tv The Rachel Maddow Show MSNBC April 29, 2013 9:00pm-10:00pm EDT
incarceration. hopefully they'll become empowered by seeing this. >> not just on this issue, but the courage to come out on this issue. that's interesting. thank you all. that is all in for this evening. the rachel maddow show begins right now. >> when i came out, i went back and met with my friends who i played club basketball with in high school to tell them and see if they were okay with it. and my cocaptain, her reaction to it was, well, did you ever like me? and i said, no, no, man, you're not my type. and she said, oh, well, why not? >> i'm hoping that's the reaction across nba locker rooms everywhere this evening. >> i hope so too. happy monday. all right. here is guam. guam is an island as you can tell. zoom out. you can see it is way, way out there in the pacific ocean. if you think about flying from
california to hawaii, if you do that, that gets you roughly half the way there. just keep going that distance again and you'll get to guam. guam is closer to the philippines and china than it is to hawaii. it is north of australia, so far west, it is east. technically guam is an organized, unincorporated territory of the united states. the ip land sends a nonvoting delegate to congress. and guamians get to vote in a nonpreference poll when it comes time to vote for president. even if guam doesn't have a vote in the electoral college, but what they do have a huge military presence. the american military covers something like a third of the entire island. and those bases on guam are a big part of the u.s. military presence in that whole part of the world. that whole region of the pacific. couple of years ago, the pentagon considered building an even bigger military presence on the island of guam.
the plan would've increased the population of guam by almost half. and when that plan was being considered in congress, that's when a little known congressman from georgia named hank johnson spoke up in a hearing with this rather amazing comment on the giant u.s. military and its huge and maybe increasing presence on the tiny little island of guam. >> i don't know how many square miles that that is. do you happen to know? >> i don't have that figure with me, sir. i can certainly supply it to you if you'd like. >> yeah. my fear is that the whole island will become so overly populated that it will tip over and capsize. >> we don't anticipate that. >> i love the navy admiral being there. i have to address the congressman's concern, we don't anticipate that, sir.
a local atlanta paper felt compelled to point out that mr. johnson as far as they could tell was not making an april fool's joke. we talked about the island of guam capsizing from the weight of all the new people there. but he kind of was making a joke there. he did not really think that guam was going to tip over. he was using metaphor as a commentary on the size of the u.s. military presence on the island and he was just being incredibly dead pan about it while he used that metaphor. turns out that congressman "dead pan" hank johnson is a very funny congressman. but he's so dead pan about it, he does not betray he's making a joke that other members of congress do not laugh when he's making jokes. his dead pan humor does not play in the room because the people with him do not get it. he's setting them up in a way that's just over their heads. here's the latest from congressman hank johnson on the subject of helium.
>> imagine, mr. speaker, a world without balloons. how can we make sure that the injustice of there being no helium for comedians to get that high-pitched voice that we all hold near and dear to our hearts. imagine a world without balloons. >> the guy behind him going -- is anybody else listening to this? the high-pitched voice we all hold -- dead pan hank johnson. again, they're making a point that surely went over a lot of people's heads. but it's a good point he's making there. really, it's our helium problem in need of a fix, congress, out of all of the problems in this country, all the budget problems in our country, out of all of the things that are underfunded in our country.
the helium thing is one we need congressional action to zoom in on, seriously? it's kind of a good argument. even if people didn't get the way he was making it. the same zeal for budget cuts that threaten the beloved helium supply, same zeal for budget cuts that means right now elderly cancer patients are not getting their oncology drugs. elderly people who depend on meals on wheels are not getting those meals. this is an indiana father reacting to the news in his town where they're having a lottery for preschool. they've put all the names trying to get into preschool into a fish bowl and this man is listening to the results of that lottery in his town being called out hoping to hear his 4-year-old survived the cull because of budget cuts. the president in the state of the union. specifically on the issue of preschool. the president said that universal preschool should now be the expectation and the reality in the united states.
