tv The Rachel Maddow Show MSNBC March 30, 2013 3:00am-4:00am PDT
is you can get all this with a prepaid card. spends like cash. feels like membership. the pope himself washing the prisoners' feet. previous popes have washed the feet of priests on the thursday before easter. but this new pope, pope francis, shows prisoners and women prisoners and muslim prisoners among them to try to embody the humility of christ. catholic traditionalists are reportedly upset about the women and muslims part of it. but it kind of seems like the new pope does not care particularly about them caring. on the korean peninsula today the young leader of north korea continued to up the belligerence and bluster factor. he released this weirdly staged
and probably doctored photograph purporting to show plans in a sort of situation room for an attack, a north korean attack, on the u.s. mainland. he also declared tonight that his country is in a state of war with south korea. nobody knows exactly what that means from a country that regularly threatens to nuke everyone in sight. but even if this is just more north korean crazy, it is in fact an escalation of the north korean crazy, so it bears watching. president obama was in miami today making the case for infrastructure investment for building projects, both to put people to work and to invest in the infrastructure we need as a country. the administration today also announcing new rules to extend the anti-smog, anti-soot air pollution rules that apply in california to the rest of the country. the extension would happen to the rest of the country by 2017. some environmentalists are handling this as among the most significant things president obama has done on the environment and on the issue of pollution in his entire presidency.
so for the friday before easter there is a lot going on in the world. but we begin tonight with the republican party. republican party specifically trying to hack its way out of a wilderness of its own making. trying to make connections with. trying to reintroduce themselves to, a whole swath of the american electorate, who thinks that republican party is ick. >> there is a hilarious episode on "seinfeld." any "seinfeld" fans? where jerry admits that he loves asian women, but he frets and he worries, he says is it racist to like a certain race? so it is with trepization that i'd like to express my admiration today for the romance of the latin culture. i'm a great fan -- >> senator rand paul of kentucky then went on in the same speech just moments later to read to the assembled crowd which was the hispanic chamber of commerce, to read to them a ruda love poem. not a policy poem, not a poem about commerce or chambers.
but rather a love poem. to show his love of how romantic latinos are. latino business leaders who turned out to hear a policy address by a united states senator, instead got a love poem. and his profession for the romantic love of latinos. after the election, the republican party decided this year that one of its catastrophic failures, not just little thing that needed to be tweaked, some embarrassment that should be regretted, one of the structural problems that they have got that threatens their existence as a party that can compete nationally is the issue of latino voters. how much latino voters do not like the republican party. right after the election within weeks of the election they made a big show at their first big national republican party reinvention pageant. they made a big show of trying to fix what's wrong with their appeal to latino voters. republican congressman got specific advice. they got a list of dos and don'ts from a group formed to try to make latinos like republicans more. the hispanic leadership network
encouraged republican members of congress to quote, please consider these tonally sensitive messaging points as you discuss immigration. don't use phrases like, send them all back. or electric fence. or build a wall along the entire border. don't use the word illegals or aliens. don't use the term anchor baby. don't characterize all hispanics as undocumented or all undocumented as hispanics. and it is kind of embarrassing, right, that a member of congress, republican members of congress have to be told this, have to be told not to characterize all hispanics in the united states as undocumented aliens or illegals. it is embarrassing to give and presumably to receive advice like this. but it is probably practical for the gop. even with all of that practical yet embarrassing advice though, i'm guessing that it never occurred to anybody trying to rebrand the republican party for a latino audience. i'm guessing it never occurred
to anybody that they might also need to directly tell republican members of congress to not use this word in public. >> my father had a ranch. we used to hire 50 to 60 wetbacks and to pick tomatoes. you know it takes two people to pick the same tomatoes now. it's all done with a machine. >> who knew the tonally sensitive messaging points for the 2013 congress should have said don't use words like that. not at a bar when you're drunk and feeling particularly racist, not at home, not with your buddies, not ever. let alone into an interview with a microphone. but yet that was congressman don young speaking in an interview into a microphone, with a radio station in his home state of alaska. didn't anybody ever tell you sir not to say that word? it never came up before? anybody in your personal life who heard you say that has been totally cool with that? immediately upon saying that, don young did put out a statement saying that he meant no disrespect by it.
