tv Melissa Harris- Perry MSNBC May 25, 2014 7:00am-9:01am PDT
this morning, my question, what are armed u.s. personnel doing in africa? plus, ready or not, here comes hillary. and we will talk about the horrifying shooting in california. but first, an international sports legend speaks out against what has become a most dangerous game. good morning. i'm melissa harris-perry. it's been nearly a month since michael jordan spoke out about donald sterling's racially charged comments. michael jordan, who rarely has much to say on messy issues like politics and race, was compelled to discuss donald sterling, saying, quote, there is no room in the nba or anywhere else for
the kind of racism and hatred that mr. sterling expressed. we cannot and must not tolerate discrimination at any level. so if you want to measure the severity of sterling's transgression, we could look to the punishment. nba commissioner adam silver banned him for life and fined him $2.5 million. on monday, the league formally charged sterling with violating the terms of his constitution and bylaws, giving him until may 27th to respond. the board of governors will meet a week from tuesday in new york to vote to end sterling's ownership of the clippers. but maybe the best indication that donald sterling's comments were far beyond the bounds of socially acceptable behavior is the fact that michael jordan felt compelled to level such a clear and public condemnation. michael jordan, whose athletic accomplishments run questioned, but whose utter lack of engagement with social and political issues led us to ask,
has anyone done less with more than michael jordan? when the infamously silent superstar chose to speak, well, you knew something was really happening, which is part of why the sports and news world sat up and took notice this week when an international legend of the world's most popular sport uncharacteristically spoke up. i'm talking about pele. he's the same pele who criticized muhammad ali for refusing to fight in vietnam. if michael jordan is a big deal, pele is a global phenomenon. you think the nba playoffs draw a significant audience? the world cup is the sporting event that makes entire countries come to a halt during its month-plus run. and it's returning to brazil for the first time since 1950. and here is pele, another infamously nonpolitical athletic superstar who chose this week to
criticize his own country's preparation for the world cup saying, it's clear that politically speaking the money spent to build the stadiums was a lot. and in some cases was more than it should have been. some of this money could have been invested in schools, in hospitals. brazil needs it. that's clear. on that point, i agree with the protests. a bit like jordan's comments on sterling, the fact that pele was moved to say something speaks volumes about the severity of what is going on in brazil right now. so what is going on in brazil right now? ahead of the world cup, which is set to begin on june 12th, protesters have raised several significant concerns. delays in construction where three of the 12 stadiums have yet to be finished, the deaths of nine workers at stadium sites, substantial public funds spent on the world cup originally intended for transportation and infrastructure projects that were supposed to benefit all brazilians. these criticisms are not new. this comes after more than a
million brazilians took to the streets last year to protest and bring attention to the country's rampant government corruption and high levels of inequality. more recently, the country has seen widespread civil unrest that has ticked up in the low-income communities that the brazilian government claims have been pacified ahead of the world cup. but that pacifying comes with numerous allegations of abuse at the hands of brazilian police. and the police are not the only ones trying to pacify. they're also clearing these communities, demolishing some of them. clashes in brazil are so bad that since last year, there has been a 69% increase in the number of deaths from conflict with the police. and this is of particular concern going forward because brazil is not only hosting the world cup this year, it's also hosting another mega sporting event in 2016, the summer olympics. now, full disclosure. comcast and nbc universal will
broadcast the 25016 summer olympics and every olympics through 2032. but what is happening in brazil is not an isolated incident. the act of hosting major sporting events is a taxing process for the host countries. not only because of the large price tag but because of the sometimes deadly work and displacement that can happen. we saw deaths occur in the last home to the world cup, south africa, where two workers died during stadium construction in 2010. yet, the combined number of deaths in south africa and brazil may pale in comparison to what is happening right now in the country of qatar, which is set to host the world cup in the summer of 2022. qatar only has 278,000 nationals. that means that the majority of their labor is imported from countries like nepal, the philippines, india, and sri lanka. according to an investigative report by espn, 184 immigrant workers from nepal have died from cardiac arrest caused by
working conditions and extreme heat just in the last year. and this is an allegation that the qatar government denies. but if the espn investigation is right, it is estimated at the current rate, more than 4,000 workers could die by the time the 2022 world cup is played. this practice of importing workers to undertake dangerous and sometimes deadly work has not only been done for the construction of sports stadiums. think about the panama canal. before the panama canal became the marvel of modern day construction that connected the world's two largest oceans, thousands of workers sacrificed and died while building one of the largest canals in the world. once america took over, before that, many chinese and african workers died from malaria and even suicide. with big events comes enormous responsibility. and of immediate concern is the news that brazil has stocked up on riot gear and is ready to deploy police and military forces to contain
anti-government protests that are expected during the world cup tournament. we have seen that when the responsibility for these big events is made at the expense of the people, then there will be big and sometimes fatal consequences. joining me now from washington, d.c., david ziren, sports editor for "the nation" magazine and author of the new book "brazil's dance with the devil." nice to see you this morning, dave. >> great to be here, melissa. >> let me just put it as clearly as i can. what is happening in brazil that is sufficiently severe to draw out even this tepid condemnation from pele? >> right. well, i just got an e-mail from a friend who's living in brazil. i think this says a lot. i think this will bring with you, melissa, particularly. he said, the phrase fifa in brazil is about as popular right now as the phrase fema in new orleans after hurricane katrina. it's very tense there right now. the issues are the ones that you mentioned. it's displacement. it's the militarization of public space.
