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PoliticsNation, Friday, March 8th, 2013

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POLITICS NATION
March 8, 2013

Guests: Paul Krugman; Ryan Grim; Angela Rye; Michael Moss

REVEREND AL SHARPTON, MSNBC HOST: Thanks, Chris. And thanks to you for
tuning in.

Tonight`s lead, they have blocked, they have spun and they have tried
everything they could to stop it. But guess what, the president`s plan is
working.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Get your popcorn ready... We`ve got some
pretty good numbers here for u you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Up 236 points. February non-farm payrolls,
increased by 236,000 jobs. The last unemployment rate was 7.7 percent.
You`ve got to go all the way back to December, 2008.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Now, there is work to be cone. But this is progress. That`s 36
straight months of project sector job growth under President Obama. And we
are seeing momentum elsewhere in the Obama agenda. On gay rights, the
president now pushing for equality:

Today, President Clinton joined President Obama in calling for the defense
of marriage act to be overturn. On terrorism, Osama bin Laden`s son-in-law
now captured, appeared in a New York city court. On women`s rights,
President Obama this week renewing the violence against women act. And, on
gun control, a major hurdle cleared when a Senate panel approved a gun
trafficking bill.

The president is getting it done. And here`s how you know he`s winning.
Today, RNC chairman Reince Priebus is taking credit for the jobs numbers.

Yes, I`m serious. Quote "Republicans are doing their job to get this
economy on track. Now it`s time for President Obama and his party to join
us." No word if he actually said that one with a straight face.

And then there`s GOP water boy Marco Rubio, the party savior. His big, new
idea today. Shut down the government unless the president`s health care
law is completely defunded and repealed. What an idea. Give that man
another round of polo spring. But the right wing media is trying to attack
over White House tours?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ERIC BOLLING, FOX NEWS, THE FIVE: Look, Mr. President, if you can`t keep
the White House open, let me try. Let me take it for a week. I will take
off the debt.

Listen, this isn`t trying to upstage a president. This isn`t playing a
game. He`s playing the political game by saying I`m closing the White
House.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: They`re worried about tours. Where is the outrage over the cuts
to the poor over food stamps, cuts to Head Start? Over the 750,000 jobs
that could be lost. We are seeing real progress. But just imagine what
this recovery could look like if they stop getting in the way.

Joining me now, Jonathan Capehart and Jared Bernstein.

Jared, how strong are these jobs numbers today?

JARED BERNSTEIN, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: They are strong. Two hundred and
thirty six thousand jobs, the unemployment rating ticking down a couple of
tenths. Almost every industry added jobs and over the lasts three months,
I would like to kind of average out the monthly reports because they are a
bit volatile. We have been adding about 1 90,000 jobs. You go back about
half a year, we were adding 130,000 per month. So, you see a real
acceleration there.

SHARPTON: So, wait a minute. We were doing 130,000 a month, now we are at
190,000?

BERNSTEIN: That`s if you average out over the past few months to take some
of the noise out the monthly data. But with that said, I still think
there`s some fragility here. And, as you mention, the sequester could hurt
us. To me, today`s job report shows the potential of what this economy can
do if Congress gets behind it instead hacking away at it with fiscal time
bomb after fiscal time bomb.

SHARPTON: Now, Jared, let me pick up on that because here`s a headline
from "The New York Times" exactly on that point. It`s on The New York
Times home page. Warning that the spending cuts Republicans insist on
could take the steam out of this recovery. Headline says despite job
gains, austerity takes toll.

Jonathan, this is actually what Jared is saying. Job numbers are good.
But if we`re talking about austerity and cuts, we could undermine what is
apparently a growth process that`s working.

JONATHAN CAPEHART, OPINION WRITER, "THE WASHINGTON POST": Well, sort of.
Take sequestration, for example. You know, the CBO payroll tax increase
would cost 800,000 jobs. That`s 67,000 jobs a month. Sequestration
itself, 750,000 jobs would be lost if nothing gets done. That`s 75,000
jobs a month that disappear. Those are not just numbers on a spread sheet.
Those are American workers who are losing their jobs. That`s that many
families who are being impacted, being affected by a loss of work.

