PoliticsNation, Friday, November 21st, 2014

Date: November 21, 2014

Guest: E.J. Dionne; Jonathan Capehart; Maria Teresa Kumar, Patricia
Byrnes, Wesley Lowery, Elizabeth Plank, Josh Zepps, Zerlina Maxwell

ED SCHULTZ, MSNBC ANCHOR, THE ED SHOW: Appreciate your time tonight.
Thanks so much.

That`s "the Ed Show." I`m Ed Schultz. "Politics Nation" with Reverend Al
Sharpton starts right now.

Good evening, Rev.

REVEREND AL SHARPTON, MSNBC ANCHOR: Good evening, Ed. And thanks to you
for tuning in.

We start tonight with breaking news. Republicans sue President Obama over
health care, and he takes action on immigration.

A dramatic series of events today as President Obama moved made with his
executive action on immigration signing two memos on board Air Force One as
he flew to Las Vegas to sell his plan to start fixing America`s broken
immigration system.


much about it. Well, today we`re doing something about it.


OBAMA: If you have children who are American citizens or legal residents,
if you register, you pass a background check, you are willing to pay your
fair share of taxes, then you`re going to be able to apply to stay in this
country temporarily without fear of deportation.


OBAMA: You can come out of the shadows, get right with the law.


SHARPTON: The president also slammed House Republicans for refusing to
vote on an immigration bill.


OBAMA: The party leadership in the House of Representatives would not let
it come forward. And I cajoled and I called and I met. I told John
Boehner, I`ll wash your car; I`ll walk your dog. Whatever you need to do,
just call the bill.

Some of them are already saying that my actions sabotaged their ability to
pass a bill and make immigration work better. Why? Why? I didn`t
dissolve parliament. That`s not how our system works. They can still pass
a bill. I don`t have a vote in Congress. Pass a bill! You don`t need me
to call a vote to pass a bill.


SHARPTON: But moments before he took the stage, House Republicans
announced that next month, they`ll hold the first hearing on, quote,
"President Obama`s power grab on immigration."

And just hours earlier, Republicans filed this lawsuit over the affordable
care act, accusing him of, quote, "unconstitutional and unlawful actions."
And claiming his administration had, quote, "abused its powers."

They`ve been threatening to do it for months, and today they did it. This
is their strategy. It`s all they got. They failed to do their jobs. Now
they`re attacking the president for doing his.


REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: The president has chosen
to deliberately sabotage any chance of enacting bipartisan reforms that he
claims to seek. He is damaging the presidency itself. We will not stand
idle as the president undermines the rule of law in our country. Thank
you. Happy thanksgiving.


SHARPTON: Well, gobble, gobble to you too, Mr. Speaker Boehner.

Folks here, here`s the truth. This thanksgiving, millions of people will
sit down with their families knowing they won`t be torn apart and deported.
Millions of people will have health insurance who didn`t have it before.
And that`s what Republicans want to take away. But the president won`t let
it happen.

Joining me now are Maria Teresa Kumar and Jonathan Capehart. Thanks for
being here.



SHARPTON: So, Maria, the president is changing lives. Republicans are
filing a lawsuit. Is that where we`re at?

KUMAR: I think the president basically is heeding what the American people
are saying. We need change. We need to stop the gridlock in Washington.
And the president is saying, if you`re not going to do it, then, I`m going
to take the pen and I`m going to sign executive orders until you get your
act together.

But in the meantime, we can`t be at stance. So because you are -- the
president, right now, is addressing the real needs of the American people,
whether they were talk about immigration or whether we talk about climate
change, he`s actually setting precedent, saying we have to move forward,
because otherwise we`re holding back the future and we can`t stand for

SHARPTON: Jonathan, a new poll shows Americans actually support key
details of President Obama`s executive action, 66 percent say we should let
undocumented parents of legal residents stay, 63 percent say we should
expand the dreamer program for people who came here illegally as kids. And
76 percent support temporary work permits for qualified immigrants. So
they support elements of this executive action by large margins, Jonathan.

CAPEHART: Right. Which should tell members of Congress that these are
things that they could actually make permanent. One thing that we don`t
talk about often in the celebration of what the president did yesterday and
today, is to talk about the fact that these actions are temporary. That
they left only three years. Now, at the end of three years, all of these
folks will have to reapply again, will have to go through background checks
again, will have to jump through all of the hoops that they have to jump
through now, they`ll have to do it again.

