tv Up W Steve Kornacki MSNBC June 2, 2013 5:00am-7:01am PDT
rallied millions of us on small business saturday to make shopping small, huge. this is what membership is. this is what membership does. good morning from new york. i'm steve kornacki. 12 people are confirmed dead from thkd wes's storms. killing nine in oklahoma and three in missouri. in northern los angeles county, fire fighters are battling a raging fire that scorched 19,500 acres since thursday. now i'm joined by amanda terkel, senior political reporter and managing editor of the huffington post.
norm ornstein. sahil kapur. sarah posner. the nuclear option is back. a path to detonation has been established. that is the upshot of this week's biggest news out of washington. president obama is poised to make three simultaneous nominations for the united states court of appeals for the district of columbia circuit. second most powerful court in the country. this is an unmistakably aggressive move by the president. one designed to test the limits, republican obstructionism that stalled agenda, and one that could bring about the demise of the filibuster as we know it. that's the nuclear option. republicans in the past four plus years perfected the art of bending the senate's norms to filibuster to filibuster delay and otherwise derail obama's nominee. particularly when it comes to judges. new study from the congressional research service shows the wait time from nomination to con fir mission for the average federal
circuit court pick has radically increased. process that took about eight days under former president george h.w. bush takes more than 138 days under obama. the trend is similar with district court nominees. by appointing three nominees at once president obama will be picking a very intentional fight. idea is to shine a light and cement the kind of public outcry that may break the nomination. it is a gop -- if it disn't work, well, that's where the nuclear option comes in. the possibility that a simple majority of democratic senators will vote to permanently end the filibuster on nominees. republicans for their part had a very different plan. chuck grassley, ranking member of the senate judiciary committee, last month said he would rather shrink the d.c. circuit court to eliminate altogether the three seats that obama is trying to fill. >> i introduced legislation to reallocate two unnecessary seats to circuits around the country
with much higher workload. >> administration official tells nbc news that the nomination could come, quote, as early as this week. when it does, how the senate operates could change forever. norm ornstein wrote it would be far better to return to regular order and to the use of filibuster as rare events. not routine ones. if senators who know better continue to obstruct nominations, they should expect to reap the whirlwind. so let's start on -- a lot of different pieces to this. i think i let's start on the question of judiciary nominations because that's the -- immediate fight that's looming here. if and when and looks imminent obama makes the three picks. to the d.c. circuit. he -- he had a no, ma'am me confirmed in the d.c. circuit. it was first time his entire presidency one had gotten through. i guess the first thing for people to understand, start with this, why is the d.c. circuit so particularly for? why is it such a particular source of republican opposition and obstruction? >> there are 14 circuits but no
question that the primary one that the -- court that's just below the supreme court is the d.c. circuit. it handles all the complex cases involving federal power and especially executive power. and these are -- aren't as many cases in the republicans are saying the workload is lower. it is ridiculous. they have fewer cases but they are much, much more detailed and in depth. what we have seen in the last few years because you have a preponderance of senior judges, david sental, most political of all judges, this is the one who fired robert fiske, a very good independent counsel and replaced him for no good reason with ken star. it is an for circuit and we have had vacancies now for a substantial number of years. while we did get one confirmed, unanimous, before that, kaitlyn
halegin, superbly qualified nominee, twice was blocked. waited for over a year in effect for no good reason and that has -- as much as anything precipitated this conflict. >> well, so the -- you mentioned senior judges. this is fascinating to me to learn about. when you look at this, it is amazing. there are now four confirmed judges on the d.c. circuit who were appointed by democratic president and four from republican presidents. there are these six retired judges who still end up hearing cases and end up making decisions, five of them are conservatives. this is a circuit that's just used hard to the right. amanda, i wonder, the republican strategy in this is that what it is? we have the advantage on this highly for court, let's lock it and wait million we get a republican president. >> absolutely. president obama suffered a lot of defeats with this court. they said that he --
appointments to labor relations board, they ruled them unconstitution unconstitutional. huge blow to president obama and also said that him trying to crack down on power plant pollution, can't do that either. right now republicans see that they have a huge advantage on this court. they want to keep it. chuck grassley and other republican has no problem approving president bush's nominees to the court. but suddenly they say the court shouldn't have as many people. let's get rid of them. >> what about this case? the idea grass sly putting out there that okay, we have these three vacancies. the workload isn't that intense for the d.c. circuit. we don't immediate these three extra seats that we refused to confirm nominees for. why don't we eliminate those three seats and continue says? is there any traction behind that idea? >> i don't think so. i think that this is grassley. and there are a number of other republican senators that sponsored the bill. trying to make a strong opening that to say we don't want these seats filled. we don't believe they need to be filled even though the -- white house would point out that
grassley voted to confirm the 10th and 11th acts under president bush. it has been not a single nominee confirmed since 2006. well beyond before president obama was even elected. the only thing i add to what amanda and norm said about the d.c. circuit is a lot of it, lot of president obama's second term is going to run through the issues that this court has jurisdiction over. talk about consumer protection, financial regulations, epa, lot of this is -- lot of these are items he will not be able to do much more through congress and republican controlled house. so he needs to rely on executive power and the -- number of upcoming cases that the court may or may not hear will have huge impact. >> yeah. the climate change, efforts to curb emissions. you know. by the administration will go lou this court. this court will decide. i know you write about the intersection of religion and politics. write about the evangelical movement and christian movement.
