tv MSNBC Live MSNBC June 4, 2013 8:00am-9:01am PDT
$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 times longer to receive
confirmation votes than those of my republican predecessor. >> joining me right no is former republican national committee chairman michael steele. it's great to have you here. i want to the start out with what's going on oz as we speak,e testimony going on in congress from these six different groups who were scrutinized by the irs. while they make their case at the capitol today, the question really is, should any of these groups be tax exempt? and to what extent do any of them focus on social welfare through their organizations? according to the irs, a section 501-c social welfare organization may engage in politic political functions as long as that's not their primary responsibility. >> you're not going to learn anything about the point you just raised there, the legitimacy or illegitimacy to
qualify for status. what you're going to hear about is how they were systemically targeted by the irs and how their philosophical perspectives, their politics, their associations came under the kind of scrutiny that sends a chill throughout the entire country. that's really the rub here. it's not whether or not these groups fit within a particular definition. that's a legitimate question, but it's a separate question from the reason why these hearings are being held. i don't think, thomas, you're going to see republican members especially drill down into that. maybe the democrats will challenge some of the tea party members who are before them, but that ought to be explosive if that happens. >> all right. as we get to the end of the week here, there's going to be six different hearings in the house or senate regarding the irs' scandal. "the washington post" is calling the republicans the shoot-first party writing, quo, investigators have not produced evidence to link the harassment of conservative groups of the white house or higher ups in the
obama administration, but the lack of evidence hasn't stopped the lawmakers from assuming that it simply must be true. so they're beginning to hold hearings until they confirm their conclusions. do you think dana millbank has a point? >> no, i don't. i think dana is sort of carrying a little bit of water for the administration in terms of wishful thinking there, that there is no there. we'll see. that is the purpose of an investigation. that is the purpose of an inquiry. if we take dana at his word, we shut the whole thing down and assume nothing happened and move on. well, clearly something did happen, and it was very obvious what's happened. it's something that's important for us to find out why it happened, who was involved is, and how far up the chain it goes. i understand that no evidence right now may directly link anyone in the west wing, but all the testimony has not been gotten, and all the information has not been exposed to the public or disseminated. let's find out what that is and at the end of the day -- and
this is a legitimate risk for the gop if it is overreaching, if it is a space too far, if you will, in terms of where they're trying to go with this. then, yeah, there will be a backlash from the public about it. but let's see where this thing takes us over the next few days. >> the one thing we can say about the gop right now is they are at lease coalescing behind the scandal issues. as republicans pursue these informations, we have a new article in "the washington post" today talking about house republicans are broken into factions. the article suggesting, quote, the coming battles will test boehner's power and reveal whether it's time for him to go. michael, explain how big is this problem for boehner and the splintering of the party made this just hard for him to leave. >> i think it's very big on a number of fronts. one, the irs scandals, benghazi and the like. two, immigration, which still
has to play out in the house. three, the set up for 2014. 17 seats separate the democrats from minority status and majority. 17 seats makes the difference on whether or not the speaker remains the speaker. i think that the republicans are concerned looking at the messaging, the arguments that are being put before the country as to whether or not the leadership is prepared for the ensuing battle with the administration over the house and keeping the house in place. you see the president as your lead-in showed standing out there with his judicial nomin s nominees. two points. one, to move the argument away from irs scandals and other things and, two, to put the pressure on republicans, yes, in the senate, but this also plays out in the house for political purposes in terms of our different conversation about judicial appointments and the like and how boehner handles all that. >> let's talk about pressure. governor chris christie is faced with a choice of bucking his party right now by nominating a
