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tv   Melissa Harris- Perry  MSNBC  March 21, 2015 7:00am-9:01am PDT

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us the real madness of march. and joy reid reports on a hanging in mississippi. but first, why is no one running for president? good morning, i'm melissa harris-perry. march madness is in full swing right now. the national obsession with rankings, matchups and guessing game over whether the top seed will go all the way or be toppled by the surprise cinderella. and i'm not talking about the ncaa basketball tournament. i'm talking about the other big dance, the one that only comes around every four years, the race to be president of the united states. just like that other big tournament, the race for 2016 has already seen lots of fanfare, rousing pep rallies, fiery speeches and plenty of trash talking. but unlike the other tournament, we can't fill out ore 2016
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brackets yet because we lack the actual players. the ink and air time that has been spent on the 2016 presidential race we have the save number of official candidates that we started the year with zero. now compare that to the last presidential campaign without an incumbent. but this point in 2007 at least seven democrats and four republicans had already launched their campaigns. and one of those candidates then iowa governor tom vilsack, announced and dropped out of the race. so far, we have seen many of the likely 2016 contenders create super pacs, hire staff and spend a lot of time with the suddenly and once again very popular folks in the critical states of iowa and new hampshire. we have heard them talk about why they love america and why they don't love our current president. but we have not heard anyone officially say they want to be the next president. of course, they have been asked and even though they are making what looks like campaign trips
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to what looks a lot like campaign rallies and forums and many of them have put on payroll a lot of what looks like a campaign staff, let's listen to what they actually say though. >> why do you want to be president of the united states? >> i haven't made that decision yet, but good try to get me to announce it. >> i did run in track. so i'm getting pretty used to it. >> so coy, but despite his coy answer answers, scott walker did acknowledge that maybe he is the front runner for the gop nomination, to which jeb bush had this. >> i'm not a candidate. i don't think he is, but you can't be a front runner until you start running. >> so said jeb bush who just happened to be in new hampshire, well played sir. he imagined to avoid making an
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aofficial announcement while putting down one of his toughest competitors. rand paul seems to be a candidate in every way but officially. especially that he picked up an operation in new hampshire. for a moment last weekend it seemed paul had been the first to make a public declaration after tweeting i'm the only candidate who thinks the nsa program. then tweeted i am a candidate for the u.s. senate. but the queen of the artful dodge may be former secretary of state hillary clinton. she's not officially a candidate for the white house, but she is using the white house as a source for her new communications team. the white house communications director is leaving to join the clinton team, which prompted this pointed comment from the white house spokesman on friday. >> i think it's possible that while today is her last day in this white house, it may not be
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the last time she serves at the white house so we'll see. >> and yet despite major hints like that clinton is still hedging on whether or not she's going to run. here's what she had to say while speaking to the powerful political action committee earlier this month. >> and i suppose it's only fair to say don't you some day want to see a woman president of the united states of america? >> hillary clinton's verbal gymnastics around the question of whether she's running are so common the noncandidate candidate mim is material for "saturday night live." >> there will be no mistakes in my rise to the top, if i decide to run, who knows. i don't know i might not. as you can see, i'm just relaxing at home. >> this trend let's call it #runningnotrunning o of the 2016
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cycle is neither accidental or coincidental. what it comes down to is cold, hard cash. here to help us understand features editor of the nation, a political reporter for the guardian executive director of the american principles project and senior political correspondent. so i'm going to start with shane. why is it a good idea to not actually officially announce? >> you have answered this question and it's just money. for all of these people, there's an advantage to waiting. the advantage is they can raise more money now and then when they get into the race they can tap for smaller contributions you're limited to once you're actually a candidate. when you're out of office you can coordinate with a super pac
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and raise money in hundreds of thousands increments. >> you have a piece that says the best way to run for president is to be unemployed and not actually running. >> this is his great advantage. the first people who are expected to announce are the sitting u.s. senators. rand paul has an announcement scheduled for april 7th. he's in office. he doesn't get these advantages. once you're a federal official you don't get to get around the rules. >> he's a candidate for the u.s. senate. but i also wonder if there's something in particular about the republican field. about the way the republicans make choices in their primaries, which is different process than the way that democrats do. i guess i am stunned in what is going to be an open seat race that so few people, particularly on the republican side where it is wide open haven't thrown their hat in the ring. some are going to announce soon but i have to say it's happening on both sides.
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as you said the beginning, we don't have any candidates on the democratic side or republican side. >> but when i look at the democratic side, i presume that's because there is an elephant in the room, there's a big foot in the race, even though she's not e declared, hillary clinton's presence -- but on the republican side it's far more open. >> i mean i think certainly money is part of it. they are waiting so they can raise money for the super pacs that will support their campaigns during expenditures. but i don't think it's only money. the new reality of 21st century politics with a 24-hour news cycle. before you had to announce in january and february because you had to get yourself known by the american public. now you can wait. you don't want to get burned. and you can get known in a short period of time because you have so many media outlets. social media to connect with
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voters. i think that's part of it. >> it's interesting. you actually framed that differently than i thought. because of this proliferation of media then the capacity to introduce yourself rises. but part of what i have been thinking is it in fact because you're open to scrutiny you would not otherwise be open to. >> i do think the 24/7 media environment does expose candidates to higher level of scrutiny. one can argue they were already being scrutinized. if you look at the staffers who have had to resign made comments about iowa and 48 hours later, she was forced to hand in her resignation. this has happened to rick perry as well hiring someone who made questionable comments about women. that's the kind of scrutiny the candidates are already facing. people start the feeding frenzy when you throw your hat in the
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race. it's really hard for these candidates to then stay on message while also having to you know handle these distractions that are unflattering for their candidacy. >> it is leading to wonderful moments. i want to take a listen to jeb bush at cpac. the way e he talks about himself running and not running is funny. >> if i go beyond the consideration of running which people coming here are using to not trigger a campaign if i get beyond that and i run for president, i have to show what's in my heart. >> what? at the end i was like wait a minute, how did we get there? >> it's an absurdity. it's this kind of absurdity that does connect to their disengagement. and i think i have done a lot of reporting on poverty in particular and people always talk about you look at poor folks and how much they do or do
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not vote and what do they feel about the system and across the political spectrum you hear people saying well it doesn't have anything to do with me because they plainly represent the powerful and the rich. and i think this sort of unvarnished playing of games with campaign finance is the sort of thing that turns people off and says this doesn't have anything to do with me. >> the involvement of the super pacs on the republican side in places like iowa and new hampshire, it's actually promoting voter engagement. they are organizing events where candidates are -- or potential candidates are connecting with people and talking about issues. this super pacs work with grass roots organizations and regular people are getting very involved in the process. >> so both things could be true at the same time in the sense that the work of the soup r pacs in early primary organizing could absolutely activate primary voters who are a
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nonrandom draw from the box. and yet the kind of notions of us sitting around a table at this point saying are you running, are you not running, can make ordinary people trying to make sense out of life feeling like what is washington doing. up next we're going to talk about the colbert effect. but first, we need to report a tragic story out of brooklyn. a home fire killed seven children, left two people in critical condition. all of the victims are believed to be from the same family. more than 100 firefighters responded to the scene, brought the fire under control. the new york city fire marshal spoke earlier this morning about the cause of this fire. >> apparently it was a hot plate that are used to keep food warm. hot plate was left on. a malfunction occurred and the fire started in the kitchen.
