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The Rachel Maddow Show, Transcript 08/30/11

Guests: Frank Pallone, Dean Baker, Kelly Hart

LAWRENCE O`DONELL, "THE LAST WORD" HOST: THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW is up next. And filling in again tonight, Melissa Harris-Perry. Hi, Melissa. MELISSA HARRIS-PERRY, GUEST HOST: Hi, Lawrence. Thanks. And thanks to you at home for staying with us for the next hour. Rachel has the night off. And we`re going to be coming to you tonight live from the great city of New Orleans -- a city which at this moment is being physically consumed by this. No, despite all the outward appearances, that is not, in fact, a haboob, although it`s sort of a New Orleans version of a haboob. That right there, that big, ominous-looking, grayish-brownish cloud, that`s the result of a giant marsh fire that`s been burning in east New Orleans for three days now. It`s literally swampland that`s caught on fire and is blanketing the rest of the city in this lovely, choke-inducing, smoke-filled haze. Now, if you have the fortune to be walking around New Orleans right now, this is what you`re breathing in, a thick smoky stew of chinaberry, peat moss and willow trees. Now, I know that sounds sort of organic, nice, maybe even Southern, but this big plume of smoke is actually a big old problem. First off, it`s really dangerous for anyone who has serious breathing conditions. Those folks have been warned to stay inside. And second of all, officials here in Louisiana can`t quite figure out how to put the darn thing out. Marsh fires are sort of a fact of life for people who live in marshy areas like New Orleans. I mean, they happen. The problem is that marshes, by their very nature, are sort of remote areas. They are difficult to get to. So, your options are limited when a fire breaks out there. Now, here`s one option. This is called a marsh buggy. A marsh buggy is basically a big tractor-like vehicle that can maneuver in and around these hard to reach swamps. Some models have these long retractable arms that essentially turn over soil that`s burning and help stamp out the fire. Louisiana, unfortunately, doesn`t own any marsh buggies. The Department of Agriculture wanted two of them. They requested two of them, but they were cut out of this year`s budget. The state just couldn`t afford them. So, here`s another option, big airplanes that can fly over the fire and dump thousands of gallons of water on the flames to help put it out. The problem right now for residents of New Orleans as reported by WDSU, the local NBC affiliate down here, the New Orleans Fire Department said several airplanes would be need and they are costly. Big water-dumping airplanes are just too expensive. The state can`t afford it right now. And so, welcome to New Orleans -- a city currently being strangled by a thick layer of smoke and ash that you can taste in the back of your throat. It`s not gumbo. The National Guard has begun to send helicopters in, to dump small amount of water on the fire. But the real end game here was acknowledged by a state legislator today who represents New Orleans. Quote, "We`re going to reach out to the federal government to see if they can bring in assets." States like Louisiana are so strapped for cash right now that a local emergency situation like this one in New Orleans, a marsh fire, may ultimately require federal help. Here was a scene today in the state of Vermont. Hurricane Irene left in her wake the worst flooding in that state in nearly a century, and today officials began airlifting food and water to 13 towns in Vermont that were left unreachable by vehicle as a result of the flooding Irene left behind. And like officials here in New Orleans, Vermont is also looking to the federal government for help. The head of FEMA, Craig Fugate, toured the damage by helicopter with Vermont`s governor today. And here was the scene in the state of New York -- a handful of towns remain cut off tonight as a result of roads and bridges that had been flooded there by Irene. And today, that state`s governor, Andrew Cuomo, wrote personally to President Obama to ask for federal assistance to help clean up the mess. Today, North Carolina`s governor, Bev Perdue, reported that hurricane Irene destroyed more than 1,000 homes in her state and caused at least $70 million worth of damage. Notably, she made that announcement while standing alongside Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, whose department oversees FEMA. So, the federal government, in this case FEMA, is a lifeline for a number of these states right now. You as a state can`t predict when a disaster is going to strike. You can, of course, set aside money in a disaster fund. But often the scale of the disaster is more than a state can handle. That`s where federal government comes in, what`s where FEMA comes in. And right now, as states all across the country attempt to pick up the pieces from a 2011 that has essentially been one disaster after another from wildfires out West, to floods and tornadoes in the heartland, to hurricanes on the East Coast -- right now, we learned that FEMA, the agency all of those states rely on, is running out of money. It has less than $1 billion left to help those states rebuild. And why is FEMA all of a sudden broke? Well, in part, thank you, House Republicans. The ongoing disputes over deficit reduction and spending cuts have threatened what is a routine annual exercise to replenish FEMA`s coffers. As NPR noted today, quote, "In the