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tv   The War Room With Jennifer Granholm  Current  January 11, 2013 3:00pm-4:00pm PST

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has claimed the lives of more than 47,000 people in the past four years.
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[♪ theme music ♪] >> jennifer: i'm jennifer granholm. tonight in "the war room," guns and violence in video games, guns and violence in movies guns and violence in your streets. the study say the connection is murky at best. the eyeball test is another matter. [♪ theme music ♪] [ gunfire ] [ explosion ] [♪ dramatic music ♪] >> jennifer: that's a clip of the video game "call of duty," and the game that adam lanza used to play. he is the person who killed the
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26 people in newtown, connecticut a while back. it has prompted a nationwide examination of those games. and today vice president biden met with members of the video game industry, he says that he has an open mind, but you know who has already decided that violent video games lead to gun violence? this guy. >> there exists in this country sadly, a callus corrupt, and corrupting shadow industry that sells and stows violence against its own people. through vicious, violent video games with names like "bullet storm," "grand theft auto" and
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others. >> jennifer: of course that is wayne lapierre, the lobbying arm for gun manufacturers. but what about video game manufacturers? what do they have to say? well their lobby, the international software association put out this statement after the shooting. the statement said . . . the entertainment industry's defensiveness was taken a step further by christopher dodd former senator from ironically connecticut, and he told the hollywood reporter that . . .
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a free society that celebrates the first amendment. >> the american people value their freedom and when the reality of the consequences of what the politicians in this town and the media and the elites want to do to their second amendment rights and take them away, i think they'll do what they have done historically, they will defend their freedom. >> jennifer: the violent movie and individual game lobby stands behind these first amendment, and the gun lobby stands behind the second amendment. but neither the first nor the second amendment is so pure that it can never ever ever ever be altered by reasonable
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common-sense rules that prevent actual harm. the first amendment doesn't allow you to yell fire into a crowded theater, the second amendment shouldn't allow you to bring weapons into a theater either. they protect us, we the people who gave that constitution life. and there should just not even be a discussion about pitting one amendment against the other as though they are equally culpable. the nra has tried to convince us that video games are more dangerous than guns but study after study after study has shown that games don't have a direct impact on gun violence. the research psychologyist graham bell found that video
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games are not forms of violent behavior. . . . on the other hand, according to the harvard school of public health, numerous studies have found that the availability of guns directly impacts gun violence. now i can say plenty of other research but really? it's just common sense. video games while we should be discussing them they are not as much of a factor in gun violence as the ready availability of guns is. 224 years ago, america's founding fathers debated, including the bill of rights as a means to cement the birth of this great nation. they would be rolling over in
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their graves if they knew that legacy is now in the unworthy hands of industry lobbyists who are fighting over which special interest will get to profit most from selling their violent product. in the end it all coming down to money. joining us now is a guy who is an expert on the matter bill press, host of the "bill press show," and author of "the obama hate machine." bill welcome back inside "the war room." >> good to be with you. happy new year. >> jennifer: happy new year. i can't believe i haven't talked to you yet this year. >> i know. >> jennifer: your book is about the obama hate machine, but is the nra part of that hate machine? >> oh, definitely. first of all they are not part
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of it in the sense that they fuel it with money. i wrote mainly about the koch brothers of this world, but the nra is part of the message of hate that they broadcast from the very beginning, opposing him four years ago because they said he was going to be the most anti-gun president ever, send agents into your homes and confiscate everybody's guns. what did he do about guns? nothing. what did they do this time they opposed him for reelection because they said that his hidden agenda was to wait until the second term and then he'll take away all of your guns. and they are still putting their crap out there today. >> jennifer: they sure are. but you do work in a first amendment business bill and
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you rely on the first amendment to protect what you say. do you think there should be restrictions on your first amendment freedoms? >> no, i don't want to see any more restrictions than there are. but you made the point at the top of the show, there are already restrictions. there are certain words that i might be tempted to use tonight to describe wayne lapierre on your show. i will not do that jennifer -- >> jennifer: thank you. >> because we would both get in trouble if i did. so there are words of, if you will, criticism or attack but they are also obscene words and words we don't use during certain times of the day. there are limited restrictions already, which i can accept. >> jennifer: now there is an argument about pitting the first
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amendment against the second amendment, but there are reasonable regulations all the way through. yesterday in texas there was -- the governor there, rick perry said . . . he seems to fall into the camp of the constitutional purist the people who think we can't tweak either amendment or at least put down regulations to give life to those amendments. what do you say to the puristings like him? >> well, a couple of things. number 1 i would never look to rick perry as a constitutional scholar, far from it number 1. number 2, we know, you have been talking about this the president talks about it all the time, we live in a seabed of violence, we are hardened to violence, and there are many factors contributing it to.
