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tv   Melissa Harris- Perry  MSNBC  September 28, 2013 10:00am-12:00pm EDT

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like they helped millions of others. by listening. planning. woing one on one. that's what ameriprise financial does. that's what they can do with you. that's how ameriprise puts more within reach. ♪ this morning, my question -- are you hoping your kids don't go to college? plus, the cost of life versus the quality of life in our final days. and how president obama is reshaping geopolitics in ways that no one thought possible. but first, our very own congress where no one's in charge, no one seems to have a plan, and the minions have run amok. good morning. i'm melissa harris-perry. late friday afternoon, president obama tried to do something rare in washington -- present a
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rational argument. >> so over the next three days, house republicans will have to decide whether to join the senate and keep the government open or shut it down, because they can't get their way on an issue that has nothing to do with the deficit. >> sounds so reasonable, but i hate to break it to you, mr. preside president, but rational isn't what this is about. okay. do you know this man? well, that's matt mead. he's the republican governor of wyoming. now, i know you may be asking why should i care about him? because in 2010, a midterm year, matt mead won the last statewide general election for the wyoming governor's office with 123,780 votes. that translated to 66% of the popular vote. his closest opponent, democratic challenger leslie peterson, took home 23% or about 43,240 votes. now clearly that's an undeniable
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landslide for the republican, but meade's path to the governorship wasn't easy. first he had to become the republican nominee and in the primary he won the nomination with 29% or 30,308 votes. 30,000. so his closest republican opponent fell short by just 703 votes. now, why are primary numbers like these important? because of her. do you remember that face? that, ladies and gentlemen, is liz cheney, daughter of dick. that's former vice president dick cheney to you. she is a prime example of why we may have the first government shutdown since the mid-1990s. why? because of this. >> i've listened carefully and discussed the possibility of running for office at length with phil and the kids. today i amlaunching my candidacy for the united states senate. >> not easy to shock the political world but she did with her announcement in july that
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she would be running for senator of wyoming. the surprise wasn't so much that she decided to run, rather who she decided to run against. that is the incumbent. bold liz cheney is ready to throw the primary smackdown against republican conservative senator mike enzi, the same mike enzi whose popularity has grown with 54% of the vote in 1996, 73% in 2002 and 76% in 2008, a year that saw him unopposed in the primary. those numbers led many to speculate that after liz's announcement there was no way she was going to beat an incumbent like mike enzi in a prior mare. he's got the national republican senatorial committee, senator rand paul and senator john mccain having his back. which makes me wonder why he seems to be acting so worried. you see on tuesday, at 6:34 p.m. eastern standard time, when senator ted cruz of texas was in
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the midst of his 21-hour, 19-minute filibuster-like thingy, liz cheney seat 2013ed this in support. #staying with cruz. he is an example of having the courage of your convictions. with one tweet, liz cheney, let it be known that she fully supported the tea party's favorite son of the moment, ted cruz. but senator mike enzi wouldn't be outdone. less than two hours after cheney's tweet, senator enzi was standing by as cruz exhibited this verbal mastery of the english language. >> do you like green eggs and ham? i do to not like them, sam i am. i do not like green eggs and ham. would you like them here or there? i would not like them here or there. i would not like them anywhere. i do not like green eggs and ham. i do not like them, sam i am. >> then the very next person to speak on the senate floor, the
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man liz cheney wants to unseat. >> thank you for the recitation of "green eggs and ham." it's as good as i've heard. i appreciate all the passion you put into it, all the preparation you've put into explaining this and your careful way with words at explaining it. >> wipe your nose off, my friend. okay. clearly not to be outflanked in the midterm primary by liz cheney, senator mike enzi had started to say and support some pretty interesting things. because enzi knows that sometimes all it takes to become the nominee in a statewide election in wyoming is 30,000 votes. this is a big part of the reason why a shutdown is possible. midterm elections. it's because a sliver of the electorate is having an outside influence on the primaries and incumbents singularly obsessed with being re-elected are running scared. where does that leave us now? well, on friday the senate
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voted, as everyone knew they would, for a spending bill that, unlike the house version, does not strip funding for the president's health care legislation, which means it's now back to the house, and the house has until midnight on monday to decide if the government will shut down. and at this point, it's anybody's guess what the house will do. so, because over on that side of the hill, speaker boehner has let the minions run amok. right now, the house is in a rare saturday morning session. and at noon today, speaker boehner will gather his minions as the republican conference tries to hammer out a path forward before october 1st, which is the deadline. so to track just how much time is left, this is our special high-tech "nerdland" countdown clock. at the table, professor of history and public affairs at princeton university, and author of "governing america," christina bellantoni, pbs news hour, julie gold, award-winning comedian and then also we have
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stan hough, television host chuck nice at the table. thanks to being here. >> absolutely. >> thank you. >> seriously, christina, i'm going to start with you as one of the straight men at the table here. what do you think is going to happen next? >> i have no idea. >> i would not want to be john boehner. i have said that several times. what he's about to do at noon is sit down with a very unfriendly republican conference. they don't want to give him any concessions here, and he wants to avoid a shutdown. what he says is not just a talking point. no one wants to see that happen. but they want to push it to the brink and no one's doing any favors. the senate went home. they'll be back monday at 2:00. boehner has all weekend to try and negotiate with republicans to say, well maybe we'll do this other deal and then get this one done. by the way, what they're talking about doing is only funding the government until 15th. >> not even talking about really solving this. >> right. >> do you guys feel like at this point the elected officials are
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taking your material? like at the point of which they are saying to one another on the house floor, man, that was a great recitation of "green eggs and ham"? >> if i was his child and had to listen to him tell a bedtime story like that, forget it. i'd be in therapy my entire life. >> you'd be trying to liberate yourself. >> exactly. >> the problem with guys like enzi is the fact that, you know, you ever have somebody who's trying to date a really hot girl but they got to get through the family first. you show up at the door and suck it up to everybody and they can see what you're doing. he's the eddie haskell of politics. >> i don't understand why he didn't just say thank you for joining the race. why is he giving her credence? that is what his biggest problem is. >> this is a question worth coming back to. our claim here is you got a little stake, 500,000 people in all of wyoming, and this senate race, which means it could come down to a couple hundred votes
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one way or another. is there something -- is the reason that he seems to be behaving in this way that is surprising giving someone who has a 76% approval rating because it could be just a couple hundred votes who read that tweet and are, like, i'm with liz and cruz rather than with enzi? >> look, tea party activists have done certain things well. they've raised very well and have been raising money with this filibuster, gain media attention extremely well on certain networks and they're effective. so they create fear in these senators. even if the likelihood is they're going to win. enough to put pressure on to shift to the right. >> how bad or good for democracy? a part of me thinks within the democratic party that was the same strategy, for example, that the last "green eggs and ham" reader, reverend jesse jackson -- >> did it so much better. >> right? >> he was amazing. >> you can download it. fantastic. >> i will not eat them in a car! you know, it's poetic at that
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point. >> yes. >> so that was his same strategy. right? he pushed the democratic party to the left in ways that i think were meaningful and that we, in fact, needed before the clinton era. so like is it good for democracy that a few people can push or bad for democracy that a few people can push? >> there is something else going on here. mike enzi has been in office far while. he is an older gentleman. in theory she could be running just to push him to retire. you see that in a lot of cases. think about the two examples from the last elections. you had orrin hatch, longtime senator in utah, afraid of a tea party challenge, survived, and then you had senator dick lugar, lost the primary challenge, that seat now held by a democrat. those two examples are two men who had been in washington a long time so they were sort of challenged by the younger upstarts. that's what liz cheney is going for here, not just to out the conservative. mike enzi is a very conservative person in a conservative state. >> you have to keep in mind that the tea party is not just a conservative movement.
