tv The War Room Current April 2, 2013 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT
so i think i can move on, move on with my life. noel. >> michael: coming up right here. it takes a special set of talent a gift, if you will, to take a situation that can only be described as a national crisis and make it worse. ladies and gentlemen i give you the national rifle association. i'm michael shure. this is "the war room." [ ♪ music ♪ ] >> michael: after newtown the president vowed to do more to protect american children. since then he along with vice president joe biden and senator feinstein have tried to make
that reality. the n ra has essentially said, yes, we care about kids, but what we really need to protect are our guns. and the gun lobbyists announceed in a controversial way to do both. and there is another group in need of protection. it's gay citizens. first to guns. in one week from today the senate will debate gun control today. today they rolled out their preemptive response. the school shield task force funded by the nra a 225-page report on how to improve school safety. here is the condensed version. fill them chalk full of guns. asa hutchinson, a former congressman, leads the task force. he laid out the findings with an unusually heavy security presence.
amazing. talking about indulging in hero fantasies. the crux of his plan is to get states to introduce bills that would allow or require teachers to pack heat. >> states need to consider changing the law so that it allows the firearm to be carried by school personnel when they go through this model training program. and so we've attached as an appendix a model state law that can be considered for this purpose by the various states. >> michael: and while the gun lobby has criticized the president again and again for what they call politicizing newtown today they trotted out their own special guest who turned out to be a newtown parent. >> i think politics need to be set aside here, and i hope this doesn't lead to name calling but rather this is
recommendations for solutions real solutions that will make our kids safer. and that's what we need. >> michael: teachers, on the other hand, were not as pleased randi weingarten called it a cruel hoax that will fail to keep our schools and children safe. and it doesn't help children and it might even hurt them. in a study in the journal youth society found that armed guards made children feel less safe and even hurt academic performance. and there is no research on whether armed guards do protect kids but there is anecdotal evidence that they don't. take columbine, there was an armed guard on duty that day but he was not able to stop the shooter from killing schoolmates. and while it may not protect children it would burden tax
payers. an armed guard would cost $55,000 a year. to put an armed guard in every school in the country would cost $5 billion. nra is suggesting that they train volunteers. arizona is doing that, training a posse to patrol school grounds. hoops, turns out that some of them turned out to be felons and . not so good. south dakota was the first state to pass a bill to allow armed are teachers. and tennessee might require an armed presence in every public school either a guard or if that's too expensive, a trained staff member. oregon is considering a similar bill and dennis richardson has said that an armed teacher could have prevented the newtown
tragedy. he's wrong. just get a note from the principal, no big deal. joining me now is peter stone reporter for mother jones who has been reporting on the dark money behind the nra. he joins us via skype. thank you for joining "the war room," peter. >> thank you very much. >> michael: you've been reporting on "dark money." what is in it for the nra to be pushing arming teachers in this way? >> well, i think that the nra they have opposed almost all new regulations. the only solution as they see it are more guns. this is another wrinkle on their long-time mantra, if you will that we need more guns, basically, and the first
amendment gun rights should not be infringed in any way. >> michael: what is the money side of that? their core belief of arming everybody and their mom. how are they incented in a financial way? >> well, they've been boosted by the ruling in 2010 which basically allowed corporations, individuals and unions to give unlimited amounts of funs for direct advocacy, and on behalf of candidates. the nra had a strong fundraising machine for a long time and citizens united allowed groups to funnel more money in under the radar to their different parts of the nra which don't have to disclose donors, and there have been growing number
of conservative groups since 2010 on the republican side primarily, but on the democratic side as well, who have decided to pour tens of millions of dollars into other organizations to use their ground operations, to use their capabilities for getting out the vote. and the nra was a prime example of that, crossroads gpsa group founded by karl rove received $600,000. gave at least $600,000 to the nra for its operations in the last two election cycles. and i found out from sources familiar with the nra that a koch-affiliated organization ponied up between $2 million and $3 million to the nra to use
their grassroots strength. the nra has always had large grassroots from its members. they decided they wanted to expand even further. i was told by the nra lobbyist that millions of gun owners who are potential potential allies of the nra are not registered to vote. so they got out the vote for many states, virginia, florida, and others, and this was seen as a great opportunity to boost not only the gun vote but the conservative vote. so they were, you know, they were on the priority list for receiving money. >> michael: peter stone, we have a little bit of trouble there but you made your point. what we're see something how they're crafting legislation
