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tv   Smerconish  CNN  March 20, 2021 6:00am-7:00am PDT

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any downed wire, call 911, and call pg&e right after so we can both respond out and keep the public safe. can andrea cuomo hang on? i'm michael smerconish in philadelphia. friday became came the latest allegation of sexual harassment. a current employee of the governor's office this time telling "the new york times" cuomo would do the following. the new york governor nearing the ends of his third term for weeks has been slammed with dual crises and alleged cover-up of the covid nursing home death toll in his state, and accumulating accusations of sexual harassment by young women, some of whom worked for him. interesting that the latter seems to be causing him more problems than the former.
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i can't remember a politician sustaining this sort of ongoing escalating bad press with no new news story knocking him off the front page. and it's not like there has been a lack of news. the border crises, the vaccine rollout, and relief bill fight, meghan and harry? even "the bachelor." fox news had been covering cuomo in a negative light over covid. is it was as if he was the knee-jerk response about anything bad said about trump. cuomo denied touching anybody appropriately. he says that he should have done a better job in handling the information about the nursing home deaths. nobody has come forward to defend him. and every day, the list grows of those calling for his resignation, including leaders of not just his own party, but his own state. including aoc chuck schumer and kristen gillibrand and jerry
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nadler to maim a few. some have portrayed the situation not as whether cuomo will survive but just a matter of how many more days? now come a pair of polls of registered new york state voters released this week. their findings may surprise you. on the matter of whether the allegations of sexual harassment are mostly true on the quinnipiac poll, 50% said yes and 26% said no. as to his handling of the nursing home issue, 58% say that he deliberately tried to conceal the number of nursing home deaths. asked if they view him favorably overall, the result was favorable 33%, unfavorable, 51%. with numbers like that, you might think they would be joining the chorus for him to step down. but think again.
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49% said that he should not resign and 43% said that he should. you think this is an outlier the quinnipiac survey, siena college did a similar poll the week before and found this. 50% said that he should is not resign, 35% said that he should with the rest undecided. let's go deeper into the cross tabs. here is where it really gets interesting. among whites, he is at 22% favorable, 67% unfavorable, meaning that he is under water as we say. among people of color, among blacks, those numbers reverse. 66% favorable. just 15% unfavorable. again, the siena college poll showed similarly lopsided results and whites only 37% favorable, blacks, 61%. which is borne out by the recent "times" story headlined battered by scandal cuomo leads on black leaders to build his defense.
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what about the gender divide? is there one? you might presume that women would be more quick to condemn cuomo's alleged mistreatment of young women. instead, asked whether they think the sexual harassment claims are mostly true, 55% of men said yes. among women, the numbers are more favorable to cuomo, 47%. when asked whether the governor should resign, quinnipiac found that 51% of men said yes but only 36% of women said he should. these numbers have crept up from the siena poll a week prior, the gender divide remains. by siena's count 52% of women say he should is not resign. to summarize, more new yorkers want him to stay in office than wish for him to resign. his support among women is stronger than men' his support
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among african-americans proceed than white by a long shot. republicans would overwhelmingly like to see him step down, perhaps because they don't want to face him running for a fourth term. 72%, according to quinnipiac. but in defiance of their own party leaders, 67% of democrats say he should stay. when i asked my sirius xm audience what was behind the push to oust cuomo, 18,000 responded. 18 said the facts. 82% said the politics. while we are all interested in pay very close attention to the allegations against governor cuomo and recognize that they are most serious, many voters continue to prioritize issues like jobs and health care and education and crime, critical to their personal well-being. in president biden wants to
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achieve his ambitious agenda the senate fifth50% makeup gives hi little margin for error. the filibuster may be a culprit. it has been heavily debated since the first successful filibuster took place in 1837. the rule itself came about by accident decades before. president biden who served in the senate over three decades has been pressured by democrats who favor a filibuster overhaul to embrace reform. that pressure seemed to pay off this week. >> i don't think you have to eliminate the filibuster. you have to do what it used to be when i first got to the senate and back in the old days when you used to be around there. and that is that a filibuster, you had to stand up and command the floor. and you had to keep talking along. you couldn't call for, you know -- no one could say, you know, quorum call. once you stopped talking you lost that and someone could move in and say i move the question of. so you got to work for the
