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tv   Viewpoint  Current  June 6, 2013 5:00pm-6:01pm PDT

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was totally unacceptable. why did he change? we'll try to answer that tonight. >> john: thanks, turks. so i tried to call the white house on my verizon phone to tell them how angry i am about the nsa having access to my telephone records. they told me they already knew how i felt about it. "viewpoint" becomes the first tv show in broadcast history to feature dan savage and sister simone campbell. we'll address the important lgbt issues in america and whether they're reasons to heckle the first lady. we present the award for the most deeply embarrassing u.s. senator of the week, little hint, it is a republican. today is the anniversary of the d.-day invasion and the assassination of robert kennedy. also the birthday of playwright harvey fire stein collin quinn and happy 50th birthday to eric cantor who serves in
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congress as yago to john boehner's othello if othello was orange. this is "viewpoint." >> john: good evening i'm john fuglesang. this is "viewpoint." oh, to be gay in love, and in minnesota. same-sex couples began showing up to apply for marriage licenses today in three counties in the land of 10,000 lakes. for friends and relatives of the happy couples still wondering what to buy from their registries, well you have until at least august 1st when the same-sex weddings are slated to begin. right now, 12 states and the district of columbia have marriage equality on the books and based on the latest polls more states may be on the way to the 21st century. according to a bloomberg news poll 52% of american adults now
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support allowing same-sex marriage and when asked if legal recognition of marriage equality was inevitable a pew research center poll shows nearly three out of four americans say yes. and that's true for democrats republicans and independents. so, it seems like bad news for opponents of marriage equality, those hopeless romantics although brian brown president of the national organization for marriage -- sorry national organization of straights only marriage, said and i quote... >> john: of course, mr. brown will keep on continuing to raise lots of money from all of those people for as long as the bigotry holds out. but, he may have a point. when the latest "huffington post" poll asked if the federal government should recognize same-sex marriages the numbers were almost evenly split. 43% said yes.
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45% said no. so on that somewhat confusingly somber note, i'm joined by the always dynamic lgbt activist and incredible author and columnist dan savage, cofounder of the gets better project. his latest book is american savage insights, slights and fates on love, sex and politics and he comes from us from a very realistic fake had been looking seattle background. >> thanks for having me. >> john: let me start with the poll numbers. we know polls are always right. do the marriage equality poll numbers show it is getting better or is it that split on federal recognition of equality basically support of the defense of marriage act suggests all progress aside we still have a long way to go? >> we do have a long way to go in the united states before we achieve full civil equality for lgbt people. i believe the poll is an outliar. that's a form of the question that hasn't been asked before and it is an unfamiliar question.
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federal rights are implied when you ask people if same-sex marriage should be legal. legal only recognized at the state and federal level. when you ask people should the federal government recognize marriage, it seems like a new and different thing which is why i think you got that outliar result with that particular poll. >> john: it is very puzzling. not altogether troubling. the march of progress is on. are you surprised around 3/4 of democrats, republicans and independents all think legal same-sex marriage is inevitable? >> i'm not surprised. people can see the writing on the wall. brian brown came to my house for dinner last august and said that his side was winning and since he made those remarks new zealand got marriage, uruguay got marriage, france got marriage the u.k., for all intents and purposes, the vote in the house of lords this week got marriage. three u.s. states passed it at the ballot box and three in their legislatures. the tide is turning. we've reached the tipping point. equality is inevitable. brian brown's 25% can fight a
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rear guard action and as they beat ungraceful, undigfy nide retreat on this issue. they're going to lose and they know it. the only question now is how much money are they going to waste of their backers between now and full civil quality for lgbt people which is inevitable. >> john: i'm always eager to point out the organization is a hustle designed to separate homophobes from their cash. on tuesday, of course, first lady michelle obama was speaking at a private washington fund-raiser held at a lesbian couple's home, when, as you know, one activist from an lgbt rights group interrupted her. the activist wants to push the first lady to push the president to sign an executive order that would bar federal contractors from discriminating against lgbt workers. i think most of us would agree that's a real good idea. but do you think miss sturtz helped by interrupting
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mrs. obama? >> i support get equal. they're the unsung heroes. the unsung heroes of the dadt repeal which was going nowhere until get equal chained themselves to the white house fence, started interrupting the president as he gave fund-raising speeches. that really moved the issue. when the lgbt rights civil act like a civil rights movement when people were arrested and got rude, we saw progress on that issue. i don't think interrupting the first lady is a terrifically good idea. and it may have been in politic but here we are talking about the president's power to sign an executive order requiring businesses that take contracts from the government not to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation gender identity which he's had the power to do for five years and hasn't done. the problem here is the politicization of the rolfe the first lady. if the first lady is above and separate from politics, she shouldn't be giving speeches at the democratic national convention. she shouldn't be a political proxy for the president.