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>> yes. >> the tea party is an anti-government movement. >> yes. >> and their whole focus is, burn it down! >> right. >> and if that is your philosophy, anybody who feels that sentiment will sympathize with you. so it doesn't make a difference what the issues are. if you're coming in and going this whole -- you're out of order! you're out of order! this whole thing is out of order, burn it down! then people are like, i'm with him. but you don't have to actually deliver. >> looking at wyoming where this is happening, wyoming is significantly actually dependent on federal money. according to the files calculation, this state relies on federal money for 41% of the state's spending. so they're like shut it down. my friend, that is actually the thing keeping your state afloat. >> right. and let them shut it down and see what happens to their lives, and perhaps maybe this will make the republicans, you know, let people see who the republicans
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really are here. >> you have the entrance of people into politics is a good thing, i think, right or left. you want that. i think what people are concerned about is the tactics. we're talking about shutting the government down, talking about not raising the debt ceiling. these are rather extreme tactics to negotiate the budget rather than just doing it to -- >> not completely unprecedented. we've shut down the government before and survived. we haven't done the debt ceiling thing, which is the next crisis coming. if we have a choice and it seems like at this moment the choice may be to inoculate with the government shutdown now or deal with the problem of the debt crisis next, is it better to just go ahead and shut it down given that we have shut down in the past? >> well, neither is a good option. >> governing would be better. >> better is to govern and deal with budget disputes through the legislative process, and republicans also remember the political backlash they faced after the shutdown in 1996. >> i want to stay right there because that's what i want to talk about is the political process when we come back.
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i'm not sure if it's a political process when john boehner is such a very, very bad daddy.
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seriously, when you think of what is going on in washington, d.c., is this what you think of? yes, that's right. >> fight, fight, fight, fight. >> smack fighting minions! i mean, after this week's performance, there is no doubt that the minions in the house are running amok. the only way the minions can run amok is if their leader, house speaker john boehner, have lost all control. in this case it seems like john
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boehner doesn't know what to do. as the minions run the asylum, oh, right, i mean the house, the question is what does all of this mean for the rest of us? so we were just saying in the break, chuck, like there's a point at which you feel like, all right, if y'all want to be this crazy, go with that. >> i think so. you know, it's funny because jerry brown said this in california. he was, like, you know what, maybe people just need to see what it's like to be without government. just maybe they need to see -- you know, because you take it for granted. but when your trash isn't picked up and, you know, you don't get your paycheck and your medicare is not what it's supposed to be, maybe you're, like, wait a minute, i actually like my government, i like what they do. >> one of our producers is out this week because she's ill, and it turns out she does 493 jobs on this show. as much as we all knew that, it wasn't until we didn't have the show for the weekend, it was like, oh, my goodness. it feels like a government
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shutdown. >> now she's going to be asking for a raise. >> as well she should. >> that's part of what happened in the mid-90s when the government was shut down. in the abstract, everyone is against government or a lot of people are, but when it comes to specific policy, people like them. when the government shuts down, veterans' benefits are delayed, passports and visas are delayed and it has an immediacy that even in red states cause problems. >> there would be no gun permits. they'd be upset. >> let me ask this, because it does feel to me like the reason that we had strong parties in the system, the reason you have a speaker, the reason you have a daddy that keeps the minion in place, is because you will have these different sort of competing interests and there's supposed to be a system that says as much as there are competing local interests there's a big national interest we'll stay focused on. what has happened literally to the system that makes boehner so inno ineffective in this moment and
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makes ted cruz able to come over as a freshman senator and caucus with house republicans? >> it's about the elimination of consequences on a lot of things and goes to what you were talking about. think of the sequester. that was supposed to be so painful. it never happened. you have small thing where is you start to make it untenable, just never get there and congressional staff now are going without pay if this happens. so you have no consequences of losing your seat really because of the way the districts are drawn. you have no consequences of losing any power structure in congress because when john boehner punishes members who vote against him, they raise money off of that. that's a badge of honor for them. you have no consequences for stopping talking because you raise so much money and get all this'd meade ya attention and make lots of friends and have liz cheney tweeting in support of you. you become a celebrity. >> what parents do is create consequences for bad actions. >> you know what, john boehner, i don't know if -- john boehner every saturday morning people are familiar with this, you walk into a supermarket or a mall and there's a kid who is acting like a complete and total jerk. and you're just, like, looking
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fat mother at the father or the mother like what is wrong with you? you're bigger. you can hit them if you want. they're your kids. do something. >> don't hit your children but hit the republican -- >> exactly. and then when they try to do something it's totally ineffectual parenting because now the kid knows i'm not afraid of you at all so then you try and do something and the kid's, like, shut up, mom. >> that's what ted cruz is like. >> the negative attention is attention. you know, it's like he has opposition nal defiance disorder, this guy. it is unbelievable what he gets away with. if you sat here and read "green eggs and ham" for an hour, bye now. >> oh, man. that would be highly enjoyable. i wanted to read "better butter battle." i like that moment. >> the biggest consequence would obviously be the midterms so it will matter how do democrats mobilize and organize and how do nontea party republicans mobilize and organize in these
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states. they're the ones that could affect a john boehner the most by throwing him out of power and the republicans or by causing such fear in the gop that they -- >> but boehner's not the one i want thrown out. i guess my angst here is on the one hand, even though i don't agree often with boehner in terms of policy, it would benefit most americans for boehner to be stronger, for him to be better, not for him to be overthrown by a cruz coup. >> this is where he needs democrats. people forget, he's having this meeting at noon. he could take the bill the senate passed and just put it on the floor and say, all right, vote or don't vote. that's unlikely. i think that's probably not going to happen. >> because he kept breaking the rule already. it's already basic practice for him. >> exactly. so he is choosing not to do that. the democrats are letting him have these problem, but whoef replaces him, it won't be any easier for him. >> we'll come back. in addition to us, other people think a government shutdown might be a very good idea. >> yeah, baby.
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if congress chooses not to pass a budget by monday, the end of the fiscal year, they will shut down the government along with many vital services that the american people depend on. >> that was president obama sounding all reasonable in the white house press briefing room on friday saying don't shut down the government. but was he really saying that? because i wonder if this is part of some kind of jedi mind trick to get republicans to shut down the government knowing they're inclined to do the opposite of whatever he says so the democrats come away with some wins in 2014. any chance of when the president says don't shut it down he really means shut that sucker down? >> it could be, because the truth of matter is everything obama has said since he's been president has been diametrically
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opposed by the right. i have often said obama should come out for the eradication of medicaid and medicare and the elimination of all food stamps, s.n.a.p. programs, kol ocome ou say this is what i want done, no more food stamps, and watch republicans' heads explode. >> the social safety net -- >> they would not know what to do. >> he said we're giving everyone a check for a hundred grand, they would be like no, no! anything that guy says. but it is a little enjoyable watching this whole process happen with the republicans. >> one thing that could shut down is the library of congress website where you can look up how your voters voted on something. that could be a good consequence of something. >> i want to listen to nancy pelosi far moment here because we're talking about the weakness of bad daddy boehner, but one of the strong speakers in america was nancy pelosi in terms of what she got passed. listen to her assessment of this fun thing she's watching right
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now. >> regular order. oh, never mind. uncertainty within their own caucus. we don't know what we're voting for from one thing to the next because i don't think they know. and the threat to the full faith and credit of the united states. >> a kind of exasperation in her voice, saying this is not how it's done, friends. >> she is frustrated for sure. she had a very different caucus. it was still more united. it didn't have this faction that was really breaking off from the leadership. and obviously democrats have more of incentive not to do this to government. ultimately, they believe in government. they want it to function. there's part of the republican party happy shutting it down, even the moderates, because it doesn't go against a core belief in what's better. >> the one part of the republican party that hadn't been completely opposite to what the president is saying is chris christie, gave the president a
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big hug during hurricane sandy, and he's been vocal we shouldn't shut down. if i'm chris christie, where do i go in a party that at this moment in order to win a primary i have to be liz cheney or mike enzi? how would i approach what a 2016 run in this party looks like? >> effective governing, whether you're governor or some other type of lawmaker, not always but often prevails in an election. that's one way he can get at that. this isn't the first time you've seen him sort of challenge the republican party in washington with sandy, is perfect example, because you saw him say, wait a minute, get us this aid. he was getting in all these fights with republicans who weren't pushing that bill, by the way. one thing that reminds me of this historic perspective about what bill clinton faced, right. we interviewed him this week and he pointed out democrats hated the medicare part d provision that president bush passed but they still had calculators on their website, helped their constituents implement it, as they could campaign against it. they managed to dual track that.
