'Up with Steve Kornacki' for Saturday, July 13th, 2013
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UP with STEVE KORNACKI
July 13, 2013
Guests: Michelle Bernard, Anna Marie Cox, Roberto Lovato, Errol Louis,
Robin Kelly, Blake Zeff
STEVE KORNACKI, MSNBC HOST: Bipartisan super majority in the Senate mean
to House Republicans? Nothing apparently.
Jury in the George Zimmerman trial will be resuming deliberations in one
hour and we will have a live report from the courthouse when they do.
Right now, we want to start with what happened to immigration reform this
week. House Republicans reaffirm their opposition to the Senate sweeping
reform package after meeting to chart their strategy on Wednesday. The
bipartisan bill received a whopping 68 votes in the upper chamber but
Republicans in the House were not so impressed.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. DARRELL ISSA (R), CALIFORNIA: It was not a well thought out approach
in the Senate. And it`s for the reason that the Senate bill has little
chance of ever being considered -- no chance of really being considered
REP. MICHELE BACHMANN (R), MINNESOTA: It`s very important that Republicans
make this statement that unless there is border security first, there will
be no bill.
REP. TIM HUELSKAMP (R), KANSAS: Trusting Barack Obama with border security
is like trusting my daughter with Bill Clinton, we just don`t trust him.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: So, instead of taking up the Senate`s comprehensive legislation,
the House GOP is now likely to advance individual elements of reform as
separate bills. Piecemeal approach to threaten to stretch the entire
process well into the fall. Speaking earlier in the day on Wednesday,
though, former President George W. Bush broke his five-year silence on
national politics to put his thumb on the scale for reform.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FMR. PRES. GEORGE W. BUSH (R), UNITED STATES: I don`t tend to get involved
in the politics or the specifics of policy. But I do hope there is a
positive resolution to the debate. And I hope during the debate that we
keep a benevolent spirit in mind. And that we understand the contributions
immigrants make to our country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: President Obama is also ramping up the political pressure on the
House Republicans, making the economic case for reform and enlisting
business, evangelical leaders and law enforcement to lobby for it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRES. BARACK OBAMA (D), UNITED SATES: If Democrats and Republicans,
including President Bush and I can agree on something, that`s a pretty good
place to start. Now the House needs to act, so I can sign common sense
immigration reform into law.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: Right now, I want to bring in Blake Zeff, politics editor at my
old home Salon.com, Michelle Bernard, an attorney, political analyst and
president of The Bernard Center for Women, Politics and Public Policy, Anna
Marie Cox, senior political columnist at The Guardian, and Roberto Lovato,
writer and commentator at New American Media, nationwide association of
ethnic media organizations and co-founder of Presente.org, an online Latino
So, I guess this is the week. I don`t think I have heard as much pessimism
in one week towards immigration reform as I heard this week. Maybe I`m too
naive with this stuff, I don`t know, but I still don`t think it`s quite
over yet because I think it`s so hard to read House Republicans literally
these days. So, if you read these things literally, there`s no chance of
us getting through. But I look at it and say, well, you know, there`s a
more posturing than ever require to get anything through the House these
days. So, maybe there is still some room here.
MICHELLE BERNARD, POLITICAL STRATEGIST: I don`t know. I was talking to a
member of the Tea Party who told me that, you know, they`re steadfast in
their belief that this immigration bill is just not going to happen. They
don`t want it to happen. They say if they vote for it, their constituents
aren`t going to re-elect them anyway. So, they really don`t have anything
to lose. A few weeks ago I kept feeling this was going to happen.
But right now it very seriously looks like Republicans don`t care, they
have made, at least in the House, they have made a decision and
concentrating on the Hispanic vote is really just not really important to
them. They`re more interested in white working class voters and they think
that that is the best way to move the country forward.
KORNACKI: We had this conversation on the show. Last week, really it`s
interesting how that calculation that Michelle is talking about. The sort
of the idea of let`s just, you know, let`s have a surge with white voters,
a surge with white voters and we don`t need to worry about, you know, any
other groups that really has take hold last week.
ANA MARIE COX, THE GUARDIAN: It has and you know, it`s funny. I mean, I
agree with you that there`s some narrow way that this might happen and it`s
mainly because the House Republicans are the drama queens of the hill. You
know, they really like to please parts and ramp up the drama because it
gets them contributions. You know, if they take this whole stand, but also
I think this relates something that you`ve talked about before which is the
power of the off-year electorate who are the ones that elect, you know, the
people in the House and then were radical on the right than they are, they
are hardly progressive and I shouldn`t say that. They are hardly moderates
that turn out to vote in off-year elections. And so, these conservative
grassroots are who put the House Republicans in place and that`s who
they`re playing to.
ROBERTO LOVATO, NEW AMERICA MEDIA: Yes. It`s interesting that as soon as
George Bush enters the fray after five years, immigration reform is either
on the way to being dead or absolutely dead.
I just came back from Tucson. If you want to find hope in immigration
reform, get out of the desert, the political desert of Washington and go to
the real desert where the stakes are high. People really pay attention to
these rhetorical terms like tradeoff or this isn`t a perfect bill when, you
know, you have people literally dying. One person per day dying in the
desert. You have families like the one I was with -- where, the day I was
interviewing them, hours later one of their member gets picked up by ICE.
Right. One of the 1.7 million people about to be deported. So, one of
their members actually didn`t want to let the deportation to happen, he
went under the truck. He went under the truck to stop the deportation.
This is the kind of will to fight and to have hope that`s out there in the
KORNACKI: Roberto, you`re affiliate with -- you made it clear, you don`t
speak for Presente, you`re affiliate with Presente and Presente actually a
few weeks ago took a stand against the immigration reform bill because
basically they felt that it has been watered down too much or loaded down
up much. I should say with border security provisions when that extra $30
billion and we use the term surge, again. The border surge was added in
the Senate, Presente came out and said, we can no longer support it. I
just wondered, do you share that feeling? Do you think this bill right now
is just not suitable from the perspective of supporting the immigration
reform? Do you think this is not what --
LOVATO: Thank you for clarifying that. I don`t speak for Presente but I
know that groups like Presente are basically drawing a line in the sand
literally. There are, you know, there are 1.7 million people being
deported and we`re going to be on our way to two million. People dying in
the desert every single day and groups are assessing that they can no
longer accept 20,000 more border patrol agents at the border, drones. And
we were hearing in the news reasons they might be weaponized drones.
And 700 miles more -- how much more war do we need to pass North Korea? I
mean, so they`ve organized in 10 cities next week, a national day of action
against border militarization. So, when you start hearing these terms
tradeoff and this isn`t a perfect bill, it hardly captures the scope of the
complexity of different interests and desires for immigration reform.
So, groups like Presente I think are going to fight until the end to get
something that is just, that is focused on what people voted for and
marched for which was citizenship for 11 million people and even that dream
now is fading because the CBO report just came out that said that fewer
than probably about 3.5 million of those people are never going to get
legalized and other estimates estimated only six million people will get
KORNACKI: This is why Blake, this is why I don`t think the legislation,
the Senate legislation or something similar to it is quite dead yet. And
it`s because, it`s one thing for House Republicans this week to be sending
out all the signals of, we know, we`re going to oppose this and we don`t
want this. But there is resistance among House Republicans. Among the
most conservative House Republicans and just the idea of passing anything.
Because if you pass anything, literally anything, it goes to a conference,
conference with the Senate version.
And their House Republicans will say, if you ever get to this conference,
you know, we`re going to sacrifice our principle, we`re going to lose our
principle on this. They will vote against literally anything. So, if
Democrats say this has been watered down too much, we`re not voting for the
water down House republican bill and you add on a couple of dozen house,
Republicans in the House can`t get anything to a conference, maybe that
turns the game around in a few months and the pressure comes back on the
House to act on the Senate. That`s sort of what I`m -- I don`t know if
that`s too roundabout but --
BLAKE ZEFF, SALON.COM: I mean, it`s certainly interesting form of jujitsu,
but I think that what Roberto is saying really raises a very important
point here which is, the way in which we define positive outcomes is really
important here. And, you know, you talk about the gap between Arizona and
the desert of Washington. And part of that is, in the desert of
Washington, just having a bill is a positive outcome and that means we got
Well, you know, based on what Michelle was saying with respect to how Tea
Party members are looking at this. If you have a bill that is really bad
which is entirely punitive, which does not provided a chance for
citizenship for people and which makes so-called border security, you know,
this courtroom means something like $50 billion in it for strengthening the
wall or for having more people at the border and for crazy things like
surveillance cameras and things like that, you get to a certain point
where, it`s not much of an achievement if you do get a very, very --
KORNACKI: But the House central, so, the line the Democrats are drawing
right has not been so much on border security, it`s been on what a specific
path to citizenship and that does exist in the Senate bill right now and
Javier Becerra, who is a democrat in California is part of the gang of
seven in the House he`s negotiating too. He said yesterday, he said he
guarantees the gang of seven in the House bipartisan will have a bill that
has a path to citizenship. So, that is still somewhat alive.
