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tv   NOW With Alex Wagner  MSNBC  February 18, 2014 1:00pm-2:01pm PST

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>> the first olympic ice dance gold medallists every from the united states. >> we came, we saw, we conquered. >> two members of the punk band pussy riot have been taken into custody. >> the man who ended america's 62 year medal drought. >> the russians have affirmed they're going the help out assad in syria. >> russian relations with syria. >> nothing is going change in this particular picture without russians deciding if it is in their best interests. back in the former ussr, in the biggest political disruption of the olympic games so far two
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members of the band pussy riot were detained for hours today but russian police in -- to underscore just how controversial this band has become, this was their third arrest since arriving in sochi on sunday night. this time russian law officials alleged that the band members had stolen from their hotel. they accused of us a criminal offense, one band member told reporters. she explained they were out walking when police rounded them up into a paddy wagon. the duo say they were subjected to abuses during the interrogation including having their arms twisted and dragged into the investigators office along the stairway. it is safe to say pussy riot is not alone in facing the wrath of
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the russian state. david was arrested for his one-man protest. another man is on hunger strike after being sentenced to three years for defacing offense. then there is transgender activist, who was removed from the games in sochi for trying to enter with a rainbow themed outfit. all of this is america's fault. that was the message on a propaganda film using opposition and activists being on the payroll of the united states. joining me now is the host of ronin ferrell and richard angle. you're there in sochi.
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there's talk of a post olympic crackdown. what is the mood over there? >> well, inside the bubble, which is where we are right now, the mood is entirely focused on sports. if you can get it this far, if you can get to the inte inter sanctum, this is not a political zone. we've seen protesters trying to make political statements. what we saw today was the most decisive event when you had several members of pussy riot -- if you go back to those images, it wasn't just two women. it was five different women. i learned quite a bit about pussy riot today because i was there when they were released from the police station. there are two core members, but there are up to 50 members. if you sing and you wear the ski
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mask and wear the bright costumes and you support the cause, you can be a member of p pussy riot. over the next several days, they'll be doing spontaneous performances around sochi coming out with their guitars on amplifier singing a song against vladimir putin and seeing if they get arrested and trailed by police. i think we're going to see this cat and mouse game continue for the next several days. >> a large part of what pussy riot does is political theater, but there's a danger in being flip about what is going on and what they represent.
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and i think back to beijing and all the outcry that sort of came before, during, and after those games, and some part of me feels like the advocacy and activist community has given russian a free pass given the role it's playing in syria and what's happening in the ukraine today. do you feel like an opportunity was missed here? >> it is an interesting comparison to make. we see a pretty robust from western governments. katherine ashton of the eu came up with a strong statement on it. the civil society community has come out swinging. we saw a group of 100 musicians issue a statement. >> i mean, people were calling genocide olympics. you are familiar with this. >> that's right. i think what's interesting is
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that darfur, which was happening, was a unique flash point. i was writing about chinese investments in sudan during that time frame for "the wall street journal." american students built this movement that did -- while we see the robust response from people in the know, we don't see it from ordinary americans as much. >> syria is not just the only issue in russia's backyard as it were. richard, you are departing for the ukraine this evening. there are dramatic pictures coming out of there today. how much has that unrest filtered its way into the -- >> i think this is a far more important story, one that has really significant political geo
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implications. a group of protesters, who were violently clashing with police all day, have barricaded themselves in the center of the city. they have lit bonfires all around them. they're throwing molotov cocktails at riot police. they have tried to storm into independence square to drive these protesters out. it looks very much like a revolution. according to the demonstrators, nine have been killed today. 16 police officers reportedly killed. the demonstrators have some weapons, according to the government. they were armed with baseball bats and crowbars. if the ukraine goes into a full blown revolution during the olympics, that has enormous
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implications. the ukraines are torn into two factions. the protesters, they want to have closer relationships with the united states and with the eu. that's what sparked these protests about three months ago. the government, however, maintains very close ties with moscow and moscow wants to keep its relations with ukraine and wants to keep ukraine within its sphere of influence. can you imagine from putin's perspective if while holding these games, to show russia's might and glory, one of the country's biggest allies, the ukraine, collapses into revolution and turns its back on moscow. that's what potentially we're seeing now in those dramatic developments. >> it's worth noting russia has not been desueded from that support of the ukraine at all. they approved a new $15 billion
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payment to ukraine. >> what is interesting to me is that the u.s. is implicated in all this. the ukrainians are favoring the russians in this deal over the interests of the united states and the eu. we talked about the propaganda film that aired last night on russian state tv. the fact we work with the russians on a host of different issues, they are our global partners for better or for worst, the cold war mentality still exists, but animates decisio decision-making in the kremlin. >> it should because anytime we're dealing with the current regime in moscow, we're returning headlong into these domestic human rights issues and a foreign policy agenda that is derailing everything america is
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trying to do in a number of flash points around the world. the shipments of weaponry to syria have increased. >> it is an ongoing situation over there in ukraine. richard, i know you're going to travel over there this evening. please stay safe. ronan farrow, tune in. >> i learned from the best. coming up from stand with wendy to can wendy have it all, we'll talk about shifting expectations and double standards. first, the battle of climate change is on the road. that's just ahead.
