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tv   MSNBC Live  MSNBC  May 4, 2013 11:00am-2:01pm PDT

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good saturday afternoon, i'm craig melvin. you are watching msnbc, the place for politics. we start with developments in syria. >> we have evidence that chemical weapons have been used. we don't know when, where or how they were used. >> hours after the comes by the president, israel launches air strikes inside syria. so, what now? >> the fact of the matter is i can't control the circumstances around a death, what a person did or what they died from. we can't pick and choose. >> that's the man with the unenviable task of caring for the body of tamerlan tsarnaev. more from boston. how many bostonians wished they had a gun two weeks ago? boston proves it. when brave law enforcement officers did their jobs in that city so courageously, good guys
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with guns stopped terrorists with guns. >> the ranks of the national rifle association swell as the gun rights group meets for its annual convention in texas. how members and leadership are impacting the gun debate. we will get to those stories in a few moments. first, reaction is pour nothing israeli air strikes in syria. u.s. officials tell nbc news israeli warplanes launched those air strikes against targets inside syria. israel's spokesman in washington would not comment on reports, only to say that israel is determined to prevent the transfer of chemical weapons or other game-changing weaponry by the syrian regime to terrorists. specifically to hezbollah and lebanon. joining me now, kristen welker, traveling with the president in costa rica. good to see you. do we expect to hear from president obama on this issue at some point today? >> reporter: craig, i can tell that you president obama is just wrapping up a meeting with
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business leaders here in costa rica. he hasn't commented on the reports about the israeli air strikes in syria so far. so, i don't expect him to comment today. what we could see happen next time he is in front of reporters, he will undoubtedly get a question about. this the white house not wanting to weigh in and referring all goes israeli officials. what we do know, of course, is that president obama has consistently said that he supports israel's right to defend itself. and of course, this all comes as the administration is trying to figure out how to respond to the crisis in syria. during a news conference in costa rica last night, president obama reiterated he is proceeding with caution in terms of how to deal with the allegations that syria has used chemical weapons against its own people. he says there is just not enough information to corroborate where the chemical weapons came from and who exactly used them. he wants answers to those questions before he moves forward and takes any action. but last night, he did make some
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news. he made some of his most definitive comments to date in terms of putting boots on the ground. he essentially said at this point in time he does not foresee putting american boots on the ground. ? a significant admission by this president because we knew that he was weighing a number of options. so, for him to effectively to rule one out is significant. some of the other options that the united states is considering right now, launching its own air strikes, potentially arming opposition forces or creating a no-fly zone. so, those are some of the options on the table. but craig, if you look at the polls, americans are world weary in the wake of iraq and afghanistan. they don't have an appetite to get engaged in syria, so, this is a very tricky situation, but of course, the situation in syria is dire, it is estimated as many as 70,000 people have been killed so far. so, a lot of people in syria would like to see the united states do something. craig? >> kristen welker, traveling with the president in costa
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rica. kristen, thank you. more than 70,000 people have been killed in the 2-year-old syrian uprising and according to the united nations, 1.2 million refugees have fled into neighboring countries as well. msnbc middle east ambassador daniel ross, a middle east envoy for president bill clinton, joins us now. good to have you, appreciate your insight. start here. how does the israeli air strike, how does the air strike change the equation in syria, or does it? >> i'm not sure it changes the equation in syria but demonstrates once again that the israelis have a red line and their red line is no qualitative change in the kinds of weapons that hezbollah has within lebanon. it means the kinds of weapons that would pose more of a threat to israel, it could mean chemical weapons as well but clearly not limited to that once again, the israelis have acted and israelis demonstrated they can act without the syrian air
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defenses being much of a problem. it is interesting that the israelis themselves are not comment willing on it, which is something else you can do internationalism you can take steps without necessarily having to talk about them. >> i want to call your attention, sure you read this for our viewers at home, the "washington post" editorial this weeks, it says the u.s. policy on syria lacks coherence, this is a snippet from it. mr. obama's weak and legalistic words about the need to verify change of custody on any chemical weapons use and his deck claaring that that even a hard confirmation would lead only to a rethink of the range of options simply would invite further chemical attacks. ambassador, do you think a lack of definitive action by the u.s. could embolden assad's military to escalate the use of chemical weapons? >> do think we are at a point where the kind of use we have seen taken place, which is, of course, hard to necessarily completely pinpoint timing and which particular weapons were employed, nonetheless, what it
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suggests is that these were limited, highly localized uses to design what the tests would be of the international community you not just the united states, but the international community. so i think both from the standpoint of the test and from the standpoint of the president having established a red line, there is a need for us to respond there, is a need for us to engage in actions that are not business as usual. it does appear that is exactly what the president intends to do but also making a judgment that he wants to ensure that the options we pursue are the ones that are most likely to have the desired effect that he seeks. >> who's winning right now in syria? president assad and hiss fors or the rebel factions? >> the truth is we have a stalemate. a bloody stalemate. what's happen is syria is losing. the syrian population is losing, it is a stalemate that needs to be broken at some point in the favor of the opposition but also important that when that stale mail is the broken, that the opposition is, in fact, dominated by those who believe
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in a non-sectarian syria, a syria that is inclusive, a syria not dominated by islamists. right now, you look at syria, it reminds me of what former secretary of state warren christopher said about the balkans. he described thatz the problem from hell. by comparison this is a problem that actually makes the balkans look relatively simple. >> ambassador dennis ross, we will leave it there. thank you, sir. >> my pleasure. folks, we are also following developing news in southern afghanistan on this saturday. five american service members have been killed by a roadside bomb there today. there have been 47 nato troops killed in afghanistan this year, 37 of them americans. meanwhile in a separate attack two other nato troops killed today in western afghanistan, this time, they were reportedly killed by an afghan national army soldier who opened fire on those nato forces in western afghanistan. back here, an emotional day in boston. runners who could not finish the marathon on the day of the bombing, many of them finished
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it today. this, as investigators searched the area near the college where the younger suspect attended. nbc's katy tur is in boston for us on this saturday. katie, i understand you spoke to some of the runners who finished the race today. i would imagine that the emotions ran high. what did they say? >> reporter: certainly ran very high before we get to that i want to look at the memorial behind me, just as crowded here today, craig, as it was a week and a half ago when they reopened boylston street. people are still coming, still paying their respects and the emotions are still very fresh. we have seen a lot of tears, some people coming and passing by. we have also seen a lot of people in the past few weeks finishing the marathon route, symbolically, as a whip for the city of boston. but there was one group that we spoke with today, they were running for tedy's team, trying to raise money for stroke victims. they said that their experience finishing this marathon today, they are calling you it an emotional win for their city.
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>> amazing and there was a cop down there he stopped traffic for us, as we were running people just started applauding, emotional for all of us, we crossed hand in hand and a very special day. >> certainly very special. of course this is copley square, a crowded area to begin with, you will get a lot of foot traffic here, we have seen the memorial grow every single day, people bringing more flowers, more notes, tying more running shoes to the fence, this is a living memorial and showing no signs of dwindling at all, craig. >> before you get out of here, turn the investigation quickly what were investigators looking for in the search near the college today. >> in the woods, people had complained or spoken of hearing loud booms just a month ago somewhere in the woods near u mass dartmouth. investigators out there and they were out there combing the woods, looking for any evidence of any explosives testing, wondering if the tsarnaev brothers could have been testing their bombs thought to make sure that they worked before they brought them here to the
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marathon route. so far, we haven't gotten word they found anything but do know they are certainly combing that area. >> katy tur on the ground for must boston. katie, always a pleasure. thank you. did we have a 2016 preview in south carolina last night? why was it vice president joe biden versus texas senator ted cruz in the palmetto state? we will take a look. and do democrats have a chance to win a seat in south carolina? district that went to mitt romney by 18 points in 2012. find out, next. we've all had those moments.
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political headlines on this saturday, the president returned to the white house today from costa rica after wrapping up his latin american trip. he talked about yesterday's improved job numbers. the jobs numbers he talked about thursday in his weekly radio
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address from the road. one of the best ways to grow our economy is to sell more goods and services made in america to the rest of the world and that includes our neighbors to the south. right now, over 40% of our ex-sports go to the americans and those exports are growing faster than our trade with the rest of the world and that's why i visited latin america this week to work with leaders to deepen our economic ties and expand trade between our nations. nra's annual convention continues today in houston. republican senator ted cruz helped jump start the three-day event by firing up the crowd and offering this challenge to the white house. listen. >> i would like to invite the vice president to engage in an hour-long conversation and debate, how do we stop crime? >> no word yet from the vice president, but there's always a race to watch in the bat ground of all battle ground states. we are talking about iowa, the hawkeye state. last night, congressman steve king announced in a tweet that
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he will not be running for democratic senator tom harkin's seat. king tweeting, i will not run for senate in 2014 a senate race takes me out of urgent battles in congress that can't wait until 2015. thank many thanks to all w that, he is out. south carolina is a political hotspot this weekend, two potential 2016 candidates spent their friday evening there. there is, of course, that big race coming up in a few days. vice president joe biden addressed the south carolina democratic party in columbia last night in texas under ted cruise spoke at a republican dinner about two miles away. voters will go to the polls tuesday to vote on south carolina's open house seat in the first district. that's the battle, of course, between former governor mark sanford and elizabeth colbert bush. ed o'keefe, congressional reporter at the "washington post," elizabeth very back at the hill and christina bell antonio, the pbs news hour. good to see you all on a saturday. >> good to see you, craig.
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>> you wrote an op ed, wrote a piece in the post about texas senator ted cruz and the buzz around his presidential ambitions. you were at the speech last night down there in south carolina, what was the impression that you got from folks who were in the room? what were they saying about ted cruz? >> still talking about your wonderful career here. no, i'm kidding. >> yeah, right. >> they were impressed. having talked to people about it even today said, look, smart guy, clearly a very good speaker, certainly conservative but probably little too soon. they note the fact he has only been in the senate for about five months and one woman say to me, if he jumps into this, he is essentially going down the road of barack obama, spent two years in the senate. look at the problems he has h part of the reason he has had them, he didn't have enough washington experience. perhaps cruz should wait a little while longer.
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he did everything he needed to do to impress the crowd, discounted the fact he went to harvard law school, joked about biden being across town, he criticize the obama administration for its health care law for the fast and furious gun running scandal down in mexico and generally this had them pretty excited about the fact he was here but generally, seemed the attitude is nice guy but not yet. >> not yet? elise, again, about two miles away, america's happy warrior, joe biden delivering the speech in columbia as well. how was smokin' joe received there? i understand he went to congressman clyburn's fish fry, is that right? >> he was received very well. joe biden has a lot of great connections in south carolina and his reception was very warm, which is what we would expect, but i think that people are also asking questions about 2016. this is the speculation happening. and people realize if hillary clinton runs that puts joe in a far, far, far second place.
