tv NOW With Alex Wagner MSNBC September 15, 2014 1:00pm-2:01pm PDT
>> several arab powers -- >> strength in numbers -- >> a willingness to join with us in this. >> according many countries that don't see eye to eye. >> that terror group showing the brutal murder of a british hostage. >> they are drawing the west into this conflict piece by piece. >> this idea we'll never have boots on the ground to defeat them in syria is fantasy. >> the boots are the ground are inconvenient boots. >> if the u.s. is not going to put ground troops in syria, who will? >> congress is expected to vote as early as tomorrow to train and support the syrian rebels. >> in many ways bombing isis is the easy part. >> there are only bad choices left but the worst choice would be to do nothing. >> the hard question which is i still unanswered is what happens next? the broad coalition against isis in iraq edged closer to
reality today when a group of 26 countries signed a pledge and paris agreeing to help the iraqi government fight isis by any means necessary including appropriate military assistance. although no specifics were decided upon, the general consensus bodes well for the president's mission to degrade and destroy isis, a mission that u.s. officials say could include air strikes from arab nations. in an interview on meet the press yesterday, men of the member responsible for sem blling an international coalition during the first iraq war which was 24 years ago, james baker expressed his reservations. >> there's no country in the world that could pull together the kind of conference or negotiation i'm talking about except the united states of america. and we need to do that. whether we can still do that or not, i don't know. when we put our coalition together, we had 500,000 u.s. troops on the ground. we had a specific goal within a
limited time frame, kick iraq out of kuwait, and america was respected by its allies and feared by its enemies. we're not there anymore. >> iran which was not invited to the paris meeting today said it had turned down the u.s. appeal to join the global fight. iran's supreme leader said it had rejected the offer because of washington's quote evil intentions. john kerry insisted today that the u.s. was not engaged in koor nation with iran on isis telling reporters i have no idea of what interpretation they drew from any discussion that may or may not have taken place. we are not coordinating with iran, period. the conference in france comes after a weekend in which a third western hostage was executed at the hands of isis militants. late saturday isis released a video showing the bye healehead 44-year-old david haines and
identified -- threatened to kill another. isis is thought to be holding another british citizen and two americans, including a 26-year-old female aid worker. joining me is investigative reporter for reuters david road and peter baker. in terms of the hostages which seems to have been a red line for the united states in term of getting involved in this conflict in a sizable, significant way, do you think the u.s. is using this coalition to try and persuade europe away from ransom payments? >> i hope there are. we're seeing the americans and british die and there were four french, several spaniards and at least a danish hostage who were ransomed and it's a stark situation. in a great story peter wrote over the weekend actually the president himself in private meetings with people last week said he was upset with french
president holland for not paying these ransoms and it's not helping. europeans aren't safe. the americans and brits are dying. >> let's talk about that story that you wrote. we know that secretary kerry is in paris. one can only expect that behind the scenes there has got to be mounting pressure on the europeans not to pay out the ransom to ensure that there is at least unity on this front. >> one of the things that the president said that david mentioned is that he thinks that americans are kidnapped at a lower rate than europeans because it's known that they're not going to pay ransom. i don't even know if that's true. i'm not sure how you would measure what rate would be the right way to judge that, but it does suggest the disparity between approaches and has become a central focus for the president and the american government to find a way to reconcile the way we approach this same problem.
