tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC July 19, 2011 11:00pm-12:00am PDT
performance art. let's play "hardball." i'm chris matthews in san francisco. leading off tonight, the cut, cap and balanced caper. it's been a huge debate tonight. this evening house republicans are expected to vote for something they call cut, cap and balance. talk about performance art. this is the stuff you see on psych walks on the weekend, miming, pretending to be doing something. bumping into walls that aren't really there. the republican plan has no specifics on what to cut, to cut below 20% by gdp, ten years from
now and demands a two thirds vote for back a balanced budget amendment to the constitution. it has no chance whatsoever of being a bipartisan deal. this afternoon president obama announced the gang of six has come up with a plan of spending cuts, changes to medicare and medicaid, and taxes. at the top of the show we'll talk to a tea party republican, who says no to taxes, and don't worry about default, spiking interest rates or an american downgrade. our new poll shows the public is taking sides. also, what a day it's been for parliament's investigation into the murdoch scandal. at one point, as rupered murdoch was explaining he knew nothing of the phone hacking and didn't try to cover it up. a man tried to hit him with a plate full of shaving cream. his wife came to his defense and he was unhurt. and lieuies gopper, has come up with a typically irrational explanation for why the deadline isn't really a deadline.
joe walsh is a republican from illinois. i want you to go through a couple of details for the bill you're voting on. i read through the text. here's what i learned. the plan doesn't say exactly what exactly has to be cut, but it has a special exemption for war on terrorism spending. the cap reduces spending to 19.9% by the year 2021, ten years from now, and both the house and senate would need a two thirds vote on a constitutional amendment to balance the budget. and if the house and senate both did not get the two thirds vote, the debt ceiling could not be raised let me ask you the most fundamental question. your side, let be grover nor quist has criticized the president for not calling for specific budget cuts.
why is the bill you're voting on today not mention any specific cut? >> i'm not an artist and grover nor quist, a great guy, isn't leading my side? >> he isn't? >> he may think so, but he's not. you know better than that. >> did you sign his petition? did you sign his petition? >> yes. >> why? >> i've signed a number. >> why his? >> because i do not want to increase taxes and i won't increase taxes. >> who wrote his petition. >> hey, chris? hey, chris? let me answer your first question. let's try there, my friend. all right? yes, the house will do something historic tonight. we will for the first time pass a plan out of the house. you may not like this, but -- >> there's no plan there. it's not a plan. >> this plan will pass out of the house and the key aspect. >> it's not a plan. >> chris, the key aspect is the balanced-budget amendment, forcing members of congress to
balance their books every year. yes, there would be flexibility with the cuts, and there may well be negotiation and flexibility on the caps, but look, 350i78 a freshman who came here to change the way this town does business. we're going to do that by structurally, chris, reforming spending. >> okay. you signed grover nor quist's petition. he says there should be speaks fills yi in the cuts. what is the bill you're talking about today? you're saying have no plan for cuts. where are the cuts? it doesn't have any cuts. i've got the bill right here. it's not in here. >> it calls for $111 bhil onin cuts. but again, my friend, i also signed a pledge that i will not raise -- by the way -- >> why don't you answer my question? >> chris, let me answer the question. >> where are the cuts? >> i also signed a pledge that said i'm not going to vote to raise the debt ceiling unless we pass a balanced-budget amendment.
i know you want to get away from this, that's the key aspect of this plan, and unlike you, i'm pretty optimistic. i think we've got a great chance a great chance to pass a balanced-budget amendment and send it to the states. >> okay. let me just ask you three questions. the bill you're going to voight -- >> try one at a time, chris. >> why doesn't it name the cuts? >> it calls for $111 billion in cuts. >> where? >> again, in the bill, chris. >> where are the cuts? >> in the bill, in non-defense discretionary spending. >> what's that? >> chris, you know what that is. again, you want to harp on this. i'm telling you right now, for the first time, where's the president's plan, chris matthews? >> yes, that's the great -- >> wait a minute.
