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tv   All In With Chris Hayes  MSNBC  April 23, 2015 12:00am-1:01am PDT

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share your photos with us at, thank you for joining us and good night. >> tonight on all in. >> president obama goes on an earth day attack in the land of bush and rubio. >> you don't stick your head in the sand. >> reporter: tonight, why climate change is officially a 2016 wedge issue. plus, the latest from baltimore where the police union is giving its account of the death of freddie gray. >> i don't want it to turn into a lynch mob. >> plus, "top chef's" tom clickio. >> it starts to raise the >> it starts to raise the awareness around this issue. >> and an incredible story about a congressman's tweet about his
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transgendered grandchild. >> she's always been melissa. the only thing that's ever changed is her pronoun and her name. >> "all in" starts right now. president obama was in florida and went on office politically on the issue of climate change, and the location the president selected to go on office was no accident. he was in the florida everglades, in a state that is home to two republican presidential contenders, including the one that many consider to be the establishment front-runner, former governor jeb bush. it is also the state whose current republican governor, rick scott, according to the florida center for investigative reporting, banned people within his administration from using the terms "climate change" and "global warming." governor scott denies the charge, but during a florida senate subcommittee hearing last month, governor scott's director of emergency management, brian kuhn, seemed so determined not to say "climate change," it
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became a running joke. >> in the next iterations of them will require it to have language to that the effect. >> what were those words, mr. chairman? >> what were those words you were using? >> i used climate change, but i'm suggesting as a state, we use atmospheric reemployment. that might be something that the governor could get behind. [ laughter ] >> but my understanding at this point, that we will require that future versions of our mitigation plan will be required to have language discussing that issue. >> what issue is that? >> the issue you mentioned earlier regarding -- >> thank you so much. [ laughter ] >> i'm going to turn the chair back over -- well, maybe i shouldn't right now. >> the white house explicitly called out governor scott's alleged aversion to those words, both in the run-up to the speech and again today, when the president was clearly referring to a governor whose putting his fingers and his ears and hands over his eyes and pretending climate change doesn't exist.
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>> so climate change can no longer be denied. it can't be edited out. it can't be omitted from the conversation. and action can no longer be delayed. and that's why i've committed the united states to lead the world in combatting this threat. simply refusing to say the words "climate change" doesn't mean that climate change isn't happening. >> of course, the president's speech might have sounded very different if governor scott's reported ban on the term "climate change," was applied to it. >> all of this poses risks to florida's $82 billion tourism industry, on which so many good jobs and livelihoods depend. so [ bleep ] can no longer be denied, to prevent the worst impacts [ bleep ], the worst effects of, the worst effects of [ bleep ] down the road.
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but we also have to prepare for the effects of [ bleep ]. george h.w. bush was the first president, globally, to acknowledge the impacts of [ bleep ], because they know that simply refusing to say the words [ bleep ] doesn't mean that [ bleep ] isn't happening. >> as a political reality here of which governor rick scott and other republicans are probably aware. there is a gap opening up between the hard-core conservative base and the rest of the american people when it comes to climate change. as the headline for a gallup poll puts it, conservative republicans alone on global warming's timing, in aggregated polling over the past five years, only 37% of conservative republicans agree that the effects of global warming will happen in their lifetime. even among independents, the number is much higher. 66%, believing the effects will happen in their lifetime. most people recognize it's real. it is not a giant hoax, and something has to be done about it. the republican base just don't. and just like on the issue of gay marriage, republicans are trapped between broad-based
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public opinion and their own base. joining me now, former chair of the democratic national committee, former governor of vermont, msnbc contributor, howard dean. we talked yesterday about that great scott walker answer, about whether he would attend a gay wedding, basically saying, i went to a reception, but not the ceremony. and that to me signaled a political understanding that what the base wants to hear and what other voters in the donor class wants to hear are very different. and i may think that republicans are getting to be in a similar spot on this issue. >> they are. and this is brilliant on the president's part, brilliant. he's not running for re-election, but he's setting the stage for a campaign where republicans will get pummeled on obama's issue. by executive order, he's doing a whole lot of things. and one of the things he's focusing on is climate change. and he's done a lot, which the republicans don't like. this is the jon stewart iization of this issue. he makes the republicans look foolish, and anytime you can make somebody look foolish, they're going to lose. >> that's what i think is
