tv Martin Bashir MSNBC April 10, 2013 1:00pm-2:00pm PDT
>> we don't do something right now, it's going to happen again. >> what are you going to say to those parents? >> i think it deserves a vote up or down. >> surely the events at newtown changed us all. >> we ought to have this debate. >> look them in the eye. >> a background check system that simply does not work. >> there's nothing you can do? >> our economy is poised for progress. >> were we back in the 1950s and early '60s a better country, a better people than we are today? >> we don't need to be raising taxes on the american people. >> if anyone thinks i'll finish the job of deficit reduction on the backs of middle class families, they should think again. >> white america was kind of unified. standards of behavior were very similar. >> not entitlements! one program! we've got a packed hour on a very busy news day. watching developing stories on multiple fronts.
the president has unveiled his budget before dining tonight with a dozen republican senators. america and south korean troops are on high alert as u.s. defense officials say north korea is planning a medium range missile test at any time from now. and we'll have much more on those stories just ahead. but we begin with gun reform back from the brink. yes, with a pivotal bipartisan deal on expanding background checks to more gun buyers, setting the stage for likely senate debate thursday. democratic senator joe manchin and republican senator pat toomey announced the deal earlier today. >> today is just the start of a healthy debate that must end with the senate and house hopefully passing these common sense measures and the president signing it into law. >> nothing in our amendment prevents the ownership of guns by any lawful person, and i wouldn't support it if it did. >> while it's far from everything the president has pushed for in the wake of the
sandy hook massacre, the proposal appears to be the best hope for meaningful change. it would close some gaping holes in the system. expanding background checks for sales at gun shows and the burgeoning marketplace that is online. but would leave private sales untouched. now, whether a gun safety package will actually pass the congress, well, that remains to be seen. while democrats believe they can break the threat of a filibuster, senator ted cruz told laura ingram's radio show, his view hasn't changed. >> for any legislation that is potentially infringing the bill of rights, taking away our constitutional protections, i think it should be a 60-vote threshold. >> and even if a bill does pass the upper chamber, that leaves the house where speaker john boehner suffers with severe megraine just thinking about it. >> just one thing for members to come to some agreement that doesn't substitute the will from the other 98 members.
so we'll wait and' what the senate does. >> speak of boehner's clear need for a couple of aspirin. from highly influential conservative group heritage action, lawmakers will not get a pass on any bill that infringes on the constitutional rights of the american people. while the nra says, quote, the sad truth is that no background check would have prevented the tragedies in newtown, aurora or tucson. president obama should be as committed to dealing with the gang problem that is tormenting honest people in his hometown as he is to blaming law-abiding gun owners for the acts of psychopathic murderers. right. the nra is suddenly terribly concerned about gun violence in chicago. do take note, however, the nra did not urge lawmakers to vote against the background checks deal. nbc's kristen welker joins us
live from the white house. we understand we're just getting the white house response to the senate deal. this is not what the president wanted in terms of its extent. there's no reference to an assault weapons ban. there's nothing to do with magazine clips and their restrictions. what can you tell us about what the white house is saying about today's developments. >> reporter: martin, good afternoon. you're right, president obama just released a statement applauding this compromise. but as you have pointed out, this is a compromise. the president wanted something much bolder. an assault weapons ban. he wanted universal background checks. this is not universal background checks. in fact, it has exemptions for background checks for person to person sales. that means that relatives can give other relatives a gun as a gift, for example. however, there are background checks for gun shows and sales that occur over the internet. so that is why the president is applauding this deal. i'll read you just a portion of this statement that president obama just put out, martin. he says, quote, this is not my
bill and there are aspects of the agreement that i might prefer to be stronger. but the agreement does represent welcome and significant bipartisan progress. it recognizes that there are good people on both sides of this issue and we don't have to agree on everything to know that we've got to do something to stem the tide of gun violence. so, again, president obama reacting at this hour to this compromise that was really hammered out into the late hours of the evening between senators manchin and toomey. as you point out, some republicans have threatened to filibuster this bill, which is set to be taken up in the senate on thursday, tomorrow. democrats believe that they do have enough votes to block a republican filibuster. but, of course, a lot of questions when this actually comes to whether this legislation can pass through the house. a lot more house members skeptical of this legislation and expressing their opposition to it. martin? >> tension continues. kristen welker, thank you, kristen. for more now, joining us