and it's debt that's going to see this world cup be the most expensive in history. more expensive than the last three world cups combined. what makes this different is you're also seeing the biggest demonstrations that brazil has seen in the last 30 years, since the fall of the dictatorship. also, if you look historically, as you mentioned, you see these issues. debt, displacement, the militarization of public space. you see this at mega events throughout the 20th century. yet, this is really the first time by my accounting since 1968 in mexico city where you see demonstrations in advance of the mega events. a lot of times you see demonstrations in the aftermath when the bill comes due and everyone has a hangover after the party. but in this case, people are raising the issues now. that's what makes this historic. >> dave, that's actually really useful for me. i was thinking about, for example, right here in the united states in atlanta in 1996, we saw the clearing of public housing projects, including the tech wood housing
project, which has historic significance in addition to housing, of course, poor and marginal people. so what makes this different? but this idea there's basically an infrastructure for this kupd of protest, is that unique to brazil? >> it's not unique to brazil, but a couple things are different between now and 1996, which might as well be ten lifetimes ago. the first is that in the post-9/11 era, the defense industry, the research and tech industry, i mean, for this, this is their super bowl, if you will. this is when they roll out all the new toys and the idea of the surveillance of people, particularly poor and marginalized populations, becomes of the utmost concern. so there will be drones flying overhead in brazil. just like there were drones flying over london during those olympics as well. so that's one big difference. the costs are -- by the public in those cases, that's not corporate underwriting that pays for the defense. that's always on the public
dime, which leads to debts, which always fall on the shoulders of the population once it's all said and done. so that's a big difference from '96. the other big difference is that this has come to brazil at a time when brazil is the fifth largest economy if the world. all the leaders in brazil -- by the way, arm in arm with pele. when they won the world cup and olympics, pele was there cheering along with the ruling workers party saying this is about catapulting brazil into that first tier of nations as the role we deserve. we want a seat on the security council of the u.n. we want to be recognized as the mega power that we are. so the expectations were raised to the stratospheric heights for the people in brazil. when health care still lags, when education still lags, and when people see $500 million being put into stadiums, you have a very volcanic kind of situation. >> let me ask a tough question. maybe particularly tough because me having any time off in any summer requires the television
broadcast of the summer olympics. as i was reading your new text, i get about halfway through it and you start talking about germany and you start talking about the olympics and hypernationalism from a previous era. is it possible to ethically host the olympics? is it possible to ethically host the world cup? or do these events at this point with where we are in the world simply consistently come down to these deep inequalities in these nations? >> it's so difficult. it's like that old expression about neoliberalism. the only thing worse than being exploited is not being exploited. i think that the only way that you can tangibly do these events in a way that has some use value for the people themselves is if you held them in locations on a rotating basis, the same locations. that would upset all the people who want to bring them into their country because the fact remains, these games do make a
lot of money, but they make them for only a small group of people in the country. they exacerbate inequality. my dear friend john carlos raised his fist. he always says, you know why they have the olympics every four years, because it takes them four years to count all the money. unfortunately, it really is a situation where it acts as a neoliberal trojan horse. we're seeing that in brazil. >> this is going to be a significant question. i think all of us want to think of and enjoy moments like the world cup and the olympics as this sort of coming together of the world. but as you point out, fifa, in this context, we have to ask the human rights questions as well. we appreciate that you always put those questions out there. we appreciate the new book. >> thank you, melissa. >> thanks, dave. dave zirin in washington, d.c. thank you for joining us here in
nerdland, dave. now, before we move on this morning, i want to bring our audience the latest information we have on the deadly killing spree in santa barbara, california. it's left seven people dead. an aparent manifesto has been found. inside the 137-page document, the writer, believed to be 22-year-old elliott rodger, details his perception of living a life of rejection and loneliness and his plans to exact revenge. the paper eerily mirrors the youtube video rodger posted just hours before he started the shooting rampage friday night. that rampage left three people and the suspect dead -- excuse me, six people and the suspect dead and another 13 wounded. investigators say before the shooting, three men were stabbed to death inside rodger's apartment. so far, three victims have been identified. christopher ross michaels martinez, veronica elizabeth
weiss, katherine brianne cooper. all were students at the university of california santa barbara. we're going to have much more on the story later in the program. ♪ [ male announcer ] tora bora fallujah argonne khe sanh midway dak to normandy medina ridge the chosin reservoir these are places history will never forget but more important are the faces we will always remember. ♪
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we've started in brazil, but we are taking you around the world this hour. our next stop is the middle east, where pope francis is doing this morning what he seems to be doing a lot, breaking news. he arrived in bethlehem a few hours ago, the second stop on his three-day tour. during an outdoor mass, he invited palestinian president mahmoud abbas and the israeli president to the vatican to discuss the embattled peace process. according to the associated press, the two leaders have agreed to go to the vatican next month. the meeting would be the first public high-level talks between
israelis and palestinians in a year. but we should note that the meeting right now does not include the israeli prime minister netanyahu, who's criticized other israelly leaders for reaching out to abbas after he reconciled with hamas. the pope has called this a strictly religious pilgrimage, but every move is being watched for political significance. during a meeting today, he openly endorsed a palestinian state. before celebrating mass in manger square, he made an unscheduled stop to pray at the wall that divides bethlehem from jerusalem. tomorrow, the pope will be in jerusalem where he will say mass on mt. zion, which has been claimed as the site of the last summer. the pope has refused to use a bullet proof car, and he's traveling with both a rabbi and an imam, making his trip the first time a papal delegation has included people of other
faiths. the powerful message of religious tolerance. after today's announcement of a vatican summit, it appears to be having an effect. up next, we'll land in ukraine, where voters are selecting a new president today even under the threat of continuing violence. t. from coffee to snacks and drinks. everything... mom! except permission to use the garage. thousands of products added every day to staples.com. even safety cones. staples. make more happen. even safety cones. ameriprise asked people a simple question: can you keep your lifestyle in retirement? i don't want to think about the alternative. i don't even know how to answer that. i mean, no one knows how long their money is going to last. i try not to worry, but you worry. what happens when your paychecks stop? because everyone has retirement questions. ameriprise created the exclusive confident retirement approach. to get the real answers you need. start building your confident retirement today.
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and we promise to keep it that way. driven to preserve the environment, csx moves a ton of freight nearly 450 miles on one gallon of fuel. what a day. can't wait til tomorrow. did you get out your passports? because we're going to continue to go around the world this hour. our next stop is ukraine. despite clashes that have plagued the country in recent months and even in recent day, the clash on thursday claimed the lives of at least 16 ukrainian soldiers, according to "the new york times." yet, voters have been headed to the polls all day in ukraine to vote in the country's presidential election. on friday, russian president vladimir putin had this to say about how russia would look at today's vote. >> translator: we'll have respect for the choice that the ukrainian people will make. we'll watch very closely at what will happen. >> joining me now from kiev ukraine is nbc news foreign
correspondent ayman mohyeldin. given the balance the country has been dealing with in recent weeks, even in the past few days, how is this election playing out on the ground today? >> reporter: well, we've had a chance throughout the early hours of the morning and the afternoon to go to several polling stations, both in kiev as well as some of the towns and cities outside of the city capital. now, we've seen for ourselves that the process has been very smooth. the process -- the atmosphere has been relaxed. in fact, there have been international observers at several of these polling stations, including former secretary of stay madeline albright. in all of the facilities there was a sense of optimism on many of the people here who were casting their ballots. they definitely recognize the sincerity and importance of the moment and that's why they were participating. but it was not lost on any of the voters that whoever comes into office faces serious challenges. most importantly, fighting corruption and trying to unite the country. as you mentioned earlier, the
eastern part of the ukraine has seen some of the worst violence in this country's history. in fact, there was no polling in one region, predominantly the eastern part, several cities there. they were in the even able to hold actual polls. as a result of that, it's going to raise some questions about the legitimacy and credibility of the process. but nonetheless, it is certainly going to be a new opportunity for whoever comes into power to try and move this country forward. among the challenges he will have to deal with, restoring ukraine's economy. one of the front runners that we had a chance to speak to today is an oligarch. he's a man trying to represent the change this country wants. but a lot of the revolutionary groups a lot of the young people we've spoken to say he does not represent the change they want. more importantly, he's a product of the old corrupt political, financial, and elite system that existed in this country. so there are still questions about some of the candidates and
choices. nonetheless, the elections so far have gone at least in the western part of the country without any major disruptions so far, melissa. >> ayman mohyeldin in ukraine, thank you for joining me this morning. let me turn to my table now. i'm going to bring in an associate professor of international affairs at the new school and author of an extraordinary new book "the lost khrusshchev." thank you for being here this morning. >> thank you for inviting me. >> when i hear in the east we're looking at either long lines or simply no polling, no voting at all, obviously in this nation, you know, when you have something like what happened in ohio or even in florida, it really does call into question kind of the fundamental legitimacy of the election. will what's happening in the east call into question the legitimacy of these election outcomes? >> a lot of the people in the east also want to vote. we've seen evidence of that. we do know that probably 75 if
