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tv   Martin Bashir  MSNBC  March 29, 2013 1:00pm-2:00pm PDT

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disease? would somebody please call a doctor? ♪ >> republican congressman don young of alaska is apologizing for racially insensitive comments. >> my father had a ranch. we used to hire 50 to 60 to pick tomatoes. >> we're on the way to dying quick and fast with comments like this. >> why don't you shut up about illegal amnesty? >> no group be they gays, be they namla be they people who believe in bestiality, it doesn't matter what they are. >> yes, skim milk marriage. i have always suspected that skim milk was gay. >> they don't get to change the definition. >> i mean, forg god's sake, it' got homogenized right on the carton. >> a crazy guy got a gun and killed people. >> >> the systthe system is orco
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protect the cowards. >> i haven't forgotten those kids. shame on us if we've forgotten them. we begin with president obama down south touching down to tout economic recovery and spread a little miami nice in the sunshine state. promoting infrastructure spending, this afternoon the president toured a tunnel project at port miami. he cited it as a key example of a project that fixes problems, boosts the economy, and creates jobs. >> breaking ground on more projects like this tunnel that i just saw means more good construction jobs that can't be outsourced. they have to be done right here in america and they end up giving people good pay and good opportunities to raise their families. >> of course, visiting miami, a city with a large latino population, provides a backdrop for the immigration issue now heating up ahead of an expected
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reform bill in congress next month. senator marco rubio greeted the president with an op-ped in "the miami herald." "in miami today, president obama will see what really makes an economy tick. he'll see hardworking americans of all walks of life including many immigrants. i believe president obama will understand even more how important a modernized immigration system is to south florida and our nation's economy." unfortunately, some in mr. rubio's party don't seem to grasp the importance of a modernized attitude toward immigrants. republican congressman don young of alaska casually tossed out a racial slur to describe immigrant workers on a radio show last night. >> my father had a ranch. we used to hire 50 to 60 wetbacks and pick tomatoes. you know, it takes two people to pick the same tomatoes now. it's all done by machine. >> yep. he used that word. young issued an apology of
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sorts. "i used a term that was commonly used during my days growing up on a farm in central california. i know that this term is not used in the same way nowadays, and i meant no disrespect." right, i guess back then it was a term of endurmt. we'll have more on that in just a moment. first, for more on the president's trip, nbc's kristen welker joins us from miami. you've just gotten new information on immigration reform from the white house. what can you tell us? >> reporter: well, jonathan, according to sources who are working on immigration reform, one of the major sticking points may be close to being resolved. that sticking point, what to pay temporary workers. last friday, the gang of eight, which was working on this, they were close to a deal, and then it sort of unravelled because of a major disagreement between business and labor. that disagreement, how much to pay temporary workers. well, they have had a week to talk about it, to cool off.
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i am told that both sides have been coming together this day and in recent hours trying to resolve this issue and they may be close to an agreement. now, i want to read you what i just got from senator chuck schumer. he just released this statement. "we are very close, closer than we have ever been and we are very optimistic, but there are still a few issues remaining." that statement, again, coming from senator chuck schumer who is, of course, a part of that gang of eight who is working on immigration reform. so, of course, there is no deal until all parties have signed off on all of these points. but it appears at this hour one of the main sticking points may be close to being resolved. jonathan? >> great, kristen welker, thank you. sounds like you're at a construction site but you're at the port of miami. thank you for being with us. >> reporter: thank you, jonathan. i want to bring in our panel now. with us from san francisco, msnbc contributor mazia teresa
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kumar, president and ce o o of voto latino. in austin, texas, an nbc reporter. madia, i'm going to start with you. a crucial moment for immigration reform. the gang of eight working on a bipartisan approach. the headlines are a republican congress calling people that word. can i even say that word? this isn't helping, is it? >> i have to give credit to the republicans. the moment that congressman young said that, boehner actually issued a statement saying that he had to apologize to the american people and to american latinos. i think that shows not only that they're actually trying to put a good step forward but recognize they have a larger problem. how do you change the hearts and minds of the extreme right of republicans who don't want immigration reform? but the fact that they realize how fragile this is, how they need to -- the republicans need to stick together and basically take this legislation past the goal post, i do applaud that. i think it's going to be very difficult for the house senate, i mean, for the house to actually keep the senate bill. so we're very enthusiastic about