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and you can't be a political proxy and then say but my role is above politics and i shouldn't be confronted with political issues or confronted in the political manner at a political fund-raiser. it is not something i would have done but here we are talking about the issue which is what that activist hoped to raise. the first lady slapped her down and had her say and -- >> john: and now we're talking about it. >> that's politics. people scream and yell and push and shove and we've polittized the role of the first lady. we've crossed that rubicon and there's no going back. i think this first lady, future first ladies should expect political back and forth if they're going to be political first ladies. >> john: it's true. we can agree the sometimes rude a.i.d.s. activism of the late '80s and '90s led to a community getting organized and led directly to the conversation we're having today where marriage equality is equal in -- is legal in states. are you surprised the president hasn't signed that executive
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order which has been pending for a year. we always talk about how the democrats are always willing to throw lgbt folks under the parade folks because they can take those votes for granted. is the president right to wait for congress to deal with the issue even though we know congress's bill is never going anywhere? >> i think the president should sign that executive order. i don't think the president is right to wait. as we saw on marriage, on doma, as we saw on ddt and the repeal, the president moves when the gay community pushes. the labor movement and the hispanic movement, the immigration movement looks to the gay community in 2010 when we got significant progress and results from the white house when they were not. what are we doing wrong? and the environmental movement, too. what we've seen with obama is he's pretty passive. i think about that famous fdr quote where he's meeting with a lefty activist. you're right and i agree with you. now get out there and make me do it. then comes to lgbt rights, he
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knows we're right. there is a certain element if we have to make him do it. and that's what is up with this executive order. >> john: i think you're exactly right. it is about lbj had to do with dr. kink and it is what the president told us to do in 2009 when he sent a video saying keep the pressure on me. we do give him credit for mentioning stonewall in an address and repealing don't ask don't tell and no longer prosecuting doma cases. but i think you're right. if the people leave they'll follow. but now, you recently -- >> i do want to say this has been the most pro gay presidential administration in history. we've seen the most progress on our issues in history. but there is a bit of kabuki political theatre and dance about this. we have to play our part. gay activists have to play their part which is to push and shove and scream and yell and demand results. and get them. and i do think that we wouldn't be seeing the results if we weren't making these sorts of demands on the president. >> john: i want to shift now
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to religion, a topic you and i have discussed several times in the past. you recently told huff poe you're not anti-religion you're anti-hypocrisy. you urge christians who support lgbt rights to get in the face of people like family research council president tony perkins on these issues. i think you're exactly right. that's what i've tried to do as a comedian and pro gay bible thumper. do you ever hear from christians who have done that and do you think it would really make a difference to a guy like tony perkins if they did or is fund-raising the only thing these guys understand? >> well, eugene robinson gets in tony perkins' face. john shore, an evangelical christian, he gets in their faces pretty aggressively. i don't think it will change tony perkins but the problem with the tony perkins' of the world and the brian brown running loose out there they claim to speak for all christians. they have succeeded in making christianity synonymous with
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anti-gay bigotry. there are a lot of people embarrassed to say they're christian because they don't want people to think their bigots. and that's -- those are the fruits of tony perkins' labors. so liberal progressive, not bigoted christians, they have to speak up and get in tony perkins' face. i think he's irredeemable. i don't think you can change him but for everybody else to know that man does not speak for all christians. he doesn't speak for eugene robinson or my mom who was a catholic. but he claims to. he says the christian community thinks this. the christian family association thinks that. and christians like eugene robinson, john shore, my mom i call them not all like that christians because when you go on tv and you argue with tony perkins, you get a lot of e-mails saying you need to know we're not all like that. tell tony perkins. >> john: as do all of the home poe phobe followers. i wanted to briefly touch on
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something i think is political which you've talked about in your new book. your newest word, the next santorum monogomich. there are six species of mammals that mate for life. you've been making the rounds talking about this a lot lately. how would you define monogomich. >> it was a description with my husband, terry. we're much more monogamous than not and we're monogomich. a little squish around the edges. that allows us to stay together, stay happy and stay monogamous. the term has been adopted by a lot of straight people, a lot of straight couples.
