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tv   MSNBC News Live  MSNBC  November 14, 2011 9:00am-10:00am PST

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just by people sitting around doing nothing. >> president obama calls for some soul searching. >> at a certain point, folks, start thinking about systems and institutions and don't think about individuals. >> and newt gingrich once again reminds us that he is older, wiser and smarter than anyone else in the room. only this time, people might actually believe him. from supercommittees to soul searching to seizing momentum on the campaign trail. who knows what's coming next? i'm alex wagner. welcome to "now." let's get right to it. the congressional supercommittee is coming down to the wire with just nine days to find $120 trillion in cuts. meanwhile, president obama has gotten out of dodge. he hosted a conference in hawaii for asia pacific nations and then heading to asia and
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indonesia. joining me today on "now" are john heilman, new york magazine, and senior writer for politico, maggie haber man. thank you, guys, for coming on the "now" show. let's first check in with senior correspondent chuck todd who is traveling with the president in honolu honolulu. chuck, how is the weather? can i ask you first -- >> it's always good. >> it doesn't look bad over there. can i ask you first, in between meetings, has the president been sitting on the beach writing po postcards like this to congressional republicans? >> not much. what he did was on the way on friday, when we left for san diego and he attended the basketball game that took place in the aircraft carrier, on the u.s.s. carl vinsomem, he made a couple phone calls to the
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co-chairs, and he basically said -- it was frankly a political move, alex, to try to duck the criticism that may come in the next week that while they're crashing on this deadline, he is somehow not as involved as he should be, so he made calls to both of them and simply said, get it done, and by the way, don't try to change the automatic cuts if you can't come up way deal. >> it's sort of like the parents are away calling the babysitter and saying, make sure the house is still standing when i come back. i do have a question on sprtcommittee from yesterday. >> my hope is that over the next several days, the congressional leadership on the supercommittee, go ahead and bite the bullet and do what needs to be done. because the math won't change. there is no magic formula, there are no magic beams that you can toss on the ground and suddenly a bunch of money grows on trees.
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>> there are no magic beans. that was a sad moment for me, at least. chuck, is this a hands-off strategy? basically obama has done his job and it's now time for congress to do theirs? >> well, a little bit, but i can tell you there are some folks close to the obama campaign, if you will, that are a little concerned that even though he somehow has a little more distance from this that this is a congressional action, a congressional job, that if they somehow end up in a stalemate and the supercommittee doesn't do anything, then they find somehow a way to round it out, the federal cuts, and, oh, by the way, the one running the
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country is the president. >> back to the panel here, guys. there is a lot of, i think, analysis in terms of why the president is doing what he's doing of late in the last couple of months, and i want to play jay kearney's response, again, on the supercommittee versus the white house stance. is this political calculation on the part of the white house? listen to what kearney said yesterday. >> let's be clear about what the supercommittee is. it's a congressional committee established by an act of congress written by members of congress to include members of congress, not administration officials, not the president, to do their job. and their job is not as hard as a lot of people make it out to be. >> this is, i feel, the most aggressive they have been in terms of fitting the white house with a do-nothing congress. is it going to work, maggie? >> i don't think it's going to work. this gets harder for the president, especially the closer
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we get to the election. i think people want to say the president is leading, regardless of the fact this is congress. congress, congress, congress, not the white house, not the president. people want to see the president influencing things. the president's stand toward congress is not helping him. it's actually getting less popular. look, congress is at an all-time low. people don't like congress, the american public does not like congress. this is not a shock. but i do think people want to see a presidential agency to corral congress. >> keep in mind that he does have to come back to washington at some point. he's not staying in the asia pacific region, but he's coming back during the week that all hell may or may not break loose. >> first of all, i want to say that jay carney has a position