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what's happening in the senate, but our biggest concern is, will we be able to make sure the tea party congressional members actually stay -- keep their eye on the ball and make sure they pass comprehensive immigration reform? >> victoria, i want to read more of congressman young's so-called abo bopolog apology. "migrant workers play an important role in america's workforce and earlier in the said interview i discussed the compassion and understanding i have for these workers and the hurdles they face in obtaining citizenship." compassion? that word tumbles out of his mouth? >> jonathan, regrettably, these slurs aren't limited to isolated incidents. last week a county official in mississippi being quoted in the local newspaper, again, used those terms. what worries me in terms of the political implication is that such terms, they objectify a group of folks. in this case, immigrants, mexicans, latinos. by objectifying these
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individuals, you dehumanize them. when you dehumanize a group of folks, when you dehumanize a group that is technically stigmatized. in order to see public policy change, we need to see americans coming forwards and putting a human face on immigrants. i think a beautiful case of this has been with gay americans. that we have seen a greater empathy, a greater connection with gay americans with the larger american public and then you see that policy move. and i'm worried that these slurs and this continued stereotypical reference to latinos is going to be a block to public policy and public opinion. >> madea teresa, compassion and understanding have had a pretty tough time in the gop. let's take a moment to remember this from the 2012 primaries. >> if you say that we should not educate children who have come into our state for no other reason than they've been brought there by no fault of their own,
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i don't think you have a heart. texans voted on it, and i still support it greatly. >> senator santorum. >> i mean, rick perry was booed for having a heart while the party nominated the guy who pushed for self-deportation. this one slur is not the only problem for the gop, is it? >> no, it's not. i mean, this whole idea of dehumanization, unfortunately that's already happened. it's been something that has been a pattern among the republican party for a long time. i think the fact that, again, they're trying to reign in the language and the first time taking a stand against it is testament they are trying. it's not going to happen overnight. we need to have conversations nothing our families and our friends just like the gay community did to make sure we recognized that these are undocumented immigrants are hardworking, are hardworking individuals that basically make sure that they're providing food and, you know, food and prosperity to our country. they are an important part of our economy and until we start, again, talking about them and
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making sure we provide them with a pathway to citizenship so they come out of the shadows and actually are recognized, not as second-class citizens, but as contributors that they are, that's when we're going to be able to -- that's when we're going to actually be able to have an honest conversation and move the conversation forward. >> vick totoria, new polling sha divide among republican voters. 64% support immigration reform. 43% view immigrants as strengthening the country. 55% say they're a burden. that's got to complicate efforts to sell reform, doesn't it? >> it absolutely does. what we're seeing is also a deeper divide within the republican party. we're seeing the chamber of commerce republicans makes a very strong push for immigration reform. again, it's very dehumanized vision of comprehensive immigration reform. it's about labor. we do, however, see among the republican party, the more evangelical and religious elements saying, okay, these are individuals who help our community, who are in our pews.
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we need to bring them in. so for me, what i'm seeing is obstacles, not just between republicans and democrats, but really within the republican party, itself, and struggling to find a common ground of how to view immigrants. and what's so frustrating here is that the data shows that if they were actually able to embrace a more comprehensive plan, latinos would be open to voting for republicans. latino decisions poll a couple weeks ago showed if republicans took the lead on immigration reform, they'd be 44% more likely to vote for a republican. >> well, you know, the struggle continues. there's also a poll that shows 56% of hispanics actually approve of congress. but we don't have time to go into that. but it's an incredible number. maria teresa kumar, victoria defran cesco. thanks so much. next, when it comes to gay marriage, one doctor is definitely out. stay with us. >> every lifestyle is now supposed to be equivalent.
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marriage is between a man and a woman. it's a well-established fundamental pillar of society. and no group, be they gays, be they nambla, be they people who believe in bestiality. it doesn't matter what they are, they don't get to change the definition. >> is the honeymoon already over for the republican party's latest savior? dr. ben carson, celebrated neurosurgeon, became a hero for many conservatives when he confronted the president about health care at the national prayer breakfast in february.
