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tv   NOW With Alex Wagner  MSNBC  February 26, 2015 1:00pm-2:01pm PST

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the man known as jihadi john, the face of isis. >> we are just hearing from a u.s. intelligence official. >> seen carrying out brutal beheading in isis videos has been identified. former london resident mohammed emwazi. >> born in kuwait. liveded in west london. >> graduated with a computer engineering degree. >> from a well to-do family. >> there's a spectrum of people who join the groups. you don't have to be down and out. >> something in the system isn't working. >> authorities are aware of the militants, yet they keep slipping through the cracks. >> i don't know of a time more beset by challenges and crises. i worry a lot about the safety and security of this country. >> jihadi john. the masked man with a british accent who has appeared in half
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a dozen isis videos has been identified today. his real name mohammed emwazi. raised by a well-to-do family. a man who graduated from college with a computer engineering degree. he traveled to syria in 2012 to join isis. according to reporters at the post who spoke to friends, emwazi was initially radicalized after being detained by police on a visit to tanzania in 2009. british officials allegedly continued to interrogate and detain him and blocked emwazi from traveling to kuwait. i feel like a prisoner only not in a cage in london. he wrote to the director of a civil rights group. the director of that rights group spoke out about emwazi today, placing the blame on british security services. >> and ever since the british told the tanzanians to pick him
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up and send him back to the u.k., he's faced nonstop harassment. the questions shouldn't be about jihadi john. but they should be about what role have our security services played in complete lyly alienating people in this society and country and turning them away from being able to find solutions to the problems that they had. >> the identification of jihadi john comes one day after the arrests of three brooklyn men on charges of aiding isis. m and it comes as they are on full display across iraq and syria. over the past few days isis militants in northeastern syria have launched a full-on assault on a string of christian villages burning homes and churches. and according to some reports. kidnapping 220 christians. and in iraq this week isis set fire to the mosul library. burning thousands of books and rare manuscripts. new isis video reports militants
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smashing ancient artifacts inside the mosul museum. joining me now is chief foreign correspondent richard engel. thank you for joining me. how central of a figure is jihadi john in terms of isis organization? >> now almost a year almost that isis has been a dominant force in iraq and syria. he initially was a british guard. he was assigned to guard prisoners, particularly foreign prisoners. there were three british guards described as exceptionally brutalment they were involved in personally, not just guarding the prisoners, but torturing them using waterboarding to torture them. and then he became something of a spokesman for the group, putting out these videos where
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he would first taunt the west usually with his hostage already in front of him. the hostage kneeling down waiting to die. and then after this man, jihadi john was finished with his explanation, he would then personally behead the hostage. and after they did this several times and the videos got notoriety around the internet and sort of fired up isis supporters they continued to do them, and he became increasingly important in the organization. >> richard, in terms of the identification of him, what does that practically mean from a counter terrorism perspective? does it make it any more likely he will be apprehended? and what of the three british girls likely to be in syria at this point? >> in terms of identifying them no, i don't think it changes very much.
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u.s. intelligence and british intelligence already knew his name. now it is just public. so perhaps it changes the discussion something. but i don't think it makes the world any closer or further away to tracking him down and bringing him to justice, one way or another. in terms of the three british teenagers, there was a group of british police officers who would come here to turkey to look for him. three british teenagers who last tuesday went missing from the u.k. got on a plane. two 15-year-olds and a 16-year-old came to istanbul. it was assumed they were on their way to syria to join up with isis and british police believe that they did in fact do just that. they left the country and went to syria to join isis. >> richard. let me ask you one question before we let you go in terms of -- >> not a problem. >> the discussion about isis often focuses on their cruelty and brutality. very little focused on whether or not they can run a state. the "washington post" has an article today that basically
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suggests their managing of the territory they conquered has been dismal at best. basically sort of per view of a government. the municipal management is nonexistent. how accurate do you think that is? >> it's hard to know because it's so difficult to get in and out of isis controlled areas. obviously life under isis is abysmal. you mentioned the burning of the library. they took out hundreds of books and rare manuscripts. a lot on science and culture. they piled them up in the streets. they brought the students out and set fire to them. how can you describe life under isis rule where they will go to village after village, separate the men from the women auschwitz style, execute the men, and then take the women and children away
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for -- as sex slaves. i don't think you can describe that as anything less than abhorrent government. >> richard engel, thanks as always richard. joining me now is contributor to foreign policy magazine and author of "isis inside the army of terror" michael weis. let's talk about the comments the latest video from cage talking about why jihadi john mr. emwazi may have been radicalized. the research director there contends it's because of british counter terrorism policy. how much stock do you take in that? >> in 2006 stood in front of the u.s. embassy in london and praised jihadists in afghanistan, iraq bosnia. he praised hezbollah in its war against israel. this is not a civil rights organization. this is an organization that has been stumping for terrorists for a long time.