>> david, in terms of the rhetoric that's used in these beheading videos which is gruesome, they addressed david cameron directly in this video and said that his death was retribution for britain's military alliance to the u.s. do you think that those words have the effect of strengthening the coalition or weakening it? >> we'll see in the days ahead. there's two ways to look at those statements. either he is trying to draw the u.k. into a bloody ground war that they can never win and they will essentially -- he'll convince the british public to not do this or -- and i'll be optimistic -- these air strikes are working. provide is arms to the kurds is working. so far in a small pocket of north iraq, the air strikes are hurting them and the kurds are fighting very well but the challenge for the administration is can they do that in other parts of iraq. the british public, it's unclear to me what's going to happen
because again they voted against the air strikes a year ago in syria. we'll see what happens. maybe isis is miscalculated. >> i sort of interpreted the words in two respects. the first was it serves to fracture the coalition because it effectively says to the british public, look, your people will be targeted as long as you continue to hook yourself to the united states but it reminds them of the alliance and the war in iraq which does not play well at all in british and is a reminder to western europe or the west of the world those allies that would seek to be part of this coalition the legacy of the u.s. and british actions in the middle east. >> look, it's very hard to separate what's going on now from what has transpired over the last decade. it's obviously an issue that
haunts the united states as the british government even though neither the current leaders were the ones who obviously initiated the war in 2003 but it does flavor the public reactions. the president during these conversations we talked about, he thought that isis made a strategic error he told his visitors by killing the american journalist. this is before we knew about the british hostage because he thought it galvanized public anger in the united states and presumably elsewhere and made it more -- likelier that there would be public support for a military response. he said if he had been advisor to isis, obviously not something he said for public consumption but he would have advised them to release the hostage, pin a note on their chest and say stay out of here, it's none of your business and maybe britain and america would have responded that way saying it's not our business. >> let me follow up on that because i found that piece that
you're -- that anecdote that you're accounting interesting because there are some folks that have said that isis actually wants to draw the americans into a ground war, that wants to be put on the sort of elevated pedestal of being at battle with the united states of america. do you think there's any currency in that? >> it's certainly possible. i think it's hard to put guys like these on the couch, especially from thousands of miles away here in d.c., but if the hope is to drag britain and america into a ground war again, both governments are very strongly against the idea of returning to that region with ground troops and the level that we had starting in 2003. that's not something either party here in washington is arguing for, not something the public wants according to the poles and not something the president of the united states wants. i think they may find that if that's what they wanted they're not going to get that. they're going to get a different type of war. whether it's more successful or not, big debate here in
washington. >> a different type of war, david. james baker did not seem particularly confident in this coalition which came forth formally. i guess i wonder what you think that might look like. it seems like it's very important for obvious reasons for the u.s. to have some arab nations sign on. you played the role of pes mist and optimist. now where are you on the coalition being meaningful enough to actually change the situation in the long term? >> i'm pessimistic and i think the key factor here is ground troops. essentially this is like what happened in pakistan and yemen. it will be air strikes, drone strikes. isis may be underestimating it. that will slow down their operations. but we saw the same thing in pakistan and other countries. if you don't have ground forces, essentially drones create a stalemate where we're not able to completely eliminate the forces on the ground and they're not able to carry out as much
attacks as they want. without a much stronger iraqi military or some ground forces and the big question is syria, you're not going to see much happen here. the u.s. will report strikes but i don't think much is going to change on the ground. we're not going to be able to take back territory. >> peter, in terms of the regional partners here, the ap reports on the u.s. credibility, something that james baker alluded to but says the administration's swift abandonment of hugh bare ek shocked allies in the region. it left many concluding that american leadership was naive and its diplomacy inept. that was an interesting angle, the legacy of what happened in 2011, the back and forth over hosni mubarak. do you think that has truly had a ripple effect on other arab
states in the region, especially in this conflict? >> i think it has some influence, yes, and also what david mentioned, the aborted strike against syria last year that was intended to retaliate for chemical weapons against assad's people. instead president obama greed to a plan to destroy the plants. you hear a lot of people around the region question american credibility in that way, fairly or not. i think that's a challenge for him. the truth is these coalitions are helpful in terms of public relations and there are specific things that individual countries like turkey can do but the most important thing is a symbol of unity. >> turkey remains a question mark. we have to leave it at that. after the break, when we come back, what does a war with isis look like?
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the debate over how to battle isis is taking center stage in congress this week. today house members are back at work a day early, sacrificing a campaign to push through legislation about armed rebels. in a rare show of cooperation, the plan appears to have bipartisan backing but while there is broad support for the plan it's hardly open-ended.
