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tv   Weekends With Alex Witt  MSNBC  September 14, 2013 9:00am-11:01am PDT

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table? disaster and danger if colorado. parts of the state still underwater. there's more rain expected to hit that region. a live report in minutes. she's admitted pushing her husband off a cliff. face first. how is she out of jail this morning? new twist today in the curious case of a newlywed couple. a new push to drink up. staggering statistics and our number ones where water is concerned. hello. it's high noon in the east, 9:00 a.m. out west. welcome to "weekends with alex witt." dramatic developments on the crisis in syria. the u.s. and russia reach a deal on syria's chemical weapons that sets a critical deadline. senator kerry announced the news after meeting with russia's foreign minister this morning. >> we said at the outset to accomplish our goal, this plan had to produce transparency, accountability, timeliness, and
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enforceability. it must be credible and verifiable. if fully implemented, we believe it can meet these standards. >> now this is welcome news by the u.n. secretary-general ban ki-moon who in a statement released by a spokesperson says the agreement eliminate "pave the path for a political solution to stop the appalling is suffering inflicts on the syrian people." on monday, u.n. inspectors report their findings on the chemical attack that occurred in syria august 21st. ian williams is traveling with senator kerry. ian, what can you tell us about the details of this proposed plan? >> good day, alex. well, this is an incredibly ambitious plan and much of that will detail still has to be worked out. one senior u.s. official saying after that press conference, that it was daunting to say the least. now, we have got a timeline, a very aggressive timeline which requires the syrians to come up with a list of all their
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chemical stockpile by the end of the week. end of next week. also requiring the weapons monitors unfettered access by november and the whole thing being tied up by the middle of next year. but this requires the cooperation of syria, it requires access, it requires verification this is what john kerry had to say about that. >> ultimately, perhaps more so than anywhere in the world, actions will matter more than words. in the case of the assad regime, president reagan's old adage about trust but verify, the saying, that is in need of an update and we have committed here to a standard that says verify and verify. >> an interestingly, the russians said they had had no contact with the syrian
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government throughout these negotiations. so it will be interesting to see the first reaction that we get from the damascus, alex. >> so ian, i'm curious what the next step is in implementing this plan. we talked about a one-week deadline. yet, this is a huge undertaking particularly on the heels of reports that syria is moving around its chemical weapons reports to lebanon as well as iran. >> that's right. i mean, in the joint communique today, the russians agree that 1,000 cubic meters of chemical material in that stockpile spread over about 45 different sites. and on top of that, yes, they have been moving it around. but by setting this deadline for the end of next week, it is a fundamental to the process that they get that information and, of course, it's a key test of the willingness of syria to cooperate. from here, secretary kerry will be heading to israel, then on to
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paris to meet the british and french foreign cans and also members of the saudi government to the whip up support which seems to be forthcoming from allies, but of course, crucially will be that first reaction we get from syria and just how able and willing they are to come up with that list within this very aggressive deadline, alex. >> okay. ian williams in geneva traveling with secretary kerry. thank you for that. let's bring in kristen welker at the white house. a good day to you. you got a statement from the president just moments ago. what did he say? >> just moments ago, i'll read you a little bit of it. he says "i welcome the progress made between the united states and russia through our talks in geneva which represents an important concrete step toward the goal of moving syria's chemical weapons under international control so that they may ultimate little be destroyed. the president goes on to say that if assad does not follow through with the steps mapped out in this plan, the united states is prepared to take action. i want to pick up on that point
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because the united states at the same time offering a concession really to russia prepared for the fact that there will not be a use of force consequence written into the u.n. security council resolution. they say that they acknowledge the fact that russia would not agree to that. so they say instead, some of the consequences might include penalties including sanctions. those are the details though that are still being hammered out. having said that, president obama says that he reserves the right to act unilaterally, again, if russia does not follow through with this plan. it is a point he made in his weekly address which was released before that deal was mapped out. take a listen. >> we are not just going to take russia and assad's word for it. we need to see concrete actions to demonstrate that assad is serious about giving up his chemical weapons. since this plan emerged only with a credible threat of u.s.
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military action, we will maintain our military posture in the region to keep the pressure on the assad regime. if diplomacy fails, the united states and the international community must remain prepared to act. >> and pentagon press secretary george little emphasizing that point in a statement that was just released moments ago which says "we haven't made any changes to our force posture. to this point, the credible threat of military force has been key to driving diplomatic process. it's important the assad regime lives up to its obligations under the framework agreement." we are getting reaction from capitol hill which started to trickle in, including from bob corker who says this. "absent the threat of force, it's unclear to me how syrian compliance will be possible under the terms of any agreement." of course, senator corker there referring to the u.n. security council resolution which is still being hammered out. so there are a lot of moving parts, a lot of developments on this saturday, alex.
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i expect we will continue to get reaction from capitol hill. but we are getting our first reaction from president obama who says that he welcomes this substantial development. alex? >> all right, kristen welker at the white house. thank you very much for giving us those rapidly moving details. this story this hour developing, catastrophic flooding in colorado has sent.residents scrambling for their lives. the national guard hases are cued hundreds of people from isolated towns likelions and jamestown cut off after days of heavy rain. >> the house is sitting in a river. >> we should get out because the dam up there wasn't too safe. >> yesterday, it was terrifying because they said you got to get out now. >> it's kind of an island that's surrounded by rushing water and we didn't have electricity or water or gas.
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it's devastating to be honest. it's complete destruction. >> at least four people have died and 218 others unaccounted for. however, those unaccounted for are not necessarily considered missing but they have not yet contacted friends or family. and the state is not in the clear yet. more rain is in the forecast. let's go to boulder, colorado. joe is standing by for us. how bad is the situation there, joe, today? >> right now, the good news is is no rain. so the boulder creek continues to drop. we have proof for you. we you the this stick in the ground four hours ago marking the edge of the creek. you can see the waters have gone down. it's a different story in other parts of the state. places like greeley where the waters are rising and that's prompting some evacuations. meantime, hundreds have been evacuated by helicopter in jamestown, which is completely surrounded by water and more will be evacuated today. >> heavy rains and floods
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stretching rough little 130 miles can submerge a lot of homes and isolate plenty of towns with roads offering no way in or out, rescuers are getting creative. flying over swollen rivers by zip line, navigating brand new bodies of water by boat, and delivering families to safety by helicopter. >> we had two ways into the house. we had two driveways. and they're just totally gone. >> the national guard is working to pluck stranded residents from water locked jamestown, airlifting them and their pets to the boulder airport. >> i don't have any idea when we'll get back into jamestown. they said maybe a couple of months even. >> it's a similar scene in the town of lyons where as many as 2500 people need to be rescued by extra high vehicles. but as this video from a fire truck shows, eeb the tallest rigs struggle to maneuver through flooded streets.
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in boulder county, the sheriff says they've lost every roadway leading to the western part of the county. >> the roadways aren't simply blocked by mud slides or rock slides or debris. the roadways are in fact, in.many places completely gone. >> that's why so many including this family of seven now call an evacuation shelter home. they will haven't seen their house since escaping during the storm. >> we live here. and just got to get through it. in the end, we just have each other. that's all we have. >> reporter: throughout flood ravaged colorado, the daring rescues are merely step one. it's the rebuilding that will offer challenges for months to come. back live now, you can see the boulder creek while receding it's still powerful and moving at a strong rate. within the last hour, we heard from the sheriff. he talked about the 200 or so people unaccounted for. he said the hope is many of them
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are stranded and just have no way it 0 communicate. it's also possible that some have escaped and haven't been in touch with loved ones. he also did acknowledge there is a high possibility that they will discover more victims in the wake of these devastating floods. alex? >> joe, i cannot believe that is the boulder creek behind you. i mean, it looks like they're rapids there. i have to say i spoke with one of my news writers who rent to school there. he told me at times that's just got a tiny little stream of water. at times it's also completely dry. look at that. >> that's really -- we didn't get a chance to see what this all looked like before the floods. that's what we're hearing time and time again. i was at a home a few days ago where they said the creek outside was dry and it pretty much looked similar to this by the time the flood started. creeks are turning into rivers and rivers are overflowing their banks. >> extraordinary. joe, thank you very much. in west kest headlines, why the dmv may be one of the most
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crowded places in california if a new passes. plus inferno on the jersey shore. the damage done after a boardwalk repaired after superstorm sandy goes up in flames. [ female announcer ] we lowered her fever. you raise her spirits.
