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tv   Morning Joe  MSNBC  September 15, 2022 6:00am-7:00am PDT

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ensures rail workers will get what he calls better pay, improved working conditions, and peace of mind around their health care costs. the issue partly had been over sick time. a source familiar with the negotiations tells nbc news the tentative deal was reached early this morning with a basic handshake at 2:30 a.m. and approval by the teamsters board at 4:30 a.m. amtrak, which previously had preemptively suspended most long-distance routes says it is working to restore canceled trains to accommodate impacted customers. for more, let's bring in nbc news chief white house correspondent peter alexander live at the white house. peter, good morning. obviously, this would have had big implications if this had gone on for to several days or weeks on supply chain issues and support to ukraine. how did this deal come together? >> reporter: this was an all-nighter for marty walsh.
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pete buttigieg was working with the railroads as well. you heard from the president calling this deal a win for tens of thousands of railway workers. just to reiterate key points, they're getting better pay, improved working conditions and peace of mind surrounding health care costs. this agreement after those 20 hours of face-to-face negotiations was led by the labor secretary, and he said one of the key moments was crucial call from president biden that took place late last night at 9:00. walsh warned a strike would have been catastrophic. you know that some of the consequences, but consider this, 40% of this country's products that are shipped long distance are moved by rail. that means auto parts, lumber, the food we eat. we are already seeing some of the possible implications, amtrak preemptively canceling long-distance routes. the statement from amtrak this morning saying they're trying to get these canceled trains quickly restored.
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they're reaching out to passengers to get them on the first available departures. to be clear, this is a tentative agreement and needs to go to the union membership for a vote. last one key to this agreement they'll have a cooling-off period of sorts for several weeks to ensure that even if it is voted down, even if it does not pass, there isn't immediately a shutdown. the bottom line is it's good news for the economy and certainly a major relief, welcome relief for the president less than two months before the midterms in november, willie. >> the impacts would have been catastrophic to borrow a term from marty walsh. this president yesterday was at the detroit auto show talking about his own union credentials, talked about the importance of the labor unions and bidding the middle class. he's called himself the most pro-union president in history. obviously, he had a hand and a keen interest in this negotiation with the rail organizations. how much was he involved? >> reporter: i'm told by the white house he had been actively
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involved in the last several days. there was a call into that room where they'd been facing off where the president called in at 9:00 and was pushing one of his big issues, what you raised, over the leave that individuals were asking for where they wouldn't be punished if they needed to take time off for some form of medical leave. that was something that had frustrated the president. he said these folks -- the rail lines are the backbone of america but so are these tens of thousands of employees who keep them going. the white house recognized this would have been in their lap had there been a shutdown. they were already so grateful for progress that had been made by sort of removing some of the supply chain backlogs, but those are not resolved all together. it was the worst-case scenario for them right in the heart of the crucial period as americans are making their minds up ahead of the midterms that there might be another shutdown that would cost the country about $2 billion to its economy a day here.
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so certainly this white house is content about this. i wouldn't be surprised if we hear from the president on this issue in some form, perhaps publicly today. he has other issues on his agenda today, including talking about efforts to crack down on hate speech and how that's motivating violence in this country. this is obviously a big moment as it relates to the economy, which is a driver for so many americans as they make up their minds ahead of the fall midterms. >> no question about it. peter alexander, thanks so much. there's new polling this morning that shows a boost in approval for president biden according to the latest associated press norc center poll. 45% of americans now approve of biden's job performance. that's up 9% from just july. the president's numbers up with virtually every group, but his support has risen the most among black americans in recent months, 75% now saying they approve of president biden's job performance, up from 46% in july. that number had been at 67% back
