Morning Joe | February 05, 2013
>> that's not right.
>> what was that.
>> don't worry.
>> it's a new marketing for childhood toys.
>> pulitzer prize winning historian and author of " thomas jefferson ," jon meachem.
>> glue has to come from somewhere.
>> and professor of english at lehigh university , james peterson , welcome to the table.
>> he's actually qualified.
>> exactly. director of the office of management and budget , columnist for bloomberg view and vice-chairman of banking. you have a long -- we will have to cut this down.
>> i'm here. it it's time. that was the cutdown alex ?
>> from washington .
>> let me just tell something to our guests. that's meaty. we will cut it in half.
>> joining us from washington , associate editor for " washington post " and msnbc political analyst, eugene robinson . we will cut that, too.
>> gene's great.
>> these people at the table.
>> don't even have him from his gong show days where he was gene gene the dancing machine .
>> that was good. i like that one. we'll put that back in.
>> hey, gene, you saw what isikoff is reporting on these drone strikes and the legal justification, if you want to call it that. it's pretty shocking, no judicial review . they don't even have to have any actionable intelligence you're planning to do anything against the united states of america . it is pretty chilling.
>> i looks pretty shaky, to tell you the truth. it speaks of you have to be planning an imminent attack. imminent seems to mean maybe sometime in the future. it's a very flexible concept. look, i think we all need to really look into this and there should be some accountability on this and it needs to be spelled out in greater detail and in detail that makes sense. i'm not sure from what we heard from isikoff this is -- this is kosher.
>> let me say here and take it one step further, it doesn't even have to be an imminent attack, according to the memo. if an informed high level official of the u.s. government determines that the targeted american has recently been involved in activities causing a threat to the united states , even if there's no evidence of an imminent attack, they can still be killed. american citizens can still be killed across the globe. of course, willie brought up the time in the campaign where robert gibbs was asked by the son of -- the american son of an american suspect was killed after his father was killed, some time later, the 16-year-old. and the answer from robert gibbs in the white house was, well, he should have had a better father.
>> well, this is -- this is something that we need to have some hearings on. that would be worthwhile, i think. rather than hearings basically aimed at personal self -ag rrrdis self-agrdisment.
>> this is important stuff and was important with george w. bush how we conducted ourselves against terror and the american people and important under president obama .
>> george meein 2004 / 2005 , when one person was not given access to a lawyer and i remember reading, he is an american citizen and has the right to have an american counsel according to the constitution and he should get it and that was shocking to everybody as americans . everybody reacts as a yawn, you basically have no rights if you're an american citizen overseas, if the government targets knew overseas is interesting, too, does this mean it can't be done domestically. if in fact the logic is -- this is the ultimate manifestation, the ultimate product of what we've been living with for 11 years now, which is this blending of law enforcement , the ethics and tactics of war. sn
>> and technology. i would love to know, i'm sure we will, what the debate was internally about this. i'm sure the president given his disposition and having been a constitutional law professor, must have had some thoughts about this. but it is also interestingly something, at the risk of self-pa self-parity, something that began in the earliest days of the american presidency and is now -- continues to be an issue, which is to what extent is the executive power unaccountable if the executive power is acting in what it believes to be the cause of the survival of the country. jefferson said that the duty of the chief mag straiggie strait is to the law but its not the highest duty. the highest duty is the highest duty is the survival of the country. presidents throughout have made these decisions that have gone ever farther and this is the fartherest they've gone, it seems to me.
>> no evidence, no judicial review and no threat, no rights to face a judge and no rights to face a peer and again by this new standard, if your father was suspected of being a terrorist. snow right.
>> you can be killed. just bluntly, the way things work these days, if you are within the vicinity of somebody who is suspected without evidence of being a terrorist.
>> that's a problem.
>> you are now presumed guilty . you are presumed guilty in these new heinously low standards.
>> listen, if you look at the communities that have been under attack by drone attacks and what they had to experience with surveillance and fear they live in, we need not be yawning about these things, these are serious. we should challenge these kind of presidential powers in the hands of a president you didn't support. that's the tlesh hold athreshold and test we should be up in arms against having drones.
>> no question if this were a republican president, the temperature and tone this morning would be even higher.
>> oh, my god. jon , you, this morning, looks like an aclu lawyer. i'm just saying, everybody that was so shocked and stunned by these quote terror memos, again, i talked about it an awful lot here, where you have u.s. troops and pakistani troops working together, go through suburban pakistani neighborhoods, see somebody like khalid shaikh mohammed out of the house, making sure to kill nobody while seizing him, pulling him out, taking him out of the country and interrogating him. compare that now to dropping a drone, peter , on a house and killing 15 people. what offender me s fends -- off fends me so much for those against enhanced interrogation, they think it's clean. nothing clean about it. we saw this when bush was leaving office and people said they need to take him to the hague and tried for war crimes . i said, just wait if we ramp up the drone attacks, barack obama will not want to see the slides of the 5-year-old girls dismembered by our drone strikes.
>> we can pull it up.
>> we need to pull it up. we saw this coming a mile off. this is a dangerous slippery slope .