from capitol hill is steven barton, a survivor of the aurora movie theater shooting, now workers with mayors against illegal guns. and democratic congressman john larson of connecticut. if i might begin with you, good afternoon, congressman. >> good afternoon, martin. >> we've got a background check deal. it is a real step forward. but the nra in its infinite wisdom says expanding background checks at gun shows will not prevent the next shooting, will not solve violent crime, will not keep our kids safe in schools. i have to say, sir, for once i think i agree with the nra. they're right, aren't they? we do need to do much more. >> they're absolutely right, we need to do much more. but one thing that they've been advocating that i don't think we need to do is arm schoolteachers. but, listen, i think the president's right. i mean, this is a step forward. but it's a very small step forward. driven primarily, martin, i think this is the important thing, we have families from
newtown and sandy hook that are down here lobbying. we've had a great effort that has been ongoing. i know steven partbarton is then the show as well. but it's been that pressure from the outside. when 91% of the american people agree with universal background checks, any step forward is welcome. still we see the threat of filibuster in the senate. and whether or not the house decides to take it up, the pressure has to continue to build. this is a good step forward. and i think it's going to be encouraging to people to see that progress can be made. but we have to remain persistent in making sure that we get after all the things that the president's called for in a very common sense manner that isn't going to take away anyone's gun, but it's going to make it safer for our children. this is a question between our children and the gun lobby. and who's going to prevail ultimately. >> absolutely, congressman.
steven, there's still considerable pushback against this. i want to play you something that senator ted cruz said earlier on laura ingram's radio show. take a listen to this, steve. >> the administration is, i think, really playing on emotions. but what they're not focused on is actual policies that will stop violent crime. you've got the horrific tragedy in newtown, which is administration is, i think, trying to take advantage of. >> so, steven, newtown is being taken advantage of. do you feel that you're being taken advantage of as a survivor wounded in that movie theater in aurora? >> no, absolutely not. and after working with so many of these newtown families, i can tell you, they feel the same way. you know, they've come to this issue through their own tragic circumstances. and entirely voluntarily. >> so you're not being manipulated by the president and manipulated by anti-gun activists? that is the clear suggestion
from senator ted cruz. >> no. of course not. to be honest, what motivates me is the statements of elected leaders like him who, you know, are frankly insulting the memories of the loved ones of these families and so many other families that have been affected by gun violence all across this country. >> what do you mean insulted, steve? >> well, i mean, to say that no law could change the outcome of any violent act. i mean, basically that's an indictment of the existing background check system. you know, i wonder when senator cruz will introduce legislation that will repeal the improvement act, that will repeal the brady bill. if none of these laws make a difference why bother with background checks in the first place. >> congressman larson, of course, some congressmen remain
opposed to eve tennessn the bac check compromise. >> somehow we think that the criminal element will single out this one law to come ply with. you can pass all the laws that you want, and the criminal element is going to sit back and smile. >> so, congressman, criminals will break the law. so why bother? i guess we should abandon the entire penal code? stand down law enforcement? close all the courthouses, right? is that right? >> well, you know, martin, i have to say, with respect to the senate, what is incredibly disheartening and what is criminal is when any fifth grader listening into this knows there are a majority of votes in the senate, that there are a majority of american people who not only agree with universal background checks, but also agree with the ban on assault, military type weapons and large capacity clips and want all of the mental health and cultural violence issues addressed. and there is a majority within
the senate and i believe within the house to do it. but in the senate, the crime is, is that you say they can't even have a debate unless 60 people agree to the debate. pretty restrictive in a democratic society. >> one would have thought so. stephen, if i might go back to you. the first lady was in chicago today talking about gun violence. and she spoke about the young woman who marched in the inaugural parade for her husband and was tragically shot and killed at the age of 15. steve, take a listen to the first lady. >> and as i visited with the pendleton family at her funeral, i couldn't get over how familiar they felt to me. because what i realized was, her family was just like my family. haydiya pendleton was me. >> steve, that obviously hit the first lady very hard. yet the fact is, the death of