past, emergency aid funds has been treated as, well, emergencies. No more says, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor." (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) REP. ERIC CANTOR (R-VA), MAJORITY LEADER: In instances like this, yes, there`s a federal role, yes, we`re going to find the money. We`re just going to need to make sure that there are savings else where to continue to do so. (END VIDEO CLIP) HARRIS-PERRY: As much of the East Coast sits paralyzed by hurricane Irene, house Republicans are now threatening no additional funding for FEMA unless more budget cuts are made else where. Sorry. At this hour, mandatory evacuation order is in effect for the town of Wallington, New Jersey. A town councilman there said that the town, quote, "looks like a third world country." Now, Wallington sits alongside the flooded Passaic River which is due to crest tonight between 10:00 p.m. and midnight. Four thousand residents in nearby Paterson, New Jersey, have been ordered to leave in what`s being called tonight as an unprecedented evacuation. And as New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and governors all across the Eastern Seaboard go to the government for help, will the help be there? To help me answer the question, Democratic Congressman Frank Pallone of New Jersey. Congressman, thanks so much for joining us tonight. I know it`s been a rough week. REP. FRANK PALLONE (D), NEW JERSEY: Thanks. HARRIS-PERRY: Now, what`s the latest on the ground there in New Jersey concerning the flooding? What are you seeing? PALLONE: Well, there is still a lot of flooding and certainly a lot of damage. As you know, it was not so much from the ocean, which is what we expected during the hurricane, but rather from the flooding of the rivers, and whether it`s the Raritan or the Delaware, or some of the tributaries that run into those, it has been a tremendous amount of flooding -- as you can see from some of these pictures. In some cases, it`s getting worse even though it`s a few days after the hurricane. HARRIS-PERRY: Look, I`m pretty distressed as someone sitting in a city that is currently being, you know, overcome by basically a marsh cloud that Eric Cantor is basically making federal disaster relief funds part of political gamesmanship. Shouldn`t emergencies be separate from politics? PALLONE: Absolutely, Melissa. This is outrageous on the part of Cantor and the House Republican leaders. I mean, the fact of the matter is, traditionally, I`ve been in congress for 24 years now. Emergency supplemental appropriation bills were exactly for that, emergencies. And the reason is, the reason they bypassed, if you will, the budget process is because we wanted to get the money to the states and the towns and to the people quickly because they were in distress. So, to suggest that somehow now, you know, we`re going to wait around for months or even a year while we can find funding cuts elsewhere and have this debate, and, you know, horse trading, if you will, for a long period of time and everyone`s going to wait when they are in distress, I think, is outrageous. I mean, basic government function is to help people in distress. If the government doesn`t do that, what is its function? So I really resent the fact Cantor and other House Republican leaders are trying to make this into some policy or political fray. It`s outrageous. HARRIS-PERRY: It`s been said that disasters do not discriminate. You know, ultimately when that flood water comes, it doesn`t care if you`re a Democrat or a Republican, whether your house is red or blue. So, given we have people obviously on both sides of the aisle suffering in these states from disasters, how is this going to play out for Republicans politically, given they`ve made it political? Do you think that Eric Cantor and House Republicans are going to reap a kind of political whirlwind behind this? PALLONE: Well, I hope that they recant. In other words, you know, Cantor has made this statement. I know he`s repeated it again or his staff said that he means it, but I`m hoping that both Republicans and Democrats from the areas impacted by hurricane Irene will simply step up and say this is not acceptable. Again, it`s a question of not getting the relief out, because if you don`t do this quickly and do some kind of emergency appropriations bill, which we`ve done for as long as I can remember, then it`s going to be distressful for the states and towns and the people. I mean, you`re talking FEMA, grants and loans that go to individuals and small businesses. You`re talking about money that goes to localities to pay for police and fire and rescue workers. I mean, it just doesn`t make any sense to treat this as, you know, as if you would treat something that you can, you know, sit around and argue over for months and years. That`s not the way we do business. That`s not what the federal government`s role is, so I`m hopeful that cooler heads prevail, I guess, is the best way to put it. HARRIS-PERRY: Sure. And, Representative Pallone, you`re on the Democratic side of the aisle. But your Republican Governor Chris Christie has had an awful lot of praise for FEMA in response and FEMA`s response in the past couple of days. What are your thoughts on the ground there about how FEMA is in fact responding in the state of New Jersey? PALLONE: Well, I think the cooperation with the federal government, with FEMA, with the state, with the governor, with the local governments, has been unbelievable. I mean, I`ve never seen such preparedness. And, you