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on the west coast, the whittier daily news has the article "legal behind the wheel," about how governor jerry brown will sign a bill to allow undocumented immigrants to get driver's licenses. about 1.4 million people will be eligible to apply once the law goes into effect. the san francisco chronicle has the headline it's got to be easier getting to the trees. all about the traffic problem that drivers encounter when they visit muir woods. the national park service is now thinking of setting up a reservation system for all those cars. let's go to the developing
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news on syria's chemical weapons. secretary kerry announced syria has agreed to a deal giving assad a week to give a full listing of its stockpile. joining me now, democratic congressman carol shea porter. thank you for joining us. >> thank you. >> i know first up, you opposed military action in syria. so this deal on the table today, what's your reaction to it? is. >> again, i'm very hopeful and want to thank the president and secretary kerry and the arms negotiators and everybody involved in bringing us to this point. of course, we have to verify. we know that assad has lied in the past. but i do feel optimistic now that we've got so many parties engaged in this, and so you know, we'll have to wait and see. but the timelines are very important right now to make sure assad plans to do what he said he's going to do. >> ma'am, do you have a clear sense as you think of the
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logistics here of how all these chemical weapons can be gathered up in total and destroyed? i mean, visualizing how this happen, is that clear to you? >> well, it is obviously going to be difficult and a lot has to be hammered out. but we have an organization opcw that's been doing this for many other places. also, if you look at the logistics of launching air strikes, that's difficult also. so while we know that this is going to be a great challenge and it requires cooperation on every level, i still believe that we can do this. >> how about syria? do you think syria can be trusted completely to comply? >> i am at this point saying that putin also has credibility on the line. so i'm sure that he's going to be putting a lot of pressure on syria and on assad to come forward. because each one of our leaders has taken a chance on assad. so now he needs to perform. >> okay. in terms of punishment for what has gone before, assad gives up
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his stockpile but there's no real punitive measures in what we've seen so far. how does this deal enforce the international norms against the use of chemical weapons? >> well, first of all, we know tragically that has been violated before. we know we really need to step up the political pressure on all parties. and there's no reason that we can't at some point punish assad. you know, this doesn't say that this will never happen if he continues to strike out at his people. but we know right now what we really want to be focusing on is getting those chemical weapons, providing humanitarian aid to the people that have been affected by this, and working for a political solution all around. so nobody doubts that assad is murder easy and committed great crimes. >> in fact, the word murder rez reminds me in a hearing this week you called him murderer rez and evil. yesterday we had ban ki-moon quoted as saying assad is guilty
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of crimes against humanity. overall, does this seem like a proportional response? >> it's an important one. we know the other alternative where air strikes. and i was greatly concerned about taking a situation that was already chaotic and creating even more chaos there. so this is the option that we have. and it's a good one. and i hope that assad decides to listen to the united states and listen to russia and understand that this is over in terms of his weapons. >> all right. congresswoman shea porter, while i have you here, want to ask you about domestic issues. the situation in syria has taken focus away from the fiscal crisis here at home. this week the house canceled a vote on a spending bill because it did not cut funding to obama care. there could be a government shutdown by the end of this month. will you get a deal in time? >> that's up to speaker boehner and his party. the tea party has been causing a great deal of difficulty within the republican party. and we don't control the floor of the house.
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it is up to the speaker to bring something that's acceptable and when they tried to, as you know, a number of the tea party prevented it. so he doesn't have the votes right now. i certainly hope so. we stand ready to work with the speaker and work with the moderate republicans there who know that it would be deb stating to shut the government down. highly irresponsible and devastating to the economy and to businesses and to people who are relying on government programs. so it would be a disaster and it is their responsibility to find a solution and bring it to us. >> well, on the heels of your strong rhetoric and your assessment of the possibility here, do you think the president would follow through on his threat to veto any spending bill that cuts health care funds, even if it means a government shutdown? >> i don't think it will get there because it's a law. the problem that the republican tea party has is understanding that this is actually the law. and so now what we should be
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working on is implementing it, fixing the parts we want to improve, et cetera, but to keep trying to replay the four-year ago legislation doesn't make any sense to anybody, including the american public who is watching this very closely right now. >> all right. new hampshire democratic congresswoman carol shea porter, thank you. >> office politics, my conversation with author and liberal fire brand joe conason. he tells me why he did not drink the kool-aid while everybody else around him did. we'll explain. let's do some serious curb appeal. let's size up this. spruce up that. and let's not do any of this. let's go to school. let's go to save. and then, let's go to town. >> all right. more saving. more doing. that's the power of the home depot. earthgro mulch. 4 bags, just $10.