And what`s really need, in order for this to be made permanent, and also,
let`s say in 2016, you know, we`re going to be electing a new president.
And if that new president is a Republican who is dead set against what the
president is doing now, then everything that we`re talking about could be
undone. And all those folks who have this temporary reprieve from
deportation could find themselves facing the possibility of leaving this
country altogether.

SHARPTON: But that`s the reason why you must have a bill, because it is
temporary, and a new president could end it or not continue it.

And Maria, yesterday, you and I were part of the leaders that met with the
president on this. But today he addressed the GOP claim that his action
would poison the well in Washington. Listen to this.


OBAMA: I hear some people say, well, we`re in favor of immigration reform,
but we don`t think that it should be done without Congress. Well,
Congress, go ahead and do it. And meanwhile, Washington should not let
disagreements over one issue be a deal-breaker on every issue. That`s not
how our democracy works. Congress certainly should not shut down the
government again over there because Americans are tired of gridlock. We
are ready to move forward.


SHARPTON: We are ready to move forward, he`s saying, Maria. How do you
respond to the fact that the Republicans have threatened everything from
shutdown, to other means, but won`t talk about passing a bill when the
Senate has passed a bill?

KUMAR: Right, and you have a very short limited time period to pass the
gang of eighth bill. Basically, it expires after the end of this
congressional calendar and all the same Congress will have to start all
over. The clock gets reset in January. And I think that`s one of the
pieces of the urgency of making sure that Congress at least considers the
bill, which they`re not going to do.

But I also think that what the president is trying to tell the American
people is that, again, we have to move, pass this gridlock to do something.
But more importantly, and I think something that he addressed yesterday is
that, not only do we have to fix the immigration system, but we also have
to make sure people are clear.

This is not going to be something that`s going to be cheap. People are
going to have to pay fines. They are going to basically make sure that
they have to pay back taxes and at the end of the day, Reverend, as he
clearly stated is that, this is a piece of legislation, the piece of
executive action, that is really going to frustrate the Republicans because
it pays for itself.

So it`s not a line item that all of a sudden, they can decide to, you know,
cross out with a continuing resolution. They`re not just going to be able
to. And I think that is where they`re really upset. It is like, shoot.
He actually found that loophole where it`s going to pay for itself, and
what are we going to do? Shut down the government and actually defund the
programs that we care about? Impossible.

SHARPTON: Well, let`s talk about the shutdown a minute, Jonathan, because
a new poll on the possibility of the GOP shutting down the government to
try to stop the president`s executive action, 72 percent oppose a shutdown.
Just 24 percent support it. Almost three quarters of those polled are
against the shutdown.


And if you listen to Republican leaders, incoming Senate majority leader
Mitch McConnell, Speaker Boehner, what they`re saying publicly and
privately is, there will be no government shutdown. There will be no debt
ceiling fight. There will be no impeachment.

Now, that`s what they can say as leaders under normal circumstances, you
can take that to the bank that those things will not happen. But we`re
talking about the 113th Congress here, and we`re talking about the raucous
tea party caucus that has made Speaker Boehner`s life a living hell.

And one thing that has been a constant is that if the tea party caucus does
not like what`s on the table, the speaker will cave. The big hope,
Reverend, is that with the 114th Congress, the incoming Congress, where
Speaker Boehner will have a larger majority and that large majority will
have what they hope are cooler heads, things will get done.

SHARPTON: You know, one of the thing that has struck me, Maria, is the
emotional reactions that we`ve seen to the president`s executive action.
Let me give you an example. Look at this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think five million families will go to bed tonight
feeling a little bit safer, knowing they have a president who is committed
to ensuring their families stay together.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It means my family stays together. That was always a
message, keep families together, and the president just did that.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We`ve been fighting so hard for change for so many
years, and we`re finally starting to see some action.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) the opportunity to come out of the shadow.


SHARPTON: I mean, what do Republicans say to these people, Maria? These
real-life people, whose lives have been changed and touched by this.

KUMAR: They don`t have anything, Reverend. What they want to say is that,
on one hand, they say what we don`t want to deport you, but at the same
time, they don`t actually want to solve the problem. And these are five
million people that have American families that live in our communities,
that are our neighbors that beautify our country and they don`t have a
solution. Instead they`re saying, no, no, no. Instead they want to sue
the president on Obamacare once again.