preschool is so important for kids. well, today a report on that says essentially that we have unfathomably far to go before we can start to think about universal preschool. we were far behind that goal before we started this new policy we're living through right now of across the board cuts. right noul, we're really far behind and we're getting worse. we're not getting better. tens of thousands of kids across the country are getting kicked off preschool, including in places like indiana, where the remaining few slots are being allocated by lottery. by heartbreaking lottery. the cuts we're living through right now affecting everything from preschool slots to meals on wheels for elderly people to cancer drugs and when you can start taking your oncology treatment. all part of the same policy. all part of the same across the board cuts in what the government does. it always gets reported as across the board cuts in what the government spends because that sounds nicer, right? spending sounds like an awful
thing, we ought to get rid of that. but government doing stuff. some of the stuff that government does, we like. it's probably the reason that we do it. and some of the stuff that government does, which has now been cut turns out is even the kind of stuff that congress notices. it's the stuff that congress likes, stuff congress wants to protect because it's stuff that affects them. and so last week, we saw congress move with heretofore unseen lightning speed to protect one of the things that government does from these across the board cuts that were otherwise causing problems. last week with lightning speed congress moved to protect air traffic control. because it was causing flight delays and, hey, flight delays, those are really annoying, bad for the country, those should be stopped. so congress moved so fast to undo those cuts that they actually have to redo what they did tomorrow. because in their haste last week, they left a really important typo in the bill. that was how quickly they moved to stop these cuts that bothered them. these cuts that were affecting the one thing that government does that they were bothered by.
making the planes run safely and on time. coincidentally, they passed that legislation before all going to the airport to get on planes themselves to go home at the end of congress calling it a day. cutting hundreds of billions of dollars at once out of what government does hurts us as a country. what we have learned, though, thus far by doing that is that only some people get relief from those cuts. only people with political capital get relief from those cuts. congress feels your pain, we'll get on fixing that. the reason we are doing this, inflicting harm on the country, all this harm on people who do not have enough political capital to save themselves is the doctrine of austerity. the overall idea right now, it's the conservative idea of what to do for a nation going through an economic shock that we went through at the end of the bush
presidency. austerity is the solution according to the beltway. they want the government to spend less, which sounds great if you see it only as government spending and not as stuff that the government does. spending, that can't be good for anything, but stuff the government does, yeah, sometimes that's stuff we want. a week and a half ago, they tried to relaunch the magna carter, the simpson/bowles plan. the conservative american austerity idea been around for a few years now, but they attempted to relaunch it on the morning that ended up being the day that boston was locked down for 17 hours while the nation was transfixed by the man hunt for the boston bombing suspect. bad timing, right? both in terms of the optics of relaunching, in the midst of a massive and ultimately successful government effort to find that bombing suspect. that was the day that the streets of watertown, massachusetts, literally lined with americans crying with joy
and cheering their emergency services. clapping their government workers on the back for a job well done, the nation is grateful. that is a bad day to launch the let's fire all the government workers plan, right? bad timing for the simpson/bowles relaunch that day. well, yesterday they re-relaunched it in friendlier environments, they relaunched it on the op-ed page of the "washington post." the bigger picture is that the whole doctrine that austerity is a good thing for economies, specifically for economies in trouble, that whole doctrine globally is falling apart. falling apart here at home, it's falling apart globally, as well. and joining us now for more perspective on that is our friend ezra klein, an msnbc policy analyst, thank you so much for being here. >> thank you for having me. helium crisis sounds totally funny, totally a real thing, people should be totally worried. >> people should be totally worried and there's hank johnson
making the case. really, we can address helium, but nothing else? that paradigm, that dynamic to me seems to be the dynamic in washington. we shouldn't fight back against the sequester by fixing the stuff that bothers people the most, the sequester it's has to go because the idea of budget cutting our way to success has got to go. do you think there's an overalls austerity thesis driving politics right now? >> i don't think so so in this way. i think two things have cgone cn flated. the way most people describe it. the idea is if you reduce the deficit quickly, you'll have some kind -- what paul krugman called confidence, they'll run out and spend and invest in hiring people. however you need to do it, get the deficit down, grow the economy. that's what people mean when
they say austerity. this has gotten conflated with the republicans' position. you should reduce the deficit but not by cutting defense and absolutely not in any way by raising taxes. if it requires raising taxes even a dollar, then better not to reduce the deficit at all. better possibly even to default on the debt which brings all the terrible consequences of a debt crisis all at once artificially. something they don't typically believe that further government action to help out the economy probably isn't merited. if you think of these academics who have become associated with austerity, they've argued for principal write-downs where the government would make mortgages cheaper for people, for higher inflation. the republican party wants none of that. i think what the republican party is actually advocating is quite a bit less coherent even than austerity. >> what is it? if it's not austerity, then what do you think they want?
