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tv   Jansing and Co.  MSNBC  December 12, 2012 7:00am-8:00am PST

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good morning. i'm chris jansing. we have a packed show today. there is a lot going on. north korea successfully fired a long range rocket. the white house quickly condemned it as a highly provocative act. what message does this send to the world? president obama for the first time is recognizing the syrian rebels. will this ramp up the pressure on the syrian president to give up the fight? and huge protests didn't stop michigan's governor from signing the right to work law. what's this tell us about the future of labor? but we begin with the latest on the fiscal cliff. republicans made another counteroffer but it's reportedly not much different from their first offer. though we don't have specifics, we do know the president and john boehner talked on the phone last night and that call, according to a republican familiar with it, was tense and lasted just 15 minutes. i want to bring in real clear
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politics reporter aaron mcpike and david hawkings, editor of the cq roll call daily briefing. good morning. so president obama sat down with barbara walters last night. here's what he said. >> most important thing we can do is make sure the middle class taxes do not go up on january 1st and i'm pretty confident that republicans would not hold middle class taxes hostage to try to protect tax cuts for high income individuals. >> so he's confident. is it almost a foregone conclusion, do you think, david, that this is going to be the first piece of the puzzle that falls into place? >> i'm pretty confident that that's going to have to be the first piece of the puzzle that falls into place. but i think it's going to take until the very last second for the pieces to fall. >> why? >> why. because -- that's a great question. because both sides, it's in both sides' best interests to make this last as long as possible. >> what does it accomplish for them if they do that? >> it convinces each of their bases -- >> they fought as hard as they could? >> they fought as hard as they
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could and caved at the last possible minute only because the precipice couldn't be avoided and they just had to take that last step back. >> we are all going to go off the cliff. john boehner, though, has been really pushing back. he had the news conference yesterday and this is what he said. >> we're still waiting for the white house to identify what spending cuts the president is willing to make as part of the balanced approach that he promised the american people. where are the president's spending cuts? the longer the white house slow walks this process, the closer our economy gets to the fiscal cliff. >> so obviously, republicans are trying to change the conversation from taxes to cuts. what do they want? >> well, they want entitlement reform and what we've seen is that the white house has moved a little bit. the president seems to be open to some form of entitlement reform, maybe not what john boehner wants, but they have said in the last couple of days that they will do corporate tax reform. so we are seeing some movement
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from the white house, but nothing yet from the house republicans. >> all right. john boehner just came to the microphone. he's just met with his caucus. let's see if he has anything new. >> -- the president's plan to avert the fiscal cliff still does not meet the two standards that i laid out the day after the election. his plan does not fulfill his promise to bring a balanced approach to solving this problem. it's mainly tax hikes. and his plan does not begin to solve our debt crisis. it actually increases spending. our plan meets these standards. it cuts spending, paves the way for real job growth in our country. in the five weeks since we've signaled our willingness to forge an agreement with the president, he's never put forth a plan that meets these standards, and frankly, it's why we don't have an agreement today. the longer the white house slow walks this discussion, the closer our economy gets to the
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fiscal cliff and the more american jobs are placed in jeopardy. >> good morning. the president has said on a daily basis that we should be passing a balanced plan. but what we hear from the president is continuing only discussion on one side of the ledger. it has always been about tax rate increases and nothing about spending. and we insist to say look, mr. president, let's talk about a balanced plan but where are your specifics on the spending cuts. even his own advisors say that any kind of agreement that we come to has to deal with the prime drivers of our deficit, which is the spending and particularly the health care entitlement programs. so we ask the president to please sit down with us and be specific and let's get that balanced plan. you know, it's interesting that the senate has passed a bill that is a bill calling for
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increased revenues of $850 billion. the president continues to say support that bill, pass that bill. well, how is that the case when he continues to say we also need $1.4 trillion in additional new revenues. so there's an inconsistency here and let's stop playing games. we want to be here for the american people and we want to make sure that we get a balanced solution so that we can start focusing on the one thing that we have seemed to have forgotten and that is it's about jobs and the economy. it's about getting people back to work, making sure their life works again and to finally get us back into the mode of a growing economy. the president seems to be walking us ever so slowly towards the cliff. we've said we're committed to staying here, we're going to stay here right up until christmas eve, throughout the time and period before the new year, because we want to make sure that we resolve this in an
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acceptable way for the american people. >> as the debate continues over the fiscal cliff -- >> i want to bring in the senator from maryland, a member of the budget and foreign relations committee. good to see you. good morning. i think you probably just heard what eric cantor had to say, that the president is walking us toward the cliff. what do you say? >> the ball's in the republican court. we have already enacted over $1 trillion of spending cuts since the bowles-simpson recommendations came out. we have done $1 billion in spending cuts. >> there is some indication that that's part of the concern right now, that's part of why they're not getting a deal, because the democrats want to include that $1 trillion with the rest of the cuts, and in fact, the republicans are saying you can't add that in, you can't get credit for that now, we have to start from zero. >> wait a minute. that spending caps apply not
