tv Martin Bashir MSNBC February 20, 2013 1:00pm-2:00pm PST
with massive majorities. 70%, 80%, 90%. but in the ex-urban and rural areas, the gop had the advantage. not as dramatically but enough to win district after district with 55% or 60% of the vote. thus did we see results like this in ohio where obama won the state and sherrod brown was re-elected but republicans got 12 of the available 16 house seats. when jimmy carter was drummed out of office in 1980, he managed to carry 900 counties nationally. when michael dukakis ran for president in 1988, he suffered a 40-state landslide but claimed 119 counties. bill clinton won with 1,524 counties. do you know how many counties obama won last year? 690. that's it. 690. even though he won a convincing popular vote majority.
gerrymandering wasn't a complete nonfactor in 2012. the gop probably did grab a few extra seats because of it. but the real problem for democrats is that their base of support is less spread out geographically than it's ever been, which means they can win presidential races and even control the senate, but when it comes to the house, their best, their only chance for the foreseeable future is a massive anti-gop tide, like something we saw in 2006 or 2008. short of that, the era of republican speakers could last for a long time. okay, that does it for "the cycle." martin bashir, it's all yours. >> thank you and good afternoon. it's wednesday, february the 20th. if at first you can't succeed, just call him a socialist. >> sequester scare. >> sequester looming. >> 700,000 civilian employees could be furloughed. >> this is all b.s. >> this is not an an traction. people will lose their jobs. >> all those people standing
behind him. >> the hiss trionics coming fro the president. >> i think we've got to throw in the towel. >> it's not about the sequester. this is about defining who his enemy is. >> this is not enough cuts. >> yes. well, we are that dumb. >> what did he say back in november 2011? was it the debt ceiling, the sequester. so that's what i'm saying is that simple stupid. the simple message works. >> we have a severe ignorance problem with the people who are so mesmerized by his popularity. >> my door is open. >> i didn't know that the door was open to the white house. >> these machines now that have taken over people's lives. so they're not paying attention to what herman cain or bill o'reilly is saying.
we are nine days and counting until tens of billions of dollars are slashed from military and domestic spending. individually, hundreds of thousands could lose their jobs. nationally, the economy could fall back into recession. yet the contrast between how each party is playing its hand could not be more stark. the president is taking his message of a balanced approach to eight local affiliates from different geographic regions of the country. this comes after his speech tuesday, where he laid out what the sequester cuts will mean to the average american. >> so these cuts are not smart, they are not fair, they will hurt our economy, they will add hundreds of thousands of americans to the unemployment roles. this is not an abstraction. do you want to protect some special interest loophole? >> in other words, this is deadly serious and the president
is arguing his case before the entire nation. so what has speaker boehner been doing for the last 24 hours? well, he did manage to pen an opinion piece for "the wall street journal" presumely between lying on a sun tanning bed. i won't bore you with the details but it says the sequester is ugly and dangerous but it's up to democrats to present a plan that can pass. and then he returned to darkening his complexion. yet that message is leaving some conservatives deeply frustrated with the speaker's lack of leadership. the "washington examiner's" byron york writes the effect of boehner's argument is to make obama seem reasonable in comparison. i'm sorry, mr. york, but didn't you read mr. boehner's editorial? he said he wanted democrats to get serious about the sequester cuts. in fact he said it twice. which frankly for him is well below par. >> replace the president's sequester, we need our democrat colleagues to get serious. >> get serious.
>> get serious. >> get serious. >> get serious. >> yes, let's serious. i'm joined by kristen welker who's live at the white house. kristen, these cuts are no laughing matter, but how does the white house get house republicans to agree to additional revenue? what are you hearing? >> reporter: well, martin, i'm not sure that they're going to be able to in terms of strategy. we've seen president obama taking his case to the american people. you saw him do that yesterday in that clip that you aired with the president joined by first responders making the case that their jobs could be at risk if the sequester kicks in. of course today he's granting interviews to local affiliates across the country. i expect him to hit the road next week to take his message on the road. but from all accounts talking to people on both sides of pennsylvania avenue, it looks like this sequester by all likelihood will kick in. that is what a lot of people believe at this point in time, just nine days left for congress and the white house to avert those deep spending cuts that are scheduled to kick in on
march 1st. both sides still deeply entrenched. the president calling for new revenues, as you pointing out, and republicans said they are not going to do that because they just gave president obama new revenues in that last fiscal fight a few months ago. so that is where both sides stand right now. that is the president's strategy. martin, it doesn't look like anything is going to get done by march 1st. you might see the sequester kick in and then see lawmakers deal with it in the coming weeks perhaps with the budget deal. let's get right to our panel, professor michael eric dyson is a university professor and jonathan alter is a columnist. both are msnbc annualists. jonathan, a new report says that these cuts could cost the country 700,000 jobs through the next year. do republicans understand that they are to blame for this if it occurs? because i'm not sure they do.