Instead of being solution oriented, they`re being obstructionist. And as a
result, the American people are losing their patience with them. Yes, they
won a majority in the house, but it`s because they are kind of fed up with
the gridlock. And they are saying, you know what, let`s give you both the
House and the Senate and maybe then you can negotiate with the White House,
but they`re not offering any solutions.

SHARPTON: Jonathan Capehart and Maria Teresa Kumar, thank you both and
have a great weekend.

KUMAR: You too, Reverend. Thank you.

CAPEHART: Thanks, Rev., you too.

SHARPTON: Coming up, no more Mr. Nice guy. We go inside President Obama`s
smash-mouth politics.

Plus, developing news out of Ferguson, Missouri tonight where the grand
jury watch is on high alert. And Michael Brown`s father is calling for


MICHAEL BROWN SR., MICHAEL BROWN`S FATHER: I want it to lead to incredible
change, positive change, change that makes the St. Louis region better for


SHARPTON: And we know he loves it. But why is President Obama`s
blackberry making news tonight? "Conversation nation" is ahead.


SHARPTON: They`re digging out of that record snowfall in Buffalo today.
Eighty-five inches of snow has fallen throughout two major storms this
week. Officials report the death toll has risen to 12. The worst of the
storm is over. And residents are digging out. But concerns now turn to
roof collapses and the looming threat of flooding from melted snow. More
than 30 major roof collapses have already been reported.

Here`s incredible drone footage taken during the height of yesterday`s
downfall, capturing an entire neighborhood blanketed in white. And more
drone footage of people digging out today with all the snow build-up, you
can see why roof collapses, and flooding, are cause for concern.

The Buffalo bills were scheduled to host the New York jets this week on
Sunday. But with the Bills` stadium currently buried in snow, the game has
been moved to Detroit for Monday night. Today Bills` players were picked
up by snowmobiles at their home to take them to the game. With clean-up
efforts still under way, we`re urging everyone to please stay safe.



OBAMA: But when members of Congress question my authority to make our
immigration system work better, I have a simple answer. Pass a bill. Pass
a bill. Pass a bill.


SHARPTON: President Obama today challenging Republicans. If they don`t
like his action on immigration, they can do something of their own. He`s
daring them to do better. But one thing`s clear, they won`t be able to
stop him because on issue after issue, when this president`s made progress,
Republicans got left in the dust. He`s overseeing the biggest overhaul in
immigration that our immigration system has ever seen in a generation.
He`s achieved the kind of health care reform we`ve needed for decades.
He`s made a historic decision to stop defending biased laws against gay
Americans. And he`s pushed a stimulus that saved us from economic
collapse. Every single time Republicans complained, but they couldn`t stop
him. The president kept moving forward. This time is no different. The
president has taken the fight to Republicans, confronting them for their
own failures and moving ahead on his own for the good of the country.

Joining me now E.J. Dionne, thanks for being here.


SHARPTON: E.J., Republicans weren`t interested when the president wanted
to negotiate. Is this kind of confrontation his best strategy now?

DIONNE: Well, it`s the only strategy, given that he waited and he waited
and he waited. The Senate bill -- from the time the Senate bill passed, to
his speech last night was one year, four months and 24 days. That`s plenty
of time to take up a bill. If they didn`t like the Senate bill in the
house, they could have passed another one. And I think there`s something
you`re hearing from them now that suggests he was right to assume they
weren`t interested in doing anything. Because they`re saying, well now,
that the president has done this, we can`t pass a bill.

Well, if you`re a Republican who claims to be for immigration reform, why
don`t you prove the president wrong, not by saying we can`t do anything,
but by actually passing a bill. And I think it really puts the
establishment -- so-called establishment, Republicans in a box. Because
what are they going to do? Are they going to now try to pass a law that
says no, we want to go back to a time when the government was breaking up

Let`s be clear about this. This decision is about family values. Our
government was busting up the families of undocumented immigrants. And
most of the people helped here are going to be parents in those families.
Do we really want to go back to that? So what are they going to do? Are
they really going to push back against this?

SHARPTON: You know, E.J., you wrote in your column this week that the
president is trying to show voters he can get things done in Washington. I
want to read part of that to you.

Quote, "Republicans did a brilliant job in the campaign playing on the idea
that Obama is weak, passive, and without a game plan. That was the not so
hidden meaning of all their television ads about the Islamic state, Ebola,
and immigration. So Obama has made clear that he won`t be weak and passive
and that he has a game plan." Very interesting, E.J.

