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tv   Martin Bashir  MSNBC  August 5, 2013 1:00pm-2:01pm PDT

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and congress is on recess. alex rodriguez is suspended, but what difference will it make? it is a cruel summer indeed. ♪ >> we're not where we need to be yet. >> kentucky's voice is often the voice of opposition to the obama agenda. and i'm proud of that. >> if the doctors told senator mcconnell that he had a kidney stone, he would refuse to pass it. >> we are living through a decade where a few at the top were doing better and better. >> there's no middle class. a gap between the haves and have notes is getting wider and wider. >> i put forward a strategy for breaking through the washington log jam. >> all republicans want to repeal and replace obama care. >> we ought to be judged how many laws we repeal. >> shutting down the government because i'm for keeping it open. >> let me be clear, i don't trust the republicans. >> absoluting down the republicans is not the right thing to do. >> none of these bills you
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passed is going to become law. >> washington is willing to set aside politics and focus on and what matters. >> why not stick around instead of taking a five-week vacation. ♪ it's a cruel, cruel summer ♪ ♪ leaving me here on my own >> good afternoon, we are following breaking news at this hour. new york yankees third baseman alex rodriguez is one of 13 major league players suspended today for using performance-enhancing drugs. rodriguez was handed a 211-game suspension but he will be eligible to play pending an appeal. and we'll have much more on that ahead, including reaction from new york mayoral candidate bill de blasio. we begin with a high stakes week outside the capitol with congress in recess and the president bringing his road game across the nation. continuing his series of economic speeches, the president he will he talk housing and the
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country's economic recovery in phoenix at this time exactly tomorrow. and just this afternoon, white house spokesman jay carney offered a preview highlighting the importance of the housing sector. >> strengthening of the housing market is of vital importance to the strengthening of the middle class. and that's why the president has chosen to focus on housing at one of the cornerstones of his economic agenda. >> but as for the agenda of the gop if they are following orders, house republicans will be fanning outs in their districts ramping up aggressive anti-obama campaign with all the latest digital bells and whistles. yes, as they fled the capitol for their five-week recess, gop lawmakers were sent off with a detailed 31-page handbook. fighting washington for all americans. politico reports it includes handy tips such as make sure to use a camera on a tripod for a
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youtube live roundtable. and where a hard hat and post a creative vine video after visiting a local energy production plant. remember, nothing says working for the people like a member of congress in a hard hat. put on a hard hat, and no one will notice that republicans voted for the 40th time to repeal the affordable care act. or almost no one. >> let's talk reality. you haven't passed a farm bill. you've only passed four of the 12 appropriations bill you're supposed to pass. we face a government shutdown and a debt limit in the fall. again, is this the best way to spend your time passing bills that aren't going to become law and an added question, with so much unfinished business, why not stick around instead of taking a five-week vacation. >> let me try and address those. >> yes. ever on message, mr. cantor went on to blame the president for
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his campaign style tour. brilliant. let's get right to our panel with us from washington is nia-malika henderson, host of "on background," and in los angeles is democratic strategist and columnist for the daily beast, professor bob shrum. professor shrum, i don't know why eric cantor is wasting his time being berated by anous anchor. why isn't he out in virginia wearing a hard hat some place or is he worried about disturbing his magnificent head of hair? >> i think what they ought to do is send out a handbook to these guys on how to pass a bill. it could probably be about two pages long, not 31 pages long. the truth is. >> professor, they've passed a bill. it's called repeal the affordable be care act, and they passed it 40 times. >> yes, and i was going to say, how to pass a bill other than repealing obama care which is never going to become law. they're never going to repeal obama care. it's not going to happen. in fact, they're in a terrible situation.
