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tv   Washington Week With Gwen Ifill  PBS  April 19, 2014 1:30am-2:01am PDT

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>> this week's puzzle. sorting out the politics of healthcare and campaign money. and the scourge of domestic terrorism. tonight on "washington week" that all ed today illegal armed groups must be disarmed. that all illegally seized buildings must be returned to their legitimate owners. and that all illegally occupied treets, squares and other public places in the ukrainian cities and towns must be vacated. gwen: diplomats may have agreed but that is not the end of the story. with russian troops still massed t the border and ukrainian government holding ground the standsoff is far from over.
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n washington the president stakes out new aggressive political ground on healthcare. eight million sign-ups he says democrats should be boasting. >> i don't think we should skwraoeus or be defensive about it. i think there is a strong, good tell. story to wen: on the money front super p.a.c.'s are raising minute for 2014 candidates at an astonishing clip. after another deadly randolph this time in kansas. >> they didn't. anything. they were ambushed. law enforcement struggles with what to do next. baker ofthe week peter the "new york times." molly ball of the atlantic. matea gold of the "washington post" and pete williams of nbc news. >> award winning reporting and analysis. as it happens.y live from our nation's capital.
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"washington week" with gwen ifill. corporate funding for "washington week" is provided by by. >> we went out and asked people a simple question. how old is the oldest person you known? we gave people a stick are and had them show us. e learned a lot of us have known someone who lived well into their 90's and that is great. living longer are one thing that hasn't changed is the official retirement age. is, how do you make sure you have the money you need to enjoy all of these years? >> additional corporate funding for "washington week" is boeing. by hospital.d women's additional funding is provided by the annenberg foundation, the for public broadcasting and by stations ons to pbs
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from viewers like you. thank you. nce again live from washington moderator gwen ifill. gwen: good evening. war, civil war, propaganda war. ll three are under way to some degree in ukraine right now and even though the secretary of state is the one at the tables in geneva president obama seems skeptical that there is anything anyone achieve real peace. >> our strong preference would e for mr. putin to follow through on what is a glimmer of ope coming out of these geneva talks but we are not going to we see it. until in the meantime we will prepare what our other options are. mr. putin does not seem to care muchor president preferences, g which is wedges the u.s. between another rock and another hard place. we out of diplomatic solutions, peter?
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> yes, this reminds you of the winkle d ba bull constitution where he says watch me pull a rabbit out of my hat. there is no rabbit and here the is no signs that pro-russian militants are withdrawing. they are saying we don't answer moscow that. is debatable but they are standing put. and at the white house they are nervously. they don't think there is necessarily going to lead to a permanent durable solution and out are trying to figure what comes next. >> by the way, i can't enough of natasha. the rocky and bullwinkle reference. the agreement was that everybody illegal armed groups could step a different e's definition of what constitutes illegal arms groups. >> exactly. talking about e this group called right sector which is a very right wing part the coalition that pushed out
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favorite president and they are talking about the government in kiev taming their extremist forces and what john kerry is talking causing the se trouble in eastern ukraine. so it is an agreement where everybody can think they got it doesn't nt but seem to have led to anything besides the nice words on the page. >> it seems like the president and secretary of state have different ightly tone. hat is the dynamic within the administration. >> kerry emerged with six hours with his counter parts and he presented a much more ptimistic, not over the top optimistic but a more positive view of what had happened. i suppose if you spend six hours to get an agreement and get people to sign you have to feel some confidence. that was not gton proeup's point of view. i think he feels like charlie and the football. this has happened before and the russians have said we don't
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annex we are going to and they don't and they destabilize the eastern ukraine he has a healthy dose of cynicism and that indicates how he administration is pulled apart between those that favor a more diplomat solution and those who favor more action. >> what happens next if russia doesn't live up to its side of the bargain? officials nistration are saying it will be a matter weeks in terms of whether they make a decision on how the agreement is holding up they don't see progress they say they will move forward with sanctions. hat they are talking about are more travel bans and asset freezes of individual russian couple of maybe a institutions like the bank. they are not talking about the crippling sanctions they used against iran and search and seizures against the russian economy. they want to hold that in reserve because russia has
