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tv   The Rachel Maddow Show  MSNBC  November 8, 2013 12:00am-1:00am EST

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that's all for "all in" this evening. "the rachel maddow show" starts right now. >> thanks very much for joining this us hour. behold the peaceful transition of power. the transfer of power between people who disagree with one another strongly, but who agree that the democratic process, the vote of the people, is what decides who gets to hold office in this country. the peaceful transition of power between politically opposed forces is really our most noble display of the challenge and the majesty of our democracy. it's also really, personally awkward sometimes. so, yeah, hey, i'm the new guy! really? you're the new guy?! okay. you were the awkward new guy once, too, big guy. transitions can be very awkward. and it's not just awkward transitions for presidents. this was the tiny little outgoing mayor of new york city yesterday, sitting down with the enormous incoming new mayor of new york city.
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the two of them having what was supposed to be a friendly transition meal together. looked like a lot of things, but friendly was not one of them. for shear caught on tape personal hard to watchness, though, you really cannot beet what happened today, this afternoon, in the executive mansion in good old virginia. >> you've been here once or twice before. >> have you ever been upstairs? >> i've been up there. >> yeah, it's quite a place. a lot of history. good. all right, let's go eat. good. >> you're not going to -- actually, i understand you're not going to move? >> yeah, yeah. >> you've got two? >> yeah, so they'll finish the -- she's in eighth grade, so she'll finish up and then i'll come down. peter is in fifth grade. >> spread it out pretty well.
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>> just because the transition of power is peaceful doesn't mean that it isn't hard. it doesn't mean that it's not crippling personally awkward, with the cameras and everything. but it's also awkward on policy terms. as terry mcauliffe prepares to take over for governor of virginia, he has now announced that his first action as the state's governor will be to undo an executive order that bob mcdonnell signed when he became the governor. on order that made it legal to fire public employees in virginia, just for being gay. it had been illegal to fire somebody from a public sector job in virginia, just because they were gay, before bob mcdonnell came into office. but as soon as he was sworn in, he overtly went out of his way to make it legal to fire somebody for being gay in the state of virginia. now terry mcauliffe has announced that he will undo that as his very first action as governor. elections have consequences. they have personally awkward consequences and they have politically salient consequences
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too. a few miles up interstate 95 in washington, d.c., today, within the same hour, we had a really nice, really stark illustration about the differences between the parties on issues like this right now. within the same hour today in d.c., in the same building, just down the hall from one another, senate republicans today held their press conference to announce their new anti-abortion legislation! and 30 minutes later, down the same hallway, senate democrats held their press conference to announce their gay rights legislation. and, in fact, this afternoon, the senate went on to take a vote on the democrats' bill. but the difference between the parties is not just that one party is liberal and one party is conservative. that one party is pro-gay rights and one party is anti-gay rights or one party is pro-choice and the other one is pro-life. that's not actually the most interesting difference between the parties right now. what is fascinating between the two parties right now is that
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the democrats are essentially totally unified on these kinds of issues right now. and for the republicans, it is complete chaos. take the employment nondiscrimination act today, which is voted on in the senate. right now, federal law says you can't get fired just because of your race. you can't get fired just because of your gender or your religion. the employment nondiscrimination act, which was voted on in the senate today, that would say you also can't get fired just because you are gay. it would add sexual orientation and sexual identity to the list of things that are protect forms of nondiscrimination in this country. the employment nondiscrimination act was first introduced 40 years ago. it was one of senator ted kennedy's priorities, right up until the time that he died. senator kennedy passed off leadership of that legislation to senator jeff merkley, who had
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led the way for a similar kind of legislation back in his home state. but what was fascinating about this bill, when they finally took the vote on it this afternoon in the senate, was not just that it passed, after 40 years, it passed. it was not just that it passed, though, that was the most amazing thing. what was amazing was that it passed with 100% of the democratic caucus voting for it. every single democratic senator who voted today voted for it, including the kind of socially conservative ones, like joe manchin from west virginia and mark pryor from arkansas. every democrat voted for it. so in the democratic party right now, this issue is very simple. the democratic party on discrimination issues, they are unanimous. they know who they are and they know what they stand for. and the republican party, it is much harder to say what's going on. ten republicans crossed over to vote with the democrats on this today, including jeff flake who said he was going to vote no, but he voted yes. so a majority of democratic
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senators voted against the nondiscrimination bill, but ten voting for it, that's a lot. that said, the republican leadership in the house is saying that not only are they opposed to it, they're not going to allow it to come up for a vote at all. they will not put it on the calendar. john boehner says he is personally opposed to the legislation. he also said he thought it was already illegal to fire somebody for being gay, which is not the case at all in 29 states. but regardless, he says that he is against this nondiscrimination bill. he says he will not allow a vote on it. house majority leader eric cantor today, underlined that and put an exclamation point on it when he put out a blunt statement, saying that this is not on the calendar. so, we know what the democratic position is on discriminating against gay people. we know that there's a unanimous democratic position on the issue of discrimination. but what's the republican position? and are they shy about their position, whatever it is? or are they proud of it?