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you see monogomich among straight couples. we have an understanding that you know, we're socially monogamous, perhaps not exclusively 100% sexually monogamous and there is a little wiggle room around the edges where there's some allowance for adventure, some accommodation for sexual interest that my partner enjoys that i do not. and their ability to get that need met elsewhere so they're not miserable this hasn't happened for them. that kind of -- you know, compassionate, sort of understanding that, like you said, we're not a naturally monogamous species yet we have placed successfully executed lifelong monogamy at the center of our marriages so our marriages are a failure if we we cannot do this. like saying your marriage is a success as well as you can breathe underwater. if you have to come up for air your marriage is working. the minute you gasp for breath, it face. i'm not saying people should
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cheat and make commitments that they're going to violate but people shouldn't make commitments they know they'll be incapable of keeping. the culture should collapse from success. 60% of men 40% of women cheat at some point in the long-term relationships. that 60% that 40% they're not all married to each other. almost all long-term relationships be with will be touchedgy an infidelity. how are you going to work through that? if your marriage is defined only by sexual exclusivity and not by all of the other values, your marriage is going to fail. you're setting yourself up for failure. that's unrealistic. >> john: i think it is awful you're tearing down traditional marriage the way are you. dan savage, lgbt activist and columnist, latest book is american savage, do your brain a favor and pick that one up. great to have you back on "viewpoint." >> thanks so much. >> john: i'll drag you back on
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stage next time i'm in seattle. >> please do. >> john: up next, lgbt thursday continues with a spectacular panel you don't want to miss. thinking. >>ok, so there's wiggle room in the ten commandments, that's what you're saying. you would rather deal with ahmadinejad than me. >>absolutely. >> and so would mitt romney. (vo) she's joy behar. >>and the best part is that current will let me say anything. what the hell were they thinking? >> i think it's brilliant. (vo) first, news and analysis with a washington perspective from an emmy winning insider. >> i know this stuff, and i love it. (vo) followed by humor and politics with a west coast edge. bill press and stephanie miller.
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>> what a way to start the day.
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cenk off air alright in 15 minutes we're going to do the young turks! i think the number 1 thing than viewers like about the young turks is that were honest. they know that i'm not bsing them for some hidden agenda, actually supporting one democrats are wrong, they know i'm going to be the first one to call them out. cenk on air>> what's unacceptable is how washington continues to screw the middle class over. cenk off air i don't want the middle class taking the brunt of the spending cuts and all the different programs that wind up hurting the middle class. cenk on air you got to go to the local level, the state level and we have to fight hard to make sure they can't buy our politics anymore. cenk off air and they can question if i'm right about that. but i think the audience gets that, i actually mean it. cenk on air 3 trillion dollars in spending cuts! narrator uniquely progressive and always topical the worlds largest online news show is on current tv. cenk off air and i think the audience gets, "this guys to best of his abilities is trying to look out
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for us." only on current tv! >> john: welcome back. our discussion of the lgbt issues in the news continues with a panel that i'm completely gay for. i'm happy to welcome via skype zach wahls an lgbt activist and author of "my two moms," teeco almeida, founder of freedom to work and the one and only richard socarides former clinton and viser and contributor to the new what a thrill to have all three of you here tonight. tico, was ellen sturtze the activist the least bit justified in heckling the first lady at the private fund-raising event the other day? >> you know, she was certainly rude but it worked. it sparked a conversation that we're having here. that's been had on cnn on major networks and "the washington post" about why the president is
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delaying now five years of delay, on a campaign promise he made to sign the executive order. and i think it's important that we have the debate. i want that debate to be forward-looking. the rumor we're hearing here in d.c. is joe biden has concocted a three-step plan to get this done. step one he books himself on "meet the press" this sunday, says if he were president, he would sign the executive order. step two jay carney goes crazy tries to pull back, says joe we're talking about another order. of course, after a few days of controversy and media hype, step three, the president goes on ""good morning america"" and said he's evolved and he signs. >> john: you have to have arne duncan endorse it as well. >> it worked last year. i hope it works this year. >> john: zach, the activist who heckled michelle obama vowed to stop being a nice lesbian as part of her mission to get equal rights for gay people. i think that's being a nice lesbian. now that progress is being made for the lgbt community, do you