LOVATO: I just want to clarify one thing in terms of the Corker amendment
which the Democrats do support. That does have layers upon layers of
things that are going to kill more people in the desert and they`re going
to jail and deport and destroy the lives of a whole lot more immigrants
that are being destroyed now. So, we already have enough. I mean, people
were willing to go that far to get citizenship. But now, with the Corker
amendment, that`s just, that`s the game changer for I think a lot of folks
in the Latino community, if you get outside of, you know, people in
Washington who want to say, we`ll take anything as Latinos, as long as you
give us citizenships. And I think some Latinos are now saying, there is a
BERNARD: All right. We`ve said this before on the program, but I think
it`s important to reiterate. When we talk about immigration reform, it`s
not just the Hispanic issue and that`s, you know, a large part of the
problem, the messaging that`s coming out of Washington. It is important,
but number one, I have never heard of a border anywhere in the world that
cannot be penetrated. So, it`s kind of, it`s a silly argument that we`re
hearing from people that are saying, border control is the most important
But, secondly, there are people from all over the world that are here as
undocumented workers in the United States that want to make contributions
and there are people from all over the world that want to enter the United
States and have a path to citizenships and I would hope that members of
Congress would hear all of their voices rather than focusing on their fear
that there will be a, you know, giving a path to citizenship to 11 million
undocumented Hispanic workers. What they really should be concentrating on
are the millions of Hispanics that are eligible to vote in the United
States and they choose not to and the Democrats are looking at them and
they`re saying, come, we have a big tent, we are here for you.
KORNACKI: Well, it`s I think, one in five of the undocumented are not
Hispanic. That`s the stat nobody talks much about but we also saw this
week sort of the merger of the debate on health care and immigration and
it`s interesting how Republicans play on this. We`ll going to have a
statement that they say this week`s kind of extraordinary, we`ll play it
KORNACKI: I said, we`ll going to play a statement from House Republicans
this week. I lied, I`m going to read a statement from House Republicans
this week. But this was about immigration and this is the House republican
leadership, this is the statement they issued.
"The American people don`t trust a democratic controlled Washington and
they are alarmed by the President`s ongoing assistance on enacting a
single, massive Obamacare like bill rather than pursuing a step by step
common sense approach to actually fix the problem. The President has also
demonstrated that he is willing to unilaterally delay or ignore significant
portions of laws he himself has signed raising concern among Americans that
the administration cannot be trusted to deliver on its promises to secure
the border and enforce laws as part of a single, massive bill like the one
passed by the Senate."
And Ana Marie, first of all, there`s sort of like they`re giving themselves
just the total license for obstruction with that saying, well, we can`t
trust them on anything, so we don`t have to worry about passing any laws
because we can`t trust them to implement them. But what they`re referring
to specifically there is, the decision by the administration a few weeks
ago to delay by one year of the implementation of the employer mandate
portion of healthcare reform.
And I`m seeing, it was amazing this week, because we also had this joint
editorial that was written by Bill Kristol and Rich Lowry in the national
view of The Weekly Standard together at last. And they had an editorial
both saying, "Kill the bill." And they went right to that point saying,
you know, look, Obama delayed is delaying -- by a year, therefore he`ll
delay e-verify if we pass immigration reform.
COX: Right. There`s a couple of different things going on here, one of
them is the normalization of obstruction, right? It`s just how we proceed
now. And that you would consider just a little bit of bill successes
rather than a bill that sort of works together. Whether all the pieces
work together. You know, that used to be the mark of success. If you
could get people to agree on something and you make sure all the pieces,
all the mechanics kind of work together. You pass things like piecemeal
and you get some successes passed by some people and then the other
coalitions passing parts and you have kind of a bill, you know, pieces of
law that don`t really work together. I mean, and also the massive
distrust, obviously. And the willingness to just do nothing and count that
LOVATO: I would add that this is kind of the normalization of assumed
ignorance. I mean, the bottom on the assumption of ignorance in the
electorate is going to cartoonish and abysmal levels, I think. And nowhere
is that clear that when you`re hearing Cantor, Boehner and others
yesterday, they were defending the American workers against big business.
Oh my God! I mean, I was like ready to break out my flag and cheer on
Cantor and Boehner. They were sounding so progressive and so pro-worker.
KORNACKI: But it is amazing to listen to this though. Republicans have
not backed up. It was March of 2010 when the ACA was passed and the
Affordable Care Act was passed and signed and we`re more than three years
removed from that, Republicans are still on just the repeal aspect of it.
And it`s just the standard by which --
(TALKING OVER EACH OTHER)
International election, which was the centerpiece issue. And Republicans
are still fixing, they`re just using it as sort of, this is the standard of
terrible legislation and now it really seems like they`re taking it a step
further and they are basically saying, well, we caught Obama, you know,
messing with the implementation, therefore he can`t implement any laws. I
mean, that`s an excuse and seems like an extraordinary statement.
ZEFF: And we should just, you know, inject a little bit of fact for a
second in that statement. Just a little fact check which is, this big,
significant part of Obamacare that he`s gutted and he can`t be trusted is
the paperwork requirement for this employer mandate for which 96 percent of
people who are probably, you know, employed by these large firms already
get health care. It`s not the big part of this bill at all. It`s not by
and large the people are not getting health care. So, they`re pretending
that he`s just, you know, reversing his word and doing these types of
things. So, it`s important just to say that.
COX: I was going to say, I thought that, you know, Republicans were
against paperwork and against this recording of things and that they were
for small businesses and those are the people that would be affected by
LOVATO: Silly you.
COX: I know. I know. I expected consistency, I don`t know what I was
LOVATO: And facts.
BERNARD: But it also raises a very important issue of governance. You
know, conventional wisdom over the last few years have been that it is
radio talk show host, conservative radio talk show radio talk show hosts
that are really running the house majority and republican sentiment in
terms of how they govern. But if you take a look also at the piece that
you mentioned in the "Weekly Standard," I mean, they said, basically, kill
the bill and they`ve made it very clear from their high tower over there at
the "Weekly Standard" that there`s no rush to do anything on immigration.
It`s not just the fact that they say they don`t trust the president for a
variety of reasons, but they`re saying, you know, if the Republicans can
take over the Senate in a few years, if the Republicans can hold on to the
House and also if Republicans can win the White House, then at that point
in time, the Republican Party can take credit for implementing a quote-
unquote, "sensible bill" on immigration and I guess also have that in terms
of their attempts to completely gut the American affordable care act.
KORNACKI: We just get back to the mixed messages that get sent by
elections when you have such different electorate showing up in
presidential years and mid-term years. Because with the whole
conversation, if Republicans now kill immigration reform, we can talk
about, oh, they`ll going to pay a big price, you know, long term for their
party, which is true. But in 2014, they may not pay a price, they may take
back the Senate, they may do well in the House, they may say, hey, we
didn`t pay a price at all. And in 2016, different happens.
Anyway, an aide to Rand Paul has made a serious statements and that
controversy tells us something about the history of the GOP. That`s next.
KORNACKI: By now you probably heard about the southern avenger. That`s
what the guy who co-wrote Rand Paul`s 2010 book "The Tea Party Goes to
Washington" and he currently served as a senator social media director
called himself when he was a South Carolina disc jockey who like to wear a
wrestling mask with a confederate flag on it. Jack Hunter`s recently
inflammatory past was publicly aired this week starting with a report in
the "Washington Free Beacon," writing under his stage name in 2004, Hunter
praised John Wilkes Booth, the man who murdered Abraham Lincoln and said
that quote, "His heart was in the right place."
More recently in the fall of 2009, Hunter used a column in the Charleston
city paper to defend secession. When all this came to light this week,
Jack Hunter`s employers stuck by him. If I thought he would threat anybody
on the color of their skin different from others, Rand Paul said on
Wednesday, I would fire him immediately. The senator characterized
Hunter`s comments about John Wilkes Booth as quote, "Absolutely stupid but
brush it off as a youthful indiscretion."
It was a shock radio job, Paul said, he was doing wet t-shirt contest, but
can the guy not have a youth in stuff. Hunter, by the way, was 35 years
old when that 2009 column about succession ran. Let`s not dwell on the
details instead let`s put this in context. Because this incident is
actually the perfect answer to a series of questions that Rand Paul himself
posed just a few month ago when he gave a widely publicized speech at
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. RAND PAUL (R), KENTUCKY: The story of emancipation, a voting rights
and our citizenships from Frederick Douglas to the moderate era is really,
in fact, the history of the Republican Party. How did the party that
elected the first black U.S. senator, the party that elected the first 20
African-American congressmen, how did that party become a party that now
loses 95 percent of the black vote. How did the Republican Party? The
party of the great emancipator loses the trust in faith of an entire race?
From the civil war to the civil rights movement for a century, most black
Americans voted republican. How did we lose that vote?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: So then Paul tried in that same speech to answer his own
questions and he did so by pointing to the great depression and to FDR`s
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: I think what happened during the great depression was that African-
Americans understood that Republicans did champion citizenship and voting
rights but they became impatient because they want an economic
emancipation. African-Americans were languishing and they languish below
White Americans in every measure of economic success and that oppression
was suspiciously harsh for those who are on the lowest rung of poverty at
that time. The Democrats promised equalizing outcome, everybody will get
something to unlimited federal assistance, while Republicans offered
something that seemed to be less tangible, the promise of equalizing
opportunity to free markets.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: But the real answer to the questions Rand Paul asked about why
the Republican Party has failed to crack even 20 percent of the African-
American vote in every presidential election since 1964. The real answer
to those questions that was literally staring him right in the face as he
gave that speech because in the crowd that day was Jack Hunter. Jack
Hunter`s attitude towards succession and the civil war and the general idea
of the federal government playing a role on southern life all speak to the
resentment that has built the modern Republican Party.
Everything that Rand Paul said in that speech about the Republican Party
being the racially progressive party for decades after the civil war is
true. That was back when the Democratic Party was the only real party in
the south. A party whose strength was built on white southern resentment
of the civil war and the reconstruction program that liberal northern
Republicans imposed in the south after the war. But what Paul ignored in
his speech at Howard University is how fundamentally the civil rights
movement of the middle 20th century changed both parties.
