially fundamentally protectionist and backwards?
KHANNA: There`s no doubt -- the senator is right -- that we have to
have China accountable on fair trading regime, the currency, intellectual
property enforcement, not subsidizing.
But if you read Henry Kissinger on China, he will tell you what this
requires is tough diplomacy, statesmanship and leadership that`s actually
going to bring about changes in the regime.
And Mitt Romney is no Henry Kissinger. I mean, sloganeering is not
going to solve the problem. It requires statesmanship and diplomacy. And
so, the question is, everyone agrees we don`t want China to manipulate its
currency, we don`t want them subsidizing their industries.
How are you going to actually get from point A to point B? And I
think this administration has shown the diplomacy required.
WEISENTHAL: I want to bring up the currency thing. The Chinese
currency hit a 19-year high Thursday or Friday.
Why is it not -- is it not going fast enough? I mean, they are
actually strengthening the currency. Why do we think that it`s -- that
they`re not doing it at a fast enough pace or that they could be doing it
as such a faster pace that would make a huge difference?
HAYES: Senator Brown, are you winning?
BROWN: Yes. I`m sorry. Do you want me to answer that?
BROWN: Fundamentally, I hear this comment about protectionism and I
hear this comment about trade war, and in many ways we are in a trade war.
Only one side`s fighting.
The president just released -- just did a filing with the World Trade
Organization on auto parts.
Ten years ago, we had a $1 billion trade deficit with China
bilateral. Today, it`s $10 billion and that`s not -- that`s not based on
Chinese efficiency and productivity. It`s based on a whole lot of
subsidies and other ways, which the Obama administration has figured out.
But the reason it won`t be a trade war is that the fears that sort of
the outsourcers always try to stoke in the American public and among the
media and certainly in Congress is that we are such a huge market for
China. Something like more than 1/4 of Chinese exports come to the United
States. If you have a customer that`s unhappy with you and that customer
buys 20 percent or 30 percent or 40 percent of your products, you`re not
just going to turn your back. You`re going to work with them.
And the Chinese work with us when we actually stand up to them on
these issues. President Clinton did it with intellectual property from
time to time and the Chinese would respond. There would be histrionics,
they`d scream and yell and then they`d change their behavior a little bit.
The same with these issues when we`ve enforced trade rules. I mean,
I want a good trading relationship with China, I just think it`s too one
sided. I think Americans -- when the Congress, when the International
Trade Commission, when the Department of Commerce, when the White House,
when the Congress stands up, when we all stand up it makes a huge
difference and the relationship will settle in in a way a bit more
advantageous to the United States of America and to especially to our
manufacturing companies, the smaller ones especially, and the workers in
HAYES: That`s in some ways what you`re saying, Joe. I mean, it
sounds like whatever is happening, it`s working in terms of the
appreciation of the Chinese currency.
KHANNA: But I don`t think it`s let China appreciate the currency to
the extent they want. It`s having them have an exchange rate that`s to the
And let`s not forget, this is hurting people in China. It`s hurting
the consumers there at the expense of elite exporters. So, if you care
about human rights, if you care about being progressive, you ought to care
about the Chinese currency.
WEISENTHAL: I guess a real quick point. The Brazilian finance
minister this week attacked our Federal Reserve for decreasing the value of
the dollar and he used this term currency wars which everyone has glommed
I guess with China increasing the value of its currency, it doesn`t
strike me they`re doing anything particularly unusual anymore. Every
country is involved in China manipulating currency to some extent to try to
get favorable terms.
HAYES: Partly the problem is also that we`re looking towards a
future. Everyone points to Germany. Everyone points to export economies
where everyone wants to be an exporter but, of course, not everyone can be
an exporter, right? I mean, that`s the problem is. People are seeing the
way out of the recession is to be net exporter and not everyone could be a
I want to thank Democratic Sherrod Brown for joining us from Ohio
BROWN: Thanks, Chris.
HAYES: I really appreciate it, Senator.
Chairwoman Sheila Bair, now the author of "Bull by the Horns:
Fighting to Save Main Street from Wall Street and Wall Street from Itself",
MSNBC contributor Joy Reid, also with TheGrio.com, and Ro Khanna, formerly
with the Obama Commerce Department, now the author of "Entrepreneurial
Nation: Why Manufacturing is Still Key to America`s Future" -- thank you
all for joining us at the table here.
