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tv   Melissa Harris- Perry  MSNBC  November 9, 2014 7:00am-9:01am PST

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go to today and complete your will in minutes. at we put the law on your side. this morning, my question, why is china scrubbing it's air? and the man at the center of pointer gate. indicators are up, but what matters most is what's in your pocket. good morning, we have a lot to get to this morning. we begin with the breaking news overnight. two americans released from north korea are back on u.s. soil this morning. a plane carries matthew todd
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miller arrived at a u.s. military base shortly after midnight earn time. the 25-year-old miller was greeted by his parents. he was in north korea for seven months. he was accused of tearing up his visa and unruly behavior. this morning, they thanked american and north korean officials for making his home coming possible. >> i want to thank president obama and all of the people in the state department working tirelessly to get me released as well. and also, i would like to thank the north korean government as well for allowing me to go home, come home and be united with our family and with people. >> they were accompanied by
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james clapper who secretly flew to north korea to secure the release. saturday, president obama reacted to the news that the americans were coming home. >> while i think it is a wonderful day for them and their families and obviously. they're doing a great job on what was obviously a challenging mission. >> it's still unclear what prompted north korea to release the two americans. a senior official with the obama administration insists the goal of the visit was to bring the americans home. not to pursue any other diplomatic openings with north korea. right now we want to turn to a key issue here at home. all right, it's time for a pop quiz. just one question. how is the american economy doing? remember, support your answers with evidence. okay, okay, i'm giving you a
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break on this one. the answer to this one is not as clear cut assay what is two plus two? or who was the fifth president of the united states? james monroe, or who is the most talented performer of our age. i know, i know. there may be more than one right answer to that last one, but here in nerdland, there is only one. it is, of course, a tiny bit subjective like our very first question, how is the american economy doing? typically the answer is quoed used macro economic measures with things like the g.d.p. how big is it? bigger is better, how fast is it growing? fast but not too fast. how much stuff are we making? more? good. how much are we selling? it should be more than we're
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buying. the gdp is a very powerful measure. take it from the bureau of economic analysis on the gdp. gdp is one of the most extensk e comprehensive things watched. by the business community to prepare forecasts of economic performance that provide the basis for production, investment, and employment planning. right now our gdp is looking pretty good. it's big, fast, and exceeding expectations. now it's not the only measure of economic health and vitality we're seeing these days. this week the labor department announced that the numbers have dropped by 10,000. unlimit continues to drop. the unemployment rate dipped to 5.8%.
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the country added 214,000 new jobs in pocket making it the ninth straight month with more than 200,000 jobs added. the longest streak since 1994. october was the 49th straight month of gains. they hit record highs this week. consumer confidence is the highest since october 2007. so how is the economy doing? by these issues it is between damn good and just fine, thank you. not bad for a country that faced an economic crisis just a few short years ago. before all of you optimists start demanding a gold star, let's see if there are other answers to the question. here is the only place most people look when they are asked if the economy is good or bad. from the perspective of american wallets, the story is not so rosy. yes, there are more jobs, but
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wages are stagnant. over the past year, wages have only risen 2%. retail and hospitality have had some of the biggest job growth over the past four years. the higher unemployment rates for african-americans at 10.9% and latinos at 6.8% remained about the same. people are not giving up looking for work at high rates, but labor participation rate has not grown much either. consumer confidence went up, but demand for american made goods dropped off hard. for most people, all of the graphs, charts, and economic indicators in the world are little comfort if the checkbook does not balance at the end of the month, and if the prospects of saving to send a college to college or open a business seem pretty dim. maybe that's why last week in
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last week east exit polls only 28% the economy is excellent. that little piece of polling explains why republicans won on tuesday night. three quarters of people who said the economy is good voting for democratic candidates. 64% who said the economy is poor or not so good voted for republicans. if people who think the economy is bad vote for the other guy it doesn't matter how big your gdp is, you have to convince voters you know how to use it to make voter's lives better. something the president acknowledged. >> this country made great progress from the crisis of six years ago, but we have to just keep at it. >> so now it is time to give the pop quiz to my table.
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joining me now is host of public radios full disclosure robin farzi. ed polowski, lisa cook, and senior fellow at the manhattan institute, right now. are the indicators that we use to answer my question, are they they the right indicators? are they useful? >> i don't subscribe to them. when the numbers come out we tend to give importance to gdp numbers or nonfarm payroll numbers. if you took a poll on the street americans are feeling underemployed, they don't feel they have clout. and i think that the numbers
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that the federal reserve and the bureau of economic record keeping just doesn't capture what is out there. >> as i said early on, the gdp, those are the things on which we make national domestic policy and foreign policy that the government and private industry uses. if they're not the right indicators, what are we doing? >> i think that is a good point. what we should do is broaden the statistics that we're taking into account, and this is what the fed does. they don't just look at gdp to make monetary policy. i think it would be ill advised for anyone to just look at gdp. we should look at well-being. great britain is doing this, france is trying to, we could have captured more of what would happen in the arab spring if we looked at the indicators of well-being. the gdp is doing fine, but there
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was something very interesting in the polls this week along with what you just named. 45% of americans thought that the economy was the chief issue and democrats and republicans were not split on that. >> so every thought it was the key issue, but the question of whether or not you thought things were going well or badly helped determine the vote. >> that's right for these polls, and this is overtime, if you're out of power, if your party is not in power, you're going to say that. that's not a surprise. so -- >> i guess this was part of what i was wondering. when you take an exit poll it's one-shot polling. i don't know if it is that republicans tend to read the economy as being a less high quality economy and they were already going to vote for republicans, right? or whether or not, you know, sort of which way the -- >> i think one of the ways to
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read the exit polls is if you look at it by income. one of the thing social security most of the income growth accrued to the top 1%. some say it is about 95%. because of the gains in the stock market, real estate, and what not. if the economic gains are going to the very wealthy, and if you look at the exit polls by income, to two thirds of the voters overwhelmingly voted republican. one-third of the electorate overwhelmingly voted democratic. what does that tell you? $50,000 is about the medium income in the united states. what that tells me is maybe those voters said the economy is not working for me, they didn't vote republican, they stayed home. we know there is a mid-term drop off, and it is hard to tell if that mid-term contraction is about not being a sufficient level of information that occurs
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when you have a presidential election, or whether or not that is a protest, whether or not people are voting with their feet. i wonder as a mayor, on the ground, as you're talking to people and they're gearing up to go to the polls, it is funny to hear that people were saying the economy is the number one issue. living in north carolina is not what people were saying. >> if that's the number one issue, tell me a democrat or republican that was a candidate who was running on it. they were talking about ebola, obama care, no one mentioned the economy in any way, shape, or form. and you know if this is the number one issue that is driving people at the polls, we have to really sit back and say, why isn't anyone talking about this issue? i don't think it had anything to do with the economy whatsoever. i think it was all numbers and math. >> what do you mean? >> i think if you look at 2008, you know, democrats won seats over whelmingly.
