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tv   Jansing and Co.  MSNBC  June 4, 2013 7:00am-8:01am PDT

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good morning. i'm chris jansing. very big day on capitol hill where we're watching three developing stories. right now the heads of the four military branches are making a rare joint appearance testifying in front of a senate committee investigating military sex assaults. tea party groups targeted by the irs are getting ready to tell their side of the story to another house committee. and in 30 minutes, president obama will nominate three people to serve on the d.c. court of appeals. not only is that court widely considered the second most powerful in the country after the supreme court, it could set up a showdown with senate republicans over their confirmation. but let's start with the escalating problem of military sexual assaults. congress and the military brass gearing up for a battle over whether these crimes should be dealt with outside the military chain of command. and it comes as defense officials confirm three naval academy football players are
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under investigation for allegedly assaulting an unconscious female mid shipment. fed up, senator kirsten gillebrand is proposing a bill to change how these cases are handled. >> what we expect from the military is they don't want to change anything. in fact, they have said they will not support taking the decision making out of the chain of command. >> her bill has 18 co-sponsors, including four republicans, but it has its critics too, including senator james inoff. >> to take the commander out of the process will invite failure. these commanders have to make decisions to send our brave troops into battle. how ludicrous is it that we would say to our commanders you've got to make a decision to send one of our kids into battle where they may end up losing their lives. however, you can't participate in the justice system. it doesn't make any sense at all. . >> i want to bring in ruth marcus, columnist for "the
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washington post" and the executive editor of the national journals hotline. good to see both of you. good morning. >> good morning, chris. >> good morning. >> we know the numbers. 26,000 sexual assaults last year. the publicity about these disgusting cases has put a lot of pressure on the military. who has the upper hand right now, do you think, ruth? the generals or senators? >> i would not want to be betting on the generals on this one. i don't mean to be treating this lightly. it is a huge problem. the president recognizes it's a huge problem and wants something done about it. the generals recognize it's a huge problem and want something done about it. that it has not been taken seriously enough lower down in the chain of command and that something must change, if not in the culture at large, certainly in the culture of the military. i think it's a harder question to know how seriously to take the general's concerns about taking this outside of the chain
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of command. i think we recollected have a serious discussion about the implications of that and whether there are other changes that could be done that might be less disruptive but that would also give these women and other victims of sexual assault the kind of support and help and backup that they need because their issues have not been taken seriously enough until now. >> there's an opinion piece in "the new york times" today. the headline reads "don't trust the pentagon to end rape." i want to read a little of what was written. fewer than 1% of sex assaults resulted in court-martial conviction. why? there's a deep institutional bias in the military system. senior officers often intervene to prevent cases from being
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prosecuted. it was acknowledged that victims don't come forward, frankly because they don't trust the command. i think, josh, it raises the question, if victims are afraid of retaliation, how does he argue convincingly the military commanders should be able to appoint people? >> it's a serious problem, chris. there's going to be a lot of political pressure across the board, both at the senate arms services committee hearing and from voters, especially supporters of president obama who overwhelmingly, if you look at polls, would likely support changes in the policies. but the big person to watch here is the defense secretary chuck hagel, who has not been committal on the legislation that's been put forward. he's someone who president obama went to bat for when he was testifying and was up for confirmation. he's a major player because his constituency at the pentagon is very resistant to some of these changes, but president obama, if he wants changes made, he has a big megaphone and a lot of clout to get that support registered.
