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PoliticsNation, Thursday, January 3rd, 2014

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POLITICS NATION
January 3, 2014

Guests: Jan Schakowsky, Frank Schaeffer, Maria Teresa Kumar, Dana Milbank, Drew Courtney


REV. AL SHARPTON, MSNBC HOST: Good evening Ed and thanks to you for
tuning in.

Tonight`s lead, the GOP`s new talking point, ObamaCare is skewed.
That`s right.

Republicans are back at it. If they don`t like a fact, they just
pretend it isn`t true. Remembered what they said when the poll showed
Mitt Romney losing in 2012?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But I also think that the polling onslaught that
comes out that shows him behind, I don`t think is accurate.

RUSH LIMBAUGH: I don`t want anybody falling for this. I`ll analyze
these polls and explain to you why they`re bogus as the program unfolds.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let`s take Ohio and Florida first. Do you believe
the polling today?

ROB FORD: No, I don`t.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Cong. Rob didn`t believe the polls. And we all know how well
that worked out. It`s the same story when the job numbers are good.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: These numbers are phony, fraudulent and deceptive.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. There`s a million less people than we thought
working where some have said, "Men, that`s kind of fishy."

LIMBAUGH: Obama, monkeying the numbers here, jimmying around with
things in an elections year designed to make things look better than
they are.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Yes. They`d rather believe the president of the United
States was cooking the books than admit the economy was improving. And
we`re starting to see the same old routine with the health care numbers.
Six million Americans have now gotten insurance through the affordable
care act. Just over two million bought plans through the health care
exchanges. And nearly four million are covered through Medicaid. Six
million more Americans have health insurance. It`s great news. But
don`t expect the right to believe it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, it`s 2014. That means it`s the year of
Obamacare. But is the White House playing numbers game with your health
care?

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: You`ll notice that if you
ever have number that looks favorable to Obamacare like the two million,
it`s immediately announced. But they have no idea how many are enrolled
or they tell us they have no idea and they have no idea how many are the
young and the healthies. A selective release of information which is
highly suspicious.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The 2.1 number has some eyebrows being raised.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Eyebrows are raised? Highly suspicious? Come on. This
whole thing is ridiculous. But it spread to GOP lawmakers too.

In a memo out today, House majority leader Eric Cantor says House
Republicans still want to repeal the health care law. And he says,
quote, "we will continue to address other areas where greater
transparency is demanded including the disclosure of reliable and
complete enrollment data."

Reliable data? The data we`re getting now is reliable. Republicans
just don`t want to believe it. And you know what else is reliable?
These same old silly games from the GOP.

Joining me now is Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, Democrat of Illinois and
MSNBC`s Karen Finney.

Thank you both for being here.

REP. JAN SCHAKOWSKY (D), ILLINOIS: Thanks, reverend Al. Happy new
year.

SHARPTON: Happy new year, Congresswoman. Happy new year, Karen.

KAREN FINNEY, MSNBC HOST, DISRUPT: Happy new year.

SHARPTON: Congresswoman, you know, Eric Cantor says we need reliable
enrollment data. Why are they so desperate to ignore the real numbers?

SCHAKOWSKY: They`re making a huge miscalculation themselves if they
think going after Obamacare is a good idea now. And let me add another
three million people to those numbers. This is reliable. Those are the
young people who are on their parents` policies due to Obamacare. So
that adds up to nine million more Americans who have health care, who
won`t be excluded because of preexisting conditions, who aren`t subject
to lifetime or annual caps, women who won`t be discriminated against.
This is a great time for America.

SHARPTON: You know, Karen, President Obama`s grassroots group
organizing for America is collecting stories of people who have
benefited from Obamacare. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Saving me $1500 a month. So it`s hard to imagine
how significant the affordable care act is in my life.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: To be able to go to those doctors and to get a
yearly physical and maybe talk to a doctor that I haven`t talked to in a
really long time.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m so incredibly grateful for the affordable care
act because now not only do I have health care coverage, but I also have
peace of mind knowing that I can never be denied coverage based on my
preexisting condition and that`s an amazing feeling.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: I mean, does Eric Cantor believe these people aren`t
reliable?

FINNEY: I don`t think he does. I don`t think he pays attention to
those people.

