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tv   NOW With Alex Wagner  MSNBC  May 6, 2013 9:00am-10:01am PDT

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protect syrian civilians. rather, israel learned of weapons heading from iran through syria to hezbollah. and decided to destroy them before hezbollah could get them within miles of israel's northern border. regardless, this weekend president obama expressed his support. >> the israelis justifiably have to guard against the transfer of advanced weaponry to terrorist organizations like hezbollah. >> but exactly what justifies american action in syria remains unclear. by yesterday morning, those advocating for american intervention had ratcheted up the pressure. >> the red line that the president of the united states written was apparently written in disappearing ink. we need tom a game-changing action. and that is, no american boots on the ground, establish a safe zone, and to protect it and to supply weapons to the right people. in syria who are fighting for obviously the things we believe in. >> meanwhile, others expressed
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reservations over arming the rebels. an option the white house is thought to be weighing seriously. >> al qaeda elements have a lot of control within the rebel movement. my concern is by arming the rebels, we could be strengthening al qaeda. if we're going to arm the rebels, we have to make sure that those arms are not going to end up in the possession of al qaeda supporters. >> between the competing voices at home, the hawks and the skeptics, the humanitarians and the isolationists and the swelling number of players, bashar al assad, the free syrian army, al qaeda, iran, hezbollah and israel -- it is clear that there are no easy options for a white house that remains stuck in the middle. one thing, however, is for certain, over 70,000 people have already died in the conflict in syria and that number will only rise as the white house continues its deliberation. joining me today, washington bureau chief of the the "huffington post," ryan grimm, nbc news foreign correspondent, ayman mohyeldin. form erp assistant secretary of state under president clinton, jamie reuben and managing editor
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at the and msnbc contributor, joy reid. jamie, i want it start with you, you have a piece in the "new republic" last time you were on the show, we were talking about the case for american involvement and the fact that this is an american interest to do something. i'll read an excerpt from the piece. you write setting aside the question of chemical weapons, there are many other persuasive justifications for a stronger american role in syria. the tally of the dead in the civil war exceeds 70,000. many millions of refugees are pouring into jordan, lebanon and turkey. a crucial region to the united states is coming apart. yet, the administration doesn't consider these sufficient reasons for greater involvement. why is that the case, jamie? >> well i think they've taken a very, very high standard about american national security interests. the areas where they have taken strong action, have tended to be related to al qaeda. the raid on bin laden, the use of drones. and almost everything else they have adopted what i would call you know, the hyperrealist
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position. but i think what is missing and what today's israeli raids show is that there is an american national security interest. and that is to be against iran, syrian government and hezbollah. the reason the president praised the israeli raids is because this alliance of hezbollah, iran and the syrian government has damaged american interests, threatens america's friends. and when this thing explodes even further, we've sent troops to iraq for obviously the wrong reasons. but we've expended enormous blood and treasure in that country. that country risks coming apart as well. they have their own civil war. sunnis against shiites. that could be affected by the syrian situation. only the united states has the power, the leverage, the influence, and the capabilities to effect this terrible conflict. no boots on the ground, that is not serious.
