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tv   The Week With Joshua Johnson  MSNBC  August 8, 2021 6:00pm-7:00pm PDT

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thanks for watching. to reassure you, mehdi hassan will be right back here in this chair next sunday at 8:00 p.m. eastern. and you can also catch him monday through thursday at 7:00 p.m. eastern on "the choice" on nbc's streaming channel peacock. now it's time to turn it over to joshua johnson. hello, joshua. >> hello, anand. thank you very much. and hello to you. it is great to be with you tonight. especially because it's a busy night in washington, where the senate is in a rare sunday night session. right now they're considering key votes on the bipartisan infrastructure bill. we're watching the votes now, and we will update you on where they stand in just a moment. florida's covid hospitalizations are at an all-time high. what more should local officials
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be doing to keep residents safe? democratic gubernatorial candidate nikki fried here to discuss it. also, a string of unruly airline passengers is sparking a new warning from the faa. understandable with behavior like that. so what's it like being a flight attendant these days? we'll find out from sara nelson, president of the association of flight attendants cwa. and can friendship be the solution to repairing our politics? david french, senior editor for "the dispatch" says he thinks so. we'll let him explain, ahead. from nbc news world headquarters in new york, i'm joshua johnson. welcome to "the week." you're looking live at the senate floor where we are monitoring developments on capitol hill. they're calling the roll right now, holding key procedural votes on the bipartisan infrastructure bill. now, if that sounds familiar it's because we're in a very similar situation as we were in
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last night. it's almost like -- >> morning! off to see the groundhog? >> yeah. >> think it will be an early spring? >> didn't we do this yesterday? >> i don't know what you mean. >> don't mess with me, porkchop. what day is this? >> it's february 2nd. groundhog day. >> yeah. you know, i thought it was yesterday. >> oh. >> take a breather, bill murray. there's good news this time. unlike his character in the movie "groundhog day," this time we have a pretty good idea of what's going on and how it's going to end. now, senators just voted minutes ago to swap out a placeholder bill, what we've called a shell bill, with the actual text of the bipartisan bill. that vote passed 69-28. now the senate is holding
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another vote on cloture. cloture, not closure but cloture, shuts off the debate and starts another 30-hour waiting period. now, at this rate the infrastructure bill could pass the senate tuesday morning. and this infrastructure groundhog day will finally wrap up in the senate. but that could be when things really get difficult. we'll get to that in just a minute. but let's begin tonight with the latest details on this vote from nbc news digital senior political reporter jonathan allen. he is the co-author of "lucky: how joe biden barely won the presidency." jonathan, the senate has voted to reject an effort by senator lankford to slow down this process on budget procedural grounds over the cost of the bipartisan plan. they voted to drop the actual text inside the shell bill. now they're voting for cloture. does this look like we're sort of making our way toward the vote on tuesday or are there other possibilities that could throw this off?
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>> no, really it should be done by tuesday. in fact, there's no need to have those 30 hours of debate post-cloture. it is in the rules that you can debate for up to 30 hours. if there were nobody objecting to having the vote sooner they could have the vote right after the one you're watching right now, which is essentially as you pointed out that big cloture vote that says let's have a final vote on this bill. >> and we should be clear, there's really only been one senator, bill haggerty of tennessee, who is considered to be a possible monkey wrench in this if he decides for some reason to stay on the senate and speak for longer than an hour or so. so it's possible that if he drops his objection this could all move forward pretty fast, right? >> he can delay but cannot deny and ultimately it may be that this bill is not delayable. >> here's a bit of how senate majority leader chuck schumer kicked things offer earlier today to kind of set a tone for what we've seen this evening. watch. >> well, this afternoon we pick up where we left off last night.