The NFL gives America a clear example of why unions matter, up next.
HAYES: The most high profile labor battle in America appears to be
over for now. As the NFL, National Football League, referees returned to
the field Thursday night to a standing ovation, perhaps the first time in
recorded history that sports fans unanimously cheered officials.
A tentative deal was reached late Wednesday that allowed unionized
refs to return to work. It was absence that had made the fan`s hearts grow
The owners of the NFL had refused referee contract provisions around
salary and pension that would have cost the league 1/3 of 1 percent of its
revenue -- 1/3 of 1 percent.
The negotiations broke down. The legal lock have been, and hired
scab refs who for the first three weeks of the season routinely made
obvious embarrassing mistakes, missed calls, and appeared in key moments to
simply not understand some of the basic rules.
One replacement ref even told a player he needed him for his fantasy
The backlash against the scabs culminated on Monday with a game
between the Packers and Seahawks. In the final seconds of the final play,
the Seahawks threw a Hail Mary into the end zone that was clearly
intercepted by the Green Bay Packers, but one of the scab referees made a
horrible call and mistakenly gave a winning touchdown to the Seahawks.
The country united in fury. My Twitter stream went apoplectic. Even
conservatives were outraged.
On Tuesday, Republican Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker of all people,
he of state public worker union-busting fame tweeted, "After catching a few
hours of sleep, the Packers game is still just as painful.
President Obama tweeted, "NFL fans on both sides of the aisle hope
the refs` lockout is settled soon."
The first bipartisan agreement the country has seen in months came on
the side of unionized workers.
Joining me at the table now to discuss the lockout and its aftermath:
we have Jamilah King, news editor of Colorlines.com.
Mike Pesca, sports correspondent for National Public Radio and from
the great podcast I`ve been listening.
And Bill Fletcher, Jr., author of "They`re Bankrupting Us! And 20
Other Myths About Unions," also co-founder of the Center for Labor
Great to have you all here.
Well, I thought this was a fascinating national experience: (a),
because we don`t all agree on anything anymore, and there was complete
unanimity the refs were terrible; (b), because the dynamics of this lockout
-- not strike, very important -- of this lockout seemed to get at some core
ideological aspects of the relationships between labor and management in a
way that few do.
And, Mike, I`m curious what your perception is in terms of the effect
the bad call -- the horrible call on Monday had in terms of the lockout
MIKE PESCA, NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO: Right. I think what it did was
provide a cost because all along, the owners can say no one watches the
game for a ref. We`re getting record ratings. We`re going to make $9.5
billion with or without them.
So, there was no cost. When, you know, the factory shuts down, they
do the tabulation. If we lose this many days, if we lose this many
workers, there is a clear cost. Once there is a cost, not just bad call,
all the bad calls, the scab refs, picking the scab, every week they can
say, you know, I can foresee this is actually having a tangible effect or
at least psychic effect, because -- you know, the 32 owners -- 31, the
Green Bay Packers are owned collectively -- they want to be prominent in
their community. They don`t want to go to their country clubs saying, what
are you doing, Bob Kraft?
So, they`re like, let`s just settle this. It will cost us to change
HAYES: Is that your sense, Jamilah?
JAMILAH KING, COLORLINES: Yes. I think the timing is important. I
think national football is a working class sports. So, you have these
perceptions of folks that they`re tired of rich guys ruining the things
that they love.
And so, I think that folks were angry when there was that cost. You
did see a game -- a team lost a game because a ref didn`t make the right
call and that, I think, was devastating for fans because it`s what they do
to relax. It`s what they do when they come home from work.
HAYES: Here`s what I found fascinating. So, everyone -- you saw
this unanimity. I was conservatives saying just pay the G.D. money or
whatever. Come on, give me a break, it`s 1/3 of 1 percent, right?
And what was actually clear was that this wasn`t from the owners.
This wasn`t about money. It`s ideological. It was -- and this was about
we can do what we want, Bill?
BILL FLETCHER, JR., CENTER FOR LABOR RENEWAL: Exactly right.