hadiya pendleton, that kind of tragedy continues to happen every single day in this country. >> you know, i -- i think the issue or one of the issues we have is -- is a lack of empathy. you know, we have elected leaders in the senate and the house of representatives who, you know, insist on obstructing any reform at all because frankly they don't know the true toll of gun violence in the way that families who have been directly affected by it, in the way survivors have been affected by it, in a way that, you know, people living in the south side of chicago have been affected by it. and these people, i assure you, are crying out for change. we're asking for the rest of the american public, that 90% of americans who agree with us, to call on their congressman for change. >> stephen barton, thank you. congressman john larson, who is compassionate and concerned for all his constituents and, indeed, people throughout this country, gentlemen, thank you. >> thank you. next, the president lays out
a common sense budget. the ball's in your court, mr. boehner. stay with us. >> if anyone thinks i'll finish the job of deficit reduction on the backs of middle class families or through spending cuts alone, that actually hurt our economy short term, they should think again. [ male announcer ] this is betsy. her long day of pick ups and drop offs begins with arthritis pain... and a choice. take up to 6 tylenol in a day or just 2 aleve for all day relief. all aboard. ♪ you'll have to pay five hundred bucks for your deductible. the truth? at allstate, you could pay zero. allstate gives you a hundred dollars off your deductible the day you sign up. then another hundred off every year you don't have an accident. let the good hands reward your safe driving with a deductible that goes away. ♪ deductible rewards. one more way you're in good hands with allstate.
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if there's a fight over firearms, there's also a battle over budgets today. just a short time ago, the president introduced a proposal in the rose garden at the white house. one that reduces the deficit and is funded by both revenue increases and spending cuts. in other words, one where all of us contribute and all of us can benefit. >> when it comes to deficit reduction, i've already met
republicans more than halfway, so in the coming days and weeks, i hope that republicans will come forward and demonstrate that they're really as serious about the deficits and debt as they claim to be. >> despite the president's willingness to compromise in the face of opposition from his own party, house republicans led by speaker john boehner and house majority leader eric cantor offered their traditional response. no taxes. only spending cuts. paul ryan's analysis, however, seemed to revolve around one response. >> i hope it's not just a status quo budget. icing on top of a status quo budget. is he going to break the status quo? my fear based on what i've heard is it's more of a status quo budget. this is probably a status quo budget. >> who knew he was such a status quo fan. joins us now, ezra klein, "washington post" columnist and msnbc analyst. congressman, if i might begin
with you. judging by the negative reaction of a few of your fellow democrats, the president's proposal is hardly a status quo budget as paul ryan suggests. what's your reaction? >> well, i agree with you. it's anything but status quo. i mean, it makes some significant changes in social security and medicare, which cause a lot of heartburn in the democratic caucus. it also makes some very, very important investments in infrastructure and early childhood education. things that i think this country desperately needs and i enthusiastically support. so there's a lot to like in the budget. there's some things we have concerns about, but it is anything else but a status quo. in fact, a lot of it's what the republicans have been asking the president to do. >> yes, of course. you never satisfy them by giving them what they ask for. ezra, let me play something else that paul ryan said today on the topic of budget compromise. you'll be interested in this. take a listen. >> what are you willing to put on the table that your base won't like? >> look at what we -- we put up
budget that balances. we've said here's how you fundamentally restructure medicaid, medicare. we republicans have done things to move to the middle to get to common ground that have not been entirely popular. we have not seen resipry cal moves. >> is there ryan playing fast and loose with the truth again much as he did with his marathon time, ezra? >> that is a particular definition of the middle. it would be a bit like democrats saying here's -- let me make a call here. a quick defense of the status quo a little bit. one of the conceits, particularly of the ryan budget but other budgets that have entered into the debate, that in order to deal with our budget problems we need to fundamentally, completely reshape the entire federal government. everything we do. we need to change medicaid and we need to repeal obama care. maybe we need to go all the way to single payer. that our problems are so severe