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think it is a danger of folks being too nice and docile about things and not keeping the pressure on? >> i think a lot of it goes back to -- >> john: okay. i think we're having a little bit of trouble with zach's audio although for skype it doesn't look like -- hopefully we can get that fixed. richard, i'll bring you in. a lot of folks are upset the president hasn't signed this executive order and why do you think he hasn't done it yet? is he waiting to see if there's any movement on nda in the house and senate or is it something he's saving for the midterm election year next year? >> it is very hard to understand why he hasn't signed it. the employment nondiscrimination act is a bill they've supports but democratic presidents going back to bill clinton have supported it. it will not pass the republican house of representatives. >> john: it won't. >> waiting for enda, we could wait a long time at least until
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we get a majority back in the house. there were clearly some people right before the election in the democratic party and perhaps close advisers to him who advised him against doing this maybe because it would be seen as putting another requirement on corporate america. it might be seen as a hindrance to job creation. but it is none of those things. no one ever has made a case that it is. so it is way pastime that he signed it. i think you know, michelle obama was giving a political speech to a political audience -- >> john: indeed she was. >> it comes with the territory. >> john: free speech door swings both ways. zach, i'm not sure -- we don't have you yet. let me go back to you tico, the progress that's happened in same-sex marriage during the obama administration proof that politically calculated incremental change is the way to go? is radical advocacy self-defeating? >> i think all kinds of advocacy are necessary.
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we need insiders, outsiders we need people filing lawsuits. i was here talking about the blockbuster lawsuit against exxon mobil that has taken billions of dollars in our taxpayer money and they refuse to follow the rest of corporate america. they refused to follow chevron and texaco in treating gay and transgender people with basic dignity. i think it is all kinds of activism whether it is lobbying, direct action, we need all of it. >> john: zach wahls is back. bringing you back in, today the law allowing marriage equality went into effect in minnesota. is gay marriage on an unstoppable arch or do you think we'll see butches in the road in the weeks and years to come? >> look at what happened just last week in illinois, a lot of the uncertainty that we're seeing in that state as well as the reality of course that we have nearly 30 states where we either have to reverse these constitutional amendments that have been implemented at the state level or look to a
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sweeping supreme court decision. it is clearly going to be a lot of work. there will be a lot of bumps in the road ahead. ultimately, i would agree with dan and what's said in the block about how this is really going to be, i think from the lock-term point of view, a big deal but in the short-term, there will be plenty of setbacks. we can't get cocky and think this is going to be inevitable. we have to make it happen. >> john: i didn't get to ask you this before. what are your thoughts on the president signing an executive order banning discrimination against lgbt americans in the workplace? >> well, it would be for federal contractors, not just blanket employers. it is something the president should do. and like everybody else in this panel, i'm disappointed he hasn't done so yet. i don't understand his political calculus. i hope he can be brought to understand whether it is through the heckling of his wife which i would agree is a rude way to do it but we're all talking about it. or through an internal conversation he has to have with the administration to get that
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done. >> john: okay, i'm going to be completely inappropriate and ask you guys your opinion on a cultural matter. we just saw the highest ratings i believe for original film in hbo history for steven soderbergh's film for rib lacci. i was -- for liberace. i was struck to see a mainstream film that had heterosexual actors playing gay roles. i want to ask you really quick is this an issue or does it not matter as we see more gay actors playing straight parts. it was almost a completely heterosexual cast a sign of progress? >> i think the answer is yes. i think that just as gay actors can play straight roles we're going to let straight people play us. >> john: although michael douglas will remind us how straight he is. >> i hope matt damon plays me in the movie. >> john: zach, what did you think of the casting in the film? >> yeah, i agree with richard. historically speaking, this has definitely been -- for me, bird
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cage was kind of a big interesting movie about the community when i was growing up. that was obviously starring robin williams. but you start to see folks are a little bit less eccentric than robin. playing these characters. it is a sign of progress. >> john: tico, is it a sign of progress that we can have all straight actors playing gay roles with some rather specific sex scenes and there's no big outcry? >> i agree with what's been said. frankly, i thought the biggest stretch in the casting was having matt damon who is about my age play an 18-year-old was a little bit of a stretch. he didn't quite pull that off. >> john: fortunately, he has that painting in the attic that's aging for him. thank you, zach walls. check out his book, my two moms. tico almeida, thank you both so much. richard socarides will be stick around. up next, we'll be talking about the government snooping on everybody's verizon phone calls although if you work for the
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nsa, you already heard us talking about this on the phone earlier today.