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and one caveat here. i heard on the show last week. everybody was saying you know, we're going to own this problem. and they compared it to iraq. >> that is just -- really wrong-headed. we owned iraq. because george bush reached 7,000 miles across the world, invaded a country, overthrew its government and sent in 700,000 troops. that's reasonable, we did break iraq. we therefore owned it. syria is already broken. we will not own this problem if we define a limited intervention to provide support for those who are fighting as senator mccain said, for the same reasons as us. do it carefully. think it through. but it's been two years already. it's time to make a decision. >> let me ask you, ayman. and i think jamie makes a case that's fairly strong for the region coming apart. you see the involvement of all the different actors. you look at what al qaeda has
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done in terms of expansion, it's gone to failed states, whether that's north africa, aqap, the population of jihadists affiliated with north africa has dramatically increased in places like syria, like homs, like aleppo. if you're talking about national security interests, you could make the case on al qaeda alone probably that this is an area where the u.s. needs to be paying greater attention, if not having greater involvement. >> first of all, syria has become a proxy war. what we're seeing there are the lines of regional interests spilling out inside syria. that's one. two, point that you're talking about is very important. the longer this problem continues, the more extremists are drawn into the fight. not just because people are drawn to the al qaeda ideology, but because people inside syria become hardened by the experiences of living through a civil war. and it's not difficult to use religion to recruit people to your cause, when nobody else is. one of the lessons that we've learned from the arab spring is that you know, the explosion of expression and freedoms that we've seen in countries like
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egypt and libya and tunisia, has actually tampened the ability for extremists to recruit in those countries, but the opposite is happening in syria because of the inaction what we're seeing is that it's easier to recruit because you have a civil war. the ideology of religion is bringing people to that extreme you know, margins and that's why two years on, that group of people has only grown from where this revolution or uprising was when it began with a handful of civilian protesters. >> you know, ryan, i don't want to lose sight of what's happening 0 on the humanitarian level. and there's been great and not well-covered-enough journalism detailing the horrors that have befallen some of the people in syria. i'll read an excerpt from this piece. one man was sitting at home when he heard an explosion. i never saw a blue explosion before, he remembers thinking. his eyes began to burn, he felt sick to his stomach. he decided to walk to the hospital. when i arrived, dozens of people were streaming in, choking, crying, spit bubbling out of their mouths, he say birds and
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animals writhing on the ground. others were dead. that's just like the tip of the iceberg in terms of the crisis over there. there's a question of what the president does as someone who perhaps unwittingly drew this red line. we know this was sort of the comments over the red line over chemical weapons, "the new york times" was reporting more of an aside than a diplomatic policy pronunciation. where does the president go? can he stand by and watch this happen? setting aside all the other reasons to get involved. >> what you're hitting on is probably the most persuasive case that can be made for intervention. one of the great progressive victories of the 20th century was banning chemical weapons. you know we take it for granted now, but you know, world war i, world war ii, people were using chemical weapons. on a mass scale. and that's not something we want to go back to. you know, the world has agreed, that you will not use chemical weapons. we haven't been able to ban war, at least we've gotten --
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>> we are far from banning war. >> if you allow a regime to use chemical weapons, then the ban on chemical weapons is very significantly rolled back. which has tremendous repercussions over the next century. >> i mean you're right. and president obama has made arms control one of his real unique signature issues. the idea of controlling nuclear weapons, that might get out of hand. the idea of deep cuts in strategic arms. for an arms controller. that was my first career working in arms control. this is a big deal. to have the probably the oldest taboo in the arms control world, broken so brazenly and so openly, by the syrian regime. and failing to respond, allowing it to go unpunished. i think will damage the arms control regime in general. let alone the damage it does to the other arms control objectives of iran and north korea, where you've set certain red lines in a sense, and if
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they don't take the red line seriously in syria, these people will say, why would they take it seriously elsewhere. >> you know, there's also the piece, joy, and you as a political insider here, can talk to the notion of the red line and america sort of planting a flag in something and then sort of standing by that. and the question about whether the president is letting red lines become dotted yellow lines and whether, if nor anything else, it's important to show the north koreans, the iranians, that when we say something, we mean it. how much of that does he need to figure into his calculation over what he does on syria? >> you can almost feel the white house trying their best to pull back from ever having said that and regretting that they said it. because having said it now people are holding obviously the white house to it. i think the problem for this white house is that they really don't want boots on the ground. i think it's pretty clear that they do not want to have us in an iraq-like situation. particularly in syria, because as was alluded to in your set-up, there's the free syrian