even if you think it's incoherent, can you discern the message for us? >> yeah, at this point it boils down to lower taxes, particularly on rich people. cutting social services. those are the things that seem to be the north stars but, you know, if on my more cynical days and i have a lot of them lately, it is whatever the obama administration doesn't want. in 2008, i also think it's important for people to remember, george w. bush proposed and pushed and signed into law the economic stimulus of 2008 act. that was also the case of the '03 tax cuts, the idea that the stimulus is not something republicans do. it only dates back to the beginning of the obama administration. and the concern with deficits similarly was not in evidence in the bush years. i think a lot of what we've been seeing quite sadly is simply counter positioning vis a vis
president obama. republicans quickly go to the opposite side of the issue. only if years before they were on the same side that the obama administration now occupies. >> do you think that the way the current sequester and budget cutting debates are going to work out is that we will keep all of the cuts that hurt people that don't have political capital and the ones that bother members of congress themselves or people with political capital those ones will get fixed? >> that is what we've done so far. i think this is a really appalling period in washington, d.c. in the next month or two, everybody who is on unemployment benefits who has been out of work for more than 24 weeks, their benefits are not coming from the state, they're coming federally. they're going to get their benefits cut. these folks, the long-term unemployed, they'll see their benefits cut by 10%, 11%, or sometimes in some cases 12%. the moment democrats agreed to that, the moment they said we will undo what the faa cuts but leave the rest of the stimulus untouched. they lost all of their leverage on it because what they said is
they will not put the pain of the sequester on the politically powerful. they'll undo it for the politically powerful. and if that's going to be their position going forward if they don't reverse it the next time this comes up aggressively, this will be with us forever. but it's going to become en more unbalanced than it is now because we're going to take away things that politically hurt in congress and more cuts to the people who can't have a voice or don't have a loud voice in washington. >> right. because people -- if the sort of haves won't sustain the pain themselves, more gets shovelled on to the have nots. >> right. ezra, thank you very much. good to have you here. >> thank you. lots more to come, including the ghost of prematurely initiated wars past. stay with us. it's monday. a brand new start. your chance to rise and shine. with centurylink as your trusted technology partner,
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two weeks later, the "new york times" ran this article saying essentially, hey, for the past two weeks or so the government of syria has done a 180 and they are letting our journalists in, specifically they are letting our journalists in so the government of syria can parade rebel prisoners in front of us to tell us that these prisoners are all religious extremists. essentially the idea is they want the u.s. to switch sides and support the syrian government's side in this fight rather than these al qaeda-ish rebels on the other side. syrian government is saying, hey, we're the good guys here. with one group of the rebels pledging allegiance to al qaeda -- it's the other side is going to compete with that kind of pr, you can see they would have to step up their game, right? well, one day after that "new york times" article, bingo. the syrian government can't be the good guy here. look, they're using chemical weapons.