democrat or republican or appointing a staunch conservative, scoring potential 2016 brownie points. what would your advice to the governor be? >> pick the best person for the job. number one, the governor, i find he'll not select a democrat. i don't think he'll do that. you know, for a whole host of reasons, most of which are political. number two, i think in terms of the republican that he does pick, he will pick the best person for the job. the one thing about chris christie, which i love and admire about the guy, he's his own man. he's comfortable in his own skin. he knows how to lead in his state. he knows what he needs to do to make sure his state is best represented in the united states senate. i think you'll see him make that nomination and stick by it and stand through whatever noise comes from the right or any place else. >> speaking of governors, you made news yesterday when you said you might be throwing your hat in the ring in maryland come 2014. first, why do you want to do
that? secondly, do you think the rnc is going to support you in that? in the springtime, you were fighting over what happened when you were the leader of the rnc. are bygones bygones here? >> i don't know about bygones. all i'm doing is just making an inquiry into the opportunity. we have an open seat here in maryland. governor o'malley is term limited out. it's an opportunity. i have a lot of friends already in the race. the county executive david craig and others. i'm just looking at it over the summer. there's no big plans at this point. certainly, you know, i'll definitely let my family here at msnbc know what i'm doing. right now it's just an inquiry, nothing more. >> and you're good with reince? >> i don't know about that. >> okay. former rnc chairman, michael steele. great to see you. speaking of maryland, i'm joined now by maryland democratic congressman chris van
holland. joining us now to talk about the irs fire storm that's taking place on the hill. sir, good to have you with me. as these hearings are taking place, and as we just talked with michael there, talking about some republicans could be taking this too far in their attempts to target the white house. the one thing they are doing is being able to coaless around something and the fact that scandal might be their agenda right now. i want to you listen to house majority leader eric cantor and what he had to say less than an hour ago. >> i think what we have seen is a president that continues to try and distance himself from his administration. that has led me in the past to say if that is the case, he's disconnected. certainly, he has an obligation, and it is his administration. it is the obama irs. we intend to try and get to the truth here. >> in getting the truth, sir, is this a shoot-first strategy, ask questions later? >> well, sure it is, thomas. look, there's bipartisan
agreement that what happened at the irs is unacceptable. you're going to hear today democrats and republicans trying to get to the facts. what republicans have done, however, is sort of leaped over the facts into pure conspiracy that somehow this was all orchestrated out of the white house. i do think if they pursue it from a purely political angle, they'll risk alienating the american people who have an interest in getting the facts but do not want this to be used as a political football or as a distraction from other important issues like jobs and the economy. >> when we look at what the new acting commissioner of the irs is vowing to fix all of this, we are expecting the inspector general's report on the irs' travel and conference spending to be released today. now, this is a completely different story, sir, that's coming, you know, kind of out of left field while the irs hearings are going on. the low lights of the spending
include $50 million on travel and conferences from 2010 to 2012. the now infamous 2010 anaheim conference which featured employees in parodies of "star trek" and "gilligan's island." they hired outside speakers. plus, outrageous things like happiness experts. how do you explain to the american people, first of all, that most of us have a problem with the irs to begin with because we feel that we're overtaxed? but how do you explain to the american people that this agency is doing right by us and does not need some type of top to bottom cleaning because the congressional oversight right now, it's been e greejsly bad, first of all. where is the congressional oversight? why is there such a waste of taxpayer money? >> actually, in response to the sort of scandals and misuse of
taxpayer money that we saw a few years ago at gsa, the general services administration -- remember the movies of parties? i think it was las vegas. i can't remember exactly where. >> it was las vegas. >> in fact, the administration and executive branch did impose different rules, new rules to try and clamp down on that. much of what has happened at the irs was in prior years. so number one, we need to continue to get to the bottom of it. that's another example of where there's bipartisan agreement that this is a misuse of taxpayer money. new rules were put in place after the gsa scandals. if those aren't working, we're going to have to look for additional mechanisms. >> well, the gsa scandal, sir, as we understand it was basically in 2010 as well. this would have been concurrent in that same time period. 2010 to 2012. as we look at what the irs did comparatively to the gsa, the gsa looks like taking everybody to the corner for a hot dog compared to what the irs spent.