the legislation would require the administration to send a progress report to congress every 90 days, and it would only authorize the arming and training of rebels through mid-december. alongside lawmakers who want to keep the president's isis program under tight control, there are those who say it is doomed to fail, those like senator lindsey graham. >> this is not somalia, this is not yemen. this is a turning point in the war on terror. our strategy will fail yet again. this president needs to rise to the occasion before we all get killed back here at home. >> never short on theatrics. senator graham said the president's claim that there will be no boots on the ground is quote delusional. he was adamant that this is a war and not a counter-terrorism operation. does all this mean that congress will take a vote to authorize military force? not so fast. as ross baker says in usa today,
president obama wants their fingerprints. they want to wear rubber gloves, or biohazard suits, especially in an election year. joining me is the democratic representative from new york's third congressional district congressman steve israel. back with me, david rhodes. thank you for coming. >> thank you for having me. >> congressman, we will get to the republican disarray in a moment but first i want to talk about where democrats are at with this. as usa today puts it, this is a difficult issue for both parties and you can tell me better, difficult for democrats and congress to understand the legacy of the bush wars, to go ahead once again into the night if you will on further military intervention. what is happening inside the party? >> it should be difficult. the deployment of any kind of military force and any military tool shouldn't be an easy decision. it should require us to think it through.
secondly, there should be checks and balances, transparency and accountability. we were burned by 8 years in the bush administration when blank checks were written. we shouldn't go back to that. my sense is that at the end of the day there will be a critical mass of democrats, most members will support an authorization simply to train the vetted elements of syrian rebel forces. but we will want to see that accountability, that transparency and reporting back to congress from the president. >> let me follow up on that. do you think this caveat that we have been presented thus far, the 90-day windows, the funding only through mid-december when the program could actually take six months to just get up and running, do you think those are appropriate checks and balance? >> i do. any check and balance that is legitimate, that's not partisan, that's not designed for us to make it more difficult for us to succeed i think we ought to pass. if we get into the typical
lindsey graham republican theatrics and try to make this a mid-term election issue there's going to be no appetite from democrats. >> i'll get to you in one second, david. in terms of democrats, you don't think this is as difficult for them as it is for republicans or equally as difficult? >> it depends on the district that you represent. i believe that the democratic caucus wants to make sure that we are providing the assistance that the president wants but no blank checks. we were burned by that, the country was burned by that, our military was burned by that. we don't want to be singed again. >> david, when we look at both parties here, traditionally wars and war time at least in the last few decades have been the province of hawks and yet with rand paul and the republican party, there is a strain of what
some will call isolationism that has gained some currency in conservative circles and nobody better embodies that than senator paul and also the difficulty of that which is saying four months ago saying we didn't want to get involved in foreign war seemed easier than today where there have been two americans killed and one british man headed. where do you think the party goes before november? >> it would want to go somewhere between lindsey graham and rand paul meaning boots on the ground and they're going to all come here and kill us is an exaggeration. you can't be weak on national security but the country is tired. it's a new type of war and new type of conflict. frankly, both parties are trying to understand how best to articulate and thread a needle.
where they're responsible they're dealing with a threat but we're not going to be in another endless war. >> in terms of the legislation that we're going to see, we know that the funding for the rebels is one piece but there is the brooder authorization for the use of military force. do you feel like we're going to get to that this year? is that a lame duck piece of legislation? >> we're effectively in a lame duck right now. we have four days of session in the least production of the congress ever in the history of congress which is really saying something. i would be surprised if we saw any other action beyond a limited resolution authorizing support and training for vetted elements, again vetted elements of the syrian rebel forces. and i'd be surprised if it goes much beyond that. really, there's no time to go much beyond that because the speaker of the house has signalled that it will be home on friday until after the election. >> david, what do you think the current sort of makeup and the polarization in congress pour
tends for foreign policy for the rest of the administration which seems to be a huge issue? the foreign policy is always predictable but for this administration it may be the defining part or piece of the second term? >> there were warnings that barack obama his second administration could be dominated or ruined by syria and that's what is happening. the polarization like on so many issues hurts the u.s. you were talking in the last segment about arab allies and the region of the u.s. isn't clear. >> what james baker said. >> yes. there was clear backing for george h.w. bush. we're a divided country. question need though to have this conversation. are we at war. is there a threat, is there not a threat and instead we get partisan point scoring, back to what i was talking about earlier. how do we deal with this new type of conflict, what can we do to effectively reduce this threat without getting too involved on the ground.
>> congressman, to that point, to actually accomplishing the mission in a factually accurate and meaningful way, there are folks who say you cannot destabilize and destroy the threat that's isis without boots on the ground. i believe matt salmon, a republican for arizona said it is ultimately going to take ground troops absolutely. he is a member of congress from arizona but outside foreign policy analysts will say you cannot get this done in the long term without boots on the ground. is that something you can see the democrats going. >> this has to be done incrementally and without raising expectations. blunt to the isis offensive. number two, contain their space, seek to degrade them over the long term. begin to disrupt them or continue to disrupt them. dismantle them. that's not going to happen immediately but it does not require boots on the ground immediately. >> so that sounds like a no. >> we don't need it right now. it's unnecessary right now.
