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tv   NOW With Alex Wagner  MSNBC  March 26, 2012 12:00pm-1:00pm EDT

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tickets available to the general public today and every day and that there are people lining up days in advance to get in, that millions have been spent by both sides to steer this debate one way or the other and that 136 organizations, which is a record, have filed amicus briefs. tell us about the mood inside the courtroom and what went down. >> today was kind of the dress rehearsal for the big day, which is tomorrow on the central question in this case, which is can all americans be forced to buy health insurance or is that beyond what will congress can command them to do. before they could ask, get to that, the court home run a sort of introductory question which is can they even hear this lawsuit now or have to wait till the insurance mandate kicks in in 2014 and do you at parties is have to come back to the supreme court in two or three years from now. it seems the answer to that question is no, that the court says this case can go ahead now. and here's the reason. this issue was 150-year-old federal law sa says you cannot
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challenge a federal tax before it goes into effect. now, what does that have to do with the health care law? the answer is this. if you don't get insurance, there is a penalty. you pay a penalty if you don't buy insurance. you pay the penalty to the irs. on your tax form, based on your income. and several of the courts below said you know, that's a tax. so this is a tax law. you can't hear it now. but i think the answer is, that's not going to be an issue for the supreme court. i didn't count a single justice hots spoke up today who seemed to think that this law is a tax. so they're going to go ahead, they're going to answer the rest of the issues when they get to them on tuesday and wednesday. >> and pete, we know there have been a lot of rallies and protests. rick santorum shedding over there later today. what's the mood outside the courthouse? >> they're two different countries. outside the courthouse is very different than inside. some of the justices are maybe dimly aware of what's going on out here. the justices enter the building on the other side from where all
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this is. some of them have chambers that look out down here so they see it. but i suspect many of them are blissfully unaware of what's going on out here. and that's true whenever we have a big case like this. so you don't feel any of that reflection inside the courtroom except for the fact that it's also jammed with lawyers in there and also members of congress and people who are very interested in how the supreme court's going to rule. but outside, you know, it's fairly typical for a big case. we don't see the this except every couple of years was people from both sides who have their own strong views about how they hope the court will resolve this. >> pete williams, thank you for the intel. we look forward to speaking with you later in the week as the proceedings continue. i want to open this up to all of you folks. ari, you are a lawyer by train. talk about the health care law. there are three days of oral arguments. that's a big deal, six hours of oral arguments. that's somewhat unprecedented. how do we think the court is going to go on this? >> i think it is very unusual
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for the court to schedule this much time. that's why today's proceeding was a bit perfunctory because we have the sense from four more hours of scheduled arguments they are going to reach the merits and not get around this, for example, by jurisdiction by saying we can't deal with this or we'll deal with it in two years. to your question, what are they going to do? i think it is very likely that this court is going to have a lopsided vote in favor of upholding this law. i think chief justice roberts if he sees that the court is likely to uphold it may join the majority in order to assign the opinion, perhaps write the opinion and perhaps dictate the opinion in a way that reaches other goals. that's the last thing i'll say about this. there is an ongoing fight in the court about how national congress can legislate. a lot of that relates to commerce. we've seen statutes like the violence against women knocked down for being too national and not tied enough to commerce. but even by that sort of somewhat retro grade view, the health care market, this is
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commerce. this is big-time money spending. >> yes, it is. >> commerce. so the idea that you're going to get a commerce clause narrowing on this case i think, and what do i know because i'm not a clerk on the court and i'm not in the sfloom but you're talking. >> but ari is on cable tv he's going to predict. >> there is a lot of analysis about this. we cannot predict what any of the justices are going to do. i want to read a clip by robert barnes. roberts as in chief justice roberts is protective of the court's reputation and sensitive to the perception that its decisions are politicized. there's also the question of justice kennedy, the swing vote. talking about america and americans and where they are on this. there's new polls out. a "new york times"/cbs poll released today, 36% of americans
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approve of the health care law, 47% disapprove. a kaiser family foundation poll released this month asking the american public as far as the individual mandate, should the supreme court, how should the supreme court rule, 51% of the country says it's unconstitutional, 28% says it's constitutional. i personal liam not confident at all that the american public knows what's in the law or how contingent it is on the individual mandate. >> nor do they know what's in the u.s. constitution. that's another issue. >> 24% of people think this has already been overturned by the supreme court. there's a vast amount of misunderstanding due in part to the messaging of the democrats trying to get this through. it became so bogged down in politics and very ugly politics, that it was derailed from the message that the democrats were trying to send. with this going to the court right now in an election year, this is opening up that entire can of worms all over again. that was one of the most con