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i think they know it. when the law takes effect in 2014, there are going to be tens of millions of people who are going to start getting help with health care. by the time the 2016 election comes along, that will have been in effect for almost three years. it will be poisonous at that point for republicans to go out there and say we're going to repeal that law. that law will become something highly prized by the american people and by 2020, republicans will be pledging to protect it. >> really? nia malikka, we know that he senator ted cruz will be going on a repeal the affordable care act tour this august aiming to shut down the government over the law in september. but not everyone is on board with the plan. i'd like you, anyia mallika, to take a listen to congressman paul ryan. >> you know, rather than swing for the fences in trying to take this entire law out with discretionary spending, there are more effective ways of achieving that goal. we think we can do better by delaying this law. >> so nia-malika, how much of a
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war is going on in the gop right now over how to deal with their enemy number one, the affordable care act? because they seem like a disunified force. >> they very much are. you had for instance the dean of conservative intellectuals, charles krauthammer say he feels like this is a fool's errand. he said it's suicide and the problem with suicide is that it is always fatal. that's what republicans are doing in this instance, they are in some ways holding themselves hostage. then you have some senate republicans, particular little paul ryan too saying this just isn't a good idea, but folks like ted cruz very much adamant in wanting to see this happen. marco rubio who, of course, in some ways compromised his conservative bone na fides by backing immigration. now he's saying is let's defund obama care but it has very much exposes a real rift among republicans about what's practical going forward. i think shrum is right. the problem republicans are facing is come october, these
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exchanges will be starting to be set up. people will enroll and come january a lot of benefits and opportunities to get obama care will actually come to fruition. so this is like a last ditch effort that they have to put all their energy into doing something that's just not going to happen. that's defunding obama care and repealing it. >> what an excellent use of their resources. professor shrum, even the nation's most far right republican governors are trying desperately trying, sir, to talk some sense over this proposed government shutdown. mississippi governor phil bryant tells "the new york times," and i'm quoting, we believe in eliminating obama care completely but at some point, perhaps we have to realize that the federal government because of the support of our military, support of our public safety, our infrastructure, wiig have to have a budget." but will senator cruz and his cohort listen? >> well, i don't think we know that yet. look, john mccain is saying the same thing. tom cole who is very conservative who is in the house
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leadership is saying the same thing. it would be a disaster for the republicans to shut down the government. they did it in 1995. those guys were there. they saw that it was a political train wreck. i think boehner understands this, the house speaker. i think mcconnell understands this, but boehner wants to be called speaker, not ex-speaker. mcconnell faces a primary in kentucky. so i don't think that we can be certain about what's going to happen here. if they do shut down the government and they'll be blamed for it, if they will do crash the full faith and credit of the united states by stonewall walling the debt skeelings, i've said it before and i'll say it again, the democrats will keep the senate in the 2014 and will also take back the house. eric cantor, by the way, had a preposterous proposal on sunday. he said, well, look, maybe we could all make a deal here and we wouldn't shut down the government as long as the president would agree to massive entitlement reforms. that's the political strategy of the extinct dodo bird. you're going to say we're going
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to shut down the government so we can cut your social security and medicare. >> it's absolutely brilliant. nia-malika, just one question to you finally. this conversation about repealing the affordable care act, has it never struck these politicians that what they're doing as professor shrum said earlier, is taking away the provision of health care with absolutely no consideration of a replacement. i mean this is absolutely lacking in any kind of compassion for the develop people that will this act was designed to cover. >> you know, it used to be that the refrain was repeal and replace. and now there is really no idea about what would actually replace it. it's just this idea of repealing. and i think cantor's turned to talking about entitlement. >> repealing and throwing 25 million people back onto the streets with no health care. >> exactly. and i think cantor's turned to talking about entitlement reform in some ways. that's disingenuous.