>> it is a developing situation as they always say. congressman israel and david rhodes, thank you both for your time and thoughts. coming up, more bad news for roger goodell as the nfl commissioner tries to get a handle on the domestic abuse scandals facing the league, a star running back indicted for child abuse is cleared to suit up. i will speak with terry o'neil, the "huffington post" sam stein and "sports illustrated" executive editor john worthhiem next.
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the past week featuring two of its biggest stars ray rice and adrian peterson. roger goodell announced the hiring of four women, a new vice-president of social responsibility and three domestic violence experts who are serve as advisors to the league and announced our goal is to make a real difference on these and other issues. we know we will be judged by our actions and their effectiveness. his attempt at triage comes as we await action by ray rice who today is expected to appeal his indefinite suspension, news of which could come at any moment. rice's conduct and botched punishment has put the commissioner under a heightened level of scrutiny and pushed women's advocacy groups to push for resignation. today the minnesota vikings announced running back adrian peterson will be allowed to play
next week after the team benched its star player for one game after he was indicted on a felony charge of injury to a child. he reportedly beat his 4-year-old son with a switch, inflicting cuts and bruises. >> we made a decision that we felt was the right decision at this time. conqu we are trying to do the right thing. this is a difficult path to navigate regarding the judgment of how a parent disciplines his child. we believe he deserves to play while the legal process plays out. >> today peterson released a statement of his own reading, in part, i am not a perfect parent, but i am without a doubt, not a child abuser. i am someone that disciplined his child and did not intend to cause him any injury. as for what happens next in the nfl, money will likely be the determining factor for a league that made $6 billion last year alone. while sponsors have been quick to abandon rice, the league's
corporate sponsors are for now at least playing a game of wait and see. joining me now is executive editor for "sports illustrated," john wertheim, sam stein and president of the national organization for women, terry o'neil. john, let me start with you. in terms of ray rice who was at a football game this saturday, we know that sponsors have pulled out. he seems more emboldened. what's the long term project projections for his career? >> ray rice has admitted to an act of domestic violence and there's a sense of i came clean with what happened, i had a two-game suspension. nothing materially changed. there was a horrifying video tape but nothing factually changed and now i have without my union being consulted i have an indefinite suspension. so ray rice is now going to grieve this most likely and we'll see what happens. >> terry, let me ask you because
women's groups have been very outspoken in their dissatisfaction with roger goodell. we know they were intending to fly goodell must go banners at tonight's game but due to weather they're unable to. does his hiring of these four female advisors do anything in your mind to change the callocus of this? >> that's a step in the right direction but as we've seen goodell do over and over again, it's too little too late. he continues to act as if he thinks if he can just get this issue off the front pages, it will stop inconveniencing him. he views domestic violence within the nfl as a p.r. problem. it is a problem of safety. i still have yet to hear mr. goodell say, i am taking certain concrete actions to ensure the safety of victims of domestic violence and abuse. so, no, roger goodell, in my mind, this latest move, although
again a small step in the right direction, is not nearly enough. it shows that he doesn't get it and he's not the right person to lead the nfl to get it back on the right track. >> sam, we talk about money which seems to be a potent force in many areas of our lives, especially in the sporting industry. when you look at the nfl and get into the mechanics of how the nfl works, one of the things that i found shocking is the fact that the nfl is classified as a nonprofit. this is a company -- i'm going to call it a company. an organization that made $6 billion -- >> it's a charity, alex. >> exactly. it gets tens of millions of dollars in tax breaks from the u.s. government, and yet every time this subject is revisited, perhaps this is not the best use of tax breaks, tax exemptions, nothing ever happens. does this last past year in the nfl do anything to change that? >> you know, i don't know. as you mentioned, this was an