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precisely one republican out of the 32 senators who voted no on this discrimination bill, only 1 of the 32 no votes, in all the procedural votes they had, in all of the opportunity of talking about this, only one republican stood up once to actually state out loud why it was that he was voting against this thing. good old 70-year-old senator dan coats worked his way up to the podium today and gave a 12-minute and 15-second statement, explaining why he was voting no, but he was the only one. not a single other republican has been willing to say anything out loud about why they were voting no on this thing. all the 2016 hopefuls in the republican party who are in the senate, all voted no on this, but none of them wanted to explain it. then there's the new abortion ban that senate republicans unveiled today with their big lindsey graham press conference. republicans, of course, spent last few years rolling back abortion rights in the states more aggressively than at any times in roe versus wade. and they have brought up anti-abortion bill after anti-abortion bill year after year. their first efforts came down to the efforts to defund planned parenthood. they have been more devoted to the anti-abortion issue than to almost anything else.
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and yet, at the same time, they're starting to seem a little politically shy about it. the sponsor of the new anti-abortion bill that they announced today, the senator who was supposed to champion this bill through congress when it first came up, was going to be senator marco rubio. not anymore, though. now they have taken it out of the hands of anybody who might conceivably be running for president in 2016. and instead, they gave it to lindsey graham, who is definitely not running for president now or ever, but who does face the prospect of an even more conservative right-wing primary challenger in his home state of south carolina. so, yeah, they want to keep pushing their ant-abortion agenda as they have been for these last few years, but they want it to be a lower profile affair. something that really only comes up in elections when only republicans are voting. like, say, south carolina republican primaries. in virginia this week, the republican party ran a hard line anti-abortion activist for governor, and they thereby lost
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a governorship that the republican party, by all rights, really should have won. the beltway diagnosis of what went wrong there is probably best stated in "the washington post" editorial about that election today, which called ken cuccinelli a hero to the tea party and a culture warrior of the first rank. they do not mean that as a compliment, though. they say, quote, mr. cuccinelli lost because he was among the most polarizing and provocative figures in richmond for a decade. the cuccinelli record had nothing to do with job creation or the state's economic well-being or alleviating deepening transportation problems, all of which are central to virginians' well-being. his record was mainly about bashing homosexuals, harassing illegal immigrants, crusading against abortion, denying climate change, flirting with birthers, and opposing gun control. so that's "the washington post." the beltway diagnosis is that there's a reason ken cuccinelli loses elections like this. that republicans, if they know
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what's good for them, really ought to leave all this stuff alone. on the other hand, the tea party diagnosis about what ken cuccinelli did wrong is that he wasn't hardline enough. he was too much of a squish. he should have campaigned more about immigrants and birth control and abortion and gay rights. so there's this really interesting dynamic, right? the democratic unanimity and the chaos on this. democrats have never been more unified, but republicans, not only do they not know what their party position is, they can't agree on whether or not they're proud of it or ashamed of it, whether they want it to be something they run on or something they run from. and therefore, nobody really knows how to strategize on this issue in future elections. this is going to be amazing to watch from here on out, because for a generation now, it has been an article of faith among republican strategies that it is good for the republican party to run hard-line, anti-abortion candidates and pursue hard-line, anti-abortion policies. the calculation has always been that, you know, even if not everybody agrees with them on
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those issues, the people who are anti-abortion believe it so fervently that their enthusiasm to vote anti-abortion, to vote on those issues, will outweigh the squishy moderate people who are maybe pro-choice or maybe don't care very much, but certainly aren't as motivated to vote on those issues as the anti-abortion republican base. that's been the calculation on this for a generation. but look at what just happened in virginia. one you have over five voter who is turned out this in election said that abortion was the most important issue driving their vote. but, look how they voted. a large majority of those voters motivated by the choice issue didn't vote for the anti-abortion guy. they voted for the pro-choice guy. because it turns out, hey, wow, there can be fervency on both sides of this issue. that changes the calculation that has been static for the republicans for a generation. fascinating. and so, yeah, elections have consequences.
