tv Full Court Press Current December 18, 2012 3:00am-6:00am PST
table. >> eliot: the 2 trillion-dollar question, all of this will get done. it will be a $2.5 trillion debt reduction, not big money. is this going to alter the shape of our economy? >> i don't think it will. we'll prevent a recession from happening next year and we'll have larger tax reform next year but it's not a transformative deal. >> eliot: and it's not going to push up family income, ben white, for politico, thank you as always for stopping by. that's "viewpoint"t"t"t"t"t"t"t"t"t"t"t"t"t"t"t"t"t"t"t"t"t"t"t"t"t"t"t"t"t" [ ♪ theme ♪ ] >> bill: good mornings! here we go on the "full court
press." welcome to the program this morning. tuesday morning, december 18. good to see you today. we're coming to you live from our nation's capital where we're poised here, ready to bring you the news of the day and engage you in a good, serious debate over the issues of the day. you can join the debate any time by giving us a call at 1-866-55-press. we lost one united states senator yesterday. senator dan inouye from hawaii. we got a new united states senator, senator tim scott. he will be congressman now from south carolina. the first black in the united states senate and will be the only african-american in the united states senate. the first black from the south since 1901. that's the good news. bad news is he has every bit as tea party crazy as jim demint whose place he takes in the senate. we'll bring you more about that and a whole lot more but first here's the latest, today's current news update, lisa ferguson's got it out in
los angeles. hi lisa, good morning. >> hey bill. good morning everyone. president obama has another light day on his schedule today. just an afternoon meeting with defense secretary leon panetta. that's after a new fiscal cliff offer is now on the table showing he and speaker boehner could be closer to reaching a deal. the two met at the white house for about 45 minutes yesterday. last night president obama laid out a new compromise. a couple of details for you. the about the has dropped his revenue demands to $1.2 trillion over the next decade. that's down from his initial $1.6 trillion that he wanted. he's also offering another $1.2 trillion in spending cuts and $130 billion in savings but adjusting. inflation to social security. now one more very notable aspect president obama is now saying he's willing to extend those bush era tax cuts for all incomes less than $400,000 a year. that's, of course, up from the $250,000 we've been talking so
much about. speaker boehner's office is calling that a step in the right direction but he still thinks that it is an unbalanced proposal. one other group not happy with the deal is the progressive activist web site, moveon.org. they're angry with the proposed cuts to entitlements, especially social security. if it this plan does come to a vote, they say they expect all house and senate democrats to do everything in their power to block it. more bill press is coming up after the break. stay with us. how are you ever going to solve the problem if you don't look at all of the pieces? >>tv and radio talk show host stephanie miller rounds out current's morning news block. >>you're welcome current tv audience for the visual candy. >>sharp tongue, quick whit and above all, politically direct. >>you just think there is no low they won't go to.
>> bill: a lot of talk about gun control. will we see any action this time? good morning everybody. what do you say? good to see you today. it is tuesday december 18. this is the "full court press." we're coming to you live from washington, d.c. hope you're off to a good start wherever you happen to be in this great land of ours. obviously i'm not. and it is great to see you. invite you to join the conversation any time by giving us a call at 1-866-55-press. or sending us a little tweet message on twitter at bpshow. we're following you at bpshow. and on facebook. facebook.com/billpressshow here in our nation's capital. there is word that after president obama and speaker boehner met yesterday at the white house in the oval office
for some 45 minutes there is word that they're getting closer to a deal. i was out for dinner last night when i got a quick text from the white house saying president obama had agreed to up the limit on the tax cut from $250,000 to $400,000 meaning that under that plan every american taxpayer would have a lower tax rate, a tax cut on the first $400,000 of his or her income which is way way, way more than enough for 99% of americans. so maybe we're getting closer to a deal on the fiscal cliff and yesterday an impressive number of senators and members of congress known for their support of the second amendment known for being pro gun legislators came out and said it is time to take action to restrict the
availability and the access to guns particularly assault weapons, military weapons. so maybe we're making some progress on that front too. we've got a lot to talk about this morning. we'll get right into it with our team. team press here. peter ogborn's got the week off with his family. dan henning is here. >> good morning. >> bill: phil backert has the phones. cyprian bowlding never gets a day off. he's here with the video cam. >> there he is. >> bill: keeping us on the air. and on camera. we're coming to you of course on your local talk radio station on sirius x.m. this hour only and on current tv. so whether you're listening or watching, good to have you with us. yesterday, sadly the loss of the man who is the third in line was the third in line to the presidency of the united states. it goes from the president to
the speaker of the house to the president pro tem -- to the vice president then the speaker of the house then to the president pro tem of the united states senate senator dan inouye from hawaii yesterday passing away at the age of 88. a man who has had an incredible record. he's been in the united states congress since before hawaii was a state. he started representing hawaii in 1954. >> wow. >> bill: there is a whole generation -- several generations there. he has been in the united states senate since 1963. was the longest-serving senator after the death of robert byrd. he became the longest serving senator. i think he's the second longest serving in history. a real war hero. lost his right arm in combat in world war ii. was awarded the medal of honor by president clinton. and known for being very
steadfast, very, very good on the budget issues and a great champion of his home state of hawaii. it was commented over there that more than any other statement in the history of those islands more than kamehameha the great that hawaii was ruled by daniel inouye. he was known for having an incredibly powerful voice. here he is talking last year about pearl harbor. >> the bombing of pearl harbor 70 years ago began a period of my life when i became an adult. and i hope a good american. >> bill: resonant voice there. majority leader harry reid paying tribute to senator inouye on the floor yesterday. >> i've never known anyone like dan inouye. no one else has. the kindness that he has shown me for my time here in the senate has been something i will
cherish always. a man who has lived and breathed the senate. patriot, dan inouye was that patriot. >> bill: harry reid paying tribute to dan inouye. congressman january yarmuth made a -- john yarmuth made news yesterday. he says it is time to act on gun control. he will be joining us in studio later. reid wilson from politico from the hot line "national journal" will be along as well as tom perriello from the center of american progress and the question is president obama moving fast enough on gun control? but first... >> this is the "full court press." >> other headlines making news on this tuesday. you may find more mcdonald's restaurants open on christmas day this year but those workers
giving you your big mac and fries will not be getting a dime extra for working on the big holiday. raw story is reporting mcdonald's is encouraging franchisees to help with final year-end sales push but they will not pay employees overtime. they're only asking their workers to voluntary sign up for those shifts. >> bill: this is absolutely crazy! i mean i think it's bad enough that mcdonald's is open but i can understand a lot of people travel on christmas day right. quick stop. >> on the highway. >> bill: coffee or burger. but on christmas! jesus! at least pay the workers time and a half. >> absolutely. absolutely. >> bill: i don't care whether they volunteer or not. that's why you need a union! >> the top grossing musical act of the year is a surprise. billboard reports it was madonna's mdna tour that took in $228 million more than any other
artist this year on the road. bruce springsteen and the e3 band their big tour which everyone thought would be the top one earned second place $199 million gross. roger waters, cirque du soleil's michael jackson tour and coldplay rounded out the top five biggest tours. >> bill: madonna. >> she's somehow back and caused a lot of controversy on the road this year. some good is coming out of a tragedy in connect cut. in social media a hash tag called 26 act has gone viral encouraging people to do 26 acts of kindness as little as one a day in honor of the sandy hook victims. it can be as simple as buying coffee for the person in line behind you or helping a stranger carry the groceries. saying something nice to someone or anything else. just tweet or post it to facebook along with what you did and use the hash tag 26 acts. >> bill: i've heard a lot about that. it is a wonderful wonderful thing. random acts of kindness. >> absolutely. >> bill: speaking of newtown
we have seen, of course, as we started this conversation yesterday, we've seen far far far too many of tragedies but this one really seems to be the game changer. the game changer because again these are kids, these were first graders, these were 6 and 7-year-olds. and the idea that this gun violence this gun rampage has reached that far into a first grade classroom into an elementary school has shocked us all beyond belief. so yesterday, more and more voices coming out saying we have to do something about gun violence in america. but this wild west culture of ours. you had the voices that have always been there on this issue senator dianne feinstein and senator chuck schumer and good for them they've been steadfast on this issue. but you also had what was news was new voices being heard. voices who are known as being totally nra supporters and total
second amendment supporters and pro gun senators. starting with senator joe manchin from west virginia. conservative democrat. probably got 100% rating from the nra. told cnbc yesterday nobody needs these assault weapons. >> i've been hunting with anyone with an assault weapon. i've never been hunting with anyone with multiple clips with 10 20, 30 rounds in it. in deer hunting, we have three shells in our gun and that's the sport of what we do. and i just think that when you have chuck schumer my friend chuck schumer basically saying we should look at the larger clips, those are something we should be talking about. >> bill: absolutely. should be talking about it. senator mark warner from virginia also got elected because he was a strong supporter of gun rights in the commonwealth of virginia. said yesterday enough is enough. now's the time. >> i had an nra rating of an a.
but you know, enough is enough. i've got -- i'm father of three daughters. this weekend, they all said dad you know, how can this go on? and i like i think most of us, realize that there are ways to get to rational gun control. >> bill: senator harry reid yesterday, another one who stepped up to the plate and so did congressman john yarmuth from kentucky who will be along in studio with us just a little bit later. saying again i've always supported the nra but the nra is wrong on this one and we have to move. that is really good news. and these members have come out with some specific proposals. senator dianne feinstein saying she's going to reintroduce the ban on assault weapons which expired in 2004. we heard from the brady campaign yesterday here on our show about the importance of background checks at every gun sale. congressman chris van hollen put that on the table as well
yesterday here on our program in studio. and senator feinstein and chuck schumer saying also they want to do something about the high capacity clips or magazines that are usually associated with all of these mass murders. self of which were in the possession of the killer in newtown, connecticut, on friday. and the other person who's really been out there in front with very specific suggestions and demands for action is michael bloomberg. scott pelley, host of cbs news last night interviewed michael bloomberg and he dared ask him the question so, you're mayor of new york, why do you care about this stuff? >> why is the murder rate around the country? i'm an american. what's your question? >> why is this mike bloomberg's crusade? >> i live in america! and i'm a human being. i don't know what your religion teaches you. mine teaches you to take care of each other. in america read the constitution. we're all equal and we're all americans. >> bill: bloomberg says
basicically, get out of here asking me a question like that. he points out, you know, he has been very critical of president obama saying look, it is up to the president to lead on this with a specific proposal so that he will put forward and fight for. he promised to do that in tucson. >> the president spoke out on gun violence after the mass shooting in tucson two years ago. since those shootings happened, more than 24,100 americans have been murdered with guns. >> bill: and we've done nothing about it which gets to the question -- that's the question. is the president showing enough leadership on this issue? 1-866-55-press. i have to tell you, i don't think so. i was so frustrated as were most of us reporters at the white house yesterday at the briefing yesterday where we asked specific after specific after specific. what about the assault weapons ban? what's the president going to do? jay carney. well, we can't tell you. what about the background checks for guns? what's the president going to --
>> we can't tell you. >> bill: does he support the assault weapons ban? what's he going to do about it? we can't tell you. does he support a ban on the high capacity magazines in we can't tell you. does he support a background check on every purchase of a sale or purchase of a gun. well we can't tell you. here's instead we get sort of this from jay carney. >> no single piece of legislation, no single action will fully address the problem. >> bill: well, that's true. that's just words. that's just mealy mouth. they say this is such a complicated issue. it is. it is multidimensional. it is. it is not just guns. you have to think about what we're doing about mental health about school safety, about violent video games. yes, we do. right? no single action is going to solve the whole question of evil and gun violence in our society. that's true.
