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tv   The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell  MSNBC  December 29, 2015 7:00pm-8:01pm PST

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under a nearly full moon. about a mile out, the hotel key in your pooler's briefs oddly folded by a freak wave created a pinch that felt like a creature's jaws. i think my favorite moment from mr. harris' dispatches comes when he's descliebing the notable absence from the obama family trip to a local shaved ice shop. quote, flotus was not present, as she rarely seems to enjoy public eating frozen gar richly colored sugar water with little of the mouth appeal that cream brings. he really wrote mouth appeal. mr. harris, for handling his pool duties with such flair, and flipping through this weekend's press reports into the highlight of the work day, you, sir, are the best new thing in the world. and god bless you and your reports' incredible mouth appeal. that does it for us. we'll see you again tomorrow. right now it's time for "the last word" with lawrence
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o'donnell. >> melissa, the white house press corps is going to miss hawaii. >> yes. they were having a good time. >> oh, yeah. it doesn't get better than hawaii. thank you, melissa. >> well, it's the end of the republican party as we know it. according to my first guest, who has seen it all in american politic, but has never seen anything like trump. >> i'm'm here for the iowa stuff. we love the bible. i9's the best. madam president, can you imagine? >> six days before bill clinton is set to campaign for his wife -- >> the republican front-runner said the former president is fair game. >> we're going to go right after the ex-president. >> does this make any sense to you? >> no. >> there was certainly a lot of abuse of women. you look at whether it's monica lewinsky or paula jones. >> this kind of wink, wink, nudge, nudge, about very old news. >> these kind of tactics won't
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work in the general election. >> if i don't win, it would have been a big, fat beautiful waste of time. >> anti-establishment attitude has pull, but does it have longevity? >> to the best of my knowledge, not too many evangelicals come out of cuba. okay? just remember that. >> the republican party that we knew five years ago, ten years ago is not the republican party that's going to come out of this. >> history will remember 2015 as the year when the republican party as we knew it was destroyed by donald trump. an entity called the gop will survive, but it won't be the same. every word came from jew yeen robinson's column today from "t"the washington post."" he just happens to be with us tonight so you'll be hearing more directly from him. in his peaiece he said trump ha given voice to the ugliness and anger that the party has gwynn.
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the establishment might have lost all control. or party leaders may have figured out some way to defeat him, in which case they lose the base. tonight in iowa, donald trump, as usual, told his audience what they want to hear. and in time, he was actually talking about his audience. >> my crowds are the senatorest peop zsh sma -- smartest people. they like to say well, you know, they're lower this, lower that. oh, they're disgusting. >> here's what we know about the crowds that trump calls the smartest people. 66% of them believe president obama is muslim. 61% of them believe president obama is not an r a u.s.
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citizen. they're very, very wrong about those two things. and those two thingsn't the trump audience explain the most important things you need to know about the rise of donald trump. joining us now, as promised, eugene robinson. also tom davis, former republican congressman from virginia. and joy reid, msnbc national correspondent. okay, gene, you have the floor. make your case about how this is the end of the gop as we know it. it's gone. >> my case is, don't know what's going to happen in 2016, but we kind of know what happened in 2015. we may not believe it, but we know what we saw. and what we saw was donald trump, you know, driving a truck bomb into the middle of the republican party. it is there a now a chasm between trump's part of the republican base, his 30%, 35%, whatever it is, of the republican base and the party
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establishment with a whole bunch of people kind of in the middle trying to figure out what's going on. i don't see how they put that back together and come out with a republican party that we all have known for many years. they can come out with a party, and a lot of people will be in it. and it will decide it stands for something. and will get itself back together at some point, but it won't be the same party. because i think that coalition has been exploded essentially. >> tom davis, your reaction to gene's theory about the future of your party? >> well, you know, i chaired the house republican campaign committee two cycles, and the parties have been evolving for some time. states like arkansas, west virginia, you can go through -- it used to be rock solid democratic, the grassroots are solidly republican. as that's happened, you have a different group of republicans entering into the picture. and now they tend to be
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dominateding the country throughout the primaries. i don't know that i would write the death nel for the republican party, but i agree with you, it's a different party. but by introducing new player, we'll see how this evolves once it gets through the primaries. one thing you have to remember is the propensity of americans not re-elect presidential party for a third term. five of the last six game thymes since world war ii that's been attempted, it hasn't happened. so it's a long way to go in this, but donald trump has certainly introduced and caught a wave at this point. and we don't know how it's going to end. >> joy reid, gene in his column asks this question, can you picture the trump legions meekly falling in line behind jeb bush or senator marco rubio? >> yeah, in a word, no. and this has been one of the courses of my kind of lonely rubio skepticism over the last year as establishment republican after establishment republican -- and a lot of