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filibuster. >> you're for bringing back the talking filibuster? >> i am. that's is what it was supposed to be. >> my next guest wants to make the filibuster more difficult in a cowritten "the new york times" op-ed the dean and professor of uc berkeley of law proposed if a filibuster new exit in the senate let it be the original speaking version that protects the conscience of the minority. the dean joins me to you sta state his case. yesterday i spoke on radio to your colleague with whom you co-authored that piece and professor newborn made the point that democrats need to weigh the upside of ending the filibuster and getting things done against the prospect of republicans doing likewise in the future. but my question to you -- are the biden and democratic goals necessarily one and the same? meaning biden wants to get things done now. maybe he doesn't have to worry
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so much about the future. >> the reality is that the democrats don't change the filibuster now when the republicans are the majority of the senate, they are going to do that. because the republicans, for example, who eliminated the filibuster for supreme court nominations in 2017. i see no downside to the democrats making the change now. >> okay. but i guess the response is that minority leader mitchell mcconnell wrote an essay this week for "the journal" hey, donald trump, president trump wanted me to do that on his watch and i wouldn't do it. what makes you think that in the future they necessarily will? >> i think that the experience that we saw with regard to the republicans eliminating the filibuster for supreme court nomination shows that. when the filibuster kept the republicans from accomplishing what they wanted, confirming neil gorsuch.
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>> is going in the direction of jimmy stewart, "mr. smith goes to washington," reininstituting the speaking filibuster is that sufficient? >> if i could, i would eliminate the filibuster entirely. i believe the filibuster is unconstitutional. the constitution prescribes majority rule in the house and the senate, except for a few narrow instances but it doesn't seem there is a chance of eliminating the filibuster so i think the next best thing is go back to what it was before 1975 when it was with jimmy stewart and mr. smith goes to washington, require it be somebody occupy the floor of the senate and keep talking. >> in that aforementioned "the wall street journal" editorial essay that mcconnell wrote, minority leader mcconnell, he
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said the following. i'll read it to you and put it up the screen, professor. you'd respond to him how? >> what is to believe they are not going to do that any way? when there was talk about eliminating the filibuster for judicial nominations, there are all of the threats that this was the nuclear option and look what is happening in the future. it did any way. the republicans eliminated the filibuster for supreme court nominations as soon as they needed to do so. so i think what mcconnell is threatening is certainly a realistic possibility. i think it's going to be happen with the democrats. now do or don't eliminate the filibuster. >> final question. the politics of this. if the democrats were to eliminate the filibuster and pass joe biden's robust agenda,
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do they then run the risk that they have upped the ante for the midterm, meaning that republicans then surely retake the house of representatives as well as the u.s. senate? >> i think just the opposite. i think accomplishing things is the way in which the democrats are going to keep control of both the house and the senate. if the filibuster had applied to the american rescue plan ten days ago, we would have no chance of passing, because every republican voted against it. it was only through it being a reconciliation bill that the filibuster didn't apply and got adapted. the democrats want to keep congress in the midterms an they have to do things and that is going to require changing the filibuster. >> dean chemerinsky, thank you for being here. >> thank you so much. what are your thoughts? tweet me and i'll read some responses throughout the course of the program. from facebook. have to keep filibuster what happens when we lose majority and that day will come.
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tina, you heard the professor offer you the opinion that no matter what happens on joe biden's watch right now, republicans will make that change in the future. so his point is go get it done. do you agree with him? i want to know what you think. go to my website at and answer this week's survey question. should the senate vote to end the filibuster? up ahead, despite troubling covid numbers, many americans are stillioning the vaccine. others impatient to get our shots. so what are the ethics of trying to get your vaccine before you qualify? and the incoming editor of teen vogue got a pink slip before her first day of work because of some of the racist tweets she made as a teenager. has american forgotten how to forgive? plus, we have all seen the commercial. indianapolis colts owner jim irsay is sponsoring a new
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campaign promoting mental health awareness. and he is here to explain. when it comes to your financial health, just a few small steps can make a real difference. ♪ ♪ ♪ learn, save and spend with guidance from chase. confidence feels good. chase. make more of what's yours. i'm a verizon engineer, part of the team that built 5g right. the only one from america's most reliable network. we designed our 5g to make the things you do every day, better. with 5g nationwide, millions of people can now work, listen, and stream in verizon 5g quality. and in parts of many cities where people can use massive capacity, we have ultra wideband. the fastest 5g in the world. this is the 5g that's built for you. this is 5g built right. only from verizon.