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tenuous moments in congress i've ever seen. >> unlike 2010 where there was a lot of backing off, didn't hear health care talked about, on the obama campaign's website today is a t-shirt for sale that will says health reform still a bfd. and also i like obama care. >> where has that been for the last two years? >> people have -- team obama has not been selling those. they are doubling down on this. >> no doubt about it. it was a kaiser permanente poll or kaiser poll? what's interesting, when you look at these polls, i think about issues as ar sy talked about, big commerce on one hand, should the supreme court step in. did we expect them to go no, this is something we shouldn't have rule on, of course they're going to rule on it. ari's point about the perception of the supreme court with all due respect, i think that obama is responding to people assaulting him like he's doing
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everything but dismantling baby jesus and the manger by dismantling health care when you poll african-american people and others left out of the process whose mothers had to use a emergency ward as a resort to time care, by the time they get their issues is dealt with, they're on the losing end. those people are very high in their support and i think the court is going to reflect some of the con tenuous debate. i think they'll try to surprise us by being reasonable if their judgment. i think they'll uphold it. >> no doubt is the debate will continue for the next three days and very well into the summer. coming up, unhinged and desperate. that was the romney campaign's characteristicization of rick santorum after he lost his cool with a "new york times" reporter. we'll take a look at this exciting new phase next on. now." [ male announcer ] this one goes out to all the allergy muddlers.
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vote for barack obama. are you kidding me? he is the worst republican in the country to put up against barack obama. >> quit distorting our words. if i see it, it's [ bleep ]. come on, man. what are you doing? >> if you haven't cursed out a "new york times" reporter during the course of a campaign, you're not really a real republican is the way i look at it. >> well, you might think rick santorum would still be celebrating his big win in louisiana. steady eddie seems to be in the throes of a tantorum. john, i go to you first with this. romney's campaign has responded to santorum saying his campaign is unhinged.
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is he a man on the verge of a nervous breakdown? >> blah, blah, blah. the thing best about this story is jeb from "the new york times" asking this question. he provoked a similar response from barack obama when he asked a question whether someone was getting inside obama's head. and not long soog asked newt gingrich by asking it was a problem that mitt romney is inside of newt gingrich's head. look, rick santorum is, you know, there's a strategic purpose to this. he basically admitted it just now on fox. it is good business to attack "the new york times" if you're a conservative candidate, and a candidate who needs money. he sent out an e-mail within 15 minutes after the attack, it's out there. he's trying to raise money. it works. people hate "the new york times" in the republican party. >> i don't know, because this weekend and we talked about this a little bit on saturday night during the louisiana primary coverage, the santorum campaign released their obamaville ad which i think, and i don't know
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if other people agree with me, crossed the line. it went so far as to be actually factually inappropriate. i want to show images. there are cross cuts between the president's face and ahmadinejad's face. there is the suggestion of suicide over gas prices with a gas nozzle being held to the head of someone in the ad. and i think if you talk about the road forward and where rick santorum goes from here, assuming he doesn't get the nomination, you know, governor ed rendell said this does not make an effective case that he should be on the national stage and get an aappointment or another high profile gig post race. >> there are so many other places that rick santorum could be going right now, so many other attacks he could be leveling against mitt romney and barack obama. it's totally unnecessary. i do think it reduces his stock among other republicans. even if he did g this brokered convention and made it to the convention, you have to still convince people you're a realistic candidate, somebody who can be trusted to lead the party then. i don't think that this says
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this. this says i am a little unhinged. i do want to agree with john quickly. i think "the new york times" attack newt gingrich has run an entire campaign attacking the media. that's what republicans love. >> newt gingrich does it with a fancy vocabulary and a glint in his eye. you look at risk santorum's eyes are sort of bugging out of his head. he's using profanity, this is from the family values candidate. >> it's the politics of adolescents. rick santorum, look, you've got momentum and won louisiana and you would think you could look more presidential. somebody on the pr team said look, you don't want to undercut yourself by making the argument you are the alternative to mitt romney and are you the conservative, the true and authentic conservative when you're acting a little boyish as as opposed to grown mannish. >> just to go back to our previous segment, we had a t-shirt up that said obama care