the anchorage daily news noted in that initial statement congressman young, quote, stopped short of apologizing. finally late today he did go back for another pass and he did end up apologizing. did take a couple tries but he finally got there. also today we learn that the great state of north carolina has decided to get rid of the state's office of hispanic and latino affairs. they have this state office in north carolina for a good reason. latinos are the state's fastest growing ethnic community by a mile. this office was designed to help the latino community in north carolina, which is growing so fast, help them have a say in policy decisions that affect them. it was where hispanic, spanish speaking residents went to get bilingual help during hurricanes and other natural disasters. north carolina's hispanic population grew by 111% between the years 2000 and 2010. that's a fact we know because it was put together in a report by the director of north carolina office of hispanic and latino
affairs, which is the office that they are now closing. the reason they are now closing it is because now north carolina has a republican governor. governor pat mckrorry elected just this past election has decided that now he's the governor there and there isn't a democratic in the governor's office anymore that latino office has to go. the north carolina office of hispanic and latino affairs was founded in 1988 when the governor was a democrat james hunt. the office survived just fine for 14 years for the 14 years that north carolina had democratic governors. but enter the first republican governor in 14 years, pat mckrorry, three months after taking office, he closes it down. so that's republican outreach to the fastest growing ethnic community in the state of north carolina. that's how that goes. the republican party has a deep, deep problem. not an image problem, a deep problem with latino voters. at base level, the real problem is not the don youngs of the world. although that's a problem. it's that latino voters don't like what the republican party
is offering. doesn't like what the republican party is offering as politics. doesn't like what the republican party is offering as policy. look at obama care. if you ask latinos, latinos support it by 57%. republicans just marked their 39th attempt to repeal obama care. republicans are debt set, die on a hill opposed to taxes being any part of bringing down the debt and the deficit. that's what they most want to be known for this year. while the proportion of latinos who disagree with them, who say tax increases should be a part of debt reduction is a whopping 83%. how about climate change which republicans denounce as a hoax. if you ask latinos if climate change is a steerious problem, 74% of latinos say yes. latinos support gun safety legislations. 62% support a limit on high capacity magazines. on the issue of abortion it's two thirds of latinos who say abortion should be legal. ask latinos about marriage equality for same-sex couples, a clear majority of latinos say
yes, they are in favor of that. the senator rand paul speech that i love hot latin culture, let me read you a love poem, hispanic chamber of commerce speech? before he got to the love poem that speech was all about how he is sure that latinos agree with him on abortion and same-sex marriage. he said he was sure they agree with him. i mean, check the stereotype. that's what the stereotype says. he's totally wrong about that no matter what the stereotype is. latino voters do not agree with him or his party on those issues. but he still wants the stereotype to fit. so why change it? he likes it. part of the big story of the republican party in 2013 is going to be watching them try to bridge this gap. trying to fix this problem that they've got with latino voters. this problem if they cannot fix it they can never win a national election. when the party released the formal autopsy of what they did so wrong in the last election, the headline conclusion was that the party said it would spend $10 million on minority outreach. and when they meant minority, when they said minority what they really meant was hispanic
and latino. the word hispanic appeared 99 times in this 97-page report. once per page and then some. this is the their absolute focus as a party. today we also learned that one of the things we should expect from republicans toward this aim is that they are working on new tv ads. new tv ads starring the chairman of the republican party that are aimed at rebranding the republican party for latino voters. basic idea has to be what? sorry about that whole racial slur thing from don young? never mind that. we love you. been sven ito, thank you for picking our food. thank you for picking our food? what? yes. according to media matters reporting today, the republican ad man making the ad at a new york politics conference yesterday said that the add will feature rnc chairman reince priebus, quote, reaching out to those latin americans who have come to the united states to help us build our country, to help harvest our food. thanks for picking our food, latinos. love the republican party.
