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tv   Melissa Harris- Perry  MSNBC  October 5, 2013 10:00am-12:00pm EDT

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this morning my question -- what is the job of texas' attorney general? plus, we wanted to do a segment about the speaker of the house, but there doesn't seem to be one. and the gop predicts the end of the world about as well as the ancient mayans. but first, republicans are playing with themselves, but who can blame them? they've got a raging boehner. good morning. i'm melissa harris-perry. this week we learned the government shutdown is very serious business. i mean hungry children serious. the fact that 53% of american infants rely on wic benefit, benefits that will run out at the end of the month if the government does not reopen. wic is women, infants and children, the nutrition program run by the u.s. department of agriculture, and proit advisor
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food and nutrition, counseling to pregnant women and the mothers of infants and children up to age 5. wi skrshgs food for babies, food that includes baby formula, an expense that can run up to $2,000 for the first year of life. let's be clear. kids and babies who could go hungry if we don't open for business soon. the government shutdown is serious. and the political reeyal ti of letting little ones go hungry may be sinking in for house republicans. friday, they voted to, quote, refund wic, but only after there was a major outcry in the media about it, and still without an offer to fund the rest of the government. something that advocates for wic called a cynical ploy to use low-income, nutritionally at-risk mothers and young children as political pawns for political ends. that could not take the place of actual long-term funding. so instead of producing serious alternatives, washington just keeps on giving us nuggets of
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absurdity. we here in "nerdland" are big fans of political absurdity so, even though we get just how serious this whole thing is, it just seemed right to pause and recall "nerdland's" favorite moment so far in "shutdown 2013." first up is this hot mike moment between senator rand paul and cincinnati minority leader mitch mcconnell. >> do you have a second? >> i'm all wired up here. >> we're going to compromise. i don't think they poll tested "we don't negotiate." i think it's awful for them to say that over and over again. >> i do, too. and i just came tackback from that two-hour meeting with them and was basically the same view privately as it was publicly. >> i think if we keep saying we wanted to defund it, we fought for that, now we're willing to compromise on this, we're gonna -- i don't know we don't want to be here, but we're going
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to win this i think. >> guys, how have you not learned the assume the mike is hot lesson? which brings me to a second great moment. this is gop house member marlon sutsman doing his best rodney dangerfield impression. >> wee not going to be disrespected, so that's where we're at today where we have to get something out of this. and i don't know what that even is. >> i don't even know what it is. we got to get something. of course democrats, including the president, pounced on his remarks. he later walked back his comments. but there's that saying in d.c., a gaffe is when a politician tells the truth. another fave of the week, congressman mark meadows considered by some to be the architect of the shutdown. listen to this fascinating segment of the connection between obama care and the current shutdown crisis. >> this fight now has become about veterans and about national guard folks that perhaps -- reservists that are not getting paid. that's where the fight is today. obama care is mandatory
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spending. it's going on. >> then why not vote on a full cr if you don't care about obama care anymore? >> uh -- uh. he went on to choke out to something how critical it is for the decisions he makes to be as least harmful as they possibly can. and of course there is this, congressman george holder of north carolina napping while his fellow republican, congressman of texas held the floor. the full embodiment of the absolute absurdity, unrelenting, exhausting absurdity of the current manufactured crisis that has shut down the government and endangered the basic needs of the most vulnerable among us. what the hell? at this point i'm with joe biden. >> i'm getting a cookie. >> me too. give me a cookie. bob franken, judith brown dianes, benji sarlon for
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msnbc.com and attorney and nbc latino and "usa today" columnist raul reyes. now i have cookie on me. but listen, really, i just kept thinking on the one hand this seems so serious, but on the other hand, i feel like we are reporting on this thing that is completely manufactured. >> well, a lot of the absurdity of this is that people have been calling it the "seinfeld" shutdown, the shutdown about nothing. we don't know what it's about day to day, which makes it hard to talk about because it started with this huge apocalyptic fight over obama care, and now that it's actually here we barely are talking about it. as meadows said, it's about national guard and parks and wic. it's like this meta debate about the effects of the shutdown, like some natural disast they're rolled in. so it makes it very odd to talk about when you don't know what one side's demands are. >> is that the thing that makes it different -- because this isn't the first time that we shut down, that's why we're calling it shutdown 2013.
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there have been previous shutdowns sometimes with a democrat in the white house. but is the different we don't know anymore what it's about? >> first of all, i think a lot of people are saying what is this about? ted cruz led them down the primrose path. i have to point out you probably missed the best audio moment, which was john boehner saying this isn't a damn game. >> yeah, yeah, right. >> i got to say, yes, it is. >> yes, it is! totally a damn game. >> you saw the senators from kentucky forgetting rule number one, which is never talk about anything of consequence around an open mike. >> yep. >> but if you ever wanted proof that this is a game, all you had to do was listen to that conversation. >> absolutely. and that for me i guess, the fact on the one hand it is a game, it is absurd, and yet, judith, there are real people -- we e started in part with wic because it's such -- it's so indicative of just how real these consequences are for ordinary people. >> that's right. we're talking about millions of family, of poor folks. head start. people who had no alternatives this week because their head
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start program was closed down. mother who is now have to divert money that they didn't have to finding daycare so they can go to work. mimy my view of this is biased because i live in the washington, d.c., area, seeing the trickle-down is incredible. people in new york may not know about it. in d.c., for some of us it's great, there's no question, but at the same time, my neighbors are staying home. my neighbors are federal government workers. and then the collateral consequences of the businesses that rely upon government workerses, we're trying to see the economy hit this last point. >> this point about your neighbors being federal government workers, raul, the other piece of it is that for these congressmen, for these senators, but particularly for the members of the house, their constituents are federal government workers. we took a look at -- there's a group of people who are the --
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we're calling them the reasonable republicans, 20 or so of them, if boehner brought a clean cr to the floor, they would be willing to vote for it. representative simpson and peter king, when you look at their districts, they have a high percentage of federal government workers in their district. is that what has to happen here? >> right. el, it's so confounding because when you look at those districts and those workers it just makes no sense. each day when i read about this, i'm just trying to figure out what exactly do they want? and one thing that i am very fascinated about this whole -- the crazy caucus, they have been obsessed from the beginning with this whole idea of legitimacy. they include the birthers. they were obsessed that president obama was not legitimate and obsessed with the fact that obama care was not legitimate, that it was not lawful. now we're past that.
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it's hard to wrap my mind around that we have gotten, as benji said, to this point. >> mm-hmm. let me ask you then about this question, because this idea that there are insurrectionists, 20 reasonable republicans, at least, potentially more. we were looking at the polls about who is to blame for the shutdown. you know, republicans, congressional republicans are being blamed at about 40 4 4%. president obama and democrats are being blamed at about 35%. this is a cbs news poll. when i'm looking at that, i'm thinking we're not -- there's not even some sort of consensus among americans at 50% about who is to blame for this. >> well, i think that a lot of people count on the fact that a lot of people aren't interested in politics. there is a line about certain politicians, and i think i'll leave them nameless for a moment, that he says things that dumb people think are smart. i think there are a lot of people -- ted cruz, ted cruz -- a lot of people who are playing that game. you know, he's supposed to be the person so highly educated, went to princeton and harvard,
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and here he is, he doesn't even understand how a bill becomes law. >> that's probably my fault. i used to teach at princeton. maybe all princeton and harvard faculty members and political science departments ought to feel very ashamed that we have graduated people who can win elected office who apparently don't know how a bill can become a law. >> still searching for them. >> a lot of people. let me ask this question. handicap, benji, what's the likelihood we get a vote on a clean consider-in the next receive days, by the time i'm sitting here a week from today? >> low. low. neither side really has much impetus to back down right now. for the white house, this isn't even a battle about the specific terms of negotiations. it's a battle about whether to negotiate at all. they're trying to keep republicans from enshrining this principle that you can threaten to ti death stroi the government, the economy if you don't get huge legislative policy concessions, because that could follow the next president and the president after. >> small policy concessions. a dangerous precedent.
