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tv   Ronan Farrow Daily  MSNBC  June 23, 2014 10:00am-11:01am PDT

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high-ranking iraqi officials including prime minister al maliki. he's not exactly singing maliki's praises. >> it's essential that iraq's leaders form a genuinely inclusive government as rapidly as possible within their own constitutional framework. >> president obama is not too keen on the current leadership either. he hinted at that with mika brzezinski lately. >> there's an opportunity to form a new government there. the test now for not just mr. maliki but all the leadership in iraq is, are they able to set aside their suspicions, their sectarian preferences for the good of the whole? and we don't know. the one thing i do know is that if they fail to do that, then no amount of military action by the united states can hold that country together. >> and hanging over all of these tense conversations?
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a call for potentially maliki's exit. it stopped just short of going that far but it is right under the surface. that antipathy makes a great deal of sense. it was under maliki's leadership that negotiations for keeping behind some residual forces fell apart. the question is, since then, has washington turned a blind eye, a few too many times to a few too many warning signs? now is it just too late for diplomacy to work? joining me to weigh in on exactly that, msnbc contributor and former rnc chairman michael steele. and one of my favorites in life, hol h colleague alex wagner. there were warning signs in iraq. should we have acted more robustly when fallujah fell in january? >> i feel like what we are doing now, hindsight is 20/20 is literally the order of the day. peter baker has a great piece in "the new york times" talking about what transpired.
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perhaps the most pivotal is when we decided not leave any residual force in iraq. and how willful it was on the part of the united states and on the part of maliki. if you have two people that don't want to try and make it work, divorce seems the inevitable proceeding here. there was no political will to leave even a force 36,0of 3,000 4,000 american forces there which we probably should have. something the united states has come to understand and the iraqis in a painfully and deadly way. >> it casts long shadows over these current conversations that's kerry is heading out for. michael steele, hold on to your thought on that. we just got richard engel on the ground with the latest on the situation there. richard engel, do we have you there? >> i think you do. it's good to be with you, ronan. >> so give us the latest. is there a lot of expectation that these conversations will actually change anything at this point? >> the political conversations, no. not a lot of expectation that these political conversations
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are going anywhere. what i heard today from reports from andrea mitchell and others was that kerry pressured maliki to stick to a timeline effectively to form a new government soon. and iraq already said it would form a new government soon. constitutionally it's supposed to do that. but it's unclear that maliki has any intention of stepping down. and it's unclear if any of that matters anymore because you have the iraqi politicians, naval gazing, trying to figure out who is going to get what? these are all the same politicians who have been around since 2003, who have been exchanging from position to another, one was interior minister, then becomes defense minister, education minister and so on. the same deck keeps coming -- becoming reshuffled. so that's going on. and i don't see how that impacts the military situation to a great degree. and the military situation continues to escalate. the militants from isis, and i think, by the way, because they are the most aggressive and the
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most heinous in their actions, they are the ones we tend to focus on. they aren't fight alone. they are fight with baath party members, former soldiers from saddam's regime, tribesmen. it's been a resistance movement with this al qaeda franchise at its vanguard. they are continuing to take land. they took parts of the border with syria, with jordan. they have a city haditha right now surrounded and the iraqi security forces haven't really been able to do much to stop it. i just spoke with an iraqi commander, a general, and he said that in baghdad, they are trying to set a ring of steel. but we really haven't seen it. and i think the iraqi security forces haven't lived up to all of the training that was put into them at this stage. >> thank you for that update, richard engel. stay safe out there. >> michael, hearing that from
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richard. there are troops going back and forth to syria, do you think that there were warning signs ignored in syria? should this administration have headed this off at the pass there? >> i think syria is the benchmark of how we got to where we are. and then i think that, you know, much of what alex was saying that when you go back to the status of forces agreements, the lack of energy behind that, by both the united states and the maliki government. should have foretold where we are today. the reality of it is you've got a bad actor leading the country who is not bought in to this idea of a united iraq that is friendly to the united states, for whatever reasons. he's basically -- maliki is a puppet of iran, and his actions have dictated pretty much what the iranian playbook says it should be. now here we are. you have the secretary of state sort of running around having political discussions.