but that's not an excuse! for not acting. that's not an excuse for being specific. i don't know about you. let's get into it. 1-866-55-press. i want to hear specific proposals from the president of the united states to follow up on what he said sunday night in newtown. i know it is only tuesday but damn it, the longer we wait, pretty soon we'll be in christmas holidays and new year and fiscal cliff and people are going to forget about it again and there will be another mass murder and nothing will be done. now is the time for specific measures and what gun control measures the president will support. 1-866-55-press. let's get into it. >> announcer: this is the "full court press." the "bill press show" live on your radio and on current tv. who watch our show to be able to come away armed with facts and the arguments to feel confident
you know who's coming on to me now? you know the kind of guys who do like verse mortgage commercials? those types are coming on to me all the time now. >> she gets the comedians laughing... >> that's hilarious! >> ...and the thinkers thinking. >> okay, so there's wiggle-room in the ten commandments is what you're telling me. >> you would rather deal with ahmadinejad then me. >> absolutely! >> and so would mitt romeny. >> she's joy behar. >> and the best part is that current will let me say anything. what the hell were they thinking? >> only on current tv.
>> announcer: heard around the country and seen on current tv >> announcer: heard around the country and seen on current tv this is the "bill press show." >> bill: all right. tuesday morning 25 minutes after the hour now. as we mentioned lot of talk about specifics on gun control except from the white house. why not. come on. this is not a new issue. we've been through too many of these mass murders. we've been talking about gun control for too long. 1994, they passed a ban on assault weapons. dianne feinstein has the legislation ready. everybody is talking about this except fox news. both "huffington post" and politico are reporting this morning that fox news employees were told not to discuss gun control on the air because god forbid, the fox news would ever
offend the leadership of the nra. on the subject davey lee from chicago, good morning. >> caller: good morning, bill. >> bill: what do you think? >> caller: i love listening to your show, watching your show in the morning. >> bill: thank you. >> caller: i'm a former hunter. i lived in wisconsin northern wisconsin for about 16 years. i had -- even owned a restaurant. nightclub up there. >> bill: all right. good for you. >> caller: we would go hunting and the hunting parties, i was in several of them but we all used both action rifles. we always believed if you couldn't take your target down with one shot, don't take the shot. there was no reason -- we even looked down on people who used semi-automatics. and i don't like semi-automatics because it is too easy to turn those into fully automatics. >> bill: absolutely. >> caller: there's no reason to be taking an ak-47 an sk-f or an ar-15 out into the field. those are not hunting rifles.
>> bill: i don't think hunters do. manchin made that point. i used to go duck hunting. >> caller: i can see a semishotgun. you know. or double barreled shotgun but still they're shooting one shot at a time. >> bill: you're right. the idea, the argument that we have the second amendment rights and people have to be able to enjoy hunting or target shooting yeah, indeed. but that is not saying we need assault weapons for hunting deer. you would shred them before you could eat them. ike down in charleston south carolina. what do you say? >> caller: hey, brother, i'm going to try to pack a bunch in here. the problem is nothing more than a creative opportunity to find a solution so it should be looked at as that. there are solutions and i'll tell you right now what i see here is okay, i'll go ahead and grant you your second amendment right. but by god i'm going to control the ammunition. one other thing too not only
am i going to control your ammunition but know how many rounds you've got and all of the weapon related costs that's involved in this, we're going to charge you enough to where we've got extra money set aside for the damage these nuts are doing with these guns. >> bill: ike, you made a lot of excellent points in very few seconds, man. i congratulate you. you're absolutely right. good to hear from you. the conversation continues on the "full court press." >> announcer: this is the "bill press show." and i'm just blanking a little bit. i think his phrase for it was feed the beast i think the number one thing that viewers like about the young turks is that we're honest. they know that i'm not bs'ing them with some hidden agenda, actually supporting one party or the other. when the democrats are wrong, they know that i'm going to be the first one to call them out. they can question whether i'm right, but i think that the audience gets that this guy, to the best of his ability, is trying to look out for us.
33 minutes after the hour. very good morning to you. thank you for joining us here on the "full court press." coming to you live from our nation's capital. our studio here on capitol hill. brought to you today by the american federation of teachers, good men and women of the aft under president randi weingarten. making a difference every day in the classrooms of america. you bet. you can find out more about their good work by going to their web site, aft.org. aft.org. and we're talking about this whole gun control debate. and whether president obama is being specific enough, why won't he put out the proposals? he knows what the measures are. he knows about the assault weapons ban. the demand for a background check on every sale of every gun. why won't he come forth and say what he would support. 1-866-55-press. that's our question of the morning so far. back to your calls in just a second. but first you looking for some
extra money at the end of each month? incomeathome.com. yep. they can help you make ends meet. they're america's leading work from home business. this is something you can do no matter your age education or experience. as i told you before, you can earn money on your own computer from your own kitchen table 24/7. imagine that. get a little free time on your hands, get the training from incomeathome.com. you're in business at home. if you're sick of living paycheck to paycheck, worried about job security or retirement if your goal has been to earn some extra money from home part-time or full time, here it is. incomeathome.com. they're even giving away $1,000 to somebody just for checking them out. that somebody could be lucky you. visit incomeathome.com. that's incomeathome.com. by the way just to show you there are still a lot of sickos out there mike huckabee coming out and saying the reason we had this tragedy in newtown
connecticut is because we took prayer out of schools. that's it. if those kids had only said the hail mary or our father that morning, nothing would have happened to them. it is so wrong so sick, so pushing his own right-wing christian agenda. he's not as bad as james dobson. had a focus on the family. james dob beson says these kids were killed because god is punishing america for moving in the direction of accepting same-sex marriage. that's it. that's gay marriage. that's why those 20 little kids were killed. why we buried two of them yesterday. people are just so bad! so wrong! so evil. on the right side, arnold, our roving ambassador out there on the highways of america calling from kingman arizona. arnold i didn't know you went that far west. >> caller: oh, yeah. you gotta go farther. know what i mean.
how do youing this morning bill? >> bill: i'm doing good. i want the president to step up to the plate here, arnold. >> caller: i think he's heading the right direction. he's not there yet as far as i'm concerned. what he said at the memorial. these kids, only thing they did wrong was in the wrong place at the wrong time. that's crazy talk. to me, we have to start -- they were in the first and second grade turn classroom. come on, they were in the right place doing what they had to do. this guy walked in there and murdered them all. i'm just saying we have to get it straight just like going to the bar get drunk get in your car and go home. mothers against drunk drivers came out and thy started a -- and they started a movement. and it snowballed. >> bill: excellent point. they changed this country right, with their outrage and their demand for action and for specific action, right?
that's what we need right now. >> that's right. if you're going to have a gun get it registered. when you shoot me, your gun go off and a bullet hit me, i want to be able to shoot your ass. that's what i'm saying. you want to be a gun owner. they say to us, responsibility. >> bill: take some personal responsibility. all right. arnold. you're on it this morning. absolutely. couldn't agree more. again, leadership's gotta come from the top. i think here. what are we waiting for? what's the president waiting for? tierre calling from calabasas california. >> caller: long time listener. first time calling. i hear something that you guys talk about over there all the time. and basically i'm african-american. >> bill: mm-hmm. >> caller: i often hear you guys speak on -- it sounds like -- i
don't know if anybody is black over there because i'm just listening but it doesn't sound like you have anybody black. that's not true. cyprian, you want to come in here a minute. >> caller: somebody in there needs to mention it to you guys that this man president obama is in a very difficult place just being who he is. and -- >> bill: he's president of the united states. >> caller: yes, he is. he's the first african-american president. a president who you know, within the first eight months, eight or nine months of his presidency had people out in the streets with semi-automatic weapons on their shoulders wearing shirts about liberty don't tread on me, making threats, the whole healthcare debate have people yelling in the streets at town hall meetings, i feel like the republican party and the healthcare industry themselves purposely ratcheted up an atmosphere of hate. >> bill: what's your point? that therefore he can't do anything about gun control? >> caller: that people are
asking this guy to do two things that he can't really do. >> bill: like what? >> caller: legalize marijuana. i hear you guys whining about that every day. this is the first black president. he can't be the one to legalize drugs. i wish you guys would understand that. you know all of the stereotypes -- >> bill: the first one were the people of washington state and the people of colorado state. >> caller: okay but -- >> bill: they did it themselves. the president didn't do it. he doesn't support the legalization of drugs. >> caller: right. but can he? do you think it would be a really good idea historically when it all goes down and the history books are told -- >> bill: i expect leadership from him. he's an african-american, yes but that's not an excuse for not taking leadership on some important issues so what's the second thing? the guns? >> caller: he can't go after guns. come on. we're lucky. if you went back to 2004 and somebody asked bill press in 2004 do you think we'll ever have a black president i doubt if you would say yes.
