tv The War Room Current May 7, 2013 3:00pm-4:01pm PDT
[ ♪ theme music ♪ ] >> michael: coming up tonight. congratulations to all the democrats who voted against the gun bill. you can breathe a sigh of relief that wayne lapierre is off your back. but now you have a michael bloomberg problem. i'm michael michael, hopefully not your problem. this is the war room. >> michael: in the 20 days since the senate failed to pass background checks, 330 americans have died from gun violence. that's according to slate. and americans are crying out for
congressional action. mayors against illegal guns held protests in seven cities across the country, and it has a million and a half petition signature for another gun vote. it is possible that the gun bill would pass on the second try. it failed by six votes last time, but they said this morning, they think they think theythey can getno contest enough senators to pass it. we'll have to make adjustments to it. >> michael: one of those adjustments is scrapping the term "universal background check" because it has become associated with registries and confiscation. that's no accident. the gun lobby has done it's best to perpetuate the myth that the government wants a massive gun
registry. >> revenge is what is motivating the president's unrelenting attacks on gun owners today. just look at his reaction to his defeat in the u.s. senate with this step at a time gun owner registration under the guise of universal background. >> michael: it's a real youth movement there at the nra. m a nsion said to fight that kind of rhetoric he plans to say mental and criminal checks rather than background checks senator kelly ayotte, the republican of new hampshire who voted against the bill afterwards her approval rating dropped 15 points. now she's trying to dig herself out saying they might be open to
background checks to screen for criticals and thecriminals and the mentally ill. and she said she has always been a fan for background checks. she said i:i love background checks. some of my best friends are background checks. she's not the only one backpedal backpedaling. senator jeff flake of arizona who also voted no, he is the number one unpopular sitting senator. that's due in part to his gun vote. 70% of arizona voters disapprove of it. not only that voting against the bill breaks the promise of a mother of an aurora victim.
her son died shielding his girlfriend. he wrote, i am truly sorry for your deep loss and this is something that we agree on. and then he voted against background checks. that did not bode well. >> shame on you, senator flake. i can't even call you our senator. i never voted for you and i never will. [applause] you do not represent me. >> michael: well, he seems to have gotten the message. he said this afternoon that he would reverse his opposition if the bill is sponsored with. bloomberg saying essentially i'm not scared of the gun lobby
and i'm certainly not scared of harry reid. god bless michael bloomberg for that. passing a gun bill is so much more important than reflecting mark pryor in. i would satisfies that senate seat just to make sure we do what is right for background checks and live by it. if that's what you believe in, then do it. reid is not the only one avoiding another vote. vice president joe biden said yesterday that now is not the time. he said it should wait until the senate is done debating immigration reform which means through the summer. but during that time thousands more americans will be killed by guns. and compared to other countries with tightening gun safety laws, our death toll is staggering. in 2008 the u.s. had 12,000 firearm related homicide. and in that same year japan had
11. 11. that's half the number killed at newtown and a third at virginia tech. why? japanese law for bids gun ownership while american law glorifies it. and in in the u.k. had 155 gun deaths in 2010. more than that occurred here in just three weeks. wayne lapierre kicked off the conference this week with a rambling lecture on american values. >> i want to welcome you to the biggest celebration ever of our american values, and i want to thank all of you for taking the time to come here this afternoon because it's really important that you're here. because your very presence is the very essence of american
participation in our democracy. >> michael: his definition of democracy is very different from mine. sadly very similar to those of our so-called leaders. we go to peter squires from brighton university. he comes via skype. welcome inside "the war room." >> good evening. >> michael: how are the attitudes differ for guns in the united kingdom than here in the united states? >> i think the nra take the view that almost any gun safety or public safety legislation is part of a slippery slope of gun confiscation and prohibition of firearms. that's never been the case in the u.k. in response to don blaine, the politics of the gun lobby itself led to the sacrificing of
handgunners who were seen as urban and working class in order for the elite gun lobby to be clear of travesty. >> michael: tell me about the similar split in the united kingdom. >> well, the shooting sports or field sports, they have the ring of tradition in the countryside about them. members of the royal family participate in grouse shooting. that has a very elite london cache about it. during the 1990s one of the fastest growing departments of
guns was handgun ownership. it was growing rapidly and it seemed like the dodgy end of it. they didn't want to be associated with these wannabe mel gibson and dirty harry type characters. there was a scorn but they were inventing shooting disciplines to just any type of handgun practical shooting, combat shooting the police shooting courses that officers are trained on. and i think it was for reasons that people wanted to own guns other than shooting sports. >> michael: i would say that the dialogue about guns, and correct me if i'm wrong change drastically, peter in a way
that we expected it to here in the newtown massacre. wethere was a massacre in dunb la. >> joy: ne where 65 children were shot with their teacher. what was the reaction? >> the reaction was similar. we had a previous rampage shooting eight to ten years earlier where 16 people were killed by a guy dressed as rambo and carrying an ak-47. many people didn't even know it was an illegal gun in this country. so when he went throw the school with four handguns and shot children there were two reactions. one was this is it, never again. the second reaction is how can we allow people to have these guns legitimately? you would be amazed in a way.
