tv Jansing and Co. MSNBC May 1, 2013 7:00am-8:01am PDT
and drop offs begins with arthritis pain... and a choice. take up to 6 tylenol in a day or just 2 aleve for all day relief. all aboard. ♪ good morning. i'm richard lui in for chris jansing. there could be a major setback for an imbrags deal this morning. political reporting senator pat lei hee will allow immigrants with same-sex partners to get green cards the same way the process works for straight couples right now. the headline read this, "gay rights push threatens the immigration deal." the amendment could torpedo the deal. two members of the gang of eight have already come out against it. here's rubio in a radio interview. >> this immigration bill is difficult enough as it is. there are already enough questions being asked, questions that need to be answered, legitimate points that are being
raised. you inject something like this in the bill, it will die. the coalition behind it will fall apart, and it will make it un -- it will not pass. it's just that simple. if that issue is injected into this bill, this bill will fail. it will not pass. it will not have the support. it will not have my support. >> i want to bring in politico's alex burns and washington post columnist ruth marcus. alex, what do you think of this development? how could this amendment attack the entire bill here? >> richard, first of all, i think it's a reminder of just how precarious this whole process has been from the beginning. i think the folks in washington, because there's such broad support for immigration reform among elite, got this sense at some point this might be a slam dunk. it never has been. we now find ourselves at a place where democrats have to balance out demands from two very, very important constituencies in the party. immigration reform groups and gay rights groups. we've heard a lot this season about democrats' commitment to
equality under the law for gay americans and, you know, in this case gay immigrants. now we're going to find out how far on a limb they're willing to go. >> this development happened in the last 24 hours here, ruth. has a lot of twists and turns. gay rights advocates feel like the tide is turning with many more senators coming out in support of marriage equality. and "the new york times" reports this same legislation has been offered up ten years ago. was there a lot of pressure on democrats this time to put it in this bill? >> sure. there is pressure. look, there is both political pressure and moral pressure. senator rubio's exactly right that this is a very fragile bill that would be difficult to move, even without this provision. at the same time, i guess i really wonder whether the politics of gay rights are still as toxic as they were, say, ten years ago when this push started.
>> what about for those on the right considering this? >> on the right, i don't see it as the same sort of absolute hot-button, red-flag issue that makes it impossible for people to vote for a measure that they would otherwise want to vote for, especially given the pressures on republicans to do comprehensive immigration reform. >> how would you factor -- >> nobody knows more about the politics of his party than i do, but i'm just wondering if he's being too unduly pessimistic? >> those are your comments on rubio? >> yeah. >> here's what president obama said at his news conference. take a listen. >> i feel confident that the bipartisan work that's been done on immigration reform will result in a bill that passes the senate, passes the house and gets on my desk. that's going to be a historic achievement. i've been very complimentary of
the efforts of republicans and democrats in those efforts. >> you know, alex, he sounds confident based on his statement there. does it feel like as this time ly timeline gets extended that it could make it very difficult to iron out all of these additions as time goes by? >> well, absolutely, richard. i think that the key thing to remember here is the path to passing this thing involves actually getting a majority support in the house of representativ representatives. the consensus among republicans i've talked to is the way you do that is get an overwhelming vote out of the senate. this doesn't come out of the senate looking like a partisan bill or largely democratic bill that a couple republicans signed on to. the longer this process brings up issues like the amendment, the harder it may be to get the kind of commanding support that you need to jam it through the house. >> yeah, we remember talking about that 70-vote margin. excuse me, the 70-vote for it. stand by, alex and ruth. i want to move on to the issue
of gun legislation. passing new gun laws, another big dominating issue for president obama's second-term agenda. he barely mentioned it yesterday. now it seems the contentious battle has moved to new hampshire. there was a drama at a town hall meeting at senator kelly ayotte. the freshman senator was confronted by the daughter of the school principal who was killed in the sandy hook massacre. take a listen. >> you had mentioned that day the burden on owners of gun stores that the expand background checks would cause. i'm just wondering why the burden of my mother being gunned down in the hallway of her elementary school isn't as important as that. why is that not something that you can support? >> erica, certainly let me just say that i'm obviously so sorry and as everyone here, no matter
what our views are, for what you have been through. i think that ultimately when we look at what happened in sandy hook, i understand that's what drove this whole discussion. all of us want to make sure that doesn't happen again. >> now, ayotte is one of six senators who are experiencing repurr cushions from voting against background checks. she's now facing angry voters back home and a coordinated effort by gun control groups to turn her vote into a political liability. we're joined now by the executive director of new yorkers against gun violence. thank you for being here. >> thank you. >> you look at what's happening, you look at the daughter there who was speaking. does this sort of pressure work? will this turn some votes? >> well, first of all, i think what kelly ayotte did and the other senators who vote against the background checks was going completely to their nra masters.
