'Up w/Chris Hayes' for Sunday, December 23rd, 2012
Read the transcript to the Sunday show
UP WITH CHRIS HAYES
December 23, 2012
Guests: Maya Wiley, Kasim Reed, Dylan Glenn, Kevin Alexander Gray, Michael Nutter, James Florio, Rebecca Peters, Heidi Moore, Dean Baker
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC ANCHOR: Good morning from New York. I`m Chris
Egypt`s new constitution appears headed towards approval today despite
the objections of Coptic Christians and other opposition groups. Official
results are expect on Monday.
And Ted Kennedy Jr. is considering a run for the Senate seat that will
become vacant if Senator John Kerry is confirmed as the next secretary of
Right now I`m joined by former Democratic governor of New Jersey,
James Florio, now senior fellow for public policy and administration at
Rutgers University. Heidi Moore, finance and economics editor for "The
Guardian" newspaper. Dylan Glenn, a former special assistant to President
George W. Bush and former congressional candidate in Georgia, now a senior
vice president at Guggenheim Advisors. And Dean Baker, author of "The End
of Liberal -- Loser Liberalism, Making Markets Progressive." That`s great
book that you should read, co-director of the Center for Economic and
So, after at least half a dozen different public offers, countless
press conferences and weeks of closed door talks, lawmakers in Washington
left town for the holidays on Friday, still without an agreement to
avert what we`re calling the fiscal curb. A series of automatic tax
increases and spending cuts set to take effect just over a week from now.
There was a moment this week, however, when the two sides seemed on
the cusp of a deal, a deal that would have involved at least one major
concession from President Obama -- to cut Social Security benefits. The
cuts wouldn`t have been direct. They would have come from a tweak to the
way Social Security benefits are calculated.
Here`s how it would work. Right now the amount of money a retireee
gets from the government each year is based in part on changes to the
consumer price index, or CPI, the dominant way of measuring inflation. When
inflation goes up, Social Security recipients see their payments go up the
same amount to keep up with the cost of living. Obama proposed switching
to a different measure of inflation called a "chained CPI." The name is
opaque, but the change is very simple. The chained CPI rises more slowly
than regular CPI. So, if you use chained CPI to calculate Social Security
benefits, the amounts in those Social Security checks are going to rise
more slowly, as well, against inflation. For about two days, this major
concession opposed by many progressive lawmakers seemed very close to
That is until House Speaker John Boehner walked away from the deal and
tried to unilaterally pass his own bill, which he called, somewhat weirdly,
Plan B, to raise taxes on income over $1 million and suspend all of the
looming cuts. That plan blew up in Boehner`s face, however, when he
couldn`t get enough votes from his own caucus to pass it. Here`s Boehner
on Friday, the day after pulling the bill from the floor.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), HOUSE SPEAKER: Because of the political
divide in the country, because of the divide here in Washington, trying to
bridge these differences has been difficult. While we may have not been
able to get the votes last night, to avert 99.81 percent of the tax
increases, I don`t think -- they weren`t taking that out on me. They were
dealing with the perception that somebody might accuse them of raising
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Probably because he`s asking them to vote for raising taxes.
Later on Friday, President Obama reiterated that he still wants to reach a
broad compromise to cut the deficit, so Social Security cuts remain on the
table, in the meantime, the president proposed his own Plan B of sorts, a
plan he`s pushed before with little success, to extend the Bush tax cuts on
income under $250,000.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Once this legislation
is agreed to, I expect Democrats and Republicans to get back to Washington
and have it pass both chambers, and I will immediately sign that
legislation into law before January 1st of next year. It`s that simple.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Well, I was surprised by the events this week in terms of the
Boehner total disaster. I just -- I didn`t really get the whole plan from
the beginning. I don`t understand why you have people vote for a tax
increase that manages to break the pledge that they`ve all signed, but then
it has no chance of becoming law and clearly, his caucus didn`t understand
it either. Dylan, what do you think of it?
DYLAN GLENN, THE SPECIAL ASSISTANT PRES. GEORGE W. BUSH: Well, I
think two things. First and foremost that -- I think Boehner was trying to
get action in Washington, which we haven`t seen, and people have been very
critical of this move. I actually thought it was a fairly shrewd political
move in that should -- if they were able to actually get the package
GLENN: You know, it would have put the ball back in the president`s
court and back in the Senate`s court, and made it less likely that
Republicans were blamed for what I`m starting to believe is the inevitable
that we go over the fiscal cliff. You know, true, it was asking the House
Republicans to vote for a tax increase. But it was -- there we got some
cover from Grover and others, and it was -- it was -- I think it was a
political exercise more so than anything else, and had it been able to
work, I think it would have really changed the scenario.
HAYES: Governor, you know firsthand the politics of raising taxes.
What did you make of all this?
FMR. GOV. JAMES FLORIO, (D) NEW JERSEY: I almost felt sorry for
Speaker Boehner. He is being torn apart by his own caucus. I mean I`m
almost enthusiastic about them passing anything. And the tax bills have to
start in the House.
FLORIO: The Senate can take whatever vehicle they send over and
substitute for it something that makes sense and have that sent back, and
then it will be on them to say yes or no as to whether we go over the
FLORIO: I mean, that`s really the approach.
HAYES: So you want to see something come out of the House?
FLORIO: Anything. Anything comes over. And you just substitute the
total bill. It has to come out of the House, so that`s the rationale for
getting something there.
HAYES: All right.
HEIDI MOORE, GUARDIANNEWS.COM: Yeah, well, they actually did get
something out of the House early last week. They stopped the defense
sequester, and that`s all they did, because it`s not going to go anywhere
after that. So, the $500 billion in defense cuts are still set to take
place. All the other spending cuts are still set to take place, and it`s,
of course, in deal-making this is always called the kabuki theater, and it
is bewildering that they chose to go this route when so many people are
actually depending on them to just get it right by the deadline. There`s
no argument to be made that it is good to go over the fiscal cliff.
HAYES: Please, make the argument, Dean.
DEAN BAKER, CENTER FOR ECONOMIC AND POLICY RESEARCH: I mean, one
argument is that there will be a lot of people in Washington who pretend to
be very knowledgeable will have an egg on their face, so I`ll get a kick
out of that.
But no, seriously, I mean, nothing happens January 1, and people don`t
understand that. You know, you`ll be subject to a higher rate of
withholding. So what? We don`t get paid January 1st. If they do a deal
January 5 as opposed to December 28th, the difference to 99.9 percent of
the population, the difference to the economy is basically zilch, and we
get to see a lot of people with egg on their face who pretend to be
HAYES: Wait, why do you think -- why do they have egg on their face?
BAKER: Oh, because these people have been running around like the
Mayan calendar, it`s going to be the end of the world.
BAKER: Seriously, I mean, and it`s just nonsense. Because the
reality is on the spending side, President Obama is going to keep spending
in accordance with what he thinks the deal is going to look like. He has
the authority to do that. We are not going to see any tax -- extra taxes
deducted from us. The few people that do will get it back in the second
paycheck. I don`t want to trivialize it, because there are people living
edge to edge, but in terms of the overall economic impact, you won`t be
able to find it in the data.
FLORIO: I mean, you are probably correct economically, but the
imagery is terrible. Not only in this country, but around the world, as to
whether we can even govern ourselves. I mean, we look like a third-world
BAKER: But we should, we`re acting like one. And I don`t mean just
because of this -- no, no. Let me back up a second. Our major problem in
this country is the recession, the lack of employment, 25 million people
unemployed, under-employed, out of the workforce altogether. We`re arguing
about a deficit -- the reason we have a deficit -- and this is easy to
show, Krugman does it one way, I do it another way, we get the exact same
story. The reason we have a big deficit is because the economy collapsed.
We know that. That`s not an arguable point. Instead, we have all these
people running around Washington like oh, my God! Trillion-dollar deficit.
It`s utter nonsense.
GLENN: But it`s utter nonsense to think that a $500 billion hit to
the economy -- should we go over the fiscal cliff -- wouldn`t have any
economic impact, and so I finally take issue with that.
HAYES: But here`s the distinction, right? I mean, there is two
things here. One is the $500 billion number and the CBO analysis, right.
HAYES: ... which says it will throw us back into a recession, which,
again, I think we all agree -- and the funny thing is the embedded
assumption in all of this, of course, is that austerity is bad in the short
term. Let`s just -- let`s just all be aware, right? Now everyone suddenly
agrees that contractionary austerity policy is bad in the short term for
BAKER: We`re all Keynesians now.
HAYES: Right. Yes. So, everyone says that`s going to -- that`s
going to toss us back in a recession. But the key thing there is, that is
if -- I think if we -- I think everyone agrees that if we have a year, if
you have a full, annualized 12 months of the tax increases and spending
cuts that are projected that start on January 1st, I don`t think there`s
any dissenter that said that would be a disaster for the economy, right?
We`re all agreed on that. The question is if it goes for five days or ten
days or 20 days, does it have the effect. And then the other question is,
do the markets freak out because we go over it?
GLENN: First of all, if I`m the newly-elected president of the United
States who has a legacy to think about, why would you want to take that
chance? And certainly my friends on Capitol Hill on the Republican side of
the aisle have come to the realization that the president is prepared to
take them over the fiscal cliff, which is why you have got the Boehner
I just don`t understand why you would want to start your presidency
with even the potential of going over a fiscal cliff that could potentially
put us into a recession. Why not -- why not work a deal for the short
term? Why not look to do something more broad-based next year?