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when the framers came up with the separation of church and state, they did not have the state of alabama in mind. we'll look at the state's latest plans to put religion in the schoolhouse and in the courthouse. after the break, president obama heads south of the border with the thing that everybody is talking about, a pipeline north of the border. we're going to talk keystone and the president's foreign relations. that's next. ll, complete checku. the works. because when it comes to feeling safe behind the wheel,
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a few hours ago, president obama announced the second round of fuel efficiency standards for medium and heavy duty trucks. the president is using his executive authority granted under the 1970 clean air act to direct the epa to come up with new higher standards by 2015. >> we want trucks to use less oil, cut pollution. improving gas mileage for these trucks are going to drive down oil imports further reducing carbon pollution even more, which should pay off in lower prices for consumers. so it's not just a win-win. it's a win-win-win. >> the potential impact of these guidelines is a fairly big deal. remember, if you will, the president's last set of auto emission standards in 2011.
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those are going to cut carbon pollution by 270 million metric tons. it will result in $50 billion in fuel savings for american consumers, but the guidelines also signal something else. as "the new york times" notes, this is the third speech or action on climate change for the administration in five days. the president was in california where 92% of the state is facing a historic drought. he proposed a new $1 billion fund to mitigate the harmful effects of the earth's warming atmosphere. >> unless and until we do more to combat carbon pollution that causes climate change, this trend is going to get worse. >> secretary of state john kerry announced a new partnership on
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climate change with china. all the white house focus on energy and the environment is a welcome change for people who believe in science and have been concerned about the fate of future generations on planet earth, but the white house focus comes at a strange time too. in less than 90 days, the president is expected to make a decision on the keystone pipeline. keystone will be front and center on the agenda in mexico tomorrow when president obama meets with the mexican president and canadian prime minister on the 20th anniversary of nafta. the dischord over keystone may make this installment known as
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the three amigos the frostiest since the meetings began a decade ago. glen, i didn't think i would be talking about the three amigos in a context that excluded steve martin and chevy chase. >> do you remember how their salute ended with turning their head and coughing? >> i don't think that's going to happen tomorrow. >> that would be a cool way to end the summit. >> there is likely to be discord over this keystone pipeline issue. what's going to happen here? >> well, i think what's really interesting about this -- and i don't recall ever sea seeing this happen before -- steven harper through his ambassador says he's going to use this opportunity on wednesday to press the president to do this in his term and harper has
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already said publicly he's willing to wait the president out on keystone, aligning hi ii himself with a lot of gulf states and republicans. i think it clearly points to the fact that everybody, including the canadians, are starting to look beyond obama. >> the administration has taken its time on this decision, and i want to know your thoughts about the timing here because we have talked more about climate change in the national media than i feel like at anytime since al gore invented the internet. this is a very concerted effort coming from the white house to talk about climate change. the epa regulations could have a massive impact. >> john pedesta, the hiring of
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him signaled intense action on climate change. there was a fire storm internally in the obama white house about whether this was a good idea and there was discomfort with lisa jackson's activism on this. john has turned that around for a couple of reasons. it is an area where there is regulatory capacity for the white house to take action. >> right. >> and then heading into the midterms, this excites the democratic party and a lot of folks in terms of the ele electorate. >> if you talk to members of the administration, they see keystone has been blown wildly out of proportion. he may have to make a decision
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about keystone by june effectively. they're rolling out this infrastructure around carbon emissions. splitting the baby, which is classic obama administration behavior, you're caught between a rock and a hard place in an effort to be pragmatic. >> everybody gets half a meal and everybody exits the table hungry, right? >> yeah. >> we saw this with the shutdown of the offshore drilling. it it staatisfied nobody. his first opportunity for activity on this is in june. there's nothing that will force him after the justice department review comes to do anything, so i think it's just as likely he's going to keep punting this
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thing. >> that would be fascinating. i want to turn now to jose. thank you for joining us. >> my pleasure. >> we talked about relations north of the border with the canadians, but there is no shortage of tension south of the border with mexico. we're celebrating the 20th anniversary of nafta, if one can celebrate such an anniversary. given where we are with immigration reform, which is a priority for not just this administration, but the mexican government and how dismal the prospects look for reform coming out of congress, what is the attitude of the mexican government to the intransigents in the united states at this point? >> there are so many huge issues effecting mexico. they're effecting mexico because it shares a border with the united states of america. by the way, i'm standing right
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now in the city which is going to host the summit tomorrow right behind me. the foreign minister of mexico said that definitely the xl pipeline is going to be brought up by the mexicans in this meeting tomorrow. interesting, because the white house doesn't say they're going to be bringing new information or any new proposals or any new future announcement on the xl pipeline here in this meeting, but the mexicans want to talk about it. they have a lot of issues. the income inequality that we're talking a lot about in the united states is a huge issue in mexico. some of the richest people on earth are mexicans. it's an opec petroleum producing country. all the income equality issues that are effecting mexico will
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have a direct impact on the united states. a lot of the illegal immigrants that cross the border in the united states come from mexico. they come because they find that they have no hope in this country and that the united states will give them the better opportunity, even if they have no rights, even if they're mistreated, even if they run the risk of deportation and family separation. it's something they're willing to assume because the situation here is so dire. >> a lot of people don't understand mexico is america's third largest trading partner. that said, the conversation about the border is about more drones, more security, more sort of draconian methods.
