tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC December 20, 2013 4:00pm-5:01pm PST
the streets. some who have made mistakes themselves that are out there every day in the trenches turning this around, talking to these kids, giving them a new way out. if we would just stop chasing headlines and chase solutions, we can make a difference. thanks for watching. i'm al sharpton. have a great weekend. "hardball" starts right now. going on offense. let's play "hardball." ♪ good evening. i'm chris meatthews in washington. let me start tonight with this. the vast difference between what the ceo at the top is getting and what the person down the line is taking home.
let me tell you this vast difference in how people are doing is political pay dirt and guess who knows it. first of all the president. second the republicans. they hate this talk about the minimum wage being too low. a former republican member of congress told me he didn't like it when minimum wage stayed up there for months in a row. why? because the american public thinks a jump in dme money we pay people working at the edge of the workforce is a wonderful idea. and this means tens of millions of workers stand to benefit if the president gets a bill through the house. and another thing and this is something every labor leader with moxie knows, the more you boost the minimum wage, the more you pressure wages down the line. you give the dishwasher a jump to $10 an hour and you have to give the person cooking a jump too. welcome to 2014. this is going to be a year with any luck the president will be riding a gung ho economy and some real economic growth out there. the perfect time to be talking to middle america about
shrinking that huge disparity between the top and the rest of the country. eugene robinson for "the washington post" and an msnbc political analyst of course. and joy reid, an msnbc contributor. to give you an idea how many people would benefit from an increase in minimum wage, the policy institute estimates 14% of the u.s. workforce would be affected. and that 30 million workers would get a raise if the minimum wage increased by 2015. today in his final press conference of the year, president obama talked about his goals for 2014, the year coming up. although he didn't use the term minimum wage, the president made clear reference to the need to give living wages to workers. let's listen to him make the point. >> i think 2014 needs to be a year of action. we've got work to do to create more jobs, to help more americans earn the skills and education they need to do those jobs and to make sure those jobs
offer the wages and benefits that let families build a bit of financial security. >> gene, let's talk about this. you know, so many things are controversial but when you pick up the paper and two-thirds of the people say they want it. >> it's not controversial. people like the idea of a higher minimum wage. people understand that the minimum wage has lagged and that $7.25 is ridiculous at this point. not just in the city. >> it's $280 a week before taxes and fica and everything that's taken out of it. >> try living on that in the washington, d.c., area. or try out in west virginia or down in georgia or any place. i mean, that's not very much money. i think if the president frames this as a way to preserve the middle class character of this society, because that's in many ways what makes this country great. >> the huge number of people who think of themselves that way.
>> some are rising on top and some settling to the bottom. it's a different country. >> let me ask you, joy. talk a big. it's an issue that affects the whole structure. you kick it up in the bottom, push it all the way up. pushing economics. and will that be good for the economy? i remember henry ford that wasn't great in some issues, but he said i want my workers to be able to buy one of my cars. which is smart. >> exactly. one thing the recession did was a great leveller. you had a striving middle class and sort of identifying themselves in a lot of ways with the rich. the 1990s where everybody feels like i could be a dot-com millionaire. now you have people who found themselves for the first time in the lower middle class. when i was a kid you go to a fast food joint, the person behind the counter was a teenager. now the person in a fast food joint is a parent with kids, a
mom raising a family. you now have adults, not just seniors and teenagers in those low wage fast food checkout type jobs. you have people who are trying to run a household on that income. americans really understand this. now you have an issue broadened out to the middle class where they can identify themselves. they're your neighbor, your dad, your brother-in-law. and people when they can understand that, the minimum wage feels like something that affects them too. >> when i go to the airport here reagan national. i got to get used to everything. there's always a bunch of people making burgers. there's like an assembly line. they don't stop working. >> no. >> they are working eight hours and making hamburgers. how would you like eight hours of nonstop burger making? you can see them working. >> it's called work. it's hard work. >> i don't know what they're making.