the money is going to these groups. they're crafting legislation and that hurts the average american because they can't break that wall. these are funding with they can fund anonymously through different parts of the group nra. peter stone is a reporter for mother jones and we thank him for being with us. we go from protecting the gun lobby to protecting the rights of all americans. today democratic senator tom carper announced his support. now there is just seven democrats who don't support gay marriage ticktock, senators. but on the other side of the aisle things are different. the republican of illinois showed true leadership when he became the second g.o.p. senator to support it, joining rob portman. he released a statement today saying when i climb the capitol
steps in january i promised myself that i would return to the senate with an open mind and greater respect for others. same-sex couples should have a right to civil marriage. our time on this earth is limited. i know that better than most. life comes down to who you love and who loves you back. government has no place in the middle. that is just so great. so eloquent, so poignant so touching. it gets better, as they say because it means for the very first time the majority of the united states senate supports gay marriage the majority. yet some republican senators seem pathologically resistant to change. in a stranger twist his cousin was dating matt salmon, the some of the republican representative with the same name. he's a mormon who sent his son to gay therapy.
and he would not allow them to the house even though they had been date forgive ten years. here is his son matt describing what it's been like. >> i tried going to therapy to take this away, to make me straight. i can tell you firsthand it does not work. i was their hope for their poster child it doesn't work. >> michael: his father has clearly wrestled with the issue. he told a local station quote my son is by far one of the most important people in my life. i love him more than i can say i'm just not there. i haven't evolved to that station. rob portman apparently has. hopefully portman's choice to protect his son from hatred and bigotry would convince others to follow. southsouth carolina has gone from
political after thought to must attend parties. and it looks like the winners have already crossed the finish line. now they go out to cheer the out of shape runners on. follow the black slimy road. making lemonade out of the keystone lemon. it's tuesday night in "the war room," and we'll be right back. current will let me say anything. what the hell were they thinking?
marijuana looks like. (vo) with award winning documentaries that take you inside the headlines, way inside. (vo) from the underworld, to the world of privilege. >> everyone in michael jackson's life was out to use him. (vo) no one brings you more documentaries that are real, gripping, current. [ ♪ music ♪ ] >> michael: let's head to the political front where all eyes are on south carolina. when polls close at the top of the hour we'll find out if republican primary voters will forgive mark sanford for his international extramarital affair. he's facing curtis bostic in the first congressional district. bostic received the often covet coveted rick santorum endorsement. elizabeth colbert busch to take
over the seat of scott. she's the sister of stephen colbert. she has taken the colbert to the bank. steve will host a fundraiser for his sister. here with me donnie fowler, welcome back in "the war room"." >> i'm glad to be from columbia and not charleston today. >> michael: because mark sanford would not part. your cabash. >> so colb ert busch campaign said she had a small lead over bostic. could she actually win. >> there are a lot of mixed numbers here. barack obama last this district by six points to mitt romney. that is working against her.
there is more republicans in this district. it was drawn by the republican legislature to be a republican district. but we've got a really unpopular republican party nationally. we have a governor who is not very popular and we have two candidates who are less than ideal. >> so the governor is not popular. how has her popularity dipped. >> she's mixed about half and half. half like her, and half don't like her. but when you look at the two candidates on the republican side their favorability rating is in the tank. >> michael: it does bring to mind how the democratic campaign committee not putting any money in this race. >> not yet. >> michael: that's true, not yet yet. why would it behoove them to put money in or say they have to run as a republican district. >> you don't want the national
democratic party to put money in that campaign right now because it will just charge the republicans up. let's get this primary over. put that national money in a little later. >> michael: right. >> second, this is contradicting that point. this is every republican district in a normal year with a normal candidate. sanford is not a normal candidate, and he could lose. then the national democrats say yes. but if it's still a republican district. even colbert with a famous name, good personality knows what she's talking about they could spend a bunch of money to lose, and they're doing a risk and award. >> michael: donnie, i know it's math. i don't think that they're poor right now the dccc. >> i'm not defending them. >> michael: yeah, maybe colbert is popular enough to win now. they couldn't come up with a candidate this time to go up against her who would beat her.