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i wonder what the effect of that rhetoric has been. >> they see the efforts and they say, where is the solution to the issue? we can talk about 1100 deportations a day in the united states of america. we can talk about 2 million depor tees under the obama administration already and yet you put up drones and fences and whatever you wish. that really doesn't deal with the root problem. i talked yesterday to a gentleman who lived 30 years in the united states of america. he was last living in atlanta painting whatever walls he can get a job doing. he did a great job. he has three american born kids and he was deported. he's right now having a tough time making ends meet in this country. he said yesterday, i'm willing to die if i have to go back to
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the united states. i'm willing to die trying because i have children who need me. it's not fair for me to not be a parent. that's a reality that far supersedes laws and drones and elect trified fences. >> i want to ask you a question about the mexican president and the mexican government getting involved in the issue of the keystone pipeline. that's interesting to me. as someone who has covered the white house in great detail, what is jamming the president? what effect does that have on the administration? you said they could punt on this for years. do you think this has any effect measurably on a decision-making process? >> i think it has an effect on the decision-making. this is supposed to be one of
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his happier trips overseas. >> the three amigos. >> there are so few places for him to turn for any sort of relief, right? i mean, this isn't syria and it isn't iran. i think his agenda, to the extent which that is important, is to push the transpacific agreement and get the mexicans on board behind him. what is stunning to me -- and you've heard this quite a bit from other folks -- is his latitude for action is decreasing so much more quickly than people would have predicted, even in this environment. >> before we let you go, one thing that's not played as big in the united states as on the international stage is some of the consequences after the
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snowden leaks. from the mexican point of view, how much of a chill has that cast over u.s.-mexican relations from your point of view? >> it did so some months ago and the president expressed his outrage to the administration. but i think -- they wouldn't tell you this but i think they're so used to being spied on. they know that everything the united states wants to know about mexico they're going to find out one way or another. they're willing to put that aside and turn the page if there are some -- the issues are so monume monumental for this country and the united states as well. when the world finds out the president of the united states has the ability to read your e-mails, it's embarrassment. i think there are bigger fish to
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fry. thank you both for your time and thoughts, gentlemen. coming up, wendy davis has been called everything from joan of arc to abortion barbie. the common denominator there, wendy davis is a woman. don't forget that. antix. when my son was born, i remember, you know, picking him up and holding him against me. it wasn't just about me anymore. i had to quit. [ male announcer ] along with support, chantix (varenicline) is proven to help people quit smoking. it reduces the urge to smoke. chantix didn't have nicotine in it, and that was important to me. [ male announcer ] some people had changes in behavior, thinking or mood, hostility, agitation, depressed mood and suicidal thoughts or actions while taking or after stopping chantix. if you notice any of these, stop chantix and call your doctor right away. tell your doctor about any history of mental health problems,
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praise of her. but as the accolades rain down, so too have the insults. she's been called a liar, a gold digger, and abortion barbie. her personal history has been dissected and fact-checked in on seszive detail. robert draper examined whether in 2014 a male politician would be subject to the same scrutiny. quote, political narratives are reducktive and thus often misleading. bill clinton could be seething with lifelong ambition. barack obama could be a self-described outsider, marijuana smoker, and rabble-rouser. meanwhile, no one ever stopped clinton, bush, or obama to say,
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wait, if you were out there conquering the world, you could not have been here with your family. davis has developed a thick skin when it comes to those who might tear her down. she's had a lot of practice with that. the state's republican party has broken all the rules in its quest to undo davis. they tried to challenge her rights to run for state senator. in 2011, they tried to gouge out her minority voting support by redrawing her district. the next year they pressured republican colleagues in the senate to support her opponent. in 2013, they removed her from the senate education committee as punishment for protesting budget cuts. the old slogan maybe don't mess
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with texas, but don't mess with wendy davis also. joining me now is robert draper. it's a beautifully written piece. i feel like you really did get your arms around an incredibly complex issue, which is the way we treat women as they run for higher political office and the expectations women also set for themselves. what struck me about the piece was that you outlined these various accomplishments in terms of economic development projects, her policy on education, and the tenacity with which she has performed in office. yet, when it came down to running, they chose her personal narrative. i want to get more on your thoughts on why you thought that particular decision was made. focusing on the biographical --
