tv All In With Chris Hayes MSNBC August 6, 2019 5:00pm-6:01pm PDT
debates and promises that don't pass bills, because bills don't get passed by debates, they get passed by majorities in the u.s. senate. and that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. "all in with chris hayes" starts right now. tonight on "all in" -- >> i've heard he's coming wednesday, but i've not gotten a call. and he might be going to toledo. i don't know. >> ohio and texas prepare for the president. >> from my perspective, he is not welcome here. >> tonight texas congresswoman veronica escobar on why she says the president isn't welcome in el paso. and ohio senator sherrod brown on why he is looking for an apology from donald trump. then -- >> if you use the term invasion, that's not anti-hispanic. it's a fact. >> inside the president's feedback loop online and on trump tv. >> we are being invaded. >> it is an invasion. >> we have a country that is being invaded. plus, new warning signs for
republicans as another congressman calls it quits. and how the man who bankrupted his casinos is gambling with the world economy like never before. >> we think it's going to be a tremendous success. >> when "all in" starts right now. good evening from new york. i'm chris hayes. two american cities are reeling in the aftermath of two horrifying massacres. one of those clearly motivated by political violence, purposed by someone who wrote a manifesto echoing the president's language on immigration, who murdered 22 people in an el paso walmart. the other by a shooter whose own personal politics appear to be on the left, but whose motives for the act seem utterly inexplicable yet, but who was able to kill nine people in 30 seconds outside a popular bar in dayton, ohio with this uniquely american piece of civilian armament. we have a president who many of the people in these two communities just do not want to hear from. and can you blame them? for some reason, donald trump
will visit both cities tomorrow. and let's remember, six months ago president trump was in el paso, one of the safest cities in the country, a city that celebrates and loves and is proud of its immigrant community that is profoundly to its very core binational, where residents flow freely across the mexican border to the sister city of juarez. and while he was there, president trump used the opportunity to demagogue about the border and lie about life in that city. claiming the wall was the only thing keeping the city safe, demonizing the very people who live in that binational community. he was head with protesters and he left, having used the city as a stunty backdrop to pursue his brand of demagoguery, his campaign was supposed to pay the police and the fire department for their hard work securing the rally in that city, and instead the president left behind a still unpaid $470,000 bill, which was increased to nearly $570,000 thanks to late fees. what possibly could this man say to the people of el paso, to the
families of the dead and the injured and the people that love them? eight of the dead are mexican nationals. some of the victims are of mixed immigration status. what is he going to say to them? >> how do you feel about the president coming in the next few days even in the midst of this mourning period in el paso? >> until the president takes ownership and peels that target off our back and rehumanizes communities like mine, it's not appropriate i think. we have a lot of work to do in this country, and we do need to do it together, but there needs to be ownership first of the power of words. and the most powerful words come from the most powerful man in the country. >> and president trump doesn't seem much more welcome in dayton, which he referred to as toledo yesterday. in dayton, the shooter's motives are more obscure. there are reports that he heard voices, that he had misogynist
obsessions, that he scared people in his circle with thoughts of what he might do. he described his own politics as leftist, though yet there are no indications this was in any way an explicitly political act. in this case, it's not like anyone's putting the blame right at trump's feet, but the shooter did use a weapon with this magazine to kill nine people and kill 27 more in half a minute. and the president and his party have been covering for the people who manufacture these weapons. >> i'm disappointed with his remarks. i mean, i think they fell really short. he mentioned gun issues one time. i think watching the president over the past few years on the issues of guns, he's been -- i don't know if he knows what he believe, frankly. >> you're going to tell him how unhelpful he's been? >> look, if i'm telling you, i'm going to tell him. he probably will hear it from you all than he hears it from me, but yeah. >> what are you going to tell him? >> how unhelpful he has been on this. yesterday his comments weren't very helpful to the issue around guns.
