tv Martin Bashir MSNBC February 26, 2013 1:00pm-2:00pm PST
daunting and they're attempting to solve problems in their communities. this risk averse behavior is not without its perils. the long term impact on the economy when in one is buying homes or cars could be disastrous, but at least for the short term millennials should be rewarded, not punished, for making good financial decisions. instead, burdensome regulations make it harder for them to start a business and the current tax code e sengly charges them extra in many states and cities to rent instead of to buy and to wait until they're finally stable to start a family. to be the independent go-getters young people often are. these are behaviors that society should reward and for republicans in congress mi millennials are fertile grounds to advocate for lower taxes. young people have been brainwashed by democrats into thinking their policies and their party of cool charisma are better for them. it's been a hard narrative to shift but if there ever were a final for conservatives to try, it's now.
millennials are the present and the future and contrary to caricature, they're not lazy or looking for handouts. if conservative movement leaders do this right, they could get a piece of that 80 million voter pie. until then, my advice, save up. it's getting outrageously expensive to be you. okay. that does it for "the cycle." . martin, it's always yours. >> if you stop spending so much money at vera wang you probably could afford to buy an pardon me. >> what? >> good afternoon. it's february 26th, tuesday, and for speaker john boehner, it's come down to this. >> we should not have to move a third bill before the senate gets off their ass and begins to do something. >> the longer these cuts are in place, the greater the damage. >> i don't think the president is focused on trying to find a solution to this. >> these cuts are wrong. >> they're not smart. they're not fair. they're a self-inflicted wound. >> he's gotten his tax hikes.
well, mr. president, you got your tax increase. >> we've been gone for ten days. we've come back. we'll be gone by thursday. >> gets off their ass. >> to bring forward measures that actually -- >> gets off their ass. >> that actually accomplish reform. >> we have to stop having these crises manufactured every month. i know you must be tired of it. didn't we just solve this thing? >> gets off their ass and begins to do something. ♪ >> it is a very busy day in washington with the senate clearing the way for confirmation of a new defense secretary and we're expecting a final vote this hour. right now senators lindsey graham and john mccain are at the white house for a high level
meeting on immigration, and we're watching new moves to enact serious gun safety legislation in these united united states. it's busy. but we begin with just three days left to avert the sequester spending cuts. with plenty of bluster but little progress on the budget deadlock. and today the president took his case for compromise to a part of the country where the cuts could hit the hardest. a shipyard in virginia. after touring newport news ship building, virginia's largest industrial employer, the president spoke of the devastating impact the sequester would have on jobs and on middle class families. >> that's a pretty bad name, sequester, but the effects are even worse than the name. the sequester will weaken america's economic recovery. it will weaken our military readiness. and it will weaken the basic services that the american people depend on every single day. >> and while republicans may
agree to some extent that the sequester cuts will be damaging, they, of course, argue that it's all on the democrats to make them go away. >> we have moved the bill in the house twice. we should not have to move a third bill before the senate gets off their ass and begins to do something. >> colorful language, if looking in substance, as nancy pelosi reminded the speaker without resorting to barroom bawdiness. >> we passed bills last year. i remind them that was a different congress. that doesn't count in this congress. i don't think they're even kicking the can down the road. i think they're nudging the potato across the table with their nose. >> nancy pelosi kindly reminded boehner that revenue bills must begin in the house, but wait, boehner has more than one finger to point. it must be the president's fault. >> where is the president's plan to avoid the sequester? have you seen one? i haven't seen one. all i have heard is that he wants to raise taxes again.