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conformed on several al qaeda agents. he later claimed this was done under duress. several inquiries reputed the claims. this doesn't surprise me that he's getting out this entire presentation. their goal is to say that, you know, the reason go off and chop other people's heads off is because of u.k. foreign policy or the degradation of british associate. i don't put mush stock into this claim at all. if this guy was detained by mi-5 or dutch intelligence as they claim he was when he went to tanzania to do safari. i don't think he was going to do safari. >> the "washington post" is heavily relying on cage as a source. you seem highly skeptical. >> i am skeptical. there was a brilliant activist who blew the whistle on this organization and on his activities. when amnesty was partnering with cage. it useded to be called caged
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prisoners. she was fired from the job for essentially saying this guy supports the taliban and al qaeda. we have to take this with a galluping galloping, leap fulls of salt. ive and others say he was probably going to somalia to join them. if mi-5 knew about this guy, if he went off to kuwait and returned to the u.k. how did he go to syria in 2012. >> and that's the question i pose in their minds. in terms of the structure of isis, there's been a lot of discussion about the motivating factors for radicalization. some are talks about institutional failure, societal margin marginalization. how much does that up end the the theorys about who gets recruited to isis, or is there a
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binary structures. >> i think the foot soldiers tend to come from very well-to-do educated homed. in the u.k. i've seen innumerable examples of this. everybody remembers the underwear bomber. he was the son of a nigerian government minister. he was the president of the islamic society. he was putting out all kinds of pro-9/11 propaganda while he was in the university. the u.k. university tend to get them at a remarkable and alarming rate. all the studies done disprove that poverty leads to terror. it's condescending to say to poor people you're probably going to become terrorists. the one kernel of truth to the unemployment that feeds into isis is actually the operations of the organization are populated by former baptists or iraqi military officials or officers under the regime. you can make the argument that one of the reasons they joined the insurgency is they were rendered unemployed by the
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disbanding of the iraqi military. >> this is the next source of deployment. >> this is the guys running the organization. not the middle and lower. not the foot soldiers. >> it's a complicated hierarchy. it's great to see you. thanks for your time. as the the world grapples with potential national security threats posed by isis and security groups lawmakers in this country have not decided what exactly they plan to do to avert a shutdown of homeland security. house republicans are still refusing to say exactly what their plan is before funding for the agency running out in about 32 hours. when pressed about it by a reporter today, john boehner did not exactly inspire confidence. >> we're awaiting to see what the senate can or can't do. and then make decisions about how we're going to proceed. >> with respect mr. speaker, the answers are the same as yesterday. mitch mcconnell said what he's going to do. you know exactly what you're going to get. it's going to be a clean bhs funding bill. are you going to put it on the the floor?
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are you going to kill it? have you even had this discussion? >> well, we make decisions -- >> joining me now is the democratic representative from illinois's fourth district, the chairman of the immigration task force and the congressional hispanic caucus, congressman luis gutierrez. speaker boehner is blowing air kisses when asked about what he's going to do to fund the nation's homeland security organization. is he taking this seriously? >> you know it's official right now as we speak. it seems to me that ted cruz and jeff sessions are now being reasonable about moving forward. and that the house of representatives is officially to the right of sessions and cruise, who would have thought? because they're being high jacketed by the extremists in their parties. i can't see how that proposal doesn't come over here to the house of representatives and we don't adopt it. and i got to tell you, they should just say, hey, we won in the court. it's going all the way to supreme court. we're fighting it out there.