But, let`s be clear about the political goal of what Eric Cantor is
trying to do. He doesn`t care about making sure the affordable care act
works. He doesn`t really care about making sure that data is collected
properly. This is about scaring Americans away from signing up, by
suggesting that there`s something wrong. And this, again, about
undermining the Obama presidency and the legitimacy of the presidency.

And the clips that you played in the opening, the same kind of language
they used about cooking the books, it`s the same kind of language that
they`re using about when we talk about the affordable care act and those
numbers. All designed to undermine the legitimacy of this president.

SHARPTON: No you know, Congresswoman, you know, the next bills from
House Republicans, your colleagues, have to do with the security of the
health care Web site. Congressman Darrell Issa has tried to fib on this
issue. Take listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. DARRELL ISSA (R), CHAIRMAN, HOUSE OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE: We`re 75-
plus days in to the launch and apparently there are still
vulnerabilities in this site. We`re finding out (INAUDIBLE). We are
finding out that on launch day, there were vulnerabilities and we now
strongly suspect those vulnerabilities still exist.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Now, the Democrats, Congresswoman, say Issa`s cherry picked
information. They said healthcare.gov security office testified the Web
site systems exceed standards set by the national institutes of
standards and technology. In fact, they go beyond best practices, in
quotes. And there have been, quote, "no successful preaches of
healthcare.gov."

Are Republicans just trying to scare people away from the Web site,
Congresswoman?

SCHAKOWSKY: I want to tell you something. I think this effort is
really pathetic. This is a great product that is going to help millions
and millions of people. What we saw at the end of December was putting
us on track to get the millions of people that we need to enroll. We
heard from the governor of Kentucky where 40 percent of the enrollees
are 35 years and younger. Young people want to get health care.
They`re comfortable with websites.

I think this is simply not going to work. I do believe this is a
miscalculation, a political miscalculation on their part. Because this
is something that Americans have wanted and needed for so long. And I
think they`re just going to go ahead and get it. They should be
ignoring all the nay-saying by Republicans.

SHARPTON: You know, Karen, you`ve got to help me with this.

FINNEY: OK.

SHARPTON: The Texas attorney general is attacking the Obama
administration for the health care fix that allows people, you know, to
keep their insurance plan. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is just one of the ways that Barack Obama and
his administration are violating the law as written by Congress and
violating the constitution by trying to imply their own interpretation
of what the law means.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Now in fact, a group of Republican attorney generals say this
fix is, quote, "flatly illegal." And quote, "the only way to fix this
problem-riddled law is to enact changes lawfully through congressional
action."

Now, here`s where I need the help. So first they were mad plans got
canceled. Now they`re mad the president fixed that? I mean, doesn`t
this show that they aren`t serious?

FINNEY: Of course it does. You can`t have it both ways. You can`t say
-- I mean, and that`s what they`ve been trying to do all along, right?
They`re attacking on one front. And then, they attack on the other
front when the administration try it to say, OK, maybe that is a fair
point, let`s try to do it fix.

I mean, remember, he is written -- attorney general in Texas is also
running for governor. And I think the Republicans are going to try to
use this issue which I agree with the Congresswoman will be foolish, as
a campaign issue. But yes, I mean, they`re trying to have it both ways.

And you know, let`s remember, this law was voted on by Congress. Then,
went through the Supreme Court which has said this is the law. So for
them to, again, it is attacking the legitimacy of this president and his
authority.

SHARPTON: Congresswoman, I`ve heard of every angle I heard a lot of
things. What I`ve not heard is a Republican plan that would cover
Americans if this plan if this plan is not what they want. I`ve heard
everything but a Republican alternative plan to deal with the uninsured
in America.

SCHAKOWSKY: They have never offered an alternative. And the reason why
their efforts are going to fail now, Reverend Al, is because now they
would be taking away something that people already have, that millions
of people already have. Before it was saying this is never going to
work. And now they`re going to say we`re going to take away from people
the right to get health care even if you have a pre-existing condition
or even if you were hitting a lifetime cap. That`s gone. Or even if
you`re a woman that was being discriminated against, now we`re going to
bring that back. And that`s why this effort on their part will fail.

SHARPTON: Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky and Karen Finney, thank you both
for your time tonight.

SCHAKOWSKY: Thank you, reverend Al.