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so it will be very, very interesting, chris, to see what chuck hagel says and does in the coming weeks and whether he puts his finger on the scale to put pressure on the military chiefs to make changes. >> i want to bring in jack jacobs. good to see you here. >> good morning. >> chuck hagel, how important is he? what do you think he'll do? >> i'm glad to hear hagel's name pops up. in fact, all culture, but particularly military culture, is a function of the chain of command. culture, just like language, comes from the top down. up until now, there hasn't been any emphasis on this at all, which is one of the reasons why we have the situation we have today. whether it's because they haven't taken it seriously or they thought it was a problem that would go away, whether they thought a little bit of action at the lowest possible levels might change it, that's all immaterial. it's clear that command emphasis changes things. what's really astonishing is we have not heard anything from secretary hagel. we need to hear something from
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secretary hagel now because the risk of his not weighing in on this subject and weighing in loudly will result in a change, a complete change in the chain of command such that assaults, but particularly sexual assault, will be removed from the uniform code of military justice within the per view of the commander. i think that's a bad idea. >> just a little while ago, the chairman of the committee opened the hearing. i just want to play for you what he had to say. >> discipline is the heart of the military culture, and trust is its soul. the plague of sexual assault erodes both the heart and the soul. we expect our men and women in uniform to be brothers and sisters in arms, to be prepared to take care of each other. that trust is violated when one servicemember sexually assaults
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another and can only be restored when we have decisively restored discipline and addressed this plague. >> i thought he made such a great point there. how do you trust the person to your right and to your left if one of those people is somebody who maybe was involved in something like this? i mean, i just think that the pervasiveness and how it could translate into the battlefield or any sort of action that you take as a member of the military is horrible. >> trust is absolutely essential. it is at the core of military discipline. you can't trust anybody if you're not sure that the command is going to act quickly and surely on any kind of violation of the uniform code of military justice. we have to keep something in mind here -- >> let me interrupt you. i was just told the general just said this will undermine military readiness, jack. >> does he mean changing uniform code -- >> by taking it out of the chain of command. >> by the way, i agree with him,
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but i think there's a solution to it if we don't to wait until the chain of command finally gets its act together. >> the chain of command hasn't done it. they can say that it's terrible, and they've said it repeatedly, but not only has it not changed, not only has it not gotten better, it's gotten worse. why should we trust if it stays in the chain of command things are going to get better? in the meantime, men and women, men too, are being raped in the military. >> more than 50% of the reported sexual assaults, the victims are men, not women. this is a question of discipline. there are a couple of ways to fix this. one is to start firing people. if you're the head guy, that's why mentioning chuck hagel's name is very important here. if you're the secretary of defense and you don't like what's happening, start eliminating some general officers and you'll see some action very quickly. failing that, if you want to get control of it very, very quickly, rather than changing the law, i think appointing a special prosecutor might do
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very, very well and, a, get people's attention. prosecute those people who have violated and quite frankly prevent or ameal rate the possibility of people violating in the future until the military gets its act together. >> this is just part of the conversation. it's going to continue. jack jacobs, always good to see you. thank you very much, colonel. i want top switch gears a little bit because there's a big decision for new jersey governor chris christie over the next couple days. usually it's an amazing opportunity if a governor gets to fill a vacancy. it's so politically fraught for chris christie. i mean, you wrote about this, josh. i guess basically he has three options. lay them out with possible risks and rewards for us. >> well, chris, he basically has to choose whether he wants to help his own re-election, which is alreadyi looking to be in vey good shape, or whether he wants to help senate republicans have an off chance to contest the new jersey senate seat, and it could be important if they win that senate seat to help them retake the majority in 2014.
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the timeline is going to be very, very crucial in his decision-making process. the law in new jersey is very vague. christie could have the option to hold a special election either the same time he's on the ballot in november of 2013 or he could prompt the court fight by trying to push it back to 2014 when most of the other elected offices are on the ballot federally. the advantage to, you know, if republicans really want to have a chance at picking up that new jersey senate seat, it would be in their advantage to have it down the road in 2014. so whoever christie would appoint would be able to raise money, get their name known, be able to campaign and build a name for themselves. if there's an election only in a few months in 2013 and the republican he appoints is on the ballot, the likelihood that someone like cory booker, who's the democratic favorite over there, he would be the clear favorite to win that seat, and it would be a setback for chris christie politically. >> well, i think the other part
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of this that, you know, is the bigger picture here, ruth, is that obviously you put a republican in there, and this has real implications for some of these tight votes we're expecting in the senate on issues including immigration. >> sure, and not just put a republican in but what kind of republican do you put in? there's a difference between tom cain, the former governor, who will be a very moderate voice in the senate, a kind of place holder, and some of the other potential candidates who have been mentioned. so i think you're totally right, chris. you think of this as a big plum for a governor, but it's actually a headache for governor christie. i guess -- i think i would guess that he will end up naming someone and holding a special election sooner rather than later because once you start playing around and looking political, you just get yourself accused of playing around and looking political and you really lose your brand. he cares about that and for good reason.
