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tv   Tavis Smiley  PBS  July 19, 2011 12:00am-12:30am PDT

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>> the evening from los angeles. tonight a conversation with the president of the association of mayors. mayors are facing tough times and even more hardship for the poor and unemployed. also, jenna fisher is here. now you can catch her in the new film, "a little help here " we are glad you joined us. >> every community has martin luther king boulevard. it is not just a street or boulevard, but a place for wal- mart to band together with your
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community to make every day a better. >> nationwide supports tavis smiley. nationwide is proud to join have is in working to remove obstacles to economic empowerment one at a time. >> and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. [captioning made possible by kcet public television] captioned by the national captioning institute ♪ villaraigosa may be best known as the guy who convince the entire city to stay out of their cars for the weekend.
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hazmat you may know, the 405 was shut down this weekend. you pulled it off. >> we pull it off. it worked like magic. >> i was in my hotel room cracking up about all the new stations in canada talking about it. i was cracking out that this became such a huge story around the world. what do you make of it? >> everybody knows about l.a.'s addiction to the automobile. i think people did not think it was possible that we would have a day off from the hectic now nature of driving in the city of los angeles, and it worked.
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people stepped up to the plate and hit a home run. >> does this success say something to you, something more than the fact that the strategy worked to keep people out of their cars? we are so reliant on the single passenger vehicle. is there a larger message for us? >> this is about completing and a jovial rain that will take you from orange county into the -- completing an hov lane that will take you from orange county's. it is about creating transit and getting people out of a single passenger automobile. >> did it work as well as you thought it was going to work, or were you surprised? >> it worked better than anyone could have expected, but i am
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never surprised by the people of this town. i believe in this town. it is a city of dream makers and a city where anything is possible. >> we discussed a number of things, but since you are now the president of the u.s. conference of mayors, around the country, this issue of immigration is taking a stronger hold. there is a restlessness about your community about the situation, but since you mentioned your grandfather getting here 100 years ago, what is your assessment? >> wrongheaded. they missed the point. the fact is this is a great country because we have always embraced immigrants. we have every right to enforce our borders and to protect them, but we need to provide a path way to citizenship. when you talk about the dream act, these are the kids who came here and went to school.
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1.5 trillion dollars input to the economy if we give someone a pass away to citizenship. we ought to be investing in these people and not doing the that of things you see really is not occurring as much in cities across country. >> who is the hispanic community going to hold responsible during the 2012 elections for the lack of action on immigration? president obama said he was going to work on this for the first year. he did not get to it. nothing really has happened. do they blame the republicans or the president? >> they have to focus on congress. your the president has used the
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bully " good, but i think democrats and republicans are going to have to understand that our social security system is going to not be funded because our birth rate is not growing fast enough. immigration can have that. the fact is these people are working in jobs of the vast majority of us would not work in. there has got to be a way out. if you ask americans, 70% believed in a comprehensive solution that protects our borders against not -- and gives people a pass away -- pathway to citizenship. i am hoping that congress, who to kick around instead of to
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promote. >> many of them work jobs we would never want to work. to demonize them does not get the job done, but there are not enough of these jobs. i cannot imagine an issue more important to jobs. you blame republicans for blocking everything or the president for being focused on health care and other issue and not having a laser focus on jobs? >> democrats and republicans need to come together. i have criticized democrats for their unwillingness to address entitlement reform and medicare. republicans on the other hand never saw a tax they like, even when it meant closing tax loopholes.
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they do not wants to support any enhancements. they do not want to cut spending, and i tell people, what is next? if it is not entitlements or closing loopholes, if there is no closing of the defense budget, what is left is evisceration of the safety net. mayors want to focus america back on the number one issue, getting people back to work, reinvigorating our economy, investing in our courts and highway transportation and public transport system, and we want them to stop dithering, stop the blame game, work together, find a solution that i think the president is advocating for. it should be one that addresses spending cuts we need to make but not solely spending cuts.