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>> a question on the small ones i want to come back to because clearly what's happening if it is low we'll get a clean cr vote, what seems to be high, all these piecemeal offers being made. we'll talk about that when we come back. the house of representatives is back in for a special saturday session. there they are at work. they're going to get paid. we'll explain what they're doing and why when we come back. by the way, also, miley cyrus hosts "saturday night live" tonight. house republicans, miley cyrus. house republicans. miley cyrus. what's the name of her new song again? ♪ wrecking ball i never hit so hard in love ♪ : help the gulf recover and learn from what happened so we could be a better, safer energy company. i can tell you - safety is at the heart of everything we do. we've added cutting-edge technology, like a new deepwater well cap and a state-of-the-art monitoring center, where experts watch over all drilling activity twenty-four-seven.
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the fight over government funding is continuing, well, right now. the house opened a rare saturday
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session this morning to vote on giving furloughed federal workers back pay and restoring funding to more chunks of the government. house republicans earlier this week already voted to restore fund to allow the national institutes of health to continue clinical trial, to reopen national parks, and to allow the district of columbia to continue operations. democratically controlled senate has refused to take up the piecemeal funding bills. the democrats are also attempting to use a bit of procedural trickery to force the house to vote on a clean bill that would fund the government at sequester levels without any strings. nbc news correspondent luke russert joins me from capitol hill with the latest. good morning, luke. >> reporter: good morning, professor. >> i always work on saturday mornings, but you guys are at work. what do you think will actually happen today? i heard from my guest, benji, he doesn't think we'll get a vote on a clean cr this week. what are they up to this weekend? >> reporter: so, it's a continuation of this house republican strategy to put
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forward a lot of piecemeal bills to put democrats on their heels, being against popular functions of government. this is really about messaging more than anything else. republicans will tell you they're trying to keep the vital aspects of government open, but more so it's really made democrats on their heels, they can run ads against democrats in competitive districts on these things in 2014, and it also buys john boehner some time to figure hout how to get out of the hole that ted cruz has dug for the house gop conference. what they're doing today exactly, they're going to vote on this bill for federal workers to get their pay back after they've been furloughed. white house says they might veto this one so, there's a good chance this one could become law. that's very significant because there is a lot of anxiety amongst federal workers about the appetite for cutting spending from the tea party republicans that they would not pass something like this. so this is actually something where the house gop leadership, the old establishment guard, if you will, has moved something and they've gotten their more
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conservative brethren to follow along. they'll also be voting on a bill that allows furloughed chaplains to practice religion on army bases. this is an issue that got a lot of traction in the conservative blogosphere. there's some concern from catholic priests who have been furloughed and they were contracted to serve, if they went back on their base they could be arrested for saying mass. this bill is moving forward so that would not happen. as i said, messaging war, putting democrats back on their heels, but, guys,ly say this -- president obama and the senate democrat have said they will stock a lot of this. it is good to see the federal workers back pay going forward. don't expect too many of these to move the the president's desk. >> one question about that. on the one hand, it makes perfect sense to me for the white house to say this one is important, so once we finally come to an agreement, bewe get this back pay, but is it also an opening? part of what the administration has done is a pretty hard line
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about refusal to negotiate. does this mean we'll start seeing some of the piecemeal stuff happening? >> reporter: i don't think so, because where you've seen the administration willing to negotiate is when it comes to actual pay for individuals and their livelihood. you saw them move on money for troops. you'll see them move on money for federal workers. if this becomes law, federal workers who are furloughed breathe a lot of easier, because just a few days ago this was no guarantee. i spoke to some republican who is said why should we pay federal workers for not doing their jobs? they had a, quote, unquote, vacation. so this is something i think the administration wants to take and file away, get it done quickly. >> luke, thanks so much for the update. really useful one. have a good day working there on saturday. >> reporter: nowhere else i'd rather be. >> let me come back to the panel on this question about pay. we were talking about the north carolina republican who she said congresswoman elder says i need my paycheck. that's the bottom line.
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i understand that there may be some other members who are deferring their checks and i think that's admirable, but i'm not in that position. that's representative renee elmers out of north carolina. i was, like, what? what do you think is happening as a result of the government shutdown here? >> yeah. and this is getting into a recurring issue, which is a lot of these debates are about the congress themselves. for example, the big republican demand right now is to slash their own staffers' health benefits, which has led to a lot of consternation. there was harry reid's staff leaked these e-mails about how john boehner was trying to prevent that because it's his own staff, his own health care. you see this with the pay too. they're talking about cutting federal workers' pay, but then it gets difficult talking about their own. just the nature of this kind of shutdown. >> well, first of all, i should disclose right now that my wife works for the federal government with the voice of america, which is probably having an awful time right now explaining this to the rest of the world. >> right. >> linda is going into work.
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and so not only do i support what they're doing today in the house of representatives, but i think that the federal workers who do work should get double pay. don't you think? >> yeah, yeah. >> i think people don't really understand that essential workers are actually at work and not getting paid for it, like when the whole thing went down with the woman outside the capitol building. those capitol police officers are working without pay. how do we let this happen? and the republicans are getting away with it. except when it comes to them. >> i think they're getting away with it to a point, because, you know, the poll numbers you put up from that cbs poll, in that same poll -- and also when we look at the polling in this situation, it often depends on the wording, but in that same poll, 72% of the public said they did not agree with the overall idea of shutting down the government over obama care. so i do think as this drags on people are wise to what is
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happening. they get it. >> and yet i wonder -- because i think they say they are making a mess of this, this is worse than drawing those red lines arnold syria and chemical weapons, right, cruz putting baper in a hole. but the digger out of the hole, never underestimate the gop on this, they can say president obama doesn't like kids with cancer because the senate is not willing to pass this sort of piecemeal -- you've got newt gingrich who's said he will personally pay to restore the electricity for panda cam so that we can have panda cam back. right? president obama hates kids with cancer, but, you know, newt gingrich loves pandas and will bring them back to you. >> right. it's now a pr campaign. but at the end of the day, boehner -- he's put himself in a pickle, right. he doesn't have an exit strategy. he needs -- and his other problem is that those insurrectionists, the tea party, we now have a 2 1/2-party system. we've got democrats, republicans, and a tea party.
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and the tea party can now do a whole lot more takeovers running up until 2014 election cycle to show their muscle within the republican party. >> because a clean cr at this point is still just sequester-level funding and still just, you know, for about six weeks, right? we're not even talking about a long-term solution. stay right there. we have a little bit more on exactly this. i want to dig in, because i am interested in your point about capitol workers -- capitol police who were working without pay. let's talk more about this when we come back. 6 children, 44 years...
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dodd. just this morning, there is a new interview with president obama released by the associated press. i want to take a listen just for a moment here to the president talking about the fact that this shutdown is not just about this moment but it's also about the looming debt crisis. >> there are enough votes in the house of representatives to make sure that the government reopens
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today, and i'm pretty willing to bet there are enough votes in the house right now to make sure the united states doesn't end up being a the deadbeat. >> okay so, this question of deadbeat has to do with raising the debt ceiling. speaker boehner has continuously indicated he's not going to allow default, but if we don't get this dealt with, are we going to bump up against that debt ceiling conversation? >> we absolutely are. and the big talk right now is one of the reasons the shutdown is expected to go on a while is that it seems inevitable we'll have to resolve these two things at once. it's going to have to get far enough that boehner can talk about these two things as one issue and say hef we have this october 17th deadline, which is which the treasury has named for default, and this ongoing shutdown, and let's talk about them both. the situation in some ways is exactly the same, that the white house refuses to negotiate on the debt ceiling. it's something they have to do. since boehner says we're never going to defacility, what's the motive to give any concessions? either you believe this is going to destroy the economy or you don't. if you do, what's your leverage?
