tv The Cycle MSNBC January 11, 2013 12:00pm-1:00pm PST
the president makes nice for the press. what happened when the cameras were off? i'm s.e. cupp, 100,000 american children potential victims of a horrible crime. today, they speak with one voice to the guys behind me. hello, surface i'm steve kornac kornacki. america's future or enemy? fracking is here to stay. does it matter whether we call him president obama or just obama? and i'm going to take you inside the oscars and tell you how to win your office pool this year. guess who's ever where you want to be? "the cycle." 5,924,000 since the u.s.-led invasion in to afghanistan
started and today presidents obama and karzai met to flesh out withdrawal plans. >> the reason we went to war in the first place is now within reach, ensuring that al qaeda can never again use afghanistan to launch attacks against our country. if we have a follow-on force of any sort passed 2014 it's got to be at the invitation of the afghan government and they have to feel comfortable with it. nowhere do we have any kind of security agreement with a country without immunity for our troops. >> this was their first face to face since the nato summit last spring in chicago. today was focused on defining the mission and hashing out who will have what authorities after 2014. talk of troop levels was not supposed to be on the table. 66,000 u.s. troops are currently on the ground in afghanistan. the rrg goal was to leave between 9,000 and 15,000 there in support and training roles but the obama white house is now saying that they're talking about even lower numbers about 3,000 or 4,000.
there's also talk of a zero option, bringing all u.s. troops home from afghanistan but some on the ground there say that could lead to an all-out civil war and taliban takeover. as for president karzai, he said he would like to see levels around 15,000 but today suggested numbers are less important than u.s. cooperation and supplying the them with tanks and drones. how much will it all cost? already the u.s. and allies pledged $16 billion in civilian aid and military ops on top of $642 billion the u.s. spent since 9/11 and 2,100 u.s. lives lost. let's start with kristen welker. what are you hearing came out of the meeting? >> reporter: a couple of headlines out of today's meeting. the withdrawal plans have been accelerated a bit. both announcing that u.s. troops handing over control to afghan forces this spring. that is a few months earlier than expected so that means that
u.s. troops will shift their role in afghanistan. they will be taking on a role of advising, assisting and training afghan forces. president obama making it very clear, though, u.s. troops will still be in harm's way if they continue to be in the country. the big question mark remanes, how many troops are in afghanistan after 2014? today, president obama not answering that question but saying that he is going to consult with the commanders and come up with a solution and announce that within what he called the coming months. his language was very interesting today. he continuously say if we have troops there after 2014. the white house, the president today signaling they might be leaning toward a more scaled back troop presence after 2014. as you mentioned, the white house earlier this week suggesting that the president might be open to having zero troops in the country. of course, that's coming under some criticism. people who say that will leave the country vulnerable. open to essentially
destabilizing, deinvolving in to a civil war. hamid karzai has privately said that he favors a more robust u.s. troop presence but today, of course, he said troops are less important than the u.s. cooperation. but of course, there is war fatigue in this country and also concerns about the cost of this. we just saw that big knock down drag out fight during the fiscal cliff negotiations. so president obama feels as though he is emboldened to some extent to try to withdraw troops because he thinks that he has basically the support of a lot of members of congress who don't necessarily think that this is the best way to spend u.s. dollars so a lot of question marks remaining but again the big headline out of this bilateral meeting between president obama and afghan president hamid karzai is it does appear that the draw down accelerating and waiting to hear, toure, what the troop levels look like after 2014. >> all right. thank you very much. >> reporter: thanks.