>> again, what's happened at the irs according to the latest stories is absolutely unacceptable. what i'm saying is the red flags went up across the government a couple years ago after the gsa stories and measures were taken. look, thomas, obviously it's really important to get to the bottom of this. we don't want to see taxpayer moneys wasted. we do not want to see the kind of targeting that happened based on political affiliation at the irs. congress should be doing its oversight appropriately on that. but we should also make sure we're not neglecting other important issues. i mean, congress should be able to do its overeigsight and focun jobs and the economy at the same time. however, they've refused to move forward on a budget conference so we can deal with jobs and the economy and replace the sequester. >> congressman chris van holland, sir, thanks for making time for me today. do appreciate it as always.
developing right now, president obama taking a bold step nominating three people to the u.s. court of appeals. during that announcement, president obama lashed out at republicans for trying to obstruct his nominations and declared the courts cannot be short staffed. >> 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. >> joining me right now, nbc's white house correspondent peter alexander. is the president expecting a tru knockdown, drag-out fight? >> based on what he's had over the past several years, i think he is. that's why he did this publicly. note, this was the first time the president has publicly announced his nominations for the federal bench, not including the supreme court. this was a rose garden ceremony. that in itself was unpress debited. as you played in that sound bite, you could see his irritation with the time that it has taken for senate confirmations of his judicial nominations. he said three times as long to
get a senate vote as his immediate predecessors. let's show you who these three individuals are that the president announced the nominations for today. two women and an african-american man. they are all three harvard law school graduates. here's another fact i want to put up on the screen that this white house, i think, believes dictates part of the problem they've dealt with lately. this is the confirmation rate for the president's predecessors in terms of first-term appointments. president clinton had about 83% approval appointments. george bush, more than 88%. he's also appointed far fewer judges than his predecessors. it remains to be seen what will happen with this. it was only a few months ago that one nominee had dropped out. she had been waiting 2 1/2 years to get a vote. >> nbc's peter alexander reporting from the white house. peter, thanks. removing commanders, making
commanders less responsible and less accountable will not work. it will undermine the readiness of the force. >> the women of the senate armed services committee go toe to toe with top military brass. what can be done to change the culture and stop sexual assaults in our nation's ranks? up next, new hampshire's democratic senator joining me live from capitol hill. and we're just learning chris christie has now added a news conference to his schedule today. will he name a successor to senator frank lautenberg? our agenda panel is going to weigh in on christie the king maker coming up. and our big question of the day. the irs and the special scrutiny. should any of those groups have been tax exempt? weigh in on facebook or twitter. find me @thomasaroberts. ♪ i'm a hard, hard worker and i'm working every day. ♪ ♪ i'm a hard, hard worker and i'm saving all my pay. ♪ ♪ if i ever get some money put away, ♪ ♪ i'm going to take it all out and celebrate. ♪ ♪ i'm a hard, hard worker... ♪ membership rallied millions of us on small business saturday
to make shopping small, huge. this is what membership is. this is what membership does. how old is the oldest person you've known? we gave people a sticker and had them show us. we learned a lot of us have known someone who's lived well into their 90s. and that's a great thing. but even though we're living longer, one thing that hasn't changed much is the official retirement age. ♪ the question is how do you make sure you have the money you need to enjoy all of these years. ♪
general, we can prosecute our way out of the first issue. we can prosecute our way out of the problem of sexual predators who are not committing crimes of lust. my years of experience in this area tell me they are committing crimes of domination and violence. >> all six members of the joint chiefs of staff are testifying today about the skyrocketing rate of sexual assaults in the military. right now seven women, a record number who sit on the armed services committee, are proposing several changes as to how the military deals with these cases. chairman of the joint chiefs of staff general martin dempsey says legislation to take cases out of the hands of commanders is not the answer. >> our goals should be to hold commanders more accountable, not render them less able to help them correct the crisis. the commanders' responsibility to preserve order and discipline is essential to affecting
change. they punish criminals and they protect victims when and where no other jurisdiction is capable of doing so or lawfully able to do so. >> joining me right now is democratic senator jean shaheen. these are just a fraction of the infractions reported. 6.1% of women and 1.2% of men experience unwanted sexual activity on duty. from what you have learned, are they listening to your concerns? >> well, i think there have been a number of efforts to address this issue in the military, but the question is what more should be done. those statistics you quoted were from a recent report that showed that the number of sexual assaults in the military have actually gone up since the last reporting period to about over 26,000. of those, fewer than 3500 actually reported the sexual
assault. when asked why they didn't report it, 50% said because they didn't think anything would be done and 47% said they feared retribution. so clearly something is not working, and we need to take some additional action. >> well, today on "morning joe," nbc chief pentagon correspondent described what happened when he sat in on a sexual assault trial, how the verdict came down. i want to play that for everybody. take a listen. >> because of this individual's rank, his years of service, and his stellar record, the jury was instructed to give more credence to his testimony than the victim's. if you're a victim, you've got to be sitting there going, i wasted my time here. >> it seems generally outbalanced here. your colleague proposing major changes to military policy, basically taking sexual assault cases out of commander's hands. they're opposed to they saying it undermines the commanders.
