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Special Report

Friday Lightning Round: ObamaCare, Ferguson protests

This is a rush transcript from "Special Report," August 15, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RON POLLACK, FAMILIES USA:  One of the hall marks of our insurance system prior to the Affordable Care Act was we had insurance that didn't insure. 

You had lots of holes in coverage.  So the Affordable Care Act does mandate certain kinds of coverages. 

SUSAN PRICE, SMALL BUSINESS OWNER:  I'm married to someone of the same sex, but yet I'm being made now to purchase birth control coverage and I'm being made to purchase pregnancy coverage.  I'm 50. My partner is 57. I don't think we need those types of coverages.  I'm quite sure we don't need birth control. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHANNON BREAM, ANCHOR:  We are back with our panel.  We're just giggling a little bit, I might add.  ObamaCare back in the news.  Bret has done a series of pieces and had this special that raises a lot of the questions that are still out there, a lot of objections that are still out there.  But we also have now, Steve, this week another e-mail mystery. 

STEVE HAYES, SENIOR WRITER, THE WEEKLY STANDARD: Right.  I mean, any time you see an e-mail from a senior government official involved in something that is imploding, like ObamaCare was at the time that the e-mail was sent, it has to raise questions.  It appears that the e-mail was not ultimately permanently deleted because we have seen it now.  But you have to ask the question, why was Marilyn Tavenner so eager not to have this information shared more broadly?  It's reminiscent certainly of the IRS and Lois Lerner and her instructions to her colleagues not to share e-mails and not to send things, sensitive information on e-mail. 

BREAM:  And I was remiss not to let folks know, by the way, that is was what won the Friday Lightning Round is this discussion of ongoing issues with ObamaCare.  Nina? 

NINA EASTON, COLUMNIST, FORTUNE MAGAZINE: Well, I actually don't think this e-mail thing has legs.  The e-mail is there.  I think what does have legs are these issues, the one size fits all that comes out of ObamaCare, the unintended consequences.  You have got Obama crisscrossing the country, previous to his vacation, calling for a raising the minimum wage at the same time that a report comes out that shows that the so-called Cadillac tax, which will tax companies that have too generous of insurance plans, that that will actually cost workers about $100 a year because companies are making them pick up more of their health care tab.  So those are those bottom line issues that I think is what comes back to haunt ObamaCare. 

BREAM:  Charles? 

KRAUTHAMMER:  I pay for lactation services that I don't think I really need. 

(LAUGHTER)

BREAM:  I'm going to go on record saying you probably don't. 

Alright, I want to play a little bit of sound from our second topic tonight, which is what is going on in Ferguson. And this is the highway patrol captain Ron Johnson who was put in charge of overseeing operations of what's going on there, and here is a bit of what he had to say earlier today. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RON JOHNSON:  I agree that this is not a black and white issue because we all have sons and daughters, and we do need to communicate better, because you saw what communication did yesterday.  So we do need to communicate better.  And we're going to do that. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BREAM:  He has gotten a lot of praise for how he has handled the situation since he has taken over in just the last 24 to 48 hours. But today, the police taking a lot of criticism for releasing video that appears to show, they say that it is Michael Brown.  It's alleged to be him taking part in shoplifting or theft at a store, and his family is outraged by that, Charles. 

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: Well, the family lawyer, spokesman said that that is the young man in the video, and he appears to be engaged in a robbery.  He wasn't armed. 
He was strong-arming.  And the family saying this is character assassination.  I beg to differ.  People are wondering, what actually happened?  How did the cop and the kid encounter each other?  It was not a random encounter.  It was apparently answering a call about a robbery because the encounter happened 15 minutes later.  So this is very important information.  If we are going to get to the bottom of what happened, the context and history of this is extremely important. 

BREAM:  And it seems like there are now maybe conflicting statements from the police chief that this was related to the robbery, it wasn't related to the robbery.  They had some kind of dustup that was separate from that. But Nina, clearly this is far from settled. 

EASTON:  They created more confusion today.  Was this police responding to this robbery?  Was this police officer just dealing with this guy that was blocking traffic?  It's unclear what his motivation was. And I thought we saw more bungling by the local police today in terms of how to handle this.  I think Ron Johnson does deserve praise.  I think he has come in it's a breath of fresh air.  But the local law enforcement mostly has not done a good job of communicating how they have treated not the rioters but the peaceful protesters. 

BREAM:  The Attorney General, Eric Holder, reached out to the family, confirmed, you know, he and the president, there is a parallel federal investigation that will go on as well, Steve. 

HAYES: Well, I don't think that will be reassuring to many people.  It certainly isn't reassuring to me.  I agree Captain Ron Johnson has been a calming presence.  He has been helpful.  But the local police have got to get their stories together.  We need to have full transparency, not partial transparency.  You can't use the information in a way that's misleading in one way or another.  It was inevitable that this video was going to come out.  It's relevant.  It may be highly relevant.  So you had to put it out. But you can't allow people to infer from that that this was the cause. There is just too many conflicting stories. 

BREAM:  OK, now very briskly to get through all of your winners and loser, Steve? 

HAYES:  I can be very brisk.  The winner is the Alaska Republican Party Joe Miller candidate for Senate there yesterday said that he would back whoever the eventual nominee is.  There was some question as to whether he would.  He will.  I think that helps them in November.  The loser are the Yazidis. 
President Obama took a victory lap yesterday and we learned about another slaughter today. 

EASTON:  Winner is Hyundai Motors little car Kia because that was the choice of the Pope as he's started his, launched his tour of Korea.  They got a big publicity boost out of that.  The loser is former Virginia Governor Robert McDonnell.  He and his wife, of course, are under corruption charges.  It's been quite a soap opera, and they tried for an acquittal today and they were turned down. 

BREAM:  Super quick.

KRAUTHAMMER:  I'll be just happy stuff, only a winner.  Vernon Jordan reappears in public view as the uber Democratic insider hosting the hug-a-thon between the great two dynasties Obama and Clinton. 

BREAM:  All right, we've got to leave it right there.  Stay tuned, though. Sometimes if things get too heavy, all it takes is cranking up your favorite song to turn things around.  That's next.

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