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it also addresses tax loopholes we need to close and tax revenues we need so we can fund government, invest and america's future again. >> does your critique of fellow democrats mean that you think republicans are raising a legitimate issue with the deficit reduction? >> first, it is not just republicans focused on debt reduction. there is no question we have to focus on that, but democrats are right in saying you cannot do it just with cats. they are right in claiming republicans now, and who sometimes think they are on another planet when they do not want to address tax loopholes, do not want to make any kind of -- tavis: why do deficit reduction now? why do it now, and in most cases deficit reduction means
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cutting social programs, which means a lot of people do not lose jobs. deficit reduction does not lead to more jobs, so why would the safety shape who -- the shaky state of the economy, why even focus on that at all to? >> our primary focus has to be creating jobs. our primary focus has to be getting people back to work, and getting them the skills they need. we still do need to make cuts, but we cannot cut our way out of this problem, and right now with a scary is that particularly the very far right of the republican party is saying no to any tax increases, no to closing tax loopholes, note to cutting defense spending, and wanting to focus just on spending, and what that would do is set us back. if we go into default, our
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credit rating is going to get worse. it will get lower. interest rates will be up, and we will probably go back to something like we were in 2008, so we have got to focus on lifting the debt limit, doing it in a way that is balanced and fair but focusing on putting people back to work. >> i just saw a number of stories about the recent governors association meeting that just ended, and there are a number of governors who are concerned that no matter what happens with this debate, what it ultimately means is there is going to be even less money for states and even less money for cities, so what are you doing in the future when you know now on a matter how this ends up, you are going to get less money? >> you hit it right on the head. cities and metropolitan areas
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are 84% of the population, 90% of gdp, and 94% of new jobs next year, so did the extent that america invest in our cities, we are going to go a long way to investing in america's economy, so when you look at what is going on now with the cuts on the federal level, they will impact the state, who then balances its budget on the backs of cities and counties and school districts, so the one entity driving the economy is entity that is going to be the most hurt with this dithering and with a possible default, so we cannot focused just on its debt reduction. we have to cut the debt, but we cannot do it in a way that undermines the investment in education, transportation, public safety that we need right now. >> we have 30 seconds left. with all the trouble california
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is going through economically, are you hopeful about this coming months and years? >> this is the city of hope and promise. it is where the world comes together, but the golden state has lost its luster. we have got to change our taxes and how we fund government. we are going to have to make it easier to create jobs in california, incentivize, manufacturing, really put more in the way of investment in our public school system and institutions of higher learning if we are going to stay a golden state. >> is the mayor of the city the new -- he is the mayor of the city in of los angeles, and he pulled off a wonderful feat last weekend. any weekend you want to shut down the freeway and have the streets emptied like last week, please do that. come up with some other excuse
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to shut off the freeways and get people to stay home. i love it. up next from "the office" actress jenna fisher. stay with us. jenna fisher is an emmy- nominated actress who stars on "the office." you can also catch her in the new film "of little help." >> you do not know if you are going to be able to pay your mortgage and feed your child? >> not offhand. just keep going. >> all right, look. paul and i know a good lawyer. he is willing to sit down and go over things and help figure out where you are apt. >> you already talked to him about me? >> yes, i talked about you, because you are not thinking about these things right now, are you?
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>> would you consider asking me first. it is my life. >> she is only trying to help you. close the door. new >> i am trying to stay in the conversation. all right? tavis: this is set in post 9- 112011. this is the 10th anniversary of 9-11. i will let you tell us what it is about. >> the movie is about a woman in a marriage she is not really happy to be in. she is struggling, but then she is widowed unexpectedly when her husband has a heart attack, so she is relieved to be out of a bad marriage but feeling guilty about how it occurred, and she has to raise her son by herself, and her son goes on to tell a big lie. he goes to a new school, and he tells everyone at school his
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father died in 9-11 rather than just of a heart attack on their lawn, and my character perpetuates this light, and then inflows of in our faces. >> and -- it blows up in our faces. tavis: i am always curious about what draws people to this project. what drew you to it? >> this is very different from the tapam. she is kind of a train wreck. she is very bad about predicting consequences of her actions, so she will tell a lie because it is convenient at that moment, but she does not think about how it is going to affect her down the line. i am the complete opposite about it, very deliberate. i love spreadsheets and five- year plans, so it felt fine to play somebody so different from myself. tavis: i assume that is what
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the challenges in trying to pull this off. >> i had to really let go of all those desires that need to control my life and situation and where i am going, because this characters in things are completely different from my instincts. >> did the character convince you to alter the way you really are? >> i think it reinforced my commitment to planning and all of that. tavis: you are not giving up any of your anal ways? >> no, but it was fun to play this character, and i am an actress. i love spontaneity and all of that, but i just decided early on that if i did not also try to ground myself, i would probably end up like this character or like so many young people in hollywood who go off thrales, so
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i am pretty attached -- go off the rails, so i am pretty attached to my grounded ways. tavis: you have always been that way, you were raised that way, or you made a conscious choice that i have to be this way if i am going to have any sustainability in this business? >> it is both. i am definitely raised that way. i was not raised in the entertainment industry. i grew up in st. louis, missouri, with a normal family. i was not a child actor or anything like that, but i realized very quickly when i got to town that this was more about just acting, that you also have to develop a keen business sense if you want to have longevity in the business, so there is part of me that wishes i had gone to school and got a business degree, because i wonder if that would be more helpful than my theater degree