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with powers and that kind of stuff. maggie has a good point, which it would be great in theory if the president were able to act in strong leadership and corral the congress. what has been proven during the obama administration is when he tries to do that, he has failed on almost every occasion. it has hurt his standing for almost three years. so the real issue is, even if he weighs in, it's not as though he has a lot of ways to move him. so given the alternatives and looking, in fact, at the exercise in futility, for him to lay back and let them do their jobs and for him to criticize what he doesn't like, applause for what he does like. medical programs not getting hit. social security, medicare, medicaid. that's not a bad thing, i don't think. >> time has gone on and these
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battles have waged. he was hurt in the last polls. the standoff seems to be working well for him. but if we look at this in the broader lens of presidential politics, this attraction and this kind of war among legislative branches seems to be worse than it has been in periods of administration. >> there's no question. historically, and i've tried to do some research on this, you would have to go back to the arguments about slavery in the middle of the 19th century. define a congress that is this split and this do-nothing. not in the 1920s, not since then. the situation is very clear to the president. he doesn't want to be associated with this. it's one thing to say, i want some distance, but i think it told you a lot about how you went to see this thing. the fact of the matter is that congress is housed in the hands
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of the republicans. and they really have the wet whip. i don't mean that milkly. look, we're going to obstruct everything we can, because our number one mission is to defeet barack obama's. if you expect the president, a strong leader, to get things done, you can say it's congress's fault, but i don't know how well that's going to play. you have to keep in mind that the overarching thing here is obstructionism. the republicans don't want to get anything through. they'll get the minimum through. we can all hope that this committee drotsds over. their gez are being too much -- once that commission makes the report, and he comes off with
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something really stupendous, if you will, then it goes to congress, and even congress takes a year, year and a half before it gets through. >> definitely this is a long-term scenario in terms of what will happen, but i will bring attention to the fact that in a recent poll by politico, 60% is unaware of supercommittees. they don't know non how long it is. >> these are areas of disconnect between the mack nations and what the public demands. >> that's a small percentage the number of congress you think it would fail. almost everyone is resigned to the motion, there is per save i have sigts poind out, the notion that people would try to me --
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it's not going to be a pretty scenario. >> for most americans, all they worry about is the economy and jobs. they want to know how it affects that. when this company finally comes out, and i don't think he pays much attention to the fat boy. what is the recollection of the stock markets. but then wait for the second wave, because then they'll absorb what the committee has said. then baus l we will fetile ourselves. on "now," this scandal at penn state, is it indicative of another failure in our country? that's next.
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♪ may our lives but swell thy fame ♪ ♪ m >> that was penn state friday night. students and faculty gathered in a candlelight vigil for the victims. they sang the penn state song alma mater. it ends with the lines, may no act of ours bring shame, to one
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heart that loves thy name, may our lives but swell thy fame, dear old state, dear old state. the question i'd like to hear answered is how can this happen? i don't think we can really have that discussion without talking about and looking at the amount of money that penn state brings in as a football team. last year they brought in 72.7 million from football alone, 24.1 million from merchandising and sponsorship. ticket sales are obviously high, although they went down 23% in retail sales after the paterno news broke. but we're talking about institutions. it's not a profit mode and money is incredibly powerful. >> it's about the money, and when president obama addressed this and said we have to ask questions about ourselves and our institutions, we have to understand that as a people, as
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a society, and penn state is a great school, a great university. honey, it's about the money. we've been so money-conscious, the school couldn't even consider cancelling the game against nebraska last week. they couldn't consider wiping out the rest of the season. and try as they may now to put the focus on the children, it's still about the money. and penn state is just small and tragically an indication of what's happened to the country that everybody thinks anything and everything for money. joe paterno, a great coach, a great man, he set atop a money-making machine. and that's the reason for a long time you had denying cover-up and it was about the children. >> you had a disturbing visual about these people rioting right after joe paterno was fired. they hadn't been rioting about what happened to these kids, it was about paterno leaving.