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because diplomacy, as richard noted, is tough. and the politics isn't going to work well either. so where do we go from here? i think that's the question a lot of americans are asking themselves. 300 boots on the ground, as military advisers. what does that mean? and if any of them gets captured or killed by isis, what does the united states do then? >> alex, michael just mentioned this lack of enthusiasm about the status of forces agreement. but is maliki really to blame for that? he was hand strung by a parliament that was never going to ced toe te to the u.s. deman there would be immunity. >> there are 300 military advisers in iraq right now. and there has been no term of agreement in terms of, you know, being prosecuted by an iraqi court. it's interesting that that thing that held us back from, you know, leaving 3,000 or 4,000 or 5,000 or even 10,000 american troops in country no longer holds us back from sending over a limited number of advisers.
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the expectation is nothing is going to happen because they are playing a strategic role. it's interesting we haven't come any further and we still have people over there. i don't know if that answers your question, ronan. >> i think both parties were hand strung here. >> yes. you kant overestimate the lack of political or electoral enthusiasm on the part of the american people to have anything to do with iraq, which is why this -- reopening this chapter is so feign fpainful. >> we are so fatigued. is painful. this trip, there's a lot riding on it, but not a lot of optimism to go with it. there are big political fights back home and a lot of fatigue about these. one of the biggest today developing is the fight on immigration and some action on the hill on this. three high-profile texas republicans are going to visit i.c.e. detention officials today. senator ted cruz, rick perry and greg abbott are all going to tour these facilities in texas that are housing undocumented children. of course, one of the big
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controversies in recent weeks. it comes just as congress is poised to hold new hearings this week on that surge of minors over the border. michael, those visits today and the hearings this week, do you see an opportunity for this crisis to finally break through politically? it's been so gridlocked in the past. >> it would be very helpful if ted cruz and governor perry, in particular, came out in support of the solution here that looked at the human element. that encompassed the reality that we have these young kids, as young as a few months old to 13, 14 years old, who have streamed across the border. however they got here, they are here. it is a humanitarian crisis, as the president, i think, rightly noted, and it's one the united states has to deal with. the united states congress and senate in particular has to pay attention to. you have to stop playing political football with this issue. and the party has to realize, republican party has to realize that there is a compassion that
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we must show for what is happening to people that it goes beyond protecting the border, which everyone knows. we got that. we understand that issue. now let's deal with the humanity of those individuals who are here and the issues that they are faced with. i'm hopeful that rick perry and ted cruz in particular picked that up today. >> our political leadership banged its head against the wall so many times on this issue without results. i'm just skeptical we'll see a breakthrough. there are human lives at stake and ample reason to want to hope for that. you've been very invested in this issue. in the trenches reporting on it. you are debuting a new series today called the invisible u.s. which takes a deeper look at this. let's look at a clip first and then i want to ask you a question about it. >> at night it is dark. yes, we need public lighting. >> and you've been here for how long? ten years. no lights? >> maria does not live in a third world country. this is south texas, about five miles from the tex can border.