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interesting about the way the issue is developing at this moment. because i think -- i don't think it's true that huge numbers of voters are going to go to the polls with climate change first on their minds,. >> right. >> but i do think it will increasingly seem ridiculous to have the position, of james inhofe, that it's a hoax, and it will become kind of a threshold issue, like, are you a person can i take seriously or not in a general sense. >> that's what happened to the republicans in 2012. romney is a serious person, but the republican primary made the whole party look ridiculous. i think that could happen again. these guys are out there, they're saying ridiculous things. rick scott, and of course, the media amplifies it, because the media always is going to amplify the absurdist. we complain about that when it happens to us. but when it's happening to them -- >> right. >> i think they are going to get hammered and there will be other issues like this. they'll have to be really careful of income inequality. that's a big one, and a lot of republican conservatives who are working class are really upset
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about what's happening to their incomes and the republicans are doing nothing but giving all of the money away to the corporations and the republicans know that. the republican voters know that. >> and there's also this way in which you've got -- you've also got the donor class, right, to deal with. i also think, if you're going around it, there are some republican donors, i think, who do believe it's a hoax or whatever. i think, you know, most of the american, sort of, plutocratic establishment understands, you know, the data. understands that it's going to happen, probably run businesses that are currently planning on how to deal with it or taking out risk insurance against it. so that's another issue is, you've got to go behind closed doors and not sound like an idiot to some billionaire you're trying to get money out of, and go talk to the base. >> except a lot of the billionaires are in the fossil fuel industry, and the fossil fuel industry is going to deny this until their office gets flooded in houston. >> that's right. >> it's going to be like tobacco. >> exactly. it's really fascinating. i thought that obama was brilliant. this is not his nature.
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he didn't come into office wanting to be combative, but he sure is now and he is sure making them look done. >> that's the approach heading into 2016, there's the pat buchanan memo he wrote to nixon about "law & order" politics, in which he said, you can cleave the country in half and we'll get the bigger half. like the definition of wedge issues. you see obama pressing on things that he both believes in, but senses are wedge issue for democrats. >> loretta lynch turned out to be one that nobody expected. >> the republicans managed to stumble into making the confirmation of the next attorney general a wedge issue. >> right. >> msnbc contributor, howard dean, always a pleasure. >> thanks for having me on, chris. earth day tends to be an opportunity for appropriate and accurate dire warnings over the state of our planetary stewardship. but there's a very optimistic story to tell about the trajectory of where things are headed right now, both on the politics of climate change and the technological revolution of renewables. for instance, the forecast for power generation for clean energy versus the forecast for fossil fuels has reached an exciting turning point.
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because, quote, the world is now adding more capacity for renewable power each year than coal, natural gas, and oil combined. so fossil fuel still dominates overall, massively dominates. new additions to our energy capacity are being dominated by clean energy, which means it is just a matter of time before clean energy takes over. now, that optimistic outlet does come with some caveats about which we will talk here. joining me now, environmentalist activist bill mckinnon, author of "eaarth: making a living on a tough new planet." we tend to be in the doom and gloom camp, because the stakes are high. it's terrifying to consider, when you think about the stofrt time scale against which we are pumping this into the atmosphere and the temperatures and et cetera, but there's a lot of reason to be optimistic on these two fronts. politically, it does seem to me like the trajectory of things are moving in the right direction, if not fast enough. is that your read of it too?
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>> yeah, look. your diagnosis about obama being able to talk about climate change, finally, after being silent about it for many years, is correct. the problem is, we really need a lot more than talking about at this point. we'll find out when he makes decisions on things like the keystone pipeline, whether it's mostly just a matter of trying to one-up the republicans rhetorically or whether we're really in this to fight it. i mean, u.s. carbon emissions, we found out last week, end up last year, which isn't a good sign. on the other hand, you're absolutely right. the price of solar panels has fallen 75% in the last six years. they've finally reached that point where, you know, the koch brothers have no economic argument left, just like they've got no scientific argument left. all they've got is the throw weight that comes with the tens of billions of dollars that piled up over the years, selling oil and gas. they're clearly determined to use that to keep their advantage going, as long as they can.
