tv The Cycle MSNBC September 10, 2014 12:00pm-1:01pm PDT
kerry has just arrived in jordan. he spoke from baghdad with an optimistic tone earlier this morning. take a listen. >> iraq has not asked for american forces on the ground nor other forces. and iraq doesn't want those other forces here. >> we stand by iraq as it continues to build a government that meets the needs of each of iraq's diverse communities. and we stand by them as they fight to overcome the single greatest threat that their government, their families and their neighbors face today, and that's isil. >> it was nearly 13 years ago the word terror became a household phrase. today the congressional gold medal was presented to the various museums that honor each of the nearly 3,000 people killed in the 9/11 attacks. perhaps, one of the best ways to honor them is to ensure an attack on the homeland never happens again. as we face down this new enemy, isis.
>> we assess the threat from isil primarily to be in the region. nonetheless, with the number of european and americans that have gone to fight in syria, the threat can manifest itself back in -- either in europe or the u.s. >> and as these threats continue to, you know, to appear, you know, the information sharing and the coordination gets stronger and stronger. you know, our systems integration, to make sure our databases are talking to each other. so when state department takes inaction against a visa or passport, it appears in our database so we can take action when that that traveler travels or begins their travel. >> if they are able to recruit faster than we can take somebody off the battlefield, we're in a losing battle. and that's a calculus that can tip the wrong way very easily. a lot of it depends on the public perception of what we're doing.
we and others in nato, our friends in the region, are in a position to mobilize international public opinion, including in the muslim world, about the dangers of isil. >> meantime, back in washington, some things never change, like the partisan bickering ahead of the president's speech. >> now, all of us underscore something i've been suggesting for some time. the president is a rather reluctant commander in chief. >> president obama has made clear that it's going to take decisive action to destroy the islamic state. there are people here in congress who are taking advice from dick cheney. >> so often president obama responds to crises by announcing all the things that he will not do. there again, we can only hope that pattern ends tonight. our president must understand, we are at war and that we must
do what it takes for as long as it takes to win. >> we remember the foreign policy of vice president cheney and others. we know the price we paid for what turned out to be some very questionable, if not wrong decisions. i hope not only democrats but republicans as well will think twice about that advice. we have listened to this man's counsel before and the world did not turn out to be the place he promised us it would be. >> if we learned anything 13 years ago, it is that vacuums get filled. this administration has done tremendous damage to america's credibility. i believe he has an opportunity tonight, starting tonight, to reverse some of that damage. >> nbc's kristin welker is a safe distance from capitol hill on the white house north lawn. what is happening behind you right now? >> reporter: well, abby, after
president obama met with his national security team earlier today, he went to the oval office to work on the final draft of his address that he will be delivering tonight. i am told that so far there have been about three or four drafts. the lead in terms of writing this speech deputy national security adviser is ben rhodes, also assisting, president's other speechwriters including chief speechwriter, cody keenan. a few themes the president will map out as he talks about his strategy to destroy and defeat isis. one will include going on the offense. that's something president obama signaled in his interview with "meet the press." they say that will be a very big topic tonight. that will include an expansion of military power in terms of defeating isis. white house officials say the president is prepared to authorize air strikes against isis targets in syria, although it's important to point out, it's not clear if president obama is going to specifically address that tonight. it's also not clear that air
strikes in syria are imminent. the president told congressional leaders during a meeting yesterday, he doesn't think he needs congressional authority to authorize more military action in syria. he does, however, need their authority, he says, and he has requested their authority, to arm and train syrian opposition forces on the ground. that is something congress right now is working to determine, if they have enough support for. that's something that would come with about a $500 million price tag. the other big theme tonight will be building international coalition. secretary of state john kerry traveling the region. he was in iraq. he's now in jordan, trying to shore up support among arab countries. president obama early are today made a phone call from the oval office to king abdullah of saudi arabia as they try to build that international coalition. that's something you'll hear a lot about. the timing of the speech is critical in part because now there is an inclusive iraqi government in place. so, the white house has been calling for that for months.
