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tv   MSNBC Live  MSNBC  March 27, 2012 11:00am-12:00pm EDT

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anti-marriage equality group tried to fan the hostility between blacks and gays to divide two key democratic groups. the group also targeted hispanics hoping they would join the backlash against lgbt rights. we'll get on the record with that today. good morning. i'm thomas roberts. topping the agenda, it is the super bowl of supreme court cases. justices are hearing arguments for and against the individual mandate, the most debated and most divisive piece of the president's health care law. advocates on both sides are out in full force in front of the supreme court. and the justices are debating the issue. -- health insurance. there's a tax penalty to anyone who fails to purchase coverage beginning in 2013. amy howe is a partner at goldstein and russell and an ed store at scotus blog. she's argued before the supreme court, has been listening to the first hour of arguments this morning.
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amy, are the justices right now remaining poker faced as they have these proceedings, or are we seeing one or two leading the discussion a certain way? >> well, we've seen a lot of questions from the four of the court's more conservative justices. we've seen very few questions from the so-called liberal justices. and the ones that they have asked have been largely friendly questions. so it's a good news/bad news scenario, i would say, for the people who support the legislation because it's clear that they have four votes to uphold the individual mandate, but it's not clear yet whether or not they're going to be able to get that much needed fifth vote. >> amy, what have been the key arguments given in court so far this morning? >> so the solicitor general who is the government's top lawyer before the supreme court has been the only one to go during the first half of the argument. there's two hours of argument, and he has an hour. and his argument centers around the fact that everyone the
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government's argument goes is going to need health insurance at some point in his or her life. and all that this does is regulate when you buy health insurance. they say that even the other side agrees that congress could require everyone to buy health insurance. so it's just a question of timing. and then the other main point that the government's argument is that the health insurance market, the failure to buy health insurance, has a significant effect on interstate commerce because when someone needs health care and can't afford it, that cost gets shifted to the health insurance industry, to the providers and to the rest of us who buy health insurance. >> amy, one thing that we're hearing and we're showing as we speak to you is the amount of activity that's taking place outside of the supreme court. and we haven't seen activity like this since bush versus gore. there are groups rallying, chanting, holding news conferences. is there any sign, amy, that the justices are aware of the circus that's presently going on outside, or are they totally
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isolated, focused on the task at hand? >> i am certain that they are aware of the circus. the circus has been here since the early morning hours. it was here yesterday. so they would have certainly seen it coming and going from the building. and some of their chambers overlook the plaza where a lot of this activity is going on. but i think that they are not going to let it certainly affect their decision-making. they're going to hunker down and figure out what they think about the legislation and act accordingly. >> amy howe, we'll let you go back inside. amy's with scotusblog. thanks for the time. >> thanks for inviting me. donna christensen represents the virgin islands in the house of representatives, and she's also a board-certified physician, the first woman doctor in congress and joins us this morning. congresswoman, it's nice to have you here. i want to highlight a financial figure from "the washington post," there's $116 billion in health care costs for the uninsured in the year 2008. now, if the individual mandate or the medicare expansion is overturned by the supreme court,
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how much would it hurt this country financially in the short term, and then give us the long-term projection as well. >> well, it would absolutely hurt this country in the short term and in the long term because we see how the costs of health care is skyrocketing. it's already 17% of gdp. and it also affects families who pay on an average of $1,000 just for people who are not getting -- who are not insured d receiving health care. so we're all paying for it in one way or another. the costs of our health care is high already. and increasing. and the costs the country is great, and it's unsustainable in the long term. >> i want to play some sound that we got, remarks that we're hearing from today and from yesterday, but this is from a woman in front of the court from yesterday. take a listen. >> last week we celebrated the second anniversary of this law, and we are reminded today what a great victory it was for women and their families.