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interesting that the republican strategy is so different from that instead of helping people figure out how to sign up, saying we hate this, you should sipe up for more. >> the republicans have made up their mind that whatever president blackula says we can't be a part of that. he's not even president count chocula. that guy is sweet and delicious. we could sit down to breakfast with him. but president blackula? no, get out of here. >> i was watching him speak yesterday and saying we're going to set a bad precedent. maybe not. the rest of the presidents were white. but we have shut down in history even when a white guy was president. >> back to christie, moderates in presidential primaries, it is the moderate who tends to win. a new book called "the gamble" talks about this. even romney, bush, they'll say something in a certain state to appeal to the right but in the end that's not who wins these nominations. >> noise but you still think there's room -- >> a lot of room for --
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>> also, you know, the fact they call it obamacare and not the affordable care act, which is what it is. >> yes. sn i mean, everything they do is just to stick a dager in and scare people. >> talking tact president's health care bill as to o posed to the american people's health care bill. the administration is saying all right, let's call it obamacare because obama cares. but they have won on the branding. >> when you look at chris christie, one of the other things he has is that there is a certain timber in his presentation, see, where he -- when it comes to pushing back, he pushes back, like, really? because i'll punch you in the face. like that is really -- >> you know what you're getting. >> that's where he comes from. >> he's not afraid. >> not afraid. people back down from that because when he is pushing back he's normally on the right side of history. >> we don't follow this closely from the inside washington perspective, but the american people generally just --
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washington sucks. but governors are able to manage their states sort of effectively. so when you think about 2016 there's not going to be a washington candidate unless it's the sort of ted cruz -- >> yeah. and i was going to say there's no doubt that hillary clinton 2016 potential campaign would rather face ted cruz in a general election than chris christie. >> absolutely. >> in a general election. julian, judy, chuck, thanks so much. you have to come back. up next, why you still learn more from college than from your computer. my letter of the week is next, and this one's for you, sarah googler. [ male announcer ] a doctor running late for a medical convention loses his computer, exposing thousands of patient records to identity theft. data breaches can happen that easily. we don't believe you should be a victim of someone else's mistake. we're lifelock.
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last week, public policy think tank, the new american foundation, hosted a conversation between tech industry leaders on issues of innovation, technology, the
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economy, and education. and during that discussion, one of those leaders offered this critique of the recent college graduates who come to his company seeking jobs. >> they do come in with no skills that are usable to us with the exception of programmers. what would you do with your child now to prepare them best for a world where a college degree basically has them coming out with a lot of debt and not necessarily a skill set? my leaning is i don't want my children to go to college unless they desperately are scholars and they want to learn. i'd much prefer them to an internship. >> that deserves a response. with this week's letter, i'd like to remind the president of buzz feed of the relevance of a college education by borrowing from buzz feed's preferred educational model. the list. deer john steinberg, there is one thing we've all learned from the success of buzz feed, that everybody loves a list. who can help but devour all those fluffy morsels of information? this week alone your readers got
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their random facts fixed with 25 things you had no idea there were words for. 14 ways sugar is secretly evil. since no visit would be complete without a furry four-legged porn, 21 cutest reasons why this cat is so sad. which brings me to my list of the top five reasons why college still matters. just to be sure we keep your buzzy attention, we're going to run a video of pandas in this cute animal cam in the corner. now, reason number one, it still makes financial sense. graduating from college is one of the few rungs left on the ladder to the middle class. in fact, a recent report from the new america foundation says that at least 65% of new job openings in the u.s. require education beyond high school. and as much as 35% will require that you have a b.a. before you even apply. lifetime earnings for college grads are about 66% higher than for high school graduates, which might not matter for those kids with millionaires, but for everyone else it's still a big
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deal. reason number two, it's good for democracy. people with college educations are more likely to vote, more likely to be informed about politics, and more likely to run for offense. a college education is a better predictor than income or wealth in determining who is informed and engaged. so, john, buzz feed might get more clicks when the government is at a standstill thanks to kindergarten hijinks, but if you want a healthy, functioning democracy, you should root for kids to go to college. reason number three. it's good for society. people with college degrees donate more time to local charities. now, it's in part because they have more time and money, but it's also because college where is young people encounter meaningful diversity and think seriously about their commitments. this translates into adult lives marked by concern for the greater good. reason number four. it's good for innovation. now, you is said that recent college grads come in with no skills that are usable to us with the exception of programmers.
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come on, john. you know better. a skill that's relevant today can be obsolete tomorrow. adaptability is the key to survival. we don't need an army of people trained to manipulate today's technology. we need legion who is thwill innovate tomorrow's. and where do you think they get a chance to play with nose new ideas? college. reason number five. good for your mind. the internet is full of information. you can google the answer to almost anything. but higher education gives student mrs. than the answers to their questions. it teaches them how, when, and why to question the answers. because the education that happens in a college classroom isn't simply about encountering information, it's about learning to be suspicious of sources, to analyze data, and to consider context. so, john, feel free to keep your little ones far from higher education, but the issue for our country is not how to keep young people out of college classrooms. it's how to provide them with
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the resource and access to get in. even if you weren't listening, i sincerely hope you enjoyed the pandas. sincerely, melissa. americans take care of business. they always have. they always will. that's why you take charge of your future. your retirement. ♪ ameriprise advisors can help you like they've helped millions of others. listening, planning, working one on one. to help you retire your way... with confidence. that's what ameriprise financial does. that's what they can do with you. ameriprise financial. more within reach. accomplishing even little things can become major victories. i'm phil mickelson, pro golfer. when i was diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis, my rheumatologist prescribed enbrel for my pain and stiffness, and to help stop joint damage. [ male announcer ] enbrel may lower your ability to fight infections.