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if you think what obama did in april, he proposed massive changes to entitlement reform, $100 billion cuts to social security. $400 billion cuts to medicare. and republicans didn't want to do that. they felt like that's not the direction they wanted to go in. a little disingenuous for eric can'ter to say, hey, what about entitlement reform. >> that's the greatest understatement i've heard you offer. nia and professor, thank you so much pem coming up, politics and sports collide as alex rodriguez is bernged. and from the doghouse to the underdog, we dive into the issues facing this great city with the candidate in the best position to capitalize on the anthony weiner circus. >> here's what i think. i have said from the word go in this campaign, i'm the underdog. i mean, i don't know how i would be anything else, given the way i left public life the first time. [announcer] there's no hiding the goodness of the latest from
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we're following new developments involving yankee third baseman alex rodriguez. moments ago, major league baseball announced rodriguez would be suspends through the end of next season for his role in a scandal involving performance-enhancing drugs. he is among 13 players punished by the league for performance enhancing drugs today. and is the only one appealing. for more on this, i want to bringing in dave ziron, sports editor for the nation. mr. rodriguez has just released a statement. i am disappointed with the penalty and intend to appeal and fight this through the process. i am eager to get back on the field and to be with my teammates in chicago tonight. i want to thank my family,
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friends and fans who have stood by my side through all of this. so i guess an alleges drug cheat just carries on playing tonight, does he? is that the principle? >> yes, he does because major league baseball is terrified right now of running afoul players union, probably the most powerful union in the united states of america in any field. but the union made it clear to major league baseball that they would not allow them to suspend alex rodriguez during his appeal. that would have been rather unprecedented by major league baseball and the union drew the line. >> okay. about an hour from now, the president is set to honor former ballplayers who were members of the historic negro league this evening in just over an hour. this could have been a very special day for the sport. instead, what we're discussing is a selfish cheater and alleged liar who basically has besmirched the integrity of the game. >> well, alex rodriguez doesn't
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need a lot of help in besmirching the integrity of the game. this is a sport that made billions of dollars throughout the 1990s on the steroid eera. yet the entire weight of the steroid era, the entire weight of the scandal has fallen on the shoulders of the players. if this was to use a world that you're very familiar with, martin, if this is abu ghraib, this is about publishing liddy england and not looking up the chain of command. because rodriguez and barry bonds are so known, we're not looking at some of the real culprits in the corp raft institution of baseball. >> the nation's dive ziron. thank you sir. from new york city sports to politics. despite the appearance of sydney leathers and the continuing saga of one man's addiction to phone sex, there is a serious mayoral race going on in new york city. one of the all-important issues concerns widening inequality throughout the city. the an a topic raise this had
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weekend by new york city's unofficial mayor. >> really want to scare america, but the real problem is there's no middle class, right? so the gap between the have and have nots is getting wider and wider. let me just finish this point because i do want to scare them a little bit. it's going to be a problem that no amount of police can solve because you know, once you have that sort of oppression, you know, and that gap is widening, you know, this is inevitable that something's going to happen. >> for more now, i'm delighted to say we're joined by another man who is focusing on this very issue, candidate bill de blasio. welcome. let me quickly ask you your reaction top allem rodriguez who is completely defiant, despite what has happened today. >> i agree with dave. there's institutional problems in baseball. in this case, alex has his own very particular problem. i say throw the book at him. he's a horrible symbol of someone putting his own money over the good of the many,
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certainly the good of his teammates. and it's time for him to belove along. >> does it surprise you he expresses no commitment to any higher philosophical or ethical values? he doesn't seem to care about the way the sport has been rubbished, the way people's expectations of their heroic athletes have been disillusioned because people frankly believe that every single one of these elite sportsman is a drug user. >> they're not. there are some who actually play the game properly. but what bothers me is your point. there's no contrition. we saw that with ryan braun till it was too late and he was caught red handed. i would like to see in sports people acknowledge their errors, show humility. offer something back to the world. in alex's case, it's about the paycheck and no contrition whatsoever. >> let's go onto the bigger issues. frank senate trat described this city as the place where you can make it. you know the reality of this city is that more and more people can't make it. >> and new york city has changed profoundly. the economic crisis,
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gentrification, a series of changes have made it the place where opportunity is not available to all. it is fundamentally changing the character of the city bluntly for the worst. the city government needs to respond and has not particularly in the last bloomberg term sfloorl bloomberg would go counter this is the free market at work. some people make loads of money, others of us don't do so well. tough. >> that's what bloomberg thinks. >> it's not just mr. blook boom berg. that's the free market capitalist view. >> that's why we have a tale of two cities in new york where 46% according to a new york city 46% at or near the poverty level at 1509% of poverty or less. this is not sustainable for the long-term. this is not the new york city we all signed up for. the city government is in a position to take bold steps to help bring up wages and benefits, help support the fast food workers, living wage regulation and paid sick days. take subsidies away from big
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companies, get them to small business and to the city universities. >> intervention basically. >> we have the tools in new york city to do it and need to use them now. >> another question that's been at issue here is the stop and frisk policy. >> yes. >> as you know, this is disproportionately affected african-american latino young men without the resulting series of convictions if you stop and frisk everyone. but the head of the police here, the commissioner, ray kelly says it's an important tool for prime crime representation. do you accept his view. >>? >> no, 90% of those stopped innocent. overwhelm whenningly young men of color. if you're a white family in new york city, you raise a young law abiding white teenager, they will not be accosted by the police. that same teenager from a family of color, law abiding will likely be stopped, probably repeatedly. what does that do to their sense of self-worth? more importantly, what does it do to the relationship between
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police and community, any possibility of communication and partnership goes out the window when people feel they're under assault for no real reason. so ray kelly has hidden behind the notion that if we stop lots of innocent people and occasionally find guilty people, that's acceptable. that's good police package. that that's un-american. that violates our notion of civil liberties and the balance after security and civil liberties on which this country was founded. >> bill de blasio, we've done baseball, we've done inequality and stop and frisk. we're not going to doing anthony weiner. enjoy your afternoon. >> thank you. >> coming up, dangerous chatter. startling details are beginning to emerge on the terror threats that put u.s. embassies on high alert. we'll have a live report in a moment. stay with us. this is the one i was telling you about. the new samsung galaxy s 4. it's got a front and back camera so you can take pictures at the same time. seriously! yeah - and it's on verizon's network. sweet! we can stay in touch when we go to school next year. that's so great! get the samsung galaxy s 4 for only $148 on verizon - america's largest 4g lte network. walmart.