joining us now is former u.s. ambassador to morocco, mark ginsburg. how are you? >> good to be with you. >> hey, look. we know it's impossible to eradicate the tall been and we know that we have basically decimated al qaeda leadership in afghanistan. is it time to make the afghans grow up and take care of themselves or are the threats there still too great to draw down the forces too much? >> i think that you can answer your question four different ways because it's so confusing when's going on in afghanistan. the problem is ultimately that the afghani military is never going to be ready to take over for the withdrawal american forces to defend that country. the fact of the matter is that the taliban control a significant part of the country. even after the so-called mini surge that was orchestrated by general petraeus and general mcchrystal. the fact of the matter is that president karzai is very unpopular. and the fact of the matter is that geographically a central
government in kabul can never really control the vast majority of that country, including the areas most closer to pakistan. >> ambassador, i was struck by the last question that the president was asked at his joint press conference about afghan women. and in response, he said, in part, the afghan constitution protects the rights of afghan women and the u.s. strongly believes that afghanistan cannot succeed unless it gives opportunity to its women. what is the reality right now for women and girls in afghanistan? and what is the reality likely to be for women and girls after the u.s. troop presence is withdrawn? >> in the major cities in kabul, obviously, it's been a huge renaissance of women's rights and across the country and the u.s. military empowered young women building schools and institutions to promote women's rights and microfinance.
but when you get closer outside the countryside, away from the major cities, there have been attacks by the taliban on schools, against women, and so, this is where the fault line lies. the women who are furthest away from the major cities of the -- that are under the control of the central government most at risk of a reactionary 12th century talibanization that will come after these poor young l y ladies who want to study and basically take a role in their country, that's the real fear that all of us should have. >> i want to ask you, ambassador, about the draw down. we are talking about, you know, the goal has within the end of 2014. to basically get americans out of there, to bring them home. but that doesn't really mean a complete and total end of all u.s. military presence in and around ofg. i'm curious, what do you think the u.s. presence will look like in afghanistan after 2014? what will we be doing over there
and how long do you think that will last for? something that's indefinite in to the future? >> the president was somewhat vague about this because he essentially said that what will be important here is to provide -- the military equipment, the training and the u.s. to take on an advisory role and the framework of a nato force, not just u.s. forces but this is all under the ruberick of a nato force and basically saying that seizing territory on the ground is no longer going to be the u.s. mission. u.s. mission is more counterterrorism. that is, we're going to be using special forces to go after elements of the network we findly declared a terrorist organization and essentially prevent the taliban and the network from permitting al qaeda to re-establish camps along the border between pakistan and afghanistan. >> if i can -- is there any
sense in your head, can you put a number on how many you expect for americans to be over there after 2014? >> my own estimate based on what i saw the president say and what probably is on the grapevine around washington is anywhere between 5,000 to 7,000 at the most. and i suspect that even that number's whittled down because that depends on whether or not those troops are exposed or able to be more adequately protected by the afghani military forces because if they're not, the president's not going to have american forces sitting throughout as sitting ducks waiting for the taliban to attack them directly. >> ambassador, "the new york times" reported today that when considering troop levels, obama asked advisers to basically ask themselves one question. is such a force necessary to carry out the narrow counterterrorism objective and training mission the u.s. envisions for post-war afghanistan? when you look around the world at where we are and where we are
not, we are not in syria, we are going in to mali to counterterrorism and al qaeda there, is it safe to say that his plans for afghanistan are essentially the plans for his entire foreign policy, that we'll be focusing primarily now on narrow ct operations? >> no doubt that the president has wanted to get out of afghanistan, the american people want to get out of afghanistan. there's bipartisan support to pull the plug, to basically pivot towards asia. it's been the doctrine, the obama dk trin to essentially accomplish the goal of getting american troops off the ground in middle east and allies in asia to take a more cohesive role in the defense of american interests in the far east. an it's going to be hard to play that out. in yemen and mali, as you just mentioned, al qaeda's resurrected itself and the president may not get his way because there are these forces