BAKER: But it would have been good to do it two months ago, but, you
know, the reality is, look, there`s always risk. But realistically, what
happens if we take five days, ten days, 20 days. Sure, the markets could
panic over anything. But I always assume that the people in markets are
rational actors. You know, and that at the end of the day, that, you know,
look, even if the market goes down three of four percent, I was talking
about this the other day, markets fluctuate all the time. If the market
goes down three or four percent one day, it`s back the next week, the
impact on the economy is the same thing as my decision to go out to dinner
GLENN: I disagree with that statement. If the market goes down three
or four percent, then ...
BAKER: But it comes back up.
GLENN: ... then a lot of wealth has been destroyed.
BAKER: It then comes back.
GLENN: Not necessarily for those same people. I explain that to my
mother all the time.
HAYES: Right, not the same people, but ...
GLENN: 100 points down or 100 points up is not flat.
MOORE: And with all due respect to our congressional representatives,
they have a dismal record in predicting what will cause a crisis. And I
don`t think that ...
BAKER: That`s right.
MOOR: We should trust their predictions that everything is going to
be OK. But, there are 2 million people who are going to lose their
HAYES: That`s -- that we should be clear on, right?
BAKER: Absolutely. And, there, too, those could be paid back.
Again, I`m not going to trivialize that. I mean, this -- this matters to
those people. To the economy as a whole, trivial. But to those people,
FLORIO: And if you just leave the stuff hanging out there, the next
concern is the debt limit, which will come up ...
FLORIO: ... in just a couple of months ...
FLORIO: If not before. That will be -- even compound that problem
even more so.
HAYES: I want to talk about -- I want to talk about some of the deals
that -- we have a great graphic put together that looks how the deals have
evolved over time. And shows that they were actually negotiating, even
though I thought a lot of the stuff they were negotiating over was bad.
And I want to talk about this chained CPI thing, because it is now hanging
out there as a possible way to get a deal. And also, an amazing, amazing
quote from the president to John Boehner reported in the "Wall Street
Journal." All that, up next.
HAYES: The "Wall Street Journal" has their first big kind of behind
the scenes tick-tock of these negotiations. And there are -- and this was
the quote that stuck out to me the most. "At one point according to notes
taken by a participant, Mr. Boehner told the president, "I put $800 billion
in tax revenue on the table. What do I get for that? You get nothing, the
president said. I get that for free."
HAYES: I think it`s actually -- I mean that`s a fair point. There
was another point at which in -- the Boehner negotiator seemed like they
wanted the deal that was on the table in 2011 during the debt ceiling deal,
right, and according to this "Wall Street Journal" reporting several
times, either Boehner himself or staff member said, let`s go back to that
deal and they said, no, no, no. The things have changed. We just won an
election, right? You don`t get to go back to that deal. In terms of how
the deals were -- how the talks were progressing, here is some various
fiscal curb offers, as put together by the Committee for a Responsible
Federal Budget. And you can see that they were -- on the bottom is cuts,
on the top is revenue, and you can see they are getting closer to being
essentially one to one, which I don`t think it`s good macro-economic
policy, but from a simple gain theory, negotiating standpoint is closer to
a deal and then it all blew up.
Dean, you think that`s a good idea? And partly I would imagine you
think that`s a good idea because I imagine you think that this chained CPI
was a red line, no-go?
BAKER: Yes, well, a couple things. First off, the whole thing, the
whole story, we have to get 4 trillion, this is the number out of the air.
BAKER: These people have zero record of being right about anything,
so you`re talking about members of Congress. The economists who are
supposedly behind this. Zero. If these people were held accountable for
their work, they`d all be unemployed right now, without exceptions.
But you know, in terms of the chained CPI, you have to understand,
this is a big cut and they`re trying to play games here. Oh, it`s not
really a cut -- this and that. It`s 0.3 percent a year, that`s cumulative.
After you`d been getting benefits for ten years, you`ve lost three percent
of your benefits. After 20 years, six percent, after 30 years, nine
percent. The hit to the typical Social Security beneficiary is
considerably larger than the tax hit to the typical person over $250,000
who would be subject to Clinton era tax rates, and we`re supposed to be
told this is not a big deal.
And it`s important to understand, most seniors are not living
particularly well. We have the data on that. Roughly 40 percent rely on
their Social Security check -- average is just over $1,200 a month -- for
90 percent or more of their income. Almost 70 percent rely on it for more
than half their income. So the idea that we have these high-living
seniors, Pete Peterson goes around the country, I don`t need my check,
well, that`s fine. Send it back. There`s very few people like you, Pete.
You know, this is a big deal.
FLORIO: There`s even a question as to why we`re dealing with the
Social Security problem. It`s not part of the deficit anyway, I mean
except for the part that should be dealt with later on.
BAKER: That`s a very important point, but, you know, I keep getting
into this thing, that they go, this is semantics. It`s not just semantics,
it`s not part of the budget, but the other part of the story is that OK,
it`s a program that over the long run faces a shortfall. No doubt about
that. So, I know how I`d like it to be resolved, but that doesn`t matter.
The point is that at the end of the day we`ll probably see some amount of
benefit cuts, some amount of tax increases, revenue increases, whatever you
want to call it. But if you have unilateral benefit cuts, you`ve just
given away a large part of the store. No one in their ...
HAYES: ... To resolve that issue. Right, exactly.
GLENN: In the near term, I think this is a moot point. I mean, there
won`t be a grand bargain in terms of getting -- and so, entitlement reforms
probably will not be on the table between now and December 31st, or, to use
your logic, early in January if a deal does get done, which I, again, I`m
completely not convinced of.
I do think that people missed the point in terms of the revolt of
conservatives on the Hill and Speaker Boehner`s caucus. I mean,
conservatives want to see some sort of real spending reductions, and they
did not get the sense that that`s at play. They thought those spending
reductions would come out of entitlement reform, that`s not going to
happen. They thought it might get out of tax reform, that`s not going to
HAYES: This is a really -- this is a really important point. Because
I actually think, there`s two ways to look at the spending cut side, right?
HAYES: Are you worried about the math? Or are you worried about the
precedent? Because from the math perspective, the chained CPI thing
doesn`t get you much. Here`s just a look at how ...
GLENN: (inaudible) interest savings get you ...
HAYES: Right. But look ....
HAYES: Right. But look -- look at this. We`ve done the comparison
of a bunch of different things that are on the table for deficit reduction,
right? Everything from, no -- that`s the wrong chart. Sorry, that`s the
tax hike caused by the switch to the chained CPI. I want the revenue
sources. There we go. Thank you.
Carbon tax, 1.2 trillion. Raise taxes on income over 250,000, that
gives you 950 billion. End deferral for off-shore profits. That`s 583
billion. These are all 10-year scoring windows.
HAYES: Limit itemized deductions, 580 billion. Treat (ph) capital
gains income, 533 billion. Financial transaction tax, 350 billion.
Implement chained CPI, 208 billion. The chained CPI in terms of the math
of this, it`s at the bottom. The important thing, I think, for
Republicans, and tell me if I`m right about this, Dylan. The important
thing is the ideological precedent of doing something to the big
GLENN: Republicans have been in Congress for years and have said, you
know, dating back to my old boss George H.W. Bush, you know, they wanted
something for tax increases, that -- the speaker of the House put revenue
raising on the table, $800 billion, that`s -- you can call it what you
will, but they agreed to raising revenues, and they want something in
return for that in terms of real spending reductions.
And you know, the president`s first salvo in terms of his offering did
not have that. He was $4 trillion, and it`s all made up, you know, a
trillion dollars of savings from the wars. You know, $1.6 trillion in --
just that it wasn`t real. And so I think Boehner`s effort was an effort to
say, listen, we will go along with raising revenue. We`ll be on record
raising revenue. It`s up to a trillion dollars, but we need something in
return. We need to actually get on a track that reduces spending in
Washington and doesn`t play games with doctor fixes and things of this
nature, never come to pass.
HAYES: But wait a second. This same House caucus ..,
HAYES: ... what`s the one thing they did? What`s the one thing they
MOORE: This -- the support (ph) of the sequestration cuts.
Basically, they are going to end the sequestration cuts, which is going
HAYES: Which is -- just so we can translate this into plain English -
- the one thing they passed is revoking already agreed to cuts in spending
of $500 billion. I just want this to be clear. What has the House
Republicans Congress done? They have voted to revoke the agreed-to cuts to
spending. The only thing they`ve done.
GLENN: Chris, I`m not sure there`s not politics on both sides.
GLENN: What I`m also suggesting is that, listen, let`s remember how
we got here. We had a super committee that was supposed to go with $1.2
trillion worth of cuts. They couldn`t produce that, so we had the
automatic mechanism in sequestration coming in play, that`s a blunt
instrument. And -- and I think we need ...
HAYES: It`s a blunt instrument to cut spending, which apparently.
GLENN: Which, apparently both sides are opposing.
HAYES: They don`t want to cut spending.
HAYES: No one wants to cut spending.
BAKER: They want to cut spending abstractly, but no one ran for
cutting Social Security. They ran against Obama because he wanted to cut
$700 billion on Medicare.
BAKER: So they are -- they didn`t run in the campaign we`re going to
cut Medicare, we`re going to cut Social Security. We`re going to cut
Medicare. No one ran on that.
BAKER: And now, they want President Obama to come out there and say,
I`m going to cut them so I could be nice to Speaker Boehner?
MOORE: And let`s talk about the ....
HAYES: Hold that thought. Governor and Heidi, I want to get to you
right after I take this quick break.
HAYES: Governor Florio?
FLORIO: I fully understand the whole concept of giving cover to the
opponents, letting them get something out of this process, but the Tea
Party did end a significant support anything anyway. So why make all these
symbolic cuts as far as helping them when they`re not going to come back
anyway. So I just really don`t see the virtue in making some of these
draconian cuts, particularly, in order to get support.