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and fund the dhs bill. because here's the irony of all of this, right. once we win in the court, and we will prevail in the court on the president's executive order, nothing in this funding bill is going to stop dhs from signing up potentially 5 million undocumented workers in this country and getting them right with the law, because the funding for that comes from the receipt of the money they spend on the application systems. >> you know things are haywire when congressman gutierrez says ted cruz is being reasonable. john boehner only needs the votes of 25 republicans if he passes this with all the democrats in the house. >> you know thank you. every democrat is ready to sign on. we've already signed up officially for a clean bill. they can't come to a position like this in the senate.
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i mean that's the kind of anarchy that exists. i'm hoping we do it. it's the right thing for this country and we put our country's security first. and we are getting together in orlando and we're going to continue to educate people and prepare them when we finally win the court case so they can sign up for the president's executive order. so we are doing everything. we are getting everybody ready. we are fighting to keep our country safe. by having a clean bill. and we're getting everybody educated. if there's one thing i took away from the president's time at msnbc and the town hall. he's going to abide by the decision made in the courts but he made it abundantly clear he's not deporting any dreamers. he's not deporting parents of
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american citizens. that's something they can't force him to do any court. and he's substantiating up for immigrants. and we're going to stand up for them by getting them ready. in the end the republican party, i don't know if they'll ever understand, alex. but there are millions of american citizen children who will remember this moment. all they're going to think about is how terribly wrong the parents were treated by the republican party. and guess what, it's going to be horrendous generational that they're going to going to have to pay for in the future the republican party. >> and perhaps that reality is dawning on them. the house republican leadership will be meeting behind doors at 5:00 p.m. to figure out what they're going to do. congressman luis gutierrez, thank you for your time. when we come back cpac where mitt romney declared himself conservative is under way in washington. boy, has there been a healthy serving of meat already?
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plus, pot is now legal in washington. is the the green wave coming to a state near you? that's all ahead on now. ameriprise asked people a simple question: in retirement, will you have enough money to live life on your terms? i sure hope so. with healthcare costs, who knows. umm... everyone has retirement questions. so ameriprise created the exclusive confident retirement approach. now you and your ameripise advisor.... can get the real answers you need. start building your confident retirement today.
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within the hour wisconsin governor scott walker is set to face his biggest test yet with the deep red republican base. walker comes to cpac after refusing to say whether he believes president obama loves america and punting on the theory of evolution. just yesterday thousands protested a the wisconsin state capitol as governor walker vowed to sign an anti union right to work bill. scott walker is likely to get as warm a reception at cpac as he is from likely iowa republican caucusgoers. a quarter of whom backed walker
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in the latest quinnipiac poll. but it's all about going for blood. and no one chums the waters like ted cruz going after his fellow republicans. you get you i'm as conservative as i'll get out. if a candidate says they oppose president obama's illegal and unconstitutional executive amnesty, terrific. when have you stood up and fought against it? >> ted cruz was not alone in smiling for a fight. former business exec carly fiorina set herself up for a cage match with presumed front-runner hillary clinton. >> if hillary clinton had to face me on a debate stage, at the very least she would have a hitch in her swing. >> and while just two years ago
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christi christi christie wasn't invited to cpac. this year he boasted about giving up "new york times" for lent and vetoing planned parenthood. >> if the elites in washington who make back room deals decide who the president is going to be then he's definitely the front-runner. if the people of the united states decide to pick the next president of the united states and they want someone who looks them in the eye, connects with them and is one of them i'll do okay if i run. >> jeb bush will have a chance to get in his own jabs when he speaks at cpac tomorrow. joining me now is the host of msnbc's "up", steve kornacki and bloomberg business week's josh green. so let me start with you, in terms of christie saying he's going to give up "the new york times" for lent and basically antagonizing jeb bush how well does this play with the cpac crowd? is this enough? >> well i don't know if it's enough. you're certainly never going to go wrong as a conservative gathering, bashing the media or "the new york times," blaming yourself as the victim of the the media.