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in june. so, mika, the white house believes that this is the sort of lagging indicator of their legislative wins over the summer, of gas prices coming down. he is still under water. his approval is 45%, his disapproval is 43%, inflation is still much too high, but from the white house point of view there is progress here. >> oh, that's a big jump. to it show where is the trend is going. the debate over abortion rights continues to be a looming issue over the midterm elections as republicans remain deeply divided over legislation proposed by senator lindsey graham that would ban abortions nationwide after 15 weeks of pregnancy. hallie jackson has the latest on that. >> reporter: with the midterms looming, the republican divide over abortion now growing. senator lindsey graham defending his new proposed legislation that would ban abortions nationwide after 15 weeks with exceptions for rape, incest, and
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the life of the mother. >> i believe that abortion on demand as democrats proposed is so out of line with the world, is so extreme, that we owe it to people. >> reporter: while graham's bill has little chance of becoming law in the current congress, it's exposing a divide in the gop that has widened since the supreme court struck down roe v. wade three months ago. many republicans walking back support for abortion bans in favor of limited restrictions with party leaders, including mitch mcconnell, distancing themselves from graham's legislation. >> i think most of the members of my conference prefer this be dealt with at the state level. >> reporter: in indiana, an abortion ban taking effect today, coming just days after west virginia lawmakers passed a bill prohibiting abortion with few exceptions. a dozen states have outlawed the procedure since the supreme court's ruling, some now facing
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legal challenges like in ohio, where a lower court blocked the state's six-week abortion ban on wednesday. democrats seizing on graham's legislation, arguing it's evidence of what the gop would do if it wins control of congress. >> it's finally clear, the republicans are for a national ban on abortion. they want to establish it at the federal level and want the states to follow through. >> let's bring in former chief speechwriter for president obama, john favrot. he's out with season three of his podcast, "the wilderness," talk to voters in the battleground regions of virginia, pennsylvania, nevada, georgia, and south carolina. we also have msnbc political analyst elise jordan with us as well, along with willie and me. john, given the sort of blueprint, the background that politicians have to work with leading up to the midterms, especially the piece we just saw on the abortion issue,
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republicans really representing the abortion issue, where they stand on gun, and not a lot of wins behind them compared to the democrats that have a lot to brag on, do you think the tide is turning, but will it turn enough for the democrats to really make some serious gains at the midterms? >> it remains to be seen. i started doing these focus groups in may, right, when the draft supreme court decision leaked. and in just about every single focus group with every different kind of voter across the country, people brought up the dobbs decision and abortion without me even prompting them. in fact, i talked to biden/youngkin voters in virginia, voted for biden in 2020 and voted for youngkin in the gubernatorial, and a couple people were undecided about the midterms. we went back to them after the dobbs decision came out, and a
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couple women who were sort of mixed, undecided, and also sort of had mixed feelings on abortion, said that the fact that the supreme court overturned roe v. wade has put them in the democrats' camp and they were going to do that, especially the young voters i talked to, outraged about dobbs. we were having trouble finding young voter who is said they weren't certain that they would vote in the midterm after the decision came out because so many more people were registered and said they were certain to vote. >> let's play a clip from your podcast where you speak with a group of young voters in southern california. take a look. >> how do you all feel about the supreme court's decision last week to overturn roe v. wade, which ends the constitutional right to an abortion? >> awful. >> awful. >> terrible. >> what the [ bleep ]? >> i've been seeing everywhere, all over the news, tiktok, social media, i've heard so many horror stories.
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there are people who get raped and abused and, you know, one story, this girl was sexually assaulted by her brother and got pregnant by her brother and she had to get an abortion for that. i think it's messed up. i think it's huge setback to how far we've come already for sure. >> it's going to ruin a lot of lives. yeah. >> yeah. >> how many of you plan on voting in the midterm elections this november? >> what is that? >> three here. four. >> i could. >> i filled out a ballot like a couple weeks ago. was that for the november election? i don't remember. >> i believe a primary, a primary election. okay. >> i'll just do what i did again. >> who is your member of congress? and do you think they're doing a good job? >> i don't know anyone in congress. >> that's totally fine. does anyone know who their member of congress is?
