tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC July 11, 2013 2:00pm-3:01pm PDT
verdict that speaks the truth, a verdict that is just. with that, he concluded the prosecution's closing argument. thanks so much for watching this afternoon. we of course will continue to cover the trial of george zimmerman as the defense offer its closing argument in the morning. "hardball" is next. . let the closing arguments begin. let's play "hardball." good evening i'm michael smerconish in for chris matthews. capping off a dramatic day in court, the state delivering an emotionally charged final appeal to the jury. it tied together virtually all of the lnlts and arguments that we have seen them present in this case including zimmerman's infamous profanity-laced call to
the police when he spotted martin. the testimony of jeantel who said that martin told her zimmerman was following him, and numerous questions. their conclusion that zimmerman profiled martin as a criminal and killed him with ill will and hatred. earlier in the days contention over jury instructions took center stage, specifically rulings on whether the jury would be allowed to consider lesser charge 67 zimmerman is claimling self-defense, about you judge nelson ruled today that the jury can also consider the lesser charge of manslaughter. defense attorney don west objected numerous times to these rulings, so many in fact that at one point the judge basically threatened him with contempt. but tomorrow it will be west and the defense's team that will make their final case. jury deliberations could begin as early as tomorrow. for the latest, let's get to craig melvin outside the florida
courthouse. what was the vibe in the courtroom? and specifically could you get a read on the jurors as they listened? >> reporter: mike, that's exactly what we're trying to do. we have lots of eyes and ears inside the courtroom. we're told the jury was pretty captivated during the presentation. at one point there were only one or two jurors taking notes. the rest were sitting and listening attentively, george zimmerman during the course of this trial, he's been fairly stoic, unemotional, at times expressionless, even. there was one point during that 2 hour, 15 minute presentation where he was looking down, he hung his head as well. for the most part he was again today fairly stoic, but again the jury, of course, six women, five of whom have children, at the end of the day these of course will be the folks that decide george zimmerman's fate.
they seem to be very engaged. the courtroom today, as full as it's been at any point during the trial. it was so full that judge nelson had to create some more space. can you shed like on how the verdict will be. >> reporter: gentlemen, just to clear that up, earlier today we were told by law enforcement that they were going to request that judge nelson hold a verdict when it was reached until a weekday. again, out of an abundance of caution, if you will. that's what they indicated to us, they were going to do. no word on whether judge nelson ever even got that request, but a short time ago, the public information officer here at the court telling nbc news that if a verdict is reached this weekend, that the court is going to have the verdict read that day we're
also told that we should get about a 60-minute heads-up before that verdict is shared. >> thank you, craig. for more i'm joined by legal analyst lisa bloom, former judge alex ferrer, and -- in his closing arguments the prosecutor drove home one message to the jury -- that zimmerman profiled martin as a criminal. and this is part of his argument to the jury. >> this innocent 17-year-old kid was profiled as a criminal. to quote the defendant, and pardon my language, he was one of those [ bleep ] that get away. pardon my language, he was one of those [ bleep ] punks, he uttered it under his breath.
that indicates ill wit and hate tres. he already had assumed certainly things that trayvon martin was a [ bleep ] punk, [ bleep ] action and he wasn't going to get away this time. >> mr. davis, he spoke of criminal profiling, not racial profiling. is that the unsaid word in that courtroom. is that the implication of what the implication is staying? >> well, as i said before, counselor action and thank you for having me again today, that race is immutable. we see it, in fact you see it as we look at the television, with the diversity that you have put together so the fact of the matter is race is immutable, and it is an underlying matter, probably. let's be serious, it is.
