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tv   MSNBC Live  MSNBC  November 14, 2011 8:00am-9:00am PST

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guilt about coming forward. >> if you look at sexual assault victims, it's very difficult for them to come forward. and i think it's fair to say that the victims could be thinking to themselves right now, as a result of myself coming forward, look at what's happened to this football program. >> nbc's michelle franzen is live. the attorney though is preparing this civil suit against penn state. bring us up to speed about the investigation. >> reporter: well, the investigation, thomas, has taken on many layers. it's got layers of, of course, jerry sandusky, the former assistant coach here at penn state who is at the center of this investigation. grand jury indicting him on 40 counts involving alleged allegations or alleged sexual abuse of children, as many as eight victims, as you mentioned, lawyers now asking more alleged
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victim or possible victims to move forward. they're also moving forward with possible civil lawsuits. that has penn state also isolating themselves a little bit more, getting their board of trustees up to gear. and they've also initiated an investigation of their own looking into what happened over the years of those charges that involved san dust i can and why it wasn't elevated beyond a campus level to a police level? also, as you mentioned, the ceo, jack raykovitz, of the second mile, the organization, the charity organization that san dust dusky worked at. many players here, you see students streaming to class here on this monday following an emotional weekend where last home football game, of course, their coach and the much of a
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symbol here over the years, joe paterno, being fired over the last week. the emotions over that still reverberating across the campus as the focus is not only rebuilding the trust on this campus but also on those alleged victims. and that has the ripple effect reaching out aof the way to the white house. president obama commenting from hawaii. >> what happened at penn state indicates that, at a certain point, folks start thinking about systems and institutions and don't think about individuals. evil contrive in the world just by good people standing by doing nothing. >> reporter: penn state authorities are trying to re-establish their trust here in students as well as get to the bottom of this investigation, thomas. so it's a very fluid situation this time with many layers playing out by the hour. >> nbc's michelle franzen at
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penn state. thank you. we're also hearing blood kus curdling words from the accused. interview that nbc did in 1987 talking about why he loved working with children. take a listen. >> how did it all start? basically because i'm a frustrated playground director, i guess. i enjoy being around children. i enjoy their enthusiasm. i just have a good time with them. >> joining me now is patrick mcdonald, "daily beast" contributor who was himself abused by his scoutmaster at the age of 12. he wrote a scathing piece about paterno and the wall of silence surrounding this case. patrick, it is nice to see you this morning. first off, when you hear jerry sandusky in his own words there, obviously this is a 20-year-old interview, what is your reaction though to how he describes himself as a frustrated playground director? >> to be honest, it makes me
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want to hurl right on camera. it's the type of thing that he's saying -- it's not anything that anybody could ever predict, by the way, because those sentiments are fairly common across -- across the globe for incredibly good people. but when you take what he's done and you put it back to those words from 20 years ago, it's incredibly horrible. and it's the first time i've actually heard it. it's difficult for me to listen to it. >> patrick, when we think about how the nation is reacting to this, there's a new exclusive "newsweek"/daily beast poll out show that americans overwhelmingly agree that joe paterno should have alerted police. you go ahead and go further that says paterno should rot in jail. why are you taking this hard line stance against joe paterno who everyone says he did what was minimally required by law? >> well, i think that we
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certainly look at the legal aspect of things and there's no doubt that he met his legal obligation. i don't think anybody would really doubt that. but i believe that it has to go beyond a legal obligation to an obligation to everybody else really that's on the planet. when you have -- when you are charged with looking after children or even if you're not, by the way, and you see some child or you hear about some child being abused in a manner that, let's face it, unless you've experienced it, you know, certainly as i know you have, you cannot imagine what it's like. you have a responsibility to that child and to society to speak up and say, this is not acceptable. and we're going to take any and every measure necessary to prevent this from happening again. and, we're going to take immediate action to get that child the necessary support so that they can rebound very quickly and lead a fruitful life that every person essentially deserves to be able to live. >> full disclosure being what it
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is. most people know about he history with the catholic church and i was sexually abused as a child. but in my situation this was a catholic church. these people don't have kids of their own. a lot of people included in all of this state college p.a., they're parents, they know what it's like to be 10 or 12 or 13 years old and to be a parent like that as a child in their own home. the judge in the case that went light on the bail. we're saying light because of the fact they were asking the prosecutors for $500,000 bail and sandusky to wear this leg monitor. she returned a $100,000 bailnd free to roam around state college p.a. it comes out she was a volunteer at this charity. why in the world wouldn't this woman recuse herself from being a part of this? not any -- so she wouldn't have to have anybody second-guessing her judge call from the bench? why not just recuse yourself? anybody there needs to recuse themselves for any ties that they may have. >> well, i would think that a
