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tv   Martin Bashir  MSNBC  November 22, 2013 1:00pm-2:01pm PST

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come lot turned strong. jackie said it was raw even though it was her who pushed for its inclusion into the famous he is a for "life" magazine but i still to prefer to think about jfk in that light. a way i think of honoring him. that does it for "the cycle". >> it is friday, november the 22nd, 50 years on from that fateful day in dallas. >> only a matter of minutes. he's a wonderful man. >> something has happened in the motorcade. >> three shots were fired. >> a flash from the associated press "dateline" dallas. >> president kennedy died at 1:00 p.m. central standard time. some 38 minutes ago. >> a white man was seen at the window of the building. >> the texas school book
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depository. they find the rifle, partly hidden behind books. >> oswald is being held at the dallas police department. >> he's been shot. >> mr. johnson assumed the awesome responsibilities of the office of president. >> i believe that the times require imagination. and courage. >> we begin remembering the young, charismatic president, whose life was taken 50 years ago, a moment that shook the nation to its core this afternoon in 1963, the country was coming to grips with the
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terrible fact that president john f. kennedy had been shot and killed as his motorcade rolled through dallas, texas. the images are indelible for a generation of americans and many around the world, who will never forget where they were when they heard the news. today, an eternal flame burns at the president's grave at arlington national cemetery, where visitors have been paying their respects all day. and where early this morning, the ceremonial tributes began with the playing of bagpipes, a favorite of the late president. moments later, a somber playing of taps under gray skies in northern virginia. and in dallas, thousands packed the plaza that the president's motorcade passed, just before those fatal shots rang out, with bells peeling to mark that tragic moment. the president has ordered flags at all government buildings to half staff to honor president kennedy. and we will have much more on
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the anniversary and kennedy's legacy throughout the broadcast. but we want to turn now to the dramatic step by senate democrats thursday, eliminating filibusters for most presidential nominations and it's no surprise, the move to break the partisan fever blocking the president's picks is already catching ire. >> it was a brazen, partisan abuse of power. they want to pack the court, and in particular, pack the dc circuit, to cover up the president, and this is one of the most troubling aspects of this administration, has been lawless, has been picking and choosing, which part of the statutes he'll follow, which he won't. and this administration does not want to be held to account. >> the president has been lawless. says the man who orchestrated a 16-day government shutdown that took $24 billion out of the economy, threatened the full faith and credit of the united
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states. all to bolster his own political prospects. perfectly illustrated by cruz's 21 hour fake filibuster, full of sound and green eggs and ham, signifying nothing. but for senator rand paul, captain of a 13-hour filibuster against cia nominee, john brennan, this is really serious. >> what we really need is an anti bullying ordinance in the senate. i mean, now we've got a big bully, harry reid says he is just going to break the rules and make new rules. he's got to have everything his way. he's got to control everything. basically, he's become the dictator of the senate. >> but if republicans are publicly blasting the brazeneded, lawless democratic bullies, the white house today suggested that their real reactions are quite a bit different. >> the irony of the moral outrage over this that you sometimes hear from republicans and the sadness they feel is followed up by a promise they'll
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do it, even worse, if and when they have the opportunities. >> key the warning from a spokesman for minority leader, mitch mcconnell. i'm looking forward to president rubio stacking the courts. note, that was president rubio, not president paul. nor president cruz. nor president christie. interesting. let's get right to our handle. here in new york is msnbc political analyst, joan walsh, editor at large for asalon. and in washington, msnbc contributor, jonathan capehart, opinion writer for "the washington post." minority leader, mitch mcconnell, says this is nothing but a power grab to advance the president's regulatory agenda. he also said, this was an attempt to move attention away from the affordable care act. is it either of those? >> no, it's neither of those. that's preposterous. harry reid has been talking about doing this for much of this year. i truly believe that it was not until this week that he had the votes to do it.