The short version is this. Under pressure from its northern faction, the
national Democratic Party began embracing civil rights. First of the --
its 1948 platform which prompted a conventional walkout from southerners
who nominated their own presidential candidate that year, Strom Thurmond.
And then in 1964, when LBJ, a southern democrat who suddenly found himself
in the White House broke a southern filibuster and pushed the civil rights
bill through Congress and into law.
In that same year, in 1964, the Republicans chose as their nominee Barry
Goldwater. He was a senator who had joined the southern democratic
filibuster of civil rights. So, when it came to race, the two parties
basically switched sides. Embracing civil rights, Democrats opened their
doors to black voters and gave the boot to Southern segregationists. And
in nominating Goldwater and then embracing Richard Nixon`s southern
strategy, the GOP welcome the resulting backlash among southern whites.
This is why the Republican Party is to this day periodically haunted by
uncomfortable reminders of its modern roots in the south. In that sense,
this week`s story about Jack Hunter is very much of a piece with, say,
Ronald Reagan`s infamous decision to launch his 1980 general election
campaign in Philadelphia, Mississippi, as the seat of the county in rural
south central Mississippi where during the freedom summer of 1964, three
northern civil rights workers were abducted in murder.
While the state segregationist democratic leaders all played dumb.
Reagan`s visit 16 years later was testament to how radically the civil
rights backlash had reshaped partisan politics in the south. Whether it
was Trent Lott`s notorious salute to Strom Thurmond, that was the 1948
Dixiecrats candidate back in 2002.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRENT LOTT, FORMER MISSISSIPPI SENATOR: I want to say this about my state.
When Strom Thurmond ran for president, we voted for him. We`re proud of
him. And for the rest of the country to follow our lead we wouldn`t have
all these problems over all these years, either.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: And it was even Rand Paul`s own comments in 2010 about the
public accommodation`s clause of the 1964 civil rights act.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Would you have voted for the civil rights act of 1964?
PAUL: I like the civil rights act in the sense that it ended
discrimination in all public domains and I`m all in favor of that. But,
you had to ask me. But I don`t like the idea of telling private business
owners. I abhor racism, I think it`s a bad business decision to ever
exclude anybody from your restaurant, but at the same time, I do believe in
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: Look, this is not a way of saying that everyone in the
Republican Party is a racist or all southern Republicans are still nursing
grudges over the demise of segregation. And let`s be clear, there have
been Republicans like RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman back in 2005 who have
grappled head on with their party`s post civil rights act strategy. But
there are still far too many Republicans who haven`t. Rand Paul reaffirm
this week that he`s one of them and he`s not the list of it bothered by it.
We`ll talk about Rand Paul versus the rest of the GOP after this.
KORNACKI: Michelle, I guess I`ll start with you. You may be a little bit
more familiar with the nuance as a republican world and the rest of us.
So, I guess, I`m just kind of curious though when a story like this comes
out, the Rand Paul thing we were just talking about, what does this do to
him inside the Republican Party. Is there a concern among republican
leaders? Or, you know, this makes him sort of a dangerous candidate these
sorts of revelations or do they just sort of shrug it off? What do you
think the reaction of this?
BERNARD: You know, someone who firmly finds himself in the quote-unquote,
"Independent camp," I don`t, I honestly don`t know. Because there is a
part of the Republican Party that feels that Rand Paul is a hero and this
kind of thing, they don`t care about. I mean, if they don`t care about the
Hispanic vote, they certainly don`t care about the African-American vote.
You know, I would assume like for example in the John McCain camp, there
are those who will continue to say this is awful, this makes it very
difficult for the Republican Party, how on earth can we reach out to
minorities and people of color when we have Rand Paul who is so high
profile out there basically standing by his guy, despite all of the
horrible things that he has said, but, you know, that being said, on the
other hand, they don`t give us any reason believe that they care.
KORNACKI: The other aspect of this, too interestingly was, we said in that
piece the report that came out this week about Rand Paul`s aide originally
came out in a publication called "The Washington Free Beacon," it`s a
conservative publication in Washington and it`s run by this guy named
Matthew Continetti who used to be with "Weekly Standard," Bill Kristol`s
Weekly Standard. And to me it speaks to potentially a split -- it`s very
interesting to see "Washington Free Beacon" which is not known for going
after Republicans, suddenly going after a major republican senator.
(TALKING OVER EACH OTHER)
COX: I think that he might represent service split between the young
people who are trying to see a future for the GOP and the slightly older
class of the GOP, older people who are running it now and establishment GOP
who have gone this direction that we were talking about earlier. You know,
what? Let`s just do it now. Let`s just go ahead and go ahead and kill the
immigration bill, go ahead and like stand by Rand Paul and we may have to
pay for it later, but we won`t have to pay for it now. We`ll get re-
elected. We`ll have someone on the national news saying things that we
want to hear and you got young people. You deal with the party when it
comes your way.
LOVATO: I have to disagree with everybody here.
KORNACKI: You`re going to speak up for Rand Paul.
LOVATO: I`m going to speak up for Rand Paul because everybody see the
picture of his aide, wearing the mask? I mean, who`s been wearing masks
now in popular culture in the United States. It`s Mexicans. The only
thing is Locha Medvedev (ph), they kind of, I think they forgot to take off
the confederate colors of the mask, unfortunately. I mean, in all serious,
this is absurd that Rand Paul at one moment wants to appeal to Latinos and
others with a big tent position on citizenship and then falls away from it.
And now this comes out and he explains it as a, what did he call it?
ZEFF: Youthful indiscretion.
LOVATO: Youthful indiscretion.
ZEFF: Well, 35 when he wrote it but he`s 39.
(TALKING OVER EACH OTHER)
KORNACKI: He is 39 now. He endorse the session since he was 35.
COX: I guess, youthful, that age is youthful.
BERNARD: Yes, really, I`ll take youthful. Also, I mean, think about it,
Rand Paul, this is the man who within the last year spoke at Howard
University, a historically black college in Washington, D.C. in my Alma
Mater, by the way, all in an attempt to allegedly reach out to black voters
and explain why the Republican Party is a place where black voters can feel
at home. But at the same time, he puts his arm around his aide and says
that these issues of race --
ZEFF: I`m not the aide, full disclosure.
BERNARD: But says that these issues of race were a youthful indiscretion.
It is absolutely wrong. And I would hope that we would see more very high-
profile and prominent figures of the Republican Party denounce this saying
this is a problem.
KORNACKI: Is there something about Paul -- I am remembering his father,
last time around, all these old news letters from the early `90s came out
that just had, just boldly horrible racist stuff in them and his dad
wouldn`t really disown them either.
ZEFF: There`s a difference, this speaks to a much bigger point I think
that you`re raising which is, the challenge for Rand Paul was, that he had
many, many positions in common with his father. His father did have a big,
intense following but was never really seen as a main stream, legitimate
candidate for president who was going to win. Rand Paul is trying to do a
different project. He is trying to be part of that movement that his
father kind of started but also in a way that broadens the appeal and
really reaches out.
I think he really wants to be president. Rand Paul wasn`t going to be
president. That`s a very tricky tension and very difficult project and I
think we`re seeing here with these types of revelations how that is not
going to be quite as easy as he`s hoping as it is.
COX: And not easy for a reason. Which is like, we can give libertarians a
history lesson. Right? Which is like the intellectual history of the
libertarian movement which ties back into states rights. They can`t get
rid of that. You can`t be libertarian and not somehow address the civil
war in a way that is going to step on some toes.
KORNACKI: It`s not even libertarianism. I just hear it from Republicans
all the time. Again, I don`t want to pate with too broad a stroke here,
but a lot of Republicans who their history of the modern soft of evolution
of the two parties is, they were Democrats who were against civil rights
and therefore, you know, we the Republicans the party of civil rights. I
wish we could just all kind of agree on the basics of that story. Because
the Republican Party built itself by capitalizing on the backlash against
them. But we want to it already. Anyway, I want to thank Roberto Lovato
of New American Media -- at the media organizations. Eliot Spitzer is
back, but for how long? That`s next.
KORNACKI: Eliot Spitzer`s petitions are in for his comeback bid for New
York City comptroller. Spitzer`s campaign gathered 27,000 signatures.
More than seven times the number needed to get on the democratic primary
ballot for September and it looks like that will be enough because
Spitzer`s opponent Scott Stringer, he`s the Manhattan Borough president
indicated Friday that he will not challenge the signatures. Spitzer lost
his surprise campaign on Sunday night and by Wednesday, we had a new poll,
the first of the race.
It has Eliot Spitzer leading Scott Stringer, 42 to 33 percent. According
to the NBC 4 in New York, Wall Street Journal Marist poll that some of the
Wall Street enemies Spitzer accumulated in his past are now hinting they
will launch a Super Pac to stop him and more anti-Spitzer cash and muscle
could come from powerful unions loyal to Stringer. Nor Spitzer getting
much media log on the big apple, on Monday "The New York Times" editorial
branded Spitzer and Anthony Weiner the quote, "Two charter members of the
Kardashian party for whom notoriety is looking like the quick, easy path to
I would like to bring in Errol Louis, host of the television new show "Road
to City Hall" here on New York, on New York 1. Errol, so, my reaction when
I saw that poll on Wednesday, actually was 42 to 33 for Spitzer. You are
talking about, you know, former governor, national name running against
somebody who doesn`t have that that much, is very kind of low profile and
he starts out eight points under 50 million, nine points ahead overall with
all these forces arrayed against him. I don`t know that he`s in a great
ERROL LOUIS, NEW YORK 1: Oh, I would have to disagree I`m not sure Scott
Stringer would agree with you, to tell you the truth. I mean, look, he`s
getting near 50. Right? And this is day one, I mean, literally day one.