that they can only be -- they can only be solved through truly radical change. i think one thing you see in this budget which is not quite status quo but is more amealier us budget is that that's not true. that conceit has been a way for people to sneak in very significant ideological objectives under the cover of deficit reduction. when paul ryan talks about getting to a balanced budget, which he used to do by the end of 2014, now the end of 2023, there's no particular listen we need to be at 0% of deficit as opposed to 1.5%. as the president says at 1.7%. having a budget that takes a little bit of nips and tucks here and there, does chained cpi but doesn't completely change medicare, takes $400 billion in savings in medicare but doesn't completely voucherize it. there's nothing wrong with that. we need to make things work out. we don't need to be consistently and continuously overhauling everything every couple of yo s years. >> congressman yarmuth,
expanding pre-k to more children which this budget will do is something everyone can laud. but it's funded through a new tax on tobacco. i have to ask you, sir, how would that go down with your constituents in the state of kentucky? >> well, actually, we raised the tax on tobacco several years ago in kentucky. it was very controversial. but it's been accepted pretty well now. so, you know, i think smokers are understanding that there is a huge cost associated with smoking through health care. and those who are totally addicted to cigarettes will pay the price. so i think it will be -- would be okay, particularly if you're juxtaposing it with the benefit of educating our young people. >> okay. i think everyone would agree with that. ezra, there's something in this budget that mitt romney won't like. it would close the loophole that allows the very, very wealthy to skirt contribution limits to their i.r.a. something romney has done with some considerable success, isn't he? >> there is that i.r.a.
provision which is a little shot at romney. i'll say that i think the bigger thing i'm not hearing that much discussion of on the tax side, it's not the romney i.r.a. rule. it's not the buffett tax. neither of those raise all that much money. it's a long time plan from the administration. they've been pushing it since 2009. to cap itemized deductions at 28%. when richer folks take a deduction for the charitable deduction or other things like that, instead of being able to deduct it at their 39.5% tax rate they'd only be able to deduct it at 28%. that raises hundreds of billions of dollars. to bring this back to mitt romney, it is very similar to a proposal romney put forward during the campaign in order to in theory pay for his tax reform plan. this idea of capping deductions in order to broaden the base and even maybe you could use some of the money to lower rates down the road, that's been something that has had a lot of support among republicans recently. the obama administration agrees. in theory it should not be a largely controversial change.
it's something people kind of missed. >> ezra klein of the "washington post." congressman john yarmuth. thank you, gentlemen. coming up, rand paul at howard university. while bill o'reilly waxes on about a time of an old white mickey mouse club. stay with us. >> white america was kind of uni unified. standards of behavior were very similar. that unification made it easier for society to function. [ female announcer ] birdhouse plans. nacho pans. glass on floors. daily chores. for the little mishaps you feel use neosporin to help you heal. it kills germs so you heal four days faster. neosporin. use with band-aid brand bandages. i took something for my sinuses, but i still have this cough. [ male announcer ] a lot of sinus products don't treat cough. they don't? [ male announcer ] nope, but alka seltzer plus severe sinus does it treats your worst sinus symptoms, plus that annoying cough. [ breathes deeply ] ♪ oh, what a relief it is [ angry gibberish ]
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pleasantville. >> the federal government, is that really governing? yeah, governoring. >> would you explain to us why you decided to support the filibuster. >> we're going to vote on these thingsny wae. >> we have the mothers and fathers from the victims of connecticut here. >> to make this think it has something to do with them, but it doesn't. >> we have 14 kids that were stabbed. i haven't had one person come out today and say we need knife control. >> we are going to win this. >> i don't consider criminal background checks to be gun control. >> there's not a lot of smoke and mirrors in here. >> we're not sure this is a serious exercise. >> is he going to break the status quo? i don't hear much of that, though. >> my budget does also contain the compromise i offered speaker boehner. >> president got his tax hikes in january. >> it's really just a pivot from left to left. >> i've already met republicans more than halfway. >> it's party time once again at the white house. does not begin to describe how in insensitive, out of touch the administration is. >> i'm telling you things are getting better. >> you're okay.