SHARPTON: And be sure to catch Karen on "Disrupt with Karen Finney`
weekends at 4:00 p.m. eastern right here on MSNBC.

Ahead, get ready. The fight for fairness is on. There`s a big
coordinated push coming on jobless benefits and minimum wage.

Plus, one big snowstorm is giving all the right wing climate change
deniers brain freeze.

But we`re breaking out the "Politics Nation" science lab tonight for a
little lesson.

And George Zimmerman`s girlfriend on videotape. A new video from her
police interview that day George was arrested. Stay with us.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Gun would have been right here and the bottom of
it right here. So he grabbed it like this he went like this.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: The stage is set for a major showdown in Washington over
extending jobless benefits to help Americans, millions of Americans.
New details on how President Obama`s taken this fight to Republicans.
That`s next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Progressive dream in 2014. Democrats are coming back to
Washington ready for action. This Monday in the Senate`s first session
of the year, Democrats will hold a vote on extending unemployment
benefits. Over a million people are hurting, left without benefits for
nearly a week. Democrats are acting despite continued indifference from
the GOP.

Late today, we learned from Eric Cantor`s memo, unemployment insurance
is not on the House Republican`s January agenda. How is this not on
their agenda? Do they not see the pain out there?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have worked since I was 13. I`m 72. I`ve
always had a job. It`s not a matter of being unfair. I just think the
system doesn`t accommodate people that are going through transitions.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I wouldn`t be worried. (INAUDIBLE). It`s not
just me. I have three boys to think of. They are my first priority.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bills need to be paid and I don`t have the money. I
really don`t know what to do. Just mind boggling to me right now of the
way that the government is handling my situation.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: It is mind boggling. And that`s why Democratic senators like
Elizabeth Warren are taking action. And not just on jobless aid,
Senator Warren is already moving on a new bill to reform the student
loan system. And President Obama is promising a year of action on
fairness and income inequality including a coordinated effort to
increase the minimum wage. A progressive agenda becoming an American
reality even if the leader of the Republican party doesn`t know it.
Yet.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LIMBAUGH: The answer to this is not the government. It isn`t
redistribution because the government doesn`t create anything. The
government can only destroy wealth. It cannot create it. Government
simply destroys wealth.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: This is what progressives are confronting. Get ready for the
fight.

Joining me now is E.J. Dionne from "the Washington Post." His article
this week got a lot of attention. It`s called "the resurgent
progressives."

E.J., thank you for coming on the show.

E.J. DIONNE, COLUMNIST, THE WASHINGTON POST: Great to be on is the
show, Reverend. Thank you.

SHARPTON: Now, we learned today House Republicans aren`t planning to
move on jobless aid. But we also learned the president will speak about
this on Tuesday, a day after the Senate Democrats vote. How much
pressure will it take before Republicans realize they have to join
Democrats and help on this?

DIONNE: Well, I`m afraid it`s going to take a lot of pressure. And I
think what`s really depressing about this is that extending unemployment
in hard times used not to be a partisan issue. Conservatives accepted
the idea that people who through no fault of their own or sort of rolled
over by the economy need help. There was a politician back in 2002 who
said, look, these folks we need to help them pay their rent, we need to
help them pay their bills. That politician was George W. Bush. And
unemployment was a point lower than it is today nationwide. And Bush
was out there saying we got to help those folks.

SHARPTON: George W. Bush said we`ve got to help these people. We have
to help them pay their bills?

DIONNE: Exactly. And so, what you have now is a Republican party that
is putting itself well to the right of George W. Bush. And in the
process, they`re hurting the economy. That there was one study that
showed that in the last month just up to now by not extending these
benefits, we pull $400 million out of state economies around the
country. This isn`t only good for the people who are unemployed. It is
good because it`s purchasing power. That people spend the money and
that creates jobs.

So, it`s just a crazy thing with unemployment at seven percent and at
eight or nine percent in some states that we`re not extending these
benefits.

SHARPTON: You know, in your article, E.J., you predict a re-emergence
of some of the Democratic left in 2014. What you call a progressive
resurgence is what you call it. Quote, "the Democratic left is animated
by the battle against growing inequality and declining social mobility.
Their goal is to reform the system so it spreads its benefits more
widely."