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you had a lot of reluctant senate democrats who didn't want to change the rules. who remembered coming to this agreement in 2005 and wanted to stick with it. but over time, they became really convinced that this is a republican party that's lawless, that's not playing. by any rules known to man. >> and do you think it was the judicial appointments that broke the camel's back, not even the chuck hagel nomination, but it was actually not a personality or a policy, it was simply the process. can we fill a court, no. >> there was nothing about these nominees that was called into question. i think it was that, and also blocking mel watt as head of federal housing agency. i mean, like, you can't pick a member of congress. nothing like that had happened since the civil war. so this is such projection. because the ones that have been lawless and the ones that have been power mad have been the republicans who have prevented this man, this president, from actually being president. >> indeed. >> they reached into two other branches, the executive branch
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and judiciary. >> absolutely. john, the minority leader also said democrats will come to regret this, perhaps sooner than they think. a nice kind of warning there from him. what does he mean by that? >> what he means is, we have a midterm election coming up in 2014. a year from now. that republicans are hoping that they will retake the senate, and mitch mcconnell is hoping that he'll become the senate majority leader. and if that happens, what he's saying is, he was warning, was that turn-about is fair play. they were going to then use those rules against democrats and use them to put forth nominees and policies that are anathema to democrats. . >> mitch mcconnell condemned for being bullies. now he's saying he would like to be a bully in 2014. >> that's exactly what he is saying. but he was expecting democrats to blink. but if anyone has been paying attention in september -- in october and just yesterday,
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twice republicans thought the president would blink and congressional democrats would blink, and both times, the president and congressional democrats did not. and the message that's being sent to them, and i think probably has them fearful, is that the president and congressional democrats have had enough. >> enough is enough, said the president. and joan, i read from you in your column today, you think mitch mcconnell is more than likely to lose his own seat than become leader of the senate. >> he's got a tough fight. >> do you really believe that? >> well, i think two things have to happen. he has to win, and he is in trouble. and then the republicans have to take back the senate, which i think is going to be very hard for them to do. i mean, i think they think they can ride this, this notion the president has been lawless, into a midterm sweep. i think that's preposterous. i think there are states where democrats are vulnerable. this is not going to make them anymore vulnerable. and i think democrats also woke up to the notion that if, god forbid, they lost the senate, this is the first thing mitch mcconnell himself would have
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done. they would have changed the rules immediately. so nothing to lose. >> and john, isn't there also a kind of constructed attack on the president, because earlier it was he's a liar. he can't be trusted. now he's lawless. this is, again, the building of an attempt of character assassination, i guess. >> well, building or ongoing. >> the fifth floor. >> right. they have been doing it since the man walked into the oval office. and it's just a matter of what -- what the message folks in the republican party shop -- the messaging shop, which ones they want to emphasize on any given day. look, the idea, i think it was senator cruz in the en tree, where he said he was packing the court. >> yeah. >> let's talk -- he mean, there are 11 seats on the u.s. court of appeals. >> yes, there are. >> there are only eight that are filled. the president is trying to figure the remaining three. that's not court packing. that's the president doing his job. >> isn't it a bit rich, joan, to
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hear ted cruz accuse the president of lawlessness? >> ted cruz will say anything he needs to. to -- >> honestly. >> to keep raising money. he's in new york today, raising money. he's, you know -- he's got people's -- protecting him, e-mailing him, he's making big lists. he's going to either get rich or run for higher office. with a lot of money. based on this. and demonizing the president, it works. it works with that base. >> john, what's your reaction to ted cruz accusing the president of lawlessness, when this is the man who single handedly robbed the american economy of $24 billion? >> right. and rounded up $24 billion, because he led folks in the house, republicans in the house, to believe that they could actually defund or delay obama care and get the senate to go along with it and pass it. and two, to get the president of the united states to sign a bill
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into law that would decimate his signature legislative achievement. impossible. >> indeed, impossible. joan walsh, jonathan capehart, both of you have written extensively. i would encourage our viewers to read both. thank you. coming up, president kennedy's civil rights legacy. how it still resonates today. stay with us. >> and this nation, for all its hopes, and all its boasts, will not be fully free until all its citizens are free.
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one of the most powerful speeches president kennedy would ever give from the white house is the one he delivered on june the 11th, 1963 on the subject of civil rights. what started as a response to governor george wallace, barring african-american students access to the university of alabama, turned into something much more powerful. once that standoff ended, shortly before the speech's 8:00 p.m. delivery. president kennedy used the speech to draw a line in the sand, calling the civil rights movement not merely a political issue, but a moral one. using language that democrats and republicans would be wise to remember 50 years later. >> this is not a sectional issue. difficulties over segregation and discrimination exist. in every city, in every state of the union.
