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tv   MSNBC Live  MSNBC  July 27, 2013 11:00am-1:01pm PDT

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good saturday afternoon. i'm craig melvin. you're watching msnbc. here's what's happening right now. standoff and shootout. florida police take down a gunman who held two people captive and killed six others. we are live with the investigation. also ahead. >> i will be entering a behavior counseling clinic to undergo two weeks of intensive therapy to begin the process of addressing my behavior. >> it's not dozen and dozens. it is -- it is six to ten, i suppose. >> men behaving badly. two high-profile politicians are fighting for their political lives now.
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what their scandals and responses say about all of us. and see something, do something. a new group helping ordinary people perform extraordinary acts for strangers. we're going to meet the 22 founder of today's big idea. first, though, we start with that deadly shooting in florida. police are right now trying to figure out why a gunman shot and killed six people at an apartment complex overnight. two other hostages were rescued by police. >> very bad night for these people in this building, for this neighborhood. i mean, it was very scared and they had every reason to be. but everything ended eight hours later but it did end with the shooter being killed by police. >> nbc's mark potter for us right now near miami. mark, for of all, what can you
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tell us about where the investigation is? >> the investigation is under way, although we are told that soon, within half hour, we will hear a statement from the police department right behind me here from the spokesman right at 2:30 eastern time. at least that's what he's saying. let me show you the scene here. this is the five-story apartment building in a working class area right near miami where the incident began around dinner time yesterday. it came to a conclusion in the wee hours of the morning today when police shot the gunman. now, what we're able to put together so far unofficially from talking to police, to witnesses, and a family member, is that this may have been b a dispute between a tenant and the management here. and that led to this shooting. and what we are hearing again unofficially from witnesses is that the older couple managing the building went to the apartment of a man living there with his mother, a man who had been a problem in the apartment
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for a while. they registered a complaint. there was a discussion, and as they turned to leave, we're told the man opened fire killing them in the hallway. he then again, according to witnesses, ran to the side of the building downstairs, shot across the street and killed another man who was there with two children. went back into the building, up stairs to another apartment, broke into the apartment of a man who was also a maintenance man here at the building, killing him, his wife, and the man's stepdaughter. then went to another floor, another apartment, broke in, and held two people hostage. the police by then had arrived. they tried to negotiate with him. we are told at some point a decision was made that that was going nowhere. that the couple was in danger. they opened fire and killed him. and now we're waiting for the official details again within half hour. craig? >> mark potter for us. keep us posted after that news conference. thank you, sir. to political headlines now. nbc news has learned president obama will go to capitol hill wednesday to meet with house and
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senate democrats. they'll talk about the economy. president obama will also hit the road again next week touting his plan to help middle class americans which he touched on in his weekly address. >> over the next several weeks, in cities and towns across the country, i'll continue to layout my ideas in each of these areas, because reversing the forces that have conspired against the middle class for decades will require more than short-term thinking. it will require a long-term american strategy based on steady, persistent effort. in the republican weekly address house majority leader eric cantor linked obama care to one of the most unpopular groups in america right now, the irs. they want to make sure the americans know the irs is responsible for implementing part of president obama's health care plan. >> on top of the negative economic and health consequences of obamacare, the law we requ e requires an unholy union between the irs and your protected
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health information. recently all of us have been finding out more about the irs, its activities, and its databases. the doctor's office is the last place anyone would ant to find the irs. your health care information is private and should remain so. and nine-time lindy boggs d today. she became the first female to ever preside over the democratic national convention in 1976. she also served as u.s. ambassador to the vatican in the '90s and is the mother of abc news reporter cokie roberts. lindy boggs was 97. so how big does a scandal have to be to push a politician from public life? this week we were treated to two such spec tabls. new york mayoral county anthony weiner with his wife by his side
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saying he is staying in the race despite new revelations about sex messages to a number of women long after he had claimed to have changed. meanwhile, san diego mayor bob filner went public after seven women accused him of sexual harassment despite pressure from democrats to resign, he announced he would begin two weeks of intensive therapy for his behavior but would not quit. malika henderson is here from the "washington post." dive weigel a mr. a. political reporter for and msnbc contributor as well and alexander burns is at politico. good to see all of you on a saturday. malika, we like the new specs. nice look. >> we'll see. >> we will start with you first. weiner has been desperately trying to focus the campaign on the issues. this is the reaction that he got from one resident in particular.
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>> the matter which you find yours, my job would have been gone. in the privacy of my home. >> i respect that. >> with reactions like that, dave weigel, do you think that he can stay in the race and be competitive? >> we can stay in the race because what is his option if he drops out? further disgrace, further humiliation, even probably lower earning potential because he had been doing well and his wife had been doing well as consultants using connections when everyone had forgotten about them. i think -- look, this is a guy who feeds off attention. i don't think we need to provide yet more evidence. he probably will soon that he feeds off of attention. he's going to slug it out until the september primary. and if he gets into the runoff, i think democrats would appreciate having him around and having him as an embarrassment. he's the one person anyone in the field can defeat. but you saw huge -- if you look at the polls of this week, a huge dropoff from people who had been forgiving him for the
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scandal. not just beating him down by nine points but favorables had been ticking up. people had been buying the narrative his marriage had been solved and they had gotten passed their problems. being told they were all lied to by the weiner family, 20-point dip in his favorable numbers. i don't think he will recover from that. >> malika, there is, of course, a long history of publicized sex scandals involving politicians but the weiner scandal, even though it involves virtual relationships, so to speak, it's stunned many political observers. just one of his explanations this week. take a listen. >> it's not dozens, just like i told "the post" who made a big headline out of it. it's not dozens and dozen, it is six to ten, i suppose, but i can't tell you absolutely what someone else is going to consider inappropriate or not. >> were they sexual? how many conversations did you have with women after you resigned that were sexual in
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nature? >> i don't believe i had any more than three. >> i don't believe i had any more -- how effective has weiner been at just pure damage control? >> he hasn't been very effective. his first big pitch at damage control was that "people" magazine article and "the new york times" magazine article after that. i think that was in april or so. but as dave said, he has been unable to sort of stanch the flow of this because he crafted that as sort of i'm a newm man now and my marriage is perfect. we know that isn't the case. to her credit or disgrace, however you want to see it, and i think women see it in different ways, stood up for her husband in that unbelievable press conference and essentially said i trust him. you should trust him, too. it's hard to see him rebounding in the polls. again, i think one theory of the case is that this is his attempt
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at sort of cleansing the pallete, getting all of this out of the public system and then even if he loses, perhaps he can resurrect a career sometime later. >> alexander, malika just mentioned huma, let's talk about her. former hillary clinton aide. she's been brought at the forefront of this. let's listen to what she had to say. here it is. >> anthony has made some horrible mistakes, both before he resigned from congress and after. but i do very strongly believe that that is between us and our marriage. we discussed all of this before anthony decided he would run for mayor. >> alexander, is her motivation purely political or is there more to it than this? >> well, craig, obviously i would hesitate to try to read her mind but i do think that she had ended up in a situation that's probably a little bit more precarious than the
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traditional political spouse dealing with this scandal. as nia just mentioned she was an essential part of putting forward this good face to the world, that anthony is a changed man, our marriage is doing just fine after he resigned, he really got his act together. you know, we've learned now that is very, very much not the case. and i think that clip you played before where he was saying, look, there may be six to ten women but who knows how people are going to define what's inappropriate. there's clearly more that could come out. so, you know, huma has now put herself in a position of being a character witness for a guy who clearly doesn't have the record to back that up. >> dave, your take on this is especially unique. huma abedin, a lot of comparisons between her and hillary clinton. you write, though, quote, the weiner-abedin marriage is to the clinton marriage as shark nato
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is to jaws. how are they -- how are they different, dave? >> one sharknado difference before it was banned from pop culture. they've been compared for years to the clinton marriage. huma abedin's political career was based on years as body man and adviser to hillary clinton. in this campaign reported widely the one reason weiner was doing well is that huma was lining up donors with the message that whatever you think of my husband, whatever you think of his chances to win, if you ant to keep on the clinton train you should probably help and donate to this campaign right now. they have been compared to, you know, another couple with a very public marital struggle with the difference being the clintons are respected by liberals because they're uniquely politically talented. hillary clinton was getting a lot done in her 20s before she settled down in arkansas.