she turned the question around saying it was about mental health, which is completely false. it's about access to guns. having background checks on potential felons, domestic abusers, other people who are seriously mentally ill is just basic common sense. back in 2001 when special forces went into afghanistan after 9/11, they recovered a training manual that al qaeda was using, which said that terrorists should come gun shopping in america because it's so easy to get guns. no background checks required. >> so we're seeing repercussions right now of those who have voted against it. does it work, and will it shift the dynamics here? this is just a little bit of reaction we saw just now. >> i think it will. i think the american people -- sandy hook was a wake-up call for them. the slaughter of 20 6-year-olds. but every day, over 30 americans die from guns. that's over 31,000 every year. that's slow-motion mass murder. our politicians are willfully
ignoring that and following their nra masters because they're getting money, political contributions from them. the american people are angry about that. >> and it seems like they're taking them out on the polls right now. the question is how sticky it might be and will they remember in 18 months? what's your thought? >> definitely. i hate to say this, but there are going to be other massacres. as long as we have high-capacity ammunition magazines out there, assault weapons, and the amount of guns and the people who can buy them without background checks, you can bet your bottom dollar. people will continue to become outraged. >> we hope not, but there is going to be some assistance from the nra as they move forward toward 2013 and election day. the nra coming out and helping kelly ayotte. take a listen to this. >> kelly ayotte is not just a senator. she's also a mom who cares about protecting our kids. it's why kelly had the courage to oppose misguided gun control laws that would not have prevented sandy hook. >> so do these help or hurt the
senator? >> what is misguided about requiring background checks on potential gun buyers when you're trying to prevent people who have a criminal record who should not be having guns? what's misguided about that? i'd like to know. most american people would like to know. over 90% of americans think this is basic common sense. even most nra members, even most gun owners. >> so if voters do believe that, does this nra assistance help or hurt her because she's being socialed? >> i think it hurts her. the nra is not that popular. they claim they have 4 million members. that is between 2 and 4 million. who they're really funded by, let's be clear. they're funded by the gun manufacturers. the gun manufacturers are profiting from laws that congress has passed immunizing the gun industry from lawsuits back in 2005. it was said by the former president of the nra this saved the gun industry from bankruptcy. handgun sales over the past decade have doubled. after the assault weapons ban expired in 2004, guess what happened to rifle production in the united states?
it shot up 38%. it's about money. it's about the industry. it's about profits. it's not about people's lives or the safety of americans or our children. i think the american public is finally waking up to that. >> we're seeing the polls at this moment. >> it's like the polls are correct. >> thank you so much for stopping by today. all right. back to our panel, alex and ruth. first to you, alex, on this. as you were listening to leah describe the dynamics here and how sticky these polls might be, also in the consideration as a part of this is how tea party senators may have helped to draw these lines that senators like kelly ayotte had to then follow, picking a side, this or that. where the line might have been a little more centrist if it weren't for those distinctions made by tea party senators. >> well, kelly ayotte has going for her she's not up for re-election until 2016. the question is not whether or not her poll numbers take a dip, the question is whether there's going to be the same level of
intensity behind this issue and the same level of financial support for gun control advocates that there is right now, largely coming from new york city mayor michael bloomberg. if you see a sustained effort on the part of democrats and other gun control advocates to make this an issue going forward, then maybe there are repercussions, but it's been an awful long time since democrats run on gun control in a national election. >> ruth, if there is another effort in the coming months, how should it be done differently? >> well, i think that alex is exactly right. the question about the impact of intensity and whether there can be some equalization of intensity from the gun legislation side as much as there is from the anti-gun laws side is one thing. another thing that needs to be done differently is -- and it's going to be difficult -- is to give senators some confidence that their vote won't be in vain. it's very much parallel to the discussion that we were having about immigration reform.