chemical weapons, are you sure? >> the u.s. intelligence community assesses with some degree of varying confidence that the syrian regime has used chemical weapons on a small scale. these are preliminary assessments based on our intelligence gathering. we had varying degrees of confidence about the actual use. >> preliminary assessments, varying degrees of confidence, some degree of varying confidence. there have been claims by the syrian opposition for months now that the syrian government was using chemical weapons. we have richard engel on this show way back in january to talk about how the rebels were making these claims for obvious reasons. they want the international community. they want the u.s. specifically to get involved in the war in syria on their side of it. so they're saying the syrian government's using chemical weapons, you have to get involved. claiming that and proving that are two different things. and they ought to be two different things. if it's the difference between
war and peace, right? right? we have all learned that right? >> you've also, of course, looked at a lot of this evidence. is it conclusive enough for you? >> it is. >> i hope that this new revelation of chemical weapons will move the president to do what he should've done two years ago. >> aren't there lessons from iraq that need to be taken into mind here? >> well, one of the lessons obviously, and we hear this a lot from the administration is that we had false information about weapons of mass destruction with iraq. in this case, there is significant evidence that the physical evidence of the use of chemical weapons. our actions should not be dictated by whether assad used these chemical weapons or not. first of all, sooner or later he most likely would in order to maintain his hold on power. >> well, we now know he's used
chemical weapons. >> do we really know that, senator? >> we do. >> you appear to be temperizing or looking for a level -- people are going to read that as an equivocation and that would be a serious problem. >> he's not a president who wants to start another war. that's the way he sees it. i think it's totally irresponsible for an american to have that. no one wants to start wars, but you've got to do what you want to do. >> be prepared with an international force to go in and secure these stocks of chemical and perhaps biological weapons. >> the chemical weapons enough to kill millions of people are going to be compromised and fall in the wrong hands and the next bomb that goes off in america may not have nails and glass in it. >> you see the smoking gun could come in the form of a mushroom cloud. the voices from the american right in this debate pretty much all the same guys, right? pretty much all the same voices who were so desperately wrong ten years ago. they are not embarrassed about that, by the way. what is different now?
it's who is in the white house now and we are not this time being pressured to start a huge mess in the middle east. we are being asked to get involved in somebody else's existing huge mess that is already in progress for the last two years. joining us now is the former coordinator for weapons of mass destruction, counterterrorism and arms control in the obama administration. he's now executive director for harvard kennedy school for science and international affairs. thank you so much for being with us tonight. >> hi, rachel. >> so here in the u.s., the word is that some agencies have low or moderate confidence in the intelligence on this. can you describe what that means for a layman audience, what does that mean? >> well, reading between the lines, i believe that all of the intelligence agencies think that there's very strong evidence that people were exposed to sarin, and that's based
primarily on blood samples, which is very reliable. what's much less clear are the conditions of use. who used it on whose orders, what were the circumstances? and the administration would like to get a better idea of that in the first instance by hoping that the u.n. will be able to carry out an investigation. however, i think it's very unlikely that the syrian government would allow such an investigation. so unless the u.s. government or other governments have very sensitive information that get at the question of who ordered the use or what the purpose of it was, we may never know precisely the answers. >> that long montage of figures making the connection between this reported intelligence and whether or not we should go to war in syria. just to make clear how bright those lines are in the arguments of a lot of people participating
in this political debate. but it sounds to me those chain of custody concerns with evidence of chemical weapons being used but we don't know how seems to me that's pretty important to understanding whether or not the syrian conflict has passed the kind of red line that the president has described. is that how you see it? >> yes, and especially because the military options are so awful. for us to try to destroy or seize all of the chemical weapons in syria would require a tremendous amount of force. it would be very dangerous. it's quite likely such an attack would actually trigger chemical use, as well. it's not as though the president faces an easy decision to use military force. and i think understandably, he wants to be quite sure and have available to him practical and effective options. my fear is that as this word goes on, the tide starts to
shift against the assad government, it's likely we'll see indiscriminate wide scale use of chemical weapons. if not by the government, then maybe by individual commanders who are facing a desperate situation. and we may very well get drawn into this war. so the military properly should be thinking of contingencies, we should be talking to our allies because i fear one day we may have to use some kind of military force. >> with something like 200 states, 200 governments around the world having signed on to the chemical weapons convention, which effectively is supposed to ban these weapons from use by anybody under any circumstances, do you expect that there would be broad based international cooperation in responding to further use of chemical weapons to better documented use of chemical weapons, or in fact, as you're describing here indiscriminate use of those kind of weapons. >> well, i think the russians and the chinese have a very strong self-interest in trying to prevent any u.s. or western
military intervention. so their standard of proof is going to be extraordinarily high. and they'll try to find a way to explain away any use. for example, they'll say that it was actually the rebels that used it for drawing the u.s. into the conflict. i don't think you'll have action that's blessed by the u.n. because the russians and the chinese can block such action. i do think the western countries u.s. and europe and most of the arab countries would be sympathetic if we found it necessary at some point in the future to use military force in the event of large scale use of chemical weapons. >> and in the event that military force made sense as an appropriate response, which at this point the arguments are really at best as i see it. gary samore, now at harvard, thank you very much for being with us tonight. i appreciate it. >> thank you, rachel. >> we've got lots more ahead. stay with us. g for a bank desigd for investors like you?