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abedin's reputation was inflated for reasons not clear to us who are not in, quote, unquote, this town. i think in that press conference, now she's asking for us to -- forget how she was asking for us to adore their marriage and what they had put together and then to consider it to be private again. i don't think that holds up. i feel like a lot of sympathy for her which was based on very little faded away this week. >> before we get out of here i don't want to forget the west coast. bob filner under pressure to get out after several accusations of sexual harassment. four women came forward on local tv thursday alone to accuse the mayor of inappropriate behavior. a total of seven have gone public. there's a 1-800 number that's been set up for other women to call in. this is what the mayor said yesterday. >> beginning on august 5th i will be entering a behavior counseling clinic to undergo two weeks of intensive therapy to begin the process of addressing
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my behavior. during this time period i will be at the clinic full time. every morning and evening i will be briefed on city activities. >> how can bob filner not step down at this point? >> it's going to be tough. you've got these recall efforts that are out there now. people questioning whether or not you can only spend two weeks in therapy and then be cure of this habit. you would think it would take longer than that to be cured of an addiction to chocolate. so he has a real problem here. you have the head of the dnc calling for him to step down. hard to see how he weathers this. he is testing the limits of the public's acceptance of this. are they going to get enough signatures? i think they need 100,000 in the next 40 or so days to mount those recall efforts. we'll see. >> big thanks to all of you. >> thank you. coming up, the fight for black men and boys.
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>> we cannot let this happen to anybody else's child. >> recent events have sparked major conversations in this country on race, justice, and t voting rights. where does the conversation go from here? we'll talk about that. plus, gay in the nfl. two former players describing the struggle of growing up in the closet. hear their eye-opening advice to their younger selves. and robin thick and ferrell have nothing on bill clinton. we've got the video. we will explain, next. is like hammering. riding against the wind. uphill. every day. we make money on saddles and tubes.
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shutting down the government just because i'm for keeping it open, that's not an economic plan. threatening that you won't pay the bills in this country when we've already racked up those bills, that's not an economic plan. that's just being a dead beat. >> a dead beat. that was president obama in florida thursday. it was one of several speeches that he gave on the road addressing the economy and the middle class. he's got more schedule tond horizon. what's the message? joying me now is former obama administration economist and contributor bernstein and economic's officer and cnbc contributor. ron, i want to start with you. right off the bat here. what kind of tangible effects is president obama hoping to achieve out of these addresses and real liistically what can ho
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without congress' help? >> list executive orders to allow for some projects to go forward. i don't think given the inability for the immigration reform to go forward, with respect to infrastructure and education, are going get a broad hearing in congress, particularly in the house. so while he sounded out these things before and i don't dit disagree that we need improvements in education, we need a massive overall of the grid, as it's called, as trillion dollar project that should be undertaken. i don't hold out a lot of hope that we'll see progress on this front any time soon. >> so then what happens to the grid? >> well, listen, the grid is being billed out in private sector activity and in being improved slowly. but as a national infrastructure program and i've been talking about this since 2009 and girard knows this very well. i think the government should spend the trillion dollars with a 6% yield on the bonds they use to borrow the money.
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investor, bank, insurance companies would buy those. it will become a capitals asset of the government that draws an income as opposed to expenditures that would tilt the fiscal balance in an inappropriate way. >> the president gave these addresses wednesday in illinois where he also spoke when he was a u.s. senator. you wrote object this. you write in part, quote, what is different is that in 2005 he was saying, here's what a president should do. in 2013 he's saying, here's what i would be doing if we had a functional political system. he still sees a clear role for government in the economy but he now sees something else that he could not t have foreseen eight years ago. the political barriers to ifr memem implementing that vision. why is the president putting so much focus on the republican roadblocks and when he does that does he risk losing the support of continuing the strategy of beating his head against the wall on this?
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>> i don't think that he loses support. he doesn't have much support to begin with on this stuff, especially from house republicans as monday ron just mentioned. he has lots of support from democrats both in the senate and the house but they're not enough to move legislation. i think the reason -- one of the reasons you hear him going where he's going comes from the clip that you played to introduce this segment, where he wants to make very clear to the american people who are the obstructionists who are standing between them and at least, as he perceives it, their employment and their opportunities. and by the way, i think he's right. a very good idea like you just heard ron articulate takes advantage of the fact that there's a lot of infrastructure that needs to be built out in this country, the cost of borrowing is quite low. the president just like he did eight years ago has the correct diagnosis and the correct prescription. as i wrote earlier in the week, the political barriers, the
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obstruction is what's holding him back. >> ron, let's talk about the middle class in this country and the simplest of terms, no spin here. just facts. what has happened over the past few years, over the past decade or even 20 years, what's happened to the middle class in america? >> a lot. if you want to go back 20 or 30 years and you talk about -- globalization does have the benefits to the macro economy. textiles have left the united states for a period of time like auto manufacturing and a whole host of other industries. that because of these free trade agreements, we've seen jobs leave and go to place where's employment costs less. i actually think that's reversing itself right now. i think there's going to be a manufacturing renaissance in the u.s. the middle class is not seen its way rise nearly as much as those in the upper income areas. i think this is all in the process of reversing irrespective of government efforts. this energy boon that we're enjoying, manufacturing coming back to the united states. i think some of this is going to
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happen with or without the u.s. government. some of it already has. i think the middle class may be looking forward to a period over the next three, five, and ten years looks like the period the president described in his first speech, that period in the post world war ii environment where we had a growing middle class. i think a lot of that's going to happen irrespective of the gloom and doom that you hear from everybody out there right now talking about the death of the american economy. >> new nbc/"wall street journal" poll that came out this week. i know you're familiar with it. in that poll one of the numbers, 45% of americans right now approve of president obama's handling of the economy. 51% now say they disapprove. is this a matter of policy failing the middle class or is the middle class going to be a casualty of our new economy because, among other things, they lack the skills to compete, many of them? >> well, i think the poll results you see there and lots of other places have a lot to do with what we were discussing a
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second ago, vis-a-vis kind of government dysfunction and obstructionism. you need to listen to ben bernanke, republican appointee. this is not a wild-eyed radical democrat. and what he himself is saying is congress, your fiscal policy is hurting the near-term economy. which it is. the unemployment rate has been stuck at high levels now for five years. and so that just grates on people's perspective on the economy. not that they're looking at macro statistics but they know how hard it is to make ends meet. now, i'd like to think that perhaps ron is right in his sunny predictions about the future. but nobody really knows. i mean, maybe so. certainly that's not much that the average person who is responding to those polls can think through at this point. >> jared bernstein, ron, always enjoy you. [ phil ] when you have joint pain and stiffness...