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education is one of them. mental health at the top. you mentioned video games, television, movies, but the two most contributing factors are the availability of assault weapons, and the availability of these multiple clips of ammunition. those are the two that most demand action. yes, we might have to take a look at some self restraint among those who make the video games, but not as much as we need to take a look at regulating these manufacturing of these weapons of war. and that includes the first time anybody wants into a movie theater with an ipad or video game, and blows up 30 people. that has never happened and never will. >> jennifer: the shooter at the high school in california, he had a shotgun. >> uh-huh.
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>> jennifer: now he didn't kill 20 people because he had a shotgun. nor did he kill himself, he was disarmed by a teacher who used her words and not a weapon to have him put down his weapon. if he had an assault rifle, or if the teacher had a gun there would have been an entirely different outcome, so bottom line is, availability is a huge -- it's a huge factor. >> yeah look at adam lanza again, he was playing this video game, i think the video game is despicable. you don't have to have -- personally see how many people you can blow away on a video game -- but he wasn't the only young man in connecticut playing that video game but he had a mother who was a gun collector and he had access to a
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lot of weapons and a whole storehouse of ammunitions. >> jennifer: exactly. bill you are in d.c. do you feel like anything meaningful will get done? >> the feeling here is that we are living in a -- we're seeing the sea change. the power of the nra has come and gone. it is diminishing fast. just this week with vice president biden and all of his meetings, with governor cuomo the governor of connecticut -- the last governor -- tennessee yesterday coming out with gabby giffords and her task force, and on monday the parents of the newtown kids are going to come out with their proposals for reducing gun violence. this is going to happen, i believe this year, and the president is determined to help make it happen. so the feeling here in washington is times are changing. >> jennifer: from your mouth to god's ears.
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thanks, bill for joining me here in "the war room." up next the nra is well organized. they do have a ton of cash, but so does this guy. >> the latest on michael bloomberg's efforts, and plus, if you think a $1 trillion coin is the only far-fetched way of getting ash the debt ceiling, you understand estimate the creativity of the american progressives. and brett ehrlich was actually a film critic we're going to run down his oscar favors. it's a friday night n "the war room," and we will be right back. ♪
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>> i think it's brilliant. (vo) first, news and analysis with a washington perspective from an emmy winning insider. >> i know this stuff, and i love it. (vo) followed by humor and politics with a west coast edge. bill press and stephanie miller. >> what a way to start the day. ♪ >> jennifer: the national rifle association claims that 100,000 people have joined the nra since the nowtown school shooting. of course we don't know how many people dropped their membership following the tragedy and the
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nra's con trover shall comments afterwards. but 400,000 people joined mayor bloomberg's group against illegal guns. it is just one of many groups now calling for changes. and the white house is trying to build a strong coalition of religious organizations, medical groups educators, social security outlets, lawyers, retailers, rotary clubs, all of them with a common goal to stop gun violence. vice president biden told these groups to get the word out to their members, and there is also money behind the message. in addition to mayor bloomberg's financial support, gabby giffords says she plans to raise $20 million for her gun safety
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group she just created. and on tuesday that group received a million dollars check from two big democratic funders. they are a married couple they are gun-owning houston trial lawyers, and have given significantly to democratic causes in the past. their contributions among roster going to go to counter act the money the nra are spending. still mayor bloomberg says that politicians should not be afraid of the gun lobby. >> there are some legislators who think differently, or they think their careers would be limited if they go against the nra. i don't happen to think that's true. >> jennifer: he is right. while the nra did spend over $11 million in the last election, they only had a 0.83%
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return on their investment. less than 1% of the candidates they backed won, or the candidates that they ran against lost. less than 1% success rate. less than 1% roi. joining me now to talk about the gun-control landscape and texas politics is wayne slater. wayne is a senior political reporter for "the dallas morning news." he is coming to us from austin, texas. wayne always glad to welcome you inside "the war room." >> great to be with you governor. >> jennifer: you know all about organizing on the right, because you wrote the book on karl rove so can the left counter that kind of power when it comes to guns? >> they need two things, and it appears they have both of them. one is money. you mentioned exactly that. when you have mayor bloomberg who has an awful lot of money and the group he is associated with has put out the commercial
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of the mother of a nine year old who died in the mass shooting in the gabby giffords shooting and the gabby giffords group itself and so you have the money part. the other thing is to seize the moment part and you have to say that a moment after someone has gone in with semiautomatics, and gunned down first graders in a classroom has got to set the table for a moment in which -- which the message of some kind of gun safety gun control might be more persuasive. so sure it can and should have an impact. >> jennifer: well, so let's talk about what is going on in texas. first of all what can you tell us about steve and amber, the democratic donors based in texas.
