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tv   Hardball With Chris Matthews  MSNBC  January 2, 2014 4:00pm-5:01pm PST

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and use the legacy they wish for their daughter to be that of love and forgiveness. many of us have struggled over the last 24 hours on new year's resolutions. maybe we would not be strong enough to forgive everything, but maybe we could be strong enough to take his advice and leave unchecked anger and rage in 2013. and have a new year committed to higher ground. thanks for watching. i'm al sharpton. "hardball" starts right now. is the country about to make a left hand turn? let's play "hardball." ♪ good evening. i'm michael smerconish in for
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chris matthews. starting off tonight, the wind isn't just blowing to the left. it's gusting. practically overnight elizabeth wairn gained folk hero status thanks to an anti-wall street message. and her allies showed political muscle this summer by taking on the white house and winning. the issue, president obama's top choice to lead the federal reserve. larry summers. guess who's running the fed right now? because it isn't larry summers. now the president is hitching a ride with the base making income inequality and raising the minimum wage to hallmarks of the progressive cause a center piece of his 2014 agenda. and it doesn't stop there, not by in means. just yesterday after democrats were out of power for two decades, new york city officially handed the mayoral reins to bill de blasio. but that's not what grabbed head
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looips at yesterday's swearing in ceremony. it turned to the guy leading the oath of office. that would be bill clinton as his wife hillary looked on from feet away. in "the washington post," it isn't often that the swearing in of a new mayor of new york draws national television attention, but then it isn't every day you see a mayor sworn in with a f m formfor former president of the united states and prospective presidential candidate on stage. are does the energy of the populist move go from here? michael tomaski is with the daily beast. michael, tayemy in the times today said until recently this was a love fest that was one sided. the cynics among us want to know what accounts for all of the love among de blasio and the
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clintons right now? >> well, i think they're mutually useful to each other. i think they like each other. de blasio did work on her first senate campaign in 2000. there's a lot of debate about what his role was, but he worked hard on that campaign. i think she came away from that campaign with good feelings about him. but there is no question the clintons accepted this role -- bill clinton accepted this roll and hillary clinton to be there participately to show, to send a signal that they are open to this new populism and they want to embrace it. going forward how much, we'll see. >> joan, when you think of populism bill clinton isn't exactly the first person to come to mind. but at the swearing in ceremony, there was little contrast between him and the more
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progressive de blasio. here is de blasio. >> we are called to put an end to economic and social inequalities that threaten to unravel the city we love. so today we commit to a new progressive direction in new york. when i said i would take dead aim at the tale of two cities, i meant it. >> and here's president clinton yesterday. >> i strongly endorse bill de blasio's core campaign commitment that we have to have a city of shared opportunities, shared prosperity, shared responsibilities. we are interdependent. look around. we can't get away from each other. we have to define the terms of
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our dependence. >> joan walsh, it's wonderfully vague. we have to define the terms of our dependence. what's he saying there? >> i think he is saying this has been his message going back to his presidential campaign, that we're all in this together. i think we can do a lot to exaggerate the difference between these two bills. they are both men and democrats of their time. bill clinton came from the left. he cut his teeth on george mcgovern's failed wonderful presidential campaign. he was a man of the anti-war movement and of the civil rights movement. he made the right enemies in arkansas. he made enemies of the segregationists. he did move to the center. he was a reaction to democrats losing the white house four out of five times as he came of age. he did pull his party to the center. but i think his values have always been more on the progressive side. bill de blasio, likewise, was a supporter of the revolution that
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was not terribly radical in the early 1980s, but somewhat radical. then he went to work for bill clinton in hud. and went to work for hillary clinton. so both men moved to the center. now, bill de blasio's moment is a moment for the left which allows him more latitude. but i wouldn't say that either philosophically or on pulse there's a huge gulf between these two men or between him and hillary clinton. >> i guess what belies the theory this is driven by politics and a view towards 2016 was the idea if that were the case, it would seem to be a primary strategy, right? that they want an attack towards the left. but i say if she's in, she's really not going to have any primary opponents of significance. is that how you read it? >> not quite. not quite. if elizabeth warren runs, she's a person of significance. she would be a candidate of
