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Melissa Harris-Perry: ‘What is riskier than living poor in America?’

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A discussion on the racialized political rhetoric surrounding welfare took a turn close to home for Melissa Harris-Perry on her show Saturday morning, as she offered author and BusinessWeek columnist Monica Mehta a glimpse at the kind of places in which people who need of social-assistance programs often live.

Harris-Perry’s animated remarks were a response to Mehta’s opinion that President Barack Obama’s much-twisted “You didn’t build that” speech missed an emphasis on risk-taking, something she suggested enabled class mobility in America.

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“What is riskier than living poor in America? Seriously!,” she said, slamming her hand on her desk. “What in the world is riskier than being a poor person in America? I live in a neighborhood where people are shot on my street corner. I live in a neighborhood where people have to figure out how to get their kid into school because maybe it will be a good school and maybe it won’t. I am sick of the idea that being wealthy is risky. No. There is a huge safety net that whenever you fail will catch you and catch you and catch you. Being poor is what is risky. We have to create a safety net for poor people. And when we won’t, because they happen to look different from us, it is the pervasive ugliness”

Mehta attempted to clarify her remarks by saying risk-taking is what separates entrepreneurs from other smart, hard-working people, all of whom use the same government-provided roads.

“Some of us go to Dairy Queen, and some of us start businesses,” Mehta said.

Harris-Perry later apologized for her actions during the segment. Her emphatic response to Mehta starts at the 8:15 mark of this video, posted by MSNBC on Saturday.

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Vindman blows up Jim Jordan’s smear of his service by reading glowing performance review

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Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman on Tuesday shut down an attempt by Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) to question his service to his country by reading a glowing performance review given to him by former National Security Council staffer Fiona Hill.

During his questioning, Jordan quoted testimony from fellow impeachment inquiry witness Tim Morrison, who said he "had concerns about Lt. Col. Vindman's judgment" and said those concerns were also shared by Hill.

Jordan asked Vindman why his colleagues would question his judgement -- and the lieutenant colonel proceeded to read directly from Hill's final performance review of his work.

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‘You can hear Republican talking points disintegrating’ during Vindman testimony: CNN’s Toobin

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The testimonies of Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman and State Department official Jennifer Williams on Tuesday offered damaging accounts of their concerns about President Donald Trump's efforts to pressure the Ukrainian government to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden.

CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin came away impressed by the two officials' testimony, and he said they made a significant dent into the Republican Party's strategy to defend Trump.

"There was a sound you can hear during a lot of the testimony today, which was Republican talking points disintegrating, like crystals falling apart," he said.

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‘I’m an American’: Lt Col Vindman laughs off GOP counsel’s attempts to question his loyalty

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Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman laughed off questions about an offer by a Ukrainian official to serve as that country's defense minister.

The Soviet-born Vindman, who emigrated to the U.S. as a child and later served in the Iraq War, agreed that a Ukrainian official had offered him the government position three times during an official visit for the inauguration of the country's new president, Volodymyr Zelensky.

"I don't know (why the position was offered), but every single time I dismissed it," Vindman said. "Upon returning I notified my chain of command and the appropriate counter-intelligence folks about the offer."

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