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this week, however, carson chimed in on the debate over same-sex marriage. his statements appeared to suggest that a moral equivalence exists between gays, pedophiles and people who practice bestiality. our own andrea mitchell talked to carson about his controversial remarks just moments ago. take a listen. >> what i was basically saying, and if anybody was offended, i apologize to you, but what i was basically saying is that there is no group. i wasn't equating those things. i don't think they're equal. just, you know, if you ask me for an apple and i gave you an orange, you'd say, that's not an orange. then i say, here's a banana, that's not an apple either. and there's a peach, that's not an apple either. >> an apple? an orange? a banana? a peach? a fruit basket? really? we're joined now by political strategist angela rye, principal of impact strategies, and todd shepherd, the associate professor of history at johns hopkins university where dr.
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carson serves on the faculty of the medical school. so, professor, you spoke out against your own johns hopkins colleague. you said his comments made him look, quote, nasty, petty, and ill-informed. today he told andrea mitchell he apologized if people were offended. now, i mean, is that good enough for you? >> oh, i mean, i'm sure he didn't mean to offend. what was remarkable to me, i used the word rancid. he was trying to throw out red meat to the lions. in this day and age, however, only the hyenas are left and the meat's too rotten for them. it's really old school. it's from a long time ago. this type of reference. this is an attempt to scare people, to shock people. you know, it reminds me of kinds of the ken starr attempt to make people disgusted. attempt to produce disgust. i think it's great at hopkins and much of the rest of the country that discussion has moved on. people are trying to focus on individual rights, questions of how we can adopt the times, how our society, which makes laws --
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we don't have to do it like they did in the roman times or some other time. we can do it how we need to do it today. learning lessons from the past. unfortunately, his history is wrong, too. on multiple levels. so it's too bad, but he has every right to speak out obviously. >> that nambla reference is so old, there are people on my twitter feed and people around the building asking what's nanbla, two, does it still exist? that's another conversation. angela, let's go back to that interview with andrea mitchell and ben carson. take a listen. >> you're talking about apples, oranges, peaches, but when you say that the well-established pillar of society, no group be they gays, be they nambla, which is the society for man, boy, love, which we're talking about pedophilia. so we're talking about something that is illegal. be they people who believe in bestiality. you are in the same sentence equating same-sex marriage with things that are illegal.
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>> well, as i said, i just explained what my intention was. >> angela, ben carson says his remarks were taken out of context. does he still need to explain how they were taken out of context? >> no, jonathan. we don't care how they were out of context. one very critical thing i think i want to mention to the good doctor, as lawyer, there are two pieces he is missing when it comes to bestiality and pedophilia, and that is consent. there's a total difference between two consenting adults and folks that are practicing pedophilia and bestiality. it is highly problematic that that is the reference that he chose. particularly because dr. carson relies so heavy on his christi n christiani christianity. i'm not here to judge is, especially good friday, and as a christian myself. we continue to see the etch loose of christianity turn into a judgment zone when the basis of the faith is supposed to be love.
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i'm going to emphasize that, again, on good friday, we should be talking about to love people through whatever their differences are and figure out how to find common ground rather than destroying people comparing them to things that don't have any relevance whatsoever and are just offensive. >> now, angela, one of the reasons conservatives fell in love with this guy was because they thought he could appeal to people beyond the far right. but does ben carson damage his brand if he's going around and comparing gays to pedophiles? >> there's no question about it. you know, dr. carson has this biographical sketch called "gifted hands" which was later turned into a movie. what we're seeing now is dr. carson has gifted hands but does not have the gift of gab. his political correctness needs a chin check. he needs a communications director, needs a strategist or needs to have a seat and go back to operating. >> professor, the hill has a report today, it says that students have started a petition calling for dr. carson's removal as the medical school's commencement speaker this year. dr. carson says that he'd be willing to bow out of the engagement if that's what the
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students want. do you think he should? did you hear my question, todd? >> no. could you repeat it? >> basically there's a report in "the hill" today that says students at johns hopkins are asking dr. carson to bow out of speaking at their commencement. so i'm asking, do you think he should? >> i don't know. i mean, his politics are reactionary. it's not about how he says them. he's someone who believes that there was some magical age back in the day and it should be like that through eternity and we don't have a right to discuss and debate. i'm all for a discussion and debate. i think his positions are wrong. i think the vast majority of students at hopkins and elsewhere across thus kis count think they're wrong. it's good we're getting a view of them. it's not about shutting him down. it's good people like him speak out. i think it becomes really clear how backward looking they are. the vision of society that they have, his fixsation, their obsession with sex, and trying to talk about it disgusts us.
