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tv   Thomas Friedman on National Security and Freedom  CSPAN  February 16, 2014 9:34pm-10:54pm EST

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that we have announced? > silence! >> mr. john barron! >> the prime minister is aware of cross party group of some 80 m.p.'s campaigning for ecognition of our nuclear test sectors. given the u.k. compares poorly to how other countries treat their veterans and very high incidence of ill health suffered by desendants, would the prime minister meet with us given we hit a brick wall with the n.o.d. and given this government's good track record at recognizing past wrongs? >> i know my honorable friend has consistently campaigned on this issue and i have discussed it with him before. i wrote to him a month ago setting out the government's view about this. this in previous governments frequently stated the position there was no published peer review evidence of access, illness for mortality but it is right to go on looking at this issue as i know he will and continue to discuss it with him.
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>> order. >> you have been watching prime minister's questions from the british house of commons. question time ayers live on c-span2 every wednesday at 7:00 a.m. eastern and on sunday night at 9:00 p.m. eastern and pacific on c-span. next week the british house of commons will be out of session for a short week-long recess. prime minister's questions returns wednesday, february 26, live on c-span2. and you can watch a video of past prime minister's questions and other british affairs programs on our website, c- >> the president and c.e.o. of freedomworks is here. thank you very much for being with us. >> thank you very much for having me sblfment this is the story from the hill newspaper as senator rand paul and freedom works suing the president over the n.s.a. spying program. that lawsuit filed on wednesday. let's begin with the fourth amendment to the u.s. constitution. it states, quote, the right of
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people to be secure in their persons, houses and papers in effects against unusual searches and seizures shall not be violated and no warrant shall issue but upon probable cause supported by the oath or affirmation and particularly describing the place to be searched and person or things to be seized. i want to begin with the fourth amendment. that's the fundamental principle of your lawsuit. explain. >> it is fundamental in what the government has done is a fundamentally violated that basing principle that we're innocent until proven guilty. nme principles that we are innocent until proven guilty. that you cannot have a general warrant that goes after the effects and the personal belongings of people, in this case the scooping up with everybody's cell phone records, everybody's phone records, this so-called metadata, making this potentially the largest class in the history of jurisprudence. you are talking about potentially 300 million people , anyoneillion people
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who has made a phone call since 2006. extraordinary. white house security officials are saying that we are not listening to your phones. we are trying to figure out if there is a thread to who you are talking to and if there is suspicion, then we go to the courts and listen to what you are doing as a way to keep people safe. how do you balance security and safety and civil liberties? guest: i would air on the side of in the visual liberties, that is the basis of what this country is about. the fourth amendment is important to understand that they themselves have a college solvedis program has not any crimes. it has not helped them to identify any potential bad actors. there is a practical argument against it, but there is a constitutional argument that matters and we should always air
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on the side of liberty over intrusive, expensive government. senator paul and freedom works outside the courthouse on wednesday. what is specifically in this lawsuit? this is specifically a class-action suit against the and members of his administration is -- insisting that they admit to violating the amendment. we are not including first amendment claims or the rifle shots designed specifically to get this question answered. we are not looking for answers, we are looking to get them to stop. host: if others want to join, how can they do so? >> obviously the definition of the class, we want to make sure that we do it the right way. freedom works representatives, i would defer to the lawyers on
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that, but we are looking for -- we want some bipartisanship on this one. we would love to see someone like senator ron wyden get involved as an individual, not as a senator. let me share with the president said on this program. [video clip] the have ordered that transition away would proceed in two steps. effective immediately, we will only pursue phone calls that are numberps removed from a associated with a terrorist organization, instead of the current three. i have directed the attorney general to work with the foreign intelligence surveillance court so that during this transition. the database can be queried only after a judicial finding or, insert -- or in the case of a true emergency.
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i havetep two, instructed the intelligence community and the attorney general to use this transition to develop options for a new approach that can match the capabilities that and fill the gaps that the program is designed to address without the government holding this metadata itself. back to me with options for alternative approaches before the program comes up for reauthorization on march 28. during this time i will consult with relevant committees in congress to seek their views. then i will seek congressional authorization for the new programs as needed. was on january 17. this editorial, "the president calls for significant changes." have they been significant? guest: >> i don't think so. in some ways that is rearranging things inside of a system that
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is fundamentally wrong. it is not enough to continue to allow these faceless, nameless government agents in the executive branch to decide when it is right and wrong. we do not know exactly what they are doing. senator obama in 2005 was exactly on message when he criticized the patriot act and the fact that you did not have a day in court. you did not have an adversarial judicial system. to quote him, no jury will hear your case, this is plain wrong. thinking has changed, we he was right then and wrong now. host: we welcome your phone calls. e-mail, or youn can contact us on twitter. alex is joining us from missouri, democratic line, good morning. how does this man talk
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about president obama question man -- obama? host: we missed your point. caller: [inaudible] president obama in the court? why not bush and cheney? question.reat i would point out that we were highly critical of the bush administration when they were doing this and are equally critical of the obama administration. the reason we are suing the obama administration is because barack obama is in charge of the executive branch and is the one responsible for making sure that the executives and its agencies follow the constitution. init was george w. bush office today, we would do the exact same thing. we have received a number of e-mails and tweets on the patriot act, people calling it a
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direct result of 9/11. republicans supported the patriot act shortly after 9/11, saying it was mrs. terry. bipartisan panic after 9/11. often you see some of the worst legislation is passed without due consideration in hopes of solving some fundamental security problem. i think we should scrap the andiot act, start over, have an open, rational conversation about this balance between security and liberty. we did not do that after 9/11. host: greg, good morning, independent line. find this subject to be way overblown. if we have evidence that the government is doing something malicious with the information, that is one thing, but why should we be so concerned -- if
