tv NOW With Alex Wagner MSNBC August 5, 2013 9:00am-10:01am PDT
to suspend alex rodriguez. it is monday, august 5th, and this is "now." any moment now major league baseball is expected to announce the suspension of up to ten players who have been accused of doping at a south florida antiaging clinic. one of those players is not going quietly into the night. according to nbc sports, all-star third base men alex rodriguez will challenge a 214-game ban that would keep him off the field until 2015. under the terms of the suspension rodriguez will still be allowed to play during his appeal, including the game tonight against the chicago white sox. how poetic then that the mlb's announce many comes on the same day that a-rod is slated to make his season debut after several injuries have kept him away from the big leagues for over nine months. yankee outfielder vernon wells summed up the situation saying it should be a bit of a circus.
according to the mlb, rodriguez not only abusd banned substances but also tried to destroy evidence once an investigation was under way. in typical achlt rod fashion, a-rod is placing the blame on everyone but a-rod. >> there's more than one party that benefits from me not ever stepping back on the field and that's not my teammates and it is not the yankee fans. when all this stuff is going on in the background and people are finding creative ways to cancel your contract and stuff like that, i think that's concerning. >> the man accused of cheefting claiming he's being cheated out of his $90 million contract. joining me today, washington bureau chief for buzz feed, john stanton, founder and president of the center for social inclusion, maya wiley. from sirius xm, chris "mad dog" ruse sew and benjamin wallace wells. "the happy hothead," something that could possibly be said
about alex rodriguez. mad dog. how about arod trying to blame the yankees? >> who else is he going to blame? right? >> never himself. >> of course. when you ask a-rod well, did you use steroids, never get an answer. yes or no, he tries to murky the waters by giving you the other scenarios. bottom line he'll be suspended for this year and 2014. he's going to be allowed to play for 30, 40 games because he is going to be able to appeal it and you can play when the appeals process is going on. it is august 5th. which means these games are important. yankees are in a pennant race. a-rod will probably play well, hit home runs, help the yankees may playoffs and then take a two-year vacation. >> show our viewers. this is the man who posed in details magazine kissing himself, "he was so vain, he had not one but two painted
portraits of himself as the half-man, half-horse figure. one painting for one person is enough. two paintings and juicing at the biogenesis strip mall club is maybe enough. do you think he can come back after the suspension? >> again. i will ask this question to a yankee fan. yankee fan doesn't want him right now. two weeks they're in fenway park. they are playing a little better. he gets up there top of the eighth, against whoever the huge red sox reliever is, he steps up. it is a little tricky for a yankee fan. >> i want to talk sort of more broadly about the implication for baseball and juicing and steroids in general. right? some people will say that the league and owners are just as responsible for this as the player and players themselves. nelson cruz from the texas rangers, johnny peralta from the tigers are also accused of juicing. this is something that's going
on throughout baseball and you could say professional sports and to some degree you have $275 million on the line for a-rod. there's an expectation of performance and probably a culture of doping that we're sort of just uncovering at this point is sort of prosecuting these cases individually the way to go or do there need to be a sea change that includes decisions made by owners and managers alike along with players? >> i'll handle it quickly. then throw that one around. that is a collective bargaining agreement so that is a deal deal between the players association and ownership in the commissioner's office. this new drug program they have. for a long period of time in the late '90s, sosa, mcguire, bonds, clemmons, they had none so players got away with everything. now baseball's gotten out of their way to really crackdown which is what needs to be done. as a result, these players are not going to be able to get away
with this. the change that's been made in baseball is that 10, 12 years ago -- this includes jeter -- never said a word about their fellow player doing steroids. they didn't really care. they didn't complain. now the splar complaining. now they want the even playing field. so now there's player pressure amongst the union. we don't want a-rod doing steroids, we don't want nelson cruz doing steroids. punish him. years ago that wasn't happening. >> stan, you have three centaur paintings? >> four. >> we have talk now about the nfl which is riddled with its own problems. we have talked about professional cycling, lance armstro armstrong, the downfall of his career. we talk about what does it mean to be a hero in the 21st century. what we're seeing is kind of systemic institutional failure, crumbling. and i guess the question is how do we come back from that.