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the senate has voted to advance the bipartisan infrastructure bill and bring debate on the substitute amendment to an end. i repeat that democrats are ready and willing to vote on additional amendments to the bill before moving to final passage. once again, that will require the cooperation of our republican colleagues. i hope they will cooperate so we can move more quickly. otherwise, we'll proceed by the book and finish the bill. >> john, what's our sense of the bipartisanship inside this bipartisan bill? even the vote to replace the shell bill was not along strict party lines. there were a number of republicans who voted yes. >> yeah, it's pretty bipartisan. and the fact it wouldn't have gotten this far if it were not, we're seeing lots of votes here, the in the range of 63 up to about 69 votes, legislators both democrats and republicans who want to see this move forward in the senate. and then it will get over to the house, you know, which has been out of session and will be for i
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guess another couple weeks here. but when it gets over to the house, i think that's going to have a lot of influence. at least certainly that's the hope of democratic party leaders, that you will see some republicans break off from the party line and vote with democrats or at least the democrats will be able to keep their moderates on board, the moderates in the house, looking at what kyrsten sinema is doing and joe manchin is doing and deciding that is the moderate position to support this bill. >> kyrsten sinema of arizona was the senator that rose to suss pepd the budget rules. before i let you go what's the timeline look like beyond here both for advancing this bill in the house and also the other bill, the so-called soft or human infrastructure bill? >> what's your christmas look like, joshua? >> that long, huh? >> long, nancy pelosi said she's not going to move one without the other, or at least not send
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one without the other to the president. and there is real tension within the democratic caucus in the house as to whether if they move this infrastructure bill without -- without that reconciliation bill will the liberals move off of it and say they're not going to do the bipartisan infrastructure bill? on the other hand, a lot of moderates don't want to vote for what appears to be a $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill. she still has some politics work to work out. and of course she has a couple weeks to start working on that. the senate's going to get to work on that budget resolution. all that is a reasonably long process. so i mean, you're not -- you should not expect to see president biden signing this infrastructure bill or that reconciliation bill, you know, anytime in the next couple weeks. whether that ends up being late september or october, november, december remains to be seen. but usually it's the christmas holiday that ends up being a pretty strong trigger for members of congress. >> as soon as you said how's your christmas look, i could picture my mother and my
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boyfriend both saying "he's on vacation, shut up!" so i will not be following this blow by blow. they're going to have to wrap this up before i leave for the holidays. nbc's jonathan allen, we appreciate you starting us off tonight. thanks very much. let's continue now with susan del percio, a republican strategist and msnbc political analyst, and valencia johnson, a political stramthist and former senior adviser to the biden campaign. good to have you both with us. and susan, let me start with you with regards to our holiday plans. what is your sense of how bipartisan this bill, at least the one we're working on tonight, will remain as we go through the rest of the process of potentially making it law? >> well, i think it will stay that way, at least through the senate. the only thing that works against bipartisanship is time. and while i think it's tuesday morning or tuesday night or monday that this passes the senate, that's a lot of time to go by for the house to approve it and vote on it in mid to late
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september. so that will be difficult. but i also believe that nancy pelosi will not let too much more time go by once they're back in session in september at the house because she wants to deliver this for joe biden and there will be enough bipartisan support. we know that from house republicans. for them to hit the number. now, when it comes to the -- that's on the hard infrastructure. now, when it comes on the soft infrastructure, that's anybody's guess because we don't even know, it looks like it can make it through the senate but it's highly unlikely it can make it through the house at this point. >> with regards to time and how the ravages of it may affect this, senator merkley, jeff merkley from oregon, spoke to jonathan capehart this morning on the sunday show. here's part of what he said. >> well, it does require all 50 democrats to hang together, and there are differences of opinion, as we know, among 50
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members. so there will be a lot of work on the individual components. exactly how do you do the climate infrastructure? how do you do the housing infrastructure? do you do the full tax credit for children, which would lift half america's children in poverty out of party. do you do paid family leave, and how do you raise the money to pay for it? so that will be a lot of work. i'm convinced we'll get it done, it will be exactly 3.5 trillion. i'm sure will some provision fall out because one member blocks them? probably. but i think on the whole we'll succeed in that vision. >> what do you think of that in terms of how the bill might evolve, change, shrink as time goes on? >> a lot of democrats have talked about how key provisions are really important for their constituencies. the climate issues, child care. this is actually really important and it builds into the broader understanding of what infrastructure is. so i think you're going to see a lot of democrats continuing to push on behalf of their constituents because i want us