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producing in many cities a rising tide of discon tempt but threatens the public safety. nor is this a partisan issue. in a time of domestic crisis, men of goodwill and generosity should be able to unite, regardless of party or politics. >> and joining us now is goldie taylor, who writes the breaking black column for, and sally cohen, activist and columnist for "the daily beast." goldie, civil rights leader, medgar evers would be shot in the driveway of his jackson, mississippi home. kennedy's record on civil rights is not spotless, but can you imagine the civil rights movement without that speech made, what, only months before he was shot. >> no, i do imagine that the civil rights movement would have unfolded, but not, you know, really in the same way. we've got to remember that john f. kennedy was a young man when he came to public office. he had not had a lot of
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experience in interacting with african-americans. minorities in general, for that matter. but he came and brought an entire nation with him. he gave that speech 100 years after the emancipation proclamation, after the end of slavery. and john f. kennedy made that speech in such a way that it brought people together to say, you know, this is wrong. he then wrote and introduced legislation into the congress that would set -- end segregation in public places, which meant he was going to knock down a major component of jim crow, some of the things that were keeping people of color from that very road to economic equality which we sought in this country. what they did, the legislation that he was getting pushed through at the time of his death was equally as important. but it really did ignite the consciousness of a nation and allowed the civil rights movement to unfold. >> goldie, it wasn't just words, it was action. because i recall that the president welcomed dr. martin
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luther king jr. and others of the leadership of the march on washington into the white house. >> absolutely. and not only did that, but he called loretta scott king, locked in the birmingham jail. >> yes. >> that alone helped african-americans to see him in a brand-new way. as someone who will reach out and care about their issues and embrace them in a way that no president had done before. >> sally, there is this popular meme going around conservatives who are actually claiming that jfk was one of them. now, he admittedly wasn't the most liberal democrat, but between civil rights, treaty, the peace corps and so on, what's your take on kennedy as a conservative? >> i want to pick up on a thread goldie mentioned, which is this call he made, and bobby kennedy called to get martin luther king released from prison. this covert political action. they didn't do publicity -- there were no tweets, no blog posts, no press conferences.
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they did it quietly to send a message to african-american voters while at the same time, trying very deliberately not to alienate the white democratic voters in the south. it's very interesting in the context in which you're speaking to think about whether that would even be politically acceptable today. that kind of sort of subtle -- those on the left would sort of point at him and accuse him of not being bold enough and not being out front enough and direct enough. and, you know, of course, probably would have instantly lost the southern democrats. and yet wouldn't have gotten him into office. so the sort of subtleties of political candidates, both as they were running in office that were allowable 50 years ago aren't even allowed today. so -- >> are you therefore condemning the media and the whole kind of us and everyone else who write and discuss this issue? >> we need something to do here, right? we've got these 24/7 channels, we've got to fill them with something. but it meme of conservatives saying kennedy was one of his own comes out of, ironically, a
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lot of quotations and citations of reagan who a lot of conservatives today would say he couldn't with stand that sort of 24/7 media scrutiny. he would be -- he wouldn't be a republican. >> indeed. >> republican party members have said he wouldn't be republican today. >> goldie, kennedy had to constantly take questions about his christian faith. as well as whether he took his marching orders from another land, in his case, the pope in rome. does that remind you of any other president, perhaps? >> certainly does. you know, i saw a placard today from back in i think 1962. these placards were posted up, john f. kennedy, wanted for treason. and the charges, this bill of indictment including communism and cohorting with the enemy and that sort of thing. so it does remind me of some of the discourse we're seeing today against this president and sort of recognizing his otherness as it were. you know, this country is one that has been able to embrace
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change. but it has been a difficult notion for us. you know, as change came to us, whether it was, you know, jim crow or bringing the first african-american into the white house. you know, while on the one hand we talk about wanting this post racial, you know, pro human rights kind of society, anything that's sort of impacts us personally, we kind of have a bit of a fear about, want to sort of push against. and so we're really, you know, at war at ourselves in a lot of ways, even today. >> martin, i think goldie really hit the nail on the head there. >> 50 years. >> and let's look at the last two weeks. we have the 150th anniversary of the gettysburg address, which really speaks to this era of -- also, obviously, the emancipation proclamation and that era of pushing equality. now we're celebrating john f. kennedy and his legacy, the role he played. and we look back historically at both of those men and celebrate both parties, frankly, as having been bold, as these white men who boldly stood in the face of
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slavery, who stood in the face of racial injustice, acknowledged that the gap between them not as much progress had been made as should be made. and now we have a president who does the same thing. who does the same thing when young black boys are killed without cause. who speak out on issues of inequality and injustice. generally and with an eye toward race. and he is not lionized in the same way. he's vilified. that's a really troubling notion to undertake, especially given that very clear legacy that he's a part of, literally and figuratively. >> sally cohen and goldie taylor. brilliant. thank you both so much. >> thank you. and as we go to break, we invite you to visit for a special live stream of nbc's coverage of the jfk assassination, including the capture of one lee harvey as oh wald, as it unfolded on television, minute by minute, in 1963. >> oswald was pulled screaming and shouting from the texas theater by officers who had gone there on a tip that oswald was
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there. he brandished a pistol, which officers took away from him after a struggle. oswald was quoted as saying, "it's all over now. [ male announcer ] when you have sinus pressure and pain, you feel...congested.