HAYES: So you did not like the chained CPI cut proposal?
FLORIO: No. I mean, if that`s the deal maker, fine. I mean, that`s
not the end of the world, but that`s not going to be the deal maker, and
it`s not going to bring any of these people over.
HAYES: Apparently, it wasn`t bringing anyone over.
MOORE: No, it didn`t. I mean, it was a political failure, and also,
I don`t really think that it`s actually symbolic. I mean, Dean, you
mentioned the whole bunch of statistics related to Social Security. I
think the most significant one is that the average benefit is $13,000 a
year. We`re talking about taking away the possibility of paying for food
from people who are living on $13,000 a year. From people who are making
hundreds of thousands in Congress.
HAYES: Let me make this argument, which is not my argument, but
people have made it, particularly Democrats trying to convince other
liberals to go for the chained CPI deal when it was -- and we should note
this is a technical matter. That doesn`t matter that much, but the reason
that it`s different than the regular consumer price index is that it takes
into account, let`s call it substitution effects, which is basically, if
coffee gets super expensive, people stop consuming as much coffee, they
start buying tea, which is cheaper, and so the overall amount of money
they`re spending is less, and so that`s what chained CPI takes into account
that regular CPI doesn`t, just so people are clear on that.
All of that said, people who make this argument, Dean, liberals when
they talk about defense, right, when we bend the curve on defense
increases, we were very clear to say, no, that`s not a cut to defense.
That`s just changing the rate of growth. So, how can you then turn around
and say this is a cut to Social Security when you`re just changing the rate
of growth on it?
BAKER: Well, I don`t have a problem actually talking honestly about
defense or Social Security.
BAKER: But the point --
HAYES: Those are cuts.
BAKER: But the point is that we`re talking about Social Security
benefits that are in law that people are counting on, and again, getting
back to how we think about this. First of all, when we are talking about
an accurate cost of living adjustment, the Bureau of Labor Statistics
actually does an elderly index that`s supposed to monitor the actual
consumption patterns of the elderly. It`s different from that, from the
population as a whole, they consume more health care, less ...
HAYES: This is called CPI-E.
BAKER: Dash-E, that`s right. And then actually it shows a higher
measured rate of inflation. Everyone jumps on that -- that`s just an
experimental index, always go -- if your concern is accuracy, have the
Bureau of Labor and Statistics do a full elderly index, let`s see what it
shows. And they go running.
The point is, they want to cut benefits. That`s the point here. And
again, we`re talking about a population who does not have a lot of income
for the most part, and what I find particularly cruel about this is these
people have just had their ass kicked. They just -- you know, they -- the
401(k)s are nothing. The equity they have in their home has collapsed.
Not because of their bad decisions, the folks in Washington couldn`t see an
$8 trillion housing bubble. They were out to lunch. So the people who
blew up the $8 trillion -- we aren`t talking about taxing Wall Street, we
aren`t talking about the financial transaction tax, we are talking about
cutting Social Security. What world does that make sense in?
HAYES: Dylan, can I ask you this question?
HAYES: Take away. What kind of thing -- I get confused and now I`m
trying to like not concern troll but actually be in good faith here, I get
confused about --
HAYES: -- are Republicans, well, OK. I am concern trolling.
HAYES: I don`t believe Republicans care about the deficit as the
deficit, because none of their behavior indicates that. And this, I mean,
their behavior during the George W. Bush years, I mean the behavior that I
just indicated, in which they have revoked $500 billion in cuts.
Now, it`s fine to say it`s not the deficit. They actually care about
things like reducing Medicare over the long run, or they don`t like the
fact that the entitlement state is making people indolent -- or whatever it
HAYES: But what is it -- what are the actual principles at play here
in these negotiations? Because I am confused.
GLENN: Well, I think that Republicans do care about the deficit. I
think they care about spending more than the deficit.
HAYES: That`s well put, I agree.
GLENN: You know, and I suspect that if you were to poll the
Republican caucus on the Hill, there is an overwhelming majority of people
that say the country has lived beyond its means, and somehow, somewhere, we
have to get this under control.
The way to do that, obviously, is where the money is being spent,
which is in entitlement programs. And look, as a political matter, nobody
wants to talk about cuts. I mean, I agree with you. We talk about bending
the curve. We talk about, you know, savings. But in the end, what we have
to find are real cuts in the way we spend the nation`s money -- the
And so, that`s a politically painful thing to do. Republicans are
very sensitive to being blamed for what I would argue is a morally
responsible thing to do. And so they play games to make sure they`re not,
you know, have that lodestone hung around their neck, but the reality is,
and I think in good faith, most people in Congress believe that at some
point, we`ve got to get our arms around entitlement spending, and then
that`s an important part of this debate.
HAYES: Dean, you are going to respond to that. I know you want to
show me how you get something (inaudible), let`s say, I have some thoughts
as well. Let`s take a break and then (inaudible).
HAYES: Dean Baker, you wanted to respond to Dylan.
BAKER: Yes, I just think it`s really important. When we talk about
entitlements, it really is confusing to people. We`re talking Medicare and
Social Security. Very, very different stories. Social Security has a
relatively modest rate of increase projected for next 10, 20, 30 years.
Medicare, very different story, it`s because our health care system is
totally broken. We spend more than twice as much per person as people do
in other wealthy countries. That`s projected to go up to three or four
It`s a health care problem. We have to fix our health care system,
and that`s what we should be talking about. We`re just deluding ourselves
talking about Medicare and Medicaid.
HAYES: This is one -- my take on this -- and I think everyone agrees
that the Medicare projections are not sustainable. Right, I mean, I think
that`s -- and the question is, what is the source of the unsustainability?
My feeling on this is, is, we just spent all this time, legislative effort,
political capital, passing this 2,000-page bill which the Tea Party would
keep telling me it`s 2,000 pages, which means it`s bad, apparently. We
just passed this bill, most of which was stuff to try to bring down health
care costs. Now, it might not work. It might be a total disaster. All
the critics of the bill`s cost-containment measures might be totally true,
but let`s just see if it does work or not, and then come back and re-attack
the problem in five years.
BAKER: Costs actually have slowed hugely in the last five years.
It`s just amazing to me. We`re having this debate as though there`s been
no change. There has.
MOORE: And also, the other thing is that with the elderly, the people
who are getting Social Security, we`re talking about measuring their
inflation adjustments for income or for consumer products. We really
should be looking at the inflation of health care, which is way above
consumer products, and which is where they`re spending most of their money.
HAYES: This is the experimental index? But Dylan, here`s I think the
issue the Republicans have politically, because we`re talking about
internal dynamics her. This is polling just on Republicans. OK? This is
not the House caucus but actual --
GLENN: We had a big poll.
HAYES: No, but here`s polling among Republican voters. If you say to
them, do you want the deficit reduced? Sure, yes. And then you start
giving them options. Raise the Medicare age -- 56 percent of Republicans
oppose. Cut Medicaid spending -- 61 percent of Republicans oppose.
Eliminate mortgage interest tax deductions. Raise taxes on income over
$250,000. Cut Medicare spending. Cut Medicare spending, 68 percent of
Republicans are opposed.
GLENN: Chris, I`m sure the numbers are mirrored on the Democrats`
HAYES: Of course, yes.
GLENN: I think the point is this requires leadership. Hard things
require leadership, which means the president of the United States and the
leadership on the Hill have to come together, educate the American public
that this path we`re on in terms of spending is unsustainable. And--
HAYES: You say leadership and I hear anti-Democratic betrayal.
HAYES: I`m serious. It`s like one person`s leadership is another
person`s bait and switch. Right?
GLENN: I hope that`s not the case. When I say leadership, I mean,
you know, smart people coming around the table to say, we know that the
issue in terms of the costs in this country is health care. We know that
that -- that the Medicare premiums, Medicare expenditures in this country
are not something that we can continue to sustain. There`s a fix.
Everybody is not going to be happy with the fix, but we could get to policy
prescription that actually solves this problem. There`s politics in and
around that, that makes it extremely difficult.
HAYES: You did some unpopular things when you were governor. You
raised taxes, you got absolutely hammered for it. What`s your feeling
FLORIO: Leadership entails the need for somebody to appreciate the
fact that no answer is easy. There are no easy answers anymore. And the
willingness to compromise off of that is really leadership.
When you have a group of people in the House on -- the House of
Representatives that represents the strange ones at the right end, they`re
not willing to compromise at all, so you can`t have leadership with people
who are not willing to come to some accommodation.
HAYES: Let me say also, I just want to insert a dissident view about
the no easy answers. You can print money and give it to people.
BAKER: We`re doing that now.
HAYES: You can just do it on a much bigger scale.
GLENN: $85 billion a month right now.
HAYES: No, no. Distinction. We are printing money and giving it to
banks. You could just print money and give it to people. I know that`s
obviously that is why outside the boundaries but --
BAKER: In the short term you can. That`s absolutely right. And I
would love to hear somebody give me a coherent argument as to why we can`t
do that in the current economy. Now, somewhere we hope we`ll be back--
BAKER: And we`ll be able to do that. But today, I made a joke about
this a while ago, and I realized, no, that`s actually right. If we had a
really good counterfeiter, that could print up a trillion dollars and fool
us all, they would be doing us a great favor.
HAYES: Not plan B, the counterfeit option. I want to thank Heidi
Moore from "The Guardian" newspaper and Dean Baker from the Center for
Economic and Policy Research, really great to have you both here.
What`s so avant-garde about a black conservative? That`s next.