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terry mcauliffe in virginia said in his acceptance speech that he will be a, quote, brick wall against any legislation attempting to further curtail women's rights in virginia. and while sitting down for his awkward first-and-last date with bob mcdonnell today, both men know the first thing terry mcauliffe is going to do in office is turn back governor mcdonnell's anti-gay rights agenda. but you know what, in virginia, one other amazing thing happened today. because this is virginia and virginia is so amazing this year, even after all the personal awkwardness stuff and after the "i'm going to u-turn your anti-gay rights agenda" stuff today, there's one other matter of tremendous personal and political awkwardness that happened today in virginia. and that is the second thing that terry mcauliffe announced he was going to do after the gay rights thing. he said, he picked his two top things, number one and number two, he's going to do as virginia's governor. number one, he's going to change that nondiscrimination law. and number two, quote, he said his second executive order would bar the governor and his family
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from accepting gifts of $100 or more. all right! nice to meet you, bob mcdonnell. as bob mcdonnell prepares to leave office, federal prosecutors in virginia are preparing, some time between now and thanksgiving, to make their decision about whether or not to criminally indict bob mcdonnell in the corruption and bribery scandal that arose around him and his family taking over $100,000 in gifts and cash from a virginia businessman, who was seeking favors for his company from the state government. through this whole scandal, through the apology, through the paying back of the gifts and all the rest of it and the legal defense fund and the legal defense website and all the awkward announcements and the defensiveness and the watch and everything. through all of it, bob mcdonnell never bothered to change the ethics law that allowed him to take those gifts in the first place. terry mcauliffe will have to be the one who does it come january. today the company who employs the ceo who gave bob mcdonnell
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all those gifts says the ceo will be leaving the company, whether or not those bribes -- i mean, gifts -- were illegal. the company says it's against their corporate policies to give anything of value to a public official. so ceo johnny williams will be losing his job between now and the end of the year. but the most amazing development in all of this today was from the university of virginia politics guru, larry sabado, who reported tot for the first time something truly amazing about this story and virginia politics. he reported the today for the very first time that ken cuccinelli had in the works a plan for throwing bob mcdonnell out of office. remember, ken cuccinelli is the attorney general, bob mcdonnell is the governor. when in august and september, it first looked as though governor mcdonnell was going to be indicted by federal prosecutors, ken cuccinelli reportedly had a secret plan.
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he, quote, planned a dramatic public break with bob mcdonnell by invoking a specific section of article v of the virginia constitution, which had never been used before in the entire history of the virginia constitution. it's the part of the virginia constitution that would allow other officers of the state government to throw the governor out. to declare the governor, quote, unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, thus throwing him out of office against his will, if he refused to quit. what?! why did this not get reported until 48 hours after the election? i mean, ken cuccinelli also took gifts from that guy. ken cuccinelli was totally implicated in that same scandal. ken cuccinelli didn't disclose his gifts from that guy. initially, he waited until he was getting ask ds about it before he paid the gifts back. he never had any explanation for why he took those gifts for himself. he was never able to explain himself. all the while, everybody's waiting for the indictment
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against bob mcdonnell, and ken cuccinelli is not able to distance himself from this horrible scandal, and he needed to be able to distance himself from it. and all along, he had a plan to forcibly throw bob mcdonnell out of office? this is amazing! why didn't we know before? ken cuccinelli had a secret plan for a coup to oust the scandal-ridden governor. the cuch had a plan, there was going to be a coup. oh, my god, why didn't we know this before? you are telling me there was -- i could have been -- you are telling me there was a secret cucci coup planned in virginia? all this plan i didn't know about it. i could have been using this phrase all this time on tv, for months, since august? virginia, do you realize what this does to me? i could have been using cucci coup? virginia, you are killing me. you are killing me, i'm dead. or is it? introducing new fast acting advil.