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>> joe biden's son said it is no secret he is thinking about this quinnipiac poll, 65% of democratic voters want hillary clinton, 13% the vice president and new york governor, chris cuomo, 4%. what happens to joe biden the longer hillary clinton waits to make up her mind? >> to prepare for the segment, i went back and read a story i wrote in 2007 after clyburn's annual fish fry, they were all there, barack obama, hillary clinton, joe biden, hillary clinton was the biggest figure in the room, still topped polls, in fact, winning among african-americans, among women.
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he is in his 40s, joe biden is in his late 60s. so, this is a very different generational challenge for the republicans and the democrats if they look toward a completely wide open presidential race in 2016. you will have the democrats that we are talking about are a different generation than all of these republicans, senator marco rubio, ted cruz, rand paul, they are younger and going to be very interesting to see how that's all portrayed in a potential race. >> talk about irony, huh? ed, let's switch gears, talk about the race on tuesday, of course that special election for the house seat in the palmetto state, district one, two very well known figures, former governor mark sanford, elizabeth colbert bush, sister of a guy that does some television. this district that we are talking about here, folks are
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not familiar with it. in addition to it being exceptionally well gerrymandered, it's last district that mitt romney won by about 18 points, if i remember correctly, back in 2012. what are the chances that elizabeth colbert bush pulls this thing out, ed? >> remain very, very, you know, realistic, the polling here suggests that this is still a very tight race. i think just late last week had them tied only six or seven percent of voters undecide. part of the reason is because of sanford's personal behavior. there's been concerns about the fact that his former wife is accusing him of having signingly trespassed onto their property against the agreement that they had as part of their divorce. telling today at the state party convention down the street, governor nikki haley noted there was a special election on tuesday. she didn't outright endorse sanford or say he was going to
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win. what earned biggest dealers in the room from the state's republicans is that there's a new voter photo i.d. law going into effect tuesday, people will show up vand to show their photo i.d. more excited about that than the prospect of sanford actually winning. >> hey, christina, how effective has elizabeth colbert bush been in this race? how well has she campaigned? >> definitely campaigning well, doing well among voters doing the retail politicking, not a career politician but important to point out this is the district sanford once represented before he was governor. he has got a lot of entrenched support there, it is, as we have been talking barks strongly republican district, going to be close, one reason why you are seeing all this energy at the conventions because they -- both parties know that they need a strong turnout, special elections tend to be very low turnout, if they can generate a lot of interest here it is going to help. she has got a lot of national, not just money but national interest in her own part because she is the -- storr of a celebrity and able to generate a lot of fund raising at a time when sanford was getting less
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and less money from the national parties and getting himself into some more trouble with his ex-wife. this is definitely going to be a close ray one watching very closely on tuesday, both parties test out their national strategies here for the 2014 midterms. >> elease, ed, christina gobbled up all of your time. my apologize. >> okay. >> we will have you back on yourself. >> thanks, craig. >> have great saturday. nancy pelosi seeking some divine intervention for 2016. who she is praying will run for the white house, next. ♪ ♪ ♪ [ male announcer ] there are hybrids. ♪ then there are turbo hybrids. introducing the first hybrid you'll actually want to drive. that's the power of german engineering.
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political playground we go house democratic leader nancy pelosi praying for a woman in the white house. who is she praying for, you ask? you guessed it former secretary of state hillary clinton. at an event in arkansas thursday, pell lows said "i pray that hillary clinton decides to run for president of the united states." pelosi says clinton is best
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qualified for the job. and in connecticut, governor danell malloy is reimbursing people magazine more than $1200 for a trip to the white house correspondents' dinner after governor malloy's potential 2014 gubernatorial rival claim he had violated state ethics laws by allowing a corporation to pay for his trip. malloy was a guest of "people" magazine, which is owned by time warner. he says he paid up the cash to avoid needless distractions even though his legal counsel said there was no reason to do so. not a violation, according to the lawyer. sarah palin is among the speakers firing up the crowd at the nra convention in texas this weekend. how the gun control debate is impacting senators' popularity at home. plus, why mountain dew is dumping wheezy, that's little wayne, franco, his nickname, little wayne, wheezy, same person. we will be back. and bayer back & body are proven to be effective pain relievers tylenol works by blocking pain signals to your brain bayer back & body's dual action formula
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tripled in size, growing to more than 43 square miles now. the wind-whipped fire erupted thursday and is now threatening as many as 4,000 homes. it's only about 30% contained. so far though, surprisingly perhaps, no injuries. i'm craig melvin. good saturday to you. a quick look at other top stories making news right now. while the cause of that west, texas, fertilizer plant explosion that killed 14 is still under version the dallas morning news reports today the facility only had $1 million worth of liability insurance. given that the damage done in that small town of west could reportedly reach $100 million that coverage will only probably pay a fraction of the claims anticipated. the jodi arias murder trial is now in the hands of the jury. they deliberated for just a few hours yesterday. they will now have the weekend off. 32-year-old arias is charged with the first-degree murder of her ex-boyfriend, travis alexander.
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the pressure on pepsi became too much. the soda company cut its tied to lil wayne, all stems from wheezy's crude letter ago ill reference to civil rights murder emmett till. the nra's annual meeting in houston is entering its second day today, the organization's ceo and vice president, wayne lapierre, rallied the faithful by taking his stand and darketing the usual suspects. >> our feet are planted firmly if the foundation of freedom, unswayed by the winds of political and media insanity, and to the political and media leads who scorn us, we say let them be damned. >> nbc's casey hunt for us in houston. how did the comment goes over with the crowd?
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i imagine it was like throwing red meat to a bapack of wolves? >> went over very well. the room was on its feet several times during his pretty long speech standing ovations, whistles and cheers, especially when lapierre said pretty declaretively, we will not let them take our guns away. that is pretty much the fear here in light of the fight going on in washington over new gun laws. >> i understand there will be a change in leadership at the m were. a. tell us about that >> jim porter, his father led the nra previously. he got up here and gave a pretty aggressive address to the annual meeting of the members and porter said specifically that president obama, he reference ready president obama's comments that people should vote for revenge.
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he should voters should take their revenge to make sure laws dot don't pass. >> was there talk at the convention of what happened in newtown? >> only in so much as i have been asking folks about it they have responded. i will say also some of the speakers referenced it in saying that it's been exploited by the president as a political tool. so, sarah palin got up yesterday and said that wayne lapierre referenced that, saying democrats, and president obama in particular, are taking it and using it as a political weapon and they are saying this is inappropriate. >> protesters there, any of them? >> there's a handful of protesters, standing not far from where we are there, carrying the since and reading the nice. 4,000 people victims of gun violence over the years. >> nbc's casey hunt at the nra annual convention in houston. we will check back with you a little bit later. want to hear more about what sarah palin had to say and
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perhaps what she did not say as well. good to see you, casey, thank you. more now on the nra convention and the gun debate in america, let's go to the war room, democratic strategist, chris kofinis, worked on john edwards' presidential campaigns, joe watkins, former aide to president george h. w. bush. if it's saturday, it's chris and joe, always good to have you. >> good to be with you, craig. >> joe, nra executive vice president, wayne lapierre, firing up the crowd yesterday at the start of that convention. take a look, take a listen. >> but let me make this perfectly clear, we will never back away from our resolve to defend our rights and the rights of all law-abiding american gun owners. >> how do republicans feel about wayne lapierre as their messenger, joe watkins? >> i think wayne lapierre knows he is speaking to the faithful, to the members of the nra. they have got 4 1/2 to 5 million
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very faithful, very loyal, hard working american supporters and he is speaking to them right now. i think that any republican that is in favor of -- that spores the nra would tell you that we share the pain that every american shares with the terrible gun violence that has taken place in connect aicut an other parts of the country in recent months. our heart goes out to those families and we are sensitive to that pain. but at the same time, i think wayne lapierre makes a great point when he says it is important not to penalize honest to, hard-working americans who do have the right to bear arms much the whole idea is not to penalize the honest, hard working, law-abiding citizens because of the fact that there's some bad people who have done some very, very bad things. >> chris, has the tragedy at newtown, has it been perhaps a boone for business at the nra?
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>> well, i mean, i'm not sure that they needed newtown to, you know, to increase their roles. in fairness, you know, if you look at most polls, i think if you polled most nra members, they would support background checks because the reality is when you're talking about you know, keeping weapons out of those who are criminals, these are serious mental issues that actually is the best thing you can do to protect law-abiding gun owners. that the difficulty i hear when with wayne lapierre, sarah palin and others, they basically talk, and for no other way of putting it, the lie. the law proposed by manchin and toomey had nothing to do with taking guns away from law-abiding americans no chance there was going to be a registry created, they prohibited t they play on these fears and these concerns that gun owners have that somehow people are out
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there to take away their second amendment rights and it's just not true. as a consequence the criminals aren't being hurt it is not those who have serious mental issues who want to get a weapon at a gun show being hurt. that's the part i think the american people overwhelmingly, close to 90%, are frustrated with the argument their logic does not make sense. >> joe -- go ahead, joe, sounds like you you wanted to say something. >> i did. you have to realize that not all -- there are democrats like max baucus who voted against, you know, internet gun sales, i mean, that is these new regulations, which would cause for background checks on internet gun sales and gun show gun sales. he is a democrat, he doesn't think the right thing to do he voted against that measure. >> and they were wrong, too. >> the whole idea is if we want to make sure that we do something about school safety, which is something i care very much about given some of the work i'm doing currently, i think republicans say let's expand funding for school safety
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measures. >> is that the solution, joe watt kips in the solution to add, you know, a 66-year-old retired cop and put him at the front door of a high school where you've got 2500 kids and pray that the gunman walks in the main entrance? go ahead. >> no in all honesty, craig you can not the only way to ensure schools are more safe. the idea is to make sure schools are more safe, not saying that you need to put a police officer in every school everywhere in america. that's not the point, but at least think intelligently and thoughtfully about how we make schools more safe so that we don't ever again have another tragedy like the one in newtown. >> joke, the nra supported the position of expanding background checks a few years ago. >> before they were opposed to it. >> now they are not. >> wayne lapierre specifically, not just the organization, but the guy generally most associated with the organization these days as well. not only did they go it i have yet to hear an explanation about
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why they changed their position. >> well, of course, the devil is always in the details. >> what details? >> while there are some, obviously, everybody is for background checksful. >> no, everyone is no. >> that is not true. >> asked on the phone, they say they are, but their lawmakers aren't. >> at the end of the day it has to do with, you know, how you want to do the background checks and penalizing law-abiding citizens. somebody in a state like montana that wants to buy a gun doesn't want to have a whole lot of regulation thrown at them. they don't want to have a whole lot of impediments to being able to buy firearm. >> okay with being going to buy sudafed and having to show a driver's license? that makes sense to them? >> craig, you are passionate and you're smart. >> no but i'm just saying. i don't -- i do want to -- >> you know as well as i do that manchin toomey did not fail because of one -- one -- one item, one line in the law.