>> fair enough?
>> i'm here to talk about the funds rate. i will leave drone strikes to the experts.
>> let's move to the budget .
>> it is a slippery slope and at the end of the day , everyone needs to be paying attention to what the drone attacks are and doesn't matter who's in office, presidential powers unchecked is something we have to be concerned with.
>> the problem is so much of this is classified, still classified. michael isikoff managed to get this memo as senators are demanding more information. we should all demand more information. we need to know what's being done, again, in our name, because this is not clean, it's not surgical. it's messy and it's deadly. the collateral damage is awful.
>>> okay, peter . we move on now to the budget . house republicans are taking the white house to task for failing to deliver a budget for the 2014 fiscal year. the obama administration claims it missed the february 4th deadline because of uncertainty caused by the fiscal cliff negotiations but house republicans .
>> it was busy, though, you had the inauguration, right? right? snow uh-huh.
>> super bowl went four hours long. it was a long super bowl .
>> it was.
>> come on.
>> there are a lot of things you can kind of get worked up about. that deadline is not not -- shouldn't be one of them. the problem here, by the way, is the mechanics of putting together the annual budget are too antiquated so it takes much longer literally to put the numbers together and print it and blah blah blah than it should. which means if you don't know what the law is until january 1st , you won't hit it.
>> nobody roads for the president's budget any way. it has zero votes.
>> we can send drones health official way around the world do this but we can't print a budget . snow that's my point. 92 is this fair?
>> that's very good, we can send a man to the moon theme. you updated it for us. 92 moving fast, man, internet age .
>> i hear the webs is a big thing.
>> i love the website.
>> republicans are blaming this on a look of leadership in the oval office .
>> president obama missed a great opportunity today to help our economy. this was supposed to be the day the president submitted his budget to the congress. but it's not coming. it's going to be late and some reports say it could be as long as a month late. i think that's too bad. our economy could use some presidential leadership right no now.
>> i thought it was -- you know, i thought that was very reasonable and rational. how many days has it been, alex , since the democrats have put a bed on the floor in the senate.
>> look at that. boom! look at that!
>> he was so earring fger for that budget he was going to go through in detail.
>> peter , you want alex sitting next to you for any trivial pursuit game. boo boom.
>> you should see him on ag subsidies.
>> really quickly, peter , democrats don't want to show their hand. they haven't wanted to show their hand for years.
>> i think the problem here is both sides don't want to fill in the details. republicans , too. republicans have not put down specifically what they want to do.
>> paul ryan put out a budget and he's been killed for it for two years by democrats who haven't put out a budget since 2009 .
>> interesting, even the paul ryan budget i agree had more detail than other things. most like the deficit in the ryan budget was we will save unbelievable amounts of money by turning medicaid over to the states and somehow they will figure it out.
>> that's more information than other people are putting out.
>> talk about missing deadlines, now this is a really low bar.
>> what is the democratic plan in the senate, let's say, or in the white house , to save medicar medicare ?
>> medicare actually -- actually -- interesting you focus on that. medicare has been a pretty good story the past few years. my view is double down on things happening. medicare grew only by 3% last fiscal year, unbelievable low by standards.
>> will you take that gamble
>> for the next five years, i will take a 50/50 bet medicare will continue to grow at much slower rates than historically.
>> down to 2 1/2, 3% the next couple years.
>> that will tick up a little bit as the economy picks back up but i don't think we'll see the 10% growth rate .
>> so you don't think medicare is a problem?
>> it is a problem but this is one area better than official projections.
>> what about medicaid .
>> medicaid . big problem is so-called dual eligibles, eligible for medicare and medicaid . $200 billion a year, completely, not completely but vast majority of unmanaged uncoordinated, there's a lot that could be done to improve care and value in medicaid . by the way, i don't think you will get there by saying, here, states, you do it.
>> so, gene, what do we do? what do we do as far as getting democrats, white house , republicans to figure this out. this isn't just an ex-exercise. one of the things that concerns me hearing from my republican party , we have to stop focusing so much on spending cuts. this is a party, by the way, ran the national debt up from $5.6 billion to 11$11.7 trillion during the bush era. now, we're up to 16$16.5 trillion. i don't know that now is the time to say, hey, we're going to be the party that's not going to obsess over spending cuts. somebody has to obsess over the national debt . who's it going to be if it's not going to be the republicans ?
>> what we actually do or should be done. what we actually do is we kind of muddle through with a few cuts here and a bit of revenue there and some more messy fights and we -- presumably we get out of this situation at some point. what we should do is lay out a program for growth in the short term and deficit reduction in the longer term and everybody agrees that's what needs to be done, but we don't do it.
>> gene, i want to read from your column in the " washington post ." this is on guns. the nra 's tone-deaf rhetoric. with so many members of congress already bought and paid for, it's understandable that the nra would feel a measure of confidence. but i believe the pro- gun lobby is seriously overplaying its hand and that the wind has shifted. the nra is powerful but not omnipotent. t polls show americans favor sensible gun control . if obama and other proponents of sanity keep the issue alive, we can achieve it from sea to shining sea .