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>> all the water comes here. >> maria lives in the shadows of america, quite literally the dark corners that most people don't even know exist. >> alex, we were talking about the human stakes. you see it vividly on display there and there's a lot more in this series. what surprised you most? >> these are people who are -- they are not here in this country with papers. they are paying taxes, however. they are paying payroll taxes in some cases, up to 6.1% of their income. they are living in places called colonials and yet have none of the basic resources when one things of living in america and paying taxes in america. there is no running waiter. there are no street lights. these are people effectively living in sanctioned shanties in america in texas, just feet away from actual real suburban subdevelopments. and it's a testament to how we have tacitly come to accept that this is just the way some people are going to live in this country. and at the same time it is shocking, and it is wrong and
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they have children who are americans. our system is broken. and i think when i went down to the border, the most sort of wrenching part of it is people have roots here that are so deep and there is such a high level of risk in terms of outing one's self to become a citizen and also staying in the country illegally. these people are truly between a rock and a hard place. >> these are visuals and stories that we just don't expect in america. this is a revulatory series. you can catch it on "now with alex wagner." it premieres today? >> today at 4:00 p.m. michael steel and alex wagner, appreciate it. up next, he won the pulitzer prize for his work with edward snowden, revealing the secrets of the nsa. now glen greenwald is going to join us after the break. spokesperson: the volkswagen passat is heads above the competition, but we're not in the business of naming names. the fact is, it comes standard with an engine that's been called the benchmark of its class. really, guys, i thought...
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iraq is descending further into chaos and here at home, a free-for-all against the government. take it away, dick cheney. >> would you take air strikes against isis? would you move special forces into iraq? what would you do in iraq? >> well, i -- what we should have done in iraq was -- whangets would you do now? >> leave behind a force -- >> what would you do now? >> what's i would do, among other things, be realistic about the nature of the threat. when we're arguing over 300 advisers when the request had been for 20,000 in order to do the job right. >> and others are doing the opposite. reeling against the use of outside forces at all. that includes my next guest, glen greenwald whose thoughts on iraq follow a critique of
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overreaching. it changed the way americans view surveillance. he's the author of "no place to hide." glen, thank you for being here. >> great to be here. >> you spoke this weekend about what's going on in america. you had a very different view from cheney. you said, quote, maybe there is an argument to make that outside forces ghat in and start bombing that country or invading that country actually are terrorists more so than the people in the country. do you think that u.s. forces in iraq and these potential 300 that are about to go in, special advisers, are terrorists? >> the point i was making is this word terrorism is supposed to be this debate-ending term. the minute you invoke it, it's supposed to end all discussion because it's a fear mongering term that has no objective or legitimate meaning, even though it's continuously used to legitimize every foreign policy. i have a question about why people in afghanistan who are defending their country against a foreign invasion are in guantanamo or why iraqis fighting for control of their country are called terrorists. but a government that can send
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people into an aggressive war and call it shock and awe designed to terrorize the civilian population into submission, how that isn't terrorism. the question is how we continuously use this term with such certainty and moral self-righteousness when it seems the violence we engage in falls in the parameters of that term itself. >> where these actions take place. whether it's in the theater of battle or not. would you dispute the 9/11 attacks, not in a theater of battle, are different from attacks going on within a war zone to defend national interest? >> the united states government over the last six years has continuously used all kinds of civilian-destroying violence in places that are untraditional battlefields. whether somalia or yemen or pakistan. just today a federal court ordered the release of a memorandum where the obama administration claimed the right to target american citizens for execution with no due process far from any battlefield. you can say, well, as long as it's on the battlefield it's
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okay. the united states then goes to a cannot likes iraq and turns it into a battlefield and says our violence is now justified. >> do you think drone strikes that kill terrorists like al awlaki, is that terrorism? >> the problem i have with terrorism is there's no objective definition for what's it means. it's just a fearmongering term. if you want to have this term, this discussion about what terrorism is, and i was asked, is isis a terrorism force? you can pretty much make an argument that all kinds of violence is terrorism. terrorism means nothing more than the violence that we on our team want to delegitimize. >> let's turn to surveillance. one of the things that obama has highlighted as a big shortfalling in iraq right now. do you see the reforms triggered so far, the administration saying it wants private companies to store bulk data, not the government to store that data, as significant developments or is that just a fig leaf in your view? >> i think it's significant in