DIONNE: Right. Well, in fact, I think that the Democrats were hurt for a
whole lot of reasons in that election. But one of the reasons is,
Democrats were really dispirited. They really didn`t vote. This was the
lowest turnout since 1942. And I think there was a sense that for all the
hopes people had, nothing was happening in Washington. And I think that
was part of the Republican strategy. Grind things to a halt so Obama`s
promise of a new day, a new kind of America, wouldn`t be kept.
And so I think he`s decided after the election, I tried to negotiate, I
tried to say, all right, I`ll do it on your time, I`ll do it in your terms.
And now he`s decided that just doesn`t work. And so, if we`re going to
have political gridlock, if we`re going to have political fighting, at
least let`s have fighting while we`re getting things done. And I hope he
uses what he did on immigration as a template to move in other areas where
he can legally move.

You now, he could do something about overtime pay. There are some
regulations that are -- you know, that he could put in that would guarantee
more people overtime pay. There are a lot of areas where I think he could
force their hand or at least bring the fight to them. And it looks like
that is what he is determined to do. And I think that`s why -- it`s why
they`re so upset.

SHARPTON: You know, some of the insults thrown at the president are pretty
confusing. Think about this. Speaker Boehner used to say the president
was leading from behind and apologizing for America being strong. But now
he claims the president is acting like a king and an emperor. So, is he
weak and refuses to lead, or is he a tyrant who is shredding the
constitution? I mean which one do they pick, E.J.?

DIONNE: I think they pick whichever one they find convenient. But that`s
exactly right is that they`re going to go after him no matter what he does.
That`s pretty clear. And so, if they`re going to go after him, he might as
well have them attacking him for trying to do things, for trying to give
people some heart, for trying to say, we can actually make government work
and put it on the side of people.

You know, I think they made very clear from the beginning, Mitch McConnell
said to a Senate retreat, you know, we`re going to hand them some defeats.
This was the first year in office. We are going to hand him some defeats
so he gets weaker and then we`ll go after him.

So they`re been very clear they`re not ready to work with him. He`s much
better to pursue an aggressive strategy to try to create circumstances in
which they`ll feel forced to do something because the alternative just
doesn`t work.

SHARPTON: E.J. Dionne, thanks for your time tonight. Have a great

DIONNE: And you too, Reverend. Thank you.

SHARPTON: Coming up, my weekly report card. We`re grading on a curve, and
this Republican senator still found a way to flunk.

And developing news out of Ferguson tonight, where a decision from the
grand jury is expected soon, and we`re hearing from Eric Holder and Michael
Brown`s father. We`re live in Ferguson ahead.


ANNOUNCER: It`s time now for Reverend Al`s weekly report card.

SHARPTON: It`s Friday and that means it`s time to hand out my grades.

First up, the GOP with their reaction to President Obama`s action on
immigration. Republicans get a "P" for totally predictable. But one
Republican really stood out this week with his response.


SEN. TOM COBURN (R), OKLAHOMA: You`re going to see -- hopefully not, but
you could see instances of anarchy --


COBURN: Well, you could see violence.


SHARPTON: Instances of anarchy? Senator Coburn doesn`t even come close to
passing this class. He gets an "F."

Next on my attendance sheet, that news anchor in Australia who went viral
this week. He wore the same blue suit every day for a year and no one
noticed. He was making a point about the different way men and women are
judged. Tonight he gets an "S" for stinky. I hope he gave that suit a
wash. I`m only kidding. He gets an "A" from me. Way to go.

Now to my final grade tonight. Newly elected members of Congress gathered
this week for a time on a tradition drawing numbers to pick office space.
And the husband of a congressional staffer proved to be quite the good luck


SHARPTON: We got to see that back flip again. Look at how he sticks the


SHARPTON: Tonight he gets an A-plus. Now if only Congress could
accomplish something that impressive.

Pass, fail, or somewhere in between, thanks to all our students tonight.
Class dismissed.

ANNOUNCER: That`s tonight`s edition of Reverend Al`s weekly report card.


SHARPTON: Now to breaking news out of Ferguson, where tonight the grand
jury watch is on high alert. Late this afternoon, schools in a nearby
district canceled classes for next week, anticipating a decision. And the
FBI sent agents to Ferguson. Officials say they`ll have a limited role.
Also today, the prosecutor`s office e-mailed reporters, outlining plans for
a press conference once the decision is handed up. This morning Attorney
General Eric Holder called for calm in the community.