HAYES: It was not about the dollars and cents on the table, because
the dollars and cents on the table were quite literally rounding here.
FLETCHER: We`re seeing a lot of that. We`re seeing a lot of this
where basically they`re doing it because they can, that is the owners are
doing it. They`re doing it because they feel like they have the upper hand
but the other part of it is that they`re doing it because they don`t think
that there will be a penalty, right? They don`t feel that in moving
against in this case the referees, they didn`t expect the kind of uproar.
But if you go beyond that, if you look at other workplace battles,
the same thing is at stake, it`s just not covered by the media.
Let me say one other thing, Chris. It`s important that this happened
after the Chicago teachers strike. I think that has really helped to
change a lot of the thinking because there was this vibrancy in the strike,
there was community support. The teachers were locked in with the parents
and so I think that there`s something about climate change, so to speak.
WEISENTHAL: Let me make a few points. One is, I don`t really buy
this whole thing, it is a rounding error. I mean, your salary is probably
a rounding error to this company. It doesn`t mean that they`re not getting
-- it doesn`t mean you can ask for three times what you get and they should
just give it to you because that would be --
HAYES: Well, yes.
WEISETHAL: That would be a rounding error too.
Furthermore, I don`t think. Maybe everyone else knew this but I
didn`t. I didn`t realize most of these refs had good jobs in the real
world, they`re like corporate lawyers, a lot of them, some of them are
traders. I`m thinking, why don`t they get pensions to these people who
have full time jobs elsewhere? Most of them seem to be pretty well paid.
And I guess those are my two. It`s interesting that the owners are
socialists who share all of their money.
HAYES: And here`s -- what you just said I think is fascinating,
right? You think about these workers as refs. They are incredibly
anomalous workers. They`re part time workers, they have other jobs.
They`re compensated quite well.
I mean, if you just -- if you forget about everything else and you
just look at the gig they have, it`s a pretty cushy gig, OK? But what`s
amazing is that in locking them out, the owners almost like led America to
Marxist labor theory of value because what they did was they showed that
actually even though their market wage is not that much, you know, it`s
$120,000, $140,000, the value they create for the enterprise is huge,
It`s a question of what kind of value -- if you take them away, does
the value of the enterprise stay around? And it doesn`t.
PESCA: But that very argument hurts a lot of other workers, a lot of
workers who are making socks or used to be making socks in South Carolina,
who are making machinery and the value to the overall company, I mean,
they`re easily replaceable.
HAYES: It`s easily replaceable.
PESCA: It`s easily replaceable.
Just a couple other points. There are reasons why the owners wanted
to stay tough. Yes, they didn`t need the money, but they wanted the money.
The reason they`re billionaires is because they want the money. Also they
wanted to show that they had a strong back bone for the real negotiation
with the players coming up.
If they could show they were intractable, like you can`t negotiate
with these crazy guys, it might have helped them in the next negotiation.
I don`t think there was a "we`re sick of rich people" thing going on. I
dint think it`s more where sports is the place where fairness rules. It`s
maybe the one place in our lives where we know that no one is going to spin
us, and whoever has the final score didn`t beat expectations, they beat the
And once that stops happening, the NFL is sullied. I think that for
a lot of reasons it`s a great opportunity to have this conversation about
unions, but the analogy isn`t that strong because so many unions are
dealing with companies and sectors of society where they`re not making tons
of money. And the unions and the NFL and pro sports, those are very
profitable companies. It`s a whole different dynamic.
HAYES: And I want to talk about how the fact that most highly
covered labor battles in this country now happened in professional sports
and what that does for our perception about organized labor right after
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. PAUL RYAN (R-WI), VICE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Did you guys watch
that Packer game last night?
RYAN: I mean, give a break. It is time to get the real refs.
RYAN: And you know what? It reminds me of President Obama and the
economy. If you can`t get it right, it`s time to get out.
I have to think that these refs work part time for the Obama
administration in the budget office. They see the national debt clock
staring them in the face, they see a debt crisis and they just ignore and
pretend it didn`t even happen. They`re trying to pick the winners and
losers and they don`t even do that very well.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: A somewhat lame by vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan to -
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To force (ph).