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and they need something but there are questions whether it will mean anything because utin hasn't been i believe pressed. >> there was a letter that was upposedly sent to jews in ukraine saying they should report themselves and list their possessions. has it been determined that was was it a hoax? and if so whose side did it come from? >> both said it came from the other. unrocked roclaimeded group that have taken the buildingity government said they had nothing to with it. said it is ian said the fascists they call them. you is it is als very volatile and dangerous situation. the rice came out president's national security advisor said it was utterly the president was disgusted by them and it hints uglier moments and that is the fear in that part of the world where there is so much
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that.ence with gwen: vladimir putin was talking about new russia which is to be those parts of ukraine which are on the russian part that he n thinks should never have been independent. vested interest has he in we evertion and why did believe had an investment in the deal in geneva? >> good question. some compared it to 2001 when toppled the h taliban and had to decide whether to go further in terms the argument is putin had the same thing. you pocket the win in crimea and or do you keep pushing and pushing and see how far it goes. does feel like he is winning. his popularity is 80%. feeling an economic pinch but that doesn't seem to be bothering them as a matter of he has thed he feels west at an advantage. gwen: thank you, peter.
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now to domestic politics the came into the white house briefing room yesterday knowing that he would get he tions about ukraine but had a little crowing to do first. eight million have signed up on act health are exchanges and 35% of them are have i -- the e insurance industry is beginning to agree with him that in his this thing is working. this is where the politics comes in. it strange the republican position on this law is still stuck in the same place that it has always been. they said nobody with sign up. they were wrong about that. would be it unaffordable for the country. they were wrong about that. trying e wrong to keep to repeal a law that is working hen they have no alternative answer for millions of americans. > the president went on to go after states which also haven't expanded medicaid to allow more to sign up to get coverage. molly, why did the president political to go on a
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offensive like there? >> i think the feeling is the are on their side. we know whether a debacle the and it was out was touch and go for a while. it was not clear they were going to get the sign-ups. it was thought many with be deterred from signing up by the rollout. became clear the cboe projection was seven and they lowered it to six when the rollout was a isaster and now we have eight million so there is a feeling they have ammunition to make the case to the american people that words this isnt's working. i think also a lot of democrats behind the scenes have been do this because they feel like they can't make n affirmative case if the administration itself almost seems to be running away. gwen: i haven't seen a lot of clamoring to make the affirmative case. they seemed to be hiding under bed. >> the democrats don't want to do it. they want the president to go
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some ofsell it and then them are running away from the president. beiing that they have an ability to persuade there is ause apparently such enthusiasm among so far we ign up and are not hearing the horror tories that they really fear they would be having and there is still a lot we don't know and of these ear a lot questions from the republicans, paying their le premiums? are rates going to go up? what about all the parts of the been deferred or laid many until conveniently after the election? kick it will there be further problems? >> when will we know if this is good idea? >> probably never because they are still fighting over the new deal, right? there is a sense that i think like the new deal or like this re at some point -- is what republicans have been afraid of -- at some point a
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is depended on by enough people anden trenched in he life that it is impossible to take it away and some conservative commentators saying epublicans can't repeal it because it would mean taking millions hcare from and they need to have a different emergency than do away it. >> has that changed public attitudes? pretty relentlessly negative. is the public beginning to think way?t in a different >> yes and no. public opinion is still relentlessly negative. of the public has an unfavorable opinion of obama care. however it has gotten a little november.ce it sort of couldn't get any worse just based on the facts. suggests also that people had an open enough mind about this thing that when it they -- lookedad really bad they turned against it and now that things look the same people may be able to come around the white
