'Up with Steve Kornacki' for Sunday, March 23rd, 2014
Read the transcript to the Sunday show
Past transcripts by month
UP with STEVE KORNACKI
March 23, 2014
Guest: Simon Denyer, Shawn Henry. Dave Hunk, Eric Schneiderman, Raphael
Warnock, William Barber, Bart Jansen, Jose Antonio Vargas, Jess McIntosh,
Teresa Ghilarducci, Daniella Leger, Laura Bassett
KRYSTAL BALL, MSNBC ANCHOR: French images of possible debris from that
missing passenger jet.
It is now day 16 since Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 disappeared from
radar. Week three of the search for the missing jetliner. We begin this
morning with the breaking news that Malaysia has received new satellite
images of possible debris from French satellites. That announcement came
earlier this morning from Malaysia`s transport ministry, which says it has
relayed the images to Australia`s rescue command so it can begin a search.
Malaysia did not give any other details on the satellite images. So far
air and sea searches this week in a remote area of the southern Indian
Ocean below Australia to determine whether other objects spotted by
satellite were from the Malaysia jet have proven to be unsuccessful.
Planes and ships and international search effort involving more than 25
countries have also been searching today to discover whether a wooden
pallet spotted by a civilian search plane on Saturday may have been from
that missing plane. Wooden pallets are commonly used in the cargo holds
of airplanes, but they are also used in shipping containers at sea. One
of the Australian officials coordinating the search told reporters that the
pallets appeared to be surrounded by several other objects including what
seemed to be strapping belts.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The description was a wooden pallet and a number of
other items, which were nondescript around it. And some belts of
different colors around it as well, strapping belts of different lengths.
We tried to refine that yesterday with one of the New Zealand aircraft.
And unfortunately, they didn`t find it and that`s the nature of it. You
only have to be off by a few hundred meters in a fast traveling aircraft.
And so, we`ve gone back to that area again today to try and re-find it, but
also continuing on with a methodical search of the rest of the area looking
for these objects, which are showing off in the satellite imagery to tray
and give us some clues.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALL: A New Zealand military plane was sent back to try to find the wooden
pallet, but failed. Today`s search of the remote area has been hampered by
bad weather, including a warning for tropical cyclone Gillian. What would
be called a category one hurricane in this part of the world? I want to
now turn to NBC`s Ian Williams. He`s live in Perth, Australia. Ian?
IAN WILLIAMS, NBC CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Krystal. Well, we`re still waiting
for those French images to be released. But we understand that should
happen soon. They have been handed over to the Australians and will be
part of the planning process for Monday`s search. Now crucially we`ll be
looking at precisely where the debris is, which the French satellites have
spotted. If it is in the same sort of vicinity as the Australian and the
Chinese satellite images, that will reinforce the hopeful signs here, what
the prime minister of Australia himself called the hopeful signs that they
are looking broadly in the right area. Now, that said, they are still
looking. There`s been no sighting today. Eight aircraft went out there
including a U.S. military aircraft. There`s one ship on location. The two
Chinese aircraft that arrived Saturday are still waiting. They`re not
ready to go until Monday and there are two Japanese aircraft that also flew
in today. So a pretty big operation. But of those eight aircraft that
were out there today, there have been no reports yet of any sightings of
these objects, which have been spotted by the satellites, Krystal.
BALL: All right. Thanks so much to NBC`s Ian Williams in Australia. And
I want to now turn to Simon Denier. He is the Beijing bureau chief at the
"Washington Post." And he joins me now from Kuala Lumpur. And Simon, are
you any more optimistic after today`s news that a French satellite has also
spotted possible debris there in the ocean?
SIMON DENYER, THE WASHINGTON POST: Well, year, it`s another encouraging
sign, Krystal. But I mean it`s still very, very sketchy. We still don`t
know what they`re seeing. We don`t know anything about this French image
at all, actually. We don`t know what the Chinese saw that was a very large
piece of debris to come from an airplane and the Australians are still
looking, you know, at things as small as a wooden pallet in the ocean and
not having much luck. So, we should be encouraged by the news that we`re
getting. But this is a very, very difficult search and it`s a very, very
long haul. We`re really only at the beginning of the beginning of the
search process, if you think about what we need to do to actually find the
BALL: Indeed. All right. Thanks to "The Washington Post`s" Simon Denyer.
And joining me here in New York now are MSNBC aviation analyst John Cox, a
former captain for U.S. Airways, and Shawn Henry, a former executive
assistant director with the FBI. And Shawn, I want to turn to you. We now
have not just one or two, but three possible images of debris in roughly
the same general geographic zone. We don`t have as many details about
exactly where this new French piece of debris might be, but does that start
to build a case where you think, OK, we might be looking here in the right
SHAWN HENRY, FMR. FBI EXEC., ASST. DIR.: Well, I mean, at the end of the
day what you`ve got to do is actually find the debris. There needs to be
physical evidence to really define what happened here with any sense of
clarity. Until you actually get to that debris and start to analyze it and
assess it, whether it be the actual physical structure of the aircraft or
the black boxes, you`re not going to be able to make that determination
until you get there.
BALL: John, what do you make of these latest satellite images?
JOHN COX, MSNBC AVIATION ANALYST: Well, they`re large pieces and that
limits what parts of the airplane it could actually come from. So the
larger pieces may or may not actually be from the airplane. The wooden
pallet intrigues me because that could very well be, but if we have one
piece, odds are we`re going to have a lot of small pieces around it, things
like seat back cushions, potentially baggage that has opened as the
overheads were split open. Those kinds of things we typically see. So
it`s the small debris, the harder to find debris, that`s what I`m really
looking for because that will give us a starting point.
BALL: Now, how long would those items stay afloat? I mean eventually I
would think they would become saturated with water, may end up on the ocean
floor. How long would we expect large pieces of the plane to still be
afloat on top of the ocean?
COX: Large pieces, that`s a different matter. They may not stay afloat
indefinitely. It depends on the amount of damage they sustained with
impact with the water. But things like seat cushions they`ll float
BALL: Got it. And you mentioned that you found the wooden pallets
potentially hopeful. That would be a common item in in the airplane`s
COX: Two things, one, it is something that would be consistent with the
airplane, but recognize that shipping containers or shipping - marine
shipping also use similar containers. But what`s around it? They said
there were small items around it. That, if you put those two together,
potentially they could tie that to the airplane.
BALL: Shawn, thus far this satellite image, we don`t have as much
information about, we haven`t seen it. We don`t know exactly where in the
ocean it is, Malaysian authorities just released a new statement saying
that they existed. Do you make anything of those facts that we`re getting
less information at this point about these images?
HENRY: I think authorities are sometimes keeping things close to the vest,
I think that they want to - there have been a lot of reporting that`s come
out and I think that that`s upsetting to family members. The uncertainty
of all of this is certainly of concern to so many people and, I think,
perhaps they are may be holding things close to the vest until they can get
some further clarity on exactly what`s occurred.
BALL: Now while we`re looking for these pieces of debris and any debris
that we could find in that part of the ocean or elsewhere, there`s
investigations going on around the world as well. We know the FBI for
example, has copies of the hard drives of the pilot and co-pilot`s
computers. What are some of the parallel investigations that are also
going on now at this time?
HENRY: So, again, without the physical evidence, investigators will be
looking at the people, looking at some of those other competing theories
about what may have occurred, whether it were terrorism or hijacking or
pilot action. That comes down to thorough investigation and evaluation of
those individuals, passengers, family members. Flight crew and ground
crew, et cetera. With the files, what the investigators will be looking
for, is to see if they can recover any of the data that it was resonant on
that particular computer, which would indicate certain actions that pilots
may have taken in their simulation, certain flight routes or particular
types of evasive maneuvers, et cetera. That, again, each of those little
steps is a piece of the much larger puzzle as to what may have occurred
BALL: Would it be possible to solve this mystery without actually finding
debris from the plane?
HENRY: I think you could come close. Certainly physical evidence is going
to be the founding piece there, but you may find people who actually know
something that occurred. If there were actually human action here, then
there are human beings who may be part of this, part of a larger conspiracy
BALL: Right. All right, Shawn and John, both stay with us. Please, we`re
going to bring NBC`s Kerry Sanders. And Kerry, how is the international
search effort going right now? It appears to be what`s really a very low-
KERRY SANDERS, NBC CORRESPONDENT: Well, it is turning low tech, but there
are more eyes on, quite frankly, planes from the United States, from
Australia, from New Zealand, from China, from Japan, flight crews are all
over an area of the southern Indian Ocean where they are dropping down to
as low as 300 feet and the flight crews are literally looking outside the
windows now to see if they can spot any debris. The real headline of the
day is that there now appears to be a third satellite image that suggests
that there could be some sort of debris in this part of the ocean. That
image has yet to be shared publicly by the French, but it has been handed
over to the Malaysian authorities as well as to the Australian authorities.