>> bill: i would have said yes but i thought which would have a female president before an african-american president. let me tell you tierre, the argument that i hear from you is me making the argument that you tierre, because you're an african-american man you can't be the president of your company or you can't be a successful businessman or insurance agent or movie star or whatever because you're african-american. yes, you can. you can do everything i can do. it doesn't matter the color of your skin. same thing with president obama. he's our president. i think people look at him as a president, not as african-american. there are no limits on what president obama can do if he's got the courage to do it. that's what we want from a president. i think to say these areas that -- an african-american, like any politician because you're african-american, these are things they can never touch. these are issues they can never have anything to deal with.
whoa. do i want to go there? that's close to racist, i guess i want to say. close to it certainly. don't put limits on anybody because of the color of their skin. tierre, listen to me. david is calling from ft. benning, georgia. >> caller: hey bill. the very, very issue that's very close to my heart. the whole gun control issue because i don't believe that just because somebody abuses their second amendment right that somebody then has a right to step in and restrict mine. i heard you make reference earlier and some of the callers make reference to the second amendment and hunting. hunting for deer and hunting for animals. the second amendment has absolutely nothing to do with hunting. it has to do with the people being able to defend themselves. >> bill: okay. but why do you need an assault weapon and why shouldn't guns be registered and why shouldn't
there be a background check so you don't have nuts and criminals or mentally ill people buying guns? >> every time i bought a firearm, bill, i've done a background check. >> bill: guess what? you're not buying them at gun shows. 40% of guns, david 40% of gun sales have no background check at all. why is that acceptable? >> caller: i'm not sure that that is acceptable. >> bill: that's one of the things people are asking for. see what i'm saying? you just say any proposal infringes on my second amendment rights. that's not true. that is not true. i think you as a gun owner ought to start taking a more sensible approach to this. and take a look at the proposals and say how does this interfere with my constitutional rights? >> caller: i think -- calling for gun registration and calling for bans on certain types of firearms i think is an unreasonable restriction. >> bill: you're dead ass wrong
and there are 20 kids in newtown, connecticut, who are not alive today because of people like you and politicians who cater to people like you. david, use your brain. you're dead wrong. we'll come back and talk about the fiscal cliff too. >> announcer: this is the "bill press show." from financial regulation, fraud on wall street. things everyday exploding around the world that leave no shortage for exciting conversations. at the end of the show, you know what has happened, why its happened and more importantly, what's going to happen tomorrow.
audience for the visual candy. >>sharp tongue, quick whit and above all, politically direct. >>you just think there is no low they won't go to. oh, no. if al gore's watching today... >> announcer: radio meets television. the "bill press show." now on current tv. >> announcer: this is the "full court press." the "bill press show." live on your radio and on current tv. >> bill: all right. here we go.
pardon me, 13 minutes before the top of the hour on this tuesday morning. december 18. we've been talking a lot about guns and looking for some leadership from the white house on specific proposals. but there's also a lot of news on the fiscal cliff front with the president last night making a big concession to john boehner. we wanted to check in and find out what that's all about. long before i came to washington, every day in california, i was reading the hot line. now with the "national journal," the hotline the best source of information of what's happening in our capitol. reid wilson joining us on our news line this morning. >> hey, bill how you doing? >> bill: good. where's the president now with his -- what the latest move -- can you explain to us? >> effectively the two sides are negotiating over two separate things. on one side, the revenue that is the tax rates and what kind of rates will be going up.
the other side is the entitlement of spending cuts which includes some entitlement movement. john boehner has actually offered to allow tax rates to rise for incomes over $1 million. of course, president obama wants incomes to rise for over $250,000. they're probably going to meet somewhere in the latest. the latest obama offer is now allowing rates to rise for incomes over $400,000 so we're moving toward a middle here. on the -- >> bill: can i just stop you right there. >> sure. >> bill: so the question though is the higher you move that up, the less revenue you get. >> of course. >> bill: so at $400,000, are we still close to the amount of revenue needed? >> yeah. they're still talking about the final compromise, the amount of revenue will come out to be somewhere around $1 trillion over the next ten years. which is slightly lower than what the president had asked for but then again significantly higher than the republican opening bid.
>> bill: president said -- >> 1.6 and they started coming down to 1.4. and i would expect the final number to be about $1.2 trillion. >> bill: on the spending cuts? >> on the spending cuts, it looks like democrats -- president obama at least have agreed to significant number of cuts that come through some combination of sort of broader spending cuts plus a change in the chained cpi. that is the -- number of -- formula the government uses to determine how social security payments come out in terms of cost of living adjustments. they're going with a sort of a stingier version of the cpi than we use currently which means the social security payments will rise at a slower rate. now, this is something that's causing a lot of dems up on capitol hill to get a little anxious. >> bill: i was just going to
say, i thought the president and harry reid and others and nancy pelosi and others have said social security is not on the table. >> remember though that this is something that president obama hinted at in the negotiations over the big deal on the debt ceiling right before those talks collapsed last year. so this is not terribly new for the white house but it is something that -- this is sort of the part where his own base gets a little nervous so that he -- shows a little leg if you will to john boehner. >> bill: i also saw or read this morning, i was surprised to see that part of this deal, this counter on the part of the president is he will drop the extension of the payroll tax cut. >> yeah. two other elements here are the payroll tax cut and the -- oh god, infrastructure spending. president obama wants another $80 billion in infrastructure spending. those are the two stick points right now. the white house seems like it might move on the payroll tax cut.
and allow those rates to go back to what they were before the stimulus bill. and then that sort of just leaves that $80 billion in infrastructure spending that of course is something that is really going to stick in the craw of house republicans if that ends up in the final bill. then again president obama has won most of the fights he's fighting this time. >> bill: read wilson is -- reid wilson is editor in chief for the "national journal" hot line hot line.com. the president asked several members of his cabinet to come up with some ideas on stemming gun violence in this country. there seems to be some hesitation on the part of the white house however as you know, i was at the briefing yesterday, to be -- to endorse any specific proposal or recommend any specific action. why? >> yeah, president obama has never been really out-front on gun control. remember even in the campaign,
the only time he would ever bring up gun control would be when he was -- when he was asked. forced into it. and then he would start his answer as he did at the second debate with a defense of the second amendment. and then go talk about we need to have this conversation on violence et cetera et cetera. so it's -- we haven't seen a lot of movement from the white house. we haven't seen a lot of sort of specificity if you will. i think that's a reflection of the old way of politics. where gun control was a third rail. a lot of veterans of the clinton administration still blame the national rifle association for costing them control of congress back in 1994 but here he is, the second time in less than a year where we've seen the president's base get a little bit ahead of him. remember earlier this year, he was pretty clear that the democratic national convention was going to adopt a pro gay marriage platform. joe biden said he was okay with gay marriage. sort of forced obama into taking that step.
you know, i think we could see the same thing on guns. i think we could see the president's own base force him into taking that slightly more liberal stand. >> bill: interesting. there go the people -- i must follow them because i'm their leader. >> that's exactly what i had in mind. >> bill: that's what ghandi said. hey, reid, thank you so much. reid wilson, editor in chief of hot line with the "national journal." nationaljournal.com. >> announcer: this is the "bill press show."
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e-mails on any topic at any time. this is the "bill press show." live on your radio and current tv. >> bill: all right. on the issue of guns, glen makes a good point. he says hey bill, please discontinue using the phrases nra anymore on your show. the correct term is gun manufacturers lobby. nra is not what this is. it is nothing but a business lobby of gun manufacturers who make things that kill our children. excellent point. that's who the nra represents today. they don't represent gun owners or hunters in this country, they represent the big gun manufacturers. excellent point glen. dan, you've been following -- >> we're on twitter and facebook. facebook.com/billpressshow and on twitter at bpshow. we're talking about what -- the president not taking action until now. gayle says one can only fight so many battles at a time.
this one was not feasible until now. it wasn't as if the president didn't have a lot of issues on his plate. cut him some slack. >> bill: it has been two years since tucson. fourth time when he said it in newtown, connecticut. out as the mourner in chief. my point is we know what's causing this violence. we know what's got to be done so let's just get busy and do it. >> announcer: this is the "bill press show." mmmm. [ female announcer ] make new traditions with pillsbury grands! cinnamon rolls. ♪ ♪ [ female announcer ] holiday cookies are a big job. everything has to be just right. perfection is in the details. ♪ ♪ get to holiday fun faster with pillsbury cookie dough.
on this tuesday tuesday morning, december 18. good to see you today. we're coming to you live on your local progressive talk radio station and on current tv from our nation's capital and our studio on capitol hill where it looks like there might be a little movement between the two parties, a little movement toward a resolution of the fiscal cliff. meanwhile, on gun control several pro gun democratic senators led by joe manchin of west virginia, mark warner of virginia coming out yesterday saying now is the time to do something about gun violence, particularly to renew the ban on assault weapons. republican senators however remain silent. unfortunately so does the white house. the president still refusing to put forward any list of gun control measures he would support. why not? enough talk. now's the time for action. we'll talk more about that here on the "full court press" today. first, take a little time out to get the latest, today's current news update, lisa ferguson standing by in los angeles.
lisa, good morning. >> hi, bill. good morning everyone. hawaii and the nation are mourning the loss of a leader after the passing of senator daniel inouye. the 88-year-old died of complications from a respiratory illness after representing ha hawaii in congress since the beginning of its statehood more than 50 years ago. neil abercrombie gave a heartfelt speech to the press yesterday. >> this child of hawaii has left us with a legacy i suspect we will never see again. >> inouye sent the governor a personal letter before his death requesting that congresswoman colleen replace him. hanabusa spent more than a decade in the hawaii senate as was elected to the house in 2010. they will provide three candidates but of course hanabusa is the favorite. if chosen, she'll serve until
2014 when a special election will decide who will finish out the last two years of inouye's term. next year's congress will be tackling transportation with everything from funding fights to infrastructure reforms. lawmakers have to deal with a water resources bill, rail issues and another attempt to privatize amtrak. and the president will soon name his new cabinet pick but at least one position is staying the same. james clapper has announced he will stay on as director of national intelligence. more bill press up after the break. stay with us. "talking points" that about "the heavy hand of government". i want to have that conversation. let's talk about it. really. really! that you're gonna lay people off because now the government's going to help you fund your health care. really? i wanna be able to have those conversations. not just to be confrontational, but to understand what the other side is saying. and you know, i'd like to arm our viewers with the ability to argue with their
gun control. this time, will we see any action? good morning, everybody. great to see you today. thank you so much for joining us. this is the "full court press." we're coming to you live coast-to-coast from our studio right here on capitol hill in washington, d.c. bringing you all of the latest news of the day. and giving. >> chance to jump into the conversation with both feet. you can do so any way you can. give us a call at 1-866-55-press. that's our toll free number or you can follow us on twitter. i would love to hear from you at bpshow. on facebook, facebook.com/billpressshow. and we've got this big chat room national chat room going on every morning if you go to current tv and click on the chat room you're in with your fellow "full court pressers" across the land. you guys can debate the issues online while we're talking about them on air. the wonderful world of talk radio and talk radio news, we are all part of a big family. part of a big network.
