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tv   All In With Chris Hayes  MSNBC  January 22, 2015 12:00am-1:01am PST

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president, the speaker, senator mcconnell, mitt, someone in these conversations will come up with something that grabs not just the headlines, but truly gets to the problem of income inequality. because unlike some of the talk, it's real. and that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. "all in with chris hayes" starts now. >> tonight on all in -- >> they're cheaters. they should be punished for it. >> ballghazi, mounting suspicion that the patriots have cheated again. >> would you like to weigh in on that? >> i think i heard it all at this point. >> the substance and swagger at the state of the union. >> i have no more campaigns to run. my only agenda -- [ applause ] >> i know, because i won both of them. >> plus, the many, many republicans who offered a
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response. >> i plowed the fields of our family farm. >> as a physician -- >> decades ago, i played basketball. >> and what's the state of our billionaires? maybe davos has an answer. >> shanny and caddie should be the motive of this meeting. "all in" starts right now. good evening in new york. i'm chris hayes. almost 100 million americans watched the championship, three times as many as watched last night's state of the union. tonight the most profitable sports league in america, one of the largest media enterprises we have faces yet another crisis. that is because there is increasing evidence according to a new report from espn that the new england patriots now super bowl-bound may have been caught cheating in their route to the indianapolis colts to the championship game. according to the report nearly all of the game balls on the patriot side were underinflated. chris mortenson, the nfl has found 11 of the new england
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patriots 12 game balls were inflated significantly below the league requirements. the footballs were inflated two pounds per square inch, or 2 psi below nfl requirements. psi is 12.5 to 13.5. while underinflated footballs are favored by both the flavors who catch them and the quarterbacks, like tom brady, there is no reporting thus far about who may have altered the footballs. or even whether they were properly inspected in the first place. nfl's official statement is, our review is continuing. wee will provide an update as soon as possible. according to espn, significant details emerging, reporting that the patriots footballs were tested at the half and reinflated and put back in play for the second half and tested after the game. the report did not reveal the results of the test after the game.
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bear in mind, the tactile quality of the football, the lengths the teams go through, is well known. like this fascinating "new york times" story from last season, quote, a new ball despised for its sheen and waxy gloss is easily hit. each team has 12 to 20 balls, it is meticulously groomed and cared for according to the needs of the quarterback. not even tom brady himself told eei radio he prefers underinflated footballs. when gronk scores, he spikes the ball, he deflates the ball. i like that. but i feel bad for the football because he puts everything he can into the spikes. brady referring to, obviously, rob gronkowski. and laughed off that the footballs in the championship game were underinflated. >> did you get the sense that you were able to grip the ball better than the colts last night?
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would you care to weigh in on that? >> i think i heard it all at this point. oh, god. that's the last of my worries -- yeah. i don't respond to stuff like this. >> among the many questions is this one. has it evolved into rule breaking deflation cheating. what the hell else has the new england patriots been up to lately? writing an entire book on tom brady. i said, i will believe any allegation against bill belichick, because of what we found out during spygate when it turned out the patriots were taping practices of other teams. they ended up paying a fine. this does not surprise me at all. >> well, this is -- i mean, to me, there are a couple of things going on here. number one, to me, the crux of
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how serious this is, is whether or not the balls were deflated after they were already inspected by the game official. if that happened, then the new england patriots are in a lot of trouble. >> right. >> that is when i will start taking this story as seriously as a lot of other people are. >> what do you mean taking it seriously? it's not like we're leading with the story tonight, charlie. >> i would have loved to have sat in on the cram session you had with the staff to learn about how the nfl handles footballs. >> oh, we are deep in the balls rule book, believe me. >> which is, by the way, for a multi-about zillion dollar enterprise -- >> yeah, that they have to inflate them at the proper amount. >> the teams hire the ball boys, the ball people on the sidelines. hire them yourself, nfl. >> right. >> it's boutonniere money for you.