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no one wants that. >> he has to hang tough because the liberals and progressives absolutely want that. people recognize that this is causing -- you know, as the ripple effect continues, it is causing pain to people. but remember, ask anyone in law enforcement what's the rule when you have a hostage situation? drop the gun, release your hostage -- put down that bomb, and then we will talk. he cannot, you know, be led down that path again. i do think he has finally learned the lesson with this totally unreasonable caucus. >> so on the one hand there's this fundamental question about governing you're pointing out here and the fact that we cannot negotiate with people who are holding the government hostage. on the other hand, there is kind of nasty underbelly to this and that is there are some folks winning as it relates to the shutdown. look at the dnc and the gop fundraising numbers, bob. the dnc raising slightly less than $850,000 from 30,000 donors
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in the first 24-hour period leading up to the shutdown, and you've got the republican national committee claiming it did even better, raise a million dollars in just less than 48 hours from monday to wednesday. even as we are about to go bump up against this debt ceiling, in other words, are the parties winning as they are positioning themselves in all this? >> well, there's a bit of wisdom in politics that when it comes to fund-raising, losing is winning. right now you have both sides really up in arms right now and able to go out there and excite their people into giving some money. that kind of thing. so, yeah, there are any number of winners and there are also going to be some political winners in all this. one other point. i think what we're seeing is a classic hard-nose negotiation, the kind of thing you see when there's a lightning strike or something like this. the administration right now has the tactical advantage. i think that when barack obama, president obama, called that meeting at the white house, the main reason for that was to get the hopes up of the republicans that he was going to stop
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rubbing their faces in it and all that, then nothing happened, so it really sort of played with their heads. i think finally what's going to happen, whether it hams immediately or whether it happens in mid-october, there's going to be the search for some sort of face saver, some sort of way to stop playing cognitive dissonan dissonance, stop being the nasty guy and give them something they can claim as a victory, the republicans. >> this face saving in hard line negotiations is normally what we talk about doing international relations, what you have to do whenl you're dealing with the head of another state, another government, and you have to give them some room. we actually have just seen president obama manage with some deftness that question of syria on -- what it felt like everybody was boxed in and there were no exit strategy, in fact, generating some exit strategies and some alliances with people like putin, who you wouldn't think those alliances would be possible. do you think that is possible in the domestic context? can we get a putin to help us out? a domestic putin i mean. >> i just have to say, even if
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it is a small concession, why should they get any concession for basically upending the governance? i think that still sticks in the craw of many on the democratic side. it's just so unreasonable. even if it's a small thing. not cool. >> no domestic putin helping. up next, protests are scheduled to begin in less than two hours all around the country. believe it or not, these are not protests about the government shutdown. when our little girl was born, we got a subaru. it's where she said her first word. (little girl) no! saw her first day of school. (little girl) bye bye! made a best friend forever. the back seat of my subaru is where she grew up. what? (announcer) the two-thousand-fourteen subaru forester. (girl) what? (announcer) built to be there for your family.
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the march for immigrant dignity and respect, as the event is being billed, is a prelude to a rally tuesday at the national mall, where organizers hope to draw tens of thousands of people. so, raul, a reminder that sometimes congress, you know, passes bills, creates legislation, and that none of that is happening in the middle of all of this drama. >> right. right. it's interesting because immigration reform has continually -- it's briefly on the front burner then a crisis happens, syria, the debt ceiling, all these different thing, and it gets pushed back. this is an attempt just to put it back on the burner and remind people that, you know, we have a very mobilized latino electorate. when i talk to different people, especially younger people, you would be amazed. benji and i were talking about. they are all in on this issue, you know, these ralryes are a big deal, and, you know, they are keeping -- the pro-reform supporters are keeping up this pressure. they don't want this to go away.
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when people ask me if it's optimistic, i say you have to be because you look at 1,100 people being deported every day, 400,000 people in detention, the humanitarian crisis on the border, i feel that we have to be optimistic just to make it happen for the sake of all these foot soldiers and young people and activists who are walking the walk and out there trying to make it a reality. >> benji, you wrote a piece about the new bill just this week. tell us a little bit about this. >> so what's happening here is that there has been a lot of movement in the house but little signs of movement on immigration, but it really hasn't produced a full bipartisan bill yet. in fact, there were some bipartisan talks that can collapsed. right now republicans are still figuring out their own plan. to put pressure them, democrats are uniting we hinbehind their bill, which isn't going to pass, but setting down a marker saying we'll prove we're united on this issue, this is to pressure to show you care about it too.
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it's the senate bill plus a baking soda security bill that passed with a unanimous bipartisan support in the house homeland security committee. so what they're trying to say is, look, we're showing we're unified, yes, this is a democratic bill, but we're not putting some far left marker out saying this is the start of our negotiating position. what we're trying to show you is we have an appetite for compromise. a lot of them don't like the senate bill, they want a clearer path to citizenship, don't like the border security surge, but we're willing to come together and endorse some ideas republicans have already voted for. >> that bill is important not just as a place holder. it's not likely to pass, but it's important for people following the debate thinking immigration is dying in the house. it's to draw the line. no, house republicans have a plan. >> how important does that end up being -- thinking forward to the 2014 election, if we are just lurching from one crisis, manufactured crisis to another,
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how important does something substantive, like the issue of immigration reform, the reality there is a house bill and a senate bill, does it make any difference come election time? >> they better get it together on this one. you know, the latino electorate, which is called the rising electorate, really will extract some pain in november 2014 if they don't do the right thing. and so i think this show of all of the protests that are going to happen and rallies that are going to happen really is about keeping it front and center and letting them know just because the government shut down doesn't mean that the people are shutting down. >> i hate to be the skunk at the picnic, but -- actually like being the skunk at the picnic. but we're talking about a congressional election, and the issue of gerrymandering comes up here. the truth is that in these districts of true believers, that is to say particularly of a hard line republican district, there is no pressure to come up with anything about immigration. now, obviously there is a
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nationwide feeling that we have to be more humane when it comes to our immigration policy, but i don't think there's going to be any pressure this year or next in congress. >> what about for those off-year gubernatorial elections? i understand we're talking about a bill that would be passed at the federal level, and yet folks that are running at the statewide level in these off-year elections nonetheless get attached to their party in a variety of important ways. >> i was just in colorado last month, which is a state that has gone from leaning red to almost completely blue, even in the 2010, the great republican year, republicans were still losing. and not entirely but a lot of it is because of the latino vote. they have risen up and immigration has been the key issue. so the house republicans there, for example, who are thinking about this, even if their district's relatively safe, they have to think if i'm ever going to run for statewide office, i have to get right on this issue. >> right. >> it's a point of pressure. >> that's my point, this is more relevant in a national e election.
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>> come 2016 presidential. undoubtedly snop but that's short term. with the changing demographics, i mean, it's moving so quickly. yeah, you might get 2014, but after that, you know -- >> at a certain point you can no longer jerry manhandler sufficiently. and so exactly on this issue of statewide elections, up next, i actually do have a letter to a candidate, a candidate in one of the biggest races of the year. mike rowe here at a ford dealer with a little q and a for fiona. tell me fiona, who's having a big tire event? your ford dealer. who has 11 major brands to choose from? your ford dealer. who's offering a rebate? your ford dealer. who has the low price tire guarantee, affording peace of mind to anyone who might be in the market for a new set of tires? your ford dealer. i'm beginning to sense a pattern. get up to $140 in mail-in rebates when you buy four select tires with the ford service credit card. where'd you get that sweater vest? your ford dealer.