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just this year but out in the future. we have enacted discretionary control of spending that will bring real savings. the next piece needs to be the bill that we passed over to the house that provides the tax certainty to the taxpayers of this country for the first $250,000 of taxable income. that's the next major piece. do we have to go beyond that, absolutely. we're prepared to go beyond that. but to say that the ball's in the president's court is just not accurate. the ball is in the republicans' court. they need to move forward on the tax piece. that's the next piece that needs to be agreed to. i think most people in this country understand that. i think most members of congress understand that. we've got to get that done. yes, we've got to go further. we've already suggested that we can get savings in health care. let's bring down the cost of health care. but let's not shift the cost to the beneficiaries. >> you know, one of the things they're looking for, for example, if you get a tax increase for the rich, would you be willing to raise the age for
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medicare eligibility from 65 to 67? >> let's remember that all taxpayers will benefit by the enactment of the taxable breaks for those under $250,000. if you make half a million dollars, your first $250,000 is going to get the lower rates. so everyone benefits from it. the one thing we don't want to do is put additional burdens on middle income families. shifting the cost of health care to individuals doesn't help our economy. let's bring down the cost of health care. >> last night a group of female senators sat down with diane sawyer. let me play for you what their message was. >> i think if we were in charge of the senate and of the administration, that we would have a budget deal by now. >> do you all believe that? >> yes. >> i have spoken to women senators. they say the same thing, that they think that women are just more willing to compromise, less
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intransigent. you're laughing but is there something to be said for that? >> look, i think the next congress, the next senate, we're going to have 20 women members of the united states senate. i think we do need more diversity here in the senate. i think that would be healthy for not just budget issues but other issues. >> you think they would be more likely to get a deal? >> i think having a more diversified congress is healthy for the american people. the budget deal problems today is the fact that you have these hardcore people in the house particularly who don't want to sit down and compromise. now is the time to move forward. >> you make a good point. there's a suggestion in the "new york times" today that even if there is a deal, even if the president and speaker boehner can come to some sort of an agreement, there is the conservative wing of his party who could possibly block it. are you worried about even if there is an agreement between these two key players, that the republican side could keep it from happening? >> if speaker boehner exercises the leadership of his office and
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brings in a reasonably balanced program, he can pass that. he may not get the super majority among the republicans, he needs democratic votes in order to pass it. we understand that. but that's a good deal. where democrats and republicans come together to pass the legislation. don't do it just by getting the support within your own party. you need to reach out to the democrats. >> senator ben cardin, good to see you. thank you so much. >> thank you. interesting, isn't it, how both sides have exactly the same message about who is compromising here and who is offering a plan. >> who has the ball on the cliff. too little time. we're getting a little close here. i'm a little bit surprised that at this point, we haven't -- it's not either total silence which would suggest they really are getting close, or the breakup period. i'm a little confused as to how to read the body language here, although i didn't hear mr. cantor or mr. boehner, when they came out of that conference, drawing any hard lines. it does seem like they're still playing to their base, as we said a couple minutes ago, just
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trying to string this out as long as possible. but i don't see any hardening. i just see dithering. >> there's another big political story i want to get your thoughts on before we have to leave for this segment of the show. it's about the future of labor. big blow for michigan. the governor there signing that right to work legislation yesterday. here's what he said just this morning on "morning joe." >> actually, i have never said unions are bad for business, and i don't believe this is actually a union. if you look, i believe this is pro-worker. because the way i view it is workers now have freedom to choose. >> are you serious? are you serious, this is not anti-union? at its core, this undermines the ability for unions to organize so you can make many arguments you like to say it's not anti-union. >> all right. >> this does not deal with organizing at all. this does not deal with collective bargaining at all. >> erin, big picture, what does this mean for organized labor? >> what it means is they will be
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fueled and energized going into the 2014 midterm elections and i can't believe that we are talking about another election cycle just yet, but i interviewed the chair of the democratic governors association, the governor of vermont, over the weekend and he was telling me that this will be a very big deal going into all of the midwestern gubernatorial races in 2014. there are a lot of republicans who won in 2010 and obviously, because of this issue, they're really going to go after those republicans. >> not just michigan, ohio, pennsylvania, wisconsin, but you also have nevada, you have florida coming up. the afl-cio has made it clear that they're targeting these races. is this the way the unions now see to protect themselves, to elect democratic governors? >> absolutely. they turn out more than the average voter. union members are only one in eight workers is a union member. one in five voters on november 6 was a union voter. so they voted at a much higher percentage than the average one of us.
