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tv   The Ed Show  MSNBC  January 7, 2013 5:00pm-6:00pm PST

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let me finish with this. the big story tonight is the president's nomination of chuck hagel. i think the fair thing to do is to give this nomination a solid chance. let's see if he's the kind of person to give this enormous responsibility. personally, i think the attacks on him have been pushed hard by the right wing. the right wing doesn't like his approach to military action. they're raring to go. he's restrained, skeptical of what war can achieve, like anwar sadat, yitzhak rabin. the g.i.s have to do the actual fighting. so when you watch the hearings, think of the americans out there on post tonight all alone in a place far from home. give some thought to the possibility they'd like to have a pentagon chief who knows just what that's like. and that's "hardball for now," thanks for being with us.
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the ed show with ed schultz starts right now. >> good evening and welcome to new york. the republicans are wining about the president's choice for defense secretary. tonight a reminder of who won the election and why this is the perfect guy. let's get to work. >> chuck hagel is the leader that our troops deserve. he is an american patriot. >> president obama nominates chuck hagel as defense secretary, and conservatives are fuming. >> positions that he has taken over the years will be, i think very much a matter of discussion. >> this is an in-your-face nomination by the president. >> hagel is nominated, it is very difficult to imagine circumstance in which i could support his confirmation. >> admiral joe sestak and joe wolf are here on the road to nomination and what this could mean for defense cuts. republicans are coming out for the government shutdown. >> you think that's a good idea? >> yes, i do. >> you really do? >> yes.
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>> john nichols on their backwards reasoning. mcdonnell doesn't mind another hostage situation for the deficit, at the expense of the most vulnerable. david cay johnston lays out the gop fabricated spending problem ahead. the opposition on gun control reaches heated extremes. >> i don't think the federal government has any business having a list of law abiding citizens who choose to exercise their right to keep and bear arms. >> but for vice president joe biden, an assault weapons ban is just the beginning. >> good to have you with us tonight, folks. thanks for watching. today president obama nominated a uniquely qualified candidate to be secretary of defense. former senator chuck hagel, republican out of nebraska, puts country over party, and is a true independent, an independent thinker who will speak his mind. maybe that's why the republicans are crying foul. president obama nominated senator hagel despite early attempts by hagel critics to sideline the nomination. the president praised hagel for his impressive credentials. >> he is an american patriot.
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he enlisted in the army and volunteered for vietnam. as a young private and then a sergeant, he served with honor alongside his own brother. when chuck was hit by shrapnel, his brother saved him. when his brother was injured by a mine, chuck risked his life to pull him to safety. >> and there is much more. hagel is a decorated combat veteran and would be the first enlisted man to serve as secretary of defense, as well as the first vietnam veteran to take the post. hagel served on the senate foreign relations committee, and also on the intelligence committee in the senate. he led the veterans administration. he headed the uso. he studied under the gi bill, and then helped pass it after 9/11. and he is a successful businessman who knows the bottom line. now listen to what republican senator lindsey graham had to say about his former lunch partner. >> chuck hagel, if confirmed to be secretary of defense would be the most antagonistic secretary of defense toward the state of
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israel in our nation's history. he has long severed his ties with the republican party. this is an in-your-face nomination by the president to all of white house are supportive of israel. i don't know what his management experience is regarding the pentagon, little if any. so i think it's an incredibly controversial choice. and it looks like the second term of barack obama is going to be an in-your-face term. >> well, senator hagel is a straight talker from the midwest. he'll give you an unvarnished opinion, and very outspoken. but he has stated his unequivocal total support for israel, saying critics have completely distorted his record. graham predicted other republicans would have a hard time with hagel's nomination. and it just makes you wonder what is really behind all this. senator graham complained that hagel had cut ties with the republican party. but obviously president obama isn't under any requirement to nominate anybody from any party, especially the republicans in the first place. maybe republicans don't like the fact that hagel won't be so eager to get us into another