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i think he would be wise to just do the right thing and not really worry so much about the partisan advantage of delaying a special election, which would not be good for new jersey either. >> and there could be, josh, a fight either way, right? whatever he decides to do, whenever he decides, there may well be a legal challenge to his interpretation of what the statute says. >> it will be a fight either way. we're hearing from christie folks they're not inclined to have that election the same day he's on the ballot. christie is looking to 2016 as a possible presidential candidate. he wants to run up the score in a governor's race he's already favored to win. if you turn out more democratic voters in that same election, christie might not be able to rack up the same margins he was anticipating, and it could affect at least the perception of his presidential b prospects. so christie is very much -- i mean, he's looking to keep his brand intact, as ruth was talking about, but also looking out for number one and his own
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political fortunes. that margin of victory is important for him in november. >> josh, ruth, good to see both of you. thank you. >> thanks. a couple highly publicized cases in court today. olympian oscar pistorius made an appearance this morning. he had gone into hiding after being charged with the murder of his girlfriend reeva steenkamp on valentine's day. the trial has been postponed until august 19th. in boston, jury selection begins in the trial of james whitey bulger. bulger was on the run for 16 years before he was caught in california back in 2011. and be good for your face? [ female announcer ] now there's new neutrogena® naturals acne cleanser. acne medicine from the wintergreen leaf treats breakouts. no parabens or harsh sulfates. for naturally clear skin. [ female announcer ] neutrogena® naturals.
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conservative groups targeted by the irs are about to testify before the house ways and means committee just as a new inspector general's report gives us more details about outrage rajs spending at those irs conferences. we told you about the 2010 conferences that had film parodies. we also told you the irs hired 15 outside speakers at a cost of $135,000. well, wait until we tell you what they spoke about. it included $27,000 for an innovation expert, $11,000 for a happiness expert, $10,000 for a diversity and inclusion expert and $17,000 for an artist who painted abraham lincoln and michael jordan during a session on leadership through art. i want to bring in congressman adam shift, democrat from california, and a member of the house appropriations committee. good morning, congressman. >> morning. >> were you shocked when you saw some of the details of that
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spending, or does nothing surprise you anymore? >> well, it is shocking. at the same time, you're right. there's been a log catalog of these abuse expenditures by agencies. what is so appalling about this is we already lost faith in the irs in the sense that they were politicizing their investigations. now taxpayers are further losing faith that any taxes they pay are going to be for legitimate expenditures. so it's a dead loser. there's certainly plenty of investigative work to be done. i just wish we had more competent investigative committees. this bears looking into. the irs and other agencies are going to have to change the way they operate. >> this hearing today is one of six being held by the house and senate this week. what do you mean when you say more competent? >> the house gop has given up legislating. they're not really in the legislation business. they're in the investigation business. having been a prosecutor myself for six years specializing in
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corruption cases, you start with with the evidence and follow it wherever it leads. but this group of investigative committees in the house, they're doing it the other way around. they're starting with the conclusion they want to reach which is the white house was responsible, directing everything, and they're trying to squeeze and fit the evidence into that conclusion, even when it's not a good fit. that's not the way to do it. unfortunately, there's been such a history of this in the house, now there's a bona fide scandal worth investigating, that's the irs, there's really little public confidence in any of these investigative committees. >> well, it did look yesterday in the hearing that your committee held that at least one committee member was kind of run over by the new acting irs commissioner. let me play a little exchange for you. >> the solution here, is in my opinion, not more money. the solution here, in this situation, is to understand what controls need to be put in place, what oversight, what getting the right leadership in