the idea that britain in this sense was becoming more like america was seen as the real problem to be avoided. in many ways people looked very fondly towards america. but in terms of the gun culture one prominent conservative politician talks about if we embrace the american way of life we'll get the american way of death. this is seen as a powerful critique in an armed society. >> michael: wow, what an amazing thing to think that the english look at us and somebody has learned as that has been able to say that about embracing the american way of life, and then embracing the american way of death. that speaks volumes. >> it does have an impact, doesn't it. >> michael: absolutely has an impact. tell me what the impact is of newtown over there. what are the perceptions there of how we're dealing with that here? >> the reaction the knee-jerk
ground swell of opinion of people saying never again and the pictures of candles and the tragedy, it's very familiar. it touched a nerve. i'm a member of a gun control organization. some of my friends colleagues in that organization were be berea ved at dunblane. but then it the nra and the press conference a week later where the only solution is armed guards and armed teachers. now, i understand the politics of that, but people cannot--people in britain cannot understand the sense in which a society sees more guns as a response to the problems caused by guns. >> michael: i have to tell you
peter, i don't even understand the politics of it all. before i let you go to bed because it's so late there in brighton england tell me what you think about nra's argument that they need to be prepared to overthrow a tyrannical argument. tell me what you think of that argument. >> in a way its complete anacronyism. i get that's how america won in the 1800s and i understand that. but they are loaded up with cowboy culture john wayne the cop avenger. the americans have embraced this nation of the man resolute in in a
lawless world and his back against the wall and he has to defend himself. we get all of that. but in a modern, urban society it doesn't seem to me of the proliferation of firearms, and this is what the british don't understand. the very fact that 40% of gun sales are completely off the public safety radar because they occur at gun shows car boot sales. >> michael: that's what is so unbelievable here with what we're dealing with. we thank you for sharing with us your perspective even so far away. it's really expert. peter squires from brighton university, thank you for coming to the "the young turks." coming up on the show, if you are a believer of social justice, these people sitting in in north carolina will warm your
>> "viewpoint" digs deep into the issues of the day. >> has the time finally come for real immigration reform? >> with a distinctly satirical point of view. if you believe in state's rights but still believe in the drug war you must be high. >> only on current tv. >> michael: more than two dozen activists and members of the naacp were arrested yesterday for protesting republican policies that the state has. they oppose a house bill requiring voters to show photo i.d. at the polls. many civil rights leaders say this is no different than a poll
tax that was used in the past to disenfranchise african-american voters. naacp will entail a statewide tour to press republican policies in their district. we'll go on with our civil rights affects our lives today. with us from north carolina is president of the naacp reverend william barber. it's a pleasure having you here. thank you for coming. i want you to tell us what you're seeing in north carolina, what restrictions are lawmakers proposing. >> we're seeing a number of things. first of all let me thank you for allowing us to come on. and if i might, in order to see what we're seeing we might have to talk about what we have seen. that is in the naacp we have built
the people's coalition. 170 organizations starting in 2006. as a part of the victory of this massive diverse anti-racism anti-poverty coalition in the south we were able to win in the south state the most progressive laws in voting. we were able to win same day registration, early voting, sunday voting. and what we saw was a massive increase. for the last two election cycles led the nation per capita in terms of voting. now 70% of african-americans voted in the last election. african-americans represent analect rate of some 4 million people. we're now seeing the narrow minded extreme ideology of republican and tea party trying
to roll back people's rights to vote so they started by redistricting. gerrymandering restricting so they could win. we're in court fighting that now. now they want to pass a voting i.d. that that is more stringent than alabama. they want to deny i.d. from private schools. they want to say that you can get an i.d. but you have to sign an affidavit saying that you need it. then on top of that they want to check people's mental competency. they have a bill called 666 that basically says if the student votes where they go college opposed to where they live the parents would be charged $2,500. some of these outrageous.