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confrontation overseas. here is more from the president. >> he understands that sending young americans to fight and bleed in the dirt and mud, that's something we only do when it's absolutely necessary. my frame of reference he has said is geared towards the guy at the bottom who is doing the fighting and the dying. >> president obama needs a person like hagel who dared to question the war in iraq. president obama also needs someone who can make the necessary defense cuts. he needs a harder -- this is certainly apart from what senator mccain has been saying, because when he left the senate, he was all praise. but now he is saying he has serious concerns about positions senator hagel has taken on a range of critical national security issues in recent years, which we will fully consider in the course of his confirmation process. now the funny thing about this, about senator mccain is when he was preparing to run for
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president 2006, he was quoted as saying he'd be honored to have chuck with me in any capacity. he would make a great secretary of state. something must have happened between 2006 and today to change john mccain's mind. maybe it was hagel's opinion on sarah palin. hagel said "i think it's a stretch to say that she's got the experience to be president of the united states". he actually was one of the first republicans to come out and question that selection. certainly no republican should be questioning hagel's qualifications, unless you want to go back and look like a bunch of hypocrites. they weren't complaining about dick cheney's qualifications as defense secretary under bush 41, even though cheney had managed to get five deferments from serving in the vietnam war. chuck hagel served in the vietnam war in the same unit with his brother tom, as the president pointed out. how can republicans question
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hagel's qualifications? today senator hagel accepted president obama's nomination and immediately focused on the troops. >> these are people who give so much to this nation every day. with such dignity and selflessness. this is particularly important at a time as we complete our mission in afghanistan and support the troops and military families who have sacrificed so much over more than a decade of war. >> when does a man's resume become outstanding? two committees in congress dealing with the military, foreign policy and also on the intel committee. also, a combat veteran. vietnam vets ought to love the fact that someone from their era is now going to be in this position. i think he'll get confirmed because the standard is dick cheney, who took less than a week to get confirmed after john tower didn't cut it under bush 41. this should be a slam-dunk. in fact, you could easily make the argument that this is one of
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the best selections ever when it comes to qualifications for secretary of defense. get your cell phones out. i want to know what you think. tonight's question are, the republicans opposing chuck hagel for partisan political reasons? text a for yes. text b for now to 622639. you can always go to our blog at we'll bring you results later on in the show. joining me now is joe sestak, former three-star admiral of the navy and former congressman from pennsylvania. great to have you with us tonight. >> good to be with you, ed. >> how qualified is senator hagel to be the defense secretary? >> absolutely qualified, both as a man and as a statesman. look, here is an individual, ed, like you just mentioned who served our country selflessly in vietnam. but he also understood throughout his entire career, whether it was vietnam or his position in iraq that it's about america before it is about being a partisan. >> why it is an issue then? >> you know, ed, i think it's because they're not used to somebody who puts america over party. i mean this is a man who thinks
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through what the cost will be if our nation goes to war. i'll never forget being with us, just the two of us, and ambassador crocker sitting in front of prime minister maliki in iraq. four of us for a meeting that went over hour and 15 minutes. and candidly told the prime minister, you know you have to understand because you are unable to get the sunnis and shias to come together and put your authority to work that the cost of this war is too great for america. our national security fabric can't sacrifice because of this. >> you saw firsthand he is a tell it like it is kind of guy. >> absolutely. >> can he take the defense department and the pentagon through the transitions financially that we're going to have to see if we're going get our financial house in order? >> yes, he can. the first reason is i'll never forget when admiral border, the first admiral enlisted man to ever become chief of operations, what a shot in the arm that was for the troops out there. and second, here you have an
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individual who comes in and was a warrior in a war that really had divided our nation. and yet he did his duty. that alone is going to then be melded with a keen understanding of the new types of warfare. he can take the experiences of vietnam to understand what the cost of war is and at times has to be done. but the benefits have to be more than the costs. but second, he took from that lessons, the lessons of vietnam that warfare changes over time. he understands the new domain of warfare. that is it's not just about how many shippious have or how many planes. he understands that this whole area from his foreign intelligence advisory work have taken it and turned spite into knowledge to be able to do warfare with more efficiency at less cost. he is kind of steward of our military we need to bring us a more strong military even at less cost by the new domain of warfare, not by holding on the a cold war military. >> all right. admiral joe sestak, we appreciate your time tonight.