are we setting our expectation bars too high. is it inevitable that with this amount of pressure and public attention people are going to take measures that are extreme? >> i think -- i definitely think that's true. these guys are all getting paid enormous amounts of money. they have people constantly fawning upon them. they have women throwing themselves at them. they got these guys with huge contracts with sponsors. all of that sort of feeds this sort of ego centric nightmare that goes on in these guys' minds. a-rod and anthony weiner are essentially the same thing. dream ticket for new york. >> the hubris with both lance armstrong who attacked people who were investigating, same with a-roid -- i mean i didn't just say that. a-rod. who tried to impugn the reputation of journalist whose were investigating possible use of steroids. the sense of impunity around public figures, whether it's anthony weiner or a-rod, is
pretty dramatic. >> the sanctimony is what killed a-rod. many people got banned and then came back to win races. with both a-rod and armstrong, there's just the kind of public defensiveness and insistence that they themselves are heroic sort of against all evidence that i think gets them in trouble. i have to say to defend a-rod a little bit here -- >> please, be the lone voice that does that. >> he did not look comfortable when he was kissing himself there. c it was an awkward self-ie. >> maya, the money is also -- talk about incentivizing fame is one thing. it is a drug. but also when you are talking
about $275 million. his $95 million remaining in his contract. this ban, chris, is through 014 but he loses $24 million, he still gets $60 million after all is said and done. >> so i only have one painting of me as venus on a half shell. yeah, you can't ignore the fact that money matters and you can't ignore the fact that it pays. so as a mother, what i would say is i'm very disturbed by the fact that you have people who have really serious, wonderful, athletic prowess and it is somehow not enough because of the -- it's both the culture around the bigs. right? we talk about the business angle but there is a culture. it is an entertainment culture that wants bigger, faster, better. i do think we should also acknowledge it is also in the culture. >> in 2007, a-rod told "usa today" i could walk away from the game today and be so content with life. why is he behaving like he is?
>> i think is he a very insecure athlete. i think a lot of this comes down to insecurity. i think ryan braun, i think he's a fraud because he took that collector down and he made a big deal. then he burned everybody else who believed in him like aaron rodgers. i think a-rod is a train wreck. i think he just doesn't quite know how to act. i think he thinks he's supposed to act a certain way. he came to the yankees when there's jeter, who acts perfectly. a-rod came into this situation. i don't think he quite knew how to handle it. he got booed early. this triggered this. he was worried his production falls off, he gets booed more. there's a lot of aspects to a-rod. but remember, not every baseball player does steroids. there is a morality issue here. most people when you play sports, know if you're going to be successful, let's do it on the up and up. i still think the majority of baseball players and athletes want to be successful doing it
the right way. >> what's the long-term prognosis for bans? do you think that there -- there are lifetime bans for gambling. >> they're going to strengthen this. next collective bargaining agreement, that's got to be collectively bargains, they're going to make this 100 games from 50. >> not lifetime? >> second time, maybe. they'll always give you a second chance. america gives you second chances. >> baseball gives you a couple second chances. >> a-rod got his second chance. he lore got his second chance and he screwed it up again. we'll give you a second chance but if you blow the second chance that's the end of it. >> you can paint one centaur portrait of yourself. chris ruse sew from sirius xm's requested mat mad dog radio. lawmakers on both sides of the aisle praise obama administration's decision to
close embassies abroad. but how long might we remain on high eye lealert? we'll discuss it when richard engal and michael o'hanlon join us next on "now." i'm only in my 60's... i've got a nice long life ahead. big plans. so when i found out medicare doesn't pay all my medical expenses, i got a medicare supplement insurance plan. [ male announcer ] if you're eligible for medicare, you may know it only covers about 80% of your part b medical expenses. the rest is up to you. call and find out about an aarp medicare supplement insurance plan,
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a significant and credible threat based on al qaeda chaert emanating from yemen led the u.s. state department to close roughly two dozen embassies across the middle east and africa yesterday. now out of "an abundance of caution," the department will keep 19 of those diplomatic posts shuttered through the end of the week.