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>> john: in the guardian today, a friend of the show, glenn greenwald reported the bombshell scoop that the national security agency is currently collecting the telephone records of millions of u.s. customers of verizon one of america's largest providers under a top-secret court order issued last april. is it really the bombshell that a lot of folks in the media are saying it is? some are pointing out this is just the same old same old attack on our liberties that kind of started when president bush, he who must not be named first signed the patriot act continued on with wiretapping and flourished under the obama administration. joining me once again is richard socarides and bachelor number two is rick ungar writer for who is joining us now. rick let me start off let me get some back story here. what's your beef with glenn greenwald and why is he wrong?
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>> actually, i do have a beef with glenn greenwald. we'll leave that aside. i woke up this morning and everybody is abuzz with this breaking story. so i go read the breaking story in "the guardian" and i'm going breaking story? it was a break story in 2002. it was kind of a breaking story again in 2006. and as you know, because i actually sent you the lead from susan page's article in "usa today" in 2007, it was identical. so, you know, glenn who i know fancies himself as the guardian of our liberties somehow missed the memo that this is very old news. this court order is a rolling court order. it is reapproved every three months and has been reapproved. >> john: when saxby chambliss is showing up defending the president -- richard, scoop worthiness aside is there any validity, the idea of doing this stuff is keeping us safer? >> i don't think so. and i think that reason though, if you follow this closely you
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have an idea that some of this may be going on. i think when, you know, americans read that every phone call anybody makes whether it is in the u.s. or outside the u.s., that a record is kept of that. that record is shared with the government and the government keeps those records so that they have a database for all time. i think that, you know, the additional information this afternoon that the government has a deal with the internet providers, that the government has access to our e-mails. i think this is really big brother and the sweep of this program is very disturbing and i think, you know, if it were -- you know, if this were being done under president romney, most liberals, most progressives in this country would be going crazy. now, we're leaving it up to the aclu and a few people willing to speak out against it. >> i think it's very disturbing. >> john: richard makes the real point here, rick because back when obama signed ndaa, a lot of liberals flipped out.
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don't worry we won't abuse this but what about president ted cruz ten years from now? >> the liberals are going crazy. the liberals and the libertarians have joined together. the republicans are going yea obama. lindsey graham sat across from the attorney general this morning and congratulated him for something. it was astounding. but i mean the way each person handled it today was hilarious. first, you have darrell issa condemning the president for this vast overreaching government at the very same moment his corepublican chairman mike rogers, chairman of the house senate intelligence committee is going what's the big deal? >> john: exactly. >> we've been doing this for years. >> john: call off the dogs as the day went by. >> because he's an idiot. he talks before he even knows what -- >> john: he's a useful idiot. his job is to get the g.o.p. base organized and angry and outraged over stuff. what does it say that we're using the hype about i.r.s. and
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benghazi where the horrible things may have happened but they're not real scandals. however, the things that are scandals like a.p. and especially richard, this seems to be brushed aside. >> i wouldn't really call this a scandal. >> john: it's legal. >> it may be legal but it's really shocking all three branches of government over a long period of time have conspired to do this. i mean we should not -- this is not something you can blame on president obama or on the white house. but this is -- this is what has become par for the course for the government. and the executive branch, the branch runs it. the judiciary is complicit. and the congress. and this is not what we're about in this country. not what we should be doing. tracking our citizens. >> john: when you have saxby chambliss saying we knew about this no biggy. >> it is great to get this open to debate. it deserves it. i've never been comfortable with it. i know you weren't. but to do it in this way bugs me
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sensible conversation without all of the silly politics and glenn writing that this is a big, breaking story. this conversation should be going on every day for the past seven years. >> john: you remember before 9-11 when you were going to board a plane, you had three questions to answer. george carlin had a bit where he said the three questions in airport security exist for one reason to give white people the illusion of safety. after 9-11, is this going to be the new normal forever? was that the catalyst to say that you will never have any electronic privacy ever again on your computer? >> i don't think it will be the new normal. it is very interesting. a lot of internet companies, the story breaking this afternoon on the internet snooping by the government, and all of the internet companies were partners in this program with the government, apple late this afternoon, just as i was coming on, issued a statement saying they're not participating. they haven't participated. >> there is actually a reason we should mention. you're right. but this is actually old news, too. the difference is people forget