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place. >> i'm beginning to like you when you say you don't want more money. that's music to my ears. >> it actually seemed, from what i read, and i didn't watch the whole thing, that the commissioner has gotten good marks for the answers he gave. it seemed like there was some more definitive answers and some irs officials have given. how much of an uphill battle does he face? not just because of what the republicans are doing but, you know, it's also -- isn't it fueling both republicans and democrats when you have these new revelations? if more embarrassing revelations che keep coming out like happiness experts, how do you get to the bottom of things? >> well, he has a big job on his hands. he has to restore faith and confidence in the irs at a time when it must be at an all-new low. there are a number of problems plaguing the irs, management problems. obviously, the subject of this investigation. there's a problem with these crazy expenditures, the frivolous waste of taxpayer
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money. at the same time, while he's got to look into this and he's got to hold people accountable, there is a department of justice criminal investigation going on, and he has to be careful what he does doesn't interfere with that investigation. the questions that he can ask irs employees may be affected by whether they're concerned about criminal liability. so it's a tall order, but he has the advantage, i think, of being very competent, being very sharp and not being at the irs while this was going on. >> congressman, always good to have you on the program. thank you. >> thanks, chris. it's the high school yearbook photo that's gained national fame online. seniors dylan and brad were voted cutest couple by their classmates. it's a first for the suburban new york high school, and their photo has gone viral. a friend's blog with the photo has more than 112,000 hits. it's been talked about on several major news sites. >> everybody has been saying positive things. not one person has said one
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negative thing, besides the internet, of course. >> as soon as we, like, said the first words like we're together, after that wasn't that big of a deal. >> one of them, that's i think the sister, she was also nominated for cutest couple but didn't win. i think their mom said the family is going to win no matter what. by the way, they will attend nyu together this fall. [ female announcer ] the best thing about this bar it's not a candy bar. 130 calories 7 grams of protein the new fiber one caramel nut protein bar. the math of retirement is different today.ek. money has to last longer. i don't want to pour over pie charts all day. i want to travel, and i want the income to do it. ishares incomes etfs. low cost and diversified. find out why nine out of ten large professional investors
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to politics now, where a group of republicans say it was god who spared speaker john boehner's job. a "washington post" report today detailed a planned coup to out speaker boehner. that plan reportedly fell apart when a group said god told them to spare his job. the white house throwing down a veto threat saying president obama would nix any
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individual spending bill without a larger budget framework. republicans are trying to stop the sequester cut when is it comes to defense but want deeper cuts to education and energy. republican gabriel gomez in the final stretch is spending big on the massachusetts senate race. his campaign is putting another $400,000 into tv ads this week hoping he can defeat the democratic congressman. hillary clinton stole the show last night at the cfda fashion awards. she joked she's pitching executive andy cohen on a new show for bravo called "project pants suit." she presented a founders award to oscar de la renta wearing a pair of his pants. well, not his pants. pants he designed. vice president joe biden called off his annual summer beach party for journalists. no one saying why on the record, but the bash used to feature super soakers and face painting for the kids. finally, this car salesman won't get the chance to meet
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president obama. paul scott planned to dip into his retirement to pay $32,000 to attend a private fundraiser, but he wanted a promise he could give the president a pitch on energy cars. if you read only one thing this morning, wait until you hear about this controversy. the beautiful penélope cruz has been signed to be the new bond girl. there are two trains of thought. she'll be 42 when she makes the movie. finally, some people are saying, a love interest for bond that's age appropriate. it's a feminist breakthrough. or outrage over headlines that scream "the oldest ever bond girl." check out my must read. let me know what you think. it's up on our facebook page at facebook.com/jansingco. v8 v-fusion plus energy. natural energy from green tea plus fruits and veggies. need a little kick? ooh!
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with the touch of a finger. so you can arrange a transfer in the blink of an eye. so you can help make a bond... i got it. that lasts a lifetime. the chase mobile app. so you can. nominees from coming to a full vote. as a result, my judicial nominees have waited three times longer to receive confirmation votes than those of my republican predecessor. let me repeat that.