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couple of months ago, this show made a multi-state trip far away from our home base in new york. we p went to the american states where running clinics that provide abortions has become extremely close to impossible. the most powerful work done by our producers talking with the folks who are doing front line's work with every pressure in the world bearing down on them trying to force them to stop
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visit thenewny.com in december 1994 in norfolk, virginia, a man named john salvy was arrested by police for shooting at the clinic. although he did not hit anyone at the clinic, a day earlier he stormed into two different clinics and killed two women. one who worked at each place. but he was arrested in norfolk when he shot at hillcrest. other anti-abortion zealots were arrested. the following year, someone attacked the clinic with a bomb. the bomb blast broke the plate glass window of the bank branch next door. but through the shooting attack and the bombing attack and the arson attack plus the daily intimidation of aggressive protesters including some who physically forced their way inside to terrorize the staff and patients in the clinic.
through all of it, the hillcrest clinic stayed open for four decades. but now they have succeeded in shutting it down. bombings, arson and a .22 caliber automatic loaded with bullets could not do it, but the republicans of the virginia state legislature now have done it. the anti-abortion law designed to shut down the state's clinics signed by republican governor bob mcdonnell and championed by the candidate for governor, that law has claimed its first victim in virginia. quoting from the "washington post," even after years of protests, arson, a pipe bombing and an attack by a man wielding a semiautomatic weapon, complying with these new regulations would've sat ddled e clinic with $500,000 in renovations. the editorial calls ken cuccinelli the most -- saying,
quote, there's no evidence that unsanitary conditions are common in abortion clinics in virginia. the state's assault on women's reproductive rights is an ideological crusade masquerading as concern for public health. there are 20 clinics that provide abortion services in the state of virginia. a state survey shows that only one clinic meets the requirement of virginia republicans' new anti-abortion law. hillcrest closing after four decades, the first one to close but most of the others expected to go too. the same types of laws trying to shut down clinics have been passed by republicans, are expected to pass soon in virginia and alabama and indiana and north carolina and texas and mississippi and in north dakota. in mississippi and north dakota, the regulations are targeting the last remaining clinic in the state. abortion is being effectively banned in states all across the
country, in states where republicans have governing power. in every state, there's a fight on to try to protect this right that american women are supposed to have to access abortion services. but through all of the means they have tried over the years, nothing has ever been as effective for the radical anti-abortion movement in this country as the election of veto proof republican majorities in the legislatures in multiple u.s. states in 2010. since then, since 2010 and since the 2012 election in particular when they picked up the pace, the republican party is now doing the work for them. joining us now for the interview tonight is tammy, the director of the red river women's clinic of fargo, north dakota, and julie birkhart. tammy and julie, i've talked to both of you over the years months and years, great to have you here in person. >> thank you so much for having us. >> julie, let me ask you first, opening up in wichita, obviously, the site of your clinic is where dr. tiller had his clinic for years until he
was killed. you worked with dr. tiller and ended up opening your clinic in the same site. what's it been like? >> well, we've had our battles. we were issued a subpoena four days after opening, which we've had to answer. they wanted to look at some of our business records. >> after being open for four days? >> yes, correct. >> both of our physicians have now been outed by the extremist group operation rescue. and one of our physicians has been harassed in her private office in another state. by anti-choice extremists, as well. >> is this going the way you expected it to go? i mean, obviously there's this sort of these twin forces. the anti-abortion extremist groups and activist groups which have operated the way we've seen, but they have allies who are effectively using different tactics. is it going the way you thought
it would? >> i would say pretty much. we have definitely had hurdles placed in front of us we've been able to navigate over. i'm still anticipating to meet some challenges down the road. >> yeah. >> i would say it's going the way we predicted it would go. >> tammy, in north dakota, your state legislature and your governor are waging all out assault using state government to try to make your clinic not exist anymore. what is happening now both in the legal fight and in your practical day-to-day operations? >> well, i think last weekend was the first weekend i actually didn't go into work since the end of january. it's taken up all of my time, you know, tons of resources but we won a battle last week, in 2011 the legislature passed a medication abortion bill trying