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>> the other part of this, right, is that you have this situation in which people perceive -- i mean, last night when this broke, that this looked like it actually happened, we were doing the state of the union things, that bill belichick is the dick nixon of sports. nixon did not need to break into watergate to beat mcgovern. he was a political mastermind even above his dirty tricks. and yet there was no boundary in his mind between things that were fair game and things that weren't fair game. >> yeah. i think there's a lot of conflation with bill belichick of cheating with gamesmanship. for example, there was nothing unethical or untoward by him putting together some funky formations against baltimore. >> right. >> but that's been lumped in with this. okay? as i said, if it turns out they
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tampered with the footballs after the game officials had already inspected them, that's really serious. i mean, that's -- especially since it appears that this complaint dates back to the regular season game, between indianapolis and new england back in november. so he had to know he was being looked at. >> that's a crazy thing, the colts apparently complained about this. i saw one report, the colts secondary who picked off a pass late in the first half is the one who reported it here. to me, it also makes me wonder, what kind of stuff is going on at the edges, or outside of our view that is like spygate, that is like this, that we haven't gotten hip to yet? >> this is -- you know, i think a blessed relief in some ways for the nfl because of the scandal that doesn't involve the destruction of the human body. >> that's right. >> or any kind of violence. this is corking the bat. this is gaylord perry with vaseline under his baseball cap. >> roger goodell is happy to go before the cameras and take tough questions about deflated balls rather than traumatic
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brain injury and domestic violence. >> yeah. i think that's probably true. but i think given his absolutely pathetic performance in those two areas earlier this season, i think he might come down very severely on the patriots over this. just to demonstrate his basic integritude. >> he can't do anything in the next two weeks. >> in theory, he can do anything he wants. >> do you think in the next two weeks? >> except forfeit the game. my feeling is they won't rule on this until after the super bowl. which i guarantee you, every journalist in america goes to media day will, because it's an extraordinary gathering of absolute crazoids. you'll be sitting there in front of russell wilson, and behind you somebody will ask him a fairly involved question about his nutritional regime, and
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he'll turn around and it will be a guy dressed as a carrot. >> charlie pierce, thank you very much. >> thanks. not claiming any football deflating tactic, the colts lost 45-7. colts fans are still looking for action from the nfl. >> i believe, you know, it's just another one of those patriots gimmicks. one of the bill belichick swindles. >> i don't think there's any question that roger goodell, commissioner goodell and the entire league, administration is going to be under the microscope in determining how they'll move forward on this. >> they're cheaters. and they should be punished for it. >> earlier today, nbc sports analyst russ tucker, and offensive lineman with the patriots, and hines ward gave me their reaction to the news. >> well, it's about the integrity of the football game. and anytime someone uses some way, some form or fashion to gain an advantage on the
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football field, you're breaking the rules. it's called cheating. that's why it's a story. it affects the integrity of our football game. >> ross, do you imagine there will be a sanction, if in fact they're found guilty of doing this on purpose? >> yeah, i think there will be serious sanctions. i think there should. this is a pattern of behavior. this is a second offense. and evidently you look back at spygate, belichick was fined, they lost draft picks. apparently that was not enough of a deterrent. it really bothers me as a guy who spends some time there, now, i wasn't there on one of the super bowl teams, but when this stuff happens, it's such a minimal advantage, yet when you get caught, everybody's able to say, look, they're cheaters, and it really minimizes the accomplishments of all those guys that were there during the run earlier. or even with what they accomplished this year. it's a shame. >> if you're a patriots player, my sense is if in fact this was done purposefully, a small
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number of people knew about it. if you were one of the people on the squad that had a blowout victory on sunday, somehow that victory that you worked very hard for is discounted in the public mind. you were never consulted on that, i would imagine. >> it's a terrible risk/reward ratio. the reward is minimal. brady actually played better in the second half, and they won 45-7. so the reward you get out of doing it is very small. but the risk, if you get caught, which it looks like they might have, is huge. because it totally calls your credibility into question. and it diminishes all of your accomplishments in a lot of people's minds. >> for people who -- if you don't think you're gaining an advantage, why let the air out of the football. just leave it alone. >> hines, you had to catch footballs for a number of years. it's hard to catch footballs in cold weather, when it's wet and slippery. it was cold and wet during that
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game. how much of a difference does it make? there was a "new york times" article back in 2003 that is a ritual breaking in a ball for eli manning. it makes a fair amount of difference the grip and feel you have on the ball depending how it's been worked over and inflated. >> it's all about the grip. playing in pittsburgh, with ben roethlisberger, who has huge hands, sometimes he wore gloves at times. he wanted to make sure he got a true feel for the football. so he would ask the ball boy to scuff it up a little bit. it's all how he felt about holding the football. out of all the footballs they used in the game, he communicated with the ball boy, hey, i like the scuff, scuff it up a little more. it's all about the feel. for tom brady who doesn't wear a glove in the game, you know, he just wants to use his bare hands, but sometimes you want to get a good grip on the football. so by doing that, you tend to let air out of the football so you have a better handle on the football.