>> yesterday president obama issued a statement condemning leaders who use language that normalizes racist sentiments. he didn't name names. he didn't have to. today trump retweeted a trump tv host did george bush ever condemn president obama after sandy hook? because president obama and president trump and the people at trump tv all know that trump is the guy who demonizes those who don't look like us, suggests that other people, including immigrants threaten our way of life, refers to other people as subhuman, implies that america belongs to just one certain type of people. everyone knows who is being talked about there. there is this vortex, this sucking moral vacuum at the top of the country there has been since the moment donald trump took the oath of office. it's unavoidable particularly in the wake of something like this. joining me now democratic congresswoman veronica escobar who represents el paso. congresswoman, i want to ask first how people are doing there. are there folks still in the
hospital? do people have the resources they need to process what happened, to heal medically, financially? how are things? >> hi, chris. thank you so much for asking. i've spent the day with el paso families in the hospital here at this beautiful memorial, and folks are doing better. i visited with a gentleman in the icu who is doing a lot better. his caregivers have told us that he's strong. he's on the mend. >> that's great. >> i talked to another young woman, jessica, who i visited on sunday who it was very painful for her to walk. her legs were shot. and as you know, with these kinds of weapons of war, the bullets don't just go through your flesh and your bones, it shatters them. that's the whole point of a weapon of war. so both her legs were shot through.
i was with her when she took her first steps on sunday, and she was in a lot of emotional and physical pain. today i went by and visited her again. she had this beautiful smile on her face. she's been walking a little bit more. she is full of hope. her husband is doing better. he's also in the hospital. she got to see her kids. this community is full of hope and resilience and beauty. but the other thing that i heard, chris, totally unsolicited from victims still in the hospital as they grabbed my arm and tell me, tell him not to come here. >> that's intense. you've communicated that message. you said you feel like he painted a target on el paso's back. i've heard from a lot of folks and read a lot of stories about folks, folks all across the country, folks who are immigrants of different ethnic backgrounds feeling like a target is painted on their back. what -- why don't you want him to come?
>> i just talked to another gentleman, ralph, a veteran, a vietnam veteran who stopped me and said i am being made to feel like i'm not american. and he feels that under this president. so as i said to the -- via twitter and i said before, words are powerful, and words have consequences. and the words he's used to dehumanize us, to dehumanize communities like mine, to dehumanize immigrants, that i have a consequence, and they provide fuel for people who already are bigoted. and when you have a president who is racist and who whips people up into a frenzy at rallies, and when people yell "we'll shoot them" and he doesn't stop to think oh my god, what am i doing? there's such a moral crisis. and, you know, we got a call
from the white house earlier inviting us to be part of the motorcade as the president arrived and to greet him. and my response back was i need a phone call today because i would like to have a conversation with the president about everything i've been saying on national tv. i want to say it to him directly. and i want to see if he would have a dialogue where he accepts responsibility for his words, where he understands the power that they've had, the pain they've created and says i'm sorry and takes them back. those words are still hanging above us. there are kids who are still afraid this is going to happen again. he has the power to take them back. the response we got was that he was too busy for a phone call. so we declined the motorcade. >> you wrote a letter today. you're a part of several members of congress wrote a letter to speaker pelosi asking that she
bring everyone back to the u.s. capital to take some action legislatively to confront the threat of white supremacy. why did you sign that letter? what do you want the see happen? >> so my colleague tom medicled letter. mitch mcconnell already has good common sense bipartisan gun legislation sitting at his doorstep. mitch mcconnell. we need to make sure that he is held accountable. we need to make sure that we demand answers from him as to why this tragedy hasn't been enough. when will enough be enough? all ready to go back to washington, d.c. at any point in time, even me. i don't want the leave my grieving community. but if senator mcconnell is ready to get to work, we will all be ready to get back to work, and we'll keep sending him great legislation.