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democrats, by the way -- keep trying to convince me that somehow marco rubio will become the nominee of the party. and the two questions i typically ask is okay, which two states in a row does he win out of the first four or five. and secondly, how is it that you get a party base that is dead set against immigration reform and for whom immigration reform is the symbol of their own party's fecklessness and failure, the idea that their party elites are telling them that they must be for immigration reform, otherwise they're simply wrong or bad people or not smart enough to understand why this is good for the party, that they've been lectured on immigration reform all this time and they still say no. and how they're going to turn around and say okay, we decided the guy we would like to go ahead and nominate and support is the guy who did immigration reform. i don't get it. and so i think, yeah, the republican party had an inflection point in 2009 when they could have gone with the forces in their party who said we need to sort of reform
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ourselves in terms of demographics in order to compete with the party that elected the first black president or we need to go with the forces of rejection. they made a decision to go with the rejectionists and they're stuck with it. >> historically, the way you get that voter, that republican voter to night who hates marco rubio to vote for marco rubio in the general election are the words hillary clinton. or the name of whoever the democratic nominee is. the democratic nominee is always going to be worse. and so they are making that lesser of two evils choice that they've made many times in the past. they did it with romney. if you listen to the way rush limbaugh went after romney before romney was the nominee, you would think it impossible for the rush limbaugh listeners to vote for the party. and he came around as he always does and went with the establishment nominee in in case. >> yeah, but i have never seen a time in any recent election, or any election, when you had essentially more than half of
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republican primary voters saying they want a candidate who has never been elected to public office, and right now, i think it's up to about 2/3 if you put trump and cruz and carson together with the fiorina's few votes who want somebody who's never been elected of anything, or somebody who's made a career of alienating the republican establishment. in fact, it's a pretty wholesale rejection of the party leadership that the likes of which i haven't seen before. so i don't know if there is an antecedent, i don't know if there's an actual election we can look back on. and furthermore, if you look at -- you know, the republican party have won a lot of elections on the congressional level, on the state level. control a lot of state houses, both houses of congress, yet their ability to be a governing coalition anywhere is to say the least compromised now.
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they can't quite agree on what to do and how to do it. immigration is just one issue. there are lots of other issues. national security is another issue that's starting to divide the party. i mean, it is -- there's going to have to be some reshaping. and some rededication to a set of principles that seem to not exist for the republican party right now. >> well, yeah. gene, the historical question that your column posed today was basically, can we think of a time where the general election voter in one party, democrat or republican, had to travel so far from where they began in the primary to where they were going to have to go in the general election to cast their vote. and i thought about it for a while and i ended up with 168. when you think of the gene mccarthy vote, which was an anti-war, anti-lbj, anti-democratic administration vote within the democratic party, that was the angriest primary vote i think we've maybe seen in our lifetime.
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and the idea in the general election, what they were going to have to do was to go all the way over to hubert humphrey to vote for someone who's been part of this war machine in the white house, that that's where the peace vote was going to have to go, and where they went largely. and think about what happened to democratic primary voters over the course of that primary. bobby kennedy, possibly at the point when he was on his way to the nomination was assassinated. how was a bobby kennedy voter going to make their way all the way over to hubert humphrey, but most of them did. >> but not enough of them. who won that election? the final analysis, the democrats didn't really succeed in putting it all bhagsive back together again in time for the election. you know, maybe the republicans will pull off the trick this
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time. but it doesn't feel like a year as republicans traditionally do, are going to fall in line. they seem to want to fall in love this time around. >> tom davis, go ahead. >> i was going to say, humphrey almost closed it with that bombing halt in the closing days. it was a three-way race making it even more complicated. but the trouble for republicans at this point is the establishment wing, and if you want to claim the anti-establishment wing, they're so divided in terms of their visions of the country, makes it very hard, even with hillary clinton. but trump has introduced a whole new group in the i electric rat. the test is going to be can they hold it together at the same time, hold their more moderate establishment base which has a completely different world view. it will be a real test at this point. >> if we use the 1968 model, the establishment figure that was bioengineering the hubert humphrey nomination was the president of the united states who was deciding he wasn't going to run for reelection.