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i think americans have gotten beyond that. i think there's support for more freedom, more individual rights, and, again, i'm not for punishing him in some way, except for public opinion. right? i think he's shows himself to be where he is. there are people that agree with him. the vast majority of people that are at hopkins, that are in this country, it's more and more clear, do not. it's good he's made himself clear. i think crystal clear. again, it's reactionary politics. it's looking back to some golden age that never existed. you know, before the fall of the roman empire i guess is one of his references. this is just not history. it's not an accurate reading of history. given it's not where most historians think it's the most accurate description of what went wrong in rome. the way marriage law has been dealt with in this country is not all as he describes. it's always been a process of law making, of people deciding how they want to deal with like age of consent law, things like marital rape which didn't exist back in the marvelous day he's talking about. interracial marriage.
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>> but professor, so given all that, you wouldn't be sad if he just -- if he decided to follow through in what he said to andrea mitchell and say that he would bow out of giving that commencement address? of his own volition? >> it's not -- i wouldn't be sad, no, but i'm not calling for it. i'm not calling for people not to have discussion. i'm calling for people to make judgments about what he said. i think that that judgment should be firm. i don't think he should -- he represents an amazing talent and history as a neurosurgeon. if that's what the medical school wants, unfortunately, he also offered himself up as something more. i can understand why people would be disturbed by that, but, you know, i'm suspicious of calling for people not to speak. i'd rather have us judge what they say. >> you know, angela, the republican party seems to be going through saviors faster than nbc goes through late night talk show hosts. first it was marco rubio, then it was ben carson. what does this tell you about the state of the republican party today? >> beyond that it's
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schizophrenic, jonathan? i don't know. it really is demonstrating, again, how totally discombobulated they are, how divided they are. we continue to see that with the challenges not only in their messaging but as we talk about all the time when you're not in the big chair that they have a huge problem with the policies that they continue to push. and most importantly, with this particular situation, the namesake of the school, johns hopkins, who was an abolitionist, a quaker and a philanthropist, would probably have a bone to pick with dr. carson on this point right here. >> and with that, we have to go. thanks to angela rye anded to t shepard. coming up, rand paul's philosophy on gun safety? why bother? stay with us. >> we have laws against murder and we should have laws against murder, but that doesn't seem to be deterring these people.
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[ male announcer ] the sound of reddi-wip is the sound of joy. from dodge ball and natural selection, to skim milk. here are today's top lines, the week in review. >> tgif, it is good friday. >> the easter bunny now on the run. >> bunny comes from paganism, a symbol of fertility. >> dodge ball is a natural selection. guys shaving in fifth grade are going to win. >> back in the day we played with hard balls, not cushy things. >> 11th grade when we're all shaving. >> exhibit "a". >> no one flailed harder than reince priebus. >> it was completely awesome. >> like a drunk muppett. >> he gets to be funny. >> ham picked the candidates. chose the white bread. >> might need professional counseling on his anger
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management. >> there was a big difference between karl rove and ham rove. >> must keep running. that's catches up to me. >> i don't believe we need to act like, you know, old testament heretics. >> it is going to take a literal brain surgeon. >> be they gays, nambla, people who believe in bestiality. >> consenting adult or a horse or a doughnut. it's all the same. >> for them to be treated differently is not fair. >> if they cared about gays they would have been on board in the beginning. >> marry 18 people, marry a duck. >> quack, quack. >> compelling argument is on the side of homosexuals. >> nobody is homophobic i know of. >> interesting topic to people. >> i never realized a human being could be gay until my wife and i accidentally made one. >> lower the goal down to six feet, that way everybody can slam dunk the ball. >> skim milk marriage. >> i have always suspected skim milk was gay. it's got homogenized right on the carton. >> it's going to happen. it's the direction the culture is heading.
