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tv   Politics Nation  MSNBC  March 25, 2014 3:00pm-4:01pm PDT

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>> so it's just not here in new york. it's all over the country. that's "the ed show." i'm ed schultz. "politicsnation" with reverend al sharpton starts right now. good evening, rev. good evening, ed. and thanks to you for tuning in. tonight's lead, supreme showdown. the right wingers try again and again to tear down president obama's health care law. and today they're at it again. the supreme court heard arguments from two businesses whose owners don't want to comply with part of the affordable care act, saying it violates their religious beliefs to include certain forms of contraception in their employee's health plans. one of the businesses is hobby lobby. the country says religious
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freedom is the reason it should be able to not present it to employees. if companies can claim covering contraception is against their religious beliefs, what's next? could a company say serving gays is against its beliefs? or serving minorities? this case raises serious issues. but for republicans, it's a last-ditch effort to attack a law, a way to grandstand. and they ran to the cameras today. >> one thing that is very clear is that the act known as obama care is not fair. it's not fair to people all across the united states. >> religious freedom is under attack by the obama administration. >> it is outages how far we have gone away from the founding of the rights of this country. >> people of faith do not have a right to practice their faith. >> people have a right to practice their faith.
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but do corporations have the religious rights that individuals do? meantime, just look at how the health care law is already helping millions of americans. >> in 2009, retired small business owner scott trindle had a heart attack. >> shortly after that i had a notice they were going to cancel me as of the end of the next month. >> reporter: under the aca he is saving at least $100 a month. >> the old swoym have been barred from ever having health insurance. now i'm not. >> reporter: rodney hammond waited to sign up for obama care. but now he has gotten in under the march 31st deadline and has a subsidized plan for only $82 a month. >> for the first time in 20 years, dave can make a trip to the doctor. >> for the first time in my life, i'm covered. i can't tell you how good that feels. >> this law is making a huge difference. yet republicans refuse to accept it. they lost it in congress. they lost it the last time it
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went to the supreme court. and they lost it in the last election. today's fight is part of the same battle. joining me now are congresswoman jan schakowsky, who is outside of the supreme court today, and jeffrey rosen, professor at george washington law school and president and ceo of the national constitution center. thank you both for being here. >> thank you, reverend al. >> thank you, reverend. >> jeff, let me go to you first. this could be the defining case of the supreme court term. how unusual is what's being sought in this case? >> well, justice sotomayor said it's very unusual. she said name one case in which corporations have the same religious liberty rights as persons. and if the court rules broadly and extends the logic of
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citizens united saying corporations have the same speech rights and liberal rights, this could mean that religiously motivated corporations can claim exemptions from anti-discrimination laws. you mentioned gays and lesbians. yesterday the court delayed about whether to hear a case about whether a wedding photographer can refuse to photograph a gay wedding on religious grounds. so it could have very significant consequences. >> you know congresswoman justice elena kagan asked questions today that suggested the ruling for hobby lobby could set a dangerous precedent. she said, quote, i'm quoting the justice, so another employer comes in, and that employer says i have a religious objection to sex discrimination laws. and then another employer comes in. i have religious objections to minimum wage laws. and then another family leave and then another child labor
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laws. do you worry this would be a slippery slope? >> there is no question. and in its brief, the justice department argues that if employers can use their religious beliefs to choose which what laws that they will ebay, that it would be very hard for the government itself to function. and it seems to me, and maybe our lawyer can answer this, the amish went to the supreme court because they don't believe under their religious beliefs in social security. and the decision was that they had to pay into social security. they could not choose for their employees not to contribute. >> and, you know, jeff, when she raises that point about the amish and others, i think that it is confusing a lot of people. how could the religious beliefs of the owners of a company affect their employees? >> well, that's precisely the question that justice kennedy asked at the argument. he seemed concerned that the rights of the employer could trump that of the employee. and of course he is the swing vote in this case. on the other hand, justice