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scottrade. ron: i'm never alone with scottrade. i can always call or stop by my local office. they're nearby and ready to help. so when i have questions, i can talk to someone who knows exactly how i trade. because i don't trade like everybody. i trade like me. that's why i'm with scottrade. announcer: ranked highest in investor satisfaction with self-directed services by j.d. power and associates. . stay with us. the day's top lines are coming up. but first, where were you the day that president kennedy died? >> what are going to be your own personal reflexes about the impact not just on this country, but on your own life, as well? >> oh, i'll remember how i felt when i was arguing for his election, and when i was 14. i'll remember how i felt when i met him in the rose garden. when i was almost 17.
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and i'll remember how i felt when he was killed. >> don't miss, the two-hour special, "where were you the day jfk died," reported by tom brokaw tonight at 9:00 p.m. eastern on nbc. and we'll be right back. ♪ hey, that's the last crescent! oh, did you want it? yeah. we'll split it. [ female announcer ] made fresh, so light, buttery and flakey. that's half. that's not half! guys, i have more. thanks, mom. [ female announcer ] do you have enough pillsbury crescents?
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from fear and loathing to repeal and replace. here are today's top lines. do you have a tattoo? >> i want to ask you about the battle over the affordable care act. >> we're eager and proud of the position that we're taking. >> let me tell you what the republicans are really good at. >> look, this law cannot be saved. >> the american people are very, very worried. >> they grabbed me by the
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shoulder, and they're afraid. >> moms and dads are worried. they say ted, i'm scared. less stop this from happening. >> the president broke a major promise. just one more reason why this health care law needs to be scrapped. >> yes, that's your answer. >> we'll make 2014 about obama care. >> that's your answer to everything. >> and yes, we will tattoo obama care. >> tattoo it on your forehead! >> on each of their for head,s and that will be what 2014 is all about. >> republicans are horrible at building things. >> one-note agenda. >> but they are great at tearing stuff down. >> repeal the affordable care act. >> and not giving any direct plans for where the country should go. >> why is there a -- >> what is a viable alternative? >> first of all -- and i'm going to answer that. >> well, i would say, let's get to the table. >> you don't think that you have a responsibility as a u.s. senator to do better than that? >> let's make sure that we have a plan. >> in terms of offering the solution for what to do next? >> well, i -- i appreciate your
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trying to lecture me in the morning. >> i love the smell of napalm in the morning. >> i'm not the policy guy. you know that. >> we have not seen any plan. not any plan. from our republican colleagues. >> we have talked lots in this party. >> there is a lot of discussion among republicans. >> and we have had plenty of bills in this party. >> attempted to do it over 47 teams now. >> there is nothing to be ashamed of, to being against obama care. >> someday this war is going to end. >> this debate is not going anywhere. it's going to be around for a long time. >> let's get right to our panel. joining me in the studio is alina maxwell, political analyst and contributory, and josh barrow from inside miami. celina, on thursday, speaker john boehner posted some photos of himself. there he is on his blog. the pictures posted yesterday afternoon, according to reports, show him in the process of signing up for the washington, d.c. health exchange.