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it seems like it gets more to areas of your mouth that you can't reach with a regular toothbrush. [ male announcer ] guaranteed "wow" with deep sweep from oral-b. #1 dentist-recommended toothbrush brand worldwide. earlier this year, new jersey republican governor chris christie vetoed a bill that would have raised his state's minimum wage. two days ago, new jersey vetoed him on that issue. the state may have voted to re-elect the governor himself for another term or half a term, depending on how long he sticks around, but the state also undid his minimum wage veto. and they did it with an exclamation point. lack, with 99% of precincts reporting in new jersey, voters in that state approved a
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statewide increase in the minimum wage by a margin of 61 to 39%. and with that huge vote, that huge margin, the people in new jersey essentially overruled their popular governor on that even more popular issue. whenever the minimum wage is on the ballot, it blows up. people vote for it. in sea-tac, in washington, a small town outside of the seattle airport, with just over 12,000 registered voters in the town, there was a measure on the ballot this week to raise the minimum wage there to $15 an hour. that would be the highest in the country. because washington state votes by mail, the votes are not totally in yet, but so far it looks like it's going to happen there too. it looks like sea-tac is going to get a $15 an hour minimum wage. outside groups opposing that measure spent more than $1 million trying to stop it in a town of just 12,000 people, but still, looks like it's going to pass. don't tell the beltway press,
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but the american people are really, really populist on this issue. if you put the minimum wage on the ballot basically anywhere, it wins. and not only does it win, it often wins by so much, it moves other racings on the same ballot. so in 2006, in missouri, then-senator jim talent, the republican incumbent, was up for re-election. he was being challenged by the then-state auditor, claire mccaskill. a democrat. missouri's a pretty conservative state. as an incumbent, jim talent probably should have won that race. but claire mccaskill beat him, and she has gone on to a distinguished six years and counting career in the senate. but when she first got that job in the senate, her win was a very close rate and it was an upset. and part of what put the wind at her back that year, 2006, was the initiative on the missouri state ballot that year to raise the minimum wage. claire mccaskill was in favor of that and said so. jim talent didn't want to talk about it.
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>> you're going to have to cast a vote in two weeks on whether or not we raise the minimum wage in missouri. will you vote yes or whether you vote no? >> i have not taken a position on the minimum wage ballot issue. >> wrong answer, it turns out. once election day rolled around, that minimum wage initiative was approved -- look at that -- 76 to 24%. raising the minimum wage passed in missouri by that 52-point margin and claire mccaskill beat the incumbent republican senator from her state. same thing happened in 2006 in montana. the minimum wage was on the ballot there in '06, they loved it, approved the minimum wage rise by 46 points. on the same ballot, the incumbent republican senator, conrad burns, who had voted repeatedly against raising the minimum wage, and who was wishy-washy about it at the state level, his democratic challenger jon tester was for the rise in the minimum wage. he was for it bluntly and unapologetically. the minimum wage rise passed by nearly 50 points and montana at
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the exact same time got a new democratic senator to replace their old republican one. same year in ohio, then-congressman sherrod brown decides to run against the republican incumbent. during the campaign, sherrod brown pounds his opponent for his opposition to a minimum wage hike. sherrod brown nails him for voting to kill or delay, raising the federal minimum wage at least nine separate times. finally, the republican senator caves and pledges that he's going to support a raise this time, but you know what? it was too late. ohio voters overwhelmingly approved a raise in the minimum wage that year and on the same ballot, that same night, at the polls, they threw out their incumbent republican senator and replaced him with democrat, sherrod brown. raising the minimum wage not only has important, practical consequences, especially in a country where economic inequality is raging out of control, raising the minimum