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kennedy was also concerned. does this mean the government could force a religious employer to cover abortion? and he didn't like that prospect either. so essentially, the truth is that all the previous cases that have recognized religious rights of for-profit corporations like jewish store owners who don't have to sell on the sabbath were individuals. and the stretch here is the claim that the corporate form itself has religious rights. the court could rule on that narrowly and say just this small corporation, the arts and crafts hobby lob where is allowed to bring the suit, but we're going to save for another day whether all corporations are allowed to sue. the consequences could be the very ones that the congresswoman suggested. >> congresswoman, some say this is really about women's health. in fact, the president of the national women's law centers told npr, quote, for an employer to say i will cover all the basic essential health needs for
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men, but i am picking and choosing for women. and i am simply going to take out contraception or specific forms of medically approved contraception. it is sex discrimination. what is your response to that? >> there is no question about it. the signs that were in front of the supreme court today "not my boss' business clothe and "we're the 99%", of course, 99% of women during their reproductive years use contraceptive. but these women employees have contributed just as much as the men have to what is part of their compensation package. that's their insurance. and now we're saying that the employer can go into that and pick out what he doesn't want to do and claim religious beliefs for the 13,000 employees of hobby lobby. and 100 other companies that have also filed cases under the the same rule, under the same principle about religious
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beliefs. >> jeff, let me go back to you. you mentioned kennedy is the swing vote here. give me what this court looks like. it seemed very divided in the debate and in the questioning today. and clearly, this decision, where they go has real serious, real serious implications. i mean, we joked about governor romney talking about corporations of people last year. but that's retail today. that is exactly what is being argued in front of the supreme court and could happen. >> well, this is really the convergence of two of the most controversial cases recently, citizens united which said corporations are people, and the health care case, which upheld health care on to the grounds chief justice roberts decided that the mandate was a tax, not a penalty. there was one funny moment in the courtroom today when justice sotomayor said well, the corporations don't have to provide the coverage. they could just pay a penalty, the tax. and chief roberts said she is
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right about that. and everyone laughed. and it was the same lawyers, general verelli and paul who had argued the obama care case. >> those are the same lawyers, i want to push a little there. that was a little surreal. was that unusual? >> talk about a constitutional rematch. it's a small group of lawyers that tend to argue before the court. and the solicitor general always represents the government. but it highlighted the drama. justice kennedy lost the affordable care act case where he wanted to strike down. he won citizens united. and it was so dramatic to watch him have to decide how far does he want to take that principle. does he really want to use the first amendment to drive a stake into the heart of anti-discrimination laws and all other sorts of neutral laws that we'll have become to depend on.
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>> congresswoman, some of the toughst questions were asked by the women on the court today. they really asked some very tough questions. >> they take it personally. they understand the importance of contraception in their own lives and what it meant. and by the way, this is for men as well. we talk about contraception as family planning for a good reason. taking that right away from women to control their bodies and to follow the prescriptions that were given by their doctors for the most effective form of contraception really is discrimination against women and bad for families in our country. >> jeff, you have a great sense of the court. you study these things. can you call this one? is this too close to call? >> you know, i'm not going to -- i'm not going to call it. but i think chief justice roberts is going to try to go narrow. and he signaled that he wanted to do that.
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and justice brier signaled he might be open to that. yes, this hobby lobby can bring the suit but others can't. justice kennedy insisted on writing a broad opinion saying corporations aren't people and roberts had to go along. it's going to come down to roberts once again. and we'll see whether or not he can rein in kennedy. >> well, we'll know in june. and hopefully we'll see the right thing done. and of course all of us have our own idea what the right thing is. congresswoman jan schakowsky and jeff rosen, thank you both for your time tonight. >> thank you, reverend al. >> thank you very much. coming up, he said he would take down president obama. he is jim demint. the senator turned tea party power broker. but now someone is ready to take him on. the fight coming to jim demint. that's next. plus, it happened again. another day, another right wing mistruth trashing the affordable
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care act. we bring the facts, ahead. and donald rumsfeld says a, quote, trained ape would be better at foreign policy than president obama. i'll have a lot to say on this. and a new development in the case of the pregnant mom who drove her kids into the ocean. does she belong in isolation or a mental hospital? stay with us. it's a growing trend in business: do more with less with less energy. hp is helping ups do just that. soon, the world's most intelligent servers, designed by hp, will give ups over twice the performance, using forty percent less energy. multiply that across over a thousand locations, and they'll provide the same benefit to the environment as over 60,000 trees. that's a trend we can all get behind.