issue well before what's happened with ray rice. senators have tried to tackle this issue. >> no pun intended. >> well, actually i didn't realize i did that. the nfl has said it's a trade association along the lines of what the u.s. chamber of commerce is. however, as you know, there's so much money going through the nfl itself and its commissioner, roger goodell, makes over $40 million a sear in salary. no nonprofit head has that type of salary. it's almost laughable that they get classified as a nonprofit. the bad p.r. around ray rice and adrian peterson, it could change the lobbying stature on capitol hill but i haven't much about it and i doubt that anything will happen because congress is not attentive to anything at this juncture. >> the 26 lobbyists that the nfl are probably not doing much to
ensure that nothing happens with the tax exempt status. banners are being flown over national football stadiums, outcry across the country, skepticism in terms of his shepherding the league through controversy. do you think this guy is going to be the commissioner in a year? >> i do. there are banners and outcry and outrage. these are not the people who are employing him. this is not a publicly traded company. there are not shareholders to answer to. this guy answers to 32 owners and their assets have appreciated vastly during his commissionership. they have not been on the front lines of anything. if anything, they've been supportive of him. talk radio and social media and obviously a groundswell of outrage here but not from the people who he answers to. >> terry, let me ask you about that because if you listen to john, roger goodell holds onto his job. women's organizations have thought about reaching out to
the companies that have deals with the nfl on targeting them. >> absolutely. the sponsors of the nfl are very much a part of the nfl community and, in fact, they are some of the most powerful entities within the nfl community. so absolutely, we are talking about reaching out to the sponsors. i was very heartened to hear that senator jill brand has suggested that there might be hearings in the united states senate to try to get at the questions that we have called for. we've called for an independent investigator. hopefully hearings might bring answers to some of the questions about the executives, the owners, and the commissioner of the nfl and why is it that they have responded so abysmally to the existence of domestic violence. >> terry, let me follow on that. we watched what happens with the violence against women act which bare ll lly got over the finish.
the question of the way women are treated in our society does not seem to be one that certain folks in congress seem particularly keen to take up with a great amount of vigor. >> that's absolutely right, alex. the more that we see these men in power refusing to take things like domestic violence and sexual assault seriously, the more women are really going to become fed up. you're going to start seeing responses to that in elections. honestly, i think we're going to start seeing the fan base of the nfl really begin to have problems watching football which they love with this terrible black cloud covering over the entire institution. >> sam, let me get you in here. >> that's the key point. the nfl is a multi-billion dollar business and one of its fastest growing consumer groups are female fans. if there was a fan boycott not just of the games but the
jerseys and the merchandise and if there's revulgs against people who sponsored nfl games and were part of the business enterprise, then the nfl and the owners might be forced because they would affect their bottom lines. the only other thing i would add with respect to goodell's position is that if it comes up in the course of this investigation that he was aware of this video and it's proven that he did lie directly to cbs, i would find that his position at that point would be untenable. >> do you agree, john? >> yes. then it turns into classic scandal. i think the women's point is interesting because the nfl sites the growth of the female fan base as one of the key markers in popularity. there's breast cancer awareness month. the players have worn pink gloves. that comes across a little cynical now. i'm interested to see what the response is to this female fan base who has been overlooked on this issue. >> it's not just ray rice. adrian peterson being a child
abuser, that's something that mothers everywhere care about, fathers as well. but in terms of how much pressure, the fact that the vikings are letting peterson back on the field. does that help roger goodell or put more pressure on him to take action and do something about that? >> it doesn't look like a policy if it's not enforced. we have due process but some are deacting akctivated and some ar suspended. it doesn't create a division of leadership. >> thank you both for your time and your thoughts. sam stein, hang with me. after the break, republican lawmakers try to control women's access to abortion. now one party leader wants to control which women are allowed to have children. that is just ahead. a body at rest tends to stay at rest. while a body in motion tends to stay in motion. staying active can ease arthritis symptoms but if you have arthritis, this can be difficult.