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>> how often do 90% of americans agree on anything? >> call me if any of reforms would have saved those kids. >> shame on us. >> the president is into showmanship. he wants to show people he cares. >> shame on us, though, for what? that a crazy person got a gun and killed people? >> what's your favorite firearm? >> i'm a gold old shotgun guy. let's get right to our panel, julian epstein is a good old democratic strategist. and david serota is a good old nationally syndicated newspaper columnist. welcome, both of you. >> good afternoon, jonathan. >> julian, marco rubio joined rand paul and three other gop senators on a -- does that make the filibuster a little more appealing for the rest of the republican -- 45 republican senators? >> well, it's hard to say, because as we've discussed before on the show, there's an enormous amount of public support for these measures. think it's a clear sign marco rubio is running for president, wants to send cat nip to the
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base and shield other republicans having from having to take an unpopular vote on gun safety measures. on the other side, look at what's happening with vice president biden, hillary clinton who's been good on this issue since 1994 in the assault weapons ban. if the change doesn't happen in the congress this year, it will happen in the streets. we've spoken this week about doma and same-sex marriage and change happening quickly there. more quickly than the institutions are recognizing. the political and the legal institutions. change is also happening here. and i think that if the republicans wan to stop this process, we are essentially at the beginning of a two to five-year process where they will begin to pay prices at the polls. but
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lot of local jurisdictions are not reporting criminal convictions, not reporting mental health barriers to ownership, so the federal database is not nearly as good as it should be. that would be a common sense improvement. >> one month after sandy hook, republicans are talking about common ground. >> the nra lobbyists and sock puppets in congress have more positions than a game of twister. david pointed out where the nra was after columbine. the nra was for background
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checks in 2007. the so-called bengal/mccarthy bill. they're on record of having supported background checks. they're trying to filibuster legislation. in 2007, and this is another way in which the nra position has totally changed to the cruz comment, the nra actually with its surrogates in congress tried to weaken the provisions on mental health background. they tried to expand the number of people that were able to get firearms that would have otherwise been prohibited under the mental background check p. they have so many positions you can't figure out what's happening here. we're going to have to break the back of the nra at the ballot box. it's going to be a two to four-year process. >> this threat of a filibuster is happening in the context of president obama saying, shame on us. if we forget newtown. and learning that adam lanza had an nra certificate and shooting guide among his vast arsenal. how much of this filibuster threat is about drowning out those facts? >> i think that's exactly what it's about. i think the nra is clearly feels
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like it's on the defensive, as an institution, an organization that's politically important, so really central in the minds of the american psyche. so i think what they've done is mounted a filibuster against anything that not only is for essentially things that that organization was for, but really this is a filibuster in a sense, you could look at it, as a filibuster in defense of the nra as an institution. that the nra is essentially having its allies mount a filibuster in defense of the organization of the nra. and i think that in making themselves so central to the gun debate, and making themselves so central to obstructing gun control, they have really put the credibility of the entire organization on the line. and i think it's a bad call on their part. >> you know, just to that point, very quickly, jonathan, i think the nra has privately, and a lot of republicans conceded background checks will get through. a lot of the histrionics are about trying to change the subject so we're talking about
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background checks and not assault weapons and not clips. of the last mass murders in this country, 39 would not have been prevented with background checks. n newtown, aurora wouldn't have been prevented with background checks. arizona wouldn't have been prevented with background checks. many of the mass murders we hear about occur not just with assault weapons but occur from gunmen who would have escaped the background check process. the strategy here is to isolate this conversation, narrow it down to background checks when in fact what really is the issue is assault weapons and clips. the nra is trying to get us to stop talking about that. democrats, independents, others, the 70%-plus who want this need to keep in mind background checks is not going to solve a lot of this problem. >> a good point. david, let me read to you a few examples of the daily gun violence in america that's happened in the last 24 hours, an elderly woman shot to death
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in gary, indiana. a 20-year-old shot in philadelphia, and another young man was killed and two others wounded in a shooting in long beach, california. now, this show ran a graphic yesterday that said, "newtown and your town." for a lot of people, that's true, isn't it? >> absolutely. i mean, this touches everybody now. there have been thousands of deaths, gun deaths since newtown. and i think that what -- if there's any good news to come out of this, and those are horrible, horrifying events you just cited there, but they're so day-to-day. i think the silver lining in all of this is to raise the profile of what's going on in america. to say, look, if we're going to treat various problems as serious problems that cause thousands of deaths every year, then one of those problems that we need to see within the prism of a crisis is gun violence in america. i hate the fact obviously it needs -- it requires unfortunately in our politics that kind of bloodshed for it to reach that level, but here's hoping that the congress and the
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folks on the street can see this crisis moment as a time for action. >> quick point on that, very quickly. over 3,000 people killed since newtown. if those 3,000 fellow americans were killed by a terrorist, we would be up in bipartisan arms saying we need some answer. the fact they're killed by our fellow americans gives the republicans for some strange reason some ability to say we ought not to take action. look, the media is doing its job on this. they've been focusing on this a great deal. the president has been doing his job. this at the end of the day i think is a test for the 70% of us who are the silent majority, 70%-plus, the polls vary, the silent majority who want common sense gun safety rules, to go to communities and social media and to mobilize and bring the political pressure necessary to get congress to move. ultimately, progressives, democrats, independents, we need to hold ourselves accountable because it is now about our ability to marshal that pressure to get congress to move. >> you're absolutely right. it's going to be up to us.