but he is the linchpin here, chris. make no mistake about it. and people need to hold him accountable. >> congresswoman, i just want to say i've had the great pleasure to be in el paso twice in just the last eight months or so, and it's just a truly special place. it's really one of a kind. >> it is. >> and everybody is really sending you their love and their strength in that community. it's a really special place that you represent. >> thank you. thank you. it really is. thank you, chris. >> all right, congresswoman veronica escobar, thanks a lot. joining me now is democratic senator sherrod brown of ohio. senator, i want to start with the same question to you. how are the people of dayton in your state doing? do they have what they need in terms of financial resources and mental health resources and medical resources to heal from and process what happened? >> not clear yet. it's clear, though, that the community is just rallied around
everybody. and the police were heroes. six police officers stopped this killer from killing many, many, many more people because they responded so quickly with such great courage. i've talked -- connie and i were in dayton on sunday for most of the afternoon, and talked to people who the first -- we didn't talk to first responders. they were not there. they are talking to other people now. but the first responders, people that have watched this have talked about how it's really like triage and war where first responders have to make such quick decisions. who can you save and who can't you save. even with all of the family members and close friends and partners of the people who had been shot standing nearby, begging them for help. so all of that kind of trauma. and i talked to mayor whaley again just a couple of hours ago, mayor of dayton.
and people have really rallied around the whole community, the dayton community foundation is people are giving money to them. that's important to help these families that have survived and the families who have lost people and those who are injured to get some kind of help. but i don't know that there are state or federal resources there the way there should be. i have not been at all thrilled with the way state government and the federal government have responded to this from the president to the state legislature. >> when you say that, what do you mean? >> well, i mean first of all, that the president -- the first things -- the state legislature in ohio has been absolutely terrible on gun violence issues. there is -- the governor is now proposing some things that who know what's the state legislature will do. we know what mitch mcconnell hasn't done. we know what the racist, divisive rhetoric from this president.
people in dayton don't feel like they have allies in the white house for sure. to people are looking for leadership. they're absolutely getting it from nan whaley, the mayor. they'll see if they're getting it from other places they need to get it from. >> let me just ask you, then. i just talked to veronica escobar who represents el paso. she talked about the exchange she had with the president, a phone call to what this has meant with her community that was clearly a political act. it was motived by a kind of rhetoric the president has trafficked in himself. it's a different situation in your state in terms of what we know what happened. but i will ask you, you are going to meet with the president tomorrow? why are you going to meet with him and what are you going to talk about? >> i listened to congresswoman escobar who is compelling and seven short months in the congress, she has already become a national leader on this issue and other things. and i appreciate her passion in fighting for people in el paso.
it's a bit different situation in ohio, but i talked to the mayor. i talked to the mayor earlier this evening. she wants me to come and be with her, and i want to talk to the president. i want to say to the president you talk about mental health. if you care about mental health, don't cut medicaid. don't repeal the affordable care act. and i'm going to say to the president first how important it is that he call in senator mcconnell, as i did on sunday, he call in senator mcconnell to bring the senate back into session, that the president tell mcconnell to pass the background check bill and the president promise to the american people and to mcconnell that he will sign that bill. and i'm going to ask the president that. i will, if given a chance talk to him about the assault weapons ban. this was a -- this killer in 30 seconds discharged more than 40 bumper-to-bumpers. he had probably another 100 he could have discharged. without the rearview mirror of the police, so many would have died because of this weapon.
police officers all over the country will tell you civilians shouldn't have weapons like this. these are weapons made for war. you don't hunt with them. you don't protect your home with them. you kill people in large numbers in a short period of time. and they don't belong in the hands of any civilian. >> is there any part of you having worked with mitch mcconnell, who has batted away this idea that thinks he is subject to pressure on this? >> i think every -- he is subject to pressure if enough republican senators tell him that. he is trying to protect his majority. he is trying to protect this president. he fronts for this president all the time. he may be uncomfortable doing it, but that's really irrelevant. he continues to do it. he thinks trump, if trump wins he can keep his majority in the senate. i think he thinks if trump loses, he loses his majority. it's always about power to mitch mcconnell. it's always about tax cuts to the republican majority. it's about deregulation on