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logical and rational person would make that decision. they would say, you know what, clearly is a conflict of interest. i'm going to remove myself from this situation and let somebody else take the stand here or provide the issues of bail or monitoring. i think that part of the challenge here is that people have such a hard time believing, first, that anybody is capable of doing such horrible things to a child. let alone somebody that they know, somebody that they respect and revere. that's part of the reason that thi these types of things are able to continue, is you have a reputable person that everybody seems to like doing such horrible things that society in general can't -- cannot fathom those being done to a child. >> we're only scratching the surface here. we're going to start to learn a lot more as this investigation continues. patrick mcdonald. thank you for your time this morning. appreciate it. >> thank you, thomas. big day for the president's signature piece of legislation. supreme court decided to hear legal challenges to the
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president's health care law and its most important case in more than a decade. the white house wasted no time tweeting and releasing a statement saying that thanks to the law one million more young americans have health insurance. women are getting mammograms and preventive services without paying an extra penny out of their own pocket. we know the affordable health care act is constitutional and are confident the supreme court will agree. joining me now live from the supreme court nbc justice correspondent pete williams. explain where we go from here? >> dramatic decision from the supreme court to take this case because now we'll find out the answer that has been debated and argued about ever since the law has passed, is it constitutional or not. the centerpiece issue is this requirement that all americans virtually all americans buy health insurance. it's first time in history that congress has ever required people to buy a product from a private company. so that's the big question. other questions in this case are, if that part of it is unconstitutional does the rest
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of the law collapse or do parts survive? additional question about the new medicaid requirements for the states. very interesting question here, thomas, about whether the supreme court can actually consider this now. if you don't buy insurance you have to pay an extra tax. and there's a federal law that says you can't challenge a federal tax before it goes into effect. the individual mandate kicks in 2014. one of the questions the supreme court is going to decide is can it hear this case now or does it have to say to the parties, sorry, come back in two years? now, one other thing, thomas, they set aside as far as anyone knows the longest time in modern history to hear this case. 5 1/2 hours. we don't know exactly when it will be argued. probably sometime in early march, thomas. >> nbc justice correspondent pete williams. thank you. appreciate it. president obama is standing strongly against gop opponents in some new polling but the economy is dragging his approval numbers down in many key states. the president is holding on to leads against republican front-runners, romney and cain, in a plit to george washington
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university bat ground proel. even with an unnamed challenger, the president's overall approval rating is at 44%. it dips to 40% when only factoring in 19 states in play in both parties in 2012. kristen welker is live in hawaii. and the president is announcing a new directive aimed at the health care industry. kristen, explain more about that for us. i know it's very early. >> it is very early here. hi, good morning to you, thomas. this is the white house rolling out the latest we can't wait initiative. here's what the key components look like. it's a billion dollars to hire, drain, and deploy health care workers essentially. the idea is that it will speed up and really improve health care for patients, specially those on medicare and medicaid. now, this is, of course, the white house's latest we can't wait initiative. they have been rolling out several of these over the past several weeks. some of them include help for homeowners who are struggling. others include help for folks
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struggling to pay off their student loans. that type of thing. this is really the president drawing battle lines with congress saying that if you're not going to act to pass my jobs bill, i'm going to take action without you. it's, of course, a political calculation as well as you point out, thomas, he is really getting hammered on his handling of the economy. so in an attempt to show that he is on top of that. the timing interesting because we are here in on lieu lhonolul hawa hawaii, where he has been focused on the asian-pacific region, expanding and deepening ties with this region. tomorrow he heads to australia. >> we know it's early out there. with the waves crashing in the background, it's hard to feel sorry for you. >> it's very nice. >> thank you. so we are keeping a close eye on a developing situation in oakland. protesters are no longer occupy that city. police in riot gear just cleared them out. we'll have more on that. plus, the 1% at the heart of the protests are getting huge tax breaks from the government. huge. including rocker jon bon jovi.