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i'm not eligible for the vaccine yet. can i hunt for a surplus dose? it's tricky. several asked that looking for guidance. one college student in montana wrote since i am healthy young person who is not a essential worker on the at risk should i wait to get vaccinated in the hopes that someone at greater risk or more essential could take the spot? another one, quote.
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how about this one? a person working at a farmers market one day a week asked, quote. to wrestle with these questions and more, "the new york times" columnist is joining me now. he's had the gig since october of 2015. he is also a professor of philosophy and law at nyu. kwamie, thank you for being here. i had this conversation weeks ago with dr. arthur kaplan who is at nyu and to paraphrase, he said to me nobody should jump the line, nobody should lie. but when you have opportunity to
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get that vaccine, take it, because you can't assume that it will go to someone more worthy. do you see it that way? >> well, he is my colleague and he is usually right about these things so i agree with him about that. the thing is once the system is set up and once the system is set up in a basically reasonable way, then if you are eligible, you should go for. . it's not up to you to try to fine-tune the system. in part, because as he said, there is no guarantee that the person who gets it when you don't is going to be more in need of it than you are. >> how about the college student that you addressed who is thinking of the surplus dose and am i worthy. what was your answer? >> well, i think, again, if the rules allow, if you don't lie, and if you show up and they have a spare dose and they are going to give it to you because there
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isn't anybody who is eligible in the normal way ahead of you, go ahead. my view is we have got a system. it should be fair and reasonable. the system in most of the states is fair and reasonable. any fair and reasonable system will have cases where somebody who has greater need is going to end up behind someone who has lesser need because one reasonable feature of a reasonable system is it has to be manageable and if you were making very, very complicated rules, it would be extremely hard to manage. so we have these rules. they are reasonable and fair. if under those rules you are eligible, go for it. we really want everybody to get vaccinated as fast as possible. >> so that point i thought there was an interesting quote and i'll put it up on the screen from dr. steven thomas at suni upstate medical university where he is the chief of infectious
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disease. quote. almost embracing everybody get it as soon as possible so reach herd immunity more quickly. >> he should be aiming for herd immunity as quickly as possible but in a fair way. as i say as long as the rules are operating are fair, it's right to prioritize it getting it to people greater risk and right to prioritize people taking a risk for essential workers and the risk keeping it going while many like me are having to stay home and not going out because the essential workers are delivering and doing their job. so i think we have got a basically good system and we should try and get people vaccinated as fast as possible within that system. i don't think that the thought that we should get people
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vaccinated as fast as possible should lead some people to think, okay, so i'm going to try to get vaccinated even if i'm eligible or not. we have got to stick with the system. if it turns out that -- i think a reasonable feature of the system should be that if there is stuff left over somewhere and there is way of getting it out to whoever shows up, then you should give it to whoever shows up. but as i say, i think the basic principle here is when you have a basically fair system, you should do your part in it and if that means that you have to wait a bit because you're at less risk or because you're not doing essential work, then please do the rest for the courtesy of keeping to the rules. but, yes, it is also true that the people running the system should be making sure that they get through the vaccine and they have got -- a rate that means they have always got spare replacements and the people at the top of the list get done, we
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move swiftly down the list so as many people as possible have been vaccinated. one of the really important things here, it's not just that there is a race against time for the variants that already exist, the longer we have a large population exposed to and getting the virus, the more likely it is that new variants will develop. >> right. understood. >> an interest to all of us get vaccinated as fast as possible but in a fair way. >> thank you for the information. we appreciate it. >> very good to talk to you. you too. the entire point still to come of being a teenager, it used to be to make egregious errors so you should learn from the experience. but new teen "vogue" editor had to step down because she started the gig because of decades old racist and homophobic tweets. did she deserve a second chance? still a father. but now a friend.