>> no plan. that's funny because, well, here is the president just this afternoon. >> we have a plan right on our website. the white house website. everybody can go see it. it details exactly how we can cut programs that don't work, how we can raise money by closing loopholes that are only serving a few as opposed to the average american. >> yet, there it is, white house.gov, a balanced plan to avert the ve questions ter and reduce the deficit. i guess speaker boehner has been too busy crafting verbiage. he may want to check out our "wall street journal" poll with respondents saying that the gop favors a partisan approach over a focus on unity. never mind, i'm sure the speak we're rather just keep pointing his fingers. let's get to our guests. with us from washington machines
contributor jared bernstein, who is a senior fellow at the center on budget and policy priorities. and we're delighted to have with us congresswoman jan schakowsky, democrat of illinois. good afternoon. congresswoman, we're on the verge of a hat trick of self-inflicted wounds. we've had the debt ceiling fight. we've had the fiscal cliff fight. now we've got the sequester. can i ask you, is this some kind of sick joke that elected representatives enjoy playing on the american people? because which other civilized nation enjoys subjecting its people to this kind of economic anxiety, what is it, every three months? >> you know, there might be some explanation if there were some political advantage to be gained, but you just read that poll that the poip partisanship that the republicans are showing is not going over well with the public. maybe the loss of 750,000 jobs
and perhaps sending us into a double dip recession is at stake and the lives of middle class people and -- >> how about 4,000 children in new jersey not being given mmr vaccines? >> vaccines for children, and does anybody really think there isn't one loophole that could be closed? not one penny that could be extracted from profitable corporations that aren't paying their fair share in order to address the deficit problem? they will not spend one penny of increased tax revenue, and they'd rather take it out on seniors and their meals on wheels. >> it's extraordinary. jared, republicans continue to suggest that the president is scare mongering, and they ltion say that cutting spending is the imperative, not raising taxes. i ask you, jared, as an economist, is the deficit the single biggest economic problem facing this country or is it the slow rate of recovery and how
will that be affected if the sequester occurs in two to three days' time? >> in the immediate term, the deficit that policymakers ought to be focused on and congresswoman schakowsky knows this very well because she does focus on this is the jobs deficit, the growth deficit. but to the contrary, these austerity measures go exactly the wrong way. the congresswoman mentioned the hundreds of thousands of jobs that would be lost. both the congressional budget office and other nonpartisan analysts point out it will shave half a point of growth off gdp. the spending cuts are the wrong medicine. if you have any question about that look to europe where their economies are reeling from that. let us not forget, one of the things ma makes me most incensed about this is to hear them say we can't do any more revenue increases because we have done that. we have done a lot more on the spending side than the revenue increase side, like twice as
much. >> congresswoman, i wonder if you take a listen to senate majority leader mitch mcconnell just a short while ago. >> the president is a master at creating the impression of chaos as an excuse for government action. do nothing, fan the flames of catastrophe, then claim the only way out is more government in the form of higher taxes. >> congresswoman, is that right? the only reason the president is raising the alarm is to raise taxes? >> that is utterly ridiculous. the president has put on the table, and as you pointed out you can go to the website, a long-term plan that actually cuts about $4 trillion from the deficit but does it in a balanced way increasing revenue and making some of the cuts. so mitch mcconnell is the one that is deceiving the american people into thinking that somehow this is really a necessary thing to do when it couldn't be more damaging. it is -- it's really crossed the
line into acting irrationally, i would even say crazy. >> right. well, that's a fairly, i think, generous view of mr. mitch mcconnell. jared, speak he john boehner just two months ago suggested he could stump up $800 billion by closing tax loopholes. nowadays he never mentions it. would closing tax loopholes, jared, again as an economist send the economy into a downward spiral of descent and destruction. would it ruin the economy? >> absolutely not. in fact, i happen to be writing testimony on this that i'm giving a week from today on this very topic on reforming our tax expenditure system very much in the spirit of what the president said earlier. if you comb through the system of tax expenditures, which by the way is one of the ways in which we spend through the tax code, so if you're one of these republicans who believe we have a spending problem, then by definition you believe we have a
tax expenditure problem. if you look at the carried interest loopholes, the favored treatment of capital gains, if you look at how we favor debt financing over equity -- anyway, there are so many -- >> how about massive oil companies? >> right, of course. subsidies for energy companies, subsidies for lots of activities that these wealthy folks would engage in anyway, what you find is problems in fairness, problems in foregoing lots of revenue, and big problems in efficiencies. so there are very good reasons to comb through the code and reduce or repeal some of these tax expenditures. >> congresswoman, bobby ginned cal recent jindal recently said republican party needs to cease being the stupid 35er9 but they are earning and maintaining a reputation which is that they'd really defend tax loopholes than children who need vaccines to avoid developing serious illnesses or mentally