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significance. you know, the depth of passion for her on the democratic party's left side is really quite profound. and so i think hillary clinton knows that. and i also think, you know -- we tend to attribute everything to political calculation. but it's also possible, you know, that hillary clinton and bill clinton just genuinely believe and understand that 2016 is not 1992 and that in 1992 the democratic party needed certain prescriptions that don't necessarily apply in 2016. and so i don't think it's entirely cynical. >> to your point of the change in times, this democratic party is a far cry from what the clintons knew in the '90s. how much is too much? here's what politico has written. as the clintons looked on, the inauguration offered reminders of just how much more liberal the democratic party's base has become since the era of clinton
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centerism in the '90s. one chaplain described new york city as a plantation. singer harry bellefonte denounced the stop and frisk policy. and de blasio himself made it clear he would not back away from a pledge to reform that policy. while it's early, hillary is going to have to be careful not to stray too far left. her numbers took a hit in the fall. in april 46% of independents viewed her in a positive liegts. in october that dropped to 35%. how does sh e remain among progressives on the left while still winning independence and centrists. >> i think she cannot afford to make the mistake she made in 2007 or 2008, michael. she cannot neglect the progressive base. she cannot run a candidacy that is looking forward to november of 2016 and ignore january and
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february and march of 2016. she's got to consolidate within the party. and she's got to let the general election should she get there sort lits out later. eni think she has a talent, certainly her husband has a talent for making populist issues less scary to the middle class. she had a real draw with the white working class in the 2008 primaries. we spent a lot of time debates how much of that was racism. certainly there was some of that. but it wasn't exclusively that. she really was for part of that primary campaign, the populist candidate. so i think she can do that again. by 2016, the three of us don't know what we'll be sitting here talking about. but i can guarantee you there will continue to be a tale of two cities and tale of two nations. she is going to have to talk to infei independents about that. >> on the progressive movement, the near term action is focusing on income inequality.
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here's bill clinton talking yesterday about the economics of populism. >> this inequality problem bedevils the entire country and from my work much of the world. but it is not just a moral outrage, it is a horrible constraint on economic growth and on giving people the security we need to tackle problems like climate change. we cannot go forward if we don't do it together. >> the politics of that has put a spotlight on raising the minimum wang. and for the democratic party it's one of the ideal issues that divides republicans. listen to this. according to a recent nbc/wall street journal poll, majority of americans favor raising to $10.10 an hour. a substantial increase from the current $7.25. republicans are split down the
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middle. 47% favor it. 50% oppose it. i thought this was remarkable. even the tea party which is unified on most economic issues are showing signs of division. 45% favor, 55% oppose. the economic policy institute estimates that raising the minimum wage to $10.10 would boost wages for nearly 30 million people. that's about 18% of the entire u.s. labor force. it would also help women and poor families. michael tomasky is the the embodiment of what might be an address of this income inquestiinqualite quality. >> where democrats are probably holding the line seeing if they can get five or so republicans to join them to make it pass. but the minimum wage is the main thing. to return to bill clinton's remarks, i thought he said an
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interesting thing and i thought he hit it. on the question of how hillary clinton might bridge this gap between appealing to people on the left and to the center. if you tie income inequality to growth, not just to fairness, but to growth. and say a more equal society and a more equal economy is a better way to grow our economy, that's a message that i think can resonate with all groups. >> michael tomasky, joan walsh, thank you. coming up, patriot or traitor? edward snowden has been in russia. many said it'd be fine if he never came back. we'll have that debate. and "the new york times" reported that al qaeda had nothing at all to do with the benghazi attacks and that, yes, the anti-islamist video did play a role. so how has the right reacted? claiming the story was a whitewash designed to clear hillary clinton of any responsibility.
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also, brian boitano joins us. he's the figure skater who's joining billie jean king in russia where they are protesting the treatment of gays. and whether you drink like a democrat or republican, you are what you drink at least politically. this is "hardball," the place for politics. ♪ we're gonna be late. ♪ ♪ ♪ oh are we early? [ male announcer ] commute your way with the bold, all-new nissan rogue. ♪
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here the good news for president obama's poll numbers. they can only get better. the president starts 2014 with his approval rating upside down. according to "huffington post"'s pollster trend line, just 41% approve of mr. obama's job performance versus 54% who disapprove. now, that's basically a complete reversal from a year ago shortly after the election when the president enjoyed a healthy positive rating. the two lines crossed in may and they haven't come close since. we'll be right back. she keeps you on your toes. you wouldn't have it any other way.