He hasn`t spent a dime on advertising, he hasn`t made a speech, he haven`t
been in a debate, he haven`t sent out a piece of mail, he hasn`t done
anything and he`s, you know, leading by nine points and closing in on an
absolute majority and that well, you know, we have got about 60 days left
until the primary, so he has got 60 days to improve on that and in
unlimited fortune. So, he`s sitting pretty I think as far as getting a
KORNACKI: I get it from the standpoint, right, the unlimited portion is,
right, if he could spend unlimited money. But it does strike me, the
forces that are against him. And we talk about all the Wall Street enemies
he made, there`s also the issue of the unions, they are very powerful in
the democratic primary, it seems like if you have all these noise and all
sort of this power coming, Wall Street money, union muscle democratic
establishment against him, does that hurt him maybe or keep him from
getting to that 50 percent mark?
ZEFF: The unions are very important in New York City politics for getting
out the vote, canvassing those types of things, there`s no question about
it. But one thing, you know, I tend to agree with Errol that I think
Spitzer is the frontrunner, that`s not a very bold thing to say in the
poll. But the one number that kind of a secondary number in that poll that
stood out to me was that, on the specific question about the scandal, 20
percent said, yes, it is a big deal for me. Thirty five percent said, I
don`t care at all about the scandal. And so, if you`re going to take the
scandal off the table on this race, Eliot Spitzer is kind of qualified to
be the New York State comptroller. And so, if that is not a big issue in
this race, I think Spitzer`s in pretty good shape.
KORNACKI: Let`s play, we have a clip, this was just last night, Eliot
Spitzer, as all New York City comptroller candidates did went to L.A. to do
this night show. This is Eliot Spitzer from last night.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ELIOT SPITZER, FORMER NEW YORK CITY GOVERNOR: I said to myself, I want to
contribute through public service and the control, you know, it`s not a
position, people say you`re taking a demotion. Why are you going from
governor to comptroller, nobody knows what it is. Service is what I care
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: It is a heck of a demotion, Michelle.
BERNARD: I only was thinking, client number nine says that service is what
he cares about, which we all obviously know. But interesting, no one seems
to care. Again, the poll that we`re talking about the NBC News 4 Marist
poll also shows that a majority of women support Eliot Spitzer in this
race. He has made the term comptroller probably one of the most popular
terms in American history, at least right now, no one would have ever
thought or cared about a comptroller race until Eliot Spitzer.
And you know, one of the things that people who look outside of New York is
I do wonder what is happening in New York. Eliot Spitzer is doing well.
We`ve got Anthony Weiner running for mayor, and again, has a lot of support
from women and maybe we are getting to a point in our nation`s politics
where men behaving badly just doesn`t matter anymore.
KORNACKI: I wonder -- have you made -- it seems to me Ana Marie that the
media attention he received this week. It seemed to me, it was a lot more
critical than what Anthony Weiner faced when he got in. Did you pick up on
the correction there, the way the media is treated him?
COX: Well, I mean, I guess that`s interesting, a point that I was going to
make earlier, which is that you know people by their enemies. Right? And
I think that the fact that Wall Street has nothing against him is not going
to hurt him, exactly.
LOUIS: That`s right.
COX: And I also think this is an example of the media and national
politicians are at least, you know, higher-level politicians living in any
place but the moment. Voters are much more likely to live in the moment to
see this as Eliot Spitzer running for comptroller. He is not running for
governor, he is not running for a higher office, I think they`re willing to
forgive things, you know, like the scandal that he had at this level. And
you know what? You want an attack dog, you know, at comptroller position
to the extent that anyone knows what comptroller is. It`s 42 percent
Spitzer, 33 percent Stringer and 90 percent don`t even know what a
BERNARD: And also I think New Yorkers are also going to remember, I mean,
the economy, we`re still recovering. Eliot Spitzer is the man that almost
brought down AIG long before AIG almost brought down basically the world.
You know, in the economic, in the economic --
KORNACKI: That`s right. What kind of, if he gets elected, what would he
do? What would it be like?
LOUIS: Well, I mean, it`s a fascinating job. Because, you know, he can do
the required parts of the job, which are, you know, to sort of monitor what
goes on in government and make the sure that the pension funds are being
invested wisely. But then, he can also do other things and he`s already
talked about this. Take another step and as the representative of these
shareholders, the pension funds, the retired New Yorkers and New York
employees and so forth, go to the corporations and say, I don`t like some
of your practices. I think your accounting is shady.
I think what you`re doing is fraudulent and this is really what he did in
eight years as attorney general and he got hundreds of millions of dollars
in recovery for New York State and for ordinary investors. He changed a
lot of practices on Wall Street. That is going to be his main selling
point. It tracks with the job, it matches up and as Ana Marie says, I
mean, when you hear people like Hank Greenburg who is now suing you for
defamation, you know, when you see Wall Streeters, you know, just aghast
that he would even question their moral purity, and their wisdom and their
investment savvy for ordinary New Yorkers, some of whom lost a lot of money
when AIG and the other firms crashed the economy, that`s fine.
They like, they like Spitzer. They think somebody should be giving them
hell or at least looking over their shoulder. They know that he can`t do
it. They know that he will do it. They know that he won`t wilt under
pressure. They know that he doesn`t care what the editorial boards and the
press say about him, to a certain extent. And, you know, what is the worst
you can call him? Well, he has been called all of that. So, you know,
he`s making a case that if Wall Street is going to be watched, I`m the guy
to do it. I`m going to do that for people who have money in the New York
City retirement funds. And that is a very plausible case to make.
KORNACKI: It`s a lot more interesting if he gets in there. Not just the
story of the redemption. But in terms of what he would actually, the
personality he bring into the powers, it will be much more interesting I
think if Eliot Spitzer got in there. Maybe I`m walking back my prediction
and he`s in trouble a little bit here. He`ll probably win. That`s the
other question. Supporters are mobilizing to revitalize the voting rights
act in both Congress in the courts. That`s next.
KORNACKI: The Supreme Court handed down its decision on the voting rights
act but the Senate is not giving up yet, the Senate Judiciary Committee
will hold a hearing Wednesday to consider a response to last month`s
Supreme Court decision which struck down a key part of the voting rights
act. The hearing will include democratic Congressman John Lewis of
Georgia, the long-time civil rights activist and republican Jim
Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin.
Both of them were instrumental on the VRA`s (ph) previous renewal back in
2006. Pat Leahy, the Senate committee`s chairman said in a Staten this
week, quote, "The voting rights act has been a central pillar of the civil
rights laws that have helped bring America`s ideals closer to reality to
all Americans. Congress reauthorized this law with overwhelming bipartisan
support and we again must work together to ensure that no Americans are
discriminated against when exercising their fundamental right to vote."
Meanwhile, a team of civil rights groups in Texas are trying a new
approach, he filed suit under another part of the voting rights act, that
would be section three which could bring a state back under that extra
scrutiny based on recent discriminatory behavior. This is a whole new
legal strategy, though. Its future is uncertain. So, Michelle, I mean, we
have the hearings in the Senate, you know, this week. Doesn`t seem like a
coincidence. The democrat-controlled Senate is going to have hearings this
But the big issue of whether there`s going to be a legislative response to
the Supreme Court`s ruling is, will Republicans in the House be interested
in tackling this in any way. Do you think this is a bill Republicans in
the House would have any interest in pursuing in the next two years?
BERNARD: I would have to say that looking at my crystal ball, the answer
would be no, absolutely not, under no circumstance whatsoever. And for a
variety of reasons. You know, if you look at what happened with the voting
rights act, it is absolutely, I think, unconscionable that the Supreme
Court struck down section three as being unconstitutional, but we sort of
saw it coming. You know, early on during arguments on the voting rights
act, we had Justice Scalia basically saying from the bench that the voting
rights act is akin to a racial entitlement, racial preferment and saying
that, you know, basically, the role of the judge in protecting minorities
that those days are behind us and that child molesters, for example, are
minorities that don`t deserve protection or the United States constitution.
So, if we got that coming from the bench and we have House Republicans that
can`t pass a farm bill, they can`t pass any kind of legislation whatsoever,
have made it very clear that they are more focused on the rights of white
working class voters than anybody else, we don`t have any reason to believe
that they`ll going to take up the voting right tax.
KORNACKI: So, then question moves to this legal strategy. This idea of
invoking section three. This is the bail-in, you know, provision it`s
called, and they basically allows the courts to step in and say, well, you
know, Congress doesn`t have any criteria here but we say that this
jurisdiction, the key here is discriminatory intent I how they change their
maps, in how they change their voting laws. And in Texas, there are some
very particular reasons for their 2011 map. They may be able to prove
that. But proving intent versus proving effect, which was the standard
under, has been the standard on the VRA, it`s a lot different here.
Doesn`t seem like any long-term strategy just in section three.
LOUIS: That`s right. It`s very difficult. In the Texas case there
happens to be a chain of e-mails which I think they can take it to court
and say, this show is intent. But once you start talking about intentional
discrimination, you need a smoking gun, you need a chain of e-mails, you
need a video, you need some blunt statements. And what`s tricky about it,
Steve, is that you`ve got a long history. It`s actually OK to discriminate
based on partisan affiliation and voting behavior.
So, all I have to do is say, change it from saying, we want to get rid of
all these Hispanics and get them out of, you know, district X and say we
want to get all of these left-leaning democratic voters out of district X
and then, you know, one would be intentional and discriminatory and one is
ZEFF: The partisan divide is fractured on racial and ethnic lines which is
COX: This brings us back to what we were talking about in the other
segments. Right? It`s sort of the short-term strategy. Le`s lock in
those white voters and they will just, oh, well, like whatever comes later.