now they want to capitalize on that. also some of those poll numbers that you mentioned. the fact that a majority of americans angered and concerned after those brutal beheadings of the two american journalists now support some type of military action against isis. but, having said that, the white house also knows, and is very aware of the other side of those poll numbers. the fact the president is seeing some of his lowest approval ratings when it comes to his broader handling of foreign policy. the president tonight will not only be mapping out his policy and strategy toward defeating isis but also trying to convince the american public it is the right strategy. back to you in the studio. >> nbc's kristen welker at the white house. thank you, as always. let's go across town to capitol hill and congressman peter welsh, who serves the subcommittee on homeland defense and foreign operations. thank you for being with us. >> thank you. >> so, for a nation that has been so war-fatigued, you now have only 15% according to the
most recent polls that think we should not take military action against isis. only 15%. so, you know, all the president needs to say tonight is, i'm with you, america. let's get these guys. he really doesn't have to do a whole lot of convincing. >> well, if there's going to be a sustained military campaign, i think public opinion is going to really change pretty quickly. i think, you know, with all the conflict and the rhetoric that went on in the beginning of the show, there are a number of thengs folks agree on. number one, isis is a real threat. if they control territory, they can train people. that's something we have to deal with sooner rather than later. second, i think there was real support for the president's use of air power to protect the yazidis against genocide. number three, a recognition that if the u.s. is going to be involved, there has to be real arab league buy-in. and the big issue here has got to be a political component to the president's plan. not just a military component. in fact, bottom line, this is a
continuation of a sunni/shia conflict that's been going on for hundreds of years. the notion there's ultimately going to be an american military solution to this i think is far-fetched. >> congressman, it's blake zvmezeff in for ari melber. you said the vast americans seem to favor some military voflment at this point, but if you ask them about ground troops, that number gets a lot lower. you hinted that american opinion could shift if this becomes a sustained involvement for us. why should americans feel assured this isn't going to end up in a situation where we're looking at ground troops down the line? >> see, that's the right question. a lot of the conflict and rhetoric, back and forth between politicians, really does reflect whether you're red state or blue state. and awareness of the folks we represent are quite skeptical of the wisdom of america getting drawn into a big conflict. what we do have is collective e
revulsion on the what isis did and that horrific crime. we want to react punitively. the long game here has to be about restoring -- or ending the civil war in syria and having in baghdad a government that is actually inclusive between sunni and shia. because isil got so much traction in iraq, largely because former baathists in the regime of saddam hussein supported them. it was a better deal because they were getting shut out by maliki. i think the president was smart when he put a lot of political pressure on baghdad to try to develop a unity government. so, i am going to be concerned about what the president's political plan is, because that has to be it. some american military power is a component, but that's not going to be the ultimate answer. >> no, of course, that's absolutely right. we're not going to finish this until we have an inclusive unity government in iraq, but the
president, we also expect him to talk about what we're going to do militarily in syria where we have a completely nonfunctioning government. a country in the midst of a very long civil war and a country where we have no allies. so, in syria we have two major problems. not just isis. but also assad. are you comfortable with us moving into syria and attacking in syria? do you understand the end game, vis-a-vis us and syria? >> well, i don't. and that, i think, is a big question the president and his military advisers are wrestling with. i mean, if there's any competition with isil for who's the bad guy on the block, it's assad. the president has made it clear, we're not going to have an alliance with him. so, air power can only ultimately be effective. all our military folks tell us, if you have some ability on the ground to have follow-through and take advantage and hold the territory, that you've been able to take back through the use of a power. so, that's a big mystery. the area where there's some potential is that our allies in
the region are -- saudi arabia and emirates, have been a huge part of the problem. they have been funding radical islamic extremists, including some of the isil components. i think they are smartening up, stepping back and secretary kerry is trying to pull them back. that's going to be a big component, because they have to be in the lead. and the americans can help. our military power can be very useful, but there has to be a political consensus in baghdad to get isil, to cooperate sunni and sigh yeah to do that job. in syria, it's much tougher but i think that's where our arab allies are absolutely essential. >> congressman, it looks like we're headed eventually, whether short term or medium term, to air strikes, military action in syria. it does not look like the president will seek congressional authorization for those air strikes. last time you were on the show here with us, you were calling for him to put a vote to congress authorizing military action if he was going to go in that direction.
