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tv   Matter of Fact With Soledad O Brien  NBC  July 28, 2019 5:00am-5:30am PDT

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>> right now on matter of fact -- >> what civil war exactly are you talking about? >> did the battle royale over the future of republican party leave paul ryan with a reckoning? tim: as soon as trump wins, ryan recognizes that he has a choice. >> and cheers in puerto rico as the governor is out. did he predict his own demise months before he resigned? >> i'm not the best spokesperson. >> plus what happens when you make too much money so your qualify for free lunch -- but not enough money to make ends meet? soledad: how much money did you end up owing? soledad: i'm soledad o'brien. welcome to matter of fact. puerto rico's governor says he
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will step down on august second. it comes after days of protests following a scandal over chat messages. ricardo rossello and male members of his staff, made homophobic and sexist comments in group chat messages which were obtained by the puerto rico center for investigative journalism -- and they include more than 900 pages of messages including one that joked about the bodies of hurricane maria victims of the morgue. the governor apologized for the messages. but puerto ricans say the latest scandal was just the final straw after suffering through years of fiscal mismanagement, severe cuts to public education, and the aftermath of maria. that frustration was evident when i traveled to puerto rico earlier this year. i sat down with the rossello and he acknowledged the tough road puerto rico's been on. let's talk about debt. debt has long been an issue for this island and i think the numbers around 70 billion is what that's an accurate number. so what's the strategy now to
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manage that debt with this oversight board making recommendations on that. gov. rosello: well first we have to establish a fiscal plan has certain measures. we are committed to reducing costs. that was something we did even prior to the to the oversight board that was part of our commitment and we've done some but-- soledad: what got cut in that in that effort to reduce costs. i mean universities education services are the things that people tick off. gov. rosello: the oversight board established that you needed to cut from the university and there needed to be cuts in health care for example and some other places. for me the priority is education. that is why i wanted to have an education reform here in puerto rico. i think that the way you move forward a society is if it's an educated and healthy society. soledad: how many schools have you closed a hundred and -- gov. rosello: oh, no it's more, it's, in the in the past two years it's about three hundred and sixty. soledad: so we've had people might hear. listen education is my priority
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and i've closed just under 400 schools for a bunch of children frankly who were out of school for a long time in the aftermath of a storm and say those two things seem completely counter. gov. rosello: listen soledad, transformation is sometimes messy and sometimes you have to make certain decisions that i know taken in an individual format seem harsh but the objective is my objective is that i can give every kid in puerto rico the opportunity to have a quality education. they didn't have that in the past. the decision to cut that enormous amount bus was placed by the oversight board. right. so this is this is an oversight board decision as i said. soledad: do you support it. gov. rosello: i support more investment on education in general but that means that we need to have the flexibility to do that. i know that. soledad: sorry, forgive me but do you support the oversight board. did drastic cuts to universities do you support that? gov. rosello: there are cuts
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that need to be made that are unnecessary expenditures that are cuts that don't need to be made and that i worry will affect the education process. soledad: when i talk to people here they talk about just not believing in their government. the federal government the local government. they just don't believe it. they say listen we've been dealing with debt for 20 years and everybody says oh, we're gonna fix it, we're gonna fix it. and it never gets fixed projects start. and then they stop and they just feel like they've been continually lied to and it's a sense of when people lose their faith it's a very sad thing. it's a sad thing. how do you go and layer on top of that. i think psychological damage from being in the middle of a devastating natural disaster. how do you rebuild faith and trust and and help people who are struggling emotionally with the aftermath. gov. rosello: it takes time,
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soledad. i mean, i'm not good enough of a spokesperson to just stand and say just believe me because i'm saying it i am trying to be the best executive and the best leader i can be. and saying here's what we're doing and here are the results that we're showing. and that is that is what i can do right now because you're talking and i think you know the premise of your question is is right on. this has been going on for decades and people have lost their faith. i actually ran on the commitment to transform puerto rico. we were barred in debt and fiscal crisis and economic crisis before the storm. the storm just accentuated that but my view is that that path of tranormation still needs to go on. we cannot stay in this position after the crisis after the storm and say well let's just rebuild things as they were.
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no, i think we need to be more aggressive. i think we need to change chronic problems we've had in puerto rico right now and even if it's tough we got to do it. >> next on matter of fact-- divided they stand -- who's winning the battle between never trump versus pro trump republicans? >> whether you love trump or hate him trump recognized that there was this inherent aversion to confrontation within the republican party. >> plus, you are what you eat-- how a diet of bullets almost >> plus, you are what you eat-- how a diet of bullets almost illed this species of birds. ahoy! gotcha! nooooo... noooooo... quick, the quicker picker upper! bounty picks up messes quicker and is 2x more absorbent. bounty, the quicker picker upper. i switched to geico and saved hundreds.