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wait until you hear why. first, take a peek at this on wall street. welcome back from monday. what's better than gold ? free gold ! we call that hertz gold plus rewards. you earn free days, free weeks and more fast. that's a plus. upgrade your ride. that's a plus. rewards with no blackout dates so you can redeem anytime. and it's easy to redeem your points online. already a gold member ? just select gold plus rewards in your profile and start rewarding yourself now. just go to to join. hertz gold plus rewards. journey on.
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mitt romney's consistent performances are finally pushing his poll numbers to a new level. recontact of republican voters shows rom ni gaining five points after the wednesday debate. newt gingrich makes a small surge and rick perry falls completely off the 2012 radar. let's bring in our panel to talk about this this morning. former deputy communications director for president obama. and robert, washington bureau chief for the for the comcast network. it's nice to see both of you this morning. straight to it. romney breaking the 30% mark and he keeps his cool at these
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presidential debates. also seeing some juice from newt in these new polls. does romney have this sewn up or is there still room for newt to rise? >> well, there's a new flavor of the week every week in the republican primary, it seems, but what's interesting is that because there's been so much interest in the horse race, great political story, and because there have been so many scandals to cover with the republican candidates, there really hasn't been a lot of focus on policy issues. mitt romney has a lot of policy questions to answer. for example, he hasn't answered the question as to why his strategy, his national security strategy, would have failed when it came to pursuing it. if we had gone with mitt romney's strategy we may not have caught bin laden. he hasn't answered what he would do about housing. what his exact plan for bringing jobs back. i expect as the race continues there will be more oxygen to talk about these important issues. >> robert, herman cain finally -- or herman cain's wife finally broke her silence about
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her husband. i'm think heg would have to have a split personality to do the things that were kad. cain is still holding steady, robert, in this poll, so his supporters are still sticking with him. do you think the fact that gloria cain has come out and spoken, standing by herman that is, that that's going to help him stay put? >> i don't know the answer to that. i guess we'll see if, in fact, any more charges surface on this. look, it's not surprising that mrs. cain is coming out defe defending her husband. remember hillary clinton did the same thing before if accusations proved to be true. the reality here, thomas, is that herman cain is a different candidate. he's a straight shooter. very forthright. and i think that's what a lot of his supporters were attracted to as relates to what he stands for and what he believes. the question becomes, again, as if any other accusations come out whether or not they will bolt a newt gingrich or mitt romney, we'll see. >> on saturday, we had two big things to watch. we had the latest presidential debate but we also had "saturday
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night live." i want to show you the fact that rick perry didn't have his usual missteps in stat's debate but "saturday night live" they did have fun with him showing his last showing. >> seriously, governor, what is the third department you cut? >> come on, man, i said oops. i can't -- i can't say stuff good. the words don't -- they don't talk right. >> come here. come here. come here. it's okay. it's okay. come here. it's all right. >> i'm not going to be president, am i? >> no, no, you're not. >> so, robert, as bad as this has been, is there time for perry to salvage any of this, turn the ship around? >> it's going to be tough for him. it's heavy lifting. the expectations going into the debate was that rick perry did not have the horsepower. he was loosy goosy with the facts. he simply just simply did not answer the questions in a vy substantive way. unfortunately last week's debate kind of prorved thproved that. in order for rick perry to move
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forward he has to break around the field and be able to convince his supporters but also the american people generally that he does have the horsepower to get to the end of this. i don't think that's the case here, unfortunately. >> when we talk about saturday's debate we have michele bachmann saying the aclu runs the cia. you have romney saying re-electing obama means iran will develop a nuclear weapon. and you have many of the candidates, including herman cain, supporting waterboarding. take a listen. >> mr. cain, of course you're familiar with the long running debate over waterboarding conversations ci conversations ci constitutes torture. >> i believe that it is an enhanced technique. >> you would support your president and return to that policy? >> yes, i would return to that policy. i don't see it as torture. i see it as an enhanced interrogation technique. >> is the foreign policy fight the one that the president welcomes?