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>> no. >> okay. >> okay. it started out so well. really strong feelings on the issues. they appeared to -- the abortion issue really resonated with those young people. they had a sense of understanding that went beyond just a headline as to what the ramifications might be. they had strong feelings. you even had to bleep out something. but then where the rubber meets the road, will they vote in the midterms, there was not a lot of knowledge even about them. >> yeah. so, here's the challenge. one of the biggest divides in american politics is between people who follow the news and politics closely and the vast majority of americans who don't, which is, like, 80% to 85% of americans. like, most people who actually show up and vote in these elections aren't watching
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"morning joe," they aren't listening to my podcast. they're casually following the news once in a while. these young voters were an example of that. i think the challenge -- it's funny, those voters all voted for joe biden in 2020, so they showed up in the presidential election, and they're all constituents of katie border, congresswoman from orange county. i talked to her afterwards and she said these young voters are trying to make it, pay for school, for rent, get through their lives. it's not on them to figure this out. we need to reach out to them. i need to find these constituents, make sure they know when the election is, why it matters and make sure they get to the polls. i think as democrats look toward the midterms, and people get frustrated when they see this focus group, if we want democrats to win, it's not incumbent on not just democratic politicians but striss and organizers, to reach these young
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people, so upset about dobbs but are so busy they don't actually pay attention to politics and know when the midterms are. >> john, your first episode is about the divide, which is this question of democracy, at the core of our country right now that we're having this fight over. and the president himself and all the way down has made a major campaign theme of saying, look, democracy is on the ballot. if we lose these elections, there's a chance people at the capitol, candidate who is support the overturning and the attempted coup around the 2020 election will be in real positions of power. has that message taken hold with voters like the ones you spoke to? do they understand or believe that democracy is in fact at stake this fall? >> they don't. i asked every group what issues get too much in v attention in politics, what issues don't get enough, and just about every group said january 6th gets too much attention. that was in the past.
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they think it was stai scary an, think donald trump was in control, but they don't make the connection with democracy. if we want people to join us in the process of saving democracy, we have to prove democracy is worth saving and to do that we have to show that democracy can deliver for people in a way that tangibly improves their lives. the issues these voters said don't get enough attention for them are the cost of living. i heard about housing, rent from just about every single voter in every group, including those young people, especially people in las vegas and atlanta. i heard about gas prices. i heard about inflation. i did hear about abortion a lot, gun violence. but i heard about issues that people are seeing affect their lives, their families' live, and their communities. i think what democrats need to do is speak to those issues as fundamental to democracy and that's why we need to fight to keep these election deniers out.
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they do think the republican is very extreme, i heard that, but not about the existential threats to democracy, which is upsetting but understanding for people who don't pay a lot of attention to politics. >> john, your second episode is about party switchers in virginia, biden voter who is voted for glenn youngkin. what did you learn about why they switched to the republican side? >> that was fascinating because for all we heard about critical race theory in that race, even voter who is supported glenn youngkin, they didn't buy his argument on critical race theory. they basically just didn't like terry mcauliffe. they said why did the democrats run him again? he was an old incumbent. he didn't do anything while in office. we wanted a change. a couple said they voted for glenn youngkin because they thought he was going to be a change and be moderate and
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different, and one guy was like he hasn't been as moderate as i thought he would be. i was most optimistic about that group because a lot of thevoter voting for democrats in the midterns, and terry mcauliffe's comment on education, parents shouldn't get to decide what kids learn in school, that really rubbed them the wrong way not because of critical race theory but because they were upset over covid restrictions, school closures and how it had been handled in the pandemic. >> the issue of a learning gap is one of the bigger education story wes need to be focusing on. obviously, we can debate crt and others within it, but we've got kids who have fallen behind by a year or two. host of "the wilderness" podcast, jon favreau, thank you
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very much. florida governor ron desantis joins other republican governors in shipping off migrants to areas run by democrats. this time it's a plane landing in martha's vineyard. kerry sanders joins us live straight ahead. and new reporting from mississippi reveals how the former governor there helped hall-of-fame brett favre get funding for a new volleyball stadium at his daughter's college, using money intended for state's poor. we'll speak to the investigative reporter behind this new revelation and the state's welfare scandal. like many families, the auburns value time spent together. to share wisdom... i got some of my gold before i came to this country.
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21 past the hour. now to a surprising story involving florida governor ron desantis sending two planes full of migrants to martha's vineyard yesterday following a recent tactic by republican governors to draw attention to what they say are president biden's failed border policies. joining us now live from ft. lauderdale, nbc news senior national correspondent kerry sanders. kerry, have these tactics worked in the past? >> reporter: well, it's all unfolding as we speak. it's unclear. of course, you know, the florida governor, ron desantis, is running for re-election, but it's clearly an escalation by republican governor who is have said they're upset with the border and immigration policies of the biden administration. this move is a first using airplanes like this.
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but it clearly puts the problem of immigration in democratic-controlled states. this morning a surprising scene in martha's vineyard, two planes filled with about 50 migrants landing on the island, according to emergency management officials. authorities say the planes were sent through florida wednesday afternoon by governor ron desantis. this video provided by detan sis' office, which says it was obtained by a source on the ground, appears to show the migrants' arrival on the island. desantis' office saying the planes were part of the state's relocation program to transport illegal immigrants to sanctuary destinations, adding states like massachusetts, new york, and california will better facilitate the care of these individuals who they have invited into our country by incentivizing illegal immigration. >> this is really clearly a political stunt.