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is bfd. i believe that referred to a comment joe biden made in a public setting in the white house. it's not as though adolescent -- we're talking about the politics of boyishness. i'm just saying it slips. there are politician who's say profane things. i agree santorum is angry. biden is celebrating. it's not a question of their maturity levels. >> point well taken. i'm talking about the way in which you're using the gasoline pump, the suicide, the association with ahmadinejad. we could call it other things. it's not immature, it's profoundly anti-american and suggesting again that barack obama is the ultimate other. this is the kind of consistent theme that's run throughout many conservative political campaigns. i think his resorting to that in such a very narrow fashion reinforces the immaturity and the problematic character. >> where is your patriotism? you are commingling images of
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ahmadinejad and the president of the united states. whether you like him or not? what is going on here. there is nothing less patriotic than doing something like that for somebody who cloaks himself in the flag. >> i want to the talk about santorum's opponent, probably the last time he will be characterized as such. mitt romney and the battleground wisconsin. we know that the carpet bobbing is the preferred method of attack with team romney. this is staggering. mitt romney is outspending is rick santorum 5581 in wisconsin and has -- we talk about coalescing. he now has california, kevin mccarthy the house majority whip has endorsed him. he has the endorsement of seven wisconsin state reps. is it buttoned up? 55-1 endorsements. i want to play a few quasi endorsements that happened for mitt romney, comment tritt regarding is him being the front-runner. play that sound. >>ity think at the primary is
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over is, romney will be the nominee. >> unless romney steps on i an landmine, he looks like he's going to be the nominee. >> he's clearly on his way. i think he's becoming the prohibitive front run irer. is the sooner we coalesce around a nominee, the better off we're going to be. >> a prohibitive candidate. what is that. you know, yes, the wind is blowing very strongly in that direction. after romney wins wisconsin and contrary to what ed rendell said the other night, that esa chance romney will beat santorum in pennsylvania. >> i agree with john. i think it will demonstrates larry summers maxim of economics in politics which is there's a very thin line between impossible and inevitable. there were a lot of conservative who's felt the romney nomination was impossible. they were sure it would be this or that person but someone would happen. now, of course, he's very close to inevitable. that's the language we are
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seeing from people who don't feel the slightest bit of pressure to push him over the line at all. all they're saying is look at the line. he's really close. >> he has a lot of money and he's doing well in the polls. >> he's got the math. he just lacks the chemistry. >> exactly. speaking of dudes that people are unsure about, you are looking live at tim tebow holding his first news conference as a new york jet. >> wow. >> how will tim tebow handle his first date with the new york media? we will have more on that ahead, ahead. but first, as the supreme court hears arguments about his health care law, president obama is visiting is south korea for a summit on nuclear proliferation. does the foreign policy focus equal smart political calculation? we are going to discuss that next on "now." all right, let's decide what to
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>> and after my election, i'll have more flexibility. >> i understand. i transmit this information to vladimir. i understand. >> earlier today, president obama was caught in a candid moment with russia's president dim mit tritt medvedev discussing the u.s. missile defense system. deputy national security advise ser ben rhoades was asked about it later and had this to say. given the long-standing difference between the u.s. and russia on this issue, it will take time and technical agreement before we can reach an agreement. since 2012 is an election year, it is clearly not a year in which we are going to achieve a break-through. all of this as the president is in south korea for the 2012 seoul nuclear summit. >> you know, if i were ben rhoades, i would be focusing my technical work on making sure there is no more open mics when the president is talking. >> how does that play? i actually think that medvedev is the one that looks the
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least -- i'll tell vladimir, aka my puppet master, not that we didn't already know that, but you know, also the confidence there. this is my last election. i'm going to have more room to play ball which is probably what he's thinking on a host of different issues, is it not? >> my graud framing this discussion in such brazenly political terms is so cringe inducing to watch that because of all things obama says, everybody says should be above politics, foreign policy, interactions with world leaders. none of this is about politics, it's about what is best for the countrien you're saying to the russians, just give me a few more minutes. november 7th let's talk about it. >> i read it differently. he's saying is im somewhat constrained which everybody knows particularly with this congress so i will have more flexibility after i win re-election. this is a classic gaffe where it's only a gaffe because it's true. everyone knows that and it would apply to any president except in
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this case you have a super majority requirement and you have the politics of it. i didn't take it him saying anything that we don't already know. it just feels weird because you're not supposed to say it out loud in public. >> this is my last appearance on msnbc after today. i'll have more flexibility. as ari said, this is something we all know. i understand your point. realistically, obama is working with an intransi gent congress and feeling he's got to tell this guy the politics of the matter should not obstruct our ability to strike a deal here and to move forward. i think in one sense, we don't necessarily want to hear this on the national television but don't believe these kind of negotiations don't go on all the time with presidents and other heads of state. >> ironically though, the whole point of this trip is to draw attention away from the messy sausage making, the political process. this is about putting obama on center stage as commander in chief. >> right. >> meeting with leaders, russian