i don't think they're making ten bucks. >> right. and this is something that americans understand and that some in the republican leadership don't understand is that americans understand people are working for the minimum wage or near the minimum wage. work punishing hours and often because the wages are so low have to take a second job or a third job in order to make ends meet. >> let's talk about this. you write columns about this all the time. the big picture question of american. good conservativie good conservativconservetivism. you have to have health care of some kind, something to make everybody a participate. otherwise you have resolutions. it doesn't hold together. one way to keep people together is to give them a decent wage. members of the senate democratic leadership team, that's harry reid on down, are clearly going after this income inequality issue. they say it's going to be a top priority coming next year.
and dick durbin even referenced pope francis in this regard. let's listen. >> he warned that income inequality leads to a global nation of indifference. >> there's no bigger challenge we have than income inequality. >> the difficulty in average people getting good paying jobs has overtaken the deficit as the number one problem facing our political economy today. our republican colleagues should take note. >> you know, the politics of this, i'm now in the ethnic piece of this. bitching, if you will, about people with the stereotypes on this that is ethnic and saying we don't want to give money to people that don't do any work. the bums.
then they may have two jobs. but screw them. i'm not going to give them minimum wage. it seems that's harder for republicans. >> it's harder and it makes no sense. you know, we have -- >> get them off the welfare role. >> people go to work and yet they don't make enough money to live. then you have a supplement what they make with food stamps or housing assistance. >> or else tell the bosses to kick up the wages a little. >> exactly. if you get them a living wage, then you don't have to pay for the federal benefits. >> joy, you young lady, i've got to ask you. do you see the conundrum here? they lace into people that aren't working. then when they find out they are working, then how can they get a mad at them saying get off the couch and go to work. oh, you're at work? oh, let's cut your wages and keep you at the bottom. you have to give relief in some direction. if you don't give money, how
about relief for the people that's working. >> exactly. then you subsidize them with the thing conservatives hate the most which is food stamps and public assistance because the wages aren't enough. and there's a conservative case for this too. to your point earlier, chris, if you don't have consumers, the great bubble, the huge economic bubble that took place after world war ii was about this influx of consumers. it wasn't just because americans were going to work. they were going to work for wages that allowed them to buy the refrigerators and the home gadgets and to get the latest television technology and bring that in the home. if people aren't making enough to consume, how will the economy work? >> and the box that came in is they thought there'd be a recession after world war ii. but there wasn't. there was a boom. harry truman got re-elected in 1948 and that surprised. you know why he won? 6% real growth. anyway, raising the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour has broad support in this country even
from republican and tea party supporters. among all respondents, 64% support raising the minimum wage. and 47% of republicans. tea parties, almost even there. gene, there's the interesting thing. and yet they're one of them. they benefit. say wait a minute, this is my pay raise going up. >> exactly. people understand. people are a lot closer to the situation in america. >> i have no idea how. >> it's a populist issue. it's an issue that helps the guy down the street or helps my cousin jeff or whatever. >> now that you're with this like i am, will they get it through. what deal with they make with the republicans in the house? do they offer with something
less than $10.10? do they give something to small businesses? how do they put the sugar into this pie? >> that figure, 64%. that's a big number. >> you think just push this. >> i think they can be pushed on this. >> joy, i don't want an issue here. i want results. your thoughts. how do they get john boehner and eric cantor and kevin mccarthy to clear this for a vote in the house after the senate? >> you know, i honestly think you're not going to get it through the house. strangely enough even though it seems to be obvious or easy politics, i think republicans are going to demand something in exchange. >> what would that be? >> probably something for small business, something on the tax rates. but this isn't a party that operates in a normal political way. that's normal politics and they give on minimum wage. but the tea party politicians, they are completely immune to the realities we've just been discussing.
>> i'm more optimistic. i think they can win on this one. it may take six mornts of work, but a smart president putting his focus on this. now the trouble is he will focus on immigration and everything else and then touch this. i think he's got to push this. ic -- i think he needs to get a double. get the guy in scoring position. thank you, gene robinson. thank you, joy reid. coming up, what started out as offensive comments by the star of a reality tv show has turned into a real political story. ted cruz, bobby jindal, and yes of course sarah palin, are all out there defending the star of "duck dynasty," phil robertson reminding everyone the republican party is ignoring the lessons of 2012. remember that autopsy? well, still dead. plus, the big fight brewing over sanctions against iran. if imposing higher sanctions this deal could come apart. that could be bad news for those
of us that don't want a war. wait until you see these. we're going to count down. imagine the biggest scandal of the '70s maybe being the number one movie of 2013. let me finish with this. speaking on matters of nuclear war. this is "hardball," the place for politics. [ male announcer ] at his current pace, bob will retire when he's 153, which would be fine if bob were a vampire. but he's not.