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that congress legislated in unity for the telephone companies back in 2003 because people wanted to sue them when they found out they were turning over their records. that immunity has not been legislated for internet companies yet. >> but yet some of the internet companies are participating. some are saying no. that will be a big issue right? >> john: yes. >> if private companies get to decide and are kind of making a voluntary choice about whether or not to provide -- >> john: they have immunity. >> not the internet. >> john: not yet. >> this is going to be a big issue. >> john: i predict it might not be a big issue until they have access to people's porn then you'll see americans wake up. >> they do. >> they know what you're seeing. >> john: that's great for all of our terrified males in the audience. do you think that the president however, is doing this just because ofpology ticks? or is he doing it because he really believes this is crucial to american safety and saving lives? >> i think that you know, i take
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him at his word. i think that when the -- when you're in that office and i've seen this. i saw this when i worked for president clinton for seven of the eight years when he was president, when you're in the office, there is a responsibility that falls on you. when americans are in harm's way, when you have the terror attacks, you're president the, you want to do everything you can to protect every american life. you constantly have to balance the interests. i thought, for instance, the president's remarks recently about the war on terror and how we can't constantly have a war on terror were, you know, theoretically, that was great rhetoric. but now we have to put it into play as policy. >> john: last word, rick. >> richard's right. it is interesting to watch the evolution of barack obama. when he first announced his candidacy to be president, he was dead set against this. >> john: we've been seeing the footage. >> when he got nominated, there was a vote that followed. he actually voted for an amended version when he got into office. obviously he decided that this
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was something we needed. i think you're right. when you get into the job things change. >> john: as a senator he voted for patriot act too. i want to thank new writer richard socarides and i want to thank rick ungar. you're a great guest. we should have you on more often. >> five nights a week, you think? >> john: i can't even do five nights a week anymore. great things happened in minnesota today. the crazy wtf things happened in minnesota as well. that's coming up next. perfectly bite sized drops of rich and creamy chocolate happiness. when the chocolate is hershey's, life is delicious.
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(vo) later tonight current tv is the place for compelling true stories. >> jack, how old are you? >> nine. >> this is what 27 tons of marijuana looks like. (vo) with award winning documentaries that take you inside the headlines, way inside. (vo) from the underworld, to the world of privilege. >> everyone in michael jackson's life was out to use him. (vo) no one brings you more documentaries that are real, gripping, current.
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>> john: we proudly conclude wtf minnesota week with a look at minnesota viking adrian peterson who declared that having an openly gay teammate "really wouldn't bother me that much." yes, that football star was generous enough to offer the only kind of support that matters, we grudging kind. peterson earlier said he's not with gay american which is understandable because any man who makes his living running around a field in shiny, tight clothing while grabbing, groping and tackling sweaty men can't be expected to be with something that might come off as gay. he also expressed discomfort with the idea of showering with a gay man. i'm sure he believes as the old adage goes, i'm not truly clean until i'm intolerantly clean. wtf, minnesota. i do a lot of shows in your state. nobody can dislike a state that gave us mystery science theatre 3,000 and bob dylan. on top of that, you started
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letting same-sex couples apply to get married today. your state is so great people are willing to live there despite the fact that the temperature is roughly 40 degrees below zero for 11 and a half months a year. please, try to get some of your athletes to warm up to the idea of equality for all. go time. you know what time it is. go time! it's go time. it's go time. what time is it rob? here comes the young turks go time! it's go time. oh is it? oh, then it's go time. anybody? anybody? what time is it? oh, right. it's go time!
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>> john: welcome back to "viewpoint." on social media earlier today, i asked if you thought immigration reform was dead. on our facebook "viewpoint" page lois j. waldron wrote, it
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is exactly what rubio planned all along. he can claim he tried but the mean old democratic party ruined it. lois i think you crossed the border and emigrated into rubio's brain with that one. if you have a comment please tweet us at "viewpoint" or at john fuglesang, use the hashtag "viewpoint" or post it on our facebook page. immigration reform is expected to hit the senate floor next week. america's favorite group of traveling nuns is hitting the road. they set out to protest paul ryan's plans to cut safety net programs that helped the poor and elderly. >> together, we can ensure that the faithful budget becomes a reality, not the immoral budget that was offered in the house. >> john: as a fan of cool nuns, this year, nuns on the bus are taking on immigration reform. the group led by sister simone campbell began their journey last wednesday not an easy place to reach by bus.