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this woke, the reason for his new look? to show support for the 2-year-old son of one-his secret service agents battling leukemia. here's mrs. bush describing her reaction to her granddaughter and "today" show correspondent jennifer hager. >> i was shocked, surprised, and thrilled. but i think he looks beautiful. he looks younger. >> looks younger. this is actually more than just a hair cut for the bushes as well. the couple lost their daughter robin to leukemia at the age of 3. that is going to take us into the political playground on this saturday. at this hour in d.c. national security adviser susan rice is probably warming up her arm. about an hour from now she will make her debut on the mound for the washington nationals. yesterday she announced it on twitter, of course, saying, quote, getting my pitching arm ready for tomorrow. when i get to throw out the first ball at the game.
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good luck, ambassador rice. ♪ >> you know it's the bona fide song of the summer when the viral videos start making the rounds. some clever folks with lots of time and talent have tweeted robin thicke's song. presidential speeches to music. >> if you can't hear what i'm trying to say, if you can't read from the same page, maybe i'm going death, maybe i'm going blind. i'm out of mind. >> ah. >> we can't get enough of that. "time" magazine points out the video itself was posted tuesday. that was the same damon anything a lewinsky turned 40. here's russian president
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vladimir putin, shirtless, of course, in some cool shades, fishing, siberia. fishing in siberia this week. russian president was also president. footage release from the trip shows the 6-year-old putin driving a motor boat and petting reindeer. he also caught this giant pike weighing more than 45 pounds. no word on whether he was wearing robert kraft's super bowl ring when he reeled it in. with the spark miles card from capital one,
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this story from nbc coming up. we'll take you to egypt in just a bit. when george zimmerman's trial ended a conversation st t started, race, profiling, prejudice, justice, and the plight of young black men in this country. topics that we've talked about for years now. but this time, there seems to be something different. this week trayvon martin's father tracy martin spoke in washington, d.c. then just yesterday, sabrina fulton addressed the national urban league in philadelphia pleading with the audience to become part of the political process and honor her son's legacy. >> we need your help, your support, and, more importantly, your voice so that there are no more trayvon martins again. >> so where does the national conversation on race in america and, specifically, the state of young black men, where does that conversation go from here?
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joining me live now, former spiritual adviser to president obama, congressman gregory meeks, democratic representative from new york who sit tons congressional black caucus, and also tre maine lee, national reporter for good to have you with me on a saturday afternoon for this conversation. >> it great to be here. >> in d.c., the comments that trayvon martin's parents have been making this week. we just heard from his mother there. this is what his father said wednesday. >> what can we do as parents? what can we do as men? what can we do as fathers? what can we do as mentors to stop this from happening to your child? and i think that's what a conversation begins. >> josh, let's start there. what can we do that we're not doing right now? >> sure. well, you know, i think the great thing is that we're finally moving from just describing the problem facing black men and boys to actually
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at a point of investing in solutions. and i think there's something that all of us can do, the foundation community can support programs like mentoring programs and job training programs. individuals around the country can step up and support mentoring organizations and become mentors themselves. we can advocate for responsible policies like the repeal of stand your ground laws and states around the country and our congress can step up as well and invest in black men and boys. i think there's something that every single american can do to step up and be there for this demographic that's too often forgotten, black men and boys in america. >> you just back this morning from the windy city of chicago which unfortunately has become ground zero for violence among young people in this country. black leaders called it an emergency summit, to address violence in that community. and you talked, i understand, to adea pendleton's mother. 15-year-old young girl who was gunned down earlier this year in chicago. you talked to her about what it's like to raise her son now.
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i want to play what she told you for our audience and then talk about that on the other side. here it is. >> i have to do things and protect him before he gets to where he's going to go, walking down the street on his own, with certain privileges and being misidentified, you know, as someone else or something else. right now he's 11. you know, i don't -- you know, the martins have already suffered. and that's an awareness for the rest of us. >> she talked about taking action there. what specifically is the kind of action that she's talking about that other women are considering, should be considering perhaps to protect their young black sons in this country in the wake of what's happened? >> i think unfortunately hadiya pendleton's mother is part of this club that no parent wants to be a part of. in doing so, they're in the forefront of not only bringing attention to the polite of their lost children and those who are
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losing every single day but pushing back against somebody's law, the stand your ground laws, organizing, galvanizing around the community efforts of parents across the country and pushing back and making noise and saying that our sons and our daughters do matter. now, yesterday -- yesterday's summit, emergency summit in chicago where there was nothing sort of epidemic of gun violence, it was supposed to be, you know, less talk and more action. but still, these issues are so dynamic. i'm not sure if we talked away with any plan moving forward. >> a lot of talk? >> there was a lot of talk. i'm not sure what else you can do. so i think part of it was bringing the community together, bringing law enforcement together to sit down and say what has worked, what hasn't worked, what can we do? i think there's a disconnect between all the folks talking about action and in the community. where are the people on the street corners? talk to young guys in chicago, where is everyone? we forget -- >> coming to your town for summits and conversations. >> but they're not on the corner and they're not on the block. >> congressman meeks, i want to talk to you about the poll that came out this week.
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nbc news/"wall street journal." we asked a specific question to a lot of folks, and this poll itself conducted in the days after this zimmerman verdict. 19% of african-americans and 46% of democrats said that they think that americans are judged by the content of their character rather than the color of their skin. 59% of whites, 65% of republicans say that they believe the same thing. that's a considerable chasm. what does that gap tell you? >> it tells me that one side does not really realize the reality of the other side. >> let me tell you something, and one side does not want to recognize the problems that still exists in our country. one side would like to close their eyes and be blind to what currently exists. i'm a member of congress. if i go on that other network that is way to the right, the next day, if my phones are ringing off the hook with racist comments and letters that you
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would not believe. so much so my staff says, don't go on that, please don't go on that anymore. >> in 2013. >> in 2013. it is unbelievable. when you think about the mindset, you know, what can we do? well, there's two things. in the trayvon martin situation we do have to make sure we change those laws so that individuals who have a particular mindset can't get away with murder. because there's nothing that you can do for an individual, trayvon martin had a father who was in his life. some say, oh, with the black male, there's no man in his life. he was not committing a crime. he had t not been a hoodlum and yet he is dead today because of the mindset of someone else who just saw him being black, wearing a hood difficult, that he had to be someone that was a thug. >> craig, if i could jump? >> jump? >> yeah, there's an entire coalition of organizations coming together to push back on that mindset right now. it's a group called the campaign for black male achievement.