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on thursday, thousands of texans finally heard the official announcement they'd been waiting for. >> i am proud to announce my candidacy to be the 48th governor of this great state! >> now, she's smiling, but wendy davis knows she's the underdog.
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but being a lone voice among lawmakers in the lone star state doesn't seem to intimidate miss davis. she's been hearing chants of "run, wendy, run" ever since her epic 13-hour fill buster in june. that was when the state senator made national news for taking on texas' extreme anti-reproductive rights legislation. so now all eyes turn to texas as we anticipate who will replace good old rick -- i know there's a third federal agency i'd close -- perry. so i thought it would be a good time to address a letter to wendy davis' likely opponent and current favorite in the race, texas attorney general and republican candidate for governor, greg abbott. dear greg, it's me, melissa. how you taking the news of wendy davis' bid? now, i remember how you responded to this assessment of her potential candidacy from one of your subpoepporters when he this tweet in august. "greg abbott would absolutely demolish idiot wendy davis. run, wendy, run."
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your response? ignore it. maybe express a little outrage at such incivility and sexist name-calling, you know, take the highroad. mope. you tweeted back, "jeff, thanks for your support." but who wants to be judged by their lowest social media moment? i'm going to let that one slide and talk about your record. you like to describe your job as attorney general by saying i go into the office, i sue barack obama, and then guy home. well, in texas, they say go big ore go home, and you have certainly been going big on that suing barack obama self-mandate. 27 lawsuits since president obama took office at a cost of more than millions to the office. aimed at the environmental protection agency. what is your beef with the epa? maybe it's your commitment to those oil and fracking executives in texas, many of whom have been going big when it comes to campaign contributions
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for you. but maybe it really is just about suing president obama. you have vowed to never stop fighting the affordable care act, which means you proudly rejected medicaid expansion in texas, even though your state has the highest percentage of uninsured residents in the country. clearly you are against anything bearing president obama's name. is that where your protege ted cruz got this whole shut down the federal government over nonsense idea? mr. abbott, this strategy has an expiration date. president obama is only going to be president a few more years. then you may have to actually be for something. and right now you seem to be for the new restrictive voter i.d. law in texas that is being challenged by the department of justice. you're also a big fan of gerrymandering districts to decrease democratic influence, even if those redrawn districts are illegal and dris dis krim nate against black and latino voters. you are against president obama and all he stands for, and you're for using the power of the state to reduce and dilute
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minority voting. well, at least texas voters will have a stark choice in their next gubernatorial election, and if they're all done with you suing the president, maybe they'll be ready to see you go home. sincerely, melissa. [ female announcer ] who are we? we are the thinkers. the job jugglers. the up all-nighters. and the ones who turn ideas into action. we've made our passions our life's work. we strive for the moments where we can say, "i did it!" ♪ we are entrepreneurs who started it all... with a signature. legalzoom has helped start over 1 million businesses, turning dreamers into business owners. and we're here to help start yours. it's not for colds, it's not for pain, it's just for sleep. because sleep is a beautiful thing™. zzzquil. the non-habit forming sleep-aid from the makers of nyquil®.
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the past seven days may go down in history as a week of federal government shutdown, but at the state level, this was a week in voter suppression! north carolina's new voting law, the most restrictive in the nation, is the target of a justice department lawsuit filed in federal court on monday. it's challenging key provisions of the law -- strict voter i.d. requirements, cutbacks in early voting day, te limb nation of same-day registration, and a ban on provisional ball lots cast outside a home voter's precinct. the department is also asking north carolina be required to
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get federal clearance before maiking any further changes to its vote laugs. meanwhile, in virginia, just one month in advance of the state's highly cop tested governor's race, a federal lawsuit is challenging a purge list that struck 57,000 voters from the roles. the virginia democratic party has named bob mcdonald and ken cuccinelli in the suit, which claim miss of the purged voters are, in fact, eligible to tote vote on november 5th. judith, seriously. i mean, on the one hand, right, you have to federal government sort of engaged in this make-believe madness, but this is real, right, what's going on in terms of voter vegs, particularly in these border states, virginia, north carolina. these are swing states. >> right. it's great that the department of justice jumped in to north carolina. sued on behalf of the north carolina naacp, and now here comes the justice department actually, you know, being aggressive again. you know, they filed in texas,
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which, by the way, is stayed. they filed a motion to stay it because of the shutdown. they can't move forward in litigation. but they filed this case in north carolina, which is, like, exactly the same case that we filed, and it's good to have we, the people, actually on the side of voters. >> you said aggressive. i want to listen to attorney general eric holder because he sort of laid down the gauntlet talking about north carolina and the ways in which he fully plans for this to be indicative of what he would do in other states. let's listen far moment. >> to other states considering voting restrictions like north carolina's, i want to say this. i and my colleagues at every level of the justice department will never hesitate, never hesitate to do all that we must do to protect the constitutionally guaranteed civil rights of all americans. >> that is pretty clear. >> well, sure. what we're talking act now is if this law in north carolina were to prevail, i think you could arguably say that whatever government came out of was illegitimate. certainly in the context of our constitution and all that.
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but the other one to look at is virginia, which of course you just brought up. it's an interesting issue there, and i think it's kind of a slam dunk legally. the state has said that each county d can decide whether to enforce the provisions of it. so it's an easy argument to make in court that this provides unequal protection under the law. so i think that this one is so blatant. by the way, it has to do with duplicate residences, which is foolish when you think about it because people move around the country all the time. >> the problem with that case is, you know, trying to purge right before an election, a little dicey because it's usually for political reasons. right? >> in fact, it's interesting because mccory -- or mcdonald says, no, actually, this is -- says this is -- the politics here are happening as a result of -- this is in north carolina saying, no, the politics are on the side of the justice department. let's listen far moment. >> i recently saw a video of president obama voting in chicago.
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unof t one of the first things he did was show a video i.d. -- a photo i.d. one of the first things president obama did was show a voter i.d. and i believe if showing a voter i.d. is good enough and fair enough for our own president in illinois, then it's good enough for the people of north carolina. >> just intellectually dishonest. right? that is not what -- the pat may have shown an i.d., but in illinois there's a very open law. you can also show any sort -- you can show a utility bill. >> the thing is that north carolina law is not just the i.d. it's like the kitchen sink of voter suppression. it rolls back early voting. it cuts same-day registration. 70% of african-americans who voted in 2012 actually voted by early voting. so this was taking it back. in a state where turnout -- they have the 11th highest turnout in the country in 2012. and so this is about going backwards because they're scared about moving forwards. >> i want to ask you, you are still enthusiastic, still at
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least vaguely optimistic about the possibility of immigration reform. what about the idea that this congress could give us a new section for a formula, they could develop a formula since it was sent back from the supreme court. do you think this congress, after it gets over itself, could give us a formula that will work? >> i'm not sure about that. i would like to be optimisting, but now that we are in the post shelby county world, we don't know with this congress, there are so many wild cards. what's so troubling to me -- as judith mentioned, i am also very happy that the doj is pursuing this. but what's so troubling in the post shelby county world, when we had preclearance for state, the burden of proof was on states to show they were not disenfranchising voters. now it's flipped and that multiplies the effort required by the department of justice to stop these laws. and this law -- you know, if our government -- i was reading this article, he's the expert on this, he says it's like the mother of all voter suppression
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laws. even although they require government i.d., very interesting, they do not accept government i.d. for public workers or government i.d. issued to someone who's on public assistance. so it's so blatant. yes. >> what's really insidious is this is just an anti-democratic way to keep power. >> yep. >> the states that are doing that are trying to eliminate all the voter who is might inconveniently vote against them and all that kind of thing. that is, as i said, extremely insidious and particularly notable in virginia. you have a close race for governor there. and here at the last minute they're coming in and trying to suppress a vote that would in all probability go to the democrats. >> because it really is fine to win because you convince more people to your side. like, you know, it's a democracy. right. it's a democracy. it's even reasonable to say, okay, i have a better ground game. i get more of my voters out. right? but that's very different than the notion --
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>> change the rules of the game so that people -- and we have to understand it's not just about now. right? it's about this changing electora electorate. and if you can line up the rules to keep people disenfranchised for years to come then you can slow down where this country is going. >> and because it's more complicate and it feels technical and nerdy it can be hard to get people to focus in on this. right? >> except in north carolina. >> except in north carolina. add infinitum. judith browne dianis and benji, thanks for joining us today. coming up, we'll page ari later. will the real john boehner please stand up? we'll take a closer look at the house speaker's rise to power and how he's dealing with the pressure right now. plus, the early prognosis for obama care. tough medicine for republican critics. more "nerdland" at the top of the hour. ♪
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the shutdown has a fascinating cast of characters, none more so than the man in the midmiddle of it all, john boehner. this is the guy who could end the government shutdown right now, ten minutes, whatever. i mean, if he wanted to. shortly after the shutdown began, we were seeing reports that boehner, in fact, had the votes from at least 17 republicans who said they're ready to pass a so-called clean bill to fund the government with no strings attached. of course that means john boehner would need to rely on democrats to deliver most of the votes to pass the bill. and john boehner has decided no, he's not going to do that. so there you have it, one guy, one decision. he could do it. he knows he could do it. he won't do it. which leaves us asking why? is there something we ought to know about john boehner and what he does and doesn't want?