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welcome back to "hardball." when a bible belt reality tv legend and the far right collide, watch out. phil robertson, the star of "duck dynasty" on a&e has sparked a national fire storm thanks to comments he made about gays and blacks in the january issue of "gq" magazine. robertson is fervently religious and a self-described bible thumper. he's helped catapult his reality show into the most popular of the history of television. it has descended into something more disturbing. here's what he told "gq" on the topic of sinful behavior. quote, start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there. bestiality sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that man. don't be deceives. neither the adulterers, the male prostitutes, the homosexual
offenders, they won't inherit the kingdom of god. it's not right. this is what he said about pre-civilized blacks. quote, they're singing and happy. never heard one black person say i tell you what, these dog gone white people. you say were they happy? they were godly. they were happy. no one was singing the blues. the far right has rallied around robertson. a&e suspended him the same day it was published. here's what louisiana governor republican bobby jindal said just yesterday. >> to me this is an issue about religious liberty, freedom of expression. it's about the left keeps saying they're for intolerance until people disagree with them. after all the antics miley cyrus
would still be on tv and phil is the one getting kicked off. >> ted cruz said, quote, the reason so many americans love d.c. is because it represents the america usually mocked by liberal elites. it should not be the media behaving adds the thought police. ron reagan is a contributor and nia-malika henderson. you don't have the advantage of sitting across from me, ron. but i have to play ignorance because i don't watch everything on television. i watch homeland and stuff but i've been educated. it is a huge cultural event. this guy's a major figure in our culture. it's a huge sub-culture. it's country people. what do you make of the whole thing? the combination -- the right has
jumped here to exploit this fight. ron? >> oh, i'm sorry. i thought you were talking to nia. listen. there's a lot of hypocrisy going around throughout this. the right wing is all exorcised because this guy is having his free speech rights interrupted by a&e that don't want to associate themselves. if he he did claired himself an atheist and called the bible a relic of the iron age, do you think ted cruz would be coming out championing his cause if a&e had let him go on that account? i don't think so. >> so what do they have in common? what does the tea party have in common with this guy? >> 20% of america and most of them are republicans and a lot of them are even elected officials, agree with this guy. bill o'reilly says the same things he does. many elected officials in the republican party say the same
sorts of things phil robertson has said. >> let me go to nia here. there's some venom here. there's profound ignorance. you're african-american. i haven't heard anybody saying -- the old joke was i guess if you go back to gone with the wind or birth of a nation you've got singing black people that sort of enjoy their bondage. and being whipped all day. then you have this guy with a latter day version of it which is prior to civil rights. pre-civil rights days were great. people walk into biting dogs. >> there was a whole movement. right. i mean, this is the kind of thing. i grew up in south carolina and strom thurmon would say this. you do hear this from some older southerners. so that's part of that sort of southern older society. i do think within the republican party, there had been moments sort of built into the system where politicians could sort of
give the wink and the nod to these sorts of things when republicans would go to south carolina. they would weigh in on terms of how they felt about the confederate flag. your dad, he goes to philadelphia praising rights. but now that doesn't really exist. here is this opportunity in this very kind of big way for them to do the same sort of thing with these pop culture figures. >> i want to get more political here. the far right's defense of robertson i want to talk about, has been built around the concept of freedom of speech and religion. this is sarah palin with sean hannity last night warning about the end of american civilization on this point. look at her. she's dressed in camouflage which happens to be the unofficial "duck dynasty" outfit. >> this is all about freedom, free speech. so many american families have spilled blood to guarantee his
