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tv   Melissa Harris- Perry  MSNBC  January 26, 2013 7:00am-9:00am PST

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this morning my question -- can president obama end perpetual war? and plus the real fight over reproductive rights. it is about access. and we will go below the line to hear from america's homeless
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children, but first, these boots were made for combat. good morning, i'm melissa harris-perry. this week marked the second of two seismic shifts in the united states military in just over two years. the first was december of 2010 when president obama signed the repeal of the "don't ask, don't tell" law and ending a policy that mandated shame and secrecy as requirements for service. the second happened on thursday when defense secretary leon panetta joined the joint chiefs of staff chairman martin dempsey and made this announcement. >> we must open up service opportunities for women as fully as possible. and therefore today, general dempsey and i are pleased to
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announce that we are eliminating the direct ground combat exclusion rule for women. and we are moving forward with a plan to eliminate all unnecessary gender-based barriers to service. >> just like that, 200,000 military combat jobs that were once off limits for women are potentially open to any woman who meets the qualifications. more importantly, the official policy for women in the u.s. military has now caught up with what has long been the reality for women in the u.s. military. women already make up 15% of the overall force and 17% of the officers in the military, but the pentagon's latest decision update updates a 1994 policy change that prohibited women from serving in ground combat units. only, excluding women from combat units never excluded them from the consequences of conflict. women have been working alongside combat units in
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support roles that put them right in the middle of conflicts where the new front line is wherever the next ied or mortar attack or suicide bomb happens to b and while the u.s. military's old policy discriminated against the women as the casualties can attest, the attackers did not. 283,000 women have been deployed to iraq and afghanistan since 2001, and since then, more than 800 women have been wounded and more than 130 killed in those conflicts. so the pentagon's announcement was not only welcomed, but long overdue, and more importantly, it also shatters what has been a nearly impenetrable brass ceiling. the military is most likely to be populated be by officers with combat experience and that meant before now, they were most likely populated by men, and now the contributions of women in combat will be both recognize and rewarded with equal access to the leadership opportunities in the armed forces, but even as
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we recognize the historic weight of this moment for the women in the military, we also cannot ignore the resonance for our larger democracy. because whatever your opinion of the u.s. military, there is no denying that offering up one's life in service to the country has always been the very embodiment of american citizenship. and in particular for the country's most marginalized people, military service has historically been the basis for the strongest claim to their full u.s. citizenship rights. take for example the civil war when men fled behind so-called enemy lines to the north, they inserted their humanity with the demand they be allowed to join the union army and fight against the confederacy. and black soldiers in world war i came home to find themselves the targets of lynchings and beatings. why? because they were wearing their uniforms in public. but it was the very fact of their service that w.e.b. du
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bois believed bound them to the citizenship. but with those citizens at home, w.e.b. du bois wrote, this is the country to which we soldiers of democracy return and this is the fatherland for which we fought, but it is our fatherland. it was right for us to fight. the faults of our country are our faults. make way for democracy, and we saved it in france, and by the great jehovah, we will save nit the united states of america or know the reason why. but it wasn't until world war ii that du bois's imperative would become fully realized, because afric african-american like the tuskegee airmen and the first african-american nurses who j n joined the black nurses corps served with distinction in the war and the sense that their mi military sacrifice could not coexist with the second-class citizenship is the spark that helped ignite the civil rights movement. and history provides again and
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again examples of people who found citizenship through military service. european immigrants who became american through their inclusion in the american armed services. young people who went to vietnam and came home to earn the right to the vote for those ages 18-2 1 18-21. and members of the lgbt community reminding nause the right to love and live openly cannot be divorced from the right to fight and die in the same way. today, america's women who've won the right to serve equally as they wage war abroad and fight for equality at home. at the table with me is colonel jack jacobs, and also, a former marine officer who is now the executive director and co-founder of servicewomen action network, and katrina, who is the editor and publisher of
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the magazine, and chloe angyal and sorry, but they had you originally in there as bob herbert. and you are clearly not bob herbert. colonel, i believe that when we look back at this first term, i believe that the legacy will be that he has made huge cultural shifts in the military. how are they being received at this moment? >> surprisingly well. indeed, you could be excused for thinking that the lifting of the ban was just a gratuitous decision on the part of the administration before panetta left, and so he wanted to leave some legacy, but that is not -- you would be wrong. this decision actually came from the chiefs of staffs of all of the services who, themselves, have spent plenty of time in combat and presided over nation at war for more than a decade and came to this decision completely and independently by
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themselves. that's why panetta was sitting there with the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, because the initiative to lift this ban e deca decades' old came from the chief. >> and when we look at the gallup polling of women in combat, there is overwhelming support, and in a country where we are divided on so many issues, there was overwhelming support with 74% of adults, and 73% of men and 76% of women, and look at that, even democrats and republicans. 83% for democrats and 70% republican. will this alter who the women are in the armed forces or is this true that this is who they are and now this is recognition for it? >> this decision was absolutely, excu excuse me, absolutely made as a result of the sacrifices made for hundreds of thousands of women in iraq and afghanistan over the last ten years, and the
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pentagon didn't have to do studies like it did considering the "don't ask, don't tell," because the proof was left on the battlefield in afghanistan. i agree with colonel jacobs, because it is extraordinary for the secretary taking it to the joint chiefs saying that we don't need more proof. it was as a result of the lawsuit that nudged the d.o.d. this this direction. the d.o.d. learned from court cases to overturn "don't ask, don't tell" and it didn't want to pay out millions of dollars in legal fees and have the courts decide this. the d.o.d. likes to determine these sort of national historic types of decisions on its own. >> with its own policy. >> and that image is so stunning with panetta and the head of the joint chiefs, because you think of the history and just in 1974, the equal rights amendment was basically closed down, shut down for several reason, but one was the spector of women serving in
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combat. so nothing happens without demands in the country, and your lawsuit and other protests, but this shows that all of that talk about how the military can't survive in a cohesive way if gays join, if african-americans join, and now women. you don't hear many voices. you saw that poll, and even the voices that you would predict, so dangerous, because the military does become a proxy for how gender is sexuality is viewed in the country. now would i like to see different ways of defining our citizenship? yes. because i think that you say this is a triumphf for common sense and equality, and women's voices need to be heard at the highest levels of every institution in our society, but you can still say, i wish that the military and militarism didn't dominate the society in the ways it does. >> right. and in is the challenge for the progressives on the one hand who have done nothing be but calling for drawing down of troops in general, but on the other wanting to talk about how
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critical this institution has been. so i wanted to ask you about this, chloe, because we were going back to look at the statements made and newt gingrich in 1995 said that females have biological problems staying in a ditch for 30 days, because they get infections. but in 2013 of this year, marco rubio said that women are already in combat and we should put the best soldiers forward regardless of their gender. just that juxtaposition of women getting infections in the ditch, and here we go the republican party. >> i take all of my advice from newt gingrich. >> and all of the bodily functions. >> and marital, too. >> yes. >> look, i'm thrilled that servicewomen will have equal career opportunities to advance in the armed force, because the military is just that it is
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another employer, and we should never ever condone employment discrimination in america by any way, but by the same tone my excitement is tempered by the b abhorrent violence against women in the military. and we are talking about a high chance of being assaulted by one of your own than being killed by the enemy. >> that is where we are going to go after the break, this question of how there is a different combat for military women, and the fight against sexual assault when we return.
