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tv   [untitled]    February 7, 2012 10:00pm-10:30pm EST

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two thousand and twelve election also america's bridges and roads are collapsing all around us so isn't this an opportunity to put americans back to work and if so why are republicans letting it happen and what might twitter's new policy have to do with a certain saudi prince that story coming up later. you need to know this president obama came to the real realization today that he can't win a gun fight carrying a knife a new in very very early national poll out this week shows president obama with a comfortable lead over mitt romney assuming he wins the nomination fifty one to forty five percent on top of that the president is creaming romney when it comes to campaign fund raising obama in the d.n.c. have raised more than one hundred thirty nine million dollars so far romney just fifty seven million but as we've learned in the republican primary so far polls
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mean nothing they change week to week and also as we've learned not just in the republican primary but also in the two thousand and ten election campaign fund raising isn't nearly as important as it used to be now that we live in the age of super pacs an age when mitt romney can park is restore a future corporate super pac tank in iowa or florida and new gingrich with millions and millions of dollars worth of negative ads none of which romney had to actually sign his name too. polls change pretty quickly after that and when it comes to super pacs the president is in the same league as romney of the republicans right wing super pacs like karl rove's american crossroads and crossroads g.p.s. raise fifty one million bucks last year and romney super pac raise thirty million bucks on the other hand priorities usa the super pac supporting president obama peltry nine hundred million dollars of course that might have something to do with
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president obama's unwillingness to embrace the whole super pac thing as he talked about it is that super bowl interview earlier this week. one of the words we have obviously in the next campaign is that there are so many of these so-called super pacs these independent expenditures that are going to be out there there's going to be just a lot of money floating around and i'm i guarantee you a lot of bunch of that's going to be negative but it's not going to be enough just to say the other guy's a bomb you've got to explain to the american people what your plan is to make sure that there are good jobs at good wages and that this economy is growing over the long term and whoever wins that argument i think is going to be the next president but sometime between sunday and last night someone whispered in the president's ear you have to play dirty to win this year and in a reversal the obama reelection team announced that it would embrace super pacs in the two thousand and twelve election and is now encouraging donors to give to the
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pro bomb a super pac priorities usa one of the founders of priorities usa former obama staffer bill burton broke down the reality of the situation saying quote as has become evident in the past month the only enthusiasm the republican party is among oil company billionaires and investment bankers on wall street looking to defeat president obama we're committed to providing a balance to karl rove and the koch brothers who have pledged more than a half billion dollars to their effort and. and the president's campaign manager jim messina echoed the sentiment saying quote with so much at stake we can't allow for two sets of rules in this election whereby the republican nominee is the beneficiary of unlimited spending and democrats unilaterally disarm regardless there's a lot of people unhappy with this decision one being former senator russ feingold who's been one of the most vocal critics of too much money in politics he said quote it is a demo pro choice the president president is wrong to embrace the corporate corrupt
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politics of citizens united and that's what you're doing when you start using consorting with super pacs so what might be the fallout from all this what does it mean for the two thousand and twelve elections and what does this do to the effort the big effort to get money out of politics. here to answer that question is lee phone investigative reporter with republic report dot org lee welcome ace and thanks for having me nice nice to see you again so certainly this decision is going to anger a lot of people who want to get money out of politics you know you and me. but really what option does the president have at this point now that this is the game it's the super pac game that we have to play it well president obama kind of created the situation for himself in two thousand and ten he could have campaigned and made the disclose act the legislative fix for citizens united
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a priority to stump for it he could have issued an executive order last year in fact he could issue an issue it today that would mandate campaign disclosure from federal contractors he could have his s.e.c. be mandating that publicly traded companies disclose their spending or at least inform their investors he could be doing a whole range of things even appointing a d.o.j. division to look into corrupt electioneering or beating up the f.e.c. and the sad reality is and what the most of the mainstream media isn't reporting is that president obama hasn't taken many of the steps that are actually on the table and available to him he's taken the easy way out and extend accepting and embracing unlimited corporate money so yeah as you just mentioned i mean he can do i guess in a number of things when it comes to disclosure and making sure that we at least know who is behind these super pacs and everything like that why do you think he's not doing that is he afraid of the retaliation i mean how much damage can people i mean you know this topic really really well how much damage can people like the