i was remembering when there were battles, battle last decade, with democrats stopping, you know, judiciary nominations from george w. bush and i remember how successful it seemed to me, the right was at mobilizing evangelical christians behind the effort to get george w. bush's court picks confirmed. i hadn't seen similar outrage i think to that level on -- on the left yet. what were the keys to getting the right so motivated to go? >> i think -- you are referring back to these justice freedom sundays that fit -- was -- organized by tom delay who was in the house and groups like on the research counsel. i think that in the religious right and conservative evangelical movement people have a very definite sense of the courts being a pivot point. they look at rowe versus wade and same-sex marriage. they are having a sense of
urgency. i don't know whether it is something they are going to be able to get traction on because on court reviewing regulations is not maybe as sexy or mobilizing as these more hot button social issues. i don't know. it remains to be seen what do you make of it? the idea here for president obama, obviously is to shine a spotlight, you know, on something that's -- story defined as presidency has not gotten a lot of attention and not mobilized the left. do you see it as something possible to sort of mobilize grassroots outcry? >> i do think you can get a larger outcry. i think you need go beyond the left, though. a part of what needs to happen here is to shine the spotlight on what is unprecedented obstruction. if i were harry reid, i would bring these nominations up on block. but then i would go around the clock. i would do -- traditional filibuster. and let it go, bring the senate to a halt for a period of time and make it clear that what had been a deal between the two parties that was crafted after
the last threat of the nuclear option by bill prfrist in 2005 will filibuster in extraordinary circumstances. you have gone beyond that. you need to create larger sense that this sun just and unprecedented and that's you are going to be taking a larger step. i make one other point here that -- kind of reinforces what we have been talking about. if -- it is always fun to go back and read "wall street journal" editorials when republicans are president and democrats are president. you had no group of people because -- reflects the right in a lot of ways. nobody more conscious of and supportive of the use of executive power contemptuous power. what they see is the electorate moving against them. we may be moving into a period that is the flip of what we had
for decades where republicans dominated the white house and democrats dominated the congress, where the republican hope of power comes in congress and all these judges who used to uphold executive power are going to be slapping it down. so that's why they have made the stakes here so high. what's different really now, too, is you -- you had democrats in the last year of the bush administration and this is kind of tradition. the fourth year, eighth year, and you are going to try to hold off on filling nominations because it may be your turn. to do it in the fifth year, right after a president has been re-elected and re-elected overwhelmingly and block all of these nominees, it is what's truly outrageous and unprecedented. >> i want to pick up that point because the republicans sort of counterargument is anything we do democrats did, george w. bush, democrats would do. i want to get more into what is so impressive about what is happening here after this. th
that. had was mitch mcconnell on the floor talking about the accusation that republican senators are blocking and are obstructing on the president's nominees. >> i don't know when the majority knows what advise and consent means. listening to him it means shut sit down, shut up and confirm immediately. i don't think that's what the founding fathers had in mind. >> you know, i guess this gets to one of the criticisms i'm hearing a lot of republicans i can bo the idea of obama appointing -- nominating three judges simultaneously. the term that keeps getting around court packing. what fdr tried to do in the '30s and tried to expand the size of the supreme court for ideological purposes. what you hear with mcconnell
there and what you hear in the charges, some sort of wild unprecedented overreach on the president's part and republicans were simply trying to fulfill their constitutional obligation to, you know, ask reasonable questions. >> right. here's not true at all. court packing was when fdr tried to increase the number of court seats. if president obama said, looking, 11 seats on a dikt court -- d.c. district court is not enough, let's make it 15 so i can put all my people positive. all obama is seeing there are three vacancies and i will nominate three people. that's his right as the president. chuck grassley, who has been make thing claim needs to watch the history channel. i think he needs to do that to sort of understand that this is not court packing. had is what every president does. >> what chuck grassley is saying of shrink it by three seats, that seems a lot closer. >> yes. court unpacking. >> exactly what they are
accusing the president of doing. except what the minority would do, you know. >> right. for ideological reasons. i also want to come back on what happened, though, in last decade because -- as i said before the break, republicans will also make a point that look, when george w. bush was president we had this big showdown. we had this showdown in wife. democrats were refusing to confirm a number of george w. bush's judicial nominees and there was this -- gang of 14 deals. sum i of the year 2005. then in 2007 and 2008 towards the end of the bush years, more resistance from democrats to confirm george w. bush's picks. there is probably a qualitative difference here. democrats were essentially blocking some -- judicial picks. what's the difference you see between where we are now and democrats were doing last decade? >> what democrats were doing was trying to protect the judiciary from radical ideologs.
they had a particular view that would return to us an era of about the new deal and before the great society and also before child welfare laws and regulations that protected people in the workplace. so when you look at a candidate -- nominee like brown who serves on the d.c. circuit. she was one of the mom mes, bush nominees, that democrats tried to block. she was also rate ed qualified the bar association. there were reasons for doing it. here president obama is nominating very mainstream legal thinkers. these are not people who are going to radically rewrite legal precedence from a ideologically point of view and the republicans are portraying them as some sort of threat. >> that seems to be -- you know, we -- we can get into this to the idea of filibuster, an idea
of reforming the senate. it seems to me this is a subjective question. the senate, know, talk about the senate functions on norms. not so much hard and fast rules and sort of courtesies and traditions and it is norm. what you are describing is a role for -- senate that functions, sort of thrives on norms where if there is a radical or extreme nominee and minority party really feels this is overreach, there is an ability for the minority party to block using the filibuster. when it becomes standard and nominee clear is like caitlin halegin, clearly qualified, no real extremist red flags or anything, the filibuster is -- threat of the filibuster is being used to derail it the norm is being blown up. >> it is watching mcconnell. i was just kind of chuckling a little bit because if you went back to the debate on the senate floor in 2005, you would have seen harry reid saying exactly what mitch mcconnell was saying and what reid said in response to mcconnell, you would have seen mcconnell saying then as
well. so -- you know, will -- nobody has entirely keen hands here. at the same time, it is different now. it is different in a way -- sarah is exactly right. go back to bill clinton who picked basically mainstream nominees and in contrast, didn't matter. they wanted the slots kept available. we have seen both parties play games with this. but then you see at least the center holding in the past. that's the challenge now. is there a center left? do you have senators who are a part of that gang of 14, who are still there willing to step up now and say we don't want to really blow up the senate as a consequence of this. we have to move back to something more reasonable. >> let's play -- we played mitch mcconnell. let's play what harry reid was saying on the senate floor. >> i take the senate charge advise and concept very seriously.
are republicans corrupted the founders that qualify nominees for the finest reason if no reason. president obama deserves to choose his team. >> president obama deserves to choose his team. just over a week ago. sort of the -- bigger story of this was reported by greg sergeant, you know, "washington post," that -- reid's team is coming out with the idea of the nuclear option, filibuster reform, potentially back on the table later this summer because of frustration of the public refusing to clear picks of obama's picks. is that real? are the threats real? >> i think it is absolutely real. part of the reason it is real -- to add to what norm said, two mums that illustrate very clearly between then and now. 2006, before democrats took over the senate, the average filibuster for congress -- 770. now it is 140 for congress. it has doubled. it has gone from being the standard thing is you -- let the
senate majority conduct their business and under an extraordinary circumstance of filibuster. now it is exactly the opposite. filibuster is standard. expected and what the minority does by default. as far as the no, ma'am meese goes -- as far as the nominees go, the d.c. circuit nominees, president obama is picking, indicative of -- >> there are a lot of way this can go. what's interesting here is we -- if obama succeeds in putting pressure on republicans and gave and confirm his picks, wins on that front. what has a lot of people on the left that hate the filibuster and anybody in general hates the filibuster, what has them looking now maybe republicans will block he is picks again and this time it will create the movement among democrats tune volk the reaction. we will talk about different options. a lot of different ways of doing this. there are a lot of potential consequences. some not so obvious if they do this. [ lisa ] my name's lisa, and chantix helped me quit.