but i think he's trying to get to the emotions of that jury to let them know we have a minor, who was unarmed, who was shot and killed and he is trying to bring out those elements of second-degree murder statute in this state, so they are able to look at that, and quite frankly they should look at that only in make their decision with their deliberatio deliberations. >> in other words, he's trying to meet that element of evil intention, which is required? >> absolutely. that's what he's trying to do. i don't think he has enough. i've said that for quite a while now. they're so far removed from the shooting. florida law says the act that results in a death has to be motivated by evil intent. there's this big thing that happens in the middle, and
that's that fight, the fact that lasts a considerable amount of time that there's a lot of screaming about. the burden of proving who started it action and the burden of proving the issue of whether it's not self-defense rests squarely with the prosecution, it's hard for them to get around that. >> lisa, you have focused our attention on the actual physical -- the physicality of that scrimmage, that fight at the end. here's what i'm referring to in terms of how it came up today. in his closing arguments, he also brought up this potentially key detail of the screams in the background of the neighbor's 911 calls that the defense claims were zimmerman. watch this. ed defendant claims he was the only one yelling out there. you have to decide whether it was hi or trayvon martin or whether it was both of them. it had to be one of them, or both.
but if he's down with ought these blood, swallows the blood, how is he able to do all that? why is there a consistent in terms of help, help, help -- >> how is he able to cry for help as we heard time and again if it was george zimmerman in if fact trayvon martin his his hands -- >> because it was intermittent, the hand was there, this was a dynamic situation and a fight. i don't particularly care for this style of asking jurors questions instead of giving the prosecution theory of the case. he said maybe it was one person, maybe it was two people. you can decide that. this is closing argument. it's time for the prosecution to have a theory of the case. it's time for the prosecutor to tell the jury, there is one person who was yelling. that was trayvon martin. that was the victim in this
case. to really put it away. i'm going to stand up and say, you know why he asked you all these questions? because this is a case about reasonable doubt, and if you go back into the jury room with all of those questions, you have to return a defense verdict. >> how effective do you think the prosecution was on the issue that you've been racing about access to the weapon action and again consistencies that you've pointed out about george zimmerman's testimony? >> i was glad they raised it, that george zimmerman said that the gun was holstered inside his pants behind him. and at last that videotape was showed to the jury. there were so many missed opportunities in this trial, for example, when they're working with the dummy. if i'm the prosecutor, i'm going to drive this home. i'm going to say directly to the jury, it was impossible to trayvon martin to see the gun and to reach for the gun, and
that's the most critical issue in this case, because all of self-defense depends on that. >> judge alex, lisa is pretty critical of the yoreall presentation. how did you see it? >> i think it didn't have the power it needed, but i think, you know, we're not done. the prosecution has tomorrow, and i think guy's closing will be much more powerful. when you're giving the jury questions, all -- the defense is going to say, you know why they're asking questions? because they don't know, either. that's the problem with the case. >> there was another -- raised this potential inconsistency that trayvon martin was circling the car. here's part of it. just as important is saying this man, trayvon martin is circling
his car, he's in such -- that he gets out of car to go follow him? he's either truthful or he's lying about it. how effective was that aspect? >> i think it's very effective, in the sense that -- and again i have mentioned this before, i'm a concealed weapons holder, a law-abiding gun owner here in the state of florida. when you are in a situation like that, you have an opportunity to stay within your safe zone. that's how i was trained in my training. i believe that in that instance, what the prosecutor is saying that if he's in the car and someone is circling the car, you have a chance on the phone to say, hey, look, he's circling my car and then drive away, or move to another location, where you can look to see where the
signing are, you are in your safe zone, so you don't have to get out of the car, and i think that is what mr. de la reowneda was trying to get to the jury. when we come back, we'll take a closer look at the often tense relationship with judge nelson and don west. this is "hardball," plat for politics. >> i am asking your client questions. please, mr. west. >> i object to the court inquire of mr. zimmerman to his decision about whether or not to testify at this -- >> your objection is overruled. in this corner, the reigning lasagna dish, the big cheese. and in this corner, the best generation of dawn power, platinum! [ bell dings ] here we go! [ female announcer ] dawn platinum power clean's micro-scrubbing enzymes give you the power of an overnight soak in 3 minutes,
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your honor, we submit that's an integrate part of our theory in the defense -- >> and you can -- >> and the court commits error by not instructing the jury on the law -- >> i understand, i have already ruled, and you continually disagree with this court every time i make a ruling. i have provided you on three separate occasions with the court's professional conduct in the courtroom, and included in that is, do not continue to argue with the court after we've ruled. welcome back to "hardball." that was defense attorney don west and debra nelson going back and forth today in the latest of what's been a series of tense exchanges. now as the defense prepares its
closing arguments, the question a lot of people are asking is could west's apparently trained relationship with the judge affect trial? we continue with our panel, lisa bloom, alex ferrer and joseph hanes davis. yesterday the judge reminded -- but asked whether he would like to, don west cut in. mr. zimmerman, have you made a decision to whether or not you want to testify in this case. >> no, not at this time. >> okay. and when is it -- how long do you think you need before you make that decision? >> your honor, may have we have an opportunity to speak? the case hasn't concluded yet. >> i understand that i asked mr. zimmerman if he needed more time, and if he does, i will afford it to him. mr. zimmerman, how much more time do you think you'll need to discuss it with your attorneys? >> i assume it would depend on how long the recesses are, your honor. at the end of the day if?