know, you mention you`re from New Orleans -- I couldn`t help but think that because of Katrina and some of the other hurricanes that we`ve experienced, that when people were forewarned and said you have to take preparations, you have to take this seriously, they did take it seriously. I think in part because they remembered Katrina and they remembered what happened in New Orleans and they believed that this was real. But certainly, the governor, the president, and the local mayors all re-enforced that and made sure people got out and were evacuated so that we didn`t have even more damage or loss of life than we had. HARRIS-PERRY: Well, certainly all of us in New Orleans are happy to see that things are operating better at the federal level this time than they did in 2005. So, Democratic Congressman Frank Pallone of New Jersey -- thank you so much for your time tonight. PALLONE: Thank you, Melissa. HARRIS-PERRY: There is one story that matters above all these days in America, jobs. And in job news tonight, the story is coming up -- yes, as in coming up on this show and also coming up as in we know a lot more about what`s coming up from the Republicans and the president about the biggest crisis in the country -- and that`s coming up next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) HARRIS-PERRY: I admit it, while watching former Vice President Dick Cheney making the media rounds plugging his new memoir, I kept yelling at the screen, "You`ve got to be kidding me. This is not the way that it happened!" Luckily, this show has a section devoted to debunking public misinformation. And tonight, Mr. Cheney, Debunktion Junction is all yours. Stick around. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) HARRIS: We`ve been pretty critical on this show of the job`s plan that was put forth by House Republicans this spring -- 10 pages, clip art, gigantic type. But the unemployment situation right now, particularly long-term unemployment, is so dire that I want to put all that criticism aside. Let me say right now that if the Republican plan is the plan, with the greatest chance of creating jobs for American citizens, then I am onboard. I am more interested in knowing what the consequences of these job creation proposals are than how they impact anyone`s political futures. House Republicans have expanded their jobs plan this week, specifically the section they want to get rid of, quote, "burdensome regulations." The House Majority Leader Eric Cantor told members in a memo yesterday that when Congress returns, Republicans will be seeking the repeal of job- destroying regulations to create middle class jobs. Environmental regulations, union rules, health care plans -- House Republicans say those are the things that are impeding the creation of new jobs in this country. And for that reason, they want them gone. It`s a radically different approach than the plan being put forth by progressive members of the House. Democratic Congressman George Miller says he wants to offset job losses, especially all the public jobs that have been lost by giving local governments and states $61 billion to rehire public workers. Remember, public workers are teachers, policemen, firefighters, who have lost their jobs due to budget cuts, which sounds a lot like something the president said in a radio interview today. (BEGIN AUDIO CLIP) BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We`ve got the capacity right now to help local school districts make sure that they`re not laying off more teachers. We haven`t been as aggressive as we need to, both at the state and federal level. (END VIDEO CLIP) HARRIS-PERRY: The president added that he predicts the jobs proposal he is planning to unveil next week could create an additional 1 million jobs in the U.S. But according to one report, the broad strokes of the plan are still up in the air. President Obama is reportedly torn between going big and proposing sweeping stimulus ideas to draw contrast with the GOP who are unlikely to actually pass these proposals in the House -- or a more modest and narrow agenda that has a better chance of getting passed by Republicans. To help me sort through these plans, joining me now is economist Dean Baker, co-director for the Center of Economic and Policy Research. Dr. Baker, thank you for your time tonight. DEAN BAKER, CENTER OF ECONOMIC AND POLICY RESEARCH: Thanks for having me on, Melissa. HARRIS-PERRY: Listen, I like clean air. I like clean water. But if you`re telling me, if you tell right now in this moment, in this segment, that at this point, cutting the EPA will, in fact, create more jobs, the situation seems desperate enough that I`m literally prepared to give up clean air and water. I mean, is that -- is that realistic? Is that something that can have a marginal impact on job creation? BAKER: No. I mean, this just really isn`t serious. It`s almost as though we`ve gone into an alternative universe, because I`m saying this in very seriousness. I mean, the `90s were not that long ago. So, you go back to the late `90s. We were creating 3 million jobs a year. We haven`t instituted a whole set of stupid regulations that suddenly brought the economy to a halt. I mean, in fact, the job growth stopped under President Bush. Again, not all his fault, but that`s when the economy stopped creating jobs. And President Obama, you know, I would like to see more regulations in many areas. You can find the big stupid regulations. You could find some stupid ones. But they are not big. HARRIS-PERRY: You