It would line up in the same general region, we`re told, with a satellite
image that suggested that there could be plane debris in this area, a
photograph released by state run television in China, from the Chinese
satellite, and another two images that were released by Australia`s prime
minister taken from an Australian satellite. And so there is growing
evidence that there is something out there in this 22,000-square-mile area
- it`s about twice the size of Massachusetts -- but, again, be cautious
that it may just turn out to be garbage floating out there in the southern
The ultimate goal, of course, is to try to find the wreckage that will then
lead back to one of these, which is the so-called black box, it`s orange,
as you can see. And this is the pinger right here. It automates out a
clicking sound. Now, that clicking sound has a battery inside. And the
battery here is rated to go for about another 15 days. And so, it`s highly
possible that nobody will be able to find this in the time that this thing
is clicking, but the Germans are sending a submersible. It`s a submarine
that can go down up to 10,000 feet. And so, it could descend in the
water, and if there was a weak signal, hopefully pick it up. But all of
this is premature because ultimately they have to find some evidence of
wreckage on the surface to then calculate where the plane may have gone
down, if it even went down, Krystal, in this part of the ocean.
BALL: And Kerry, are all satellite images created, essentially, created
equal, roughly the same resolution and ability to detect detail? We`ve
learned that NASA will be employing some of their satellites in the service
of trying to locate wreckage. Would those be any higher resolution than
what we`re seeing?
SANDERS: All satellites are not created equal. And as you can imagine, a
lot of it has to do with the age of the satellite, because technology, as
you know, advances almost by a six-month period. And so the older
satellites do not provide the same sort of pictures as the more advanced
recent satellites that have been launched. So we may see, and we`re
waiting to see, that picture from the French government to see what their
satellite reveals, and we can just look at it ourselves and you`ve got to
remember to some extent there are still some military secrets. In some
cases, they don`t want to release how really good this equipment could be.
BALL: Right. And we will certainly provide those images to our audience
as soon as we have them. Thank you so much to NBC`s Kerry Sanders.
BALL: And John Cox and Shawn Henry are sticking around. We will have
much, much more right after this.
BALL: We are back with more on that missing plane. We`re waiting on new
images released this morning from a French satellite showing a possible
object in the southern corridor. And joining me to talk more about it, we
have got Captain Dave Funk, a retired commercial pilot, who`s live this
morning for us in Des Moines, Iowa. Shawn Henry, formerly with the FBI is
still with us. And MSNBC aviation analyst John Cox. Gentlemen, thank you
all so much for being with us. And Dave, as we are looking now at possible
pieces of debris in the southern Indian Ocean, even if we locate those
pieces of debris, how difficult will it then be to find the black box?
DAVE FUNK, FMR. COMMERCIAL PILOT: Difficult, but not impossible. The nice
thing is with the amount of data that we have today about ocean currents
and air currents, they should be able to reverse engineer this and work
backwards to figure out close to the point of impact if it turns out that
this is actually what happened. And it narrows that search area down from
the size of the state of Massachusetts to maybe the size of the city of
Boston. Down on the bottom to actually start finding pieces. There are
some pretty sophisticated submersibles out there today, robotics equipped
submersibles that can go down and actually cut the pieces of the fuselage
open to get out what we need to look at. And obviously, any investigator
is not only going to want to recover the black boxes, but the cockpit
section, perhaps the leading edge wing juncture points to see how sharp the
tearing was. That will give us a pretty good idea how hard the airplane
impacted the water, if it went in from low altitude at a shallow angle or
from high altitude at a sharp angle. So it`s -- this is never going to be
FUNK: But it`s just a degree of difficulty question.
BALL: You`re narrowing in increasingly and, John, if we are able to find a
piece of debris and we`re able to determine that it is a wing or some other
part of the missing aircraft, what information will we be able to glean
from that discovery?
COX: Well, if you look back at Air France 447, from the floating debris
and then when they found the debris on the bottom they were able to
ascertain pretty quickly that the airplane had hit at a very high vertical
rate with a low forward speed and you could tell that by the defamation of
the skin around things like the galley. So, the physical evidence is going
to be there. If there was an onboard fire there will be soot. So, those
are the kinds of things that investigators will look for once we find the
main body of the wreckage. And that will determine what pieces they want
to bring up. The recorders, definitely, those will be brought up if they
can possibly, if they`re found.
COX: And I think they will be. But the physical evidence as far as other
parts of the airplane, photographic evidence, the investigators will
conclude what adds value to the investigation and that`s what they`ll want
BALL: And, Shawn, in your experience with the FBI when you`re conducting
an investigation of this magnitude where there`s also a human tragedy and
impacted families involved, as you are considering when and how to release
evidence and how to proceed with the investigation, how much are you
considering what`s going on for the families?
HENRY: That`s a great point, Krystal. I think that investigators have to
be cognizant of that at all times. There are human beings here, 239
people that were on the aircraft and then hundreds of thousands of family
members and friends that are feeling the impact of this. I think
investigators have to be sensitive to that and there`s always a balance.
If you`re looking at doing investigation and doing interviews, oftentimes
you`ve got to ask probing questions. It`s really important in order to
elicit the right information, but it also has to be done with some
sensitivity and understanding about the people that are involved here.
BALL: Such a great point. Dave, as we`re looking now at - this is the
third satellite image showing possible debris in the southern Indian Ocean,
in what we`ve been calling that southern arc of the potential plane
trajectory, should we really be honing in on that region or should we still
be considering the possibility that the plane could have flown along that
northern arc that crossed over some 15 different countries?
FUNK: You know, there`s always a possibility that it could have gone the
other way and that this is just sea debris, but realistically to have three
different satellites bring up those kind of information, you know, these
photos, to look at the pings that we received by radar, that`s important.
But what we don`t know for sure - excuse me, what we know for sure it that
the airplane didn`t penetrate any of the radars, the air defense radars
that were up in southern China, northern Indian and then Pakistan, in
Kazakhstan. And because the Australians didn`t see the aircraft on their
radars or over the horizon radars that really helps us to determine we know
it wasn`t there in the north by any other sources of evidence. So, now we
are seeing debris along the similar path to where the southern pings were -
had occurred as a result of that. Most of us in the business, you know, in
the aviation business, anybody that`s been search and rescue worker, are
going to say, real good chance this is probably we`re on to something.
Let`s just keep looking here to be sure. The Indians are still looking in
the north, the Indian Navy. I`m sure the Malaysians have assets that are
still searching or their coast and along with the Thais and the Burmese.
It`s just a matter of time until we can eliminate those areas and actually
bring it in to the, you know, really hone in as many assets as possible in
this potential crash site.
BALL: John, one other piece of information that we have is that there was
what`s been described as a significant number of lithium ion batteries as
part of the cargo of this plane. They can be flammable. Does that raise
any red flags for you as an investigator?
COX: It`s certainly something that they`ll look at. But there are lithium
batteries on every flight - on every - around the world.
BALL: So this is common?
COX: It`s very, very, very common. These were shipped, the Malaysians say
they were shipped in accordance with the proper regulations and packaging.
So, I think it`s a low likelihood. But for a major fire to have been
onboard the airplane, and it to fly six hours, that is statistically very
unlikely when you look at the history of inflight fire. This one will be
an extreme outlier. And there`s no evidence to support it.
BALL: Have we ever been so captured and gripped by an aviation mystery
like this before?
COX: No, I think the last time the world was this fascinated by a missing
airplane the captain`s name was Amelia Earhart.
BALL: Such a great point. All right. I want to thank former pilot Dave
Funk, former FBI member Shawn Henry and Captain John Fox - Cox, I`m sorry
for that. And thank you all for talking with me this morning, and we will
be following the latest developments on this all morning. We will be on it
and satellite pictures when we get them will go straight to you. So, keep
it here on MSNBC. More news straight ahead. And we`ll be right back.
BALL: It`s not just that low wage workers are making the minimum wage,
sometimes they`re making less than the minimum wage and other times they`re
making nothing at all.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (speaking Spanish)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There was, I think, two or three paychecks that they
still owed me. It probably amounts to a couple of grand at least, if not
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALL: Unbelievable. A 2009 study by the National Employment Law Project
found that one quarter of low wage workers reported being paid less than
minimum wage in their most recent week of work. One out of four. There
are the hours they`re asked to work off the clock, taking home nothing for
work that happens unofficially which usually means unpaid. It`s illegal,
but it apparently happens all the time. When we come back we`ll talk to
New York`s top lawyer about his wage theft investigation involving the
biggest name in fast food, you know who I`m talking about.
BALL: Fast food workers set off another wave of protests for better
working conditions this week, taking to the streets in about 30 cities
across the country on Tuesday. What started with just 200 fast food
workers walking out of work in New York City a year and a half ago has
grown into a nationwide movement that`s garnered the attention of
businesses, elected officials, and the president of the United States.