>> you've criticized the president for not having a plan, and you don't have one, have you read the document? >> i'll criticize the president for not having more of a plan. he's playing politics. for the first time in this town, the house will plan a serious plan to get spending in this town under control, and you want to ignore the most important piece of that, which is a balanced budget amendment to the constitution. the american people are beyond this. it calls it ten years to 19.9%. are you happy with that number that would reduce it to basically $3 trillion from 3.75? it really doesn't change it much, but my point to you is, do you think you're going to get two thirds vote in the house for a balanced budget amendment? a two thirds vote? >> hey, chris, the fiscal
situation now -- >> will you get two thirds? >> yes, yes. it's so severe that we have a great chance this year to pass this out of the house. look 80% believe in a balanced budget. most states and all householtz have to live with it. i'm telling you, all these democrats, chris, that have not put forth a plan or a budget, they are going to have to sign on as well. >> just to repeat what's obvious to everybody watching, your plan does not have any cuts in it. >> hey, chris, what's the president's plan? >> i pointed out that your party has said -- >> no, it's not. >> that the president doesn't have a plan. >> your president who sends a tingle up your leg, your president has not been serious in six months. why do you ignore that, chris? >> i think it's our president. >> he is our president, and tingle is your word. let's go on. >> he didn't send a thrill up my leg, and he has not been serious about this debt crisis. why don't you jump on that?
>> you've accused our president -- you've said he's my president -- >> our president. >> do you like the word lying? >> when he speaks a mistruth, he's lying. when he says on august 3rd that the lights in the country will turn out, and he doesn't know if he can guaranteed social security checks, had el's lying. he knows that's not the case. he, chris, has the discretion to make those payments. >> if we hold up this prone so been can have your balanced budget 'em and waste time on this, two thirds will vote for a balanced budget amendment? >> chris, we have a historic chance to get this done. don't talk about wasting time with me. what has this president done for six months? come on, chris. >> august 2nd, let me ask you
this, if we do have spiking interest rates, if we do have a drop, a downgrade of our bond rating in this country, and we do have a financial crisis, because we haven't done this on time, which you say is not that important, will you resign? >> august 2nd is not important, chris. solving this debt crisis is important. >> if we have a crisis in august, will you resign? >> hey, will you resign? leave your show? what kind of -- >> i don't hold public. >> what kind of silly question is this? >> because i don't hold office. the sillyness is on those -- >> the sillyness is on the questions you're asking me. if we raise this debt ceiling without real spending reform, chris, that's when the markets will react negative. we have got to change the way this town does business. i know you don't acknowledge that, but we have to. >> one last question. are you concerneding this going to go on through august and we will not get this through quickly?
>> my biggest concern is that every single day we're placing trillions of debt on the backs of your kids and my kids. we have to stop that, chris. come on. >> what's the size of the u.s. economy right now, sir? >> $3.7 trillion this year. >> what is the size of the u.s. economy? >> hey, chris, let me ask you a question. why are you asking a question like that? >> because i thought you might know the answer. >> let me ask you this. what's the president's plan? >> it's to sign a debt ceiling bill before august 2nd, which you say is not important. it will avoices a crisis in the world that everyone recognizes that. you're a congressman, therefore i think you should think about your responsibilities. >> how serious a job has he done with government spending? >> sir, i want to see both sides look at government spending. he has proposed -- >> chris, are you happy with the job he's done?
>> today he supports the gang of six with a up to a $4 trillion debt reduction. >> what did he support for the -- >> you, sir are playing brinksmanship. >> did he support his own debt commission? >> did you? >> no, let's start the absurdity. every time you make a challenge to him, i ask you, do you have specific cuts? >> no. >> this is what you do on your show, chris. >> what's that? >> you bully guests. answer me a question. did the president ignore the debt situation in the state of the union address? >> the president -- we have seen this issue coming, sir, and you've seen it and planned for this kind of obstructionism from the beginning. you guys have been organizing yourselves to bring this to a crisis, and you've succeeded, sir. >> hear, chris -- >> when if you play by the rules, will you quit if you're wrong. >> this is how out of touch you are, grover nor quist is my boss u. >> he is.
you signed it the way he told you to. you see did what he told you to do. >> i've signed a number of petitions? >> why? >> why did the senate vote 97-0 against the president's budget? why? >> sir, you signed. >> why? >> i'm just asking -- we're not getting anywhere. this is childish. i've asked you why your budget proposal -- >> chris, this is why people don't get on your show, because it tends to get childish. you don't let people answer, my friend. the house will do something historic tonight. you may not like it, but let's see how it plays out. i think there's a fighting chance this year to pass a balanced-budget amendment. do you support that, chris? >> let me ask you, sir, you started this conversation, you called the presidents of the united states a liar, no, i said he's lied. >> okay. well -- >> our president has lied. >> your pal joe wilson says he's a liar, you sayh 'liced you're saul in the same game. i think it's bad behavior. >> before you got so caught up --
>> you improve your language, we'll be better off, but please come back on the show. >> i love it, chris. >> thank you for coming on. >> thank you. good news for the president. the majority of the public is behind him, believe it or not. we've got the numbers from a new nbc news/"wall street journal" poll. you're watching "hardball," only on msnbc. o not so fast, says texas sse. easy breezy beautiful covergirl. with other top companies. with an esurance quote, you know you're getting a great deal. you can thank our tech team for that. sure, i'll let them know. bye-bye. aha! anything you want to share? with the tech team? oh, i'm dating that girl in accounting.