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army. but we're not clear on whether they are getting arms from -- right. i spoke with somebody who has relatives in sirria the issue is you've got the good guys, the guys fighting the alawite government and they're not able to get their hands on arms. at this point, desperate situations make desperate allies. there may be taking arms and buying arms from people we may not consider the most savory. so it becomes muddled, who's allied with who. the confusion is making it difficult for the white house to make a decision. you do have the iran component. where syria is sort of the only friend iran has. so this is a proxy. it's so complicated. i think from a political point of view, you even heard peter king, some of the typical hawks on the republican side very reluctant to commit american forces. >> well i think boots on the ground is the one thing everybody says they don't want. but-d but i do wonder, bill keller, one of the people in the "new york times" who said we should go to war in iraq. writes today in "the new york
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times," i admire president obama's california congratulation in foreign policy. but in syria, i fear prudence has become fatalism and our caution has been the father of missed opportunities, diminished opportunity. >> he makes a case that the spector of iraq looms too large. >> it haunts us. >> to pretty damning results. >> it's paralyzed the u.s. internally. i think when you think of why the united states is not acting in syria more forcefully and i've spoke ton arab diplomats who constantly say they're not looking for american military intervention, they're looking for american political leadership. what is missing i think is inside the united states, there is a paralysis because of the iraq war. i think it has scarred america so deeply that they are so reluctant to get involved, particularly in that part of the world and specifically with any type of military intervention. i do want to say that you know, with the israeli air strikes on syria, there are benefits to the united states by having that
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type of military action. the united states is seeing the response vis-a-vis the israeli air strikes. i think particularly there's the tactical response which over the past several months, one of the reasons the united states has been so reluctant to get involved, even with the no-fly zone has been the argument that syria's air defense systems have been so strong and they're much more capable. on three different occasions, the israeli air force, not as superior as the american one has been easily able to penetrate and carry out the strikes. that's one, too. the reaction to these types of strikes has been very minimal in terms of the actual response from lib none or hezbollah and iran. and i think when you watch this unfold, you get a sense of how the region is responding to this crisis. >> we know, jamie, that secretary of state john kerry is headed to russia today. and you can bet your bottom dollar that this is absolutely going to come up. >> and that's going to be a tough conversation, let's face it. the united states and russia have disagreed on the use of force going back a long, long
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time. all the way to kosovo when i was in the government. the russians were some military guys threatening world war iii if we intervened in kosovo. we've got to be really clear, the russians do not want to see the americans succeed in the world, no matter where it is. so when we do something that is successful, the russians don't like it. it's not because they really actually disagree with what we're doing, and until we recognize that, we're going to let the russians again spook us into inaction. the russians don't want america to succeed. >> jamie reuben with a heavy dose of real talk on this monday morning, thank you to nbc's ayman mohyeldin and former assistant secretary of state, jamie reuben. the world bank sets a target date for the end of poverty around the world, that's real. we'll mine the wealth gap next. and the nra carts out a veritable who's who of opinionators, and skbirs onspir
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just be possible. in the "new york times" magazine, annie lowry asks the question, is it crazy to think we can eradicate poverty around the world? the answer seems to be no, it is not crazy at all. she says the gains we've seen in
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eradicating poverty are in part because the bar is set extremely low. $1.25 is the daily income threshold. despite this, 1.2 billion people around the world are living this way. in extreme poverty. hopefully, not for long. lowry writes fortunately this deadly and cyclical form of poverty is already on its way towards obsolescence. the first world bank millennium goal to have the proportion of the world population living in dire poverty by 2015 was met five years early. as the rate fell to an estimated 21% in 2010, from 43% in 1990. lowry interviews experts who say that even though the developing world has gotten its act together, poverty reduction depends on the advanced economies getting their act together, too. here in america, there is not so much optimism when it comes to getting our act together. when it comes to the economy, the stau its has become a tale of two countries.