Fast food workers have been taking to the streets for more than a year now
to demand higher wages and the right to form a union, but this week`s
demonstrations were different. They involved one corporation, McDonald`s,
and the demand was simple. Pay your workers the wages that they are
legally due. Last week McDonald`s workers in three states filed seven
lawsuits alleging that McDonald`s and some of their franchises had withheld
their wages by forcing them to work unpaid hours, clock-outing (ph) their
shifts and shoulder expanses in violation of labor laws. Violations that
could be considered wage theft. According to the workers` attorneys these
lawsuits could cover 30,000 workers.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have also been forced to work off the clock and after
my shift ends at midnight, two nights a week, for five to ten minutes,
sometimes 10 to 20 minutes off the clock, minutes doing cleanup and other
basic job duties. It may not sound like a lot, but when you`re living on
the edge like me, every penny counts.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALL: McDonald`s responded with a statement saying, quote, "McDonald`s and
our independent owner/operators are each committed to undertaking a
comprehensive investigation of the allegations. And we`ll take any
necessary action as they apply to our respective organizations. And just
as this new round of lawsuits kicked off, New York Attorney General Eric
Shneiderman announced the results of another lawsuit his office spearheaded
last year. The owner of seven New York City McDonald`s franchises agreed
to pay more than 1,600 workers nearly half a million dollars to settle a
claim that he failed to pay his workers all of the wages that they were
owed. This payout comes just two weeks after Schneiderman won a $2 million
settlement for 1,000 carwash workers who had also been victims of wage
theft. Here is what one carwash worker had to say after that victory.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): This is a little battle. If this
shows that if we can win this, imagine how much more we can win.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALL: To discuss what we can expect as the fight for fair pay moves from
the streets into the courts, we are joined by New York Attorney General
Eric Schneiderman. Sir, thank you so much for being with us.
ERIC SCHNEIDERMAN. (D) NEW YORK ATTORNEY GENERAL: Thank you, Krystal.
BALL: So, tell us about this latest settlement that you were able to
negotiate with the McDonald`s franchise owner. How did this come about and
what does it mean?
SCHNEIDERMAN: Oh, we`re finding that increasingly fast food workers are
speaking up, they are finding their voice, and that manifests itself in
their street action, they`re campaigning, but it also means more people are
blowing the whistle on employers who are trying to beat - really, beat
people out of poverty wages. I mean during most of the period of time of
our investigation into these McDonald`s franchises, the minimum wage was
$7.25 an hour, so these guys were cheating people out of even making that.
So, fast food workers are rising up. They are speaking up. They`re
getting the attention of the public, the press, and offices like mine where
we solicit whistleblowers, we want people to come and report wage theft,
they`re getting legal action. So, we got these seven franchises to agree
to pay back wages for things like refusing to give them the laundry
allowance, making cashiers make up a shortfall in their register, and as
has been mentioned, getting people to clock out, forcing them to do work
when they weren`t clocked in really wage theft is one of the most egregious
forms of theft. It really is despicable. It`s people who have money
stealing from people who don`t and that`s really something we can`t
tolerate in the state of New York.
BALL: And really preying on the powerless. You know, a lot of these
workers feel like they don`t have the ability or the power to go to their
employer and say, hey, this wasn`t fair, because they think they`ll just
get fired and they`ll bring in another worker.
SCHNEIDERMAN: That`s a very important point and we have a very strong
anti-retaliation policy in New York. Last year, there were some Domino`s
workers up in Washington Heights who started to try and organize and
complain. 25 were fired. My office intervened. We got them their jobs
back very, very quickly and these McDonald`s franchises we just settled
with, have also agreed to abide by a strong non-retaliation policy. They
are reporting to us every quarter. This is setting a sort of a template
for what we want to do whenever we find people engaging in wade theft,
cheating people, really - every month have to make a choice between paying
the rent, buying medicine, buying food, cheating them even out of the small
amount that they`re due.
BALL: Unbelievable. Now, in your view, does the problem here and the
pressure here come more from the franchise owners or more from the
corporate level? Because as we mentioned there are a number of other
lawsuits across the country that are focusing on McDonald`s as a
corporation and one of the lawyers alleges that the problem really starts
at the top. They say that McDonald`s franchisees use software provided by
the company that calculates employee to sales ratios, and instructs
restaurants to reduce staffing when sales drop below a certain level in any
given hour, so applying a lot of pressure there. And as a result the
lawyer said some McDonald`s workers in the suit were ordered upon reporting
to work not to clock in for an hour or two and instead wait until more
customers arrived. Is there a problem also at the corporate level, and do
you have plans to launch an investigation of McDonald`s the corporation
rather than just the franchise owners?
SCHNEIDERMAN: Well, our investigations are ongoing and as you mentioned
the lawsuits filed in Michigan, California and New York, do allege, and it
appears to be the case, that there is software made available by the
corporation to the franchises so they can do what`s called just in time
staffing, which essentially means workers are waiting around to see often
if they get a call, if it`s busy enough for them to come in. It`s really
abusive practice and the inquiry into whether or not this is violating any
laws and whether it`s something that`s more of a nationwide problem is
BALL: So, you would say that that`s something that you are looking into?
SCHNEIDERMAN: We`re very interested in this. We`re interested and, also,
look, this is not something - we are doing about McDonald`s. This is an
epidemic in the fast food industry.
SCHNEIDERMAN: And they have to give some credit to Mary Kay Henry and the
folks at SEIU, the Service Employees International Union, they have really
undertaken this fast food effort. In New York we have great groups on the
ground, make the road, New York communities for change, a group called Fast
Food Forward, who are helping these workers find their voices and you`re
going to see more and more workers stepping up without fear of retaliation
that dominated this industry for so long and we`re going to be seeing
changes here. And they also, frankly, are inspiring a lot of higher paid
workers because the poorest of the poor, the most vulnerable can speak up,
everyone else should be able to speak up, too.
BALL: That is such a great point. And on another issue, related issue
that the "New York Times" is just reporting on, as you mentioned, the
minimum wage just lifted to $8 an hour from $7.25. "The New York Times" is
reporting that there`s a number of establishments that apparently didn`t
get the memo. They`re still paying their workers under the old wage. Do
you have a plan to address those sorts of violations?
SCHNEIDERMAN: We have a broad plan about wage theft that we`ve been
implementing since I became the attorney general. In New York we treat
wage theft like car theft. It`s not a smart business practice. It`s not
something that`s just a clever thing you learn when you`re getting your
MBA. It`s theft. It`s theft. It`s taking money from poor people. We are
going to enforce the law wherever we can and we encourage people, fast food
workers, others, and actually some legitimate businesses who play by the
rules are also reporting some of the bad actors, too. And so, we have a
website ag.ny.gov. Anyone can come forward, always confidential. We`re
getting more and more leads, Krystal.
BALL: That`s great.
SCHNEIDERMAN: We are getting more and more people speaking up. And I
think this is going to happen all over the country.
BALL: That`s great. Well, workers are lucky to have you there. Thank you
so much for taking this on.
SCHNEIDERMAN: Thank you.
BALL: All right. Thank you so much for joining us today as well, Attorney
General Eric Schneiderman. And a lot more news ahead this morning
including the new movement rooted in civil rights. That is sweeping across
the South. We will talk to two of its leaders to see just what it might be
able to accomplish.
Plus, more on the search for that missing Malaysian Airlines Flight 370.
Take a look at what happened this morning at the airport in Kuala Lumpur.
The airport where that flight originated. Hundreds of people, more than
300 of them, riding bicycles in a show of support for the passengers and
the crew onboard Flight 370. As well as for the families who have been
waiting for answers for more than two weeks now. It was called "The Ride
for Prayer." Participants decorated their bikes with small Malaysian flags
and stickers that said "Pray for 370."
All of this happening this morning as search planes circled back to the
same remote stretch of the south Indian Ocean to keep searching for new
clues in the disappearance of that flight. Malaysia announced only hours
ago that French satellites have discovered images of potential wreckage
from the plane. We`ll be right back.
BALL: In New Orleans, Monday means red beans and rice, a Monday tradition
because historically that was laundry day in the city. And a big pot of
beans and rice could pretty much tend to itself on the stove. In Raleigh,
North Carolina, in the year 2013 to the present day, Mondays have taken on
a very different significance. They became known as Moral Mondays, day of
protests outside the state capital as the Republican controlled legislature
limited reproductive rights, made it harder for folks to vote and denied
health care to some of its most vulnerable citizens. Among other acts of
what many consider legislative overreach. And now it looks like the Moral
Monday protest movement that civil rights groups launched nearly a year ago
in North Carolina is spreading across the Deep South. This week`s
demonstrations outside state houses in Atlanta, Georgia, and Columbia,
South Carolina, in protest against those states` refusal to accept federal
money to expand Medicaid.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CROWD: (INAUDIBLE) Expand Medicaid! Expand Medicaid!