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...and 20% fewer calories than dog chow. discover the lighter side of strong. new purina dog chow light & healthy. a week ago google redefeen fined its own search terms with the announcement it's searching for longer life. they're launching a new health care company called calico whose mission is to take on old age and extend the human life span. it's the subject of last week's "time" magazine cover story -- "can google solve death?" so google's new mission is just the latest in health care innovations and medical advances that if they haven't quite solved death have managed to delay it. but the result that americans are living longer than ever before. but a recently leased book is making the case that just because we can live a longer life doesn't always mean that we
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should, especially when delaying death leads to prolonged suffering. "knocking on heaven's door: the path to a better life," part memoir, part investigative report explores the economic costs of death and dying. more than a third of medicare patients have surgery in the last year of life. nearly a tenth have surgery in the last month of life. and a fifth die in intensive care. medical overtreatment costs the u.s. health care system an estimated $158 billion to $226 billion a year. the author of that book, katie butler, is joining me today. also here, steven latham from yale and dr. diane meyer, director of the center to advance palliative care at mt. sinai's icon school of medicine. nice to have you all here. i spent much of the week reading your book. and actually lost my grandmother-in-law very suddenly in the middle of the week while
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reading your book. and kept feeling like i don't know if there's a good death. i mean, i was very convinced by your argument that the prolonged suffering, but then to suddenly lose someone who wasn't ill, who didn't expect -- i thought, no, it's all death. it all sucks. it's all bad. >> it's all bad. i think we have an illusion in the west that we are going to perfectly time our deaths and manage them, but dieing is kind of like going to the airport. you totally lose control. people can be tear niesed by a notion of a good death. don't have too high a standard on it. a good death is a death in which you have a chance to say good-bye. sudden deaths prevent those kind of deaths and very prolonged deaths or deaths in intensive care where people fight till the very last moment. they have no chance to say good-bye to the people they
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love, to ask for forgiveness or give forgiveness or give their blessings to their children, and all of these are sacred tasks for the end of life which we are totally truncating by fighting it till the last minute. >> it's interesting. this question of the sacred is certainly part of it, our emotional, personal connections to it. the other pieces include the secular questions of just sort of what are we doing and how effective is it and how much does it cost? how should we be sort of balancing the questions of cost, medical effectiveness, and this sort of emotive aspect? >> so, i think what's really interesting about this is this notion that's out there in society that money that's spent on very sick people is wasted if they die. >> mm-hmm. >> so let's remember that we have a health care system to take care of the sick and we have health insurance for when people are sick. and we should never frame spending people on money who ultimately go on to die is
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waste. what kind of way to think is that? >> kind of the cancer nary they've either you beat it or somehow you lost -- you're a failure if you pass away from the cancer. >> we all want to know we're going to get high quality medical care when we're very sick, but i think the way we spend money is wrong, not that we need to spend money. we do need to spend money when people are vulnerable and sick as a society. but we spend it all on things that don't help. we can't pay to get people help at home. medicare doesn't cover that. medicare doesn't cover a home health aide if you need help showering or bathing or eating. medicare doesn't cover a care coordinator who will call you once a week or once a month to check in on you and see what you need. medicare will pay for that intensive care unit. so what we have is a health care system where the care that you get is driven by the care that's paid for but not the care that you need. >> that you actually need. is this an incentive problem? how old we need to restructure those insensitives?
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>> it's partly an incentive problem because doctors and hospitals get paid for providing services and it's difficult to send people into place where is payment is not forthcoming. it's also very importantly a planning problem. and an organizational problem. if you think about the costs, actually the cost to medicare of people dying in their last year hasn't changed much since the '70s. it's been about a quarter of medicare costs in the last year of life for decades. but if you ask american where is they want to die, huge majority of them say i want to die at home. just as katy said, at home surrounded by family members. the numbers are a little bit better about that. about a third of americans now die at home and about a quarter die in hospitals. and about 40% now which is double from ten years ago die under hospice care, which is
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really good for symptom alleviation and flaacilitating communication and so on. but more of them go through the icu in that last month, a bunch of the people in hospice care didn't get into hospice until three days before they die. >> yep. >> so we're not planning and not putting people in the right place at the right time. >> as soon as we come back, christina, i want to ask about this planning question because initially the affordable care act had funding for this kind of planning. it got labeled death panels. it was stripped. now when we need to have these conversations we're doing it much less well. we'll talk about the death question all of us must face. my mother made the best toffee in the world. it's delicious. so now we've turned her toffee into a business. my goal was to take an idea and make it happen. i'm janet long and i formed my toffee company through legalzoom.
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at the end of march, pew did a poll where they asked people if they could live to be 120 years old would they want to.
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here's what americans said. only 38% of americans said that they themselves would want to live to be 128 years old. 56% said no. but when asked do you think other people would want to, a large majority, 68%, said, yep, i think other people would likely want to tlaif long. christine, we're talk about having the conversation about planning for death, but when aca try dodd that it was labeled death panels, stripped out, and now we're not having the conversation. >> it's a difficult conversation to have in politics anyway. think about the dr. kevorkian argument, what happened with terri schiavo. this is not just an end-of-life discussion. there are people in their 30s who have no plan for this they get into a tragic car accident, what do you do? your parents are then making that decision. maybe you're not married or don't have children. how do you structure all those things? then the question is how expensive is it to live for a very long time? when you're faced with will i have social security when i retire because the baby boom
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generation is huge and growing older and then you've got the whole squeeze of people taking care of both their own children and their own parents. these are big financial decisions for this country. >> right. not just for one's individual household but for the whole nation. katy, reading this book was also interesting in the context of scott simon from npr having tweeted the dying and death of his mother. so many people responded emotionally to that journalist sort of allowing us to see into it. it was happening in july. my very best girlfriend was losing her mother to a long-term battle with cancer. and she was so annoyed by it and she's like it's not pretty and nice and 140 characters tweetable. it's hard and suffering and ugly and painful. that tension is also part of what i felt as i was reading your memoir. >> yes. i think we want to idealize and these things are incredibly painful. >> how do we then manage on the
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one hand that question of how painful it is and our desire not to talk about it with our need to make exactly the plans christina was talking about? >> well, i like the say that saying to your friends take me out into a field and shoot me if i get like that is not an end-of-life plan. and that if you don't have an end-of-life plan, you will be subject to someone else's end-of-life plan and it may not be what you want, especially as we've said three-quarters of people want to die at home, you know, around a quarter do. so it's so important. and i think these narratives -- the whole range of these narratives that people are writing about their parents' deaths from terrible suffering to more idealized, they're very important, especially the cautionary tales. a friend of mine, her father suffered a $323,000 ten-day icu death. he was 88 and he was already in assisted living with dementia. they had never had any meaningful conversation. it would have been a -- or nor had the doctors had a meaningful
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conversation with her to regard her as a patient as well as the father. >> in part -- but the physician who is do the heroic intervention, whether they end up being lifesaving or not, are in fact the kinds of specialties that are reimbursed much more highly than those who do the "let mef a conversation with you, let me hold your hand, let's talk about this." is there a way to shift that incentive? >> you know, there is a way and it's through training and also how we reimburse people. so in great britain they shifted payment so that the gps, the primary care docs, get paid more than the specialist. abracadabra, people coming out of medical school decided to specialize in primary care. it really did make a difference. many kids come out of medical school nearly $250,000 in debt and don't have a whole lot of choice. if they become primary care docs they will not be able to repay their loan, won't be able to get married, buy a house, take care
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of a family. so the way we have it structured yields these results of everybody going into highly paid subspecialties really because we structure it so they have no choice. >> yeah. >> that is a fixable problem through poll spip? and one that's important to fix as we go into the implementation of aca and the need for more primary care physicians. >> really important to fix. add to that in addition to the training of physicians and changing the way people are reimbursed, i learned recently most palliative care services are funded by charitable contribution, which is -- if someone said that about cancer therapy we'd all be up in arms. >> exactly. >> but the importance of having the conversation in the family, frontloading the pain a little bit and having the difficult conversation with m the family, really has a payoff at the bedside for two reasons. one, there's not going to be someone around the bedside if p the conversation has been done thoroughly and well, someone who says, wait, i want untie so-and-so to get everything.
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two, physicians have internalized this idea of informed consent and often ask family member, we think it's time now to refocus the goals of care, keep your loved one comfortable, stop the aggressive attempt to cure. okay? >> right. >> and now you're in the position where you have to say, okay, let my parent go. >> and it's better for you know what your parent wanted. katy butler, steven latham and dr. diane meier thanks for being here. tough question. one we want to continue on this this show. coming up, we're going to shift gears because we're going to talk about not the handshake, forget the handshake. this was a presidential phone call, 3 1/2 decades in the making. ♪ hey, i just met you and this is crazy here's my number ♪ ♪ so call me maybe [ male announcer ] now, taking care of things at home is just a tap away. ♪ introducing at&t digital life...