>> if your attorneys have finished with two winces before the end of the day, do you think you would know then? >> well, on mr. zimmerman's behalf -- >> i am asking your client questions. please, mr. west. >> i object to the court irquestion of mr. zimmerman about his decision whether or not to testify at this -- >> your objection is overjeweled. >> lisa bloom, how much of this has played itself hout in front of the jury. >> for example, the jury was not in that courtroom, but there were other instances where they got the vibe that all was not well between judge nelson and the defense counsel. >> right. this was not in front of the jury and when he was talking, talking, the other night and she got up and walked out of the courtroom, she has given some tough rulings on objections he's made. i'm of two mints. frankly i like don west a lot. i think he's an outstanding --
he's had some bad moments, but i've watched almost every moment, he's shown high levels of intelligence and aggressiveness, but bottom line is, right, when the judge is talking, you have to stop. when the judge issues a ruling, you have to live with it, and you certainly don't get to object to things that the judge is saying. >> judge alex, here is the mo mom that lisa was refer to. don west complained about the lack of hours and judge nelson walked out of the courtroom. >> see you at 8:00 in the morning. >> i'm not physically able to keep up this pace much longer. it's 10:00 at night, we started this morning, we've had full days every day. weekends, depositions at night. >> thank you. judge alex, i'd love to hear your perspective as a florida former circuit court judge about
what you see in that dynamic? >> these two clearly either have a history or undercurrent of tension. it's been there since pretrial motions. they don't appear to like each other and it bubbles to the surface. i can understand the defense's position, because it's 10:00 at night and it's case law that says if you keep the lawyers too late at trial and can't adequately prepare, it did result in a retrial. but that exchange we saw between the judge and west about whether or not zimmerman with us going to testify, that was each one pressen each other's button, they intentionally were. >> so, mr. davis, based on your experience, how important is this in the eyes of the jurors? in the end, do they discount this or take their lead from the individual sitting there wearing a robe? >> well, as counsel has said, most of this has happened out of the eyes of the jury? when the jury comes back, both
parties, my esteemed colleague, mr. west, who i agree with counsel saying that he's a very good attorney, he's board certified in this area, and judge nelson. when they come back, they put on, quote/unquote, their game faces, and the jury is likely to never know. if the jury is able to pick up some tension throughout the trial, i believe that the jury's intelligent enough to know that that is part and parcel to this very important case that is being presented in front of them. >> here's what i'm wondering, lisa. don west got off to a bad start with the knock-knock joke that he made in the opening statement. knock no. who is there? george zimmerman. george zimmerman who? all right. good, you're on the jury. nothing?
that's funny. >> he was criticized and he later did apologize for pealing the joke. any possibility from the get-go she just liked at that and said what is this guy doing in my courtroom? >> i don't think so. it was a false note, but throughout the testimony he's -- sometimes tying the witnesses up on knots and, look, this is a murder trial. it's not a tea party. it's not about getting the judge to like you. it's not about getting the attorneys to like you. he's trying to defend his client and make a record in the event the client is convicted. to do that he's got to say certain things in the courtroom even if he thinks it will get pushback from the judge. she makes reference to the rules of professional conduct. he's not going to get any trouble. he hasn't crossed that line, i don't think. >> i think the four of us are saying that the lawyering has pretty strong.