HAYES: -- forced -- to compare the president to the replacement
We`re talking about the lockout and the NFL referees. And I have a
question before break, what does it do to American perception of labor, the
fact that so many of the most prominent labor battles in the country, the
one that get the most coverage, we`re going to have an NHL lockout coming
soon, there was an NFL lockout last year are in the realm of sports.
KING: Well, I think there`s this underlying sense that no matter how
much Americans love football, it`s an endangered commodity. I think it`s a
really a brutal sport. And that`s been coming to light more and more.
HAYES: That`s really true, yes.
KING: And so, I mean, when I was a kid I remember watching the
Detroit Lions game and seeing a player getting paralyzed on the field. And
so now, every time I watch, you know, a kickoff, I`m dreading it, thinking
the same thing happen. I`m holding my breath. So, there`s that.
But then you also have the fact that sports are this amazing way to
meet people, right? You can go to any American (INAUDIBLE) sports fan and
make enemies, or frenemies or friends and you can actually --
HAYES: Right, across partisan divides, across class divides. That
is the amazing thing about sports. And that was the amazing thing about
the unanimity on the refs.
The thing you were saying about the dangers of football, this is
something we`ve been wanting to talk about in the show and we`re going to
do our own discussion on it, I think probably after the election, about
traumatic brain injury.
But because football is so dangerous -- I mean, it`s a very unsafe
workplace, the NFL football environment. And if anyone needs a union, it`s
people operating in an incredibly, incredibly, incredibly dangerous
environment -- an environment that we`re learning more and more everyday.
PESCA: I think that`s why in the last NFL player lockout, there was
a lot of sympathy for the players.
PESCA: Usually, these things break down, millionaires versus
billionaires, who cares? But people were saying in a way they never have
before, these guys really are putting their heads on the line.
And I think even beyond public perceptions of unions and what we
think, I think it`s maybe a little like the old line about Congress where
Congress is unpopular but you like your congressman. I think we`ve seen a
lot of examples about where unions don`t poll well, especially as fewer and
fewer are in unions.
PESCA: But when a strike happens to the people they work with, like
in Chicago, those teachers, public opinion polls were on their side. In
California, when the grocery workers struck, you know, people didn`t want
to pay a lot for groceries. But there was sympathy on their side.
HAYES: But, you know, the transit union strike which was a massive
pain for every New Yorker. I mean, that`s how people gets around. And I
thought there would be huge public sentiment.
This is years back. This is 2006. There was public support. It`s
the same as Chicago teachers union.
FLETCHER: This is actually why I want to take issue with something
you raised earlier, Joe. See, I think what you were laying out is a
slippery slope. If you start talking about, well, why do these workers
need a pension, why are they being paid this much?
We`ve been down that road before and it always end up justifying,
pushing people further and further down to accept and to accommodate
themselves to less and less. What the refs were saying, it`s basically
about fairness. And I`m not very excited about what the ultimate
HAYES: Yes. We should point out it`s very unclear who won this.
HAYES: There were three issues on the table, there was a salary
increase which they got. There was converting a pension from a defined
contribution -- defined benefit pension to defined contribution 401(k),
which they delayed implementation of by five years.
And there was this really interesting question about having this kind
of reserve group of full-time refs who can be used to swap in for refs they
feel aren`t performing at a high enough level. That fight was somewhat
similar to the Chicago teachers union strike about how management was going
to evaluate quality. That is still going to be implemented.
There was a lot of talk about this -- you saw these corrections being
appended to a lot of articles saying, oh, sorry, we said it was a strike,
it`s not a strike, it`s a lockout.
What is a lockout, Bill Fletcher, so folks understand?
FLETCHER: A lockout is when the employer won`t let people go to
work. It`s as simple as that, where the employers say, you`re not coming
in because we have not reached an agreement and we`re going to pressure you
until you scream.
And so, a strike is when the workers make the determination that the
negotiations have broken down and that they need to put pressure on the
This was a lockout and we`re seeing increased lockouts as employers
feel that they have more power and they feel that they can actually isolate
the workers in order to completely weaken them.
HAYES: We have some data on that. It`s really interesting.