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it's not just one non-profit but dozens of them, even hundreds that have said we're going the take an intentional approach to change the mindset of american towards black men and boys. >> how are they going to go about doing that? >> well, they're meeting with media executives to talk about how black men and boys are portrayed on television. they're working at the grass roots level to prepare black male leaders to take roles and responsibility in communities around the country. this whole movement was given some fuel when the president spoke out last friday and talked about the needs to pay attention to the situation of black men and boys in america. but, you know, i do think we're finally, again, pivoting towards more solutions than talk. and this campaign for black male achievement is a big part of that. >> josh, when we get off here, will you shoot me the e-mail? i would love to have them on this show one weekend to talk about that. >> sure will. >> i want to come back to something you said to me when we were in sanford, florida. you said that one of the things
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that made be happening right now, this idea that young black people in this country especially have been lulled to sleep, that, in addition to, you know, mass assimulation that around the people and our age could be a wake-all call of sorts. explain that. >> on the one hand you see the dream defenders and across the country you see young people energized and trying to be a part of what hopefully will be a change in our society. a push back against some of the races that we saw on the trayvon martin case that he somehow deserved this. on the other hand, in communities across this country it happens day in and day out where young people are victims of violence and perpetrators of violence. so then when you tack about people our age, you get your job, you educate, you feel like you did the right thing. now you're removed. when our voices should be in the forefront of helping to energize some of this stuff. we're in a funny position. >> ten seconds. >> emmett till moment. john lewis was your age or
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younger. he said it was emmett till that caused him to get involved in the civil rights. maybe this is your generation to say we're not going to let this stay the way it is. we're going to make a difference. >> big thanks to all of you. always wish we had more time for this. we'll have to get you back. thank you. >> thank you. growing up gay. what two former nfl players wish they had known as teenagers. they reveal it in some pretty touching letters to their younger civils. retired player wade davis is going to join me live to share his message in a few moments. also, the doers network. it's our big idea on this saturday. the young brooklynite helps others do something kind for someone else. [ male announcer ] come to the golden opportunity sales event
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and experience the connectivity of the available lexus enform, including the es and rx. ♪ this is the pursuit of perfection. giving out free money, free money and favors to complete strangers on the streets. that's today's big idea. a group called the doers network wants to invoke joy and happiness in people through acts
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of kindness regardless of class or financial situations. here's an example. >> so i'm right here at the livingston mall spreading joy everywhere. a little surprise for someone buying a card. >> i love it. i love it. jesse spears started the doers network. first of all, how did you come up with the idea? >> people ask me that all the time. i don't think there was a point where i just came up with the idea. it was just something that i had in the back of my head and i think i just threw it out once in front of my family. we should get a van, put a logo on it, hop out, do nice things for people, get back in and go away. it started in my head and i figured i would go with it. >> how does it work again? what do you have to do to get the money? >> you don't have to do anything. you just have to be wherever we are. i brought some sample cards to show you if you want. these are cards we hang out with every act of kindness. so one act we did was on the subway we just asked basic questions who was this third president, what's your favorite color.
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anything that's easy and we hand people $5 bill or we went to a mall once just give out cash. we want to be mysterious about it which is why we give you cash, give you a card and walk away so you would be intrigued to look at the website and join in on what we're doing. >> hoping that folks will pay it forward. >> yeah, yeah, yeah. >> any idea how many $5 bills you've given away? >> i can say probably close to 3 or $400 at this point. >> are you independently wealthy? >> no, no. not at all. >> where are we getting this money? >> this comes mostly from donations, which we started -- we used crowd funding websites to start out. and we raised the initial money to get t-shirts made and cards printed and come up with first few ideas. we've had donations come in little by little since then. >> what's been the reaction? new york city can be a tough place sometimes. i mean, there's a healthy skepticism that a lot of folks have, justifiably so in many
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cases. that's generally been the reaction. when you walk up to somebody, i got 5 bucks i want to give you? >> biggest reaction we've got is no, no thanks. >> people say no? >> yes, which is very surprising. the last few months has been a lot of peerpting of what can we do to get people to take the money or how should we a proern it? i think there's a sense of pride where people think we think they look like they might need money or help. i think that's that is what is happening there. so we've been doing some other creative ways of doing it, which is we have one idea called cash tags, which is we took the idea of those informational fliers you see with phone numbers and information. we have those with our logo and hang cash off of it instead of phone numbers. we'll come off and take it. >> you enjoy this. your eyes light up when you talk about it. >> it's fun because it shocks people. that's what we want to do. i mean, you can do a nice thing but if you do it in a weird way they're not expecting. a millionaire, if you do a weird
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thing and hand them $5 on the train, that $5 is worth everything to them because of the act that comes along with it. >> jesse speer, founder of the doers network. i think this is just the beginning. i want you to come back. what's the website again? >> >> d-o-e-r-s network, not like the scotch. and by the way, folkses, if you're watching a listing and you have a big idea that's making a difference, we would love to hear from you. there's our,mail address. we will be right book. ready for you first day, little brother? i guess. did you download that book i sent? yah, nice rainbow highlighter. you've got finch for math right? uh-uh. english? her. splanker, pretend we're not related. oh trust me, you don't want any of that. you got my map? yeah. where you can sit can define your entire year. and what's the most important thing to remember?
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back in this country. a first of its kind. a male athlete, active player and major american sports league has come out as gay.
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his name is jason collins. he's a veteran in the nba. his declaration has been met with wide spread praise from across the sports world and beyond, including a phone call from the president of the united states. >> it was just three short months ago jason collins rocked the sports world about becoming the first professional male athlete to publicly admit he's gay while still playing. will more profession all-stars follow his lead? as training camps begin this week one former player has written a very personal letter to his younger self in an effort to explain the fear that many gay athletes face today. he writes in part, quote, this summer you could become the first active player to come out, but if you do, you'll probably say something stupid and homophobic because you have so much learning to do. you would f it up for a lot of people. the first person who comes out in the nfl has to be ready to have the conversation about what it means to be gay in sports.
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former redskins defensive back wade davis wrote that letter. he joins us from chicago right now. wade, good to see you, sir. >> hey, craig, how are you doing, buddy? >> in your letter you talk about having that conversation with your younger self about, again, what it's like to be gay in the nfl. what does that conversation entail? >> i would say that that conversation entails a lot of soul searching, a lot of trying to, first, like learn what it is to be a gay male, to kind of remove all of the self hatred that exists when you grow up in a world learning that being a gay person and an athlete really don't exists in the same space. >> and in that same letter you wrote, it all gets better from here. you're afraid you're going to have to stay in the closet your whole life. but you won't. you'll live in harlem and have a partner for nearly a decade.
