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tv   NOW With Alex Wagner  MSNBC  January 20, 2014 1:00pm-2:01pm PST

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what is is new is we have now have the techniques and the resources to get rid of poverty. and the real question is whether we have the will. >> i don't really know if we have the will as a nation, but i pray that we find it. that's it for us on "the cycle." christie's moto is stronging than the storm, but now that he is at the very center of it, how long can he keep holding on? it's monday, january 20th, and this is "now." >> the crisis for the governor is escalating. >> any suggestion that sandy funds were tied to the approval of any project is unbelievable
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itself. >> say yes to a development project in her town and she gets the sandy money. >> being a sandy victim myself making the mayor's allegations particularly offensive. >> the u.s. attorney has launched an investigation. >> this means the investigation is going broader than the bridge traffic. >> this story has taken a very dangerous turn for the governor. >> these developments have been moving fast and furious. >> is he going to survive the next year as the governor of new jersey? >> it is now a political war. operation road hog aka bridgegate could be the least of chris christie's problems.
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chr the traffic problems in ft. lee look like one small piece in the political puzzle of retribution. in her personal journal, zimmer said she writes about the day new jersey's lieutenant governor told he would deny her funds for relief unless she supported something for chris christie. this morning lieutenant governor whole heartedly denied the story of quid pro quo. >> mayor zimmer's version of our consideration in may of 2013 is not only false, but it is
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illogical and does not withstand scrutiny when all the facts are examined. any suggestion that sandy funds were tied to the approval of any project in new jersey is completely false. >> mayor zimmer is standing by her claim and released this statement following the lieutenant governor's remarks. i'm genuinely disappointed that she would deny hazard mitigation dpun funding. i stand by my word. between the two investigations, the 20 subpoenas, the federal investigation into the misuse of hurricane sandy relief funds and u.s. attorneys looking into the
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allegations, it is easy to forget that just three weeks ago chris christie was the republican parties last best hope for 2016. christie said even though the scandal had him feeling like he, quote, got hit across the forehead with a 2x4, come 2016 he is ready for the challenge. holly, thanks so much for joining us. my first questi mayor zimmer says she asked for $100 million. if you look at the breakdown, 70 million that hoboken received
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was federal funding. they only got $352,000. are you at all concerned about whether or not the sandy funds were going to the places that needed it the most? >> absolutely not. zimmer said they requested $127 million of the available hazard mitigation monies. there was only $300 million for the entire state that was available with, i believe, close to $14 billion in requests from over 21 different counties who needed it. what hoboken has received thus far is no different than any other community that have requested it. in fact, a majority of the money that has gone out was for purposes of elevation, for buy-outs of homes leaving, i believe, less than $100 million
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available for direct aid for the hazard mitigation for communities. if you look at those numbers, what dawn zimmer is claiming what she was promised, that's more than the entire amount that's available for the rest of the state. >> if you think hoboken got what it deserved, what are the allegations this was a quid pro quo in having to support a development project to get funding? the landowners for the other 16 blocks that were part of the study for recommendations called that assessment curious and distu disturbing. >> which assessment are speaking of? >> only 3 blocks in hoboken got
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redevelopment out of 13. >> i don't know much about that. i know dawn zimmer. in all of the instances of working with kim, i have never ever heard her say something or suggest something that was inappropriate. so that's why the whole story is just, for me, a little bit strange. >> i will say you said you do not know the mayor of hoboken from a hole in the wall. new jersey is a big state, but it's not that big. the viciousness of the character questioning that's been directed at dawn zimmer, rush limbaugh said one of these women is lying. i don't know if it is the blond
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or the brunette. i don't know if you take issue with that. your thoughts on any of that. >> i always find it disturbing when gender comes into play or demeaning language is utilized in any situation. with respect to ms. zimmer, i understand she had a diary. i'm on the special investigation committee. i have not seen anything. her diary entry has been on the news. how long she kept the diary, let me read what's in it. could it have been a misunderstanding? possibly. i find the timing of it to be unusual. there were multiple meetings with the lieutenant governor
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thereafter. neither party is claiming any further discussions took place. if she thought something improper was taking place in hoboken, i would have expected somebody of her caliber and position to immediately have gone to the u.s. attorney's office or aeg's office, put forward the concerns at that point, and do a follow-up conversation to prove whether or not the allegations are correct. that being said, we have to take a step back. things have been turned over now to the u.s. attorneys office and let them investigate. >> just in closing, has your confidence in the governor's abilities to do his job, to lead the state of new jersey, it sounds like that's not been shaken at all. >> no, i don't. i'm on this committee and i'm on the committee for a reason.