and one of our colleagues joins us in studio this morning. she's actually the bureau chief for talk radio news. i see her at the white house as well. ellen ratner. >> thank you. good to be here. >> bill: ellen is also a head of a project of her own. she does wonderful work around the world. goats for the old goat. you're the old goat? >> i started it for my 60th birthday. that was a year and a half ago. >> bill: i wasn't going to ask you. >> born in 1951. >> bill: proud of it. >> i'm proud of it. >> bill: we'll find out what goats for the old goat is about and how you can help out as well. and you gotta say, these are good times to be in talk radio aren't they? >> it is a wonderful time to be in talk radio. we have been at the forefront as talk radio people of every issue from guns to violence to our financial situation with the fiscal cliff, you ask a talk radio host like you, bill press
and everybody like you and particularly you are so on the edge of all of this. >> bill: yeah. and tom hartman our good friend here in washington d.c. ed schultz, stephanie miller, i hate to start naming some names because i'll forget others i ought to name but you're right. we're out there every day. your talk radio news every day. shows all around the country. >> way too long. >> bill: bringing the issues out and talking about the issues even before they come to the forefront. >> what we used to say and we still say michael harrison and i from -- it is talkers.org we say that talk radio is the bellwether of issues. some people call them front porch, back fence or hey martha issues or water cooler issues. we hear what's going on and you know, it is often i hear something on talk radio. i'll hear you talk about it or tom or stephanie or one of those people talk about something and
then lo and behold, the press will pick it up a day later. but we're there first! >> bill: absolutely. we got the whole team -- well, not the whole team. peter ogborn has the week off. off with his family already celebrating the holidays. dan henning flying the 747 this morning. >> good morning. >> bill: phil backert on the phones. cyprian boiling our videographer keeping us on the cameras as well. we're on your local talk radio station and current tv. late night comics, jay leno still plugging away there. last night, he was keeping his eye on what's happening here in washington and the talks about the fiscal cliff. >> what's being called a stunning literary find, a danish historian has discovered the last remaining unpublished fairy tale of hans christian anderson, it is called congress solves the fiscal cliff. it is considered the biggest fairy tale ever told! [ applause ] >> bill: they might have
gotten a little closer. ellen ratner is going to tell us about goats for the old goat. peter fenn will be joining us as a "friend of bill" and then congressman john yarmuth who made a lot of news yesterday saying he's a pro gun democrat from kentucky and he thinks it is time to forget about the nra and do what's right on gun control. he'll tell us all about it, too. but first... >> this is the "full court press." >> on this tuesday other headlines making news, former italian prime minister sylvio berlusconi, he was forced to resign last year. he's got a new girlfriend. nbc reports he's dating an italian politician that is 49 years younger than he is. he's 76 and francesca is 27. now despite facing a trial for underaged prostitution charges berlusconi is also trying to return to power. he is running for a fourth term as prime minister. >> bill: how much older is he? >> 49 years older than she is. he's 76.
she's 27. >> bill: viagra is a wonderful drug. >> another documentary about former president bill clinton is set to be produced to air on hbo. it has a major hollywood name behind it. deadline reporting martin scorsese will produce the project that will explore clinton's perspectives on history, politics, culture and the world. it is reportedly being made with the former president's full cooperation. look for it next year. >> bill: i don't know if he's putting any money into it. >> quite possible. and the world's oldest person, dina of iowa, sadly only held that title for two weeks. abc reports she passed away at the age of 115 yesterday. born april of april 1897. had four kids. guinness book of world records says it is a man from japan said to be the oldest person in the world. 15 days younger than dina was. >> bill: there you go, ellen ratner. you got a long way to go. >> oh, please.
you know something senator inouye died yesterday. and his last words were reportedly aloha. >> bill: what a great guy. a real american patriot. >> amazing. >> bill: medal of honor winner too. tell us about goats for the old goat is to do what where? >> first of all how do we get there? we took a trip through talker's magazine in march of 2008. so it will be almost five years ago. we took two talk show hosts. we took rusty humphries and tom hartman and joe madison who had been there before me actually and they're very involved. and we, of course, invite you to come. sleep in a tent, no running water, no electricity, we would love to have you. >> bill: i wonder why i couldn't make that trip. >> i go every 12 weeks. i got bitten by the sudan bug. i was very moved by the fact that these people were in
slavery, they were taken as war booty during the 22 year war. 2.5 million people were killed. mainly southerners. and the south is christian the north is arab. and where we operate is right along that border. and so i got very interested and so the group i work with, it is a group called christian solidarity international. they actually have been retrieving and getting slaves back for 18 years and no, they don't get reslaved because there's now a peace agreement et cetera. and so they bring the people back from the north to the -- there is an agreement between the arabs want to be able to graze their cows in the south during the dry season. and the locals want their people back. so they have these arab peace committees. everybody asks do you pay for the slaves? actually they're quote-unquote prices are set to get the people back at 50 nov idium tablets
which is a cow vaccine. we give them some cow vaccine and we get our people back. >> bill: wow. how many people are we talking about? they're being held as slaves? >> about 250,000 people taken in slavery by the north's own calculations, there are about 35,000 people left there. i became -- i got very interested in this. so i realized a lot of our people ate every other day. they came back to their home villages not having anything. we give them goats. the other thing is you're seeing me wear these lovely necklace, women who have seen somebody killed in front of them. i used to be in mental health. we run a post-traumatic stress disorder group. the women make the hearts. i bring them back. >> bill: this is all part of the same program. >> all parts of goat for the old goat which i started for my 60th birthday. we would love to have you. >> bill: the idea is to raise funds to provide goats for these
people. >> as opposed to other groups that shall remain nameless that give animals we're the only group that gives people a photo of their goat with their name. so if you say bill press gives a goat for $60, he will get a sign. if bill press decides to give a goat for his wife, it will say his wife's name. so whatever your name and i take the photos and why do i go back every 12 weeks? honestly, it is not that i don't like africa and these people aren't wonderful people who work for us but there is a lot of corruption in of africa and we've seen very nice reputable groups -- there is a clinic in our area that shall remain nameless also. all of the nice american people give all of the money for the clinic but guess what. the locals sell the medicine. so i don't know that if i said to our local people, oh, you know, take a picture of people with the goats and here's the name, that they're not going to give them a goat. give them a few pounds, take
their picture and take the goat back. i give them the goat. i take the photo. >> bill: real goats. >> real goats. the women who make these hearts also we give them groups of goats, they raise the goats then we give these goats these young she goats, they're female goats to people coming back from the north. we also have this -- what's called sack of home survivor kit. >> bill: and this is -- your tote bag. a goat tote bag. i just wanted to get that. cyprian can get a shot of that. so the families who use the goats for milk, i guess. >> they use them for milk. >> bill: they eventually slaughter them. >> i don't like to think about that. i don't eat meat. >> bill: i do. one of my favorite traditions is goat burgers. >> oh! >> bill: goat burgers. all right, forget about it. you don't have to know about that. let's say -- i want our listeners, our viewers -- >> you can give a partial goat.
somebody was listening to tom's show. >> bill: how much are we talking about? >> $60. >> bill: for a whole goat? >> that's because -- >> bill: i'm surprised. >> between now and christmas if you donate a goat, we have and an anonymous donor that will give money to both sandies. hurricane sandy and also the families who may need financial help with burial from sandy hook they are giving a significant gift to both and we'll put the amount on the web site. transparency. i'm into transparency. >> bill: you're founder for goats for the old goat. but if people want to help and we have a very generous group of listeners and viewers as they've demonstrated on many many occasions. how do people help? i want to give you a goat. gaw to goats for the old goat.com. goats for the old goat and you go to shop or donate and there it is. we also have t-shirts, we have
these goat totes beautiful hearts but if you want to give a goat it is all on the same site goatsfortheoldgoat.com. >> bill: you started this a year and a half ago. >> i started it for my 60th birthday. i woke up one morning and i said i'm an old goat. >> bill: how many goats have you -- >> we've sold about 3,000 goats so far. >> bill: whoa! >> yeah. so i'm so excited about it. you know, i have to say i'm a little crazy. i kiss each goat before i give it away. i'm a little nuts. >> bill: all right. do i have to kiss -- if i give you a goat, do i have to kiss it? >> no. but we do want you to come to south sudan. >> bill: 3,000 goats so far. i think we can match that right here on the "full court press"! so let's try it. and if you've got a question for ellen, give us a call at 1-866-55-press. and we promise not to call you an old goat. if you call.
only ellen calls herself an old goat. we can talk talk radio. get your take on some of the issues. it is your job. when we come back here on the "full court press" this tuesday morning. december 18. stay with us. >> announcer: this is the "full court press." the "bill press show." live on your radio and on current tv. >> that's hilarious! >> ...and the thinkers thinking. >> okay, so there's wiggle-room in the ten commandments is what you're telling me. >> she's joy behar. ... and current will let me say anything. >> only on current tv.
bs'ing them with some hidden agenda, actually supporting one party or the other. when the democrats are wrong, they know that i'm going to be the first one to call them out. they can question whether i'm right, but i think that the audience gets that this guy, to the best of his ability, is trying to look out for us. [ ♪ theme ♪ ] >> announcer: this is the "bill press show." live on your radio and current >> bill: it is 24 minutes after the hour. tom perriello is head of the
action fund at the center for american progress. former member of congress from virginia. some were hoping he would run for governor of virginia. decided not to. which is okay because our friend terry mcauliffe will now be the next governor of virginia. still a win. tom perriello will be in studio with us in the next segment. here we're visiting now with ellen ratner who is head of talk radio news. a service that provides news cut-ins for talk radio hosts all around the country. and also she's the founder of goats for the old goat. that's what we've been talking about this morning. you can join. this is a great thing you can do and provide a goat for some of the poor people in south sudan and it is $60. >> you get your photo with your goat which i personally take when i go there every 12 weeks. >> bill: if you go to the web site, goats for the old goat. dan, you've got it up on your computer. you can see these are villagers with -- >> they're returning slaves.