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up next, former senator jim demint vowed to break president obama. it didn't work then, but he is still trying. but now our next guest is calling him out and taking him on. that's next. ups is a global company, but most of our employees
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the fight over minimum wage is raging in america, and today some staggering new numbers. across the country, minimum wage workers are struggling to make rent. in minnesota, minimum wage employees have to work an average of 91 hours a week to afford rent. in texas, it's 93 hours a week. in virginia, 115 hours. and in maryland, it's 138 hours. there is something wrong with this picture. but democrats in washington are fighting to change it. today senators talked about how women will be impacted by raising the minimum wage, and
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they introduced a texas mother who shared her story. >> there have been times when have i had to enroll myself in s.n.a.p., w.i.c.k., those kind of food stamps. i've had to go to a local shelter. i've had my lights turned off. i've had to go without a phone because i know that my rent and car were more important. have i missed every christmas, every thanksgiving, every halloween and every new year's with my daughter. i dread the day when she looks at herself and wonders why mommy is never there. how am i going to pay my bills should not be a question i have to ask myself every single day. >> she is right. and this is where the policy comes in. because republican leaders in the house refuse to even allow a vote on raising the minimum wage. it's the same republican congress that won't extend unemployment insurance. it voted to slash food stamps. they have put an ax to the
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safety nets every time they could. and leading them along the way is tea party power broker jim demint. the former senator turned heritage foundation president who once said he would do away with the federal minimum wage entirely. his group has been vehemently opposed to the democrats' minimum wage proposal. but now someone is calling him out and challenging him to a fight. the afl-cio richard trumka has written a letter to mr. demint asking him to participate in a public forum on the minimum wage, a one-on-one, no holds barred. public debate on minimum wage. now that's something i want to see. joining me now is richard trumka, president of the afl-cio. thanks for being here tonight. >> al, thanks for having me on. i really appreciate it. >> you've said that you would debate mr. demint any time, any
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place. has he responded? >> he has declined to debate us. and it could be for a lot of reasons why. maybe he doesn't feel comfortable defending his position on repealing the minimum wage. maybe he doesn't want to talk about what america would look like with no minimum wage at all. maybe because it's a no-win situation for demint and heritage because their claim at raising the minimum wage would kill jobs just isn't supported by the facts. we've done it 37 times. we haven't lost jobs yet. so we believe whatever the reason, we believe that we ought to have an honest debate so that the american public can benefit from it and decide. and we're ready to have that debate. >> richard, you said that we raised the minimum wage 37 times and we never lost jobs when we raised the minimum wage? >> that's absolutely correct, al. 37 times. we haven't lost jobs yet. and every time they use the same old argument, if you raise the minimum wage, we'll lose jobs.
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look, if the minimum wage had kept pace with inflation right now, it would be 1079. if it had kept pace with productivity, it would be 1867. if it had kept pace with the top 1%, it would be $28.75. work shouldn't trap people in poverty. should it raise them out of poverty so they don't have to rely on federal assistance. but right now millions of people go to work every single day. they work hard just like the lady that was on before me. and they still live in poverty. they can't make it. it's time that we raised the minimum wage and honor work, not continue to let people languish like we have been. >> why did you go after jim demint? why did you challenge him directly to a one-on-one with you? >> because they're the heart beat of the conservative side. i mean they -- first the koch brothers come out and say we want to repeal the minimum wage. and heritage follows them after
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getting $3.5 million in donations from koch. they say we want to repeal the minimum wage. we say increase the minimum wage. they say repeal the minimum wage. let's have a debate, and let america decide which is best. i think i know where people will decide. they'll say let's increase the minimum wage. let's bring it up so where people can actually work hard and they can live out of poverty. that's what we want to do. i hope he'll come out and debate us. >> i often say we can have our different opinions. we can't have different facts. maybe that's what they're afraid of. they don't want to admit raising the minimum wage will help reduce poverty. listen to this. >> when you raise the price of unemployment, guess what happens? you get less of it. >> a minimum wage law, as good as it may sound at the outset is not the way to do it. >> i don't think raising minimum wage, and history is very clear about this, doesn't actually accomplish those goals. >> it's bad policy. and it will hurt the very people the president purports to want