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the conversation occurring today will determine the amount of trust you place both in the technology that surrounds us and the government that regulates it. together we can find a better balance and mass surveillance. and remind the government that if it really wants to know how we feel, asking is always cheaper than spying. >> welcome back to "hardball." that was former nsa contractor edward snowden's christmas message where from russia he's been granted temporary asylum through august. but despite his self-assurance and declaration of mission accomplished last week, his future is still uncertain. he's charged with espionage and threat by the united states department and remains a fugitive on the run. pressure to negotiate with the rogue leaker is mounting. in an op-ed published today,
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"the new york times" came out in favor of striking a deal with snowden. quote, considering the enormous value of the information he has revealed and the abuses he has exposed, mr. snowden deserves better than a life of permanent exile, fear, and flight. he may have committed a crime to do so, but he has done his country a great service. it is time for the united states to offer mr. snowden a plea bargain or some form of clem si that would allow him to return home. ruth, your piece entitled edward snowden the insufferable whistle blower is not as sympathetic as the times. you wrote if snowden is such a believer in the constitution, why didn't he stick around to test the system the constitution created and deal with the consequences of his actions. go ahead and flesh that out. >> sure. edward snowden shouldn't get
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clem clemency. he shouldn't because he went into a job intending to steal secrets. he promised, he signed a contract to keep those secrets. instead he stole them. he revealed them. after he did that or before he did that, he left the country instead of like i said sticking around to face the music. unlike, for example, daniel elsburg who allowed himself to be subjected to prosecution. while i think "the new york times" has been right, there's been some value in the public discussion and the revelations. that we will grant him clemency. wouldn't just be ridiculous to award snowden from being a fugitive from justice.
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it would encourage every other who thinks about spilling government -- >> that was the first reaction i had. what kind of a precedent do we set? now you're empowering everything who works in the intelligence field, the military, industrial complex. whatever you'd like to call it. if they perceive it as a constitutional violation, they can step forward, put everything on line. what of that risk? >> i'm concerned about the precedence that has already been set. let me say, i love ruth. i love her column. i admire her work. and this one was well argued. i just happen to disagree with it. i think that mr. snowden has done a favor for many people including president obama who didn't know a lot of things going on in his own nsa until snowden initiated the actions that led to the investigations that are currently going on. i think he should very carefully consider not just clemency but sending snowden a thank you note. >> ruth, to his point, where the president wasn't aware allegedly, reportedly that we were eavesdropping on foreign
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leaders. doesn't that speak to a program lacking in oversight and therefore he's done a public solid? >> well, absolutely it speaks to a program lacking in oversight. i think it is possible and i'm going to send love back at my friend and colleague clarence page -- >> thank you, ruth. >> but we're going to have a love fest here, but i think that you can hold two ideas in your head at once. that snowden did something that i think was really disreputable and dangerous to take this action on himself to decide what is fair and free and safe. and not dangerous to leak. and you can say that the nsa has been -- has done itself and the country a terrible disservice by not being as transparent as they could be about what they've been up to. by taking the capabilities that they have to help keep us safe. and exploiting them to maximum and ridiculous levels. for example, spying on foreign
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leaders. and it's completely clear that there's one more thing that the president has also failed to -- and folks at the white house have failed to -- >> a majority of americans agree he should face criminal charges. a poll asked if snowden should be charged with a crime for disclosing nsa secrets. 52% said yes. 38% opposed. i look at that data and say, you know, this is one of those rare issues where you have president george w. bush, president obama, the democrats who control the senate, and the vast majority of judicial opinions, not all of them, all upholding the programs he opposed. in the polar ieized times we li that's remarkable. >> i'd be surprised if it doesn't go to the supreme court because of the opposed opinions coming up from the lower courts.
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also public opinion can shift and is shifting. i have shifted my opinion, by the way. i think others will too when they separate the snowden case from the bradley manning case, if you will. who i think acted much more irresponsibly in releasing his or her information. and the question is do we want to just see snowden punished? or do we want to see the public properly informed about what its own government is doing. and protect whistle blowers. i think that snowden has exposed also how the whistle blowing laws have not been as effective as many hoped they would be. >> professor alan dershowitz was here with us last week. there were no constitutional protections that applied to the circumstances, for example, of angela merkel. and it's almost as if snowden was spiteful. he wasn't making a statement
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when he exposed that state secret. that's where he really went too far. wouldn't you agree with that? >> well, i think, again, this is something that the public ultimately should decide which is what snowden was saying before. we're living in a post-9/11 atmosphere now. many people aren't having second thoughts about what powers we gave through the patriots act and with advancing technology how the gathering of metadata is like tapping your phones in the country. we need to take a second look. and now president obama is doing that. >> this is to be continued. thank you both clarence page and ruth marcus. north korea finally has something that no north korean could afford to use. by the way, if you want to follow me on twitter, all you need to figure out is how to spell smerconish. this is "hardball," the place for politics. y of the dusty basement at 1406 35th street the old dining table at 25th and hoffman.