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on the one side, it's morning in america, the stock market is is soaring and corporate profits are record high. on the other, economy is stagnating, unemployment stuck at 7% or 8 % and poverty is high. between 2009 and 2011, the top 1% of households, captured 121% of all income gains. incomes rose more than 11% for the top 1% during the economic recovery. but shrank by .4% for those in the bottom 99%. and when it comes to race, the disparities are even more glaring. for decades, white families have earned on average about $2 for every $1 that black and hispanic families have earned. the wealth gap has grown larger since the 2008 recession. according to a new study by the urban institute. before the recession, white families were about four times as wealthy as nonwhite families. by 2010, whites were about six times as wealthy. polls show americans are increasingly worried about the gap between the rich and the poor, but they're hesitant to
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have the government do anything about it. the lopsided economy isn't only dangerous for americans, but dangerous for the rest of the world, staff writer for the "new yorker" john cass dpi and "new york times" economic policy reportser, annie lowry. great piece in the magazine this weekend. we obviously quoted it heavily. in terms of the number, the $1.25, the idea of extreme poverty, it seems like it's a fairly, semi arbitrary number and at that, a fairly low one. you write making it above the $1.25 a day mark doesn't guarantee a white picket fence and a caddy in the driveway. it doesn't guarantee a proper meal. why are we focused on a line above which nothing happens set by some technocrats in washington? >> the $1.25 a day line was set by the world bank, there's an
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economist there who set it as kind of a very, very, very minimum threshold for kind of subsistence level living. if you get above that line, no, nothing specific happens. you're still very, very poor. but the idea is that this is the worst form of poverty, it's kind of an arbitrary line that was set to say, okay, are these, do these people have enough to live on, kind of a very basic level. so it's very low and that's something that the bank knows and is worried about itself. because even if you seem pretty dramatic gains lifting people over the $1.25 a day mark, there's been more bunching around the next mark, which is the $2 a day mark. which is only a slightly less dire form of poverty. but there are some pretty big gains there. in the most dire form of poverty. that's where it's the most dangerous, the worst infant mortality, starvation, the really worst forms of poverty. >> and you know, we the u.s. sets the extreme poverty bar at $2 a day, the number you mentioned before. 1.46 million american households live in extreme poverty, less
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than $2 per person per day. has that been exacerbated in the last two to three decades as wage stagnation and declining membership in union and all sorts of other things that used to be institutions that protected the working poor and the working middle class? as those have declined, their power has declined. have the levels of extreme poverty gone up? >> so it's kind of interesting in the united states. when you look at the basic federal poverty line, which is 11,000 or $12,000 for a person over the course of a year, you've seen a great expansion of poverty through the recession. and it really hasn't come down. but you know, in the united states, there's kind of a floor that we set. there's a safety net that exists here because the economy is so developed. and so, yes, you've seen this dramatic increase in poverty. a lot of it has to do with the fact that wage groups have been so terrible at the bottom and the fact that you've seen such great returns to things like higher education, if you're an uneducated worker in the united
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states. the past couple of decades have been really bad for you. if you're in a country like the united states or france or canada or mexico. life is going to be better for you, even if you're poor than it will be in a country like china or india. and that gain has widened over time, too. >> and annie, i want to open it up to our panel in new york. john, we talk about the recovery. sometimes people put the word recovery in quotes, and sometimes they don't. i find this, i quote this number all the time. i find it staggering. 50% of the jobs in this country pay less than $33,000 a year. 25% of them pay less than $22,000 a year. how do we, how do we end this story of two americas when that's the reality in terms of job creation? >> well it's always been the story. when you live in somewhere like new york or washington, you're in sort of a bubble. because very few people do, even what we think of subsistence level wages and the rest of the country is sort of median income. parts of it are accounted for in differences in standards of living or costs of living. if you live in new york you need
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more money to survive. we go back to the '60s really. there's been sort of stuck at the bottom 20%, it goes up to 25% in recessions, of the poverty people. now people on the right would say, well you're setting the poverty line relative to median income. so it always goes up. the poverty line does go up a bit every year. but what we've seen in the last decade or two is because we've had a big rice in inequality, the number of people at the bottom has gone up as well. so actually you can make the argument that poverty has gotten worse rather than better, not just because of the recent recession, it always goes up in recent recessions but we're facing a secular trend. where the figures you voted, a lot more income growth has been concentrated at the top and mathematically, that means there's less left for people at the bottom to share. >> "new yorker" wrote two weeks ago, the difference between this recession and the great depression, he writes, the great depression left people more helpless and isolated.