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and you have more velocity on your throws. because he doesn't wear a glove while he's playing football. >> so ross, let's say -- now you've got the situation where this is the two weeks of the year where the nfl does its most amount of publicity, right? there even the two weeks leading up to the super bowl, roger goodell gives his press conference, press all over from the world in town. this is all anyone's going to talk about. how does the league handle it? >> well, most of the reports coming out indicate that they're going to wait until after the super bowl to announce anything. >> good luck. >> i know. i think part of that is because i think they want to try to identify how many of their teams might be doing this. i don't know if they want to throw the book at the patriots and the patriots say, oh, really? because other teams are doing this, other teams are doing that. and get a grasp of how many other teams are doing this. personally i think they should announce something friday afternoon. by the time early next week starts, we can talk about it for a couple of days. but maybe by wednesday, the focus will be on the game. i would do it friday afternoon if i was the nfl.
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that's usually when they like to break the bad news. >> hines, have you ever heard of something like this? ross brings up a good point. it looks like at the collegiate level they were doing something like this. is this something they talked about in your nfl career? >> not at all. it's usually about the quarterback. he touches the quarterback every play. he's the guy. he has to have a good feel of the football while he's in the pocket and throwing the passes. but i look at a distraction. this is that week that you have to really put in your game plan, and really get the true preparation that you need. when you go down to arizona next week, you're going to have distractions throughout the day. you're going to be asked about this, what happened, who did it, why they did it, you know, why they did the whole thing. and it can't be good for the patriots to be on the cusp of the super bowl to be worrying about who -- about the deflated football. >> all right. ross and hines, i really
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appreciate you guys talking to me tonight. >> no problem. >> my pleasure. it's been 23 hours since the state of the union. over that time it's been pretty hard to figure out just what the republican response to president obama's state of the union actually is. we'll attempt to figure that out ahead.
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today in the year 2015, the world's greatest body voted 98-1 stating that climate change is real, and is not a hoax. that is, i suppose, the good news. the bad news is the united states senate was voting on whether climate change is real in 2015. and the other bad news is that after passing this amendment, they voted on two more amendments on climate change. the first one stating, quote, climate change is real and human activity contributes to climate change. and that failed to overcome a filibuster, going down to defeat 59-40. the last amendment went one step further stating, quote, climate change is real, and human activity significantly contributes to climate change.
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that, by the way, is the overwhelming scientific consensus around the planet. this one also failed to overcome a filibuster and barely got a majority. 50-49. this is what your congress does in the year of our lord 2015. they deliberate and vote on the truths about the world. because apparently the jury is still out on science. boy: once upon a time, there was a nice house that lived with a family. one day, it started to rain.
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the house tried to keep out all the water, but water got inside and ruined everybody's everythings. the house thought she let the family down. they just didn't think it could happen. they told the house they would take better care of her... always. announcer: protect what matters. get flood insurance. at every step, we were told our goals were misguided, or too ambitious, that we would crush jobs and explode deficits.
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instead, we've seen the fastest economic growth in over a decade. our deficits cut by two-thirds. a stock market that has doubled. and health care inflation at its lowest rate in 50 years. [ applause ] this is good news, people. [ laughter ] >> the president last night didn't sound humbled by november's electoral defeat. he sounded confident and unapologetic. >> i have no more campaigns to run. [ applause ] >> my only agenda -- i know, because i won both of them. [ applause ] [ cheers and applause ] >> "new york times" writing obama defiantly sets an
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ambitious agenda. u.s. version of the guardian said off the cuff and full of swagger, obama's state of the union leaves the gop enraged. among those republicans upset by last night's speech, senator orren hatch of utah. tom cole said, frankly, you need to remember he lost the midterm elections. we've had one provocative move after another. chris murphy, democrat from connecticut. member of the senate foreign relations committee. before we get to iran, and keystone and all that stuff, what was that moment like in the gallery when the president ad libbed that line? >> it was hard for a lot of us to hear what he said. but clearly it was a pretty spectacular moment.