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>> to those legislators who oppose the law, we would ask the question, what would you put in place to approve health care quality, expand coverage or curb the rise of health care costs? >> congresswoman, women's health care has been a big focus of what we've been seeing in the gop primary. but as we talk specifically about this -- and i want to speak to you as a physician and someone who's supported this law as well about what it's going to mean for women's health if all or if parts of it were to go away. >> well, we would not be able to get that preventive care without a co-pay. the free preventive care, the mammograms and breast cancer is a major cause of death. and first of all, many women would not be insured. women pay now an average of 50% more for insurance coverage than men do. that will go away if we keep this law. if it doesn't, women will continue to be charged more for insurance. preexisting conditions for women include things like having a
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c-section or being a victim of domestic violence. this bill would make that go away because in 2014, all women and all adults would be eligible for insurance even if they have a preexisting condition. if this bill goes away, those things continue to exist. and women will be precluded from having insurance just because they had a c-section or who were a victim of violence. there's so many things that are -- people are enjoying already, the lifetime limits that would go away with this law that are programmed to go away would come back on women again. and you know, we take care of families. having the ability to keep our children on our insurance until age 26 is very important to us. i had to let my daughter go as soon as she finished college. being able to take care of our children and have them insured if they have asthma or diabetes like so many children are having or in african-american
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communities sickle cell. those things are really important to women. but the costs to women will continue to go up. the preventive care that we now are able to get without a co-pay, that will go away. we'll have to be finding the money to get a mammogram, to get a pap smear. >> congresswoman, you make great points. we're going to let you go and get back to work. thank you for your time. >> thank you, thomas. republican presidential candidates could not resist the urge to weigh in on this case, one making it all the way to the court's front steps. >> there are a lot of reasons not to like obamacare. an extra trillion dollars of spending. we were told it would be an extra trillion. now we're being told by the cbo it's more like $2 trillion. some 30% of employers in america say that when it goes into effect, they will drop their employee coverage. >> there is one candidate who is uniquely disqualified to make the case. that's the reason i'm here and he's not. >> we welcome in our political power panel this morning, bob shrum, democratic strategist and
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senior adviser to the kerry/edwards campaign. and chip saltsman, manager for the huckabee presidential campaign. good to have you here. chip, mitt romney, his opponents trying to use the supreme court case to capitalize on what might be their last chance to link the president's and romney's health care plans. mitt romney way ahead in delegates in the polls, is this really going to have an impact? >> i think it can have somewhat of an impact, but i think romney's done a good job talking about the failures of obamacare, the extra spending, what it would do to small businesses and states. i think he's gotten out in front of this. i think it's been obvious from the beginning whether service senator santorum or speaker gingrich or rick perry when they were in the race and herman cain, they were going to attack romney on his health care plan.e well talking about the ills of obamacare. >> a "new york times" poll shows 51% disapprove, nearly four in
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ten want the entire law overturned. the supreme court says they'll rule this summer. no matter how this law turns out, isn't this a political problem for the white house in an election year? >> first of all, if it gets overturned, republicans will wish they hadn't tried to do it because when you remove the ban on preexisting conditions so that people can get insurance whether they have preexisting conditions or not, that's supported by 82% of the people in that poll. if you remove the ban on lifetime limits, if you suddenly tell millions of young people they can't stay on their parents' health insurance, republicans are going to be in trouble in part because they have no alternative to this law. combine that with the reagan -- reagan -- ryan proposal to destroy medicare as we know it and health care under those circumstances, i think, would be an iru that would help democrats. i certainly hope the court doesn't overturn the law. i think it would be a national tragedy. and i'm struck by the fact that republicans oppose activist judges and oppose judicial activism except when it does something they like.
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witness bush v. gore which i lived through and where i think the supreme court disgraced itself. >> so chip, as we talk about this, the dirty word for so many people in this debate is the word "mandate," but there are civil rights laws under mandate. you know, some are drug laws, virmal restrictions for businesses. and people really support as bob is pointing out key pieces of this law like care for individuals with the preexisting conditions. so is this more about the mandate s on republicans disagreeing? >> i think it's how the federal government has done this program. when you say han date from the federal government, you don't usually think of daffodils and rainbows. you think of bad things coming down the pike, adding trillions to the budge. i think republicans have a great opportunity when the supreme court, as i hope they do, rules this unconstitutional. we're not asking for activist judges, we're asking for judges to rule on the constitution which most people think this law is unconstitutional. when that happens, i think republicans have a great opportunity to talk about what they're for with health care.