>> well, they're trying to put the onus on the president. they're saying it's obama's sequest sequester, obama's budget. this whole thing was designed was because they were putting a gun to the head of the american people in the summer of 2011 and basically holding the full faith and credit of the united states hostage to their narrow agenda. so they're the one that created the straitjacket that we're in right now and they're trying to blame obama. we'll see if they can get away with it. right now their popularity is a lot lower than his. so he has the upper hand. but when he said it's not an abstraction, he's actually not right, it is an abstraction. and so the real question will be -- >> what do you mean? >> the notion of the cuts for most people don't hit home. so the question is -- >> hang on a second, john. the director of national intelligence who oversees 16 separate intelligence organizations has already warned that this sequester could provoke some kind of national security price.
>> that's not my point. you're talking about the world of facts and reality. >> sorry. >> i'm talking about the world of perception. >> sorry. >> as perceived by most people as just more washington gobb gobbledy-gook. after the 1st of march as these cuts start to hit, and it won't be all at once, as they start to hit over march and april -- >> and you can't get a flight. >> suddenly the airports are jammed, food safety is compromised. at that point the republicans will really feel the full weight of public opinion on this. >> professor dyson, why is it always the case that when there is a deal to be made, speaker boehner can't corral his caucus or is it that they simply refuse to reach any agreement with this president, regardless of how serious the situation is? >> well, i think it's a both and not an either/or. i think he's trying to hut on
the one hand and on the other hand he can't generate the consensus necessary with his party because they have made a decision that we will not break bread symbolically or metaphorically with barack obama. he will not receive the fundamental respect due to him as the person wielding the bully pulpit. they are still smarting from their rejection at the voting booth and as a result of that, the american people, as jonathan alter has pointed out, don't quite get the fact perceptually that this is about the very fundamental reality of politics. politics is about the distribution of critical resources at a time of crisis to vulnerable populations. when the crisis, although it's you and me it's swelling, we understand the proportions of what looms ahead here. >> no doubt. >> the average american sees this as beltway punditry that has nothing to do with their bottom line. but when it hits their bottom line, by the time it hits their
bottom line, we're going to be in a deep hole here. i think at that level the republicans are going to have to bear a lot of the weight. >> jonathan, mr. boehner likes to say these cuts are the president's cuts as you pointed out earlier, and yet the"daily beast" dug up a slide show boehner presented to republicans. at the top of it we can read that this deal sets up a new sequestration process to cut spending across the board. and whose name is at the bottom surrounded by stars? none other than our first speaker, john boehner. tell me, isn't this the best argument they have? is that all they have? >> yeah. they're playing the same kind of games that they have been playing for the last two years. >> we don't have youtube, we don't have libraries, news information libraries we can get the things that they have said. >> they don't care. they don't care what the liberal media says. >> i'm not talking about liberal media -- >> they're playing to their
base. >> i'm talking about things by the speaker. >> here's the problem, martin. their base doesn't care because all of these members of been elected in districts, you know, with 55%, 60% of the vote. they are impervious to facts. they are impervious to reason. they may even be impervious to public opinion. and that's what we're going to finding out this spring, if the people in their districts start to go crazy when these cuts kick in. if they don't, it's going to be very problematic for democrats because then a lot of people in those districts might say, see, we can handle these cuts. so we're into uncharted territory here. it's not as terrifying as, you know, default would have been, as it was in 2011. but a lot of people are going to get hurt because the republicans refuse to recognize that we just had an election. the people are supposed to be able to decide. they made a choice.