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the new expansion of combat roles was not the only message to come out of washington about women in the military this week. just one day before the defense department's announcement, a hearing on capitol hill exposed a horrifying irony. even as we increase the opportunities for women to protect us from our enemies, our military has failed to protect women from being sexually assaulted while they serve. on wednesday, the house armed services committee held a hearing to review what the "washington post" has called quote, the potentially the worst sex scandal in the u.s. military since 1996 at the lackland air force base in texas. to date, 59 sexual assault survivors have been identified at lackland and 32 basic training instructors have been charged with crimes related to sexual misconduct, and the hearing revealed a culture of intimidation and fear and of retaliation that keeps the survivors from coming forward and showed that stories like
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this testimony from one of the survivors are all too common. >> and the rape and the three different other predators who assaulted me. you are stuck. if you want a career, you don't want to say anything, because you get retaliated against, you get thrown out, you get beat up. >> so i want the ask you about the connection of the one hand this decision about the combat and on the other hand this reality of sexual assault? >> i was extremely proud of the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, because of the ability for me to thrive, i had sexual harassment as part of my daily routine in the marine corps. and when i filed a complaint, and all of the things that
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general norris is talking about are true. and it is important that lackland is one base and the reason we know about that and the scandal is because of the horrific skacandal is because o fantastic reporting of military reporters around that base, be but it is happening at virtually every base and service branch, and the final thing i would say about that is that sexual assault is not a function of sex, and it is not about women either but almost as many men are sexually assaulted as women. over time, the numbers pan out evenly, 40% of the veterans being treated at v.a. hospitals around the nation for conditions related to military sexual trauma are men, and we cannot forget that this is not a women's issue, but it is a military issue, and leadership issue. sgli >> i appreciate your making that point, because there is little outcry about that situation, but there is, oh, there is this situation, and this is kathleen parker writing for the "washington post" where soldiers will see the 18-year-old girl next to them, and impact their
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decision making and it is so important to say, look, this is not about sex, but violence. >> and i have to say, when i saw sexual assault happening in my own unit and reported it to senior officers like jen said, they swept them under the rug, and i as someone who had a fair amount of privilege as a company commander and captain, i was devastated that the senior o officers did nothing. the people who stuck up for the women who were being sexually assaulted in my unit were infantrymen, and leadership is not about gender, because the guys who stuck up for the women this these cases were infantrymen. >> and leadership is the independent variable. in the end of the day, these things don't happen in units that are not well led, but they do happen in units that are poorly led. and the only way to fikts or eliminate it from happening is to make sure that the good people are the leaders and eliminate bad leaders. >> how do you cultivate as a matter of institutions the kind of institution that does not
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allow these acts? >> you have to do it at every level. it has to start at the top, and the people like general dempsey and others have to be on board to understand that leadership makes a difference and people have to be incultureated properly when you enter the service. and no matter how strong the top of the food chain is, a generation from now, we will be back to where we started from, because of the culture. >> that is important, because culture change takes time and sustainability requires constant vigilance. one policy won't end discrimination against anyone in the military, and it is official policy of the military that they don't tolerate any sexual abuse of any kind. and that men and women will be paid the same, and look at how well that is working out. so it is not just about the
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policy, but equality takes more than that. >> yes. >> and more on what the issues of the military is and the kinds of engagement that we have around the world, thank you to anu, for being here, and the rest of you will be back for more. before we get to that conversation, i have a let toteo the supreme court and what it can learn from the pentagon when we come back. great, everybody made it. we all work remotely so this is a big deal, our first full team gathering! i wanted to call on a few people. ashley, ashley marshall... here. since we're often all on the move, ashley suggested we use fedex office to hold packages for us. great job. [ applause ] thank you. and on a protocol note, i'd like to talk to tim hill about his tendency to use all caps in emails. [ shouting ] oh i'm sorry guys. ah sometimes the caps lock gets stuck on my keyboard. hey do you wanna get a drink later? [ male announcer ] hold packages at any fedex office location.
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as an engine of war by progressives has been a leading institution for fight for racial equality, and because the military leaders carry great weight with many americans, i thought i would remind one american in particular just where the military stands on a decision he will be making very soon. my letter this week is to supreme court chief justice john roberts as he considers a challenge to the affirmative action program at the university of texas. dear chief justice roberts, it is me, e melissa. remember last june you were the deciding vote to uphold the affordable health care act, yeah? well, that was a cool way to ensure the legacy and in truth, it gave me faith that despite your ideologically derived positions and the willingness to overturn established precedent, you might be open to reasonable evidence-based arguments about what is good for our country. which is why i now draw your attention to the affirmative action case before you "fisher versus university of texas" the one that challenges the practice
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of including race as one of the factors in the college admissions process. i know you have made your thoughts on affirmative action known before and most notably in 2007 when you wrote that the way to stop discrimination on the b basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race. mr. chief justice, you know better, it is not that simple. racial bias is pervasive and deeply entrenched, but we are not helpless, and we know how the address it. one of the best examples of how to do so is on your desk right there. right there, under you swearing in president obama twice. under the court brief filed under the who's who of retired military generals and three former chairmen of the joint chiefs. and one thing that will work in the briefs is that of 1967 to 1991 as a result of the aggressive policy of affirmative
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action, the military quadrupled the commission of minority leaders compared to 2% of fortune 500 countries are african-american, the u.s. army can boast that 8% of active duty officers are black. but the success of military action is not just cosmetic, but it is mission critical, and the brief points out that any ruling in the university of texas case could have an impact beyond academia and without fur thther action the military could struggle to have a diverse officer corps and saying that a highly qualify and racial core is not a lofty idea, but a mission critical national security interest. mr. chief justice, 27 united military generals and admirals are trying to tell you something essential about affirmative action. it is going to make us safer. and one of the keys to the diverse military e leadship is
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the college rotc programs including the one in university of texas where the military turns for future officers. and i have the criticisms of the campus-based rotc programs, but if we draw the officers from colleges, we have to make sure that the colleges look like the country, so chief justice roberts when you consider the pending "fisher versus the university of texas" case, listen to the admirals and the generals with more than 1,200 years of combined service who are trying to tell you something important. if you end affirmative action, you are making our country less secure. surely, that is not what you want your legacy to be. sincerely, melissa. [ 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.