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do you know about them? >> oh, sure. they are big democratic contributors in the state of texas, and there are very few democratic candidates in texas to give money to. all of the office holders at the state-wide level are republicans, but they are major contributors for barack obama, went after rick perry a couple of years ago, ran an ad chiding perry, daring perry to engage his democratic opponent in debate. ran full page ad with a picture of perry on it with the word coward on it. and so have a relatively young guy in these fights is really a feather in the cap of those folks, both democrats in texas and folks nationally. >> jennifer: democrats in texas
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often seems to be an oxymoron but for those outside of texas who know there are strong democratic supporters who are willing to poke rick perry in the eye gives us comfort. today rick perry actually slammed governor cuomo's proposed assault weapon's ban. what is going on in texas? do texans agree? what are you hearing on the ground. >> the legislature has convened here in austin, and the action and reaction and discussion and talk that i hear in texas, a state very comfortable with the gun culture is not about gun control. you are not going to find much support not only among rick perry but among a whole lot of texans, but how can we put more guns in schools. dave dewhurst proposed that
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there be state funding for the training of teachers or administrators in public schools to have their guns in public schools, a proposal to have guns on college campuses which failed two years ago in the legislator has a much better chance right now. you know this is again a pro-gun state. >> jennifer: sure. >> and while -- while people like bloomberg and others are fighting it. i talked to a pastor from east texas who just got back from washington, d.c., several days in washington funded by gun owners of america, where the pastor and others from texas were brought in with the need to speak from the pulpit and elsewhere to fight the efforts on gun control. >> jennifer: interesting. obviously texas has that as part of its culture. if texas turns more blue what
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does the hispanic community feel about the gun culture? it is -- i'm wondering how that democratic views gun rights. >> well one of the things about hispanics, certainly nationally and you lead the polls and talk to people here in texas is it is a very strong military -- very strong support for the military. you have an awful lot of people who serve in the military. they are familiar with guns. they live in a state where guns are familiar. at the same time the culture of the evangelical right, and very strong libertarian right gun culture in texas is largely white. the hispanic culture, there is a collision there, and so while you are going to have some awfully strong supporters of guns, what you are not going to see in this growing demographic is a strong sort of reflective pro nra at all cost attitude.
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that's not part of the hispanic attitude and agenda. >> jennifer: it's going to be very interesting to see how texas evolves politically as we talked about before going more blue, and of course the hispanic community and the gun culture is going to be an interesting collision as you described it. wane slater thank you so much for joining me inside "the war room." >> great to be with you. >> jennifer: with all of the politics involved though we cannot forget the tragic price of failing to enact meaningful legislation. still there is just talk no new laws, so let's acknowledge one of the country's latest gun violence victims. two-year-old kuadir simon was shot thursday afternoon in a new york city park along with his father. actually both survived.