And then the trickle down trickle down from Manhattan, if someone loses a
job, that means a store getting fewer customers, a business gets fewer
customers, children go without food to eat, there is no shopping. So, I
think there`s too much focus here in this town on let`s cut the budget.
Let`s cut the deaf sit. Let`s deal with the numbers on the spread sheet
rather than trying to think strategically how to reduce the deficit. How
to reduce costs that don`t damage the economy and don`t hurt American
families.

SHARPTON: And put money back out there, consumers.

But, you know, Jared, before the election, the chairman of the Republican
party, Reince Priebus warned that the president`s policies would hurt the
economy. Let me show you what he said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REINCE PRIEBUS, CHAIRMAN, REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE: The choice that we
face in this country is clearer than ever. President Obama and Vice
President Biden want to continue with the very same failed policies they
have pushed for the past four years. The only new plan for the second term
is a tax increase.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: And that`s what he said before the election in October, 2012.
Today, after the president has pursued his policies and we get these strong
job numbers, he`s taking credit for the job numbers.

BERNSTEIN: Yes. I almost fell off my chair when you played that thing. I
mean, first of all, it was always amazing to me that Republicans, who
largely were the policy -- the politicians of the business community, were
so angry at Obama anyway. Because one sector that`s done extremely well
throughout his term and lately, doing even better, is of course, the stock
market and corporate probability.

But what we haven`t seen is the job market picking up. There`s been a long
gap in this economy between the growing economy, which has been growing
since the second half of 2009 and employment growth which consistently has
consistently been up. But not fast enough to really bring the unemployment
rate down.

Well, now have a job report and it`s one, we don`t read too much into it
that throws employment going on a cliff. And what threatens it and
Jonathan and I just said, Republican intransigents on a balanced deal to
solve the sequester.

So, it`s the exact opposite of what he said. The president`s policies and
the underlying economy have been improving while the other side keeps
crafting these measures to undermine that growth.

SHARPTON: Now, Jonathan, when you look at that, look at the fact that you
have Reince Priebus, second credit. Speaker Boehner had trouble even
admitting that the job numbers were strong. And he was still trying to
find a way to attack the president. Let me read you his statement.

Quote, "Any job creation is positive news. But the fact is that
unemployment in America is still way above the levels the Obama White House
projected when the trillion dollar stimulus spending bill was enacted."

So we`ve got the head of the RNC taking credit for the job numbers and the
head of the house Republicans trying to play down the job numbers. I mean,
it`s crazy in D.C. there with you, Jonathan.

CAPEHART: Yes, it is. And what we see here is this schism within the
party. It`s all -- it`s all over the place from rand Paul filibustering a
nomination to Reince Priebus trying to take credit for improvement in the e
economy and John Boehner, still, to latching onto a mantra that he had in
the elections which are where are the jobs?

Now, when the president offered the American jobs act back in September,
2011, with ideas that both Democrats and Republicans had been pushing for
four years, speaker Boehner was nowhere to be found. Speaker Boehner was
no, was not even part of the process, didn`t want to have to deal with
anything within the American jobs act.

So, you know, speaker Boehner is in a bit of a bind. The economy is
improving, but he`s got this restless, raucous tea party caucus that want
wants to cut the hell out of the budget. No matter who gets affected
because for them, the bottom line is reduce the numbers on the page and
worry about the real-life impacts later.

SHARPTON: But you have to worry about real life people if you`re going to
govern.

Jonathan Capehart and Jared Bernstein, thank you both for your time
tonight. And have a great time tonight and have a great weekend.

BERNSTEIN: You too.

BERNSTEIN: You too.

SHARPTON: Ahead, Paul Krugman is here live on the great GOP fair. And
Karl Rove, you`ve got a problem. Of course, missile and appall drone.
They will big time trouble.

Plus, how great is it to have Elizabeth Warren in the Senate? This great.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D), MASSACHUSETTS: If you`re caught with an ounce
of cocaine, the chances you`re going to go to jail. If it happens
repeatedly, you may go to jail for the rest of your life. But, evidently,
if you launder nearly a billion dollars for drug cartels and violate our
international sanctions, your company pays a fine and you go home and sleep
in your own bed at night. Every single individual associated with this. I
think that`s fundamentally wrong.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Oh, yes. More of that is coming.