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>> reporter: republican governor desantis borrowing a tactic from other republican governors, moving migrants to other states in order to protest the biden administration's border policies. since april, texas bussed more than 7,000 migrants to d.c., which declared a public emergency last week. the state has also bussed thousands to new york and chicago. local democratic lawmakers in martha's vineyard outraged. representative dylan fernandez posted a social media post saying he met with immigrants at a local church and dozens of bed had been supplied with local social services along with meals, medical care, and a play area for children at a shelter. >> some of these people have been traveled months just to get to the border, and then were sent here in an airplane with very little information about where they're going or why they were going there. >> reporter: so, the local officials in martha's vineyard
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say that they had no warning that there were going to be plane loads of immigrants arriving and that they responded as best they could with humanitarian needs but described it sort of responding to a natural disaster. meantime, governor ron desantis, the republican governor of florida, is expected to hold a news conference today at around 11:00 eastern, likely to talk about this move, and it should be noted that of course while massachusetts is predominantly a democratic-run state, it does have a republican governor. mika? >> nbc news senior national correspondent kerry sanders. we'll have much more on this tomorrow after we hear from what the florida governor has to say about treating people like political pawns. willie? >> as kerry points out, a lot of them didn't know where they were going. >> geez. >> and when they landed they didn't know where they were and walked into town and the good people of martha's vineyard
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rallied to support them. >> pretty sick. >> more on that tomorrow. new details about the misuse of welfare funds in mississippi including money paid to nfl hall of famer brett favre. nbc news justice and intelligence correspondent ken declinian has more. >> reporter: brett favre and the state's former governor might have been more deeply involved than first know. text messages included in newly released court documents showed favre as bill brian for help securing state money for a college volleyball facility where his daughter played the sport. he sent him to the state welfare agency. millions in funds sent to mississippi for people in policy. she's pleaded guilty to fraud and is cooperating with prosecutors. after she secured $4 million in
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welfare funds for the volleyball project, favre texted, very big deal and condition thank you enough. he asked for more two years later. just left brett favre. can we help him with his project? they paid favre $1 opinion 1 million for radio ad tsz, but the texts showed he was worried about how it would look. if you were to pay me, is there any way the media could find out from and how much? new said no, but i understand you being uneasy about that. it's part of a welfare spending scandal that's led to an fbi investigation, no there is no indication favre is under scrutiny. he paid back the $1.1 million. brad was hired to claw back $77 million that was misspent, but when he demanded answers on the volleyball building, he was fired. the state agency says they weren't on the same page. we asked him about the new texts. mr. favre all but badgered the
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governor of mississippi to get this public money to his purpose of building a volleyball facility. >> mississippi has the highest rate of poverty in the country. a lot of people could have used that money. when we come right back on "morning joe," we'll speak to the reporter for "mississippi today," who's been leading the coverage and breaking the news around this story. this story. allergies don't have to be scary. spraying flonase daily stops your body from overreacting to allergens all season long. psst! psst! flonase all good.