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i think most republicans that i have talked to gave him credit for ad libbing pretty successfully. the reality is, there's no reason for this guy to be humbled, because he didn't run for president and win midterm elections, he ran for president to bring this economy back to life, to restore purchasing power to the middle class, and fix the broken health care system. he explained what the facts are, that our economy is in a better position than anybody thought it would be six years into his presidency, that major pieces of legislation like the health care law are doing better than even the biggest proponents like me thought it would. that's not defiance. that's not poking republicans in the face. that's just telling it like it is. >> he now, on the day after the state of the union, the day of the state of the union, all the eyes are on him. today is the first real working day after that in which the republican congress in both houses get to set their agenda. they clearly are headed on a path of confrontation with the
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president, particularly on two issues. on keystone and orion. iran, this is bob menendez, this is what he had to say about the president and white house's rhetoric on iran negotiations and the operations and new sanctions. take a listen. >> i have to be honest with you. the more i hear from the administration and its quotes, the more it sounds like talking points that come straight out of tehran. and it feeds to the iranian narrative of victimization, when they are the ones with the original sin. illicit nuclear weapons program going back over the course of 20 years, that they are unwilling to come clean on. >> the president has issued a veto threat on new iran sanctions. you can probably find about ten democratic votes. where is this going? >> well, the president's made it very clear to both democrats and
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republicans that an attempt to pass sanctions today is an invitation to scuttle these negotiations. what you effectively do is give the iranians, one, an excuse to walk away from the table because new sanctions would be a violation of the interim agreement we're living under today, and two, you would give countries like china and russia to walk away from sanctions because they blame the united states for the negotiations falling apart. i hope that we're going to stand with the president. i have a lot of respect for my friend bob menendez. i think it's unfair, the characterization that he made of the way that the president talks about this. and it's not just the obama administration. this is everyone sitting at that table. the united states and our european partners saying with one voice to the united states congress, don't blow up these negotiations. >> let me ask you this. this seems to be the key question in how the dynamics play out between the republican congress and the white house, how much they take these veto threats seriously. if the president compromises at
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the last minute and say, if you do this and this, maybe i won't veto it. if he just vetoes, he's true to his word and congress operates knowing they have a two-thirds threshold. do you believe him when he says he's going to veto all this stuff? >> i do believe him. and i think the republicans are going to test him. on these two issues, there's not a lot of wiggle room in the middle. you can't go halfway on violating the joint plan of action under the iran negotiations. you can't approve half of the pipeline, right? you have to -- you actually have to be for the construction or against the construction. you have to let the administration do its work on sanctions or you're going to substitute your judgment for the administration. i think you're going to see some of these pieces of legislation, maybe not iran sanctions, because i'm not sure the votes are still there for it, but on the keystone, he may have to pull out his veto pen. and it's important for him to stand up for what he said in his state of the union speech. >> thank you very much.
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boehner and benjamin netanyahu are teaming up over their dislike of president obama. we'll talk about that ahead. and even piano tuners were just as simple? thanks to angie's list now it is. we've made hiring anyone from a handyman to a dog walker as simple as a few clicks. buy their services directly at no more calling around. no more hassles. start shopping from a list of top-rated providers today. angie's list is revolutionizing local service again. visit today.
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over the years there are a few things we expect from an obama era state of the union. a flash of charm, a few jokes, and barn burner lines and multiplying number of republican responses.
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>> good evening, and happy mardi gras. >> in recent years, the quickest way to go from rising republican star to former rising republican star is to deliver the response to the president's annual address to congress. >> americans can do anything. >> for republicans, looking to make their mark, the hope is is that the american people will remember them for their ideas and rhetoric. but more likely, they will be remembered for stage craft. >> in the short time i've been here in washington, nothing has frustrated me more than false choices like the one the president laid out tonight. >> note to future responders, it is important to hydrate before giving a televised response. also, important to look into the right camera. >> the tea party is a dynamic force for good in our national conversation. and it's an honor for me to speak with you.
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>> even if the response itself doesn't kill one's political ambitions, it does serve as a reminder that the gop sure does know how to pick them. >> good evening. i'm bob mcdonnell. >> the judge sentenced bob mcdonnell to two years in prison. >> mcdonnell was convicted of corruption. >> last night the american people got five responses to the republican party, at least. first there was the official response. that was delivered by freshman senator joni ernst. >> i would like to have a conversation about the new republican congress you just elected. >> then there was the official response in espanol. that honor went to congressman carlos corbello. then there was this response -- >> decades ago i played basketball at purdue -- >> talking about the basketball team. >> we're all the same.