seriously? yeah, we're pretty serious. [ female announcer ] know if you're getting a great deal. see for yourself at esurance. technology when you want it. people when you don't. 52 not so fast, says texas governor rick perry, one day saying he was comfortable that a presidential campaign is what he's called to do. he's now walking back a bit. >> there's a lot of different ways to be called. my mother may call me for dinner. my friends may call me for something. there are people from all across this country into either me directly or people that they know, and saying, man, we wish you would consider doing this. >> well, look for perry's real answer in the next two, three weeks.
back to "hardball." we've got new nbc news/"wall street journal" poll out. hot numbers, and the numbers look good for the president, on whether the congress should raise the debt ceiling. 38 says he should, 31 says he shouldn't. 30 says don't know enough to make a judgment, about you in april only 18% said they should raise the debt ceiling. so things are moving in a definite direction for the president. he's educating the country on the importance of getting this thing done. 58% support his grand plan to cut the deficit by $4 trillion by basically cutting government spending, but also increasing tax on corporations on the wealthy and with you cutting the left on things -- these are tough. the republicans, by the way, by cutting, and would not raise taxes on the courses and wealthy.
finally who would get the blame in the debt limit is not raised. 39% say the republicans in congress. that is one close call. 17% say both the president and his critics. here to break it down, we have the strategist steve mcmahon and todd harris. since you're laughing so heartily, i have to believe you're laughing at something. we just had a kerfuffle with the congressman. what do you make of this republican strategy to basically pass a bill today that has no specificity in it, somewhere down the road cap the spending down to about 20% of gdp, and then try to get this two thirds vote for a constitutional amendment in the heat of battle? your shots about that. >> well, i like the plan that the house is going to pass today.
i liked senator coburn's plan, i liked congressman ryan's plan. the point is republicans time after time are actually introducing plans. i agree with congressman walsh entirely. there is no piece of paper, no documents that exists anywhere that says president obama's plan to fight the debt, to reduce the debt and curb spending. is it doesn't exist. he barely even mentioned the debt in his state of union for six months he was awol in the discussions, and now he's talking about, oh, it's armageddon -- >> chris -- >> see my hand -- i've got your bill here. it's got no cuts. all it talks about is the vainglorious -- >> chris, chris, the ryan plan, the coburn plan, individual -- >> no, the cut you're voting on today -- >> who cares about -- >> hold on.
>> steve, help out here. >> hold on, this is absurd. where is the president's plan? where is -- >> can i answer your question? let me sxla inthis to todd, because he apparently has been away from the news lately. the vice president of the united states had republican members of congress, the leadership up at the vice president's mansion, at the white house repeatedly over the last several months to try to do a deal that was outlined in the nbc poll, 58% of the public supports that would close the deficit or cut spending by $4 trillion, crying doing things that the president and democrats -- and it would take the balanced plan, and the republicans said no, they walked away from the table. now they have their bumper sticker that they'll pass tonight. they're going to send it over to the senate, it won't get two thirds vote. they know that in the meantime we'll be another week closer to america defaulting, going off the ledge. the debt -- our debt rating being called into question and
the american people will pay the price. it's just for the gamesmanship and showmanship of the ahead party republicans, because john boehner wants a deal. >> here's his description. you follow this up, todd. here's john boehner's description of what they're doing today. i think he's overstating the reality. let's listen. while taking action on the debt ceiling. while the house once again acts responsibly, the administration still won't present a plan or even say what cuts it's willing to make to end the binge in the economic uncertainty that it's creating. and restrained the future growth -- >> i'm reminded of "tokyo rose" and tojo as played by eric scanter.
is he reading something that kantor wrote for him or what? he's about as excited about that as a p.o.w. is. your thoughts. did you see it? >> yeah, yes. >> it looked like he had a knife in his back. >> i think he wants to get something done that's going to actually help solve the debt problem. i would give your arguments today, chris, a whole lot more credence and credibility if, for the past six months you've been pounding on the president saying, where is your plan? where is the leadership out of this white house to guide the country you've had debt mess that we are in? the fact is the president outsourced this entire thing to the vice president. the president barely -- >> who had a plan. >> there was no plan. >> todd, how did they get to $4 trillion. >> supposely behind closed doors, they said, yeah, we'll put this things on the table.