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koch brothers or the adelson who are you know giving tons of money to newt gingrich or you know someone like karl rove and the people he's got on his side how much damage can these people do in an election now if they want to. citizens united has completely changed the game i'm not only will the right from the big business alliance of the chamber of commerce the koch brothers the folks you mentioned can they raise billions of dollars to defeat president obama they can spend that and adds they can use it and employee coercive situations with captive meetings at a big workplaces there's a whole range of things. these interests can do but president obama by and bracing this citizens united for politics it's really dangerous because he's number one he can never really compete in terms of money with these guys and number two he's inviting a corruption scandal you know i can predict here on air today that these super pacs
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will lead to massive scandals later this year and into the coming years now that president obama isn't bracing this type of secret money these multimillion dollar checks maybe even hundreds of million dollars actually we have no idea he's blurring the line between himself and mitt romney so when these scandals and negatively calm it will hurt both president obama and a possible possible president romney so in just a minute we have left is this going to take a constitutional mean you mentioned the stuff you can do as a present executive orders and when it comes to disclosure but that's kind of around the edges so is this ultimately going to take a constitutional amendment to get rid of this. well i believe some light is the best disinfectant you know obviously adelson doesn't mind if their name their name is in the news that they're going to donating a big check to newt gingrich but at target or walmart or even a goldman sachs they don't want to have their finger pricked finger prints on their money so i think disclosure actually kills
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a lot of the problem but president obama is not doing that and i think you're right a constitutional amendment is the only long term solution well said lee thanks a lot for coming on and to our public report dot org. thanks and i appreciate that thanks a lot lee after mitt romney won florida by airing thirteen thousand mostly negative television ads funded mostly by super pacs it became pretty clear just how out of control our elections have become post citizens united and that's when tom gave his take on what democracy looks like when actual people aren't even running for office anymore. we no longer have candidates running for office we have interest groups promoting the candidates that they own running for office interest groups like wall street or big oil like the for profit health insurers that all have the power to buy our elections now thanks to the supreme court their citizens united decision so given that who really won in florida tonight let's look at the numbers i mean
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pretty straightforward stuff in the last republican presidential primary. about forty eight well exactly forty eight point seven million dollars was spent and at this point and six hundred sixty six thousand five hundred fifty seven ads have been run this year this year the candidates have only run thirty nine thousand four hundred twenty nine ads and a forty percent decrease in advertising and they've only spent thirteen point seven million dollars seventy two percent drop. so what's going on here seventy two percent drop in candidates by in ads i thought this was the year of massive negative advertising that the voters across the nation would be in a bit dated would see the ads well they are but the candidates themselves aren't the ones running the ads instead it's special interest groups in two thousand and eight for example special interest groups ran just seventeen hundred ads seven hundred sixty three specifically at this point the election for about one point one
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million dollars chump change nothing but this year thanks to citizens united those special interest groups have aired thirty thousand four hundred forty two ads that's a sixteen hundred percent increase sixteen hundred twenty six percent to be exact and they've spent fifteen point two million dollars doing it that's almost a twelve hundred eighty one percent increase so really what's going on here is the candidates are running anymore special interest groups the super pacs they're the ones actually running for president american crossroads or americans for prosperity just these two come. super pacs have spent eight point eight million dollars on ads around the country where they're getting their money from american crossroads top fund funders seven million bucks from texas homebuilder bob perry big real estate two million bucks in the c.e.o. of chief oil and gas trevor reese jones big oil a million dollars in the dixie rice agriculture big agribusiness and americans for
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prosperity according to media matters they've received over five million dollars from the koch brothers the richest of the rich people and the biggest of the big industries are the ones actually running this election in florida over thirteen thousand television ads have been run on behalf of mitt romney gingrich's only aired two hundred. and most of those romney ads were not paid for by romney or his campaign they came from a super pac called restore our future and guess who is the one of the top contributors to restore our future surprise wall street billionaire hedge fund manager john paulson there romney is running for president wall street and the hedge fund managers who want to protect their capital gains tax loopholes are the ones really running for president. so it's right that romney is going to give a big victory speech but the real winner the big one or wall street. after the break america's infrastructure is collapsing literally it's collapsing but congress continues the ball cowed to filibuster or hold hostage the crucial
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infrastructure legislation by demanding stuff like oil pipelines to be built instead so is it about time to put politics aside for a moment to ensure that americans are secure when they're driving over roads and bridges this in time we boost our economic recovery to.