that are beyond his control but there's no doubt that in the end the president wants to go in front of the american people and say, i fulfilled my campaign commitments and i by the way, i don't have generals mccain, general isamo or senator lieberman or mcchrystal nipping at my heels telling me how many wars to keep fighting on the ground because they don't matter and they're not going to call the shots. >> general graham, i like the sound of that, ambassador ginsberg. are we holding ourselves back in terms of how we can protect america staying in afghanistan, even with 3,000 or 5,000 troops when we have a finite amount of human beings to send to war? shouldn't we protect america better going to other places? >> part of the problem here is that the president realizes if
we pull the plug of everything we're doing in afghanistan it would be a betrayal of those very people in kabul and the other major cities who are essentially relying on america to at least maintain the semblance of support for what essentially we came to do in the first place. let's not forget about the fact there's a lot of people out in that country who are depending on the americans if not at least a symbolic measure of staying there and secondly remember, we are going to have counterterrorism operations in the area. those controversial drone strikes will continue. they're going to intradict the counterterrorism efforts on the part of the united states and remember, also, if we pull the plug on afghanistan at this point in time, i don't think in the end this is going to help the president in his efforts to draw down the pentagon budget and have the republican support that he needs. he needs at least to maintain a centrist bipartisan commitment to the effort in afghanistan in a way that doesn't leave his
most vocal opponents on the right basically say that the president abandoned afghanistan and left the afghani people to their own devices. he doesn't need that and as long as the troops on the ground do this to protect them adequately, i think the president can accomplish his goal. >> thank you, general. up next from afghanistan, to gun control and the president's cabinet, what we learned as "the cycle" rolls on. it's friday. [ male announcer ] where do you turn for legal matters? at legalzoom, we've created a better place to handle your legal needs. maybe you have questions about incorporating a business you'd like to start. or questions about protecting your family with a will or living trust. and you'd like to find the right attorney to help guide you along, answer any questions and offer advice. with an "a" rating from the better business bureau legalzoom helps you get personalized and affordable legal protection. in most states, a legal plan attorney is available with every personalized document to answer any questions. get started at legalzoom.com today. and now you're protected.
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building behind me. yes, congress took the week off. nevertheless, it's been a very busy one here in washington. president obama made two major cabinet announcements in chuck hagel and just yesterday jack lew and while not a cabinet position, the president nominated john brennan to head the cia. all three posts need to be confirmed when the senate gets back to work. and speaking of approval, the president will kick off his second term seven points more popular than the first-term average flying in the face of history, though it's still early. five of the seven u.s. presidents re-elected since world war ii have been less popular in the second terms. so can the president use early momentum to push the policy agenda? let's spin. guys, i have been saying for a while now i think that his second term he's going the see a lot more pushback from the friends on the left than his foes on the right. for one, he's been re-elected. i think the gop has generally resigned themselves to the fact that they're going to be four
more years to obama and they have a little less incentive to hang him for every misstep he has but democrats are incentives to watch him more carefully. one, payment, you know, a number of groups, unions for one, invested heavily in barack obama's re-election and i'm sure they want some roi now. two, accountability on the promises the president made in the first term, promises on gay marriage, promises on immigration, maybe promises on guns now. and third, this idea of a liberal legacy. think i that a number of folks on the left were willing to forego or ignore some of the issues in his first term that now they're looking at. the idea of drone strikes, shadow wars, extra judicial killing. i think all of that is going to come to the front a little bit more. and just this week alone we saw
some pushback from the left on obama's lack of diversity in his cabinet appointments. krystal, you delivered a rant and scolded the president and rangel had this to say yesterday. >> it's embarrassing as hell. 'we have been through this with mitt romney and we were very hard on mitt romney with his women binders and a variety of things and i think there's no excuse when it's a second term. >> so, you know, i think we are going to see more of that. will that hurt him in trying to get his agenda forward? i don't know. time will tell. >> all right. well, when we talk about a liberal legacy, moving forward on gun control, that would be hugely popular on the left an i'm not discouraged at this point. i was the days after newtown, even then i said, we are not going to be able to get anything done. the house is controlled by republicans and i am growing more and more hopeful.