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he is a guy more than just a guy who's perpetually tanned and easy with the e emotions. he has 12 brothers and sisters. there are 12. baner is the second oldest growing up in a working-class family and working at his family's tavern. after being honorably discharged from the navy with a bad back after eight weeks, he worked a lot of different jobs to pay his way through college, including as a night janitor. this is a hardworking guy. first elected office is one many of you out there in "nerdland" may have yourselves -- a seat on his neighborhood home owners association. he was elected to ohio's general assembly in 1984 before ohio's eighth district first sent baner to congress in 1990. he was part of a gang of seven -- look how gangy they are. those are the gop freshmen in the house, including ran santorum um front who positioned themselves as the insurgents.
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they just look like revolutionaries. in the years since, boehner has either been moving on up or falling up in washington, depending on your view. he built ties with tobacco lobbyists, helped draft the contract with america. he was a major backer of no child left behind. he also voted for the $700 billion t.a.r.p. financial bailout. in 2011, he received a rather massive gavel. he took over the speakership of the house of representatives. now here's the funny part. he received that gavel thanks to a 63-seat gain made in the 2010 elections fueled by the tea party fervor that, as it happened, arose shortly after president obama was elected. so the very people who turn out to be a little more insurgent to boehner's gang of seven were the very people who helped position him at the head of the establishment. it's a group that very nearly ended boehner's speakership earlier this year after voting down his plan b solution to
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avoid us going over the fiscal cliff. do you remember that? so now he ends up here, having just this past august warned that shutting down the government over the affordable care act was bad idea, now perhaps in a desperate attempt to not get voted out of his job, he is the single person most responsible for exactly that, which begs the question, was b john boehner thinking what does he want? syndicated columnist, tara dowel and raul reyes, contributor and usa columnist. jake, i don't want to turn into an armchair psychologist here, but -- >> it's tough. >> it is really tempting with this guy, especially the fact that he was -- he may still see himself as an insurgent like these very folks he now needs to get in line. >> i think the important thing to remember is john boehner became speaker because of the tea party, as you noted, but the tea party came to power almost in opposition to people like john boehner who had been in washington for a long time, in
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power for 20 years. he was first elected to the house in 1990. but boehner never wanted to shut the government down. he crafted a plan that would have passed a clean cr and given his members kind of a show vote on the health care law. baner is a realist. he understands that he's not going to defund the health care law. most sane and pragmatic republicans understand the reality of this. i mean, the votes aren't there, as you guys have been talking about, but he has to do this now. he's being kind of driven by the 232 republicans who are, you know, hellbent against the health care law and who -- they failed every time to defend this law, defund this law, roll this law back. so they feel like now they've been unsuccessful for so long that they thought they needed to shock the system by shutting down the government. >> cover of "time." majority rule, right, and then markdown, no majority rule. but it's not just like majority of the house or even majority of
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american who is voted in this house. it's actually majority of the republican party. if they weren't voting pure preferences, if they didn't think they'd be held accountable in a particular way, pure preferences are probably not to allow the country to default and not to shut it down over something that is already law. >> a couple of things that need to be in the mix. one, you have a lot of republican who is probably would vote to reopen the government and to end the debt ceiling, who are worried about their primaries. i mean, it's simple as that. the one thing that the tea party and all of its tributaries are very good at is taking somebody and kicking them out of office, number one. the other thing is, if your question is why is john boehner doing what he's doing now, i've known him a long time and i've watched him operate. he is somebody who tries to maneuver and is kind of machiavellian, and he knows that if they right now severed the indignity of reopening the government, that the country could, in fact, face default. maybe i'm giving him too much credit, but, again, based on my
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experience with him, this guy is a legislative operator who oftentimes looks two moves ahead. >> look, i really appreciate that because, you know, i sometimes will hear people make critiques of what's happening in the media, and they'll say media does, blah, blah, blah. or something about higher education. i think, you don't know how this works. i so wish i could tell you how this is working underneath and inside. and i'm not a washington insider. tara, sometimes i think to myself there has got to be something going on here that i just don't quite get. i'm wondering if there's any insight in boehner himself nor the constrains that baner is facing that might help us to understand this as something more than boehner's bad at his job. >> melissa, you are spot on. one of the things that no one's talking about is the role that many in the business community are playing in this fight. the business community is not supporting everyone. there is a segment of the business community just as opposed to this health care law
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as those tea party republican representatives, and you better believe these are people who fund campaigns, that they are behind the scenes maneuvering to make sure that their interests are protected. >> so there are players here that are relatively invisible to us. and that sort of fundraising part would matter to boehner, thinking of himself as a party leader. >> for sure. playing off both their point, i think john boehner for a long time hit the critique that drives his staff crazy and i'm sure they're watching and will be driven crazy. >> is john boehner's staff watching? come sit at the "nerdland" table, staffers. >> the criticism of him is he's very hands off and he kind of lets the world around him happen. john boehner knows where he wants to end up. he knows where he wants to end up. but he would rather people come to that independently of him leading them. so when they kraflted this -- when they decided to definitively defund the health care law in the cr about a week ago, which was their kind of
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fallback plan after the clean cr was rejected by the majority of house republicans, they said let's let ted cruz deal with this. we'll show he e's a fraud, doesn't have the votes, raising money after the health care law, and they want to show he can't do what he says he could do. he wants to let the situation develop on its own. he understands the system well enough, and that's what you were alluding to, that it kind of germinates and happens without him having to push it in a certain direction. >> this description of baneer, raul, sounds an awful lot like some of my observations of president obama in that he's not a puppet master, doesn't want to control the whole thing. know where is he wants to end up. but i've often called president obama a process democrat with a little "d" which is to say he believes the process itself has an inherent value that is distinct potentially from the end. even if i could get there with this mean, if the mean is not itself democratic, do you think maybe part of what's going on here is you have two people with
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similar, slightly hands-off styles and some people on each side of them who are willing to be quite hands on? is that potentially what's happening? >> i have to wonder. i see where you're going in the sense that sometimes we see president obama backing off. you know, he's there, but he's unwilling to really take a strong role in certain situations. but i'm just -- i'm so continue founded by this situation. i actually wondered, do you think that speaker boehner has an end game that he wants in this situation right now with the government shutdown that back themselveses into this corner? do you think he knows -- >> i've known boehner since 2009 when he was in the fimy noert. he wants a big fiscal deal. you see him with the president in 2011 to get the grand bargain. him and obama are not very far off and you can read all the behind-the-scenes tales and go back and forth on whose fault it is. right now it's not what he's talking about. we've written it, the "new york times," the "post."