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you know there's a whole lot of stuff, every single law. >> you know why it failed it failed because of political cowardice, joe, that's why it failed, it failed because at some point -- >> i hope not. i hope not political cowardice. i hope that it didn't pass because people didn't find that the legislature met the need of law-abiding citizens. >> no. no. if you want to -- if we are all -- it's a saturday, so let's all be honest, right it did fail because of political cowardice and failed for political cowardice on the left and right. >> a good point. >> democrats and republicans that opposed it and their logic and arguments why they did does not make sense, does not make sense to any reasonable-thinking american, whether you're a gun owner or not. expanding background checks is not gonna take away guns or rights from law-abiding american citizens. it does not. >> we are out of time, guys. >> i know we are out of time. >> but joe, i always like to end on a high note when i have the two of you, i would like to say you both look very nice today. you both look very nice.
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>> thanks, craig. >> thank you for being with me. chris kofinis, joe watt king always a pleasure in the war room. up next, the kent state shootings some 43 years later. ♪ [ agent smith ] i've found software that intrigues me. it appears it's an agent of good. ♪ [ agent smith ] ge software connects patients to nurses to the right machines while dramatically reducing waiting time. [ telephone ringing ] now a waiting room is just a room. [ static warbles ]
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zzzquil™. the non-habit forming sleep-aid from the makers of nyquil®. ♪ about 11:00 last night on the tarmac at new york's kennedy airport, nicele shahzad trying to flee the u.s. must have felt an enormous sense of relief. the overseas flight he had just boarded, an emirates arab plane to pakistan just closed the door but he didn't relax for long. door the suddenly opened again and he was hauled off by customs and border protection agents after he was added only hours before to the no fly list. continuing the drama, the plane pulled back from the gate but then, an abrupt command from ground control. >> actually, i have a message for you to go back to the gate immediately so make the left turn when able. >> the capture of the times square bomber on this day in
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2010. two days earlier, a street vendor in new york's times square noticed smoke coming from a parked suv and alerted authorities. it was packed with firecrackers, gas cans, propane tanks, fertilizer and a pressure cooker. but it failed to go off. faisal shahzad was charged with the attempt and serving a life sentence. now, let's flashback to this day in 1970, ant anti-vietnam war protest at kept state university turned deadly. ohio national guard members opened fire on unarmed students on that campus, killing four. here is how that unfolded. >> the national guard was called in over the weekend by ohio governor james rose. today, when 1500 students started an anti-war rally on the university commons, the guardsmen surrounded them, then when some students started throwing rocks, the guard moved in with tear gas. students were forced up a hill
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by the tear gas, some of them started throwing gas canisters back at the guardsmen. others threw rocks. then a formation of guardsmen matched up the hill and fired their rifles at the students. [ gunfire ] [ screaming ] ful >> two young men and two young women were killed and at least a dozen other students were wounded. >> that was the huntley brinkley report on this day back in 1970. today, a special visitors center will be dedicated on the kent state university campus to commemorate the anniversary. renewed debate over indefinite detention at guantanamo bay as a hunger strike spreads among prisoners there. we will talk about that in our next hour. a firefight in southern california as crews battle to contain that fierce wildfire that has tripled in size since
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it broke out. at a dry cleaner, we replaced people with a machine. what? customers didn't like it. so why do banks do it? hello? hello?! if your bank doesn't let you talk to a real person 24/7, you need an ally. hello? ally bank. your money needs an ally.
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i continue to believe that we have got to close guantanamo. >> why? >> well, i think -- you know, i think it is critical for us to understand that guantanamo is not necessary to keep america safe. >> that was president obama tuesday answering questions about the hunger strike at guantanamo bay. for the two weeks, noorn 100 of the remaining 166 detainees held there by the united states have been refusing to eat. 23 of them are now being force fed, at last check, we should note. the strike brought controversy over the prison on the southeastern end of cuba. a senior attorney for the -- at the center for constitutional rights, thanks so much for coming in on this saturday. i wanted to make sure we continued this conversation. i understand you represent
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current and former detainees being held at gitmo. do you represent any of the folks who are participating in the hunger strike? >> we do we represent men who are currently on hunger strike who have been on strike now for nearly three months. most of the men actually at get mow now have been on strike since early february. >> any of the folks that you represent are they being force fed as well? >> a couple of them r some of them are longer term hunger strikers, to be clear what force feeding means at guantanamo it is strapping people into chairs, forcing a tube up their noses, down into their stomachs and pumping fluid, liquid formula into their stomachs for an hour while they sit there, been the military's response so far to how we are going to save life at guantanamo. >> a number of organizations, including the ama and world health organization, have come out against the idea of force feeding. you visited your client and visited gitmo a number of times. you told the "l.a. times" this week that the message that the detainees wants to get across is, in part, "we don't want to die. we want to be released and we
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don't see any other way of being heard." what do you say to those who believe that detainees at gitmo should be kept there and not released? what do you say to these snow. >> these are men held for over a decade without charge. more than half of them, more than half of the 166 people who are at guantanamo now have been approved to leave by this administration. i think the opposition to closing get show based on a fundamental misunderstanding about who we've held. there was a false nat rattive started by the bush administration and the obama administration not reacted. a fraction were actually fighters, al qaeda fighters. half told they don't have to be there >> low-level operatives if operatives at all in some cases. >> if at all. 5% of them acres dourgtd government's own data, al qaeda fighters.
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>> so how did we get there? you mentioned the narrative started under the bush administration, the obama administration has continued. >> president obama was clear in 2009, two days after he took off, he wanted to close the prison, dozens of people transferred in 2009 and 2010, opposition then by people in congress who were opposed to closure grew and frankly, the obama administration allowed that to drown out his position. side lined the issue you not a priority for a very long time. tirng the administration made clear they are committed to closing guantanamo. president obama made an important statement last week, it is time, enough with the words, it's time for action and it really is now or never at this point. there are people who are near death, who see no way out other than death and the administration needs to act both
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to address conditions at the base now, worse than we have seen them at years, people in 24-hour lock down and ultimately, to address the root of this problem, which is indefinite detention without charge, an unsustainable and moral and illegal position. >> do we expect the force feedings to continue? >> that's been the military's position, force feeding of people who can make informed decisions about refusing feud sfood undeniably a violation of medical it he ethics. >> i appreciate your time and insight as well. keep us posted. love to have you back if and when there is a development. >> thank you very much. we are following developments in syria on this saturday after the israel bombs targets there. we have new reaction from president obama. we will tell you about that straight ahead. and what's big idea on this saturday? an invention by texas college students that could very well save the lives of children in the developing world. [ male announcer ] citi is over 200 years old. in that time there've been some good days.
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a good saturday afternoon to you, i'm craig melvin. you are watching msnbc, the place for politics. and it was a good week for wall street. [ bell ringing ] the dow hit a record high of 15,000 after the unemployment rate dropped to a four-year low. but will it last? >> truth is, right now, our bored we are mexico is more secure than it's been for years. >> the truth is that depends on where you are along the border and it's really only part of the immigration debate. the rest coming up. and for god's sakes, leave the rest of us alone in this country. >> you know that guy. that's wayne lapierre, as the nra convenes in houston under its banner of stand and fight. how will support for the gun rights group impact key members of congress? we will go in depth on that straight ahead. but we start with some developing news.
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president obama has just left costa rica but before his departure, the president was asked in an interview with telemune dough to respond for the first time to friday's israeli air strikes in syria. take a listen. >> well, first of all, you know, i'm not going to comment on what happened in syria yesterday. i will let the israeli government confirm or deny whatever strikes they have taken. what i have said in the past and i continue to believe is that the israelis justifiably have to guard against the transfer of advanced weapon write to terrorist organizations like hezbollah. we cord day in the closely with the israelis, recognizing that they are very close to syria, they are very close to lebanon. >> kristen welker traveling with the president in costa rica standing by for us. about an hour ago, we were speculating when the president might address what happened yesterday. we just heard it there somewhat
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dodging the question to a certain extent what can we make of his comments on syria? >> reporter: interesting the united states doesn't want to weigh in on the actions israel has taken. that is, in part, because they are trying to figure out how to proceed themselves. you heard president obama also in that interview, craig, reiterate that he has a number of options on the table that he is looking at in terms of how to deal with the allegations that syria's used chemical weapons against its own people. but he reiterated in that interview you craig, he has, for the foreseeable future, taken the option off the table of putting u.s. boots on the ground. so, that is really the news today as well. he made those comments initially last night during a news conference here in costa rica. in terms of what the government is considering, launching its own air strikes, potentially arming the opposition forces, of course, that gets a little bit murky, not clear who all of the
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on six forces are. and creating a no-fly zone. president obama is proceeding with caution, he says, because it's not exactly clear who launched the chemical weapons used, where they came from. so he wants to get more answers about that more confirmation on those questions before he moves forward in terms of dealing with syria. i can tell that you pressure is mounting and certainly, this israeli air strike against syria will likely add to the pressure against this administration to make a determination about how to move forward. >> kristen welker traveling with the president in costa rica. we should note for our viewers here, the entire interview with president obama will air on info k with jose diaz-balart tomorrow at noon eastern on telemundo. for more, i want to bring in david rode, foreign affairs columnist and noted author as well. start with the air strike yesterday. what does that do? is it in in any way, shape or form a game changer at all in
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syria or merely another development? >> i think it shows why syria is so important. what the strike was to stop long-range millses being transferred from irtroop hezbollah and lebanon. the missiles would have give finance the ability to hit tel aviv easily, the escalation of the weapon that they have, they have done this before this is the third strike. this is why syria matters. >> the second is this year. >> president obama made news saying all the options the white house is currently energy syria, boots on the ground, u.s. troops, not one of those options, how surprised are you by that? >> not surprised given the administration's incredible caution. i applaud that we don't want another iraq. we have to act. the syrian opposition is begging for weaponry. assad is wing, broken the blockade of a few bases and the world sort of weight, more moderate members of the foreign
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army, general broke want al qaeda-aligned jihadist rebels. he says he has more secular forces and begging us for simple things, one way to start if we art rebels, millen anti-tank missiles, they can taken out syrian armor. the fear would be someday they might be used against israeli forces but not talking anti-aircraft missile this is not sophisticate bud could make a difference, i think. i was speaking with someone yesterday and they said this is specifically the kind of weapon we want. very effective against armor. >> what's it called again? >> the millen anti-tank missile. >> the millen anti-tank missile. >> they have small arms, but you need these weapons to blunt the syrian army because they are better armed. the idea would be to start off with a small series of weapons and fee commanders who say they are pro-western can distribute them to people on the ground, control the flow of weapons, we have left the field open to the jihadists. al news rah is fighting and winning. i havered that young men, syrian men are joining the jihadists,
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they play along and pray and everything else, later in other places, they drink. they are joining the jihadists, they are the only ones with weapons and money. we need to kind of help this other side there, more moderate. >> i want to pin it to another major international story today, a part of the world you are quite familiar with afghanistan, five u.s. service members killed today in southern afghanistan, a roadside bomb there separate attack two other nato troops killed in western afghanistan reportedly by an began soldier who opened fire on nato forces. last week the taliban promised a brutal spring offensive, they appear to be making good on that plom mis. again, in afghanistan, you were kidnapped and held by the taliban. what can you tell us about the dangers that our troops in that country are going to be experiencing as our military presence there winding down? >> there will be smaller groups of americans kind of advising afghan forces and they will be more vulnerable. it is the beginning of the fighting season, as you said,
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the springtime. the taliban, they are gonna want to look like the government in kabul is going to collapse as the americans are leaving that they have all this great momentum. i don't think the government in cable is going to collapse but you will see high-profile attacks like that probably suicide bombings in kabul. the key thing is can the afghan national army fight? they have been doing their own operations, some good headway in some places but it's really a mixed bag. i think we should get our troops out but keep funding the afghan army and see how they fare, give them a chance on their own. >> david rode from rueters, you are traveling with secretary kerry next week, i understand? >> i think the administration is hoping for a deal with moscow finally to ease assad out. >> okay. >> you know, and i am not sure if it's going to happen but secretary kerry, i will be with him, meeting with president putin and foreign minister lavarov and see how the trip goes. >> travel safely, come back and give us a report if you can. david, always a pleasure, thank you. back here, investigators searched areas near the
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university of massachusetts, dartmouth campus, where dzhokhar tsarnaev went to college. they are looking for evidence to continue to build that case against him. meanwhile, learning about the cause of death for his old brotherer. the medical examiner's office says tamerlan tsarnaev died of gunshot wounds and blunt trauma as a result of the shootout with police and his brother running over him as well while trying to escape. nbc's katy tur in boston for us on this saturday afternoon. i understand in addition to the latest on the investigation that emotions continue to run strong there at that makeshift memorial? >> reporter: certainly running strong, saw people coming putting down more flowers, tying sneakers, seen tears and a lot of emotions surrounding what to do with tamerlan tsarnaev's body. he is at a funeral home in worcester, massachusetts, and there's some concern or debate about where he is going to be buried, a lot of cemeteries are refusing to have him.