the through threat which "the new york times" called both specific and maddeningly vague comes less than three months after president obama can you go suggested the country would have to move beyond a post-9/11 posture of perpetual war. >> perpetual war through drones or special forces or troop deployments will prove self-defeating. our systematic effort to dismantle terrorist organizations must continue but this war, like all wars, must end. that's what history advises. that's what our democracy demands. >> it's been over two years since homeland security ended the much derided color coated terrorism alert system but this weekend saw a return to bush era alarm along with talk after new normal, evidence that politically if not operationally any talk of wining down the war on terror may be premature. >> there's been an awful lot of chatter out there. chatter means conversation among terrorists about the planning
that's going on. very reminiscent of what we saw pre-9/11. >> we need to know and realize we're living in an increasingly dangerous world and this specific threat that we've been briefed on over and over again has reached a new level. >> despite being told repeatedly that the country is safer and that al qaeda's core structure has been decimated, this weekend americans were informed that, on the contrary, al qaeda just might be more dangerous than ever. >> this is a wake-up call. al qaeda is in many ways stronger than it was before 9/11 because it is mutated and spread and it can come out of some different directions. >> in many ways it is more dangerous because now we have what i call 2.0 or 3.0 which is widely dispersed. we now see them from west africa into south asia so there is a mucher battlefield. >> house chair mike mccall praised the administration.
>> the one good thing i think about the state department issuing these warnings, when you let them know you know you put them on the heels and they often times back down. >> the caution has earned the white house applause on both sides of the aisle but as bloomberg's jeffrey goldberg noted, closing two dozen embassies across the arab world also has its drawbacks. >> this is very problematic. you are telling 21 countries we want them to believe that we're a powerful country, an open country, a free country, and we're preemptively closing our embassies because of a somewhat vague threat. it does signal that al qaeda is very effective and scaring us. >> joining us now from washington, brookings institute senior fellow and directser of research for the center for 21st century security and intelligence, michael o'hanlon. joining us from cairo, nbc news if chief foreign correspondent richard engel. richard, to you first. if you could tell us, what are the practical implications as you see them for closing a
multitude of embassies across the arab world? >> reporter: right now there are not a great deal of impacts because it is the end of ramadan. the eed holiday which comes at the end of ramadan is almost upon us so not a lot of business would be done at the american embassy or consulates across the middle east. so if you have to close an embassy, this would be the right time to do it. or an opportune time. but, not everyone in the state department is happy about this. there are certain ambassadors in this part of the world who think this is an overreaction, that because of what happened in benghazi and all the political pressure that was put on the white house on the state department that when this chatter, which i'm told is real, that this is not some invented threat. i've been told that by many people. this is serious and real. that when this threat emerged there was a perhaps draconian blanket reaction so that there could be no accusations of
neglect or mismanagement. >> richard, what are we to make about this coming at a time of really pronounced regional unrest and instability? i mean you are obviously in egy egypt. we talk about the syria situation and in iraq. what is your interpretation about the potential interlinkage between that and the resurgence of al qaeda and if not the same form as pre-9/11 in a more sprintered form? >> reporter: well, you didn't mention i think the most important country there which is syria. in many ways, syria has become the new afghanistan. it is attracting foreign fighters and inspiring domestic fighters in a similar way that the war between the mujahadin and the soviets did in the 1980s. i think long term the chaos, the violence, the ongoing civil war in syria which is spreading into lebanon and iraq are certainly going to create a lot of extremists and i don't think you should look at this particular
threat as separate from the region. but from all the intelligence that we've been able to understand, this specific warning emanates from yemen and there is a low level war going on in yemen. has been for several years with saudi arabia, the united states, and yemen carrying out air strikes and drone strikes in many parts of the country against al qaeda militants and other extremists. while we don't feel the are war in yemen, it doesn't get reported on, the people who are living there certainly do and al qaeda in the arabian peninsula certainly does and may be trying to avenge the attacks there and avenge attacks as it sees against islam worldwide. >> nbc's richard engel, thank you, as always. please stay safe. michael o'hanlon, in terms of the sense of safety and our enseen unmys. richard talks about the american public not perhaps knowing what's going on in yemen. we know there's been an uptick in drone stites in yemen, 15 so