this is the thing the republican party is supposedly working on the hardest. and this is how it is going so far. joining us now is pulitzer prize winning columnist for "the washington post," gene robinson. gene, very good to see you. thank you for being here. >> great to be here, rachel. i mean, where do we begin? may i just say, dios mio. i mean, where, where are we? >> i have to say my favorite part of all of this, i mean don young is amazing. his first explanation is he didn't know it was bad. which says, okay, you didn't know. but presumably that means you've been using this in other context and nobody you have ever spoken to raised an eyebrow or told you that's a bad thing? then he came around and apologized. you did see republican leadership, other republicans jump on don young and say he had to apologize today. is that a sign of progress? >> well, i suppose. it's a sign of progress but it
doesn't get them very far because don young set them so far back. so really they are just recovering a tiny bit of ground they might have lost earlier in the day. and let me just interpose a word about rand paul and the reading the pablo narudo poem to the chamber of commerce. is he aware that pablo narudo was a communist? he was a great poet, one of the great poets of the 20th century but he was so far from rand paul or anything rand paul would ever believe in. but of course, i doubt that rand paul understands that. i imagine many people in his audience might have. >> this is path -- actually the rand paul thing, i feel like it's important. because it is a perfect microcosm of what is going on. he is there giving what is billed as a policy address to the hispanic chamber of commerce, so to business leaders from the latino community. instead of talking about policy he diverts into a "seinfeld" episode that makes him feel
better about his sort of generalized racial feelings about hot-blooded romantic latinos and then reads them a love poem. when he is talking about policy, germizes from the hot-blooded latino stereotype that he's got to say, i'm sure you agree with me on abortion. the distance between policy and image here is a distance i'm not sure the republican party has 9 depth perception to pick up. and i don't know when that starts to change. >> the party clearly doesn't understand it and those in the party who do understand it, either don't want to change it or don't know how to change it. marco rubio understands some of this stuff, right? he understands, for example, that the party has to change its tune on immigration in a major way, as a threshold issue to this group of voters. but he can't get that message through. and from rand paul's speech, and the whole setting and the way it was delivered and the topics he covered, he clearly doesn't get it at all.
so his own fumbling attempts at going somewhere on immigration, which really didn't lead any place have to be just totally discounted because clearly the man doesn't know where he is when he's talking to latino voters, he doesn't have a clue. >> while this is happening on the republican side and i think the thing that's maybe most important about it is this is their highest priority. this is what they're working on the hardest. this is how it's coming out. are they making such fools of themselves that democratic party is in danger of just sitting back and popping popcorn and watching them do this and democratic party may not feel like it has to work to continue to court the latino vote. to cultivate latino leaders, which are few and far between in top tier democratic party politics. and to make sure they're hustle to get, for example, immigration reform actually done. >> absolutely, rachel. and given the -- just the politics of the matter right now, why would democrats do anything but sit back and pop the popcorn? because republicans are doing
such a good job of setting themselves back as opposed to forward in the relations with latino voters. but you raise an important point. it takes the onus off of democrats to demonstrate, to be what they claim to be. representatives of this fast-growing community, largest minority community in the country. and to move forward on immigration reform and take for what some democratic senators for example, might be seen as a tough vote but arms need to be twisted, votes need to be taken, and because this is something the country needs. >> pulitzer prize winning columnist for "the washington post," msnbc political analyst eugene robinson. thanks for being here. i really appreciate it on the friday before easter. thanks a lot. >> denada. >> all right. lots ahead tonight. including something i thought would not. something i thought republicans would not let happen in washington. that is, in fact, happening. i was wrong. hooray! that's next.