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him and paul ryan are trying to craft a mechanism where they could get to a grand bargain. it would make the debt ceiling and the government funding thing look like just rild-alongs, just coming along for the ride. >> stay with me. this is great. i want to report very briefly on this. there is fresh news this morning, the house has now passed a bill that would guarantee furloughed federal workers their pay for all of the time off the job they incur during the shutdown once the government reopens. it's basically back pay. president obama has expressed his support for the bill. when we come back, john mccain of yesteryear is the biggest foe john boehner faces today. when we made our commitment to the gulf, bp had two big goals: help the gulf recover and learn from what happened so we could be a better, safer energy company. i can tell you - safety is at the heart of everything we do. we've added cutting-edge technology,
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so on this show sometimes we call house speaker boehner -- we say he's bad at not keeping his minions in line. the big part he has is his job. speaker of the house is supposed to be a really powerful job. it's in the echelon of president and chief justice and actually not much else in washington is in that echelon. speaker of the house is supposed to be a super powerful person. but john boehner is not a powerful speaker and in part he has john mccain to blame for that. here is john mccain when he was the republican nominee for president. >> the first big pork spending earmark bill that comes across my desk, i will veto it, i will make them famous and you will know their names. you will know their names. >> of course he lost that race, but senator mccain got the anti-earmark snowball rolling downhill. >> sounding like he's been to a
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tea party, the top republican, senator mitch mcconnell, reversed his own position of federal money for earmarked pet projects. >> republican senators met last night and agreed to a two-year nonbinding, nonbinding earmark moratorium. they joined president obama and newly minted house speaker john boehner, who also supports the ban. >> both parties in congress should know this -- if a bill comes to my desk with earmarks inside, i will veto it. >> so in march of 2010, earmarks were cut out of the legislative process, changing forever a congress where financial favors for one state or district were often traded to help get bills passed. in fact, we used to teach how a bill becomes a law. more than a year later, boehner went on tv to brag about helping get this done. but with one complaint. >> no earmarks. who can imagine?
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we've been through 16 months, not one earmark. it's made my job more difficult in terms of how to pass important legislation because there's no grease. i got no grease. so earmarks. >> no earmarks, no grease. guess what? no power. this is a suggestion that it might not matter who's there, that boehner is trying to govern without the thing that used to make government run. >> the funny thing is boehner has never taken earmark in the 23 years in congress. he was against earmarks before it was cool. i've seen a huge bipartisan spending highway bill go down, appropriations process is an absolute mess, a process that eric cantor is in charge of. cantor did take earmarks. earmarks definitely do help the process. nancy pelosi used them to her favor. she was an appropriator, longtime appropriator. basically the problem is no one has the incentive to help leadership because they can raise a ton of money on their own. >> yep.
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>> so they don't care about the national republican congressional committee. the leadership has nothing they can give essentially. >> sh sth the end of political parties? this is how congress in part developed what the parties are. >> so what are effective incentives? i think the only answer is blackmail. doing things we don't want to talk about on family tv. the point is this whole process has been undermined, this sanctimony that came from the outside. washington works the way it does, like it or not. it's the way our government operates. >> an earmark is not inherently bad. >> right. >> earmarks can be bad. they can also be a fine way to designate spending. and there is -- this goes back and to my point about sort of knowing and understanding what's happening inside even as you begin to make reforms. it's part of my anxious every time i hear filibuster reform, i think, yeah, but there are reasons why some of these rules
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operate the way they do. what does the speaker have if he no longer has earmarks? what are the carrots and the sticks that boehner might be able tome ploy here? >> he still has some power. i mean, to say he doesn't have any power anymore is not really fair. but i think, you know, when it comes to committee chairmanships or chairwomanships he still has the power to designate those. additionally, the speaker still a very powerful position, third in line to the presidency of the united states of america. so that's a big deal. i think also another part of it is that these appointments, these judicial nominations, things of these nature, there's a lot of deference give on the speaker to make some of these determinations or to be in those meetings where these deals are being cut at a leadership level and then being shared with the members. but i do think you raise a very good point about the outside influences. and this is what's been a problem for speaker boehner in addition to i think his leadership style. i think what's been another problem is that you have all these outside groups that are being funded by major corporations, to go back to my
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point, and they are identifying individual member who is they are basically sponsoring to carry out their agenda. and that is -- and citizens united, not to bring that back in again, you know, i'm going to beat that horse, but -- >> beat it! >> exactly. maybe we need to. but bring that back in, that has allowed these groups to have so much power and to operate in relative secrecy relative to the levels of transparency in other areas. ? and you end up with these newbies in offense. it's also sort of the institutional knowledge of thousand process works goes away starting in 2010, or maybe doesn't go away but it's diminished in 2010 with the entrance of these -- >> many of these folks are not necessarily interested in that process of compromise and horse-trading, things traditionally done behind the scenes in government. they're not interested in that. not only did citizens united unleash the floodgates tuesday, the supreme court hears the next course on campaign finance, the mccutchen case, again about private donors who want to give unlimited amounts to these outside groups.
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>> say boehner went down, boehner, who is very power informal this sense, he could call the vote tomorrow or today, this afternoon. he could put the clean cr out there. say he does it, closes this chapter down with his 20 reasonable republicans. if he loses his speakership, who else is there? what are the other folks who are in line? >> one quick point on what you said a second ago. washington is about getting power, increasing power, keeping power. he won't go against 215 out of 230 republicans. it's a false construct that exists. it's basic power structure. eric cantor is next in line but there's a case to be made and a case that was made in "the new york times" today that eric cantor has that same stink on him from these years. these have not been an easy few years. then there's paul ryan, who's making moves and is very popular. that's where it stops basically. those are the two people who are most mentioned for the speakership. >> i want to follow up on this real quick. this idea about power. because for me this is -- it was the initial genius of the
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founders. people as colonists coming out from under a monarch who they saw having used power in bad and evil ways did not assume that people with power would use that power in a benevolent way. part of why they tie this to these election systems and part of why the ability to bring things home to your people, there was an assumption in order to get power and keep power, you would have to do what was right by your constituents and then your constituents would reward you with power by keeping you in office. that's kind of the brilliance of that system. part of what happened with the gerrymandering and the voter suppression is it takes away the very thing that was the link that the founders understood to hold that desire for power to the interests of ordinary people. >> first of all, excuse me, let's not forget that the founding fathers also did an awful lot of wheeling and dealing. >> right. >> many things that are possibly coming back to bite us right now are the result of the deals they
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made. that's always been the way of government and all that. one other point, when we talk about the absence of earmarks, that doesn't mean that there's still not little wonderful things like a weapons system that employs people, you know, in 35 different congressional district, all that kind of thing. >> sure. >> so it's not as lily pure as they're making it right now. >> it didn't clean up washington. it just certainly reduced the bole grease available. jake sherman, thanks for coming. really interesting insights on our friend boehner. before we take a break, a quick update here on some dangerous weather this weekend. i want to check in with nbc meteorologist bill karins for the latest. hi, bill. >> good morning, melissa. got the new update in from the national hurricane center on tropical storm karen. melissa has her interest ace long the gulf coast. anytime there's a storm down there, you don't give up on it till its gone. this one is on life support, very weak, down to 40 miles per hour, something that barely makes people blink, residents op
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the gulf coast, barely rain, some showers rolling through louisiana. the new updated forecast path of tropical storm karen. it goes right across southeastern louisiana, just south of to new orleans, then near mobile by sunday night, then dissipates as it heads into georgia. again, very minimal impacts. we also had a horrible tornado outbreak last night right near sioux city, iowa, but it was wayne, nebraska, that got hit pshgs the mayor saying millions of dollars worth of damage there. additional strong storms today, not too many tornadoes but storms in chicago, st. louis. finally the santa ana winds, those famous winds, really gusting strong today. all the residents in southern california are afraid of fires today. if they form, they would get nasty in a hurry. as far as karen goes, you've been down there for the big storms, we've been very lucky this year. >> you are officially my favorite meteorologist here. you can come back any old time when the report is it's just rain in new orleans. i'm all good. >> that's it. let it go. >> thank you. up next, obama care's first
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four select tires with the ford service credit card. where'd you get that sweater vest? your ford dealer. it's been five whole days since the exchanges for the affordable care act opened up. despite the best predictions by the gop that obama care would cause the end of the world, despite some technical glitches, we're all still here. things are looking pretty good. 2.8 million is how many people visited the website, healthcare.gov in the fist 24 hours. 70,000 visited were recorded on the exchange for the state of illinois on the first day and 1,100 is how many applications were submitted by the folks in illinois that day. 78,000 people clicked on kentucky's health care exchange in the first 24 hours. 4,700 applications were started
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by kentuckians. 55,000 coloradans visited their state's exchange on day one and 1,450 of the people that logged on in colorado went on to create accounts. 16,000 people in california tried to access the state's health care exchange per second. just on the first day at some points. and 30 million was the number of visits new york state's health care exchange website received in the first two days after it opened. 3% to 4.3% is the percentage the stocks went up for the country's biggest insurers and exchange after the opening of the exchanges, clearly showing obama care is good for business. and 8.6 million is how many unique visitors healthcare.gov received this week. here's the problem in spite of the promising numbers. 26. that's how many state res jekted or chose not to move forward with the medicate expansion at this time.