far this year, three since the end of july. america is combatting enemies to a degree i don't believe the american public is clued in on but what do you make the michael chertoff's assertion that this war against al qaeda may be more dangerous than the previous one? >> it is a fascinating comment. i take mr. chertoff extremely seriously. it is a legitimate point of view. it is not one i necessarily share. i certainly think when al qaeda's core was at its strongest -- there is when we suffered our largest attack and also when we had other kinds of major plots that were in the works and we had the indonesia bombing in 2002. we had the spain train bombings in 2003. that was a pretty dicey period. we had had a worry for a short time, as you'll recall, about a possible nuclear weapon being in manhattan back in the fall of 2001. al qaeda's core was a pretty scary group and i am thrilled
that most of them are either off this planet or at least in disarray and not communicating. so the problems that we have today i think are at least a half magnitude below that but in fairness to mr. chertoff -- again, a person who knows this set of threats very well -- we should not underestimate what they are still trying to do. 2009-2010 showed all the cases that we're now debating back on where we had the underwear bomber in detroit, we had major hassan inspired by awlaki who's now going on trial here for the ft. hood shootings. we had the attempted new york city subway bombing. times square bombing. so a lot of this stuff has continued and can still affect our homeland. i think chertoff on balance can make a pretty reasonable argument in defense of what he is saying. >> john stanton, one cannot ignore the sort of politics of this decision. we played that sound from the president's speech at the national defense university as sort of a reminder i think of his objectives here which is to
unwind the 9/11 -- or not unwind but get us past the 9/11 mindset. but this event sort of takes us -- i don't know how ever many steps backward in terms of the sense of security around a sense that perhaps we do not need a counterterrorism complex, a national security complex that's as far-reaching as we have had. can roth, the director of human rights watch, wrote the war against al qaeda is over. this is an op-ed in the "washington post." he says these's fill yachts are significant actors in yemen and northern africa but it is far from clear that they pose a threat to the u.s. greater than, for example, mexican drug cartels or international organized crime networks. the obama administration should rethink its overly elastic definition of war on al qaeda and call an end to it. ken roth in his defense says it would almost be politically impossible to do that. but counterterrorism and national security i think in many ways has become the third rail of american politics. >> oh, it absolutely has. it is sort of ironic.
isn't that what the terrorists want? they want us to be terrorized into shutting down our embassies, to feel that we have to spy on ourselves. i think it is becoming this sort of self-perpetuating thing in washington where folks look at these kind of threats and they say, okay, well maybe we do need to have more spying domestically. maybe we do have to be -- allow nsa to have greater control over these things. this is the sort of situation that really brings that back. last week or so the congress was in session. you had a number of members that were coming out and saying look, i feel that we gave the administration a blank check to do all this sort of stuff and i don't think that it was maybe appropriate. maybe we should try to dial it back. maybe we should have some laws, change the laws. then this happens and all these members come out and say, no, no, no, we're terrified. >> these laws? the u.s. constitution. it is not like a light thing. i mean if my neighbor wants to come in my house and i say, sure, you can go borrow a dish
and they go rummaging through my drawers, that's kind of what the u.s. government is doing right now on u.s. nationals. i think to the point that there is still the ability to obviously have terror attacks, the question is how do we respond to them in a way that preserves or democracy. >> how much does something like this derail the conversation around national security concerns and civil liberties? >> i mean terror becomes this big catch-all description that covers a whole lot of stuff, activity. one of the things that's interesting here is how, as the "times" put it, maddeningly vague, these threats actually were. my understanding is that not only did american embassies close but so did german embassies and frechblg ench emb and english embassies. the threat was seem to be against westerners. seeing so much chatter may and mark of a weakened al qaeda that