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eliminate political action committees. we're going to look into a new orient express that could go from the dulles airport go up to 25 times the speed of sound and go to tokyo within two hours. >> by the end of the next decade. he was speaking in -- that by the end of the '90s and orient in express in space. two hours d.c. to tokyo! hasn't it been amazing? i love the state of the union address. any president any year. if you are a civics dork, you love the state of the union. lots of politics, yes, but it's also tons of policy. more than the debates, more than the press conference of a typical president. lot of specific policy ideas. the trade-off to getting that policy in the state of the union address is that a lot of the specific policies that a president puts forward in that speech don't ever come true. here is one idea though.
from last month's state of the union address that i thought probably would not come to pass because it involved republican participation, i thought that's never going to happen. turns out, it's going to happen. so tonight i'm announcing a nonpartisan commission to improve the voting experience in america. and it definitely needs improvement. i'm asking two longtime experts in the field, who, bring the way, recently served as the top attorneys for my campaign and for governor romney's campaign, to lead it. we can fix this. and we will. the american people demand it and so does our democracy. >> the idea of a presidential commission to fix voting problems in this country. you know, as of this week we now know that this idea, which i thought is one of those things you stay in the state of the union that just poof, goes away forever, turns out it has not been relegated to the remainder bin of big presidential speech making ideas. it is not a low-orbit orient
express a la ronald reagan. it is actually happening. yesterday afternoon president obama signed an executive order to actually form that commission. and the republican co-chair he said he was going to appoint to the commission, mitt romney's campaign lawyer ben ginsburg, he is, in fact, going along with it. the order asks mr. ginsberg and his democratic counterpart bob bauer to come up with a variety of methods to make voting more efficient and directs the commission to submit a report to the president within six months. that is what is happening at the executive level. an order from the president look for solutions to our country's miserable voting problems. meanwhile, in the states, republicans are still doing everything they can to make the problems worse. new requirements banning people from voting if they do not show documentation that they never had to show before in order to vote. new rules to that effect are on the move in arkansas over the veto of the democratic governor there. republican governor bob mcdonnell in virginia, governor ultrasound, he just signed one of those bills for virginia, as
well, this week. north carolina republican legislators there filing two bills to cut north carolina's early voting window in half and to eliminate same-day voter registration. and that's just this week. so far this year republican lawmakers in 30 states have proposed 55 different new voting restrictions to make voting harder than it is already is. 55. this year. since the election. the folks at project vote are calling it an onslaught. but president obama's election night statement that this is something we need to try to fix. and then the promise that he made to try to start fixing it in his state of the union address, that, at least, is actually happening. starting now. papers have been signed. baby steps. baby steps against an onslaught of legislation in the opposite direction. but still, baby steps are better than no steps. >> we're going forward with research on a new or yejt express that could, by the end of the next decade, take off from dulles airport, accelerate
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[ male announcer ] that's handy. ♪ your finances can't manage themselves, but that doesn't mean they won't try. bring all your finances together with the help of the one person who can, a certified financial planner professional. cfp -- let's make a plan. major point of discussion in american politics right now is whether or not gun reform can happen, whether the politics of gun reform is actually possible from within this weird matrix we're in of huge public support. but also, vociferous lobbying against it by a very loud and occasionally intimidating minority.
can our political system work this out? turns that one unexpected part of the politics is the actions of just individual humans. not in a lobby or part of a group just individual citizens using whatever resources and persuasive powers they have to make the case themselves in their own terms, and in their own communities, that there should be reform. like for example, this guy. this is jerry dewitt or on twitter he is commonsenseinco, co as in colorado where jerry lives. yesterday when the search warrants were published that showed the shooter at sandy hook element had used extended capacity magazines in his se semiautomatic assault rifle to fire 154 bullets in less than five minutes. when jerry read that yesterday, he then tweeted this photo of himself. he tweeted a bunch of people including lawmakers and people in the news business which is why i saw it. the caption says as a colorado native i began hunting rabbits
and pheasants in junior high. in high school i also hunted deer and elk. when i lived in texas i hunted quail and dove and deer. i am 58 years old now. in my lifetime, i have not fired 154 rounds. newtown school gunman fired 154 rounds in less than five minutes. please tell me again why high capacity magazine clips and assault weapons should be legal. this is just one guy. a gun owner taking his own steps on his own time in his own way to push for the possibility of gun reform from his own personal perspective. tonight for the interview we were going to be talking to another citizen who does not have political ties, who's not part of any group, but who personally because of what else he does in his life, has a ton of resources to bring to this issue, and he has decided to bring it in a very big and in fact historic way. that is the interview tonight. it is a fascinating story. it's exclusive to us here on this show. and that is next.