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>> we, the people, still believe that enduring security and lasting peace do not require perpetual war. >> more than a decade after 9/11, the president of the united states suggested that we do not need to be in a state of perpetual war. perhaps not surprising, but more than a decade after president bush committed troops to iraq and afghanistan and initiated an ill-defined global war on terror, it was a relief to hear the commander of chief suggest the possibility that war could end. on may 2nd, 2011, american troops killed osama bin laden and in that same year our troops came home from iraq, and in the next year 2014, we should be bringing an end to u.s. troops and nato forces to afghanistan, but is perpetual war finally over? maybe. the president favors a smaller and leaner military, and one whose limited size could likely discourage international engagements and he seems eager to refocus the troops away from
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the battles in the mideast and towards the cooler and maybe even cold engagement of the global balance with asia, and it is not clear that the president can end a perpetual state of war, but now is a good time to ask what a more peaceful world would look like. at the table is retired colonel john jacob, and editor and writer katrina vanden houvel and cloeby angyal and also welcoming in our new panelist. >> there was supposed to be the peace dividend at the end of the cold war, but i have given up on thinking about the end of war. >> well, president obama would like to find a different engagement with the world, and that means nation building at
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home, but even while he spokes those glorious words, we are at perpetual war. the largest problem is that as you step back and ask why is global war the appropriate framework for combatting terrorism, and that in some ways is the original sin. post 9/11, the authorization to use military force has made the world a global battlefield and allowed the escalation of drone warfare which has been escalated under president obama, and secret counter terrorism programs and special ops and secrecy, and until this country and maybe we are not ready yet can escape the spasm of fear and find a different way to approach safety and security and understanding that these methods will not increase our security, and that we should come home to find new ways to build a new internationalism that does not measure our security by weapon, but about the education and roads and bridges that we build
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and how we find a way to lead a global recovery in time and create global jobs, but we are still locked into it. >> but not without threats. not without threats. >> is global war the way to wage it? >> well, the answer is no, and part of the instruments of power that we exercise around the world, we are lousy at state craft and we have been for a long time. we don't know how to use properly and effectively the economic irnstruments of power and how to integrate them easily and the thing is that we go to default instrument of power which is what the guys who know what they are doing in the narrow sphere, and if you want stuff blown up, i'm the guy. you want people killed? call me. but that is not how you stop the preponderance of threats of the united states. we need to be able to integrate our instruments of policy, and
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we are lousy at it, and until we are better at it, we will be constantly calling on the military instrument of power, and it is not appropriate. >> is this threat even true when the primary threats were other nation states or mostly true of being lousy at it, because it is no longer nation states or rather stateless actors within them. >> i agree that the proliferation and fragmentation of threats to us make the application of national power much more difficult, but it puts a greater premium on greater leadership, and integration of power and good relationships around the world, and it makes it more difficult for us who does a lousy job at it, and makets it difficult to do a good job. >> spencer? >> it strikes me as a cop-out after 11 years of doing this, the united states government still does not know how to do it properly. speaking to katrina's point, there was something that president obama said when he was engaging in the primary debates
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with hillary clinton when he said he didn't want to just end the war in iraq, but he wanted to end the mindset that got the united states into iraq, and a fair reading of the record is not a fight he has pressed. under his presidency, he has proliferated aerial warfare into yemen, and so many other place, and if you would imagine a plane at 30,000 feet that took off during the bush edadministratio as global warfare and perhaps rack up the global withdrawal from iraq and perhaps afghanistan differently, and president obama has taken it down to 10,000 feet, be but it is flying parallel to the earth. >> well, part of what i am wondering is that we started the day by saying that this president is going to leave a legacy of having shifted the
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demographics of the military, and he is going to look culturally and demographically quite differently, but also, will he leave behind a strategic way of for good or better or leaner or smaller and a different warfare? >> yes, he is. it is not his own doing, but it is the trajectory of the foreign national security and we are gining to see the end of land mass wars as we drawdown in iraq and afghanistan, and for the peace and justice community and those who are citizens, we have to think of engaging with the new warfare which is going to involve aerial drones and special ops, and what that means at a time when there is great support in this country and a need to cut an extraordinarily bloated defense budget which is higher than the height of the cold war if we are going to fulfill the promise of this nation, you have to believe that president obama wants to do that, but at the same time, it is very tempt, because it is leaner and less expensive in
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some ways to do what he is doing. >> katrina, that is what we want to do when we come back on the break is to talk about the drones, but leaving to listen a little bit to secretary of state hillary clinton who made a claim this week that we need to start thinking of a strategy that does not lurch from administration to administration, but a new strategy, and we will listen to her as we go. >> let's be smart and learn from what we have done in the past and see what can be transferred into the present and the future. and let's be honest in trying to assess it to the best of our abilities. i think that the committee could play such an es ssential role i trying to answer your questions and put forth a policy that wouldn't go lurching from administration to administration, but would be a steady one like we did with colombia and did in the cold war. let's be smart about this. we have more assets than anybody in the world, but we have gotten a little bit, you know, off track in trying to figure out how best to utilize them.
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do you remember this moment from the final presidential debate? >> i think that governor romney maybe has not spent enough time looking at how the military works. you mention the navy for example and that we have fewer ships than we did in 1916. governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets, because the nature of the military has changed. >> it was more than just a great zinger, although it was that, but it was a glimpse into the obama doctrine, and president obama has aggressively pursued new technology as a way to redrawing the frontlines on the war of terror. he committed fewer boot s s to ground and more drone togs the sky. the united states has committed 340 drone strikes in pakistan with eight of those coming in the last 30 days n. yemen and somalia, there have been 55 drone strikes and seven of those
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in the last 30 days. the president's use of drones raises questions and criticiss s and inspired nyu jerome headley to gather new data. 25 specific drone strikes will be investigated, and an action praised by the proponents of the program.y spencer, you have written a ton on this, and what should we be thinking of the new technology for waging war? >> more about the platform and less about the strategy that it implements and to some degree accelerates, and what i mean by that is that the drone, itself, is not qualitatively a transformational thing in warfare. we are basically talking about aerial bombardment and using a smaller weapon to do it, and that size is just going to shrink, so you have less power applied to a particular target, but when you look at the thing