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it's certainly in line with what they're looking here for. does it make you stand out in a way that changes assessments? i don't know about that. >> josh talk to us about the reception in the room. there were a lot of skeptics in advance of this. did he win anyone over? >> yeah he did. and it's not really hard to win over the cpac crowd. this is sort of spring break for conservatives. and there's a formula to win them over. you bash "the new york times." you bash hillary clinton. you bash barack obama. and i think christie did that pretty successfully. he got a semi standing ovation. there were no boos. it's not a hard crowd to win over. he did a good job, i think. >> josh let me ask about carly fiorina. there was not a huge amount of tension on her before this moment. there's been discussion she's setting herself up. to be a worthy opponent to hillary clinton. are people taking her seriously
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as a contender? >> i don't know that they're taking her seriously as a contender. but she seems to have a particular role in she's the only female among the 18 or 19 and therefore is thought to have some special standing to attack hillary. which she did, which got huge standing ovation. as long as she wants to stick around in the race and play the role conservatives, at least the ones here at cpac will be very happy to have her doing it. >> steve, i want to talk about ted cruz, who was swinging in every direction including his own party. i saw him up there. he's an incredible speaker and showman. and he's articulate. at the same time the stuff he was saying was farly toxic if you're talking about a general election. and we talked about the mitt romney and this seems to be the portrait of ted cruz. i wonder how bad this is for someone that presumes to be a real national candidate. >> well ted cruz's game has
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never been to look at the general election. to the extent they had to look in texas, if you had the republican nomination, you're going to win the general election. so ted cruz's thing has always been about positions for republican primaries and tals to become a national force in the parties. it's setting himself up as the standard of impurity. any primary around the country, it's a republican candidate would say in a primary, down with ted cruz on this one. they get points on that. or if he says they didn't stand with me, that republican is heart in the primary. that's ted cruz's role in the party. it makes him a powerful national figure. >> it doesn't make him a president. >> it could certainly make him a force in a republican primary, which is nothing to sniff at. >> josh in terms of scott walker. in terms of being a force inned the republican party, he's polling really well. there's some sense he's giving rand paul a run for his money.
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what's the consensus? >> the consensus here is he is the hot interesting new candidate. he hasn't been around. he hasn't had the attacks you've seen against christie and jeb bush. cpac is perfectly timed finish scott walker. next week he's signing this right to work legislation. every conservative here at cpac knows this. they're buzzing about it in the holways. it sounds like in some ways scott walker fell in the the controversy about whether or not the president is a christian. whether or not he loves america. but he's also fund raising off of it. he has fiscal conservatives based on his record but this could be a direct appeal to the krigs chan conservatives in the party. >> i wouldn't read it that way.
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>> what's happened here is there has been a tremendous amount of blowback among conservatives. towards republicans being put on the spot by the liberal media. the liberal media chris christie is attacking. being asked gotcha questions. being held to a standard that they're not. i give him credit on this one. when we look closely to what he was saying. he wasn't doing the thing where he's like i don't know if obama is a christian. he was trying to make a statement saying i think this kind of question is out of bounds. he's got conservatives who will rally around him because of that. and then of course if you're running for president, you are going to turn around and raise money off that. the interesting thing about scott walker is when you look at the role he's playing, the surge in the polls against jeb bush you're always asked the question can the establishment be beaten? scott walker is different than the candidates who ran against romney in '12 and mccain in '08. >> that's a very fair point. josh green, thank you. steve kornacki hang with me. coming up, what makes a genius?
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steve kornacki will break down why donald trump, yes, donald trump may just be considered more of a genius than hillary clinton. question mark? that's next. yoplait greek 100. for when you just can't make it without a protein-packed, thick and creamy,
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if you're not on the largest, most reliable network, what are you giving up? verizon. thanks for inviting me to come fishing. thank mary. speaking of mary, there's something i wanted to talk to you about. well, we've still got 11 hours til we stop. sir, your daughter and i we've been together for... feel that? 236 lb-ft of torque i have to ask you something. i think i know what it is. 44 highway miles per gallon. the volkswagen passat tdi clean diesel with up to 814 hwy miles per tank. hurry in and you can get 0.9% apr for 60 months on the 2015 passat tdi plus a $2,000 bonus. you know, i think about money kind of a lot. money is freedom. money's always on my mind. car insurance. credit cards. preschool. debt. cell phone bills. it's complicated. it's not easy. i am not a good budgeter. unfortunately, i'm a spender. i would love to learn more about finances. savings. investments. retirement.