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>> it's great to be with you on this issue. let's turn to executive editor of how big a political fight is this going to be? >> it's going to be huge, because you've got a bunch of republicans who are down on their luck who don't like the sight of a popular, and yes, he is a popular president, a president who is exerting the normal authority of the newly elected president to pick his own cabinet. you have to remember who the people are who are the most vocal against chuck hagel. they were once his friends. john mccain, lindsey graham. they were the original band of mavericks. not only did they say nice things when he was leaving that. >> went out on the campaign trail together. if they think he is a turncoat, what do they think joe lieberman is? it's a joke. they lost their minds over susan rice. they're doing it again. >> here is more from senator lindsey graham. i want to display this. >> i'll have a hard time voting for anybody to be secretary of defense who believes that the surge was a foreign policy blunder. i'll have a hard time supporting
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anybody for secretary of defense who believes that the iranians are misunderstood, we should just negotiate with them, not sanction them. >> they're really focusing in on some of the things that he has said in the past, including a guy slur over a decade ago. do these things matter in confirmation? >> first of all, lindsey graham is treated with a lot of respect as some kind of national security expert. but it is quite possible to be pro-israeli and also not for a rush to war with iran. it is not incompatible. in people in israel think it's quite legitimate to not want to go to war with iran. why that has become a it will news test for people like lindsey graham is not quite clear. chuck hagel, for being opposed to the surge, he voted for the war in iraq. so, you know, there is a lot of exaggeration going on here after all these years, after the invasion of iraq, after 9/11, the idea that there is new wants in our foreign policy should be embraced there is no litmus test. this is not the day after 9/11.
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>> i mean, at the end of the day, no democrats are going to contest this, the way the republicans are. in the era of obstruction, the democrats may have a question or two. but they're all going to be on board. >> they're going to hang together, yes. absolutely. >> richard wolffe, great to have you with us tonight. thank you so much. remember to answer tonight's question there at the bottom of the screen, share your thoughts with us on twitter at edshow and on facebook. we always want to know what you think. coming up, tax breaks for the rich and famous. we found some loopholes that is going to make your blood boil a little bit. let's get into the devil in the detail. find out why some republicans are opposing some obvious reforms, next. stay with us. nope. am i on this one? no, no, no, no, no. i am on this one. [ male announcer ] for every 2 pounds you lose through diet and exercise alli can help you lose one more by blocking some of the fat you eat. simple. effective. belt-friendly.
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republicans are misleading the public on the real impact of a government shutdown. john nichols on the gop misinformation campaign coming up. and later, after one of the least productive sessions of congress, democrats are taking action to fix the filibuster. senator jeff merkley joins me to
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discuss his plan for reform. don't forget you can listen to my radio show on sirius xm radio monday through friday, noon to 3:00 p.m. share your thoughts with us on facebook and on twitter using the hash tag edshow. we're copping right back.
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welcome back to "the ed show." thanks for staying with us. let's have this big discussion about tax reform. nancy pelosi says that congress is done negotiating on tax rates. but not tax revenue. and there is a difference. republicans have said they would support tax reform until yesterday. >> we've resolved the tax issue now. it's over. it's behind us. and now it's time to pivot to
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the single biggest threat to our country. the tax issue is finished, over, completed. >> really? it's over, all done. really? the american people do not agree. the latest poll shows 54% want to cap tax deductions at $50,000 a year that would be a heck of a debate. 36% do not. 10%, well, they don't know. so let's clear up a few things with a few examples. companies get a tax break for doing what? shipping american jobs overseas. democrats tried to turn this around, tried to kill this initiative, and of course republicans refused there is another idea, kill or reduce oil subsidies. the biggest oil companies share $20 billion tax breaks every year. and closing this loophole seems pretty obvious, doesn't it? we give a tax break to the wealthiest yacht owners in america. yacht owners get a special deduction every year. and only the wealthiest 3% own rigs like that one.