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the big story at the start of the year in january was mitch mcconnel and harry reid struck a deal. it wasn't going to -- avoid any talk of the nuclear option. this was a deal that would speed up and smooth out the work of the senate. particularly when it came to nominations. here we are now, it is start of june. it looks like the deal was coming -- >> republicans have been less cooperative than both harry reid and mcconnell thought. reid is indicating that if republicans refuse to budge not only on the judicial nominees we have been talking about, obama has lee other nominations. tom perez, labor department. cordray to the cfpp. the republicans have not been budging. they have been -- throwing thousands and thousands of questions at them to stall the process. harry reid is indicating he will bring them all up after immigration reform and republicans don't budge and he may invoke this nuclear option for nominees will only need 51 votes. then won't need the 60 votes to move forward. >> so that's -- there are a lot
of issues here. one is when the -- talk of this nuclear option being invoked in january, again, like a simple majority of the senators which in this case democrats could applausably get a simple majority would clang the senate rules and say that the -- filibuster is no longer going to apply, you know, maybe it would be for nominees. there was resistance, news that in january resistance from a number of democrats, dianne feinstein from california. more old school traditionalists you could say. is that resistance -- have we seen any indication that that resistance is changing and democrats -- fine fine are looking at this now and saying we should read this. >> i think they are facing a lot of pressure and democrats are facing a lot of pressure from progressives who are organizing fill buster and realize none of their initiatives, nothing the progressives want and care about and want to give them will happen as long as the republicans have this filibuster power. the dirty little secret about the january deal is we did not have that. he suggested at times he did and was bluffing. feeling it now. his office will -- they didn't
have 51 votes and between then and now a lot has changed. obstruction has continued unabated. and that the pressure is just mounting. the democrats who have concerns, only one who is on record saying he is not going to vote to change the rules with 51 votes would have been the majority's carl levin. none of the other democrats are on record. behind the scenes they have concern. >> the issue in january was about this idea of a talking filibuster. the idea they could change the rules and it would mean if you want to the have the filibuster, rand paul. go to the senate floor and you have to go to the bathroom. now what they are talking about now is potentially related to these nominations, that forget the legislative filibuster of legislation. let's look at no, ma'am meese and picks for the court list. judiciary nominees and look at picks for the executive branch. like amanda said, tom perez for labor. these -- idea here with this nuclear option would be you can no longer do a filibuster on nominees whether it is executive, judiciary or both. do you think that's an easier sale to a traditionalist like
levin or feinstein? >> slightly easier sell. there's still great concerns and concerns on two fronts. one is people who have been around for a long time know the terms. and part of the problem here is just what sarah raised. if and when you get a republican president and republican senate, then they are going to pick a senate nominees very likely who are even more to the right and they will be -- no resistance to them. there is that concern. second concern, which is a real one, is dash there are many ways to block the senate from acting to blow it up, to create enormous difficulties that go beyond rule 22 close to 2 colot filibuster. the deal they struck in january was in part mcconnell and reid working together to remove some of the headaches that come from mike lee and ted cruz and people like that. but if you have 40-plus who are
really upset, you can create enormous turmoil. everybody basically knows that you don't want to do this if you can avoid it. you rather have the senate that operated with the same filibuster rule for 30 years without enormous problems, how do you get past the impasse? part of what is happening now bringing up the three nominees, too, and with what is going on with the executive nominees, is to convince carl levin, max baucus, who are not now going to face much pressure from the left, they are retire, along with feinstein and others that this is going beyond any reasonable way of operating and the only option we have, if they are not going to be reasonable, is to be unreasonable. >> the othering in is it seems like there has been a -- little dance here between reid and mcconnell. and it is -- you talked about how, you know, reid did not actually have the 51 votes in january. but it does seem like this pops up every now and then. the idea of the nuclear option and reid will dangle what people
around and you do get a little bit of a brief break from republicans. it is almost like mcconnell is constantly testing how far he can push this million reid puts the serious threat up there. do you think there is a chance here that this renewed threat, you know -- look at the three no, ma'am meese and executive branch no, ma'am meese we are talking about, three judiciary nominees, do you think there is a chance four or five of these get through because of the threat of the nuclear option? >> i think the war of harry reid threatens it. i have always said that the best way to determine how likely this is to happen, how seriously mcconnell's threat is, how much he is talking about it. the run-up to the january rules agreement that he struck with reid, he was saying very little about it on the senate floor which means he was not concerned reid would change this and values filibuster a lot very clear. i think the fact that he's suddenly raising volume again and pushing back so forcefully means he realizes that it is credible and realizes if he
continues business as usual, then harry reid is going to have a tremendous amount of support. and he will be able to probably going to be able to convince the majority of the country that he would be doing the right thing. if you were changing the rules. as far as how many of these are going to get through, that's very difficult to know. rich cordray is going to be -- conceptually that's probably the toughest one because the republicans promised to filibuster anybody in his position. that's another the argument they are using. they are saying you don't like an agency, blocking anyone. you can't do that. i think they have concern was the nominees. somebody is eventually going to have to fill the roles and unclear who. as far as the d.c. circuit goes, nominating lee at once and especially the way the white house likes to do it relatively noncontroversial people, republicans are going to look very bad as they rye to pick out little things here and there on each of the lee mom meese to oppose. i think people will see through that. [ whirring ] [ dog barks ] i want to treat more dogs. ♪
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there. >> i'm sure the democrats in the senate are thinking about what will happen if president ted cruz got to nominate people to the judiciary. considering that ted cruz thought that harvard law school was crawling with communists, i points to, again, the ideological extremism and i'm sure this is in the back of their minds. what will happen under a republican president who is a tea party favorite, who is going to think like a ted cruz? i'm not saying ted cruz will run or get elected but if he did. and i'm sure that that's something that they are thinking about. because they want to have a work against that. >> no only that, if you set a precedent here, if you invoke the nuclear option and change the rules in the simple majority and do away with -- let's say they did away with the filibuster on executive and judiciary nominees, what's to stop republicans? we look at the map for 2014. they are not in bad shape for the senate in 2014 and still may blow it again. done tonight the last two
elections. they could conceivably get to the senate in 2014. we are going to get rid of the filibuster altogether by simple majority vote. >> i think that's what worries about like levin. getting rid of the filibuster for nominees will not solve all of the problems with president obama's nominees. another norm that has been overturned is that traditionally when there is a judiciary vacancy in a certain state the president works with those home state senators and to come up with a nominee. and part of the reason right now is that there -- not a lot of nominees is had a in states especially with two republican senators, they are refusing to put forward someone and work with the president. so even in the beginning, they are stopping president obama from moving forward. >> that's one of the -- that's an interesting point because if one of the criticisms i hear most about obama from the left is if there is one area he's really lagged, really not shown the leadership where he could show more leadership, it is on being more aggressive about making the nominations and about making nominations a priority. >> it is inexplicable as to why at the beginning of the obama
administration in 2009 that the -- professor of constitutional law who had been in the senate, who -- knew better than anybody else the importance of the judiciary wasn't ready to go with a set of no, ma'am meese to fill vacancies in district and appeals court positions. and if you put them up early, even where there are -- long delays and lot of the problems here are not just in blocking confirmation, but delays of hundreds of days, there would have been a number of the slots filled. there are still executive branch positions and for policy positions five years in that have not been filled. look at the irs. you go for three years plus with the bush pick for the head of the irs and good guy. he leaves. you don't fill the position. except you have an act director. yet, you know will's no defense for this, frankly. >> i want to talk a little bit about the -- mitch mcconnell's clip earlier.