know, we`re often criticized in media for not giving information, for just giving ideas or opinions. So, I`m asking right now an informational question -- what do you see as the bottom line for what we must do to get the unemployment rate down? BAKER: Well, there`s a couple of things, the basic story is we`ve lost about $1.4 trillion in demand because of the collapse of the housing bubble. That was in construction. That was in consumption. You have to replace that. The obvious way to do that is with federal stimulus. President Obama went a little bit of the way. The stimulus package was $300 billion a year. That`s not enough to replace $1.4 trillion, and that`s ended now. So, you could go the route of a much bigger stimulus. The other route that if we can`t go that way, this might be a politically viable route, because I know there are some Republicans like this. Kevin Hassett (ph) is a prominent Republican economist -- work sharing. Let`s divide up the work that we have and keep people employed. Instead of having firms layoff 10 people, how about they have 50 people work, 20 percent fewer hours? Incredibly successful in Germany, their unemployment is lower today than the start of the downturn even though their growth has been no better than the United States. So, there are ways to do it but it requires thinking a little differently. HARRIS-PERRY: So you`ve offered two different options, a really big stimulus or smaller, more modest plan on job sharing. What do you think the president should do in his upcoming speech? Should he go big or should he become something more modest that Republicans might actually be willing to get onboard to do? BAKER: Well, I`ll tell you, I like the big thing, because I hate to see us waste potential. But the worst potential is having people out of work for long periods of time -- and if you can talk to Republicans, if you can get some of them on board. Again, I know some of them are interested, I`ve talked to people. I don`t know -- I mean, I`m not sitting there cutting the deals, he`s the one who`s going to cut the deal. But if you think you can pull the Republicans onboard on that, I think you`d be absolutely crazy not to go that route. HARRIS-PERRY: Speaking of getting the Republicans onboard, do you think that there`s anything the president can do to achieve job creation if the Republican Congress won`t, in fact, come along, even with modest proposals? BAKER: Well, it`s very difficult. I mean, it`s -- you need to spend money. Absence of spending money, it`s pretty hard to see how you do that. I mean, there`s things you could talk about if the Fed were more aggressive, that would help, but that`s going to be difficult, given the structure of the Fed right now. If the dollar were to come down, that would help. You know, there are things the president could try to do to bring the dollar down. But absent Congress is going along, it is very difficult. HARRIS-PERRY: This is a tough situation. I appreciate you taking the time to think through it with us. Dean Baker, co-director for the Center of Economic and Policy Research -- thank you for your time. BAKER: Thanks for having me on. HARRIS-PERRY: Texas Governor Rick Perry loves smaller government. And what is small enough? Perry likes government just the right size to squeeze into the most personal corners of your life and your body. Texas` jaw-dropping disregard for your rights and your privacy is just ahead. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) HARRIS-PERRY: This week, we learned that disposable personal income in the United States increased in July, even more than it did in the month before. Now, disposable personal income, that`s the money you have left to pay your bills and buy other stuff you want after you pay your taxes. So, when we`re looking for any signs of life in this sluggish economy, an increase of income is great news, right? Maybe not so much. This week`s news got an economic analysis -- excuse me, analyst, Doug Short, thinking about a presentation he put together based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau. The question is who exactly is getting that increase in income? As Mr. Short so colorfully illustrates, in 2009, the top 20 percent of households took in half of the income earned in America. The middle fifth took in 15 percent, that`s the red slice on this graph, and the bottom fifth took home in the green slice, just 3 percent of the income in this country. Proof positive of the ever-increasing gaps among the rich, the middle class, and the poor in the U.S., further erosion of the American Dream. And it`s not like this is some new economic phenomenon. In fact, over the past 42 years while the average household income from the top 5 percent has increased dramatically, the average household income for the middle class and the poor has remained virtually flat. And when adjusted for inflation, the visual is just staggering if not more so. So, the erosion of the American Dream did not begin with the Obama administration. It began a long time ago, but as president, Mr. Obama`s greatest legacy or defeat will be the extent to which his is an administration that does something to halt this erosion. President Obama has limited unilateral power. He must govern with a hostile Republican majority in the House and a filibuster crazy Republican minority in the Senate. The only basis by which we should judge the effectiveness of this Congress is the extent to which they work to reverse this gap. Now, of course, it`s impossible to fix it quickly. But