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the funeral director out there is trying to figure out what they are going to end up doing with him there have been protests outside of that funeral home as well yesterday. today, we are told no protests but the funeral director completely understands all of the anger but he does want to stress that he has a job to do. >> the fact of the matter is i can't control the circumstances around a death. what a person did or what they died from. i can't pick and choose. work as a funeral director, the oath i take is to bury the dead. that's it. >> reporter: as for the latest in the investigation, investigators were searching the woods around u mass dartmouth yesterday. they had k-9 units, aff agents, told they were searching for any potential explosives for remnants of explease siveosives in the woods, people had complained or spoken of hearing loud booms just a month ago
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umass dartmouth. investigators out there and they were out there combing the woods, looking for any evidence of any explosives testing, wondering if the tsarnaev brothers could have been testing their bombs thought to make sure that they worked before they brought them here to the marathon route. so far, we haven't gotten word they found anything but do know they are certainly combing that area. >> katy tur on the ground for us in boston. president obama talked about immigration reform during his weekly address from the road. >> this bill is a compromise, which means nobody got everything they wanted, including me but largely consistent with the principles i have laid out from the beginning. these are all common sense steps that the majority of americans support. so there's no reason immigration reform can't become reality this year. back in the united states, the nra is holding its annual convention this weekend in houston. executive director chris cox had some harsh words for gun advocates, like president obama, and new york city mayor michael bloomberg, who cox says exploits
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victims of tragedy like those in newtown and aurora. >> while we pray for god to comfort those suffering unimaginable pain, they rush to microphones and cameras, gather in war rooms on capitol hill, and scheme about how to use that suffering to push their political agenda. and ever since democratic seine is tore tom harkin announced that he would not seek re-election in iowa next year, many turn to republican congressman steve king, a staunch conservative, to vie for that seat. however, king says he ain't doing it. i tweeted last night, i will not be running for senate in 2014 a senate race takes me out of urgent battles in congress that can't wait until 2015. many thanks to all. president obama got some encouraging news yesterday. april's jobs numbers. last month, the economy added roughly 165,000 jobs, the unemployment rate dropped to
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7.5%. a grimmer of home the president hit his first 100 days of office this week is economic improvement all he has to show for this term so far? joining me now, rachel smol kin, deputy managing editor at politico, kay coppins at buzz feed and zachary, cnbc contributor, written a couple of books as well. zack, i will start with you, in defense of corporate profits, you say capital and companies are thriving along with tense of millions of people connected to those worlds while labor and wages are not. why the chasm? why the gap? >> that's been a chasm yawning wide well before the crisis of 2008. i think the only thing we have become more aware of now is how wide that is before before the housing bubble and other stuff, pretend a little bit it doesn't exist. even the jobs created now, i
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would like our conversion to shift to even if employment is okay, the nature of the jobs is not. 38,000 -- >> low-wage jobs. >> health care services, temporary work this is not the vibrant economy we need, there is a lot of our economy doing well, the media and the kind of worlds we are in, we like the simplicities, doing well, thumbs up, thumbs down kind of narrative, the fact is this economy is working really well for a lot of people and it's working really badly for a lot of people. >> it sounds like, you have sounded this whiten set before, perhaps the measurements that we use to gauge the health and success of our economy maybe shouldn't be the measurements that we turn to >> our desire for really simple numbers and a really complicated economy is part of the problem, 320 million people in the united states and another 15 million immigrants who don't even show up, one number for all of that just doesn't cut t unemployment rate for college graduates is 3.9%, basically, no unemployment
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problem if off college degrees, no matter how many stories you hear about your 25-year-old coming took live with your parents. >> if you are young and don't have a high school degrees, good luck to you. rachel, i want to switch gears here quickly, folks who haven't been following the story, president obama, he tapped people to serve on top levels of his economic team. pritzker, his economic committee. and how much can they move the needle? >> very hard for these positions to move the needle. this is another example of the president relying on long-term friends, pennity werity wery pr allowed him to fill out the cabinet by bringing in another woman. there's been, of course, criticism for his second term that he's put a lot of white men in high-profile cabinet
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positions, president obama you will remember early on, don't judge me until we have seen the whole cab net. now we have seen the cab net. the economy overall, very difficult position to change thing also up substantially and of course, president obama himself proposed dramatic changes to the commerce department. >> the rnc this web video out, i'm sure you're familiar with it i do want to show our viewers at home. this is a web video wending together news clips from the president's first 100 days in office, the second 100 days, if you will. take a look. >> the gun bill failed, the sequester appears here to stay and immigration reform is still a glimmer of hope, largely because the president has stayed out of it. >> maybe i should just pack up and go home. >> amazing what you can do with a little black and white. >> some creative editing.
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>> how accurate is that? how accurate is that ad? >> i think that the overarching idea here is that in the first 100 days, president obama has suffered some legislative defeats. of course, there's some truth to that. most remarkably, the gun bill, this was an overwhelmingly popular measure, i saw on your segment earlier, you attribute it had to cowardice on the part of lawmakers, which certainly, i think there was some of that there, lawmakers who received tremendous pressure from the gun lobby, at the same time, there was a lot of criticism for president obama for not rallying the troops the way he has been known to do also, you know -- >> should the troops have to be rallied all the time? >> which troops are we talking about? what congress needed -- if you're a gun controlled a vo cat, what you needed to happen was for ordinary people, constituents, to call their congressman and say, vote for this gun bill, right? that just didn't happen on a large enough scale to pressure
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them. i get what you mean. >> a perfect world, a lawmaker would vote his or her conscience. >> he have not voted a perfect union yet. >> rachel, your organization, plight coker i understand is not going to be sold, there's a -- i had to work that in. >> thank you for that >> how the ofa, organizing for america, not off to such a great startle. this is a snippet from the article, almost no successes to point to the group didn't sway a single vote for the background check proposal and so far, it hasn't been able to make any of those who voted against it feel any heat. how big of a blow to the president is this? >> an early blow for this group, our reporter, reed epstein, has been following the issue closely, doing good work on it
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this group said that was going to be their first major test. they jumped right in. of course, that's very difficult test for them right off the bat because they are trying to move democratic lawmakers in red states. you want to pick a hard one that's a hard one they set that as the bar, you asked about moving the needle, they did not move the needle on this debate, can't gather support for their rallies, the ad campaign was pretty minimal, targeting senators who were potential swing votes on the issue. they have a lot of time still, off to a very slow start. >> the president a lame duck, zachary karabel? >> all second presidents in our political culture almost de facto lame ducks when they win re-election, the way we are talking about 2016 and congress focused on the midterm elections in 2014 are a profoundly unfortunate reality.
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you have to accept had the structural reality of washington, the president does not pass legislation, the political system we have now is not even clearly the head of his or potentially her party. this is more indicative of our political culture than i think about obama's strengths or limitation. >> zachary karabell, mckay coppins and i cut you off because we are out of times, and rachel -- >> i'm used to it. >> and rachel smolkin, good to have all of you. thank you. have to bring you back when we have got more time to chat. >> thank you. as the immigration debate heats up at home, president obama talks about the issue on his latin american trip. arizona congressman raul grijalva joins me next. head to southern california for a live report on effort there is to contain a large wildfire that tripled in size the last few days. changing the world is exhausting business. with the innovating and the transforming and the revolutionizing. it's enough to make you forget
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some americans only see the mexico that is depicted in sensational headlines of violence and border crossings. and let's admit it, some mexicans think that america disrespects mexico or thinks that america's trying to impose itself on mexican sovereignty or just wants to wall ourselves off. and in both countries, such distortions create misunderstandings. i have come to mexico because i think it's time for us to put the old mindsets aside. >> that was president obama speaking in mexico yesterday. he left costa rica less than an hour ago. in both countries, the president kept manufacture sizing the need for better relations with latin america, both for economic and immigration pursuits. so, how's he doing? joining me now, arizona
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congressman raul grijalva. congressman, always good to have you, good to see you. >> good to see you. thank you. >> president obama's weekly address, which he taped in mexico yesterday the president talked about the current state of our border. i want to you look and listen to this and let's talk about it on the other side >> our bored we are mexico is more secure than in years, illegal crossings are down by nearly 80% from their peak in 2000. we have got more to do not just to secure the border but to fix an immigration system that is badly broken. >> you deal with border issues every day in arizona, how accurate is that description of how well things are going? >> i think the description is very accurate. the assets, the manpower, the enforcement activities, critics say it is a militarized zone, at least in the tucson sector, other parts of the bored perk the he having for the the number
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of deportation, the number of detentions that occurred in the last four or five year, record level under this president. so the issue of making enforcement the only discussion point in this immigration debate is a red herring. enforcement is moving. it's at 87%, 92%, detainment and the benchmark is 90. i would suggest that those enforcement efforts are not only under way, they are doing the job. >> how much of that is also because the economy in mexico has actually improved somewhat considerably over the past five, ten years? >> i think that was a very important point that the president made on his trip to mexico and central america, that there is an economic link in this hemisphere in the united states, discussions about ports of entry you discussions of personnel, better transportation structure is a win/win for the united states and a win for mexico and central america. that is -- that's part of the
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immigration debate that hasn't been talked about. that as mexico and central america grow their economies are able to educate, feed and give jobs to the people in their country than the pressure to leave and find work to sustain themselves, it begins to get reduced and so migration gets reduced. >> congressman raul grijalva, good to see you. thank you so much. >> thank you. coming up, video of a twister, but it's where this one hits that makes the story especially unusual. and what's big idea? how about a simple device that could save the lives, maybe even the life of one of your loved ones. that story is ahead. you are watching msnbc. a. i'm g. i've been using crest pro-health for a week. my dentist said it was gonna help transform my mouth. [ male announcer ] go pro. for a clean that's up to four times better, try these crest pro-health products together. [ sara ] i've been using crest pro-health. so feels different. [ male announcer ] crest pro-health protects not just some, but all these areas dentists check most.