>> well, they had 15 guys running. >> michael: i was going to say they had all these guys running. if she could beat the best that have bunch and a lousy bunch i'll give you why not spend the money? >> well, it will come. you know, if the polls are close after today. and if they do another poll and see some opportunity they will spend money on this, if for no other reason but to give the republicans a black guy. >> michael: even if the money's not coming, the big guns are joe biden will be there. ted cruz will be there. you know, cruz is going to be speaking at the republican silver elephant dinner. i don't think it's a dinner you every went to. >> no. >> michael: but you probably went to the jefferson jackson dinner when biden was there. >> this is the only game in town right now. 2016 is a long ways away.
even the 2015 races are a long way away. the political class has to talk about something. newt gringrich doesn't have a job. most of these talking heads don't have a job so they'll go to south carolina. >> michael: let's leave that and go to the marriage debate that the country is talking about right now. seven democratic senators according to the "huffington post" today say they have not--they have not come around yet to support gay marriage. although several senators, i guess it's mark pryor and tim johnson not supporting it. is it that dangerous to be from a red state and say you support something that 58% across the county supports. >> if 58% support it, that mean 42 don't know or don't support it. there are democrats who
sincerely believe that a marriage should be between a man and a woman. traditional woman whatever term you use. give them the benefit of the doubt that some of these guys might actually have that view. now there is the political calculation, a lot of senators you named live in red states. there is an election next year. >> michael: that's the first calculation. i don't think this is a point where it's both. knowing those seven people, but i'll give it to you. >> this is a moment in history where those who voted against the civil rights act in 1964-65 are probably not very happy to say that they voted. this is something where the senators and their grandsons and granddaughters are going to be embarrassed that they weren't along side this issue. >> michael: absolutely. we're going to talk about this issue. it is such an important thing to be able to look back and see the mistakes that were made, and then they're doing it again.
there was a tweet that i thought was such a terrific way to say what the democrats are done. someone serving today will like wily be the final democratic senator to oppose gay marriage. you don't want to be that. how can they speed up the evolution. >> never accuse a politician of looking long term. they're looking at the next election, the next vote, the next fund rater fundraiser. >> michael: for some people that's six years ago. >> a freshman senator who just squeaked in, a good year for the democrats. i'd rather have senator heidi high camp from north dakota with 80% of the vote than not have her there at all and have a republican against us. >> michael: yes, i feel like it's been zero percent from heidi high camp. we need more out of heidi. >> she's the reason, senators like her are the republicans that the democrats control every committee in in the senate and not
the republican. >> michael: that is really important. i totally agree with that. let's go to something that i know you loathe talking about but it's 2016, it's happening in 2013 because hillary clinton is now giving her post- post-department speech. it will be the global wards awards ceremony getting paid very well-to-do that. she'll be going to grand rapids michigan and then dallas as well. not political barn storming but what do you make of what she's doing now. >> well, she has to do something. you don't expect her to hide in a corner. she's hillary clinton. she has a lot to say. she has a lot of experience. she's writing a book and she has a lot to teach us and there is an opportunity to make money and pay the bills. >> michael: she has a lot of bills. >> it's not surprising that she's out there in the public sector. it doesn't say anything if she's running for president.
>> michael: i know it doesn't. >> but we love her. >> michael: i know, but her inevitability ran against her last time. she ran into the enigma of barack obama. how should she play it differently in the years--we're talking years now--leading up to the election if she does run. >> she was the inevitable frontrunner. the problem that she and her campaign made was they pleased that. they believed her own talking points. they said she's going to be the nominee, get on board. raiseshe's going to be the nominee and they didn't get lazy but relaxed, and barack obama took advantage of that. that's the thing she needs to avoid this time. she has to fight for it. >> michael: and she may not have
anybody to fight because i can't see anybody getting in this race when you look at her. >> there is always somebody. >> michael: there is somebody who is going to be running running for years later or eight years later but i don't see--it may have been what barack obama was doing when he started his campaign. i don't think he thought he was going to win the presidency right out of the gate, and then we saw what happened. what happens to andrew cuomo to joe biden and bigger names who runs against her? >> there are two new yorkers who are thinking of running for president, andrew cuomo and the united states senator. when you run you have to raise money. the two best states to raise money is new york and california. if milk runs, take could you cue mow and jill brand and joe biden is a
sitting vice president. he has profile. that would be two behemouths. >> michael: thank you, i'm glad i got you to talk about it. that was a victory. senators who have not endorsed gay marriage, the ones we were talking about the train has all but left the station. that story and more when we come back after the break. real immigration reform? >> with a distinctly satirical point of view. if you believe in state's rights but still believe in the drug war you must be high. >> only on current tv.