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julian epstein, david sirota, thank you. next, tensions with north korea rise to a startling new level. stay with us. >> i think they're very provocative actions, and belligerent tone has ratcheted up the danger. the fact is that this is the wrong way to go. [ kitt ] you know what's impressive? a talking car. but i'll tell you what impresses me.
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putting it on vibrate. [ cell phone vibrates ] -[ loud vibrating ] -it'll pass. [ vibrating continues ] our giant store and your little phone. that's progressive mobile. chanting death to the u.s. imperialists, tens of thousands marched in a rally in pyongyang today. reports out of north korea show kim jong-un is focusing his missiles on the united states and south korea. video animation from a north korean website shows the missile fired by north korea destroying a u.s. nuclear capable bomber as well as a simulation of the u.s. capitol building burning to the ground. but is this latest call to arms mere propaganda or a clear
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threat? nbc chief pentagon correspondent jim miklashevski joins us. jim, i'm sorry for that. >> that's okay, jonathan. >> this all in response to a recent nuclear test and ongoing u.s. south korean military exercises in the region. what is the latest out of the pentagon this afternoon? >> well, in terms of the latest out of the pentagon this afternoon, despite all this heated rhetoric and this increased saber rattling out of north korea, u.s. military and intelligence officials say they still see no signs of any extraordinary or unordinary activities on the part of the north korean military. there were reports out of north korea overnight that they had actually manned many of their advanced missile batteries, but u.s. intelligence officials say that is not the case. so so far this appears to be heated rhetoric. what makes this different, however, according to some intelligence and military officials we've been talking to,
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is that we're dealing with a 28-year-old, 29-year-old son of kim jong-il, kim jong-un, and his unpredictability at this point, they feel makes him probably more dangerous at this point than his father. but, again, we go back to the idea that this, for the time being, anyway, appears to be more saber rattling than anything. and quite frankly, the responses from the u.s. military, in terms of flying b-2 bombers, announcing that they're going to beef up their missile defenses there in alaska, is aimed in part at north korea but also at south korea and japan as an indication, look, we know that you're right there in the gun sights of north korea, but if anything happens, we're there to help you. >> jim, you anticipated my next question. nbc's jim miklashevski, thank you so much. next, a week of intolerance comes to a close. stay with us. >> new standard for recognizing
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marriage is whether or not the couple would make good parents? you, scalia, should get cable. easter's here! and we're talking with laura about the walmart low price guarantee, backed by ad match. their ad price is ten for ten dollars, walmart's everyday low price is lower than their sale price. that's awesome! green bean casserole is a big easter dish in my house. really? yes, and right there... cream of mushroom soup. oh, here you go. that's what you put in it. yeah. there's your price, walmart will match that right at the register. nice! i did not know they did that. you looked through all those ads, walmart matched the prices. wow! that's the walmart low price guarantee backed by ad match! save time and money. bring in ads from your local stores and see for yourself. save time and money. i've got something for you too.
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earlier in the show we spoke about alaska congressman don young and his inflammatory use of a racial slur that we will only reserve to as the "w" word. we now have breaking news. congressman young has issued an apology. young says "i apologize for the insensitive term i used during an interview in ketchikan, alaska. tl there was no malice in my heart or intent to offend. it was a poor choice of words. that word and the negative attitudes that come with it should be left in the 20th century and i'm sorry this shifted our focus away from comprehensive immigration
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reform." earlier in the day, priebus said "the remarks don't emphatically represent the beliefs of the party and that everyone deserves to be treated with dignity and respect." hear, hear. let's look at priebus' rnc courtesy of mckay coppins' latest "buzz feed" article. minority outreach and dismal statistics on how the party integrates people of color into its organization. example, there's not a single non-white senior official among the 20, top 20 in the rnc. here to discuss the party's missteps, with minorities, co-host of nbc's "the cycle," krystal ball, and toure, the man with no last name. >> it would be a lot easier to discuss the rnc's positive stepses with people of color because the missteps would take us the entire hour. wouldn't they? throw in a little racism, right? we also got a little homophobia from our fruit-loving doctor, ben carson today. his apples and his oranges and his pears.