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if the republicans were really serious about the budget, there is an even quicker way to free up more than a trillion dollars. we could tax capital gains at the same rates as personal income. we can stop letting companies defer taxes on offshore profits. and we could refuse to give tax cuts to the wealthiest traders on worthless assets. those three tax reforms alone would give us more than $1.6 trillion over ten years. now, of course the republicans are going to say holy smokes, we can't do that. it's going to kill the economy. but republican leadership has taken all of these tax reforms off the table. now, if you follow the money, it's easy to see why. the biggest companies in america got $223 billion in tax breaks. in turn, those companies donated $216 million to congressional campaigns over the last four elections. you be the judge. let's turn tonight to david cay johnston, pulitzer prize winning
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journalist and author of "the fine print." david cay, great to have you with us tonight as always. >> good to be here. >> there is a lot of different places we could go. but what do you think congress can get done on this? and let's take -- and we'll have this later on in the show too. let's just say they do the filibuster rule, and we can actually get something done in the senate. what would be the most logical thing for congress to move on? >> i think congress should immediately stop all of these unlimited deferrals for executives. if you're an executive, you can make $100 million and have the company invest it for you, but pay no taxes on it at the time you earn it, while all the rest of us, we have to pay taxes on our income as we earn it. and we should stop this carried interest business on wall street, where the rate now will be 20% instead of the rate it should be, which is 39.6. those two things alone would put tremendous fairness into the system, ed. >> what would it do to the economy? what is your prediction? would it slow the economy?
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would it hurt jobs? >> i don't think paying your taxes hurts the economy. it induces fairness. there will be all sorts of claims that oh, wall street will collapse if we make executives on wall street making tens of millions of dollars a year pay their taxes as they earn their money. but i don't think it would have any significant effect on anybody except the speed at which their wealth grows. >> so what we're seeing here is republicans in the next 60 days making entitlements the focal point of what is wrong with the economy in our country instead of labeling exactly what loopholes that they would go after. and that is something romney talked about. and to follow up, the republicans have yet to identify any loopholes, correct? >> this is class warfare waged by the pete peterson crowd against most americans. the things they call entitlements are two or three things you paid for with special taxes -- social security and medicare. you pay for those you. pay a tax for them. they shouldn't be taken away from you, and they shouldn't be
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limited. there may be some adjustments we need to make, particularly with medicare. the third one is medicaid, which is health care for the poor. and it's astonishing. the republicans think we can't afford health care for the poor. portugal affords health care for the poor. turkey affords health care for the poor. cuba does. but the republicans say no, we can't afford that. we need to stop calling these entitlements and we need to recognize that these are paid for benefits, at least in the case of social security and medicare. >> what do you think a quarter cent -- i guess you could say sales tax, transaction tax, activity tax on wall street would do? >> this is called the tobin tax. and i think a tax on transactions could be very beneficial. you'll be told by wall street they'll just move all the trading out of the country. of course. that would lose a lot of legal protections here in the u.s. another thing to do, however, would be to put a very high tax on these instant trades in and out. with all this borrowed money and speculation, which some studies are showing is having a serious
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negative effect on ordinary investors like you and me. >> what we have set up here is a system of lobbyists who maneuver these lawmakers to a point where these -- to a position where these loopholes are never going to get changed. i don't mean to sound negative on it, but this is the heavy lift. so the first start is for the democrats to tell the republicans as nancy pelosi has done, we're not done with revenue. i mean, that's where you have to start. and then you have to start throwing out examples. or is there a better way to do it? >> no, i think you have to go after these loopholes. you have to keep talking about, gee, republicans, if the deficit is the big boogie man, the big problem out there, then we have to close this deficit. and why are you going after the poor instead of people who own yachts, independent oil and gas companies, places that have huge amounts of wealth and don't need subsidies? >> david cay johnston, great to have you on "the ed show." thank you so much. coming up, as we count down to another debt ceiling deadline, more republicans come out in support of a government
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shutdown. the gop's misinformation campaign continues. john nichols joins me with that discussion. and later, the white house has a tough road ahead on gun control. now the administration is getting pushed back from some democrats. i'll talk with val demmings, former chief of police in orlando, florida. stay tuned. officemax can help you drive supply costs... down... ...and down. just use your maxperks card and get a case of x-9 paper for only 1-cent after maxperks rewards. find thousands of big deals now... officemax.