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mexico is first averaging 243 letter tos, about 60 more than italy. 90 more than folks in the united arab emirates. what do all the schools and ranks ises of national universities have in common? they each cost at least $40,000 a year. princeton, was tied with harvard which ranked second this year. yeah and columbia next in line before stanford finishes off the top five. director steven spielberg tops forbes magazine's new list of the top earning male celebrities. don't have time to talk about all his hit movies but because of that and his successful production company, he has made $100 million over the past year. simon cowell and howard stern are tied for second, making $95 million apiece, and author james patterson $91 million in earnings puts him third. ♪ up in the sky ♪ and now you're not coming down ♪ >> and miley cyrus's new music
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video where she performs naked has set a new one-day viewing record. "wrecking ball," raked up 12 million views. it has been seen almost 85 million times, making teenage boys happy around the globe. and those are your number ones here on "weekends with alex witt." no two people have the same financial goals. pnc investments works with you to understand yours and helps plan for your retirement. talk to a pnc investments financial advisor today. ♪
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fuel rocket, a critical step towards cheaper and more fuel efficient way send satellites into space. it released a space telescope that will be used to observe other planets. new today, the u.s. and russia have reaped a deal on syria's chemical weapons but can the assad government be trusted to comply? >> is the world will now expect the assad regime to live up to public commitments. as i said at the outset of these negotiations, there can be no games, no room for avoidance or anything less than full compliance by the assad regime. >> joining me now is david road is, foreign affairs correspondent for reuters and david knack i muir ra, white house reporter for the "washington post." you're a columnist. you've worked hard to get that. that's all good. so i'll ask you first, your reaction to this deal. >> i think it's a very limited political win for obama. he's out of this box about
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weapons. assad, they can abide by this chemical deal but fight on. this doll nothing to stop the killing in syria. assad will use the conventional weapons to sort of crush the opposition. so it's not a good deal to make a long story short. >> you're saying he'll still have access to his chemical weapons? he's not going to comply? >> he doesn't need the weapons to crush the opposition. so i think assad will abide by this agreement, so will the russians. but it doesn't change the course of the conflict and doesn't weaken him militarily. he will be able to hold on to power. russia will have its proxy in the middle east and vladimir putin, history will look back where putin elevates russia in a vacuum that obama helped create by pulling back and not being so involved in syria. >> david, this deal we're talking about, does this accomplish president obama's goals? >> well, i think david's right it's a limited victory for him right now. but it look back at the last
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three weeks, the president has not come out looking very good. he didn't get the vote in congress he wanted. now he's moving forward trying to cast us in the best light. it is an important step but as the president himself acknowledged and john kerry, you just heard it, this is just the first step. you have a lot of unanswered questions even with this agreement. they're trying to make this a quick timetable and show definite progress. by the end of next week, they ask they declare their weapons stockpile. it's clear russia and the u.s. don't agree how many chemical weapons and where they all are in syria. so the question is, how much access will the inspectors get in november, how much will they declare and how do we determine this is the full stockpile before they start potentially destroying it. >> david, don't you think when all is said and done and we have the hindsight of history, it might be proven that the president did the right thing by not just stepping in with a military intervention? >> absolutely. but he also -- the question is
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should he have considered that ahead of time. could it all work out that assad gives up his weapons and never uses them again? yes, that would be the best possible outcome, certainly. as david points out, that doesn't necessarily change the calculus on the ground. it was never clear what the administration's goal was for the civil war. do they want to insert themselves to try to get rid of assad? they continue to say he must go. when it came down to it, they didn't want to affect the balance. overarching goal of what they want to do in that part of the world to increase security, yes, the chemical weapons are a huge important part but there's another part, as well. i think the administration, yes, you don't want to just go to war. it could work out well and that's what everybody's hoping for. i think the way it was handled leaves uncertainty ahead as to again, if assad does not comply, if we cannot determine the russians are playing in good faith, then we're backing to square one. does obama have a stronger hand with congress? we'll see. that remains a big question
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though. >> doesn't president obama actually come out the big winner here ultimately? because without firing a shot, you said you believe that syria will get rid of its chemical weapons. >> he's in a sort of political american sense. all politics is local. it is a win. he's escaped from a box he column sill little put himself in. what's happened here, the american policy was assad must go. we just shifted to assad's chemical weapons must go. we have stepped back, putin has won. his proxy is going to remain in power in syria. and maybe americans want that. . we don't want to get involved. let's not miss what's happened, putin and assad have won. >> so much talk about president obama's international credibility, particularly with regard to a nuclear iran. how does this deal play out with would be users of chemical weapons or other weapons from rogue states? >> whether it's chemical weapons or standing up to the united states, again, i think this
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boosts putin, this boosts the kind of role of authoritarian leaders that they can stand up to the west, the democracies are divided and weak and you know will threaten military force but won't follow through. again, domestically i understand the opposition to the united states and people not wanting to get involved. i'm worried about years from now, what have we done as we've made putin and assad powerful people who defy the united states and win. >> i want to read something from your column this week about the president's national address on tuesday. here's what you wrote "12 years after 9/11, the lis son remains we cannot ignore the region, the challenges defined effective ways to engage diplomatically, not militarily." so is this a lesson you think that's been learned by elected leaders? >> i don't think so. i think we waited too long to act in syria. many americans disagree. i think we should have armed the moderate opposition much, much earlier. >> as you know the reports are that the cia is doing so the last month or so. >> it's too late. when we step back, it creates a vacuum.
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maybe it will be fine if the u.s. doesn't engage in the middle east. the world economy, china and europe depend on oil from the middle east. i wanted to see a broader discussion about what our u.s. goals going to be in the region and to act earlier. we kind of do nothing and then resort to the military force and there are places like tunisia where the transition is going better. jordan where we can act and turkey where i think diplomatic and economic efforts can start laying sievety earlier so we don't end up in giant civil wars where we don't have many.good options. i wish we could walk away from the region. i don't think we canning >> david, when we look at both president obama's national security speech in may and then this week's address on tuesday night, what do they tell you about his war doctrine? >> well, that's probably a good question because this is a president who has made clear that he's trying to sort of change what came before america is tired of sort of being
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dragged into that part of the world. with boots on the ground and he sort of made clear that he is trying to change the way that we engage if these parts with more surgical sort of operations. but i think that as you see here, that's not when he decides that he wants to go into syria, you know, and do so, he obviously sort of had second thoughts. once he didn't get a lot of international support. i think trying to build that international support was important to him. he laid the groundwork to do so, but it fell through. i think you know, going forward, he sort of put it to congress, how much appetite do we have for this and how much should america be leading. he's talked a lot about the america having the role in the world. do we still want the role. it's not clear and as david said, russia is stepping in here sort of shifts a little bit of the balance there. so going forward, the question is how much is the world going to rely on the u.s. and his leadership when these kind of
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situations arise. >> same question to you on the war doctrine. >> in the presence of -- he stepped back and said we'll have saudi arabia deal with it and had saudis and qatar have armed jihadis. that's why they dominate the opposition there. that hasn't worked. that's frustrating. there is no obama doctrine, no clear american strategy about this is a priority in the middle east. for six years, he's been saying to the american people, i'm getting you out of the middle east. we'll pivot to asia and all of a sudden, he's like we have to carry out this strike in syria. the next question is, i think this will die downen an beak work. what happens if iran starts pursuing a nukes clear weapon though? is barack obama going to enforce that red line? and the israelis i think and there's news reports already how worried they are about the precedent that's been set and what happens now. >> all right, david rohde, david knack muir ra in washington, thanks so much. we invite all of you to watch meet the president tomorrow.
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senators menendez will be on sunday on "meet the press." investigators are sifting through the remains to find out what the set off the ten-alarm fire that decimated the jersey shore and left its funtown pier a memory. at least 30 businesses including bars and ice cream shops and pizza places all burn to the ground. michelle franzen is live for us in seaside heights, new jersey. what can you tell us about the ongoing investigation? >> well, investigators got in there and in a big way. take a look behind me just to get you past here. we're at the area where the fire break eventually worked on that night of the blaze. but beyond that, you can see where the damage and destruction and if you can, maybe a little pieces of smoke and smoldering areas popping up. those hot spots they're keeping an eye on. investigates are beyond that. . down in an area they're starting at the other end of the pier and working their way in. what they are looking for,
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trying to look for areas to p pinpoint exactly where this blaze took place, combing through certain areas where they have heard from witnesses where they think the flash point might have taken off and not ruling out anything. we spoke to the ocean county prosecutor's office today and a spokesperson says there is no speculation one way or the other that this is a process of elimination that's exactly what they do in a situation like this. you have arson investigators on scene. atf and they're all many canning together to use their expertise in this massive sort of fire that took place and devastated this area. alex, we'll know soon baby what the pinpoint and cause of this is. >> michelle, thank you so much. four dead, hundreds rescued. thousands homeless. historic flooding spans more than 130 miles across the state of colorado. some areas have seen nearly a year's worth of fire in a single day. at the same time, trouble is brewing in the caribbean with a tropical storm gaining steam there.