the white house is going to put out a gun control package sooner than later. all right? they're still going to work while we have this momentum in the air. we are going to see an attempt at an assault weapons ban and they know it's politically difficult and ammunition limiting and more important than the assault weapons ban. we are going to see attempt to punish the straw purchasers and they'll add to it. i'm very hopeful that we could change america for the better with more responsible common sense gun control that would sort of clench this sort of liberal legacy you are referring to. >> yeah, look, what surprising me today is you had phil gingrey saying a few things and he said he seemed okay with or at least closing the gun show loophole and limiting high capacity magazines. chuck grassley, the republican from iowa in the senate, saying
basically the same thing. i didn't -- grassley one doesn't surprise me because the problem on the house side and among the conservatives in the house. so to have somebody in the house say that, that surprised me a little bit and made me think, you know, maybe there is a certain appetite here or a recognition of house republicans that they have to get something through. they have to show that they passed a legislation in response to this. again, you think, a couple conservative members, one conservative member saying that now doesn't necessarily mean to get something really sweeping and komcomprehensive coming out this. it can get watered down. but yes -- >> you think the republicans want a change on this? >> it's suggesting to me that they may be more open to it. look, if the house republicans say no, it doesn't matter what's in this proposal. it's not happening. >> right. >> my point is, there's a crack today. there was a crack today and interesting. >> it is interesting, representative gingrey comments highs and lows and bringing up the thoughts and feelings on
rape. accommodate on, guys. but i don't have so much a prediction as of what's going to happen in this term as i do some advice and it's sort of a high risk, high reward strategy. i am pessimistic that anything really meaningful can pass while we have divided government. you know, i think we still have the basic political calculus where the guys are on the right are looking out for their backs in a primary rather than wanting to come to the center and compromise and appeal to a general election audience so i think as the president is looking at the proposals considering should i propose something in the center that maybe i can get through with the republican congress or go big and ask for what i really want, i think he should go big, put pressure on republicans, expose their sort of rigid ideology and use that as a tool to win back the house in 2014. i know at this point it seems like because of the way the deck is stacked against democrats, in the house i think they have to
win popular vote by seven points to take back control of the house and seems like a long shot and i think if republicans actually do hold the country hostage over the debt ceiling, refuse to budge and do anything on comprehensive immigration, stand in the way of gun control, i think those things could add up to democrats taking control of the house and then the president would be able to get all of these objectives accomplished. >> well, we'll see. okay. straight ahead, aside from being a friday, it's an important day in the fight to protect our kids. our resident mom in chief krystal explains next. [ lisa ] my name's lisa, and chantix helped me quit. i honestly loved smoking, and i honestly didn't think i would ever quit. [ male announcer ] along with support, chantix is proven to help people quit smoking. it reduces the urge to smoke. it put me at ease that you could smoke on the first week. [ male announcer ] some people had changes in behavior, thinking or mood, hostility, agitation, depressed mood and suicidal thoughts or actions while taking or after stopping chantix. if you notice any of these
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>> the obama administration has declared january nationally slavery and human trafficking prevention month and especially today nonprofits calling on the white house to renew legislation providing support to some 20 million people considered modern-day slaves including a staggering 100,000 at-risk american children. american children. congress allowed protective legislation to expire in 2011 following years of bipartisan support. but as we know, bipartisan is a dirty word in washington these days even when children's lives are at rick. our next guest is leading a national campaign to get congress to work on the vitally important legislation. back in the guest spot today is andrea powell, executive director and founder of fair girls. let's start with the trafficking victims protection act. what is in it? why's it so vital and hold up here? >> it passed in 2000 and defines