>> just chant yes, we can, obama, yes, we can, obama. >> let's do it. >> they were bugging our headquarters. quite nixonian. this is what you get from the political left in america. >> why are black conservatives treated horribly? >> are you nervous about speaking at howard? they may be democrats. so -- >> were we back in the 1950s and early '60s a better country? for minority americans things were generally awful back then. the '50s were wholesome. as annett funicello demonstrated, social interaction was kind of innocent ♪ let's give it a whirl >> let's get right to our panel. joins us now is political strategist angela rye. professor michael eric dyson of georgetown university. and my colleague, chris krystal ball, co-host of the "the
cycle." >> i'm keen to hear your assessment of mr. o'reilly. these sound like the crumbling thoughts of an individual who finds the modern world absolutely too much to bear. >> absolutely right. what's interesting, he strapped in the paradox of nostalgia. it's a paradox because you're never present. you're looking toward a golden age that never existed. and you're looking forward to a future that can replicate that past and you're missing what's going on today. things were pretty rough for a lot of people. not just african-american people. ask women. ask the gender question. if women were on equal footing to men. when father knew best. when robert montgomery walked into the room, women were subordinate to men. think about it this way. mr. o'reilly did acknowledge african-american people and other minorities didn't have it as good. of course, they didn't. lassie had a show. mr. ed had a show. rin tin tin had a show.
nat king cole couldn't get a show. >> even though he could play the piano better than anybody else and had the voice of an angel. which is true. >> he was extraordinary. ♪ >> i thought you were going to come out with sweet lorraine. angela, he does acknowledge that things were different for minorities before the civil rights era, mr. o'reilly. but it's something we says about a different group that also caught our attention. take a listen to this, angela. >> there was a different attitude in america after world war ii. because we had one hellacious war. that unification made it easier for society to function. >> again, angela, we have to be fair. he's not saying that things were better for minorities in the '50s and '60s. but he does say that white america was kind of unified. so is he suggesting that the majority population has now been torn apart at the seams? >> what it sounds to me like, martin, is that bill o'reilly
should have been a cameo on ll cool j's latest song accidental racist. whether or not he means it or not, he's walked right into this one. white america was unified behind what exactly? right? this was the era where it was separate but unequal as we like to call it. this is ridiculous. there's no point for him to be reflecting in any positive sense about a 1950s where he talks about people were more respectful and they were more self-rh self-reliant. it's a slap in the face to 2013 and everyone we stand for this this particular america. >> krystal, one is tempted to wonder what mr. o'reilly would think if he were to look out at washington today on the mall and see thousands of people campaigning for legal citizenship in this country. >> yeah. absolutely. and just to throw one other thing out there, he seems to conveniently forget the top marginal tax rate in the '50s was 90%. >> maybe that had something to do with how perfect society was.