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we're back. just past the bottom of the hour. more on the newly revealed text messages between brett favre and mississippi's former governor raising questions about an investigation into the misuse of government welfare funds. joining us now, reporter for "mississippi today," anna wolf, who's been at the forefront of this story from the beginning. thanks for being here with us. for people just catching up to or tuning in to this story, take a step back for us on how this all began with southern mississippi, university of southern mississippi, wanting a new volleyball facility. brett favre's daughter played volleyball there. he thought he could help but not without some of the $141 million he earned in his career but with
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welfare funds. >> book in 2012, brett favre had this idea of building a new volleyball stadium at usm and was trying to find money from different sources, and somehow that connected with the welfare department. he was good friends with phil brian before that, so we're still trying to kind of piece together, you know, how he ended up having this conversation with the held of the welfare department and this nonprofit founder, nancy new. when he met with them, they immediately committed $4 million out of this welfare fund to build the volleyball stadium and to get the project really rolling they kind of had to goat the governor on board, and the text messages that we revealed this week show how that process went. >> you're a native of mississippi. poverty is the highest in the country in that state, welfare obviously critical to helping people survive. >> no, willie, and anna's reporting has just been jaw
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dropping, and it wouldn't have frankly happened if she hadn't been willing to probe so many government documents, push for so many documents to be released to the public. you really have just been indefatigable -- so incredible here, anna. what can you tell us about how this is going forward with the fbi investigating? is anything happening there? >> we do know that the fbi has been investigating for the last two years. we know they met with favre at one point back in the beginning after six people were arrested in 2020. but, you know, as this has just been unfolding, you know, the main players of this scheme, namely phil bryant and brett favre, have sort of tried to make excuses for their involvement. so, favre, you know, obviously is connected to this volleyball stadium but he says he didn't know the money came from welfare. i think these text messages will be interesting to investigators
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because they show, you know, a little more of that intentionality. there was even a text from brett favre that asked the nonprofit founder, is there any way that the media can find out where this money came from and how much if you give it to me? >> that's just incredible. >> yeah. shows where their head was at. >> one of these texts that was made public from favre to miss new, who you mentioned with that nonprofit, was, nancy, santa came today and dropped some money off. thank you. my goodness, thank you. we need to set up the promo for you soon. you are way to kind, wrote brett favre. you started to answer my question, but where does this go from here? who's going to be prosecuted, if anyone? who's in trouble? >> yeah. so, i mean, the feds are pretty tightlipped about how this investigation is going, but we know that the biden administration has just appointed this new u.s. attorney in this district. he comes from public integrity,
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so in terms of, like, the people who would be looking into this, he's quite a pick for inheriting this investigation. it's important to note that they knew they couldn't just embezzle this money and put it into the volleyball stadium, so they had to come up with this explanation for why welfare money would go to build this volleyball stadium. you know, they said that the nonprofit was going to be providing services there, which is kind of -- goes to show how lax these federal rules are that, you know, they could skirt the regulations, skirt the prohibition on using welfare for construction projects by just saying it would help someone in poverty. >> anna, an amazing stat, you said last night that only about 200 adult mississippians are receiving these federal welfare dollars. i would have assumed that 200 individuals would have received that in just my home county. to. >> yes. >> so why is the federal money
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not getting to mississippians who need it? >> right. so, i mean, the federal government is allowing this to happen. the federal government has such lax rules around how this money is spent that its allows states to spend it however they wish, basically. you know, there is $16 billion nationally still across the country, a lot of which is not being used on evidence-based practices for disrupting poverty. nancy new and phil bryant, they could have spent every dollar here perfectly legally and still never helped anyone. that's a systemic problem. that's welfare program that doesn't actually prioritize the end result, you know, someone leaving poverty. that's not what the program looks at. the program sort of prioritizes this notion that people in poverty just need to, you know, get a pep talk from brett favre in order to escape poverty. it prioritizes that over actual outcomes. >> almost 1 in 5 people in
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mississippi live in poverty. reporter for "mississippi today," anna wolfe, just doing extraordinary reporting, bringing all of this to light. thanks for bringing it to us, anna. we appreciate it. mika, part of the maddening aspect of all this is brett favre is incredibly rich, you know. if he wanted to build a volleyball building at southern miss, he could have done that, they would have put his name on the side of it. instead, they dipped into welfare funds to build it. >> rich in a lot of contexts, a big network. this is hard to believe. we're going to follow that. and we continue to follow this morning the breaking news on the rail strike that was averted overnight, a work stoppage that threatened the nation's economy. for more on this, let's bring in co-anchor of cnbc's "squawk box," andrew ross sorkin. how did the deal go down and have we heard from the labor unions? >> we have not heard from everybody yet and i think we're