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but it's a more tenuous position than it has been in the past. >> one of the most fascinating fights is rear guard actions, it's proactive on the part of incumbents, most utilities, in states, to essentially get out ahead of this incredible rate of solar adoption that's happening. in absolute terms, it's very small. but the way it looks, looks exponential. it looks like cell phone adoption. it's going at this curve. the utility has gotten very nervous, and they're fighting these battles, basically trying to stop this before it happens. >> that's right. the good news is, they're winning in a few states they've been table to keep it from happening. but people are so desperate to put up solar panels and save some money, along with the planet, that it's a losing battle. the really good news is that it seems to be a losing battle around the world. the place where we most need to be putting in solar panel right
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away is in those parts of the planet that are still not connected to the grid. and there are now countries like bangladesh that look like they will be fully solarized within a decade, leapfrogging the fossil fuel age, just as they did with cell phones. that's the most compelling news, and it's why as we head towards paris and these negotiations in december, the planet comes together to talk about this, this question of finance for poor countries to leapfrog into the renewable age, that's going to be front and center. >> the only way this is going to work, and we're still going to get warming and it's still going to be brutal for a lot of people. the only way we avert something that looks like catastrophe is this sort of one-two punch, sort of working in concert on the problem. >> you're right, there's a pincers movement. but it's less politics. it's nice that president obama
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is saying that climate change and real and it's nice that hillary is saying it, but we need a lot more than that now. the good news is, there's a powerful movement pushing them. you can see it most strongly in this rising divestment movement, all over the globe. it's going after the fossil fuel industry. if obama is starting to do the right thing, it's because that, just as with gay marriage, a movement is pushing him to do it. none of this stuff comes for free. >> thank you. day three of protests in baltimore after freddie gray, a 24-year-old black man died after suffering a spinal cord injury in police custody. a police union official says this about the protests. >> i don't want it to turn into a lynch mob. >> the family of freddie gray has been leading those protests. their lawyer will join me. plus, you've seen him on "top chef," judging beautiful dishes. tonight, he'll tell us what to do with ugly food so it doesn't go to waste.
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>> this banana is perfectly good to make a smoothie or banana bread or something like that. there's nothing wrong with this. if we open it up, you can see, it's great. there's nothing wrong this.
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you ever wonder if there's any good about global warming? director joe shappa hit the street of new york to find out. >> well, i work really well with deadlines, so i think the rising sea level is a good deadline for the end of civilization so i get more things done. >> oceans are warming, which means i won't have to pee in my swimsuit to warm up. >> i like that global climate changes is affecting fisheries, because i got fired for dating the fish. >> global temperatures rising would cause an increase in my sale of japanese hand fans. >> my dream of living with larry king on mars becomes real. >> global temperatures rising means i can finally live out my
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dream of owning a diner where the eggs are cooked on the sidewalk. >> i'm excited for all the climate-changed themed pornography. >> climate change are affecting fisheries. >> we think fish are [ bleep ]ed. >> el well, more intense heat waves means i get to keep these past summer. >> i'm excited about the climate-change themed pornography. and why stop what you're doing to find a bathroom? with cialis for daily use, you don't have to plan around either. it's the only daily tablet approved to treat erectile dysfunction so you can be ready anytime the moment is right. plus cialis treats the frustrating urinary symptoms of bph, like needing to go frequently, day or night. tell your doctor about all your medical conditions and medicines, and ask if your heart is healthy enough for sex. do not take cialis if you take nitrates for chest pain as it may cause an unsafe drop in
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today's continued protests came after police union officials said the images of last night's march, which gray's mother and other family members participated in, quote, look and sound much like a lynch mob. a little later, he walked that back a bit. >> maybe i should re-word that. i don't want it to turn into a lynch mob. because when you're trying to put somebody in jail before all the facts are in and the investigation hasn't been completed, that's wrong. >> yes, trying to put someone in jail before the facts are in is something police hate. the police said their internal investigation will be completed by may 1st and they're focused on what happened during the 30-minute ride in a prisoner transport van as the source of gray's injuries. in a statement today, authorities said they would not be releasing the name of the other prisoner who was in that van with gray, because the second person who was inside the prisoner transport wagon with mr. freddie gray is a witness in a criminal investigation. his name will not be released to protect the integrity of the investigation.