>> michael: some of these things are outrageous. you know where i stand on this, but in the last election they voted in the first republican governor. the people elected republicans. aren't these policies the will of the people in some way? >> well, number necessarily. if you look at the electorate, more people voted for democrats than they did republicans. but because of the gerrymander gerrymandering of the districts it allows you will have a conservatives to win. item two there was a governor who claimed to be a moderate, and he's now modeling george wallace of the 21st century trying to deny 500,000 people medicaid 165,000 people unemployment. people earning income credits.
the constitution of this state and this country says just because you are a majority in a general assembly, it does not give you the power to overrun the constitution. the authority of the constitution. and many-- >> michael: that's what makes the most sense. it does not give you license to do that. i want to talk to you a little bit about the youth not being engaged. there has been a lot of criticism about that, but your 20-year-old son william was among those who was arrested yesterday. we were in a meeting this morning, and we have a meeting every day. it dawned on me that we're talking about citizens citizens in north carolina in 2013. i couldn't believe it. why is this resonating with the youth now? >> you think of the birmingham movement was 50 years ago and this monday was the anniversary of the passage of civil rights acts, and there was the longest
filibuster, a republican who passed it, and eisenhower signed it. young people are greatly involved. we have a number of students in our college student. the first protest was students who sat in the gallery and put tape over their mouth basically saying you're trying to stop our voice. my son was not the only one. we brought 20,000 people to, and 30% of the group was young people. they understand when people go after the constitution, our state constitution says you can't do that. all elections are free. the only qualifyier for a voter is to be 18, naturalized. they're cutting education. they're trying to get more money to the wealthy and hurting the poor. they're going after all of the things that makes for a better future. so we've had young people in both--we call it sit in and teach in. there are young people, and there are more and more coming
every day--in fact, the young people taught us the monday tradition, it's forward together, not one step back. >> michael: that's the most encouraging thing. it was throughout 2012 when we heard all these protests about voting rights, it was always adults. it was always people who were adult or senior protesting this. the most important thing that i've seen in your activity from north carolina is the youth right here. and that is encouraging maybe you're a modern dave james bevel in that way and only in that way. are you going to be doing more morallies. >> yes we'll be doing one this friday. we started some years ago with 16 organizations now we have over is 47. young people are getting engaged. we're using social media along with old-style demonstrations.
people are beginning to understand. which is in one way we're doing these protests. in 50 days this legislature has passed bills that would negatively effect people here in the north carolina. part of our strategy is we have a legal challenge strategy to challenge them every part of the quarter. and we're going to be organizing people, and we have the strategy of making sure that the unavoidable moral light is shown on everything that they're diagnose so everybody knows what they have done. so when they go to the ballot box, they will be able to judge then in 2014. >> michael: that's fantastic. tireless and inspireing, proving that the movement does move on. thank you for coming. from appalachia and to
[ ♪ theme music ♪ ] >> michael: it's always busy on the campaign front, even in may. i know some people can't stand that. i love it. in south carolina the eyes of the nation and the colbert nation are on the first congressional district. tonight we'll learn if disgraced former republican governor mark sanford will return to elected office. he's running against comedian stephen colbert's sister, elizabeth colbert bush. on msnbc he had a peculiar
questions asked. >> you what is the last thing that you want vote tours focus on obviously not on your past behavior. >> well, it's absolutely been the topic of much conversation down here. it's been the topic about a million dollars worth of attack ads run against me. >> michael: and elizabeth colbert bush's famous brother made one final joke as he closed out last night's show. >> it's a special election to fill a vacant seat. it's a bittersweet moment because that vacant seat has the highest rating of anyone in congress. go get 'em lulu. >> michael: polls in south carolina close at the top of hour. donnie fowler joins us now to break down the sanford-colbert youbush race.