you can name your goat. you can specify who it's for. i take the little pieces of white paper over. we do the whole thing. it is a very hands on operation. >> bill: there's the person who provided this particular goat. this is john cheng. >> you know the recipient. you get a picture of the goat. you know where the goat goes. >> bill: you go to goats for the old goat. you said you don't have to buy -- it is $60 that gives a person a goat. if you want to buy an arm or a leg -- half a goat? >> somebody was listening to tom's show, sent me $2.99. they were basically obviously on a very fixed income. we gave them the t-shirts, the bags, the whole deal. i was so impressed that that person did that. >> bill: someone could do like $10, $20 or $30 if they couldn't
do the whole $60. you have pay pal on the site. >> we have pay pal. if a larger donor would like to come with us, they have to pay their expenses, we'll take them when we go every 12 weeks. >> bill: i have to ask you about the big issue of the day in the wake of this horrific shooting. in newtown connecticut. mayor bloomberg you're -- you live in new york. >> i live -- and now i'm a new york resident. i got married in massachusetts and as soon as d.c. -- as soon as new york passed gay marriage, i got married there. my marriage works there. >> bill: okay. mayor bloomberg i guess has been really out in front for a long time on the gun control issue. he did an interview with scott pelley last night. he asked him the question why do you care about this issue. listen to mayor bloomberg. >> why is the murder rate around the country? i'm an american. what's your question? >> why is this mike bloomberg's crusade? >> i live in america. and i'm a human being. aren't we supposed -- i don't know what your religion teaches
you. mine teaches you to take care of each other. in america read the constitution. we're all equal and we're all americans. >> bill: as michael harrison pointed out yesterday on talk radio or -- news site is. >> talkers.com. >> bill: sorry. this is the issue that's dominating talk radio today. >> that's right. >> bill: are we going to see any action? >> i have no idea whether congress has the guts to do what needs to be done. i actually just wrote a piece yesterday -- >> bill: does the president? >> he was asked at the white house -- you were there yesterday, what have you done about assault weapons ban? and, as you know, the press secretary couldn't answer it. >> bill: the answer is nothing. he supports it. he supports extending it. >> but he's done zilch. >> bill: i've asked that question before newtown. they're very clear the president supports -- yes but the question is what have you done? >> use your bully pulpit and do it. >> bill: i use that bully
pulpit. >> you do but he doesn't. >> bill: exactly. he's got to do it. ellen ratner, great have having you. it is goats for the old goat. she looks pretty good for an old goat, don't you think? you can find -- goats for the old goat.com. $60 is something great to do for the holiday. can't give a whole goat, give part of a goat and join the cause. thank you, ellen. >> thank you. >> announcer: this is the "bill press show." every day presents another exciting issue. from financial regulation, iran getting a nuclear bomb, civil war in syria, fraud on wall street, destruction of medicare and medicaid. there are real issues here. having been a governor, i know that trade-offs are tough. things everyday exploding around the world that leave no shortage for exciting conversations. i want our viewer to understand why things have happened. at the end of the show, you know
>> bill: to find out more about the teamsters and what they're up to today, go to teamster.org. the center for american progress, great organization, thank god we've got them here. great liberal think tank in the nation's capital head of the action fund for american progress tom perriello former congressman from the state of virginia. planned to be in studio with us this morning but traffic and accidents sometimes get in the way. so tom perriello joins us from his car. stuck somewhere on the streets
of our nation's capital. hey, tom good to talk to you. >> good to talk to you. my apologies, we clearly need a transportation bill here nationally and in virginia. >> bill: we try to get the police to clear the highways when we have any guests coming in, you know, but they can't always do that. sorry you got stuck, tom. let me ask you first, as a former congressman from virginia and running from a -- winning as a democrat and a liberal from a pretty conservative part of virginia, is it possible to be a democrat or republican in elected office in a state like virginia and support sensible, reasonable gun control? >> i think the answer is yes. i think that you know, there's a tremendous interest among men and women gun owners, nongun owners to do something about this set of massacres that we're seeing instead of "the stephanie miller systemic
violence that we see. i think that it is going to be important for the house and senate leadership to get behind this and try to make it happen. that's obviously going to be a bit of a challenge. i think there are some common sense things that we can do in terms of background checks and gun show loopholes et cetera that have a lot of support. among voters on both sides of the aisle if not electives on both sides of the aisle. it is important for us to look at the cultural component of this as well. there is a culture of violence that maybe no legislation can address. that doesn't mean we don't need to talk about it as a national community. >> bill: it is a multidimensional problem for sure and one of the things that conversation i was having with friends at dinner last night that people are talking about is young kids today are learned to kill on -- they learn to kill on the video games. they almost become insensitive to murder or to using guns to kill other people.
and that's certainly -- it certainly has an impact. >> i think it is something that when you have kids or you have nieces and nephews or what have you, you feel that very strongly. you sit down to do as family friendly as watching a sports game. what you're hit with is an awful lot of negative images and plenty of people see that. it has no effect on them wanting to shoot anyone, it's true but whether there is an cumulative effect from that is another story. a few weeks ago i went and saw a preview for a gangster squad with ryan gosling and josh brolin. it looks great. looked brilliant. saw the same preview this weekend when i was out to see "flight" with denzel washington and you know -- you realize that these are guys that are being made to look great and look like
heroes so you know, you can't get too simplistic. i don't think censorship is the answer. it is too simplistic as well to not address issues of culture of violence and how that's tied to a sense of value. i think when you have assault weapons and fast clips out there, military-grade weaponry, that's a factor as well. >> bill: tom perriello joining us by phone this morning. he's head of the action fund at the center for american progress. it is american progress action.org. a couple of weeks ago tom that you and john and others at the center for american progress put out your own proposal of how we can solve our fiscal crisis. do you think that the latest from president obama and speaker boehner looks like that they're actually going to resolve this issue before the end of the year and avoid going over the fiscal cliff? >> well, if you believe the
reports from last night and this morning, it looks a little more likely. i frankly had been skeptical that a deal was going to come together. >> bill: same here. >> and we'll see whether this is -- this is posturing and positioning or if this is a real deal. there are things that would happen in a cliff scenario. on the other hand, i think it is important not to replace a bad policy with an even worse deal. so i think part of what we're trying to see is what is the latest offer. >> bill: we don't know all of the details yet. president obama has gone from $250,000 limit on -- you get the tax cut up to the first $250,000 from income. reportedly he's gone up now to $400,000. part of the deal that i think has got -- that makes me and
some other liberals nervous tom, is reportedly again we haven't seen, right, all of the details, the president has also said he would drop the extension of the payroll tax cut as part of a deal. and that's been important to a lot of working class americans. >> well, you know, something where progressives are a little bit split. i think most see it as one of those -- the most progressive and also the most -- of the components in the deal. both of which are factored -- which are factors that mattered. did i lose you? >> bill: just a second. just for a second. you're there now. go ahead. >> okay. so you have the tax component the most progressive and the most stimlatory in the mix. you also have this question about some of the cuts being untestified, anything you hear anything is unspecified, there is a concern that this is going to -- you have to think about
what the worst-case scenarios were for that. sorry there was some noise in the background there. the payroll tax component the medicare savings plenty of ways to do that that progressives could feel good about. we've outlined some at the center for american progress that would be savings without cutting benefits but there's no guarantee that's where those savings would come from. >> bill: the question i have is why entitlements or -- which are really earned benefits, republicans from entitlement reform, why social security and medicare even have to be on the table. especially social security and i thought there was sort of an agreement among democrats social security would not be on the table. and yet again reportedly part of president obama's agreement is to changing the way the cost of living increase right for social security benefits. >> yeah. there is this chain cpi issue. >> bill: chain cpi that's it.
>> on the table. and i think this is something where republicans have said you know, this is their -- you don't want to say pound of flesh but this is the thing they're most serious about wanting to do. i think there are some things on two fronts. a substantive issue which is this good policy. do we want to stick it to seniors who earned this benefit and the second is political which is, you know, democrats already put over $700 billion of savings from entitlements into law through the healthcare bill. and the republicans had been for that and said we like this entitlement reform. it is part of the ryan budget and then the second, democrats pass it. we're going to call it you know, stealing from grandma. we're going to call it stealing from medicare in order to have obamacare. you don't see that sort of trust level even aside from the policy
level. that says okay, let's come together and do the kinds of things that you know, that some people feel like we need to do. >> bill: we remember mitt romney and paul ryan, right both accusing the president of stealing from medicare when he proposed himself the same savings and savings from getting rid of some of the fraud and the insurance companies that ryan and romney themselves had previously supported. well tom the battle goes on. you're on top of it. sorry you didn't make it in this morning but thanks for joining us by phone. good luck getting out of the mess that you're in. >> thank you so much, bill. >> bill: tom perriello great guy. served very well but only for i think one maybe two terms in the united states congress. now head of the action fund at the center for american progress. and it is americanprogressaction.org. when we come back, are we hearing, seeing enough
leadership, enough specifics from president obama on the whole gun control issue? mayor bloomberg says no! the president's got to do more. 1-866-55-press. that's our toll free number. >> announcer: radio meets television. the "bill press show." now on current tv. the arguments to feel confident in their positions. i want them to have the data and i want them to have the passion.
you know who's coming on to me now? you know the kind of guys who do like verse mortgage commercials? those types are coming on to me all the time now. >> she gets the comedians laughing... >> that's hilarious! >> ...and the thinkers thinking. >> okay, so there's wiggle-room in the ten commandments is what you're telling me. >> you would rather deal with
ahmadinejad then me. >> absolutely! >> and so would mitt romeny. >> she's joy behar. >> and the best part is that current will let me say anything. what the hell were they thinking? >> only on current tv. >> announcer: this is the "full court press." the "bill press show." live on your radio and on current tv. >> bill: peter fenn, democratic strategist joins us in studio in the next hour as a "friend of bill." we're going to be joined in studio also by congressman john yarmuth from kentucky. made a lot of news yesterday.
he is a pro gun democrat from kentucky. always enjoyed a good rating from the nra. he says you know, the nra has been around long enough. they're now nothing but an obstruction force. we've got to overrule the nra and do something about reasonable sensible gun control measures, john yarmuth will tell us all about it. that's the main conversation in washington this week. yesterday we heard many voices from democrats republicans are pretty silent on this issue. but from democrats who have always been known as what are called pro gun democrats mark warner from virginia. i mentioned john yarmuth from kentucky. harry reid, majority leader reid from nevada. maybe most outspokenly, joe manchin from west virginia who said yesterday hey listen, i'm a hunter. but i don't need an ak-47.
i've never been hunting with anyone with multiple clips of 10 20, 30 rounds in it. in deer hunting, we may have three shells in our gun. and that's the sport of what we do. i just think that when you have chuck schumer basically saying that we should look at these larger clips those are something we should be talking about. >> bill: that's the sport of it. semi-automatic or automatic weapons. nothing to do with it. and so we have chuck schumer of course who has been a long-time supporter of gun control. so has senator dianne feinstein. those voices are out there. joined by the new pro gun democrats who always sided with the nra. and of course, mayor bloomberg has also been most outspoken not only about the need for sensible gun control measures
letting those semi-automatic and automatic weapons remain in the hands of the military or law enforcement only but mayor bloomberg pretty critical of the president for not matching his words with action yesterday in a news conference, he repeated look the president gave a great speech in tucson but then what? >> the president spoke out visibly on gun violence after the mass shooting in tucson two years ago. yet since those shootings happened more than 24,100 americans have been murdered with guns. >> bill: what's frustrating to my and we saw this -- i saw this at the briefing yesterday at the white house i and other reporters pressing jay carney for okay, the president said in tucson we need to do something about the guns. in newtown connecticut, sunday night, he didn't use the word "guns" but he said you would use all of the powers of his office in the coming weeks to stem violence in this country. gun violence. that gun control certainly has
to be part of that equation. and yet we cannot get the white house, we cannot get jay carney and we haven't heard from the president about any specific measures that he would -- action that he would take to deal with this problem. the most we get out of jay carney is stuff like this. >> no single piece of legislation, no single action will fully address the problem. >> bill: yeah. right. okay. that's true. but where does that get us? okay. so carney said and he said this friday. he said it before when we tried to raise this issue. look, it is a complicated issue. all right. it is. look, it is a multidimensional issue. yes, it is. no single piece of legislation will solve the problem of violence in this country. yes, that's true. but that can't be an excuse for not acting.