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meanwhile, a lawyer for the suspended police officers confirm that five of the six officers have given statements to investigators. >> i can tell you that on april 12th, the day this incident occurred, five of the six officers voluntarily waived their constitutional rights and gave voluntary statements to the investigators in this matter. and to be perfectly candid with you, had any of the five officers that did give statement contacted me or any competent defense attorney trying to giving statements, they most likely would not have given a statement. >> we do not know what the five officers said during their statements. we do not know how freddie gray was injured, but today the officer's lawyer appeared to insinuate that gray was not injured at the time of his arrest. >> the video also shows him being dragged, because it seems that his legs are inoperable. what did the officer say? >> it seems. it doesn't mean that they were. >> what'd the officer say -- >> the officer said he simply didn't want to walk, and that is not unusual with individuals who don't want to be arrested, they
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don't cooperate, and they don't want to walk. that is not unusual. >> -- because he didn't want to walk. why was he yelling, as if he was in pain? >> i think you're using the words "yelling as if in pain" is -- >> yelling -- >> a speculation. it could have also been yelling to bring the crowd, to make attention to his arrest. >> joining me now is andrew o'connell, the attorney for the family of mr. gray. there are so many questions here. let me ask you this, is the family in custody of freddie gray's body and do you have any concrete medical examination to tell you definitively what happened? >> the family is making arrangements to have the body collected from the medical examiner and making funeral arrangements in the short-term. with regards to the contents of the medical examiner's report, we don't know what's in that, but they are anxiously awaiting that.
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>> what does it say to you that there appears to be collective representation on the part of these police officers, who are suspected here? >> well, it's not surprising at this early stage. that could change as the investigation or the various investigations play out over time. one individual may need separate counsel or they may all need separate counsel, depending on which direction it goes. >> does the family have a response to the head of the police union's use of the word "lynch mob," to describe what, as far as we can tell, have been peaceful protests the last few days? >> they have been peaceful protests. and the choice of words by the union leader was a horrendous choice of words. it's ironic and sad. police officers aren't lynched. it's actually the other way around. it's the members of the african-american community that have been historically lynched. the protesters in baltimore city have been peaceful. all these past few days since last weekend.
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and to describe them as a lynch mob, on the one hand, but at the same time, calling for peace and peaceful protests, is counterintuitive. >> there are two investigations right now. the department of justice has opened an investigation and the other investigation on the ground is being conducted, as far as we understand, by the baltimore police department itself. is the family of freddie gray confident in the independence of that investigation? >> the family has absolutely no confidence in the police officers conducting an investigation of themselves. so, no. the family is very hopeful that the u.s. justice department does a full and fair investigation of all the facts, and then shares it with the community, yes. >> am i correct that at this late date, while the city has put out a timeline, there still is no account for what happened that could have caused mr. gray to sustain injuries that would ultimately kill him.
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>> that's right. we're waiting for the medical examiner's report and we're hoping that sheds light on the exact nature of the injuries mr. gray suffered. we did, though -- we do know that he was subject to a takedown by multiple police officers. they jumped on his back. he was screaming in pain. then he was placed in a -- he was handcuffed and then placed into a police van. exactly at what point he was injured, the exact nature of these injuries, hopefully will bear out in the medical examiner's report, which we are anxiously awaiting. >> andrew o'connell, attorney for the grey family, thank you very much. still ahead, i will talk to a cook who prepares food for senators, but lives off food stamps. don't want to miss that. one bottle has the grease cleaning power of 2 bottles of this other liquid. a drop of dawn and grease is gone.