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ultimately led to election of donald trump. it's a shift that leaves many republicans asking how did the party that prided itself on a message of compassionate conservatism, fiscal responsibility, and family values become the party of ballooning deficits and family separations, whose members regularly turn a blind eye to the president's blatant racism and sexism. that's according to tim alberta, politico's chief political correspondent and author of the new book "american carnage: on the front lines of the republican civil war and the rise of president trump." tim: thank you. soledad: this is not a thin book this know a lot to carry around in my handbag but it's full of a lot of history. and let's jump right into it. what civil war exactly are you talking about? tim: so when george w. bush leaves office he is deeply unpopular not just across the country with middle of the electorate of course with the left but really among conservatives. there is a deep concern that george w. bush has essentially abandoned the principles of
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limited government conservatism. and so when bush is preparing to leave office in 2008 obviously you have a republican primary-- and there is a great deal of infighting about what the post bush republican party is going to look like. and in fact none of the presidential candidates themselves wind up defining what that post bush party is going to look like nearly as much as the eventual vice presidential nominee sarah palin. and she more than any politician other than donald trump i think really exposes this fundamental disconnect between your upscale managerial country club republican elite and your downscale culturally conservative blue collar base. and there is a great deal of not just ideological friction between these wings but cultural friction. soledad: so let's move then into the trump era and i think it was may of 2016 trump goes after judge curio who's latino judge and sort of the mainstream republicans decry some of the things that he says that are clearly racist and i'll read some because it's in your book so you helpfully put it in chapter 14.
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it's time to quit attacking various people that you competed with or various minority groups in the countries. that's mitch mcconnell. south carolina senator tim scott said those remarks were racially toxic. lindsey graham said it's pretty clear he's playing the race card-- and paul ryan says claiming a person can't do their job because of their race is sort of like the textbook definition of a racist comment. fast forward not very long down the road and they're embracing him. tim: i think what's important to recognize is that the evolution of the republican party in this instance specifically with their ile to hold donald trump to account consistently is emblematic of really trump's takeover of the party. when trump began thinking about running for president in 2016 soledad, he looks across the landscape the republican party and he says you know what these people are weak. soledad: he said i gave him hope. they are brought the party back. that's a quote. tim: and you know and he
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identified something that i think was very prescient. whether you love trump or hate him trump recognized that there was this inherent aversion to confrontation within the republican party. if he never backed down if he never apologized then he was going to win out over these people. that he just he projected more strength than they did. soledad: paul ryan i mean really i think of his cowardice so frequently because he would talk about what he thought a trump presidency was doing to his own family, he personalized around he has a daughter et cetera et cetera and then literally gives him a stamp of approval. tim: the whole campaign had been this bitter rivalry between the two of them ryan was as outspoken as pretty much any republican had been. as soon as trump wins ryan recognizes that he has a choice. if you are a paul ryan if you are a jim matters if you're a rex tillerson if you're an h.r. mcmaster. a lot of these folks felt like look we have to have adults in the room around this guy because if you think it's bad now imagine if a bunch of his sycophants and enablers were the ones who were surrounding him in the west wing every day. and so we might not buy that argument. you might think that's a copout but paul ryan would tell you look if there weren't this group of fivor sixf us who were sort of buffering him from his own worst instincts then.
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everything you're seeing today could be infinitely worse. soledad: i don't give it much credence right because-- they don't take opportunities to call out things that are horrible and that that our values that their whole lives they said that they're against. i mean at some point you have to stand up for a thing-- tim: there's a breaking point-- soledad: that's the entire point-- tim: you would think. soledad : and then when what is what is the point of having values if at the moment that they're tested you can't bring yourself to defend them? the book is such a great read. tim: thank you. i appreciate you saying that. >> when we come back. this mom raised more than 40 thousand dollars to pay off student lunch bills. and it's still not enough. adelle: every year there's another three hundred thousand dollars in school lunch debt. >> once soaring toward extinction-- a comeback for the condor.
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soledad: when a school board in pennsylvania sent a letter telling parents their children could end up in foster care, if they didn't pay off their school lunch debts, it sparked a public backlash and it put school lunch shaming back in the headlines. the u.s. department of agriculture oversees the federal school lunch program and discourages practices that stigmatize students. schools say they're strapped for cash and can't take on the debt. there's also evidence that some of the students lacking lunch money actually qualify for free lunch but they're parents just haven't filled out the application.