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my nominees have taken three times longer to receive confirmation votes than those of my republican predecessor. these individuals that i nominate are qualified. when they were given an up or down vote in the senate when they were finally given an up or down vote in the senate, every one of them was confirmed, so this is not about principled opposition. this is about political obstruction. i recognize that neither party has a perfect track record here. democrats weren't completely blameless when i was in the senate. what's happening now is unprecedented. for the good of the american people, it has to stop. too much of the people's business is at stake. our legal framework depends on timely confirmations of judicial nominees. and nowhere is this more
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apparent than with the d.c. circuit court of appeals. the d.c. circuit is known as the second highest court in the country, and there's a good reason for that. the judges on the d.c. circuit routinely have the final say on a broad range of cases involving everything from national security to environmental policy, from questions of campaign finance to workers' rights. in other words, the court's decisions impact almost every aspect of our lives. there are 11 seats on the d.c. circuit court. when i first took office, there were two vacancies. since then, two more judges have retired. that means there are four vacancies that needed to be filled. by february of this year, more than one-third of the seats on the nation's second highest court were empty. imagine if a third of the seats on the highest court, the spe
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supreme court, were empty. we would consider that a judicial crisis. if we want to ensure a fair and functioning judiciary, our courts cannot be short staffed. in 2010, i put forward a highly qualified nominee for the d.c. circuit. katelyn's credentials were beyond question. she had bipartisan support from the legal and law enforcement community. she had the support of a majority of senators. nobody suggested she was not qualified to serve on the court. if katelyn had gotten a simple up or down vote before the full senate, i'm confident she would have been easily confirmed. instead, for 2 1/2 years, senate republicans blocked her nominations. had nothing to do with katelyn's
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qualifications. it was all about politics. after 2 1/2 years of languishing in limbo, this brilliant and principled lawyer asked me to withdraw her nomination. the good news is last year i put forward another highly qualified nomin nominee. her credentials were also beyond. she was unanimously confirmed a few weeks ago, becoming the first south-asian american to serve as a circuit court judge in our nation's history. i'm pleased that the senate acted. i'm glad republicans chose not to play politics and obstruct the nomination the way they did with katelyn. i'm hopeful we can now build on that progress. her confirmation was the first to the d.c. circuit in seven
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years. out of the four vacancies that existed, one has now been filled. there are three seats still vacant on the d.c. circuit court. one of, by the way, one of them has been vacant since chief justice roberts was elevated to the supreme court in 2005. anybody who values the role of our court should find that unacceptable, regardless of your party. which brings me to today. that's why today i'm nominating three outstanding, highly qualified individuals to fill those remaining seats. patricia millett is one of our nation's finest appellate attorneys and until recently held the record for the most supreme court arguments by a female lawyer. she served in the solicitor
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generals office for 11 years for both democratic and republican presidents. since then in private practice, she's represented everyone from large businesses to individual pro bono plaintiffs. by the way, as the wife of a retired navy officer, patricia served our nation outside the courtroom as well as a member of a military family. nina pillard's career has defined by an unshakable commitment to the public good. she twice served in the department of justice and was an attorney for the naacp legal defense and education fund. her landmark successes before the supreme court include defending the constitutionality of the family and medical leave act and opening the doors of the virginia military institute to female students. >> and the third nominee by the president will be robert wilkins, who was named to the federal branch in 2010 and was a public defender in washington, later a white-collar defense
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lawyer. i want to bring in democratic consultant and columnist jason stanford and republican strategist and columnist, noel. good morning to both of you. >> good morning. >> looks like this is going to set up a fight. you heard the president talking about this being a constitutional duty. jason, senator chuck grassley said it's hard to imagine a rationale for nominating three justices at once. is there a good one? >> of course. every president has put judges on the d.c. circuit court. there are three vacancies and it's way out of partisan balance. there are nine republicans appointees and five democratic appointe appointees. this court is like a mini supreme court. it is able to hold sway over whatever obama regulates. we saw that in recess appointments when the d.c. court invalidated all of his recess appointments. this is an incredibly important part of the conservative strategy, not to win over
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popular opinion and not just to obstruct obama's appointments, but no nullify what he's doing. they call this constitution in exile. >> well, to the president's point, the average obama judicial nominee has had to wait 228 day, more than sevenfirmed . it was less than five months under president bush. there are an awful lot still waiting. one nominee has been waiting something like nearly two years. how do the republicans try to stop this without seeming like obstructionists? it is their constitutional duty. >> well, you just made my argument. in my opinion, he's trying to cram three people one time. if you want to look at this -- >> but there are three vacancies. >> yes, there are three vacancies, but what is the hurry? the bigger point is the workload