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we are here to be impartial arbitrators. there's nothing that i have seen to date, other than various allegations or people wishing, that would make me think that the governor is not doing his job, not doing his job properly. and i think that that's one of the biggest concerns with our into right now is it just seems like a lot of people prancing about attempting to get themselves media coverage rather than sitting down and allowing the facts to come in and making a determination as to who did what wrong and how far does this go. >> thanks for your time and your thoughts. joining me now is mark halprin.
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you just heard the new jersey assemblywoman offering a defense of chris christie or sounding a cautionary note. we are seeing this saga unfold over the course now several weeks, and i think today, this week perhaps, marks the beginning of the christie team offense. there's been strongly worded statements coming out of the governor's office. do you think that's the right move? that that is the right play on the narrative. >> first of all, i won't prance. i am wearing a wire as the assemblywoman suggested the mayor might have done. the governor is right to pushback. i think the facts about did hoboken ask for a lot, that's going to be adjudicated.
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if governor christie is going to survive and thrive, he's going to need to be seen doing his job and he's not going to be able to let allegations go unanswered. she's a good as spokesperson as any person for the governor. the democrat, he has prejudged the case in some ways by saying he thinks the governor is lying. the mayor going to the u.s. attorney and telling everybody she went to the u.s. attorney, i'm for transparency. some of these investigations are more effective if they're done in private. publicly, we have seen on orthodox press releases from
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christie's office. a transcript of an appearance on a cable show, what he said there. it's part of the new normal of how government agencies operate and it's also necessary politically because chris christie doesn't have a lot of defenders right now. his office needs to, from a political point of view, pushback. >> i found it offensive that y hailey barber kept referring to her as the "lady mayor." there's a danger in overstepping your defense if you're chris christie. i want to read an excerpt. matt writes, part of politics s
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is -- if you don't have the ability or willingness to do that the ability to make deals becomes more difficult. it has gotten hard for christie's own aids and allies to discern where the governance begins. >> it is better for him politically. his poll numbers are less likely to go down if he's seen as getting business done. he's attacked a certain cable network that starts with an "m" and ends with a "c." if he's going to survive and thrive, he must fight back. he can't let things go unanswered. the problem is his bread and butter. >> and hurricane sandy.
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>> i think he's also in danger of having -- not just losing more staff, but of having people distracted. at a minimum, there's distraction. >> there's distraction in every corner. especially on your twitter account. coming up today, we remember reverend martin luther king and his legacy. how far have we come and how far do we have to go? we'll try to answer those questions. plus, after the break, iran begins to halt uranium production. the u.n. rescinded an invitation in iran for peace talks. did you know auctioneers
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we are just learning that the united nations has officially withdrawn its invitation to iran to attend peace talks over syria and switzerland this week. this becomes as world powers have begun talks over iran's uranium program. a report by the u.n. international atomic energy agency has confirmed these claims. in exchange, the u.s. and europe have begun to partially lift some of the economic sanctions on iran. today's cooperation from iran while remarkable, is just
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beginning. in the u.s., the white house is pushing back on a group of 58 senators who are supporting a bill to increase sanctions on iran and in iran hard line media is already denouncing the plan today as a nuclear holocaust and a gift to benjamin netten yahoo. given the fact that iaea if iran withdraws from the deal, they would need only two to three weeks to assemble a nuclear weapon. let's start with the news of the hour, which is that the u.n. has rescinded its invitation to iran
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for peace talks. what effect do you think this could have to the global community? >> well, you're being naive not to think that the western powers in iran weren't talking about syria during the nuclear talks. syria is their biggest backer. their involvement is going to be important. just the fact that iran has been invited is a sea of change from six months ago. iran being invited to any syria talks would have dismissed by any western power from six months ago. alex. >> what about the reaction on the ground in teheran?
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we're hearing the country is sentencing hard liners that are critical of the deal, that they're confront ed. >> they have been quite outspoken about the deal and quite critical about it but not to the extent that you think. nonetheless, they've been critical about the deal. they feel the government has given far too much and gotten far too little in return. they say the sanctions relief to iran is far, far too modest. the frozen assets that are being returned to iran are very minimal. they're not very happy with the deal. they think they got to short end of the straw. >> an ongoing situation. thank you as always.