is it a mistake for the president not to allow you and your colleagues to vote on military action? >> well, it's a mistake for us not to do it. i mean, we can do it on our own. the president's got to make his own decision based on his responsibilities as commander in chief. my view is that congress should be required to vote. but we should require ourselves to do it. we don't need permission from the president. the reason i say that is that we've got to own this. whatever the decision, if it's a sustained military campaign, the american people have to know where we stand, what our commitment is. i believe in order to have any potential for success over the long haul, there's got to be buy-in by the american people as represented by congress. we should vote. >> yeah, some very strong words there, congressman peter welch, thank you, as always. up next, how the president can make every word count tonight. we've got not one, but two speechwriters joining us up next. later, the most important
number president obama should pay attention to in that new nbc news/"wall street journal" poll. "the cycle" rolls on as we count down to one of the key speeches of obama's presidency. now it's quicker and easier for you to start your business, protect your family, and launch your dreams. at legalzoom.com we put the law on your side. ♪ eenie. meenie. miney. go. more adventures await in the seven-passenger lexus gx. see your lexus dealer. this is kathleen. setting up the perfect wedding day begins with arthritis pain and two pills. afternoon arrives and feeling good, but her knee pain returns... that's two more pills.
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thank you for joining us. you have sat in that chair, and you have written the axis of evil speech, george bush gave in to 2002. you have done some soul searching about that speech. what should president obama and speechwriters be most worried about? >> they should be most worried about if they're going to -- last week president obama talked in estonia. that was a powerful speech. the president had something to say that was credible, that was important. the president is now about to urge the united states into going to war, exactly the opposite side of the war he advocated going into exactly a year ago. back then we were going to go war against assad. now we're going to war with assad.
back then we needed congressional authority. now we don't. the president has to make sense of that. unlike estonia, i fear his message this time is not credible. >> david kusnet, we know we'll be hearing about the strategy the president has tonight. but let's talk about the threat. in polls, americans feel isis poses a vital threat and talk to administration, hear them say there is no credible threat to the homeland at this point. what do you expect the president to say tonight regarding the nature of the threat, its severity and specifics about it? >> i think the president is going to define the threat that isil poses to the middle east, that it poses to the united states. and that ultimately it poses to the entire world. and then he is going to talk about what he -- what is he going to do about that threat. i think the challenge for him is that the american people want to do something. and the president needs to help the american people understand
and support what it is he's going to do. >> david frum, the president tonight is speaking to a number of different constituencies. first and foremost, he'll be speaking to the american people. he'll also be speaking to congress, speaking to our allies, speaking to assad, and he'll also be speaking to isis. give us a sense of what's going on behind closed doors right now. who is the main targeted audience? and how do you go about making sure that you are sending the yekt message to all these different groups that will be watching tonight? >> when you have a powerful message, it needs to be built from the inside out. where speeches go wrong is when they're build from the outside in. when you're looking over your left shoulder and your right shoulder. have something clear to say. in the modern world, i don't know that it's possible to send different messages to different people. what you can do is avoid making mistakes that needlessly alienate or offend somebody because you didn't know what you were doing. there are, unfortunately, a lot of examples of culture-bound americans doing that. they're all watching the same
cable networks. they're all watching this on the same youtube channels. it's going to be one speech heard by everybody at the same time, and that is just the nature of modern communication. >> david frum, hopefully they'll be watching it on this cable network. dave kusnet, these sort of speeches are as much about what the president says as what he does not say. one thing the president will not say, almost surely cannot say, is that we are partly to blame for this problem. it is foreign militarism in islamic areas that has been a major driver of recruits to these sort of extremist groups who saw themselves as defending their area from foreign invaders, foreign occupiers, foreign attackers. if the president could say that it would go a long way toward americans understanding why we have to have restraint and patience at this moment. why can't he actually say that? >> i think people know both in our country and around the world, i think people know that president obama is in what's
actually the mainstream american tradition of american presidents being reluctant to get to take our country into war. that was how president wilson was before world war i. that's how president roosevelt was before world war ii. that defines, i think, in retrospe retrospect, president eisenhower and president kennedy. and i think the nation and the world know that president obama was elected and re-elected, as he often says, not to get this country into wars but to get the country out of war. in a sense, that gives him greater credibility tonight because people know that he is not somebody who is trigger-happy. what he needs to do tonight is just to be very straightforward, to define the threat and to define what he proposes we do about it. and then he needs to end as presidents traditionally do in
situations such as this, with an expression of confidence in our country and our coalition and our cause. confidence for the long term, understanding that there are going to be some great difficulties ahead. he should project real optimism. not false optimism. >> david, you mentioned the president's speech in estonia. i also thought that was very well crafted, very well delivered. some talk about him having had lawyerly way about him that makes it tougher for him to deliver a sort of tough, hard, commander in chief type speech that he needs to give tonight. do you see that as a challenge for him? what are some of the other speeches you've seen him give you were impressed by where you thought he had a commanding presence and communicated effectively what he needed to? >> well, the president -- as you say, the president has often, as they say in the classroom, he's taught the controversy. that the signature obama method is to say, here are the sides,
so explain everybody's point of view of everybody else, and sort of detach himself. he doesn't really have a side. he's just kind of a spectator to global conflict and he leans one way better than the other. what was powerful about estonia is he had a clear and decisive message. you can't fix that on the word processor. you can't fix that with -- on the yellow pad of paper. the only way you get a coherent message is by having something coherent to say. in astone, yeah he did. what is going on in the middle east is a war between al qaeda's nastier younger brother and the mullahs of iran. we are trying to find some way to be in the middle between those alternatives. that is a very uncomfortable because the fact is, what we are really doing, make no mistake, we're about to commit american air power and maybe more in a war where we're going to be a de facto ally of syria and iran, on
the opposite side where we were a year ago. >> we'll see how coherent the president can make that message tonight. thank you both. up next, what do you want to hear from the president tonight? on the eve of 9/11, how americans are really feeling about our safety. what to make of that brand new nbc news poll. here's a hint. it's not good. [ hoof beats ] i wish... please, please, please, please, please. [ male announcer ] the wish we wish above all...is health. so we quit selling cigarettes in our cvs pharmacies. expanded minuteclinic, for walk-in medical care. and created programs that encourage people to take their medications regularly. introducing cvs health. a new purpose. a new promise... to help all those wishes come true. cvs health. because health is everything. cvs health. ♪ [music]
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i'm hoping to hear him at least explain the policy that will address the terror threat but not put america and troops back in the middle east and not put us back at war. >> i'm hoping to hear that he is going to support israel. >> a week or so ago he said he didn't have a strategy yet, so i would hope we would hear a strategy. that's what i'd like to know.
what's his strategy for geelg with this problem. >> americans telling us what they want to hear from the president tonight. this is a critical moment for him. our new nbc news/wall street journal poll shows us exactly why. 23% of those asked, 23%, say we are on the right track. again, 23% say we're on the right track. as for foreign policy, the president stands at his all-time low at just 32%. overall job approval is not much better. for more on the poll and what it means for the president, lease bring in mark murray, nbc news senior political cal editor. as i was saying, these are bad numbers for the president across the board here. >> they're bad numbers but the numbers that struck me are the ones talking about and leading into his speech for tonight. again, the 47% who think the country is less safe since 9/11. that's the highest percentage on our poll. the question we've been asking almost every year going back to
9/11, so september 11, 2001, the other number kind of shows you why americans feel a little less safe, 94% of the public ended up getting heard a lot or some about the beheadings of those two u.s. journalists at the hands of isis. what was striking about that 94% is it's higher than any other news event our nbc news/wall street journal poll has measured in the last five years. so a lot of penetration on that. and then what does the american public want? 61% say they end up supporting military action and believe that would be in the national interest. when we asked this question a year ago, when president obama and the country was debating using weapons and military strike against serious chemical weapons, that was just in the 20s. so, a very big change from the american public. >> mark, is foreign policy a good barometer of how people feel about president obama's presidency overall?
let's say he gives a very strong and powerful speech tonight and those foreign policy numbers begin to tick up. what that then have a positive effect on his approval rating in general, how people feel about the economy, et cetera, et cetera? >> most voters say that the economy is still their number one concern heading into the 2014 midterms. it is worth noting you look at what has been the dominant issue over the last two or three months. it has been foreign policy. that erosion from president obama, the 32% approval rating that he has on foreign policy, while democrats are mostly in favor of him, a good 30% of democrats don't approve of his handling, which shows you a soft democratic coalition. most of the erosion we've seen in president obama's numbers, whether it's in his overall job approval or whether it's on foreign policy, are now coming from democrats. democrats need those people back on board for the midterm. i think there's a way for him to solidify his base, at least those peeling off to get them more enthusiastic about their
party and their president heading into the midterms. >> thank you as always. from one brilliant mind to another, josh barrow is at the table with us. >> nice transition. >> how is it going? >> excellent. >> good to see you again. long time. >> yeah, long time. >> i was looking at these poll numbers and looking at what the american people actually want the president to do. and 40% want to see air strikes, only another 34% want to see air strikes and combat troops, which i actually think is remarkable that that many people would be interested in combat troops. but by and large, the american people seem to be behind the direction the president looks like he's going to take here. so, is it more they are troubled by his style than the substance of the policy directions in terms of foreign policy? >> i think the first voter that was interviewed at the beginning of the segment outside the white house saying that what he'd like to hear the president say is how we're going to deal with the isis threat without sending troops in.
i think that's what most people want. the problem s there may be no way to do that, at least within the parameters the administration itself has set out by saying, there's no containment strategy for isis. we have to ultimate destroy it. people are looking to the president for his strategy to do that without ground troops. if such a strategy doesn't exist, i think people are likely to end up being upset with the president. it's not that people are eager to send troops in. >> so, does magic count into that scenario? >> is that a strategy? i don't know. >> it is for some people. i think part of the problem for the president is fueled by lazy media theater critic, that he's over being president. if he was over being president, he wouldn't try to be attacking in syria, doing this major prime time address. people who are in the room with him are saying he's clearly very much committed to doing this job. i don't think any -- no ex-president has come out and said, i was over the job by year six or seven. that has never actually happened.
>> i don't know why they would ever say that. >> that over word, is that me or -- >> not necessarily you, but you've heard this, right? >> yes. >> he's been frustrated with the town since he became a national name. talking about the silly season in politics. this sort of arm chair cycle babble shakes the narrative. >> a couple things happened. one was we don't have a strategy yet, which was an unfortunate choice of words by the president. i think it also reflected what i'm talking about, that it's not clear what to do about this. it's difficult to say, well, gee, there's this terrible problem in the world, that there may not be that much the u.s. government can effectively do about. if you don't say that and instead say, we don't have a strategy yet, that can lead to people disapproving of your handling of foreign policy. whether they're more inclined or less inclined to engage in military action in syria. i think the other thing was the president's decision to go golfing after the statement of james foley. it's not the most important thing in his presidency.
the president has to compartmentalalize a lot of things and he has to push things aside and do things, even golf. it looked like a tone deaf choice. >> why is he even going to martha's vineyard at all? the strategy point, coming up with a strategy is very complicated. >> it is. >> it's not that easy. >> but it's the president's job and it's the president's job to level with us about what the -- what our government can and cannot do. so, no, i think -- i think that was -- i think people are sort of wondering well, this didn't just happen overnight. isis has been gathering strength over a period of more than a year. so, just coming out and saying, we don't have a strategy yet is a mishandling of foreign policy. hoeflfully what he'll do in the speech tonight is lay out more of a strategy. i personally wonder if there is a strategy available that's going to be satisfactory. >> a lot of people are wondering that. when you're president of the united states, the reality is perception does matter. so i think you have a lot of good points there. and here's the other reality,
more than two-thirds, as krystal was saying earlier, more than two-thirds think we're on the wrong track. 23% think we're on the right track, which is worse than it has been in 2013 and 2012. other than the government shutdown, obviously. i find this interesting because i've always linked the right track versus wrong track to the economic numbers and our economic success. and yet we're doing better now economically than we have in the past two years. so, what's going on here? >> i mean, when you look at long string of polling on right track/wrong track. it's not just nbc that asks this question. every major poll asks this. it tracks the state of the economy and some of the best numbers came in late '90s and 2000 when you had a strong job market. it's not specifically a question about the economy. it's, is the country on the right track? my guess is over the last few months people are looking at international crises, not just isis, but what's going on in ukraine, and saying, ge. the world is starting to look like a mess. while it's overseas now, they
wonder what the effect will be on united states going forward. i think there's an excessive degree of alarm, i would say, about the risk that isis is a direct security threat to the united states today. people seem very concerned about whether there's going to be imminent terrorist attack. my impression is the government does not think it's likely to be imminent. it would be great if they would message that to the public because maybe there would be less energy getting into another war. you don't want to be the politician who says, don't worry too much about another terrorist attack -- >> and then something happens. >> you talk about right track/wrong track numbers, it translates into the senate and house droel of congress. if you would take a trip with me into a time machine about ten months ago we were talking about the government shutdown. looked like a total mess for republicans. looked like they would never recover. now ten months later and that has shifted. what did the republicans do right to turn this around? >> i think they got a lot quieter. >> they just did nothing. >> stop talking. >> no.
i think this is -- you know, after the government shutdown one thing republican leadership realized, less republicans are seen, the better they'll do in the polls. >> wow. >> one political event underrated is the paul ryan/patty murray budget deal that got done in december last year that gave us two years of certainty, greatly reduced the risk of government shutdowns and debt limit fights. this month government has to pass another continuation to keep the government open. that budget deal provides a framework where you'll probably get an agreement between republicans and democrats without a lot of discord. so i think that's how republicans have positioned themselves better. basically, by not breaking things, not shutting down the government. >> they set the bar pretty low and now they have been able to succeed that. cycling right now, growing calls for nfl commissioner roger goodell to resign in the wake of the ray rice video scandal. the national organization of women is demanding goodell step down after that tmz video of
rice punching his then-fiancee went viral on monday. rice was subsequently fired by the baltimore ravens, then just an hour later, the league, the nfl announced he would be suspended indefinitely. but on cbs this morning, commissioner goodell left the door open to rice returning some day. >> what does that mean, that he was suspended indefinitely? does that mean ray rice will never play in the nfl again? >> i don't rule that out. but he would have to make sure that we are fully confident that he is addressing this issue.
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it's not just a sedan. it's a subaru. you can eat that on looks amazing.rs? looks like my next dinner party. that's only 4 points? with weight watchers you can enjoy the food you really want. dine out on favorites or cook up something new. i can do this every day. join for free and start losing weight now. learn how to eat healthier while enjoying the foods you love. get inspired at meetings, online, or both. hurry, and if you join by sept 13th you'll get a free starter kit. weight watchers because it works. there's a live look at the white house right now where president obama is putting the finishing touching on his big prime time address, the 21st of his presidency. in fact, here's a brand new photo of the president with his closest advisers in the situation room. the president will face the nation in about five hours. part of the problem in
washington is that it seems like elected officials tend to think more about themselves and that they need to stay in office rather than what the country needs. yes, blake, we once had lawmakers who did courageous things. now we have a town full of narcissists. our next guest says that fits because we're a nation of narcissists with a world that caters to every impulse. he writes, we are becoming a society that wants it now, regardless of the consequence. we are becoming an impulse society. paul roberts, author of a fascinating new become you'll be hearing about "the impulse society." paul, welcome. please explain what you mean by the impulse society. >> you summed it up really well. it's a society that's gotten really, really good at delivering what people want and institutions want right away and it's falling down on the job delivering what we need in the long term. so, you know, examples all around. if you're a parent and you're dealing with a kid, it's teaching that kid to push away
the instant gratification of the gadget, the personal technology. >> so hard. >> and be able to concentrate on long-term goals. every parent runs into that. it's also at a middle level. corporations cutting their long-term research, cutting their employee training. you know, they're cutting the kinds of things that built this nation. and you guys are talking about politics. i mean, the political system is all about instant gratification. it's about an unwillingness to buckle down, long-term planning. instead, you go for the quick partisan wins and all that leads to is gridlock. >> it seems america caters around your instant desires and impulses. what's wrong with that? >> it's fantastic to sort of focus on the individual because that's what americans have done historically. we know when it's time to push that aside and come together. we've done that repeatedly in history. that's frustrating from people, we know from our own history. in times of crisis in the past, we have come together. we've been led by our political system. and i think that's doubly
frustrating today because we look at the political system and we say, where's the leadership? where are the political leaders that can stop focusing so much on their own gratification and maybe willing to take a hit? maybe go down in flames because they believe in. >> >> that is exactly the thing. when i started reading your book, the first thing i thought of is the narcissist in washington and they want the quick hit of whatever's good for their poll numbers, whatever's good for their next election, even whatever is good for their next fund-raising call. and it comes at the expense of what's best for their constituents over the long term. >> right. think about, there's so much money in politics today that it's become essentially an arm of the financial sec store. i mean that in the sense that wall street has a huge influence in washington, but more fundamentally the money is to big we don't think of donors, we think of investments. they make investments and they expect a return on the investment. the problem there, it's multilevel, but one major problem is if you want a return
on your investment, a quick return, the quickest way in politics is to go negative, extreme, go partisan, divide and conquer. with that sort of financial pressure, it is financial pressure, it's really hard for players to sort of step back. and yet what needs to happen is to step back. and that holds for political players, but also holds for consumers, individuals. pushing back from this situation, sort of -- because what we're allowing to happen is we're allowing the marketplace to determine our values. the marketplace is saying, we want more now fast. and we've sort of adopted that. we did it without a debate. we didn't say, geez, is this the set of values we want? is this what we want to be teaching our kids? we're supposed to be teaching our kids patience, self-discipline, willingness to work for something larger than yourself. those are the tralts we're supposed to instill in them. and they're learning to be frustrated if they don't get that. if we push that in the consumer sector, why do we expect
anything different in the political sector? politics is willing to work for something, take a hit. take a look at abraham lincoln, how long it took for him to get where he wanted to get. and the cost to him. there's nothing like that going on, at least not in the spheres where you would expect it. the good news is that it's happening sort of on the street level. we're seeing people push back. it may be something as simple as a family unplugging and insisting their kids get off the toys, because they're losing their capacity to stay in touch. >> right. and speaking of wall street, as you were just saying, i mean, we're still reeling from a horrendous economic collapse that was a man-made calamity and you talk in the book how this impulse society helped lead to that. if you can explain. >> essentially, you have to look at the 1980s as a watershed. we have a huge recession, several recessions and essentially wall street says to the corporate world, if you ever let share prices drop again, here's what's going to happen. we'll rip you apart, fire you,