the crime of human trafficking includes that any child under the age of 18 is considered a victim if they're induced in to commercial sex which is typically prostitution. >> classified as a victim rather than -- >> rather than a criminal. and so that's critically important in that legislation as well providing prosituations for services for foreign and domestic victims and ensures that anyone who's a victim of trafficking in this country gets access to services and resources if they're identified. it also allows for funding for training for law enforcement as well as support for, for example, for uncompanied children trafficked in to this country and bedrock for nonprofits to be able to do our work. without this legislation, hundreds and thousands of victims are going to be left without resources if we don't get it reauthorized. >> who's opposed to it? >> the hold-up i think in part because it was an election season, it's very difficult but also i think that there's
pushback because of the funding also an ongoing conversation about whether or not, you know, american citizens versus foreign nationals deserve the same amount of support and internal issues but everyone loses if this isn't reauthorized and no one, american child or a man from bangladesh deserves to be enslaved. >> human sex trafficking, americans are sure, it happens. in america, i'm sure there's people saying i've never seen this and heard about this. for the cynics, how many people in america? where's it happening in america? how are they held in slavery or sex trafficking in america? >> exactly. you have seen the movie "taken, right? that girl kidnapped right off the streets but most victims lured by offers of false promises, hope, false love and how someone is pulled in to this. there's an estimated 15,000
foreign nationals brought in to the united states every year who become victims of trafficking, both sex trafficking and labor exploitation and then american citizens, she just said, 100,000 children at risk to commercial sexual exploitation. nobody knows the exact numbers but my agency helped over 500 young girls between 11 and 21 last year. and many of those were american citizens. in to the question, many don't realize there are services available to them and also the shame and the stigma. when you see words like child prost toout, that stigmatized those who are victims and that makes it much more harder to get help and without this legislation being reauthorized agencies like mine have less resources to provide the services. they're going to take someone from being a victim to being a survivor. >> yeah, andrea, to toure's point, i think awareness is part of the problem here. every time we have you on, i'm struck that this is happening in
our country. and i think most people like toure said don't believe it. they kabt believe it. in addition to your services, in addition to federal funding, what kinds of educational investment should we be making to raise awareness of this in schools and communities? >> absolutely. every child in america and every school should be educated that human trafficking exists and modern-day slavery. those words human trafficking they don't look like they mean anything but we are talking about slavery and children need to know that. as well as their parents so that they can protect their child. >> yeah, you know, andrea, we have had you on a few times. i guess i kind of wonder has there been tangible progress in terms of what you are trying to do. you talk about the legislation and for all of your efforts, are you moving the ball down the field here? >> i think we are. we are in the eye of the storm. 30, 40 years ago no one knew what domestic violence was and why didn't you just leave? well now we have that same conversation about modern-day
slavery and we are definitely making progress. not only are we seeing more and more people understand the issue and we are getting more and more girls referred to us by every day citizens, social workers, teachers trained in the schools. that's real progress we are seeing and i know my partner agencies are seeing it, as well. but we have a really long way to go before that question of why didn't she just leave stops and instead we're asking how could i help her leave? >> thank you so much for your ervets and we should say the organization is fair girls, it's fairgirlin fairgirls.org and the gorgeous jewelry is made by some of the girls that you help and that is also available online. so andrea powell, thank you so much for joining us. >> thank you. up next, we are digging in to the debate over fracking with "esquire" magazine. are we poisoning or the planet or unearthing the energy potential? passions run hot on both sides of this one. [ male announcer ] rocky had no idea why dawn was gone for so long...