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welcome back. i'm melissa harris-perry. would they shake hands?
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that seemed to be the primary question as iran's new president hassan rowhani arrived in new york city to speak at the same united nations general assembly on the same day as u.s. president barack obama. not so much what they'd say at the podium but whether or not they'd bump into each other on purpose or by accident or just shake hands, maybe fist pump. it's a simple gesture that has often signified historic accords or countries thawing icy relationships. the handshake between presidents obama and rowhani happened. this is 2013. who needs to shake hands to make history when you have technology? telephone, twitter. here was president obama on friday afternoon. >> just now i spoke on the phone with president rowhani of the islamic republic of iran. the two of us discussed our ongoing efforts to reach an agreement over iran's nuclear program. now, we're mindful of all the challenges ahead. the very fact that this was the
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first communication between an american and iranian president since 1979 underscores the deep mistrust between our countries, but it also indicates the prospect of moving beyond that difficult history. >> a historic moment, but actually president rowhani had broken that news himself right before president obama spoke when he fired off tweets about the conversation. to fully grasp how far the u.s. and iran have come, you have to understand just a little bit of where we've been. the relationship has had more drama than "argo." part of the story involves a handshake that did happen between the u.s. and iran, 1977 president carter met the shah of iran, who had been in power for two decades, thanks to a cia-backed coup. carter called the shah an island of stability. two years later the increasing autocratic leader was overthrown and replaced by the ayatollah khomeini, who declared the u.s. the great satan. that same year, 1979, militants
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stormed the u.s. embassy in tehran and held 52 american hostages for 444 days. it was a defining moment. diplomatic relations were severed and relations between the two countries would never be the same. relations were further strained when u.s.'s support of iraq's saddam hussein, don't forget that part of history, in his war with iran, a war that would last eight years and claim more than a million lives. in 2002, lelsz than a year after the 9/11 attacks, president bush includes iran in his axis of evil along with north korea and iraq. three years later, hard line conservative mahmoud ahmadinejad is elected and becomes infamous for his anti-israel and anti-american tirades. and the suit. it is not a wonder that this is a welcome relief to hear the newly elected iranian president say this in his address to the u.n. this week. >> the recent election in islam
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represents a clear living example of the wise choice of hope, rationality, and moderation by the great people of iran. >> hope and rationality. it sounds great. but as president obama pointed out the real test will be, quote, meaningful, transparent, and verifiable actions. joining me are charles senate, co-founder of global post, christina bellantoni, mark quarterman, research director at a project that works to end genocide and crimes against humanity, and the managing eld or the what did you think of the announcement of that phone call? >> i thought it was so fantastic. i think this is a really important breakthrough. just can't kind of emphasize enough how important this is, what a big deal this is, and i think also rowhani's election was key to this, but this was something that president obama has been working towards since his election. one of my favorite lines from
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his first inaugural was really designed for this moment when he really addressed the iranian people and he said, i will extend my hand if you unclench your fist. you're right, we didn't get the handshake shot, because a phone call in the car and incredibly hopeful statements afterwards is much more valuable. go ahead. >> it's pretty stunning. and yet i have a little suspicion about this, charlene, and i'm wondering in part because the president of iran is a big deal, but the president of iran is a president and there is still the supreme leader. that says to me either the supreme leader has made a shift, which is now being articulated through the voice piece of the president, which is a good thing, or as we saw when this president goes back to iran and part of what happens in tehran is he gets egged by people who are, like, i can't even believe you talked to that barack obama guy on the phone and then tweeted about it and the tweet gets deleted. should we be news i can't sayic
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or is this less exciting than it might first seem? >> i think you have to understand that iran is also a deeply divided country, like this one sometimes is, and that politics plays out in different ways. and you're right. i mean, he comes back from this beth taking moment, this diplomatic breakthrough, he lands in tehran and is greeted with a shoe and eggs by his own hard-liners who are saying you should never talk to the great satan. this is not going to be an easy road, you know, for anyone, certainly not for rowhani. and i don't think for president obama either. i think this is going to be very hard to get a lot of confidence in the idea that we could actually talk with iran. the thrilling moments that we've seen in the last week of negotiations, i mean, who wouldn't welcome that? we always want to be talking at least. but you can't forget that during those three weeks in syria the estimates are about 3,000 more people were killed in the war there. it grinds on. it needs to be stopped. i don't think it's any time to have a warm glow or waste much
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time tweeting. >> right. although i will say that dick costello, the ceo of twiter, was very apt to tell us that this was. he said i feel like i'm witnessing a tectonic shift in the geopolitical landscape, reading @hassanrowhani's tweets. the president saying i'll extend my hand if you unclench your fist both in the 2012 re-election and in the 2008 primary his discussions of willingness to be in conversation with iran prompted a great deal of criticism. >> huge criticism. that first debate april 2007 in orangeburg, south carolina. this was the defining difference between himself and hillary clinton when he was looked at as the newbie who was going up against all these older hands who had been dimts, joe biden among them, now vice president. and so he always said, basically what you said, what's wrong with
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talking? that was his framework from the pe be ginning. he used to tell reporter his approached it from this professorial standpoint. but since he's been president you've seen a difference and pictures do matter. the body language between him and putin? >> those pictures mat err lot. >> republican party criticism of the fact he would bow to someone in a photograph. i mean, it does matter back here and the way it's perceived back home the fact the tweets got deleted is fascinating. >> yeah. >> mark, should we in a moment like this be having the celebration that the president seems to be doing the thing that he promised in terms of saying, all right, i know this is a fraught time, there's a lot of hot war going on, even drone attacks coming from the u.s., but at the same time i'm going to pursue a strategy that includes conversations with people we haven't spoken to in many people's lifetimes? >> yeah. i think it's an exciting week. and the week itself, and we'll talk about more aspects of it -- the syria resolution among other things -- was a triumph for
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diplomacy, something the u.s. has not been exercising as much over the past ten years as it might have. to paraphrase winston churchill, i think we really are at the end of the beginning rather than the beginning of the end so we can't really say this is wonderful. we have to see what happens in negotiations on any number of levels. at the same time, i think we also need to recognize that diplomats, negotiators sit at two tables when they negotiate. they sit at the table, but barack obama is in effect sitting at a table with iran, with rowhani. but he's also sitting at a table with people here in the united states. and rohwhani is doing the same thing, too. so over the course of what will probably be a torturous set of negotiations we're going to have them both playing to domestic audiences at times and to international audiences at times and then saying things very quietly. >> it's clear that rowhani hard liners will throw a shoe and it seems to me that certainly our congress might be willing to throw a shoe at our president.