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joining me now, dr. greg pose telephone joining me now. where is this tropical storm heading? >> it's moving north reit now in the southern gulf of mexico and going to move into mexico by early monday. let's have a look at the latest advisory from the national hurricane center. a 70-mile-per-hour tropical storm moving north at eight. that movement is about to change. you'll see the cone from the hurricane center take a hard left or westward turn into mexico on monday morning as a category 1980-mile-per-hour hurricane. we believe the center will make landfall south of the rio grande, impacts will be felt into mexico sorry, into parts of southern texas with coastal flood viszryes and flood warnings with a broad on shore wind at maybe 15 to 25 miles per hour including a high rip current risk, as well from corp pass all the way down to brownsville. rainfall, a couple inches in south texas. not nearly as much as in mexico where the system makes landfall, perhaps as much as two feet of
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rain there. look at tropical storm manual. 50-mile-per-hour tropical storm also going to be moving into mexico but on the west coast here, you can see it moving on shore as a tropical storm near manzanillo, mexico. this cluster of storms here, this is again ingrid. this is manuel. some of that moisture is getting into colorado. that is going to bring additional rainfall there will this weekend perhaps as much as two to three inches again the very same places they do not need it. alex? back to you. >> dr. greg postell, thank you very much. talk about getting your money's worth, a spacecraft launched in 1977 has entered a new dimension in space. ut there,... ut there,... huh? but that doesn't mean we're all the same. just like greek yogurts. that's why i prefer activia greek. you got that right jamie, there's nothing like it! exactly, because activia greek is the only greek with exclusive probiotic bifidus regularis, and it helps regulate your digestive system.
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subs facebook's troubled say last year. in today's office politics, editor of the national memo joe connie son, joe takes us to africa where can he traveled with president clinton as research on his book about clinton's life in the white house. the topic of syria led our discussion beginning with president obama's red line. >> i think you can bet if he had not threatened to do this, the same republicans on the hill criticizing him for threatening to go to war would be criticizing him for doing nothing. they would have had him either way because he did say this is a red line. so the question is, should he have thought of something else to do. there are other things to do short of a military strike. >> like what? what comes to mind? i've had this discussion with so many people. what could persuade someone like assad to not use chemical weapons on his own people if he is willing to do it once? >> it seems to me there are probably other types of sanctions ta could be imposed.
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i'm not saying there's an effective measure other than a military strike. a lot of people believe a military strike is probably the most effective way to force them to change their behavior. but the truth is the entire world community has paid precious little attention to syria over the last two years. and that includes not just the united states but all the members of the g-20. we had an interview in national memo the other day with ken roth, the head of human rights watch. they've followed syria very closely and said look, the performance of the g-20 with respect to syria is abysmal. it's abysmal politically. it's abysmal on the military issues and on humanitarian aid. the united states has done better on humanitarian aid than a lot of other countries. china and russia have blocked a lot of aid. but clearly there's more we could do. >> some consider you probably not surprisingly a liberal fire brand, progressive there. has president obama fulfilled all your expectations or is the jury still out on that?
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>> in the beginning i was not a true obama believer. i was pretty critical of both him and hillary clintoning in 2008. i wasn't -- i don't think i drank the kool-aid on obama. so my expectations were somewhat lower. which is good because i'm not disappointed now. i actually think he's done very credible job as president. i think he did save us from depression against a lot of opposition on the other side. has he done everything i would want him to do? no, but i don't expect that from politicians. i hope they're going to try to do their best. i hope they try to fulfill promises. >> but the expectations overall of president obama, have you sensible expectations. but the majority -- >> i try to. >> the majority of people i don't think did. >> the expectation he raised that he could never fulfill was that he was going to change washington and bring about a sort of bipartisan, a new jerusalem of bipartisan good feeling. that was never going to happen. i don't know whether he knew
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that was never going to happen, but i knew it was never going to happen. i could have told him. i think that has created a level of disappointment among his biggest fans. not because they blame him necessarily but because what he hoped would happen just did not come to pass. >> talk about the book that you're working on with president clinton's approval and he's working with you on this. you were in africa with him. >> right, this summer i went to africa with rez clinton for the third time actually. i'm writing a book about his post presidential career. everything he's done since he left the white houses in 2001. and a lot of that work is focused in africa. work on health as i think a lot of people know, aids, but more than that, malaria, lots of other diseases that afflict people in poor countries around the world but particularly in africa. he's doing a lot of agricultural work that's really interesting. he's doing tremendous amount of work to try to raise living standards, raise educational standards, raise up women and girls around the world.
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and it's a great story. i'm really lucky that he's allowing me to tell it. >> tomorrow at this time, joe takes a look at the state of obama care and ten years after his best selling book "big lies," i asked him about the big lies of 2013. the growing questions about the groom who fell to his death off a cliff. police say his bride confessed to pushing him. why isn't she behind bars? we want to hear from you. please search "weekends with alex witt" and like us to keep the conversation going. more is better. that's why we designed the all-new nissan versa note, with more technology, to get you into, and out of, tight spots. and more space so that you always have your favorite stuff. and just for good measure, an incredibly efficient 40 mpg highway. so that when you're doing more, you're spending less. the all-new nissan versa note. your door to more. ♪ you really love, what would you do?"
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in montana, a woman accused of killing her husband by pushing him off a cliff just eight days after tying the knot is not behind bars today. the judge says he ordered 22-year-old jordan linn graham hob released from jail because she doesn't pose a danger to the community nor is she a flight risk. she will have to wear a monitoring device in her parents home and will have to undergo a mental health evaluation. questions are mounting about the events leading up to the solvent and what graham did after
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allegedly pushing her new groom to his death. joining me is faith jenkins, attorney. thanks for being here. as you know, graham confesses to pushing her husband cody johnson, but prosecutors say she first tried to cover it up. and lie the to the police about the incident. so based on this, prosecutors are trying to get the judge's order reversed. is there a valid lid argument for that to happen. >> yes, the prosecutors are doing the right thing by appealing this decision. whether to set bond or enter a permanent order of detention is very judge specific. the judges will look at the facts and circumstances and make a decision. i can't rationalize his decision. this is a homicide, not a fistfight, this isn't a mugging. this is murder, the most heinous act of violence. it's murder. two, she made admission and admitted to the crime. it's to you a matter of why she did it and that's what her defense is going to be about. and third, the defendant -- the victim in the case, her husband of eight days, this is not a
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person who has a violent criminal past or even allegations of abuse. she suffered by his hand. so for those three reasons, i cannot understand why a judge would order her to an ankle bracelet and home detention in a case like this. >> okay. faith, i want you to listen to what happened earlier this morning on the broadcast. i had a chance to speak with former fbi be plo filer cliff van zandt. he is very skeptical how she described what happened. take a listen to what he had to say. >> the story is she and her husband argued. that he grabbed had her arm, that she made him release and then, alex, she says she took two hands on his back and shoved him and he went over the side. my question is, if you and i are arguing, allem, you've just broken my grip on your arm, would you turn your back to me then? there's still holes in the story that have to be filled. >> listen to that.
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i mean, that's a huge hole in the story if you think about that are from a practical aspect. what do you think this case will hinge on and also those reports she had second thoughts about getting married, she was sharing that with friends. how much does that factor into the trial. >> it's going to be a huge facto factor. she's now had these sixth statements is going to undercut whatever defense she tries to mount in this trial whether it's self-defense or that she was come kind of battered wife of eight days. i'm not sure. but whatever it is, because she lied, because she left him there, because of the heinous nature of the crime and because she's been inconsistent and not told the truth is going to undercut and go against whatever defense she tries to present going forward. >> even self defense? >> she claims he grabbed her arm and she broke free. does self-defense make any sense to you. >> it may happen here. i this i she only has a couple
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options going forward of how she's going to defend herself. i think self-defense is going to be one of those options. but is it going to be successful for her? she can mount the defense. but because of the way she acted afterwards and the actions she took after she pushed him over the cliff, it cuts against self-defense in this case and is going to hurt her in the long run. >> faith jenkins, come see us again. thank you so much. the logo and the nickname refers if washington. why do so many cling to this name? 4. vietnam in 1972. [ all ] fort benning, georgia in 1999. [ male announcer ] usaa auto insurance is often handed down from generation to generation. because it offers a superior level of protection and because usaa's commitment to serve military members, veterans, and their families is without equal. begin your legacy, get an auto insurance quote. usaa. we know what it means to serve. a playground of innovation,.