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the boy's mother told the website that he opened his eyes in the hospital after she told him that she loved him. it's a good reminder that you don't have to die to have your life profoundly affected by gun violence. we need to think of the survivors as well. [ ryon ] eating shrimp at red lobster is a fantastic experience. 30 shrimp for $11.99. i can't imagine anything better. you're getting a ton of shrimp and it tastes really good! [ male announcer ] hurry in to red lobster's 30 shrimp for just $11.99! choose any two of five savory shrimp selections like mango jalapeño shrimp and parmesan crunch shrimp. two delicious shrimp selections on one plate!
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♪ >> jennifer: as we have been reporting, come the middle of january if president >> obama: baum and congress don't agree to raise the debt ceiling, the u.s. government will begin defaulting on its obligations, and as we all know republicans are trying to play hardball threatening to let the government go bust. >> we republicans need to be willing to tolerate a temporary partial government shut down. >> do you think that's a good idea? >> yes, i do. i think it's about time. >> jennifer: that has lead democrats to come up with some very unorthodox solutions. one idea is for the president to mint platinum coins.
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the coins would be turned over to the federal reserve, deposited into the treasury and as you can imagine this platinum coin idea went over like a lead balloon with the right. another plan that is gaining traction is for president obama to issue script -- or ious. coming to us from los angeles committee on taxation and is now a law professor at the university of southern california. he is a very serious fellow. ed, welcome back inside "the war room." i had to say that so that people understanding you were not just pulling wild ideas out of the hat. how would it work? >> thank you, governor. the way it would work is really based on the california experience in 2009 when california had its own budget problems, and the idea very simply is in addition to the
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debt of the united states, we have all sorts of day-to-day obligations that the united states incurs to pay the electric bill, to pay federal employees salaries to pay social security benefits. those are not debts to which the debt ceiling applies. and the idea is to recognize if we don't have enough money to pay those day-to-day obligations that the federal government should issue ious to people. it would say we're very sorry, yes, we owe you money, can't pay you now, when we can, we will. and then the fun part of the idea is that instead of the treasury trying to raise money through a back door mechanism like the platinum coin people would take these ious and tell them at a small discount, and that gets cash to most people's hands and at the same time it is
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less of a constitutional front to the congress. >> jennifer: so the notion would be that the -- so everybody who is a contractor with the government who is owed some money would be given some kind of paper. they could take that paper to the bank, and the bank would somehow buy it on the assumption that the bank believes that this will be resolved at some point because of the history of the united states. so the question is ed this sort of hand -- this did happen in california. when people compare california in -- what was that 2009? >> yes, ma'am. >> jennifer: to what we are facing today, i don't think that we would want the united states government to copy what california went through. >> yes but this is a contingency plan so that the
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president has credibility when he says he is not going to negotiate with the republicans. if you are not going to negotiate, you have to be prepared for this consequences and the more credible his fallback position is, the more credible he is in seeing that he won't negotiate, so all i'm trying to do is help develop a reasonable contend -- con tin dansy plan. >> jennifer: so, so you can go and negotiate with your adversaries in a meaningful way. paul krugman had this to say about another option which was the platinum coin option. he said if we aren't ready to mint that coin, the joke will be
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on us, and a very sick joke it will be too. you agree? >> jennifer: i agree that first of all the president needs a contingency plan second progressives ought not spending too much squabbling among themselves. but i'm a better lawyer than paul krugman is. and it enlists the american people in solving the problem, because it won't be a convenient and easy thing to do. when you get that piece of paper you will be annoyed and people will squawk and they will tell their congressman how they feel and congress will be pressured to act. >> jennifer: right. enlist -- it's a way to enlist -- you have an army of
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lobbiests then telling them i want to be paid, so pay me. but you are a lawyer, so a lot of people have suggested that the president should simply declare the debt ceiling to be unconstitutional. is that something that he should look at? >> they have rejected that in statements from the white house, and i think they are right to reject that. lawrence tribe very serious constitutional scholars have written op-eds about this idea and concluded, i believe correctly in my reading that doing so would be probably an unconstitutional act by the president. and it is not necessary. what you want to do is win a political struggle without turning the next two years into a constitutional crisis. >> jennifer: right. it is so interesting that there are an array of options before the president so he can say i am not going to negotiate the debt
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celling. very interesting. ed kleinbard offering another idea which seems to have some precedence. thank you for joining us inside "the war room" again ed. really appreciate it. >> thank you, governor. >> jennifer: up next, marijuana is still illegal in this country and there are some who aim to keep it that way. that story is next right here in "the war room."