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they are out to get the bad guys , then that should be ok, but if, you know, if i know i am not doing anything wrong, why should i be so concerned about this? i think this whole story is overdone and overblown. can you give me evidence that the government is taking my information and using it against me? if you can't, then you don't really have a story. host: ok, we will get a response. guest: that is a great question. the american system was always designed to defend the innocent and force the government to prove some probable cause. but there is evidence that this data has been abused. there were stories a few months ago showing that nsa employees were actually stalking former boyfriends and girlfriends, wives and husbands, in an illegal way. ,f they will do that to them
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what assurances do you have that you cannot be targeted? of too seen the abuses much discretionary power at the irs and other federal agencies. we should not have to hope they are doing the right thing. there are checks and balances in our government and we should air on the side of liberty. we do not have to prove that we are innocent in order to prove that they are guilty. how does this violate the data mining of phone calls? guest: obviously, we did not have cell phones when the bill of rights was written. host: but where is the violation of the fourth amendment? >> the reasonable expectation of privacy of our personal phone records. that is part of our belongings, or person, our home. that is where the violation takes place. host: richmond, virginia, you're on with matt kibbe, president
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and ceo of freedom works. caller: how are you doing? i am listening to what this man is saying, but i cannot imagine that these people are a bunch of bleeding heart liberals worried about the rights of people and all of that. we need to discuss the security of the united states of america. say, i have dealt with radio. when you pick up the phone and start talking on it, everyone is listening, not only the government. you have private entities. you have people, if you can get the frequency, you can sit outside my house right now and listen to my conversation. radioshack does sell this equipment. laws against what you would call -- you would listen, but not to personal conversations. i think of what you are talking
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about is keeping the evidence of further access, if something were to happen, you could go back and searched through these records to determine who i was talking to. some odd entity that may be crime.d in some type of but if anyone is listening to me when i call home and i say -- fix me some breakfast or something like that, it will be fine with me. even on the street the drug dealers by the gold bonds. you can purchase a telephone that the 7-eleven host: we will get a response. guest: we are not just talking about cell phones, but hardlines. the practical effect is that most people have cell phones today. i think this goes back to some fundamental violations. we have seen the chief executive
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and his administration go after individuals. in my new book, i write about how the fbi and robert kennedy signed off on this and went after martin luther king, tapping his phones. i think that we are talking about today the mass surveillance of all of the american people. i think we need to watch that. i think we need to be rightfully worrisome that the government might do something wrong. i do not think we should give them the benefit of the doubt. that is the american tradition. host: you mentioned that you wanted this to be a bipartisan issue. pat leahy has been critical of the president using this program. will he join you in this lawsuit? guest: i hope that he does. i cannot speak for him. i am hoping that we get support. supportersmber of when we first announced our intention to do this last fall. we were joining with the aclu. i would hope that democrats will
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do this as well. i realize it is tougher for democrats to sue a democratic president. i suspect it would have been tougher for republican senators to sue a republican president. this transcends partisanship. it is not about politics. i hope this is something that everyone can agree on. there are basic rights that americans have. no president should be able to violate those. ast: our guest is matt kibbe, graduate of grove city college. reducing thebout stranglehold on american -- by the government. always abuses their power eventually. every single time if they can do something, they will. guest: i think that is what we are learning. we are learning at the hard way. people that are skeptical of
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this lawsuit because we are suing barack obama, inc. about a --ld where you are giving in think about a world where you give unlimited discretionary power to ted cruz or rand paul. do you want that? i don't think anybody wants that. the whole point is that the individual comes first. the three branches of government are designed to keep each other in check. it is clear that the executive branch has done way beyond the intentions of congress on this question. you are saying republicans and democrats start to raise questions. that is medication that something needs to be done. host: i want to turn to politics in a moment. karl is on the phone from chicago. democrats line. caller: how are you doing? i hate to say this -- he is a phony. at the time the patriot act was written, the resulting one
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person of notoriety from the conservative side. he is against the patriot act. attack on political barack obama. is trying to find something to smear president obama about. we have to do everything that we can to try to discredit his presidency. he did not go after the congresswoman reauthorized. why not? guest: actually, we did. it is interesting. one of the things that has happened is continued revelations about the abuses of power under the patriot act. even jim sensenbrenner, i ranking republican on the committee of jurisdiction, who was the author, has expressed deep concerns and to worry about what has happened.
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he wants to revisit it. he wants to go back and figure out a way that we can better protect american citizens against this abuse of power. nonpartisan. -- if wee says this want a target on our backs, would this reduce the nsa spying? guest: i do not know. that is a separate question. the question of whether or not going into iraq or these foreign wars was a good idea. in hindsight, $1 trillion later and although i've lost, -- all of the lives lost, we should question whether this foreign venture them is worth the lives and the cost. fundamentally, is it good foreign policy? host: front page of the new york times -- look at this headline. spying by an ally and tangled a
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u.s. law form. the list of those caught up in the global net. headsocial media users to of state, now includes another entry. american lawyers. the government of indonesia had retained a law firm. he reports that the nsa's australian counterpart notify the agency that it was conducting surveillance of talks, including communications between indonesian officials and the american law firm. guest: it is amazing. the stories keep coming on this. allen in particular. i assume that there is some kind of a violation of client and attorney privilege. what is concerning to us and why we want it to the bottom of this is that the government story keeps changing. we hear denials and information.