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he also sent out a tweet saying, tried signing up for obama care today. howed it go, hint, train wreck. but 5:30, we see an update which says his enrollment was successful. so what happened? >> well, how all this is a farce. >> no, you don't say. >> if john boehner spent 45 minutes, i don't know, maybe putting on immigration bill on the floor, we would make some progress. but fake logging on to the website, because it's fake, right? this is a performance art situation we have here, because he has health insurance. and is so this genre of people who are insured fake signing up for the site and complaining later how difficult it was is really offensive to me. i think, you know, it took me i don't thinker to upgrate my phone but i wasn't wanting to storm verizon wireless. >> indeed. josh, reince priebus seems convinced the health care issue will pave the way to a nearly universal republican triumph next november. he says he's going to tattoo those democrats.
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but where -- here he is talking about republican alternatives. take a careful listen to this, josh. >> first of all, we have never tried. we have never tried open pricing. in this country. we have never actually tried to see if we had hospitals and doctors post the prices of their services, that whether that would drive down costs. we never tried health care poog. >> how does open pricing affect the 47 million people who don't have health insurance, josh? >> well, the funny thing about the open pricing proposal, it's not gist with obama care. i think a number of republicans have a number of small ideas like that one that would help people do comparison shopping better. but people still need to be able to buy health care. >> but that's what the affordable care act -- that's what the website is, josh. there are three levels of care. you can choose which one you want. >> exactly. >> right. and so i think, you know, when he says next year's election will be a referendum on that, we'll see in a year how people
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are feeling about this. i would note, john boehner's sign-up isn't fake. as a member of congress, he is required to get covered through the insurance exchanges, losing his coverage through the benefits program. >> it was performance art, though. that's exactly what yesterday was. >> it was performance art, but the performance matters. you look right now. you have 4.5 million americans, eligible for medicaid, get it for free and not sign up. it matters how easy it is to sign up for these things. because that affects the participation level. >> you're right. >> we'll see in a year if the sign-up is working better then i think tattooing on the forehead of republicans won't work. but this is one of these rare political issues where actual policy substantive success. >> josh, i'm not going to ask if you have a tattoo, but we found outside today about a couple changes in the law's deadlines. an eight-day extension to the enrollment period happening this year, plus a delay in expansion of the open enrollment period next year. and republicans have attacked that, as well, haven't they? >> yeah.
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they have been saying this is an attempt by the white house to delay pricing until after next year's elections. i think the white house is doing this for a few reasons. i suspect it is true politically that they would like people to be signing up next year after the elections instead of having a wave of new media stories about this right before the 2014 elections. this also basically gives them more time. when you push everything back a month, that will actually allow them, if they need to, to extend this year's enrollment period by a movement so if the website keeps improving and sign-up is working in the winter, we may be able to allow people to sign up through april 30th instead of march 31st because of this move so it's actually a substantive move that should help the rollout work more smoothly. >> josh is suggesting it's not a conspiracy, the implication being he lied, he's lawless and doing things under the table. >> imagine a president who passes something as significant as health care reform and working on strategies to make it effective and work for the american people. i think that the bottom line here is that the website needs
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to get fixed. everyone has said that a million times. and it is getting fixed. "new york times" reporting over the weekend the website will be down for maintenance and after that handle double the amount of traffic that it does right now. and i think people are going to wait until the last minute to do this. i mean, we all know that. and i think that it's funny we continue to have these conversations about the website and enrollment numbers, and all of these things not remembering that people procrastinate, and will wait until the very last minute to finally pick a plan. i mean, i'm waiting until the last minute. i'm uninsured. i went on the exchanges, i've compared my plans. but i haven't bought anything yet because i know i have until march to figure it out. >> josh, final question. how would you rate this week in terms of the performance of the affordable care act? we've had last week with the president's apology, obviously at the start with the website glitches. do you sense that things may be getting better? >> i think thing are getting better. the question is whether they're getting better fast enough. they're saying it's going to be possible by the end of the month for 50,000 people to use the