They`re just making those partisan divides like deeper and deeper and
deeper, which I can`t think will benefit the GOP long term.
BERNARD: Long term, it won`t. We are already at the point where the
nation is just about majority, minority. I mean, this is, I can`t, I just
can`t say strongly enough what a huge problem this is. It`s -- I am
hopeful, you know, that there are people who are still ignorant enough to
make statements like the e-mail chain that we`re seeing in Texas. You
know, people forget, there is a whole bailout section in the voting rights
act if you were quote-unquote, "state" on the bad list, on the covered
list, you could go to the Department of Justice and say, we want to be
bailed out because we have not had any discriminatory election practices in
the last ten years.
The county Shelby County, Alabama, that brought the lawsuit that led to the
striking down of the section of the voting rights act, they didn`t apply
for bailout because in the last ten years, they were so upset at how an
election might take place in their county that they just refused to hold
KORNACKI: And to give you an idea of what that smoking gun looks like.
So, that the Texas maps that got invalidated because of the preclearance
requirement that is triggering this whole case right now. The federal
judge basically found, he said that Anglo district boundaries were redrawn
to include particular country clubs in one case the school belonged to the
incumbent grandchildren. And they found no testimony given to any
minority. Listen, so, they`re able to prove some intent there, but that`s
what you have to be able to prove. I want to thank Errol Louis of "Road to
City Hall" on New York 1.
The jury resumes deliberations in the George Zimmerman case just three
minutes from now. We`ll get the latest from the report at the courthouse.
KORNACKI: Jury in George Zimmerman`s murder trial is at this moment
resuming deliberations after breaking for the night at just about 6:00 p.m.
yesterday. Lawyers for both sides are standing by awaiting the verdict.
In the state`s closing arguments on Thursday, prosecutor Bernie de la
Rionda cast Zimmerman as a wannabe cop who profiled African-American
teenager Trayvon Martin, followed him around the neighborhood and started a
fight with him.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BERNIE DE LA RIONDA, PROSECUTOR: A teenager is dead. He is dead through
no fault of his own. He is dead because another man made assumptions.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: Then, yesterday, defense attorney Mark O`Mara told jurors that
they would have to determine Zimmerman acted in self-defense. In one
dramatic moment, O`Mara suggested to the jury that Martin posed a physical
threat to Zimmerman, holding up a photo of a shirtless, physically fit
Martin taken three months before his death, which caused Martin`s mother to
walk out of the courtroom.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARK O`MARA, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: On that picture that we have of him on the
medical examiner`s table, yes. But here`s him three months before that
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: The jury`s options are to convict the 29-year-old Zimmerman of
second degree murder or a lesser degree of manslaughter or to acquit him.
Go live now to the courthouse in Sanford, Florida, where MSNBC`s Craig
Melvin is standing by.
Good morning, Craig.
So, the jury is back deliberating right now. Do we have any sense in how
this day is going to go in terms of -- will we get a verdict?
CRAIG MELVIN, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: You know, jury just back moments ago,
as you mentioned, Steve. And the short answer to your question is no.
However, I can tell you, I spoke to Benjamin Crump, attorney for the Martin
family last night and he said to me that he did not think that this jury
would take a considerable amount of time to reach a verdict, whatever that
verdict might be 3 1/2 hours yesterday, that`s how much time they spent
At one point they asked a question of the judge. They asked Judge Nelson
if they could essentially get a copy of the evidence list, an inventory of
the evidence. The clerk provided that. They took that back, and spent one
hour poring over that and left around 6:00 and came back this morning at
If what we saw during the course of the trial is any indication of how they
will perform in deliberations, we expect that this should not take a long
time. You`ll recall that every time Judge Nelson asked that jury of six
women whether they wanted to take a break or whether it was a bathroom
break or a lunch break, when she gave them the option, they always opted to
So, we`ll see just how long it will take them but the judge is also leaving
it up to them to decide how long they deliberate each night and whether to
continue deliberating this weekend. They could decide, tonight, we`ll take
Sunday off and come back Monday. They`re living all of that up to the
KORNACKI: And you mentioned the jury of six. I know we probably
instinctively think of juries as 12. Interesting that it`s six, six women.
Can you tell us, Craig, do we know anything, I guess, you know, sort of
about what these six women are, what their backgrounds are and what do we
know about who is deciding this?
MELVIN: We know a little bit. We know a little bit based on the
information they provided to the court during the jury selection process.
We know that one of the women, for instance, a recent transplant from
Chicago, she has eight children.
At one point during the jury selection process, they asked her whether she
belonged to any organizations. She replied to the court, yes, I belong to
the organization that is my house, and that elicited quite a bit of
laughter from the courtroom. So, we know about her.
We also know -- we know a little bit about their behavior throughout the
course of the trial. For instance, one of the women, juror E-40, is
apparently quite the note-taker by our count, eyes and ears inside the
court, that she has been taking perhaps the largest number of notes, excuse
me, juror E-6, not 3-40.
So, we know that two of them are unemployed, as well. We know that five of
them have children. So, little bit. Little bit. But, again, we don`t
know a great deal about them was, obviously, that`s how the process is
There is one thing, Steve, I do want to bring up really quickly here.
Compromise verdict. That`s a term that I heard for the first time with
regards to this trial a few days ago from Mark O`Mara, of course, attorney
for George Zimmerman, in a news conference. He was basically urging,
urging the jury not to reach a compromise verdict.
Last night when I was talking to Ben Crump, again, attorney for the Martin
family, he also used that phrase compromise verdict. And in this case, in
this case, both attorneys seem to think, both sides at least seem to think
that a compromise verdict would be a guilty charge on manslaughter.
KORNACKI: All right, MSNBC`s Craig Melvin, who`s live at Seminole County
courthouse -- thanks for the report, Craig.
Right now, I want to bring in Ana Marie Cox at "The Guardian", Democratic
Congresswoman Robin Kelly of Illinois, Blake Zeff with Salon.com, and
political strategist Michelle Bernard.
So, you know, we`re all be kind of, you know, on stand by today. I think
we might get like a one-hour notice on this verdict.
But it was interesting what Craig just said there, Ana Marie, seems like
expectations for what -- this is all theoretical, but expectations have
been dialed back here in terms of -- not many people talking about going to
get Zimmerman on second degree murder, but a lot of people saying the
compromise position, this middle ground position of manslaughter might be
the most likely place this ends up.
ANA MARIE COX, THE GUARDIAN: Well, it seems like there`s sort of an
instinctive feeling when a child is killed, something went wrong. There`s
something that needs to happen that the blame needs to be held at
But it`s true that the case for murder was maybe not the strongest case
that could be made. I mean, I think the fact that it`s women, the fact
that they have a lot of children. I think, of course, that`s going to be a
The fact that they`re going to come back probably a little quickly does not
bode well in terms of just getting an innocent verdict.
KORNACKI: I wonder what you make of, you know, not just, I want you to
speculate, but this has been a year and a half now since the tragic death
of Trayvon Martin. What do you think of, are there sort of broader
implications to what we were living through for the last year and a half
and watching with this trial?
REP. ROBIN KELLY (D), ILLINOIS: Many of us have, we`re scared about what
the verdict might be because of the verdict comes back not guilty, I think
that will promote a lot of ill will -- hopefully not. But we even think
some violence because people will be so upset that he wasn`t held
accountable for what he did.
And from my view, if he would have just listened to the 911 person and not
gotten out of the car, we wouldn`t be here now. And, of course, I have a
question about why are you even carrying a gun for a neighborhood watch
KORNACKI: Right. Well, I want to play for a second, this was one of the,
the prosecution got a rebuttal after the defense finished yesterday. The
prosecution got a chance for a rebuttal, before this went to the jury, and
this was John Guy for the prosecution rebuttal. I thought this was kind of
striking -- the way he made his final case to the jury. Just play it for a
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN GUY, PROSECUTOR: If the roles were reversed and it was 28-year-old
George Zimmerman walking home in the rain with a hoodie on to protect
himself from the rain, walking through that neighborhood and a 17-year-old
driving around in a car called the police, who had had hate in their heart,
hate in their mouth, hate in their actions. And if it was Trayvon Martin
who had shot and killed George Zimmerman, what would your verdict be?
That`s how you know it`s not about race.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: Michelle, there has -- you know, race has been, the way this
trial has been all about race and in a way it`s not about race at all. It
was sort of interesting to watch how, you know, how Guy was sort of
managing that in the discussion.
MICHELLE BERNARD, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Absolutely coming from the
judge, he can`t use the word "race", he can`t use the term "racial
profiling", they could only say profiling.
But I would tell you, I say this as an African-American and mother of two
children, one of whom is a boy. Black parents, particularly black mothers
will tell you all over the country that there`s no doubt about this, that
this is race. When you have a son and your son is African-American, you
from day one are always on guard that something like this could happen to
So, this when you ask about broader policy implications, that one of the
things that I think we`re going to have a national discussion about
regarding what the verdict is, is gun violence in America and gun violence
as civil rights issue, because there is absolutely no doubt whatsoever from
a layman`s perspective that George Zimmerman saw Trayvon Martin, saw a
young, black man or child, I should say, in a hoodie and decided, I`m going
it get him. He is a threat to my community. He doesn`t belong here.
We`ve got a very serious problem with race in the country and I think what
will be very fascinating if we look at this is that -- it is a female
judge, a female jury and I think the key testimony that we saw in this
trial all came from women. I actually wrote a piece about this for
"Washington Post", "She the People" yesterday.