the president -- he said, supports renewal of the assault weapons ban. all right. it expired in 2004. what's the president done about getting the assault weapons ban back? nothing. not one damn thing. yesterday we asked about background checks. we heard on the show, if you were with us yesterday from the brady campaign, that the number one least complicated and least controversial thing to do is require a background check like they do in gunshops every time a gun is sold. whether it is online or at a gun show. where 40% of sales take place today. and there's no background check. how about a background check on every sale or purchase of a gun in this country? won't say. wouldn't say. couldn't get an answer whether the white house would support that or not. how about a ban on the high capacity clips and magazines? that these mass killers use. couldn't get an answer whether
the white house would support that. why not? now is the time. the president's gotta show the lead. specific actions that he would support. let's say a quick hello to doug from out in vancouver washington. thanks for joining us. >> caller: hi, bill. thank you for having me. >> bill: what's your point? >> caller: i'm mad as all heck. assault is illegal in this country. the first word in assault rifle is assault! there's nothing defensive about them. they're for hurting people and going after people, military style. >> bill: killing as many people as you can as short a time as possible. >> caller: exactly. exactly. the gentleman you had yesterday that talked about the crazy man in china basically said it all. all of those kids lived. no guns involved. it is insane. so where does it stop? this guy you had on earlier his rights were going to be taken away. should we give him hand grenades and 50 calibers?
it is assault weapons assault! >> bill: exactly. you know the other thing doug, several people made this point this morning i just want to repeat it right here, right now. we gotta forget about the nra because the idea that the nra is supporting legitimate, honest, law-abiding gun owners in this country is wrong! maybe at one time, it is no longer true. they are not going to lobby for hunters or for people who like to do target practice. they're the lobby. they're the voice for the gun manufacturers. these people who are making products that are killing our kids. the nra is the gun manufacturers's lobby and so they're not there to protect the second amendment. they're there to protect the profit of the big gun manufacturers. that's what they've become. a big special interest. and so democrats and republicans don't have to be afraid of taking them on and they don't as much political power as you might think. we'll get into that in the next
[ ♪ theme ♪ ] >> announcer: this is the "bill press show." >> announcer: this is the "bill press show." >> bill: congressman john yarmuth from kentucky and democratic strategist peter fenn in studio with us the next hour here. president obama putting aside a lot of time today for meetings on the fiscal cliff. and on shaping his new cabinet the national security team which he is expected now to announce
this friday. he'll get the daily briefing with the vice president at 10:15 this morning and then a meeting with defense secretary leon panetta this afternoon at 4:35. they're the only two public events -- announced events on the president's schedule. jay carney with his press briefing today at 12:30. i will be there asking questions for all of you.
here this tuesday december 18. your morning roundup of all of the day's news and your morning town hall conversation about the news of the day. we give you a chance not only to learn what's going on today but to sound off about it. give us a call at 1-866-55-press. how about it? south carolina has a new united states senator. he is now former congressman tim scott appointed yesterday to replace jim demint. he will be the only african-american in the united states senate. the first black republican in the united states senate since 1901. that's the good news. the bad news is he is every bit a tea party republican as the guy whose place he took, jim demint. tim scott actually last year called for impeaching president obama. oh my! is this a plus? we'll get into that and a whole lot more in our last hour together this morning. but first as always, we take a little time out to get the latest, today's current news
update lisa ferguson in los angeles. hi lisa, good morning. >> hi, bill. good morning everyone. many students in newtown are going back to class today after friday's mass shooting at sandy hook elementary. that school will stay closed indefinitely and parents are keeping their children close to home but the town's other students will work at returning their lives to as close to normal as possible. meanwhile, we're learning that shooter adam lanza likely had asperger's syndrome. former school security director says he received intake information for lanza meant to keep track of and help the students who need it. now while this does shed some light on lanza's mental health, it is important to note that it does not mean the disorder can be blamed for the shooting. most people with asperger's and autism leave peaceful lives and the autism society released a statement saying there is no evidence of a link between autism and planned violence. in the wake of the shooting, dick's sporting goods has
removed all guns from its store near newtown connecticut and has stopped the sale of certain semi-automatic rifles from chains nationwide. and president obama has started his first serious push to topple gun violence. he's asking cabinet members led by vice president biden to come up with a set of proposals. that could include a reinstated ban on assault rifles. the senate held a moment of silence yesterday for the victims and harry reid said it's time to accept we're not doing enough to protect our citizens. more bill up next. there is so much going on that every day presents another exciting issue. from financial regulation, iran getting a nuclear bomb, civil war in syria, fraud on wall street, destruction of medicare and medicaid. there are real issues here. having been a governor, i know that trade-offs are tough. things everyday exploding around the world that leave no shortage for exciting conversations. i want our viewer to understand why things have happened. at the end of the show, you know what has happened, why its
happened and more importantly, what's going to happen tomorrow. [ singing christmas carols in background ] aunt sally's singing again. it's a tradition honey. [ singing christmas carols ] mmmm. [ female announcer ] make new traditions with pillsbury grands! cinnamon rolls. ♪ ♪ [ female announcer ] holiday cookies are a big job. everything has to be just right. perfection is in the details. ♪ ♪ get to holiday fun faster with pillsbury cookie dough.
this time, will we see any action? that's the big question here in washington, d.c. our nation's capital. good morning everybody. that's where we're coming to you from all across this great land of ours. coming to you on your local progressive talk radio station and on current tv, the "full court press," thanks for being with us this morning. we'll look forward to hearing from you. this is a two-way street here. i'll give you my take on what's happening. i want to hear yours. you get a chance to sound off by giving us a call, the old-fashioned way. still works. 1-866-55-press is our toll free number. we'll also look for your comments on twitter at bpshow on facebook facebook.com/billpressshow. and that old chat room is going on every day on current tv. go to current.com and click on the chat room and you're in. you get to debate the issues and you'll want to join this conversation this hour because we've got a good friend of the program, good friend of mine for a long time, peter fenn,
democratic strategist in studio with us for the whole hour as a "friend of bill." >> i love being a "friend of bill." >> bill: an fob. >> nice to be back. >> bill: i know. good to have you back. i haven't seen you since the election. i want to get your take on why obama won and why romney lost and all of that kind of good stuff. you just came back from madrid. >> i was in madrid. post-election conference. tough duty. >> bill: just like one of those congressional boondoggles. >> i wish, i wish. i used my frequent flier miles. >> bill: oh, is that it? you know a lot of interest around the world in what's going on. >> sure is. they had a big crowd there. a lot of questions. how does it apply to us. they're going through an awl lot in spain. it is a terrible economic situation. 50% unemployment for young people. 25% unemployment in the country. >> bill: wow. >> we think we got it bad. tricky stuff. >> bill: oh, boy. thanks for coming back from madrid just for -- >> just for the show. >> bill: for the "full court
press" this morning. yesterday, we lost a real hero. a legendary united states senator in dan inouye died yesterday at the age of 88. he was known for many things. he had been representing hawaii. peter, as you know, since 1954. even before hawaii was a state. united states senator since 1963. and of course, a war hero. lost his right arm in combat in world war ii. was given the medal of honor by president clinton. >> which, by the way that's an amazing story about how he got that medal of honor and basically his hand, on a hand grenade. unbelievable. >> bill: he had one of the most distinctive speaking voices of any united states senator. here he is last year talking about december 7. >> the bombing of pearl harbor 70 years ago began a period of
my life when i became an adult. and i hope a good american. >> bill: just that resonant voice. >> yeah. this sort of -- the depth of his feeling came through and he was so distinguished as a senator. i was in the senate when he -- working the senate when he had been there probably about 15 years by that point. he was really respected by folks. you know when you think of he and bob dole coming in together about the same time. and to think of the greatest of greatest generations, you would have to put dan inouye right at the top. >> bill: absolutely. he was remembered yesterday fondly by republicans and democrats on the floor of the united states senate. i saw that one hawaiian journalist wrote even more than king kamehameha, dan inouye
ruled hawaii. he had more clout. >> extraordinary thing was of course he served with such distinction in that war when his relatives, friends others, were in internment camps in the united states and were not treated as americans. it wasn't -- he was not a bitter man at all about it. he wasn't a bitter man having lost his arm. as you said, he became an adult and became a pretty extraordinary adult. >> bill: a real american patriot. peter fenn here, "friend of bill" this hour. we're going to be joined by congressman john yarmuth from kentucky. made a lot of news yesterday. when he came out long-time supporter of the nra and said the nra ain't what it used to be. we don't have to be afraid of them anymore. we cannot let them stop us from taking sensible gun control measures. john yarmuth will tell us about it later in the hour. but first -- >> the "full court press." >> other things you need to know before you head out the door
this morning jay leno could be looking for a new job in two years. "the new york daily news" is reporting that even though leno is at the top of the late night ratings game, nbc is talking to jimmy fallin to possibly take over the "the tonight show" in 2014 when leno's contract is up. but you'll remember the first -- this is not the first time they did this. they replaced leno with conan o'brien and that plan failed miserably. >> bill: yeah, how did that work out? >> horrendously. you may find more mcdonald's restaurants open on christmas day this year but those workers giving you your big mac and fries will not be getting a dime extra for working on the big holiday. raw story is reporting mcdonald's is encouraging its franchisees to open on christmas to help a final year-end sales push but they will not pay those employees who choose to work overtime. they say they will only ask the employees to voluntarily sign up for shifts. >> bill: you know, peter isn't that just outrageous?
>> read between the lines. >> bill: this is why we need unions. this is why they should be able to organize. even if they volunteer to work on christmas at least give them time and a half. >> give them an extra french fry in the meal. >> yeah, right. if you drink a lot of diet pepsi, a big change is coming to the soda. you may not really notice. they're changing the type of artificial sweetener that they use in the soda. right now, it is aspartame but they're also adding asulfame which is supposed to make the drink hold its sweeter as heat makes aspartame break down so diet pepsi has been taking a bit of a hit in market share from diet coke. they're trying to do this. if you keep your diet coke on the shelf longer, it will still taste the same down the line as it does when you open it right out of the store. >> bill: i don't want to know any of this. i don't want to know. >> too much information. >> bill: exactly.