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man: the more educated i am, the better decisions i can make in the future. if you want to start a dinner party debate try asking who among the the celebrities can be called a genius. msnbc is exploring today's most innovative minds with seven days of genius a project for which we are in partnership with the the 92nd street y. steve kornacki is back with me. steve, break it down if r us. >> we took a really interesting poll. we teamed up. we asked people, when you think of geniuses and nongeniuses, what kinds of people are we talking about? they're more interesting. you can trust them. you can depend on them. they're savvy. they are not fun to go to a party with. they're not socialable.
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you can't relate to them. they're not friendly. it's the kinds of things they think about geniuses versus nongenius. so we're we said we're going to run celebrities by you. would you call this celebrity a genius or nongenius? think about these qualities now. i say celebrity. albert einstein. 93% say he's a genius. that's the highest score we get. 75% for bill gates. probably what you would expect. drops off a little bit. warren buffett only 45%. mark zuckerberg the facebook guy, 44%. down to bill nye the science guy. 37%. you think that bow tie may get him a few more points. only 37% saying he's a genius. donald trump, 29%. about one in this three people say they would consider donald trump to be a genius. hillary clinton, 17%. 12% more saying trump is a
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genius over hillary clinton. this is one of the lowest we got in the survey. 11% calling jay-z a genius. but you see the range there from einstein down to jay-z. interesting numbers for you, alex. >> 99% of people in this building think steve kornacki is a genius. that's real talk. and all of next week msnbc will feature more of his special projects, seven days of genius. stay tuned. just ahead, president obama is about to speak at a white house reception. three years to the day when trayvon martin an unarmed black teenager was shot and killed in florida by a man named george zimmerman. we will bring you the president's comments coming up just ahead on "now." they lived. ♪ they lived. ♪ they lived. ♪ (dad) we lived...
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pot remains illegal on any federal property like parks and monuments, which make up about a quarter of the the city and any sales or public consumption of it is still against the law. so you can't exactly light up on the steps of the lincoln memorial, but even in its limited state, the new law did not come without a fight from republicans in congress. after the ballot measure was approved by an overwhelming majority of d.c. voters last november, the gop prohibited the city from implementing the law. this week utah congressman went one step further saying d.c.'s mayor can go to prison for this. we're not playing a little game here. as of yesterday, bouzwser remained unfazed saying i have a lot of things to do here in d.c. and me being in jail wouldn't be a good thing. and correspondent for the series weed a kit, christian -- did i
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say that right? >> yeah you got it. >> i'll go to you first on this josh. why plant your flag in the ground around a ballot measure that passed with overwhelming support that could bring revenue to the i city and otherwise has support among libertarians and conservatives alike. >> i think it's a strange thing. in part, because the republicans tend to talk about local control and getting out of the way of states. the district of columbia is not a state. but it's sort of unusual for republicans to be taking the lead saying no we want to overrule what local voters and local officials in the jurisdiction decided to do. it made more sense. the guy who was pushing the amendment initially was andy harris, a republican from the eastern shore of maryland. he at least can say, my district is right near the district of columbia, when you legalize marijuana there, it will make it easy to have the marijuana trade from the city of d.c. >> marijuana trade! >> yeah it will make it more difficult to prohibit marijuana. his constituents are 2,000 miles
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away from d.c. it makes little sense why this is a big concern for somebody in ult utah. >> you're talking about raising money. conservatives like business theoretically. without the funds to establish regulatory systems, they basically blocked local authorities from regulating and taxing the pot authority, which is $130 million. >> that's what the city council essentially thought it would be worth. about $130 million. but what's interesting in the law is that you can actually sell marijuana. you can only trade it. it's a barter. >> the burning man economy. >> yeah, exactly. so you can grow six plants. you can have up to two ounces. but you know d.c. is not going to become like colorado. it's not going to become a green rush of entrepreneurs descending in order to make a bunch of cash. which funny enough is what a lot of old time advocates prefer rather than the economic boom of marijuana, they want a collective economy. >> it's also -- i mean we