You say this is good news for the political cent. Why is that, E.J.?

DIONNE: Well, because we have seen over particularly the rise of the
tea party, the political center has been dragged steadily to the right.
And if you really are a moderate, you can`t be comfortable with where
the conversation is. You can`t be comfortable with people obstructing
basic things that the American political center was always for like a
minimum wage increase, like extending unemployment. So, I think people
in the middle ought to be happy about the rise of this progressive left.

Then, this progressive left is not some Looney group of people proposing
radical things. They are basically saying the United States has to keep
its promise to middle income people and poor people. And that we used
to have pretty high rates of social mobility where you could climb up.
You could -- it was a lot easier for people to make something of
themselves.

And now, if you compare us with other countries in the world, we don`t
have the kind of social mobility they have. And that`s not American to
lose that capacity to have people see up in the system.

SHARPTON: Well, I also think when you see the election of people like
Elizabeth Warren, like Bill de Blasio, the new mayor of New York, and
others that ran unashamedly as progressives and liberals, it also puts a
lot of pressure and it gives a lot of room depending on who it is in the
center.

DIONNE: No, I think that`s right. And I think that the lack of really
strong progressive voice has hurt President Obama. Obamacare is not a
radical program. Obamacare is based on Republican ideas. It`s trying
to keep the private insurance market alive. Republicans used to be for
these ideas until President Obama was for them.

And with progressives out there saying, look, there are other ways to do
this, you know, including single payer, it helps sort of condition -- it
helps people to see that this is really a very moderate way to try to
get health insurance to people.

SHARPTON: E.J. Dionne, thank ifs for your time tonight. Have a great
weekend and happy new year to you.

DIONNE: And happy new year to you. Thank you.

SHARPTON: Coming up, the police video of George Zimmerman`s girlfriend.
What she originally told them about the alleged domestic disturbance.

But first, winter weather brings out the global warming deniers on the
right. We`ll drop some science on them next. The "Politics Nation"
science lab is back for the new year.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Welcome back to the first "Politics Nation" science lab of
the new year.

In the lab tonight, a right wing meltdown over global warming. A winter
storm is battling much of the country and climate change scientists were
stuck in ice. Which means the folks over at FOX have been trotting out
a few theories of their own. Check it out.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So it looks to me like we`re looking at global
cooling. Forget this global warming.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And get this. A global warming scientologist had to
be removed from his frozen vehicle after days of being trapped. Poetic
justice much?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: For the past 16 years there has been no warming to
speak of.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They called it unusually thick ice. Well, I think
it is because they`re unusually thick people who have not been paying
attention to the science on global warming for the past 18 years and
still think that we`re all about to roast like a chestnut on an open
fire.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: These right wingers are boiling over with denial. Just
because it snows in winter, doesn`t mean the planet isn`t getting
warmer.

Remember, a U.N. panel said there`s a 90 percent probability that humans
are the primary cause of global warming. And over 97 percent of climate
researchers surveyed in the United States academy of science agrees. It
sure doesn`t take much for the folks at FOX to hit their melting point.

The results of tonight`s experiments are in. And we`ve deduced the
right wing could use a new talking point.

This has been a special edition of the "Politics Nation" science lab.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: The GOP civil war is about to get ugly. The religious right
is coming and now they`ve learned a new trick. "Politico" reports that
some of the religious rights wealthiest backers and top operatives
gathered at the Ritz-Carlton in Northern Virginia. Among their plans,
aggressive spending in primaries against Republicans deemed squishy on
social issues. You see, they`re focused on elevating social issues like
abortion and gay marriage and conservative politics. The right wing
needs to elevate social issues. What do they call this?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Disguises in a motorcycle safety bill, the North
Carolina State House passed sweeping abortion legislation Thursday.
Those for the bill say it will protect the health and safety of women.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: There is no law protecting people from being fired
over being gay. Pennsylvania is one o them.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Republican signs concern about reverse
discrimination, potential legal fights and compliance costs.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: One lawmaker is proposing a bill that would place new
restrictions on abortion and make it more difficult to get
contraception.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Oh, yes, they haven`t been focused on social issues at all.
Are they kidding? A new study shows more than 200 abortion restrictions
were passed from 2011 to 2013. That`s more than in the previous entire
decade. How`s that for the GOP on social issues? And as for gay
marriages, just take the latest controversy over the homophobic comments
made by the star of "Duck Dynasty." Far right conservatives like
Congressman Steve King are still rushing to his defense. And he`s not
the only one.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Who is being discriminated against
here except Phil Robertson? Who just lost a job? Because of his
religious beliefs? Phil Robertson.