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indelicate of me to suggest was to deny president obama a second term. but the fact is that if our primary legislative goals are repealed and replaced the health spending bill to end the bailouts and cut spending, and -- shrink the size and scope of government, the only way to do all of those things is put someone in the white house who won't veto any of these things. >> mcconnell is a really interesting character. mostly because of his electric personality. also because of the -- he has been in the senate for a long time. he has been in the senate long before anybody heard of the tea party. elected back in 1994. when i look at how mitch mcconnell conducted himself the last years, i wonder -- does this guy really believe that this level of structure is the most for thing he can be doing as minority leader or a guy that's more about managing as best he can in the coalition of republican senators elected to serve with him and sort of deeming with the -- deal the
sort of -- absolutist views about government that they bring in. is mcconnell invested personally in obstructionism or a figurehead for something a lot bigger than that? >> mitch mcconnell said at the federal society that the most for thing what we should be doing is trying to get a new president. and getting -- making sure there is a new president in 2012. he failed. but -- mitch mcconnell has been focused on obstruction very early on and seems like a very genial man. at the same time, i think that he benefits in many ways from having these sort of ted cruz, mike lee, rand paul figures to give him room on the right so he can maneuver and say look, my hands are tied and i can't do this. he benefits from extremism. >> his hands really tied. have you these -- it seems in today's republican universe, you know, ted cruz calls him a bunch of squishes and calls his fellow republican senators a bunch of squishes. selling us out on guns and on --
questions of principle or whatever. but, you know, what ted cruz is saying is what is resonating with the republican masses. what'ses are mating with the conservative masses. energy in the conservative movement is behind what ted cruz is saying and when i look at, you know, i think the same thing when i see john bane mother the house, sort of -- d.c. lifers who are republicans. not saying feel sorry for mitch mcconnell. it seems to me the problem here is much bigger, the culture of the republican party that leads to mitch mcconnell doing what he does and saying what he does. >>y see him at all as someone who is a favorite of the base. i spent a lot of time reporting and talking to people -- religious right activists and people who are part of that, part of the republican base. and mitch mcconnell is not sort of this heroic figure to them. in fact, i don't get the sense even that they paid that much attention to his maneuvering in the senate. they are much more moved by seeing somebody like ted cruz pontificate at a hearing or on the senate floor and so i think that he's -- like you say, reading his colleagues -- the
pressure on his colleagues from their base. and perhaps also from his own base in kentucky. but i just -- i don't see him as a true believer. i always read him as a functi functionary. >> maybe the -- he is the great hope now for anybody who wants to get the immigration reform through. if will is going to be any kind of a deal that can force the house to do anything now, the model we have seen this year, it has to get lou the senate, republicans have to drop the obstructionism and not filibuster to get to his big majority of the senate. fiscal cliff deal. that seems to be the idea behind immigration like at 70 votes in the senate and isolate the house, force them, you know, force them to act. how do you think? you have been watching him for a while. how do you think mcconnell manages his role as minority leader? >> i have known mcconnell for a long time. and -- he's a ruthless pragmatist. for a long time in the senate he was a senate guy and he used to
do compromises. but you know, what's happened in the last few years is -- you wanted to make obama a one-term president and wanted to protect republicans. but when that men you cut a deal you would cut a deal. another of his -- famous comments was at the time of the debacle over debt limit he basically said, you know if we breach the debt ceiling, we are going to have economic catastrophe. and we will get blamed for that because that's what happened when they shut down the government in 1996. and it will damage the republican brand. so he cut a deal. he cut a deal on the fiscal cliff because not to cut a deal would damage the republican brand. now -- what we have to taking into account here and we will talk about it a little bit more in a minute is i think he would be more accommodating now if he weren't up for re-election and concerned, same is true, john cornyn, up for re-election, the pressure from the right now is
much more meaningful on mcconnel and that's why beyond immigration on any of these issues where you might say okay, now you have accomplished the next goal, you made barack obama two-term president, time to deal, we are not seeing those deals. we are seeing much harder line from him. >> you have just successfully and set up our next segment because mitch mcconnell is, i believe the most endangered and vulnerable republican senator up for re-election next year. republican leader. we will talk about it after this. give me the skillsty would that i needed to make one of those tech jobs mine. we teach cutting-edge engineering technology, computer information systems, networking and communications management -- the things that our students need to know in the world today. our country needs more college grads to help fill all the open technology jobs. to help meet that need, here at devry university, we're offering $4 million dollars in tech scholarships for qualified new students. learn more at devry.edu. ♪
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2008, the year of the big obama national victory, it was not surprisingly a very big year for democrats at the senate level which means the 2014 when that class of senators is up, there are a lot more vulnerable democrats next year than vulnerable republicans. which in turn means i think as a teeth at the end of the lesson most vulnerable -- vulnerable republican next year is probably mitch mcconnell, the republican leader from kentucky. he did not have the easiest re-election in 2008. he only won by a couple of
points. and there's very interesting polling out this week. let's put it up. his approval rating. this is from ppp. democratic alined firm. they have been pretty accurate. this is his approval rating in home state. 44 approved. here is a head to head. name on his opponent here. this is -- the secretary of state allison grimes. talking about ashley judd. she is not running. democrats are trying to get grimes to run. 45-45. you were talking about what this does. it is, first of all, possibility has to fit into -- deal with general election problem. also -- this is kentucky. rand paul's state. this is where rand paul beach mccon em's protege in the republican primary in 2010 and where -- i imagine that mitch mcconnell spent the last two years saying i don't want that to happen to me in 2014. we can say how will he respond to 2014 now. the idea is that he's spent the last few years preparing for 2014. >> he absolutely has. i find it ironic that conservatives don't like him more. why don't they like this man who
has been so unbelievably successful at the -- president's agenda? i don't think there is anyone in washington has that kind of success. contrary to i think what you were discussing before, i don't think he is a functionary. used the powers of the senate in a way no minority leader in the history of the senate ever has. he has been so successful at disciplining his members to get behind him and on the health care. on the health care bill. there are a number of republican senators, including grassley, not just, you know, the two women from maine who wanted to support the bill in the beginning. he cracked the whip and said he better not do it. keep the fingerprints entirely off of it. another thing about him, as -- you were mentioning before, he does have these occasional lapses into brutal honesty where you see where it is coming from. >> i don't think the base sees him as a spokesperson for their causes. i don't think he -- they see him as -- as a champion of what they would call their values. mine, i just don't think that he comes across that way to them. that might be part of the danger to him in kentucky.
and it also may be the economy and was a lot of poverty and unemployment in kentucky. there is a host of reasons why he might be facing a tough re-election bid. >> in -- i wondered about how this plays, how the being the face of republican obstructionism plays in the state like kentucky. it is -- it is a republican friendly state. i know the voting for clinton twice, you know in the 1990s. solidly went for raem my and mccain. you go from oklahoma up through west virginia where even between 2004 and 2008, kerry to obama. this is the country that became less favorable to democrats. there's a particular rejection of president obama in that region of the country. so -- how does it play in a state like kentucky to be the face of republican obstructionism against obama? is that an asset for mcconnell? >> again, the right kind of obstruction with rand paul, for example, incredibly popular in the state. and mitch mcconnell knows that. behind the scenes he is hiring
mitch -- rand paul's people. and rand paul is starting to be known as the shadow minority leader. he even recently tried to put something into the farm bill, pro-hemp legalization provision which is something mitch mcconnell does not care about. he tried to sneak it in. pat lahey, democratic senator, said no, if you want to do it have you go to the floor of the senate and you have to do it and stand up and say you want pro-hemp legalization and did not do it. he was doing it on behalf of rand paul because he knows how popular he is. he wants to be on this side. >> there is an interesting cross-current here. most disturbing thing i see in the senate now is they want a majority. and one way to get him to lose a majority is if the economy is going to re -- going really well and health care plan rolls out reasonably well. people are happy with democratic incumbents. you are seeing active efforts to undermine economic progress and even to blow up the exchanges, you know, anything that the republicans ought to like, it is competition. they want none of this to work
well. from mcconnell's personal perspective, for just the reasons that you suggested with all the poverty, the things are not going well. he's an incumbent who then will have to justify that. so -- he's got some interesting cross pressures going on in his own behavior. >> if he comes out for hem and stimulus he will be helping himself in 2014. is that what we are looking at? >> i think his campaign has decided the best thing he has going for him is the obstruction factor. republican obstruction plays very well in kentucky. you can see this with the -- e-mails he sends out to his -- to his -- supporters. he constantly highlights the fact that he is blocking president obama. sticking to it the democrats. bragged in january about killing pill buster reform and said we protected the filibuster and you should like me for it. i think he's using his, you know, his status as the minority leader and he's -- you know, accurately touting the things he has done to maintain that obstruction. i think that's the best thing he has going for him.
>> speaking of sticking it to democrats, a woman named michele bachmann was in the news this week. we are going to talk about her announcement she is not running for re-election but what she represents in terms of what has been happening in the republican party and across the country for the last four years. 4 1/2 years. we will talk about that after this. i have low testosterone. there, i said it. see, i knew testosterone could affect sex drive, but not energy or even my mood. that's when i talked with my doctor. he gave me some blood tests... showed it was low t. that's it. it was a number. [ male announcer ] today, men with low t have androgel 1.62% testosterone gel.