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[ agent smith ] i've found software that intrigues me. it appears it's an agent of good. ♪ [ agent smith ] ge software connects patients to nurses to the right machines while dramatically reducing waiting time. [ telephone ringing ] now a waiting room is just a room. [ static warbles ] firefighters are hoping to take advantage of the rain in the forecast today to get an upper hand on that large wildfire burping near los angeles. that fire has scorched the least 28,000 acres in just two day it
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is and is now threatening at least 4,000 homes. nbc's ayman mohyeldin is at magoo state park. what progress has been made there today? >> reporter: two different types of operations ongoing but today, officials are saying that fire that has burned throughout ventura county has been contained by or up to at least 30% so they do feel they are making progress. there is no doubt the weather has been a factor in that today. lower temperatures, higher humidity and more importantly, they are expecting in the next 48 hours or so some rain showers that would certainly help dampen those flames and give them the upper hand in trying to increase that number or that percentage that has been contained. the other part of the operation that is taking place that which i'm about to show you, i'm going to step out of the way, you get a sense from what you are seeing behind us, these are the type of open areas that have been burned out. even in areas were they have been burned, the fires have
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subsided, crewsing about back through those areas, spraying them with foam or some type of flame retardant to make sure nothing can flare up. the biggest concern for firefighters is the wind. the wind can make it very unpredictable in way way these fires can blow, if there's any possible remnant of a flame still burning, any type of wood that could flare up again that would certainly be a major problem for them, that's why they are going back over those acres to make sure everything has been put out entirely. craig? >> i understand that this is not the only fire burping in california right now, there's another one in northern california, about 30 miles northeast of chico, i understand? what can you tell us about that one? >> reporter: that's correct. in fact there have been at least half a dozen fires burning all across the state over the past 72 hours. the large fire, the one they are calling the panther fire, took place in ta haima county, about two hours north of sacramento. there about 6700 acres caught on fire. that area is largely open land.
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they are not as concerned as they were here in ventura county. nonetheless though, about 18 -- 1200 firefighters are deployed and certainly a situation they are keeping a very close eye on because of the gusty winds that can certainly make that fire erratic and unpredictable. craig? >> ayman mohyeldin in california, where firefighters are hoping to get some help from mother nature on this saturday. good to see you, friend. thank you. one organization vowed to punish senators who voted against background checks, so have their threats actually worked? we are going to take a look at that you are watching msnbc, the place for politics, even on a saturday afternoon. overing up my moderate to severe plaque psoriasis. i decided enough is enough. ♪ [ spa lady ] i started enbrel. it's clinically proven to provide clearer skin. [ rv guy ] enbrel may not work for everyone -- and may not clear you completely, but for many, it gets skin clearer fast, within 2 months, and keeps it clearer through 6 months. [ male announcer ] enbrel may lower your ability to fight infections.
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serious, sometimes fatal events, including infections, tuberculosis, lymphoma, other cancers, nervous system and blood disorders, and allergic reactions have occurred. before starting enbrel, your doctor should test you for tuberculosis and discuss whether you've been to a region where certain fungal infections are common. you should not start enbrel if you have an infection like the flu. tell your doctor if you're prone to infections, have cuts or sores, have had hepatitis b, have been treated for heart failure, or if you have symptoms such as persistent fever, bruising, bleeding, or paleness. if you've had enough, ask your dermatologist about enbrel.
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ask your dermatologist about enbrel. kids are like sponges. they soak up everything. especially when it comes to what you say and do. so lead by example and respect others. you won't let prejudice into your home. the more you know.
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try align. it's the number one ge recommended probiotic that helps maintain digestive balance. ♪ stay in the groove with align. ♪ need help keeping your digestive balance in sync? try align. it's a probiotic that fortifies your digestive system with healthy bacteria 24/7. because your insides set the tone. stay in the groove with align. good saturday, i'm craig melvin. a quick look at the top stories making news right now. here is something they don't see often in italy. check this out. a tornado. fallen trees reportedly blocked some train lines and roads for hours there. no major injuries though. international airline passengers arriving in the united states friday were
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greeted with major delays at the customs desk. it was all because of a nationwide shutdown of the u.s. customs department computer system that prevented agents from processing arriving passengers for several hours. and the "rolling stone"s kicked off their 50 and counting tour with a two-hour set in los angeles last night. in case you are wondering, like i know many of you are mick jagger and keith richards are 69 years old. as the nra holds its annual meeting in houston, we are looking at the fallout from the senate's failure to move forward legislation to curb gun violence. nbc's casey hunt is at the nra convention in houston. james rosen covers congress for mcclatchy newspapers, chris evan sass columnist for the cleveland plain dealer and rebecca sand
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sears congressional reporter for the "arizona republic." good to have all of you with me on a saturday afternoon. casey, let me start with you at the nra convention there in texas. is the nra essentially taking a victory lap there? >> a really sleb bratter to atmosphere here as far as the senate background check failure is concerned, although there's also a sense of urgency that this is a fight they need to keep going. but they have cited new things such as they are now saying that 5 million members of the nra, up from 4 million, they say, since the newtown shooting, they also say that, you know, they have got members here from all over the country. officials say it could be 100,000 people this time, but we will wait and see when the numbers come back for sure. >> james, organizing for america, we talked about it earlier in the broadcast, the president's advocacy arm, if you will, ofa had promised to punish
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senators who voted against new gun measures, but according to politico, ofa has so far been less than successful, politico saying in part, the group did not sway a single vote for the background check proposal and so far, it hasn't been able to make any of those who voted against it feel any heat. how badly did gun change advocates misjudge what lawmakers would do? >> i think the problem is that the main way you strike fear into lawmakers is you make them afraid of losing their next election. and with senators, of course, they only run every six years, it's not like members of the house, the vote was in the senate, gun control vote was in the senate, i will take as a case study senator mark begich of alaska. aid long talk with him in his office, a sit down interview just before the gun vote. we talked fairly intensely about gun control he is from alaska. it's the last frontier state.
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he owns and uses a gun himself, as do most alaskans. and he is running for re-election next year. and he faces a republican. i think it will be -- i don't think he will be phased by a progressive group, a pro gun control group, trying to scare him into supporting gun control. if anything, the pressure on him is in the other direction. he ran a very -- had a very close election when almost seven years ago and it's expected to be very tight next year. >> chris, you have been critical, to say the least, of the nra's school violence action plan. you wrote the national rifle association seized the sandy hook elementary school massacre as an opportunity to sell more guns. you wrote that before the convention started there in texas. has the nra done or said anything to change your mind? >> no, not at all, craig. i mean, i see the nra as being a
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pro gun industry force and the issue for them to sell guns. so they fearmonger, they talk about how obama's going to go house to house through the country and take everybody's gun away. and you see at the gun shows. you see at the federally licensed gun stores where people are just buying guns off the shelves. >> casey, i want to pick up on what he just said, what chris just said, is that the sense that you get at the convention, are there large swaths of people in houston, texas, at their annual meeting who really believe that the president's going to come and round up their guns? >> the attitudes from folks here are very anti-obama, that is what i hear from gun dealers, large and small, talking to representatives from companies well known, like smith & wesson and other small gun dealers. they say their guns started flying off the shelf as soon as obama was elected then they saw
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another big uptick after newtown, to the problem they are having troubles keeping rifles like the ar-15, for example, on their shelves. >> chris, what does that tell you about us, collectively, as a society? >> well, what it tells me is that we know the majority of americans support universal background checks, especially when it comes to private sales and my colleagues on the editorial board, we ed toward y'allize about this, what the silent majority needs to do is it neeo and unequivocally and let the gun lobby know and let the elected politicians, the senators, like senator portman from ohio, know that their job is on the line.
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now, craig, it's out of control. >> rebecca, i want to bring newt conversation here, talk about arizona republican senator jeff flake. he believes his vote against background checks has, in fact, hurt his standing at home the senator wrote on his facebook page "given the public's dim view of congress in general, that probably puts me somewhere just below pond scum." senator flake's no vote really hurt him that much in arizona and if so, how much? >> you know, we have seen a loft coverage recently of a person poll that showed his popularity rating go way down after the background check bill and attribute it to his vote against the expanded background check bus it seems to me, i was a lot less surprised by his vote against the background checks and it seemed a lot of people were. i'm native arizonan and we are a state that is very gun friendly. we have a tradition of
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protecting gun rights and expanding them. so in some ways, i think he was responding to his constituents. now, you might say that's interest given that senator mccain voted for the background checks but i think that represented that arizona is becoming a swing state, very divided, even senator flake's campaign was a very hotly contested campaign against a democrat and he won by a fairly comfortable margin but it was close up to the end. >> james, again, you cover congress, you write for mcclatchy's, south carolina newspapers as well, where i'm from, from the palmetto state, how differently is the gun debate, how differently is it played out in parts of the country, rural parts of the country versus more suburban parts of the country even? >> i think a thank's an out standing question. i think in a state like south carolina, it's a pretty hard red
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state. you're not going to win office promoting hard gun control other states we have the sacramento bee, other papers, california is a, you know, a strong blue state, much more liberal state, if you oppose gun control, senator feinstein, of course, was the pain sponsor of the assault weapons ban, that was a very popular stance in california. she couldn't get it through the senate. you're right it does depend very much on where you live and you're right that rural communities tend to be much more anti-gun control than urban or suburban communities. >> casey, before i let you guys get out of here, i want to come back to you, you are on the ground there at the nra's annual convention. you have been there for a couple of days, i understand, what struck you most about that gathering of gun owners and gun enthusiasts? >> just talking about the divide
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between urban and rural, the sort of cultural clash. you are really seeing that play out here at the nra convention. this is a cast as a fight for second amendment rights and gun rights but it's also being played as a broader conflict between sort of different groups of people in america, a culture war, if you will, the term that the nr -- the incoming, excuse me, nra president used to describe t and it's a theme that sarah palin hit on yesterday. i mean, the folks that are here feeling very strongly that their rights generally and the way that they live their lives is under assault from an elite group of people in washington. >> casey hunt, james rosen, chris evans, rebecca sanders, i have so enjoyed our conversation, thank you all so much. i hope we can do it again soon. >> thank you. >> thank you, craig. coming up, what's the b idea? today, we are looking at a potential solution to a problem that costs lives every year. you won't believe that something this important, what you are
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looking at right now, could be -- it could be a very simple fix. [ jackie ] it's just so frustrating...