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does not constitute them filling these as an emergency. look, if you want to fill -- >> it's his job. >> no, look at atlanta. look at new york. they desperately need it and desperately have the workload. all this is, is an excuse for obama to get his policies through. we know that. what do you expect the senate to do, just sit here and overwhelmingly let this thing through? no. i actually think that the timing is interesting because i think it's a diversion to what's going on with with the huge irs deal, the ap scandal, holder's deal. everything's coming to a head. bengha benghazi. what better thing to do than cram this through and make the republicans act like we're trying to not let anything through. >> is this a diversionary tactic, tactic, jason? >> no, he's doing his job. it's not just obstruction. yes, there are a lot of vacant judicial seats out there because they're waiting so long. if they want to fill them, let's have hearings, let's have a vote. we're not trying to let them
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just ole it all the bway throug. we want them to hold votes. it's similar to what's happening with rob cordray, the consumer to the protection finance bureau. the republicans won't approve that appointment, not because there's any problems with attorney general cordray. it's because they don't think there should be a consumer protection finance bureau. they want to nullify obama's government by not letting him have a government. >> quickly, noel, i'll let you respond. >> this is a grooming ground for the u.s. supreme court. look, four of the positions on the u.s. supreme court were in this court. so this is very important. so we are going to do our best to stop this, yes. >> just the beginning of this debate that is going to continue in the halls of congress. thanks to both of you. checking the news feed this morning, a united nations report out today shows syria's civil war has reached, quote, new levels of brutality. the u.n. also says it has reasonable grounds to believe
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chemical weapons have been used in recent attacks. meanwhile, president vladimir putin says russia has not yet provided syria with a missile defense system. the man accused of opening fire inside a colorado movie theater last year could enter an insanity plea today, but it's also possible attorneys for james holmes could ask the state supreme court to hear arguments on the constitutionality of the insanity plea and the death penalty. holmes is charged with killing 12 people in the july shooting, 70 others were hurt. it's just day two at the court-martial of army private bradley manning, and already the two sides are painting drastically different pictures of the man who gave thousands of secret documents to wisconskile. was he a young, naive soldier working for the public good or a traitor who put lives at risk? already social media has helped raise $1,250,000 for manning's
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defense. >> 60 years ago queen elizabeth ii was crowned. today she marked the occasion with a service at westminster abbey. it's the same place she assumed the throne in 1953 and the same abbey where prince william married kate middleton. they were on hand today with a pregnant kate blglowing in a lit pink dress. will and kate met in college, but increasingly that's not how it's done. a new study from the university of chicago shows more than one-third of u.s. marriages between 2050 and 2012 started online. now, the study doesn't answer the question why, although researchers speculate it may be that online dating sites attract people who are serious about getting married. well, lots of people are unhappy with the happieiest pla on earth, which isn't exactly the cheapest place on earth. mandy drury is here with what's moving your money. disney announced a new round of
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significant price hike. >> you're absolutely right. it comes just two weeks after universal orlando broke that $90 threshold for the single day tickets. now you have disney admission increasing to $95. a little less if you're ages 3 to 9. nonetheless, single-day admission to other florida park, you have epcott, hollywood kingdom. slightly lower, but still a good whack. imagine taking the whole family out. here's the good thing. while other companies were laying off people and cutting back investment during the tough times, disney was pour manager billi -- pouring billions of dollars into their parks. now the investments are paying off. parks are busting at the seams. it's not even summer yet. they must be doing something right. >> cnbc's mandy drury. get ready for the debate.
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chances are, you're not made of money, so don't overpay for boat insurance. geico, see how much you could save. well, the cliches and pun possibilities are endless. let me play it straight. a former microsoft executive has a controversial new venture, to create america's first national marijuana brand. in his words, he wants to become the starbucks of pot. he's already acquiring medical pot dispensaries in three states. joining me now is the founder and ceo good morning. >> great to see you. good morning. >> just let me set the baseline here. washington state and colorado and you're based in seattle, are
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the only two states in the country where marijuana is legal. 18 other states have legalized medical marijuana. where do you stand in all this? are you for national legalization of both medical and recreational use? >> absolutely and for our lot of good reasons. >> all right. give them to me. as you know, there's a laundry list of reasons people say it's a bad idea. >> sure, sure. so first and foremost, let me quote the late astrophysicist carl sagan. an impediment to fuel utilization of a plant which helps produce serenity and insight, the sensitivity and fellowship so desperately needed in this increasingly mad and dangerous world. >> well, that's a great quote, but there's also a recent study that shows people who use marijuana may suffer a significant and permanent drop in iq. there have been studies, at