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inventory alexi mccammond out as teen "vogue" chief before she started. it comes after anti-asian and homophobic screen shots of tweets of hers from ten years ago resurfaced this month. the teen journalist made homophobic slurs among orges. they are no longer on her account. the tweets resurfaced in 2019 where she acknowledged they were wrong and apologized for them. her new gauge was announced on march 5th. three days later teen staffers sent their concerns. on march 10 she issued another apology on twitter where she
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said in part i'm so sorry to have used such hurtful and inexcusable language. the controversy over mccammond's hire called some of the magazine's major advertisers to suspend their campaigns with the publication. each after publicly and privately showing remorse multiple times, the backlash continue. mccammond issued a statement on thursday announcing her depart ur and apologized a third time and took responsibility for her past. she was 17 years old when she fired out those tweets and like any adult should, mccammond took responsibility for them and promised to do better. there is no question it's necessary to denounce racist and
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offensive behavior but is redemption even possible in unforgiving climate like today. graham wood joins me and wrote this piece titled american has forgotten how to forgive. he is also the author of the book "the way of the strangers encounters with the islamic state." i'm watching the reaction to the firing, lack of her accepting being able to be given the job and she is drawing so much support at least in the quarters that i'm paying attention to that i'm wondering if this case represents a pendulum swing. how do you see it? >> yeah, it might. when i heard about it, i thought i was a teenager, michael, you probably were too, at some point. and it seems strange that of all magazines, teen "vogue" would not understand the whole point of being a teenager is you make terrible mistakes, the worst mistakes of your life, and then at some point you correct them and there is this wonderful
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bonfire of your mistakes and you enter adulthood and you ideally don't make them again. so i think there is a lot of people who now understand that maybe things have gone a little too far. maybe there needs to be some mechanism of forgiveness and some mechanism of redemption yet some people in the way of teenagers years and their culture, instead, acting as if what you do at the age of 17 is unforgivable, that any tweet that is on your record then is on your permanent record forever and will torpedo your job chances at the age of 27 and beyond. >> look. i love the internet. i'm forever grateful, though, that it didn't exist when i was a teenager. the most trouble that we could create that would follow us around was something to do with a xerox machine i best not describe. i'm wondering if there is an age differential on this? because the people i'm hearing from or that i'm following are similar in age to me and i'm
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wondering if maybe those who are somehow, you know, 18 to 30ish look at it differently. any thoughts on that? >> yeah, i think that is pretty likely. i mean, there is a whole generation that has been living on egg shells. you know? they have been recorded in their foolish behavior for their entire adolescence and adult life. and they have been trained to watch each other and that doesn't sound like a healthy way to live for anybody. i, too, am glad that the permanent record of my social media and so forth didn't begin until well into my adulthood. and, yeah, anybody who is under the age of 30 has experienced a level of kind of pent opticon judgment and views from other people that you and i probably have never felt until recently. it is generational, i'm sure. >> in "the atlanta" you wrote
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the following. speak to that issue. >> part of this is has to be spoken of in the context of anti-asian violence and murders that have taken place against asian people. part of this has to be seen as an attempt to build identity in the ways that we have seen previously in other ethnic groups, other races. and part of that, i think, is good. people should not be able to tweet about facial features of asian people in a mocking way in adulthood without any consequence. on the other hand, there is something different about the asian identity. you know? white identity, black identity.
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these are part of this long history of american original sin and asian identity, if we build it up, as an asian person myself, i think it would be nice if we didn't have to use these sort of broken templates that have come from previous ethnic group's experiences and what that means is not adopting some of the vindictive excesses and total lack of forgiveness has beset people when they have made offenses in those other racial contexts. we might be able to create an identity that is more positive and avoids those accesses altogether. this "teen vogue" incident is a step in the wrong direction in that regard. >> right. personally, i hope it does represent some kind of a pendulum swing because my view is that in racist tweets when one is a teen should not be a permanent professional death sentence. graeme, thank you so much. i appreciate the piece you wrote in "the atlantic."