if you sign this lease, we get the rights to drill on your land. >> there's no reason the town shouldn't have a state of the art high school. >> what kind of money are you talking about? >> you could be a millionaire. >> this town, this life, it's dying. you all see it coming and you just don't get out of the way. >> we're not fighting for land, steve. we are fighting for people. >> save the local economy but pollute the planet from the matt damon film "promise land" setting up the argument in the fight over fracking. a propose getting natural gas drilling in to earth untouched for millions of cracking, cracking the shale rock with water, sand and chemicals and releasing the natural gas. those in favor call it salvation and be the key to energy independence and create well-paying jobs along the way. sounds great. until you hear stories of contaminated water and methane in the air and fears we don't
know the worst of what this relatively new process could do. from the new old rush to the ecological concerns of the rights of the property owners and covered by next guess whose article appears in latest issue of "esquire" magazine, writer at large for the esteemed magazine called "esquire." welcome, fom. >> thanks. glad to be here. >> your article is called "thank you for fracking." when we hear about new forms of energy like natural gas, yeah, but there's an underbelly that you say and yet even though it's controversial, it cannot go away you say, right? like we are stuck with this. >> i don't know if we're stuck with it. at least in the current form. but it's an invention of the last decade and a discovery of the last two or three decades of the shale gas is viable and it's a resource we can't ignore because it makes us at least for some short period of time energy independent and i think most people see it as a two to three-decade loop to play out
and where we'll collect the gas and it will lead us to the next energy source and there's energy to be harvested, money to be made, people are going to after it and i think what we owe it ourselves to do is examine how it's gone on in the past ten years at least since the advent about six years ago and how it will go on. >> local communities, people could get sick. >> people have. and the early efforts were poor and ungoverned and poorly regulated. these later efforts are starting to change and become a more viable -- the business is willing to embrace some regulation in order to move forward with the collection of this gas. >> well, yeah. i mean, i can see the two decides. north dakota and what it meant for the economy there and amazing. talking about how terribly the country is doing and north dakota boomtown out there and like you mentioned, people getting sick. weird seismic activity in different areas. occurs to me the epa doesn't have the power to prosecute in
the event of pollution and a halliburton loophole in place from the place. the first to do this. still in place. shouldn't we at least empower the epa to look in to this stuff and prosecute if necessary if there's pollution taking place? >> asking me, i don't think there's any doubt that the only real future for fracking on either side, going to survive and i think it is, going to survive without a lot of damage, the epa and the state deps in new york, west virginia, ohio and especially in pennsylvania are the key to it. it's -- we have got to get in and embrace a regulatory structure that works, to make that opportunity cost for oil and gas a little higher. think veal to sort of pay a little protect it and protect themselves. they don't want to have spills. spills cost a lot of money. i looked at a great deal of evidence about the kind of cleanups and the cost of them but the number that everybody talks about is how much gas is in the marcellus.
that's a number that gas industry is willing to lean in to and make some changes and i was working with cabot oil. i don't know that they're a pair dime of virtue in everything they're doing but recapturing the flow back and recycle and contain spills and i was convinced that the effort could get better but they're going to need guidance and push from the epa and i hope that's something president obama has on iz mind. >> it is your impression that the company you're working with is sort of representative of the industry at large? >> well, that's like -- it's like a -- it's like a lot of cats. i mean, there's always one that's the friendliest and the nicest and most capable mouse catcher, i suppose, but also ones i'm not so sure about. price of gas is craters and companies with large plants have been faced with, oh, we won't have the kind of capital we had and i think that you have people who embrace recycling as a proprietary effort.