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the u.s. to close 19 diplomatic posts in the middle east and africa through saturday and to issue a global travel alert tore americans abroad. joining us is foreign correspondent ayman mohyeldin. what can you tell us about this report that led to these disclosures? i understand the chatter has been with a leader of al qaeda to somebody in the yemen. is that right? >> reporter: that is correct. what we are learning at this stage is that it was an intercept of communication, not sure yet what that form of communication was, but it was an intercept of a communication between al qaeda's main leaderer a man zawahiri bloobed to be somewhere in the region and the head of-al qaeda in yemen. this communication between them did not reveal any type of specific information about an impending attack, but given the nature of these twos individuals and the revelation that they wanted to doll something "big," that really put u.s. officials
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on edge and made them issue this alert across the world and shutting down several embassy. so it has to do more with the nature of the individuals, the type of communication, the timing of the communication, rather than any specific details about an impending attack. martin? >> nbc's ayman mohyeldin in cairo. thank you and stay safe. do stay with us. the day's top lines are coming up as we prepare to mark a critical milestone in america's democracy once again under siege. ♪ as long as i've got my suit and tie ♪ hmm...fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more on car insurance. yep, everybody knows that. well, did you know some owls aren't that wise? don't forget i'm having brunch with meghan tomorrow. who? meghan, my coworker. who? seriously? you've met her like three times.
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among terrorists. >> we're living in an increasingly dangerous world. >> about the planning that's going on. >> is the threat to blow up an embassy, a consulate or something else. >> very reminiscent of what we saw pre- 9/11. >> that part of it is unspecified but the intent seems clear. >> now we have 2.0 or 3.0. >> she is very concerned this is benghazi all over again. >> i'm a republican. >> doesn't mean we need to close 28 embassies and consulates. >> threw are doing what has to be done. >> shutting down embassies instead of taking a stand. >> we can't criticize them. >> our next guest says al qaeda thinks they've won. >> criticize them for doing too much. >> crazy. >> it looks like a wishbone and mitch mcconnell's getting pulled at from both ends. >> as long as i'm in the senate, kentucky will have a voice instead of san francisco and martha's vineyard. >> if the doctors told senator mcconnell he had a kidney stone, he'd refuse to pass it. >> should have been a better
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way. >> do you think? >> charlie rangel from new york went on a racist rant last week when he was comparing the tea party to the term cracker, white cracker. >> he said don't call him cracker. he said you got to say uncle cracker. >> the same group we faced in the south with the white crackers and dogs and police. some people are asking why there hasn't been more outrage. >> you're a republican you make a statement like that, it's over. >> the further right you are, the worse it gets. >> let's get right to our panel. joining us now is democratic strategist angela rye in washington and jonathan capehart of the "washington post." john, tomorrow marks a very, very important occasion as you know. almost 50 years since is the signing of the voting rights act. 1965, 6th of august. since the supreme court dismantled section 4 some weeks ago, restrictive voting laws are being introduced in am almost half the states if you look at that map p.