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i missed a payment. aw, shoot. shoot! this is bad. no! we're good! this is your first time missing a payment. and you've got the it card, so we won't hike up your apr for paying late. that's great! it is great! thank you. at discover, we treat you like you'd treat you. get the it card with late payment forgiveness. hello from new york. i'm steve kornacki. amanda terkel from the huffington post. norm ornstein, the author "it's even worse than it looks: how the american constitutional system collided with the new politics of extremism." sahil kapur of talking points memo. writing sarah posner. i mentioned before the break there, michele bachmann made a little bit of news this week. you may have heard about it. let's take a listen. >> i will continue to do everything that i can to advance our conservative constitutional principles that have served as
the bedrock for who we are as a nation. and i will continue to work vehemently at robustly to fight back about what most of the other pear want do to transform our country and into become which would be a nation our founders would hardly even recognize today. >> i guess i have mixed feelings about the departure of mitchell bachmann. i think she potentially killed the ames, iowa, straw poll. you want it and meant nothing. pet it has month close. people realize that now. you know, i think there -- michele bachmann was a favorite -- she made a very good target for democrats. raised a for tune off of her in terms of fund-raising. michele bachmann said this. she was good -- i will tell you what. if we had michele bachmann said x in the headline, boom, there
was traffic. you know, i -- she is a very -- just a very sort of live wire, i guess. at the same time, i think are was a tendency to treat michele bachmann sometimes as more of an outlier than maybe she was because i think that the way she said things, the way she expressed herself, was sort of way out there. but i think what she was expressing, you know, the debt ceiling, for instance, she was somebody that was really insistent on making the debt ceiling a priority for republicans and making the showdown in 2011 a republican priority. what she was saying is a lot more mainstream than maybe we realized. mainstream republican party i should say. >> she may say something that raise as lot of eyebrows but something that does pick up in certain sectors of the republican party. ry when she was warning, you know, don't cooperate with the census because they are going to take your information and it is a big conspiracy. a lot of people laugh that up. look, that's not true when she
was going after top hillary aide and saying she is a secret muslim. sorry, not a secret muslim, sort of terrorist basically. that was ignored for a little while and started to flicker. people actually had to start to address this. she -- she was in -- in touch, i think with a certain segment of sort of the evangelical far right part of the republican party. she did catch on which is part of the reason she ended up running for president. >> sarah, i mean, again, you have -- written about -- wrote this for salon, for us a couple of years ago, about michele bachmann, there has been this fusion the last four years of evangelical politics and tea party republicans. interested about the history of how evangelicals became part of the republican movement and how they joined the tea party because the thing of the -- always stands out in bachmann's biography is she was a jimmy carter volunteer in 1976. a lot of evangelicals and movement went from being non political to getting into politics through carter and now being sort of the dominant force in the republican party. >> it is interesting because
this whole question is -- very much tied to the irs quote, unquote scandal now because one of the main impetuses of evangelicals getting involved in politics and in republican politics in the late -- mid to late 1970s, early 1980s was the irs' revocation of bob jones university texas status. and that was seen as an assault by the government on christian schools. the reason why the irs yanked the taxes and status was it had a recess policy against interracial dating on campus. but it was -- mobilized the religious right because they saw that as the government interference with christian schools. you see very much how the tea party is tied with religious right. they are part of the same movement. the idea that not all tea partiers may be religious but the idea that the government is intrusive in your life and did a
suppressing, free speech or free exercise or the free enterprise, of patriotic americans, are themes that tied a religious right and tea party together. now, michele bachmann before the tea party was a movement called the tea party, obviously, strands were there before, she was very much part of the religious right. she was a product of the infrastructure the right built in the 1980s and one of the first graduates of oral roberts university law school which was a christian law school, first christian law school, that taught students to view the law through the eyes of biblical law. so when you look at michele bachmann as a product of that, it makes sense that she's part of the religious right and tea party comes around those things are linked together. the idea that the judiciary overreaches and they did -- government overreaches and for her, and much of the religious right the idea that religious law and religious morals, should
replace what should be in place of what the government does. >> and it is -- making another republican who made headlines in the last -- bob dole saying -- i can't remember the exact words. basically hit the pause button. closed for repairs. pass you know, bob dole saying -- think of the arrow in bob dole was a permanent republican. i mean, over decades but think of the 1980s bob dole is running for president, 1988, pat robertson ran that year. robertson was clearly a fringe candidate and dole clear lay serious candidate for the nominee. i think that the -- evolution of republican party towards what bachmann sort of represents that -- that evangelical tea party fusion, that really is. that's the center. >> what i took from bob dole as well, he was saying ronald reagan couldn't make tonight today's party. in a strikingly richard nixon couldn't make it. he was an ideas man. what you ha-- michele bachmann
reflected not just christian conservative principles, willingness to say untrue but also this -- let's just blow the whole thing up. there are no positive ideas here. when it comes to health care let's get the 37 vote to repeal obama care. nothing positive. when it came to the debt limit it was just let's blow the whole thing up and then we will start over again. but with no ideas. and that is the most disturbing part of all of this. it is one thing if you have conservative ideas about how you are going to implement policy to change america. it is another to basically say that let's block, let's blow up. and i think that's -- reflection of her is probably the most significant and most disturbing part. not just the same things that are just plain wacko untrue. >> i want to play -- you know, amanda, you alluded to it. one of the infamous bachmann moments was when she was questioning or suggesting that there were ties between clinton and her aide.
the muslim brotherhood. but that -- that even caused republicans to say way too far. here is john mccain. >> when anyone, not least a member of congress, launch essay tax on fell americans on the basis of nothing more than fear of who they are and ignorance of what they stand for, it defame it is spirit of our nation and we all grow poorer because of it. our reputations, our character, are the only things we leave behind when we depart this earth. and unjust acts that malign the good name of a decent and honorable person is not only wronged, it is contrary to everything that we hold dear as americans. >> i think my question is -- how much of what we just saw there we see in that clip from mccain is sort of the exception versus the is that a preview of something that may happen in the mere future through republican
party where voices like mccain, whether it is chris christie or somebody else who represents supposedly more moderate and pragmatic instincts of the republican party, where they say finally they have had enough of this and feel safe, they feel the need against it. do you think that something we might end up seeing more of or is it going to continue to be sort of relegated to just the most extreme moments like that? >> i think that's absolutely from john mccain, a preview of where republican was like go and start dealing with people like michele bachmann. she was pretty much proof there is no amount of crazy incapable of getting traction of response. the biggest winner for michele bachmann's retirement is the republican party. you get that and get that amazing stark contrast when you talk to republican strategists and when you talk to the tea party activists. they are disappointed. they are full of sorrow and love her. republican strategists are just relieved. they are grateful and happy she is out. >> we say -- she got out on the same day joe miller got in the senate race in alaska. >> speaking of joe miller, that speech was made by the man who
picked sarah palin as his running mate. i couldn't help but think that. >> john mccain something he will never admit but wonder if that's one. like george bush sr. with dan quay quayle. the other thing i wanted to mention quickly was michele bachmann had an opponent who ran her against in 2014. jim grace. ran against her in 2012 and nearly beat her. she made her announcement and within hours one interview to the site news site in minnesota and said he's dropping out race and dropping out of sight. i have been talking to my friends and family and the feeling is mission accomplished. she was not representing the people of the sixth district appropriately and now will not be representing them. will is month way anyone can run and win that would be worse than michele bachmann. that's his way of -- old vietnam thing, clear victory and go home. other reality here is that, you know, this was a seat open for democrats. if you take somebody like her out, this seat is not -- it is so republican friendly and yet
the republican when goes in will will probably vote basically the exact same way michele bachmann did. gets to bigger issue in the american politics, that's why the republicans have such a grip on the house. there are so many districts like bachmann's where you can take bachmann out and vote like bachmann and you will win. >> that certain sly the case. it is a reflection of both ends. jim graves is a very impressive guy. but -- who wants to run for the house now given what you have to go through to run for the house? then you get there and -- what have you got? so it is getting -- more difficult to recruit really good people who are institutionalists on the democratic side and on the republican side it is one crazy after another. the one thing i would take issue with the statement is you could get somebody who is even more extreme than bachmann and in that district, i'm a minnesotan and i know it and it could happen. >> we will start the marcus bachmann for congress. i want to thank sarah posner.