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coming up, gridlock, partisan politics, and retirement parties. john stanton and our very own prince of capitol hill join me to look at the association of retired congress people. what happens when your hometown gets so dirty, you can't see the sunrise? this is what's happening in beijing right now. i will explain after the break. try zyrtec-d®. powerful relief of nasal congestion and other allergy symptoms -- all in one pill. zyrtec-d®. at the pharmacy counter. ♪ stacy's mom has got it goin' on ♪ ♪ stacy's mom has got it goin' on ♪ ♪ stacy's mom has got it goin' on ♪
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he'll start investing early, he'll find some good people to help guide him, and he'll set money aside from his first day of work to his last, which isn't rocket science. it's just common sense. from td ameritrade. the day building a play set begins with a surprise twinge of back pain... and a choice. take up to 4 advil in a day or 2 aleve for all day relief. [ male announcer ] that's handy. ♪ if the sunrises in beijing but no one sees it, did it really happen? the dangerous smog was so bad last week that officials broadcast the sunrise on a larger monitor. that same day the air pollution was more than 20 times what is
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considered safe for humans. the citizens were advised to wear protective masks. a traffic cop told the associated press, i couldn't see the tall buildings across the street this morning. earlier in the week in southern china, a clinic opened to treat people suffering from smog symptoms. congressman have announced they are leaving capitol hill. we'll discuss the fallout from the exodus next on "now." on expedia you can book any flight, car and hotel together and save up to 20% when you build your custom trip. expedia, find yours.
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it is sparking fears of a congressional brain drain. many of the just announced departures are the people responsible for crafting legislation which is to say writing the bills and actually helping to get them passed. he became the eight senator to announce his retirement. they have endured five and in some cases six cases in the inner chamber. legislation to raise the minimum wage will be voted on next week. his departure was followed by that on virginia congressman, jim moran. in the gop, representative buck
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and frank wolf are the most prominent of ten republicans giving way after long careers. the retirements evidence a shrinking a political center. the exodus of legislative veterans in turn could exacerbate that problem leaving capitol hill with politicians that are young and inexperienced. if recent history is any guide, prepare yourself for the worst. when kay bailey hutchinson
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retired, her seat was taken by ted cruz. john, you're in washington. i'll ask you first how much of a big deal is this? i read about these departures and got measurably more depressed about a place that seems pretty depressing at present. >> yeah, i think they are pretty substantial particularly folks like tom coburn, who is a very conservative person, but who has also created a reputation for finding ways to work across the aisle. he worked with president obama and hillary clinton when she was there. and i think there is this notion that these guys are leaving and you're seeing already in his race for instance, the conservative outside groups saying representative langford is not conservative enough. they want to get a guy in there
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that is going to be like ted cruz. this is making it so there are fewer people around for the other side to pick off or to work with or to create some kind of consensus in the middle. >> luke, you are our sage of capitol hill. >> thank you. >> in terms of compromise and making deals, the journal calls it the art of legislative compromise. 54 members of the senate have served less than a full term. only 18 members have served full terms. there's something about youth and new blood and how a legislative body crafts laws and compromise. >> what you're eluding to is
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important. the less time they have on capitol hill, the more likely they are influenced by those outside groups. they go more into the partisan fury because that's the political age they've come in. when you see retirements like a congressman from iowa, the john boehner sort of the republican party is retiring. they're getting out of there. who fills the vacuum? people propped up by the outside groups and that makes everything we talk about on the show that much more worse going forward. >> luke, you're also our boehner whisperer. you asks him questions and he answers them. in terms of someone like john
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boehner -- everyone is an old-line deal maker with shrinking running room. how do people in the center and republicans like john boehner feel when they hear about these departures? >> boehner, he loses his top two dining companioncompanions. he's out of his best friends. it does have an effect on him. but i also think it changes the culture. you have to remember these guys who have been there for a while, they are from this age where they would go out with each other and have a drink and have dinner. the new guys fund raise all day. >> in terms of what this means for 2014 and 2016, the dems need
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17 seats to flip the house. the republicans need six seats to tilt the senate. >> there are few of the house races where they could become potentially in play. by and large, most of these folks are leaving seats that are stuck in their ways. tom coburn is not going to be replaced by a democrat. in the house, george miller -- i don't think there's any chance a republican will win his seat. it will stay sort of the same, but it does change for boehner. i wonder if he'll say at some point, i don't want to stay through this year. the guy he works with are leaving. if that gets much smaller, it is
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going to be more difficult for him and two more years of the last couple of years. >> we're not going to get immigration reform unless boehner has more drinking partners. >> a lot of irish on the show here. >> we're thinking of renaming it irish with alex wagner. thank you gentlemen for your time and thoughts. > we'll be right back.