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and how it is applied, it is not so much different if the pilot is thousands of miles away rather nan in the cockpit, but what it adds up is to an acceleration of the idea that warfare can be cost-free. if it is cost-free to the united states and less visible to the media, then it can spread around the world with a great accelerant effect, and that is what you have seen under president obama. >> spencer, i appreciate that, because what i find irritating is that drones are a progressive or liberal mean that you scream like when you are disagreeing with some other topic and you say drones, and i say, whoa, whoa, is the issue the drone, the technology or the secrecy or the matrix, because the question is when we have new technologies and how we manage them and deploy them is far more important than the technology, itself. >> right, the drone does not fire, but the human beings fire
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it. and so we don't have disclosure of the strategy it is implementing and secondly how effective the strategy sand third how it impacts the human beings on the ground that are not terrorists. >> and frankly, the human beings who fire it are frankly far removed and not involved in the action. you don't have any people on the ground gathering intelligence, and it is part and parcel of the whole notion that you can divorce human beings from the acts of war. and therefore, make war less painful or not painful at all to yourself. >> is that the danger of the sanitizing the experience of war. >> of course, it shg, it is. the issue of resources is important, because it takes more resources to hold on to the objective than to take it in the first place. i have taken objectives by myself and sometimes with a few other petrified soldiers. i have run off more than half of them. it is easy to take an objective and kill somebody, but what are you going to do once you do
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that? and the real irony and i will shut up about this, we have a short memory. and the notion that you can make war antiseptic is the same notion that was held by donald rumsfeld. you don't need people, and you certainly don't need as many people, because we have got technology, and we can divorce human beings from the notion of waging war when in fact, it is human cost that has to be involved and at some juncture some 19-year-old kid with a bayonet has to stand on top of the terrain and hold it. it is supremely interesting that the most recent proponent of the this way of waging war was donald rumsfeld. >> i have a problem of this thinking of waging war. what we are doing is assassinating people who in many cases we don't even know who they are. we definitely don't know what they have done or if if they are guilty of anything. so, we are killing them, and there's no due process and it is
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not on a battlefield, be but beyond that, we are killing innocent civilians around them, the people that we refer to as collateral damage, and these include the elderly, and they include children and that sort of thing, and what are we doing here? this is not all right. >> well, bob, you know -- >> we don't always know that. >> we know that there are enemies -- >> no, we do not. >> and the council on foreign relation relations released a report a month ago showing that of the 3,000 killed in drone attacks the vast majority were not tall ban or al qaeda leaders. >> i'm not concerned. >> but are you concerned about the backlash of fuelling in countries that will impact our security? >> no. >> impact our security in terrible ways? >> no. >> i find that until we can engage the world post 9/11, we are at risk of destroying our own security and the very values that the president has spoken of. he has given many speeches of the enduring values of this
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country are being degraded by the actions that we are taking whether it is in guantanamo or whether it is with drones, so it is not to say that it is also just moral. i hear you, melissa, that you hear reflexively saying drone, drones, drones, but there is a fundamental and tactical issue of how with refueling muslim and other anger against this country. >> and in is a topic that is exactly too hot. so we will stay more on this topic to go away. don't you go away. [ 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 stop taking chantix and call your doctor right away. tell your doctor about any history of depression or other mental health problems, which could get worse while taking chantix. don't take chantix if you've had a serious allergic
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so drone warfare raises questions and the key strategic ethics that should drive drones use and when do we need authorization and versus asking forgiveness on the other side and how can we ensure that these do not make us vulnerable to warfare and these are the fundamental questions, and collateral damage comes with
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war, and comes with soldiers who bring a different collateral damage, but the big question is if we are are not really at war, because we are not authorized to be be at war in pakistan. >> but this authorization of the military force gave this country emergency powers post 9/11 to make the world a global battlefield and i recommend for the viewers to watch the national security correspondent to watch a film "dirty wars, a battlefield." this is a good sense of it. >> and if this use to authorize military force were passed in any other country, it would look like to emergency act like hosni mubarak passed to give himself tremendous power and that should put president obama on the hook. this is an issue where the presidential authority is probably at the peak. he can do so much unilaterally and so when he puts out a statement in the inaugural
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address about the error of perpetual warfare not to p be acceptable, that has to be a down payment on what he intends to do, and right now, you not seen many signs that he intends to address it, but so many throughout the first term that he has gone in the opposite direction and where is the rollback of the war on terrorism and it is not under obama. >> and george bush did feel like the world of a powerful example and the example is gitmo and the president signing that he is going to close guantanamo bay and four years later not able to do it. but it is not a lack of intention, but inability to do it, because he is not capable of doing anything that he wants. >> it is a lack of leadership. at the end of the day, we have such a balance of power, that we come to the conclusion that it really takes agreement among everybody, and the fact of the matter is that under most circumstances that congress is the boss. that is the way that the constitution was written and one of the reasons and i want to faint a single factor analysis, but one of the reasons that
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guantanamo is open is because the senate appropriations committee refused to appropriate the $80 million bucks which at the end of the day is not that much money and the pentagon spends more money than that on lightbulbs, and the senate appropriations committee refused to appropriate the $80 million to close it. it does not matter what the president wants at the end of the day. if he is not willing to fight for that, then the congress has its way. >> and guantanamo is a good example of the problem with drone warfare. when we opened up guantanamo, the bush administration told us that everybody there is the worst of the worst and you didn't need to have due process, because they were guilty and horrible, and et cetera, et cetera, and it turned out that a lot of thom were far from the worse of the worse and a lot of them had not done anything at all, and the same thing with the drone warfare stuff. we don't know in all cases who we are killing, and we don't know if the so-called collateral damage is the kind of thing that is worth taking a shot at.
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so we need to roll back and look at this from some kind of moral perspective, what are we doing here? >> and melissa, you made a profound point about how drones are a mean rather than a fact, and when you look at how the president has talked about closing guantanamo and all of the things that civil libertarians find objectable for guantanamo can survive. all of this things that made them into a permanent fact right now of legal circumstance, and he's backed down on article iii cou courts for the 9/11 trials and the plan to close guantanamo to the extent that it still exists relies on keeping people in indefinitely without charge until the end of an endless war. so if there could be a magical sea change of attitudes toward guantanamo, guantanamo will exist inside of the united states for this population, and the difference might be that obama is not taking more people
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under detention. >> right. >> you raised a set of important questions at the top, and i would say that the timidity is something of congress to mark, and whether it is war power hearings, and asking this administration to detail and give us the legal memos as to what justifies it. >> those questions that i raised cannot be answered by the president. that is right. thank you. >> and that is in the constitution. >> clearly we will talk through the commercial, but thank you to colonel jack jacobs, and spencer ackerman, and katrina and joe will stick around. we will have a look at the nerdland home for the homeless at the top of the hour. my moderate to severe plaque psoriasis. i decided enough is enough. ♪ [ spa lady ] i started enbrel.