what is the solution to find the middle ground where justice can be received for victims who are seeking it? >> well, i think there's been some misrepresentation of senator gillebrand's bill. there are a number of military-only offenses that are taken out of her bill so that would still give the commander the ability to deal with those issues just as they always have. the fact is, we've got some other militaries around the world, england and israel, that no longer have that kind of convening authority. i think it's one of the things we need to look at, but there are a whole range of other efforts that we also need to look at. one of the bills that i've sponsored is one that would say that those sexual assault prevention response personnel, the people who are chosen to do that job to address sexual assault in the military, should be nominated because we've had several scandals in recent
months that have those people responsible for addressing sexual assault being accused of sexual assault themselves. so we've got to look, i think, at a whole range of issues to address this problem. >> well, it seems like it is the tip of the iceberg when we hear about the types of cases where the people that are supposed to be the trusted person, the trusted source, where people can come forward and report sexual abuse to find out that that person is abusing that trust and that position, it's terribly egregious and certainly upsetting to so many. do we look at enough international examples where the system is working for men and women in the military to work side by side without having this type of behavior? can't we use those examples better here at home? >> well, i think so. we have as a result of the last defense bill that was passed last year, we created a commission to take a look at this issue and to make
recommendations. i hope they will expedite their response and give us their recommendations as soon as possible. and i was really pleased this morning to hear general dempsey talk about being open to a variety of measures to try and address this challenge because certainly the people in charge of our military understand this is not good for anybody serving in the military. and it doesn't just apply to women. the fact is the raw numbers show that more men are sexually assaulted in our military than women. the men on the senate armed services committee understand that as well. >> well, it erodes force readiness. we'll let you get back to work. thanks for making time for me. you see, you know, something that once was beautiful more or less kind of return back to the elements. >> homes gutted, acres now
black. not just one but three wildfires burning out west. we'll get you an update on how they're going. an coffee, tea, or turbulence? airline passengers getting the scare of a lifetime. what caused their plane to plummet 100 feet, leaving their cups of joe and corn flakes on the ceiling. first, today's producer's pick. forget speed dating. give up meeting a good guy or girl out at the bar or on a blind date. a new report finds one in three marriages now start online. those who connect on the internet, there's evidence their unions are happier ones. if you can spare enough time, break away from your match.com profile and check out this story. head over to my facebook page. [ male announcer ] erica had a rough day. there was this and this. she got a parking ticket... ♪ 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.