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thought duke basketball players were u.k. or who's attacking me on coal after doing next to nothing while we've lost thousands of coal jobs. he even said it's not his job to bring jobs to kentucky. i'm not barack obama. i disagree with him on guns, coal, and the epa. and mitch, that's not how you hold a gun. >> the guns are coming out in the kentucky senate race. that was the latest ad from allison lundergan grimes. a practice first started by joe manchin in the year 2010. >> i sued epa and i'll take dead aim at the trade bill because it's bad for west virginia. >> it was a race joe manchin went on to win but can one ad really change a race? just ask iowa senate candidate
jo joni esrnst. >> when i get to washington i'll know how to cut pork. >> joining me how is white hous correspondent samstein. sam, finally they are getting down to brass attacks, the skills that really matter in washington, skeet shooting and hog castration. let me ask you though about alison lundergran grimes. she's running eight points p behind mitch mcconnell. can an ad change a race? >> only if you shoot the right thing, alex. maybe she should cast straight the hog with a gun. >> does does her saying repeatedly i'm not barack obama actually help her with kentucky voters at this point? >> in her specific race, she's basically responding to the mainline of attack from mitch mcconnell and his allies which is she would go in there and she would be a yes vote for the
obama agenda. she's repeated a million times that she's not there to be rubber stamp for obama. she's a democrat. she's got to distance herself. for better or worst, joe manchin's ad was a way that he distinguished himself as anti obama. in that case, on cap and trade. >> we better hope that president obama doesn't go skeet shooting any time soon. he better not start cast traiting hogs any time soon. to talk about the enemy at the gates, if you will. north carolina, kay hagan is up against tom till list four points. in some part this seems to be a mid term election that is about sort of who is less popular, republican state houses, tom tillis who has shepherded
through a raft of conservative legislation or president obama and alison lundergan grimes doesn't have the benefit that tom tillis has. who do you think makes out as the eviller enemy so to say? >> it's tough. it's basically remained the same the past couple of months, where you have a better than 50% chance of the republicans taking over the senate. i think you are right. i think it's obama's lack of republican, versus the republican brand's lack of popularity. with mitch mcconnell, that's the republican congress, and so the question where does it outweigh the other and it's fascinating, but some of these races just aren't really budging that much, and you are ending up essentially where you started a couple months ago, with almost a 50-50 split.
>> it is also worth noting that the sixth straight national poll show republicans taking the lead of the national ballot, which is certainly enough to make all democrats to shiver their timbers. i'm going to ask you to play the role of kraven political strategist for a moment. hillary clinton benefits by having a republican controlled house and senate, does she not? that way capitol hill is controlled by one party, one party that is not her own. >> i see that argument. there's validity to it. certainly you can imagine a republican run house and senate having more confrontational fights. those are the times when the republican brand is at its worst. the biggest factor is essentially the map and in 2016 we're taking a presidential election which tends to bring
out more democrats and you are talking about a senate map that really demonstratibly favors the democrats in the way this one favors the republicans. i think hillary clinton is sitting pretty if she's the nominee regardless of who is controlling congress. >> next time we're going to give you a pointer and interactive map with little red and blue bars, the whole thing. it's happening next time. samstein, always, thank you for being my friend. >> good seeing you alex. >> thank you as always. coming up, an arizona republican leader just suggested forced sterilization of women on medicaid. really, it's on tape. we will play it. coming up next. turn the trips you have to take,
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calling for the return of, operation wetback, russell pooers is back in a big way. he was forced to resign his position as vice chair of the arizona republican party after offering this unsolicited radio advice on his radio show. you put me in charge of medicaid, the first thing i'd do is get female rips norplant, birth control, plants or tubal ligations, then we'll test recipients for drugs and alcohol and if you want to reproduce or use drugs or alcohol, then get a job. he's called the commentary that's a it is that's been taken by the media and left and used to hurt republican candidates. it is unclear what part of the american left played in his suggestion of forced
sterilization. what is is clear is the forced sterilization of minorities is not something dreamed up in his imagination? starting in the 1920s over twenty states forced sterilization laws. they were not phased out until the 1970s. forced sterilization is not practiced in the united states. for that, you have to go to china or india or ux zbekistan. severely rirkting a women's right to choose is something the gop already done, 13 states came up with new laws to restrict abortion access.
so perhaps russell pierce should be forgiven for taking the wildest dreams of his fellow partymen and saying them out loud. that is all for now. i'll see you back here tomorrow at 4:00 p.m. the ed show is coming up next. good evening, americans and welcome to the ed show. live from detroit lakes, minnesota. let's get to work. >> goodell visibly absent during game day sunday. >> planes with banners reading goodell must go. >> ray rice will appeal his indefinite suspension today. >> allegedly beating his pregnant fiancee. mcdonnell has not been form --