they chose president obama and his balanced approach. they did not choose republican obstructionism but our system is now in paralysis essentially. >> indeed. professor dyson, senator rand paul, the official responder of the tea party, calls this all histrionics. he says when the sequester happens, it will be a big yawn. frankly, i think rand paul is all histrionics. what do you think? >> i think you're absolutely right. it's a yawn, all right. a yawning abyss. what we see here is a chasm between two sides that can't reconcile their vision of what america is about. the american people are going to be forced into a choice as to whether or not this kind of assault on the values and sensibilities of working class poor and middle class people is going to suffice or whether or not people believe in what president obama is suggesting here, that hundreds of thousands of people are going to lose their jobs. we can't even get the minimum wage put on the table because the ostensible protection of the small businessman and woman is
there to ward off any concern for the poor and the working poor. and as a result of that, we can't even get a word in edgewise about the middle class because elite republicans don't want the american people to have what they take for granted every day. health insurance, a job that they can turn to that will have a paycheck ready and the ability to exercise their talents without the fear that people like them, the republican kabal here, will step in and interrupt the process. until we come to that kind of sensibility, we're not going to have much progress. unfortunately, barack obama is going -- president obama will have to continue to use that bully pulpit to hammer away at these republicans. >> and we should remind our viewers that the house and the senate are still on recess. thank you so much. next, john mccain comes face to face with the republican party that he helped nurture. stay with us. >> they're here. >> cut off their welfare and all their stuff.
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i'd like to respond to any questions or comments or insults that you may have. >> why didn't the army go down there and stop 'em? because the only thing that stops them, i'm afraid to say and it's too damn bad, but is a gun. >> cut off their welfare and all their stuff and they'll go back. you said build a dang fence. where's the fence? >> you've had enough time, pal. you've had enough time. you've had enough time. >> the politics of comprehensive immigration reform have just come crashing down upon senator john mccain. at a town hall meeting, he was
confronted not by republicans willing to reach out after failing so badly in november, but by a party of activists who remain unreconciled to reason. so what does this mean for so-called moderates like senators mccain and marco rubio, who hope to forge a bipartisan compromise on immigration? let's ask representative tony cardenas, democrat of california and victoria. congressman, as an elected official, you've probably had your fair share of spirited town hall meetings, so let's listen to what snooenator mccain had t say. >> no, it's fun. it's what you expect. it's what i've always expected in these town hall meetings. that's why you have them. give and take. i enjoy it. it's important for people to have that give and take. >> have you been getting that kind of blow-back on this new immigration reform package? >> oh, sure. there are people that are
unhappy. most of the people in here are happy. most of the people in here agree with me. >> congressman, if that's the way voters express their agreement, then i'd hate to be around when they register their opposition. >> yeah, i think it's important for people to understand that this is a great country where people have the right to express their opinion. there you have some community members talking to one of the most powerful u.s. senators in the country. one of the most powerful people in the world. and they have the opportunity to speak their mind and to say what they think. >> and they like to say thaerkd go down to the border with guns and send the army. >> yes, some people like to say that. thank god that's not what we're doing and i pray that we never do that because that's not the solution. the reality is that we need to make sure that we have comprehensive immigration reform. we have 11 million people here undocumented. the vast majority of them are contributing positively to our society and to our economy. most of them come here to work really, really hard and to actually provide for their
family. >> victoria, the town hall revolt on immigration happened far away from the beltway but it's found to have an effect in washington. all week long mark yo ruco rubi others have been whining about the president interfering with legislation so the president calls them on the phone to patch things up, he plays the adult as usual. but republicans who support reform, they may be risking their careers. >> it's a rocky road, martin, but it's a road that elected officials are going to have to trek if they're interested in longevity. let's take marco rubio and florida, for example. let's set aside the issue that he has presidential aspirations. if he wants to remain senator in florida, he has to cater to the latino population that's democratic and independent, not just cuban. in 2012, 60% of latinos voted for barack obama in florida. in arizona, i don't know if senator mccain is going to run
again in 2016, but he has his eye on the larger state, not just those town hall people who made the news, but the fact that in arizona, people are becoming more moderate. we saw that with the voting out of russell pierce, the architect of sb-1070. we see a booming latino electorate, a growth of over 70% in over a decade and a latino senate prospect doing very well. so we have to zoom the lens out and look at the larger context that, yes, you are going to have your nay sayers like we did in this town hall, but overwhelmingly the country is moving toward a more moderate stance on immigration. >> congressman, as i watch that footage with john mccain, it made me cast my mind back to 2008 and some similarly aggressive meetings and sarah palin. do you not think that in a way john mccain has created the kind of circumstances that have now come back to haunt him in that town hall?