handicapped children who require transportation or the elderly who need meals on wheels. i mean, it's not just a content policy issue. they are acting in a stupid manner, and it's damaging themselves, isn't it? >> and i can't imagine that that won't become perfectly clear in a very short time as the effect of the sequester, these meat ax budget cuts that are absolutely mindless, go into effect and start affecting neighborhoods, municipalities, police departments, fire departments, teachers -- >> air-traffic control, food safety. >> exactly. people are going to experience these cuts and say really? did we have to do this? remind me once again why this was so important. because, in fact, it isn't and we could sit down as regular people, as members of congress, and figure this out in a rational way. it is possible. >> let me follow on with one
quick point. you mentioned the deficit earlier. two points on that. first of all, the deficit was 10% a few years ago. now it's 5% of gdp. so a huge decline in the budget deficit already under way. >> under this president's tenure. >> this is over the president's tenure. secondly, where we're going for these cuts has almost nothing to do with future pressures on the budget deficit are coming from. it's not only all the things the congresswoman said in terms of its negatives, it's not even targeting the right target. >> congresswoman jan schakowsky and jared bernstein, thank you so much for joining us. coming up, the chuck hagel vote and proof that politics in washington these days are nothing more than petty and personal. stay with us. >> no need to panic. it's not like we're four days away from everything we know as it's american way of life being destroyed, which is why i have
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it's taken thm over two months and more than 2,000 gun deaths since the massacre at newtown, but this week the united states senate will begin to vote on common sense curbs against gun violence. patrick leahy has scheduled four votes for thursday. there's the ban on assault weapons introduced last month by senator dianne feinstein of california. there's the proposal to make gun trafficking a federal crime. a proposal to enhance security at the nation's schools.
and, finally, another proposal to expand background checks on gun sales. of course, if you think back to when the president first introduced his gun law reform package, you'll remember that his proposals were just that, a package. so what signal is congress sending by adopting this piecemeal approach? are they losing their nerve in the struggle against the gun lobby. let's ask mayor michael nutter of philadelphia and "washington post" columnist dana milbank. >> mayor nutter, you're going to washington tomorrow to testify in support of senator feinstein's assault weapons ban. i want to say this respectfully to you, but you must know that every single washington insiders tells me this bill has absolutely no chance of passing. >> well, there are a bunch of washington insiders, and then there's the rest of america, and america will be watching, and the president has been direct. he's been forceful. he's been eloquent, and he's been very active on this particular issue, and i also
commend senator dianne feinstein, and so until we actually have a vote, i'll let the insiders talk their inside game. i'm going to do what i can as the mayor of philadelphia, president of the u.s. conference of mayors, hundreds of mayors across the united states of america, and millions of americans who are watching what congress does, they're listening to what they say, they expect them to take action so that all of us can be safe. we don't have time for insider games. this is about the american public wanting to be safe. >> so do you believe, sir, that a ban on assault weapons can be reignited as it was in '94. can that happen again? >> anything is possible, martin. if folks would just vote their conscience and their heart, when they would think about whether it's 20 children in newtown or children on the streets of philadelphia or new york or chicago or baltimore or san francisco, atlanta, anywhere in the united states of america,
they would stop worrying so much about the special interests and worry about the interests of their constituents and just do the right thing. then all of us can respect the second amendment but still enjoy the benefits of the first amendment that says that we have a right to peacefully assemble. these rights are not at odds with each other. they are complementary to each other. i believe in the second amendment, but we must have reasonable gun safety laws here in the united states of america and no one today has ever been able to explain why a civilian needs an ak-47 or an ar-15 other than the military or law enforcement personnel. >> indeed, i'm sure that's right. dana, we were just talking about the 1965 voting rights act on this broadcast because of the supreme court case that's kicking off tomorrow, and i was stunned to discover that it took all of just four months, four months for president johnson to propose that big and for congress to pass it and get it onto his desk.
and here we are more than two months since newtown and we're barely up to taking preliminary votes in committee. that doesn't surprise you? >> well, martin, you're going to accuse me of being a washington insider now. >> no, i'm not. >> i can't say i'm terribly optimistic, and i'll be cheering for mayor nutter as he makes the case for the assault ban and the high capacity clips, but the very fact that they're now decoupling that from the rest of the legislation saying let's let that one go down so we can preserve the other pieces of it, the lesser pieces, barbara boxer's school security piece that you mentioned, and maybe some form of background checks, even that seems to be getting watered down considerably, although it does look like some version of that may be able to pass, but we had talked about this back in december. if you don't strike while the iron is hot, these things tend to get away from the gun control advocates.