environmental and worker rights. and it's about right wing extremist young judges. that's what they do all day. that's what they work towards. that's what trump gives them. that's what mcconnell is trying to protect. so it will have to be pressure from his own members of the senate. >> all right. senator sherrod brown, again, everyone is sending all their love and their strength to the folks in dayton. thanks a lot. >> thank you, chris. next, inside the dangerous and dehumanizing language peddled by trump tv. the vicious feedback loop between the president and his favorite channel, in two minutes. >> tech: at safelite autoglass,
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"invasion," part of a barrage of advertising focused on immigration. this is what those ads look like. but as is always the case with trump, his message exists in seamless continuity with the message of trump tv, which has been banging this drum into the heads of its audience for years. >> your state has been completely overrun by this illegal invasion. >> yes. >> i think calling it anything but an invasion at this point is not being honest with people. >> look, this invasion of our sovereignty is -- we've got to stop it. >> this isn't just a migrant caravan. this is an invasion. and every american watching what's going on should be infuriated. >> it is a full-scale invasion by a hostile force. >> thousands upon thousands of migrants literally marching to the u.s. in what would be a mass invasion. >> people need to realize that we need border security because people coming across our border illegally, it's an invasion. >> we are being invaded. we are being invaded by a bunch of people that has the potential here to totally destroy the
makeup of our culture and the makeup of our society. >> it's not immigration. it's not refugees. it's an invasion. >> what about our country? we're being invaded. >> well, the hosts of trump's favorite morning show even doubled down on that rhetoric this very morning. >> what the president has during his two and a half years is a major problem at the border. if you use the term an invasion, that's not anti-hispanic. it's a fact. >> joining me now alicia mendez -- menendez, host of "amanpour and company" and angelo corazon, and to start with you, i'm not going to start this manifesto, because screw that. >> yeah. >> but it is just what we just played. there is essentially no distance in the basic thesis here. and that, as you guys have shown has been a staple of fox programing for years now. >> yeah. i mean, there is a straight line
from these chants and some of these other message boards right through to donald trump and his campaign's messaging and communications. and that line goes right through fox news. and as a thought experiment, just to underscore your point, if you took that screed, that manifesto and you put it in a fox host teleprompter like tucker carlson or ingrid or hannity and they would read this on air, the audience would not be shocked or described or disturbed. that tells you all that you need to know. if it was so-so inconsistent with what they were hearing every single night, there would be a different reaction. but the audience would be perfectly fine because that's what they're used to. >> i'm simply defending him michigan country by cultural and ethnic replacement brought on by invasion. i want to play a clip of tucker carlson talking about that and alic alicia, get your response. take a listen. >> democrats know if they keep up the flood of illegals into the unto can, they can eventually turn into it a flood of voters for them. their political success does not depend on good policies but on
demographic replacement. and they'll do anything to make sure it happens. >> this is a point that's hammered home night after night. >> and it's been a subtext of the immigration debate for years. it's now just very much in the mainstream. let's break down what invasion means. and invasion denotes a threat. it denotes a danger. it denotes a need to protect yourself. the irony as you know, chris, most of these immigrants are coming here to escape violence in their home country. they're coming to the united states for safety. in many case, seeking asylum in this country. so it's absolutely absurd to connote that this is in some way an invasion. and it has real consequences. that's part of what we saw in el paso, right? we know that that gunman drove to el paso with the express intent of fighting an invasion. he allegedly cased the place looking for mexicans to kill. so there is a very clear line here from one to the other. >> there is something in sort of white nationalist circles called
replacement theory, that the great replacement, that is something that the pittsburgh synagogue murderer pointed to, basically the caravan was a jewish conspiracy to replace people. what is that idea, angelo, and how much has that been thematically enforced by trump tv? >> so the great replacement theory in a nutshell is that jewish people are replacing white americans with foreigners, in this case immigrants from south of the border. and they use all kinds of code on fox news. sometimes they straight-up say replacement, the great replacement. tucker has used that language before. other times they focus it on an individual like george soros. there are periods of time, especially last october prior to midterms where the caravan was a big theme. there were all these warnings about how george soros was financing it all. at the end of the day, what they're really getting to is that this -- this force is out
