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tv   Smerconish  CNN  November 25, 2017 6:00am-7:00am PST

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i'm michael smerconish in philadelphia. we welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. while the president rightly brags that economic indicators are booming, his approval rat g ratings are still bottoming out. why this disconnect? and when rap be violated his month-long probation for minor infraction, the judge sent him back to jail. is he the right face for the conversation about mass incarceration? plus, "the new york times" suspended glenn rush for the case of sexual impropriety. and perhaps the greatest achievement of president trump is something that gets scant attention. behind the scenes he's repop lating the federal bench and that will have a long-lasting
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gakts. but first, yesterday was black friday. today is small business saturday. cyber monday is coming. and cash registers are jingling across america. the stock market remains high. the unemployment rate is low and may be headed farther downward. just last week, goldman sachs said the unemployment rate now 4.1% could tumble to 3.5% by the end of 2019. president trump welcomed that news in a tweet say, under president trump, unemployment rate will drop below 4% analysts predict. economic boom for 2018. on friday, the s&p 500 closed above 2600 for the first time ever. and yet, one year after an election in which one candidate won the popular vote and another the electoral college, americans remain fundamentally divided. the man in the white house deeply unpopular. president trump's disapproval rate is about 55%, according to
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gallup. that's poorer than the least popular american presidents. so when are the economic metrics going to catch up to the polling numbers? or when are the polling numbers going to catch up to the economic metrics? in 1952, james carville famously summarized the presidential race with these words, it's the economy, stupid. well, no more, president obama resided over eight years of economic recovery while his disapproval was never as high as trumps, according to gallup. under nine years of economic growth under both obama and trump beg the question whether these two bed rook load stars of the economy and the presidency are now permanently disengaged. shy of a national security emergency, have we witnessed the
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end of days when americans can generally agree on a job a president is doing? apparently so. and that is yet another sad reflection of our deep partisan divide. joining me now, scott adams, he's the creator of the beloved office worker cartoon dill bert. he was one of the earlier to recognize donald trump likely victory. he's also the author most recently of the book "win bigly persuasion in a world where facts don't matter." and david lipman is here author of the book "thanks, obama." scott, you first, react to my commentary. why the disconnect? >> well, i think you'll never see a situation like this again, possibly, when the president's personality is such a big part of people's impression of the presidency. so, i think the economics and
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the personality will be forever disconnected, especially when you have a president whose brand is being politically incorrect. you're going to start with a third of the country is going to hate whoever is in charge, just because they're on the other team. and about a third of the country, in my opinion, as a professional humorist doesn't a sense of humor. i mean that literally. about a third of the population pretends to have a sense of humor but doesn't. when you have a funny president who tends to be politically incorrect, you have a third of the country that is harder to turn no matter what is happening with the economy. >> scott, is there any amount of persuasion that would cause those who did not vote for donald trump to re-evaluate in some cases their antipathy for the man? >> well, time will help. if we're looking at the end of the term and the economy is still doing great, and people are going to start to say, well, that may be a little more trump than obama.