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some of the people who feed and clean up after our u.s. senators walked off the job today, striking for higher wages and benefits. according to organizers, about three dozen workers from the u.s. senate cafeteria joined about a thousand labor activists and other workers in a rally and march on washington this morning. the workers were employed by federal contractors, and they were striking and demonstrating to draw attention to the fact that many of them are living in poverty. berkshire works for the company that's contracted to run the u.s. senate cafeteria. he wrote a powerful op-ed for the guardian today about his plight. he wrote, i'm a single father and i only make $12 an hour. i had to take a second job at a grocery store to make ends meet. but even though i work seven days a week and putting 70
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hours, i can't afford to pay the rent, buy school supplies for my kids, or even put food on the table. i hate to admit, but i use food stamps to make sure my kids don't go to bed hungry. i asked what it's like cooking food for u.s. senators while he himself needs food stamps to feed his family. >> i great them, i talk to them, they're nice people, and i realize they don't know what's going on for those working at the senate building. >> if one of them is watching the show, what do you want them to know? >> what i want them to know, that the people working in the senate who want $15 and a union. we pay taxes. i pay taxes. so we say government for the people, by the people. we are those people so the governor, the senator, or who are running for president, they
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got to make a move. so i'm tired to hear word, so we need action. >> reporter: president obama signed an executive order in february of last year setting a $10.10 minimum wage for workers on federal, construction, and service contracts. mr. olatara and other striking workers want the government to give preference when it awards contracts to companies that give people a living wage. they also want the ability to unionize. doesn't seem like a lot to ask of profitable companies that are awarded lucrative government contracts. mr. olatara says he's eagerly awaiting a response from the president and those waiting to replace him. they know where to find him, the guy cooking their meals. and next, tom clicky with his new documentary, premiering on msnbc. >> this is edible, but not edible to the supermarkets. as a grower, that's heartbreaking. when you grow the fruit and you can't sell it. that bothers me.
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people think the environmental problems are about smokestacks, about roads, about factories, about cities and concrete. and for sure, those are significant. but if you look at the earth from the sky, what you see is fields. and it is there that we have had the biggest impact. wasting a third of the land in all of that energy that we currently use by wasting the food that we've produced is one of the most gratuitous aspects of human culture, as it stands today. >> when you throw out the slightly off produce in your fridge, it's probably going to end up in a landfill, where it will sit, indefinitely, decomposing and sending methane gas into the atmosphere. if you consider that 40% of all the food in this country that's grown goes to waste, a truly astounding number, that adds up to a lot of methane. something to think about on this earth day. tonight at 10:00, msnbc is airing the new documentary, "just eat it," a food waste story, in which filmmakers examine how all that food gets
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wasted from the farm where it's grown to the supermarket to our very own kitchens and what we can all do about it. they try quitting the grocery store completely and living on on food that's, discarded. seeking slightly more practical solutions, i talked with tom colicchio who met me for a chat in the "today" show kitchen. >> i think food waste, i think, hey, like i did throw something out that went bad in my fridge. >> we're all guilty of that. >> before we sort of mine our own guilt, let's talk about what other people are doing wrong, because that's more fun. how do we get waste before we even get to the store. >> i think the one issue is that we're so used to looking for fruits and vegetables that are really perfect and beautiful. and so, if there's a bruise, if it's the wrong size, it either doesn't get out of the field or it doesn't get through the packer. if a packer is looking to pack zucchini, they want a perfect-sized zucchini, certain circumference, no bruises. so it won't even make the pack.