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talked a lot about criminal justice reform right? and in d.c. marijuana possession disproportionately is a crime for which black people are incoursearcerated over white. 90% of those arrested for marijuana possession in d.c. are black. that makes his position more reprehensible. he's coming in and advocating for a broken policy that disproportionately affects black people. zblf if congress is able to block it they can't make them send individual police officers out to arrest people. a lot of police departments have made decisions to de-emphasize enforcement. the government could take over the d.c. police and run it back like they did 70 years ago. it's very unlikely that congress will go to that step. >> more control over that makes no sense. >> this thing overwhelmingly overwhelmingly. it did better with black voters
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than white voters in the the district. the areas least enthusiastic were wards seven and algteight, the poorest parts of d.c. that are almost entirely black. the area where it passed with the most support tended to be whiter areas, including ward two, where georgetown is. >> surprised? not at all. >> but i think, still both black and white voters wanted legalization. this may be part of why. but it's not purely an issue being led by black voters out of this. >> why is pot still a schedule one drug? it's classified in the same way that heroin, lsd, ecstasy and as of 2011 bath salts are classified. >> sure, it was originally scheduled 1 because it didn't have medical use, supposedly. >> ironically. >> given that how many states have medical marijuana laws on the books now. but the reason why is there
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isn't political will on a national level to legalize marijuana federally. and something you were saying earlier, a lot of republican lawmakers consider that. but at the same time they see the moral -- their moral position on more advice and drugs as irreprehensible. >> nixon signed nit the '70s when pot smoking hippies were his arch nemesis. and one would assume alcohol and tobacco had a big emphasis on making sure it did not become a recreational drug. that big lobby resistance to pot seems to have dissipated. >> and also i think you're seeing less lobbying by law enforcement, which has been one of the big lobbies in favor of drug prohibition. this is a partisan issue, but it's also a really big age issue. when you poll young republican voters, you find them. >> it's like gay marriage. >> and when you poll democrats,
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you have opposition. wasserman-schultz is loudly against it. so i do think this will move through the states. i think it will move generally more in blue states than in red states, but it's going to be a map that looks different from the typical republican and democrat states. >> i guess that's the question. how long before this is law of the land? at least at the state level in all 50 states. >> it does unite left and right. in certain places. they consider it legal. and i think alaska was a really good, you know example of that. it's a frontier state. it's a state that has a different cultural imprint than other places. it's hard to say on a national level when consensus will be sort of arrived at about marijuana. in 2016 there's a handsful of states that will have legalization on the ballots.
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>> so goes the nation. >> exactly. >> it is a fascinating this thing that is happening. i feel sorry for federal workers. they live in d.c., where you can smoke it but they can't -- well, they can't get high at work. i guess i don't know. i'm digging myself into a very deep hole. josh barrow and christian andovolu, it's great to see you guys. thank you, my bearded friends for all your brilliant thoughts. coming up president obama is speaking at a white house event commemorating black history month. we'll discuss race and justice in america. that's just ahead. america is now the world's number one natural gas producer... and we could soon become number one in oil. because hydraulic fracturing technology is safely recovering lots more oil and natural gas. supporting millions of new jobs. billions in tax revenue... and a new century of american energy security. the new energy superpower? it's red, white and blue. log on to learn more.
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the president and the first lady are hosting a reception at the white house in recognition of black history month. this comes on the third anniversary of the death of teen trayvon martin, whose parents are in attendance at the white house event. >> this month is to celebrate the central role african-americans have played in every aspect of american life. marching for freedom and equality jobs and justice. >> earlier this week they announced they closed the civil rights investigation into the death of the unarmed teen saying they found insufficient evidence to prove he was killed on account of his race. joining me now from the reid report is joy reid.