the way you could get this gun measure into law is if it came out with a very overwhelming vote in the senate that would then put pressure on the house. one of the reasons that the vote fell short last time around was that so many senators basically said why am i putting my neck and my political future on the line for something that's essentially a meaningless vote? it's going nowhere in the house. there has to a capacity to show the senators a path forward to take this risk. >> all right. thank you, ruth marcus. alexander burns as well. several updates in the boston bombings. the mother of surviving boston terror suspect dzhokhar tsarnaev is asking for money to help her son. this video right here was posted on facebook by human rights activists working with the family. in it, mrs. tsarnaev is asking for money so dzhokhar can pay for his medical and legal expenses. meanwhile, justice department prosecuto prosecutors assigned to the case say there are have been no
negotiations for a possible plea deal. the senate committee on homeland security is reviewing the federal involvement leading up to the bombings. they released a statement saying they expect to hold hearings on what worked and what didn't. he was inspired by his father's paint stained paper scraps. now with a collection of his own designed, he founded wrapped and sells his products across the country. for more watch "your business" sunday mornings at 7:30 on msnbc. we've all had those moments. when you lost the thing you can't believe you lost. when what you just bought, just broke. or when you have a little trouble a long way from home... as an american express cardmember you can expect some help.
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president obama's approach to syria appears to be one of caution. >> i am making decisions about america's national security and the potential for taking additional action in response to chemical weapon use. i've got to make sure i've got the facts. if we end up rushing to judgment without hard, effective evidence, then we can find ourselves in a position where we can't mobilize the international community to support what we do.
>> "the washington post" headline today read "obama moving toward sending lethal arms to syrian rebels officials say." but officials stressed to n b news no decision has been made, but they're preparing contingency plans. a fellow at the new america foundation joins us. he's traveled to syria and wrote about it. you were there about a year ago, spending a month there. is that correct? >> that's light. >> everyone is talking about the red line. when the president was discussing it yesterday during the briefing, when it came to chemical weapons with, he said it would be a game changer. under what situation do you believe is a diplomatic solution possible based on all this calculus that is what will the united states do? is there a diplomatic option here? >> it's hard to see a diplomatic option, richard, because there are so many groups on the ground. they're all united by wanting assad began. if you ask them, what do you want when assad leaves, you only have a hundred different answers.
it's hard to say what a diplomatic solution would look like. >> what would it look like? >> well, you know, there's a lot of people on the ground today in syria that want an islamic state. it's not something necessarily we would like. this is what a lot of people say on the ground. there are other people who want a more secular state. this situation has to play out. >> you've counted about 1,000 rebel groups, right? >> that's right. >> it could be more. >> it could be more, yeah. 1,000 groups. this is like afghanistan. this is really complicated. >> like afghanistan. how many are militant based? >> we don't even know. you know, i would say that the islamists and the militants are probably in the leading position out of these 1,000. >> out of 1,000 groups. you were there a year ago. you wrote in this great article about 14 pages long about the syrian military capability. how has it changed, you believe, from what you knew back then to today, and what might a military option be that the west could consider? >> well, the syrian rebels have
gotten a lot better. these are ordinary farmers and shopkeepers who took up arms a year ago. so today they're actually much better fighters than they were a year ago. but a military option, i think, would mean going in and actually supporting one of these thousands of groups at the expense of these other groups. that's a very complicated situation. we've been down that road before. >> you know, there's one thing i want to point out. we know the u.s. is giving, what, i guess, the rebels about $250 million in non-lethal assistance. then there's the request from rebels for higher grade military equipment. at what point does the west start considering -- the united states start considering offering higher-grade military assistance? maybe anti-tank missiles, night vision goggles, which they already have. if they ask for anti-aircraft missiles, do we give it to them? >> there's a real fear we can repeat the experience in afghanistan. if you remember in the '80s, we gave anti-aircraft missiles to islamist rebels to fight against the soviets. a lot of these guys ended up as
taliban, al qaeda. we don't know what's going to happen down the line. we don't want to be dealing with those consequences for years to come. >> what's the winning possibility here? what's the solution that would work? a mix of both military and diplomatic options? >> i think really we need to let the syrians solve this for themselves. you know, it's hard to think of it. a lot of horrible things are happening over there, but you know, at the end of the day, there's so many different groups. there's no unity on what they actually want. the syrians have to work this out for themselves. >> thank you so much again for being here. again, a fellow at the new american foundation. especially your time today. today also marks benchmarks related to the president's ever full plate on international security. the war on terror two years ago today, navy s.e.a.l.s tracking down al qaeda leader osama bin laden. since 2011, 13 of the top 20 most wanted al qaeda terrorists have been killed or captured. seven are still at large. also, ten years ago today, president george w. bush