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so food can be rescued right there. >> so produce is coming out of the field, and both in the decision -- in the field -- and there's someone sitting there going, yes, yes, no, yes. >> yes. and in the film, that grant and jen made, you see the decisions being made. packers throwing stuff out, no, no, no. >> where does that stuff gone? >> it's gone. now, there are some organization that do some food rescues. in new york city, we have city harvest, they take that food and it goes out to kitchens and it helps to feed people in need. the d.c. kitchen does a great job to use that food to provide job training, but then it goes out to soup kitchens. and there are some new business models around this issue as well. >> how can it be -- how can it be economically viable for businesses that operate in the food supply chain, before you get to the consumer, to be doing so much wasting? >> now you're touching on something that i keep pushing on as well. the free market should step in here -- >> exactly. >> and make this much more, you
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know, efficient. >> exactly. >> and so, and it's not happening. i'm not quite sure why. prices are already baked into this. and so, you got to imagine, if you can shrink that down by half, food prices will come down. in the supermarket, you have a beautiful display of vegetables, something gets bruised. you would never find this in a supermarket. someone who is running a produce section would not have this out. so we also want to put things in abundance. you look at a produce section, you want it filled up. this would be called a cull. they put it in a box and it goes into the garbage. just gone. there's no secondary market for this stuff. >> how did our expectations -- i mean, this is something you do see when you start going to farmer's markets, you do immediately the produce, it just looks differently. or when you go to other countries, the produce looks different. it doesn't have that glossy comic book sheen. >> or the misters. >> love the misters, oh, it's dewey. how did we get trained to have an expectation --
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>> i could be part of that problem, chefs want to portray things to be beautiful. the glossy magazines may have a part to play. and some of those magazines are trying to change this. food and wine magazine is doing a special on ugly fruits and vegetables to get people to understand this fruit is perfectly good. this banana, there's nothing wrong with this. if we open it up, it's just great. there's nothing wrong with this. so it's got a couple brown spots, my kids eat this. you know, this you can use, you know, smoothies. but think about, at home now, so consumers waste about 25 pact of the food -- >> we've gone through the pickers and the packers, the supermarket -- >> now consumers. we waste about 25% of the food we buy. there's this great illustration in the film where there's a woman walking out of a store with four grocery bags and she dropped one and just keeps walking. and that illustrates, which is what we're doing. letting it hit the ground.
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and what i do at home, on fridays, i try to open the refrigerator, clean everything out, all the vegetables, make a vegetable soup or pasta, use everything up. you've got to think about it. but part of it is maybe shopping more frequently, shopping with a purpose. but also understanding how to use leftovers. not just serve leftovers, but repurposing leftovers. if you have a roast chicken at night, what are you doing with that chicken the next day? can you make a chicken salad or sandwich, are you using those bones to make stock. if you go back to the recession, my grandparents grew up in a recession, nothing us with wasted. and so there's a culture now of fast food, of processed food, of foods that are available all the time. so we don't value food anymore. >> and one of the most revolutionary economic facts or trends over the last hundred years is the composition of household budgets used to be dominated by food. >> absolutely. >> really the phrase, like, putting food on the table, as the description of what you did
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as an earner was, was literal. i mean, it was housing and food, was what you spent all your money on. so it literally has less value. >> sure. >> in a very real sense, it's like, if i throw out that zucchini, that's 6 cents -- >> culturally, we don't value it anymore. it's not like our grandparents. and it all changed after the second world war, when, you know, everything became about convenience. you remember those ads back in the '50s, all these appliances, make things convenient. madmen, that's what you see. >> but you can't reverse that at the individual level? we have to sort of have a different -- like the whole supply chain has to change at a certain level. >> but i think a film, it raises the conscienceness and starts to raise the awareness around this issue. we screened this on monday night and people are always saying, i'm conscious i'm throwing things out now. i feel bad about it. that head of lettuce, now you sort of feel bad about it. i think this is the start of it. >> tom colicchio, always a pleasure, man. >> cool. thanks a lot. all right, the story behind
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the brave decision the parents of a transgender 8-year-old made, ahead. >> it's a hard thing to go through, because when you think about it, you want to be supportive of your child and let them do what they want, explore, express themselves, but at the same time, you're thinking, what are other people going to think kbm .
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"washington post's" tehran bureau chief jason was arrested in iran in july and has been imprisoned since then without being charged or given access to a lawyer. finally, after nine months in custody, nine months, he was charged this week, quote, with espionage and three other serious crimes, including collaborating with hostile governments and propaganda against the establishment. he was finally allowed to hire a lawyer in march, seven months after being arrested, and that lawyer is now responding to the charges. quote, jason is a journalist. it is in the nature of his profession to gain access to information and publish it. my client, however, has never had any direct or indirect access to any information to share with anyone. in my place in the world,
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journalists being charged with epz nanlg for simply doing that are job is an outrage. the iranian state should release jason immediately and every american journalist stands in solidarity with him.
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in february, u.s. congressman mike honda of california tweeted out a photo with his transgender granddaughter, writing, as the proud grandpa of a transgender grandchild, i hope she can feel safe at school without fear of being bullied. nbc news's national correspondent kate snowe spoke to honda's granddaughter, malisa, and her parents about her journey. >> her name wasn't always malisa. she chose her name when she was very young. it just felt right to her. >> talking about it's emotional, because that's the way we feel about it.