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but everybody's first year is always going to be filled with i think it's this president. no i think it was the last president who got us going. and because the complicated thing with variables people will find something to like and dislike. i like the gop but i don't like the definicit. there's plenty of bias for people to lock into whatever opinion they held. >> david elemelitt, your guy ne fully got the credit i think he deserves for getting option out of the morass of 2008. it's not just the watch? >> i think with obama, we saw over and over again, the economy was improving. for the most part, the conservative echo chamber was saying no it's not. i think with trump it's a little different. i think it's great the economy
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is improving with president trump. i'd rather it improve than not. i think it's great for americans but i think what's dragging down president trump's approval rating for very good reasons for the other stuff he's doing, refusing to neo-nazis as very fine people. and these are unprecedented times being reflected in the president's approval. >> i remember when it was candidate trump and he would say it's because people are no longer looking for jobs now that it's 4.1% on his watch, he's happy to accept it? >> yeah, you know, the president can't do everything about the economy. there's only a few levers that a president has. and one of them is our sense of optimism. because if everything else is okay you don't have shortages in your economy, and we don't, optimism and psychology are what drives things forward. so, you do want a president who
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claims credit for things that may be even be a little bit of an overclaim. because that's what makes people say, well, things are looking good. we heard it from the president. let's invest now. and that's what actually makes it good. so you're watching a president who is actually attempting and i would say succeeding at talking the economy up. >> david litt, i read a great analysis in "the wall street journal" this week that said it depends where you are in the economy right now another -- pardon me, where you are in the country right now, how you perceive the economy. another reflection of this red state/blue state phenomena that people that are red staters right now, they're much more optimistic than those who are in the blue states? >> well, i think scott talked about talking the economy up i think there's one thing i learned as a speech writer in the white house it's that actions do speak louder than words. i think if you look at democrats right now, there's a real fear. people remember what it was like it's in bush years where he
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passed huge irresponsible tax cut. democrats had to clean it up. now what are we doing? we're looking at more huge irresponsible tax cuts. some of the pessimism that a lot of my fellow democrats feel, it's not about the state of the economy today. it's about even one example thatfishfithat forbes magazine said makes it even more unprecedented. >> scott, go ahead and react to that. >> thing for the economy, for most people, the economy is this big ball of magic that we don't understand. even nobel winning economists are making predictions that are way off. people are going to pick and choose whatever they want. i is certainly see there can be pessimism. especially the way that the news
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covers the president. when charles manson died, there were two tying trump in some way. people are going to come down on different sides and you just can't make them budge. >> okay, david litt are carvelle's words from '92 passe? electorally speaking when we get to 2020 will it no longer be the economy stupid because people will view through their own partisan lens? we can't even agree when things are going well, versus when they're not going well? >> i think the economy will continue to be important. when we say the economy, i don't mean asking americans how's the economy doing? because that's a big question. it's harder to wrap our heads around. but if you ask the american economy, are your finances looking up or down? i think that will matter. right now if you look at what
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president trump is doing, whether, for example, the other day when he suggested that americans should vote for a child molester because he would like to cut taxes for corporations and his own family, americans are going to think about that as well. that's going to matter too. the economy will be part of it, but not the only part. >> react to my question, scott, as to whether carvelle's words are now passe? >> i think they're still valid, but there's a timing issue. so, the first year that everybody gets to say, well, it was really the last president. by the fourth year, it gets harder and harder to say that. if things are still popping at the end, i think you'll see the president's approval go up a little. but there really is a cap in this place, because people are talking about it. the economy is probably not as dominant, if there's a war, people are going to look at
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personality which is probably the biggest variable and approval. >> scott, david. thank you so much. hope you had a great holiday. >> you too. thanks for having us. what are your thoughts? tweet me @smerconish or go to my facebook page. i'll read responses. what do you got, kathryn? smerconish, sad how democrats look right past trump's about accomplishments with the economy only to find fault with something trivial. branden, i hear you, but are you consistent, were you likewise, meaning for the last eight years, before president trump came in -- all i'm looking for is consistency. were you willing to give a similar level 6 credit to president obama as he presided over our comes out of the morass of 2008? that's the question. one more if we have time. smerconish, the disconnect comes when his actions don't match his words. that and nobody likes him even some who voted for him.
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znurse says that. it's true that that election was in people's minds the lesser of two evils and that's how they cast ballots. i'm just frustrated at the observation that no longer can we even agree when we live in decent economic times and then determine the credit he or she atop deserves for it. up ahead, amidst a cavalcade of prominent men being accused of sensual assault. i found one expose of a "the new york times" reporter both questionable and a little troubling. i'll explain. and is the probation system actually designed to keep returning felons to jail? the emblematic case of philadelphia rapper who has been on for a decade. talk to your doctor, and call 844-214-2424.