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sexual hypocrisy of traditional values in america today. >> an endorsement marc sanford might not want, but larry flnyn breaking his vows was an act of bravery. >> four years ago, new jersey was broken, runaway spending, the nation's highest taxes, and unemployment on the rise. then we elected chris christie. he made us proud to say we're from new jersey. chris christie, the governor. >> congressman paul ryan now supports gay adoption. in 1999 he voted to ban same-sex couples from adopting in d.c. earlier this week, he told a crowd at a town hall meeting he would now vote differently. new york govern andrew cuomo is writing a book. harper clenz saying it's a full and frank account about his private life and first term in office. the big question is, could it
set the stage for a 2016? and if you read only one thing this morning, chris jansing saiding this in to us. her must-read will give you real insight into what's going on in guantanamo bay. a truly fascinating interview with the former chief prosecutor there, including his impressions of a prisoner he says reminded him of forest gump. it's up on our facebook page. ec. whether you're an allstate customer or not. all you have to do is call. [ female announcer ] call and sign up for good hands roadside assistance today. [ dennis ] are you in good hands? plays a key role throughout our lives. one a day men's 50+ is a complete multivitamin designed for men's health concerns as we age. it has 7 antioxidants to support cell health. one a day men's 50+.
i can redeem the double miles i earned with my venture card to erase recent travel purchases. and with a few clicks, this mission never happened. uh, what's this button do? [ electricity zaps ] ♪ you requested backup? yes. yes i did. what's in your wallet? democrats hoping to avoid the six-year jinx take heart. 18 months ahead of mid-term elections and a new poll shows american voters are more likely to vote democratic than republican for congress. that violates a historic norm of the president's party losing ground in the sixth year of presidency. we're joined now by a republican pollster and democratic strategist and senior advisor to the 2008 hillary clinton presidential campaign. great to have both of you here today. when you look at these
quinnipiac numbers, as we always try to understand, you know, how sticky will they be, what will they be like in 18 months when they'll count? what's your thought, kristen? >> it's nearly impossible to tell at this point what the numbers will be like. it's important to keep in mind that four years ago quinnipiac had democrats up by a seven-point advantage at this stage in the game. that advantage had eroded by the time we hit the midterms. the numbers may not look great for republicans, but i would not lose any sleep over it as a republican candidate at this stage in the game. >> is there a reason a smile here, kiki? the poll finding americans trusting republicans more on the handling of gun policy. how does that jive with polls that find the overwhelming number of people in favor of gun reform on that key issue? >> we have to remember a day is a lifetime in politics. we know it can change in one day. we also know this is one poll. what you really look in research are for trends. the good news in this poll is
that reflects an overall remotionr emoti emotional state about where the country is. when you get down to individual votes and what influences them in a specific congressional district, this doesn't carry a lot of water yet. but this is showing a trend for where americans view the two parties. they're more trusting on health care in this one with democrats. they're more trusting of the deficit with republicans. but what you see is a real movement to how they're looking at the national party function and the national message rather than individual races. >> kristen, the poll also, if you look at other numbers, showing there's no love for democrats, necessarily. voters just dislike them less than republicans. 18 months out, what issue should the gop focus on to turn that around? the economy, at least in this poll, not necessarily very high either. >> so in this poll, it shows that the republicans have an almost statistically insignificant advantage on the economy. i think that's the real issue to win. the poll shows sort of significant margins in favor of the republicans on handling of budget deficits and small
margins, as you mentioned, on the issue of gun control and on the issue of taxes. i really think it's going to come down to this issue of the economy, one, and two, it's going to come down to how, as obamacare is implemented, how are people responding to that, how is it affecting them in their daily lives. the fact this poll shows a five-point advantage for democrats on health care is in a weird way good news for republicans. that used to be an issue where democrats had these huge double-digit advantages. the fact it's close to five points san opportunity for republicans, particularly if implementation of obamacare causes some headaches for a lot of voters out there. >> all right. i can tell, kiki, you fully agree with that statement. >> no, not really. the reality is when you talk about health care, that's a really large topic. the fact that democrats are maintaining a five-point edge on that topic given all of the attacks that have been placed against the affordable care act, that's actually significant that people are still more trusting of the democratic party to manage health care. by the way, that's not just the affordable care act.