there sort of engineering this replacement, and, you know, we've had -- if you just use the most narrow search, we found more than 125 instances and discussions around just using the word invasion alone. if you expand that out to include great replacement theory and other sort of similar examples of that, it's in the hundreds on fox news. so put a point on that, the urgency then gets created. you have all these people organizing on the chants, and then fox is validating that theory that you have to do something right now because you're at great risk, at threat, and nobody else is doing anything about it. it makes you feel like you're the hero. >> alicia, you were just nodding your head. >> i mean, the perversity of this is the words lead you to believe the threat is coming from outside, right? >> yes. >> the threat is at our southern border. and part of what that does is it distracts from the reality of danger of white wing extremism inside our own country. 2018, more people killed by right wing extremists than any
year since 1995 when timothy mcveigh wreaked havoc on the city of oklahoma city. that is where attention should be. that's where the real danger is. and that is just a big distraction. >> final point, angelo, on the right, they're looking at the twitter feed of the alleged shooter in dayton who called himself a leftist, who tweeted supporting things about bernie sanders and elizabeth warren. what is the distinction to you between what we see in el paso and what we've seen there? >> so when ideology is a motivating distinction, there is a lot you can do in terms of addressing the structure. so in el paso, a big part of this was the conversation, the misinformation that was consuming the radicalization that that individual experienced, and it's a very different paradigm, because it can be amplified and intensified. and brian kilmeade underscored that. in one of the clips, that clip said that it is invasion, that was from this morning. >> yes. >> they've planted a marker here. so, one, that is an indication that that problem is only going
to get worse unless you address the root cause. in this case, the radicalization. and dayton, it's an entirely different thing. there is one connective tissue, misogyny. that's an important part about this. not all the neat things fit within the partisan ideology. they're very different but one is part of a deeper, struck chrl pattern as alicia pointed out before. >> alicia menendez and angelo carusone, thank you for being we mix, thank you. tfears the growing trade wa with china could put the global economy into disaster. beep goes off ]
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missing the fact the president has almost single-handedly brought the public to the precipice of disaster. the latest escalation in the president's trade war and it did not go over well in china. the chinese retaliated by cutting off u.s. farm imports, and just yesterday, the trump administration struck back labeling china as a currency manipulator, which is an extremely provocative move. and while we wait to see who is going to blink first, china has made it very clear they do not intend to back down. the editor-in-chief of the global times which is part of china's state controlled media tweeted today in english whether or not there will be negotiations, china will not yield to washington's hegemony. we're prepared for newist tariffs. yesterday you might have noticed the stock markets absolutely tanked, the worst day in 2019, though they did rebound a bit today. now all kinds of people are starting to rush to pull the train brake and ring the alarm about the dangers this poses to the u.s. and global economy, including american farmers who have been on the front lines of
this trade war. one north dakota soy bean farmer said this is just another nail in the coffin. all this news led larry summers to tweet we may well be at the most dangerous financial moment since the 2009 financial crisis with current developments between the u.s. and china. here with me now to dissect josh barrel who has been writing about the u.s. and china trade war and donald trump. i'm always sort of trying to figure out how freaked out, how not freaked out. >> yeah, you and everybody else. >> exactly. >> yeah, i mean, to the extent this remains a matter of modest movements and currencies, it's not the sort of thing that we should expect to cause a recession. it is the sort of thing we should expect to have an effect on nick growth. for the last two years, the trade war has been background noise. trump was doing this, but the tariffs weren't on that many things. and most of the u.s. economy is services or goods produced domestically, and not all the
imports come from china. it wasn't hitting that much of the economy and you add it up and that might take a tenth of a point off gdp growth which it matters, but you're not going to notice it in the sea of all the other things that affect the economy. but as the swath of things that are subject to the tariffs gets bigger and the tariff rates get higher, you start pushing towards something that full-on trade war, you might think half a point, a point off gdp growth that still should leave you with positive economic growth, but much less than you have. the problem is what sort of knock-on effectious can have when the wars go in unpredictable directions. the market really freaked out when the chinese currency started moving very early on monday. and the funny thing about this is the president says they're a currency manipulator. what china did is they stopped manipulating. >> exactly. >> china, we had this conversation in 2012 when mitt romney was named them a currency manipulator. at that time the chinese had really been pushing their currency down in order to support exports. it was true. it was unfair competition. that story is seven years old. they haven't been doing that