the work that matters is the work that directly responds to the growing gap in declining incomes. Anything else, the deficit, abortion, so-called "protecting marriage," is a distraction from what is actually happening in this country. So while the rich are getting richer, everyone else is left to fend for themselves, and our lawmakers continue to argue over less pressing issues, Rome burns. Those flat lines that you see there at the bottom, that`s the base of the Democratic Party. The Tea Party often claims to represent those red and green lines. They claim to be the voice of ordinary Americans. But those Americans need relief. They need the Congress and the president to do something about the economy, about jobs, and to do something quick. Philosophical debates about the size of government are irrelevant when the size of the income gap is growing. Sure, getting the ball rolling on creating jobs is key for President Obama to ensure his base turns out for him next year. But the issue is bigger than who secures the White House in 2012. Maybe this graph is enough to doom the president`s reelection hopes, but our bigger concern should be if it spells doom for the American Dream. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) HARRIS-PERRY: Tonight, the Congressional Black Caucus is holding a town hall meeting before its final jobs fair in the morning. It`s part of a series of such affairs across the country. In the past month, some members of the caucus have expressed anger and frustration about what they perceived to be President Obama`s lack of a specific racial agenda -- none more clearly than the host of tonight`s final affair, Democratic Congresswoman Maxine Waters of California. Now, Waters is right when she points out the disparate impact of unemployment in black communities, which now stands stubbornly at an unthinkable, unacceptable, unbelievable 16 percent. But while she`s right about the economic suffering felt in black communities, Waters` decision to lay the responsibility for that pain at the president`s feet is more puzzling. Puzzling for two reasons: First, because double digit unemployment in black communities is hardly a new problem. Representative Waters knows that this has been a tenacious issue for decades, but also puzzling for the obvious reason that Waters is a member of the Democratic Party -- the president, also a member of the party, is not facing a primary challenge in the upcoming election. And common wisdom tells us that fierce criticism from inside the party could harm the president`s reelection campaign and weaken his position in the coming months as he negotiates with Republican opposition. The damage is already apparent. A president without a base is on a shifting sands and this criticism has led many to ask whether President Obama has a problem with his base. After all, no group of voters supported the president with a higher proportion of their votes than African-Americans. Other than his immediate family, the black vote was the most reliable constituency for President Obama in 2008. In fact, 95 percent of all African-Americans who voted for a president in 2008 voted for Barack Obama. So, the Congressional Black Caucus is sometimes called the "Conscience of Congress," but they are able to take tough public stances on controversial issues. But let`s be clear, the CBC ability to be the national conscience is not so much the result of their personal courage, although many have it. It`s a side effect of their electoral security. Congressional Black Caucus seats are some of the safest seats in the House of Representatives. Many members of the CBC have held the office for decades and face few strong challengers. Their security is the result of powerful, racial solidarity operating in their districts. In fact, some CBC members have been accused of crime and fraud and still earned reelection by enthusiastic black constituencies. Indeed, African-American voters have showed them extraordinary loyalty, even when their incumbency seemed to deliver little in the way of economic benefits. The Congressional Black Caucus is in fact an abject lesson in the importance of another kind of representation, descriptive representation. Their ability to speak up and speak out is made possible by voters who have affirmed for decades the importance of having representatives who share their cultural and emotional ties to black communities. And on that score, President Obama has shown as much commitment to African-Americans as most members of that caucus. Remember when Hillary Clinton held a significant lead among black voters during the primary and media outlets regularly questioned if Obama was black enough to earn African-American electoral support? Remember when Reverend Jeremiah Wright dominated the news cycle and the question shifted to whether Obama was too black to garner white votes? And later, when President Obama`s opponents charged that he was a non-citizen, a Muslim, and a terrorist? But no matter what the media cycle said about him, President Obama always identifies as a black American. President Obama`s self-identification, his public recognition of the role of black people in American history, his embrace of black culture all are readily identifiable aspects of this sense of solidarity. In fact, today, the president went on "The Tom Joyner Radio Show." I know many of these viewers may not know who Joyner is. But in some ways, Joyner`s show has eclipsed the NCAAP, the Urban League, maybe even the black church as a primary mobilizing