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and they are going to push that number up. this is going to energize them. i think there's a bear getting baited here. >> even before this legislation was signed yesterday, i was getting union sources writing to me saying we're getting ready to fight this. this is just another step in this struggle. david, great to have you here. erin, thanks so much. >> thank you. nations across the globe are now expressing anger and condemnation over the north korean rocket launch. take a look at this video from inside north korea's command center. the white house says the launch is quote, a highly provocative act that threatens regional security. even china, the north's closest ally, says it regrets the launch and is urging north korea to put a stop to its missile program. japan says the launch is unacceptable. norad says it appeared to have put a satellite into orbit which would be a huge breakthrough for the north koreans. mmmm tasty. and cut! very good. people are always asking me how we make these geico adverts. so we're taking you behind the scenes.
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you don't have to live in oregon to be shaken by the shooting at a crowded mall that killed two shoppers. a third is badly injured. 10,000 people were inside shopping just two weeks before christmas. it was a terrifying experience as the shooter, dressed in black and wearing a mask, sprayed dozens of bullets and then killed himself. this mass shooting may once again ignite a conversation about gun control, a conversation that new york city mayor michael bloomberg has been pushing for years. he has highlighted in the latest issue of "new york" magazine. let me bring in chris smith, contributing editor for the magazine, who wrote this piece. good to see you. >> thanks for having me. >> you can see on the cover, this whole thing is sort of really about why new yorkers love new york, why we love new york. number 20 was because our mayor isn't afraid of gun control. would it surprise you if the mayor came out today and had something to say about this? >> not at all. because for virtually the entire 12-year run of michael bloomberg as mayor of new york city, this
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has been an important issue to him, and it's only grown over the years as he's gone to more emergency rooms in the middle of the night, you know, having to break bad news to the families of new york city cops or kids killed in just random or evil shootings. >> new york, as big cities go, is a pretty safe place to be. >> correct. >> he's been incredibly vocal. in fact, he started a super pac. he thinks he can take on the nra, doesn't he? >> exactly. this election cycle, he launched his very own super pac which is about protecting new york city, keeping guns out of the city, but it's also very much about the mayor's future after city hall. he ends in 2013. >> as in a presidential run? or just a player? >> no, i think he's past running for president himself, but he does very much want to play a hand in national politics. he beat a favorite of the nra, a
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california democratic congressman, and it was a demonstration of what he thinks he can do going forward to influence gun policy on a national level. >> somebody who just might run for president of the united states is your number 19, because our governor isn't afraid to talk about global warming. for a democrat, you write affirming global warming isn't exactly a profile in courage, but it was brave considering the political spotlight was on him during hurricane sandy. of course we're talking about governor cuomo. the second governor cuomo. >> no shortage of elected officials who will run away from common sense on guns or global warming. we're patting the mayor and the governor on the back for taking these things on directly, saying we have a big problem in this country, too many crazy people, too many guns, and governor cuomo is saying yes, global warming is real. we took a big hit from it here in october with hurricane sandy, but it's also interesting in what it says, i talked about bloomberg wanting to have a national profile.