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washington could benefit from coach k.'s advice, i think. >> that was the tea party response from congressman curt clawson from florida. >> i am familiar with your country. i love your country. and i'm hopeful with the new change in regime, that the future and the land of promise and the land of opportunity of india can finally become so. >> i think your question is to the indian government, and we certainly share your sentiments. and we certainly will advocate that on behalf of the u.s. >> of course. >> those officials clawson was speaking to, were from the u.s. government. next, there was the rand paul response delivered by senator rand paul posted to his youtube channel. >> good evening. i wish i had better news for you. but all is not well in america. >> finally, there was this free lance response from senator ted cruz. it didn't go according to plan. >> the president tried to say his policies are lifting the middle class, and yet today,
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median incomes have stagnated for over a decade. let me start over. >> if you're hungry for even more republican responses, they're out there. some of them could use a little love. but with all these responses to choose from, it's a little tough to figure out what exactly is the gop's message. you get a response. you get a response. you get a response. everybody gets a response. this messaging free-for-all is kind of like time magazine honoring you as person of the year. if you are giving the response to the state of the union, then, well, no one is giving the response to the state of the union. one of the responses from last night was billed as a spanish translation of the official gop response. it turned out to be far more interesting than that. we'll explain next.
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out of five republican responses last night, two were official, one in english, one in spanish, and the spanish language response was specifically billed in a press release as the, quote, translated address of senator joni ernst response. that official language was removed, and in the end not only was the spanish language addressed in the same as the state of the union. earlier today looking at the eight ways the response was different in spanish and why it matters. i thought it was a weird idea they would have a translated speech. there would be a lot of first-person details that would sound weird coming from someone who didn't actually do them. so how did he handle that? did he talk about, i grew up in iowa, the way joni ernst did?
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>> this is the fourth time the republicans have done a spanish response. and they cut out the biographical parts. in this case it was a different speech. not only was he not only talking about ernst's history as a veteran or something like that, or grandparents growing up in iowa and the farming, he talked about his parents coming from cuba, how they came with nothing but their faith and desire to make a better future for their family. he said that's my family's story, and i know it's yours, too, which is something that ernst, for obvious reasons, didn't do in hers. >> in terms on specific substantive areas, ernst said basically nothing on immigration reform. he did say something. we have to create permanent solutions for immigration systems to secure or borders, modernize legal immigration and strengthen our economy. that is not the top line gop
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message ascending its base. >> carbello is to the left of the rest of his party on immigration, absolutely. last week, most of the house voted to not fund the department of homeland security unless president obama agreed to end his executive actions to protect immigrants from deportation. korbello isn't that far out of the line with his party. there are people in the republican party who want to pass something on border security, who want to expand high-skilled immigration because they figure at least those are things they can get some support for. of course, today, the senate republican leadership appointed senator jeff sessions, who is one of the few opponents of legal immigration in the republican party, to run their immigration subcommittee. >> but this is precisely the problem. this is not a sustainable strategy. they cannot basically continue to talk out of both sides of their mouth.
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they can't have the party deport the people talking about deportables and trot out someone to speak in spanish in far more humane language. that is not going to sell. >> it's absolutely not. of course, the funny thing is that carbello is giving this address on spanish language television where hor ray and company are famous for holding them accountable for not doing enough. i think that this is worthwhile, because democrats have a tendency to assume because republicans so terrible on immigration and reaching out to latinos, that they don't need to do anything. this is a window if something happened and republicans were able to get immigration off the table for one reason or another, what would their latino approach look like. frankly, from that perspective, it was a very impressive speech. i would be moderately concerned. >> thank you very much. there's one thing i want to impart to you tonight. it's the state of our billionaires is strong.
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stay tuned for that.