not more of the population actually would like to vote. apparently there have been buses running to other polling stations elsewhere. i think what actually undermines the legitimacy of the claims is vladimir putin is supposedly behind the actions saying we're going to respect the kiev vote. >> and do you believe that? >> yes, i do. >> okay. >> i actually do. i've been arguing all along he's not interested in invading. he just wants ukraine in -- under his -- somewhat under his control or more under his control. i think also one of the reasons he actually is changing his tune in a much more conciliatory tone is the front runners. he does believe he can work with them both. maybe not greatly easily, but he can work with them. >> so even though both of them
have, in their public statements, said they have an interest in connections with the west, that do seem to fly in the face of putin's interests. >> well, in a sense. but he doesn't -- i mean, you know, i used to say that he's going to choke on ukraine if he leads it. he knows he's going to choke on ukraine if he invades it. but he does know these are the people also because they are part of the past that putin is very familiar with. he knows he can talk to them. even if they're western supporters, nonetheless, they both also say that russia is an important neighbor and that's what he needs. >> so it's interesting. because that sort of intergenerational question and sort of how older ukrainians think about russia is part of what we've seen even in the east where you see these clashes. it's young people who say, oh, no, we want to be part of ukraine and older folks saying they want to return to rrn. >> it's not even that much. they want to return to russia, but they want to return to russia, which is great, which has the money, which has
international support. if russia is an international pariah, why would you want to return to that country? i think that's why putin is toning down his rhetoric. the support in moscow seven much less for taking over ukraine than it was when crimea was taken over in march. >> okay. so on the one hand, you know, i feel like everything i know about this i know in part from conversations and dialogue with you. so part of what you've talked about is this notion of putin's behavior in this context, creating russia as an international pariah. on the other hand, "the new york times" is reporting that putin and russia are deeply connected in what they're calling the far-right frenzy in europe and saying that russian influence in the affairs of the far right is a phenomenon seen all over europe, that it's spearheaded by the french national front, that it could form a pro-russian block in a european parliament or at least amplify previously marginalized pro-russian voices. when i read that, i thought, is this the long game to destabilize the european sort of
leftward drift and pull it to the right? >> that's been a conversation that putin is so clever he's able to think of many steps ahead. i know that he's very clever. i'm not sure he's that strategically clever. however, as a former kgb man, he knows his audience. he reads his audience really well. he reads european audiences. in fact, i was just in europe and various countries. it wasn't just the right wing. they don't like what putin is doing, but even more so, they didn't like the way the united states was treating the conflict. i kept being asked, what happened to american diplomacy? what happened to american diplomacy? that's where putin is a victor. he becomes a splinter in this kind of relationship. it's not a monolith block, despite the fact the white house tells us. >> if that's putin facing west, then the story of putin facing east this week is about this huge gas deal between russia and
china. apparently worth $400 billion. russia is going to supply china with 38 billion cubic meters of gas. putin has called this the biggest deal in russia's gas industry. how worried should the u.s. be? >> you can be very worried if you want to take it as a negative block. iran will be involved. i hate saying it's a nuclear war, because it's not. we need entirely different language for this. it's creations of new blocks. other than that, putin did get a boost from this deal. but it doesn't have to be an animosity boost. if he makes up his relationship with the west one way or another and ukraine remains a buffer, because he actually said we'll support the elections. he also said, we do not want nato to come to russia.
that's one of the first times he brought it up the. so saying, that's where i stand, deal with it. it depends on how we deal with -- if we make it into an animosity, it's going to be a problem. other than that, it's another market for russia. >> fantastic. we're coming back on exactly that issue. we're now going to go to china. that $400 billion natural gas deal with russia is far from the only reason that china was in the news this week. cyber spying is up next. then we'll talk more about that big gas deal. and the award goes to ceramics house. congratulations. thank you. the success of your small business depends on results. go vests! all organic, and there's tons of info on our website. that's why you rely on the best for your business. and verizon delivers the best devices on the best network. you're all big toes to me. so go ahead, stream and download with confidence on america's largest, most reliable 4glte network. activate any 4glte smartphone and get $100 off. for best results, use verizon.
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filed 41 counts of criminal misconduct. but on monday, attorney general eric holder unsealed all of the juicy details of the 48-page indictment. >> in some cases, they stole trade secrets that would have been particularly beneficial to chinese companies at the time that they were stolen. in others, they stole sensitive internal communications that would provide a competitor or adversary in litigation with insight into the strategy and the vulnerabilities of the american entity. >> okay. but for its part, china questioned the u.s. claim that it dipped its hand into the cyber cookie jar, with officials in beijing calling the accusations, quote, extremely ridiculous. they offered the counterargument that cyber warfare in pursuit of economic advantage is no different than the united states spying for reasons of national security. now joining me table is gordon chang, columnist for forbes.com
and author of "the coming collapse of china." okay. it's pretty unlikely the u.s. is actually going to ever imprison these accused hackers, but it's gone so far as to make these wanted posters. is this all just performance, both on the part of china and the u.s.? >> i think what's going on here is the president really wants to work within the rules based international system. >> president of the united states? >> yes, president obama. and the way to do that is to bring criminal indictments because the chinese in the past have said, look, okay, you alleged cyber hacking. but if you really have the information, if you got the goods, go to court. well, this is exactly what we did. i think what they're trying to do in washington is send a message. because they never will bring these five officers to the western district of pennsylvania, but they can start the conversation with china. they can get things rolling. now, unfortunately what china did right after the indictments was to end the dialogue that the u.s. had established with beijing on cyber espionage. so this doesn't look like it's going to work, at least in the short term. >> when you say start the
conversation and the headline from "the financial times" is, china clamps down on u.s. consulting groups. in response to, this oh, yeah, you going to indict our guys? how about you can't come over here? that doesn't feel like it's starting a dialogue. >> no, it doesn't. what the chinese are doing is going outside that rules based international system because really, this shutting out of u.s. consulting companies violates china's world trade organization obligations, which is undertook in 2001. they also have banned windows 8 and have done a number of other things which are discriminatory. so clearly, china is being a trade rogue here and so now the question is, what is the president, our president, going to do to help american business? because this is serious. >> so the seriousness of this is perhaps underscored by the attorney general. i want to take a listen and ask you a question about sort of what spying looks like in our contemporary moment. let's listen to the attorney general. >> these represent the first ever charges against known state actors for infiltrating united
states commercial targets by cyber means. >> so when i hear him say known state actors and he's talking about commercial targets and cyber means, i think, is spying just -- you know, i watch a lot of james bond. my husband is a little obsessed with it. there's a way in which that version of spying and even what we heard from edward snowden about the kind of spying that the u.s. has been engaged in feels almost 20th century now in comparison to what we're now seeing. >> well, but, it is true. it may be a development of spying, but it is the same kind of spying. i remember when the news came out that the united states was spying on angela merkel and barack obama went out and said, well, everybody is spying. so everybody is spying. and i think that's what gordon was saying. the chinese decided that they are -- i mean, they've been deciding that's what they're going to do because everybody is doing it. i want to bring it back to russia, if i may. i think we're at a very dangerous moment in all this international interrelations
between various countries because with annexing crimea and this mess in ukraine, putin created precedent with so many countries that you can actually break international rules, and yet you may be forgiven or at least people would continue talking to you. so i think what the united states does now, what the president decides to do now is very, very important for the future because we will have many more instances of this kind. >> is that part of what the bump up against vietnam is? i mean, is it part of a response to, well, putin got away with it in crimea? >> also, because the united states didn't really defend the philippin philippines in 2012. we didn't need to look at crimea. the point is very important that you raise. we're at our league of nations moment. the league of nations fell apart in the 1930s when it couldn't respond to japanese aggression. we have a united nations, but it has been sidelined because of the way it's structured. the question is whether these multilateral institutions will
work. and it's not just the u.n. it's the world trade organization and all the rest of them. because they are now being challenged by china and russia in ways that are deeply troubling. >> i want to push one more on the commercial aspect of this cyber spying. so the chinese are rejecting the idea that there's some great difference between national security and the economy, which makes sense when the state owns the economy. but you've written that cyber spying by china is costing millions of jobs in the united states. is that -- like, really? >> well, the blair huntsman commission said 2.1 million jobs a year in the united states are lost because of cyber hacking. the estimates of annual loss from chinese cyber hacking range from $20 billion a year to about $350 billion a year. i think probably the best estimates are around $110 billion a year. and you know, you have to put this into context because david hickton, the u.s. district
attorney for pennsylvania, talked about this u.s. steel plant in texas. brand new. u.s. steel bought it. it went out of business because the chinese were taking pricing data from u.s. steel over the phone lines. so clearly, they had to shut the plant because it was no longer economic. >> intellectual property is meaningful property. stay with us. still to come, as we go around the world this hour, the latest on the search for the missing nigerian girls. but next, how the newly elected prime minister of india is making history, even before taking office. i'm m-a-r-y and i have copd.