my individual health profile. not random statistics. they even reward me for addressing my health risks. so i'm doing fine... but she's still going to give me a heart attack. we're more than 78,000 people looking out for more than 70 million americans. that's health in numbers. unitedhealthcare. [ both laughing ] but our plants were starving. [ man ] we love to eat. we just didn't know that our plants did, too. then we started using miracle-gro liquafeed every two weeks. now our plants get the food they need while we water. dinner's ready. come and get it. no one goes hungry in this house. so they're bigger, healthier, and more beautiful. guaranteed. with miracle-gro anyone can have a green thumb. and a second helping. [ both laughing ] when you feed your plants... everyone grows with miracle-gro. we have a rash of wildfires burning on the west coast of the country. firefighters in california,
colorado, and new mexico battling a series of dangerous blazes. two fires in new mexico have forced hundreds of evacuations. a fire in colorado yesterday also forcing people out of their homes. crews there are focused on structure protection as they await cooler weather today. the biggest danger is in california where the massive powerhouse fire continues. one victim describes the moment he saw the damage. >> all i saw was a rectangular white ash here in the garage. i knew. i knew the next direction in life would be to start over because there's nothing left. it was all gone. >> winds are expected to die down a bit today in california, and that will help firefighters on scene. here's a look at some of the other stories topping the news now. oscar pistorius appeared in a south african court today for the first time in nearly four months. after a brief 15-minute hearing, the murder trial was postponed until august. pistorius remains free on bail.
more than 100 protesters were arrested at the north carolina state legislature monday. the naacp has been leading protests nearly every monday against republican policies it says unfairly targets the poor. about 300 people have been arrested since the demonstrations began back in april. well, severe turbulence caused passengers' breakfast to fly to the ceiling on a singapore airlines flight. a passenger posted these pictures to instagram. the plane dropped about 100 feet suddenly while inflight. a dozen people suffered minor injuries. no one was seriously hurt. man: how did i get here? dumb luck? or good decisions? ones i've made. ones we've all made. about marriage. children. money.
are baked with brown rice and sweet potato! triscuit has a new snack? no way. way. and the worst part is they're delicious. mmm, you're right. maybe we should give other new things a chance. no way. way. [ male announcer ] we've taken 100% whole grain brown rice and wheat, delicious sweet potato, and savory red bean... and woven them into something unexpected. the new brown rice triscuit line; with sweet potato and red bean varieties. a new take on an old favorite. christie in a corner. the move that he must make that could have a huge impact on the political world. a house divided. can republicans repair the rift in their ranks? and running on empty. after devastating tornados and the start of hurricane season, will fema have enough money when disaster strikes in those are the stories pitched by today's
panel. kate shepherd is a reporter for "mother jones." judd is editor in chief of "think progress." gang, great to have you all here. i want to the start out with what's going on with chris christie. we just got the tweet from his official handle saying he will be holding a press conference coming up at 1:30 p.m. in trenton today. obviously, this is a big moment for the governor because not only is he thinking about what's going to happen in the state of new jersey and how to repair and appoint someone in the late frank lautenberg seat but also about his political future. republicans close to this process assume that no matter how christie interprets the law regarding the special election, someone will sue and get courts to clarify. that's why christie wants to set things in motion. as we talk about that, again, 1:30 today, chris christie. what are the scenarios we can expect? >> right. i've been told that christie yesterday had already set his sights on former governor tom keane sr. that's his ideal pick.
that's the moderate governor of new jersey. that's the person he thinks would be best able to serve in this interim appointment. the question, though, remains whether keane wants to do it. he's not to be confused with tom keane jr., who lost a senate race a few years ago by about eight or nine points. keane would be a strong pick. the reason he wants to get this thing kicked off early, as you say, though, is there will be court challenges. democrats and republicans don't see eye to eye on the strategy behind this. republicans would like an interim senator to serve through november 2014 so that they could have at least an assured republican vote through that period. democrats want a special election as early as possible. the calculation that christie has to go on, does he want a special election on november 2013, this year, when he's also on the ballot? that's something that could actually help drive democrats to the polls and possibly jeopardize his re-election bid.