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welcome back. i'm melissa harris-perry in new york. tuesday mark ed the landmark decision roe v. wade anniversary. it said that women had a right to privacy and could choose to abort unwanted pregnancy and not one year has gone by without a threat or action to repeal that ruling. and after a poll by the nbc news/"wall street journal," 70% do not want to overturn roe v. wade and this week, democratic ledge s legislators introduced a bill to broaden the pool of providerers who can perform the procedure, but in mississippi, the state's only abortion provider is fighting to stay open as mi mississippi's republican governor vows to shut it down. according to the gutmacher
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institute, more than 87% of the counties lack abortion provider. the national network of abortion funds reports that every year 200,000 women need help paying for abortions in part because nearly half of american women who seek pregnancy termination live below the federal povrly line and this lack of access can be deadly for women. before roe v. wade, complications of abortion were the leading cause of death for women of child-bearing age and especially true of women of color. so as this access is narrowed, it puts pressure on the bodily rights of women and we can not forget the issue of access. we are joined by chloe angyal and also katrina vanden houvel,
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and bob herbert who is senior fellow at demos, and access is what we should be fighting to the. >> yes. what people don't know after the roe v. wade, hyde amendment was passed a and that prevented medicaid from covering abortion, and what the abortion funds do nationwide and there are over 100 funds and what they do is to he heldp women pay for their abortions, and so that is what abortion funds do, and that what we are here the day every day and day in, day out, and whatever people feel about abortion, politicians should not be able to deny women health care coverage because they are poor. >> and katrina, this seems to me, some space and even the 70% where people will stand up for the planned parenthood and even planned parenthood, itself, talks about the other kinds of medical services, and what the abortion funds do is to make sure that people have money for termination. >> you saw the poll which is important on the 40th anniversary. people don't want to overturn
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"roe v. wade" but without access, it is not a reality for lower income class women. and there is a new leader coming in, elise hogue who understands without the right to control your body, the women don't have the right to control their economic security, their fate, their lives, and in this state, governor cuomo and a coalition of women's groups and civil liberties group have come together for an equality agenda, because you want to build in the reproductive rights firmly into the landscape of equal access, equal pay and anti-discrimination, and you have a president who has committed though he needs to be pushed and women who have come in pro-choice women. but we were talk earlier that the media needs to pay attention to what it means for low income women in the country to not have the fundamental right to control their lives, their bodies and
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their economic future. >> and chloe, in the civil rights xhun tie, we play nina simone's mississippi god damn and no more in this reproductive rights, but mississippi has parental consent laws that require parental consent from both parents, and they have a weig -- have a waiting period, and they have to have consult laws to be admitted to the hospital, and the goal in the end is to make it impossible. >> it is legal, but inaccessible. >> and the other thing is that we need to talk about the violence against the providers. violence against the abortion providers in this country, when we talk about it, we need to use the term domestic terrorism, because that is what it is. it is not called that because it is carried out of white american men in the name of a judeo-christian god, but we are
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a country spending the last decade to prevent violence carried out by foreign brown men, and we don't pay attention to the fact that we are under siege, and doctors and abortion providers and their patients by extension are under siege. the reason it is so difficult to have access to abortion is because it is too risky to provide them. >> doctors provide them, but not in clinics that are available to the poor. so it is what we know about the pre1973 pre-roe, and women who had private relationships and private physicians could go in and get a dnc in the local doctors' offices and not walk the gauntlet of terror, and not provide them to the most needy. >> what is happening is the abortion rights folks were intimidated over a long period of time and so there is no absence of militancy on this
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panel, but an absence of militancy and whenever that is the case, you tend to lose the other side which has been far more mim tant. >> because there is a shaming effect. >> exactly right. >> so you are pro-choice, and you can't be pro-abortion rights for example. >> yes, and you cannot somehow be pro choice, and even pro abortion rights and pro abortion fund funds to provide them and be pro-family and pro-mother and i love the woman who is the head in virginia of naro, and who is managing the discrimination is pregnant and seven months pregnant and standing there yelling at them to be able to make your own choices. >> and we have come out of a period of the calamitous disgusting attack on planned parenthood, but we have seen the republicans went to the retreat where some of the counseling was like, don't use the term rape. i mean, but the extremism that you are right, that there was a militance on the anti-abortion
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front, but the extremism that has seeped into the mainstream for women's body is a chance for a pro abortion, pro-rights commu community to say, we are here and control our bodies and working with our husbands and brothers and sisters and families to control the foundational right to have the kind of lives and family that we want. and i think it is that claim that needs to be stated most powerfully. >> i agree and it is important that not everyone seeking a abortion is a woman. and not every woman has a vagina and when we talk about the most dispopulated people are trans and we need to talk about that as well. >> and the difficult choices of the bodies and the difficult choices around it, and if there is a little space of privacy that we need away from all of
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the invasive nature of government that conservatives feel so much angst about it, it is right there on the question of the body. >> which was the point with "roe v. wade." at the time people thought it was a settled issue, and this issue was between the woman and her doctor, and they would make the decision, and that was it. everybody else get lost. that has completely changed a little bit. >> let me push back on that, because we have been using this frame of between the woman and her doctor, and it has not worked. what we need to be saying is that people can make this decision for themselves, and they don't need a politician, and they don't need necessarily the community, though a lot of women involve the families and communities, but they can make the decision for themselves and they don't need permission to have an abortion. >> or the moral agent. >> and the privacy is an important frame term. it means, and i think that it something that we could work with, because it appeals to a wide range of people. and that was at the heart of "roe v. wade" and such hypocrisy in virginia with the invasive
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ultrasound to talk about limited government and keep the government off our backs, well, keep government out of our bodies. >> yes, they fit right there on the end of the transvaginal probe. it is so controversial that only a handful of doctors in the united states will do it. attorney is available in most states with every personalized document to answer questions. get started at today. and now you're protected. i haven't thought about aspirin for years. aspirin wouldn't really help my headache, i don't think. aspirin is just old school. people have doubts about taking aspirin for pain. but they haven't experienced extra strength bayer advanced aspirin. in fact, in a recent survey, 95% of people who tried it agreed that it relieved their headache fast. what's different? it has micro-particles. enters the bloodstream fast and rushes relief to the site of pain. visit
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>> by the age of 45, about half of all american women will have had an unintended pregnancy and one in three will choose termination. according to the gutmacher institute, nearly all of them will have the procedure done in the first 12 weeks of the pregnancy and less than 2% are performed in the third trimester and usually due to dire health
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reasons, but access has been increasingly restricted because of the violence against health care providers and the legislation aimed at curtailing the late-term abortions. since the murder of dr. joe tiller who was assassinated by anti-abortion activists, there are fewer doctors willing to perform abortions. and now at the sundance festival there is a new documentary about this. this is from that documentary. >> at times i struggle and at times i don't, but i always come back to the woman. >> ours is corpus clolossacolos. and which part is guilt, because
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you have guilt if you do what we are doing or bring him into the world and then he doesn't have any quality of life? >> they say that 7 of 10 women who terminate a pregnancy would have preferred to do the procedure earlier and many cite financial barriers and saving enough, and child care costs and lost wage, and keeping it legal is no longer the barrier to reproductive health. so you cannot watch "after tiller" and feel how complicated this is, and just that image of the visibly pregnant belly and the tissues from the tears, your point about women being moral agents who can make their own decisions. these are hard decisions, and people are are not making them lightly. >> absolutely. absolute absolutely. and what we have to remember, also, is that women are not making these deissitions lightly, and they are making them with the family and their partners and having politicians think that they can come in to
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deny health care coverage and deny abortions makes the lives of the people harder. they are going through something tough and the last thing we want to do is to put more barriers in front of them. >> there is this space that feels like it is missing in the conversation around abortion where it becomes either life begins at conception or life does not begin until the moment that there's an independent breath drawn, and anybody who has carried a pregnancy to term knows that you have some relationship with the pregnancy before the moment of, you know, the first cry and the slap on the behind. so it is -- i feel like we have to get out of just saying it is not really life and nothing, but instead being able to say, sometimes life leads us to really hard decisions. and it is not just that we don't care and we don't think it is life. >> right. >> we have to really trust women to make these decisions for themselves, and women can struggle with these moral complexities and they don't need politicians to do it for them,
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and they can come to terms with this with their families and patter inpat er -- partners. >> and we will make bad decisions, because we are fallible, and in the abortion choice, i feel slightly regretful, but on balance, that is how i would have done, but that is not how life works. because it is complicated and difficult decisions, and sometime you make the wrong one or the right one, but that is the right that people should have in america, man, woman, anything. >> and let's be clear, any reproductive choice ta you make leads to regret and choice. no person who has parented a kid who was not at some point was like, what? why? and there is no person who gave a child up for abortion that -- excuse me, for adoption, and whether the menu is adoption or abortion or raising the kid, there is joy and regret and feeling that on some days you have made the right decision and on some days you haven't.