>> the scene today is nothing short of inprainspirational. i think what you realize is as flawed as our democracy is, and as frustrating as it is when you see something like a 90% issue like universal background checks having trouble making it through, this is the essence of our democracy. and the one thing that really can put lawmakers in the hot seat and force change is when the citizenry is engaged and when they show up to vote as they did in the last election. there's no holding back those tides as much as bill o'reilly might want to go back to 1950. >> absolutely. angela, the senate's gang of 8 says it's come up with an agreement now on immigration. we were just seeing these scenes in washington. we've been told to expect them to unveil that agreement perhaps as early as this week. then, of course, senator marco rubio, a member of this gang, has warned the senate not to move too fast. which isn't usually their problem, is it, angela? they move extremely slowly normally. >> yeah. i think that you'll continue to see that. at the earliest, there'll be a
markup in the judiciary committee on the senate side next week. but i'm hopeful that just walking over into the studio today, seeing thousands of people on the mall, in front of the capital, touting the importance of not only immigration, but a fuller, wholer america that reflects, you know, the world's diversity, i think it's so important. i hope the senators have the opportunity to go out to see the rally for citizenship. it's hosted by a whole bunch of different folks from naacp to seiu. i really hope it continues to apply the pressure necessary to move this bill along. it's not just the 71% of latinos that voted for the president that support this. they have a full coalition, a rainbow coalition. i'm really hopeful to see this. >> professor dyson, these are people who want to be legal taxpayers. they want to contribute to the citizenry of this great republic. they're not there to get -- sponge off the country and be takers. these are people who want to contribute, aren't they? >> absolutely. let's leave all that to the notorious aig to sponge off of the economy.
of the hard working americans out here. and, listen, martin, they're already making a contribution. >> of course. >> to the till. right? we understand that. i know you understand that. but i want to underscore that. they're already making an enormous financial contribution to this country. the intellectual prowess they bring. physical brow eprowess they bring. diversification we all hunger for. out of many, one. what's disturbing about bill o'reilly's vision is that it's a unified whiteness that was fractured along class that the poor white people were barely heard from. the people who were marginal who were white were never talked about. the white people who were siding with african-american and latino and other peoples to forge a stronger coalition in this country were obscured. bill o'reilly's nostalgia does a great disservice to the radical
plural pluralality. what bill o'reilly is asking for is more social -- the very thing that they now -- that is the conservatives rail against is what they were given in the 1940s and '50s. as a result of that, it created the middle class as we know it. read the book by ira katz nelson when affirmative action was white. that's what he wants to go back to. that's what he doesn't want to deal with. >> what a wonderful critique. krystal, do republicans understand that if they hold up this process of immigration reform, they are likely to pay a gain in the ballot box, aren't they? >> right. there's a long term/short term problem here, right? for the long term image of the republican party there is no question what direction they have to go in. but for some of these members of congress, for the short term, for 2014, that are running in
homogenous districts, they're nervous. it's the quandary the republican party has had for quite some time. they want to play to the base in this short term strategy that over the long term is just destroys their party. >> devastating. angela, you wanted to say something. >> no, martin, actually i just again want to emphasize the importance of this particular bill moving forward. >> indeed. absolutely. angela rye, the singing professor michael eric dyson, and the ever fragrant krystal ball. coming up, rand paul. the epa's biggest critic takes his message to howard university. stay with us. >> the workers have been there. they're using some kind of quilted paper towel to try and sort things out. these are their paper towels. >> clearly they're taking the spill seriously. or they wouldn't have sprung for the quilted. [ jackie ] it's just so frustrating...
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it's no exaggeration to say the eyes of the world are now nervously fixed on north korea as leaders from washington to seoul brace for a missile launch that could come at any moment. in response, u.s. military in the region alongside south koreans have raised their alert level to just one notch below all-out war. we're joined live now by nbc's jim maceda in seoul, south korea. and michael o hanlon, director of research and senior policy fellow at the brookings institution. jim, a u.s. official has said that the missile launch from north korea could come at any moment. but what are you hearing on the ground there in seoul? >> reporter: hi, martin. well, we're hearing pretty much the same thing. basically from this morning, we've been in missile watch mode, if you will. today was april 10th.