cannot communicate. and so i think both jorn ahn an are right in that there is a way that washington tends to react to terror which is what's known and described as a one-way ratchet that kind of prohibits a more complicated discussion of what actually is happening here and you know what does this say about the way in which al qaeda is evolving. >> remember that senators udall and -- so senators that are actually on the intelligence committee have said there are things that -- there's information that we're not getting or that's being given to us that's actually inaccurate compared to what the intelligence committee's given. we do have a transparency problem. not on our domestic laws and whether u.s. citizens' rights are being protected. >> we talked about benghazi being something the administration has in the back of their minds as they make this decision to close these embassies. the question is, as we've
mentioned several times thus far, this is a nebulous threat and how long sort of at what point do you open the embassies back up? this is also that speaks to the larger question of at what point do we sort of ease up or ease off the gas in terms of sort of clamp down vis-a-vis security and the war on terror? >> good questions. i think your panelists are raising great points. but i would also say we got to be careful to give the american people enough credit here. i don't know a lot of americans who are taking this terror threat to the point where they're pulling their kids out of school or canceling trips abroad. i mean i think the country is actually capable of graduating and adjusting its level of vigilance. i think we should give ourselves a little bit more credit than to suggest that we either have to be all-on or all-off in the war on terror. the level of nervousness is not what it was in 2001-2002. we're a lot calmer about this. people are more concerned about the economy or other such things and yet we're still able and willing to take this threat
somewhat seriously. to me that's right. and that's more or less the center of gravity that i hear in the debate myself. now you raise a very valid point. what if this level of chatter persists. then we have to ask what's the danger of incapacitating our foreign policy in the middle east by not letting our diplomats or our development workers and others do their jobs just to make sure we don't get hit in the short term with an attack. that's the hardest clem ma th e that we have to face. for the next few days i'm willing to be deferential towards intelligence and towards the obama administration and assume that they've got some very specific reasons for being hypervigilant. but that could become a problem if we have to sustain this over a period of many weeks. >> we shall see. thank you to the brookings institution's michael o'hanlon. thanks for your time. coming up, gop led voter suppression efforts move forward across the country. how many can the department of justice tackle at one time? we'll look at the ballot
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aren't healthy unless you actually eat them ♪ multigrain cheerios. also available in delicious peanut butter. healthy never tasted so sweet. in 2008, democratic presidential candidate barack obama turned north carolina tar heel blue. but ever since, it seems the state has taken on a dark red hue. in his show friday, bill maher put his finger on it. >> it is time for america to get off the sidelines and support a proud people in a region where religious freedom, women's rights and democracy itself hang in the balance. i'm talking of course about north carolina. take every crazy, angry idea your drunk right wing uncle mumbles at thanksgiving, turn it into a law and that's north carolina today. >> we will discuss north carolina's right turn and other states of suppression when the president of the national urban
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tomorrow, august 6th, marks the 48th anniversary of the voting rights act. on that day, nearly half a century ago, brez lyndon johnson signed into law historic legislation to ensure that everyone, regardless of race, had the right to vote. on signing the law, he called it a triumph for freedom as huge as any victory that's ever been won an any battlefield. today the voting rights act itself has turned into a battlefield. it is now been almost six weeks since the supreme court struck down section 4 of the law. in his opinion, chief justice john roberts asserted our country has changed. but in the days after the ruling the country has seen just how
much it hasn't. within 24 hours of the court's decision, five states -- alabama, mississippi, south carolina, texas and virginia -- decided to push forward with voter suppression efforts that could disenfranchise hundreds of thousands of americans. weeks later, other states have followed suit, including north carolina whose legislature just passed the nation's most restrictive voting law in the country. even as the justice department has taken action to combat suppression, attorney general eric holder has acknowledged that it is "no substitute for legislation that will fill the void left by the supreme court's decision." last week, president obama met with civil rights leaders to reassure them that his administration would vigorously fight to preserve voting rights. while voting rights of millions hangs in the balance, the president sounded a cautious note of optimism saying the voting rights act is not dead, it is not even critical, it is just wounded. joining us now, president of the national urban league, mark morial. >> thanks for having me.