evaluate the response from the bench. how has she done, from your perspective? >> i can see tiles that he gets testy the defense, but honestly, whether people say she always rules against the defense, a lot of times that's because the defense is doing something wrong. if you remember the casey anthony case -- the judge in that case ruled against the defense over and over and over again, but that's because the defense was wrong, so it's not a matter of balancing continues out. she's a bright judge. i disagreed with some of her rulings,ual i don't see anything that's ofvertly an muss. >> have you seen anything that's possible reversible error? >> have i? >> yes. >> i think there's a question about the instruction. i think she should have given that special instruction, and she didn't. that could come back to haunt
her. lisa bloom, alex ferrer, joseph haynes davis staying with us. tomorrow, what is the best case that they can make? this is "hardball," the place for politics. e a ford fusion. who is healthier, you or your car? i would say my car. probably the car. cause as you get older you start breaking down. i love my car. i want to take care of it. i have a bad wheel - i must say. my car is running quite well. keep your car healthy with the works. $29.95 or less after $10 mail-in rebate at your participating ford dealer. so you gotta take care of yourself? yes you do. you gotta take care of your baby? oh yeah!
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welcome back to "hardball." defense attorney don west began his case with the now infamous knock-knock joke. tomorrow they hope to close on a stronger note. this afternoon's closing arguments by the prosecution saw defense attorney mark oy mara will be trying to convince the jury that george zimmerman is not guilty of murdering trayvon martin. chances are we won't see another knock-knock jokes. we you continue with our panel of lisa bloom, alex ferrer, and we're joined by mid win charles.
what is most important for you to get across? you know what? i'm nod hearing midwin. so lisa bloom, you need to answer that question, you're tomorrow's defense attorney. >> first of all, i would start by saying the prosecution asked you a lot of questions in the on the ground statement and since they don't have the answers, you don't have the answer, that's reasonable doubt, so i don't even have to go out, but i will. george zimmerman told his story over and over again, why didn't he lawyer up? he had nothing to hide, and insure there are minor inconsistencies. that's to be expected. but the central story never changed, that he killed in self-defense. that story matching up with all the medical and scientific evidence. that testimony of dr. vincent di maio. the prosecution has the burden many proof to show you it was
not a self-defense killing form the prosecution has gone far away from getting that point across. >> midwin, if you're the defense lawyer, what did you see in the prosecution argument today that you need to make sure you address? >> i focus on the fact that it was all the questions that the state threw out. if i were the defense attorney, i would have nigh legal intern go home tonight and go through all the number of questions that they asked during their closing argument, which is not what you're supposed to do. you're supposed to say with certainly exactly how it happened. how did the fight start? who threw the first punch? all we know for certain is how the fight ended. that is one of the biggest problems with today's closing argument. >> judge alex, i was surprised by the prosecutor who will get rebuttal time did not focus on the distinctions with the charges. to prove second-degree murder, the state has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the 2ke69
acted with a deappraised mind and the act was done from ill will, hatred spite or an evil intent. they do not have to prove that there was intent to cause death. to prove manslaughter, on the other hand, which is the lesser offense, they have to prove the killing of a human big by the act, procurement or culpability negligence of another, and that the act was not excusable, which is another way of saying it was not self-defense. how are those definitions going to be utilized by the defense tomorrow and then in the rebuttal by the prosecution? ivities let me clarify something. i don't believe they're going under culpable negligence manslaughter. florida has two types. culpable negligence is basically a higher level of negligence. they can't proceed until that under the law, because it is not what's alleged in the information as an intentionally crime. manslaughter by act is basically
an unjustifiable killing. so what they're going to do is say this isn'tselves defense, and it is by definition an unjustifiable killing and by definition a manslaughter. it all comes down to a jury deciding whether or not george zimmerman felt in fear of his life on serious bodily injury. he's if they say no it's ahn unjustifiable killing and it's manslaughter by act. >> maybe i'll hear it in rebuttal, that part of the argument where he says we believe we have proven beyond a reasonable degree murder. however, ladies and gentlemen, if you conclude otherwise, then you certainly have to find that manslaughter has been proven in this case. do you think he went soft in that? is she leaving something in the tank for his rebuttal time. >> most certainly he may have missed the mark on that, but it's quite possible that he