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we would like to know what is going on. i think the american people have a right to know. host: is edward snowden hero? guest: when the dust settles, he might turn out to be a dissident. i am not sure yet. what ever think of edward snowden, i think transparency is a good thing. i think the american people need to know what their government is up to. if innocent people have had their rights violated, we should pursue that. host: we learned that working for booz allen hamilton holding documents, hese was able to troll the internet easily and inexpensively. guest: yes. is the problem and the new information age. i have realized that the decentralization driven by social media and the internet is
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both incredibly liberating and incredibly democratizing. it also is this granular means of surveillance for the federal government. we need, as citizens, to take some ownership in defending our own rights. host: joining senator paul and freedom works was ken gooch and ellie. he was a gubernatorial candidate and virginia -- ken cuccinelli. guest: he is a capable lawyer and he will do a good job on this case. we filed in virginia. toadds 28 team of lawyers -- a team of lawyers. they are capable of moving through the process. this is a serious class action. we hope to get to the supreme court. we hope to certify our class.
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we hope to get a positive decision. host: we will go to patrick in florida. independent line. caller: thank you for taking my call. iso not know if mr. kibbe such a source to go with. i remember him lobbying fiscal conservatives and ronald reagan, who tripled the national debt. a lot of your other colors stole my thunder. many countries have done away with these cell phones called burners. texas spent $33 million protecting their present system from these cell phones. they are the number one contraband item in the prison system. not know what to do with the government. you cannot have it both ways. you cannot have too little or too less. i do not know what the right mix is.
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host: if you are able to get through, please turn down the volume. that will eliminate the echo. guest: i think the line is quite bright. they work quite we're -- they were quite clear. tobias should always be in favor of individual liberty. they are proving that there is a crime or crossing a barrier. they have not done that yet. host: next is tony from chapel hill, tennessee. caller: good morning. matt, as soon as they passed the itriot act, i got leads -- took a while to pass, like they usually do. these people who think that i am not doing anything -- that is
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total bs. not only that, this opens an opportunity for an essay or security agencies to hold something over senators and congressmen. anyone that they need to manipulate, including people who dissent. as a veteran, i would say that everyone needs to wake up. if you are think you -- if you think you are so innocent, they can come to your house and say they accuse you. with nothing. they do not need proof. it is national security. keep up the good work, matt. i love it. host: thank you, tony. guest: in this day and age, in , allcular, all of the lost of the complexity, all of the regulatory codes, essentially make us in violation of some law that we do not even know about.
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it is that incredible complexity and discretion -- discretion that makes you a potential target in the government's way. this is not about a democratic president. i would have the same concerns when senator cruz takes the presidency. i think it is important to understand that we need to make it less discretionary for any bureaucrat to target any american citizen. we saw it in the regulations -- they allow bureaucrats to go after certain individuals trying to practice first amendment rights. we should not stand for it. as republicans, conservatives, democrats, liberals. host: you mentioned senator cruz. his never ending the ego trip -- a look back at the old boat to debtte to raise the
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ceiling. there is one thing i want to read you. try to get a sense of how he is viewed. watching was the man who caused it, senator ted cruz. his hands in his pocket and a satisfied grin on its face. the texas republican strolled over to the clerk's table to check on the vote count and was met with a look of disgust from bob corker. the feeling was widespread. moments after he walks into the cloak room, four senators are merged and changed their votes to "aye." as hisged and smirked colleagues overcame his filibuster. guest: i think we can say for certain that dana milbank is not a fan of ted cruz. i think there is a little bit of fiction and a little bit of truth. there is a clash going on between the class of 2010 and the collapse of 2012. -- class of 2012.
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you have a number of younger members who actually came to washington doing what they said they were going to do. everything go republican that ran in 2010 or 2012 said that they would do something that the national debt. they would do something with spending. they would work to balance the budget. i would argue that ted cruz and rand paul and mike lee and some of these house members that have been so demonized are simply doing what they said they were going to do. generally, while republicans that they would do. host: you have supported met devon in kentucky. why? guest: two reasons. mitch mcconnell's record on the national debt and balancing the budget -- and dealing with these basic issues as the republican senate leader. we think we need new leadership. kentucky, mitch mcconnell has already spent
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somewhere between a $7 million and $10 million trying to defend wherenate seat in a state mitt romney won by 21 points. he is now in a statistical dead heat with a no-name democrat. thatpublicans want to say seat, if it is about a republican majority and not just about mitch mcconnell's career, it would be smarter to go with devon. host: republican senate leaders -- a debt ceiling crisis. if we had default it on the debt, that would have sent the stock market down and created a lot of uncertainty. mitch mcconnell says he did what he needed to do. guest: the bulk of the house and the senate have been particularly inept at negotiating some sort of budget. remember when they took office or in -- office. they had promised some serious spending cuts.