SARAH PALIN, FORMER ALASKA GOVERNOR: He was quoting the gospel. So
people who are so insulted and offended by what he said evidently are
offended by what he was quoting in the gospel.

GLENN BECK, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: We like you at the blaze. We`re not
ashamed. We won`t fold. "Duck Dynasty," we would be proud to have you.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: So, no, the religious rights shouldn`t be worried the culture
war -- the culture war is alive and going well in the GOP.

Joining me now, Frank Schaeffer, a former evangelical turn progressive,
he`s author of the book "And God Said Billy!" And MSNBC contributor
Maria Teresa Kumar. Maria, let me start with you. The religious right
has always had power. Now with big money, do you expect they will be
even more powerful?

MARIA TERESA KUMAR, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: I think the fact that they`re
organizing and realizing that they have to get a lock step strategy,
that`s one of the reasons why they recently met over 26 conservative
groups met to talk specifically how do you elevate social conservatism
and how do you make sure that everybody is on message. It`s something
to watch in the 2014 primary. But Reverend, let`s not forget what
happened with Romney.

Romney when he was governor his wife contributed to Planned Parenthood.
She was pro choice. And the moment that came out, all of a sudden the
social conservative evangelicals backed away. And it will be
interesting to see how the evangelicals themselves start splitting up.
Because when the GOP came out with a rebranding strategy, you had a
whole swath of evangelicals saying that they should support gay
marriage. So, it will be an interesting fight in between them.

SHARPTON: No, you`re right. You raise very good points there. You
know, Frank, let me go back to this Republican Congressman Steve King
for a minute. He weighed in on the "Duck Dynasty" star`s recent
controversial statements. And this is what he said. "I`ve been in
similar situations to the one Phil Robertson finds himself in now. I
have learned to navigate the left`s intolerance while holding firm to
our values."

Now, we`ve all gone back and forth on Phil Robertson, but this emphasis
on our values, is this part of what they`re trying to sell the American
people that it is our values that are under attack rather than people
having the civil right to agree or disagree with whatever point of view
you or I may have in terms of our religion or other the matters?

FRANK SCHAEFFER, AUTHOR, "AND GOD SAID BILLY!": Yes. Well, you know --
as you know Reverend Al, there are really two agendas here. One is the
surface discussion we`re all aware of in these statements. But
underneath that there`s two things really going on. There`s a rear
guard action being fought by the evangelicals and the religious right
who see America becoming diverse. They see gay marriage being accepted.
They`re losing their own young people in their church who are more broad
minded than often their parents are. But there`s something else going
on. And this is something I think so many Americans especially white
Americans and others find so embarrassing.

They don`t want to deal with. And that is the real agenda of the GOP
for the past six years has only been one thing. Stop the first African-
American president from succeeding at all costs. And I`ll give you
historic parallel. When schools began to be integrated in this country,
all of a sudden coincidentally a whole bunch of evangelical private
schools started and just happened to all be white. They said they were
reacting to bad education in the public schools.

But what was really going on was an unspoken agenda. So I think really
we`ve got to be honest about this. The evangelicals are organizing
again to try to damage the White House in 2014 and to make sure that
this presidency finishes off in their view as a failure. And it comes
from their pathological hatred of this president. Underneath that --

SHARPTON: Now, Maria, let me bring Maria in on that, Frank.

SCHAEFFER: Yes.

SHARPTON: Because Maria, what Frank has said -- and Frank was an
evangelical, a big leader in that movement -- what he says is very, very
startling. He`s saying this really has nothing to do with values. This
has nothing to do with religious beliefs. They really want to stop the
first African-American president. And since they couldn`t stop his re-
election, they want to make sure that they in many ways obstruct his
last two and a half years in office. Your reaction to that. That`s a
very, very, very strong statement.