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>> the president's report on foreign policy issues is unquestionable. he caught osama bin laden. he's wound down the war in iraq. helped rebuild our coalition around the world. and this is an issue he fooil feels very come fofortable talk about. these candidates don't have experience but they don't come across prepared to deal with the tough issues. you don't have second chances when it comes to foreign policy. we're going to be talking about the economy and that's the issue that many people around this country are talking about but the president is eager to have that debate as well. we're looking forward to talking about either issue and getting into the substantive policy. >> thanks to both of you. great to see you today. >> thank you. occupy on the move with new developments this morning. at least 20 people arrested after hundreds of police officers in oakland, california, cleared the occupy street camp in an early morning raid. police blocked off the surrounding streets peacefully took down several tents today after telling the campers to leave four times during the weekend. city officials want the camp
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cleared off after a man was killed nearby on thursday. in portland, crews are cleaning up two parks after evicting proteste protesters. a small group marched on sidewalks this morning but nothing else happened. more than 50 people were arrested yesterday. and in iraq vet severely injured during a police raid in october is out of the hospital now. he suffered a head injury when police threw tear gas at proes thors in the occupy oakland camp. he reportedly was having trouble speaking, still can, but he can read and write. a new report from congress shows the 1% is making a ton of cash in washington in addition to making money on wall street. millionaires are collecting $30 billion a year in tax breaks in government subsidies. this according to "newsweek." which obtained a copy of the report. that's nearly twice as much as nasa gets each here and three times the annual bud at the time of the epa. i'm joined by dan stone, white house correspondent for "newsweek" as well as "the daily
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beast." his new article appears this week in "newsweek." explain to all of us so we can understand, the sort of handouts we're about to investigate here, how did they all get uncovered and how much are we talking about? >> this is about $30 billion annually that goes to the top of that half 1%. senator tom coburn of oklahoma asked the irs for some of the data to look at how much money was going. half of this is direct payments and programs like social security, agriculture payments, conservation programs. the other half is tax breaks and tax loopholes that all together add up to about $30 billion annually that are staying out of the federal coffers, specially as many members on the hill are talking about cutting the deficit. >> so when we look at this, because, dan, the congressional report dropping famous names that i think are going to perk the years of a lot of people around the country. jon bon jovi got money for raising honeybees. scottie pippen. david rockefeller, ted turner
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receiving half a million dollars in farm subsidiesubsidies. no one is suggest that they've done anything wrong but seeing the people that are on this list, is that the problem that we have these allowances that are made in this country for people basically to work the system? >> well, those are just some of the big names in the report. remember, this is hundreds of thousands of people. all of them make over a million dollars a year and they're taking this money in direct payments as well as tax breaks. so the question exactly is right, that tom coburn was asking, do these people need this money, this is money that could certainly be going to filling the federal deficit, certainly feeding other programs in the government. is this money people need? probably not. >> dan stone, white house correspondent for "newsweek" and "the daily beast." coming up, the new fracking controversy, nearly $750 million being handed out to congress by natural gas industry. and if you don't know what fracking is, stick around. i'll explain next. plus, your bank might have dropped the new debit card fee
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automatic reaction would be even though i'm a small woman, i would want to go find that guy and pete him to a pulp. >> michele bachmann referring to jerry sandusky. we played you a small clip of the chilling remarks made by then penn state assistant coach. from an interview in 1987 from nbc news archives. we're now getting a far darker and more disturbing side of this story based on recent allegations of child sexual abuse. nbc news national investigative correspondent michael isikoff is here. hindsight being 20/20, how are people looking at this with a different eye? >> well, look, years before he