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welcome back to "the ed show." thanks for watching tonight. gop lawmakers continue to publicly root for a debt
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ceiling-triggered government shutdown, basically with no regard for the potentially devastating consequences. with the debt ceiling deadline likely coming in mid- to late february, their misinformation campaign continues. >> i think we have to be prepared to go so far as to shut the government down if we don't get some serious policies to stop the out of control spending to tackle the debt and to get economic growth going again. >> i was here during the government shutdown in 1995. it was a divided government. we had the democrat president of the united states and a republican congress. i believe that government shutdown actually gave us the impetus as we went forward to push to work some real serious compromises. >> so you think that's a good idea? >> yes, i do. >> you really do? >> i do. i think it's about time. >> fearmongering. let's be absolutely clear on this. not raising the debt court of appealing is not the same as a partial government shutdown. raising the debt ceiling isn't about future spending, it's
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about past spending approved by congress. default would cause an immediate financial collapse with long-term national and global consequences. it's estimated the 2011 standoff increased the nation's borrowing cost by $1.3 billion in that year alone. it amazing me that the people using the debt ceiling as leverage to reduce the deficit don't seem to mind playing another billion dollar game of chicken. it looks like some republicans might already be backing off this fight overall. but in "the wall street journal" in an interview, john boehner, house speaker, called the debt bill "one point of leverage." but also acknowledged it's not the ultimate leverage. so where are they going with all of this? i'm going to john nichols tonight, washington correspondent for the nation magazine. john, good to have you with us. it's a game of chicken they are playing on sunday's "face if nation." senate minority leader mitch mcconnell dodged a series of
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questions about his stance on the debt ceiling and leverage. let's take a look. >> what i'm willing to say is if the president won't lead us here in the direction of reducing this massive spending addiction that we have, then we have to use whatever leverage we have. and there are some examples of leverage coming along. the debt ceiling is one of them, that hopefully would get the president engaged, even though he seems unwilling to do it on his own. >> john, what about that? this is leverage just because they can. your thoughts. >> well, they're playing with fire. let's be clear about that. and the president and democrats should call them out on it quickly. because the fact of the matter is that the crisis that occurred in 2011 as regards the reaction of those who rate debt as well as the markets began before we actually hit the trouble point. the interesting thing is that things got so bad, congress and
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the president finally did have to sort it out. but this game, again, will cause huge, huge problems for working americans. the debt ceiling fight is very, very different than the fiscal cliff fight. the fiscal cliff fight was something where we could anticipate a lot of problems coming if we went over it. the debt ceiling fight is very, very different. it will -- if it goes to the crisis the republicans talk about creating, initiate a broad meltdown as regards our economy. and it runs the risk of putting people out of work. >> so many comparisons being made to what happened in the '90s under newt gingrich. the world economy is a lot different right now. i know your "nation" magazine has done a lot of reporting on this. who would be affected the most? who would survive and who wouldn't? >> well, small businesses would be devastated by this because you'd see a lobbing up of capital at very, very rapid rate. and anybody who relies on a line of credit could end up in really
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big trouble -- farmers, working folks, anybody trying to get a mortgage. you would see a very, very quick impact. and the problem is also the instability of a situation like this, especially at a point when our economy is just beginning to get rolling, starting to really show some signs of moving in the right direct. >> sure. >> some key manufacturing hiring. this would be a terrible thing to do to it, much worse again than going over the fiscal cliff. >> isn't president obama's leverage right now knowledge, that the people grasp exactly the severity of this? i mean first of all, for every family in america, from what i can see, food prices would go through the roof. you think they're high right now, you start messing around with that commodities market, you start messing around with what is going on in the heartland as far as food production and credit, you would see an instant -- i think an instant -- >> it's possible. >> -- increase in food prices for the country where. is president's leverage as you see it?