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they'll make 54 stops in 15 states along the u.s. southern border including florida texas and california whose high immigrant population put them on the front lines of the debate over a path to citizenship. joining me now is executive director of network, a national catholic social justice lobby leader of the nuns on the bus tour, the one the only sister simone campbell. what a pleasure to have you back on "viewpoint." good evening. >> it is great to be with you john. >> john: great to have you. the nuns on the bus tour began last year in response to paul ryan's budget plans because ryan's individualist ayn rand stance went against catholic social teachings and pretty much most of what jesus said. with all of the issues out there now, sister, social security, medicare medicaid, what is it about immigration the issue de jure for some politicals that led you and the nuns to want to focus such attention on it? >> well, we know that immigration reform is one of the most urgent issues of our time. the fact is we tried in 2007 to
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fix it and it totally fell apart. this is the biggest opportunity we've had to fix a broken system in our nation and we know that fixing a broken system will improve our economy. it will improve our communities. it will certainly improve our nation and our capacity to come together as a community and to build into the future, we the people. we know, as people of faith, is that faith motivates this but our economy our people, everyone will benefit from doing it. >> john: i'm sure many would agree, what are you hoping to achieve, you and your fellow sisters through the tour this time around? are you calling for action or are you just promoting advocacy? >> we're definitely calling for action. in fact, i'm about to leave to go to what we call a friend-raiser where we encourage all participates to do basically three things. sign a card that we've got write a note why they want -- why the individual wants immigration reform, the second is we give them this card that
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has all of the points on it and we're inviting people to what we call grocery store missionary work. we've got to talk to each other about this. step away from fear and embrace community and talk about it. and then the third thing that we're doing is we've got -- it is hard to believe but i've got this text thing set up where people can text nuns, the message nuns at 877877 and you just put nuns in the message and through a couple of series of texts back, we'll put you through to your senator's office where you can report your name, the state you're from and that you support comprehensive immigration reform. we're really trying to make it easy for folks to act. but this is not a time just for academic exercise. this is the best time we've had to improve our nation. >> john: how dare you enable direct democracy sister. >> it's wonderful, isn't it? >> john: what are some of the key elements of sensible immigration reform you would like to see passed? do you support the gang of eight's proposal? >> the gang of eight's proposal
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deals with all of the key issues. i might tweak it a little bit. it's not all of the key issues addressed. that's the important piece. the key for us is a path to citizenship for the 11 million people working in our nation, contributing to our society and yet still working in the shadows. what we also are for is speeding up the line for those folks who have relatives in the united states and have been able to get approved petitions to come to the united states. some of those folks are having to wait 10, 12, as much as 18 years. we think that's wrong. the gang of 8 would fix that. we also believe that there needs to be a sensible way forward. something that's flexible enough to deal with different aspects of the economy. such as you know, when our economy needs more workers or families need to be taken -- need their relatives to come because of certain situations. this bill would have a commission that would make recommendations to congress. we need a watch dog to keep on
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top of it. finally, while we are really know that over $106 billion with a b has been spent on border security between the u.s. and mexico and our borders are basically secure, there are a couple of small things that could be done that will just enhance security. while we think we can declare mission accomplished on the border, the basic piece is a little additional work with either apply for employment applications as well as being able to track who comes in and goes out. a simple computer program that other nations use, we could use. so those things combined together to make an effective bill, to make an effective way forward. we hope it gets approved on the floor of the senate, this is a good way forward. >> john: i was hoping you would get specific but i'll take that as an answer, sister. i have this dream that jesus
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comes back and jan brewer ships him off to san juan. when we see so many christians being so furious about their fellow christians crossing the border, in your theology, do you think god -- if he or she exists, really cares all that much about the invisible lines we draw on the ground to separate our tribes? >> well, i think you raise a really good point john. when we were in winter garden, florida, we were greeted by young people carrying flags of monarch butterfly. what they pointed out was that the monarch butterfly nests in the state -- flies up to the united states and flies back. and it has no papers. so they were saying that life is generated in this whole planet without these lines. but the fact is we do have these lines. the economy is different. and so we have to have modern 21st century laws that can address these issues. it is not a simple thing. i think what we have to do is be responsible as a nation and fix
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it. we believe we're creative and historically, we have used the energy of immigrants -- as i like to say immigration is the glory of our past and it is the hope for our future. it will improve us greatly if we fix this broken system. >> john: i agree. don't let's not forget the monarch butterflies give birth to anchor caterpillars. there was a picture of you and the president in the oval office. he was lucky to meet you. how far along the bus tour are you? where does it end? >> when i met the president, we were on our second full day. now, we are -- i think it is eight days in. i sort of lose count. we're here in new orleans louisiana. we have a gathering tonight here in new orleans. and then we head into texas. and finally it ends up june 18th in san francisco looking out at angel island. we started looking at ellis island where all of the immigration happened and our memory of the european migrants and we end with angel island
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where the asian population came into our nation. by starting and ending at those two places, immigration is about the 100%, all of us have a piece of the immigration story. we need to really make sure that we lift up the 100% and be better as a nation. fix it. as i say. now. >> john: i'm going to draft you to run for office. sister simone campbell, leader of the nuns on the bus and executive director for network. what a pleasure as always. >> delighted to be with you, john. thanks for the opportunity. >> john: be well. we'll see you on the road. >> john: i'll be talking about a beast and it will not be pretty.