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thailand's former prime minister was taken into military custody friday along with more than 100 others. the coup comes after the military failed to forge a compromise between the populous government and the royalist establishment. the beloved 86-year-old king has led thailand's constitutional monarchy for more than 60 years, but his health is declining. soldiers have taken over media there, and the military has suspended the constitution and banned political gatherings. so far, no major bloodshed, but there are concerns the situation could quickly turn violent. to thailand's east, india will soon have a new leader. the world is watching how he will engage other nations. after winning the world's biggest election last week, india's incoming prime minister is already making history. in a surprise move, prime minister elect modi invited pakistan's prime minister to his swearing in ceremony tomorrow. and pakistan's prime minister as accepted, setting up a first of
its kind meeting for the neighboring countries. supporters of the invitation hope it will ease relations between the two nuclear powers who have been bitter rivals since 1947 when india won independence, splitting off from pakistan and its muslim majority. pakistan's prime minister says he wants peace for the next generation. time will tell if this is the first step. our next stop on the global tour is the latest outpost for american troops. should we be relieved or alarmed that armed forces are in africa? we'll discuss that when we come back. on at&t's network for $175 dollars a month? yup. all five of you for $175. our clients need a lot of attention. there's unlimited talk and text. we're working deals all day. you get 10 gigabytes data to share. what about expansion potential? add a line anytime for 15 bucks a month. low dues... great terms... let's close. introducing at&t mobile share value plans... ...with our best-ever pricing for business.
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frequent heartburn medicine for 8 straight years. it's now been more than a month since nearly 300 nigerian girls were abducted from their high school in northeast nigeria by the extremist group bok boko haram. this video shows what the group's leader claims are about 130 of the girls who he says will not be set free until all of its prisoners currently held
by the nigerian government are released. nigerian president goodluck jonathan, who's been krits sized for his government's ineptitude, has publicly ruled out any possibility of a deal. in the meantime, now 40 days since these girls were taken, the effort to rescue them is no closer to accomplishing the single goal that has fueled the hopes of their families and rallied the support of people around the world. bring back our girls, the hash tag inspired by that hope, has been tagged to more than 4 million tweets and spurred a worldwide come pain calling on international governments and media to get involved. the initially slow response has now mobilized to bring intelligence agencies from around the world to the nigerian capital to help in the search. that includes a team of military, law enforcement, and hostage negotiation advisers from the united states. the u.s. has also sent manned surveillance flights and drones to search the area where the girls are believed to be held. just this week, president obama announced the deployment of an additional 80 u.s. troops to
support intelligence and surveillance operations in the neighboring nation of chad. for more on the search and the impact of u.s. troops in africa, we're joined by the author of "the bright continent." i'm so happy you are here. >> thanks for having me. >> i have wanted to talk to you basically for the month since this became part of the news. >> it's a tough story. >> it feels to me in many ways, especially because of the hash tag activism that's part of this, like it sits right at the intersection of your specialties around technology and africa. so tell me, finally, after a month, what do we not know about nigeria that we ought to know to be guiding our actions in this moment? >> you know, i think the story is a particularly shocking manifestation of an old one in niger nigeria. you've had disenfranchisement on a regular basis. this is just one expression of a
long-standing grievance. it's shocking. i think if we were talking about 276 people killed in an explosion, which has been ongoing, you know, 1500 people have been killed this year alone in nigeria as a result of boko haram. we might not be having this discussion. because we hold up the possibility of hope of rescuing these girls, we're seeing this mobilization. for nigerians in particular, protesting is not a normal activity. people are just trying to get by. you're suddenly seeing people appearing on the streets, people taking to the streets, people taking to twitter and other forms of online discussion to ask for help. what's really discouraging to me is the question, even looking at the hash tag, you know, who are we asking? >> who is meant to bring back our girls? >> who is bringing back the girls? is it boko haram? is it michelle obama?