>> they added it up, 4 trillion. >> okay. bottom line -- >> all the president does is give feechs. >> nobody wants to cut spending, todd, and you know it. i'm looking at the plan they're voting tonight. they're passing a bill, and you know it, it doesn't have anything about medicare or the ryan plan. this is a cheap thing to say you're going to cut discretionary spending. it doesn't say what the spending is. this is bog us, it's an empty piece of paper and you're bragging about this thing? this big cut, cap and balance has nothing in it. i had a hunch it wouldn't be in there. i did something that nobody is doing in your house, in the republican side, reading it. there are no cuts here. where are the cuts? >> senator coburj introduced a plan -- >> it's not the coburn plan. it's the bumper sticker.
>> the house has a plan. >> why do you keep saying this? >> chris, chris -- >> have you read it? >> no, i haven't read it. >> how do you know there's something in there -- i'm reading it right now and -- >> at least you're holding on to something. this is the president's plan. it's vapor, there is no plan, because there's no leadership. because there's no leadership. >> todd, the president's plan outlines $4 trillion in cuts over the -- >> there is no plan. >> that was a hostage video, and he is being held hostage by the tea party republicans. let's go to the outlet pass as they say in football. president clinton has weighed in. he writes, quote, clinton says he would invoke the so-called constitutional option to raise the nation's debt ceiling, quote, without hesitation and force the courts to stop me in order to prevent a default. -- you're close to president clinton, steve. do you think that's really true,
that he believes the president has the executive authority to pay the bills? >> i think there are a lot of constitutional experts who believe the president does have the authority. i don't think this president is interested in pursuing that route. he wants the big deal, the speaker wants the big deal, and the tea party republicans are holding it up. i think you're right, though, chris, that president clinton has thrown the outlet pass, because president obama can, in the interest of avoiding the debt, collapse into calamity that could befall us. >> todd, as nonpartisan, is it better for the president if this thing comes to hell in early august and nothing is happening and the house leadership is saying no deal, we're not going with you. what's the president supposed to do alternate that point when he's up against a hard place in. >> well, if the question is, is it better politically for the president to send out letters that say we're soish we can't pay your social security, yeah, that would aggregate better for the president.
i don't think that it's -- i certainly hope it does not come to that, not just as a partisan, but as an american. >> the old deal was if you got the hot han, you guys are ahead, most people say you're the party of less taxes and probably could cut spending better, i think that's generally the assumption when people vote, so you good a 4:1 swatch or whatever the swap is, why don't you take a really good deal, give the president some revenues and say deal and move on. isn't that a better deal than holding up the government like this? the question is how do you do it? if we're talking about lowers the tax codes i think they'll sign on to that. what the problem is what history has shown, every time we raise taxes, washington just spends the money. >> hasn't spent much time looking at history. we are running a $2 trillion deficit right now.
correctly that this date was the result of projections made by the u.s. treasury department, but wait, another theory is on the horizon. texas representative louie gomer has his own questions for reasoning. why does he think the president wants it squared away on that day? listen. >> i can't help but be a little cynical here, because we find out the president has a big birthday bash scheduled for august 3rd, celebrities flying in from all over and lo and behold action august 2nd is the deadline for getting something done so that he can have this massive, maybe the biggest fund-raising dinner in history for a birthday celebration. >> he's actually a birther. in fact he believes the president wasn't born in america, and suddenly now he's an expert on his bhirt today. up next, i guess chris christie wasn't able to get his message across.
let's listen to a variety of iowas he's tried to answer the question -- are you running for president? >> i'm not running. >> i don't want it that badly. >> it's not going to happen. >> what do i have to do short of suicide to convince people? >> my god, i'm not running for president. >> this is no chance, zero. >> he seems pretty adamant, but at least someone seems to think he can be wooed. this times the cofounder of home depot. he and other influential republicans this afternoon attempted to change his mind. the solution for those who couldn't makes it to the meeting, dial in via speakerphone. they weren't dealing with someone known to cave under pressure. coming up, rupert murdoch says he knew nothing about the scandal and never tried to cover it up, but a man trying to hit murdoch in his face with a shaving cream pie. the latest from london when we return. you're watching "hardball," only
senior washington correspondent martin moore. i guess that pie thing, would you tell me why they use shaving cream? >> because i think it would -- it might be, but it also means that it's easier to get in. you can get one of these shaving foam tins, and you can take a paper plate in, and so it's lightly easier to get in through security, i guess. it was an awful thing. it really was embarrassing for the british parliament, because i don't think anybody wanted that. they wanted to continue what was a fairly excruciating experience for mr. murdock sr. and jr.,. >> here's his response when he was asked, who is to blame? >> have you considered resigns? >> no. >> why not? >> no.