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>> john: time to present the "viewpoint" award for the deeply embarrassing senator of the week. never easy to narrow it down to just one but this week, the honors go to georgia's own saxby chambliss who famously ran for senate? '02 against max clelandnd who lost three limbs in vietnam but got student medical deferments to avoid serving in. saxby released a tv ad showing cleland side by side with bin laden and saddam hussein thereby electing saxby in toolry. recently when rob portman came out in support of gay marriage, chambliss refused to endorse marriage equality. he said i'm not gay so i'm not going to marry one prompting millions of gay american men to say not on your best day saxby. he might be extremely right wing. since he doesn't hate all
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democrats, he's facing a primary challenge from the jackal wing of the g.o.p. when he announced he would not seek re-election some felt sorry for him and then came this week. when the senate armed services committee held hearings on military sexual assault. which featured two witnesses who want reform and 18 witnesses who endorse the current military policy on sexual assault of covering one's ears and going la, la la, la, la, la. now, we don't doubt that saxby chambliss cares deeply about this issue. he's clearly as devoted to supporting the women who serve in our wars as he was once devoted to not having to serve in that war he supported. but then, he had to go and say this. i'm going to quote. the young folks who are coming into each of your services are anywhere from 17 to 22 or 23. gee, whiz, the hormone level created by nature sets in place the possibility for these types of things to occur so we've got to be very careful how we address it on our side.
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okay. let's get beyond the fact that the senator has seemingly no scientific understanding of human biology. let's overlook the fact there are millions of men in the military in their late teens early 20s who manage every day to not rape people. let's move past the concern that there is a senator in a congressional hearing on military sex crimes saying the words gee whiz. it turns out these guys are old enough to handle guns but not their own pistols. the senator doesn't seem to realize rape has nothing to do with desire. but it is a behavior of violence and control. he also doesn't seem to realize that it is men being sexually assaulted in the military, as well. this is what we mean when we use the expression rape culture. some guys can't handle their hormones and saxby chambliss who opposed al franken's anti-rape amendment in 2009 is clearly not pro rape but he has an outdated attitude that's part after culture that doesn't take rape seriously. so if the good senator really thinks the hormone levels in young men lead to rape and that's the big danger, well then the only way i guess by this
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logic to stop military sexual abuse by the young hormonal men is to only allow males over 40 to serve in the armed services. just think now the old men who like to send young men off to fight and die in war will have to send themselves off instead! the all new all middle-aged or senior male armed forces is guaranteed to be rape free except when some 55-year-old snorts his bunk mate's androgel. viagra three in every mess hall and the just for army can be intonesserred. every republican chicken hawk who avoid serving but supported other men serving will get their chance. looking at you bush, cheney, rush limbaugh and saxby chambliss. saddle up and get back in the war. john mccain will stay in the senate. we'll have to fill empty seats with younger men who don't hate gays and take rape seriously. sorry, saxby some guys can't handle their hormones. thank you dan savage, zach
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wahls, richard socarides and sister simone. i will be at pace university this saturday afternoon in new york city. have a great weekend, everyone. we'll see you next week. good night mom. >> joy: at a dnc fund-raiser michelle obama got heckled by a loud, angry woman. how sarah palin snuck into the event is beyond me. plus i'll talk with fox news mole who was fired after leaking secrets about bill o'reilly. the stars of the new reality series are like the kardashians but without the sex tapes, i hope. all of that and more tonight. >> joy: former fox


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