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wage also has really stark political consequences. it's like the democrat's magic beans. it always works. raising the minimum wage is really popular. that said, there has not been a federal vote to raise it for six years now. well, today senate democrats met to talk that through. reporting tonight that senate democrats have a plan to raise the minimum wage to just over $10 an hour and they move on it between now and thanksgiving, which means right away. "the new york times" reporting tonight that president obama is in support of what senate democrats want to do. joining us now is senator sherrod brown of ohio. senator brown, great to have you here. >> thank you. >> so you have been an economic populist for your whole career, and an outspoken one at that. is it true that issues like the minimum wage work everywhere in the country, and therefore it could be a pretty easy federal vote if people paid attention to the polls? >> yeah, i think so. it's so much the right thing to do. there are so many people living on the minimum wage and, you
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know, there's this myth that they're all teenagers. they're not. they're overwhelmingly, they're 20 and up, a number of them are single parents, a number of them hold two minimum wage jobs, or as husband and wife hold a job, one at minimum wage and one $1 above minimum wage, and they can't make a go at it. they get some help in food stamps or in some way subsidies to help subsidize the low wages at walmart and starbucks. but there's another part of this really important this year. tipped wage has been stuck at $2.19 since 1990. >> that's the wage that people get that's supposedly compensated for where you get cash tips. >> and especially in places like diner, where people aren't as generous, don't put it on their credit card or as much money, whatever they're tipping. that $2.13 an hour, has been stuck, for servers in restaurants, for over 20 years. this bill will overtime, peg it to 70% of the minimum wage. in 1996, it was 50% of the minimum wage, the tipped wage. now we're going to peg it the to 70% of the minimum wage under
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this bill. so this is going to make a huge difference, especially for women, because it's women, more often than not, that are working in these diners, at very low wages. sometimes they'll get $5 an hour in tips, sometimes they'll get $10, sometimes they'll get $2 an hour in tips. often, they're well below the minimum wage and they're working harder than we do. you know, it affects their backs and their feet, they're standing all day, they're doing hard work, and they're getting so little for it. >> in terms of the prospects for legislation like this, i think it's really interesting that senate democrats, you and your fellow senate democrats are putting together action on this now. obviously, there's a lot of doubt about whether or not anything will ever go anywhere in the house. can you tell me anything about the political strategy around this, given how potent this is as an issue and how popular it is? >> a number of us have wanted to move on the minimum wage for a long time. we clearly have consensus in our caucus. i don't think there's probably any democrat that will vote against it, perhaps one or two, but almost none. and i think the temptation for
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republicans, particularly those on the ballot, or those who will be on the ballot, especially when you link a number of republicans who voted for a pay raise for themselves, and they vote against the minimum wage, that's a pretty hard one to defend, as you can guess. >> i know you've also been talking, you did a great interview with greg sergeant at "the washington post" the last couple of days about the prospect of expanding social security, the sort of beltway common wisdom about social security is the only way to go is for it to be shrunk and attacked. you're talking about expanding social security and recalibrating the whole debate around that. how does that work? >> when you consider, when you hear some far-right colleagues say, we need to restructure or reform the entitle programs. well, they're saying, what do you mean, restructure? well, they're not sustainable. what do you mean? in the end, what they mean is you cut social security and you cut medicare.