ERIC HOLDER, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: I know from first-hand experience that
demonstrations like these have the potential to spark a sustained and
positive national dialogue, to provide momentum to a necessary
conversation, and to bring about critical reform. But history has also
shown us that the most successful and enduring movements for change are
those that adhere to non-aggression and non-violence.


SHARPTON: Tonight the eyes of the nation are watching Ferguson, Missouri,
and whether a grand jury will bring charges against Officer Darren Wilson
for the shooting of Michael Brown.

Joining me now from Ferguson is Patricia Byrnes, committeewoman of Ferguson
Township. And Wesley Lowery of "The Washington Post." Thank you both for
being here.

having me.


SHARPTON: Committeewoman, what is the feeling on the ground in Ferguson

BYRNES: Well, you definitely know that we are getting closer to a grand
jury decision and announcement. So there`s some relief in that, but just
not enough relief. But more preparation in knowing that it`s coming, so
that way the community can know which way to move forward.

SHARPTON: Let me ask you, Wesley, what are you hearing about the
preparations about how the decision will be presented and what`s being
planned as the build-up for it, how it will roll out?

LOWERY: Of course. We still have very few details from the reporters. We
certainly have been bugging the prosecutor`s office about this almost every
hour on the hour. What we know is that there will be a press conference
once the decision is reached. We`re certainly seeing a lot of signals that
this decision is likely to come sometime this weekend, although we have no
official word on that yet. We do know the grand jury was still meeting as
of earlier today in what many people expect may be their last meeting. But
once that takes place, once a decision is reached, we`re expecting a family
to receive a call, we`re expecting the schools to get a certain heads-up,
and then we`re expecting a press conference to be called where if there is
no indictment, we expect to receive documents, a large portion of the
investigative materials and some of the information as to what the grand
jury was told.

SHARPTON: Let me ask you, Committeewoman, Michael Brown`s father, Michael
Brown, Sr., is making an appeal tonight for calm in the streets and I might
add, he`s done this throughout, since day one when I`ve been there. And he
said that he`s called for it again in this video in the name of bringing
about change. Listen.


MICHAEL BROWN, SR., FATHER OF MICHAEL BROWN: I thank you for lifting your
voices to end racial profiling and police intimidation. But hurting others
and destroying property is not the answer. No matter what the grand jury
decides, I do not want my son`s death to be in vain. I want it to lead to
incredible change, positive change. Change that makes the St. Louis region
better for everyone.


SHARPTON: How much weight, Committeewoman, does Michael Brown`s father and
his mother Liz have in the community? How much weight will they carry?

BYRNES: Reverend, I think even you have been able to see that they have a
tremendous amount of weight in the community. At times they`ve asked for a
day of no protesting and the community has honored that. There have been
other calls that the family has made before that the protest community has
honored. So I`m very grateful for Michael Brown, Sr. for coming out and
asking for this calm, asking for this peace, and I believe that the
community will honor that. Because we`re supposed to be out here for Mike
Brown, protesting for justice. And we know we do not want his son`s memory

SHARPTON: You know, I want to go to this first. Wesley, the day "The
Washington Post" reports that Attorney General Eric Holder was displeased
with the action of Missouri`s governor this week. Quote, "A top aide to
Holder called the office of Missouri Governor Jay Nixon earlier this week,
to express Holder`s displeasure and quote, frustration, that the governor
had declared a state of emergency and activated the National Guard.
Instead of de-escalating the situation, the governor escalated it," said
the official. Are Missouri officials handling this right in the opinion of
those you`re talking to, Wesley?

LOWERY: Well, what we`ve seen from the very beginning is quite a
disconnect between the Justice Department and local officials here, the
state and the state and county police officials. And remember, this dates
back far before Jay Nixon`s state of emergency. This goes back to the
release of the video, of the alleged store robbery video, that we now know
Justice Department officials requested Ferguson PD not released on the day
of the name being released, Darren Wilson`s name. We know about the issues
of the wrist bands being warned. I support Darren Wilson wrist bands that
police officials have now admitted that some officers were wearing that
earned them a reprimand from DOJ. We have the name tags which just last
night -- some officers still not wearing despite multiple reprimands by
DOJ. And so we`ve seen here at least as far as from what we hear from
people we talked to the Department of Justice, a real disconnect between
local officials and federal officials and a real frustration on the part of
Attorney General Eric Holder and others around him.