KUMAR: It`s a very broad sweeping statement. I can`t imagine that all
evangelicals feel this way, but I do think that the GOP starting from
the inside the leadership Mitch McConnell who basically said, we`re
going to be the party of no when it comes to any action that President
Obama puts forth, that they want to see a failure. So, if anything, if
that`s the case on the part of the evangelical movement, what you`re
hearing is that they`re actually reciting what the Republican leaders
have said from the very beginning.

That they want a failure for Barack Obama. And a lot has to do
unfortunately with race. And it`s one of these things Reverend Sharpton
that we`ve discussed in the past is that we don`t as a country right now
we want to steer away from having race conversations. But it`s because
we`re afraid of our reactions. But unless we have frank conversations
and yes acknowledge that the first African-American president has been
able to do great things despite the opposition and actually talk about
what the future of race relations is in this country, we`re going to get
stuck in a hamster wheel. And we need to be able to have a direct
conversations.

SHARPTON: Well, now, Frank, she`s right. We in America are non-
stairway from race, and when we bring up race, you`re pulling the race
card. But if you hand me the race deck any card, I pull is going to be
a race card. Their question here is, have you, who was an evangelical
leader himself, ever seen any sitting president or any other sitting
politician that disagreed on religious grounds or other grounds with
some of what the far right religious far right evangelicals have stood
for treated in the same way you`ve seen President Obama treated?

SCHAEFFER: Never. And it`s not a coincidence that my book "And God
Said Billy!" is set in apartheid South Africa where the whole system was
geared to fitting in with reformed theology of Protestantism. That is
the same theology we`ve had here. And it has a broad streak of racism
in it. I quickly say of course there are progressive evangelicals who
feel differently, but the fact of the matter is, this president has
faced a level of opposition and bigotry that I have never seen in my
lifetime directed as anybody as consistently.

Even to the point where as one of your guests said before, we see a
situation where things that George W. Bush was for or for that matter
Romney and his health care reform here in Massachusetts where I`m
sitting was for. Hey, as soon as the black man in the White House
wanted to do this, all of a sudden it becomes a matter of almost
theological principle to oppose him.

SHARPTON: Yes.

SCHAEFFER: And when you see the religious right organizing, what you
see is --

SHARPTON: I`ve got to go.

KUMAR: Frank, I think what the president is symbolizing is a changing
demographic in America. And that`s what makes it so uncomfortable.

SCHAEFFER: Right. I agree.

KUMAR: Those principles of that demographic changed. He was not only
elected once but twice by that same demographic change.

SHARPTON: I`m going to have to leave it there. We`re going to pick
this back up, believe me. Frank Schaeffer and Maria Teresa Kumar,
thanks for your time this evening.

SCHAEFFER: Hey, thank you.

KUMAR: And Happy New Year, Reverend.

SHARPTON: Happy New Year.

SCHAEFFER: Thank you. Yes. Happy New Year.

SHARPTON: Straight ahead, we`re hearing from George Zimmerman`s
girlfriend. New video from the day he was arrested. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: A new twist in the ongoing story of George Zimmerman after
his acquittal for the shooting of Trayvon Martin in November, Zimmerman
was arrested charged with felony aggravated assault, domestic battery
violence, and criminal mischief. After his girlfriend frantically
called 911 saying he threatened her with a shotgun. It was a claim he
denied. And last month she recanted her allegations and the case went
away. But now in video from police on the day of the incident, we see
and hear her account of what happened when George Zimmerman took out his
shotgun.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SAMANTHA SCHEIBE, GEORGE ZIMMERMAN`S GIRLFRIEND: He pointed it at me
for a second and said, "Do you really want to do this?" Because I told
him I`d call the cops.

UNIDENTIFIED POLICEMAN: What do you take -- as he said, "Do you really
want to do this?" How did you feel when he said that?

SCHEIBE: He was trying to scare me out of not calling. Like scare me
into not calling. Did I say that right?

UNIDENTIFIED POLICEMAN: Are you feeling he was saying, "Do you really
want to do this?" Like are you sure you want to do this? Or was it
threatening?

SCHEIBE: It was a threatening, like you don`t want to do this. He said
do you want to do this? But he`s very passive aggressive so he words
things differently.

UNIDENTIFIED POLICEMAN: Now, you said he pointed the shotgun at you.
How long a duration time and how was it that he pointed the shotgun at
you?