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andrew cuomo has a very promising future in national politics and for him to be out front when he's on the national stage talking about this is an indication of where he might be going. >> he's a very experienced political strategist. i was in albany as a local reporter covering the capital when his father was governor, so does the fact that he has supported this so vocally, it's sort of one of the issues where he really has been out front, say something to you about where he thinks the country is going, or where the country is? could he possibly be doing this without thought to what it might mean if he decides to run for president? >> the governor, as you say, has every angle in mind at all times. he was genuine in his reaction to questions in the immediate aftermath of sandy. i don't think that was a calculation. i think it is something he truly believes. but he's certainly very well aware of how that's going to be heard in a democratic electorate who he could conceivably be facing in a primary in 2016. so yeah, he's aware of how that plays. he repeated it loud and clear,
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making sure that people would hear him when he was on national tv, so he believes it, but he's certainly well aware of the impact. >> chris smith, always good to have you on the program. thanks for coming in. the united states is now formally recognizing syria's opposition to president al assad. president obama made the announcement in a taped interview with barbara walters last night. >> the syrian opposition coalition is now inclusive enough, is reflective and representative enough of the syrian population that we consider them the legitimate representative of the syrian people. >> the president's announcement came right before the friends of the syrian people conference got under way today in morocco. france and the uk have already recognized the syrian rebel group. twins. i didn't see them coming. i have obligations. cute obligations, but obligations. i need to rethink the core of my portfolio.
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former president jimmy carter says he's okay with the new law legalizing pot in washington state. >> i'm in favor of it. i think it's okay. i think we can watch and see what happens in the state of washington, for instance, around seattle, and let the american government and let the american people see does it cause a serious problem or not. all drugs would decriminalized in portugal about ten years ago and the use of drugs has gone down dramatically. >> senate majority leader harry reid floated a rumor yesterday that speaker boehner was having a little trouble controlling members paul ryan, eric cantor and kevin mccarthy. republicans found it so outrageous, it spawned a twitter revolt with the hash tag, harry reid rumors. one of our favorites? jammie foxx to be named secretary of state. sorry, susan. hash tag harry reid rumors. actress and activist ashley judd is polling four points behind senator mitch mcconnell in a hypothetical matchup. mcconnell's approval ratings are
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the worst of any senator nationally. the poll found judd to be the top choice as a challenger. and the first grandchild for former president bush and first lady laura. they called in to congratulate their daughter. >> fired up. looking forward to it. i'm excited for jenna and henry. i can barely contain the news when i found out so now i can tell all my buddies. >> where do you come down on spoiling grandchildren? to spoil or not to spoil? >> definitely to spoil. no doubt about it. >> kind of like we did our daughter. >> congratulations to them. if you read only one thing this morning, my must-read is about one of the handful of absolutely perfect foods. bacon. it's written by an obsessive bacon lover and includes the preview of a new cable show about to debut called, yes,
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"united states of bacon." you have to see the picture. they make a flag out of bacon. it's up on our facebook page. [ emily jo ] darrell comes into starbucks almost every weekend. darrell hasn't been able to visit his mom back east in a long time. [ mom ] things are sometimes a little tight. i wasn't able to go to the wedding. [ emily jo ] since darrell couldn't get home, we decided to bring home to him and then just gave him a little bit of help finding his way. ♪ [ laughs ] [ applause ]
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being an adult is overrated. [ male announcer ] holidays aren't the same without the real cream of reddi-wip. the sound of reddi-wip [ whoosh ] is the sound of joy. gay marriage advocates are mobilizing their supporters after the supreme court agreed to consider overturning both the federal defense of marriage act and state bans on gay marriage next year. nine states and the district of columbia have already legalized same sex marriage, most recently maryland, maine and washington. a recent gallup poll shows a majority of americans for the first time support gay marriage. back in 1996, just a quarter of the country did. today, 53% as you see support it. 46% are opposed. let me bring in executive director of log cabin republicans, r. clark cooper, and democratic strategist and former dnc advisor to the obama '08 campaign, jamal simmons. gentlemen, good morning. >> good morning. >> opposition to gay marriage
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has obviously softened, even among conservatives. here's what george will had to say about the issue. >> this decision by the supreme court came 31 days after an election day in which three states for the first time endorsed same sex marriage. they could see it's now safe to look at this because there is something like an emerging consensus. quite riliterally, the oppositi to gay marriage is dying. >> here's what he's talking about. look at the numbers from a "washington post" poll. 66% of young people support same sex unions. 33% oppose, but if you look at 65 plus, the numbers are almost exactly the opposite. so i'm wondering, is it no longer a question of if gay marriage will be legal, but when, and if that's the case, how do you get your fellow republicans on board after they made such a very strong statement in their platform this year against gay marriage? >> right. well, one thing is to not only address the platform, you mentioned that.