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>> if it's not giving into it, it is issuing an invitation for people in the media, for crit s critics, for all sorts of people to take a look at her personal narrative. what you're describing is the accomplishments that she had while sitting ft. worth city council woman. she really did play a significant role in revitalizing the urban area of ft. worth and changing the face of the city. having said that, the last person who ran for governor of texas -- and we are not talking about connecticut or new york -- we're talking about a red state. it's complicated running in a state like texas that's as big
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as texas. she would have to sell herself. she would have to describe how she was one of them. how they could look past the "d" after her name and see her as this boot strapping story. that's why they chose the narrative. >> let me ask you about the cover itself. there's been a lot of discussion about the phrase "can she have it all." it's an unanswerable question. what was the decision-making process internally when you guys chose that as the headline for the story on the cover of the magazine? >> i didn't write the cover headline. the weight my vote is given to issues relating to choice of photography and all that is
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about as insignificant as it ought to be, which is fairly insignificant. what the editors were striving for was to point out the fact that wendy davis in her actual life -- the story is about three stories. it is about her actual story. it's about her story that's been described by her campaign. and it's a story about how that campaign story has been interpreted by people on the outside. in her actual life, she had to make a lot of very difficult choices, choices very specific to her gender. choices that involved the underlying premise of this. it is difficult to, quote/unquote, have it all. it's a narrative of a woman who boot-strapped her way from teenager mother living in a trailer park to a super achiever and the implication is she sort of did it all and did it on her
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own. it's a more complicated tale than that. >> yi want to get your thoughts own her latest comments regarding the 20 week abortion ban, the filibuster that made her a national figure. last week she said, i would have and could have voted to allow that to go through, the ban, if we tied the woman and the doctor making this decision together. it's more than a mouthful in terms of whether or not she is for or against the ban. she supports the ban except when doctors don't support the ban. i understood that to be a concern on the part of davis' campaign about the thing that made her famous. how much of an issue do you
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think that's going to be for her going forward? >> i think the way it is to be read is to point to the fact that wendy davis was never this big champion of abortion rights. she was anything but a single issue politician. to the extent she had a single issue, it was education. it was ultimately decided that a woman should lead that filibuster and wendy would lead that. that's not really what she's about. i think the nuance espoused in "the dallas morning news" tells us she is a pro-choice person without being someone -- or
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should be interpreted as the leader of that movement. >> as our viewers can tell by the lilt in your voice, you are from the state of texas. rand paul has been pontificating on texas becoming blue. how do you see the state changing? how real is that? >> it's real, but it's slow. and fair to say the wind is not at her back. it's going to be an uphill battle all the way and the campaign has not helped itself. they've made enemies where they haven't needed to and there's been a lot of blunders along the way. having said all that, i think davis is very much in the mold
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of democrats who have won in texas in the past. davis attested to the time she was a ft. worth city councilwoman. she was a darling of the business community in ft. worth. they're going to need to ratchet up latino turn out. she's going to have to appeal to women in the suburbs. she still has a path to victory. >> robert draper with question optimism -- i don't know even know -- thank you for your story. james clapper has been trying to repair the damage since his testimony last year. now he has a new regret. we'll explain what it is just ahead.
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oops, james clapper did it again. we'll look at the national intelligence directors latest slip of the tongue. that's coming up next. we have the cnbc market wrap. >> here's a look at how stocks stand going into tomorrow. investors weighing a big ak -- the nasdaq up almost 29. that's it for cnbc. but she loved it so much... i told her it was homemade. everyone tells a little white lie now and then. but now she wants my recipe [ clears his throat ] [ softly ] she's right behind me isn't she? [ male announcer ] progresso. you gotta taste this soup. [ laughs ] i travel a lot for business, but i have two little girls at home, gemma and abby. mom! my llama smells like you.