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to help. >> now, you represent millions of workers literally, richard. how do you deal with that kind of opposition in washington? >> look, right now the american public strongly supports a minimum wage increase. democrats do. independents do. even republicans do. small business does. large business does. the religious community does. the progressive community does. everybody supports it except a couple of small groups. heritage and demint for one. and they're doing the bidding of the koch brothers. and then the hospitality industry. because one thing we didn't talk about yet al is the tip wage. it's $2.13 an hour. it hasn't been increased since 1991. and 77% of the people who get tipped wages are women. it will bring women out of poverty. it will do a lot. well ought to bring it up to the minimum wage so that when people work, everybody gets the same
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minimum wage. and they index it for inflation. that's what they need to do in this country. >> this is very serious. thank you so much, richard trumka, for being on the show. and the people in this country support this. 90% of democrats, 71% of independents. 53% of republicans all support the minimum wage. yes, jim demint needs to face you head-on and deal with the facts, deal with these issues if he has an argument while you're running from it. in fact, i tell you what, richard trumka. if he will debate, he can do it right on this show, anywhere, any time he wants. we'll be there. i'll even shut up and let y'all do all the talking. but we need the american people to be dealt with straight on this. >> i'm ready, willing and able to have that debate. i hope he comes out of the shadows and defend his position of repealing the minimum wage completely. >> and i hope we can bring the minimum wage that ought to be in
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my opinion raised out of the shadows of some washington back room partisan kind of situation. coming up -- thank you, richard. coming up, another day, another misleading right-wing ad against the president's health care law. it's a history of distortion, and we're exposing it. plus, donald rumsfeld compares president obama to a, quote, trained ape? and it looks like scott brown is ready to run in new hampshire. and he is already in top campaign form, putting his foot in his mouth. tonight's got you is next.
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announced, but he has formed an exploratory committee to run for senate in new hampshire. he is makie ing speeches slammi the affordable care act and changing his permanent address to his vacation home in new hampshire. but over the weekend, he hit a local new hampshire diner and a voter criticized him for not being a new hampshire person. and here was the former senator's reaction. and, yes, this is an exact quote. "do i have the best credentials? probably not because, you know, whatever. but i have a long and strong ties to this state." of course, you know "whatever." that's his response? but it also reminded me of his hall of fame tweet from last year. remember that late night twitter fight that he got in, and he
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wrote, bq-- here is how he responded weeks after. >> anyone ever hear of a pocket tweet? a pocket dial? it's pretty simple. have i an iphone 5. where is it? if anyone has an iphone 5, the keys are small. it's very, very sensitive. was teaching me how you can get on facebook and twitter. and there were some areas i didn't really understand. >> so you're saying it was just a mistake? >> well, what else would it be? i'm randomly pushing numbers and putting it out there? >> pocket tweet. love it. but did he think we wouldn't notice his whatever campaign in new hampshire? nice try but whatever, because we gotcha.
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enroll in president obama's health care law, and the right wing continues to distort the facts. today the koch brothers backed americans for prosperity group released this misleading ad. >> people don't like political ads. i don't like them either. but health care isn't about politics. it's about people. and millions of people have lost their health insurance. millions of people can't see their own doctors, and millions are paying more and getting less. obamacare doesn't work. it just doesn't work. >> no, what doesn't work are the claims this ad makes. now airing these ads in several states. the "washington post" glen kessler shows how it's just not true. in fact, there has been an increase in the number of people with insurance. and millions more are actually paying less and getting more. but here is what is so maddening about it. this is a pattern. it's a repeated history of
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distortion. this michigan ad featured a woman battling cancer, saying her insurance was canceled under obamacare and she could no longer afford health care. except "the washington post" found she had a new health plan and her monthly premiums were actually cut in half. then there was this ad featuring a woman in arkansas who says her plan was canceled. but "the wall street journal" pointed out that no arkansas residents have had their plans canceled due to the health care law. this appears to be a coordinated effort of distortion from the start from death panels to job killers to rationing. all not true. it's one thing to push a political agenda. but it's another one entirely to repeatedly distort the facts. joining me now are angela rye and jimy williams. thanks for being here. >> thank you.