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it was an anchor around the neck for candidates up and down the ticket. happy to say for the first time in the history of the party, there was a very healthy debate in those platform sessions on doma, the defense of marriage act, making sure that it wasn't supported in the platform. there is also debate about having civil unions. it failed. however, that said, there was a really healthy debate. elections have consequences. we, the party writ large, the republican party writ large, is looking in many after-action reviews on where do we go. safe to say we're already seeing with state parties, i'm a member of the state party in the district of columbia. our platform actually endorses same sex marriage. so you're going to see this in different states but it's going to take a lot of work. it won't happen in a few months. this is part of a broader growth project not only with log cabin republicans but many other ancillary groups within the republican party and the guidance that i would provide, and this is not only myself, this is party leadership, is get involved. run for seats for precinct seats, get involved in your republican executive committee,
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get involved in the state party. that is how things are going to change. getting more delegates who are supportive of equality measures or the freedom to marry, that is how things will change. >> i'm wondering, there's no doubt that things are changing and you have republicans who have come out in support of gay marriage, although again, as we should say, the platform was quite the opposite after that fight. but what's caused this change? do you think that it's just generally we're getting more comfortable with it? is it in some cases a more pragmatic calculation for some politicians? >> well, it certainly is pragmatic for a lot of politicians but you have to remember, this issue has changed so much over the last few years. i mean, people like me, i moved on this question. i can remember back in 2004, during presidential campaigns that i worked on, when taking a stand on civil unions was considered to be kind of a forward position for a democrat. >> what changed you? what changed the politicians you know? >> well, the country changed.
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i think people have become more used to this idea, the notion that perhaps one's religious beliefs should not, however strongly one person believes about their faith, does not mean that the government should take the position of a church. so i think when you get to the more libertarian aspects of who we are as americans, that the government should not have a say about our private lives and everybody should be treated equally, i think you can take religion out of it, you can take some people's personal preferences out of it and start to focus on where the law should be, and the law should be that everybody should have access to the same rights. >> what you can't take out of it apparently is the supreme court. they are going to have their say. clark, i want to ask you in particular about some comments, very controversial comments recently by justice scalia, comparing anti-sodomy laws and the laws against murder and bestiality. here's what he said. i don't think it's necessary but i think it's effective. it's a form of argument that i thought you would have known, which is called the reduction to the absurd. if we cannot have moral feelings against homosexuality, can we
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have it against murder, can we have it against other things. do you agree with the idea that as more states continue to accept gay marriage and public opinion moves gay marriage, it will move the supreme court? >> well, it is. it's not gay marriage, it's just marriage. so we're talking about the freedom to marry with people who they love. so that's scalia being scalia. he also doesn't see the constitution as a living document. jefferson made a comment about that, if it's ill-fitting, if a coat is ill-fitting, you adjust it or tailor it. founder of my party, abraham lincoln, amended the constitution for emancipation purposes to free the slaves. when we're talking about an issue like marriage, then there is certainly room for shift or for growth. so yes, the supreme court is not living under a rock. they are extremely cognizant of what just happened this last election cycle. we had four ballot initiatives
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where there was an affirmation of the freedom to marry. again, party leaders recognize this. that's why we've seen specifically to the doma case why there's been relative silence from congress, especially my party leadership, as in people are trying to keep their distance from this and the congressional defense of this case is a nonpartisan entity, the general counsel, house general counsel. so what you're having here is a pragmatism which you mentioned. there's also principle. more and more conservatives know gay people, either family members, friends, neighbors, fellow parishionors. this is data we have been sharing with candidates. >> one more quick question to jamal. there are also people who put pressure on the president. they say he should go further. he has said that he supports the repeal of the defense of marriage act but he also thinks this is a matter better left to the states, and in an op-ed in
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the "washington post" recently, greg sargent argued this. because it would help influence the supreme court to reach a broad conclusion on the constitutionality of gay marriage. second, weighing in could help prepare public opinion to accept this right, too. jamal, does the president need to go further? >> public opinion is doing its thing without the president being involved. you just showed numbers that show what's happening. certainly demographically by age. so the president has to make a decision about what he wants to do politically but i think we're already seeing in states, now we've got the first state referendums that have passed, we are starting to see this in judicial cases that it's passing or living through judicial fights. i think this is a train that's already moving. the federal government and national politicians are trying to catch up to it. >> you don't think the president went a step further, that it could provide the kind of leadership that would push it further? >> well -- >> he's enforcing doma now. >> he dropped opposition to the case.