i fear that's what's happening again despite mayor nutter's best efforts. >> it was thought outside of the assault weapons ban there was enough territory agreement so republicans and democrats could find common ground on, say, expanding background checks on gun sales. in fact, there was a report in "the washington post" that a deal was almost at hand. but then we heard from senator tom coburn. take a listen to him. >> i don't think we're that close to a deal, and there absolutely will not be record keeping on legitimate, law abiding gun owners in this country, and if they want to eliminate the benefits of actually trying to prevent the sales to people who are mentally ill and to criminals, all they have to do is create a record keeping and that will kill this bill. >> mayor nutter, we thought tom coburn was going to be one of the relatively reasonable people, at least on background checks but there he is dangling some nra conspiracy theory about gun registry to sabotage the whole possibility of it passing. >> well, as you mentioned, you
know, sometimes that is a very inside process. so i don't know who the senator has been talking to or what else is maybe going on behind the scenes. there's often the one play, the other play, and then there's another play going on that you can't even see. again, i'm a former legislator. i was a member of philadelphia city council. you don't actually know what a legislator is going to do until their name is called or they push a button or stick their card in the machine or however it is that they vote. and so what i say is, make them vote. let's have a vote. let the american people truly see what's going on in realtime in public and say that you're willing to stand with the forces that would make our cities unsafe, that children won't be able to go to school or be in school or seniors walk down the street, and if you want to stand with the force% opposed to the will of the american people, then, god bless you. >> dana, to that point, guns
kill people every day. they maim them, they disfigure them. in fact, in the last 24 hours we've seen a double shooting in new orleans that left one man dead and another injured. in long beach, california, there was another double shooting that killed one person. police in rochester, new york, responding to several 911 calls last night discovered the dead body of a young man lying on the sidewalk. now, as washington insider of long standing yourself and yourself confessedly so, dana, perhaps you can tell us what it is that people in washington don't get about the gun lobby, that they don't understand that the appeasement of this lobby actually continues to bring death to the streets of this country. >> well, i think it's the way power is structured here, martin, and that you have a lot of the democrats come from urban areas, and the ones who come from rural areas, those are the ones who are frightened. the problem is you need them to
be on board from the rural states, even harry reid is relatively pro-gun and is very wary about bringing these things up before the united states senate. so what mayor nutter is saying is true in the aggregate. they're not following the will of the american people. the problem is this is all being decided in a bunch of rural states where there are vulnerable democrats and they're not having enough courage to get on board here. that's really what's going on. >> dana milbank and mayor michael nutter, thank you. and mayor nutter, i send my best wishes to you, and i hope your meeting tomorrow is positive. >> thank you, martin. >> thank you, sir. next, why has it taken seven weeks for a vote on the country's next secretary of defense? look no further than a grudge held by senator john mccain. stay with us. >> people who kept guns in their homes appear to be at greater risk of homicide than people who do not. well, sure, with a gun in the house, my family is less safe. but isn't that a small price to
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>> we should not have to move a third bill. >> they're nudging the potato across the table with their nose. >> before the senate gets off their ass. >> i just watched "lincoln." >> the most overhyped movie in the history of man. >> on the plane and it makes you long for the days 150 years ago. >> get past its obsession with focusing on the last collection. >> that gave me a chill. >> welcome to new york. >> i don't know about big cities. i'm a small town guy from kentucky. >> be careful if you're carrying a gun. you're only allowed seven buplets. >> i was more worried about the big gulp. >> hollywood left boosterism. >> wouldn't want to honor the movie that killed bin laden. her husband has to get all the credit for that. >> michelle obama, hey, how are you? >> i will say this, whoever did the photo shopping did a pretty good job. >> they did. >> people in caves, people in huts and jungles. >> they're all enjoying pirates of the caribbean.