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>> i am sure that my parents were the exception. >> never ever regretted it, not at 4:00 a.m. >> these are obviously in some cases incredibly complicated issues, and it is the most complicat complicated, most personal issues that i feel most uncomfortable leaving to politicians. so, you know, if we have got a tough call here and the choice is between a woman who is pregnant and whoever she might want to talk to about it on one hand and say newt gingrich on the other, well, i will leave it with the woman. >> absolutely. i want to give you the last word here, as we begin to talk about the access question going forward, what do we have to focus on? >> well, we need to focus on the hyde amendment which prohibits medicaid from covering abortion, and what that means is that people who struggle to make ends meet have inferior health care, and that is also including abortion. we have to make sure that the hyde amendment is repealed so
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that poor people have the same access as people who have insurance. >> thank you. steph haerld thank you. we will talk about the argument for reproductive rights that are based in religious faith. mphyse. mphyse. spiriva helps control my copd symptoms by keeping my airways open for 24 hours. plus, it reduces copd flare-ups. spiriva is the only once-daily inhaled copd maintenance treatment that does both. spiriva handihaler tiotropium bromide inhalation powder does not replace fast-acting inhalers for sudden symptoms. tell your doctor if you have kidney problems, glaucoma, trouble urinating, or an enlarged prostate. these may worsen with spiriva. discuss all medicines you take, even eye drops. stop taking spiriva and seek immediate medical help if your breathing suddenly worsens, your throat or tongue swells, you get hives, vision changes or eye pain, or problems passing urine. other side effects include dry mouth and constipation.
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think you know where all people of faith stand on the issue of abortion? think again. the movement for reproductive health and freedom and access to abortion is faith-based cause. reverend matthew westfox had this to say in an article he wrote for the center for american progress. choice is not often thought of as a biblical value and while the bible affirms the value of sacred conscious particularly regarding women regarding their reproductive lives, the word abortion never appears in the scripture. yet justice is a word found throughout the bible and is a
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sacred thought. we welcome you and and i loved the piece. i love that you say that we can't skirt it and people of faith are against abortion and people who are for abortion action must be godless, and make the theological faith claim for me. >> as i said in the piece, you can't find abortion in the bible. it says about sz much about abortion as air conditioner repair. it is a topic that makes no sense. what the bible talks about is justice and compassion, and that is something that we heard so much in the piece that you did before about the doctors working since tiller, because there you got to hear the story of someone wrestling with the issues. i in my work counsel so many women who are wrestling and it is not someone who it is an easy decision, but wrestling, where are they being called in their lives and the god i know, and the god i believe in tells me to stand on the side of compassion
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and to stand on the side of working with families, with women as they figure out what can they best do to lead the lives they need to live. >> well, it is always difficult for me when i see the protesters at the clinics, and i have been a guardian who has walked women in through the gauntlet, and when they scream about how god hates you or how it is a sin to -- i keep thinking, who is this angry mean-spirited god that you know? why doesn't this god, even if you disagree with this choice call you to some sense of compassion for the women facing this choice? >> and there is a part of me that gets angry, but mostly i feel pity, because the power i know of a loving god, and i have so much pity for someone who cannot understand a god who sees compassion for that. when i see the protesters and i have talked to so many people who are harmed by those, and -- >> yes. >> and the stories i get to hear and one woman who i talked to a couple of months ago and her name, and i can't use the name,
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but i will call her sondra and we sat together and prayed together and my mother is baptist and for me, you pray and light a candle and talk. and she talked about how she for her had two children she loved dearly and struggling to make a family for them and she could not understand how she could possibly do this with yet one more child, and she said in the moment, god, i just want to be a good mama to my kids. >> and i want to remind the audience that the people who seek termination services have children and understand what pregnancy is and understand what parenting is and making the choice, and we also know that a majority of the women who seek abortion are also people of faith and something like 73% of themselves are religiously affiliated. >> reverend fox, i have not been to church in a while, and this sounds like a church, i want to be in. how do you explain that caption of 73% of religiously affiliated women, people, have had
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abortions? is it the leadership of the various churches fomenting a different vision of god and less compassionate and mean-spirited and as a lapse catholic, i am struck by the leadership of the vatican and the lay people who have chosen to do birth control or have abortions as they need. >> you know, i never thought i would quote richard nixon on television, but there is a silent majority here, but the fact is that so many women have had abortions and yet we don't kn know, that and most people don't realize that their sister may have had an abortion or cousin may have had an abortion, but we don't talk about these things. >> so that is part of the shaming. part of the shaming is that even if you are a reprodouktive rights advocate you don't talk about having sought an abortion, because it is considered a horrible and shameful choice. >> and even if you are a provider and one of the new blogs is flyer of a feminist,
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and it is outside of california and other states where abortion is more readily acceptable and they posted a first-person account of one of the providers to be be providing in dr. tiller's old clinic when it is reopened and the provider said, i cannot imagine myself looking at this work, but i looked at the statistics of the dwindling statistics, if not me, who? and if not now, when? and that is a fundamental and i love to hold the hand of a desperate woman and say, i can help you. that is -- i am not a religious person, but that is about the most christ-like thing i have ever heard. >> well, i am a religious person and part of why i so appreciated the talk, and the piece, and i will say this, at the best, catholicism at least provides this loving alternative space, because the catholic adoption services are also the largest ones in the country, and at some point i promise we will have a
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conversation of adoption, and abortion and thank you for allowing me a moment to reflect on the faith-based decision around reproductive rights and thank you, chloe, and reverend fox, and katrina who came to church today, and bob. some nylons. and what girl wouldn't need new shoes? and with all the points i've been earning, i was able to get us a flight to our favorite climbing spot even on a holiday weekend. ♪ things are definitely looking up. [ male announcer ] with no blackout dates, you can use your citi thankyou points to travel whenever you want. visit to apply. ya. alright, another one just like that. right in the old bucket. good toss! see that's much better! that was good.