and everybody's right to voice their freedom of opinion. after that is lost, everything is lost in our country. >> these are the guys that didn't believe in loyalty oaths? the idea of free speech -- >> these are the people who spent the last month threatening to boycott stores that say happy holidays instead of merry christmas. they're not exactly avatars of free speech themselves. but they do have a point here. really, how ignorant can't you be and still keep your reality television show? of course this man paul robertson is a fool. of course he's ignorant and ill informed. but many other people are too. so is a&e doing a right thing by indefinitely suspending him yet continuing to air the next season of "duck dynasty" which will feature paul robertson. >> politicians -- ron and nia, politicians are rational. >> that's right. >> what are they playing to here? they're playing to a public not
just of hard right. they're playing to a bunch of people on the center right that feel there's too much regulation of political correct. and the idea of the term where there's only one way to talk. you can only talk liberal. and i think that's part of the thing they play to. i think that's why ann coulter plays to that. she says things because she doesn't have a job. everyone else on the right is sympathetic to but loves it when she says it. >> this idea they're losing their space and place here. right? there's this nostalgia about the way things used to be. of course things didn't used to be so good for african-americans and women. there's been lots of progress. and even with the issue of same-sex marriage. right? utah came out today. they've overturned that ban that state had on same-sex marriage. >> we got polygamy back in action out there. it's back in the courts. >> so they're playing to this identity. >> how much of this is just
lingo? i think anybody in the united states can say call me old fashioned, but i'm only for straight sex. i'm not for gay marriage or sex. i don't like it. somebody saying that would not be problematic to me. but when you come on showing venom and making it personal. it's not the sin, it's the sinner who i don't like. it's the bad person. and you use the lingo of that hatred, that's when people say you've turned a corner from what we consider a free speech country to a hate message. your thoughts, ron. >> why do they always go towards bestiality? what is the obsession with that? bill o'reilly does the same. why does it make people think of having sex with animals? but you're right. >> it's the slippery slope. you take away one of my handguns, you'll take away my whole -- i guess that's the slippery slope. driven to extremes. >> i've got to marry my dog, yeah. >> i don't know.
the question for both of you given the powers that be, will this fella phil robertson be reinstated at a&e? >> i think the dollar is going to matter here. this gets 9 million viewers. i think the whole family is now expected to walk. >> ron? >> the new season is as i said is already in the can. so he'll be on the air in the next "duck dynasty" season. >> will they bring him back? >> will he be on the season after that, we'll see. >> come on. i'm asking you. we'll see? i'm taking a wait and see attitude. >> that's right. >> yes. i think he will be on the air. >> that's what a reporter says. they stand outside the building and say we're waiting and seeing. ron reagan, thank you for that courageous call. up next, "duck dynasty" has become fodder for the late night comics now. that's next on the sideshow. this is "hardball," the place for politics. [ male announcer ] here's a question for you:
it's that special time of the year when the man with a big white beard makes homophobic remarks and gets kicked off his reality show. >> the a&e group says i'm surprised the man who lied in the bayou did not have progressive views on gay people. stunned. >> welcome to the sideshow. that was jay leno and conan o'brien on the fallout on the suspension from "duck dynasty." conservatives rallying behind the reality star were joined last night by steve colbert who looked at his rosy depiction under jim crow. saying that blacks were happy, and quote, no one were singing the blues. >> they had nothing to sing the blues about. they got their own water fountains. white people pretended to be
there, they had it so good. i tell you who i feel sorry for, folks. a&e. with this controversy, they may have just lost the "duck dynasty" massive black and gay audience. up next, democrats are up against democrats in the fight over sanctions against iran. that's ahead. you're watching "hardball," the place for politics. mine was earned orbiting the moon in 1971. afghanistan in 2009.
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i'm milissa rehberger. here's what's happening. same-sex marriage is now legal in utah. federal judge struck down the state's gay marriage ban earlier. president obama and his family boarded air force one a short while ago. they are heading to hawaii for the holidays. and just as they head out of town, other holiday travelers may have a rough go this weekend. parts of the midwest and new england are expecting snow while heavy rain and thunderstorms are expected from texas to the ohio valley.