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up next, i want to ask how this president of iran is sort of creating a sense of credibility by acknowledging one sort of important historic moment, what this new leader hadded to say about the holocaust. i'm kind of seeing a... some kind of... this is... an alien species. reality check: a lot of 4g lte coverage maps don't really look like much at all. i see the aleutian islands. looks like a duck. it looks like... america... ish. that's a map. that's a map of the united states. check the map. verizon's 4g lte is the most reliable, and in more places than any other 4g network. trade in your old device and trade up to america's most reliable network. i've got the good one! i got verizon! that's powerful. verizon. ♪ forever young ♪ i want to be forever young ♪ do you really want to live forever and ever? ♪
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iran, thanks to the previous president, mahmoud ahmadinejad, had quite a bad reputation for espousing a number of wacky theories. iran doesn't have any gay people. americans are behind the september 11th attacks. and iran's last president was also known for defending those who denied that the holocaust ever happened. that's why more than a few eyebrows went up when his successor tweeted rosh hashanah
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greetings to all jews on september 4th. he followed that up with christiane amanpour with a quote, "can the crime the nazis perpetrated toward the jews is reprehensible." he qualified that remark saying he's a historian, not a politician. he's acknowledged the truth of the holocaust and there is a significance in that acknowledgment alone. how important is this for just sort of putting on to the world stage i'm not crazy? >> well, i mean, it's important but it's crazy that we have to see that happen. >> mm-hmm. >> and that iran has for so long had ahmadinejad being its spokesman for failing in so many ways to represent the iranian people. if you go to iran, one of the first things you notice is the complete disconnect between the leadership like ahmadinejad and the people who you meet. and the sense particularly in
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the business elite that lives in tehran of a yearning to come in from the cold, to come back from this insane course that the country has set upon as a theocracy. and there is a lot of movement there that i think will be very excited about the last few weeks. but i still maintain we shouldn't get too excited because there's a long way to go. and i still think that we can look at this opening as a dramatic moment but it's preceded by weeks and months of failing to see what's really going on in the middle east, of not hearing the music of the arab street, and i don't trust them to hear the music of the persian street either. i just think this administration needs to really focus on the trends of the arab spring and be much more attentive to the yearnings for democracy and how to get there. they're too distracted. we were talking whatever happened to the fifth asia? i feel it's dizzy to watch how this administration is spinning around in its priorities. >> but there is almost certainly no taste among the american people at this moment for any
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conversation about there is a yearning for democracy and therefore we should intervene, therefore we should be -- the isolationist sentiment that emerged in the context of syria was so clear that it's somewhat surprising to me that there's any -- i mean the notion of being able to do to anything other than just applaud from the sidelines when a level of sanity emerges in iran. >> and it was at the core of obama's speech so say that that isolationism is maybe the most perilous of all for the world. if the united states doesn't take this role -- he even used the word american exceptionalism. he said i think we have that. and he said what's more dangerous is if we back out and there's's a vacuum, who's going to fill that? >> a generational, shift, when you think about the united nations and how different it is to see this president of iran reaching out and talking to media, making sure that the american people understand wh where he's coming from. this is all very strategic and he has a goal behind it. don't forget all the economic pressures. they are not happy with the sanctions that have been placed on them for many year and that's
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one reason it's time to reach out. >> at the core is still this question of enriching uranium and the purposes for which it is used. we saw israel's minister for strategy and intelligence responded to the u.n. speech by the iranian president by saying the rowhani comments are to cheat the world and many are willing to be cheated. we don't have the sense that somehow israel this seeing this is, like, yes. >> again, it's how israel understands it. >> exactly. i was going to say what's the alternative, too. there has been a fairly long, involved process with a group of leading states, the p5 plus 1 to try to stop iran from enriching further to have uranium that they would be able to use to create weapons. but there's also been -- well, there have been many years of history but even over the past the ten years, think about this -- the united states invaded the country on iran's eastern border, afghanistan.
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the united states invaded the country on iran's western border, iraq. the united states has carried out hundreds of drone attacks in a country on iran's eastern border, pakistan. but barack obama has pulled back from iraq, is pulling out of afghanistan, was about to put his finger on the button for syria and pulled back in order to pursue diplomacy, whether it fell into the president's lap or was the plan. and i think that we need to put all of these things together to understand why there might be an opening from iran. i mean, this doesn't necessarily mean there is an iranian spring happening or that within the three to six months that president rowhani would like us to come to an agreement on their nuclear ambitions everything will be solved. but i think we need to look at it -- the totality of the situation. >> i like your point that the thaw is not just -- sanctions are certainly part of it. there is an economic self-interest here, but that the thaw is also in part because of
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how this administration is managing, even when domestically it looks difficult for us particularly coming out of the bush years. stay with us because up next i want to talk more about this administration and their policy and the evolution of the obama doctrine and the president's really big win this week at the united nations. [ taps baton ]
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that help nascar win with our fans. for a strong bag that grips the can... ♪ get glad forceflex. small change, big difference. this comes on the same day that we can accomplish a major diplomatic breakthrough on syria as the united nations security council will vote on a resolution that wouldry require the assad regime to put its chemical weapons under international control so they can ultimately be destroyed. we'll have to be vigilant about following through, but this could be a significant victory for the international community and demonstrate how strong diplomacy can secure our country and pursue a better world. >> that was president obama yesterday just moments after his
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historic phone call with iran's president announcing a deal on a u.n. resolution to eradicate syria's chemical weapons arsenal. then late last night the u.n. security council unanimously adopted that resolution. the diplomatic advance came just three days after the president addressed the u.n. general assembly and unveiled his still-evolving mideast doctrine. it became clear the u.s. would not go it alone but would be willing to use force to secure its interests in the region. three weeks ago it seemed the use of force in syria was a foregone conclusion, but today we seem to be backing further and further away from the brink, at least for now. your sort of enthusiasm about that phone call was my enthusiasm about that rose garden moment when -- i mean, we just all assumed he was going to show up and say either we've already started or we're going, and instead he was like let's pause, let's think about it, let's have some talks. how about putin comes in and talks about it too? astonishing where we are versus three weeks ago. >> this is a president that, a, keeps surprising us and b has
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not had anything easy at all in the last six years. >> a debt ceiling done. right. >> syria not easy. right. the timing, not easy. iran, yes, tons of challenges ahead. i mean, i think that he is showing us, a, he is willing -- you know, this is not somebody who has a one size fit all doctrine. this is not the doctrine of preemption here that we saw in the bush administration. he is picking and choosing very carefully, and he will show you i will use force in libya this way. i will do this in syria this way. >> let me ask you this, because there's a part of me as an american doing a little cheer that we didn't go that we pulled back from the brink, but the fact is in syria the realities of the calamity that is occurring there, that failing state of human suffering, remain on the ground. are we being too self satisfied by the fact at least we didn't use aggression here? >> this goes back to the complicated nature and the experience of barack obama since he was president. the worst economic crisis since
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the depression. trying to get us out of two wars among many, many other things. and syria is incredibly complicated and there's nothing that we can do. we always talk about what we can do. there's very lit that will we americans can do quickly that will make it better. and i care deeply about the protection of civilians and humanitarian and the suffering that's happening. the u.s. has increased aid to syrian refugees. i think that the u.s. should take syrian refugees in, too. and that would be a contribution as well. but in terms of the syrian crisis, there's very lit it will the u.s. could do. one word i thought about a lot as i was watching the speech was the word "credibility" because that came up so much over the course of this period of will obama make the strike, will he take up the russian offer. >> will anyone believe what he says? >> and there's the sense, especially from washington foreign policy experts and the