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in news i learned from a recent google search -- yesterday marked the final day of book expo america. an annual convention for publishers and book sellers that bills itself as the largest event in north america. convention took place a half mile from the studio here in new york city but the fact that it was going on was news to me because, well, because book expo america never really makes news. well, except once. it did make news once.
when bill o'reilly did something instrumental in making al franken a united states senator. >> all he has gotten in 6 1/2 years i misspoke, labeled an award and writes tonight his book and tries -- >> no, no, no, no. >> shut up! your 35 minutes, shut up! this is what this guy does! >> that was book expo 2003. may 31, 2003 in los angeles. o'reilly was there to promote his forthcoming book "who is looking out for you." franken was there to promote his. the melee itself lasted for a minimum but the ripple effect that it set off is still being felt today. where that moment came from. the bill o'reilly of 2003 was pretty much like the bill o'reilly of 2013. but the al franken of 2003 was still basically known as an entertainer and left "saturday night live" a few years earlier and made waves with the political book "rush limbaugh a
big fat idiot." but keeping a too in show business. stewart saves his family. the movie version of his most famous "snl" character. late line. short lived sitcom in which pranken played a political reporter in shall washington, d.c. the key is that al franken that day in 2003 was not exactly seen as a future political candidate. but his book really, really bothered o'riley and the green room before that panel, o'reilly apparently saw a preview version of the cover of franken's book. remember that book still hadn't been released. the cover o'reilly saw feature ad very unflattering image of o'riley and his face was sflochy and looked angry and jabbing his finger. he didn't like it. he thought was doctored and got upset. when his time came on speak at the panel a while later he couldn't keep it all inside. he aloued to franken and alluded to the title of his book. >> i don't call anybody a liar. i'm not doing that. i got too big on that kind of stuff.
i'm tryinging to elevate the discourse here. >> then it was franken's turn and told the crowd about something he discovered research its his book. it was a show he had been part of that won one polk award and that's what triggered the explosion we saw a minute ago. where it really gets interesting is what happened next. o'reilly couldn't let it go. there were widespread reports he personally lobbied for fox to sue franken and sure enough, a lawsuit was soon filed in federal court in new york. the claim that fair and balanced was fox's trademark and pranken had no right to use it on his book cover. it took a judge 12 seconds to declare his suit, quote, wholly without merit. it does not mean the lawsuit was a total failure because achieved something very for and life changing. for al franken. in 2003, left was in retreat. war in iraq just started. bush was still mop lar. democratic base was demoralized.
here in the middle of all of this though was a defiant liberal. al franken happily taking to it the number one voice of the number one conservative media outlet. not only that he was winning. this was the turning point in the public life of al pranken. all of this was priceless publicity for him and knew it. publication of the book was sped up. ugly o'reilly photo stayed in place. new chapter was even added. one that chronicled the book show "showdown." title of that chapter -- bill o'reilly are lying, splotchy bullying. it was hit. like all grassroots polite can a heroes it was not long before people started asking when is this guy going to run for office. pranken was on his book tour when stories started appearing. "newsweek" asked him in november of 2003 he gave an answer he had never given before. i used to say i would never run because i would be a terrible office holder. now i don't want to say that because it would look bad if i ever did run. within months franken had a national radio show.
he was daring fox to sue him again. originally the show was done in new york. soon franken moved back to his old home state of minnesota. and by then it was obvious. senator norm coleman was up in 2008 and franken wanted to challenge him. by pearl 2007, he was officially a candidate. >> i'm running for the united states senate here in minnesota. i may be a comedian by trade. but i'm passionate about the issues that matter to your family because they matter to mine, too. >> o'reilly still couldn't help himself to voting time on his show to ridiculing the franken candidacy. >> al franken is running for a senate seat in minnesota. the far left is thrilled sending the small man a lot of money but his campaign does not have a slogan yet. so here are some intriguing possibilities. it is a small world after all, so why shouldn't minnesota be a part of it? or vote for stewart small. he will do for minnesota what he
did for air america. >> you know the rest. it was a tight race. there were two months of rounlting and six months of litigating. and then finally in june of 2009 the result was certified by a margin of 312 votes out of nearly 3 million ballots cast, minnesota had elected to the united states senate al franken. >> to those minnesotans that worked for me, volunteered for me, voted for me, i can't tell you how grateful i am. when you win an election this close, you know that not one bit of effort went to waste. >> what about the guy who helped start all of this? what did bill o'reilly think? >> a sad day for america al franken is now an american dishonest. he is a far-left zealot who is not qualified to hold any office. with people like franken the hill this country is in deep trouble. >> there are probably a lot of lessons from all of this, but for his own sake, bill o'reilly probably should have taken his own advice ten years ago this
weekend and just shut up. you know mark twain's old sbris never picking a fight with someone that guys ink by the barrel, eric holder probably learned from it. that's next. [ pizza dodging man's mouth ] ♪ ♪ [ camera shutter clicks ] [ male announcer ] fight pepperoni heartburn and pepperoni breath fast with tums freshers. concentrated relief that goes to work in seconds and freshens breath. ♪ tum...tum...tum... tum...tums! ♪ tums freshers. fast heartburn relief and minty fresh breath.