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it's no secret john boehner and benjamin netanyahu are not big barack obama fans. they made it clear at times they would like to see the president politically defeated and his policies stymied. they both indicated the white house negotiations with iran were not happening. so while it should not come as a big surprise, they appear to be teaming up on this issue. their methods are apparently quite unusual. boehner announced this morning he's invited netanyahu to speak next month about the grave threats posed by radical islam and iran. boehner is bringing in reinforcements in the form of a foreign leader who is essentially being invited to rebut the president from the same podium where obama delivered his state of the union address last night. both the white house and state department seem taken aback by the announcement today. josh earnest calling the process a departure from protocol. the white house first heard
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about the invitation this morning, just before boehner announced it to the world. apparently it's not normal for a foreign leader's government to fail to notify the white house they're going to be showing up in washington to address congress. secretary of state john kerry said netanyahu is welcome to speak in the united states at any time. but it was unusual to hear about it from john boehner's office. the "washington post" today cited an aide quoting boehner as saying the following during closed-door meeting with republicans. obama expects us to stand by as he cuts a bad deal with iran. two words, hell no, we're going to do no such thing. of all the items on the president's agenda right now, this is probably the biggest most high-stakes fight. finds the president on one side and republicans in both houses of congress plus a lot of democrats and lobbyists and the israeli government on the other. netanyahu is facing increasing opposition from his right flank. it's a shame he's not eligible
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to run for president here in the u.s. because if benjamin netanyahu doesn't win reelection this year, he would stand a heck of a chance in the 2016 republican primary. flo: hey, big guy. i heard you lost a close one today. look, jamie, maybe we weren't the lowest rate this time. but when you show people their progressive direct rate and our competitors' rates you can't win them all. the important part is, you helped them save. thanks, flo. okay, let's go get you an ice cream cone, champ. with sprinkles?
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sprinkles are for winners. i understand.
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mr. speaker, mr. vice president, members of congress, my fellow americans, we are 15 years into this new century, 15 years that's on main street, and wall street, pilted against each other. it saw the housing market imploes, and titans of the financial industry facing possible prosecution, and a tidal wave of backlash. it has been an unusually hard time for the rich. but tonight, we turn the page. tonight the banks have escaped criminal prosecution, and they're bigger than ever. last month the dow jones finished above 18,000 for the first time ever, while corporate profits skyrocketed to record highs in 2014. america, for all we endured, for
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all the lobbying and corporate donations it took to protect the interests of the super rich, know this, the shadow of crisis has passed and the state of our billionaires is strong. several years ago, david seagal and his wife jackie were a typical married couple, trying to make a home for their children in the largest single-family house in the united states. a 90,000 square foot mansion in florida named versailles after the famous palace in france. their story was portrayed in the documentary the queen of versailles. david was the owner of west gate resorts, a time share company while jackie stayed home to take care of the kids with help from a few nannies. it's a real american story. but then the recession hit, the housing crisis took a toll on david's business, and facing setback after setback, the
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seagals were forced to defer their dream of living like louis xiv. the family tightened their belts, laying off 7,000 west gate employees and selling the company's flagship on the vegas strip. but soon, with help from the improving economy, things started to turn around. in fact, they turned so far, that david siegel recently declared 2014 the best year in his company's history and gave his employees a raise. and after all the hardships they faced, the siegels restarted construction on their dream house, which is due to be completed this year. now there are many other signs our billionaires have made a full recovery. just two days ago, a penthouse here in new york smashed the record for the most expensive condo in the country's history, for $105.1 million.
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the number of billionaires worldwide has more than doubled according to new research, and they're on track to control more than half the world's total wealth by next year. meanwhile, the 1% continue to consolidate their outside influence in politics, thanks in large part to citizens united. with president obama proposing to raise taxes on capital gains, rest assured the republican congress will never let it happen. and i come before you tonight at a very special crucial time of year for our billionaires. when they congregate from their ilk at the economic forum in davos, switzerland. from the look of the media feeds, they may have had to deal
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with unfortunate traffic on arrival, but away from the hustle and bustle of their billionaire grind, they're taking the opportunity to enjoy the champagne, or test drive a new audi on ice. one of those billionaires has some sage advice for the masses of americans who have failed to achieve his stratospheric level of success. i'm going to bring you those words of wisdom next.