that's all different components individually that do that. i think it's right to say as people become more engaged with what the legislation has done, we'll see what the reaction is. overall, i think you'll find more people get access to insurance, more people have access to affordable care. that's going to be a number that probably grows as time moves forward. >> kiki, will there be a halo around the economy? great numbers yesterday, close to 10%. that's got to be favorable. >> the economics number -- well, you say that it's sort of low in this poll in terms of importance. it's mostly because people have been under so much discussion around immigration, gun control, other issues. at the end of the day when you get to a period of very specific elections, the economy and who's creating jobs is what matters. a halo, people feel a little better about housing starts, but they still need to see that jobs number move. they still need to feel secure in their job. they need to see their brother-in-law get a job, they need to see their next door neighbor get her next job.
that's where confidence comes from. it's in the jobs market. >> kiki and kristen, we'll talk every month for 18 months in a row before we solve this. thank you so much. the seven americans killed on monday when a national air cargo plane crashed in afghanistan have now been identified. this video has surfaced and appears to show the plane crashing. the images we're about to show you are disturbing to watch. the video shows the cargo plane flying over a bagram air base and slowing to a stop in midair before falling to the air and bursting into flames. the ntsb will send a team to afghanistan to investigate how this happened. the taliban claimed responsibility, but nato says there were no signs of insurgent activity. checking the news feed also this morning for you. authorities say they've linked james everett to the ricin laced letters sent to president obama.
authorities say they found traces of the deadly substance in the suspect's martial arts studio in tupelo, mississippi, and on some of his trash. the federal government has lowered the age limit, making it easier to obtain one type of the morning after pill. the contraceptive has been available over the counter to women 17 and older. now the fda is making it available to those 15 and older without a prescription. a powerful late-season storm dumpg heavy snow in parts of colorado. up to a foot of snow is expected in some areas with up to 9 inches in denver. as the storm moves east later today, up to 9 inches of snow is expected in parts of iowa, minnesota, and wisconsin. winter still rearing its head there. and they've become the hottest seller on the washington wizards online store. jason collins number 98 jerseys. it follows collins' coming out monday as the first openly gay male athlete currently playing in any major sport. while he finished the season with the wizards, collins is now a free agent. collins also revealed he wore
number 98 in honor of matthew shepherd, the gay university student who was robbed and beaten to death in 1998. we'll be right back. anncr: and many of the tornado's victims are... without homes tonight. girl: first, i saw it on cable. then i read about it online. i found out how to help. i downloaded the info. i spoke up... and told my friends... and they told their friends... and together, we made a difference. anncr: and tornado relief has been pouring in from...
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not necessary to keep america safe. it is expensive. it is inefficient. it hurts us in terms of our international standing. it lessens cooperation with our allies on counterterrorism efforts. it is a recruitment tool for extremists. it needs to be closed. >> i want to bring in congressman steve israel a democrat from new york and chair of the democratic congressional campaign committee. congressman, thanks for being here. >> good to be with you. >> the question folks are asking, should we close with it? if so, what do we do with the detaine detainees? >> we should close it in a safe and sensible way. we have a variety of detainees at guantanamo. some should be sent back to where they came from as long as we can keep an eye on them, as long as the conditions are safe and secure to do so. some ought to be -- remain in the united states. all deserve to be try ied.