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>> angela, we've seen political ads behind a lot of beliefs, and we've seen them bend the truth. but how far is too far when you're dealing with health care? >> well, rev, too far was 54 votes ago four years ago in the house of jokers -- i mean the house of representatives, of course. i think that now we have folks like those who run americans for prosperity, which is exactly what their name says. they are for prosperity by any means necessary and at all costs. so you have people who now have health coverage that actually covers something, that now actually can see doctors and specialists without referrals, that can ensure that they can live and live more abundantly in this country. and the fact that they are pulling these people for whatever reason, perhaps because of their own prejudices about the president, or whatever else, their own ignorance about the law and they're putting them on air and they're not telling the truth. it's really unfortunate. and in spite of all of this
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opposition, four years' worth, the president hasn't been able to see at least five million people in this country covered, although we have a long way to go with 317 million people in this country, we're still fighting. and i think people need to continue to get covered. >> you know, jimmy, this distortion, they seem to get fact checked over and over again. they just ignore it and keep distorting the facts. >> right. take a look at the tampa bay times and politifact. i think they have looked at 13 different ads over the last three or four years by americans for prosperity. of those, none were rated true. none were rated mostly true. and only two were rated half true. all the rest were false or mostly false or outright lies. that's a pretty bad track record. you to get into the minds of republicans to understand exactly how they think there is a big difference between republicans and democrats. i don't mean necessarily in their i'd oshlgs i mean how they look at the world of governing and the politics. republicans transact. democrats feel. remember, bill clinton said i
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feel your pain. we care about kids who were sitting in poverty. we try to do something about it. republicans don't think that way. they transact their way into any kind of political situation. so it doesn't matter if the koch brothers actually belief anything that they say. clearly they don't. because if that's the case, they can only believe lies. the problem here is that we have to start on the left and in the mmd. independents in this country have got to start shouting louder than the lies that are being told by the republicans. if we don't do that, we have no one else to blame but ourselves. truth will always prevail, but not unless we go out and shout it out to the rooftops everywhere across the country. and that's with we have to do. >> but shouting out louder, angela, the problem is these right wing groups have a lot of money behind them. >> that's right. >> take a look at this. since january of last year, americans for prosperity has averaged over 1600 ads in nine u.s. senate races. that's more than two times the
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total number of spots as the democratic group senate majority. angela, they have a lot of power. how do you combat these groups and their misinformation? how do you scream loud fer you do not have the money to amplify it? >> not only the money, but the bullhorns. if you're shouting from the rooftops with no microphone or bullhorn, you're eventually going get hoarse. they will do anything to try to win the senate majority. i know a lot of us saw nate silver's prediction. i don't know how we combat people who are not playing a fair game. they're not playing with facts here. it's something we have talked about ad nauseam on this network. the message is getting out, it's clear and precise and honest. that's the only way we can combat a lie. >> you know, at the heart of all of this, jimmy, is the affordable care act itself. >> right. >> it goes back to what you say about those that feel for
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people. because it's helping millions of americans. that's what is so disturbing to me. more than five million americans have signed up. three million young adults have gained insurance under their parents' plans. it's saved 8 million seniors $10 billion in prescription costs. and now 20 million americans with preexisting conditions can't be denied coverage. i mean, this isn't about politics. it's about people's lives. >> right. and i'm one of those 120 million people who didn't have health insurance before because of a preexisting condition. now i do. and by the way, when my cobra ran out, my premiums are half what they were under what i was playing for cobra. listen, i worked in the senate from 1997 to 2003. we had something back then call the patients bill of rights. we would offer it up on the floor all the time. the republicans would vote it down. they would never offer their own plan, not once. from 1997 when i worked in the senate until now, if someone
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could please find me a single gop or republican-introduced bill, just introduce anything. it could be one word. i don't care what it is. but they keep talk about their plan is coming there is nothing there. there is no there, there. we have to show that they're not for anything. if we're for something, we've got to be there there are stories to be told that are good stories that aren't lies like americans for prosperity. >> you're absolutely right. because i travel all over the country, as you know. >> right. >> and i see it everywhere i go. >> absolutely. >> angela rye, jimy williams, thank you both for your time tonight. >> thank you, rev. >> and this note. we asked americans for prosperity for comment. they didn't address the accuracy of the ads, but said democrats, quote, simply wish away the bad news about obamacare, and that is the law is, quote, wreaking havoc on the lives of millions of americans. so pretty much the same old
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story. coming up, donald rumsfeld compares president obama to a, quote, trained ape, and some on the right are bashing the first lady's good will tour of china, but we're talking a tour of our own, back to the bush presidency. that's next. we need it right away! we cannot let the fans down. don't worry! the united states postal service will get it there on time with priority mail flat rate shipping.