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y for now, take a step back and enjoy doing playing on the biggest stage on earth doing what you wanted to do. enjoy that for a second and then enjoy everything else later. you're almost encouraging yourself to stay in the closet while continuing to play in the nfl. does that mean if you had to do it all over again you would make the same decision? >> that's the tough question. you know, if i knew then what i know now i would probably have come out. i didn't expect so many of my ex-players and teammates to be so loving and thoughtful and just like really to reach out to me and give me so much love. i think when i was playing back in 2004 there were really no conversations about what it meant to be a gay man playing sports so i just really didn't think that it was possible. so i think that if i was playing now i would definitely have come out. i would have enjoyed being a gay athlete. i would have enjoyed being a teammate to the players who
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would have not even cared about who i was. >> wade, what has jason collins, what has him coming out done for the conversation for lgbt players in sports? >> i have a camp that's going on right this minute and actually jason collins and his brother are actually here, you know. so they're working with 30 to 40 lbgq youth and jason just being visibility, being present and being active just makes, you know, the conversation just so much more real, you know. the first question that some of the young people asked jason was, you know, can i be the next you? you know, and i think that that's so powerful that there are kids who are thinking about the next jason collins only because he's a gay male. it's just so important and so impactful. i'm just honored to even have my name in the same conversation as jason collins. >> former redskins defensive
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back wade davis. always good to see you. we also hope our skins have a great season this year. >> yes, we do. and a lot of the staff here think that we're twin brothers, so i'll see you again soon. >> all right. see you soon. thanks again. >> take care, craig. making more money. a new study says it may not be where you went to school, what you studied, or even what you do but mostly where you live, which areas have the best and worst upward mobility and why. also, deadly clashes in cairo. we are live in egypt as government forces battle opponents in the streets. ♪ for the multitasker, getting the most from every dollar. for the visionary, seeing cash coming in and going out. for the dreamer, checking that retirement is right on track. for the cfo, making sure assets are working overtime. for over 160 years, pnc has been part of the communities
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liberty mutual insurance -- responsibility. what's your policy? good saturday afternoon. i'm craig melvin. you're watching msnbc. here's what's happening right now. deadly clashes in cairo. security forces are in a brutal fight there. we'll have a live report on one of egypt's deadliest days in
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years. also the pope, headlining a show stopping event in brazil. he delighted the crowd n., encouraged them to get rowdy, and even wore a native headdress. we're live in rio as well. plus. >> here in america no war should ever be forgotten, no veteran should ever be overlooked. >> and the anniversary of the armistice. president obama's special salute to korean were veterans in a somberer ises vis today. first, though, egyptian security forces opened fire on anti-government protesters. dozens have been killed. hundreds have been wounded. most of the shootings took place near where tens of thousands of pro-morse si comm pro-morsi demonstrators have been camped out since july 3rd. first of all, what is happening right now? >> well, right now in the most of the streets of cairo,
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relatively calm, quiet. police still remain out in the streets in that particular area where the clashes happened last night. one of the major roads in the cairo neighborhood, that road still remains blocked because of the debris, because of police presence and because the protesters have slightly extended their presence outside of that sit-in protests. but for the most part, no reports of clashes within the last few hours compared to where we were 24 hours ago when this thing was just really about to start and violence was really breaking out. >> what do we -- what can you tell us about ousted president mohammed morsi? >> well, we've actually gotten a few pieces of information in the last 24 hours, so one from the egyptian foreign minister who -- and other human right activists who say the government allowed a team of human rights lawyers here in egypt to go and meet with the former president. we understand that meeting did not take place though. they were able to visit the site where he is being detained and they were able to meet with other members of his team who say they are being treated well.
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they are not being in any way shape, or form pressed during any of their interrogations. what we have learned from other reports though, from leaked reports citing military intelligence officials is that the former president himself has been subject to interrogation by egyptian military, intelligence, they have been questioning him sometimes up to five hours a day with a lot of recordings that they had over the course of his presidency about very specific interactions he had with with some foreign leaders and foreign organizations. from the ministry of interior we know that the president may be moved to another prison facility here. he will be handed over for military custody to the prison service where's legal proceedings would ultimately begin. craig? >> our man on the ground in cairo, stay safe, buddy. for more now on the crisis in egypt and other hot spots around the globe, as well, i'm joined by gail, deputy director of the women and foreign policy program. also, david is here, a foreign affairs columnist for reuters.
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also, author of the new book "beyond war." david, let me start with you what looks like could have been a peaceful transition of pow were now has the potential to continue to explode in a big way in egypt. you wrote last week that the arab spring is essentially just getting started. quote, arab rulers and u.s. officials are both mistaken if they think they can rely on generals and regents to produce long-term stability. is that what we are seeing in egypt right now? >> yeah. and this is a military crackdown. the word clashes was used earlier in the broadcast. these were unarmed demonstrators. we're looking at like 60 people dead, hundreds wounded, you know, fired on by a military government. if this had happened in tehran you would outrage statements from the white house and from washington. when it's our friends in the egyptian military we're a lot quieter. young people across the middle
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east see this so this is not working. a crackdown, you know, rounding up the muslim brotherhood is not going to work. they did a terrible job running egypt. but the answer is not to throw them all in jail and shoot them on the streets. >> let's talk about former president mohammed morsi here for a second. he's been held since the ouster. is his release the only thing that's going to appease the thousands that -- the tens of thousand, hundreds of thousands of supporters who are protesting in cairo and other egyptian cities, as well? >> i think it's unclear right now what is going to lead to calm. obviously it would be a step toward that and the united states government, the u.n., the european union have all weighed in on that behalf. but if you look at what came out of the u.s. administration this week, they had an almost dr. seussical sentence saying we will not say this is a coup, we
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will not say it is not a coup. for foreign relations the united states has with a huge ally to whom it sends an extraordinarily amount of foreign aid. where that aid keeps flowing just exactly how to maintain relations with egypt i think is a question the american officials have not yet answered. and the morsi detention, his invisibility is only exacerbating that. >> i want to turn to afghanistan now, gayle. the u.s. presence in that country. two u.s. service members were killed today in an attack in the eastern part of that country. you write about the drawdown in the defense one blog. you say in part, quote, what is underway now from the white house is the rebranding of the afghan war from the war we have to win to the war we have to exit with little conversation in between. why is there -- why does there seem on the such an aversion to talk about exactly what the u.s. role in afghanistan will look like attend of 2014? >> i think there are two reasons. the first is that koarzai has
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made an exceptionally challenging partner for the u.s. to work with and the unpopularity of this war. "washington post" numbers this week, two-thirds of the american public says they don't know if the war was worth fight. you have less than 1% of the population fighting america's longest ever war. if we don't want to look at it we don't have to. the piece was referring to something at the podium where they say obama came to office with a pledge to wind down the war in afghanistan and that actually was not the case. in 2008, you know, the war was we have to win and the war that, you know, it was the just war, the right war. but that right war has proven both expensive and really, really unpopular. and so i think that we have not had an honest conversation about where we are in afghanistan and what happens post-2014. >> david, what is the legacy going to be in afghanistan for this country? for this administration, as well. >> if we walk away, if we -- it not so much troops as talking about zero option, no american troops whatsoever.
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if we stop funding the afghan security forces this government in kabul will fall. gayle is diplomatic to say that karzai has been a challenging partner. he's been terrible. he's not supported by many afghans as well. i think we have to keep funding the afghan security forces. there will be a presidential election coming up in afghanistan. hope for a new leader. but across the region, there's no easy kind of solution to these problems. and i think there are people we can work with. i wrote in the piece about the arab spring. our young people pushing for democracy and open, you know, economic opportunities. so we need to keep engaging. it looks like there's going to be peace talks between the israelis and palestinians in washington. the israeli press is saying on tuesday. and so -- >> folks, that will go nowhere. >> no, we've got to keep engaging. i want to -- i want to disagree with that cynicism. it may sound idealistic but we can't think we're going to rely on a bunch of general or kings and, you know, this is all going to go away.