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from camden. payment was on a sliding scale depending on the lethal potential of exactly the weapon you were turning in. gun buyback programs in the bay area, california, oakland and san francisco. oakland and san francisco collected hundreds of guns. they paid hundreds of dollars for each one of them. in brooklyn new york, in december, the police department and district attorney's office co-sponsored a gun buyback. again they got hundreds of guns off the street. baltimore, maryland, police officers traded grocery store gift cards for guns. and in los angeles, the city's gang-reduction unit sponsored a gun buyback program that brought in 2,000 weapons. orange county, new york. the sheriff's office there ran a buyback program that ran for three months state, $150 for any gun turned in, ran for three months straight. that's the haul they got. fremont, new jersey, a gun buyback. at the city's fire training facility. paying more than $150,000 in exchange of rifles and assault rifles.
santa clara county, california, has had two gun buyback programs just this month. the county provided the money to exchange for the guns. last weekend, atlantic city, new jersey, their guns for cash buyback in atlantic was the second most successful in state history. the state's most success was was just held in january. we know how these programs work, right? cities and towns and police departments organize these buybacks. or sometimes it's the attorney general's office. it's always a government agency of some kind that organizes these things. in new york city there's an ongoing buyback program where you can turn in your gun to the police and get a cash reward. it takes in a few hundred begins over the course of the year now in a city of 8 million people. the threshold for participation in that in new york city is that you have to feel comfortable approaching the police with your firearm. in order to be able to hand it over to them. tomorrow, though, this weekend, in the biggest city in the country, something new is going to happen. this is michael blue williams he's a manager in the music industry, and he is a famous and
successful one. he has managed outcast and cee lo green and the roster of his family tree entertainment company includes big boy and busta rimes. he's worked with def jam records. he knows everybody. he is not that old but he has been in the business for decades. this weekend blue williams is taking the whole gun buyback thing to a level it has never been at before. the city police commissioner signed off on the buyback. the police department will help. but the city is not sponsoring this. this is the first private sector gun buyback in new york city. it is called guns for greatness. the idea is not just to trade cash, but to trade cash and the option of mentorships, if you want them, with successful professionals from the hip-hop world of blue williams, to anybody turning in a gun who wants to take advantage of the mentorship idea. the idea with a program like this you may be able to reach people in the nation's largest city who have a gun, don't want it any more but might not feel comfortable walking into their nearest police station to hand it over.
folks who might, however, feel comfortable tomorrow dropping by this big neighborhood church on flatlands avenue in the heart of brooklyn. it's never been done before. joining us for the interview is michael blue williams, music industry exec, founder of guns for greatness program. this gun buyback and mentoring program, kicks off tomorrow with its first event. mr. williams, thanks you so much for coming by. >> thank you so much for having me. >> did i get any of that wrong? >> no, you did it better than i could have. >> i don't think so. in hindsight it seems logical that you would want to do a buyback in new york city this way if you were going to do one at all. but how did you get this idea? >> i was actually challenged to do it. commissioner kelly was speaking about stopping first and he challenged the community to come up with better solutions than what they are doing with nypd. so it sort of inspired me to try to think of a way that the hip-hop community could give back. that we could get in on the good side of the news cycle. >> how did the mentorship side of it work. obviously having been a manager and having done all the different johns you've done in
the music industry, you know everybody. networking is a big part of how you have been as successful as you are. are you talking your network and music industry connections that you've got, community connections that you've got, to try to build that mentorship side of it out? >> yes. my idea was to take relationships and partner a young person that comes in and finds specifically a mentor for what they want to do. if someone wants to be an engineer, disk jockey or whatever, i should be able to take my net oh and my extensive network and partner them up with someone specific. that specific mentor will be able to keep them engaged longer than someone who might just be mentoring but they can't relate to. so i want to use my relationship to partner them speakly and keep them on the path once they start. >> when you've been talking to people in the industry, both for hitting them up for money, but also to ask them to do the mentorship, have they been receptive? >> they have been totally receptive. i've always been of the belief that people want to help they just need to know how. if you can show them an easy way