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least preliminarily, that link it to some diseases. there's the whole debate, which we don't need to get into here, about whether it's a get away to more serious drugs. so look, let's look at the reality of this. how do you think that this is going to move forward, at least legislatively? that's where it has to go, at least for some sort of snashl starbucks-type business. >> right. i personally have never seen or heard of any serious study which links cannabis to a drop in iq. i'd love to see the information on that so that i can comment on it. in terms of diseases, it's well known that cannabis treats a large number of diseases. i'm not aware of it causing any disease in particular. in terms of it being a get away drug, that myth about cannabis and other drugs have been thoroughly debunked. to get to your question, it's quite clear. the old, worn out, crumbling wall of prohibition of cannabis
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is absolutely outrageous. it's based on a bunch of myths and lies, which were at the basis -- not so say, chris, that you have any ill intention in this. i bought into the same myths and lies myself for most of my life. it wasn't until the last couple of years that i really started to open my eyes about the reality of cannabis. as far as the treatment of disease, it's extremely well-established and getting better established by the week as new studies are coming in. you might want to look at the most recent study -- >> we don't the to muddy the difference between medical marijuana, which is very well-established in the treatment of many diseases, and recreational use, which is another debate altogether. let me just quote the new york city mayor michael bloomberg, who recently called the campaign for legalization wrong headed and medical marijuana, quote, one of the great hoaxes of all time. you said you bought into what you think is a hoax. what changed your mind? >> what changed my mind was looking at the facts, looking at
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the actual scientific and medical studies, which have been done over the past three decades. and there's been an increased effort in intensity in doing these studies in the united states, in spain and israel and other countries. the evidence is absolutely overwhelming. what changed my mind was the evidence. had it not been for the evidence, there is no way in heck i would have put myself, my brain, or any other part of my body at risk by messing around with a dangerous drug. >> the nation's retail marijuana market is estimated at $30 billion. maybe you have a different number. that's what i've seen. washington state's marijuana consultant, i didn't even know they had one, but says he fears that you, personally, are seeking to profit off others' addiction. what do you say to him? >> first of all, marijuana is not physically addictive. since the only business that we intend to get into is cannabis and don't intend to get into the business of any addictive drugs,
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he's simply flat-out wrong in that regard. as far as his assertion that i'm seeking to profit, guilty as charged. >> well, there's a lot of profit to be made and a lot of discussion that is going to be had going forward. we're glad to have started it here. thanks for joining us. maybe we'll talk again. >> you're most welcome, chris. any time. looking forward to it. good day. today's tweet of the day comes from co-host of msnbc's "the cycle." quote, pot use is equal among black and white americans, but police arrest blacks four times as often. he includes a link to a "new york times" article with the national data. [ tires screech ]
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we're keeping our eye on washington, d.c. on capitol hill, where you see the senate hearing on sexual assaults, is continuing. a rare case for the leaders of the various branches of the military to sit down together and answer questions at a time
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when kirsten gillebrand and others are proposing fixes for what's a devastating problem in the military. also, one of the six house hearings on the irs this week. this one looking at the groups that were targeted by the irs. that's going to do it for jansing & co. thomas roberts is here. he's going to have more on that. >> good morning, everybody. a lot of moving parts. conservative groups finally getting their day in the spotlight on capitol hill. this is the new report outlining outrageous spending by the irs. we're going to talk to congressman chris van holland about who's to blame. then, saved by prayer. a report detailing a planned gop uprising against house speaker john boehner that was only stopped by divine intervention. is the house without a real leader? i'm going to ask the rnc head. plus, chris christie in a corner. who should he nominate? and the interview with actor
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hi, everybody. good morning. i'm thomas roberts. topping our agenda today, developing news on the irs mess. conservative groups reportedly singled out by uncle sam, getting their turn in front of congress right now live on capitol hill. the house ways and means committee is hearing first-hand accounts for the first time from members of six different conservative groups. among them, four tea party organizations saying they fell victim to special scrutiny. >> the irs needs to be fully investigated and held accountable for its incompetence, harassment, and targeting of conservative groups. >> the types of questions included asking me to identify the political affiliation of my mentors. >> and within the hour, we're expecting to get the full report on the over-the-top spending at irs conferences, including
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$11,000 for a happiness expert, $17,000 for an artist who painted pictures of michael jordan and bono, and $27,000 for an innovation expert. the acting commissioner is promising change from stem to stern. >> the agency stands ready to confront the problems that occurred, hold accountable those who acted inappropriately, be open about what happened, and permanently fix these problems so that such missteps do not occur again. >> so all this happening as president obama lays down a judicial dare, doing something in the last few minutes that he rarely does, holding a public event to introduce picks for the u.s. court of appeals, setting up a likely confirmation battle with senate republicans. >> my judicial nominees have waited three times longer to receive confirmation votes than those of my republican predecessor. let me repeat that. my nominees have taken three

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