HAYES: We spent time in the previous segment talking about Speaker
Boehner`s inability to get his House Republican colleagues to accept higher
tax rates even just for millionaires, which can be seen as an indication of
the power still held by Tea-Party backed lawmakers. I mention this because
the Senate is about to get a man who owes his political rise in part to the
Tea Party movement that helped Republicans gain the majority in the House.
On Monday, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley announced that she will
appoint Tim Scott, a Republican congressman from Charleston, to the U.S.
Senate seat being vacated by Jim DeMint.
A few things about Scott you should know. He is a 47-year-old South
Carolina native and a member of the House Tea Party Caucus. After running
for Congress in 2010 and beating Strom Thurmond`s son, of all people, his
fact act in the House was to sponsor a bill to overturn Obamacare. You
should also know that Scott will be the first black senator from the South
since Reconstruction. The first black Republican senator since Edward
Brooke of Massachusetts lost his re-election bid in 1978, and the only
black senator currently serving.
Tim Scott will become just the seventh black senator in the nation`s
history, and on only three occasions have African-Americans been elected to
the upper chamber. Only one time has a black senator been both elected and
re-elected. Governor Haley is well aware of this history, and when she
announced her decision, she sounded more than a little self-conscious about
the optics -- a Republican Indian American female governor appointing a
Republican African American.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. NIKKI HALEY, R-S.C.: It is very important to me as a minority
female that Congressman Scott earned this seat. He earned this seat for
the person that he is. He earned this seat for the results he has shown.
He earned this seat for what I know he`s going to do in making South
Carolina and making our country proud.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Right now I want to bring in Atlanta`s Democratic Mayor, Kasim
Reed. Maya Wiley, founder and president of the Center for Social
Inclusion, a nonprofit organization dedicated to fighting social and
economic inequality. And Kevin Alexander Gray, a civil rights activist and
attorney from South Carolina and a contributing writer to Counterpunch.org.
Great to have you here.
KEVIN ALEXANDER GRAY, COUNTERPUNCH.ORG: I wish I were an attorney.
HAYES: So, tell me this. What was your reaction to that Nikki Haley
clip? Because we were playing it yesterday in the office, and we were just
like, what is going on in this? What is the subtext of this kind of going
out of her way?
GRAY: None of us were surprised that Nikki Haley appointed Tim Scott.
That was a smart move. That was a boss move. But of course, when Nikki
Haley -- when you look at politics of South Carolina, the politics of South
Carolina have always been about race. All the time. That`s our history.
We say the South Carolina, like Georgia, is the heart of Dixie, South
Carolina is the soul of Dixie. So it`s all about race.
But then again, as I was watching this clip and I had seen Nikki
embrace her minority status, it`s about time. Nikki`s father taught at a
traditionally all-black school in Orangeburg County. They had a business
that was centered in the heart of the black community. So at some point in
Nikki Haley`s life, she decided, which we joke, that she decided that she
wanted to be a white Methodist woman. So I`m glad to see her finally
embracing her immigrant minority roots.
HAYES: Can I make a small tangent here? Which is that to me, nothing
better shows the social construction of race than Nikki Haley, right?
Because anyone -- I was thinking about this when I saw Nikki Haley at the
RNC. Anyone turning on would say, this is a white woman, right? And it
just calls to mind how constructed our conceptions of what is whiteness and
what is blackness.
And it does seem to me a big deal that we have a black senator from
GLENN: It`s a huge deal that we have a black senator from South
Carolina, from, you know, the deep South, who is a man, by the way, that
got elected with 70 percent of the vote and with the high percentage of the
vote in a 70 percent white district to Congress.
Look, would we be having this conversation if Tim Scott wasn`t a
conservative? Probably not. My sense of it is in this country, still,
although less so today, if you have a different view and you happen to be
black, if you happen to have a conservative view and you happen to be
black, then for some reason you`re suspect.
GRAY: I don`t think that`s true. I mean, we have accepted -- we`ve
praised Colin Powell. The NAACP has given Condoleezza Rice Image awards.
You didn`t see a vilification of them.
GLENN: I`m not suggesting that. What I`m suggesting is that this
wouldn`t be interesting if Tim Scott was not a conservative.
HAYES: Let me push back on that a little bit since I`m making the
editorial decision to discuss this.
HAYES: No, no, no. I think that`s a totally fair point. And I would
say two things. One is, African-Americans are a constituency in this
country that does vote overwhelmingly in one direction. Right? So there`s
something statistically, you know, salient about black conservatives, just
because it is unusual in the distribution. There`s just -- there is no
real analog for it in American politics.
The other thing I would say is if this were a Democratic -- if this
were a black man in the South, and a Democrat, it would be interesting to
me, too. To me, what`s as interesting for him being a Republican is that
this is South Carolina. This is the American South. This is the heart of
GLENN: I think this says a whole heck of a lot about where the
Republican Party is headed and where it knows it needs to get and --
GRAY: Get back to that 10 percent it used to get.
MAYOR KASIM REED, D-ATLANTA: I don`t think it says any of that.
Let`s just slow down for a minute. I`m happy for Tim Scott as an
individual. But Tim Scott`s policies are no different than Jim DeMint`s,
and at the end of the day, and at the end of the day, this is a very high
occasion for Tim Scott and his family. But let`s not try to make this an
If any black person in America were appointed to the United States
Senate, it would be well covered. Because of the data that you laid out.
MAYA WILEY, CENTER FOR SOCIAL INCLUSION: That`s right.
REID: The fact that he`s a conservative is a response in large part
to the thrashing that Republicans got nationally. And this was an
opportunity to begin to correct course. But let`s not try to make Tim
Scott`s selection more than about a great occasion for him. His policies
are consistent with Jim DeMint`s, and in my mind --
HAYES: Let me just say, any time something good in Tim Scott`s life
happens, we do cover it on this show. That`s (inaudible) editorially cover
it -- we have a standing editorial policy.
WILEY: You said one thing about the pattern of black voting, and I
think one thing that we should remember is historically, blacks voted for
the Republican Party, because the Republican Party, during the time of the
Civil War and after, was the party that was most likely to push for
equality and opportunity.
GRAY: The party of Lincoln.
WILEY: It was the party of Lincoln. What`s happened is blacks have
left the Republican Party in droves to the Democratic Party starting in
part because of the New Deal, because at the end of the day, at the end of
the day, what black people were doing is voting in their interests. And so
I think that actually, what Tim Scott represents is someone who is black
who has actually not been supporting the policy interests of the black
community, and that is interesting. And I also agree that by -- actually,
if -- we would be talking about any black senator, because it`s unique to
have a black senator.
GRAY: If you go back and look at the history of South Carolina and
politics in South Carolina, Strom Thurmond and blacks` relationship with
HAYES: He won 30 percent, I think.
GRAY: 30 percent.
HAYES: That is amazing -- any Republican who won 30 percent of black
voters today would be --
GRAY: Because every high school kid that graduated from high school
when I came up, got that letter from Strom Thurmond. If your family had
problems in the military, you didn`t call the Red Cross first. You called
Strom Thurmond`s office first. Strom Thurmond I think had the first black
GRAY: He was responsive to his constituency. He had the first black
staff member, Tom Moss. And Tim Scott will get a significant amount of
black votes because people will go to him in that same tradition as they
went to Strom Thurmond. And he won`t play race like a lot of them (ph).
HAYES: I want to ask -- let me ask you this question. I want to see
if -- because this is an appointment. Right? The real question is, how
HAYES: How few statewide elected black leaders we have in the country
as a whole, but particularly in the South. I want to talk about that after
HAYES: Mayor Kasim Reed`s cousin is the quarterback of the Seattle
Seahawks, Russell Wilson, is having insane year.
HAYES: Unbelievable. Anyway. Sorry. I got a little distracted
there, that`s amazing.
The big question I think isn`t whether an appointment -- the
appointment is a big deal because obviously like you said, it`s a big day
for Tim Scott, but it`s also a big day when you have African-American
senators in this country. I mean, this is not something that happens that
often, and more often than not they`d been appointed, right?
GLENN: Tim Scott is the only African-American senator serving today.
HAYES: Right. And before that, the only one was Roland Burris, who
very, very briefly served. Before that, it was a man by the name of Barack
Obama. Before that it was a man by the Carol Moseley Braun, who only
served one term, and then there was Edward Brooke before her.
And the big question is -- can he get -- is it -- you`re from South
Carolina. And I`m getting a little ahead of myself, but he`s now going to
have the advantage of incumbency, which is, are we at a point where Tim
Scott could win statewide office in the state like South Carolina?
GRAY: In full disclosure, I helped with the Green Party candidate
that ran for the Senate against DeMint and Alvin Greene this last time out.
But I think Tim Scott could get a significant amount of black votes. I
think that just like white voters voted for J.C. Watts, white folks will
vote for people who they perceive represent their interests regardless of
their color. So I think that Tim Scott has a chance to be elected to that
seat, and hold that seat for a while.
REED: I think he can win because losing makes you sober, and I think
the Republicans are going to continue to lose nationally if they don`t
REED: Because we`re all learning individuals. If the Republican
Party continues on the path it`s on, they will not be able to win the
presidency. And so, I think that this was an important investment in the
conversation and the ability to have standard bearers for national
elections. Otherwise, they`re going to continue to move toward
irrelevancy. The Democratic Party is driving through Virginia, through
North Carolina, where we lost by two points. Georgia, the president got 45
HAYES: Georgia, the next place they`re looking is Georgia.