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♪ >> three, two, one! [ cheers ] >> jennifer: those are pot smokers in washington state, celebrating the legalization of marijuana there in november as voters in washington and colorado approved measures decriminalizing weed. tonight i want to introduce you to one of the country's leading anti-pot advocates.
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kevin sabet, is now the director of the university of florida's drug policy institute. and this week kevin along with patrick kennedy kicked off a new initiative called project sam, sam stands for smart approaches to marijuana. kevin is coming to us tonight from denver. welcome inside "the war room." >> thanks for having me governor. it's a pleasure. >> jennifer: why is the legalization of marijuana for recreational use a bad idea? >> i think we want to look at a public health perspective with marijuana. and that means we would reject either extreme sides. what is sort of being rebranded as new but is not new, legalization, and we already have enough problems with our two legal drugs, alcohol and tobacco. they are widely promoted by an
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industry that lives off of other people's addictions. i don't think we need another problem in society and marijuana would do that. that doesn't mean we can't reform our current marijuana laws make sure people with small amounts of possession on their record are not stigmatizes, make sure they can get a job in the future, but congressman kennedy and i are thrilled to launch this project, because we think we need a new, smart conversation that rejects maybe what might fit on a bumper sticker but is at least based in science. >> jennifer: so are you arguing that the smart initiatives that you are talking about are based in brain science or is it more in an economic pragmatic -- do you have more an economic or pragmatic take on it? >> i think it's both. i think we learned so much about marijuana today than the last 30 years. it's sort of ironic we have also
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seen the descendants of legalization. today's marijuana is not the marijuana of the wood stock days. it's five to seven times more potent. it also had less of other ingredients like cbd which actually don't make you high and what that does to the adolescent brain is startling. heavy persistent use leads to significant iq loss among young people. the british medical journal showed that marijuana intoxication doubles your car crash risk. so we just want to get the public health message out there for the american people to know about, since the only discussion seems to be bombarded with legalization and a promise of revenue, and getting rid of the cartels -- and actually there isn't much evidence of that for
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every dollar we get from tobacco and alcohol we spend $10. they target minorities and disadvantaged neighborhoods, there are three to four times liquor stores in those neighborhoods than in well thinker neighborhoods. >> jennifer: congressman kennedy said that too, but as you know there has been a ton of studies all over the map on this. there was a recently study saying that a teen who consumes alcohol is likely to have reduced brain tissue health but a teen who uses marijuana is not. so i think for a lot of people who are watching especially and hoping that marijuana laws are loosened, they would say that the science on this is not as clear as you are making it out to be. >> well, actually if you really look at the science it is pretty
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clear. patrick kennedy -- and also david frum is a conservative. while they might be the glitz and glamour the majority of people on board are health care professionals. we're not saying reefer madness-type arguments. we also know for example the iq study they cited, you can't even put that on the same level as the usfd study. the new zealand study followed people for 38 years of their life. it was an entire village that were recruited for what scientists call a longitudinal study. >> jennifer: very interesting. >> it's not reefer madness, but
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it is something new. >> jennifer: i appreciate you coming on, it is a little surprising. kevin sabet of smart approaches to marijuana. coming up the best of the rest, a couple of tidbits we want you to know about before you start the weekend, including the entertainment lineup for monk's inauguration. even the smallest things became difficult. i finally understood what serious joint pain is like. i talked to my rheumatologist and he prescribed enbrel. enbrel can help relieve pain, stiffness, and stop joint damage. because enbrel, etanercept suppresses your immune system, it may lower your ability to fight infections. serious, sometimes fatal events including infections tuberculosis lymphoma, other cancers, and nervous system and blood disorders have occurred. before starting enbrel your doctor should test you for tuberculosis and discuss whether you've been to a region where certain fungal infections are common. don't start enbrel if you have an infection like the flu. tell your doctor if you're prone to infections, have cuts or sores have had hepatitis b
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♪ >> jennifer: let's head down to los angeles for a quick preview of what cenk uygur has planned for "the young turks" object to. cenk? >> thank you, jennifer. another republican talking about legitimate rape. the number of women who get pregnant from rape every year is stunning. we'll talk about that. and we have employer cutting worker's hours, claiming obamacare. that's a lie. and we'll have the exact facts you guys.