The key testimony all came from women. Some of the women are black, some
are white, some are Hispanic, one person has a graduate degree, has a law
degree. We have somebody else who is a 19-year-old African-American high
And the reason I point out the importance of their "femaleness",
quote/unquote, is because each of them knows what it is like one way or the
other be profiled either on the basis of race, ethnicity, gender, age and I
think when the prosecutor was saying use your common sense -- common sense
will tell them that when the 911 operator said to George Zimmerman, are you
following him? We don`t need you to do this -- that there was a problem.
When the defense attorneys talk about this image of Trayvon Martin on top
of George Zimmerman and fighting him and allegedly bashing his head into
concrete. The way I view that as a mother was if my son was under attack
and knew there was a possibility that he only had four minutes to live, I
would hope that he would be on top of him defending himself.
Trayvon Martin could have been easily defending himself in this case. I
think that`s what we`re going to see a broader discussion about. This is a
civil rights issue. It`s enormously important.
BLAKE ZEFF, SALON.COM: I totally agree. I`m very happy beat up on cable
news, but a little bit of criticism and controversy on Twitter and
elsewhere why are the cable networks doing wall-to-wall coverage of this
There`s a good reason. This is not the same thing as the Casey Anthony a
trial. This is about equal justice under the law.
This is about, you know, everything Michelle just said. This is about --
there is one set of rules for everybody. Not for different people
depending on the color of your skin or anything else. This was an
important trial to cover for that reason.
KORNACKI: All right.
KELLY: My son would applaud if he was watching. He`s 29 years old,
African-American man and he feels exactly like you feel.
KORNACKI: OK. We will bring you further developments in the trial as they
happen. MSNBC will have full coverage of the trial and the wait of the
verdict throughout the day today.
We want to talk about new developments in the debate over gun control,
right after this.
KORNACKI: As of Tuesday, it is now legal to carry a concealed weapon in
public in every state in the country. That is thanks to Illinois becoming
the final state in the nation to pass a conceal carry law. Federal
district court had found the ban on concealed weapons to be
unconstitutional and private property and places of work and worship unless
property owners post signage that indicates otherwise.
In an attempt to veto the legislation, Pat Quinn suggested changes to
individuals carrying one gun at a time and prohibit guns in restaurants
that serve alcohol. But Quinn`s overwritten by the Democratic controlled
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. PAT QUINN (D), ILLINOIS: It is very, very important that we protect
the people. I think the legislation today does not do that. It has
shortcomings that will lead to tragedies.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: Chicago witnessed more than 70 shootings, at least 12 of them
fatal just over the July 4th holiday weekend alone.
Meanwhile, the political battle over Congress` failed effort to pass gun
legislation continues to roil. The National Rifle Association is sending a
mailer to 200,000 West Virginians attacking Senator Joe Manchin for the
Manchin-Toomey he co-sponsored, that would have expanded background checks
on gun sales.
While Manchin is taking punches from the NRA, New York Mayor Michael
Bloomberg, who is bankrolling an unprecedented national push for tougher
gun laws is hosting a fund-raiser for him later this month. Manchin is one
of the growing list of legislators receiving campaign cash from the
In February, Bloomberg super PAC bankrolled a $2.2 million campaign to help
one of our guests today, that would be gun control advocate Robin Kelly,
defeat her opponents for an Illinois congressional seat, making
Congresswoman Kelly exhibit A for gun control advocates who say they can
turn gun control into a winning campaign issue.
Congresswoman, you`re here. I wanted to have you on for a while, a lot,
but really for this subject, because your story, as we say, this is the
story the political world`s treatment of guns for the last two decades has
been any affirmative push for gun control is politically risky. You could
only pay a price for it, if you do it.
And in your case, you ran against a former member of Congress for the
special election in Illinois, I think back in February who had a very, she
had a very good rating from the NRA and, actually, I want to play. This is
Michael Bloomberg and his group that bankrolled a campaign that ran ads
like this in Congressman Kelly`s district.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AD NARRATOR: In the race to replace Jesse Jackson, watch out for Debbie
Halvorson. When she was in Congress, Halverson got an A from the NRA. The
NRA, against comprehensive background checks, against banning deadly
assault weapons, against banning high capacity ammunition clips. Halvorson
even cosponsored a bill that would allow some criminals to carry loaded
hidden guns across state lines.
Debbie Halvorson, when it comes to preventing gun violence, she gets an F.
Independents USA PAC is responsible for the content of this advertising.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: So, you won that race by a lopsided margin. I`m sure lots of
reasons for it. But $2.5 million, you know, blanketing the air waves is a
I wonder, you`re in Washington now, you`re in Congress now, did that
experience of how you got there, did that send a message that resonated
with any of your colleagues in Washington?
KELLY: I think it relaxed people and let them see, yes, you can win a race
when being for gun safety and gun control. I mean, beside the mayor,
before he got involved in the race, he received all the attention.
But the Netroots community supported me, also. They supported me earlier
and that was from sea to shining sea that they supported me and they
donated to the race and they helped put me on the map also.
And, again, just to be clear, he didn`t give me any money. I didn`t know
he was going to do it.
KORNACKI: Right. Super PAC, no coordination. Right. But your record on
guns was clear and your opponent`s record on guns was clear. So, there`s a
very clear contrast there for Democratic primary electorate.
And in this case, the candidate who had the strong record on, you know,
sort of the NRA side paid a real political price for it.
When you look, though, the three or four months after Sandy Hook when you
were elected and now I think we passed the six month mark a while back.
How frustrating is it to you that you got elected and you sent this message
and we are where we are in the middle of summer of 2013?
KELLY: It`s very frustrating that we can`t get a universal background gun
check law passed when 90 percent of Americans, even the majority of NRA
members, want this passed. I don`t understand it myself. I was shocked
when I was there that it did not pass. And we just have to keep pushing,
you know, to bring the bill back and to work hard to get it passed.
I promised the moms. I either speak with them or text them or e-mail them
somebody from the movement every day and I promise them that I`m going to
be a voice and there are other people that feel like me, also.
KORNACKI: And I would say Bloomberg and what Bloomberg doing financially,
the people he is affiliated with, this is the great hope of how to turn the
politics of gun control around. This is, we need more races like this.
ZEFF: Right. This particular member of Congress is a great example of how
this can work, but what Michael Bloomberg is doing with other races is not
very similar. And let me explain. In this instance, we had an NRA A-plus
Congresswoman Debbie Halvorson, who was very bad on gun control and you
have a much better option here.
When you go into states like Arkansas and you go after a senator who is
maybe a C-minus from the NRA perspective and you don`t have a better option
that you are pushing, prior. You don`t have a better option that you are
pushing, you run the risk of going from the C-minus NRA person to an A-plus
NRA person and that`s not productive.
So, when you go after the candidates who are bad on gun control, you also
have to get involved with candidates and grassroots and having a better
alternative. So, this was a great alternative and I`m glad that you won
and not just Mayor Bloomberg that put you over the top. You`re too polite
to say it.
I will say it, there are a lot of factors there. But that is the kind of
model that can be used in other states where it doesn`t help to just go
after the bad guys. You also have to have good people to replace them
KORNACKI: Congresswoman, I`m curious, you`re taking, as we talked about
this in the show before, that`s the strategic question for the gun control
movement is, if you have a Democrat with a bad record, do you go after that
Democrat against a Republican who maybe would ultimately have a worst
record. Do you think there is value in that politically?
KELLY: You know, one of the problems now, at least in the House, I was the
201st Democrat and there`s 234 Republicans and we need the numbers to take
back the house. And if we don`t do that, then we`re going to continue with
this non-action in a lot of ways.
So, that`s the other thing you have to weigh also. Even though I
definitely want to see things change as far as gun safety and gun laws.
But as long as we`re in the majority, I don`t think it`s going to happen
because the moderate Republicans don`t, you know, it feels like there is
Democrats, Republicans and Tea Party folks and the Tea Party folks seem to
have a lot of control over the moderate Republicans or regular Republicans.
ZEFF: But your race was a primary. I`m saying, we could challenge a
primary in a Democratic primary, be a better Democratic candidate to then
go up against a Republican --
KORNACKI: In 2014, when he`s running against a Republican and when go Sean
Cotton (ph), who the go and have an A-plus.
We want to talk about that. We talk a little bit in the intro about the
Illinois situation. We`ll talk about that and Manchin after this.
KORNACKI: So, the NRA is, again, going after Joe Manchin, the Democrat
from West Virginia who is the Manchin/Toomey background checks bill. The
NRA sent out this mailer this week.
Now, what is interesting, they go after Manchin very hard and also mention
in the course of this letter, Obama, Michael Bloomberg, Chuck Schumer --
sort of national figures affiliated with gun control.
Interestingly, this is the Manchin/Toomey bill and Toomey`s not mentioned
in it. It`s so striking to me that the NRA has really gone after Manchin
and his Republican partners have gotten a pass on this.
BERNARD: It completely screams at you what happened. It is a joint bill
and why they have decided not to go after Pat Toomey, other than the fact
that he`s a Republican. I think members of the public are absolutely going
to see this.
And the thing that is interesting is that Manchin is a gun owner. I mean,
he uses gun. He has always had also --
KORNACKI: Also have the ad in 2012 where he shot the climate bill.
BERNARD: He -- he is for responsible gun ownership. This is the person
who has always had, I think an A or A-plus rating from the NRA. So, for
him to all of a sudden decide we don`t like you, but to get Pat Toomey who
drafted this bill with you is sort of OK.