in 2009, they sort of radicalized boko haram. that was seen as sort of a shift if what had been a grinding response to disenfranchisement to a very violent, very militarized series of attacks we've seen since then. >> so given that, given that part of how we end up in this moment has to do with under and over response, when i hear the president of the united states say that there are armed american personnel in chad, i am having a very hard time celebrating that. like, on the one hand, i want -- of course, we all want these girls back. but the history of armed u.s. personnel on the continent is not one that's led to lib stoery activity. >> everyone's been clamming for response. i think the goodluck jonathan government hasn't been able to
provide one. so the u.s., traditionally, has been the most effective when there's been a light footprint without a lot of footprints. you've seen this in uganda with respect to the lord's resistance army. bring back our girls has sort of narrowed the choices of the government. now they're publicly involved, . the u.s. is now very obviously implicated in this. it may not always be the best outcome. i wouldn't worry too much about a militaristic mission in africa. >> not with 80 people. >> that's the kind of intervention that the u.s. can do. it's limited, but the fact that it's publicly associated with the u.s. might be problematic. >> on that, i want to open this one. this question feels to me like it might be related to both the issue of russia and china and africa. that is in this concontext, par after what your book makes a really smart claim toward, when we think africa, we think dark
continent, being backward and behind, but it's technically quite advanced. the images we've seen coming out have been images that feel like this former version of what we think of the continent. it feels to me like in this context, in russia's positioning, in china's positioning, we have these nations that are presenting, that are doing a performative thing on the world stage that might, in fact, be working exactly against the interests either of their people or what we want. does anybody want to jump in on that? am i missing that? >> i would like to jump in on that. i think she made such a fantastic point. when the united states -- i mean, to my point, what happened to diplomacy? sometimes the united states is so big on claiming that it is involved in the world that often it doesn't think through exactly what kind of smaller or more thought through steps would be -- for example, all those
diplomats who worked in the soviet union. do the sanctions but not announce it. don't have joe biden scolding vladimir putin because behind the scenes they would be much better off. of course, this is a very tragic story, but in some ways, it does seem to be a part of american foreign policy. beating itself on the chest and saying, we're going to get involved. often it goes against the real story. >> i'll give you 15 seconds on this. >> the simple thing is if you want those girls back, you need the u.s. military in there because nobody else can do it. and this is a real diversion of the u.s. military strength because we've got a lot of problems around the world. europe and in asia. but clearly, if this is what we need to do, what the world wants us to do, then it's got to be the u.s. because no one else can do it. >> and it's got to be done. well, we will continue to watch this story. it is heartbreaking. i hope that you'll come back and continue to help us to understand it. >> of course. >> thank you to nina and gordon and dio. coming up next, we turn our focus back to issues here at
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at discover, we treat you like you'd treat you. fraud protection. get it at discover.com welcome back. i'm melissa harris-perry. heartache and confusion. a college campus is grappling with a tragedy this morning. seven, including the suspect, are dead, and 13 more injured after a killing spree. the shooting started friday at about 9:00 p.m. near the university of california santa barbara campus. according to law enforcement, the ten-minute shooting rampage left three people dead and the suspect as well. another 13 wounded. investigators say before the shooting, three men were stabbed to death inside the suspect's apartment. so far, three victims have been identified. veronica weiss, katherine cooper, and christopher michaels martinez. their families left stunned and
in search of answers. >> none of us, i don't care who you are, are immune from this. i don't care where you live. this can happen to you. >> the young man believed to be behind the mass murder was identified by his own family as 22-year-old elliott rodger. in april of this year, sheriffs deputies had been in contact with rodger after a family member expressed concern and requested a check on his welfare. rodg rodger, who krcreated a number disturbing videos in the past posted one to youtube on friday just hours before the shooting rampage began. joining me now is nbc news correspondent jennifer bjorkland. what's the latest with the investigation on the ground? >> reporter: well, sheriffs investigators have 12 clirime scenes they have to comb through. a lot of information to gather and witnesses to interview. the most important part of the
investigation is the why. they already know what happened. they already know who is responsible. but they need to do some investigation to figure out what could be done in the future to prevent these kinds of things from happening. and if anybody missed any warning signs along the way. so as you look through all these crime scenes, they know there were stabbings at the first three, those roommates. then the shootings. the weapons purchased legally. the contact with sheriffs investigators just a few weeks before this all happened. why were no more red flags raised? those are the questions that they're looking for answers to, melissa. >> jennifer, typically when this sort of thing happens in a community, there's just such a sense of sadness and heaviness. are you experiencing that there today? >> reporter: so much so, meli a melissa. it is heartbreaking. it is wrenching to watch these
families. you know, there's a -- certain events are a demarcation. there's a before and after. the families living in that after now that have been touched by this. they will always be living under a cloud of sorrow. the ones who were worried about their kids who showed up in isla vista yesterday, the parents who saw their kids and hugged them and hugged them tight and didn't let them go as soon as they saw them, just the relief and just the overwhelming sadness that is now shrouding this community. definitely it's a happy college town. isla vista is a party place, but it is filled with sadness this weekend and for weeks to come as they deal with this. >> nbc news's jennifer bjorklund. thank you so much for joining us. now, in the seven-minute video posted just hours before the rampage, rodger threatens to annihilate as many people as he can, saying he's fed up with a life of rejection and loneliness. the disturbing video has been widely distributed across the internet and tv.
we have decided not to play it on this program. instead, we want to focus on what he said and the specific language he used. so let me read you one part of what the suspected shooter says. quote, you girls have never been attracted to me. i don't know why you girls aren't attracted to me, but i will punish you all for it. it's an injustice, a crime because i don't know what you don't see in me. i'm the perfect guy, and yet you throw yourselves at all these obnoxious men instead of me, the supreme gentleman. i will punish all of you for it. lat later, he say, i take great pleasure in slaughtering all of you. you will finally see i'm the superior one. a manifesto that was written by rodger has also surfaced with much of the same language. it's still very early in this investigation. in the grieving process, the community affected is just beginning to mourn the loss of its loved ones. as we just heard from jennifer, the big question remains, why?
so we are going to try to understand what happened and why because those losses are meaningful. we are left to analyze the facts of the losses and the evidence left behind. joining me now, dr. jonathan, professor of psychiatry at vanderbilt university, who did not know or treat the suspect in this case. robert the "the new york post." thank you all for being here. this is a tough morning, jonathan. within hours yesterday, the madman narrative had emerged. should we be concerned about that narrative? is there something we might be missing by allowing that to be the story? >> part of what we see in the aftermath of these horrific events is this sense of it couldn't have happened here. there's a kind of shock. it's outside the bounds of sanity. so on one hand, it makes sense to me why people like the
sheriff in the press conference afterwards said clearly this is the work of a madman. again, knowing nothing about the history here, the shooter had been diagnosed apparently with autism and was taking medications. i'm very wary of that narrative for a bunch of reasons. one is that there is no link whatsoever between autism and shooting. across the board, people with mental illness are far more likely to be the victims of violence. >> let me pause there. i'll let you go on, but i want to point out, when i looked up from my desk and saw autism spectrum as part of the narrative, we immediately reached out to autism speaks, who sent us a statement, who did, in fact, just write to us, it's an inaccurate report that there is any correlation between asperger asperger's. these reports are harmful in
that they take away from the real focus of the needs of the people with autism. i wanted to underline that. >> absolutely. i think that's one of the key take-home points here. if we had to limit gun access -- i'm getting all these tweets this morning. if we went by dsm-5 criteria, that would solve the gun access problem for our country. we'd be cutting off guns to many, many people. in a way, you know, there's many other things going on in that particular statement that i think warrant -- but one of the two key things for me as a psychiatrist, one is that he's clearly sane. so he's not psychotic. he's not clearly on drugs or something like that. he's driving his car. he's in college. so this is somebody who's sane and functioning. it's not a surprise to me that the police interviewed this person and he seemed okay. >> so in part because -- so maybe we'll come back to that sanity designation in a moment, but part of what i think for so many of us was appalling and
shocking is we think about hate crime. we hear the word hate crime, and our first thought is race or ethnicity or religion. but given some of the language -- and it's still very early. we certainly don't know everything. but liz, given some of the language about gender and the gender narrative, at least from the alleged shooter himself at this point, it made me think, i wonder if we're constantly missing the ways in which crimes against women or perpetrated on behalf of these gender expectations are also hate crimes of a particular kind. >> i think that is something that women worry and think about constantly as they assert themselves in a narrative of, i would like a seat at the table. the thing i kept coming to is this is a 22-year-old man who clearly his whole life has felt rejected. by women, by other peers. so as we -- as this unfolds and
we hear and learn more about him, what are we going to learn that his peers saw that made them say, you want to know what, maybe i'm not going to ib viet you into my narrative. has he been throughout his life someone who's been alienated, alienating, and how does that manifest? i think that's something we're really going to learn that's going to be eye opening. >> part of the problem is not even the hate crime narrative that you suggested works either. half of the people killed were men. his own roommates that he stabbed to death. so i mean, he has his clear -- >> but i just want to be clear on this. i'm not trying to suggest a federal designation for this behavior. what i'm saying is a gender motivated crime. even a crime against men who are seems, as he seems to be suggesting in this manifesto, sexual competitors with him. it's still gender based in that way. >> possibly.