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the president is doing what he can do in the context that he's in. he's also fighting other bigger fights. the challenge for the republicans, though, is going to be this is a big problem with young voters. republicans have got to find their way to get past some of the more backward looking rhetoric they've had for the last couple of elections, start looking forward and appealing to this new class of voters. >> great conversation. thank you, guys. we do expect to learn more details about the oregon mall shooting that left three people dead at a news conference this afternoon. that shooting terrified christmas shoppers and their loved ones, including this mom who was texting with her daughter who was trapped inside. >> i just want to hug her and i want her out. i was like are you still locked up, they haven't gotten the shooter. she said yes, i know, and we are. apparently it was at nordstrom's. >> nbc's mike taibbi joins me
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from the scene in clackamas, oregon. what's the scene there? >> reporter: imagine being part of that scene in any way at all. let's start with some good news, and there is some. first of all, about the victim who survived, we know two were killed and one survived. the family of that victim is now permitted to release her name. she is 15-year-old christina. according to one of her social network postings, she had recently survived a terrible car accident and now this. she appears to have escaped death twice at this point. her injuries were not serious to any vital organs. she had emergency surgery and is listed this morning in serious but stable condition. about the gunman, according to witnesses, he strolled throughout the mall with what they describe as an assault type weapon. sources have told our justice correspondent and colleague pete williams that it was like an ar-15. they said he was a 22-year-old male with apparently no criminal record, that he was allegedly firing randomly toward people, shattered some store windows. then at one point, according to several witnesses, the gun jammed and the body count
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therefore could have been, according to witnesses, much higher than it was before he eventually turned the gun on himself. that person, the alleged gunman, has not been named yet. the police say they will release that identity later today. >> thank you so much for that update. the world's largest direct seller of beauty products announced major layoffs just this morning. obviously we're talking here about avon. >> yes, absolutely. you know what, these are just the initial steps towards the company's previously announced annual cost savings target of $400 million by the end of 2015. so what's going to happen with this initial stage. first of all, global layoffs of approximately 1,500 people. it is also going to leave south korea and vietnam. why? well, obvious reasons. they need to turn this company around and start seeing some growth. just to give you an idea of what they do have in terms of growth, they currently have over $11 billion in annual revenue and
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they market to women like us in more than 100 countries through over six million active independent avon sales representatives. they have been around for a long time. they are doing what they can to stay in business. >> always good to see you. thank you. we'll be right back. [ woman ] dear cat, your hair mixes with pollen and dust.