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think for a second. who are the last people who should be criticizing the president's policy on afghanistan? yep, members of the bush administration. yet that's exactly what former defense secretary donald rumsfeld just did. >> our relationship with karzai and with afghanistan was absolutely first-rate in the bush administration. it has gone downhill like a toboggan ever since the obama administration came in. a trained ape could get a status of forces agreement. it does not take a jeansious. and we have been so mismanaged that relationship, i think the united states diplomacy has been so bad so, embarrassingly bad. >> a trained ape? he of all people should be talking. and since when does he care about diplomacy? isn't he the man who said this. >> i shouldn't get into this is
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diplomacy and i don't do diplomacy. you may have noticed. >> oh, we did notice that the bush administration didn't do diplomacy. and that's why it's so shamelessly hypocritical to attack the president's diplomacy. sadly, it's the same hypocrisy we keep seeing from the right. they've attacked the first lady's trip to china, but was silent under first lady laura bush. they blasted the president's vacation, but where were they when president george w. bush was at the ranch in crawford? it's a double standard, or should i say, a w. standard. joining me now are richard wolffe and goldie taylor. thank you both for coming on the show tonight. >> thanks, reverend. >> thank you, reverend. >> richard, you covered the bush administration. of all people to criticize
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president obama's strategy in afghanistan, why donald rumsfeld? >> well, let's just be clear. for a start, if he is suggesting the president is a trained ape or should be a trained ape, he is clearly an untrained ape when it comes to afghanistan. there is a guy who made a big deal out of the friendship. well won pervez musharraf. remember him? he was the general who was ousted from power in pakistan. that's the big source of friction with karzai. you know, what happened is their big buddy in pakistan was helping the very people, al qaeda, bin laden, himself sheltering bin laden, all the while while he was saying we're the best of friends. bush and musharraf were the best of friends. so they read that wrong then. they didn't get the diplomacy right. they didn't get the security right. when you think about it, when you put the whole diplomacy in context between vladimir putin, the man who looked in his soul and saw a friend there and pervez musharraf, you have a group of people who have no
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legitimacy whatsoever here. >> and he is saying, goldie, that a trained ape would be better, or could do better, or something of that sort. but the right wing blog breitbart is attacking the president today for going on more overseas trips than president bush, than former president bush. they're treating it like a scandal. the only thing that there is barely any difference in the time the two presidents have spent overseas. president george w. bush has spent 116 days abroad at this point in his presidency. president barack obama has spent 119 days, three days doesn't seem like a huge difference to me. certainly not a scandal, goldie. >> well, it certainly isn't, especially when you a president like this one who is more interested in diplomacy than bombs. so i think that is really the difference between the two presidents. the last president was willing to wage war in many places like
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iraq where maybe we should not have been. and so to take this president and compare him with the last in terms of overseas trips, in terms of where he goes, in terms of working reform policy and moving our diplomacy ahead i think really is unfortunate. on the other side of this thing, to have someone like donald rumsfeld use something like, you know, a trained ape as a metaphor, it seems to be something donald rumsfeld likes to say. he said it two or three times publicly over the last 15 years. i don't think necessarily that phrase is something he said as a racial term. but giving the context, given the sensitivities around this presidency, given what is happening out there, you know, in the public discourse around, this i think donald rumsfeld ought to be more careful in his choice of words around this president. >> whether it's a comparison or metaphor, whatever, it is still outrageous. >> absolutely. >> but let me go back to something, because you covered
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the bush years as well, richard. the right continues to attack the first lady for her good will trip to china. take a listen. >> michelle, she is now playing ping-pong, that's right, ping-pong, on taxpayer-funded vacation in china right now. >> the obama ladies having a grand old time. i hope they're enjoying themselves because you are paying a fortune for this. >> we don't know what is being exchanged. and we don't know what is being brought back. you know, cultural exchange works both ways. i mean, are they going to leave michelle's mom in china as part of the exchange? >> it's not the money. it's very easy to spend other people's money. it's not their money. >> they seem so out of touch. >> i mean, this is unbelievable. the first lady and her daughters and her mother. i mean, there is no regard for
