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The February 15 'MHP' Syllabus

Will the GOP's You-Can't-Trust-Obama strategy work? That, plus pot politics, a new documentary about musicians in a rebuilding, turbulent New Orleans, and more.
Image: A dog in The Krewe of Barkus parade is pushed around the French Quarter during the Mardi Gras 2013 celebration in New Orleans
A dog in The Krewe of Barkus parade is pushed around the French Quarter during the Mardi Gras 2013 celebration in New Orleans, January 27, 2013. New...

In the past few months, the productivity we’ve seen from Congress has been a welcome change from the gridlock we experienced last fall. From coming together on a bipartisan budget agreement, to finally passing the Farm Bill, to this week’s vote to pass the clean debt ceiling bill, Congress seemed to be at long last, doing something.

So when House Republicans drafted their own blueprint for immigration legislation, it boosted hopes that real immigration reform was imminent. But then, House Speaker John Boehner announced that any forward movement on immigration reform would be difficult because the GOP does not trust President Obama’s administration to enforce immigration laws. But the president’s record tells a different story. In fact, President Obama has deported more undocumented immigrants than any other president. At the current rate the Obama administration is on track this year to surpass a total of 2 million deportations.

On Saturday, we’re talking all about trust and the potential consequences the GOP faces come November if it continues to ignore calls for immigration reform.

Florida is the latest state that could legalize medical marijuana through a ballot initiative this November. But some political observers feel that the initiative is less about the issue itself, and more about a strategy to get young, likely Democratic, voters to the polls to support Democratic gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist.  We’ll take a closer look at the debate in Florida and whether embracing pot politics is the new way to secure a victory at the ballot box. 

Though Fat Tuesday isn’t until Tuesday, March 4, Mardi Gras parades and celebrations will begin this weekend in New Orleans. Mardi Gras has long been known for its vibrant floats, and colorful costumes, but it’s the music that stands out as one of the defining features of the celebration and of New Orleans itself. New CBS documentary The Whole Gritty City explores the impact that making music has on the children of New Orleans whose daily lives are fraught with poverty, violence, and other hardships.

On Saturday, we’ll be joined by the director and producer of the documentary to discuss the power of music and the importance of telling this story.

Be sure to read what we’ve linked above, and watch Melissa Harris-Perry Sunday at 10 a.m. EST on MSNBC! Also, don’t forget to join us on Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag #nerdland. Joy Reid, host of the upcoming MSNBC show The Reid Report, will be sitting in for host Melissa Harris-Perry.