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but you still had coming out of the lyndon johnson white house, a tide that continued to bind this sort of hard scrabble coalition of democrats together, which was that civil rights legacy, which was something to hold on to for liberal democrats. for republicans right now, the establishment, such as it is, is an elected group of politicians who promised them that the one thing that they were going to do if you empowered them and gave them the congress, which is that they were going to stop barack obama, they were going to defeat him, that promise was made over and over again. but these same politicians were able to pull that off. they were unable to stop thelt healthcare. they have continued in the minds of these voters who essentially lie to those voters. to say they were going to give them things they never could and never would, on social issue, on health care reform, on and on and on. so the war is against them. this is unprecedented because the war in the base of the republican party is not just against barack obama. it's against the very establishment leadership of their own party.
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>> you maid the point that the out party at this point dislikes the in so much that this could unite the republicans, just wanting a change from the democrats and hillary clinton. the test will be, will that be enough to bring these people onboard. a lot of this will be how trump handles this if he doesn't get the nomination. do leaders come together or not? it's a big test. >> tom davis, thank you very much for joining us tonight. really appreciate it. >> coming up, donald trump versus bill clinton. and history is being made this week in iran where the first time in almost a decade where iran now no longer has enough enriched euranium for a nuclear weapon. and police in brussels make an arrest in a new year's eve terror plot that authorities say was intended to be in the same style as the paris attacks. when you've got a house
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>> a syrian isil-based member who was a direct link to the paris cell attack leader. we killed him on december 24 in syria. he was actively planning additional attack against the west. >> the u.s. military says that targeted air strike against isis in syria and iraq have killed ten isis leaders in lust just the last month. on sunday night and monday, islamic terrorists killed 52 people and injured 124. but we have not heard one word of reaction about that from our presidential candidates because the attacks were prompted by boko haram in nigeria. the attacks came just days after the president of lie jeer yeah said the war against boko haram
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was won and that boko haram was no longer capable of carrying out such attacks. a nurse at one of the three hospitals that treated the wounded said that they were so overwhelmed with patients that many of them had to be cared for in the maternity ward. needless to say, if such an islamic terror attack had taken place anywhere in europe or in north america, you would be hearing a bit more about it. in brussels, security has been fightened after two men were arrested for allegedly planning a series of coordinated terror attacks over the new year holiday. authorities say targets included the police headquarters and the grand market, the city's largest tourist attraction. authorities described the planned attacks as in the same style as the attacks in paris. but they have no evidence yet of a specific connection to those attacks. coming up later, tonight's last word goes to a man whose life story is truly inspirational. he will join me here in our
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and it's working moms everywhere who inspired us to work harder. so we made our banquet meals even better. with mashed potatoes now made with real cream and chicken strips with 100% natural chicken breast. so now, there's more to love with banquet. now serving... a better banquet. donald trump continued his campaign against the clinton who is not running for president today on "the today show." >> there was certainly a lot of abuse of women. and ewe look at kwl whether it's monica lewinsky or any of them, if to they play the women's card to me that will be fair game. >> ruth marcus finds herself for once in agreement with donald trump. her latest headline, trump is
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right -- bill clinton's sordid sexual history is fair game. ruth marcus writes that donald trump, quote, deployed a weapon that none of clinton's democratic opponents, past or present, has dared to mention. he played the bill card. bill clinton had a successful presidency with an ugly blot. sexism isn't the precise word for his predatory behavior towards women or his inexcusable relationship with a 22-year-old intern. yet in the larger scheme of things, bill clinton's conduct towards women is far worse than any of the offensive things that trump has said. trump has smeared women because of their looks, clinton has preyed on them and in a work place setting where he was by far the superior. that is uncomfortable for clinton supporters, but it is unavoidably true. joining us now, hillary clinton supporter, former texas state senator wendy davis. also back with us, eugene robinson and joy reid. wendy davis, what is your reaction to ruth marcus' take on
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this, that what trump is saying about bill clinton is relevant. >> i don't know that she's saying it's relevant as much as she's saying it's fair game. you have to go back to exactly what donald trump said. he said if they play the woman card on me, this is what i'm going to do. and it's a tactic that he uses fairly successfully on the republican side of the ledger right now, where he kind of bullies his way into quieting the negative discourse of his opponents in the primary. but hillary clinton is not going to back down to that kind of bullying. and i think she's going to very evgtively point out some key differences between her and him, if he does make it to the general election with regard to their support or lack thereof for women. he wants to roll back women's reproductive rights. he doesn't support increasing the minimum wage which, of course, impacts about 2/3 of minimum wage workers are women.