>> because i feel that people i trusted, i don't know who, i don't know what left, let me down, and i think they behave astroshsly, betrayed the company and me, and it's for them to pay. i think that frankly i'm the best person to bring this up. >> well, let me ask robert about this. is that going to work? is that going to be part of his confessional tour, if he doesn't confess? it seems a classic apology without a confession. >> i think this whole defense is pretty problematic. it's all very well if somebody of murdoch's stature said he didn't know what those on "news of the world" are doing, but then it just raises questions about how in charge he is, just how much in control of his
organization he is, and whether he's fit to be the chief executive, as well as the chairman of news corporation. so it's a defense i don't think flies very far. he survived today. i think most people would give him a 5 or 6 out of 10, but realistically it raises many questions. it will come up during the investigations. >> let me ask you, again, it seems like one of the medieval dunkings. are we going to -- is this supposed to be cathartic enough, for people to say, okay, he got what he had coming to him and it's behind him, his troubles? >> i don't think it is, chris, because it was a pitiful and painful experience, to see an octogen narron gen octogennaryians. his son had to keep interjecting to save him and help him, but they all maintained a particular
line, and that was that they didn't know anything, that they object fuss indicated when capes to payments and settlements, and they named nameless individuals much farther down the food chain. is that satisfactory to the parents of a 13-year-old child who had been murdered, bur her cell phone had been hacked repeatedly by journalists so they could listen to messages being left on her phone? i don't think they're satisfied by that at all. wondering, as robert moore was just saying, how is it possible for a man to be chairman and chief executive and not carry a scintilla of governance responsibility. he repeatedly said he doesn't know what's going on in his companies. should he be in a joint senior position over them?
let's look at the testimony. here them all apologizing for the "news of the world's" behavior. >> this is the most humble day of my career, but saying sorry is not enough. things must be put right. no excuses. >> it's a matter of great regret of mine, my father's, and everyone at news corporation, and these are standards -- these actions do not live up to the standards that our company aspires to everywhere around the world. it is our determination to put things right, make sure these things don't happen again. >> i would like to add my own personal apologies to the apologies that james and rupert murdoch have made today. clearly what happened at the "news of the world" and certainly when the allegations of voice intercepts of victims of crime is pretty horrific and abhorrent.
>> as i said it's an apology without a confession. what does that mean? we've seen it in the states so many times, mistakes were made, with el know exactly the way, the grammar that's used in fact. here we have somewhat of an abject apology with no specificity to the confession, if there ever was one. i didn't hear one. >> remember, this is a multidimensional scandal. this doesn't just involve news corporation. you know, tomorrow there will be an emergency session at the house of commons and this will lap just a bit closer to david cameron on downing street, that big question -- why on earth did he hire a former "news of the world" editor as his spokesman. i was stunned that andy coulson was going into the heart of government. then we got the whole question about the police ception payments from "news of the world" and so almost every institution is involved, multiple investigations under way.
it will be a different few weeks and months ahead. here he is responding to questions about time he spent with the prime minister and how he went in the back door and why he did so. let's listen. >> why did you enter the back door at number 10 when you visited the prime minister following the last election? >> because i was asked to, to avoid photographers in the front. i imagine. i don't know. i was asked. i just did what i was told. >> did he save hi job today? >> no, he didn't, but let me tell you something else. tony blair's press secretary alastair campbell wrote in his own diaries we got rupert murdoch through the back door. so here was a chief of a media conglomerate, international conglomerate repeatedly going this through number 10, regardless of the shade of the
prime minister. he had enormous influence and power. it's interesting to see what happened in the past two weeks. until two weeks ago, every politician was fawning over this man. they kissed his ring, sought his patronage, tried their level best to not stop him from growing his organization. they know what has happened at news international has been criminal, and they're fawning over this man has come to a tragic and catastrophic end. well, as michael kinsley once said, the best flattery is insincere flattery. this guy has had a lot going his way for too long, perhaps. anyway, maybe the is world is getting even. thank you both. up next, now martin shine is leading a different campaign. he ace coming here next year ale
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we're back. drug courts have been used as an alternative to the criminal justice system for nonviolent offenders since 1989, but supporters say we need more. earlier i spoke with martin sheen, a big advocate for drug courts, along with the judge of the drug court you have in buffalo, new york, robert russell.