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>> thank you, michael. let's check in on your tweets and facebook comments. this from facebook. what do we have? i don't know that anybody is speaking of forgiveness of cuomo. you didn't hear me say that in my opening commentary where i analyzed all of the data. i think we are saying that everybody needs to be held accountable. how is that? everybody needs to be held accountable but, at some point, the punishment outlives the underlying offense and in the case of alexi mccammond, in my view, the punishment was too harsh. the comments as a 17-year-old to now deny her a professional gig? what she did than was deplorable. she knows that and she has taken ownership of it. still to come, he won the super bowl xli. won that trophy with peyton manning. now indianapolis colts owner jim irsay has his eye on a different goalpost. ending the stigma of mental
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easy tools on the chase mobile app. simplicity feels good. chase. make more of what's yours. sharing feelings of insecurity and shame may not be something we usually associate with the national football league. come is why i'm fascinated when i keep seeing this commercial on and including on cnn called "kicking the stigma. >> it features colts owner jim irsay and darius leonard, an nfl player. >> one of the important thing we want to be advocates about is mental health awareness. >> i struggled for a long time. then i had to go to counseling and it's okay to not be okay. this thing we going through,
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life is not perfect and so many times where, you know, you going to face so many obstacles and you field like the world is against you. you just got to keep fighting. you got to keep fighting no matter what and just don't ever give up. >> kicking the stigma is our commitment to eradicating and getting this environment changes. ♪ ♪ everybody hurts ♪ >> the irsay family kicked off the fund-raising campaign with a gift of more than $4 million and couldn't have come at a better time. in typical times 1 in 5 americans suffer from some form of mental health disorder but for instance according to a new poll, since the pandemic began last year, nearly half of parents reported their teenagers face new or worsening mental health conditions. after growing up with the colts while his father robert owned the team, jim took over upon his father's passing in 1997 and with quarterback peyton manning, the team won the super bowl xli trophy. jim irsay joins me now.
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jim, i'm in philly so i'll begin with this. congratulations on carson wentz. i think you got the better end of the bargain. >> well, thank you, michael. we appreciate you coming in at the end of mediating there a little bit to get the deal done. much appreciated. we are excited about having him. and excited about being here today. let me just say, first and foremost, 53 years ago this coming april 5th, bobby kennedy had his famous speech, "the mindless menace of violence." and, you know, our hearts are out to the asian community in this country and the world after what has happened and i wanted to say that. and being here today, as bobby kennedy said in the speech and started out, this is not a day for politics. that is the way i feel coming
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and talking about kicking this stigma and where we are at with mental health in this country right now, because it's all hands on deck after we have been through this pandemic. it's really a serious situation. it's one step away from apocalyptic scene of the joker at the end of that famous movie. and we are here to do everything we can to change that. >> well, i applaud your efforts. every time i see the commercial, i say that outloud. i also say, i want to talk to this guy. and the reason that i want to talk to jim irsay is to you ask why when someone in our familial circle or social orbit gets cancer, they publicly acknowledge it and we rally around them. yet in the realm that you're discussing, still it's shunned and shameful and remains in the
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shadows. why is that the case? >> well, i think that is a great point. we had an outstanding coach here. many will people may know chuck pa pagano, his first year after i hired him he developed leukemia and missed most of all the season. he couragioeously fought back a leads the kathy particularly in youth. the point is when he got out of treatment and was feeling better around december in 2012, he didn't -- he had a huge debt to pay because the insurance company said we won't pay that debt. he said should i be prosecuted for having too much ch chemotherapy? this is the extreme that people
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dealt with mental illness. i've dealt with people just this week with people that can't get a penny for insurance with serious eating disorders that is wrecking the lives of their children, serious conditions like ocp that become really serious. no money there to help them. you can imagine how many the world even closes in more, and so it's so critical just, you know, i want to say a shout-out to our troops throughout the world as well because we know what they go through dealing with mental illness and the stress that they are under. as they say, we leave no man or woman behind. and that is the same way we feel about kicking the stigma. we want to find the lonely and the people who are hurting when people are lonely and hurt and