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talk to your doctor about toviaz. the most common side effects are dry mouth and constipation. what that's great. it won't take long, will it? nah. okay. this, won't take long will it? no, not at all. how many of these can we do on our budget? more than you think. didn't take very long, did it? this spring, dig in and save. that's nice. post it. already did. more saving. more doing. that's the power of the home depot. keep you yard your own
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with your choice lawn insect controls, just $8.88. making sure your child gets the right dose of medicine, that's today's big idea. students at an engineering design initiative called beyond traditional borders at rice university, they developed this device that you see on your screen right now. it helps solve dosing problems and will likely save a lot of lives as well. our next guest just won the 2013 $100,000 award for this thing, mit award for global innovation, rice university bioengineering professors maria owe den, rebecca richards cordham, good to have you here. thanks for being here. really excited about this idea. >> thank you. >> you speak in stereo, i love it. i love t maria, let me start with you, i know you both invented this dose right syringe
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clip. it looks like an l-shaped plastic gizmo. how does it work, in the simplest of terms? >> sure. so, it sticks in the back of the -- i actually have one here. the clip, looks a little bit like a shepherd's crook, sticks in the very back of the syringe and locks in place and then when you draw up the syringe, it doesn't allow you to draw more than the prescribed dose of medication. >> go ahead, maria, i didn't mean to cut you off. >> this particular clip allows someone to draw up 3 1/2 milliliters of fluid, so, every time you draw run the medication, you will get 3 1/2 milliliters of fluid. >> rebecca, how was this born? where did you see the need? >> so we work with physicians who are providing care to hiv-positive children in africa. and one of the challenges that they face is making sure that the caregivers provide the correct dosage of antiretroviral
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medications, and so they asked our students to help design a technology to improve the accuracy of dosing liquid medicine. and we asign that as a design project to our students. maria, what's -- i also understand that you guys run a program at rice, again, it's called beyond traditional borders, how does this -- how does the dose right syringe, the clip fit into the larger program? >> sure, so the program includes a series of six courses that students in any major at rice university can take. and if they complete these six courses, they get a miner global health technologies and all of the courses that they take include a design project, so they are actually being asked to take challenges that are provided to us from physicians and nurses that deliver health care in very low resource setting, we provide these challenges to the students and we ask them to work in teams to solve those problems. so pretty much every one of the courses that they take, they are
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doing a design project such as this. >> i understand, rebecca, that you guys have developed a low-cost continuous positive airway pressure system to help babies that are born with immature lungs as well as a portable field microscope to quickly born with undeveloped lungs, and something to diagnose disease diseases. you were awarded the mit award for global innovation. big con gratz on that. what does the award mean for both of you. >> i think for both of us it's a recognition of all of the team of stupts and the team of faculty and physicians have dedicated toward improving health in some of the poorest parts of the world. we're going to donate the prize to the hospital that we've worked with for many years to renovate the nursery for premature babies and allow it to
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serve as a hub of innovations to continue the development of these technologies. >> that's fantastic. you guys are going to donate the prize to a hospital in mill law we. when you go back, send us some pictures. we'd love to have you back. marie and rebecca, rice university prof fes sores with saturday's big idea. when we come back israel conducts air strikes inside syria. what does that have to do with the tight rope that the president has been walking when it comes to intervention in that country. this is america. we don't let frequent heartburn come between us and what we love. so if you're one of them people who gets heartburn
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liberty mutual insurance -- responsibility. what's your policy? as we've been reporting here israeli war planes targeting a -- the united states still has not committed military hardware or forces to the uprising in
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syria. president obama earlier this week understood kated that ground troops there, u.s. forces highly unlikely. all of this despite new evidence that the assad regime has used chemical weapons. joining me once again, rake l smokin'. rachel, today the israeli attack. does it increase or decrease presh at a all all on president obama to act in syria. >> if anything it will increase pressure. you have an sbesing divide. you have a certain element of the republican party, kind of the neoco nx element. they've been long time advocates for this. when something like this happens they get, you know were more fodder for their argument. but obviously there is also a lot of caution both on the white
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house's part and in congress in a lot of ways obama's foreign policy has been formed in opposition of george w. bush's and he's trying very hard to make sure every box is checked before they consider taking any action in syria. >> the president taking a very cautious path in terms of acting. take a listen. >> we have evidence that chemical weapons have been used. we don't know when, where or how they were used. >> the president previously said that the united states would act decisively once chemical weapons were in fact used. why do you think the president is moving so slowly now. >> the president is definitely pursuing a nothing hasty strategy here. we saw that in the sound bite that you just played. it was such an interesting moment in the news conference because without directly talk about iraq or weapons of mass destruction that weren't found,
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that's definitely driving and defining the approach here. the public is weary. the president has a busy domestic agenda. some key allies on domestic agenda on immigration are members of the old band. some interesting dynamic at work there. but he really is adopting a cautious approach. other than the very loud voices from senators mccain an-graham, it's strike i how quiet other voices have been so far. it will be interesting to see if the events from the past week and over the weekend begin to change that. >> always good to have both of you. thank you so much. >> thank you. >> coming up on this saturday, education nation hits arizona which comes near the bottom when it comes to achieving in the classroom. i'll talk to mayor of phoenix. also r my colleague is on the ground in arizona. we'll look at impact of immigration on education.
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we'll talk to a young woman who came to this country as a child. she's just graduated from college. what her future looks like and how she fits into the major debate. next on msnbc. ♪ right. but the most important feature of all is... the capital one purchase eraser. i can redeem the double miles i earned with my venture card to erase recent travel purchases. and with a few clicks, this mission never happened. uh, what's this button do? [ electricity zaps ] ♪ you requested backup? yes. yes i did. what's in your wallet? that i remember i should probably do laundry more often yeah yeah. cause' by the time i do there's all these mystery stains. i mean is it coffee? is it bronzer? did i play rugby at some point? could be gravy. i do like gravy. anyway, so my mom sent us these tide boost thingies to put in the wash with tide. together they're like twice as strong. yeah. so it's like bye bye stains, hello perfection.
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can i get my aleve back yet? ♪ for my pain, i want my aleve. ♪ [ male announcer ] this may, buy aleve and help those in need. grood saturday afternoon. i'm craig melvin. you're watching msnbc. the place for politics and and emotional finish. cheers in boston today as runners make it to their destination. that and the latest on the investigation there straight ahead. >> when we talk about fiscal spending and we talk about protecting taxpayers, it doesn't mean you take that money we saved and leave the country for a personal purpose. >> the personal and the political in the pal met to state. what south carolina politics
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mean for the national political scene. >> maybe again as i said i'm naive. but the thing i always knew that it would have to be a black president who was approved by the elites. >> words like that from a sitting supreme court justice have raised more than a few eyebrows. more on what clrns thomasss comments mean coming up. president obama just wrapped up his latin america tour. before his departure from costa rica, the president was asked to respond for the first time to friday's air strikes no syria. take a listen. >> well, first of all, you know, i'm not going to comment on what happened in syria yesterday. i'll let the israeli government confirm or deny whatever strikes that they've taken. what i have said in the past and i continue to believe is that the israelis justifiably have to guard against the transfer of
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advanced weaponry to terrorists organizations like hezbollah. you know, we coordinate closely with the israelis reck nigh that they are very close to syria, very close to lebanon. >> joining me now, nbc's kristen welker who was traveling with the president on that latin american trip. it sounded like the president endorsed what happened yesterday. that sounded like an endorsement. no? >> reporter: the president always said he supports iz reial's right to defend itself. he's being very careful not to weigh in on the specific action to israel took. this all comes as the obama administration is trying to figure out to to provide. also in that interview obama reiterated he does not see a scenario in which he will put american boots on the ground.
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some of the other options we believe are under consideration, the united states could launch its own air strikes, could consider arming the opposition forces in syria. it's not exactly clear who all of the opposition forces are. it's believed that some of them have tie to al qaeda. a third option would be to create a no fly zone. but it is possible that this israeli air strike inside syria will add to the mounting pressure on the obama administration to take action. americans don't seem to have an appetite for more military intervention in another country. >> kristen welker in costa rica. thank you. the entire interview with president obama will air on noon southeastern on telemundo. we've also been following some developing news in afghanistan. seven americans have died. five were killed by a roadside bomb in afghanistan, two others
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were killed when an soldier opened fired on troops in western afghanistan. this has been one of the bloodiest weeks in afghanistan recently. 21 killed in seven days alone, in three separate air crashes, today's bombing and today's shooting. 39 americans have died in afgan that so far this year. back here in boston, a group of runners who could not finish the marathon on the day of the bombing ran across the finish line today. nbc katy tur is in boston today. katy an emotional day there in bean town. tell us about some of these runners that you came across. i understand you talked to them. >> reporter: yeah, they were very emotional, as you would expect. take a look at the memorial behind me. it's been a week and a half since they reopened boils town.