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to be clear. i know we continue to talk about this in the context of biden's legacy, for this to be his groundbreaking achievement, this is a once in a generation bill. the reality is this has a significant impact on the american people and democrats know that if they only have one opportunity to really deliver on some key provisions this is the bill and so they're going to push forward. now, the caveat is because we want to get this bill done, we don't want to be sitting here talking about this at christmas, i'm sure there will be some compromises but it's not going to just be quickly done and stripping away everything that so many democrats have been fighting for thus far. >> before we continue i should note what you can see on your screen. you can see the yeas are 68, the nays are 29, and that means the motion for cloture on this bill is adopted. it's got more than enough votes to move forward. now, just to be clear, we're not saying that this bipartisan bill has passed the senate. that's not what's happened yet. this is a procedural move to start a clock, basically this
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30-hour countdown clock, after which time the bill could move forward. and it depends on what senators decide to hold it up or not in terms of how long that would take. our best read right now, sometime tuesday the bill could pass. could be sooner but tuesday morning looks a little bit more solid from there. susan, with regards to that and now that this vote for cloture has passed and the bill could advance, i wonder what your sense is for how this moves on the other side of the aisle. there's a group of moderate democrats who has been circulating a draft letter about not wanting to wait for the spending bill before passing infrastructure in the house, saying that it should make its way to the house floor on a stand-alone vote. what do you make of the strategy in terms of getting this thing moving on the house side? >> well, i think the strategy and the reason for the letter is to get it done. again, as i said earlier, time is the enemy of passing bipartisanship legislation. so they want to see this done.
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they also don't want to see -- both sides want to see it done but even the democratic senators are concerned that it can get derailed if it's tied too closely to the soft infrastructure. there is one other thing that will be coming up sooner rather than later that's worth mentioning, is we're going to get to a point where we have to vote on spending more money or facing a government shutdown, the debt ceiling. that happens in september. and that may actually be a way of moving several things at the same time and more deals get maid. >> and alencia, before we have to let you both go, what about that, this idea of spending month money? senator lankford's objection is based on something valid, which is that the congressional budget office has said this bill does not pay for itself, it raises the deficit by $250 billion over the next ten years. how much does the price tag factor into the fate of these bills before we go? >> you know, that's a critically important point because this is the reason that so many people are hung up. how are we going to pay for
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this? and we know that republicans have put a hard line when it comes to raising taxes on their wealthy friends and corporations. so now we have to dip into other pockets. i think democrats are trying to figure out maneuvering all that they can to make sure we have the money to spend for this and also not compromise on what we need to invest back in american people. it will be interesting to see what happens in the next few weeks. >> especially now that the senate has passed the procedural bill they need to pass in order for the bipartisan infrastructure bill, just that one, not the larger one, but the bipartisan infrastructure bill to move forward to an actual honest to god is this going to become law or not vote. susan del percio and alessonia johnson, good to have you with us tonight. thank you both very much. coming up, it's one thing if the enemy of of my enemy is my friend. but what happens when the key to being your friend is being the enemy of your enemy? we'll consider how to protect our friendships from today's politics. plus, florida's pediatric hospitals are getting overwhelmed with children
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battling covid-19. so why is the governor leading the fight to ban school mask mandates? we'll discuss it with the state's agriculture commissioner nikki fried, who is running to unseat governor desantis. but first, richard lui is here with the rest of the headlines. hey, richard. >> hey, joshua. very good sunday to you. some of the stories that we're watching, a chicago police officer was killed and another was critically hurt after a shooting during a traffic stop saturday night. two suspects are in custody after that incident. it's not clear what set off the incident. the head of the world health organization called for a moratorium on administering covid-19 booster vaccines until the end of september. the moratorium hopes to help low-income countries with supplying vaccines and administering shots. w.h.o. officials say the science is unproven about whether or not premium need a covid-19 booster shoot to prevent spreading. bobby bowden, hall of fame florida state football coach, has died at the age of 91. he built florida state ton an unprecedented dynasty, winning
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the national championship in 1993 and 1999. more of "the week with joshua johnson" right after the break. johnson" right after the break new parodontax active gum repair kills plaque bacteria at the gum line to help keep the gum seal tight. new parodontax active gum repair toothpaste. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ hey google, turn up the heat. ♪ ♪ ♪ this past year has felt like a long, long norwegian winter. but eventually, with spring comes rebirth.