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talking about all the things that they've been doing over the years. if we do that, we'll come out with a big win this summer. >> as we know, health care was a longtime dream of the late senator ted kennedy who worked tirelessly and also worked closely with mitt romney to get massachusetts law on the book. what do you think he'd make of the political powder keg this issue has become? >> he was pretty realistic about politics and what was going to happen. romney and that figure about adding a trillion dollars to federal spending, this bill actually helps contain health care costs. this is another lie republicans want to put out there and repeat over and over again like rationing or death panels, hoping they get it through. the fact of the matter is, that this law, you know, and chip talks about mandates and you don't think of good things when you hear federal mandates. well, chip, i do because before we mandated it, we had segregated lunch counters all over -- no, chip, i didn't interrupt you. we had segregated lunch counters all over this country. the supreme court upheld the civil rights law on the ground that even small local diners
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impacted interstate commerce because, for example, they purchases ketchup. now, i think that rationale is a very strong rationale, and i am proud that the united states supreme court in the 1960s upheld the civil rights laws. i hope this supreme court follows precedent instead of throwing it out the door which politically they did in 2000 in bush v. gore, in which they did in citizens united just a couple of years ago. >> midway through the arguments with the supreme court. we shall see. bob and chip, gentlemen, thanks so much. they killed my son. and now they're trying to kill his reputation. >> trayvon martin's parents react to new reports about their son, possible leaks from the police department as they take their fight for justice all the way to capitol hill. tebow mania hits the big apple and the new jets quarterback gets his first new york city close-up. how excited is tebow to be here? find out coming up. c'mon dad! i'm here to unleash my inner cowboy. instead i got heartburn.
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trayvon is gone. he will not be returning to us. even in death, they are still disrespecting my son, and i feel that that's a shame. >> the only comment that i have right now is that they've killed my son, and now they're trying to kill his reputation. >> really powerful words there from trayvon martin's parents defending their son before a meeting of sanford city commissioners. that city's police department is being blamed for leaking information that blames trayvon, not the shooter, george zimmerman, for a life-and-death struggle that cut short the 17-year-old's life. as the outcry over their son's death grows, martin's parents today will take their fight from the streets of sanford to the steps of capitol hill. there, they are expected to attend a briefing on hate crimes, racial profiling and states. stand your ground laws as well.
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house speaker john boehner weighing in on this case just moments ago. >> listen, our hearts go out to his family over this tragedy, and clearly what happened is, in fact, a tragedy. it's being investigated by state and federal officials which i think is appropriate. and i think i'll leave it at that. >> congresswoman frederica wilson who represents martin's district took to the house floor again today with her sign which shows the number of days since trayvon died. congresswoman wilson calling it the number of days a killer has been at large. joining me this morning is florida congresswoman corinne brown who will take part in today's house briefing. congresswoman, as we talk about more of the news about what today's briefing is going to be coming up in a minute, i do want to start with what police reportedly told "the orlando sentinel," that trayvon threw the first punch in an altercation with zimmerman, that he climbed on zimmerman's back, he slammed zimmerman's head into the sidewalk leaving him battered and bloody. congresswom
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congresswoman, why do you think this is being put out there now? >> first of all, can you give me the name of who leaked this information? you know, i spent about three hours with the police department in sanford. and i was very, very disappointed with every aspect of the investigation. every single aspect. and so i have asked that the federal government do an independent investigation on how they have handled it and whether or not the police department have participated in a cover-up. because it was clear to me from the fact that you took someone's word, but you didn't do a lie detector test. you didn't do a drug test. you didn't do a test to find out whether or not that person had been drinking alcohol. you didn't secure the crime scene. i mean, clearly you didn't secure the clothes. i mean, it is unbelievable how this has been handled. so we need independent people to
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come in and verify what has happened. and so i don't want to deal with that. i think it's probable cause to arrest a person and then let's go to a trial and clearly let's get everything on the table through an independent verification. what we have here today in washington, we're going to review hate crimes and profiling of black males. and i've asked for this forum to be held here in washington. >> congresswoman -- >> but to tell me something about the sanford police department when i feel that they personally have handled this the way they have handled other matters in this community which is unacceptable, and we are asking for an independent review of how the sanford police department have handled this. i can't say the same about the mayor. i think he's come up to the
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plate as far as we've had the 911 tapes released. >> right. >> and clearly, they show a different side than what the police department have released and what the shooter has said as to what occurred. >> congresswoman -- >> but let's get the facts on the table. >> congresswoman, this is something you're obviously very passionate and very angry about in trying to seek justice and answers for trayvon martin and his family. and his parents are going to be on capitol hill today. why is it important to have them there? what do you hope to accomplish by having them speak out? >> we are looking at another aspect of it. we are looking at profiling and hate crimes. and the role that the justice department can play because i'm very concerned that a lot of the evidence has been tainted. when you look at it locally, for the fact is i had a meeting dash a thr -- a three-hour meeting with the police department and mayor
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and when i walked out, the reporters who released i was in a private meeting at the time, who released this information to orlando at this time one month afterwards? you say it was the police. who in the police department released the information? so clearly i don't know whether we're involved in an official cover-up, but regardless of what's going on, we need an independent in which is the justice department, and there is a letter to the justice department signed by over 50 members of congress asking them to look into this case. >> congresswoman corinne brown, we're going to let you get back to work. we know that that briefing is coming up this afternoon at 3:00. we'll look to see what news is made up out of that. joining me, president and ceo of the urban league. mark, i want to have everybody listen to tracey martin, trayvon's father. listen to this.