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leaders, chinese leaders talking very strongly to the north koreans. does this undercut that? >> i agree with everything ari just said and what you said is exactly right. it's a problem. >> as infrequent as it is. >> it's a problem because there are so few places where the president is vulnerable on foreign policy against whether it's mitt romney or rick santorum. he has a very strong record on foreign policy. relatively conservative record and one that radiates strength. this kind of thing, it's a small thing but for a desperate republican party on foreign policy, they will seize on this and say this is another example of our president playing politics with foreign policy, not doing what's right but talking inning this political way. i don't think it's going to change the election but it's not a good thing. not what this trip was supposed to accomplish. it was supposed to accomplish him being big, commander in chief and not being small and narrow and political. >> is your perron thetical remark is worth repeating. all of what you said is just true but i don't think it's going to make a difference in
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the ultimate balance of things. >>unforced error though. just dumb. >> no doubt. at the end of the day, the only way to swing it to your advantage is to say that in the heat of the moment when the i'm making political negotiations, yes that might have been an inappropriate remark to make before the american public but i'm engaging in on the ground tactics that show i have enough savvy to understand what is needed to get is the deal done. i think that level, because it's not going to play very well two months from now, nobody gives a darn and obama is -- >> when it's an ad, we'll see how it plays. it will be an ad. >> speaking of political cue lus, rick santorum is on the steps of the supreme court at this moment presumably giving remarks about the oralra,,ings under way regarding at nation's health care law. we have more next, not related to this but on other huge topics including race and politics. is the country capable of having a larger discussion about race?
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purina tidy cats. keep your home smelling like home. but race is an issue that i believe this nation cannot afford to ignore right now. we would be making the same mistake that reverend wright made in his offending sermons about america. to simplify and stereotype and amplify the negative to the point that it distorts reality. the fact is, that the comments that have been made and the issues that have surfaced over the last few weeks weflect the complexities of race in this country that we've never really worked through. a part of our union that we have not yet made perfect. >> that was then senator obama speaking about race four years ago in march of 2008. last week, the president waded into the trayvon martin case days after wall to wall news coverage of the story and said
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if he had a son, he would look like trayvon. michael, i want to go to you first on this. obviously is the election of president obama was a landmark moment in terms of race in this country. do you think it the president has moved the ball forward in terms of the racial discussion? >> well, i think he's dealt with what the defense gave him as they say in basketball. the obama administration is acutely aware that many americans don't want to deal with the issue of race, don't want to talk about race. when he spoke about henry louis gates and his arrest at harvard, there was a well spring of bad sentiment unleashed against him. since then, he's been quite cautious about it. clearly they talked about it in the white house, how should we respond. quietly they've gone about addressing issues of african-american in relationship to health care and pell grants in relationship to other issues of import with them in terms of transfer of payments. but i think that the obama administration has tried to be
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cool and calm and to allow other spheres of the culture to address issues of race. and in that sense, it's made good sense for him politically. it may not have addressed the feed for the american populace to have leadership on this issue and therefore, we look to others to talk about those particular particular interests. >> what strikes me is that he waded into that, the whole trayvon martin case very tentatively. that the press conference was to talk about the world bank and i think the most racially coded message was if i had a son, he'd look like trayvon. which good incredibly strong pushback from some of the republican candidates. let's play newt gingrich's response this weekend. >> what the president said in a sense is disgraceful. it's not a question of who that young bhan looked like and trying to turn it into a racial issue is fundamentally wrong. i really find it appalling. >> those two comments are really irresponsible. i think the president spoke movingly about the tragedy as a
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father and made it clear there's investigations going on. >> i thought, ari, i thought gingrich's comments were, i agreed with david plouffe on that. >> i think the former speaker's comments are disgusting and speak to a trick we see often on the right which is seizing is the language of color blindness, which was a strain of martin luther king's aspirations for our nation and taking that and using it as a cudgel anytime points out we are not there yet, it is absolutely a racial issue that you have the killing of this young black child by another person who is not even taken into custody and questioned the way young black men are oat a disparate rate compared to the rates of crime, stopped and frisked and questioned in communities throughout the country, let alone getting into the legal question of whether there was enough cause to indict. >> even aside from the case. >> but on the case, what i'm saying when newt gingrich says you're adding race into this, he is doing that trick. you have to call it out