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and the republicans on seats they should not have won. >> it was vulnerability in a couple places. >> yeah, take alaska, it was a couple thousand votes. he lost by a couple thousand votes in the last election, so it switched back. i think in 2016, if hillary is at the top of the turnout, there will be a mass democratic turnout. there are more democratic seats i think that are in play for the positive, for the democrat, than for the republicans. >> over the next month we will determine we will talk about if hillary at the top of the ticket brings people out. there was question whether or not this was turnout or specific voting. when we get back i want to ask about the question. what's the matter with kansas question that has been out there for now more than a decade. why did people vote for minimum
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wage and for candidates that don't support a hike in the minimum wage. [♪] great rates and safety working in harmony. open an optimizer +plus account from synchrony bank. visit to open an account. service. security. savings. synchrony bank engage with us.
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this week voters in four states, alaska, arkansas, nebraska, and south dakota approved increases to their state's minimum wage laws. they will range from $8.50 to $9.75. alaska and south dakota include automatic increases tied to inflation. alaska, the governor's race, still too close to call, but the choices between the incumbent republican approved a wage increase with two thirds of the
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vote. arkansas voted to raise the minimum wage by a 30-point margin. alaska elected republicans to the senate and governor's office in landslides, and south dakota reelected their republican governor and voted to increase the minimum wage by a ten point margin. i want to start with the economic question and then i will get to the political question. listen to ron christie. >> if we pass a national minimum wage going to $10.10, it will skill 500,000 jobs. people that get minimum wage is between 16 and 24. to say you will have a living wage and a --
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>> of course you know what happens next is everyone else at the table is like no! so just, let's just bring it down. i want to know if someone can help me to truly understand what we think the economic effects would be, the macro economic effects of raising the minimum wage. >> first, i would like to start with the assumptions. teenagers are not the majority of people in low rage jobs. they're 34 years old. that's the median wage. they have a college education. many of them do. 25 -- sorry, 55% of them are the br breadwinners in the family. 65% of them are women. this is not serving in a tourist economy, they're not teenagers. the assumptioning that we're doing something to kill teenage job social security fallacious. we need to stop thinking in that
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vain. the second thing is the evidence we have is consistent with the minimum wage adding jobs, not increasing wages. we don't have strong evidence in that regard. conservativing argue that the e.i.t.c. is a better thing to do. >> that is earned income tax credit. >> the thing is i agree with my colleague david hammermesh, let's do something. 60% to 70% of most americans polled think we should raise the minimum wage. these numbers are not surprising. so i am not surprised. we did the same thing in michigan in may. the minimum wage was raised from 7:40 to 8:15 a-- $7.40 to $8.15.
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this is just to head off what might happen in the future, but everybody senses this. many americans went to service jobs because of the recession. five out of six of the fastest growing jobs are in these sectors. >> so the congressional budget office did a great job of summarizing the economic literature on this topic. they talked about the job numbers. they talked about the fact that the hike is poorly targeted. it affects people in low wage jobs generally. that's why the earned income tax credit is better. it is targeted toward low income individuals. but i think the thing that we lose focus on when we talk about just mandating higher wage social security where are the jobs? how do we restore the manufacturing jobs in the blue collar job that's are going away in this country. that's a tougher question and it's easier to say minimum wage,
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minimum wage. when you look at south dakota where the energy is driving, it is $20. the more we can do to generate those kinds of jobs the more we have in wage growth. >> i have two thoughts around that. one, it feels to me like manufacturing jobs are not inherently -- those are unionized jobs that tend to drive wages higher, it is organized efforts to get higher wages. not because those kinds of manufacturers just pay more. i worry about an economic nostalgia about bridging back an economy that may be gone. and when i think about, if we're in an economy that is two-tiered around informational education drive high wage knowledged and minimum wage jobs, how do we raise that floor.