this is from then and now. imagine how stupid you're going to look in 40 years. it's been around for a couple of years, but it went viral when the supreme court heard arguments for and against same-sex marriage. they're calling it the "it" cause for civil rights. and there was an outpouring support for lgbt americans to mayor. the majority of americans now support gay marriage. the "washington post" puts it 68% to 38%. now let's take another look at that image. yes, they will look stupid but let's ask ourselves is it really fair to equate the silver rights movement of the 60s with today's same-sex marriage movement? joining me now to discuss civil rights coverage is keli goff
from washington, d.c. >> i'm actually in new york, but i can pretend i'm in washington, d.c. >> michael: why do you think same-sex marriage has captured the nation's attention while voting rights before the court have not. >> the obvious one was when i wrote a piece when i said it was egregious when one civil rights issue that is going to be advanced by the supreme court is getting substantially more coverage than these issues which will be set back by the supreme court which has gotten lost in all this coverage. one of the reasons that i heard from people when i wrote that piece is the perception that racism would have been resolved. one of the things i heard, we have a black president. we're worried about this. we were worried about this and covered this a lot 40 years ago. let us cover same-sex marriage
the same way now. lgbt is more of an issue but you can be fired for being gay in dozens of states, right? but for some reason same-sex marriage has captured the imagination as if that's the most important civil rights issue facing this country. i have to disagree with that even though i think it's important. >> michael: let me challenge you on that a little bit. i see exactly what you're saying and i think voting sorts affirmative action and issues that i support wildly. i see a strategy. when you say you can fire a gay worker. that's absurd and that needs to be taken down. >> that effects more gay people than marriage does. >> michael: i would imagine it does, by default it would. and the idea, though, that maybe they see that there's--the people behind these cases see that legitimatizing gay people
in the minds of the public through marriage will make the others go away immediately and quickly. the other part of this, and i want to ask you this question. as a simple right the right to marry is a civil right. voting rights are granted. they're trying to tweak voting rights and make it a challenge. voting rights were granted by the courts as too was affirmative action affirmative action not necessarily a right but something that we all support and think is terrific--not everyone supports it, not everyone. >> michael: but we all, the two people that are on the screen right now support. >> yes. >> michael: so i see a difference in these two cases. do i make any sense to you? >> you do, i just don't agree with you. this is one of those things where i disagree with my progressive brethren. one of the things when i say i think i mean i know because i've had lots of conversation with people of color including lgbt people of color.
the predominantly wealthy white people in the community, that's who fight this issue. that's why that issue leapfrogged employment discrimination and other issues that are important. that's why i find it frustrating. that's why i think is leapfrogged in terms of coverage. i'm not saying that it's not mourn but it's frustrating. here we go again with the people who are setting the agenda what have we talk b what is driving the politics, they are wealthy white privileged people. one of the reasons why this evolution has happened and expedited in politics because political fundraisers know they're missing out on wealthy privileged donors because of this issue. that's why i find it frustrating. it's not that i don't consider it important but you got to be kidding me if you say the coverage has to not far outpaced even the assault weapons ban going down in flames. it's frustrating.