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they have been losing that fight ever since. mitch mcconnell engineered the back away from the sequester. i think that somebody else needs to take charge of this. the real problem is not whether or not we increase the debt ceiling. the real problem with the national debt. andck obama and harry reid the republicans have been unable to do anything about that. somebody needs to step up and help. host: you have endorsed the primary challengers in mississippi and kentucky. not in texas, where there is a primary challenge. why? guest: part of the reason is the structure. we're waiting to see if there is a credible challenge. much like ted cruz did. we will see if that happens. i think that john cornyn is not terribly popular with republicans in texas. he may or may not get a serious challenger. host: back to the other topic,
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which is these programs. have you personally joined the lawsuit? guest: yes. as an individual, as an employee of freedom works, as a representative of our 6 million members. maryland, elizabeth is on the phone. democrats line. with matt kibbe from freedom works. caller: good morning. concerning the topic at hand, i can understand the concern over our privacy rights. what i do not understand -- what or freedomcan kibbe works give that this is not just a way to increase the mailing list? devon. back away from the sequester. i think that somebody else needs o engage as many citizens of possible in understanding what the faucet is about.
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also, understanding what they're -- their basic rights are. i think it is essential that citizens defend themselves against an encroaching government. this is not about building a list. this is not about partisan politics. this is about the bill of rights. host: next is robert from tennessee. republican line, good morning. caller: thank you for taking my call. i think that he is right on point. if you notice the democrats, they are all talking about what the constitution stands for. the ones that do not are messed up in the head. hillary clinton and barack obama ought to be tried for treason. i believe the republicans should go after them now. go after them hard. do everything they can. host: thank you for the call.
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guest: where we are today -- we were just talking about the fight within the gop caucus about the principles of the republican party. i am noticing that there is a trend in american politics away from the two political parties. a lot more people are registering as independent. a lot more people are skeptical of the party brands. it may not be republican versus democrat. it may be all about powerful insiders and lobbyists representing unions. all of that is polluting against the rest of us. the outsiders, the american people. that is a tipping point. that is why we need to restore constitutional principles and why we need more transparency about what they are up to. we can hold them accountable. host: let me ask you process questions. the loss it will be filed this week. it states what? guest: it is a class action
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suit. the plaintiffs include rand paul as a citizen, freedomworks, our members. we are looking for injunctive relief from the federal government, specifically barack obama, and his representatives of the agencies. we want restoration of the fourth amendment. we want all of this metadata that has been collected and stored to be destroyed. host: now that it has been filed, where does it go? could it go to the supreme court? guest: we have filed in virginia and we hope to get to the supreme court create it could. there are other lawsuits. the aclu has a lawsuit. there are several others. how those get handled, we will have to see how that emerges. host: is there any possibility of a cease and desist? or is the nsa ending the program? guest: members who authored the
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patriot act -- there's a lot of concern coming from congress. that is an important vote had a broad bipartisan support. enough to pass in the house. i think that congress should act. i wish they would do their job. making this lawsuit unnecessary. host: any reauthorization on the patriot act were on this program coming up this spring or summer? guest: i do not think so. that is up to the house to see if they will do that. host: do you think democrats will join you? guest: i hope they do. they have spoken out. i think it is tougher for democrats to join us because of the partisan nature of washington. it would be the right thing to do. is theatt kibbe
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>> putting you in the room at congressional hearings, white house events, conferences and gavel-to gavelte coverage of the house. us in h.d. like us on facebook and follow us on twitter. [captions performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2014] m perrez, who is the deputy director of the brennan center for justice. felons whoing about have served their time and whether they should have the ability to vote in elections. this is what eric was to last week. [video clip] state leaders and elected officials across the country to pass clear and consistent reforms to restore
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the voting rights of all who have served their terms in prison or jail and we did their parole or probation and paid their fines. [applause] i call upon experts and legislators to stand together in overturning an unfortunate and out dated status quo. people,pon the american who overwhelmingly oppose felony disenfranchisement to join us. bring about the end of misguided policies that unjustly restrict the most basic rights of american citizenship. those who have already shown leadership in raising awareness to help to address this issue. later today, we will hear from rand paul. he will lead us on this matter. he has vocal support for voting rights for former inmates.
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it shows that this issue need not break down along partisan lines. support -- bipartisan support will be critical moving forward. we need to do even more. we can make sure that these positive changes are expanded upon. and that these changes are made permanent. host: the attorney general last tuesday. time magazine is that with this piece, cowritten by michael shear. obama's legacy project. this is part of his effort area explain specifically what you think the administration wants to see happen. thet: we are hoping that administration will be using its role and the influence that it has to encourage states to revisit their policies of disenfranchising persons with criminal convictions. i think it will be surprising for most americans to learn that there are more than 4 million americans living and working in
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our communities who cannot vote because of a criminal conviction in the past. host: there have been some bipartisan efforts. we heard from rand paul and the former governor of virginia. they're putting forth a plan that would do what? power of hisd the office to provide clemency for those certain people who have had -- committed certain crimes and had enough time since their sentence. it is important to remember that he had a prosecuting background. he comes from a position where it is not good for public safety reasons to have people not equally integrated. one thing that i have learned in doing this work is that many people in the law enforcement profession recognized that if we want people who are returning our communities to successfully reintegrate, we need to give them a stake in our society.
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that means giving them rights and responsibilities. that includes the right to vote. host: the u.s. attorney general in the last two years of the bush administration has an op ed this weekend in the wall street journal. it is titled what holder is not saying about letting felons vote. he makes this point in the first section of the 14th amendment, which guarantees due process and equal protection to residents of all states. the second section says that states denied the rights of any male citizen over the age of 21 and will lose elector's for president and vice president. can you explain? interpretedhas been as allowing states to make determinations about what their eligibility requirements are criminal people with convictions.