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do you see that as nostalgia? >> there is a bruise springsteen or -- i subscribe to the idea that a lot of the jobs are going to go away. they will be offshored. having said that in addition to the shale oil boom, you have investors saying wages have been brought down. things being offered to us by municipalities and governors are so attractive that we will expand here in the united states. suburu of indiana. we talk about a company making
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luxury watches. wages in the united states and the economic situation has been so depressed. >> allentown, you're not opening a new factory, you're opening a new marriott. >> we have a billion dollars worth of new development. we're the fastest growing city in the stay. we have all of this economic energy. >> so you lowered taxes on businesses? >> no, it's like taxing in the financing district but it's utilizing state taxes. it has drawn all of this economic energy to the city. we're building a million square feet of office space, a new arena, and all of the steel for this is being made in pennsylvania. 36,000 yards of concrete have gone in so far. it is having an economic impact
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that is trickling through the whole state. >> when we come back, i want to talk about infrastructure, but also later in the day we're going to talk about pointer gate. we're also going to talk about the president's trip to china. ♪ all around the world the dedicated people of united airlines ♪ are there to support you. ♪ that's got your back friendly. ♪
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to create jobs here in the united states. >> he is just a universal optimist. so in the work that you're doing, is that a bipartisan effort? is that a pace people can find common ground? >> absolutely. i think he is on to something here. i think infrastructure is that issue that everybody realizes has to be fixed, right? our bridges are crumbling and roads are falling apart. the trust fund bill can't seem to figure out how to fund it, and it's critical because it drives other economic synergy. it is steel, cement, the labor. it creates an engine that will have a tremendous impact if they can come together and figure it out. >> and yet, bobby jindal rejected federal funds for light rail in louisiana, chris
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christie rejected infrastructure money and it became politicized. >> in michigan, our governor has been advocating a bridge to canada and canada will pay for it because we won't. i think at some point his argument is going to win and that is when economictivity picks up, we have to be ready. 65% of our roads are in inadequate shape. something has got to change. nike spends $4 million a week to make sure that it accounts for seven to 14 days of inventory of shipping delays. this is a real problem for businesses. when it picks up, we're talking about how mixed and nuanced the economy is. when it does take off, it will not be able to take off.
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>> do you think the obama administration regrets that they didn't ask for twice or three times the stimulus package it puts together? maybe they think they didn't ask for enough -- >> there was a little bit of it, right? part of the problem is it went through the states and it didn't get branded as this is the obama administration fiking your road, right? >> you could have asked for something like a new deal. >> they said there was a lot less shovel ready projects than i thought. they threw the money at it and there wasn't. take keystone, that was a project that there was a lot of bipartisan support for but it's held up by this congress, and the next i bet you see republicans pass -- >> this is an interesting question. the issue of infrastructure investment is not ideology free
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in that more roads, bridges, and xl pipelines rile up the left. they're saying no, you need to invest in infrastructure -- you say i just want a monorail, i just want to get from richmond to dc rather than going to norfolk first, but governor jindal didn't take it. >> but it's not any more because they got rid of earmarks. that's how congress was supposed to work. >> part of the issue with the rail projects is that the christie and jindal critique have been cost overruns. it has been a bit of a mess, this project. there has been massive runs and -- >> do you think theizeen hour interstate highway system didn't have cost overruns? the hoover dam had cost overruns. >> they were a good thing in the great depression. >> we're going to keep fighting
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in the wee hours of the morning, president obama de parted andrews air force base. he was headed to a global forum in the asia-pacific region.
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it will shine a bright light on china that might have trouble penetrating the gray clouds of smog that hang over the city. in recent years they have been sounding alarms about the negative impact of china's air pollution. with president obama and other world leaders winning their way to china this morning, china decided to scrub the air. how does that work? well, we'll tell you how they're trying to make sure that the leaders will see nothing but blue skies, next. baron of the build-out. you need a permit... to be this awesome. and from national. because only national lets you choose any car in the aisle... and go. you can even take a full-size or above, and still pay the mid-size price. (aaron) purrrfect. (vo) meee-ow, business pro. meee-ow. go national. go like a pro.
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♪ ["mony mony" by billy idole she cokicks in on car stereo]y". ♪don't stop now come on mony♪ ♪come on yeah ♪i say yeah ♪yeah ♪yeah ♪yeah ♪yeah ♪yeah ♪yeah ♪'cause you make me feel like a pony♪ ♪so good ♪like your pony ♪so good ♪ride the pony the sentra, with bose audio and nissanconnect technology. spread your joy. nissan. innovation that excites. [singing] ♪mony mony any good host knows that when you're expecting company, you clean the house in anticipation of your guest's arrival. but china has been doing less like tidying up and more like a
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renovation. they say announced they would give beijing a temporary makeover. as the "new york times" reports, an aggressive campaign to clear the air has shut down factories, limited road activities, even extee extinguished overly smokey inscents. it comes as this year's asia-pacific economic co-op meeting finds them in a different situation. china's economy just came off one of their slowest quarters of growth in four years.