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wealthy british style. markets. find out what's really happening to the global economy for a no holds barred look at the global financial headlines to cause a report on r.t.e. . but i think that i still struggle with that idea australia if you want to tell you
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there's no way to see you get to them on screen if you want to have sex go and have sex. in the middle of evening rush hour on august first two thousand and seven when i thirty five mississippi river bridge in minnesota suddenly collapsed plunging one hundred cars into the river below thirteen people were killed more than one hundred forty injured. we learned afterward the vat bridge the i thirty five mississippi river bridge was given a quote structurally deficient rating by the federal government back in one
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thousand nine hundred seventeen years before the collapse but nothing was done and in two thousand and five two years before the collapse the bridge was a good given a structurally deficient rating for clear signs of cracking and fatigue prompting minnesota governor at the time tim plenty to call for the bridge to be replaced not right away but in two thousand and twenty thirteen years after the bridge eventually fell into the river in two thousand and seven at the time of this bridge collapse there were seventy five thousand other bridges in america with the same structurally deficient rating as the i thirty five mississippi river bridge so this should have been a wake up call the right time to rebuild our nation's aging and increasingly more dangerous infrastructure not to mention shortly after that bridge collapse in minnesota our economy went into full meltdown and there's been no better proven stimulus to fight back or recession than massive infrastructure investments so all
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signs pointed to one conclusion time to rebuild our roads and bridges only that's not what happened instead after the bridge collapse in two thousand and seven news that tens of thousands of other bridges in america could meet the same fate total public construction spending actually went down that even includes the brief uptick in two thousand and nine in two thousand and ten from president obama's stimulus act and three different times last month senate republicans filibustered the rebuild america act which would have diverted fifty billion dollars to rebuilding infrastructure despite that our economy is making some gains with you know more than two hundred forty thousand jobs created in january. those jobs are mostly service sector jobs not construction jobs which raises the question can our economy really see a significant recovery without equally significant investments in our infrastructure
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and the on the economy for a moment isn't it just common sense to rebuild broke bridges and roads that are in danger of collapse especially in america the richest country on earth. michael mandel joins me now is the chief economic strategist for the progressive policy institute like will welcome the show but to be here it's as i just mentioned you know there's i mean there's two issues here there's the safety of americans when we have bridges that are seventy five thousand that are structurally deficient and there's or our economy which is begging for some type of stimulus you put two and two together the conclusion you know makes sense we start rebuilding right well you know take even a longer term view what the u.s. needs is more investment in this country we need more investment in infrastructure we need more investment in business equipment we invest in everything and so what's happening at this point is perhaps the right we haven't we this was a great opportunity to rebuild some of our infrastructure not only want to focus on just bridges it's bridges it's tunnels it's the electric system it's the water
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system it's everything it's the airports right it's the roads and so you say the bridge is the most visible thing nobody wants to go over the falls down and you know it kind of ruins your whole day but but but you have to think about what is going to be economics it can economically significant what how you know compared to the recession that we're i mean are you i think we're still interest i mean you know i guess the national bureau of economic relations says that ended two thousand and nine talked to forty nine million people are still living in poverty that's not the case but compared to how we invest in our infrastructure in past recessions and even depressions how is our investment this time around you know how is it different where you drive if you drive through new york you see all these massive infrastructure tunnels bridges that were either built finish or started during the great depression and you look around and say how come we can't do the same thing
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now how come we can't marshal the forces and you know this is a question about what we put into it may very well be that airports might be more you. economically then bridges it might very well be that it might be ports it might be by piece something's not quite clear but we do know. we do know that we are under spending we are barely spending enough to keep up with the rate of depreciation and you know on that we have a chart here. this is how much we're spending in america on our infrastructure basically and should be coming up here in just a moment compared to other parts of the world so we have western europe we have central europe and we have russia and japan and their infrastructure do we have here a threat there and if you look at to the far right the united states is down there at the bottom compared to you know other developed nations around the world what does that mean for our place in the global economy if our infrastructure truck sure
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is crumbling how how does that affect our competitiveness in the global marketplace will you think about this we're under investing we're under investing in ourselves we're over consuming all right that's kind of the flip up what consumption is it's spending for today and not for tomorrow you can do that you can do that one year you can do that five years you can do that ten years even but over time what happens is you fall further and further behind your ability to move people around your million move goods around your ability to compete gets the less so right now what happens is is you know you sort of see maybe a small bridge falls and doesn't get rebuilt for a couple of years people get cut off ok roads get bumpy or cars get more broken up it becomes a gradual process of. of erosion basically and it on your point on investments we have another chart you called this chart the chart of the year basically in a pretty it is kind of stunning what it shows that's not the chart but it basically
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shows that investments have especially government investments you know we hear government is spending way too much money that's what the republicans are saying but government's investments have plummeted to forty year lows you say the right way to think about this is that we're spending all our money to keep up with the things falling apart ok we haven't been able to get ahead you would have thought that this period of a chart here of a period of a downturn on this chart the yellow line ok the yellow line sort of sort of turns down is really the net investment by government net investment means a net of the depreciation so you think think about it this way what's happening is that our is that our roads are getting worse and we're barely keeping up with filling the potholes our bridges are getting worse from barely keeping up with with painting that we haven't been able to we haven't been able to expand and this is one of those things which in some sense is a no brainer it should be