>> michael: you're clearly frustrated. i see why you're frustrateed. to me i see a difference. i know where you're coming from. the money is frustrated. all the people i know, my friends who are frustrated with politics come on, michael bloomberg spend more money and fight the nra. it's the world we live in right now. let's go to washington to the president you spoke of a minute ago. he got flack for the lack of diversity in his appointment. but it looks like that's changing. tell us about the new faces. >> i was on the show criticizing him along with other people and i felt it was warranted because his cabinet did not reflect the america that we all know and love, and that he said he wanted to represent. but in recent days that has changed. julia pierson the first woman to head the secret service. i was at a woman's event when
the news broke. i literally said--everyone said what's going on? what's wrong? i said, no what's right, i mentioned it and everyone cheered. lisa moico's name to be fbi director. tom perez, labor secretary. there are some inroads being made even in terms of senior advisers at the white house. there are african-american women now who have been promoted. one will serve as treasury secretary, which means she'll be the key liaison to the cabinet members. and susan rice's name is now floated as potential national security adviser. i think a lot of people are thinking her as the lazarus of the political world coming back from the grave. the president is making way in these inroads.
>> michael: it reminds me of richard nixon when he was criticized by the same thing. he said well, my first lady is a woman. great. >> great. >> michael: right, exactly. in your blog you wrote about how the g.o.p. responded to what congressman don young said last week. >> my father had a ranch. we hired 50 to 60 wetbacks to pick tomatoes. it takes two people to pick tomatoes now. >> michael: it's shocking every time i hear it. why was the g.o.p. response ♪ noteworthy. >> because it would not have happened five years ago. can you imagine them throwing him under the bus just five hours after this happened five years ago? when rick perry uncovered that rock with the "n" word that i'm not going to say. it wasn't his rock, but there
was this attitude. but i say bravo. it's a testament to the changing face of america. and if they don't get on board that this is a more diverse company they're going to be left behind. we're seeing a kinder, gentler g.o.p. and i'm enjoying it. >> michael: the reaction is most encouraging, and this is a case that have. keli, before i let you go. >> therelet's end on this note, i'm sorry if anyone was offended. >> michael: it's admonishing a colleague that you wouldn't have seen before. today the ap associated press changed the usage of the term illegal immigrant suggesting that journalists only using illegal. describing a person being in the country illegally why is this debate so important, this language debate with the a.p.? >> i'm going to get in trouble. i don't think it is. i'm sorry. i'm going to get in trouble. and antonio vargas is a dear
friend of mine but this is what i disagree on. i'll tell i couldn't i disagree on this. for years partial-birth abortion was used even though it was not an accurate term. i don't believe in buying in to the politics. i believe in being as accurate as possible. late-term abortion, illegal immigrant. we should come up with a path to citizens as opposed to what people are called. >> michael: keli goff, a tv start. >> oh, thank you. >> michael: brains, brains, the president uses his noggin and puts the country in a scientific frame of mind. or puts the mind in a scientific frame, maybe. that's next on "the war room."
>> michael: all right, legs head downdown to los angeles and talk to "the young turks" host cenk uygur. >> cenk: do you know that we have the executive director of the g.o.p. on the show? we'll find out if mark sanford can complete his comeback and the run off race will be decided tonight. the polls close when we go to air. and i'll ask the g.o.p. chief about little indiscretions that mark sanford might have had including a mistress on the appalachian trails actually in argentina. and the power panel is back. >> michael: who is on the panel. >> cenk: i've got a conservative, a libertarian and a liberal. it will be awesome. >> michael: i have to mention one thing before i let you go. i understand it because i know this and i know you, "the young turks" online show is nearing
1 billion youtube hits. >> cenk: that is correct. the network is at 1.2 billion and the show itself is about to hit 1 billion. >> michael: i hope everybody who is watching this understands how extraordinary that is. you built it from nothing 1 billion hits. that's like everybody who watched charlie bit my finger, everyone has watched it already has watched it 400 times again. that's a lot. >> cenk: thank you mike, i appreciate that. >> michael: cenk, we'll talk soon. back to our business soon. president obama today unveiled a $100 million initiative to study the human brain. if congress-- >> obama: as humans we can identify galaxies light years away and study particles of atoms, and we have not studied the matter that sits between our ears. the brain initiative will change that by giving scientists the
tools they need to get a dynamic picture of the brain in action and better understanding of how we think we learn and how we remember. >> michael: if congress approves the plan, they'll map brain activity. they'll shed light on how to treat neurological diseases and disorders. considering that our military gets 26 times the amount of funding as scientific research this relatively tiny investment actually seems like a no-brainer. now, darpa the special pentagon unit on advance research will be a key partner in the study. but they have their hands in many other projects as well like this one creating low cost artificial hands to perform simple tasks, this video has sped up 24 times, i don't think nascar pit crews need worry about losing their jobs quite
yet although that guy can change a tire better than i can. however, darpa hopes this project will lead to robots with enough dexterity for more complex stuff. you why robots when there is so much untapped ability in the animal kingdom. look at this five-year-old sea lion named ronan. [ ♪ music ♪ ] >> michael: this seems like another viral video of an animal doing a trick but its evidence that a non-human mammal can keep a beat and we're not the only species with questionable taste in music. up next, two roads traveled.