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>> i think the president's leverage is slightly different. i think his leverage is the fact that people clearly identify who is playing with fire here. the president is saying look, we have to do this, we have to follow the law. our constitution says that we must respect our debts and pay them. they must be taken care of. and so the president needs to just keep talking about that. as long as the republicans are identified as the people creating this crisis. >> sure. >> then the president has a lot of leverage with them. so it really is a case of the bully pulpit. >> well, true. and what about republicans risking the support of wall street businesses? this would have a major impact on what would transpire on wall street. and of course we know how connected the republicans are to that. why would they go down that road? >> well, because they have created almost a fanaticism within their -- not merely within their ranks in congress, but within their base, their core voters. right wing talk radio goes on about this all the time. this is the flip side, ed, of
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the theory that government can't do anything right, that government doesn't matter, that government gets in the way, that government is the problem. that mantra is repeated again and again and again. >> sure. >> so that an awfully lot of their base believes that shutting down the government or going -- not raising the debt ceiling, something like that, won't have any bad effect because government is so useless. >> so here is where we are where i see it. >> they've been led into a fantasy. >> republicans are saying you give us entitlements or we're going to do this. that's really what it measures down to right now where we are early in this conversation, less than 60 days away. john nichols, great to have you with us tonight. thank you so much. there is a lot more coming up in the next half hour of "the ed show." stay with us. voices rise up against having a gun control discussion. >> that's way -- way in extreme of what i think is necessary or even should be talked about. >> but vice president joe biden's task force wants more than the assault weapons ban. we've got the details on the latest measures ahead.
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dick cheney's right hand man is back in the mix. david addington pushed for legal powers for the bush administration, but now has a surprising new mission. and filibuster reform may be in reach. >> senators merkley, udall, hearken and whitehouse have made the case for change. they have made the compelling case for change. >> senator jeff merkley gives us the latest, next. right in the old bucket. good toss! see that's much better! that was good. you had your shoulder pointed, you kept your eyes on your target. let's do it again -- watch me. just like that one... [ male announcer ] the durability of the volkswagen passat. pass down something he will be grateful for. that's the power of german engineering. ♪ back to you. and his new boss told him two things -- cook what you love, and save your money.
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♪ reach one customer at a time? ♪ or help doctors turn billions of bytes of shared information... ♪ into a fifth anniversary of remission? ♪ whatever your business challenge, dell has the technology and services to help you solve it. and we are back. attitudes may be changing, but the white house has a heavy lift on its hand when it comes to gun control. a task force led by vice president joe biden is looking to reinstate the assault weapons ban. and as the "washington post" reports, broader gun control measures are also on the table. regulations that would require universal background checks for firearm buyers, track the movement and sale of weapons through a national database,
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strengthen mental health checks and stiffen penalties for carrying guns near schools or giving them to minors. those proposals still under consideration are getting considerable pushback from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle. one freshman democrat, senator heidi hidecamp of north dakota is calling them extreme. >> what i hear from the administration and if the "washington post" is to be believed, that is way in extreme of what i believe is necessary or should even be talked about. and it's not going to pass. >> senate massachusetts minority leader mitch mcconnell agrees with heitkamp. he suggests a stall on any kind of legislative action because in his mind, gun control is not a top priority. >> the biggest problem we have at the moment is spending and debt. that's going to dominate the congress between now and the end of march. >> senator chris murphy of connecticut, who has spent a lot of time with the families of newtown, connecticut, in the past month called out mcconnell's timetable. >> i don't think we should wait three months to get this done.
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i think we should get it done now. and i frankly think if we did that, it would save lives. >> congressman rick nolan of minnesota made the case for responsible gunowners curbing assault weapons is just plain common sense. >> i don't need a assault weapon to shoot a duck. and i think they ought to be banned. >> where do we go with gun control? let's bring in val demings, former chief of police of orlando, florida. thanks for being with us, i appreciate your time. >> thank you, ed. it's great to be here. >> we see the urban and rural divide when we hear from senators from the middle of the country and lawmakers from the middle of the country and what we hear on the east and west coast. senator height camp calls it extreme. >> i come to you as a 27-year law enforcement officer, but not only that, i come as a mother of three sons.