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personally, i was very troubled watching this, and obviously, you see the vigil, which is where they sended up. but it did speak to sort of a sense of misplaced priorities that the school had to go through its own straight convulsion before getting to a real sense of outrage. >> here's what he felt paterno needed to do to get through that. >> it's said that evil comes in the world just by good people standing by and doing nothing. all of us have occasion where we see something that's wrong and we've got to make sure that we step up. >> john, i mean, we talk about institutional failure in the context of wall street, we look at mf global, there's obviously the catholic church. where are we right now? is it the sense that the individual can't be as powerful as the institution, is it that
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we're not as in tune with our own sense of humanity? what is the lesson we learn? >> it's hard to generalize over all the answers, but i would just look at what ms. maggie in society. it happens in skooshlgsz it happened in private schools, i wrote a case about the money. but reputation and stas us protecting the privilege and power of adults is what it is often about, the institutional failure. even in the case where there's not much money involved, it placed in the world than it taken care of the victims in this case. it happens across the board whether there's money vold, i'll give you outside -- this is one of the topics we have in our
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education system, but so often the education system is built to serve the needs for influences. >> we talk about how children are the most important thing all the time. but systemically, adults who have the power premises himself in this one. >> accountability is something we're banding about on a financial level. i keep going back to gf jerp engineer balance, and it begs the question, where do we go from here? i'm not going to say penn state football has anything to do with how we conduct our finances in the marketplace, but i do think there is a thin line in terms of accountability, leadership and responsibility. >> that's a very good point, and the difference between the way pep state handled this and the catholic church handled their
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problems, penn state, once it got into the public domain, penn state by the way, anyone reading an instrument, if you read tom rob irts is the. sflz thank you for the recommendation. we will be back with more coming up. health care law with a revision likely to come in the summer of 2012. and gloria contain speaks. a . ♪ i felt like dancing on the street couldn't walk the line ♪
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now it's time for "real quick," our lightning round of other stories driving the day. first up, the supreme court announced today it will take care of the president's health care overhaul. in march they will hear arguments about whether or not it's constitutional for americans to have to buy health insurance. the showdown over the president's signature achievement. john holliman, how does this play out? >> it kind of all depends on what the congress decides. the decision comes out next summer. you have a decision about the constitutionalality --
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constitutionality of the man's decision, and could play out to mitt romney's advantage. >> let's come up with some scenarios here. if it's deemed unconstitutional, that's a huge shot in the arm for republicans. is it enough to really carry through their line of attack in the white house? to what magnitude does this go? >> that's what i mean. it's a little harder for mitt romney to present that case. this is an individual mandate, the president would say, and, well, this is also an individual mandate. herman cain's wife gloria breaks her silence after two weeks of standing by him. this is part of the interview airing on fox news tonight. >> to hear such graphic allegations and know that that
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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. >> dan and maggie, should we be surprised that gloria cain is defending her husband now, or is this sort of par for the course? >> it's actually been pretty interesting. she's been nowhere on the campaign trail in general, let alone in this entire scandal. so hearing her come forward and a boost for him. i want to hear the whole interview. we've got slow leaks from fox on this. i want to hear everything else she says, but right there that was a pretty strong defense. i think it definitely helps them, but it is a bit light. when you see something like this, you expect the candidates to be right there. >> at the podium with his arm around her shoulder. dan? >> this is the politician's
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playbook. when you've got these kind of allegations, sing several choruses of "stand by your man." she's doing exactly that. in accusations, i think cain has been hurt badly. you have to respect the resilience he's shown in polls and the campaign and debates since this happened. >> providing scandal is the ultimate in politics. >> black walnut is a flavor everybody likes. when we come back, torture. gop candidates and the 2012 election. that's next on "now." just one phillips' colon health probiotic cap a day
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if i were president, i would be willing to use waterboarding.
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i think it was very effective information fofr our country. >> i am for using techniques, not torture, but using those techniques we know will extract the information to save young american lives and i will be for it until i die. >> president obama has said he isn't watching these republican debates, but apparently he couldn't resist responding to this one. >> let me just say this. they're wrong. waterboarding is torture. it's contrary to america's traditions. it's contrary to our ideals. that's not who we are. >> let's talk about the impact of these debates. when i watched that waterboarding segment, all i could think of was these candidates are putting another brick on the house of crazy that they are building for themselves. the conversation moves ever more right every single time they have another one of these, and i think to some degree they've
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forgotten they presumably have to run in a general election and some of what they're saying is not going to play well. >> this is hard for a republican party, you're right. you actually had john mccain very upset with this as a former prisoner of war. this debate was the least paid attention to, which is not to say the least watched. but it was the one that generated the fewest headlines. it was a saturday night. it was strictly on foreign policy, and yet you had people making statements that -- i agree with you -- i think are going to come back in a very specific way in the general election, and i do think you are going to have defense become a bigger issue, foreign policy become a bigger issue and we'll see how it goes. >> so far these debates, they've been much of the early work of the marx brothers. people say statements that are untrue. by law, waterboarding is
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torture. but the audience out there, they don't need to pay a lot of attention to see that it's mildly a musing, if you will. we're still early in the construction cycle, these debates will not count for very much except they will whittle down. they complain about how it's handled in states, and it's puzzling to me why they haven't made better use of this. they're getting hour after hour and week after week. they could be endajd in a political harbor. >> the other clay on the day between israel, and the head of the defense industry and dweps
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completion. she said, look, i have dick cheney on my side. >> how does cheney feel about torture? >> i have to say, i haven't used it as a matter of interrogation, what we were saying earlier about the yay mutualize any. i just don't imagine that will be the problem. there have been many problems coming out of these republican debates. the one people haven't paid that much attention to is the fact that mitt romney has repeatedly, and as put himself in a position where he's almost as conservative who can be. drug rahm near i see.