SCHEIBE: He had taken it out of the bag and it was a definitely like I
want to scare you for a second out of not calling. It was five, six,
seven.

UNIDENTIFIED POLICEMAN: Do you remember enough to make a physical
demonstration?

SCHEIBE: Oh, yes. He pulled it out. The bag was right here.

UNIDENTIFIED POLICEMAN: OK.

SCHEIBE: So, let`s just say this is the couch. He grabbed it and
opened it up, the gun would have been in the front right here and the
bottom of it right here. So, he grabbed it like this and he went like
this. Like you would hold it like this. And then he dropped it and
used it to break the table next to him.

UNIDENTIFIED POLICEMAN: OK.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Interesting to see that account. That initial account at
that. Now she says it did not happen. The story continues to
fascinate. And we`ll keep following it.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Right wing extremists are starting the New Year in pretty
much the same way they ended the last year by diving right off the deep
end. Their newest thing, right wing activists are scheduling a
revolution called operation American spring. To overthrow President
Obama. They predict that millions of Americans will participate. They
warn patriarch maybe killed, wounded or incarcerated. They`re also
calling for tribunal headed by Ted Cruz to investigate and charge
politicians with wrong doing. One activist went on right wing radio to
expose the president`s secret military plans.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Mr. Obama and Mr. Harper have signed an agreement
that suggests that they be at the ready for each other. So with an
insurrection, Obama couldn`t ask Mr. Harper to send troops into America
to help quell the rioting and vice versa.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: You heard that. The president`s secret Canadian army will
try to crush the uprising. Beware the Mounties. They`re coming for
you. And listen to another conservative explain why this uprising is
necessary.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: We don`t have another great awakening, we`re going to
experience a tyranny and a totalitarian. Oppression far worse than
anything that was experienced in the 20th century.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: These are the kinds of extremist ideas making their way into
mainstream GOP talking points where they can actually do real damage to
the country.

Joining me now is Dana Milbank from the "Washington Post" and Drew
Courtney, director of communications at People for the American Way,
whose blog right wing watch monitors this far right activity. Thank you
both for being here.

DANA MILBANK, "WASHINGTON POST": Hi, Reverend.

DREW COURTNEY, DIRECTOR, PEOPLE FOR THE AMERICAN WAY: Thanks for having
us.

SHARPTON: Drew, you see this kind of talk on a daily basis. Do these
right wingers really think there`s going to be some revolution to
overthrow the tyrant Barack Obama?

COURTNEY: Well, do these particular right wingers believe that? Yes, I
think they might to be perfectly honest. You know, we talked about an
invading Canadian army. He`s talked previously about how President
Obama was on the verge of detonating nuclear explosives to kill 9/10 of
the country in order to thank the American economy and make billions for
George Soros. I mean, it`s politics by mad lib. It`s not closely tied
to reality. What`s scary is that we see these things on the very far
right.

The extreme that can be written off. But it doesn`t stay there. That
kind of rhetoric moves closer and closer into our mainstream politics.
And then we start seeing people we think of as more responsible, as
important figures within the Republican Party aping the rhetoric and
sometimes even using some of the same tactics when they talk about
riling people up.

SHARPTON: And that`s the point Dana because a lot of people think why
is Reverend Al talking about this, because we can see that these talking
points from the far right have found their way into the GOP mainstream.
I mean, just listen to GOP lawmakers talk about President Obama as a
tyrant. Listen to this, Dana.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: One of the most disturbing aspects of the
Obama presidency is the willingness of this president to disregard the
law.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: He`s grabbing as much power as he can.

REP. PAUL RYAN (R), WISCONSIN: I`m afraid that President Obama may have
this king complex sort of developing and we`re going to make sure that
it doesn`t happen.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: He will defy the constitution if he decides to.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: We did not elect a dictator. We elected a president.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: So the rhetoric is almost indistinguishable, Dana.

MILBANK: Well, and it`s working both directions. You have officials in
Washington using that sort of rhetoric which emboldens the sort of the
lunatics on the fringe who might be doing that anyway. And then the
other way around, it bubbles up. That`s how we got the whole birther
controversy. That`s why there`s a surprisingly large number of people
who believe this president is a Muslim who is from Kenya. So, look,
once people like Glenn Beck disappeared from FOX News, the fringe
suffered a pretty serious blow there.