WILEY: Well, this is one of the things that I think we can`t ignore
is the demobilization of the black community in the South. So one of the
things that happened after the civil rights movement is that we saw more
and more people -- more and more of the institutions that were about
political education, that were not just about pipelining black,
particularly black leaders who were going to look at and develop and
understand the policies that were necessary for the black community in
order for it to thrive. We have actually seen a demobilization of that
And so when we have this conversation like 30 percent of blacks voting
for Strom Thurmond, one of the things we have to think about is, responding
to, oh, this is the guy who made the phone call or wrote the letter that
helped me out. It`s a different kind of political education and engagement
than saying -- what actually fixes some of the things that we need fixed in
our community? And how are we assessing our political leadership on that
basis? That`s something that`s actually extremely important, and we`ve
been seeing less and less of it in many black communities.
GLENN: I want to agree with my friend, Mayor Reed. The Republican
Party is a learning party, and it knows that it has to have elected
officials that look like America. I don`t want to suggest that Tim Scott
is a token. He`s not. We elected, you know, two Hispanic governors in
this country. We`ve got two Asian governors in this country on the
Republican side of the aisle. I mean, there are people of color that are
getting elected statewide in the Republican Party in this country. And I
think that is a lesson for the party.
HAYES: But, here`s the big question.
GRAY: Some people would say the fact that you can count them and tick
them off like that is probably tokenism.
GLENN: I mean, that`s not fair.
REED: I don`t think tokenism is fair. But they`re going to continue
to lose. Because if the policies remain the same, you`ll have people like
Allen West and -- you`ll have folks like Allen West, and if Republicans
don`t understand it`s not individuals, policy shifts have to change, then
they`ll continue to lose.
GRAY: You`re right. But in the last election, Republicans played so
much toward -- to race. And when we say race, we mean racism, that having
Tim Scott does cut into that whole idea of Southern politics and the
Southernization of Southern politics being so based on racial tension.
HAYES: I think you`re right. And I also think, one of the things I
want to talk about here is the way in which, particularly in the South,
that you have, partly because of the way redistricting has gone, partly
because of the Voting Rights Act and the way these have worked together, is
that the racial divide and partisan divide have come to sit atop each other
almost exactly, right? You have increasingly the case that black -- you
have black voters and black elected officials who are Democrats. You have
white voters and white elected officials who are Republicans. And there`s
not a lot of overlap in either direction. I`m not talking about the
novelty of a black Republican. There are not that many white Democrats in
the South. I mean, look at the numbers in Alabama and Mississippi and
places like that.
GRAY: And in the last legislative year, Republicans tried to have
party registration so that they can further drive it by race.
HAYES: So I want to talk about that more right after we take this
HAYES: Welcome to New York. I`m Chris Hayes, here with the mayor of
Atlanta, Democrat Kasim Reed. Maya Wiley of the Center for Social
Exclusion. Dylan Glenn, former special assistant to President George W.
Bush, and Kevin Alexander Gray of Counterpunch.org. Not a lot of times you
get a former W. staffer and a writer from Counterpunch.org (inaudible) at
HAYES: That`s right. Mayor, I want to talk to you about -- so we`re
talking about Tim Scott, who is an African-American congressman recently
appointed to fill Jim DeMint`s Senate seat in South Carolina, and it`s a
big deal, for a number of reasons, largely because how rare African-
American senators are, also that it is South Carolina, a state whose
history is as acutely colored by racial politics as any state in the union,
I think I would argue. You`re mayor of Atlanta.
HAYES: Georgia is a place that -- whose demographics and politics are
changing in a way that a lot of people think that it might be the next
state. We have Virginia and North Carolina. We`ve shown those can go
blue. That Georgia might be the next place where that happens.
REED: I think there`s a clear path. I think the president lost in
North Carolina by about two points. Could have won that.
HAYES: And he won it the first time around.
REED: Didn`t invest in Georgia at all, got 45.2 percent. The
previous elections, he got 46.7. His numbers are moving up. Georgia`s
becoming increasingly diverse. Florida I believe is gone for Republicans.
I also think Virginia is gone for them.
But I happen to believe that Hillary Clinton`s going to run for
president. If she does, I think Bill Clinton is going to want to go for
it. And I think if you have a presidential campaign that with a Clinton on
the ticket, that spends $10, $12, $14 million, the kind of money that you
spend when you`re actually trying to win a state, that they win Georgia in
GRAY: Mayor, you know what we used to say about Georgia? Once you
leave Atlanta, you`re in Georgia.
REED: I love it all.
HAYES: Could you win statewide office in Georgia?
REED: I don`t know. I`m going to be mayor of Atlanta for the next
five years, so that`s not my business, but I do believe that Hillary
Clinton could win Georgia.
GLENN: I`m from Georgia. I have to just pipe up and say that I think
that Georgia will remain a Republican state, and I`m hopeful that we`ll
continue to make strides as a party with respect to reaching out to
minorities, and I think it`s important in Georgia, particularly we were
talking about before the break, about the browning of our state, Hispanic
immigration and so forth.
Look, the Republican message needs to be and will be a message that
says, we believe in opportunity for everybody. And that we may -- that`s
our goal. We think that`s a goal all Americans share. Our approach might
be a bit little different, in that we want to look at keeping taxes low and
inspiring small businesses and business people to take risk and put capital
at work so that they may hire people. That`s our vision. But that`s
something hopefully that will resonate in all communities in addition to
the black communities.
I think having messengers for that message in the form of a Tim Scott
and others is part of our challenge.
HAYES: How did you find that when you ran -- you ran in Georgia,
GLENN: I did. I ran in south Georgia, that part of Georgia that
Kevin was referring to. And I found that that message did resonate. Much
like Tim Scott, I ran well among white Americans and not as well as I had
hoped among black Americans and other minorities. But look, I think that
this is a process, not an event, and it puts the onus on the party to have
a message again that resonates in all communities.
WILEY: You know, if Colin Powell had run for president when everyone
wanted him to, right, when he was getting all the pressure to, he would
have gotten a substantial percentage of the black vote, despite the fact
that most black voters would have still been Democrats and would have still
voted for Democrats in large numbers in other campaigns.
The thing that makes Colin Powell different from Tim Scott is that
Colin Powell is willing to talk about issues that are relevant to the black
community, like affirmative action. He`s been very vocal about, you know,
saying that we still need some forms of intervention that recognize that
black people do not yet play from a level playing field, and I think that`s
a substantial difference.
So I actually agree, that I think there is -- one of the things that
the Republicans see and are taking advantage of is the fact that they can
get black vote if they think about how they`re reaching out to black
voters. I just don`t think a Tim Scott, particularly given some of the
statements he`s made about not wanting to talk about race --
HAYES: Yes, explicitly. And here`s what I`m hearing, which I think -
- which gets to an interesting paradox, per se, but complexity of American
racial politics in the year 2012. Is that essentially there are two
trends. In some ways, our politics are becoming more racialized, I mean,
in the sense of look at the exit polling. Right? I mean, it is
increasingly the case that one party is a very multiracial coalition; one
party is not a particularly multiracial coalition, and these are just the
GRAY: But blacks in that multiracial coalition vote out of a measure
of racial solidarity. So what are the ideological constructs of that?
What are you demanding of Democrats? Sometimes some of us say very little
outside of you`re black, I`m black, I`m going to vote for you, as opposed
to the white man.
HAYES: Wait a second. That`s something -- let me just say, when
white people on Fox News make that point, people go crazy.
REED: I don`t believe that at all. The conversation we just had
about Colin Powell is accurate. Colin Powell would have gotten a
significant amount of the black vote because of his core, because of his
values, and because of his policy positions. So he would not have taken a
number of policy positions that Allen West just takes or that Tim Scott --
hold on, I let you speak, so I am going to finish what I`m saying.
The policy position of Democrats have been more aligned with black
interests, which is why black people used to be Republicans. This notion
that we vote Democrat en masse because of some strange predilection that is
tied to our race I think needs to be aggressively--
GRAY: In the south, Mayor, there is very little difference between a
white Southern Democrat and a white Republican as it relates to their
REED: That is absolutely not true.
GRAY: That is absolutely true.
REED: Ask a family on Medicaid whether that`s the case. If you have
a -- if you have an elected official that doesn`t believe in the allocation
of Medicaid, significantly reduces Medicaid, that significantly reduces
access to education, that significantly reduces -- there`s a difference.
GRAY: On the margin, on the margin, they will vote for that Obama
budget. If Obama votes to raise the age for Medicare, Medicaid or for
Social Security, white officials will go along with Obama. I`m kind of
worried about the fact that they`re talking about raising the retirement
age to 69, when the black male life span is 67. And if a white Republican
-- if a Republican were talking about raising the retirement age of Social
Security, folks would be up in arms, but they`re not up in arms now. And
even if you look at the--
REED: But a Republican hadn`t done five other critical things to the
GRAY: I`m not arguing that Republicans are better than Democrats.
I`m saying that black folk had voted on race for Obama, and you know they
REED: You can run the tape. The problem with meetings like this is
we can play it back. You just said that there`s a marginal difference
between a white Republican and a white Democrat.
GRAY: In the South, there`s a marginal difference between a blue dog
and a --
HAYES: Part of this, right, is the convergence towards conservatism
in the South.
HAYES: The political culture of the South is such that people that
can get elected because of the political culture in the South--
GRAY: The bubble of politics is on the right. And we`re operating on
the right within that bubble. Democrats operate on the right within that
HAYES: So here`s the question. Here`s the question I think that`s
crucial here, right? Which is, the demographic changes in the South,
particularly in a place like Georgia, but also, the political changes in a
place like Virginia and North Carolina, are moving votes into the
Democratic column, right? The question is -- is it moving the center of
the ideological center of gravity in those states as well?