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how america's prison system deals with black males came into sharp focus this week in the high-profile case of rapper meek mill who was sentenced here in philadelphia for two to four years for violating his probation. an op in "the new york times" said this, quote, on the surface,thy may look like the story of yet another criminal rapper who didn't smarten up and is back where he started but consider this, meek was around 19 when he was convicted on charges relating to drug and gun possession. and he served an eight-month sentence. now, he's 30. so, he's been on probation for basically his entire adult life. for a decade, he's been stalked by a system that considers the slightest infraction a justification for locking him back inside. the judge in this case who i
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should point out is herself african-american had been giving him chance throughout the years decided she'd had enough. he'll do the time and then be done. but a lot of his supporters feel he's emblematic of the situation of young black men in america. here's a quick summary of his arrest record. in 2008 at the age of 18 he was caught carrying a gun and drugs while shopping at a local grocery store. he spent eight months in prison and was later placed on probation for five years. in 2014, mill served six months in jail for traveling. and then sentenced to 90 days of house arrest. most violations both from earlier this year they include a minor scuffle at a st. louis airport with a man who wanted a picture. and riding a dirt bike in an empty street in harlem during a music video shoot. neither the d.a. or probation
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officer felt these were prison worthy. has he been treated fairly by the judge? as of 2015, african-americans price one-third of those on probation and blacks are more likely to be sent back for probation violations. joining me philadelphia attorney bryan lentz and from l.a., civil rights attorney, areva martin. brian, is he the right guy around whom we should be building a conversation about mass incarceration? >> i think the answer is absolutely not. the mass incarceration conversation is really a conversation about reforming the laws that result in folks going to jail. and to reform the laws, you need legislation. and in order to get those laws passed, you need to expand the constituency of people that are interested in it. for instance, life without parole in pennsylvania doesn't a big constituency. but it's an issue that should be
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addressed. there are people on -- serving life in p.a. that shouldn't be in jail anymore. but if you highlight a case like this, where you start with this seriousness of the initial offense. he was initially accused of pointing a loaded firearm at a police officer. while exiting a house that was about to be raided for drug dealing. he went to trial. the judge acquitted him of the most serious offense, but did find him guilty of drug dealing and possessing an illegal firearm. she then gave him immediate house arrest following the conviction. so he wasn't held in custody pending his sentence. in sentencing the d.a. askeded for five years in prison. she didn't give him five years in prison, she gave him probation. if you look at the document, it doesn't read like a probation history. it reads like a tour history. the judge signed multiple orders
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granting him permission to go to places like athens, greece, dubai, paradise island, bahamas. turks and caicos, curacao, cancun, these are orders allows him to pursue his career. if you go back to the offense, he could have very easily spent the last ten years incarcerated but he didn't. but when you point to reform, those people who aren't with you yet are going to look at those facts and say i'm not for reform because this was a person convicted of an offense and given every opportunity to succeed. >> areva, it sounds like the document, according to brian reflects that he was given any number of breaks by this judge. >> yeah, michael, let's talk about consistency. in your early ier block, you sa all you're looking for is consistency. that's what we're looking for like those of us like jay z
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speaking out on meek mill through this case. i live in california as you know, and i delivered through the lindsay lohan area. talk about five to seven to ten years of an entertainer who is before the criminal justice system time and time again, whose probation is revoked on multiple occasions who is allowed to travel for her career. who violates her probation to travel for her career. and who spent on one occasion, a whooping 84 minutes in jail. another occasion, three months she was sentenced but served two weeks. and community service was given to her as her punishment. and she was ordered to go to rehab. we know in the case of meek mill, three violations here. one has to do with drugs being in his system, opioids. the second has to do with this-mile-an-hour altercation in st. louis which you mengtsetion. and the third is popping a
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wheelie. eight people involved. he's the only one charged. and it's another example of an african-american male who is getting a disproportionate sentence that wouldn't be the case of someone like lindsay lohan or someone who is not african-american male. >> bryan, from areva's point from the outside looking in it does sound like he's been understand the tentacles of the law for at least a decade, whatever the age was 18 or 19, and some say it's just too long. >> i think the incident is important to emphasize -- i don't know what lindsay lohan was accused of, this young man was accused of pointing a loaded firearm at a police officer that was about to raid a drug house. that's about as serious an offense you can get without pulling the trigger or being