and again, there's so much going -- i mean, jonathan suggested, you know, that he is sane. just because he's a functioning individual. you know, he can drive, seem to carry on a conversation with authorities when they check out, obviously the depth of this person's emotional and mental rage suggests that -- i mean, i don't think sanity is -- sanity is a tough word to use for an individual like this given where the it ended up. >> as a psychiatrist, explain why you used that language. >> i would say several things. i was using sane in the technical definition in terms of sanity for, you know, hospitalizing somebody. i would also say that as a psychiatrist, there were two strong gender components in the statement. one was the sense of narcissistic injury. there's a sense of entitlement. i didn't get what's mine, and i'm going to pay people back. the second was replaying up a larger cultural message that guns are what psychiatrists would call a kind of phallic
replacement in a way. because i'm not getting what i want, a gun is a very gendered tool. that was very striking in that message. >> so is a knife, if you think about it. >> absolutely. in a way, i would say that the gender themes that were ib hernt in that message were for me, far and away the biggest psychological components of addressing this. >> although, clearly many young men experience rejection and do not end up on the other side of a shooting rampage in this way. i will say we seem to know -- i'll take a moment to listen very briefly here to the fact that the firearms were themselves -- actually, we won't listen. we don't have a lot of time here. with the assistance of alcohol, tobacco, and firearms, it's been determined that all of the weapons were legally purchased. they were all registered to the suspect. we know four in ten americans have a gun in their home. i'm an american who has a gun in my home. there are real questions here,
not only about the mental state of this one individual but about the cultural realities and about the structural realities that allow him to be armed. >> right. i think one other way of looking at this from a gender perspective is to look at the aggressor in these types of incidents. it always seems to be a very aggrieved, disaffected young male who's taking his internalized pain own whatever anguish he's going through and turning it outward and terrorizing a whole community and causing this destruction. one of the difficult things is, i think, in this case, he was consulted. his family did send him to some time of mental health professional. the police did investigate him. the guns were legally purchased. but it's hard to put together a comprehensive look at this type of crime, in part, because the cdc does not have the funding because the nra has been aggressively pushing the government to strip them of that function. the u.s. government, the federal government, cannot even say with certainty how many people are shot and killed with guns each
year. >> i don't want to minimize the fact that easy access to guns is a portion of this. we have to keep in mind, you know, half of these victims were stabbed to death, which really does put the focus on this is a seriously mentally disturbed individual who wanted to kill people in as many different ways with as possible. >> and many of the injuries caused by his vehicle. we'll continue to follow this story here on msnbc, particularly as new information unfolds. we encourage you to stay with msnbc throughout the day. i want to say thank you to jonathan metzel for your expertise. it's a heartbreaking story. always appreciate having you at my table. everybody else is going to stick around. we're going to take a deep breath and turn our eyes towards politics. we're going to talk about super pacs and new books and high-profile media and somebody who definitely looks like she's running for president.
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hillary clinton is running for president. no, i'm not breaking news. she hasn't filed the paperwork for an exploratory committee, but you have to look at what she is doing. yes, i know that back in january she told a group of auto dealers that running for president wasn't even on her mind. >> i'm not thinking about it. i've tried to get other people not to think about it. i'll think about it, you know, in the future sometime. but right now, let's deal with what we have to do to continue building on our success. >> uh-huh. and then in early april it seemed her thinking or at least what she was thinking about had, in fact, changed. >> and i am thinking about it, but i'm going to continue to think about it for a while. >> ahhh! right? with all of the thinking, it seems best to concentrate on what, in fact, secretary clinton is doing. as we do that, it sure looks like the former secretary of
state, u.s. senate, and first lady's campaign is about to begin. first thing, the task seemingly required of every contender for it the oval office, she has a new book. it has a very campaign-y title, too. "hard choices." then, of course, the book tour to promote it, which even has two stops in canada. but the big stop will happen early next month in front of abc's cameras. secretary clinton will sit down with diane sawyer for an hour-long interview which will hair on june 9th. then robin roberts gets the first live interview about her book on june 10th on "good morning america." that's also the day the book comes out. the super pac ready for hillary is already making plans to sign up supporters for appearances for the book. while she may just be thinking about it, she has the book, the multicity tour, the high-profile media showcase, volunteers with clipboards. it may or may not be a campaign, but it kind of looks like it. of course, at this point in the
cycle, if you are thinking of running for president, there are key signifiers of your intent. are you hanging out in iowa and new hampshire so often you don't need a map? are you taking private meetings with big political donors and bundlers? and are you out and about helping to raise money for other politicians whose support you may just be needing down the road? right around this time, two presidential cycles ago in 2006, hillary clinton was also the very early front runner for the democratic presidential nomination by a lot. according to the gallup poll, she led by 20 points or more. a list of other potential candidates not named, barack obama. yes, at this point in the cycle, the last time around for clinton, her biggest challenger, who would go on to defeat her, wasn't even on the list. we know that should secretary clinton run again, she will not be running alone, even if we don't yet know who it is who is going to run against her. so joining our panel now is role
call editor in chief christina bellantoni. so is it fair? >> yeah. nothing gave me more evidence to that point than her camp's reaction to what karl rove said about her and her mishap. they came out so forcefully against it. they had not only a statement on the record pushing back, but they also sent bill clinton out there. this was something they were deeply offended by. they were ready to engage. but what's also really interesting is the types of things she's doing. that interview with diane sawyer, talking to robin roberts, those are no accident. they're going to be talking about her being a woman, what it means to be a female in this role. because that's one of the mistakes her team knows she made in 2008. she didn't really allow that side of herself, which is actually a very strong part of herself, to shine through. so i would not be surprised at all that a lot of the warmth and motherhood and now grandmotherhood-to-be is going to come out.
>> you think some have suggested might be problems to her, but she's going to try to turn them into strengths. and we got to deal with the inevitability discourse. the last time she was in inevitably inevitable, not so much. >> well, you know, that's because, i think, she didn't play up exactly what we're talking about here. 10 million more women than men voted in the last election. you know, and she said in her -- i'm turning this over to barack obama speech, i broke 18 million glass ceilings. and there has to be an excitement narrative with her if she's going to do this. she needs to get women energi energized. because women and people of color are still going to decide who's the next president. so what does that mean? >> so raul, i love what liz just said. this is just where i wanted to come. democrats win in the general election for the presidency when they don't pick the inevitable candidate for the nomination. so jimmy carter the first time.
bill clinton in the first time. and of course, barack obama. when democrats pick the next person in line, when they pick al gore, john kerry, it doesn't go so well. so if you're going to gin up the excitement to get out that big democratic base, is reaching back to the 1990s the best way to get that excitement? >> well, see, that's hillary's challenge. nobody lakes being told who is going to be the president and who's going to be the nominee. that's why the whole inevitability narrative was so disastrous. people resent being told who -- what the outcome is going to be. i think that many of her so-called negatives at this point can be flipped to positives if she is able to show a new side of herself. as you said, there's a whole personal side to her that most people have not yet seen. >> come on. there is some side to hillary clinton that in the past 25 years i have not seen? >> robin roberts excels at those empathetic interviews.