sell your companies. korment reoriented around share price which means reorient around quarterly earnings. one of the quickest ways to raise quarterly earnings is to cut. cost cutting is important in business. now it's this obsession. once you've done that and because you've tied your compensation, your management compensation to shares, you're paying in shares, the wheel is set in motion. not everything is about cost cutting and brutal cost cutting and even more brutal cost cutting. then we ask, why is the job market deflating like a balloon, you know? >> your book really hits the nail on the head. it really gives you a sense of how we respond, how we react to things. we are a very war-weary nation as we know, but take a look at this poll. just three months ago in june, when isis, as we know, was killing innocent people, taking over parts of iraq. just 45% of the american people supported air strikes in iraq. we weren't sure how we wanted to handle that situation. then you go three weeks ago the support went up to 54%. and now after two of our own
american journalists were beheaded for the world to see, you now have 71% that support that. that's the perfect example of if you hit one of our guys, we will come and get you. >> right. but there's a couple things going on there. i think a lot of americans are realizing that we are going to have to take action. that the -- the current sort of status quo is not working. and we're getting our heads around that this may be a lo long-term action. we're recovering some older action says. we're getting the sense, we are in this for the long haul. that's forcing a lot of voters to ask, are our political leaders in position to deal with that long-term project or have they lost practice? that's one of the things president obama is dealing with. does he have the capacity to lead in the long term? the whole congress is facing that as well. congress is in no position to criticize the president on his capacity to sort of lead in the long term. >> amen to that. fascinating book. people will definitely be checking it out. thank you for your time. now, since it's all about us, you've heard this hour what
most of us want to hear from the president, next, krystal makes it clear what she does and does not want the president to say tonight. hi, are we still on for tomorrow? tomorrow. quick look at the weather. nice day, beautiful tomorrow. tomorrow is full of promise. we can come back tomorrrow. and we promise to keep it that way. driven to preserve the environment, csx moves a ton of freight nearly 450 miles on one gallon of fuel. what a day. can't wait til tomorrow. some people think vegetables are boring. but with green giant's delicious seasonings and blends, we just may change their minds. ho ho ho green giant!
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writers on what we should hear from the president tonight. here's what i am hoping to hear as we consider combatting the threat of isis. let's remember not even two full months into the iraq war, george w.bush on an aircraft with a giant mission accomplished banner, that was the easy part, it's easy to order air strikes, kill targets and declare a quick victory. what is hard is to figure out what comes next. who will fill that power vacuum after we blow things up. in fact the very existence of isis is the consequences of a poorly thought out intervention.
let's think of blow back from banning the sunni members from public life. many of those sunnis have joined with isis, providing them with professional military expertise. one third of isis deputies are former iraqi military officers and nearly all were one in prison by american forces. president obama is unwilling to immediately commit to another military operation in iraq. he is cautious and deliberate. many criticizing him saying he is unwilling to lead are really saying let's do something. this president is trying to make a plan for what comes after the blowing up. he's indicated it could take years to fully degrade isis. if he makes that case today for significant escalation in that
fight, he's not saying we will be greelt greeted or that it will make us money, he's saying it is tough and is. the cia backed the president in 1963 led to the shaw taking pour and then to the ayotolla's take over in iran. and russias, led to al qaeda. launching the bombing of iraq led to isis. so i'm okay with thinking things through for change and operating with a great deal of caution and humility. the obama foreign policy has not been perfect and not everything has worked as we would like but we have worked hard into getting ourselves into major avoidable messes. this is the very least we will owe our sons and doubt daulteghs
who will be sent over to fight and die in this conflict. i hope the president is figuring out not just how we go in but how we come back out again and how to minimize today's mission's accomplished into tomorrow's never years and counting never ending match, and doing it without causing another catastrophic blow back nightmare. that folks, will be truly mission accomplished. more cycle ahead. and be sure to join msn brbc one president's special coverage beginning at 8:00 eastern. 5:00 out west.
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>> don't miss the president's primetime address on msnbc, we will have full coverage and reaction on the cycle. and don't miss "now," just so happens it starts now. >> how will the president degrade isis without starting another war in iraq. it's wed, september 10th and this is now. >> failure is unacceptable. ♪ ♪ >> the president will lay out his strategy tonight. >> the u.s. is now prepared to good on the offense against isis. >> what is the president's plan and can he rally the country behind it. >> the preds is going to make a very strong case. >> more than 50% it is in our interest to take action. >> the president has a moment to reinsert himself. >> he