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>> gayle, david, big thanks to both of you. always enjoy our saturday international discussions here. hope to have you back. >> thank you. >> thank you. bad behavior. two big city politicians, a lot of trouble. now calls for them to quit are growing louder. plus, a passenger's perspective. new video. check this out. new video emerges this week of that crash landing at a new york city airport. and this -- >> ♪ we're moving on up ♪ to the east side ♪ moving on up ♪ to a deluxe apartment in the sky ♪ >> it was one of david's favorite shows growing up "moven on up like george and weezie depends on where you ography ha pulling yourself out of povertym . 34 hwy mpg. check. no-charge scheduled maintenance. check.
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takes a good look at upward mobility in this country. and it finds where you grow up can significantly help or hurt how far you rise economically as an adult. the statistics show that it's a slow climb in cities like atlanta, charlotte, indianapolis, cincinnati, and columbus. but a faster climb in cities like new york, boston, pittsburgh, salt lake city, seattle, and large chunks of california, as well. joining me live now to talk about it, one of the co-authors of the study nathaniel who is an assistant fprofessor of economis at harvard university. good to see group thanks for coming by. >> thanks for having me, craig. >> what are the characteristics of places that seem to have greater upward mobility? >> that's a great question. so when we started we were really taking a look at the role of tax policies like the earned
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income tax credit and when you look across the united states you do see some relationships between areas that have different measures of tax expenditures like higher property tax rates and greater amounts of income tax credit. but really we found four factor where's the strongest correlates with upward mobility. the four were the quality of the k-12 education system, the degree of incomes in inequality and segregation, the strength of social ties and the amount of civic engagement, finally, the strength of the family structure. so various nae sure of the strength of family. >> good schools, strong fam ii y families, full households seem to be the strongest correlaters. >> that's right. that's right. give you an example. you measure the family structure. in areas where there's a higher fraction of people born to single mothers, lower rates of upward mobility. one thing to mention on that that holds true not only to people born to single mothers but those born to married parents as well. it's really about what you said.
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it seems to be characteristics of places rather than characteristics of people in determining the extent of upward mobility across these areas. >> how much does it have to do in the fact, like in new york, for instance, tend to earn more than others starting off the bat than folks who would, you know, start in the midwest or even the south? >> that's a great question. so we took a look at the relationship between upward moeshlt and the average income. what might surprise people is that's not strongly related at all. it's more about the allocation of income within an area. extent of income and equality and the degree of seg bregation poor people to the middle class. >> two cities where upward mobility is lower, atlanta and memphis. in atlanta, the new york of the south. both of those cities had have african-american populations. how does race factor into your findings? >> yeah, great question. so it is true that areas that have a higher fraction of african-americans have lower rates of upward mobility.
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this holds true just when you look at the white population as well. whites have lower rates of upward mobility in atlanta and shar t lot and higher rates of upward mobility in san francisco. really it suggests to us this is about differences in places, not so much differences in races. >> last question before i let you get out of here because we like to talk about solutions here as well. what can we do as a society, what can we do collectively? what can government do if anything to improve mobility in america? >> well, i think that's the really important question and just to be perfectly honest i don't think we have all the answers here. i think that's really what we're hoping to explore over the coming years with our research. but you know, some of the factors like the quality of the k-12 education system, that actually does play a strong role in improving the lives of kids and increasing their earnings later in life. equal access to quality education is something that i think we can say with strong certainty that that's a plan and good role but i don't think that explains the variation across areas and it's important to
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learn from these differences about what can be done. >> nathaniel hendren, appreciate you coming on to break that down for us. folks, take a look at this. this is new video taken inside southwest flight 345 as it crash landed at new york's laguardia airport monday. it was landing successfully but the pilot touched down nose first causing the front landing gear to collapse. the plane skidded down the runway leaving a trail of sparks. ten people were hurt. though none of them seriously. man. you're watching msnbc.
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can offer our veterans or korea is to do what should have been done the day you come home. in our hurried lives, let us pause, let us listen, let these veterans carry us back to the days of their youth and let us be awed by their shining deeds. >> at least 1.8 million american men and women served in that war. more than 54,000 were killed. more than 8,000 went missing or were prisoners of war. richard lui was at today's ceremony at the memorial. joins us live now. richard, first of all, what was the mood like there today? was it somber? >> you know, craig, it was a mix of being somber as well as energetic. this was the 60th anniversary to the stop of the korean war. i think what i felt the most in terms of an idea and thought and emotion is that they are still coming home. the president recognizing one of
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the families there today. he said only recently the remains of their lost one were returned to u.s. soil. but for really all the vets here, craig, today, some emotional memories including this medal of honor recipient. take a listen. >> i'm a professional soldier. and i love the american army and i love america and i love korea. and quite frankly, i felt honored just to be a part of what was going on. >> we didn't pay any attention to whether we were integrated or not. we wanted to fight, live, and come back home. so whether our comrades were white or black or turkish or whatever country, never, ever in america's wars do the concern themselves with wror. >> wrangle is only one of four korea ran war veterans serving in congress right now. like so many of his comrades he remembers it was cold.
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it was a strange time in a place nobody had heard of before. and while you know, craig, that foreign land is no longer so foreign to us, isn't it? 38th parallel in the dmx now famous but still remains a place nobody actually knows except for one person. in the crowd today was a u.s. translator who was in that room with armistice was made, a korean-american translating for the u.s. and that's the walking history that was on the grounds today. but it's t not only the u.s. remembering 727 as they call it, july 27th, the stop to the war. 20 other countries fought. the first military engagement led by a very young united nations. it's been called the forgotten war as you were mentioning there because it was overshadowed by the ones before and after. the korean war was only five years after world war ii. and these veterans, credited with 50 million people now living in freedom in korea, the president wanting korean war veterans to remember that.
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and, craig, you know, one vet, gene knowles, he was 81, told me two things at the memorial today. one, he thinks this is his last trip. and, two, that after 60 years, for the first time he finally feels remembered. >> msnbc's richard lui for news washington, d.c. on a saturday afternoon. richard, thank you. salute to sergeant reckless. the korean war hero was honored friday at a dedication at the national marine corps museum. he was not a soldier but a war-horse, reckless, carried ammunition to the front lines, famously making 51 trips up and down a steep mountainside to reach her marines during the bab battle.
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assuming his role. today he told a gathering of catholic bishops to get out of their cathedrals and spread thes gospel and serve those most in need. last night he issued a passionate plea for the down trodden and oppressed while addressing some 1.2 million young catholics during a mass on copacabana beach. joining me live now from rio de janeiro. you are on the beach. that's an impressive site. what is happen ing there? >> isn't it great? now, look at this. copacabana beach has turned into a massive site. tens of thousands have been sleeping overnight here. and they are still coming in trying to get a glimpse of the pope for tonight's vigil and tomorrow morning's mass. this the highlight of the week long visit by the pope here in brazil. at the end of the night we expect 2 million pilgrims to be here on copacabana beach.