this was the first in a series of probable dates for a launch because you'll recall it was mentioned specifically by kim jong-un's regime to foreign diplomats up in pyongyang as a kind of recommended dateline to evacuate. tomorrow, however, is a good day as well. april 11th. >> i think -- i think we've lost jim maceda for the moment. let's go to mike o'hanlon. international observes have been speculating on why jim jong-un has decided to become so provocative over the last 10 to 14 days, particularly. do you yourself have any insight into what he's doing given that most people assume that he would rather not light the touch paper for a nuclear war? >> exactly, martin. well, i don't have any particular documentable insight or provable theory. but clearly this is a young leader who's not interested in
reform or detente immediately. we can conclude that. but given that i think he wants to please his military and perhaps perfect his nuclear weapons arsenal and maybe be able to do a few more nuclear weapons tests down the road, i think he's trying to scare the world into thinking that sanctions are not a good thing. in other words, if he does another nuclear test or this missile test in the next day or two, some people will call for additional u.n. sanctions. and if he was in the mode of simply accepting those kind of sanctions, just sort of taking it, he might worry that additional sanctions would be imposed. but if he makes us all feel that any time now sanctions are now applied there's going to be a risk of war, certain countries, namely china, perhaps, perhaps others, will be less inclined to go the sanctions route. and so i think he's probably thinking less about the immediate response to the, you know, the sanctions last time and more trying to prevent us from doing yet additional sanctions in the future. that's about the best i can come up with. that's the kind of speculation
you're left to resort to when watching north korea because we don't really have any hard data. >> you know, you've never suggested otherwise, mike. but what are you hearing about this missile test? do you have any inkling as to what it will involve? where and when? >> well, you know, there's the theory that it might coincide with the original leader of north korea's birthday. and that would imply about now. but beyond that, i think it's all part of this ongoing process of keeping us on pins and needles, as you say, keeping the world's attention. making us all feel like we're being taken to the brink, but not necessarily going over the brink. all though it's a dangerous game to play. that would also suggest to me it doesn't have to be any particular day, but that it would probably be while we're all still all anxious about this. probe over the course of the next few days. then perhaps it starts to calm down. but he will have proven that he's prepared to defy the international community again. because u.n. sanctions preclude
this test, prohibit this test. >> absolutely. >> and it's not nearly as serious as a nuclear test. nonetheless, he will have shown he's willing to stick it right back in our eye. i think that begins to be about where he wants to end this. that's just a guess, but that's where i would put my money. >> that's a very, very considerate guess. i think we have jim maceda back in seoul for us. jim, we've seen reports that officials in the japanese city of yokohama mistakenly sent out a tweet today announcing that north korea had, indeed, launched a missile. the tweet was then withdrawn. but it's an indication, is it not, of how high tensions are running? >> reporter: martin, i think it's an indication, it's a sign of the per ills, if you will, of the age of social media where every mistake you make can go viral. yes, i take your point. despite the calm kind of business as usual demeanor that you see still, despite all this other stuff going on here in the south, and even with north
koreans, there is tension. among the armed forces, the national security forces, and especially in japan. which has already lived through one near miss by a north korean missile a few years back. the japanese are taking this very, very seriously. they've installed three patriot anti-missile batteries around tokyo. they say that they will shoot down any missile, even a piece of debris from a missile that enters japanese air space. tension is rising here in the south as well, martin. dozens of police s.w.a.t. teams have now fanned out across seoul and other big cities, taking up positions in train stations, in subway stations. they are on the alert for a potential terror attack that could be traced back to north korea. so it's a tense time, martin. >> final question to you, mike. do you think, michael o'hanlon, it's time to introduce
additional sanctions given the conduct of jim jong-un. >> i don't know about that, martin. i do think we need a new concept for any subsequent provocations that might lead to a sanctions te bait. my own preference would be we've got to find a way to both be firm but also contain this thing. and dampen it a little. and give the north koreans some incentives for better behavior down the road. i'm in favor of what i would call a temporary sanctions or automatically sunsetting sanctions where as long as the north koreans don't test again or launch another squirmish or aggression again, any sanctions we apply after a subsequent -- you know, let's say there's a nuclear test this summer. let's apply sanctions that would sunset after two or three years and automatically expire. then that gives the north koreans an incentive not to do yet an additional attack. i realize this is not the most pleasing way to think about things. but that may be the best option we can come up with given that these permanent sanctions don't really give the north koreans any way to backtrack even if they wanted to. >> michael o'hanlon and jim
maceda in seoul. before we go to break -- sorry. we'll be right back in a moment. ♪ you know my heart burns for you... ♪ i'm up next, but now i'm singing the heartburn blues. hold on, prilosec isn't for fast relief. cue up alka-seltzer. it stops heartburn fast. ♪ oh what a relief it is! cue up alka-seltzer. it stops heartburn fast. we asked total strangers to watch it for us. thank you so much. i appreciate it. i'll be right back.