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and in a world in which the economic destinys are intertwined, the outlook for the u.s. cannot escape china lease cloudy forecast. joining the table now is thomas christensen. and the former deputy assistant secretary of state for east asia and pacific affairs and author of "the china challenge" available for sale next year. how intertwined are these economies. there seems to be debate. >> i think if the chinese economy does poorly, it is bad for other economies. they are the third largest export market. china is part of an integrated national chain that affects
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companies in other markets. we wish the chinese economy well, and it is slowing down, but when the chinese economy slows down, if you looked at that he'dline, it is still pretty fast. it could cloud down quite a bit more and they're going through restructuring now and that will be very difficult for them to restructure their economy. it feels leek there is a different set of questions at stake. in part we're talking about a government that can send a portion of 231 million people away, they can scrub the air, keep religious and personal events from mhappening and it's hard for me to imagine that the economy is growing or slowing on it's own. it seems like government policy is hitting the brakes. >> they're trying to restructure some of their economic sectors including the financial sector which is quite difficult to do. for the pollution, it is really quite terrible. they're clearing up the air for
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this one event, so when the summit leaders are in town. and the small particlate pollution which is what makes you sick, it was about 20 times of the recommended healthy level. >> i heard, there is a bit of the well you, u.s., you were big horrifying polluters and who are you to say we can't climb that economic ladder like you did that includes pollution. >> china and india have been opponents of a lot of global and environmental agreements for that reason. they say you did it, we want to
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do it too. the economic growth in china and asia generally is still pretty strong. there has been a lot of wage growth. i think that is slowing a lot of their economic advantage, but still there will be a transpacific partnership. that is a possible bipartisanship. >> you talk about the pe dual lar relationship between these economies. i call them frenemies with benefits. they don't want to say i love you, but they need and want each other. they need to keep the countryside happy and the united states needs walmart to keep selling $18 dvd players. >> there is someone trying to keep up, not even on the down
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low, and that is russia. it's not clear to me that this is exclusively about russia and economic interests, but russia saying you know what, u.s., we are still here and putin saying it to president obama. >> russia can't do for china anything like the united states -- >> if terms of pure market? >> i think it is somewhat beneficial on tchina to slow down. we have not seen in the past 15 years of mediocre growth any hard landings for china. we have a significant sum of exports that goes to them, but they also affect world prices and world inflation and prestige and commodity prices. >> they have to worry about income inequality just like we do. this is making a big, big hole between the classes in chooi
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that and there has been this up much lift from poverty. and i think this is one of the biggest things they have to worry about. they have to worry about pollution, they have to worry about slower economic growth. xi jing ping says it won't be lower than -- >> despite the level of government -- because i mean social unrest in a free -- relatively free system like ours is quite a different thing than social unrest in the association of the authoritative -- >> they don't even swear. >> no, they have umbrellas, exactly. >> stick with us, we'll stay on this topic. president obama this week was
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another rule for hosts is don't talk smack about your guests before they get to the party. they spoke to that one for president obama's visit to the country and obama always utters yes we can that led to the high expectations that people have. talk about kicking a man when he is down. president obama's return to the country comes on the heels of a mid-term election. and it is a sharm contrast to his last visit in 2009 when a still new and politically powerful president dazzled
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chinese audiences. he has been a character for president obama at various points. he uses it as a way of saying china is doing good things for education. the reality is comes with a stronger economy and less economic power, how did that end up playing in his conversations. >> we have to put these conversations in context -- he is not going as a weakened person. when they get up to the level of ours, like tripling, i think there is a real conversation about it to be had. >> so the president still goes with the bigger gdp, take that.
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>> but in his conversations with other world leaders is the sense of open fighting that can leave our presidents as world leaders weakened. >> i think a few weeks ago, i got the impression that many in china saw president obama as weak at home. there is more puzzling, you expect more policy posture, but i think the relationship in china understands the political system. he is still the commander and chief and he is going to for more things. on some way it's will work for him and in some will work against him. when they discuss climate change, the leverage is lost because it's not really credible in every case that he will be
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able to carry through on some of the promises he is able to make. but on something like the bye lateral investment treaty, or the free trade discussion with 12 countries including the united states, he might have a stronger hand with the republican congress because there is traditionally more free trade. >> they asked the president to hold off, and this is the one place, right -- >> i want to listen for a moment to president obama flexing back in the state of the union about the power of the u.s. economy compared to china. >> for the first time in over a decade business leaders around the world declared that china is no longer the world's number one place to inveinvest, america is. >> so on the question of trade, on the question of now i have a republican congress that may appear to be a political
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weakness, but i open up space. >> when it comes towards u.s. policy, he has more leverage now on important issues because of trade policy. that may be the first priority in terms of bipartisan cooperation. i just came back and i can tell you that maturation and growth is still very large. they will grow faster than we are. >> there is a huge gap, but their rate of change is faster. >> yes, the total gdp will probably be higher than the united states in the next couple of years. >> yeah, but that is important strategically. >> when i was young i would watch wwf, there was a cold war proxy cold war going on. and i like some of that.
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i would like mr. obama even in his weakened faze to go over and talk some smack. we're neck and neck. we need to browbeat them able global warming. they need to be more responsible with respect to north korea. internal politics are internal politics, but go over and volley the serve. >> it's not like the president didn't know that the mid-terms would be rough, right? so you know, i too might get on a plane and go away and be the global leader rather than -- >> you could show up in beijing in a gas mask. >> that would be something, then they might mention ferguson and our gas mask. thank you to my guests. thank you all for being here. coming up, some of you have been obsessed with pointer gate for the past 48 hours.