anymore. they change their strategy and they have been pushing the currency up, except they stopped briefly. i think it was sort of a threat. >> right. >> see what will happen if we stop doing this? but then they came back today and they set new guidance. so everyone is oh, it broke through 7. there is more than to a dollar. the chinese have their own domestic reasons why they might not want to devalue the currency, but it shows we can do this thing and it will wreak havoc on the u.s. stock market and who knows what it will mean. it's not just china, it has big effects on south korea, japan. you could have a big mess in the global trading situation that would have negative economic effects there and here. >> what i'm hearing from you is the actual economic effects at each level are manageable. >> right. >> it's the game theory problem. >> right. >> of these two players who are going back and forth, the same way like a skirmish at a border? in actual physical war. you don't know when someone is going to do things that blow
things up and other people get pulled into it, and then you're looking at real genuine disaster there have been terror-let cascading disasters before. that's the thing that has happened. >> but the thing that pushes back on that on the flip side is almost all of these things are really bad for both the u.s. and china. >> but so are physical wars. often, almost always. >> but most of the time we avoid going to physical war. most of the time the two countries have a strong incentive to avoid a war. it doesn't work perfectly, but it works most of the time. similarly here, the one thing that is holding this together is an all-out trade war can be really bad for both the u.s. and china. china is probably in a worse position than us to manage it economically. the flip side it's not a democracy, so they have more flexibility to put the public through pain. not total flexibility. they still care about public opinion. i think the president's theory is i'm going to push harder and harder and harder wall street. seen news reporting that he basically made this decision alone to do these additional tariffs on $300 billion in goods. it's his theory that if he pushes hard enough, they'll have
to cave, but i'm not sure that's true. >> we should note he is writing $15 billion of checks to farmers to back stop. i've been meaning to for a few days. the top 1% of the payouts are $183,000 and the bottom 80% are less than $5,000. the distribution of those checks is really wild. and if you're thinking to yourself the family farmer is getting this check, it's a large agricultural concern most likely. josh barro, thank you so much. >> thank you. still ahead, the growing problem for republicans in texas where membrepublicans in congre keep choosing retirement. in tonight's thing 1, thing 2, next. if you have moderate to severe psoriasis,
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thing 1 tonight. out of the awfulness the past few days came a moment of weird hog-related levity on the internet. if you've been anywhere near social media, you might have noticed the top trending topic everywhere seemed to be feral hogs. bizarre turn of events which began with a tweet from a guy named willie in arkansas who added his two cents to the roiling debate over banning assault weapons. quote, legit question for rural americans. how do i kill the 30 to 50 feral hogs that run in my yard within three to five minutes while my small kids play? this one question seemed to derail the entire debate which was not necessarily the bad thing. instead of everyone angrily fighting about guns, everyone was confused and obsessed with the 30 to 50 feral hogs.
the memes began. here is president trump yelling at the kid mowing the lawn, have you seen my hogs? 30 to 50 of them. and there was this "jurassic park" inspired one, easy, easy. this is a throwback about how my kids bring the feral hogs to the yard. there is always an oprah version, of course. these here are pharrell hogs. apparently they won't stop singing "happy." it wasn't long before someone developed a feral hogs video game too where you too can defend your small children from the 30 to 50 feral hogs. you can be forgiven for assuming the whole feral hogs thing was a big joke. clearly the whole thing was in jest, and you would be dead wrong, because people across this country really are dealing with huge packs of hogs in their yards, and they're trying all sorts of ways to deal with them. and that's thing 2 in 60 seconds. s. ♪ ♪
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no warning, it being 30 to 50 feral hogs running into his yard within three to five minutes while his small kids play. and willie is not alone. there are over six million feral hogs scattered across at least 35 states according to the department of agriculture, and the population is rapidly expanding, at the cost of $1.5 billion a year in damage. the hogs have been known to tear up crop fields searching for food. and while attacks on humans are rare, official says the hogs' sharp tusks and speediness can cause injury. so people have come up with some creative solutions to deal with the problem. in texas, lawmakers actually passed a porkchoper law, seriously, allowing hunters to pay to shoot feral hogs from helicopters. that turned out to be expensive and not at all that effective because the hogs are pretty smart. they quickly learned to hide from the loud noise of the choppers. people have tried hunting from air balloons, silent. but issue likes steering and visibility made that pretty impractical.