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that this is the 1st time since the 9/11 attacks the u.s. government jointly is looking to pass legislation that's designed to limit its own power rather than expand. it shows how much these revelations have resinated with the public. at the same time, the obama administration has done everything possible to water down the legislation so it doesn't actually do anything meaningful. it just looks like reform. but i still think it's a step in the right direction. >> what the things you've chosen to disclose? the initial disclosures that triggered some of those reforms had to do with the violations of rights of individual americans. but some of the later facts that have been released out of this snowden dump of documents have much more it seems to me, to do with the everyday business of diplomacy. for instance, why disclose to the press that the u.s. was reading the e-mails of brazil's president? >> well, i find the idea that the only rights that matter and the only rights worth reporting on are the rights of americans to be extraordinarily bizarre. 95% of the world's population are actually composed of
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non-americans. i think their privacy rights matter as well. i also think that there's a serious democratic debate to be had about whether the u.s. government should be invading the personal communications of democratically elected leaders of our ally governments. there are places all over the world where debates have been triggered over that. that's the role of journalists to trigger those debates. >> do you think it's ever appropriate for the u.s. to monitor foreign leaders? what about kim jong-un. >> the fact that edward snowden gave us tens of thousands of documents and a year later we've produced a small percentage -- we've released a small percentage at his insistence is indicative that everybody agrees there's some degree of surveillance and government secrecy that is valid. the problem is we have way too much of each. >> you talk at length in your book about some secrecy for individuals being necessary to foster risk taking and creativity. isn't a certain level of secrecy necessary for the government's activity? >> i don't think anyone who doesn't believe that government
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secrecy isn't inherent in all cases. that's why we haven't dumped all the documents. if he wanted to, he could have uploaded all the documents to the internet. if you were to ask any rational american what really is our problem, too much secrecy or too much transparency? i don't think you can find a single person outside of washington, d.c., who would say the problem we have is too much transparin incenc transparency. we are so far over that i think that debate is nothing but abstract. >> are there still disclosures to come from you that are significant? >> definitely. including one that's very imminent that i've considered to be the most important in the archive which is the question of what kinds of american citizens are actually being targeted by the nsa for the most evasive kinds of surveillance. >> why allow those revelations in such a gradual -- it looks like a pr campaign. >> for people that do actual reporting they know it's actually difficult and time consuming and you have to put together evidence, do reviews, protect people's privacy.
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>> you are vetting them? >> we are vetting them. we aren't just taking documents and randomly uploading. we are doing actual journalism on them as the pulitzer committeeac knowledge. that takes time to do it and to be careful. >> edward snowden's temporary asylum is soon to run out. what's next for him? >> there's debates taking place in other countries like germany and brazil about whether they should give him asylum as well. i think for the foreseeable future he's safely out of the reach of the american penal system. >> glen greenwald, thank you. if you open your windows last night around 8:00 p.m., you heard it. a very different matter. but equally contentious. the cheering and not so cheering of broken hearted sports fans around the country. we're talking about the world cup. we'll have the latest details and what to look for next after the break. are you ready grandma? just a second, sweetie. [ female announcer ] we eased your back pain,
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welcome back. victory was so close you could touch it. then it just slipped away. as the united states was preparing to wrap up a stunning victory over portugal and getting ready to head to round 16, portugal snatched away that chance with an improbable goal. >> a lot of guys were upset. but it's normal. when you have 30 seconds still to go and you are close to be in the next round, it's not easy to take. but it's important now that we step on and try to push and we can make it to the next game. we can do everything that we can to come to the next round. >> so is the u.s. team going to survive the group of death? we've got our football fans mike and anthony on set. what do you think? are they -- >> we'll pull it out thursday, yes. >> a lot of hope still. we should see. a win or tie sends the americans
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forward. a loss is going to make things more complicated and some of those streets full of boos again. look ford it regardless. the next and possibly last is this thursday. it's at noon eastern. you'll not want to miss it. you'll also not want to miss our next segment. this is the rfd under. get excited. that's where we asked you what story you think is underreported in the media and we report out the winner. send your thoughts on twitter or facebook with #rfdunder. the children farming in tobacco fields across the united states later this week. ahead on the program, known for being one of the president's lawyers. but we're going to tell you something about david kendall you may not know. we'll go back to 1964. ups is a global company, but most of our employees live in the same communities that we serve. people here know that our operations have an impact locally. we're using more natural gas vehicles than ever before.
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on mississippi during what's come to be called the freedom summer. they were campaigning to register black voters. and some paid the ultimate price for it. >> there is some mystery and some fear concerning three of the civil rights workers, two whites from mississippi. they arrested the three men for speeding yesterday but released them after they posted bond. they have not been heard from since. >> michael schwerner, james chaney and goodman were shot to death by the ku klux klan. joining me is david kendall, a former bill clinton attorney who was also a freedom summer volunteer back in the day, and he was andrew goodman's roommate during their training for this. david, the late maya angelou wrote in the forward to goodman's mother's memoir that those three young men represent 300,000 young men and women who dared, who had the courage to go to the lion's den and try to
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scrub the lion's teeth. so you were one of those 300,000. did you feel going in that you were risking your lives? >> well, i think at the beginning of the summer, people were worried. i think we knew we were going to go into harm's way, but i think everybody thought they were going to come -- we were going to come through it okay. >> what would you want people to know about andrew goodman and his legacy? >> well, i think he was a very brave young man. i only knew him for a week. i met him exactly a week before he was murdered. that week was a very high pressure week. we were learning a lot about mississippi history, voter registration techniques, self-protection, things like that. our rights or lack of them in mississippi. he was very serious. he was earnest, committed and, you know, i liked him very much. >> when you all headed down to volunteer, how much blowback did you get from your friends and family members? were there naysayers who said it
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just wasn't worth it? >> i don't remember -- my parents were quite committed. they were quakers. i remember what i was getting into but i don't remember any blowback from my indiana friends and relatives. >> last summer they freed nine states with history of discrimination laws. should americans still see voting rights as being under threat? if so, what should they do about it? >> i think they very much should through more tricky devices. it's interesting that the voting rights act was passed by an almost unanimous congress within the last decade. i think there are such things as identification requirements and other things which are being used to somewhat more covertly disenfranchise black voters. >> how did those experiences back during the civil rights era inform your career in government and later in life? >> it made me want to go to law school. i was represented by very
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skillful lawyers for the naacp legal defense fund. they got me out of jail a lot. i suddenly realized that the law was a way that you could change things. and although i was on my way to medical school, i delayed a few years for graduate school and then needed to go to law school. and i wound up working the first five years of my career for the naacp legal defense fund. doing civil rights work. >> what would you want to change most urgently about voting rights today? >> i think i would want to try to simplify the procedures. i think i would try motor voter was a good step in that direction. i think i'd try to expand the time people could vote because sometimes if the window is very narrow, people who are working just can't get to the polls. i think all those would be helpful. >> i think most people watching would be surprised just how much you guys laid on the line and i think a lot of people will be informed by the history as we face some of those challenges today. david kendall, really appreciate
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it. >> thanks, ronan. another legal great. he's taken on giants like microsoft, major league baseball and the entire republican establishment. now somewhat unexpectedly, he's ruffling feathers within the gay rights movement. master strategist and attorney david boiyce straight ahead. get your all-time favorites like creamy chicken alfredo. plus unlimited salad and breadsticks and dessert. 2 for $25 guest favorites at olive garden. the numbers are impressive.y to new york state. over 400,000 new private sector jobs... making new york state number two in the nation in new private sector job creation... with 10 regional development strategies to fit your business needs. and now it's even better because they've introduced startup new york... with the state creating dozens of tax-free zones where businesses pay no taxes for ten years. become the next business to discover the new new york.
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the message that thousands of people are second class citizens. >> we get a letter saying you are no longer legally married. can you imagine getting that in the mail? >> by accepting it, we also accept being second class citizens. and that was unacceptable with us. >> prop 8. the best way to do this might be to file a court case. >> people are going to be upset. you're going to cause war. bring it on. >> now this is the trailer for "the case against 8." a new hbo documentary about the
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supreme court case that gutted california's prop 8 ban on same-sex marriage. and now the two high-profile attorneys who argued that case for the supreme court are telling their side of the story. "redeeming the dream: the case for marriage equality." written by david boies and ted olson. tells an important part of history. but telling the history of the gay rights movement has become something of a mine field. critic s are now directing critical criticism at olson and boies' version. they rend ter as somewhat of a long-awaited response to what they saw as an ineffective old school approach of nonlitigation. i sat down with david boies about the book, the controversy and everything that's coming next. david boies, thank you so much for joining us here. >> good to be here. >> you have this book out. your own narration of your
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decision to come to this case is very gripping. you really do pay proper dues to the movement that came before you also talk about a personal motivation. the movement to end anti-gay discrimination is the defining issue of the first half of the 21st century. why choose this particular case, proposition 8, as a way into that snsh. >> two reasons. first, i was asked to come into it, to the case. so it presented an opportunity. second, california was a particularly attractive venue to fight this issue. one thing, california is the largest state. 10% of the american people live there. so if you could win california, you can make a huge step towards marriage equality. the second thing is that because california had given everybody the right to marry the person that they loved and then take ten away it was a particularly egregious example of this kind of discrimination. >> now they didn't answer the broader constitutional question
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in this case. they haven't yet. and -- >> supreme court didn't. >> supreme court. that's right. there have been a number of rulings since in various other courts. many of those cite the windsor case. >> exactly. >> dwhoot you say to people who said that was in fact, the pivot point. >> i think the windsor case was tremendously important. the day the two decisions came down the same day. and the first thing that i said, when i was asked by reporters on the steps of the supreme court, was that the perry case meant that people were going to be able to get married in california today. and the windsor case meant that people were going to be able to get married across the country over the next few years. >> as you say in the book with mr. olson, our effort and the efforts of the scores of people who helped and supported us and have contributed to it, we hope to be the beginning of the end of this last major bastion of institutionalized discrimination. one of the more contentious responses is it's disturbingly
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clear that the olson/boies team believes that marriage equality was nothing and nowhere before they entered the stage. in your chapter you lay out -- you are aware of the history. >> unfortunately mr. frank just didn't read the book. if you read the book, he would have seen what we lay out in terms of the history. and, for example, anybody who is active here, i mean, every year the human rights campaign, you know, has a big dinner. and people are active in this go to that dinner. 4,000 or 5,000 people there. last year, ted and i -- robby c caplin from the windsor case was there. what ted and i had done was simply building on what everybody else had done. i analogized us to the people in the olympics who get the flame just before they enter the -- >> you are part of a rely. >> here's the thing -- >> and the problem is, the people who are actually active
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here, great people like evan wilson and the like, anthony romero from the aclu who have been fighting in the trenches for a long time, they've been enormously supportive. the people who generate what you refer to as this controversy are people on the sidelines. they just haven't been in there. and i don't even think they go to the hrc meetings. i don't think they read the book or read what we've said. >> i think some of the critiques are more substantive. one of the points in the book that has generated contentious is you say we wanted to begin connecting with a constituency that hadn't fully considered our side of the issue. using the word begin there and referring to making a conservative case with your colleague, obviously, coming on board this case and having a track record that would make people not expect him to be a part of the case. then you look at andrew sullivan's seminal piece on this. they failed to get the supreme court to even take the case.
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why do they consider themselves the architects of our civil rights. >> nobody thinks we're the architects of the civil rights. nobody ever suggested that. what we did was we took one case. i think it happens to be an important case. and for andrew sullivan or anybody who thinks that case wasn't important, they ought to go out and talk to the people in california. the thousands and thousands who streamed into the streets with joy because we eliminated proposition 8. they ought to talk to the tens of thousands, millions of people around the country. many of whom have come up to me and talked about how important it was to strike down proposition 8. so to talk about that as not being important, i think, misses a really important point. but nobody is saying that the perry case was the beginning or the end of this movement. this has gone on for decades.
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the talk, the respect to talk about andrew sullivan's article in 1989 as being a seminal article with respect to conservatives, i think also missed the point. conservatives if you think about 2004, 15 years after that article, conservatives were making anti-gay marriage a wedge issue against a democrats. >> i think this case and the way you chronicle it is clearly part of that. you are still in the game. you have this virginia case coming up. we'll be watching this closely. thanks for your time. >> appreciate it. david boies, pleasure to have you here. up next, maria shriver stops by an her way to the white house summit. we have that conversation with her right after the break. to map their manufacturings at process with sticky notes and string, yeah, they were a little bit skeptical. what they do actually is rocket science. high tech components for aircraft and fighter jets. we're just their bankers, right?
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but financing from ge capital also comes with expertise from across ge. in this case, our top lean process engineers. so they showed us who does what, when, and where. then we hit them with the important question: why? why put the tools over there? do you really need those five steps? what if you can do it in two? whoo, that's an interesting question. ideas for improvement started pouring out. with a little help from us, they actually doubled their output speed. a hundred percent bump in efficiency. if you just need a loan, just call a bank. but at ge capital, we're builders. and what we know... can help you grow.
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welcome back. you are looking at video of president obama. he sat down for lunch just a short time ago at a d.c. area
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chipotle. he was sharing that meal with those working parents to mark his working families summit at the white house this afternoon. we're waiting on the president to speak at that summit. it's the first ever of its kind. we might have a live picture if we want to go to that. the summit is focused on how this country is letting down modern working families. some earlier remarks from that same summit. there are some needs here the white house is trying to adapt to and get employers to adapt to. flexibility in the workplace. paid leave to take care of family members and making child care more affordable. some states have adjusted to those needs of the 21st century but the country as a whole as a long way to go. the president's expected to direct federal agencies to give workers access to flexible work schedules, to provide them wths more time at home. what more than the federal government do to mandate family friendly policies? can the united states catch up in a world where most developed nations have far eclipsed us in terms of the rights we afford to those families?
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and within this issue, looming large, what's being done to give women better opportunities? i sat down with nbc news special anchor maria shriver about today's summit and her non-profit, shriver to talk about her nonprofit. >> the one thing the president has been talking about a great deal is the need for more flexible family leave. right now, you know, even the family medical leave act only provides unpaid leave. it doesn't even apply to 40% of the work force. that leaves the u.s. as one of the worst off in the world. what needs to change specifically? >> i think people need to ask for it. people need to demand it with their votes. i think the summit highlighting that, highlighting that other countries have it, that we can do better. we have it in california. it works. and i think by people saying, wow, i want to vote for somebody in the midterms or the presidential election who makes that part of their platform. as i always say, democrats and republicans, male and famiemale have the ability to vote with
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their pocketbook, with their concerns. don't give away your vote to people who don't espouse issues you don't care about. you want to vote for somebody who recognizes the american family has changed. so i think that that's tremendous power within each individual. i always say to women, you don't have to vote for a woman just because she's a woman. vote for a woman or a man who talks about family issues that affect your day-to-day life. >> marimaria, on this issue of family leave, how do you fund a national solution to mirror what happened in california without raising taxes? this is something the white house has been publicly grappling with. >> i think everybody grapples with that on every state level with every program. i think that's the whole debate, right, between democrats and republicans. who's going to pay for this? it blocks it at that level. i think it's worked well in california. the big challenge in california is that most of the people who can take advantage of it don't even know that it exists. i think that's another huge challenge facing government. and i noticed that when i was
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first lady. so many laws are passed that affect people, particularly people who live on the brink, that they don't know about. so there's all kinds of ways you can have temporary taxes to pay for things. there's ways businesses can chip in, ways that individuals can support it as well. so i think there's a lot of creativity that and needs to be more. >> and maybe understanding how integral this is, we should be considering revenue increases, certainly the temporary kind you propose. in your new op ed, you say, with women earning 77 cents to the dollar man is earning, an equal pay law is due. of course, there are some pieces of legislation that protect equal pay. there's the lilly ledbetter act, which expands the time frame people can sue based on equal pay. clearly those proved insufficient. what would you like to see for the next wave of legislation on this? >> i would like to see some legislation actually get across or get to the president's desk. i think there's advancements on the fair pay act.