welcome in "the war room." did sanford give the right answer? should people be focusing on his past foibles. >> he should have gone back to his message of how he likes to cut taxes and government. he should remind people that he voted to impeach bill clinton when clinton had a little dalliance. >> michael: when you hear sanford, even he realizes this is the thrust of what everybody wants to talk about. if you were his campaign manager, what would you tell him? >> quit talking about yourself. this guy has a person lifeal life. but highways no--you he has no private life. he needs to shut up. >> michael: and presumably he will if that's the end tomorrow. >> if my friends in charleston
go vote maybe he will be shut up. >> michael: if your friends in charleston do go vote, what is a win of colbert-bush mean? >> this is all politics is local proving it. congressional seat that mitt romney won by 18 points over barack obama. it is a moral victory, it's a human victory for the democratic party and the south carolina democrats. we'll have a very difficult election to get her reelected in 2014. >> michael: yes, there are ways of looking at both sides as a win-win. let's go to harry reed. he's telling michael bloom everything, mayor and your group, please back off. we have mike pryor running in arkansas. we don't want you running ads in support of background checks
that would hurt mike mark pryor. what you advise them? >> they're doing what serves them best. harry reid wants to remain the majority which means the democrats remain the majority. that's important for anyone who is progressive. harry reid, his first-- >> michael: i want to interrupt you, isn't it important for anyone who is progressive to just not be like the republicans. i would love to have mark pryor return to the senate. but i want background checks more. >> that's your choice. i'm saying from harry reid's perspective. if i'm harry reid i want the democrats to remain the majority for taxes healthcare foreign policies and not for just one issue. if i'm michael bloomberg who is focused on a single issue i would say mr. mayor you keep doing what you want to do because you're pressing this issue and you're keeping it at
the front of everyone's agenda. >> michael: what do you do if these are two people who can't be advised. i would imagine that nobody advises mike bloomberg and fewer advise harry reid. >> they would have to reconcile on this. >> michael: what is the reconcileization. >> there is no reconciliation. harry reid has a government agenda and michael bloomberg has a gun control agenda. i don't know how you reconcile the two. >> michael: harry reid, majority leader, wouldn't it be great to have his legacy while he was majority leader, the back background checks past. >> if in a a year from now they receive enough support protection or think for more gun safety laws, less gun violence. then harry reid and mark pryor
and the other democrats in red states can say now i have the cover to support more gun safety. but right now these democrats don't have the cover if they're voting that way. >> michael: so they need to build for the long game. >> michael bloomberg is playing for the short game and the long game. >> michael: that's why politics is so interesting all the time. >> we're starting to have three- three-dimensional chess. >> michael: you had me until there. let's talk about a smaller political story. crisisy, the governor of new jersey, a little smaller. he had lap band surgery to make his stomach less. >> my decisions for my career is based upon what is best for me and my family.
whatever size i happen to be when i mace decisions on what i do next for my career, i doubt that will play any role or effect in what i decide to do. you know, i think i made that clear to you guys over time. >> michael: so donnie n ten seconds or less, tell me how this effects 2016. >> you can't escape politics. even if you did it for your family all the pundits observers and supporters are going to say how will this effect your race for president. >> michael: that's the answer. donnie fowler always great. it's being billed as the gang of eight versus the gang of eight hate. now that the title has been settled upon, pass the bill. >> i'm not going to be taking questions on how is it going? how is it feeling? did you get new clothes. i'm not going to be addressing this on a regular basis. i'm doing this today and i'm
standing up here as well as i'm standing up here to answer all the questions to end it because i'm not talking about it any more. it's not anybody else's business how i'm doing. 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. converstion started weekdays 9am eastern. >> i'm a slutty bob hope. >> you are. >> the troops love me. the sweatshirt is nice and all but i could use a golden lasso. (vo) only on current tv.