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but the new depression seems to have produced less hope. over the years, the structures that were built during the roosevelt republic to secure americans against another catastrophe, banking regulations, collective bargaining, collective credit. public education, a scrupulous press have steadily eroded, so has the public's faelt in institutions and the idea of sure upward most through each successive generation. >> those pillars were built by organized labor and its allies which doesn't have anywhere near the power now than it did then. and at that time you had two ideologies that governed the world. today in this neoliberal capitalism is dominant. when there was an alternative, when communism was out there, elites here didn't just pretend that capitalism would somehow distribute wealth in an equitable fashion, they actually had to make sure that that happened. because you had this example that was attractive across the ocean and you had it creeping in
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south america and central america and all across the globe. with it gone, there are no longer under any obligation to share the wealth. and so they're not. 121% of the gains mean that not only have they seized all of the gains, they're taking what the poor and middle class had and grabbing some of that as well. >> well what's also staggering, joy, is the racial lines, the division here, the fact that white families have six times as much wealth as black and hispanic families and why there isn't a stronger coalition to sort of address that issue in particular. >> yeah, and you've also seen, i mean you have 13.2% black unemployment versus 6.7% white unemployment. the high unemployment rate is in large part due to minority unemployment. hispanic is 9% and you've had a change where the idea of the social safety net was racialized after the 1960s. where suddenly the white middle class was underpinned by the new deal and which believed in government's role in lifting people out of poverty, once that was racialized, a lot of it was done during the reagan welfare
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queen's run for president, social services are for the minorities, the generalized belief in government's power and government's responsibility to help the poor has been eroded, too. people on the right really are starting not to believe that the government should play a role any more. so things like head start. things like giving children adequate nutrition. >> they're unwinding these problems through sequester. >> they don't want to fund medicaid, right? we know that educational disparity and health disparity feeds into poverty. someone who has health problems or education problems doesn't do as well in school, feeds each other. it's oenlt going to get worse. >> annie, one of the other points you bring up in global poverty. urban areas, living in an urban area tends to be beneficial to people in terms of trying to rise out of poverty. cities bolster access to health services and public resources. and that urban areas in the growth of them globally, from 30% to 50% has been instrumental in pulling down poverty rates. i thought that was really interesting. does that hold true domestically
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as well? >> yeah, it's absolutely true domestically, right so we think about taking a given worker from a rural area and moving them to an urban area in the united states, the truth is that they're probably going to become more productive for the economy overall. they're going to earn more, they are going to have in some cases access to better services, that story is true in countries around the globe. and so i think when you're thinking about developing economies, the problem with urbanization is in a lot of cases it results in slums, which are really unattractive and can be very dangerous. and obviously as we saw with the bangladesh factory collapse, there's a lot of down sides to it. as a general point, if you take a worker from rural africa and move them to an urban place in africa, where there's been a lot of urbanization, that tends to help. it's true for the united states, it's true around the world. to link back to something we were talking about before. it's funny that developing economies are struggling with the same problems of wage polarization and inequality that countries like the united states are. this is actually become kind of
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a global problem. even in you're talking about very different economic circumstances. >> the first world needs to get its act together, annie, that's my take-away from your piece, which a great one. "the new york times" annie lowry, thanks for your time. coming up as college grads prepare to enter an economy marred by unemployment, debt and income disparity, president obama offer as message of optimism and motivation, we'll check out his words of wisdom, coming up next. hey! did you know that honey nut cheerios has oats that can help lower cholesterol? and it tastes good? sure does! wow. it's the honey, it makes it taste so... well, would you look at the time... what's the rush? be happy. be healthy. accomplishing even little things can become major victories. i'm phil mickelson, pro golfer.