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prosecution precludes those laws which are going to be found discriminatory on the basis of race. it is important when we revisit these lost to remember that many of these laws were created with a racist background. many of them resulted just at the time where our country was in franchising former slaves. that can be traced back through a lineage that comes from some of our most shameful past. a convicted are felon and you served 8-10 years for your crime in your 20's or 30's. you go back into the workplace and start to raise a family and become a citizen, you are not allowed to vote? guest: it depends on your state. that is one of the problems. we have a patchwork across the country. in some states, you never lose the right to vote. you can even vote in prison. then you have some states like kentucky and florida and iowa,
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where it does not matter how long ago the crime was, it does not matter what it was or how old you were when you did it -- if you have a felony, you do not get your right to vote back unless the government part into you. most states are somewhere in between. this patchwork creates a lot of problems for election administrators. sometimes they are very confusing. for example, i work in new york. probationers are allowed to vote, but parolees are not. that causes confusion among people who are affected and among election of -- administrators. they are not criminal justice professionals. they're trying to administer elections. and you do not have clear rules about who can vote, you have people unnecessarily and improperly disenfranchised. host: why? why is it so restrictive in florida? guest: the constitution has set that out.
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the important part is that the attorney general is asking us to revisit these policies. a number of states, not only are revisiting them, but go even further than what the attorney general asked for. the vast majority of states already either do with the attorney general called for or do even better. our historical trend is the one of the restrictions on the right to vote. it makes good public policy. if we want our democracy to be robust and we want people participating -- if we want people who have spent some time in prison to successfully reintegrate, we want to give them the tools that they need to do so. we want to give them the opportunity to demonstrate to their family that they can be role models and that they can take responsibility for their actions. they care about their community and their country. very few people can think of better ways than to do that by voting. is one of the ways that
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we demonstrate that we care how our country is doing or the direction that we're going. it allows people to have a stake and allows them to have a voice. that makes them more invested. perez is joining us from new york. she is a graduate of columbia law school. the fact that you have the president and rand paul on the same page on this issue tells you what? guest: it is very exciting. one thing to note is that this bipartisanship is not new. rick santorum suggested that our laws are restricting people with criminal convictions and there are two strict. governor bush signed texas law that moved texas closer to the mainframe. a lot of people recognize the idea that there is very little public policy that serves to prevent people from living and working in our community. people can come from a phase based background and
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recognize the outsider. they can come from an interest in public safety. they look at the data that suggest that if a person is more likely to vote, they're less likely to recidivate. you can look from a perspective of a robust economy. if we want everyone to participate, they should participate. that is enjoying a lot of bipartisan support. rand paul is just one very public manifestation of that. -- this hasyed enjoyed a lot of bipartisan support for a number of years. host: why was the right to vote taken away from felons in the first place? what reasoning are we attempting to verse? guest: there is very well-documented history of these lost. many of the laws disenfranchising people with criminal convictions occurred between 1865 and 18 -- 1900. right as the country was in
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franchising as a formal matter. we have seen it in the place of laws which were formerly disenfranchising people. they are coming up and taking their place. there are some laws that can trace their lineage back to shameful times. i know that disenfranchisement law in new york originated in the same constitutional convention in which they decided to expressly put a property requirement in order to let african-american men bow. if you look back at each history, it will be different. the vast majority of states come from a state law -- from a time when people were trying to figure out a way to get around restrictions put on the reconstruction amendments. host: james makes this point. you can join in on the conversation on facebook. he says that this has been used
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to destroy the black family and we should take measures to right that wrong. guest: certainly the problem of mass incarceration contribute to this. as we go and further incarcerate a greater percentage of the population, the natural aftermath will have a greater number of people who cannot vote. it is for this reason that we need to make sure that when someone is in the community, they have the tools that they need to successfully reenter. ast: it is a fact today -- percentage of the population, a vast majority of those are african-american. guest: that is right. a lot of the people disenfranchised are people of color. it will vary from state to state. we can expect that if the current rates continue, three out of 10 of the next generation will lose their right to vote at some point. host: a caller joining us from springfield, illinois.
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thank you for waiting. caller: i worked in corrections 20 years ago. i worked there for 3.5 years. the guys were not prisoners to me, they were workers. so many of them are locked up for nonviolent crimes. i find it appalling that they would have to explain their future to their children. i cannot vote and i cannot vote because i had a joint in my pocket. now i am considered a felon and the bad guy. we're criminalizing this. how will this work in the future? i have a real problem with this. host: thank you. guest: i think the really interesting point was raised. we expect our children to be taught how to vote. we expect parents to take them to the polls. we expect them to instill upon them civic duties and the importance of the understanding of voting.