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was charged with sex abuse, jerry sandusky had given this remarkable interview talking about his passion for working with kids. these are words that take on a very different meaning today. >> how did it all start? basically because i'm a frustrated playground director, i guess. >> that's jerry sandusky in an nbc news interview in 1987. in light of the child sex abuse charges now filed against him, it's a disturbing look into the man at the center of the penn state scandal. >> i enjoy being around children. i enjoy their enthusiasm. i just have a good time with them. >> reporter: at the time of the nbc news profile sandusky was a pioneering defensive coach under the legendary joe paterno. he turned down hold coaching jobs at other schools to continue his work, he said, with the second mile, the charity he founded to help troubled kids. >> everybody needs people to
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care for them. sometimes they don't want it. sometimes they don't understand what you're trying to do. but they want to be disciplined. kids are growing up awfully fast today. >> reporter: but now sandusky is charged with 40 counts of child sex abuse over a 13-year period. he's out on a $100,000 bond and denies any wrong doing. >> it isn't what happens to you that's important. it's how you react to it. >> reporter: a decade after the nbc news profile, police first investigated sandusky for allegedly showering with and touching a young boy in the penn state locker room. a grand jury report says that investigators from local and university police listened in as the boy's mother confronted him. i was wrong, sandusky told her. i wish i was dead. but no charges were filed. a year later, sandusky, at age 55, announced he was retiring from coaching to work more on the second mile charity. a penn state sports historian who has known sandusky for years
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thought that was strange. >> surprised. everybody was surprised but it seemed natural that he would want to go spend more time with the kids because he had this great -- he wanted to expand it, raise more money. >> one of the biggest things would be the trust that would be developed. what we're trying to be is what we think to be is a true friend. >> reporter: but now with the charges that he sexually abused eight young boys, all of whom he met through the second mile charity, there is outrage over the damage sandusky was alleged to have done to the children and penn state university. >> what i think of him now, i can't tell you what i'd like to do to him if i could get him. he's ruined penn state. >> reporter: thomas, we have new developments just this morning. the executive director of the that charity that sandusky founded, the second mile, has just remined. jack raykovitz was identified in the grand jury report as having
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been told about the 2000 allegations against sandusky. and now north good of the charity he's stepped down. the general council of the charity has stepped aside. it's under new leadership. this investigation is very much continuing. >> dr. raykovitz at the helm there for second mile for 28 years. michael isikoff, thank you so much. on a different note for you now. on this entire week is green week on the networks of nbc. new report by the non-profit and nonpartisan group common cause says the natural gas industry has been big money when it comes to fracking. fracking is this controversial drilling technique used to extract gas, drilling down and creates tiny explosions to shatter shell rock thus releasing the gas inside. the report says fracking companies spent $726 million on lobbying at the federal level from 2001 through september of this year. current members of senate committee on the environment and
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public works have received $1.4 million. current members of the house, energy, and commerce committee have received $3.7 million. joining me in studio is james browning with common cause to talk more about this. james, it's nice to have you on. explain why fracking is so con stro verse shul and who are you targeting with this report? >> fracking is controversial because there are a lot of things we still don't know. we don't know often what chemicals are being used in this process. we don't know what their potential is to damage the environment or human health. now, what's so interesting about all these unknowns is that the natural gas industry has been very successful in getting itself exempt fred a number of laws and shown by this report this has been accompanied by a huge spending spree in washington and in the state capitals. what's interest striking is over the last few years as people started to ask more and more questions about fracking, spending on campaign contributions has more than tripled in congress. so as the alarm bells are going
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off the industry is doing everything it can to silence them. >> for everybody at home explain why this should be of the utmost importance if you know this is going on in your state, your community, because it disrupts the ground water. >> plus from fracking affects the ground water around the well and community where the drilling is happening. it also has the potential to get into our water supply. one group labeled the delaware river one of the most endangered rivers in the country because of waste water coming off of fracking. that's a river that supplies water to millions of people. even if you don't know what fracking is now or you don't have it in your state you will very soon and you may be faced with some of the pollution very soon coming from upstream. >> how tight is this coordinated effort or the relationship between fracking lobbyists and those on congress, those in congress on the hill? >> we saw an enormous surge in lobbying and campaign contributions in 2009 when you have the combination of obama and the democrats controlling congress and i think many in the