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jeff green is a real estate investor and makes billions of dollars betting against subprime mortgage environment. he shared some of his thoughts on the u.s. economy. america's lifestyle expectations are far too high and need to be adjusted. we need to reinvent our whole system of life. according to bloomberg, green flew his wife, children and two nannies on a private jet plane to davos for the week. joining me, president of demos and an entrepreneur. we're going to check in on the state of our billionaires. nick, you know some billionaires. you've been writing about the world of the 1%. is the state of our billionaires strong? it seems quite strong. >> the state of our billionaires is very strong. it's galactically awesome to be us. >> is there any sign -- it's amazing in six years of recovery
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that this group of people who a lot think barack obama is a socialist, they hate redistribution. it has been an incredible time to be super rich in this country. you've got impressive amounts of gains flowing to those folks. >> we have structured the economy to benefit very small minority of people. that process is a feedback loop, which is accelerating. and, you know, there's not a better example of the way in which we're currently manipulating the economy to benefit people like me, than the $700 billion a year, you know, american corporations currently spend on stock buybacks. which do nothing but inflate the, essentially the paper value of assets. for the benefit of the very, very rich. >> this is a point that's important to realize is, one of the things that precipitated the crisis, there's a theory about the global pool of money, which is like there's so much money,
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in so few hands, chasing investment, looking around, and it just was sloshing around. eventually it was like, we've got to make stuff out of thin air to essentially soak up all the money. you are seeing that again. you can see financial markets, is my own personal opinion, i'm not a professional at investment. you can start to see them get weird again right now. because we have the same underlying features. >> as the pope said, actually, meanwhile, as pope grans is said, the excluded are still waiting. there are millions of people who would love just a tiny bit of that capital to fulfill their dreams. what we're not seeing is it flowing exactly where it should. the financial sector is supposed to be a pipe lon for capital to go into productive uses in the economy. and right now, is just a casino. we've done a lot of research on it. because we calculate for all of these major companies -- >> right. >> so basically, what happens is, it's because of, of course, the obscure regulatory change, about 20 years ago, that made -- >> 1986. >> thank you.
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what used to be seen as suspect in terms of regulators, actually, now, sort of what a corporation does. essentially it's where, let's take walmart, america's biggest private employer, will spend tens of billions of dollars buying back their own shares in the market in order to inflate the earnings per share. >> sure. >> exactly that amount of money that they spent last year walmart doing that, could have given all of their low-paid workers a nearly $6 an hour raise. >> that's a great example. that capital is going into essentially the sort of paper manipulation. financial manipulation. nick, you know, the pipeline is so key. right now billionaires, you have this money, and there's stuff you can do. you can buy fancy cars and private jets, right? but the money has to do something productive. that's the whole point of capitalism. there are all sorts of ways to get it channeled into not productive purposes.
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>> and the world is awash in capital. even the bain company calls it an era of capital super abundance. we're awash in capital. what we're not awash in is robust consumer demand. because what we've done is we've -- as power has shifted from workers to owners, what's happened is, you know, the profits have doubled as a percentage of gdp over the last 30 years, and wages have fallen by exactly the same amount. about $1 trillion per year. and what americans have to realize is that $1 trillion, that extra $1 trillion in profit annually isn't profit because it needs to be or has to be or should be, it's profit because powerful people like me prefer it to be. >> right. >> could be used as wages. could be used as discounts to consumers. >> and a big part of that story, obviously, is the lack of worker
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collective bargaining power. a recent study showed between 20% to a third of the rise in the inequality can be explained by the lack of union power. which gets us back to that feedback loop to politics. because there are political decisions that make it harder for people to form a union. there could be different political decisions if people had more political power. >> we're seeing this primary play out on the republican side in which these folks, the kochs and others, these billionaires, right, are deciding which course they're going to back. you know what that's going to produce. it's similar on the democratic side, frankly. >> we did a report just last week, in honor of the citizens anniversary, showing a bunch of different candidates were decent candidates, who were not able to be competitive, because they don't have networks of millionaires and billionaires to help them run. then we model what it would be like if we had small donor match public financing. like we have here in new york city. those candidates did not have to be anything more than waiters, and, you know, waitresses, and
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firefighters, to be able to run competitive campaigns. >> all right. nick, thank you very much. and heather mcgee, you're actually a member of the world economic forum? >> i went to the nerds davos. >> likely story. sure. that is all for this evening. the rachel maddow show starts right now. >> there's a billionaires kids' table? that's awesome. thank you. appreciate it. thank you at home for joining us this hour. look, notice anything different? notice anything different? anything strange? do i seem smaller than usual? different set. sometimes after a big night, like election night, or state of the union night, when we have a big fancy desk, so everybody can be on set together, sometimes they forget to put it away. so we get to use the big fancy desk for the next day's shows. i love the giant desk. if i can always have the giant


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