mr. sheen, an honor to have you on. i think you've done more to inspire people with american politics with with "west wing" than a lot of politicians have dreamed of doing, and you've been on for a good cause, on to talk about something you care about, that i have never heard about, and that's drug courts. tell us about them. >> yes, yes, i've been a supporter of drug court for nearly 20 years, and i've had some very personal involvement in 1996 up in the bay area in berkeley, as a matter of fact, where i was instrumental in beginning a program called options founded by myself and father bill o'donnell, god rest him and dr. david cody, who's an addiction specialist. we started this program for homeless people, street people in berkeley. we got the support of the police chief of berkeley and judge carroll rosnahan, and with this
in formed, we started bringing people off the streets and bringing them back to their health. we established, in the beginning, three sober living houses, we have six now where 6,000 people have gone through the program, there are 105 beds available on any given night, it's a tremendous success, so it's something i'm terribly proud of and in large measure a success because of drug court. >> you're the judge, a lot of people go to jail for possession, a lot of different drugs. also, the society, how's it better to deal with the drug court approach than the regular criminal court? >> thank you very much for having me on and asking that question. having been a judge treatment court judge for the last 16 years and also doing mental health court and veterans treatment court we realize in the justice system that we can't continue to do the same thing over and over again and somehow
believe that the results are going to be different. we've seen a tremendous increase in prison population, and one way to address that is through drug treatment court, how does it differ? it differs by having someone engage in their treatment counseling program under strict judicial supervision. what i mean by that is they come back to court every two weeks. in the court itself, we work on drug testing, we work on supervision, we work on getting that person clean and sober, that person becoming employed and that person becoming a contributing member of society rather than taking away from society. in addition, we reduce crime, 75% of those who complete and graduate from drug treatment courts around the country, they do not reoffend. in addition, when i think about it now, we got close to 2,500 drug treatment courts across the united states, working hard each
and every day to impact on the inappropriate behavior, get people clean, sober, reunited with their family, taking care of their own children and being productive in our communities. >> i've been close to this our family, i got to tell you, what do you do with a good kid, in school, having trouble because of drugs, maybe coke, he has bad guys trying to push it to him all the time. how do you deal with those situations in your program? how do you keep the kid, 20 years old, in a bad crowd, trying to get off it. how's this help? >> well, if he's made contact with the law, if he's broken the law, he's going to land in somebody's courtroom and he's going to have to face the consequences for his behavior. i'll let judge russell take it from there. >> judge, how do you save this kid and keep him away from the bad guys? >> i think what's important is, what we work on in drug
treatment court is not only having the person engage in treatment counseling program, but we work on relationships. we constantly talk about people, places, and things, them not putting themselves in the company of certain people. we work on having probation, community supervision, closely watching and monitoring the activities and behavior of that person. in addition, if the person not doing the things that they supposed to do, we work on behavior modification, consequences, sanctions, and in addition to incentives to help that person stay on track and do the things that they need to do to be productive, educated, and move forward in their life. >> martin, how can people find more about drug courts? >> just go to www.allrise.org. >> thank you both for coming on "hardball." >> thank you so much. >> when we return, finishing with the performance order of the republican party. you're watching "hardball."
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let me finish tonight with a bright picture we all know so well. you know when you're in the city on a weekend down near the art museum with a big downtown park and there's this guy in a costume doing mime, you know, pretending he's pushing up against the wall. must have seen that one too many times.
that's what the republicans in the house are doing this week, engaging in performance art, miming on the sidewalk, pretending to be pushing up against the wall. all that's missing are the clown costumes, unfortunately, although everyone knows what they are watching, performance art, street theater, a joke. the republican bill that went to the floor today deals with an overall spending cut number. no mention of what's to be targeted. by the way, the cap proposal supposedly only cuts below 20% a decade from now and the balanced budget amendment to the constitution takes 2/3 vote which is not going to be the basis of any bipartisan deal and isn't going to pass or solve anything. anybody that believes a balanced budget amendment would do any good, well, would anybody agree with the economy already weak that it would be smart right now to cut federal spending $20 trillion dollars down to say 18%, which the balanced budget amendment would require?