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no wonder, craig, kids started to call copacabana popacabana. funny enough, it wasn't meant to be here, the vigil and mass. it was meant to be held about 30 miles from here. but the open field where they were meant to be held on turned into a pool of mud after days of rain. but let me tell you, by the look of it, it doesn't look like they mind. there have been a lot of fun. some kids in the water, in the ocean. they are having fun and they tell us that this is what it's all about. it's a mix of faith and fun, craig. >> let's go back to the mass last night. again, more than 1.2 million young people showed up to hear the pope. his message last night has made lots of headlines here. basically telling a lot of these young people to get rowdy in their churches, to get the message out, to become evangelical, if you will. was his message viewed at all as
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harsh or as offensive to any of the church traditionalists? >> look, craig, that was nothing new. this is a message that the pope has been passing along to clerics and the youth from all walks of life. from the lowest to the highest. he said, since he became pope, look, get out of your churches, get out of your comfort zone, get out there to the faithful and don't wait for the faithful to come to you. that's kind of a missionary appeal that really goes well with the theme of this world -- with this year's world youth day. the theme is, we'll go and make disciples of all nations. and by the look of it today on copacabana beach, craig, the pope has just found hundreds of thousands of new missionaries. >> on the beach for us down there in rio. good to see you, thank you. here's a quick look at some of the other top stories making news on a saturday afternoon.
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we continue to monitor the situation in egypt where violent clashes have left at least 65 people dead and more than 700 others wounded. the violence broke out in cairo when security forces fired tear gas to disperse hundreds of thousands of morsi supporters. doctors have set up a field hospital to care for the injured but they say at this point, they are already overwhelmed. police have identify the man who allegedly shot six people at an apartment building just outside miami florida. 42-year-old pedro vargas was shot and killed by police after he took two hostages. the hostages were rescued. s.w.a.t. team members. they identified the victims. they range in ages from 17 to 79. after seven weeks of testimony the prosecution rested in the trial of whitey bulger. up next, the defense will present its case.
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bulger's lawyers say the alleged mob boss will be testifying at some point. testifying? in his own defense. that trial is set to resume monday. and the pink panther crew strikes again. yesterday armed men helped one of the jewel thieves break out of a swiss prison. the criminal gang has staged robberies at luxury stores all over the world. it's estimated that at this point they've stolen more than $400 million worth of jewels. let's get right to our saturday afternoon brain trust now. host of "wake up call" on wbai radio. a political reporter at the national journal. and amy holmes, anchor for the blaze down in d.c. on a saturday. good to see all of you. >> good to see you. >> esther, i'm going to start with you because you're a new york radio personality. i would imagine that you have been watching the mayor's race very closely, anthony weiner,
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very closely. this is what anthony weiner had to say just a few days ago. take a listen. >> i have put this whole campaign on a bet. and that sat tend of the day citizens are more interested in the challenge they face in their lives than anything that i have done embarrassing in my past. and, you know, i'm fine. i've got an amazing wife and child upstairs. i have a comfortable life. this is not about me. >> really? really, anthony weiner? esther, let me start with you because what he just said there, i mean, is what a lot of folks have trouble with, this idea that you have a wife who is not just standing by your side now, speaking out on your behalf and you have a child at home. why drag them through this? >> well, i think it's the nature of political office now, that it's almost not just you, the candidate, but your family has become part of the campaign. now, i absolutely disagree that his wife huma should be subject
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to the kind of victory olic attitude that she's being subjected to. i totally disagree with that. weiner said this not about me, of course it's about you. the problem is that while this focus is on weiner's crazy sexting and, you know, btw, by the way, how many more press conferences are we going to have announcing the latest logosexti other candidates. >> we're not talking about the issues at all. >> no, we're talking about sexting and weiner. the idea that it's not about him, it's symptomatic of a politics that has all about the person and especially about the sexual. >> amy holmes, i imagine your take on this is probably one that's a bis bit unique as well. you know, it really is, the whole thing is -- it quite bizarre. and the fact that he hasn't dropped out yet is even more
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bizarre. >> it's incredible. it's ludicrous. it's embarrassing. unfortunately we've all had to watch anthony weiner much too closely because of his behavior. but i like actually what one writer at the "atlantic monthly" had to say about anthony weiner and his prospects come september, he needs to stay in the race so he could be soundly and definitively defeated in the democratic primary,er in ever to inter politics again. that if he were to drop out now he could try to rehabilitate himself all over again just like he did with the "people" magazine piece, with the huge "new york times" magazine piece. i would take add more information. "the washington post" was just reporting this week that a friend tells "the washington post" that huma abedin, his wife, has known about thbehavio since last fall and as he said, it's in the rearview mirror but not very far because his last contact at least with sydney
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leathers, can you get over that name, leathers and weiner, was as of april. sko, you know, it seems to me at nbc wants to revive its "to catch a predator" hold an election and all of these freakers will come out of the woodwork. >> freakers. i don't think i've ever heard that word before. >> freakers. >> freakers. did you want to jump? >> i wanted to say -- >> i'll come to you next because esther is champing at the bit here. >> i want to say this that dl is this notion that somehow humans knowledge of weiner's behavior puts her on trial in a particular way as well. i feel that she is being held responsible for his -- >> is she being held -- >> huma is an active member of his campaign. she has been e-mailing clinton and friends and fund-raisers to help her husband. she is very much a co-politician in this joint venture to make him mayor of new york city. >> do you think she should be off limits completely? >> i think the nature of our politics means that there's no question that she's not off
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limits. >> when you stand next to your husband and you defend him and you defend him moments after he -- you do it moments after he's basically saying, you know what, i was -- i was kind of wrong about the number. maybe it was a few more than i originally led on. >> right. so, you know, nobody wasn't elected for being a dumb wife. you know what i mean? but the idea that she chooses to stay, you may have commentary on, but the fact that she now becomes responsible for his behavior is two separate worlds. >> she hoists him on us. >> she's not forcing him on us. it's his choice. >> you're so polite. >> no. >> sorry. >> she's a newbie. i love it. >> i want to bring in here and talk a little bit about huma abedin and her role here. a friend of the clintons, long-time aide to hillary. there have been those who have -- >> yeah, the -- go ahead.
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>> there are some reporting out this week that talks about how she's reaching out to clinton, friends, people in that world for political and financial support for weiner's campaign. and honestly, if she wasn't aware that this was happening, that would spell major trouble for his campaign. the fact that she knew that this was happening, i mean, all that hopefully was for his sake was fleshed out before they agreed to go down this road. and if they both were cognizant and aware that there were further possible allegations or information or sext or whatever that could come out, they were prepared for it. they had to be prepared that this was going to come out. also, what's very interesting as all of the reporting and narrative around her, we actually don't know that much about her political calculus. i thought that was a really great piece with a really funny disclosure earlier this week that was pointing out we really don't know the depth of her political savvy. there isn't that much
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information out there about it. we can assume that she is savvy given how close she is to hillary clinton. >> savvy or purely ambitious when it comes to politics. >> well, i mean, if you're not purely ambitious in this game, good luck, basically. >> you know, she's a former aide to -- >> she's an enabler of this politician and assisting him in his efforts to become mayor. at some point huma has to take responsibility fa she knew his behavior was ongoing. not way back when he was a congressman. allegations as recently as a few months ago. this is ludicrous. ludicrous that we should be sitting here talking about our future mayor might have these tweets coming all. while he's mayor he has been tweeting this stuff to complete strangers. people he doesn't know. >> that's fine. but then -- >> 80 years old. congressman. >> but then ask new york city to judge his validity for mayor based on his abhorrent behavior.