SHARPTON: Committeewoman, what are you hearing in terms of people`s views
on how the state has handled this?

BYRNES: It`s made people angry. And it was a real wake-up call to remind
people what they were out here for. When we talk about excessive force,
the overreaching arm of law enforcement. Unfortunately the governor did
exactly that, called a state of emergency, when there`s no immediate threat
here going on, on the ground. So, I would have hoped that we all would
have learned something since the early days of August, but it seems like
maybe some people did not. So unfortunately, we`re at this point in time,
and it`s just another reminder of why people are out here to deal with
policing issues.

SHARPTON: Isn`t that the break, Wesley, that we`ve seen from the beginning
in this case? And for that matter, I`ve seen in other parts of the
country, that people don`t trust the local authorities. It seems like it`s
too personal, too much involvement, which is why they want outside judicial
forces to investigate and judge these cases.

LOWERY: I think that`s a huge part of it. I think on the ground here from
day one, when I first arrived, all the way through the last two, almost
three months. What we`ve seen is a deep distrust of local law enforcement.
Whether it`s a distrust because of history of a traffic stops and the way
warrants are issued, where it`s a distrust in this shooting specifically.
Whether it`s a distrust of Prosecutor Bob McCulloch as we`ve seen call
after call for special prosecutor to be appointed, the people here, at
least the black community here in Ferguson and Fluorescent and the
surrounding areas in greater St. Louis, do not trust local law enforcement.
But again, it`s important to note that much of the white community does.
This is a disconnect. We saw from polling that came out in August and
September that there`s a real disconnect here between minority communities
and white communities in terms of trust in law enforcement and trust in the
judicial system. I think that`s one of the endearing lessons and realities
of what`s happened out here in Ferguson.

SHARPTON: Well, I must say, you know, this disconnect I`ve seen for years
all over the country. And I saw it when I went into Ferguson, in Staten
Island. There`s already a connection between local police and local
investigators that only becomes worse when you have breakdowns that have
been described tonight. We`ll going to be watching in Ferguson. I intend
to be there, as I said to the parents when I was there a couple of weeks
ago, but we want to see peace as Michael Brown Sr. and the mother Liz have
said throughout this. But peace always means justice must be part of it.
People must know whatever`s fair must be what the goal is.

Committeewoman Patricia Byrnes and Wesley Lowery, thank you both for your
time tonight.

BYRNES: Thank you.

LOWERY: Thank you, Reverend.

SHARPTON: Coming up, President Obama`s tough politics. How will it impact
the next two years? Speaker Boehner drops his lawsuit on President Obama.
But will it backfire?

And President Obama`s blackberry makes news today. You make the call in
"Conversation Nation." Next.


SHARPTON: We`re back now with "Conversation Nation."

Joining me tonight Mic.com`s Liz Plank, HuffPost Live host Josh Zepps and
The Grio Zerlina Maxwell. Thanks for being here tonight.




SHARPTON: Let`s start with President Obama using the bully pulpit. The
irony here. He came into office as the President wanting to compromise and
getting along. But now he`s showing force, almost daring republicans to
fight him. Is the confrontational politics a good call, or should he have
waited? Liz, what do you think?

PLANK: I mean, I don`t really view this as confrontation. I don`t think
it`s a power grab. It`s a lawful move. And it doesn`t come with our
president. We`ve seen actually over the course of the last 60 years 11
presidents do this 39 times, take executive action over immigration. And
so I think most Americans are just happy that he`s getting stuff done.

ZEPPS: I mean, there`s certainly nothing illegal about it and there`s
nothing outrageous about it, and there`s nothing that he should be
impeached for certainly. But if you ever wanted there to be an opportunity
to perhaps reach across the aisle and get anything bipartisan done in the
final two years of his presidency, that is now completely defunct. There`s
no chance -- well, we don`t know.


Now, we`ll never know.

SHARPTON: Well, maybe Zerlina, maybe that`s why it appears confrontational
because they`re so inflexible on the other side?