three cans in every pack. new beneful medley's. attorney general holder met with representatives of some major news organizations for the second day in a row friday to discuss possible changes of the treatment of journalists in leak investigations. meetings come after revelations about doj's probes of the associated press in a fox news reporter involving seizures of private phone records and e-mails of journalists. he recused himself from the ap investigation in which the doj's seized two months of phone logs. last week it was revealed holder personally approved a certain much warrant for fox news reporter james rosen's private e-mails in 2010. after rosen publish ad story previous year detailing -- details about north korea's nuclear program. not only that the warrant even named rosen as a co-conspirator
under the espionage act of 1917. startling act, press freedom. holder's meetings with members of the press were part of an internal justice department review ordered by president obama. many news outlets including nbc news declined to attend first day of talks withholder on thursday because the administration said media outlets could not report on the contents of the discussion. restrictions were relax order provide and participating journalists shared their reactions after they met withholder. met with holder. >> good first step and talked about wanting to revise the sidelines and make constructive changes. but let's now we have a to see what happens. what happens next. we will change -- will changes be made and will people feel less chilled about what has been going on? >> the root.com is reporting holder plans on holding more meetings on monday. the native american journalist association has already declined the invitation because meetings are off the record. republicans say they are not satisfied with doj's internal
review? some are calling for independent special counsel to investigate. some are suggesting holder may have perjured himself when he testified he had not been involved in any prosecution of journalists for disclosing government information. department of justice responded on thursday saying that holder's testimony was, quote, accurate and consistent with the facts. that day texas senator cruz became the later republican to call for holder's resignation. >> the degree of willingness of this administration to target a reporter for this network, unindicted co-conspirator, i mean, that is without precedent and, unfortunately, i think it is part and parcel of a pattern from this administration of not respecting the bill of rights. >> want to bring in krystal ball, the co-host of a show called "the cycle." is that like netflix? >> it is on three daily. you should check it out. >> one of these days i will take a look. thanks for joining. there is -- this is a very, you
know, very complicated story. glad we have a couple of journalists here, too. but it seems to me of the three, you know, sort of so-called scandals, benghazi, irs thing is a complicated scandal that naeks the agency more than the white house, and we have the ap and now fox news issue is the media first amendment. this is the one that i think has attracted probably the least amount of public outcry. it is the one i think that goes farthest up the chain. eric holder right now personally signing off on a certain much warrant of the reporter of james rosen from fox news and -- warrant that listed him as a potential co-conspirator. what, you know, holder did there, it is not illegal but it seems to be crossing -- seems to be a line maybe that he crossed there. >> i mean, this scandal really gets at sort of the heart of democracy, first amendment. what trouble as lot of journalists is that -- naming james rosen, fox news journalist, co-conspirator, simply door doing his job, i guess he was flattering his source. and asking for information and
saying he would like to break news. this is something we do every day. really is -- essentially criminalizing journalism and don't know if the public completely understands the chilling effect it could have. when they open the newspaper they won't know what's going on. think about, you know, the administration thinking about getting into war or something like that. you won't get the same information if, you know, what was in the warrant goes forward. i think that eric holder is trying to now assure the media he is not trying to criminalize journalism but scandal is really for to keep covering. >> at last -- little disagreement around the panel. i -- tend to agree with walter pancas, best national security report other this in a couple of ways. look at the yemen disclosures and at this one, involving north korea, this is not whistle blowing. this is not reporters uncovering wrongdoing in government. in fact, these are really serious secrets and what they did in both cases was to
compromise the sources we had inside hostile governments or groups endangering their lives but also blowing up our ability to follow what was going on in north korea or with terrorist groups in the middle east. so these were journalists acting as conduits inform people inside government releasing the most sensitive secrets that really endangered american lives. what walter also pointed out is and -- nobody has more experience than him, it was a relatively routine thing if you are going to get a subpoena of the records, james rosen, to call him and -- co-conspirator. didn't mean you were going to charge him with anything criminal. it was a way to get at those records. they were desperate at that point to find the mole inside of the u.s. government, intelligence age. >> i i think there is a lot of complexity here. when i hear that argument they weren't actually going to charge him and just listed him this way, is this is a search warrant
applicati application. you are listing him this way as co-conspirator. you are say week could, we could if we wanted to. asserting that power. isn't that troubling? government is asserting it is possible to be prosecuting a journalist this way? >> as walter said, you know, there are -- when you are talking about releasing the most sensitive secrets of the government, not because there is something wrong going on here, or there's wrongdoing, but you are just acting as a con due. >> it trying to get a scoop. >> and this wasn't james rosen passively getting information. he was actively seeking this sort of stuff. will is a line where journalists can cross as well. and i'm not sure that -- >> i -- i agree with that. i think the two distinctions that you are pointing out here are critical and have been missed in a lot of the conversation. one is the difference between a leaker and a whistle blower. right. both rosen and the intelligence officer here, they were doing this for their own vanity, for their own, you know, career and prestige to get a scoop.
that's entirely different from the pentagon papers, for example, and daniel ellsburg, where that was a public interest clearly. the other thing that you are drawing a distinction between is an actual prosecution of the journalist. and a certain much warrant with a recitation, this is in response to the privacy proceed taekts of 1908 where in order to order the subpoenas, co-conspirator, aider, abettor, journalists are not exempt from criminal prosecution. the first amendment does have limits. let's say that this is maybe not the case in this particular example but let's say the north korean asset that rosen basically exposed, let's say that person had been killed. you know. let's say that their family had been killed. there is a lineup the which i think you could prosecute that journalist. there is a chilling effect on people like kim, who are exposing national secrets, that really are a detriment to our
national security, i don't particularly have a problem with that. >> here's what i have a problem with that argument and -- we will pick this up after the break. basic problem i have is i don't automatically accept the premonition either of the cases, talking about the yemen story or north korea story from fox news, vital national security was compromised in these cases. the claim is out there. i'm not willing right now to say -- we will talk more about that after this. because all these whole grains aren't healthy unless you actually eat them ♪ multigrain cheerios. also available in delicious peanut butter. healthy never tasted so sweet.
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and she forgot to pay her credit card bill on time. good thing she's got the citi simplicity card. it doesn't charge late fees or a penalty rate. ever. as in never ever. now about that parking ticket. [ grunting ] [ male announcer ] the citi simplicity card is the only card that never has late fees, a penalty rate, or an annual fee, ever. go to citi.com/simplicity to apply. i started to respond to what kris said. will are cases there are legitimate security reasons for reporters not to report things and for the government to be very concerned about it, thinking about the case last decade. i haven't seen in part of this -- part of this is -- tough to establish this because so much of this information is classified. i haven't seen anything that conclusively stoos me that the reporting of that -- north korea, basically john stuart ridiculed this. north korea tends to pursue another nuclear test. well, you know, i can say that right now.
we all know that. we assume that right now. to me that gets to bigger issue which is -- there is an ability of the government to basically classify everything. treat -- overclassify. so that, when in doubt let's classify it. there was an op-ed in "the washington post" from somebody that worked at the state department that talked about new yorker articles and had clips from "the new yorker," treated as classified information. then you have employees sort of -- working employees who would sign these -- confidentiality agreements and everything and, you know, technically they could be, you know, co-conspirators on espionage act for putting an article in the new yorker. overclassification here and say it is a national security risk, i think we have to think more closely about this. >> democrats have to be careful on their defense of the president and administration here on where they want the draw the line and what's acceptable and what's not. right now i think a lot of supporters will say, look, why don't we think about this, we trust the president not to abuse the power. what happens when ted cruz
decides to investigate journalists investigating. an extremely for of information that should not get out there and legitimate to investigate? beyond that i think the fundamental debate goes way back to the federalist papers between liberty and security and today's world much more complicated debate. >> i take your point about overclassification and i think that's an issue. i think there is -- you know, a tendency for all administrations to want to expand executive branch power. one of the reasons actually the president's speech on drones was so remarkable because he was indicating and almost unprecedented willingness to curb his own power which like never happens. in these particular cases, this is not my area of expertise, with the north korea case in particular, the problem was not the information that north korea was going to conduct another nuclear test. the problem was exposing the fact that we have a source inside of north korea who had that sort of information. so whatever subpoenas, whatever searches in a we did here, i'm sure were nothing compared to what the north korean government
was doing to try to figure out who their mole was and deal with them appropriately. which not only has consequences in terms of that person's and their family's lives, but also in terms of future information that would be, you know, accurate information that we could get from the north korean government. in that particular instance, you know, to me, there is a logical case to be made that this was an for breach of national security. >> i guess -- i guess one thing that bothers me is you -- have you what you had here with north korea is the government can assert -- horrible violation of national security, compromise national security and coming from the leak itself coming from mid-level, you know, employee at the state department. this is the same -- government will tell us that and supposed to say all right, no. we are not going to go there. this is the same government where high level officials will leak things to top reporters about, you know, operation for bin laden. you remember all the leaking going on at the bin laden thing. they put that out with regard to is this compromising national security. we are supposed to accept those leaks but then when a leak for mid level person comes out we
are not. i have a problem with that. >> i think we all do. i think some of those leaks which were sensitive information ought to be pursued and prosecuted as well. i think there is a larger point here. you can't just take trust us as the standard here. because -- no administration could be trusted completely. they will overclassify. they will leak themselves. so we may get a useful dialogue out of this that could result in it already -- and it already is. some additional checks and balances where you do have to go to a judge and hopefully you will be able to go to impartial judge before you can move forward on some of this stuff. >> let's keep in mind, sorry, just quickly, that the search warrant we are talking about for james rosen was approved by a judge. so there was -- there is a check there in place. so -- that way the slippery slope argument doesn't make sense because there is a check from the judiciary in that instance. nah. okay. this, won't take long will it?