>> meanwhile, there are a lot of calculations that go into this. reading that "the new jersey star ledger" reporting christie has been cashing checks from democratic supporters. what calculations go into christie thinking about not just the best person that suits the appointment but what's good for his brand nationally? >> yeah, exactly, thomas. this is a really fraught process. i mean, if you remember, this is exactly what landed rob blagojevich in jail, trying to figure out who he's going to appoint to be a senator. i think with christie, he's really stuck because he can appoint somebody like tom keane sr., not cause any waves, probably the best choice if he's really looking towards his election in 2014. but how is that going to go over with the national republicans who probably want to see christie demonstrate his true conservative values and believes
and put out someone who's a lot more ideological and who's going to partner with the people who they admire in the united states senate, probably more in the realm of a rand paul or ted cruz. that's probably the kind of person they'd like to see. so he's going to disappoint one group or another. it'll be interesting to see where this goes. >> one thing the governor has been clear about, that he and lautenberg didn't always see eye to eye. obviously, the governor seems to be considering the legacy, what lautenberg leaves behind. what is the legacy of senator lautenberg? >> well, lautenberg was clearly -- he was a progressive. he was really strong on a number of issues, especially public health. he was -- you know, he fought against tobacco and setting stronger laws on alcohol. one of the biggest issues i've been following was his efforts to reform a chemical policy here in the u.s. he was the leader on fighting to change the toxic substances control act, which is a 37-year-old law governing our
chemicals that's really outdated. even up until last week he was out there working on legislation. he introduced a bipartisan bill with david vitter from louisiana. despite being really progressive, he was someone who did try to create partnerships to pass legislation and to see real change. i think that's something that he will leave behind, and i think that's something christie's probably trying to keep in mind as he seeks to fill his seat, finding somebody who can really represent new jersey and represent, i think, the policies that people there are looking for in a leader. >> again, we might have forward motion on this again because the governor tweeting out he's going to have a press conference today at 1:30. we'll have that live here on msnbc. i want to move on to what we've been reading about the house factions and how that's been crystallized recently. the latest article within "the washington post" says in reference to the fiscal cliff that -- no longer able to agree
or much less execute some of the most basic government functions. it points a big finger to john boehner. right now the fact that there really is nothing for the party to coalesce behind other than scandal in d.c. and scandal is not an agenda. >> that's exactly right, thomas. i mean, when you look at what's happened to the republicans since that vote on new year's day this year, they haven't been you if unified on anything. the most striking anecdote -- and that's a "washington post" story, i think, soon after that vote, it was described as conservative republicans who gathered together to figure out if they were going to oust speaker boehner for the leadership. they prayed all night. some of them came back and said god told them to spare boehner for this congress. you know, there was a time when people said that if god told you to do something like that, you know, people in -- men in white coats would take you away.
this seems to be what governors much of the republican caucus. >> you're going all college of cardinals on me with how the republicans thought about this. there was, judd -- obviously, eric cantor, he's waiting in the wings for something like that to happen. >> oh, absolutely. i think it's important to sort of take a step back and talk about how we got here. really, this is the product of a year's long effort to gerrymander the house of representatives, all the districts that most of these folk come from are so bright red because of the gerrymandering process. what we've ended up with is a group of folks in the house of representatives who are really out of step with where the country in. boehner understands that. if you remember, the democrats won a million-plus more votes than the republicans in 2012 in the house races, but yet they still trail by 17 seats. so what boehner is struggling
with is, how do we keep the republican party even close to viable and still deal with folks who are responding to districts that are really not representative of the country as a whole. >> meanwhile, the budget fights go on. kate, i want to get you on the record with this. we've been covering the california wildfires. obviously, the destruction in oklahoma with the tornadoes. where do we stand with fema funding? >> well, one issue that i've been looking at is just how we chronically underfund fema on the front end. you know, it's been years since we passed a budget in a normal fashion. every year we look at budget proposals where we're rolling back the funding for fema. last year the obama administration's original proposal would have cut it by another $1 billion. then we see a year like the last year where we just really, you know, have a huge demand for fema funding. it's not just these tornadoes, but it's the wildfires. it's still hurricane sandy pay outs from last year.
and we use these budget tricks. we pretend that you have to pay it back from the budget. sorry. i'm sorry. you have to pay it out as emergency funding instead of in the budget straight up. >> maybe they could look at the budget from the irs. take some of the money from making gilligan videos. thanks so much. i appreciate it. all right, everybody. actor michael douglas' comments about the cause of his cancer have gone viral. we're going to talk to the journalist who conducted that interview, the interview everybody is talking about. since aflac is helping with his expenses while he can't work, he can focus on his recovery. he doesn't have to worry so much about his mortgage, groceries, or even gas bills. kick! kick... feel it! feel it! feel it! nice work! ♪ you got it! you got it! yes! aflac's gonna help take care of his expenses.