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website concurrently. they announced that part of the problem with encorrect information going from the website to insurers has been fixed. so it's more accurate, but it's not completely accurate. and so, you know, we're clearly in a much better position than last month. i'll be it interested to see how many more people enroll this month, because we had only 25,000 enrollments in the first month, too slow a pace, even pricing in what certify lena is saying. the expectation that more people will enroll later but accelerate faster than they planned on. so good trajectory this week. but i think it remains to be seen whether it was a good enough trajectory for the launch to get fixed. >> time indeed will prove the proof of the pudding. selena maxwell, josh barrow. next, the way washington works. we'll ask a member of congress how politics has changed since the kennedy administration. stay with us. ♪
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with nestle toll house. 50 years after the assassination of president john fitzgerald kennedy, washington is a far larger, far more toxic place as the current president pointed out on thursday. >> a deliberate and determined effort to obstruct everything, no matter what the merits, just to refight the results of an election, is not normal. and for the sake of future generations, we can't let it become normal. >> and joining us now is democratic delegate, eleanor holmes norton, of the district of columbia. good afternoon, ma'am. >> good afternoon, martin. >> in your years of fighting for civil rights, and they are decades in your whole life, then fighting for the people in your district, do you ever remember an atmosphere as object oh
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object instructive, cantankerous as today? >> martin, the atmosphere in 1963 was fighting about something real. two ways of life. in essence, the civil war was not yet over. in 1963. and you could understand if you stepped back from history that this was the last gasp of the old south. compare that to today. where almost all of our problems would only take people sitting down at a table. and yet what was required in '63 was a true breakthrough. a president who would i would say, as president kennedy did, civil rights is a moral issue. and he will always be remembered for that. and the difference is, we had no right to the polarization we
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have today. for '63, that polarization was inevitable, until we settled the race question, which was the preeminent question of the day. today the preeminent question is economic. all it would take is sitting down and dividing up how we would each treat those things. remember, the democrats had the southern democrats in their fold. which made it very hard for john f. kennedy to move forward to do what he obviously wanted to do. >> yeah. >> so we had to come to grips with them, and then to deal with republicans who, to their credit, moved toward him on civil rights. >> how would civil rights move forward in today's culture? where the speaker of the house, and i'm not exaggerating. you know this to be the truth. won't even take up immigration reform. it's said he spends his time at
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his computer mocking the very insurance he's just signed up for, tweeting, sending out photographs to people, entertaining them, when we have 47 million people in this country who don't have health insurance. we have over 11 million undocumented immigrants in this country who live as different class of citizens. and yet that's the response we get? >> well, i have to tell you, martin, the intransigence of the republicans today, particularly over issues that could be easily settled, reminds me of the intransigence of the southern democrats who refuse to move on civil rights until they had to, until, of course, the civil rights movement mounted a massive demonstration, and in 1963, you had the march on washington, which raised the hopes of americans all over the country of every background. and only three months later, john f. kennedy was dead. >> you yourself were a student
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at yale law school, i believe, when the president was assassinated. what is your memory of that day, specifically? >> well, i -- i was fresh out of having been in the south the last place to be cracked was mississippi. i had been a part of the student nonviolent coordinating committee. and i was back in law school, just really itching to become a civil rights lawyer. i believe exactly where i was, as i think almost everyone on that day will remember. because i was across the street from the law school, walking down the street with another friend. and a car stopped, just an ordinary automobile, and said the president is dead. and he stopped, and let us sit in the car. the door was open. so that we could hear what the -- what the newscast was. this was the most unbelievable
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event in my lifetime. and i must say, even if i consider today, except for the assassination of martin luther king, it remains the most unbelievable event in my lifetime. >> the kindness of strangers in the midst of your grief. delegate eleanor holmes norton. thank you so much, ma'am. >> always a pleasure. >> coming up, 50 years after the assassination and we remain one nation under the gun. >> they found the rifle, partly hidden behind some books. it was a bolt action model. we still don't know exactly what kind of rifle it was. so if you have a flat tire, dead battery, need a tow or lock your keys in the car, geico's emergency roadside assistance is there 24/7.