might need that to bring it home, as they say in rebuttal time. they have their theory of the case, they are seasoned prosecutors, we are all here discussing them in the monday morning quarterback mode for the purposes of this show, and so forth, but i would like to think that they know what they are doing and they're going to do the job, as with mr. west and mr. omara, because they are all charged with the duty to act professionally in the way that they are acting. >> midwin charles, who makes the closing argument for the defense? it was don west who made the opening statement. he and mark omara having sharing responsibilities, how do you thif they divvied up that responsibility? >> i don't. i think that was one of the best openings that i saw. >> despite the joke. >> despite the joke. despite the joke. i'm not sure. i between between west and omara, perhaps the jury may have
picked up on that undercurrent that he has with the judge. i don't know, maybe mark oy mara might be the best byrne, but don west has been consistent in terms of the witnesses. he es dodge a good job in turns state's witnesses into actual defense witnesses. >> i've said this a couple nights ago, they've divvied this up, when there's heavy lifting to be done, it's don west. i'm not lessening the role that mark omara made, but he's the softer sell kind of guy. i wonder if it won't be him who delivers the closing argument. >> i'm interested to hear that take from you. i don't have that impression. i think they're both outstanding attorneys. we have heard that mark omara is doing the closing arguments. that's why he was out of the courtroom for a portion of the hearing today. i think he is an extraordinarily effective advocate, he's been the one who's been the most physical, democrat strating with his own body, lying on the ground, moving things around. both of them can say very, very
calm mountain heat of battle action making their points one after another. i have to tell you, if law students are watching, you want to asp mark omara's closing arguments, both of these defense attorneys through the trial. i thought they were at the top of their game. >> did you find it unusual, and it was about this time last night, that's why it stands out in my mind that mark omara had a press conference after they rested the case? >> yes. that is unusual is media strategy is a completely different topic. i don't like that he put his client on hannity. that was one of the biggest blunders. that's when he said that the killing was god's plan. that's clearly come back to bite him. i don't like that he's doing nightly press conferences. he has the right to do it, and he's doing it. thank you all, we appreciate all of you. up next, science fiction means science fact. a reminder listen to my radio programs weekdays more, potus channel 124.
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i'm mandy drury with your market wrap. the dow soared 169 points, zen up by 22, the nasdaq jumping 57 at record highs for the s&p and the dow. will these big gains come after fed chairman ben bernanke said yesterday the central bank would continue the economic stimulus efforts for the foreseeable future. jobless claims roe unexpectedly, though, last week, and microsoft shares are up after they announced a restructuring including the president of the office division retiring. now back over to "hardball."
back to "hardball." now for "the sideshow." believe it or not it's been a big week in washington for science fiction fans. on monday, two house democrats introduced big hr-2617, otherwise known as the legacy act, which is intended to establish a national park on the moon. the so-called moon bill has little chance of being enacted, but received some attention and mockery by the press. it may not be a great leap or small step toward colonizing the moon, but has delighted some sci-fi fans nonetheless. on to the science fiction, as fate would have it two days later president obama awarded george luke cause the national medal of arts and -- he did diverge from his prepared remarks to reflect on the legacy
of "star wars." >> i remember when i first saw "star wars," there's a whole generation that thinks special effects always look like they do today, but it used to be you would see like the string on the little model spaceships -- anyway, i'm being led astray. much like the moon bill in congress, his original idea for "star wars" was met with skepticism at first, but he got it done with a mix of good storytelling and innovative special effects. that got us thinking may the moon bill supporters could repackage their bill in a format more familiar to "star wars" fans in congress. here's what that might look like, enhanced with our own special effects. ♪ ♪
♪ well, that's just a taste. the entire bill would probably take another five minutes. next up, a lesson that many in washington have learned the hard way. you never cross the clintons, but teen popeye doll justin bieber got himself in water when he did just that. tmz released a video that appears to show him cursing out a photograph of president clinton. the juvenile showed contrition today, apologizing to the former president in a phone conversation, and then tweeting -- thanks for taking the time to talk, mr. president. your words meant a hot, tars tausche agreeing light. e online reports that the former president had one piece of advice -- don't trust friends who leak videos to tmz. up next the unkindest cut
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part of a lineup of unstoppable skincare! start fresh and finish sparkling with s'wipe out wet cloths. va-va-vivid for a 400% better clean. from new olay fresh effects. welcome back to "hardball." we've been shining a light on the people and organizations hurt most by the across the board arbitrary spending cuts known as the sequester in a series segment that we called "the unkindest cut." sam stein in the huffington post has been doing the same things. one of the programs he focused on this week is headstart. in ohio, minnesota, alabama, and new york state.