agent among African-Americans. If you want to talk to black folks, Joyner`s show is a good place to do it. And today, while talking with Joyner, the president discussed how he personally draws strength from the history of racial struggle in America. (BEGIN AUDIO CLIP) OBAMA: That famous Norman Rockwell painting right outside the Oval Office of Ruby Bridges walking to school. And we passed that every single day. You know, she was little 6-year-old girl surrounded by marshals, going into that schoolhouse all by herself. A friend of mine framed the original program from the March on Washington. So, they are reminders as we go through the day and we`re working hard here to make sure we`re putting people back to work and getting the economy going again, that, you know, we stand on the shoulders of a lot of people who made a lot of sacrifices. And it`s important to make sure we`re following through on those commitments, even if it`s slow and frustrating sometimes. (END AUDIO CLIP) HARRIS-PERRY: So, despite the claim of critics, President Obama embraces blackness, despite the media discourse, public opinion polls continue to show the vast majority of African-Americans embrace him in return. This does not mean that President Obama should be given a free pass. He has a responsibility to work aggressively to address the economic crisis in black communities. But the responsibility is not his alone. Members of the Congressional Black Caucus must also be held accountable for the conditions in their districts. Taking the right position is not enough for the president or the members. Creating tangible results is a relevant test. But even more important, all members of the U.S. Congress, no matter their race or party, have a responsibility to labor tirelessly to create jobs, reduce inequality, and create more just outcomes. The challenges facing black Americans are the challenges facing all Americans. Our struggle requires all of us, together, to do the work. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) HARRIS-PERRY: A quick programming note: "Day of Destruction: Decade of War," a new documentary exploring the decade following the attacks of September 11th, 2001, reported by our own Rachel Maddow and Richard Engel debuts this Thursday night at 9:00 p.m., right here on MSNBC. Rachel is very proud of it and so are we. So, please tune in. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) GOV. RICK PERRY (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It`s time to believe again in the potential of private enterprise, set free from the shackles of overbearing federal government. (END VIDEO CLIP) HARRIS-PERRY: That, of course, was Texas Governor Rick Perry, announcing his presidential candidacy earlier this month and pushing his particular brand of small government conservatism, the kind that wants to free us all from the shackles of federal government, shackles like, say, Social Security and Medicare. And Governor Perry makes it very clear in his new book, "Fed Up!" -- that he thinks programs like Social Security and Medicare are unconstitutional. He wrote it in capital letters, just like those super serious Internet commentators, so you know he means business. He wants the government to be so small that it doesn`t provide a social safety net, that it doesn`t support you when you grow old and retire and need health care. That`s big government and he wants to set us free from those shackles. He`s also been helping free Texans from governmental shackles by way of thousands of public school teachers who are losing their jobs this fall under Governor Perry and Texas Republican small government budget cutting - - you know, the shackles of a paycheck and productive work life that contributes to society. So, Rick Perry`s version of small government conservatism means government so small it`s not there to help you. It`s not there as a social safety net when you need it. It might not be there to make sure your child is getting a good education. Rick Perry is so steadfast in his belief in small government he seems to believe that government shouldn`t be there for you at all. It should just back off, because freedom, according to Rick Perry, is more important. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) PERRY: I work every day to try to make Washington, D.C. as inconsequential in your life as I can. (END VIDEO CLIP) HARRIS-PERRY: Rick Perry wants to make the government so small you don`t even notice it, you don`t even know it`s there. Government, what government? I don`t see any government. It`s so small, unless you`re a lady. In which case, Rick Perry wants to make government so big that it can control the pregnancy of any given woman in Texas. On nearly every other issue, Rick Perry wants government to be non-existent. He wants government to be nowhere near you as a citizen -- not even if you want it or need it. But on this one issue, the issue of abortion, he wants government to be right there with you, handing your doctor a script, whispering in your ear you should be ashamed of yourself. Rick Perry wants to get all up in your uterus and take a picture. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) PERRY: We have actively worked against the Roe vs. Wade decision. And I`m pleased to announce I am designating the sonogram bill an emergency item for the 87th legislative session. (END VIDEO CLIP) HARRIS-PERRY: Back in January, Governor Perry put the mandatory sonogram bill on an emergency list to help it along in the state legislature. And the bill requires women seeking abortions in Texas to get a sonogram at least 24 hours before an abortion. Actually, why don`t I let the author and one of the co-authors of the bill explain it to you. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That`s true. I`m a country boy. UNDIENTIFIED MALE: If there`s any medical professionals out there, they may get hung up on our terminology before they get through. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`ll get through it. We`ll get through it. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Explain to us what the sonogram bill does. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Basically what this bill does, it`s not so much about abortions or sonograms, but it`s about the woman being fully informed. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, it`s a procedure that will inform the lady, the girl, whoever. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What this bill does would require that the sonogram be presented to the woman, she have at least 24 hours to go home, think about it, pray about it, make sure she`s -- what she`s doing -- (END VIDEO CLIP) HARRIS-PERRY: That creepy piece of video there. The bill doesn`t just require a 24-hour waiting period between the mandatory sonogram and the procedure. It also requires doctors to describe the fetus to the woman, to make sure she can hear the heart beat if there is one. The Center for Reproductive Rights sued over Rick Perry`s new "I want to get up in your uterus" law saying the law intrudes on the practice of medicine, forces physicians to deliver ideological speech to patients and treats women as less than fully competent adults. That new law was set to take effect on Thursday. But today, a federal judge blocked enforcement of key parts of it as the lawsuit goes forward, ruling that requiring a doctor to show women pictures from a sonogram and sounds from a fetal heart beat violates the doctor`s First Amendment rights. If Rick Perry wants his Texas state government with a view of every uterus in Texas, he`s going to have to fight for it. Here to talk with me about this is Kelly Hart, director of public affairs at Planned Parenthood of north Texas. Kelly, thanks for joining me tonight. KELLY HART, PLANNED PARENTHOOD OF NORTH TEXAS: Thank you for inviting me. HARRIS-PERRY: This injunction, the ruling against the Texas sonogram law, it just came down today. Can you tell me how it might affect your operations there in Texas? HART: As you say, it came down late this afternoon and we haven`t had the opportunity to look at it in detail. I can say that we are pleased that the more onerous parts of the bill have been enjoined. But we are displeased -- we`re disappointed that women are still going to have to make an unnecessary trip to our health center in order to receive the care that they need. HARRIS-PERRY: Yes. Tell me a little bit about that. Help us to understand what does the sonogram law actually mean for women in practical terms who are seeking medical care in your facility? HART: In practical terms, it means they are going to be subject to unnecessary medical requirements to receive a safe, constitutional, legal procedure. Today, if a woman wants an abortion, she thinks about it, she makes her decision, she calls us for an appointment, she has to wait 24 hours from making that appointment to come to a health center to receive an abortion. As a result of this law, she`s now going to have to come to the health center to receive the sonogram and whatever information the government deems necessary, in addition to the medical work that we`ll do, and then she has to wait another 24 hours and make an unnecessary trip before she can have the procedure. When you consider that 60 percent of women in the state of Texas already have a child at home, that`s much more work for a woman who wants to have an abortion. She`s going to have to get off work two days in a row. She`s going to have to arrange full child care most likely two days in a row. If she`s coming from less than 100 miles away, she`s going to have to figure out where she`s going to stay the night, and that`s going to add to the cost of the procedure for her and to the logistics of it. It`s a way to demean and shame women -- (CROSSTALK) HARRIS-PERRY: No, I`m sorry. I didn`t mean to interrupt you there, because I appreciate where you were going on the question of demeaning and shaming. I wanted to ask you, what are the assumptions about women and about women seeking termination services that a re assumed by a law like this, assumed by these ladies or these girls, as we heard, needing to hear this kind of forced narrated sonogram. HART: Well, there`s the assumption that women don`t know what it means to be pregnant. There is an assumption that they haven`t thought about the decision perhaps to talk to other medical professionals before they called to make an appointment with us. There is also an assumption that all women who are seeking an abortion are alone, young, without children already, that they don`t know what it means to be pregnant. And that`s just demeaning, and it`s insulting to women to think that they haven`t thought about this and they don`t know what`s going on inside them until, you know, some legislator makes them be told whether they want to know all the little details or not. HARRIS-PERRY: Indeed. Kelly Hart, director of public affairs for Planned Parenthood of North Texas -- thank you so much for joining us tonight and keep up the good work in Texas. HART: Thank you