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a lot of emotion. a lot of it's strong. >> when babies come out, doctors assign them by what's between their legs. >> i love these. >> we went, okay, well, this is our second boy. here we go. and then around 18 months, 2 years, she just started, sister, daughter, pink, sparkles. she always wanted to role play as the girl. all her toys and all her presents were always, you know, from the girl section. you know, everything was pink. her self-portraits have always been with long hair and as a princess. she's always wearing a dress in her self-portraits. >> it's a hard thing to go through. because you think about it, you want to be supportive of your
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child and get them and let them do what they want, explore, express themselves, but at the same time, you're thinking, okay, what are other people going to think, right? how are they going to react? >> in preschool, she was 3ish, you know, there's imaginative play and there's dresses and purses and things like that. and her teacher said, you know, she called me and she said, you know, there's a conversation i overheard and i wanted to let you know, i'm really proud of her. a boy had asked, why do you keep dressing up as a girl, why are you always being a girl, and she said, my mommy said i can wear whatever makes me happy. she wanted to wear the tutus and the ballet shoes. and we worried, we even said, you know, oh, i don't think that comes in your size. it was a challenge to get there, to not care about what people thought. to go outside and have her run around, as fabulous as she wanted to be, with the outfits that she put together, to be at the store and say, you know, mom, i want the pink shoes. okay.
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we noticed the moment everything clicked. when she was 6, it was halloween, and our friend hat given her a wig to wear with her halloween costume, and she put it on and saw her reflection in the sliding glass, and then in the tv, and everywhere she turned, she saw herself, and she just sat up straighter and she started to kind of posing, and realizing, mm. this matches, you know? she's never had the long hair before. and that's kind of when, i feel like she switched over. and one of our neighbors had -- you know, we hadn't met them yet, and told zachary, oh, your sister's such a good big sister, because she had helped him to get her trick or treat candy, and she just beamed. >> i saw the person who i really was. >> you start to look things up, and i started watching ted talks and started watching youtubes.
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i found some specials, you know, on past families who have come out with a youth that has transitioned and it all clicked. we finally have a name for what's going on, you know. >> i didn't understand at first, but then they started to understand and let me be who i was. >> her eighth birthday is really when we did the transition and switched everything over. >> it's, you know, nerve-racking, right, because you're not sure what's going to happen, what the response is going to be, but you want to be supportive. michelle did a great job on putting together an e-mail and stuff and sending it out to all our friends and everybody else. to say, you know, this is what's happening. there's no ifs, maybes, this is what's going to happen. you could see the difference. it was almost like a night and day, it was like a release. and when she became who she is, on the outside, then everybody
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now recognizing that, she felt so much better, because now that weight's lifted. that stress, that frustration. >> it hurts to think that she lived so long, as someone that she didn't feel she was inside. we never wanted our children to be anything other than who they believe they are. you know, she has a very strong sense of self. >> i'm actually the same as any other girl. >> she's a happy kid and that's the biggest thing that i know i want, is for her to be happy. >> she has always been malisa. the only thing that's ever really changed is her pronoun and her name. we tell her, we have pictures up on the wall, still. some kids don't like to see themselves, you know, prior to transition, but she doesn't really mind, because we tell her, it's always been you, you know? that's just you.