Big Friday show. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Have you joined the "Politics Nation" conversation on facebook
yet? We hope you will.

Today, folks were celebrating the good news in the jobs report. Jessica
says glad to hear this. Hopefully, it will continue to drop.

Jessica says, glad to hear this. Hopefully it will continue to drop.

Mavis says we`re on the right path, but the Republicans are in the way.

Greg says I`m sure the Republicans are creative enough to find a negative
spin to this. You may be onto something, Greg.

We`ve got more on the GOP`s economic spin on jobs coming up next.

But, first, we want to hear your thoughts, too. Please head over to
facebook and search poll "Politics Nation" and like us to join the
conversation that keeps going long after the show ends.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: The job numbers today are encouraging. Unemployment at its
lowest point in four years. But I`ve got to say. I`m shocked. After all,
we raised taxes on the well this year. But speaker Boehner and gang told
us that would really hurt the job creators.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY), MINORITY LEADER: Don`t raise taxes on small
businesses because they`re our job creators.

REP. PAUL RYAN (R), HOUSE BUDGET COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN: Don`t raise taxes on
small businesses because there are job trainers.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Mr. old job create didn`t skip town after all. Of course,
Republicans, I guess the old job creators didn`t skip town after all. Of
course, Republicans told us that helping the uninsured would also help tack
the economy.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MITT ROMNEY (R), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: He was also going to focus
on creating jobs, remember that? But he focused on Obama care and that
killed jobs.

BOEHNER: Now, things like Obama care, are getting under way on small
business job creation.

PAUL: Obama care alone, alone, is putting a chilling effect on job
creation.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Chilling? Yes. Except it hasn`t been. But the right sounded
the alarm about wall street reform, too. In fact, they said don`t even
criticize big business.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BOEHNER: I think the president`s attack on the private sector in America is
exactly what`s wrong with this administration.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Part of it is the rhetoric that vilifies success.
Attacks the free enterprise system.

ROMNEY: Sadly, president Obama has decided to a sack success. It`s no
wonder so many of his own supporters are calling to stop this war on job
creators.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: It`s the funniest war in business I`ve ever seen. The stock
market is at an all-time high. Looked like the elephants were crying Wolf
about jobs. Isn`t it about time they learned their less son?

Joining me now is Nobel-winning economist and columnist for "The New York
Times" Paul Krugman. His latest book is called "in this depression now."

Mr. Krugman, thank you for coming on the show.

PAUL KRUGMAN, THE NEW YORK TIMES: Thank you.

SHARPTON: The jobless rate didn`t skyrocket. Can you believe it?

KRUGMAN: Well, yes. I mean, remember, we have been here before. You go
back to 1993 and bill Clinton, by raising taxes on the rich, he was going
to kill the economy. That was they take, but they`re always wrong but
never anything from it.

SHARPTON: Now, in today`s column, and as I told you before we went on, I
read you religiously. You asked me to do it secularly, but we`ll talk
about that later. You know that there are still concerns with the stock
market. But the highs that we`re seeing tell us something important. And
to quote your column, you say the fears and prejudices that have dominated
Washington discussing for years are entirely misguided and they`re also
telling us that the people who have been feeding those fears and peddling
those prejudice us don`t have a clue about how the economy actually works.
What do you mean by that?

KRUGMAN: That if you listen to these guys, you just gave us a great set of
clips. A bunch of people saying this rhetoric. Got to stop trying to help
the uninsured. You`ve got to try to have austerity. If you don`t do that,
the economy is going to tank and the interest rates are going to skyrocket.
Those didn`t happen, right? It has to work that way at all. What has
happen, is that when you cut government spending in a depressed economy,
that hurts the economy. So what exactly the thing that they are saying we
have to do to have prosperity, actually is, the main thing standing in the
way of recovery right now.

SHARPTON: But how do they do it? They just pushed this on ideology?
There`s no real analysis, I mean? Because this is so opposite of what
they`re advocating.