now back to "hardball." ♪ welcome back to "hardball." here's a story we'll be talking about a lot this coming year. iran. agreed to freeze the nuclear program in exchange far slight easing of sanctions. intensive negotiations will soon begin to come to a final agreement. while the sides have agreed to a six-month timetable so far. yet some u.s. senators seem to be trying to set their own foreign policy. a group of 27 senators including robert menendez, 13 other democrats are pushing to impose harsh new sanctions including a total embargo on iran's oil exports. the sanctions will be delayed until after the six-month talks. but the white house says voting on new sanctions now would undermine the diplomatic effort. the president said he would veto
that effort. in his press conference he said the effort in congress going on right now is unhelpful. >> i'm not surprised that there's been some talk from members of congress about new sanctions. i think the politics of trying to look tough on iran are often good when you're running for office or if you're in office. i don't think the iranians have any doubt that congress would be more than happy to pass more sanctions legislation. we can do that in a day on a dime. but if we're serious about negotiations, we've got to create an atmosphere in which iran is willing to move in ways that are uncomfortable for them. we don't -- where we can
actually resolve this by engaging in this kind of action. >> well, david corn is washington bureau chief for mother jones magazine and michael crowley is "time" magazine's foreign affairs correspondent. what good can come of 27 u.s. senators in the midst of negotiations which are tricky as hell with the iranian republic trying to get a deal between two tricky sides that don't like each other. and theying screw you we've got more pain to give you. what do you gain out of that? >> none. there were tough sanctions already the congress put on. >> which led to these talks. >> yes. they got other countries to agree. if other countries don't abide by them, they don't do good. they've got other countries to go along with this. and it brought iran to the table. rouhani got elected in part because they had to do something about these sanctions. so we're talking about a five-month window now. and so if you can't give the
president especially if you're a democrat the time to do this diplomacy, you're not helping. it's only creating more reason for the hard liners in iran to say we can't trust the americans. we can't deal with them. and talking to people who know what's going on behind the scenes, this is all being driven by apac. >> is it hawkish? does it represent a particular brand of israeli politics at home? >> it tends to be more hawkish. always more supportive of lacud. i would think they would not be doing this unless this is what netanyahu and others back in israel want. >> i keep thinking of getting into the question of not getting pro or anti-israeli, it's the question of libny.
where is that? i would think he would be against any new sanctions at this point as long as there's a chance for a peace deal. >> sure. i don't know where those exact people stand on this question, but it's not at all clear that it's in israel's interest to step up the sanctions. i mean, it's a matter after how you handle the situation. i think some of the senators who support this bill believe you'll never get a deal with iran. you can't trust them. but the administration -- >> but if they don't think it's possible, why are they afraid of trying? it won't happen, so why afraid of trying? >> because you waste time and maybe they're doing things secr secretly. >> but do we all agree, the three of us, that no u.s. president can survive if it's known that iran has nuclear weapons. you can't get away with it. it won't work politically speaking. >> yes, but obama's not running again. >> i'm asking do you think he would live with nuclear weapons in the hands of the iranians?
>> not with this -- he said he wouldn't. in the long run we may have to at some point. >> you mean would me maybe not -- >> in other words, the worst fears of the hawks who are pushing for more sanctions, are they justified because of the fear that maybe down the line obama will buckle and say you can have a dozen weapons? >> i think it's plausible. he has said over and over he won't accept it. you talk to people close to him and say -- i've heard this from people in the administration. he means it, but there's doubt and what happened in syria. >> as a political person, i can't see an american president surviving. it's too much heat. it's too much heat. >> they won't have it on his watch. they won't have it within three years. >> you think hillary would put up with it? you think christie would? >> that would be a big issue. >> hillary wouldn't put up with it. >> your big point is right. what are they worried about? >> i don't think they're rational. >> they're worried the next five months is not going to be the key make or break moment on whether there's a nuclear iran.
it may be whether they do something diplomatically. >> she has all the intelligence. she's pointing to this national intelligence estimate that says if you push for tougher sanctions now in the middle of these talks, you can undermine them. >> right. and i think a key point it's not just the iranians who really don't trust us. we don't trust them. but people in america don't understand the degree which they think we're not acting in good faith. but the other countries applying sanctions, they aren't going to go much farther. vladimir putin, china, india, south korea, brazil. if we push more sanctions, the administration and a lot of people who i think are looking at this in a fair minded way is we're the problem, not iran. that would be a disaster. >> christmas and the holidays are upon us. let me start with you, the expert on foreign policy. is there a plausible chance that secretary kerry, john kerry, will succeed in keeping the iranian government far enough
away in weaponizing that reasonable european parties will say we can live with that. >> i'm not sure. because netanyahu and some of the people around him think that any domestic enrichment program is too much. they have to completely get rid of it. >> is there a way to get through a deal that we can all agree on? >> yes, i think that is doable. >> one thing netanyahu is afraid of is they'll come up with something that's arguable. he won't accept it. >> it's not just a nuclear iran. he's worried about the economic growth of iran. anyway, thank you. up next, one of the biggest political scandals of the 20th century is now perhaps the best movie of the year. this is "hardball," the place for politics. >> no. i'm thinking big. this is going to be fantastic. we're doing video surveillance. i'm doing this from the feet up.