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how do i turn this into a super pac? >> all you have to do is send a cover letter to the commission that says this pac is actually a super pac. >> here's my form. that's a regular pac that cannot take money or a gift from viacom. now it's a super pac? pac, super pac. >> campaign finance lesson from stephen colbert. you may remember in the run-up to the presidential campaign colbert created his own super pac called america for a better tomorrow tomorrow.
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but once he launched the run for the presidency he could no longer be associated with the real life super pac so he handed over control to his partner in comedy "daily show" host jon stewart. real life potential candidate jeb bush may be following colbert's playbook. once he announced his candidacy, it's expected that a close ally will take over his super pac. with real life politicians taking cues from satirical ones wefr to wonder if colbert was right. is our campaign finance system one big joke. it's been suggested that this gaming turns people off. i wanted to listen to the solution that president obama offered this week for this problem. >> in australia and other countries, it's mandatory. it would be transformative if
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everybody voted. that would counteract money more than anything. >> is that the solution to the money problem? >> it's going to be a hard sell to get mandatory voting in the united states. the fascinating thing about the stephen colbert example is he wouldn't bh creating a super pac. he would be creating a nonprofit group and never have to disclose donors and that's what some candidates are already doing. rick perry, rick santorum all of whom have created or closely affiliated with a nonprofit and never disclose where they got the money in the first place. they are not going to have a super pac helping them out. they are going to have a secret nonprofit group too. >> is this bad for democracy? >> people want to know who is funding their candidates. >> they have to disclose it to just not publicly.
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we had the same thing happen in 2012. i'm actually a believer that government should not be impose the limits in free speech and basically did that decision said corporations unions, nonprofits can race money indefinitely. i support that. i think we need rules in terms of specifically coordination when already somebody has announced that he or she is a candidate they can't coordinate with a super pac. what is coordination or before they announce when exactly are they using that super pac to explore. those are the two type of rules that we need. but. i have no problem in allowing organizations to raise as much money as they can to educate voters. and get voters involved in the political process. >> i don't think that -- first off, what kinds of voters are we talking about?
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we're not talking about a broad swath of voters involved in the process. we're talking about targeting a specific piece of your base and often suppressing everyone else. the second question on coordination is really what's at stake here. at what point are you representing your donors and not your -- and not the people you're voting for. >> when you say that this question of who you're representing, to me part of what is fascinating is watching the big money happen largely behind the scenes while there's an attempt to play regular joe. i want to listen to scott walker. i want to take a listen to him doing this it thing about being a regular guy out shopping. >> i know after many years of practice that if i'm going o to go buy a shirt, i go to the rack that says it was $29.99 and now it's $19.99 and then i get the
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sunday insert out with the little scratch off and take it up to the cash register along with my kohls credit card. >> there he is not campaigning campaigning and he's doing this here's how i manage my money. maybe he does but it seems like a bizarre reference point when we know the millions going to these campaigns. >> that's what turns the american public off about this process. there could be a debate over what kind of caps we should have legal ly legally in terms of how much people can contribute to campaign, but it's this dual game that the candidates are playing where they want to present themselves as an average joe but they are, as noted, navigating the loosening of campaign finance rules to use these super pacs for as long as they can to raise more money and declare when the limits kick into their campaigns. that's what people find as obstructing the democratic process. >> we're picking on the republicans here because they
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have a more interesting field full of candidates but it's not a republican problem exclusively. in fact, still to come this morning, we are talking sports and you know we are going to talk about the other side of this, the democratic side. there is an alternative to the current democratic front runner nonrunner campaign. he's in iowa right now. in small business you have to work hard, know your numbers, and stay focused. i was determined to create new york city's first self-serve frozen yogurt franchise. and now you have 42 locations.
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eliquis may increase your bleeding risk if you take certain medicines. tell your doctor about all planned medical or dental procedures. i accept that i'm not as fast, but i'm still going for my personal best... and for eliquis. reduced risk of stroke... plus less major bleeding. ask your doctor... if eliquis is right for you. while it really does appear that the gop presidential nomination is up for grabs, commentators keep behaving as if it is a foregone conclusion. hillary clinton has a commanding double-digit lead over all the possible democratic challengers. not only is that early lead not necessarily a good thing for the democratic party, it's not even necessarily a good thing for hillary clinton. during her first presidential run in 2008 hillary clinton faced a contentious primary against a young senator from illinois.
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some democrats worried that all that tension would hurt voter turnout. it didn't. in fact, the 2008 presidential campaign had had the highest voter turnout in four decades due in part to a vigorous primary a energized the democratic base. maybe a little friendlier or not so friendly competition is a good thing. some democrats seem to agree. in the wake of her e-mail u controversy, there are signs that hillary clinton is loosening support among some democrats. some returning to the obvious second senator elizabeth warren in hopes she will run, but she's not the only alternative to hillary clinton. martin o'mall lee is meeting supporters in iowa where he's spent b a lot of time and money. in an op-ed for the des moines register he struck a tone going after big banks. structural reforms aren't enough. we must bring fundamental change
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to the culture of wall street beginning with accountability. hillary clinton is most likable when she's not running. >> this is the fascinating part of hillary clinton polling. when she was secretary of state from the moment she was announced until a few months after she left office she was in the 60s nationally. now that she's getting back in the political fray a poll has her at the same level she was when she left the last campaign. it's a good spot it's 53%. but she's disliked most when she's actively a candidate. >>. i have long held that her biggest problem isn't how disliked she is but how known she is. you were making the point earlier about the opportunity to introduce yourself. and we went back to the 2008 presidential campaign to kind of this moment march of 2007 and people were asked have you never heard of or had no opinion of hillary clinton and barack
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obama. 16% had no opinion about barack obama. so what does he do? introduce himself, teach people about himself and it feels like there's no room for her to do that that. people already love her or hate her. >> right, look, that's one of the reasons why she's postponed her announcement. she knows once she announces the media is going to go. after her. they are going to cover the past scandals and they are going to cover the new scandals. look at the e-mail scandal which i think is a serious thing. dealing with government private e-mail server i think it's a serious thing. i think that issue has legs. but again, it's not only the issue, it's how she responded. there's impunity to the clintons. >> i would say i disagree that the issue itself has legs but
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the responses can. there's a way in which it makehouse feel that sense of disconnection. >> there's a sense of entitlement that she exhibits. that's what bothers a lot of people about her. inevitably of her campaign too, i think she felt she was defensive and had to explain why she had this personal e-mail account. to the points that have been made it's very beneficial to democratic party at large to have more contested primary. she needs to be put in a position where she articulates her vision her policies and that would improve the obstacle that she faces of being so well known. she could reintroduce herself to the electorate and that's only possible if there's a elizabeth warren pushing her to the left or even a joe biden adding that pressure. >> you just said the vice president's name. why does nobody ever say the
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vice president's name? >> i think particularly if she's challenged on equity and her relationship to wall street, i think that's going to be helpful for her as a candidate ultimately. and helpful for the world. but i have to say part of the clinton's problem is their relationship to power generally. they are understood to be in constant pursuit of power. so the minute she's running, she's in pursuit of power and turned off. that's also an advantage amongst some democrats who are ready for someone who says hey, listen it's time for a powerful democrat around here. i think if she can introduce that part of herself and if she has a challenger it might raise those kinds of things. >> thank you. the panel is back in the next hour. still to come this morning, rahm emanuel's challenger in
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chicago. but first, the class of 2016 can learn from senator barack obama.