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my issue is the way that huma is put on trial. she's a political wife. of course she knew beforehand. my point is she knew and then what? why does this become a commentary about her? and i think that there's this idea that women become responsible for the corners of the choices of the political men that they are married to and that they somehow become the kind of the co-runner of their office when that is not what they are. and i think also, the other point that's important to make the s. that eliot spitzer's criminality, he's been on trial for what he did even though he committed a criminal act and he had never been subject to the what weiner has. >> quick break here. when we come back we're going to pivot. we have to take a break because we can't pivot from that to anything else. up next, the president's speech on the middle class this week. a series of speeches. what's his plan, will it work, the state of the middle class in this country right now as well. we'll be right back.le flo wers. and since he's walking,
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we're back with the brain t trust. president obama tried to turn the focus back to the economy this week in his weekly address. he said that he needs congress, he needs congress to act or the country will be left behind. >> over the past couple of years in particular washington has taken its eye off the ball. an endless parade of distractions and political posturing and phony scandals shift focus from what needs to be done and as washington prepares to enter another budget debate the stakes could not be higher. the choices we make now will determine whether or not every american has a fighting chance in the 21st century. >> the president's plan among other things calls for new energy jobs, building new roads and bridges, congressional republicans, many of them have come out. most of them have already come out and basically said they are against the plan. what's the president to do here? >> well, there are some executive orders and actions he can take.
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he can try and use the bully pulp pulpit. he can try and engage in this campaign style push for legislation. i think the results have been extremely mixed and i think i'm very charitable there as far as how effective it is. it didn't do much as far as gun control goes. you can say that on i'm gragsz. that's really the piece of legislation coming out of congress that we've seen the most bipartisan support on. he largely strategically, i think, stayed out of that debate so that there could be some sort of bipartisan compromise there. there is things and stuff he can do but at the end of the day it really will take a lot of action from congress, he mentioned roads and infrastructure. i mean, that's something where i did a story this week in "fshl journal daily" where all of these interest groups on transportation, you have labor, you have unions, you have industry and business groups who all agree we need to spend money on infrastructure and yet it is so difficult to actually get the money for that. and that's just the politics of
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today. >> there was a time in this country where that was one thing that actually united both parties, amy holmes. when you started talking about spending money, billions of dollars on roads and bridges in this country, republicans and democrats, there was a time not too long ago they both would get behind that. what's your take on the president's speech, amy? >> i feel like this president has done more pivots than mikhail. the eighth pivot after the economy after spending months and months banging the drums about gun control. a debate we had here on the brain trust for many weekends saying he was rnt going to get a lot of his red state senate democrats to buy into this and yet he persist we'd that agenda. now he's blaming house republicans for taking their eye off the ball? and then when he comes up with his agenda, green energy jobs, we saw the first round of stimulus. we saw a lot of green energy failures and economists going into it said, look, whatever you might think about the green energy sector, whether or not it is the future, it's not a job
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creator. these are jobs for engineers and highly educated, highly sophisticated skilled workers. these are not the kind of jobs that help the middle class get out of the doldrums that they've been suffering. when it comes to infrastructure, bridges and road, yes, that's something that generally people like to deliver to their home districts but even president obama himself admitted to peter baker of "the new york times" that one of his big mistakes of his stimulus is that s. no such thing as shovel-ready job. even the president of his own metrics, his own policies are not going to get us out of that ditch that he's always talking about. up nebs, we are going to crown this week's biggest brain and talk about whatever they want to talk about. we're still tallying the results but i can tell you this week's biggest brain will be a woman. [ whirring ] [ dog barks ] i want to treat more dogs. ♪ our business needs more cases. [ male announcer ] where do you want to take your business? i need help selling art. [ male announcer ] from broadband to web hosting
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brain trust is back. as promised, time to crown one
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of our regular brain trust members' biggest brain. the topic of their choosing will be the topic of this particular segment. today we've dlded to go with esther. we thoroughly enjoyed your insights, we'll go with that word, insights on the weiner scandal. he writes, president obama's remarks on the trayvon martin are considering historic. what would have been equally historic would have been a white male president commenting on the same case and talking about white privilege and its role. >> well, the reality is when it comes to race and the united states, it is always a conversation about black and brown people without exception. and with the trayvon martin case, the george zimmerman trial. the conversation about race becomes about blackness every single time. but there is an additional part of america's history when it come to race. that has been white privilege. the idea that to be white is to
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always be given the benefit of the doubt no matter what the situation is. so it is the way in which the zimmerman lawyers were able to rewrite a narrative. the protector of a community that was protecting that white female jury. that is an historic narrative that feeds very well. you think about george bush. george bush, a man who at 20 was convicted, took his 16-year-old brother on an underage drunk driving spree. got his license taken away. his license suspended. the idea the a black man with those credentials is unimaginable. but in a society where white privilege exists. >> what do you make of the conversation that has unfolded in this country in the wake of the zimmerman verdict. it has been a conversation that
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i think has been somewhat layered in addition to talking about race, we're talking about profiling and prejudice. we're talking about self-defense laws and guns. do you think this is a conversation that will have legs or do you think that a month from now, we've moved on to whatever else becomes the big issue of the day. >> right. well, i fear that we do have short attention spans and that we won't be reflecting on the trayvon martin case. i guess i was frustrated by how politicized it became so very early on. that people sort of took, sort of dug into their side without really listening. and i say that as someone who is enormously sympathetic to trayvon martin and his family, and was extremely upset, as you know. >> who politicized it? >> well, i think president obama when he suggested that if he had a son he would look like trayvon martin. all that did, all that did was inject politics into it. >> absolutely not. to imply the president injected
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politics into the trayvon martin case is to misunderstand the entire history of the united states of america. politics and race has been -- it existed and co-related for 500 years. it didn't need the president to politicize it. the issue of race is a political issue. >> but at that point george zimmerman was innocent until found guilty. there had not yet been a trial. i think by kind of commentary, it brought it back into the political realm. >> i want to apologize. >> okay. sometimes when you have guests come over to the house, you feel bad when they don't get to eat dinner. >> i'll eat plenty tonight. don't worry. >> thanks to esther armah. and amy holmes from the blaze down in d.c. for us on a saturday. a big thanks to you for watching us on a saturday afternoon. i'll be back tomorrow. 3:00 eastern.
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and none of those other things. now that's real love. so is that. new so good! see what's really in your dog's bowl at welcome to "disrupt." i'm ari melber. >> how do you respond when you see people making this about race? >> is it true? that's the question to be asked. >> stop the bs. stop the diversions. >> stoking a racial division. >> stop young black women from having babies out of wedlock. >> george zimmerman got away with murder but you cannot get away from god. >> this guy is a -- [ bleep ] mall cop. >> the verdict is not going to define who trayvon martin was. >> there's a mountain of evidenha


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