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>> the sanford police department, the city of sanford, the government, the federal government, state, local, whatever entity it is need to do something about it and need to do something right now. an arrest needs to be made for george michael zimmerman. >> i can understand that the frustration this family is feeling about this, the loss of their son and then the battle to seek answers and find justice for him. what happens, though, mark if april 10th the grand jury does not come back with something that's suitable for the family? >> well, i was there yesterday and got a chance to see trayvon's mother and father speak. and i think we were both taken by the pain that this has caused for these two parents, the loss of their son. right now i believe it is so important for us to keep considerable light and heat, if you will, on the authorities in florida to conduct a complete, full and impartial investigation which i'm confident should lead to charges. the truth is, george zimmerman
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should have been arrested a month ago. that is the absolute truth. and if they were going to do the right thing, they would arrest him now because there's more than sufficient probable cause. but i'm disturbed, thomas, by what appears to be a continuing effort by the sanford police department through now a combination of leaks that are occurring. they are, in effect, demonstrating their own lack of competence and their conduct of this investigation. so it's good that the justice department is there, and it could very well be that the justice department may need to take a much more aggressive role in connection with this investigation at this time. >> active oversight of trying to manage this because this is something that has really divided a community. and people do want answers. and the search for justice continues. a lot of people just baffled why george zimmerman has not been arrested.
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not to say charged but at least arrested so that the process starts that it seems some justice is happening. >> it's important for people to understand, there's a coalition of people who are speaking out of many backgrounds, many races, who see the injustice in this. and i would encourage people to listen to those tapes. those tapes are the best evidence to give us an insight as to what happened on that night. >> and if george zimmerman has nothing to hide, why not just surrender yourself and say let me go to court, play the tapes, let everything play out and let all the witnesses come out of the woodwork. >> he should have been arrested a month ago. and you're right, if he were being, i think, absolutely correct in this, he would surrender himself. and then defend himself in court. >> marc, great to have you. thanks for your tame. i appreciate it. well, president obama tries to explain his hot-mike comments with russia's president that ha. speaker boehner is weighing in. and on the record about
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rick santorum takes every opportunity to criticize mitt romney's conservative credentials and his health care plan, but santorum is leaving the door open for a different kind of opportunity. plus, we're waiting for an update from the sanford police on the trayvon martin shooting including the leaked information ta h that his parents say is tarnishing his reputation. an iraqi woman escapes saddam hussein's brutal regime but then dies here in the u.s. after being severely beaten. was it a hate crime? with a bargain brand cooking spray. i told you like a gajillion times to use pam. it's 70% better than that bargain stuff. see? look i gotta go.
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be or no matter what your conscience may be, that the government can now force you, to force you to pay for drugs and services that are against your fundamental core beliefs. >> this bill, this law, excuse me, the law, the law that will remain, that will remain because it's something that we leave out when we talk about it too often is that it is the protection act. >> as we speak, a supreme battle being waged right now at the supreme court over the linchpin of the president's health care law, the individual mandate. today's two-hour arguments are close to wrapping up with the future of health care for tens of millions of americans hanging in the balance. we're going to be following the latest developments from in and outside the high court right here on msnbc. rick santorum is back on the campaign trail after weighing in on the health care debate from the steps of the supreme court. >> there's only one candidate who has the chance of winning the republican nomination who can make this, the central
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issue, that will be a winning issue for us to win the presidency back, and that's rick santorum. and unfortunately, the worst person to make that case is mitt romney. >> santorum is making three stops in the badger state, wisconsin, today. one full week before republican voters there weigh in on the race. john breybender is senior strategist to the santorum campaign and joins us now. john, good to see you. and senator santorum caught some heat for some cussing -- cussing, you know, that we've all probably said before on the campaign trail. but here's how he spun this incident. take a listen. >> any good conservative who hasn't had a flare-up with "the new york times" isn't worth their salt. you talk about desperate and pa thektd, mitt romney can't run on his record. here we have in the whole world watching what's going on here in washington these supreme court arguments. mitt romney is 3,000 miles away. >> john, that comment has supposedly helped him fund raise, even brought in vocal support from sarah palin saying, quote, don't retreat.