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more than one third of people on social security in this country rely on social security for close -- essentially, their entire income. and more than half of people in my state get more than half their income from social security, of those receiving that. and to go after them. and why should the debate be on this whole grand bargain? why should the debate be, how much we going to cut social security? how much are we going to cut medicare? no, it should be, look at this whole retirement system. people are saving less, people are less likely to have defined pensions. people with 401(k)s are always inadequate. so we're going to cut social security too? this is a time social security is even more important, because the traditional three-legged stool that franklin roosevelt talked about, a defined pension, savings, and the social security, should each be a part of their retirement. well, two of those legs have been, at least shortened, if not cut out from under them. and that's why social security is so important. so we should be having this debate. how do we deal with seniors'
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problems? it doesn't mean you take money from head start and you take money from kids. there's been too much generational warfare. but how are we going to do this? let's have the debate about social security itself. don't put it in with everything else, and you know, all the wise people in washington and the pundits saying, well, we've got to fix these entitlements, because they always mean social security and medicare. >> fascinating stuff. if the debate happens in those terms, i don't know that we're going to end up in a different place, but it would be a much more sensible debate. >> we will end up in a different place, because the public overwhelmingly says -- if you poll, should we fix entitlements or should we reform the entitlement system, people will say, yes. if you say, should we cut social security and medicare or shift medicare costs to seniors, they will say, decidedly, no. it's a lot like the minimum wage debate. and democrats and progressives have to be making these debates, making these issues -- putting these issues in front of people and really making the case. not to play on their field, continued budget cut, continue undercutting medicare, continue these low-wage kinds of jobs. let's figure this out and really look at the broad middle class
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and people who aspire to it. >> senator sherrod brown, democrat of ohio, it's always great to have you here. >> good to be back. >> thank you very much. nice to see you. all right, we'll be right back. . . and we own the paper cottage. it's a stationery and gifts store. anything we purchase for the paper cottage goes on our ink card. so you can manage your business expenses and access them online instantly with the game changing app from ink. we didn't get into business to spend time managing receipts, that's why we have ink. we like being in business because we like being creative, we like interacting with people. so you have time to focus on the things you love. ink from chase. so you can. tough on grease yet gentle. dawn helps open something even bigger. [ all ] 3, 2, 1! this year, dawn is also donating $1 million. learn more at
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this summer after a jury in florida found george zimmerman not guilty in the death of teenager trayvon martin, there was a big outspoken nationwide response to that ruling. but in florida, there was a very focused response by a committed group of young, feisty activists that call themselves the dream defenders. on july 16th, they gathered
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outside the florida state capital in what looked like it was going to be another protest expressing opposition to the ruling, but the activists had a different plan. where they marched to that day was into the offices of florida governor rick scott, and then they would not leave. they brought sleeping bags and pillows. they remained peacefully, but insistently inside the governor's office. they said they wanted a meeting with him, although the governor initially said, no, eventually he said yes. they said they wanted to reopen the question of florida's stand your ground law. and again, the governor said, no. he said they'd had plenty of hearings on it, it was a settled matter. but they refused to take no for an answer. they hunkered down and they stayed in that office for 31 straight days, refusing to leave. and you know what, the governor came around to their way of thinking. the activists secured an agreement that the state legislature would hold new hearings to review the stand your ground laws, and those
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hearings happened today. and they never would have happened without that focused, relentless, peaceful direct action by those activists. and if you want to understand how that works, then the interview tonight on this show is for you. we've got something kind of amazing coming up next. please stay with us. it's going to be really good. 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
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>> we're marching today to dramatize to the nation and dramatize to the world that hundreds and thousands of negro citizens of alabama, but particularly here in the blightville area, are denied the right to vote. and we intend to march to montgomery, to convince governor wesley wallace. >> mr. williams, what are you going to do if you get stopped? >> what are we going to do if we get stopped? we hope we don't get stopped. and if we do get stopped, we'll stand there and hopefully let them go into montgomery. >> this is a comic book that was originally published in 1958. it costs 10 cents back there. it was published by a group called the fellowship of reconciliation. they are still around today and you can still buy this comic book from them. it's called "martin luther king and the montgomery story." for 10 cents and 14 pages, it explains what happened in the montgomery, alabama, bus boycott that happened in 1965, which started when rosa parks refused to move to the back of a city bus. but in terms of our history as a
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country, what was really, really, really important about this book, was that it did not just explain or re-tell that story of that campaign. this comic book was also, essentially, a step-by-step guidebook for how to replicate it. how to use what it called the montgomery method, with pages of practical device about how to choose your battles, how to educate yourself, how to practice facing even violent opposition without ever hitting back. how to see the person attacking you as a human, and how to try to inspire that person to see you the same way, even in the middle of confrontation. it's profund stuff. this is a comic book that helped inspire and organize a revolution. john robert lewis, born in 1940, was a teenager living in rural segregated alabama, who was already captivated by the teachings of dr. martin luther king when he first read this comic book. as a young seminary student in nashville, he joined the movement. he followed dr. king's advice and followed the montgomery method. he joined up with other young african-american and white men and women who trained themselves in nonviolent resistance. by the time he was 25 years old,
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they were leading that march from selma, alabama, to montgomery for vote rights. by then he was a seasoned veteran of many campaigns, including lunch counter sit-ins and freedom rides. he had been beaten and arrested dozens of times. by then, he led the student nonviolent coordinating committee. he had already been the youngest speaker at the 1963 march on washington, alongside his hero, the reverend martin luther king jr. now, as the only surviving speaker of the march on washington, now in his 27th year in congress, civil rights icon john lewis has decided to pay it forward, working with acclaimed comic book artist nate powell and with a young staffer named andrew iden, who was so captivated by the idea of that 1958 comic, that he wrote a masters thesis about it. these three men together created a graphic novel about the life and the life's work of john
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lewis. it's planned as a trilogy, but the first volume, which is called march, part i, is out now, and it went straight to the top of "the new york times'" best sellers list, and boy did it deserve to. we asked congressman lewis to read part of it for us, to show you what it is like to see this in comic form. check this out. >> how to protect ourselves. how to disarm our attackers by conducting with their humanity. how to protect each other, how to survive, but the hardest part to learn, to truly understand, deep in your heart, was how to find love for your attackers. we took a name. the nashville student movement, because of our distrust of centralized power, we insisted on a rotating leadership. we're all in this together and we were ready to act.