REED: There is no question about that. I think that when you look at
where the core votes are, the number of votes in Congress, the hard votes,
the hard votes on saving the automobile industry, white Democrats voted in
favor of that. The hard votes that we have had to take regarding extending
social services, unemployment insurance, these things matter. The hard
votes that we took regarding taking $50 billion away from the banking
industry, just so that they could actually go to kids so they could get
more need-based aid. Cutting interest rates for kids --
HAYES: You`re talking about the student loan agreement?
REED: Yes, the student loan agreement, which you know was nothing but
a $50 million float for the banking industry with the government providing
90 percent guarantees.
WILEY: So let`s talk about white women.
WILEY: Yes, I`m going there. Chris, you talked about the
polarization this past presidential election, and there was a lot of talk
about the gender divide, and a lot of that gender divide was saying women
went overwhelmingly for Obama. Well, if you look at regional politics,
white women overwhelmingly voted for Mitt Romney, actually. The difference
was, white women in the South were the ones voting for Mitt Romney.
White women in the northeast were voting for Obama. And that`s
actually why -- so there is absolutely, a racial -- a nonracialized
ideological divide among whites. And I think that`s -- because we always
focus on what`s going on ideologically with people of color. What about
HAYES: This is the key thing, because when you start slicing and
dicing the data and you start looking at exit polling data and you slice
it, and we have the categories that are fixed in our head to look for,
right, African American or white, and we find these divisions. Nothing
ever to me jumps out as much as the regional difference, because when you
break the country up into regions, there is this one outlier, which is the
South. The South just has different politics than the rest of the country,
I mean, I think you guys would agree with that.
GLENN: The South is culturally conservative, I would argue. And with
all deference to the panel. And I think you`re going to -- that`s what
makes Georgia a difficult state for Democrats regardless of race. And it
makes South Carolina the same way.
And I think -- it`s also what provides an opportunity for Republicans
in terms of reaching Hispanics and the browning of America, reaching those
people with a message that`s --
HAYES: And this, let me say this final point, which is that policy
matters to voters. I think it matters to voters of all races, but you`re
not going to join a political coalition if you think you`re going to be in
coalition with people that hate you, or say stuff about you behind your
back. And this applies to Democrats with things like people who are really
die-hard gun owners. Right? Democrats can say all they want we`re not
going to take your guns at a policy level, but you don`t get into political
coalitions with people that you think actually despise you as a matter of
rule. Dylan Glenn, former special assistant to President George W. Bush
and Kevin Alexander Gray from Counterpunch.org, thanks for joining us this
morning. Really, great to have you both here. I really enjoyed it. Have
a great holiday.
GLENN: Take care.
HAYES: President Obama hasn`t pardoned many people, but Christmas is
a popular time to do it. Could there be news in the next couple of days?
When we get back.
HAYES: During the holiday, one`s mind turns to grace and to mercy,
and the policy embodiment of mercy is a constitutional provision that gives
the president of the United States the power to grant reprieves and pardons
for offenses against the United States.
We know that our justice system is deeply, deeply imperfect. People
are convicted who are innocent of their crimes, sometimes for capital
offenses. In other cases, someone who is in the wrong place at the wrong
time ends up with a sentence so harsh it offends our sense of
And in some cases, the person convicted has simply transformed himself
so completely from the person that committed the crime that to bestow mercy
would be to give a new person the chance of redemption through new life.
The bad news is that President Obama has used his ability to pardon
less than any modern president has. In four years, he`s only pardoned and
commuted 23 sentences, while at the same point in his presidency George W.
Bush had pardoned and commuted 31 sentences.
So I thought it would be useful to briefly tell the story of two men
asking the president for a pardon whose cases I and many, many, many others
believe demand mercy.
The first is Don Siegelman. The former Democratic governor of
Alabama, who was prosecuted by the Bush administration`s Department of
Justice during the same period of time that we know Karl Rove was
contacting federal prosecutors and pushing them towards politically
advantageous prosecutions, and helping to push out the ones that didn`t go
along. The DOD launched its first investigation of Siegelman in 2002, the
same year Siegelman lost a closely contested gubernatorial election to a
Republican. Two years later, that investigation led to an indictment of
Siegelman on a Medicaid fraud charge that was such a terrible case, the
judge threw it out for lack of evidence before a single witness even had a
chance to testify.
Then, in 2005, the U.S. attorney`s office indicted Siegelman again,
this time on RICO charges for allegedly giving a position on a state board
to a donor in direct exchange for half a million in donations to a campaign
the governor was running, not his own, to start a state lottery to better
fund the state`s schools.
The initial prosecutor managing that case was U.S. Attorney Laura
Canary, the wife of Bill Canary, a Republican political operative,
associate of Karl Rove`s, and get this, the campaign manager for the
Republican Governor Bob Riley, who Siegelman had almost defeated in 2002
and who Siegelman had vowed to run against in 2006. That`s right. The
U.S. prosecuting attorney managing this case was married to the man
managing the case of Siegelman`s opponent. The star witness for the
prosecution, a former Siegelman aide who claimed he saw the governor with a
check in his hand after meeting with the big donor was demonstrably wrong
about the timeline, and also get this, had been extorting Alabama
businessmen and cooperating with prosecutors to avoid a ten-year sentence
for his own crimes.
Nevertheless, after two deadlocks, the jury ultimately convicted
Siegelman on six counts, and acquitted him on 27. The federal judge
sentenced him to seven years in prison.
Over 100 former state attorneys general, Republican and Democrat, have
called for clemency for Siegelman, along with constitutional scholars and
even Rosa Parks` attorney.
Siegelman`s daughter Dana, who calls her father a political prisoner,
has posted a petition to free him. It has just over 41,000 signatures, and
you can find it at free-don.org.
The other man (inaudible) clemency from the president is Clarence
Aaron, convicted of a nonviolent drug offense in 1993, when he was a 24-
year-old college student with no criminal record. Due to mandatory
minimums, he was sentenced to life without parole. Aaron introduced
friends of his who were dealing drugs to another group of drug dealers
interested in doing business with them, and was indicted along with four
others and charged with conspiracy. Aaron`s problem was that, unlike the
actual drug dealers indicted along with him, he did not turn state`s
evidence, largely, he says, because he just didn`t know enough about what
the dealers were actually up to. The other folks indicted did testify and
received sentence ranging to 20 years down to simple probation, and all of
them appeared in court to put the lion`s share of the blame for criminal
activity on Clarence Aaron.
Aaron`s case has attracted wide attention and bipartisan ideological
support for a pardon and clemency. But the process for presidential
pardons runs through the Department of Justice`s pardon attorney, Ronald L.
Rodgers, a career civil servant, who since 2008 has vetted pardon
applications and made the recommendations that are ultimately conveyed to
the White House.
In a scathing report from the DOJ inspector general this month, Rogers
was found to have omitted key facts from his write-up of Aaron`s case,
leading the IG to charge he engaged in quote, "conduct that fell
substantially short of the high standards expected of the Department of
Justice employees and the duty he owed the president of the United States."
In 2008, Aaron had secured support for a commutation for his sentence
from the U.S. attorney in Mobile, Alabama, as well as the sentencing judge.
But that crucial information was omitted from Rodgers` report to the White
House, which recommended Aaron`s application be denied.
Aaron is an inmate at the federal penitentiary in Talladega, Alabama,
where he`ll likely spend the rest of his life, unless President Obama
grants him the mercy that even the attorney who prosecuted him and the
judge who sentenced him believe he should get.
Pardons and clemency allow the president to grant mercy and to grant
forgiveness. But if the president can`t wield them to those ends, the
least he can do is wield them for the simple purpose of justice.
We`re going to look at gun control and how Australia put an end to
mass shootings right after this.
HAYES: There`s a strong move this week towards political action over
gun safety in the wake of the deadly Newtown school shooting. Senator
Dianne Feinstein pledged to introduce a new bill at the beginning of next
year`s legislative session to ban assault weapons, and President Obama
announced a task force to quote, "come up with a set of concrete proposals
no later than the end of January." And New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said
Thursday he would push for a new package of gun safety legislation that
could include confiscation or a mandatory sale of residents` guns to the
That idea sounds impractical, consider that this was actually already
done in Australia. After a mass shooting in that country killed 35 people
in 1996, Australia`s National Firearms Act effectively banned assault
weapons. People were able to turn in their guns and be compensated, and
since the guns were banned, the buy-back program was compulsory. A study
by the Harvard School of Public Health found that in the first seven years
after the law took effect, the gun homicide rate in that country dropped by
You should also know that 11 gun massacres occurred in the decade
before Australia`s National Firearms Act, and there have been zero mass
shootings since, according to the study which was published in 2009.
Of course, if that kind of proven policy response is not your thing,
there are those like NRA CEO and Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre,
who have different ideas, like packing public schools with armed security
officers, a notion so dystopian and far afield, "The New York Post," owned
by the right-wing but pro gun safety Rupert Murdoch, printed this front
page yesterday for its coverage of his news conference, calling LaPierre a
gun nut and a loon.
So as the conversation moves toward gun policy, the big question now
is, what kind of regulation will actually work? And what can proposals for
effective regulation survive the political obstacles that men like LaPierre
will throw in its way? At the table with us now is the mayor of
Philadelphia, Democrat Michael Nutter, a member of Mayors Against Illegal
Back at the table is former governor of New Jersey, Democrat James
Florio. I should mention that Mayor Kasim Reed is also a member of Mayors
Against Illegal Guns, and it`s great to have you all at the table.
All right. So, what works? What now? What do we do? Governor?