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i think family leave is certainly something. i think that would benefit so many families. in the poll in the shriver report, what people said they needed more than anything was time, sick days. 70% of all minimum-wage workers are women, and they don't have one sick day off, not just for themselves, but to take a child. more and more people are ending up having to spend a lot of their time in elder care. i think kind of family leave, paid family leave is an integral thing for low-wage workers and workers of all varieties in this country. >> and for both family leave legislation and equal pay legislation, they seem to have stalled along largely partisan lines with broad democratic support, not as much republican support. why do you think this would be a partisan issue? >> well, i don't think -- i hope it's not. i know that it has kind of been portrayed that way. but one thing i learned being a democratic first lady in a republican administration, there are a lot of people with an "r" next to their name who have good intention and who want to
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support families. they also have children. they also have spouses that work. so i think that one thing i thought yesterday when i was speaking at the mayor's conference and i talked about trying to have less partisanship in politics, it got a huge round of applause. i look at california, and i see that the fastest growing party in california is, quote, declined to state independents who don't have an allegiance to democrats or republicans, particularly young people. they don't want to have partisanship. they want to get the job done. they want legislation passed. >> i certainly hope that call is heard on this issue. maria shriver, thank you for your work on this and thank you for your time today. >> thank you. >> shriver's really been integral in pushing for a summit exactly of this type. it'll be interesting to see what comes out of it and whether we can burst through that political gridlock we've been hearing about. meanwhile, let's go live to that summit. president obama is live on the podium. >> now, each of these folks come from different parts of the
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country. they have different occupations, different income levels. and yet, what bound all of us together was a recognition that work gives us a sense of place and dignity as well as income and it is critically important, but family is also the bedrock of our lives. we don't want to -- >> we're going to dekeep you posted on exactly what the president is promising at this summit. it's time for "the reid report" coming up. we want you to weigh in on this. tweet at us using #rfdworkingfamilies. tell us what workplace policies are most important for you. we're going to be sharing your stories as we update you on what comes out of this summit. that wraps things up for today's edition of "rf daily." now it's time for "the reid
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report" with my colleague joy reid. what have you got coming up? >> all right. very, very important. thanks for keeping coverage on that. coming up next, mill tantds tighten their grip on iraq as secretary of state kerry meets with leaders and urging diplomacy. chr chris hayes will be here for an in-depth look on his new series. and reasons why the central park settlement didn't go far enough. reverend al sharpton will discuss. "the reid report" is next. this is the first power plant in the country to combine solar and natural gas at the same location. during the day, we generate as much electricity as we can using solar. at night and when it's cloudy, we use more natural gas. this ensures we can produce clean electricity whenever our customers need it. ♪
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>> among other things, be realistic about the nature of the threat. >> the united states shed blood and worked hard for years to provide iraqis the opportunity to have their own governance and have their own government. >> if they fail to do that, then no amount of military action by the united states can hold that country together. >> we'll discuss the politics of keeping iraq together and how it's driving one political party in this country apart. then, my colleague chris hayes joins me with a closer look behind the color lines. 60 years after brown versus board of the education. and my interview with reverend al sharpton on the central park five and whether the huge settlement recently awarded is justice enough. but we start in iraq where secretary of state john kerry made a surprise appearance in baghdad today in an attempt to convince that country's political leaders to pull together just as its various sectarian elements appear to be pulling the country into a permanent trip