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good day to all of you. welcome to "weekends with alex witt." let's get to what's happening out there as we have developing news. some residents in colorado are describing the deadly flooding as apocalyptic. >> my house is okay, but you can't get to it at all because the river, the creek is now like four different rivers. going through town. >> where you going next? >> i don't know. >> at least four people are dead and more rain is on the way. national guard convoys and military helicopters are assisting in dramatic rescues in remote areas cut off for days by floodwaters. using helicopters, rafts and even zip lines to reach residents praped by the rising waters. at the same time, the raging floods are tearing away huge swathes of mountain roads and
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highway closures continue to mount in the denver metro area as well as parts of northern colorado. let's check back in with joe fryer in boulder, colorado. joe, let's take a look how bad things are again. we have to reiterate that's the boulder creek behind you there. looks like a rushing river. >> that is the boulder creek. this is actually mild compared with what we've been seeing the past couple days. it is and you su here in boulder. that is giving the national guard and rescue crews an opportunity to get to those isolated areas where people have been stranded for dries for the second consecutive day now, hope thes are taking off from the boulder airport and going to jamestown where people have been stranded because the town is completely surrounded by water. they're bringing those people back 0 boulder to evacuation centers, getting this em to safety. the national guard also taking those high clearance vehicles, vehicles much taller than anything that you or i drive, getting them into the town of lyons. as many as 2500 people from
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lyons also need to be evacuated we've been told. we had a chance to speak with some of the evac u es. here's what they had to say. >> my heart goes out to those folks. it's a nightmare. i never would have guessed this ever. >> lived in this neighborhood for almost nine years and i've never seen anything like this. this was absolutely terry phiing >> we were lucky to get out. my neighbor two doors down is still missing. >> reporter: are at a new conference this morning, the boulder county sheriff shared something very interesting with us. he said so far, about 50 people have said, they don't want to be evacuated. they're saying they want to stale where they are. the sheriff's office is concerned about that. they want to reiterate to those people it's unclear when there will be any roads leading in or out of the town and the helicopters only work if the weather's nice. so if an emergency pops up during bad weather, those people would be completely stranded. alex? >> and i can imagine how much
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people appreciate the rain in the forecast, joe. >> reporter: right. you know, that's been sort of the ironic thing about all of this is that it's been so dry for so long. fires have been such an issue and suddenly they get this unbelievable amount of rain. the odds of having this kind of flooding in any year, 1%. . that's why so many people call it a 100-year flood. i'm sure they wish they could get it in moderation and not all at once. >> joe fryer, thanks. developing now, investigators in new jersey trying to figure out what set off a ten-alarm fire that dress troyed at least 20 bizes and a sizable portion of the jersey boardwalk. officials say the fire spread from a frozen custard shop but it's uncertain how it all started. joining me from seaside park is dominick maruka who jones a pizza shop on the boardwalk. thank you for joining us. it will me what the state is of things at the shop that you own.
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>> the shop i own is basically destroyed. it's going to be bulldozed like the rest of the block it's on. right now the clean-up and investigation is proceeding. we just have to wait. one day at a time and everything. and hopefully everything will work out well. >> that's a wonderful positive attitude. i got to tell you, dominick, when we heard about this fire, we all just thought this cannot be. it can't be happening again. something devastating like this to your part of the country. tell me what it is about that area that is so special, why do people keep rebuilding? the legend, the lore of the area? >> well, it's a very unique area. i grew up here. i summered here since i was 3 years old. my family's had a business here for 63 years. it's a beautiful area. a lot of memories. people came here generation after generation. it's a very unique place, seaside sid boardwalk. we love it here. >> yeah. are you getting any word about
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the investigation where specifically either where this fire started or if there was anything suspicious about it? >> no, i haven't heard anything anyway shape or form about the investigation. that's kind of very private anyway. i it wouldn't reach me anyway. the investigators will get to the cause of it and we'll all move forward. >> you'll move forward and you're going to rebuild, i presume. dominick, you talk about a pizza shop of 63 years duration with your family. >> that's correct yes. >> i mean, this is your family's completely wrapped up in this. how much is your family's identity wrapped up in this pizza shop? >> the thing is, we've had four generations of customers. i've been here since i was a young man, i'm 54 years old. it's been my life. you know, it's something i always wanted to do. i want to continue to do. i'll rebuild, i'll be back bigger and better than ever. i'll be back. i have no doubt about that. >> yeah, i know they've talked about being stronger than the
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storm. do you think that your colleagues there, the i don't remember co-owners of businesses along the boardwalk, are they also going to be bouncing back? do they share your indomitable spirit. >> i'm sure they will do. everybody is doing their own thing right now trying to just scurry around and cover their bases. you know, it's been a shock. it happened so quickly. it's a close knit group. we all work together. common goal to get open again, get the town going again. i think a lot of people share the same thought process as i do, getting open, stick together. >> dominick, i understand you're going to meet with governor chris christie of new jersey. what do you want to hear from him? what do you need to hear from him? >> well, there's a meeting down at the city hall around 1:30 i believe for business owners. it's probably open to the public, too. governor has been great so far with sandy, he was great. he came down the other night when the place was on fire. and you know, he reassured us
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he'll do whatever he can. i have a lot of confidence in the governor and everybody on down working to make this happen because after sandy, everybody did a great job. they were overwhelmed. it's a shot in the stomach for us. but you know what? we'll be back. i think the governor will orchestrate everything very well. very confident with it. >> dominick maruca, i have a lot of admiration for you under the circumstances. let us know when your shop reopens and we're going to many could and bring some cameras and make sure we give it full coverage and celebrate that day with you, okay? ing >> i most certainly will. thank you very much. >> your an very welcome. best of luck. major developments today in the handling of the crisis in syria. the u.s. and russia reach a deal on syria's chemical weapons program that sets a critical news. kerry announced the news and added this caveat. >> ultimately, perhaps more so than anywhere in the world, actions will matter more than words. in the case of the assad regime,
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president reagan's old add daniel about trust but verify, though that i know provari i think is the saying, that is the need of an update and we have committed here to a standard that says verify and verify. >> nbc's ian williams is traveling with the very fluent secretary kerry. my goodness, ian. he's spoken french earlier on the trip. now he's dropping russian. let's talk about the details of this proposed deal. what do you know about that? >> well, on the kerry front, the u.s. officials here do seem very, very pleased with themselves tonight. they briefed earlier that they thought they had got most of what mattered in this agreement, but the reality is that it is a framework, a road map as kerry described it, and there is still a lot of detail that needs to be filled in. detail which one official described as daunting to say the
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least. now, we have got some of that detail. we do have a fairly aggressive timeline, deadlines. the first, of course, will be the demand that the syrians come up with a list of their chemical weapons, chemical materials within a week. now, that's a very short deadline, but a key test of their willingness to cooperate. we then have a deadline of november by which time weapons inspectors should have had unfettered access. this whole process they want to be finished by the middle of next year. so that's a pretty tall order. so far we haven't had any reaction from damascus as they face this critical deadline of the end of next week to come clean about precisely what they do have, alex. >> interesting to see what they put forward in one week. we'll trust you'll help us cover that, ian williams. october 1st is looking more and more like d-day, not only the day health care exchanges go online, it's also the deadline