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instead of marking our progress as the anniversary approaches, shouldn't we be lamenting this backward step. >> i this i we are. we've been lamenting it since the supreme court gutted the voting rights act. but what we saw in the 2012 election when those states before the supreme court ruled tried to push through voting restrictions, the people who were targeted rose up and decided, you know what? i'm going to vote. i'll wait however many hours it takes in order for myself to exercise the franchise. and i think what's going to happen now that the supreme court has acted and all these states are trying to put in more restrictions is that the people are going to rise up. this country is changing. and the supreme court can try to pull the laws back and republican governors can try to pull the laws back, but the people will prevail. >> to that point, angela, things haven't changed in almost 50 years because there are some things as we know that are exactly the same, for instance, in the last election, justice
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juan referenced, blacks and latinos waited almost twice as long as whites did to cast their ballots. is that something do you think we should just accept now? i mean, is this not contradictory to the very foundation idea of this nation of all men being born equal? >> it's no question. contradictory, martin. you have members of congress who have introduced bills to ensure a constitutional amendment for our right to vote. and by our, i mean american people, our right to vote. jesse jackson junior when he was in congress introduced that measure every single congress, and now keith ellison has done the same. several civil rights organizations will be supporting that constitutional amendment bill. but there are a number of things that have to take place. i think the president in fact also mentioned it in his acceptance speech at the beginning of his second term that we have to fix that. so this is a major problem. we should not accept the longer
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lines. we should not accept restrictions on our ability to you identify ourselves at the polls. we had ancestors, uncles, aunts, i'm sorry, grandparents that worked very, very hard to ensure our voting rights would be intact and not take a step back. >> they didn't just work hard, that i gave their lives. >> absolutely. >> john we learned today that florida governor rick scott is now preparing another purge of the voting rolls in his state. he tried the say thing last year. now he wants to do it for 2014. he's running so that will be beneficial to him. is this really we're stand 50 years after those people were beaten, you know, treated with water hoses, killed? this is where we are. >> yeah. >> more voter suppression, more of it going on. good old rick scott. >> yes, that's exactly where we are. here's the difference. 50 years ago, the african-americans and others who were pushing for the right to vote didn't have any power. african-americans today have a whole lot more power today than
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they did then. and so rick scott, governor scott can do what he's trying to do in all those otherling late tours around the country can try to do those things. some of if not most of them will probably be successful. but as i said before, the people will prevail. these restrictions this they just cannot stand because the country is changing >> i hope so. all of this, of course, angela, i guess we would call this national discussion on race. and here's representative tedio ho of florida on his conversation with a dark skinned person about the affordable care act. take a listen to this. >> i said that have you ever been to etaning booth? and he goes, no, no need. so therefore it's a racist tax and i thought i could come out and say i've been disenfranchised because i got taxed because of the color of my skin. >> we know the tanning tax would hit speaker john boehner. but really? is that the level of our
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conversation on it day before think of anniversary? >> i'm sorry. i just chuckled, martin. it's a terrible thing to do about speaker boehner. but to the point, we've been having this content of our character versus the color of our skin discussion for far too long. we're talking about affordable care act. we know the republican strategy has been very much a repeal, not their original repeal and replace strategy des the fact that so many people, not just people of color or dark skinned people but folks disenfranchised would benefit from it. this is not a conversation we should be having in these terms but we know we have a lot to discuss not only about race but also about our economics in this country to jonathan's point about us making advancements. >> and you know, when this topic came up, a few years ago,ing the sort of tanning tax and this claim that it was a racist tax, i refused to talk about it. because it's absolutely ridiculous. why -- we're talking about
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etaning tax when the whole point of the bill is to ensure millions of people who have no access to any health care whatsoever. so we're going to spend all of our time talking about this stupid and sill lar issue rather than talk about the overall issue which is making health care accessible to people who want it and to people who need it. >> indeed. angela ryan, jonathan capehart, thank you so much for addressing that nonsense. coming up, america's desperately needed gun conversation. there really is never a perfect time, is there. >> since the nra rule is you can't talk about gun control right after a mass shooting, it's too emotional and we haven't had a mass shooting in awhile, how about now? hero: if you had a chance to go anywhere in the world, but you had to leave right now, would you go?