It`s so sarcastic and cynical that I think people will begin to really see
the NRA for what they stand for, particularly if we think about not just
Newtown, but one thing that you were mentioning off camera is the history
of gun violence in urban neighborhoods. I, for example, would be sitting
back and saying to myself, what else is it going to take?
Why is it NRA just don`t care. We see story after story, whether it is
white children, African-American children, adults all over the country
being slaughtered on a daily basis and they have nothing better to do but
go after Joe Manchin and completely leave Pat Toomey out of their assault.
KORNACKI: And the other thing we said up front is Illinois this week.
It`s a complicated situation there in terms of why the legislature was sort
of act on concealed carry. But it was also as a revelation. I did not
realize that concealed carry, actually, it is legal in different ways in
different states, but it`s now legal in all 50 states.
I come from Massachusetts and I say I never thought of us as much of a gun
state, but there is a conceal carry program in Massachusetts and this is --
this is now nationwide, Ann Marie. Conceal carry is the law in some way.
COX: Right. Despite the fact that you deserve a direct effect, if you put
more guns into a system, you will get more violence. I mean, this is not a
surprise to anyone. If you create -- conceal laws lead to more gun deaths,
not necessarily gun violence. There`s a high majority and in fact almost
half, sometimes more than half of the deaths by gun are by suicide, which
is something that doesn`t get talked about in this debate.
There are a lot of unintended consequences that flow from putting more guns
into the system. One of them relates back to the Zimmerman trial, which is
if you let more people carry guns, you force the police into an arms race.
And they carry more guns and they become militarized and that altitude
towards police keeping, towards peacekeeping starts to trickle down and you
get people like George Zimmerman, thinking that they`re the law and that
they have a right to shoot people who they suspect of being criminals.
BERNARD: Don`t forget that it`s God`s plan.
COX: It`s God`s plan and a good guy with a gun.
Sometimes we let the idea of good guys with guns, especially law
enforcements agents, we let that get a pass in this debate, but there is a
consequence towards highly armed, highly militarized police force. Giving
more guns to police is not a neutral act. You`re not just like decreasing
crime if you give guns to police.
ZEFF: The other thing about state laws that I think is really important,
and the member of Congress can speak more knowledgeably than I can on this.
But, you know, I talked to a lot of these gun control people and all the
gun nuts say that Chicago has tight gun control laws, they have these
really high murder rates.
And the point is it`s not about local laws. It`s about your state laws and
international laws, because it`s almost a little bit like air pollution.
If you have tight requirements on the local level and not on the state and
you will have the smog coming in.
KORNACKI: State b orders are not exactly hard to get --
ZEFF: And guns can come through in the same way. So, if you have these
very good gun laws on the local level, it only helps you so much if you
have these bad state laws and federal laws.
KELLY: You hit the nail right on the head. We can approve guns from
Indiana and Kentucky and a police officer was shot and they traced the gun
back to Mississippi. If I am correct, one gunship that can trace a lot of
guns back to right in Illinois, but the gun trafficking and the store
purchasing o guns has to be stopped. That`s a big part of the problem.
KORNACKI: I`m just curious what you make, so, in Illinois, they`re
basically told by the court you can`t have a ban on concealed weapons, you
have to allow it in some way and dispute between the Democrats and the
legislature and a Democratic governor about exactly what the restrictions
will be. You know, in New York, you have to go through the police to get a
permit and more lax in Illinois.
What do you make of what ultimately came out of this?
KELLY: I think that once the Supreme Court made their decision, people
realized they had had to be something passed and some tried to make it as
weak as possible. If I`m correct, I know Maryland has a weaker conceal and
carry and I think some people were shooting for that.
But, I am surprised that some of the governor`s ideas didn`t pass with
restaurant, because I`m told restaurant owners don`t want people coming in
with guns or if you`re an employer, you don`t want your employees coming in
with guns and it is a lot about access to guns, also. If you own a gun,
you`re more likely to commit suicide.
KORNACKI: It wasn`t just restaurants. Restaurants where alcohol is 50
percent more. So it is alcohol, plus public setting and a gun. It seems
like a risky combination.
What do you get for embarrassing the speaker of the House? Maybe
everything you want. We`ll talk about it after this.
KORNACKI: Another main stay of 20th century bipartisan cooperation was
trampled Thursday when House Republicans completely removed the
supplemental nutritional assistance program or food stamps from the farm
bill -- the program that for decades has united urban and rural lawmakers
from both parties.
The version of the farm bill the House voted on three weeks ago had already
proposed a massive $20 billion but Republicans piled on more in that bill
which turned a large swath of Democrats against it at the last minute.
Those Democratic no-votes coupled with those of 62 conservatives who defied
speaker John Boehner and also voted no on the grounds that the bill was
still too expensive sank that first version of the farm bill last month.
In response, Boehner and the GOP leadership pushed the legislation even
further to the right using a party line vote on Thursday to pass a bill
that does not include food stamps at all. It is the first time in 40 years
that the program has been stripped out of a farm bill. Democrats took to
the house floor in protest.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. CORRINE BROWN (D), FLORIDA: This is a sad day in the House of
Representatives. I want you to know that this is the people`s house and to
separate the farm bill from the elderly, from the children, this is a
Mitt Romney was right, you all do not care about the 47 percent. Shame on
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: So, we have someone who was there, we have a member of Congress
here. I guess the status of this right now is the senate has passed a
comprehensive farm bill that includes food stamps and they have something
from the House so there can be a conference between them here.
The hope of food stamp supporters is that the conference and in this
conference between the House and the Senate, the program is reinserted and
then somehow able to pass the house. I just look at that whole trajectory
we mapped out in the house, I don`t see how anything with food stamps in a
meaningful way getting through the house right now. Do you have any hopes
that food stamps can be passed as part of a food bill this year?
KELLY: I have hope that people will do the right thing. I was on the
floor in part of the protests and delay led by Marcia Fudge, the head of
the Congressional Black Caucus, and other joined in as the day went on.
That was very disappointing what happened and almost came, you know, in a
secret way to me that they were even thinking about doing it.
But I`m hoping once it goes, you know, meets with the Senate bill that we
can do something about it. The president said he was going to veto it if
it came to him. That`s the thing, sometimes it seems like a lot of
theatrics, which doesn`t surprise you guys. I`m sure the president already
says I`m going to be told the bill, but we`re still fighting and we got to
the floor at 10 minutes to 9:00 that morning, and many planes were missed
and people determined to stay there and we lost by ten votes.
KORNACKI: What happens, Blake, if this goes the way of the sequester and
this impasse and it`s not revolved.
ZEFF: So, the background here is really important. The Senate passed a
bill that included the food stamp program, but had a $4 billion cut, which
is pretty bad. But, you know, the way the Senate works, they have
compromise bills and then goes to the House.
The House then had a bill that they voted down, which would have cut it by
$20 billion. That`s, you know, advocates told me that`s enough to stop
food charity in this country for 2.5 years, 8 billion meals for poor
people. Basically people would die if that`s what passed.
That wasn`t draconian enough for this house. So, a lot of Republicans
voted it down because it wasn`t bad enough. OK? Had they voted for it and
been OK with just killing some poor people as opposed to lots more, then it
would have gone to conference and $4 billion cut from the House, yes, from
the Senate rather and the $20 billion cut from the House and might have
arrived to a middle number like $12 million in cuts in food stamps, which
would have been horrible. They overreached.
So, as a result, they have all this chaos and they may end up overreaching
and it could be good news for people who care about the food stamp program.
If they do reach this impasse and we get to a point where they actually
fail to pass the food stamp program, the food stamp program is a permanent
program, we would revert back to last year`s rates, which is zero cuts,
which is probably the best-case scenario.
KORNACKI: But isn`t the twist then it`s subject to annual appropriations.
As long as you have ac Republican-controlled House, it`s sort of a "starve
the beast" thing.
BERNARD: They have to fund it.
KELLY: We are afraid of that. It would be subject to appropriations and
what we think as the years go on, it will be less and less and less and
less and there won`t be anything. And, also, many, many children,
thousands will be knocked off the lunch program at school.
COX: Yes, it`s actually working poor that would suffer the most in this.
Like the very poorest might continue to get benefits. But most of the
people on food stamps do work. I mean, it`s a bridge program for most
It`s something that allows people who are working, but not making enough
money to spend their money in the economy. This is stimulus for the
economy. There`s something like $2 go to GDP for every dollar spent in
food stamps and it`s actually one of the most efficient programs in
They have something like 3 percent administrative costs and 1 percent of
fraud that could be found compared to like military. Like if you look at
the waste and the fraud in the military contracting, billions of dollars
going to that.
This is a program that should be a -- it`s a model of efficiency. This
should be something that Republicans applaud.
KORNACKI: Part of the story of food stamps in the farm bill, too, has been
you put up with a lot more waste on the sort of farm subsidy side in
exchange for getting a robust food stamp program.
BERNARD: And the food stamp works on so many different levels. So we hear
constantly from members of Congress who are sort of battening down the
hatches. You know, we`ve got a childhood obesity problem in this country
that greatly impacts people of all socioeconomic levels and we have a
problem with food deserts all over the country.
And if you are the poorest of the poor or a member of what we call the
working poor, the food stamp program helps address those issues and it`s
the only way that it`s going to get addressed any time in the near future.
COX: And the overreach is probably going to happen. This is also
incredibly proper program. Something like three-quarters of the people
polled have heard of it and like it.
KORNACKI: All right. President Obama`s political brand may no longer be
Chicago. We`ll talk about that after this.