KRUGMAN: You know, when you have a massive media machine, when you have
loyal people who go on the talk shows an say the same thing again and
again, it doesn`t hurt that much if you`re wrong over and over again. I
mean, anybody who paid attention to ,I said, the Wall Street editorial page
the last four or five years would have lost a lot of money. But it doesn`t
matter, people just keep on coming back for it.

SHARPTON: Now, there was something striking about today`s job report where
the report said we were up in the private sector jobs by 246,000 jobs last
month. The public sector lost 10,000 jobs. And, as you and I have
discussed in the African American community, Latino community, many of
those communities are in the public sector space. Can you imagine where
we`d be in the country across the board, all racial lines, if the GOP
didn`t have this obsession with austerity.

KRUGMAN: No. If we had created public sector jobs in line with population
growth, which is what we normally do. It is even what we did under George
Bush, but only we hadn`t been doing it this time because of this austerity
obsession, then we`d have about a million and a half right now. We would
probably have well over two million jobs in total because those public
sector workers would have the purchasing power to buy stuff for the private
sector. We would be yet another unemployment rate well below seven, if we
did only we haven`t had this austerity. So this is -- we would be doing
pretty reasonably. Not all the way back to full employment, but pretty
long way back towards it if it wasn`t for this totally misguided policy.

SHARPTON: Now, talk about austerity. FOX and friends this morning had on
president Jefferson to talk about the need for fiscal austerity. Watch
this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Even though you were one of the very first presidents
of the United States as you remember, you were a budget cutter, weren`t
you?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, I was. I believe government needs to be simple
and frugal.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What would you make of the debt we have amassed today.

JEFFERSON: I would consider it to be a crime because we are not only being
irresponsible, but stealing from posterity.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: I mean, you know, that`s all they have. But, I wanted to show
that because not only do that have a guy masquerading as Thomas Jefferson,
they`re masquerading the economic theories in terms to how they work.

KRUGMAN: Yes. I mean, I doubt that the real Thomas Jefferson would saw
anything like that. And I do know that real Alexander Hamilton who was
knew a whole lot more about economics than Jefferson did, would have said
hey, you know, this is not a time to be cutting back.

So, but, anyway, what`s the difference? The point is it`s just insane to
be thinking at a time of mass unemployment when the U.S. government can
borrow long term at an interest rate of two percent, that the deficit
should be our focus as supposed to creating jobs.

SHARPTON: So, where are we going? The deficit is not our focus. So we
shouldn`t be hearing all of those that are scaring us about Medicaid and
Medicare? We should concentrate on what?

KRUGMAN: Right now, we need to focus on jobs. There is question. We got
to figure out, not now, not for the next five years, try not to next ten
years. So, we are going to have to eventually figure out how we`re going
to pay for the programs that we need. But that`s not --

SHARPTON: Not Medicaid, Medicare.

KRUGMAN: Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security. But, that is - that is not
what should on the front burner right now. and the front burner is jobs.
And the main thing we need to do now is we need to stop having these
government cut backs that are standing in the way of a private sector that
really actually now showing that its ready to recover.

SHARPTON: Paul Krugman, thanks for your time tonight. His book, again, is
called "in this depression now."

Ahead, Elizabeth Warren calls out a big bang for its dirty laundry.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WARREN: How many billions of dollars do you have to launder for drug lords
before somebody says we`re shutting you down.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: And President Obama is proud of the violence against women`s
act. And so are some of the Republicans who opposed it. They`re actually
taking credit for it. That`s next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: It`s a classic right wing move. Taking credit for something you
voted against. After months of GOP obstruction, President Obama signed an
expanded version of the violence against women act this week. One hundred
and thirty eight House Republicans voted against the law. But, now, some
of them are bragging that they supported it. The fact is, they actually
voted for a watered-down version that didn`t include new protections for
native American women and the LGBT community.

But their statements sure make it seem like they voted for the real thing.
Iowa Republican Steve King blasted out that he supported the violence
against women`s act. Hey, congressman, your name is right there in the no
column.

Arkansas`s Tim Griffin says he was proud to support the house VAWA. But
you have to read to the last paragraph to see that he supported the house
version and voted no on the actual law.