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do we have the comment he made on trayvon martin? >> we're getting them. he said today on the third anniversary of trayvon's death. it's important to talk and basically say that black lives matter and it's a difficult day for the martin family. i'm paraphrasing wildly. we'll get that sound soon. but it's a day that's very important to those who care about racial justice in america. were you surprised. >> a little. >> a little. here's the thing. president obama, the moment when he most stepped on the third rail of racial politics in the country is when he said what seemed self evident and not controversial at the time if he had a son it would look like trayvon. i could have been trayvon 30 years ago. those are the moments when h his presidency was profoundly racialized. it was traumatizing, i think, for this white house to go through the storm that followeded that. so i think there was an expected
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acknowledgment of this anniversary. i expect that to come because my brother's keeper anniversary, which is tied to the trayvon martin tragedy, the creation of that program is very bound up in the trayvon martin moment. >> but i will say, he's talking about very interesting things happen in the fourth quarter of any gain. the president has been i think more forthright about a number of issues about doubling down on the progressive agenda. i'm surprised we have not -- i wonder what you think. do you think race is an issue he will wrap his arms around more publicly in the waning months? >> it is interesting. we have seen honey badger obama come out. the interview he gave with jose diaz-balart where he leaned in and said don't blame the
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democrats on the issue. he's always been open about the issue of race. but i think when it comes to the bigger picture and the the issue of racial confrontation, he is not a confrontational person on that topic. so this fits the obama neme. but this was the opportunity for him to become as much a forthright honey badger. he has the parents there. the anniversary is today. this is a chance to wrap his arms around black lives matter. ft it tells me constitutionally may not be who he is. >> it's worth noting as we talk about where we are as a country on race. 40% believe race relations in the country are good. that's the lowest number since the year 1995. if you look at unemployment numbers, african-americans, the the unemployment rate is 10.3%. white americans is 4.9%. this is a dramatic disparity.
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>> yeah. >> in terms o f the two countries that we have. one for white america and one for black america. >> absolutely. and the late ron walters said when president obama was running you have a profound problem with race in america. african-americans need and constantly discuss race because they live racial disparity every day. every waking moment the past is simply prologue. it's not even past. the issues with police issues with the numbers you just mentioned. these are the present experiences of black americans. for much of white america, i won't say all, but much of white america. what is wanted from a black politician is more to say the past is past. we have moved on. >> and there's a need to hear that. >> and we talked about this like i said a couple weeks ago. the enishtiveinitiative is putting together lynchings. it's the first full accounting we have of the scars inflicts, the racial terror inflicted upon communities of color in this country.
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there were close to 4,000 lynchings in the united states. as part of this initiative eji is trying to put up plaques where those lynchings took place. with fierce resistance it's been met. if nothing else it's evidence of how unreconciled we are with the past when it comes to race ten bloodshed around race in this country. >> and it's not surprising you have not seen a successful black politician who overtly confronts race. in the way we hear it confronted in a church pew or talking to each other among friends the way african-americans deal with race one on one. the way black lives matter is doing it all over the country. a politician who wants to be successful as an african-american almost has to constantly cuddle the country on the issue of race. that's what the majority of the country wants to hear. a high five it's all good. just talk about the progress.
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otherwise people get profoundly offended if you say this unarmed black teenager shot to death by a civilian with no police authority, if you say that son, if i had a son that looked like you, that is somehow offensive. . >> the woolly mammoths that run this have sat down. let's hear what the president had to say about trayvon martin just moments ago. >> today on the third anniversary of trayvon martin's death, showing all of our kids all of them every single day that their lives matter that's a part of our task. i want to thank trayvon's parents here on what's a very difficult day for them. >> it's a far cry from july 19th 2013. trayvon martin could have been me 35 years ago. there are very few african-american men in this country who haven't had the experience of building followed when they were 1407ing in a department store. that includes me. i know it's a hard thing to talk
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about. it's painful to see the difference between where we were two years ago and where we are today. is. >> but how much do you want to wager? thaw will still raise the people who say why were they there? >> thank you as always my friend. it's good to see you. we will have more of the break coming up. would you be willing to give up sharing your moments? sacrifice streaming all night long? is it okay to drop a connection, when you need it most? if you're not on the largest, most reliable network, what are you giving up? verizon. it's just you and your honey. the setting is perfect. but then erectile dysfunction happens again. you know what? plenty of guys have this issue not just getting an erection but keeping it. well, viagra helps guys with
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