REV. RAPHAEL WARNOCK, EBENEZER BAPTIST CHURCH: This is really a small
price to pay given the fact that there are a lot of people who are
handcuffed to poverty and unable to get basic health care in the richest
country in the world.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALL: And it isn`t just the south. The faith-based protests have also
found voice further north in New York this month as part of Moral March.
See what they did there? On Thursday 59 demonstrators were arrested for
protesting legislation including tax cuts for the wealthy and cuts to state
programs. An organizer for the Moral Monday movement in Georgia told the
"New York Times" that they are, quote, "At the beginning of a new southern
strategy, and I`ve got to say I like this one a whole lot better than the
old one." But one longtime Democratic operative was more pessimistic about
the impact the demonstrations could have. "Moral Monday was just born out
of frustration, he told "The Times." It`s a desperate battle for political
relevance. So can these groups have an impact on politics, especially in
an era, in which big money donors, super PACs and lobbyists, have an
increasingly outsized role in politics? Is the very fact that they`ve
lasted this long already and shown obvious signs of growth reason enough
Here to discuss just what kind of impact the Moral Monday movement is
having, I am pleased to welcome Reverend William Barber, president of the
North Carolina NAACP, a founder of the Moral Monday movement, and Reverend
Raphael Warnock of the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, the historic
pulpit of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Reverend Warnock was arrested at
Republican Governor Nathan Deal`s office on Tuesday for protesting the
state`s refusal to accept increased federal Medicaid funding. Gentleman,
thank you so much for being with me today.
REV. WILLIAM BARBER, NORTH CAROLINA, NAACP: Good morning.
WARNOCK: Thank you so much, Krystal.
BALL: It`s my pleasure. And Reverend Barber, I wanted to start with you.
When you initially launched this Moral Monday movement, did you have any
idea how big it would become?
BARBER: Well, what we knew is that we are seeing in state capitols across
the South and other places, a new form of interposition and nullification.
We are seeing it wrapped in Tea Party extremism where the argument is the
way to a better society is to deny education, deny health care, deny voting
rights, deny women`s rights, deny immigrants` rights, deny rights to the
LGBT community, deny labor rights, deny minimum wage and then if you want
to really have a great society, the extremists are saying give people more
guns and give more tax cuts to the wealthy.
That kind of policy demands a moral response. That is what we have to have
a response to say, this is not about Democrat or Republican, it`s about
what`s right. It`s not about states` rights, but about a moral society, is
challenging policies saying that they are constitutionally inconsistent,
morally indefensible and economically insane. And we knew that when we did
this, that it would grab a hold of a deep longing in the hearts of
Americans to do what is right by our brothers and sisters and that`s why
we`ve seen such a power and such a movement beginning to foster across this
BALL: Yeah, I love the way that you talk about how this isn`t just about
left versus right.
BALL: It`s about right versus wrong and Reverend Warnock, I was hoping you
could tell us a little bit about this most recent protests in Georgia where
you were arrested. What are people energized in Georgia around?
WARNOCK: Well, there is this growing sense that we`ve had more than
enough. I mean if you watch the state legislature in Georgia this past
week, the message was sadly very, very clear. Here is a legislature that
refused to expand Medicaid, a benefit that the federal government has
promised to provide at 100 percent and then by 2020 it would ratchet down
to 90 percent. Our governor said that we can`t afford to expand Medicaid.
Our argument was that we cannot afford not to expand Medicaid. Dr. King
said that of all the forms of injustice, inequality in health care is the
most shocking and the most inhumane.
And so this is a part of a larger movement and framework. Not only did
they refuse to expand Medicaid this very week, our legislature decided that
it`s a good idea for any defects (ph) worker who has reasonable suspicion
to require recipients of food stamps, 53,000 of whom, by the way, are
military personnel active and veterans, to get a drug test and to pay for
that drug test.
In addition to that, the legislature decided that it is a crime for any
state employee to help people connect to the Affordable Care Act. And so
the message, it seems to me, is that it is against the law to be a poor
person in the state of Georgia, and if you help people to access the
ladders of opportunity that lift people into the middle class, you are
guilty of aiding and abetting poor people in their crime of being poor.
BALL: And Reverend Warnock, on the issue of extension of Medicaid, which
is what you`ve really focused on in your protests thus far, things just got
worse, you could say, in the state of Georgia. They just passed additional
laws making it even more difficult to potentially expand Medicaid in the
future, and this comes on top of the fact that it is disproportionately
poor folks who are impacted by southern states` failure to expand Medicaid.
WARNOCK: Yes, and it impacts people in so many ways. There certainly is a
moral argument to be made for the expansion of Medicaid, but there`s also,
Krystal, an economic argument to be made. It is calculated that by
expanding Medicaid in a state, by the way, where you have rural hospitals
closing because you have so many uninsured people -- we have the fifth
highest level - or the fifth highest population of uninsured individuals of
any state in the union. Our rural hospitals are closing, people are
hurting. This expansion of Medicaid would not only provide care to those
who need it, it would produce some 56,000 new jobs, generate $65 to $70
billion of new economic activity in the state of Georgia. And so in the
name of ideology, a kind of myopic and mean-spirited politics, we`ve
decided to put a stranglehold on the Georgia economy. We can do better
BALL: All right, both our guests are staying with us. We`ll be right
BALL: We are back now with Reverends Barber and Warnock talking about the
Moral Monday movement that both of them are involved with.
And Reverend Barber, what do you see as having been the greatest impact
thus far in North Carolina of the Moral Monday movement? Because we can
look at the Republican Governor Pat McCrory`s job approval ratings and see
that they have precipitously declined since the Moral Monday movement
started. What would you say has been the greatest impact?
BARBER: Well, that`s one of the great things that happened.
You see, this movement, in fact, in North Carolina, didn`t just start last
year. It`s been organized for more than seven years. A few weeks ago, we
saw nearly 100,000 people show up. And it`s not just liberals. It`s
Republicans, it`s Democrat, it`s white, it`s black, it`s Latino, it`s
people of faith, people that are struggling with faith, doctors, uninsured,
unemployed, business people. All who say, wait a minute. There are some
things that are bigger than Republican and Democrat and liberal versus
conservative. And when we began to frame issues and say economics is
moral, health care is a moral issue, how do we provide public education is
a moral issue, voting rights, immigrants` rights, women`s rights are moral
issue. And we changed the language. And thereby changed the messaging.
What we have seen is the governor started out about 50 percent. Now his
numbers are well under 30 percent. The legislature is over 40 percent.
Now their numbers are well over 19 percent because people began to
understand that there is a better way. Extremism takes us down the road
to political destruction, and what we must do is lift these states to
And what we must understand, finally can understand, in America now, we
have to realize that state-based movements indigenously led is where we
BARBER: We must focus because the states, if you want to change America,
you must think states and you must think southern states. That`s why we`re
seeing it break out in Alabama now. We`re seeing Missouri is talking about
a moral movement. Even in Wisconsin, I was just there two weeks ago, and
now they`re organizing.
BALL: That`s great.
BARBER: Because we must change the language and change the methodology.
BALL: Reverend Warnock, will your group get involved in elections this
November and actually politically organizing?
WARNOCK: Well, the right to vote is preservative of all other rights.
And certainly we will be engaged in registering people to vote. I think
that when our legislators engage in this kind of mean-spirited politics,
many of them are counting on people, quite frankly, not to pay attention.
BALL: Yeah, that`s right.
WARNOCK: People are overwhelmed. They`re working longer for less wages
and we intend, yes, to empower and activate voters and get them to the
BALL: We saw a similar dynamic in my home state of Virginia where we
elected a Republican governor, a Republican legislature and they went way
farther than the people wanted them to go. I think what you`re doing in
the South is amazing. It gives a lot of hope to a lot of people and is
having a tremendous impact. Thank you Reverends William Barber and Raphael
Warnock, both for being with us.
BARBER: Thank you so much.
BALL: And a full hour of news ahead beginning with an update on the search
for Malaysia Flight 370. That`s next.
BALL: We are back with a second full hour of news and discussion ahead
beginning with more on this morning`s breaking news. Malaysian authorities
say France has provided more satellite images of objects that could be from
the passenger jet that went missing more than two weeks ago. These new
objects are thought to be close to the areas of the southern Indian Ocean
where previous satellite images showed other objects also thought to be
possible debris. So far, follow up searches by air and ship have not been
able to locate anything. Eight search planes have flown out of Australia
today to continue the search. They are trying to discover whether a wooden
cargo pallet also spotted yesterday by a civilian search plane may also
have been from Flight 370. Wooden pallets are commonly used in the cargo
holds of planes, but they are also used in shipping containers at sea. NBC
News was onboard a New Zealand search and rescue mission yesterday, when it
headed down to look for debris. The plane used radar and sonar technology
to search for any signs of Flight 370. But much of the work was decidedly
low tech, just eyeballs looking out of windows. And one pint, the crew was
asked to divert to a possible debris sighting, but it turned out to be a
pile of floating sea weed. In all four hours onto the search zone, two
hour searching and four hours home, with little to show for it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FLIGHT LIETENANT ERIC LONG, NEW ZEALND ROYAL AIR FORCE: At least we can
take (INAUDIBLE) some positives that we`ve searched a bit of the area that
we can now - we want to search somewhere else. Obviously, it`s
disappointing that we didn`t find anything.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALL: All right. Let`s bring in NBC`s Tom Costello for the very latest on
the search. Tom?