>> well -- >> i mean he was responsible for sarah palin and encouraging these individual tea party members. guess what's happened now? this is what they say about the issue of immigration. >> yeah. well, see, that's the problem when politicians actually move to a particular place that really isn't them. i think that senator mccain, when you look at his record overall, has been a very moderate u.s. senator. but when you have people like him that move over to the sarah palins or what have you, you find that they ending up getting bit by the people on the fringe and then what happens is when they move back to who they really are, they tend to actually be reasonable, they tending to do good legislation and tend to be part of a community of other electorates who are trying to do the right thing. so when you get right down to it, you're absolutely right. some people when they actually cater to the fringes of their party or to the fringes of certain factions, what happens, they ending up getting bit because they tend to be very angry, people who don't want to listen to all sides and they just want one thing to happen
and they have it in their head and it's so hard to convince them otherwise. >> victoria, what that town hall makes obvious is that washington republicans are sitting on the political equivalent of the san andreas fault line. if they choose to support real reform, are they taking their own political lives and the future potential survival of their party in their own hands? >> it's very difficult because we have this split between nationally where you see the country going and what's happening and your home districts and home states. so at the state level, we do see a bit more safety quite literally in numbers because of the diversity of the electorate, but where we're really going to see the roadblocks is in the house. in those individual districts -- >> those gerrymandered districts. >> where we have people packed in with very similar attitudes, very conservative attitudes and that's going to be the roadblock that we're seeing going into immigration reform, especially coming out of the summer recess.
once these representatives have had a chance to go back, and this is just the first of many town halls that we're seeing this with anti-immigrant venom. >> yes. final question very briefly, congressman, do you think the president's desire to realize comprehensive reform this spring is possible in the light of what we just saw with john mccain? >> i think it's possible and it's necessary. if people are allowed to marinate on this issue, it's going to get away from us. i think that the time is now. i think that the message has been sent to republicans and democrats. politicians specifically know that they need to remember that the future in this country is a mix of voters and the latino vote, the immigrant vote is getting stronger and their opinion is mattering at the polls. so i think the time is now. i think that the president keeps saying he's ready. you have people like marco rubio who are in the room discussing it, john mccain, democrats are ready, so hopefully we'll get it done in the next few months and then move on to other issues that we need to tackle as well.
>> congressman, victoria, thank you for joining us. >> thank you. >> stay with us. much more circular logic from the likes of her mman cain whene come back. mitt romney has a billion dollars to spend on his advertising and you're still telling me that the american people were misled? i mean how dumb are we? >> well, we are that dumb. [ male announcer ] when was the last time something made your jaw drop?
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try aleve d for strong, all day long today is gonna be an important day for us. you ready? we wanna be our brother's keeper. what's number two we wanna do? bring it up to 90 decatherms. how bout ya, joe? let's go ahead and bring it online. attention on site, attention on site. now starting unit nine. some of the world's cleanest gas turbines are now powering some of america's biggest cities. siemens. answers. from a presidential divot and a senator sand trap to one big republican mulligan. here are today's top lines. it's in the hole. >> let's begin tonight with america. >> these cuts are not smart.
>> it's not about the sequester. this is about defining who his enemy is. >> this is not an abstraction. people will lose their jobs. >> it will be in some ways a yawn. the histrionics that are coming from the president. is anybody not going to stand up and call his bluff. >> congress can do the right thing. >> he's stealing from his kids. >> if i said that, would i be over the top? >> my door is open. i'm willing to work with anybody. >> it's one thing to keep us in the dark about a fleet of flying robo assassins. >> why is he popular then. >> but a round of golf on your day off? >> an amazing touch. he can chip and putt. >> did he replace his divots or send susan rice to cover them up? >> mitt romney has a billion dollars to spend and you're still telling me that the american people were misled? how dumb are we? >> libya. >> we are that dumb. >> you don't need an ar-15. >> just blast away. what if some boy scouts are lost. >> buy a shotgun. >> what is wrong with america?