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industry feared that congress might actually for the first time in decades step in to crack down on some of the exemptions that the industry enjoys. there is something called the frack act which would regulate fracking under safe drinking water act. you will recall that dick cheney is famous for having a halliburton loophole that had it exempted in the first place. it's been stalled in congress and efforts to fight this in the states have stalled also in part because of the money. >> james browning of common cause. thanks for your time. herman cain's wife breaks her silence. why she is standing be i herman despite the allegations of [ female announcer ] instantly smooth wrinkles with a shot? wait a second... with olay challenge that. new regenerist wrinkle revolution... relaxes the look of wrinkles instantly, and the look of deep wrinkles in 14 days. ready, set, smooth... regenerist. from olay. we don't want anything to slow us down so it's surprising that most women aren't getting enough calcium. with over 25 flavors, yoplait original gives you
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free gold ! we call that hertz gold plus rewards. you earn free days, free weeks and more fast. that's a plus. upgrade your ride. that's a plus. rewards with no blackout dates so you can redeem anytime. and it's easy to redeem your points online. already a gold member ? just select gold plus rewards in your profile and start rewarding yourself now. just go to to join. hertz gold plus rewards. journey on. welcome back. here's a look at other stories topping the news now. italy's new prime minister mario monti is working to put together a new government, one that will be capable of implementing major economic reforms. he plans to act with a sense of urgency but will not rush to decision on this new government.
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berlusconi resigned on saturday. big banks might have done away with debit card fees but some have found new ways to make up the cash. $5 to replace a lost debit card. $20 if you want that rushed to you. some banks are also charging fees to deposit money with a cell phone or even having cash wired to your account. the banks are trying to recoup up to $20 anyone vester after changes were made to overdraft charges and debit card swipe fees. prescription drug abuse is on the rise. what w. that there's been an explosion of newborn babies hooked on painkillers. victims of their mother's addictio addictions, natural statistics are not available just yet but states with the worst problems are now beginning to collect the data on that. some data is showing the numbers down downled, tripled, more than that. herman cain's image has taken a hit now that sexual harassment allegations have surfaced against him all of the way back from the 1990s. but his wife gloria is break
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herg silence now about all the accusations and the bottom line is, she isn't buying it. >> to hear such graphic allegations and know that that would have been something that was totally disrespectful of her as a woman, and i know that's not the person he is. he totally respects women. >> i'm joined now by charles, national politicsed editor for politi politico. when we see that and obviously, charles, she's a figure that we wanted to hear from for a long time. what does it mean now though to have gloria cain weighing in on this conversation and standing up for the man that she's known for most of her life? >> well, obviously it's a very important moment in the time line of the allegations surrounding herman cain because if you look at the various allegations or so-called scandals that develop in other politicians there's a moment when the family comes in as a
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validating entity to sort of flesh out and fill in the blanks about politician's character. but we haven't seen that so far with herman cain. it's probably provided a little more oxygen into this debate over the allegations. and the problem is, she hasn't been -- the whole family hasn't been on the trail very much so there are a lot of questions about herman cain that the family can fill in. this will be an important moment to maybe putting the allegations to rest. >> comments he's made about women. a i think a lot of people will remember this at the gop debate. >> we didn't hear about it in the previous congress because princess nancy sent it to committee and it stayed there. it never came out. >> he's also referred to nancy pelosi as princess nancy on his radio program in the past. now, he did apologize for this most recent remark but in a new gq interview, charles, he goes ahead to compare his rivals when asked to different ice cream flavors. romney is plain vanilla.