>> you will never do it properly because you've got too much government attitude to be small and sleek. i'm a con man. i'm in and out. i was there the whole time. you don't know it, all right? become somebody who people can pin their beliefs and dreams on. e your mom has a mom cave! today i have new campbell's chunky spicy chicken quesadilla soup. she gives me chunky before every game. i'm very souperstitious. haha, that's a good one! haha! [ male announcer ] campbell's chunky soup. it fills you up right. [ male announcer ] campbell's chunky soup. if yand you're talking toevere rheuyour rheumatologistike me, about trying or adding a biologic. this is humira, adalimumab. this is humira working to help relieve my pain. this is humira helping me through the twists and turns. this is humira helping to protect my joints from further damage. doctors have been prescribing humira for over ten years. humira works by targeting and helping to block a specific source of inflammation that contributes to ra symptoms.
for many adults, humira is proven to help relieve pain and stop further joint damage. humira can lower your ability to fight infections, including tuberculosis. serious, sometimes fatal events, such as infections, lymphoma, or other types of cancer, have happened. blood, liver and nervous system problems, serious allergic reactions, and new or worsening heart failure have occurred. before starting humira , your doctor should test you for tb. ask your doctor if you live in or have been to a region where certain fungal infections are common. tell your doctor if you have had tb, hepatitis b, are prone to infections, or have symptoms such as fever, fatigue, cough, or sores. you should not start humira if you have any kind of infection. ask your doctor if humira can work for you. this is humira at work. marriage equality is on the move. late today a federal judge struck down utah's ban on
same-sex marriage. potentially clearing the way for same-sex marriages in that state. a clerk's office has started issuing marriage licenses to gay couples. yesterday supreme court ruled it is unconstitutional to deny same-sex couples the right to marry. that makes new mexico the 17th state to approve. illinois and hawaii both legalized marriage equality. we'll be right back. [ male announcer ] what if a small company became big business overnight? ♪ like, really big... then expanded? ♪ or their new product tanked? ♪ or not? what if they embrace
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here's "hardball's" year in review. joining me is ann hornday the great movie critic for "the washington post." let's start with "american hustle" which was awarded best film of the year. it's about the abscam where one united states senator and six members of congress were convicted of bribery and conspiracy back in 1981. in the movie a very idealistic new jersey mayor who cares deeply about the people of his city is seduced by the promises of the good he can do when a federal agent posing as a middle eastern sheikh suggests money can close the deal. let's watch. >> you're going to do this because you've got to choice. you work for me. >> you keep changing the rules. you're getting a little power drunk, richard. you want to wake him up?
>> no. i said we shouldn't do any of it. you know i said that. now i support richie. >> he's the one ruining america. not me. >> how the [ bleep ] am i ruining america? >> people just got over watergate and you're go i think to [ bleep ] over politicians again. >> this movie is rich in passion and character. i've never seen a movie like it. i don't know who to root for. there's so many to root for. i think christian bale is unbelievable. and he's a welshman talking like someone from jersey. i don't know how they do that. >> he has a little of his roots in the delilah song he sings with jeremy renner. >> it's an interesting take on abscam. i remember it. a few philadelphia guys went down. money talks, bs walks. all the great lines that came out of it. they caught these guys on tape. they caught the mayor of camden on tape. but in this they make the mayor
a good guy. >> everybody has a little goodness. this is a not a cynical movie. the writer and director, he's a humanist. you know, i think what he's depicting is people who are inventing desperate to sort of free themselves from their identities and create something new. it's a real sort of homage to the american spirit of creativity and self-invention. >> it was both american and a hus. we're not like europeans, if you're a waiter in europe, a french waiter, you want to be a waiter for the rest of your life. >> in the wonderful speech that jeremy renner's character delivers, we dream, we build, this is what we do. there's this idealistic streak beneath the bad acting. >> i like it when amy adams, gorgeous in the movie, looks at him and says, this is me.