>> how much that cameo costs. >> but it boosts the obama administration up as this glamorous thing. >> well, it is. >> governor chris christie will not be invited to c pack this year. >> everybody who is anybody in the republican political world will be there. >> it's not about winning, it's about sitting inside of an echo chamber of resentments. >> and you are looking live right now at shots of the senate floor where we're watching a final vote on chuck hagel for secretary of defense. we'll obviously bring that to you as soon as we have a result. but before that let's bring in our panel, angela rye, political strategist and principal of impact strategies, karen finney, former dnc communications director and ari melber, correspondent for "the nation." welcome to all of you. chuck hagel is about to be confirmed after the next secretary of defense after 18 republicans voted to move his confirmation to a final vote. what exactly did this fight accomplish in your view? >> well, we got to learn the
truth about the grudge match between john mccain and some in the republican party and chuck hagel. john mccain laid it out for us pretty clearly when he said that it was, you know, some of the criticisms that hagel had of president bush that angered a lot in the republican party. i don't think it gets any clearer than that. >> that's very helpful and very clear. thank you, karen. ari, let's talk about the friends of hamas because while there were many bogus charges leveled at chuck hagel, friends of hamas may symbolize them at the best. this was a story delivered by thee the editor-at-large of breitbart media. how badly does it look that republican officials were willing to believe these fabricated ideas which had no foundation in fact? i mean, i was reflecting on this, and the iraq war had better intelligence, didn't it? >> well, i think it goes to credibility. credibility doesn't mean that you sometimes get it right. credibility goes to whether you have a process and an authority and a trustworthiness about how you conduct yourself in
campaigns and in office, and so ted cruz, who has got a lot of attention for being loud, he has every right to be loud. he doesn't have a right to sneer this way, and that's the big thing i see. this isn't just the fact that the white house played this out and won and are winners today. there's a lot of republicans who are losers today. not only because they lost the vote obviously, but because of the way they conducted themselves. >> right. angela, as karen was saying, the really reason for opposing chuck hagel was voiced by senator john mccain. take a listen,a. >> there's a lot of ill will towards senator hagel because when he was a republican he attacked president bush mercilessly, at one point said he was the worst president since herbert hoover. >> because he said he was wrong. do you realize how many people are unfit for office by that rationale? the current president shouldn't have been elected, should he? >> apparently not. i think when you look at senator
hagel's opposition, whether it's to the iraq war or to the other challenges he's issued throughout his career, they're merited. elected officials are just that, they're elected to ensure that we make wise decisions about engaging in war, about engaging in what's best for us politically and economically. i think we're seeing just the opposite of that right now even with sequestration. you know, today senator reid mentioned that it's been 12 days and what have the republicans gained from this kind of protest? you know, they held out on senator hagel's nomination because of benghazi. he's not being nominated to be the secretary of state, so it's not even within his jurisdiction, martin. i think at some point we have to discuss what really matters and how to move things forward, particularly when it comes to the nation's national security. >> we try to do that every day, angela. karen, let's turn to another republican, and that is mr. chris christie who has not been invited to c-pac despite his
overwhelming popularity in new jersey. is this really just because he appeared with the president of the united states after a major tragedy that occurred in his state? >> oh, no. >> was that the crime? was that the sin? >> i'm sure that had nothing to do with it, martin. i think there was probably just -- let me just tell you in washington speak, we would say there was a scheduling conflict. so i'm sure it was something of that nature. no, look, i think greta pointed this out last night rightfully so, this is a very clear message not just to chris christie but to others who may be thinking about what i think c pac would consider stepping out of line. remember, this wing of the republican party is feeling very emboldened this week. we had a member of congress yesterday saying that when we get to sequester, that is going to be a huge coup for the tea party. so this is a very clear message about what it means to stay -- keep in line. >> i think karen is right. obviously cpac is trying to draw a line. the problem is they're always losing.
they didn't like john mccain, they didn't like mitt romney. cpac doesn't even pick the gop nominee. as the whole party does move to a right, and it is a real problem, chris christie having cpac against him as a republican potential presidential aspirant is a good thing. the other thing chris christie did on policy and i will be the first to praise him not on appearing with obama but on working with some of obama's policies is he, according to sources in new jersey, is going to come out in his big state address -- >> today. >> -- today and welcome and apply and use some of the obama care money for some of the uninsured. i think that's good policy and i applaud him. i also think maybe unfortunately it makes him politically stronger in jersey, but so what. he's at least doing the right thing. he's appeared inhoto-ops, but he's embracing progressive aspect was of the obama agenda and i think that's a good thing and cpac doesn't control everything. >> i thought cpac might stoop
and invite him because they maybe heard some of the criticism but having heard what ari has just said about mr. christie welcoming aspect of the affordable care act he's never going to be invited, is he? >> i think that's exactly right when you look at the fact he's saying he's going to allowed medicare expansion. the fact he's in a blue state with the 78% approval rating there's no question he was going to be invited. i bet he's not surprised he wasn't invited. >> let me play you what conservatives were say being governor chris christie in 2011 and again last year just after the republican convention. take a listen. >> if we don't run chris christie, romney will be the nominee. >> he didn't go after barack obama, which i found extraordinarily refreshing. >> what happened, karen, to calling the words of the wonderful roberta flack, where is the love for this man? >> i think it's partially as ari
pointed out. chris christie is kind of forging his own path. he is doing what -- i actually think what he believes is right for the people of his state, but here is the challenge and we've seen it time and time again. i mean, i would remind ari that the argument against mitt romney and john mccain when it comes to the cpac crowd is they were not true conservatives, and this is the real fundamental struggle within the republican party, right? some are saying we've got to move farther to the right and have a true conservative. others are saying maybe not, let's look at the demographic changes. let's loosen it up a little bit on immigration reform. let's change those talking points around a little bit and see if we can broaden our base, and that is the fundamental struggle within the party. i think chris christie is emblematic of those forces at play. >> it must be completely ludicrous for mitt romney to be invited and considered worthy for cpac and chris christie not. >> right. and i think that goes to what they are, and they don't claim to be much else. they are a highly political organization.