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nothing i can tell you from the safety and the warmth of my seat here on cable television news can fully capture what it means to be homeless. while those of us who have not experienced homelessness, but described the experience, we can recognize the importance of quantifying it, and this week new york city will try to do that. the city's homeless outreach population or h.o.p.e. will be
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conducting a survey. and at the same time another city group will do a different count that night, the new york departme department of youth and development will count homeless and runaway and unaccompanied youth. they are asking the young people to be checking in and be counted throughout the various dropout centers and boroughs in new york city. initially the obama administration initiated youth count! which is an intraagency initiative to count unaccompanied homeless youth up to 24 years old. all municipalities are participating including new york city. so it provides essential data that may shock a nation into action and provide guidance for the resources available. for our part today, we will talk to some people who have their own unique insights. ebony who homeless as a freshman, and
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derrick who is a dancer and homeless for five years, and ralph acosta who is from the institute of poverty and home le lessness, and bob stewart from demos and jeremy who is an advocate for the homeless advocacy project where he is a sophomore at georgetown university. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> and i want to start with you, since you are joining us from d.c. to ask you about the both the experience of being homeless, but also the experience of working with homeless youth, and what is your takeaway like the efforts coming up monday? >> so i worked for california youth homeless project in sacramento, california. it is a policy initiative for policymakers to learn about the homeless youth and the scale and the problem. i have blogged on the recent point in time count that is home youth are going the be included in. it is very, very important, because now we can put a number
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to the estimations that have been going on for a long time and this number is a good jumping point to eliminate the problem and hold ourselves accountable. >> ralph, how do you -- you are right here in the city. what do you think of this effort monday? >> i think it is a good effort, but i find that there are shortcomings, and i feel that we undercount and we do this point in time and then huddle comes out to report that homeless is going down. it is not. if you are on the street, you see it and if you count the shelters, you will see it. it is a good effort, but we are missing a lot. this issue is much bigger than any count we will do on one evening. >> and part of it is that the young people are the perhaps most difficult to count here, because they are asking them to come in and come to drop-in centers, and when you think of your own experience of being a young person in the context of homelessness, how would you have been counted? or how would they have found you to count you? >> well, that is a tough question to answer, because a lot of the young people, we have a pride factor to it.
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we don't like to admit exactly what the situation or what we are going through at the particular time. so with the youth, we spend most of our time trying to hide it. and trying to, you know, put on that act and put up that presence as if nothing is wrong, when in actual wall ti, something is wrong, and that is a huge part of the problem. >> and the point you are making right now, ebony, you made a similar point when we discussed your circumstance of being homeless before you went to colombia university. i want to listen for a moment, because you told us a little bit about your own experiences and i want to hear what you said and then respond to it a little bit. >> we were pretty much homeless most of my childhood. we were usually sleeping on other people's floors or in different homeless shelters. there were many times that i had to study and i was hungry. i would say that food was more so an issue when we weren't in the shelters anymore, because at least there, they feed you.
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when i was older, and i was able to ask my mom why this was happen, she would say, well, i didn't make the right decisions and i didn't stay in school, and if you do this, things can be better for you, and i kind of took that and ran with it. that is what helped know stay focused. >> so you are are saying it helped me to stay focused and i stayed on course, but the whole time you are selling that story, that is a huge sort of effort of will. >> yes. absolutely, it was. i mean, but staying focused is sort of all you can do, because what else? i could have sat around and there was nothing to do in the shelters. there were beds and the cafeteria, and i had no choice except to be focused and set a goal for myself. it was either that for pretty much sit around and feel sorry for myself, and i don't think that my mom would have been happy with me had i done that and i wouldn't have been happy with myself, so i am happy with the decisions i made. >> well, i think that people tend not to understand one how
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pervasive the problem is, and i agree with you, it is growing and not diminish, but also to hear eboni talk about being hungry. when i interview the young people who have been homeless, that always comes up. so people think of homelessness, but just without a place to live, but they forget that you don't have any money, and very often people are going hungry, and it is a chaotic way to live. we should pay much more attention to it. i congratulate you for staying on issues like this on this program. >> thank you. jimmy, let me ask you about that, because eponi is at columbia university and you are there at georgetown, so maybe some sort of kind of almost an effort to say, well, look, if you focus hard enough, you can still have these accomplishments, but what is the reality of the experience for young people coping with the issue of homelessness? >> so i can speak from personal experience, what got me through to where i am today is the community of people who invested
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in me and cared for me. specifically like my teacher who took me in and a lot of factors to come together and making me feel adequate, because there were feelings of inadequacy and one when my homeless situation was taking place. >> derrick, in part i want to ask you about the community of question, because lgbtq youth are the most population that is homeless, because the community does not take care of them, but shuns and rejects. >> yes, it does actually. it is unfortunate. for me, the circumstances were extremely, extremely tough, but once again, finding the support system, and finding, you know, m mentors at the photographers and the music producers that i worked with to give me a sense that everything is going to be all right. a lot of the times, i think that the parents need to get more
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involved and you know, figure out exactly what is happening with their kids when they come out rather than pushing them away. >> and so, ralph, what i hear is that there is a theme of for kids who are making it on the the other side of it, there was someone, a teacher, a photographer, a parent who reached out, who helped to bring them back, and is that what the organizations are trying to do is to be that community? >> that is the story, but it is difficult to do. these are success stories and the other side of the curve is very different. the typical homeless person in america today is a child and not an adultk, but an 11 or 12-year-old child, but the key issue here is education and not having a home and it will destabilize your family and destabilizes your health and destabilizes your education. homeless people or families move three to four times a year, and each one is a educational setback, and if you don't realize it is a housing issue, but it is truly an educational issue, and a issue that we will
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pay 10 or 20 or more times for if we don't address it now. >> stay there, because i like this point of educational disrupti disruption, and we want to ask about something extraordinary at the inauguration when president obama said something about this question. i want my guests to weigh in on it. his whole team will be our new senior social media strategists. any questions? since we make radiator valves wouldn't it be better if we just let fedex help us to expand to new markets? hmm gotta admit that's better than a few "likes." i don't have the door code. who's that? he won a contest online to be ceo for the day. how am i supposed to run a business here without an office?! [ male announcer ] fast, reliable deliveries worldwide. fedex. [ bop ] [ bop ] [ bop ] you can do that all you want, i don't like v8 juice. [ male announcer ] how about v8 v-fusion. a full serving of vegetables, a full serving of fruit. but what you taste is the fruit. so even you... could've had a v8.
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if you have symptoms of a heart attack. use caution when driving or operating machinery. common side effects include nausea, trouble sleeping and unusual dreams. it helps to have people around you... they say, you're much bigger than this. and you are. [ male announcer ] ask your doctor if chantix is right for you. president obama did something extraordinary in the inaugural speech. he explained that we need to measure the quality of the nation by the opportunities that with we offer to poor children. >> for we, the people, understand that our country cannot succeed when a shrinking few do very well, and growing many barely make it. we are true to the creed when a little girl born into the bleakest poverty knows that she has the same chance to succeed as anybody else, because she is an american, and she is free and she is equal and not just in the eyes of god, but also in our own.