Missouri`s Vickie Hartzler votes that she was pleased to support efforts to
protect all women in this country from domestic abuse and other forms of
violence. But she wasn`t pleased enough to vote for the actual law.

I wonder if she was pleased enough to vote against it. Did these
Republicans think we wouldn`t notice their claim that they voted for it
even though they voted against it?

Nice try, but we got you.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Karl Rove has a problem, a tea party problem. Rand Paul is the
GOP man of the moment. Fresh off his marathon filibuster, he is the life
of the party and the views on civil rights, religion and the role of
government are all way out there. But he`s not going away.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: How seriously are you looking at 2016?

SEN. RAND PAUL (R), KENTUCKY: We`re looking at it very seriously. I think
our party needs something new, fresh and different.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: And then there`s Texas senator Ted Cruz. The man who called
President Obama the most radical president we`ve ever seen. And he will be
front and center at the RNC event this weekend with some of the parties
biggest leaders.

But Senator McCain is not a big fan of either Tea Party star. When "the
Huffington Post" asked if they were a positive force in the GOP, he paused
for six seconds and said quote "They were elected. Nobody believes there
was a corrupt election. Anything else? But I always believe it`s the
whacko birds on the right and the left that get the media megaphone."

Whacko birds? This is a party at war. And now they headed to RNC is going
after Karl Rove`s plan to target unelected presidents.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PRIEBUS: I don`t think the party should pick winners and losers in
primaries. And I think it is historically, if you look at it, it`s a bit
of a fool`s game because you can`t actually predict some of the thingS that
are going on.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: A fool`s game? This is a party in need of a political
intervention. And it could only help President Obama`s agenda.

Let`s bring in Angela Rye and Ryan Grim.

Thank you both for being here tonight.

ANGELA RYE, FORMER EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, CONGRESSIONAL BLACK CAUCUS: Thank
you, Rev.

RYAN GRIM, WASHINGTON BUREAU CHIEF, HUFFINGTON POST: Thanks for having me.

SHARPTON: You know, Angela, when John McCain starts calling the rising
stars of the GOP whacko birds, it can`t be good news for the party. Can
the GOP save itself from the civil war?

RYE: I don`t think that it can. And I can honestly say maybe this is the
maverick John McCain coming back. You saw him challenged Rand Paul on the
Senate floor about the idea, the very idea behind his filibuster, I know
we just talked last week about this whole concept of protest politics. And
a filibuster as an event that Rand Paul ran his filibuster is exactly that.
This is him tricking the American people, or at least those who believed
him, into thinking he`s actually acting. And he`s not. He is boycotting
his job, almost that similar to a (INAUDIBILITY) of duty. So, it simply,
you got to say, OK, are you really helping to advance any particular cause,
one for your party or more important one that work in the back interest of
the American people.

Senator McCain is saying absolutely not. Rand Paul is all wrong and Ted
Cruz is certainly cruising for a bruising.

SHARPTON: Cruising for a bruising.

Now, Ryan, let me say this. We showed chairman of the RNC Karl Rove`s plan
to get after far right candidates fool`s gold. And the conservative
organization, freedom works, is out with an ad against Karl Rove for
trying. Watch this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you willing to sit back and watch Karl Rove and
his unprincipled, establishment candidates take over the GOP? Join freedom
works and go to notkarlsparty.com. Sign the petition to give Karl Rove a
piece of your mind. It`s not your party, Karl.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: I mean, they seem to be openly going at each other`s throats
here.

GRIM: Right, you know, often, when they say, hey, you know, this party
that just lost this election needs to rethink its future, they end up not
doing that. But Karl Rove and the other folks in the Republican party have
kind of forced this conversation on to the Republican Party. I mean, this
is more than rethinking. You`re right. They are at war with each other.
And Democrats are just absolutely loving it because, you know, what`s
better for them than Republicans spending their own money attacking each
other and tearing themselves down all the way into this midterm election.
The longer they do this, the better chance that Democrats have to actually
take the house this next and then give Obama the last two years of his
presidency to actually get some legislation through this. Until Democrats
are back in control of the house, the Republicans, no matter how poorly
they do on the national stage, can continue to block the progressive
agenda.