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a d.c. soup kitchen. meanwhile, the new york state museum released an audio recording of dr. king that know one thought existed. a college intern stumbled across the recording late last year that reverend king gave on the anniversary of the emancipation proclamation. >> there is too much greatness in our heritage to tolerate race hate. >> we'll talk about the real legacy of dr. king. that's just ahead. but first, ted nugent, the man who called himself row issa parks with a gibson. that's next. [ dennis ] it's always the same dilemma --
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martin luther king day could not pass without any questionable commentary about race and ted nugent made sure of that pending a racist screen on world net daily. it's entitled "what would dr. king say about black culture." high school dropout rates is black plague that's engulfed the black community. he continues to honestly celebrate the legacy of dr. king. black america would have to admit to the self-inflicted destruction they're waging and tell their democratic slave drivers to take a hike. it would be preferable to lock
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his words away from a mental prison. he does bring to mind the wild and misguided theories that crop up around the legacy of dr. king. republicans are happy to embrace king's legacy and claim him as one of their own. that wasn't always the case. the decision to honor dr. king with a national holiday didn't happen until 1983 when president ronald reagan signed it into law. he initially was opposed to signing it into law. about 40% gop members voted against making martin luther king day a holiday. senators heard testimony from
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strom thurmond. while we may have come a long way since fear mongering, that doesn't mean that this holiday won't still be used by radioactive elements to divide us. sarah palin honored martin luther king day. she wrote, mr. president, in honor of martin luther king jr., no more playing the race card. no word yet on whether the nation is in danger of having a red flag raised over pennsylvania avenue anytime soon. the soda fountains may no longer be segregated, but does everyone truly have a seat at
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[ mom ] still counting. this is america's opportunity to help bridge the gulf between the haves and have-nots. there's nothing new about poverty. what is new is we now have the techniques and the resources to get rid of poverty. >> most people don't talk about the fact that martin luther king was a republican. those are the words of ada fisher as relayed to abc news in august. she's not the only republican seeking to reclaim king. the national black republican
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association purchased billboards with the message that martin luther king jr. was a republican. the only problem? it's not true. king did not publicly endorse either party in his lifetime. king told an interviewer in 1958 i don't think a republican party full of the almighty god, nor is the democratic party. king would take a more strident view of the gop. king wrote, the republican party geared its appeal and program to racism, reaction, and extremise. i withdrew any support from any candidate that did not
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dissociate himself with goldwater and his policy. it's hard to argue that king's vision of america would find a place in today's republican party. the actual goals of the march on the washington for jobs and freedom are seldom discussed. the demands of the marchers that day were about much more than e desegregation. a broadened fair labor standards act. a national minimum wage that will give all americans a decent standard of living. jo joining me now is heather mcgee. it is always nice to see you, my friend. it shocks me that the
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republicans would try and claim the legacy of king given the economics of his message as we just laid out. >> yeah, the all labor has digty is something king u -- dignity is what king used to say. he was really critical not just of capitalism but communism at well. capitalism doesn't understand that human beings are social as well. he was looking towards the end of his life for some new economic system that would not just allow us to do community service for the poor but critique the system that created the poor. >> the minimum wage was 1.64.
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those people who marched on washington was asking for a raise on minimum wage to $2. that's what we were asking for 50 years ago. >> dr. king would have been with the fast food workers today. there's no doubt about that. i think the president actually really has a great opportunity next week with his state of the union address. almost 2 million low wage contractors are supported by taxpayer money. >> i think the pressure will be on him to do as much as he can. i want to try and tie two things
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together. we talked about ted nugent's commentary in the segment leading up to this. he wro some of those pathologies that used to be attributed to the african-american community as a whole, you're starting to see in larger numbers in white working class communities as well. this is going to come as a shock to people like ted nugent that poverty doesn't know a skin tone. >> welfare and poverty, it reads to people as african-american, but that's never actually been the case. i think the president is trying to do two things there. the same economic structures
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that are leaving people behind have left people behind for generations in the african-american community. my grandparents were the first generation to be middle class and when the entire economy shifted away from a middle class in the 70s, african-americans and people who had just gotten into the middle class were the first ones to fall out. he's saying that economic security is slipping. when politics use racial anxiety to make white voters distrust their government, like rick scott, who ran on drug testing for welfare recipients. it says government isn't on my side. government has no role in creating a middle class.
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government is being used by those other people. i don't trust government. and furthermore, i don't trust those other people. >> the message he was preaching was one of economic justice and in that way it should be a flag that everyone can rally around. we have to leave it there. it is always a pleasure and honor to have you on the show. that is all for now. i'll see you back here tomorrow at 4:00 p.m. eastern. "the ed show" is up next. good evening, americans. welcome to "the ed show" live from new york. let's get to work. >> some things are above politics. sandy was and is one of those things. >> it's not fair for the governor to hold sandy funds hostage from the city of hoboken
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because he wants me to give back to one private developer. >> we respond to innocent victims of national disasters not as republicans or democrats, but as fellow americans. >> the mayor said i know it's not right, but they are. if you tell anyone, i'll deny it. >> and i deny those allegations. >> it's over. shut up. >> politics ain't bean bag. everybody in the country who engages in politics knows that. >> this is an orchestrated democratic organizational effort to hurt governor christie. >> guys, we don't work that way. >> forget about it. >> i'm sure, absolutely sure, all of the facts

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