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why do nearly one million businesses choose to mail and ship? no more trips to the post office no more paying full price for postage and great rates from usps and ups mail letters ship packages anytime anywhere for less a lot less get our special tv offer a 4-week trial plus postage and a digital scale go to and never go to the post office again this week most of florida's school districts begin the fall term. students are walking back into classrooms and into a political and cultural fight over masking. the sunshine state reported nearly 24,000 new covid cases on friday. it was the third time this week that florida set a new daily record for cases.
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governor ron desantis issued an executive order banning mask mandates in schools. he has remained steadfast on that. now? school districts are pushing back. the state largest district in miami-dade county has not yet decided whether to require face coverings for students. the district's long-time superintendent says it will make the smartest decision it can. >> we'll continue to be a district that's-oriented by the expert advice of professionals. it is sad that currently in america we see this rhetorical narrative that's deeply influenced by politics rather than medicine and the wise advice of those who know best, what's in the best interests of our students and the professionals who teach them. >> joining us now is nikki fried, florida's commissioner of agriculture and consumer services. she is running as a democrat to unseat governor desantis. commissioner fried, good evening. welcome. >> good evening. >> so we heard what superintendent alberto carvalho of miami-dade county public
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schools said, one of the longest tenured, most respected superintendents in the country i think. i wonder what your sense is, first of all, with just regards to masking. you've encouraged local communities and school districts to make decisions about masking, but you have said that you do not support a statewide mask mandate in florida. why not? >> because we've got the tools in order to protect the people of our state. and that is the vaccine. and so i've been very up front with the people of our state and been transparent on where we are with the numbers. and we know how to get past this. that's by masking up and that's by getting the vaccine. so our local school district and our local communities to do what is best for their communities. every community is different. and unfortunately, this governor has been void of leadership, has been gone outside of the state consistently fund-raising, and has really panicked during this pandemic and has shown just no leadership and unfortunately even said last week, we have to just live with this. and unfortunately, that is not
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what the advice is of all of our experts, our scientists, our medical doctors are saying. our doctors are saying mask up and get the vaccine. >> what about vaccine mandates? randi weingarten, who's the president of the american federation of teachers, has said she is supportive of vaccine mandates for teachers. where do you stand on that? >> you know, i stand on showing leadership. and that's what i've done throughout this entire pandemic, is really talking about why are people hesitant to get the vaccine? going into our communities, showing leadership by getting the vaccine in public. and if we had a different conversation from the get-go, really emphasizing from our elected leaders all over the state in florida and specifically our governor, and trying to really emphasize the importance and necessity of getting these vaccines. and so until such time as the governor starts to lead again, the people of our state are going to have to rely on their local governments and their local school boards for leadership on this. >> now, you and i are both
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floridians. i believe you're from miami. i'm from west palm beach. >> yes. >> so we know florida and we know south florida. and we know how floridians are. and i wonder if you think that just getting the vaccine publicly and showing leadership is going to be enough to make a complex political state like florida where people kind of like to do their own thing fall in line. i mean, i think that's one of the biggest concerns i've heard from people i know who are still in florida, is that some people around them just don't seem to give a damn and they don't know what to do. >> yeah, i think a combination of a couple of things. one, we need to be relying on our elected officials. we didn't see that this entire pandemic. but it's more than just that. it's using our local influencers, that is, our music industry members, that's our athletes, those people that are real true influencers in our communities, and giving everybody the tools and having those conversations because at the end of the day we don't live in an isolated society. you know, love thy neighbor, the
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fundamentals of our religions. and that is not what's happening. so you have to have these conversations because you're not getting the vaccine for yourself. you've got to be doing it for your kids. you know, the governor said this past week that he would rather 5,000 sick children than 500 sick seniors. i'm sorry, what is it that you're supposed to be picking and choosing who's getting sick and who's not getting sick? and the people of our state are going to hold him accountable. so what we need to be doing is as a community coming together, going into our rural communities, our minority communities, our socially disadvantaged communities that are maybe more hesitant to getting the vaccines and utilizing our religious institutions, using influencers like i said, the sports industry and our different music industry influencers, and coming together as a society in order to push the vaccines. >> i did want to ask you about your gubernatorial campaign to unseat governor desantis. i wonder what your strategy is for winning particularly with republicans. i mean, you as a democrat are probably going to do just fine,
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you know, on election day in miami-dade broward, palm beach county, parts of the interstate 4 corridor. like there are certain parts of florida i would see you doing just fine in. but i'm not sure what your sales pitch is to desantis republicans, of why they need to get rid of a governor that by many accounts they appear to be perfectly happy with. especially since florida has not had a democrat as governor since lawton chiles, since i was in high school, and the republican governors in florida have really tracked politically and culturally with the gop, including its support of donald trump. what's your pitch to desantis republicans for why they should fire him and hire you? >> well, first of all, i just won 2 1/2 years ago. i'm commissioner of agriculture, which is typically held by a republican. so i swung that state by 17 points. and i had a very consistent message, that it was issues that transcended partisan politics, things that were important to people of our state.