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afraid, you don't attack them. you try to find ways to embrace them. that is where i really feel, michael, this is a spiritual awakening as well as growing this country to a higher spiritual level. you were mentioning it earlier in your program about the internet and how that drove so much of us closer together, but without a spiritual growth and awakening, that is where the true answers have to be found. i mean, we can't want our brothers and sisters out there hurting and we are not going to leave them alone. we are going to find them, give them help and embrace and love them. >> jim, there has to be a back story to the use of rem's "everybody hurts." what is it? >> those goes are particularly good friends of mine, particularly mike mills, the
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bass player and backup vocalist. when we were putting this commercial together, this psa, i was looking and talking to my daughter kaitlyn who really drove this thing as well and i was going to use possibly u2 "one." and i told, mike, really everybody hurts. that is the perfect song. you know? is that okay? he said, sure, it's okay. so he just followed with the other three guys and it was a go from there. so it was great that i know rem is really excited about being behind this because everyone understands how mental illness, how this awareness of mental health has to change in this country and everyone has been affected at every level. >> jim, a quick final question, if i may.
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what has been the reaction? tell me what it's like to be jim irsay after you've adopted this cause and have been so visible. >> it's been a tremendous reaction and it's grown and grown and grown. we want to see that continue, michael. i know with merrick garland coming on as attorney general, with the changes coming on in this country, whether it's the bureaucracy or the insurance companies, we want to help out in any way. this illness has affected my family for many generations and i'm not ashamed to say that. i'm very proud to say it. because when you come through something like this, it really makes you a better person and changes the world for the better.
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>> what a privilege. thank you so much. >> thank you, michael. and i love the fact that you actually didn't vote for hillary or donald trump in the 2016 election. i found that quite interesting in your bio. you're a smart man. >> listen. keep watching. you're good for my demographic. i appreciate it. >> okay, michael. thanks so much for having me. >> thank you. still to come, your best and worst tweets and facebook comments. and the final result of the survey question. should the senate vote to end the filibuster? verizon 5g qual. and in parts of many cities, we have ultra wideband, the fastest 5g in the world. this is 5g built right. only from verizon.
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responded to this week's survey question at should the senate vote to end the filibuster? survey says, 79% of 26,000 and change, let's call it 80/20, say, yes, it ought to be ended. that's what dean chemerinsky argued during the program. smerconish, who are these people who are holier than thou and have never made a mistake. who gets to dictate who gets a second chance and who doesn't.
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i totally agree with you, if my youth were judged by today's standard, there's no way i would have this gig right here, so i would be hypocritical if i said, oh, she should lose her job. she was 17. by the way, don't misunderstand, that which she tweeted was horrible, indefensible, but for how long are we going to punish somebody? you've got to eat at some point. one more if i've got time. i think that i do. trump didn't resign and has two ongoing sexual assault cases, so, no, cuomo shouldn't resign until he's proven guilty. innocent until proven guilty, isn't that a thing? you know what's a thing? inconsistency is a thing. whatever the standard is that an individual has for one person, maybe a republican, maybe a democrat, who is accused of these sort of improprieties, needs to be the same standard they apply to the same instance where it's a person of a different political stripe.
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that's where i'm coming from. thank you so much for watching. see you next week. not what's easy. so when a hailstorm hit, usaa reached out before he could even inspect the damage. that's how you do it right. usaa insurance is made just the way martin's family needs it with hassle-free claims, he got paid before his neighbor even got started. because doing right by our members, that's what's right. usaa. what you're made of, we're made for. ♪ usaa ♪
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good morning. we are grateful to have you with us on this saturday, march 20th. i'm christi paul. >> and i'm boris sanchez in for victor blackwell. so glad you could join us. you're live in the "cnn newsroom." >> glad to have you, boris. we're talking this morning about the fear and frustration felt by asian-americans today. we're learning more about the victims of tuesday's spa shootings in the atlanta area. >> their loved ones are sharing details so that their stories