So, as a percentage of work stoppages, we`ve seen an increase in
lockouts, between 2007 and 2011. It`s incredibly rare, lockouts, because
for obvious reasons. The reasons you said. You`re costing your enterprise
a lot of money presumably if you`re locking out workers, yet we`ve seen in
increased management militancy more lockouts.
KING: And Mike brought up a good point during the break. He brought
up the fact that there was a lot of anger and outrage with fans, but
players weren`t necessarily -- they were upset about it. But, you know,
they didn`t strike in solidarity, right? They didn`t actually take a stand
themselves. They offered -- oh, I have all this money, I can just toss the
money and get the refs back on the field.
But, you know, I think it`s really important to know that there is
this -- there is this divide.
HAYES: Good point.
KING: I think that, you know, players need to also hold themselves
FLETCHER: We`ve lost the culture of solidarity. That`s the issue.
In many parts of the world, actually most parts of the world, the
idea of solidarity strikes, of expressing that kind of support is not
uncommon at all. In the United States, we`ve lost that culture.
HAYES: They`re also illegal.
FLETCHER: That`s right. That`s the other thing I was going to point
FLETCHER: That the law does make that illegal and, therefore, the
workers in each case have to make the determination, are they prepared to
break the law.
PESCA: But just going back to that graph you showed. A huge reason
why lockouts are a higher percentage of strikes is that there are almost no
HAYES: Yes, exactly.
PESCA: There was 19 strikes in 2011 and, you know, 12 and 10 before
then. We haven`t had more than 20 strikes in companies, more than a
thousand people for years and years.
And you go back to the `80s, there were hundreds of strikes. It`s
because unions are getting less powerful.
And the other reason there`s a lot of lockouts is one of the huge
issues with every union is pensions. And, you know, they`re portrayed as a
time bomb. They really are an onerous cost because of health care, because
of other things. And you lock out workers who have a contract that the
owner thinks is paying them too much.
And it`s why companies -- it`s kind of -- I love covering sports, but
when I have to spend so much time on the NFL and no one ever says anything
about the American Sugar Crystal lockout which is going on over a year and
people are not making $150,000, which the part-time refs were making --
that should be paid attention to.
HAYES: The NFL was 30, 40 years kind of a backwater in the American
sports world and it`s now the most successful, by far the most profitable.
I want to talk about what has happened and why that is after we take this
HAYES: Talking about the NFL lockout of the referees union which
ended provisionally on Thursday night, but we just got cross from the
wires, the "A.P." is reporting the NFL referees union has agreed to now
officially the eight-year contract that was put on the table.
And one of the things I asked before we went to the break is how did
the NFL become such a profitable enterprise? It wasn`t always this way.
It was kind of a backwater.
I wanted to play this clip because I thought it was an interesting
look behind the curtain. This is Dan Patrick and John Lynch talking. John
Lynch is a commentator talking about what he was told about how to discuss
the referee lockout by the league management. Check it out.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
JOHN LYNCH: I know week one, you know, the league I think duped
every network and called and said, hey, we`re close to a deal so have your
guys go easy. And so, that was kind of the edict from up top, go easy on
DAN PATRICK: I did not hear that.
PATRICK: So you guys were told a deal was imminent, so don`t be
critical of what you see in the product?
LYNCH: Yes, not telling us not to say anything, but just be careful
because a deal is close. And they duped us like everybody else. So the
next week, it was take the gloves off, say whatever you want. And we have.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
HAYES: That was one of the fascinating aspects of this is here you
have all of these commentators who have lucrative contracts with the NFL
who are just completely unbridled in their criticism.
The NFL cares about its brand. I think one of the things that was so
weird to people is they`ve managed the brand so effectively. They`ve
created such an enterprise. And they didn`t seem to worry about that brand
PESCA: Yes, that was one of the remarkable things. After the catch
on Monday night, there were bad calls all through the three weeks, but then
the lid was off. You saw the ESPN commentators going to town.
HAYES: Almost crying actually.
PESCA: Steve Young had this creducore (ph), I can`t believe what
they are doing to the shield. They are image conscious is because a guy
who died last week, Steve Sabol, started NFL Films. The way they always
branded NFL, this mix of mythology and pathos and he did such a good job of
convincing us with his camera technology and storytelling did such a good
job elevating the NFL to this place beyond sport.