romney coming they see as him sort of validating them and obviously it will be a big news event when romney returns. but, look, this is their mistake not having christie in here. he is a huge star. he's on the late night shows. he has democrats in his corners. he's the republicans strongest crossover player. it's true there's that debate going on. that's a debate they often loose and chris christie is going to be the democrats biggest nightmare if he continues to find ways to reach out and as i said to work with obama not only on photo-ops but on health care, on -- >> substantive issues. >> things we have to care about bigger than politics. >> if he runs for president he will sill have to get through a republican primary. don't forget. >> okay. karen finney, always lays the last blow. karen finney, angela rye and ari melber, thank you all of you. next, a break through on immigration starring senator john mccain. yes. stay with us. >> sit down together and you guys can figure this out. >> right. but if you watch lincoln, which by the way was the most
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just ninety- nine bucks. senators john mccain and lindsey graham are at this very moment meeting with the president at the white house. while the premise of the meeting is immigration reform, their discussion is expected to also address the impending sequester. however, in what has to be the ultimate irony, mccain and graham, the two most vocal opponents of chuck hagel's nomination for defense secretary, which is being voted on right at this moment, find themselves chatting with the president while across town in the senate hagel may be about to be confirmed before the end of our very broadcast. nbc's luke russert joins us live from capitol hill.
luke, again, senator john mccain was full of considerable bluster, but vowed to move forward presumably the white house is now pleased and relieved at this outcome? >> reporter: yes, indeed, martin. earlier today there was a cloture vote on chuck hagel. this is essentially what we knew last week is that republicans were going to hold up the eventual askengs of chuck hagel to become defense secretary in case there was anything in his past that could damn him. seven days later apparently there's nothing in his past so they're comfortable moving forward. he's expected to be confirmed probably within the next five minutes. you can even have it in this block if we're so fortunate. >> does that not prove that the whole nonsense around the nomination process on this man was simply invented? it was theatrics. there was no substance. it's the same as the friends of hamas. shall are they? >> reporter: i think it does show that the republican strategy was to try to bloody him as much as possible with the
belief if they were able to do it enough he would perhaps withdraw. he was pretty vehement last week he would not withdraw. now with the sequester looking like it's going to go forward, my calculations there's $46 billion in military cuts over the next seven months that presumably you'd want to have a secretary of defense in place to help implement them ned instead leon panetta out in california. >> you have anticipated my next question which is the fact that the president went to a shipyard today to emphasize the impact of these cuts on the military, and can you explain how it is that the defense obsessed republicans seem more willing to make a deal than the tea party wing of the party? >> reporter: martin, when we look back at this period in american history, this is one of the most significant developments in a shift in republican ideology that we're missing. we're not paying close enough
attention. you go back and look at how much republicans were in favor of having astronomical defense budgets during the earlier part of this decade, during the iraq war, all for afghanistan. the defense -- the debt hawks are now trumpeting over the defense hawks in an unbelievable way which we have not seen in contrary american history in regards to republican ideology. it's fascinating and something that john boehner and mitch mcconnell don't want to touch. it would be possible for republicans to join with democrats, i'm talking about defense hawks, to get some sort of deal over. there's enough of them, but they don't want to take the political risk in doing so because the tea party-backed idea of cut spending, cut spending, no debt, no debt, trumps defense in a huge, huge way. >> it trumps absolutely everything, luke. earlier today minority leader mitch mcconnell said, and i'm quoting, the president is a master at creating the impression of chaos as an excuse for government action. senator mcconnell conveniently forgets that speaker boehner said he got 98% of what he wanted and over 170 republicans