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i make a lot of purchases foand i get ass. lot in return with ink plus from chase. like 50,000 bonus points when i spent $5,000 in the first 3 months after i opened my account. and i earn 5 times the rewards on internet, phone services and at office supply stores. with ink plus i can choose how to redeem my points. travel, gift cards, even cash back. and my rewards points won't expire. so you can make owning a business even more rewarding. ink from chase. so you can. welcome back, i'm melissa harris-perry. we begin with breaking news from overnight. the last two americans held by north korea are back on american soil this morning. they arrived on a military base near tacoma, washington. 25-year-old miller had been in north korea seven months and was
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accused of hearing up his visa and unruly behavior. the other had been held for two years and was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor for unspecified hostile acts. this morning they thank the government and supporters for making his homecoming possible. >> i want to say thank you all for supporting me, lifting me up, and not forgetting me. at the same time not forgetting the people of north korea. thank you for supporting my family as well. it has been a tremendously difficult time for my family, and there are so many people that have been supporting them to stand strong during this time. >> bae and miller were accompanied by the director of national intelligence, james cl clapper. he is the highest ranking official to visit in more than a decade. stay with msnbc for more on this
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story throughout the day. now we turn to social media for the story that captured us for the last 48 hours. from right here in my distant new york city studio, i urge everyone to get out and vote. while some of us were just analyzing and emphasizing. community organizers were canvassing encouraging people to get out and vote. the organizers you saw there were part of hashtag free the vote in minneapolis, minnesota. it is with a group called neighborhoods organizing for a change. seen her, she is posing for a
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photo with another volunteer. this moment that seemed like an insignificant pause. when you look at the picture what do you see? do you see they're both pointing at each other? that has become a source of controversy in minneapolis thanks to this thursday report at the affiliate kstp alleging that she was caught, quote, posing with a convicted felony while flashing a known gang sign. the station was alerted to the photo by law enforcement after they discovered the photo on gordon's facebook page while doing work. they say that gordon is a twice convicted felony and is currently sentenced to five
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years at the st. cloud correctional facility. he is under supervised probation until 2016. here is a portion of the report where a retired police officer is interviewed. >> she is legitimatizing people that are killing our children in minneapolis. >> responding to criticism, they issued this statement on friday morning. law enforcement sources alerted the station to a photo that could jeopardize public safety and put their officers at risk. multiple sources told 5 eyewitness news that it had a
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chance to -- they ran a follow up report the same day saying the minneapolis police officer you saw in that clip, michael quinn, saying the mayor's gesture was a known gang sign of one of the most violent gangs in minneapolis and they will use this to their advantage. and that it could provoke crime from another gang in retaliation. gordon does not deny his record. he made note of tf in a video shortly after they aired their story. >> i made some mistakes in life. i can't vote, i'm not ashamed to say that but i'm working on fixing that right now so i can vote for my next president of the united states. >> that was gordon, he was most recently arrested and charged with trespassing in september outside of a local grocery store
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as he was collecting signatures for a petition to restore felonies vofelons voting rights. he had a chief exchange with a minneapolis police officer who tackled and handcuffed him. the officer reportedly threatened to shoot them if they persist persisted. that lead to a march. you see gordon here in the miami hat as protestor demands were being delivered to the store. as for mayor hodges, well she was elected on a platform of addressing inequality last year. on the same day the u.s. justice department review concluded the
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city's police department must be more aggressive in rooting out bad police officers. she said some officers abuse the trust afforded to them and take advantage of their roles to do harm rather than prevent it. those officers behavior disrupts community trust for all officers in the community. mayor hodges sent a statement to kstp which the statement included in the original report. it read in full, quote, my job as mayor is to be as accessible as possible to the residents of minneapolis and help build relationships and trust in over community in our city. other community leaders and i joined members of neighborhoods organizing for change to increase voter participation in north minneapolis. it was a diverse including those who made mistakes in the past. the more support i have if we all be of people making better
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choices now the better off we will all be in the future. joining me now to discuss this is anthony peand lavelle. we have seen the video and the picture, can you describe in your own words what you were doing in the moment that you took the picture with the mayor. >> being in the mayor's presence, i was pointing at the mayor. i was offered to take her out and canvas to show her how neighborhoods for organized change does work. >> had you met her before the moment? >> i had seen her at events. >> she seems like a lovely person, i met her and her husband at an event last month. part of what i'm wondering here is the language has been that
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you maybe duped her into making this sign that you knew it was a gang sign, that you encouraged her to do it and you put it up on the facebook page in a way that could provoke violence. is any of that part of what you were thinking at the time or have been thinking sense? >> not at all, it was just a blessing to be with the mayor and i was putting pictures up and i wanted everyone to see the progress i was making out here. >> talk about that progress. if you could talk to me for a moment, i think overwhelmingly the people of minneapolis look at this story and they say there has been a high level of critique, but there have been some folks say why do they hire people who have felon records? >> you know we have been unapologetic. there is lots of folks on our staff that made mistakes in the
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past. nevelle is one of them. we knocked on 55,000 doors this year. had 20,000 conversations, increased voter turnout where nevelle did the most work. in a state were voter turn out was down 5.5%. so we're proud to hire folks with past records, give them a second chance. >> hold on, here, i want to take a listen to a video made by the organization. i want to come back and ask a question. >> i have never seen those officers a day in my life, i'm not a drug dealer, they want to stop the black man and get into our brains but we can't let them do that. >> exactly. >> you have to step outside of the box and show our younger generation and set an example for the kids, man, think about the future. >> we understand this photo was brought to the attention of the
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local police officers who were doing investigative work. apparently their looking at mr. gordon's facebook page and what you consider saying there about having had these interactions with police, do you think you're being targeted in any way? >> yes, yes i do. i do i think that, i think that is very disrespectful. the person that put this all out there, i wonder why he is not being targeted and he has a criminal background as well. are they looking at that? >> so i don't know that piece of it, we'll talk a moment on our commercial break and take a look at that. i want to ask you, anthony, the retired police officer that we heard about said this photo could increase tensions, make minneapolis potentially more dangerous.
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>> it's two individuals points at each other. what made pointer gate such a phenomenon is there is hundreds and thousands of people out there with pictures and they're pointing at each other. to pull sponsorship from this familiar news affiliate, ask the fcc to look into the licensing they issued to this news station. you cannot recklessly issue this frankly racist coverage and expect there not to be push back and we're excited the whole country is talking about this. >> and thank you, everybody, for supporting us as well. >> thank you, both, in minneapolis, minnesota. we'll continue to watch this as will all of social media.