approveed some want to build a bike trail on top of it. could the idea impact the way we plan infrastructure bronx. with me is kinder baumgardner who has created the idea of the bike path along the pipeline. thank you for joining us at "the war room," kinder. >> thank you for having me. >> michael: how did the idea of the bike path come about. >> it's a long, drawnout story but our firm is interested in landscape infrastructure. it deals with landscape infrastructure, very much tied together. you know, it's one set of systems. we work really hard to try to figure out how to, i guess add ideas to that concept. we're an idea firm so we sit around and dream up ideas. this was one of them that we started talking about internally. we thought maybe more people are
interested in it. >> michael: i think people are. you're stepping into a very controversial issue here though. do you have a stance on the keystone pipeline? >> you know, not a political stance, not at all. our point is that to look at this from an ambivalence, i suppose. we see this issue as very black and very white for most people. you either love it or absolutely hate it. we're interested in the controversy that what if you look at it from a point of view that it's a little more gray. something that was not just an on/off yes/no. >> michael: right. >> that was a big piece of our interest in it. >> michael: has your proposal gotten any pushback saying this is absurd or people who say no, don't make it seem better. >> yes, so on the one side, some of the pushback that we've gotten from industry, hey, this makes it more complicated for us to build this thing. they don't necessarily like it.
from the environmental side, the push back tends to come from the point of view, hey you're making this thing better. we don't want it to happen at all. our approach, really, design is not maybe political or shouldn't be political. we should be looking at an infrastructure like this to see if there is a way to make it better. there are lots of issues tied to it. why let it be just one thing. infrastructure can be mixed use right? >> michael: right. >> there is a project that we're dealing with in atlanta interstate 75 corridor that we're looking at making freeway right. abandoned infrastructure, we're looking to turn it around and make it a place for right. the same idea here. why not turn this pipeline around if it's going to be built, and say we want something
from it. >> michael: you're taking stock of the towns and areas that the pipeline will cross. what communities will be going along that route? >> that's another interesting thing about it. it goes through a lot of different ecosystems, and it goes through cultural systems across the united states. you think of a trans-sect from canada to the gulf of mexico. if you can hike the entire length or a piece of it, think of the different types of people you'll come in contact with. ranchers farmers suburban people. people who live in small towns who are declining and they're looking for ways to use this pipeline to turn it around and make their towns viable. this is an opportunity to say when all the construction is gone, and they leave these towns behind, there may be mom and pop
shops that come up. maybe while you're along the trail there are different things that you can learn about along the way. it's a way to look for opportunities for small towns rural communities and for people who don't normally come in contact with those places to have an opportunity to come in contact with it. >> michael: and a travel book of great food and great places to stop. i think that's important. while you're here, the freeway art project that you're doing. is that art along the freeway? is there a danger of that, looking out of your car at a painting or sculpture as you're on the freeway. >> yes huge issues. today look at how billboards are done, giant electronic billboards that are full of led crazy complicated things that are distracting. the kind of art we're looking at is super graphic, but it also--it's going to meld into
the landscape. it's in an urban section of the atlanta. the idea would change the way people thought about the margins rather than putting your back door on the freeway. if people were attracted to this to come and see art for tourism it would change the way development happened. we have done a project here in houston which i think is another great test case for people to say that you can never do this. it's the buffalo bayou promenade which is along interstate 35, this is now the most successful park in downtown houston. this is where everyone comes to see big events, fireworks. full of nature. full of people on bicycles. >> michael: very cool. >> yes ten years ago you wouldn't have thought it. >> michael: kinder, when i see that, it makes me understand why you're planning what you want to plan. thank you for being here with us in "the war room." i thank you for watching "the war room." have a great night. young turks are next.