>> bill: i strongly prefer diet pepsi to diet coke. >> i'm a diet coke guy myself. >> bill: so peter fenn, we're going to talk guns and gun control and the big issue of the day with john yarmuth. first of all dan inouye, we lost yesterday. we gained a new united states senator. tim scott named by nikki haley to replace jim demint. >> i think he's another jim demint is what he is. extraordinarily conservative. i think you will see him as a thorn in any kind of moderate republican -- >> bill: he's a tea partier. >> maybe he'll change when he gets into the senate but i doubt it. i think you know, i think he got the worst of a lot of worlds. >> bill: he's the guy that jim
demint wanted and jim demint made a comment saying basically this way i was able to get a tea partier in. he could never get them elected but christine o'donnell and you know, richard mourdock and all of the other people, todd akin, people he supported the woman out -- sharon engel in nevada. couldn't get them elected. was able to get tim scott appointed. it is ironic. here you've got -- he will be the only african-american senator. but basically another allen west right? the first black republican since 1901 in the united states senate and yet he's a tea partier. >> the other thing i think about somebody like scott is you know, he's not going to sort of sit back and learn the ropes and learn the issues and -- >> bill: he will try to be a show-off. >> absolutely. you've got a guy who i think is going to be on fox news every five minutes you know.
okay, great, fine. >> bill: last year during the negotiations over the debt ceiling, he suggested they should impeach president obama. because he wouldn't go along with what the house republicans wanted. >> level of intelligence. >> bill: this is the voice we got in the united states senate. and you -- there in madrid, telling people about this american election. we learned a lot from this, didn't we? and president obama walks away with a pretty big victory. significant victory. >> absolutely, bill. i think these folks had said status quo election that this thing was close. >> bill: that's all we heard. >> come on come on, come on. there are several things i think that we have to look at here. the first is that obviously they ran an extraordinary campaign, the obama people. no doubt about that. their decision some of them very risky going on the air in
the summer, spending that money when they didn't think they would have it at the end. >> bill: but defining romney as a guy who only cared about the million avers and billionaires. >> you had a real choice there. this was, in my view, critical to the future of this country. i think if we had not re-elected barack obama, we would be in really deep trouble right now in terms of our policies and where the country is going. i think the american people figured that out. and this guy you know, don't give me this stuff about a crazy left wing socialist. don't give me this stuff about how he doesn't stand for anything. this is a guy. we met with him, a group of us, the big -- after the election in the white house and the roosevelt room and as biden said, this guy has a spine of steel. and he also has a heart of gold. i think we saw that in his remarks sunday night. it was unbelievable. and the way he's dealt -- he really feels and understands the
country. i don't think he's fooling around. he wants to solve these problems. he's going to do it. i'm very upbeat. i really am. i'm just very happy about it. i think that -- i think this business of look, is the republican party dead? heck, no. if we think that, we're crazy. but if we deliver we'll do extraordinarily well in the future elections and -- >> bill: i was going to ask you about that because i was with a couple of very good friends yesterday whose names are known not just to you but to most of our watchers and listeners because they're prominent, vocal republican leaders. both of whom said their party is in serious trouble today. they think -- they feel that they've been taken over by what was -- they called the paranoid wing of the tea partiers, the birthers, the whatever, who are driving the show here. and certainly when you look at the returns, the republican party has to do some soul
searching. >> i think they do. if you look at the debates and who showed up in those halls and who watched those shows you looked at the conventions and the delegates to the conventions, you cannot be an anti-gay -- and who voted you can't be the anti-gay, you know. anti-black anti-hispanic anti-young anti-woman, anti-middle class party. you cannot in this country! and i think the smart voices, reasonable voices in that party are very, very concerned about it. and they think -- talk about going over a cliff. i mean they think that that party is in danger of going over the cliff if the jim demints and tim scotts are the voices. >> bill: so president obama certainly comes out with this five million vote margin, more than we thought. extraordinary margin and the electoral college, more than we thought. he's got 51% of the vote. he's got a lot of political capital going in and he's never going to run for office again. will he use his political
capital, do you believe for some of the issues that didn't get any attention the first time around like gun control like global warming? like immigration reform? >> i think definitely he will. i think the gun issue now which we'll talk about in the next half hour, people are sick and tired of it as we said. we've got to move on it. i think we will. immigration reform, i think will have more support from the republican side than we've had in a long, long time. dream act should go through. this should happen. and you know, as for global warming, it is very clear. you know, we have event after event. we have the facts the science is totally on our side. the question is you know, we'll sit on our hands for another decade and let it get worse. so you know, i think -- he's one of these guys, i think he's just an unbelievably pragmatic president. he realizes what the problems are and i think he'll fight like
hell for the solutions. >> bill: that's what people want to see. part of what rallied people behind president obama toward the end of the campaign, really started the fight. he really started to show his spine. >> you know, i'll tell you when we were sitting in that room with him and we were talking about the rates and the wealthy he said look, if we have a recession, if we go over the cliff, i don't want to do that but i'm not going to sacrifice the middle class for the next 10 to 20 years. i'm not going to do it. i'm. >> just not going to do it. and you know, there was no question in my mind that there was no fooling around. >> bill: when i saw him at the holiday party reflecting what our viewers and listeners said, right, i said mr. president, no deal is better than a bad deal. hold the line. i didn't have to encourage him to do that but just give him a little support. >> i think we're in a different environment now. >> bill: totally. >> look, i think we're going to have -- >> bill: we had an election. >> guess who won. >> bill: peter fenn here in
studio with us. join the conversation at 1-866-55-press. today's "full court press" on this tuesday december 18th. >> announcer: this is the "bill press show." live on your radio and current tv. dose of politics from a fresh perspective. >>i'm a slutty bob hope. the troops love me. >>only on current tv.
jennifer > it's these "talking points" that the right have about "the heavy hand of government". i want to have that conversation. let's talk about it. really. really! that you're gonna lay people off because now the government's going to help you fund your health care. really? i wanna be able to have those conversations. not just to be confrontational, but to understand what the other side is saying. and you know, i'd
like to arm our viewers with the ability to argue with their conservative uncle joe over the dinner table. >> announcer: this is the "bill press show." live on your radio and current tv. >> bill: joe cirincione is our guest from the ploughshares fund >> announcer: on your radio and on current tv, this is the "bill press show." >> bill: congressman john yarmuth from kentucky in the news today and in studio with us in the next segment. right now visiting with peter fenn, democratic strategist here. you can follow peter reach
peter at fenndaily.com. >> i have to confess. >> bill: or on tweeter at peter h. fenn. >> right. >> bill: so president obama is expected to make his national security team announcements on friday. john kerry secretary of state so what happens to the senate seat in massachusetts? >> well, you know -- >> bill: that's what democrats are nervous about. >> they may have scott brown to kick around again. >> bill: republicans think it will be automatic for scott brown. >> i don't think so. first of all, it is unsure who's going to be in the race. we have several members of congress who were strong candidates who i think can definitely win. the other wild card, of course, bill is does governor duval patrick decide he wants to run? very popular in the state right now. i honestly think -- if he would
run and i'm not sure whether it is some say he's not i think he would beat scott brown handily. >> bill: i had a long conversation with ed markey who was up-front about seriously thinking about running. >> right. >> bill: i don't think he would run against duval patrick. he would be another very strong candidate. >> several points in his career, he's going to run for the senate. we actually were up there working on his campaign in 1984. if you can believe that. when he was thinking of running then john kerry got in and he dropped out. he had a headquarters and you know who his campaign manager was at that time? one ron clain. >> bill: chief staff went on to become chief of staff for al gore. now is chief of staff -- >> they were thinking if it is a change, he could be -- >> bill: even in '84 markey was thinking of running for the senate? >> absolutely. he was raising money and he had pollsters and consultants and
the whole nine yards. >> bill: this may be his time. >> could be the time. 20 years later. >> bill: oh, my god. john yarmuth yesterday saying i'm a pro gun pro nra democrat have-been. he'll join us in studio here in the next segment of the "full court press." he thinks we need sensible gun control. lots more to talk about here on this tuesday morning. >> announcer: this is the "bill press show." like verse mortgage commercials? those types are coming on to me all the time now. >> she gets the comedians laughing... >> that's hilarious! >> ...and the thinkers thinking. >> okay, so there's wiggle-room in the ten commandments is what you're telling me. >> you would rather deal with ahmadinejad then me. >> absolutely! >> and so would mitt romeny. >> she's joy behar. >> and the best part is that current will let me say anything. what the hell were they thinking?
morning. beautiful day in our nation's capital. we're coming to you live from our studio on capitol hill. the "full court press." all the way across this great land of ours on your local progressive talk radio station and on current tv and brought to you today by afscme. you know the good men and women of afscme under president lee saunders largest public employee and healthcare worker's union in the entire country. you can find out more about their good work, making american happen at afscme.org. s ofafscme.org. peter fenn, democratic strategist in studio as a "friend of bill" and pick up "the new york times" this morning, their lead editorial the gun challenge expresses the hope that leaders of both parties may come together with some sensible gun control measures in the wake of the massacre at sandy hook elementary school. and it quotes representative john yarmuth a moderate democrat from kentucky who says
"the national rifle association has spent untold millions of dollars instilling fear in our citizens and our politicians. i believe it is more rational to fear guns, far more than the illusory political power of the nra. congressman john yarmuth in studio with us this morning. good to see you. those are pretty strong words. you've probably gotten a good rating from the nra. >> no, i would say i haven't. no no. i hope there's -- there's been some impression that created that i'm one of these who has been a pro gun person and has gone the other way. that's not the truth. i have an f rating from the nra. it is one of the few fs that i can be proud of. >> bill: i hope you wear it as proudly as you do as member for congress. >> in kentucky, i'm the only one who doesn't have an a rating. but the point that i've tried to make in the statement that i
gave yesterday was that you know, in a societal context guns are nothing but destructive. you want to shoot, fine. target shoot, skeet shoot hunt. fine. but when they're in society they're nothing but destructive. the nra has tried to create this impression that you know, we're all unsafe in our homes people are going to bash into our homes and so forth. and creating this fear that sells guns. and their members don't agree with them on most of their positions. they've created this -- i mean it is a wizard of oz i think situation. you pull the curtain back and they really don't have that much influence in elections. and if you look at it, they're so closely tied now to the republican party that as a democrat, there's really no danger in my taking on the nra because those people are not -- nra, the true gun fanatics, the hard core are not going to vote for me on any issue even if i were an "a" rating with the ana.