TOM COSTELLO, NBC CORRESPONDENT: You know, when we talk about the search
area, I think it`s important to point something out. That looks like to us
when we are, you know, thousands of miles away. That`s not that big of an
area, right? No, this is the size of Massachusetts. And Kerry Sanders had
a great analogy, essentially what you`re looking for is something the size
of the top of a shed, the roof of a shed in the area of Massachusetts, and
you`re doing it by air. This is a huge massive undertaking. Another point
about those wooden pallets. Yes, this aircraft can take six wooden pallets
onboard. We don`t yet know from Malaysia Airlines whether there were any
wooden pallets onboard that plane, but to talk about how you ubiquitous
these wooden pallets are, because really so much debris in the ocean. You
never call - with the case of Air France, immediately, when they saw a
debris out there, they saw a wooden pallet. It turns out there was no
wooden pallet on the Air France plane. It was just more ocean junk. More
stuff out there.
Let me go to the next page over here, because this is really important as
we drill down. One piece, the piece that was spotted on Chinese satellite
is thought to be here. Now, you may recall that the Australian satellite
picked up something right in there. This piece that the French say they
may have seen is also somewhere in there, but this is literally at least
500 miles apart from each other. You are looking for something the size of
a wooden pallet or a 73 piece of metal that`s 500 miles from another piece?
This is just a massive, massive undertaking.
Let`s go back to this other satellite image. Let`s begin with the one that
we had last week. Now, this is the original piece from the Australians and
this is now already seven days old. And we`re talking 79 feet here. And
look at that. Look at the definition on this. It`s really, really poor,
isn`t it? The satellite imagery is like this when you`re trying to get a
good idea of what this is, you`re looking at your - you`re using your best
resources, the best analytics that the Australians can provide, and the
French, and the Chinese, and all they can tell you is roughly 79 feet.
Another one may have been 16 feet over here. One of them, we`re told, may
have been 73 feet, but that`s a guess-timate based on satellite imagery.
And trying to get a sense of what`s sitting on top of a rolling ocean with
So, again, to drill down on this message, they don`t even know if this is a
piece of the plane. All they know is a piece of something 79 feet is out
there. A piece of something, maybe 73 feet, is out there and again, a
third piece that we don`t have any specifics on from the French in terms of
the size that they may have spotted. But the reason they`re all
interested, the reason that this has got everybody`s attention is because
of the location. Again, we`re talking about right down here in this area
already identified as a potential point of interest for where this plane
may have gone, but even that is a guess. Can I give you one last point of
Let`s go back to the big area map. This is the original -- remember that
what we were talking about two weeks ago? This plane was missing on a
flight from here, going way up to Beijing and then we thought, no, wait, it
doubled back, didn`t it? And maybe came up this way. And now we`re all
the way down here. Just to give you a sense, I mean this is - look at the
size of the earth here that we have been focusing on. This is a massive,
massive section and our attention has been diverted based on the latest
intel. But even this right now, even this is a guess. Krystal, back to
BALL: Tom, one quick follow-up. One of the things that people have been
speculating is the debris spotted on the satellite could possibly be a
BALL: Something that fell off of a ship. What size are shipping
containers? Would they be roughly consistent with the sizes that we`re
looking at in these satellites?
COSTELLO: Funny enough, call me a geek, I was googling that the other day.
BALL: And the biggest size that I saw that is a standard shipping size is
40 feet. So this 73 feet or 79-foot piece would be considerably bigger
than the standard shipping container. That said, there are other things,
there`s so much junk and trash in the ocean. It could be anything. And
the Australians have really gone to great lengths to emphasize that point.
BALL: All right. You`re all over this. Thank you so much to NBC`s Tom
And joining me here in New York, MSNBC aviation analyst John Cox, a former
captain for U.S. Airways, and in Washington Bart Jansen, transportation
reporter with "USA Today." And Bart, would you say now that we`re looking
at three different satellite images of possible, possible, debris in the
south Indian Ocean, would you say this is a hopeful sign that we could be
narrowing in on where that plane might be?
BART JANSEN, USA TODAY: Well, it`s definitely hopeful, but the problem
with finding the debris, actually, getting to it and trying to confirm that
it is a part of the plane. One of the challenges with the satellite
pictures is that the first two from a commercial satellite and from a
Chinese satellite were pictures taken last Sunday and Tuesday.
JANSEN: So that even if they are parts of the plane, they could have
drifted far from where they were.
BALL: And, John, we have a lot of flights going out over this area
searching, looking with human eyeballs for what they can see. Is it
possible they could have flown over this debris and just missed it
COX: It`s possible. But you`ve got some very, very professional, highly
trained search teams out there that are used to doing maritime patrol, that
are used to looking for things in the water. And part of what they`re
doing is utilizing what you described as low tech. But it`s a very
effective way of determining things that are of about - of smaller size
that don`t have a temperature difference profile, so the infrared systems
don`t necessarily work or a radar profile. So, they`re using radar,
they`re using infrared, they`re using enhanced optics and they`re using
human eyeballs. They`re using all possible assets, and I think it`s wise.
BALL: Sometimes human eyeballs are the best technology.
BALL: . that we can possibly have. One piece of information that we have
as well as that - these wooden pallets were spotted in the ocean. Could
they have possibly been from the flight? If we did come back to these
wooden pallets and were able to examine them, would we be able to discern
whether they did actually come from this airplane or not?
COX: Quite possibly. I think first there may be serial numbers on them,
the type of strapping material may be conclusive to say if it was a
shipper, a known shipper. The one of the things is to ask Malaysian
Airlines what cargo with great specificity was on the airplane. How was it
loaded? To talk to a loading agents. It was - there were a wooden pallet
onboard as mentioned previously? Air France had no wooden pallets, yet the
searchers found a wooden pallet, obviously from a ship. So, these are the
bits and pieces as we build the evidence trail that come in. Some are
discarded. Some are valid and we have to be careful with that.
BALL: Bart, in your view, are there any theories of what possibly happened
that we can rule out at this point? Can we say for sure that there was
human intervention, or was it still possibly some sort of mechanical
JANSEN: Well, I don`t know if we can rule out anything yet. There are so
many possibilities. The thing that was intriguing toward the start of the
flight is the two pieces of equipment that might communicate from the plane
stopped sending signals. Some people refer to this that they turned them
off, but that`s not necessarily the case. If there was a fire onboard it
could have disabled the equipment. And so then the curiosity is the plane
seems to have turned intentionally to the west from its northeast path.
And so if something happened, perhaps the pilots were still able to turn
the plane perhaps to make an emergency landing, and then the question is
well, what might have prevented that?
So, with the very little information that we have about the flight, we
still have to explore every possibility, the reason that they`re searching
in the southern Indian Ocean is because a piece of the equipment that
wasn`t sending out messages, but continued to try to search for a
satellite, and so there was one ping an hour for seven hours so it appears
to have kept flying, and so they`re looking along the path where it might
BALL: John, let`s say that we locate one of these pieces of debris, what
COX: Well, we look then to say, OK, now we have a known starting point.
There are people like the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, the U.S.
Coast Guard, there`s a number of very, very sophisticated computer models
that can take the actual wind, the actual current on the given days and
then begin to build the thing backwards, to say, OK, this is the likely
point of impact. From there, depending on the depth of the water, what`s
the current? Where can we narrow the search down for the main body of the
BALL: What are the other pieces of investigation that are sort of going on
in parallel right now? Because while we are looking in the south Indian
Ocean, we don`t even know for sure that that`s where the plane is located.
What else is going on in the investigation?
COX: Well, the parallel investigation is going on. There`s a criminal
investigation that`s looking into the backgrounds of everybody that was
around the airplane, there were passengers, ground service agents, anyone
involved, flight crew members. So that`s one piece. On the other hand,
you have the accident investigation, which is really kind of depending on
finding initially debris, but they`re culling for evidence of radar, they
are culling for evidence of anything, any known issues with the airplane.
The airplane had sustained damage some - a couple of years ago.
Mechanically, how was it? So, so there`s a lot of things - everything is
still on the table.
BALL: Absolutely. All right, my thanks to you, MSNBC aviation analyst
John Cox, and to Bart Jansen from "USA Today." And we will be on this much
more on all of the latest developments on missing Malaysia Flight 370
throughout the show. We`ll be right back.