douglas said it wasn't smoking or drinking but hpv caught through oral sex that caused his throat cancer. oral sex can cause cancer, but not that it necessarily led to his diagnosis. joining me live from london is suzanne brooks, who conducted that interview. here in our studio is the health editor for thegrio.com. the actor's spokesman now backtracking. what did michael douglas specifically tell you, and what did you believe he was trying to inf infer? >> i believe that he was discussing specifically his own particular cancer. i asked him a question whether he felt his lifestyle had contributed to it specifically, his drinking and his smoking. he said no, because this particular cancer is caused by the hpv virus, which comes about via oral sex. so he may have been talking
generally as well, but i think in that moment, to me, he was talking very specifically about his belief in what caused his particular cancer. >> are you surprised by the debate that this has touched off with that story? >> yes. that's a fair point. i'm incredibly surprised at the level of attention. when he said it, i thought this is a fascinating sideline. this is a fascinating way to shine a light on this illness. i thought that it would have some kind of traction within news organizations because of that. the level of it does surprise me. but i'm not sure it actually -- maybe it doesn't surprise michamik michael douglas that much. i think he's a very smart, savvy man and knew what he was saying and saw it as a way to highlight this condition in a way it hasn't been highlighted before. >> do you think he now realizes this in some ways sort of sheds
a negative light or a villainous light on women? >> i'm not sure. i think that's extrapolating a little. i can understand how his press representatives might be having second thoughts or might be worried that his comments expose him to ridicule or opens up a kind of -- it's a political hot potato, this thing. i can understand how they're out to protect him, and i can understand even if he may regret being quite so candid. i don't think he was in any way saying that women cause cancer. i think that he was talking specifically about his own experience, and he was also -- let's not forget, he was talking about a considerate, con sen chul, and presumably loving act of sex. i would really resist the idea that was somehow evil or can kill you. >> all right, doctor. let's talk about what was
medically correct with michael douglas talking about the link between hpv and throat cancer. >> so you can get hpv from oral sex. hpv causes throat cancer, can cause throat cancer. so there is a connection there. however, the majority of times you get throat cancer from smoking, chewing tobacco, and alcohol, especially in his age group. usually when you see folks who have hpv-caused throat cancer, it's at the base of the tongue or in the tonsils. it's usually younger people who don't smoke and don't drink alcohol. so that's the difference. so when you look at his risk factors, for him to say, oh, it's not caused by smoking and drinking, for someone who smokes and drinks, i think that's kind of missing the mark a little bit. >> so it could be a coordinated effort between all of those things in one person's life and a predisposition, maybe through genetic. what can people walk away from knowing about there is a preventive vaccine out there,
how they can get it, and how it should apply to them in their own lives? >> now there is a vaccine recommended for even boys. we first talked about girls and now boys between 9 and 26 as well, preferably before they start having sex.yet. that getting the vaccine prevents throat cancer. we know that it has a good effect on cervical cancer. we don't know that's what it's doing. so the bottom line is, if you, most sexually active adults get exposed to hpv. if you can avoid smoking and drinking that's going to lower your risk. or using condoms with any sexual activity. >> dr. gaines, thank you, zane brooks, thank you. i spent 23 years as a deputy united states marshal. we'd get up early and, and stay up late. there was a lot of running, a lot of fighting. i've been pretty well banged up but the worst pain i've experienced was when i had shingles. i was going through some extremely difficult training, and i couldn't do it. when we were going through pursuit driving, i couldn't put a seat belt on because the pain
that would have been caused by the seat belt rubbing against the shingles would have been excruciating. when i went to the clinic, the nurse told me that it was the result of having had chickenpox. i had never heard of shingles prior to that point and i had always been relatively healthy. the rash, the itching, the burning that i experienced on the side of my neck and my shoulder, i wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy.