all deserve to be tried and punished for crimes they committed. we need to do this in a safe and orderly and secure way. >> when you say remain in the united states, where? >> in a maximum, super max detention facility. it didn't work because this issue became politicized. it became more a sound bite than a solution. we need solutions. endless detention for the rest of the lives of these people is not a good idea. it is not sensible. it becomes a target for recruiting of terrorists. so we ought to close it, but close it in a way that maintains our national security. that reflects the values we have as a culture, as a society, and as a democracy. >> your memory is probably better than mine here. 2009 the political climate wasn't good. what makes it different today if the president renews his interest in doing this? >> i think that the american people have an unquenchable thirst for solutions. they're tired of sound bites. they're tired of the partisanship. they want republicans and democrats to agree on moving forward. this is an issue where you can
get democrats and republicans to agree. we have certain premises. number one, whatever happens has to be safe and secure and also has to reflect our values as a democratic society. there's got to be compromise. >> when you look at this h i guess 100 out of 166 prisoners in that hunger strike -- it was brought up yesterday during the briefing. many of them believe for the most part they have no future of getting out. what are some of the other options here other than what you've just described? >> look, there are some options. there are some smart and sensible options. number one, this should be done on a case-by-case basis. in all cases, there needs to be some due process. we do not want to be a society where we just lock people up for the rest of their lives without a trial, without a hearing, without some due process. so what we need to do is make sure that we have that process, that we need to make sure these
cases are being reviewed and being disposed of in a way that maintains our national security, keeps americans safe, and again it reflects our values as a democratic society. >> all right. let's talk about your values as a democratic society that you believe we should have. president obama alluding to those, although not yesterday, when it comes to gun law and gun legislation. largely really brushing off that issue. how might you, as you look at the mansion issue, mansion saying he sees another opportunity at introducing legislation, but after the failure, how does one regain the momentum on this subject? >> we regain the momentum by understanding what happened in newtown and littleton and other places. the house of representatives is paid to vote on an issue. now, the senate, despite the disappointment of a failed vote, at least they had the courage to vote. the house of republicans under speaker john boehner, is hiding behind the senate. people deserve a vote. you can vote yes on background checks, as i would, you can vote no on background checks, but speaker boehner, give these americans the vote that they deserve. it is a dereliction of duty for
the house of representatives not even to bring a vote on background checks to the floor of the house. we're being paid to vote. we have to earn our salary. >> when you look at some of the hit in the recent polls, there have been a double-digit net loss here. what many are asking is, will it stick, but were you surprised by that drop? >> no, 80% of the american people support background checks. over 80%. >> 90%, yeah. >> a majority of nra members support background checks. it is a matter of common sense. it is a solution, not a perfect solution, but a solution. let's vote. >> let me sneak this issue in while the time we've got left is in front of us. senator marco rubio on a conservative radio show talking about immigration. >> the bill that's in place right now probably can't pass the house because people are very suspicious about the willingness of the government to enforce the laws now and in the future given our experience with immigration in the past. >> first of all, that surprised
you. he was talking on a conservative radio show. he was admitting that he didn't believe that that which he signed off on is not going to make it over to the house. >> he told the truth. unfortunately. he said immigration solution of compromise can't pass the house. what can pass the house? it's another reflection of the fact that house republicans are part of a congress of chronic chaos. this is the only job in america i can think of where you're paid not to do things, not to pass legislation, not to vote, to stall, to make everything a product of chaos and obstructionism and extremism. it's got to end. >> all right. thank you so much, congressman steve israel for coming by today. >> thanks. yahoo!'s young ceo is doing something employees could get on board with. cnbc's mandy drury is here with what's moving your money. we're talking about an increase in maternity leave time. >> you're right. her own maternity leave was only a matter of week when is she took the job, but marissa meyer is expanding yahoo!'s family
leave policy. you have a doubling of maternity leave. you are paternity leave up to eight weeks. mothers can take up to four months of paid leave. even parents who adopt can take eight weeks off work. yahoo! is also giving new parents $500 to spend on those things you need. and even new pets are going to get some freebies as well for those who don't want children. it's all part of keeping up with the kind of perks that are offered by rivals. obviously, the perks offered by google are legendary and those other tech companies like facebook that offer good perks. yahoo! has to do something in order to attract and retain top talent. you know, i think this is something that, as you say, expectant mothers and fathers can really get on board with. >> yeah, absolutely. let's talk about newspapers. a surprise. >> yeah, a bit of a surprise here. obviously, circulation of newspapers on average is down overall. but what is really interesting here -- well, just to give you
some figures. it's not as if it's falling off a cliff. it is lower. what's really important here is four of the ten largest newspapers reported declines, but we're seeing a bit of shuffling around in terms of the top five. these figures include print and digital subscription. you had "usa today," which has been overtaken as the second largest newspaper by "the new york times," which had a nearly 18% increase in readers. "the wall street journal" had the highest circulation, well over 2 million. and it's a 12% jump from the same time the year before. but the really key thing here is both "the new york times" and "the wall street journal" have pay walls, which shows people are willing to pay for that good content. >> pay walls and still gaining.