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this is like a bick electoral problem for him the way he took out rick perry. that to me, with all due respect to dan, i think that has a huge consequence for this election. they are going to navigate in a lot of ways, the to take pure sign. >> it's worth saying, though, process is ongoing. now we're talking about the ride of newt gingrich, and you certainly can't be dismissed for his charge account, philandering, multiple showing as a potentially serious candidate. >> absolutely, don't rule it out. anybody who has covered newt gingrich over the years knows
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better than to under estimate. he is now moving up, considered crushed. he's come all the way back, and newt gingrich on the move politically is as dangerous as a wounded wolverine. >> a wounded wolverine. >> it appeared in the movie "horsefeathers." >> so this is not a vacuum and newt gingrich did have his collapse. snu that still makes some social conservatives very unhappy with him, and the better newt gingrich does, the worse he does. the better he does in the polls -- >> he's his own worst enemy, is that what you're saying? >> imagine a dirigible. >> you mean a large blimp. >> a large balloon.
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i don't know if he's full of hot air or helium, but he's headed up. and that's more baggage than a curbside luggage guy has. if he gets to be a serious candidate, it will come at him in full scale. coming at you. >> and i got to do this and it's not just because he's a media liberal fantasy, but talk about someone's, john huntsman. now, everybody likes a business, john huntman. what he i think it gave them cuts to look at. you can't ready to take a look
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at it, michael? >> he needs to stop acting like a bachelor. if he gets this, he needs to act like a knife cutting butter. >> if he can break through in new hampshire, that's his first and last shot. in many kaz, and i know some republicans -- no small number who think this. he's among one of the worst candidates to appeal to the right side of the republican party. if he finishes high, first or second in new hampshire, then you can say cut the odds from 75-1 to 25-1. >> it still tastes like new hampshire. if you win for the new hampshire
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primaries, he becomes at that moment, the most likely republican nominee. but if i join somewhere, i'll be ahead of john mccain at 50. mitt romney still having trouble getting over. hench man is going to have to do something he hasn't done before, which is pounce. >> the problem i have with that analogy is that george w. bush was a former president's son. we're not talking about a typical structure here in terms of the nomination. it's different. >> like john hudson. >> but john mccain was a war hero of america. the gap can't be explained like one of them was narrowed and one of them wasn't. >> no, but in terms of the metro, it certainly coms with it. i a big deal if you, and we
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wanted to thank you ah skbloing. thank you. we hope to see you here again and again and again. coming up, i will be presenting my inaugural postscript which en we look at italy and the e.u. is more than just a pesky passenger next week on the plain 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.
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this is not how witness protection works! when we set you up with that little hardware store we didn't intend for your face to be everywhere. but fedex office makes it so easy. not only do they ship stuff, they print flyers, brochures -- everything i need to get my name out there. that's the problem. now we need to give you a third identity. you're paul matheson. and you're gonna run your business into the ground. erik gustafson would never do that! there is no erik gustafson. hey that's erik gustafson!!! there is no erik gustafson!!!!! [ male announcer ] small business solutions. fedex. solutions that matter. . coming up next on andrea mitchell report, what a difference a week makes in presidential politics. newt gingrich jumps way up on the republican leaderboard while the turmoil takes a toll on herman cain. now gloria cain is coming out in her husband's defense.
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plus our exclusive rock center preview. controversial immigration law that has immigrants and farmers living in fear. we'll see you in just 15 minutes right here on andrea mitchell reports. have you ever flown on an airlines and they've said, ladies and gentlemen, in the event of a pressure event problem, a mask will jump down in front of you. and if you're sitting next to an infant, please put your mask on first. well, we all put our mask on first. >> the global village this weekend said goodbye to berlusconi. his love for proscuitto, his campaign parties.
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we have a debt crisis that overwemz the entire eurozone taking with it american dollars and whatever stability we might have here at home. but in this time of crisis, at least we have leaders like herman cain, the man who told us italy is a guy sitting next to us on a flight to cleveland. don't worry about that guy. put your oxygen mask on first. rest assured, if the european contagion spreads, at least there will be the guidance of save yorz like herman cain. with her man cain, we know at the very least, if italy crum bells, if meatballs and pasta is month more, there will also be pizza. after the break, we'll talk about the occupy movement when we go to the bull pen with the reverend al sharpton.