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>> joining us now for the interview are congressman john lewis and his co-authors, nate powell and andrew iden. gentleman, thank you so much for being here. >> thank you for having us. >> i'm going to break protocol and not ask you the first question, but ask you the first question, nate, as the artist, does it weird you out to see your art put to sound and motion on tv? >> it's incredibly exciting. >> oh, good. >> it never stops being weird, but in the best possible way. >> congressman, i know that this book brought you to comic-con in san diego this spring. i know you were signing books tonight at a comic store here in new york. do you feel like doing this this way is getting this story to people who wouldn't otherwise know it and wouldn't otherwise hear it? >> i think this way is a better way to do it. it is a good way.
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tonight, in the past three days and weeks and months, i've been amazed. to see mothers and fathers bringing their children. to see teachers, to see grandparents, buying this book for my grandchildren. they're learning about what happened and how it happened. they're learning the way of faith, the way of love, the way of peace, the way of nonviolence. >> when i look back at the 1958 publication, which, again, we should say, is still in print, which is very moving to me is not just the history here, but the how-to aspect of it. the -- you know, essentially, meeting people at the point of being inspired by these actions, of other people in the civil rights movement to say, you, too, can do the, and here's how you can start to do it alone, are you trying to do some of that with march as well? >> well, we're trying to say to young people and people not so young, you, too, can do it.
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you, too, can find a way to get in the way. you, too, can speak up and speak out. you, too, can make this country and this world a better place. you have the power to do it. >> andrew, as a staffer to congressman lewis and a comics aficionado, as a scholar of history and someone who's very interested in this, what are the parallels you see between this in the '50s as an organizing tool? >> in the '50s, they had one story that worked and they wanted to spread it everywhere. john lewis has so many stories of how they used nonviolence, how they used a discipline that we can apply today. and i think what we tried to do is just give more examples. just as it influenced him and inspired him, we're trying to do that again with more stories, more examples, and in a more specific way. >> congressman, you have been arrested, even recently, you have used nonviolent direct action throughout your adult life, including, most recently, on issues, working with
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activists, seeking immigration reform. do you feel like the methods that were so effective for you and so challenging to the order of things in the '50s, work in the same way now? or because of that history, because of what was achieved by those methods, do we react to them differently now? >> i think the method that we use, during the '60s, and dr. king and others used during the '50s, are still very effective. because we can present our bodies, we can say, here we are! you can be young, you can be older or much older. it doesn't matter. you can be low-income or middle-income or you can be wealthy. but you have a body and you can bear witness to the truth. you can find a way to get in the way. we all can practice the way of peace, the way of love, the way of nonviolence. >> nate, as an artist, i have to say, i'm a fan of your work, even before this. one of the things that must have
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been intimidating or challenging is to take these iconic stories, to take congressman lewis and his iconic personal history and to make it a little fallible, to make it a little human, to inject doubt and things that we can relate to, rather than thinking of this as sort of history that's carved into a mountain. how did you approach that? >> for the most part, a lot of it had to do with beginning with the preset that we're dealing with human beings, which is something that's kind of easy to forget. when you cross over into the realm of the icon, the legend. so a lot of it is pouring through the script, through the congressman's memoir, and then under my own power, sort of looking around in those recollections and those memories, to look for other, you know, sights and sounds, to look for -- to look to my own family's past, as southerners, and to inject a little bit of the environmental aspects that sort of bring the entire world view to life and bring the time and place to life in addition to