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anything here. where was the outrage when laura bush took her daughters to europe? i mean, with many of us that adamantly, vehemently disagreed with george bush, we never attacked laura bush and her daughters. they're not only attacking mrs. obama and her daughters, but her mother? i mean, is there any level of decency in this political discourse? >> maybe they're not clued in to how diplomacy works. but let me tell you. i traveled on bush white house trips. i traveled on these cultural visits that laura bush would do to these foreign countries, and she would get more coverage than her husband would. it was valuable to this country. the chinese understand this too. they are building relationships and building influence. that's the power of -- soft power of those kinds of cultural exchanges. you can pooh-pooh it. you can say it's stupid. it's actually a good use of money in terms of what the white house has to do. and, you know, i understand that
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they hate everything this president does. they're going to like it when it's a republican first lady who is doing it. they'll see it's valuable and it promotes american interests. but why would they be sensitive about this kind of thing? donald rumsfeld wasn't sensitive about iraqi civilians dying. the right wing echo chamber isn't sensitive with anything to do with a this first family. anyone serious about foreign policy knows this kind of sensitivity is what really pays dividends going down the road. >> but, you know, goldie, i think there is absolutely -- i agree with richard. you don't think taxpayers should be paying for the trip which is ludicrous. we've done that with other first ladies and the country benefits from this. even in a sarcastic way are we going to exchange and leave her mother, to me there is a boundary of decency that you have when you're talking about the first family in a country or any family. and that's what i'm so outraged about.
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>> you know, reverend, in these drm environments, i don't know that there are boundaries anymore. i don't know there are any boundaries when it comes to this president. two things are really at play here. first, we are living in a time when people are looking at their government and they're looking at spending and they're wanting us to do more with less. and so to use the president and his foreign diplomacy or use the first lady's travel and the family's travel as a weaponized stat sort of goes along with politics, so it's to be expected. but to do it in this way, to do it with this president and this first family is almost to say as if they don't deserve to represent us, that something about them says they should not travel abroad on our behalf, or they should not make use of a government airplane, or that we should not fund this. so there is something, something about this president that they find different than all others. >> richard wolffe and goldie taylor, thanks for your time. i'm going have to leave it there. >> thanks, reverend. >> thank you. up next, the case of the
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pregnant mother who drove her van into the ocean with her children inside there is a judge ruling today. plus, 49 years ago, dr. king taught us all a powerful lesson. today it rings true now more than ever. stay with us. this is the first power plant in the country to combine solar and natural gas at the same location. during the day, we generate as much electricity as we can using solar. at night and when it's cloudy, we use more natural gas. this ensures we can produce clean electricity whenever our customers need it. ♪
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a judge ruled today that the
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pregnant mother accused of trying to kill her three children by driving her minivan into the ocean will be allowed to stay at a mental health facility until she can return to jail. three weeks ago she drove her van into the ocean in daytona beach, florida, her three children inside. she told police she was trying to get away from her abusive husband. bystanders ran to help, and thankfully all three children were pulled safely from the car. one of the children later told police mom tried to kill us. last week wilkerson's lawyers tried to get her $1.2 million bond reduced, but prosecutors argued she is a danger to the community. today the defense and prosecution agreed to drop the motion and leave the bond in place. in return, wilkerson will move out of an isolation unit and
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into a psychiatric unit where she can go to group therapy sessions, get prenatal care, and exercise with supervision. wilkerson faces charges of attempted murder and child abuse. we'll continue to follow this story. so our business can be on at&t's network for $175 a month?
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finally tonight, honoring the past. 49 years ago today, reverend dr. martin luther king jr. led 25,000 people on their final stretch of their historic pilgrimage from selma to montgomery, alabama. the goal was equal voting rights. and on that day, dr. king called it a shining moment. >> i know you're asking today how long will it take. somebody is asking how long will presidents blind the visions of men. how long? not long, because no lie with live forever. how long?
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not long. because the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice. >> today the fight guess on for voter rights, for gay rights, for immigration rights. and today we remember these images. we remember how dr. king and so many others march peacefully hand in hand. we must continue that fight. thanks for watching. i'm al sharpton. "hardball" starts right now. the mystery returns. let's play "hardball." >> good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. let me start tonight with this. it's not over. i pick up the newspaper this morning thinking the mystery of flight 370 is dead and it comes screaming back to life again. somebody, some human being did something here. all this talk yesterday about some catastrophicnt

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