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i believe what is extreme is 20 precious, innocent very beautiful children being gunned down and killed in an elementary school. >> and that, of course, has changed the attitudes of a lot of people in this country. but as heitkamp says, they don't have the votes, and she doesn't think it would pass. so what do attitudes mean if you can't get the votes? >> well, you know, i know that mayors and police chiefs and sheriffs all over this country deal with gun violence every day. but what we saw in newtown a couple of weeks ago really should be a game changer. and ed, if we don't do something now, and you talk about extreme, if we don't do something now, i don't think we will ever have an opportunity for change. a ban on assault weapons, i think that's a no-brainer. a ban on high capacity magazines, having a national database where you can check criminal histories as well as do
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mental health checks, those things are not extreme. when we look at what has happened in the united states of america, i think those things are a step, a major step in the right direction. >> are lawmakers missing a leadership opportunity here? i mean should lawmakers in rural states be having conversations with constituents about responsible gun ownership? >> i really think they should. i did a lot of work as the police chief with mayors against illegal guns, and we were always talking about keeping guns out of the hands of convicted felons and out of the hands of people who were mentally ill. we need to get serious about mental health in this country, make mental health counseling available. but this is a discussion that certainly rural areas, lawmakers from rural areas should participate in. but this should be a national discussion. and when we talk about the priorities in this country, i
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don't think anything could be more of a priority after 20 innocent, precious children, and then six people at a school trying to protect them have lost their lives. >> but then you have a leader in the senate on the republican side, mitch mcconnell saying that gun control is not his top priority. do you believe it is a top priority of the obama administration? i mean keeping out in front of the public obviously is going to be a big part of this happening. and of course ramping up pressure on lawmakers to make the change. we have also seen the national rifle association in recent week take some very aggressive steps to protect their backyard, so to speak, the way they're trying -- giving clinics to arm -- to teach teachers in some states such as ohio and utah, how to use firearms in this discussion of firearms in schools. so how does the obama administration in your opinion make sure that this is a top priority and that the mitch mcconnells of the world can be politically overrun? >> i do believe this is a leadership moment. i think it's a leadership moment for our president.
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i'm pleased that the steps that he has taken with the biden group. i think they are headed in the right direction. i believe they have a good panel of experts, which includes law enforcement officers from around the country. but it is a leadership moment. and it's really, ed, not a republican issue, it's not a democratic issue, it is an american issue. people die in this country every day of gun violence. but like i said, what happened in newtown really should be if we want to exercise common sense, a game changer. >> can we get a bipartisan solution on gun control? >> i believe that constituents, people all over this country when you look at polling, the majority of people in this country feel that we should have stricter gun regulation. we would hope that the leadership comes out of washington, d.c. but if not, i think constituents need to speak up and make their thoughts known, mothers and fathers and sons and daughters all over this country.
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we all have a role to play. the nra, whoerve has an interest in, and we all should, has a role to play. but the answer is not more guns. the answer is not more guns. >> okay. val demings, i appreciate your time on the "ed show" tonight. thank you so much for your expertise. he was the bush administration's head cheerleader on torture. and now david addington has landed himself a cushy now job at jim demint's heritage foundation. i'll explain next. [ ryon ] eating shrimp at red lobster
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clinton's great sense of humor. she is tops in my book, next president, exclamation point. coming up, senate democrats owe to it the president to take action on filibuster reform to get something done in this chamber. senator jeff merkley on his plan to fix the filibuster, pretty common sense, coming up next. stay with us. ink retailer in america. now get $6 back in staples rewards for every ink cartridge you recycle when you spend $50 on hp ink. staples. that was easy.
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he was so extreme, he was often called cheney's cheney. as council and chief of staff to the former president, david addington was the bush administration's chief advocate for torture. addington believed that wartime presidents should be granted extraordinary powers and was widely considered to be the driving force behind the bush administration's embrace of enhanced interrogation techniques and electronic surveillance. back in 2006, david iglesias of the "washington post" described
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aing on the as the bush administration's ideological enforcer. most mornings during the first term, he would join the staff meeting in the white house counsel's office and take potshots at anyone he regarded as insufficiently committed to the president's agenda. it was very surprising if anyone took a position more conservative than david. and this was a very conservative office, recalls one former colleague. he was the hardest of the hard-core. it turns out this hardest of the hard-core right wingers just landed a cushy new job at jim demint's heritage foundation. it's what "new york times" columnist paul krug man calls wingnut welfare, getting a better-paying job in the private sector after you screwed up in the public sector. addington will head the conservative think tank's legal department. here is the real kicker. addington, the guy who wrote the book on pushing the limits of executive power will be the heritage foundation's top watchdog on government
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overreach. addington told "the wall street journal" he will focus on overregulation by the federal government, and believes the obama administration had taken some questionable steps such as recess appointments of executive branch officials opposed by senate republicans. my friends, you can't make this stuff up. what a reversal. tonight in our survey i asked you are republicans opposing chuck hagel for partisan political reasons? 99% of you said yes. 1% of you said no. senate democrats are sick of republicans abusing the filibuster at the expense of the american people. oregon senator jeff merkley has a plan for filibuster reform. he joins us next. she keeps you guessing.