>> your senator and you're doing nothing about it. >> i seen people with faces not like mine. >> you said build a dang fence. where's the fence? >> where did all these people come from? >> cut off their welfare and they'll go back. >> how do we get rid of them? >> the chinese have hacked my blackberry. >> let's get out of the way. >> scoopy dooby do. >> i should have put the back on first. >> establishment republicans. >> now, the republicans, they simply do not know how to speak for themselves. >> how about christie. >> no. >> no go. >> we may be [ bleep ] but at least god isn't hurling rocks at us. >> that's absolutely true. let's get right to our panel in washington. malicka henderson is with the "washington post." here in new york, krystal ball and jonathan capehart. krystal, i have big news. there's a big name added to the list of personalities like jeb
bush and wayne la pierre who will speak at this year's political action conference. we can tell you live now the great willard mitt romney is back. he will address -- in fact what will he be able to teach cpac about winning elections? >> actually if you took a course of what not to say and do, here's the example of what failed utterly this past year. don't do that. what that guy is saying, don't do that. but part of the problem with mitt romney, and i was thinking about this before this segment. what would an appropriate role for him be now? and the problem is that there's no issue that you can identify him with that you would say, you know, he's really passionate, though, about education reform or he's really passionate about this issue or that issue. >> stashing your money offshore? hiding your money in the cayman islands? tax avoidance, tax evasion. >> that would world cup. but there's no natural role for him because there's nothing that he really stood for. >> that's true. >> and the other thing is as a result, conservatives didn't like him.
conservatives -- not that they didn't like him -- well, they didn't like him. they didn't trust him. that was the other problem that he had. you showed herman cain. remember, herman cain was a front runner for the republican nomination for longer than he should have been or needed to be because republicans were so desperate for anybody but mitt. >> yes, thank you for raising herman. malicka we are hearing this speech for romney is to thank his supporters, but wouldn't they rather be thanked from a much further distance away rather than having in fronting of them the man that frankly did so badly in november? >> i think that's right. my thought is, is he going to speak before the naacp next? because he would likely find a similar reaction. he never found his footing among conservatives. they never trusted him, as jonathan capehart said. he had come in 2008 to announce that he was dropping out and in 2012 he announced that he was a real severe conservative, to
convince those folks that he was one of them. they never bought it. this is just a real surprise. i don't know why he's doing this. he's been very quiet over these last months. if you look at where the republican party is, no one is clamoring for mitt romney. no one is saying, oh, boy, if republicans were just more like mitt romney, then maybe they would have a chance to win going forward and to rebrand their party. so it will be interesting to see what he says. he'll be there. sarah palin will be there. it will be a whole cast of characters there, as conservatives try to figure out where they want to go. >> it certainly will be a clown show. john, i want to show you what happens to a republican governor who works with the president on matters like hurricane relief. his name is chris christie and he has a 74% job approval rating. what do you think the reaction is among conservatives to that number? and is chris christie a rhino? >> well, it depends on who you talk to. but remember chris christie's name still comes up as a 2016 contender.
and anyone else who wants to run for president perhaps in 2016 would love to have an approval rating of 74%. and i wrote today that i think the reason why chris christie has this sky-high approval rating, he is a red governor in a blue state. and you can't be a successful republican governor in a democratic state if you're a hard-core ideologue. the former mayor of new york once said there's no democratic or republican way to pick up garbage. and chris christie shows by embracing the president when he needed the president's help after hurricane katrina -- i'm sorry, hurricane sandy and then really just reading the riot act to speaker boehner and congressional republicans for not moving fast enough on hurricane sandy relief, he is showing an independence there that the people of his state really, really love. and of course politics are involved here because at 74% for a guy who's up for re-election in november is wonderful.
but. >> but the point is, krystal, chris christie does not represent the affect of any of the republicans in the house or the senate. this is a man who actually does try to work with the president. >> that's right. >> and yet at this very moment we're talking about sequester and there's gridlock. >> that's exactly right. and because he is a governor, he doesn't have to be tied to the national party in the way that most members of the house and senate, all members of the house and senate really have to be. and i think not only republicans, but democrats have really appreciated how he seems like he's actually saying what he thinks. and when you see the way that he's fighting for his state, you think, you know what, if that's a guy, if i had to have someone in my corner fighting for me, i'd like to have that guy in my corner. so he is an appealing executive in that way. most people are not going down a checklist this is where i stand on x and y issue and comparing it. it's is this guy a fighter and is he speaking the truth?