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but what about parents who don't meet the requirements --and may struggle to make ends meet? kerry williams was one of those parents. and adelle settle started an organization to pay off student lunch debt in prince william county virginia- just outside of d.c. it's nice to have you both with me. so, kerry, wanted to kick it off for me. tell me a little bit about your financial situation. i know that you're a veteran and i know that you have a job you're a working mom. kerry: yes, i am. i actually started my career here in the northern virginia area. i'm a few years ago. i did get a job here at one of the local hospitals which was the entry level position. me and my daughter moved here kind of alone. not much family and i was able to secure a job. so i really started out making probably about thirty five thousand dollars a year when i first moved here. got my daughter enrolled in school did all the things that i needed to do of course i would always apply for her free lunch. soledad: you applied for a free
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lunch. what did they tell you made too much money. kerry: i made too much money. yes. soledad: were you able to pay? kerry: so i was able to pay it. it wasn't always whereas every day i was paying it. there would be maybe a week that would go by before payday where the lunch date would accrue. soledad: how much money did you end up owing? kerry: the most i remember is maybe a little over two hundred dollars. soledad: adelle, how typical is this story? adelle: oh very very common. the school lunch program is an amazing thing. it's wonderful for families who qualify but the limits for free and reduced lunch are very low and they're set nationally. and so in areas like ours in northern virginia where cost of living is very high there's just so many families who they earn just a little bit too much to qualify for free or reduced lunch. but they don't earn enough to ensure that they can cover the cost of feeding their child at school without hardship. soledad: was your daughter
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embarrassed at school? kerry: so i remember coming home one day and saying mom you know i went to lunch today and they gave me a tray. she said i sat down to eat and the lunch lady came out and told me i had a balance on my lunch account and she took my tray and gave me a yogurt and. i was floored. like i couldn't believe that another adult would do that to a child especially an adult that a child is supposed to trust to have their best interests in mind. they took it and threw the tray away and gave her yogurt. soledad: most americans can not afford a four hundred dollar emergency coming your way in and school lunches a thousand dollars roughly nine hundred dollars a year as well. you'd be paying it's sort of in that same vein as how i do that math. kerry: of course. i wanted to pay the debt. i paid it as i could but there were still consequences because i wasn't able to maybe pay it off the time that they thought i should have paid it off. there were many consequences of that. soledad: what other consequences? kerry: she said mom i can't go to the dance and i said well why can't you go.
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she said well they said i have a lunch balance so i'm not allowed to participate which that is that the point that i reached out to adele because i just was thinking why is she penalized you know for something that's not her fault. soledad: will you be able to now keep up with the debt? kerry: yes. things have changed i recently got married and have gotten a promotion where my circumstances have changed. so now i'm in a position to where is not you know as hard as it was before but i have co-workers and friends we talk about this all the time. they have two or three kids i only have one. so to hear their stories it kinda motivates me to want to be able to do more to help others who may be in that situation until they get to that point where they're able to function a little bit better. soledad: in a school district of ninety thousand children. how many people do you believe don't qualify for free. lunch but are poor and are genuinely struggling to pay almost thousand dollar a year bill.
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adelle: we have 300 thousand dollars every year and that's 300 thousand dollars of families that absolutely can't pay that bill. and then there's a whole lot of other families that i'm sure are making very hard choices to decide whether they are paying that lunch bills that their kid can go to the dance so that their kid can go on the field trip. you know the free and reduced lunch program is awesome but the levels are just too low. and so there's a lot of families that are left in that kind of doughnut hole between you know qualifying for help and being totally fine. soledad: adelle settles and kerry williams, thank you for being with me. >> coming up next -- will a 5 billion dollar fine fix facebook? or is your privacy still for sale when it comes to social media? ♪
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♪ new sichuan hot chicken. for a heart breaking limited time only at panda express. soledad: now to a weekly
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feature we like to call "we're paying attention even if you're too busy." facebook has just been slapped with the largest fine the
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federal government has ever given to a technology company. the federal trade commission fined facebook 5-billion dollars for privacy violations. and while it may seem like a lot, it's a small drop for facebook which had more than 50-billion dollars in revenue last year. the fine comes after a year long investigation into facebook's privacy and data policies after 87 million facebook users had their personal information sold to third parties without their permission. the ftc said they hoped the fine would force facebook to change its culture but critics say the settlement doesn't go far enough. they wanted mark zuckerberg to be held personally responsible for facebook's policies and the ftc to limit his control over the company. facebook has denied any wrongdoing. >> when we return-- back from the brink of extinction -- we take flight with the california condor. soledad: and finally, a big
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comeback to tell you about. california condors, the largest flying birds in north america, are fighting their way back from extinction. there were an estimated 600 condors in 1890. but in 1982 there only about 22 left in the wild. that set off alarms for scientists who captured the remaining population to breed them and research their demise. it turns out it's not because of lack of food or humans destroying their habitats but instead lead poisoning. scientists say the birds peck at decaying animals left behind by hunters -- sometimes swallowing the lead pellets or bullets. california has now banned lead ammunition. and since the rescue program began, one-thousand california condor chicks have hatched. there are more than 300 hundred birds in the wild-- and more than 500 in captivity across the world. that's it for this edition of
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matter of fact. we'll see you next week. ♪
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robert handa: hello, and welcome to "asian pacific america." i'm robert handa, your host for our show here on nbc bay area and cozi tv. we start with one of our favorite events and an important one for the community. we look ahead to the nihonmachi street fair in san francisco, which many call the original melting pot of street fairs. then a visit with an artist of national prominence. lenora lee is a well known artist, dancer, choreographer from coast to coast. we'll talk with her about her upcoming shows in san francisco. and another big, popular street fair is coming up, the fremont festival of the arts. we'll show you what to expect. and we continue with our tradition of showcasing artistic and cultural performances with hawaiian music from pomaika'i live in our studio, all that on our show today.


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