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23 is how many of those states are run by republican governors. 100% is the percentage that the federal government covered the medicaid expansion through 2016 and 90% is how much the foft will cover medicaid expansion after 2016. which leads us to 8 million. one more time. 8 million. that is the number left uninsured because their states opted not to participate in the medicaid expansion. when we come back, there are some similarities we would like to tell you that are shared by those 8 million uninsured people. mine was earned in djibouti, africa. 2004.
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look at the map. what do you think these states have in common? well, of those 26 states, 23 of them are run by republican governors. according to an analysis by "the new york times," the refusal by these governors to participate in the medicaid expansion will leave 8 million americans uninsured. why? because they make too much for medicaid and not quite enough to qualify for the federal subsidies of the new health care exchanges. what's worse, the similarities between the majority of these people. they're poor. they're people of color. they're single mothers. and they're low-wage workers. they're the very people this program was meant to help. bob franken, patina patel, primary care doctor at johns hopkins medicine and a fellow at brookings institution, tara dowdell, and raul reyes. how did we end up with that circumstance where 26 states have opted out of something that is 100% paid for for the next
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several years? >> it really came on the heels of the supreme court decision that allowed for this option, and that's when state who is really had leaders, legislators, as well as governors that were opposed to obama care saw this as a window to say here's our way to plant our opposition to this important law that would be and is the signature of this presidency. >> looking at the numbers of cli clicks, the people who are going and looking and gathering information, beginning to start applications, whatever the discourse in the land of cable news is, clearly people have a sense that they need access. are these republicans going to be held accountable by the folks in their states who are now not going to have access to medicaid expansion? >> absolutely. what's amazing is is hospitals and doctors, you rarely see hospitals and doctors and insurance companies agreeing on something. they all agree in these states we need to not have tho doughnut hole of perverse sorts for
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communities of color and women and young men and have this doughnut hole that prevents coverage. it seems to me the other story of this week is we've been giving the obama administration a pretty hard time about not having done a good enough job in communicating and telling people and, you know, our viewers don't even know where to go. but apparently they did. i'd like to take credit for it but i don't have that many viewers, right, for that many folks to have been able to go and click. did the administration do a better job than we maybe initially thought in terms of communicating? >> i think initially we were right, they did not do a very good job in getting the information out. i think what happened was as the process went on they developed a much more cohesive strategy and a much more aggressive strategy. what you see are the states supporting the health care reform law have done a very good job of running interesting commercials, compelling commercials, eye catching sometimes, a little blue commercials. that also helped.
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but i think it is incumbent upon the this administration to ensure that these states, where people do not have that option, that they get the information out about how important it is so that people -- because people may want to push back. people may not know what they are not getting. if they don't know what they're getting, we can't blame them for being outraged. they need to do that. but more aggressively so people can protest if they so choose. >> once people realize why my cousin who is another state, say california, is getting these things that are not available to us, that is happening. i find this so interesting that this week the republicans gave gift to the administration because there were some problems with a rollout of the online exchanges and the technical glitches and that was largely overshadowed by all of this mess
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over the government shutdown. in a way they benefited that, gave them cover to fix that. >> one of my favorite nerd moments is is you can always go in and look at the backside and there was a whole group of programmers who were, like, are you serious? are you writing this script like 1949? great hilarity about what the website was doing and failing to do p. >> speaking of nerves you have the inevitable start-up. anytime you upgrade i.t. there are going to be problems. the smartest thing they did was to begin this several months ahead of when they needed to do it. let me interject one cold political calculation here, and that is those 8 million people don't make campaign contributions. and that is something that factors into the mix. the other thing is they're not considered organized, a potent voting mix. i think perhaps a strategy of the democrats in particular
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should be to organize them, get them to the polls, notwithstanding the voter suppression stuff. overcome that. that is 8 million people who could make a difference in an election. >> it goes back to your point that medicaid expansion certainly. i get this point. this is part of why it's easy to allow them to fall through that hole. but if the hospitals and the doctors want it, those are voters and campaign contributors. >> in florida and texas right now, two of the states that have this problem are a source of many of these millions who will go in this gap. the doctors and hospitals have been clamoring since the supreme court decision came out and said do not do this. our hospitals already face a disproportionate burden from uninsured people. do not do what will break our backs and prevent us from providing care. i actually don't know if you need to wait for the polls or the political mobilization. it's been happening in d.c. and outside. >> this was so surprising to me about my governor, bobby jindal,
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on this because right now the sort of rebuild post-kath of new orleans is based on our hospitals. that's what's going to be driving all the changes in midcity and the idea of rejecting meld cade expansion just seems -- i always believe money interests are going to find the way. yet in this case they seem not to be. >> the administration did try what you've seen some governors in some conservative states say, we won't do a medicaid expansion purely. we'll let people have the expanded medicaid through the exchange, which was kind of a compromise. >> if that's happening on the federal website because they refuse to set up a state-based exchange. loophole. >> this is my point. it's so important. we need a cohesive strategy to let people know because this is a lot of information. if you're tseng l mother, working, picking up the kids, we cannot expect people to necessarily always connect the dolts. i go to the hospital, i'm told i can't get medicaid, and doctors are busy. they're got going to explain the
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intricacies of health care reform when they're inundated with people. >> and because the framers of this law recognized this would be complicated, they put in the navigators to help people navigate it. that's not -- they've been trying, but the people who are trying to help the customers sign up, there are states actually fighting the navigators, trying to help the people. it's crazy town. when we come back. . ...amelia... neil and buzz: for teaching us that you can't create the future... by clinging to the past. and with that: you're history. instead of looking behind... delta is looking beyond. 80 thousand of us investing billions... in everything from the best experiences below... to the finest comforts above. we're not simply saluting history... we're making it. ♪
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talk to your doctor about all your symptoms. get the blood tests. change your number. turn it up. androgel 1.62%. florida governor rick scott gets the gop medal for health care obstructionism this week. not only is his state among the 26 states deciding to not move forward with the medicaid expansion, but scott took it one step further. just under three weeks before obama care went into effect, the state health department issued an order banning gators hired under the aca from helping the uninsured at county health departments. yet counties like miami-dade quietly defied the governor by taking steps the allow
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navigators on other county owned facilities. take that, rick scott. joining me to talk about the state of obama care in florida is lynn thorpe, a navigator weather the navigator project. she's the director ff southwest and gulf central florida. nice to see you this morning, lynn. >> thank you for having me. >> just talk to me a little bit about this job. how are have you and your fellow navigators been able to help people if you're not allowed in the county health fates? >> we're partnering with community agencies around our region. we have ten counties that we're covering in the region that i'm working in. we're working with social service agencies like the united way. we're working with rcma. we have partners who are already doing -- working with people on the community. our 1/2 guy or thes are working through those agencies to help people they're already seeing. >> to me it seems so important when you have a great, big, enormous new law like this that is complicated to help people
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just understand what their rights are, what's available to them. when you have been talking to folks on the phone, what are the big questions they're asking you? >> i've had great conversations with people. people are really happy to be talking with people on the phone in person. some people are calling me specifically with me we make $35,000, i have two children, will we qualify for help? people are calling me with pre-existing conditions and they want to know where they can go to get immediate assistance. it's sbrn interesting. i thought as a navigator i'd be working with people with disabilities or who needed extra help or didn't have a computer or internet. as it's turning out, everybody is needing help understanding the marketplace in general, and many people have never had insurance before. so common terms like deductible and co-pay and maximum amount of pocket are really confusing.