if we can discover one chemical to get the sediment out, we can sell the chemical and others that don't care. >> right. and the opposition to fracking, does it break down along economic lines? because i was mentioning to you, i used to liver in east liverpool, ohio, struggled economically for decades now and people excited about fracking and hearing about opposition seems like the strongest opposition is in upstate new york, maybe wealthier areas. have you found that distinction? >> i have. i had a history teacher in high school saying we're 50 countries. you don't sense it crossing a border but you're going to see it as an adult. i really felt it here. northeastern pennsylvania is an energy corridor. there are pipelines and electric lines from nuclear plants, coal mines, there are working coal mines, there are windmill farms. these things are there and everyone who's there and i talked to several people who lived in that kind of property
is an energy producer. thinks of themselves that way. upstate new york, not referring to ohio for a second, caskills, that's a park. doesn't devalue it. it revalues it but they fight from a different place. you see? also, pennsylvania is kind of anti-regulation state whereas new york is a state that embraces regulation so you're talking about a five-mile difference. you said you were close to the border of ohio and new york. >> ohio and pennsylvania, right? >> more similar. >> yeah. >> but you watched and i grew up in rochester, new york, a city i love and just there. i watched the jobs emigrate away. i mean within the country where the tax structures are better. my friend's fathers worked at kodak and left so part of the impetus is to see what the job possibilities are and people up there desperate for them. >> right. >> but of course, there's work in fracking while it's happening, drilling, frac process itself and there's less
after the wells are set but that's where we see the local jobs come in and be there for a generation at least. probably longer. >> tom, the burning of cheap natural gas that we get from fracking has already reduced carbon emissions in electricity production by estimated 50%. i'm wondering, why aren't the sort of no carbonistas really backing this? yes, yes insisting on better regulations and making sure that there is less pollution, but also, really getting behind this kind of energy production? >> i think there are two reasons. burning natural gas produces two things essentially. water which is great. we love it. carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas. not in great measure but continued to burn gas, producing greenhouse gas right in to the environment. the second is that in pennsylvania, because really wells have never been regulated in pennsylvania. you can build a water well there
with a paper clip if you want to. there are methane leaks through almost every well in pennsylvania because they have layers and layers of rock really producing biogenic methane. it's a thing that needs to be contained. >> all right. tom, thank you very much. >> thank you. up next, you think people get fired up over this? you have no idea the twitter fury on our own steve kornacki, a very nice young man for not referring to the president as the president. i'm with sandra who just got these great glasses. you paid...wow. hmmm. let's see if walmart can help you find the same look for less. okay. see? walmart has all these leading eyewear brands and styles. rockstar! really? yeah. oh, wow! oh, black frame looks good on you. yeah? you can get a complete pair starting at just -- $38. really?! and did you know that our glasses come with a free 12-month replacement guarantee? i didn't know walmart had all this. the price is impressive, the quality is too! come to walmart and see for yourself.
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the obama mandate. >> the fact that the president -- >> obama's been a great friend. >> president obama. >> hear president obama. >> what i think the president should do -- >> the president's second term agenda -- >> president obama gets re-elected -- >> looking at this from the obama standpoint -- >> liked obama. >> obama. >> obama's just waiting to do that. >> the president still obama. >> president obama -- >> did obama was really in pretty good shape. >> good for obama. >> emotion out of the president. >> the president campaigned on tax hikes for the rich and he won. >> you say president, we say obama. this is a conversation i wanted to have after a lot, and i do mean a lot, of folks tweeted me about the way i referred to the president here on the show last week. i called him obama. it was during a debate about the fiscal cliff and we called him
president obama, in the intro, and the president in the lead to the segment, i started short handing using obama, and yes, even one point this guy because, well, i was in the middle of making a point. i think i said something like this guy's afraid of these deadlines. twitter exploded and here's example of what i heard. says steve, toure, krystal it is president obama, you dumb bleeps. learn respect. you don't speak for dems. >> nice. >> that is a small taste of the torrent of tweets i got last week. not used to getting that much sort of outcry after, you know, talking on this show. after a similar outcry about not using president before obama in a news story, "the new york times" peter baker also explained to irate tweeters, quote, that's the style on second reference for every president. bush, clinton, et cetera. i thought we could talk about it here. >> you have been wanting to do
this. >> i have because this is, you know, last week was sort of the apex of it. but this is something i've been noticing for a while. i'll come on our show and other shows, and you know, we'll just be talking politics and i'll say, well, you know, clinton's doing this and obama's doing that and harry reid and whatever. and i'll get these, you know, i'll get people on twitter occasionally saying it should be president obama. always refer to him as president. show some respect. you're not being respectful enough and i'd say you know what? when bush was president, i called him bush. sometimes i called him bubba or w or 43. i call obama obama. if i'm in a formal setting, if i was interviewing him, if i was at a press conference, anything like that, of course i would refer to him as mr. president. you know, when i write an article for salon i follow the same convention. president obama and then obama, obama, obama. it's just -- i think in a more -- looser, more free
wheeling and casual setting i use short hand for all major elected officials whether it's obama, bush, you know, whatever it is. sometimes i will call hillary clinton hillary. when they have a distinct first name like that. i did start thinking about it and i think i understand and appreciate where a lot of the objections are got were coming from. a lot of them were from african-american tweeters and i sensed obviously there's a lot of pride there in obama, in president obama, as the first african-american president, and i think of my grandparents and their generation, catholics in 1960 when john f. kennedy was elected president. the first catholic to be elected president after the whole al smith experience in 1928. after being told for years, for decades, for generations a catholic could never be president. you had the kennedy plate in every catholic house. it was always president kennedy.