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but he still doesn't understand the fundamental nature of marriage is not just the government relationship, which is important. not just the religious relationship, which is important. but the social relationship. he wants to give us all this stuff about government, right, and we'll give you some laws, but i don't want you to be able to go to your friends and say, i'm married, this is my husband. and that part of it is so important. >> so krystal, let me start with you. >> you see what i go through every day, jonathan. >> i know. in the "buzz feed" article a former rnc staffer describes what the mood was like when they were told to participate in minority outreach events. "he said they would pass around a beanie baby they dubbed a panda bear and make fun of the tokenism." how come members of the gop missed the memo on sensitivity? >> playing what they called identity politics, that they hate to do anything for themselves that will showcase any sort of diversity, even if it is just a first baby step toward appealing to broader
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groups. i mean, they have kind of a tough situation in a way because as you pointed out, they are so white top to bottom that when they do put out, you know, marco rubio or susanna martinez, it does feel like tokenism because, frankly, in a way, it is. you kind of have to start from the ground up and start with policies that are going to appeal to people and attract them in, not just say we have these brown faces here and there. >> wait a minute, that might explain why ben carson, you know, he says something that, you know, slams the president and suddenly, boom, there he is. he's suddenly the golden child. >> he's their new black friend. they feel very comfortable. i'm not racist, i'm hanging out with ben carson. >> right. but, toure, i want to talk about poll numbers. new pew research poll says 33% of republicans agree that immigrants strengthen the country through their hard work and talents, while 55% say they are a burden on the country by taking jobs, housing, and health
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care. help. >> they need help from actual facts. 75% of immigrants pay payroll taxes, right? if they are undocumented immigrants, they will never be able to access the things they're paying into, medicaid, medicare, social security. so they are makers and not takers at all. these are the sort of people they should be welcoming in and if it's a party for the rich, they should want these people who will do those jobs they don't really want to do. this is the party that has gotten high on the elixir of white racial anxiety since 1964. and it's been a huge thing to them. they are drunk on it. and they can't move forward without it because this is how they rally the wagons and bring those white working class voters who are not necessarily racist but are activated by fear of blacks, hispanics, sometimes gays, sometimes even women's rights. and then how do you get off of that and create a national coalition large enough to go along with your rich white folk?
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>> krystal, let's go back to dr. carson. this week we saw him awkwardly use gays, nambla and bestiality in the same sentence. he tried to backtrack those comments this afternoon with msnbc's andrea mitchell. i think he only served in complicating matters. listen to this. >> that was taken completely out of context. what i was basically saying is there was no group. i wasn't equating those things. i don't think they're equal. just, you know, if you ask me for an apple and i gave you an orange, you'd say, that's not an orange. then i say, here's a banana, that's not an apple either. >> i'm still trying to decipher that. no matter how many times i listen to it, i don't get it. >> it's not an apple, it's an orange. >> krystal, can you decipher this, please? >> i don't think i can decipher it. even this man empb if he says he's not equating bestiality and gay people, he is putting them in the same sentence and on par with one another in some sense to be certain.
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even this man, when pushed, could not come up with a reason to deny gay couples the federal benefits that straight married couples receive. the best he could come back to was just we cannot give them the term, marriage, which we know is an incredibly important piece, having that term. that sort of shows how untenable the debate is on their side. the only thing he could come back to was the religious rationale and the denying of the actual term, marriage. >> he wasn't taken out of context at all, and this argument he's trying to make with bestiality and nambla is a fairly old argument we've heard over and over. don't act like that's not what i meant to say. many people on your side are saying that. >> making the slippery slope argument, which was basically what he was trying to make. >> well, krystal ball, man with no last name, toure. thank you both very much. i'd be remiss if i didn't mention toure's newly released
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book, "i would die for you: why prince became an icon." we'll be right back. ♪ you know my heart burns for you... ♪ i'm up next, but now i'm singing the heartburn blues. hold on, prilosec isn't for fast relief. cue up alka-seltzer. it stops heartburn fast. ♪ oh what a relief it is!
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