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and don't get heartburn in the first place! we asked total strangers to watch it for us. thank you so much. i appreciate it. i'll be right back. they didn't take a dime. how much in fees does your bank take to watch your money? if your bank takes more money than a stranger, you need an ally. ally bank. your money needs an ally. > yesterday, president obama encouraged 10,000 graduates at ohio state university to live up to the responsibilities of citizenship. he urged them to reject conspiracy theorists pushing government paranoia. >> unfortunately you've grown up
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hearing voices that incessantly warn of government as nothing more than some separate sinister entity that's at the root of all our problems. you should reject these voices. because what they suggest is that our brave and creative and unique experiment in self-rule is somehow just a sham. with which we can't be trusted. >> merely 24 hours before that speech, 1,000 miles away in houston, nra's ceo, wayne lapierre was pushing that exact brand of anti-government phobia. we'll take a dip -- a strange one -- into wayne's world and discuss this weekend's nra national convention when the brady campaign's colin goddard joins us next on "now." i do a lot of research on angie's list before i do any projects on my own. at angie's list, you'll find reviews written by people just like you. i love my contractor, and i am so thankful to angie's list
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epicenter of paranoid patriotism this weekend, as gun-toting liberty-loving citizens convened as the 2013 nra annual convention. a veritable gun mecca. there were nine acres of exhibits, work shops, rifles, hunting gear, instructional classes and speeches from an array of political figures, 2016 wannabes and fear-mongers from the right flange. all celebrating the demise of an expanded background check bill and warning americans to stand clear from the looming menace of government tyranny. >> the last couple of weeks, you stood up when freedom was under assault. >> for some reason, obama liberals want to disregard the first amendment and take away our rights to speak in political speech. >> i don't care what kind of left wing judges president obama appoints, he won't be able to touch our freedom to keep and bear arms. in the great state of louisiana. >> the freedom of all mankind,
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make no mistake, is at stake. and because of this, i truly believe that our souls are at stake as well. >> yes, america, glenn beck believes our very souls are at stake. meanwhile, those who couldn't make it there were beamed in from elsewhere. to deliver messages that might have been from a parallel universe. >> like all americans, we mourn the loss of life at newtown. and that for this horrific event. your members pitched in and offered their support. you showed compassion for a community in need. >> whenever there's a trifecta of paranoia, gun lust and questionable recall, you can bet that rick perry is somehow involved. perry was introduced naturally, with a video befitting a three and a half-term governor of america's second largest state. ♪ ♪
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also, present at the convention, the nra's youngest member, a 3-year-old. >> we would like to teach her to provide for herself, care for herself, protect herself as much as she can. >> she is the youngest nra lifetime member at this convention. >> that's right. she's three. >> if the target shredding governor and emissary from the nra's toddler branch were not inspirational enough, there were also sarah palin and her wacky sidekick, wayne lapierre. >> this president flying in grieving parents on air force one, making them backdrops in his perpetual campaign style press events -- the politics of emotion? it's the opposite of leadership. it's the manipulation of the people by the politicians for their own political ends. >> already. they're kpining right now. regrouping, planning, preparing, organizing. even waiting for quote, the next
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newtown. the next horrific crime. the next senseless, horrific crime to exploit. folks, politics doesn't get any more disgusting than that. >> it goes without saying that no one at the nra convention would ever politicize a tragedy. except for the times when the nra political sizes a tragedy which actually is most every time. >> imagine waking up to a phone call from the police, at 3:00 a.m. in the morning, warning that a terrorist event is occurring outside and ordering you to stay inside your home. i'm talking of course about boston. how many boston ians wish they had a gun. >> today the nra is choosing a new leader to replace outgoing president, david keene. jim porter, a 64-year-old lawyer from alabama, whose father was also an nra president, will be