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for congress to approve the spending bill to keep the government running. joining me now, msnbc contributor and political editor for the grio perry baker junior. perry, i'll reach out to you first. the associated press writes tea party activists are depending that congress use upcoming budget votes to deny money for implementing president barack obama's 2010 health care law. even amid warnings that the strategy could lead to a government shutdown. what do you see republicans doing here? >> i can't tell you exactly what their strategy is because the republicans don't know what they're doing right now. you saw john boehner and eric cantor try to lead the republicans in some kind of defunding obama care provision that they couldn't get the tea party republicans behind in congress. what we really know root now is the debt ceiling is likely to be raised. the budget likely passed. and obama care is unlikely to be defunded because the republicans
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don't have enough votes and president obama would never sign that. what you'll see is how do the republican republican leaders satisfy the tea party members of congress and the tea party activists even though they're not going to meet their real demands. obama care is not going to be defunded. that's a real challenge for the tea party republicans to acknowledge. >> you're right. sun ming, i want to pick up on that with you. a recent poll shows seven in ten tea party republicans disapprove of the job performance of congressional leaders. how much power does the tea party have over republicans? and how long is the tea party tale going to wag the republican dog so to speak? >> they have enough power right now to ensure that we can't pass anything right now in the house without -- that would in order to keep the government running. there are at least 80 house republicans urging the house republican leadership to defund the president's health care law. as part of any government funding resolution. and that means speaker
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downboehner and the rest of the house leadership reasonably won't be able to pass anything without help from democrats. the first version they put forward didn't get any democratic support. so you know, it's kind of back to the drawing table and seeing what else they can come up. right now that path forward is not very clear. >> perry you used the word probably be in your previous answer. is there any scenario under which you can envision a government shutdown? >> maybe a brief one. i don't think the republicans learned from the 1990, that really hurt their poll numbers. bill clinton was viewed at the adult in the room after na. i think president obama would benefit if the government shuttup, politically at least. what you're really going to see is in terms of obama care, the congress can't fight it that well. but the governors can. you're seeing a lot of republican governors who are successfully slowing down obama care, block the medicaid funding. they're making it harder for people to sign you. . that's where i think the tea
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party will end up going is to the governors to get them to slow down obama care, not the congress. >> so seung ming, if it happens, who does it hurt most politically? >> what you're seeing from public polling is that house republicans and consecutivatives will get the blame. most public polls show this. and lie -- as perry said, a lot of republicans who are back around in 1995 knew that they were -- they got the blame for the shut down. they don't want that to happen again. that's why the house republican leadership came up with the two-step strategy to try to get around that. that didn't work for the conservatives in the house. >> seung kim, perry, thank you. >> one of the biggest supporters of health care reform has now done about face. would they back the gop's effort to stop obama care if should ha. instead, man raised a sail. and made "farther" his battle cry.
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with developments in syria very much a hot topic right now, house gop leaders quietly delayed a vote this week on continuing the resolutionings to prevent the government from shutting down. joining me now, congressman gregory meeks, democrat from new york, a frequent visitor. thank you for being here. let's talk first before we get to all that about syria, secretary kerry announcing today a deal and this one-week deadline for announcing syria's chemical weapons mass cash if you'll say. what was your reaction to hearing this, and are you at all optimistic that syria will comply? >> it's a big deal i think. i think a substantial he's for the president of the united states. number one, you have russia at the table now. so you have more than the united states that have something at stake because the russians have put their own self interests in into this thing.
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you have the u.n. council that's getting involved, the security council rather so the u.n. will be involved also. you have syria saying that they will join the chemical weapons convention, you know, to prohibit the use of chemical weapons. so there's a lot that has taken place between last week and this week that is very substantial. and in that, the united states still has the opportunity if needed, you know they still have the big stick to say if something is not done in accord with the agreement that we still can utilize whatever options we may have. and the world will be with us because that's been my big thing that had it to be a multilateral action. whatever we did, and that's what's happening now. >> you know what's interesting? syria saying they go are now going to support their prohibition of the use of chemical weapons. >> well, that's huge. we've always said, and the generals have always said that there was no military resolution to the crisis in syria.
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that had it to be a negotiated settlement. and on top of that, everyone has always said the only way that would happen is if the russians were at the table because the russians were or are syria's biggest allies. historically. and so now you have a situation where the russians and the syrians are -- well the russians primarily at the table and the russians i would believe is a strongly advising the syrians on what to do and what the consequences will be if they did not fall in line. which is huge. so and then for us in the united states i think it also gives a signal you know like many americans people in my district said we don't want the united states to be the one police officer of the world. we have to get others engaged. here is an opportunity i think for russia and the united states and hopefully we can bring along china now and the security council and others ha we can work collectively together.
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still a long way to go, still a rot lot of work. as the secretary of state said, you've got to trust by verify. we've got a lot of verification to do. it's a long period of time to gather in all of the chemical weapons and destroy them. but i think we're taking a step in the right direction. >> do you think ultimately that president obama is the big winner here? because look what is going to be accomplished if this deal is followed through without the launch of one missile. >> he is a big, big winner in my estimation. number one, think of where we could have been and would have been if the president had not taken it to congress. he had no one knew that he was going to go to congress. in fact, we all thought that there was an imminent strike on its way. he sat his advisors down on his own and says no, i think the right thing to do is to go to congress because we have time. there's no imminent threat here and move forward and let's have debate. but for that, we wouldn't be
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where we are today. the president had always been back channeling trying to have some diplomacy and this time, it appears to have worked. >> uh-huh. okay, we're going to talk to you about obama care, the affidavitable care act appropriately enough. the afl-cio, one of the president's biggest supporter balking a little bit at this. are you surprised? >> well, you know, they were concerned in the beginning because of the cadillac health care plans that they had. and what the effect would be. and i think that what has to happen is and what the president has always talked about and members of congress, is there a need to tweak some pieces of the affordable care act? through absolutely. any major piece of legislation has always had to be tweaked. the problem is, you have on the republican side they are not willing to tweak but they want to do is repeal the entire act which will take us back
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substantially. so i think what the afl-cio's comments is about really tweaking a part of it. and if we could, i believe in over the long haul we pay tweak some of it. when we did medicare and medicaid, it had to be tweaked. social security had to be tweaked. any major piece of legislation had to be tweaked. what the republicans have been trying to do 40 times now, maybe 41 times try to vote to beak repeal what is the law of the land. that's where i think the differences are. >> do you nene possibility of a government shutdown over this. >> i am very concerned when the speaker tried to have a deal and a deal i think we agreed with for continuing resolution but yet, in his own party, they decided to turn it down. that puts me makes me very nervous about where we are. because it's saying that they will not compromise on anything. and they want to do the same thing over and over again, knowing that they don't have the votes to overturn or to stop the affordable care act.