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they're coming and laying down, tying up tennis shoes. in the past few weeks we've seen people symbolically finishing the marathon when they weren't able to. we spoke with some girls who were raising money for some stroke victims. the last five miles they ran were extremely emotional. they found it to be a win for their city. >> you know, there was a cop down there, he stopped traffic for us. as we were running people just started applauding which was pretty emotional for all of us. we crossed hand in hand. it was a pretty special day. >> reporter: let's get to the latest on the investigation. yesterday there were atf agents searching the woods near umass dart mout. there were reports that people heard loud booms there a month ago. they were searching the area looking for any residual explosives, any evidence they
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may have been testing their explosives here before they did it on the marathon route. the search is not going on today. we were told it was yesterday. we do not know if they were able to uncover anything. >> katy tur in boston. thank you so much for introducing us to those young ladies. it's really good to see that. >> education nation. in phoenix arizona this week because a survey has put arizona in the bottom ten states for overall achievement last year. since 2008 that state has drastically cut per purple spending for naerly to prn for a through 12. she's hosting two town halls this week. we're joined with zbreg stanton who just graduated from the university. she came to the united states as a child. she's an organizer with united we dream. that's an advocacy group fight
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for immigration reform. going to get to you guys in just a moment. i know you just wrapped up the town hall meeting with students. what are the students there in arizona saying? well we have 300 fantastic students in this auditory yum with us. one of the things they are saying is they are dirmd to be a success in this states and everywhere across the country. they know that's the way they want to be a success in schools because that's the way they are going to be a success in life. the obstacles are tremendous. because when you look at it immigration is a big problem facing many of these students. something like 43% of the kids who are in schools in the state of arizona are hispanic or they are of his manic descent. we had one young man on stage with me. his parents were deported when he was a child and he's had to
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put himself through high school by himself. >> through high school? >> reporter: we, through high school. he's got decision to make sometimes of whether or not to go to work or whether to go to school. this young man, craig, he's doing both without a mother, without a father encouraging him to get up every morning to do the right thing. he's doing it for himself. other students talked about they're facing similar issues including the fact that even crime and gangs is a big issue here in the state of arizona and many of the children that we talked to, the students talked about how they're struggling against it because they see that the gangs is not anything positive for their future. so they want to do more. but there are obstacles even within the school system for them doing that. they talked about how they would like to have more guidance counselors. people to help literally guide them through the system. those who want to go on to college, they talked about the issue of financial aid that are struggling, they're struggling
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to meet those issues. it's something that's facing kids all across the country but it's a particular struggle for kids here in arizona because some of them are having to do it alone without the guidance from their parents, without guidance from schools. >> what do we know about the achievement gap specifically between hispanic students and white students in arizona, some of the root causes? >> it's huge. and there are effort -- let me say this. there are efforts here in arizona to try and narrow that gap. there are programs underway in an toeft say students can come together and do better. they're instituting common core in this state to raise the academic stand darts of all students. for one thing, kids have not required to go to kindergarten in this state and because of budget problems the state has cut back funding on kindergarten. that in the face of what we know
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about early childhood education and that is, children need to foundation early on. is kindergarten eliminated in arizona, sno? for those communities and parents who can afford it, their children have kindergarten. but so many of the youngsters who are hispanic were their parents can't afford it. they're not getting the head start on the education that this state needs them to get. arizona is among the states where the minority population is going to become the majority population very soon. if you're not educating your majority population, what does the future look like for arizona. the state recognizes it and making sochl efforts. but there's a lot more that needs to be done. >> mayor greg stanton, one of the stats i find eye popping, arizona ranks 49dth for peer pupil funding for k through 12.
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how did that happen? >> we've had some brutal times here and unfortunately education is the first cut. we're going to build the economy. we've raised our standards, reading by third grade as a requirement. now we need to make sure we give the resources and support to our schools so that they can succeed. i'm a mayor, i don't run schools but my attitude is i've got a responsibility, everybody has got a responsibility. when we have shyer standards in our school, with it's not just teachers and principals and the school systems that need to adapt. the entire community needs to step up. as mayor i offer my entire city to our shoolts schools, particularly our high poverty schools in phoenix, many of the schools that have a latino population, that's the majority in our public schools, i view that as an economic opportunity long term as long as we can get those families, getting their
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kids on to college, graduating college. we can advance our economy if we're smart about this. it's everyone's responsibility. all of us need to roll up our sleeves and be part of the solution for education here in arizona. >> what can local governments like yours, what more can they do? after school programs, before school programs. we intuted a great program with our districts in phoenix. wae make sure that every child before kindergarten had free tickets to the -- >> how did you pay for it? >> we worked with the local foundations. it was private sector, the local power company and some local foundations stepped up to the plate to do that. geb again it's public/private pirp partnerships. those early childhood years before they enter kindergarten, the early years the brain is just developing are the most
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crucial years and that's where cities and the community can step up to the plate and support families that need to support to make sure their kids come to school realdy to learn. >> i understand you came to this country when you were 13 years oeld. tell us about some of the challenges that you faced when you were going through school there and how that led to what you're doing now. >> i think one of the biggest struggles that i really faced was just having a really good gpa out of high school, having all these hopes and really going to pursue my dream of higher education and not having that opportunity. my father, he was so persistent, he was like, i don't how but you're going to go to college. it doesn't matter how we're going to do it, where there's a will, there's a way. he went in fact to those private sectors and got me a private school lore ship. i didn't know if it was going to keep it funded. it is a bittersweet moment for
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now because ayear away from now i graduated from arizona state university and now the one who inspired me to continue my higher education is in deportation proceedings. >> you're talking about your dad. i follow you on twitter and you tweeted that your dad is facing deportation. while i have you here i am interested in getting just your thought and your perspective on the immigration debate, the immigration bill even that we're talking about in this country. >> yes. and i think that's the reality unfortunate. like people forget about it, people think it's about legislation. but it affects people's life. i have a five-year-old sister who is a u.s. citizen and she asks me every day when is daddy coming home. it breaks my heart that i can't do anything, my dad told me do something for any community, for myself and my community and i
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cannot help him. >> thanks to all of you. i do appreciate your time and always appreciate the work that education nation is doing around that country. good to see you. thanks again. >> happy to do it. when we come back, showdown in south carolina. we'll go from one side of the country to the other. saturday afternoon. voters will decide on sad between mark san forand elizabeth call better bush, the most closely washed congressional race in the nation. also starting a second term with a public defeat on gun control auz it doomd the president's already. the brain trust is here and thing by.
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on tuesday south carolina
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voters with vote in a special election for congress. former governor mark sanford will be facing against democratic candidate. does a democrat have a chance to win the seat? corey hutchens reporter with the times, and a republican stat gist all quite familiar with south carolina politics. dick, i'm not going to start with you. i'm going to start with corey because if i start with you, dick, i may not get to anybody else. at this point, ben, looking at it objectively, what do we think elizabeth cobetter bush's chances are. >> better chances that any other democrat running in this race. i think this is the only chance the democrats would have is
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bringing out a candidate like this, somebody who is outside the political class. they could have gone with a mayor or a county councilman or a state rep, they picked somebody in the political class of south carolina didn't really know, a dynamic figure with a famous brother. she's bought a0 lot of attention and money to the race. if someone was going to do it, it was going to be her and it might happen on tuesday. >> this race has been very much about scandal and personalities. daily beast columnist, he wrote, quote, listening to much of the national coverage it can sound like a race between general my sanford and comedian stephen cober the brother of the democrat candidate. did it help or hurt elizabeth cobetter bush. >> i think it helped her raise
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money. she's raised a couple million dollars, i think. people focused on it because of sanford's not only fall from grace but his very right wing tea partiant ticks. it all came together in the perfect storm. i agree with corey. it's going to be a very close race. somebody is going to win it one or the other by point or two. i believe she's going to pull it off. it's going to be very close. >> the national gop stopped funding sanford's report. while many national g.o.p. groups have abandoned them, the state g.o.p. is supporting him. what are mark sanford's chances and how would you characterize the kind of campaign that he's run. >> he's definitely picking up
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steam. it looked like he was down nine points by the ppp pole. that says a whole lot more about his negatives than elizabeth colbert bush's positive tifs. this race has always been about mark sanford. the republicans are consent sitting at home. if it looks like the african-american turnout is moderate or high, she ask win. but i think at the end of the day the republican can establishment is starthd to move in behind mark sanford, tim scott, lindsey graham. you remember rick san tore rum came out for mitt romney too in a 1:00 in the morning e-mail. the fact these people are coming on board a few days out before the election tells you kind of the state of their support behind mark sand for. it's not vast or veemt. they're not completely excited about mark sanford. we know if colbert bush wins this and pulls it out she'll be out of there in a year.
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we can win the seat back in 2014. >> i.d. i miss the resounding nikki hailly announcement? when did that happen. >> she was head lining a fun raiser for him the other day or it's coming up. >> it was last week. >> last week, there you go. >> dick, we saw this debate, the two of them, their only debate, elizabeth colbert bush, during that debate she mentioned sanford's trip to argentina. take a listen. i want to talk on the other side. >> when we talk about fiscal spending and talk about protecting the taxpayers. it doesn't mean you take the money we saved and leaf the country for a personal purpose. >> she went there, governor sanford. >> i couldn't hear what she said. >> that was -- yeah, that was
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actually a decent, i guess a decent attempt at a come back. were you surprised she brought it up and how effective was it. >> i think it was e if he can tiff. his response wasn't effective. it's the elephant in the room. this guy has disqualified himself not only by cheating on his wife but by taking taxpayer money to buy first class ticket to go to argentina and cheat on his wife. he had the largestette ticks fine in the state sfp there's far she wrapped it all in one question and that's what's driving people away from mark sanford. i talk to a republican today, a prominent republican who said they have sanford fatigue. i think many republic republicans are going to say home. they believe they can rin win it in 18 months. one race at time. >> corey for folks who are not as familiar with south carolina politics as you guys, tell us a
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little bit about this district. how is that a guy like mark sanford could very well win this thing with all of the baggage? >> south carolina is a lit call circuit. it's known for these kind of antics. we're a state that tends to cult fie these bizarre politicians and have for a very long time. it eels really anuninterrupted history in south carolina. you remember alvin green and now we have the scenario where a disgraced governor wants to come back to the job he formerly had and all of the scandal and what not along the way. i kind of wonder what mark sanford does if he loses on tuesday. and i'm thinking maybe that he might be able to get a grant or something to just maybe keep up the campaign for a couple of years as maybe a tourist attraction fb south carolina, bring a little economic development to the state. you should see owl of the report es that are calling over south carolina for this. after tuesday we're going to be having a conversation with
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somebody like this just as crazy and just as whacky. >> you keep the meedsia busy. appreciate that. >> real quickly i want to say we should forgive mark sanford, not because they want it but because christ calls to do that. forgiveness does not forgo consequence. a lot of republicans are sitting at home saying we don't want to see mark sanford in office anymore. we'll wait this out an see if we can take it back in 2014. it's not as record as a father or husband, it's about the record and reputation as a politician. it turns a lot of republicans off in that district. >> dick, ten seconds, you get ten seconds to respond. >> all i say is this. carry hit the nail on the head. in the 1800s a united states senator from south carolina once said that south carolina was too small to be a republic, too larnl to be an insane asylum and i think he hit the nail on the
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head 200 years ago and here we go, again. >> good to see all of you. >> thanks, craig, god bless. >> we will be right back. flying is old hat for business travelers. the act of soaring across an ocean in a three-hundred-ton rocket doesn't raise as much as an eyebrow for these veterans of the sky. however, seeing this little beauty over international waters is enough to bring a traveler to tears. we're putting the wonder back into air travel, one innovation at a time. the new american is arriving. [ male announcer ] book ahead and save up to 20 percent at, so you can sit back, relax and enjoy. doubletree by hilton. where the little things mean everything. doubletree by hilton. what that's great. it won't take long, will it? nah. okay.
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it's going to be a sloppy one. leading betters are going to be waiting until the very last minute to place those bets. you can stay dry and watch from the confines of your home 6:00 eastern over on nbc. is there any way for the president to turn it around with republicans in congress in time to certain his major second term agenda items? our brain trust will weigh in on that and a whole heck of a lot more. you're watching msnbc, the place for politics. i missed a payment. aw, shoot. shoot! this is bad, isn't it? oh no! we're good! this is your first time missing a payment. and you've got our new card, so we don't charge you a late fee for for that. plus, we won't hike up your apr for paying late either. man, that's great! it is great, man! thank you. well, thanks for your help. yeah, no problem. call back anytime. at discover, we treat you like you'd treat you. late payment forgiveness. get the new it card at
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[ agent smith ] i've found software that intrigues me. it appears it's an agent of good. ♪ [ agent smith ] ge software connects patients to nurses to the right machines while dramatically reducing waiting time. [ telephone ringing ] now a waiting room is just a room. [ static warbles ] >> the president suffered a defeat last month with gun control legislation failed in the senate. will that defeat set the tone of his second term? let's get right to the brain trust, angela rye, director of impact strategies, perry bacon jr., political editor an msnbc contributor and matt welch.
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good to see all of you. we want to remind our folks at home we have a conversation for a while and at the end of the conversation someone is crowned biggest brawn. they get a hundred,000 dollars reward and they also get 60 seconds of tv time. i made up the first part obviously. you guys would put a lot more into it if there was a hundred,000 dollars prize you take talk a little bit about the president in his second term. quote, the president is unlikely to find much success passing bills through congress because republicans remain adequately opposed to much of obama's agenda and have the ability to block it. but you go on to say the president still, he has is juice but if not with congress where does he have this juice, perry? >> i'd say two. the bully pulpit, the
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amplification of the presidency is very powerful. the president prices jason collins and made sure everyone knows that he called jason collins. we shouldn't under play being president, he's speaking out in favor of jason collins. these are big significant things. the second thing is the president is in charge op implementing laws that have already passed. take obama care. that's an important thing the president is in charge of putting together. you you could have 30 million people have health insurance or not have health insurance based on how the administration handles the law. >> matt, is sna where we are, the bully pulpit and enforcement? is that what we can expect? a president can invade a country or bomb a country and they usually do in their second term.
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i wouldn't be surprised if we saw it here. >> you wouldn't be surprised if we saw it with president obama his second term. >> 50/50 odds i would bet we're going to get involved militarily in syria. that's what presidents do. they don't have a lot of power left in their second terms and they don't have puch no f much to do so they get involved in foreign policy. he could help -- he couldn't completely close guantanamo but he could go really far that way. he could direct the department of justice so say look, colorado and washington you've legalized marijuana we're not going to go in and raid anyone. i don't think we will do that because i disagree. he has lost juice. his powers of persuasion are leaking by the day. we saw that during the gun battle when bewasn't persuasive. >> angela i imagine you agree whole heatedly. >> i disagree respectfully.
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first an foremost the president has actually used the bully pulpit called executive actions and implementing some of the gun control changes we needed to see. he irpmented 23 executive actions before the senate even considered a bill. i don't think that he's lost any juice there. further more, before the immigration bill was being draft nd and before the senate is beginning consideration, the president used his pully pulpit and the executive brarchl to utilize some type of stay so that dreamers could remain in this country. he's done a very good job of using the bully pulpit and the power of the pen. >> perry if the president has lost his juice is it purely the result of republican obstruction nichl or is there something else at work? >> -- disagree. republicans who don't agree with him to santa rosa against them. most of the things were passed the stimulus, the health care
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bill, we're past when democrats control both ends of congress. the notion of the president persuades someone, he talks in the right way, he makes if right phone call and suddenly republicans change their mind, i don't think matt changes his opinion on what we say. this notion of this juice or this political capital, these terms don't make any sense. you can pass the bills that republicans -- if we want to vote in congress, they will. you have the power of president to get things through congress. when you only have a minority in the house and in the senate you can't pass things. this has nothing to do with president obama's legislative charm or anything else. >> i agree the charm offense is totally overhiend. but every second term president, particularly one who is presiding over an economy as
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lousy as this one is by definition has less power. look at every second term president -- >> that's true. >> -- the midterm elections. they're almost always terrible with the one exception of bill clinton and that was for a lot of reasons. he's going to have less power. zberj w. bush wasn't able to do what he wanted to do after he got his so-called mandate in 2004. he was smacked down. immigration reform is a huge piece. if that passed all this talk is for naught on some level because these a big important reform. i question if it will be passed. >> we're going to take a quick break here. politics and sports are colliding in a long debate that's threatening to boil over should the washington red skins change their name auz of insensitive to african-americans. we're also going to spend some time talking about what clarence thomas said. on all purchases, plus a 50% annual bonus.
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the brain trust is back. angela rye or impact strategies, berry bacon jr., matt welch. angela let me start with you. we don't talk about sports here a lot on msnbc. but this is about sports and stereo types, specifically the washington red skins. my fifth nfl team but a team name that seemed as derogatory by a whole lot of people, especially native americans. there's a new poll. it found that four out of five americans were okay with the name said the team should keep the name. i'm interested in getting your thoughts on that. what do you think? are you surprised that 80% of the people asked don't have a problem with it? >> i'm not surprised that a lot of people don't have a problem with it. it are always the folks that are the offender who are talking about what should be or should not be deemed as offensive. i grew up in a home where my dad
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didn't let me say red skins. we said washington in that team and now living in d.c. i still say washington. it is a term that's absolutely offensive. in fact when, you know, folks that were not originally from that country came in and started dealing with the native peoples of this land, it was argued that the term was used to counted the number of scalps collected by the number of killer. we've got to do what's right regardless of whether it's the popular thing to do or not. >> perry, back in february the national museum of the american indian want they held this day long symposium. they invited a bunch of mass teams with indian mas cots to the symposium. museum director said the word red skin, said it was the equivalent of the n word. why are so many teams reluctant to drop names in light of modern
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times do seem somewhat incensive. >> teams always come wup the argument we've had the name for a long time, we want to keep it this way dlb this is how the team works. i think you have that going on. i would note one thing. we always talk about polls, we like polls in the news and the media. they give us some data. it's not clear to me to a poll in this case shows up much. i'm not sure most americans view how offensive native americans view this word. the n word would not be that popular in a poll because the americans have been educated on the issue. the polling on the red skins is pretty fresh and new. i think if a prominent person maybe on this show or somewhere else really went around and told americans how offensive this term is, i don't think db a lot of democrats, republicans public
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opinion is changeable very quickly. i think if people understood how -- it would change really soon. >> there isn't a native american lobby in this country. >> that is deadly true with the exception of some casino organizations in california and elsewhere. part of it is too sports names are any kind of name that's used a lot. the band the who, nobody thinks about the name anymore. we don't sit around in southern california thinking of all to have lakes that are associated with the lakers. the names become abinstructions. it didn't mean that thing to me. why are you doing it. i think that's why you get some of the poll numbers. all that said, red skin, on some level this is embarrassing. i would suggest there's a potential way out here. the golden state warriors used
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to be the san francisco warri s warriors. they lost the mas cots, all the -- they transitioned into some kind of ga nearic warrior. a little more difficult in the name of red skin. you would have to go red hawk or something like that. this is embarrassing. >> i want to come back to you. i'm sure you saw and heard what clarence thomas said. this week. for ou viewers who did not, take a look. >> i always thought there would be black coaches, black heads of universities. maybe again, as i said, i'm naive. but the thing i always knew it would have to be a black president who was approved by the elites and the media because anybody they didn't taye agree with they would take apart. >> what is he saying, angela rye? >> okay, craig. let me start with this. if justice thomas happens to be watching today.
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>> you know he's not watching today. >> i'm glad that you always knew that there were going to be black coaches and black executives and a second black justice on the supreme court. but hello, somebody had to open those doors. now whether or not the president was elected by the elite, come on, we've seen the numbers. the president beat mitt romney almost by 5 million votes. he hand edly won the election. e won blacks, latinos, he won senior, young people. he won everybody. he won more than the 37%. instead of him 0 pieng on elections i want him to write an opinion on a supreme court issue. pe doesn't say anything on the court. it's crazy. >> matt, really quick. you know what? save it for a second. when we come back we'll let you both chime in on that then we'll crown or biggest brain. you can't say 'one size fits all'. it doesn't. that's crazy. we're all totally different.
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all right. we're going to crown the biggest brain here in a second.
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as promised i want to give perry bacon 20 second to respond to the clarence thomas comments. >> first with clarence thomas elites pick every president, not barack obama, every president. the last president that didn't go to harvard or yale was ronl ray gone. elites have the money and you have to money for president by raising millions of dollars. >> i don't think he was saying that barack obama won because of the elites. i think what he was saying is the he had to be someone that the elite media felt comfortably with. but on some levels who care what a supreme court yus tis has to say on that. >> as i said last week on the coverage, i don't like to see my supreme court justices sitting awe few feet away from a talking head and i don't like to see any supreme court justices talking
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like that as well. time to crown the biggest brain. no one wants to hear what i say. drum roll. first of all, angela, you're ineligible because you won last week. matt welch you get it this week. you also have a good knack fb trying to introa point of view of view we may not know about. >> some of my friends who are liberals, some of my friends who are newspaper employees have grown tired of hearing the insult phrase liberal media. consider the event of this week when the newspaper scores of mainstream journalists have urged the bankrupt tib bun company which owns eight newspapers including the l.a. sometimes a and shag trin you refuse the interest from charles
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cook or as sanders called them harsh right wing extremist. you never hear such calls when the political billionaire warren buffet buy as newspaper as he's been buying up a bunch lately or when e lie broad who throw a big bash for president obama tries to buy his hometown people. why is it only dark money when it's right of center. i used to work at the l.a. times and david coke is a trustee at that publishes my magazine. does not look credible when it's so one-sided. >> perry bacon so-second response. >> the koch brothers have not shown a lot of terms of interests of owning jury rooms. warren buffet helps own the washington post which i think
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does lots of nonpartisan journalism. angela we'll start with you next week. matt is that your first biggest brain award. >> first one. >> join me tomorrow 2:00 eastern. 'eel see you back then. until then have a great saturday night. what do you think? that's great. it won't take long, will it? nah. okay. this, won't take long will it? no, not at all. how many of these can we do on our budget? more than you think. didn't take very long, did it?
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