MAXWELL: Right. I mean, I think part of the problem here is that, we
don`t realize that he did wait. He waited a very long time. And he said
to John Boehner, pass the Senate bill. And he refused to do so. And
that`s why where in this moment, not because President Obama is
overreaching, or is imperialistic. He`s prioritizing people and families
and not politicizing them like the Republican Party --

SHARPTON: But do you think Liz that maybe they didn`t think he would at
some point stand up to them? I mean, since he did try so hard to work this
bipartisan, we`re all one America, let`s come together? Do you think they
underestimated that at some point he was going to say, well, wait a minute,
I`ve got to move forward on behalf of the things that Americans need?

PLANK: Completely. And I think, you know, the Republican Party has played
on the edge that this is bad for the economy too. Right? And I think a
lot of people have realized, when you look at the numbers, this is actually
going to bring more jobs and also more taxpayers, the numbers are $3
billion in payroll taxes revenue in the first year alone of this executive
action. And it`s going to be 23 billion --

SHARPTON: That`s just the first year.

PLANK: That`s just the first year in 23 billion over five years. And so I
think voters will going to be convinced that this was the right thing to

ZEPPS: So I guess there`s a political question and there`s also a policy
question. Right? The political question for me is, if you want Obama to
be perceived as the most successful possible president that he could be,
then I would have left open a door to the possibility of having some kind
of a deal with the republicans either on trade negotiation authority or
potentially on immigration, potentially on tax reform. That`s all now
defunct. Then on the actual policy question, you have to look at the fact,
we`re allowing the parents now of people who came here, who are illegally
but the parents who came here illegally --

MAXWELL: A really difficult process in order to become legal.

ZEPPS: Well, for me, look, there are a lot of people in Burma, there are a
lot of people in Africa, there are a lot of people all over the world, who
want to come to the United States. And I totally understand the dreamer
argument, these are kids who came here, through no fault of their own, but
the parents argument? You know how many loops I have to jump through as an
Australian to be able to work here legally? It`s tough.

MAXWELL: I understand it, but I think this is family values --


MAXWELL: We`re talking about --

SHARPTON: And it`s not like they can just walk down and sign --


SHARPTON: But let`s move on to that republican lawsuit. As we mentioned,
Speaker Boehner filed the suit against President Obama over the Affordable
Care Act today, accusing him, of quote, "unconstitutional and unlawful
actions." And claiming his administration had, quote, "abused its power."
But over the summer when the lawsuit was first announced, a majority of
Americans didn`t want it filed. Zerlina, will this backfire on the GOP?

MAXWELL: Well, I don`t know that it will backfire. Because clearly
talking about the lawsuit before the midterms didn`t actually impact that
result, but I do think that the republicans are really on shaky ground
here. Because I mean, they could, tomorrow, pass an immigration bill,
because the Senate has already passed one. So I think they need to get
serious. Now that they`re in charge, they actually have to do things to
advance an agenda, you know, that helps the American people. And at this
point, they have not done that. And now they have the responsibility to
govern and they have to do it.


ZEPPS: I think Boehner is terrified. I think he`s terrified of his right
flank. I think he`s terrified that the Republican Party is going to
impeach Obama.

SHARPTON: The Tea Party caucus.

ZEPPS: Tea Party, Ted Cruz caucus, exactly. I think that he wants to do
this, he wants to be seen by his right plank, by his Tea Party caucus as
being the kind of guy who`s getting tough on Obama because he`s terrified
of the possibility of his party driving itself off the cliff and becoming
unelectable in 2016. He`s talking tough, but he wants to look like he`s
talking tough but it ain`t going anywhere.


PLANK: Yes, I mean, it`s almost like they want to stay relevant in the
worst way possible --


PLANK: So yes, this lawsuit as you mentioned is very unpopular. ObamaCare
is very popular.

SHARPTON: Isn`t interesting though, usually in the last two years of a
two-term president, he`s irrelevant. You said that they want to try to be
relevant. That`s very interesting.

PLANK: Yes, I mean, but they`re doing it by being opposed to something.
We don`t actually know what they`re standing for. And again, I don`t think
that`s what voters want, that`s not what Americans want to hear.

ZEPPS: And we know that there are no grounds for this lawsuit. No grounds


The executive clearly has the constitutional authority to allocate
resources where it wants to allocate. And we don`t send cops to every
college dorm investigating whether or not there`s weed being smoked because
that would be useless thing to do, and we don`t deport every single human
being in America.

SHARPTON: I`m going to have to hold it there for a second. But everyone,
please stay with me. When we come back, it`s President Obama and his
blackberry, next.