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>> last night, we brought you the story of another family with a transgender child, 5-year-old jacob lamay, born with the name mia and now a happy, well-adjusted preschooler. you can find the full packages on our all in with chris facebook page. when i return, i'll speak to a pediatrician about how families deal with transgender kids and the complex questions those families face as the kids grow older. that's when we come back. not all toothbrushes are created equal, oral-b toothbrushes are engineered
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talk about the challenges faced by families with transgender children, joining me now, a specialist in adolescent and pediatric medicine and psychotherapist jean malpas. great to have you here. so i have a 3-year-old and a 1-year-old. kids and gender is fascinating thing to watch. they're getting these messages and figuring out performance, expectations, and they do different things. they go through periods where they may be dressing in a certain way and dressing not. and obviously there's this trope, right, back in the sort of battle days of lesbian and gay children of, you know, this is just a phase, right? as a parent, you don't want to be like, this is just a phase, but at the same time, you also don't want to overreact to that kind of pliability in a kid, if that makes sense. how do you talk to parents about distinguishing that? >> the thing that we do is really welcome the families with
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an affirmative assessment and we take the time to go back over the child's gender development. and everybody has a very unique gender journey. but we do back and figure out, what was the child's preferred play, preferred toys, playmates, claims about themselves, sense about themselves, potential discomfort with their own body or genitals, their sense of profound discomfort with the gender they were assigned at birth. and that helps us with the parent and with the child to distinguish two separate situations. one is when a child is gender non-conforming and doesn't fit within the often narrow pink and blue box that we have for them. it's not that they want to move from one box to another. they're beyond the box. >> that's sort of -- >> outside the box. that's one situation, and it's about sort of advocating for the kid, advocating in the school and outside to really have them be who they are. and the other situation is very
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different. and as we just heard now, is a child who, for several years, often, has had a very, what we call persistent, consistent, and insistent gender disphoria, and they do want to transition. they want to be affirmed for who they are. >> so in this transitioning process, there's obviously, it seems to me, a distinction between pre-pubescent kids and pubescent kids, because there's -- biology starts to play a larger and larger role in how people interact with their own gender, as they get older. what as a doctor do you do about that situation, when you start to near puberty? >> the good news is, we listen to kids. and so, before puberty, i tell parents, take cues and let your kid lead the way. so, if they feel really strongly about socially transitioning, then we see a lot of relief and a lot of increased ability to function and a lot happier kids.
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if we allow them and encourage them and help them socially transition. there are some kids that may not go on to be transgender or may have a different gender identity as they get older, in the pre-puberty sense, but we don't know, because we don't have to know. everything is reversible, everything is social, everything is hair and makeup and clothes and shoes. so you don't have to decide. in the teen years, it's different. so in biology and puberty and i think the gender hormones start to kick in, you can't necessarily avoid being gendered. you can't avoid -- >> you're making medical decisions if you're going to do something like put in hormone blockers, for instance, right? >> well, even hormone blockers are reversible. >> good point. >> even stopping puberty and giving people time to breathe and figure things out, it's still reversible. so in the teen years, it's less likely that they're going to say, oh, you know, i really prefer, i really am a boy,
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they're going to go with their gender identity more than they're going to think about, this is what i was supposed to be and i need to be that. >> there's acceptance inside the family, and we're showing these sort of remarkable -- well, in some ways, it shouldn't be as remarkable as it is, you know, parents loving their kids and accepting their kids, a primary -- >> brave. >> but the fact of the matter is, there are a lot of people who are not at all accepted by their families or even if they are accepted in their families, there's this social aspect, and that seems like probably more difficult to navigate, at least in this moment in history. >> yeah, research and practice really shows that acceptance is protection. the best way parents want to protect, want to keep a healthy, happy, safe child. and research has shown that protection really decreases risk factors, particularly for self-harm and suicide. so, you know, the best -- >> you're trying to protect, you're saying, don't do outside the house, because that will keep you safer and it's actually the opposite. >> it's the other way around. you have the best bet of a strong child who can face adversities in the social world, but we need to go outside in the school and support the other
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environments to understand these issues and come along. >> dr. michelle forcier and jean malpas, really appreciate it. that is "all in" for this evening. "the rachel maddow show" starts right now. good evening, rachel. >> good evening, chris. thanks to you at home for joining us this hour. this is going to be a great show. the interview tonight is senator elizabeth warren of massachusetts. president obama, of course, did that interview yesterday with chris matthews on "hardball," in which the president said he loves elizabeth warren. he thinks of elizabeth warren as a great ally. but on one issue before the country right now, and in particular, one issue before the democratic party right now, the president said he completely disagrees with her. senator elizabeth warren is here tonight to respond. and to explain her point of view on this issue. i'm very much looking forward to that. again, senator elizabeth warren here tonight for the interview. it is always good to have her on the show. she honestly doesn't do that many interviews, especially as