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when you have entire communities where the men or the parents are unable to vote because of convictions in their past, you will have children who grow up not having the tools and expectation of voting. continue our civic education and to make sure that the next generation of americans the leaves and the importance of voting. we need to give their parents the opportunity to go. host: from another viewer, has the brennan center conducted any data showing that the banning is an incentive not to do a crime? this viewer says i think not. guest: we certainly have not undertaken any sort of study. i have not seen any studies to that effect. one thing that we have gotten as a lot of support from one force that that says that if you want people to successfully reintegrate, they need to be given the opportunity to do so. voting is a very prosocial acts. you say i care about my community and i understand that
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there are rules of the game. i understand the importance of delayed gratification. i understand that i express myself in a certain way. that kind of prosocial behavior is the kind of behavior that we want. we won americans leaving prison to half that. it is for that reason that we need to think critically of those laws that prevent people from being able to cast their ballot and being able to vote. host: one of those laws is three strikes and you're out. has that done a disservice to american criminal justice system? guest: the thing that i think is important to remember about the issue of post-incarceration disenfranchisement is that one does not have to come down on a particular viewpoint with respect to whether to work crime -- whether or not we are hard or soft on crime. when you are out of prison and living and working on -- among the rest of us, you should be will to vote. that does not have to disturb whatever criminal justice
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discrimination was about how long you need to be in prison. the system has already made the call that you will be living and working among the rest of us. we do not have to get into whether or not the sentences are too strong or whether or not they have appropriately criminalized crimes. certainly there is a lot of discussion about that. this particular position and can rise above that. it can be one of democracy and participation. host: a lot of you weighing in. it you can join us on twitter. taxpayers should be allowed to vote. let's hear more of your comments in a few moments. we will listen to robert from kentucky. republican line. caller: good morning. how are you? host: we are fine. go ahead. caller: i do not understand -- she said that republicans are
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for this idea. that is the first time i have heard that. this is definitely one of those weird far left wacko ideas. if you follow the laws of the country, you get the opportunity to vote. i do not know a lot about republicans sitting in jail. this is definitely some kind of scheme to get more voters from the left. being aif i stopped conservative and joined the democratic party, then maybe i could marry my dog? out and brutally murder someone answer my time. then get out and have the right to vote. it makes no sense whatsoever. guest: there are a number of states that would disagree with you. there are only three states in the country that permanently
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disenfranchise someone with a past capital conviction. the vast majority of states have a policy of either letting some people votes after a certain time or depending on what the crime is, will well other people to vote. these really strict restrictions or someone is permanently disenfranchised is only in a small minority of our states. there is a lot of law enforcement that suggests that it is going to be better for public safety and better for our democracy if we have people who are already living and working tothe community who are able participate. again, i would like to mention that the position that we take is one that if you have people living and working in a community, there is not a lot of sense in disenfranchising them. they are already expected to contribute in a lot of ways. they are already contributing a lot of ways. if we want them to be good role
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models, we need to give them the opportunity to show the importance of participation. host: kevin has this point. the ban should stay in place for those convicted of crimes against society. confessed terrorist acts, etc. would your plan vary depending on the crime you're convicted of? or if you've paid your time, would you have the right to vote no matter what? do targete states certain crimes for disenfranchisement and let other people be able to vote after serving time or sentence. easier for is election administrators and the public and for law enforcement to be able to vote once the criminal justice system has made the determination that you're safe to live and work among us. that is where you get the most amount of benefit and terms of making our democracy more participatory. that is rated the benefits of
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making sure that participation is engendered upon the next generation. that is how you make it more easy for administrators because they do not have to become in all justice professionals to figure out if this disenfranchisement and conviction is right. host: for more information, go to she is the director there. our next call is from oregon. caller: good morning. i listen to your show a lot. i have called and wants. the subject has gotten my attention. this is no ago, excuse for the law. you can break the law and not even know you're breaking the law. i was convicted of a felony. i shot what i thought was a deer. it turned out to be a goat. it did not matter. they did not care. that was 33 years ago.
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the first event i got in five years. i lost my right to hunt, votes, be a citizen. i am to the point that i cannot feed my house. any piece of paper i fill out, they ask if i am a felon. so, a personor like me, having a first offense and that is all that is on my record -- you should get the right to vote back. i should be able to have a gun back so i can go hunting. host: host: to be clear, you shot a goat and you are sentenced to five years in prison? caller: yes i got five years in prison. i got tricked. i felt bad about it. they said we will give you probation if you plead guilty. it was $250. that made it a felony. when you get to court, the judge
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does not have to go with the recommendation of the district attorney or anyone else. even the judge does not have to go along. host: that has to be -- i have never heard of anyone sentenced to five years. caller: i was. i'm right here in oregon. when i was in prison, i quickly discovered that the african-americans all come together. most of them are thugs. there are some nice people. most of them are thugs. there is nothing for them. when they get out, they spend their whole lives turn to make up for that. host: thank you for the call. guest: that is important point. people need to be given of the right kind of tools to be a will to succeed. voting is one of those tools. it fulfills responsibilities. it is a way of demonstrating loyalty to your country.
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when one is deprived of that opportunity to contribute, it will disrupt their ability to successfully reenter. that is not good for anyone. host: april has this point. if only taxpayers vote, you need to redefine taxpayer. for example, everyone pays sales tax or property tax. from sarasota, florida, john is on the line. go ahead. caller: good morning. we have crimes and penalties, such as not allowing child molesters -- when they get out, to live or work near a day care center. racists would not be able to be near a women's center. they might not look too favorably on a bank robber living near a bank. if you cannot do the time, do
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not commit the crime. you went out and committed a crime, you pay the price. if the prices you cannot vote, then that is the penalty. so be it. you cannot do the time, do not commit the crime. take care. host: thank you for the call. meanwhile, george has this tweet. someone serves their time, pays their fine, they should have rights restored. guest: i think that is right. there are a number of americans that think that it does not make sense when someone has served their time to be considered with a stigma of not being able to
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participate. there are a number of reasons why that is bound for the policy. we have talked about that all morning. what is important for folks to consider is that if we want people to be law-abiding, and we want people to be following our norms of the country. voting is one of those important norms. we expect americans to vote. we expect our citizens to be able to demonstrate that they care about their country in this way. if we want people returning to our communities from prison to be able to have a stake and be successful, we need to instill upon them not only the responsibility to vote, but the right to vote. host: this is from stan.