peter knows this. politics is about how many votes you win or lose. the switch on a particular issue and i don't think the nra switches many votes. certainly -- race is decided by 100 votes yeah, it can make a difference but most of them, it doesn't. >> part of the problem has been the perception. this behemoth that they win all of the races. bill and i were talking about it earlier. a lot of work in idaho and the west, we had a guy former secretary of the interior running for governor in idaho. he came out against cocktail of bullets. the nra went bonkers on the guy. he went out and got his elk. his opponent who was bashing him about this didn't even have a hunting license bye bye. the point was that you could take stands and this was quite awhile ago against the nra. you could push back on them. on their unreasonable positions and you can win. >> bill: that's what you're saying. even from the south, right you've been a red state.
you can be pro sensible gun control measures and still win elections. democrats don't have to run from the nra. >> they don't have to run from the nra. >> i wrote columns for 15 years before i got into politics. i was a journalist. i wrote a lot of very, very strong anti-gun columns. it never made any difference in my elections. and my first election, they tried to use it against me. it didn't have an impact at all. i still never get any negative -- after yesterday we got hundreds and hundreds of letters and calls from the office. actually, we got a lot before i made the statement. many afterwards. i think i got one that was a pushback. one out of kentucky. >> bill: the media matters for america is reporting this morning the nra spent $8.9 million opposing president obama. $3 million supporting mitt romney. wayne, executive vice president says either we defeat barack obama or we lose this election and lose it all.
they lost six out of seven senate races that they were involved in. so their political clout ain't what they pretend it to be, right? >> i mean i think that's the one thing about this that you know, this is galvanized people around this country to a reasonable stand on this issue. and look you know, taking care of guns is important. you know. we know this. we have to do something about the horrendous video games out there, combat video games. we obviously know that our mental health system in this country is broken. so you know, you've got to do it on all fronts but you have to start with the guns. you really do. >> bill: what is it -- one final question on the nra congressman. some people made the point that the nra today really -- and you mentioned earlier, there are members don't agree with all of their stands. it seems they've evolved from an organization representing gun owners and hunters to gun manufacturers.
>> right. i think that's becoming so much more clear in recent years. you look at what happened just yesterday with gun sales all over the country. the president reacted and the nra of course has been very silent. but they know that these kinds of things can promote gun sales and whether they stir up fear in president obama trying to say he's going to take your guns away. you better go out and get them. i need to praise commercial support for dick's sporting goods which decided unilaterally they were going to stop sell assault weapons in stores all over the country. congratulations to them. they did a very responsible thing. >> bill: we need more people to step up. if we're talking about reasonable sensible, gun control measures, what specific actions do you think we ought to start with, congressman? >> you saw weapons ban. reinstating that is clearly one of them. the background check issue that 40% of guns in this country are bought in circumstances that
are not subject to background checks. we have to change that. the gun show loophole and others. online sales of both ammunition and weapons. we ought to have in place something that says if you are ordering 500 rounds of ammunition that warrants some kind of a brief investigation. request are you doing that? why are you doing that? there are things that are common sense and i think in the polls of the nra membership, they support most of these proposals as well. and i think you're going to see some really, really interesting political debates early next year on this and i suspect we're going to -- you're going to see a lot of republican defections. >> bill: with that, a ban on assault weapons the ban on the high caliber clips. >> that's another one. should be a no-brainer. >> bill: if you take the three that you mentioned i certainly think it would be hard to make an argument that they would interfere with anybody's second amendment rights. >> that's right. one of the important things is
yes, we all know that this is not going to cure every situation. but this makes such -- would make such an important statement. puts the country on record saying no, assault weapons bans are not appropriate in the general population. assault weapons are not. and that would cause people to think -- i think it would cause anybody who had one in their home already to think about what they were doing with it. yes, in san francisco. but almost 600 weapons were turned in yesterday as part of a buyback plan. i think you would see that kind of thing going on with assault weapons across the country if the congress made that kind of statement. >> bill: congressman john yarmuth here, man of the hour in studio with us. your calls welcome at 1-866-55-press. congressman, final question before we go to a break we've seen, of course, you name it, where do you start and where do you end? virginia tech, aurora, colorado, portland oregon, and now newtown, connecticut.
this seems to be the game changer though, doesn't it? because -- >> i don't think there's any question about it. >> bill: 20 6-year-olds. >> there was no protection for them. they were helpless and innocent and this whole -- this is kind of the other end of the extreme argument. when you say to people well, some have done it. the principal ought to have a gun. should have the kids have had guns in their lunchboxes? that's what i wrote in the column. it is absurd. we have a right as citizens not to carry a gun because we have to. to protect ourselves. we have a right to be safe from guns without having to carry one. and but it is those angelic faces, the absolute inability to voice any -- to even describe what happened and everybody's heart feels that. to every teacher in the country right now. every parent. this was something very different. we had a mass shooting -- mass shooting in a school in paducah
kentucky 15 years ago. three people killed. six wounded. student, very similar to this situation. although he did not kill himself and that was horrible. but it was a high school. for some reason, that was different. 6 and 7-year-olds. >> bill: that really hit home. we'll be back with congressman john yarmuth and peter fenn. your calls welcome at 1-866-55-press. >> announcer: this is the "full court press." the "bill press show." live on your radio and on current tv. that this guy, to the best of his ability, is trying to look out for us.
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>> announcer: this is the "bill press show." live on your radio and current tv. >> bill: hey, how about it. 12 minutes now before the top of >> bill: 13 minutes before the top of the hour. it is the "full court press" on this tuesday morning. in studio with us, congressman john yarmuth from kentucky and peter fenn, democratic strategist. one of the reasons maybe that the white house hasn't been able to deal more quickly with some specifics on gun control is because they are kind of preoccupied with making sure we don't go over the fiscal cliff. congressman, you're in town, i guess, you and your colleagues, waiting for a deal so you can vote on it up or down, right? will there be a deal in time's running out. >> it sounded yesterday in talking to some of my colleagues there was more a sense of ot mix that there would be something we
would get to vote on and that we possibly could get out this weekend and not have to come back after christmas although i think that's highly unlikely. i think we'll have to come back. the president clearly is negotiating the threshold in which taxes would return to the clinton-era rates gone to $400,000 supposedly which i think is acceptable. that's the top 1%. they got 93% of the growth and income of the country over the last few years. that's kind of poet knick a way. it makes sense. and so you know, i think the problem is that if speaker boehner wants to adhere -- insists on adhering to the hester rule which means he has to have a majority of his majority to bring anything to the floor, the more elements there are in any plan, the harder that becomes. so if it were just the tax rates, i think we could come to a deal very quickly and -- but that's not what the republicans want. they want spending limitations and something to deal with medicare and medicaid.
that will make it harder and harder to get that majority of a majority. so it is going to be tough. >> do you think the tragedy in newtown is bringing people together on this and making it less rancorous out there? >> i think it has changed everything. the mood on the floor last night, we had a moment of silence and chris murphy, the senator from connecticut spoke brilliantly and poignantly last night. i think yeah, anybody who gets up there and tries to make a partisan argument now is going to certainly look petty. >> bill: are you nervous that, as a democrat, that president obama might give away the store in order to get a deal? i mean he is talking about -- i keep forgetting the phrase. the cpi -- >> chain. >> bill: chain cpi whatever it is. any cuts in benefits of social security or medicare in order to get a deal which is what republicans want. no doubt about it. >> that's right. that's their pound of flesh.
you know, social security, when you're dealing with benefits, you're talking about 60% of the people or 2/3 of the american people rely on social security for half their income, a third for all of their income. so when you're talking about a small percentage change in their adjustment, that makes a huge difference. particularly when medicare premiums continue to go up each year. so those are really, really tough things for democrats to support. i'm glad that they took the raising the medicare eligibility age off the table. that made no sense. it raised no money for a long period of time anyway. but it's going to be difficult. it would be a shame if any plan that was brought to the floor now passed without a significant bipartisan count. >> it does seem though that means testing on some of this a little more is something that can be worked out. the cost of living increase can
be changed a little bit so that it is a little bit more reasonable. i think most senior citizens say look, i'm doing pretty well. but again, this is a means test issue so that i think the key is those third of the people that rely on this. >> that's right. changing the benefit structure for people like my mother or people like me, i just turned 65, so i think that's very, very fair. doing it across the board is a problem. when you're talking about moderate income seniors. >> bill: i want to give tony a chance. he's calling from chicago congressman with a comment about the nra. thanks for joining us. >> caller: thanks for having me. i wanted to say we need to change the conversation as far as the political pressure for the nra and identify them as lobbyists for the gun industry as opposed to protectors of the second amendment. that would go a long way toward dampening their influence in washington. >> bill: point well-made. we made that earlier. >> we did. no question about that. i think it's becoming
increasingly clear that they don't represent their members. their members are being exploited to a certain extent to create this illusion of political force. but the people are really driving -- >> bill: i saw one poll, 74% of members of the nra support a background check on every sale or point of sale or purchase of a gun. so like you do at the gunshops, do it also at gun shows but the nra would not go along with that. so peter the challenge -- you're in the public relations business communications business is if we could think of nra stands for instead of national rifle association stands for -- >> no responsibility in america. i don't know. >> bill: off the top of your head ain't bad. if we can think of some way -- or start calling them something that identifies them with what they are right? for the gun manufacturers who are making the guns that are killing our kids. i think that could help. >> if we can get some of the gun
manufacturers to change their view and just say hey we're -- >> bill: if some of them would come out. >> it would be extraordinary. >> bill: we need -- congressmen, we need more elected officials like you who are willing to stand up and have some backbone to stand up to them to do the right thing. to keep our kids safe. >> i appreciate that. i don't consider what i'm doing at all courageous. the courageous people were those people in the classrooms in newtown. that redefines courage. >> bill: it sure does. >> we need to respect that. that's what i'm trying to do. >> bill: congressman, thank you so much for your leadership. peter, always good to see you. come back again soon. i'll have a quick parting word when we come back. >> announcer: this is the "bill press show."
>> >> announcer: the parting shot with bill press. this is the "bill press show." >> bill: on this tuesday december 18, my final word for today, look, i have no doubt president obama meant it when he told the people of newtown connecticut, and all the rest of us on sunday night he was going to use all of the powers of his office in the next couple of weeks to do something to stem gun violence in this country. but you know mr. president now it's time to follow up those good words with some strong actions. unfortunately, so far the white house has not taken one step toward sensible gun control measures. the president says he supports renewing the ban on assault weapons but he's done nothing about it for the last four years and yesterday jay carney wouldn't even say the president supports a background check on
every gun purchase. mr. president, it is enough talk about guns. we don't need any new commission or conversation. what we need now is action. the american people demand it. tomorrow, eliot spitzer joins us from current tv, of course. as well as congressman peter welch. have a great day. come on back and see us right here tomorrow morning.