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from the moment an affiliate broke the story about an alleged gang sign being flashed, they were canvassing for voters, people took to social media to criticize it using the hashtag pointer gate. some defenses were for gordon
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like this, on pointergate, you are not defined by the worst thing you have ever done. good on mayor hodges for treating a citizen like a citizen. >> dangerous bike gang at a dangerous bike coalition. or our preengagement celebration, must be gangsters. also this one in west st. paul, minnesota. snoop dog flashes gang signs with a convicted felon. this has become about much more. i love that tc twitter turned pointer gate into a truly
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important story about cop, mayor, citizen relations. nice work. joining me now is broian stevenson author of "just mercy." part of what is interesting is this mayor has been behaving towards her police department in a way that some say is best practices. she says we will not tolerate racist speech and actions on the force. she wants today up for body cameras for officers and for, quote, firing officers that do not meet our standards for they're behavior. i think there are two kinds
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of police departments. there are those that want to bunker down. they see the community as an enemy and something they have to control. and there is another kind of police department that sees the role as serving the community. they want to build relationships with everybody in the community. not just the affluent, but the poor. they want to create a dynamic where they can serve. this is the politics of fear and anger just going crazy. we have six million people on probation and parole. 68 million people with criminal arrests. when you do that, you facilitate the kind of tension and violence that leads to the problems we have seen in other communities. >> part of what you're saying
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here is an interesting challenge that i wonder about for an elected official, as a mayor you come in and you may get to choose a new police chief, but this issue of a police department culture you're talking about, you can't necessarily just change from the top. i wonder as you're engaging with a police force through your police chief, what your role as a mayor and e lebllected offici. >> in any environment you to lead by example. i think that mayor hodges was doing that. that is not to say there will be no resistance. i i have you have to be able to work and interact with folks. i constantly go and talk to my police officers. i go to all of their musters and tell them about thing happening in the city and try to get them to buy into what we're trying to
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achieve as a overall organization. >> i wonder, also, about two aspects of accountability going on here. one is the mayor beginning to ask for accountability with a new, you know, a doj report, a new chief, a body cameras potentially. and gordon and knox being about removing felon disenfranchisement so formally incarcerated people can vote and hold their elected officials responsible. >> i think that's right, i think there is no question that when people come out of jails or prisons or when people have made bad decisions we want them to act differently. we want them to make different choices. we want them to engage in a healthy and respectful way. there is nothing healthier and more sensible than engaging with the community and voting.
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that is the only way you insulate and protect yourselves from the fear, anger, and ignorance that demonizes entire communities. there are so many people that feel like the rest of what's going on in the world has no impact on them and that's a very dangerous situation for a city. when people feel like that they act like that and we want to challenge that with the activsmy kinds of groups. >> the overwhelming response on social media of minneapolis residents was like are you kidding? folks riding in the comments, and i try not to read the comments on things, but i like this mayor. my seven month old daughter, there is president bill clinton flashing the gang size. this is ridiculous. even if we don't support this mayor, we don't support this
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kind of further marginalizing of people of color in our community. >> only 15 seconds. the whole thing is ridiculous. it is a crazy scenario that the local tv station is promoting this issue, and the fact that they're doubling down is even crazy year. and it speaks even more to the media, trying to push out a story, and especially in the local media and news stations. they have to get the story out and quick before the 4:00 news. >> one of my very smart producers pointed out it is sweeps week. brian is sticking around, but i want to thank you both for
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sticking around. this past tuesday night, progressives had a very big win, but with all of the bad news for progressives you may not have heard. impact life expectancy in the u.s., real estate in hong kong, and the optics industry in germany? at t. rowe price, we understand the connections of a complex, global economy. it's just one reason over 70% of our mutual funds beat their 10-year lipper average. t. rowe price. invest with confidence. request a prospectus or summary prospectus with investment information, risks, fees and expenses to read and consider carefully before investing.
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if you're a critic of america's war on drugs you probably heard the news about tuesday's election results in these three places. voters were asked to vote on f referenda on recreational use of marijuana. they all voted yes. big news but not the biggest news of tuesday night. voters in another state approved the most impactful. it changes the penalty for
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nonserious and nonviolence property and drug crimes from a felony to a misdemeanor. that will not sound like a big deal suntil you consider this deal. 117,500. that is the number of people in prison in california compared to 74,944 in the entire nation in pakistan. they have five times p population of california and a somewhat spottier human rights record. this initiative is big. california's prison system is big, and the impact of this change in the law will not just be at the margins. 40,000, that is the number of people who is this law will prevent from entering the prison system for nonviolent offenses every year. like a single mom who got a
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felon charge for stealing clothes for her baby. because the law will apply retro actively to as much as 10,000 people sitting in prison right now will be eligible for resentencing. it's not just those caught up in the prison system that will be affected by this law, countless others will be able to have their felon convictions erased from their records. lai like mr. martin who overcame a heroin addiction and got a master's degree, but because of his felony he cannot be a teacher or adopt a child. it will be initiatives like this one that produce truly radical outcomes, changing
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yesterday morning president obama announced his nomination for the next attorney general of the united states. new york federal prosecutor loretta lynch. >> it is hard to be more qualified for this job than loretta. she has distinguished herself as tough, fair, an independent lawyer. she spent years in the trenches as a prosecutor, fighting and supporting civil rights. >> one of them was prosecuting the new york police officers that arrested and assaulted a haitian in 1997. and now, pending congressional confirmation, lynch would be the first african-american to lead
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the justice department. >> i pledge today, to you, and to the american people that if i have the honor of being confirmed by the senate, i will wake up every morning with the protection of the american people as my first thought. i will work every day to safe guard our citizens, liberty, rights, and this great nation that has given so much to me and my family. >> if lynch is confirmed, one of the matters still at play could be the civil rights investigation into the ferguson, missouri police department. announced in the wake of michael brown in august. at any point between now and the end of the year, a grand jury could reach a decision whether or not to indict wilson. the amount of force used by law enforcement, the miltarization.