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but you know, some individuals seem to think that they're not going to compromise, that they don't want to go back to their gerrymandered districts and say they compromised. it puts us at the edge again of a shutdown. >> do you really think it could happen? >> i this i that if you had asked me last week, i would say you know, there was a, it was 60-40 it wouldn't happen now i'm about to switch and say it's 60-40 that it will happen. >> gregory medication, thank you very much. >> good to be with you. it's far flung. voyager goes where no other spacecraft has gone. how is nasa still in contact with it? especially today, ase are looking for more low, and no calorie options. that's why on vending machines, we're making it easy for people to know how many calories are in their favorite beverages, before they choose. and we're offering more low calorie options, including over 70 in our innovative coca-cola
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four, three, two, one. >> launch control team said everything went perfectly. >> and that was voyager one blasting off into orbit back in
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1977 on a mission deep into the solar system. back then, scientists will no idea how far the spacecraft would travel or whether the mission would be a success. well, it certainly has been. 36 years more than 11 billion miles later, the voyager 1 has gone further than any manmide object or spacecraft has gone before ever. just how far the voyager one has traveled is mind boggling which is why tear rick mallek is joining us now to break all of this down. can you put this into perspective, billions of miles? >> yeah, voyager one is nearly 12 billion miles away. it's beak outside the bubble of everything that we know. it's in the space between the stars really. you know, it's taken 35 years, 36 years for it to get there. and the fact that it's still alive is pretty amazing >> how did that happen? i mean, it was supposed to working for about five years, right? >> yeah, it has at its heart a
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nuclear power source. that is just -- it keeps going like that energizer bunny all the way out. parts of it have broken down. nasa has turned off parts of it. it can't take pictures anymore but it can beam the signal back from the edge of the solar system. that's what told them it's popped free. >> when it beams back, how long does it take to get back to earth. >> regardless of how far it is. >> i believe it takes hours to get back. >> hours and hours. >> yes. >> that seems like nothing given how far away it is. >> it seems like nothing but you know, it takes just a few minutes, about 20 minutes or so to get to mars. so that kind of puts things into perspective for this one. they call them light hours how long it takes the signal to get to earth. >> what's the last photo that it took. >> back in 1990, the last picture that this spacecraft really took was a portrait of our solar system, the pale blue dot is how it's known showing
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earth as this little blue spec in a vast vast ocean of black. and just like last month, nasa said looks look at voyager now. they trained all their radio telescopes and looked at the signal and found their own little blue dot. that's the spacecraft 12 billion miles away. >> it's incredible. so it has gone outside of our solar system. >> uh-huh. >> into what? >> well, that's an interesting question. it's in the interstellar space. beak our solar system is surrounded by this protective bubble that is created by the sun as we move around in the milky way. voyager is now outside of that. and it's in this kind of weird alien environment. there's other particles out there coming from other stars now which is a big first for them. the key distinction though, you mentioned outside of the solar system. there's this other region called the orc cloud where all the comets we see come from. it's going to be 300 years
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before voyager gets there. it's in interstellar space but it still has this other kind of belt to get through before it's truly kind of out in the void. >> my producer just told me to wrap. i'm so bummed. i seriously could talk all day with you about this. tarik malik, thanks you. accident or something sinister? what started the new jersey boardwalk fire? a live report next. ent, so ther. really? yep! so is your husband off the hook? no. he went out for milk last week and came back with a puppy. hold it. hold it. hold it. at discover, we treat you like you'd treat you. get the it card with late payment forgiveness.
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the area was cleared to make way for independence day celebrations this weekend. legal trouble for rapper kanye west now facing misdemeanor charges for a run-in with a photographer earlier this year. four sororitities at the university of alabama are accused of preventing a an.student from pledging. and a fiery crash on a highway near minneapolis claimed the life of a semi truck driver who witnesses tried in vain to rescue. the driver of the other vehicle was hospitalized. and those are your fast five headlines. new jersey governor chris christie is expected to meet with business owners. many of them have lost everything in that ten-alarm fire. as investigators try to piece together what set off the fire that left some 30 businesses including bars, ice cream shops, pizza places, the kinds patronized on the boardwalk have
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all been completely decimated. michelle franzen is live in seaside park, new jersey. michelle, i don't presume the last hour you've gotten a had hint of a cause here. this is going to take an while for investigators, isn't it? >> it is going to take awhile because the scope of the damage first of all and what they have to sift through. investigates are have been here all morning sifting through the areas getting first access to these spots that were just too hot to access before. and you can still see some smoldering areas there. that's exactly what they're dealing with, but officials here tell us that they are not looking within way or the other, that its an a process of elimination that, arson along with an accident is everything in the scope that they're looking at. they're have to gather information and go by witnesses and also what they find within than charred debris stretch that goes for four blocks, alex. as you mentioned, governor christie is set to meet with business owners at this hour in a roundtable discussion. those 30 to 40 business owners
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and others here whose businesses were not completely destroyed by affected to see where they will go next with this. we're at the seaside heights section of this boardwalk. you're looking back at the seaside park section. so this area behind here is still open in some ways and functioning in some areas which is complete 180 from what you see behind me. >> you anticipated my question. i was going to say 0% of the businesses have been reported decimated here. these other 20 just continue the typical boardwalk type of businesses? >> well, they're open randomly for business. of course, we're at the end of the season. it's still warmer temperatures out here. a lot of people are showing up not only to see the damage but also to support the areas that are still open here. so this roundtable will learn at the extent of the economic toll and how these business owners may be able to move forward if they choose to move forward. we're hearing a lot of them say they want to but don't know
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exactly what avenue they have to take to get that done. >> right, certainly in all this in the wake of superstorm sandy. good grief. okay, thank you. there's an environmental disaster unfolding in hawaii that has already killed thousands of fish. a pipeline carrying molasses in the honolulu harbor ruptured earlier this week spewing over 200,000 gallons of the syrupy sugar product. expers say it is not toxic but it has displaced oxygen rich water and that is causing fish to suffocate. he crews have so far collected 2,000 dead fish but expecting to find many more in what is sure to be a long and sticky clean-up process. well, it looks like california's minimum wage will be going up from $8 to $9 next year. and then $10 in 2016. the state assembly has passed that wage hike bill that governor brown says he will sign into law. it would become one of the highest minimum wages in the country and the first hike there in six years. a new republican bill in the house wants to prevent people
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from spending food stamps on junk food. the house has yet to pass a new food stamp funding bill. and new rasmussenen surveys show 30% of americans think hunger is a very serious problem in this country. 28% don't think it is. 65% of americans think overeating is a bigger problem in this country than people not eating enough. a new report shows just how bad the gap between the rich and the poor has gotten. of the -- rather at the height of protests against the big banks last year, incomes for the top 1% of americans soared by 20% while the income for the 99% only grew by a jaw-dropping 1%. that breaks the previous record set in 1928, of course, the year before the historic stock market crash that led to the depression. joining me now is monica bowling, from mother jones. thanks for joining me. >> hi, alex. >> in brief, can you put this into perspective for us? what does this mean and how did we get her.
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>> into. >> well, the numbers as you said are astounding. just as an added bit, the 1% have actually now caught up completely with where they were before the recession. and the 99% which is everybody making less than $394,000 give or take is actually only about -- our incomes have grown only about.4% since the recession ended. so if people are feeling like this recovery is not putting them in a better place, that's because it's been a 1% recovery. >> wow. >> let's talk about mother jones, it's tying all of these new findings to all the gridlock in washington. what's the connection? >> well, there turns turns out to be a precise, when you overlay the degree to which we are politically polarized with the degree to wilthe incomes of the top 1% and the rest of the country are pulling apart, you
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see that whenever we have more income inequality, we're much more polarized. and you know, you can speculate about the reasons, but it's pretty obvious that when people are not doing well, they need somebody to blame. and they become moral hostile to other political opinions. >> uh-huh. over the last few months, i know you've seen it, the massive protests across the country by fast food, retail workers, they're all demanding pay hikes. they're trying to get to $15 for minimum wage. are we seeing other ways the fight over income inequality is playing out? are there any glimmers of hope for the 99%? >> well, it is interesting i think these kinds of protests are catching on and that people are noticing that this is not about you know random people demanding ridiculous increases in salary. fast food workers we did some research at mother jones and it
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turns out that fast food workers have basically gained when you adjust for inflation 10 cents since 1967. i believe. >> wow! >> and a lot of people are trying to support families on that kind of income. i think that's sort of -- that's actually catching on. people are seeing that these are not -- that people who make middle class incomes actually have a lot more in common with people who are struggling to get by because both of them, both of these groups are losing out vis-a-vis the people capturing all the economic gains. >> hmm. sobering comments there. so i'll let them be the last once. people can think about that, monka, thank you. >> what's in a name for washington's nfl teamle? could be big trouble. the big three is next. ... but with advair, i'm breathing better. so now i can help make this a great block party. ♪ [ male announcer ] advair is clinically proven
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my panel professor of political science at hiram college, jason johnson. republican strategist and msnbc contributor, susan del%io and the blogger reid wilson. thank you. >> glad to be here. >> reid, i'll reach out to you first. scale of one to ten here with ten being the best, how would you assess president obama's week, the speech to the nation, the turn to diplomacy on syria, the big announcement of the deal on chemical weapons, not a missile being fired? now you can answer. >> okay. yeah. i would give him a five but he only gets the five because things are looking like they worked out without this deal between the u.s. and russia, it would be a lot lower. president of the united states don't give a lot of speeches to the nation and when they do, they don't make the urgent case to pause on something. i think this was the beginning of a really bad week for the white house had this. they didn't communicate a lot with congress. the already strained
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relationship between president obama got worse this week. it wasn't a good week for him and didn't feel like the white house had a clear idea how the week would end. >> can i challenge you on that last part i was saying? the president having achieved his stated goal of getting bashar al assad to stop using chemical weapons and now it may play out that way without one single missile being fired. >> yeah, he won but he won ugly. >> he still won. >> yeah, you're absolutely right. >> we don't know if he won yet actually. >> that's why it's a five instead of a two. this is a white house that had a plan. they didn't inform all of their allies about the plan. it looked like the plan to go to congress. the plan to go to congress started falling apart and he got an out somewhere else. i'd rather be lucky than good any day. this white house got lucky. >> i guess you're a guy it's not if you win or lose, it's how you play the game. jane, you're next. i want to play something the president said in his speech that struck me. here's the part about it.