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in some ways. >> you were raised in indiana. we have a connection. i am always fascinated by people with the midwest, because it is so different from hollywood, who discover at some point they want to be in hollywood, so how did that happen for you growing up in a place so on like hollywood? >> i knew i wanted to be an actor, and i did not necessarily want to be famous, but i wanted to be somewhere where there would be no ceiling on what i could accomplish, and i felt like if i stayed in st. louis, i might have a really great regional carrier or something, but that i was not going to be able to get much further than that, and it felt like new york and l.a. were the places where you could end up being a tv star or end up doing regional theater, which would have ended up being fine as well, but i liked that i could always keep going if it was going in that
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direction. tavis: organizer. -- or neither. how did "the office" happen for you? >> i had been in los angeles for eight years. i started waiting tables in offices as a temporary assistance. tavis: imagine that. >> i have no idea i was researching role of my career, but there was one casting director named alison jones, and she would call me every year for a different tv show, and finally, she called me in for "the office," and i was really lucky because a lot of shows i would work my way up from an audition with the casting director to the director to producers with seven auditions, and then they would give the
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role to a famous actress, so finally, they said, we do not want anyone we recognize, so give us an unknown actors, and i think that was the break i needed, so i got the role. tavis: what you think it is about this show that has made it work? we have talked about the changes forthcoming. what is it about this show that made it critically acclaimed and made it work with the audiences? >> i think it is to relate ability of the situation and the characters. i think we spend more time at our jobs than we do at home, and they are people we would not necessarily choose to spend so much time with, so those irritations and situations are really relatable. tavis: to the point about the talks about "the office" how you think this will work out even if steve carell has left the building? >> we go back to work in a week,
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and i am sad because we use to get our hair and makeup done together in the morning, and he was my morning buddy, so i am going to miss him on a personal level, and i think creatively there is a buzz around the set. we are having readings and a wardrobe fittings, and everyone is very excited. the mood is positive, and the scripts are coming in great, and it will be interesting to see how we adapt, but i am kind of excited. i feel like there is no fear of us being repetitive, because we are going to restructure, but i have a baby on the way, so my husband and i have been doing a lot of this thing around the house where you will go into our room and change the furniture and maybe by an new lamp or a new rug and we really want to make everything cozy, and i hope the show will be like nesting.
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you move the furniture around, and it is the same furniture, but you add to elements, and say, i love it, because it is familiar and different. tavis: steve carell is a big enough star that moving that one piece of furniture might make it to different. >> that is the fear. that is what we cannot sell, and that is the challenge of the show. how do we make people walking into this and not miss that awesome couch that used to be there? i guess. that awesome company scouts. now we got a new one. tavis: you have a child on the show. >> little girl on the show. tavis: this is your first child? >> yes. tavis: i am curious to get inside your head and get some words about how this process has
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been treating you. >> it has been good for me. i have been really lucky. i did not have morning sickness, and i have been off work for most of my pregnancy, so i have been able to do things like work out with a trainer and new prenatal yoga and all these things that have kept my body agile. i am heading back to work now, so i am curious to see how it is going to exchange from this luxurious goddess mother sort of life full of leisure and changing two-thirds trimester -- changing into third trimester actress. they are going to write it into the show, and we will go from there, which i am happy for, because the police i do not have to act like i am not pregnant. at this way -- because at least
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i do not have to act like i am not pregnant. i have that pregnancy waddell. tavis: it would be the opposite of playing laura, a character and nothing like you. the movie is called "a little help." to to have you on. >> thank you. i appreciate it. tavis: let me and my wishes as he celebrates nato day. 93 years young, nelson mandela. happy birthday, mr. president. as always, keep the faith. >> for more information on the show visit tavis smiley at >> join me next time for george wallace, popular comedian. that is next time. >> every community has martin luther king boulevard. it is the cornerstone we all
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know. it is not just a street or a boulevard but a place for wal- mart to band together with your community to make everyday better. >> nationwide insurance supports tavis smiley with every question and every answer. nationwide is proud to join in removing obstacles to economic empowerment one at a time. nationwide is on your side. >> and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. ♪ ♪ >> coleman barks grew up in tennessee, lives in georgia, a
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poet best known for his translations of the 13th century sufi mystic rumi, whose poems about love and devotion are some of the most widely read in the united states. >> today, like every other day, we wake up emp and frightened. don't open the door to the study and begin reading. take down a musical instrument. today, like every other day, we wake up empty and frightened. don't start reading.
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today, like every other day, we wake up empty and frightened. don't open the door to the study and begin reading. take down a musical instrument. today, like every other day, we wake up empty and frightened. don't start reading. let the beauty we love be what we do. let the beauty we love be what we do. there are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground. there are thousands of ways to kneel and kiss the earth. let the beauty we love be what we do.
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