>> in this momentous almost anniversary. >> we're seeing a concerted effort that really began before the 2012 election to really restrict the vote to try to contract democracy to make it more difficult for people. it is an unsettling and disturbing trend and the forceful response to it will continue by the civil rights community, the human rights community and i think all who favor democracy and the idea that it is fundamental to who we are. >> and i want to ask you because you were in that meeting with the president last week when he said, it's not -- the voting rights act isn't sort of in stage four critical emergency but it is wounded. do you agree with him? >> i agree because i think the president and the attorney general and we have the president and the attorney general in power now and they are absolutely committed to using the remaining provisions of the voting rights act to
enforce the law and to ensure that suppression efforts and discriminatory voting techniques do not -- do not -- persist. but the voting rights act is wounded. in effect, the smoke detector has been taken out of the house. but the president and the attorney general i believe are also strongly committed to this idea that the legislative response, a new congressional act is not only needed but they will put their efforts and enforcement on crafting it and indeed passing it. i think history teaches us that the voting rights act has always guarded the broadest bipartisan support of all of the civil rights laws and we hope -- we hope -- that that's going to continue this time. but look, the justice department is not alone. there's a new generation of civil rights litigators working at the state level who i'm confident will take action in staying on federal courts because there are state
constitutional questions at play -- >> we hear from the folks from the br the brennan center for justice -- >> the media doesn't pay close attention to the county commissioner. the parish parishioners. >> maya, i agree with mark in this idea that the notion of fairness is sort of a bedrock american principle and i think obviously there's been a sort of partisan bent to these voter commercial efforts but i think when it comes down to americans who watch what's happening and the notion that you are shrinking the ability of people to exercise a fundamental democratic right, i don't think that's sit well with anybody regardless of whether they are a republican or a democrat. >> i think that's right. when we look at this first of all, it is not even just a value. it is like core to what has made this country one of the most
successful democracies in the world. i think americans value that very deeply and we should understand that while there has been some unfortunate clearly partisan efforts going on to keep democratic voters away from the polls, particularly, unfortunately, in some states, that it is true that it will exclude all kinds of people no matter what -- who they're voting for, what their policy views, because we actually did a study at the center for social inclusion which showed that most of the elderly that will be excluded because of voter i.d. laws will be black, but there will be a whole number of white elderly folks that won't be able to vote because they don't have a photo i.d. so this actually does -- >> this hurts republican voters -- not to the same degree. >> let me give you the example back in ohio during the presidential primaries. there was an older army veteran who showed up to vote, did not have a driver's license or state issues i.d. but had his veterans card and had voted for 40 years
with -- in the same place and was denied the right to vote. the fact of the matter is that there is an absurdity to this. it is a solution looking for a problem and that's why i think it must be resisted but, i think, a broad coalition of people across the nation. >> john, eric cantor, not known as a civil rights champion, has said after the supreme court made its decision, he said that i'm hopeful congress will put politics aside and find a responsible path forward that ensures the sacred obligation of voting in this country, remains protected. jim sensenbrenner is leading the charge. what do you think from the view from washington in terms of republicans on the hill maybe doing something in congress to deal with the supreme court's decision? >> i think there's two problems. one is that whether there is a problem or not it's been an article of faith on the conservative side that there is a problem, there is massive voter fraud going on. >> even though those numbers don't really exist.
>> right. but it is a thing that people believe so they argue and they believe that they are bringing about fairness by bringing about these changes in state laws. that's translated -- and will translate into a resistance in congress amongst members. there are also probably some in congress who will be a little more politically crass, frankly, and say that this will help me and so go along with it. the other biggest problem is eric holder. he's probably the person in washington to champion anything to congress. he has zero support in congress. republicans just look at him, they do not like him or want to work with him. he's not exactly a warm and fuzzy guy to gbegin with. >> but he doesn't have zero support in congress. he is the attorney general. and he has taken an aggressive stance and some people may not like that aggressive stance but when we talk about putting politics aside, that means we put that type of personal animosity aside for the principle at stake. the principle at stake here i
think is the right to vote and it is democracy. you see, last year in 2012 what voter suppression did was it stimulated turnout. >> turnout was higher. >> in the urban and african-american communities. so if you are thinking political politically, you may say you know what? this vote suppression might on paper benefit me politically but i am creating an issue against myself politically, smart politics. >> the republican party is not exactly doing well with minorities and young people. let's remind everybody. did you a piece on chris christie. here's chris christie, who's positioned himself as sort of a moderate republican. how does chris christie sign off an an effort to curb early r registrati registration, failing to register voters when they turn 18. >> totally. but then again our country has always said we believe in one