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the characters and the struggle. >> gentleman, i have to say, i am a comic book fan. and so i was probably predisposed to like this. but, there's -- i think there's something very important about taking a history that for us, in 2013, has been really rayified and really lifted up, can and it makes it sometimes feel unaccessible, because you did really unimaginable things, and in this format, it allows everybody to imagine making those kinds of decisions. and i think it's very important work. so congratulations. >> thank you. thank you very much. >> thank you. >> thank you very much. >> andrew iden, nate powell, and of course, congressman john lewis. the book is called "march: book one." there will be three of these. it's hard to find, because it is selling so well, but that's a good sign. we'll be right back. with a mission of providing a free world-class education for anyone, anywhere. if you look at a khan academy video, they cover everything from basic arithmetic
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nbc's chuck todd got a major interview. so far this is the part that's got everybody all excited. >> the majority of folks will end up being better off of course because the website is not working right they don't know it right. but even though it is a small percentage of folks who may be disadvantaged it means a lot to them. it is scary to them. i am sorry that they are finding themselves in this situation based on assurances they got
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from me. we have got to work hard to make sure that they know we hear them and that we are going to do everything we can to, to deal with folks who find themselves in a tough position as a consequence of this. >> president obama making news tonight in an exclusive interview with nbc news white house correspondent chuck todd. the president apologizing tonight to people losing current health plans because the plans do not meet the minimum standard of care that are now required under the affordable care act. president obama tonight also in the interview addressing the nuclear talks with iran. i should say secretary of state john kerry jetted off to geneva unexpectedly tonight to deal with what looks like a breakthrough with iran. the president also talks about nsa, his relationship with vice president joe biden. much, much more. the important part, you can seat entire interview with the president tonight in a couple minutes. it will air in its entirety on the last word with lawrence o'donnell.
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what? (announcer) the subaru forester. (girl) what? (announcer) motor trend's two thousand fourteen sport utility of the year. love. it's what makes a subaru, a subaru. because today is a day that ends in y, there is another rand paul plagiarism revelation in the news. more instances of plagiarism in rand paul's book. headline in buzzfeed. four more instances of material lifted from other sources in rand paul's latest book called "government bullies." as this plagiarism scandal continues to unfurl, still even now, and as the senator continues to publicly unravel over this scandal, we have been trying to focus on his local standing back home in kentucky. because senator paul its not just a national figure who wants to be president. he has a day job as a senator from kentucky. the local press reaction to what
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he has done and how he responded since getting caught for it. it had been bad before today. today it got much worse. the "herald-leader" out of lexington, kentucky. herald-leader endorsed rand paul in 2010. this its what they wrote today, it is hard to know where to start with senator rand paul's reaction to legitimate criticism of repeated plagiarism. paul said he accepted responsibility, and then went on quickly to slough it off, laying it on his rapid assent to national prominence which he sought relentlessly, on his staff whom he hired and finally on haters who want to bring the great man down. senator paul appears to believe profoundly in his own exceptionalism including that the rules do not apply to him. the herald-leader takes particular exception with something senator paul said this week to "the new york times." that him facing this criticism quote is what people hate about
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politics and why frankly members of my family he said, are not to interested in politics period. or in wanting me to do more of this. to tell you the truth, people can think what they want. i can go back to being a doctor anytime if they're tired of me. i'll go back to being a doctor and be perfectly content. that's what senator paul told "the new york times." but here is now the comment is being received back home in lexington, kentucky. listen to this. senator paul's sense of self grandeur is so great like a pouting child he threatened to leave politics altogether if everyone keeps being mean to him. people can think what they want. i can go back to being a doctor at any time he said. if he can't do any better than this when the heat is on. even those who were paul lovers, might be ready to say, okay. go. >> again, senator paul's hometown press. a newspaper that endorsed his candidacy during the republican primary. a lot has been said and written over the last couple weeks over what the plagiarism revelations


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