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still waiting to understand what the contours of this deal look like. the big picture, though, this is going to avert a strike. when you think about the implications of what that strike would have been on the american economy, it would have been severe. we all talk about what inflation is already doing to this country, to consumer prices, food prices, et cetera. all of that would have only increased had there been a strike. crisis averted. in terms of what we're going to see, it appears that the workers are going to be getting something on the order of a 24% increase back in 2019, so a backdated deal. there's stale question, and we don't know the answer yet, about six days for workers in this industry. it's a big issue that bernie sanders and a number of politicians have made on the floor of the senate and elsewhere, how many days do they actually get and do they get fired if they actually are sick to take those days. you saw a number of people come out even against people like
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warren buffett, who owns a huge piece of the railroad industry, saying, look, you have to deal with this. so, we're going to see what the contours of that looks like. but the good news at least for now, and seeing it maybe play out in the stock market today, people are feeling at least better than what the alternative would have been. >> got it. also more news in the world of business, the ceo of patagonia saying his company is not to going public, it's going purpose. what's he doing? >> he is putting his money where his mouth is. it's a remarkable thing. people talk about virtue signaling. this is not that. he's giving away $3 billion, the entire company, saying i have enough, i am enough, and i'm giving its away, effectively creating a trust for this company, and the profits of this company over the next however long this trust exists, those profits from the company will go towards climate change and saving the planet. he said his kids didn't want to
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own the company, that they believe that every billionaire is a policy failure, and that they didn't want to be billionaires. so here we are. i will also say there's a big, almost provocative debate about all this, because even though the company is worth $3 billion and he's giving it all away and for a good cause, there are some people who say, look, maybe philanthropy at that level should be taxed. he will not be taxed on that. i think he'll pay about $17.5 million in taxes, effectively saving the equivalent of a $1.2 billion tax bill that taxpayers would have otherwise have got. some people say it's a good thing, some say a bad thing, but that's the debate this morning. >> cnbc's andrew ross sorkin, thank you very much. breaking news from the tennis world. roger federer, the 20-time major winner who defined an era of tennis, announced his retirement this morning. in a video on social media, he said in part, i'm 41 years old,
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i've played more than 100 matches over 24 years, and tennis has treated me more generously than i would have dreamt. and now i must recognize when it's time to end my competitive career. at one point, spent a record 237 straight weeks as the number-one-ranked player in the world, if you can imagine that. his decision to step away from the game marks the second exit by an all-time great in the past few weeks, as 23-time major winner serena williams played her final match at the u.s. open just weeks ago. coming up, the author behind "friday night-lights" is back with another football story and a game that's been lost to history. he joins us to talk about his latest book on the true story of the mosquito bowl. "morning joe" is back in just a moment.
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joining us, best-selling author of "friday night lights" buzz bissinger. his new book is about the american heroes entitled "mosquito bowl."
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amazing story. i didn't know anything about it, to be honest. i think most people don't. so, how did you come to this story? >> well, i think i came to it the way most writers today come to it. i was screwing around on the internet when i should have been writing something. i honestly don't know. for some reason i got on the subject of world war ii and sports and read about this game called the mosquito bowl, and it became more and more improbable, more and more delicious, but it was two regiments of the marine corps stocked with great football players, and they would argue over beers who would be the better team if we played each other. finally, one marine said we're marines, we don't argue, we fight it out. so, they had this game as close to a real football game as you could get. they had marching bands, programs printed. it was broadcast on the mosquito radio network. you name it, they had it. this delicious game. but really it was a way for
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these 65 men who really were still boys to be boys again, to do something they loved, football, to go away from the horror of combat for a few hours. they had a blast. the score was 0-0. the upshot, still unimaginable to me, of the 65 who played, 15 were later killed at okinawa several months later. you know, men who really still were boys from their 18, 19 -- the oldest was 25 of those who were killed. >> that's the thing, buzz. you look at the faces to of those guys. they are kids. a lot would have been in college if they hadn't served. the 4th and 29th regiments, players from big-time programs like notre dame, wisconsin, brown, ivy league programs in there as well. >> right. >> the game ends in a scoreless tie. what happens from there? how much longer did they get to spend together before they awful headed off to that fateful battle?