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carefully and say he's got a history of saying racist things on the campaign. this case is about race and this is one in a series. you go back to sean bell who took 50 bullets on his wedding day. these are cases we know about. >> he's newt gingrich, the guy who said the president's world view is shaped by kenyan ant anti-colonialism. he's a race baiter. it goes to the bigger question i know you want to talk about here, can we have a question about race in america. okay. conversations, at least two people involved in conversations. we have right now a president who is hesitant for the reasons michael is talking about, because it's dangerous for him to talk about race and a republican party that only wants to yell or scream or insinuate or try to make hay in various other ways on this topic. so the answer to the biggest question is, it's very hard to have a conversation when those are the parties involved. >> i think if you leave those people out, if you leave anybody running for president on the republican ticket out of it, there has been such a huge
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outcry here over what the florida police have not done at every level, at the city, state, federal level people are coming in to do investigations because they know it's wrong. so if we could just possibly ignore the rhetoric coming on this and knot tanot take that an people don't care because i think people do care very deeply. we should just take that with -- >> here's the point. it's not just in the easy case. we thought it was easy about trayvon martin. if this was a white kid, we don't have this conversation. if the black kid shot the white man, we won't have this conversation. it's easy to say we're outraged by martin but we're not outraged by the behaviors that lead to trayvon martin being made vulnerable. if we read the book "the new jim crow" when she talks about the incarceration state, when we talking about incarceration of black and latino people, we're
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talking about the failure to understand their eventual neshlt. now we have statements made he was wearing a hoodie. he reached his hand in his pocket. suspicious behavior on the part of black americans are not read so for white americans. liberal complicit in the silence about deep racial matters. >> i want to say one thing and then i will toss the ball to you, ari. if we talk about policy and have a very specific concrete discussion about what kind of policy is going to help minority communities, there is have been some eyebrows raised if not question marks how intensely the president wants to wrap his arms around that because he is open to a line of attack and criticism that perhaps a white president wouldn't be open to. i bring up maxine waters comments in august of last year where she criticized the president for neglecting is black communities. they've been disproportionately hit by the recession. there's issues of education,
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incorporation, criminal justice. these are issues the president could tackle but in many ways there is a veil in front of them. >> he doesn't want to be -- >> american issues. the problem is this, all those issues is you've just talked about american problems. they happen to affect dispro forcing natalie african-american people. to find a way to translate those noose universal terms because they could understand that this is something that happens. 17.5% unemployment among african-americans is not blake problem. that's an american problem that happens to affect african-american people. let's not pretend white people want to have a conversation about race. if they wanted to have one, he would be there. >> to build on that. there is a connective tissue between the lack of black political leadership and media leadership with the way these issues are covered. i agree with alex there are many areas where we have not seen a focus on a racial or urban agenda from this administration but he did take a risk in saying
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this is what my son would look like. the next day, the new york post which was wrong on these issues with sean bell and reverend sharpton protesting in years past, they came out the next day and ran a cover that said national son because they changed the conversation. >> we are looking at reverend sharpton right now. he has been very active on this issue and will be speaking more on this a little bit later. look, the question is whether this conversation gives birth to i abroader conversation about race the way we treat each other in this country and these problems not just being racial problems or black problems or hispanic problems but american problems. >> >> not in 2012. >> i agree, as i said, you have to have two people to have a conversation. the thing you were drawing attention to i think is true. if you do a thought experiment and think back to 1995 when clinton did his speech about mending not ending affirmative action, the political dynamics were very different for a white centrist democrat from the south to be able to stand up and give
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that speech in an atmosphere where affirmative action was under assault by conservatives in up the way a lot of other policies that affect minority communities now are under assault. bill clinton was able to do that with a degree of political comfort. he took a risk. this president would have a -- would be much more politically conflicted over that issue even though he's african-american because they have for a long time in 2008 and throughout have worried about what the political electoral dynamics would be if he was cast too much at a black president. >> clinton has much more tolerance to be a black man than barack obama can enjoy. >> but he can be the black president. >> bill clinton can be the black president. >> after the break for many -- wow, not my day. for many american veterans, the cost of going to war can extend well beyond the battlefield. we'll look at what awaits service members when is they return home next. [ male announcer ] this was how my day began.