nia-malicka do you think seeing this approval of someone like chris christie will have the reverse effect with republicans. >> it certainly could but i think what we have seen historically is that pragmatism breaks out. george w. bush certainly wasn't the most conservative, neither was john mccain and no one really believed mitt romney was conservative anyway. what they looked at was who could win. who did they feel like could run in a national race and be competitive. if you look at the polls so far, he's very well liked in new jersey and some head-to-head polls have him in a nip and tuck race in a hypothetical matchup with clinton. so i think while he's got some making up to do, i think with the grassroots among republicans, ultimately i think he's in good standing because ultimately i think people will think he'd make a pretty good national candidate. >> let's stipulate, though, that mitt romney was not up against exactly stellar group of candidates to claim that mantle and they stretched it out and really wanted an alternative.
but chris christie also much more skilled politician than mitt romney. >> john, christie's popularity has not worn very well with the great glenn beck. listen to him mope with the chris christie that he used to know on bill o'reilly. here he comes. >> i feel about rand paul about the way i used to feel about chris christie. i thought chris christie was really good and i ignored a few things that kind of bothered me. but now i don't like chris christie. >> in-depth analysis there. >> but can republicans -- are they smart enough to draw a line between a 74% approval rating and glenn beck's sdis approval? >> i mean that's assuming that glenn beck still has the same hold and influence on conservatives that he used to when he used to be employed someplace else. the problem with what glenn beck just said, he did not say or stipulate why he no longer likes chris christie. is it because he's a governor who is putting the people of his state ahead of party and ahead of politics? is it because as a chief executive he has to produce
results, unlike people on capitol hill who have the luxury of being tied to the party, because as we've seen through fiscal cliff, debt ceiling and now sequester, they don't have to get anything done, even when they put the guillotine over their own necks to get something done, they still won't get anything done. is that why glenn beck doesn't like chris christie anymore? >> jonathan, krystal and nia-malicka, thank you. coming up the vice president loads both barrels. first off, the chinese have hacked my blackberry. i can't open up any of my e-mails. they're sitting here being held hostage. i click on them and they don't open. oh, yeah, i could have put the back on first. [ male announcer ] when ziggy the cat appeared at their door, he opened up jake's very private world. at first, jake's family thought they saved ziggy,
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drugs? is that what you're suggesting? that would go real well in "parents" magazine. let's talk about everybody being able to, no matter what your age, go out and be able to purchase cocaine. >> the vice president seemed a little taken aback by some of the questions he took during an online chat with the readers of "parents" magazine. indeed he was probably expecting the focus to be more on homework and high school than hard drugs like cocaine. which led him to be a little suspicious about where these questions were actually coming from. >> is this "parents" magazine? >> it is why. >> i have "parents" magazine at home. i've never heard anybody ask these kinds of questions, but i'm delighted to answer them. >> let's bring in democratic strategist julian epstein. we noted the vice president's sort of bemused reaction to some of the questions he got in the online chat. as others pointed out, the questions he took regarding limits to high-capacity magazines sounds similar to an ad that the nra cut on this very
issue. what do you make of that? >> i think this is clearly an nra mole. this is what we've clearly seen after newtown is the nra is losing the argument, both the constitutional argument and the argument about the effectiveness of these laws and has become good at one thing, which is disrespecting the families of the victims, as they did the newtown hearing, disrespecting the office of the president of the united states as they did going after the president's family, disrespecting the office of the vice president by planteding moles to ask these kinds of questions during an interview of the vice president. these are the kind of tactics that you would expect when people are beginning to lose the argument. clearly the nra is losing the argument here on the constitutional issue. anybody that has read the heller decision understands the supreme court said the second amendment only protects the right to a handgun inside the home. and in fact that case invited the legislation that is very similar to what the president is proposing. so the people making the
constitutional argument have no idea what the second amendment really means as has been interpreted by the conservative united states supreme court. secondly, they're losing the argument on the effectiveness. we know as we've discussed on this show, martin, that these laws would be very effective. we know from the international data where you compare the number of firearm-related deaths we have in this country, 30,000 a year, to a couple hundred in other countries like japan and the u.k. we know as you compare the states that have stronger gun legislation, how many fewer gun-related deaths there are every year. we know as you look at the assault weapons ban from the 1990s that assault weapons-related crimes after the ban went down by something like 60%, 70%. we know if you have a handgun inside your home, you're 22 times more likely to have an innocent victim. so they're losing the argument. just one last point if i can. you know, i mentioned the 30,000 gun-related deaths every year that we have in this country. the fbi says we have only 200