so much, Melissa. HARRIS-PERRY: Remember the story about Mitt Romney quadrupling the size of his ocean-front mansion in California? Mr. Romney would like everyone to know the renovation isn`t nearly as millionaire-y as it sounds. Ed Schultz will have the details right after this show. And here, a very special edition of "Debunktion Junction," starring the imminently debunkable Dick Cheney. Sound effects are at the ready, next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) HARRIS-PERRY: Debunktion Junction, what`s my function? This is the Dick Cheney edition with special guest star tonight, my daughter, Parker, doing sounds. So, first up. Is this true or false? (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) DICK CHENEY, FORMER U.S. VICE PRESIDENT (via telephone): We had an Iraq Survey Group that went in and looked at everything, and they are the ones that did not find any stockpiles. Obviously, that had been falsely reported. On the other hand, what they did find was that Saddam had retained the capability to go back into production on relatively short notice. He had the technology and the people able to resume his program as soon as the sanctions were lifted and the inspectors disappeared from the scene. (END VIDEO CLIP) HARRIS-PERRY: The Iraq Survey Group found that Saddam Hussein had the capability and raw materials and the technology and the people to be able to resume his program as soon as sanctions were lifted and the inspectors disappeared? Is that true or false? False. The Iraq Survey Report actually found, quote, "Hussein`s ability to produce nuclear weapons had progressively decayed since 1991. Inspectors, he said, found no evidence of concerted efforts to restart the program. The findings were similar on biological and chemical weapons. While Hussein had long dreamed of developing an arsenal of biological agents, his stockpiles had been destroyed and research stopped years before the United States led the invasion of Iraq in March 2003. Hussein hoped someday to resume a chemicals weapons effort after U.N. sanctions ended, but had no stock and had not researched making weapons for a dozen years." In other words, he had no capability to start producing WMD on short notice at all. Next up, also about the Iraq war. Is this true or false? (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) CHENEY: I don`t think that it damaged our reputation around the world. I just don`t believe that. (END VIDEO CLIP) HARRIS-PERRY: That the Iraq war did not damage the reputation of the United States around the world, is that true or false? False! Back at the start of the millennium, we were looking pretty popular -- 83 percent favorability from Britain, 62 percent from France, 78 percent from Germany, 75 percent from Indonesia, 52 percent from Turkey. Five years later, two years after the start of that war, the numbers had tanked -- 55 percent of Britain had a favorable opinion of the U.S., 43 percent of France, 41 percent of Germany, 38 percent of Indonesia and dismal 23 percent of Turkey. By 2006, a BBC poll of more than 26,000 people in 25 different countries found three in four disapproved of U.S. dealings in Iraq. There was even a congressional report trying to find out why America`s reputation was in the gutter, why 83 percent of countries liked us back in 2002 but only 23 percent liked us in 2006. One of the reasons they found? Specific opposition to the Iraq war. The world`s opinion of us only begins to start to rise again with the election of President Obama. You can look it up. OK. Finally, true or false? In his new memoir, former Vice President Cheney reveals the answer to one of the big mysteries of the pro-September world. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS) ANN CURRY, NBC NEWS: Another sign of heightened security in this country, Vice President Dick Cheney spent the night at an undisclosed location as a precaution. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Cheney at his undisclosed secret location. UNIDENTIFIED FEMAEL: Vice President Cheney was taken last night to an undisclosed location. CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST: The Secret Service added more agents around the White House, and Vice President Cheney has been sent to a secure, undisclosed location. DAVID GREGORY, NBC NEWS: We should mention also that Vice President Dick Cheney, David, is said to be in an undisclosed location. (END VIDEO CLIPS) HARRIS-PERRY: So Dick Cheney discloses in his new book the location of that previously undisclosed location. Is that true or false? Yes. That one is true. We now know where Dick Cheney was the night after terrorists struck New York City and the Pentagon. And it was not a high-tech bunker hidden in the mountains somewhere. Vice President Cheney says he spent the night of September 11th at Camp David. Yes, not that exciting. As for all the other undisclosed locations where he stayed at various times throughout his vice presidency, he showed NBC`s Jamie Gangel around one of them. His Wyoming ranch. Another one, the vice president`s residence in Washington, D.C. Seriously, it would have been way better if the man had left that a mystery. So much more fun to imagine Vice President Cheney in a field, in a super secret lair, maybe something with a laser. Oh, well. That does it for us tonight. I`m Melissa Harris-Perry, sitting next to my daughter Parker, in for Rachel Maddow. We`ll see you tomorrow night. Now, it`s time for "THE ED SHOW." THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END