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punditocracy that when you threat on the use force, if you don't use force then you lose credibility. i actually that that's really not the case. >> maybe he actually gained credibility in the foreign affairs -- >> -- framed the speech to the u.n. general assembly and the threat of force was so important. and i think the way president obama laid out his doctrine or reasserted his doctrine in the middle east was extremely important. but i keep coming back to something, which is i don't get what the doctrine is. and if this is indeed a presidency that's faced a lot of challenges and things have never been easy, he doesn't make it any easier for himself if he designs as he did the two priorities will be iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons and the arab/israeli conflict. talk about setting yourself up for failure, those priorities overlook i think a bunch of missteps that are really tricky, but where were we in the early days of the arab spring in supporting the yearning for democracy? >> would it be preferential to have a president who sets a
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lower and therefore more achievable bar and who is more doctrinair doctrinaire? this was the big question about the red line. if i choose not to shoot after i've pulled out my gun, you know, now, oh, i'll never trust you with a gun, no, i keep thinking no, no, no, i'm really glad that kennedy, you know, pulled back from the blockade. >> not so much to lower the bar as to take what is the most practical first step. i would say that in the arab spring, in those moments of hope that were represented so clearly in tahrir square, there was a chance for the united states to step in. i know we can't effect change. we were talking about this. how do you really do it. but did we support civil society enough in egypt? did we react quickly enough? that was much easier. >> what if we take the point that the president is a learner? sometimes i watch this president when he was my state senator, then senator, now my president. it's not that he doesn't make mistakes but he moves up a learning curve more quickly than
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most people in public life. is it possible to acknowledge maybe the president or this administration didn't get behind arab spring as quickly or as forcefully as it should but that what he is now doing is powerful foreign policy? >> and you can't underestimate for how this white house the war woorryness underlies everything. it is a backdrop to why the economy suffered far long time and also how we're viewed abroad. this is an enormous thing that weighs over this white house, and the president take that into account on every decision he's making. >> i think that's absolutely right. i also wonder, and i only kind of half wond they are because i'm not sure, but can you really establish a doctrine now? >> well, you can. this-in the cold war, things were understandable. >> containment. >> you look in this part of the world, that part of the world. i'm just not sure that it's really possible. i think people are trying to take a doctrine out of that speech, and yes, the speech did
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make an attempt to establish something of a set of priorities, maybe not rising to the level of doctrine. but we live in a very complicated world, a world in which u.s. power is relatively declining in relation to other countries. >> and it will continue to decline in the middle east. president obama defined his doctrine in 2009 in june. remember when he spoke to the university of cairo and said we reach out to you with open hands and we think democracy is a universal right? the arab spring heard that. >> and acted on it. >> now where are we? are we going to allow the egyptian military to get away with what many in egypt see as a coup? how do we balance stability and democracy? biggest questions that lie ahead in the arab spring. >> it's not a small point and it's one when we go back and look at that iranian history and our own relationship and everything from the fact this president, this president of iran is someone who's involved with ollie north and the iran contra affair, like, you know, right, this is not exactly a new question, but it is a central
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question. thank you so much, christinchri. i wanted to ask you if you thought john kerry was mad after all this. at some point we'll have to talk about that. up next, our changing look at terrorism and what makes a terrorist. i've saved $75 in checked bag fees. [ delavane ] priority boarding is really important to us. you can just get on the plane and relax. [ julian ] having a card that doesn't charge you foreign transaction fees saves me a ton of money. [ delavane ] we can go to any country and spend money the way we would in the u.s. when i spend money on this card, i can see brazil in my future. [ anthony ] i use the explorer card to earn miles in order to go visit my family, which means a lot to me. ♪ how old is the oldest person you've known? we gave people a sticker and had them show us. we learned a lot of us have known someone who's lived well into their 90s. and that's a great thing. but even though we're living longer, one thing that hasn't changed much is the official retirement age. ♪ the question is how do you make sure you have the money you need
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last saturday, at least 67 civilians and security personnel were killed in a shopping mall in nairobi, kenya, in an attack by armed militants. responsibility for the attack was claimed by al shabaab, a militant islamist group from neighboring somalia. so today, ever since that moment i've wanted to take a closer look at this group. the word al shabaab means youth in arabic. it was born out of resistance to ethiopian troops who entered somalia in 2006 to back the weak transitional government. at one time the group, made up of unemployed young people, somali nationalist and global jihadists, had control of a
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large part of southern somalia, but the somali government and a peacekeeping force from the african union made up of troops from uganda and kenya and other countries have been able to route al shabaab from this m cities and towns including a key port that used to bring in money and supplies for the group. so in the wake of last week's attack al shabaab demanded that kenya remove its troops from somalia. joining the table now is dr. ahmed samatar, professor of international affairs in st. paul, minnesota. thanks for making the trip. from the moment i needed to report on this last week i have wanted to better understand this group. what is it we don't know about somalia and al shabaab that we should know? >> many thing, but we don't have the time to cover all of them. >> that's right. what are some of the things? >> two levels. one is so to look at somali society and one is to look at al shabaab. in a nutshell, people in somali
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society, it's a foreign society, classical sense, biblical sense, almost, and the economic populism that is now so generalized in the country. 75% of the somali youth at least do not have jobs. mogadis mogadishu, the capital city, 50% of its population are internally displaced people. the largest refugee camp in the world is in kenya populated by somalis. 650,000 of them. this gives you an insight into into the country's economic vulnerability. then there's the decay of politics and the somali political leader has become predatory and they cannot, cannot end the difference, really get the country out of this mess. so the state is almost nothing, really. let me add one more point. than the cultural component, the dehydration which has taken place, when you add the cultural, economic, and political problems, then it opens up for an ability of the somali people, including
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invasion from forces outside. >> this point that you make about a failed state, i want to connect it to the conversation we were just having about syria, about egypt, about the middle east, because one of the conversations going on about syria and about the use of chemical weapons is this idea that failed state is exactly the position we may be in. so i'm wondering, is there something we can learn from somalia with the world's eyes now turned there again when it hasn't been for probably a decade about the challenges that we now face throughout the world? >> somalia is a quintessential failed state. it fell apart and broke into constituent parts. the somali people have been suffering for decades. we're talking about a 2, 2 1/2-year civil war in syria, in somalia, this struggle has been going on for absolutely for deck ailds. and there really has been no government, effective government in somalia for decades too. i think one thing it says about terrorism about al shabaab is it was a terrorist group that
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wanted to be a government as well, and because of the intervention of african union troops, particularly from uganda and kenya, it's no longer able to be that in the places it was that, so now it's back to being a terrorist group again. only a terrorist group as opposed to a terrorist group with -- >> the power of the state. but then that's precisely what makes kenya vulnerable in this moment. right? so i guess even as we are strengthening the u.n. over the course of this past week to intervene and to lay down conversation around sanctions, i think about this example, then, of the african union and the extent to which kenya becomes a target for al shabaab in this moment because of their relationship trying to change and intervene in the state and in terrorism. >> what al shabaab also remits is the regrouping of al qaeda and an extreme threat to the united states that now that it has been diminished and degraded
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certainly in afghanistan and pakistan, maybe not completely but a lot, it shifts over to horn of africa, it shifts over the these other place where is the cells are metastasizing and changing and morphing. one of the things i'm really interested in is are we effectively really taking care of the idea of al qaeda. and i would say two things. one is democracy is the greatest retardant foam that you can spray on the fire of al qaeda. and when we are in egypt and we fail to embrace democracy or we fail to support it sufficiently or we fail to really, really put everything we have into helping that work, al qaeda for years has said any of those islamists who believe in democracy are suckers because democracy is a western ploy. what you have to be very careful of in the situation in egypt not to give them that argument. that's how i see somalia connected with the discussion. >> pause right there. i'll come back to this question.
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i saw disagreement around al shabaab and al qaeda. central question. stay with us. [ female announcer ] who are we? we are the thinkers. the job jugglers. the up all-nighters. and the ones who turn ideas into action. we've made our passions our life's work. we strive for the moments where we can say, "i did it!" ♪ we are entrepreneurs who started it all... with a signature. legalzoom has helped start over 1 million businesses, turning dreamers into business owners.