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i get congested. but now, with zyrtec-d®, i have the proven allergy relief of zyrtec®, plus a powerful decongestant. zyrtec-d® lets me breath freer, so i can love the air. [ male announcer ] zyrtec-d®. behind the pharmacy counter. no prescription needed. it's a good thing to be positive about aging because a positive mindset may help seniors recover from a physical disability. results from a new study show seniors who face physical disability with a positive mindset on aging are 40% more likely to recover. the military is now weeding out overweight soldiers and recruits to trim its budget and address what it's calling a national security concern. through october of this year alone, the army dismissed more
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than 1600 soldiers for failing fitness requirements. between 1998 and 2010, the number of active duty military personnel deemed overweight more than tripled, upwards of 86,000 troops or 5.3% of the force diagnosed as obese in 2010. i'm joined now by colonel jack jacobs, msnbc military analyst and recipient of the congressional medal of honor. how are you? >> i'm not obese. >> no, you are fit. but what is behind this alarming rise? >> i think it's a national problem. we have a significant portion of the american public who are obese and a lot of them are morbidly obese. we have a hard time bringing into the service the people we want to because they're obese when they show up. >> here's what i -- i mean, we have this idea. we have an idea of them getting up at dawn and running and you know, being an active lifestyle. is part of the problem that it's really not once you get out of boot camp? >> oh, no, it is, for combat
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armed soldiers, infantry armored artillery, signal units in some cases and so on. for the combat arms, they are constantly burning up calories. they are in training in the field all the time although that is liable to go down as we don't have enough money to put them in the field with the fiscal cliff. but for a large portion of the military establishment, they're sitting behind desks. these are enlisted people as well as officers and they're still eating. >> one of the things we've seen, for example, with michelle obama, she's got this -- she wants people to get more active, let's move, and you see schools that are taking on what kind of food they serve. are there things that the military could be doing proactively to help? >> i think they're trying. in some cases the military is being successful, but troops can eat entirely too much food. i'm exaggerating but not by a whole lot, half a dozen flavors
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of ice cream and all the food that you can eat, not just -- >> are we guilty of that when you go out and for example, when we go out to a big story and they put out a buffet, i'm always eating things i would never normally eat. it's there. it's like the mountain you climb except you're not climbing it. you're eating. >> and the kids going through the mess line and -- you're not allowed to call it a mess line anymore. doing exactly the same thing. if it's on offer, i'll take it. we have to do a better job of offering fewer calories. >> they have considered replacing, at least the army has, the current fitness exam they give with another one that they say is making them more combat-ready. so the current one says the soldier has to run two miles, do situps, pushups within times that vary by age and gender. the new assessment would include a 1.5 mile run but a 60-yard shuttle run, standing long jump, pushups, a rower which is i guess similar to a situp. is this really the more stringent test that we need? looks pretty much the same to me but i don't know. >> it is. it sounds the same because it is
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pretty much the same. the more things change, the more they stay the same. some of those events used to be in the physical fitness test and they dropped them some years ago. but there's not a whole lot of difference between them. i think it's a function obviously of the number of calories you expend as well as how many calories you take in. testing them on one of those tests or the other test is not going to give you very much difference in the output. you're going to still identify the fact that you've got too many fat people in the service. >> there are obviously soldiers who are saying i'm being unfairly targeted. if i have a desk job, does it really matter if i'm obese? >> it does matter. you're in the military establishment and you're serving the country and serving the people, and you've got to -- you've got to be ready to do your job even as an infantry man even if you're not an infantry man at any time, you have to be in top physical condition. we're not giving you a hard time even though you served honorably in the past. what's really important is what you are able to do tomorrow because you have to defend the country. >> how worried are you about this? >> very worried. but i'm worried in a larger
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sense because the american public is not in good shape and that costs us a huge amount of money. >> all right. colonel jack jacobs, always good to see you, my friend. thank you. today's tweet of the day comes from none other than pope benedict xvi. this is his first ever tweet. he sent it today. there he is on his ipad writing dear friends, i am pleased to get in touch with you through twitter. thank you for your generous response. i bless all of you from my heart. 's that time of year agai. time for citi price rewind. because your daughter really wants that pink castle thing. and you really don't want to pay more than you have to. only citi price rewind automatically searches for the lowest price. and if it finds one, you get refunded the difference. just use your citi card and register your purchase online. have a super sparkly day! ok. [ male announcer ] now all you need is a magic carriage. citi price rewind. start saving at
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citi price rewind. to the best vacation sp(all) the gulf! it doesn't matter which of our great states folks visit. mississippi, alabama, louisiana or florida, they're gonna love it. shaul, your alabama hospitality is incredible. thanks, karen. love your mississippi outdoors. i vote for your florida beaches, dawn. bill, this louisiana seafood is delicious. we're having such a great year on the gulf, we've decided to put aside our rivalry. now is the perfect time to visit anyone of our states. the beaches and waters couldn't be more beautiful. take a boat ride, go fishing or just lay in the sun. we've got coastline to explore and wildlife to photograph. and there's world class dining with our world famous seafood. so for a great vacation this year, come to the gulf. its all fabulous but i give florida the edge. right after mississippi. you mean alabama. say louisiana or there's no dessert. this invitation is brought to you by bp and all of us who call the gulf home.