BALL: Immigrant families in this country are being torn apart by
deportation every single day. And in many cases, they don`t even get the
chance to say good-bye. In January the family of this man in this "New
York Times" article was holding a rally at a park in Kansas City. They
were appealing for his release from a detention center. They were clinging
to the hope that he might not be sent back to Mexico. What they didn`t
know was that immigration officials had already put him on a bus heading
south. One day earlier immigration officials had denied his appeal. No
one told them and he wasn`t even allowed to make a phone call himself. His
wife didn`t find out until he got to Mexico. He called her from the bus
station in the violence ridden Mexican border town where they dropped him
off. She could literally hear gunshots in the background. That family`s
story sadly is not an unusual one. In fact, during the Obama
administration, stories like theirs have flourished. Soon more
deportations will have occurred during the first five and a half years of
the Obama presidency than during all eight years of the previous Bush
administration. This regrettable accomplishment earned Obama the nickname
"Deporter-in-chief" by the head of the Hispanic Civil Rights Organization
La Raza. But it looks like all of that might finally be about to change.
Not because President Obama created change by executive action, something
he made clear to a heckler in November, he`s reluctant to do.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: If in fact, I
could solve all these problems without passing laws in Congress, then I
would do so. But we`re also a nation of laws. That`s part of our
BALL: As President Obama has wanted, the recent movement towards change
did start in Congress. Specifically in the Senate, where three leading
Democratic Senators Chuck Schumer Dick Durbin and Bob Menendez called on
the president to slow the pace of deportations. Last week as Congressional
Hispanic Caucus members prepared to vote on a resolution demanding the
president curb deportations, three leading members got called to the White
House for a discussion. That was followed the next day by the president
meeting with immigration activists for what they described as a thoughtful
conversation. Only days after calling Mr. Obama, the Deporter-in-chief,
the president of the National Council of La Raza, Janet Murguia, was called
to the West Wing to discuss working directly with the Department of
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JANET MURGUIA, NATIONAL COUNCIL OF LA RAZA: We are very clear. He has
asked us to work directly with Secretary Jay Johnson to really find more
humane ways to be able to address the situation and to reduce those
deportations wherever we can.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALL: On Friday the White House announced that meeting will take place
this Tuesday morning. But all of that taking place really just among
Democrats. For any real change to happen, Republicans need to be involved.
Earlier this year, Republican House Speaker John Boehner cast doubt on
whether a bill could pass pinning the blame not on the House GOP, but on
President Obama`s use of executive actions.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. JOHN BOEHNER, (R-OH), HOUSE SPEAKER: Listen, there`s widespread doubt
about whether this administration can be trusted to enforce our laws. And
it`s going to be difficult to move any immigration legislation until that
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALL: Which seems to be a pretty hard charge to make stick when the
current president is deporting more undocumented immigrants than any
president before him. So, is a more humane deportation policy actually on
its way? And what effect will it have on a comprehensive immigration
reform package? Here to discuss the way forward on deportation and the
immigration reform movement as a whole is Jose Antonio Vargas, an
undocumented Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and filmmaker whose new film
"Documented" is being screened in cities across American in the next few
weeks. Jose, I`m so glad to have you with us.
JOSE ANTONIO VARGAS: Oh, thank you so much for having me.
BALL: Let`s talk about the latest news the president is reviewing his
deportation policy and, let`s be clear, he can`t wave a wand and fix the
problem himself. But what could we reasonably expect him to be able to do?
JOSE ANTONIO VARGAS, JOURNALIST & FILMMAKER: Well, let me just say that I
think it`s imperative that we say that the grassroots activists.
VARGAS: Are the ones who really made this happen?
VARGAS: I mean the grassroots activists, including my friend Ju Hong, the
guy who heckled the president .
VARGAS: I think he was just politely asking the president a question. You
know, has been insisting on something to happen and has been calling
President Obama the "deporter-in-chief" for years now. So the fact that
finally the more mainstream organizations are using this term, I think is
what got the White House worried.
VARGAS: Now the key word here, as you said, is something might happen.
Let`s remember that, when was it, just last week that the House Republicans
actually passed a resolution trying to challenge DAFCA, right? Deferred
Action for Childhood Arrivals, right?
BALL: Which was the change of the president .
BALL: the discretion to say that children .
BALL: Could stay in this country?
VARGAS: That I think what we have here is - I hate to say this, but it`s
moral bankruptcy, right? I mean we have a state of affairs, in which the
Republicans are saying, we don`t want to do anything because we don`t trust
VARGAS: And the president is saying I can`t do anything without this
Congress. And in the middle of that are thousands and thousands of
families being - you know, suffering, and many people getting deported
VARGAS: And so, I`m really hoping, I`m trying to be cautiously optimistic
that the president may actually do something.
BALL: Especially, what could he legally do?
VARGAS: I mean that is open to interpretation.
VARGAS: But at the very least, right, the fact that we have undocumented
immigrants who are related to U.S. citizens, I mean, that`s something that
could happen, right? We have people who have minor offenses that are
getting deported that don`t need to be deported, right? I mean, I think,
to me, I mean really the challenge here is how can we convince the general
public, right, that this is not as if every day there`s massive people
coming here, right?
VARGAS: You know, the number of people crossing the border or illegally
coming into the United States are net zero migration. Right? So, it`s
time that we just kind of fix this problem and more than that? The number
one priority is how do we relieve the suffering of people every day.
BALL: One of the things that Republicans have insisted on in any
theoretical possible comprehensive immigration reform solution, is that,
quote, the borders must be secure before we can go forward. What do you
say to that?
VARGAS: Well, I mean that to me is where it is intellectually dishonest.
The border is secure. We`ve spent billions of dollars securing this
border. I mean I`ve done - I`ve got to tell you, I`ve done like 190 or so
events in 40 states in about two and a half years. And once you explain to
people what the facts are, that the border is secure, that people like me
are paying taxes, that people like me have been -- I`ve been separated from
my mother for 20 years. Once people hear these personal stories, then I
think people understand that something must really be done, right? That
it`s an urgent, immediate thing.
BALL: Jose, one of the things that you`re so great about is keeping this
personal, reminding people that this is about real people in this country.
VARGAS: In this country.
BALL: You do have a new film out.
VARGAS: Yeah, I`ve been working on it for three years.
BALL: Tell us some of these personal stories. I wanted to show a little
bit of that. Let`s take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So here`s my story. My grandparents legally emigrated
from the Philippines in the mid-1980s. My grandfather decided that he was
going to get his grandson to come to America.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One morning my suitcase was packed. I was 12.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s been 18 years since I`ve seen my mother.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALL: Tell me about the folks that you`re fighting for.
VARGAS: I think the folks that I`m fighting for are calling for dignity,
are asking for this issue to be taken out of this ghetto that we`ve like
basically dragged it into, are asking for people to transcend politics and
partisanship to finally come up with a solution on this issue. And I
actually wonder, you know, what Hillary Clinton and Rand Paul and all these
people who may be running for president, right, in the next couple of
years, where their stance is on this issue. And I`m really hoping, look,
Paul Ryan, John Boehner, these Republican leaders understand that something
must happen, but how do we actually transcend politics to make it happen?
BALL: Is it going to take another huge national embarrassing loss by the
Republican Party to get new momentum on immigration reform?
VARGAS: You know, I don`t -- we thought that was 2012, right? I mean we
thought - I mean the fact that we are living in a country, in which nearly
50 percent of kids under the age of 18 in America are not white, they are
mostly Latinos and they are mostly Asians and immigration for them is
VARGAS: This is about their aunts, their uncles, their brothers, their
sisters, their mothers and their fathers. This is not some political
VARGAS: This is personal. And I think that`s the message that we`ve been
sending not only President Obama, but also Republicans.
BALL: Well, thank you so much for your work in this area.
VARGAS: Oh, thank you for having me.
BALL: Thanks for being here with us this morning.
VARGAS: Thank you.
BALL: And lots of news to come this hour including why women still make
only 77 cents for every dollar a man makes in this year, 2014. My panel
will try and explain this one to me. Plus, more on the search for that
missing Malaysian Airlines jet. One more thing we have learned this
morning is that investigators are looking into the bank records of the
Flight 370 crew. "The Times of London" reporting that they have seized
their bank statements, their credit card bills, their mortgage documents,
you name it, all in an effort to see if money troubles could have been used
to subject pressure on any members of the crew. The latest details on the
search and lots more still ahead. Stay with us.
BALL: Banning speech of any kind is not something liberals usually venture
to talk about. But Facebook executive Sheryl Sandberg has started a
campaign to stop using the word "bossy" when talking to girls and young
women. The argument is that it hinders them on the path to leadership.
Sandberg has not only kicked off a very interesting national conversation
with her effort, she has gotten a lot of powerful women to join in the
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON: But helpfully about a year ago, "The Washington Post"
asked readers to send in suggestions. For example .
CLINTON: One possibility was it takes a world, a fitting sequel to it
takes a village. Another plays off my love of all things Tina Fey, "bossy
pantsuit," although .