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it is what brian howard has committed much of his degree to. to the six arguments he has brought to the supreme court stevenson helped tirelessly to help those in our society seek just policy under the law. desmond tutu has called him a young nelson mandela. in his new book, "just mercy" a sorry story of justice and redemption. i am very excited. and yet that was both the case with eric holder and now
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potentially with loretta lynch. >> i think that's right and i think there is good reason for it. i went to law school with loretta, and she is extremely bright, very hard working, and she is someone who holds people accountable. it is easy to go after the people openly threatening the united states. she will do it with incredible skill and tact, you also want to hold accountable the people that don't do the right thing, an elected official or a law enforcement officer, she has shown she is able to do that. >> so in "just mercy" part of what you do is ask us to think more carefully about the things that could bring us down. things that could potentially pardon me us. you say we're all implicated when we allow other people to be mistreated. fear and anger can make us
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vindictive, abuse sieve, unjust, and unfair until we condemn ourselves as much as we victimize others. part of that is you suggesting the way we do criminal justice is erode who we are as a people? >> i think that's right. the fact that we have thrown so many people away, creating a political culture that is combined by fear, nobody is allowed to say rehabilitation, and when you start acting and thinking like that you disconnect, in my view, from your own humanity. we all news mercy and forgiveness sometimes and beneficiaries of another's compassion. i think it has become a model of reflexive animosity, anger, and fear. that is underminded not ond the
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integri -- only the integrity of the system but some people that work for it. >> i get that and i'm highly sympathetic, but the person moment of victimization in which either in the context of murder or rain or assault, did you feel that person did not show mercy to you or your loved one, how do we deal with that? i mean, you read this and it's lovely, but then you're feeling like yeah, but i lost my cousin, brother, or my own experiences in it. >> my grandfather was murdered when i was 16. i have family members that suffered horrible crime and violence. when my grandfather was murdered, peek were saying to my grandmother is we should think of the most harsh and
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destructive things we can who skilled this 86-year-old man. and my grandmother said no, i want to create a community where the children don't kill the elders, that's not a community that is good for anybody. i think that is ultimately what we're trying to do. i believe that every person is more than the worst thing they have ever done. that is what my clients have taught me and people have made tragic mistakes, and sometimes we can't do anything to recover, but we can think about what's required and what's more than that act. as a result, i think that people who have been victimized are looking for a way to rectify themselves. one of the most effective death penalty is a feeling of reconciliation. we have to create a world with less violence, less tension,
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less murder, less rape and we don't do it by demonizing individuals. >> my college mentor maya angelo used to say that anything humans are capable, you too, are capable of them. thank you bryan stevenson, the book again is "just mercy." absolutely worth the read. still to come this morning, the star of "the little tin man." he is coming to nerdland. first, do you know what tom brokaw was doing 25 years ago on this day? aps... and raise hopes. and from national. because only national lets you choose any car in the aisle... and go. you can even take a full-size or above, and still pay the mid-size price. (pro) nice drive.
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(receptionist) gunderman group is growing. getting in a groove. growth is gratifying. goal is to grow. gotta get greater growth. i just talked to ups. they got expert advise, special discounts, new technologies. like smart pick ups. they'll only show up when you print a label and it's automatic. we save time and money. time? money? time and money. awesome. awesome! awesome! awesome! awesome! (all) awesome! i love logistics. on this day, a symbol of the cold war came down, the berlin wall. for nearly 30 years it made them virtual prisons in their own homeland. they began construction on the
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wall in august 1961 sealing off the western section of berlin. virtually overnight, a city and families were divided. the wall fortified by barbed wire and armed guards. thousands made the journey and nearly 200 were killed attempting to cross the border. it became synonymous with the dividing line between east and west. it was a rallying cry for american presidents from john f. kennedy who visited the wall and issued this declaration in solidarity with berlin. >> therefore as a free man, i take pride in the words --
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[ cheers and applause ] >> to ronald reagan who issued this famous challenge. >> mr. gorbachof, tear down this wall. >> a member of the east german declared that travel restrictions would be lifted. the policy was supposed to be gradual but he mistakically said it would take effect immediately. within hours thousands of people were at the wall celebrating together with hammers and picks to chip away at the wall. tom brokaw was the only american anchor reporting from the scene. live from the berlin wall on a historic night in history. a new policy announced by the
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east german government that now, for the first time since 1961, people will be able to move through freely. >> 25 years later, they are commemorating the day with many events including illuminating a nine mile stretch where the wall once stood. a tribute. ♪ wwithout the time and money to wash all this stuff separately. so we wash it all in cold water with tide. even sara's shorts.