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we'll help you get there. al shabaab is a somali national organization. it also has foreign ties, not the least of which al qaeda. they've been known to recruit from somali groups in the u.s., particularly in minnesota's twin cities. since 2007, at least 27 young men from minnesota have left to join al shabaab in somalia. prompting a federal investigation in new hampshire. 50 american citizens were working with the group according to u.s. authorities at the peak. so this notion that minnesota twin cities, which is where you live, is somehow feeding this group then we hear the words al qaeda. this makes me both extremely nervous for the population of somalis living in dias p
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minnesota, saying let's target and identify them. on the other hand, i think it's important we understand the full complexity of what al shabaab is. >> it's quintessentially a soma somali phenomenon, but it's transnational. it can be broken into four components. one are young'un employed somali youth looking for a job. they don't have jobs. $50 a month will take them there. so that's one group. the second group is primarily nationalists, and therefore are resistant to external intervention, particularly military intervention. i wa they want to reclaim a sense of their own national identity and historical national pride. third group are a political group who use the al shabaab phenomenon as a way of penetrating so they will have a stake in the political dispensations that will follow
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when somalia comes back out of the mess. and then the -- i think the fourth group are the transnational jihadists. and this is where you find the foreign forces coming from outside. and their project really is less about somalia. they would like to see a somalia that is an islamic state, but their project is to use somalia as part of this global project that they have. so to separate those is really important because the first three are essentially indigenous somali feelings. >> right. and yet there's a way in which the sexiness of the fourth, of the transnational, islamic jihadist aspect becomes our focus. so this week it's conversations about the white widow and minnesota twin cities and this idea that there are these -- that there are these sort of somali, you know, potential terrorists out there in the world. and i guess, doctor, is there a way that we feed an obsession instead of with the indigenous questions of the realities of people living in somalia for decades under a failed state,
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because we get so excited by the idea that there's a british lady who's financing it, right, because she's the white widow? >> right, instead of focuses on all the men who carried out the attacks. >> yes. >> i was, like, i want to know more about them. yes, of course there is because we decide what we care about most and what's in our interest and who our enemies are. we focus in on this one question. i think really to the detriment of anything else, about caring about failed states because they're failed states, tying every single discussion to terrorism. same with somali americans who are working so hard to make it here. why don't we support that? there has not been a case in which the justice department has prosecuted a somali american for terrorism in which that person has been acquitted in a u.s. court. i mean, there's just a broad conception at work here that is destructive to the development of that community and also hurts our understanding of what's really at stake for us in failed
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states. >> there's another aspect of this, too, and this is the slapping the label of terrorism on issues. absolutely the attack on westgate mall in nairobi is a terrorist attack. but as we were talking about during the break, there were numerous attacks, terrible attacks that occurred around the world, in pakistan where a catholic church was -- a christian church was attacked, an attack in northern nigeria, an attack in uganda two weeks before probably claimed by al shabaab because uganda and kenya are the two main contributors, troop contributors, and a terrible week in iraq as well. and so much of this is so locally focused, even if there are foreign fighters involved, that when we start calling it terrorism, then we kind of end the discussion and the analysis because then it becomes a transnational or global issue as opposed to, well, what's going on in nigeria that causes this? certainly they probably are
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linked with al qaeda groups as well and are getting some support. but i don't want the analysis to stop there. >> yeah. >> needs to go further. >> you and i have talked many times about our desire on this show to think more carefully, for example, about africa and afternoon diaspora. as horrifying as it was that this terrorist attack was the way in, i thought, okay, but at least we can now try to think of this moment of the way in about these issues. charlie and ahmed, thank you for being here. mark quarterman, daphna, hope you join us again. still to come, a man attacked in an apparent assault of racial prejudice only to turn around and invite his attackers to get to know him better. take these bags to room 12 please. [ garth ] bjorn's small business earns double miles on every purchase every day. produce delivery. [ bjorn ] just put it on my spark card. [ garth ] why settle for less? ahh, oh! [ garth ] great businesses deserve unlimited rewards. here's your wake up call.
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last week, just hours after we had a conversation about profiling and violence, a horrible incident that is now being investigated as a hate crime occurred right here in new york city. a sick professor who is also a
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medical doctor taking a walk through his community in harlem at about 8:15 when he heard people yelling ghetto sam ma and terrorists. he was attacked by 20 young men on bikes. passers-by helped him to escape. he suffered a fractured jaw. as much as this attack made us sit up and take notice, it is how the doctor responded to the silence that led us to invite him to the studio as our foot soldier of the week. dr. prabhjot singh issing from columbia university, also a physician who lives and works in harlem and a national community health expert. i'm honored to have you here on the set. tell me it your reaction to this crime. >> first of all is, thanks so much for having me on the show. of course, the immediate reaction is certainly shock, but very quickly afterwards, there
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was an immediate sense that we have to do something, that we reaches more deeply than i think what the nypd who are doing an excellent job can do. we need to actually redouble our focus and efforts on this amazing community we live in and make sure that thing like this don't happen to anybody else again. >> i've read that part of how you believe that could happen is if these young men or other young men like them in the community actually learned more about the sikh faith, came and worshipped with you even. >> i'd take that even a step further. i would say to my attackers if i could, why don't you spend a day with me in our hard work of taking care of a community and making it healthier. they would see the people we take care of are people like their aunts, their mothers, their sisters and during that day, i would ask them to ask me as many questions as they could about my beard, my turban, my
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faith and they would find we have a lot more in common than they ever imagined. >> your response isn't that you would like them to be rounded up and go to jail. >> as young men who did something like this they need to take responsibility for what they did, but ultimately we need to create an environment that is healthy and safe in a deeper way than just looking at incidents as isolated and separate from each other. i think as young men, they should be able to take responsibility, but aim for a pathway of personal growth and wisdom, which i don't see being served by our current criminal justice system. >> you know, young african-american men living in harlem know something about being profiled. know -- we've talked over and over again on this program about the potential violence, the physical vulnerability of young black men in this city, in cities and states where there are stand your ground laws.
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the idea that that lack of empathy, that they could not extend that sense of their own wrongful profiling towards you feels very -- it makes me feel like -- what would be the way people could build that kind of bridge? >> you know, my wife's response was very similar to my own. she's worried about her 1-year-old, but at the same time, makes -- wants to engage our community. i feel that the empathy that's there is between the mothers of those kids who, after the trayvon martin case, i saw worried about their own son, their own children moving around the neighborhood and getting profiled. and in that sense, we don't necessarily need to just go immediately to those young men, but there's a huge community, a network around them that also wants to change what our place looks like. >> let me ask you a little bit about the profiling because often what happens, whether it was in the context of the horrific oak creek shootings or
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your own personal horror here is it gets reported as, well, they believed had il to be muslim. and as though if in fact you were muslim or if you identified no, i'm sikh, that this abuse would have stopped. >> well, you know what happened wasn't an isolated incident. last year, i wrote in the "new york times" an op-ed around anti sikh hate crimes, but after a decade of rhetoric around the war on terror, we see that the collateral damage permeates our communities all over the place. it affects people as broadly as transgendered woman killed in our neighborhood last year, and hate really can target anybody at some point. we really need to make our own communities safer and healthier so these things don't happen to anybody that looks or acts differently. >> i'm pleased to have had at least a few moments to sit here at the table with you and i just -- you should know all of nerdland wants you to get better and that what you have given us today is incredibly
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inspirational. >> thank you so much. >> thank you to dr. singh and that is our show for today. of course, there's always two days of nerdland on the weekend.thanks to you at home for watch. come back tomorrow 10:00 a.m. eastern. we are going to answer some flabbergasting questions about obama care on our brand new call in wmhp. later, we will be joined by a special guest, chris knee, the creator and executive producer of the immensely popular children's show "doc mcstuff ins." it's time for a preview of weekends with alex witt. >> the clock is ticking. we've been here before on the brink of a government shutdown. i will ask one democratic leader why this time may be different. it may happen. >> in kenya, another twist in the devastating mall attack. i'll talk with a former cia agent about one of the scary aspects of the massacre. pizza hut plays a prominent role. what is the company doing that
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puts them on a list? and alison stewart talks about the rigors of writing a book, one that is close to her heart. don't go anywhere. i'll be right back. too big.
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