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. as u.s. troops return home from fighting wars in afghanistan and iraq, many are having a difficult time finding a job. last year, the unemployment rate among post- 9/11 veterans hit 12.18%, up from 11.5% in 2010. in an effort to get veterans back to work, nbc news and msnbc have teamed up to launch "hiring our heroes." joining us now from washington is david wood is, senior military correspondent with the "huffington post." david, it is a pleasure to have you on this program. >> hey, alex. how are you? friends, good to see all of you. >> let's talk a little bit about the unemployment rate among veterans. in 2011, it was up 12.1%. the national average was 8.7%. you've done a great amount of reporting on this subject in terms of veterans finding a job. we know the rate has come down a little bit in the first few months of the year. do you credit some of the
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president's policies? he's introduced tax credits for employer who's hire veterans. the first lady has taken on veterans unemployment as a signature issue. broadly speak, paint a picture for us in terms of unemployment among veterans. >> i do credit the obama administration and particularly the department of veterans affairs it under secretary shinseki who have gone after this problem very, very aggressively. one thing that helps is just to bring attention to the situation of tens of thousands of combat veterans coming back from iraq and afghanistan enormously capable people who may not fit easily into an employer's preconception of what he's looking for. so just closing the gap i think has helped a lot. and so i think it's -- i do credit them, and there's an awful lot of work yet to do. >> tell us a little bit, anecdotally you've interviewed a lot of these veterans returning home wounded and otherwise.
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one of your stories mentioned the longer a wounded vet goes without employment, the chances drop dramatically he'll ever find employment again. >> this was a heartbreaking thing i learned as i got to know some of the severely wounded who usually spend up to two years or even more at military hospitals like walter read. of course, they're not employed during that time. when they start looking for a job, they're so far removed psychologically from the job market that very, very difficult for them to conceive of themselves as a good job prospect. and that in turn makes it hard for them to go out and aggressively compete with everybody else for the jobs that are there. >> i want to open this up to the panel a little bit. we talk about you know, the stress placed on veterans. of course, and those in active duty. this is all brought to the foreby the case of robert bales, the u.s. soldier who is accused
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of killing 17 afghan civilians. the wife of robert bales spoke on the today show earlier. let's play a little bit of sound of her interview with matt lauer. >> do you believe that your husband ever showed signs of ptsd prior to this deployment or during this deployment? >> i don't know a lot about the symptoms of ptsd. so i wouldn't know. he doesn't have nightmares, you know, things like that. no dreams. >> it's a tragedy in every sense of the word. and i wonder how much this -- you know, david's talking about changing attitudes towards veterans, the fact that 23,000 of them are going to be coming home in the coming months. do you think this makes the broader case for us to pay attention to what happens to those men and women fighting overseas. >> first of all, shocking to me a wife of an active duty military service member who's been deployed several times doesn't know the signs of ptsd. there's a huge gap in the training for spouses, family
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nebraska to know when veterans are struggling like this. >> and dave, i want to ask you, you suggested, and again one of your stories that, what might have happened to bales was not ptsd but some kind of psychotic episode. >> well, look, it's great to speculate about what may have happened with staff sergeant bales. the fact is that not only don't we note what happened to him, but it's becoming increasingly clear that we do not understand the immediate and long-term consequences and ramifications of battlefield trauma. and i would put traumatic brain injury and ptsd both in that category. i think it's fair to say that everybody who comes back from the battlefield has suffered some form of trauma from stress, from loneliness, from anger, frustration. the vast majority of those people get over it pretty quickly and go on to lead perfectly normal lives.