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...and the little room above the strip mall off roble avenue. ♪ this magic moment it is the story of where every great idea begins. and of those who believed they had the power to do more. dell is honored to be part of some of the world's great stories. that began much the same way ours did. in a little dorm room -- 2713. ♪ this magic moment ♪
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back to "hardball." now time for the sideshow. you are what you identity. but when it comes to alcoholic beverages, you are also likely to vote how you drink. a study done found your drink preference not only shows your ideology, but whether or not you're likely to show up at the
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polls. they charted over 50 major brands from left to right along the political spectrum with the vertical axis to voter turnout. the findest show that democrats are to prefer clear spirits like vodka or gin where republicans favor darker liquors like bourbon or scotch. and while wine drinkers span both side of the partisan divide, they're ranked as most likely to vote according to the turnout data. so what does this tell you about your own taste in alcohol and politics? check out our website to see the whole chart and tell us if it reflects your preferences on our poll. next up, it was one of the most sought after pieces of hardware for north korea. now after two years of searching, kim jong-un has finally acquired one. this time, however, it's not a wmd. it's a ski lift. the story goes that kim fell in
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love with the winter sport while at a swiss boarding school in the '90s. after assuming power, he made it a prerogative to create a ski resort in his own country. but no one was willing to sell him the lifts he required. when the neutral swiss government blocked a deal, kim called their decision a, quote, human rights abuse that discriminates against the koreans. talk about the pot calling the kettle black. photos released by the korean-central news agency showed the dictator got his hands on one which he claims is on the center of world attention he says. keep dreaming. up next, the satisfactory many on the right are conveniently dismissing. you're watching "hardball," the place for politics. . . i'm sorry, i'm just really reluctant to try new things. really? what's wrong with trying new things? look! mommy's new vacuum! (cat screech) you feel that in your muscles? i do...
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i'm craig melvin with breaking news. the first major winter storm of 2014 is covering parts of the midwest and northeast with up to a foot of snow.
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that means holiday travelers could be facing some heavy delays. chicago's o'hare airport has already canceled more than 300 flights. it looks like the boston area will bear the brunt of this thing. forecasters are predicting up to 14 inches of snow overnight and into tomorrow. stay with msnbc for updates on the storm's progress throughout the night. back to "hardball." ♪ welcome back to "hardball." from the moment of the deadly assault on the compound in benghazi, republicans claimed it was a well orchestrated attack by al qaeda that had nothing to do with an anti-islamic video. this week "the new york times" published the results of a major investigation into what happened september 11 of 2012 in benghazi, libya. they found there was no evidence that al qaeda or other international terrorist groups had any role in the assault.