in washington, defense secretary chuck hagel outlined at the damaging effects the sequestered cuts will have in his area, national security. in a letters to carl levin and james inhofe of the senate armed services committee, he wrote -- if the cuts continue, the department will have to make sharp cuts with far-reaching consequences. the defense secretary carries a lot of clout, but who's the equivalent advocate for the disenfranchised who depend on programs like meals on wheels and headstart? sam stein covers politics for "the huffington post." and joan wall much is an editor atlarge for -- maybe that's a reason for a lack of mobilization thus far. small groups are what you document who are feeling significant pain, but there doesn't seem to be anything or anybody tying them all together. >> yeah, you have a very valid
point. there is an organization called ndd, which advocates on behalf 6 those group affected by the non-defense discretionary cuts affected by sequestration, but you're right, the pain is so scattered. the other problem that's happening is a lot of these groups are doing everything they can do backload all of the pain. by that they're putting off the suffering, making sure that parents in the system stay in the system and ensuring -- that helps those people who are dependent on the programs, but has a reverse political -- the pain and suffering is less visible to the lawmakers who would have the authorities to get these cuts reversed. >> joan, i think in the country there's the impression that we gave a sequester and nobody came. we heard these stories of -- but people haven't seen evidence, bejon sam's work and what chris is doing here on "hardball," i don't know that the media has been making the case for the fact it's real.
>> you see savvy journalists saying nothing happened, and it's not a big deal, but the face of the cuts are very real. i want to congratulate sam for -- because none of us do that kind of journalism does it enough. headstart has never been fully funded. it serves only half the the eligible kids, so it's never had effective advocacy. sam is also right what they are doing is serving the kids already in the pipeline, and god bless them for that, but you don't necessarily hear the outcry for somebody who didn't get somebody. >> sam, let me ask you, what about the prospect of chuck hagel becoming a champion indirectly for the social plams that you've written effectively about? in other words, how could the congress restore some of the funding for the defense department, for the pentagon without also addressing these shortcoming a great question.
the only time congress has acted is when the pain has been acute to them. fuls the meat inspectors got their furloughs canceled as well. but you haven't had that suffero big and vivid that it's compelled people to act. and, again, part of the reason is that a lot of the stuff is going to be felt ten years down the road. >> was at a meeting the other day with a bunch of academic researchers, who were talking about the affect that grant money reductions is going to have in their field. we have the technology right now where if you have a heart attack, we can fix that but if you want heart therapies that will prolong your life for 20 years, we're developing those. without developing the grant money from the government, we're never going to have the drugs developed. stuff that happens 10, 15, 20 years down of the road. >> joan walsh, has there been a failure on the left to champion these issues? >> i would like to see more coming from the white house. i think it's a great idea, michael. i would love to see secretary
hagel include some head start funding and make the case that our children are a national security issue and what we're doing to our children makes us less safe down the line. but there hasn't been nearly a enough attention paid to that. once they took the faa -- once they let people fly again, the lawmakers could fly again safely and on time, all of the urgency went away. and it's really quite disappointing and quite tragic. >> sam, give us the cliff notes version that people who haven't read your work would understand. >> oh, god, there is so much of it. public defenders, for instance, are one of the things that no one really knows about. public defenders plays a huge role. i talked to a bunch of public defenders that are going out investigators. it's not really a defense. we're doing an article now on stream gauges which around the country help us prepare for flood awareness and flooding. there are about 80 stream gauges that are unoperational because
of sequestration. imagine if you're in a immunity that is prone to flooding and doesn't have a stream gauge, that's a frightening aspect. these things are happening all across the country, it's just no one has put them together to say this is what is taking $85 million out of the economy looks like. >> and is the worst still to come? >> oh, yeah. >> they have been back loading some of the impact of this. >> of course congress would act three months in when they realized how bad it was. but there was a perverse outcome which is congress sort of ignored it. they assumed it wasn't that big of a deal. >> sam has a great anecdote, i think it's kansas congressman telling this poor head start mom that what she needs to do is get money from rich people. this is a federal program. one of our few federal programs to help poor children, and now she is supposed to go fund raise. >> there is a good quote to ta
to the story. several hours after that report came out, that mother and 13 other colleagues in the head start program were accepted into the public school program. again, people in the system are being taken care of. they're being accom dated. but the waiting list to get into head start now is astronomically larger. and that program will never reopen, and the teachers who are part of that program will never get their jobs back. >> sam, who is on top of this? who is championing this cause, if anyone? who are you looking to for leadership? >> well, you know, obviously there is members in the congress who are out there. chris van hollen, rosa delaura on head start. and if you get members of congress back in their districts, they will all bemoan sequestration and the cuts they have had. even the most fiscally conservative say this is a dumb idea. it's finding a solution. >> thank you, sam, stein. thank you, joan walsh. and thank you to the viewers who tweeted us with an example of how these cuts are hurting them. chris works at oasis youth center in with washington.