BERNSTEIN: Now, Angela, this weekend, the RNC is meeting -- holding its
big meeting in Florida. And tea party candidate Ted Cruz is front and
center. Also appearing at the same gathering is Scott Walker, Chris
Christie, Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio. Question. Does this mean that Cruz has
made it to the mainstream of the GOP?

N RYE: o. It means that he`s gotten the media attention that he`s been so
desperately seeking. He has literally been showing out, like old folks
say, in every instance he can possibly find. He went on the Senate floor
and quoted tweet after tweet about staying with Rand and nobody cares, you
know. Before that, earlier in the day, he is literally disrespecting and
braiding the attorney general in this country. So the media is paying
attention and that`s exactly what he wants.

In addition, you talked about Scott Walker. The same Scott Walker that was
trying to totally obliterate labor unions. You also think about Rick Scott
who is responsible for voter suppression efforts in Florida. Their party
is going in the wrong direction in terms of trying to grow its base. It`s
shrinking because there are only so many white males that continue to grow
the GOP base. The rest of America doesn`t understand or identify with this
politics and who care that the NRA in this, it`s not Karl Rove`s party ad
groups found a black person to participate in these ad campaigns. It
doesn`t make you more relevant. Your message is wrong. It is not just the
message there.

SHARPTON: You noticed that, huh?

RYE: Yes, I did, sir.

SHARPTON: Yes, Ryan. Let me ask you this. I`ve got to go. But, all of
this is not helping because look at the fact that the civil war has not
helped them in their struggle. They are 20 points lower than President
Obama. In the polls, President Obama 49 percent positive ratings,
Republicans, 29 percent. In the middle of the civil war, they`re losing
the big war with the Democrats, if they`re fighting at all.

GRIM: Right. And I think that unpopularity actually helps people like Ted
Cruz because Republicans are genuinely without philosophy and without
leaders. And so, they don`t kind have the philosophy together to say, hey,
Ted Cruz, what you are saying, you know, that doesn`t fit with our message.

So without anybody to be able to say no, no, that`s wrong, then he`s
welcomed because they`re just going to throw everything up against the wall
and they`re going to see what sticks over the next two to four years.

SHARPTON: Angela Rye and Ryan Grim, thank you both for your time tonight.
And both of you have a great weekend.

RYE: Thank you, Rev, you, too.

GRIM: My pleasure.

SHARPTON: Coming up. An explosive new look at how the food industry hooks
America on junk. Manipulating snacks so you can`t eat just one.

And are the banks too big to jail? Yes, jail. Elizabeth Warren is on
fire.

Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MICHELLE OBAMA, FIRST LADY OF THE UNITED STATES: Every day, our kids are
surrounded by food advertisements on TV and the internet, on billboards and
in stores and even in their schools. I think we can all agree that parents
need more control over the products and messages that their kids are
exposed to.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: The first lady today talking about the unhealthy foods that are
marketed to our kids and to ourselves. It`s time, past time, that this
country take a closer look at what`s really in the foods we eat and drink
and our kids eat and drink. We wanted to give you a real idea of what
we`re talking about.

Here`s the equivalent amount of sugar in a leading breakfast cereal
marketed toward kids. Here`s the sugar in a popular yogurt that builds
itself as a healthy option. And here`s the sugar in a 12 ounce can of a
leading soft drink.

We have to face this problem. We can`t run away from it. Up next, I`m
talking to the author of a stunning new book that exposes how the food
industry got us hooked. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: We are facing a health crisis in this country, an epidemic of
obesity. Nearly 70 percent of adults in the U.S. are overweight or obese.
And a third of children are as well, one in three of our kids. Those
numbers, like American waistlines, are growing. And it`s increasing health
problems like diabetes and heart disease.

This expanding America is not due just to a bad diet or a lack of exercise.
The industry has been creating food people can`t stop eating. A new book
called "salt, sugar fat" investigates the food industry, how it markets
unhealthy food to kids and chemically alters the food you eat so you can`t
say no.

Joining me now is Michael Moss, the Pulitzer-prize winning author of "Salt,
Sugar, Fat, how the food giants hook us."

Thank you for being on the show today, Michael.

MICHAEL MOSS, AUTHOR, SALT, SUGAR FAT: Thank you for having me, Reverend
Al.