texas tried using pesticides but abandoned that plan after 200 birds were found dead. if you're wondering how in the world we got to this point we can thank, among other factors, yes, climate change. a huge contributor to the situation because increased temperatures mean more of the animals are surviving through the milder winters and then continuing to multiply year after year. so we now all add battling giant packs of hogs for control of the planet to our nightmare visions of a climate change future. >> wild hogs are one of the smartest animals on the planet. that's why it's so important we don't educate these hogs when we remove them. feral hogs carry a number of diseases, including tuberculosis, trichinosis, e. coli and a couple other diseases. that's why it's very important to hire a team of professionals to remove these hogs from your property. operty keep being you. and ask your doctor about biktarvy. biktarvy is a complete one-pill, once-a-day treatment used for hiv in certain adults. it's not a cure, but with one small pill, biktarvy fights hiv with three different medicines
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since his campaign and especially over the last few weeks, the president's endless stream of bigoted invective, the calls for members of congress to go back to their countries and now the murder in el paso has put at the center of our national politics this fundamental question, who is america for? who gets to be an american? are we a nation of immigrants or a nation bound by blood and soy? suketu mehta came to the u.s. from india. his parents put him into an all boys catholic school in queens. in our latest podcast, he told me about the racist insults and he experienced at the hands of the boys at his school who told him to go back to his country.
>> i remember my second day in the school, this white kid with red hair and freckles coming up to me and glaring at me and saying lincoln should have never let him off the plantation. i said but what's that got to do with me? >> wow, wow, wow. >> welcome to america. >> that was the opening line? lincoln should have never let them off the plantation. in new york in 1977? >> 1977. >> exactly. >> in queens. >> in queens, home of the current president. >> that's right. queens that gave us archie bunker and donald trump. >> exactly. >> and this boy. and there is a relationship between those three. >> queens, the most diverse county in the united states statistically, also home of the least diverse human being in the country. >> yeah. >> so, but, this is why i feel like i really understand trump's makeup, because i grew up in this place where the fathers of the kids i went to at school
were essentially donald trumps. >> suketu mehta has written a fantastic new book that has never been more timely, it's called "this land is our land." he talks about being an immigrant in our country at get your podcasts. highway safety rates vehicles for safety, and some reach a level of top safety pick. but only a select few of the very safest vehicles are awarded a top safety pick plus. the highest level of safety possible. how many 2019 top safety pick plus-winning vehicles does your brand have? one. two. how about eight? subaru has more 2019 top safety pick plus awards than honda and toyota brands combined. there's safe, and then there's subaru safe.
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things just keep getting worse for texas republicans. three house republicans from texas announced their retirement last week. the most distressing for the gop being will hurd who only eked out his win in 2018 by under 1,000 votes and is only one of three gop congressmen who represent a district that hillary clinton won in 2016. hurd had been touted as the future of his party. former cia officer, the lone african-american republican serving in the house. represents 800 miles of border. now he's leaving. and then yesterday, congressman kenny marchant who represents a suburban dallas district announced his plans to retire.
his retirement is from exactly the kind of district where republicans fear they are losing their edge the most, metro area suburbs. mitt romney, get this, he won that district by a whopping 22 points in the 2012 presidential election. not real competitive. four years later, donald trump won the district by just six points and then last year that district went for the democrat in the senate race, beto o'rourke, by 3 1/2 points. when he ran against ted cruz. this is the doomsday scenario for texas republicans and they are continuing to freak out about it. as sean trendy of real clear politics writes. people grossly oversold gop vulnerability pre-trump are and grossly underselling now. for more, i'm joined by evan smith and brianna brown, deputy director of the texas organizing project. a grassroots racial justice organization. evan, let me start with you because we've had this conversation before. >> yep. >> you were someone who for a long time -- you know texas politics about as well as anyone. when there were liberals saying,
oh, look at the demographics it's going to go blow saying whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. where are you now as you watch what's happening with these retirements, particularly in these suburban districts? >> i'm still not buying it. i think if you've seen one congressional district, you've seen one congressional district. i think it would be a mistake -- look, i'll accept the fact that the optics are terrible for texas republicans right now. by the way, we think there may be as many as two additional retirements coming any day now, republican-held seats. the optics are terrible. but every one of these districts is different. not every single one of these retirements has produced a winnable seat for democrats. i still don't think democrats are necessarily in a position to win the state. i think the senate race is going to be complicated. so i think it's hard to look at this and think, aha, finally the moment is here. >> right. i will kay, conaway is not a competitive seat. of the four that have retired, three look fairly competitive.