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and, in fact, the assault on the embassy was fueled in large part by anger at an american-made video denigrating islam. supporters of the administration and of hillary clinton took the article as the final nail in the coffin for benghazi conspiracy theories. for many critics the only thing the article proved is "the new york times" is in the back pocket of hillary clinton. >> most people when they read the piece just assumed that "the new york times" was trying to clear the decks so hillary clinton wouldn't have to deal with benghazi in a potential presidential run. >> oh, heavens, no. that couldn't have possibly been their motivation? to support a democrat who's running for the white house? >> he's making it quite obvious the reason that "the times" invested all the effort and time in this and put on the front page is precisely a way to protect the democrats, to deflect the issue to protect hillary. it is obviously a political
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move. >> i don't know why they put it out unless it was for political reasons. this thing is eventually going to fall back on the state department when all the truth gets out there. we are not quite as used to this kind of political machine as the president and the clintons have. and so i think they're just laying the ground work, trying to absolve her from the lack of security that was sent over there. >> congressman mike rogers also said he found the timing odd. and in national review, elliot abrams wrote, the division of the hillary for president campaign known as "the new york times" issued a lengthy paper sunday entitled a deadly mix in benghazi. what is left in the arsenal for the right and will it really haunt hillary clinton if she runs in 2016? steve mcmahon is a strategist, john brabender is a republican strategist. john, i have my hard copy of
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"the times" here. it's nearly 8,000 words. i wonder how many of the individuals that we just saw in the montage actually took the time to read it. and i say that because my reading of "the times" shows how woefully unprotected ambassador stevens was on that date. i don't look at it as a whitewash of anything. how do you read it? >> that's a good point. it shows there was grave security risks that existed. and frankly the responsibility to that was with the secretary of state. so i think there's very big problems for hillary clinton in this report alone. but the real arrogance to me was the editorial that came out from the "new york times" saying, well, any rational person, this would be the end. even though this totally conflicts with what three "new york times" reporters had written before. what democrat and republican house intelligence members are saying. even part of the administration has said there could be al qaeda ties. and so i think this is remarkably arrogant by what looks to be a hillary clinton
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super pac for 2016. >> let me follow up on that. i have the editorial with me as well. "the times" said if mr. rogers has evidence of a direct al qaeda role, make it public. where's the beef? >> my understanding there is an investigation going on. second of all, in the "new york times" story, they basically say who they think is responsible. where's the administration going after the people who are responsible? what are they saying to the members of the family of these americans that died over there? >> hey, steve. i get calls on the radio to this day of people who will almost bark out benghazi as a rallying cry. i wonder, however, does this have legs beyond those outside of the hard core gop base? >> it has legs with the same people who are still harping about the president's birth certificate. this is the mirage that some republicans see very, very clearly. but when you get up close to it, it doesn't really exist. and i agree with you, michael. "the new york times" didn't completely exonerate the
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administration. they did say there were security lapses. they said there were indications that there could be problems. but they took a deeper look and they found what susan rice said at the very beginning had a great deal of truth to it. there was a video that was getting quite a bit of attention through the egyptian satellite television networks that are throughout that region, and it was getting critical attention and mobs were forming and they were angry. you know, it's possible -- and i think anybody who's being honest would have to acknowledge that it's possible that there is some other nefarious link here, but nobody can find it. and i got to tell you -- >> when i read "the times" piece on the 29th, i wrote in the margin of it perfect storm. it seems like it was the confluence of a variety of events. but not those we've been told for months on end. for months, conservatives have been promising benghazi would turn out to be something close to the endoing of the president. it was back in may that dick cheney had this to say. >> i think it's one of the worst
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incidents that, frankly, that i can recall of my career. and if they told the truth about benghazi that it was a terrorist attack by an al qaeda affiliated group, it would have been destroyed the false image of competence which was the basis of his re-election. they lied. . they didn't want to admit afs all about their incompetence. >> and congressman darrell issa accused it of lying to american people about what happened. >> the fact is we want this fact. we're entitled to the facts. the american people were lied to for a period of a month. b that's important to get write. >> i just want to be clear what you think the lie was. >> this was a terrorist attack from the get go. they were, in fact, covering up an easy attack that succeeded that was about -- was from the get go really about a terrorist
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attack. it was never about a video. >> and then this sunday issa was back on meet the press in the wake of "the times" story we're discussing. >> what we do know is september 11th was not an accident. these are terrorist groups. some of them linked to or self-claimed as al qaeda linked. >> you said repeatedly it was al qaeda. and the reason that matters is that you and other critics said the president won't acknowledge it's al qaeda because it's an election year. and he wants to say that after bin laden it's been decimated. it would make him look bad if it was al qaeda. >> al qaeda is not decimated. and there was a group there linked to al qaeda. >> i think the reason i was dubious of the conspiracy about this is i don't recall and didn't at the time that the president was thumping his chest saying we won the war of terror. i always found myself saying to what end would they cover this
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up. i think that's where the conspiracy fell apart. your thoughts? >> i think we have to be careful using the word conspiracy. there were failures. there were americans that died and lost their lives. we still don't have answers from this administration. we don't have anybody brought to justice. and we don't have dramatic changes taking place. somebody's got to be held responsible, accountable. and someone has to have hillary clinton tell us what happened and not the first story, not the second story, but the right story. >> steve mcmahon, for reasons i don't understand that the white house bungled this from a political standpoint if in fact the intelligence information came from the intelligence community and then susan rice repeated it when she was doing the rounds on the sunday shows. they should have said that from the get go. my recollection was it was almost 12 months later when finally that was confirmed. that she was talking about that. why didn't they put that story out immediately? >> i agree with you.