SHARPTON: Why did you write this book?

MOSS: I was really, really interested in how the food industry was
responding to the growing consumer concern about the obesity crisis. And I
was lucky enough to run into a trove of internal documents that really open
the door on their skimming, they are plotting, they are planning that
helped me convince key insiders to talk to me and reveal even more secrets.
And I have to tell you, it was like being inside in a detective story for
me.

SHARPTON: Now, you talk about a bliss spot where they actually measure and
find the right amount of sugar, right amount of salt that will make it
impossible for you not to want more food. So you think you`re not hungry,
but you really have been manipulated, for lack of a better term,
scientifically, to want to keep consuming a certain food product.

MOSS: I spent time with a legend in the industry named Howard Moskawitz
(ph). He trained in Harvard in experimental psychology and he walked me
through his creation of a recent soda flavor for Dr. Pepper. To get that,
he had 61 different sweetness formulas, each slightly different than the
rest and you subjected maybe 3,000 consumer taste --

SHARPTON: Sixty one?

MOSS: Sixty one. And then came up with a very perfect formula that was
guaranteed to be a hit. And explained to me, it`s not just a straight line
on the graph. There is a limit to our liking for sugar. It`s a bell-
shaped curve. And the phrase that he used and helped coin is called "the
bliss point." it`s at the top of that curve. Not too little, not too much.
The perfect amount will send us over the moon.

SHARPTON: So the bliss point, if you get there, you think it`s a natural
thing, but it`s really been scientifically established that they can find
that point. You just find yourself eating and eating and eating.

MOSS: Irresistible. And for products and the kids, they know that their
bliss point, their liking of sugar is even higher than for adults. Kids
are hardwired for sugar. Each of their 10,000 taste buds in their mouth
are just ready for that sweet taste to come because it is instant energy
for kids.

SHARPTON: Now, you know, you and I go way back. We used to write for a
local paper work in New York for another life. And those days, at the
height, I was about 310 pounds.

MOSS: I remember.

SHARPTON: This morning, I weighed at about 141. Never had surgery. All
dieting. And people ask me, everywhere I go, how did you lose all of the
weight. And I said will power. But your book made me question whether
people lack will power or whether people are being manipulated. And it is
some combination of will power and manipulation because I can remember when
I see everything that I would not get enough of certain things and never
understood why. And now, I don`t feel as bad about it as much as I feel I
was maneuvered.

MOSS: And I don`t think you should feel bad about it. I mean, the
industry makes a convincing argument that it never intended to make us
obese or otherwise ill. That it cares about convenience, price and
nutrition. But all of the research and all of the energy they put into
making their products irresistible is overwhelming to very many people.

SHARPTON: Now, you actually tasted Kellogg food that had not been pre-
sweetened or salted or whatever. How does the food before we get all of
these -- what happened in terms of your own tasting?

MOSS: Most recently, people cared about salt. And I wanted to know isn`t
-- I went to the industries and said why aren`t you cutting the salt back?
I mean, that`s what people want. So Kellogg invited me in. Prepared for
me special versions of their icons without any salt to showed me what they
were stuck on. We started with cheese-its. It is a cracker. I could
normally eat those day in and day out. We couldn`t even swallow those
without the salt. IT stock to the roof of out mouth. The salt adds
texture and solubility.

Then we tried the frozen waffles. Popped them in the toaster. They came
out looking and tasting like straw without salt. And here is the worst
thing. We tasted the cereal. Put some milk on it. Tasted it. Before I
could say anything, the Kellogg spokesman got this abhorrent look on her
face and she goes, metal. I taste metal. And I did too. And the chief
scientist who was with us explained to me that one of the functions of salt
that makes the industry so hooked on salt is it can cover up taste, bad
flavors, that are inherent to some processes.

SHARPTON: So, we are eating this stuff, but salt, we don`t taste it.

MOSS: Don`t taste it. Right.

SHARPTON: Now, understand that this is something that`s startling to me.
They actually target people by age and race and gender?

MOSS: Yes. As you can imagine, and the Hispanics know, the growing
Hispanic segment is one of the most targeted consumer groupS in this
country now. And salty snacks tend to be a bit saltier and even a bit
sweeter for Hispanics.