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according to the official report, in march 1963, lee harvey oswald clipped a coupon from an advertisement he saw in the "american rifleman" magazine published by the nra. he posted the coupon, as well as a money order for $21.45. the rifle he ordered, an italian car containo rifle, with telescopic sight, was shipped to him later that month. and tragically, we know what that gun would be used for eight months later. after the assassination, there was outrage about how easily guns could be attained through the mail. which is why it's nearly impossible to purchase a gun this way today. instead, if lee harvey oswald wanted to purchase a similar weapon this afternoon, he would simply have to log on to a website, find someone in his area selling a much more powerful weapon, and meet up
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with that person, make the exchange, no questions asked. and perhaps we should be asking some questions. for more, i'm joined by democratic strategist, julian epstein. good afternoon, julian. it seems the fact that one man with a mail-order gun could kill the leader of the free world really alerted people to the easy accessibility of guns. and yet 50 years later, aren't there more guns that are significantly more powerful, and even easier to access today? >> more guns, more powerful, much easier to do mass destruction. as you pointed out, oswald got the gun from the american rifleman, an nra magazine. after the death of jfk, it really wasn't until martin luther king and robert f. kennedy were both assassinated before the country took any action on guns, passing the 1968 gun control act, which did two things. it tried to create prohibited
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classes of people, mental -- people with mental disabilities, former convicted felons. that kind of thing. and it tried to restrict mail order. but as you point out in your set-up piece, it's very, very easy to get around the prohibitions in the '68 act. there are 400 websites now that sell high-powered, all kinds of guns, from assault weapons to handguns. remember, these almost always get away with no background check, which was the whole idea behind the 1968 act to begin to core done these off from dangerous people. and 80% of the crimes we see, the gun-related crimes we see in this country right now, are done with guns that don't have background checks. since jfk was killed, we have had 1.4 million americans killed with handguns. we have 90 killed a day, every single day, about the equivalent of a jumbo jet airliner going down on a daily basis.
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and all of the data shows that in a country like the united states, if you compare it to other countries, that has far more permissive gun laws, that you have greatly, greatly higher gun detect rates by not in the factor of hundreds, but in the factor of thousands. we all know the data shows that if you have a gun in your home, you're much, much more likely to get killed with it or have a family member or loved one killed with it. if you have a gun in your possession, you're four times more likely to be killed by a gun. and so the data is just overwhelming that we're living in a -- in a situation of just madness. and if we want to reflect on this very mournful and sorrowful day 50 years ago, if there's one thing that we could be doing, it would be to come together to try to reduce the enormous carnage that virtually no other advanced economy experiences in the world. >> absolutely. i want -- if i may, julian, to ask about another related story. on monday, the official report
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on the december 2012 shooting in newtown will be released. will this further solidify the understanding that the power and capacity of the weapon contributed to making an already horrific incident that much worse, do you think? >> yes. if you, for example, take a .50 caliber gun today, you could blow about a block -- a foot of concrete out from a target that's about a half mile away. the power and lethality of the weaponry today is -- is mind-boggling. and what the report on monday is going to show is i think two things. one is that assault weapons and these weapons with incredible lethality can turn tragedies where one or two people may have been killed into tragedies where you can have what happened in newtown, which is -- dozens of 5-year-olds and 6-year-olds being killed. that's one. secondly, i think what it will show is that background checks are not enough, because if you look at the mass murders, about
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34 of the last 45 mass murders, the killer, the shooter, would have been able to get the guns without a background check. so it's a very, very important report. >> julian epstein, as always, julian, thank you so much. >> thank you for having me, martin. and we remind you to watch "50 years of guns" with the reverend, al sharpton, looking at gun violence in america, five decades after president kennedy's assassination. that is tonight, 9:00 p.m. eastern, right here on msnbc. and we'll be back. but first, new york city's times square as it was 50 years ago tonight. >> quite a few people here compared to a normal friday night. >> this is by no means a normal friday night. not by any means, not close to it. all the theaters are shut down, the movies. people are around, but broadway is not broadway tonight. and just give them the basics, you know. i got this. [thinking] is it that time? the son picks up the check?
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continuing special coverage, which begins with chris matthews, jfk, the day that changed america at 7:00 p.m., followed by the kennedy brothers, a "hardball" documentary at 8:00 p.m. eastern. right now, it's my friend ed schultz and "the ed show." good evening, americans, and welcome to "the ed show," live from new york. let's get to work. >> these damn hearings waste our money! >> think about this. elected officials are going to take their time and their effort to go orchestrate negative impact hearings across the country. >> this is not a partisan hearing. i will not have it accused of being a partisan hearing. >> i want the truth! >> issa himself picked the witnesses we'll hear from. five residents of north carolina. the hearing is happening in our area, becaus


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