KORNACKI: A new book comes out this week that dredges up all that is wrong
with the culture of Washington, D.C. "This Town" by "New York Times
Magazine`s" chief national correspondent Mark Leibovich is about the
vanishing line between public service and self-service in our nation`s
capital. Former Republican Senate majority leader-turned-lobbyist Trent
Lott tells Leibovich, quote, "Washington is where the money is. That`s
generally what keeps people here.`
Washington can change people like that and the idea of Leibovich`s book is
that it has changed the Obamas.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Wwhen I am president, I will
start by closing the revolving door in the White House, that`s allowed
people to use their administration job as a stepping stone to further their
(END VIDEO CLI)
KORNACKI: Yet, five years later, the revolving door has spun like a
gyroscope. "Washington Post`s" Dana Milbank wrote last week to quote
Leibovich, "Scores of administration officials had by 2010 for K Street
jobs without anyone so much as pointing out that they were defying a
central tenet of the Obama political enterprise."
So, Ana Marie, I guess -- if there is a central idea to this book, it is
that Obama changed as somebody who is going to change Washington and
instead Washington changed him. We`ve seen the story before. We`ve seen
it in state capitals all the time.
I can`t tell you how many governors I`ve seen going to change Albany,
Trenton, Sacramento, Austin, whatever. I don`t know, I`m trying to build
up the outrage, I`m not sure I can.
COX: This may be a new story and you can apply it to Obama, but it`s not a
new story. I mean, you look at novels about Washington, I happen to have
written one -- this is actually a theme in all of them. The corruption of
the people that go there maybe with ideals, sometimes not with ideals and
what happens to them, and the coziness of Washington culture. Again, you
look back at Mark Twain, you look at back what, you know, those books, you
see the same thing. It`s what people do.
There is a social scene. When you put more than two people in a room,
you`re going to have some kind of interaction and you`re going to have some
clicks for `em. You know, I haven`t read the book yet. I read the excerpt
that was in "New York Times" magazine. Mark Leibovich is a friend of mine.
Imagine, they have a lot of trouble finding people who review this book.
Mark is friends with everyone.
KORNACKI: Well, that`s it.
So, Ben Smith from BuzzFeed wrote this review of it and the headline was, I
think he will eat lunch in this town again. The idea being is that
everybody -- this book was so widely anticipated in Washington, this
damning, excruciating indictment of Washington and Ben Smith`s point was
basically -- well, no, Mark didn`t do anything that is going to really harm
his permanent place in D.C.
ZEFF: Yes, I can`t help but wonder while I was looking at this book and
the excerpts. If you are someone from outside Washington, maybe like the
late Michael Hastings, someone who would come in and could you imagine what
he could have done with this type of thing. But then, Alex Pareene from
"Salon" and his review made the point, that was a little "Salon" there, but
he made the point in his review, that, yes, that would be better. But
someone from -- who isn`t friends with everyone in that scene, might not
have been able to get the juicy tidbits. That`s sort of a tradeoff.
KORNACKI: That`s the problem in Washington basically, right? Is to get
the kind of access you need to get anything valuable, you just need to be
friends first and almost limits what you`re able to report.
BERNARD: It`s not also -- something that I, you`re absolutely right. What
I wanted to add to that as someone as a lawyer who worked in a major
powerhouse law and lobbying firm in Washington, D.C., people always say
that this is a problem and I don`t look at it that way. I mean, maybe for
some people who are corrupt, it is a problem.
But if you are somebody who needs to hire a lawyer, if you need someone who
has to understand how Washington works, you have clients that will be very
happy to hire a former member of Congress, for example, who understands the
budget process to deal with their legal problems.
There`s nothing wrong with that. That is your work experience.
KORNACKI: I`m remembering, I believe Hillary Clinton during the 2008
primaries had a moment where she tried to defend lobbyists and that was
part of the Obama appeal. You know, Hillary Clinton will appeal lobbyists
and will, again, I`m trying to get outraged.
What do we now know that we didn`t know last week? My answer`s after this.
KORNACKI: What do we know now that we didn`t know last week?
Thanks to a newly uncovered piece of film, we now know what it looked like
to see President Franklin Roosevelt being pushed in a wheelchair. During
FDR`s presidency, journalists and photographers never reported or
documented Roosevelt in a wheelchair. The press kept it quite for 12
years, in accordance to the White House`s wishes.
But the newly found clip from 1944 shows Roosevelt exiting the USS
Baltimore in what appears to be a wheelchair. You see him there in that
unmistakable white hat and his wheelchair being concealed by sailors on the
deck. A very historic, a very intimate view of one of America`s most
We now know that Florida Governor Rick Scott might have accidentally
outlawed computers, because of a bill he signed to outlaw slot machines and
internet cafes in an effort to curb illegal gambling, also included such
vague language, that it drew a legal challenge, claiming that the bill
could ban all computers and smartphones, because it bans any, quote,
"network of devices that can be used in a game of chance. Using any device
with an Internet connection is technically illegal," the lawsuit claims.
We know that the law forced more than 1,000 Internet cafes to close, which
prompted the lawsuit.
We now know that Sarah Palin might run for the U.S. Senate in Alaska, and
things have already gotten pretty heated between Palin and the guy she`d
run against, Democratic Senator Mark Begich. The day after Palin said she
was considering running, Begich told "Politico", quote, "I don`t know if
she`s a resident. She`s been away from Alaska also and probably lost touch
with what`s going on."
The next day, Palin hit back, writing on Facebook, quote, "Mark, after
looking at your voting record, I can see why you`re looking for a
distraction." Begich then tweeted to Palin, quote, "I`d be happy to
compare my record of fighting for Alaska Sarah Palin USA, but it doesn`t
seem fair since she never finished the job."
We now know that if Palin does run, we have more of this to look forward
And we know that "Fox & Friends" co-host Brian Kilmeade made a 2-year-old
basketball sensation cry. On Thursday`s show, little Titus made a few
shots and when Kilmeade passed the ball back to him, the ball hit Titus in
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRIAN KILMEADE, FOX NEWS: You`re a machine, you`re a machine. How do you
stop. Whoops, I`m sorry!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That`s how you stop him, Brian.
KILMEADE: I`m sorry. Oh, my God. Sorry, sorry, dad.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: There but for the grace of God.
Later that day, FOX News host Chris Wallace called into Kilmeade`s radio
show to ask him, quote, "How do you get up in the morning and look at
yourself in the mirror?"
I want to find out what my guests know now that they didn`t know when the
week began. Let`s start with Ana Marie.
COX: I just have a postscript to your Palin news, which is the head of the
Republican Party in Alaska says he`s never even met Sarah Palin. So, if
she runs for a Senate there, it might not be as a Republican. Who knows?
But I was just going to say something about reproductive rights, in a lot
of states, Texas, North Carolina, Ohio, are passing some very restrictive
and invasive laws about women`s rights and a lot of them have to do with
informed consent, ultrasounds and what not.
A new -- fairly new statistic in that area is that 60 percent of the women
seeking abortions have one or more children. They know what`s going on in
their bodies. And I think that statistic is going to come into play as
this debate turns into a national one.
KORNACKI: All right. Congresswoman?
KELLY: Something that put a smile on my face. I met the 1963 Loyola
basketball team. It`s the only team in Illinois to win the NCAA title and
there`s a civil right piece to it. The first time there were four black
starting players. So, they came to visit us last week and they were going
on to see the president at the White House and they were pretty cool guys.
KORNACKI: The Loyola Ramblers, right?
ZEFF: So, Janet Napolitano stepped down -- or announced that she will be
stepping down as the head of homeland security this week and there`s been
mention of Ray Kelly as a possible successor. That could and should spark
a nationwide discussion about stop and frisk, the program that the NYPD has
used to target mostly black and Latino young men, if he is nominated for
that position, I hope that we have that conversation.
KORNACKI: And it`s interesting that Chuck Schumer has been forcefully
putting Kelly`s name out there. Michelle?
BERNARD: So we mentioned that the Senate Judiciary Committee is going to
be holding a hearing on Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. to talk about the Voting
Rights Act and what comes next.
And one of the things I think the public should know is when we talk about
voting rights and voter suppression, this is just not an issue that affects
people in the South. It is a nationwide issue. It`s not just
gerrymandering, when you talk about -- when people have to stand seven
hours in line to vote, it`s something that`s akin to the poll tax, because
the least among us cannot afford to stand in line all day long to vote.
It`s a very important issue.
I personally would argue that the entire nation, all 50 states, need to be
covered, and I hope people will watch the hearing, will get in contact with
their members of Congress and say that voting rights are absolutely
KORNACKI: Yes, those pictures of the lines, you know, in the days and
weeks leading up to 2012, were just horrible to watch, and you hear the
experiences and the idea of that being the permanent condition in American
voting, it`s awful.
My thanks to Ana Marie Cox of "The Guardian," Democratic Congresswoman
Robin Kelly of Illinois, Blake Zeff of Salon.com, and political strategist
Michelle Bernard. Thank you for getting UP.
And thank you for joining us today for UP. Join us tomorrow, Sunday
morning at 8:00, when I`ll have former Governors Doug Wilder and Jane
Swift, along with former Congressman Tom Perriello, talking about the Texas
abortion vote and more.
Coming up next is "MELISSA HARRIS-PERRY". On today`s "MHP", as we await a
verdict in the trial of George Zimmerman, there are those stoking the
flames of fare and already talking race riot. What is a race riot, anyway?
Melissa has the answer.
It`s "MELISSA HARRIS-PERRY," she`s coming up next. And we`ll have
continuing developments out of the Zimmerman the trial as they happen all
day here on MSNBC.
And we will see you right here tomorrow morning at 8:00. Thanks for
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