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the gun lobby's pick for the future, but porter has his eyes set distinctly on the past, specifically, 152 years ago, when america was fighting the civil war. >> it was started by some yankee generals who didn't like the way my southern boys had the ability to shoot? what we call the war of northern aggression. now y'all might call it the civil war, but we call it the war of northern aggression down south. >> indeed, these days on the right, the civil war is back in vogue. constitution be damned, kansas last month passed a law declaring its guns exempt from federal regulation. a move based on the southern states nullification strategy, no fewer than 36 other states have followed kansas's example. and introduced similar bills. with nra membership up to five million, background checks defeated and gun sales booming, it is still possible that sob conventioneers won't be happy until the country is taken back
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to 1861. joining us from washington is colin goddard, the assistant director of federal legislation at the brady campaign. colin, what a weekend, just when you thought maybe some ounce of sanity might be airlifted into the nra's annual convention, you have the sound that we just played. to me, colin, this seems, we talk a lot about this being more than just, being about more than just guns. and certainly bobby jindal talking about activist judges and the discussion by sarah palin of tobacco. it seems like this is a culture war that the nra would like to wage. >> it seems the nra is still sticking by their playbook since newtown, they're doubling down on the kind of out of touch rhetoric, calling it the war of northern aggression, that the vast majority of americans don't support. there's nothing new with the nra. i think what is new in this issue, in this gun policy debate is what was happening outside of
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the conference. victims and survivors of gun violence were reading the names of everyone who has been killed from firearms since newtown. i have never seen this movement, the people i work with, so active, so energized, with so many new people calling. this is what it's been told to me. this is what it was like when the brady bill began to pass and the bill that followed suit. this is what's different now. >> i would agree with colin's broader point. that the resurgence of support from gun safety advocates is marked. that is new. but i also think it's worth remarking on and analyzing the total insanity of jim porter calling the civil war, the war of northern aggression and perhaps trying to make the case that the south should have won. >> you never know when slaves might try to get away and it was helpful for you know, the southerners to have the guns in order to stop that from happening. >> it is the point he's trying to make. >> slaves weren't allowed to have guns, they weren't citizens. it is a strange thing to me. i think tactically weird to
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become an "snl" skit at a time when the nra is claiming it has all of this great power. they were still able to bring members of the senate to heel, including some democrats. i'm wondering as a tactic. if becoming a joke, becoming a punch line. becoming a right wing insane. >> giving them the benefit, punch line, i think it's hugely offensive and incredibly derogatory and the suggestions are fairly dramatic. >> right. >> and apocalyptic. >> why would you want to associate yourself with the precivil war south. you're going to fight the federal government. that's what the nra is for. how does that give you more power with let's say moderate democrats on capitol hill? why should they bother? it used to be that their power was in their bipartisan support. they could call on democrats as well as republicans. why would any moderate democrat want to be associated with them and get an a rating from them any more? >> john, you revealed that you went to an actual nra convention a while back. when the message was distinctly more moderate. >> i was writing about one of
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the grover norquist. doing a profile of him and he was on the board of the nra. the nra has been a key part of the right-wing coalition for years. they were trying to project a bit more moderate image. but i think the swing to the right is actually you know an opportunity for liberals. i think what we've seen, the nra won, let's not make any bones about that they defeated obama. all three gun piece of gun legislation went down. the only way they're going to be defeated is if there's an equal fight of the anti-gun owners. nobody could stand with jim porter and the things he said in the past i think this an opportunity for the anti-gun law activist, for the pro gun activist to try to build a sort of anti-nra in the middle on the left. >> you don't have to build it on the left. you could build it all the way over to the conservative right. because at the end of it stands jim porter talking about the war of northern aggression, ryan.