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and there's nothing that i've seen in any of the research on tvi or ptsd that would suggest that this leads to someone becoming a mass murderer. >> david wood, thank you. i encourage everybody watching the show to check out your great reporting at the "huffington post." >> thanks, alex. >> coming up, tebow mania reaches a fever pitch as the quarterback is introduced to jets nation. but will the new york media tebow before the quarterback? we'll take a look next in "what now." well, dad's in the doghouse again. he just showed up with his client unannounced. luckily, we've got kraft homestyle mac & cheese in the pantry. so mom can save the day. [ whispering ] dad really screwed this up. [ male announcer ] kraft macaroni & cheese.
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everybody that puts on a uniform, you want to go out there and you want to play. that's why you play the game of football. and i'm excited to be a jet. you know, to go out there and to help this team any way that i can and whatever my role is, however i can expand that role, i'm going to try to do ta. >> welcome back. time for what now. the new york jets introduced
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their new second string quarterback tim tebow today, and one of the first questions he was asked was about not being the starting quarterback. how is new york city going to wrap its head and arms around -- >> i feel like watching a little tiny lamb go to slaughter by a pack of wild dingos. >> we're not that bad. >> what second string quarterback has ever had a press conference to announce his arrival in a city. >> that's pretty phenomenal, number one. if i was mark sanchez, i would be pretty upset because as the starting quarterback, i just got over a season where my teammates are doubting me. then they gave me a contract that the pacified me, now you bring in tim tebow and the storm of controversy and press coverage doesn't make for good political relations in the back room where all the players are. i think it's a really problematic. >> our cracker jack nbc news team says tim tebow said i'm
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pretty sure i'm not the first athlete who's gotten down on a knee and prayed. >> i'm sure that's a factual statement. to go back when he was answering the question was whether he was going to be a quarterback. and there are many people who think that tim tebow would be better to play another position because he cannot really throw. so whether he could be a tailback or take -- he's a great runner though. a great scrambler. rex ryan -- >> he's handsome. quarterbacks are a handish position. >> rex ryanen kept saying he's a great football player. not a great quarterback. watch him to play another position pretty soon. >> you ask about the race conversation, it breaks out every way we can't predict like with lebron leaving cleveland, that was a race conversation. this is a race conversation because here's a guy, handsome, articulate, he ain't the first person to pray. all these black guys get to the end zone and pray and do their dances and rappers who thank god after talking about women and horrible names. he plays a style that a third
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rate black quarterback could play and they've been demonized for it, michael vick deenlenized but tim tebow plays it and it's celebrated. >> he's from another show. "the hunger games," "the hunger games" took a $155 million bite out of the box office take this weekend. nobody here has seen this movie but john heilemann is apparently in it because you have a contract that stipulates. >> that i have a 1.5 second cameo on all films made in america. is there a racial component to this the movie? we can have the conversation on any topic at this table. >> it looked like obamaville in the hunger games." >> it certainly informs some of the dialogue about tim tebow. >> there are partisan politics at play and a message about
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social and economic injustice in the hunger games". thanks again to ari, patricia -- >> you linked in. >> that's all for now. i'll see you back here tomorrow at noon eastern, 9:00 a.m. eastern when i'm joined by patricia murphy. andrea mitchell reports is next. she is live in havana, cuba. tell us what are some of the things you have planned over the next three days? >> thanks so much, alex. we are so excited to be here in havana because the pope, pope benedict xvi is arrivinging in cuba. he'll be holding a mass in santiago n, cuba today. and meeting with raul and fidel castro we are told. we are talking to cuban officials here. we have all of that, plus of course, all the politics and the supreme court coming up next on
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right now, a special edition of "andrea mitchell reports" live from havana. the pope arrives in cuba today. a country where most religions were actually outlawed for nearly half a century. now the church is gaining influence here and has helped negotiate the release of 130 political prisoners. how strongly will this pope challenge the castro regime? and cracks in the embargo. the obama white house permits study here by american college students. what have they found? >> there aren't tanks going down the street. there aren't people marching in green uniforms with you know, intimidating weapons. >> i think we underestimate them in a sense undervalue the current stuff that is going on. >> a lot of the cuban students are incredibly aware politically and economically about their situation

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