to do what they're doing anyway, everyone has run to the front of the line to try to be helpful. >> amazing. i'm extrapolating from the way you are doing this and the way you talked about it some in the press to say that you are sort of trying to fill a need that people -- there say buyback program that's an ongoing thing where you can go into a police station and give people a gun. am i right in extrapolating that this is partly for people who don't feel comfortable walk nothing a police station carrying a weapon? >> it is about reaching a demographic that is not being reached when the cities do it. the idea is that 90% of the crimes, especially in new york city, are done by minorities between 16 and 37 years old. that's the hip-hop community. i'm part of the hip-hop community. so my techniques to market to them would be slightly different than maybe city hall's would. so this whole idea is based around knowing how to get that target demographic and letting them know that it's going to be safe to drop off your gun. but then you also have a chance to change the path that your life is on. >> do you feel, as we have this
national debate about guns, sparked -- i mean a lot of people have been working on gun reform forever. but obviously the big discussion now is because of newtown, what happened 100 days ago. do you feel like the debate is speaking at all to that demographic that you're talking about and the types of gun violence that are happening in the communities that you're talking about? >> i don't believe the conversations are going to -- are meant to include that demographic but that demographic is going to be the hardest hit by it. when the laws change and gun laws become more strict then that demographic when they get arrested or stopped or go to trial will be 9 ones that get more jail time and hence are going to be penalized more for the new laws. >> how long do you expect to do this for? is this a one-time thing? or are you planning on doing this other places, too, if it works tomorrow? >> this is my new favorite habby. my new pastime. my ultimate goal is to make this a national. i want to do each of the boroughs, i want to take it to cory booker and newark, detroit,
chicago. i want to go into each city that hip-hop is in, which is every city, and see if we can impact and influence and get kids to put down illegal guns. >> do you have a threshold in mind for the number of guns that would make tomorrow success? >> i have delusions of grandeur sometimes. i temper that back. i feel like if i get one gun off the streets tomorrow then i've saved two lives, the person who could have been a victim and the kid who might have used it for a crime and ended up in jail or ended up dead. >> blue williams, it is really, really nice for you to be here. it's really nice that you offered to come here and talk about this. >> thanks for having me. >> will you let me know how it goes? >> yes, sheale. >> we'll be right back. 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! i honestly loved smoking, and i honestly didn't think i would ever quit. [ male announcer ] along with support, chantix (varenicline) is proven to help people quit smoking.
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but that doesn't mean they won't try. bring all your finances together with the help of the one person who can, a certified financial planner professional. cfp -- let's make a plan. last month for the first time in more than 30 years the uk got its credit downgraded by moody's. this week it happened again. on wednesday another ratings firm downgraded the uk. for the last five years since the global economic meltdown bestowed upon us by the financial sector, in the uk the government there has responded with, austerity with dramatically slashing government spending, fast, saying it didn't matter what it was going to do to the population, they wanted to get their fiscal house in order. they wanted it shore up confidence in the british economy. what they have done, the austerity thing has done the opposite. the strategy hasn't worked very well.
the guy who is supposed to be selling us on that idea, the guy who is supposed to be mr. austerity for the usa is this man alan simpson. former republican senator from wyoming. he'd been out of public life for a long time. but, post-economic crisis, and in the middle of us trying to figure out how to restructure our economy after that, he's back. supposedly to be our national guru of austerity. it has not exactly worked out like that. first of all, because most americans do not like the idea of austerity and places it has been tried give us good reasons to not like that idea. but the other reason is more personal. it is hard to be a guru for anything when every time you talk, everybody goes like this and braces themselves. oh, god, what's he going to say now? people ushering their children out of the room. people trying to distract their easier offended older relatives. oh, alan simpson is talking, pay no attention, la, la, la, la, la. first, it was the green weenie. remember that one?