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in the film "the little tin man" but the character herman mitchell decides he wants to pursue a different role. >> are you going to audition to be a munchkin tomorrow. >> not just a munchkin, the
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hierarchy should not be overlooked. >> are there any roles >> he is also an activist working to bring awareness to discrimination and stereotypes that little people face in their everyday lives. issues he addresses through stand-up comedy. >> people say whatever is on their mind when they run into a little person. they say exactly what's on their mind. you're little. you're little. i didn't know about this. you're right. i had a job interview. i didn't get the job, i wonder why. probably because i said [ bleep ] too many times. >> last month he took to the streets of new york to find out if anyone knew october was dwarfism awareness month. >> what does dwarfism awareness
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mean to you. >> not a whole lot. >> are you familiar with dwarfism awareness month. >> i am not unfortunately. >> have you ever heard of the term midget? >> yes. >> what does that word mean to you? >> a short person. >> if i use the term midget, what do you think? >> a short person. >> do you think that word's offensive? >> i'm not sure. >> i'm not sure. well let's find out, because my guest aaron buhlner, says there's no need to focus on issues facing little people solely during dwarfism awareness month. all right, aaron, start with the idea of comedy. >> okay. >> because it feels to me that like with african-americans, with women, with marginalized groups, comedy can be an effective tool but can also sometimes backfire. can create more of that very angst that is part of the stereotyping. >> absolutely. you know, my goal is to inform and educate without being too breechy. so comedy is a great way to do
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that. it can have kind of a backlash and you become the butt of the joke which is not what you were intending to do. last month was dwarfism awareness month. to me every month should be awareness for everything. i've had people say what does that mean. what is dwarfism awareness? i get caught off guard. i'm not quite sure. i don't know if we tag them, if we're supposed to cage them. you know, i think it's more to be real as opposed to dwarfism awareness month, it's apathy -- not apathy, empathy and not apathy and to say hey, we're all human beings. when i walk into a room, of course, i stand at 4'3" tall. but i'm not mentally 4'3" tall. sometimes i feel like i'm 90. so it depends on what day. but it's the idea that you're out there to do everything that anyone else is doing. and i'm not asking for special benefits. i don't want privileges. i just want to be considered human. >> so, so, this, this point that you made about a connection between physical stature and
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mental or emotional capacity seems to me to be a central aspect of the kind of discriminatory both social but also really importantly economic discriminatory experiences that are faced by people -- >> absolutely. if you look in the job force and when i have had numerous job interviews, and i actually heard one interviewer say, you sound so much bigger on the phone. and from that moment forward, the interview was shot. it's done. you know, i just stood there going, okay, i probably should leave now. so it's getting that chance. no matter what the situation, and no matter who is the person is. we judge by color. we judge by gender. we judge by religion. we judge by everything. and you know, was listening to pointergate, and why, why, why. >> right. >> you know. we're all human beings. and i get that great question. well what do you like to be called? i like to be called aaron. >> okay. so on that, because you
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actually, in the man on the street videos you asked this question, i want to, i want to play it and get you to respond. >> okay. >> the term midget comes from midge, which refers to a small fly so it's very dehumanizing. so i would say that a lot of little people, you ask them, not that they could absolutely relate, but they'd say it's almost as offensive as like a racial slur and that it is very outdated. >> so when you're talking to people on the street do they know that the "m" word is is a slur is that something that folks have an awareness of? >> not, not on average. you know, the pejorative connotation of that word doesn't strike people. they just think it's like saying this person is african-american or this person is caucasian. >> they think it's dedescriptive. >> exactly. as opposed to it's revery grading. the fact that the word midget comes from midge. that's a bug. so who is wanting that title? yes, i'm like a bug. >> right. >> and what does that suggest about the desire to crush or to eliminate. >> exactly!
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it's something that you flick, and move away, and it's a pest, you know. and i don't consider -- well, maybe some of my family members might consider me a pest. >> but that's just because of who you actually are. >> exactly. >> not because of how tall you are. >> exactly. >> let me ask you a question about the industry that you're in, which is to say the entertainment industry and again not to make too many comparisons to african-americans but there's a there's a thing that happens for example around black women where there will be a new set of roles out and the questions will so do you play a maid? do you play a -- you know, do you play a role that has a stereotype in it because everybody's got to eat and work. >> exactly. >> or in so doing are you reinforcing the stereotypes of the community so similarly for little people who are when the new wizard of oz movie comes out do you encourage people to say the job or do you say we shouldn't take the job? >> that's a very tough question and you sit on the fence with that because to me, i would have a hard time taking that role. and then there would be other little people that say okay, be real, aaron, that's a paycheck.
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>> i got to eat. >> it's an opportunity. you have bills. and who doesn't. and so it would be very challenging. it would be very, very challenging. but honestly at this point in my life and things i experienced, no, i would pass. i would pass. >> thank you to aaron beelner for being here. that's our show for today. i'll see you next saturday. right now it is time for a preview of weekend with alex witt. >> hello, melissa. thank you so much. keeping the faith everyone in president obama. the author of the new book explains why support for the president depends on generations, and not class. rich baby poor baby the striking disparity between what the youngest americans eat and the problems that can follow them for the rest of their lives as a result. plus a sea of red in london. the awe inspiring tribute captivating this world and bringing world war i to life. don't go anywhere. i'll be right back. i make a lot of purchases for my business. and i get a lot in return with ink plus from chase. like 50,000 bonus points when i spent $5,000 in the first 3 months after i opened my account.
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moment. people want to see this city work. and they feel as if it's not work. >> new today from president obama, looking at life with a gop controlled congress. what can the country expect. back in the u.s., we are learning more today after those two americans detained in north korea come home. a big-time theft, not one, not two, but three super bowl rings taken from a former player's house. high noon here in the east, 9:00 a.m. out west, welcome to "weekends with alex witt." there's a blast of bitter cold heading our way. a massive storm in alaska is pushing frigid arctic air toward the lower 48 bringing us the coldest weather so far this season. one of the places bracing for it is minnesota. a foot of snow is expected there. people, though, are taking it in stride. >> it's too early. too


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