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call... to switch, and you could save hundreds. ♪ born to make mistakes liberty mutual insurance. responsibility. what's your policy? the senate is not working as it should. that's why in the last congress i made plain that democrats would do something to fix those issues. the beginning of a new congress is customarily a time that the senate addresses changes to its rules. >> by abusing the filibuster, senate republicans have been shamelessly holding america's progress hostage. the 112th congress was the least productive since the 1940, something to be proud of, right? with the senate republicans using the filibuster over 380 times. now senators want action. senator udall, harkin and merkley have introduced a resolution to overhaul the
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filibuster's rules. the cornerstone is the talking filibuster. it would require senators to speak publicly on the senate floor about why they are blocking legislation. currently senators can filibuster by simply telling their leader they object to the bill. the proposal would also speed up executive and judicial nominations. it would eliminate filibusters to establish a conference committee with the house. and on motions to proceed. and make no mistake. these are not major changes, and the filibuster would still be around and it would be very useful to the minority. the new congress has a lot on their plate to get done with the budget tax reform and entitlement talk. and without reform, it's going to be back to business as usual with the filibuster-abusing republicans. i think senate democrats owe to it the president of the united states to change the filibuster rules and to move the country forward. majority leader harry reid hinted he might be on board last week. >> democratic senators merkley, udall, harkin and whitehouse
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made the majority's case for change. i commend these passionate leaders. they have made compelling arguments for reform. >> for more, let's turn to senator jeff merkley of oregon who introduced the filibuster reform. senator, good to have you with us tonight. is this the ticket to ending obstruction? >> well, it won't end it, ed, but it certainly takes us a step in the right direction. we need to end the use of a filibuster getting to a bill and we need to end the use getting to a conference committee. those are outrageous applications. but moreover, the secret silent filibuster on a bill itself, the one that you never see when you just see a quorum call, that is what has been killing important legislation, be it the president's jobs bill, be it the pay equity, the dream act, the disclose act, you name it, all out of sight. it has to end. people say they want more debate, they need to come to the floor of the senate and debate, make their case before their colleagues and the american people. >> is harry reid going to move on this? do you have the votes to make this happen? >> harry reid have the votes for the package that he puts
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together when he asks for votes. i hope it has all four of these elements. i want to make sure it has the talking filibuster, because that is the heart of this issue. yes, we need to do a motion to proceed and yes we need to do conference and reduce the hours on judge nominations. but we really need to have the case made that if you vote for more debate, you actually debate. folks can see what you're doing and say you're a hero or you're a bum. >> well, we have seen a session of congress where there just hasn't been any debate, where there is a lot of senators that obviously haven't even been to the floor to make the case in a strong pitch to advocate for anything because it's been filibustered. i mean, it's all about getting reelected at this point and not really working for a living. that's the perception that is out there. so this talking filibuster. do you think that they could turn right around and make this applicable where it would actually give us the things that
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you said have been filibustered in the past, that these bills would move forward and we would make some progress? >> i think on a number of these issues, they're very popular with the american people. so if they actually see the obstruction in process, they have a chance to weigh in with their home state senator and say what are you doing? why are you voting against cloture? this is oylutrageous. right now their you can't see them and their citizens don't know what they're up to. >> what is wrong with their plan as opposed to the one you have? >> you know, it completely misses the point of taking on the secret silent filibuster. and the reason why is this is the issue that the republicans are loving. they love the fact they can kill the bills without taking public responsibility. now they talk about transparency. they talk about accountability. when it comes down to it, they don't like accountability or transparency. and so the deal that they negotiated doesn't include the talking filibuster. and that's just a deal that is --