The other thing -- the other huge reason why the NFL is so popular
isn`t accident, it`s because it`s so brutal. You can`t play it more than
once a week. Everyone who knows economics knows scarcity correlates to
So, all other leagues schedule these games. The NFL, one game a
week. It`s a special thing. You talk about it. And I think that really
helps the NFL.
KING: I think football is broadcast gold, right? Over the past 20
years, it`s become a production in and of itself. It`s arguably better and
funnier to watch a football game on TV than to go to one.
HAYES: Absolutely. Yes, that`s absolutely the case.
And it`s funny how the league is trying to deal with this scarcity
issue while also making more money because now I find it`s like there`s the
early game on Sunday. There`s a late game on Sunday night. Then there`s
Monday night. Now, there`s Thursday night.
Before you know it there`s going to be seven nights a week you`ll
have a football game.
PESCA: This started with a Wednesday night game, which is the first
time in 80 years they`ve played on Wednesday.
HAYES: So, what do we know now that we didn`t know last week? My
answer after this.
HAYES: So what do we know now we didn`t last week?
We know who provided financial backing for the new film "Won`t Back
Down." It premiered this week and was featured as part of NBC`s week-long
Education Nation. Conservative media moguls Rupert Murdoch and Philip
Anschutz distributed and financed this drama about frustrated parents who
used a so-called parental trigger law to rest control of their kids` school
from uncaring administrators and the teachers union and turn the school
into a nonunionized charter.
We know the American Legislative Exchange Council has pushed for
parental trigger laws which have been signed in seven streets.
We also know that Rupert Murdoch`s media empire is investing heavily
in for-profit education. We know how much the media talk about the
teachers union as driven by their own financial interests. They don`t seem
to get around saying much about the motives of those on the other side of
We now know yet another neat tax avoidance trick employed by Mitt
Romney. A loophole referred to in the tax accounting industry as I dig it.
Now, I`m not making that up. It allows its practitioners to pass extremely
valuable assets to children and grandchildren without paying the gift tax.
We know that the trust set up for his children and grandchildren made
an investment in an Internet advertising firm that reaped 1,000 percent
return. We also know the Obama administration has proposed abolishing such
trusts routinely used by extremely wealthy as vehicles for tax avoidance.
We know that through all his ideological wandering and many different
incarnations, one consistent theme in Mitt Romney`s life seems to be a
steadfast and single-minded focus on making sure he doesn`t pay much in
We now know that the U.S. troop surge in Afghanistan failed. We know
this because the NATO command in Afghanistan produced a report about the
surge`s effects and "Wired`s" Spencer Ackerman writes that according to the
report, in August 2009, before the surge, insurgents used nearly 600
homemade bombs against U.S. and allied forces. By August 2012, near the
end of the surge, the number was just over 600.
We know that U.S. combat missions in Afghanistan are scheduled to end
by 2014. And we also know that Afghanistan, the longest war in American
history, has received relatively scant media attention and it`s relatively
rarely invoked. Part of the reason for that is that we still actually
don`t know what Afghanistan policy Mitt Romney is proposing. We know there
is a huge political opportunity for him to get to the president`s left and
call for a more rapid withdrawal. We also know the right wing foreign
policy elites would never let him do that in a million years.
I want to find out what my guests know now they didn`t know when the
Jamilah King, what do we know?
KING: We know everyone is not excited about the Barclay Center,
which is the new home for the Brooklyn Nets. There were protests last when
the stadium opened. And folks are really upset the developers hadn`t kept
their promises to communities, most of them of color, about affordable
housing and job promises. That`s something we need to keep an eye on.
HAYES: The Barclay Center is the new stadium for Nets. It`s
actually not far from my house in Brooklyn. It was a subject of a huge
drawn-out battle and controversy. And the way it ended up getting built
was a set of promises that were made. We`re going to do the development
but there`ll be a certain amount of affordable housing. There`ll be a
certain amount of good living wage jobs.
So far, the initial promises don`t look like they are being met.
HAYES: There were also a lot of back door deals, an eminent domain.
It`s really a crazy story in and of itself.
Joe Weisenthal, what do we know?