we provide key services lgbt youth 14 to 24. our funding has been slashed. i want to the hear more how congress cuts are affecting you. tweet us with the #unkindestcut, or facebook.com/hardball. we'll be right back after this. [ female announcer ] as you get older, protein is an important part of staying active and strong. ensure high protein... fifty percent of your daily value of protein. low fat and five grams of sugars. [ major nutrition ] ensure! nutrition in charge! [ herbie ] eh, hold on brent, what's this? mmmm, nice car. there's no doubt, that's definitely gonna throw him off. she's seen it too. oh this could be trouble. [ sentra lock noise ] oh man. gotta think fast, herbie. back pedal, back pedal. [ crowd cheering ] oh, he's down in flames and now the ice-cold shoulder. one last play... no, game over! gps take him to the dog house. [ male announcer ] make a powerful first impression. the all-new nissan sentra. ♪ the all-new nissan sentra.
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large retailers, retailers with corporate sales of a billion dollars or more, and operating in spaces 75,000 square feet or larger. but it's really all about walmart. so where the federal minimum wage is $7.25 and where washington, d.c. has its own minimum wage of $8.25, now walmart will need to pay a super minimum wage, and walmart is saying if this is signed into law, walmart will stop construction on planned stores in the district. in the united states, the average wage for a full-time hourly walmart associate is about $12.57 according to the company. that's about $25,000 a year at 40 hours a week, or just above the federal poverty level of $23,050 for a family of four. but many part-time workers make little more than minimum wage. proponents say where walmart reported a net income of $17 billion in sales of $470 billion
in its most recent fiscal year, it could afford to pay better wages. i don't find that persuasive. walmart's ability to pay a super minimum wage is more more justification for paying it than to allow an unsuccessful business pay a less than minimum wage. walmart started by sam walton has grown so large as to make it very difficult for today's entrepreneurs to compete against it. but the business was born in a competitive marketplace, and that's the same environment, not the halls of government, in which walmart should have to justified its continued success. in other words, if consumers believe that walmart destroys more jobs than it creates, or that walmart causes its own employees to require public assistance, or makes it impossible for mom and pop businesses to compete on main street, they should vote with their wallets. walmart is nothing without the consumers who support it. but the solution is not for government to single out an american business, any american business, for punitive treatment. d.c. mayor vincent gray should use his power and veto the bill.
i personally don't like the way these box stores homogenize all of our home towns. when each has a walmart, a rite aid, mcdonald's and starbucks, they lose their individual identity. but the market should sort that out. that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. "politicsnation" with al sharpton starts right now. thanks, michael. and thanks to you for tuning in. tonight's lead, the state's closing arguments in the george zimmerman second-degree murder trial. this afternoon, the prosecution gave the jury its summary of the case against mr. zimmerman. a dramatic, emotional presentation. he believes he profiled, followed, and gunned down trayvon martin. it came just hours after the judge ruled that the jury can also consider the lesser charge of manslaughter. a decision that could have a
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