voted for this sequester. now they disown it? >> reporter: well, martin, i think what you're seeing is this idea of the republicans -- >> what you're seeing is amnesia. they can't remember what they did. that's what we're seeing, luke. >> reporter: and i'm sure that the president has reminded them of that in his remarks today, but, look, moving forward what are we going to see? march 27th, that's the next deadline we have. there's a consensus there's a punter's chance something could come forward on the sequester by then. if not you won't see significant movement until may or june. the only way to get out of this mess most likely would be to have some sort of grand bargain in the sense that there's entitlement cuts matched by some sort of military cuts. will we see that? john mccain and president obama are not negotiating in a room yet. maybe that happens. >> that grand bargain went down great in 2011, didn't it. luke russert, thanks so much. much more ahead, and, remember, there are just 114 days until summer. ♪
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in about an hour the parents of trayvon martin will take part in a vigil here in new york to remember the one-year anniversary of the death of their son. but they say today that their son's legacy is not just confined to the topic of racial profiling but also to why lawmakers need to take a thorough look at the nation's gun laws. >> newtown massacre, case in point. why would you need a semiautomatic weapon to be hunting? you know, that's senseless. >> joining us now is joy reid, managing editor of thegrio.com and dr. namjames peterson of leh university. i must add george zimmerman has sued nbc universal for deaf --
defamation and the company has denied the allegation. the conversation started when this young man was killed. >> and i think because the case had these racial overtones, the gun violence aspect of it initially was lost, but this was the more classic way that unfortunately people die in america at the hands of a gun. one individual killing another in a situation that's cloudy and murky and mired in, you know, doubt and suspicion. this is the way it normally happens, one-on-one. this is the most common way for people to die in america. and i think that the parents of the young man, of trayvon martin, have decided to try to move the conversation forward using their son's case, even this one year later, to keep the conversation going not just about their own child but about gun violence. >> dr. peterson, was trayvon's death the end of the expansion of pro gun laws like stand your
ground? do you think that actually trayvon's death pressed pause on all of that kind of legislation? >> unfortunately, i don't think it is the end of that kind of legislation, but it is the beginning of the unveiling of the sort of vast network of the nra and different sorts of policy shapers and lobbyists who put these kind of laws in place to stoke gun sales. what's also important about the trayvon martin case is it showed people through organization and grassroots activism we can shine a light on some of the challenges in our society. his patients have sort of fungsed as a model for how parents who are victims of gun violence can become activists. >> one of the things that's unique about the stand your ground law that people aren't really honed in on is it gives people immunity from prosecution and civil liability. you can use your gun and it
gives you a benefit if the person is dead. you can avoid criminal and civil liability. it's immunized individuals the way the nra hasmunized gun manufacturers. >> and we've learned that arming yourself does not necessarily make a person or a community more safe and secure, does it? >> it does not. in households you're most likely to see those guns used in some kind of domestic dispute or accident. it goes to the proliferation of guns in our communities. this is part of why the trayvon martin case has been so important. it predates newtown a little bit but it also takes a different angle on all these challenges we face around gun violence, around access to guns, and what really happens when people have guns in the hope and when people have easy access to guns. it's not good stuff. >> briefly, joy, we any this legislation will be presented this week by senator leahy. are you expecting something productive and positive from these proceedings? >> well, i think that the most
likely thing on the federal level to happen is going to be on background checks. it's something that's so unassailable. it's difficult even for the nra to argue against. they themselves used to be for it. that's the most likely outcome is we will get something on universal background checks. >> professor peterson? >> it's a start. i agree. we need to do much more than that. we need to keep the focus as brad as it has been in the aftermath of newtown. i don't want to concede or give up on anything. >> hear, hear to both of you. joy reid and dr. james peterson, thank you so much, and we'll be right back. [ male announcer ] it's a rule of nature. you don't decide when vegetables reach the peak of perfection. the vegetables do. at green giant, we pick vegetables only when they're perfect. then freeze them fast so they're are as nutritious as fresh. [ green giant ] ho ho ho. ♪ green giant [ green giant ] ho ho ho. progressive direct and other car insurance companies? yes. but you're progressive, and they're them. yes.
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