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the issues of the day. >> do you think that there is any chance we'll see this president even say the words "carbon tax"? >> with an open mind... >> has the time finally come for real immigration reform? >> ...and a distinctly satirical point of view. >> but you mentioned "great leadership" so i want to talk about donald rumsfeld. >> (laughter). >> watch the show. >> only on current tv. [ ♪ theme music ♪ ] >> michael: this afternoon marco rubio of florida held a closed door meeting with fellow conservatives to gain support for the bipartisan legislation. the senate judiciary committee will begin considering amendments to the bill on thursday. those amendments were due today at 5:00 p.m. yesterday the heritage foundation released a critical study of the proposal--shocking. estestimating it could cost
taxpayers $6.3 million in coming decades mostly from healthcare and social service costs for 11 million undocumented who could become citizens. senator rubio calls the study's assessment that undocumented immigrants on a pathway to citizenship would likely rely on public welfare off base. quite frankly that's not the immigration experience in the u.s. that's certainly not my family's emergency appearance in the u.s. the folks described in that report are my family. my mother and dad didn't good wait high school and i would say they were not a burden on the united states. perhaps a sign that rubio will not defect from the gang of eight and stand by their bill. immigration is not just one size fits all matter and the senate is about to consider them all including amendments focusing on women's rights and gay rights. i woulddo you think the inclusion
of lgbt rights could derail the entire bill. >> i think it's possible. many republicans are opposed to any measure to extend protection to lgbt americans. i think that some of them prefer to act, and only 54 democrats opinions in the senate, democrats need about five or six votes to break the 60-vote threshold and get past the filibuster, it's definitely possible, but i think enough republicans realize that immigration reform is critical for their party to maybe give it's safe provision if it's introduced. >> michael: that's a good point. six more points than democrats had on opening day. do you think the republicans will see this as a worth while reason for crossing and voting for the immigration bill.
>> quite likely they'll wait for the supreme court to do their work for them. because if the supreme court courtovers turn doma, the defense of marriage act you could see them well john roberts said it what we have to do is keep pushing and keep fighting for the fullest most inclusive immigration bill we can find. >> michael: and i'm going to ask you about that directly. you as an activist are pushing to have it become a more woman-friendly bill. tell us about that, and tell us--are women sort of cast aside in the immigration discussion here. >> the gang of eight eight men. automatically i look at that is a sense of suspicion and deep miss trust. the women are the majority of our immigrants and women are more likely to benefit from
family unification policies and to go to the heritage report they didn't presume that immigrants would come over and not be productive in business, and that's includes immigrant women. >> michael: and they probably think they're all going to be criminals, the way they look at things. the perception of what an immigrant was to people who ran the heritage organization, it's just lost on them. you wrote a column called "the future of white people," and how the minority around majority of america could be all wrong. >> i think a good way to explain this is to look at an example. comedian louie c kay is part mexican. his native language is spanish, and he identifies himself as
mexican. to most americans he's just a white guy. i think what you'll see over the next 20, 30, 40 years is high intermarriage rates between latinos and americans of angelo descent. this is true of asian americans and americans of anglo descent. you'll see more latinos who are seen as being white much the same way you had in irish americans and italian americans and through intermarriage there was assimilation and they were come to be seen as white people. population projections looks like a majority-minority country of latinos and aaron americans. a lot of those people will not
identity as latino or asian. >> michael: that's an interesting thesis. you don't think of that when when you think of majority-minority. and what he's saying we have no idea what this is going to look like. you're an italian american, i don't know what generation italian american you are, but what is the sort of attitudes within italian americans about heritage and identifying. >> i think a lot of pride that my community makes in their italian heritage translates to pride and respect to other people. i'm here in san francisco, the ultimate melting pot. it's a combination already and that's a beautiful thing as my mom always says, the beauty is in the mix. >> michael: your mom is right: christine i want to change gears and go to a suspect that means a lot, and something we worked a lot to go on "the war room." the rise of sexual assault in the military. let's listen to chuck hagel the
secretary of defense. >> this is a cultural issue, a leadership issue and a command issue. we're not unaware of the challenges, and it isn't as you note, it's not just isolated in the military. it is a cultural issue. >> michael: is it calling it a cultural issue the right direction to take. >> first i'm glad he addressed the issue, and i'm glad the commander in chief the president of the united states, talked about sexual assault by those in military uniform. third of all, it is more than a cultural issue, it is a crime. committing a crime is a very serious problem that you can't simply blame on culture. the military has a strong responsibility to train the next generation of leaders. people are supposed to be protecting us. i want to caution people on the
increases. we found this out when i was in domestic violence prosecutor and right after the o.j. simpson case where there was a supposed rise of domestic violence reporting. the number of sexual assault in the military and the number of reports because there is a higher number of prostitution may be different. let's be cautious and say the epidemic has gotten worse. it may be what needs to get better, we don't attack culture but perpetrators. zero tolerance. we have the best military in the world, greatest focus for good on the planet but let's keep it that way and truly have zero tolerance. >> michael: jamel bouie and happy birthday to christine pelosi. lee fong of the nation has an uncanny knack of shining light on the hypocritical egregious
>> michael: for most americans leaving a job can be stressful especially when it comes to money. but corporate bigwigs who leave private secretary for jobs for capitol hill sometimes get an added bonus to cushion that difficult transition. these are bonuses a little somethin' somethin' when they go to work for the government. jack lew received an exit passage worth $1 million in 2009 shortly before joining the obama administration. now to be clear he to do to walk away from the bonus if he quit his citibank job for another job with a few exceptions including if he left for.