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occupy wall street marks two months of protests this thursday, and here's how it plans to celebrate: by shutting down wall street. an invite has been posted on facebook. it raeds eads in part, on the mg of november 17, we will shut down wall street. we will ring the people's bell and initiate a street carnival in which we rebuild and celebrate the neighborhoods that the wall street economy has destroyed. joining us for our very first bullpen, the indubitable reverend al sharpton. thank you so much for being here. >> thank you, and congratulations. i'm so excited about my noontime experience. >> we're happy to spend your lunch hour with you. >> that's right. >> i know you've been down to
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occupy wall street with some regulator. you have a good sense of what's going on down there. i think the question that has been out there amongst those of us in the press and bystanders is, is there ever going to be a platform as such, a political or a policy prescription that the occupy folks develop? or do you think it remains this kind of broad, public movement without a particular ask. >> i think it's going to remain a broad, political movement because that is how they had started it, that is how those that have weathered the two months and the location various times have designed it. and i think they already succeeded in changing the conversation. every time i hear people say, well, where are they going to make demands? i remind people that before they started, the country was on this deficit reduction and talking about everything but economic
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inequality. they've already done a tremendous service to the country by changing the conversation. now, those of us that are in specific constituency groups, organizations or a particular point of view can take the climate that they have helped to set and say, this is what needs to go. but let's not act like they didn't create the climate. >> sir, i'd like to follow on that point which is, how successful do you think they've been in terms of bringing in other good people, labor groups, teachers' groups or unions. is there outreach there? >> i've seen a lot of groups, african-american groups, civil rights groups, and contrary to some reports, everyone has been welcomed as long as had he so. they've been very, very open with that. >> speaking of kidnapping the
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platform, i have to ask because now a dialogue has filtered up to the presidential races. you have this kind of uncomfortable scenario where the republican candidates have been trying to figure out whether the candidates of 99% or the candidates of 1%. i want to run this clip of john huntsman earlier in the week who said he wanted to be the president of the 99%. >> let's just say i want to be the president of the 99%. i also want to be the president of the 1%. this nation is divided and it's painful and it is unnatural for the most optimistic blue sky people this world has ever known. >> can john huntsman be the president of the 99%? can anybody be the qualifier of the 99%? >> they have to be of the 99% at least as much as the 1%. when you go behind the rhetoric,
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then whether your policies in any way reflect that. i think that's where they run into the problem. >> do you think it's been a boon for the democrats that the gop has been so hands off with the occupy stuff and with the 99%? i mean, in a parallel universe, maybe they could have tried to embrace this idea of dis disenfranchisement. instead they say this is a venerable rouser cloud so in flexible and so attacking thoo the president had to do a little but non attack. the republicans made themselves the anti-occupy wall street. and the germans benefited by not doing much of anything. >> i feel like there is or will
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be greater pressure on the democrats to create a home for the 1999 of his relationship to wall street, money he's inevitably going to take in for 2012. how much do you think that's a concern for the white, is not ge is not how much he gets off wall street, the question is, what does he do for wall street. glz had you anybody can make donations to camp vrain. what you have to show is by stating that, i'm benefitting that consistency. without making that conviction, what do you think in terms oakland and portland in the last few days. the winter is upon us, which is very practical concern, that it
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is vess. the weather keeps them away from their organizing. >> i think they will have to be creati creative, and i think they will be because they knew enough to go into this. maybe civil disobie be shut down based on location. and i think, again, we're indebted to them. they've changed the conversation. where it goes, we'll see. >> they certainly have. thank you, reverend al, for coming on. don't forget, the nigs shikts. that does it for you tomorrow. you can follow us on twitter at now with alex.
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andrea mitchell reports next. >> thanks. hi, andrea. >> hey, alex, congratulations on your big launch. it's great to have you in the neighborhood. >> caller: yes, there is. >> could the former speaker about the mitt ram knee republican dand cates go a a few ms. andrea mitchell reports on msnbc. watching a storm system in the middle of the country. if there are any problems with travel, it's going to be dallas with thunderstorms northward up into areas of the great lakes. chance of showers late today in boston. detroit, chicago, on and off wet
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