>> and the children from sandy hook singing "america the beautiful." i haven't talked to anybody that didn't tear up, certainly haven't talked to any parent that didn't tear up. we see day after day the tragedies unfolding in chicago . on the same day that we see this remarkable scene, way in lapierre is getting deboned on fox news by chris wallace and going back on universal background checks that have a 91, 93% approval ratings among americans , you wonder what planet the survivalist wing of the nra is living on. snow you do wonder that. really, one of the better public arguments for sensible gun control , background checks and the like is wayne lapierre , whenever he goes on the air, i think he illustrates just how radical and crazy this wing of the nra is. i don't think that represents the actual view of the majority of nra members.
>> it does not.
>> i don't know, i don't know.
>> mika, 80% of nra members support universal background checks . a majority of nra members support getting rid of these high capacity magazines. i'm telling you the overwhelming majority of nra members are hunters and people that want to support --
>> double the price and making them sell out.
>> the survivalist wing of the nra .
>> there's a lot of them.
>> you say there's a lot of them.
>> a lot of gun owners and people buying guns. people want their second amendment rights. the clash -- we're kind of not having the right conversation. this has to be about common sense gun safety and live and breathe in memories of people who died not just chicago or newtown and the last decade or so. we're too caught in wayne lapierre and rhetoric, to me nra is about buying and selling guns, not about second amendment and gun safety . we should focus on the issues.
>> trafficking of guns.
>> the leadership of the nra represent the gun lobby and those folks invested in selling more guns. i don't think they're interested protecting the second amendment rights. obviously lapierre as spokesperson has not given enough compass nat narrative to the kinds of things happening in mass shootings and chicago , and at the end of the day we need a conversation sans nra . i agree their power is a little overstated and this is a moment to move the conversation forward towards gun safety .
>> and we said time and time again, salcalia, clarence thomas , alito and conservatives in 2008 gave americans the second amendment right that we always believe we conservatives always believe was contained inside the second amendment.
>> you don't need wayne lapierre out there now doing it for you. i wonder why they don't let david king go. because lapierre is such -- such -- lapierre is such a nightmare. almost make it sound dirty. really, republicans are the party of ronald reagan who opposed assault weapons or do you want to be the party of way in lapierre ?
>> there are two points just been said i also heard the president say yesterday. one is twhhe weapon of war argument crystal put out there, these are weapons of war. the other is this very interesting shift you just echoed from a question about rights to a question about money, this is about gun lobbyists.
>> speaking about money. reading peter 's piece in bloomberg, okay -- i'll just turn this way. nowhat's happening?
>> it's too soon to celebrate a recovery.
>> read it to me?
>> you guys don't get into a big fight. let's see if you agree on this. the crucial question about longer than expected effects from the financial crisis is what should we do about them? passive despair after all-the.
>> that's what it support.
>> isn't an ideal strategy. policymakers in washington should couple substantial up front stimulus spending with even bigger but delayed deficit reduction. both ends of this barbell are crucial. the stimulus can help to reduce the lasting effects of the crisis and given the official deficit projections may be too sunny, the austerity will help prevent a firefight fiscal crisis. furthermore, the combination is more politically feasible than either component alone.
>> you see, peter , that seems so rational.
>> are you supporting stimulus, joe?
>> yes, i have --
>> this is driving me crazy.
>> squljoe said this.
>> i have said everyday for a year on this show you can take care of long term debt while investing in seconds and r&d. even though i explain this, people can't follow it. what has the f. scott fitzgerald quote? two conflicting ideas in your mind at the same time without going crazy.
>> that's you.
>> we're not even talking about that here, we're talking about like a grizzly bear going about his day-to-day activities and still being able to plan for hibernation. this is not hard.
>> look at that.
>> we can take care of short term investment and long term debt, peter , can we not?
>> absolutely. i'm glad you share the frustration. this is the sensible thing. i think it's more feasible than trying to do either one by itself.
>> if it's most tenable, why can't it happen if it make s ts the sense politically?
>> paul krugman was on the show and saying washington can't do two things at once. eric is coming up and talking about how the doesn't want the republican party to just be the party of cuts. but everybody should agree we have to take care of that long term debt or the markets will turn on us and it will be a vicious reaction.
>> i am convinced if you did more delay ed deficit reduction, paul krugman and others worried about undue fiscal austerity immediately the sole focus we will punt on delayed deficit reconstructir reduction is counterproductive.
>> you send a message worldwide, we will take care of debt long term and take care of med kiicare and social security and invest over the years. the markets give you more money to invest in education and these things in the short run.
>> joe's new policy is active despair.
>> what's that, gene sxwrrchlt.
>> your new policy appears to be active despair opposed to passi passive.
>> active despair is saying it everyday for a year and people not hearing it. i am that train calling in a forest when nobody is around. snow you have been heard.
>> on the grizzly bear .
>> i like the bear thing. that's good.
>> all right.
>> thank you, gene, be reading your column in the " washington post ." jon meachem, stay. when we come back, house majority leader eric cantor delivering a major speech how the republican party should change its message and redirect its focus.
>> and all the people said,