>> i'm waiting for the politician to get up and say there's only one way to do this. you big into the big four. medicare, medicaid, social security and defense. and anybody giving you anything different than that, you want to walk out the door, stick your finger down your throat and give them a the green weenie. >> alan simpson, everybody. when he said that, alan simpson's green weenie comment, sent us as a show down a number of different research rabbit holes. we finally figured out he wasn't talking about actual weenies. he was talking about the army commendation medal which is green, duh. so stick your finger down your throat and give them one? yeah, okay. but the green weenie was just the start of the alan simpson wonder. mr. simpson criticized social security by saying quote we've reached a point now where it is like a milk cow with 310 million teets. except he didn't say teets. he said something that that rhymes with bits. really, alan simpson, give us a
warning or something next time. so there's the green weenie, the 310 million hmm and now, today, the alan simpson metaphor machine has struck again. alan simpson gave an interview to the "l.a. times" in which he implored his own republican party to stop talking about gay marriage and all these other social issues. mr. simpson told the "l.a. times," quote, what is this homophobic strain in our party? you're a republican, you believe in get-out-of-your-life and the precious right to privacy. the right to be left alone. well, then, pal, i don't care what you do. you can go worship the great eel at night. i don't give a rat's --. worship the greet eel. one thing he might be referencing is world of warcraft, the devious greet eel in world of war craft. that cannot be what alan simpson is referencing. if you are an avid video game player and world of warcraft player i will apologize if
that's what you meant. but i don't care if you are worshipping the great eel and i don't care if you're gay and worshipping the greet eel and the green nine if i and the 310 million feets, anything else? makes me wish i could bang on my desk and have another alan simpsonism pop out. >> i think grandchildren don't write a thank you for christmas presents. they are walking on their pants with their cap on backwards, listening to snoopy poopy poop dog and they don't like him. >> alan simpson is supposed to be talking us all into cutting social security. instead he's an inexpalestinianable but still inappropriate body generator. from the green weenie to the snoopy poopy, to the 315 million teets, just give us a warning man, some sort of signal to let us know it's coming and get the kids out of the room. what's today's dare? fight dryness.
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okay last week the smart kids of our world known as astronomers released this image. this easter egg looking thing is, drum roll, please, the known universe, going as far back as we can look, back almost to the very, very beginning, to the big bang. this is a photo of our baby universe, the first light traveling the vast giant distance from the edges of what we know to exist all the way to us. and it takes a long time for that light to get to us, so this is a picture taken now, but it is really a picture of the past. that's how it works, right? when you look up at the stars at night, some are relatively close up, some are newish light from stars that are not too far away, light doesn't take too long to get here. but you're also seeing very far away stars. stars whose light comes from so far away to get to us that it is pretty old light by the time it gets here. it is so old that the star that
made that light might actually be gone by the time we see it. that old light, you can almost think of it as fossilized light, it's light that is the imprint of something that is long gone. the great mohammed ali used to joke that he was so fast he could turn out the light and jump into bed before the darkness could catch him. he was racing the light. that was the joke. he was racing the light and winning. and he had to win or else the darkness would catch him. >> fast, fast. fast. last night cut the light off in my bedroom, hit the switch, was in the bed before the room was dark. >> incredible. >> fast. >> incredible. >> incredible. and the darkness could not catch him because he is muhammad ali. he is the greatest. i want to show you a little bit of footage that is from 1971. from the day that gay activists in new york city walked into city hall, they announced that they were taxpayers like everybody else, and as taxpayers, gay or not, they were there to claim the right to marry. they claimed that right, even if they had to conduct the marriage themselves and throw their own after party.