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house hopesment president's pitch was and not to democrats just focused on republicans but are per those who saidable that it is -- ersuadable that is is not terrible. >> the president's popularity is ot what it was but the administration's hope is he has the ability it speak to the it an n people and make affirmative case and go on over. there was a feeling the window to make a their case and there was a time they could have come in strongly and proposed an alternative and made themselves the champions of some other kind of reform and that.idn't do now the administration can say see, they don't have anything, alternative.ave an >> but molly, do we see any sign any vulnerable democrat is this and putting ads n saying look what the president has accomplished with me by his side? gwen: that may be a lot to ask
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for. >> another thing democrats has had angst is there hasn't been a the oney group like republicans have with the koches to make the democrats' case for them. group in independent alaska in the senate race that ad about obama care with a woman who is a cancer victim who has insurance but that is pretty much it. zillions of u have negative advertising pounding disaster.the law is a most of those democrats in red putting distance between themselves and the they ent making the case have been fighting this or fighting to change t. they are not rushing to the president's side. gwen: i notice the white house as been posting videos the latest in austin of him meeting with people saying thank you for son's life. that is like a template for ads
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in the fourth. is one thing to know cash is driving our elections it is nother thing to put cold hard numbers to that. political parties and independent political action groups es and outside have raised close to a billion dollars and that is just through the end of march. that is just among the groups that have to disclose their fund-raising. even with that limited understanding there are early winners and losers in this. >> there are some big winners. p.a.c.'s are raking in the cash. seven figure write checks to super p.a.c.'s. n the left what we are seeing is this relentless drive of h r reed and other democrats koches.talk about the >> conservative financialiers. democratic donors gave a lot onthe senate majority p.a.c.
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the democratic side and that i validates harry reed to and invoke floor the name of the comps and not can crossroads were doing great fund-raising last year they really got back in the in march and raised $5 illion and a sign conservative donors are engaging for the first time this cycle. outside groups will have an imprint. e are seeing outside spending has reached almost $55 million compared to 2010 this point it million so you see how we are on track to see the imprint of the organizations. the losers franticly are the voters in a lot of states that getting bombarded and it is not even may. > what about the tea party challengers? they were such a force in a lot of primaries early on in the
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tea party of 2012 especially. what are we seeing this time? support? getting are they penetrating these sorts of financial areas? has been hard for them to be competitive. i think that what you have seen is a lot of discipline in the of the establishment in the republicans rally the donors to we have to aying back these folks and you saw money nors give everywhere because they were trying to seed the field. political parties just the relations? raise will be able to more than before and allow them .o raise money from donors we have yet to see them really able to collect on that promise but i think they are lready putting mechanics in place to tdo so. $30,000ard to compete in increments which is whether you can give a political party when
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$4 million write a check to a super p.a.c. >> you had a story of the clout of female democratic candidates. is that something that made them formidable. >> it is interesting because we aw a lot of female democratic challengers do really well in his period but one factor is one fund-raising machine is doing been ever before and they on track to break all kinds of fund-raising records so who have their backing have another source. gwen: we know what we know which s these reports that were released but we don't know what we don't know. is there any way to measure the nfluence of all of this undisclosed money this we know is out there and influencing the process? > i always try to describe it like an iceberg that you can see a certain amount of the mountain but e peak above the water there's a lot underwater we don't know and we see glimpses. for prosperity ways conservative advocacy group
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acked by the koches and other donors have spent $34 million against vulnerable democrats in mid terms. none of that money shows up in reports so there is a big chunk right there. a new nonprofit organization affiliated with the partners rk freedom that in the last election acted as kind of a funding source directly engaging in ads and they have dropped ads. than $1 million on gwen: when you say ads are any of them like this is a great guy vote for them or all really negative early ads? increasingly some positive spots but i think when you talk to ad makers you hear you get more ay bang for the buck if you tear the other guy down so i think we a preponderance of negative ads. gwen: as we mark the first of the been marathon bombing this week we had to take n a fresh example of random deadly violence this time at two jewish community sites in