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involved,ing know inyou know, homicide or assault with a firearm. so, he was given an extreme break at the beginning. he's allowed to leave the jail and go on house arrest pending sentence. he was not given the mandatory minimum of five years. he essentially got a nonprison sentence for what most people would consider a very serious offense involving guns and drugs. he wasn't stalked by the system. you can't say that a man allowed to go to dubai and paradise island, bahamas, stalked by the system while on probation. and to say getting arrested multiple times while on probation say minor infraction. asking people on probation not to get arrested again is not really an extreme or repressive requirement. there has to be some consequences for folks on probation that break the law. and he broke the law. >> areva, go ahead and respond to that. if i may put this in the mix, i
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also wonder -- i want you to respond to what bryan said, i also wonder if the outside influence helps or hurts meek mill in philadelphia. i wonder if tjudiciary will bri at the likes of jay z. >> two things. it sounds like bryan's argument is the o.j. simpson argument. because he wasn't found guilty of the murder, let's be harsher on the petty theft that happened in nevada. likewise, for meek mill, because he wasn't given an extraordinary sentence ten years ago, let's be harsh on him now. the record is clear over the last ten years he hasn't been involved in any violent crime. he hasn't been kwiblgts convict violent charge. and the only use of drugs is the like lindsay lohan was given. we have to take these cases when
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we look at african-american men and how the justice system treats them if they're not african-american. for violation probation, i'm for law and order as well. i'm for people following the law but when they don't, and they have a minor infraction like in the case of popping a wheelie, jail time is not the answer. it's an expense to taxpayers. and this is a young man who has proven himself worthy of and capable of rehabilitation. so, that's what the criminal justice system should be focused on is rehabilitation. as for the influence, bryan, i think -- >> go ahead, areva. >> it may be negative. it may not be helping his case but it is helping in my opinion the broader conversation about the reform and how african-american men are treated in the justice system. >> bryan, i've got just 20 seconds. respond to that latter issue.
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does it help or hurt when jay z is involved? >> it hurts because it shows a fundamental misunderstanding of the probation system as it's applied in the city of philadelphia. when you go to the table and say let's reform life without parole. and your last case was meek mill you have no credibility. and it hurts those guys that are in prison now doing life that need help, but can't get it, because now the conversation is poisoned by having his individual as a poster child. >> areva, bryan, thank you. i really appreciate your insight. let me see what everybody else is saying via twitter and facebook. what do you got? smerconish, meek mill why should meek mill be special and not expected to follow the restrictions regarding his probation? i don't get it. i don't know that anybody is saying, linda, that he should be treated specially. he's the representative of a fundamentally flawed system. that's what i just heard from
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areva martin. one more. meek mill is the perfect face. the amount of influence he carries will transition to millennials showing them that the mistakes he has done can be a lesson for long time. look, i think the privatization of the incarceration system, our prison system, is problematic. if you build it -- what do they say, if you build it, they will come. well, we built them, now we're going to fill them. still to come, president trump may lack for lettigislati achievement, but he's making up for it with the pace at which he's repopulated the federal bench. will this turn out to be the longest lasting legacy? and "the new york times" has suspended one of its white house reporting investigating his
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last week, i spoke here grateful that society is finally getting to the point of recognizing that women have the civil right to be left alone. since then, still more bad deeds have been exposed and have led to consequences. the most prominent being the downfall of talk show host charlie rose. but as the press continues to uncover stories of disturbing, inappropriate and actual male behavior, i worry that the pendulum may be swinging too far. the story that gave me pause involved "the new york times" and msnbc contributor glenn thrush who was suspended by the
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"times" after ran a story of four young reporters accusing him of inappropriate advances. the vox headline is telling of the nature of the story. it reads exclusive, "the new york times" white house correspondent glenn thrush's history of bad judgment around young women journalists. have we reached a point where bad judgment is worthy of a professional death sentence? if you don't recognize thrush's byline, you might remember him as one of those depicted on "saturday night live" who was being berated by melissa mccarthy in the spicy sketches. >> we'll do a couple questions. go! glenn thrush, "the new york times," boo. go ahead. just by a show of hands who here hates glenn, right -- everybody, one, two, three -- infinity. >> now, according to the story, last june, thrush attended a going away party for a politico colleague and spent time with a 23-year-old reporter.