this was 1971. >> you're welcome to attend if you like, free coffee, cake. you're all welcome to attend if you like. did you get an invitation? >> i don't speak english. >> well, we're having a wedding reception for gay people. >> gay people? >> gay people. 265, around the corner there, open to the public. room 265. you're all invited to come. wedding reception for gay people, room 265. >> the leader of this marriage protest, 1971, the man passing out invitations, a man named arthur evans. mr. evans died a couple of years ago, and so he did not live to see the arguments this week, his arguments, made before our nation's highest court. awhile back on the show, lori and jeff wilford of rosemont, minnesota, told us about the loss of their son in afghanistan. killed by an ied. at the time that he was killed the military still banned service by openly gay people in
our country. corporal andrew wilford was gay. he had been out to his parents and his friends since he was a teenager but he went in the closet specifically because he wanted to sign up. he wanted to serve his country. and he was killed in action in afghanistan just a few months before the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell." andrew wilford's dad jeff wrote me a letter this week saying he was watching the live feed of the scene outside the supreme court as the court was debating equal marriage rights for gay couples, and jeff wilford said, as i watched the live feeds from outside the supreme court on the marriage arguments, i would like you to know, this situation, action of the people, right of the lbgt community to stand before the courts, this is what andrew chose to serve and die for. our greatest regret, he never found that one true love, but was smart enough, wise enough, human enough to see and know that he and all others are no more or less than other citizens of this country, knew this above and beyond the marriage question. knew this was a thing worth service and his life.
in the arguments this week at the supreme court, one of the most conservative justices cited during the oral arguments the example of, asked questions about, the example of gay military personnel and their families. said how will this effect them. andrew wilford helped make that possible, even if andrew wilford did not make it this far to see it himself. we are told that in the privacy of her home, one of this week's leading plaintiffs in the marquee case before the court, we are told that sometimes she will lean against a portrait she has of her late spouse to tell her late spouse how their case is going. this is the case, right? look at the specifics here. united states, petitioner, versus edith schlain windsor, edie windsor. and it is about the estate of thee yeah spire. so they were a married couple, thea is gone now, she's no longer with us but edie has brought this case. she's still here fighting for the two of them. by fighting for the estate,
she's fighting for the two of them and she is fighting for something very big indeed for our country. and in order to do so, she has to fight against something very big. >> it is kind of crazy. we lived together for 40 years, we were engaged with the circle diamond pin because i wouldn't wear a ring because i was still in the closet. i am today an out lesbian, okay, who just sued the united states of america, which is kind of overwhelming for me. >> she's in her 80s. there are all sorts of people and all sorts of fights that technically are not still around, but they live and we can see them. we can see their light in some of the biggest deal and most difficult things we do today. whether or not you see equal rights for gay people as your particular fight, whether or not you even agree with that particular fight, this was a really big, historic week for that fight. and therefore for our country. all the work, all the generations of work to get here,
in fact, got us here. it worked. and when justice ruth bader ginsberg christened the marriages that we have now in this country, the ones that don't have full equal rights, when ruth bader ginsburg in the oral arguments this week christened those marriages skim milk marriages i decided what i need to do here on this show is make a full fat, full cream drink in honor of that phrase. tonight's cocktail moment is in honor of ruth bader ginsberg, easiest cream drink in the world to make. a brandy alexander. if you know anybody who likes this drink, it is likely -- if you don't know if anybody likes this drink in your world, the person in your world who is most likely to like this drink is your mother. but your mother is right. equal parts cream. and creme de cacao. it comes in dark and light. the difference between dark and light is the color. other than that, they're the
same thing. but in this case it looks nicer if you use the dark version. this is kind of a nice brand. but you take what you can get, it's not like we have supermarkets full of this stuff. what gives it its name, brandy alexander, the brandy. and because the bar car here at the show is getting a little thin, we only had cognac around, oh, darn. so cognac. as you can see, equal parts. it is easy. don't need a measuring vessel of any specificity. shake it and strain it into a cocktail glass. some people make it with two parts cream to one part each of the liquors. but you don't need to. so this is no skim milk drink. i think america is about to leave skim milk marriages behind. tonight's cocktail moment, brought to you by the siektf