conaway is not in a competitive district. i think that's fair to say. brianna, the texas organizing project is one of the most interesting groups in the country to me because you guys have put in a lot of work in texas, specifically metro areas, urban suburban areas. what's the work you've been doing and what have the results been? >> at the top we like to say we fight with two fists, right? we fight with people power and political power, and the essence of what we do is really in the linked fates of black and brown folks across this state. we fundamentally believe that organizing is destiny, right? it's the destiny of the state and not just in demographics, right? >> yeah. >> so, we've seen success across the state in mobilizing voters around a big, bold issue agenda, first and foremost and our organizing -- the organizing that we do is centrally about how are we motivating our voters to the polls? you know, it's not a foreign idea.
there are a lot of groups out there, different special interest groups that are able to mobilize their voters. and for black and brown folks that are on the margins, that don't have access to health care, that are living in neighborhoods where the schools are subpar and underfunded, having a reason to vote, people need a reason to vote. our votes need to be courted. and fundamentally what we're about is making sure that we have -- we're expanding the electorate and we have politicians that are responsive to the needs of what is increasingly the majority of texans, which are black and brown folks. >> evan, so there's a few different dynamics. there is a sort of urban/suburban dynamic, the racial demographic dynamics. texas is a state, someone just did an analysis, mississippi with a lot of undervoting among communities, right? >> yeah. >> it doesn't have a high participation rate compared to some other states. in the suburbs, let's stop talking about, okay, the state's going to go blue and it's
doomsday for republicans. >> right. >> i'm fascinated by what's happening into these suburbs, what is happening there that these folks are retiring, that we've seen a few of those seats flipped? when, you know, romney's winning a district by 22 points that beto wins by three. >> well, the fact is the last election cycle, 2018, the real story of that cycle was the degree to which the suburbs which had not been open to voting for democrats became much more open to democrats if not bear hugging democrats. pete olson's area. >> he's one of the retirements, obviously. >> one of the retirements. williamson county, north of austin. colin county, denton county, up around dallas. these are communities that really did put the scare into republicans, in some cases they defeated republican state lawmakers. it's in these very places that the members of congress are wondering if they should return themselves to the private sector. that suburban trend is about two things. it's about demographics but it's also about the affordability of the big cities, and i believe big city voters being pushed out
to the suburbs taking their big city values and their big city votes with them. >> you just said something interesting, brianna, about sort of giving people something to vote for because texas does have for a variety of reasons the obstacles put in front of folks for being able to vote. it does have lower participation rates than a lot of other states. what's your sort of theory of the case about that? >> well, last year we reached out to 900,000 unique voters across the states, delivered 465,000 voters during the midterm, 115,000 of those voters had never voted in a midterm before. >> wow. >> i mean, those are big numbers. you know, texas is a big city. you can go to scale really quickly. and i think it fundamentally goes back to, you know, this idea of how do you expand the electorate, right? how do you give people something to vote for? when there have been everything from structural barriers that prevent people from fully participating in our democracy
to, you know, to other kind of, like, barriers in the everyday, right? >> right. >> we don't have an -- we, you know, getting -- just getting to the polls. in 2016 we took a2,500 people to the polls in our drive for democracy program because that is an additional barrier that people have. so i think that it's important to think about the conversation about, like, how to expand our democracy by -- by speaking directly to the voters. >> right. >> in this case voters who are often left out of the conversation. >> evan sming ath and brianna b. good evening, chris. thanks my friend. thanks to you at home for joining us this hour. happy to have you with us. so he was 19 years old. his name was michael donald. he was an alabaman. he lived in mobile, alabama. one night in 1981, michael donald was set upon for no reason at all.