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and there were actually suggestions at the time that that was what she was doing but they wouldn't confirm it. it's hard to decide why. i got to go back to the dick cheney clip talking about an administration that doesn't tell the truth. it's one thing for darrell issa to be popping off. dick cheney is the guy who took us into iraq based on a lie that not only did they miss, they probably knew wasn't true. they sent colin powell out there. so, these things happen in that part of the world. probably a lot more often than anybody would like to acknowledge or admit. but they happen. and they probably prove that the enemy of my enemy isn't always my friend. the person who's suspected of doing this is somebody who was a -- wanted to overthrow -- he also hated imperialism and
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wanted to take out many erk. that part of the world and what we're doing there is something we ought to be asking questions about whether we can be effective there and whether this hunt for al qaeda which "the new york times" also suggests is now diverting us from other important national security considerations like doing the right thing in benghazi to protect the embassy. >> thank you. we appreciate your being here. we'll be right back. this is "hardball," the place for politics. welcome back. how is everything? there's nothing like being your own boss! and my customers are really liking your flat rate shipping. fedex one rate. really makes my life easier. maybe a promotion is in order. good news. i got a new title. and a raise? management couldn't make that happen. [ male announcer ] introducing fedex one rate. simple, flatipping with the reliability of fedex.
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if you're hoping that the 2014 midterm elections are going to create massive changes in the house, you might be disappointed. two decades ago when the republicans took over the house, there were 99 house districts that voted for one party in the presidential election and the other for congress. today there are just 26 such districts. put another way, 93% of republicans now in congress represent districts that were won by mitt romney. and 96% of democrats represent districts that were won by president obama. we'll be right back. [ indistinct conversations ]
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we're back. six months after russia passed harsh anti-gay laws, president obama has named three openly gay former olympic athletes to represent the u.s. at the games in sochi. the makeup of his group is to send a message to russia about our disapprovement of their actions against gays. boitano who has always maintained privacy when it came to his sexuality made a public decision on december 19 to come out of the closet after being named to the delegation. he released a statement saying, quote, i am many things. a son, a brother, an uncle, a friend, an athlete, a cook, and being gay is just one part of who i am. i am proud to live in a country
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that encourages diversity and tolerance. as an athlete i hope we can maintain focused on the olympic spirit. brian boitano joins me now. thank you for being here. vladimir putin and the russians in passing this anti-gay measure have essentially ensured we're about to see the most pro-gay olympics ever. >> i totally agree with you. it's been a very interesting journ journey. because so many people are jumping on board to speak out for tolerance and diversity. and that was as you read, that was the reason that it inspired me to come out. because i totally believe in the president's message. i wanted to represent the country in the best way i could. >> what is the back story of how you all were invited? did someone explain we want to send a message. you deserve it on the merits, but did they say we've asked the
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three of you together to be part of the delegation? >> no, the white house invited me to be on the delegation. when they vetted me which means they did the background check. i asked them who else was on the delegation. was on the delegation, and they said, we can't really tell you. and there had been no message from the president yet on what kind of message he was sending. and i was in europe skating. and the day after he was vetted, i read in the news, who else was on the delegation and also the message that the president was sending. and so, that's when i was like, wow, i need to step up to the plate here and this is going to be a monumental decision for me and, you know, coming, you know, sort of revealing this private side of my life that i've always kept to myself. >> you said recently that when you get over there, you'll need to be careful. how so? >> well, i think, you know, there's a fine line here. because you have to realize that you're in a country, as a
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visitor. i think that there are a number of reasons that you have to be careful. i mean, the recent incidents, you know, the bombing incidents, but i think that for us to go over there now and be as a team, you know, with billy jean and on the delegation and representing the country and the president and his message, i think that that speaks volumes. and i'm hoping and i see that other countries are taking that into consideration as well. you know, they're not sending, you know, their presidents over and they're not sending a delegation as well. so i think that it is speaking volumes by us standing up and saying that we come from a country of diverse people. >> the ioc has been quiet on the issue. is that a mistake? are you critical of their approach? >> no, i'm not critical of anyone's approach. i mean, everyone has to do what is right for them. i'm just glad that i'm part of the delegation that's not being quiet. and the usoc, you know, you