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kansas. park, good luck trying to find any federal official who will say happened at that fort hood or oklahoma city or anywhere on our soil are terrorism. know. i tried. this is white house counterterrorism advisor lisa on the news hour last night. what we have seen is extremism in any number of forms and it is not kwaoepbd to any one -- to any one community. to any one nfined individual of a particular faith. we need to respond to it and regardless of faith, regardless of where it is present. gwen: when we hear a white house andcial talk about violence extreme nfl but not terrorism is it just labeling? partly labeling but if something is classified as a terrorism they can qualify for benefits but it is true the federal government tends to stick to a pretty strict
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definition which is terrorism is an act of violence to intend to coerce the government to further social cause. for example, it may surprise some people that the born bombing is bush the boston marathon bombing is not no orism because there are terrorism charges filed even though president obama did call it an act of terror. as for the shootings in kansas faceshe man, the suspect, state charges and some federal harges, but they are described as hate crime charges. so this all may seem rather rand random. in a legal sense describing in terrorism doesn't matter t. is charge it. the fact is it strikes a lot of fort hood dd the shooting in 2009 -- happy to call re that terrorism. > no, it was never formally called an act of terrorism by the u.s. government. there was a suggestion that it
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workplace violence. the one thing we can take away a m this week is it is reminder there is an underground this lent extremism in country away tend to forget about because we focus so much on international terrorism. to the kansas city shooting, what is going to determine whether he faces in addition to state charges and what kind of charges be?ld they >> state filed murder and capital murder so he could face death. he federal government is pursuing civil rights charges that can be punished by the interfering for with somebody's federally protected right or freedom of religion. of the day when -- you can't be in two courthouses at once. to decide.ave often there is a clear federal or state interest. ou think of the shooting of gabby giffords. here it is not clear. they will have to decide who goes first. >> one of the brothers
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implicated in the boston is still alive in prison in isolation i gather waiting for trial. his defense? what will they say if it comes to trial is his defense? >> we have been getting hints of this in the court filings and i in a case so ally many are under seal but his lawyers have suggested they will his older the age, brother was 26, he was 19. similar strategy we saw in the sniper case where lee boyd malvo was only 17 and death penalty and the older man was executed. they will talk about his family his older them say brother was much more into jihad than he was and he was dominated brother.der that is the suggestion from what we have seen so far. >> the trial is coming up. are they going to have it in boston? >> the trial date is november 3 has to say by mid june whether it will seek a hange of venue and that is not easy. on the one hand you would say you want to master it out --
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tout of the city most most but you are in a city where he this don't favor the death but they want it over and massachusetts did we with capital punishment so you ight go to a state where they look on death penalty more kindly. gwen: when these surface it is case of the kansas shooter if he was well known in the that keep track of hate speech and crime and he was that poster on websites fo foe meant this. is no way knowing they exist before speech turns to action? >> not numbers see an indicator that it is going to happen. ok to say people ought to go out and shoot folks but wyoming, my home state that is probably protected speech. shoot you say let's go somebody in wyoming that is incitement to violence so it is
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know when g to somebody crosses that lin. he had been in and out of courts been watched but you never know. gwen: thank you for that and thanks. here but we will keep talking screen on the washington webcast extra where we will parse through the stories we didn't get through including the of rand paul. that is is 8:30 eastern and all at pbs.org/washington we week. eep up with daily documents with judy woodruff and me on the hour.ws we will see you here again next week. good night and happy easter. funding for "washington week" is provided y
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by. the most amazing things away build and it doesn't even fly. do it within classrooms and exhibit halls mentoring novators.s in we preserve habitats and serving america's veterans. every day thousands of olunteers help make their communities the best they can be building something better for all of us. funding for "washington week" is provided by prudential. williaomen's hospital. annenberg foundation, orporation for public broadcasting and contributions fr stations from viewers like you.
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