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from india to california, music lovers are mourning the death of ravi shankar, india's most famous musician who befriended the beatles, spearheaded the first rock benefit concert and introduced millions in the west to the sitar. he died tuesday at 92. shankar's survivors include his daughter, norah jones. big night tonight for sandy relief. the 12-12-12 concert at madison square garden starts at 7:30 eastern. it features paul mccartney, jon
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bon jovi, bruce springsteen, the rolling stones and others. you can see it live on several cable channels and livestream it as well. michigan is now the 24th state to adopt a right to work law. it is now illegal there to require employees to join a union and pay dues. it's a stunning defeat for the unions in the birthplace of the auto labor union, unthinkable not long ago. richard is here with the drill-down. let's start with what it means to become a right to work state. what's the net result? >> when you look at right to work laws that could impact workers in various ways. take a look at this over here. the most debated is the real effect on wages. a study by the economic policy institute found average salaries in right to work states, when you just look at those, they were $1500 lower than in non-right to work states. now, the study also found that access to health insurance became more difficult, too, and
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right to work states, 2.6% fewer people had access to employer-sponsored insurance. of all states where right to work, two million fewer people would have employer-sponsored insurance nationwide. another issue to show you. poverty rates. if all states were right to work, 3,670,000 more people would live in poverty. also nationwide according to an nea union publication. but supporters say right to work laws attract new jobs and factories so we looked at the top 15 auto factories in the country. when we looked at that number, seven of them operate in right to work states. the majority or eight of the factories opened their doors in non-right to work states. now, this debate is more than numbers, certainly. many remember michigan as the birthplace of the first sit-down labor strikes and the start of the uaw and some say the modern middle class. others remember when union supporter martin luther king, seen here, marched with one of
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america's most accomplished labor leaders, walter ruther, seen here with his hand on king's arm. >> you're young, aren't you? ruther. >> today's protests are reminiscent of an eight decade old fight. in the coming months, that fight could turn into a citizens initiative, repeal, lawsuits or even a recall of elected officials. michigan's law goes into effect in a little over three months. >> do we have any indication because obviously this is a movement, which states might be next? >> take a look at michigan, seen as the center of the labor movement. even the top four union members states could be at risk. at the top you have new york with one in four workers a union member, followed by alaska, hawaii and washington. the number you see on the screen right here, which is the advocacy money, that could be what's changing these traditional union states. according to the nation, we look at those numbers from 2008 to 2011, right to work money was $18 million.
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pro-union, just $2 million. >> thanks so much. always good to see you. that does it for me. let's go to thomas roberts. good morning, everybody. coming up, we're also touching on the right to work debate. we will talk with a republican chair with the seiu who also leads a union in michigan. we will talk about big labor's plans to fight back in the wake of that devastating setback yesterday in michigan. plus, walking a mile in speaker john boehner's shoes. former speaker denney hastert joining me about boehner's dance with the president on the edge of the fiscal cliff. and it's okay to be takei. the iconic actor joins me about his latest voyage as an activist and very, very interesting lunch with donald trump. ncer ] we begn serving handcrafted coffees in seattle, and people seemed to like it. so we wondered -- where else could we take this? ♪ for over 40 years, we've brought our passion for fine coffee and espresso to people everywhere. but one place was impossible, until now.
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for thos...this...ions of doing this... [ male announcer ] yes, it is. ...and this, dancing in their heads... ...we have these. home depot gift cards. give the gift of doing, in-store or online. hi, everybody. good morning. i'm thomas roberts. topping the agenda today, fiscal tensions mount as the clock ticks down to the moment that the nation is due to go over the cliff. that means taxes go up for


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