CLINTON: We can no longer say one of those words.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALL: When a girl who grew up fully empowered be willing to accept making
77 cents for every dollar that a man makes? Equal pay for equal work
emerged as a big issue in the Texas governor`s race this week. That is
next with our panel when we return.
BALL: Do you remember the very first bill Barack Obama signed into law as
president? It was a big one. On January 29, 2009, he signed the Lilly
Ledbetter Fair Pay Act in an effort to address the wage gap between men and
women. Lilly Ledbetter, you might recall, worked as a supervisor at a
Goodyear plant in Alabama. One of the few women who had that job and she
didn`t know at the time she worked there that the men at the plant made
more than she did. She filed a gender discrimination lawsuit in federal
court and she won more than $3 million in back pay. But the U.S. Supreme
Court overturned her victory. They said she didn`t file her lawsuit soon
enough, the fact she didn`t know she made less than the guys didn`t matter.
With his signature President Obama nullified the Supreme Court`s decision.
He made it possible for all women to keep fighting wage discrimination.
Things still aren`t perfect. Women still earn on average 77 cents for
every dollar a man does, but they now at least have the legal right to
fight for more.
The law was made possible by the fact there was a Democratic House back
when Obama took office as well as a Democratic super majority in the
Senate. It`s a legislative victory that reverberated into the next
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What new ways do you intend to rectify the
inequalities in the work place, specifically regarding females making only
72 percent of what their male counterparts earn?
BARACK OBAMA, DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: OK, that`s a great
question. This is one of the reasons why one of the first -- the first
bill I signed was something called the Lilly Ledbetter bill.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Governor Romney, pay equity for women?
MITT ROMNEY, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: We took a concerted effort
to go out and find women who had backgrounds that could be qualified and
become members of our cabinet. I went to a number of women`s groups and
said can you help us find folks and they brought us all binders full of
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALL: Binders full of women. That moment lit up the Internet.
BALL: Binders full of women became an unstoppable name, an awkward
response to a question about pay discrimination. The Obama campaign
capitalized on the gaffe, too. And the president continued to drive home
his record on pay equity, on his way to winning the women`s vote and
securing re-election. Keep all of that in mind as we look to the latest
developments in the Texas Governors` race. Over the past several weeks,
Democratic candidate, Wendy Davis has been campaigning on her support of
legislation for a state version of the federal Lilly Ledbetter law. So
that a woman in a state court in Texas would have the same protections a
woman would have in federal court, very important. Davis sponsored a bill
last year to do just that, but it was vetoed by Governor Rick Perry.
Earlier this month, Wendy Davis` opponent Greg Abbott dodged the question
of whether he would have signed that legislation if he was elected
governor. So, this week, two prominent Texas Republicans stepped in to try
and explain the party`s position.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We don`t believe the Lilly Ledbetter act is what`s
going to solve that problem for women. We believe women want real world
solutions to this problem. Not more rhetoric.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What`s a solution then, you think, for equal pay then,
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, if you look at it, women are extremely busy.
We lead busy lives, whether working professionally, whether we are working
from home. And times are extremely busy. It`s just - it`s a busy cycle
for women and we`ve got a lot to juggle.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALL: What? The next day the executive director of the Texas Republican
Party added this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BETH CUBRIEL, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, TEXAS REPUBLICAN PARTY: Men are better
negotiators, and I would encourage women instead of pursuing the courts for
action to become better negotiators.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALL: So that happened. By Wednesday the Abbott campaign tried to quell
the growing storm with a succinct statement making it clear and declaring
that Abbott would indeed veto the Lilly Ledbetter legislation as governor.
But the issue continued to get worse for Abbott.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now to vote 2014 today in a story that is sparking a
lot of conversation today, how Attorney General Greg Abbott pays his
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Specifically what Abbott pays women and how it
compares to what the men in his office make? For example, let`s look at
what assistant attorneys in Abbott`s office make. Men in that job make a
little more than $79,000. Women with the same role make about $6,000 less.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALL: In 2012 equal pay for equal work was a galvanizing issue for
President Obama. And as Wendy Davis continues to wage an uphill battle
against Greg Abbott, will the issue of equal pay help to win over Texas
voters? And how long will it take for the GOP to come up with anything
approaching a coherent position on pay discrimination? Here to help answer
those questions are "Huffington Post" reporter Laura Bassett, Daniella
Leger, senior vice president at the liberal think tank Center for American
Progress, Jess McIntosh, communication instructor at the Democratic Women`s
Pac, Emily List, and Teresa Ghilarducci, labor economist at the New School.
Ladies, thank you so much for joining us. I know you all are very busy.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Extremely.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Extremely busy.
BK: So, I`m really glad you could make it. And it`s an amazing panel made
even greater by the fact that three out of the five of us went to UVA.
DANIELLA LEGER: Go Virginia.
BALL: Teresa, I wanted to start with you on this issue of where the pay
gap actually comes from. Is it because women are bad at negotiating? Is
it because we`re busy? And what do economics actually say about what`s
going on here?
TERESA GHILARDUCCI, THE NEW SCHOOL: Economists have never said it`s
because we`re bad negotiators or because we`re so productive.
GHILARDUCCI: The pay gap has really been persistent and some of the
theories are that actually employers feel much more comfortable offering
women much lower pay rates. And so when women do negotiate, and many women
don`t negotiate, they just take the wage that`s offered, but when they do
negotiate, the employer comes in at a much lower level and the answer about
that has been I just don`t feel comfortable offering a man such a low wage.
BALL: Interesting. Well, we don`t want to put too much credence in what
we`re clearly sort of offensive and inaccurate comments, but I do want to
point out, for people who are wondering, according to "Forbes," even if you
look at CEO pay, so these are going to be folks who are good negotiators,
even if you look at CEO pay, women are earning 80 percent of what men earn.
So there`s clearly more to it than just negotiation skills.
GHILARDUCCI: Just for your audience, why women get paid less than men has
been a subject for economists, many, many statistical analysis for the past
30, 40 years. And the answer is still the same. As our data gets better,
statistical techniques get better, is that some of it can be explained by
productivity differences, but a good 20 to 30 percent of the pay gap is due
to just plain pay discrimination.
BALL: Yeah. And you can see as there`s a lot of studies showing that
motherhood particularly plays a role in that. Laura, turning to this race,
what you`ve been covering really closely. You`ve been covering these
comments really closely, is Wendy Davis closing the gap with Greg Abbott
partly on the basis of her advocacy for fair pay?
LAURA BASSETT, "HUFFINGTON POST": Yes. I think her campaign had a big
turnaround this week. They had been criticized a lot for a couple of
mistakes they`ve made. There were some questions over her biography and it
just seemed like she kept being on the defensive when they brought the
abortion issue, which doesn`t play that well in Texas. She was -- it
almost seemed like she was backtracking a little bit on that. But she
really went on the offense this week on the equal pay issue and it really
reminds me of what went on in the Romney campaign when he was just dodging
and sort of unable to answer that question and that`s going on with Greg
Abbott. And he tried to send out some Republican women this week I think
because when a woman is talking about equal pay, it sounds a lot better
BASSETT: Except that it didn`t this week. Except when it doesn`t. And
what`s really interesting to me is that Cari Christman, you know, she`s the
head of a Republican women`s PAC whose sole job is to rally women voters
for Greg Abbott.
BASSETT: And the main criticism against Greg Abbott wait - has been this
equal pay issue. So, the fact that she was completely unprepared to answer
that question is just mind-boggling.
BALL: Daniella, it doesn`t help to have female surrogates saying the same
stuff that the men are saying.
LEGER: Right. Exactly. And it`s just endemic of a broader problem with
Republicans. All right, we saw it in 2012. And, you know, their answer to
solving all problems, is just let the marketplace handle it. There`s no
problem, there is no discrimination. You know, women just need to learn
how to negotiate better, make better choices, and this problem would go
away. And, you know, kudos to Wendy Davis for jumping on this issue. And
I think you`re going to see it play out also on the federal level as well.
BALL: Republicans in general like to assign blame to culture.
BALL: Rather than sort of structural factors. And you see that as a theme
throughout their position and, Jess, you have been very involved with this
race. Initially, there were some really gendered attacks on Wendy Davis
over her bio and as (INAUDIBLE) was pointing out, it almost seemed like she
was on her heels. She was suffering from that. She was struggling to make
the case that these attacks were unfair and they essentially were painting
her as a bad mother, which is unbelievable.
JESS MCINTOSH, EMILY`S LIST: Right.
BALL: But now there`s some momentum and she is able to build the case,
look, his surrogates have no idea what to say on this issue. He`s bad on
the issue of equal pay for equal work and even within his own office .
BALL: There seems to be some pay - gender pay discrimination.
MCINTOSH: I mean Republicans continue it shall one year out of their big
rebranding, pay lip service to this idea that they have a woman problem.