this is a great time because of the fact that we are highly awaiting this decision from the supreme court. and you touch on everything in this new book. love, politics, you also talk about the fact that you think rick santorum is definitely going to run again for president in 2016. he mocked the supreme court's decision in 2003 ruling which threw out sodomy laws, do you think in 2016 this country would take a santorum run for president seriously? >> i don't think the country takes santorum seriously. but the gop base takes santorum very seriously. as rick santorum is running around the country reminding everyone at every opportunity, he won 11 states running against romney. another man who won 11 state primaries went on to lose the nomination to a man who went on to lose to a democrat, ronald reagan in 1976. so rick santorum thinks it's in the cards for him. he's next in line as the republicans say. and that there's this very good omen in how many states that he won. but he could very well, you know
with the gop base, being as rabidly anti-gay and christianist as it is. he could very well come close to or even win the nomination. which would be a wonderful turn of event for whoever the democratic nominee happens to be. >> dan, as we talk, this book touches on politics, it talks about your own personal life. your own marriage. one thing i thought was interesting, is you talked about being mostly monogamous in your marriage to your husband terry. >> we're told that marriage is defined by three things, when gay people want to marry, defined by monogomy, children and religion. three standards that heterosexual people don't impose on each other. straight people have to live up to 1950s models of marriage. straight people can be married without monogamous. a straight married couple have this children or not, get married in church or not.
they're still married. only when gay people want to get married, do these standards and ideals kick in and apply. gay people, we're told we have to get married in 1952. >> you take a lot of the apple pie standards, flip them on their head. it's an interesting read. dan savage is the author of "american savage" insights, slights and fights on faith, love, sex and politics." great to have you on. >> i'm going to see you back here tomorrow at 11:00 a.m. eastern. "now" with alex wagner comes your way next. [ agent smith ] i've found software that intrigues me. it appears it's an agent of good. ♪ [ agent smith ] ge software connects patients to nurses to the right machines while dramatically reducing waiting time. [ telephone ringing ] now a waiting room is just a room. [ static warbles ]
look the samsung galaxy s4. phones now a waiting room is just a room. it's like what i've got. look how big the screen is! that is big. and, walmart will give you a $50 gift card when you get the phone. sold! get the latest smart phones on t-mobile's nationwide 4g network, and get a $50 gift card. walmart.
[ susan ] i hate that the reason we're always stopping is because i have to go to the bathroom. and when we're sitting in traffic, i worry i'll have an accident. be right back. so today, i'm finally going to talk to my doctor about overactive bladder symptoms. [ female announcer ] know that gotta go feeling? ask your doctor about prescription toviaz. one toviaz pill a day significantly reduces sudden urges and accidents for 24 hours.
if you have certain stomach problems or glaucoma, or cannot empty your bladder, you should not take toviaz. get emergency medical help right away if your face, lips, throat or tongue swells. toviaz can cause blurred vision, dizziness, drowsiness, and decreased sweating. do not drive, operate machinery or do unsafe tasks until you know how toviaz affects you. the most common side effects are dry mouth and constipation. [ susan ] today, i'm visiting my son without visiting every single bathroom. [ female announcer ] today, talk to your doctor about toviaz. president obama is under fire from republicans yet again. this time, because he wants to do his job. it's tuesday, june 3rd, and this is "now." >> this morning, president obama nominated three lawyers to fill vacancies on the 11-member u.s.
court of appeals for the district of colombia circuit. arguably one of the most important courts in the country, second only to the supreme court. as the president explained, there is a reason there are so many empty seats on such an important bench. >> one of the most important responsibilities of a president is to nominate qualified men and women to serve as judges on the federal bench. my nominees have taken three times longer to receive confirmation votes than those of my republican predecessor. this is not about principled opposition, this is about political obstruction. our legal framework depends on timely confirmations of judicial nominees. >> by appointing nominees to fill judicial vacancies, president obama is doing something that the u.s. constitution outlines as a part of his duty as