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he suggested they go for a walk outside. after they left the party. she said, mr. thrush kissed her and tried to hold her hand. vox ran a long text exchange from the women's friend who was checking up on her and criticizing thrush for his behavior. and thrush's responses to the friend are both apologetic and responsive. one excerpt, quote, it was a terrible fight. and i feel like a jerk. i really feel strongly about not creating a toxic environment. to the woman herself, thrush had texted the following morning nice meeting you and asa apologies. she responded congenially, nice meeting you too, and no worries, ha ha. and mr. thrush addressing this most recent episode as a life-changing event. he said, quote, the woman
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involved was upset by my actions. over the last several years i've responded to a succession of personal and health crisis by drinking heavily. i've not taken a drink since june 15, 2017 have resumed counseling and will soon begin outpatient treatment for alcoholism. i'm working hard to repair the damage i have done." the "times" is on high alert about any charges of its employees because it's been on the van guard of powerful men including harvey weinstein and louis c.k. i don't know what happened here. i have only vox's stories to go with. it sounds like he was boorish and hammered. she herself texted a friend that she was drunk. so is the conduct of a married man holding the hand of and trying to make a move on a
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younger women warn him of losing his job. this doesn't seem the equivalent of many others where men were forceful with women, some of them working in a subordinate capacity. let's check in on twitter and facebook comments. smerconish line is blurried by laws of attraction. women welcome the same boorish behavior when they're interested, #, i read that tweet without looking at your name was assuming when i read it that the gender was male. but the gender was actually female. i'm just saying we want to be careful that the pendulum -- look, bad behavior needs to be punished. and those who prey on women inappropriately in the workplace need to be fired. i just want to make sure that the pendulum doesn't swing so far that the due process of men need to be ignored. the trump administration is my focus next may not have had
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6:43 am help protect yourself from a stroke. talk to your doctor about xarelto®. there's more to know™. though, many have attacked the trump administration for its inability to about accomplishing its legislative agenda, that's decidedly not the case when it comes to transforming the federal judiciary. and it's proof that elections do have consequences. since taking office, president trump has nominated 59 people to federal judgeships. 145 more seats are open. 13 of trump's judicial nominees including justice neil gorsuch have been confirmed by the senate. at the same point in his presidency, president obama had
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just three judicial nominees confirmed including justice sonia sotomayor. senate republicans are trying to erase these nominees through the process including several unqualified by the american bar association. ron klain, the chief of staffses of vice president al gore, one in eight cases filed in federal court will be heard by a judge picked by president trump. many of these judges will likely still be serving in 2050. joining me now to discuss, jeffrey rosen. he is, of course, the president and ceo of the national constitutional center. he's a professor at george washington law school and a contributing editor at "the atlantic." >> jeffrey, this his lasting legacy? >> yes, the appointments of president trump will be his legacy, in addition to neil gore
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su gorespuch he appoints by nominating 60 judges at this point in his presidency at the time when obama had nominated only 20, he's also transforming the judiciary. and this is an ageing bench. almost 250 judges are eligible for senior status. that means they can retire. simply, we're going to see a lot more seats open and by conservative and able judges, president trump will change the ch shape of the judiciary. >> why does it matter? >> it matters on issues of network neutrality, which the administration is trying to appeal comcast and netflix and hulu. and most of the rights decided not in the supreme court but in lower courts. the supreme court decides only
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80 cases a year. lower courts decide up to 60,000. and we'll see a dramatic difference on trump and appeal let courts. and it will flip from democrat to republican. and as a result, americans' lives will be changed across a whole range of issues. >> how would you assess the quality of the nominees he's put forth? >> they've been strong, abled intellectual conservatives. many clerked for former justice antonin scalia. some are respected by liberals as well as conservatives, like my friend scholar bebos. and some have been rated by the american bar association about making inflammatory comments about roe v. wade being wrong. but broadly, i'd say they're able, smart and extremely