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president obama is praising nba center jason collins for his decision to come out in a magazine interview. >> i think a lot of young people out there who are gay or lesbian who are struggling with these issues to see a role model like that who's unafraid, i think it's a great thing. >> and has been said, collins is the first openly gay male athlete in major american professional sports. his surprising announcement came
just days after a bipartisan group of senators reintroduced a bill to ban discrimination based on gender identity. senator, thanks for being here. >> oh, you're welcome, richard. good to be with you. >> jason collins coming out, what does that tell you about the mood, the political mood and what you're trying to get through in legislation? >> well, the world is changing quickly. 17 years ago, the senate came within one vote of saying that discrimination in employment is wrong. since then, there's been a tremendous amount of conversation. the american public has become even stronger in support of the fact that if you're going to have pursuit of happiness, you have to be able to have fairness in employment. so i think there's a lot of momentum in support of this legislation. >> let's stay on that idea of momentum. the legislation has been introduced regularly since the mid-1990s without ever passing. you know this better than i. 21 states and the district of
colombia already have these sorts of laws on their books. you say it has a good shot of passing in the senate now. why? >> well, we have 43 cosponsors and a lot of folks who haven't taken a position. i can tell you from my private conversations, there's a lot of sense among members who didn't take a position that this is the right position to be on. it's fairness, equality under the law, opportunity for all americans, and the fact that folks can say back home i fought for equality and fairness and that is our constitutional vision. so i think there's a lot of support. again, 17 years ago we came within one vote of passing this. we should be -- this is way past its time. this discrimination should have ended long ago. it's time to get it done now. >> two years ago we saw the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell." that policy that arguably sanctioned discrimination against gay service members. when you look at this one vote
and now today and you believe that the mood has changed so much, have you heard any criticisms? have you heard a relevant move towards what you'd like to do, and that's to get that legislation passed? >> you know, the remarkable thing is i have not heard a word of criticism of this bill. when we look to our fortunate 500 companies, 90% already have nondiscrimination policies in place. we have a growing number of small businesses that have those policies. we have a committee chair, senator harkin, who said this is his number one priority to pass this out of his committee, health, education, and labor. my sense so far is that the path is pretty clear and we have a chance to get this done and to do so in a bipartisan way that sends a strong message to the house of representatives. >> talking about the house of representative, there's a companion bill that was introduced, right, in the gop-controlled house. not likely to be a priority there. how do you put these two sides together? >> well, right now i think the
house is going to sit back and see what happens in the senate. the leadership in the senate is much more committed to passage of this bill. but i think when it passes, the attention will shift to the house. and there will be a campaign for the leadership to bring up the bill. if that doesn't occur, there will be a petition drive to attempt to have the number of house members necessary. >> what numbers do you need on your side? >> well, on our side we're going to need 60 votes. 17 years ago, we only needed 51. but the senate has changed. people do not allow the simple majority vote anymore. we need 60 votes to get it done. >> okay. thank you so much, oregon senator. appreciate your time today. that wraps up this hour on jansing and company. thomas roberts is up next. stick around. you know who you are. you can part a crowd, without saying a word... if you have yet to master the quiet sneeze... you stash tissues like a squirrel stashes nuts...
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background checks would cause. i'm just wondering why the burden of my mother being gunned down in the hall of her elementary school isn't as important as that. >> i'm obviously so sorry, and as everyone here, no matter what o you are views here, for what you have been through. >> that was the daughter of the murdered principal confronting senator kelly ayotte face to face during a town hall meeting in new hampshire. good morning, everybody. i'm thomas roberts. topping our agenda today, major blowback. senators who voted against a bipartisan plan for increased gun control appear to be facing a political price. erica lafferty ended up walking out of that room after the senator said this in response to the outcry for change. >> you know, i took a lot of heat, i will say, from even members of my own party that didn't like the fact that i voted to actually go to debate on this issue because i do -- we
can have strong disagreements, but ultimately everything should always be debated and discussed. >> now, hours later, lafferty said this about her encounter with the senator on "the last word." >> again, i got the run around. no clear answer. i don't know if she thought we were just going to kind of disappear after she decided to vote against something so common sense. >> nbc news political producer casey hunt was in that room in new hampshire yesterday. she joins us now. let's talk about this. did you get a sense that senator ayotte may have been prepared, knew something like that was coming with erica in the room? >> she knew that something was coming. there were folks prepared with signs from both sides, hand-written signs supporting her. her staff knew this was going to be the focus. she kicked off with a powerpoint that was focused on expanded background checks. they didn't know that erica lafferty herself was going to be there. they were less