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he says is the brennan center in favor of people having to show their id before voting? guest: we have a very nuanced position with respect to photo identification laws. state laws differ. some are more restrictive than others. some state laws make it very difficult for people to have equal access to the ballot box. in this matter, the issue of a person with a criminal conviction in the past does not come into play. host: to underscore the point, this is a states rights issue, correct? guest: i'm sorry, what is a states' rights issue? host: state-by-state -- guest: states can determine, that is correct. host: attorney general holder knows that this is unconstitutional. he continues this attack by asking states to change the laws. let's go to florida, independent line. caller: i just wanted to say, then i will get off to hear your response, the grand jury clause of the fifth amendment does not apply to the states. since 1889 -- host: thank you for the call. did you want to respond?
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guest: no. i think what we're talking about here is what states laws are. attorney general holder was asking states to revisit their laws, such that people with criminal convictions in the past are given greater opportunity to participate. host: craig hill says that the loss of voting rights is part of the punishment. too bad, that is the way it is. guest: that is actually not true the majority of states. there are only three states that permanently disenfranchise a person who has committed a criminal conviction. most of the states afford some opportunity for some people to participate. notwithstanding a criminal conviction in the past. host: next call is from montana. good morning. caller: how are you guys? we have lost a lot of good miners up here because of felony
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convictions. they had dynamite and high explosives. i was wondering if the dynamite and firearms -- will you restore those firearms and dynamite access to these fellows? i will listen to your answer. guest: that is not an issue i have studied. it is not an issue that derives from attorney general holder's speech. he was focusing on the issue of the voting rights and certainly we could have a national conversation about the other aspects. i think that there is a growing amount of momentum for the idea of restoring voting rights. there is growing bipartisan support. host: this is a nuanced question from a voter. the constitution says that not
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guilty shall be imprisoned? guest: i would have to go back and look at the historical record for that. host: pennsylvania, republican line. good morning. caller: the last guy took my question. good show, good topic. again, where are we going to stop? i do believe that there are degrees of felons. again, we are looking at -- a felon cannot own a firearm. in 2014, who is going to say that in 2024, we can let the guys have firearms? what i think we should do is teach that crimes have repercussions. sometimes actions have long-term effects. i think that would go a long way in promoting civil responsibility. good show and keep up the good work.
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host: thank you. did you want to respond? guest: there's certainly a lot to be said about the importance of increasing civic education. we certainly could have a national conversation about what other collateral consequences are attached to losing a criminal conviction. what i think is important to focus on is that the issue of voting is a fundamental right. it is not only a fundamental right, it is something that we pretty good data on. the criminal justice system can make the determination that it
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will make about who can be living and working among us. once it makes the determination, it is to all of our benefit to make sure that we give everybody the opportunity to participate. that way they can be teaching their children the importance of voting. they can have a stake and they can be fully invested in our country. it is more likely to make them law-abiding and more likely to make them upstanding citizens that we all should aspire to be. host: we welcome our listeners on the radio. we're heard nationwide on channel 120. our guest is myrna perez with the brennan center for justice. guest: the election assistance commission is a federal agency that provides support to local election administrators and state election administrators, in order to be able to better serve the american public during election seasons. host: what is the status of your nomination? guest: i cannot answer questions about that.
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that is a matter of public record. there was a hearing last week with respect to whether or not they would vote on the commissioners and a quorum was not had. there needs to be further discussion. host: debbie is joining us from alabama. good morning. caller: yes, good morning. my call is in reference to -- the caller from kentucky made a statement, he said that the vast majority of felons are democrats. how could he say that? there are thugs or whatever. but there are conservatives just as well. guest: i think the point that partisan politics should not be a part of this discussion is well taken. it is about democracy. it is about the right to vote. it is about being good role models for children. it is about moving the country
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forward in a way that we have americans participating in our electoral system. cynical views about partisanship and trying to guess what kinds of politics people have and how they will be affected is really immaterial and unhelpful to the conversation. host: i will make the premise based on this tweet -- child molesters cannot live near schools. what is the difference between that and somebody convicted of a crime? you noted a handful of states are not able to vote. guest: i'm not sure i can exactly answer the question. some states do limit the restoration of rights to people depending on the crime committed.
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the question, i think, or the premise of the question, has to go with what are we going to do with people after the criminal justice system have already made the determination that they are safe to be living and working amongst us? once they have made that determination, there are not good policy reasons for not letting them vote. people can debate until the cows come home who should spend more time in prison and whether they should be harsher or softer. whether or not we appropriately rehabilitate. those are important questions to discuss. that is not really what this conversation is about. this conversation is about when someone is returning to our community and we want them to be successful. we want them to be invested. we want them to be invested so that they will be successful and they will not be burdens on taxpayers and they will be good role models. what can we do to help them? data suggests that the law
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enforcement officials believe that voting is an important way of doing that. host: one of our viewers makes this point. this concern over felons voting is nothing more than developing another voting block for democrats. let's hear from you. guest: again, an earlier caller raised this question. i do not know that anyone knows who or how people will vote when they return from prison. it is really immaterial. the issue is whether or not we want americans participating in our system. if we want americans who are living and working in our communities to be successful, we need to give them the right to vote. host: our last caller is from youngstown on the republican line. good morning. caller: thank you for taking my call. as a conservative, i think a lot of republicans are not recognizing the fact that they are making everything a felony. driving under the influence is a felony in new york. i am a felon now for having
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something in my car. they passed a law that if you have a magazine with eight bullets -- racial epitaphs, these are all felonies. my neighbor has a garage. selling a burger purchased out-of-state is a felony. the term felony always referred to people with armed robberies and murders. it is now becoming normal behavior. host: thank you very much for the call. myrna? guest: the amount of overt commercialization is contributing. it is an increase in numbers that makes it really difficult to justify having so many americans not being able to vote. there are about 4.4 million
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americans living and working in our communities who cannot vote because of criminal convictions in the past. if they lived together, that would be the second or third largest city. there is not a good justification for keeping this number of americans from being able to participate in our electoral system. especially when we already have so few people participating. >> where does this issue go next? (202) 737-000 guest: this goes the states. people who are affected can tell their stories and state legislatures will
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revisit what is that the state does and come up with a policy that makes our democracy work separable. >> thank you very much for being with us on c-span. >> thank you for having me. >> on the next washington iurnal, what jefferson read, tweeted.and obama followed by robert watson. then, we will talk about the political and commercial archives. it holds tens of thousands of commercials. we are joined by patrick. live with journal is your calls, tweets, facebook comments.
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new research of a institute poll. we talk to the director of the institute. >> for the fifth time since 1982, the siena research institute in new york has released the survey on the first ladies. here are the results of the top 10. number one, eleanor roosevelt. two, abigail adams. jacqueline kennedy is third. dolly madison, four. michelle obama is in fifth place, followed by hillary clinton and lady bird johnson, betty ford, martha washington and roselyn carter round out the top 10. don levy is the director of the siena research institute. dr. levy, what do you see in this top 10 list? >> what is most amazing about this survey is five times, 32 years, we interview historians, political scientists, scholars who study the presidency and institution of the first lady.
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what is amazing is consistency over time. eleanor roosevelt first, every time, over 32 years. she really stands out is the quintessential american first lady. if we were going to put a picture of a first lady in the dictionary, it would be eleanor roosevelt. >> why is that? >> we look at 10 different categories. the background, the value to the country, how much value they had to their president. whether she is her own woman. again and again, we see eleanor roosevelt stand out. she truly was a trendsetting first lady, not only fdr's partner and counselor, but she reshaped that institution. she told american women that they mattered and that they were important in political and social life. clearly, eleanor roosevelt not only campaign for fdr but she was instrumental in setting policy and the tone of the country during difficult years. she is warmly remembered for her entire time as first lady and for the work that she did
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subsequent to being a first lady as well. she really was a modern trendsetter for that office. >> the current first lady, michelle obama, is on that list. is that a surprise? >> it is a little bit surprising. it is the first time that she was included. the last time the survey was taken was just before the obamas took office. she enters at a high level for a new first lady, at fifth, and bumps down hillary clinton to the six position. i think michelle obama stands out in a number of categories, her value for the country and value for the president. being her own woman most especially.
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and her growing accomplishments in office. we also asked about which of the first ladies might these historians and political scientists imagine as serving as president. while hillary clinton is the number one choice, there's a fair amount of support for michelle obama as a least a hypothetical president of the united states in some future time. michelle obama enters at a very high rate. hillary clinton, in 1993 when we took the same survey during the early years of the clinton administration, actually enter the survey at that point as number two. it is impressive. >> two things i want to ask about on the top 10 list. number one, only one republican, betty ford, is on that list. why is that? >> there are two ways to understand that. many of the first ladies on that list stand out as having accomplished a great deal, as being first ladies that all first ladies clearly aspire to.
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i think that what we find is this is a survey of practicing historians, political scientists, many of whom are nested within the academy, authors who publish books on the presidency, and as a group. that group tends to be a little bit more biased towards the democrats than towards the republicans. the only republican on this list is betty ford. several of the recent republican first ladies made the list of those first ladies who could
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have done more while they were in office. no first lady is a runway choice as for those who could have done more, but laura bush, barbara bush are all mentioned as first ladies who could have done more. clearly eleanor roosevelt stands out. a couple of the early first ladies, really before the era of partisan politics took place as we know it today. there is a small bias that we can perceive amongst these historians and political scientists. >> one other thing is that a lot of these first ladies on the top 10 list are within our lifetime, beginning with jacqueline kennedy, michelle obama, hillary clinton, lady bird johnson, roselyn carter, betty ford. is there another bias in there for contemporary first ladies? >> i think so. these first ladies are certainly far better known to all of our historians. also, they had a much more wider and important role in the modern era that some of the early first ladies.
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it is noteworthy to see that abigail adams, dolly madison clearly played important roles. martha washington makes the list. many of the first ladies and some of the ones who fall in the bottom five during the civil war era, with the notable exception of mary lincoln, are little known to many historians. and really, i think there would be the notable exception of abigail adams, dolly madison, it is the more modern first ladies who have been full partners in the sense that it is known to those who follow the institution of the first lady. full partners to their president and are in the news each and every day. are taking on issues. and really not only speak to the country but in many ways to the world about what and who america is. >> let's look at the bottom five. mary lincoln has been on this list in the past. >> absolutely. and really, that is most notable when you talk about the bottom five. mary lincoln has been among the bottom five each and every time until this year.


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