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>> that moment gave me pause, ralph, because on the one hand, he is saying that the critical measure of the nation is when we look at a child, particularly a girl child in the bleakest poverty, and what her opportunities are is how we should measure ourselves, and so how are we doing? >> well, we are not doing very well. if you are poor in the country, at some point in time, you are going to be homeless, and it will impact your education. and the more episodes of homelessness, and if you are back into the system, two, three, four, five years, the probability of you falling behind increases dramatically, and this is an issue where education is the key, and education may not be the only chance for the poor kids in the country, but it is the best chance, and that is where the resources have to go. >> it is interesting that it is a challenge that we face for example on a show like this where we want to talk about it, but of course, the young people that we can go the find to talk about it are the people who have found themselves on the other
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side of the curb, because that is then available to us, and then it is way to be difficult of the crux of the, just two weeks ago, we had the new freshman congresswoman kirsten sene msh senema on the show and she talked about her own homelessness. >> when i was a kid, my dad was a attorney and we were a middle-class family and in the 1980s, my dad lost his job in the great, at this time, a big recession, and we went from middle-class to poor almost overnight, and ended up homeless and lived without running water and electricity for two years. >> so my dad was an attorney and we were middle-class and we lost a job in the great recession in the '80s and went to homelessness and that is a story of a lot of americans right now. >> that is what we need to keep in mind that at the bottom of the homeless problem, and the crisis in the country is the employment crisis that we still have in this country. individuals and families are homeless for the most part because they don't have either,
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either don't have employment or jobs that pay enough to pay for, you know, rent or to buy a home. so we need to address there are so many issues to address, but fwheed to address the fundamental issue of employment here. >> and economic opportunity. derrick, you are are now at a point where as a young man, you are starting to think about employment and economic opportunity and all of that, and what are the lessons that you will take from your own experience of homelessness that you want forward? >> well, anything i want is possible. i'm a believer in that, and if i put my heart and mind in it, and self-educate as well as look for the educational opportunities,ly go far. that is a big factor for me, and i wanted to say that to all homeless kids that you have to really start taking the steps to start to make the change. and once you do that, the help will be available to you, but you have to be ready to receive it. >> eboni, would you underline the ideas? >> yes, one of the main things i
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will take into my adulthood from my experience is anything is possible. in a hard economic time, and things that come on the news, i have been through enough to nknw that just enough hard work and determination can get you pret tri far. >> jimmy, let me ask you also on this question, because i know e you have seen it both from the experience and also from your organizing and your own work. on the one hand the story about the structural difficulties and the other, the personal perseverance and how do we balance them? >> i agree that the struggle makes you stronger, but if you invest in something that you truly love whether it is advocacy or whatever you are into, success is a step away, and also very important that someone who is there to support you along the way. >> what i appreciate about all three of you is that part of the job as policy makers and media is to point out the structural inequities and to change it so it is not so hard, but i appreciate that you embody the thing that president obama talked about, that sense of
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somehow, even in the bleakest of circumstances that you have something inside of you, and we celebrate, we celebrate that no matter what the structural circumstances are. thank you, jimmy ramirez in washington. we are going to have more in a moment, be but first, it is time for a preview of "weekends with alex witt" and hosted by new dad and friend t.j. holmes. >> hey, i have a lot going on these days. >> yes, hanging out at msnbc, and a new dad. >> came to new york to get some sleep actually. i have to get back home to atlanta and get back on duty, but good to see you this morning, and they are calling it the gop electoral college rigging. this is going on and folks, in is going to change actually the outcome of the last election if their plan was in place. we will explain and see if it will actually work. and also, do the republicans go too far in the question iingf hillary clinton? and did the democrats take it too easy on her in the
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questioning of benghazi? i will talk to someone in the room during the questioning. and we will talk to the director of "zero dark thirty" about some of the controversial scenes. and we will talk to chris matthews about a potential 2016 president matchup, which is joe versus hillary. i will see you in 12 minutes. melissa, it is all yours. >> everybody hang out for t.j. >> and i will be back with more on this topic of hunger. >> i love 35 tons of food. we love our foot soldier this week. we love him. with the spark miles card from capital one, thor gets great rewards for his small business! your boa! [ garth ] thor's small business earns double miles
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remember when your mom used to tell you to clean your plate because there were hungry kids out there without enough to eat? maybe you looked at those remaining brussel sprouts.
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ben is a senior at the university of maryland college park. he is doing something about this statistic. every year in the united states 35 million tons of food go to waste, even as 15% of american households experience food insecurity. ben saw part of the problem right in the university of maryland's dining hall. every name at the close of business, food, lots of food, was simply being tossed. ben and his friends had a basic question. why not donate the unsold food from their dining hall to nearby food banks and shelters? to sell reluctant dining services executives on the idea, ben showed them the bill emerson good samaritan food donation act. it protects businesses, organizations and individuals that donate food in good faith from legal liability that might arise from their donations. after that recognition of limited liability the food gates opened. ben rallied a group of student
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volunteers, made sure everyone went through food handling training and started with one night a week to collect the unsold food from campus dining halls, package it and deliver it to local food banks. the cost was minimal. the food was already made. student volunteers did all of the work. the only cost was a 10 cent tin to place the food into. the program called the food recovery network, quickly expanded to five nights a week at the university of maryland. then members of the food recovery network contacted their friends on other campuses and shared the model. now there are chapters at 13 colleges and universities around the country. more than 120,000 pounds of food have been recovered. resulting in more than 96,000 meals for people who may not have had meals otherwise. chapters of the food recovery network have donated to 21 different shelters, and students have volunteered more than 5,000 hours to this cause. but ben simon still wants to take it a bit further.
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>> america has 3,000 colleges and universities and about 75% of them have no food recovery program and are literally throwing away tens of thousands of pounds of good food every year that could be donated. our end goal is to have food recovery nation where every college in america has a food recovery network chapter that can have one. it started here at umd but we want to go nation-wide and eventually global. >> already the student has become the teacher. ben is in talks with members of montgomery county council about using his student-run program as a model to be implemented at the local government level to create one of the nation's first county-wide food recovery programs. for for seeing a solution when others only saw piles of waste and making all those mothers who push us to be members of the clean your plate club proud, ben simon is our foot soldier of the week. to read more please go to our
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web site, this week's foot soldier was nominated by megan corzine a nbc employee and university of maryland alum. to pitch a foot soldier of your own go to our facebook page at fa face book i have an interview tomorrow with a man who didn't run. many thought indiana governor mitch daniels would be their best candidate for 2012, instead he became the president of purdue university. i asked him about that very nerdy move. you can see it tomorrow. [ male e emergency workers everywhere trust duracell...?? duralock power preserve. locks in power for up to 10 years in storage. now...guaranteed. duracell with duralock. trusted everywhere.
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i'm up next, but now i'm singing the heartburn blues. hold on, prilosec isn't for fast relief. cue up alka-seltzer. it stops heartburn fast. ♪ oh what a relief it is!
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