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back in 2018 i was very message disciplined. weed, water and weapons. that's the same message i'm going to continue to take across our state, that it's not so much about partisan politics, it's about the fact we've had 25 state years of a one-party system that is built on corruption, that has only taken care of a very small group of people in our state, and so we have to break the system to try something new. and i know that when i take that message and criss-cross our state, get into our rural communities, get into some of those areas, the swing areas that i was able to win back in 2018 and really have those messages very consistent with our people, that it isn't so much about partisan politics, it's about breaking a system that doesn't work for the everyday working class person, that for 25 straight years we've had constitutional amendments that we've passed and that gets to tallahassee and they get dismantled. we've got to try something new. >> last ten seconds. what's the one strongest policy item you have that you will do and desantis won't that republicans in florida will vote for. quickly, before we go.
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>> well, republicans, we certainly need medicaid expansion. but health care reform has got to happen. and i know we can work with republicans in getting that accomplished. >> florida's commissioner of agriculture and consumer services, nikki fried, who's also running for governor as a democrat. commissioner fried, thanks very much. >> thank you. >> we are continuing to follow that breaking news out of capitol hill tonight. this hour the senate voted on cloture. that ends debate on the final bipartisan infrastructure bill. not the big human infrastructure bill. this is the roads, tunnels, brings infrastructure bill. now, cloture starts another 30 hours of debate before the final vote for passage. so again, the bill didn't pass tonight. it advanced tonight. anything in the senate can change at any moment if all 100 senators agree to change that. still more of this to keep an eye out for. last night we asked you how your closest friendships are affecting your life. we loved reading your stories. thank you so much for them. bakry writes, "i just had dinner
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with a friend of 25 years. we live in the city and maybe connect twice a year. we have a great iron sharpens iron relationship. i feel like i can be my authentic self when we're together. i also have quote unquote friends with the same length of time. i constantly find myself dimming my light and eliting my true opinions for fear that my quote unquote friends will be offended or put off." thank you, bakari, for sharing that story. we'll share more of your stories with commentator david french and consider how our friendships could heal our politics. that's just ahead. stay close. shingles? camera man: yeah, 1 out of 3 people get shingles in their lifetime. well that leaves 2 out of 3 people who don't. i don't know anybody who's had it. your uncle had shingles. you mean that nasty red rash?
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a new poll from the survey center on american life is exposing a truck trend in this country. 13% of americans said they had ten or more close friends. that is down from 33% in 1990. a key reason behind this decline in friendships could be politics. both democrats and republicans
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surveyed said they have ended friendships due to political disagreements. this survey prompted a response from david french, senior editor of "the dispatch." he argued that lost friendships not only break hearts but also break nations. in a new piece mr. french writes, "we were not created for power and prosperity but for community and fellowship." david french joins us now. mr. french, welcome to the program. good to have you with us. >> well, thanks so much for having me. i really appreciate it. >> i have wanted to talk to you about this piece since i read it because it it just is touching on something i think that we are feeling in this country but haven't quite articulated. >> right. >> you wrote the piece through the lens of your friendship with someone named leo who you served with in iraq during your deployment there. and you and leo seem to be about as polar political opposites as you could possibly be. what was it about the two of you that made you friends and kept you friends despite the political differences? >> yeah. well, a couple of things.