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rec perry, rocky road. michele bachmann, i'm not going to say it, noim not going to say it, tutti-frutti. i'm know i'm going to get in trouble. this is this the kind of stuff that gets him in trouble or mace him personable? >> both. grass roots support he has doesn't waiver in the polls is the fact that he speaks his mind all the time, completely unfiltered. the problem is you are never going to be able to expand out of that base as long as you're making comments because it's not just nancy pelosi or michele bachmann. it's also anita hill. it may suggest to voters that he doesn't take the allegations as serious as they do. >> great to see you. thanks for your time. the clock is ticking for dozens of lawmakers searching for compromise on capitol hill. the new politico/george washington university battleground poll show seven out
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of ten people think the super committee will fail to reach a deal over a trillion dollars of deficit cuts. luke, they're running out of time. do we have any reason for optimism, though? >> no, not right now, thomas. reports from aides on both sides are that they are at the kuwait a stalemate on the super committee. the committee as a group has not met together for some time. it's basically going into little sort of side groups. few republican here, few democrats here may meet cross party within the super committee itself. the main issue is the one that's plagued this congress for so long. democrats don't want to move and republicans don't want to see their taxes raised. one thing that's leaked out over the past weekend is, okay, perhaps the super committee could agree on a way to raise taxes, create new revenue, agree on a number but not necessarily how that would be implemented and carried out. that responsibility would then super committee would instruct that to be fall on the house ways and means committee and
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senate finance committee for those who have jurisdiction over tax writing law. what does that do? the super committee's way of handing it down the road saying we couldn't agree to a deal. we can tell you how much we want to see cut but you're going to have to figure out how to do it. a lot of folks on capitol hill worry about that because it opens up things from international interests and part of the reason why the super committee is so super is it has a up or down vote in the senate, filibuster proof. so, nine days away, not a lot of optimism for the super committee. >> nbc's luke russert on capitol hill for us. thanks. what's next for president obama's health care lou now that it's headed for the high court? we'll take a peek at that and much more right after this. looks beautiful.