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today marks the one-year anniversary of the mass shooting at a wisconsin sikh temple. it's been six years since the fatal shooting of 32 people at virginia tech university. 14 years since the massacre at columbine high school in colorado. and whatever the tragic mass shooting we inevitably hear the same refrain from anti-gun control groups like the nra. now is not the time to have this discussion. but while we wait, americans continue to die. consider there have been nearly 7,000 gun-related deaths in the united states since december's horrific shooting in newtown. including two people shot and killed in chicago this weekend where a 6-year-old boy was among 19 others wounded by gunfire. two more dead and five more wounded in a possibly gang related shooting at a taco stand in california late last night. and in the bronx, the bloody gun of a 14-year-old sits on the
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ground after he was shot in the face and killed by a police officer yesterday. the youngest victim of a police shooting that commission mer ray kelly can recall. oh if not after a mass shooting, if not after each individual shooting, then when should this conversation take place? for more, i'm pleased to be joined by democratic strategist julian epstein and from mayors against illegal guns with me is mark glaze. julian, we're learning now hairy reid says is he almost certain the issue of background checks which as you know failed to advance despite 90% he support amongst americans that it will be revisited next year. why does he think it will be a different time next year to bring a bill before the senate when we know what's just happened? >> well, i think you make a good point. i think actually the experience with the gun vote on background checks makes a very strong case for getting rid of the filibuster rule. but the idea, martin, is to allow the progressive movement,
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the democratic party and others that care about this issue like mark glaze's very, very fine organization doing brilliant work to build a political movement to make elected officials pay a price for trying to ge against something that 90% of the american people want. you mentioned the statistics before 7,000 a year, 7,000 since the connecticut shooting. we have 11,000 every year. it's 20 times the gun homicide rate in any other country. we have a bloodbath going on in our streets every day. >> no doubt. >> the amount of homicides that are committed in self-defense are 2250. 250 as compared to 11,000. the data is just overwhelming that guns are a cause for more killings and more death than they are for self-defense in this country. it's an overwhelming case. >>,ma, by all appearances, mayor michael bloomberg and your organization as julian rightly says have done a great deal of work on this issue of gun safety. but then this past week, senator
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patrick leahy had this to say. take a listen to this. >> one law that would stop all the gun violence in this country, no. but can you do a lot better han we have in yes. and unfortunately, you have some on the left like the mayor of new york city who actually didn't help a bit with his ads. he actually turned off some people that we might have got on support. >> the good senator might be trying to excuse the incompetence of the senate with regard to the matter about you is that right that mayor bloomberg is responsible for why legislation like this has never been passed? >> it's really the job of senators to get legislation passed. >> that's that i thought. >> we have been working on this issue is, mayor bloomberg and now a thousand other mayors for seven years and during much of that seven years, it was almost impossible to get congress to pay attention. in the tucson shooting, one of congress's own gabrielle
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giffords was nearly an fascinated. it took ten months before we finally talked the senate judiciary committee with chuck consumer at the lead finally making that hearing happen. ten months to take a look at the policy flaws in this country that facilitated that shooting. so i don't think president obama has given up. i know mayor bloomberg hasn't given up. placing blame elsewhere doesn't do anybody any good. >> let me be less politic than mark. i have a history with senator leahy and senator schumer. we've been waiting for the perfect message since columbine. 2008. it's 15 years ago while political figures haven't been able to get anything done. mayor bloomberg is putting his money where his mouth is. he has become the single most important person in the country on this issue. he is the guy putting his money where his mouth is. i think it's very unfortunate for senators leahy and schumer who i like very much to be misplacing their criticism here. i think bloomberg has done a
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remarkable job. >> here here, julian and mark, thank you both. coming up, we introduce a mini series that only a five-week congressional vacation could possibly inspire. we'll explain in a moment. ♪ there's a new way to fight litter box odor. introducing tidy cats with glade tough odor solutions.
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question, are you committed to a house vote this fall on an overall path to legalization. >> we have not made any announcements as to the schedule yet as to how this will come forward. >> a simple yes or no, are you committed to a vote this year on i an path to legalization. >> we have a vote on a series of bills at some point, chris. and it will deal with a variety of issues. >> immigration reform is one of the most crucial policy areas that the rudderless how gop simply left unfinished before going quietly into the night for their august recess.
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so we thought why not use it as the first installment for our new series "while you were recessing." for the next five weeks till congress returns on sent 9th, we'll look at all the major issues house republicans left unresolved by deliberate obstruction and hopeless dysfunction. everything from immigration control to gun control. you name it. always keeping in mind that this congress is expected to take the record for being the least productive in the history of this great country. joining us now is democratic congressman louise gutierrez of illinois. welcome, sir. >> thank you, martin. >> you are always such al optimistic individual. i have to ask you this question from from the off. how is an optimism with your constituents having seen the congress come to an end, the year come to an end as it were and no progress? >> continuing to be optimistic and here's why. it's very broad moment, very deep movement. it's going to reflect itself
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thousands of times during the reverse. and then you and i will talk on september 11th and see if it hasn't made an impact. >> congressman, you just. >> there are things are just inevitable. >> you just heard the house majority leader say the conditions are not right. the conditions are never right. when are the conditions right? >> you know, i wish democrats were in the majority so we could set the agenda. we're not. we don't set the agenda in the congress of the united states. here's what it is. the republicans may control the house of representatives. but the referendum on immigration was held last november 6th. and the public policy is for comprehensive immigration reform. and i think in the end, that is going to -- is what is going to win out. i'm going to spend the recess visiting towns inviting congressmen to town hall meetings whether it's in new york or here in my own state, l.a., i know that there are thousands of others doing the same thing.