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it is never a good sign when the united states intelligence chief begins a sentence with, i probably shouldn't say this, but. james clapper has some regrets
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over the government program that collects and stores american phone records. i probably shouldn't say this, but i will. had he been transparent about this from the outset, we need to cover this gap. here is how it is going to work and and why we have to do it, we wouldn't have had the problem we had. probably. coming up, alabama lawmakers are pushing a new amendment to allow the ten commandments to posted in public buildings and public schools. but then we realized. consumers already did that. twice. huh. maybe that's why nobody else showed up. how does one get out of a death cage?
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vo: hurry in and lease the 2014 passat s for $189 a month which includes a $500 bonus. here in philadelphia you can access a philly cheesesteak anytime, day or night. just like you can access geico anytime, day or night. there is only one way to celebrate this unique similarity. witness the cheesesteak shuffle. ♪ cheesesteak, cheesesteak ♪ ♪ it's the cheesesteak shuffle! huh! ♪ ♪ every day, all day, cheesesteak, cheesesteak! ♪ ♪ every night, all night cheesesteak, cheesesteak! ♪ ♪ 9 a.m. cheesesteak! ♪ 2 p.m. cheesesteak! ♪ 4 a.m. cheesesteak! ♪ any time (ruh!) >>geico. fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more on car insurance. there's nothing like being your own boss! and my customers are really liking your flat rate shipping. fedex one rate. really makes my life easier. maybe a promotion is in order. good news. i got a new title. and a raise?
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management couldn't make that happen. [ male announcer ] introducing fedex one rate. simple, flat rate shipping with the reliability of fedex. [ male announcer ] introducing fedex one rate. if yand you're talking toevere rheuyour rheumatologistike me, about trying or adding a biologic. this is humira, adalimumab. this is humira working to help relieve my pain. this is humira helping me through the twists and turns. this is humira helping to protect my joints from further damage. doctors have been prescribing humira for over ten years. humira works by targeting and helping to block a specific source of inflammation that contributes to ra symptoms. for many adults, humira is proven to help relieve pain and stop further joint damage. humira can lower your ability to fight infections,
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including tuberculosis. serious, sometimes fatal events, such as infections, lymphoma, or other types of cancer, have happened. blood, liver and nervous system problems, serious allergic reactions, and new or worsening heart failure have occurred. before starting humira , your doctor should test you for tb. ask your doctor if you live in or have been to a region where certain fungal infections are common. tell your doctor if you have had tb, hepatitis b, are prone to infections, or have symptoms such as fever, fatigue, cough, or sores. you should not start humira if you have any kind of infection. ask your doctor if humira can work for you. this is humira at work. sweet home alabama, without any discussion or debate, the alabama house judiciary committee on thursday passed a state constitutional amendment that would allow the ten
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commandments to be posted in public buildings and public schools. there was debate on another bill, one that would require teachers to teach christian prayers every day in class. the man behind the ten commandments amendment is an alabama state representative named dwayne bridges. he defended his bill back in november. he said our country was founded on godly principals. the kor-- a copy of the koran w owned by thomas jefferson and frequently referenced by jefferson. the state of alabama is no stranger to distortions of american democracy. the chief justice of the alabama
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superior court roy moore commissioned a 2.5 ton monument of the ten commandments to stand outside the state's judicial building. roy moore wasn't done with alabama and alabama wasn't done with him. he was reelected to the alabama supreme court again in 2012. it appears that alabama won't be done with the roy moores and dwayne bridges of the world for a few more years. the bills aimed at injects religion into secular places --
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the outpouring of religious bills is a response to an attack on traditional christian values by the federal government. we have a government who are telling people who are opposed to contraception and gay marriage because of religious views they can't be opposed to them. the government isn't telling people they can't be opposed to contraception and gay marriage. what the government is telling people is when it comes to our most public spaces, our courthouses, our public schools, true religious freedom begins and ends with tolerance. that's all for now. i'll see you back here on thursday at 4:00 p.m. eastern. "the ed show" is coming up next.
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good evening, americans, and welcome to "the ed show" live from new york. let's get to work. >> i'm not a billionaire. >> i said multimillion. >> a minority who live a lifestyle that the 99% could not imagine. >> the 1%. >> the 1% are not causing the inequality. they are the job creators. >> job creators in america. >> the government itself is the problem. >> government is the problem. >> let the rich do what the rich do. >> give the private sector the opportunity to do what it does best. >> do what the rich do, which is get richer, but along

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