it meant so much, so much pride, so much personal prize, family prize was invested in president kennedy. i think it's a very similar instinct that, you know, my grandparents experienced that you're seeing now. so i do have an appreciation and understanding. i just hope people who are upset at me over this will have been appreciation and understanding that this is how i talk about elected officials. i talk about bush as bush -- >> not disrespectful. >> and i think added to all of that is the sense that this president has been disrespected in the way that he has been treated by many so there's an added sensitivity there and you mentioned hillary which i also call her at times hillary. i have an added sensitivity around women being called by their proper title. so i understand where that comes from. >> we're touching on something really deep here. there are a lot of people who are feeling a deep love for the were president because he's black, because of the historic nature, who feel very defensive as well because of the very racist, very negatively racist
attacks on him we see from rank and file people all over the place. they're tremendously sensitive and maybe there's something silly in the word policing that some of us are talking about, but there's a very deep level to this of a protectionism of this person who means so much and we're so used to getting so much hatred thrown at him. >> you know, i am understanding and appreciative of the sensitivities around this, but i think i have a little less tolerance here. you know, president bush, "w," was absolutely derided, called some of the worst names in the book and some of the very people who word police me on twitter all the time about calling the president president obama have called me the most vial names. i also just think word policing is probably the lowest form of oratorical argument. if you don't have anything substantive to say about the argument and you're focusing on the name, i just think you're out of options.
>> all right. well, that's a discussion i have been waiting to have for a week. i'm glad we had it. speaking of titles, president obama is floweding a new motto for washington. take a look. >> there's an unofficial saying over at treasury, no peacocks, no jerks, no whiners. that would be a good saying for all of washington. no peacocks, no jerks, no whiners. >> so no peacocks, no jerks, no whiners. the cycle's facebook friend ron said that slogan should be placed on the president's shield. we want to know who you think is the biggest whiner in washington. like us on facebook and join the conversation. straight ahead, the golden globes are this weekend and oscar nods are out, so toure takes us through the year in movies. i'm sure it will be sublime. s tr of olay total effects plus the perfecting color of a bb cream equal? introducing the newest beauty trend. total effects cc cream c for color. c for correction.
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toure is a genius. toure is a genius. toure is a genius. >> steve, you're way too kind. i'm not a genius. >> i sounded like i meant that, too. >> you sure did. but i know how you can win your oufs office oscar pool. >> just ask me. >> it's not hard to predict. you just have to get into character. first, think old. the largest voting blak is actors and the majority of them are senior citizens. when you go to oscar screenings you see lots of air tanks. don't think what did my friends think was great? think what would my parents or grandparents vote for if they were in the mo offies years ago.
that with i will put you in the mindset of the voters that chose the artist or two years ago chose the king's speech about british history over the social network. second, think like an actor. people who want to see craft like the hurt locker or "slumdog millionaire." third, think like you're in a high school with tons of money where everyone knows everyone and everyone is self absorbed and the social hierarchy is sharply defined. people in hollywood vote for people they love, people they worked with and still like, people they want to see succeed. there's an oscar campaign behind each big film with stories planted in the media, key players attending oscar parties and comporting themselves politically and never saying anything too aggressive or submissive. who has put all those factors together? supporting actress will go to anne hathaway. talented woman who was great in