to restrict abortions and in district court last week with the help of the center of reproductive rights, a judge said those restrictions are unconstitutional and stand in the way of women's health. that was a victory. we have more battles coming up and the center has vowed to help us continue to be able to offer the services that the women in north dakota need. and we plan on filing more lawsuits. >> how are your patients coping with these pressures? obviously women who are there for cancer screenings, for screenings, treatment of different kinds, abortion services for any sort of pregnancy-related services. they're there with their health on the mind. is this intruding into the way you're able to serve your patients? the political pressures? >> well, well, it is. because if you were to look at the mounds of paperwork that we have to do in order to comply with these punitive laws, you know, that gets in the way of
our patient care, the fact that patients have to come through security and be screened because we are afraid of people who would wish to do violence to us. that is not the way we wish to or would choose to provide health care to our patients. >> right. >> how about you? >> well, women come in and the first week, the day the governor signed the bill, they were calling and saying is my appointment next week? can i still have it? can i still be there? or they're coming in and saying this is illegal. our clinic is located on a very busy street right in downtown fargo and it's shocking to me they think that we're operating right there with the sign on the front of our building and protesters and escorts, but they think it's illegal. >> women are on the underground railroad at this point? >> yes, when a woman doesn't want to be pregnant, she'll go through hell, high water, in north dakota, blizzards, floods. she'll hit a deer on the way and have a flat tire and say can i
still come? when a woman doesn't want to be pregnant, she'll do whatever she needs to do and unfortunately it adds to the stigma that women feel when they hear all of these things about heartbeat, genetic abnorm abnormality, abortion is very common. the stigma is disgusting. >> in terms of your health care providers, the doctors working the clinic, obviously, julie, you're dealing with them being attacked and targeted by these outside groups. one of the things i've talked to medical students in the past is whether or not there are enough people coming up through the medical training system to know how to do abortions, provide this kind of care who are brave enough to do it. it's asking a lot of providers who could be doing anything. but doing this is -- has got to be tough. >> we're so nice. >> one of the things that i was told after dr. tiller was
assassinated was that a lot of the medical students were coming forward saying i want to be trained in abortion care which seemed -- did not seem logical to me. because of the fear factor. and there are a lot of good programs around the country that are really working to train obgyns in residency and family practice residents and abortion care for women. >> it's got to take a toll. i was struck talking to you guys how much credit you give to your staff for being involved and being unafraid and being willing to be there and go through it every day. i imagine, i mean, i've been covering reproductive rights politics for a very long time, i've never seen this kind of crucible we're seeing now. the rights have never been this aggressively rolled back. i'm wondering if it must forge some kind of solidarity or sense
of at least being all for one and one for all in fighting this stuff. it must. >> it absolutely does. and it does with providers across the country. with our staff, they feel the love. and what these laws have done and what this scrutiny has done has created more allies in our communities. we, the day the governor signed the bills we cleared off the staff bulletin board. it is full, it is triple packed, it's on the wall, on another wall, and we see that and read those -- >> in terms of messages of support. >> of support. and we read those and it lets you know. and somebody said specifically, i represent thousands behind you. those kind of messages are important for us. and it does increase your dedication, believe it or not, the assassination of dr. tiller only strengthened our resolve. it did not make us back down. >> let me ask you one more question about the national attention to this issue.
i see this as one of the most important things in republican politics nationally. they're not talking about it at the national level, the beltway or rarely. but whatever they have control, this is how they're governing in the states. it seems to me it's a key part to understanding what the party is doing. i see it as a national story. in terms of the impact on you guys, so many of these regulations, so many of the ways they are governing is to try to make it impossiblily expensive to run a clinic to put you out of business simply by requiring you to spend money otherwise you would never have to spend if you were running any kind of different clinic. does national support translate into financial support for local clinics in a way that can help them bear the cost of these new regulations? they said the reason they shut down after four decades, they didn't have $500,000 spare. does it translate that way? work that way? >> well, i guess i would say in some circumstances. and i think that's the worry.