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is this conservative anti-media wave enough to carry him for a victory in wisconsin? >> well, i think that's really going to carry him in wisconsin is the fact that he's the only candidate that opposes all the mandates that are in obamacare. as you're probably aware, the president himself has proclaimed that mitt romney is the ultimate architect of obamacare through romneycare. and i think what the senator has been saying time and time again is if republicans are going to really be serious about beating barack obama in the fall, then we can't take health care off the table. we can see how angry most of americans are about this freedom-killing, job-killing, poor health care plan. and so i think he's been pretty clear, and i think that's why people are rallying behind him. maybe why he won louisiana by 20-some points on saturday over mitt romney. >> all right. so oddly enough, though, when he's talking about romney and what he did in massachusetts, comparing that to what president obama has done for the country, i do want to bring up some comments your candidate made about another possible role in
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this space. let's take a learn. >> if he for some reason asked you to be the vice presidential candidate after all is said and done, would you consider? >> of course, it's the most important race in our country's history. so i'm going to do everything i can. >> so is this a conversation people inside the campaign are actively having, that potentially rick santorum could be a consideration for vice president? >> well, no. what we're concentrating on right now is winning states like wisconsin. we've already won 11 states. and we believe we have the strongest case of why we can beat obama. what this does keep coming back to, though, is rick santorum has made it very clear. beating obama is the goal. and whatever he can do in that process, the first thing we believe is being the nominee. but whatever he can do in that process to help if he's not the nominee, whoever it is. you've got to remember -- >> so he would consider being mitt romney's vice presidential running mate? john, he would consider being the running mate to mitt romney?
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>> what i'm saying is that what rick santorum is saying that he is going to do everything possibly he can to make sure that a republican beats barack obama, wherever that is, and at some point if that happens to be the alternative, certainly he would not turn that down to not beat obama. at this point, we believe the strongest thing he could do is be the nominee because he has such a contrast with obama. >> john brabender with the santorum campaign. nice to see you. thanks for your time. >> thank you for inviting me. some other stories topping the news, just a short time ago, pope benedict departed for havana to meet raul castro and possibly his brother, fidel. it is part of a three-day visit to cuba, the first since pope john paul ii toured the island nation back in 1998. the pope arrived in cuba monday urging all cubans to abandon communism and build a renewed and open society. president obama is clarifying a remark he made to russian president dmitry
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medvedev during a nuclear security summit in south korea. the president was apparently unaware of how close reporters' microphones were when he told medvedev that he'd have more flexibility to discuss a missile defense program after the presidential election. take a listen. >> i don't think it's any surprise that you can't start a few months before a presidential and congressional election to the united states. the only way i can get this stuff done is if i'm consulting with the pentagon, if i'm consulting with congress, if i've got bipartisan support. >> many republicans including presidential candidate mitt romney were quick to label the president's remarks as troubling. but house speaker john boehner hadn'ted the criticism was inappropriate. >> well, clearly the president is overseas. he's at a conference. and, you know, while the president's overseas, i think it's appropriate that people not be critical of him or of our country. well, a new cbs news/"new
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york times" poll shows support for the afghanistan war plummeted to i a record low. 69% disapprove. that's the lowest ever since they started the question back in 2009. fire officials in colorado are asking for help from the fire department and fire departments as far away as arizona to contain a fatal wildfire that has killed one person and forced more than 900 home evacuations. the fire has scorched 37 square miles and caused at least a half million dollars worth of damage. well, dominique strauss-kahn, the former head of the international monetary fund, has been charged in france with procuring women for a prostitution ring, paying for sex is legal in france, but procuring prostitutes for a prostitution ring can be punished by up to 20 years in jail and more than $4 million in fines. tim tebow is apparently extremely excited to be joining the new york jets. he said the words "excited" or
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"exciting" 34 times in 45 minutes during his press conference. >> i'm so excited about being a jet. so excited about meeting my teammates. i'm looki ining forward to my fe as a jet. i'm very excited about that. it was something -- so i was all right, i'm excited. >> and tim, we're sure that new york is excited to have you. hey, heard any updates on the game? i think it's final seconds, ohh, down by two, shoots a three, game over. so two seconds ago... hey mr. and mrs. harris, where's kevin? say hi kevin. hi. mom, put me down. put...the phone...down. hey guys. did you hear... the choys had their baby? so 29 seconds ago. well we should get them a gift. [ choys ] thanks for the gift! [ amy and rob ] you're welcome! you're welcome! [ male announcer ] get it fast with at&t. the nation's largest 4g network. at&t. ♪ three words dad, e-trade financial consultants. they'll hook you up with a solid plan. wa-- wa-- wait a minute; bobby? bobby! what are you doing man? i'm speed dating!