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one, first i was the only reservist joining an active duty unit during the iraq war in the middle of the surge. and from the beginning leo was the person who reached out to me, the outsider, and made me feel welcome. then we watched together through one of the hardest things that people can endure, is a deployment overseas in a time of war. we got to know each other in full, who we were in full. and so even our political differences became an aspect of the friendship. they became a feature of the friendship to such an extent that when he deployed back home i used some of my law school connections to get him some prime tickets to obama's inaugural even though i had supported mccain during the election. this was all the way back in '08. and he of course rewarded me, you know, the way friends do by taking a video of george w. bush's helicopter leaving the white house while he sang the "goodbye" song and sent it to me. but when you have friends like this you don't expect anything else other than that. that's just the way you
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interact. but our friendship was so much deeper than politics. and what's happening is people are losing those kinds of relationships in their lives right now. >> you write a lot in this article about what you refer to as faction friendships, friendships that are based more on kind of the things that we hate, particularly politically, than on the people who we love. this isn't just like you're a red sox fan because you hate the yankees. this is like if you only hated the yankees and your love of the red sox was either secondary or never came up. it was just all about that enmity. what is the concern with these faction friendships as you call it as relates to our politics? >> when you don't have these close friendships, it creates a hole in your heart and in your life. and we try to fill it and we often fill it by finding like-minded people. and in a very polarized country what that often means is finding people who share your animosities, who might share your political hatreds. and what it ends up doing is it
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ends up binding people together around this animosity. and two things happen at once. one, it means you're locked into it. you're locked into that animosity because it's part of your community. if it's built around this political anger, if your friendship is built around this political anger, you can't moderate that or you lose your relationships. you lose your friendships. there's a super poignant story that was in the dispatch months ago about what were called the front row joes, the people who are at the very front row of these trump rallies. and ai lot of these people who came from all around the country and they formed a community. but do you think that community would tolerate any dissent from supporting donald trump? no, that was the foundation of it. and that's the kind of thing that when you're filling in these friendships with politics what can occur. >> in the piece you say that you can't fact-check, plead or argue a person out of their politics, or more to the point out of conspiracy theories because you're basically arguing them away from a community.
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what you're saying feels like it's applicable to the way we deal with deep conspiracies like qanon and the big lie and so on. nbc's ben collins spoke with us about that a little while ago. here's part of what he said about that. watch. >> if you have a family member or friend that was a qanon supporter, they were not very nice to you for the last couple of years. they may have said that they wanted to save you but they were very cruel. so bringing those people back is going to take a lot of personal courage. and frankly, if you don't have it in you, i understand. but this is a moment where deprogrammers consistently say in this sort of shock you can take two paths here. one of the paths gets people back into regular active society. hopefully -- you know, if you have a big yuf heart for this god bless you, but you can do it right now. there's a real opportunity. >> what do you make of that in terms of the opportunity now when we're confronted with conspiracy theories and the like to try to mend some of these fences? >> yeah. that's a really good question.
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i'm kind of of the mind that because a lot of these conspiracies are tied so much to the community of people that the conspiracyists are now a part of that's why it's so difficult because if you're getting them out of the conspiracy, you're pulling them out of the very thing that binds them into that subculture, into that community. and so that's why shooting off a fact check to them doesn't do much. you have to get the mind open before the fact check lands. and getting the mind open often means replacing one community with another community. and that's why it's really, really difficult. and that's why when i talk to people who talk about like my mom is into this or my dad is into this one of the first questions i ask when they say, well, how can we get them out of it is i ask how much time do you spend with them? how close are you to them? because if you're not spending a lot of time with them, if you're not close with them it might very well be the case that that conspiracy community is where they're getting fellowship. and pulling them out of that
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requires a lot of time. it requires a lot of commitment. and it requires a lot of courage and courageous love for another person. >> yeah. giving people a choice between something and something as opposed to something and nothing by offering them a community to come back into. that might make a difference in a lot of these situations. i absolutely love this essay. we shared it on our social accounts. i hope people will give it a read and give it some thought. david french, appreciate you making time. thank you very much. >> thanks so much for having me. >> coming up, the faa is responding to a spike in unruly airline passengers with a new warning for airports across the country. we will get an inside look at what flight attendants are dealing with when we come back. rush hour will never feel the same. experience thrilling performance from our entire line of vehicles at the lexus golden opportunity sales event. lease the 2021 is 300 for $379 a month for 36 months. experience amazing at your lexus dealer. you need an ecolab scientific clean here.