justifiable homicides with handguns. so you compare 200 justifiable homicides with handguns to the 30,000 that we lose every year, the nra is clearly losing the argument both on the constitutional issue and they're also losing the argument on the effectiveness of these laws which is why they go to these bogus tactics like disrespecting the office of the vice president and the president of the united states. >> and just to make the point, julian, just in the last 24 hours, we've seen one 28-year-old man in texas who was shot in his neck and jaw after a botched carjacking. police in detroit are still looking for a gunman who opened fire last night outside a child's birthday party. and this morning in brooklyn, two people were shot, one killed, while sitting behind the car of a wheel. this goes on and on on a daily basis and tragically we will continue to report it. julian epstein, thank you so much for joining us. >> thank you, martin. next, the world's most active and persistent perpetrators of economic espionage. stay with us.
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we cannot look back years from now and wonder why we did nothing in the face of real threats to our security and our economy. >> within the last hour, attorney general eric holder outlined strategies to mitigate those real threats of cyber espionage. this new aggressive stance comes on the heels of an extensive multi-year report which traced several recent high-level cyber attacks tied to the chinese military. the report details attempts to hack power grids, water supply and the company with access to more than 60% of oil and gas pipelines in north america. joining us now is the author of "china airborne" and the national correspondent of the atlantic, james fallows. good afternoon, james. >> thank you for coming on. the chinese came out today and
strongly denied all of these allegations. should they be believed? is this just a case of threat inflation as we like to call it? >> the chinese statement was in keeping with its government's usual response to accusations like this. they said that they never have endorsed hacking of anybody else, they resolutely enforce their laws. there's no violation of privacy laws in china. i think that's difficult to take seriously. i think the main point here is that for decades, for more than a decade now, there have been increasing both government and corporate concerns in the u.s. about hacking from a lot of places, including china, and the news in this latest report is tying it more specifically to the chinese military than had been done in the previous encounters. >> now, they appear to have targeted companies like facebook, apple, twitter and google among others. isn't this an indication that they were seeking to steal intellectual property that the chinese might then reproduce and there by undermine american products? >> yes. it seems to be a combination of motives here. one seems to be purely political, that is hacking "the
new york times," "watshington post" computers. going into google. some is purely commercial. for example, coca-cola was in the middle of a gigantic takeover bid a couple of years ago in china that fell apart in the last minute probably because of some of the secrets were stolen. some of it is long-term commercial like going into the boeing and ge and technological accounts and so it's a multi-fronting and probably multi-source effort from china and other sources. >> outgoing secretary of defense leon panetta said this recently. take a listen. >> the collective result of these kinds of attacks could be a cyber pearl harbor. an attack that would cause physical destruction and the loss of life. an attack that would paralyze and shock the nation. and create a new profound sense
of vulnerability. >> james, how right is he? what are the wide-scale implications if a country like china can remotely seize and manipulate our critical infrastructure? >> i think it's worth remembering, number one, that without doubt the leading country in the world for this kind of capability is not china but the united states. the united states, after all, was a partner in the stuxnet virus in iran, et cetera, so american officials have been very careful not to talk in detail about our capabilities but they certainly match those that china has. the second is the kind of cyber pearl harbor i think is something most people would assume would happen only if there were complete hostilities for some other reason. it would not be in china's interest or america's just to out of the blue attack the infrastructure. probably the ongoing issue that's more important is the theft of commercial information happening every day and the infiltration of things like publications. >> james fallows, thank you so
much. we remind you to pick up a copy of james' new book, "china airborne" which is now available in paper book. and we'll be right back. ♪ i've got something for you too. (announcer) fancy feast delights with cheddar. a meal that is sure to delight your cheese lover. fancy feast. the best ingredient is love.
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