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after a flood of controversy, the new documentary "bully" will be released and released without a rating. the weinstein company now says the film will hit theaters without the original rating, and that means some theaters may not choose to show it. meantime, lawmakers in at least five states are trying to stiffen or enact cyber bullying laws. i'm joined now by delaware attorney general bo biden. bo, it's nice to see you this morning. >> great to be with you, thomas. >> let's talk specifically about the state of delaware, meetings under way now to decide how a
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new cyber bullying policy would regulate off-campus behavior. now, the department of education says jurisdiction is restricted to acts committed using school-owned computers. explain how this new policy would work. >> well, what we're trying to do, actually, here in the state of delaware along with my friend, lieutenant governor, we'll work with the school districts, parents and communities to figure out whether or not we can have a statewide integrated policy like a lot of states, thomas, as you know, school districts and school boards run the systems. we have 19 separate districts in our state. so what the lieutenant governor and others are trying to do is come up with a uniform policy that can be acceptable to each of the school districts to come up with how to deal with the cyber bullying issue. as you know, because you've covered this so well over the months and years, cyber bullying, 1 million kids are cyber bullied every year. 1 million kids. so this is an issue we've got to deal with head on and figure out a way to grapple with the new realities of the wonderful
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social media we have. >> it's such a double-edged sword when you think about how social media has connected everybody but also how it has tormented kids because they can't get away from the bullying. it gets funneled into their houses. i do want to get your opinion on the film "bully." several activists petitioned the mpaa to lower the "r" rating it delivered so more kids can see the film. now they're going to release it without this rating. that means some theaters may choose not to show the film. what do you make of this debate and how it was intended to be seen by kids and now it may not be by the intended audience it's made for? >> well, to be honest with you, i'm not been following the controversy that closely. the ratings -- this ratings debate. what i do know is that kids and parents need to hear the message of how we intervene and stop bullying. when you have one in three children in middle school and high school bullied every day, one in three children in middle school and high school bullied every day, with 160,000 kids
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estimated every day staying home from school because of bullying, it's a serious problem. so any way we can communicate to school districts, parents and bullies about how we -- you know, measures to stop this, you know, we need to look hard about ways we can do that. >> beau, i want to switch gears to what's taking place in washington and health care and the supreme court. 26 states are challenging the president's health care law, including people in your home state of delaware saying they shouldn't be forced to buy something they don't want. what's your reaction? >> well, my reaction is to let the supreme court hear the arguments today made by the solicitor general of the united states of america and those on the other side of this issue. i've signed amicus briefs in support of the affordable health care act. you know, the series of today and tomorrow and of course yesterday, you're going to hear it all laid out. and we'll get a decision from the supreme court soon. i'm hopeful that the supreme court will uphold the
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constitutionality of it under the commerce clause. look, when people in america know that $43 billion is spent each year on behalf of the uninsured with an average cost of $1,000 per family, i don't know of a more interstate commerce issue that exists than this one. in terms of its effect on all americans. throughout the states. >> beau, thanks for making time for us this morning. we appreciate it. >> thanks, thomas. thanks for having me on. >> absolutely. we wanted to get on the record this morning with new information that just came to light in regard to the national organization for marriage. nom as you may recall is an organization who fights tirelessly against marriage equality. well, the state of maine has an ongoing investigation for campaign finance activities there in the unsealed court documents distributed by the human rights campaign show that the confidential nom 2009 literature titled "winning the marriage battle" defined its agenda by saying the strategic
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goal of this project is to drive a wedge between gays and blacks. two key democratic constituencies find, equip, energize and connect african-american spokespeople for marriage, develop a media campaign around their objections to gay marriage. as a civil right, provoke the gay marriage base into responding by denouncing these spokesmen and women as bigots. it also identifies a plan to attract latinos to the cause by saying our ultimate goal is to make opposition to gay marriage an identity marker. a badge of youth rebellion to conforming assimilation to the bad side of anglo culture. another discusses a $1 million plan to quote expose obama as a social radical, develop side issues to weaken political leaders and parties to develop an activist base of socially conservative voters raise such issues as pornography, protection of children and the need to oppose all efforts to weaken religious liberty at the federal level. we reached out to the national