They need to do something to re-engage women and then they continue to do
exactly the opposite thing that would get women into their fold. I mean if
you look at the Abbott campaign, first you have the bad mother attacks,
which I think alienated a lot of women who ought to have been on Abbott`s
side as Republican Texan women. But, you know when that`s unfair and they
knew. And then you have got Ted Nugent. He goes around campaigning with
Ted Nugent, which is like way deterring (ph) off women of all stripes.
MCINTOSH: He might be like the big unifier. And now we`re seeing him
completely floundering on the issue of equal pay. But Republicans in
general have nothing to say on this issue. And those poor women that we
saw stammering all over the place are just indicative of the fact that they
don`t have any answer.
BALL: They have no answer.
MCINTOSH: Because usually say, that it doesn`t exist. Well, numbers prove
otherwise. And when they have to be confronted with that, they`re really
at a loss.
BALL: Yeah. And we are going to pick up on exactly that point right after
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: A woman deserves workplace policies to protect her right to have a
baby without losing her job. It`s pretty clear that if men were having
OBAMA: We`d have different policies.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALL: It`s so true. President Obama speaking on Thursday on our current
workplace policies and we`re talking about pay discrimination. We`re
talking about that political implications, particularly in Texas, but I
want to look nationwide as well and, Jess, as you`re watching what`s going
on on the ground in Texas, is this a model for other candidates, male and
female, to use .
MCINTOSH: Absolutely. Absolutely. Texas is not the only campaign that is
really - so, we have a lot of women, Democratic women, running this year.
And I think they provide an incredible contrast to these Republicans that
cannot speak to women`s issues. So, in Kentucky, you have Alison Lundergan
Grimes running against Mitch McConnell and she has made a lot out of the
equal pay issue, and women are paying attention. Emily`s List does a lot
of research into women voters. And we found that equal pay is women`s
number one workplace issue. More than flexibility, more than wages. I
mean women know that this -- and this is relatively new. A few years back,
I think, women weren`t quite as attuned to the fact that this was as
widespread as it is. Well, they know now and they can vote on it. So when
we have these fantastic Democratic women candidates running across the
country who are able to speak to their day-to-day lives, running against
these guys who are entirely out of touch, I think it`s going to be a really
interesting cycle. Midterms are tough, but it`s going to be interesting.
BALL: But Daniella, the part that I don`t understand, right, this is a
terrible issue for Republicans. Romney was terrible on it, Abbott is
terrible on it. I mean they just get beat up and beat up because who wants
to be against equal pay? It`s just wrong. It doesn`t make any sense to
anyone. So why is it so hard to get any Republicans to actually support
the policy of equal pay?
LEGER: Oh, my goodness.
LEGER: Do I have the answers for that question. I mean, it kind of goes
back to what I said earlier. They don`t believe that the government should
be doing anything that interferes with the practice of business, right? So
there is a role for government to play in making sure that women are paid
fairly and paid equally. But it`s just so against what they believe as a
free market Republicans that they refuse doing it, even if means that they
are getting beat up over and over again and they cannot obviously come up
with an answer for it.
GHILARDUCCI: You know, not having equal pay for women actually increases
profits. Because when women can be paid less than men, then you can bring
in a low paid woman and you could actually cut the wages for men, too. So
in every place where you see big gender gaps, you see lower pay for men and
you actually see higher profits. So, it`s not a belief. It`s actually an
BALL: But Teresa, I challenge that. Because there`s also the research
that shows when you elevate women to the highest levels of the corporation,
when women are successful within a company culture, companies are more
profitable. So where does that come into the Republican calculation?
GHILARDUCCI: Well, it`s a little bit schizophrenic, is it? They - that -
when women are uplifted, there`s more productivity, but it`s more of a
long-term sustainable kind of profit. If you`re a manager and you have to
actually show that you`ve kept wages low, you do a little wage theft, you
do a little pay discrimination, throughout the corporation it pays the
corporation to pay women less.
BASSETT: I just want to point out that a big Republican argument, and Greg
Abbott`s argument, has been women are already protected. Pay
discrimination is already illegal and that`s really interesting
particularly in the case of Greg Abbott. Because as attorney general he
defended a state university in Texas against a woman who was being paid
less than her colleagues for the same work because he said the federal law,
the Lilly Ledbetter act, doesn`t apply to state cases in Texas. And so
obviously he won that case and the woman didn`t get any compensation for
having been paid unequally for years.
MCINTOSH: And he pays the women in his own office less in one of the eight
states in the country that doesn`t have these laws to protect women
MCINTOSH: Women are obviously not protected.
BALL: This also reminds people, because it has been a little while since
we passed the Lilly Ledbetter fair pay act and basically what it allows
women to do is it gives them a longer period of time to sue for gender
based pay discrimination because essentially what happened to Lilly
Ledbetter is she didn`t know she was being discriminated against until many
LEGER: She got her pension.
BALL: So, when she went to the courts they said, sorry, you know, your
time limit has expired. And she said, well, I had no idea. So that`s what
Lilly Ledbetter does. Is it would have - the act does, that it would have
allowed her then to sue successfully and be awarded that pay. I mean just
to me this gets to a bigger issue. That`s not just about gender. It`s
about the fact that Republican economic policies benefit folks who are
already well off.
BALL: It benefits businesses who are large contributors to them. It
benefits people who are already at the top of the income. And I think,
increasingly, people are feeling like this party has nothing to offer me.
MCINTOSH: You`re absolutely right. It`s not just the people at the top.
It`s the people at the top of the top.
MCINTOSH: Because that point you made about, when you have men and women
in equal numbers on your boards, your bottom lines are actually higher,
that`s good economic policy for everybody involved in the big business, for
everybody involved in the corporation, except for those at the very, very
top. So if Republican policies were rooted in fact, and consequence
dictated how they chose to govern, we would be dealing with a very
different party. But they do this on social issues. They do this on
MCINTOSH: There`s a lot of cognitive dissidence involved in being a
BALL: Very love that. All right. We`re going to have an update on the
search for that Malaysian Flight 370 right after this.
BALL: The search effort for that missing Malaysian passenger jet is
working with more satellite data this morning. Malaysian authorities say
France has provided new satellite images of objects in the south Indian
Ocean that could be from Flight 370. Could be. In a statement, Malaysia
said the images have been sent to Australia, which is coordinating the
search. Planes and ships also headed out today to try to find a wooden
pallet that was spotted yesterday from the air. Wooden pallets are used in
the cargo holds of airplanes, but they are also commonly used in cargo
ships. The search today has been hampered by high seas and the approach of
tropical cyclone Gillian, what would be called a category one hurricane in
And in the time we have left this morning, I want to find out what my
guests think we should know for the week ahead. And let`s start with you,
MCINTOSH: I`m going to stick with the pay equity issue. Everybody knows
the 77 cents on the dollar figure, but those numbers are so much worse for
women of color. In Texas, Hispanic women make 45 cents on the dollar.
MCINTOSH: Yes. Those are crisis numbers. And a story that hasn`t gotten
enough attention that Abbott actually also has some problems with the way
he`s been paying his non-white workers. Go expect that to blow up this .
BALL: Thank you for bringing that up. Teresa?
GHILARDUCCI: Everybody should know what everybody in their office or their
workplace is being paid.
GHILARDUCCI: Because as soon as you all know what everyone`s being paid,
something magically happens. The bottom gets raised, people start asking
for justification, and if you do that, both the women and the men in your
office will be paid more.
BALL: I love that idea. Laura?
BASSETT: On a different topic, something to watch for this week, the
Supreme Court`s going to be hearing oral arguments in the hobby lobby case
on Tuesday to decide whether employers can refuse to cover birth control
for women on moral grounds.
BALL: We will definitely be watching for that. Daniella?
LEGER: And related, we`ve got one more week to sign up for the Affordable
Care Act. So, I know all of you viewers have already signed up, but get
your friends and your family and get ten people this week to sign up for
the Affordable Care Act.
BALL: Fabulous stuff. All right. I want to thank Jess McIntosh with
Emily`s List, Teresa Ghilarducci at the New School, Laura Bassett from
"Huffington Post," and Daniella Leger with the Center for American
Progress. Thanks for getting up and thank you for joining us. Steve will
be back next week and thank you for having me, same time Saturday and
Sunday at 8:00 Eastern time. But coming up next is MHP with Jonathan
Capehart in today for Melissa. The Supreme Court is about to hear
arguments on one of the biggest challenges yet to President Obama`s health
care law, which happens to turn four today. That and the Democrat`s new
strategy on the law. Plus, the one and only misty Copeland. Stick around.
Nerdland is next.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
<Copy: Content and programming copyright 2014 MSNBC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
Copyright 2014 Roll Call, Inc. All materials herein are protected by
United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed,
transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written
permission of Roll Call. You may not alter or remove any trademark,
copyright or other notice from copies of the content.>
MORE FROM RACHEL MADDOW SHOW
Add Rachel Maddow Show headlines to your news reader: