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tv   Jansing and Co.  MSNBC  December 21, 2012 7:00am-8:00am PST

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republican caucus is in chaos. there are just 11 days left until we go off the fiscal cliff. we'll hear from speaker boehner any moment now. he is about to hold a news conference. in the meantime everyone in congress is headed home for the holidays with no deal in sight, and the latest gop implosion last night a very bad sign. plan b was supposed to show republican strength. >> they went from plan b to plan see you later is what happened. >> let's do plan w. go to work. >> seen as a political move by speaker bain to her strengthen his negotiating hand and put pressure on democrats. the bill that would have ex ended the tax cuts for everyone making under a million dollars didn't have the votes to pass and even after an emergency meeting speaker boehner abandoned plan b and sent everyone home. the statement reads the house did not take up the tax measure today because it did not have sufficient support from our members to pass. now it is up to the president to
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work with senator reid on legislation to avert the fiscal cliff. here he is now, speaker boehner live. >> we didn't have the votes to pass it. it is not the outcome that i wanted. that was the will of the house. unless the president and congress take action, tax rates will go up on every american taxpayer and devastating defense cuts will go into effect in ten days. the house has already passed bills addressing the fiscal cliff. passed a bill and replacing the president's sequester with responsible spending cuts and did it last may. we passed a bill to stop all the tax hikes on the american people scheduled to take effect january the 1st and we did that on august 1st. and we propose plans over and over again, the democrats used to support and now they won't. i don't want taxes to go up.
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republicans don't want taxes to go up. we only run the house. democrats continue to run washington. what the president has proposed so far simply won't do anything to solve our spending problem. he wants more spending and more tax hikes that will hurt our economy and he simply won't deal honestly with entitlement reform and the big issues facing our country. we need significant spending cuts and real tax reform to address our long-term debt problem and pave the way for long-term growth and real growth in jobs in our country. we'll continue to work with our colleagues in the house and the senate on a plan that protects families and small businesses from the fiscal cliff. >> i think we saw last night yet the next chapter in this saga of trying to resolve the situation
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of the fiscal cliff. it is clear that our conference has been consistent in its commitment to doing something about the spending problem in washington and the mounting debt that has resulted. we stand ready to continue in dialog with this president to actually fix the problem. i hope that we see that our colleagues on the other side of the capitol can do likewise, can get serious, to try to address the real problem of spending so we can get on about the business of growing this economy and get people back to work. >> andrew? >> the multi trillion dollar tax cut that rescue all but a fraction of taxpayer from a tax increase and also would apply to the president's proposal. are you willing to give the president's proposal --
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>> the president and i had a series of conversations. i told the president on monday these were my bottom lines. the president told me that his numbers, $1.3 trillion in new revenues and $850 billion in spending cuts was his bottom line, that he couldn't go any further. and so we see a situation where because of the political divide in the country, because of the divide here in washington, trying to bridge these differences has been difficult. if it were easy, i will guarantee you this would have been done decades before. we have to find a way to address this significant spending problem that we have and we need to find a way through tax reform to begin to grow our economy in a way that will create more jobs in our country. >> what is the path forward? are you going to be speaking
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with the president and let me just reinforce this. will you -- are you ruling outputting on the floor for a vote the bill that passed in the senate and extend all of those tax rates for those under $250,000. >> there is no senate bill that's come to the house. as you all know the senate bill had a blue slip problem and continues to sit in the senate. we don't have the senate bill. we do have a house bill that sits in the senate and extended the tax rates for all americans, and we have been waiting since august 1st for the senate to act. if the senate wants to act on that bill, we'll certainly take a look at it. >> i am interested in solving the major problems that face our country. that means house leaders, senate leaders, and the president are going to continue to have to work together to address those concerns.
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>> there is a provision where -- majority leaders in both bodies can bring up the privilege to shut off the sequester. considering the dire nature is that an option and have you given consideration to that? >> i have not given consideration to it. we have a spending problem. we have to address it. we're not going to address it by kicking the can down the road which is what you're suggesting. >> speaker boehner, mr. cantor suggested the house and the state here this will a job was done. they're obviously going home for christmas and are you quitting? >> absolutely not. they do a great job on behalf of their constituents and our country -- >> speaker -- >> what mr. cantor outlined last night is that the house would come back if needed. we're prepared to come back if needed.
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>> it sounds like you're walking away from talks with the president. >> no, no. >> are you? >> no, listen, i did not say that. nobody ought to read anything into this. we have differences -- the country has big spending problems. we have to get serious about addressing them. >> this isn't the first time that something like this has happened during talks with the president. why should we have faith that when you negotiate with him -- >> listen, the president knows that i have always been able to deliver on any promise that i have made with him. the concern that i had is that time was running short, and the idea of the taxes ought to go up on every american taxpayer, i thought was wrong, and trying to address the tax issue i thought was very important to do it now so that we don't have taxes going up on every american and hurting our economy. >> speaker, you stood here yesterday and expressed
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confidence you were going to pass. >> sure did. >> that bill. what went wrong? >> listen, there was a perception created that that vote last night was going to increase taxes. i disagree with that characterization of the bill, but that impression was out there. we had a number of our members who just really didn't want to be perceived as having to raise taxes. that was the real issue. one of my colleagues the other night had an analogy of 100 people drowning in a pool and that he was a lifeguard. and because he couldn't save any of them, does that mean he shouldn't have done anything? his point to them was that if i can go in there and save 99 people that are drowning, that's what i should do as a lifeguard, but the perception was out there and a lot of our members did not want to have to deal with it.
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>> given you really do not have the votes to raise tax rates, are you willing to pass a bill with the majority of democratic support at this point? >> i said the house has passed a bill to extend all of the current tax rates. we did it on august 1st. it has been sitting in the senate. we passed the about i will to replace the sequester. at some point the united states senate has to do something. what we were trying to do this week was to basically jump start and try to kick into gear some action by the senate to avert the tax increases going into effect on january 1st. >> speaker, with all due respect, what impact do you think bringing up a bipartisan grand bargain that you could strike with president obama would have on the future of your speakership? >> well, at some point we're going to have to address the spending problem that we have. we can't cut our way to prosperity. we need real economic growth and
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many of us believe on both sides of the aisle that the fundamental reform of our tax code will help us get our economy moving faster and put more americans back to work, and more americans on the tax rolls. how we get there, god only knows. all i am talking is eric and i are and our team are committed to working with our colleagues on both sides of the aisle and both sides of the capitol and the white house to address this. >> last week i asked you if you were concerned about losing your speakership and you said you were not. in light of what happened last night, if you're not concerned shouldn't you be? >> no. i am not. listen, you have all heard me say this, and i have told my colleagues this. if you do the right things every day for the right reasons, the right things will happen. while we may have not been able to get the votes last night, to avert 98.9% of the tax increase,
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i don't think they weren't taking that out on me. they were dealing with the perception that somebody might accuse them of raising taxes. merry christmas, everyone. thank you. >> speaker john boehner with the reality that they were not able to get his plan b even to a vote and they are going home for the holidays and there is no plan at least from what we seem to hear for any future conversations with the president. i want to bring in editor in chief of the national journal, reed wilson and political editor for the grio perry bacon. >> god only knows. he really does not seem to have a strategy going forward. he all but said that very openly. we had got it a point where we learned last night we knew a lot of republicans didn't want to raise taxes but the vote last night confirmed even with a
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threshold of $1 million, very high threshold, he couldn't get 217 to vote for a tax increase and that shows you how much the party resisted the tax increases. you have members last night basically saying i am worried about-facing a primary if i vote for a tax increase anywhere. that's challenging to deal with. >> and after this happened here is what the house had to say. the president's main priority is to ensure that taxes don't go up on 98% of americans and 97% of small businesses in just a few short days. the president will work with congress to get this done and we are hopeful that we will be able to find a bipartisan solution quickly that protects the middle class and our economy. so, reed, that's the next step? does boehner turn to harry reid and mitch mcconnell? what's next? >> you heard john boehner at the beginning of the press conference say it is up to the president and congress. half of congress already voted or at least the half of the majority of the majority if you will, and the house isn't going
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to do anything. i think the attention switches over to some kind of deal that president obama can cut not only with senate majority leader harry reid but also votes from minority leader mitch mcconnell to get anything through the senate. we'll see if that package, whatever they can come up with, remember, they don't have that long. i guess you can say the house republican comments just ruined mitch mcconnell's christmas. once they get that through, if they bring it back to the house, they'll find some combination of democratic votes and whatever votes among republicans they can come up with. they clearly wouldn't come up with a majority last night. the request he is how many votes can john boehner bring to the table for something that passes the senate? the onus clearly shifted from the lower chamber to the upper chamber. >> the only way to avoid the cliff altogether is for speaker boehner to return to negotiations and work with president obama and the senate to forge a bipartisan deal. what do you see?
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what's next? can it get done? >> there is enough time i think like reid said, something has to pass the house with enough democrats backing it and republicans, too, and you heard the questions about what happens next. whatever agreement has to be more to the left than boehner wanted, something a lot of democrats in the house will vote for and also in the senate and that means it will probably look more like president obama's plan than the plan b john boehner was talking about last night. the exact order is challenging. boehner spoke about the notion of a blue slip problem. that means revenue bills about taxes are spo evidence to start in the house. it is generally how things work. the final difficult does have to get through the house somehow and it is not clear if boehner has a path to that. it is not clear and we learned today very much that boehner's control of the republicans in congress is very tenuous. last night was not a great showing and he didn't show a lot
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of confidence in his leadership of the house republicans. it is dangerous going forward for him. >> i want to bring in former senator judd gregg, also former governor from new hampshire, republican. senator, thank you so much for being with us. >> thank you. >> i guess i would like your take on this, with what happened last night and how this move forward, is it as the speaker just said, is the ball in the senate's court? >> well, i actually think the ball is back in the president's court in the sense that he has to come up with a proposal that addresses this issue that the speaker needs to have addressed in order to produce a bill that can pass the house which is this one for one, one spending dollar restraint for every dollar of revenues, and it has to be credible enough so the speaker can take it to his caucus. i think if that happens that the speaker can probably pass that. remember, we're talking a majority of the majority in the sense that the speaker has to get the 218 in republicans and
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he has to get a majority of the republicans to vote for it, and then i presume speaker and leader pelosi will produce the democratic votes necessary if the president signed on. i still think there is a pathway to doing this. i think the pathway leads through the presidency as it always has because the president is the leader of the country and involves the president and the speaker reaching an agreement based on what was the original understanding which was there would be more spending reduction than revenues and they have to get back to an agreement that accomplishes that. >> would you agree that this possibility of an agreement has been complicated by the right wing of the republican party and there were a lot of people who support john boehner who were very upset after that meeting yesterday. let me just play for you what steve latourette had to say coming out of there. >> we have been doing that for two years with these people.
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they become martyrs. they become martyrs in the eyes of the extreme groups and i want to be clear. the democrats have their wing nuts, too, but in our conference, yeah, there are people that respond when growth, heritage action, sure. >> are you disappointed? >> disappointed? it is unbelievable. this is horrible. >> do you find this unbelievable, senator? are some members of the republican party so far right it is making it impossible to get anything done? >> well, there is no question it is time govern and people that aren't willing to govern want to stand in the corners and shout on either side of the aisle really shouldn't be given a voice in this process, and i think the speaker really wants to get something done. i believe with the proper framework as i just outlined that he can get a vote in the house that will support something and maintain the majority of the republicans on that vote. this comes down to what i think the speaker said which was very
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simply that he has to have spending restraint in order to pass the package. he is not going to be able to pass the package that doesn't have the adequate spending restraint in it and that's where we are. they're not that far apart on the spending number. you're talking if you take the farthest number, 400 billion. >> do you think this is less about the numbers per se than it is about the politics at this point? >> well, it is always about the politics, but the numbers drive the politics in this situation. if the speaker was able to reach an agreement with the president that gave him the 1 for 1 number in a way that he felt was legitimate, where the spending restraint matched the revenues, and you also have the spending restrained that occurs so you end up with 2 for 1 which is what the president ran on. and that's what they sort of signed off on as the framework for a package. if they were able to do that
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package, then the politics would follow. you would be able to pass that package, i believe, through the house. >> it will be interesting to see if and how much influence the american people have in all of this. you have a unique perspective. you ran as state. you were head of the budget committee in the senate and now you are i think not just a cnbc contributor but an international adviser to goldman sachs. >> and also head of the fix the debt coalition, so we're very committed to a comprehensive agreement. >> you have this broad perspective on what's going on right now. let me ask you a very direct question i think a lot of the american people are asking, especially as they're watching the stock market which is down 91 now and down more than 100 all morning. how worried should people be if i am heavily invested or just in a 401(k)? >> i believe this country is inherently resilient and we can even live with our government. the problem, however, is that
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our government is not doing well these days. it is not governing. we will straighten this out. if we go over the cliff, i am sure that they're going to have to return in january very quickly to straighten that out. there is an opportunity right now to do a comprehensive agreement that's fairly substantial, very substantial, doesn't get as far as we need to go. doesn't get as far as simpson-bowles but it will take us well down the road to getting our fiscal house in order and that opportunity is right now. we're close enough so it should be able to be done. we're using the worse numbers, about 400 billion over the spending. that is a doable number over the ten years to adjust to get to by further spending restraint. just seems to me that there is an opportunity here for the speaker, the president, and i think mitch mcconnell and harry reid should probably be in the room because the senate has been put in the middle of this and
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brought into play and to reach an agreement over this weekend and get this done next thursday and friday or sbou next week. >> former senator judd gregg, thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us. >> i want to bring you in. we just have a few minutes left. reid, led me start with you, get everybody in a room. what are the chances next thursday or friday or the following week this does get done and if so how? >> i don't think the chances are terribly good, especially after this week. we had the dulg press conferences the other day and the vote last night and it doesn't look like things are going terribly well in terms of this. one of the things i am watching right off the open and the dow jones today, the market was down 125 points, i feel like there could be some kind of shock to the system if the market actually starts to react. right now wall street sees this as sort of a transaction. they see one side on offering their position and the other side offering their position and they can't believe a deal won't get done and it will look like something in the middle.
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i am not entirely certain it is how politics works anymore. we have two sides that haven't talked to each other very much or very well and understand understanding each other and not coming to the middle ground. if wall street starts to realize that and the market gets shaky and something drops, then i think you can see a new spur to action and will end up scaring republicans and democrats alike. >> perry, is that what it is going to take? >> i do think you will he so the president and speaker boehner meet before december 30th. i do think there will be some kind of meeting like the senator outlined and i do think it is still possible. they're not that far apart. the problem being when you get to 1 trillion dollars in tax increases and $1 trillion in spending can you say you're getting to the point the liberal democrats don't want the spending cuts and the conservative republicans don't want the tax increases. particularly the republican partisans aren't there in terms of compromise. if wall street doesn't speak out and the public does not urge this, something may not happen.
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i think there is time and they're not that far apart and something can still happen. there is a compromise the senator laid out and will the politicians step up and take it and own it. >> gentlemen, thank you so much. we'll be right back.
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breaking news. nbc news confirmed the president will name john kerry as his nominee for secretary of state. of course he was his party's former presidential nominee and long time senator and this was expected last night when -- last week had the ambassador to the united nations susan rice took herself out of contention. nbc news confirming president obama will nominate john kerry to be the next secretary of state to succeed hillary clinton. we will keep you updated on that situation. turning now to the tragedy in newtown, which happened a week ago today. the nra is due to make its first
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official statement in about half an hour. we'll have that for you live. a moment of silence for the 26 victims was held at 9:30 this morning all across the country. that is the newtown united methodist church where bells tolled 26 times. fire fighters were overcome with emotion during the moment of silence at the newtown fire house and many had responded to the scene at the school a week ago. a large group gathered in prayer at the national cathedral in washington, d.c. the nasdaq put up a sign that said moment for sandy hook on their digital display outside the building. [ female announcer ] food, meet flavor.
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rchgts she suffered earlier this month. apparently she fell. she has been suffering from a stomach flu. john kerry, the big news here, was expected but we are going to get the official announcement this afternoon. in the meantime can john boehner survive? there are questions this morning about his future as house speaker after he couldn't get enough republican votes to pass his plan b fiscal cliff proposal. just moments ago he addressed this embarrassing setback. >> while we may have not been able to get the votes last night, to avert 99.81% of the
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tax increases, i don't think they weren't taking that out on me. they were dealing with the perception that somebody might accuse them of raising taxes. >> seeing an increasingly divided republican house where dozens of conservatives refused to go along with his back up plan. >> i disagree with john boehner, actually caving on taxes. he went over to the white house over the weekend and said we'll give you a trillion dollars of tax revenue and maybe raise the debt ceiling for a year and take a lever out of the hand of the republicans but did that i think without the support of the congress as we found out. >> he has worked his heart out to try to get the best deal he can, and to have this happen is very sad. for the country. >> let's bring in strategist and former hillary clinton adviser kiki maclaine and chip salts man. are you surprised by what
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happened last night? >> it is not shocking that the republican conference as a whole didn't want to raise taxes. that's our base position. the speaker thought he had worked the best deal he could and fell through with the white house negotiations and he thought this was a way to jump start it, and they very much were pitching this like it was a republican conference and going to be a republican proposal he would put forth to move the white house on the senate. obviously it was not a great night for the speaker. >> is he in trouble? >> i don't think he is. look, i think there is a lot of people with great respect for the speaker and they understand that he thought he was trying to get the best deal that he could and let me be honest. there is a lot of people that disagreed with the deal and they never had any doubt that the speaker was trying to do the best he could and they appreciated his hard work and disagreed with the outcome. >> last night's descent on plan
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b would be seen as a vote of month confidence in boehner. the natiis he right on either o those points? >> absolutely. there was a lot wrong with the plan. both sides, and you have to look up and say what are the sides in the republican congress. people need to understand, you're afraid to vote for something? it is governing from fear. it is not governing from leadership. this has gotten to a level of ridiculousness and endangerment for the american public. at least he should have been allowed to put up what he thought was the legislation. my team wouldn't vote for it but in his own party they can't come together to give him the room to negotiate. i have to say i am at a place of incredible disappointment. i kind of thought the conference might have begun to get it together and recognize what the american people said they wanted. this is a place now that makes it very difficult to move forward and given all that's happened in our country in the
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last week, the fact that we can't get two sides to the table or at least both sides on one side of the table to come to a solution and fix an economic problem so that we can move onto these other heartbreaking challenges our country has is something i hope they all take home this weekend and worry about. >> obviously we know, chip, a lot of these republicans that come from very conservative districts look at this and say this is a matter of political survival in addition to the fact they may believe that they don't want to raise taxes or -- sorry, having said that, do you think there is a larger problem here, that they're not seeing the forest through the trees when you look at the poll that just came out, 53% of americans say republicans are too extreme, up from 36% two years ago. are there bigger implications for this even beyond the fiscal cliff, chip? >> i think if you look at all the issues out there, whether
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you want to talk about immigration or traditional marriage or taxes, a lot of republicans look like they're on the wrong side of it and we have to communicate better what we believe and how we communicate it. going back to this original question, there is a lot of republicans that fundamentally believe that raising taxes is not the answer and the top 10% of people in this country pay 70% of the federal income taxes and they're like you say you want to be more fair. what do you want the top 10% to pay? 100% of the taxes? they have cases to make and you may disagree with them and they did with the speaker last night on the top 1% that already pay 40% of the taxes in this country and you can't get mad because they are talking about what they believe. >> here is where we are now. i want to make two points clear. chip and i agree on a lot of the fundamental political analysis of this. we will stay at a stand still in this country if both sides
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continue to say it has to be only the a i believe. in everybody's home around everyone's kitchen table when a husband and wife had a disagreement eventually somebody says i don't agree with you but we'll give your way a shot. we'll give it a try. that's what has to happen. here is the second point at this point, kris, getting out of this will not be completely fair, right? we have to bring in revenue where it is available. it is not available at the lowest levels of the income. for those who look up and say let's go off the cliff, that's a ridiculous point of irresponsibility from my point of view. those people who need our help and need a stable government most will be those who are immediately hurt. they don't have three, four, five months to wait for another deal. this is the burden that is sitting on the shoulders of the american people and ought to be the burden that sits on the shoulder of every elected official this weekend before christmas. >> ki ki maclaine, and the dow down 99 points at this point. thanks to both of you very much.
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also making news this morning, one of two bank robbers that used bed sheets to escape a chicago jail is back in custody. the fbi says it caught joseph banks last night. authorities say banks and fellow inmate kent connelly escaped on tuesday and scaled down 20 stories of the building with knotted sheets and connelly is still on the run. a live look at the national cathedral and the funeral service for senator daniel inouye. president obama and vice president biden due to speak at any moment now. inouye was the second longest serving senator in u.s. history and he will be buried in his native hawaii. former senator bob dole is among those paying respects yesterday. he two met in an army hospital after being wounded in world war ii and served in congress together for almost 30 years. bernie madoff's brother says he is deeply ashamed he took part in the infamous multi billion dollars ponzi scheme. peter madoff was sentenced to ten years in prison yesterday in
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new york on charges of conspiracy and falsifying records. bernie madoff is serving a 150 year prison term. finally, we're still here. these pictures are from a ceremony led by mayan priests in guatemala marking the end of the mayan calendar, aka, what was supposed to be the end of the world. no word on what doom sayers camped out at this mountain in france are doing today. they have been there for days believing that when the end of the world came a ufo would come to the mountain and rescue them. got milk? you could be in for a major shock. mandy is here with what's moving your money. prices, i saw this headline and couldn't believe it. 6 to $8 a gallon? >> it is unbelievable. that is if congress does not pass a new farm bill, chris, that amends farm policy that dates back to the truman presidency. obviously this has been kind of
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lost in that brouhaha of what's going on between the obama administration and republicans over the fiscal cliff and the budget wranglings, and there is believe it or not an impasse over a farm bill that covers billions in agricultural programs and without last minute action they would have to follow a 1949 farm law that would force washington to buy milk at wildly inflated prices which therefore means we would have to pay the wildly inflated prices as well when we go to buy milk at the supermarket. now it costs an average around 3.65 a gallon. if we go to up $6 or $8 it will hurt. >> and if the cheese prices go up, i am in big trouble. >> there you go. >> holiday home stretch. big expectations for the final weekend. >> in fact, this weekend according to some reports could shape up to be better than the black friday shopping rush. you have retail firms and forecasting the thursday, friday, saturday, sunday, ie,
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where we are right now, is going to be four of the ten biggest shopping days of the year and at brick and mortar stores. we're not just talking online. brick and mortar stars, especially a survey released that found three quarters of people still have not finished their holiday shopping. i am guilty as charged. everyone will do the last minute rush this weekend. >> guilty as charged. what's your favorite christmas song by the way? >> oh, no i am really put on the spot. >> come on. >> come on. >> i am going to ep had you out here. that's our list today. the favorite christmas songs. >> is it? >> american pulse is out with the top five. number 5, little drummer boy. number 4, oh holy night, number 3 jingle bells followed by white christmas and america's favorite, silent night. before we go to break, a holiday message from a service woman in afghanistan. >> happy holidays. i am major tamala delhi, and i
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am coming from afghanistan. this message goes out to niceville florida. i love to say happy holidays to my children. i extend a very well and warm wish to the 96 medical group in nightsville, florida. happy holidays. ♪ if it wasn't for you ♪ don't know what i'd do ♪ i'd have nothing to prove [ male announcer ] introducing the celebration diamond collection. zales is the diamond store. let love shine.
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in that time there've been some good days. and some difficult ones. but, through it all, we've persevered, supporting some of the biggest ideas in modern history. so why should our anniversary matter to you?
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because for 200 years, we've been helping ideas move from ambition to achievement. and the next great idea could be yours. ♪ i'd like to thank eating right, whole grain, multigrain cheerios! mom, are those my jeans? [ female announcer ] people who choose more whole grain tend to weigh less than those who don't. multigrain cheerios nbc confirmed john kerry will be named secretary of state this afternoon. let me bring in andrea mitchell. not surprising, something john kerry has not made a secret that he would like to do. give us the specifics, when, where. >> first of all, we think it will be about 1:00 at the white house with the president and not with the secretary of state hillary clinton who is still
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ailing. she suffered from a fall after a virus and the concussion and as you know was not at the benghazi hearings yesterday. we reported last thursday when susan rice withdrew that kerri was the choice. the question was timing. they didn't want to go too long, but of course there is a funeral today which kerry and the president will both be attending for senator daniel inouye. that was something else that delayed the timing. it was originally supposed to be this morning that john kerry would be nominated and that funeral won't be over until 10:00, rather about noon at the national cathedral. after that back at the white house there will be an announcement. it is not going to be what was originally contemplated, the entire national security team, cia, defense, a bit of controversy over chuck hagel. the president has been strongly considering chuck hagel for defense secretary and still is we are told. he has not backed off of that. there is fierce opposition building up, the same lobbying campaign that frankly torpedoed susan rice, and there is a lot
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of thought in democratic circles outside the white house, particularly, that the president cannot afford to back down twice, two times in a row in the face of republican opposition. a group of former military and foreign policy officials in support of chuck hagel are circulating a letter today and trying to counteract this republican conservative criticism. >> conversely i would expect no opposition, nothing significant to john kerry. he is one of the old establishment members of foreign policy in washington. >> talk about that for a moment. he was born to this literally. his father was a diplomat. he was raised partly overseas which is one of the issues the voters took against him when they were opposing him in 2004 when he was running for president and he is as you know a vietnam veteran and someone who opposed the war when he returned from vietnam and was a strong advocate in the anti-vietnam war protests. testified to congress even as he returned from the vietnam war.
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veteran senator, massachusetts, long wanted to be secretary of state, and was initially eager to be secretary of state we're told when president obama was first elected, but of course that decision went to hillary clinton, so now this is his chance in the second term that opens up a seat in massachusetts and democrats think they have a number of strong candidates and possibly even teddy kennedy junior who has never been in politics. he is the son who lives in connecticut but could establish residence in massachusetts through ohof course. and there are a number of names. the most senior member would have first choice if he wants to go for it and of course scott brown expected to seek the republican nomination for the seat opening up. >> andrea mitchell, thank you so much. we appreciate that. we are waiting for the nr. a, they're going to be making their first formal statement. there it is, the podium, after the newtown massacre.
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we'll have it shortly. take a quick break and back after this.
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we're waiting for the nra to hold a news conference any minute now. feeling pressure following the newtown, connecticut tragedy. just this morning president obama release this had message responding to petitions asking the administration to take action on gun control. >> it is encouraging that many gun owners have stepped up this week to say there are steps we can take to prevent more tragedies like the one in newtown. step that is both protect our rights and protect our kids. >> joining me is a professor of law for ucla that has written extensively on this topic. >> thanks for having me. >> the nra issued a statement saying it would offer, quote, meaningful contributions on preventing more gun violence. do you have an idea what that might mean? >> the nra has certainly upped the ante with the statements and the high profile press
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conference. usually the nra is very quiet after a mass shooting and says we should have condolences for the victims and tries to avoid talking about it. they're really taking a big chance by making a big public showing of this and they have to come forward with some kind of meaningful reform. >> what would be meaningful in the world of the nra? what would be significant? for example, there have been reforms in the past and then gun manufacturers just figure a way to get around them. what would be something that would be significant for the nra? >> well, i think it would be very significant for the nra, for instance, to come out in favor of universal background checks for gun purchasers and everyone including gun owners recognizes that we shouldn't have easy access to guns by criminals and the mentally ill. the way to prevent that or at least one particularly effective way of protecting that is universal background checks. 70% of nra members support background checks and the leaders today have never supported it. maybe that will be a big change we see. >> and one of the problems they face are people that don't
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believe that guns are the problem, people are the problem. take a listen to an exchange on "morning joe" this morning with republican congressman from kansas. >> what has bothered me the most as a representative is how this has been politicized so quickly and that somehow if we had change one single law which as i understand that, the state of connecticut had laws against these kind of things, and somehow that would have changed things. what i agree and i think everybody can agree, we have a cultural problem. >> is it time to look at assault weapons? >> that's the problem. i don't believe so. >> it is not? >> it is not a gun problem. it is a people problem. >> it is not a gun problem? >> you do wonder how real regulation is passed if this opposition is out there one week after we saw this massacre. if for some reason the nra does come out and make what would be considered a significant statement, how much sway would that have with some of these conservatives, some of these congress members in these
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conservative districts? >> there is no doubt it would be huge. the nra is a major political powerhouse and they can deliver the votes on election day and they have done it before, and if they come out in favor of universal background checks, i think you will see republicans left and right come out in favor of such law. i don't company approximate the nra to come through with meaningful reforms despite the press conference announcements and i don't think they will come out in favor of an assault weapons ban. they have an an extreme view of the second amendment. it is a deeply held belief. >> i think one of the fascinating things you have written about, recently in the atlantic, a lot of people may not understand that the nra today is nothing like it was when it was founded, right? >> that's right. when i was doing reserve for my book, gun fight, i found the nra used to be at the forefront of the gun control movement and in the 1920s and '30s promoting restrictive gun laws that today's nra files lawsuits in court challenging as a violation of the second amendment.
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>> it is a fascinating article and i recommend it highly and the book as well. thank you so much. we appreciate you taking the time to talk to us. >> thank you. >> you see we're waiting for the news conference. it was originally scheduled for 10:45. we're told it should stop at the top of the hour. a lot of people waiting to see what the nra is going to say. that's going to wrap up this hour of jansing and company. i wish you and yours the measure iest holidays. tom ast picks up our coverage next with beau biden. ♪ don't know what i'd do ♪ i'd have nothing to prove [ male announcer ] zales is the diamond store. save 25 percent off an amazing selection storewide, now through monday.
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good morning, everybody. i am thomas roberts. moment from now the national rief association breaking its silence after newtown. this will not nra's first official public comments since 26 students and educators were gunned down a week ago in connecticut. we are expecting to hear from the executive vice president and president any minutem


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