FORMER GOV. JAMES FLORIO, D-NEW JERSEY: In New Jersey, we actually
have the toughest assault weapons ban in the nation, and we got it through
because we dealt with reality. The reality is that the gun people, the gun
lobby works from the premise that, in fact, a small cadre of true believers
with resources can overwhelm the public interests, because the general
public is usually not engaged and uninformed.
When you engage and inform the general public, which we did in New
Jersey, they can prevail. And the response from the gun lobbyists run out
the clock, which is what they`re going to try to do again. Try to have a
rope-a-dope situation, where the public will lose interest and they will
prevail. You can`t allow that to happen.
HAYES: When you say it`s the strongest, what does that mean,
actually? In terms of what does the legislation do?
FLORIO: Well, one of the major things we do is not allow the gun
manufacturers to make cosmetic changes on the assault weapons and then
maintain they`re not assault weapons. That`s something that is very, very
significant. A couple of states have assault weapons bans, but they are
full of loopholes, including the one in Connecticut.
HAYES: Is there anything that can be done? It seems like it`s an
issue that has to be on a national level, which is why I think, you have
the mayors? Is there anything that can be done at the level of, say,
MAYOR MICHAEL NUTTER, D-PHILADELPHIA: Sure. We have passed some laws
in Philadelphia and some of them have made it even past the NRA lawsuit,
and then sustained by our Pennsylvania Supreme Court. But states and the
federal government, I mean, there should be a series of pretty strong
policies all across the United States of America. And then, either states
or local governments can enhance, if they want to, but should never be able
The U.S. Conference of Mayors, we have advocated three major things.
One, there should be an assault weapons` ban all across the United States
of America. There is no reason for a civilian to ever have an assault
rifle, a machine gun, multi clips, and so the second part is the large
HAYES: I should note, machine guns are banned.
NUTTER: Exactly. If you`re putting out hundreds of rounds, you know,
a minute, I mean, I`m not going to get into a debate about semiautomatic or
automatic, it`s a lot. Right? So large magazines and the clips, 30, 50,
you know, 100 rounds, I mean, that`s crazy, too. So that`s the second.
HAYES: The shooter in Aurora had a 100-round drum.
NUTTER: Again, why does any civilian person need something like that?
Third, we must fix, and we can, this is just technology here, on the
background identification system and closing the gun show loophole. Number
four, as has been talked about, and it has to be a part of any package,
that we really deal with the issues of mental health challenges.
You see in your fiscal cliff, although in your box it says fiscal
curb, it`s fiscal. That cuts are proposed in mental health services.
That, of course, makes no sense whatsoever. And so you put that together
as a package, that`s what we should be looking at. Obviously, safety and
training. You have to go through more to get a car in virtually any state
across the United States of America than you do in most states, including
Pennsylvania, to get a gun.
And so, trigger locks. Lockers. Registering the weapon. Lost and
stolen provisions. We passed that in Philadelphia and was sued by the NRA.
On my 100th day in office as mayor back in `08, were the proudest moments
of my entire elected career. Lost and stolen. You have to report your car
if it`s stolen if you want to get a claim from the insurance company. You
certainly have to do the same thing for a weapon.
These are reasonable, rational, straightforward things. New Jersey
has figured out how to protect the Second Amendment while also making
people safer, and New York has as well.
HAYES: Are these things going to fly in Georgia and Atlanta?
REED: First of all, I think you need to start the conversation by
respecting the Second Amendment so that we don`t have a discussion about
the Second Amendment. So we respect that in Georgia and value it.
The second part, I think, really, is the path laid forth by Ronald
Reagan. The most important bill that Ronald Reagan worked on after he was
president was the assault ban and the Brady bill. The NRA fought him tooth
and nail -- they fought Ronald Reagan on the Brady bill and on the assault-
ban bill, which we have allowed to lapse.
The other thing is, we can`t miss this moment. Everybody around this
table knows that if 20 children are killed and we don`t get a bill now,
we`re never going to get it. So I agree with the governor. He is
absolutely right, which is why I`m here this morning.
We have to develop a strategy, through the month of January, to keep
the national attention focused on this issue, so they don`t, as the
governor said, rope-a-dope.
NUTTER: Right, because time -- and Mayor Reed is a signer on the U.S.
Conference of Mayors letter, and Mayor Bloomberg Villaraigosa and Rahm
Emanuel and a bunch of other mayors all across the country, we have
hundreds of mayors. But what I have said to them all is, time is not our
friend on this. So an all-out, hands on deck, aggressive campaign through
December into January, we cannot mess around with this.
HAYES: I want to bring in Rebecca Peters, who was one of the
architects of the gun legislation in Australia that has proved so effective
right after we take this break.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JOSEPH BIDEN, D-DELAWARE: In case of case of murderous rampages
by disturbed and violent thugs, the ability to military-style assault
weapons to kill and maim, not just a few but 8 or 10, 14, 35 people in just
minutes, has been proven beyond any reasonable doubt.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: That is then Senator Joe Biden of Delaware testifying -- or --
not testifying, talking about the assault weapons ban in 1993, when the
federal version was being pushed through.
I want to bring in Rebecca Peters, former director of the
International Action Network on Small Arms, and former chair of Australia`s
National Coalition for Gun Control. Thank you for joining us this morning.
Walk us through what happened in Australia in the wake of the horrific
shooting there. And what the policies -- what policies were put in place?
REBECCA PETERS, FORMER CHAIR, AUSTRALIA`S NATIONAL COALITION FOR GUN
CONTROL: Well, what happened after the Port Arthur massacre in Australia
was that we, that perhaps the most important underlying principle was that
we finally got uniform national gun laws across the country. The gun laws
in Australia are state laws, as primarily the American gun laws are, too.
And we had seen for many years the problem of some states having tighter
laws and those being undermined by the states where the laws were much less
tight. And that`s a very big problem in the U.S., where there`s the iron
pipeline that goes from the states with lax laws to the states with tight
And so after the massacre, there was an agreement which said all
states are going to pass laws meeting a certain standard. And the
standards in the national firearms agreement were that No. 1, a ban on
semiautomatic rifles and shotguns, a ban on assault weapons, and a buy-back
program for those weapons, which brought back more than 700,000 guns. And
in addition, uniform licensing standards, registration of all guns, strong
standards on safe storage, waiting periods.
And the -- perhaps the most important thing was the fact that every
gun sale had to be subject to a very high standard of background checks,
not only for criminal convictions, but also domestic violence and things
And the system makes it possible, especially because there is a
waiting period, it makes it possible for the licensing authority to make
inquiries. So if, for example, the police find out, they talk to the local
police in your town, they ask for references. Is there any reason to be
concerned about this person who wants to own a gun owning one?
And because there is that strict checking system, it also acts as a
break on the buildup of arsenals. So although there`s not a numerical
limit on the number of guns that people can own, in fact, it is very
difficult to own more than about, say, three to five guns, whereas in the
past it was possible for people to own 20 guns without any increasing level
of scrutiny as the arsenal grew. So those are probably the main aspects.
HAYES: What is striking about that is that, A, that it goes much
further than anything that is on the table right now. And, you know, one
of the -- the first assault weapons ban, not the first assault weapons ban,
the assault weapons ban passed under Clinton, of course, famously had a
kind of grandfather clause, which meant that all the assault weapons that
were out there remained legal. There was no, essentially, mandatory buy-
back program like Australia.
WILEY: One thing that I think is so important about this is that 300
million guns that are in homes today in the United States, but a large
number of them apparently are concentrated so that you have people that own
Now, you know, I don`t know who needs seven guns, particularly if
we`re upholding the Second Amendment, because there`s nothing that
guarantees that you can have a personal arsenal. So I think one of the
examples from Australia is extremely important.
And the other thing we have to remember is that the U.S. accounts for
80 percent of the deaths due to these kinds of weapons. And 87 percent --
WILEY: Globally. And 87 percent of the deaths of children globally.
FLORIO: I mean, it`s important to note that up until this event in
Connecticut, we were going in the wrong direction. I mean, it was most
embarrassing to watch the House of Representatives take up a bill that
would have prevented the sale of weapons to people on the terrorism list.
The bill failed. I mean, this is crazy. We have to get to the point of
having a conversation about whether the public interest is somehow served
by having access to Uzis and AK-47s.
HAYES: But there is the question, when I listen to Rebecca and the
two mayors at the table, which is it makes me think that what`s on the
table is not going to solve the problem. That actually what would solve
the problem is something much, much, much more aggressive, that is outside
of where our political conversation is.
NUTTER: I think you`re going to have a couple of different
conversations going on. President Obama has asked the absolutely right
person, Vice President Biden, to head up an effort. He wants a report by
the end of January, so that`s the right now.
There`s also been discussion, and, again, from at least the U.S.
Conference of Mayors and some others, we also support a commission, a
serious operation that looks at the larger issue of violence in America.
We have a violence problem. We have a gun problem, we have a violence
problem. Domestic violence, child abuse, a number of things.
You look at what Mayor Bloomberg has been doing here in New York, and
certainly he and Mayor Menino, Mayors Against Illegal Guns. Both of us are
members. There are a lot of things that need to be done, and I`m always
nervous on big issues when someone says, what`s the one thing that you can
do? There is no one thing. There are a bunch of things, city, state and
federal level, and everyone has a role to play.
REED: We need to get the biggest deal we can get done right now or
we`ll lose the moment. So we need to get the four to five things that we
can prove make the biggest difference. And we also need to get comfortable
with the fact that this is going to be tough. This is not going to be easy
because of the moment. And this is a situation where everybody who`s been
talking about this all the time, needs to be prepared to engage right here,
right now, and be in a serious competition of ideas.