SHARPTON: Why, studies show they like a lot of salt?

MOSS: Yes, their bliss point is higher.

SHARPTON: And African-American, sugar, I think --

MOSS: Likewise, they`ve known this.

SHARPTON: Well, I think your book is an eye opener, Michael Moss. The
book is "Salt, Sugar, Fat, And How The Food Giants Took To Us." I really
thank you for this book. I thank you for your time. I`m glad we had this
conversation 150 pounds later. Because I`m half the guy you knew, but I`m
twice more trouble.

MOSS: And you look fabulous.

SHARPTON: Thank you.

MOSS: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Great book.

Look out, wall street. Here comes Elizabeth Warren. And she won`t let you
hide your dirty laundry.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: How great is it having Elizabeth Warren in the Senate? Well,
check this out. At a hearing this week, she grilled treasury department
officials about why there was no criminal prosecution where the bank
admitted to laundering hundreds of millions of dollars from drug dealers.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WARREN: And they didn`t do it just one time. It wasn`t like a mistake.
They did it over and over and over again across a period of years. And
they were caught doing it, warned not to do it and kept right on doing it,
and evidently making profits doing it. Now, HSBC paid a fine, but no one
individual went to trial, no individual was banned from banking, and there
was no hearing to consider shutting down HSBC`s activities here in the
United States.

So what I`d like, as you`re the experts on money laundering, I`d like your
opinion. What does it take? How many billions of dollars do you have to
launder for drug lords and how many economic sanctions do you have to
violate before someone will consider shutting down a financial institution
like this.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Shutting down a financial institution. Warren means business
and she is demanding answers.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WARREN: I`m sorry, I don`t mean to interrupt, and I just need to do this
alone. But, I`m not hearing your opinion on this. You`re supposed to be
treasury, as supposed to be, one of the - you are the leaders. And how we
understand the work together to stop money laundering. And I`m asking,
what does it take even to say here`s where the line is. We are going to
draw a line here and if you cross that line, we are at risk for having the
bank close.

DAVID COHEN, U.S. TREASURY DEPARTMENT: So, Senator, we are mindful what
authorities are, we are mindful of what the supervisors authorities are.
We will and have and will continue to exercise our authorities to the full
extent of the law. The question of pulling the bank`s license is a
question for the regulators.

WARREN: So you have no opinion on that. You sit in treasury and you try
to enforce these laws and I`ve read all of your testimony. You tell me how
vigorously you want to enforce these laws, but you have no opinion on when
it is that a bank should be shut down for money laundering? Not even an
opinion?

COHEN: Of course we have views on --

WARREN: That`s what I asked you for. Your views?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Then she pressed another government witness for an answer.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WARREN: So what you`re saying to me is you`re responsible for these banks.
And, again, I heard your testimony. You talked about the importance of
vigorous enforcement here. But you`re telling me you have no view when
it`s appropriate to consider to even at hearing, to raise the question
whether or not these banks should have to close their operation when they
engage in money laundering for drug cartels?

JEROME POWELL, FEDERAL RESERVE: I will tell you exactly when it`s
appropriate. It`s appropriate when there`s a criminal conviction.

WARREN: And so, you have no view on it until after the justice department
has done it?

POWELL: Again, the justice makes that decision. We play our role in that.
We have a constant dialogue with them. Not just essentially many, a broad
range of violations that take place. We always have the justice department
involved.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: He tried to dodge, but Elizabeth Warren wasn`t buying it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WARREN: If you`re caught with an ounce of cocaine, the chances are good
you`re going to go to jail. If it happens repeatedly, you may go to jail
for the rest of your life. But, evidently, if you laundered nearly a
billion dollars for drug cartels and violate our international sanctions,
your company pays a fine and you go home and sleep in your own bed at
night. Every single individual associated with this. And I just think
that`s fundamentally wrong.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: It is fundamentally wrong. Senator Warren from Massachusetts is
in the Senate and she`s already making noise. How great.

Thanks for watching. I`m Al Sharpton. Have a good weekend. "Hardball"
starts right now.



THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
BE UPDATED.
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