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sni was touched what president obama said, if i had a son, he'd look like trayvon. every parent in america should be able to understand why it is imperative we investigate every aspect of this. all of us have to do soul searching to figure out how something like this happened. >> soul searching that was ben cardin, speaking out on the senate floor about the death of trayvon martin. trayvon's parents heading to capitol hill for a briefing on hate crimes and racial profiling. sanford's city manager vowed to investigate what he's called a potential leak of information in this case. information that, according to police points to 17-year-old tray vaughn, not shooter george zimmerman, as aggressor in a confrontation that ended with a life and death struggle. as the investigation continues,
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student as the trayvon's high school gathered for a vigil in their classmate's memory. >> at body of a woman will be flown home for burial. a 32-year-old mother of five died from a severe head injury after her attack in southern california last week. a note was reportedly left beside the body telling her to go back to iraq and calling her family terrorists. >> this is america and from what i hear they've lived here for a long time. they're americans. they're not anything else. and that's not acceptable today. not here. >> joined by a civil rights director for the council on american islamic relations in san diego. as we learn more about this horrific story, this woman fled iraq nearly 20 years ago to escape persecution from saddam hussein and then she meets a terrible end in the place she sought refuge and thought she could find a new life. how damaging is this to the community and mission of your
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council of what you're trying to accomplish? >> good morning. thank you for having us on the show. yeah, it is, you know, a tragedy that this mother of five was a victim of souch violence and the fact that they fled iraq to come here in pursuit of a better life and she was victim to this violence. it was shocking. our entire organization was shocked. our community was shocked. we didn't know that such violent act could happen in our own backyards. >> a memorial service is going to be held at home today organized by the local muslim community. what message is your council trying to send now, in the wake offual of this so people can learn more about tolerance and finding justice, finding whoever is responsible for this attack? >> well, the memorial service is actually at the islamic center in lakeside at 4:00. we do have two messages for the community. one, if anybody has any information regarding the
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beating or the homicide, please contact the police department and another really important thing is that this was -- this is potentially the most violent crime that has been committed against an iraqi -- an american-muslim in our community and there may be many others that have not been reported. it is very important to report hate crimes if you're a victim of a hate crime in san diego county, please report it to our organization. and we can be reached at info@san diego.care.com. >> they've compared the death to trayvon martin. hate crime situation with what is being investigated. that is a fair comparison? >> right. you know, right now, the homicide is in the early stages of the investigation. so we are monitoring the situation very closely. but we don't want to jump to any conclusions right now. we want to give the police department a fair amount of time
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to do the investigation as thoroughly as possible and investigate all potential motives and not just strictly focus on the hate crime motive. >> sadaf t.hane, thanks for your time. appreciate it. thank you all for your time. i'll see you back here tomorrow 11:00 a.m. "now with alex wagner"s coming your way next. >> big day today, thomas. yesterday it was penalty versus tax. today in the supreme court it is congress versus commerce. savannah guthrie joins us for the latest in great health care debate. on the campaign trail, is rick santorum's slam of romney care getting through to anybody? newt gingrich is campaigning for cash, charging $50 for a photo with the candidate. is it too late. pope benedict visits the country. all of this when "now" starts in
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the supreme court is finishing day two of oral arguments as it determines fate of the nation's health care law. a blockbuster day in a blockbuster case in a wait for it blockbuster year. tuesday, march 27th, and this is "now." joining me today, ronna from "time" magazine and ed rendell, nbc news chief corner and co-host of the "today" show savannah guthrie. if yesterday was a pregame, today is the main event. the supreme court is wrapping up historic oral arguments regarding affordable care acts individual mandat are the justices giving any hints on how they'll rule on what may be president obama's most significant legislative achievement? savannah, our resident legal eagle, talk about the defense betw

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