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right now, there are big decisions to be made. clinton, bush christie walker webb carson cruz, paul, rubio, santorum, all of these i'm not a candidate candidates will, if they do take the plunge, likely make intentions official in the coming months. yes, we are about to experience the onslaught of presidential campaign announcements. each of these would-be commanders in chief having one opportunity to own the news psych wl a big splash. each of them with one chance to introduce or reintroduces themselves to the country. to look presidential to show they have the wind at their backs, announcing your home state or an early state,
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announce via tweet or a speech indoor indoors or out, the anoumpbsment is carefully crafted, the timing, the location the backdrop, the words, all is carefully selected for maximum impact. and it's a tricky business. the class of 2016 has plenty to go on based on predecessors. john kennedy announced his candidacy in the senate caucus room to a group of reporters. there was little fanfare and even took some questions. >> i am today announcing my candidacy for the presidency of the united states. >> senator kennedy, if you don't win the presidential nomination will you accept the vice presidency? >> i shall not be a candidate for vice president if i fail in this endeavor i shall return and serve in the united states senate. >> r or a candidate can take the reagan route. in 1979 reagan made his
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announcement directly to the voters in a pretaped half hour long video that aired on national television. >> good evening, i'm here tonight to announce my intention to seek the republican nomination for president of the united states. if i'm elected, i shall regard my election as proof that the people of the united states have decided to set a new agenda and have recognized that the human spirit thrives best when goals are set and progress can be measured in their achievement. >> in 1991 bill clinton announced his candidacy to an enthusiastic crowd of supporters from the steps of the old state house in little rock, arkansas. it was pure presidential stage craft with american flags and the would-be first family by his side. >> to provide that proven leadership is our challenge in 1992 and that is why today i proudly announce my candidacy for president of the united
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states of america. >> in 1999 george w. bush showed there was no need to announce just once when he and his wife laura sat on patio chairs to give a preannouncement announcement to texas-based reporters. >> i wanted the texas press and therefore, my fellow texans to hear it from me first that this coming sunday i'm going to announce the formation of an exploratory committee to determine whether or not i u should seek the presidency. >> one of the 2016 likely candidates has already run for president. hillary clinton announced in january 2007 with a simple statement on her website, i'm in and i'm in to win. like president reagan she released a pre-taped video speaking directly to the camera. it was a cozy living room and she made clear she wanted to chat. >> i announce today that i'm forming a presidential exploratory committee. i'm not just starting a
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campaign, though i'm beginning conversation, with you, with america. >> now, living rooms are nice but perhaps what secretary clinton and all of the class of 2016 are aiming for is the kind of moment our current president had in february 2007 in front of a cheering crowd of 16,000 people packed into a square in springfield, illinois despite the single digit temperature and despite the fact that senator barack obama was polling 19 points behind hillary clinton. >> i stand before you today to announce my candidacy for president of the united states of america. i know that i haven't spent a lot of time learning the ways of washington, but. i have been there long enough to know that the ways of washington must change. >> the class of 2016 that is a presidential announcement. you're up next.
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richard served as mayor of chicago for 22 years. daily won his first election in 1989 with 55% of the vote. . in 1991 he secured another four years with 70% of the vote. then after his third landslide win in 1995 the republican-controlled illinois general assembly changed the way the election game was played. suddenly the primary general election format was gone. instead the general assembly called for one single nonpartisan election with every candidate's hatd in the ring. a runoff would be had had if no candidate earned 50% of the vote. he went on to win the next three elections never dipping below 70% of the vote. daley never faced a runoff. rahm emanuel is not richard daley and this year for the first time in chicago's new
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system the incumbent mayor will face a runoff election leading off to the february 24th election, emanuel had raised $15 million in campaign funds. also an endorsement from president obama. money, yes, endorsement, yes, butt votes, 50% of them no. the mayor had 45% of those. the run off was on it is on and it will happen on april 7th. he will face commissioner garcia. he immigrated from mexico with his family to become a citizen in 1979. he's served on the chicago city council and in the illinois state senate. recent polls show him with a commanding lead over carr garcia garcia. joining me now live from chicago is commissioner garcia.
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so nice to have you this morning. yesterday "the chicago tribune" endorsed the mayor. do you have a real chance of unseating him? >> we do this is a campaign that's gathered momentum and enthusiasm over the past two weeks since the february 24th election. ironically the day that the tribune endorses the mayor, the chicago public schools are downgraded once again. so it shows that his stewardship of what he says is a strength in finances in chicago is in a financial free fal. the city has never been this bad, and it's a testament to his tenure over the past four years. >> you brought up one of the key issues in the campaign and certainly in the runoff and it is this question of revenue shs the question of the city's finances. this morning the "chicago sun-times" is reporting a variety of issues around this, but part of it is saying that you're being clear about what
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some of your revenue willingness is and that some of it has to do with potentially gambling and maybe even with trying what other cities have tried, which is the legalization and taxing of marijuana. what are other kinds -- are those on the table and what are the other issues on the table for you? >> we're looking at a host of potential revenue measures to shore up the city's finances. obviously, the mayor has done a terrible job as a financial steward of the city. it's important to understand that what people are really concerned about in chicago the school closures and the future of the public schools, the mayor's stewardship is undermining them. people are concern eded about the 10,000 shootings in chicago over the past four years and people in neighborhoods are saying where is the the prosperity we see in the central business district. we don't see that in the neighborhoods. people feel abandoned and that's why 55% of them voted for change on february 24th and that will catapult us to victory.
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people are tired of the wrong priorities of this mayor. they think he's made bad decisions and that he's broken promises to fix the schools and the school finances in the city and to make it safer. those are his three prime promises four years ago and he's failed on each one of them. >> two of those are things that we have discussed a lot on this show. one is the issue of the schools. the other one being the horrible violence that has particularly racked certain neighborhoods in chicago. so talk to me about the schools in particular. you're being backed by the teachers union. tell me what your plans are for managing a real crisis going on in the chicago public schools. >> first of all, we have to stabilize the finances of the schools and that's been a terrible job that this mayor has performed. we begin where the revenues need
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to stop going to privatization to politically connected contractors to billionaires and millionaire who is are friends of the mayor who provide him with large campaign contributions. that's a central issue in this campaign. the other is ensuring that schools everywhere in chicago not just certain parts have educational equity. that means good teachers, computers, books, support staff in those schools especially in the poorest parts of the city to ensure that students are learning. we have to get away from so much standardized tests because we're overtesting and undereducating children in chicago. it is about equity. it's also about bridgeing the divide between the very prosperous business district and the neighborhoods that have been left behind. inequality has multiplied under the tenure of this mayor. people have come together across race and ethnicity in a really fascinating coalition that seeks
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to take chicago back and reprioritize where our resources are invested. >> thank you to jesus gar seecia in chicago. it's a fascinating race. we'll be all be watching it quite closely. >> thank you. up next dave psi ron on the edge of sports and the true madness of march. in small business you have to work hard, know your numbers, and stay focused. i was determined to create new york city's first self-serve frozen yogurt franchise. and now you have 42 locations. the more i put into my business the more i get out of it.
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now with live tv on the go. enjoy over wifi or on verizon wireless 4g lte. plus enjoy special savings when you purchase any new verizon wireless smartphone or tablet from comcast. visit comcast.com/wireless to learn more. the most stunning sportds news was about a san francisco 49er and his decision to quit the game. at the age of 24 chris borland announced his retirement on espn's outside the lines. >> it's a unique decision to me. i have done a lot of research. from what i have experienced, projected to what i would have to do to be the linebacker i wanted to be and for me it wasn't worst worth the risk. >> the risk is neurological
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diseases or earlier death caused by concussions and brain trauma. it caused shock waves on and off the field. he's the fourth player age 30 or younger to announce his retirement in. the past week. one of the most promising players a star rookie who stood to make tens of millions of dollars of possible playing time. also this week president obama made his pick for the 2015 ncaa basketball tournament. for him it's kentucky all the way. players suited up to kick off march madness. on the same day the tournament began, lawyers asked an appeals kurt to overturn the decision that college athletes should be paid. the tournament brings in more than $700 million each year and right now all the players get the same amount nothing. joining me now from washington is dave zirin, sports writer.
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so dave it is ncaa madness time. part of that is $700 million coming in every year and the players don't make any kind of salary. >> i have no idea what their defense is at this point other than them hiring lawyers, who aren't working for free, to go and argue that the money has to stay away from the players' pockets pockets. anyone who has watched the tournament this week knows what they saw. it's an incredible spectacle. it's narcotic. it's a national obsession. more people interact with the ncaa tournament than even the super bowl. more money is bet on the ncaa tournament than the super bowl. who are we tuning in to watch? who is wearing the corporate logo.s as they run up and down the court? it's the players who we're watching and yet they do not get paid for it. we become. party to this rank exploitation.
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myself included, as we watch this thing. and i'll tell you what's so disturbing about it to me is when you dispense the niceties when e we stop trying to speak in politically correct language we're looking at the organized theft of black wealth. if e we want to talk about it the organized theft of youth wealth. imagine if we're watching "the facts of life" and only mrs. garrett is getting paid. we're all a party to this. and the thing that i most the most obnoxious and personally offensive is when people argue that players should not be paid because they already have too much of a sense of entitlement and they would feel even more entitled if they were paid for their labors. the coaches have a sense of entitlement, the ncaa has a sense of entitlement. they are entitled to all the
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money and the sneaker money even though they are not wearing the sneakers. i would much rather have 18 to 22-year-old kids with those billions of dollars in their pockets because they will spend it in their communities. they are not going to stick it in some offshore account and that money never gets circulated back in our country. give the money to the kids. at least they will spend it. if problems develop from that of young people getting that money, there are problems right now with them not get. ing the money. >> so it's interest inging because i think the other argument made in addition is they are being paid. they are being paid in free education. particularly being on a college campus where people are paying tens of thousands of dollars to go, the idea is you're making $50,000 in that you're getting free tuition. but i think you have made this it point before and we see it if we shift to the nfl story here as well the idea that these players may actually be opted out of making millions of
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dollars because of the concern about the protection of their minds, the protection of their brains and some of them having really lovely brains. i love our baltimore raven who did this insanely complex math piece that he published in a math journal. i keep thinking if they are also not getting fully educated not getting an opportunity to be nerds s there something else being stolen? >> they are being robbed of their right to be able to use their brains when they hit their 40 30s, 40s and 50s. you're giving up your right to a middle age. you're going from being young to being old. that's what chris borland was saying. what made chris borland's retirement so electric is he's doing this in advance of getting concussions. he's saying as a history major and earned his degree from the university of wisconsin, he's actually applying what he
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learned at school. you see a lot of people in the nfl punishing him for actually applying what he learned. it's like when kain colter attempted to organize a union, he took a labor law class at northwestern and said wait a minute, my labor situation is pretty messed up. what i'm learning applies to my life as a student athlete and he was attacked for apply whag he learned. that's the big sham in all of this. if there's really going to be an educational component, you want people to be able to use that education education. that's the biggest sham of all. i interviewed jimmy king with the michigan fab five and he called it a big hustle because you're not get.ting that education. it's not even there for you to do. the fear of the nfl is it's going to go straight gladiator and you're going to have people from middle class backgrounds who have options are going to leave and it's going to be poor kids, black, bashing their brains in for wealthy fans.
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>> dave zirin, always bringing the fire on your analysis of the sports, politics and questions of labor fairness, thank you for joining us this morning. up next, all the things that happened and the one thing that doesn't in 133 days. more nerdland at the top of the hour. [ female announcer ] hands were made for talking. feet...tiptoeing. better things than the pain stiffness, and joint damage of moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis. before you and your rheumatologist
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so cvs health is changing healthcare. making it more accessible and affordable with walk-in medical care, no appointments needed and most insurance accepted. minuteclinic. another innovation from cvs health. because health is everything. welcome back i'm melissa harris-perry. 133 days, it's been 133 days since the president of the united states said this. >> i couldn't be prouder that today i can announce somebody who shares that fierce commitment to equal justice under the law as my nominee for the next attorney general loretta lynch. >> it's pretty hard to be more qualified. she's spent years in the
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trenches as a prosecutor, adegrees. ively fighting terrorism, financial fraud, cyber crime all while defending civil rights. >> that was november 8th, 2014 133 days ago. since then a lot has happened. the st. louis county grand jury chose not to indict officer wilson and outraged the people of ferguson. a grand jury decided not to indict the police officers involved in the death of eric garner. protesters shut down the streets of new york city. across the kouncountry, a movement of those with hands up explaining they could not breathe, dying in and declaring black lives matter demanded our attention and shaped our discourse. two officers were murdered in brooklyn and the police turned their back on the mayor. loretta lynch, she waited to be confirmed. we celebrated thanksgiving christmas, we even rang in the new year. the congress started and brought
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with it a historic proportion of women and people of color as legislators. the world mourned in the wake of the "charlie hebdo" massacre. we debated deflated footballs, lobbied for our favorite movie, endured what seemed like endless winter and finally got to see the apple watch. the department of justice released a report from ferguson and announced a plan to make changes in police departments across the down try. loretta lynch waited to be confirmed. two weeks ago the nation remembered the transformational courage of those who dared to cross the edmund pet tis bridge. >> call your senators and them them they must confirm the first african-american attorney
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general. >> when the president nominated lynch just days after the 2014 midterms, most could barely fathom a controversy. she has an unassailed representation. she had one valuable characteristic given the current icy relationship with congress. >> let me just stipulate you're not eric holder. >> no i'm not, sir. >> but despite assurances that she is not eric holder loretta lynch is still waiting, 133 days after being normalminated. what is the holdup? mitch mcconnell announced sunday that he would not schedule the vote until the senate passed the justice for victims of trafficking act. on the face of it, that doesn't sound like it's going to be difficult except republicans stacked the bill with anti-abortion language that democrat os pose. it calls for anyone convicted of human trafficking to pay into a restitution fund, but money in the fund cannot be used to pay
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for abortions except in cases of rape, incest or if the life of the woman is in danger. language is fairly standard in these annual spending bills. the problem here is about precedent. democrats worry that includeing this language in a bill that does not have to be reauthorized each year could lead to more abortion restrictions in the future. so no compromise looks likely. mitch mcconnell is expected to turn to a dwaebt on the budget and then the senate goes on spring break. that means the vote could have to wait until mid-april. the whole thing has gotten so maddening that president obama weighed in on it on day 132. >> you don't hold attorney general nominees hostage for other issues. this is our top law enforcement office. nobody denies that she's well qualified. e we need to go ahead and get it done. >> joining me is the features
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editor of the nation. and vince warren, executive director at the center for constitutional rights. what is going on? >> this is crazy. as you laid out, holding the chief position law position in the country during a time when we have one of the emerging issues that we have now is the state of race relations with the police department where we have police officers are getting shot, protesters are getting tear gassed this is going back to the 1960s. to hold this particular position hostage at this it time is a tremendous problem. it's a tremendous problem. >> guess who agrees with you? rudy giuliani. you and rudy giuliani are down with each other. he wrote my interpretation has
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been the president should be able to choose his cabinet unless unqualified to do the job. none of these disqualifiers apply here. if this is not about loretta lynch, if no one thinks this is about her, is this at all a reasonable way for republicans in the senate to be behaving? >> look sadly, the relationship between the executive and the legislative branch is in shambles. the president has a terrible relationship with congress with the senate and i think this is one of the reasons why this is taking so long. i would say to clarity, because senator durbin and others have implied that somehow race is part of this issue, that's the worst kind of racial identity in politics. >> i want to play it. in case folks haven't heard it let's have them listen to what
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you're talking about. this is durbin and then we'll listen to mccain right behind him making a point that's on this same issue. >> so loretta lynch, the first african-american woman nominated to be attorney general, is asked to sit in the back of the bus when it comes to the senate calendar. that is unfair. it's unjust. >> the dignity of the united states senate i would say to the senator from illinois for him to come to this floor and use that imagery and suggest that racist tactics are being imployed to delay ms. lynch's confirmation vote. such inflammatory rhetoric has no place in this body and serves no purpose. it was offensive and unnecessary, and i think he owes
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this body, ms. lynch and all americans an apology. >> i agree with senator mccain. when he voted, when senator durbin vote edd against kond lease rice for secretary of state, was he being racist? of course, not. mitch mcconnell has said that the next issue after the human trafficking bill they are going to deal with is the confirmation of loretta lynch, she will be confirmed. the only reason why this is taking so long at this point in time is because the democrats are intent in subverting the consensus policy that we have had with the amendment of the federal government not providing funding to abortions. it's radical abortion tactics, if anything, that are holding up loretta lynch's confirmation. >> so the idea i want to give you your full say on that. i know that is the line. but the idea that radical abortion tactics, which first of
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all i think we are not in a consensus place. it's a position that has become the defacto position but that does not make it consensus. when we look 29 days, gonzales, 86 days eric holder 64 days and loretta lynch at 133 and counting shs the idea that has something that has nothing to do with her job or qualifications would be associated with it does seem to be like a malpractice. >> before that, which i think is probably still the core issue, is immigration. they still want to use loretta lynch to beat the president up on his executive order. and i would just once like to see republicans as outraged about race and racism when it comes up in our many plays as they are when democrats bring it up. >> i do think that immigration
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is still at the core of this and goes back to the point of how poor the relationship is and this is another opportunity for republicans to rebuke the president's executive action. conservatives are outraged in the hearing when loretta lynch did defend those actions, as you would expect her to do being a potential appointee, but it mounted a lot of outside conservatives. the hard right commentator has been against her nomination. this buys leaders more time to peel off the support she does have. >> so i think this is in part why we have to be very careful about how we understand how race is operating here. what i do think is absolutely sort of almost ludicrous is to suggest they don't want a black attorney general. they have a black attorney general. one they really don't like. so all this does is keep eric holder in office. but that doesn't mean it's not
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about race in these other kinds of ways which is to say that talking about it around issues of immigration is to look at -- we're going to take a break and come back. more to say. i'm going to make a suggestion that this may be about a waiting game. the notion that we know how this is going to turn out might not be how it turns out. you worry. you do whatever it takes to take care of your family. and when it's time to plan for your family's future we're here for you. we're legalzoom, and for over 10 years we've helped families just like yours with wills and living trusts. so when you're ready start with us. doing the right thing has never been easier. legalzoom. legal help is here. [ female announcer ] we help make secure financial tomorrows a reality for over 19 million people. [ alex ] transamerica helped provide a lifetime of retirement income. so i can focus on what matters most. [ female announcer ] everyone has a moment when tomorrow becomes real. transamerica.
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last week the acting assistant attorney general for the civil rights division of the department of justice released a statement that read in part the results of the civil rights divisions investigation into the practices of the ferguson police department remain a top concern and priority. so you see that statement it's a e reminder of two issues. the doj is in the midst of long-term work even while the senate stalls the confirmation of the person who should be
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leading the department. second, the person currently charged with overseeing the civil rights division aspect of this work is herself an acting assistant a.g. she's terrific but why is her title acting? she steps into the role after the senate denied confirmation of a qualified attorney to lead the civil rights division for wholly political reasons. he was forced to withdraw from attorney general of the civil rights division. he was a 1970s "sesame street" kid was one of the most respected civil rights lawyers. you know that ldf was led by marshal and overturned segregation in american public schools. given his experience, his representation and accomplishments nominating him for the assistant a.g.
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of the civil rights division was obvious. noncontroversial until conservatives launched a smear campaign because the ldf had defended jamal in an appeal after his conviction for killing a philadelphia police officer in 1981. don't miss this. he headed a civil rights organization that did what every lawyer is bound to do in our criminal justice system. vigorously defended the rights of the client. and for that, he was denied the position for which he was qualified and nominated by the president of the united states. it wasn't just republicans. eight democrats joined the vote that has left the civil rights division of the department of justice without a permanent director, even as that division is tasked with reforming policing across america. so if you have been thinking surely it's just a matter of time before the senate confirmed lynch because she's qualified, just remember him. i asked the attorney general about it when we spoke in
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february. >> he did what a lawyer is supposed to do. take on tough cases that are unpopular and he did so extremely honorably. the fact that he got penalized for doing that sets a bad precedent. >> the problem that we're seeing here is that both in the context of the nomination and loretta lynch's is we now have eminently qualified people of color that are necessary to lead our country through the justice path that we actually have right now. and these are getting blocked by political and partisan pieces no question about it. but also it reminds me of loretta lynch's story. she was in high school in north carolina. she was the valedictorian and as the valedictorian scored higher than anybody, she was not allowed to shine as the valedictorian and had two other white students because the world wasn't ready for a strong
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smart, qualified black girl to lead. we have a situation now where the congress is seeing exact lyly the same thing. they are inhibiting the leaders that we need to move us through this, through these bureaucratic means and i don't care whether the republicans are playing with the president or whether this is about the immigration bill there are black lives and white lives at risk right now getting slowed up because they are not moving this forward. we have to change that. >> i have to disagree with this. this has nothing to do with race. this is not political. let's be honest. >> it is political. >> it is political, but it's not just partisan. e he did something which is defend a person who killed a police officer. >> first of all, i want to be clear about that. i would like to be clear about that. he was not the lead attorney. the ldf defended. >> but he was part of the appeal
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team. as an attorney you choose your clients. >> this is a legal defense fund of the naacp. >> they have the right to defend whoever they want to defend but at the end, you have to live with the consequences. you defended a person who -- look -- >> he defended him against the death penalty. he did not -- i want to be clear because the lives and the smears that have been told are precise precisely the point. he did not defend him as an individual attorney making a big defense profit force. he was a part of a nonprofit organization that defends peoples' civil rights and they defended him against the death penalty, not against conviction which is a wholly different issue relative to the question of civil rights. he was being nominated for the issue of civil rights. and so i bring this to the face
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because what is important here is that we not think about race as an issue of the racialized bodies that have been normalminated. that's too easy. we have to look at what it's saying about a broader system of justice and the ways in which it impacts people of color dramatically differently. >> to be fair there was outrage because. he was involved in this appeal defending this individual who killed a police officer. >> there are numbers of the supreme court of the united states -- >> pennsylvania came forward and oppose this -- >> i was very clear about what i think about those democrats. >> shockingly came forward and sided with republicans when this got politically inconvenient for them. it's important to note that the court agreed on that piece. the court did lessen the sentence to life in prison. so that's also important to note when we're following the facts. >> let's be fair. why when democrats are
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appointing somebody to the bench or an important position, they are fully qualified. when a republican nominee eminently qualified, no. >> this is not the supreme court. gonzales was nominated and confirmed in less than two months. the notion that democrats have stood in the way of the appointment, and again, at the point we're talking about so many others who have been stood in the way of by the senate we are not talking about cabinet level position. we're talking about a senate that's created a system of massive resistance every time this president has tried to nominate people. >> this is a cautionary tale because three weeks is a long time. and rudy giuliani and law enforcement statements in the past couple days are not coincidental. they know there's going to be a campaign over the next three weeks to look at her history. >> there's a long-term relationship, it's like stop this, move forward.
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>> we're going to be fighting over her record. >> it's political because the gun lobby got involved this week too. we have to oppose this nominee. >> but in the way if you are a black person fighting in civil rights, you are much easier target in these united states because of the fact that you are inevitably going to find yourself fighting against power. you're going to find yourself fighting against the way in which our criminal justice system is set up. >> when we come back, i want to go live to joy reid with details on the story of a man found hanging in mississippi. in small business you have to work hard, know your numbers, and stay focused. i was determined to create new york city's first self-serve frozen yogurt franchise. and now you have 42 locations. the more i put into my business the more i get out of it. like 5x your rewards when you make select business purchases
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death of a man in a rural area in mississippi. the man identified as 54-year-old otis bird was found hanging in a tree. the image of a black man hanging from a tree is a shocking and powerful one particularly in the south. speculation rooted in america's bloody racial history of lynch ing has begun to define coverage of this ens. both the fbi and department of justice are on the case. >> we would expect next week some time to find a preliminary report as to the cause of death. >> joy reid is in mississippi. joy, what have you learned and the latest on this investigation? >> reporter: well, as of yesterday, the fbi had dispatched about 30 field agents to this community in mississippi. i'm here in port gibson which is the county seat but there are much more rural areas we were driving around to where field agents are going door to
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door trying to find family, friends, relatives to talk to them to find out what they knew. authorities have also searched a storage locker that e he rented to glean any evidence from that. we are waiting on that autopsy result which should come within a week to try to put together the last day of his life and figure out what happened to this man and to determine whether or not his death was a suicide or a homicide. >> so joy, obviously, this is a small town in the deep south, but authorities are now under a national spotlight where there's now national attention on this. we have seen local authorities do well under these circumstances and do poorly under these circumstances. have you had an opportunity to talk with anyone and think about how they are handling this? >> reporter: it's interesting because i think the key to what you said is this is a very small town. the county sheriff grew up in this community of fewer than
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10,000 people in the whole county. he was the immediate past president of the naacp. everyone seems to know everyone. e we went to a mcdonald's in town and everyone said they knew him, claimed to have known him, people grew up together and trust one another. you don't have the element of mistrust of local law enforcement. this is a predominantly african-american community, about 85%, as is the sheriff. that plus the federal presence, you don't have the mistrust. but i will tell you that people are withholding judgment but really paying attention to this. this is the deep south and a man hanging from a tree in the deep south, this is a very serious issue and people want answers. >> we have to be honest about this from the beginning. thank you to joy reid in mississippi. i want to talk about another
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develop developing story. officials yesterday announced the firing of three officers and the resignation of another. the officers exchange racists texts like these. we are coming and drinking all your beer and killing "n" word. one of the officers also made and shared a racist video that included kkk hood and an image of a black man on the ground being bitten by a dog. obviously, these are -- when we see these kinds of moments, and let's be clear the mississippi moment is quite different than the fort lauderdale one. i'm talking specifically about the fort lauderdale incident. this notion of a kind of undermining of local police force, i think, or the sense of trust in that police force is precisely part of why the doj is so crucial in this moment. >> absolutely. it goes back to we were talking about with dave we don't have a permanent head of the civil rights division.
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we have an attorney general nominee that's been sitting for 130 days. it's coming at a time when race relation relations are under a national spotlight. the ferguson report found systemic targeting on the ends of police and municipal courts. we have the police brutality issue at large. it underscores the need for a robust civil rights division of the doj. >> it's going to be a meaningful issue in the 2016 campaign as well. frankly because the difference between the office of civil rights under eric holder and in the previous eight years is striking. that that office was turned into a mockery of itself during the bush administration. >> there was a report in 2009 not long after president obama was inaugurated and took a office and that report was scathing about what happened in those years. >> the stakes are high. we have seen what can happen when you have an active justice
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department and as these kinds of events keep coming up. as we reached a political moment where we're no longer prepared to give police departments the benefit of the doubt. having an active justice department is going to be important. >> i will say the attorney general said that he is working. so i wonder if we have that sound on eric holder gave a phone interview to msnbc. in it part of what he said was, look, i still am working. do we have that? let's take a listen to the current attorney general eric holder. >> no one should be under the illusion that i'm simply here marking time. i'm here as a fully-engaged attorney general doing the work that every attorney general would be expected to do and i'm doing this work in a way that's consistent with how i have done this job over the past six years. >> so holder says don't worry, i'm on it. but there must be a kind of like
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waiting for the new person that happens in any organization or institution institution. >> any organization and it becomes particularly problematic when it happens in the department of justice. and we saw after he was being strung along for a long time and forced to move out that there was a lot of questions within the department of justice and the civil rights division. how were we going to move these issues forward. human rights groups like my organization were asking for questions about partnership. what are you going to do about this or that? no one can give long-ranging answers about how that was going to go down because of the uncertainty. we have to remember what we're seeing in america is a structural racism question. it is very hard for individuals to tap into those structures to be able to figure out is the police responsible for this is the county courthouse responsible for this. and we need the department of justice to move forward and answer those questions.
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>> it's bad for justice. thank you to the panel. up next a wrong turn near the white house and a deadly confrontation. that's just part of the story. when we come back, the rest of the story that you may not yet have heard. alright, so this tylenol arthritis lasts 8 hours, but aleve can last 12 hours... and aleve is proven to work better on pain than tylenol arthritis. so why am i still thinking about this? how are you? aleve, proven better on pain.
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people often ask me 'joh
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i get a little bit hungry ♪ ♪ and there's nothing good around ♪ ♪ turn around, barry ♪ ♪ i finally found the right snack ♪ [ female announcer ] fiber one. on october 3rd 2013 three days into a historic government shutdown, there wasn't much happening on capitol hill. but at around 2:30 in the afternoon, chaos erupted in washington as breaking news reports scrambled to make sense of what was going on. >> we are following some break. ing news on capitol hill. there are reports of shots fired near the capitol. some offices are said to be on lockdown right now. >> this dramatic video shot by the arabic tv station showed secret service officers firing gunshots at a car that ended up
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close to the capitol after a high speed chase near the white house. just minutes earlier, the car with connecticut tags had made a wrong turn into the blocked entry to a white house check point. witnesses reported secret service officers shouting at the driver. one bystander told "the washington post" appeared to be scared or lost. when an off duty secret service officer used a metal bike rack the driver struck the rack and the officer while attempting to flee the scene. the chase continued to the west side of the capitol where the gunshot. s were reported. it went on as the driver backed away from the officers driving away from the capitol until coming to a stop when a flurry of gunshots fired by secret service. the driver was fatally wounded and was later identified as 34-year-old miriam kerry. she drove with her 13-month-old
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daughter who was sitting in the backseat the entire time. by the end of the day, police had ruled out a terror threat calling it an isolated incident. months later the justice department announced that no charges would be filed against the secret service or the capitol police due to insufficient evidence. carr carrie was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol and there were no e weapons inside her car. the news cycle moved on. but the end of the day's biggest news was just the beginning of the story for carey's family. miriam's death certificate lists the manner of death as homicide but her family has yet to receive a full account of exactly what occurred. more than a year later, they are still left with lingering questions about the circumstances surrounding her death and wondering why she had to pay for one wrong turn with her life. up next i'm going to talk with
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a member of her family about their search for answers and for justice.
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missing from the list of familiar names that have prompted a movement to condemn violence and remind america that black lives matter is a name of miriam carey. e we don't know why she drove from her home in connecticut to washington, d.c. e we don't know what prompted her to make that u-turn at the white house check point. we were wrong even in what we thought we knew about her actions on that day. police initially reported that she tried to breach two washington landmarks and that the incident was not an accident. but according to reports in both "the washington post" and mother jones, none of that turned out to be true. what is true that is that miriam's life mattered. she was a mother she had family, friends and co-workers at the dental practice where she was a valued employee. we know the secret service and capitol police fired 26 bullets
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trying to stop her. we know that after being struck by five of those bullets, miriam carey was unarmed when she died. but what we don't know and what her family is hoping to find out is why stopping her alleged reckless driving required the use of deadly force. joining me is miriam's sister and an attorney representing the carey family. valerie, i want to start with you both because you're family but also because you're former mn mnnypd. with what you have learned, at least what you know at this it point, what is your professional judgment even beyond the personal loss here? >> well we know little. it would be great if we could get the police radio transmissions, which would tell a bigger story. but those haven't been made
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available to us. a videotape that was taken at the scene either. professionally, there was no need for deadly physical force. my sister was unarmed. my sister had had no criminal record. she was not committing any crimes. she was shot multiple times to her back. >> this happened in october of 2013. since then the deaths of michael brown and of others have led to a public conversation about this use of deadly force and the value of black lives even when they are unarmed. but ms. carey was not part of that conversation for the most part. i suspect it is because many of us thought, well, this was tragic but you know d.c. and the white house and the capitol and so if you act that way, that's probably going to be what happens. but then these recent incidents
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of breach of exactly that space of the white house perimeter and even just very recently the secret service themselves breach breaching that space has forced us to go back and reconsider having removed carey from our conversation. >> we knew from the beginning it was a bad shooting. but we know that from law enforcement training. people like to believe that washington, d.c. is a magical place, but the constitution applies there too. the secret service director she admitted as much that we have constitutional limitations. that applies to them and applies to the u.s. capitol police and just because you think you suspect there may be a committee, you have to follow protocols before you use force. we just want full disclosure. we're not asking to litigate the case in the media. e we want full disclosure. release all the records. we're sure that the facts will back up what we're seeing from
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the beginning. this is an excessive use of force and unnecessary and unlawful. >> nothing can bring back your sister. nothing can bring back. the mother of your niece. what does justice for your family look like right now? >> justice looks like transparency. those that were involved to be held accountable. we still don't know the name.s of the officers involved. >> you as a family don't know the names of the people who fired the 26 bullets into the car that killed your sister and potentially endangered your niece. >> right. >> you don't know their names. >> we do not. so justice would be those that were involved to be held accountable. the initial officer that i feel was the catalyst to this which is the off duty officer who still remains unnamed, there were two uniformed officers on
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the scene at the time. i don't see why he felt compelled to take what he thought was police action when there were two uniformed officers officers. >> i think that's part of how the language got -- language about she had rammed a gate. he moved a mobile bike gate in front of the car after she's already in that space. >> she was actually trying to leave. >> like i said from the beginning, the conversation should have focused on that cooler. now we see the cooler means something but they didn't do anything about it to investigate it. this agency has a drinking o problem. it's been reported over and over again obama's team, the teams that went down to colombia they are being sent become because they are drinking too much alcohol. >> since we don't know then the question becomes why don't we know? >> or maybe they do know and just didn't disclose it. >> i'm also obviously part of the pain here is that in the fog of how this was initially reported as though it were an
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attempted terrorist attack there is a moment in the congress where there are applause for the secret service officers. >> a standing ovation that lasted for about two minutes applauding the death of an unarmed u.s. citizen who was law-abiding and didn't commit any crimes. to this day, there hasn't been apology, any acknowledge m, anything. >> if that apology from the lawmakers, the elected officials part o of what you seek? >> yes. >> part of the problem, as well as all these other shootings, the u.s. patriot act is a source of a lot of this stuff. we believe we're stopping terror. i don't know what terror we're stopping. all we have done is increased police shootings all over the united states.
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that's not what we expect here. >> i'm chilled every time i have to say that her 13-month-old was in the back of the car. my daughter is 13 months right now. there's no justice, no applauding killing an unarmed woman with her child in the car. thank you to valerie and eric sanders, i promise we'll keep our eye on this story. up next our foot soldier of the week. stay focused. i was determined to create new york city's first self-serve frozen yogurt franchise. and now you have 42 locations. the more i put into my business the more i get out of it. like 5x your rewards when you make select business purchases with your ink plus card from chase. and with ink, i choose how to redeem my points for things like cash or travel. how's the fro-yo? just peachy...literally. ink from chase. so you can. taxi. vo: after years of being treated like she was invisible it occurred to mindy she might actually be invisible.
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in 2013 the city council of columbia, south carolina voted unanimously to make being homeless a crime. the move caused such a massive public backlash, they later reversed it. this past november in ft. lauderdale, florida, a 92-year-old world war ii veteran was arrested for the third time for feeding homeless people in parks because of a citywide ban on public food sharing. a church in san francisco just
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this week finally stopped a two-year-long practice of dumping water in its alcoves where homeless people sought refuge at night. we've seen an all-out assault on the homeless cities around the country responding to the issue of homelessness by attempting to criminalize it passing laws prohibiting camping in public sleeping in public loitering and even sitting in public. the national law center on homelessness and poverty has been tracking the uptick in legislation criminalizing the homeless and found these attempts to be costly and ineffective. our foot soldier this week is doing something very different. liz coleman is a reference librarian at the nashville public library. she began her work as a volunteer with her school in the fifth grade. liz has been working in the nashville public library system for 15 years and has always been impressed how the library caters to their homeless patrons. at its most basic, the library provides a safe warm place with restrooms and outlets so that we
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can can charge their cell phones. liz says librarians instinctively want to help and serve their community. liz started small befriending frequent patron, getting to know their names and stories and making sure there were staff members available to help with basic computer skills and website navigation. her chance to do even more came last year when the administrators of the library decided to remodel, to replace some printed periodicals with more computer space. also through the recently established homelessness advisory committee, liz was able to establish a relationship with nashville metro services. now, once a week the library is visited by a social worker who helps patrons search for housing, get food stamps and access other city services. also once a week a mental health professional visits the library to service homeless patrons and liz points out that the warm welcoming environment of the library helps people otherwise reticent to enter a cold government building more
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likely to receive these essential services. and in the future she hopes to do even more like health screenings, stress reduction, financial counseling, nutrition and even yoga. for the past 25 years, the american library association has had in place a policy urging libraries to grant full access to poor and homeless patrons. but few have put in as much effort as the nashville public library. lines form outside the library in the morning as homeless people wait for the doors to open to the one place where they know they can find warmth safety, entertainment and now the services that can make such a difference in their lives. for looking out for some of our most vulnerable citizens and ensuring that public spaces in fact before the public liz coleman and the staff of the nashville public library are our foot soldiers of the week. and that's our show for today. thank you for watching. see you tomorrow morning, 10:00 a.m. eastern. we have a big show planned. on the one thing that everybody
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seems to be talking about. that's right. race. we're going to talk about it from starbucks to sae to kendrick lamar's new album. but right now, time for a preview of "weekends with alex witt." >>. >> thank you so much melissa. airport attack a man goes after tsa workers with a can of bug spray and a machete. the fallout from the marquis johnson arrest. in what part of the world do people get ready in the morning the fastest? a new article says ikea knows. why the company is so desperate to find out. and how a sewer line upgrade created a gold rush in a california town. don't go anywhere. i'll be right back. hey, girl. is it crazy that your soccer trophy is talking to you right now? it kinda is. it's as crazy as you not rolling over your old 401k. cue the horns... just harness the confidence
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what exactly could be in a final agreement? i'll talk with a nuclear expert about the details. a new move by lawyers for robert durst. they want him released immediately. hear whether that could happen. the fbi's now looking into congressman aaron schock who began with a taxpayer-funded downtownen abbey office could end in something far more serious. style not over it's spring. but that doesn't mean it's the end of wintry weather. the latest on the weekend forecast in minutes. hey, everyone. high noon here in the east. 9:00 a.m. out west. welcome to "weekends with alex witt." new today, secretary of state john kerry saying there's been substantial progress in ongoing nuclear talks with iran but there remain important gaps. the secretary speaking today in switzerland saying the six nations involved in the talks are determined to reach a

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