>> she loves kale. >> breaking news! >> hillary is not done. >> if i can paraphrase a certain song, you know, don't stop thinking about 20 years ago. i mean, it is kind of bizarre that they are -- presidential elections in particular are usually thought about in terms of what the future, that the strongest hand that hillary has along with her partnership with bill is, you know, the good times of the 1990s. but to christina's point, there was another great signal this week to show that she is definitely running. and that was when she sent the signal out to the democrats that she wanted them -- she wanted democrat members on the benghazi panel. partly to, you know, in a sense to get her message, get the democratic message out about what she did in terms of the leadership role. because i think she realizes regardless of what people think
about benghazi, she realizes it could be a danger to her campai campaign. >> so i'm going to say some other names and see if we have other enthusiasm. >> the republicans are enthusiastic. >> republicans can't wait for this. how about joe biden? are we writing off old uncle joe? >> no, i would say joe biden's camp is signaling more and more that he does want to run. just look at how they're stepping up his social media activity. they're trying to build this cool following. >> you saw him with the sun grasses. >> also not an accident. >> these are about alternatives. in 2008, the democrats were very afraid that they weren't going to be able to reclaim the bush white house. so they were worried that, you know, hillary could be a drag on the ticket or whatever. they had an alternative in barack obama who could similarly raise the giant money, could excite the base, could excite young people, all those things. my don't see that in any of the people that are considering running against hillary clinton.
>> the martin o'malley fire. >> deval patrick? none of that? >> the rock star thing. >> so let's talk elizabeth warren. this is the narrative that tends to emerge as the hillary alternative. >> you know, elizabeth warren, she fires up the progressive base. she has fantastic ideas. she's the only person out there bho who's bold enough to talk about increasing things like social security and medicare. that's what so many liberals and progressives are yearning for. she has these fantastic ideas. but she's still saying she's not going to run. also, her portfolio, her resume is largely centered around being a consumer watchdog. on so many other issues, like how would she negotiate with china, how would she deal with the middle east? that's a big question mark. i think the time is now. >> not at all unlike the guy that had just been state senator two years before. >> her time is nowing to moving into position if she's going to do it. >> she's the hillary clinton of
what happened in 2004. hillary clinton had a choice. she could have run for president then. she decided not to. she allowed the other candidates to feel it out. you're running against an incumbent president. elizabeth warren can wait, see if the democrats reclaim the white house. the thing is, hillary clinton is not going to go unchallenged. >> christina, what you just said is my main angst with hillary clinton. because in 2004, when her party needed her, she chose not to run against the incumbent and she waited. i don't know for me that what felt like that act of lack of political courage can -- i'm not sure i can get over it. okay. we got more. just stay right there. we'll say more words as soon as we come back, i promise. i make a lot of purchases for my business. and i get a lot in return with ink plus from chase like 60,000 bonus points when i spent $5,000 in the first 3 months after i opened my account. and i earn 5 times the rewards on internet, phone services and at office supply stores. with ink plus i can choose how to redeem my points.
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from coffee to snacks and drinks. everything... mom! except permission to use the garage. thousands of products added every day to staples.com. even safety cones. staples. make more happen. even safety cones. ♪ ♪fame, makes a man evetake things over♪ ♪fame, lets him loose, hard to swallow♪ ♪fame, puts you there where things are hollow♪ the evolution of luxury continues. the next generation 2015 escalade. ♪fame she's been here for years. we are continuing to talk about hik potentially running for the u.s. presidency. also, importantly, this is what i want to get to. she's not going to run alone.
she's not going to run uncontested. who are the other folks? you laughed about martin o'malley and the fire. >> you know, i love brian schweitzer. i love montana. i love everything about that guy. when you look at people who we need to turn out, what is happening? it's no accident that julian castro will be nominated to h.u.d. that will be her running mate. i do believe that to be true, if that happens. >> can you weigh in on castro going to d.c.? i read that as potentially two different ways. one is this idea of the administration looking at texas and saying, you media types can talk about texas turning blue all you want, but we don't really think it can, so we're going to bring them up to d.c. and that's the bad news story. the good news story is maybe they're beginning to position him for a vice presidential run with whomever. >> i think it's a little of both. for one thing, julian castro is so different from many of the other prominent latinos in
politics. many of them, like marco rubio, he's cuban. julian castro is like most hispanics because he's mexican-american heritage. he really excites the latino community. i think what you're saying here, both are true. they're positioning. they're elevating his stature there. it's going to excite people in texas. one of the big problems is just getting latinos to turn out. it's a great platform. >> i would be a little nervous, though. i know castro, obviously, as accepted. h.u.d. has been the death of political career. henry cisneros was a rising star. >> it wasn't because of h.u.d. >> that was personal. >> the mayorship in san antonio is like a week mayorship. it's not like you're a commanding figure in that place. so he can always go back and run for senate or run for governor.
something. all of the people considering running against hillary clinton now are auditioning for cabinet positions for vice president and maybe something happens that she topples and they're the person. that really scares democrats. >> and yet, again, to go back to liz's point about -- so the thing with republicans is if you have a low turnout election in which it is primarily just chronic voters who vote, they're fine. but democrats cannot win not midterms and not presidential elections until it suddenly brings new voters in. that's how president obama wins in '08. it's how he wins in 2012 despite the horrifying midterms in between. i'm looking at my list. okay, joe biden, i like him, but he couldn't do it on his own. elizabeth warren, maybe. but then all the challenges you talked about. california governor jerry brown. martin o'malley, andrew cuomo.
>> with the exception of deval patrick, the interesting thing is there are more potential people of color running on the republican side. >> particularly women of color. >> women of color. nikki hailey of south carolina. susanna martinez in new mexico. throw in brian sandoval, marco rubio, tim scott. i'm throwing auout all those names. there are not that many democrats statewide of people of color. >> you put a woman of color, southerner, either southwest or southeastern, on that republican ticket, someone who's a governor who has a good, strong record. what you don't have with hillary clinton is that capacity to learn something about them because we don't know that much about them. and it is a -- it is game on. am i wrong about that? >> not if they're pro-life, right? i think that does dramatically reshape the national presidential electorate.