SHARPTON: We`re back with our panel, Liz, John, and Zerlina. Do you ever
leave home and realize, wait, I forgot something? Well, presidents,
they`re just like us. This morning President Obama left the White House,
walking to Marine One, headed to Las Vegas, but just seconds after getting
on, he gets off, and he starts running back to the White House. So, Mr.
President, what happened?


So what did he forget behind that was so important he ran back? And there
he is, holding that blackberry that he forgot. Josh, the president can`t
leave home without it. Are you addicted to your smart phone?

ZEPPS: Absolutely. I`m glad to see the commander in chief is as
vulnerable to this as I am. And has to go back for his smart phone. I
like the fact that something as innocuous as this actually becomes a media
story in some way. Because I can imagine the right-wing media like picking
this up --

MAXWELL: That Brain damage.

ZEPPS: Like, can we trust the president? He can`t even remember his
blackberry. Can he remember the nuclear launch codes? Is the president a


MAXWELL: We`re not sure.

SHARPTON: But it shows the addiction that all of us have. I mean, I`m
glad now you can get Wi-Fi on airplanes, because I used to go crazy waiting
until I landed to find out --

MAXWELL: I mean, even out there in the hall, my service isn`t great, just
FYI. But I will say that, you know, maybe he needs an iPhone 6 so that he
doesn`t forget it because it`s so giant. Because the blackberry, sometimes
you might forget that. But I feel naked when I forget my smart phone.
It`s everything. It`s all your personal information. It`s all my
reminders, my to-do list and so, it`s essential.

SHARPTON: Liz, are you addicted?

PLANK: Of course I`m addicted. But I love knowing that the President is
addicted too. I mean, could he be more relatable in those images that
you`re seeing, right?

SHARPTON: Yes. And it makes you really understand he`s the president
right now. Can you imagine Lyndon Johnson?

PLANK: Right. No.


Yes, I forgot my little book, I forgot my quill. But I don`t -- you find
that it`s also nice when you can`t get connected. I actually like it when
I`m on a plane and I realize there`s no Wi-Fi, and then I`m like, maybe I
have to read a book.

SHARPTON: Well, it`s even nicer if you do what I do, know what to
disconnect as you read it. Liz, Josh and Zerlina, thank you all for your
time. Have a great weekend.

PLANK: Thanks, rev.

ZEPPS: Thanks.

SHARPTON: When we come back, the greatness of this democracy on full
display this week. That`s next.


SHARPTON: Finally tonight, a powerful week of wake-up calls for America.
The President`s executive action on immigration is changing the lives of
millions for the better. Today the President made it clear, we welcome
immigrants as fellow human beings, and children of god.


PRES. BARACK OBAMA (D), UNITED STATES: We welcome them in as fellow human
beings, fellow children of God, and we harness their talents to make the
future brighter for everybody. We didn`t raise the Statue of Liberty with
her back to the world. We did it with her light shining, as a beacon to
the world.


SHARPTON: Throughout American history, we`ve seen resistance to change,
forces trying to pull the country backwards, not forwards. In 1936,
President Roosevelt`s challenger attacked the new Social Security act that
FDR signed into law the year before.


tax bill in history. And to call it Social Security is a fraud on the
working man.


SHARPTON: And in 1961, Ronald Reagan spoke out against Medicare, calling
it an invasion of freedom.


promise you, will past just as surely as the sun will come up tomorrow, and
behind it will come other federal programs that will invade every area of
freedom as we have known it in this country.


SHARPTON: But you can`t stop progress. Right now, all over the country,
we`re seeing changes that were previously unimaginable. Yesterday in South
Carolina, the Supreme Court rejected a request to put gay marriage on hold.
Just hours later, the first same-sex marriage took place outside the
Charleston County courthouse. Nationwide, the Affordable Care Act is
giving insurance to millions of Americans for the first time. And last
weekend the HealthCare.gov opened for business once again. Over 500,000
people visited the site. And 100,000 people applied. Huge numbers. No
doubt about it, America is changing. There`s been a lot of bumps and
bruises along the way, and some scars too. But the greatness of democracy
is, we can work through tough issues and keep on working to advance this
great country. Let`s keep moving forward and don`t be afraid to grow.
Growing is hard, but keep growing. Grow with America, don`t be stuck in
the past, even your past or mine. Learn from our scars. Turn them into

Thanks for watching. I`m Al Sharpton, have a great weekend. "HARDBALL"
starts right now.


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