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so a dramatic number of women. and he hasn't said that he would support equal pay for equal work. these are all things that matter deeply to women in america. and i know that hillary clinton isn't going to back down for a second in making sure that people understand the distinct difference between him and her and how they will govern if they're sitting in that oval office. >> let's listen to what ann lewis with the clinton campaign said about this today. >> if donald trump thinks that the way to the presidency for him is to do this kind of wink, wink, nudge, nudge, about very old news, that everybody already knows about, i happen to think he's mistaken. hillary clinton will not be bullied. she will not step aside or let him get away with these comments. >> joy reid, they would be lucky if donald trump was doing wink, wifr wink, nudge, nudge. he is very, very clear and
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blatant about what he's talking about. >> that's about as wink, wifrpg, nudge, nudge, as a punch in the face republicans, whether they're donald trump or not, understand that hillary clinton has a potential significant advantage with women voters in exploiting the gender gap to its maximum advantage and doing potentially better with, for instance, married white women, independent women, than barack obama did, which would stretch a democratic demographic advantage that's already there. so, of course, it's in the interest of republicans to find a way to dissuade her from pressing that advantage by running explicitly on the idea of the aspirations of women being fulfilled through his candidacy. so i get it. and this attempt to bully her into not using the quote, unquote, woman card, i guess makes sense from a procedural standpoint. but if you're donald trump, with his history with women, his record. you may not know the clintons very well if you don't think they're going to remind e6r7b who will listen to them of
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everything that donald trurp has done that could be scandalous or scandalized. he's the wrong guy to try that tactic. >> let's listen to what donald trump said tonight at his rally and how much he just doesn't like the sounds of the word, madam president. >> listen, madam president, can you imagine? believe me, women -- if it's got to be a woman which i'm all in favor of some day -- it shouldn't be hillary. it shouldn't be. it shouldn't be hillary. >> eugene, he's all in favor of a woman president some day -- >> someday. and he just can't get over the sound of that, madam president. but's all in favor of it someday. look, hillary clinton obviously is going to press whatever advantage she has with women voters. she's going to use that to the max if she happens to run
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against donald trump in the general election. and he'll have to deal with that, and he'll probably deal with it in his typical sort of, you know, punch in the face way. my sense is that the voters out there who are not going to vote for hillary clinton because of things that bill clinton did in the past are already showing up in the polls as not supporting hillary clinton. i don't think a lot of minds are going to be changed by this. >> donald trump more than the rest of them have a big deficit in terms of the women vote. and i don't see what donald trump is doing to change anything about that? >> he certainly isn't doing anything to change it favorably. if anything at all, he's just piling on. and they're going to be captured by their own rhetoric. there's so much that they're talking about in their primary
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debates right now that is against the interests of women in this country. they try to come back to said they were supporting things about how they're supporting women in this country. . >> negligent homicide charges in the killing of 12-year-old tamir rice. that's coming up. (vo) some call it giving back. we call it share the love. during our share the love event, get a new subaru, and we'll donate $250 to those in need. bringing our total donations to over sixty-five million dollars. and bringing love where it's needed most.
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comcast business. built for business. >> history is being made this week. i don't mean in iowa or new hampshire by our presidential candidates. yesterday a ship set off from iran across the kcaspian sea carrying low and enriched ewe rain yum materials. this is president obama's iran deal in action. . the deal calls for them to get rid of that material and so far iran is complying with the terms of the deal. this is history in real time. if this deal works, it will not only eliminate the possibility of iran being a nuclear power,
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but it could be the beginning of a change in how the united states confronts other complex issues in the region. joining us now is a former state department specialist under president's george w. bush and bill clip ton. s -- clinton. she's president of a consulting firm. what's your reaction to the progress so far under the iran deal and that uranium deal moving out on schedule as agreed to in the deal? >> it is an incredibly important step. and vital validation for president obama's strategy. one that he introduced to the american public literally on the campaign trail in 2008 to distinguish himself, not just from his republican opponent, but also from establishment democrats here in washington. he had been against the invasion of iraq and he had a different way to deal with problems. he wasn't going to bomb his way out of them. he was going to negotiate his way out of them, use strategically grounded
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diplomatic engagement. he did that very successfully so far with iran and today really marks the most concrete manifestation of the payoff for his strategy. he's done it with cue yeah and climate change with china. this will have historic payoff for the united states. >> i'm struck by the silence of the critics of the iran deal. it's what i expected. as the deal goes into place, people will actually silently at least accept it more and more. iran won't comply from the start. here we have that ship leaving i rain as required by the deal. an absolute silence from the critics. >> it's really an incredible transformation in the debate, the rhetoric here in washington.
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it wasn't just critics of the deal. even president obama's chief negotiator with the iranians, when she first started along this road to negotiate with the iranians, before she had met them, it was just the idea that we would go forward. many of us who negotiated with the iranians in the wake of 9/1 1, what many of us found out is it's not about trusting them. it's about negotiating with people who are very well educated, very serious and very determined to build their country and their system. they delivered for us in if afghanistan and al qaeda right after 9/11 and now on the nuclear issue. but the transformation in the debate and the rhetoric has been stunning. and i give president obama and
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secretary kerry tremendous credit for transforming the rhetoric. >> i found this use of the word trust in the whole discussion to be overemphasized. of course it isn't based on trust. that's why you have all these verification procedures. we don't trust people to pay their taxes. that's why we have all these income verification procedures, even basically honorable we say well, you're going to have to prove it. show us this document. and this deal is all about verification procedures. >> it is one of the most intrusive monitoring mechanisms ever set up. it will have -- monitors were in iran beforehand. there was a kind of misunderstanding that iran was just going on its own, building its nuclear program.
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this will give the monitoring inspection really intrusive rights inside of iran. we will have very early warning if iran deviates. it's an absolute win-win for us. there was never any evidence that iran had nuclear weapons or were building nuclear weapons. despite what the critics said. and, you know, we've just -- we've come out of a real mess. president obama took us off the path toward another disastrous war in the middle east, and we have all won for it. >> thank you for joining us to discuss this history in the making. thank you very much. >> thank you. >> coming up, we have breaking news a cleveland city councillor says he will call for negligent homicide charges in the killing of tamir rice. whatcha doin?
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a grand jury declined to indict two officers involved in the shootding. here's how tim mcginnty justified the shooting. >> by close examination, especially of what is perhaps the most critical piece of evidence, a very recent enhancement of the surveillance video by an expert laboratory often relied upon by the nib fb it's indisputable that tamir was drawing the gun toward them as the officer exited his car. believing he was going to be shot was a mistaken, yet reasonable belief in his police training. he had reason to fear for his life. it would be unresponsible and unreasonable if the law required a police officer to wait and see if the gun was real. >> joining us now a former state and federal prosecutor and currently a professor of law at
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cleveland state university. joy reid is also back with us. >> professor, what is your reaction to this suggestion tonight by a cleveland city councillor that perhaps this is a case of negligent homicide then a perhaps that should be pursued. >> urnd the ohio codified ordinance and revised code, for a negligent homicide charge, there has to be a breach for a duty of care. the negligent term kicks in and the analysis will be whether these officers had a duty of care that was breached. thus they would lead to some sort of analysis of negligence gone wrong. and here, the question is going to be, the analysis is going to be whether or not the officers had a duty of care over an actual suspect that they perceived at the time to be committing a crime. it was police officers doing their job and a perceived crime being committed. we know in hind set that the gun
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was fake and a toy. and a tragedy definitely occurred. that's the analysis that will be concluded and conducted to determine whether or not the negligence term and the statute is really going to take effect. >> and joy reid, it seems to me that the place where you might focus the negligence is actually in the police vehicle's approach to tamir rice. the distance of that weapon, about surrendering that weapon, lying down, instead of speeding right up to him so that there was absolutely no decision-making time available to the officer who seems very quickly, very eflexively shot him in a way the district attorney found to be justifiable once he was right on top of him like that. >> well, you know, lawrence, the challenge i think would be --
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because i think what you said is true you can make the case that the four to five minutes in which tamir rice lay on the ground, he was not yet dead. he died in the hospital later, but no aid was rendered by any of the officers standing over him. it took an fbi agent who happened to be on the scene to even attempt to repder aid to the child as he was lie on the ground. you could make a case perhaps if there had been an attempt to render medical aid maybe, you know, perhaps in some miracle he could have survived. but the problem is that we' seen in other case, and i'm thinking about the eric garner case, even if everything that officers loehmann and garnback did in approaching tamir rice violated department policy, police train, violated the way officers are told to respond to situations where there is a person with a potential firearm, we've seen that that does not necessarily result in prosecutions or this minimal standard of finding probable cause, particularly
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when the prosecutor -- in this case prosecutor mcginnty -- has telegraphed every way that i think he knows how that he himself does not believe that anything criminal was done. and remember, a judge this summer gave a range of options of charges that the judge believed there was probable cause to find that went all the way down to negligence. he decided he would use a grand jury to get a result that he clearly preferred and that he recommended to the grand jury, which was no charges at all of any kind. >> professor, can you give us a quick guided tour of the lesser manslaughter charges that might apply in this case. >> sure, the manslaughter charge, voluntary manslaughter in ohio requires a heat of the passion type of a crime, a reactionary crime in a fit of range. so it clearly wouldn't apply here. there was no provocation sufficient for a fit of range to apply. involuntary manslaughter requires some sort of
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negligent -- i'm sorry, some sort of ability to accidentally cause the de of another. based on potentially a felony occurring or some other crime being committed. so if i were to be assaulting you with a baseball bat and i eventually accidentally, i guess, caused your death with that assault, the felony assault and involuntary manslaughter could be a charge that could be considered. really the two charges that i think the prosecutor potentially could have presented and asked the grand jury to return an indictment on could have been aggravated murder or murder. when the victim is under 13 years old, there's mo premeditation requirement. so that would have applied where the aggravated murder statute could have been asked for which is a life sentence, which is convicted. murder in itself would just be causing the death of another willfully. so those who charges would have been the most common, the most
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common sense call ones to ask for. now we hear the option of negligent homicide, which we know judge adrian recommended and found probable cause at least for in his opinion. and it might be considered by the local prosecutor, the municipal prosecutor. so we'll see what happens. >> thank you boit for joth for s tonight. >> thank you, lawrence. >>. co-ing up, an extraordinary man with an inspirational story that's inspiring others and he's doing it with the #livedit. i am a lot of things. i am his sunshine. i am his advocate. so i asked about adding once-daily namenda xr to his current treatment for moderate to severe alzheimer's. it works differently. when added to another alzheimer's treatment, it may improve overall function and cognition. and may slow the worsening of symptoms for a while. vo: namenda xr doesn't change how the disease progresses. it shouldn't be taken by anyone allergic to memantine, or who's had a bad reaction to namenda xr or its ingredients.
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>> the last word goes to someone i met on twitter and now you and i both are going to meet him on tv. that's next. company says they'll only paye three quarters of what it takes to replace it. what are you supposed to do? drive three quarters of a car? now if you had liberty mutual new car replacement, you'd get your whole car back. i guess they don't want you driving around on three wheels. smart. with liberty mutual new car replacement, we'll replace the full value of your car. see car insurance in a whole new light. liberty mutual insurance. want bladder leak underwear that try always discreet underwear and move, groove, wiggle, giggle, swerve, curve. lift, shift, ride, glide, hit your stride. only always discreet underwear has soft dual leak guard barriers to help stop leaks where they happen most and a discreet fit that hugs your curves, you barely feel it. always discreet underwear so bladder leaks can feel like no big deal.
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because hey, pee happens. get your free pair and valuable coupons at always discreet.com ♪ (vo) some call it giving back. we call it share the love. during our share the love event, get a new subaru, and we'll donate $250 to those in need. bringing our total donations to over sixty-five million dollars. and bringing love where it's needed most. love. it's what makes a subaru, a subaru. >> tonight's last word will come from a man who is my dream come true. i started kids in need of desks five years ago to build desks in
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malawi with workers in malawi to deliver them to schools where students have never seen desked. we added a component to attend high school where public high school is not free and the girl's graduation rate is half the boy's graduation rate. i told you last night about a man after i discovered hi tweet aefr the christmas weekend. his tweet said lawrence, i admire the work you've done with the k.i.n.d. fund. i have witnessed classes with no desks and dusty. i will donate. #livedit. i clicked on his twitter handle to learn more about him. then we got him on the phone yesterday and learned more about him. he grew up in kenya walking five mimes a day to his primary school and he did that barefoot. those of you who have listened to me talk about the african villages that i discovered won't be surprised to discover he got his first pair of shoes in the ninth grade.
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kathy schnell tweeted, this inspires me. we are a global family. he #livedit. donating to the k.i.n.d. fund. i want to correct something. you corrected for us immediately after the show. last night, i said your ph.d. was in math. your ph.d. is actually in education. >> doctorate of education. >> and you teach in california? >> yes. >> tell us your story about what got you through primary school, walking those five miles every day barefoot. how did you keep doing it? so many kids drop out in that situation. >> persistence. and the teachers that i met and my parents. they helped me to understand that education is everything. and therefore, waking up and walking to school every day, i knew that that's the only way i
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was going to be able to leave that village and change my family. i changed myself. and you have that challenge. how do you go to high school. >> the most important thing to do was do well in that exam. and if you do that, there's a chance for a scholarship. >> we're showing pictures you gave us of the school you went to. >> yes. those are the desks. >> that's the exterior of the school. >> that's my primary school. >> if you hadn't won that scholarship to go to high school, would you still be in the village? where do you think your life would be now? >> there's a very good chance my life would have been different. there's a very good chance that i will not be in the united states today. and therefore really getting
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that chance was very important. it changed my life. my children did not have to go through what i went through. so you then went to university in nairobi. you graduated there. then when did you come to the united states? >> i come to the united states in june 1999. and the year 2000, i was lucky enough to get a job in the school district where i walked since up to today. >> public schoolteacher? >> public school, yes. >> teaching math mostly? >> yes. >> and you're now dean of students. >> dean of students. there's always ways to improve any school you work in. but you must think back to the first school that you were in,
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sit on the floor there in kenya and think about anticipate how different it is and how much we take for granted here. >> everyone always thinks you can get some more, but what the students i'm teaching every singling day here, what they have is much, much, much more than what kids in africa or in kenya or in malawi have access to. anywhere in the united states, take what you have, work hard, be persistent, and you can be whatever you want to be. >> well, thank you for your contribution to lastworddesks.msnbc.com. i have to get in a plug there. you have inspired so many other people to give. we're going to be talking about the new totals that have come in. but a couple of your kids are with us tonight, alfred and naima. can you come over for the last
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minute of the show here. you know what i think alfred, great to meet you. real pleasure. naima, nice to meet you. every parent is always saying to their kids, you know, back when i was a kid, i had it kind of tough. i had it tougher than you. we didn't have two cars. but what about his story, alfred? when he tells you, you're lucky to have shoes, how does that feel? >> i mean, every now and then you kind of take it as a joke. but then seeing how hard he works and continues to work, you kind of take it upon yourself to push yourself to kind of make the same kind of drive that you want to have. >> naima i met girls your age in malawi who are using now the desks that we've gotten into those schools. and it's always powerful for kids in america to see that imagery because otherethere's s we take for granted in our schools here. what's it like for you to know
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that there's a long way, long before i started talking about it, you knew there was a whole other way kids were going to school in this world. >> i've always >> well, you're going to go far if you keep it up that way. thank you all very much for joining us tonight. really, really appreciate it. thank you very much. that's "the last word" for tonight. public but where tension escalates every day. >> nth

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