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conservative. and they're chosen for being young and conservative. and the administration feels they will transform the law. >> you say young and conservative. has he outsourced this is process to the white house society? >> the white house society has spoken and said i don't know about outsourcing. this is insourcing. the truth is the conservatives to their credit really care a lot about the federal courts. and through the federal society, they've left ott the same organization, the american answer constitution society, they identified a strong bench. and it's so interesting that president trump has published a supreme court list. he recentlile added five names to it. it's true that he's consulting with the federal society. but it's more a sign of the intel elect wall coherence of the republican commitment to transform the court rather than any nefarious scheme. >> okay. so, you've made the argument that as things stand, president trump will have an enormous
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impact on the composition of the federal bench. you know that there's talk out there of increasing the size of the federal judiciary. do you see that as a realistic process? >> it's a fascinating process. viewers should check out steven calabrese's outlook. he's proposing increasing the size of the bench from 30% to 50%, adding new judges on the grounds that the judiciary is overworked. the democrats say it's not overworked at all. chief justice saying he's got plenty of time. one part of the tax code actually including the increase the number of judges. it would be hotly contested. it might be challenged as being outside of the ordinary procedures. but the fact that it's on the table suggests that we could see a drama -- not since the court packing plan during the new deal have we seen such an ambitious proposal to really dramatically
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increase the size of the federal bench. and if republicans can get it through while they still hold congress, they may well try. >> and right, if they were to get it through you know who would fill those slots, president trump? >> it's really so important that you're doing this segment simply by filling the vacancies president trump will transform the judiciary and if president trump were to fill all of those seats, the meaning of the constitution will be transformed in a way we haven't seen from a shift from the 1930s from the old court to new. it's a huge significant proposal and it's important for americans to pay close attemntion to lowe court nominees. >> smerconish, regardless who appoints them, a judge's duty is
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to interpret the law entirely. those who don't should be removed. julio, you make it sound so simple, as if everything in that constitution is black and white. take it from this attorney, that's just not the case. back in a sec. you're a life of unpredictable symptoms. crohn's, you've tried to own us. but now it's our turn to take control with stelara® stelara® works differently for adults with moderately to severely active crohn's disease. studies showed relief and remission, with dosing every 8 weeks. stelara® may lower the ability of your immune system to fight infections and may increase your risk of infections and cancer. some serious infections require hospitalization. before treatment, get tested for tuberculosis. before or during treatment, always tell your doctor if you think you have an infection or have flu-like symptoms or sores, have had cancer, or develop any new skin growths, or if anyone in your house needs or recently had a vaccine. alert your doctor of new or worsening problems, including headaches, seizures, confusion, and vision problems. these may be signs of a rare, potentially fatal brain condition. some serious allergic reactions can occur. do not take stelara® if you are allergic
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hey, thanks for watching. remember to follow me on facebook and twitter. here's some of what's come in during the course of the program. hit me with it, katherine. smerconish, got news for you, michael. people vote with their pockets. polls do not mean anything. if the economy is booming in three years, trump wins re-election and you know it." richard, no, i think there's a
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disconnect in this country. carvo was right in '92 when he said it's the economy, stupid, but we can't even agree. we are so polarized, we can't even agree on the metrics anymore, and it becomes a subjective decision as to whether the economy is doing well. i'm all for consistency. obama deserves credit for bringing us out of that morass of 2008 and if the economy does well on president trump's watch, i'll say the same thing about him. hit me with another one. "glenn thrush should have his suspension reversed. stop dating people who you work with." maryann, i think you'll find most marriages today predicate on someone you met in the workplace or were going to school with. give me another one, if you would. "smerconish, where was due process when these women were sexually assaulted?" i didn't talk about harvey weinstein, did i?
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that was not the focus of my remarks. i wasn't saying, oh, poor harvey. i'm just trying to ensure that the pendulum doesn't swing so far because of the worst conduct of men that some that was in poor taste doesn't become a professional death sentence. that was my point about glen thrush, and all i know about the story is what i read at vox, but the headline itself told me that the story was a little bit thin. one more if we've got time. "we in the black community need to hold ourselves accountable for ours actions that can lead to incarcerations --" i just don't know, mr. o'reily whether meek mill should be the poster case for mass incarceration. i'll see you next week. and you've tried any number of laxatives, probiotics, and fiber, it could be wearing on you. tell your doctor what you've tried
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