WEISENTHAL: A chart that you showed earlier showed the trajectory of
U.S. employment compared to other financial crises, versus Japan, versus
Sweden, versus Spain. It showed that the U.S. has had one of the best
recoveries of any post-banking crisis. And the really interesting thing is
that the very best performing country was Japan, whose bailout process
everyone mocked, holding up zombie banks, and the worst performing country
was Sweden, which everyone praised for taking haircuts and getting cuts
Now, we know that the bailouts were completely fantastic. We should
do them over and over again without apology. Tim Geithner and the Obama
administration and Bush are completely vindicated.
HAYES: I don`t know if we know that, but we know that Joe Weisenthal
PESCA: We now know that there is no expression of public sentiment
that the good people of Boston will not tag with a Yankees Suck channel.
HAYES: Yes. I`m so glad you bring this up.
PESCA: Supporters of Elizabeth Warren were being heckled with a
Tomahawk chop by supporters of Scott Brown, because Elizabeth Warren
claimed Cherokee heritage. The Tomahawk chop perhaps -- is not the most
ethnically sensitive thing to do. And so, to counter this Tomahawk chop,
Yankees suck, Yankees suck was chanted.
Now, can you imagine if all Bostonians making public statements
always had to tag with that, ich bin ein Berliner, Yankees suck, or Adam`s
defense of the people who were shot in the Boston massacre, and finally,
gentlemen, Yankees do not suck.
I thought Yankees do not suck. Yankees will be making the playoffs.
You know what team was almost 20 games under .500?
HAYES: Who is 20 games under --
PESCA: That would be the Boston Red Sox and Elizabeth Warren should
not be mentioning those facts if she wants to get elected in Boston.
HAYES: Bill Fletcher?
FLETCHER: The extent to which the countries of the world will allow
Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu to distract everyone`s attention to the
worsening conditions of the Palestinians and instead focus on whether he is
going to pull the trigger and launch a catastrophic strike against Iran.
HAYES: It`s -- you are referring, of course, to Bibi Netanyahu`s
speech before the United Nations General Assembly which he held up a much-
mocked cartoon bomb and talked about Iran. But the deeper issue which I
absolutely agree on is that the focus on Iran has conveniently, I think
from the perspective of the Netanyahu administration, meant that
international focus particularly in the West and the U.S. is not on the
And I`ll say one more thing, we don`t pay attention to the West in
the occupied territories unless there is violence and there is -- and what
we are doing is producing extremely perverse incentives, because if we
don`t pay attention when people are acting nonviolently, we are
incentivizing violence. And I think that`s really one of the awful truths
about media attention in the region.
My thanks to Jamilah King of Colorlines.com, Joe Weisenthal of
BusinessInsider.com, Mike Pesca from NPR and the fantastic podcast, "Hang
Up and Listen", which you should definitely listen to, I listen to it. And
Bill Fletcher, author of "They`re Bankrupting Us! And 20 Other Myths About
Unions". Thanks for getting UP.
Thank you for joining us today for UP. Join us tomorrow, Sunday
morning at 8:00 when I`ll have Jeffrey Toobin, author of "The Oath," on
what this election means to the Supreme Court, Mona Eltahawy on her arrest
for spray painting over an anti-Islam poster.
Coming up next is "MELISSA HARRIS-PERRY". On today`s "MHP,"
Melissa`s recurring segment, "This Week in Voter Suppression," looks at the
incredible changing rules in Pennsylvania`s voter ID laws, the
implementation of law has already changed not once, not twice, not three or
four times, but five times. How is anyone expected to keep up? That`s
"MELISSA HARRIS-PERRY" coming up next.
We`ll see you right here tomorrow at 8:00. Thank you for getting UP.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
<Copy: Content and programming copyright 2012 MSNBC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
Copyright 2012 Roll Call, Inc. All materials herein are protected by
United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed,
transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written
permission of Roll Call. You may not alter or remove any trademark,
copyright or other notice from copies of the content.>
WATCH 'UP W/CHRIS HAYES' SATURDAY AND SUNDAY FROM 8:00A.M. ET TO 10:00 A.M. ET ON MSNBC.
MORE FROM MSNBC
Add msnbc headlines to your news reader: