tv NOW With Alex Wagner MSNBC December 16, 2013 9:00am-10:01am PST
irish flairup or revenge of the moderate? it's monday december 16th and this is "now." the budget deal reached by paul ryan and patty murray passed thursday by the house has sparked plenty of warm feelings, optimism and headlines heralding a new era of cooperation in washington. similarly house speaker john boehner's decision to finally stand up to outside conservative groups has some declaring a tectonic shift,ed leader has turned a corner on its impotent past. moderates reasserting control on their base writes kathleen parker in the "washington post," we could be witnessing the first shots of an old guard revolution from which emerges the leader republicans are waiting for. center stage, paul ryan.
this weekend paul ryan seems less interested in taking back the party than playing nice. >> i think these groups are indispensable to keeping taxpayer interest accounted for, keeping people account able. we some difference of opinions on tactics. we all believe the same thing with respect to the ultimate goal. >> leadership might have had spine stiffening but orders are dictate freddie above, power in the republican party does not necessarily rest with the speaker's gavel. according to he had killgore and tpm, remains dominant force and therefore civil war doesn't remotely resemble past skichls. millions of miles away from i don't remember, rockefeller and goldwater or ford and reagan. take it from the man himself, the gop's supposed savior who as tee a victory lap over the budget deal downplayed slap back
to conservative rabble-rousers and insisted, hey, it's all good. >> i think john just kind of got his irish up. he was frustrated groups came out in opposition to budget agreement before we reached a budget agreement. i was frustrated to. these are very important elements of our conservative family. i would prefer to keep those conversations within the family. >> as to that right wing strategy of keeping it from the brink of financial catastrophe by raising the nation's debt ceiling, still on the table. >> we as a caucus along with senate counter-parts discuss what it is we want out of the debt limit. we don't want nothing out of the debt limit. we're going to meet in our retreats after the holidays and discuss exactly what it is we're going to try and get. >> joining me from slate, jacob weisberg, special correspondent from "daily beast," editor of "democracy, ideas." contributor to the "washington post," patricia.
joining me from charlotte, north carolina, author of "when the tea party came to town" robert draper. robert, when the tea party came to town and everything changed. i wonder what you make of the events of the last week, which is john boehner getting up there as animated as i've ever seen the man issuing what i vr termed a slap back to conservative groups. his wing man, paul ryan, saying we're all fam. is this the beginning of a schism, end of a schism where is it now. >> a recognition there was a schism and had been for some time. what was notable, first of all, the budget bill much more preventive than affirmative meaning it doesn't accomplish a lot other than prevent further erosion of the approval ratings of house republicans. what i thought was especially
notable speaker boehner saying as he did last week, and it was a quote, it was these outside groups that pushed us into the fight to fund obama care. stretches credulity. ever a speaker not in control of his own house, it was that. >> i think it was monday, it's a blur, boehner admits to the fact outside groups forced the shutdown, which as robert points out is a huge concession. talking points echoes the idea no matter what they say the conquest of republican party by the conservative movement is the prevailing reality of politics on the right and gop's practical options limited to one flavor or another of that persuasion. >> i think the country's options have been limited by the
republican party takeover. that is a sober moment. there's a lot of slapping on the back, boehner slapping on the back he's resisting outside movements, a lot of slapping on the back patty murray and paul ryan they cut a deal. it's inside the beltway, they brokered a deal, i understand it's compromise but they brokered on the backs of 1.3 million that won't get unemployment benefits, no infrastructure in health education that i can see in this. we're going to break free. my colleagues will speak to this. we'll break free of the hostage taking the tea party has been doing to this country. >> do you think that's true? when asked about the debt ceiling, which has always been the bigger of the two dogs government shutdown oss resolution, republicans always wanted bigger fire to happen on the debt ceiling. it sounds like, a, the far right hasn't been placated that much
in this current two-year budget deal and paul ryan said the door is very much open over negotiating the debt limit, something the president said he wouldn't do. >> i don't think it's nothing. paul ryan is agreeing tax increases can be on the table. that's a pretty big concession for him. i'm long-term optimistic. i think it's a battle republican party will have to fight, much as the democratic party did after it found itself politically too far to the left to win elections after 1994. that process took seven or eight years for the democrats. it's going to take a long time for the republicans. but i think some reasonableness and moderation are beginning to assert themselves. they are not going to win back their party tomorrow or next year. there are going to be steps forward and steps back, but finally moving in the right direction. >> i think part of the problem, michael, this strategy is not just about, you know, a fiscally
conservative policy, it's reality. to move away if there's green shoots in the form of john boehner saying lean back and shut up. there's also a poll, votes republican party built a house in and around certain parts of the country that want things the way they want them, no matter how reasonable people in congress would like to be. >> that's a very important reality. the way they have to win in their districts, the things they have to say in their districts are different -- the democratic party in the period alludes to, i would say after 1988, the democratic party did go through a serious self-examination, soul searching. you guys remember. that was a big, big fight. that was about really, really
important fundamental questions about what democrats believe. republicans aren't having that argument yet. they are having an argument about what kind of wrapping paper to put on their package. >> that's part of the alarming thing. we said this many times. in the autopsy after 2012, don't change the pizza, just change the bach the pizza i see delivered in. people on the outside say you have to reformulate dough, toppings, you may not want to make pizza, linguine, whatever it is. there a fundamental big conversation that has to be had that i don't think is happening behind closed doors. i don't get the sense, i'd love to know what your reporting tells you that anybody in the tea party is particularly keen to hear what the moderates say. >> no. they are not particularly keen. they believe whenever moderation rules the republican party loses and so does the country. yeah, this conversation is taking place here and there
within conservative circles within the republican party. mainly, i think, among younger republicans who are dismayed by the sort of -- the older, in many cases, louder voices. they get sidetracked. for one thing, the belief is they feel an incredibly weak candidate in 2012 with mitt romney. they also became captivated by libertarian voices in their party, rand paul, ted cruz. those don't necessarily point to a solution of how to grow the party. they still are doing this tightrope, this balancing act between trying to appease the very loud, very activist base without which speaker boehner would be minority leader boehner and to try their electoral base which has clearly been diminishing. >> i wanted to ask you about this. an interesting thing has started to happen organ when the tea party came to town. i'm not quoting from robert.
>> why not. >> the idea when the tea party began, it was much more against corporate interests and lobbying interest and influence of big money in washington and closed door deals. mitch mcconnell this weekend had meeting with defense companies and the senate conservative fund, which is a powerful outside group, said this about o'connell. all he's doing is nudge nudge, wink wink, i'll take care of you. what he's saying is i'm a big spending republican who will take care of special interests if they help him in the primary. you scratch my back, i'll scratch your back. this is where occupy and tea party movement actually have some things in common. >> i'm in favor of anti-establishment forces. >> you are. >> i take issue with the use of moderates as we talk about republicans because they seem so far out of center of the politics and move of the country. the tea party at its inception,
certain forces, anti-corporate in a very interesting ray that occupy or broader progressive left might have linked to. you had the coke brothers, big forces, dick armey and all those establishment forces to some extent with their money tamp down and redirect toward fierce anti-government, anti-obama. racist elements came to the fore in the tea party. they were there, latent. you can't step back and say tea party. they created a role in fomenting forces they are worried about taking over the republican party. >> i think actually, jacob, obama care, it has been very useful to the right and far right but i think it has also proved -- almost like a lollipop or pacifier that districts them from the issue at hand. we'll get through -- the reason
the two-year budget passed with conservative members paul rand said get this out of the way and go back to obama care. obama care is a campaign to repeal. the party hasn't actually agreed on anything. >> that sort of thing, lets drop this pointless self-destructive fight to shut the government down and default on the debt to pursue the other pointless, superfund destructive fight. the thing about obamacare, the door is closing. once it starts it's a benefit they will never take away. >> all factions, all wings of the gop can agree on. >> it's so far out of reach. they don't have any chance. it's easy to agree on because they can't do anything about it. it's a difference between one-year perspective and five to ten-year. the one-year they are still acting ir rationally, crazy of the tea party still in control. five- to ten-year perspective, look back and the republican
party was saddled with totally counter-productive stance on immigration, on gay people. ten years from now i think they are going to have dropped them. i think somehow that conversation robert draper is really the expert on this and his book is fantastic on this, i suspect but i don't know it but these competitinversations are n behind closed doors. how do we adopt a position that lets us appeal to latino voters. >> that is a lot of baggage to check with a very low weight limit. we're going to take a short break. when we come back, a year after the newtown shooting massacre, the gun lobby's grip is as strong as ever. a new power struggle is brewing within. we will discuss myths of nra and robert draper's new york magazine piece next on "now." we're aig. and we're here.
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one day before the first anniversary of the shooting at sandy hook elementary school and eight months after congress failed to pass a bill to expand background checks on friday an 18-year-old student in centennial, colorado walked into arapahoe and opened fire injuring one student before taking his life. it marked the 24th school shooting since newtown. on friday president obama and first lady commemorated sandy hook by lighting 26 candles. for the majority of americans the solution to the nation's gun
violence lies partially in stronger gun safety laws and measures like expanded background checks. reasonable regulations that have proved politically impossible almost exclusively because of the power of the gun lobby. in the "new york times" magazine this week robert draper takes us inside the power of the nra and hard line groups and details how they managed to stall gun safety reform despite overwhelming public support. draper reports while never fully on board with expanded background checks, the group was working with senator joe manchin to make the bill as attractive as possible to the coalition. when word came out lobbyists were negotiating with congress, a handful of smaller, more strident gun groups, most notably gun owners of america and national association for gun rights continually attacked nra for giving any ground and negotiating with the enemy. these groups have less than a tenth of the reported 5 million
members. as with so many congressional negotiations, the pressure from hard-liners drove key players away from the bargaining table. two people connected told people extreme gun groups could influence nra simply by casting it as the establish mentoring much as tea party candidates have pushed mainstream republican incumbents farther to the right. robert, it's a great piece. i feel like one of the first pieces that actually details where the nra has been on basic safety measures, tell us, if you will, more about the dynamic between the smaller hard line factions and nra that boasts a 5 million strong membership. >> sure. as you mentioned, it says in the article, alex, a familiar dynamic, one we're seeing played out inspector republican party. nra is establish mentoring for gun rights. it's been around since 1871. though it's not commonly known,
the nra just beats people over the head, they actually try to get things done. they strive to be in the room when legislation is written, water down or promulgate particular bills they like. sometimes playing with the enemy. for that matter awarding democratic allies by giving them donations does not sit well with louder no compromise gun groups like gun owners of america and national association of gun rights who immediately call nra to task for compromising, dirty road. that's what took place during manchin toomey. until the time they did so, make no mistake the nra didn't want any bill to be passed, universal bill to see the light of day, they thought it would, they sought to be in the back room with manchin and toomey to do what they could to make the bill
p as good as possible. >> conservative republicans, a sense they won't have jobs if they exile their base, which toys say electoral reality that keeps, as you said earlier, speaker boehner from becoming minority leader. with the nra given the fact they are a behemoth, they say they have millions the members, 10 times the size of these smaller groups, why do they feel so beholden to them? >> it's a complicated answer to that question. it comes down to this. governance is hard. governance is difficult to do. even for nra getting legislation passed is hard. when you have yammering from the far right, extreme groups saying this is a compromise organization, you start to lose members as a result. munns of people, maybe thousands of people calling nra headquarters and tying up the phone lines. when you didn't really want the legislation to pass to beginw you finally say to hell with it,
i'm going to go ahead and vociferously oppose the bill and that's essentially what took place. >> in robert's piece he talks about the phone calls, a ratio of 9-1 opposition, jo manchin 200-1 opposition. this is the question of the ages, right? on the subject of gun safety reform, 90% of the country supports it. something like 75% of nra members support it and yet this kind of fractious hard core minority is so better organized, it seems, and gets the response from members of congress. you could say this happens across on women's reproductive freedoms. hard core anti-choice is better organized. one has to wonder, given the stakes you're talking about, earlier today we didn't know if we were going to have to cover a shooting at harvard, there was bomb threats, ongoing safety threat in the same way not using seat belts. this is a basic thing here. why is the left -- why is the
mainstream thoughtful -- why are normal americans, why are they not better organized? >> i've asked myself this many times and i've asked people in those movements this many times. the passion and intensity just aren't quite as strongly felt. aren't nearly as strongly felt. lately they are. since newtown there's something emerging. but the passion just isn't as strong. and you know, this is not really going to change, i don't think, until somebody -- it has to be a republican, can't be a democrat -- has to be a republican, has to stand up and run against the nra and win. they have to beat a pro nra candidate. >> we don't have someone standing up and running but we do have mayor bloomberg who has made they are a central issue. i think michael is right. this is a generational struggle. it is obscene after newtown and all of this we're still living with this. richard aborn who ran assault weapons ban in the clinton
administration, he talked a lot. it's the intensity. until groups -- we can have all the groups. until it becomes the number one issue for millions of people, as it has become for the right -- it's a proxy issue for so many. what's at stake is a deformation of freedom and liberty that the nra and other groups preyed on and manipulated. i think we need to reframe it. the issue is we did public health, common sense, all that. common sense doesn't drive passion and intensity. there has to be a mood. >> keeping children safe at university college campus or, you know, in their elementary school -- granted, the assault weapons ban is not going to solve everything, limited magazines aren't going to solve everything but basic practical steps. >> familiar dynamic robert describes in his piece. the nra is worried about being primaried. nra worried about nuttier smaller organization that are going to challenge its power and
dominance. so much of this is a bureaucratic story about perpetuating your power, your position in washington. i think there was also a somewhat helpful message in roberted, too, despite background checks nra won, but you saw the supporters of some rational policy on this being more effective than they have been, coming very close to winning, being more organized, taking cues from the nra to win a fight. >> i want to talk to you. at the end of your piece, you talk about the sort of gun culture and being able to speak to the nra from a position not of antagonism but understanding. certainly having emissaries like joe manchin help. do you think those in favor are learning from how to interface with the gun rights movement? >> that's certainly what gabby giffords and her husband are
trying to do with their groups. joe manchin and other legislators are looking to do the same. we'll see, by the way, to jacob's point, how this will play out, say, in 2014. there were a couple of senators, mary landrieu of louisiana, kay hagan of north carolina who took what they thought were tough votes voting for the manchin toomey bill. they may urge people to do this conversely. if the day comes someone pays the price, in arizona, votes against manchin toomey, we could see a sea change. mark glazer from the bloomberg group said it to me. essentially the nra has been the overwhelming force, practically had this issue to itself for the last 20 years. so it's not just that it's going to take a lot of mobilization, more money, et cetera, but also going to take understanding how to communicate to middle america, to those swaths of
america where the gun culture thrives which clearly are among the things giffords and kelly are trying to do. >> "new york times" contributing writer robert draper, great piece. thanks for coming on the show and safe travels. >> in the wake of bill de blasio resounding win and breathless will she or won't she took of possible elizabeth warren white house bid president obama may have an opportunity to turn left. we will discuss the rye of the progressives just ahead. [ male announcer ] what if a small company became big business overnight? ♪ like, really big... then expanded? ♪ or their new product tanked? ♪ or not? what if they embrace new technology instead? ♪ imagine a company's future with the future of trading. company profile. a research tool on thinkorswim. from td ameritrade.
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shift in certain areas of the country. the question is can president obama convert populist sentiment into legislative action. we will discuss the o-agenda next on "now." what if we could keep enough plastic waste to cover mt. rainier out of landfills each year? by using one less trash bag each month, we can. and glad forceflex bags stretch until they're full.* so you can take them out less often. i have a cold with this annoying runny nose. [ sniffles ] i better take something. [ male announcer ] dayquil cold and flu doesn't treat all that. it doesn't? [ male announcer ] alka-seltzer plus fights your worst cold symptoms plus has a fast-acting antihistamine. oh, what a relief it is! mom? come in here. come in where? welcome to my mom cave. wow. sit down. you need some campbell's chunky soup before today's big game,
a lot of us ran in our elections addressing inequality. it was gratifying to hear the passion the president and vice president spoke about this challenge our country faces and their desire to be active partners with us in addressing income inequality. >> that was new york city mayor elect bill de blasio outside the white house on friday speaking for himself and the 15 other democratic and independent mayors as they emerge from a meeting with president obama and vice president joe biden. among the agenda items minimum
wage, middle class and economic inequality. if 2010 what is the year of the tea party, 2014 might be the year of the progressive left. "politico" says president obama sees populism that gave rise to elizabeth warren and bill de blasio and what's his own left turn said a white house official. already leaders signal they hear their party and willing to make concessions. by way of example janet yellin federal reserve larry summers. choice to go nuclear and eliminate filibusters on presidential appointments. and last week when the white house announced john poddes, a would begin serving as a counselor to president obama, a hire many see as a harbinger on increased action on economic inequality and on environmental concerns. but in a political arena where the goalposts have already been moved so far to the right sustaining progressive priorities will be challenging. then again with three years left
in his presidency and pressing issues like the minimum wage, food stamps and extending unemployment benefits, president obama and democrats in congress will have plenty of opportunities to make good. katrina, that script is an example on one hand, on the other hand. on the one hand but on the other hand. >> i like the basic drift, moving in the right direction. >> on the press -- precipice of 2013, into 2014 are you optimistic the progressive left will have more of a place at the table? >> i'm hopeful it will have more of a place. it hasn't had enough of a place. it seems to me addressing inequality, downward mobility, fairness, these are not issues of left and right, these are issues of right and wrong as elizabeth warren spoke so eloquently of. the center of our politics moved
so far to the right. for millions of americans the center is where their lives are at. fairness, inspirational populous politics. the polls, that's not the central issue but it's there. it's going to take movement politics to drive those inside like a good house progressive caucus, like a caucus in the senate with elizabeth warren and others. we have seen bill de blasio winning a mandate but ohio, maryland, this can be a winning message but going to take good politics and organize. >> it's almost you want to send out the message via carrier pigeon, whatever, that the framing on these issues is really important. i'm hugely guilty not following the playbook, a message to
tackle inequality. paul krugman writes, this is a really huge important part of where the country is at. he says for bottom 90% imimpoverishment reflects both a shrinking economic pie and declining share of that. inequality rising so fast, over the past six years as big a drag on american incomes as america's poor economic performance even though the years include the worst economic slump since the 1930s. what's amazing, out of the recession washington talk dominateed with deficit cutting and cutting spending and not actually addressing this thing, which is as big a drag on the economy as anything else. >> the deficit is going down at a pretty respect i believe clip. that's taking air out of that balloon. i think it has changed the conversation and helped make the
opening for this kind of talk. what i would add here, though, katrina, fairness is good. i'm for fairness. we're for fairness. whether the american people at large feel extremely strongly about fairness i'm not sold on that idea. growth, though, everybody is for growth. if you can make the case, as i think obama has been making, if you can make the case fairness produces better growth, produces better economic growth, then i think you can turn opinions around. although i should say doing on the one hand, on the other hand thing to myself -- >> which is hard to do. >> that polls already support, majorities already support raising minimum wage. >> when you frame it not as socialist fairness but practical policy like raising the minimum wage. this is sort of the doctrine of conservatism, you should be able to get a fair wage for an honest
day's work. the fact people are living at below poverty levels based on subpar levels that doesn't jibe with the whole conservative economic theory. i think it's amazing, jake, that trickle down economics, conservative ideas on economics were disproven in the '80s are now kind of sort of the organizing principle for the republican party and to some degree still hold water in a bipartisan budget debate. >> yeah. look, i'm for higher minimum wage. you can have a legitimate argument whether it's the most effective way to fight inequality or raise incomes of people under the poverty line. i'm a little skeptical of the narrative about second term left term partly because i think the first term was more progressive than people give credit for. i don't think obama will do anything in the second term that will have as big an impact on fairness, income inequality, call it what you will, as health care reform. the problem is it's still screwed up. unscrewing that up is sort of a
prerequisite for doing anything big in the second term. he's engendered the flawed, failed implementation today of health care reform, created deeper scepticism taking on problems. has he to fix that first. >> i guess looking at the long-term, rollout of ada was disastrous. numbers going up. next year will tell. legislatively, hard to imagine president getting congress to do anything big in terms of economic inequality but he can certainly change the conversation in a meaningful way and lay the groundwork for 2016 referendum issues. >> a point, i do believe growth. greatest job creators are a strong middle class. to have demand led growth is what the president is also talking about in that
aspirational speech about inequality. i agree with you on health care. every social reform moved out in tough, zigzag ways. roosevelt franklin was great, not just because of day to day reforms but economic security he provided people. if the health care act can move in that way, the economic security was a buffer in the great crash of 2008 because people had social security. they had medicare, which was the book end of the new deal and these kinds of things. it's been a decades long fight, obviously, the health care fight to provide millions of americans with health care. >> i think part of the problem from the progressive perspective that that very security is squeezing out opportunities to take on inequality in a new way. what happens to the budget spending in the form of social security and medicare essentially comes to consume the entire domestic budget even in obama's version. there's not room, there's not breathing room to create new
problems, take on these problems, unless you first do something about the cost of entitlements. >> earned benefits. earned benefits. >> i think to not get entangled in the social security and medicare conversation because a lot of people will say we need to raise the tax caps on who is going taxed on these things before we talk about slashing them for the neediest. there's a whole debate to be had there. to your point about whether the president has been embracing sort of progressive priorities, i do think the affordable care absent is a hugely progressive program. at the same time, michael, i'd love to get your thoughts on this, i think the president has had a rocky relationship with the progressive left. i think the idea they have been rabble-rousers and just haven't appreciated all the work he's done is to some degree fair. we are seeing a move here, the fact you have a powerful person taken seriously in the form of elizabeth warren, in the senate,
moving the motors and wheels the way she has i think has provided cover and to some degree convinced the president that this whole progressive thing and big values are worth pursuing. >> i think that's right. i think he's given one of these big progressive speeches every so often and then forgotten about it. i think it's going to be different now and i agree with you, always smart to agree with the host. >> it's been part of whom he is as a community -- he felt this way for a long time. whether he has articulated it in such a convincing fashion, in a way that seems like he is committed to it is changing. good, we all agree, which is saying people, you and i agree. >> i don't agree. >> he doesn't agree. your spot on this show. hundreds of thousands of anti-government demonstrators in ukraine. can pressure from the west move kiev away from the east? details on that coming up next. my customers can shop around.
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a showdown between russia and west with an eastern european nation caught in the crosshairs. crisis in ukraine sounds a whole lot like the cold war. 200,000 protesters swarmed kiev sunday for greater cooperation with european union. demonstrations began a month ago when the president unexpectedly walked away from a long discussed trade agreement with the eu opting inside to strengthen ties with russia. over the weekend u.s. politicians waded into the war with ukraine as senators john mccain and chris murphy rallied protesters in the capital city. tomorrow ukraine's president will meet with vladimir putin to discuss a customs deal with russia which will likely fan the flames, according to an nbc interview with john mccain could lead to u.s. sanctions. >> if the president goes ahead
and signs an agreement with the russians, would you call on other members of congress to possibly introduce sanctions against the ukrainian government? >> i think it would deserve serious consideration. i think what would provoke even more concrete action on the part of u.s. congress if there's any brutal repression, that would be unacceptable, i think, in congress. >> after the break, north korea decides to spare kim jong-un's aunt from execution but the same cannot be said for the dictator's uncle. we'll discuss pyongyang hermit kingdom horror show coming up next. before using her new bank of america credit card, which rewards her for responsibly managing her card balance. before receiving $25 toward her balance each quarter for making more than her minimum payment on time each month. tracey got the bankamericard better balance rewards credit card,
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>> well, it tells us a lot about how ruthless and reckless he is. also tells us a lot about how insecure he is to a certain degree. it tells us a significant amount about the instability internally of the regime with the number of executions. this is not the first execution. >> katrina, for people interested in human rights, what s hpened in north korea and other parts of the world it mus be said over the course of the last parts of the world stabilize, there are pockets of the world where things are as bad as they ever have been. when you found out about this, most people watch north korea, there is consensus to be had this is a bad sign and it could be a sign that kim jong-un is consolidating power. you read that in the context of these prison camps run out of north korea, kim jong-un has expanded the size of the worst one. it's three times the size of
washington, d.c. and the conditions there are brutal. go ahead. >> you know it's a brutal regime. it has gulags. this story is part of a m tiff we've heard before. what we shouldn't do, it seems to me, is threaten military action. it just makes the repressive forces in that country more repressive, it seems to me. we were talking earlier about human rights. this is a year in which human rights, there have been some great successes, to me one of the great wins we didn't wage military, go to war in the middle east. we could be in a war, regional war, which would in my mind suppress human rights. in august it was the threat of military strikes. i think what was important to find nonmilitary alternatives to conflict and focus on the refugees, focus on the human
rights disasters in that part of the world and other parts of the world. war does very little to address human rights. >> it's a complicated one. other folks would say we should have intervened much earlier and wouldn't have had to intervene the way the president suggesting a year later, syria the slaughter goes on, the situation no better. i would say,jake, the president has long wanted to pivot asia and focus more fully on what is happening there. china seems to be a major player in terms of resolving or dealing with north korea because it is effectely a client ste of china but the president has bee hamstrung by what's happene in the middle east. i wonder if the move toward the pacific is something we'll see more of in the second term. >> it's a little like the ever ceiving progressive agenda, the pivot to china, to asia since he got elected. north korea doesn't help with that. it's a distraction. all it is is a potential crisis
at any moment. it is worth sparing a minute for understanding this is the worst country in the world. the entire country is a prison camp. there used to be a number of stalinist outliers, cuba, burma in the process of reform, north korea is out there on its own, a place completely divorced from ality with no idea what's going on there. they think dennis rodman is the greatest celebrity in the world. >> returned to a basketball team, sign of apocalypse, not that dennis rodman wasn't once a great basketball player. it is true, one of the most despotic regimes and this latest turn of events leaves no one in doubt about what's going on. we have to leave it there. i know you wanted to talk about pyongyang, we'll bring you back for the conversation.
oh. what a relief it is. right now on "andrea mitchell reports," done deal. after the budget compromise sailed through the house tomorrow it faces an increasingly combative senate, so will it pass. >> i think it's a pretty safe bet it's going to pass. i think mitch mcconnell, the republican leadership knows they can't let it go down. >> it's not a done deal. it's going to be very colostomy. i think there's going to be a cloture vote and going to be closed. >> family feud after speaker boehner lashed out at tea party conservatives and outside groups. paul ryan tried to kiss and make up. >> i think john got his irish up. he was frustrated groups came out against the budget agreement before we reached a budget agreement. i was frustrated, too. these are important elements of our conservative