HAYES: Rebecca, I want you to give some advice to U.S. politicians
and policymakers, if something as comprehensive as what was done in
Australia isn`t feasible here, what is the place to start? I`d like to
hear that right after this break.
HAYES: Rebecca Peters. What should U.S. lawmakers be prioritizing if
the kind of comprehensive package that was put through in Australia is not
feasible at this moment?
PETERS: Well, the package in Australia was very comprehensive, and
the results have been outstanding. So we have, as you said, we`ve not had
a mass shooting since that time, and also, gun deaths are now at 50 percent
what they were before the reform. So the chances of being murdered with a
gun in Australia are 130th now compared with the U.S. in terms of per-
But if you -- so, even if -- if the package had not been so
comprehensive, perhaps we wouldn`t have had a 50 percent reduction.
Perhaps we would have had a 20 percent reduction. But any reduction would
be really, really good for America to have.
But in terms of the specific policies, it`s important for the federal
legislation to set the standard. So the two priorities that President
Obama identified of the assault weapons ban and universal background
checks, are, I would say, the right place to start.
At the moment, you only have to undergo a background check if you buy
a gun brand new in a shop in most states in America. And if you buy it
secondhand, you usually don`t have to undergo a background check. And,
yet, a gun that you buy secondhand is just as lethal as a brand new one, so
that would be the starting point.
And as the mayors have pointed out, if the federal government sets the
standard, then the states and the cities can pass additional measures to
fill in some of the gaps and raise the overall standard of safety. So
that`s my advice.
HAYES: Let me make this -- ask this question again, mayors and
Governor Florio as well. Most of the people getting killed by guns in
Atlanta and Philadelphia are getting killed by handguns. It`s not assault
weapons. Just so we`re clear on, like, what the weapon of death in the
inner city is -- it is a handgun.
NUTTER: 85 percent of the murders in Philadelphia, and unfortunately
we`re up over 300 this year, are with guns, and almost all are handguns.
All of which are illegal. In the hands of someone who shouldn`t have them.
Mostly bought straw purchases. It`s not always, you know, somebody with a
trunk full of guns in their car. You can now actually, in Philly and some
other cities across the country, you can actually rent guns now. Go to a
stash house, they give you a full array. What do you want? How long do
you need it? Put your money down, bring it back next week. I mean, this
is the kind of insanity that we`re dealing with.
NUTTER: And there are assault weapons out on the street, but it`s
mostly your Glocks, your Tech 9`s.
HAYES: If that`s the case, what good is this going to do?
REED: This does a lot of good. We`ve cut murders in Atlanta to
record lows, 1969, 1970 levels. But what we know is nobody should be able
to fire off 100 bullets. So let`s not take the handgun conversation and
intermingle it with this. I care about the handgun conversation, but right
now, somebody ought not be able to walk in anywhere and shoot 100 rounds.
NUTTER: As the mayor said, this is a step by step process, but if you
don`t do something right now, you`re won`t make any progress.
HAYES: This is the crowbar.
WILEY: And I completely agree with that. We have to deal with the
semiautomatic weapons. But I think it is important to note that if we have
one child or teen killed every three hours in this country, and that is
because of what Mayor Nutter is talking about, then I don`t -- I think we
do have to use this opportunity to also start the conversation about what
solves that. Because it isn`t going to be semiautomatic weapons.
One point about this is Operation Rescue, which was a Boston strategy,
which targeted the hot spots for illegal gun use, usually with gang
violence, and successfully pulled it down.
FLORIO: I think the assault weapon ban is really the first step to
try to change the culture. And that is going to be hard, but we`ve done it
with smoking, and we can do it with this.
HAYES: And create this political precedent. Rebecca Peters, formerly
of the International Action Network on Small Arms, thank you for joining us
What you should know for the news week ahead, coming up next.
HAYES: This is the best Christmas song of the last decade, at least,
So what should you know for the week ahead? If you are considering
giving the gift of a charitable donation this holiday season, you should
know about a few of the organizations we here at UP think are doing
incredible work across the world. You should know a really exciting new
organization called Give Directly will take your money, locate poor
households in Kenya, and transfer the money directly to the recipient`s
cell phones. At least 90 percent of the money you donate goes directly to
the people who need it. Solar Electric Light Fund develops solar projects
in energy-poor nations like Haiti and Nigeria, powering everything from
health centers to online learning to crop irrigation.
You should know that Partners in Health believes health care is not
just a privilege but a human right, and provides free, universal access to
primary health care in developing nations across the world, and I am
continually in awe of their commitment to solidarity, empowerment and
A network of professional designers called Architecture for Humanity
provides free design services to sustainably developed schools and other
infrastructure in impoverished areas. Doctors Without Borders, you should
know, provides urgent medical care to victims of war and disaster across
Guiding Eyes for the Blind. An internationally accredited nonprofit
guide dog school provides trained guide dogs for blind and visually
impaired people at no cost.
Farm Sanctuary, an animal protection organization which fights factory
farming and stockyards, provides a refuge for abused farm animals at sites
in California and New York. And you should know there`s also the ASPCA and
the Humane Society, which not only fund shelters that protect animals from
cruelty, but rescue the ones displaced by disasters like Hurricane Sandy,
and fight for important legislation to curb the worst abuses of factory
Anti-hunger organization called Family to Family connects struggling
families in America`s poorest communities with donor families that provide
food and other necessities. And finally, Stride International provides
skills training and job placement services to those who have been
disconnected from the economy whether through layoffs or incarceration or
You should know that all these groups and so many others do incredible
work every day to reduce suffering, achieve a fairer, happier, more
sustainable future for all. And even a small donation can and often does
make a huge difference.
We will post the full list after this show with links to websites to
our Facebook page, Facebook.com/upwithchris.
I want to find out the organizations that my guests think you should
think about supporting in this holiday season. I will begin with you,
REED: Last week, we had the 29th annual mayor`s ball in the city of
Atlanta, raised $1 million for the College Fund UNCF. We send kids to
college. Kids at Morehouse, Spellman, Clark Atlanta University, ITC in
Atlanta, so I would just encourage everybody to go to the College Fund
UNCF. A mind is a terrible thing to waste.
HAYES: Great. Maya?
WILEY: Well, you should know that eight children or teens are going
to be killed every day in the coming week, and that`s not going to change,
so although my vice president of marketing would kill me if I didn`t say
you should support the Center for Social Inclusion, I won`t be that self-
serving and say that organizations like Young People`s Project in
Mississippi or League of Young Voters all are working in communities of
color, because almost half of those deaths are going to be in communities
HAYES: There are some amazing groups -- we should talk about this in
a future show, because there is amazing groups that have been doing
violence interruption work in communities, and in a remarkably effective
way, I mean, in a way that`s really promising, because I think we think
about these problems sometimes as intractable. It`s something we`ll come
NUTTER: Probably somewhat similar to Mayor Reed. Philly Goes to
College is located within the mayor`s office. Focused on helping young
people and those young at heart to go to college. One of our goals, one of
my goals in Philadelphia is to double the college degree attainment rate,
trying to get up in the high 30s, near 40. And it`s a one-stop shop,
located literally right under my office on the first floor in city hall.
Helping folks get all the information they need to be able to go to
HAYES: So is this constituted as an independent organization, is
there a 501(c)3 people can donate to? Is it part of your office?
NUTTER: Actually part of mayor`s office of education. Philly Goes to
College is in that office, but we have the Fund for Philadelphia. People
can make donations to the fund and designate Philly Goes to College. It is
a great, great office, with a bunch of folks in there, help folks go to
HAYES: That is very cool. Is that something that you started?
HAYES: Oh, that`s neat. All right. Governor Florio.
FLORIO: My family is very much involved with the YMCA movement and
our local YMCA in Natachin (ph), working for early childhood development.
My wife is very much involved in the obesity effort, to try to help young
people have a better lifestyle. And the two in an ecumenical fashion, they
are working with the Jewish Community Center in Addison (ph), the next town
over. So the YMCA movement is really deserving of all our support.
HAYES: The YMCA as well.
I would say to people this, if you are watching this right now, and
people are hurting out there and the recession has really hammered people,
and I understand that it`s the Christmas season and the holiday season and
you are trying to buy presents. And make the bills pay and think about the
credit card bill in January. But, if you do have a little bit there, if
there`s another 10 or 20 or for some people watching $100, if you are
watching this right now, so much in American life depends on the generosity
of donations. And that`s a political question we could talk about in the
theoretical sense later, but I think what ends up happening is we start to
see -- we think about that January credit card bill. But right now, if you
are watching this and you have got a laptop open in front of you, we are
going to put up the links. You just heard a bunch of organizations. And
really, there are so many people out there doing amazing work, and we don`t
give them enough credit for it, and you right now can make a difference.
All right, I want to thank my guests today. Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed.
Maya Wiley from the Center for Social Inclusion. Mayor Reed, we are going
to have you back on to talk about stadiums, because you are building a
stadium in Atlanta, and stadium policy--
HAYES: Yes, man, you guys are killing it this year. But stadium
policy is something we want to talk about. So we`re going to have you
Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter and former New Jersey Governor James
Florio, thank you all.
Thank you for joining us. We`ll be back next weekend, Saturday and
Sunday at 8:00 Eastern time with the latest on the approaching fiscal curb,
and a look at what`s happened to the Tea Party this year. Coming up next
is "MELISSA HARRIS-PERRY." On today`s "MHP," the utter dysfunction
junction taking over Washington. A speaker with no clout, a president with
no deal, and the well-being of millions in the balance. That`s "MELISSA
HARRIS-PERRY," coming up next week. We`ll see you next week here on UP,
and I would like to wish all of you a very merry Christmas or a merry war
on Christmas, whichever you celebrate.
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