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>> as several people wrote to me, we should knnot be the worls policemen. i agree and i have a deeply held presence for peaceful solutions. >> isn't that at the core of who he is? he really doesn't want military conflict at any cost and frachingly, neither does the country. so in that context, this week, on a scale of one to ten goes where? >> it's got to be a 7 1/2 or 8. i'm a college professor, a tough grader. he's getting a 7 or 8 here. because not only did he get the chemical weapons are given up without shots having to be fired, he puchked vladimir putin and assad. both guys tried to pretend they didn't have chemical weapons till a couple weeks ago. now he's gotten the admission, and the u.n. involved. the only reason it's not a 10 is because he didn't communicate that clearly. >> susan, scale of one to 10, what's your number? >> about 3 1/2. nothing has been achieved yet.
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yes, there's been an agreement. yes, force is still on the table per u.n. resolution. so until something happens, we're still in a stalemate. there's no reason we have to trust an sass to follow through, frankly. so we have to see where this goes. that grade can be amended. maybe he'll get a bonus extra credit down the road for grading. but the other thing that happened this week is in the nbc/"wall street journal" poll, right track, wrong track numbers came out. 60% of the american public thinks the country's on the wrong track. that is a horrible number for this president. >> was that specific to domestic policies or including. >> is the country on the right track, wrong track on domestic policies, it was 28 opposed his position on syria -- i'm sorry, 2% supported it, 57 opposed. on the com competent, 52% said he was -- they did not approve of it while only 45 approved. there was nothing redeeming in those numbers. >> nice job pulling those
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numbers off the top of your head. what's in a name. i want to begin with you, jason, on this. the logo and the name controversy in washington. here's a new radio ad set to start running tomorrow. >> the word redskins is deeply hurtful to native americans. it is what our people were called as our lands were taken. it is the insult native american parents heard as their children were taken and sadly it is the racial slur the nfl continues to use to describe the team that represents our nation's capital. >> these kinds of names are almost wholly extinct, jason. you're an academic. you're in atlanta, home of the braves. >> yes. this is a huge problem. i think in a lot of different ways, dan snyder is the last holdout. when he said, i don't want to change it because no one who owns the washington team wants to be responsible for changing this name. but it's going to happen. roger goodell came out this week and said, if this insults even one person, we need to listen to how we might be able to change
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this issue. eventually, 10 or 15 years from you, the washington team will have a different name. >> reid, what's your take on the name? >> jason mentioned the roger goodell interview. that caught my eye this week when i was reading the post. it sounds like he's more hope now to changing the name or at least pushing dan snyder to change that name than he has in previous interviews. by the way, the interview he did was with a former member of the washington redskins. around the country, a lot of those names are -- they're sort of treated differently by the state. north dakota really fought against changing the name of the university of north dakota team from the fighting sioux when the ncaa banned some of these names. maybe it's going to take somebody else bringing some pressure to bear on dan snyder, on the redskins. there are going to be protests tomorrow when the redskins go to
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green bay. we'll see if people start organizing around this. >> susan, your take? >> i agree with reid and jason. eventually it will change. the interesting component is the media campaign on it. if someone else links onto that, there is more pressure. that could be significant and start making the change happen a little quicker. >> comedian eddie murphy is in the big 3. find out why next. i'm ready. [ male announcer ] along with support, chantix (varenicline) is proven to help people quit smoking. it reduces the urge to smoke. i knew that i could smoke for the first 7 days. i knew that i wasn't putting nicotine back into my body to try to quit. [ male announcer ] some people had changes in behavior, thinking or mood, hostility, agitation, depressed mood and suicidal thoughts or actions while taking or after stopping chantix. if you notice any of these, stop chantix and call your doctor right away. tell your doctor about any history of mental health problems, which could get worse while taking chantix. don't take chantix if you've had a serious allergic or skin reaction to it. if you develop these,
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we are back with the big 3. jason, i'll go to you first, what's your picks? >> the worst of the week goes to vladimir putin. regardless of him wanting to write something in "the new york times," he basically got forced to the table by barack obama threatening to drop bombs. he was afraid some bombs were going to hit russian consultants in syria. and the best week goes to eddie murphy. how many people could be in their careers for 30 years and get to produce songs both with michael jackson and snoop dogg.
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he released his new song this week. he's moved past being donkey. >> good for him. susan, your best? >> best week, the residents of new york city for thoroughly rejecting anthony weiner and eliot spitzer. >> remember the "new york post," that was classically good. and the worst? >> the worst to barack obama. syria really has not worked out well for him even though he's backed into some kind of conclusion. and also the fact that 60% of the country thinks that we're on the wrong track. >> reid, yours, best first? >> best of the week, the international center right. last week, the australians kicked out their center left government for a center right government. norway did the same thing this week. consider the international global elections for the last several years in the uk, in new zealand, in germany, south korea, the center right is winning everywhere. worst of the week is mike bloomberg.
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that mayoral was a rejection of him on the left and the voters in colorado rejected his gun control legislation, too. >> thank you all so much. that's a wrap of this edition of "weekends with alex witt." see you right back here tomorrow at noon eastern. up next, i'm five seconds over -- craig melvin. for teaching us that you can't create the future... by clinging to the past. and with that: you're history. instead of looking behind... delta is looking beyond. 80 thousand of us investing billions... in everything from the best experiences below... to the finest comforts above. we're not simply saluting history... we're making it. ron: i'm sorry, who are you? jc: i'm your coworker! c'mon guys, i'm driving. jc: you guys comfortable? it's best-in-class rear legroom.
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no two people have the same financial goals. pnc investments works with you to understand yours and helps plan for your retirement. talk to a pnc investments financial advisor today. ♪ never thought that something like that -- you'd be in that kind of situation. all of a sudden you're literally trapped. >> good saturday afternoon. i'm craig melvin. developing right now, colorado's historic flooding. walls of water cutting off entire communities. so far, four people dead, thousands are homeless. more than 170 are unaccounted for. we are live on the ground as more rain heads their way. there can be no games,


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