>> i'm not so sure. >> they're not going to necessarily go for her in that case. >> sarah palin showed us as a classic example that that was an insulting thing. >> clearly we're going to continue to talk about this during the commercial break. when we come back and the tv cameras are on again, i'm actually going to talk about something slightly different. i will say this, though, still to come, the nerdland unofficial kickoff to summer. and an update on the biggest political moment to ever happen on this program. coming up. when folks think about what they get from alaska, they think salmon and energy. but the energy bp produces up here creates something else as well: jobs all over america. engineering and innovation jobs. advanced safety systems & technology. shipping and manufacturing. across the united states, bp supports more than a quarter million jobs. when we set up operation in one part of the country,
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members of congress deserve re-election. well, this november is the next chance to throw the bums out. 389 incumbent members of the house of representatives are up for re-election. so are 29 senators. many are being challenged by members of their own party. and 22 incumbents who had challengers have already gone through their primaries. so how many incumbents from the body with only a 15% approval rating have been thrown out of office so far in 2014? zero. we're going to try to solve that mystery next. way to get your fiber. try phillips fiber good gummies. they're delicious, and an excellent source of fiber to help support regularity. wife: mmmm husband: these are good! marge: the tasty side of fiber. from phillips. i'm d-a-v-e and i have copd. i'm k-a-t-e and i have copd,
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announcing i'm running for governor of the state of pennsylvania in 2014. >> just the nicest guy in the world. well, the results of the democratic primary in the gubernatorial race are in. we know who will be going head to head with sitting republican governor tom corbett. it's not ed. it's tom wolf, a businessman who has spent $10 million of his own money on the race so far. the truth is that nerdland's buddy dropped out of the primary race back in february. he said he just couldn't spend the eight to ten hours a day necessary to try to raise the money to compete. according to the lehigh valley express times, he said, quote, it seemed like every time i sat down to make fundraising calls, another issue with the city would come up that required my attention. i found out the hard way that campaigns are all about raising that money. so our friend does not continue in his race because of what it costs. and i set up a mystery before the commercial about how is it
that everybody hates congress but they keep re-electing their congressmen. are these two things potentially connected? >> potentially. in 2010 in the tea party wave, you saw a lot of underfunded, surprise republican primary winners end up actually becoming members of congress. a little bit more like real people than some of the other members of congress. and this is a real debate in washington. you know, i work at a newspaper that has been the newspaper of capitol hill since 1955. members of congress tend to have come from the cream of the crop. are they really representative of america? congress certainly doesn't look like america. now you look at some of the jobless. some of the guys that won were auctioneers, a pizza parlor owner. not in congress anymore. there was a little more representation there. as congress gets younger, it's going to more and more start resembling america. >> there's been a long history, though, of the public not liking
congress but liking their own member. >> but there used to be a reason. >> but the first time actually that broke was 20 years ago with the newt gingrich republican revolution. that was when he sort of nationalized the election and got some change going. now, though, it seems to be sort of falling back to that old standard. >> but that's like grad school 101. you know, why does america hate congress but love their congressmen? there was an answer. bacon, pork, earmarks. the answer was that your congressman brought home stuff. but there are now no more earmarks. yes, it was a mystery. yet, it seemed to have an answer. >> i think it's apathy. i hate to say it. when you look -- when you're a young person coming out of college and you are saddled with debt and both parties haven't done anything about it. they said, you go to college, you get a job, you're going to do it. they are not sophisticated
enough at this point, because they're young, to pick apart ideas, to separate parties. the parties have become one big money hole. and i think that people feel disenfranchised by it. i really do. >> i'm down. i'm down particularly with mocking millennials. we did the best we could. >> i'm not mocking them. i think it's real. >> rather than lay it on the shoulders of the people being insufficiently in tune with their government, what about the fact that in the house, incumbents raised $935,000 on average compared to challengers who raised just under $160,000. in the senate, incumbents raised an average of $8 million compared to challengers who raise about $500,000. i love people, but they need to overcome that. >> they have staffs. once you're in, you have a staff, people setting stuff up for you. >> one of the reasons those numbers are so high for incumbents, they're chairmen of committees. they get massive, big groups of people trying to influence what they're doing on capitol hill. the power on the house side is
for the republicans. >> is this about democracy? >> yes, well, first of all, any time you're an incumbent, you have built-in advantages with your name recognition. you get a government subsidy to promote yourself. but there's a "washington post" analysis that says 91% of the time the candidate who's better financed wins. that tends to be the incumbent. one thing we cannot overlook that you touched on is the role of these big contributors and big money. they look at politics as an investment. for them, the safer investment is often the incumbent. >> this is precisely why many of us who feel actually that -- i know this is a little contrarian, but we often feel there's actually not necessarily too much money in the political process -- >> not enough. >> but not enough. in the sense of sometimes the thing that challengers actually can depend on are some of the
super pacs that come in. and support challengers. those are sometimes the only options they have because they don't have the access that the incumbents have. >> bloomberg's group was able to come in and surprise everybody, these underfunded candidates. in a way, the super pacs are an equalizer. >> so this is an interesting kind of counterchallenge. it's also that counterintuitive realities that when an incumbent spends more, they're somewhat more vulnerable because it means they have a challenger with a lot of money. so you talked about bloomberg. the other piece is our knew environmental, you know, cache that might be coming in. do you think that has a reality possibility? >> tom steyer is one of the most interesting people in politics right now. i'm surprised he's not trying to run for governor of california. >> maybe he'll run for president. >> he needs to sort of prove a record, right? he does have money. he's showing he's willing to invest in something he cares about. i keep coming back to the young people, but that does matter. it's not going to take long
before that generation is making decisions and calling the shots. they care a lot about the environment. they care a lot about having a moderate social base. >> i hope people like liz over here are as outraged at his spending money as she is at the koch brothers spending money. >> i think that the difference is there actually is climate change. there actually is pollution. the koch brothers are funding a wall of stuff that is not true. >> fantasy. >> sorry. if you want to take me on that t i'll be happy to do it. >> they're funding falsehoods. >> y'all keep that at the playground. but look, this is meaningful. it's an interesting -- i'm sort of doing it as a thought experiment. just this idea of, what if we put more money -- certainly it was true that when senator obama was running for president in 2008, he developed that little, you know, red click -- or his team, that little red click. the idea of giving money made people even more invested in the campaign. it's not actually the money he
won on, ultimately, but it did create a sense of inevestment i the campaign. >> in that 2012 election, 0.13% of americans gave more than $200. all of those millions of dollars in the election are still coming from corporations, the huge super pacs. >> they have taken over my show. i'm going to say thank you to christina and to robert on this side of the table. thank you to liz and raul over on this side of the table. and up next, if i'm allowed to continue speaking on the show, we will do the unofficial "mhp" show kickoff to summer. we do it every year on the sunday of memorial day weekend. we're not about to mess with tradition. there's nerdy goodness next.
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we recognize her classmates as foot soldiers for wearing neckties to school and staging a twitter campaign to endorse the photo. this week we're happy to pass along the update. the students efforts were successful. on monday the school apologized for its initial decision and offered to reprint the yearbook. this time including jessica's portrait. because they didn't want to delay the books the family has declined the school's offer. with the school year at a close and summer approaching, it's time for a nerd land tradition. the mhp summer reading list. here are a few of our picks for 2014. our memoir picks have an artistic flair. we love stand up straight and sing. one of america's most accomplished singers is a dramatic of strength. "life in motion" reveal a woman great in life as she is in
dance. it's the hilarious and sort of scientific text about experimenting on your kids. if you care about gender equ equali equality, you don't want to miss bed feminist by roxane gay. back in 2013 we talked to ward about her coming of age story, "men we reaped." she left behind an impressive away of writings. now published as essays in the opposite of loneliness. it tells a story of two women generations apart both trying to achieve freedom from prescribed
gender roles. steal your spine and pick up the "floating city." to a compelling account of those seen by privilege and means. if you just want to escape, we suggest "red rising." this is the first book set on mars and featuring a passionate young revolutionary. you'll love this book if you're 15 or 50. my favorite baby nerd book was a regular. "is for activist". it's an abc board book for the kids of it have 99%. take some time to read and check out mhp.com and share your picks on our facebook page or twitter.
don't forget to use the nerd land hash tag. i'll see you next saturday 10:00 a.m. eastern. warning signs. did officials fail to act when the kid of tparents of the cali kill spree call them. the head of one state calls it the epicenter of climate change. where is it and where is it at? the unofficial start of summer. you'll find out where the best beaches are in this country. i'll be right back.
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the suspect over the edge. shoud veterans go to private hospital for medical care. historic announcement in the middle east. what might the pope have said to palestinian and israeli leaders to have them take an unprecedented step. happy screams there. we'll take you live to one of america's hottest and busiest spots for the season. hello, everyone. it's high noon here in the east. welcome to weekends with alex witt. we have breaking news. president obama has arrived at bagram air base in afghanistan for a memorial day visit with the troops there. we'll take you to the white house in a couple of minutes and get the details. this just into nbc news. we have chilling new details