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and ratcheting up the message that we can't let this opportunity be missed. >> well, you're certainly being helped by the president because he goes to arizona tomorrow to deliver a speech on the economy. as well as sitting koun for an interview with jay leno. and already, the gop governor there jan brewer who, of course has a history of being obnoxious towards the president and discourteous is at it again. she tells politico "it's jay leno comedy every other week." do you know or can you explain why republicans find it imfootball have a serious discussion with this president, whether it's on the economy, on jobs or immigration? >> i think it's one of the saddest commentaries on our political moment that we live. barack obama was elected and re-elected resoundingly. president of the united states. and i don't know why a minority wants to keep obstructing the will of the american people, but let me just say, look, he's going to go down there. governor brewer -- just who is
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governor brewer? look at who she is. she was an extremely unpopular governor running into -- running for re-election in arizona with no record of any public policy accomplishment who decided to do the old, you know, i'm going to blame someone else. don't look at my failures and finger pointed and scapegoated and criminalized immigration. immigrants in her state all the way to the supreme court where the supreme court rebuffed two-thirds of sb-1070. the other third we know is going to be declared unconstitutional. that's who she is, using this pandering against immigrants to put herself where she's at. but what has she really accomplished? the president of the united states is going to go down there and focus on jobs and the economy. i hope he talks about immigration too because he is spent a lot of resources on that boarder. >> congressman gutierrez, thanks you for your optimism. >> thank you. >> we'll be right back to clear the air.
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. i just found out today, best i can do, i'll get you straightened out tomorrow. okay? >> it's okay. >> that, of course, was a scene from the movie "42," starring chadwick boozman as the great jackie robinson, whose courage, resilience and sheer ability drove him to become the first african-american in major league baseball. in about an hour's time, the president will welcome negro league baseball players to the white house to thank them for their role, not just as sportsmen but as individuals who played their part in the pursuit of something so much bigger than themselves. nothing less than the cause of
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civil rights in this nation. and it would have been so much better, frankly, so much more inspiring if that was the dominant baseball story today. but it isn't. because the long anticipated suspension of alex rodriguez has stolen all the headlines. it's alleged that rodriguez used performance-enhancing drugs and then destroyed the evidence as the authorities tried to investigate. he's banned through this and next year, but since he's appealed, he's likely to continue playing this season, even tonight. mr. rodriguez has never made any secret of his core commitment. and it has always been to himself. you may recall this self-aggrandizing magazine shoot where his affection for alex rodriguez is so real, that he can't resist kissing his own reflection. and instead of reflecting honestly about how drugs have destroyed the integrity of so many sports, mr. rodriguez is still only concerned about one
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thing -- himself. >> when all this stuff is going on in the background and people are finding creative ways to you know, cancel your contract and stuff like that, i think that's concerning. >> alex rodriguez believes this entire ca scandal is not about any higher moral or ethical values, but is solely about him losing out on yet another multimillion dollar contract. but those negro league players never had such illusions. because they knew that they were never playing for themselves. those brilliant, bright young menu that their efforts albeit on the field of play, would be added to the great team of social activists led by dr. martin luther king and many others that would bring civil rights and voting rights to all the citizens of this great nation. alex rodriguez is actually the perfect proof of an ancient
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truth, that he who keeps his life will lose it. and today, those negro league players are the winners by a landslide. thanks so much for watching. chris matthews and "hardball" is next. of warning, let's play "hardball \s good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. let me start tonight with this. a dozen years ago this month, the united states of america received a sharp warning. bin laden. determined to strike in u.s. that message was delivered to the president directly. a month later this country was hit harder than at any time since pearl harbor. but without blaming george w. bush for failing to act sufficiently to that warning an of august 6th

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