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>> jennifer: all right. cenk really appreciate it. can't wait to see it. and i want to fill you all in on a story that i think is interesting to the community. we saw more signs of the auto industry's continued recovery today. ford announced they plan to hire more than 2,000 salaried employees in the united states. ford says a significant number of those jobs are going to be in the great state of michigan! the hires will mark the largest increase in salaried employees at ford for over a decade. so fuel-efficient vehicles jobs, michigan that's music to my ears. all right next are you ready to party? ♪ baby you're a firework come on let your colors burst ♪ >> jennifer: yes katy perry leads list of entertainers to
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perform at the inauguration. joining the pop star will be brad paisley, alicia keys, and smokey robinson, and if those aren't big enough names, beyonce, nick cannon, kelly clarkson, and james taylor, all of those guys were already announced. just a few more reasons why we are glad that mitt romney was not elected. i don't know, ted nugent, i just think it would be a loser. a quick -- a quick break then it's time to break out the popcorn. [ voice of dennis ] driving bonus check? every six months without an accident, allstate sends a check. ok. [ voice of dennis ] silence. are you in good hands?
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see there, even in that 2,000 year old book of mechanical law, it is a self-evident truth which is things that are equal to the same thing are equal to each other. >> jennifer: that is a scene
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from "lincoln" remaining us that equality is not a 19th century ideal. it leads the list of ten votes for the best film. he put the country on the line to end slavery, and there are a lot of this year's nominees from "argo," to "zero dark thirty," and all had political themes. for more we're going to turn to brett ehrlich who is joining us from los angeles. brett is not just a hilarious political junky he is also a movie junky from his days hosting the rotten tomato's show. we love having you here. >> i love to be here. >> you saw "django" unchained.
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how do you think that it will do at the oscars in the wake of sandy hook and did you like the movie? >> first of all i got the assignment, and the first showing was at 10:30 this morning, and i was to be back here at 2:30 and i just made it back. it is a very long, sweeping movie, but it doesn't feel like it. i definitely felt -- it was a little awkward to watch the film and know that guns are such a hot button issue right now in america, but in this movie they shoot the bad guy, and that is a very important element. you know so clearly who is good and who is bad, and whatever joy you get out of it it's as old as the fairytale itself.
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and quentin terantino rescheduled the opening because of what occurred. >> jennifer: i'm not a big violence fan, but i loved this movie. so what is the best movie of all of the nominees to glean sort of a lesson from this year's political environment? >> i will say the film most like the political environment nowadays, of all of the ones that came out whether they were nominated or not was paranormal 4. because it is weird and just keeps happening over and over again. >> jennifer: i think it totally
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is listen kohn because people put him on a pedestal that stuck to his guns. and he did stick to his guns but he had to roll up his sleeves and do some of the horse trading that had to be done to get the horse trade done. >> yes the issue was not black and white, and there were so many things behind the scenes someone willing to flog through the mud in order to have the ends justify the means, and always along the way tell some pretty hilarious stories. >> stephanie: yeah for sure. so what is the best film that you would recommending of all of these for political junkies? what had you on the edge of your seat? >> it's tough because of the films that were nominated this year, a lot of them we knew what happened in the end. lincoln, you know they end up passing the 14th amendment.
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we know -- if you read half an article about "argo," you know what happens at the end of that. and "zero dark thirty" you know what happens to osama bin laden. so what you get to see is how. so for me personally the film that was the best of making you think oh, my goodness how are they going to accomplish this goal was "argo." i feel that it was pretty awesome. and it was good at keeping us knowing exactly -- that something intense was going to happen and on the edge of our seats. >> jennifer: yeah and brett, speaking of ben affleck, he didn't get a nomination as you say. how do the oscars actually compare to the presidential campaign? do they have to go through a campaign to be elected to get an oscar? >> even after these
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