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so the people that we are focusing on is growing. there are more people to work with than i originally thought. >> just the base ek information and the value of not just having a website, which can be so hard to navigate, even if it's a good website, but somebody you can call on the phone. >> that's a big deal. that needs to be pushed more. as much as they put the healthcare.gov everywhere, they need to brand those phone numbers and have them everywhere, because one, when the website does have trouble, the lights went out at the super bowl -- >> hey, hey, hey. we are not going to talk about the lights going out at the super bowl. that was very painful for us. >> these things can happen when you have technology involved. to have people you can call and talk to specifically and go through these very basic questions, which the website may not consider because the website is about giving you basic information and getting you signed up. the web side does not consider
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whether you understand what a deductible is, and a lot of people, to her point, to the navigator's point, have not ever had insurance. this is very foreign to them. >> it feels to me like this role that lynn is playing, lynn and others like her, it's a nonpartisan issue. right? there's a law. the law is beginning to go into effect as of october 1, and people need information about it. is there any way to pull this aspect of sort of widely known information out of the partisan politics of all of this? >> absolutely. when it gets down to it, this is about basic human principles, and the question ls ss she's ge are questions we probably have even though we're highly enl kalted and have a lot of access to websites. this is not partisan, and honestly it reminds me when medicare was implemented. the exact same thing happened. look at how much we love this program now. people hold on to that sand say don't let the government
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interfere with my medicare. lyndon johnson had to send and thought about sending in national guard to kind of make sure that black and white patients were integrated under the medicare program in the hospitals, that they weren't discriminated against. >> this point is such an important point. part of the ability for lynn to do her work or any of these navigators in this context is for it to be believable and true that they're not schills for obama, that they're not, you know, rick scott's guy, right? it feels to me like the notion there is information that is not attached with some kind of ideology is something that is officially difficult for us now to even believe. >> well, as a matter of fact, the republicans keep trying to make the point that if you support obama care that is a political act. you'll recall when the nfl was approached about running commercials to inform people, that was exactly what mitch mcconnell and some of the other republicans told them. so i don't think you can pull the politics out of this.
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what is scaring the republicans and why they're making such a push now is what happens, as you described, if, in fact, this becomes the norm and everybody says, hey, this is pretty cool. they've lost their effort to undermine this. if they get power in four years, let's say, they're not going to be able to repeal it because it's going to be popular. >> let me come back to you for just a second here, lynn. there's a lot of folks to help in the state of florida. are you feeling generally hopeful at this moment that you've got the time and resources necessary? or if this was your moment to say we need this one i diggs nal thi -- additional thing, what would it be? >> i would love for there to be some commercials in our area. i have to be honest, one of the biggest challenges for me to create awareness that the marketplaces exist. there are people at every level of education, bright people in the business who don't understand that the marketplace is open, open to not just for
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underinsured people, it's open for people who have insurance that's not affordable, and there are -- people are allowed to go in and shop the marketplace. there is no public awareness. we are really we are really at a grassroots campaign in my area. i am delivering flyers and handouts to hospitals, social service agencies. i've got a volunteer group going to meet me at the united way next week to help me. that's how we're trying to get the word out. >> lynne thorp. >> >> i'm talking about in the cities. it's a different challenge in the rural communities i've met with, the hendrick county medical system out there, and they're taking the flyers and handing them out. some of our local hospitals are enrolling to be certified application counselors to be able to help people one-on-one in the hospital. but we really just have to start
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expanding our capacity down here and our awareness. >> lynne, it is stunning to think a program the size of obama care and you're having to take the flyers. thank you to you and to your fellow navigators no matter how hard this job is -- thanks to lynne thorp in franklin. >> and up next, the people who could teach our politicians a thing or two. our foot soldiers are next. [ rob ] our daughter is all kate.
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for communities across the country, are the federal government shutdown has meant a disruption of critical services ranging from the education for low income children provided by head start to meals-on-wheels for seniors to the ability of rural residents to access home mortgages offered by the department of agriculture. for federal workers demand essential, the shutdown has meant showing up for work every day not knowing when you'll get
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paid as we saw this week in the case of the capital police working for free while risking your life or for the 800,000 so-called nonessential government workers it means not showing up for work at all and not getting paid still till the government reopens. despite the disruption to their lives many of those federal employees are focusing on giving back. this week we don't have just one foot soldier. instead we want to recognize all of the furloughed workers have been out volunteering during the shutdown. like scott mat thai yas in durham, north carolina. he and 29 other employees from the environmental protection agency pruned trees and put down mulch in a local park. in virginia, craig nichol from nasa, derek james from the u.s. navy and some of their colleagues helped to build a new children's wing at yorkshire presbyterian church. also in alabama, shin say collins, and other furloughed worker set up an all volunteer
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class for children whose head start classes have been closed. in d.c., a council of workers representing the justice department, the library of congress and other government agencies have created a federal workers guide to the shutdown for d.c. volunteering. they've been distributing the guides outside of some of the museums and monuments telling tourists which tractions are open and which are closed. in the midst of a government shutdown, furloughed workers like these across the country are continuing to provide public service to their communities even as they face uncertain financial futures of their own. and for showing the politicians in washingtoning what public service is really about, these furloughed workers and the others like them are our foot soldiers of the week. we hope you get back to work soon. that's our show for today. tomorrow morning, we are back at 10:00 a.m. eastern. it is a very special edition of mhp. it is the second annual student town hall for education nation. i hope you'll join us.
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right now it's time for a preview of "weekends with alex witt." mara shyio camp po is in for alex. >> i'll be joining you for that. what we have coming up next, the second named tropical storm of the season is expected to reach mainland u.s. in the next day. where will it hit and will it pack a punch? plus, you've seen a video of the wild new york chase involving motorcyclists and an suv. i'm talking to an attorney about all of the new developments and i'm also talking to the direct of the new film "parkland," which recounts the aftermath of jfk's assassination. why it's being called incredibly original. don't go anywhere. [ male announcer ] at northrop grumman,
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