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>> i would not like that if someone did that to me. >> they should know better if they're like adults. >> they're a grownup and they have to play a good role model. >> i think it's very disrespectful. >> you could distract the pilot if it gets that bad. >> that is so unsafe. >> tell 'em, girl. see, even children understand how they should behave on a plane, even if they don't always do it. but the federal aviation administration recently released that video as a gentle reminder to us adults. after a year-long uptick in unruly behavior. on tuesday the agency sent a letter to airports across the country. it's asking them to monitor alcohol service, particularly to-go cups. the faa is also calling on airport police to arrest more people who are hostile or violent on flights. this comes days after passengers duct-taped a man to his seat aboard a frontier airlines flight. the man allegedly groped and assaulted members of the crew.
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joining us now is sara nelson, union president of the association of flight attendants cwa. ms. nelson, good to see you again. welcome. >> it's good to see you, joshua. thank you. >> so what is going on in terms of being, you know, flying these increasingly unfriendly skies? i mean, what's it like to be a flight attendant these days? has it always been this unruly and we just never talked about it? or is something really different happening right now? >> i'll tell you, joshua, the fines and also the penalties, federal penalties that are in place are because our union fought for those in the late '90s, because this issue of unruly passengers became something that we had to deal with on the job. but it was typically a bad day. it was typically a one-off in a 30-year career. it was not something that flight attendants were having to face every day when they go to work. we took a survey of our members. 85% of them said they've had to deal with an unruly passenger in the last six months. and 57% -- i'm sorry, 71% of them said that they've had five
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events or more in the last six months. so this is pervasive. this is something we've never seen before. and i just want to note the faa putting out that ad with the staff's children speaking in that ad to adults is really symbolic of what we've seen on the plane. the children are wearing the masks. the children are following the rules. and about 18 months ago people were wondering how children would be able to do that. that was all the talk. but they want to follow the rules. now they're telling the adults to too. >> what does it take to be a flight attendant these days? i think people don't realize how tough the job can be on the toughest day. does the bar -- is the bar higher now than it was in the past, just with everything that's happened in the last few years? >> like it's really difficult. it's difficult for everyone. everyone's at a stress level 10. everyone needs a little help. we really want to lift up the helpers. for flight attendants going to work today we are under the stress that many people are
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working, grocery stores and other places where people are on the front lines. and staffing is stretched to a minimum everywhere. we have operational issues that are stemming from that. and other complications with trying to bring the airline industry back "up" to pace so quickly to meet demand. and people are frustrated. and so all of that is leading to a space where they're looking to take out their anger on us. they've also been led to believe that we're in conflict with each other. so that's what we're seeing happen. and i want to be really clear, this is a relatively small group of people who are causing these problems, but they are louder than they've ever been and they are more frequent than they've ever been and what we have seen recently is that the other people who are round them don't necessary l. know the procedures, they're focusing on having their own safe flight, so they're not necessarily speaking up as much. we're trying to give room for those helpers and the people who want to have a safe uneventful flight to speak up and help us
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keep order. >> i wonder what you think is behind this. i think it would be easy it blame it on our political climate in some ways, i'm sure there's an extrapolation to be made there, you mentioned everybody's turned up to a level 10 right now in terms of stress. last night on our panel comedian josh johnson, yes same name, no we're not related, had this thought about what might be going on. and i'd like to get your reaction to what that other josh johnson said. watch. >> okay. >> i think that for the most part what's really happening is it's showing that a lot of people really do view the people that serve them for any service as beneath them and that's the only reason that you would feel comfortable or okay acting like that. >> what do you make of of that? >> well, i have to tell you that that is something that we have dealt with our entire careers and that's why we've worked so hard to gain respect for flight attendants. that's why when the me too movement broke we ran really hard to try to make the most out of that and we asked ceos around the industry to denounce the sexist past of the airline industry and lift up flight