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never know what other types of things that they're trying to accomplish. so you can't really judge what they're doing. but i'm really glad that i'm on the side of the delegation and the president trying to support the message. >> just 30 seconds between us. when you come home, will you begin a new career of advocacy? >> you know, i am always -- i've always been a private person and i've kept that side of my life special to family and friends and people who know me really well and i intend to become, or to stay a private person, even though i'm an out gay person. i've just always been that way. it's never been something that i've been ashamed about, but it's been something that i've always, you know, that people who have known me, have always known. and i intend to continue to stay private. >> thank you very much, brian boitano. and by the way, best of luck with your new show coming out in january on the hgtv network. >> thank you very much, "brian
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boitano project." >> thank you so much. when we return, why a judge's decision about welfare recipients has angered a lot of people and why it makes a lot of sense. you're watching "hardball," the place for politics. ♪ ♪ ♪ oh are we early? [ male announcer ] commute your way with the bold, all-new nissan rogue. ♪ with the bold, all-new nissan rogue. stick with innovation. stick with power. stick with technology. get the new flexcare platinum from philips sonicare and save now. philips sonicare. isn't it time you discovered the sleep number bed? the only bed clinically proven to relieve back
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over the pizza place on chestnut street the modest first floor bedroom in tallinn, estonia and the southbound bus barreling down i-95. ♪ this magic moment it is the story of where every great idea begins. and of those who believed they had the power to do more. dell is honored to be part of some of the world's great stories. that began much the same way ours did. in a little dorm room -- 2713. ♪ this magic moment ♪
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let me finish tonight with this. earlier this week, a federal judge sitting in florida dealt a major setback to governor rick scott when she ruled that welfare recipients may not be subjected to mandatory drug testing. the case raises interesting
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privacy questions. the plaintiff was a man named louise lebron. he was named ineligible for benefits when he refused to undergo drug testing. the navy vet said he'd never used illegal drugs. people who fail the test are disqualified for one year, but that can be cut to six months if they receive treatment for substance abuse. well, u.s. judge mary skrichb says the testing requirement amounts to an unreasonable search and seizure. a spokesperson for governor scott says drug testing welfare recipients is a common sense way to ensure that welfare dollars are used appropriately. the drug testing policy is backed by many floridiafloridia. voters by a 71-27% margin favor the law. since the law the effect, 7,030 passed, 32 failed, and 1,597 did not provide results.
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that's according to the florida department of children and family records. the only other state to implement a similar drug-testing policy, michigan, had its law overturned in 2003, by a federal court. in her opinion, judge scrivin relied on nonbinding argument that had been provided by the eleventh circuit. here's what she wrote. "if the state were allowed to randomly drug test any population of individuals by simply showing evidence of addition proportionate drug use within that population, the state's exception would swallow the rule against warrantless, suspicionless drug testing. if a geographic population were shown statistically to have more prevalent drug use, would persons in the geographic footprint be subject to testing? if persons in an economic demographic could be shown to have a higher rate of drug use, would all such persons in that economic group be subjected to drug testing? even if such suspicionless testing as proposed by the state were limited to those persons receiving state funds, would college students receiving
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governmental assistance to subsidize their education be subjected to random, suspicionless drug testing if it can be shown that drug use is demonstrably higher among college students? the supreme court's fourth amendment precedent would suggest not. moreover, even if it were constitutionally palatable, no such showing of pervasive drug use among the florida tamp population has been made on this record." you know, i find it interesting that some who are otherwise quick to champion the constitution aren't willing to defend the fourth amendment rights of welfare recipients. this judge, an appointee of president george w. bush did just that. her opinion is not only consistent with the very similar michigan case on the same matter, but also uses the same logic, lack of individualized suspicion, that u.s. district judge richard leon in washington, d.c., used when he ruled that the nsa surveillance program is unconstitutional. i know this is difficult for politicians on both sides of the
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aisle, but you can't pick and choose which amendments you want to enforce, nor can you choose how you interpret any single amendment based on the underlying politics of a case. that's "hardball" for now. thank you for being with us. all in with chris hayes starts right now. good evening from new york and happy new year. i'm chris hayes. as a winter storm bears down on much of the country this evening, we begin with some very good news from the coldest place on earth. >> the first of the helicopters to take us home! >> thanks, everyone! >> this incredible rescue today of 52 scientists, journalists, and tourists, all part of a month-long research trip to study changes in antarctica's environment over the last hundred years, including what role global warming has played over that time period. because of a blizzard, their ship had been stuck in what is basically a sea of ice

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