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>> they're going to regret going to war with joe manchin. this is a conservative democrat who won his seat in west virginia by taking on a rifle, putting a bullet through the cap-and-trade bill. literally. that's how he won his senate race. democrats. so that means -- >> and pat toomey for the club for growth. >> that means there are a right wing organization and if you're a right wing organization, you're part sisan and you're marginalized. >> colin talking about the change, the vice president had an op-ed in the houston "chronicle," saying in the end, i believe we will prevail. it would seem like i think heartening to many people who were hoping for gun safety reform. the movement still has legs. if anything this kind of nra conference and the rhetoric coming out of it would seem to be a shot in the arm for people
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pushing for sane gun laws. it is, because of that we have a mother's day week of action going on right now. today is calling your house members asking them to support 1565, the background check bill. tomorrow's letter to the editor writing day. wednesday is social media day, thursday is showing up and holding a no more names vigil in front of your house member's house through the weekend. the counterforce to the ever increasingly crazy national rifle association leadership. >> the brady campaign's colin goddard, thanks as always for your time. coming up, it sounds like a buddy movie, but the story of terry and ken may end up being more like a political rom-com, like how to lose an election in six months. virginia's gubernatorial race. [ male announcer ] this is bob, a regular guy with an irregular heartbeat. the usual, bob?
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one is a political operator with ties to a failed start-up and a history of false political starts and the other is ken kuchinelli. your move, virginia, we'll discuss the old dominion's governor's race, coming up next. ♪ (annoucer) new beneful medley's, in tuscan, romana, and mediterranean style varieties. ♪ just mix it in, and take play to new places. three cans in every pack. new beneful medley's. woman: everyone in the nicu --
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virginia attorney general, ken cuchinelli, who fought this year to uphold an old-timy bigoted anti-sodomy law and came out with a book labels the epa as an agency of mass destruction, is leading the virginia race for governor. a new "washington post" poll gives him a five-point lead over democratic challenger, terry mcauliffe. ryan, how did this happen? >> it happened because terry mcauliffe is trying to run and this is what he says, trying to run basically an obama-type campaign. but he's doing it without the
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enthusiasm. with all the things that made the obama campaign successful. >> as if terry mcauliffe is allergic to saying anything to excite the base. all he would have to do is go out and say, he should push for the medicaid expansion, he should push for voting rights, you know, access to the ballot. this these are key issues among the democratic base in virginia, but he can't do it. there's something about his constitution -- >> there's something about terry. >> he's just not into that kind of thing. if he doesn't do that then the obama model doesn't work. it's just not having an email list and money. >> in the, as a result, joy, a man who is called the epa an agency of mass destruction and is trying to keep the sodomy laws on the books may actually be the next governor of virginia. if you thought bob mcdonald and transvaginal ultrasounds were bad, you ain't seen nothing yet. >> combined with high name recognition for cuchinelli and
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not a great candidate in terry mcauliffe, he's a money guy, not a getting elected guy. he's not a politician. >> you know, john cassidy. with this and the nra, you have an accent that tells us you're from another place. do you look upon this humor or a sense of devastation and depression. >> being an american citizen i take it seriously. and as a dual citizen i try to keep a sense of humor about it. i think the culture war is real, it's been real for 20 years. it's intensifying. the nra is not backing away. i think it's up to liberals and people in the center, the same sort of intensity on the other side that they show. whatever you think about the nra, it's an incredibly efficient and effective lobbying organization. >> it's up to sane people to fill the gap. >> kind of leave it up to michael bloomberg. >> thanks all for us, thanks to ryan, joy and john. i'll see you tomorrow when i'm joined by howard wolfson, author
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julia reed, "andrea mitchell reports" is coming up next. i'm meteorologist bill karins with your business travel forecast. a rainy day, from the mid-atlantic states, north carolina to virginia, getting a soaking rain. pretty nice in new england, drier for you in florida after a wet weekend. same goes for areas here in the midwest, a nice warm-up this time last week. we were dealing with snow. now we're where we should be. temperatures in the low 70s. enjoy. change makes people nervous.
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right now on "andrea mitchell reports" -- was iran's military power the real target of israel's weekend strikes against iranian-supplied missiles in syria. and how long will president obama be able to resist calls for u.s. to get involved? for now the president tells telemundo, israel has the right to defend itself. >> the israelis justifiably have to guard against the transfer of advanced weaponry to terrorist organizations like hezbollah. hezbollah has repeatedly said that they would be willing to attack as far as tel aviv, so the israelis have to be vigilant and concerned. we will continue to coordinate with the israelis. capitol hill hawks say the president isn't