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attendants as safety professionals. so i think that's something that we have been dealing with for decades. but this is something new. this is something different. and what's really stemming this aggravation in our society is that people have been kept in a space where they don't know what to believe. they've been told different narratives about what's going on in the country. and they don't know where to get their information. and public trust has been eroded. and when that happens, when people don't have a strong foundation to stand on, there's a lot of anxiety that's created from that. and we see that on our planes and we see that especially now. we've seen it more so in the past four years, but especially since this last january. >> before i have to let you go, what's the one biggest change that you and your union would like to see to stem the tide of unruly passengers? >> i really want to applaud faa administrator steve dixon for sending out that letter because there's more that we can do. airports, airlines, law enforcement. to coordinate together at the airports to make sure we're
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keeping the problems on the ground. we can do more to educate passengers about the fact that you can't board an aircraft if you're inebriated. people have forgotten that you fly at a high altitude, that's going to affect you differently. there's a lot more that we can do to look out for these problems on the ground and make sure they're not in a metal tube in the air where we can't pull over, where we can't call for help, and we just need to get that aircraft on the ground with everybody safe and sound. >> you cannot board an aircraft if you are inebriated. just repeating that for the benefit of the people -- >> that's right. >> -- in the back. sara nelson, president of the association flight attendants cwa. good to talk to you. thanks very much. >> good to talk to you. take care. >> we shared a few of your stories about how your closest friendships are affecting your life. and you had a lot of different stories to tell. we'll read a few more before he with go. with go. ere's an america we buid and one we explore. one that's been paved and one that's forever wild.
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all right. before we go, let's read some e-mails. yesterday,we asked how your closest friendships are affecting your life. rhonda writes, a few years ago, as a woman of a certain age, i was feeling sadness and discontent. i had a large enough group of casual friends. but i wanted something more, deeper. the fun. i could sense that i wasn't alone. but we were all afraid of saying anything, lest we be judged. so, i decided to take a chance and approached a lady at church. she was open to getting together along with six others.
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we've been gathering for four years. we also get together for other interests, such as volunteer opportunities, museums, parks, shopping or just to hang out. this is not a couples thing, just the ladies. no one making demand on our time or otherwise. steve writes, growing up in a small town, i had a close youp of eight to ten grounds. that was roughly through graduation. one by one, we went our separate ways. in the last five years, i spent the majority of the time alone or with my younger brother. a couple of that core group ended up voting for trump and that ostracized them to the point they removed the rest of us from their lives. we haven't heard from them for five years. the group has shrunk, that we don't see or talk to each other. all of the friendships have regressed so far that i don't know what most of them do or
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where they live. and that breaks my heart. they will always be my best friends but i feel like i don't know any of them anymore. a lot of people can relate to steve's story. finally, veronica writes, i had a friendship tribe of five people, me and five men. we would get together at my house to watch our sports and have a good time for a solid two to three years. most of have us been friends for longer. but the core group got together for two to three years. it would make sense i would be the matriarch being the only woman but they decided to plan to get together. i didn't want to play mom to grown men, nobody picked up the slack or took the reins. no initiative to get everyone together if i wasn't doing it. since i'm not making the plans and starting the conversations in the group chat, no one is interacting.
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respect yourself enough to when a friendship isn't a two-way street. don't be a giver for a bunch of takers. that's good advice. thank you for sharing your toirs and your thoughts. come back friday night at 7:00 eastern, on peacock. you can get peacock from your app store. we're here for you on msnbc saturday nights from 8:00 to 10:00 p.m., sunday nights at 9:00. follow us on twitter and tiktok. also on instagram. until we meet again, i'm joshua johnson. thank you for following us this weekend. and make it a good week. or floss can be a sign of early gum damage. new parodontax active gum repair kills plaque bacteria at the gum line to help keep the gum seal tight. new parodontax
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first up this hour, new answers for the long-asked question how far donald trump was willing to go to stay in power. can one of his deputies, jeffrey clark, tried to help trump subvert the 2020 election results, by telling leaders to insert doubt in the legitimacy of the


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