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a no brainer for everyone but it hasn't been should be and it kind of speaks to the toxicity in our politics we can't look forward we have to focus on now the next election cycle while our country is you know crumbling around us but michael it's great insight you're doing great work and it's a lot of money on the show. don't hold your breath for new infrastructure spending any time soon unfortunately because it's currently being held hostage by republicans in the house who are demanding the approval of the keystone x.l. pipeline as in if you don't want your bridges to collapse any more than give your loyal barons down in texas whatever they want. it's pathetic here's tom's take on the issue. you see in this same behavior by republicans in congress who killed nearly every stimulative measure proposed to create jobs around the country it's simple if the wealthy aren't spending money on the middle class don't have enough money to spend someone needs to step up to create demand in the marketplace and right at this moment that someone is the government and it's the republicans stop playing a political card to support their so-called less government platform our country's
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infrastructure our job market and our economy will continue to deteriorate eisenhower built the high speed the meet the internet in the interstate rail system it's pretty straight it was a republican president republicans used to talk about this eisenhower build schools you build hospitals modern republicans tea party republicans say are we can't have a government spending on infrastructure where do you expect to get it from if the government doesn't build it what we're doing right now is we're taking old infrastructure like mary daly in chicago selling off what so off the parking meters let's sell off the sky way. we're selling they are all over the country we have local communities communities municipalities county governments that are selling infrastructure that is going to in many cases leasing the seventy eighty ninety year leases where they're getting two or three years where the cash for it to cover short term problems and over the long term they're going to be paying out are we
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that we're going to be paying for the use of that over and over and over china gets twenty six hundred miles of high speed rail they're planning on building another twenty six hundred twenty six hundred miles up by the end of this year in that same time in this last decade we got zero none. we're privatizing our roads we're becoming basically a third world country it's time for americans to wake up to what's going on and and identify correctly this whole bizarre tea party republican mentality is what is taking this country apart. and it's time for tonight's the good the bad and the very very penn to pop tisha sleep ugly the good the united circuit court of appeals today the court in california a firm a lower court's ruling that california's proposition eight the ban on same sex marriage is unconstitutional and the majority opinion judge this judge stephen ryan
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heartbroke quote proposition eight serves no purpose and has no effect other than to lessen the status and human dignity of gays and lesbians in california and to officially reclassify their relationships and families as inferiors to those of the opposite sex couples and quote write our went on to say that quote the constitution simply does not allow for laws of this sort this is a big victory for equal rights in america and the bad birth of movement just won't go away to calm the birth or barrage president obama released his birth certificate last april proving he was indeed an american citizen surprise surprise as a result a new poll by you gov shows that the overall number of birth errors has decreased drastically great news right. no because while overall numbers have decreased republicans who believe president obama was not born in the u.s.
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has actually increased thirty seven percent of republicans that's more than a third think the president wasn't born in the u.s. it's a twelve percent increase since he released his birth certificate last year. it doesn't make any sense to me that. in the very very ugly karl rove in one of the most talked about ads of sunday's super bowl clint eastwood how did the resilience of the american work force particularly particularly in the auto industry here's what he had to say. this country can't be knocked out i want to get right back up again when we do that was going to hear the roar of orange juice. time. at our second half so about to begin. so who could possibly be offended by an ad like that well of karl rove could here's what he had to say on fox news yesterday i was frankly offended but i'm a huge fan of clint eastwood i thought it was an extremely well done it but it is
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a sign of what happens when you have chicago style politics and the present united states is political minions are in essence using our tax dollars to buy corporate advertising and the and the and the best wishes of the management which is benefited by getting a bunch of our money that they'll never pay back to get it until rove gets his money back he just doesn't give a damn about the american auto industry karl rove thinks patriotism goes through his checking account and that is very very ugly. coming up after the break twitter recently unleashed a new controversy all censorship policy was a real motivation behind it.
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and broadcasting live direct from our studios in central moscow this is our team that have since take a look at your top headlines president assad confirms his willingness to negotiate with the opposition to end of the bloody conflict in syria this comes after talks in damascus between president assad and russian foreign minister sergey lavrov the country's opposition indicates it too could be prepared to sit at the negotiating table welcoming russia as a mediator. and as russia steps up diplomatic efforts to end of the crisis in syria major european and arab countries recall their ambassadors from damascus the gulf states along with spain france italy and of the netherlands say damascus
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has failed to take steps to end of the bloodshed earlier in the week the u.k. ordered its ambassador home while the u.s. closed its embassy all together. in athens riot police fired tear gas to disperse thousands of demonstrators protesting against new austerity measures while the government struggles to agree on measures needed to secure a vital second to bail out greece that desperately needs to be one hundred thirty billion euros from international creditors to avoid a default in march. and now we go back to the u.s. for part two of the big picture with tom hartman that's next right here. back to the big picture. coming up in this half hour you may remember.


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