But there`s still plenty of outlets for this. And it does keep bubbling
up. And it`s worthwhile to mention it. I don`t think there`s a
widespread belief that we`re headed for this Canadian invasion or this
particular nuclear attack. But it`s worthwhile to point it out that
it`s out there. Because you may be hearing more of it.

SHARPTON: No, but you may not believe in the Canadian invasion, but
we`ve got one of these right wing activists predicting President Obama
will try to distract people by claiming he has made contact with the
alien light. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JIM GARROW, CONSERVATIVE ACTIVIST: What we`re going to see soon is an
unveiling of the concept that we have, in fact, been contacted by and
have been in communication with people from other civilizations beyond
earth. And that will be part of the great deception that is forthcoming
soon from Mr. Obama.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: So, I mean, they`re kind of way out there. But despite that,
some of their rhetoric and ideas have become mainstreamed. And I think
accepted by some in the Republican Party that you would expect to be
responsible.

MILBANK: Yes. And it`s not as far out there as you think, Reverend.
I`m just back from New Mexico. I went to area 51, talked to some of
these fellows with the green faces and it all checks out. Everything
these guys have been warning about. So I`d sleep with one eye open.

SHARPTON: I thought we had to wear both eyes open with the green guys
out there. But let me ask you, Drew. When Dana talks about the impact
it has had, he mentioned that they believe the president was Muslim,
2008, 16 percent of conservatives believe the president was a Muslim.
Four years later, that nearly doubled to 30 percent. So, we can laugh
at all of this stuff. But this stuff has begun to influence. I mean,
outrageous, unfounded claims have begun to influence large blocks of
mainstream political Americans.

COURTNEY: Yes. I think that`s exactly right. I mean, I think the
birther controversy and the Muslim controversy is a good example.
Something that we used to think of as totally extreme. About as far out
of field as you could get. And I`ve lost track of how many members of
Congress have kind of made statements along in those lines at this
point. You know, I think one of the things that we`ve seen in the last
couple of years is from the minute Obama was elected, there are people
who talked about, he had to be thrown out on his year, he should thrown
out of office. And then we should impeach him.

But since 2012, we`ve seen a lot more rhetoric about the fact that he
needs to be forced out of office, that there needs to be revolution.
That there needs to be a military coup. That he needs to be tried for
treason and executed. Again, this is mostly on the far right fringe,
but that language of tyranny creeps in closer and closer. So it starts
on the far right. And then we hear the American Family Association
saying that we`re on the verge of a second civil war. Or the family
research council, Tony Perkins has repeatedly said we`re on the verge of
a second American revolution. Those are important figures within the
GOP right now and it`s disturbing that they`ve picked up that rhetoric.

SHARPTON: All right. I`m going to have to leave it there. Drew
Courtney, Dana Milbank, thanks to both of you for your time. And Dana,
I think you can check on that Canadian army by talking to Mayor Ford in
Toronto check on it. He may know something.

MILBANK: I`ll get on it, Reverend.

Still ahead, ever wonder what President Obama watches on TV? We know
what he`s bring on. And we know what he`s bringing on too. That`s
next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Finally tonight, ever wonder what President Obama watches on
TV other than POLITICS NATION, of course. Well, now we know. "The New
York Times" outlines President Obama`s TV picks. And his list includes
"House of Cards," a political show about dysfunctional Washington. And
he also likes another political thriller "Homeland." And of course
"Breaking Bad." Those are all great shows. But for my money, the
Republican reality show is truly must see TV. Like this one.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CRUZ: Do you like green eggs and ham? I dot no like them Sam I am. I
do not like green eggs and ham. I do not like green eggs and ham. I do
not like them, Sam I am.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Oh, and there`s also this classic episode.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. MICHELE BACHMANN (R), MINNESOTA: Let`s repeal this failure before
it literally kills women, kills children, kills senior citizens.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: See what I mean? What does a Republican say about this
nonstop entertainment?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R), OHIO: Are you kidding me?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: No, I`m not, Mr. Speaker. It`s riveting drama. We`ll be
keeping an eye on it all year long.

Thanks for watching. I`m Al Sharpton. "HARDBALL" starts right now.

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

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