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>> the game was on the beautiful date of christmas eve of 1944, which i thought was fitting. it was also a way to celebrate christmas when you're 6,000 mimes away from home. this was three months later. they had been training for months. the game was a respite.months. the game was in respite from you sit there. the longer you sit there, you think about am i going to live or am i going to die. that's why you look for diversions. they had to get out of it. and three months later, they were shipped out to okinawa, which was the bloodiest battle by far the pacific. people don't know. 240,000 people died in 82 days. americans, japanese is and civilians. it was beyond bloody. it was beyond horrifying. the book purposely rehearsed it. and there were beautiful men. they have flaws. we all have flaws. i like to describe these men. it is the essence of america, the america we want back. ordinary men rising to
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extraordinary circumstances. but it's also mothers. it's also fiances. it's women who took over the workforce. they worked harder, were more organized and didn't fight. the book is about the beauty of america. i watch the news today about these immigrants being sent to martha's vineyard and the divisiveness. what would world war ii have been like if we were constantly fighting with one another. the beauty of world war ii, as horrible as it was because men died, was we were united. there was no red state or blue state in a fox hole. in a fox hole, will you protect my back. it was a beautiful moment. i think one of the reasons i did the book, it shows what we can be again when we have a common purpose, when we do our duty without question and for the sake of these men who so
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tragically died. i may live, i may die, but i'm here to sacrifice and protect the beauty and the ideals and the principles of our country. so as you read the book, it's wince read about people you get to know and i hope you love who don't make it. >> such a beautiful, rich story. this took you five years. five years of work. i have a quote from you here. after the third or fourth year, i sthaugt i maybe dead by the time this book comes out. thank goodness you're not. but tell me what you discovered about these guys, these young men, and also even you discovered something you never knew about your own father. >> that was freaky. and that was what put me over the top. this was never intended and is not a search for my father book. i knew my father was a marine. he got drafted.
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he could have gone to the navy. he said i don't want to die on a ship so i'll go to the marines, which was a bizarre choice. he was at okinawa. i didn't know where or when. as i'm doing the book, i said let's research. let's find out. i looked at rolls. there is his name, my name. this is freaky, in one of the regiments that i was writing about. he was on the front lines. he was in combat. he never talked about it. i never asked him. i felt this is his private zone. he could not talk about it. but in a sense, the book -- i'm not being trite, and i get choked up because i'm so proud of him. i'm so totally proud of him to know what he went through. i wish -- he passed away over 20 years ago and i wish i could hug him or thank him or shake his hand because he and the men i'm writing about and so many hundreds of thousands and
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millions of soldiers and marines all over the world went through hell and back. okinawa was indescribable. the primary reason truman dropped the atom bomb, the casualty rate was horrific. it was way over 50% and he said we're not going to lose another american boy on foreign soil. >> it's so heart warming to hear about what you discovered about your father. and of the 64 men, who were part of the mosquito bowl, 15 of them died in battle. and by the time you started researching the book, you were telling me only one 1 of the 64 was still alive. could you talk about this man, this veteran and did you get to interview him and meet him? >> his name was dave meers. he was such a great guy. those veterans who at least were alive, we were there in the
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'90s. i was ashamed of my intellect is going day by day. these guys were sharp. but they were decent. they said do not describe me as a hero. do not draw attention to myself. and dave was like that. it was a wonderful three hours. he remembered some of the players that i was writing about. but he was the only one who was alive. so it was aer year of saying, can i really get at this. but several of the players they write about really from the beginning of their lives to the tragic ends left. their family hs a tremendous paper trail of letters and other documents. and i found the letters so poignant because they are small. it's all in the little details. you're not talking about battle because you cannot. >> and the censorship was so extreme. >> it was totally extreme. they would use a code system to try to tell their parents where they were. the first word of every sentence. but with you're spelling something out, that can take a lot of sentences. i got a paper trail.
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and i realized i can do this. i can make take the reader through and the hope is that you will fall in love with these guys, as i did. i kept a picture of one of them next to me as i wrote. a man named dave shriner from wisconsin. the perfect all-american, tremendous love for his mom and dad, engaged to be married and totally in love with his fiance. they were beautiful men. there was a certain simplicity. america was much more innocent it was the time of golly gee whiz and i want to pin my sweetheart. but their willingness to go into combat knowing you're going to get decimated is still indescribable to me. but that is thes essence of what made this country great. so for all the tragedy of the book, there's also tremendous line up lift. here is what they did. here is what we can do to be great once again. because they were.
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>> the new book is titled "mosquito bowl." buzz, thank you very much for bringing that to us. congratulations on the book. >> thank you. and that does it for us this morning. jose diaz-balart picks up the coverage after a final quick break. picks up the coverage after a final quick break. do you want some more? wait till you see me on the downhill. see you at home. enjoy it. with the advanced safety features of a lexus es. discomfort back there? instead of using aloe, enjoy it. or baby wipes, or powders, try the cooling, soothing relief or preparation h. because your derriere deserves expert care. preparation h. get comfortable with it. no matter who you are, being yourself can be tough when you have severe asthma. triggers can pop up out of nowhere, causing inflammation that can lead to asthma attacks. but no matter what type of severe asthma you have, tezspire™ can help.
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