man, one vote and then have excluded and restricted that. i'm less optimistic than most of you seem to be. feels to me there are a couple things going on within the conservative movement that are really important. one of them is just federalism. i mean we've -- have a 30-year judicial history now of conservatives moving more and more towards trying to give more and more power to the states. and this -- the voting rights act is a place where for conservatives that comes to a head. there's a lot of southern victimization, a lot of politicians in the south, as roberts alluded to in his supreme court decision, feel as if they have been singled out by the voting rights act. so i don't necessarily think that this is something with the legal regime that's now been sort of sanctified by the u.s. supreme court that says we're going to step back. i don't necessarily think this is something that's just going to go away because holder and
obama are -- >> i don't think it necessarily goes away without a huge fight and i think awareness is key to that. i don't want to conflate too many things but i think the president and attorney general taking a very aggressive posture on this, i think his comments in the wake of the george zimmerman trial, i think the issues that affect people disproportionately people of color, i think this is a welcome pivot for the obama administration put be this front and center. >> it is necessary because these are issues on the minds of the people. i think people have to understand that this is the new reality. this is the new normal. the nation is changing. the president is giving voice to i think an important part of his coalition but an important part of the nation and that has to be understood. these issues can no longer be marginalized, compartmentalized. they've got to be in the mainstream or discussion in this nation. >> i think having the president go forward with this helps mainstream that. right? >> i think the question is, are
black people in political power allowed to say that it is important that we not disenfranchise americans. that's really what we're talking about with the politics of the president and the attorney general. i think the people most able to say that it is important that we protect the franchise or the people who haven't had it historically. >> the president of the national urban league, mark morial. thanks, as always. continue the fight, my friend. coming up, they say -- they say virginia is for lovers but the state that brought america thomas jefferson and james monroe may no longer be one for governors. we'll discuss bob mcdonald's bling ring. that's just ahead. [ male announcer ] here at optionsxpress, our clients really seem
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money can't buy everything, but one thing it can almost always buy -- is politicians. this summer's test case -- virginia governor bob mcdonnell whose legacy as governor ultrasound is in slow decline amid revelations regarding his relationship with a certain big ticket donor named johnny williams. after taking heat for the gifts he and his family received from williams, last week governor mcdonnell said he is trying to give it all back but with a list like this it may take a while. over the years mcdonnell and his family have received -- drum roll please -- $15,000 to cover part after catering bill for his daughter's wedding. $15,000 for a spending spree at
bergdorf's. a $2,200 stay at a vacation home complete with a ferrari ride home. more than $120,000 in loans to bob mcdonnell's wife. and the icing on the cake -- a $6,500 rolex which williams gave mcdonnell for his birthday after his wife requested it. mcdonnell has already announced that his daughter has returned the $15,000 check she received for her wedding, and last month mcdonnell repaid the loans. but with federal and say the investigations into the special relationship between mcdonnell and williams and reports this week that prosecutors may be trying to build a criminal case against mcdonnell, it looks like the governor may have to do more than just hand over the goods. if only the problems were virginia voters ended there. a federal investigation is currently being launched into an electric car company co-founded by virginia's democratic gun torial candidate terry macaw live over the country's conduct in soliciting foreign investors.
infamous attorney general ken cu cuccinelli from the gifts he received. but he's not willing to give anything back. he remained unbowed saying there are some bells you can't unring. that's it for us today. thank you to john, maya and ben whose new york magazine cover story k"the happy hot head" is n newsstands this week. see you back here tomorrow at noon. "andrea mitchell reports" is next. [ male announcer ] research suggests cell health
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chatter out there. chatter means conversation among terrorists about the planning that's going on. very reminiscent of what we saw pre-9/11. >> we are told that al qaeda militants in yemen have been experimenting with surgically implanting explosives inside a bomber's body to try and avoid airport security. >> senior intelligence officials say the plot originates in yemen where new terror tactics have the u.s. on high alert. we'll have a live report from richard engel. power brokers. senators john mccain and lindsey graham are in cairo today. can they brokary solution to the stalemate? going, going, gone. a-rod, the highest player in major league baseball history is about to face suspension but he plans to appeal the punishment as the yankees welcome him back in the