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the stage is set for what could be the biggest supreme court case since bush versus gore. the court announced today that it's going to hear arguments on
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whether or not the president's health care overhaul is constitutional. the case will be heard in march right in the thick of the 2012 campaign. and it comes at a time of shifting public opinion. look at this because a new poll released today shows more than half of americans support mandatory health insurance. 52% favor it. 47% oppose it. back in june the opposite was true. 54% were opposed. 44% were in favor of it. paul is a constitution allow professor at georgetown university and joins me now. paul, at the heart of this issue is, can congress force people to buy health insurance? what's the number one argument as we look at each side? >> well, thomas, the government is arguing that the constitution gives the federal government power to regulate interstate commerce. they say nothing is more big commercial enterprise and nothing affects the financial well being and commerce of the country as much as the mighty health care problem throughout
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the country. on the other side is the argument that, look, if you allow this, if you allow congress to force people to buy a product from a private company, there's no stopping them. they can require you to buy only american cars because the economy needs it. they could require you to buy only health foods because we don't want you to get fat and become a drag on the public coffers because you're getting sick and a drag on the health care industry. so that's the problem. and i think there is somewhat of an analogy though in social security except there they require you to buy into a social security system which is like health care, but it's not run by private organizations. health insurance companies. that's the difference. if social security were privately run by a company, then the analogy would be pretty much the same because it is a kind of security that you're buying into with both health care, health
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care and social security. >> paul, so the court of public opinion is changing ever so slightly. we've got these nine appellate judges who have upheld the health care law. three ruled it constitutional. the white house is saying now we know the affordable care act is constitutional and are confident the supreme court will agree. and we just heard from pete williams earlier in this hour that's a supreme court will give 5 1/2 hours dedicated to hear the sides on this. so any clues from your legal opinion on which way the supreme court might go? >> there is just too many variables here. and it's an issue that cuts across conservative and liberal lines. some of the judges in the courts below that have decided in favor of the obama health care plan have actually been republican appointees and the opposite is also true. some of them have decided against the plan, have been democrats. so they don't vote true to their stripes, to so speak. so it's really very hard to call
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it. the supreme court could even -- even taken the case could decide it's too early to hear it. the plan doesn't go into effect. the health doesn't go into effe, the health care plan, until 2014, and parts of it in 2019. there is also things so they could say people don't have a right to challenge it until their oxen is being gored, so to speak, and there is a law that says you can't pay taxes until you've challenged them, well, too bad, nobody has paid anything on this yet. there is controversy whether there really even is a tax. we don't know what the supreme court is going to do. there's another issue of whether the whole health care plan has to fall if this requirement you have to buy health care falls, and there's lots of regulations like preexisting conditions that they can't refuse you insurance, lots of things like that, and the supreme court will decide that, too.
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>> constitutional law professor, paul offstein. thank you, paul, appreciate it. we'll be back with much more after this. in america, we believe in a future that is better than today. since 1894, ameriprise financial has been working hard for their clients' futures. never taking a bailout. helping generations achieve dreams. buy homes. put their kids through college. retire how they want to. ameriprise. the strength of america's largest financial planning company. the heart of 10,000 advisors working with you, one-to-one. together, for your future. ♪
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now speaking out defending her husband against sexual harassment, our flip side today, take a look at political wives who have stuck with their husbands during infidelity. when bill clinton's scandal came out, hillary clinton stood by him. it's possible, though, hillary clinton teaching her deputy staff a thing or two about when they were sending women pictures on line. there were some wives who didn't
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weather this storm with their husbands so well. there was jenny sanford who divorced her husband of 22 years after he was secretly carrying on with a woman in argentina. and edwards after he fathered a child with rachel hunter. kaan is making plans to leave herman after new claims he was a client of a prostitution ring that is now under investigation. all right, that's going to do it for me today. i'm going to see you back here tomorrow 11:00 eastern time. every morning, for that matter. i have the great pleasure of introducing alex wagner. her show "now with alex wagner" is next. >> we have a great panel today. my panel is john holliman of new york magazine, dan rather and maggie haberman, senior
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political writer from politico. we'll talk about newt gingrich flavor of the month. we'll see you next on "now." oldu to use new and improved pam so you'd come out in one piece like those muffins up there. look i gotta go. pam helps you like pull it off guaranteed. to the flu. an accident... to asthma. a new heartbeat... to a heart condition. when you see your doctor, you don't face any medical issue alone. you do it together. at the american medical association, we're committed to preserving that essential partnership between patients and their doctors. because when it comes to your health, you need someone you trust. the ama. protecting the relationship between patients and physicians.
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debt reduction, annual failure, the next election. it's anyone's guess what comes next. it's monday, november 14, and this is "now." >> there are no magic beams you can plant in the ground and suddenly a bunch of money grows on trees. >> president obama in hawaii telling the supercommittee to get her done. but when the cat's away, they will argue among themselves? can the supercommittee actually get her done? >> the clock is running out. we have time and no time to waste. >> evil contracts in the