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senator rand paul went where few republicans dare to tread earlier today. he addressed an audience at howard university in washington. while the speech seemed to be well received, the good senator seemed to stumble over his own history on civil rights, saying that he'd never wavered on the civil rights act despite once telling my colleague, rachel maddow that businesses have the right to exclude black patrons. indeed, it was apparent that mr. paul, like his party, is still the one with something more to learn about black history. >> how many of you would have -- if i would have said who do you think the founders of the naacp are, do you think they're republicans or democrats? would everybody in here know they were all republicans? >> yes. >> all right. you know more than i know. okay. and that's -- and i don't mean that to be insulting. i don't know what you know and you don't -- i mean, i'm trying to find out what the connection
is. >> they certainly know more than he does. joining us now is democratic congresswoman barbara lee of california. good afternoon, ma'am. >> hello. good to be with you, martin. >> senator paul's speech comes as the national urban league releases its state of america report. that report cites unemployment as the biggest barrier for black americans. rand paul says the way you solve the problem is you reduce government and you practice austerity. you introduce a budget that would miraculously balance in five years. and e vis rate every single program that supports people. is that right? >> african-americans first of all know better than that. you cannot say one thing and do something else. when you look at the ryan budget, the ryan budget guts every single program which provides that pathway out of poverty into the middle class. and so the african-american community gets it. when you look at the state of black america that the urban league presented its 37th year,
and i'm so proud of them for doing this. because they looked back over the last 50 years. what we have seen is that there has been tremendous educational achievements and attainment. but when you look at the distance and the gap between african-americans and whites in our country as it relates to economic parity, it's about the same. so what do we have to do? we have to invest in job creation efforts. we have to maintain the safety net. and we have to make sure that this double digit unemployment rate begins to go down. and we do that by investing in job creation. >> okay. well, rand paul tried to explain why his party could lose black voters since the civil war. he got to a fair recitation of events up to the depression. when he said this. take a listen to this, ma'am. >> african-americans understood that republicans did champion citizenship and voting rights. but they became impatient. because they wanted economic emancipation. the democrats promised equalizing outcome. everybody will get something. through unlimited federal
assistance. >> the democrats would promise equalizing outcome. everybody will get something. does that sound right? does that sound familiar to you? >> that's about what the 47%? >> oh, yes, i remember that. >> that mitt romney talked about. you know, come on. you know, the senator is really off. i think that when we look at what is taking place, we have to figure out ways to close these economic disparity issues. and we do that by, one, creating a jobs initiative, investing and targeting resources in communities which have historically been unemployed. when you look at poverty rates in the african-american community, 27%. we have to look at ways to reduce poverty. i chair now the democratic whip's task force on poverty and opportunity. democrats are coming up with strategies on how to reduce poverty in ten years by cutting it in half. >> congressman barbara lee, i'm
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