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i think it is for to point out that the ap and fox news aren't the only journal ur jour media president obama has gone after. there's actually many journalists who had ties to and sources within al qaeda and arabian peninsula and reported a u.s. missile strike that the yemeni government had been taking credit for. and -- there was a lot of -- he was arrested. there was a lot public outcry. the government was going to release him and they were going to pardon him. but president obama actually personally intervened. called the president and said that i have concerns about him being released. i don't think he should be. he remains in jail to this day. that is another -- where he was a reporter. he did have ties. he may have even had sympathies with, you know, al qaeda and the arabian pen lanes but acting as a journalist reporting on a u.s. strike that had not been reported and being falsely reported.
yet, he was arrested and that was at president obama's personal intervention he was not released. >> i want to put up a -- some polling on this. i think this raises an interesting question that the -- the question was asked recently, quinnipiac poll, about whether government has the right to investigate media over leaks. and the partisan breakdown on this -- look at that. no difference. 78% of democrats. 47% by republicans. it is united against journalists. we are the ones they hate. but, you know, again, i said at the top of the -- chunk of segments that of these three sort of scandals that have been making news the last week, this one to me is the most serious and the one that goes the farthest up the chain. yet, what you are -- if you are -- you know, trying to address this at all in the court of public opinion, you are coming up against the public that it is -- very instinctive, very reflective sensibility is month, the journalists are a threat to national security,
whatever you have to do. err on the side of protecting national security against press freedom. i don't know if can you break through that. >> i think the problem is for one, a top like this does not break through the kitchen table. >> this is a kitchen table. food right here. >> but, you know, just as you mentioned about the poll reveals and other polls of that -- also reveal distrust in the media, all-time high. public does not like us and don't trust us. and for that reason we have to -- you know, we have to be humble and modest in the way we approach this. not assume that the public will be on our side. we have to make the case why journalists should be protected simply for doing their jobs. >> it is also just tough when you are the person as a journalist who is being affected by the story. i think there's also an instant human instincts of, well, of course, you care about this. >> i get that. i also see -- i see an irony here. there was shift, i think, we have been talking for decades now about how much the public hates journalists and doesn't trust them. i think the shift was a post-watergate thing. ironic because it was because of
journalism we learned about watergate. >> hate politicians more, though. >> after the iraq war, too. >> there are interesting political implications from this. one, the -- journalists and the obama administration have not exactly had one relationship -- warm relationships to begin with. it is never true than an administration has warm relationships with journalists since jack kennedy. but this is going to escalate those tensions and it probably means that there will be a lot of stories now that get tilted a little bit more against obama. and if you put that together with the fact that journalists now, especiallies love scandals. political driven age you want people to go to your website 10 12shgs, 14 times a day. every little iteration here, he said this and she responded with that. it will get more coverage. you add to that the addition a hostility here and adds to the headaches of obama trying to shift the agenda back to policy issues away from scandals that may not be huge deals but that are going to be reported.
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what should we know for the week coming up? we should know that larry king and his famous suspenders are coming back to television. rt america announced starting this month they'll broadcast king's current online show "larry king now." rt america is the english language session of the kremlin owned show. king will not shy away from causing controversy. according to king's new promo, he will not shy away from dramatically swiveling in his chair. ♪
>> i would rather ask questions to people in positions of power instead of speaking on their behalf. >> and now if they would bring back the "usa today" column, i would be a happy man. we should know that mitt romney plans to return to public life according to "the wall street journal." the failed presidential candidate might write a book. might wry some op-eds. we've not been able to effectively translate our message in a way that minorities understand. romney's return begins next week when he hosts a three-day summit at a resort in utah. the event which is referred to as experts and enthusiasts retreat. the guest list reads like a 2016 presidential ballot with the names of paul ryan, rand paul
and chris christie but the event is not exclusively for republicans. president obama's chief 2012 strategist david axelrod will be there. according to the journal, the retreat's itinerary include hiking with meg whitman, golfing with rand paul and skeet shooting with paul ryan and we should know according to the san diego union tribune, this week marks the end of the 100th month prison term for randy duke cunningham. he pleaded guilty in 2005 to wire and mail fraud accepting over $200 million in bribes from defense contractors. years after being convicted, he said he regretted pleading guilty. cunningham served the majority of his time in a prison but has been in a halfway outside outside of new orleans since december. once freed he plans to move to a cabin in arkansas. want to find out what my guests think we should know. start with you, amanda. >> we learned that new
congressional research service study found that in the past decade 20% of the bills congress has passed have been to name post offices and that's in part because congress has become so unproductive but they have continued to name post offices. >> norm? >> this is a good time to announce to the world the birth of joseph franken greenwald. al franken's first grandson. the next generation of frankens in public life i am sure and for anybody interested in california and major figures of the last century, jim has a piece in the atlantic on jerry brown in california that is one of the most fascinating articles i have read in years. >> i'm trying to start jerry brown 2016 rumors already. >> this month will be a blockbuster month for the supreme court. four major cases are coming down. affirmative action, how far can
colleges use race in determining voting admissions. do states with a history of racial discrimination have to get preclearance before they change voting laws and two cases on same-sex marriage. can the federal government define marriage as between a man and woman for the purpose of federal benefits and can states ban same-sex marriage for their residents. >> i wanted to highlight another level of the problem sexual assault in the military as reported in "the new york times." now investigations at the naval academy and sexual assault there. and also other women like the rest of the military saying that it is a highly underreported problem and there are many more incidents than there are reports. another level of that problem. >> there's a story that we talked about last week and unfortunately that's one we'll have to deal with for a little bit here. i want to thank amanda, norm,
and my other guests. thank you for getting up. and thank you all for joining us. we'll be back next weekend saturday and sunday 8:00 eastern time. we'll have jonathan alter. coming up next is melissa harris-perry on today's mhp, the necessary partnership between the united states and china. chinese are looking to buy american ham for billions of dollars but is u.s. ham for sale? countries two presidents are set to meet later this week and their relationship could shape the world for years to come. that's melissa harris-perry. she's coming up next and we will see you next week here on "up." ♪
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wages the walmart way and the obama court. it's time to fill her up. good morning. i'm melissa harris-perry. ever since president obama first became president obama, the story of his legacy as the country's first african-american president has been a narrative under constant rewrite. he doesn't do much of the damage caused by his predecessor, george w. bush, ending the war in iraq, stopping the youth of torture and bringing the economy back from the brink. he would sign into law transformative social policy in the form of the affordable care act and, yes, he would have frustrating round after frustrating round after frustrating round of stalemates with republican foes on the hill. there's one place perhaps more than any other where a president can leave an indelible mark that