>> to close the quote resolving door end quote that carries the special interest in the revolving door in and out of the government. i think that's a question at a needs to be asked and i'd appreciate hearing your response. >> good job but for more on this interesting story i'm joined by lee fong who joins us from washington, d.c. to talk about his latest piece for the nation where he reports from capitol hill. welcome to the war room. >> thanks for having me. >> michael: my first question is how can they about be legal? >> well, you know, i talked to several ethics lawyers and the rules state that these types of bonuses can't be enhanceed by congressional jobs.
the thing is no one really looks into them. no one knows the exact employment negotiations. there is no investigations, there is no enforcement. even though these rules supposedly bar some type of special privilege or bonus that is kind of you could call it a bribe, there is no enforcement. >> michael: yes, but what is interesting, though, there is no special law about enhancement but you know, if you leave--it sounded as if you left the job for another job you got $100,000. if you left to go to congress, you get $200,000. this is where i wonder about the legality. there should be a blanket bonus in place. >> there should be enforcement. if you look at the financial disclosures filed by these types of individuals they don't tell
you the nature of these bonuses. that's the issue. people deserve a bonus if they do work hard at their job and they receive a share of the yearly profits that's fine. but it's problematic that these lobbying firms or corporations are paying these individuals an additional bonus as kind of a remember me money so when these individuals are then enter work on capitol hill they're more likely to pick up a phone call or slip a provision into a bill that serves their former employers. >> michael: that makes perfect sense. give me an example of one other case that you came across? >> well, in 2011 one of the executives and former lobbyists left to work at the house armed services committee he received $500,000 in severance and bonus payments and then another executive and former lobbyist
was hired to the senate armed committee, he also received a big severance up to $450,000. this one defense contractor, one of the biggest in the world has folks on both sides of congress and they pay big bonuses. >> michael: it just doesn't cease to amaze. lee, there are some huge war room congratulations in order for you. the right wing alec as we know it listed you as the progressives on their most wanted list for being the most outspoken and critical of their organization. they showed their your photo and warned their members not to associate with you. did it make your mom proud, and if i turn you in, how much money is the reward. >> my mom is very proud. she posted it on her facebook. it's an honor and privilege. i've covered alec for many
years. i've written how alec has blocked health reform. on a whole range of issues, two years ago when they saw me coming in one of their congresses she sent a security guard to literally kick me out in a pretty violent way. they're not happy about my critical coverage of their book. it's interesting to see my picture and my name on this list list. >> michael: it's the highest form of flattery. lee fong we're very proud of you at "the war room." our friend, come back and join us here tonight. and thank you for joining us here tonight in the war room. cenk uygur will be next with "the young turks." always an unbelievable show. i want you to have a great night. tomorrow, we're going to have more march goes on right here, and of course more politics. so do have a great night.
♪ theme ♪ cenk: welcome to "the young turks." huge show ahead. unfortunately, casualties in the army are going up. some republicans on the issue of gun control beginning to waiver. all of a sudden, they're not happy about their poll numbers. we'll talk about that later. chris christie apparently had storing lose weight. did it work? all right now we start with an amazing story i'm sure you've all seen it on line or