you know, are they going to bury us in lawsuits and coming after us for zoning issues and these frivolous expectations. i think that's the real worry. will there be enough money in our community of providers? that's the big question. >> i do think money comes in and the extra scrutiny on states like north dakota, mississippi, that money comes in. i heard from another provider, though, in tennessee, when i told her this money was coming in to help us with this lawsuit. she said if i just had that amount, i could have stayed open. so it's great that we're getting it, but we represent many, many providers who are struggling every day to make the hallways the right size of the regulations have or higher architects and so that's the real story. it's all those other providers. we might be in the spotlight, but we represent thousands, as well.
director of the clinic, director of the south wind women's center of wichita, kansas, thank you both for being here. >> thank you. >> thank you. all right. something happened today that made 67 different u.s. senators agree with each other. seriously. if that sounds like it means something weird is going on, it's true, something weird's going on. that's next. ♪ [ indistinct shouting ] [ male announcer ] time and sales data. split-second stats. [ indistinct shouting ] ♪ it's so close to the options floor... [ indistinct shouting, bell dinging ] ...you'll bust your brain box. ♪ all on thinkorswim from td ameritrade. ♪ once you try an oral-b deep sweep power brush, you'll never want to go back. its dynamic power bristles reach between teeth to remove up to 76% more plaque than sonic
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here is something to keep an eye on. something weird is going on in washington that i do not yet understand. here is the back story. on this show we have done a lot of reporting on the va and the immense backlog of disability claims. for iraq and afghan veterans and veterans of earlier wars. in response to the persistence of the backlog and it getting better and not worse in recent years, the group iraq and afghan veterans of america submitted tens of thousands of signatures to the white house asking for president obama to get directly involved personally to fix the problem. now as of today a huge majority of the senate, 67 senators, have written to the president, calling for the same thing. they're asking for the president to take, quote, direct action and involvement to end the va backlog, saying our joy at their return must be reflected in commitment to helping all who
served. we respectfully ask you to find a solution that ensures that no veterans are stuck in the va backlog. 67 senators. 67! everybody from dick durbin and tammy baldwin to john cornyn and orrin hatch. 67 senators asking for the president to wade into this problem at the va. this is one to watch in terms of the white house response to this especially, and it is especially one to watch because at the same time this is happening up on capitol hill, yet more top people at the va are all of a sudden out of a job. the chief technology officer left last month, then chief of staff at the agency left as well. the chief information officer also left last month. and now today, the deputy secretary described by federal news radio and stars and stripes as the guy who runs the va on a day-to-day basis is out. they've all quit since the beginning of march. this is the executive branch.
this is part of the obama administration and something is going on here. we are waiting now on the white house to hear their take on exactly what is going on, but something is going on here. watch this space. ♪ [ agent smith ] i've found software that intrigues me. it appears it's an agent of good. ge has wired their medical hardware with innovative software to be in many places at the same time. using data to connect patients to software, to nurses to the right people and machines. ♪ helping hospitals treat people even better, while dramatically reducing waiting time. now a waiting room is just a room.
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and periods that were heavier and longer than usual for me. if you have symptoms that last two weeks or longer, be brave, go to the doctor. ovarian and uterine cancers are gynecologic cancers. symptoms are not the same for everyone. i got sick...and then i got better. pop quiz, who is the junior senator from massachusetts, mow cowen, shown being sworn in. when deval patrick appointed him to fill john kerry's senate seat, did with the knowledge and agreed to plan that he would not run for the seat, only serve as place holder until election could be held in late june. the primary to pick the democratic candidate and republican candidate for that june election, those primaries will be held tomorrow.
on the democratic side, congressman steven lynch is the more conservative candidate. he, for example, voted against health reform. congressman ed markey, the more liberal candidate, a bulldog on environmental and energy issues in congress. the most recent ppp poll shows mr. lynch trailing markey by 14 points. not helping mr. lynch, he cancelled all events the day before the primary due to unspecified illness. on the other side, three republican names are on the ticket. gabriel gomez, former navy s.e.a.l., and state represent winslow. he is widely viewed as being out of his depth and opposite of impressive in debates on the republican side. on that republican side, though, polling offers