she drops that accent thand athai couldn't handle it. bradley cooper. what are they talking about? >> it's all about the facades and just the sheer verb and energy of the picture. it's so much fun to watch. >> next on my list is lee daniels, the butler. a movie about the african-american experience during the civil rights movement and how one black male provides for his family by serving as white house butler to eight u.s. presidents. >> i'd like to invite you to the state dinner next week. no, not as a, not as a butler, cecil. i'm inviting you as a guest. >> but the president prefers for me to serve in person. >> don't you worry about ronny, we'll take care of that. so we'll see you next week, you and your wife. >> forest whittaker's a killer in this movie. i don't know how you beat him. >> well, it's a tough year for best actor, but it was a stunning -- what a beautiful movie. >> here's my take.
i think it's about being an african-american, they've been here, the people who are african-american in this country, have been here since the 16th century. slave ships came. they've watched wave after wave of americans and asians, european americans, come in. italians, jewish, irish. each new boat load comes in and they're here all this time and they welcome them and here's this butler at the white house, one president after another coming in. and he's got to get used to each political wave. that's how i saw it. i know it probably is too big, but there's nobody more american than african-americans. but we're always coming of age. >> that's such a fascinating take on it. a couple of years ago, i wrote a story on why haven't we seen that great epic on the civil rights movement. it's been the backdrop of several films, but just the breadth, the scope, the weight of it hasn't really been
captured on film, but this movie did it. the way that it weaves sort of the history of the civil rights movement and also just the black middle class in washington and depicting the family life. it was just gorgeous. >> it popped and also turns howard and oprah winfrey. >> what an ensemble. >> i don't think anybody doesn't see this as great. >> here's another one that got to me. doc. a documentary about african-american women who were the back-up singers to some of the great songs in the '60s, when i was a kid. watch this. this is going to grab your heart. >> one particular christmas, i was cleaning this lady's bathroom. ♪ and christmas baby please come home. my christmas record came on the radio while i was cleaning this bathroom. ♪
and i just looked up and said, okay, all right, darling, this is not where you're supposed to be. >> here's a woman working as a house cleaner, a maid. and she hears a song she recorded. the weirdness of ownership in the recording industry, got somebody else's label on it. even the white singers in the early '60s had this wonderful wall of sound they call it. >> that was the beauty and uglyness of phil spector in one full circle there. he created such an -- >> wasn't a down beat movie. just the way things are. some people make it, some don't. these women got right up to the edge of making it. >> it's really poignant and there's something kind of symbolic and meaningful that they are mostly african-american women and most of the people in the film are -- >> i worship -- thank you, right back after this. stick with power.
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like the president, i'm not surprised that 20 something senators are out there looking the punish iran harder as we're trying to establish coexistence with them. i don't know the motives of those senators, if they want to derail the negotiations, perhaps they've convinced themselves as the president himself allowed
that they are somehow putting more pressure on the rairanians. with them, any chance to avert war and for this, i reject what they're doing and strongly as i can. when you cut off the route to peace, you leave only the path toward war and no one ever said blessed are the war makers. when reagan met with gorbachev in 1986, the democratic speaker of the house urged colleagues to hold off on their nuclear freeze vote because he didn't want to undermine the republican president's talks with gorbachev. i read about that by the way in tip and the giper, why politics worked. it's a great gift, a great guide to the way things worked when they worked. like ending the cold war. that was a big one. so, merry christmas to everybody and happy holidays to all. this show is more than anybody
can imagine. the people you don't see, but show me every day their generosity, commitment to getting the truth to you and the passion we all share for this country. that's "hardball" for now. "all in" starts right now. good evening from new york. happy friday. today in his last news conference of the year, president obama basically offered his annual report. here's what you missed. the president touted the fact that with revised numbers just released, third quarter economic growth was the highest it's been in nearly two years. 4.1% annual rate, july through september. president praised the bipartisan budget agreement that was passed, but chastised congress for not passing an extension of emergency unemployment insurance before it left town and said he would push for an extension as soonco